The Project Gutenberg eBook of History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12)

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12)

Author: G. Maspero

Editor: A. H. Sayce

Translator: M. L. McClure

Release date: December 16, 2005 [eBook #17326]
Most recently updated: December 13, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Widger

Character set: ISO-8859-1







Honorable Doctor of Civil Laws, and Fellow of Queen’s College,
Oxford; Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of France

Edited by A. H. SAYCE,
Professor of Assyriology, Oxford

Translated by M. L. McCLURE,
Member of the Committee of the Egypt Exploration Fund


Volume VI.


frontispiece (143K)


001.jpg Page Image

002 (41K)



The Theban necropolis: mummies—The funeral of a rich Theban: the procession of the offerings and the funerary furniture, the crossing of the Nile, the tomb, the farewell to the dead, the sacrifice, the coffins, the repast of the dead, the song of the Harper—The common ditch—The living inhabitants of the necropolis: draughtsmen, sculptors, painters—The bas-reliefs of the temples and the tombs, wooden statuettes, the smelting of metals, bronze—The religions of the necropolis: the immorality and want of discipline among the people: workmen s strikes.

Amon and the beliefs concerning him: his kingdom over the living and the dead, the soul’s destiny according to the teaching of Amon—Khonsû and his temple; the temple of Amon at Karnak, its revenue, its priesthood—The growing influence of the high priests of Amon under the sons of Ramses III.: Hamsesnaklûti, Amenôthes; the violation of the royal burying-places—Hrihor and the last of the Ramses, Smendês and the accession to power of the XXIst dynasty: the division of Egypt into two States—The priest-kings of Amon masters of Thebes under the suzerainty of the Tanite Pharaohs—The close of the Theban empire.





List of Illustrations





001.jpg Page Image

003.jpg Page Image

004.jpg the Theban Cemeteries

005.jpg the Necropolis of SheÎkh and El-qurneh

007.jpg Head of a Theban Mummy

008.jpg the Manufacture and Painting of The Cartonnage

009.jpg Wrapping of the Mummy, Under The Direction Of The “Man of the Roll”

012.jpg the Funeral of Harmhabi

013.jpg the Funeral of HabmhabÎ

014.jpg the Boat Carrying The Mummy

015.jpg the Boats Containing The Female Weepers and The People of the Household

016.jpg the Boats Containing The Friends and The Funerary Furniture

017.jpg a Corner of the Theban Necropolis

018.jpg Painting in the Fifth Tomb of The Kings to The Right

019.jpg the Farewell to The Mummy, and The Double Received by the Goddess

021.jpg Niche in the Tomb of Menna

023a.jpg Coffin-lid

023b.jpg Coffin-lid

024.jpg the Mummy Factory

025.jpg the Paraphernalia of a Mummy Of The XXth to The Xxiind Dynasties

026.jpg the Funeral Repast—music and Dancing

027.jpg the Coffin of The Favourite Gazelle Of IsÎmkhobiu

029.jpg One of the Harpers Of The Tomb Of Ramses III.

032.jpg Paintings at the End of The Hall Of The Fifth The Tomb

033.jpg Amenothes III. At Luxor

035.jpg KhÂmhaÎt

026.jpg Sketch of a Female Acrobat

Bas-relief of Seti I., Showing Corrections Made by The Sculptor

040.jpg the Kneeling Scribe at Turin

041a.jpg Young Girl in the Turing Museum

041b.jpg the Lady Nehai

043a.jpg a Soldier

043b.jpg Statue in the Turin Museum

045.jpg Funerary Casket in the Turin Museum

046.jpg Shrine in the Turin Museum

046b.jpg the Lady Taksûhît

048.jpg the Swallow-goddess from The Theban Necropolis

049.jpg the Goddess MabÎtsakbo

060.jpg Decorated Wrappings of a Mummy

062.jpg One of the Mysterious Books Of Amon

066.jpg the Entrance to a Royal Tomb

066b.jpg One of the Hours Of The Night

074.jpg KhonsÛ* and Temple of KhonsÛ**.

075.jpg the Temple of KhonsÛ at Karnak

077.jpg the Court of The Temple Of KhonsÛ

078.jpg the Colonnade Built by ThÛtmosis III

081.jpg the Temple of Amon at Karnak

082.jpg the Two Stele-pillars at Karnak

089.jpg Ramses IX.

091.jpg Hrihor

093.jpg Zodphtahaufonkhi, Royal Son of Ramses

095.jpg Tailpiece

097.jpg Page Image

098.jpg Page Image

099.jpg Page Image

101.jpg the Tree Growing on The Tomb of Osiris

104.jpg the Phoenician Horus

105.jpg the Phoenician Thot

106.jpg One of the Most Ancient Phoenician Inscriptions

107.jpg Table of Alphabets

109.jpg Rashuf on his Lion

110.jpg a Phoenician God in his Egyptian Shrine

111.jpg AmenÔthes I. Seizing a Lion

112.jpg a Phoenician Mastaba at Arvad

113.jpg Two of the Tombs at Arvad

115.jpg the Kabr-hiram Near Tyre

117.jpg Egyptian Treatment of the Cow on a Phoenician Bowl

118.jpg the King and his Double on a Phoenician Bowl

128.jpg AzÂz—one of This Tumuli on the Ancient Hittite Plain

143.jpg the 1st Assyrian Empire—map

145.jpg the Volcanic Cone of KÔkab

149.jpg Ishtar As a Warrior Bringing Prisoners to A Conquering King

152.jpg a Village in the Mountain Districts of The Old AssÆan Kingdom

155.jpg the Sabre of Ramman-nirari

163.jpg Table

172.jpg the Dove-goddess

173.jpg an Assyrian

178.jpg a Lion-hunt

179.jpg Lion Transfixed by an Arrow

180.jpg Paintings of Chairs

181.jpg a Ubus Hunt

182.jpg Libation Poured over the Lions on The Return From The Chase

183.jpg Two Assyrian Archers

184.jpg an Assyrian War-chariot Charging the Foe

185a.jpg Harness of the Horses

185b.jpg Pikeman

188.jpg Crossing a River in Boats and on Inflated Skins

189.jpg Making a Bridge for the Passage of The Chariots

190.jpg the King’s Chariot Crossing a Bridge

191.jpg the Assyrian Infantry Crossing The Mountains

193.jpg the King Crossing a Mountain in his Chariot

194.jpg an Assyrian Camp

196.jpg a Fortified Town

198.jpg the Bringing of Heads After a Battle

200.jpg the King Lets Fly Arrows at a Besieged Town

201.jpg Assyrian Sappers

202.jpg a Town Taken by Scaling

203.jpg Tortures Inflicted on Prisoners

204.jpg a Convoy of Prisoners and Captives After The Taking of a Town

205.jpg Convoy of Prisoners Bound in Various Ways

216.jpg General View of the Ruins Of Euyuk

217.jpg the Sphinx on The Right of Euyuk

218.jpg Two Blocks Covered With Bas-reliefs in the Euyuk Palace

219.jpg Mystic Scene at Euyuk

220.jpg an Asiatic Goddess

221.jpg the Asiatic Inscription of Kolitolu-yaÎla

222.jpg Double Scend of Offerings

223.jpg the Bas-relief of Ibriz

230.jpg Sacrifice Offered Before the Royal Stele

231.jpg Portions of the Sacrificial Victims Thrown Into The Water

233.jpg the Stele at Sebenneh-su

235.jpg Transport of Building Materials by Water

236.jpg Rare Animals Brought Back As Trophies by The King

237.jpg Monkey Brought Back As Tribute

239.jpg Merodach-nadin-akhi

242.jpg Table of Kings

248.jpg Lion at Makash

250.jpg Tailpiece

251.jpg Page Image

252.jpg Page Image

253.jpg Page Image

259.jpg the Amorite Astarte

261.jpg the Valley of The Jabbok, Near to Its Confluence With the Jordan

263.jpg One of the Mounds Of ÂÎn Es-sultÂn, The Ancient Jericho

264.jpg the Jordan in The Neighbourhood of Jericho

265.jpg One of the Wells Of Beersheba

268.jpg Map of Palestine in Time Of the Judges

272.jpg Moabite Warrior

275.jpg Tell

278.jpg Mount Tabor

288.jpg Mount Gerizim, With a View of Nablus

289.jpg the Town of Ascalon

292.jpg a Zakkala

294.jpg a Procession of Philistine Captives At Medinet-habu

297.jpg a Philistine Ship of War

301.jpg Tell Es-safieh, the Gath of The Philistines

304.jpg the Hill of Shiloh, Seen from The North-east

314.jpg the Wady Suweinit

319.jpg a Phoenician Soldier

324.jpg AÎd-el-ra, the Site of The Ancient Adullam

326.jpg the Desert of Judah

330.jpg the Hill of Bethshan, Seen from The East

346.jpg Mouse of Metal

353.jpg the Hebrew Kingdom

354.jpg the Site of Rabbath-amon, Seen from The West

370.jpg Map of Tyre Subsequent to Hiram

371.jpg the Breakwater of The Egyptian Harbour at Tyre

372.jpg One of Solomon’s Reservoirs Near Jerusalem

374.jpg Some of the Stone Course Of Solomon’s Temple At Jerusalem

377.jpg an Upright of a Door at Lachish

384.jpg King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

387.jpg a Jewish Captive

391.jpg the Mound and Plain of Bethel.

393.jpg Table of Kings

397.jpg Table of Kings

401.jpg the Mummies of Queen MÂkerÎ and Her Child

402.jpg Table

404.jpg the Two Niles of Tanis

410.jpg a Troop of Libyans Hunting

413.jpg Nsitanibashiru

419.jpg Amon Presenting to Sheshonq the List of The Cities Captured in Israel and Judah

432.jpg the Hill of Samaria

003.jpg Page Image


Ramses III.: Manners and Customs—Population—The predominance of Amon and his high priests.

Opposite the Thebes of the living, Khafîtnîbûs, the Thebes of the dead, had gone on increasing in a remarkably rapid manner. It continued to extend in the south-western direction from the heroic period of the XVIIIth dynasty onwards, and all the eminence and valleys were gradually appropriated one after the other for burying-places. At the time of which I am speaking, this region formed an actual town, or rather a chain of villages, each of which was grouped round some building constructed by one or other of the Pharaohs as a funerary chapel. Towards the north, opposite Karnak, they clustered at Drah-abu’l-Neggah around pyramids of the first Theban monarchs, at Qurneh around the mausolæ of Ramses I. and Seti I., and at Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh they lay near the Amenopheum and the Pamonkaniqîmît, or Ramesseum built by Ramses II. Towards the south they diminished in number, tombs and monuments becoming fewer and appearing at wider intervals; the Migdol of Ramses III. formed an isolated suburb, that of Azamît, at Medinet-Habu; the chapel of Isis, constructed by Amenôthes, son of Hapû, formed a rallying-point for the huts of the hamlet of Karka;* and in the far distance, in a wild gorge at the extreme limit of human habitations, the queens of the Ramesside line slept their last sleep.

     * The village of Karka or Kaka was identified by Brugsch
     with the hamlet of Deîr el-Medineh: the founder of the
     temple was none other than Amenôthes, who was minister under
     Amenôthes III.

004.jpg the Theban Cemeteries

Each of these temples had around it its enclosing wall of dried brick, and the collection of buildings within this boundary formed the Khîrû, or retreat of some one of the Theban Pharaohs, which, in the official language of the time, was designated the “august Khîrû of millions of years.”

005.jpg the Necropolis of SheÎkh and El-qurneh
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.

A sort of fortified structure, which was built into one of the corners, served as a place of deposit for the treasure and archives, and could be used as a prison if occasion required.*

     * This was the hliatmû, the dungeon, frequently mentioned in
     the documents bearing upon the necropolis.

The remaining buildings consisted of storehouses, stables, and houses for the priests and other officials. In some cases the storehouses were constructed on a regular plan which the architect had fitted in with that of the temple. Their ruins at the back and sides of the Ramesseum form a double row of vaults, extending from the foot of the hills to the border of the cultivated lands. Stone recesses on the roof furnished shelter for the watchmen.* The outermost of the village huts stood among the nearest tombs. The population which had been gathered together there was of a peculiar character, and we can gather but a feeble idea of its nature from the surroundings of the cemeteries in our own great cities. Death required, in fact, far more attendants among the ancient Egyptians than with us. The first service was that of mummification, which necessitated numbers of workers for its accomplishment. Some of the workshops of the embalmers have been discovered from time to time at Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh and Deîr el-Baharî, but we are still in ignorance as to their arrangements, and as to the exact nature of the materials which they employed. A considerable superficial space was required, for the manipulations of the embalmers occupied usually from sixty to eighty days, and if we suppose that the average deaths at Thebes amounted to fifteen or twenty in the twenty-four hours, they would have to provide at the same time for the various degrees of saturation of some twelve to fifteen hundred bodies at the least.**

     * The discovery of quantities of ostraca in the ruins of
     these chambers shows that they served partly for cellars.

     ** I have formed my estimate of fifteen to twenty deaths per
     day from the mortality of Cairo during the French
     occupation. This is given by R. Desgenettes, in the
     Description de l’Egypte, but only approximately, as many
     deaths, especially of females, must have been concealed from
     the authorities; I have, however, made an average from the
     totals, and applied the rate of mortality thus obtained to
     ancient Thebes. The same result follows from calculations
     based on more recent figures, obtained before the great
     hygienic changes introduced into Cairo by Ismail Pacha, i.e.
     from August 1, 1858, to July 31, 1859, and from May 24,
     1865, to May 16, 1866, and for the two years from April 2,
     1869, to March 21, 1870, and from April 2, 1870, to March
     21, 1871.

Each of the corpses,moreover, necessitated the employment of at least half a dozen workmen to wash it, cut it open, soak it, dry it, and apply the usual bandages before placing the amulets upon the canonically prescribed places, and using the conventional prayers.

007.jpg Head of a Theban Mummy
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.

There was fastened to the breast, immediately below the neck, a stone or green porcelain scarab, containing an inscription which was to be efficacious in preventing the heart, “his heart which came to him from his mother, his heart from the time he was upon the earth,” from rising up and witnessing against the dead man before the tribunal of Osiris.* There were placed on his fingers gold or enamelled rings, as talismans to secure for him the true voice.**

     * The manipulations and prayers were prescribed in the “Book
     of Embalming.”
     ** The prescribed gold ring was often replaced by one of
     blue or green enamel.

The body becomes at last little more than a skeleton, with a covering of yellow skin which accentuates the anatomical, details, but the head, on the other hand, still preserves, where the operations have been properly conducted, its natural form. The cheeks have fallen in slightly, the lips and the fleshy parts of the nose have become thinner and more drawn than during life, but the general expression of the face remains unaltered.

008.jpg the Manufacture and Painting of The Cartonnage
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Rosellini.

A mask of pitch was placed over the visage to preserve it, above which was adjusted first a piece of linen and then a series of bands impregnated with resin, which increased the size of the head to twofold its ordinary bulk. The trunk and limbs were bound round with a first covering of some pliable soft stuff, warm to the touch. Coarsely powdered natron was scattered here and there over the body as an additional preservative. Packets placed between the legs, the arms and the hips, and in the eviscerated abdomen, contained the heart, spleen, the dried brain, the hair, and the cuttings of the beard and nails. In those days the hair had a special magical virtue: by burning it while uttering certain incantations, one might acquire an almost limitless power over the person to whom it had belonged. The ernbalmers, therefore, took care to place with the mummy such portions of the hair as they had been obliged to cut off, so as to remove them out of the way of the perverse ingenuity of the sorcerers.

009.jpg Wrapping of the Mummy, Under The Direction Of The ‘man of the Roll’
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Rosellini.

Over the first covering of the mummy already alluded to, there was sometimes placed a strip of papyrus or a long piece of linen, upon which the scribe had transcribed selections—both text and pictures—from “The Book of the going forth by Day:” in such cases the roll containing the whole work was placed between the legs. The body was further wrapped in several bandages, then in a second piece of stuff, then in more bands, the whole being finally covered with a shroud of coarse canvas and a red linen winding-sheet, sewn together at the back, and kept in place by transverse bands disposed at intervals from head to foot. The son of the deceased and a “man of the roll” were present at this lugubrious toilet, and recited at the application of each piece a prayer, in which its object was defined and its duration secured. Every Egyptian was supposed to be acquainted with the formulas, from having learned them during his lifetime, by which he was to have restored to him the use of his limbs, and be protected from the dangers of the world beyond. These were repeated to the dead person, however, for greater security, during the process of embalming, and the son of the deceased, or the master of the ceremonies, took care to whisper to the mummy the most mysterious parts, which no living ear might hear with impunity. The wrappings having been completed, the deceased person became aware of his equipment, and enjoyed all the privileges of the “instructed and fortified Manes.” He felt himself, both mummy and double, now ready for the tomb.

Egyptian funerals were not like those to which we are accustomed—mute ceremonies, in which sorrow is barely expressed by a furtive tear: noise, sobbings, and wild gestures were their necessary concomitants. Not only was it customary to hire weeping women, who tore their hair, filled the air with their lamentations, and simulated by skilful actions the depths of despair, but the relatives and friends themselves did not shrink from making an outward show of their grief, nor from disturbing the equanimity of the passers-by by the immoderate expressions of their sorrow. One after another they raised their voices, and uttered some expression appropriate to the occasion: “To the West, the dwelling of Osiris, to the West, thou who wast the best of men, and who always hated guile.” And the hired weepers answered in chorus: “O chief,* as thou goest to the West, the gods themselves lament.” The funeral cortege started in the morning from the house of mourning, and proceeded at a slow pace to the Nile, amid the clamours of the mourners.

     * The “chief” is one of the names of Osiris, and is applied
     naturally to the dead person, who has become an Osiris by
     virtue of the embalming.

The route was cleared by a number of slaves and retainers. First came those who carried cakes and flowers in their hands, followed by others bearing jars full of water, bottles of liqueurs, and phials of perfumes; then came those who carried painted boxes intended for the provisions of the dead man, and for containing the Ushabtiu, or “Respondents.” The succeeding group bore the usual furniture required by the deceased to set up house again, coffers for linen, folding and arm chairs, state-beds, and sometimes even a caparisoned chariot with its quivers. Then came a groom conducting two of his late master’s favourite horses, who, having accompanied the funeral to the tomb, were brought back to their stable. Another detachment, more numerous than the others combined, now filed past, bearing the effects of the mummy; first the vessels for the libations, then the cases for the Canopic jars, then the Canopic jars themselves, the mask of the deceased, coloured half in gold and half in blue, arms, sceptres, military batons, necklaces, scarabs, vultures with encircling wings worn on the breast at festival-times, chains, “Respondents,” and the human-headed sparrow-hawk, the emblem of the soul. Many of these objects were of wood plated with gold, others of the same material simply gilt, and others of solid gold, and thus calculated to excite the cupidity of the crowd. Offerings came next, then a noisy company of female weepers; then a slave, who sprinkled at every instant some milk upon the ground as if to lay the dust; then a master of the ceremonies, who, the panther skin upon his shoulder, asperged the crowd with perfumed water; and behind him comes the hearse.

012.jpg the Funeral of Harmhabi
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after a coloured print in Wilkinson.
     The cut on the following page joins this on the right.

The latter, according to custom, was made in the form of a boat—representing the bark of Osiris, with his ark, and two guardians, Isis and Nephthys—and was placed upon a sledge, which was drawn by a team of oxen and a relay of fellahîn. The sides of the ark were, as a rule, formed of movable wooden panels, decorated with pictures and inscriptions; sometimes, however, but more rarely, the panels were replaced by a covering of embroidered stuff or of soft leather. In the latter case the decoration was singularly rich, the figures and hieroglyphs being cut out with a knife, and the spaces thus left filled in with pieces of coloured leather, which gave the whole an appearance of brilliant mosaic-work.*

     * One of these coverings was found in the hiding-place at
     Deîr el-Baharî; it had belonged to the Princess Isîmkhobiû,
     whose mummy is now at Gîzeh.

013.jpg the Funeral of HabmhabÎ
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the coloured print in
     Wilkinson. The left side of this design fits on to the right
     of the preceding cut.

In place of a boat, a shrine of painted wood, also mounted upon a sledge, was frequently used. When the ceremony was over, this was left, together with the coffin, in the tomb.*

     * I found in the tomb of Sonnozmû two of these sledges with
     the superstructure in the form of a temple. They are now in
     the Gîzeh Museum.

The wife and children walked as close to the bier as possible, and were followed by the friends of the deceased, dressed in long linen garments,* each of them bearing a wand. The ox-driver, while goading his beasts, cried out to them: “To the West, ye oxen who draw the hearse, to the West! Your master comes behind you!” “To the West,” the friends repeated; “the excellent man lives no longer who loved truth so dearly and hated lying!”**

     ** The whole of this description is taken from the pictures
     representing the interment of a certain Harmhabî, who died
     at Thebes in the time of Thfitmosis IV.

     * These expressions are taken from the inscriptions on the
     tomb of Rai

014.jpg the Boat Carrying The Mummy
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from pictures in the tomb of
     Nofirhotpû at Thebes.

This lamentation is neither remarkable for its originality nor for its depth of feeling. Sorrow was expressed on such occasions in prescribed formulas of always the same import, custom soon enabling each individual to compose for himself a repertory of monotonous exclamations of condolence, of which the prayer, “To the West!” formed the basis, relieved at intervals by some fresh epithet. The nearest relatives of the deceased, however, would find some more sincere expressions of grief, and some more touching appeals with which to break in upon the commonplaces of the conventional theme. On reaching the bank of the Nile the funeral cortege proceeded to embark.*

     * The description of this second part of the funeral
     arrangements is taken from the tomb of Harmhabî, and
     especially from that of Nofirhotpû.

015.jpg the Boats Containing The Female Weepers and The People of the Household
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from paintings on the tomb of
     Nofirhotpû at Thebes.

They blended with their inarticulate cries, and the usual protestations and formulas, an eulogy upon the deceased and his virtues, allusions to his disposition and deeds, mention of the offices and honours he had obtained, and reflections on the uncertainty of human life—the whole forming the melancholy dirge which each generation intoned over its predecessor, while waiting itself for the same office to be said over it in its turn.

The bearers of offerings, friends, and slaves passed over on hired barges, whose cabins, covered externally with embroidered stuffs of several colours, or with applique leather, looked like the pedestals of a monument: crammed together on the boats, they stood upright with their faces turned towards the funeral bark. The latter was supposed to represent the Noshemît, the mysterious skiff of Abydos, which had been used in the obsequies of Osiris of yore.

016.jpg the Boats Containing The Friends and The Funerary Furniture
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from paintings on the tomb of
     Nofirhotpû at Thebes.

It was elegant, light, and slender in shape, and ornamented at bow and stern with a lotus-flower of metal, which bent back its head gracefully, as if bowed down by its own weight. A temple-shaped shrine stood in the middle of the boat, adorned with bouquets of flowers and with green palm-branches. The female members of the family of the deceased, crouched beside the shrine, poured forth lamentations, while two priestesses, representing respectively Isis and Nephthys, took up positions behind to protect the body. The boat containing the female mourners having taken the funeral barge in tow, the entire flotilla pushed out into the stream. This was the solemn moment of the ceremony—the moment in which the deceased, torn away from his earthly city, was about to set out upon that voyage from which there is no return. The crowds assembled on the banks of the river hailed the dead with their parting prayers: “Mayest thou reach in peace the West from Thebes! In peace, in peace towards Abydos, mayest thou descend in peace towards Abydos, towards the sea of the West!”

017.jpg a Corner of the Theban Necropolis
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a stele in the Gîzeh Museum.

This crossing of the Nile was of special significance in regard to the future of the soul of the deceased: it represented his pilgrimage towards Abydos, to the “Mouth of the Cleft” which gave him access to the other world, and it was for this reason that the name of Abydos is associated with that of Thebes in the exclamations of the crowd. The voices of the friends replied frequently and mournfully: “To the West, to the West, the land of the justified! The place which thou lovedst weeps and is desolate!” Then the female mourners took up the refrain, saying: “In peace, in peace, to the West! O honourable one, go in peace! If it please God, when the day of Eternity shall shine, we shall see thee, for behold thou goest to the land which mingles all men together!” The widow then adds her note to the concert of lamentations: “O my brother, O my husband, O my beloved, rest, remain in thy place, do not depart from the terrestrial spot where thou art! Alas, thou goest away to the ferry-boat in order to cross the stream! O sailors, do not hurry, leave him; you, you will return to your homes, but he, he is going away to the land of Eternity! O Osirian bark, why hast thou come to take away from me him who has left me!” The sailors were, of course, deaf to her appeals, and the mummy pursued its undisturbed course towards the last stage of its mysterious voyage.

The majority of the tombs—those which were distributed over the plain or on the nearest spurs of the hill—were constructed on the lines of those brick-built pyramids erected on mastabas which were very common during the early Theban dynasties. The relative proportions of the parts alone were modified: the mastaba, which had gradually been reduced to an insignificant base, had now recovered its original height, while the pyramid had correspondingly decreased, and was much reduced in size. The chapel was constructed within the building, and the mummy-pit was sunk to a varying depth below. The tombs ranged along the mountain-side were, on the other hand, rock-cut, and similar to those at el-Bersheh and Beni-Hasan.

017b.jpg Painting in the Fifth Tomb of The Kings to The Right

The heads of wealthy families or the nobility naturally did not leave to the last moment the construction of a sepulchre worthy of their rank and fortune. They prided themselves on having “finished their house which is in the funeral valley when the morning for the hiding away of their body should come.” Access to these tombs was by too steep and difficult a path to allow of oxen being employed for the transport of the mummy: the friends or slaves of the deceased were, therefore, obliged to raise the sarcophagus on their shoulders and bear it as best they could to the door of the tomb.

019.jpg the Farewell to The Mummy, and The Double Received by the Goddess
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the paintings in the Theban

The mummy was then placed in an upright position on a heap of sand, with its back to the wall and facing the assistants, like the master of some new villa who, having been accompanied by his friends to see him take possession, turns for a moment on the threshold to take leave of them before entering. A sacrifice, an offering, a prayer, and a fresh outburst of grief ensued; the mourners redoubled their cries and threw themselves upon the ground, the relatives decked the mummy with flowers and pressed it to their bared bosoms, kissing it upon the breast and knees. “I am thy sister, O great one! forsake me not! Is it indeed thy will that I should leave thee? If I go away, thou shalt be here alone, and is there any one who will be with thee to follow thee? O thou who lovedst to jest with me, thou art now silent, thou speakest not!” Whereupon the mourners again broke out in chorus: “Lamentation, lamentation! Make, make, make, make lamentation without ceasing as loud as can be made. O good traveller, who takest thy way towards the land of Eternity, thou hast been torn from us! O thou who hadst so many around thee, thou art now in the land which bringest isolation! Thou who lovedst to stretch thy limbs in walking, art now fettered, bound, swathed! Thou who hadst fine stuffs in abundance, art laid in the linen of yesterday!” Calm in the midst of the tumult, the priest stood and offered the incense and libation with the accustomed words: “To thy double, Osiris Nofirhotpû, whose voice before the great god is true!” This was the signal of departure, and the mummy, carried by two men, disappeared within the tomb: the darkness of the other world had laid hold of it, never to let it go again.

The chapel was usually divided into two chambers: one, which was of greater width than length, ran parallel to the façade; the other, which was longer than it was wide, stood at right angles with the former, exactly opposite to the entrance. The decoration of these chambers took its inspiration from the scheme which prevailed in the time of the Memphite dynasties, but besides the usual scenes of agricultural labour, hunting, and sacrifice, there were introduced episodes from the public life of the deceased, and particularly the minute portrayal of the ceremonies connected with his burial.

021.jpg Niche in the Tomb of Menna
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

These pictorial biographies are always accompanied by detailed explanatory inscriptions; every individual endeavoured thus to show to the Osirian judges the rank he had enjoyed here upon earth, and to obtain in the fields of lalû the place which he claimed to be his due.

The stele was to be found at the far end of the second chamber; it was often let in to a niche in the form of a round-headed doorway, or else it was replaced by a group of statues, either detached or sculptured in the rock itself, representing the occupant, his wives and children, who took the place of the supporters of the double, formerly always hidden within the serdab. The ceremony of the “Opening of the Mouth” took place in front of the niche on the day of burial, at the moment when the deceased, having completed his terrestrial course, entered his new home and took possession of it for all eternity. The object of this ceremony was, as we know, to counteract the effects of the embalming, and to restore activity to the organs of the body whose functions had been suspended by death. The “man of the roll” and his assistants, aided by the priests, who represented the “children of Horus,” once more raised the mummy into an upright position upon a heap of sand in the middle of the chapel, and celebrated in his behalf the divine mystery instituted by Horus for Osiris. They purified it both by ordinary and by red water, by the incense of the south and by the alum of the north, in the same manner as that in which the statues of the gods were purified at the beginning of the temple sacrifices; they then set to work to awake the deceased from his sleep: they loosened his shroud and called back the double who had escaped from the body at the moment of the death-agony, and restored to him the use of his arms and legs. As soon as the sacrificial slaughterers had despatched the bull of the south, and cut it in pieces, the priest seized the bleeding haunch, and raised it to the lips of the mask as if to invite it to eat; but the lips still remained closed, and refused to perform their office. The priest then touched them with several iron instruments hafted on wooden handles, which were supposed to possess the power of unsealing them.

023a.jpg Coffin-lid
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from a
photograph by
M. de Mertens.

023b.jpg Coffin-lid

The “opening” once effected, the double became free, and the tomb-paintings from thenceforward ceasing to depict the mummy, represented the double only. They portrayed it “under the form which he had on this earth,” wearing the civil garb, and fulfilling his ordinary functions. The corpse was regarded as merely the larva, to be maintained in its integrity in order to ensure survival; but it could be relegated without fear to the depths of the bare and naked tomb, there to remain until the end of time, if it pleased the gods to preserve it from robbers or archaeologists. At the period of the first Theban empire the coffins were rectangular wooden chests, made on the models of the limestone and granite sarcophagi, and covered with prayers taken from the various sacred writings, especially from the “Book of the Dead”; during the second Theban empire, they were modified into an actual sheath for the body, following more or less the contour of the human figure. This external model of the deceased covered his remains, and his figure in relief served as a lid to the coffin. The head was covered with the full-dress wig, a tippet of white cambrio half veiled the bosom, the petticoat fell in folds about the limbs, the feet were shod with sandals, the arms were outstretched or were folded over the breast, and the hands clasped various objects—either the crux ansata, the buckle of the belt, the tat, or a garland of flowers. Sometimes, on the contrary, the coffin was merely a conventional reproduction of the human form. The two feet and legs were joined together, and the modelling of the knee, calf, thigh, and stomach was only slightly indicated in the wood. Towards the close of the XVIIIth dynasty it was the fashion for wealthy persons to have two coffins, one fitting inside the other, painted black or white. From the XXth dynasty onwards they were coated with a yellowish varnish, and so covered with inscriptions and mystic signs that each coffin was a tomb in miniature, and could well have done duty as such, and thus meet all the needs of the soul.*

     * The first to summarise the characteristics of the coffins
     and sarcophagi of the second Theban period was Mariette, but
     he places the use of the yellow-varnished coffins too late,
     viz. during the XXIInd dynasty. Examples of them have since
     been found which incontestably belong to the XXth.

024.jpg the Mummy Factory

Later still, during the XXIst and XXIInd dynasties, these two, or even three coffins, were enclosed in a rectangular sarcophagus of thick wood, which, surmounted by a semicircular lid, was decorated with pictures and hallowed by prayers: four sparrow-hawks, perched on the uprights at the corners, watched at the four cardinal points, and protected the body, enabling the soul at the same time to move freely within the four houses of which the world was composed.

025.jpg the Paraphernalia of a Mummy Of The Xxth to The Xxiind Dynasties
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Mariette.

The workmen, after having deposited the mummy in its resting-place, piled upon the floor of the tomb the canopio jars, the caskets, the provisions, the furniture, the bed, and the stools and chairs; the Usha-btiu occupied compartments in their allotted boxes, and sometimes there would be laid beside them the mummy of a favourite animal—a monkey, a dog of some rare breed, or a pet gazelle, whose coffins were shaped to their respective outlines, the better to place before the deceased the presentment of the living animal.

026.jpg the Funeral Repast--music and Dancing
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a fragment in the British
     Museum. The scene representing the funeral repast and its
     accompanying dances occurs frequently in the Theban tombs.

A few of the principal objects were broken or damaged, in the belief that, by thus destroying them, their doubles would go forth and accompany the human double, and render him their accustomed services during the whole of his posthumous existence; a charm pronounced over them bound them indissolubly to his person, and constrained them to obey his will. This done, the priest muttered a final prayer, and the masons walled up the doorway.

027.jpg the Coffin of The Favourite Gazelle Of IsÎmkhobiu
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-

The funeral feast now took place with its customary songs and dances. The almehs addressed the guests and exhorted them to make good use of the passing hour: “Be happy for one day! for when you enter your tombs you will rest there eternally throughout the length of every day!”

Immediately after the repast the friends departed from the tomb, and the last link which connected the dead with our world was then broken. The sacred harper was called upon to raise the farewell hymn:*

     * The harper is often represented performing this last
     office. In the tomb of Nofirhotpû, and in many others, the
     daughters or the relatives of the deceased accompany or even
     replace the harper; in this case they belonged to a priestly
     family, and fulfilled the duties of the “Female Singers” of
     Amon or some other god.

“O instructed mummies, ennead of the gods of the coffin, who listen to the praises of this dead man, and who daily extol the virtues of this instructed mummy, who is living eternally like a god, ruling in Amentît, ye also who shall live in the memory of posterity, all ye who shall come and read these hymns inscribed, according to the rites, within the tombs, repeat: ‘The greatness of the under-world, what is it? The annihilation of the tomb, why is it?’ It is to conform to the image of the land of Eternity, the true country where there is no strife and where violence is held in abhorrence, where none attacks his neighbour, and where none among our generations who rest within it is rebellious, from the time when your race first existed, to the moment when it shall become a multitude of multitudes, all going the same way; for instead of remaining in this land of Egypt, there is not one but shall leave it, and there is said to all who are here below, from the moment of their waking to life: ‘Go, prosper safe and sound, to reach the tomb at length, a chief among the blessed, and ever mindful in thy heart of the day when thou must lie down on the funeral bed!’” The ancient song of Antûf, modified in the course of centuries, was still that which expressed most forcibly the melancholy thought paramount in the minds of the friends assembled to perform the last rites. “The impassibility of the chief* is, in truth, the best of fates!”

     * Osiris is here designated by the word “chief,” as I have
     already pointed out.

029.jpg One of the Harpers Of The Tomb Of Ramses Iii.
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken Byjnsinger in

“Since the times of the god bodies are created merely to pass away, and young generations take their place: Râ rises in the morning, Tûmû lies down to rest in the land of the evening, all males generate, the females conceive, every nose inhales the air from the morning of their birth to the day when they go to their place! Be happy then for one day, O man!—May there ever be perfumes and scents for thy nostrils, garlands and lotus-flowers for thy shoulders and for the neck of thy beloved sister* who sits beside thee! Let there be singing and music before thee, and, forgetting all thy sorrows, think only of pleasure until the day when thou must enter the country of Marîtsakro, the silent goddess, though all the same the heart of the son who loves thee will not cease to beat! Be happy for one day, O man!—I have heard related what befell our ancestors; their walls are destroyed, their place is no more, they are as those who have ceased to live from the time of the god! The walls of thy tomb are strong, thou hast planted trees at the edge of thy pond, thy soul reposes beneath them and drinks the water; follow that which seemeth good to thee as long as thou art on earth, and give bread to him who is without land, that thou mayest be well spoken of for evermore. Think upon the gods who have lived long ago: their meat offerings fall in pieces as if they had been torn by a panther, their loaves are defiled with dust, their statues no longer stand upright within the temple of Râ, their followers beg for alms! Be happy for one day!”

     * Marriages between brothers and sisters in Egypt rendered
     this word “sister” the most natural appellation.

Those gone before thee “have had their hour of joy,” and they have put off sadness “which shortens the moments until the day when hearts are destroyed!—Be mindful, therefore, of the day when thou shalt be taken to the country where all men are mingled: none has ever taken thither his goods with him, and no one can ever return from it!” The grave did not, however, mingle all men as impartially as the poet would have us believe. The poor and insignificant had merely a place in the common pit, which was situated in the centre of the Assassîf,* one of the richest funerary quarters of Thebes.

     * There is really only one complete description of a
     cemetery of the poor, namely, that given by A. Rhind.
     Mariette caused extensive excavations to be made by Gabet
     and Vassalli, 1859-1862, in the Assassif, near the spot
     worked by Rhind, and the objects found are now in the Gîzeh
     Museum, but the accounts of the work are among his
     unpublished papers, vassalli assures me that he sometimes
     found the mummies piled one on another to the depth of sixty
     bodies, and even then he did not reach the lowest of the
     pile. The hurried excavations which I made in 1882 and 1884,
     appeared to confirm these statements of Rhind and Vassalli.

Yawning trenches stood ever open there, ready to receive their prey; the rites were hurriedly performed, and the grave-diggers covered the mummies of the day’s burial with a little sand, out of which we receive them intact, sometimes isolated, sometimes in groups of twos or threes, showing that they had not even been placed in regular layers. Some are wrapped only in bandages of coarse linen, and have been consigned without further covering to the soil, while others have been bound round with palm-leaves laid side by side, so as to form a sort of primitive basket. The class above the poorest people were buried in rough-hewn wooden boxes, smaller at the feet than towards the head, and devoid of any inscription or painting. Many have been placed in any coffin that came to hand, with a total indifference as to suitability of size; others lie in a badly made bier, made up of the fragments of one or more older biers. None of them possessed any funerary furniture, except the tools of his trade, a thin pair of leather shoes, sandals of cardboard or plaited reeds, rings of terra-cotta or bronze, bracelets or necklets of a single row of blue beads, statuettes of divinities, mystic eyes, scarabs, and, above all, cords tied round the neck, arms, limbs, or waist, to keep off, by their mystic knots, all malign influences.

The whole population of the necropolis made their living out of the dead. This was true of all ranks of society, headed by the sacerdotal colleges of the royal chapels,* and followed by the priestly bodies, to whom was entrusted the care of the tombs in the various sections, but the most influential of whom confined their attentions to the old burying-ground, “Isît-mâît,” the True Place.**

     * We find on several monuments the names of persons
     belonging to these sacerdotal bodies, priests of Ahmosis I.,
     priests of Thûtmosis I., of Thût-mosis II., of Amenôthes
     II., and of Seti I.

     ** The persons connected with the “True Place” were for a
     long time considered as magistrates, and the “True Place” as
     a tribunal.

It was their duty to keep up the monuments of the kings, and also of private individuals, to clean the tombs, to visit the funerary chambers, to note the condition of their occupants, and, if necessary, repair the damage done by time, and to provide on certain days the offerings prescribed by custom, or by clauses in the contract drawn up between the family of the deceased and the religious authorities. The titles of these officials indicated how humble was their position in relation to the deified ancestors in whose service they were employed; they called themselves the “Servants of the True Place,” and their chiefs the “Superiors of the Servants,” but all the while they were people of considerable importance, being rich, well educated, and respected in their own quarter of the town.

031.jpg Paintings at the End of The Hall Of The Fifth The Tomb

They professed to have a special devotion for Amenôthes I. and his mother, Nofrîtari, who, after five or six centuries of continuous homage, had come to be considered as the patrons of Khafîtnîbûs, but this devotion was not to the depreciation of other sovereigns. It is true that the officials were not always clear as to the identity of the royal remains of which they had the care, and they were known to have changed one of their queens or princesses into a king or some royal prince.*

     * Thus Queen Ahhotpû I., whom the “servant” Anhûrkhâû knew
     to be a woman, is transformed into a King Ahhotpû in the
     tomb of Khâbokhnît.

Amenothes III. At Luxor
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
by Gayet.

They were surrounded by a whole host of lesser functionaries—bricklayers, masons, labourers, exorcists, scribes (who wrote out pious formulae for poor people, or copied the “Books of the going forth by day” for the mummies), weavers, cabinet-makers, and goldsmiths. The sculptors and the painters were grouped into guilds;* many of them spent their days in the tombs they were decorating, while others had their workshops above-ground, probably very like those of our modern monumental masons.

     * We gather this from the inscriptions which give us the
     various titles of the sculptors, draughtsmen, or workmen,
     but I have been unable to make out the respective positions
     held by these different persons.

They kept at the disposal of their needy customers an assortment of ready-made statues and stelæ, votive tablets to Osiris, Anubis, and other Theban gods and goddesses, singly or combined. The name of the deceased and the enumeration of the members of his family were left blank, and were inserted after purchase in the spaces reserved for the purpose.*

     * I succeeded in collecting at the Boulak Museum a
     considerable number of these unfinished statues and stelæ,
     coming from the workshops of the necropolis.

These artisans made the greater part of their livelihood by means of these epitaphs, and the majority thought only of selling as many of them as they could; some few, however, devoted themselves to work of a higher kind. Sculpture had reached a high degree of development under the Thûtmoses and the Ramses, and the art of depicting scenes in bas-relief had been brought to a perfection hitherto unknown. This will be easily seen by comparing the pictures in the old mastabas, such as those of Ti or Phtahhotpû, with the finest parts of the temples of Qurneh, Abydos, Karnak, Deîr el-Baharî, or with the scenes in the tombs of Seti I. and Ramses II., or those of private individuals such as Hûi. The modelling is firm and refined, showing a skill in the use of the chisel and an elegance of outline which have never been surpassed: the Amenôthes III. of Luxor and the Khâmhâît of Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh might serve for models in our own schools of the highest types which Egyptian art could produce at its best in this particular branch. The drawing is freer than in earlier examples, the action is more natural, the composition more studied, and the perspective less wild. We feel that the artist handled his subject con amore. He spared no trouble in sketching out his designs and in making studies from nature, and, as papyrus was expensive, he drew rough drafts, or made notes of his impressions on the flat chips of limestone with which the workshops were strewn.

035.jpg KhÂmhaÎt
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.

Nothing at that date could rival these sketches for boldness of conception and freedom in execution, whether it were in the portrayal of the majestic gait of a king or the agility of an acrobat. Of the latter we have an example in the Turin Museum. The girl is nude, with the exception of a tightly fitting belt about her hips, and she is throwing herself backwards with so natural a motion, that we are almost tempted to expect her to turn a somersault and fall once more into position with her heels together.

036.jpg Sketch of a Female Acrobat
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Petrie.

The unfinished figures on the tomb of Seti I. shows with what a steady hand the clever draughtsman could sketch out his subjects. The head from the nape of the neck round to the throat is described by a single line, and the contour of the shoulders is marked by another. The form of the body is traced by two undulating lines, while the arms and legs are respectively outlined by two others. The articles of apparel and ornaments, sketched rapidly at first, had to be gone over again by the sculptor, who worked out the smallest details. One might almost count the tresses of the hair, while the folds of the dress and the enamels of the girdle and bracelets are minutely chiselled.

Bas-relief of Seti I., Showing Corrections Made by The Sculptor
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from photographs by Insinger and
     Daniel Héron.

When the draughtsman had finished his picture from the sketch which he had made, or when he had enlarged it from a smaller drawing, the master of the studio would go over it again, marking here and there in red the defective points, to which the sculptor gave his attention when working the subject out on the wall. If he happened to make a mistake in executing it, he corrected it as well as he was able by filling up with stucco or hard cement the portions to be remodelled, and by starting to work again upon the fresh surface. This cement has fallen out in some cases, and reveals to our eyes to-day the marks of the underlying chiselling. There are, for example, two profiles of Seti I. on one of the bas-reliefs of the hypostyle hall at Karnak, one faintly outlined, and the other standing fully out from the surface of the stone. The sense of the picturesque was making itself felt, and artists were no longer to be excused for neglecting architectural details, the configuration of the country, the drawing of rare plants, and, in fact, all those accessories which had been previously omitted altogether or merely indicated. The necessity of covering such vast surfaces as the pylons offered had accustomed them to arrange the various scenes of one and the same action in a more natural and intimate connexion than their predecessors could possibly have done. In these scenes the Pharaoh naturally played the chief part, but in place of choosing for treatment merely one or other important action of the monarch calculated to exhibit his courage, the artist endeavoured to portray all the successive incidents in his campaigns, in the same manner as the early Italian painters were accustomed to depict, one after the other, and on the same canvas, all the events of the same legend. The details of these gigantic compositions may sometimes appear childish to us, and we may frequently be at a loss in determining the relations of the parts, yet the whole is full of movement, and, although mutilated, gives us even yet the impression which would have been made upon us by the turmoil of a battle in those distant days.

The sculptor of statues for a long time past was not a whit less skilful than the artist who executed bas-reliefs. The sculptor was doubtless often obliged to give enormous proportions to the figure of the king, to prevent his being overshadowed by the mass of buildings among which the statue was to appear; but this necessity of exaggerating the human form did not destroy in the artist that sense of proportion and that skilful handling of the chisel which are so strikingly displayed in the sitting scribe or in the princess at Meîdûm; it merely trained him to mark out deftly the principal lines, and to calculate the volume and dimensions of these gigantic granite figures of some fifty to sixty-five feet high, with as great confidence and skill as he would have employed upon any statue of ordinary dimensions which might be entrusted to him. The colossal statues at Abu-Simbel and Thebes still witness to the incomparable skill of the Theban sculptors in the difficult art of imagining and executing superhuman types. The decadence of Egyptian art did not begin until the time of Ramses III., but its downward progress was rapid, and the statues of the Ramesside period are of little or no artistic value. The form of these figures is poor, the technique crude, and the expression of the faces mean and commonplace. They betray the hand of a mechanical workman who, while still in the possession of the instruments of his trade, can infuse no new life into the traditions of the schools, nor break away from them altogether.

040.jpg the Kneeling Scribe at Turin
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie; the
     scribe bears upon his right shoulder, perhaps tattooed, the
     human image of the god Amon-Râ, whose animal emblem he

We must look, not to the royal studios, but to the workshops connected with the necropolis, if we want to find statues of half life-size displaying intelligent workmanship, all of which we might be tempted to refer to the XVIIIth dynasty if the inscriptions upon them did not fix their date some two or three centuries later. An example of them may be seen at Turin in the kneeling scribe embracing a ram-headed altar: the face is youthful, and has an expression at once so gentle and intelligent that we are constrained to overlook the imperfections in the bust and legs of the figure. Specimens of this kind are not numerous, and their rarity is easily accounted for. The multitude of priests, soldiers, workmen, and small middle-class people who made up the bulk of the Theban population had aspirations for a luxury little commensurate with their means, and the tombs of such people are, therefore, full of objects which simulate a character they do not possess, and are deceptive to the eye: such were the statuettes made of wood, substituted from economical motives instead of the limestone or sandstone statues usually provided as supporters for the “double.”

041a.jpg Young Girl in the Turin Museum and the Lady Nehai
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Petrie.

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.
     Enamelled eyes, according to a common custom, were inserted
     in the sockets, but have disappeared.

The funerary sculptors had acquired a perfect mastery of the kind of art needed for people of small means, and we find among the medley of commonplace objects which encumber the tomb they decorated, examples of artistic works of undoubted excellence, such as the ladies Naî and Tûî now in the Louvre, the lady Nehaî now at Berlin, and the naked child at Turin. The lady Tûî in her lifetime had been one of the singing-women of Amon. She is clad in a tight-fitting robe, which accentuates the contour of the breasts and hips without coarseness: her right arm falls gracefully alongside her body, while her left, bent across her chest, thrusts into her bosom a kind of magic whip, which was the sign of her profession. The artist was not able to avoid a certain heaviness in the treatment of her hair, and the careful execution of the whole work was not without a degree of harshness, but by dint of scraping and polishing the wood he succeeded in softening the outline, and removing from the figure every sharp point. The lady Nehaî is smarter and more graceful, in her close-fitting garment and her mantle thrown over the left elbow; and the artist has given her a more alert pose and resolute air than we find in the stiff carriage of her contemporary Tûî. The little girl in the Turin Museum is a looser work, but where could one find a better example of the lithe delicacy of the young Egyptian maiden of eight or ten years old? We may see her counterpart to-day among the young Nubian girls of the cataract, before they are obliged to wear clothes; there is the same thin chest, the same undeveloped hips, the same meagre thighs, and the same demeanour, at once innocent and audacious. Other statuettes represent matrons, some in tight garments, and with their hair closely confined, others without any garment whatever.

043a.jpg a Soldier
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
by M. de Mertens.

043b.jpg Statue in the Turin Museum
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
by Petrie.

The Turin example is that of a lady who seems proud of her large ear-rings, and brings one of them into prominence, either to show it off or to satisfy herself that the jewel becomes her: her head is square-shaped, the shoulders narrow, the chest puny, the pose of the arm stiff and awkward, but the eyes have such a joyful openness, and her smile such a self-satisfied expression, that one readily over looks the other defects of the statue. In this collection of miniature figures examples of men are not wanting, and there are instances of old soldiers, officials, guardians of temples, and priests proudly executing their office in their distinctive panther skins. Three individuals in the Gîzeh were contemporaries, or almost so, of the young girl of the Turin Museum. They are dressed in rich costumes, to which they have, doubtless, a just claim; for one of them, Hori, surnamed Râ, rejoiced in the favour of the Pharaoh, and must therefore have exercised some court function. They seem to step forth with a measured pace and firm demeanour, the body well thrown back and the head erect, their faces displaying something of cruelty and cunning. An officer, whose retirement from service is now spent in the Louvre, is dressed in a semi-civil costume, with a light wig, a closely fitting smock-frock with shirt-sleeves, and a loin-cloth tied tightly round the hips and descending halfway down the thigh, to which is applied a piece of stuff kilted lengthwise, projecting in front. A colleague of his, now in the Berlin Museum, still maintains possession of his official baton, and is arrayed in his striped petticoat, his bracelets and gorget of gold. A priest in the Louvre holds before him, grasped by both hands, the insignia of Amon-Ra—a ram’s head, surmounted by the solar disk, and inserted on the top of a thick handle; another, who has been relegated to Turin, appears to be placed between two long staves, each surmounted by an idol, and, to judge from his attitude, seems to have no small idea of his own beauty and importance. The Egyptians were an observant people and inclined to satire, and I have a shrewd suspicion that the sculptors, in giving to such statuettes this character of childlike vanity, yielded to the temptation to be merry at the expense of their model.

The smelters and engravers in metal occupied in relation to the sculptors a somewhat exalted position. Bronze had for a long time been employed in funerary furniture, and ushabtiu (respondents),* amulets, and images of the gods, as well as of mortals, were cast in this metal. Many of these tiny figures form charming examples of enamel-work, and are distinguished not only by the gracefulness of the, modelling, but also by the brilliance of the superimposed glaze; but the majority of them were purely commercial articles, manufactured by the hundred from the same models, and possibly cast, for centuries, from the same moulds for the edification of the devout and of pilgrims.

     * Bronze respondents are somewhat rare, and most of those
     which are to be found among the dealers are counterfeit. The
     Gîzeh Museum possesses two examples at least of indisputable
     authenticity; both of these belong to the XXth dynasty.

045.jpg Funerary Casket in the Turing Museum
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

046.jpg Shrine in the Turin Museum
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Lanzone.

We ought not, therefore, to be surprised if they are lacking in originality; they are no more to be distinguished from each other than the hundreds of coloured statuettes which one may find on the stalls of modern dealers in religious statuary.

047.jpg the Lady Taksûhît
     From a bronze in the Museum at Athens

Here and there among the multitude we may light upon examples showing a marked individuality: the statuette of the lady Takûshit, which now forms one of the ornaments of the museum at Athens, is an instance. She stands erect, one foot in advance, her right arm hanging at her side, her left pressed against her bosom; she is arrayed in a short dress embroidered over with religious scenes, and wears upon her ankles and wrists rings of value. A wig with stiff-looking locks, regularly arranged in rows, covers her head. The details of the drapery and the ornaments are incised on the surface of the bronze, and heightened with a thread of silver. The face is evidently a portrait, and is that apparently of a woman of mature age, but the body, according to the tradition of the Egyptian schools of art, is that of a young girl, lithe, firm, and elastic. The alloy contains gold, and the warm and softened lights reflected from it blend most happily and harmoniously with the white lines of the designs. The joiners occupied, after the workers in bronze, an important position in relation to the necropolis, and the greater part of the furniture which they executed for the mummies of persons of high rank was remarkable for its painting and carpentry-work. Some articles of their manufacture were intended for religious use—such as those shrines, mounted upon sledges, on which the image of the god was placed, to whom prayers were made for the deceased; others served for the household needs of the mummy, and, to distinguish these, there are to be seen upon their sides religious and funereal pictures, offerings to the two deceased parents, sacrifices to a god or goddess, and incidents in the Osirian life. The funerary beds consisted, like those intended for the living, of a rectangular framework, placed upon four feet of equal height, although there are rare examples in which the supports are so arranged as to give a gentle slope to the structure. The fancy which actuated the joiner in making such beds supposed that two benevolent lions had, of their own free will, stretched out their bodies to form the two sides of the couch, the muzzles constituting the pillow, while the tails were curled up under the feet of the sleeper. Many of the heads given to the lions are so noble and expressive, that they will well bear comparison with the granite statues of these animals which Amenôthes III. dedicated in his temple at Soleb. The other trades depended upon the proportion of their members to the rest of the community for the estimation in which they were held. The masons, stone-cutters, and common labourers furnished the most important contingent; among these ought also to be reckoned the royal servants—of whose functions we should have been at a loss to guess the importance, if contemporary documents had not made it clear—fishermen, hunters, laundresses, wood-cutters, gardeners, and water-carriers.*

     * The Cailliaud ostracon, which contains a receipt given to
     some fishermen, was found near Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh, and
     consequently belonged to the fishermen of the necropolis.
     There is a question as to the water-carriers of the Khirû in
     the hieratic registers of Turin, also as to the washers of
     clothes, wood-cutters, gardeners and workers in the

048.jpg the Swallow-goddess from The Theban Necropolis
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Lanzone.

Without reckoning the constant libations needed for the gods and the deceased, the workshops required a large quantity of drinking water for the men engaged in them. In every gang of workmen, even in the present day, two or three men are set apart to provide drinking-water for the rest; in some arid places, indeed, at a distance from the river, such as the Valley of the Kings, as many water-carriers are required as there are workmen. To the trades just mentioned must be added the low-caste crowd depending oh the burials of the rich, the acrobats, female mourners, dancers and musicians. The majority of the female corporations were distinguished by the infamous character of their manners, and prostitution among them had come to be associated with the service of the god.*

     * The heroine of the erotic papyrus of Turin bears the title
     of “Singing-woman of Amon,” and the illustrations indicate
     her profession so clearly and so expressively, that no
     details of her sayings and doings are wanting.

049.jpg the Goddess MabÎtsakbo
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph by

There was no education for all this mass of people, and their religion was of a meagre character. They worshipped the official deities, Amon, Mût, Isis, and Hâthor, and such deceased Pharaohs as Amenôthes I. and Nofrîtari, but they had also their own Pantheon, in which animals predominated—such as the goose of Amon, and his ram Pa-rahaninofir, the good player on the horn, the hippopotamus, the cat, the chicken, the swallow, and especially reptiles. Death was personified by a great viper, the queen of the West, known by the name Marîtsakro, the friend of silence. Three heads, or the single head of a woman, attached to the one body, were assigned to it. It was supposed to dwell in the mountain opposite Karnak, which fact gave to it, as well as to the necropolis itself, the two epithets of Khafîtnîbûs and Ta-tahnît, that is, The Summit.*

     * The abundance of the monuments of Marîtsakro found at
     Sheikh Abd el-Gurneh, inclines me to believe that her
     sanctuary was situated in the neighbourhood of the temple of
     Uazmosû, but there was also on the top of the hill another
     sanctuary which would equally satisfy the name Ta-tahnît.

Its chapel was situated at the foot of the hill of Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh, but its sacred serpents crawled and wriggled through the necropolis, working miracles and effecting the cure of the most dangerous maladies. The faithful were accustomed to dedicate to them, in payment of their vows, stelas, or slabs of roughly hewn stone, with inscriptions which witnessed to a deep gratitude. “Hearken! I, from the time of my appearance on earth, I was a ‘Servant of the True Place,’ Nofirâbû, a stupid ignorant person, who knew not good from evil, and I committed sin against The Summit. She punished me, and I was in her hand day and night. I lay groaning on my couch like a woman in childbed, and I made supplication to the air, but it did not come to me, for I was hunted down by The Summit of the West, the brave one among all the gods and all the goddesses of the city; so I would say to all the miserable sinners among the people of the necropolis: ‘Give heed to The Summit, for there is a lion in The Summit, and she strikes as strikes a spell-casting Lion, and she pursues him who sins against her! ‘I invoked then my mistress, and I felt that she flew to me like a pleasant breeze; she placed herself upon me, and this made me recognise her hand, and appeased she returned to me, and she delivered me from suffering, for she is my life, The Summit of the West, when she is appeased, and she ought to be invoked!’” There were many sinners, we may believe, among that ignorant and superstitious population, but the governors of Thebes did not put their confidence in the local deities alone to keep them within bounds, and to prevent their evil deeds; commissioners, with the help of a detachment of Mazaîû, were an additional means of conducting them into the right way. They had, in this respect, a hard work to accomplish, for every day brought with it its contingent of crimes, which they had to follow up, and secure the punishment of the authors. Nsisûamon came to inform them that the workman Nakhtummaût and his companions had stolen into his house, and robbed him of three large loaves, eight cakes, and some pastry; they had also drunk a jar of beer, and poured out from pure malice the oil which they could not carry away with them. Panîbi had met the wife of a comrade alone near an out-of-the-way tomb, and had taken advantage of her notwithstanding her cries; this, moreover, was not the first offence of the culprit, for several young girls had previously been victims of his brutality, and had not ventured up to this time to complain of him on account of the terror with which he inspired the neighbourhood. Crimes against the dead were always common; every penniless fellow knew what quantities of gold and jewels had been entombed with the departed, and these treasures, scattered around them at only a few feet from the surface of the ground, presented to them a constant temptation to which they often succumbed. Some were not disposed to have accomplices, while others associated together, and, having purchased at a serious cost the connivance of the custodians, set boldly to work on tombs both recent and ancient. Not content with stealing the funerary furniture, which they disposed of to the undertakers, they stripped the mummies also, and smashed the bodies in their efforts to secure the jewels; then, putting the remains together again, they rearranged the mummies afresh so cleverly that they can no longer be distinguished by their outward appearance from the originals, and the first wrappings must be removed before the fraud can be discovered. From time to time one of these rogues would allow himself to be taken for the purpose of denouncing his comrades, and avenging himself for the injustice of which he was the victim in the division of the spoil; he was laid hold of by the Mazaîû, and brought before the tribunal of justice. The lands situated on the left bank of the Nile belonged partly to the king and partly to the god Amon, and any infraction of the law in regard to the necropolis was almost certain to come within the jurisdiction of one or other of them. The commission appointed, therefore, to determine the damage done in any case, included in many instances the high priest or his delegates, as well as the officers of the Pharaoh. The office of this commission was to examine into the state of the tombs, to interrogate the witnesses and the accused, applying the torture if necessary: when they had got at the facts, the tribunal of the notables condemned to impalement some half a dozen of the poor wretches, and caused some score of others to be whipped.* But, when two or three months had elapsed, the remembrance of the punishment began to die away, and the depredations began afresh. The low rate of wages occasioned, at fixed periods, outbursts of discontent and trouble which ended in actual disturbances. The rations allowed to each workman, and given to him at the beginning of each month, would possibly have been sufficient for himself and his family, but, owing to the usual lack of foresight in the Egyptian, they were often consumed long before the time fixed, and the pinch soon began to be felt. The workmen, demoralised by their involuntary abstinence, were not slow to turn to the overseer; “We are perishing of hunger, and there are still eighteen days before the next month.” The latter was prodigal of fair speeches, but as his words were rarely accompanied by deeds, the workmen would not listen to him; they stopped work, left the workshop in turbulent crowds, ran with noisy demonstrations to some public place to hold a meeting—perhaps the nearest monument, at the gate of the temple of Thûtmosis III.,** behind the chapel of Mînephtah,*** or in the court of that of Seti I.

     * This is how I translate a fairly common expression, which
     means literally, “to be put on the wood.” Spiegelberg sees in
     this only a method of administering torture.

     ** Perhaps the chapel of Uazmôsû, or possibly the free space
     before the temple of Deîr el-Baharî.

     *** The site of this chapel was discovered by Prof. Petrie
     in the spring of 1896. It had previously been supposed to be
     a temple of Amenôthes III.

Their overseers followed them; the police commissioners of the locality, the Mazaîû, and the scribes mingled with them and addressed themselves to some of the leaders with whom they might be acquainted. But these would not at first give them a hearing. “We will not return,” they would say to the peacemakers; “make it clear to your superiors down below there.” It must have been manifest that from their point of view their complaints were well founded, and the official, who afterwards gave an account of the affair to the authorities, was persuaded of this. “We went to hear them, and they spoke true words to us.” For the most part these strikes had no other consequence than a prolonged stoppage of work, until the distribution of rations at the beginning of the next month gave the malcontents courage to return to their tasks. Attempts were made to prevent the recurrence of these troubles by changing the method and time of payments. These were reduced to an interval of fifteen days, and at length, indeed, to one of eight. The result was very much the same as before: the workman, paid more frequently, did not on that account become more prudent, and the hours of labour lost did not decrease. The individual man, if he had had nobody to consider but himself, might have put up with the hardships of his situation, but there were almost always wife and children or sisters concerned, who clamoured for bread in their hunger, and all the while the storehouses of the temples or those of the state close by were filled to overflowing with durrah, barley, and wheat.*

     * Khonsu, for example, excites his comrades to pillage the
     storehouses of the gate.

The temptation to break open the doors and to help themselves in the present necessity must have been keenly felt. Some bold spirits among the strikers, having set out together, scaled the two or three boundary walls by which the granaries were protected, but having reached this position their hearts, failed them, and they contented themselves with sending to the chief custodian an eloquent pleader, to lay before him their very humble request: “We are come, urged by famine, urged by thirst, having no more linen, no more oil, no more fish, no more vegetables. Send to Pharaoh, our master, send to the king, our lord, that he may provide us with the necessaries of life.” If one of them, with less self-restraint, was so carried away as to let drop an oath, which was a capital offence, saying, “By Amon! by the sovereign, whose anger is death!” if he asked to be taken before a magistrate in order that he might reiterate there his complaint, the others interceded for him, and begged that he might escape the punishment fixed by the law for blasphemy; the scribe, good fellow as he was, closed his ears to the oath, and, if it were in his power, made a beginning of satisfying their demands by drawing upon the excess of past months to such an extent as would pacify them for some days, and by paying them a supplemental wage in the name of the Pharaoh. They cried out loudly: “Shall there not be served out to us corn in excess of that which has been distributed to us; if not we will not stir from this spot?”

At length the end of the month arrived, and they all appeared together before the magistrates, when they said: “Let the scribe, Khâmoîsît, who is accountable, be sent for!” He was thereupon brought before the notables of the town, and they said to him: “See to the corn which thou hast received, and give some of it to the people of the necropolis.” Pmontunîboîsît was then sent for, and “rations of wheat were given to us daily.” Famine was not caused only by the thriftlessness of the multitude: administrators of all ranks did not hesitate to appropriate, each one according to his position, a portion of the means entrusted to them for the maintenance of their subordinates, and the latter often received only instalments of what was due to them. The culprits often escaped from their difficulties by either laying hold of half a dozen of their brawling victims, or by yielding to them a proportion of their ill-gotten gains, before a rumour of the outbreak could reach head-quarters. It happened from time to time, however, when the complaints against them were either too serious or too frequent, that they were deprived of their functions, cited before the tribunals, and condemned. What took place at Thebes was repeated with some variations in each of the other large cities. Corruption, theft, and extortion had prevailed among the officials from time immemorial, and the most active kings alone were able to repress these abuses, or confine them within narrow limits; as soon as discipline became relaxed, however, they began to appear again, and we have no more convincing proof of the state of decadence into which Thebes had fallen towards the middle of the XXth dynasty, than the audacity of the crimes committed in the necropolis during the reigns of the successors of Ramses III.

The priesthood of Amon alone displayed any vigour and enjoyed any prosperity in the general decline. After the victory of the god over the heretic kings no one dared to dispute his supremacy, and the Ramessides displayed a devout humility before him and his ministers. Henceforward he became united to Râ in a definite manner, and his authority not only extended over the whole of the land of Egypt, but over all the countries also which were brought within her influence; so that while Pharaoh continued to be the greatest of kings, Pharaoh’s god held a position of undivided supremacy among the deities. He was the chief of the two Bnneads, the Heliopolitan and the Hermopolitan, and displayed for the latter a special affection; for the vague character of its eight secondary deities only served to accentuate the position of the ninth and principal divinity with whose primacy that of Amon was identified. It was more easy to attribute to Amon the entire work of creation when Shû, Sibû, Osiris, and Sit had been excluded—the deities whom the theologians of Heliopolis had been accustomed to associate with the demiurge; and in the hymns which they sang at his solemn festivals they did not hesitate to ascribe to him all the acts which the priests of former times had assigned to the Ennead collectively. “He made earth, silver, gold,—the true lapis at his good pleasure.—He brought forth the herbs for the cattle, the plants upon which men live.—He made to live the fish of the river,—the birds which hover in the air,—giving air to those which are in the egg.—He animates the insects,—he makes to live the small birds, the reptiles, and the gnats as well.—He provides food for the rat in his hole,—supports the bird upon the branch.—May he be blessed for all this, he who is alone, but with many hands.” “Men spring from his two eyes,” and quickly do they lose their breath while acclaiming him—Egyptians and Libyans, Negroes and Asiatics: “Hail to thee!” they all say; “praise to thee because thou dwellest amongst us!—Obeisances before thee because thou createst us!”—“Thou art blessed by every living thing,—thou hast worshippers in every place,—in the highest of the heavens, in all the breadth of the earth,—in the depths of the seas.—The gods bow before thy Majesty,—magnifying the souls which form them,—rejoicing at meeting those who have begotten them,—they say to thee: ‘Go in peace,—father of the fathers of all the gods,—who suspended the heaven, levelled the earth;—creator of beings, maker of things,—sovereign king, chief of the gods,—we adore thy souls, because thou hast made us,—we lavish offerings upon thee, because thou hast given us birth,—we shower benedictions upon thee, because thou dwellest among us.’” We have here the same ideas as those which predominate in the hymns addressed to Atonû,* and in the prayers directed to Phtah, the Nile, Shû, and the Sun-god of Heliopolis at the same period.

