The Medes and Cimmerians: Lydia -- The conquest of Egypt, of Arabia, and of Elam.
As we have already seen, Sennacherib reigned for eight years after his triumph; eight years of tranquillity at home, and of peace with all his neighbours abroad. If we examine the contemporary monuments or the documents of a later period, and attempt to glean from them some details concerning the close of his career, we find that there is a complete absence of any record of national movement on the part of either Elam, Urartu, or Egypt.
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Layard. The vignette, also by Faucher-Gudin, represents Taharqa in a kneeling attitude, and is taken from a bronze statuette in the Macgregor collection.
The only event of which any definite mention is made is a raid across the north of Arabia, in the course of which Hazael, King of Adumu, and chief among the princes of Kedar, was despoiled of the images of his gods. The older states of the Oriental world had, as we have pointed out, grown weary of warfare which brought them nothing but loss of men and treasure; but behind these states, on the distant horizon to the east and north-west, were rising up new nations whose growth and erratic movements assumed an importance that became daily more and more alarming. On the east, the Medes, till lately undistinguishable from the other tribes occupying the western corner of the Iranian table-land, had recently broken away from the main body, and, rallying round a single leader, already gave promise of establishing an empire formidable alike by the energy of its people and the extent of its domain. A tradition afterwards accepted by them attributed their earlier successes to a certain Deiokes, son of Phraortes, a man wiser than his fellows, who first set himself to deal out justice in his own household. The men of his village, observing his merits, chose him to be the arbiter of all their disputes, and, being secretly ambitious of sovereign power, he did his best to settle their differences on lines of the strictest equity and justice. By these means he gained such credit with his fellow-citizens as to attract the attention of those who lived in the neighbouring villages, who had suffered from unjust judgments, so that when they heard of the singular uprightness of Deiokes and of the equity of his decisions they joyfully had recourse to him until at last they came to put confidence in no one else. The number of complaints brought before him continually increasing as people learnt more and more the justice of his judgments, Deiokes, finding himself now all-important, announced that he did not intend any longer to hear causes, and appeared no more in the seat in which he had been accustomed to sit and administer justice. |'It was not to his advantage,' he said, 'to spend the whole day in regulating other men's affairs to the neglect of his own.' Hereupon robbery and lawlessness broke out afresh and prevailed throughout the country even more than heretofore; wherefore the Medes assembled from all quarters and held a consultation on the state of affairs. The speakers, as I think, were chiefly friends of Deiokes. 'We cannot possibly,' they said, 'go on living in this country if things continue as they now are; let us, therefore, set a king over us, so that the land may be well governed, and we ourselves may be able to attend to our own affairs, and not be forced to quit our country on account of anarchy.' After speaking thus, they persuaded themselves that they desired a king, and forthwith debated whom they should choose. Deiokes was proposed and warmly praised by all, so they agreed to elect him.| Whereupon Deiokes had a great palace built, and enrolled a bodyguard to attend upon him. He next called upon his subjects to leave their villages, and |the Medes, obedient to his orders, built the city now called Ecbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other. The walls are concentric, and so arranged that they rise one above the other by the height of their battlements. The nature of the ground, which is a gentle hill, favoured this arrangement. The number of the circles is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same as that of Athens. Of this wall the battlements are white, of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, of the fifth orange. The two last have their battlements coated respectively with silver and gold. All these fortifications Deiokes caused to be raised for himself and his own palace; the people he required to dwell outside the citadel. When the town was finished, he established a rule that no one should have direct access to the king, but that all communications should pass through the hands of messengers. It was declared to be unseemly for any one to see the king face to face, or to laugh or spit in his presence. This ceremonial Deiokes established for his own security, fearing lest his compeers who had been brought up with him, and were of as good family and parts as he, should be vexed at the sight of him and conspire against him: he thought that by rendering himself invisible to his vassals they would in time come to regard him as quite a different sort of being from themselves.|
Two or three facts stand out from this legendary background. It is probable that Deiokes was an actual person; that the empire of the Medes first took shape under his auspices; that he formed an important kingdom at the foot of Mount Elvend, and founded Ecbatana the Great, or, at at any rate, helped to raise it to the rank of a capital.*
* The existence of Deiokes has been called in question by Grote and by the Rawlinsons. Most recent historians, however, accept the story of this personage as true in its main facts; some believe him to have been merely the ancestor of the royal house which later on founded the united kingdom of the Medes.
Its site was happily chosen, in a rich and fertile valley, close to where the roads emerge which cross the Zagros chain of mountains and connect Iran with the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, almost on the border of the salt desert which forms and renders sterile the central regions of the plateau. Mount Elvend shelters it, and feeds with its snows the streams that irrigate it, whose waters transform the whole country round into one vast orchard. The modern town has, as it were, swallowed up all traces of its predecessor; a stone lion, overthrown and mutilated, marks the site of the royal palace.
[Illustration: 087.jpg STONE LION AT HAMADAN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Plandin and Coste.
The chronological reckoning of the native annalists, as handed down to us by Herodotus, credits Deiokes with a reign of fifty-three years, which occupied almost the whole of the first half of the seventh century, i.e. from 709 to 656, or from 700 to 647 B.C.*
* Herodotus expressly attributes a reign of fifty-three years to his Deiokes, and the total of a hundred and fifty years which we obtain by adding together the number of years assigned by him to the four Median kings (53 + 22 + 40 + 35) brings us back to 709-708, if we admit, as he does, that the year of the proclamation by Cyrus as King of Persia (559-558) was that in which Astyages was overthrown; we get 700-699 as the date of Deiokes' accession, if we separate the two facts, as the monuments compel us to do, and reckon the hundred and fifty years of the Median empire from the fall of Astyages in 550-549.
The records of Nineveh mention a certain Dayaukku who was governor of the Mannai, and an ally of the Assyrians in the days of Sargon, and was afterwards deported with his family to Hamath in 715; two years later reference is made to an expedition across the territory of Bit-Dayaukku, which is described as lying between Ellipi and Karalla, thus corresponding to the modern province of Hamadan. It is quite within the bounds of possibility that the Dayaukku who gave his name to this district was identical with the Deiokes of later writers.*
* The form Deiokes, in place of Daiokes, is due to the Ionic dialect employed by Herodotus. Justi regards the name as an abbreviated form of the ancient Persian Dahyaupati -- |the master of a province,| with the suffix -ha.
[Illustration: 088.jpg VIEW OF HAMADAN AND MOUNT ELVEND IN WINTER]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Morgan.
He was the official ancestor of a royal house, a fact proved by the way in which his conqueror uses the name to distinguish the country over which he had ruled; moreover, the epoch assigned to him by contemporary chroniclers coincides closely enough with that indicated by tradition in the case of Deiokes. He was never the august sovereign that posterity afterwards made him out to be, and his territory included barely half of what constituted the province of Media in classical times; he contrived, however -- and it was this that gained him universal renown in later days -- to create a central rallying-point for the Median tribes around which they henceforth grouped themselves. The work of concentration was merely in its initial stage during the lifetime of Sennacherib, and little or nothing was felt of its effects outside its immediate area of influence, but the pacific character ascribed to the worthy Deiokes by popular legends, is to a certain extent confirmed by the testimony of the monuments: they record only one expedition, in 702, against Ellipi and the neighbouring tribes, in the course of which some portions of the newly acquired territory were annexed to the province of Kharkhar, and after mentioning this the annals have nothing further to relate during the rest of the reign. Sennacherib was too much taken up with his retaliatory measures against Babylon, or his disputes with Blam, to think of venturing on expeditions such as those which had brought Tiglath-pileser III. or Sargon within sight of Mount Bikni; while the Medes, on their part, had suffered so many reverses under these two monarchs that they probably thought twice before attacking any of the outposts scattered along the Assyrian frontier: nothing occurred to disturb their tranquillity during the early years of the seventh century, and this peaceful interval probably enabled Deiokes to consolidate, if not to extend, his growing authority. But if matters were quiet, at all events on the surface, in this direction, the nations on the north and north-west had for some time past begun to adopt a more threatening attitude. That migration of races between Europe and Asia, which had been in such active progress about the middle of the second millennium before our era, had increased twofold in intensity after the rise of the XXth Egyptian dynasty, and from thenceforward a wave of new races had gradually spread over the whole of Asia Minor, and had either driven the older peoples into the less fertile or more inaccessible districts, or else had overrun and absorbed them.
[Illustration: 090.jpg ASIA MINOR IN THE 7TH CENTURY]
Many of the nations that had fought against Ramses II. and Ramses III., such as the Uashasha, the Shagalasha, the Zakkali, the Danauna, and the Tursha, had disappeared, but the Thracians, whose appearance on the scene caused such consternation in days gone by, had taken root in the very heart of the peninsula, and had, in the course of three or four generations, succeeded in establishing a thriving state. The legend which traced the descent of the royal line back to the fabulous hero Ascanius proves that at the outset the haughty tribe of the Ascanians must have taken precedence over their fellows;* it soon degenerated, however, and before long the Phrygian tribe gained the upper hand and gave its name to the whole nation.
* The name of this tribe was retained by a district afterwards included in the province of Bithynia, viz. Ascania, on the shores of the Ascanian lake: the
distribution of place and personal names over the face of the country makes it seem extremely probable that Ascania and the early Ascanians occupied the whole of the region bounded on the north by the Propontis; in other words, the very country in which, according to Xanthus of Lydia, the Phry gians first established themselves after their arrival in Asia.
Phrygia proper, the country first colonised by them, lay between Mount Dindymus and the river Halys, in the valley of the Upper Sangarios and its affluents: it was there that the towns and strongholds of their most venerated leaders, such as Midaion, Dorylaion, Gordiaion, Tataion, and many others stood close together, perpetuating the memory of Midas, Dorylas, Gordios, and Tatas. Its climate was severe and liable to great extremes of temperature, being bitterly cold in winter and almost tropical during the summer months; forests of oak and pine, however, and fields of corn flourished, while the mountain slopes favoured the growth of the vine; it was, in short, an excellent and fertile country, well fitted for the development of a nation of vinedressers and tillers of the soil. The slaying of an ox or the destruction of an agricultural implement was punishable by death, and legend relates that Gordios, the first Phrygian king, was a peasant by birth. His sole patrimony consisted of a single pair of oxen, and the waggon used by him in bringing home his sheaves after the harvest was afterwards placed as an offering in the temple of Cybele at Ancyra by his son Midas; there was a local tradition according to which the welfare of all Asia depended on the knot which bound the yoke to the pole being preserved intact. Midas did not imitate his father's simple habits, and the poets, after crediting him with fabulous wealth, tried also to make out that he was a conqueror. The kingdom expanded in all directions, and soon included the upper valley of the Masander, with its primeval sanctuaries, Kydrara, Colossae, and Kylsenae, founded wherever exhalations of steam and boiling springs betrayed the presence of some supernatural power. The southern shores of the Hellespont, which formed part of the Troad, and was the former territory of the Ascania, belonged to it, as did also the majority of the peoples scattered along the coast of the Euxine between the mouth of the Sangarios and that of the Halys; those portions of the central steppe which border on Lake Tatta were also for a time subject to it, Lydia was under its influence, and it is no exaggeration to say that in the tenth and eleventh centuries before our era there was a regular Phrygian empire which held sway, almost without a rival, over the western half of Asia Minor.
[Illustration: 095.jpg MONUMENT COMMEMORATIVE OF MIDAS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a plate in Perrot and Chipiez.
It has left behind it so few relics of its existence, that we can only guess at what it must have been in the days of its prosperity. Three or four ruined fortresses, a few votive stelae, and a dozen bas-reliefs cut on the faces of cliffs in a style which at first recalls the Hittite and Asianic carvings of the preceding age, and afterwards, as we come down to later times, betrays the influence of early Greek art. In the midst of one of their cemeteries we come upon a monument resembling the facade of a house or temple cut out of the virgin rock; it consists of a low triangular pediment, surmounted by a double scroll, then a rectangle of greater length than height, framed between two pilasters and a horizontal string-course, the centre being decorated with a geometrical design of crosses in a way which suggests the pattern of a carpet; a recess is hollowed out on a level with the ground, and filled by a blind door with rebated doorposts. Is it a tomb? The inscription carefully engraved above one side of the pediment contains the name of Midas, and seems to show that we have before us a commemorative monument, piously dedicated by a certain Ates in honour of the Phrygian hero.
[Illustration: 096.jpg A PHRYGIAN GOD]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Ramsay.
Elsewhere we come upon the outlines of a draped female form, sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by two lions, or of a man clothed in a short tunic, holding a sort of straight sceptre in his hand, and we fancy that we have the image of a god before our eyes, though we cannot say which of the deities handed down by tradition it may represent. The religion of the Phrygians is shrouded in the same mystery as their civilisation and their art, and presents a curious mixture of European and Asianic elements. The old aboriginal races had worshipped from time immemorial a certain mother-goddess, Ma, or Amma, the black earth, which brings forth without ceasing, and nourishes all living things. Her central place of worship seems, originally, to have been in the region of the Anti-taurus, and it was there that her sacred cities -- Tyana, Venasa, and the Cappadocian Comana -- were to be found as late as Roman times; in these towns her priests were regarded as kings, and thousands of her priestesses spent lives of prostitution in her service; but her sanctuaries, with their special rites and regulations, were scattered over the whole peninsula. She was sometimes worshipped under the form of a meteoric stone, or betyle similar to those found in Canaan;* more frequently she was represented in female shape, with attendant lions, or placed erect on a lion in the attitude of walking.
* E.g. at Mount Dindymus and at Pessinus, which latter place was supposed to possess the oldest sanctuary of Cybele. The Pessinus stone, which was carried off to Rome in 204 B.C., was small, irregular in shape, and of a dark colour. Another stone represented Ida.
[Illustration: 097.jpg THE MOTHER-GODDESS BETWEEN LIONS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Ramsay.
A moon-god, Men, shared divine honours with her, and with a goddess Nana whose son Atys had been the only love of Ma and the victim of her passion. We are told that she compelled him to emasculate himself in a fit of mad delirium, and then transformed him into a pine tree: thenceforward her priests made the sacrifice of their virility with their own hands at the moment of dedicating themselves to the service of the goddess.*
* Nana was made out to be the daughter of the river Sangarios. She is said to have conceived Atys by placing in her bosom the fruit of an almond tree which sprang from the hermaphrodite Agdistis. This was the form -- extremely ancient in its main features -- in which the legend was preserved at Pessinus.
[Illustration: 098.jpg THE MOTHER-GODDESS AND ATYS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Chantre. One of the bas-reliefs at Iasilikiaia, to which we shall have occasion to refer later on in Chapter III. of the present volume.
