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sonesus; when even in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, 146 years after the death of Alexander the Great, the Greek sovereigns of Egypt had not yet traded directly to India.* One passage in Strabo stands as a solitary evidence that a fleet sailed from Egypt to India previous to the famous discovery of Hippalus : but, no doubt, Strabo supposed they really reached India, from their bringing home Todian commodities; when, in fact, they only sailed to Hadramount, in' Arabia, or Mosyllon, on the coast of Africa, where t'ey found all that India produced. Saba, the capital of Yer 20, or Arabia, imported all the commodities of the east. The monopoly, to which the Arabians owed their unrivalled opulence, was attached to an important secret in their possession, which enabled then to reach India by short and easy voyages ; while the Egyptians and Greeks, from their ignorance of it, only traded with intermediate ports. This grand secret, which was no other than a knowledge of the mon. soons, or periodical winds, was discovered by Hippalus about the year A. D. 47; and not till then was there a direct communication between Egypt and India.
It is not probable that the Sabeans would impart this secret, by which they had aequired such immense wealth, to the seamen of Solomon; or suffer bis ships to accompany them in their eastern voyages : his fleet therefore, beyond a doubt, traded no further thau the ports of Yemen. To be
* Josephus bas fixed the land of Ophir in Malacca, by saying that the ancient name of that part of India was Sopbora, the land of gold; but Opbir no doubt was in the Persian gulph, where it has left some remembrance of itself in Ofor, a town in the province of Oman. It is nigh on one side to the Sabeans, spoken of by Strabo for their plenty of gold, and on the other lo Aula, or Hevila, where the pearl fishery was carried on.
satisfied of the vast riches of Sabea, let us refer to the testi. mony of Agatharchides, who was president of the Alexandrian library, contemporary with Eratosthenes, and flourished 177 years before Christ, and we shall find Solomon had to occasion to send his ships beyond the shores of that happy country
1.** Såbea abounds with every production to make life bappy in the extreme ; its very air is so perfumed with odours, that the natives are obliged to mitigate the fragrance by scents that have an opposite tendency; as if nature could not support even pleasure in the extreme. Myrrh, frankincense, balsam, cinnamon, and cassia, are here produced from trees of extraordinary magnitude. The king, as he is on the one hand cntitled to supreme hovour, on the other is obliged to sabmit to confinement in his palace : 'but the people are robust, warlike, and able mariners; they sail in very large vessels to the country where the odoriferous commodities are produced, they plant colonies there, and import from thence the larimnu, an odour no where else to be found; in fact, there is no nation upon earth so wealthy as the Gerrhêi and Sabêi, as being in the centre of all the commerce which passes between Asia and Europe.* These are the nations wbioh bave enriched the Syria of Ptolemy; these åre the nations that furnish the inost profitable agencies to the in
* “ Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats; in these were they tby merchants.
“ The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants : they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spi. ces, and with all precious stones and gold.”.
Ezekiel xxvii, 21, 22.
dustry of the Phænicians, and a variety of advantages which are incalculable. They possess, themselves, every profusion of luxury in articles of plate and sculpture, in furniture of beds, tripods, and other household embellishments, far superior in degree to any thing that is seen in Europe. Their expense of living rivals the magnificence of princes : their houses are decorated with pillars glistening with gold and silver : their doors are crowned with vases, and beset with jewels: the interior of their houses corresponds to the beauty of their outward appearavce, and all the riches of other countries are here exhibited in a variety of profusion.”
Vincent's Periplus of the Erythræan Sea.
m The modern dame of Malta is supposed by some to have been given by the Greeks, who succeeded its first possessors the Phænicians; but Mr. Weston gives an explanation of an nnpublished Phænician coin in the Archäologia of 1804, by which it appears that the name of Malta was given to this island by the Phænicians who fled thithor as to a place of refuge.Melita signifyiog refugium.
And the hills tremble at their warlike shout. a“ Now will these men lick up the face of the earth ; for neither the high mountains, nor the valleys, nor the bills are able to bear their weight."-Juditb, vii. 4. Fear deals greatly in the figure of hyperbole.
And radiant moon to whom the nations bow
And lift their hands in homage. o “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand,” &c.Job xxxi. 26, 27.
By Nisrock, and the fire My sires adored. P Eusebius, who lived in the fourth century, by the following passage makes it plainly appear that the Assyrians were worshippers of fire :
“ Ur, which signifies fire, was the idol they worshipped ; and as fire will consumo everything thrown into it, so the Assyrians published abroad, that the gods of other nations could not stand before theirs. Many experiments were tried and vast numbers of idols brought from distant parts; but they being of wood, the all-devouring god, Ur, consumed them. At length an Egyptian priest found out the art to destroy the reputation of this mighty idol, which had so long been the terror of distant nations. He caused the figure of an idol to be made of porous earth, and the belly of it was filled with water : on each side of the belly, holes were made but filled up with wax. Tbis being done, be challenged the god Ur to oppose bis god Canopus, which was accepted by the priests of Ur: but no sooner did the wax which stopped up the holes in the belly of Canopus begin to melt, than the water burst out and drowned the fire."