     * Breasted points out the decisive influence exercised by
     the solar hymns of Amenôthes IV. on the development of the
     solar ideas contained in the hymns to Amon put forth or re-
     edited in the XXIIIrd dynasty.

The idea of a single god, lord and maker of all things, continued to prevail more and more throughout Egypt—not, indeed, among the lower classes who persisted in the worship of their genii and their animals, but among the royal family, the priests, the nobles, and people of culture. The latter believed that the Sun-god had at length absorbed all the various beings who had been manifested in the feudal divinities: these, in fact, had surrendered their original characteristics in order to become forms of the Sun, Amon as well as the others—and the new belief displayed itself in magnifying the solar deity, but the solar deity united with the Theban Amon, that is, Amon-Râ. The omnipotence of this one god did not, however, exclude a belief in the existence of his compeers; the theologians thought all the while that the beings to whom ancient generations had accorded a complete independence in respect of their rivals were nothing more than emanations from one supreme being. If local pride forced them to apply to this single deity the designation customarily used in their city—Phtah at Memphis, Anhûri-Shû at Thinis, Khnûmû in the neighbourhood of the first cataract—they were quite willing to allow, at the same time, that these appellations were but various masks for one face. Phtah, Hâpi, Khnûmû, Râ,—all the gods, in fact,—were blended with each other, and formed but one deity—a unique existence, multiple in his names, and mighty according to the importance of the city in which he was worshipped. Hence Amon, lord of the capital and patron of the dynasty, having more partisans, enjoyed more respect, and, in a word, felt himself possessed of more claims to be the sole god of Egypt than his brethren, who could not claim so many worshippers. He did not at the outset arrogate to himself the same empire over the dead as he exercised over the living; he had delegated his functions in this respect to a goddess, Marîtsakro, for whom the poorer inhabitants of the left bank entertained a persistent devotion. She was a kind of Isis or hospitable Hathor, whose subjects in the other world adapted themselves to the nebulous and dreary existence provided for their disembodied “doubles.” The Osirian and solar doctrines were afterwards blended together in this local mythology, and from the XIth dynasty onwards the Theban nobility had adopted, along with the ceremonies in use in the Memphite period, the Heliopolitan beliefs concerning the wanderings of the soul in the west, its embarkation on the solar ship, and its resting-places in the fields of Ialû. The rock-tombs of the XVIIIth dynasty demonstrate that the Thebans had then no different concept of their life beyond the world from that entertained by the inhabitants of the most ancient cities: they ascribed to that existence the same inconsistent medley of contradictory ideas, from which each one might select what pleased him best—either repose in a well-provisioned tomb, or a dwelling close to Osiris in the middle of a calm and agreeable paradise, or voyages with Râ around the world.*

     * The Pyramid texts are found for the most part in the tombs
     of Nofirû and Harhôtpû; the texts of the Book of the Dead
     are met with on the Theban coffins of the same period.

060.jpg Decorated Wrappings of a Mummy

The fusion of Râ and Amon, and the predominance of the solar idea which arose from it, forced the theologians to examine more closely these inconsistent notions, and to eliminate from them anything which might be out of harmony with the new views. The devout servant of Amon, desirous of keeping in constant touch with his god both here and in the other would, could not imagine a happier future for his soul than in its going forth in the fulness of light by day, and taking refuge by night on the very bark which carried the object of his worship through the thick darkness of, Hades. To this end he endeavoured to collect the formulae which would enable him to attain to this supreme happiness, and also inform him concerning the hidden mysteries of that obscure half of the world in which the sun dwelt between daylight and daylight, teaching him also how to make friends and supporters of the benevolent genii, and how to avoid or defeat the monsters whom he would encounter. The best known of the books relating to these mysteries contained a geographical description of the future world as it was described by the Theban priests towards the end of the Ramesside period; it was, in fact, an itinerary in which was depicted each separate region of the underworld, with its gates, buildings, and inhabitants.*

     * The monumental text of this book is found sculptured on a
     certain number of the tombs of the Theban kings. It was
     first translated into English by Birch, then into French by
     Dévéria, and by Maspero.

The account of it given by the Egyptian theologians did not exhibit much inventive genius. They had started with the theory that the sun, after setting exactly west of Thebes, rose again due east of the city, and they therefore placed in the dark hemisphere all the regions of the universe which lay to the north of those two points of the compass. The first stage of the sun’s journey, after disappearing below the horizon, coincided with the period of twilight; the orb travelled along the open sky, diminishing the brightness of his fires as he climbed northward, and did not actually enter the underworld till he reached Abydos, close to the spot where, at the “Mouth of the Cleft,” the souls of the faithful awaited him. As soon as he had received them into his boat, he plunged into the tunnel which there pierces the mountains, and the cities through which he first passed between Abydos and the Fayûm were known as the Osirian fiefs. He continued his journey through them for the space of two hours, receiving the homage of the inhabitants, and putting such of the shades on shore as were predestined by their special devotion for the Osiris of Abydos and his associates, Horus and Anubis, to establish themselves in this territory. Beyond Heracleopolis, he entered the domains of the Memphite gods, the “land of Sokaris,” and this probably was the most perilous moment of his journey.

062.jpg One of the Mysterious Books Of Amon

The feudatories of Phtah were gathered together in grottoes, connected by a labyrinth of narrow passages through which even the most fully initiated were scarcely able to find their way; the luminous boat, instead of venturing within these catacombs, passed above them by mysterious tracks. The crew were unable to catch a glimpse of the sovereign through whose realm they journeyed, and they in like manner were invisible to him; he could only hear the voices of the divine sailors, and he answered them from the depth of the darkness. Two hours were spent in this obscure passage, after which navigation became easier as the vessel entered the nomes subject to the Osirises of the Delta: four consecutive hours of sailing brought the bark from the province in which the four principal bodies of the god slept to that in which his four souls kept watch, and, as it passed, it illuminated the eight circles reserved for men and kings who worshipped the god of Mendes. From the tenth hour onwards it directed its course due south, and passed through the Aûgàrît, the place of fire and abysmal waters to which the Heliopolitans consigned the souls of the impious; then finally quitting the tunnel, it soared up in the east with the first blush of dawn. Each of the ordinary dead was landed at that particular hour of the twelve, which belonged to the god of his choice or of his native town. Left to dwell there they suffered no absolute torment, but languished in the darkness in a kind of painful torpor, from which condition the approach of the bark alone was able to rouse them. They hailed its daily coming with acclamations, and felt new life during the hour in which its rays fell on them, breaking out into lamentations as the bark passed away and the light disappeared with it. The souls who were devotees of the sun escaped this melancholy existence; they escorted the god, reduced though he was to a mummied corpse, on his nightly cruise, and were piloted by him safe and sound to meet the first streaks of the new day. As the boat issued from the mountain in the morning between the two trees which flanked the gate of the east, these souls had their choice of several ways of spending the day on which they were about to enter. They might join their risen god in his course through the hours of light, and assist him in combating Apophis and his accomplices, plunging again at night into Hades without having even for a moment quitted his side.

066.jpg the Entrance to a Royal Tomb
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph, by Beato, of the
     tomb of Ramses IV.

067.jpg One of the Hours Of The Night

They might, on the other hand, leave him and once more enter the world of the living, settling themselves where they would, but always by preference in the tombs where their bodies awaited them, and where they could enjoy the wealth which had been accumulated there: they might walk within their garden, and sit beneath the trees they had planted; they could enjoy the open air beside the pond they had dug, and breathe the gentle north breeze on its banks after the midday heat, until the time when the returning evening obliged them to repair once more to Abydos, and re-embark with the god in order to pass the anxious vigils of the night under his protection. Thus from the earliest period of Egyptian history the life beyond the tomb was an eclectic one, made up of a series of earthly enjoyments combined together.

The Pharaohs had enrolled themselves instinctively among the most ardent votaries of this complex doctrine. Their relationship to the sun made its adoption a duty, and its profession was originally, perhaps, one of the privileges of their position. Râ invited them on board because they were his children, subsequently extending this favour to those whom they should deem worthy to be associated with them, and thus become companions of the ancient deceased kings of Upper and Lower Egypt.*

     * This is apparently what we gather from the picture
     inserted in chapter xvii. of the “Book of the Dead,” where
     we see the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt guiding the divine
     bark and the deceased with them.

The idea which the Egyptians thus formed of the other world, and of the life of the initiated within it, reacted gradually on their concept of the tomb and of its befitting decoration. They began to consider the entrances to the pyramid, and its internal passages and chambers, as a conventional representation of the gates, passages, and halls of Hades itself; when the pyramid passed out of fashion, and they had replaced it by a tomb cut in the rock in one or other of the branches of the Bab el-Moluk valley, the plan of construction which they chose was an exact copy of that employed by the Memphites and earlier Thebans, and they hollowed out for themselves in the mountain-side a burying-place on the same lines as those formerly employed within the pyramidal structure. The relative positions of the tunnelled tombs along the valley were not determined by any order of rank or of succession to the throne; each Pharaoh after Ramses I. set to work on that part of the rock where the character of the stone favoured his purpose, and displayed so little respect for his predecessors, that the workmen, after having tunnelled a gallery, were often obliged to abandon it altogether, or to change the direction of their excavations so as to avoid piercing a neighbouring tomb. The architect’s design was usually a mere project which could be modified at will, and, which he did not feel bound to carry out with fidelity; the actual measurements of the tomb of Ramses IV. are almost everywhere at variance with the numbers and arrangement of the working drawing of it which has been preserved to us in a papyrus. The general disposition of the royal tombs, however, is far from being complicated; we have at the entrance the rectangular door, usually surmounted by the sun, represented by a yellow disk, before which the sovereign kneels with his hands raised in the posture of adoration; this gave access to a passage sloping gently downwards, and broken here and there by a level landing and steps, leading to a first chamber of varying amplitude, at the further end of which a second passage opened which descended to one or more apartments, the last of which, contained the coffin. The oldest rock-tombs present some noteworthy exceptions to this plan, particularly those of Seti I. and Ramses III.; but from the time of Ramses IV., there is no difference to be remarked in them except in the degree of finish of the wall-paintings or in the length of the passages. The shortest of the latter extends some fifty-two feet into the rock, while the longest never exceeds three hundred and ninety feet. The same artifices which had been used by the pyramid-builders to defeat the designs of robbers—false mummy-pits, painted and sculptured walls built across passages, stairs concealed under a movable stone in the corner of a chamber—were also employed by the Theban engineers. The decoration of the walls was suggested, as in earlier times, by the needs of the royal soul, with this difference—that the Thebans set themselves to render visible to his eyes by paintings that which the Memphites had been content to present to his intelligence in writing, so that the Pharaoh could now see what his ancestors had been able merely to read on the walls of their tombs. Where the inscribed texts in the burial-chamber of Unas state that Unas, incarnate in the Sun, and thus representing Osiris, sails over the waters on high or glides into the Elysian fields, the sculptured or painted scenes in the interior of the Theban catacombs display to the eye Ramses occupying the place of the god in the solar bark and in the fields of laid. Where the walls of Unas bear only the prayers recited over the mummy for the opening of his mouth, for the restoration of the use of his limbs, for his clothing, perfuming, and nourishment, we see depicted on those of Seti I. or Ramses IV. the mummies of these kings and the statues of their doubles in the hands of the priests, who are portrayed in the performance of these various offices. The starry ceilings of the pyramids reproduce the aspect of the sky, but without giving the names of the stars: on the ceilings of some of the Ramesside rock-tombs, on the other hand, the constellations are represented, each with its proper figure, while astronomical tables give the position of the heavenly bodies at intervals of fifteen days, so that the soul could tell at a glance into what region of the firmament the course of the bark would bring him each night. In the earlier Ramesside tombs, under Seti I. and Ramses II., the execution of these subjects shows evidence of a care and skill which are quite marvellous, and both figures and hieroglyphics betray the hand of accomplished artists. But in the tomb of Ramses III. the work has already begun to show signs of inferiority, and the majority of the scenes are coloured in a very summary fashion; a raw yellow predominates, and the tones of the reds and blues remind us of a child’s first efforts at painting. This decline is even more marked under the succeeding Ramessides; the drawing has deteriorated, the tints have become more and more crude, and the latest paintings seem but a lamentable caricature of the earlier ones.

The courtiers and all those connected with the worship of Amon-Râ—priests, prophets, singers, and functionaries connected with the necropolis—shared the same belief with regard to the future world as their sovereign, and they carried their faith in the sun’s power to the point of identifying themselves with him after death, and of substituting the name of Râ for that of Osiris; they either did not venture, however, to go further than this, or were unable to introduce into their tombs all that we find in the Bab el-Moluk. They confined themselves to writing briefly on their own coffins, or confiding to the mummies of their fellow-believers, in addition to the “Book of the Dead,” a copy of the “Book of knowing what there is in Hades,” or of some other mystic writing which was in harmony with their creed. Hastily prepared copies of these were sold by unscrupulous scribes, often badly written and almost always incomplete, in which were hurriedly set down haphazard the episodes of the course of the sun with explanatory illustrations. The representations of the gods in them are but little better than caricatures, the text is full of faults and scarcely decipherable, and it is at times difficult to recognize the correspondence of the scenes and prayers with those in the royal tombs. Although Amon had become the supreme god, at least for this class of the initiated, he was by no means the sole deity worshipped by the Egyptians: the other divinities previously associated with him still held their own beside him, or were further defined and invested with a more decided personality. The goddess regarded as his partner was at first represented as childless, in spite of the name of Maût or Mût—the mother—by which she was invoked, and Amon was supposed to have adopted Montû, the god of Hermonthis, in order to complete his triad. Montû, however, formerly the sovereign of the Theban plain, and lord over Amon himself, was of too exalted a rank to play the inferior part of a divine son.

074.jpg KhonsÛ* and Temple of KhonsÛ**.
     * Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bronze statuette in the
     Gizeh Museum.

     ** Drawn by Thuillier: A is the pylon, B the court, C the
     hypostyle hall, E the passage isolating the sanctuary, D the
     sanctuary, F the opisthodomos with its usual chambers.

The priests were, therefore, obliged to fall back upon a personage of lesser importance, named Khonsû, who up to that period had been relegated to an obscure position in the celestial hierarchy. How they came to identify him with the moon, and subsequently with Osiris and Thot, is as yet unexplained,* but the assimilation had taken place before the XIXth dynasty drew to its close. Khonsû, thus honoured, soon became a favourite deity with both the people and the upper classes, at first merely supplementing Montû, but finally supplanting him in the third place of the Triad. From the time of Sesostris onwards, Theban dogma acknowledged him alone side by side with Amon-Râ and Mût the divine mother.

     * It is possible that this assimilation originated in the
     fact that Khonsû is derived from the verb “khonsû,” to
     navigate: Khonsû would thus have been he who crossed the
     heavens in his bark—that is, the moon-god.

075.jpg the Temple of KhonsÛ at Karnak
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

It was now incumbent on the Pharaoh to erect to this newly made favourite a temple whose size and magnificence should be worthy of the rank to which his votaries had exalted him. To this end, Ramses III. chose a suitable site to the south of the hypostyle hall of Karnak, close to a corner of the enclosing wall, and there laid the foundations of a temple which his successors took nearly a century to finish.*

     * The proof that the temple was founded by Ramses III. is
     furnished by the inscriptions of the sanctuary and the
     surrounding chambers.

Its proportions are by no means perfect, the sculpture is wanting in refinement, the painting is coarse, and the masonry was so faulty, that it was found necessary in several places to cover it with a coat of stucco before the bas-reliefs could be carved on the walls; yet, in spite of all this, its general arrangement is so fine, that it may well be regarded, in preference to other more graceful or magnificent buildings, as the typical temple of the Theban period. It is divided into two parts, separated from each other by a solid wall. In the centre of the smaller of these is placed the Holy of Holies, which opens at both ends into a passage ten feet in width, isolating it from the surrounding buildings. To the right and left of the sanctuary are dark chambers, and behind it is a hall supported by four columns, into which open seven small apartments. This formed the dwelling-place of the god and his compeers. The sanctuary communicates, by means of two doors placed in the southern wall, with a hypostyle hall of greater width than depth, divided by its pillars into a nave and two aisles. The four columns of the nave are twenty-three feet in height, and have bell-shaped capitals, while those of the aisles, two on either side, are eighteen feet high, and are crowned with lotiform capitals.

077.jpg the Court of The Temple Of KhonsÛ
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The roof of the nave was thus five feet higher than those of the aisles, and in the clear storey thus formed, stone gratings, similar to those in the temple of Amon, admitted light to the building. The courtyard, surrounded by a fine colonnade of two rows of columns, was square, and was entered by four side posterns in addition to the open gateway at the end placed between two quadrangular towers.

078.jpg the Colonnade Built by ThÛtmosis Iii
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger and
     Daniel Héron.

This pylon measures 104 feet in length, and is 32 feet 6 inches wide, by 58 feet high. It contains no internal chambers, but merely a narrow staircase which leads to the top of the doorway, and thence to the summit of the towers. Four long angular grooves run up the façade of the towers to a height of about twenty feet from the ground, and are in the same line with a similar number of square holes which pierce the thickness of the building higher up. In these grooves were placed Venetian masts, made of poles spliced together and held in their place by means of hooks and wooden stays which projected from the four holes; these masts were to carry at their tops pennons of various colours. Such was the temple of Khonsû, and the majority of the great Theban buildings—at Luxor, Qurneh, and Bamesseum, or Medinet-Uabu—were constructed on similar lines. Even in their half-ruined condition there is something oppressive and uncanny in their appearance. The gods loved to shroud themselves in mystery, and, therefore, the plan of the building was so arranged as to render the transition almost imperceptible from the blinding sunlight outside to the darkness of their retreat within. In the courtyard, we are still surrounded by vast spaces to which air and light have free access. The hypostyle hall, however, is pervaded by an appropriate twilight, the sanctuary is veiled in still deeper darkness, while in the chambers beyond reigns an almost perpetual night. The effect produced by this gradation of obscurity was intensified by constructional artifices. The different parts of the building are not all on the same ground-level, the pavement rising as the sanctuary is approached, and the rise is concealed by a few steps placed at intervals. The difference of level in the temple of Khonsû is not more than five feet three inches, but it is combined with a still more considerable lowering of the height of the roof. From the pylon to the wall at the further end the height decreases as we go on; the peristyle is more lofty than the hypostyle hall, this again is higher than the sanctuary and the hall of columns, and the chamber beyond it drops still further in altitude.*

     * This is “the law of progressive diminution of heights” of

Karnak is an exception to this rule; this temple had in the course of centuries undergone so many restorations and additions, that it formed a collection of buildings rather than a single edifice. It might have been regarded, as early as the close of the Theban empire, as a kind of museum, in which every century and every period of art, from the XIIth dynasty downwards, had left its distinctive mark.*

     * A on the plan denotes the XIIth dynasty temple; B is the
     great hypostyle hall of Seti I. and Ramses II.; C the temple
     of Ramses III.

081.jpg the Temple of Amon at Karnak

All the resources of architecture had been brought into requisition during this period to vary, at the will of each sovereign, the arrangement and the general effect of the component parts. Columns with sixteen sides stand in the vicinity of square pillars, and lotiform capitals alternate with those of the bell-shape; attempts were even made to introduce new types altogether. The architect who built at the back of the sanctuary what is now known as the colonnade of Thûtmosis III., attempted to invert the bell-shaped capital; the bell was turned downwards, and the neck attached to the plinth, while the mouth rested on the top of the shaft. This awkward arrangement did not meet with favour, for we find it nowhere repeated; other artists, however, with better taste, sought at this time to apply the flowers symbolical of Upper and Lower Egypt to the decorations of the shafts. In front of the sanctuary of Karnak two pillars are still standing which have on them in relief representations respectively of the fullblown lotus and the papyrus. A building composed of so many incongruous elements required frequent restoration—a wall which had been undermined by water needed strengthening, a pylon displaying cracks claimed attention, some unsafe colonnade, or a colossus which had been injured by the fall of a cornice, required shoring up—so that no sooner had the corvée for repairs completed their work in one part, than they had to begin again elsewhere.

082.jpg the Two Stele-pillars at Karnak
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The revenues of Amon must, indeed, have been enormous to have borne the continual drain occasioned by restoration, and the resources of the god would soon have been exhausted had not foreign wars continued to furnish him during several centuries with all or more than he needed.

The gods had suffered severely in the troublous times which had followed the reign of Seti II., and it required all the generosity of Ramses III. to compensate them for the losses they had sustained during the anarchy under Arisû. The spoil taken from the Libyans, from the Peoples of the Sea, and from the Hittites had flowed into the sacred treasuries, while the able administration of the sovereign had done the rest, so that on the accession of Ramses IV. the temples were in a more prosperous state than ever.* They held as their own property 169 towns, nine of which were in Syria and Ethiopia; they possessed 113,433 slaves of both sexes, 493,386 head of cattle, 1,071,780 arurse of land, 514 vineyards and orchards, 88 barks and sea-going vessels, 336 kilograms of gold both in ingots and wrought, 2,993,964 grammes of silver, besides quantities of copper and precious stones, and hundreds of storehouses in which they kept corn, oil, wine, honey, and preserved meats—the produce of their domains. Two examples will suffice to show the extent of this latter item: the live geese reached the number of 680,714, and the salt or smoked fish that of 494,800.** Amon claimed the giant share of this enormous total, and three-fourths of it or more were reserved for his use, namely—-86,486 slaves, 421,362 head of cattle, 898,168 arurse of cornland, 433 vineyards and orchards, and 56 Egyptian towns. The nine foreign towns all belonged to him, and one of them contained the temple in which he was worshipped by the Syrians whenever they came to pay their tribute to the king’s representatives: it was but just that his patrimony should surpass that of his compeers, since the conquering Pharaohs owed their success to him, who, without the co-operation of the other feudal deities, had lavished victories upon them.

     * The donations of Ramses III., or rather the total of the
     donations made to the gods by the predecessors of that
     Pharaoh, and confirmed and augmented by him, are enumerated
     at length in the Great Harris Papyrus.

     ** An abridgement of these donations occupies seven large
     plates in the Great Harris Papyrus.

His domain was at least five times more considerable than that of Râ of Heliopolis, and ten times greater than that of the Memphite Phtah, and yet of old, in the earlier times of history, Râ and Phtah were reckoned the wealthiest of the Egyptian gods. It is easy to understand the influence which a god thus endowed with the goods of this world exercised over men in an age when the national wars had the same consequences for the immortals as for their worshippers, and when the defeat of a people was regarded as a proof of the inferiority of its patron gods. The most victorious divinity became necessarily the wealthiest, before whom all other deities bowed, and whom they, as well as their subjects, were obliged to serve.

So powerful a god as Amon had but few obstacles to surmount before becoming the national deity; indeed, he was practically the foremost of the gods during the Ramesside period, and was generally acknowledged as Egypt’s representative by all foreign nations.* His priests shared in the prestige he enjoyed, and their influence in state affairs increased proportionately with his power.

     * From the XVIIIth dynasty, at least, the first prophet of
     Amon had taken the precedence of the high priests of
     Heliopolis and Memphis, as is proved by the position he
     occupies in the Egyptian hierarchy in the Hood Papyrus.

The chief of their hierarchy, however, did not bear the high titles which in ancient times distinguished those of Memphis and Heliopolis; he was content with the humble appellation of first prophet of Amon. He had for several generations been nominated by the sovereign, but he was generally chosen from the families attached hereditarily or otherwise to the temple of Karnak, and must previously have passed through every grade of the priestly hierarchy. Those who aspired to this honour had to graduate as “divine fathers;” this was the first step in the initiation, and one at which many were content to remain, but the more ambitious or favoured advanced by successive stages to the dignity of third, and then of second, prophet before attaining to the highest rank.*

     * What we know on this subject has been brought to light
     mainly by the inscriptions on the statue of Baûkûni-Khonsû
     at Munich, published and commented on by Dévéria, and by
     Lauth. The cursus honorum of Ramâ shows us that he was first
     third, then second prophet of Amon, before being raised to
     the pontificate in the reign of Mînephtah.

The Pharaohs of the XIXth dynasty jealously supervised the promotions made in the Theban temples, and saw that none was elected except him who was devoted to their interests—such as, for example, Baûkûni-khonsû and Unnofri under Ramses II. Baûkûni-khonsû distinguished himself by his administrative qualities; if he did not actually make the plans for the hypostyle hall at Karnak, he appears at least to have superintended its execution and decoration. He finished the great pylon, erected the obelisks and gateways, built the bari or vessel of the god, and found a further field for his activity on the opposite bank of the Nile, where he helped to complete both the chapel at Qurneh and also the Ramesseum. Ramses II. had always been able to make his authority felt by the high priests who succeeded Baûkûni-khonsû, but the Pharaohs who followed him did not hold the reins with such a strong hand. As early as the reigns of Mînephtah and Seti II. the first prophets, Raî and Ramâ, claimed the right of building at Karnak for their own purposes, and inscribed on the walls long inscriptions in which their own panegyrics took precedence of that of the sovereign; they even aspired to a religious hegemony, and declared themselves to be the “chief of all the prophets of the gods of the South and North.” We do not know what became of them during the usurpation of Arisû, but Nakhtû-ramses, son of Miribastît, who filled the office during the reign of Ramses III., revived these ambitious projects as soon as the state of Egypt appeared to favour them. The king, however pious he might be, was not inclined to yield up any of his authority, even though it were to the earthly delegate of the divinity whom he reverenced before all others; the sons of the Pharaoh were, however, more accommodating, and Nakhtû-ramses played his part so well that he succeeded in obtaining from them the reversion of the high priesthood for his son Amenôthes. The priestly office, from having been elective, was by this stroke suddenly made hereditary in the family. The kings preserved, it is true, the privilege of confirming the new appointment, and the nominee was not considered properly qualified until he had received his investiture from the sovereign.*

     * This is proved by the Maunier stele, now in the Louvre; it
     is there related how the high priest Manakh-pirrî received
     his investiture from the Tanite king.

Practically the Pharaohs lost the power of choosing one among the sons of the deceased pontiff; they were forced to enthrone the eldest of his survivors, and legalise his accession by their approbation, even when they would have preferred another. It was thus that a dynasty of vassal High Priests came to be established at Thebes side by side with the royal dynasty of the Pharaohs.

The new priestly dynasty was not long in making its power felt in Thebes. Nakhtû-ramses and Amenôthes lived to a great age—from the reign of Ramses III. to that of Ramses X., at the least; they witnessed the accession of nine successive Pharaohs, and the unusual length of their pontificates no doubt increased the already extraordinary prestige which they enjoyed throughout the length and breadth of Egypt. It seemed as if the god delighted to prolong the lives of his representatives beyond the ordinary limits, while shortening those of the temporal sovereigns. When the reigns of the Pharaohs began once more to reach their normal length, the authority of Amenôthes had become so firmly established that no human power could withstand it, and the later Ramessides were merely a set of puppet kings who were ruled by him and his successors. Not only was there a cessation of foreign expeditions, but the Delta, Memphis, and Ethiopia were alike neglected, and the only activity displayed by these Pharaohs, as far as we can gather from their monuments, was confined to the service of Amon and Khonsû at Thebes. The lack of energy and independence in these sovereigns may not, however, be altogether attributable to their feebleness of character; it is possible that they would gladly have entered on a career of conquest had they possessed the means. It is always a perilous matter to allow the resources of a country to fall into the hands of a priesthood, and to place its military forces at the same time in the hands of the chief religious authority. The warrior Pharaohs had always had at their disposal the spoils obtained from foreign nations to make up the deficit which their constant gifts to the temples were making in the treasury. The sons of Ramses III., on the other hand, had suspended all military efforts, without, however, lessening their lavish gifts to the gods, and they must, in the absence of the spoils of war, have drawn to a considerable extent upon the ordinary resources of the country; their successors therefore found the treasury impoverished, and they would have been entirely at a loss for money had they attempted to renew the campaigns or continue the architectural work of their forefathers. The priests of Amon had not as yet suffered materially from this diminution of revenue, for they possessed property throughout the length and breadth of Egypt, but they were obliged to restrict their expenditure, and employ the sums formerly used for the enlarging of the temples on the maintenance of their own body. Meanwhile public works had been almost everywhere suspended; administrative discipline became relaxed, and disturbances, with which the police were unable to cope, were increasing in all the important towns. Nothing is more indicative of the state to which Egypt was reduced, under the combined influence of the priesthood and the Ramessides, than the thefts and pillaging of which the Theban necropolis was then the daily scene. The robbers no longer confined themselves to plundering the tombs of private persons; they attacked the royal burying-places, and their depredations were carried on for years before they were discovered. In the reign of Ramses IX., an inquiry, set on foot by Amenôthes, revealed the fact that the tomb of Sovkûmsaûf I. and his wife, Queen Nûbk-hâs, had been rifled, that those of Amenôthes I. and of Antuf IV. had been entered by tunnelling, and that some dozen other royal tombs in the cemetery of Drah abu’l Neggah were threatened.*

     * The principal part of this inquiry constitutes the Abbott
     Papyrus, acquired and published by the British Museum,
     first examined and made the subject of study by Birch,
     translated simultaneously into French by Maspero and by
     Chabas, into German by Lauth and by Erman. Other papyri
     relate to the same or similar occurrences, such as the Salt
     and Amherst Papyri published by Chabas, and also the
     Liverpool Papyri, of which we possess merely scattered
     notices in the writings of Goodwin, and particularly in
     those of Spiegelberg.

The severe means taken to suppress the evil were not, however, successful; the pillagings soon began afresh, and the reigns of the last three Ramessides between the robbers and the authorities, were marked by a struggle in which the latter did not always come off triumphant.

A system of repeated inspections secured the valley of Biban el-Moluk from marauders,* but elsewhere the measures of defence employed were unavailing, and the necropolis was given over to pillage, although both Amenôthes and Hrihor had used every effort to protect it.

     * Graffiti which are evidences of these inspections have
     been drawn on the walls of several royal tombs by the
     inspectors. Others have been found on several of the coffins
     discovered at Deîr el-Baharî, e.g. on those of Seti I. and
     Ramses II.; the most ancient belong to the pontificate of
     Hrihor, others belong to the XXIst dynasty.

089.jpg Ramses IX.
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from Lepsius.

Hrihor appears to have succeeded immediately after Amenôthes, and his accession to the pontificate gave his family a still more exalted position in the country. As his wife Nozmit was of royal blood, he assumed titles and functions to which his father and grandfather had made no claim. He became the “Royal Son” of Ethiopia and commander-in-chief of the national and foreign troops; he engraved his name upon the monuments he decorated, side by side with that of Ramses XII.; in short, he possessed all the characteristics of a Pharaoh except the crown and the royal protocol. A century scarcely had elapsed since the abdication of Ramses III., and now Thebes and the whole of Egypt owned two masters: one the embodiment of the ancient line, but a mere nominal king; the other the representative of Amon, and the actual ruler of the country.

What then happened when the last Ramses who bore the kingly title was gathered to his fathers? The royal lists record the accession after his death of a new dynasty of Tanitic origin, whose founder was Nsbindidi or Smendes; but, on the other hand, we gather from the Theban monuments that the crown was seized by Hrihor, who reigned over the southern provinces contemporaneously with Smendes. Hrihor boldly assumed as prenomen his title of “First Prophet of Amon,” and his authority was acknowledged by Ethiopia, over which he was viceroy, as well as by the nomes forming the temporal domain of the high priests. The latter had acquired gradually, either by marriage or inheritance, fresh territory for the god, in the lands of the princes of Nekhabît, Kop-tos, Akhmîm, and Abydos, besides the domains of some half-dozen feudal houses who, from force of circumstances, had become sacerdotal families; the extinction of the direct line of Ramessides now secured the High Priests the possession of Thebes itself, and of all the lands within the southern provinces which were the appanage of the crown.

091.jpg Hrihor
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from Champollion.

They thus, in one way or another, became the exclusive masters of the southern half of the Nile valley, from Elephantine to Siut; beyond Siut also they had managed to acquire suzerainty over the town of Khobît, and the territory belonging to it formed an isolated border province in the midst of the independent baronies.*

     * The extent of the principality of Thebes under the high
     priests has been determined by means of the sacerdotal
     titles of the Theban princesses.

The representative of the dynasty reigning at Tanis held the remainder of Egypt from Shit to the Mediterranean—the half belonging to the Memphite Phtah and the Helio-politan Râ, as opposed to that assigned to Anion. The origin of this Tanite sovereign is uncertain, but it would appear that he was of more exalted rank than his rival in the south. The official chronicling of events was marked by the years of his reign, and the chief acts of the government were carried out in his name even in the Thebaid.* Repeated inundations had caused the ruin of part of the temple of Karnak, and it was by the order and under the auspices of this prince that all the resources of the country were employed to accomplish the much-needed restoration.**

     * I have pointed out that the years of the reign mentioned
     in the inscriptions of the high priests and the kings of the
     sacerdotal line must be attributed to their suzerains, the
     kings of Tanis. Hrihor alone seems to have been an
     exception, since to him are attributed the dates inscribed
     in the name of the King Siamon: M. Daressy, however, will
     not admit this, and asserts that this Siamon was a Tanite
     sovereign who must not be identified with Hrihor, and must
     be placed at least two or three generations later than the
     last of the Ramessides.

     ** The real name Nsbindidi and the first monument of the
     Manethonian Smendes were discovered in the quarries of
     Dababîeh, opposite Gebelên.

It would have been impossible for him to have exercised any authority over so rich and powerful a personage as Hrihor had he not possessed rights to the crown, before which even the high priests of Amon were obliged to bow, and hence it has been supposed that he was a descendant of Ramses II. The descendants of this sovereign were doubtless divided into at least two branches, one of which had just become extinct, leaving no nearer heir than Hrihor, while another, of which there were many ramifications, had settled in the Delta. The majority of these descendants had become mingled with the general population, and had sunk to the condition of private individuals; they had, however, carefully preserved the tradition of their origin, and added proudly to their name the qualification of royal son of Ramses. They were degenerate scions of the Ramessides, and had neither the features nor the energy of their ancestor. One of them, Zodphta-haûfônkhi, whose mummy was found at Deîr el-Baharî, appears to have been tall and vigorous, but the head lacks the haughty refinement which characterizes those of Seti I. and Ramses II., and the features are heavy and coarse, having a vulgar, commonplace expression.

093.jpg Zodphtahaufonkhi, Royal Son of Ramses
Drawn by Boudier,
from the photograph
by Insinger.

It seems probable that one branch of the family, endowed with greater capability than the rest, was settled at Tanis, where Sesostris had, as we have seen, resided for many years; Smendes was the first of this branch to ascend the throne. The remembrance of his remote ancestor, Ramses IL, which was still treasured up in the city he had completely rebuilt, as well as in the Delta into which he had infused new life, was doubtless of no small service in securing the crown for his descendant, when, the line of the Theban kings having come to an end, the Tanites put in their claim to the succession. We are unable to discover if war broke out between the two competitors, or if they arrived at an agreement without a struggle; but, at all events, we may assume that, having divided Egypt between them, neither of them felt himself strong enough to overcome his rival, and contented himself with the possession of half the empire, since he could not possess it in its entirety. We may fairly believe that Smendes had the greater right to the throne, and, above all, the more efficient army of the two, since, had it been otherwise, Hrihor would never have consented to yield him the priority.

The unity of Egypt was, to outward appearances, preserved, through the nominal possession by Smendes of the suzerainty; but, as a matter of fact, it had ceased to exist, and the fiction of the two kingdoms had become a reality for the first time within the range of history. Henceforward there were two Egypts, governed by different constitutions and from widely remote centres. Theban Egypt was, before all things, a community recognizing a theocratic government, in which the kingly office was merged in that of the high priest. Separated from Asia by the length of the Delta, it turned its attention, like the Pharaohs of the VIth and XIIth dynasties, to Ethiopia, and owing to its distance from the Mediterranean, and from the new civilization developed on its shores, it became more and more isolated, till at length it was reduced to a purely African state. Northern Egypt, on the contrary, maintained contact with European and Asiatic nations; it took an interest in their future, it borrowed from them to a certain extent whatever struck it as being useful or beautiful, and when the occasion presented itself, it acted in concert with Mediterranean powers. There was an almost constant struggle between these two divisions of the empire, at times breaking out into an open rupture, to end as often in a temporary re-establishment of unity. At one time Ethiopia would succeed in annexing Egypt, and again Egypt would seize some part of Ethiopia; but the settlement of affairs was never final, and the conflicting elements, brought with difficulty into harmony, relapsed into their usual condition at the end of a few years. A kingdom thus divided against itself could never succeed in maintaining its authority over those provinces which, even in the heyday of its power, had proved impatient of its yoke.

Asia was associated henceforward in the minds of the Egyptians with painful memories of thwarted ambitions, rather than as offering a field for present conquest. They were pursued by the memories of their former triumphs, and the very monuments of their cities recalled what they were anxious to forget. Wherever they looked within their towns they encountered the representation of some Asiatic scene; they read the names of the cities of Syria on the walls of their temples; they saw depicted on them its princes and its armies, whose defeat was recorded by the inscriptions as well as the tribute which they had been forced to pay. The sense of their own weakness prevented the Egyptians from passing from useless regrets to action; when, however, one or other of the Pharaohs felt sufficiently secure on the throne to carry his troops far afield, he was always attracted to Syria, and crossed her frontiers, often, alas! merely to encounter defeat.

096.jpg Tailpiece

097.jpg Page Image

098.jpg Page Image



The continuance of Egyptian influence over Syrian civilization after the death of Ramses III.—Egyptian myths in Phoenicia: Osiris and Isis at Byblos—Horus, Thot, and the origin of the Egyptian alphabet—The tombs at Arvad and the Kabr-Hiram; Egyptian designs in Phoenician glass and goldsmiths’work—Commerce with Egypt, the withdrawal of Phoenician colonies in the Ægean Sea and the Achæans in Cyprus; maritime expeditions in the Western Mediterranean.

Northern Syria: the decadence of the Hittites and the steady growth of the Aramæan tribes—The decline of the Babylonian empire under the Cossæan kings, and its relations with Egypt: Assuruballit, Bammdn-nirdri I. and the first Assyrian conquests—Assyria, its climate, provinces, and cities: the god Assur and his Ishtar—The wars against Chaldæa: Shalmaneser I., Tulculi-ninip I., and the taking of Babylon—Belchadrezzar and the last of the Cosssæans.

The dynasty of Pashê: Nebuchadrezzar I., his disputes with Elam, his defeat by Assurrîshishî—The legend of the first Assyrian empire, Ninos and Semiramis—The Assyrians and their political constitution: the limmu, the king and his divine character, his hunting and his wars—The Assyrian army: the infantry and chariotry, the crossing of rivers, mode of marching in the plains and in the mountain districts—Camps, battles, sieges; cruelty shown to the vanquished, the destruction of towns and the removal of the inhabitants, the ephemeral character of the Assyrian conquests.

Tiglath pileser I.: Ms campaign against the Mushhu, his conquest of Kurhhi and of the regions of the Zab—The petty Asiatic kingdoms and their civilization: art and writing in the old Hittite states—Tiglath-pileser I. in Nairi and in Syria: his triumphal stele at Sebbeneh-Su—His buildings, his hunts, his conquest of Babylon—Merodach-nadin-akhi and the close of the Pashê dynasty—Assur-belkala and Samsi-rammân III.: the decline of Assyria—Syria without a foreign rider: the incapacity of the Khdti to give unity to the country.

099.jpg Page Image


Phoenicia and the northern nations after the death of Ramses III.—The first Assyrian empire: Tiglath-pileser I.—The Aramoans and the Khâti.

The cessation of Egyptian authority over countries in which it had so long prevailed did not at once do away with the deep impression which it had made upon their constitution and customs. While the nobles and citizens of Thebes were adopting the imported worship of Baal and Astartê, and were introducing into the spoken and written language words borrowed from Semitic speech, the Syrians, on the other hand, were not unreceptive of the influence of their conquerors. They had applied themselves zealously to the study of Egyptian arts, industry and religion, and had borrowed from these as much, at least, as they had lent to the dwellers on the Nile. The ancient Babylonian foundation of their civilization was not, indeed, seriously modified, but it was covered over, so to speak, with an African veneer which varied in depth according to the locality.*

     * Most of the views put forth in this part of the chapter
     are based on posterior and not contemporary data. The most
     ancient monuments which give evidence of it show it in such
     a complete state that we may fairly ascribe it to some
     centuries earlier; that is, to the time when Egypt still
     ruled in Syria, the period of the XIXth and even the XVIIIth

Phoenicia especially assumed and retained this foreign exterior. Its merchants, accustomed to establish themselves for lengthened periods in the principal trade-centres on the Nile, had become imbued therein with something of the religious ideas and customs of the land, and on returning to their own country had imported these with them and propagated them in their neighbourhood. They were not content with other household utensils, furniture, and jewellery than those to which they had been accustomed on the Nile, and even the Phonician gods seemed to be subject to this appropriating mania, for they came to be recognised in the indigenous deities of the Said and the Delta. There was, at the outset, no trait in the character of Baalat by which she could be assimilated to Isis or Hathor: she was fierce, warlike, and licentious, and wept for her lover, while the Egyptian goddesses were accustomed to shed tears for their husbands only. It was this element of a common grief, however, which served to associate the Phonician and Egyptian goddesses, and to produce at length a strange blending of their persons and the legends concerning them; the lady of Byblos ended in becoming an Isis or a Hathor,* and in playing the part assigned to the latter in the Osirian drama.

* The assimilation must have been ancient, since the Egyptians of the Theban dynasties already accepted Baalat as the Hathor of Byblos.

101.jpg the Tree Growing on The Tomb of Osiris
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from Prisse d’Avennes

This may have been occasioned by her city having maintained closer relationships than the southern towns with Bûto and Mendes, or by her priests having come to recognise a fundamental agreement between their theology and that of Egypt. In any case, it was at Byblos that the most marked and numerous, as well as the most ancient, examples of borrowing from the religions of the Nile were to be found. The theologians of Byblos imagined that the coffin of Osiris, after it had been thrown into the sea by Typhon, had been thrown up on the land somewhere near their city at the foot of a tamarisk, and that this tree, in its rapid growth, had gradually enfolded within its trunk the body and its case. King Malkander cut it down in order to use it as a support for the roof of his palace: a marvellous perfume rising from it filled the apartments, and it was not long before the prodigy was bruited abroad. Isis, who was travelling through the world in quest of her husband, heard of it, and at once realised its meaning: clad in rags and weeping, she sat down by the well whither the women of Byblos were accustomed to come every morning and evening to draw water, and, being interrogated by them, refused to reply; but when the maids of Queen Astartê* approached in their turn, they were received by the goddess in the most amiable manner—Isis deigning even to plait their hair, and to communicate to them the odour of myrrh with which she herself was impregnated.

     * Astartê is the name taken by the queen in the Phoenician
     version: the Egyptian counterpart of the same narrative
     substituted for it Nemanous or Saôsis; that is to say, the
     two principal forms of Hathor—the Hermopolitan Nahmâûît and
     the Heliopolitan lûsasît. It would appear from the presence
     of these names that there must have been in Egypt two
     versions at least of the Phoenician adventures of Isis—the
     one of Hermopolitan and the other of Heliopolitan origin.

104.jpg the Phoenician Horus
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from an intaglio engraved in
Cesnola. The Phoenician
figures of Horus and Thot
which I have reproduced
were pointed out to me by
my friend Clermont-Ganneau.

105.jpg the Phoenician Thot
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
after an intaglio
engraved in M. de Vogué.

Their mistress came to see the stranger who had thus treated her servants, took her into her service, and confided to her the care of her lately born son. Isis became attached to the child, adopted it for her own, after the Egyptian manner, by inserting her finger in its mouth; and having passed it through the fire during the night in order to consume away slowly anything of a perishable nature in its body, metamorphosed herself into a swallow, and flew around the miraculous pillar uttering plaintive cries. Astartê came upon her once while she was bathing the child in the flame, and broke by her shrieks of fright the charm of immortality. Isis was only able to reassure her by revealing her name and the object of her presence there. She opened the mysterious tree-trunk, anointed it with essences, and wrapping it in precious cloths, transmitted it to the priests of Byblos, who deposited it respectfully in their temple: she put the coffin which it contained on board ship, and brought it, after many adventures, into Egypt. Another tradition asserts, however, that Osiris never found his way back to his country: he was buried at Byblos, this tradition maintained, and it was in his honour that the festivals attributed by the vulgar to the young Adonis were really celebrated. A marvellous fact seemed to support this view. Every year a head of papyrus, thrown into the sea at some unknown point of the Delta, was carried for six days along the Syrian coast, buffeted by wind and waves, and on the seventh was thrown up at Byblos, where the priests received it and exhibited it solemnly to the people.* The details of these different stories are not in every case very ancient, but the first fact in them carries us back to the time when Byblos had accepted the sovereignty of the Theban dynasties, and was maintaining daily commercial and political relations with the inhabitants of the Nile valley.**

     * In the later Roman period it was letters announcing the
     resurrection of Adonis-Osiris that the Alexandrian women
     cast into the sea, and these were carried by the current as
     far as Byblos. See on this subject the commentaries of Cyril
     of Alexandra and Procopius of Gaza on chap, xviii. of

     ** It is worthy of note that Philo gives to the divinity
     with the Egyptian name Taautos the part in the ancient
     history of Phoenicia of having edited the mystic writings
     put in order by Sanchoniathon at a very early epoch.

The city proclaimed Horus to be a great god.* El-Kronos allied himself with Osiris as well as with Adonis; Isis and Baalat became blended together at their first encounter, and the respective peoples made an exchange of their deities with the same light-heartedness as they displayed in trafficking with the products of their soil or their industry.

     * This is confirmed by one of the names inscribed on the Tel
     el-Amarna tablets as being that of a governor of Byblos
     under Amenôthes IV. This name was read Rabimur, Anrabimur,
     or Ilrabimur, and finally Ilurabihur: the meaning of it is,
     “Muru is the great god,” or “Horus is the great god.” Muru is
     the name which we find in an appellation of a Hittite king,
     Maurusaru, “Mauru is king.” On an Aramoan cylinder in the
     British Museum, representing a god in Assyrian dress
     fighting with two griffins, there is the inscription
     “Horkhu,” Harmakhis.

After Osiris, the Ibis Thot was the most important among the deities who had emigrated to Asia. He was too closely connected with the Osirian cycle to be forgotten by the Phoenicians after they had adopted his companions. We are ignorant of the particular divinity with whom he was identified, or would be the more readily associated from some similarity in the pronunciation of his name: we know only that he still preserved in his new country all the power of his voice and all the subtilty of his mind. He occupied there also the position of scribe and enchanter, as he had done at Thebes, Memphis, Thinis, and before the chief of each Heliopolitan Ennead. He became the usual adviser of El-Kronos at Byblos, as he had been of Osiris and Horus; he composed charms for him, and formulae which increased the warlike zeal of his partisans; he prescribed the form and insignia of the god and of his attendant deities, and came finally to be considered as the inventor of letters.*

     * The part of counsellor which Thot played in connexion with
     the god of Byblos was described at some length in the
     writings attributed to Sankhoniathon.

The epoch, indeed, in which he became a naturalised Phoenician coincides approximately with a fundamental revolution in the art of writing—that in which a simple and rapid stenography was substituted for the complicated and tedious systems with which the empires of the ancient world had been content from their origin. Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Arvad, had employed up to this period the most intricate of these systems. Like most of the civilized nations of Western Asia, they had conducted their diplomatic and commercial correspondence in the cuneiform character impressed upon clay tablets. Their kings had had recourse to a Babylonian model for communicating to the Amenôthes Pharaohs the expression of their wishes or their loyalty; we now behold them, after an interval of four hundred years and more*—during which we have no examples of their monuments—possessed of a short and commodious script, without the encumbrance of ideograms, determinatives, polyphony and syllabic sounds, such as had fettered the Egyptian and Chaldæan scribes, in spite of their cleverness in dealing with them. Phonetic articulations were ultimately resolved into twenty-two sounds, to each of which a special sign was attached, which collectively took the place of the hundreds or thousands of signs formerly required.

     * The inscription on the bronze cup dedicated to the Baal of
     the Lebanon, goes back probably to the time of Hiram I., say
     the Xth century before our era; the reasons advanced by
     Winckler for dating it in the time of Hiram II. have not
     been fully accepted up to the present. By placing the
     introduction of the alphabet somewhere between Amenôthes IV.
     in the XVth and Hiram I. in the Xth century before our era,
     and by taking the middle date between them, say the
     accession of the XXIs’dynasty towards the year 1100 B.C. for
     its invention or adoption, we cannot go far wrong one way or
     the other.

106.jpg One of the Most Ancient Phoenician Inscriptions
     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from a heliogravure. This is the cup
     of the Baal of the Lebanon.

This was an alphabet, the first in point of time, but so ingenious and so pliable that the majority of ancient and modern nations have found it able to supply all their needs—Greeks and Europeans of the western Mediterranean on the one hand, and Semites of all kinds, Persians and Hindus on the other.

107.jpg Table of Alphabets

It must have originated between the end of the XVIIIth and the beginning of the XXIst dynasties, and the existence of Pharaonic rule in Phoenicia during this period has led more than one modern scholar to assume that it developed under Egyptian influence.*

     * The hypothesis of an Egyptian origin, suggested casually
     by Champollion, has been ably dealt with by E. de Rougé. E.
     de Rougé derives the alphabet from the Hieratic, and his
     identifications have been accepted by Lauth, by Brugsch, by
     P. Lenormant, and by Isaac Taylor. Halévy would take it from
     the Egyptian hieroglyphics directly without the intervention
     of the Hieratic. The Egyptian origin, strongly contested of
     late, has been accepted by the majority of scholars.

Some affirm that it is traceable directly to the hieroglyphs, while others seek for some intermediary in the shape of a cursive script, and find this in the Hieratic writing, which contains, they maintain, prototypes of all the Phoenician letters. Tables have been drawn up, showing at a glance the resemblances and differences which appear respectively to justify or condemn their hypothesis. Perhaps the analogies would be more evident and more numerous if we were in possession of inscriptions going back nearer to the date of origin. As it is, the divergencies are sufficiently striking to lead some scholars to seek the prototype of the alphabet elsewhere—either in Babylon, in Asia Minor, or even in Crete, among those barbarous hieroglyphs which are attributed to the primitive inhabitants of the island. It is no easy matter to get at the truth amid these conflicting theories. Two points only are indisputable; first, the almost unanimous agreement among writers of classical times in ascribing the first alphabet to the Phoenicians; and second, the Phonician origin of the Greek, and afterwards of the Latin alphabet which we employ to-day.

To return to the religion of the Phoenicians: the foreign deities were not content with obtaining a high place in the estimation of priests and people; they acquired such authority over the native gods that they persuaded them to metamorphose themselves almost completely into Egyptian divinities.

109.jpg Rashuf on his Lion
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph
reproduced in

One finds among the majority of them the emblems commonly used in the Pharaonic temples, sceptres with heads of animals, head-dress like the Pschent, the crux ansata, the solar disk, and the winged scarab. The lady of Byblos placed the cow’s horns upon her head from the moment she became identified with Hathor.* The Baal of the neighbouring Arvad—probably a form of Bashuf—was still represented as standing upright on his lion in order to traverse the high places: but while, in the monument which has preserved the figure of the god, both lion and mountain are given according to Chaldæan tradition, he himself, as the illustration shows, is dressed after the manner of Egypt, in the striped and plaited loin-cloth, wears a large necklace on his neck and bracelets on his arms, and bears upon his head the white mitre with its double plume and the Egyptian uraaus.**

     * She is represented as Hathor on the stele of Iéhav-melek,
     King of Byblos, during the Persian period.

     ** This monument, which belonged to the Péretié collection,
     was found near Amrîth, at the place called Nahr-Abrek. The
     dress and bearing are so like those of the Rashuf
     represented on Egyptian monuments, that I have no hesitation
     in regarding this as a representation of that god.

He brandishes in one hand the weapon of the victor, and is on the point of despatching with it a lion, which he has seized by the tail with the other, after the model of the Pharaonic hunters, Amenôthes I. and Thûtmosis III. The lunar disk floating above his head lends to him, it is true, a Phonician character, but the winged sun of Heliopolis hovering above the disk leaves no doubt as to his Egyptian antecedents.*

     * The Phonician symbol represents the crescent moon holding
     the darkened portion in its arms, like the symbol reserved
     in Egypt for the lunar gods.

110 (42K)

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Renan.

The worship, too, offered to these metamorphosed gods was as much changed as the deities themselves; the altars assumed something of the Egyptian form, and the tabernacles were turned into shrines, which were decorated at the top with a concave groove, or with a frieze made up of repetitions of the uraeus. Egyptian fashions had influenced the better classes so far as to change even their mode of dealing with the dead, of which we find in not a few places clear evidence. Travellers arriving in Egypt at that period must have been as much astonished as the tourist of to-day by the monuments which the Egyptians erected for their dead.

111.jpg AmenÔthes I. Seizing a Lion
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin. This monument was in the Louvre
     Museum. Analogous figures of gods or kings holding a lion by
     the tail are found on various monuments of the Theban

The pyramids which met their gaze, as soon as they had reached the apex of the Delta, must have far surpassed their ideas of them, no matter how frequently they may have been told about them, and they must have been at a loss to know why such a number of stones should have been brought together to cover a single corpse. At the foot of these colossal monuments, lying like a pack of hounds asleep around their master, the mastabas of the early dynasties were ranged, half buried under the sand, but still visible, and still visited on certain days by the descendants of their inhabitants, or by priests charged with the duty of keeping them up. Chapels of more recent generations extended as a sort of screen before the ancient tombs, affording examples of the two archaic types combined—the mastaba more or less curtailed in its proportions, and the pyramid with a more or less acute point. The majority of these monuments are no longer in existence, and only one of them has come down to us intact—that which Amenôthes III. erected in the Serapeum at Memphis in honour of an Apis which had died in his reign.

112.jpg a Phoenician Mastaba at Arvad
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the restoration by Thobois, as
     given in Renan. The cuttings made in the lower stonework
     appear to be traces of unfinished steps. The pyramid at the
     top is no longer in existence, but its remains are scattered
     about the foot of the monument, and furnished M. Thobois
     with the means of reconstructing with exactness the original

Phoenicians visiting the Nile valley must have carried back with them to their native country a remembrance of this kind of burying-place, and have suggested it to their architects as a model. One of the cemeteries at Arvad contains a splendid specimen of this imported design.*

     * Pietschmann thinks that the monument is not older than the
     Greek epoch, and it must be admitted that the cornice is not
     such as we usually meet with in Egypt in Theban times;
     nevertheless, the very marked resemblance to the Theban
     mastaba shows that it must have been directly connected with
     the Egyptian type which prevailed from the XVIIIth to the
     XXth dynasties.

113.jpg Two of the Tombs at Arvad
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a water-colour by Thobois,
     reproduced in Renan.

It is a square tower some thirty-six feet high; the six lower courses consist of blocks, each some sixteen and a half feet long, joined to each other without mortar. The two lowest courses project so as to form a kind of pedestal for the building. The cornice at the top consists of a deep moulding, surmounted by a broad flat band, above which rises the pyramid, which attains a height of nearly thirty feet. It is impossible to deny that it is constructed on a foreign model; it is not a slavish imitation, however, but rather an adaptation upon a rational plan to the conditions of its new home. Its foundations rest on nothing but a mixture of soil and sand impregnated with water, and if vaults had been constructed beneath this, as in Egypt, the body placed there would soon have corrupted away, owing to the infiltration of moisture. The dead bodies were, therefore, placed within the structure above ground, in chambers corresponding to the Egyptian chapel, which were superimposed the one upon the other. The first storey would furnish space for three bodies, and the second would contain twelve, for which as many niches were provided. In the same cemetery we find examples of tombs which the architect has constructed, not after an Egyptian, but a Chaldæan model. A round tower is here substituted for the square structure and a cupola for the pyramid, while the cornice is represented by crenellated markings. The only Egyptian feature about it is the four lions, which seem to support the whole edifice upon their backs.*

     * The fellahîn in the neighbourhood call these two monuments
     the Meghazîl or “distaffs.”

Arvad was, among Phoenician cities, the nearest neighbour to the kingdoms on the Euphrates, and was thus the first to experience either the brunt of an attack or the propagation of fashions and ideas from these countries. In the more southerly region, in the country about Tyre, there are fewer indications of Babylonian influence, and such examples of burying-places for the ruling classes as the Kabr-Hiram and other similar tombs correspond with the mixed mastaba of the Theban period. We have the same rectangular base, but the chapel and its crowning pyramid are represented by the sarcophagus itself with its rigid cover. The work is of an unfinished character, and carelessly wrought, but there is a charming simplicity about its lines and a harmony in its proportions which betray an Egyptian influence.

115.jpg the Kabr-hiram Near Tyre
     Drawn by Boudier, from a sketch by Thobois, reproduced by

The spirit of imitation which we find in the religion and architecture of Phoenicia is no less displayed in the minor arts, such as goldsmiths’work, sculpture in ivory, engraving on gems, and glass-making. The forms, designs, and colours are all rather those of Egypt than of Chaldæa. The many-hued glass objects, turned out by the manufacturers of the Said in millions, furnished at one time valuable cargoes for the Phoenicians; they learned at length to cast and colour copies of these at home, and imitated their Egyptian models so successfully that classical antiquity was often deceived by them.*

     * Glass manufacture was carried to such a degree of
     perfection among the Phoenicians, that many ancient authors
     attributed to them the invention of glass.

Their engravers, while still continuing to employ cones and cylinders of Babylonian form, borrowed the scarab type also, and made use of it on the bezils of rings, the pendants of necklaces, and on a kind of bracelet used partly for ornament and partly as a protective amulet. The influence of the Egyptian model did not extend, however, amongst the masses, and we find, therefore, no evidence of it in the case of common objects, such as those of coarse sand or glazed earthenware. Egyptian scarab forms were thus confined to the rich, and the material upon which they are found is generally some costly gem, such as cut and polished agate, onyx, haematite, and lapis-lazuli. The goldsmiths did not slavishly copy the golden and silver bowls which were imported from the Delta; they took their inspiration from the principles displayed in the ornamentation of these objects, but they treated the subjects after their own manner, grouping them afresh and blending them with new designs. The intrinsic value of the metal upon which these artistic conceptions had been impressed led to their destruction, and among the examples which have come down to us I know of no object which can be traced to the period of the Egyptian conquest. It was Theban art for the most part which furnished the Phoenicians with their designs. These included the lotus, the papyrus, the cow standing in a thicket and suckling her calf, the sacred bark, and the king threatening with his uplifted arm the crowd of conquered foes who lie prostrate before him.

117.jpg Egyptian Treatment of the Cow on a Phoenician Bowl
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Grifi.

The king’s double often accompanied him on some of the original objects, impassive and armed with the banner bearing the name of Horus. The Phoenician artist modified this figure, which in its original form did not satisfy his ideas of human nature, by transforming it into a protective genius, who looks with approval on the exploits of his protégé, and gathers together the corpses of those he has slain. Once these designs had become current among the goldsmiths, they continued to be supplied for a long period, without much modification, to the markets of the Eastern and Western worlds. Indeed, it was natural that they should have taken a stereotyped form, when we consider that the Phoenicians who employed them held continuous commercial relations with the country whence they had come—a country of which, too, they recognised the supremacy. Egypt in the Ramesside period was, as we have seen, distinguished for the highest development of every branch of industry; it had also a population which imported and exported more raw material and more manufactured products than any other.

118.jpg the King and his Double on a Phoenician Bowl
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Longpérier.

The small nation which acted as a commercial intermediary between Egypt and the rest of the world had in this traffic a steady source of profit, and even in providing Egypt with a single article—for example, bronze, or the tin necessary for its preparation—could realise enormous profits. The people of Tyre and Sidon had been very careful not to alienate the good will of such rich customers, and as long as the representatives of the Pharaoh held sway in Syria, they had shown themselves, if not thoroughly trustworthy vassals, at least less turbulent than their neighbours of Arvad and Qodshû. Even when the feebleness and impotence of the successors of Ramses III. relieved them from the obligation of further tribute, they displayed towards their old masters such deference that they obtained as great freedom of trade with the ports of the Delta as they had enjoyed in the past. They maintained with these ports the same relations as in the days of their dependence, and their ships sailed up the river as far as Memphis, and even higher, while the Egyptian galleys continued to coast the littoral of Syria. An official report addressed to Hrihor by one of the ministers of the Theban Amon, indicates at one and the same time the manner in which these voyages were accomplished, and the dangers to which their crews were exposed. Hrihor, who was still high priest, was in need of foreign timber to complete some work he had in hand, probably the repair of the sacred barks, and commanded the official above mentioned to proceed by sea to Byblos, to King Zikarbâl,* in order to purchase cedars of Lebanon.

     * This is the name which classical tradition ascribed to the
     first husband of Dido, the founder of Carthage—Sicharbas,
     Sichaeus, Acerbas.

The messenger started from Tanis, coasted along Kharu, and put into the harbour of Dor, which then belonged to the Zakkala: while he was revictualling his ship, one of the sailors ran away with the cash-box. The local ruler, Badilu, expressed at first his sympathy at this misfortune, and gave his help to capture the robber; then unaccountably changing his mind he threw the messenger into prison, who had accordingly to send to Egypt to procure fresh funds for his liberation and the accomplishment of his mission. Having arrived at Byblos, nothing occurred there worthy of record. The wood having at length been cut and put on board, the ship set sail homewards. Driven by contrary winds, the vessel was thrown upon the coast of Alasia, where the crew were graciously received by the Queen Khatiba. We have evidence everywhere, it may be stated, as to the friendly disposition displayed, either with or without the promptings of interest, towards the representative of the Theban pontiff. Had he been ill-used, the Phoenicians living on Egyptian territory would have been made to suffer for it.

Navigators had to take additional precautions, owing to the presence of Ægean or Asiatic pirates on the routes followed by the mercantile marine, which rendered their voyages dangerous and sometimes interrupted them altogether. The Syrian coast-line was exposed to these marauders quite as much as the African had been during the sixty or eighty years which followed the death of Ramses II.; the seamen of the north—Achæans and Tyrseni, Lycians and Shardanians—had pillaged it on many occasions, and in the invasion which followed these attacks it experienced as little mercy as Naharaim, the Khâti, and the region of the Amorites. The fleets which carried the Philistines, the Zakkala, and their allies had devastated the whole coast before they encountered the Egyptian ships of Ramses III. near Magadîl, to the south of Carmel. Arvad as well as Zahi had succumbed to the violence of their attack, and if the cities of Byblos, Berytus, Sidon, and Tyre had escaped, their suburbs had been subjected to the ravages of the foe.*

     * See, for this invasion, vol. v. pp. 305-311, of the
     present work.

Peace followed the double victory of the Egyptians, and commerce on the Mediterranean resumed once more its wonted ways, but only in those regions where the authority of the Pharaoh and the fear of his vengeance were effective influences. Beyond this sphere there were continual warfare, piracy, migrations of barbaric hordes, and disturbances of all kinds, among which, if a stranger ventured, it was at the almost certain risk of losing his life or liberty. The area of undisturbed seas became more and more contracted in proportion as the memory of past defeats faded away. Cyprus was not comprised within it, and the Ægeans, who were restrained by the fear of Egypt from venturing into any region under her survey, perpetually flocked thither in numerous bodies. The Achæans, too, took up their abode on this island at an early date—about the time when some of their bands were infesting Libya, and offering their help to the enemies of the Pharaoh. They began their encroachments on the northern side of the island—the least rich, it is true, but the nearest to Cilicia, and the easiest to hold against the attacks of their rivals. The disaster of Piriu had no doubt dashed their hopes of finding a settlement in Egypt: they never returned thither any more, and the current of emigration which had momentarily inclined towards the south, now set steadily towards the east, where the large island of Cyprus offered an unprotected and more profitable field of adventure. We know not how far they penetrated into its forests and its interior. The natives began, at length, under their influence, to despise the customs and mode of existence with which they had been previously contented: they acquired a taste for pottery rudely decorated after the Mycenean manner, for jewellery, and for the bronze swords which they had seen in the hands of the invaders. The Phoenicians, in order to maintain their ground against the intruders, had to strengthen their ancient posts or found others—such as Carpasia, Gerynia, and Lapathos on the Achæan coast itself, Tamassos near the copper-mines, and a new town, Qart-hadashât, which is perhaps only the ancient Citium under a new name.* They thus added to their earlier possessions on the island regions on its northern side, while the rest either fell gradually into the hands of Hellenic adventurers, or continued in the possession of the native populations. Cyprus served henceforward as an advance-post against the attacks of Western nations, and the Phoenicians must have been thankful for the good fortune which had made them see the wisdom of fortifying it. But what became of their possessions lying outside Cyprus? They retained several of them on the southern coasts of Asia Minor, and Rhodes remained faithful to them, as well as Thasos, enabling them to overlook the two extremities of the Archipelago;** but, owing to the movements of the People of the Sea and the political development of the Mycenean states, they had to give up the stations and harbours of refuge which they held in the other islands or on the continent.

     * It is mentioned in the inscription of Baal of Lebanon, and
     in the Assyrian inscriptions of the VII century B.C.

     * This would appear to be the case, as far as Rhodes is
     concerned, from the traditions which ascribed the final
     expulsion of the Phoenicians to a Doric invasion from Argos.
     The somewhat legendary accounts of the state of affairs
     after the Hellenic conquest are in the fragments of Ergias
     and Polyzelos.