The gods introduced from Thrace by the Phrygians showed a close affinity with those of the purely Asianic peoples. Precedence was universally given to a celestial divinity named Bagaios, Lord of the Oak, perhaps because he was worshipped under a gigantic sacred oak; he was king of gods and men, then-father,* lord of the thunder and the lightning, the warrior who charges in his chariot.
* In this capacity he bore the surname Papas.
He, doubtless, allowed a queen-regent of the earth to share his throne,* but Sauazios, another, and, at first, less venerable deity had thrown this august pair into the shade.
* The existence of such a goddess may be deduced from the passage in which Dionysius of Halicarnassus states that Manes, first king of the Phrygians, was the son of Zeus and Demeter.
[Illustration: 099.jpg THE GOD MEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUN AND OTHER DEITIES]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Perdrizet. The last figure on the left is the god Men; the Sun overlooks all the rest, and a god bearing an axe occupies the extreme right of the picture. The shapes of these ancient aboriginal deities have been modified by the influence of Graeco-Roman syncretism, and I merely give these figures, as I do many others, for lack of better representations.
The Greeks, finding this Sauazios at the head of the Phrygian Pantheon, identified him with their Zeus, or, less frequently, with the Sun; he was really a variant of their Dionysos. He became torpid in the autumn, and slept a death-like sleep all through the winter; but no sooner did he feel the warmth of the first breath of spring, than he again awoke, glowing with youth, and revelled during his summer in the heart of the forest or on the mountain-side, leading a life of riot and intoxication, guarded by a band of Sauades, spirits of the springs and streams, the Sileni of Greek mythology. The resemblances detected by the new-comers between the orgies of Thrace and those of Asia quickly led to confusion between the different dogmas and divinities. The Phrygians adopted Ma, and made her their queen, the Cybele who dwells in the hills, and takes her title from the mountain-tops which she inhabits -- Dindymene on Mount Dindymus, Sipylene on Mount Sipylus. She is always the earth, but the earth untilled, and is seated in the midst of lions, or borne through her domain in a car drawn by lions, accompanied by a troop of Corybantes with dishevelled locks. Sauazios, identified with the Asianic Atys, became her lover and her priest, and Men, transformed by popular etymology into Manes, the good and beautiful, was looked upon as the giver of good luck, who protects men after death as well as in life. This religion, evolved from so many diverse elements, possessed a character of sombre poetry and sensual fanaticism which appealed strongly to the Greek imagination: they quickly adopted even its most barbarous mysteries, those celebrated in honour of the goddess and Atys, or of Sauazios. They tell us but little of the inner significance of the symbols and doctrines taught by its votaries, but have frequently described its outward manifestations. These consisted of aimless wanderings through the forests, in which the priest, incarnate representative of his god, led after him the ministers of the temple, who were identified with the Sauades and nymphs of the heavenly host. Men heard them passing in the night, heralded by the piercing notes of the flute provoking to frenzy, and by the clash of brazen cymbals, accompanied by the din of uproarious ecstasy: these sounds were broken at intervals by the bellowing of bulls and the roll of drums, like the rambling of subterranean thunder.
[Illustration: 101.jpg MIDAS OF PHRYGIA]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a specimen in the Cabinet des Medailles. It is a bronze coin from Prymnessos in Phrygia, belonging to the imperial epoch.
A Midas followed a Gordios, and a Gordios a Midas, in alternate succession, and under their rule the Phrygian empire enjoyed a period of prosperous obscurity. Lydia led an uneventful existence beside them, under dynasties which have received merely passing notice at the hands of the Greek chroniclers. They credit it at the outset with the almost fabulous royal line of the Atyadae, in one of whose reigns the Tyrseni are said to have migrated into Italy. Towards the twelfth century the Atyadae were supplanted by a family of Heraclido, who traced their descent to a certain Agron, whose personality is only a degree less mythical than his ancestry; he was descended from Heracles through Alcseus, Belus, and Ninus. Whether these last two names point to intercourse with one or other of the courts on the banks of the Euphrates, it is difficult to say. Twenty-one Heraclido, each one the son of his predecessor, are said to have followed Agron on the throne, their combined reigns giving a total of five hundred years.* Most of these princes, whether Atyadae or Heraclidae, have for us not even a shadowy existence, and what we know of the remainder is of a purely fabulous nature. For instance, Kambles is reported to have possessed such a monstrous appetite, that he devoured his own wife one night, while asleep.**
* The number is a purely conventional one, and Gutschmid has shown how it originated. The computation at first comprised the complete series of 22 Heraclidae and 5 Mermnadae, estimated reasonably at 4 kings to a century, i.e.27 X 25 = 675 years, from the taking of Sardes to the supposed accession of Agron. As it was known from other sources that the 5 Mermnadae had reigned 170 years, these were subtracted from the 675, to obtain the duration of the Heraclidae alone, and by this means were obtained the 505 years mentioned by Herodotus.
** Another version, related by Nicolas of Damascus, refers the story to the time of Lardanos, a contemporary of Hercules; it shows that the Lydian chronographers considered Kambles or Kamblitas as being one of the last of the Atyad kings.
The concubine of Meles, again, is said to have brought forth a lion, and the oracle of Telmessos predicted that the town of Sardes would be rendered impregnable if the animal were led round the city walls; this was done, except on the side of the citadel facing Mount Tmolus, which was considered unapproachable, but it was by that very path that the Persians subsequently entered the town. Alkimos, we are told, accumulated immense treasures, and under his rule his subjects enjoyed unequalled prosperity for fourteen years. It is possible that the story of the expedition despatched into Palestine by a certain Akiamos, which ended in the foundation of Ascalon, is merely a feeble echo of the raids in Syrian and Egyptian waters made by the Tyrseni and Sardinians in the thirteenth century B.C. The spread of the Phrygians, and the subsequent progress of Greek colonisation, must have curtailed the possessions of the Heraclidas from the eleventh to the ninth centuries, but the material condition of the people does not appear to have suffered by this diminution of territory. When they had once firmly planted themselves in the ports along the Asianic littoral -- at Kyme, at Phocae, at Smyrna, at Clazomenae, at Colophon, at Ephesus, at Magnesia, at Miletus -- the AEolians and the Ionians lost no time in reaping the advantages which this position, at the western extremities of the great high-road through Asia Minor, secured to them. They overran all the Lydian settlements in Phrygia -- Sardes, Leontocephalos, Pessinus, Gordioon, and Ancyra. The steep banks and the tortuous course of the Halys failed to arrest them; and they pushed forward beyond the mysterious regions peopled by the White Syrians, where the ancient civilisation of Asia Minor still held its sway. The search for precious metals mainly drew them on -- the gold and silver, the copper, bronze, and above all iron, which the Chalybae found in their mountains, and which were conveyed by caravans from the regions of the Caucasus to the sacred towns of Teiria and Pteria.*
* The site of Pteria has been fixed at Boghaz-keui by Texier, an identification which has been generally adopted; Euyuk is very probably Teiria, a town of the Lcucosyrians, mentioned by Hecatsous of Miletus in his work.
The friendly relations into which they entered with the natives on these journeys resulted before long in barter and intermarriage, though their influence made itself felt in different ways, according to the character of the people on whom it was brought to bear.
[Illustration: 104.jpg THE STEEP BANKS OF THE HALYS FAILED TO ARREST THEM]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by A. Boissier. The road leading from Angora to Yuzgat crosses the river not far from the site shown here, near the spot where the ancient road crossed.
They gave as a legacy to Phrygia one of their alphabets, that of Kyme, which soon banished the old Hittite syllabary from the monuments, and they borrowed in exchange Phrygian customs, musical instruments, traditions, and religious orgies. A Midas sought in marriage Hermodike, the daughter of Agamemnon the Kymsoan, while another Midas, who had consulted the oracle of Delphi, presented to the god the chryselephantine throne on which he was wont to sit when he dispensed justice.
[Illustration: 105.jpg VIEW OVEK THE PLAIN OF SARDES]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.
This interchange of amenities and these alliances, however, had a merely superficial effect, and in no way modified the temperament and life of the people in inner Asia Minor. They remained a robust, hardworking race, attached to their fields and woods, loutish and slow of understanding, unskilled in war, and not apt in defending themselves in spite of their natural bravery. The Lydians, on the contrary, submitted readily to foreign influence, and the Greek leaven introduced among them became the germ of a new civilisation, which occupied an intermediate place between that of the Greek and that of the Oriental world. About the first half of the eighth century B.C. the Lydians had become organised into a confederation of several tribes, governed by hereditary chiefs, who were again in their turn subject to the Heraclidae occupying Sardes.* This town rose in terraces on the lower slopes of a detached spur of the Tmolus running in the direction of the Hermos, and was crowned by the citadel, within which were included the royal palace, the treasury, and the arsenals. It was surrounded by an immense plain, bounded on the south by a curve of the Tmolus, and on the west by the distant mountains of Phrygia Katake-kaumene. The Maeonians still claimed primacy over the entire race, and the family was chosen from among their nobles. The king, who was supposed to be descended from the gods, bore, as the insignia of his rank, a double-headed axe, the emblem of his divine ancestors. The Greeks of later times said that the axe was that of their Heracles, which was wrested by him from the Amazon Hippolyta, and given to Omphale.**
* Gelzer was the first, to my knowledge, to state that Lydia was a feudal state, and he defined its constitution. Radet refuses to recognise it as feudal in the true sense of the term, and he prefers to see in it a confederation of states under the authority of a single prince.
** Gelzer sees in the legend about the axe related by Plutarch, a reminiscence of a primitive gynocracy. The axe is the emblem of the god of war, and, as such, belongs to the king: the coins of Mylasa exhibit it held by Zeus Labraundos.
[Illustration: 106.jpg THE AXE BORNE BY ZEUS LABRAUNDOS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a coin in the Cabinet des Medailles.
The king was the supreme head of the priesthood, as also of the vassal chiefs and of the army, but he had as a subordinate a |companion| who could replace him when occasion demanded, and he was assisted in the exercise of his functions by the counsel of |Friends,| and further still in extraordinary circumstances by the citizens of the capital assembled in the public square. This intervention of the voice of the populace was a thing unknown in the East, and had probably been introduced in imitation of customs observed among the Greeks of AEolia or Ionia; it was an important political factor, and might possibly lead to an outbreak or a revolution. Outside the pale of Sardes and the province of Maeonia, the bulk of Lydian territory was distributed among a very numerous body of landowners, who were particularly proud of their noble descent. Many of these country magnates held extensive fiefs, and had in their pay small armies, which rendered them almost independent, and the only way for the sovereign to succeed in ruling them was to conciliate them at all hazards, and to keep them in perpetual enmity with their fellows. Two of these rival families vied with each other in their efforts to secure the royal favour; that of the Tylonidae and that of the Mermnadae, the principal domain of which latter lay at Teira, in the valley of the Cayster, though they had also other possessions at Dascylion, in Hellespontine Phrygia. The head sometimes of one and sometimes of the other family would fill that post of |companion| which placed all the resources of the kingdom at the disposal of the occupant.
The first of the Mermnadae of whom we get a glimpse is Daskylos, son of Gyges, who about the year 740 was |companion| during the declining years of Ardys, over whom he exercised such influence that Adyattes, the heir to the throne, took umbrage at it, and caused him to be secretly assassinated, whereupon his widow, fearing for her own safety, hastily fled into Phrygia, of which district she was a native. On hearing of the crime, Ardys, trembling with anger, convoked the Assembly, and as his advanced age rendered walking difficult, he caused himself to be carried to the public square in a litter. Having reached the place, he laid the assassins under a curse, and gave permission to any who could find them to kill them; he then returned to his palace, where he died a few years later, about 730 B.C. Adyattes took the name of Meles on ascending the throne, and at first reigned happily, but his father's curse weighed upon him, and before long began to take effect. Lydia having been laid waste by a famine, the oracle declared that, before appeasing the gods, the king must expiate the murder of the Mermnad noble, by making every atonement in his power, if need be by an exile of three years' duration. Meles submitted to the divine decree. He sought out the widow of his victim, and learning that during her flight she had given birth to a son, called, like his father, Daskylos, he sent to entreat the young man to repair immediately to Sardes, that he might make amends for the murder; the youth, however, alleged that he was as yet unborn at the hour of his father's death, and therefore not entitled to be a party to an arrangement which did not personally affect him, and refused to return to his own country. Having failed in this attempt, Meles entrusted the regency of his kingdom to Sadyattes, son of Kadys, one of the Tylonidas, who probably had already filled the post of companion to the king for some time past, and set out for Babylon. When the three years had elapsed, Sadyattes faithfully handed over to him the reins of government and resumed the second place. Myrsos succeeded Meles about 716,* and his accession immediately became the cause of uneasiness to the younger Daskylos, who felt that he was no longer safe from the intrigues of the Heraclidai; he therefore quitted Phrygia and settled beyond the Italys among the White Syrians, one of whom he took in marriage, and had by her a son, whom he called Gyges, after his ancestor. The Lydian chronicles which have come down to us make no mention of him, after the birth of this child, for nearly a quarter of a century. We know, however, from other sources, that the country in which he took refuge had for some time past been ravaged by enemies coming from the Caucasus, known to us as the Cimmerians.**
* The lists of Eusebius give 36 years to Ardys, 14 years to Meles or Adyattes, 12 years to Myrsos, and 17 years to Candaules; that is to say, if we place the accession of Gyges in 687, the dates of the reign of Candaules are 704- 687, of that of Mysros 716-704, of that of Meles 730-716, of that of Ardys I.766-730. Oelzer thinks that the double names each represent a different Icing; Radet adheres to the four generations of Eusebius.
** I would gladly have treated at length the subject of the Cimmerians with its accompanying developments, but lack of space prevents me from doing more than summing up here the position I have taken. Most modern critics have rejected that part of the tradition preserved by Herodotus which refers to the itinerary of the Cimmerians, and have confused the Cimmerian invasion with that of the Thracian tribes. I think that there is reason to give weight to Herodotus' statement, and to distinguish carefully between two series of events: (1) a movement of peoples coming from Europe into Asia, by the routes that Herodotus indicates, about the latter half of the eighth century B.C., who would be more especially the Cimmerians; (2) a movement of peoples coming from Europe into Asia by the Thracian Bosphorus, and among whom there was perhaps, side by side with the Treres, a remnant of Cimmerian tribes who had been ousted by the Scythians. The two streams would have had their confluence in the heart of Asia Minor, in the first half of the seventh century.
[Illustration: 110.jpg A CONFLICT WITH TWO GRIFFINS.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the reliefs on the crown of the Great Blinitza.
