Sayfadaki görseller

had the spirit of his army kept pace with his ambition. But his troops seeing no end to their toils refused to proceed. Indignant, that he had found a limit to his couquests, he abandoned himself to every excess of luxury and debauchery. The arrogance of his nature and the ardour of his passious, heightened by continual intemperance, broke out into the most outrageous excesses of cruelty. Having drunk immoderately at a banquet, he sunk senseless upon the floor, and died at Babylon, in the thirty-tbird year of bis age, in the thirteenth of his reign, A. C. 324.

7. By the death of this illustrious conqueror, were ful. filled many of the prophecies of the sacred writers. One of them is singularly striking ; The temple of Belus sball be broken down, uuto the ground, never to rise from its ruins. That the word of God might prevail, Alexander is cut off, at the very instant he is preparing to rebuild that temple, and to restore Babylon to its wonted splendour.

8. In Alexander, we shall find little to admire, and less to imitate. That courage for which he was celebrated, was but a subordinate virtue;--that fortune which still attended him, was but an accidental advantage ; ---that discipline which prevailed in his army, was produced and cultivated by his father ; --but his intemperance, his cruelty, his vanity, his passiou for useless conquests, were all his own. His victories, however served to crown the pyramid of Grecian glory, and to show to what a degree the arts of peace can promote those of war. X. Successors of Alexander ;--fall and conquest of Greece.

1. Alexander, on his death-bed, gave his ring to Perdiccas, one of his officers, but named no successor; and, when he was asked to whom he wished the empire to devolve, he replied “To the most worthy Perdiccas, sensible that his pretensions would not justify direct assumption of the goverumeut of this vast empire, brought about a division of the whole among thirty-three of the principal officers: and trusting to their incvitable dissensions, le proposed by that means to reduce all of them under his own authority.

2. A series of civil wars and intrigues was the result of Perdiccas' conduct. The consequence was, a total extirpation of the family of Alexander, and a new partition of the empire into four great monarchier, the shares of Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Cassander, and Seleucus of these the most powerful were that of Syria under Seleucus and his descendants, and that of Egypt under the Ptolemies.

3. There is little of an interesting nr pleasing nature in Grecian bistory, from the period of the death of Alexander.::Demosthenes, once more, made a noble attempt to vindicate the national freedom, and to excite bis countrymen, the Athenians, to shake off the yoke of Macedon. But it was too late. The pacific counsels of Phocion suited better the languid spirit of this once illustrious people. The history of the different republies presents from ibis time, nothing but a disgusting series of uvinteresting révolutions; with the exception only of that last effort made by the Achæan states, to revive the expiring liberty of their country. A design which was rendered abortive by the jealousy of the greater states.

4. The period bad now arrived, when a foreign power was to reduce all under its wide-spreading dominion. The people of Ætolia, attacked by the Macedonians, rashly besought the aid of the Romans, who were at this time the most powerful of all the contemporary nations. Eager to add to their dominion this devoted country, the Romans cheerfully obeyed the summons, and speedily accomplished the rednetion of Macedonia. Perseus, its last sovereigo, was led captive to Rome, and graced the triumph of Paulus Æmilius, 167, A.C.

5. The Romans were advancing with rapid strides to the conquest of all Greece. They gained their end by promoting dissensions between the states, which they directed to their own advantage. A pretext was only wanting to unsheath the sword ; this was furnished by the Achæan states, who insulted the deputies of imperial Rome, which drew on thein at once the thunder of the Roman armis : Metellus marched his legions into Greece, gave them battle, and entirely defeated them. Mummius, the cousal, termipated the work, and made an easy conquest of the whole of Greece, which became from that period a Róman province, under the name of Achaia, 146, A.C.

Greece has been justly celebrated for the variety and the

excellency of its painters, sculptors, poets, historians, and philosophers. Their distinctive merits are so well known, and so justly appretiated, that it will be sufficient to mention the names of Zeaxis, Apelles, Parrhasius, as painters, though their works have been destroyed by time ;-of Praxiteles, Agesander, and Phidias, as sculptors ;-of Homer, Hesiod, Sapphó, Alcæus, Simonides, Pindar, Anacreon, as poets: -of Æschylas, Earipides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, as dramatic writers; -of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysius Hali: carnassensis, Plutarch, Arrian, as historians ;-and of Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, as philosopher's.

Select Books on Grecian History. Mitford's History of Greece, * vols. 4to.or 8vo. Travels of Anacharsis, 7 vols. 8vo. or the Abridgment in 1 vol. Gillies' History of Greece, 4 vols. 8vo. Goldsmith's, 2 vols. 8vo. or Mavor's, in 2 vols. 19mo. Wood's Essay on the genius and writings of Homer, 8vo.


