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THERE is above Minyas in the land of Armenia a very great mountain which is called Baris;2 to which, it is said, that many persons retreated at the time of the deluge, and were saved; and that one in particular was carried thither in an ark, and was landed on its summit, and that the remains of the vessel were long preserved upon the mountain. Perhaps this was the same individual of whom Moses the legislator of the Jews has made mention.—Jos. Ant. Jud. I. 3.—Euseb. Præp. Evan. 9.
THE priests who escaped took with them the implements of the worship of the Enyalian Jove, and came to Senaar in Babylonia. But they were again driven from thence by the introduction of a diversity of tongues: upon which they founded colonies in various parts, each settling in such situations as chance or the direction of God led them to occupy.—Jos. Ant. Jud. I. c. 4.—Euseb. Præp. Evan. 9.
THE Sibyl says: That when all men formerly spoke the same language; some among them undertook to erect a large and lofty tower, that they might climb up into heaven. But God3 sending forth a whirlwind, confounded their design, and gave to each tribe a particular language of its own: which is the reason that the name of that city is Babylon. After the deluge lived Titan and Prometheus; when Titan undertook a war against Cronus.4—Sync. 44.—Jos. Ant. Jud. I. c. 4—Eus. Præp. Evan. 9.
|BUT when the judgements of the Almighty God|
Were ripe for execution; when the Tower
Rose to the skies upon Assyria's plain,
And all mankind one language only knew:
A dread commission from on high was given
To the fell whirlwinds, which with dire alarms
Beat on the Tower, and to its lowest base
Shook it convulsed. And now all intercourse,
By some occult and overruling power,
Ceased among men: by utterance they strove
Perplexed and anxious to disclose their mind;
But their lip failed them; and in lieu of words
Produced a painful babbling sound: the place
Was thence called Babel; by th' apostate crew
Named from the event. Then severed far away
They sped uncertain into the realms unknows:
Thus kingdoms rose; and the glad world was filled.
She then mentions Cronus, Titan and Jäpetus, and the three sons of the patriarch governing the world in the tenth generation after the deluge, thus,
|Καὶ τότε δὴ δεχάτη γενεὴ μερόπων ἀνϑρώπων,|
’Εξ οὗπερ χαταχλυσμὸς ἐπὶ προτέρους γένετ’ ἄνδρας,
Καὶ βασίλευσε Κρόνος, χαὶ Τιτᾶν, ’Ιαπετός τε,
The triple division of the earth is afterwards mentioned, over which each of the partriarchs ruled in peace.
|Τρίσσαι δὴ μέριδες γαίης χατὰ χλῆρον ἑχάδτοῦ,|
Καὶ βασίλευσεν ἕχαστος ἐχὼν μέρος, οὐδὲ μάχοντο
Then the death of Noah, and lastly the war between Cronus and Titan.
|Καὶ μαχέσαντο Κρόνος Τιτᾶν τε πρὸς αὑτούς.|
The parents of all the heresies, and the prototypes from which they derive their names, and from which all other heresies originate, are these four primary ones.
The first is Barbarism,7 which prevailed without a rival from the days of Adam through ten generations to the time of Noah. It is called Barbarism, because men had no rulers, nor submitted to any particular discipline of life; but as each thought proper to prescribe to himself; so he was at liberty to follow the dictates of his own inclination.
The second is Scythism which prevailed from the days of Noah and thence downwards to the building of the tower and Babylon, and for a few years subsequently to that time, that is to the days of Phalec and Ragau. But the nations which incline upon the borders of Europe continued addicted to the Scythic heresy, and the customs of the Scythians to the age of Thera, and afterwards; of this sect also were the Thracians.
The third is Hellenism, which originated in the days of Seruch with the introduction of idolatry: and as men had hitherto followed each some demonolatrous superstition of his own, they were now reduced to a more established form of polity, and to the rites and ceremonies of idols. And the followers of this began with the use of painting, making likenesses of those whom they had formerly honoured, either kings or chiefs, or men who in their lives had performed actions which they deemed worthy of record, by strength or excellence of body.
The Egyptians, and Babylonians, and Phrygians, and Phœnicians were the first propagators of this superstition of making images, and of the mysteries: from whom it was transferred to the Greeks from the time of Cecrops downwards. But it was not till afterwards and at a considerable interval that Cronus and Rhea, Zeus and Apollo, and the rest were esteemed and honoured as gods.
The following extract is given in Epiphanius preceding the above.
AND from the times of Tharra the father of Abraham, they introduced images and all the errors of idolatry; honouring their forefathers, and their departed predecessors with effigies which they fashioned after their likeness. They first made these effigies of earthern ware, but afterwards according to their different arts they sculptured them in stone, and cast them in silver and gold, and wrought them in wood, and all kinds of different materials.