They still continued, however, to pay visits to these localities—sometimes in the guise of merchants and at others as raiders, according to their ancient custom. They went from port to port as of old, exposing their wares in the market-places, pillaging the farms and villages, carrying into captivity the women and children whom they could entice on board, or whom they might find defenceless on the strand; but they attempted all this with more risk than formerly, and with less success. The inhabitants of the coast were possessed of fully manned ships, similar in form to those of the Philistines or the Zakkala, which, at the first sight of the Phoenicians, set out in pursuit of them, or, following the example set by their foe, lay in wait for them behind some headland, and retaliated upon them for their cruelty. Piracy in the Archipelago was practised as a matter of course, and there was no islander who did not give himself up to it when the opportunity offered, to return to his honest occupations after a successful venture. Some kings seem to have risen up here and there who found this state of affairs intolerable, and endeavoured to remedy it by every means within their power: they followed on the heels of the corsairs and adventurers, whatever might be their country; they followed them up to their harbours of refuge, and became an effective police force in all parts of the sea where they were able to carry their flag. The memory of such exploits was preserved in the tradition of the Cretan empire which Minos had constituted, and which extended its protection over a portion of continental Greece.

If the Phoenicians had had to deal only with the piratical expeditions of the peoples of the coast or with the jealous watchfulness of the rulers of the sea, they might have endured the evil, but they had now to put up, in addition, with rivalry in the artistic and industrial products of which they had long had the monopoly. The spread of art had at length led to the establishment of local centres of production everywhere, which bade fair to vie with those of Phoenicia. On the continent and in the Cyclades there were produced statuettes, intaglios, jewels, vases, weapons, and textile fabrics which rivalled those of the East, and were probably much cheaper. The merchants of Tyre and Sidon could still find a market, however, for manufactures requiring great technical skill or displaying superior taste—such as gold or silver bowls, engraved or decorated with figures in outline—but they had to face a serious falling off in their sales of ordinary goods. To extend their commerce they had to seek new and less critical markets, where the bales of their wares, of which the Ægean population was becoming weary, would lose none of their attractions. We do not know at what date they ventured to sail into the mysterious region of the Hesperides, nor by what route they first reached it. It is possible that they passed from Crete to Cythera, and from this to the Ionian Islands and to the point of Calabria, on the other side of the straits of Otranto, whence they were able to make their way gradually to Sicily.*

     * Ed. Meyer thinks that the extension of Phoenician commerce
     to the Western Mediterranean goes back to the XVIIIth
     dynasty, or, at the latest, the XVth century before our era.
     Without laying undue stress on this view, I am inclined to
     ascribe with him, until we get further knowledge, the
     colonisation of the West to the period immediately following
     the movements of the People of the Sea and the diminution of
     Phoenician trade in the Grecian Archipelago. Exploring
     voyages had been made before this, but the founding of
     colonies was not earlier than this epoch.

Did the fame of their discovery, we may ask, spread so rapidly in the East as to excite there the cupidity and envy of their rivals? However this may have been, the People of the Sea, after repeated checks in Africa and Syria, and feeling more than ever the pressure of the northern tribes encroaching on them, set out towards the west, following the route pursued by the Phoenicians. The traditions current among them and collected afterwards by the Greek historians give an account, mingled with many fabulous details, of the causes which led to their migrations and of the vicissitudes which they experienced in the course of them. Daedalus having taken flight from Crete to Sicily, Minos, who had followed in his steps, took possession of the greater part of the island with his Eteocretes. Iolaos was the leader of Pelasgic bands, whom he conducted first into Libya and finally to Sardinia. It came also to pass that in the days of Atys, son of Manes, a famine broke out and raged throughout Lydia: the king, unable to provide food for his people, had them numbered, and decided by lot which of the two halves of the population should expatriate themselves under the leadership of his son Tyrsenos. Those-who were thus fated to leave their country assembled at Smyrna, constructed ships there, and having embarked on board of them what was necessary, set sail in quest of a new home. After a long and devious voyage, they at length disembarked in the country of the Umbrians, where they built cities, and became a prosperous people under the name of Tyrseni, being thus called after their leader Tyrsenos.*

     * Herodotus, whence all the information of other classical
     writers is directly or indirectly taken. Most modern
     historians reject this tradition. I see no reason for my own
     part why they should do so, at least in the present state of
     our knowledge. The Etrurians of the historical period were
     the result of a fusion of several different elements, and
     there is nothing against the view that the Tursha—one of
     these elements—should have come from Asia Minor, as
     Herodotus says. Properly understood, the tradition seems
     well founded, and the details may have been added
     afterwards, either by the Lydians themselves, or by the
     Greek historians who collected the Lydian traditions.

The remaining portions of the nations who had taken part in the attack on Egypt—of which several tribes had been planted by Ramses III. in the Shephelah, from Gaza to Carmel—proceeded in a series of successive detachments from Asia Minor and the Ægean Sea to the coasts of Italy and of the large islands; the Tursha into that region which was known afterwards as Etruria, the Shardana into Sardinia, the Zakkala into Sicily, and along with the latter some Pulasati, whose memory is still preserved on the northern slope of Etna. Fate thus brought the Phonician emigrants once more into close contact with their traditional enemies, and the hostility which they experienced in their new settlements from the latter was among the influences which determined their further migration from Italy proper, and from the region occupied by the Ligurians between the Arno and the Ebro. They had already probably reached Sardinia and Corsica, but the majority of their ships had sailed to the southward, and having touched at Malta, Gozo, and the small islands between Sicily and the Syrtes, had followed the coast-line of Africa, until at length they reached the straits of Gribraltar and the southern shores of Spain. No traces remain of their explorations, or of their early establishments in the western Mediterranean, as the towns which they are thought—with good reason in most instances—to have founded there belong to a much later date. Every permanent settlement, however, is preceded by a period of exploration and research, which may last for only a few years or be prolonged to as many centuries. I am within the mark, I think, in assuming that Phonician adventurers, or possibly even the regular trading ships of Tyre and Sidon, had established relations with the semi-barbarous chiefs of Botica as early as the XIIth century before our era, that is, at the time when the power of Thebes was fading away under the weak rule of the pontiffs of Amon and the Tanite Pharaohs.

The Phoenicians were too much absorbed in their commercial pursuits to aspire to the inheritance which Egypt was letting slip through her fingers. Their numbers were not more than sufficient to supply men for their ships, and they were often obliged to have recourse to their allies or to mercenary tribes—the Leleges or Carians—in order to provide crews for their vessels or garrisons for their trading posts; it was impossible, therefore, for them to think of raising armies fit to conquer or keep in check the rulers on the Orontes or in Naharaim. They left this to the races of the interior—the Amorites and Hittites—and to their restless ambition. The Hittite power, however, had never recovered from the terrible blow inflicted on it at the time of the Asianic invasion.

128.jpg AzÂz--one of This Tumuli on the Ancient Hittite Plain
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. Barthélémy.

The confederacy of feudal chiefs, which had been brought momentarily together by Sapalulu and his successors, was shattered by the violence of the shock, and the elements of which it was composed were engaged henceforward in struggles with each other. At this time the entire plain between the Amanus and the Euphrates was covered with rich cities, of which the sites are represented to-day by only a few wretched villages or by heaps of ruins. Arabian and Byzantine remains sometimes crown the summit of the latter, but as soon as we reach the lower strata we find in more or less abundance the ruins of buildings of the Greek or Persian period, and beneath these those belonging to a still earlier time. The history of Syria lies buried in such sites, and is waiting only for a patient and wealthy explorer to bring it to light.* The Khâti proper were settled to the south of the Taurus in the basin of the Sajur, but they were divided into several petty states, of which that which possessed Carchemish was the most important, and exercised a practical hegemony over the others. Its chiefs alone had the right to call themselves kings of the Khâti. The Patinu, who were their immediate neighbours on the west, stretched right up to the Mediterranean above the plains of Naharairn and beyond the Orontes; they had absorbed, it would seem, the provinces of the ancient Alasia. Aramaeans occupied the region to the south of the Patinu between the two Lebanon ranges, embracing the districts of Hamath and Qobah.**

     * The results of the excavations at Zinjirli are evidence of
     what historical material we may hope to find in these
     tumuli. See the account of the earlier results in P. von
     Luschan, Ausgrabungen in Sendschirli, 1893.

     ** The Aramaeans are mentioned by Tiglath-pileser I. as
     situated between the Balikh, the Euphrates, and the Sajur.

The valleys of the Amanus and the southern slopes of the Taurus included within them some half-dozen badly defined principalities—Samalla on the Kara-Su,* Gurgum** around Marqasi, the Qui*** and Khilakku**** in the classical Cilicia, and the Kasku^ and Kummukh^^ in a bend of the Euphrates to the north and north-east of the Khâti.

     * The country of Samalla, in Egyptian Samalûa, extended
     around the Tell of Zinjirli, at the foot of the Amanus, in
     the valley of Marash of the Arab historians.

     ** The name has been read Gamgumu, Gaugum, and connected by
     Tom-kins with the Egyptian Augama, which he reads Gagama, in
     the lists of Thûtmosis III. The Aramaean inscription on the
     statue of King Panammu shows that it must be read Gurgumu,
     and Sachau has identified this new name with that of Jurjum,
     which was the name by which the province of the Amanus,
     lying between Baias and the lake of Antioch, was known in
     the Byzantine period; the ancient Gurgum stretches further
     towards the north, around the town of Marqasi, which Tomkins
     and Sachau have identified with Marash.

     *** The site of the country of Qui was determined by
     Schrader; it was that part of the Cilician plain which
     stretches from the Amanus to the mountains of the Kêtis, and
     takes in the great town of Tarsus. F. Lenor-mant has pointed
     out that this country is mentioned twice in the Scriptures
     (1 Kings x, 28 and 2 Chron. i. 16), in the time of
     Solomon. The designation of the country, transformed into
     the appellation of an eponymous god, is found in the name
     Qauîsaru, “Qauî is king.”
     **** Khilakku, the name of which is possibly the same as the
     Egyptian Khalakka, is the Cilicia Trachsea of classical

     ^ The country of Kashku, which has been connected with
     Kashkisha, which takes the place of Karkisha in an Egyptian
     text, was still a dependency of the Hittites in the time of
     Tiglath-pileser. It was in the neighbourhood of the Urumu,
     whose capital seems to have been Urum, the Ourima of
     Ptolemy, near the bend of the Euphrates between Sumeîsat and
     Birejik; it extended into the Commagene of classical times,
     on the borders of Melitene and the Tubal.

     ^^ Kummukh lay on both sides of the Euphrates and of the
     Upper Tigris; it became gradually restricted, until at
     length it was conterminous with the Commagene of classical

The ancient Mitanni to the east of Carchemish, which was so active in the time of the later Amenôthes, had now ceased to exist, and there was but a vague remembrance of its farmer prowess. It had foundered probably in the great cataclysm which engulfed the Hittite empire, although its name appears inscribed once more among those of the vassals of Egypt on the triumphal lists of Ramses III. Its chief tribes had probably migrated towards the regions which were afterwards described by the Greek geographers as the home of the Matieni on the Halys and in the neighbourhood of Lake Urmiah. Aramaean kingdoms, of which the greatest was that of Bit-Adîni,* had succeeded them, and bordered the Euphrates on each side as far as the Chalus and Balikh respectively; the ancient Harran belonged also to them, and their frontier stretched as far as Hamath, and to that of the Patinu on the Orontes.

     * The province of Bît-Adîni was specially that part of the
     country which lay between the Euphrates and the Balikh, but
     it extended also to other Syrian provinces between the
     Euphrates and the Aprie.

It was, as we have seen, a complete breaking up of the old nationalities, and we have evidence also of a similar disintegration in the countries to the north of the Taurus, in the direction of the Black Sea. Of the mighty Khâti with whom Thûtmosis III. had come into contact, there was no apparent trace: either the tribes of which they were composed had migrated towards the south, or those who had never left their native mountains had entered into new combinations and lost even the remembrance of their name. The Milidu, Tabal (Tubal), and Mushku (Meshech) stretched behind each other from east to west on the confines of the Tokhma-Su, and still further away other cities of less importance contended for the possession of the Upper Saros and the middle region of the Halys. These peoples, at once poor and warlike, had been attracted, like the Hittites of some centuries previous, by the riches accumulated in the strongholds of Syria. Eevolutions must have been frequent in these regions, but our knowledge of them is more a matter of conjecture than of actual evidence. Towards the year 1170 B.C. the Mushku swooped down on Kummukh, and made themselves its masters; then pursuing their good fortune, they took from the Assyrians the two provinces, Alzi and Purukuzzi, which lay not far from the sources of the Tigris and the Balikh.*

     * The Annals of Tiglath-pileser I. place their invasion
     fifty years before the beginning of his reign. Ed. Meyer saw
     a connexion between this and the invasion of the People of
     the Sea, which took place under Ramses III. I think that the
     invasion of the Mushku was a purely local affair, and had
     nothing in common with the general catastrophe occasioned by
     the movement of the Asiatic armies.

A little later the Kashku, together with some Aramaeans, broke into Shubarti, then subject to Assyria, and took possession of a part of it. The majority of these invasions had, however, no permanent result: they never issued in the establishment of an empire like that of the Khâti, capable by its homogeneity of offering a serious resistance to the march of a conqueror from the south. To sum up the condition of affairs: if a redistribution of races had brought about a change in Northern Syria, their want of cohesion was no less marked than in the time of the Egyptian wars; the first enemy to make an attack upon the frontier of one or other of these tribes was sure of victory, and, if he persevered in his efforts, could make himself master of as much territory as he might choose. The Pharaohs had succeeded in welding together their African possessions, and their part in the drama of conquest had been played long ago; but the cities of the Tigris and the Lower Euphrates—Nineveh and Babylon-were ready to enter the lists as soon as they felt themselves strong enough to revive their ancient traditions of foreign conquest.

The successors of Agumkakrimê were not more fortunate than he had been in attempting to raise Babylon once more to the foremost rank; their want of power, their discord, the insubordination and sedition that existed among their Cossæan troops, and the almost periodic returns of the Theban generals to the banks of the Euphrates, sometimes even to those of the Balikh and the Khabur, all seemed to conspire to aggravate the helpless state into which Babylon had sunk since the close of the dynasty of Uruazagga. Elam was pressing upon her eastern, and Assyria on her northern frontier, and their kings not only harassed her with persistent malignity, but, by virtue of their alliances by marriage with her sovereigns, took advantage of every occasion to interfere both in domestic and state affairs; they would espouse the cause of some pretender during a revolt, they would assume the guardianship of such of their relatives as were left widows or minors, and, when the occasion presented itself, they took possession of the throne of Bel, or bestowed it on one of their creatures. Assyria particularly seemed to regard Babylon with a deadly hatred. The capitals of the two countries were not more than some one hundred and eighty-five miles apart, the intervening district being a flat and monotonous alluvial plain, unbroken by any feature which could serve as a natural frontier. The line of demarcation usually followed one of the many canals in the narrow strip of land between the Euphrates and the Tigris; it then crossed the latter, and was formed by one of the rivers draining the Iranian table-land,—either the Upper Zab, the Radanu, the Turnat, or some of their ramifications in the spurs of the mountain ranges. Each of the two states strove by every means in its power to stretch its boundary to the farthest limits, and to keep it there at all hazards. This narrow area was the scene of continual war, either between the armies of the two states or those of partisans, suspended from time to time by an elaborate treaty which was supposed to settle all difficulties, but, as a matter of fact, satisfied no one, and left both parties discontented with their lot and jealous of each other. The concessions made were never of sufficient importance to enable the conqueror to crush his rival and regain for himself the ancient domain of Khammurabi; his losses, on the other hand, were often considerable enough to paralyse his forces, and prevent him from extending his border in any other direction. When the Egyptians seized on Naharaim, Assyria and Babylon each adopted at the outset a different attitude towards the conquerors. Assyria, which never laid any permanent claims to the seaboard provinces of the Mediterranean, was not disposed to resent their occupation by Egypt, and desired only to make sure of their support or their neutrality. The sovereign then ruling Assyria, but of whose name we have no record, hastened to congratulate Thûtmosis III. on his victory at Megiddo, and sent him presents of precious vases, slaves, lapis-lazuli, chariots and horses, all of which the Egyptian conqueror regarded as so much tribute. Babylon, on the other hand, did not take action so promptly as Assyria; it was only towards the latter years of Thûtmosis that its king, Karaîndash, being hard pressed by the Assyrian Assurbelnishishu, at length decided to make a treaty with the intruder.*

     * We have no direct testimony in support of this hypothesis,
     but several important considerations give it probability. As
     no tribute from Babylon is mentioned in the Annals of
     Thûtmosis III., we must place the beginning of the
     relations between Egypt and Chaldæa at a later date. On the
     other hand, Burnaburiash II., in a letter written to
     Amenôthes III., cites Karaîndash as the first of his
     fathers, who had established friendly relations with the
     fathers of the Pharaoh, a fact which obliges us to place
     the interchange of presents before the time of Amenôthes
     III.: as the reigns of Amenôthes II. and of Thûtmosis IV.
     were both short, it is probable that these relations began
     in the latter years of Thûtmosis III.

The remoteness of Egypt from the Babylonian frontier no doubt relieved Karaîndash from any apprehension of an actual invasion by the Pharaohs; but there was the possibility of their subsidising some nearer enemy, and also of forbidding Babylonish caravans to enter Egyptian provinces, and thus crippling Chaldæan commerce. Friendly relations, when once established, soon necessitated a constant interchange of embassies and letters between the Nile and the Euphrates. As a matter of fact, the Babylonian king could never reconcile himself to the idea that Syria had passed out of his hands. While pretending to warn the Pharaoh of Syrian plots against him,* the Babylonians were employing at the same time secret agents, to go from city to city and stir up discontent at Egyptian rule, praising the while the great Cosssean king and his armies, and inciting to revolt by promises of help never meant to be fulfilled. Assyria, whose very existence would have been endangered by the re-establishment of a Babylonian empire, never missed an opportunity of denouncing these intrigues at head-quarters: they warned the royal messengers and governors of them, and were constantly contrasting the frankness and honesty of their own dealings with the duplicity of their rival.

     * This was done by Kurigalzu I., according to a letter
     addressed by his son Burnaburiash to Amenôthes IV.

This state of affairs lasted for more than half a century, during which time both courts strove to ingratiate themselves in the favour of the Pharaoh, each intriguing for the exclusion of the other, by exchanging presents with him, by congratulations on his accession, by imploring gifts of wrought or unwrought gold, and by offering him the most beautiful women of their family for his harem. The son of Karaîndash, whose name still remains to be discovered, bestowed one of his daughters on the young Amenôthes III.: Kallimasin, the sovereign who succeeded him, also sent successively two princesses to the same Pharaoh. But the underlying bitterness and hatred would break through the veneer of polite formula and protestations when the petitioner received, as the result of his advances, objects of inconsiderable value such as a lord might distribute to his vassals, or when he was refused a princess of solar blood, or even an Egyptian bride of some feudal house; at such times, however, an ironical or haughty epistle from Thebes would recall him to a sense of his own inferiority.

As a fact, the lot of the Cossæan sovereigns does not appear to have been a happy one, in spite of the variety and pomposity of the titles which they continued to assume. They enjoyed but short lives, and we know that at least three or four of them—Kallimasin, Burnaburiash I., and Kurigalzu I. ascended the throne in succession during the forty years that Amenôthes III. ruled over Egypt and Syria.*

     * The copy we possess of the Royal Canon of Babylon is
     mutilated at this point, and the original documents are not
     sufficiently complete to fill the gap. About two or three
     names are missing after that of Agumkakrimê, and the reigns
     must have been very short, if indeed, as I think, Agumka-
     krimî and Karaîndash were both contemporaries of the earlier
     Pharaohs bearing the name of Thûtmosis. The order of the
     names which have come down to us is not indisputably
     established. The following order appears to me to be the
     most probable at present:—

     Karaîndash. Kallimasin. Burnaburiash I. Kurigalzu I.
     Burnaburiash II. Karakhardash. Kadashmankiiarbê I.
     Nazibugas II.. Kurigalzu II. Nazimaruttasii. Kadashmanturgu.

     This is, with a slight exception, the classification adopted
     by Winckler, and that of Hilprecht differs from it only in
     the intercalation of Kudurturgu and Shagaraktiburiash
     between Burnaburiash II. and Karakhardash.

Perhaps the rapidity of this succession may have arisen from some internal revolution or from family disturbances. The Chaldæans of the old stock reluctantly rendered obedience to these Cosssean kings, and, if we may judge from the name, one at least of these ephemeral sovereigns, Kallimasin, appears to have been a Semite, who owed his position among the Cossoan princes to some fortunate chance. A few rare inscriptions stamped on bricks, one or two letters or documents of private interest, and some minor objects from widely distant spots, have enabled us to ascertain the sites upon which these sovereigns erected buildings; Karaîndash restored the temple of Nana at Uruk, Burnaburiash and Kurigalzu added to that of Shamash at Larsam, and Kurigalzu took in hand that of Sin at Uru. We also possess a record of some of their acts in the fragments of a document, which a Mnevite scribe of the time of Assurbanipal had compiled, or rather jumbled together,* from certain Babylonian chronicles dealing with the wars against Assyria and Elam, with public treaties, marriages, and family quarrels. We learn from this, for example, that Burnaburiash I. renewed with Buzurassur the conventions drawn up between Karaîndash and Assurbelnishishu. These friendly relations were maintained, apparently, under Kurigalzu I. and Assur-nadin-akhi, the son of Buzurassur;** if Kurigalzu built or restored the fortress, long called after him Dur-Kurigalzu,*** at one of the fords of the Narmalka, it was probably as a precautionary measure rather than because of any immediate danger. The relations between the two powers became somewhat strained when Burnaburiash II. and Assuruballît had respectively succeeded to Kurigalzu and Assur-nadin-akhi; **** this did not, however, lead to hostilities, and the subsequent betrothal of Karakhardash, son of Burnaburiash II., to Mubauîtatseruâ, daughter of Assuruballît, tended to restore matters to their former condition.

     * This is what is generally called the “Synchronous
     History,” the principal remains of which were discovered and
     published by H. Rawlinson. It is a very unskilful
     complication, in which Winckler has discovered several

     ** Assur-nadin-akhi I. is mentioned in a Tel el-Amarna
     tablet as being the father of Assuruballît.

     *** This is the present Akerkuf, as is proved by the
     discovery of bricks bearing the name of Kurigalzu; but
     perhaps what I have attributed to Kurigalzu I. must be
     referred to the second king of that name.

     **** We infer this from the way in which Burnaburiash speaks
     of the Assyrians in the correspondence with Amenôthes IV.

The good will between the two countries became still more pronounced when Kadashmankharbê succeeded his father Karakhardash. The Cossæan soldiery had taken umbrage at his successor and had revolted, assassinated Kadashmankharbê, and proclaimed king in his stead a man of obscure origin named Nazibùgash. Assuruballît, without a moment’s hesitation, took the side of his new relatives; he crossed the frontier, killed Nazibugash, and restored the throne to his sister’s child, Kurigalzu II., the younger. The young king, who was still a minor at his accession, appears to have met with no serious difficulties; at any rate, none were raised by his Assyrian cousins, Belnirârî I. and his successor Budîlu.*

     * The Synchronous History erroneously places the events of
     the reign of Rammân-nirâri in that of Belnirârî. The order
     of succession of Buzurassur, Assuruballît, Belnirârî, and
     Budîlu, has been established by the bricks of Kalah-Shergât.

Towards the close of his reign, however, revolts broke out, and it was only by sustained efforts that he was able to restore order in Babylon, Sippara, and the Country of the Sea. While the king was in the midst of these difficulties, the Elamites took advantage of his troubles to steal from him a portion of his territory, and their king, Khurbatila, challenged him to meet his army near Dur-Dungi. Kurigalzu accepted the challenge, gained a decisive victory, took his adversary prisoner, and released him only on receiving as ransom a province beyond the Tigris; he even entered Susa, and, from among other trophies of past wars, resumed possession of an agate tablet belonging to Dungi, which the veteran Kudurnakhunta had stolen from the temple of Nipur nearly a thousand years previously. This victory was followed by the congratulations of most of his neighbours, with the exception of Bammân-nirâri II., who had succeeded Budîlu in Assyria, and probably felt some jealousy or uneasiness at the news. He attacked the Cossæans, and overthrew them at Sugagi, on the banks of the Salsallât; their losses were considerable, and Kurigalzu could only obtain peace by the cession to Assyria of a strip of territory the entire length of the north-west frontier, from the confines of the Shubari country, near the sources of the Khabur, to the suburbs of Babylon itself. Nearly the whole of Mesopotamia thus changed hands at one stroke, but Babylon had still more serious losses to suffer. Nazimaruttash, who attempted to wipe out the disaster sustained by his father Kurigalzu, experienced two crushing defeats, one at Kar-Ishtar and the other near Akarsallu, and the treaty which he subsequently signed was even more humiliating for his country than the preceding one. All that part of the Babylonian domain which lay nearest to Nineveh was ceded to the Assyrians, from Pilaski on the right bank of the Tigris to the province of Lulumê in the Zagros mountains. It would appear that the Cossæan tribes who had remained in their native country, took advantage of these troublous times to sever all connection with their fellow-countrymen established in the cities of the plain; for we find them henceforward carrying on a petty warfare for their own profit, and leading an entirely independent life. The descendants of Gandish, deprived of territories in the north, repulsed in the east, and threatened in the south by the nations of the Persian Gulf, never recovered their former ascendency, and their authority slowly declined during the century which followed these events. Their downfall brought about the decadence of the cities over which they had held sway; and the supremacy which Babylon had exercised for a thousand years over the countries of the Euphrates passed into the hands of the Assyrian kings.

Assyria itself was but a poor and insignificant country when compared with her rival. It occupied, on each side of the middle course of the Tigris, the territory lying between the 35th and 37th parallels of latitude.*

     * These are approximately the limits of the first Assyrian
     empire, as given by the monuments; from the Persian epoch
     onwards, the name was applied to the whole course of the
     Tigris as far as the mountain district. The ancient
     orthography of the name is Aushâr.

It was bounded on the east by the hills and mountain ranges running parallel to the Zagros Chain—Gebel Guar, Gebel Gara, Zerguizavân-dagh, and Baravân-dagh, with their rounded monotonous limestone ridges, scored by watercourses and destitute of any kind of trees. On the north it was hemmed in by the spurs of the Masios, and bounded on the east by an undefined line running from Mount Masios to the slopes of Singar, and from these again to the Chaldæan plain; to the south the frontier followed the configuration of the table-land and the curve of the low cliffs, which in prehistoric times had marked the limits of the Persian Gulf; from here the boundary was formed on the left side of the Tigris by one of its tributaries, either the Lower Zab or the Badanu. The territory thus enclosed formed a compact and healthy district: it was free from extremes of temperature arising from height or latitude, and the relative character and fertility of its soil depended on the absence or presence of rivers. The eastern part of Assyria was well watered by the streams and torrents which drained the Iranian plateau and the lower mountain chains which ran parallel to it. The beds of these rivers are channelled so deeply in the alluvial soil, that it is necessary to stand on the very edge of their banks to catch a sight of their silent and rapid waters; and it is only in the spring or early summer, when they are swollen by the rains and melting snow, that they spread over the adjacent country. As soon as the inundation is over, a vegetation of the intensest green springs up, and in a few days the fields and meadows are covered with a luxuriant and fragrant carpet of verdure. This brilliant growth is, however, short-lived, for the heat of the sun dries it up as quickly as it appears, and even the corn itself is in danger of being burnt up before reaching maturity. To obviate such a disaster, the Assyrians had constructed a network of canals and ditches, traces of which are in many places still visible, while a host of shadufs placed along their banks facilitated irrigation in the dry seasons. The provinces supplied with water in this manner enjoyed a fertility which passed into a proverb, and was well known among the ancients; they yielded crops of cereals which rivalled those of Babylonia, and included among their produce wheat, barley, millet, and sesame. But few olive trees were cultivated, and the dates were of inferior quality; indeed, in the Greek period, these fruits were only used for fattening pigs and domestic animals. The orchards contained the pistachio, the apple, the pomegranate, the apricot, the vine, the almond, and the fig, and, in addition to the essences common to both Syria and Egypt, the country produced cédrats of a delicious scent which were supposed to be an antidote to all kinds of poisons. Assyria was not well wooded, except in the higher valleys, where willows and poplars bordered the rivers, and sycamores, beeches, limes, and plane trees abounded, besides several varieties of pines and oaks, including a dwarf species of the latter, from whose branches manna was obtained.

143.jpg the 1st Assyrian Empire--map

This is a saccharine substance, which is deposited in small lumps, and is found in greater abundance during wet years and especially on foggy days. When fresh, it has an agreeable taste and is pleasant to eat; but as it will not keep in its natural state, the women prepare it for exportation by dissolving it in boiling water, and evaporating it to a sweetish paste, which has more or less purgative, qualities. The aspect of the country changes after crossing the Tigris westward. The slopes of Mount Masios are everywhere furrowed with streams, which feed the Khabur and its principal affluent, the Kharmis;* woods become more frequent, and the valleys green and shady.

     * The Kharmis is the Mygdonios of Greek geographers, the
     Hirmâs of the Arabs; the latter name may be derived from
     Kharmis, or it may be that it merely presents a fortuitous
     resemblance to it.

The plains extending southwards, however, contain, like those of the Euphrates, beds of gypsum in the sub-soil, which render the water running through them brackish, and prevent the growth of vegetation. The effects of volcanic action are evident on the surface of these great steppes; blocks of basalt pierce through the soil, and near the embouchure of the Kharmis, a cone, composed of a mass of lava, cinders, and scorial, known as the Tell-Kôkab, rises abruptly to a height of 325 feet. The mountain chain of Singar, which here reaches its western termination, is composed of a long ridge of soft white limestone, and seems to have been suddenly thrown up in one of the last geological upheavals which affected this part of the country: in some places it resembles a perpendicular wall, while in others it recedes in natural terraces which present the appearance of a gigantic flight of steps. The summit is often wooded, and the spurs covered with vineyards and fields, which flourish vigorously in the vicinity of streams; when these fail, however, the table-land resumes its desolate aspect, and stretches in bare and sandy undulations to the horizon, broken only where it is crossed by the Thartar, the sole river in this region which is not liable to be dried up, and whose banks may be traced by the scanty line of vegetation which it nourishes.

145.jpg the Volcanic Cone of KÔkab
     Drawn by Boudier, from the cut in Layard.

In a country thus unequally favoured by nature, the towns are necessarily distributed in a seemingly arbitrary fashion. Most of them are situated on the left bank of the Tigris, where the fertile nature of the soil enables it to support a dense population. They were all flourishing centres of population, and were in close proximity to each other, at all events during the centuries of Assyrian hegemony.*

     * We find, for example, in the inscription of Bavian, a long
     enumeration of towns and villages situated almost within the
     suburbs of Nineveh, on the banks of the Khôser.

Three of them soon eclipsed their rivals in political and religious importance; these were Kalakh and Nina on the Tigris, and Arbaîlu, lying beyond the Upper Zab, in the broken plain which is a continuation eastwards of the first spurs of the Zagros.* On the right bank, however, we find merely some dozen cities and towns, scattered about in places where there was a supply of water sufficient to enable the inhabitants to cultivate the soil; as, for example, Assur on the banks of the Tigris itself, Singara near the sources of the Thartar, and Nazibina near those of the Kharmis, at the foot of the Masios. These cities were not all under the rule of one sovereign when Thûtmosis III. appeared in Syria, for the Egyptian monuments mention, besides the kingdom of Assyria, that of Singara** and Araphka in the upper basin of the Zab.***

     * The name of Arbeles is written in a form which appears to
     signify “the town of the four gods.”
     ** This kingdom of Singara is mentioned in the Egyptian
     lists of Thûtmosis III. Schrader was doubtful as to its
     existence, but one of its kings is mentioned in a letter
     from the King of Alasia to Amenôthes IV.; according to
     Niebuhr, the state of which Singara was the capital must
     have been identical, at all events at one period, with the
     Mitanni of the Egyptian texts.

     *** The Arapakha of the Egyptian monuments has been
     identified with the Arrapakhitis of the Greeks.

Assyria, however, had already asserted her supremacy over this corner of Asia, and the remaining princes, even if they were not mere vicegerents depending on her king, were not strong enough in wealth and extent of territory to hold their own against her, since she was undisputed mistress of Assur, Arbeles, Kalakh, and Nineveh, the most important cities of the plain. Assur covered a considerable area, and the rectangular outline formed by the remains of its walls is still discernible on the surface of the soil. Within the circuit of the city rose a mound, which the ancient builders had transformed, by the addition of masses of brickwork, into a nearly square platform, surmounted by the usual palace, temple, and ziggurat; it was enclosed within a wall of squared stone, the battlements of which remain to the present day.* The whole pile was known as the “Ekharsagkurkurra,” or the “House of the terrestrial mountain,” the sanctuary in whose decoration all the ancient sovereigns had vied with one another, including Samsirammân I. and Irishum, who were merely vicegerents dependent upon Babylon. It was dedicated to Anshar, that duplicate of Anu who had led the armies of heaven in the struggle with Tiâmat; the name Anshar, softened into Aushar, and subsequently into Ashshur, was first applied to the town and then to the whole country.**

     * Ainsworth states the circumference of the principal mound
     of Kalah-Shergât to be 4685 yards, which would make it one
     of the most extensive ruins in the whole country.

     ** Another name of the town in later times was Palbêki, “the
     town of the old empire,” “the ancient capital,” or Shauru.
     Many Assyriologists believe that the name Ashur, anciently
     written Aushâr, signified “the plain at the edge of the
     water”; and that it must have been applied to the town
     before being applied to the country and the god. Others, on
     the contrary, think, with more reason, that it was the god
     who gave his name to the town and the country; they make a
     point of the very ancient play of words, which in Assyria
     itself attributed the meaning “good god” to the word Ashur.
     Jensen was the first to state that Ashur was the god Anshâr
     of the account of the creation.

The god himself was a deity of light, usually represented under the form of an armed man, wearing the tiara and having the lower half of his body concealed by a feathered disk. He was supposed to hover continually over the world, hurling fiery darts at the enemies of his people, and protecting his kingly worshippers under the shadow of his wings. Their wars were his wars, and he was with them in the thick of the attack, placing himself in the front rank with the soldiery,* so that when he gained the victory, the bulk of the spoil—precious metals, gleanings of the battle-field, slaves and productive lands—fell to his share. The gods of the vanquished enemy, moreover, were, like their princes, forced to render him homage. In the person of the king he took their statues prisoners, and shut them up in his sanctuary; sometimes he would engrave his name upon their figures and send them back to their respective temples, where the sight of them would remind their worshippers of his own omnipotence.** The goddess associated with him as his wife had given her name, Nina, to Nineveh,*** and was, as the companion of the Chaldæan Bel, styled the divine lady Belit; she was, in fact, a chaste and warlike Ishtar, who led the armies into battle with a boldness characteristic of her father.****

     * In one of the pictures, for instance, representing the
     assault of a town, we see a small figure of the god, hurling
     darts against the enemy. The inscriptions also state that
     the peoples “are alarmed and quit their cities before the
     arms of Assur, the powerful one.”
     ** As, for instance, the statues of the gods taken from the
     Arabs in the time of Esarhaddon. Tiglath-pileser I. had
     carried away twenty-five statues of gods taken from the
     peoples of Kurkhi and Kummukh, and had placed them in the
     temples of Beltis, Ishtar, Anu, and Rammân; he mentions
     other foreign divinities who had been similarly treated.

     *** The ideogram of the name of the goddess Nina serves to
     write the name of the town Nineveh. The name itself has been
     interpreted by Schrader as “station, habitation,” in the
     Semitic languages, and by Fr. Delitzsch “repose of the god,”
      an interpretation which Delitzsch himself repudiated later
     on. It is probable that the town, which, like Assur, was a
     Chaldæan colony, derived its name from the goddess to whom
     it was dedicated, and whose temple existed there as early as
     the time of the vicegerent Samsirammân.

     **** Belit is called by Tiglath-pileser I. “the great spouse
     beloved of Assur,” but Belit, “the lady,” is here merely an
     epithet used for Ishtar: the Assyrian Ishtar, Ishtar of
     Assur, Ishtar of Nineveh, or rather—especially from the
     time of the Sargonids—Ishtar of Arbeles, is almost always a
     fierce and warlike Ishtar, the “lady of combat, who directs
     battles,” “whose heart incites her to the combat and the
     struggle.” Sayce thinks that the union of Ishtar and Assur
     is of a more recent date.

149.jpg Ishtar As a Warrior Bringing Prisoners to A Conquering King
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from squeezes brought back by M. do

These two divinities formed an abstract and solitary pair, around whom neither story nor myth appears to have gathered, and who never became the centre of any complex belief. Assur seems to have had no parentage assigned to him, no statue erected to him, and he was not associated with the crowd of other divinities; on the contrary, he was called their lord, their “peerless king,” and, as a proof of his supreme sovereignty over them, his name was inscribed at the head of their lists, before those of the triads constituted by the Chaldæan priests—even before those of Anu, Bel, and Ba. The city of Assur, which had been the first to tender him allegiance for many years, took precedence of all the rest, in spite of the drawbacks with which it had to contend. Placed at the very edge of the Mesopotamian desert, it was exposed to the dry and burning winds which swept over the plains, so that by the end of the spring the heat rendered it almost intolerable as a residence. The Tigris, moreover, ran behind it, thus leaving it exposed to the attacks of the Babylonian armies, unprotected as it was by any natural fosse or rampart. The nature of the frontier was such as to afford it no safeguard; indeed, it had, on the contrary, to protect its frontier. Nineveh, on the other hand, was entrenched behind the Tigris and the Zab, and was thus secure from any sudden attack. Northerly and easterly winds prevailed during the summer, and the coolness of the night rendered the heat during the day more bearable. It became the custom for the kings and vicegerents to pass the most trying months of the year at Nineveh, taking up their abode close to the temple of Nina, the Assyrian Ishtar, but they did not venture to make it their habitual residence, and consequently Assur remained the official capital and chief sanctuary of the empire. Here its rulers concentrated their treasures, their archives, their administrative offices, and the chief staff of the army; from this town they set out on their expeditions against the Cossæans of Babylon or the mountaineers of the districts beyond the Tigris, and it was in this temple that they dedicated to the god the tenth of the spoil on their return from a successful campaign.*

* The majority of scholars now admit that the town of Nina, mentioned by Gudea and the vicegerents of Telloh, was a quarter of, or neighbouring borough of, Lagash, and had nothing in common with Nineveh, in spite of Hommel’s assumption to the contrary.

The struggle with Chaldæa, indeed, occupied the greater part of their energies, though it did not absorb all their resources, and often left them times of respite, of which they availed themselves to extend their domain to the north and east. We cannot yet tell which of the Assyrian sovereigns added the nearest provinces of the Upper Tigris to his realm; but when the names of these districts appear-in history, they are already in a state of submission and vassalage, and their principal towns are governed by Assyrian officers in the same manner as those of Singara and Nisibe. Assuruballît, the conqueror of the Cossæans, had succeeded in establishing his authority over the turbulent hordes of Shubari which occupied the neighbourhood of the Masios, between the Khabur and the Balîkh, and extended perhaps as far as the Euphrates; at any rate, he was considered by posterity as the actual founder of the Assyrian empire in these districts.* Belnirâri had directed his efforts in another direction, and had conquered the petty kingdoms established on the slopes of the Iranian table-land, around the sources of the two Zabs, and those of the Badanu and the Turnât.**

     * It is called, in an inscription of his great-grandson,
     Rammân-nirâri L, the powerful king “who reduced to servitude
     the forces of the vast country of Shubari, and who enlarged
     the territory and limits “of Assur.

     ** The inscription of Rammân-nirâri I. styles him the prince
     “who crushes the army of the Cossæans, he whose hand
     unnerves the enemy, and who enlarges the territory and its
     limits.” The Cossæans mentioned in this passage are usually
     taken to be the Cossæan kings of Babylon, and not the
     mountain tribes.

Like Susiana, this part of the country was divided up into parallel valleys, separated from each other by broken ridges of limestone, and watered by the tributaries of the Tigris or their affluents.

152.jpg a Village in the Mountain Districts of The Old AssÆan Kingdom
     Drawn by Boudier, from a drawing by Père Durand.

It was thickly strewn with walled towns and villages; the latter, perched upon the precipitous mountain summits, and surrounded by deep ravines, owed their security solely to their position, and, indeed, needed no fortification. The country abounded in woods and pastures, interspersed with cornlands; access to it was gained by one or two passes on the eastern side, which thus permitted caravans or armies to reach the districts lying between the Erythræan and Caspian Seas. The tribes who inhabited it had been brought early under Chaldæan civilization, and had adopted the cuneiform script; such of their monuments as are still extant resemble the bas-reliefs and inscriptions of Assyria.* It is not always easy to determine the precise locality occupied by these various peoples; the Guti were situated near the upper courses of the Turnât and the Badanu, in the vicinity of the Kashshu;** the Lulumê had settled in the neighbourhood of the Batîr, to the north of the defiles of Zohab;*** the Namar separated the Lulumê from Elam, and were situated half in the plain and half in the mountain, while the Arapkha occupied, both banks of the Great Zab.

     * Pinches has published an inscription of a king of Khani,
     named Tukultimir, son of Ilushaba, written in
     Chaldeo-Assyrian, and found in the temple of Shamash at
     Sippara, where the personage himself had dedicated it.
     Winckler gives another inscription of a king of the Guti,
     which is also in Semitic and in cuneiform character.

     ** The name is written sometimes Quti, at others Guti, which
     induced Pognon to believe that they were two different
     peoples: the territory occupied by this nation must have
     been originally to the east of the Lesser Zab, in the upper
     basins of the Adhem and the Diyaleh. Oppert proposes to
     recognise in these Guti “the ancestors of the Goths, who,
     fifteen hundred years ago, pushed forward to the Russia of
     the present day: we find,” (he adds), “in this passage and in
     others, some of which go back to the third millennium before
     the Christian era, the earliest mention of the Germanic
     *** The people of Lulumô-Lullubi have been pointed out as
     living to the east of the Lesser Zab by Schrader; their
     exact position, together with that of Mount Padîr-Batîr in
     whose neighbourhood they were, has been determined by Père

Budîlu carried his arms against these tribes, and obtained successes over the Turuki and the Nigimkhi, the princes of the Guti and the Shuti, as well as over the Akhlamî and the Iauri.*

     * The Shutu or Shuti, who are always found in connection
     with the Guti, appear to have been the inhabitants of the
     lower mountain slopes which separate the basin of the Tigris
     with the regions of Elam, to the south of Turnât. The
     Akhlamê were neighbours of the Shuti and the Guti; they were
     settled partly in the Mesopotamian plain and partly in the
     neighbourhood of Turnât. The territory of the Iauri is not
     known; the Turuki and the Nigimkhi were probably situated
     somewhere to the east of the Great Zab: in the same way that
     Oppert connects the Goths with the Guti, so Hommel sees in
     the Turuki the Turks of a very early date.

The chiefs of the Lulumê had long resisted the attacks of their neighbours, and one of them, Anu-banini, had engraved on the rocks overhanging the road not far from the village of Seripul, a bas-relief celebrating his own victories. He figures on it in full armour, wearing a turban on his head, and treading underfoot a fallen foe, while Ishtar of Arbeles leads towards him a long file of naked captives, bound ready for sacrifice. The resistance of the Lulumê was, however, finally overcome by Rammân-nirâri, the son of Budilû; he strengthened the suzerainty gained by his predecessor over the Guti, the Cossæans, and the Shubarti, and he employed the spoil taken from them in beautifying the temple of Assur. He had occasion to spend some time in the regions of the Upper Tigris, warring against the Shubari, and a fine bronze sabre belonging to him has been found near Diarbekîr, among the ruins of the ancient Amidi, where, no doubt, he had left it as an offering in one of the temples. He was succeeded by Shalmânuâsharîd,* better known to us as Shalmaneser I., one of the most powerful sovereigns of this heroic age of Assyrian history.

155.jpg the Sabre of Ramman-nirari
Drawn by
from the
in the
of the Bibl.
Arch. Soc.

His reign seems to have been one continuous war against the various races then in a state of ferment on the frontiers of his kingdom. He appears in the main to have met with success, and in a few years had doubled the extent of his dominions.* His most formidable attacks were directed against the Aramaeans** of Mount Masios, whose numerous tribes had advanced on one side till they had crossed the Tigris, while on the other they had pushed beyond the river Balîkh, and had probably reached the Euphrates.***

     * Shalmânu-âsharîd, or Shulmânu-âsharîd, signifies “the god
     Shulmânu (Shalmânu) is prince,” as Pinches was the first to
     point out.

     ** Some of the details of these campaigns have been
     preserved on the much-mutilated obelisk of Assur-nazir-pal.
     This was a compilation taken from the Annals of Assyria to
     celebrate the important acts of the king’s ancestors. The
     events recorded in the third column were at first attributed
     to the reign of Tiglath-pileser I.; Fr. Delitzsch was the
     first to recognise that they could be referred to the reign
     of this Shalmaneser, and his opinion is now admitted by most
     of the Assyriologists who have studied the question.

     *** The identity of the Arami (written also Armaya, Arumi,
     Arimi) with the Aramoans, admitted by the earlier Kammin-
     nikâbi Assyriologists.

He captured their towns one after another, razed their fortresses, smote the agricultural districts with fire and sword, and then turned upon the various peoples who had espoused their cause—the Kirkhu, the Euri, the Kharrîn,* and the Muzri, who inhabited the territory between the basins of the two great rivers;** once, indeed, he even crossed the Euphrates and ventured within the country of Khanigalbat, a feat which his ancestors had never even attempted.***

     * The people of the country of Kilkhi, or Kirkhi, the
     Kurkhi, occupied the region between the Tigris at Diarbekîr
     and the mountains overlooking the lake of Urumiah. The
     position of the Ruri is not known, but it is certain that on
     one side they joined the Aramaeans, and that they were in
     the neighbourhood of Tushkhân. Kharrân is the Harrân of the
     Balikh, mentioned in vol. iv. pp. 37, 38 of the present

     ** The name of Muzri frequently occurs, and in various
     positions, among the countries mentioned by the Assyrian
     conquerors; the frequency of its occurrence is easily
     explained if we are to regard it as a purely Assyrian term
     used to designate the military confines or marches of the
     kingdom at different epochs of its history. The Muzri here
     in question is the borderland situated in the vicinity of
     Cilicia, probably the Sophene and the Gumathene of classical
     geographers. Winckler appears to me to exaggerate their
     importance when he says they were spread over the whole of
     Northern Syria as early as the time of Shalmaneser I.

     *** Khanigalbat is the name of the province in which Milid
     was placed.

He was recalled by a revolt which had broken out in the scattered cities of the district of Dur-Kurigalzu; he crushed the rising in spite of the help which Kadash-manburiash, King of Babylon, had given to the rebels, and was soon successful in subduing the princes of Lulumê. These were not the raids of a day’s duration, undertaken, without any regard to the future, merely from love of rapine or adventure. Shalmaneser desired to bring the regions which he annexed permanently under the authority of Assyria, and to this end he established military colonies in suitable places, most of which were kept up long after his death.*

     * More than five centuries after the time of Shalmaneser I.,
     Assurnazir-pal makes mention, in his Annals, of one of
     these colonies, established in the country of Diarbekîr at
     Khabzilukha (or Khabzidipkha), near to the town of Damdamua.

He seems to have directed the internal affairs of his kingdom with the same firmness and energy which he displayed in his military expeditions. It was no light matter for the sovereign to decide on a change in the seat of government; he ran the risk of offending, not merely his subjects, but the god who presided over the destinies of the State, and neither his throne nor his life would have been safe had he failed in his attempt. Shalmaneser, however, did not hesitate to make the change, once he was fully convinced of the drawbacks presented by Assur as a capital. True, he beautified the city, restored its temples, and permitted it to retain all its privileges and titles; but having done so, he migrated with his court to the town of Kalakh, where his descendants continued to reside for several centuries. His son Tukulti-ninip made himself master of Babylon, and was the first of his race who was able to claim the title of King of Sumir and Akkad. The Cossæans were still suffering from their defeat at the hands of Bammân-nirâri. Four of their princes had followed Nazimaruttash on the throne in rapid succession—Kadashmanturgu, Kadashmanburiash, who was attacked by Shalmaneser, a certain Isammeti whose name has been mutilated, and lastly, Shagaraktiburiash: Bibeiasdu, son of this latter, was in power at the moment when Tukulti-ninip ascended the throne. War broke out between the two monarchs, but dragged on without any marked advantage on one side or the other, till at length the conflict was temporarily suspended by a treaty similar to others which had been signed in the course of the previous two or three centuries.*

     * The passage from the Synchronous History, republished by
     Winckler, contains the termination of the mutilated name of
     a Babylonian king... ashu, which, originally left
     undecided by Winckler, has been restored “Bibeiashu” by
     Hilprecht, in the light of monuments discovered at Nipur, an
     emendation which has since then been accepted by Winckler.
     Winckler, on his part, has restored the passage on the
     assumption that the name of the King of Assyria engaged
     against Bibeiashu was Tukulti-ninip; then, combining this
     fragment with that in the Pinches Chronicle, which deals
     with the taking of Babylon, he argues that Bibeiashu was the
     king dethroned by Tukulti-ninip. An examination of the
     dates, in so far as they are at present known to us from the
     various documents, seems to me to render this arrangement
     inadmissible. The Pinches Chronicle practically tells us
     that Tukulti-ninip reigned over Babylon for seven years,
     when the Chaldæans revolted, and named Rammânshumusur king.
     Now, the Babylonian Canon gives us the following reigns for
     this epoch: Bibeiashu 8 years, Belnadînshumu 1 year 6
     months, Kadashmankharbe 1 year 6 months, Rammânnadînshumu
     6 years, Rammânshumusur 30 years, or 9 years between
     the end of the reign of Bibeiashu and the beginning of that
     of Rammânshumusur, instead of the 7 years given us by the
     Pinches Chronicle for the length of the reign of Tukulti-
     ninip at Babylon. If we reckon, as the only documents known
     require us to do, seven years from the beginning of the
     reign of Rammânshumusur to the date of the taking of
     Babylon, we are forced to admit that this took place in the
     reign of Kadashmankharbe IL, and, consequently, that the
     passage in the Synchronous History, in which mention is
     made of Bibeiashu, must be interpreted as I have done in the
     text, by the hypothesis of a war prior to that in which
     Babylon fell, which was followed by a treaty between this
     prince and the King of Assyria.

The peace thus concluded might have lasted longer but for an unforeseen catastrophe which placed Babylon almost at the mercy of her rival. The Blamites had never abandoned their efforts to press in every conceivable way their claim to the Sebbeneh-su, the supremacy, which, prior to Kbammurabi, had been exercised by their ancestors over the whole of Mesopotamia; they swooped down on Karduniash with an impetuosity like that of the Assyrians, and probably with the same alternations of success and defeat. Their king, Kidinkhutrutash, unexpectedly attacked Belnadînshumu, son of Bibeiashu, appeared suddenly under the walls of Nipur and forced the defences of Durîlu and Étimgarka-lamma: Belnadînshumu disappeared in the struggle after a reign of eighteen months. Tukulti-ninip left Belna-dînshumu’s successor, Kadashmankharbe II., no time to recover from this disaster; he attacked him in turn, carried Babylon by main force, and put a number of the inhabitants to the sword. He looted the palace and the temples, dragged the statue of Merodach from its sanctuary and carried it off into Assyria, together with the badges of supreme power; then, after appointing governors of his own in the various towns, he returned to Kalakh, laden with booty; he led captive with him several members of the royal family—among others, Bammânshumusur, the lawful successor of Bibeiashu.

This first conquest of Chaldæa did not, however, produce any lasting results. The fall of Babylon did not necessarily involve the subjection of the whole country, and the cities of the south showed a bold front to the foreign intruder, and remained faithful to Kadashmankharbe; on the death of the latter, some months after his defeat, they hailed as king a certain Bammânshumnadîn, who by some means or other had made his escape from captivity. Bammânshumnadîn proved himself a better man than his predecessors; when Kidinkhutrutash, never dreaming, apparently, that he would meet with any serious resistance, came to claim his share of the spoil, he defeated him near Ishin, drove him out of the districts recently occupied by the Elamites, and so effectually retrieved his fortunes in this direction, that he was able to concentrate his whole attention on what was going on in the north. The effects of his victory soon became apparent: the nobles of Akkad and Karduniash declined to pay homage to their Assyrian governors, and, ousting them from the offices to which they had been appointed, restored Babylon to the independence which it had lost seven years previously. Tukulti-ninip paid dearly for his incapacity to retain his conquests: his son Assurnazirpal I. conspired with the principal officers, deposed him from the throne, and confined him in the fortified palace of Kar-Tukulti-ninip, which he had built not far from Kalakh, where he soon after contrived his assassination. About this time Rammânshumnadîn disappears, and we can only suppose that the disasters of these last years had practically annihilated the Cossæan dynasty, for Rammânshu-musur, who was a prisoner in Assyria, was chosen as his successor. The monuments tell us nothing definite of the troubles which next befell the two kingdoms: we seem to gather, however, that Assyria became the scene of civil wars, and that the sons of Tukulti-ninip fought for the crown among themselves. Tukultiassurbel, who gained the upper hand at the end of six years, set Raminân-shumusur at liberty, probably with the view of purchasing the support of the Chaldæans, but he did not succeed in restoring his country to the position it had held under Shalmaneser and Tukulti-ninip I. The history of Assyria presents a greater number of violent contrasts and extreme vicissitudes than that of any other Eastern people in the earliest times. No sooner had the Assyrians arrived, thanks to the ceaseless efforts of five or six generations, at the very summit of their ambition, than some incompetent, or perhaps merely unfortunate, king appeared on the scene, and lost in a few years all the ground which had been gained at the cost of such tremendous exertions: then the subject races would rebel, the neighbouring peoples would pluck up courage and reconquer the provinces which they had surrendered, till the dismembered empire gradually shrank back to its original dimensions. As the fortunes of Babylon rose, those of Nineveh suffered a corresponding depression: Babylon soon became so powerful that Eammânshumusur was able to adopt a patronising tone in his relations with Assur-nirâri I. and Nabodaînâni, the descendants of Tukultiassurbel, who at one time shared the throne together.*

     * All that we know of these two kings is contained in the
     copy, executed in the time of Assurbanipal, of a letter
     addressed to them by Eammânshumusur. They have been placed,
     at one time or another, either at the beginning of Assyrian
     history before Assurbelnishishu, or after Tigiath-pileser
     I., about the XIth or Xth, or even the VIIIth century before
     our era. It has since been discovered that the
     Rammânshumusur who wrote this letter was the successor of
     Tukulti-ninip I. in Chaldæa.

This period of subjection and humiliation did not last long. Belkudurusur, who appears on the throne not long after Assurnirâri and his partner, resumed military operations against the Cossæans, but cautiously at first; and though he fell in the decisive engagement, yet Bammân-shumusur perished with him, and the two states were thus simultaneously left rulerless. Milishikhu succeeded Bammânshumusur, and Ninipahalesharra filled the place of Belkudurusur; the disastrous invasion of Assyria by the Chaldæans, and their subsequent retreat, at length led to an armistice, which, while it afforded evidence of the indisputable superiority of Milishikhu, proved no less plainly the independence of his rival. Mero-dachabaliddina I. replaced Milishikhu, Zamâniashu-middin followed Merodachabaliddina: Assurdân I., son of Ninipahalesharra, broke the treaty, captured the towns of Zabân, Irrîa, and Akarsallu, and succeeded in retaining them. The advantage thus gained was but a slight one, for these provinces lying between the two Zabs had long been subject to Assyria, and had been wrested from her since the days of Tukulti-ninip: however, it broke the run of ill luck which seemed to have pursued her so relentlessly, and opened the way for more important victories. This was the last Cossæan war; at any rate, the last of which we find any mention in history: Bel-nadînshumu II. reigned three years after Zamâmashu-middin, but when he died there was no man of his family whom the priests could invite to lay hold of the hand of Merodach, and his dynasty ended with him. It included thirty-six kings, and had lasted five hundred and seventy-six years and six months.*

* The following is a list of some of the kings of this dynasty according to the canon discovered by Pinches.

163.jpg Table

It had enjoyed its moments of triumph, and at one time had almost seemed destined to conquer the whole of Asia; but it appears to have invariably failed just as it was on the point of reaching the goal, and it became completely exhausted by its victories at the end of every two or three generations. It had triumphed over Elam, and yet Elam remained a constant peril on its right. It had triumphed over Assyria, yet Assyria, after driving it back to the regions of the Upper Tigris, threatened to bar the road to the Mediterranean by means of its Masian colonies: were they once to succeed in this attempt, what hope would there be left to those who ruled in Babylon of ever after re-establishing the traditional empire of the ancient Sargon and Khammurabi? The new dynasty sprang from a town in Pashê, the geographical position of which is not known. It was of Babylonian origin, and its members placed, at the be ginning of their protocols, formula which were intended to indicate, in the clearest possible manner, the source from which they sprang: they declared themselves to be scions of Babylon, its vicegerents, and supreme masters. The names of the first two we do not know: the third, Nebuchadrezzar, shows himself to have been one of the most remarkable men of all those who flourished during this troubled era. At no time, perhaps, had Chaldæa been in a more abject state, or assailed by more active foes. The Elamite had just succeeded in wresting from her Namar, the region from whence the bulk of her chariot-horses were obtained, and this success had laid the provinces on the left bank of the Tigris open to their attacks. They had even crossed the river, pillaged Babylon, and carried away the statue of Bel and that of a goddess named Eria, the patroness of Khussi: “Merodach, sore angered, held himself aloof from the country of Akkad;” the kings could no longer “take his hands” on their coming to the throne, and were obliged to reign without proper investiture in consequence of their failure to fulfil the rite required by religious laws.*

     * The Donation to Shamud and Shamaî informs us that
     Nebuchadrezzar “took the hands of Bel” as soon as he
     regained possession of the statue. The copy we possess of
     the Royal Canon. Nebuchadrezzar I.‘s place in the series
     has, therefore, been the subject of much controversy.
     Several Assyriologists were from the first inclined to place
     him in the first or second rank, some being in favour of the
     first, others preferring the second; Dolitzsch put him into
     the fifth place, and Winckler, without pronouncing
     definitely on the position to be assigned him, thought he
     must come in about half-way down the dynasty. Hilprecht, on
     taking up the questions, adduced reasons for supposing him
     to have been the founder of the dynasty, and his conclusions
     have been adopted by Oppert; they have been disputed by
     Tiele, who wishes to put the king back to fourth or fifth in
     order, and by Winckler, who places him fourth or fifth. It
     is difficult, however, to accept Hilprecht’s hypothesis,
     plausible though it is, so long as Assyriologists who have
     seen the original tablet agree in declaring that the name of
     the first king began with the sign of Merodach and not
     with that of Nebo, as it ought to do, were this prince
     really our Nebuchadrezzar.

Nebuchadrezzar arose “in Babylon,—roaring like a lion, even as Bammân roareth,—and his chosen nobles, roared like lions with him.—To Merodach, lord of Babylon, rose his prayer:—‘How long, for me, shall there be sighing and groaning?—How long, for my land, weeping and mourning?—How long, for my countries, cries of grief and tears? Till what time, O lord of Babylon, wilt thou remain in hostile regions?—Let thy heart be softened, and make Babylon joyful,—and let thy face be turned toward Eshaggil which thou lovest!’” Merodach gave ear to the plaint of his servant: he answered him graciously and promised his aid. Namar, united as it had been with Chaldæa for centuries, did not readily become accustomed to its new masters. The greater part of the land belonged to a Semitic and Cossæan feudality, the heads of which, while admitting their suzerain’s right to exact military service from them, refused to acknowledge any further duty towards him. The kings of Susa declined to recognise their privileges: they subjected them to a poll-tax, levied the usual imposts on their estates, and forced them to maintain at their own expense the troops quartered on them for the purpose of guaranteeing their obedience.*

     * Shamuà and Shamaî “fled in like manner towards Karduniash,
     before the King of Elam;” it would seem that Rittimerodach
     had entered into secret negotiations with Nebuchadrezzar,
     though this is nowhere explicitly stated in the text.

Several of the nobles abandoned everything rather than submit to such tyranny, and took refuge with Nebuchadrezzar: others entered into secret negotiations with him, and promised to support him if he came to their help with an armed force. He took them at their word, and invaded Namar without warning in the month of Tamuz, while the summer was at its height, at a season in which the Elamites never even dreamt he would take the field. The heat was intense, water was not to be got, and the army suffered terribly from thirst during its forced march of over a hundred miles across a parched-up country. One of the malcontents, Eittimerodach, lord of Bitkarziabku, joined Nebuchadrezzar with all the men he could assemble, and together they penetrated as far as Ulaî. The King of Elam, taken by surprise, made no attempt to check their progress, but collected his vassals and awaited their attack on the banks of the river in front of Susa. Once “the fire of the combat had been lighted between the opposing forces, the face of the sun grew dark, the tempest broke forth, the whirlwind raged, and in this whirlwind of the struggle none of the characters could distinguish the face of his neighbour.” Nebuchadrezzar, cut off from his own men, was about to surrender or be killed, when Eittimerodach flew to his rescue and brought him off safely. In the end the Chaldæans gained the upper hand.*

     * Donation to Rittimerodach, col. i. 11. 12-43. The
     description of the battle as given in this document is
     generally taken to be merely symbolical, and I have followed
     the current usage. But if we bear in mind that the text lays
     emphasis on the drought and severity of the season, we are
     tempted to agree with Pinches and Budge that its statements
     should be taken literally. The affair may have been begun in
     a cloud of dust, and have ended in a downpour of rain so
     heavy as to partly blind the combatants. The king was
     probably drawn away from his men in the confusion; it was
     probably then that he was in danger of being made prisoner,
     and that Rittimerodach, suddenly coming up, delivered him
     from the foes who surrounded him.

The Elamites renounced their claims to the possession of Namar, and restored the statues of the gods: Nebuchadrezzar “at once laid hold of the hands of Bel,” and thus legalised his accession to the throne. Other expeditions against the peoples of Lulurne and against the Cossæans restored his supremacy in the regions of the north-east, and a campaign along the banks of the Euphrates opened out the road to Syria. He rewarded generously those who had accompanied him on his raid against Elam. After issuing regulations intended to maintain the purity of the breed of horses for which Namar was celebrated, he reinstated in their possessions Shamuâ and his son Shamaî, the descendants of one of the priestly families of the province, granting them in addition certain domains near Upi, at the mouth of the Turnât. He confirmed Rittimerodach in possession of all his property, and reinvested him with all the privileges of which the King of Elam had deprived him. From that time forward the domain of Bitkarziabku was free of the tithe on corn, oxen, and sheep; it was no longer liable to provide horses and mares for the exchequer, or to afford free passage to troops in time of peace; the royal jurisdiction ceased on the boundary of the fief, the seignorial jurisdiction alone extended over the inhabitants and their property. Chaldæan prefects ruled in Namar, at Khalman, and at the foot of the Zagros, and Nebuchadrezzar no longer found any to oppose him save the King of Assyria.

The long reign of Assurdân in Assyria does not seem to have been distinguished by any event of importance either good or bad: it is true he won several towns on the south-east from the Babylonians, but then he lost several others on the north-west to the Mushku,* and the loss on the one side fully balanced the advantage gained on the other.

     * Hommel has proved, by a very simple calculation, that
     Assurdân must have been the king in whose reign the Mushku
     made the inroad into the basin of the Upper Tigris and of
     the Balikh, which is mentioned in the Annals of Tiglath-
     pileser I. These Annals are our authority for stating
     that Assurdân was on the throne for a long period, though
     the exact length of his reign is not known.

His son Mutakkilnusku lived in Assur at peace,* but his grandson, Assurîshishî, was a mighty king, conqueror of a score of countries, and the terror of all rebels: he scattered the hordes of the Akhlamê and broke up their forces; then Ninip, the champion of the gods, permitted him to crush the Lulumê and the G-uti in their valleys and on their mountains covered with forests. He made his way up to the frontiers of Elam,** and his encroachments on territories claimed by Babylon stirred up the anger of the Chaldæans against him; Nebuchadrezzar made ready to dispute their ownership with him.

     * Annals of Tiglath-pileser I. Mutakkilnusku himself has
     only left us one inscription, in which he declares that he
     had built a palace in the city of Assyria.

     ** Smith discovered certain fragments of Annals, which he
     attributed to Assurîshishî. The longest of these tell of a
     campaign against Elam. Lotz attributed them to Tiglath-
     pileser I., and is supported in this by most Assyriologists
     of the day.