After the fall and conquest of Greece, the history of Rome becomes the leading object of attention. The æra when Italy was first peopled, cannot be ascertained with certainty. There is every reason to believe, that it was inhabited by the Etruscans, a refined and cultivated nation, many ages before the Roman name was known. There are monuments existing at this day, which prove them to have been a people familiar with splendour and luxury, The striking affinity between their alphabet, and that of the Phenicians, confirms the supposition with respect to their eastern origin. The rest of Italy was divided among the Umbrians, Ligurians, Sabines, Veientes, Latins, Æqui, Volsci ;-a rude and uncaltivated people,

The history of Rome, is best divided into three ages or periods. I. The state of the Romans under kings. Il. Under consuls. III, Under einperors.

1. The state of the Romans under kings. Rome continued under the government of kings 240 years from the building of the city, until the time whert the royal power was abrogated. The kings were,

1. Romulus, who founded the city of Rome, and cut off his brother Remus, his rival for the new kingdom. He first divided the city into thirty curiæ, or courts, and the people into three tribes, and having tixed the state of things, le took the opportunity of carrying off the Sabine women, while they attended some public games. This gave rise to a long and violent war with the Sabines : but, by the interposition of the females who had been made captive, it was agreed that Tatius, the Sabine general, should share with Romulus, the government of Rome; he being slain, the sole power was vested in Romulus, A.C. 753.

2 Numa Pompilius succeeded Romulus. He turned his thoughts to the cultivation of peace, instituted religi. ons rites, and added two months more to the year, which till that time consisted of ten only.

3. Pullus Hostilius, was' impatient of peace, and bora for arms ;-he destroyed the old city Alba, transferring all its inhabitants and riches to Rome.

4. Ancus Martius, enlarged the city of Rome, by taking in the Aventine Mount, and Janiculum; he also, according to some historians, built Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber.

5. Tarquinius Priscus, who is said to have instituted the games of the Circus, to have laid the foundation of the capital, and made drains for carrying off the filth of the city. He increased the number of senators, and subdued some of the neighbouring people, and at last, was in his old age, killed by the sons of his predecessor,

6. Servius Tullius, who made several regulations for the public good. He first establised the Census, which he ordered to be made every fifth year. From the Census, he divided the people into classes, and centuries, or hundreds. But after he hrad reigned 44 years with the greatest applause, he was cut off by the execrable parricide of his daughter and his son-in-law, Tarquin. The former is said to have driven her chariot over the body of her father.

7. Tarquin, surpained the Proud, governed the kingdom with the same wicked cruelty and tyranny by which he caine to it. He is said to have been the first who erected prisuns, aud practised tortures in Rome. While this ty=' rant was besieging Ardea, the citizens took the pretence

given them by the attempt his son Sextus made upon the chastity of Lucretia, to be freed from his tyravny. Tarquin lived 13 years after bis banishment. Thus the regal power, hateful to the Romans, was abrogated in the 224th year from the building of the city, and 509 A. C.

II. The state of the Romans under Consuls. After the expulsion of the kings, the Romans chose two consuls, whose authority at first, differed little from that of kings. It was, however, provided by law, that the cousuls should be annual magistrates: the first consuls were Junius Brutus, and Tarquinius Collatinus.

In pressing exigencies, a general was appointed, under the name of a dictator, who possessed the supreme

authority: beside the consuls there were several other inferior magistrates ;-as prætors, tribunes, quæstors, ædiles, censors, prefects, &c. who were vested with various degrees of power.

The wars carried on by the Romans, under the consuls, were either Italic, foreign, or domestic.

Their principal enemies in Italy, were the Etrurians, the Veientes, Gauls, Sanmites, and Tarentines. The most powerful were the Gauls, who under the command of Brennus, took Rome, and besieged the capitol, but Camillus, hastening to assist the besieged, repulsed the Gauls with great slaughter. Nor were the Samnitic and Tarentine wars less severe. Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, having called in the assistance of ihe Tarentines, reduced the commonwealth of Rome to great difficulties : but being at length subdued, was compelled to quit Italy. After bis departure, the whole of Italy was subjected to the Romans. They were near 500 years in subduing Italy; but, afterwards, the conquest of all the nations round the Mediterranean, did not cost them above half the time. The principal foreign wars were, - :

1. The three Carthaginian or Punic wars. Carthage was the rival of Rome, and often contended with her for superiority. This city which was, at that time, one of the most celebrated for irade, and had become remarkably opulent by her commerce began to spread far and near, the terror of her arms. She vot only made a great part of Africa tributary to her ;-she sent forces into Sicily, Sar.

« ÖncekiDevam »