OF the tribe of Japhet was born Seruch, who first introduced Hellenism and the worship of idols. For he and those who concurred with him in opinion honoured their predecessors whether warriors or leaders, or characters renowned during their lives for valour or virtue with columnar statues, as if they had been their progenitors, and tendered to them a species of religious veneration as a kind of gods and sacrificed. But after this their successors, overstepping the intention of their ancestors that they should honour them as their progenitors and the inventors of good things with monuments alone, honoured them as heavenly gods and sacrificed to them as such. And the following was the form of their canonization: they inscribed their names after their decease in their sacred books and established a festival to each at certain seasons, saying that their souls had departed to the islands of the blessed and were never condemned or burnt with fire.
THE city of Babylon owes its foundation to those who were saved from the catastrophe of the deluge: they were the Giants, and they built the tower which is noticed in history. But the tower being overthrown by the interposition of God, the Giants were scattered over all the earth.
He says moreover that in the tenth generation in the city Camarina of Babylonia, which some call the city Urie, and which signifies a city of the Chaldæans, the thirteenth in descent lived Abraham, of a noble race, and superior to all others in wisdom; of whom they relate that he was the inventor of astrology and the Chaldæan magic, and that on account of his eminent piety he was esteemed by God. It is further said, that under the directions of God he removed and lived in Phœnicia, and there taught the Phœnicians the motions of the sun and moon and all other things; for which reason he was held in great reverence by their King.—Euseb. Præp. Evan. 9.
ABRAM was king of Damascus, and he came thither as a stranger with an army from that part of the country which is situated above Babylon of the Chaldæans: but after a short time he again emigrated from this region with his people and transferred his habitation to the land, which was then called Cananæa, but now Judæa, together with all the multitude which had increased with him; of whose history I shall give an account in another book. The name of Abram is well-known even to this day in Damascus: and a village is pointed out which is still called the House of Abram.—Euseb. Præp. Evan. 9.—Jos. Ant. Jud. 1. 7.
FOR the Babylonians say that the first was Belus, who is the same as Cronus. And from him descended Belus and Chanaan; and this Chanaan was the father of the Phœnicians. Another of his sons was Chum, who is called by the Greeks Asbolus, father of the Ethiopians, and the father of Mestraim, the father of the Egyptians. The Greeks say, moreover, that Atlas was the discoverer of astrology.—Eus. Pr. Ev. lib. IX.
THALLUS makes mention of Belus, the king of the Assyrians, and Cronus the Titan; and says that Belus, with the Titans, made war against Zeus and his compeers, who are called Gods. He says, moreover, that Gygus was smitten, and fled to Tartessus.
According to the history of Thallus, Belus preceded the Trojan war 322 years.—Theoph. ad Aut. 281, 282.
IN like manner all the other kings succeeded, the son receiving the empire from his father, being altogether thirty in their generations to Sardanapalus. In his time the empire passed to the Medes from the Assyrians, having remained with them upwards of 13608 years, according to the account of Ctesias the Cnidian, in his second book.—Diod. Sic. lib. II. p. 77.
IN the manner above related, the empire of the Assyrians, after having continued from Ninus thirty descents, and more than 1400 years, was finally dissolved by the Medes.—Diod. Sic. lib. II. p. 81.
THE Medes were the first who began the revolt from the Assyrians after they had maintained the dominion over Upper Asia for a period of 520 years.—Lib. I. c. 95.
NABOPOLASAR, whom Alexander Polyhistor calls Sardanapallus, sent to Astyages the Satrap of Media, and demanded his daughter Amuïtes in marriage for his son Nabuchodonosor. He was the commander of the army of Saracus King of the Chaldæans, and, having been sent upon some expedition, turned his arms against Saracus and marched against the city of Ninus (Nineveh). But Saracus confounded by his advance set fire to his palace and burnt himself in it. And Nabopolasar obtained the empire of the Chaldæans: he was the father of Nabuchodonosor.—Euseb. Chron. 46.
IN addition to the above Polyhistor continues thus: After the deluge Evexius held possession of the country of the Chaldæans during a period of four neri. And he was succeeded by his son Comosbelus, who held the empire four neri and five sossi. But from the time of Xisuthrus and the deluge, to that at which the Medes took possession of Babylon, there were altogether eighty-six kings. Polyhistor enumerates and mentions each of them by name from the volume of Berossus: the duration of the reigns of all which kings comprehends a period of thirty-three thousand and ninety-one years. But when their power was thus firmly established, the Medes suddenly levied forces against Babylon to surprise it, and to place upon the throne kings chosen from among themselves.