The earlier engagements went against the Assyrians; they were driven back in disorder, but the victor lost time before one of their strongholds, and, winter coming on before he could take it, he burnt his engines of war, set fire to his camp, and returned home. Next year, a rapid march carried him right under the walls of Assur; then Assurîshishî came to the rescue, totally routed his opponent, captured forty of his chariots, and drove him flying across the frontier. The war died out of itself, its end being marked by no treaty: each side kept its traditional position and supremacy over the tribes inhabiting the basins of the Turnât and Eadanu. The same names reappear in line after line of these mutilated Annals, and the same definite enumerations of rebellious tribes who have been humbled or punished. These kings of the plain, both Ninevite and Babylonian, were continually raiding the country up and down for centuries without ever arriving at any decisive result, and a detailed account of their various campaigns would be as tedious reading as that of the ceaseless struggle between the Latins and Sabines which fills the opening pages of Roman history. Posterity soon grew weary of them, and, misled by the splendid position which Assyria attained when at the zenith of its glory, set itself to fabricate splendid antecedents for the majestic empire established by the latter dynasties. The legend ran that, at the dawn of time, a chief named Ninos had reduced to subjection one after the other—Babylonia, Media, Armenia, and all the provinces between the Indies and the Mediterranean. He built a capital for himself on the banks of the Tigris, in the form of a parallelogram, measuring a hundred and fifty stadia in length, ninety stadia in width; altogether, the walls were four hundred and eighty stadia in circumference. In addition to the Assyrians who formed the bulk of the population, he attracted many foreigners to Nineveh, so that in a few years it became the most flourishing town in the whole world. An inroad of the tribes of the Oxus interrupted his labours; Ninos repulsed the invasion, and, driving the barbarians back into Bactria, laid siege to it; here, in the tent of one of his captains, he came upon Semiramis, a woman whose past was shrouded in mystery. She was said to be the daughter of an ordinary mortal by a goddess, the Ascalonian Derketô. Exposed immediately after her birth, she was found and adopted by a shepherd named Simas, and later on her beauty aroused the passion of Oannes, governor of Syria. Ninos, amazed at the courage displayed by her on more than one occasion, carried her off, made her his favourite wife, and finally met his death at her hands. No sooner did she become queen, than she founded Babylon on a far more extensive scale than that of Nineveh. Its walls were three hundred and sixty stadia in length, with two hundred and fifty lofty towers, placed here and there on its circuit, the roadway round the top of the ramparts being wide enough for six chariots to drive abreast. She made a kind of harbour in the Euphrates, threw a bridge across it, and built quays one hundred and sixty stadia in length along its course; in the midst of the town she raised a temple to Bel. This great work was scarcely finished when disturbances broke out in Media; these she promptly repressed, and set out on a tour of inspection through the whole of her provinces, with a view to preventing the recurrence of similar outbreaks by her presence. Wherever she went she left records of her passage behind her, cutting her way through mountains, quarrying a pathway through the solid rock, making broad highways for herself, bringing rebellious tribes beneath her yoke, and raising tumuli to mark the tombs of such of her satraps as fell beneath the blows of the enemy. She built Ecbatana in Media, Semiramocarta on Lake Van in Armenia, and Tarsus in Cilicia; then, having reached the confines of Syria, she crossed the isthmus, and conquered Egypt and Ethiopia. The far-famed wealth of India recalled her from the banks of the Nile to those of the Euphrates, en route for the remote east, but at this point her good fortune forsook her: she was defeated by King Stratobates, and returned to her own dominions, never again to leave them. She had set up triumphal stelae on the boundaries of the habitable globe, in the very midst of Scythia, not far from the Iaxartes, where, centuries afterwards, Alexander of Macedon read the panegyric of herself which she had caused to be engraved there. “Nature,” she writes, “gave me the body of a woman, but my deeds have put me on a level with the greatest of men. I ruled over the dominion of Ninos, which extends eastwards to the river Hinaman, southwards to the countries of Incense and Myrrh, and northwards as far as the Sacaa and Sogdiani. Before my time no Assyrian had ever set eyes on the sea: I have seen four oceans to which no mariner has ever sailed, so far remote are they. I have made rivers to flow where I would have them, in the places where they were needed; thus did I render fertile the barren soil by watering it with my rivers. I raised up impregnable fortresses, and cut roadways through the solid rock with the pick. I opened a way for the wheels of my chariots in places to which even the feet of wild beasts had never penetrated. And, amidst all these labours, I yet found time for my pleasures and for the society of my friends.” On discovering that her son Ninyas was plotting her assassination, she at once abdicated in his favour, in order to save him from committing a crime, and then transformed herself into a dove; this last incident betrays the goddess to us. Ninos and Semiramis are purely mythical, and their mighty deeds, like those ascribed to Ishtar and Gilgames, must be placed in the same category as those other fables with which the Babylonian legends strive to fill up the blank of the prehistoric period.*

     * The legend of Ninos and Semiramis is taken from Diodorus
     Siculus, who reproduces, often word for word, the version of

172.jpg the Dove-goddess
     Drawn by Boudier, from the sketch published in Longpérier.

The real facts were, as we know, far less brilliant and less extravagant than those supplied by popular imagination. It would be a mistake, however, to neglect or despise them on account of their tedious monotony and the insignificance of the characters who appear on the stage. It was by dint of fighting her neighbours again and again, without a single day’s respite, that Rome succeeded in forging the weapons with which she was to conquer the world; and any one who, repelled by their tedious sameness, neglected to follow the history of her early struggles, would find great difficulty in understanding how it came about that a city which had taken centuries to subjugate her immediate neighbours should afterwards overcome all the states on the Mediterranean seaboard with such magnificent ease. In much the same way the ceaseless struggles of Assyria with the Chaldaeans, and with the mountain tribes of the Zagros Chain, were unconsciously preparing her for those lightning-like campaigns in which she afterwards overthrew all the civilized nations of the Bast one after another. It was only at the cost of unparalleled exertions that she succeeded in solidly welding together the various provinces within her borders, and in kneading (so to speak) the many and diverse elements of her vast population into one compact mass, containing in itself all that was needful for its support, and able to bear the strain of war for several years at time without giving way, and rich enough in men and horses to provide the material for an effective army without excessive impoverishment of her trade or agriculture.

173.jpg an Assyrian

Drawn by Boudier, from a painted bas-relief given in Layard.

The race came of an old Semitic strain, somewhat crude as yet, and almost entirely free from that repeated admixture of foreign elements which had marred the purity of the Babylonian stock. The monuments show us a type similar in many respects to that which we find to-day on the slopes of Singar, or in the valleys to the east of Mossul.

The figures on the monuments are tall and straight, broad-shouldered and wide in the hips, the arms well developed, the legs robust, with good substantial feet. The swell of the muscles on the naked limbs is perhaps exaggerated, but this very exaggeration of the modelling suggests the vigour of the model; it is a heavier, more rustic type than the Egyptian, promising greater strength and power of resistance, and in so far an indisputable superiority in the great game of war. The head is somewhat small, the forehead low and flat, the eyebrows heavy, the eye of a bold almond shape, with heavy lids, the nose aquiline, and full at the tip, with wide nostrils terminating in a hard, well-defined curve; the lips are thick and full, the chin bony, while the face is framed by the coarse dark wavy hair and beard, which fell in curly masses over the nape of the neck and the breast. The expression of the face is rarely of an amiable and smiling type, such as we find in the statues of the Theban period or in those of the Memphite empire, nor, as a matter of fact, did the Assyrian pride himself on the gentleness of his manners: he did not overflow with love for his fellow-man, as the Egyptian made a pretence of doing; on the contrary, he was stiff-necked and proud, without pity for others or for himself, hot-tempered and quarrelsome like his cousins of Chaldæa, but less turbulent and more capable of strict discipline. It mattered not whether he had come into the world in one of the wretched cabins of a fellah village, or in the palace of one of the great nobles; he was a born soldier, and his whole education tended to develop in him the first qualities of the soldier—temperance, patience, energy, and unquestioning obedience: he was enrolled in an army which was always on a war footing, commanded by the god Assur, and under Assur, by the king, the vicegerent and representative of the god. His life was shut in by the same network of legal restrictions which confined that of the Babylonians, and all its more important events had to be recorded on tablets of clay; the wording of contracts, the formalities of marriage or adoption, the status of bond and free, the rites of the dead and funeral ceremonies, had either remained identical with those in use during the earliest years of the cities of the Lower Euphrates, or differed from them only in their less important details. The royal and municipal governments levied the same taxes, used the same procedure, employed the same magistrates, and the grades of their hierarchy were the same, with one exception. After the king, the highest office was filled by a soldier, the tartan who saw to the recruiting of the troops, and led them in time of war, or took command of the staff-corps whenever the sovereign himself deigned to appear on the scene of action.*

     * We can determine the rank occupied, by the tartanu at
     court by the positions they occupy in the lists of eponymous
     limmu: they invariably come next after the king—a fact
     which was noticed many years ago.

The more influential of these functionaries bore, in addition to their other titles, one of a special nature, which, for the space of one year, made its holder the most conspicuous man in the country; they became limmu, and throughout their term of office their names appeared on all official documents. The Chaldæans distinguished the various years of each reign by a reference to some event which had taken place in each; the Assyrians named them after the limmu.* The king was the ex-officio limmu for the year following that of his accession, then after him the tartan, then the ministers and governors of provinces and cities in an order which varied little from reign to reign. The names of the limmu, entered in registers and tabulated—just as, later on, were those of the Greek archons and Roman consuls—furnished the annalists with a rigid chronological system, under which the facts of history might be arranged with certainty.**

     * According to Delitzsch, the term limu, or limmu, meant
     at first any given period, then later more especially the
     year during which a magistrate filled his office; in the
     opinion of most other Assyriologists it referred to the
     magistrate himself as eponymous archon.

     ** The first list of limmu was discovered by H. Rawlinson.
     The portions which have been preserved extend from the year
     893 to the year 666 B.C. without a break. In the periods
     previous and subsequent to this we have only names scattered
     here and there which it has not been possible to classify:
     the earliest limmu known at present flourished under
     Rammân-nirâri I., and was named Mukhurilâni. Three different
     versions of the canon have como down to us. In the most
     important one the names of the eponymous officials are
     written one after another without titles or any mention of
     important events; in the other two, the titles of each
     personage, and any important occurrences which took place
     during his year of office, are entered after the name.

The king still retained the sacerdotal attributes with which Cossæan monarchs had been invested from the earliest times, but contact with the Egyptians had modified the popular conception of his personality. His subjects were no longer satisfied to regard him merely as a man superior to his fellow-men; they had come to discover something of the divine nature in him, and sometimes identified him—not with Assur, the master of all things, who occupied a position too high above the pale of ordinary humanity—but with one of the demi-gods of the second rank, Shamash, the Sun, the deity whom the Pharaohs pretended to represent in flesh and blood here below. His courtiers, therefore, went as far as to call him “Sun” when they addressed him, and he himself adopted this title in his inscriptions.*

     * Nebuchadrezzar I. of Babylon assumes the title of Shamash
     mati-shu, the “Sun of his country,” and Hilprecht rightly
     sees in this expression a trace of Egyptian influences;
     later on, Assurnazirpal, King of Assyria similarly describes
     himself as Shamshu kishshat nishi, the “Sun of all
     mankind.” Tiele is of opinion that these expressions do not
     necessarily point to any theory of the actual incarnation of
     the god, as was the case in Egypt, but that they may be mere
     rhetorical figures.

Formerly he had only attained this apotheosis after death, later on he was permitted to aspire to it during his lifetime. The Chaldæans adopted the same attitude, and in both countries the royal authority shone with the borrowed lustre of divine omnipotence. With these exceptions life at court remained very much the same as it had been; at Nineveh, as at Babylon, we find harems filled with foreign princesses, who had either been carried off as hostages from the country of a defeated enemy, or amicably obtained from their parents. In time of war, the command of the troops and the dangers of the battle-field; in time of peace, a host of religious ceremonies and judicial or administrative duties, left but little leisure to the sovereign who desired to perform conscientiously all that was required of him. His chief amusement lay in the hunting of wild beasts: the majority of the princes who reigned over Assyria had a better right than even Amenôthes III. himself to boast of the hundreds of lions which they had slain. They set out on these hunting expeditions with quite a small army of charioteers and infantry, and were often away several days at a time, provided urgent business did not require their presence in the palace. They started their quarry with the help of large dogs, and followed it over hill and dale till they got within bowshot: if it was but slightly wounded and turned on them, they gave it the finishing stroke with their lances without dismounting.

178.jpg a Lion-hunt
     Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.

Occasionally, however, they were obliged to follow their prey into places where horses could not easily penetrate; then a hand-to-hand conflict was inevitable. The lion would rise on its hind quarters and endeavour to lay its pursuer low with a stroke of its mighty paw, but only to fall pierced to the heart by his lance or sword.

179.jpg Lion Transfixed by an Arrow
     Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.

This kind of encounter demanded great presence of mind and steadiness of hand; the Assyrians were, therefore, trained to it from their youth up, and no hunter was permitted to engage in these terrible encounters without long preliminary practice. Seeing the lion as they did so frequently, and at such close quarters, they came to know it quite as well as the Egyptians, and their sculptors reproduce it with a realism and technical skill which have been rarely equalled in modern times. But while the Theban artist generally represents it in an attitude of repose, the Assyrians prefer to show it in violent action in all the various attitudes which it assumes during a struggle, either crouching as it prepares to spring, or fully extended in the act of leaping; sometimes it rears into an upright position, with arched back, gaping jaws, and claws protruded, ready to bite or strike its foe; at others it writhes under a spear-thrust, or rolls over and over in its dying agonies. In one instance, an arrow has pierced the skull of a male lion, crashing through the frontal bone a little above the left eyebrow, and protrudes obliquely to the right between his teeth: under the shock of the blow he has risen on his hind legs, with contorted spine, and beats the air with his fore paws, his head thrown back as though to free himself of the fatal shaft. Not far from him the lioness lies stretched out upon its back in the rigidity of death.

180.jpg Paintings of Chairs

The “rimu,” or urus, was, perhaps, even a more formidable animal to encounter than any of the felido, owing to the irresistible fury of his attack. No one would dare, except in a case of dire necessity, to meet him on foot. The loose flowing robes which the king and the nobles never put aside—not even in such perilous pastimes as these—were ill fitted for the quick movements required to avoid the attack of such an animal, and those who were unlucky enough to quit their chariot ran a terrible risk of being gored or trodden underfoot in the encounter. It was the custom, therefore, to attack the beast by arrows, and to keep it at a distance. If the animal were able to come up with its pursuer, the latter endeavoured to seize it by the horn at the moment when it lowered its head, and to drive his dagger into its neck. If the blow were adroitly given it severed the spinal cord, and the beast fell in a heap as if struck by lightning. A victory over such animals was an occasion for rejoicing, and solemn thanks were offered to Assur and Ishtar, the patrons of the chase, at the usual evening sacrifice.

181.jpg a Ubus Hunt
     Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.

The slain beasts, whether lion or urus, were arranged in a row before the altar, while the king, accompanied by his flabella, and umbrella-bearers, stood alongside them, holding his bow in his left hand. While the singers intoned the hymn of thanksgiving to the accompaniment of the harp, the monarch took the bowl of sacred wine, touched his lips with it, and then poured a portion of the contents on the heads of the victims. A detailed account of each hunting exploit was preserved for posterity either in inscriptions or on bas-reliefs.*

     * In the Annals of Tiglath-pileser I. the king counts the
     number of his victims: 4 urus, 10 male elephants, 120 lions
     slain in single combat on foot, 800 lions killed by arrows
     let fly from his chariot. In the Annals of Assurnazirpal,
     the king boasts of having slain 30 elephants, 250 urus, and
     370 lions.

The chase was in those days of great service to the rural population; the kings also considered it to be one of the duties attached to their office, and on a level with their obligation to make war on neighbouring nations devoted by the will of Assur to defeat and destruction.

182.jpg Libation Poured over the Lions on The Return From The Chase

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hommel.

The army charged to carry out the will of the god had not yet acquired the homogeneity and efficiency which it afterwards attained, yet it had been for some time one of the most formidable in the world, and even the Egyptians themselves, in spite of their long experience in military matters, could not put into the field such a proud array of effective troops. We do not know how this army was recruited, but the bulk of it was made up of native levies, to which foreign auxiliaries were added in numbers varying with the times.* A permanent nucleus of troops was always in garrison in the capital under the “tartan,” or placed in the principal towns at the disposal of the governors.**

     * We have no bas-relief representing the armies of Tiglath-
     pileser I. Everything in the description which follows is
     taken from the monuments of Assurnazirpal and Shalmaneser
     II., revised as far as possible by the inscriptions of
     Tiglath-pileser; the armament of both infantry and chariotry
     must have been practically the same in the two periods.

     ** This is based on the account given in the Obelisk of
     Shalmaneser, where the king, for example, after having
     gathered his soldiers together at Kalakh [Calah], put at
     their head Dainassur the artan, “the master of his
     innumerable troops.”

183.jpg Two Assyrian Archers
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin.

The contingents which came to be enrolled at these centres on the first rumour of war may have been taken from among the feudal militia, as was the custom in the Nile valley, or the whole population may have had to render personal military service, each receiving while with the colours a certain daily pay. The nobles and feudal lords were accustomed to call their own people together, and either placed themselves at their head or commissioned an officer to act in their behalf.*

     * The assembling of foot-soldiers and chariots is often
     described at the beginning of each campaign; the Donation
     of Bittimerodach brings before us a great feudal lord, who
     leads his contingent to the King of Chaldæa, and anything
     which took place among the Babylonians had its counterpart
     among the Assyrians. Sometimes the king had need of all the
     contingents, and then it was said he “assembled the
     country.” Auxiliaries are mentioned, for example, in the
     Annals of Assurnazirpal, col. iii. 11. 58-77, where the
     king, in his passage, rallies one after the other the troops
     of Bît-Bakhiâni, of Azalli, of Bît-Adini, of Garganish, and
     of the Patinu.

184.jpg an Assyrian War-chariot Charging the Foe
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mansell.

These recruits were subjected to the training necessary for their calling by exercises similar to those of the Egyptians, but of a rougher sort and better adapted to the cumbrous character of their equipment. The blacksmith’s art had made such progress among the Assyrians since the times of Thûtmosis III. and Ramses IL, that both the character and the materials of the armour were entirely changed.

185a.jpg Harness of the Horses
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from G. Rawlinson.

185b.jpg Pikeman

While the Egyptian of old entered into the contest almost naked, and without other defence than a padded cap, a light shield, and a leather apron, the Assyrian of the new age set out for war almost cased in metal. The pikemen and archers of whom the infantry of the line was composed wore a copper or iron helmet, conical in form, and having cheek-pieces covering the ears; they were clad in a sort of leathern shirt covered with plates or imbricated scales of metal, which protected the body and the upper part of the arm; a quilted and padded loin-cloth came over the haunches, while close-fitting trousers, and buskins laced up in the front, completed their attire. The pikemen were armed with a lance six feet long, a cutlass or short sword passed through the girdle, and an enormous shield, sometimes round and convex, sometimes arched at the top and square at the bottom. The bowmen did not encumber themselves with a buckler, but carried, in addition to the bow and quiver, a poignard or mace. The light infantry consisted of pikemen and archers—each of whom wore a crested helmet and a round shield of wicker-work—of slingers and club-bearers, as well as of men armed with the two-bladed battle-axe. The chariots were heavier and larger than those of the Egyptians. They had high, strongly made wheels with eight spokes, and the body of the vehicle rested directly on the axle; the panels were of solid wood, sometimes covered with embossed or carved metal, but frequently painted; they were further decorated sometimes with gold, silver, or ivory mountings, and with precious stones. The pole, which was long and heavy, ended in a boss of carved wood or incised metal, representing a flower, a rosette, the muzzle of a lion, or a horse’s head. It was attached to the axle under the floor of the vehicle, and as it had to bear a great strain, it was not only fixed to this point by leather thongs such as were employed in Egypt, but also bound to the front of the chariot by a crossbar shaped like a spindle, and covered with embroidered stuff—an arrangement which prevented its becoming detached when driving at full speed. A pair of horses were harnessed to it, and a third was attached to them on the right side for the use of a supplementary warrior, who could take the place of his comrade in case of accident, or if he were wounded. The trappings were very simple; but sometimes there was added to these a thickly padded caparison, of which the various parts were fitted to the horse by tags so as to cover the upper part of his head, his neck, back, and breast. The usual complement of charioteers was two to each vehicle, as in Egypt, but sometimes, as among the Khâti, there were three—one on the left to direct the horses, a warrior, and an attendant who protected the other two with his shield; on some occasions a fourth was added as an extra assistant. The equipment of the charioteers was like that of the infantry, and consisted of a jacket with imbricated scales of metal, bow and arrows, and a lance or javelin. A standard which served as a rallying-point for the chariots in the battle was set up on the front part of each vehicle, between the driver and the warrior; it bore at the top a disk supported on the heads of two bulls, or by two complete representations of these animals, and a standing figure of Assur letting fly his arrows. The chariotry formed, as in most countries of that time, the picked troops of the service, in which the princes and great lords were proud to be enrolled. Upon it depended for the most part the issue of the conflict, and the position assigned to it was in the van, the king or commander-in-chief reserving to himself the privilege of conducting the charge in person. It was already, however, in a state of decadence, both as regards the number of units composing it and its methods of manoeuvring; the infantry, on the other hand, had increased in numbers, and under the guidance of abler generals tended to become the most trustworthy force in Assyrian campaigns.*

     * Tiglath-pileser is seen, for instance, setting out on a
     campaign in a mountainous country with only thirty chariots.

Notwithstanding the weight of his equipment, the Assyrian foot-soldier was as agile as the Egyptian, but he had to fight usually in a much more difficult region than that in which the Pharaoh’s troops were accustomed to manouvre.

188.jpg Crossing a River in Boats and on Inflated Skins
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

The theatre of war was not like Syria, with its fertile and almost unbroken plains furrowed by streams which offered little obstruction to troops throughout the year, but a land of marshes, arid and rocky deserts, mighty rivers, capable, in one of their sudden floods, of arresting progress for days, and of jeopardising the success of a campaign;* violent and ice-cold torrents, rugged mountains whose summits rose into “points like daggers,” and whose passes could be held against a host of invaders by a handful of resolute men.**

     * Sennacherib was obliged to arrest his march against Elam,
     owing to his inability to cross the torrents swollen by the
     rain; a similar contretemps must have met Assurbanipal on
     the banks of the Ididi.

     ** The Assyrian monarchs dwell with pleasure on the
     difficulties of the country which they have to overcome.

Bands of daring skirmishers, consisting of archers, slingers, and pikemen, cleared the way for the mass of infantry marching in columns, and for the chariots, in the midst of which the king and his household took up their station; the baggage followed, together with the prisoners and their escorts.*

     * Assurbanipal relates, for instance, that he put under his
     escort a tribe which had surrendered themselves as

If they came to a river where there was neither ford nor bridge, they were not long in effecting a passage.

189.jpg Making a Bridge for the Passage of The Chariots
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief on the bronze
     gates of Balawât.

Each soldier was provided with a skin, which, having inflated it by the strength of his lungs and closed the aperture, he embraced in his arms and cast himself into the stream. Partly by floating and partly by swimming, a whole regiment could soon reach the other side. The chariots could not be carried over so easily.

190.jpg the King’s Chariot Crossing a Bridge
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the
     bronze gates of Balawât.

If the bed of the river was not very wide, and the current not too violent, a narrow bridge was constructed, or rather an improvised dyke of large stones and rude gabions filled with clay, over which was spread a layer of branches and earth, supplying a sufficiently broad passage for a single chariot, of which the horses were led across at walking pace.*

     * Flying bridges, tîturâti, were mentioned as far back as
     the time of Tiglath-pileser I.

But when the distance between the banks was too great, and the stream too violent to allow of this mode of procedure, boats were requisitioned from the neighbourhood, on which men and chariots were embarked, while the horses, attended by grooms, or attached by their bridles to the flotilla, swam across the river.* If the troops had to pass through a mountainous district intersected by ravines and covered by forests, and thus impracticable on ordinary occasions for a large body of men, the advance-guard were employed in cutting a passage through the trees with the axe, and, if necessary, in making with the pick pathways or rough-hewn steps similar to those met with in the Lebanon on the Phoenician coast.**

     * It was in this manner that Tiglath-pileser I. crossed the
     Euphrates on his way to the attack of Carchemish.

     ** Tiglath-pileser I. speaks on several occasions, and not
     without pride, of the roads that he had made for himself
     with bronze hatchets through the forests and over the

191.jpg the Assyrian Infantry Crossing The Mountains

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief on the bronze gates of Balawât.

The troops advanced in narrow columns, sometimes even in single file, along these improvised roads, always on the alert lest they should be taken at a disadvantage by an enemy concealed in the thickets. In case of attack, the foot-soldiers had each to think of himself, and endeavour to give as many blows as he received; but the charioteers, encumbered by their vehicles and the horses, found it no easy matter to extricate themselves from the danger. Once the chariots had entered into the forest region, the driver descended from his vehicle, and led the horses by the head, while the warrior and his assistant were not slow to follow his example, in order to give some relief to the animals by tugging at the wheels. The king alone did not dismount, more out of respect for his dignity than from indifference to the strain upon the animals; for, in spite of careful leading, he had to submit to a rough shaking from the inequalities of this rugged soil; sometimes he had too much of this, and it is related of him in his annals that he had crossed the mountains on foot like an ordinary mortal.*

     * The same fact is found in the accounts of every
     expedition, but more importance is attached to it as we
     approach the end of the Ninevite empire, when the kings were
     not so well able to endure hardship. Sennacherib mentions it
     on several occasions, with a certain amount of self-pity for
     the fatigue he had undergone, but with a real pride in his
     own endurance.

A halt was made every evening, either at some village, whose inhabitants were obliged to provide food and lodging, or, in default of this, on some site which they could fortify by a hastily thrown up rampart of earth. If they were obliged to remain in any place for a length of time, a regular encircling wall was constructed, not square or rectangular like those of the Egyptians, but round or oval.*

     * The oval inclines towards a square form, with rounded
     corners, on the bas-reliefs of the bronze gates of
     Shalmaneser II. at Balawât.

193.jpg the King Crossing a Mountain in his Chariot
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mansell, taken in the
     British Museum.

It was made of dried brick, and provided with towers like an ancient city; indeed, many of these entrenched camps survived the occasion of their formation, and became small fortified towns or castles, whence a permanent garrison could command the neighbouring country. The interior was divided into four equal parts by two roads, intersecting each other at right angles. The royal tents, with their walls of felt or brown linen, resembled an actual palace, which could be moved from place to place; they were surrounded with less pretentious buildings reserved for the king’s household, and the stables.

194.jpg an Assyrian Camp
     Drawn by Boudier, from Layard.

The tent-poles at the angles of these habitations were plated with metal, and terminated at their upper extremities in figures of goats and other animals made of the same material. The tents of the soldiers, were conical in form, and each was maintained in its position by a forked pole placed inside. They contained the ordinary requirements of the peasant—-bed and head-rest, table with legs like those of a gazelle, stools and folding-chairs; the household utensils and the provisions hung from the forks of the support. The monuments, which usually give few details of humble life, are remarkable for their complete reproductions of the daily scenes in the camp. We see on them, the soldier making his bed, grinding corn, dressing the carcase of a sheep, which he had just killed, or pouring out wine; the pot boiling on the fire is watched by the vigilant eye of a trooper or of a woman, while those not actively employed are grouped together in twos and threes, eating, drinking, and chatting. A certain number of priests and soothsayers accompanied the army, but they did not bring the statues of their gods with them, the only emblems of the divinities seen in battle being the two royal ensigns, one representing Assur as lord of the territory, borne on a single bull and bending his bow, while the other depicted him standing on two bulls as King of Assyria.* An altar smoked before the chariot on which these two standards were planted, and every night and morning the prince and his nobles laid offerings upon it, and recited prayers before it for the well-being of the army.

Military tactics had not made much progress since the time of the great Egyptian invasions. The Assyrian generals set out in haste from Nineveh or Assur in the hope of surprising their enemy, and they often succeeded in penetrating into the very heart of his country before he had time to mobilise or concentrate his forces. The work of subduing him was performed piecemeal; they devastated his fields, robbed his orchards, and, marching all through the night,** they would arrive with such suddenness before one or other of his towns, that he would have no time to organise a defence. Most of their campaigns were mere forced marches across plains and mountains, without regular sieges or pitched battles.

     * It is possible that each of these standards corresponded
     to some dignity of the sovereign; the first belonged to him,
     inasmuch as he was shar kishshati, “king of the regions,”
      and the other, by virtue of his office, of shar Ashshur,
     “King of Assyria.”
     ** Assurnazirpal mentions several night marches, which
     enabled him to reach the heart of the enemy’s country.

196.jpg a Fortified Town
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Mansell. The
     inhabitants of the town who have been taken prisoners, are
     leaving it with their cattle under the conduct of Assyrian

Should the enemy, however, seek an engagement, and the men be drawn up in line to meet him, the action would be opened by archers and light troops armed with slings, who would be followed by the chariotry and heavy infantry for close attack; a reserve of veterans would await around the commanding-general the crucial moment of the engagement, when they would charge in a body among the combatants, and decide the victory by sheer strength of arm.*

     * Tiglath-pileser I. mentions a pitched battle against the
     Muskhu, who numbered 20,000 men; and another against
     Kiliteshub, King of Kummukh, in his first campaign. In one
     of the following campaigns he overcame the people of Saraush
     and those of Maruttash, and also 6000 Sugi; later on he
     defeated 23 allied kings of Naîri, and took from them 120
     chariots and 20,000 people of Kumanu. The other wars are
     little more than raids, during which he encountered merely
     those who were incapable of offering him any resistance.

The pursuit of the enemy was never carried to any considerable distance, for the men were needed to collect the spoil, despatch the wounded, and carry off the trophies of war. Such of the prisoners as it was deemed useful or politic to spare were stationed in a safe place under a guard of sentries. The remainder were condemned to death as they were brought in, and their execution took place without delay; they were made to kneel down, with their backs to the soldiery, their heads bowed, and their hands resting on a flat stone or a billet of wood, in which position they were despatched with clubs. The scribes, standing before their tent doors, registered the number of heads cut off; each soldier, bringing his quota and throwing it upon the heap, gave in his name and the number of his company, and then withdrew in the hope of receiving a reward proportionate to the number of his victims.*

     * The details of this bringing of heads are known to us by
     representations of a later period. The allusions contained
     in the Annals of Tiglath-pileser I. show that the custom
     was in full force under the early Assyrian conquerors.

When the king happened to accompany the army, he always presided at this scene, and distributed largesse to those who had shown most bravery; in his absence he required that the heads of the enemy’s chiefs should be sent to him, in order that they might be exposed to his subjects on the gates of his capital. Sieges were lengthy and arduous undertakings. In the case of towns situated on the plain, the site was usually chosen so as to be protected by canals, or an arm of a river on two or three sides, thus leaving one side only without a natural defence, which the inhabitants endeavoured to make up for by means of double or treble ramparts.*

     * The town of Tela had three containing walls, that of
     Shingisha had four, and that of Pitura two.

198.jpg the Bringing of Heads After a Battle
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

These fortifications must have resembled those of the Syrian towns; the walls were broad at the base, and, to prevent scaling, rose to a height of some thirty or forty feet: there were towers at intervals of a bowshot, from which the archers could seriously disconcert parties making attacks against any intervening points in the curtain wall; the massive gates were covered with raw hides, or were plated with metal to resist assaults by fire and axe, while, as soon as hostilities commenced, the defence was further completed by wooden scaffolding. Places thus fortified, however, at times fell almost without an attempt at resistance; the inhabitants, having descended into the lowlands to rescue their crops from the Assyrians, would be disbanded, and, while endeavouring to take refuge within their ramparts, would be pursued by the enemy, who would gain admittance with them in the general disorder. If the town did not fall into their hands by some stroke of good fortune, they would at once attempt, by an immediate assault, to terrify the garrison into laying down their arms.*

     * Assurnazirpal, in this fashion, took the town of Pitura in
     two days, in spite of its strong double ramparts.

The archers and slingers led the attack by advancing in couples till they were within the prescribed distance from the walls, one of the two taking careful aim, while the other sheltered his comrade behind his round-topped shield. The king himself would sometimes alight from his chariot and let fly his arrows in the front rank of the archers, while a handful of resolute men would rush against the gates of the town and attempt either to break them down or set them alight with torches. Another party, armed with stout helmets and quilted jerkins, which rendered them almost invulnerable to the shower of arrows or stones poured on them by the besieged, would attempt to undermine the walls by means of levers and pick-axes, and while thus engaged would be protected by mantelets fixed to the face of the walls, resembling in shape the shields of the archers. Often bodies of men would approach the suburbs of the city and endeavour to obtain access to the ramparts from the roofs of the houses in close proximity to the walls. If, however, they could gain admittance by none of these means, and time was of no consideration, they would resign themselves to a lengthy siege, and the blockade would commence by a systematic desolation of the surrounding country, in which the villages scattered over the plain would be burnt, the vines torn up, and all trees cut down.

200.jpg the King Lets Fly Arrows at a Besieged Town
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

The Assyrians waged war with a brutality which the Egyptians would never have tolerated. Unlike the Pharaohs, their kings were not content to imprison or put to death the principal instigators of a revolt, but their wrath would fall upon the entire population. As long as a town resisted the efforts of their besieging force, all its inhabitants bearing arms who fell into their hands were subjected to the most cruel tortures; they were cut to pieces or impaled alive on stakes, which were planted in the ground just in front of the lines, so that the besieged should enjoy a full view of the sufferings of their comrades.

201.jpg Assyrian Sappers
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

Even during the course of a short siege this line of stakes would be prolonged till it formed a bloody pale between the two contending armies. This horrible spectacle had at least the effect of shaking the courage of the besieged, and of hastening the end of hostilities. When at length the town yielded to the enemy, it was often razed to the ground, and salt was strewn upon its ruins, while the unfortunate inhabitants were either massacred or transplanted en masse elsewhere. If the bulk of the population were spared and condemned to exile, the wealthy and noble were shown no clemency; they were thrown from, the top of the city towers, their ears and noses were cut off, their hands and feet were amputated, or they and their children were roasted over a slow fire, or flayed alive, or decapitated, and their heads piled up in a heap.

202.jpg a Town Taken by Scaling
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs of the
     bronze gate at Balawât. The two soldiers who represent the
     Assyrian army carry their shields before them; flames appear
     above the ramparts, showing that the conquerors have burnt
     the town.

The victorious sovereigns appear to have taken a pride in the ingenuity with which they varied these means of torture, and dwell with complacency on the recital of their cruelties. “I constructed a pillar at the gate of the city,” is the boast of one of them; “I then flayed the chief men, and covered the post with their skins; I suspended their dead bodies from this same pillar, I impaled others on the summit of the pillar, and I ranged others on stakes around the pillar.”

Two or three executions of this kind usually sufficed to demoralise the enemy. The remaining inhabitants assembled: terrified by the majesty of Assur, and as it were blinded by the brightness of his countenance, they sunk down at the knees of the victor and embraced his feet.*

     * These are the very expressions used in the Assyrian texts:
     “The terror of my strength overthrew them, they feared the
     combat, and they embraced my feet;” and again: “The
     brightness of Assur, my lord, overturned them.” This latter
     image is explained by the presence over the king of the
     winged figure of Assur directing the battle.

203.jpg Tortures Inflicted on Prisoners
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs of the
     bronze gates of Balawât; on the right the town is seen in
     flames, and on the walls on either side hangs a row of
     heads, one above another.

The peace secured at the price of their freedom left them merely with their lives and such of their goods as could not be removed from the soil. The scribes thereupon surrounded the spoil seized by the soldiery and drew up a detailed inventory of the prisoners and their property: everything worth carrying away to Assyria was promptly registered, and despatched to the capital.

204.jpg a Convoy of Prisoners and Captives After The Taking of a Town
     Drawn by Faucher Gudin, from Layard.

The contents of the royal palace led the way; it comprised the silver, gold, and copper of the vanquished prince, his caldrons, dishes and cups of brass, the women of his harem, the maidens of his household, his furniture and stuffs, horses and chariots, together with his men and women servants. The enemy’s gods, like his kings, were despoiled of their possessions, and poor and rich suffered alike. The choicest of their troops were incorporated into the Assyrian regiments, and helped to fill the gaps which war had made in the ranks;* the peasantry and townsfolk were sold as slaves, or were despatched with their families to till the domains of the king in some Assyrian village.* Tiglath-pileser I. in this manner incorporated 120 chariots of the Kashki and the Urumi into the Assyrian chariotry.

205.jpg Convoy of Prisoners Bound in Various Ways
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief of one of the
     gates of Balawât.

The monuments often depict the exodus of these unfortunate wretches. They were represented as proceeding on their way in the charge of a few foot-soldiers—each of the men carrying, without any sign of labour, a bag of provisions, while the women bear their young children on their shoulders or in their arms: herds of cows and flocks of goats and sheep follow, chariots drawn by mules bringing up the rear with the baggage. While the crowd of non-combatants were conducted in irregular columns without manacles or chains, the veteran troops and the young men capable of bearing arms were usually bound together, and sometimes were further secured by a wooden collar placed on their necks. Many perished on the way from want or fatigue, but such as were fortunate enough to reach the end of the journey were rewarded with a small portion of land and a dwelling, becoming henceforward identified with the indigenous inhabitants of the country. Assyrians were planted as colonists in the subjugated towns, and served to maintain there the authority of the conqueror. The condition of the latter resembled to a great extent that of the old Egyptian vassals in Phoenicia or Southern Syria. They were allowed to retain their national constitution, rites, and even their sovereigns; when, for instance, after some rebellion, one of these princes had been impaled or decapitated, his successor was always chosen from among the members of his own family, usually one of his sons, who was enthroned almost before his father had ceased to breathe. He was obliged to humiliate his own gods before Assur, to pay a yearly tribute, to render succour in case of necessity to the commanders of neighbouring garrisons, to send his troops when required to swell the royal army, to give his sons or brothers as hostages, and to deliver up his own sisters and daughters, or those of his nobles, for the harem or the domestic service of the conqueror. The unfortunate prince soon resigned himself to this state of servitude; he would collect around him and reorganise his scattered subjects, restore them to their cities, rebuild their walls, replant the wasted orchards, and sow the devastated fields. A few years of relative peace and tranquillity, during which he strove to be forgotten by his conqueror, restored prosperity to his country; the population increased with extraordinary rapidity, and new generations arose who, unconscious of the disasters suffered by their predecessors, had, but one aim, that of recovering their independence. We must, however, beware of thinking that the defeat of these tribes was as crushing or their desolation as terrible as the testimony of the inscriptions would lead us to suppose. The rulers of Nineveh were but too apt to relate that this or that country had been conquered and its people destroyed, when the Assyrian army had remained merely a week or a fortnight within its territory, had burnt some half-dozen fortified towns, and taken two or three thousand prisoners.*

     * For example, Tiglath-pileser I. conquers the Kummukli in
     the first year of his reign, burning, destroying, and
     depopulating the towns, and massacring “the remainder of the
     Kummukh” who had taken refuge in the mountains, after which,
     in his second campaign, he again pillages, burns, destroys,
     and depopulates the towns, and again massacres the remainder
     of the inhabitants hiding in the mountains. He makes the
     same statements with regard to most of the other countries
     and peoples conquered by him, but we find them reappearing
     with renewed vigour on the scene, soon after their supposed

If we were to accept implicitly all that is recorded of the Assyrian exploits in Naîri or the Taurus, we should be led to believe that for at least half a century the valleys of the Upper Tigris and Middle Euphrates were transformed into a desert; each time, however, that they are subsequently mentioned on the occasion of some fresh expedition, they appear once more covered with thriving cities and a vigorous population, whose generals offer an obstinate resistance to the invaders. We are, therefore, forced to admit that the majority of these expeditions must be regarded as mere raids. The population, disconcerted by a sudden attack, would take refuge in the woods or on the mountains, carrying with them their gods, whom they thus preserved from captivity, together with a portion of their treasures and cattle; but no sooner had the invader retired, than they descended once more into the plain and returned to their usual occupations. The Assyrian victories thus rarely produced the decisive results which are claimed for them; they almost always left the conquered people with sufficient energy and resources to enable them to resume the conflict after a brief interval, and the supremacy which the suzerain claimed as a result of his conquests was of the most ephemeral nature. A revolt would suffice to shake it, while a victory would be almost certain to destroy it, and once more reduce the empire to the limits of Assyria proper.

Tukultiabalesharra, familiar to us under the name of Tiglath-pileser,* is the first of the great warrior-kings of Assyria to stand out before us with any definite individuality.

     * Tiglath-pileser is one of the transcriptions given in the
     LXX. for the Hebrew version of the name: it signifies, “The
     child of Esharra is my strength.” By “the child of Esharra”
      the Assyrians, like the Chaldæans, understood the child of

We find him, in the interval between two skirmishes, engaged in hunting lions or in the pursuit of other wild beasts, and we see him lavishing offerings on the gods and enriching their temples with the spoils of his victories; these, however, were not the normal occupations of this sovereign, for peace with him was merely an interlude in a reign of conflict. He led all his expeditions in person, undeterred by any consideration of fatigue or danger, and scarcely had he returned from one arduous campaign, than he proceeded to sketch the plan of that for the following year; in short, he reigned only to wage war. His father, Assurîshishi, had bequeathed him not only a prosperous kingdom, but a well-organised army, which he placed in the field without delay. During the fifty years since the Mushku, descending through the gorges of the Taurus, had invaded the Alzi and the Puru-kuzzi, Assyria had not only lost possession of all the countries bordering the left bank of the Euphrates, but the whole of Kummukh had withdrawn its allegiance from her, and had ceased to pay tribute. Tiglath-pileser had ascended the throne only a few weeks ere he quitted Assur, marched rapidly across Eastern Mesopotamia by the usual route, through Singar and Nisib, and climbing the chain of the Kashiara, near Mardîn, bore down into the very heart of Kummukh, where twenty thousand Mushku, under the command of five kings, resolutely awaited him. He repulsed them in the very first engagement, and pursued them hotly over hill and vale, pillaging the fields, and encircling the towns with trophies of human heads taken from the prisoners who had fallen into his hands; the survivors, to the number of six thousand, laid down their arms, and were despatched to Assyria.*

     * The king, starting from Assur, must have followed the
     route through Sindjar, Nisib, Mardîn, and Diarbekîr—a road
     used later by the Romans, and still in existence at the
     present day. As he did not penetrate that year as far as the
     provinces of Alzi and Purukuzzi, he must have halted at the
     commencement of the mountain district, and have beaten the
     allies in the plain of Kuru-tchaî, before Diarbekîr, in the
     neighbourhood of the Tigris.

The Kummukh contingents, however, had been separated in the rout from the Mushku, and had taken refuge beyond the Euphrates, near to the fortress of Shirisha, where they imagined themselves in safety behind a rampart of mountains and forests. Tiglath-pileser managed, by cutting a road for his foot-soldiers and chariots, to reach their retreat: he stormed the place without apparent difficulty, massacred the defenders, and then turning upon the inhabitants of Kurkhi,* who were on their way to reinforce the besieged, drove their soldiers into the Nâmi, whose waters carried the corpses down to the Tigris. One of their princes, Kilite-shub, son of Kaliteshub-Sarupi, had been made prisoner during the action. Tiglath-pileser sent him, together with his wives, children, treasures, and gods,** to share the captivity of the Mushku; then retracing his steps, he crossed over to the right bank of the Tigris, and attacked the stronghold of Urrakhinas which crowned the summit of Panâri.

     * The country of the Kurkhi appears to have included at this
     period the provinces lying between the Sebbeneh-Su and the
     mountains of Djudî, probably a portion of the Sophene, the
     Anzanone and the Gordyenc of classical authors.

     ** The vanquished must have crossed the Tigris below
     Diarbekîr and have taken refuge beyond Mayafarrikîn, so that
     Shirisha must be sought for between the Silvan-dagh and the
     Ak-dagh, in the basin of the Batman-tchai, the present Nâmi.

The people, terror-stricken by the fate of their neighbours, seized their idols and hid themselves within the thickets like a flock of birds. Their chief, Shaditeshub, son of Khâtusaru,* ventured from out of his hiding-place to meet the Assyrian conqueror, and prostrated himself at his feet. He delivered over his sons and the males of his family as hostages, and yielded up all his possessions in gold and copper, together with a hundred and twenty slaves and cattle of all kinds; Tiglath-pileser thereupon permitted him to keep his principality under the suzerainty of Assyria, and such of his allies as followed his example obtained a similar concession. The king consecrated the tenth of the spoil thus received to the use of his god Assur and also to Rammân;** but before returning to his capital, he suddenly resolved to make an expedition into the almost impenetrable regions which separated him from Lake Van.

     * The name of this chief’s father has always been read
     Khâtukhi: it is a form of the name Khâtusaru borne by the
     Hittite king in the time of Ramses II.

     ** The site of Urrakhinas—read by Winckler Urartinas—is
     very uncertain: the town was situated in a territory which
     could belong equally well to the Kummukh or to the Kurkhi,
     and the mention of the crossing of the Tigris seems to
     indicate that it was on the right bank of the river,
     probably in the mountain group of Tur-Abdîn.

This district was, even more than at the present day, a confused labyrinth of wooded mountain ranges, through which the Eastern Tigris and its affluents poured their rapid waters in tortuous curves. As hitherto no army had succeeded in making its way through this territory with sufficient speed to surprise the fortified villages and scattered clans inhabiting the valleys and mountain slopes, Tiglath-pileser selected from his force a small troop of light infantry and thirty chariots, with which he struck into the forests; but, on reaching the Aruma, he was forced to abandon his chariotry and proceed with the foot-soldiers only. The Mildîsh, terrified by his sudden appearance, fell an easy prey to the invader; the king scattered the troops hastily collected to oppose him, set fire to a few fortresses, seized the peasantry and their flocks, and demanded hostages and the usual tribute as a condition of peace.*

     * The Mildîsh of our inscription is to be identified with
     the country of Mount Umildîsh, mentioned by Sargon of

In his first campaign he thus reduced the upper and eastern half of Kummukh, namely, the part extending to the north of the Tigris, while in the following campaign he turned his attention to the regions bounded by the Euphrates and by the western spurs of the Kashiari. The Alzi and the Purukuzzi had been disconcerted by his victories, and had yielded him their allegiance almost without a struggle. To the southward, the Kashku and the Urumi, who had, to the number of four thousand, migrated from among the Khâti and compelled the towns of the Shubarti to break their alliance with the Ninevite kings, now made no attempt at resistance; they laid down their arms and yielded at discretion, giving up their goods and their hundred and twenty war-chariots, and resigning themselves to the task of colonising a distant corner of Assyria. Other provinces, however, were not so easily dealt with; the inhabitants entrenched themselves within their wild valleys, from whence they had to be ousted by sheer force; in the end they always had to yield, and to undertake to pay an annual tribute. The Assyrian empire thus regained on this side the countries which Shalmaneser I. had lost, owing to the absorption of his energies and interests in the events which were taking place in Chaldæa.

In his third campaign Tiglath-pileser succeeded in bringing about the pacification of the border provinces which shut in the basin of the Tigris to the north and east. The Kurkhi did not consider themselves conquered by the check they had received at the Nâmi; several of their tribes were stirring in Kharia, on the highlands above the Arzania, and their restlessness threatened to infect such of their neighbours as had already submitted themselves to the Assyrian yoke. “My master Assur commanded me to attack their proud summits, which no king has ever visited. I assembled my chariots and my foot-soldiers, and I passed between the Idni and the Ala, by a difficult country, across cloud-capped mountains whose peaks were as the point of a dagger, and unfavourable to the progress of my chariots; I therefore left my chariots in reserve, and I climbed these steep mountains. The community of the Kurkhi assembled its numerous troops, and in order to give me battle they entrenched themselves upon the Azubtagish; on the slopes of the mountain, an incommodious position, I came into conflict with them, and I vanquished them.” This lesson cost them twenty-five towns, situated at the feet of the Aîa, the Shuîra, the Idni, the Shizu, the Silgu, and the Arzanabiu*—all twenty-five being burnt to the ground.

     * The site of Kharia must be sought for probably between the
     sources of the Tigris and the Batman-tchaî.

The dread of a similar fate impelled the neighbouring inhabitants of Adaush to beg for a truce, which was granted to them;* but the people of Saraush and of Ammaush, who “from all time had never known what it was to obey,” were cut to pieces, and their survivors incorporated into the empire—a like fate overtaking the Isua and the Daria, who inhabited Khoatras.**

     * According to the context, the Adaush ought to be between
     the Kharia and the Saraush; possibly between the Batman-
     tchaî and the Bohtân-tchaî, in the neighbourhood of Mildîsh.

     ** As Tiglath-pileser was forced to cross Mount Aruma in
     order to reach the Ammaush and the Saraush, these two
     countries, together with Isua and Daria, cannot be far from
     Mildîsh; Isua is, indeed, mentioned as near to Anzitene in
     an inscription of Shalmaneser II., which obliges us to place
     it somewhere near the sources of the Batman-tchaî. The
     position of Muraddash and Saradaush is indirectly pointed
     out by the mention of the Lower Zab and the Lulumê; the name
     of Saradaush is perhaps preserved in that of Surtash, borne
     by the valley through which runs one of the tributaries of
     the Lower Zab.

Beyond this, again, on the banks of the Lesser Zab and the confines of Lulumô, the principalities of Muraddash and of Saradaush refused to come to terms. Tiglath-pileser broke their lines within sight of Muraddash, and entered the town with the fugitives in the confusion which ensued; this took place about the fourth hour of the day. The success was so prompt and complete, that the king was inclined to attribute it to the help of Rammân, and he made an offering to the temple of this god at Assur of all the copper, whether wrought or in ore, which was found among the spoil of the vanquished. He was recalled almost immediately after this victory by a sedition among the Kurkhi near the sources of the Tigris. One of their tribes, known as the Sugi, who had not as yet suffered from the invaders, had concentrated round their standards contingents from some half-dozen cities, and the united force was, to the number of six thousand, drawn up on Mount Khirikhâ. Tiglath-pileser was again victorious, and took from them twenty-five statues of their gods, which he despatched to Assyria to be distributed among the sanctuaries of Belît at Assur, of Anu, Bammân, and of Ishtar. Winter obliged him to suspend operations. When he again resumed them at the beginning of his third year, both the Kummukh and the Kurkhi were so peaceably settled that he was able to carry his expeditions without fear of danger further north, into the regions of the Upper Euphrates between the Halys and Lake Van, a district then known as Naîri. He marched diagonally across the plain of Diarbekîr, penetrated through dense forests, climbed sixteen mountain ridges one after the other by paths hitherto considered impracticable, and finally crossed the Euphrates by improvised bridges, this being, as far as we know, the first time that an Assyrian monarch had ventured into the very heart of those countries which had formerly constituted the Hittite empire.

He found them occupied by rude and warlike tribes, who derived considerable wealth from working the mines, and possessed each their own special sanctuary, the ruins of which still appear above ground, and invite the attention of the explorer. Their fortresses must have all more or less resembled that city of the Pterians which flourished for so many ages just at the bend of the Halys;* its site is still marked by a mound rising to some thirty feet above the plain, resembling the platforms on which the Chaldæan temples were always built—a few walls of burnt brick, and within an enclosure, among the débris of rudely built houses, the ruins of some temples and palaces consisting of large irregular blocks of stone.

     * The remains of the palace of the city of the Pterians, the
     present Euyuk, are probably later than the reign of Tiglath-
     pileser, and may be attributed to the Xth or IXth century
     before our era; they, however, probably give a very fair
     idea of what the towns of the Cappadocian region were like
     at the time of the first Assyrian invasions.

216.jpg General View of the Ruins Of Euyuk
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

217.jpg the Sphinx on The Right of Euyuk
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

Two colossal sphinxes guard the gateway of the principal edifice, and their presence proves with certainty how predominant was Egyptian influence even at this considerable distance from the banks of the Nile. They are not the ordinary sphinxes, with a human head surmounting the body of a lion couchant on its stone pedestal; but, like the Assyrian bulls, they are standing, and, to judge from the Hathorian locks which fall on each side of their countenances, they must have been intended to represent a protecting goddess rather than a male deity. A remarkable emblem is carved on the side of the upright to which their bodies are attached; it is none other than the double-headed eagle, the prototype of which is not infrequently found at Telloh in Lower Chaldæa, among remains dating from the time of the kings and vicegerents of Lagash.

218.jpg Two Blocks Covered With Bas-reliefs in the Euyuk Palace
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

The court or hall to which this gate gave access was decorated with bas-reliefs, which exhibit a glaring imitation of Babylonian art; we can still see on these the king, vested in his long flowing robes, praying before an altar, while further on is a procession of dignitaries following a troop of rams led by a priest to be sacrificed; another scene represents two individuals in the attitude of worship, wearing short loin-cloths, and climbing a ladder whose upper end has an uncertain termination, while a third person applies his hands to his mouth in the performance of some mysterious ceremony; beyond these are priests and priestesses moving in solemn file as if in the measured tread of some sacred dance, while in one corner we find the figure of a woman, probably a goddess, seated, holding in one hand a flower, perhaps the full-blown lotus, and in the other a cup from which she is about to drink. The costume of all these figures is that which Chaldæan fashion had imposed upon the whole of Western Asia, and consisted of the long heavy robe, falling from the shoulders to the feet, drawn in at the waist by a girdle; but it is to be noted that both sexes are shod with the turned-up shoes of the Hittites, and that the women wear high peaked caps.

219.jpg Mystic Scene at Euyuk
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

220.jpg an Asiatic Goddess
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph.

The composition of the scenes is rude, the drawing incorrect, and the general technique reminds us rather of the low reliefs of the Memphite or Theban sculptors than of the high projection characteristic of the artists of the Lower Euphrates. These slabs of sculptured stone formed a facing at the base of the now crumbling brick walls, the upper surface of which was covered with rough plastering. Here and there a few inscriptions reveal the name, titles, and parentage of some once celebrated personage, and mention the god in whose honour he had achieved the work.

The characters in which these inscriptions are written are not, as a rule, incised in the stone, but are cut in relief upon its surface, and if some few of them may remind us of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the majority are totally unlike them, both in form and execution. A careful examination of them reveals a medley of human and animal outlines, geometrical figures, and objects of daily use, which all doubtless corresponded to some letter or syllable, but to which we have as yet no trustworthy key. This system of writing is one of a whole group of Asiatic scripts, specimens of which are common in this part of the world from Crete to the banks of the Euphrates and Orontes. It is thought that the Khâti must have already adopted it before their advent to power, and that it was they who propagated it in Northern Syria. It did not take the place of the cuneiform syllabary for ordinary purposes of daily life owing to its clumsiness and complex character, but its use was reserved for monumental inscriptions of a royal or religious kind, where it could be suitably employed as a framework to scenes or single figures.

221.jpg the Asiatic Inscription of Kolitolu-yaÎla
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hogarth.

It, however, never presented the same graceful appearance and arrangement as was exhibited in the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the signs placed side by side being out of proportion with each other so as to destroy the general harmony of the lines, and it must be regarded as a script still in process of formation and not yet emerged from infancy. Every square yard of soil turned up among the ruins of the houses of Euyuk yields vestiges of tools, coarse pottery, terra-cotta and bronze statuettes of men and animals, and other objects of a not very high civilization. The few articles of luxury discovered, whether in furniture or utensils, were not indigenous products, but were imported for the most part from Chaldæa, Syria, Phoenicia, and perhaps from Egypt; some objects, indeed, came from the coast-towns of the Ægean, thus showing that Western influence was already in contact with the traditions of the East.

222.jpg Double Scend of Offerings
     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hogarth. It
     will be remarked that both altars are in the form of a
     female without a head, but draped in the Assyrian robe.

All the various races settled between the Halys and the Orontes were more or less imbued with this foreign civilization, and their monuments, though not nearly so numerous as those of the Pharaohs and Ninevite kings, bear, nevertheless, an equally striking evidence of its power. Examples of it have been pointed out in a score of different places in the valleys of the Taurus and on the plains of Cappadocia, in bas-reliefs, steke, seals, and intaglios, several of which must be nearly contemporaneous with the first Assyrian conquest.

223.jpg the Bas-relief of Ibriz
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hogarth.

One instance of it appears on the rocks at Ibriz, where a king stands in a devout attitude before a jovial giant whose hands are full of grapes and wheat-ears, while in another bas-relief near Frakhtîn we have a double scene of sacrifice. The rock-carving at Ibriz is, perhaps, of all the relics of a forgotten world, that which impresses the spectator most favourably. The concept of the scene is peculiarly naïve; indeed, the two figures are clumsily brought together, though each of them, when examined separately, is remarkable for its style and execution. The king has a dignified bearing in spite of his large head, round eyes, and the unskilful way in which his arms are set on his body. The figure of the god is not standing firmly on both feet, but the sculptor has managed to invest him with an air of grandeur and an expression of vigour and bonhomie, which reminds us of certain types of the Greek Hercules.

Tiglath-pileser was probably attracted to Asia Minor as much by considerations of mercantile interest as by the love of conquest or desire for spoil. It would, indeed, have been an incomparable gain for him had he been able, if not to seize the mines themselves, at least to come into such close proximity to them that he would be able to monopolise their entire output, and at the same time to lay hands on the great commercial highway to the trade centres of the west. The eastern terminus of this route lay already within his domains, namely, that which led to Assur by way of Amid, Nisibe, Singar, and the valley of the Upper Tigris; he was now desirous of acquiring that portion of it which wound its way from the fords of the Euphrates at Malatîyeh to the crossing of the Halys. The changes which had just taken place in Kummukh and Nairi had fully aroused the numerous petty sovereigns of the neighbourhood. The bonds which kept them together had not been completely severed at the downfall of the Hittite empire, and a certain sense of unity still lingered among them in spite of their continual feuds; they constituted, in fact, a sort of loose confederation, whose members never failed to help one another when they were threatened by a common enemy. As soon as the news of an Assyrian invasion reached them, they at once put aside their-mutual quarrels and combined to oppose the invader with their united forces. Tiglath-pileser had, therefore, scarcely crossed the Euphrates before he was attacked on his right flank by twenty-three petty kings of Naîri,* while sixty other chiefs from the same neighbourhood bore down upon him in front. He overcame the first detachment of the confederates, though not without a sharp struggle; he carried carnage into their ranks, “as it were the whirlwind of Eammân,” and seized a hundred and twenty of the enemy’s chariots. The sixty chiefs, whose domains extended as far as the “Upper Sea,” ** were disconcerted by the news of the disaster, and of their own accord laid down their arms, or offered but a feeble resistance.

     * The text of the Annals of the Xth year give thirty instead
     of twenty-three; in the course of five or six years the
     numbers have already become exaggerated.

     ** The site of the “Upper Sea” has furnished material for
     much discussion. Some believe it to be the Caspian Sea or
     the Black Sea, others take it to be Lake Van, while some
     think it to be the Mediterranean, and more particularly the
     Gulf of Issus between Syria and Cilicia. At the present day
     several scholars have returned to the theory which makes it
     the Black Sea.

Tiglath-pileser presented some of them in chains to the god Shamash; he extorted an oath of vassalage from them, forced them to give up their children as hostages, and laid a tax upon them en masse of 1200 stallions and 2000 bulls, after which he permitted them to return to their respective towns. He had, however, singled out from among them to grace his own triumph, Sini of Dayana, the only chief among them who had offered him an obstinate resistance; but even he was granted his liberty after he had been carried captive to Assur, and made to kneel before the gods of Assyria.*

     * Dayani, which is mentioned in the Annals of Shalmaneser
     II., has been placed on the banks of the Murad-su by
     Schrader, and more particularly in the neighbourhood of
     Melasgerd by Sayce; Delattre has shown that it was the last
     and most westerly of twenty-three kingdoms conquered by
     Tiglath-pileser I., and that it was consequently enclosed
     between the Murad-su and the Euphrates proper.

Before returning to the capital, Tiglath-pileser attacked Khanigalbat, and appeared before Milidia: as the town attempted no defence, he spared it, and contented himself with levying a small contribution upon its inhabitants. This expedition was rather of the nature of a reconnaissance than a conquest, but it helped to convince the king of the difficulty of establishing any permanent suzerainty over the country. The Asiatic peoples were quick to bow before a sudden attack; but no sooner had the conqueror departed, than those who had sworn him eternal fealty sought only how best to break their oaths. The tribes in immediate proximity to those provinces which had been long subject to the Assyrian rule, were intimidated into showing some respect for a power which existed so close to their own borders. But those further removed from the seat of government felt a certain security in their distance from it, and were tempted to revert to the state of independence they had enjoyed before the conquest; so that unless the sovereign, by a fresh campaign, promptly made them realise that their disaffection would not remain unpunished, they soon forgot their feudatory condition and the duties which it entailed.

Three years of merciless conflict with obstinate and warlike mountain tribes had severely tried the Assyrian army, if it had not worn out the sovereign; the survivors of so many battles were in sore need of a well-merited repose, the gaps left by death had to be filled, and both infantry and chariotry needed the re-modelling of their corps. The fourth year of the king’s reign, therefore, was employed almost entirely in this work of reorganisation; we find only the record of a raid of a few weeks against the Akhlamî and other nomadic Aramæans situated beyond the Mesopotamian steppes. The Assyrians spread over the district between the frontiers of Sukhi and the fords of Carchemish for a whole day, killing all who resisted, sacking the villages and laying hands on slaves and cattle. The fugitives escaped over the Euphrates, vainly hoping that they would be secure in the very heart of the Khâti. Tiglath-pileser, however, crossed the river on rafts supported on skins, and gave the provinces of Mount Bishri over to fire and sword:* six walled towns opened their gates to him without having ventured to strike a blow, and he quitted the country laden with spoil before the kings of the surrounding cities had had time to recover from their alarm.

     * The country of Bishri was situated, as the Annals point
     out, in the immediate neighbourhood of Carchemish. The name
     is preserved in that of Tell Basher still borne by the
     ruins, and a modern village on the banks of the Sajur. The
     Gebel Bishri to which Hommel alludes is too far to the south
     to correspond to the description given in the inscription of

This expedition was for Tiglath-pileser merely an interlude between two more serious campaigns; and with the beginning of his fifth year he reappeared in the provinces of the Upper Euphrates to complete his conquest of them. He began by attacking and devastating Musri, which lay close to the territory of Milid. While thus occupied he was harassed by bands of Kumani; he turned upon them, overcame them, and imprisoned the remainder of them in the fortress of Arini, at the foot of Mount Aisa, where he forced them to kiss his feet. His victory over them, however, did not disconcert their neighbours. The bulk of the Kumani, whose troops had scarcely suffered in the engagement, fortified themselves on Mount Tala, to the number of twenty thousand; the king carried the heights by assault, and hotly pursued the fugitives as far as the range of Kharusa before Musri, where the fortress of Khunusa afforded them a retreat behind its triple walls of brick. The king, nothing daunted, broke his way through them one after another, demolished the ramparts, razed the houses, and strewed the ruins with salt; he then constructed a chapel of brick as a sort of trophy, and dedicated within it what was known as a copper thunderbolt, being an image of the missile which Eammân, the god of thunder, brandished in the face of his enemies. An inscription engraved on the object recorded the destruction of Khunusa, and threatened with every divine malediction the individual, whether an Assyrian or a stranger, who should dare to rebuild the city. This victory terrified the Kumani, and their capital, Kibshuna, opened its gates to the royal troops at the first summons. Tiglath-pileser completely destroyed the town, but granted the inhabitants their lives on condition of their paying tribute; he chose from among them, however, three hundred families who had shown him the most inveterate hostility, and sent them as exiles into Assyria.*

     * The country of the Kumani or Kammanu is really the
     district of Comana in Cataonia, and not the Comana Pontica
     or the Khammanene on the banks of the Halys. Delattre thinks
     that Tiglath-pileser penetrated into this region by the
     Jihun, and consequently seeks to identify the names of towns
     and mountains, e.g. Mount Ilamuni with Jaur-dagh, the
     Kharusa with Shorsh-dagh, and the Tala with the Kermes-dagh;
     but it is difficult to believe that, if the king took this
     route, he would not mention the town of Marqasi-Marash,
     which lay at the very foot of the Jaur-dagh, and would have
     stopped his passage. It is more probable that the Assyrians,
     starting from Melitene, which they had just subdued, would
     have followed the route which skirts the northern slope of
     the Taurus by Albistan; the scene of the conflict in this
     case would probably have been the mountainous district of

With this victory the first half of his reign drew to its close; in five years Tiglath-pileser had subjugated forty-two peoples and their princes within an area extending from the banks of the Lower Zab to the plains of the Khâti, and as far as the shores of the Western Seas. He revisited more than once these western and northern regions in which he had gained his early triumphs. The reconnaissance which he had made around Carchemish had revealed to him the great wealth of the Syrian table-land, and that a second raid in that direction could be made more profitable than ten successful campaigns in Naîri or upon the banks of the Zab. He therefore marched his battalions thither, this time to remain for more than a few days. He made his way through the whole breadth of the country, pushed forward up the valley of the Orontes, crossed the Lebanon, and emerged above the coast of the Mediterranean in the vicinity of Arvad.

230.jpg Sacrifice Offered Before the Royal Stele
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the
     bronze gates of Balawât.

This is the first time for many centuries that an Oriental sovereign had penetrated so far west; and his contemporaries must have been obliged to look back to the almost fabulous ages of Sargon of Agadê or of Khammurabi, to find in the long lists of the dynasties of the Euphrates any record of a sovereign who had planted his standards on the shores of the Sea of the Setting Sun.*

     *This is the name given by the Assyrians to the

Tiglath-pileser embarked on its waters, made a cruise into the open, and killed a porpoise, but we have no record of any battles fought, nor do we know how he was received by the Phoenician towns. He pushed on, it is thought, as far as the Nahr el-Kelb, and the sight of the hieroglyphic inscriptions which Ramses had caused to be cut there three centuries previously aroused his emulation. Assyrian conquerors rarely quitted the scene of their exploits without leaving behind them some permanent memorial of their presence. A sculptor having hastily smoothed the surface of a rock, cut out on it a figure of the king, to which was usually added a commemorative inscription. In front of this stele was erected an altar, upon which sacrifices were made, and if the monument was placed near a stream or the seashore, the soldiers were accustomed to cast portions of the victims into the water in order to propitiate the river-deities.

231.jpg Portions of the Sacrificial Victims Thrown Into The Water
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the
     bronze gates of Balawât.

One of the half-effaced Assyrian stelæ adjoining those of the Egyptian conqueror is attributed to Tiglath-pileser.*

     *Boscawen thinks that we may attribute to Tiglath-pileser I.
     the oldest of the Assyrian stelæ at Nahr el-Kelb; no
     positive information has as yet confirmed this hypothesis,
     which is in other respects very probable.

It was on his return, perhaps, from this campaign that he planted colonies at Pitru on the right, and at Mutkînu on the left bank of the Euphrates, in order to maintain a watch over Carchemish, and the more important fords connecting Mesopotamia with the plains of the Apriê and the Orontes.*

     * The existence of these colonies is known only from an
     inscription of Shalmaneser II.

233.jpg the Stele at Sebenneh-su
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a sketch by
P. Taylor, in
G. Rawlinson.

The news of Tiglath-pileser’s expedition was not long in reaching the Delta, and the Egyptian monarch then reigning at Tanis was thus made acquainted with the fact that there had arisen in Syria a new power before which his own was not unlikely to give way. In former times such news would have led to a war between the two states, but the time had gone by when Egypt was prompt to take up arms at the slightest encroachment on her Asiatic provinces. Her influence at this time was owing merely to her former renown, and her authority beyond the isthmus was purely traditional. The Tanite Pharaoh had come to accept with resignation the change in the fortunes of Egypt, and he therefore contented himself with forwarding to the Assyrian conqueror, by one of the Syrian coasting vessels, a present of some rare wild beasts and a few crocodiles. In olden times Assyria had welcomed the arrival of Thûtmosis III. on the Euphrates by making him presents, which the Theban monarch regarded in the light of tribute: the case was now reversed, the Egyptian Pharaoh taking the position formerly occupied by the Assyrian monarch. Tiglath-pileser graciously accepted this unexpected homage, but the turbulent condition of the northern tribes prevented his improving the occasion by an advance into Phoenicia and the land of Canaan. Naîri occupied his attention on two separate occasions at least; on the second of these he encamped in the neighbourhood of the source of the river Subnat. This stream, had for a long period issued from a deep grotto, where in ancient times a god was supposed to dwell. The conqueror was lavish in religious offerings here, and caused a bas-relief to be engraved on the entrance in remembrance of his victories.