Previous to this period these had been an almost mythical race in the eyes of the civilised races of the Oriental world. They imagined them as living in a perpetual mist on the confines of the universe: |Never does bright Helios look upon them with his rays, neither when he rises towards the starry heaven, nor when he turns back from heaven towards the earth, but a baleful night spreads itself over these miserable mortals.|*
* Odyssey, xi.14-19. It is this passage which Ephorus applies to the Cimmerians of his own time who were
established in the Crimea, and which accounts for his saying that they were a race of miners, living perpetually underground.
Fabulous animals, such as griffins with lions' bodies, having the neck and ears of a fox, and the wings and beak of an eagle, wandered over their plains, and sometimes attacked them; the inhabitants were forced to defend themselves with axes, and did not always emerge victorious from these terrible conflicts.
[Illustration: 111.jpg SCYTHIANS ARMED FOR WAR]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the reliefs on the silver vase of Kul-Oba.
The few merchants who had ventured to penetrate into their country had returned from their travels with less fanciful notions concerning the nature of the regions frequented by them, but little continued to be known of them, until an unforeseen occurrence obliged them to quit their remote steppes. The Scythians, driven from the plains of the Iaxartes by an influx of the Massagetae, were urged forwards in a westerly direction beyond the Volga and the Don, and so great was the terror inspired by the mere report of their approach, that the Cimmerians decided to quit their own territory. A tradition current in Asia three centuries later, told how their kings had counselled them to make a stand against the invaders; the people, however, having refused to listen to their advice, their rulers and those who were loyal to them fell by each other's hands, and their burial-place was still shown near the banks of the Tyras. Some of their tribes took refuge in the Chersonesus Taurica, but the greater number pushed forward beyond the Maeotio marshes; a body of Scythians followed in their track, and the united horde pressed onwards till they entered Asia Minor, keeping to the shores of the Black Sea.* This heterogeneous mass of people came into conflict first with Urartu; then turning obliquely in a south-easterly direction, their advance-guard fell upon the Mannai. But they were repulsed by Sargon's generals; the check thus administered forced them to fall back speedily upon other countries less vigorously defended. The Scythians, therefore, settled themselves in the eastern basin of the Araxes, on the frontiers of Urartu and the Mannai, where they formed themselves into a kind of marauding community, perpetually quarrelling with their neighbours.** The Cimmerians took their way westwards, and established themselves upon the upper waters of the Araxes, the Euphrates, the Halys, and the Thermodon,*** greatly to the vexation of the rulers of Urartu.
* The version of Aristaeas of Proconnesus, as given by Herodotus and by Damastes of Sigsea, attributes a more complex origin to this migration, i.e. that the Arimaspes had driven the Issedonians before them, and that the latter had in turn driven the Scythians back on the Cimmerians.
** The Scythians of the tradition preserved by Herodotus must have been the Ashguzai or Ishkuzai of the cuneiform documents. The original name must have been Skuza, Shkuza, with a sound in the second syllable that the Greeks have rendered by th, and the Assyrians by z: the initial vowel has been added, according to a well-known rule, to facilitate the pronunciation of the combination sk, sine. An oracle of the time of Esarhaddon shows that they occupied one of the districts really belonging to the Mannai: and it is probably they who are mentioned in a passage of Jer. li.27, where the traditional reading Aschenaz should be replaced by that of Ashkuz.
*** It is doubtless to these events that the tradition preserved by Pompeius Trogus, which is known to us through his abbreviator Justin, or through the compilers of a later period, refers, concerning the two Scythian princes Ylinus and Scolopitus: they seem to have settled along the coast, on the banks of the Thermodon and in the district of Themiscyra.
They subsequently felt their way along the valleys of the Anti-Taurus, but finding them held by Assyrian troops, they turned their steps towards the country of the White Syrians, seized Sinope, where the Greeks had recently founded a colony, and bore down upon Phrygia. It would appear that they were joined in these regions by other hordes from Thrace which had crossed the Bosphorus a few years earlier, and among whom the ancient historians particularly make mention of the Treres;* the results of the Scythian invasion had probably been felt by all the tribes on the banks of the Dnieper, and had been the means of forcing them in the direction of the Danube and the Balkans, whence they drove before them, as they went, the inhabitants of the Thracian peninsula across into Asia Minor. It was about the year 750 B.C. that the Cimmerians had been forced to quit their first home, and towards 720 that they came into contact with the empires of the East; the Treres had crossed the Bosphorus about 710, and the meeting of the two streams of immigration may be placed in the opening years of the seventh century.**
* Strabo says decisively that the Treres were both
Cimmerians and Thracians; elsewhere he makes the Treres synonymous with the Cimmerians. The Treres were probably the predominating tribe among the people which had come into Asia on that side.
** Gelzer thinks that the invasion by the Bosphorus took place about 705, and Radet about 708; and their reckoning seems to me to be so likely to be correct, that I do not hesitate to place the arrival of the Treres in Asia about the time they have both indicated -- roughly speaking, about 710 B.C.
The combined hordes did not at once attack Phrygia itself, but spread themselves along the coast, from the mouths of the Ehyndakos to those of Halys, constituting a sort of maritime confederation of which Heraclea and Sinope were the chief towns. This confederation must not be regarded as a regularly constituted state, but rather as a vast encampment in which the warriors could leave their families and their spoil in safety; they issued from it nearly every year to spread themselves over the neighbouring provinces, sometimes in one direction, sometimes in another. The ancient sanctuaries of Pteria and the treasures they contained excited their cupidity, but they were not well enough equipped to undertake the siege of a strongly fortified place, and for want of anything better were content to hold it to ransom. The bulk of the indigenous population lived even then in those subterranean dwellings so difficult of access, which are still used as habitations by the tribes on the banks of the Halys, and it is possible that they helped to swell the marauding troops of the new-comers. In the declining years of Sennacherib, it would appear that the Ninevite provinces possessed an irresistible attraction for these various peoples. The fame of the wealth accumulated in the regions beyond the Taurus and the Euphrates, in Syria and Mesopotamia, provoked their cupidity beyond all bounds, and the time was at hand when the fear alone of the Assyrian armies would no longer avail to hold them in check.
The last years of Sennacherib had been embittered by the intrigues which usually gathered around a monarch enfeebled by age and incapable of bearing the cares of government with his former vigour. A fierce rivalry existed between those of his sons who aspired to the throne, each of whom possessed his following of partisans, both at court and among the people, who were ready to support him, if need be even with the sword.
[Illustration: 115.jpg INHABITED CAVES ON THE BANKS OF THE HALYS]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph sent by Alfred Boissier.
One of these princes, probably the eldest of the king's remaining sons,* named Assur-akhe-iddin, called by us Esarhaddon, bad already been nominated his successor, and had received the official investiture of the Babylonian kingdom under the name of Assur-etilmukin-pal.**
* The eldest was perhaps that Assur-nadin-shumu who reigned in Babylon, and who was taken prisoner to Elam by King Khalludush.
** The idea of an enthronisation at Babylon in the lifetime of Sennacherib, put forward by the earlier Assyriologists, based on an inscription on a lion's head discovered at Babylon, has been adopted and confirmed by Winckler. It was doubtless on this occasion that Esarhaddon received as a present from his father the objects mentioned in the document which Sayce and Budge have called, without sufficient reason, The Will of Sennacherib.
The catastrophe of 689 had not resulted in bringing about the ruin of Babylon, as Sennacherib and his ministers had hoped. The temples, it is true, had been desecrated and demolished, the palaces and public buildings razed to the ground, and the ramparts thrown down, but, in spite of the fact that the city had been set on fire by the conquerors, the quarters inhabited by the lower classes still remained standing, and those of the inhabitants who had escaped being carried away captive, together with such as had taken refuge in the surrounding country or had hidden themselves in neighbouring cities, had gradually returned to their desolated homes. They cleared the streets, repaired the damage inflicted during the siege, and before long the city, which was believed to be hopelessly destroyed, rose once more with the vigour, if not with the wealth, which it had enjoyed before its downfall. The mother of Esarhaddon was a Babylonian, by name Nakia; and as soon as her son came into possession of his inheritance, an impulse of filial piety moved him to restore to his mother's city its former rank of capital. Animated by the strong religious feeling which formed the groundwork of his character, Esarhaddon had begun his reign by restoring the sanctuaries which had been the cradle of the Assyrian religion, and his intentions, thus revealed at the very outset, had won for him the sympathy of the Babylonians;* this, indeed, was excited sooner than he expected, and perhaps helped to secure to him his throne. During his absence from Nineveh, a widespread plot had been formed in that city, and on the 20th day of Tebeth, 681, at the hour when Sennacherib was praying before the image of his god, two of his sons, Sharezer and Adarmalik (Adrammelech), assassinated their father at the foot of the altar.**
* A fragment seems to show clearly that the restoration of the temples was begun even in the lifetime of Sennacherib.
** We possess three different accounts of the murder of Sennacherib: 1. In the Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches.2. In the Bible (2 Kings xix.36, 37; cf. Isa. xxxvii.37, 38; 2 Chron. xxxii.21).3. In Berosus. The biblical account alone mentions both murderers; the Chronicle and Berosus speak of only one, and their testimony seems to prevail with several historians. I believe that the silence of the Chronicle and of Berosus is explained by the fact that Sharezer was chief in the conspiracy, and the one among the sons who aspired to the kingdom: the second murderer merely acted for his brother, and consequently had no more right to be mentioned by name than those accomplices not of the blood-royal who shared in the murder. The name Sharezer is usually considered as an abbreviation of the Assyrian name Nergal-sharuzur, or Assur-sharuzur. Winckler thinks that he sees in it a corruption of Sharitir, abbreviated from Sharitir-assur, which he finds as a royal name on a fragment in the British Museum; he proposes to recognise in this Sharitir-assur, Sharezer enthroned after his father's death.
One half of the army proclaimed Sharezer king; the northern provinces espoused his cause; and Esarhaddon must for the moment have lost all hope of the succession. His father's tragic fate overwhelmed him with fear and grief; he rent his clothes, groaned and lamented like a lion roaring, and could be comforted only by the oracles pronounced by the priests of Babylon. An assurance that the gods favoured his cause reached him even from Assyria, and Nineveh, after a few weeks of vacillation, acknowledged him as its sovereign, the rebellion being mercilessly crushed on the 2nd of Adar.*
* The Bible alone tells us that Sharezer retired to Urartu (2 Kings xix.37). To explain the plan of this campaign, it is usually supposed that at the time of his father's death Esarhaddon was either beyond Mount Taurus or else on the Armenian frontier; the sequence of the dates in the Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches, compels me to revert to the opinion that Esarhaddon marched from Babylon against the rebels, and pursued them as far as Mount Taurus, and beyond it to Khanigalbat.
Although this was a considerable advantage to Esarhaddon's cause, it could not be considered as decisive, since the provinces of the Euphrates still declared for Sharezer; the gods, therefore, once more intervened. Ishtar of Arbela had long been considered as the recognised patroness and oracle of the dynasty. Whether it were a question of a foreign expedition or a rebellion at home, of a threatened plague or invasion, of a marriage or an alliance with some powerful neighbour, the ruling sovereign would invariably have recourse to her, always with the same formula, to demand counsel of her for the conduct of affairs in hand, and the replies which she vouchsafed in various ways were taken into consideration; her will, as expressed by the mouth of her ministers, would hasten, suspend, or modify the decisions of the king. Esarhaddon did not neglect to consult the goddess, as well as Assur and Sin, Shamash, Bel, Nebo, and Nergal; and their words, transcribed upon a tablet of clay, induced him to act without further delay: |Go, do not hesitate, for we march with thee and we will cast down thine enemies!| Thus encouraged, he made straight for the scene of danger without passing through Nineveh, so as to prevent Sharezer and his party having time to recover. His biographers depict Esarhaddon hurrying forward, often a day or more in advance of his battalions, without once turning to see who followed him, and without waiting to allow the horses of his baggage-waggons to be unharnessed or permitting his servant^ to pitch his tent; he rested merely for a few moments on the bare ground, indifferent to the cold and nocturnal frosts of the month of Sebat. It would appear as if Sharezer had placed his hopes on the Cimmerians, and had expected their chiefs to come to the rescue. This hypothesis seems borne out by the fact that the decisive battle took place beyond the Euphrates and the Taurus, in the country of Khanigalbat. Esarhaddon attributed his success to Ishtar, the goddess of bravery and of combat; she alone had broken the weapons of the rebels, she alone had brought confusion into their lines, and had inclined the hearts of the survivors to submit. They cried aloud, |This is our king!| and Sharezer thereupon fled into Armenia. The war had been brought to a close with such rapidity that even the most unsettled of the Assyrian subjects and vassals had not had time to take advantage of it for their own purposes; the Kalda on the Persian Gulf, and the Sidonians on the Mediterranean, were the only two peoples who had openly revolted, and were preparing to enter on a struggle to preserve their independence thus once more regained. Yet the events of the preceding months had shaken the power of Nineveh more seriously than we should at first suppose. For the first time since the accession of Tiglath-pileser III. the almost inevitable troubles which accompany the change of a sovereign had led to an open war. The vast army of Sargon and Sennacherib had been split up, and the two factions into which it was divided, commanded as they were by able generals and composed of troops accustomed to conquer, must have suffered more keenly in an engagement with each other than in the course of an ordinary campaign against a common enemy. One part at least of the military staff had become disorganised; regiments had been decimated, and considerable contingents were required to fill the vacancies in the ranks. The male population of Assyria, suddenly called on to furnish the necessary effective force, could not supply the demand without drawing too great a proportion of men from the country; and one of those crises of exhaustion was imminent which come upon a nation after an undue strain, often causing its downfall in the midst of its success, and yielding it an easy prey to the wiles of its adversaries.*
* The information we possess concerning Esarhaddon is gathered from: 1. The Insertion of Cylinders A, B, C, the second of the three better known as the Broken Cylinder. These texts contain a summary of the king's wars, in which the subject-matter is arranged geographically, not
chronologically: they cease with the eponymy of Akhazilu, i.e. the year 673.2. Some mutilated fragments, of the Annals.3. The Blade Stone of Aberdeen, on which the account of the rebuilding of Babylon is given.4. The Stele of Zindjirli.5. The consultations of the god Shamash by Esarhaddon in different circumstances of his reign.6. A considerable number of small inscriptions and some tablets. The classification of the events of this reign presents serious difficulties, which have been partly overcome by passages in the Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches.