He then gives the names of the Median Kings, 8 in number, who reigned during the period of 224 years: and again 11 Kings during . . . . years. Then 49 Kings of the Chaldæans 458 years. Then 9 Kings of the Arabians 245 years. After all these successive periods of years he states that Semiramis reigned over the Assyrians. And again minutely enumerates the names of 45 Kings, assigning to them a term of 526 years. After whom, he says there was a King of the Chaldæans, whose name was Phulus: Of whom also the historical writings of the Hebrews make mention under the name of Phulus (Pul) who they say invaded the country of the Jews.—Eu. Ar. Chron. 39.
AFTER the reign of the brother of Senecherib, Acises reigned over the Babylonians, and when he had governed for the space of thirty days, he was slain by Marodach Baladanus, who held the empire by force during six months: and he was slain and succeeded by a person named Elibus. But in the third year of his reign Senecherib king of the Assyrians levied an army against the Babylonians; and in a battle, in which they were engaged, routed, and took him prisoner with his adherents, and commanded them to be carried into the land of the Assyrians. Having taken upon himself the government of the Babylonians, he appointed his son Asordanius their king, and he himself retired again into Assyria.
When he received a report that the Greeks had made a hostile descent upon Cilicia, he marched against them and fought with them a pitched battle, in which, though he suffered great loss in his own army, he overthrew them, and upon the spot he erected the statue of himself as a monument of his victory; and ordered his prowess to be inscribed upon it in the Chaldæan characters, to hand down the remembrance of it to posterity. He built also the city of Tarsus after the likeness of Babylon, which he called Tharsis. And after enumerating the various exploits of Sinnecherim, he adds that he reigned 18 years, and was cut off by a conspiracy which had been formed against his life by his son Ardumusanus.—Eu. Ar. Chron. 42.
AND after him (Pul) according to Polyhistor, Senecherib was king.
(The Chaldæan historian also makes mention of Senecherib himself, and Asordanus his son, and Marodach Baladanus, as well as Nabuchodonosorus.)
And Sinecherim reigned eighteen years; and after him his son eight years. Then reigned Sammuges twenty-one years, and likewise his brother twenty-one years. Then reigned Nabupalsar twenty years, and after him Nabucodrossorus forty-three years. (Therefore, from Sinecherim to Nabucodrossorus is comprehended a period altogether of eighty-eight years.)
After Samuges, Sardanapallus the Chaldæan, reigned twenty-one years. He sent an army to the assistance of Astyages the Mede, Prince and Satrap of the family, that he might give the Amuhean daughter of Astyages to his son Nabucodrossorus. Then reigned Nabucodrossorus forty-three years; and he came with a mighty army, and led the Jews, and Phœnicians, and Syrians into captivity.
And after Nabucodrorossus reigned his son Amilmarudochus, twelve years. . . . And after him Neglisarus reigned over the Chaldæans four years; and then Nabodenus seventeen years. In his reign Cyrus, the son of Cambyses, invaded the country of the Babylonians. Nabodenus went out to give him battle, but was defeated, and betook himself to flight: and Cyrus reigned at Babylon nine years. He was killed, however, in another battle, which took place in the plain of Daas. After him reigned Cambyses eight years; then Darius thirty-six years; after him Xerxes and the other kings of the Persian line.—Eu. Ar. Chron. pp. 41, 42. 44, 45.
At the same time the twenty-fifth who was Senecherib can hardly be recognized among the kings. It was he who subjected the city of Babylon to his power, and defeated and sunk a Grecian fleet upon the coast of Cilicia. He built also a temple at Athens and erected brazen statues, upon which he engraved his own exploits. And he built the city of Tarsus after the plan and likeness of Babylon, that the river Cydnus should flow through Tarsus, in the same manner as the Euphrates intersected Babylon.
Next in order after him reigned Nergillus who was assassinated by his son Adramelus: and he also was slain by Axerdis (his brother by the same father, but of a different mother,) and his army pursued and blockaded in the city of Byzantium. Axerdis was the first that levied mercenary soldiers, one of whom was Pythagoras a follower of the wisdom of the Chaldæans: he also reduced under his dominion Egypt and the country of Cælo-Syria, whence came Sardanapallus.10
After him Saracus reigned over the Assyrians, and when he was informed that a very great multitude of barbarians had come up from the sea to attack him, he sent Busalossorus as his general in haste to Babylon. But he, having with a treasonable design obtained Amuhean, the daughter of Astyages the prince of the Medes, to be affianced to his son Nabuchodrossorus, marched straightways to surprise the city of Ninus, that is Nineveh. But when Saracus the king was apprized of all these proceedings he burnt the royal palace. And Nabuchodrossorus succeeded to the empire and surrounded Babylon with a strong wall.—Eu. Ar. Chron. 53.
BELUS (says Castor) was king of the Assyrians; and under him the Cyclops assisted Jupiter with thunder-bolts and lightnings in his contest with the Titans. At that time there were kings of the Titans, one of whom was Ogygus. (After a short digression he proceeds to say, that) the Giants, in their attempted inroad upon the Gods, were slain by the assistance of Hercules and Dionysus, who were themselves of the Titan race.