He is here represented as standing upright, the tiara on his brow, and his right arm extended as if in the act of worship, while his left, the elbow brought up to his side, holds a club. The inscription appended to the figure tells, with an eloquence all the more effective from its brevity, how, “with the aid of Assur, Shamash, and Eammân, the great gods, my lords, I, Tiglath-pileser, King of Assyria, son of Assurîshishî, King of Assyria, son of Mutakkilnusku, King of Assyria, conqueror from the great sea, the Mediterranean, to the great sea of Naîri, I went for the third time to Naîri.”

The gods who had so signally favoured the monarch received the greater part of the spoils which he had secured in his campaigns. The majority of the temples of Assyria, which were founded at a time when its city was nothing more than a provincial capital owing allegiance to Babylon, were either, it would appear, falling to ruins from age, or presented a sorry exterior, utterly out of keeping with the magnitude of its recent wealth. The king set to work to enlarge or restore the temples of Ishtar, Martu, and the ancient Bel;* he then proceeded to rebuild, from the foundations to the summit, that of Anu and Bammân, which the vicegerent Samsirammân, son of Ismidagan, had constructed seven hundred and one years previously. This temple was the principal sanctuary of the city, because it was the residence of the chief of the gods, Assur, under his appellation of Anu.**

     * “Bel the ancient,” or possibly “the ancient master,”
      appears to have been one of the names of Anu, who is
     naturally in this connexion the same as Assur.

     ** This was the great temple of which the ruins still exist.

The soil was cleared away down to the bed-rock, upon which an enormous substructure, consisting of fifty courses of bricks, was laid, and above this were erected two lofty ziggurâts, whose tile-covered surfaces shone like the rising sun in their brightness; the completion of the whole was commemorated by a magnificent festival. The special chapel of Bammân and his treasury, dating from the time of the same Samsirammân who had raised the temple of Anu, were also rebuilt on a more important scale.*

     * The British Museum possesses bricks bearing the name of
     Tiglath-pileser I., brought from this temple, as is shown by
     the inscription on their sides.

These works were actively carried on notwithstanding the fact that war was raging on the frontier; however preoccupied he might be with warlike projects, Tiglath-pileser never neglected the temples, and set to work to collect from every side materials for their completion and adornment.

235.jpg Transport of Building Materials by Water
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief on the bronze
     doors at Balawât.

He brought, for example, from Naîri such marble and hard stone as might be needed for sculptural purposes, together with the beams of cedar and cypress required by his carpenters. The mountains of Singar and of the Zab furnished the royal architects with building stone for ordinary uses, and for those facing slabs of bluish gypsum on which the bas-reliefs of the king’s exploits were carved; the blocks ready squared were brought down the affluents of the Tigris on rafts or in boats, and thus arrived at their destination without land transport.

236.jpg Rare Animals Brought Back As Trophies by The King
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the cast in the Louvre. The
     original is in the British Museum.

The kings of Assyria, like the Pharaohs, had always had a passion for rare trees and strange animals; as soon as they entered a country, they inquired what natural curiosities it contained, and they would send back to their own land whatever specimens of them could be procured.

237.jpg Monkey Brought Back As Tribute
     Drawn by Boudier, from the bas-relief in Layard.

The triumphal cortege which accompanied the monarch on his return after each campaign comprised not only prisoners and spoil of a useful sort, but curiosities from all the conquered districts, as, for instance, animals of unusual form or habits, rhinoceroses and crocodiles,* and if some monkey of a rare species had been taken in the sack of a town, it also would find a place in the procession, either held in a leash or perched on the shoulders of its keeper.

     * A crocodile sent as a present by the King of Egypt is
     mentioned in the Inscription of the Broken Obelisk. The
     animal is called namsukha, which is the Egyptian msuhu
     with the plural article na.

The campaigns of the monarch were thus almost always of a double nature, comprising not merely a conflict with men, but a continual pursuit of wild beasts. Tiglath-pileser, “in the service of Ninib, had killed four great specimens of the male urus in the desert of Mitanni, near to the town of Arazîki, opposite to the countries of the Khâti;* he killed them with his powerful bow, his dagger of iron, his pointed lance, and he brought back their skins and horns to his city of Assur. He secured ten strong male elephants, in the territory of Harrân and upon the banks of the Khabur, and he took four of them alive: he brought back their skins and their tusks, together with the living elephants, to his city of Assur.” He killed moreover, doubtless also in the service of Ninib, a hundred and twenty lions, which he attacked on foot, despatching eight hundred more with arrows from his chariot,** all within the short space of five years, and we may well ask what must have been the sum total, if the complete record for his whole reign were extant. We possess, unfortunately, no annals of the later years of this monarch; we have reason to believe that he undertook several fresh expeditions into Nairi,*** and a mutilated tablet records some details of troubles with Elam in the Xth year of his reign.

     * The town of Arazîki has been identified with the Eragiza
     (Eraziga) of Ptolemy; the Eraziga of Ptolemy was on the
     right bank of the Euphrates, while the text of Tiglath-
     pileser appears to place Arazîki on the left bank.

     ** The account of the hunts in the Annals is supplemented
     by the information furnished in the first column of the
     “Broken Obelisk.” The monument is of the time of Assur-nazir-
     pal, but the first column contains an abstract from an
     account of an anonymous hunt, which a comparison of numbers
     and names leads us to attribute to Tiglath-pileser I.; some
     Assyri-ologists, however, attribute it to Assur-nazir-pal.

     * The inscription of Sebbeneh-Su was erected at the time of
     the third expedition into Naîri, and the Annals give only
     one; the other two expeditions must, therefore, be
     subsequent to the Vth year of his reign.

We gather that he attacked a whole series of strongholds, some of whose names have a Cossæan ring about them, such as Madkiu, Sudrun, Ubrukhundu, Sakama, Shuria, Khirishtu, and Andaria. His advance in this direction must have considerably provoked the Chaldæans, and, indeed, it was not long before actual hostilities broke out between the two nations. The first engagement took place in the valley of the Lower Zab, in the province of Arzukhina, without any decisive result, but in the following year fortune favoured the Assyrians, for Dur-kurigalzu, both Sipparas, Babylon, and Upi opened their gates to them, while Akar-sallu, the Akhlamê, and the whole of Sukhi as far as Eapîki tendered their submission to Tiglath-achuch-sawh-akhl-pileser.

239.jpg Merodach-nadin-akhi
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from the heliogravure
in Pr. Lenormant. The
original is in the
British Museum. It is
one of the boundary
stones which were set
up in a corner of a
field to mark its
legal limit.

Merodach-nadin-akhi, who was at this time reigning in Chaldæa, was like his ancestor Nebuchadrezzar I., a brave and warlike sovereign: he appears at first to have given way under the blow thus dealt him, and to have acknowledged the suzerainty of his rival, who thereupon assumed the title of Lord of the four Houses of the World, and united under a single empire the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. But this state of things lasted for a few years only; Merodach-nadin-akhi once more took courage, and, supported by the Chaldæan nobility, succeeded in expelling the intruders from Sumir and Akkad. The Assyrians, however, did not allow themselves to be driven out without a struggle, but fortune turned against them; they were beaten, and the conqueror inflicted on the Assyrian gods the humiliation to which they had so often subjected those of other nations. He took the statues of Eammân and Shala from Ekallati, carried them to Babylon, and triumphantly set them up within the temple of Bel. There they remained in captivity for 418 years.* Tiglath-pileser did not long survive this disaster, for he died about the year 1100 B.C.,** and two of his sons succeeded him on the throne. The elder, Assur-belkala,*** had neither sufficient energy nor resources to resume the offensive, and remained a passive spectator of the revolutions which distracted Babylon.

     * We know this fact from the inscription of Bavian, in which
     Sennacherib boasts of having brought back these statues to
     Assyria after they had been 418 years in the possession of
     the enemy. I have followed the commonly received opinion,
     which places the defeat of Tiglath-pileser after the taking
     of Babylon; others think that it preceded the decisive
     victory of the Assyrians. It is improbable that, if the loss
     of the statues preceded the decisive victory, the Assyrian
     conquerors should have left their gods prisoners in a
     Babylonian temple, and should not have brought them back
     immediately to Ekallati.

     ** The death of Tiglath-pileser must have followed quickly
     on the victory of Babylon; the contents of the inscription
     of Bavian permit us to fix the taking of Ekallati by the
     Chaldæans about the year 1108-1106 B.C. We shall not be far
     wrong in supposing Tiglath-pileser to have reigned six or
     eight years after his defeat.

     *** I followed the usually received classification. It is,
     however, possible that we must reverse the order of the

Merodach-nadin-akhi had been followed by his son Merodach-shapîk-zîrîm,* but this prince was soon dethroned by the people, and Bammân-abaliddîn, a man of base extraction, seized the crown.

     * The name of the Babylonian king has been variously read
     Merodach-shapîk-zirat, Merodach-shapîk-kullat, Merodach-
     shapîk-zirmâti and Merodach-shapîk-zîrîm.

Assur-belkala not only extended to this usurper the friendly relations he had kept up with the legitimate sovereign, but he asked for the hand of his daughter in marriage, and the rich dowry which she brought her husband no doubt contributed to the continuation of his pacific policy. He appears also to have kept possession of all the parts of Mesopotamia and Kammukh conquered by his father, and it is possible that he may have penetrated beyond the Euphrates. His brother, Samsi-rammân III., does not appear to have left any more definite mark upon history than Assur-belkala; he decorated the temples built by his predecessors, but beyond this we have no certain record of his achievements. We know nothing of the kings who followed him, their names even having been lost, but about a century and a half after Tiglath-pileser, a certain Assurirba seems to have crossed Northern Syria, and following in the footsteps of his great ancestor, to have penetrated as far as the Mediterranean: on the rocks of Mount Amanus, facing the sea, he left a triumphal inscription in which he set forth the mighty deeds he had accomplished. This is merely a gleam out of the murky night which envelops his history, and the testimony of one of his descendants informs us that his good fortune soon forsook him: the Aramaeans wrested from him the fortresses of Pitru and Mutkînu, which commanded both banks of the Euphrates near Carchemish. Nor did the retrograde movement slaken after his time: Assyria slowly wasted away down to the end of the Xth century, and but for the simultaneous decadence of the Chaldaeans, its downfall would have been complete. But neither Rammân-abaliddîn nor his successor was able to take advantage of its weakness; discord and want of energy soon brought about their own ruin. The dynasty of Pashê disappeared towards the middle of the Xth century, and a family belonging to the “Countries of the Sea” took its place: it had continued for about one hundred and thirty-two years, and had produced eleven kings.*

     * It is no easy matter to draw up an exact list of this
     dynasty, and Hilprecht’s attempt to do so contains more than
     one doubtful name. The following list is very imperfect and
     doubtful, but the best that our present knowledge enables us
     to put forward.

242.jpg Table of Kings

242b (37K)

What were the causes of this depression, from which Babylon suffered at almost regular intervals, as though stricken with some periodic malady? The main reason soon becomes apparent if we consider the nature of the country and the material conditions of its existence. Chaldæa was neither extensive enough nor sufficiently populous to afford a solid basis for the ambition of her princes. Since nearly every man capable of bearing arms was enrolled in the army, the Chaktean kings had no difficulty in raising, at a moment’s notice, a force which could be employed to repel an invasion, or make a sudden attack on some distant territory; it was in schemes which required prolonged and sustained effort that they felt the drawbacks of their position. In that age of hand-to-hand combats, the mortality in battle was very high, forced marches through forests and across mountains entailed a heavy loss of men, and three or four consecutive campaigns against a stubborn foe soon reduced an army to a condition of dangerous weakness. Recruits might be obtained to fill the earlier vacancies in the ranks, but they soon grew fewer and fewer if time was not given for recovery after the opening victories in the struggle, and the supply eventually ceased if operations were carried on beyond a certain period.

The total duration of the dynasty was, according to the Royal Canon, 72 years 6 months. Peiser has shown that this is a mistake, and he proposes to correct it to 132 years 6 months, and this is accepted by most Assyri-ologists.

A reign which began brilliantly often came to an impotent conclusion, owing to the king having failed to economise his reserves; and the generations which followed, compelled to adopt a strictly defensive attitude, vegetated in a sort of anaemic condition, until the birth-rate had brought the proportion of males up to a figure sufficiently high to provide the material for a fresh army. When Nebuchadrezzar made war upon Assurîshishî, he was still weak from the losses he had incurred during the campaign against Elam, and could not conduct his attack with the same vigour as had gained him victory on the banks of the Ulaî; in the first year he only secured a few indecisive advantages, and in the second he succumbed. Merodach-nadin-akhi was suffering from the reverses sustained by his predecessors when Tiglath-pileser provoked him to war, and though he succeeded in giving a good account of an adversary who was himself exhausted by dearly bought successes, he left to his descendants a kingdom which had been drained of its last drop of blood. The same reason which explains the decadence of Babylon shows us the cause of the periodic eclipses undergone by Assyria after each outburst of her warlike spirit. She, too, had to pay the penalty of an ambition which was out of all proportion to her resources. The mighty deeds of Shalmaneser and Tukulti-ninip were, as a natural consequence, followed by a state of complete prostration under Tukultiassurbel and Assurnîrarî: the country was now forced to pay for the glories of Assurîshishî and of Tiglath-pileser by falling into an inglorious state of languor and depression. Its kings, conscious that their rule must be necessarily precarious as long as they did not possess a larger stock of recruits to fall back on, set their wits to work to provide by various methods a more adequate reserve. While on one hand they installed native Assyrians in the more suitable towns of conquered countries, on the other they imported whole hordes of alien prisoners chosen for their strength and courage, and settled them down in districts by the banks of the Tigris and the Zab. We do not know what Eammânirâni and Shalmaneser may have done in this way, but Tiglath-pileser undoubtedly introduced thousands of the Mushku, the Urumseans, the people of Kummukh and Naîri, and his example was followed by all those of his successors whose history has come down to us. One might have expected that such an invasion of foreigners, still smarting under the sense of defeat, might have brought with it an element of discontent or rebellion; far from it, they accepted their exile as a judgment of the gods, which the gods alone had a right to reverse, and did their best to mitigate the hardness of their lot by rendering unhesitating obedience to their masters. Their grandchildren, born in the midst of Assyrians, became Assyrians themselves, and if they did not entirely divest themselves of every trace of their origin, at any rate became so closely identified with the country of their adoption, that it was difficult to distinguish them from the native race. The Assyrians who were sent out to colonise recently acquired provinces were at times exposed to serious risks. Now and then, instead of absorbing the natives among whom they lived, they were absorbed by them, which meant a loss of so much fighting strength to the mother country; even under the most favourable conditions a considerable time must have passed before they could succeed in assimilating to themselves the races amongst whom they lived. At last, however, a day would dawn when the process of incorporation was accomplished, and Assyria, having increased her area and resources twofold, found herself ready to endure to the end the strain of conquest. In the interval, she suffered from a scarcity of fighting men, due to the losses incurred in her victories, and must have congratulated herself that her traditional foe was not in a position to take advantage of this fact.

The first wave of the Assyrian invasion had barely touched Syria; it had swept hurriedly over the regions in the north, and then flowed southwards to return no more, so that the northern races were able to resume the wonted tenor of their lives. For centuries after this their condition underwent no change; there was the same repetition of dissension and intrigue, the same endless succession of alliances and battles without any signal advantage on either side. The Hittites still held Northern Syria: Carchemish was their capital, and more than one town in its vicinity preserved the tradition of their dress, their language, their arts, and their culture in full vigour. The Greek legends tell us vaguely of some sort of Cilician empire which is said to have brought the eastern and central provinces of Asia Minor into subjection about ten centuries before our era.*

     * Solinus, relying on the indirect evidence of Hecatseus of
     Miletus, tells us that Cilicia extended not only to the
     countries afterwards known as Cataonia, Commagene, and
     Syria, but also included Lydia, Media, Armenia, Pamphylia,
     and Cappadocia; the conquests of the Assyrian kings must
     have greatly reduced its area. I am of opinion that the
     tradition preserved by  Hecatous referred both to the
     kingdom of Sapalulu and to that of the monarchs of this
     second epoch.

Is there any serious foundation for such a belief, and must we assume that there existed at this time and in this part of the world a kingdom similar to that of Sapalulu? Assyria was recruiting its forces, Chaldæa was kept inactive by its helplessness, Egypt slumbered by the banks of its river, there was no actor of the first rank to fill the stage; now was the opportunity for a second-rate performer to come on the scene and play such a part as his abilities permitted. The Cilician conquest, if this be indeed the date at which it took place, had the boards to itself for a hundred years after the defeat of Assurirba. The time was too short to admit of its striking deep root in the country. Its leaders and men were, moreover, closely related to the Syrian Hittites; the language they spoke was, if not precisely the Hittite, at any rate a dialect of it; their customs were similar, if, perhaps, somewhat less refined, as is often the case with mountain races, when compared with the peoples of the plain. We are tempted to conclude that some of the monuments found south of the Taurus were their handiwork, or, at any rate, date from their time. For instance, the ruined palace at Sinjirli, the lower portions of which are ornamented with pictures similar to those at Pteria, representing processions of animals, some real, others fantastic, men armed with lances or bending the bow, and processions of priests or officials. Then there is the great lion at Marash, which stands erect, with menacing head, its snarling lips exposing the teeth; its body is seamed with the long lines of an inscription in the Asiatic character, in imitation of those with which the bulls in the Assyrian palaces are covered. These Cilicians gave an impulse to the civilization of the Khâti which they sorely needed, for the Semitic races, whom they had kept in subjection for centuries, now pressed them hard on all the territory over which they had formerly reigned, and were striving to drive them back into the hills.

248.jpg Lion at Makash
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the cast shown at the
     Paris Exhibition of 1889.

The Aramæans in particular gave them a great deal of trouble. The states on the banks of the Euphrates had found them awkward neighbours; was this the moment chosen by the Pukudu, the Eutu, the Gambulu, and a dozen other Aramaean tribes, for a stealthy march across the frontier of Elam, between Durilu and the coast? The tribes from which, soon after, the Kaldi nation was formed, were marauding round Eridu, Uru, and Larsa, and may have already begun to lay the foundations of their supremacy over Babylon: it is, indeed, an open question whether those princes of the Countries of the Sea who succeeded the Pashê dynasty did not come from the stock of the Kaldi Aramaeans. While they were thus consolidating on the south-east, the bulk of the nation continued to ascend northwards, and rejoined its outposts in the central region of the Euphrates, which extends from the Tigris to the Khabur, from the Khabur to the Balîkh and the Apriê. They had already come into frequent conflict with most of the victorious Assyrian kings, from Eammânirâri down to Tiglath-pileser; the weakness of Assyria and Chaldæa gave them their opportunity, and they took full advantage of it. They soon became masters of the whole of Mesopotamia; a part of the table-land extending from Carchemish to Mount Amanus fell into their hands, their activity was still greater in the basin of the Orontes, and their advanced guard, coming into collision with the Amorites near the sources of the Litany, began gradually to drive farther and farther southwards all that remained of the races which had shown so bold a front to the Egyptian troops. Here was an almost entirely new element, gradually eliminating from the scene of the struggle other elements which had grown old through centuries of war, and while this transformation was taking place in Northern and Central, a similar revolution was effecting a no less surprising metamorphosis in Southern Syria. There, too, newer races had gradually come to displace the nations over which the dynasties of Thûtmosis and Ramses had once held sway. The Hebrews on the east, the Philistines and their allies on the south-west, were about to undertake the conquest of the Kharu and its cities. As yet their strength was inadequate, their temperament undecided, their system of government imperfect; but they brought with them the quality of youth, and energies which, rightly guided, would assure the nation which first found out how to take advantage of them, supremacy over all its rivals, and the strength necessary for consolidating the whole country into a single kingdom.

250.jpg Tailpiece

251.jpg Page Image

252.jpg Page Image



The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes—The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan—The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews—The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh.

The Philistines, their political organisation, their army and fleet—Judah, Dan, and the story of Samson—Benjamin on the Philistine frontier—Eli and the ark of the covenant—The Philistine dominion over Israel; Samuel, Saul, the Benjamite monarchy—David, his retreat to the desert of Judah and his sojourn at Zilclag—The battle of Gilboa and the death of Saul—The struggle between Ish-bosheth and David—David sole king, and the final defeat of the Philistines—Jerusalem becomes the capital; the removal of the ark—Wars with the peoples of the East—Absalom’s rebellion; the coronation of Solomon.

Solomon’s government and his buildings—Phoenician colonisation in Spain: Hiram I. and the enlargement of Tyre—The voyages to Ophir and Tarshish—The palace at Jerusalem, the temple and its dedication: the priesthood and prophets—The death of Solomon; the schism of the ten tribes and the division of the Hebrew kingdom.

The XXIst Egyptian dynasty: the Theban high priests and the Tanite Pharaohs—The Libyan mercenaries and their predominance in the state: the origin of the XXIInd (Bubastite) dynasty—Sheshonq I. as king and his son Aûpûti as high priest of Amon; the hiding-place at Deîr el-Baharî—Sheshonq’s expedition against Jerusalem.

The two Hebrew “kingdoms”; the fidelity of Judah to the descendants of Solomon, and the repeated changes of dynasty in Israel—Asa and Baasha—The kingdom of Damascus and its origin—Bezon, Tabrimmon, Benhadad I.—Omri and the foundation of Samaria: Ahab and the Tyrian alliance—The successors of Hiram I. at Tyre: Ithobaal I.—The prophets, their struggle against Phonician idolatry, the story of Elijah—The wars between Israel and Damascus up to the time of the Assyrian invasion.

253.jpg Page Image


The Israelites in the land of Canaan: the judges—The Philistines and the Hebrew kingdom—Saul, David, Solomon, the defection of the ten tribes—the XXIst Egyptian dynasty—Sheshonq—Damascus.

After reaching Kadesh-barnea, the Israelites in their wanderings had come into contact with various Bedawin tribes—Kenites, Jerahmelites, Edomites, and Midianites, with whom they had in turn fought or allied themselves, according to the exigencies of their pastoral life. Continual skirmishes had taught them the art of war, their numbers had rapidly increased, and with this increase came a consciousness of their own strength, so that, after a lapse of two or three generations, they may be said to have constituted a considerable nation. Its component elements were not, however, firmly welded together; they consisted of an indefinite number of clans, which were again subdivided into several families. Each of these families had its chief or “ruler,” to whom it rendered absolute obedience, while the united chiefs formed an assembly of elders who administered justice when required, and settled any differences which arose among their respective followers. The clans in their turn were grouped into tribes,* according to certain affinities which they mutually recognised, or which may have been fostered by daily intercourse on a common soil, but the ties which bound them together at this period were of the most slender character. It needed some special event, such as a projected migration in search of fresh pasturage, or an expedition against a turbulent neighbour, or a threatened invasion by some stranger, to rouse the whole tribe to corporate action; at such times they would elect a “nasi,” or ruler, the duration of whose functions ceased with the emergency which had called him into office.**

     * The tribe was designated by two words signifying “staff” or
     ** The word nasi, first applied to the chiefs of the
     tribes (Exod. xxxiv. 31; Lev. iv. 22; Numb. ii. 3),
     became, after the captivity, the title of the chiefs of
     Israel, who could not be called kings owing to the foreign
     suzerainty (Esdras i. 8).

Both clans and tribes were designated by the name of some ancestor from whom they claimed to be descended, and who appears in some cases to have been a god for whom they had a special devotion; some writers have believed that this was also the origin of the names given to several of the tribes, such as Gad, “Good Fortune,” or of the totems of the hyena and the dog, in Arabic and Hebrew, “Simeon” and “Caleb.” * Gad, Simeon, and Caleb were severally the ancestors of the families who ranged themselves under their respective names, and the eponymous heroes of all the tribes were held to have been brethren, sons of one father, and under the protection of one God. He was known as the Jahveh with whom Abraham of old had made a solemn covenant; His dwelling-place was Mount Sinai or Mount Seîr, and He revealed Himself in the storm;** His voice was as the thunder “which shaketh the wilderness,” His breath was as “a consuming fire,” and He was decked with light “as with a garment.” When His anger was aroused, He withheld the dew and rain from watering the earth; but when His wrath was appeased, the heavens again poured their fruitful showers upon the fields.***

     * Simeon is derived by some from a word which at times
     denotes a hyena, at others a cross between a dog and a
     hyena, according to Arab lexicography. With regard to Caleb,
     Renan prefers a different interpretation; it is supposed to
     be a shortened form of Kalbel, and “Dog of El” is a strong
     expression to denote the devotion of a tribe to its patron

     ** Cf. the graphic description of the signs which
     accompanied the manifestations of Jahveh in the Song of
     Deborah (Judges v. 4, 5), and also in 1 Kings xix. 11-13.

     *** See 1 Kings xvii., xviii., where the conflict between
     Elijah and the prophets of Baal for the obtaining of rain is

He is described as being a “jealous God,” brooking no rival, and “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” We hear of His having been adored under the figure of a “calf,” * and of His Spirit inspiring His prophets, as well as of the anointed stones which were dedicated in His honour. The common ancestor of the nation was acknowledged to have been Jacob, who, by his wrestling with God, had obtained the name of Israel; the people were divided theoretically into as many tribes as he had sons, but the number twelve to which they were limited does not entirely correspond with all that we know up to the present time of these “children of Israel.” Some of the tribes appear never to have had any political existence, as for example that of Levi,** or they were merged at an early date into some fellow-tribe, as in the case of Reuben with Gad;*** others, such as Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, and Judah, apparently did not attain their normal development until a much later date.

     * The most common of these animal forms was that of a calf
     or bull (Exod. xxxii.; Deut. ix. 21; and in the kingly
     period, 1 Kings xii. 28-30; 2 Kings x. 29); we are not told
     the form of the image of Micah the Ephraimite (Judges xviii.
     14, 17, 18, 20, 30, 31).

     ** Levi appears to have suffered dispersion after the events
     of which there are two separate accounts combined in Gen.
     xxxiv. In conjunction with Simeon, he appears to have
     revenged the violation of his sister Dinah by a massacre of
     the Shechemites, and the dispersion alluded to in Jacob’s
     blessing (Gen. xlix. 5-7) is mentioned as consequent on this
     act of barbarism.

     *** In the IXth century Mesha of Moab does not mention the
     Reubenites, and speaks of the Gadites only as inhabiting the
     territory formerly occupied by them. Tradition attributed
     the misfortunes of the tribe to the crime of its chief in
     his seduction of Bilhah, his father’s concubine (Gen. xlix.
     3, 4; cf. xxxv. 22)

The Jewish chroniclers attempted by various combinations to prove that the sacred number of tribes was the correct one. At times they included Levi in the list, in which case Joseph was reckoned as one;* while on other occasions Levi or Simeon was omitted, when for Joseph would be substituted his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.** In addition to this, the tribes were very unequal in size: Ephraim, Gad, and Manasseh comprised many powerful and wealthy families; Dan, on the contrary, contained so few, that it was sometimes reckoned as a mere clan.

     * As, for instance, in Jacob’s blessing (Gen. xlix. 5-7) and
     in the enumeration of the patriarch’s sons at the time of
     his journey to Egypt (Gen. xlvi. 9-26).

     ** Numb. i. 20, et seq., where the descendants of Levi are
     not included among the twelve, and Deut. xxxiii. 6-25, where
     Simeon is omitted from among the tribes blessed by Moses
     before his death.

The tribal organisation had not reached its full development at the time of the sojourn in the desert. The tribes of Joseph and Judah, who subsequently played such important parts, were at that period not held in any particular estimation; Reuben, on the other hand, exercised a sort of right of priority over the rest.*

     * This conclusion is drawn from the position of eldest son
     given to him in all the genealogies enumerating the children
     of Jacob. Stade, on the contrary, is inclined to believe
     that this place of honour was granted to him on account of
     the smallness of his family, to prevent any jealousy arising
     between the more powerful tribes, such as Ephraim and Judah
     (Ges. des Vollces Isr., vol. i. pp. 151, 152).

The territory which they occupied soon became insufficient to support their numbers, and they sought to exchange it for a wider area, such as was offered by the neighbouring provinces of Southern Syria. Pharaoh at this time exercised no authority over this region, and they were, therefore, no longer in fear of opposition from his troops; the latter had been recalled to Egypt, and it is doubtful even whether he retained possession of the Shephelah by means of his Zakkala and Philistine colonies; the Hebrews, at any rate, had nothing to fear from him so long as they respected Gaza and Ascalon. They began by attempting to possess themselves of the provinces around Hebron, in the direction of the Dead Sea, and we read that, before entering them, they sent out spies to reconnoitre and report on the country.* Its population had undergone considerable modifications since the Israelites had quitted Goshen. The Amorites, who had seriously suffered from the incursions of Asiatic hordes, and had been constantly harassed by the attacks of the Aramæans, had abandoned the positions they had formerly occupied on the banks of the Orontes and the Litany, and had moved southwards, driving the Canaanites before them; their advance was accelerated as the resistance opposed to their hordes became lessened under the successors of Ramses III., until at length all opposition was withdrawn. They had possessed themselves of the regions about the Lake of Genesareth, the mountain district to the south of Tabor, the middle valley of the Jordan, and, pressing towards the territory east of that river, had attacked the cities scattered over the undulating table-land. This district had not been often subjected to incursions of Egyptian troops, and yet its inhabitants had been more impressed by Egyptian influence than many others.

259.jpg the Amorite Astarte
     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from the squeezes and sketches
     published in the Zeitschrift ties Palcistina-Vereins.

Whereas, in the north and west, cuneiform writing was almost entirely used, attempts had been made here to adapt the hieroglyphs to the native language.

The only one of their monuments which has been preserved is a rudely carved bas-relief in black basalt, representing a two-horned Astarte, before whom stands a king in adoration; the sovereign is Ramses II., and the inscriptions accompanying the figures contain a religious formula together with a name borrowed from one of the local dialects.*

     *This is the “Stone of Job” discovered by Strahmacher. The
     inscription appears to give the name of a goddess, Agana-
     Zaphon, the second part of which recalls the name of Baal-

The Amorites were everywhere victorious, but our information is confined to this bare fact; soon after their victory, however, we find the territory they had invaded divided into two kingdoms: in the north that of Bashan, which comprised, besides the Haurân, the plain watered by the Yarrnuk; and to the south that of Heshbon, containing the district lying around the Arnon, and the Jabbok to the east of the Dead Sea.* They seem to have made the same rapid progress in the country between the Jordan and the Mediterranean as elsewhere. They had subdued some of the small Canaanite states, entered into friendly relation with others, and penetrated gradually as far south as the borders of Sinai, while we find them establishing petty kings among the hill-country of Shechem around Hebron, on the confines of the Negeb, and the Shephelah.** When the Hebrew tribes ventured to push forward in a direct line northwards, they came into collision with the advance posts of the Amorite population, and suffered a severe defeat under the walls of Hormah.*** The check thus received, however, did not discourage them. As a direct course was closed to them, they turned to the right, and followed, first the southern and then the eastern shores of the Red Sea, till they reached the frontier of Gilead.****

     * The extension of the Amorite power in this direction is
     proved by the facts relating to the kingdoms of Sihon and Og
     Gent. i. 4, ii. 24-37, iii. 1-1.7.

     ** For the Amorite occupation of the Negeb and the hill-
     country of Judah, cf. Numb. xiii. 29; Bent. i. 7, 19-46;
     Josh. x. 5, 6, 12, xi. 3; for their presence in the
     Shephelah, cf. Judges i. 34-36.

     *** See the long account in Numb, xiii., xiv., which
     terminates with the mention of the defeat of the Israelites
     at Hormah; and cf. Bent. i. 19-46.

     **** The itinerary given in Numb. xx. 22-29, xxxi., xxxiii.
     37-49, and repeated in Bent, ii., brings the Israelites as
     far as Ezion-geber, in such a manner as to avoid the
     Midianites and the Moabites. The friendly welcome accorded
     to them in the regions situated to the east of the Dead Sea,
     has been accounted for either by an alliance made with Moab
     and Ammon against their common enemy, the Amorites, or by
     the fact that Ammon and Moab did not as yet occupy those
     regions; the inhabitants in that case would have been
     Edomites and Midianites, who were in continual warfare with
     each other.

There again they were confronted by the Amorites, but in lesser numbers, and not so securely entrenched within their fortresses as their fellow-countrymen in the Negeb, so that the Israelites were able to overthrow the kingdoms of Heshbon and Bashan.*

     * War against Sihon, King of Heshbon (Numb. xxi. 21-31;
     Beut. ii. 26-37), and against Og, King of Bashan (Numb. xxi.
     32-35; Beut. iii. 1-13).

261.jpg the Valley of The Jabbok, Near to Its Confluence With the Jordan
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 336 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

Gad received as its inheritance nearly the whole of the territory lying between the Jabbok and the Yarmuk, in the neighbourhood of the ancient native sanctuaries of Penuel, Mahanaim, and Succoth, associated with the memory of Jacob.* Reuben settled in the vicinity, and both tribes remained there isolated from the rest. From this time forward they took but a slight interest in the affairs of their brethren: when the latter demanded their succour, “Gilead abode beyond Jordan,” and “by the watercourses of Reuben there were great resolves at heart,” but without any consequent action.** It was not merely due to indifference on their part; their resources were fully taxed in defending themselves against the Aramæans and Bedawins, and from the attacks of Moab and Ammon. Gad, continually threatened, struggled for centuries without being discouraged, but Reuben lost heart,*** and soon declined in power, till at length he became merely a name in the memory of his brethren.

     * Gad did not possess the districts between the Jabbok and
     the Arnon till the time of the early kings, and retained
     them only till about the reign of Jehu, as we gather from
     the inscription of Mesa.

     ** These are the very expressions used by the author of the
     Song of Deborah in Judges v. 16, 17.

     *** The recollection of these raids by Reuben against the
     Beduin of the Syrian desert is traceable in 1 Citron, v. 10,

Two tribes having been thus provided for, the bulk of the Israelites sought to cross the Jordan without further delay, and establish themselves as best they might in the very heart of the Canaanites. The sacred writings speak of their taking possession of the country by a methodic campaign, undertaken by command of and under the visible protection of Jahveh* Moses had led them from Egypt to Kadesh, and from Kadesh to the land of Gilead; he had seen the promised land from the summit of Mount Nebo, but he had not entered it, and after his death, Joshua, son of Nun, became their leader, brought them across Jordan dryshod, not far from its mouth, and laid siege to Jericho.

     * The history of the conquest is to be found in the Book of

The walls of the city fell of themselves at the blowing of the brazen trumpets,* and its capture entailed that of three neighbouring towns, Aï, Bethel, and Shechem. Shechem served as a rallying-place for the conquerors; Joshua took up his residence there, and built on the summit of Mount Ebal an altar of stone, on which he engraved the principal tenets of the divine Law.**

     * Josh, i.-vi.

     ** Josh, vii., viii. Mount Ebal is the present Gebel

263.jpg One of the Mounds Of ÂÎn Es-sultÂn, The Ancient Jericho
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph brought back by Lortet.

The sudden intrusion of a new element naturally alarmed the worshippers of the surrounding local deities; they at once put a truce to their petty discords, and united in arms against the strangers. At the instigation of Adoni-zedeck, King of Jerusalem, the Canaanites collected their forces in the south; but they were routed not far from Gibeon, and their chiefs killed or mutilated.* The Amorites in the north, who had assembled round Jabin, King of Hazor, met with no better success; they were defeated at the waters of Merom, Hazor was burnt, and Galilee delivered to fire and sword.**

     * Josh. x. The same war is given rather differently in
     Judges i. 1-9, where the king is called Adoni-bezek.

     ** Josh. xi. As another Jabin appears in the history of
     Deborah, it has

264.jpg the Jordan in The Neighbourhood of Jericho
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lortet.

The country having been thus to a certain extent cleared, Joshua set about dividing the spoil, and assigned to each tribe his allotted portion of territory.* Such, in its main outlines, is the account given by the Hebrew chroniclers; but, if closely examined, it would appear that the Israelites did not act throughout with that unity of purpose and energy which they [the Hebrew chroniclers] were pleased to imagine. They did not gain possession of the land all at once, but established themselves in it gradually by detachments, some settling at the fords of Jericho,** others more to the north, and in the central valley of the Jordan as far up as She-chem.***

     * The lot given to each tribe is described in Josh, xiii.-
     xxi. It has been maintained by some critics that there is a
     double rôle assigned to one and the same person, only that
     some maintain that the Jabin of Josh. xi. has been
     transferred to the time of the Judges, while others make out
     that the Jabin of Deborah was carried back to the time of
     the conquest.

     ** Renan thinks that the principal crossing must have taken
     place opposite Jericho, as is apparent from the account in
     Josh, ii., iii.

     *** Carl Niebuhr believes that he has discovered the exact
     spot at the ford of Admah, near Succoth.

265.jpg One of the Wells Of Beersheba
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lortet.

The latter at once came into contact with a population having a higher civilization than themselves, and well equipped for a vigorous resistance; the walled towns which had defied the veterans of the Pharaohs had not much to fear from the bands of undisciplined Israelites wandering in their neighbourhood. Properly speaking, there were no pitched battles between them, but rather a succession of raids or skirmishes, in which several citadels would successively fall into the hands of the invaders. Many of these strongholds, harassed by repeated attacks, would prefer to come to terms with the enemy, and would cede or sell them some portion of their territory; others would open their gates freely to the strangers, and their inhabitants would ally themselves by intermarriage with the Hebrews. Judah and the remaining descendants of Simeon and Levi established themselves in the south; Levi comprised but a small number of families, and made no important settlements; whereas Judah took possession of nearly the whole of the mountain district separating the Shephelah from the western shores of the Dead Sea, while Simeon made its abode close by on the borders of the desert around the wells of Beersheba.*

     * Wellhausen has remarked that the lot of Levi must not be
     separated from that of Simeon, and, as the remnant of Simeon
     allied themselves with Judah, that of Levi also must have
     shared the patrimony of Judah.

The descendants of Rachel and her handmaid received as their inheritance the regions situated more to the centre of the country, the house of Joseph taking the best domains for its branches of Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim received some of the old Canaanite sanctuaries, such as Ramah, Bethel, and Shiloh, and it was at the latter spot that they deposited the ark of the covenant. Manasseh settled to the north of Ephraim, in the hills and valleys of the Carmel group, and to Benjamin were assigned the heights which overlook the plain of Jericho. Four of the less important tribes, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Zebulon, ventured as far north as the borders of Tyre and Sidon, behind the Phoenician littoral, but were prevented by the Canaanites and Amorites from spreading over the plain, and had to confine themselves to the mountains. All the fortresses commanding the passes of Tabor and Carmel, Megiddo, Taanach, Ibleam, Jezreel, Endor, and Bethshan remained inviolate, and formed as it were an impassable barrier-line between the Hebrews of Galilee and their brethren of Ephraim. The Danites were long before they found a resting-place; they attempted to insert themselves to the north of Judah, between Ajalon and Joppa, but were so harassed by the Amorites, that they had to content themselves with the precarious tenure of a few towns such as Zora, Shaalbîn, and Eshdol. The foreign peoples of the Shephelah and the Canaanite cities almost all preserved their autonomy; the Israelites had no chance against them wherever they had sufficient space to put into the field large bodies of infantry or to use their iron-bound chariots. Finding it therefore impossible to overcome them, the tribes were forced to remain cut off from each other in three isolated groups of unequal extent which they were powerless to connect: in the centre were Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan; in the south, Judah, Levi, and Simeon; while Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Zebulon lay to the north.

The period following the occupation of Canaan constituted the heroic age of the Hebrews. The sacred writings agree in showing that the ties which bound the twelve tribes together were speedily dissolved, while their fidelity and obedience to God were relaxed with the growth of the young generations to whom Moses or Joshua were merely names. The conquerors “dwelt among the Canaanites: the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite: and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord their God, and served the Baalim and the Asheroth.” *

268.jpg Map of Palestine in Time Of the Judges
[Click on image to enlarge to full-size]

When they had once abandoned their ancient faith, political unity was not long preserved. War broke out between one tribe and another; the stronger allowed the weaker to be oppressed by the heathen, and were themselves often powerless to retain their independence. In spite of the thousands of men among them, all able to bear arms, they fell an easy prey to the first comer; the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the Philistines, all oppressed them in turn, and repaid with usury the ills which Joshua had inflicted on the Canaanites. “Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were sore distressed. And the Lord raised up judges, which saved them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they hearkened not unto their judges, for they went a-whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves down unto them: they turned aside quickly out of the way wherein their fathers walked obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so. And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groaning by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. But it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their doings, nor from their stubborn way.” * The history of this period lacks the unity and precision with which we are at first tempted to credit it.

     * Judges ii. 15-19.

The Israelites, when transplanted into the promised land, did not immediately lose the nomadic habits they had acquired in the desert. They retained the customs and prejudices they had inherited from their fathers, and for many years treated the peasantry, whose fields they had devastated, with the same disdain that the Bedawin of our own day, living in the saddle, lance in hand, shows towards the fellahîn who till the soil and bend patiently over the plough. The clans, as of old, were impatient of all regular authority; each tribe tended towards an isolated autonomy, a state of affairs which merited reprisals from the natives and encouraged hatred of the intruders, and it was only when the Canaanite oppression became unendurable that those who suffered most from it united themselves to make a common effort, and rallied for a moment round the chief who was ready to lead them. Many of these liberators must have acquired an ephemeral popularity, and then have sunk into oblivion together with the two or three generations who had known them; those whose memory remained green among their kinsmen were known by posterity as the judges of Israel.*

     * The word “judges,” which has been adopted to designate
     these rulers, is somewhat misleading, as it suggests the
     idea of an organized civil magistracy. The word “shophet,”
      the same that we meet with in classical times under the form
     suffetes, had indeed that sense, but its primary meaning
     denotes a man invested with an absolute authority, regular
     or otherwise; it would be better translated chief, prince,

These judges were not magistrates invested with official powers and approved by the whole nation, or rulers of a highly organised republic, chosen directly by God or by those inspired by Him. They were merely local chiefs, heroes to their own immediate tribe, well known in their particular surroundings, but often despised by those only at a short distance from them. Some of them have left only a name behind them, such as Shamgar, Ibzan, Tola, Elon, and Abdon; indeed, some scholars have thrown doubts on the personality of a few of them, as, for instance, Jair, whom they affirm to have personified a Gileadite clan, and Othnîel, who is said to represent one of the Kenite families associated with the children of Israel.* Others, again, have come down to us through an atmosphere of popular tradition, the elements of which modern criticism has tried in vain to analyse. Of such unsettled and turbulent times we cannot expect an uninterrupted history:** some salient episodes alone remain, spread over a period of nearly two centuries, and from these we can gather some idea of the progress made by the Israelites, and observe their stages of transition from a cluster of semi-barbarous hordes to a settled nation ripe for monarchy.

     * The name Tola occurs as that of one of the clans of
     Issachar (Gen. xlvi. 13; Numb. xxvi. 23); Elon was one of
     the clans of Zebulon (Gen. xlvi. 14; Numb. xxvi. 26)

     ** Renan, however, believes that the judges “formed an
     almost continuous line, and that there merely lacks a
     descent from father to son to make of them an actual
     dynasty.” The chronology of the Book of Judges appears to
     cover more than four centuries, from Othnîel to Samson, but
     this computation cannot be relied on, as “forty
     years” represents an indefinite space of time. We must
     probably limit this early period of Hebrew history to about
     a century and a half, from cir. 1200 to 1050 B.C.

The first of these episodes deals merely with a part, and that the least important, of the tribes settled in Central Canaan.* The destruction of the Amorite kingdoms of Heshbon and Bashan had been as profitable to the kinsmen of the Israelites, Ammon and Moab, as it had been to the Israelites themselves.

     * The episode of Othnîel and Cushan-rishathaim, placed at
     the beginning of the history of this period (Judges iii. 8-
     11), is, by general consent, regarded as resting on a
     worthless tradition.

The Moabites had followed in the wake of the Hebrews through all the surrounding regions of the Dead Sea; they had pushed on from the banks of the Arnon to those of the Jabbok, and at the time of the Judges were no longer content with harassing merely Reuben and Gad.

They were a fine race of warlike, well-armed Beda-wins. Jericho had fallen into their hands, and their King Eglon had successfully scoured the entire hill-country of Ephraim,* so that those who wished to escape being pillaged had to safeguard themselves by the payment of an annual tribute.

     * The text seems to infer (Judges iii. 13-15) that, after
     having taken the Oily of Palm Trees, i.e. Jericho (Deut.
     xxxiv. 3; 2 Ghron. xxviii. 15), Eglon had made it his
     residence, which makes the story incomprehensible from a
     geographical point of view. But all difficulties would
     disappear if we agreed to admit that in ver. 15 the name of
     the capital of Eglon has dropped out.

Ehud the Left-handed concealed under his garments a keen dagger, and joined himself to the Benjamite deputies who were to carry their dues to the Moabite sovereign. The money having been paid, the deputies turned homewards, but when they reached the cromlech of Gilgal,* and were safe beyond the reach of the enemy, Ehud retraced his steps, and presenting himself before the palace of Eglon in the attitude of a prophet, announced that he had a secret errand to the king, who thereupon commanded silence, and ordered his servants to leave him with the divine messenger in his summer parlour.

     * The cromlech at Gilgal was composed of twelve stones,
     which, we are told, were erected by Joshua as a remembrance
     of the crossing of the Jordan (Josh. iv. 19-24).

272.jpg Moabite Warrior
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from the original in
the Louvre.

“And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, for he drew not the sword out of his belly; and it came out behind.” Then Ehud locked the doors and escaped. “Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked; and they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.” But by the time they had forced an entrance, Ehud had reached Gilgal and was in safety. He at once assembled the clans of Benjamin, occupied the fords of the Jordan, massacred the bands of Moabites scattered over the plain of Jericho, and blocked the routes by which the invaders attempted to reach the hill-country of Ephraim. Almost at the same time the tribes in Galilee had a narrow escape from a still more formidable enemy.* They had for some time been under the Amorite yoke, and the sacred writings represent them at this juncture as oppressed either by Sisera of Harosheth-ha-Goyîm or by a second Jabin, who was able to bring nine hundred chariots of iron into the field.** At length the prophetess Deborah of Issachar sent to Barak of Kadesh a command to assemble his people, together with those of Zebulon, in the name of the Lord;*** she herself led the contingents of Issachar, Ephraim, and Machir to meet him at the foot of Tabor, where the united host is stated to have comprised forty thousand men. Sisera,**** who commanded the Canaanite force, attacked the Israelite army between Taanach and Megiddo in that plain of Kishon which had often served as a battle-field during the Egyptian campaigns.

     * The text tells us that, after the time of Ehud, the land
     had rest eighty years (Judges iii. 30). This, again, is one
     of those numbers which represent an indefinite space of

     ** It has been maintained that two versions are here blended
     together in the text, one in which the principal part is
     played by Sisera, the other in which it is attributed to
     Jabin. The episode of Deborah and Barak (Judges iv., v.)
     comprises a narrative in prose (chap, iv.), and the song
     (chap, v.) attributed to Deborah. The prose account probably
     is derived from the song. The differences in the two
     accounts may be explained as having arisen partly from an
     imperfect understanding of the poetic text, and partly from
     one having come down from some other source.

     *** Some critics suppose that the prose narrative (Judges
     iv. 5) has confounded the prophetess Deborah, wife of
     Lapidoth, with Deborah, nurse of Rachel, who was buried near
     Bethel, under the “Oak of Weeping” (Gen. xxxv. 8), and
     consequently place it between Rama and Bethel, in the hill-
     country of Ephraim.

     **** In the prose narrative (Judges iv. 2-7) Sisera is
     stated to have been the general of Jabin: there is nothing
     incompatible in this statement with the royal dignity
     elsewhere attributed to Sisera. Harosheth-ha-Goyîm has been
     identified with the present village of El-Haretîyeh, on the
     right bank of the Kishon.

It would appear that heavy rains had swelled the streams, and thus prevented the chariots from rendering their expected service in the engagement; at all events, the Amorites were routed, and Sisera escaped with the survivors towards Hazor.

275.jpg Tell
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lortet.

The people of Meroz facilitated his retreat, but a Kenite named Jael, the wife of Heber, traitorously killed him with a blow from a hammer while he was in the act of drinking.*

     * Meroz is the present Marus, between the Lake of Huleh and
     Safed. I have followed the account given in the song (Judges
     v. 24-27). According to the prose version (iv. 17-22), Jael
     slew Sisera while he was asleep with a tent-pin, which she
     drove into his temple. [The text of Judges v. 24-27 does not
     seem to warrant the view that he was slain “in the act of
     drinking,” nor does it seem to conflict with Judges iv. 11.-

This exploit was commemorated in a song, the composition of which is attributed to Deborah and Barak: “For that the leaders took the lead in Israel, for that the people offered themselves willingly, bless ye the Lord. Hear, O ye kings, give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel.” * The poet then dwells on the sufferings of the people, but tells how Deborah and Barak were raised up, and enumerates the tribes who took part in the conflict as well as those who turned a deaf ear to the appeal. “Then came down a remnant of the nobles and the people.... Out of Ephraim came down they whose root is in Amalek:—out of Machir came down governors,—and out of Zebulon they that handle the marshal’s staff.—And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah—as was Issachar so was Barak,—into the valley they rushed forth at his feet.**—By the watercourses of Reuben—there were great resolves of heart.—Why satest thou among the sheepfolds,—to hear the pipings for the flocks?—At the watercourses of Reuben—there were great searchings of heart—Gilead abode beyond Jordan:—and Dan, why did he remain in ships?—Asher sat still at the haven of the sea—and abode by his creeks.—Zebulon was a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death,—and Naphtali upon the high places of the field.—The kings came and fought;—then fought the kings of Canaan.—In Taanach by the waters of Megiddo:—they took no gain of money.—They fought from heaven,—the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.—The river of Kishon swept them away,—that ancient river, the river Kishon.—O my soul, march on with strength.—Then did the horsehoofs stamp—by reason of the pransings, the pransings of their strong ones.”

     * Judges v. 2, 3 (R.V.).

     ** The text of the song (Judges v. 14) contains an allusion
     to Benjamin, which is considered by many critics to be an
     interpolation. It gives a mistaken reading, “Issachar with
     Barak;” Issachar having been already mentioned with Deborah,
     probably Zébulon should be inserted in the text.

Sisera flies, and the poet follows him in fancy, as if he feared to see him escape from vengeance. He curses the people of Meroz in passing, “because they came not to the help of the Lord.” He addresses Jael and blesses her, describing the manner in which the chief fell at her feet, and then proceeds to show how, at the very time of Sisera’s death, his people were awaiting the messenger who should bring the news of his victory; “through the window she looked forth and cried—the mother of Sisera cried through the lattice—‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?—Why tarry the wheels of his chariot?’—Her wise ladies answered her,—yea, she returned answer to herself,—‘Have they not found, have they not divided the spoil?—A damsel, two damsels to every man;—to Sisera a spoil of divers colours,—a spoil of divers colours of embroidery on both sides, on the necks of the spoil?—So let all Thine enemies perish, O Lord:—but let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.’”

It was the first time, as far as we know, that several of the Israelite tribes combined together for common action after their sojourn in the desert of Kadesh-barnea, and the success which followed from their united efforts ought, one would think, to have encouraged them to maintain such a union, but it fell out otherwise; the desire for freedom of action and independence was too strong among them to permit of the continuance of the coalition.

278.jpg Mount Tabor
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by M. C. Alluaud
     of Limoges.

Manasseh, restricted in its development by the neighbouring Canaanite tribes, was forced to seek a more congenial neighbourhood to the east of the Jordan—not close to Gad, in the land of Gilead, but to the north of the Yarmuk and its northern affluents in the vast region extending to the mountains of the Haurân. The families of Machir and Jair migrated one after the other to the east of the Lake of Gennesaret, while that of Nobah proceeded as far as the brook of Kanah, and thus formed in this direction the extreme outpost of the children of Israel: these families did not form themselves into new tribes, for they were mindful of their affiliation to Manasseh, and continued beyond the river to regard themselves still as his children.* The prosperity of Ephraim and Manasseh, and the daring nature of their exploits, could not fail to draw upon them the antagonism and jealousy of the people on their borders. The Midianites were accustomed almost every year to pass through the region beyond the Jordan which the house of Joseph had recently colonised. Assembling in the springtime at the junction of the Yarmuk with the Jordan, they crossed the latter river, and, spreading over the plains of Mount Tabor, destroyed the growing crops, raided the villages, and pushed, sometimes, their skirmishing parties over hill and dale as far as Gaza.**

     * Manasseh was said to have been established beyond the
     Jordan at the time that Gad and Reuben were in possession of
     the land of Gilead (Numb, xxxii. 33, 39-42, xxxiv. 14, 15;
     Dent. iii. 13-15; Josh. xiii. 8, 29-32, xxii.). Earlier
     traditions placed this event in the period which followed
     the conquest of Canaan by Joshua. It is not certain that all
     the families which constituted the half-tribe of Manasseh
     took their origin from Manasseh: one of them, for example,
     that of Jair, was regarded as having originated partly from
     Judah (1 Chron. ii. 21-24).

     ** Judges vi. 2-6. The inference that they dare not beat
     wheat in the open follows from ver. 11, where it is said
     that “Gideon was beating out wheat in his winepress to hide
     it from the Midianites.”

A perpetual terror reigned wherever they were accustomed to pass*: no one dared beat out wheat or barley in the open air, or lead his herds to pasture far from his home, except under dire necessity; and even on such occasions the inhabitants would, on the slightest alarm, abandon their possessions to take refuge in caves or in strongholds on the mountains.1 During one of these incursions two of their sheikhs encountered some men of noble mien in the vicinity of Tabor, and massacred them without compunction.** The latter were people of Ophrah,*** brethren of a certain Jerubbaal (Gideon) who was head of the powerful family of Abiezer.****

     * The history of the Midianite oppression (Judges vi.-viii.)
     seems to be from two different sources; the second (Judges
     viii. 4-21), which is also the shortest, is considered by
     some to represent the more ancient tradition. The double
     name of the hero, Gideon-Jerubbaal, has led some to assign
     its elements respectively to Gideon, judge of the western
     portion of Manasseh, and Jerubbaal, judge of the eastern
     Manasseh, and to the consequent fusion of the two men in

     ** This is an assumption which follows reasonably from
     Judges viii. 18, 19.

     *** The site of the Ophrah of Abiezer is not known for
     certain, but it would seem from the narrative that it was in
     the neighbourhood of Shechem.

     **** The position of Gideon-Jerubbaal as head of the house
     of Abiezer follows clearly from the narrative; if he is
     represented in the first part of the account as a man of
     humble origin (Judges vi. 15, 16), it was to exalt the power
     of Jahveh, who was accustomed to choose His instruments from
     amongst the lowly. The name Jerubbaal (1 Sam. xii. 11:2 Sam.
     xi. 21, where the name is transformed into Jerubbesheth, as
     Ishbaal and Meribbaal are into Ishbosheth and Mephibosheth
     respectively), in which “Baal” seems to some not to
     represent the Canaanite God, but the title Lord as applied
     to Jahveh, was supposed to mean “Baal fights against him,”
      and was, therefore, offensive to the orthodox. Kuenen
     thought it meant “Lord, fight for him!” Renan read it
     Yarebaal, from the Vulgate form Jerobaal, and translated “He
     who fears Baal.” Gideon signifies “He who overthrows” in the

Assembling all his people at the call of the trumpet, Jerubbaal chose from among them three hundred of the strongest, with whom he came down unexpectedly upon the raiders, put them to flight in the plain of Jezreel, and followed them beyond the Jordan. Having crossed the river, “faint and yet pursuing,” he approached the men of Succoth, and asked them for bread for himself and his three hundred followers. Their fear of the marauders, however, was so great that the people refused to give him any help, and he had no better success with the people of Penuel whom he encountered a little further on. He did not stop to compel them to accede to his wishes, but swore to inflict an exemplary punishment upon them on his return. The Midianites continued their retreat, in the mean time, “by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah,” but Jerubbaal came up with them near Karkâr, and discomfited the host. He took vengeance upon the two peoples who had refused to give him bread, and having thus fulfilled his vow, he began to question his prisoners, the two chiefs: “What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor?” “As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.” “And he said, They were my brethren, the sons of my mother: as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.” True Bedawins as they were, the chiefs’ pride revolted at the idea of their being handed over for execution to a child, and they cried to Jerubbaal: “Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength.” From this victory rose the first monarchy among the Israelites. The Midianites, owing to their marauding habits and the amount of tribute which they were accustomed to secure for escorting caravans, were possessed of a considerable quantity of gold, which they lavished on the decoration of their persons: their chiefs were clad in purple mantles, their warriors were loaded with necklaces, bracelets, rings, and ear-rings, and their camels also were not behind their masters in the brilliance of their caparison. The booty which Gideon secured was, therefore, considerable, and, as we learn from the narrative, excited the envy of the Ephraimites, who said: “Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with Midian?” *

     * Judges viii. 1-3.

The spoil from the golden ear-rings alone amounted to one thousand seven hundred shekels, as we learn from the narrative, and this treasure in the hands of Jerubbaal was not left unemployed, but was made, doubtless, to contribute something to the prestige he had already acquired: the men of Israel, whom he had just saved from their foes, expressed their gratitude by offering the crown to him and his successors. The mode of life of the Hebrews had been much changed after they had taken up their abode in the mountains of Canaan. The tent had given place to the house, and, like their Canaanite neighbours, they had given themselves up to agricultural pursuits. This change of habits, in bringing about a greater abundance of the necessaries of life than they had been accustomed to, had begotten aspirations which threw into relief the inadequacy of the social organisation, and of the form of government with which they had previously been content. In the case of a horde of nomads, defeat or exile would be of little moment. Should they be obliged by a turn in their affairs to leave their usual haunts, a few days or often a few hours would suffice to enable them to collect their effects together, and set out without trouble, and almost without regret, in search of a new and more favoured home. But with a cultivator of the ground the case would be different: the farm, clearings, and homestead upon which he had spent such arduous and continued labour; the olive trees and vines which had supplied him with oil and wine—everything, in fact, upon which he depended for a livelihood, or which was dependent upon him, would bind him to the soil, and expose his property to disasters likely to be as keenly felt as wounds inflicted on his person. He would feel the need, therefore, of laws to secure to him in time of peace the quiet possession of his wealth, of an army to protect it in time of war, and of a ruler to cause, on the one hand, the laws to be respected, and to become the leader, on the other, of the military forces. Jerubbaal is said to have, in the first instance, refused the crown, but everything goes to prove that he afterwards virtually accepted it. He became, it is true, only a petty king, whose sovereignty was limited to Manasseh, a part of Ephraim, and a few towns, such as Succoth and Penuel, beyond the Jordan. The Canaanite city of Shechem also paid him homage. Like all great chiefs, he had also numerous wives, and he recognised as the national Deity the God to whom he owed his victories.

Out of the spoil taken from the Midianites he formed and set up at Ophrah an ephod, which became, as we learn, “a snare unto him and unto his house,” but he had also erected under a terebinth tree a stone altar to Jahveh-Shalom (“Jehovah is peace”).* This sanctuary, with its altar and ephod, soon acquired great celebrity, and centuries after its foundation it was the object of many pilgrimages from a distance.

Jerubbaal was the father by his Israelite wives of seventy children, and, by a Canaanite woman whom he had taken as a concubine at Shechem, of one son, called Abimelech.**

     * The Book of Judges separates the altar from the ephod,
     placing the erection of the former at the time of the
     vocation of Gideon (vi. 11-31) and that of the ephod after
     the victory (viii. 24-27). The sanctuary of Ophrah was
     possibly in existence before the time of Jerubbaal, and the
     sanctity of the place may have determined his selection of
     the spot for placing the altar and ephod there.

     ** Judges viii. 30, 31.

The succession to the throne would naturally have fallen to one of the seventy, but before this could be arranged, Abimelech “went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and spake with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.” This advice was well received; it flattered the vanity of the people to think that the new king was to be one of themselves; “their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother. And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith (the Lord of the Covenant), wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, which followed him.... He slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone.” The massacre having been effected, “all the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo,* and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar which was in Shechem.” ** He dwelt at Ophrah, in the residence, and near the sanctuary, of his father, and from thence governed the territories constituting the little kingdom of Manasseh, levying tribute upon the vassal villages, and exacting probably tolls from caravans passing through his domain.

     * The word “Millo” is a generic term, meaning citadel or
     stronghold of the city: there was a Millo in every important
     town, Jerusalem included.

     ** The “oak of the pillar” was a sacred tree overshadowing
     probably a cippus: it may have been the tree mentioned in
     Gen. xxxv. 4, under which Jacob buried the strange gods; or
     that referred to in Josh. xxiv. 26, under which Joshua set
     up a stone commemorative of the establishment of the law.
     Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, escaped the massacre. As
     soon as he heard of the election of Abimelech, he ascended
     Mount Gerizim, and gave out from there the fable of the
     trees, applying it to the circumstances of the time, and
     then fled. Some critics think that this fable—which is
     confessedly old—was inserted in the text at a time when
     prophetical ideas prevailed and monarchy was not yet

This condition of things lasted for three years, and then the Shechemites, who had shown themselves so pleased at the idea of having “one of their brethren” as sovereign, found it irksome to pay the taxes levied upon them by him, as if they were in no way related to him. The presence among them of a certain Zebul, the officer and representative of Abimelech, restrained them at first from breaking out into rebellion, but they returned soon to their ancient predatory ways, and demanded ransom for the travellers they might capture even when the latter were in possession of the king’s safe conduct. This was not only an insult to their lord, but a serious blow to his treasury: the merchants who found themselves no longer protected by his guarantee employed elsewhere the sums which would have come into his hands. The king concealed his anger, however; he was not inclined to adopt premature measures, for the place was a strong one, and defeat would seriously weaken his prestige. The people of Shechem, on their part, did not risk an open rupture for fear of the consequences. Gaal, son of Ebed,* a soldier of fortune and of Israelitish blood, arrived upon the scene, attended by his followers: he managed to gain the confidence of the people of Shechem, who celebrated under his protection the feast of the Vintage.

     * The name Ebed (“slave,” “servant”) is assumed to have been
     substituted in the Massorotic text for the original name
     Jobaal, because of the element Baal in the latter word,
     which was regarded as that of the strange god, and would
     thus have the sacrilegious meaning “Jahveh is Baal.” The term
     of contempt, Ebed, was, according to this view, thus used to
     replace it.

On this occasion their merrymaking was disturbed by the presence among them of the officer charged with collecting the tithes, and Gaal did not lose the opportunity of stimulating their ire by his ironical speeches: “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve ye the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: but why should we serve him? And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.” Zebul promptly gave information of this to his master, and invited him to come by night and lie in ambush in the vicinity of the town, “that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, thou mayest do to them as thou shalt find occasion.” It turned out as he foresaw; the inhabitants of Shechem went out in order to take part in the gathering in of the vintage, while Gaal posted his men at the entering in of the gate of the city. As he looked towards the hills he thought he saw an unusual movement among the trees, and, turning round, said to Zebul, who was close by, “Behold, there come people down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.” A moment after he looked in another direction, “and spake again and said, See, there come people down by the middle of the land, and one company cometh by the way of the terebinth of the augurs.” Zebul, seeing the affair turn out so well, threw off the mask, and replied railingly, “Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray, now, and fight with him.” The King of Manasseh had no difficulty in defeating his adversary, but arresting the pursuit at the gates of the city, he withdrew to the neighbouring village of Arumah.*

     * This is now el-Ormeh, i.e.Kharbet el-Eurmah, to the south-
     west of Nablus.

He trusted that the inhabitants, who had taken no part in the affair, would believe that his wrath had been appeased by the defeat of Gaal; and so, in fact, it turned out: they dismissed their unfortunate champion, and on the morrow returned to their labours as if nothing had occurred.

288.jpg Mount Gerizim, With a View of Nablus
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph reproduced by the Duc de

Abimelech had arranged his Abiezerites in three divisions: one of which made for the gates, while the other two fell upon the scattered labourers in the vineyards. Abimelech then fought against the city and took it, but the chief citizens had taken refuge in “the hold of the house of El-berith.” “Abimelech gat him up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder: and he said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done. And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.”

289.jpg the Town of Ascalon
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief in the Ramesseum.
     This is a portion of the picture representing the capture of
     Ascalon by Ramses II.

This summary vengeance did not, however, prevent other rebellions. Thebez imitated Shechem, and came nigh suffering the same penalty.* The king besieged the city and took it, and was about to burn with fire the tower in which all the people of the city had taken refuge, when a woman threw a millstone down upon his head “and brake his skull.”

     * Thebez, now Tubas, the north-east of Nablus.

The narrative tells us that, feeling himself mortally wounded, he called his armour-bearer to him, and said, “Draw thy sword, and kill me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him.” His monarchy ceased with him, and the ancient chronicler recognises in the catastrophe a just punishment for the atrocious crime he had committed in slaying his half-brothers, the seventy children of Jerubbaal.* His fall may be regarded also as the natural issue of his peculiar position: the resources upon which he relied were inadequate to secure to him a supremacy in Israel. Manasseh, now deprived of a chief, and given up to internal dissensions, became still further enfeebled, and an easy prey to its rivals. The divine writings record in several places the success attained by the central tribes in their conflict with their enemies. They describe how a certain Jephthah distinguished himself in freeing Gilead from the Ammonites.**

     * Judges ix. 23, 24. “And God sent an evil spirit between
     Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem
     dealt treacherously with Abimelech: that the violence done
     to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and
     that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother,
     which slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, which
     strengthened his hands to slay his brethren.”
     ** The story of Jephthah is contained in chaps, xi., xii. 1-
     7, of the Book of Judges. The passage (xi. 12-29) is
     regarded by some, owing to its faint echo of certain
     portions of Numb, xx., xxi., to be an interpolation.
     Jephthah is said to have had Gilead for his father and a
     harlot for his mother. Various views have been put forward
     as to the account of his victories over the Midianites, some
     seeing in it, as well as in the origin of the four
     days’feast in honour of Jephthah’s daughter, insertions of a
     later date.