Esarhaddon was personally inclined for peace, and as soon as he was established on the throne he gave orders that the building works, which had been suspended during the late troubles, should be resumed and actively pushed forward; but the unfortunate disturbances of the times did not permit of his pursuing his favourite occupation without interruption, and, like those of his warlike predecessors, his life was passed almost entirely on the field of battle. Babylon, grateful for what he had done for her, tendered him an unbroken fidelity throughout the stormy episodes of his reign, and showed her devotion to him by an unwavering obedience. The Kalda received no support from that quarter, and were obliged to bear the whole burden of the war which they had provoked. Their chief, Nabu-ziru-kinish-lishir, who had been placed over them by Sennacherib, now harassed the cities of Karduniash, and Ningal-shumiddin, the prefect of Uru, demanded immediate help from Assyria. Esarhaddon at once despatched such a considerable force that the Kaldu chief did not venture to meet it in the open field, and after a few unimportant skirmishes he gave up the struggle, and took refuge in Elam. Khumban-khaldash, had died there in 680, a few months before the murder of Sennacherib, and his son, a second Khumban-khaldash, had succeeded him; this prince appears either to have shared the peaceful tastes of his brother-king of Assyria, or more probably did not feel himself sufficiently secure of his throne to risk the chance of coming into collision with his neighbour. He caused Nabu-ziru-kinish-lishir to be slain, and Naid-marduk, the other son of Merodach-baladan, who had shared his brother's flight, was so terrified at his murder that he at once sought refuge in Nineveh; he was reinstated in his paternal domain on condition of paying a tribute, and, faithful to his oath of allegiance, he thenceforward came yearly in person to bring his dues and pay homage to his sovereign (679). The Kalda rising had, in short, been little more than a skirmish, and the chastisement of the Sidonians would have involved neither time nor trouble, had not the desultory movements of the barbarians obliged the Assyrians to concentrate their troops on several points which were threatened on their northern frontier. The Cimmerians and the Scythians had not suffered themselves to be disconcerted by the rapidity with which the fate of Sharezer had been decided, and after a moment's hesitation they had again set out in various directions on their work of conquest, believing, no doubt, that they would meet with a less vigorous resistance after so serious an upheaval at Nineveh. The Cimmerians appear to have been the first to have provoked hostilities; their king Tiushpa, who ruled over their territory on the Black Sea, ejected the Assyrian garrisons placed on the Cappadocian frontier, and his presence in that quarter aroused all the insubordinate elements still remaining in the Cilician valleys. Esarhaddon brought him to a stand on the confines of the plain of Saros, defeated him in Khubushna,* and drove the remains of the horde back across the Halys.
* Several Assyriologists have thought that Khubushna might be an error for Khubushkhia, and have sought the seat of war on the eastern frontier of Assyria: in reality the context shows that the place under discussion is a district in Asia Minor, identified with Kamisene by Gelzcr, but left unidentified by most authorities. Jensen has shown that the name is mot with as early as the inscriptions of Tiglath- pileser III., where we should read Khubishna, and he places the country in Northern Syria, or perhaps further north in the western part of Taurus. The determinative proves that there was a town of this name as well as a district, and this consideration encourages mo to recognise in Khubushna or Khubishna the town of Kabissos-Kabessos, the Sis of the kingdom of Lesser Armenia.
Having thus averted the Cimmerian danger, he was able, without much difficulty, to bring the rebels of the western provinces into subjection.* His troops thrust back the Cilicians and Duha into the rugged fastnesses of the Taurus, and razed to the ground one and twenty of their strongholds, besides burning numberless villages and carrying the inhabitants away captive.**
* These expeditions are not dated in any of the documents that deal with them: the fact that they are mentioned along with the war against Tiushpa and Sidon makes me inclined to consider them as being a result of the Cimmerian invasion. They were, strictly speaking, the quelling of revolts caused by the presence of the Cimmerians in that part of the empire.
** The Duua or Duha of this campaign, who are designated as neighbours of the Tabal, lived in the Anti-taurus: the name of the town, Tyana, Tuana, is possibly composed of their name and of the suffix -na, which is met with in Asianio languages.
The people of Parnaki, in the bend of the Euphrates between Tel-Assur and the sources of the Balikh, had taken up arms on hearing of the brief successes of Tiushpa, but were pitilessly crushed by Esarhaddon. The sheikh of Arzani, in the extreme south of Syria, close to the brook of Egypt, had made depredations on the Assyrian frontier, but he was seized by the nearest governor and sent in chains to Nineveh. A cage was built for him at the gate of the city, and he was exposed in it to the jeers of the populace, in company with the bears, dogs, and boars which the Ninevites were in the habit of keeping confined there. It would appear that Esarhaddon set himself to come to a final reckoning with Sidon and Phoenicia, the revolt of which had irritated him all the more, in that it showed an inexcusable ingratitude towards his family. For it was Sennacherib who, in order to break the power of Blulai, had not only rescued Sidon from the dominion of Tyre, but had enriched it with the spoils taken from its former rulers, and had raised it to the first rank among the Phoenician cities. Ethbaal in his lifetime had never been wanting in gratitude, but his successor, Abdimilkot, forgetful of recent services, had chafed at the burden of a foreign yoke, and had recklessly thrown it off as soon as an occasion presented itself. He had thought to strengthen himself by securing the help of a certain Sanduarri, who possessed the two fortresses of Kundu and Sizu, in the Cilician mountains;* but neither this alliance nor the insular position of his capital was able to safeguard him, when once the necessity for stemming the tide of the Cimmerian influx was over, and the whole of the Assyrian force was free to be brought against him.
* Some Assyriologists have proposed to locate these two towns in Cilicia; others place them in the Lebanon, Kundi being identified with the modern village of Ain-Kundiya. The name of Kundu so nearly recalls that of Kuinda, the ancient fort mentioned by Strabo, to the north of Anchiale, between Tarsus and Anazarbus, that I do not hesitate to identify them, and to place Kundu in Cilicia.
Abdimilkot attempted to escape by sea before the last attack, but he was certainly taken prisoner, though the circumstances are unrecorded, and Sanduarri fell into the enemy's hands a short time after. The suppression of the rebellion was as vindictive as the ingratitude which prompted it was heinous. Sidon was given up to the soldiery and then burnt, while opposite to the ruins of the island city the Assyrians built a fortress on the mainland, which they called Kar-Esarhaddon. The other princes of Phoenicia and Syria were hastily convoked, and were witnesses of the vengeance wreaked on the city, as well as of the installation of the governor to whom the new province was entrusted. They could thus see what fate awaited them in the event of their showing any disposition to rebel, and the majority of them were not slow to profit by the lesson. The spoil was carried back in triumph to Nineveh, and comprised, besides the two kings and their families, the remains of their court and people, and the countless riches which the commerce of the world had brought into the great ports of the Mediterranean -- ebony, ivory, gold and silver, purple, precious woods, household furniture, and objects of value from all parts in such quantities that it was long before the treasury at Nineveh needed any replenishing.* The reverses of the Cimmerians did not serve as a warning to the Scythians. Settled on the borders of Manna, partly, no doubt, on the territory formerly dependent on that state,** they secretly incited the inhabitants to revolt, and to join in the raids which they made on the valley of the Upper Zab, and they would even have urged their horses up to the very walls of Nineveh had the occasion presented itself.
* The importance of the event and the amount of the spoil captured are apparent, if we notice that Esarhaddon does not usually record the booty taken after each campaign; he does so only when the number of objects and of prisoners taken from the enemy is extraordinary. The Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches places the capture of Sidon in the second, and the death of Abdimilkot in the fifth year of his reign. Hence Winckler has concluded that Abdimilkot held out for fully two years after the loss of Sidon. The general tenor of the account, as given by the inscriptions, seems to me to be that the capture of the king followed closely on the fall of the town: Abdimilkot and Sanduarri probably spent the years between 679 and 676 in prison.
** One of the oracles of Shamash speaks of the captives as dwelling in a canton of the Mannai.
Esarhaddon, warned of their intrigues by the spies which he sent among them, could not bring himself either to anticipate their attack or to assume the offensive, but anxiously consulted the gods with regard to them: |O Shamash,| he wrote to the Sun-god, |great lord, thou whom I question, answer me in sincerity! From this day forth, the 22nd day of this month of Simanu, until the 21st day of the month of Duzu of this year, during these thirty days and thirty nights, a time has been foreordained favourable to the work of prophecy. In this time thus foreordained, the hordes of the Scythians who inhabit a district of the Mannai, and who have crossed the Mannian frontier, -- will they succeed in their undertaking? Will they emerge from the passes of Khubushkia at the towns of Kharrania and Anisuskia; will they ravage the borders of Assyria and steal great booty, immense spoil? that doth thy high divinity know. Is it a decree, and in the mouth of thy high divinity, O Shamash, great lord, ordained and promulgated? He who sees, shall he see it; he who hears, shall he hear it?|*
* The town of Anisuskia is not mentioned elsewhere, but Kharrania is met with in the account of the thirty-first campaign of Shalmaneser III. with Kharrana as its variant.
The god comforted his faithful servant, but there was a brief delay before his answer threw light on the future, and the king's questions were constantly renewed as fresh couriers brought in further information. In 678 B.C. the Scythians determined to try their fortune, and their king, Ishpakai,* took the field, followed by the Mannai. He was defeated and driven back to the north of Lake Urumiah, the Mannai were reduced to subjection, and Assyria once more breathed freely. The victory, however, was not a final one, and affairs soon assumed as threatening an aspect as before. The Scythian tribes came on the scene, one after another, and allied themselves to the various peoples subject either directly or indirectly to Nineveh.** On one occasion it was Kashtariti, the regent of Karkashshi,*** who wrote to Mamitiarshu, one of the Median princes, to induce him to make common cause with himself in attacking the fortress of Kishshashshu on the eastern border of the empire. At another time we find the same chief plotting with the Mannai and the Saparda to raid the town of Kilman, and Esarhaddon implores the god to show him how the place may be saved from their machinations.****
* This king's name seems to be of Iranian origin. Justi has connected it with the name Aspakos, which is read in a Greek inscription of the Cimmerian Bosphorus; both forms have been connected with the Sanskrit Acvalca.
** This subdivision of the horde into several bodies seems to be indicated by the number of different royal names among the Scythians which are mentioned in the Assyrian documents.
*** The site of Karkashshi is unknown, but the list of Median princes subdued by Sargon shows that it was situated in Media. Kishshashshu is very probably the same as Kishisim or Kishisu, the town which Sargon subdued, and which he called Kar-nergal or Kar-ninib, and which is mentioned in the neighbourhood of Parsuash, Karalla, Kharkhar, Media, and Ellipi. I think that it would be in the basin of the Gave -- Rud; Billerbeck places it at the ruins of Siama, in the upper valley of the Lesser Zab.
**** The people of Saparda, called by the Persians Sparda, have been with good reason identified with the Sepharad of the prophet Obadiah (ver.20): the Assyrian texts show that this country should be placed in the neighbourhood of the Mannai of the Medes.
He opens negotiations in order to gain time, but the barbarity of his adversary is such that he fears for his envoy's safety, and speculates whether he may not have been put to death. The situation would indeed have become critical if Kashtariti had succeeded in bringing against Assyria a combined force of Medes, Scythians, Mannai, and Cimmerians, together with Urartu and its king, Eusas III.; but, fortunately, petty hatreds made the combination of these various elements an impossibility, and they were unable to arrive at even a temporary understanding. The Scythians themselves were not united as to the best course to be pursued, and while some endeavoured to show their hostility by every imaginable outrage and annoyance, others, on the contrary, desired to enter into friendly relations with Assyria. Esarhaddon received on one occasion an embassy from Bartatua,* one of their kings, who humbly begged the hand of a lady of the blood-royal, swearing to make a lasting friendship with him if Esarhaddon would consent to the marriage. It was hard for a child brought up in the harem, amid the luxury and comfort of a civilised court, to be handed over to a semi-barbarous spouse; but state policy even in those days was exacting, and more than one princess of the line of Sargon had thus sacrificed herself by an alliance which was to the interest of her own people.**
* Bartatua is, according to Winckler's ingenious
observation, the Proto-thyes of Herodotus, the father of Madyes. [The name should more probably be read Masta-tua -- Ed.]
** Sargon had in like manner given one of his daughters in marriage to Ambaris, King of Tabal, in order to attach him to the Assyrian cause, but without permanent success.
What troubled Esarhaddon was not the thought of sacrificing a sister or a daughter, but a misgiving that the sacrifice would not produce the desired result, and in his difficulty he once more had recourse to Shamash. |If Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, grants a daughter of the blood (royal) to Bartatua, the King of the Iskuza, who has sent an embassy to him to ask a wife, will Bartatua, King of the Iskuza, act loyally towards Esarhaddon, King of Assyria? will he honestly and faithfully enter into friendly engagements with Esarhaddon, King of Assyria? will he observe the conditions (made by) Esarhaddon, King of Assyria? will he fulfil them punctually? that thy high divinity knoweth. His promises, in a decree and in the mouth of thy high divinity, O Shamash, great lord, are they decreed, promulgated?| It is not recorded what came of these negotiations, nor whether the god granted the hand of the princess to her barbarian suitor. All we know is, that the incursions and intrigues of the Scythians continued to be a perpetual source of trouble to the Medes, and roused them either to rebel against Assyria or to claim the protection of its sovereign. Esarhaddon, in the course of his reign, was more than once compelled to interfere in order to ensure peace and quietness to the provinces on the table-land of Iran, which Sargon had conquered and which Sennacherib had retained.*
* Several recent historians allege that Sennacherib did not keep the territories that Sargon had conquered, and that the Assyrian frontier became contracted on that side; whereas the general testimony of the known texts seems to me to prove the contrary, namely, that he preserved nearly all the territory annexed by his father, and that Esarhaddon was far from diminishing this inheritance. If these two kings mention only insignificant deeds of arms in the western region, it is because the population, exhausted by the wars of the two preceding reigns, easily recognised the Ninevite supremacy, and paid tribute to the Assyrian governors with sufficient regularity to prevent any important military expedition against them.
He had first to carry his arms to the extreme edge of the desert, into the rugged country of Patusharra, lying at the foot of Demavend, rich in lapis-lazuli, and as yet untrodden by any king of Assyria.* Having reached his destination, he captured two petty kings, Eparna and Shitirparna, and exiled them to Assyria, together with their people, their thoroughbred horses, and their two-humped camels, -- in fine, all the possessions of their subjects. Shortly after this, three other Median chiefs, hitherto intractable -- Uppis of Par-takka, Zanasana of Partukka,** Ramatea of Urakazabarna -- came to Nineveh to present the king with horses and lapis-lazuli, the best of everything they possessed, and piteously entreated him to forgive their misdeeds.
* The country of Patusharra has been identified with that of the Patischorians mentioned by Strabo in Persia proper, who would have lived further north, not far from Demavend; Sachau calls attention to the existence of a mountain chain Patashwar-gar or Padishwar-gir, in front of Choarcne, and he places the country of Patusharra between Demavend and the desert.