Belus, whom we have mentioned above, after his death was esteemed a God. After him, Ninus reigned over the Assyrians fifty-two years. He married Semiramis, who, after his decease, reigned over the Assyrians forty-two years. Then reigned Zames, who is Ninyas. (Then he enumerates each of the successive Assyrian kings in order, and mentions them all, down to Sardanapallus, by their respective names: whose names, and the length of their reigns, we shall also give presently. Castor mentions them in his canon in the following words.)
We have first digested into a canon the kings of the Assyrians, commencing with Belus: but since we have no certain tradition respecting the length of his reign, we have merely set down his name, and commenced the chronological series from Ninus; and have concluded it with another Ninus, who obtained the empire after Sardanapallus; that in this manner the whole length of the time, as well as of the reigns of each king, might be plainly set forth. Thus it will be found, that the complete sum of the years amounts to 1280.—Eus. Ar. p. 81.
THE Asiatic empire was subsequently transferred from the Assyrians, who had held it 1070 years, to the Medes, from this time, for a period of 870 years. For Sardanapalus, the king of the Assyrians, a man wallowing in luxury, being the thirty-third from Ninus and Semiramis, the founders of Babylon, from whom the kingdom had passed in a regular descent from father to son, was deprived of his empire, and put to death by Arbaces the Mede. . . . . Æmilius Sura also, in his annals of the Roman people, says, "That the Assyrian princes extended their empire over all nations. They were succeeded by the Medes, then by the Persians, then by the Macedonians and shortly afterwards by two kings Philip and Antiochus, of Macedonian origin, who, not long after the destruction of Carthage, were conquered by the Romans, who then obtained the empire of the world. To this time, from the beginning of the reign of Ninus, king of the Assyrians, who first obtained the empire, there has elapsed a period of 1995 years."—Hist. I. c. 6.
ANTICLIDES relates that they (letters) were invented in Egypt by a person whose name was Menon, fifteen years before Phoroneus the most ancient king of Greece: and he endeavours to prove it by the monuments. On the contrary, Epigenes, a writer of first-rate authority, informs us, that among the Babylonians were preserved observations of the stars, inscribed upon baked tiles, extending to a period of 720 years. Berosus and Critodemus, who are the most moderate in their calculations, nevertheless extend the period of the observations to 480 years. Whence may be inferred the eternal use of letters among them.—Lib. VII. c. 56.
We must also contemn the Babylonians, and those who, in the reigion of Caucasus, pretend to have observed the heavens and courses of the stars: we must condemn them, I say, of folly, or of vanity, or of impudence, who assert that they have preserved upon monuments observations extending back during an interval of 470,000 years.—De Divin.
1 Nicolaus Damascenus, a writer of Damascus about the age of Augustus. His fragments have been republished by Orellius. Leipzig.
2 Baris signifies a ship. Walknaer's dissertation upon the word Baris may be found in the Preface to Valpy's edition of Stephans Thesaurus, p. 322. Epiphanius styles the mountain Lubar one of the mountains of Ararat; the Zendavesta calls it Albordi.
3 In the Armenian "Deus autem omnipotens," which agrees with the text of the Sibylline verses in the following page. Josephus and Eusebius have the plural ϑεοὶ, Gods.
4 The last paragraph is not in the Greek copies, but the Armenian is as follows:—"Post diluvium autem Titan et Prometheus exstiterunt; ubi quidem Titan adversus Cronum (scil. Saturnum) bellum movebat."
5 The translation is from the fourth volume of Bryant's Mythology, who has the following remarks upon the fragment.—"It has been borrowed by some Hellenistic Jew, or Gnostic, and inserted amid a deal of trash of his own composing. The superior antiquity of that part which I have laid before the reader, is plain from its being mentioned by Josephus. Some lines are likewise quoted by Athenagoras, and Theophilus Antiochenus. But there are passages afterwards which related to circumstances of late date; such as were in time much inferior to the age of Athenagoras; and still farther removed from the æra of Josephus."
6 The following extract from Epiphanius is given also in the Paschal Chronicle in disjointed fragments. I have endeavoured to give the spirit of it as it may be gathered from a comparison of Epiphanius, Cedrenus and the Paschal Chronicle.
7 Qy. Patriarchism?
8 The Armenian omits the sixty years.
9 This and the following fragments of Alexander Polyhistor are most probably extracts from the history of Berossus.
10 The name Sardanapallus is indiscriminately applied to various persons. Here perhaps Saracus may be intended; but from the fragment p. 59, most proably Busalossorus, i.e. Nabopolassar. The passage then in the text may refer to the dominion (potestatem) of Axerdis, "from which Sardanapallus revolted."