But his triumph led to the loss of his daughter, whom he sacrificed in order to fulfil a vow he had made to Jahveh before the battle.* These were, however, comparatively unimportant episodes in the general history of the Hebrew race. Bedawins from the East, sheikhs of the Midianites, Moabites, and Ammonites—all these marauding peoples of the frontier whose incursions are put on record—gave them continual trouble, and rendered their existence so miserable that they were unable to develop their institutions and attain the permanent freedom after which they aimed. But their real dangers—the risk of perishing altogether, or of falling back into a condition of servitude—did not arise from any of these quarters, but from the Philistines.

     * There are two views as to the nature of the sacrifice of
     Jephthah’s daughter. Some think she was vowed to perpetual
     virginity, while others consider that she was actually

By a decree of Pharaoh, a new country had been assigned to the remnants of each of the maritime peoples: the towns nearest to Egypt, lying between Raphia and Joppa, were given over to the Philistines, and the forest region and the coast to the north of the Philistines, as far as the Phoenician stations of Dor and Carmel,* were appropriated to the Zakkala. The latter was a military colony, and was chiefly distributed among the five fortresses which commanded the Shephelah.

     * We are indebted to the Papyrus Golenischeff for the
     mention of the position of the Zakkala at the beginning of
     the XXIst dynasty.

292.jpg a Zakkala
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a “squeeze.”

Gaza and Ashdod were separated from the Mediterranean by a line of sand-dunes, and had nothing in the nature of a sheltered port—nothing, in fact, but a “maiuma,” or open roadstead, with a few dwellings and storehouses arranged along the beach on which their boats were drawn up. Ascalon was built on the sea, and its harbour, although well enough suited for the small craft of the ancients, could not have been entered by the most insignificant of our modern ships. The Philistines had here their naval arsenal, where their fleets were fitted out for scouring the Egyptian waters as a marine police, or for piratical expeditions on their own account, when the occasion served, along the coasts of Phoenicia. Ekron and Gath kept watch over the eastern side of the plain at the points where it was most exposed to the attacks of the people of the hills—the Canaanites in the first instance, and afterwards the Hebrews. These foreign warriors soon changed their mode of life in contact with the indigenous inhabitants; daily intercourse, followed up by marriages with the daughters of the land, led to the substitution of the language, manners, and religion of the environing race for those of their mother country. The Zakkala, who were not numerous, it is true, lost everything, even to their name, and it was all that the Philistines could do to preserve their own. At the end of one or two generations, the “colts” of Palestine could only speak the Canaanite tongue, in which a few words of the old Hellenic patois still continued to survive. Their gods were henceforward those of the towns in which they resided, such as Marna and Dagon and Gaza,* Dagon at Ashdod,** Baalzebub at Ekron,*** and Derketô in Ascalon;**** and their mode of worship, with its mingled bloody and obscene rites, followed that of the country.

     * Marna, “our lord,” is mentioned alongside Baalzephon in a
     list of strange gods worshipped at Memphis in the XIXth
     dynasty. The worship of Dagon at Gaza is mentioned in the
     story of Samson (Judges xvi. 21-30).

     ** The temple and statue of Dagon are mentioned in the
     account of the events following the taking of the ark in 1
     Sam. v. 1-7. It is, perhaps, to him that 1 Chron. x. 10
     refers, in relating how the Philistines hung up Saul’s arms
     in the house of their gods, although 1 Sam. xxxi. 10 calls
     the place the “house of the Ashtoreth.”
     *** Baalzebub was the god of Ekron (2 Kings i. 2-6), and his
     name was doubtfully translated “Lord of Flies.” The
     discovery of the name of the town Zebub on the Tell el-
     Amarna tablets shows that it means the “Baal of Zebub.”
      Zebub was situated in the Philistine plains, not far from
     Ekron. Halévy thinks it may have been a suburb of that town.

     **** The worship of Derketô or Atergatis at Ascalon is
     witnessed to by the classical writers.

294.jpg a Procession of Philistine Captives At Medinet-habu
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

Two things belonging to their past history they still retained—a clear remembrance of their far-off origin, and that warlike temperament which had enabled them to fight their way through many obstacles from the shores of the Ægean to the frontiers of Egypt. They could recall their island of Caphtor,* and their neighbours in their new home were accustomed to bestow upon them the designation of Cretans, of which they themselves were not a little proud.**

     * Jer. xlvii. 4 calls them “the remnant of the isle of
     Caphtor;” Amos (ix. 7) knew that the Lord had brought “the
     Philistines from Caphtor;” and in Dent. ii. 23 it is related
     how “the Caphtorim which came forth out of Caphtor destroyed
     the Avvim, which dwelt in villages as far as Gaza, and dwelt
     in their stead.” Classical tradition falls in with the sacred
     record, and ascribes a Cretan origin to the Philistines; it
     is suggested, therefore, that in Gen. x. 14 the names
     Casluhim and Caphtorim should be transposed, to bring the
     verse into harmony with history and other parts of

     ** In an episode in the life of David (1 Sam. xxx. 14),
     there is mention of the “south of the Cherethites,” which
     some have made to mean Cretans—that is to say, the region
     to the south of the Philistines, alongside the territory of
     Judah, and to the “south of Caleb.” Ezelc. xx. 16 also
     mentions in juxtaposition with the Philistines the
     Cherethites, and “the remnant of the sea-coast,” as objects
     of God’s vengeance for the many evils they had inflicted on
     Israel. By the Cherethims here, and the Cherethites in Zoph.
     ii. 5, the Cretans are by some thought to be meant, which
     would account for their association with the Philistines.

Gaza enjoyed among them a kind of hegemony, alike on account of its strategic position and its favourable situation for commerce, but this supremacy was of very precarious character, and brought with it no right whatever to meddle in the internal affairs of other members of the confederacy. Each of the latter had a chief of its own, a Seren,* and the office of this chief was hereditary in one case at least—Gath, for instance, where there existed a larger Canaanite element than elsewhere, and was there identified with that of “melek,” ** or king.

     * The sarnê plishtîm figure in the narrative of the last
     Philistine campaign against Saul (1 Sam. xxix. 2-4, 7, 9).
     Their number, five, is expressly mentioned in 1 Sam. vi. 4,
     16-18, as well as the names of the towns over which they

     ** Achish was King of Gath (1 Sam. xxi. 10, 12, xxvii. 2),
     and probably Maoch before him.

The five Sarnîm assembled in council to deliberate upon common interests, and to offer sacrifices in the name of the Pentapolis. These chiefs were respectively free to make alliances, or to take the field on their own account, but in matters of common importance they acted together, and took their places each at the head of his own contingent.* Their armies were made up of regiments of skilled archers and of pikemen, to whom were added a body of charioteers made up of the princes and the nobles of the nation. The armour for all alike was the coat of scale mail and the helmet of brass; their weapons consisted of the two-edged battle-axe, the bow, the lance, and a large and heavy sword of bronze or iron.**

     * Achish, for example, King of Gath, makes war alone against
     the pillaging tribes, owing to the intervention of David and
     his men, without being called to account by the other
     princes (1 Sam. xxvii. 2-12, xxviii. 1, 2), but as soon as
     an affair of moment is in contemplation—such as the war
     against Saul—they demand the dismissal of David, and Achish
     is obliged to submit to his colleagues acting together (1
     Sam. xxix.).

     ** Philistine archers are mentioned in the battle of Gilboa
     (1 Sam. xxxi. 3) as well as chariots (2 Sam. i. 6). The
     horsemen mentioned in the same connexion are regarded by
     some critics as an interpolation, because they cannot bring
     themselves to think that the Philistines had cavalry corps
     in the Xth century B.C. The Philistine arms are described at
     length in the duel between David and Goliath (1 Sam. xvii. 5
     -7, 38, 39). They are in some respects like those of the
     Homeric heroes.

Their war tactics were probably similar to those of the Egyptians, who were unrivalled in military operations at this period throughout the whole East. Under able leadership, and in positions favourable for the operations of their chariots, the Philistines had nothing to fear from the forces which any of their foes could bring up against them. As to their maritime history, it is certain that in the earliest period, at least, of their sojourn in Syria, as well as in that before their capture by Ramses III., they were successful in sea-fights, but the memory of only one of their expeditions has come down to us: a squadron of theirs having sailed forth from Ascalon somewhere towards the end of the XIIth dynasty,* succeeded in destroying the Sidonian fleet, and pillaging Sidon itself.

     * Justinus, xviii. 3, § 5. The memory of this has been
     preserved, owing to the disputes about precedence which
     raged in the Greek period between the Phoenician towns. The
     destruction of Sidon must have allowed Tyre to develop and
     take the first place.

297.jpg a Philistine Ship of War
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

But however vigorously they may have plied the occupation of Corsairs at the outset of their career, there was, it would appear, a rapid falling off in their maritime prowess; it was on land, and as soldiers, that they displayed their bravery and gained their fame. Their geographical position, indeed, on the direct and almost only route for caravans passing between Asia and Africa, must have contributed to their success. The number of such caravans was considerable, for although Egypt had ceased to be a conquering nation on account of her feebleness at home, she was still one of the great centres of production, and the most important market of the East. A very great part of her trade with foreign countries was carried on through the mouths of the Nile, and of this commerce the Phoenicians had made themselves masters; the remainder followed the land-routes, and passed continually through the territory of the Philistines. These people were in possession of the tract of land which lay between the Mediterranean and the beginning of the southern desert, forming as it were a narrow passage, into which all the roads leading from the Nile to the Euphrates necessarily converged. The chief of these routes was that which crossed Mount Carmel, near Megiddo, and passed up the valleys of the Litâny and the Orontes. This was met at intervals by other secondary roads, such as that which came from Damascus by way of Tabor and the plain of Jezreel, or those which, starting out from the highland of Gilead, led through the fords of the Lower Jordan to Ekron and Gath respectively. The Philistines charged themselves, after the example and at the instigation of the Egyptians, with the maintenance of the great trunk road which was in their hands, and also with securing safe transit along it, as far as they could post their troops, for those who confided themselves to their care. In exchange for these good offices they exacted the same tolls which had been levied by the Canaanites before them.

In their efforts to put down brigandage, they had been brought into contact with some of the Hebrew clans after the latter had taken possession of Canaan. Judah, in its home among the mountains of the Dead Sea, had become acquainted with the diverse races which were found there, and consequently there had been frequent intermarriages between the Hebrews and these peoples. Some critics have argued from this that the chronicler had this fact in his mind when he assigned a Canaanite wife, Shuah, to the father of the tribe himself. He relates how Judah, having separated from his brethren, “turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hiram,” and that here he became acquainted with Shuah, by whom he had three sons. With Tamar, the widow of the eldest of the latter, he had accidental intercourse, and two children, Perez and Zerah, the ancestors of numerous families, were born of that union.*

     * Gen. xxxviii., where there is a detailed account of
     Judah’s unions.

Edomites, Arabs, and Midianites were associated with this semi-Canaanite stock—for example, Kain, Caleb, Othniel, Kenaz, Shobal, Ephah, and Jerahmeel, but the Kenites took the first place among them, and played an important part in the history of the conquest of Canaan. It is related how one of their subdivisions, of which Caleb was the eponymous hero, had driven from Hebron the three sons of Anak—Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai—and had then promised his daughter Achsah in marriage to him who should capture Debir; this turned out to be his youngest brother Othniel, who captured the city, and at the same time obtained a wife. Hobab, another Kenite, who is represented to have been the brother-in-law of Moses, occupied a position to the south of Arad, in Idumsean territory.* These heterogeneous elements existed alongside each other for a long time without intermingling; they combined, however, now and again to act against a common foe, for we know that the people of Judah aided the tribe of Simeon in the reduction of the city of Zephath;** but they followed an independent course for the most part, and their isolation prevented their obtaining, for a lengthened period, any extension of territory.

     * The father-in-law of Moses is called Jethro in Exod. iii.
     1, iv. 19, but Raguel in Exod. ii. 18-22. Hobab is the son
     of Raguel, Numb. x. 29.

     ** Judges i. 17, where Zephath is the better reading, and
     not Arad, as has been suggested.

They failed, as at first, in their attempts to subjugate the province of Arad, and in their efforts to capture the fortresses which guarded the caravan routes between Ashdod and the mouth of the Jordan. It is related, however, that they overthrew Adoni-bezek, King of the Jebusites, and that they had dealt with him as he was accustomed to deal with his prisoners. “And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me.” Although Adoni-bezek had been overthrown, Jerusalem still remained independent, as did also Gibeon. Beeroth, Kirjath-Jearim, Ajalon, Gezer, and the cities of the plain, for the Israelites could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron, with which the Hebrew foot-soldiers found it difficult to deal.* This independent and isolated group was not at first, however, a subject of anxiety to the masters of the coast, and there is but a bare reference to the exploits of a certain Shamgar, son of Anath, who “smote of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad.” **

     * See Josh. ix. 3-27 for an explanation of how these people
     were allowed afterwards to remain in a subordinate capacity
     among the children of Israel.

     ** Judges iii. 31; cf. also Judges v. 6, in which Shamgar is
     mentioned in the song of Deborah.

301.jpg Tell Es-safieh, the Gath of The Philistines
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 265 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

These cities had also to reckon with Ephraim, and the tribes which had thrown in their lot with her. Dan had cast his eyes upon the northern districts of the Shephelah—which were dependent upon Ekron or Gath—and also upon the semi-Phoenician port of Joppa; but these tribes did not succeed in taking possession of those districts, although they had harassed them from time to time by raids in which the children of Israel did not always come off victorious. One of their chiefs—Samson—had a great reputation among them for his bravery and bodily strength. But the details of his real prowess had been forgotten at an early period. The episodes which have been preserved deal with some of his exploits against the Philistines, and there is a certain humour in the chronicler’s account of the weapons which he employed: “with the jawbone of an ass have I smitten a thousand men;” he burned up their harvest also by letting go three hundred foxes, with torches attached to their tails, among the standing corn of the Philistines. Various events in his career are subsequently narrated; such as his adventure in the house of the harlot at Gaza, when he carried off the gate of the city and the gate-posts “to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.” By Delilah’s treachery he was finally delivered over to his enemies, who, having put out his eyes, condemned him to grind in the prison-house. On the occasion of a great festival in honour of Dagon, he was brought into the temple to amuse his captors, but while they were making merry at his expense, he took hold of the two pillars against which he was resting, and bowing “himself with all his might,” overturned them, “and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein.” *

     * Some learned critics considered Samson to have been a sort
     of solar deity.

The tribe of Dan at length became weary of these unprofitable struggles, and determined to seek out another and more easily defensible settlement. They sent out five emissaries, therefore, to look out for a new home. While these were passing through the mountains they called upon a certain Michah in the hill-country of Ephraim and lodged there. Here they took counsel of a Levite whom Michah had made his priest, and, in answer to the question whether their journey would be prosperous, he told them to “Go in peace: before the Lord is the way wherein ye go.” Their search turned out successful, for they discovered near the sources of the Jordan the town of Laish, whose people, like the Zidonians, dwelt in security, fearing no trouble. On the report of the emissaries, Dan decided to emigrate: the warriors set out to the number of six hundred, carried off by the way the ephod of Micah and the Levite who served before it, and succeeded in capturing Laish, to which they gave the name of their tribe. “They there set up for themselves the ephod: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.” * The tribe of Dan displayed in this advanced post of peril the bravery it had shown on the frontiers of the Shephelah, and showed itself the most bellicose of the tribes of Israel.

     * The history of this migration, which is given summarily in
     Josh. xix. 47, is, as it now stands, a blending of two
     accounts. The presence of a descendant of Moses as a priest
     in this local sanctuary probably offended the religious
     scruples of a copyist, who substituted Manasseh for Moses
     (Judges xviii. 30), but the correction was not generally
     accepted. [The R.V. reads “Moses” where the authorised text
     has “Manasseh.”—Tr.]

It bore out well its character—“Dan is a lion’s whelp that leapeth forth from Bashan” on the Hermon;* “a serpent in the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse’s heels, so that his rider falleth backward.” ** The new position they had taken up enabled them to protect Galilee for centuries against the incursions of the Aramaeans.

     * See the Blessing of Moses (Dent, xxxiii. 22).

     ** These are the words used in the Blessing of Jacob (Gen.
     xlix. 17).

304.jpg the Hill of Shiloh, Seen from The North-east
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 100 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

Their departure, however, left the descendants of Joseph unprotected, with Benjamin as their only bulwark. Benjamin, like Dan, was one of the tribes which contained scarcely more than two or three clans, but compensated for the smallness of their numbers by their energy and tenacity of character: lying to the south of Ephraim, they had developed into a breed of hardy adventurers, skilled in handling the bow and sling, accustomed from childhood to use both hands indifferently, and always ready to set out on any expedition, not only against the Canaanites, but, if need be, against their own kinsfolk.* They had consequently aroused the hatred of both friend and foe, and we read that the remaining tribes at length decreed their destruction; a massacre ensued, from which six hundred Benjamites only escaped to continue the race.** Their territory adjoined on the south that of Jerusalem, the fortress of the Jebusites, and on the west the powerful confederation of which Gibeon was the head. It comprised some half-dozen towns—Ramah, Anathoth, Michmash, and Nob, and thus commanded both sides of the passes leading from the Shephelah into the valley of the Jordan. The Benjamites were in the habit of descending suddenly upon merchants who were making their way to or returning from Gilead, and of robbing them of their wares; sometimes they would make a raid upon the environs of Ekron and Gath, “like a wolf that ravineth:” realising the prediction of Jacob, “in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at even he shall divide the spoil.” ***

     * Benjamin signifies, properly speaking, “the Southern.”
     ** Story of the Lévite of Ephraim (Judges xix.-xxi.). The
     groundwork of it contains only one historical element. The
     story of the Lévite is considered by some critics to be of a
     later date than the rest of the text.

     *** He is thus characterised in the Blessing of Jacob (Gen.
     xlix. 27). VOL. VI.  X

The Philistines never failed to make reprisals after each raid, and the Benjamites were no match for their heavily armed battalions; but the labyrinth of ravines and narrow gorges into which the Philistines had to penetrate to meet their enemy was a favourable region for guerilla warfare, in which they were no match for their opponents. Peace was never of long duration on this ill-defined borderland, and neither intercourse between one village and another, alliances, nor intermarriage between the two peoples had the effect of interrupting hostilities; even when a truce was made at one locality, the feud would be kept up at other points of contact. All details of this conflict have been lost, and we merely know that it terminated in the defeat of the house of Joseph, a number of whom were enslaved. The ancient sanctuary of Shiloh still continued to be the sacred town of the Hebrews, as it had been under the Canaanites, and the people of Ephraim kept there the ark of Jahveh-Sabaoth, “the Lord of Hosts.” * It was a chest of wood, similar in shape to the shrine which surmounted the sacred barks of the Egyptian divinities, but instead of a prophesying statue, it contained two stones on which, according to the belief of a later age, the law had been engraved.** Yearly festivals were celebrated before it, and it was consulted as an oracle by all the Israelites. Eli, the priest to whose care it was at this time consigned, had earned universal respect by the austerity of his life and by his skill in interpreting the divine oracles.***

     * At the very opening of the First Book of Samuel (i. 3),
     Shiloh is mentioned as being the sanctuary of Jahveh-
     Sabaoth, Jahveh the Lord of hosts. The tradition preserved
     in Josh, xviii. 1, removes the date of its establishment as
     far back as the earliest times of the Israelite conquest.

     ** The idea that the Tables of the Law were enclosed in the
     Ark is frequently expressed in Exodus and in subsequent
     books of the Hexateuch.

     *** The history of Eli extends over chaps, i.-iv. of the
     First Book of Samuel; it is incorporated with that of
     Samuel, and treats only of the events which accompanied the
     destruction of the sanctuary of Shiloh by the Philistines.

His two sons, on the contrary, took advantage of his extreme age to annoy those who came up to worship, and they were even accused of improper behaviour towards the women who “served at the door of” the tabernacle. They appropriated to themselves a larger portion of the victims than they were entitled to, extracting from the caldron the meat offerings of the faithful after the sacrifice was over by means of flesh-hooks. Their misdeeds were such, that “men abhorred the offering of the Lord,” and yet the reverence for the ark was so great in the minds of the people, that they continued to have recourse to it on every occasion of national danger.* The people of Ephraim and Benjamin having been defeated once between Eben-ezer and Aphek, bore the ark in state to the battle-field, that its presence might inspire them with confidence. The Philistines were alarmed at its advent, and exclaimed, “God is come into the camp. Woe unto us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods?... Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you.” ** In response to this appeal, their troops fought so boldly that they once more gained a victory. “And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon his seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult? And the man hasted, and came and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were set, that he could not see. And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to-day out of the army. And he said, How went the matter, my son? And he that brought the tidings answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phineas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy.” ***

     * Sam. iv. 12-18.

     ** This is not mentioned in the sacred books; but certain
     reasons for believing this destruction to have taken place
     are given by Stade.

     *** The Philistine garrison at Geba (Gibeah) is mentioned in
     1 Sam. xiii. 3, i.

The defeat of Eben-ezer completed, at least for a time, the overthrow of the tribes of Central Canaan. The Philistines destroyed the sanctuary of Shiloh, and placed a garrison at Gibeah to keep the Benjamites in subjection, and to command the route of the Jordan;* it would even appear that they pushed their advance-posts beyond Carmel in order to keep in touch with the independent Canaanite cities such as Megiddo, Taanach, and Bethshan, and to ensure a free use of the various routes leading in the direction of Damascus, Tyre, and Coele-Syria.**

     * After the victory at Gilboa, the Philistines exposed the
     dead bodies of Saul and his sons upon the walls of Bethshan
     (1 Sam. xxxi. 10, 12), which they would not have been able
     to do had the inhabitants not been allies or vassals.
     Friendly relations with Bethshan entailed almost as a matter
     of course some similar understanding with the cities of the
     plain of Jezreel.

     ** 1 Sam. vii. 16, 17. These verses represent, as a matter
     of fact, all that we know of Samuel anterior to his
     relations with Saul. This account seems to represent him as
     exercising merely a restricted influence over the territory
     of Benjamin and the south of Ephraim. It was not until the
     prophetic period that, together with Eli, he was made to
     figure as Judge of all Israel.

The Philistine power continued dominant for at least half a century. The Hebrew chroniclers, scandalised at the prosperity of the heathen, did their best to abridge the time of the Philistine dominion, and interspersed it with Israelitish victories. Just at this time, however, there lived a man who was able to inspire them with fresh hope. He was a priest of Bamah, Samuel, the son of Elkanah, who had acquired the reputation of being a just and wise judge in the towns of Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; “and he judged Israel in all those places, and his return was to Bamah, for there was his house... and he built there an altar unto the Lord.” To this man the whole Israelite nation attributed with pride the deliverance of their race. The sacred writings relate how his mother, the pious Hannah, had obtained his birth from Jahveh after years of childlessness, and had forthwith devoted him to the service of God. She had sent him to Shiloh at the age of three years, and there, clothed in a linen tunic and in a little robe which his mother made for him herself, he ministered before God in the presence of Eli. One night it happened, when the latter was asleep in his place, “and the lamp of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel: and he said, Here am I. And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called thee not; lie down again.” Twice again the voice was heard, and at length Eli perceived that it was God who had called the child, and he bade him reply: “Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth.” From thenceforward Jahveh was “with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” Twenty years after the sad death of his master, Samuel felt that the moment had come to throw off the Philistine yoke; he exhorted the people to put away their false gods, and he assembled them at Mizpah to absolve them from their sins. The Philistines, suspicious of this concourse, which boded ill for the maintenance of their authority, arose against him. “And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.” The Philistines, demoralised by the thunderstorm which ensued, were overcome on the very spot where they had triumphed over the sons of Eli, and fled in disorder to their own country. “Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer (the Stone of Help), saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” He next attacked the Tyrians and the Amorites, and won back from them all the territory they had conquered.* One passage, in which Samuel is not mentioned, tells us how heavily the Philistine yoke had weighed upon the people, and explains their long patience by the fact that their enemies had taken away all their weapons. “Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears;” and whoever needed to buy or repair the most ordinary agricultural implements was forced to address himself to the Philistine blacksmiths.** The very extremity of the evil worked its own cure. The fear of the Midian-ites had already been the occasion of the ephemeral rule of Jerubbaal and Abimelech; the Philistine tyranny forced first the tribes of Central and then those of Southern Canaan to unite under the leadership of one man. In face of so redoubtable an enemy and so grave a peril a greater effort was required, and the result was proportionate to their increased activity.

     * This manner of retaliating against the Philistines for the
     disaster they had formerly inflicted on Israel, is supposed
     by some critics to be an addition of a later date, either
     belonging to the time of the prophets, or to the period when
     the Jews, without any king or settled government, rallied at
     Mizpah. According to these scholars, 1 Sam. vii. 2-14 forms
     part of a biography, written at a time when the foundation
     of the Benjamite monarchy had not as yet been attributed to

     ** 1 Sam. xiii. 20, 21.

The Manassite rule extended at most over two or three clans, but that of Saul and David embraced the Israelite nation.* Benjamin at that time reckoned among its most powerful chiefs a man of ancient and noble family—Saul, the son of Kish—who possessed extensive flocks and considerable property, and was noted for his personal beauty, for “there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.” ** He had already reached mature manhood, and had several children, the eldest of whom, Jonathan, was well known as a skilful and brave soldier, while Saul’s reputation was such that his kinsmen beyond Jordan had recourse to his aid as to a hero whose presence would secure victory. The Ammonites had laid siege to Jabesh-Gilead, and the town was on the point of surrendering; Saul came to their help, forced the enemy to raise the siege, and inflicted such a severe lesson upon them, that during the whole of his lifetime they did not again attempt hostilities. He was soon after proclaimed king by the Benjamites, as Jerubbaal had been raised to authority by the Manassites on the morrow of his victory.***

     * The beginning of Saul’s reign, up to his meeting with
     David, will be found in 1 Sam. viii.-xv. We can distinguish
     the remains of at least two ancient narratives, which the
     writer of the Book of Samuel has put together in order to
     form a complete and continuous account. As elsewhere in this
     work, I have confined myself to accepting the results at
     which criticism has arrived, without entering into detailed
     discussions which do not come within the domain of history.

     ** 1 Sam. ix. 2. In one account he is represented as quite a
     young man, whose father is still in the prime of life (1
     Sam. ix.), but this cannot refer to the time of the
     Philistine war, where we find him accompanied, at the very
     outset of his reign, by his son, who is already skilled in
     the use of weapons.

     *** 1 Sam. xi. According to the text of the Septuagint, the
     war against the Ammonites broke out a month after Saul had
     been secretly anointed by Samuel; his popular proclamation
     did not take place till after the return from the campaign.

We learn from the sacred writings that Samuel’s influence had helped to bring about these events. It had been shown him by the divine voice that Saul was to be the chosen ruler, and he had anointed him and set him before the people as their appointed lord; the scene of this must have been either Mizpah or Gilgal.*

     * One narrative appears to represent him as being only the
     priest or local prophet of Hamah, and depicts him as
     favourable to the establishment of the monarchy (1 Sam. ix.
     1-27, x. 1-16); the other, however, admits that he was
     “judge” of all Israel, and implies that he was hostile to the
     choice of a king (1 Sam. viii. 1-22, x. 17, 27, xii. 1-25)

The accession of a sovereign who possessed the allegiance of all Israel could not fail to arouse the vigilance of their Philistine oppressors; Jonathan, however, anticipated their attack and captured Gibeah. The five kings at once despatched an army to revenge this loss; the main body occupied Michmash, almost opposite to the stronghold taken from them, while three bands of soldiers were dispersed over the country, ravaging as they went, with orders to attack Saul in the rear. The latter had only six hundred men, with whom he scarcely dared to face so large a force; besides which, he was separated from the enemy by the Wady Suweinît, here narrowed almost into a gorge between two precipitous rocks, and through which no body of troops could penetrate without running the risk of exposing themselves in single file to the enemy. Jonathan, however, resolved to attempt a surprise in broad daylight, accompanied only by his armour-bearer. “There was a rocky crag on the one side, and a rooky crag on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez (the Shining), and the name of the other Seneh (the Acacia). The one crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba (Gribeah).” The two descended the side of the gorge, on the top of which they were encamped, and prepared openly to climb the opposite side. The Philistine sentries imagined they were deserters, and said as they approached: “Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves. And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armour-bearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will show you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armour-bearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel. And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armour-bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armour-bearer slew them after him. And that first slaughter that Jonathan and his armour-bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land.” From Gribeah, where Saul’s troops were in ignorance of what was passing, the Benjamite sentinels could distinguish a tumult. Saul guessed that a surprise had taken place, and marched upon the enemy.

314.jpg the Wady Suweinit
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 402 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

The Philistines were ousted from their position, and pursued hotly beyond Bethel as far as Ajalon.* This constituted the actual birthday of the Israelite monarchy.

     * The account of these events, separated by the parts
     relating to the biography of Samuel (1 Sam. xiii. 76-15a,
     thought by some to be of a later date), and of the breaking
     by Jonathan of the fast enjoined by Saul (1 Sam. xiv. 23-
     45), covers 1 Sam. xiii. 3-7a, 156-23, xiv. 1-22, 46. The
     details appear to be strictly historical; the number of the
     Philistines, however, seems to be exaggerated; “30,000
     chariots, and 6000 horsemen, and people as the sand which is
     on the sea-shore in multitude “(1 Sam. xiii. 5).

Gilead, the whole house of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh—and Benjamin formed its nucleus, and were Saul’s strongest supporters. We do not know how far his influence extended northwards; it probably stopped short at the neighbourhood of Mount Tabor, and the Galileans either refused to submit to his authority, or acknowledged it merely in theory. In the south the clans of Judah and Simeon were not long in rallying round him, and their neighbours the Kenites, with Caleb and Jerahmeel, soon followed their example. These southerners, however, appear to have been somewhat half-hearted in their allegiance to the Benjamite king: it was not enough to have gained their adhesion—a stronger tie was needed to attach them to the rest of the nation. Saul endeavoured to get rid of the line of Canaanite cities which isolated them from Ephraim, but he failed in the effort, we know not from what cause, and his attempt produced no other result than to arouse against him the hatred of the Gibeonite inhabitants.* He did his best to watch over the security of his new subjects, and protected them against the Amalekites, who were constantly harassing them.

     * The fact is made known to us by an accidental mention of
     it in 2 Sam. xxi. 1-11. The motive which induced Saul to
     take arms against the Gibeonites is immediately apparent
     when we realise the position occupied by Gideon between
     Judah and the tribes of Central Canaan.

Their king, Agag, happening to fall into his hands, he killed him, and destroyed several of their nomad bands, thus inspiring the remainder with a salutary terror.* Subsequent tradition credited him with victories gained over all the enemies of Israel—over Moab, Edom, and even the Aramaeans of Zobah—it endowed him even with the projects and conquests of David. At any rate, the constant incursions of the Philistines could not have left him much time for fighting in the north and east of his domains. Their defeat at Gibeah was by no means a decisive one, and they quickly recovered from the blow; the conflict with them lasted to the end of Saul’s lifetime, and during the whole of this period he never lost an opportunity of increasing his army.**

The monarchy was as yet in a very rudimentary state, without either the pomp or accessories usually associated with royalty in the ancient kingdoms of the East. Saul, as King of Israel, led much the same sort of life as when he was merely a Benjamite chief. He preferred to reside at Gibeah, in the house of his forefathers, with no further resources than those yielded by the domain inherited from his ancestors, together with the spoil taken in battle.***

     * The part taken by Samuel in the narrative of Saul’s war
     against the Amalekites (1 Sam. xv.) is thought by some
     critics to have been introduced with a view of exalting the
     prophet’s office at the expense of the king and the
     monarchy. They regard 1 Sam. xiv. 48 as being the sole
     historic ground of the narrative.

     ** 1 Sam. xiv. 47. We may admit his successful skirmishes
     with Moab, but some writers maintain that the defeat of the
     Edomites and Aramaeans is a mere anticipation, and consider
     that the passage is only a reflection of 2 Sam. viii. 8, and
     reproduces the list of the wars of David, with the exception
     of the expedition against Damascus.

     *** Gibeah is nowhere expressly mentioned as being the
     capital of Saul, but the name Gibeah of Saul which it bore
     shows that it must have been the royal residence; the names
     of the towns mentioned in the account of Saul’s pursuit of
     David—Naioth, Eamah, and Nob—are all near to Gibeah. It
     was also at Gibeah that the Gibeonites slew seven of the
     sons and grandsons of Saul (2 Sam. xxi. 6-9), no doubt to
     bring ignominy on the family of the first king in the very
     place in which they had governed.

All that he had, in addition to his former surroundings, were a priesthood attached to the court, and a small army entirely at his own disposal. Ahijah, a descendant of Eli, sacrificed for the king when the latter did not himself officiate; he fulfilled the office of chaplain to him in time of war, and was the mouthpiece of the divine oracles when these were consulted as to the propitious moment for attacking the enemy.

319.jpg a Phoenician Soldier
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from the
bronze original
in the Louvre.

The army consisted of a nucleus of Benjamites, recruited from the king’s clan, with the addition of any adventurers, whether Israelites or strangers, who were attracted to enlist under a popular military chief.* It comprised archers, slingers, and bands of heavily armed infantry, after the fashion of the Phoenician, bearing pikes. We can gam some idea of their appearance and equipment from the bronze statuettes of an almost contemporary period, which show us the Phoenician foot-soldiers or the barbarian mercenaries in the pay of the Phoenician cities: they wear the horizontally striped loin-cloth of the Syrians, leaving the arms and legs entirely bare, and the head is protected by a pointed or conical helmet.

     * Ahijah (1 Sam. xiv. 3), son of Ahitub, great-grandson of
     Eli, appears to be the same as Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, who
     subsequently helped David (1 Sam. xxi. 1-10), and was
     massacred by order of Saul (1 Sam. xxii. 9-19). The scribe
     must have been shocked by the name Melech—that of the god
     Milik [Moloch]—and must have substituted Jah or Jahveh.

Saul possessed none of the iron-bound chariots which always accompanied the Qanaanite infantry; these heavy vehicles would have been entirely out of place in the mountain districts, which were the usual field of operations for the Israelite force.* We are unable to ascertain whether the king’s soldiers received any regular pay, but we know that the spoil was divided between the prince and his men, each according to his rank and in proportion to the valour he had displayed.** In cases of necessity, the whole of the tribes were assembled, and a selection was made of all those capable of bearing arms. This militia, composed mainly of a pastoral peasantry in the prime of life, capable of heroic efforts, was nevertheless ill-disciplined, liable to sudden panics, and prone to become disbanded on the slightest reverse.***

     * With regard to the use of the bow among Saul’s soldiers,
     cf. 1 Sam. xx. 18-42, where we find the curious scene of the
     meeting of David and Jonathan, when the latter came out of
     Gibeah on the pretext of practising with bow and arrows. The
     accoutrement of the Hebrews is given in the passage where
     Saul lends his armour to David before meeting with Goliath
     (1 Sam. xvii. 38, 39).

     ** Cf. the quarrel which took place between the soldiers of
     David about the spoil taken from the Amalekites, and the
     manner in which the strife was decided by David (1 Sam. xxx.

     *** Saul, for instance, assembles the people and makes a
     selection to attack the Philistines (1 Sam. xiii. 2, 4, 7)
     against the Ammonites (1 Sam. xi. 7, 8) and against the
     Amalekites (1 Sam. xv. 4).

Saul had the supreme command of the whole; the members of his own family served as lieutenants under him, including his son Jonathan, to whom he owed some of his most brilliant victories, together with his cousin Abner, the sar-zaba, who led the royal guard.* Among the men of distinguished valour who had taken service under Saul, he soon singled out David, son of Jesse, a native of Bethlehem of Judah.** David was the first Judæan hero, the typical king who served as a model to all subsequent monarchs. His elevation, like that of Saul, is traced to Samuel. The old prophet had repaired to Bethlehem ostensibly to offer a sacrifice, and after examining all the children of Jesse, he chose the youngest, and “anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David.” ***

     * 1 Sam. xiv. 50, 51. There is no record of the part played
     by Abner during Saul’s lifetime: he begins to figure in the
     narrative after the battle at Gilboa under the double reign
     of Ish-bosheth and David.

     ** The name of David is a shortened form of Davdo, Dodo,
     “the favourite of Him,” i.e. God.

     *** The intervention of the prophet occupies 1 Sam. xvi. 1-
     13. Some critics have imagined that this passage was
     interpolated at a later date, and reflects the events which
     are narrated in chap. x. They say it was to show that Saul
     was not alone in enjoying consecration by the prophet, and
     hence all doubt would be set at rest as to whether David was
     actually that “neighbour of thine, that is better than
     thou,” mentioned in 1 Sam. xv. 28.

His introduction at the court of Saul is variously accounted for. According to one narrative, Saul, being possessed by an evil spirit, fell at times into a profound melancholy, from which he could be aroused only by the playing of a harp. On learning that David was skilled in this instrument, he begged Jesse to send him his son, and the lad soon won the king’s affection. As often as the illness came upon him, David took his harp, and “Saul was refreshed, and the evil spirit departed from him.” * Another account relates that he entered on his soldierly career by killing with his sling Goliath of Gath,** who had challenged the bravest Israelites to combat; though elsewhere the death of Goliath is attributed to Elhanan of Bethlehem,*** one of the “mighty men of valour,” who specially distinguished himself in the wars against the Philistines. David had, however, no need to take to himself the brave deeds of others; at Ephes-dammîm, in company with Eleazar, the son of Dodai, and Shammah, the son of Agu, he had posted himself in a field of lentils, and the three warriors had kept the Philistines at bay till their discomfited Israelite comrades had had time to rally.****

     * 1 Sam. xvi. 14-23. This narrative is directly connected
     with 1 Sam. xiv. 52, where we are told that when “Saul saw
     any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.”
     ** 1 Sam. xvii., xviii. 1-5. According to some writers, this
     second version, the best known of the two, is a development
     at a later period of the tradition preserved in 2 Sam. xxi.
     19, where the victory of Elhanan over Goliath is recorded.

     *** 2 Sam. xxi. 19, where the duel of Goliath and Elhanan is
     placed in the reign of David, during the combat at Gob. Some
     critics think that the writer of Chronicles, recognising the
     difficulty presented by this passage, changed the epithet
     Bethlehemite, which qualified the name of Elhanan, into
     Lahmi, the name of Goliath’s brother (1 Citron, xx. 5). Say
     ce thought to get over the difficulty by supposing that
     Elhanan was David’s first name; but Elhanan is the son of
     Jair, and not the son of Jesse.

     **** The combat of Paz-Dammîm or Ephes-Dammîm is mentioned
     in 1 Sam. xvii. 1; the exploit of David and his two
     comrades, 2 Sam: xxiii. 9-12 (cf. 1 Chron. xi, 12-14, which
     slightly varies from 2 Sam. xxiii. 9-12).

Saul entrusted him with several difficult undertakings, in all of which he acquitted himself with honour. On his return from one of them, the women of the villages came out to meet him, singing and dancing to the sound of timbrels, the refrain of their song being: “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” The king concealed the jealousy which this simple expression of joy excited within him, but it found vent at the next outbreak of his illness, and he attempted to kill David with a spear, though soon after he endeavoured to make amends for his action by giving him his second daughter Michal in marriage.* This did not prevent the king from again attempting David’s life, either in a real or simulated fit of madness; but not being successful, he despatched a body of men to waylay him. According to one account it was Michal who helped her husband to escape,** while another attributes the saving of his life to Jonathan. This prince had already brought about one reconciliation between his father and David, and had spared no pains to reinstall him in the royal favour, but his efforts merely aroused the king’s suspicion against himself. Saul imagined that a conspiracy existed for the purpose of dethroning him, and of replacing him by his son; Jonathan, knowing that his life also was threatened, at length renounced the attempt, and David and his followers withdrew from court.

     * The account of the first disagreement between Saul and
     David, and with regard to the marriage of David with Michal,
     is given in 1 Sam. xviii. 6-16, 20-29, and presents every
     appearance of authenticity. Verses 17-19, mentioning a
     project of union between David and Saul’s eldest daughter,
     Merab, has at some time been interpolated; it is not given
     in the LXX., either because it was not in the Hebrew version
     they had before them, or because they suppressed it owing to
     the motive appearing to them insufficient.

     ** 1 Sam. xix. 11-17. Many critics regard this passage as an

324.jpg AÎd-el-ra, the Site of The Ancient Adullam
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 430 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

He was hospitably received by a descendant of Eli,* Ahimelech the priest, at Nob, and wandered about in the neighbourhood of Adullam, hiding himself in the wooded valleys of Khereth, in the heart of Judah. He retained the sympathies of many of the Benjamites, more than one of whom doubted whether it would not be to their advantage to transfer their allegiance from their aged king to this more youthful hero.

     * 1 Sam. xxi. 8, 9 adds that he took as a weapon the sword
     of Goliath which was laid up in the sanctuary at Nob.

Saul got news of their defection, and one day when he was sitting, spear in hand, under the tamarisk at Gibeah, he indignantly upbraided his servants, and pointed out to them the folly of their plans. “Hear, now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards? will he make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds?” Ahimelech was selected as the victim of the king’s anger: denounced by Doeg, Saul’s steward, he was put to death, and all his family, with the exception of Abiathar, one of his sons, perished with him.* As soon as it became known that David held the hill-country, a crowd of adventurous spirits flocked to place themselves under his leadership, anticipating, no doubt, that spoil would not be lacking with so brave a chief, and he soon found himself at the head of a small army, with Abiathar as priest, and the ephod, rescued from Nob, in his possession.**

     * 1 Sam. xix.-xxii., where, according to some critics, two
     contradictory versions have been blended together at a late
     period. The most probable version is given in 1 Sam, xix. 8-
     10 [11-18a], xxi. 1-7 [8-10], xxii., and is that which I
     have followed by preference; the other version, according to
     these writers, attributes too important a rôle to Jonathan,
     and relates at length the efforts he made to reconcile his
     father and his friend (1 Sam. xviii. 30, xix. 1-7, xx.). It
     is thought, from the confusion apparent in this part of the
     narrative, that a record of the real motives which provoked
     a rupture between the king and his son-in-law has not been

     ** 1 Sam. xxii. 20-23, xxiii. 6. For the use of the ephod by
     Abiathar for oracular purposes, cf. 1 Sam. xxiii. 9-12, xxx.
     7, 8; the inquiry in 1 Sam. xxiii. 2-4 probably belongs to
     the same series, although neither Abiathar nor the ephod is

The country was favourable for their operations; it was a perfect labyrinth of deep ravines, communicating with each other by narrow passes or by paths winding along the edges of precipices. Isolated rocks, accessible only by rugged ascents, defied assault, while extensive caves offered a safe hiding-place to those who were familiar with their windings. One day the little band descended to the rescue of Keilah, which they succeeded in wresting from the Philistines, but no sooner did they learn that Saul was on his way to meet them than they took refuge in the south of Judah, in the neighbourhood of Ziph and Maôn, between the mountains and the Dead Sea.*

     * 1 Sam. xxiii. 1-13; an episode acknowledged to be
     historical by nearly-all modern critics.

326.jpg the Desert of Judah
     Drawn by Boudior, from photograph No. 197 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund. The heights visible in the distance are
     the mountains of Moab, beyond the Dead Sea.

Saul already irritated by his rival’s successes, was still more galled by being always on the point of capturing him, and yet always seeing him slip from his grasp. On one afternoon, when the king had retired into a cave for his siesta, he found himself at the mercy of his adversary; the latter, however, respected the sleep of his royal master, and contented himself with cutting a piece off his mantle.* On another occasion David, in company with Abishai and Ahimelech the Hittite, took a lance and a pitcher of water from the king’s bedside.** The inhabitants of the country were not all equally loyal to David’s cause; those of Ziph, whose meagre resources were taxed to support his followers, plotted to deliver him up to the king,*** while Nabal of Maôn roughly refused him food. Abigail atoned for her husband’s churlishness by a speedy submission; she collected a supply of provisions, and brought it herself to the wanderers. David was as much disarmed by her tact as by her beauty, and when she was left a widow he married her. This union insured the support of the Calebite clan, the most powerful in that part of the country, and policy as well as gratitude no doubt suggested the alliance.

     * 1 Sam, xxiv. Thought by some writers to be of much later

     ** 1 Sam. xxvi. 4-25.

Skirmishes were not as frequent between the king’s troops and the outlaws as we might at first be inclined to believe, but if at times there was a truce to hostilities, they never actually ceased, and the position became intolerable. Encamped between his kinsman and the Philistines, David found himself unable to resist either party except by making friends with the other. An incursion of the Philistines near Maôn saved David from the king, but when Saul had repulsed it, David had no choice but to throw himself into the arms of Achish, King of Gath, of whom he craved permission to settle as his vassal at Ziklag, on condition of David’s defending the frontier against the Bedawin.*

* 1 Sam. xxvii. The earlier part of this chapter (vers. 1-6) is strictly historical. Some critics take vers. 8-12 to be of later date, and pretend that they were inserted to show the cleverness of David, and to deride the credulity of the King of Gath.

Saul did not deem it advisable to try and dislodge him from this retreat. Peace having been re-established in Judah, the king turned northward and occupied the heights which bound the plain of Jezreel to the east; it is possible that he contemplated pushing further afield, and rallying round him those northern tribes who had hitherto never acknowledged his authority. He may, on the other hand, have desired merely to lay hands on the Syrian highways, and divert to his own profit the resources brought by the caravans which plied along them. The Philistines, who had been nearly ruined by the loss of the right to demand toll of these merchants, assembled the contingents of their five principalities, among them being the Hebrews of David, who formed the personal guard of Achish. The four other princes objected to the presence of these strangers in their midst, and forced Achish to dismiss them. David returned to Ziklag, to find ruin and desolation everywhere. The Amalekites had taken advantage of the departure of the Hebrews to revenge themselves once for all for David’s former raids on them, and they had burnt the town, carrying off the women and flocks. David at once set out on their track, overtook them just beyond the torrent of Besor, and rescued from them, not only his own belongings, but all the booty they had collected by the way in the southern provinces of Caleb, in Judah, and in the Cherethite plain.

He distributed part of this spoil among those cities of Judah which had shown hospitality to himself and his men, for instance, to Jattir, Aroer, Eshtemoa, Hormah, and Hebron.* While he thus kept up friendly relations with those who might otherwise have been tempted to forget him, Saul was making his last supreme effort against the Philistines, but only ito meet with failure. He had been successful in repulsing them as long as he kept to the mountain districts, where the courage of his troops made up for their lack of numbers and the inferiority of their arms; but he was imprudent enough to take up a position on the hillsides of Gilboa, whose gentle slopes offered no hindrances to the operations of the heavy Philistine battalions. They attacked the Israelites from the Shunem side, and swept all before them. Jonathan perished in the conflict, together with his two brothers, Malchi-shua and Abinadab; Saul, who was wounded by an arrow, begged his armour-bearer to take his life, but, on his persistently refusing, the king killed himself with his own sword. The victorious Philistines cut off his head and those of his sons, and placed their armour in the temple of Ashtoreth,** while their bodies, thus despoiled, were hung up outside the walls of Bethshan, whose Canaanite inhabitants had made common cause with the Philistines against Israel.

     * 1 Sam. xxviii. 1, 2, xxix., xxx. The torrent of Besor is
     the present Wady Esh-Sheriah, which runs to the south of

     ** The text of 1 Sam. xxxi. 10 says, in a vague manner, “in
     the house of the Ashtaroth” (in the plural), which is
     corrected, somewhat arbitrarily, in 1 Chron. x. 10 iato “in
     the house of Dagon” (B.V.); it is possible that it was the
     temple at Gaza, Gaza being the chief of the Philistine

The people of Jabesh-Gilead, who had never forgotten how Saul had saved them from the Ammonites, hearing the news, marched all night, rescued the mutilated remains, and brought them back to their own town, where they burned them, and buried the charred bones under a tamarisk, fasting meanwhile seven days as a sign of mourning.*

     * 1 Sam. xxxi. It would seem that there were two narratives
     describing this war: in one, the Philistines encamped at
     Shunem, and Saul occupied Mount Gilboa (1 Sam. xxviii. 4);
     in the other, the Philistines encamped at Aphek, and the
     Israelites “by the fountain which is in Jezreel” (1 Sam.
     xxix. 1). The first of these accounts is connected with the
     episode of the witch of Endor, the second with the sending
     away of David by Achish. The final catastrophe is in both
     narratives placed on Mount Gilboa and Stade has endeavoured
     to reconcile the two accounts by admitting that the battle
     was fought between Aphek and “the fountain,” but that the
     final scene took place on the slopes of Gilboa. There are
     even two versions of the battle, one in 1 Sam. xxxi. and the
     other in 2 Sam. i. 6-10, where Saul does not kill himself,
     but begs an Amalekite to slay him; many critics reject the
     second version.

330.jpg the Hill of Bethshan, Seen from The East
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 79 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

David afterwards disinterred these relics, and laid them in the burying-place of the family of Kish at Zela, in Benjamin. The tragic end of their king made a profound impression on the people. We read that, before entering on his last battle, Saul was given over to gloomy forebodings: he had sought counsel of Jahveh, but God “answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” The aged Samuel had passed away at Ramah, and had apparently never seen the king after the flight of David;* Saul now bethought himself of the prophet in his despair, and sought to recall him from the tomb to obtain his counsel.

     * 1 Sam. xxv. 1, repeated 1 Sam. xxviii. 3, with a mention
     of the measures taken by Saul against the wizards and

The king had banished from the land all wizards and fortune-tellers, but his servants brought him word that at Endor there still remained a woman who could call up the dead. Saul disguised himself, and, accompanied by two of his retainers, went to find her; he succeeded in overcoming her fear of punishment, and persuaded her to make the evocation. “Whom shall I bring up unto thee?”—“Bring up Samuel.”—And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, saying, “Why hast thou deceived me, for thou art Saul?” And the king said unto her, “Be not afraid, for what sawest thou?”—“I saw gods ascending out of the earth.”—“What form is he of?”—“An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle.” Saul immediately recognised Samuel, and prostrated himself with his face to the ground before him. The prophet, as inflexible after death as in his lifetime, had no words of comfort for the God-forsaken man who had troubled his repose. “The Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David, because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord,... and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me. The Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.” *

     * 1 Sam. xxviii. 5-25. There is no reason why this scene
     should not be historical; it was natural that Saul, like
     many an ancient general in similar circumstances, should
     seek to know the future by means of the occult sciences then
     in vogue. Some critics think that certain details of the
     evocation—as, for instance, the words attributed to Samuel
     —are of a later date.

We learn, also, how David, at Ziklag, on hearing the news of the disaster, had broken into weeping, and had composed a lament, full of beauty, known as the “Song of the Bow,” which the people of Judah committed to memory in their childhood. “Thy glory, O Israel, is slain upon thy high places! How are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph! Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, neither fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil! From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not divided.” *

     * 2 Sam. i. 17-27 (R.V.). This elegy is described as a
     quotation from Jasher, the “Book of the Upright.” Many modern
     writers attribute its authorship to David himself; others
     reject this view; all agree in regarding it as extremely
     ancient. The title, “Song of the Bow,” is based on the
     possibly corrupt text of ver. 18.

The Philistines occupied in force the plain of Jezreel and the pass which leads from it into the lowlands of Bethshan: the Israelites abandoned the villages which they had occupied in these districts, and the gap between the Hebrews of the north and those of the centre grew wider. The remnants of Saul’s army sought shelter on the eastern bank of the Jordan, but found no leader to reorganise them. The reverse sustained by the Israelitish champion seemed, moreover, to prove the futility of trying to make a stand against the invader, and even the useless-ness of the monarchy itself: why, they might have asked, burthen ourselves with a master, and patiently bear with his exactions, if, when put to the test, he fails to discharge the duties for the performance of which he was chosen? And yet the advantages of a stable form of government had been so manifest during the reign of Saul, that it never for a moment occurred to his former subjects to revert to patriarchal institutions: the question which troubled them was not whether they were to have a king, but rather who was to fill the post. Saul had left a considerable number of descendants behind him.* From these, Abner, the ablest of his captains, chose Ishbaal, and set him on the throne to reign under his guidance.**

     * We know that he had three sons by his wife Ahinoam—
     Jonathan, Ishbaal, and Malchi-shua; and two daughters, Merab
     and Michal (1 Sam. xiv. 49, 50, where “Ishvi” should be read
     “Ishbaal”). Jonathan left at least one son, Meribbaal (1
     Chron. viii. 34, ix. 40, called Mephibosheth in 2 Sam. xxi.
     7), and Merab had five sons by Adriel (2 Sam. xxi. 8). One
     of Saul’s concubines, Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, had borne
     him two sons, Armoni and Meribbaal (2 Sam. xxi. 8, where the
     name Meribbaal is changed into Mephibosheth); Abinadab, who
     fell with him in the fight at Mount Gilboa (1 Sam. xxxi. 2),
     whose mother’s name is not mentioned, was another son.

     ** Ishbaal was still a child when his father died: had he
     been old enough to bear arms, he would have taken a part in
     the battle of Gilboa with his brothers.. The expressions
     used in the account of his elevation to the throne prove
     that he was a minor (2 Sam. ii. 8, 9); the statement that he
     was forty years old when he began to reign would seem,
     therefore, to be an error (ii. 10).

Gibeah was too close to the frontier to be a safe residence for a sovereign whose position was still insecure; Abner therefore installed Ishbaal at Mahanaim, in the heart of the country of Gilead. The house of Jacob, including the tribe of Benjamin, acknowledged him as king, but Judah held aloof. It had adopted the same policy at the beginning of the previous reign, yet its earlier isolation had not prevented it from afterwards throwing in its lot with the rest of the nation. But at that time no leader had come forward from its own ranks who was worthy to be reckoned among the mighty men of Israel; now, on the contrary, it had on its frontier a bold and resolute leader of its own race. David lost no time in stepping into the place of those whose loss he had bewailed. Their sudden removal, while it left him without a peer among his own people, exposed him to the suspicion and underground machinations of his foreign protectors; he therefore quitted them and withdrew to Hebron, where his fellow-countrymen hastened to proclaim him king.* From that time onwards the tendency of the Hebrew race was to drift apart into two distinct bodies; one of them, the house of Joseph, which called itself by the name of Israel, took up its position in the north, on the banks of the Jordan; the other, which is described as the house of Judah, in the south, between the Dead Sea and the Shephelah. Abner endeavoured to suppress the rival kingdom in its infancy: he brought Ishbaal to Gibeah and proposed to Joab, who was in command of David’s army, that the conflict should be decided by the somewhat novel expedient of pitting twelve of the house of Judah against an equal number of the house of Benjamin. The champions of Judah are said to have won the day, but the opposing forces did not abide by the result, and the struggle still continued.**

     * 2 Sam. ii. 1—11. Very probably Abner recognised the
     Philistine suzerainty as David had done, for the sake of
     peace; at any rate, we find no mention in Holy Writ of a war
     between Ishbaal and the Philistines.

     ** 2 Sam. ii. 12-32, iii. 1.

An intrigue in the harem furnished a solution of the difficulty. Saul had raised one of his wives of the second rank, named Eizpah, to the post of favourite. Abner became enamoured of her and took her. This was an insult to the royal house, and amounted to an act of open usurpation: the wives of a sovereign could not legally belong to any but his successor, and for any one to treat them as Abner had treated Rizpah, was equivalent to his declaring himself the equal, and in a sense the rival, of his master. Ishbaal keenly resented his minister’s conduct, and openly insulted him. Abner made terms with David, won the northern tribes, including that of Benjamin, over to his side, and when what seemed a propitious moment had arrived, made his way to Hebron with an escort of twenty men. He was favourably received, and all kinds of promises were made him; but when he was about to depart again in order to complete the negotiations with the disaffected elders, Joab, returning from an expedition, led him aside into a gateway and slew him. David gave him solemn burial, and composed a lament on the occasion, of which four verses have come down to us: having thus paid tribute to the virtues of the deceased general, he lost no time in taking further precautions to secure his power. The unfortunate king Ishbaal, deserted by every one, was assassinated by two of his officers as he slept in the heat of the day, and his head was carried to Hebron: David again poured forth lamentations, and ordered the traitors to be killed. There was now no obstacle between him and the throne: the elders of the people met him at Hebron, poured oil upon his head, and anointed him king over all the provinces which had obeyed the rule of Saul in Gilead—Ephraim and Benjamin as well as Judah.*

     * 2 Sam. v. 1-3; in 1 Ghron. xi. 1-3, xii. 23-40, we find
     further details beyond those given in the Book of Samuel; it
     seems probable, however, that the northern tribes may not
     have recognised David’s sovereignty at this time.

As long as Ishbaal lived, and his dissensions with Judah assured their supremacy, the Philistines were content to suspend hostilities: the news of his death, and of the union effected between Israel and Judah, soon roused them from this state of quiescence. As prince of the house of Caleb and vassal of the lord of Grath, David had not been an object of any serious apprehension to them; but in his new character, as master of the dominions of Saul, David became at once a dangerous rival, whom they must overthrow without delay, unless they were willing to risk being ere long overthrown by him. They therefore made an attack on Bethlehem with the choicest of their forces, and entrenched themselves there, with the Canaanite city of Jebus as their base, so as to separate Judah entirely from Benjamin, and cut off the little army quartered round Hebron from the reinforcements which the central tribes would otherwise have sent to its aid.* This move was carried out so quickly that David found himself practically isolated from the rest of his kingdom, and had no course left open but to shut himself up in Adullam, with his ordinary guard and the Judsean levies.**

     * The history of this war is given in 2 Sam. v. 17-25, where
     the text shows signs of having been much condensed. It is
     preceded by the account of the capture of Jerusalem, which
     some critics would like to transfer to chap, vi., following
     ver. 1 which leads up to it. The events which followed are
     self-explanatory, if we assume, as I have done in the text,
     that the Philistines wished to detach Judah from Israel: at
     first (2 Sam. v. 17-21) David endeavours to release himself
     and effect a juncture with Israel, as is proved by the
     relative positions assigned to the two opposing armies, the
     Philistines at Bethlehem, David in the cave of Adullam;
     afterwards (2 Sam. v. 22-25) David has shaken himself free,
     has rejoined Israel, and is carrying on the struggle between
     Gibeah and Gezer. The incidents recounted in 2 Sam. xxi. 15-
     22, xxiii. 13-19, seem to refer almost exclusively to the
     earlier part of the war, at the time when the Hebrews were
     hemmed in in the neighbourhood of Adullam.

     ** The passage in 2 Sam. v. 17 simply states that David
     “went down to the hold,” and gives no further details. This
     expression, following as it does the account of the taking
     of Jerusalem, would seem to refer to this town itself, and
     Renan has thus interpreted it. It really refers to Adullam,
     as is shown by the passage in 2 Sam. xxiii. 13-17. 1 2 Sam.
     xxi. 15-17.

The whole district round about is intersected by a network of winding streams, and abounds in rocky gorges, where a few determined men could successfully hold their ground against the onset of a much more numerous body of troops. The caves afford, as we know, almost impregnable refuges: David had often hidden himself in them in the days when he fled before Saul, and now his soldiers profited by the knowledge he possessed of them to elude the attacks of the Philistines. He began a sort of guerilla warfare, in the conduct of which he seems to have been without a rival, and harassed in endless skirmishes his more heavily equipped adversaries. He did not spare himself, and freely risked his own life; but he was of small stature and not very powerful, so that his spirit often outran his strength. On one occasion, when he had advanced too far into the fray and was weary with striking, he ran great peril of being killed by a gigantic Philistine: with difficulty Abishai succeeded in rescuing him unharmed from the dangerous position into which he had ventured, and for the future he was not allowed to run such risks on the field of battle. On another occasion, when lying in the cave of Adullam, he began to feel a longing for the cool waters of Bethlehem, and asked who would go down and fetch him a draught from the well by the gates of the town. Three of his mighty men, Joshebbasshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah, broke through the host of the Philistines and succeeded in bringing it; but he refused to drink the few drops they had brought, and poured them out as a libation to Jehovah, saying, “Shall I drink the blood of men that went in jeopardy of their lives?” * Duels between the bravest and stoutest champions of the two hosts were of frequent occurrence. It was in an encounter of this kind that Elhanan the Bethlehemite [or David] slew the giant Goliath at Gob. At length David succeeded in breaking his way through the enemies’ lines in the valley of Kephaîm, thus forcing open the road to the north. Here he probably fell in with the Israelitish contingent, and, thus reinforced, was at last in a position to give battle in the open: he was again successful, and, routing his foes, pursued them from Gibeon to Gezer.** None of his victories, however, was of a sufficiently decisive character to bring the struggle to an end: it dragged on year after year, and when at last it did terminate, there was no question on either side of submission or of tribute:*** the Hebrews completely regained their independence, but the Philistines do not seem to have lost any portion of their domain, and apparently retained possession of all that they had previously held.

     * 2 Sam. xxiii. 13-17; cf. 1 Ghron. xi. 15-19. Popular
     tradition furnishes many incidents of a similar type; cf.
     Alexander in the desert of Gedrosia, Godfrey de Bouillon in
     Asia Minor, etc.

     ** The Hebrew text gives “from Geba [or Gibeah] to Gezer”
      (2 Sam. v. 25); the Septuagint, “from Gibeon to Gezer.” This
     latter reading [which is that of 1 Chron. xiv. 16.—Tr.] is
     more in accordance with the geographical facts, and I have
     therefore adopted it. Jahveh had shown by a continual
     rustling in the leaves of the mulberry trees that He was on
     David’s side.

     *** In 2 Sam. viii. 1 we are told that David humiliated the
     Philistines, and took “the bridle of the mother city” out of
     their hands, or, in other words, destroyed the supremacy
     which they had exercised over Israel; he probably did no
     more than this, and failed to secure any part of their
     territory. The passage in 1 Chron. xviii. 1, which
     attributes to him the conquest of Gath and its dependencies,
     is probably an amplification of the somewhat obscure wording
     employed in 2 Sam. viii. 1.

But though they suffered no loss of territory, their position was in reality much inferior to what it was before. Their control of the plain of Jezreel was lost to them for ever, and with it the revenue which they had levied from passing caravans: the Hebrews transferred to themselves this right of their former masters, and were so much the richer at their expense. To the five cities this was a more damaging blow than twenty reverses would have been to Benjamin or Judah. The military spirit had not died out among the Philistines, and they were still capable of any action which did not require sustained effort; but lack of resources prevented them from entering on a campaign of any length, and any chance they may at one time have had of exercising a dominant influence in the affairs of Southern Syria had passed away. Under the restraining hand of Egypt they returned to the rank of a second-rate power, just strong enough to inspire its neighbours with respect, but too weak to extend its territory by annexing that of others. Though they might still, at times, give David trouble by contesting at intervals the possession of some outlying citadel, or by making an occasional raid on one of the districts which lay close to the frontier, they were no longer a permanent menace to the continued existence of his kingdom.

But was Judah strong enough to take their place, and set up in Southern Syria a sovereign state, around which the whole fighting material of the country might range itself with confidence? The incidents of the last war had clearly shown the disadvantages of its isolated position in regard to the bulk of the nation. The gap between Ekron and the Jordan, which separated it from Ephraim and Manasseh, had, at all costs, to be filled up, if a repetition of the manouvre which so nearly cost David his throne at Adullam were to be avoided. It is true that the Gibeonites and their allies acknowledged the sovereignty of Ephraim, and formed a sort of connecting link between the tribes, but it was impossible to rely on their fidelity so long as they were exposed to the attacks of the Jebusites in their rear: as soon therefore as David found he had nothing more to fear from the Philistines, he turned his attention to Jerusalem.* This city stood on a dry and sterile limestone spur, separated on three sides from the surrounding hills by two valleys of unequal length. That of the Kedron, on the east, begins as a simple depression, but gradually becomes deeper and narrower as it extends towards the south. About a mile and a half from its commencement it is nothing more than a deep gorge, shut in by precipitous rocks, which for some days after the winter rains is turned into the bed of a torrent.**

     * The name Jerusalem occurs under the form Ursalîmmu, or
     Urusalîm, in the Tel el-Amarna tablets. Sion was the name of
     the citadel preserved by the Israelites after the capture of
     the place, and applied by them to the part of the city which
     contained the royal palace, and subsequently to the town

     ** The Kedron is called a nalial (2 Sam. xv. 23; 1 Kings ii.
     37; Jer. xxxi. 40), i.e. a torrent which runs dry during the
     summer; in winter it was termed a brook. Excavations show
     that the fall diminishes at the foot of the ancient walls,
     and that the bottom of the valley has risen nearly twelve

During the remainder of the year a number of springs, which well up at the bottom of the valley, furnish an unfailing supply of water to the inhabitants of Gibon,* Siloam,** and Eôgel.*** The valley widens out again near En-Kôgel, and affords a channel to the Wady of the Children of Hinnôm, which bounds the plateau on the west. The intermediate space has for a long time been nothing more than an undulating plain, at present covered by the houses of modern Jerusalem. In ancient times it was traversed by a depression in the ground, since filled up, which ran almost parallel with the Kedron, and joined it near the Pool of Siloam.**** The ancient city of the Jebusites stood on the summit of the headland which rises between these two valleys, the town of Jebus itself being at the extremity, while the Millo lay farther to the north on the hill of Sion, behind a ravine which ran down at right angles into the valley of the Hedron.

     * Now, possibly, the “Fountain of the Virgin,” but its
     identity is not certain.

     ** These are the springs which feed the group of reservoirs
     now known as the Pool of Siloam. The name “Siloam” occurs
     only in Neh. iii. 15, but is undoubtedly more ancient.

     *** En-Rôgel, the “Traveller’s Well,” is now called the
     “Well of Job.”
     **** This valley, which is not mentioned by name in the Old
     Testament, was called, in the time of Josephus, the
     Tyropoon, or Cheesemakers’Quarter. Its true position, which
     had been only suspected up to the middle of the present
     century, was determined with certainty by means of the
     excavations carried out by the English and Germans. The
     bottom of the valley was found at a depth of from forty to
     sixty feet below the present surface.