** Partakka and Partukka seem to be two different
adaptations of the name Paraituka, the Parsetakeno of the Greek geographers; Tiele thinks of Parthyeno. I think that these two names designate the northern districts of Partetakeno, the present Ashnakhor or the country near to it.
They represented that the whole of Media was torn asunder by countless strifes, prince against prince, city against city, and an iron will was needed to bring the more turbulent elements to order. Esarhaddon lent a favourable ear to their prayers; he undertook to protect them on condition of their paying an annual tribute, and he put them under the protection of the Assyrian governors who were nearest to their territory. Kharkhar, securely entrenched behind its triple ramparts, assumed the position of capital to these Iranian marches.
It is difficult to determine the precise dates of these various events; we learn merely that they took place before 673, and we surmise that they must have occurred between the second and sixteenth year of the king's reign.*
* The facts relating to the submission of Patusharra and of Partukka are contained in Cylinder A, dated from the eponymous year of Akhazilu, in 673. Moreover, the version which this document contains seems to have been made up of two pieces placed one at the end of the other: the first an account of events which occurred during an earlier period of the reign, and in which the exploits are classified in geographical order, from Sidon in the west the Arabs bordering on Chaldaea in the east; and the second consisting of additional campaigns carried out after the completion of the former -- which is proved by the place which these exploits occupy, out of their normal position in the geographical series -- and making mention of Partusharra and Partuhka, as well as of Belikisha. The editor of the Broken Cylinder has tried to combine these latter elements with the former in the order adopted by the original narrator. As far as can be seen in what is left of the columns, he has placed, after the Chaldsean events, the facts concerning Partukka, then those concerning Patusharra, and finally the campaign against Bazu, the extreme limit of Esarhaddon's activity in the south. Knowing that the campaign in the desert and the death of Abdimilkot took place in 676, and that we find them already alluded to in the first part of the narrative, as well as the events of 675 relating to the revolt of Dakkuri, we may conclude that the submission of Patusharra and that of Partukka occurred in 674, or at latest in the beginning of 673.
[Illustration: 131.jpg THE TOWN OF KHARKHAR WITH ITS TRIPLE RAMPART]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Flandin, in Botta.
The outcome of them was a distinct gain to Assyria, in the acquisition of several new vassals. The recently founded kingdom of Ecbatana lacked as yet the prestige which would have enabled it to hold its own against Nineveh; besides which, Deiokes, the contemporary ruler assigned to it by tradition, was of too complaisant a nature to seek occasions of quarrel. The Scythians, after having declared their warlike intentions, seem to have come to a more peaceable frame of mind, and to have curried favour with Nineveh; but the rulers of the capital kept a strict watch upon them, since their numbers, their intrepid character, and instinct for rapine made them formidable enemies -- the most dangerous, indeed, that the empire had encountered on its north-eastern frontier for nearly a century.
This policy of armed surveillance, which proved so successful in these regions, was also carefully maintained by Esarhaddon on his south-eastern border against Assyria's traditional enemy, the King of Susa. Babylon, far from exhibiting any restlessness at her present position, showed her gratitude for the favours which her suzerain had showered upon her by resigning herself to become the ally of Assyria. She regarded her late disaster as the punishment inflicted by Marduk for her revolts against Sargon and Sennacherib. The god had let loose the powers of evil against her, and the Arakhtu, overflowing among the ruins, had swept them utterly away; indeed, for the space of ten years, destruction and desolation seemed to have taken the place of her former wealth of temples and palaces. In the eleventh year, the divine wrath was suddenly appeased. No sooner had Esarhaddon mounted the throne, than he entreated Shamash, Ramman, and even Marduk himself, to reveal to him their will with regard to the city; whereupon the omens, interpreted by the seers, commanded him to rebuild Babylon and to raise again the temple of E-sagilla. For this purpose he brought together all the captives taken in war that he had at his disposal, and employed them in digging out clay and in brick-making; he then prepared the foundations, upon which he poured libations of oil, honey, palm-wine, and other wines of various kinds; he himself took the mason's hod, and with tools of ebony, cypress wood, and oak, moulded a brick for the new sanctuary. The work was, indeed, a gigantic undertaking, and demanded years of uninterrupted labour, but Esarhaddon pushed it forward, sparing neither gold, silver, costly stone, rare woods, or plates of enamel in its embellishment. He began to rebuild at the same time all the other temples and the two city walls -- Imgurbel and Nimittibel; to clear and make good the canals which supplied the place with water, and to replant the sacred groves and the gardens of the palace. The inhabitants were encouraged to come back to their homes, and those who had been dispersed among distant provinces were supplied with clothes and food for their return journey, besides having their patrimony restored to them. This rebuilding of the ancient city certainly displeased and no doubt alarmed her two former rivals, the Kalda and Elam, who had hoped one day to wrest her heritage from Assyria. Elam concealed its ill-feeling, but the Kalda of Bit-Dakkuri had invaded the almost deserted territory, and appropriated the lands which had belonged to the noble families of Babylon, Borsippa, and Sippara. When the latter, therefore, returned from exile, and, having been reinstituted in their rights, attempted to resume possession of their property, the usurpers peremptorily refused to relinquish it. Esarhaddon was obliged to interfere to ensure its restoration, and as their king, Shamash-ibni, was not inclined to comply with the order, Esarhaddon removed him from the throne, and substituted in his place a certain Nabushallim, son of Belesys, who showed more deference to the suzerain's wishes. It is possible that about this time the Kalda may have received some support from the Aramaeans of the desert and the Arab tribes encamped between the banks of the Euphrates and Syria, or, on the other hand, the latter may have roused the wrath of Assyria by inroads of a more than usually audacious character. However this may be, in 676 Esarhaddon resolved to invade their desert territory, and to inflict such reprisals as would force them thenceforward to respect the neighbouring border provinces.
His first relations with them had been of a courteous and friendly nature. Hazael of Adumu, one of the sheikhs of Kedar, defeated by Sennacherib towards the end of his reign, had taken the opportunity of the annual tribute to come to Nineveh with considerable presents, and to implore the restoration of the statues of his gods. Esarhaddon had caused these battered idols to be cleaned and repaired, had engraved upon them an inscription in praise of Assur, and had further married the suppliant sheikh to a woman of the royal harem, named Tabua. In consideration of this, he had imposed upon the Arab a supplementary tribute of sixty-five camels, and had restored to him his idols. All this took place, no doubt, soon after the king's accession. A few years later, on the death of Hazael, his son Yauta solicited investiture, but a competitor for the chieftaincy, a man of unknown origin, named Uahab, treacherously incited the Arabs to rebel, and threatened to overthrow him. Esarhaddon caused Uahab to be seized, and exposed him in chains at the gate of Nineveh; but, in consideration of this service to the Arabs, he augmented the tribute which already weighed upon the people by a further demand for ten gold minas, one thousand precious stones, fifty camels, and a thousand measures of spicery. The repression of these Arabs of Kedar thus confirmed Esarhaddon's supremacy over the extreme northern region of Arabia, between Damascus and Sippara or Babylon; but in a more southerly direction, in the wadys which unite Lower Chaldaea to the districts of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, there still remained several rich and warlike states -- among others, Bazu,* whose rulers had never done homage to the sovereigns of either Assyria or Karduniash.
* The Bazu of this text is certainly the Buz which the Hebrew books name among the children of Nahor (Gen. xxii.21; Jer. xxv.23). The early Assyriologists identified Khazu with Uz, the son of Nahor; Delitzsch compares the name with that of Hazo (Huz), the fifth son of Nahor (Gen. xxii.22), and his opinion is admitted by most scholars. For the site of these countries I have followed the ideas of Delattro, who identifies them with the oases of Jauf and Meskakeh, in the centre of Northern Arabia. The Assyrians must have set out by the Wady Hauran or by one of the wadys near to Babylon, and have returned by a more southern wady.
To carry hostilities into the heart of their country was a bold and even hazardous undertaking; it could be reached only by traversing miles of arid and rocky plains, exposed to the rays of a burning sun, vast extents of swamps and boggy pasture land, desolate wastes infested with serpents and scorpions, and a mountain range of blackish lava known as Khazu. It would have been folly to risk a march with the heavy Assyrian infantry in the face of such obstacles. Esarhaddon probably selected for the purpose a force composed of cavalry, chariots, and lightly equipped foot-soldiers, and despatched them with orders to reach the Jauf by forced marches through the Wady Hauran. The Arabs, who were totally unprepared for such a movement, had not time to collect their forces; eight of their chiefs were taken by surprise and killed one after another -- among them Kisu of Khaldili, Agbaru of Ilpiati, Mansaku of Magalani, -- and also some reigning queens. La, the King of Yadi, at first took refuge in the mountains, but afterwards gave himself up to the enemy, and journeyed as far as Nineveh to prostrate himself at Esarhaddon's feet, who restored to him his gods and his crown, on the usual condition of paying tribute. A vassal occupying a country so remote and so difficult of access could not be supposed to preserve an unbroken fidelity towards his suzerain, but he no longer ventured to plunder the caravans which passed through his territory, and that in reality was all that was expected of him.
Esarhaddon thus pursued a prudent and unadventurous policy in the northern and eastern portions of his empire, maintaining a watchful attitude towards the Cimmerians and Scythians in the north, carrying on short defensive campaigns among the Medes in the east, preserving peace with Elam, and making occasional flying raids in the south, rather from the necessity for repressing troublesome border tribes than with any idea of permanent conquest.
[Illustration: 137.jpg SHABITOKU, KING OF EGYPT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.
This policy must have been due to a presentiment of danger from the side of Egypt, or to the inception of a great scheme for attacking the reigning Pharaoh. After the defeat of his generals at Altaku, Shabitoku had made no further attempt to take the offensive; his authority over the feudal nobility of Egypt was so widely acknowledged that it causes us no surprise to meet with his cartouches on more than one ruin between Thebes and Memphis,* but his closing years were marred by misfortune. There was then living at Napata a certain Taharqa, one of those scions of the solar race who enjoyed the title of |Royal brothers,| and from among whom Anion of the Holy Mountain was wont to choose his representative to reign over the land of Ethiopia whenever the throne became vacant. It does not appear that the father of Taharqa ever held the highest rank; it was from his mother, Akaluka, that he inherited his pretensions to the crown, and through her probably that he traced his descent from the family of the high priests. Tradition asserts that he did not gain the regal power without a struggle; having been proclaimed king in Ethiopia at the age of twenty, as the result of some revolution, he is said to have marched against Shabitoku, and, coming up with him in the Delta, to have defeated him, taken him prisoner, and put him to death.** These events took place about 693 B.C.,*** and Taharqa employed the opening years of his reign in consolidating his authority over the double kingdom.
* His name or monuments of his erection have been discovered at Karnak.
** Eusebius, who cites the fact, had his information from a trustworthy Greek source, perhaps from Manetho himself. The inscription of Tanis seems to say that Taharqa was twenty years old at the time of his revolt.
*** Most of the lists of kings taken from Manetho assign twelve years to the reign of Sebikhos; one alone, that of Africanus, assigns him fourteen years.
He married the widow of Sabaco, Queen Dikahitamanu, and thus assumed the guardianship of Tanuatamanu, her son by her first husband, and this marriage secured him supreme authority in Ethiopia.* That he regarded Egypt as a conquered country can no longer be doubted, seeing that he inserted its name on his monuments among those of the nations which he had vanquished.
* The text of several documents only mentioned that Tanuata- manu was the |son of his wife,| which Opport interpreted to mean son of Taharqa himself, while others see in him a son of Kashto, a brother of Amenertas, or a son of Shabitoku.
[Illustration: 139.jpg TAHARQA AND HIS QUEEN DIKAHITAMANU]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the coloured plate in Lepsius.
He nevertheless felt obliged to treat it with consideration; he respected the rights of the feudal princes, and behaved himself in every way like a Pharaoh of the old royal line. He summoned his mother from Napata, where he had left her, and after proclaiming her regent of the South and the North, he associated her with himself in the rejoicings at his coronation. This ceremony, celebrated at Tanis with the usages customary in the Delta, was repeated at Karnak in accordance with the Theban ritual, and a chapel erected shortly afterwards on the northern quay of the great sacred lake has preserved to us the memory of it. Akaluka, installed with the rank and prerogatives of the |Divine Spouse| of Amon, presented her son to the deity, who bestowed upon him through his priests dominion over the whole world. She bent the bow, and let fly the arrows towards the four cardinal points, which she thereby symbolically delivered to him as wounded prisoners; the king, on his part, hurled against them bullets of stone, and by this attack figuratively accomplished their defeat. His wars in Africa were crowned with a certain meed of success,* and his achievements in this quarter won for him in after time so much popularity among the Egyptians, that they extolled him to the Greeks as one of their most illustrious conquering Pharaohs; they related that he had penetrated as far as the Pillars of Hercules in the west, and that he had invaded Europe in imitation of Sesostris.
* The list inscribed on the base of the statue discovered by Mariette contains a large number of names belonging to Africa. They are the same as those met with in the time of the XVIIIth dynasty, and were probably copied from some monument of Ramses II., who had himself perhaps borrowed them from a document of the time of Thutmosis III. A bas- relief at Medinet-Habu shows him to us in the act of smiting a group of tribes, among which figure the Tepa, Doshrit, and |the humbled Kush;| this bas-relief was appropriated later on by Nectanebo.
What we know to be a fact is, that he secured to the valley of the Nile nearly twenty years of prosperity, and recalled the glories of the great reigns of former days, if not by his victories, at least by the excellence of his administration and his activity. He planned the erection at Karnak of a hypostyle hall in front of the pylons of Ramses II., which should equal, if not surpass, that of Seti I.*
* These columns have been looked upon as triumphal pillars, designed to support statues or divine emblems. Mariette thinks that they supported |an edifice in the architectural style of the kiosk at Philae and the small hypothral temple on the roof of Denderah.| I am of opinion that the architect intended to make a hypostyle hall, but that when the columns were erected, he perceived that the great width of the aisle they formed would render the strength of the roof very doubtful, and so renounced the execution of his first design.
[Illustration: 142.jpg THE COLUMN OF TAHARQA, AT KARNAK]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
The columns of the central aisle were disposed in two lines of six pillars each, but only one of these now remains standing in its original place; its height, which is the same as that of Seti's columns, is nearly sixty-nine feet. The columns of the side aisles, like those which should have flanked the immense colonnade at Luxor, were never even begun, and the hall of Taharqa, like that of Seti I., remains unfinished to this day. He bestowed his favour on Nubia and Ethiopia, as well as on Egypt proper; even Napata owed to his munificence the most beautiful portions of its temples. The temple of Amon, and subsequently that of Mut, were enlarged by him; and he decorated their ancient halls with bas-reliefs, representing himself, accompanied by his mother and his wife, in attitudes of adoration before the deity. The style of the carving is very good, and the hieroglyphics would not disgrace the walls of the Theban temples. The Ethiopian sculptors and painters scrupulously followed the traditions of the mother-country, and only a few insignificant details of ethnic type or costume enable us to detect a slight difference between their works and those of pure Egyptian art. At the other extremity of Napata, on the western side of the Holy Mountain, Taharqa excavated in the cliff a rock-hewn shrine, which he dedicated to Hathor and Bisu (Bes), the patron of jollity and happiness, and the god of music and of war.
[Illustration: 143.jpg THE HEMISPEOS OP HATHOR AND BISU, AT GEBEL-BARKAL]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a lithograph in Caillaud.
Bisu, who was at first relegated to the lowest rank among the crowd of genii adored by the people, had gradually risen to the highest place in the hierarchy of the gods, and his images predominated in chapels destined to represent the cradle of the infant gods, and the sacred spots where goddesses gave birth to their divine offspring.
[Illustration: 144.jpg ENTRANCE TO THE HEMISPEOS OF BISU (BES), AT GEBEL-BARKAL]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a lithograph in Caillaud.
The portico erected in front of the pylon had a central avenue of pillars, against which stood monstrous and grinning statues of Bisu, his hands on his hips, and his head crowned with a large bunch of lotus-flowers and plumes. Two rows of columns with Hathor-headed capitals flanked the central aisle, which led to a hall supported by massive columns, also with Hathor capitals, and beyond it again lay the actual shrine similarly excavated in the rocky hill; two statues of Bisu, standing erect against their supporting columns, kept guard over the entrance, and their fantastic forms, dimly discernible in the gloom, must have appeared in ancient times to have prohibited the vulgar throng from approaching the innermost sanctuary. Half of the roof has fallen in since the building was deserted, and a broad beam of light falling through the aperture thus made reveals the hideous grotesqueness of the statues to all comers. The portraits of Taharqa represent him with a strong, square-shaped head, with full cheeks, vigorous mouth, and determined chin, such as belong to a man well suited to deal with that troubled epoch, and the knowledge we as yet possess of his conflict with Assyria fully confirms the character exhibited by his portrait statues.
[Illustration: 145.jpg TAHARQA]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a cast of the fragment preserved at Gizeh
We may surmise that, when once absolute master of Egypt, he must have cast his eyes beyond the isthmus, and considered how he might turn to his own advantage the secret grudge borne by the Syrians against their suzerain at Nineveh, but up to the present time we possess no indications as to the policy he pursued in Palestine. We may safely assume, however, that it gave umbrage to the Assyrians, and that Esarhaddon resolved to put an end once for all to the uneasiness it caused him. More than half a century had elapsed since the day when the kings of Syria, alarmed at the earliest victories of Tiglath-pileser III., had conceived the idea of pitting their former conquerors against those of the day, and had solicited help from the Pharaohs against Assyria.
None of the sovereigns to whom they turned had refused to listen to their appeals, or failed to promise subsidies and reinforcements; but these engagements, however definite, had for the most part been left unfulfilled, and when an occasion for their execution had occurred, the Egyptian armies had merely appeared on the fields of battle to beat a hasty retreat: they had not prevented the subjugation of Damascus, Israel, Tyre, the Philistines, nor, indeed, of any of the princes or people who trusted to their renown; yet, notwithstanding these numerous disappointments, the prestige of the Egyptians was still so great that insubordinate or rebel states invariably looked to them for support and entreated their help. The Assyrian generals had learnt by experience to meet them unmoved, being well aware that the Egyptian army was inferior to their own in organisation, and used antiquated weapons and methods of warfare; they were also well aware that the Egyptian and even the Ethiopian soldiery had never been able successfully to withstand a determined attack by the Assyrian battalions, and that when once the desert which protected Egypt had been crossed, she would, like Babylon, fall an easy prey to their arms. It would merely be necessary to guard against the possible danger of opposition being offered to the passage of the invading host by the Idumoan and Arab tribes sparsely scattered over the country between the Nile and the Gulf of Akabah, as their hostility would be a cause of serious uneasiness. An expedition, sent against Milukhkha* in 675 B.C., had taught the inhabitants to respect the power of Assyria; but the campaign had not been brought to a satisfactory conclusion, for the King of Elam, Khumban-khaldash II., seeing his rival occupied at the opposite extremity of his empire, fell unexpectedly upon Babylon, and pushing forward as far as Sippara, laid waste the surrounding country; and his hateful presence even prevented the god Shamash from making his annual progress outside the walls of the city. The people of Bit-Dakkuri seem to have plucked up courage at his approach, and invaded the neighbouring territory, probably that of Borsippa. Esarhaddon was absent on a distant expedition, and the garrisons scattered over the province were not sufficiently strong in numbers to risk a pitched battle: Khumban-khaldash, therefore, marched back with his booty to Susa entirely unmolested. He died suddenly in his palace a few days after his return, and was succeeded by his brother, Urtaku, who was too intent upon seating himself securely on the throne to send his troops on a second raid in the following year.
* The name of Milukhkha, first applied to the countries in the neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf, had been transferred to the western coasts of Arabia, as well as that of Magan.
Esarhaddon deferred his revenge to a more convenient season, and utilised the respite fate had accorded him on the Elamite border to hasten his attack on Egypt (673 B.C.). The expedition was a failure, and Taharqa was greatly elated at having issued with honour from this trial of strength. As most of the countries over which his enemy exercised his supremacy were those which had been ruled by his Theban ancestors in days gone by, Taharqa engraved on the base of his statue a list of nations and towns copied from one of the monuments of Ramses II. The Khati, Carchemish, Mitanni, Arvad -- in short, a dozen peoples already extinct or in their decline, and whose names were merely perpetuated in the stereotyped official lists, -- were enumerated in the list of his vanquished foes side by side with Assyria. It was a mere piece of bravado, for never, even when victorious, did he set foot on Syrian soil; but all the same the victory had caused the invading host to retire, and the fame of this exploit, spreading throughout Asia, was not without its effect on the minds of the inhabitants. The island of Tyre had never officially recognised the Assyrian suzerainty. The Tyrians had lived in peace since the defeat of Elulai, and had maintained constant commercial relations with the continent without interfering in active politics: they had, perhaps, even been permitted to establish some settlements on the coast of the mainland. Their king, Baal, now deemed the moment a propitious one for coming forward and recovering his lost territory, and since the Greek princes of Cyprus had ranged themselves under the hegemony of Assyria, he thought he could best counterbalance their influence by seeking support from Egypt, whose ancient greatness was apparently reviving. He therefore concluded an alliance with Taharqa,* and it would be no cause for astonishment if we should one day discover that Judah had followed his example.
* The alliance of Baal with Taharqa is mentioned in the fragment of the Annals, under the date of year X., and the name Baal is still decipherable amid the defaced linos which contained the account of events which took place before that year. I think we may reasonably assign the first
understanding between the two sovereigns, either to the actual year of the first campaign or to the following year.
Hezekiah had devoted his declining years to religious reformation, and the organisation of his kingdom under the guidance of Isaiah or the group of prophets of which Isaiah was the leader. Judah had increased in population, and had quickly recovered its prosperity; when Hezekiah died, about 686 B.C., it had entirely regained its former vigour, but the memory of the disasters of 701 was still sufficiently fresh in the minds of the people to prevent the change of sovereign being followed by a change of policy. Manasseh, who succeeded his father, though he did not walk, as Hezekiah had done, in the ways of the Lord, at least remained loyal to his Assyrian masters. It is, however, asserted that he afterwards rebelled, though his reason for doing so is not explained, and that he was carried captive to Babylon as a punishment for this crime: he succeeded, nevertheless, in regaining favour, and was reinstated at Jerusalem on condition of not repeating his offence. If this statement is true, as I believe it to be, it was probably after the Egyptian campaign of 673 B.C.* that his conspiracy with Baal took place.
* The fact of Manasseh's captivity is only known to us from the testimony of 2 Chron. xxxiii.10-13, and most modern critics consider it apocryphal. The moral development which accompanies the narrative, and the conversion which follows it, are certainly later additions, but the story may have some foundation in fact; we shall see later on that Necho I., King of Sais, was taken prisoner, led into captivity, and received again into favour in the same way as Manasseh is said to have been. The exile to Babylon, which at one time appeared to demonstrate the unauthenticity of the passage, would be rather in favour of its authenticity. Esarhaddon was King of Babylon during the whole of his reign, and the great works which he executed in that city obliged him, we know, to transport thither a large
proportion of the prisoners whom he brought back from his wars.
The Assyrian governors of the neighbouring provinces easily crushed these attempts at independence, but, the islands of Tyre being secure from attack, they were obliged to be content with establishing a series of redoubts along the coast, and with prohibiting the Tyrians from having access to the mainland.
The promptitude of their action quenched the hopes of the Egyptian party and prevented the spread of the revolt. Esarhaddon was, nevertheless, obliged to put off the fulfilment of his schemes longer than he desired: complications arose on his northern frontiers, near the sources of the Tigris, which distracted his attention from the intrigues taking place on the banks of the Nile. Urartu, hard pressed by the Cimmerians and Scythians, had lived for a quarter of a century in a condition of sullen peace with Assyria, and its kings avoided anything which could bring them into conflict with their hereditary rival. Argistis II. had been succeeded by one of his sons, Eusas IL, and both of them had been more intent upon strengthening their kingdom than on extending its area; they had rebuilt their capital, Dhuspas, on a magnificent scale, and from the security of their rocky home they watched the course of events without taking any part in it, unless forced to do so by circumstances. Andaria, chief of Lubdi, one of the remote mountain districts, so difficult of access that it always retained its independence in spite of frequent attacks, had seized Shupria, a province which had been from very early times subject to the sovereigns of Nineveh, and was the first to be colonised by them. The inhabitants, forgetful of their origin, had yielded voluntarily to Andaria; but this prince, after receiving their homage, was seized with alarm at his own audacity. He endeavoured to strengthen his position by an alliance with the Cimmerians,* and the spirit of insubordination which he aroused spread beyond the Euphrates; Mugallu of Milid, a king of the Tabal, resorted to such violent measures that Esarhaddon was alarmed lest the wild mountaineers of the Taurus should pour down upon the plain of Kui and lay it waste. The danger would indeed have been serious had all these tribes risen simultaneously; but the Cimmerians were detained in Asia Minor by their own concerns,** and Mugallu, when he saw the Assyrian troops being concentrated to bring him to reason, remained quiet.
* This seems, indeed, to be proved by a tablet in which Esarhaddon, addressing the god Shamash, asks him if the Cimmerians or Urartians will unite with a certain prince who can be no other than the King of Shupria.
** It was about this time they were dealing the death-blow to the kingdom of Phrygia.
The extension of Lubdi was not likely to meet with favour in the eyes of Eusas; he did not respond to the advances made to him, and Esarhaddon opened his campaign against the rebels without having to dread the intervention of Urartu. Andaria, besieged in his capital of Ubbumi, laid aside his royal robes, and, assuming the ragged garments of a slave, appeared upon the ramparts and pleaded for mercy in a voice choked with tears: |Shupria, the country which has sinned against thee, will yield to thee of her own accord; place thy officers over her, she will vow obedience to thee; impose on her a ransom and an annual tribute for ever. I am a robber, and for the crime I have committed I will make amends fifty-fold.| Esarhaddon would listen to no terms before a breach had been effected in the city walls. This done, he pardoned the prince who had taken refuge in the citadel, but resumed possession of Shupria: its inhabitants were mercilessly punished, being condemned to slavery, and their lands and goods divided among new colonists. Many Urartians were numbered among the captives: these Esarhaddon separated from the rest, and sent back to Rusas as a reward for his having remained neutral. All this had barely occupied the space of one month, the month of Tebet. The first-fruits of the spoil reserved for Uruk had already reached that town by the month Kislev, and the year was not so far advanced as to render further undertakings impossible, when the death of the queen, on the 5th Adar, suspended all warlike enterprises. The last months of the year were given up to mourning, and the whole of 671 B.C. passed without further action. The Ethiopian king was emboldened by this inactivity on the part of his foe to renew his intrigues with Syria with redoubled energy; at one moment, indeed, the Philistines of Ashkelon, secretly instigated, seemed on the point of revolt.*
* Ashkelon is mentioned in two of the prayers in which Esarhaddon consults Shamash on the subject of his intended campaign in Egypt; he seems to fear lest that city and the Bedawin of the Idumoan desert should espouse the cause of the King of Ethiopia.
They held themselves, however, in check, and Esarhaddon, reassured as to their attitude, entered into negotiations with the sheikhs of the Arab tribes, and purchased their assistance to cross the desert of Sinai. He bade them assemble at Raphia, at the western extremity of Palestine, each chief bringing all the camels he could command, and as many skins of water as their beasts could carry: this precaution, a wise one at any time, might secure the safety of the army in case Taharqa should have filled up the wells which marked the stages in the caravan route.* When all was ready, Esarhaddon consulted the oracle of Shamash, and, on receiving a favourable reply from the god, left Nineveh in the beginning of the month Nisan, 670 B.C., to join the invading army in Syria.**
* This information is furnished by the fragment of the Annals. The Assyrian text introduces this into the narrative in such a manner that it would appear as if these negotiations were carried on at the very commencement of the campaign; it is, however, more probable that they were concluded beforehand, as occurred later on, in the time of Cambyses, when the Persians invaded Egypt.
** The published texts refer to the second Egyptian campaign of Esarhaddon. The reply of the god is not easy to
interpret, but it was certainly favourable, since the expedition took place.
He made a detour in order to inspect the lines of forts which his generals had established along the coast opposite Tyre, and strengthened their garrisons to prevent Baal from creating a diversion in the rear of his base of operations; he then proceeded southwards to the neighbourhood of Aphek, in the territory of the tribe of Simeon. The news which there met him must doubtless have informed him that the Bedawin had been won over in the interval by the emissaries of Taharqa, and that he would run great risk by proceeding with his campaign before bringing them back to a sense of their duty. On leaving Aphek* he consequently turned southwards, and plunged into the heart of the desert, as if he had renounced all designs upon Egypt for that season, and was bent only on restoring order in Milukhkha and Magan before advancing further. For six weeks he marched in short stages, without other water than the supply borne, in accordance with his commands, by the Arab camels, passing through tracts of desert infested by strange birds and double-headed serpents; when he had at length dispersed the bands which had endeavoured to oppose his advance, he suddenly turned in a north-westerly direction, and, following the dry bed of the torrent of Muzur, at length reached Raphia. From thence he did not select the usual route, which follows the coast-line and leads to Pelusium, a place which he may have feared was too well defended, but he again pressed forward across the sands of the desert, and in the first days of Tammuz reached the cultivated land of the Delta by way of the Wady Tumilat. The frontier garrisons, defeated on the 3rd of Tammuz near Ishkhupri,** retreated in good order.