An unfortified suburb had gradually grown up on the lower ground to the west, and was connected by a stairway cut in the rock* with the upper city. This latter was surrounded by ramparts with turrets, like those of the Canaanitish citadels which we constantly find depicted on the Egyptian monuments. Its natural advantages and efficient garrison had so far enabled it to repel all the attacks of its enemies.

     * This is the Ophel of the Hebrew text.

When David appeared with his troops, the inhabitants ridiculed his presumption, and were good enough to warn him of the hopelessness of his enterprise: a garrison composed of the halt and the blind, without an able-bodied man amongst them, would, they declared, be able successfully to resist him. The king, stung by their mockery, made a promise to his “mighty men” that the first of them to scale the walls should be made chief and captain of his host. We often find that impregnable cities owe their downfall to negligence on the part of their defenders: these concentrate their whole attention on the few vulnerable points, and give but scanty care to those which are regarded as inaccessible.* Jerusalem proved to be no exception to this rule; Joab carried it by a sudden assault, and received as his reward the best part of the territory which he had won by his valour.**

     * Cf. the capture of Sardis by Cyrus (Herodotus) and by
     Antiochus III. (Polybius), as also the taking of the Capitol
     by the Gauls.

     ** The account of the capture of Jerusalem is given in 2
     Sam. v. 6-9, where the text is possibly corrupt, with
     interpolated glosses, especially in ver. 8; David’s reply to
     the mockery of the Jebusites is difficult to understand. 1
     Citron, xi. 4-8 gives a more correct text, but one less
     complete in so far as the portions parallel with 2 Sam. v.
     6-9 are concerned; the details in regard to Joab are
     undoubtedly historical, but we do not find them in the Book
     of Samuel.

In attacking Jerusalem, David’s first idea was probably to rid himself of one of the more troublesome obstacles which served to separate one-half of his people from the other; but once he had set foot in the place, he was not slow to perceive its advantages, and determined to make it his residence. Hebron had sufficed so long as his power extended over Caleb and Judah only. Situated as it was in the heart of the mountains, and in the wealthiest part of the province in which it stood, it seemed the natural centre to which the Kenites and men of Judah must gravitate, and the point at which they might most readily be moulded into a nation; it was, however, too far to the south to offer a convenient rallying-point for a ruler who wished to bring the Hebrew communities scattered about on both banks of the Jordan under the sway of a common sceptre. Jerusalem, on the other hand, was close to the crossing point of the roads which lead from the Sinaitic desert into Syria, and from the Shephelah to the land of Gilead; it commanded nearly the whole domain of Israel and the ring of hostile races by which it was encircled. From this lofty eyrie, David, with Judah behind him, could either swoop down upon Moab, whose mountains shut him out from a view of the Dead Sea, or make a sudden descent on the seaboard, by way of Bethhoron, at the least sign of disturbance among the Philistines, or could push straight on across Mount Ephraim into Galilee. Issachar, Naphtali, Asher, Dan, and Zebulun were, perhaps, a little too far from the seat of government; but they were secondary tribes, incapable of any independent action, who obeyed without repugnance, but also without enthusiasm, the soldier-king able to protect them from external foes. The future master of Israel would be he who maintained his hold on the posterity of Judah and of Joseph, and David could not hope to find a more suitable place than Jerusalem from which to watch over the two ruling houses at one and the same time.

The lower part of the town he gave up to the original inhabitants,* the upper he filled with Benjamites and men of Judah;** he built or restored a royal palace on Mount Sion, in which he lived surrounded by his warriors and his family.*** One thing only was lacking—a temple for his God. Jerubbaal had had a sanctuary at Ophrah, and Saul had secured the services of Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh: David was no longer satisfied with the ephod which had been the channel of many wise counsels during his years of adversity and his struggles against the Philistines. He longed for some still more sacred object with which to identify the fortunes of his people, and by which he might raise the newly gained prestige of his capital. It so happened that the ark of the Lord, the ancient safeguard of Ephraim, had been lying since the battle of Eben-ezer not far away, without a fixed abode or regular worshippers.****

     * Judges i. 21; cf. Zech. xi. 7, where Ekron in its
     decadence is likened to the Jebusite vassal of Judah.

     ** Jerusalem is sometimes assigned to Benjamin (Judges i.
     21), sometimes to Judah (Josh. xv. 63). Judah alone is

     *** 2 Sam. v. 9, and the parallel passage in 1 Chron. xi. 7,

     **** The account of the events which followed the battle of
     Eben-ezer up to its arrival in the house of Abinadab, is
     taken from the history of the ark, referred to on pp. 306,
     307, supra. It is given in 1 Sam. v., vi., vii. 1, where it
     forms an exceedingly characteristic whole, composed, it may
     be, of two separate versions thrown into one; the passage in
     1 Sam. vi. 15, where the Lévites receive the ark, is
     supposed by some to be interpolated.

The reason why it had not brought victory on that occasion, was that God’s anger had been stirred at the misdeeds committed in His name by the sons of Eli, and desired to punish His people; true, it had been preserved from profanation, and the miracles which took place in its neighbourhood proved that it was still the seat of a supernatural power.

346.jpg Mouse of Metal
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from a
sketch published
by Schick and
Oldfield Thomas.

At first the Philistines had, according to their custom, shut it up in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod. On the morrow when the priests entered the sanctuary, they found the statue of their god prostrate in front of it, his fish-like body overthrown, and his head and hands scattered on the floor;* at the same time a plague of malignant tumours broke out among the people, and thousands of mice overran their houses. The inhabitants of Ashdod made haste to transfer it on to Ekron: it thus went the round of the five cities, its arrival being in each case accompanied by the same disasters. The soothsayers, being consulted at the end of seven months, ordered that solemn sacrifices should be offered up, and the ark restored to its rightful worshippers, accompanied by expiatory offerings of five golden mice and five golden tumours, one for each of the five repentant cities.**

     * The statue here referred to is evidently similar to those
     of the Chaldæan gods and genii, in which Dagon is
     represented as a man with his back and head enveloped in a
     fish as in a cloak.

     ** In the Oustinoff collection at Jaffa, there is a roughly
     shaped image of a mouse, cut out of a piece of white metal,
     and perhaps obtained from the ruins of Gaza; it would seem
     to be an ex-voto of the same kind as that referred to in the
     Hebrew text, but it is of doubtful authenticity.

The ark was placed on a new cart, and two milch cows with their calves drew it, lowing all the way, without guidance from any man, to the field of a certain Joshua at Bethshemesh. The inhabitants welcomed it with great joy, but their curiosity overcame their reverence, and they looked within the shrine. Jehovah, being angered thereat, smote seventy men of them, and the warriors made haste to bring the ark to Kirjath-jearim, where it remained for a long time, in the house of Abinadab on the hill, under charge of his son Eleazar.* Kirjath-jearim is only about two leagues from Jerusalem. David himself went thither, and setting “the ark of God upon a new cart,” brought it away.* Two attendants, called Uzzah and Ahio, drove the new cart, “and David and all Israel played before God with all their might: even with songs, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.” An accident leading to serious consequences brought the procession to a standstill; the oxen stumbled, and their sacred burden threatened to fall: Uzzah, putting forth his hand to hold the ark, was smitten by the Lord, “and there he died before the Lord.” David was disturbed at this, feeling some insecurity in dealing with a Deity who had thus seemed to punish one of His worshippers for a well-meant and respectful act.**

     * The text of 1 Sam. vi. 21, vii. 1, gives the reading
     Kirjath-jearim, whereas the text of 2 Sam. vi. 2 has Baale-
     Judah, which should be corrected to Baal-Judah. Baal-Judah,
     or, in its abbreviated form, Baala, is another name for
     Kirjath-jearim (Josh. xv. 9-11; cf. 1 Ghron. xiii. 6).
     Similarly, we find the name Kirjath-Baal (Josh. xv. 60).
     Kirjath-jearim is now Kharbet-el-Enab.

     ** The transport of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem
     is related in 2 Sam. vi. and in 1 Ghron. xiii., xv., xvi.

He “was afraid of the Lord that day,” and “would not remove the ark” to Jerusalem, but left it for three months in the house of a Philistine, Obed-Edom of Gath; but finding that its host, instead of experiencing any evil, was blessed by the Lord, he carried out his original intention, and brought the ark to Jerusalem. “David, girded with a linen ephod, danced with all his might before the Lord,” and “all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.” When the ark had been placed in the tent that David had prepared for it, he offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and at the end of the festival there were dealt out to the people gifts of bread, cakes, and wine (or flesh). There is inserted in the narrative* an account of the conduct of Michal his wife, who looking out of the window and seeing the king dancing and playing, despised him in her heart, and when David returned to his house, congratulated him ironically—“How glorious was the King of Israel to-day, who uncovered himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants!”

     * Renan would consider this to have been inserted in the
     time of Hezekiah. It appeared to him to answer “to the
     antipathy of Hamutal and the ladies of the court to the
     worship of Jahveh, and to that form of human respect which
     restrained the people of the world from giving themselves up
     to it.”

David said in reply that he would rather be held in honour by the handmaids of whom she had spoken than avoid the acts which covered him with ridicule in her eyes; and the chronicler adds that “Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.” *

     * [David’s reply shows (2 Sam. vi. 21, 22) that it was in
     gratitude to Jehovah who had exalted him that he thus
     humbled himself.—Tr.]

The tent and the ark were assigned at this time to the care of two priests—Zadok, son of Ahitub, and Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Eli, and had never quitted David throughout his adventurous career.* It is probable, too, that the ephod had not disappeared, and that it had its place in the sanctuary; but it may have gradually fallen into neglect, and may have ceased to be the vehicle of oracular responses as in earlier years. The king was accustomed on important occasions to take part in the sacred ceremonies, after the example of contemporary monarchs, and he had beside him at this time a priest of standing to guide him in the religious rites, and to fulfil for him duties similar to those which the chief reader rendered to Pharaoh. The only one of these priests of David whose name has come down to us was Ira the Jethrite, who accompanied his master in his campaigns, and would seem to have been a soldier also, and one of “the thirty.” These priestly officials seem, however, to have played but a subordinate part, as history is almost silent about their acts.** While David owed everything to the sword and trusted in it, he recognised at the same time that he had obtained his crown from Jahveh; just as the sovereigns of Thebes and Nineveh saw in Amon and Assur the source of their own royal authority.

     * 2 Sam. viii. 17, xx. 25; cf. 1 Sam. xxi. 1, xxii. 20; 1
     Chron. xv. 11.

     ** 2 Sam. xx. 26, where he is called the Jairite, and not
     the Ithrite, owing to an easily understood confusion of the
     Hebrew letters. He figures in the list of the Gibborim,
     “mighty men,” 2 Sam. xxiii. 38.

He consulted the Lord directly when he wished for counsel, and accepted the issue as a test whether his interpretation of the Divine will was correct or erroneous. When once he had realised, at the time of the capture of Jerusalem, that God had chosen him to be the champion of Israel, he spared no labour to accomplish the task which the Divine favour had assigned to him. He attacked one after the other the peoples who had encroached upon his domain, Moab being the first to feel the force of his arm. He extended his possessions at the expense of Gilead, and the fertile provinces opposite Jericho fell to his sword. These territories were in dangerous proximity to Jerusalem, and David doubtless realised the peril of their independence. The struggle for their possession must have continued for some time, but the details are not given, and we have only the record of a few incidental exploits: we know, for instance, that the captain of David’s guard, Benaiah, slew two Moabite notables in a battle.* Moabite captives were treated with all the severity sanctioned by the laws of war. They were laid on the ground in a line, and two-thirds of the length of the row being measured off, all within it were pitilessly massacred, the rest having their lives spared. Moab acknowledged its defeat, and agreed to pay tribute: it had suffered so much that it required several generations to recover.**

     * 2 Sam. xxiii. 20-23: cf. 1 Chron. xi. 22-25. “Ariel,” who
     is made the father of the two slain by Benaiah, may possibly
     be the term in 11. 12, 17, 18 of the Inscription of Mesha
     (Moabite Stone); but its meaning is obscure, and has
     hitherto baffled all attempts to explain it.

     ** 2 Sam. viii. 2.

Gilead had become detached from David’s domain on the south, while the Ammonites were pressing it on the east, and the Ararnæans making encroachments upon its pasture-lands on the north. Nahash, King of the Ammonites, being dead, David, who had received help from him in his struggle with Saul, sent messengers to offer congratulations to his son Hanun on his accession. Hanun, supposing the messengers to be spies sent to examine the defences of the city, “shaved off one-half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.” This was the signal for war. The Ammonites, foreseeing that David would endeavour to take a terrible vengeance for this insult to his people, came to an understanding with their neighbours. The overthrow of the Amorite chiefs had favoured the expansion of the Aramæans towards the south. They had invaded all that region hitherto unconquered by Israel in the valley of the Litany to the east of Jordan, and some half-dozen of their petty states had appropriated among them the greater part of the territories which were described in the sacred record as having belonged previously to Jabin of Hazor and the kings of Bashan. The strongest of these principalities—that which occupied the position of Qodshû in the Bekâa, and had Zoba as its capital—was at this time under the rule of Hadadezer, son of Behob. This warrior had conquered Damascus, Maacah, and Geshur, was threatening the Canaanite town of Hamath, and was preparing to set out to the Euphrates when the Ammonites sought his help and protection. He came immediately to their succour. Joab, who was in command of David’s army, left a portion of his troops at Babbath under his brother Abishaî, and with the rest set out against the Syrians. He overthrew them, and returned immediately afterwards. The Ammonites, hearing of his victory, disbanded their army; but Joab had suffered such serious losses, that he judged it wise to defer his attack upon them until Zoba should be captured. David then took the field himself, crossed the Jordan with all his reserves, attacked the Syrians at Helam, put them to flight, killing Shobach, their general, and captured Damascus. Hadadezer [Hadarezer] “made peace with Israel,” and Tou or Toi, the King of Hamath, whom this victory had delivered, sent presents to David. This was the work of a single campaign. The next year Joab invested Kabbath, and when it was about to surrender he called the king to his camp, and conceded to him the honour of receiving the submission of the city in person. The Ammonites were treated with as much severity as their kinsmen of Moab. David “put them under saws and harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln.” *

     * The war with the Aramaeans, described in 2 Sam. viii. 3-
     12, is similar to the account of the conflict with the
     Ammonites in 2 Sam. x.-xii., but with more details. Both
     documents are reproduced in 1 Chron. xviii. 3-11, and xix.,
     xx. 1-3.

353.jpg the Hebrew Kingdom

This success brought others in its train. The Idumæans had taken advantage of the employment of the Israelite army against the Aramæans to make raids into Judah. Joab and Abishaî, despatched in haste to check them, met them in the Valley of Salt to the south of the Dead Sea, and gave them battle: their king perished in the fight, and his son Hadad with some of his followers took flight into Egypt. Joab put to the sword all the able-bodied combatants, and established garrisons at Petra, Elath, and Eziongeber* on the Red Sea. David dedicated the spoils to the Lord, “who gave victory to David wherever he went.”

     Neither Elath nor Eziongeber are here mentioned, but 1 Kings
     ix. 25-28 and 2 Chron. viii. 17, 18 prove that these places
     had been occupied by David. For all that concerns Hadad, see
     1 Kings xi. 15-20.

Southern Syria had found its master: were the Hebrews going to pursue their success, and undertake in the central and northern regions a work of conquest which had baffled the efforts of all their predecessors—Canaanites, Amorites, and Hittites? The Assyrians, thrown back on the Tigris, were at this time leading a sort of vegetative existence in obscurity; and, as for Egypt, it would seem to have forgotten that it ever had possessions in Asia. There was, therefore, nothing to be feared from foreign intervention should the Hebrew be inclined to weld into a single state the nations lying between the Euphrates and the Red Sea.

354.jpg the Site of Rabbath-amon, Seen from The West
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 377 of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

Unfortunately, the Israelites had not the necessary characteristics of a conquering people. Their history from the time of their entry into Canaan showed, it is true, that they were by no means incapable of enthusiasm and solidarity: a leader with the needful energy and good fortune to inspire them with confidence could rouse them from their self-satisfied indolence, and band them together for a great effort. But such concentration of purpose was ephemeral in its nature, and disappeared with the chief who had brought it about. In his absence, or when the danger he had pointed out was no longer imminent, they fell back instinctively into their usual state of apathy and disorganisation. Their nomadic temperament, which two centuries of a sedentary existence had not seriously modified, disposed them to give way to tribal quarrels, to keep up hereditary vendettas, to break out into sudden tumults, or to make pillaging expeditions into their neighbours’ territories. Long wars, requiring the maintenance of a permanent army, the continual levying of troops and taxes, and a prolonged effort to keep what they had acquired, were repugnant to them. The kingdom which David had founded owed its permanence to the strong will of its originator, and its increase or even its maintenance depended upon the absence of any internal disturbance or court intrigue, to counteract which might make too serious a drain upon his energy. David had survived his last victory sufficiently long to witness around him the evolution of plots, and the multiplication of the usual miseries which sadden, in the East, the last years of a long reign. It was a matter of custom as well as policy that an exaltation in the position of a ruler should be accompanied by a proportional increase in the number of his retinue and his wives. David was no exception to this custom: to the two wives, Abigail and Ahinoam, which he had while he was in exile at Ziklag, he now added Maacah the Aramaean, daughter of the King of Geshur, Haggith, Abital, Bglah, and several others.* During the siege of Babbath-Ammon he also committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and, placing her husband in the forefront of the battle, brought about his death. Rebuked by the prophet Nathan for this crime, he expressed his penitence, but he continued at the same time to keep Bathsheba, by whom he had several children.** There was considerable rivalry among the progeny of these different unions, as the right of succession would appear not to have been definitely settled. Of the family of Saul, moreover, there were still several members in existence—the son which he had by Eizpah, the children of his daughter Merab, Merib-baal, the lame offspring of Jonathan,*** and Shimei****—all of whom had partisans among the tribes, and whose pretensions might be pressed unexpectedly at a critical moment.

     * Ahinoam is mentioned in the following passages: 1 Sam.
     xxv. 43, xxvii. 3, xxx. 5; 2 Sam. ii. 2, iii. 2; cf. also 1
     Chron. iii. 1; Maacah in 2 Sam. iii. 3; 1 Chron. iii. 2;
     Haggith in 2 Sam. iii. 4; 1 Kings i. 5, 11, ii. 13; 1 Chron.
     iii. 2; Abital in 2 Sam. iii. 4; 1 Chron. iii. 3; Eglah in 2
     Sam. iii. 5; 1 Chron. iii. 3. For the concubines, see 2 Sam.
     v. 13, xv. 15, xvi. 21, 22; 1 Chron. iii. 9, xiv. 3.

     ** 2 Sam. xi., xii. 7-25.

     *** 2 Sam. ix., xvi. 1-4, xix. 25-30, where the name is
     changed into Mephibosheth; the original name is given in 1
     Chron. viii. 34.

     **** Sam. xvi. 5-14, xix. 16-23; 1 Kings ii. 8, 9, 36-46.

The eldest son of Ahinoam, Amnon, whose priority in age seemed likely to secure for him the crown, had fallen in love with one of his half-sisters named Tamar, the daughter of Maacah, and, instead of demanding her in marriage, procured her attendance on him by a feigned illness, and forced her to accede to his desires. His love was thereupon converted immediately into hate, and, instead of marrying her, he had her expelled from his house by his servants. With rent garments and ashes on her head, she fled to her full-brother Absalom. David was very wroth, but he loved his firstborn, and could not permit himself to punish him. Absalom kept his anger to himself, but when two years had elapsed he invited Amnon to a banquet, killed him, and fled to his grandfather Talmai, King of Geshur.*

     * It is to be noted that Tamar asked Amnon to marry her, and
     that the sole reproach directed against the king’s eldest
     son was that, after forcing her, he was unwilling to make
     her his wife. Unions of brother and sister were probably as
     legitimate among the Hebrews at this time as among the

His anger was now turned against the king for not having taken up the cause of his sister, and he began to meditate his dethronement. Having been recalled to Jerusalem at the instigation of Joab, “Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him,” thus affecting the outward forms of royalty. Judah, dissatisfied at the favour shown by David to the other tribes, soon came to recognise Absalom as their chief, and some of the most intimate counsellors of the aged king began secretly to take his part. When Absalom deemed things safe for action, he betook himself to Hebron, under the pretence of a vow which he had made daring his sojourn at Geshur. All Judah rallied around him, and the excitement at Jerusalem was so great that David judged it prudent to retire, with his Philistine and Cherethite guards, to the other side of the Jordan. Absalom, in the mean while, took up his abode in Jerusalem, where, having received the tacit adherence of the family of Saul and of a number of the notables, he made himself king. To show that the rupture between him and David was complete, he had tents erected on the top of the house, and there, in view of the people, took possession of his father’s harem. Success would have been assured to him if he had promptly sent troops after the fugitives, but while he was spending his time in inactivity and feasting, David collected together those who were faithful to him, and put them under the command of Joab and Abishai. The king’s veterans were more than a match for the undisciplined rabble which opposed them, and in the action which followed at Mahanaim Absalom was defeated: in his flight through the forest of Ephraim he was caught in a tree, and before he could disentangle himself was pierced through the heart by Joab.

David, we read, wished his people to have mercy on his son, and he wept bitterly. He spared on this occasion the family of Saul, pardoned the tribe of Judah, and went back triumphantly into Jerusalem, which a few days before had taken part in his humiliation. The tribes of the house of Joseph had taken no side in the quarrel. They were ignorant alike of the motives which set the tribe of Judah against their own hero, and of their reasons for the zeal with which they again established him on the throne. They sent delegates to inquire about this, who reproached Judah for acting without their cognisance: “We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king?” Judah answered with yet fiercer words; then Sheba, a chief of the Benjamites, losing patience, blew a trumpet, and went off crying: “We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel.” If these words had produced an echo among the central and northern tribes, a schism would have been inevitable: some approved of them, while others took no action, and since Judah showed no disposition to put its military forces into movement, the king had once again to trust to Joab and the Philistine guards to repress the sedition. Their appearance on the scene disconcerted the rebels, and Sheba retreated to the northern frontier without offering battle. Perhaps he reckoned on the support of the Aramæans. He took shelter in the small stronghold of Abel of Bethmaacah, where he defended himself for some time; but just when the place was on the point of yielding, the inhabitants cut off Sheba’s head, and threw it to Joab from the wall. His death brought the crisis to an end, and peace reigned in Israel. Intrigues, however, began again more persistently than ever over the inheritance which the two slain princes had failed to obtain. The eldest son of the king was now Adonijah, son of Haggith, but Bathsheba exercised an undisputed sway over her husband, and had prepared him to recognise in Solomon her son the heir to the throne. She had secured, too, as his adherents several persons of influence, including Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah, the captain of the foreign guard.

Adonijah had on his side Abiathar the priest, Joab, and the people of Jerusalem, who had been captivated by his beauty and his regal display. In the midst of these rivalries the king was daily becoming weaker: he was now very old, and although he was covered with wrappings he could not maintain his animal heat. A young girl was sought out for him to give him the needful warmth. Abishag, a Shunammite, was secured for the purpose, but her beauty inspired Adonijah with such a violent passion that he decided to bring matters to a crisis. He invited his brethren, with the exception of Solomon, to a banquet in the gardens which belonged to him in the south of Jerusalem, near the well of Eôgel. All his partisans were present, and, inspired by the good cheer, began to cry, “God save King Adonijah!” When Nathan informed Bathsheba of what was going on, she went in unto the king, who was being attended on by Abishag, complained to him of the weakness he was showing in regard to his eldest son, and besought him to designate his heir officially. He collected together the soldiers, and charged them to take the young man Solomon with royal pomp from the hill of Sion to the source of the Gibôn: Nathan anointed his forehead with the sacred oil, and in the sight of all the people brought him to the palace, mounted on his father’s mule. The blare of the coronation trumpets resounded in the ears of the conspirators, quickly followed by the tidings that Solomon had been hailed king over the whole of Israel: they fled on all sides, Adonijah taking refuge at the horns of the altar. David did not long survive this event: shortly before his death he advised Solomon to rid himself of all those who had opposed his accession to the throne. Solomon did not hesitate to follow this counsel, and the beginning of his reign was marked by a series of bloodthirsty executions. Adonijah was the first to suffer. He had been unwise enough to ask the hand of Abishag in marriage: this request was regarded as indicative of a hidden intention to rebel, and furnished an excuse for his assassination. Abiathar, at whose instigation Adonijah had acted, owed his escape from a similar fate to his priestly character and past services: he was banished to his estate at Anathoth, and Zadok became high priest in his stead. Joab, on learning the fate of his accomplice, felt that he was a lost man, and vainly sought sanctuary near the ark of the Lord; but Benaiah slew him there, and soon after, Shimei, the last survivor of the race of Saul, was put to death on some transparent pretext. This was the last act of the tragedy: henceforward Solomon, freed from all those who bore him malice, was able to devote his whole attention to the cares of government.*

     * 1 Kings i., ii. This is the close of the history of David,
     and follows on from 2 Sam. xxiv. It would seem that Adonijah
     was heir-apparent (1 Kings i. 5, 6), and that Solomon’s
     accession was brought about by an intrigue, which owed its
     success to the old king’s weakness (1 Kings i. 12, 13, 17,
     18, 30, 31).

The change of rulers had led, as usual, to insurrections among the tributary races: Damascus had revolted before the death of David, and had not been recovered. Hadad returned from Egypt, and having gained adherents in certain parts of Edom, resisted all attempts made to dislodge him.*

     * It seems clear from the context that the revolt of
     Damascus took place during David’s lifetime. It cannot, in
     any case, have occurred at a later date than the beginning
     of the reign of Solomon, for we are told that Rezôn, after
     capturing the town, “was an adversary of Israel all the days
     of Solomon” (1 Kings xi. 23-25). Hadad returned from Egypt
     when “he had heard that David slept with his fathers, and
     that Joab the captain of the host was dead” (1 Kings xi. 21,
     22, 25).

As a soldier, Solomon was neither skilful nor fortunate: he even failed to retain what his father had won for him. Though he continued to increase his army, it was more with a view to consolidating his power over the Bnê-Israel than for any aggressive action outside his borders. On the other hand, he showed himself an excellent administrator, and did his best, by various measures of general utility, to draw closer the ties which bound the tribes to him and to each other. He repaired the citadels with such means as he had at his disposal. He rebuilt the fortifications of Megiddo, thus securing the control of the network of roads which traversed Southern Syria. He remodelled the fortifications of Tamar, the two Bethhorons, Baâlath, Hazor, and of many other towns which defended his frontiers. Some of them he garrisoned with foot-soldiers, others with horsemen and chariots. By thus distributing his military forces over the whole country, he achieved a twofold object;* he provided, on the one hand, additional security from foreign invasion, and on the other diminished the risk of internal revolt.

     * 1 Kings ix. 15, 17-19; cf. 2 Chron. viii. 4-6. The
     parallel passage in 2 Chron. viii. 4, and the marginal
     variant in the Book of Kings, give the reading Tadmor
     Palmyra for Tamar, thus giving rise to the legends which
     state that Solomon’s frontier extended to the Euphrates. The
     Tamar here referred to is that mentioned in Ezeh. xlvii. 19,
     xlviii. 28, as the southern boundary of Judah; it is perhaps
     identical with the modern Kharbêt-Kurnub.

The remnants of the old aboriginal clans, which had hitherto managed to preserve their independence, mainly owing to the dissensions among the Israelites, were at last absorbed into the tribes in whose territory they had settled. A few still held out, and only gave way after long and stubborn resistance: before he could triumph over Gezer, Solomon was forced to humble himself before the Egyptian Pharaoh. He paid homage to him, asked the hand of his daughter in marriage, and having obtained it, persuaded him to come to his assistance: the Egyptian engineers placed their skill at the service of the besiegers and soon brought the recalcitrant city to reason, handing it over to Solomon in payment for his submission.* The Canaanites were obliged to submit to the poll-tax and the corvée: the men of the league of Gibeon were made hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of the Lord.** The Hebrews themselves bore their share in the expenses of the State, and though less heavily taxed than the Canaanites, were, nevertheless, compelled to contribute considerable sums; Judah alone was exempt, probably because, being the private domain of the sovereign, its revenues were already included in the royal exchequer.***

     * 1 Kings ix. 16. The Pharaoh in question was probably one
     of the Psiûkhânnît, the Psûsennos II. of Manetho.

     ** 1 Kings ix. 20, 21. The annexation of the Gibeonites and
     their allies is placed at the time of the conquest in Josh.
     ix. 3-27; it should be rather fixed at the date of the loss
     of independence of the league, probably in the time of

     *** Stade thinks that Judah was not exempt, and that the
     original document must have given thirteen districts.

In order to facilitate the collection of the taxes, Solomon divided the kingdom into twelve districts, each of which was placed in charge of a collector; these regions did not coincide with the existing tribal boundaries, but the extent of each was determined by the wealth of the lands contained within it. While one district included the whole of Mount Ephraim, another was limited to the stronghold of Mahanaim and its suburbs. Mahanaim was at one time the capital of Israel, and had played an important part in the life of David: it held the key to the regions beyond Jordan, and its ruler was a person of such influence that it was not considered prudent to leave him too well provided with funds. By thus obliterating the old tribal boundaries, Solomon doubtless hoped to destroy, or at any rate greatly weaken, that clannish spirit which showed itself with such alarming violence at the time of the revolt of Sheba, and to weld into a single homogeneous mass the various Hebrew and Canaanitish elements of which the people of Israel were composed.*

     * 1 Kings iv. 7-19, where a list of the districts is given;
     the fact that two of Solomon’s sons-in-law appear in it,
     show that the document from which it is taken gave the staff
     of collectors in office at the close of his reign.

Each of these provinces was obliged, during one month in each year, to provide for the wants of “the king and his household,” or, in other words, the requirements of the central government. A large part of these contributions went to supply the king’s table; the daily consumption at the court was—thirty measures of fine flour, sixty measures of meal, ten fat oxen, twenty oxen out of the pastures, a hundred sheep, besides all kinds of game and fatted fowl: nor need we be surprised at these figures, for in a country where, and at a time when money was unknown, the king was obliged to supply food to all his dependents, the greater part of their emoluments consisting of these payments in kind. The tax-collectors had also to provide fodder for the horses reserved for military purposes: there were forty thousand of these, and twelve thousand charioteers, and barley and straw had to be forthcoming either in Jerusalem itself or in one or other of the garrison towns amongst which they were distributed.* The levying of tolls on caravans passing through the country completed the king’s fiscal operations which were based on the systems prevailing in neighbouring States, especially that of Egypt.**

     * 1 Kings iv. 26-28; the complementary passages in 1 Kings
     x. 26 and 2 Chron. i. 14 give the number of chariots as 1400
     and of charioteers at 12,000. The numbers do not seem
     excessive for a kingdom which embraced the whole south of
     Palestine, when we reflect that, at the battle of Qodshû,
     Northern Syria was able to put between 2500 and 3000
     chariots into the field against Ramses II. The Hebrew
     chariots probably carried at least three men, like those of
     the Hittites and Assyrians.

     ** 1 Kings x. 15, where mention is made of the amount which
     the chapmen brought, and the traffic of the merchants
     contains an allusion to these tolls.

Solomon, like other Oriental sovereigns, reserved to himself the monopoly of certain imported articles, such as yarn, chariots, and horses. Egyptian yarn, perhaps the finest produced in ancient times, was in great request among the dyers and embroiderers of Asia. Chariots, at once strong and light, were important articles of commerce at a time when their use in warfare was universal. As for horses, the cities of the Delta and Middle Egypt possessed a celebrated strain of stallions, from which the Syrian princes were accustomed to obtain their war-steeds.* Solomon decreed that for the future he was to be the sole intermediary between the Asiatics and the foreign countries supplying their requirements. His agents went down at regular intervals to the banks of the Nile to lay in stock; the horses and chariots, by the time they reached Jerusalem, cost him at the rate of six hundred silver shekels for each chariot, and one hundred and fifty shekels for each horse, but he sold them again at a profit to the Aramæan and Hittite princes. In return he purchased from them Cilician stallions, probably to sell again to the Egyptians, whose relaxing climate necessitated a frequent introduction of new blood into their stables.** By these and other methods of which we know nothing the yearly revenue of the kingdom was largely increased: and though it only reached a total which may seem insignificant in comparison with the enormous quantities of the precious metals which passed through the hands of the Pharaohs of that time, yet it must have seemed boundless wealth in the eyes of the shepherds and husbandmen who formed the bulk of the Hebrew nation.

     * The terms in which the text, 1 Kings x. 27-29 (cf. 2
     Citron, i. 16, 17), speaks of the trade in horses, show that
     the traffic was already in existence when Solomon decided to
     embark in it.

     ** 1 Kings x. 27-29; 2 Chron. i. 16, 17. Kuê, the name of
     Lower Cilicia, was discovered in the Hebrew text by Pr.
     Lenormant. Winckler, with mistaken reliance on the authority
     of Erman, has denied that Egypt produced stud-horses at this
     time, and wishes to identify the Mizraim of the Hebrew text
     with Musri, a place near Mount Taurus, mentioned in the
     Assyrian texts.

In thus developing his resources and turning them to good account, Solomon derived great assistance from the Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon, a race whose services were always at the disposal of the masters of Southern Syria. The continued success of the Hellenic colonists on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean had compelled the Phoenicians to seek with redoubled boldness and activity in the Western Mediterranean some sort of compensation for the injury which their trade had thus suffered. They increased and consolidated their dealings with Sicily, Africa, and Spain, and established themselves throughout the whole of that misty region which extended beyond the straits of Gibraltar on the European side, from the mouth of the Guadalete to that of the Guadiana. This was the famous Tarshish—the Oriental El Dorado. Here they had founded a number of new towns, the most flourishing of which, Gadîr,* rose not far from the mouths of the Betis, on a small islet separated from the mainland by a narrow arm of the sea. In this city they constructed a temple to Melkarth, arsenals, warehouses, and shipbuilding yards: it was the Tyre of the west, and its merchant-vessels sailed to the south and to the north to trade with the savage races of the African and European seaboard. On the coast of Morocco they built Lixos, a town almost as large as Gadîr, and beyond Lixos, thirty days’ sail southwards, a whole host of depots, reckoned later on at three hundred.

     * I do not propose to discuss here the question of the
     identity of the country of Tartessos with the Tarshish or
     Tarsis mentioned in the Bible (1 Kings x. 22).

By exploiting the materials to be obtained from these lands, such as gold, silver, tin, lead, and copper, Tyre and Sidon were soon able to make good the losses they had suffered from Greek privateersmen and marauding Philistines. Towards the close of the reign of Saul over Israel, a certain king Abîbaal had arisen in Tyre, and was succeeded by his son Hiram, at the very moment when David was engaged in bringing the whole of Israel into subjection. Hiram, guided by instinct or by tradition, at once adopted a policy towards the rising dynasty which his ancestors had always found successful in similar cases. He made friendly overtures to the Hebrews, and constituted himself their broker and general provider: when David was in want of wood for the house he was building at Jerusalem, Hiram let him have the necessary quantity, and hired out to him workmen and artists at a reasonable wage, to help him in turning his materials to good account.*

     * 2 Sam. v. 11; cf. the reference to the same incident in
     1 Kings v 1-3.

The accession of Solomon was a piece of good luck for him. The new king, born in the purple, did not share the simple and somewhat rustic tastes of his father. He wanted palaces and gardens and a temple, which might rival, even if only in a small way, the palaces and temples of Egypt and Chaldæa, of which he had heard such glowing accounts: Hiram undertook to procure these things for him at a moderate cost, and it was doubtless his influence which led to those voyages to the countries which produced precious metals, perfumes, rare animals, costly woods, and all those foreign knicknacks with which Eastern monarchs of all ages loved to surround themselves. The Phoenician sailors were well acquainted with the bearings of Puanît, most of them having heard of this country when in Egypt, a few perhaps having gone thither under the direction and by the orders of Pharaoh: and Hiram took advantage of the access which the Hebrews had gained to the shores of the Red Sea by the annexation of Edom, to establish relations with these outlying districts without having to pass the Egyptian customs. He lent to Solomon shipwrights and sailors, who helped him to fit out a fleet at Eziôn-geber, and undertook a voyage of discovery in company with a number of Hebrews, who were no doubt despatched in the same capacity as the royal messengers sent with the galleys of Hâtshopsîtû. It was a venture similar to those so frequently undertaken by the Egyptian admirals in the palmy days of the Theban navy, and of which we find so many curious pictures among the bas-reliefs at Deîr el-Baharî. On their return, after a three years’ absence, they reported that they had sailed to a country named Ophir, and produced in support of their statement a freight well calculated to convince the most sceptical, consisting as it did of four hundred and twenty talents of gold. The success of this first venture encouraged Solomon to persevere in such expeditions: he sent his fleet on several voyages to Ophir, and procured from thence a rich harvest of gold and silver, wood and ivory, apes and peacocks.*

* 1 Kings ix. 26-28, x. 11, 12; cf. 2 Citron, viii. 17, 18, ix. 10, 11, 21. A whole library might be stocked with the various treatises which have appeared on the situation of the country of Ophir: Arabia, Persia, India, Java, and America have all been suggested. The mention of almug wood and of peacocks, which may be of Indian origin, for a long time inclined the scale in favour of India, but the discoveries of Mauch and Bent on the Zimbabaye have drawn attention to the basin of the Zambesi and the ruins found there. Dr. Peters, one of the best-known German explorers, is inclined to agree with Mauch and Bent, in their theory as to the position of the Ophir of the Bible. I am rather inclined to identify it with the Egyptian Pûanît, on the Somali or Yemen seaboard.

Was the profit from these distant cruises so very considerable after all? After they had ceased, memory may have thrown a fanciful glamour over them, and magnified the treasures they had yielded to fabulous proportions: we are told that Solomon would have no drinking vessels or other utensils save those of pure gold, and that in his days “silver was as stone,” so common had it become.*

     * 1 Kings x. 21, 27. In Chronicles the statement in the
     Book of Kings is repeated in a still more emphatic manner,
     since it is there stated that gold itself was “in Jerusalem
     as stones” (2 Chron. i. 15).

370.jpg Map of Tyre Subsequent to Hiram

Doubtless Hiram took good care to obtain his fall share of the gains. The Phoenician king began to find Tyre too restricted for him, the various islets over which it was scattered affording too small a space to support the multitudes which flocked thither. He therefore filled up the channels which separated them; by means of embankments and fortified quays he managed to reclaim from the sea a certain amount of land on the south; after which he constructed two harbours—one on the north, called the Sidonian; the other on the south, named the Egyptian. He was perhaps also the originator of the long causeway, the lower courses of which still serve as a breakwater, by which he transformed the projecting headland between the island and the mainland into a well-sheltered harbour. Finally, he set to work on a task like that which he had already helped Solomon to accomplish: he built for himself a palace of cedar-wood, and restored and beautified the temples of the gods, including the ancient sanctuary of Melkarth, and that of Astarté. In his reign the greatness of Phoenicia reached its zenith, just as that of the Hebrews culminated under David.

371.jpg the Breakwater of The Egyptian Harbour at Tyre
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph published by the Duc de

The most celebrated of Solomon’s works were to be seen at Jerusalem. As David left it, the city was somewhat insignificant. The water from its fountains had been amply sufficient for the wants of the little Jebusite town; it was wholly inadequate to meet the requirements of the growing-population of the capital of Judah. Solomon made better provision for its distribution than there had been in the past, and then tapped a new source of supply some distance away, in the direction of Bethlehem; it is even said that he made the reservoirs for its storage which still bear his name.*

     * A somewhat ancient tradition attributes these works to
     Solomon; no single fact confirms it, but the balance of
     probability seems to indicate that he must have taken steps
     to provide a water-supply for the new city. The channels and
     reservoirs, of which traces are found at the present day,
     probably occupy the same positions as those which preceded

372.jpg One of Solomon’s Reservoirs Near Jerusalem
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. C. Alluaud of

Meanwhile, Hiram had drawn up for him plans for a fortified residence, on a scale commensurate with the thriving fortunes of his dynasty. The main body was constructed of stone from the Judæan quarries, cut by masons from Byblos, but it was inlaid with cedar to such an extent that one wing was called “the house of the forest-of-Lebanon.” It contained everything that was required for the comfort of an Eastern potentate—a harem, with separate apartments for the favourites (one of which was probably decorated in the Egyptian manner for the benefit of Pharaoh’s daughter);* then there were reception-halls, to which the great men of the kingdom were admitted; storehouses, and an arsenal. The king’s bodyguard possessed five hundred shields “of beaten gold,” which were handed over by each detachment, when the guard was relieved, to the one which took its place. But this gorgeous edifice would not have been complete if the temple of Jahveh had not arisen side by side with the abode of the temporal ruler of the nation. No monarch in those days could regard his position as unassailable until he had a sanctuary and a priesthood attached to his religion, either in his own palace or not far away from it. David had scarcely entered Jerusalem before he fixed upon the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite as a site for the temple, and built an altar there to the Lord during a plague which threatened to decimate his people; but as he did not carry the project any farther,** Solomon set himself to complete the task which his father had merely sketched out.

     * 1 Kings vii. 8, ix. 24; 2 Ghron. viii. 11.

     ** 2 Sam xxiv. 18-25, The threshing-floor of Araunah the
     Jebusite is mentioned elsewhere as the site on which Solomon
     built his temple (2 Ghron. iii. 1).

The site was irregular in shape, and the surface did not naturally lend itself to the purpose for which it was destined. His engineers, however, put this right by constructing enormous piers for the foundations, which they built up from the slopes of the mountain or from the bottom of the valley as circumstances required: the space between this artificial casing and the solid rock was filled up, and the whole mass formed a nearly square platform, from which the temple buildings were to rise. Hiram undertook to supply materials for the work. Solomon had written to him that he should command “that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants; and I will give thee hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt say: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Zidonians.” Hiram was delighted to carry out the wishes of his royal friend with regard to the cedar and cypress woods.

374.jpg Some of the Stone Course Of Solomon’s Temple At Jerusalem
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

“My servants,” he answered, “shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will make them into rafts to go by sea unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and thou shalt receive them; and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.” The payment agreed on, which was in kind, consisted of twenty thousand kôr of wheat, and twenty kôr of pure oil per annum, for which Hiram was to send to Jerusalem not only the timber, but architects, masons, and Gebalite carpenters (i.e. from Byblos), smelters, sculptors, and overseers.* Solomon undertook to supply the necessary labour, and for this purpose made a levy of men from all the tribes. The number of these labourers was reckoned at thirty thousand, and they were relieved regularly every three months; seventy thousand were occupied in the transport of the materials, while eighty thousand cut the stones from the quarry.**

     * 1 Kings v. 7—11 * cf. 2 Chron. ii. 3—16, where the
     writer adds 20,000 kôr of barley, 20,000 “baths” of wine,
     and the same quantity of oil.

     ** 1 Kings v. 13-18; of. 2 Chron. ii. 1, 2, 17, 18.

It is possible that the numbers may have been somewhat exaggerated in popular estimation, since the greatest Egyptian monuments never required such formidable levies of workmen for their construction; we must remember, however, that such an undertaking demanded a considerable effort, as the Hebrews were quite unaccustomed to that kind of labour. The front of the temple faced eastward; it was twenty cubits wide, sixty long, and thirty high. The walls were of enormous squared stones, and the ceilings and frames of the doors of carved cedar, plated with gold; it was entered by a porch, between two columns of wrought bronze, which were called Jachin and Boaz.*

* 1 Kings vii. 15-22; cf. 2 Chron. iv. 11-13. The names were probably engraved each upon its respective column, and taken together formed an inscription which could be interpreted in various ways. The most simple interpretation is to recognise in them a kind of talismanic formula to ensure the strength of the building, affirming “that it exists by the strength” of God.

The interior contained only two chambers; the hekal, or holy place, where were kept the altar of incense, the seven-branched candlestick, and the table of shewbread; and the Holy of Holies—debîr—where the ark of God rested beneath the wings of two cherubim of gilded wood. Against the outer wall of the temple, and rising to half its height, were rows of small apartments, three stories high, in which were kept the treasures and vessels of the sanctuary. While the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies only once a year, the holy place was accessible at all times to the priests engaged in the services, and it was there that the daily ceremonies of the temple-worship took place; there stood also the altar of incense and the table of shewbread. The altar of sacrifice stood on the platform in front of the entrance; it was a cube of masonry with a parapet, and was approached by stone steps; it resembled, probably, in general outline the monumental altars which stood in the forecourts of the Egyptian temples and palaces. There stood by it, as was also customary in Chaldæa, a “molten sea,” and some ten smaller lavers, in which the Lévites washed the portions of the victims to be offered, together with the basins, knives, flesh-hooks, spoons, shovels, and other utensils required for the bloody sacrifice. A low wall surmounted by a balustrade of cedar-wood separated this sacred enclosure from a court to which the people were permitted to have free access. Both palace and temple were probably designed in that pseudo-Egyptian style which the Phoenicians were known to affect. The few Hebrew edifices of which remains have come down to us, reveal a method of construction and decoration common in Egypt; we have an example of this in the uprights of the doors at Lachish, which terminate in an Egyptian gorge like that employed in the naos of the Phonician temples.

377.jpg an Upright of a Door at Lachish
     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from the drawing by Petrie.

The completion of the whole plan occupied thirteen years; at length both palace and temple were finished in the XVIIth year of the king’s reign. Solomon, however, did not wait for the completion of the work to dedicate the sanctuary to God. As soon as the inner court was ready, which was in his XIth year, he proceeded to transfer the ark to its new resting-place; it was raised upon a cubical base, and the long staves by which it had been carried were left in their rings, as was usual in the case of the sacred barks of the Egyptian deities.* The God of Israel thus took up His abode in the place in which He was henceforth to be honoured. The sacrifices on the occasion of the dedication were innumerable, and continued for fourteen days, in the presence of the representatives of all Israel. The ornate ceremonial and worship which had long been lavished on the deities of rival nations were now, for the first time, offered to the God of Israel. The devout Hebrews who had come together from far and near returned to their respective tribes filled with admiration,** and their limited knowledge of art doubtless led them to consider their temple as unique in the world; in fact, it presented nothing remarkable either in proportion, arrangement, or in the variety and richness of its ornamentation and furniture. Compared with the magnificent monuments of Egypt and Chaldæa, the work of Solomon was what the Hebrew kingdom appears to us among the empires of the ancient world—a little temple suited to a little people.

     * 1 Kings viii. 6-8, and 2 Ghron. v. 7-9.

     ** 1 Kings vi. 37, 38 states that the foundations were laid
     in the IVth year of Solomon’s reign, in the month of Ziv,
     and that the temple was completed in the month of Bui in the
     XIth year; the work occupied seven years. 1 Kings vii. 1
     adds that the construction of the palace lasted thirteen
     years; it went on for six years after the completion of the
     temple. The account of the dedication (1 Kings viii.)
     contains a long prayer by Solomon, part of which (vers. 14-
     66) is thought by certain critics to be of later date. They
     contend that the original words of Solomon are confined to
     vers. 12 and 13.

The priests to whose care it was entrusted did not differ much from those whom David had gathered about him at the outset of the monarchy. They in no way formed an hereditary caste confined to the limits of a rigid hierarchy; they admitted into their number—at least up to a certain point—men of varied extraction, who were either drawn by their own inclinations to the service of the altar, or had been dedicated to it by their parents from childhood. He indeed was truly a priest “who said of his father and mother, ‘I have not seen him;’ neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew he his own children.” He was content, after renouncing these, to observe the law of God and keep His covenant, and to teach Jacob His judgments and Israel His law; he put incense before the Lord, and whole burnt offerings upon His altar.*

     * Those are the expressions used in the Blessing of Moses
     (Deut. xxxiii. 8-12); though this text is by some writers
     placed as late as the VIIIth century B.C., yet the state of
     things there represented would apply also to an earlier
     date. The Hebrew priest, in short, had the same duties as a
     large proportion of the priesthood in Chaldæ and Egypt.

As in Egypt, the correct offering of the Jewish sacrifices was beset with considerable difficulties, and the risk of marring their efficacy by the slightest inadvertence necessitated the employment of men who were thoroughly instructed in the divinely appointed practices and formulæ. The victims had to be certified as perfect, while the offerers themselves had to be ceremonially pure; and, indeed, those only who had been specially trained were able to master the difficulties connected with the minutiae of legal purity. The means by which the future was made known necessitated the intervention of skilful interpreters of the Divine will. We know that in Egypt the statues of the gods were supposed to answer the questions put to them by movements of the head or arms, sometimes even by the living voice; but the Hebrews do not appear to have been influenced by any such recollections in the use of their sacred oracles. We are ignorant, however, of the manner in which the ephod was consulted, and we know merely that the art of interrogating the Divine will by it demanded a long noviciate.* The benefits derived by those initiated into these mysteries were such as to cause them to desire the privileges to be perpetuated to their children. Gathered round the ancient sanctuaries were certain families who, from father to son, were devoted to the performance of the sacred rites, as, for instance, that of Eli at Shiloh, and that of Jonathan-ben-Gershom at Dan, near the sources of the Jordan; but in addition to these, the text mentions functionaries analogous to those found among the Canaanites, diviners, seers—roê—who had means of discovering that which was hidden from the vulgar, even to the finding of lost objects, but whose powers sometimes rose to a higher level when they were suddenly possessed by the prophetic spirit and enabled to reveal coming events. Besides these, again, were the prophets—nabî**—who lived either alone or in communities, and attained, by means of a strict training, to a vision of the future.

     * An example of the consulting of the ephod will be found in
     1 Sam. xxx. 7, 8, where David desires to know if he shall
     pursue the Amalekites.

     ** 1 Sam. ix. 9 is a gloss which identifies the seer of
     former times with the prophet of the times of the monarchy.

Their prophetic utterances were accompanied by music and singing, and the exaltation of spirit which followed their exercises would at times spread to the bystanders,—as is the case in the “zikr” of the Mahomedans of to-day.*

     * 1 Sam. x. 5-13, where we see Saul seized with the
     prophetic spirit on meeting with a band of prophets
     descending from the high place; cf. 2 Sam. vi. 13-16, 20-23,
     for David dancing before the ark.

The early kings, Saul and David, used to have recourse to individuals belonging to all these three classes, but the prophets, owing to the intermittent character of their inspiration and their ministry, could not fill a regular office attached to the court. One of this class was raised up by God from time to time to warn or guide His servants, and then sank again into obscurity; the priests, on the contrary, were always at hand, and their duties brought them into contact with the sovereign all the year round. The god who was worshipped in the capital of the country and his priesthood promptly acquired a predominant position in all Oriental monarchies, and most of the other temples, together with the sacerdotal bodies attached to them, usually fell into disrepute, leaving them supreme. If Amon of Thebes became almost the sole god, and his priests the possessors of all Egypt, it was because the accession of the XVIIIth dynasty had made his pontiffs the almoners of the Pharaoh. Something of the same sort took place in Israel; the priesthood at Jerusalem attached to the temple built by the sovereign, being constantly about his person, soon surpassed their brethren in other parts of the country both in influence and possessions. Under David’s reign their head had been Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, a descendant of Eli, but on Solomon’s accession the primacy had been transferred to the line of Zadok. In this alliance of the throne and the altar, it was natural at first that the throne should reap the advantage. The king appears to have continued to be a sort of high priest, and to have officiated at certain times and occasions.* The priests kept the temple in order, and watched over the cleanliness of its chambers and its vessels; they interrogated the Divine will for the king according to the prescribed ceremonies, and offered sacrifices on behalf of the monarch and his subjects; in short, they were at first little more than chaplains to the king and his family.

     * Solomon officiated and preached at the consecration of the
     temple (1 Kings viii.). The actual words appear to be of a
     later date; but even if that be the case, it proves that, at
     the time they were written, the king still possessed his
     full sacerdotal powers.

Solomon’s allegiance to the God of Israel did not lead him to proscribe the worship of other gods; he allowed his foreign wives the exercise of their various religions, and he raised an altar to Chemosh on the Mount of Olives for one of them who was a Moabite. The political supremacy and material advantages which all these establishments acquired for Judah could not fail to rouse the jealousy of the other tribes. Ephraim particularly looked on with ill-concealed anger at the prospect of the hegemony becoming established in the hands of a tribe which could be barely said to have existed before the time of David, and was to a considerable extent of barbarous origin. Taxes, homage, the keeping up and recruiting of garrisons, were all equally odious to this, as well as to the other clans descended from Joseph; meanwhile their burdens did not decrease. A new fortress had to be built at Jerusalem by order of the aged king. One of the overseers appointed for this work—Jeroboam, the son of Nebat—appears to have stirred up the popular discontent, and to have hatched a revolutionary plot. Solomon, hearing of the conspiracy, attempted to suppress it; Jeroboam was forewarned, and fled to Egypt, where Pharaoh Sheshonq received him with honour, and gave him his wife’s sister in marriage.* The peace of the nation had not been ostensibly troubled, but the very fact that a pretender should have risen up in opposition to the legitimate king augured ill for the future of the dynasty. In reality, the edifice which David had raised with such difficulty tottered on its foundations before the death of his successor; the foreign vassals were either in a restless state or ready to throw off their allegiance; money was scarce, and twenty Galilæan towns had been perforce ceded to Hiram to pay the debts due to him for the building of the temple;** murmurings were heard among the people, who desired an easier life.

     * 1 Kings xi. 23-40, where the LXX. is fuller than the A. V.

     ** 1 Kings ix. 10-13; cf. 2 Cliron. viii. 1, 2, where the
     fact seems to have been reversed, and Hiram is made the
     donor of the twenty towns.

In a future age, when priestly and prophetic influences had gained the ascendant, amid the perils which assailed Jerusalem, and the miseries of the exile, the Israelites, contrasting their humiliation with the glory of the past, forgot the reproaches which their forefathers had addressed to the house of David, and surrounded its memory with a halo of romance. David again became the hero, and Solomon the saint and sage of his race; the latter “spake three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” We are told that God favoured him with a special predilection, and appeared to him on three separate occasions: once immediately after the death of David, to encourage him by the promise of a prosperous reign, and the gift of wisdom in governing; again after the dedication of the temple, to confirm him in his pious intentions; and lastly to upbraid him for his idolatry, and to predict the downfall of his house. Solomon is supposed to have had continuous dealings with all the sovereigns of the Oriental world,* and a Queen of Sheba is recorded as having come to bring him gifts from the furthest corner of Arabia.

     * 1 Kings iv. 34; on this passage are founded all the
     legends dealing with the contests of wit and wisdom in which
     Solomon was supposed to have entered with the kings of
     neighbouring countries; traces of these are found in Dius,
     in Menander, and in Eupolemus.

His contemporaries, however, seem to have regarded him as a tyrant who oppressed them with taxes, and whose death was unregretted.*

     * I am inclined to place the date of Solomon’s death between
     935 and 930 B.C.


384.jpg King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba”

384-text (4K)

His son Rehoboam experienced no opposition in Jerusalem and Judah on succeeding to the throne of his father; when, however, he repaired to Shechem to receive the oath of allegiance from the northern and central tribes, he found them unwilling to tender it except under certain conditions; they would consent to obey him only on the promise of his delivering them from the forced labour which had been imposed upon them by his predecessors. Jeroboam, who had returned from his Egyptian exile on the news of Solomon’s death, undertook to represent their grievances to the new king. “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.” Rehoboam demanded three days for the consideration of his reply; he took counsel with the old advisers of the late king, who exhorted him to comply with the petition, but the young men who were his habitual companions urged him, on the contrary, to meet the remonstrances of his subjects with threats of still harsher exactions. Their advice was taken, and when Jeroboam again presented himself, Rehoboam greeted him with raillery and threats. “My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” This unwise answer did not produce the intimidating effect which was desired; the cry of revolt, which had already been raised in the earlier days of the monarchy, was once more heard. “What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David.” Rehoboam attempted to carry his threats into execution, and sent the collectors of taxes among the rebels to enforce payment; but one of them was stoned almost before his eyes, and the king himself had barely time to regain his chariot and flee to Jerusalem to escape an outburst of popular fury. The northern and central tribes immediately offered the crown to Jeroboam, and the partisans of the son of Solomon were reduced to those of his own tribe; Judah, Caleb, the few remaining Simeonites, and some of the towns of Dan and Benjamin, which were too near to Jerusalem to escape the influence of a great city, were all who threw in their lot with him.*

     * 1 Kings xii. 1—24; cf. 2 Chron. x., xi. 1-4. The text of
     1 Kings xii. 20 expressly says, “there was none that
     followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only;”
      whereas the following verse, which some think to have been
     added by another hand, adds that Rehoboam assembled 180,000
     men “which were warriors” from “the house of Judah and the
     tribe of Benjamin.”

Thus was accomplished the downfall of the House of David, and with it the Hebrew kingdom which it had been at such pains to build up. When we consider the character of the two kings who formed its sole dynasty, we cannot refrain from thinking that it deserved a better fate. David and Solomon exhibited that curious mixture of virtues and vices which distinguished most of the great Semite princes. The former, a soldier of fortune and an adventurous hero, represents the regular type of the founder of a dynasty; crafty, cruel, ungrateful, and dissolute, but at the same time brave, prudent, cautious, generous, and capable of enthusiasm, clemency, and repentance; at once so lovable and so gentle that he was able to inspire those about him with the firmest friendship and the most absolute devotion. The latter was a religious though sensual monarch, fond of display—the type of sovereign who usually succeeds to the head of the family and enjoys the wealth which his predecessor had acquired, displaying before all men the results of an accomplished work, and often thereby endangering its stability. The real reason of their failure to establish a durable monarchy was the fact that neither of them understood the temperament of the people they were called upon to govern. The few representations we possess of the Hebrews of this period depict them as closely resembling the nations which inhabited Southern Syria at the time of the Egyptian occupation. They belong to the type with which the monuments have made us familiar; they are distinguished by an aquiline nose, projecting cheek-bones, and curly hair and beard. They were vigorous, hardy, and inured to fatigue, but though they lacked those qualities of discipline and obedience which are the characteristics of true warrior races, David had not hesitated to employ them in war; they were neither sailors, builders, nor given to commerce and industries, and yet Solomon built fleets, raised palaces and a temple, and undertook maritime expeditions, and financial circumstances seemed for the moment to be favourable.

387.jpg a Jewish Captive
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph by Petrie.

The onward progress of Assyria towards the Mediterranean had been arrested by the Hittites, Egypt was in a condition of lethargy, the Aramæan populations were fretting away their energies in internal dissensions; David, having encountered no serious opposition after his victory over the Philistines, had extended his conquests and increased the area of his kingdom, and the interested assistance which Tyre afterwards gave to Solomon enabled the latter to realise his dreams of luxury and royal magnificence. But the kingdom which had been created by David and Solomom rested solely on their individual efforts, and its continuance could be ensured only by bequeathing it to descendants who had sufficient energy and prudence to consolidate its weaker elements, and build up the tottering materials which were constantly threatening to fall asunder. As soon as the government had passed into the hands of the weakling Rehoboam, who had at the outset departed from his predecessors’ policy, the component parts of the kingdom, which had for a few years been, held together, now became disintegrated without a shock, and as if by mutual consent. The old order of things which existed in the time of the Judges had passed away with the death of Saul. The advantages which ensued from a monarchical regime were too apparent to permit of its being set aside, and the tribes who had been bound together by nearly half a century of obedience to a common master now resolved themselves, according to their geographical positions, into two masses of unequal numbers and extent—Judah in the south, together with the few clans who remained loyal to the kingly house, and Israel in the north and the regions beyond Jordan, occupying three-fourths of the territory which had belonged to David and Solomon.

Israel, in spite of its extent and population, did not enjoy the predominant position which we might have expected at the beginning of its independent existence. It had no political unity, no capital in which to concentrate its resources, no temple, and no army; it represented the material out of which a state could be formed rather than one already constituted. It was subdivided into three groups, formerly independent of, and almost strangers to each other, and between whom neither David nor Solomon had been able to establish any bond which would enable them to forget their former isolation. The centre group was composed of the House of Joseph—Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh—and comprised the old fortresses of Perea, Mahanaim, Penuel, Succoth, and Eamoth, ranged in a line running parallel with the Jordan. In the eastern group were the semi-nomad tribes of Reuben and Gad, who still persisted in the pastoral habits of their ancestors, and remained indifferent to the various revolutions which had agitated their race for several generations. Finally, in the northern group lay the smaller tribes of Asher, Naphtali, Issachar, Zebulon, and Dan, hemmed in between the Phoenicians and the Aramaeans of Zoba and Damascus. Each group had its own traditions, its own interests often opposed to those of its neighbours, and its own peculiar mode of life, which it had no intention of renouncing for any one else’s benefit. The difficulty of keeping these groups together became at once apparent. Shechem had been the first to revolt against Rehoboam; it was a large and populous town, situated almost in the centre of the newly formed state, and the seat of an ancient oracle, both of which advantages seemed to single it out as the future capital. But its very importance, and the memories of its former greatness under Jeruhhaal and Abimelech, were against it. Built in the western territory belonging to Manasseh, the eastern and northern clans would at once object to its being chosen, on the ground that it would humiliate them before the House of Joseph, in the same manner as the selection of Jerusalem had tended to make them subservient to Judah. Jeroboam would have endangered his cause by fixing on it as his capital, and he therefore soon quitted it to establish himself at Tirzah. It is true that the latter town was also situated in the mountains of Ephraim, but it was so obscure and insignificant a place that it disarmed all jealousy; the new king therefore took up his residence in it, since he was forced to fix on some royal abode, but it never became for him what Jerusalem was to his rival, a capital at once religious and military. He had his own sanctuary and priests at Tirzah, as was but natural, but had he attempted to found a temple which would have attracted the whole population to a common worship, he would have excited jealousies which would have been fatal to his authority. On the other hand, Solomon’s temple had in its short period of existence not yet acquired such a prestige as to prevent Jeroboam’s drawing his people away from it: which he determined to do from a fear that contact with Jerusalem would endanger the allegiance of his subjects to his person and family. Such concourses of worshippers, assembling at periodic intervals from all parts of the country, soon degenerated into a kind of fair, in which commercial as well as religious motives had their part.

391.jpg the Mound and Plain of Bethel.
     Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph published by the Duc
     de Luynes.

These gatherings formed a source of revenue to the prince in whose capital they were held, and financial as well as political considerations required that periodical assemblies should be established in Israel similar to those which attracted Judah to Jerusalem. Jeroboam adopted a plan which while safeguarding the interests of his treasury, prevented his becoming unpopular with his own subjects; as he was unable to have a temple for himself alone, he chose two out of the most venerated ancient sanctuaries, that of Dan for the northern tribes, and that of Bethel, on the Judæan frontier, for the tribes of the east and centre. He made two calves of gold, one for each place, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” He granted the sanctuaries certain appanages, and established a priesthood answering to that which officiated in the rival kingdom: “whosoever would he consecrated him, that there might be priests of the high places.” * While Jeroboam thus endeavoured to strengthen himself on the throne by adapting the monarchy to the temperament of the tribes over which he ruled, Rehoboam took measures to regain his lost ground and restore the unity which he himself had destroyed. He recruited the army which had been somewhat neglected in the latter years of his father, restored the walls of the cities which had remained faithful to him, and fortified the places which constituted his frontier defences against the Israelites.** His ambition was not as foolish as we might be tempted to imagine. He had soldiers, charioteers, generals, skilled in the art of war, well-filled storehouses, the remnant of the wealth of Solomon, and, as a last resource, the gold of the temple at Jerusalem. He ruled over the same extent of territory as that possessed by David after the death of Saul, but the means at his disposal were incontestably greater than those of his grandfather, and it is possible that he might in the end have overcome Jeroboam, as David overcame Ishbosheth, had not the intervention of Egypt disconcerted his plans, and, by exhausting his material forces, struck a death-blow to all his hopes.

     * 1 Kings xii. 25-32; chaps, xii. 33, xiii., xiv. 1-18
     contain, side by side with the narrative of facts, such as
     the death of Jeroboam’s son, comments on the religious
     conduct of the sovereign, which some regard as being of
     later date.

     ** 1 Kings xii. 21-24; cf. 2 Ghron. xi. 1-17, where the list
     of strongholds, wanting in the Boole of Kings, is given from
     an ancient source. The writer affirms, in harmony with the
     ideas of his time, “that the Lévites left their suburbs and
     their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem; for
     Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not
     execute the Priest’s office unto the Lord.”