* The defaced name of the country in which this Aphek was situated was read as Samirina and translated |Samaria| by the first editor. This interpretation has been adopted by most historians, who have seen in Aphek the town of this name belonging to the western portion of Manasseh. Budge read it Samina, and this reading, verified by Craig, gave Winckler the idea of identifying Samina or Simina with the tribe of Simeon, and Aphek with the Aphckah (Josh. xv.53) in the mountains of Judah.
** The text on the stele at Zinjirli gives a total of fifteen days' march from Ishkhupri to Memphis, while Pinches' Babyl. Chron. indicates three battles as having been fought on the 3rd, 16th, and 18th of Tammuz, and the taking of Memphis as occurring on the 22nd of the same month. If fifteen days is precisely accurate for the length of march, Esarhaddon would have reached Ishkhupri about the 27th of Sivan.
Taharqa, hastening to their succour, disputed the ground inch by inch, and engaged the invaders in several conflicts, two at least of which, fought on the 16th and 18th of Tammuz, were regular pitched battles, but in every case the Assyrian tactics triumphed in spite of the dashing onslaught of the Egyptians; Memphis succumbed on the 22nd, after an assault lasting merely a few hours, and was mercilessly sacked. The Ethiopian king, with his army decimated and exhausted, gave up the struggle, and beat a hasty retreat southwards. The attack had been made with such rapidity that he had had no time to remove his court from the |palace of the White Wall| to the Said; the queen, therefore, together with other women of less exalted rank, fell into the hands of the conqueror, besides the crown-prince, Ushana-horu, several younger sons and daughters, and such of the children of Sabaco and Shabitoku as resided at court. But the victory had cost the Assyrians dearly, and the enemy still appeared to them so formidable that Esarhaddon prudently abstained from pursuing him up the Nile Valley. He favourably received those feudal lords and petty kings who presented themselves to pay him homage, and confirmed them in possession of their fiefs, but he placed over them Assyrian governors and imposed new official names on their cities; thus Athribis was officially called Limir-pateshi-assur, and other cities received the names Assur-makan-tishkul, Bifc-marduk-sha-assur-taru, Shaimuk-assur. He further imposed on them a heavy annual tribute of more than six talents of gold and six hundred talents of silver, besides robes and woven stuffs, wine, skins, horses, sheep, and asses; and having accomplished this, he retraced his steps towards the north-east with immense booty and innumerable convoys of prisoners. The complete defeat of the Ethiopian power filled not only Esarhaddon himself but all Asia with astonishment. His return to Nineveh was a triumphal progress; travelling through Syria by short stages, he paraded his captives and trophies before the peoples and princes who had so long relied on the invincible power of the Pharaoh.
[Illustration: 156.jpg SOUTHERN PROMONTORY AT THE MOUTH OF THE NAHR-EL-KELB]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph recently brought back by Lortet.
Esarhaddon's predecessors had more than once inscribed the record of their campaigns on the rocks of the Nahr-el-Kelb, beside the bas-relief engraved there by Ramses II., and it had been no small gratification to their pride thus to place themselves on a footing of equality with one of the most illustrious heroes of the ancient Egyptian empire.
[Illustration: 157.jpg STELE OF ESARHADDON AT THE NAHR-EL-KELB]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lortet.
The footpath which skirts the southern bank of the river, and turning to the south is continued along the seashore, was bordered by the great stelae in which, one after another, they had thought to immortalise their glory; following their example, Esarhaddon was in like manner pleased to celebrate his prowess, and exhibit the ancient lords of the world subjugated to his will. He erected numerous triumphal monuments along his route, and the stele which was discovered at one of the gates of Zinjirli is, doubtless, but an example of those which he erected in other important cities.
[Illustration: 158.jpg STELE OF Zinjirli]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of the original in the Berlin Museum.
He is represented on the Zinjirli stele standing erect, while at his feet are two kneeling prisoners, whom he is holding by a bridle of cord fastened to metal rings passed through their lips; these figures represent Baal of Tyre and Taharqa of Napata, the latter with the uraaus on his forehead. As a matter of fact, these kings were safe beyond his reach, one surrounded by the sea, the other above the cataracts, and the people were well aware that they did not form part of the band of prisoners which denied before their eyes; but they were accustomed to the vain and extravagant boastings of their conquerors, and these very exaggerations enabled them to understand more fully the extent of the victory. Esarhaddon thenceforward styled himself King of Egypt, King of the Kings of Egypt, of the Said and of Kush, so great was his pride at having trampled underfoot the land of the Delta. And, in fact, Egypt had, for a century, been the only one of the ancient Eastern states which had always eluded the grasp of Assyria. The Elamites had endured disastrous defeats, which had cost them some of their provinces; the Urartians had been driven back into their mountains, and no longer attempted to emerge from them; Babylon had nearly been annihilated in her struggles for independence; while the Khati, the Phoenicians, Damascus, and Israel had been absorbed one after another in the gradual extension of Ninevehe supremacy. Egypt, although she had had a hand in all then-wars and revolutions, had never herself paid the penalty of her intrigues, and even when she had sometimes risked her troops on the battle-fields of Palestine, her disasters had not cost her more than the loss of a certain number of men: having once retired to the banks of the Nile, no one had dared to follow, and the idea had gained credence among her enemies as well as among her friends that Egypt was effectually protected by the desert from every attack. The victory of Esarhaddon proved that she was no more invulnerable than the other kingdoms of the world, and that before a bold advance the obstacles, placed by nature in the path of an invader, disappeared; the protecting desert had been crossed, the archers and chariots of Egypt had fled before the Assyrian cavalry and pikemen, her cities had endured the ignominy and misery of being taken by storm, and the wives and daughters of her Pharaohs had been carried off into servitude in common with the numerous princesses of Elam and Syria of that day. Esarhaddon filled his palaces with furniture and woven stuffs, with vases of precious metal and sculptured ivories, with glass ornaments and statuettes looted from Memphis: his workers in marble took inspiration from the sphinxes of Egypt to modify the winged, human-headed lions upon which the columns of their palaces rested, and the plans of his architects became more comprehensive at the mere announcement of such a vast amount of spoil. The palace they had begun to build at Nineveh, on the ruins of an ancient edifice, already surpassed all previous architectural efforts. The alabaster quarries of the Assyrian mountains and the forests of Phoenicia had alike been put under contribution to face the walls of its state apartments; twenty-two chiefs of the country of the Khati, of Phoenicia, and of the Mediterranean littoral -- among them the Greek kings of Cyprus -- had vied with one another in supplying Esarhaddon with great beams of pine, cedar, and cypress for its construction. The ceilings were of cedar supported by pillars of cypress-wood encircled by silver and iron; stone lions and bulls stood on either side of the gates, and the doors were made of cedar and cypress, incrusted or overlaid with iron, silver and ivory. The treasures of Egypt enabled Esarhaddon to complete this palace and begin a new one at Calah, where the buildings erected somewhat hurriedly by Tiglath-pileser III. had already fallen into ruin. Some of the slabs on which the latter conqueror had engraved his Annals, and recounted the principal episodes of his campaigns, were removed and transferred to the site selected by Esarhaddon, and one of the surfaces of each was pared down in order to receive new pictures and fresh inscriptions. They had, however, hardly been placed in the stonemason's hands when the work was interrupted.*
* The date of the building of the palace at Calah is furnished by the inscriptions, in which Esarhaddon assumes the title of King of Egypt.
[Illustration: 161.jpg ASSYRIAN SPHINX IN EGYPTIAN STYLE SUPPORTING THE BASE OF A COLUMN]
Drawn by Boudier, from the alabaster sculpture reproduced by Layard.
It may have been that Esarhaddon had to suspend all his operations while putting down some conspiracy. At any rate, we know that in 669 B.C. many high personages of his court were seized and executed. The question of the succession to the throne was still undecided; Sinidina-bal, the son whom Esarhaddon had previously designated as his heir presumptive, was dead, and the people feared lest he should choose from among his other sons some prince who had not their interests at heart. The king's affection for Babylon had certainly aroused jealousy and anxiety among his Assyrian subjects, and perhaps some further tokens of preference made them uneasy lest' he should select Shamash-shumukin, one of his children who manifested the same tendencies, and who was, moreover, the son of a Babylonian wife. Most of the nobles who had been led to join the conspiracy paid for their indiscretion with their heads, but their opposition gave the sovereign cause for reflection, and decided him to modify his schemes. Convinced that it was impossible to unite Babylon and Nineveh permanently under the same ruler, he reluctantly decided to divide his kingdom into two parts -- Assyria, the strongest portion, falling naturally to his eldest son, Assur-bani-pal, while Babylonia was assigned to Shamash-shumukin, on condition of his paying homage to his brother as suzerain.* The best method to ensure his wishes being carried into effect was to prepare their way for the fulfilment while he was still alive; and rebellions which broke out about this time beyond the isthmus afforded a good opportunity for so doing. Egypt was at this period divided into twenty states of various dimensions, very nearly the same as had existed a century before, when Pionkhi had, for the first time, brought the whole country under Ethiopian rule.** In the south, the extensive Theban province occupied both sides of the river from Assuan to Thinis and Khemmis.
* Winokler considers that Assur-bani-pal was the leader of tha conspiracy, and that he obliged his father to recognise him as heir to the crown of Assyria, and to associate him on the throne.
** The list of the principalities in the time of Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal is found on the cylinders of Assur-bani- pal.
It was nominally governed by Amenertas or her daughter, Shapenuapit, but the administration was, as usual, entrusted to a member of the priestly college, at that time to Montumihait, Count of Thebes, and fourth prophet of Anion.*
* The Assyrian name of this personage, spelt first
Mantimiankhi, has been more accurately transcribed
Mantimikhi. The identification with the Montumihait of the Theban documents, is now generally adopted.
The four principalities of Thinis, Siut, Hermopolis, and Heracleopolis separated it from the small kingdom of Memphis and Sais, and each of the regions of the Delta was divided into one or two fiefs, according to the number and importance of the towns it contained. In the south, Thebes was too directly under the influence of Ethiopia to be able to exercise an independent policy with regard to the rest of the country. In the north, two families contested the supremacy more or less openly. One of them, whose hereditary domains included the Arabian, and parts of the surrounding nomes, was then represented by a certain Pakruru. He had united under his banner the numerous petty chiefs of the eastern side of the Delta, the heirs of the ancient dynasties of Tanis and Bubastis, and his energy or ability must have made a good impression on the minds of his contemporaries, for they handed down his memory to their successors, who soon metamorphosed him into a popular legendary hero, famed both for his valour and wisdom. The nobles of the western nomes acknowledged as their overlords the regents of Sais, the descendants of that Bocchoris who had for a short while brought the whole valley of the Nile under his sway. Sabaco, having put his rival to death, had installed in his hereditary domains an Ethiopian named Ammeris, but this Ammeris had disappeared from the scene about the same time as his patron, in 704 B.C., and after him three princes at least had succeeded to the throne, namely, Stephinates, Nekhepsos, and Necho.* Stephinates had died about 680 B.C., without accomplishing anything which was worth recording. Nekhepsos had had no greater opportunities of distinguishing himself than had fallen to the lot of his father, and yet legends grew up round his name as round that of Pakruru: he was reputed to have been a great soothsayer, astrologist, and magician, and medical treatises were ascribed to him, and almanacs much esteemed by the superstitious in the Roman period.**
* The lists of Eusebius give the series Ammeres,
Stephinates, Nekhepsos, Necho I., but Lepsius displaced Ammeres and identified him with the queen Amenertas; others have thought to recognise in him Miamun Pionkhi, or Tanuatamanu, the successor of Taharqa. He must, however, be left in this place in the list, and we may perhaps consider him as the founder of the XXVIth dynasty. If the number of seven years for the reign of Stephinates is adopted, we must suppose either that Manetho passed over the name of a prince at the beginning of the XXVIth dynasty, or that Ammeris was only enthroned at Memphis after the death of Sabaco; but the lists of the Syncellus and of Sothis assign 27 years to the reign of Stephinates.
** The astrological works of Nekhepsos are cited, among others, by Pliny, and it is probably he whom a Greek papyrus of the Salt Collection mentions under the name of Nekheus.
Necho had already occupied the throne for three or four years when the invasion of 670 B.C. delivered him from the Ethiopian supremacy. He is represented as being brave, energetic, and enterprising, ready to hazard everything in order to attain the object towards which the ambition of his ancestors had been tending for a century past, namely, to restore unity to the ancient kingdom under the rule of the house of Sais. The extent of his realm, and, above all, the possession of Memphis, gave him a real superiority, and Esarhaddon did not hesitate to esteem him above his competitors; the Ninevite scribes placed him in the first rank, and he heads the list of the Egyptian vassals. He soon had an opportunity of proving his devotion to his foreign suzerain. Taharqa did not quietly accept his defeat, and Egypt looked to him to be revenged on the Assyrian as soon as he should have reorganised his army. He once more, accordingly, took the field in the middle of 669 B.C.; the barons of the Said rallied to his standard without hesitation, and he soon re-entered the |White Wall,| but there his advance was arrested. Necho and the neighbouring chiefs of the Delta, held in check by the presence of Semitic garrisons, did not venture to proclaim themselves on his side, and awaited under arms the arrival of Assyrian reinforcements.* Esarhaddon, in spite of failing health, assumed command of the troops, and before leaving home carried out the project to which the conspiracy of the preceding year had given rise; he assigned the government of Babylon to Shamash-shumukin, and solemnly designated Assur-bani-pal as the heir to Assyria proper, and to the suzerainty over the whole empire.**
* The first Egyptian campaign of Assur-bani-pal is also the last campaign of Esarhaddon, and Assur-bani-pal appropriated all the earlier incidents of it, some of which belong to the sole reign of his father, and some to the few weeks in which he shared the throne with him.
** The association of Assur-bani-pal with his father on the throne was pointed out by G. Smith, who thought he could fix the date about 673 B.C., three or four years before the death of Esarhaddon. Tielo showed that Assur-bani-pal was then only made viceroy, and assigned his association in the sovereignty to the year 671 or 670 B.C., about the time of the second Egyptian campaign, while Hommel brought it down to 669. Winckler has, with much reason, placed the date in 668 B.C. The Assyrian documents do not mention the
coronation of Shamash-shuniukin, for Assur-bani-pal afterwards affected to consider his brother a mere viceroy, appointed by himself after the death of his father
Esarhaddon; but an examination of all the circumstances has shown that the enthronement of Shamash-shumukin at Babylon was on a par with that of Assur-bani-pal at Nineveh, and that both owed their elevation to their father.