The century and a half which had elapsed since the death of the last of the Ramessides had, as far as we can ascertain, been troubled by civil wars and revolutions.*

* I have mentioned above the uncertainty which still shrouds the XXth dynasty. The following is the order in which I propose that its kings should be placed:—

393.jpg Table of Kings

The imperious Egypt of the Theban dynasties had passed away, but a new Egypt had arisen, not without storm and struggle, in its place. As long as the campaigns of the Pharaohs had been confined to the Nile valley and the Oases, Thebes had been the natural centre of the kingdom; placed almost exactly between the Mediterranean and the southern frontier, it had been both the national arsenal and the treasure-house to which all foreign wealth had found its way from the Persian Gulf to the Sahara, and from the coasts of Asia Minor to the equatorial swamps. The cities of the Delta, lying on the frontier of those peoples with whom Egypt now held but little intercourse, possessed neither the authority nor the resources of Thebes; even Memphis, to which the prestige of her ancient dynasties still clung, occupied but a secondary place beside her rival. The invasion of the shepherds, by making the Thebaid the refuge and last bulwark of the Egyptian nation, increased its importance: in the critical times of the struggle, Thebes was not merely the foremost city in the country, it represented the country itself, and the heart of Egypt may be said to have throbbed within its walls. The victories of Ahmosis, the expeditions of Thûtmosis I. and Thûtmosis III., enlarged her horizon; her Pharaohs crossed the isthmus of Suez, they conquered Syria, subdued the valleys of the Euphrates and the Balîkh, and by so doing increased her wealth and her splendour. Her streets witnessed during two centuries processions of barbarian prisoners laden with the spoils of conquest. But with the advent of the XIXth and XXth dynasties came anxious times; the peoples of Syria and Libya, long kept in servitude, at length rebelled, and the long distance between Karnak and Gaza soon began to be irksome to princes who had to be constantly on the alert on the Canaanite frontier, and who found it impossible to have their head-quarters six hundred miles from the scene of hostilities. Hence it came about that Ramses II., Mînephtah, and Ramses III. all took up their abode in the Delta during the greater part of their active life; they restored its ancient towns and founded new ones, which soon acquired considerable wealth by foreign commerce. The centre of government of the empire, which, after the dissolution of the old Memphite state, had been removed southwards to Thebes on account of the conquest of Ethiopia and the encroachment of Theban civilization upon Nubia and the Sudan, now gradually returned northwards, and passing over Heracleo-polis, which had exercised a transitory supremacy, at length established itself in the Delta. Tanis, Bubastis, Sais, Mondes, and Sebennytos all disputed the honour of forming the royal residence, and all in turn during the course of ages enjoyed the privilege without ever rising to the rank of Thebes, or producing any sovereigns to be compared with those of her triumphant dynasties. Tanis was, as we have seen, the first of these to rule the whole of the Nile valley. Its prosperity had continued to increase from the time that Ramses II. began to rebuild it; the remaining inhabitants of Avaris, mingled with the natives of pure race and the prisoners of war settled there, had furnished it with an active and industrious population, which had considerably increased during the peaceful reigns of the XXth dynasty. The surrounding country, drained and cultivated by unremitting efforts, became one of the most fruitful parts of the Delta; there was a large exportation of fish and corn, to which were soon added the various products of its manufactories, such as linen and woollen stuffs, ornaments, and objects in glass and in precious metals.*

     * The immense number of designs taken from aquatic plants,
     as, for instance, the papyrus and the lotus, single or in
     groups, as well as from fish and aquatic birds, which we
     observe on objects of Phoenician goldsmiths’ work, leads me
     to believe that the Tyrian and Sidonian artists borrowed
     most of their models from the Delta, and doubtless from
     Tanis, the most flourishing town of the Delta during the
     centuries following the downfall of Thebes.

These were embarked on Egyptian or Phoenician galleys, and were exchanged in the ports of the Mediterranean for Syrian, Asiatic, or Ægean commodities, which were then transmitted by the Egyptian merchants to the countries of the East and to Northern Africa.* The port of Tanis was one of the most secure and convenient which existed at that period. It was at sufficient distance from the coast to be safe from the sudden attacks of pirates,** and yet near enough to permit of its being reached from the open by merchantmen in a few hours of easy navigation; the arms of the Nile, and the canals which here flowed into the sea, were broad and deep, and, so long as they were kept well dredged, would allow the heaviest-laden vessel of large draught to make its way up them with ease.

     * It was from Tanis that the Egyptian vessel set out
     carrying the messengers of Hrihor to Byblos.

     ** We may judge of the security afforded by such a position
     by the account in Homer which Ulysses gives to Eumaios of
     his pretended voyage to Egypt; the Greeks having
     disembarked, and being scattered over the country, were
     attacked by the Egyptians before they could capture a town
     or carry their booty to the ships.

The site of the town was not less advantageous for overland traffic. Tanis was the first important station encountered by caravans after crossing the frontier at Zalû, and it offered them a safe and convenient emporium for the disposal of their goods in exchange for the riches of Egypt and the Delta. The combination of so many advantageous features on one site tended to the rapid development of both civic and individual wealth; in less than three centuries after its rebuilding by Ramses II., Tanis had risen to a position which enabled its sovereigns to claim even the obedience of Thebes itself.

We know very little of the history of this Tanite dynasty; the monuments have not revealed the names of all its kings, and much difficulty is experienced in establishing the sequence of those already brought to light.*

* The classification of the Tanite line has been complicated in the minds of most Egyptologists by the tendency to ignore the existence of the sacerdotal dynasty of high priests, to confuse with the Tanite Pharaohs those of the high priests who bore the crown, and to identify in the lists of Manetho (more or less corrected) the names they are in search of. A fresh examination of the subject has led me to adopt provisionally the following order for the series of Tanite kings:—

397.jpg Table of Kings

Their actual domain barely extended as far as Siut, but their suzerainty was acknowledged by the Said as well as by all or part of Ethiopia, and the Tanite Pharaohs maintained their authority with such vigour, that they had it in their power on several occasions to expel the high priests of Amon, and to restore, at least for a time, the unity of the empire. To accomplish this, it would have been sufficient for them to have assumed the priestly dignity at Thebes, and this was what no doubt took place at times when a vacancy in the high priesthood occurred; but it was merely in an interim, and the Tanite sovereigns always relinquished the office, after a brief lapse of time, in favour of some member of the family of Hrihor whose right of primogeniture entitled him to succeed to it.* It indeed seemed as if custom and religious etiquette had made the two offices of the pontificate and the royal dignity incompatible for one individual to hold simultaneously. The priestly duties had become marvellously complicated during the Theban hegemony, and the minute observances which they entailed absorbed the whole life of those who dedicated themselves to their performance.**

     * This is only true if the personage who entitles himself
     once within a cartouche, “the Master of the two lands, First
     Prophet of Amon, Psiûkhân-nît,” is really the Tanite king,
     and not the high priest Psiûkhânnît.

     ** The first book of Diodorus contains a picture of the life
     of the kings of Egypt, which, in common with much
     information contained in the work, is taken from a lost book
     of Hecataeus. The historical romance written by the latter
     appears to have been composed from information taken from
     Theban sources. The comparison of it with the inscribed
     monuments and the ritual of the cultus of Amon proves that
     the ideal description given in this work of the life of the
     kings, merely reproduces the chief characteristics of the
     lives of the Theban and Ethiopian high priests; hence the
     greater part of the minute observances which we remark
     therein apply to the latter only, and not to the Pharaohs
     properly so called.

They had daily to fulfil a multitude of rites, distributed over the various hours in such a manner that it seemed impossible to find leisure for any fresh occupation without encroaching on the time allotted to absolute bodily needs. The high priest rose each morning at an appointed hour; he had certain times for taking food, for recreation, for giving audience, for dispensing justice, for attending to worldly affairs, and for relaxation with his wives and children; at night he kept watch, or rose at intervals to prepare for the various ceremonies which could only be celebrated at sunrise. He was responsible for the superintendence of the priests of Amon in the numberless festivals held in honour of the gods, from which he could not absent himself except for some legitimate reason. From all this it will be seen how impossible it was for a lay king, like the sovereign ruling at Tanis, to submit to such restraints beyond a certain point; his patience would soon have become exhausted, want of practice would have led him to make slips or omissions, rendering the rites null and void; and the temporal affairs of his kingdom—internal administration, justice, finance, commerce, and war—made such demands upon his time, that he was obliged as soon as possible to find a substitute to fulfil his religious duties. The force of circumstances therefore maintained the line of Theban high priests side by side with their sovereigns, the Tanite kings. They were, it is true, dangerous rivals, both on account of the wealth of their fief and of the immense prestige which they enjoyed in Egypt, Ethiopia, and in all the nomes devoted to the worship of Amon. They were allied to the elder branch of the ramessides, and had thus inherited such near rights to the crown that Smendes had not hesitated to concede to Hrihor the cartouches, the preamble, and insignia of the Pharaoh, including the pschent and the iron helmet inlaid with gold. This concession, however, had been made as a personal favour, and extended only to the lifetime of Hrihor, without holding good, as a matter of course, for his successors; his son Piônkhi had to confine himself to the priestly titles,* and his grandson Paînotmû enjoyed the kingly privileges only during part of his life, doubtless in consequence of his marriage with a certain Mâkerî, probably daughter of Psiûkhânnît L, the Tanite king. Mâkerî apparently died soon after, and the discovery of her coffin in the hiding-place at Deîr el-Baharî reveals the fact of her death in giving birth to a little daughter who did not survive her, and who rests in the same coffin beside the mummy of her mother. None of the successors of Paînotmû—Masahirti, Manakhpirrî, Paînotmû II., Psiûkhânnît, Nsbindîdi—enjoyed a similar distinction, and if one of them happened to surround his name with a cartouche, it was done surreptitiously, without the authority of the sovereign.**

     * The only monument of this prince as yet known gives him
     merely the usual titles of the high priest, and the
     inscriptions of his son Paînotmû I. style him “First Prophet
     of Amon.” His name should probably be read Paîônûkhi or
     Piônûkhi, rather than Pionkhi or Piânkhi. It is not unlikely
     that some of the papyri published by Spiegelberg date from
     his pontificate.

     ** Manakhpirrî often places his name in a square cartouche
     which tends at times to become an oval, but this is the case
     only on some pieces of stuff rolled round a mummy and on
     some bricks concealed in the walls of el-Hibeh, Thebes, and
     Gebeleîn. If the “Psiûkhânnît, High Priest of Amon,” who
     once (to our knowledge) enclosed his name in a cartouche, is
     really a high priest, and not a king, his case would be
     analogous to that of Manakhpirrî.

Paînotmû II. contented himself with drawing attention to his connection with the reigning house, and styled himself “Royal Son of Psiûkhânnît-Mîamon,” on account of his ancestress Mâkerî having been the daughter of the Pharaoh Psiûkhânnît.*

     * The example of the “royal sons of Ramses” explains the
     variant which makes “Paînotmû, son of Manakhpirrî,” into
     “Paînotmû, royal son of Psiûkhânnît-Mîamon.”

The relationship of which he boasted was a distant one, but many of his contemporaries who claimed to be of the line of Sesostris, and called themselves “royal sons of Ramses,” traced their descent from a far more remote ancestor.

401.jpg the Mummies of Queen MÂkerÎ and Her Child
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-

The death of one high priest, or the appointment of his successor, was often the occasion of disturbances; the jealousies between his children by the same or by different wives were as bitter as those which existed in the palace of the Pharaohs, and the suzerain himself was obliged at times to interfere in order to restore peace. It was owing to an intervention of this kind that Manakhpirrî was called on to replace his brother Masahirti. A section of the Theban population had revolted, but the rising had been put down by the Tanite Siamon, and its leaders banished to the Oasis; Manakhpirrî had thereupon been summoned to court and officially invested with the pontificate in the XXVth year of the king’s reign. But on his return to Karnak, the new high priest desired to heal old feuds, and at once recalled the exiles.* Troubles and disorders appeared to beset the Thebans, and, like the last of the Ramessides, they were engaged in a perpetual struggle against robbers.**

     * This appears in the Maunier Stele preserved for some
     time in the “Maison Française” at Luxor, and now removed to
     the Louvre.

     ** The series of high priests side by side with the
     sovereigns of the XXIst dynasty may be provisionally
     arranged as follows:—

402.jpg Table

The town, deprived of its former influx of foreign spoil, became more and more impoverished, and its population gradually dwindled. The necropolis suffered increasingly from pillagers, and the burying-places of the kings were felt to be in such danger, that the authorities, despairing of being able to protect them, withdrew the mummies from their resting-places. The bodies of Seti I., Ramses II., and Ramses III. were once more carried down the valley, and, after various removals, were at length huddled together for safety in the tomb of Amenôthes I. at Drah-abu’l-Neggah.

The Tanite Pharaohs seemed to have lacked neither courage nor good will. The few monuments which they have left show that to some extent they carried on the works begun by their predecessors. An unusually high inundation had injured the temple at Karnak, the foundations had been denuded by the water, and serious damage would have been done, had not the work of reparation been immediately undertaken. Nsbindîdi reopened the sandstone quarries between Erment and Grebeleîn, from which Seti I. had obtained the building materials for the temple, and drew from thence what was required for the repair of the edifice. Two of the descendants of Nsbindîdi, Psiûkhânnît I. and Amenemôpît, remodelled the little temple built by Kheops in honour of his daughter Honît-sonû, at the south-east angle of his pyramid. Both Siamonmîamon and Psiûkhânnît I. have left traces of their work at Memphis, and the latter inserted his cartouches on two of the obelisks raised by Ramses at Heliopolis. But these were only minor undertakings, and it is at Tanis that we must seek the most characteristic examples of their activity. Here it was that Psiûkhânnît rebuilt the brick ramparts which defended the city, and decorated several of the halls of the great temple. The pylons of this sanctuary had been merely begun by Sesostris: Siamon completed them, and added the sphinxes; and the metal plaques and small objects which he concealed under the base of one of the latter have been brought to light in the course of excavations. The appropriation of the monuments of other kings, which we have remarked under former dynasties, was also practised by the Tanites. Siamon placed his inscriptions over those of the Kamessides, and Psiûkhânnît engraved his name on the sphinxes and statues of Ame-nemhâît III. as unscrupulously as Apôphis and the Hyksôs had done before him. The Tanite sovereigns, however, were not at a loss for artists, and they had revived, after the lapse of centuries, the traditions of the local school which had flourished during the XIIth dynasty.

404.jpg the Two Niles of Tanis
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-

One of the groups, executed by order of Psiûkhânnît, has escaped destruction, and is now in the Gîzeh Museum. It represents two figures of the Nile, marching gravely shoulder to shoulder, and carrying in front of them tables of offerings, ornamented with fish and garnished with flowers. The stone in which they are executed is of an extraordinary hardness, but the sculptor has, notwithstanding, succeeded in carving and polishing it with a skill which does credit to his proficiency in his craft. The general effect of the figures is a little heavy, but the detail is excellent, and the correctness of pose, precision in modelling, and harmony of proportion are beyond criticism. The heads present a certain element of strangeness. The artist evidently took as his model, as far as type and style of head-dress are concerned, the monuments of Amenemhâît III. which he saw around him; indeed, he probably copied one of them feature for feature. He has reproduced the severity of expression, the firm mouth, the projecting cheek-bones, the long hair and fan-shaped beard of his model, but he has not been able to imitate the broad and powerful treatment of the older artists; his method of execution has a certain hardness and conventionality which we never see to the same extent in the statues of the XIIth dynasty. The work is, however, an extremely interesting one, and we are tempted to wish that many more such monuments had been saved from the ruins of the city.*

     * Mariette attributes this group to the Hyksôs; I have
     already expressed the opinion that it dates from the XXIst

The Pharaoh who dedicated it was a great builder, and, like most of his predecessors with similar tastes, somewhat of a conqueror. The sovereigns of the XXIst dynasty, though they never undertook any distant campaigns, did not neglect to keep up a kind of suzerainty over the Philistine Shephelah to which they still laid claim. The expedition which one of them, probably Psiûkhânnît II., led against Gezer, the alliance with the Hebrews and the marriage of a royal princess with Solomon, must all have been regarded at the court of Tanis as a partial revival of the former Egyptian rule in Syria. The kings were, however, obliged to rest content with small results, for though their battalions were sufficiently numerous and well disciplined to overcome the Canaanite chiefs, or even the Israelite kingdom, it is to be doubted whether they were strong enough to attack the troops of the Aramæan or Hittite princes, who had a highly organised military system, modelled on that of Assyria. Egyptian arms and tactics had not made much progress since the great campaigns of the Theban conquerors; the military authorities still complacently trusted to their chariots and their light troops of archers at a period when the whole success of a campaign was decided by heavily armed infantry, and when cavalry had already begun to change the issue of battles. The decadence of the military spirit in Egypt had been particularly marked in all classes under the later Ramessides, and the native militia, without exception, was reduced to a mere rabble—courageous, it is true, and able to sell their lives dearly when occasion demanded, rather than give way before the enemy, but entirely lacking that enthusiasm and resolution which sweep all obstacles before them. The chariotry had not degenerated in the same way, thanks to the care with which the Pharaoh and his vassals kept up the breeding of suitable horses in the training stables of the principal towns. Egypt provided Solomon with draught-horses, and with strong yet light chariots, which he sold with advantage to the sovereigns of the Orontes and the Euphrates. But it was the mercenaries who constituted the most active and effective section of the Pharaonic armies. These troops formed the backbone on which all the other elements—chariots, spearmen, and native archers—were dependent. Their spirited attack carried the other troops with them, and by a tremendous onslaught on the enemy at a decisive moment gave the commanding general some chance of success against the better-equipped and better-organised battalions that he would be sure to meet with on the plains of Asia. The Tanite kings enrolled these mercenaries in large numbers: they entrusted them with the garrisoning of the principal towns, and confirmed the privileges which their chiefs had received from the Ramessides, but the results of such a policy were not long in manifesting themselves, and this state of affairs had been barely a century in existence before Egypt became a prey to the barbarians.

It would perhaps be more correct to say that it had fallen a prey to the Libyans only. The Asiatics and Europeans whom the Theban Pharaohs had called in to fight for them had become merged in the bulk of the nation, or had died out for lack of renewal. Semites abounded, it is true, in the eastern nomes of the Delta, but their presence had no effect on the military strength of the country. Some had settled in the towns and villages, and were engaged in commerce or industry; these included Phoenician, Canaanite, Edomite, and even Hebrew merchants and artisans, who had been forced to flee from their own countries owing to political disturbances.*

     * Jeroboam (1 Kings xi. 40, xii. 2, 3) and Hadad (1 Kings
     xi. 17-22) took refuge in this way at the court of Pharaoh.

A certain proportion were descendants of the Hidjsôs, who had been reinforced from time to time by settlements of prisoners captured in battle; they had taken refuge in the marshes as in the times of Abmosis, and there lived in a kind of semi-civilized independence, refusing to pay taxes, boasting of having kept themselves from any alliances with the inhabitants of the Nile valley, while their kinsmen of the older stock betrayed the knowledge of their origin by such disparaging nicknames as Pa-shmûrî, “the stranger,” or Pi-âtnû, “the Asiatic.” The Shardana, who had constituted the body-guard of Ramses II., and whose commanders had, under Ramses III., ranked with the great officers of the crown, had all but disappeared. It had been found difficult to recruit them since the dislodgment of the People of the Sea from the Delta and the Syrian littoral, and their settlement in Italy and the fabulous islands of the Mediterranean; the adventurers from Crete and the Ægean coasts now preferred to serve under the Philistines, where they found those who were akin to their own race, and from thence they passed on to the Hebrews, where, under David and Solomon, they were gladly hired as mercenaries.*

     * Carians or Cretans (Chercthites) formed part of David’s
     body-guard (2 Sam viii. 18, xv. 18, xx. 23); one again meets
     with these Carian or Cretan troops in Judah in the reign of
     Athaliah (2 Kings xi. 4, 19).

The Libyans had replaced the Shardana in all the offices they had filled and in all the garrison towns they had occupied. The kingdom of Mâraîû and Kapur had not survived the defeats which it had suffered from Mînephtah and Ramses III., but the Mashaûasha who had founded it still kept an active hegemony over their former subjects; hence it was that the Egyptians became accustomed to look on all the Libyan tribes as branches of the dominant race, and confounded all the immigrants from Libya under the common name of Mashaûasha.* Egypt was thus slowly flooded by Libyans; it was a gradual invasion, which succeeded by pacific means where brute force had failed. A Berber population gradually took possession of the country, occupying the eastern provinces of the Delta, filling its towns—Sais, Damanhur, and Marea—making its way into the Fayum, the suburbs of Heracleopolis, and penetrating as far south as Abydos; at the latter place they were not found in such great numbers, but still considerable enough to leave distinct traces.** The high priests of Amon seem to have been the only personages who neglected to employ this ubiquitous race; but they preferred to use the Nubian tribe of the Mâzaîû,*** who probably from the XIIth dynasty onwards had constituted the police force of Thebes.

     * Ramses III. still distinguished between the Qahaka, the
     Tihonû, and the Mashaûasha; the monuments of the XXIInd
     dynasty only recognise the Mashaiiasha, whose name they
     curtail to Ma.

     ** The presence in those regions of persons bearing Asiatic
     names has been remarked, without drawing thence any proof
     for the existence of Asiatic colonies in those regions. The
     presence of Libyans at Abydos seems to be proved by the
     discovery in that town of the little monument reproduced on
     the next page, and of many objects in the same style, many
     of which are in the Louvre or the British Museum.

     *** I have not discovered among the personal attendants of
     the descendants of Hrihor any functionary bearing the title
     of Chief of the Mashaiuasha ; even those who bore it later
     on, under the XXIInd dynasty, were always officers from
     the north of Egypt. It seems almost certain that Thebes
     always avoided having Libyan troops, and never received a
     Mashaûasha settlement.

These Libyan immigrants had adopted the arts of Egypt and the externals of her civilization; they sculptured rude figures on the rocks and engraved scenes on their stone vessels, in which they are represented fully armed,* and taking part in some skirmish or attack, or even a chase in the desert. The hunters are divided into two groups, each of which is preceded by a different ensign—that of the West for the right wing of the troop, and that of the East for the left wing. They carry the spear the boomerang, the club, the double-curved bow, and the dart; a fox’s skin depends from their belts over their thighs, and an ostrich’s feather waves above their curly hair.

     * I attribute to the Libyans, whether mercenaries or tribes
     hovering on the Egyptian frontier, the figures cut
     everywhere on the rocks, which no one up till now has
     reproduced or studied. To them I attribute also the tombs
     which Mr. Petrie has so successfully explored, and in which
     he finds the remains of a New Race which seems to have
     conquered Egypt after the VIth dynasty: they appear to be of
     different periods, but all belong to the Berber horsemen of
     the desert and the outskirts of the Nile valley.

410.jpg a Troop of Libyans Hunting
     Drawn by Boudier, from the original in the Louvre.

They never abandoned this special head-dress and manner of arming themselves, and they can always be recognised on the monuments by the plumes surmounting their forehead.*

     * This design is generally thought to represent a piece of
     cloth folded in two, and laid flat on the head; examination
     of the monuments proves that it is the ostrich plume fixed
     at the back of the head, and laid flat on the hair or wig.

Their settlement on the banks of the Nile and intermarriage with the Egyptians had no deteriorating effect on them, as had been the case with the Shardana, and they preserved nearly all their national characteristics. If here and there some of them became assimilated with the natives, there was always a constant influx of new comers, full of energy and vigour, who kept the race from becoming enfeebled. The attractions of high pay and the prospect of a free-and-easy life drew them to the service of the feudal lords. The Pharaoh entrusted their chiefs with confidential offices about his person, and placed the royal princes at their head. The position at length attained by these Mashaûasha was analogous to that of the Oossasans at Babylon, and, indeed, was merely the usual sequel of permitting a foreign militia to surround an Oriental monarch; they became the masters of their sovereigns. Some of their generals went so far as to attempt to use the soldiery to overturn the native dynasty, and place themselves upon the throne; others sought to make and unmake kings to suit their own taste. The earlier Tanite sovereigns had hoped to strengthen their authority by trusting entirely to the fidelity and gratitude of their guard; the later kings became mere puppets in the hands of mercenaries. At length a Libyan family arose who, while leaving the externals of power in the hands of the native sovereigns, reserved to themselves the actual administration, and reduced the kings to the condition of luxurious dependence enjoyed by the elder branch of the Ramessides under the rule of the high priests of Amon.

There was at Bubastis, towards the middle or end of the XXth dynasty, a Tihonû named Buîuwa-buîuwa. He was undoubtedly a soldier of fortune, without either office or rank, but his descendants prospered and rose to important positions among the Mashadasha chiefs: the fourth among these, Sheshonq by name, married Mîhtinuôskhît, a princess of the royal line. His son, Namarôti, managed to combine with his function of chief of the Mashauasha several religious offices, and his grandson, also called Sheshonq, had a still more brilliant career. We learn from the monuments of the latter that, even before he had ascended the throne, he was recognised as king and prince of princes, and had conferred on him the command of all the Libyan troops. Officially he was the chief person in the state after the sovereign, and had the privilege of holding personal intercourse with the gods, Amonrâ included—a right which belonged exclusively to the Pharaoh and the Theban high priest. The honours which he bestowed upon his dead ancestors were of a remarkable character, and included the institution of a liturgical office in connection with his father Namarôti, a work which resembles in its sentiments the devotions of Bamses II. to the memory of Seti. He succeeded in arranging a marriage between his son Osorkon and a princess of the royal line, the daughter of Psiûkhânnît II., by which alliance he secured the Tanite succession; he obtained as a wife for his second son Aûpûti, the priestess of Amon, and thus obtained an indirect influence over the Said and Nubia.*

     * The date of the death of Paînotmû II. is fixed at the
     XVIth year of his reign, according to the inscriptions in
     the pit at Deîr el-Baharî. This would be the date of the
     accession of Aûpûti’, if Aûpûti succeeded him directly, as I
     am inclined to believe; but if Psiûkhânnît was his immediate
     successor, and if Nsbindîdî succeeded Manakhpirri, we must
     place the accession of Aûpûti some years later.

413.jpg Nsitanibashiru
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by E. Brugsch-Bey.

This priestess was probably a daughter or niece of Paînotmû II., but we are unacquainted with her name. The princesses continued to play a preponderating part in the transmission of power, and we may assume that the lady in question was one of those whose names have come down to us—Nsikhonsû, Nsitanî-bashîrû, or Isimkhobîû II., who brought with her as a dowry the Bubastite fief. We are at a loss whether to place Aûpûti immediately after Paînotmû, or between the ephemeral pontificates of a certain Psiûkhannît and a certain Nsbindîdi. His succession imposed a very onerous duty upon him. Thebes was going through the agonies of famine and misery, and no police supervision in the world could secure the treasures stored up in the tombs of a more prosperous age from the attacks of a famished people. Arrests, trials, and punishments were ineffectual against the violation of the sepulchres, and even the royal mummies—including those placed in the chapel of Amenôthes I. by previous high priests—were not exempt from outrage. The remains of the most glorious of the Pharaohs were reclining in this chapel, forming a sort of solemn parliament: here was Saqnunrî Tiuâqni, the last member of the XVIIth dynasty; here also were the first of the XVIIIth—Ahmosis, Amenôthes I., and the three of the name Thûtmosis, together with the favourites of their respective harems—Nofritari, Ahhotpû II., Anhâpû, Honittimihû, and Sitkamosis; and, in addition, Ramses I., Seti I., Ramses II. of the XIXth dynasty, Ramses III. and Ramses X. of the XXth dynasty. The “Servants of the True Place” were accustomed to celebrate at the appointed periods the necessary rites established in their honour. Inspectors, appointed for the purpose by the government, determined from time to time the identity of the royal mummies, and examined into the condition of their wrappings and coffins: after each inspection a report, giving the date and the name of the functionary responsible for the examination, was inscribed on the linen or the lid covering the bodies. The most of the mummies had suffered considerably before they reached the refuge in which they were found. The bodies of Sitamon and of the Princess Honittimihû had been completely destroyed, and bundles of rags had been substituted for them, so arranged with pieces of wood as to resemble human figures. Ramses I., Ramses II., and Thûtmosis had been deprived of their original shells, and were found in extemporised cases. Hrihor’s successors, who regarded these sovereigns as their legitimate ancestors, had guarded them with watchful care, but Aûpûti, who did not feel himself so closely related to these old-world Pharaohs, considered, doubtless, this vigilance irksome, and determined to locate the mummies in a spot where they would henceforward be secure from all attack. A princess of the family of Manakhpirrî—Isimkhobiû, it would appear—had prepared a tomb for herself in the rocky cliff which bounds the amphitheatre of Deîr el-Baharî on the south. The position lent itself readily to concealment. It consisted of a well some 130 feet deep, with a passage running out of it at right angles for a distance of some 200 feet and ending in a low, oblong, roughly cut chamber, lacking both ornament and paintings. Paînotmû II. had been placed within this chamber in the XVIth year of the reign of Psiûkhannît II., and several members of his family had been placed beside him not long afterwards. Aûpûti soon transferred thither the batch of mummies which, in the chapel of Amenôthes I., had been awaiting a more definite sepulture; the coffins, with what remained of their funerary furniture, were huddled together in disorder. The chamber having been filled up to the roof, the remaining materials, consisting of coffers, boxes of Ushabti, Canopic jars, garlands, together with the belongings of priestly mummies, were arranged along the passage; when the place was full, the entrance was walled up, the well filled, and its opening so dexterously covered that it remained concealed until-our own time. The accidental “sounding” of some pillaging Arabs revealed the place as far back as 1872, but it was not until ten years later (1881) that the Pharaohs once more saw the light. They are now enthroned—who can say for how many years longer? —in the chambers of the Gîzeh Museum. Egypt is truly a land of marvels! It has not only, like Assyria and Chaldæa, Greece and Italy, preserved for us monuments by which its historic past may be reconstructed, but it has handed on to us the men themselves who set up the monuments and made the history. Her great monarchs are not any longer mere names deprived of appropriate forms, and floating colourless and shapeless in the imagination of posterity: they may be weighed, touched, and measured; the capacity of their brains may be gauged; the curve of their noses and the cut of their mouths may be determined; we know if they were bald, or if they suffered from some secret infirmity; and, as we are able to do in the case of our contemporaries, we may publish their portraits taken first hand in the photographic camera. Sheshonq, by assuming the control of the Theban priesthood, did not on this account extend his sovereignty over Egypt beyond its southern portion, and that part of Nubia which still depended on it. Ethiopia remained probably outside his jurisdiction, and constituted from this time forward an independent kingdom, under the rule of dynasties which were, or claimed to be, descendants of Hrihor. The oasis, on the other hand, and the Libyan provinces in the neighbourhood of the Delta and the sea, rendered obedience to his officers, and furnished him with troops which were recognised as among his best. Sheshonq found himself at the death of Psiûkhânnît II., which took place about 940 B.C., sole master of Egypt, with an effective army and well-replenished treasury at his disposal. What better use could he make of his resources than devote them to reasserting the traditional authority of his country over Syria? The intestine quarrels of the only state of any importance in that region furnished him with an opportunity of which he found it easy to take advantage. Solomon in his eyes was merely a crowned vassal of Egypt, and his appeal for aid to subdue Gezer, his marriage with a daughter of the Egyptian royal house, the position he had assigned her over all his other wives, and all that we know of the relations between Jerusalem and Tanis at the time, seem to indicate that the Hebrews themselves acknowledged some sort of dependency upon Egypt. They were not, however, on this account free from suspicion in their suzerain’s eyes, who seized upon every pretext that offered itself to cause them embarrassment. Hadad, and Jeroboam afterwards, had been well received at the court of the Pharaoh, and it was with Egyptian subsidies that these two rebels returned to their country, the former in the lifetime of Solomon, and the latter after his death. When Jeroboam saw that he was threatened by Rehoboam, he naturally turned to his old protectors. Sheshonq had two problems before him. Should he confirm by his intervention the division of the kingdom, which had flourished in Kharû for now half a century, into two rival states, or should he himself give way to the vulgar appetite for booty, and step in for his own exclusive interest? He invaded Judæa four years after the schism, and Jerusalem offered no resistance to him; Rehoboam ransomed his capital by emptying the royal treasuries and temple, rendering up even the golden shields which Solomon was accustomed to assign to his guards when on duty about his person.*

     * 1 Kings xiv. 25-28; cf. 2 Chron. xii. 1-10, where an
     episode, not in the Book of Kings, is introduced. The
     prophet Shemaiah played an important part in the

This expedition of the Pharaoh was neither dangerous nor protracted, but it was more than two hundred years since so much riches from countries beyond the isthmus had been brought into Egypt, and the king was consequently regarded by the whole people of the Nile valley as a great hero. Aûpûti took upon himself the task of recording the exploit on the south wall of the temple of Amon at Karnak, not far from the spot where Ramses II. had had engraved the incidents of his Syrian campaigns. His architect was sent to Silsilis to procure the necessary sandstone to repair the monument. He depicted upon it his father receiving at the hands of Amon processions of Jewish prisoners, each one representing a captured city. The list makes a brave show, and is remarkable for the number of the names composing it: in comparison with those of Thûtmosis III., it is disappointing, and one sees at a glance how inferior, even in its triumph, the Egypt of the XXIInd dynasty was to that of the XVIIIth.

419.jpg Amon Presenting to Sheshonq the List of The Cities Captured in Israel and Judah
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.

It is no longer a question of Carchemish, or Qodshû, or Mitanni, or Naharaim: Megiddo is the most northern point mentioned, and the localities enumerated bring us more and more to the south—Eabbat, Taânach, Hapharaîm, Mahanaîm,* Gibeon, Beth-horon, Ajalon, Jud-hammelek, Migdol, Jerza, Shoko, and the villages of the Negeb. Each locality, in consequence of the cataloguing of obscure towns, furnished enough material to cover two, or even three of the crenellated cartouches in which the names of the conquered peoples are enclosed, and Sheshonq had thus the puerile satisfaction of parading before the eyes of his subjects a longer cortege of defeated chiefs than that of his predecessor. His victorious career did not last long: he died shortly after, and his son Osorkon was content to assume at a distance authority over the Kharu.**

     * The existence of the names of certain Israelite towns on
     the list of. Sheshonq has somewhat astonished the majority
     of the historians of Israel. Renan declared that the list
     must “put aside the conjecture that Jeroboam had been the
     instigator of the expedition, which would certainly have
     been readily admissible, especially if any force were
     attached to the Greek text of 1 Kings xii. 24, which makes
     Jeroboam to have been a son-in-law of the King of Egypt;”
      the same view had been already expressed by Stade; others
     have thought that Sheshonq had conquered the country for his
     ally Jeroboam. Sheshonq, in fact, was following the Egyptian
     custom by which all countries and towns which paid tribute
     to the Pharaoh, or who recognised his suzerainty, were made
     to, or might, figure on his triumphal lists whether they had
     been conquered or not: the presence of Megiddo or Mahanaim
     on the lists does not prove that they were conquered by
     Sheshonq, but that the prince to whom they owed allegiance
     was a tributary to the King of Egypt. The name of Jud-ham-
     melek, which occupies the twenty-ninth place on the list,
     was for a long time translated as king or kingdom of Judah,
     and passed for being a portrait of Rehoboam, which is
     impossible. The Hebrew name was read by W. Max Millier Jad-
     ham-meleh, the hand, the fort of the king. It appears to me
     to be more easy to see in it Jud-liam-meleh and to associate
     it with Jehudah, a town of the tribe of Dan, as Brugsch did
     long ago.

     ** Champollion identified Osorkon I. with the Zerah, who,
     according to 2 Chron. xiv. 9-15, xvi. 8, invaded Judah and
     was defeated by Asa, but this has no historic value, for it
     is clear that Osorkon never crossed the isthmus.

It does not appear, however, that either the Philistines, or Judah, or Israel, or any of the petty tribes which had momentarily gravitated around David and Solomon, were disposed to dispute Osorkon’s claim, theoretic rather than real as it was. The sword of the stranger had finished the work which the intestine quarrel of the tribes had begun. If Rehoboam had ever formed the project of welding together the disintegrated elements of Israel, the taking of Jerusalem must have been a death-blow to his hopes. His arsenals were empty, his treasury at low ebb, and the prestige purchased by David’s victories was effaced by the humiliation of his own defeat. The ease with which the edifice so laboriously constructed by the heroes of Benjamin and Judah had been overturned at the first shock, was a proof that the new possessors of Canaan were as little capable of barring the way to Egypt in her old age, as their predecessors had been when she was in her youth and vigour. The Philistines had had their day; it seemed by no means improbable at one time that they were about to sweep everything before them, from the Negeb to the Orontes, but their peculiar position in the furthest angle of the country, and their numerical weakness, prevented them from continuing their efforts for a prolonged period, and they were at length obliged to renounce in favour of the Hebrews their ambitious pretensions. The latter, who had been making steady progress for some half a century, had been successful where the Philistines had signally failed, and Southern Syria recognised their supremacy for the space of two generations. We can only conjecture what they might have done if a second David had led them into the valleys of the Orontes and Euphrates. They were stronger in numbers than their possible opponents, and their troops, strengthened by mercenary guards, would have perhaps triumphed over the more skilled but fewer warriors which the Amorite and Aramaean cities could throw into the field against them. The pacific reign of Solomon, the schism among the tribes, and the Egyptian invasion furnished evidence enough that they also were not destined to realise that solidarity which alone could secure them against the great Oriental empires when the day of attack came.

The two kingdoms were then enjoying an independent existence. Judah, in spite of its smaller numbers and its recent disaster, was not far behind the more extensive Israel in its resources. David, and afterwards Solomon, had so kneaded together the various elements of which it was composed—Caleb, Cain, Jerahmeel and the Judsean clans—that they had become a homogeneous mass, grouped around the capital and its splendid sanctuary, and actuated with feelings of profound admiration and strong fidelity for the family which had made them what they were. Misfortune had not chilled their zeal: they rallied round Rehoboam and his race with such a persistency that they were enabled to maintain their ground when their richer rivals had squandered their energies and fallen away before their eyes. Jeroboam, indeed, and his successors had never obtained from their people more than a precarious support and a lukewarm devotion: their authority was continually coming into conflict with a tendency to disintegration among the tribes, and they could only maintain their rule by the constant employment of force. Jeroboam had collected together from the garrisons scattered throughout the country the nucleus of an army, and had stationed the strongest of these troops in his residence at Tirzah when he did not require them for some expedition against Judah or the Philistines. His successors followed his example in this respect, but this military resource was only an ineffectual protection against the dangers which beset them. The kings were literally at the mercy of their guard, and their reign was entirely dependent on its loyalty or caprice: any unscrupulous upstart might succeed in suborning his comrades, and the stroke of a dagger might at any moment send the sovereign to join his ancestors, while the successful rebel reigned in his stead.* The Egyptian troops had no sooner set out on their homeward march, than the two kingdoms began to display their respective characteristics. An implacable and truceless war broke out between them. The frontier garrisons of the two nations fought with each other from one year’s end to another—carrying off each other’s cattle, massacring one another, burning each other’s villages and leading their inhabitants into slavery.**

     * Among nineteen kings of Israel, eight were assassinated
     and were replaced by the captains of their guards—Nadab,
     Elah, Zimri, Joram, Zachariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, and Pekah.

     ** This is what is meant by the Hebrew historians when they
     say “there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the
     days of his life” (1 Kings xv. 6; cf. 2 Ohron. xii. 15), and
     “between Abijam and Jeroboam” (1 Kings xv. 7; 2 Ohron. xiii.
     2), and “between Asa and Baasha” (1 Kings xv. 16, 32) “all
     their days.”

From time to time, when the situation became intolerable, one of the kings took the field in person, and began operations by attacking such of his enemy’s strongholds as gave him the most trouble at the time. Ramah acquired an unenviable reputation in the course of these early conflicts: its position gave it command of the roads terminating in Jerusalem, and when it fell into the hands of Israel, the Judæan capital was blockaded on this side. The strife for its possession was always of a terrible character, and the party which succeeded in establishing itself firmly within it was deemed to have obtained a great success.*

     * The campaign of Abijah at Mount Zemaraim (2 Chron. xiii.
     3-19), in which the foundation of the narrative and the
     geographical details seem fully historical. See also the
     campaign of Baasha against Ramah (1 Kings xv. 17-22; cf. 2
     Chron. xvi. 1-6).

The encounter of the armies did not, however, seem to produce much more serious results than those which followed the continual guerilla warfare along the frontier: the conqueror had no sooner defeated his enemy than he set to work to pillage the country in the vicinity, and, having accomplished this, returned promptly to his headquarters with the booty. Rehoboam, who had seen something of the magnificence of Solomon, tried to perpetuate the tradition of it in his court, as far as his slender revenues would permit him. He had eighteen women in his harem, among whom figured some of his aunts and cousins. The titular queen was Maacah, who was represented as a daughter of Absalom. She was devoted to the asheras, and the king was not behind his father in his tolerance of strange gods; the high places continued to be tolerated by him as sites of worship, and even Jerusalem was not free from manifestations of such idolatry as was associated with the old Canaanite religion. He reigned seventeen years, and was interred in the city of David;* Abijam, the eldest son of Maacah, succeeded him, and followed in his evil ways. Three years later Asa came to the throne,** no opposition being raised to his accession. In Israel matters did not go so smoothly. When Jeroboam, after a reign of twenty-two years, was succeeded by his son Nadab, about the year 905 B.C., it was soon evident that the instinct of loyalty to a particular dynasty had not yet laid any firm hold on the ten tribes. The peace between the Philistines and Israel was quite as unstable as that between Israel and Judah: an endless guerilla warfare was waged on the frontier, Gibbethon being made to play much the same part in this region as Ramah had done in regard to Jerusalem. For the moment it was in the hands of the Philistines, and in the second year of his reign Nadab had gone to lay siege to it in force, when he was assassinated in his tent by one of his captains, a certain Baasha, son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar: the soldiers proclaimed the assassin king, and the people found themselves powerless to reject the nominee of the army.***

     * 1 Kings xiv. 22-24; cf. 2 Chron. xi. 18-23, where the
     details given in addition to those in the Booh of Kings seem
     to be of undoubted authenticity.

     ** 1 Kings xv. 1-8; cf. 2 Chron. xiii. The Booh of Kings
     describes his mother as Maacah, the daughter of Absalom (xv.
     10), which would seem to indicate that he was the brother
     and not the son of Abijam. The uncertainty on this point is
     of long standing, for the author of Chronicles makes
     Abijam’s mother out in one place to be Micaiah, daughter of
     Uriel of Gibcah (xiii. 2), and in another (xi. 20) Maacah,
     daughter of Absalom.

     *** 1 Kings xv. 27-34.

Baasha pressed forward resolutely his campaign against Judah. He seized Eamah and fortified it;* and Asa, feeling his incapacity to dislodge him unaided, sought to secure an ally. Egypt was too much occupied with its own internal dissensions to be able to render any effectual help, but a new power, which would profit quite as much as Judah by the overthrow of Israel, was beginning to assert itself in the north. Damascus had, so far, led an obscure and peaceful existence; it had given way before Egypt and Chaldæa whenever the Egyptians or Chaldseans had appeared within striking distance, but had refrained from taking any part in the disturbances by which Syria was torn asunder. Having been occupied by the Amorites, it threw its lot in with theirs, keeping, however, sedulously in the background: while the princes of Qodshû waged war against the Pharaohs, undismayed by frequent reverses, Damascus did not scruple to pay tribute to Thûtmosis III. and his descendants, or to enter into friendly relations with them. Meanwhile the Amorites had been overthrown, and Qodshû, ruined by the Asiatic invasion, soon became little more than an obscure third-rate town;** the Aramaeans made themselves masters of Damascus about the XIIth century, and in their hands it continued to be, just as in the preceding epochs, a town without ambitions and of no great renown.

     * 1 Kings xv. 17; cf. 2 Ghron. xvi. 1.

     ** Qodshû is only once mentioned in the Bible (2 Sam. xxiv.
     6), in which passage its name, misunderstood by the
     Massoretic scribe, has been restored from the Septuagint

We have seen how the Aramæans, alarmed at the sudden rise of the Hebrew dynasty, entered into a coalition against David with the Ammonite leaders: Zoba aspired to the chief place among the nations of Central Syria, but met with reverses, and its defeat delivered over to the Israelites its revolted dependencies in the Haurân and its vicinity, such as Maacah, Geshur, and even Damascus itself.* The supremacy was, however, shortlived; immediately after the death of David, a chief named Rezôn undertook to free them from the yoke of the stranger. He had begun his military career under Hada-dezer, King of Zoba: when disaster overtook this leader and released him from his allegiance, he collected an armed force and fought for his own hand. A lucky stroke made him master of Damascus: he proclaimed himself king there, harassed the Israelites with impunity during the reign of Solomon, and took over the possessions of the kings of Zoba in the valleys of the Litany and the Orontes.** The rupture between the houses of Israel and Judah removed the only dangerous rival from his path, and Damascus became the paramount power in Southern and Central Palestine. While Judah and Israel wasted their strength in fratricidal struggles, Tabrimmon, and after him Benhadad I., gradually extended their territory in Coele-Syria;*** they conquered Hamath, and the desert valleys which extend north-eastward in the direction of the Euphrates, and forced a number of the Hittite kings to render them homage.

     * Cf. what is said in regard to these events on pp. 351,
     352, supra.

     ** 1 Kings xi. 23-25. The reading “Esron” in the Septuagint
     (1 Kings xi. 23) indicates a form “Khezrôn,” by which it was
     sought to replace the traditional reading “Rezôn.”
     *** Hezion, whom the Jewish writer intercalates before
     Tabrimmon (1 Kings xv. 18), is probably a corruption of
     Rezôn; Winckler, relying on the Septuagint variants Azin or
     Azael (1 Kings xv. 18), proposes to alter Hezion into
     Hazael, and inserts a certain Hazael I. in this place.
     Tabrimmon is only mentioned in 1 Kings xv. 18, where he is
     said to have been the father of Benhadad.

They had concluded an alliance with Jeroboam as soon as he established his separate kingdom, and maintained the treaty with his successors, Nadab and Baasha. Asa collected all the gold and silver which was left in the temple of Jerusalem and in his own palace, and sent it to Benhadad, saying, “There is a league between me and thee, between thy father and my father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha, King of Israel, that he may depart from me.” It would seem that Baasha, in his eagerness to complete the fortifications of Ramah, had left his northern frontier undefended. Benhadad accepted the proposal and presents of the King of Judah, invaded Galilee, seized the cities of Ijôn, Dan, and Abel-beth-Maacah, which defended the upper reaches of the Jordan and the Litany, the lowlands of Genesareth, and all the land of Naphtali. Baasha hastily withdrew from Judah, made terms with Benhadad, and settled down in Tirzah for the remainder of his reign;* Asa demolished Eamah, and built the strongholds of Gebah and Mizpah from its ruins.** Benhadad retained the territory he had acquired, and exercised a nominal sovereignty over the two Hebrew kingdoms. Baasha, like Jeroboam, failed to found a lasting dynasty; his son Blah met with the same fate at the hands of Zimri which he himself had meted out to Nadab. As on the former occasion, the army was encamped before Gibbethon, in the country of the Philistines, when the tragedy took place.

     * 1 Kings xv. 21, xvi. 6.

     ** 1 Kings xv. 18-22; of. 2 Ghron. xvi. 2-6.

Elah was at Tirzah, “drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, which was over the household;” Zimri, who was “captain of half his chariots,” left his post at the front, and assassinated him as he lay intoxicated. The whole family of Baasha perished in the subsequent confusion, but the assassin only survived by seven days the date of his crime. When the troops which he had left behind him in camp heard of what had occurred, they refused to accept him as king, and, choosing Omri in his place, marched against Tirzah. Zimri, finding it was impossible either to win them over to his side or defeat them, set fire to the palace, and perished in the flames. His death did not, however, restore peace to Israel; while one-half of the tribes approved the choice of the army, the other flocked to the standard of Tibni, son of Ginath. War raged between the two factions for four years, and was only ended by the death—whether natural or violent we do not know—of Tibni and his brother Joram.*

     * 1 Kings xvi. 8-22; Joram is not mentioned in the
     Massoretic text, but his name appears in the Septuagint.

Two dynasties had thus arisen in Israel, and had been swept away by revolutionary outbursts, while at Jerusalem the descendants of David followed one another in unbroken succession. Asa outlived Nadab by eleven years, and we hear nothing of his relations with the neighbouring states during the latter part of his reign. We are merely told that his zeal in the service of the Lord was greater than had been shown by any of his predecessors. He threw down the idols, expelled their priests, and persecuted all those who practised the ancient religions. His grandmother Maacah “had made an abominable image for an asherah;” he cut it down, and burnt it in the valley of the Kedron, and deposed her from the supremacy in the royal household which she had held for three generations. He is, therefore, the first of the kings to receive favourable mention from the orthodox chroniclers of later times, and it is stated that he “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father.” * Omri proved a warlike monarch, and his reign, though not a long one, was signalised by a decisive crisis in the fortunes of Israel.** The northern tribes had, so far, possessed no settled capital, Shechem, Penuel, and Tirzah having served in turn as residences for the successors of Jeroboam and Baasha. Latterly Tirzah had been accorded a preference over its rivals; but Zimri had burnt the castle there, and the ease with which it had been taken and retaken was not calculated to reassure the head of the new dynasty. Omri turned his attention to a site lying a little to the north-west of Shechem and Mount Ebal, and at that time partly covered by the hamlet of Shomerôn or Shimrôn—our modern Samaria.***

     * 1 Kings xv. 11; cf. 2 Ohron. xiv. 2. It is admitted,
     however, though without any blame being attached to him,
     that “the high places were not taken away” (1 Kings xv. 14;
     cf. 2 Chron. xv. 17).

     ** The Hebrew writer gives the length of his reign as twelve
     years (1 Kings xvi. 23). Several historians consider this
     period too brief, and wish to extend it to twenty-four
     years; I cannot, however, see that there is, so far, any
     good reason for doubting the approximate accuracy of the
     Bible figures.

     *** According to the tradition preserved in 1 Kings xvi. 24,
     the name of the city comes from Shomer, the man from whom
     Ahab bought the site.

His choice was a wise and judicious one, as the rapid development of the city soon proved. It lay on the brow of a rounded hill, which rose in the centre of a wide and deep depression, and was connected by a narrow ridge with the surrounding mountains. The valley round it is fertile and well watered, and the mountains are cultivated up to their summits; throughout the whole of Ephraim it would have been difficult to find a site which could compare with it in strength or attractiveness. Omri surrounded his city with substantial ramparts; he built a palace for himself, and a temple in which was enthroned a golden calf similar to those at Dan and Bethel.* A population drawn from other nations besides the Israelites flocked into this well-defended stronghold, and Samaria soon came to be for Israel what Jerusalem already was for Judah, an almost impregnable fortress, in which the sovereign entrenched himself, and round which the nation could rally in times of danger. His contemporaries fully realised the importance of this move on Omri’s part; his name became inseparably connected in their minds with that of Israel. Samaria and the house of Joseph were for them, henceforth, the house of Omri, Bît-Omri, and the name still clung to them long after Omri had died and his family had become extinct.**

     * Amos viii. 14, where the sin of Samaria, coupled as it is
     with the life of the god of Dan and the way of Beersheba,
     can, as Wellhausen points out, only refer to the image of
     the calf worshipped at Samaria.

     ** Shalmaneser II. even goes so far as to describe Jehu, who
     exterminated the family of Omri, as Jaua ahal Khumri,
     “Jehu, son of Omri.”

He gained the supremacy over Judah, and forced several of the south-western provinces, which had been in a state of independence since the days of Solomon, to acknowledge his rule; he conquered the country of Medeba, vanquished Kamoshgad, King of Moab, and imposed on him a heavy tribute in sheep and wool.* Against Benhadad in the north-west he was less fortunate. He was forced to surrender to him several of the cities of Gilead—among others Bamoth-gilead, which commanded the fords over the Jabbok and Jordan.**

     * Inscription of Meslia, 11. 5-7; cf. 2 Kings iii. 4.

     ** 1 Kings xx. 34. No names are given in the text, but
     external evidence proves that they were cities of Persea,
     and that Ramoth-gilead was one of them.

432.jpg the Hill of Samaria
     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 2G of the Palestine
     Exploration Fund.

He even set apart a special quarter in Samaria for the natives of Damascus, where they could ply their trades and worship their gods without interference. It was a kind of semi-vassalage, from which he was powerless to free himself unaided: he realised this, and looked for help from without; he asked and obtained the hand of Jezebel, daughter of Bthbaal, King of the Sidonians, for Ahab, his heir. Hiram I., the friend of David, had carried the greatness of Tyre to its highest point; after his death, the same spirit of discord which divided the Hebrews made its appearance in Phoenicia. The royal power was not easily maintained over this race of artisans and sailors: Baalbazer, son of Hiram, reigned for six years, and his successor, Abdastart, was killed in a riot after a still briefer enjoyment of power. We know how strong was the influence exercised by foster-mothers in the great families of the Bast; the four sons of Abda-start’s nurse assassinated their foster-brother, and the eldest of them usurped his crown. Supported by the motley crowd of slaves and adventurers which filled the harbours of Phoenicia, they managed to cling to power for twelve years. Their stupid and brutal methods of government produced most disastrous results. A section of the aristocracy emigrated to the colonies across the sea and incited them to rebellion; had this state of things lasted for any time, the Tyrian empire would have been doomed. A revolution led to the removal of the usurper and the restoration of the former dynasty, but did not bring back to the unfortunate city the tranquillity which it sorely needed. The three surviving sons of Baalbezer, Methuastarfc, Astarym, and Phelles followed one another on the throne in rapid succession, the last-named perishing by the hand of his cousin Ethbaal, after a reign of eight months. So far, the Israelites had not attempted to take advantage of these dissensions, but there was always the danger lest one of their kings, less absorbed than his predecessors in the struggle with Judah, might be tempted by the wealth of Phoenicia to lay hands on it. Ethbaal, therefore, eagerly accepted the means of averting this danger by an alliance with the new dynasty offered to him by Omri.*

     * 1 Kings xvi. 31, where the historian has Hebraicised the
     Phonician name Ittobaal into “Ethbaal,” “Baal is with
     him.” Izebel or Jezebel seems to be an abbreviated form of
     some name like Baalezbel.

The presence of a Phonician princess at Samaria seems to have had a favourable effect on the city and its inhabitants. The tribes of Northern and Central Palestine had, so far, resisted the march of material civilization which, since the days of Solomon, had carried Judah along with it; they adhered, as a matter of principle, to the rude and simple customs of their ancestors. Jezebel, who from her cradle had been accustomed to all the luxuries and refinements of the Phoenician court, was by no means prepared to dispense with them in her adopted country. By their contact with her, the Israelites—at any rate, the upper and middle classes of them—acquired a certain degree of polish; the royal office assumed a more dignified exterior, and approached more nearly the splendours of the other Syrian monarchies, such as those of Damascus, Hamath, Sidon, Tyre, and even Judah.

Unfortunately, the effect of this material progress was marred by a religious difficulty. Jezebel had been brought up by her father, the high priest of the Sidonian Astarte, as a rigid believer in his faith, and she begged Ahab to permit her to celebrate openly the worship of her national deities. Ere long the Tyrian Baal was installed at Samaria with his asherah, and his votaries had their temples and sacred groves to worship in: their priests and prophets sat at the king’s table. Ahab did not reject the God of his ancestors in order to embrace the religion of his wife—a reproach which was afterwards laid to his door; he remained faithful to Him, and gave the children whom he had by Jezebel names compounded with that of Jahveh, such as Ahaziah, Joram, and Athaliah.*

     * 1 Kings xvi. 31-33. Ahaziah and Joram mean respectively
     “whom Jahveh sustaineth,” and “Jahveh is exalted.” Athaliah
     may possibly be derived from a Phoenician form, Ailialith
     or Athlifh, into which the name of Jahveh does not enter.

This was not the first instance of such tolerance in the history of the Israelites: Solomon had granted a similar liberty of conscience to all his foreign wives, and neither Rehoboam nor Abijam had opposed Maacah in her devotion to the Canaanitish idols. But the times were changing, and the altar of Baal could no longer be placed side by side with that of Jahveh without arousing fierce anger and inexorable hatred. Scarce a hundred years had elapsed since the rupture between the tribes, and already one-half of the people were unable to understand how place could be found in the breast of a true Israelite for any other god but Jahveh: Jahveh alone was Lord, for none of the deities worshipped by foreign races under human or animal shapes could compare with Him in might and holiness. From this to the repudiation of all those practices associated with exotic deities, such as the use of idols of wood or metal, the anointing of isolated boulders or circles of rocks, the offering up of prisoners or of the firstborn, was but a step: Asa had already furnished an example of rigid devotion in Judah, and there were many in Israel who shared his views and desired to imitate him. The opposition to what was regarded as apostasy on the part of the king did not come from the official priesthood; the sanctuaries at Dan, at Bethel, at Shiloh, and at Gilgal were prosperous in spite of Jezebel, and this was enough for them. But the influence of the prophets had increased marvellously since the rupture between the kingdoms, and at the very beginning of his reign Ahab was unwise enough to outrage their sense of justice by one of his violent acts: in a transport of rage he had slain a certain Naboth, who had refused to let him have his vineyard in order that he might enlarge the grounds of the palace he was building for himself at Jezreel.* The prophets, as in former times, were divided into schools, the head of each being called its father, the members bearing the title of “the sons of the prophets;” they dwelt in a sort of monastery, each having his own cell, where they ate together, performed their devotional exercises or assembled to listen to the exhortations of their chief prophets:** nor did their sacred office prevent them from marrying.***

     * 1 Kings xxi., where the later tradition throws nearly all
     the blame on Jezebel; whereas in the shorter account, in 2
     Kings ix. 25, 26, it is laid entirely on Ahab.

     ** In 1 Sam. xix. 20, a passage which seems to some to be a
     later interpolation, mentions a “company of the prophets,
     prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them.” Cf. 2
     Kings vi. 1-7, where the narrative introduces a congregation
     of prophets grouped round Elisha.

     *** 2 Kings iv. 1-7, where an account is given of the
     miracle worked by Elisha on behalf of “a woman of the wives
     of the sons of the prophets.”

As a rule, they settled near one of the temples, and lived there on excellent terms with the members of the regular priesthood. Accompanied by musical instruments, they chanted the songs in which the poets of other days extolled the mighty deeds of Jahveh, and obtained from this source the incidents of the semi-religious accounts which they narrated concerning the early history of the people; or, when the spirit moved them, they went about through the land prophesying, either singly, or accompanied by a disciple, or in bands.* The people thronged round them to listen to their hymns or their stories of the heroic age: the great ones of the land, even kings themselves, received visits from them, and endured their reproaches or exhortations with mingled feelings of awe and terror. A few of the prophets took the part of Ahab and Jezebel,** but the majority declared against them, and of these, the most conspicuous, by his forcibleness of speech and action, was Elijah. We do not know of what race or family he came, nor even what he was:*** the incidents of his life which have come down to us seem to be wrapped in a vague legendary grandeur. He appears before Ahab, and tells him that for years to come no rain or dew shall fall on the earth save by his command, and then takes flight into the desert in order to escape the king’s anger.

     * 1 Sam. x. 5, where a band of prophets is mentioned “coming
     down from the high place with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and
     a pipe, and a harp, before them, prophesying;” cf. ver. 10.
     In 2 Kings ii. 3-5, bands of the “children of the prophets”
      come out from Bethel and Jericho to ask Elisha if he knows
     the fate which awaits Elijah on that very day.

     ** Cf. the anonymous prophet who encourages Ahab, in the
     name of Jahveh, to surprise the camp of Benhadad before
     Samaria (1 Kings xx. 13-15, 22-25, 28); and the prophet
     Zedekiah, who gives advice contrary to that of his fellow-
     prophet Micaiah in the council of war held by Ahab with
     Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, before the attack on Ramobh-
     gilead (1 Kings xxii. 11, 12, 24).

     *** The ethnical inscription, “Tishbite,” which we find
     after his name (1 Kings xvii. 1, xxi. 17), is due to an
     error on the part of the copyist.

He is there ministered unto by ravens, which bring him bread and meat every night and morning. When the spring from which he drinks dries up, he goes to the house of a widow at Zarephath in the country of Sidon, and there he lives with his hostess for twelve months on a barrel of meal and a cruse of oil which never fail. The widow’s son dies suddenly: he prays to Jahveh and restores him to life; then, still guided by an inspiration from above, he again presents himself before the king. Ahab receives him without resentment, assembles the prophets of Baal, brings them face to face with Elijah on the top of Mount Carmel, and orders them to put an end to the drought by which his kingdom is wasted. The Phoenicians erect an altar and call upon their Baâlîm with loud cries, and gash their arms and bodies with knives, yet cannot bring about the miracle expected of them. Elijah, after mocking at their cries and contortions, at last addresses a prayer to Jahveh, and fire comes down from heaven and consumes the sacrifice in a moment; the people, convinced by the miracle, fall upon the idolaters and massacre them, and the rain shortly afterwards falls in torrents. After this triumph he is said to have fled once more for safety to the desert, and there on Horeb to have had a divine vision. “And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that He wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’” God then commanded him to anoint Hazael as King of Syria, and Jehu, son of Nimshi, as King over Israel, and Elisha, son of Shaphat, as prophet in his stead, “and him that escapeth from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.” The sacred writings go on to tell us that the prophet who had held such close converse with the Deity was exempt from the ordinary laws of humanity, and was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire. The account that has come down to us shows the impression of awe left by Elijah on the spirit of his age.*

Ahab was one of the most warlike among the warrior-kings of Israel. He ruled Moab with a strong hand,** kept Judah in subjection,*** and in his conflict with Damascus experienced alternately victory and honourable defeat. Hadadidri [Hadadezer], of whom the Hebrew historians make a second Benhadad,**** had succeeded the conqueror of Baasha.^

     * The story of Elijah is found in 1 Kings xvii.-xix., xxi.
     17-29, and 2 Kings i., ii. 1-14.

     ** Inscription of Mesha, 11. 7, 8.

     *** The subordination of Judah is nowhere explicitly
     mentioned: it is inferred from the attitude adopted by
     Jehoshaphat in presence of Ahab (1 Kings xxii. 1, et seq.).

     **** The Assyrian texts call this Dadidri, Adadidri, which
     exactly corresponds to the Plebrew form Hadadezer.

     ^ The information in the Booh of Kings does not tell us at
     what time during the reign of Ahab his first wars with
     Hadadezer (Benhadad II.) and the siege of Samaria occurred.
     The rapid success of Shalmaneser’s campaigns against
     Damascus, between 854 and 839 B.C., does not allow us to
     place these events after the invasion of Assyria. Ahab
     appears, in 854, at the battle of Karkar, as the ally of
     Benhadad, as I shall show later.

The account of his campaigns in the Hebrew records has only reached us in a seemingly condensed and distorted condition. Israel, strengthened by the exploits of Omri, must have offered him a strenuous resistance, but we know nothing of the causes, nor of the opening scenes of the drama. When the curtain is lifted, the preliminary conflict is over, and the Israelites, closely besieged in Samaria, have no alternative before them but unconditional surrender. This was the first serious attack the city had sustained, and its resistance spoke well for the military foresight of its founder. In Benhadad’s train were thirty-two kings, and horses and chariots innumerable, while his adversary could only oppose to them seven thousand men. Ahab was willing to treat, but the conditions proposed were so outrageous that he broke off the negotiations. We do not know how long the blockade had lasted, when one day the garrison made a sortie in full daylight, and fell upon the Syrian camp; the enemy were panic-stricken, and Benhadad with difficulty escaped on horseback with a handful of men. He resumed hostilities in the following year, but instead of engaging the enemy in the hill-country of Ephraim, where his superior numbers brought him no advantage, he deployed his lines on the plain of Jezreel, near the town of Aphek. His servants had counselled him to change his tactics: “The God of the Hebrews is a God of the hills, therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” The advice, however, proved futile, for he sustained on the open plain a still more severe defeat than he had met with in the mountains, and the Hebrew historians affirm that he was taken prisoner during the pursuit. The power of Damascus was still formidable, and the captivity of its king had done little to bring the war to an end; Ahab, therefore, did not press his advantage, but received the Syrian monarch “as a brother,” and set him at liberty after concluding with him an offensive and defensive alliance. Israel at this time recovered possession of some of the cities which had been lost under Baasha and Omri, and the Israelites once more enjoyed the right to occupy a particular quarter of Damascus. According to the Hebrew account, this was the retaliation they took for their previous humiliations. It is further stated, in relation to this event, that a certain man of the sons of the prophets, speaking by the word of the Lord, bade one of his companions smite him. Having received a wound, he disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes, and placed himself in the king’s path, “and as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the King of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself has decided it. Then he hasted, and took the headband away from his eyes, and the King of Israel discerned him that he was one of the prophets. And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. And the King of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.” This story was in accordance with the popular feeling, and Ahab certainly ought not to have paused till he had exterminated his enemy, could he have done so; but was this actually in his power?

We have no reason to contest the leading facts in this account, or to doubt that Benhadad suffered some reverses before Samaria; but we may perhaps ask whether the check was as serious as we are led to believe, and whether imagination and national vanity did not exaggerate its extent and results. The fortresses of Persea which, according to the treaty, ought to have been restored to Israel, remained in the hands of the people of Damascus, and the loss of Ramoth-gilead continued to be a source of vexation to such of the tribes of Gad and Reuben as followed the fortunes of the house of Omri:* yet these places formed the most important part of Benhadad’s ransom.

     * “And the King of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye
     that Ramoth-gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not
     out of the hand of the King of Syria?”

The sole effect of Ahab’s success was to procure for him more lenient treatment; he lost no territory, and perhaps gained a few towns, but he had to sign conditions of peace which made him an acknowledged vassal to the King of Syria.*

     * No document as yet proves directly that Ahab was vassal to
     Benhadad II. The fact seems to follow clearly enough from
     the account of the battle of Karkar against Shalmaneser II.,
     where the contingent of Ahab of Israel figures among those
     of the kings who fought for Benhadad II. against the

Damascus still remained the foremost state of Syria, and, if we rightly interpret the scanty information we possess, seemed in a fair way to bring about that unification of the country which neither Hittites, Philistines, nor Hebrews had been able to effect. Situated nearly equidistant from Raphia and Carchemish, on the outskirts of the cultivated region, the city was protected in the rear by the desert, which secured it from invasion on the east and north-east; the dusty plains of the Haurân protected it on the south, and the wooded cliffs of Anti-Lebanon on the west and north-west. It was entrenched within these natural barriers as in a fortress, whence the garrison was able to sally forth at will to attack in force one or other of the surrounding nations: if the city were victorious, its central position made it easy for its rulers to keep watch over and preserve what they had won; if it suffered defeat, the surrounding mountains and deserts formed natural lines of fortification easy to defend against the pursuing foe, but very difficult for the latter to force, and the delay presented by this obstacle gave the inhabitants time to organise their reserves and bring fresh troops into the field. The kings of Damascus at the outset brought under their suzerainty the Aramaean principalities—Argob, Maacah, and Geshur, by which they controlled the Haurân, and Zobah, which secured to them Coele-Syria from Lake Huleh to the Bahr el-Kades. They had taken Upper Galilee from the Hebrews, and subsequently Perasa, as far as the Jabbok, and held in check Israel and the smaller states, Amnion and Moab, which followed in its wake. They exacted tribute from Hamath, the Phoenician Arvad, the lower valley of the Orontes, and from a portion of the Hittites, and demanded contingents from their princes in time of war. Their power was still in its infancy, and its elements were not firmly welded together, but the surrounding peoples were in such a state of weakness and disunion that they might be left out of account as formidable enemies. The only danger that menaced the rising kingdom was the possibility that the two ancient warlike nations, Egypt and Assyria, might shake off their torpor, and reappearing on the scene of their former prowess might attack her before she had consolidated her power by the annexation of Naharaim.

444 (17K)