On the 12th of Lyyar, 668 B.C., on the day of the feast of Gula, he presented their new lord to all the inhabitants of Assyria, both small and great, who had assembled to be present at the ceremony, which ended in the installation of the prince in the palace of Bitriduti, reserved for the heirs-apparent. A few weeks later Esarhaddon set out for Egypt, but his malady became more serious on the journey, and he died on the 10th of Arakhsamna, in the twelfth year of his reign.*
* Arakhsamna corresponds to the Jewish Marcheswan, and to our month of May.
When we endeavour to conjure up his image before us, we fancy we are right in surmising that he was not cast in the ordinary mould of Assyrian monarchs. The history of his campaigns shows that he was as active and resolute as Assur-nazir-pal and Shalmaneser III., but he did not add to these good qualities their inflexible harshness towards their subjects, nor their brutal treatment of conquered foes. Circumstances in which they would have shown themselves merciless, he seized upon as occasions for clemency, and if massacres and executions are recorded among the events of his reign, at least he does not class them among the most important: the records of his wars do not continually speak of rebels flayed alive, kings impaled before the gates of their cities, and whole populations decimated by fire and sword. Of all the Assyrian conquerors, he is almost the only one for whom the historian can feel any regard, or from the study of whose reign he passes on with regret to pursue that of others in due course.
As soon as Esarhaddon had passed away, the separation of the two parts of the empire which he had planned was effected almost automatically: Assur-bani-pal proclaimed himself King of Assyria, and Shamash-shumukin, in like manner, King of Babylon. One fact, which seems insignificant enough to us when we read it in the Annals, but was decisive in the eyes of their contemporaries, sanctioned the transformation thus accomplished: Bel and the gods of Accad quitted Assur in the month of Iyyar and returned to their resting-place in Babylon. The restoration of the images to their own country became necessary as soon as it was decided to have a king in Karduniash, even though he were an Assyrian. To enable him to exercise legitimate authority, he must have celebrated the rites and |taken the hands of Bel,| but it was a question whether this obligation could be fulfilled if Bel remained a prisoner in the neighbouring capital. Assur-bani-pal believed for a moment that this difficulty could be obviated, and consulted Shamash on this delicate question: |Shamash-shumukin, the son of Esarhaddon, the King of Assyria, can he in this year take the hands of Bel, the mighty lord Marduk, in this very city, and then go to Babylon with the favour of Bel! If that would be pleasing to thy great divinity and to the mighty lord Marduk, thy great divinity must know it.| The reply was not favourable, and Shamash gave it as his opinion that Bel could not act as a sovereign lord while still languishing in prison in a city which was not his own. Assur-bani-pal had to resign himself to the release of his captive, and he did it with a good grace. He proceeded in pomp to the temple of Assur, where Marduk was shut up, and humbly entreated the exiled deity to vouchsafe to return to his own country.
[Illustration: 168.jpg ASSUR-BANIPAL AS A BEARER OF OFFERINGS]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lehmann.
|Think on Babylon, which thou didst bring to nought in the rage of thy heart, and turn thy face towards the temple of E-sagilla, the lofty seat of thy divinity! Revisit thy city which thou hast forsaken to inhabit a place which is not worthy of thee, and do thou thyself, O Marduk, lord of the gods, give the command to return to Babylon.| The statue set out on its journey, and was escorted by a solemn procession headed by the two kings. The gods, by one accord, came forth from their cities and saluted the traveller as he passed by -- Beltis of Agade, Nebo of Borsippa, Shamash of Sippara, and Nirgal. At length he reached his beloved city, and entered E-sagilla in the midst of an immense throng of people. The kings headed the cortege, and the delighted multitude joined their two names with that of the god in their acclamations: it was a day never to be forgotten. Assur-bani-pal, in his capacity of suzerain, opened the sacred edifice, and then presented his brother, who thereupon |took the hands of Bel.|
[Illustration: 169.jpg SIHAMASH-SHUMUKIN AS A BEARER OF OFFERINGS]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lehmann.
A quarter of a century had not passed since the victorious Sennacherib had, as he thought, inflicted a mortal blow on the one power which stood in the way of Assyria's supremacy in Western Asia; already, in spite of his efforts, the city had sprung up from its ruins as vigorous as ever, and his sons and grandsons had felt themselves irresistibly drawn to resuscitate that which their ancestors had desired to annihilate irrevocably. Babylon had rebuilt her palaces, her walls, and her temples; she had received back her gods without a war, and almost without any agitation, by the mere force of the prestige she exercised over all around her, and even over her conquerors. As a matter of fact, she had not regained her former position, and was still depressed and enfeebled by the blow which had laid her low; in addition to this, her king was an Assyrian, and a vassal of Assyria, but nevertheless he was her own king, and hers alone. Her independence was already half regained. Shamash-shumukin established his court at Babylon, and applied himself from the outset to restore, as far as he was able, the material and moral forces of his kingdom. Assur-bani-pal, on his side, met with no opposition from his subjects, but prudence cautioned him not to estrange them; the troubles of the preceding year were perhaps not so completely suppressed as to prevent the chiefs who had escaped punishment from being encouraged by the change of sovereign to renew their intrigues. The king, therefore, remained in Nineveh to inaugurate his rule, and confided to his generals the charge of conducting the expeditions which had been undertaken during his father's lifetime.* One of these undertakings was unimportant. Tandai of Kirbit, a petty chief, was continually engaged in harassing the inhabitants of Yamutbal; he bore down upon them every year, and, after dealing a blow, retreated to his hiding-place in the mountains. He was attacked in his stronghold, and carried away captive with all his people into Egypt, at the furthest extremity of the empire, to serve in Assyrian garrisons in the midst of the fellahin.**
* In the numerous documents relating to the reign of Assur- bani-pal the facts are arranged in geographical order, not by the dates of the successive expeditions, and the chronological order of the campaigns is all the more difficult to determine accurately, as Pinches' Babylonian Chronicle fails us after the beginning of this reign, immediately after the mention of the above-mentioned war with Kirbit. Even the Eponym Canon is only accurate down to 666 B.C.; in that year there is a break, and although we possess for the succeeding period more than forty names of eponyms, their classification is not at present absolutely certain.
** The expedition against Kirbit is omitted in certain documents; it is inserted in the others in the fourth place, between the wars in Asia Minor and the campaign against the Mannai. The place assigned to it in the Bab. Chron. quite in the beginning of the reign, is confirmed by a fragment of a tablet quoted by Winckler. Perhaps it was carried out by a Babylonian army: although Assur-bani-pal claimed the glory of it, by reason of his suzerainty over Karduniash.
Meanwhile, the army which Esarhaddon had been leading against Taharqa pursued its course under command of the Tartan.* Syria received it submissively, and the twenty-two kings who still possessed a shadow of autonomy in the country sent assurances of their devotion to the new monarch: even Yakinlu, King of Arvad, who had aroused suspicion by frequent acts of insubordination,** thought twice before rebelling against his terrible suzerain, and joined the rest in paying both homage and tribute. Cyprus and also Phoenicia remained faithful to their allegiance, and, what was of still more consequence, the states which lay nearest to Egypt -- Philistia, Judah, Moab, and Ammon; the Assyrians were thus able to push forward to the Delta without losing time in repressing rebellions along their route. The Ethiopians had entrenched themselves at Karbaniti;*** they were, however, once more defeated, and left; so many of their soldiers dead upon the field, that Taharqa had not sufficient troops left to defend Memphis.
* The text of Tablet K 2675-K 228 of the Brit. Mus., states distinctly that the Tartan commanded the first army.
** Assur-bani-pal, acting in the name of his father, Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, had consulted Shamash on the desirability of sending troops against Arvad: the prince of this city is called Ikkalu, which is a variant of Yakinlu. Winckler concluded that the campaign against Arvad took place before 668 B.C., in the reign of Esarhaddon. It seems to me more natural to place it on the return from Egypt, when the people of Arvad were demoralised by the defeat of the Pharaoh whose alliance they had hoped for.
*** I had compared Karbaniti with the Qarbina mentioned in the Great Harris Papyrus, and this identification was accepted by most Egyptologists, even after Brugsch
recognised in Qarbina the name of Canopus or a town near Canopus. It has been contested by Steindorf, and, in fact, Karbaniti could not be identified with Canopus, any more than the Qarbina of the Harris Papyrus; its site must be looked for in the eastern or central part of the Delta.
He retreated upon Thebes, where he strongly fortified himself; but the Tartan had not suffered less than his adversary, and he would have been unable to pursue him, had not reinforcements promptly reached him. The Bab-shakeh, who had been despatched from Nineveh with some Assyrian troops, had summoned to his aid the principal Syrian feudal chiefs, who, stimulated by the news of the victories achieved on the banks of the Nile, placed themselves unreservedly at his disposal. He ordered their vessels to proceed along the coast as far as the Delta, where he purposed to collect a fleet to ascend the river, while their troops augmented the force already under his command. The two Assyrian generals, the Tartan and the Rabshakeh, quitted Memphis, probably in the early part of 667 B.C., and, cautiously advancing southwards, covered the distance separating the two Egyptian capitals in a steady march of forty days. When the Assyrians had advanced well up the valley, the princes of the Delta thought the opportunity had arrived to cut them off by a single bold stroke. They therefore opened cautious negotiations with the Ethiopian king, and proposed an arrangement which should secure their independence: |We will divide the country between us, and neither of us shall exercise authority over the other.| However secretly these negotiations were conducted, they were certain to come to the knowledge of the Assyrian generals: the couriers were intercepted; and discovering from the despatches the extent of the danger, the Assyrians seized as many of the leaders of the league as they could. As a warning they sacked Sais, Mendes, and Tanis, demolishing the fortifications, and flaying or impaling the principal citizens before their city gates; they then sent two of the intriguing chiefs, Necho and Sharludari of Pelusium, bound hand and foot with chains, to Nineveh. Pakruru, of the Arabian nome, managed, however, to escape them. Taharqa, thus bereft of his allies, was no longer in a condition to repel the invader: he fled to Ethiopia, abandoning Thebes to its fate. The city was ransomed by despoiling the temple of Amon of half its treasures: Montumihait transferred his allegiance unhesitatingly to Assur-bani-pal, and the whole of Egypt from the Mediterranean to the first cataract once more became Assyrian territory. The victory was so complete that Assur-bani-pal thought he might without risk show clemency to his prisoners. He summoned them to his presence, and there, instead of putting out their eyes or subjecting them to some horrible form of torture, he received them back into favour, and confirmed Necho in the possession of all the honours which Esarhaddon had conceded to him. He clothed him in a mantle of honour, and bestowed on him a straight-bladed sword with an iron scabbard ornamented with gold, engraved with his names and titles, besides rings, gold bracelets, chariots, horses, and mules; in short, all the appurtenances of royalty. Not content with restoring to him the cities of Sais and Memphis, he granted him the fief of Athribis for his eldest son, Psammetichus.
[Illustration: 174.jpg MONTUMIHAIT, PRINCE OF THEBES]
Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph by Miss Benson. It is not quite certain that this statue represents Montumihait, as the inscription is wanting: the circumstances of the discovery, however, render it very probable.
Moreover, he neglected no measure likely to show his supremacy. Athribis received the new name of Limir-patesi-assur, may the high priest of Assur be glorious, and Sais that of Kar-bel-matati, the fortress of the lord of the countries. Psammetichus was called Nebo-shezib-anni, Nebo, deliver me, and residents were installed at his court and that of his father, who were entrusted with the surveillance of their conduct, and the task of keeping them to the path of duty: Necho, thus well guarded, thenceforward never faltered in his allegiance.
The subjection of Egypt reacted on Syria and Asia Minor. Of the only two states still existing along the Phoenician seaboard, one, namely Tyre, had been in revolt for many years, and the other, Arvad, showed symptoms of disaffection.
[Illustration: 175.jpg PSAMMETICHUS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.
Esarhaddon, from lack of a sufficient fleet, had never been able to subdue the former, but he had interrupted the communications of the island with the mainland, and the blockade, which was constantly increasing in strictness, had already lasted for four years. On receipt of the news from Egypt, Baal realised that further resistance was hopeless; he therefore delivered up to the victor his heir-apparent, Yahi-melek, and one of his daughters, together with other hostages, besides silver, gold, and wood, and intreated for pardon. Assur-bani-pal left him in possession of his kingdom on condition of paying the regular tribute, but Yakinlu, the King of Arvad, met with harsher treatment. In vain did he give up his sons, his daughters, and all his treasures; his intractability had worn out the patience of his suzerain: he was carried away captive to Nineveh, and replaced by Azibaal, his eldest son. Two chiefs of the Taurus -- Mugallu of Tabal, who had given trouble to Esarhaddon in the last years of his life, and Sanda-sarme of Cilicia -- purchased immunity from the punishment due for various acts of brigandage, by gifts of horses, and by handing over each of them a daughter, richly dowered, to the harem of the king at Nineveh. But these were incidents of slight moment, and their very insignificance proves how completely resigned to foreign domination the nations of the Mediterranean coast had now become. Vassal kings, princes, cities, peasants of the plain or shepherds of the mountains, all who were subject directly or indirectly to Assyria, had almost ceased to imagine that a change of sovereign afforded them any chance of regaining their independence. They no longer considered themselves the subjects of a conqueror whose death might free them from allegiance; they realised that they were the subjects of an empire whose power did not depend on the genius or incapacity of one man, but was maintained from age to age in virtue of the prestige it had attained, whatever might be the qualities of the reigning sovereign. The other independent states had at length come to the same conclusion, and the news of the accession of a fresh Assyrian king no longer awakened among them hopes of conquest or, at all events, of booty; such an occasion was regarded as a suitable opportunity for strengthening the bonds of neighbourly feeling or conciliatory friendship which united them to Assyria, by sending an embassy to congratulate the new sovereign. One of these embassies, which arrived about 667 B.C., caused much excitement at the court of Nineveh, and greatly flattered the vanity of the king. Reports brought back by sailors or the chiefs of caravans had revealed the existence of a kingdom of Lydia in the extreme west of Asia Minor, at the place of embarcation for crossing the sea.*
* It is called nagu sha nibirti tamtim, |the country of the crossing of the sea,| or more concisely, |the country this side the sea.|
It was known to be celebrated for its gold and its horses, but no direct relations between the two courts had ever been established, and the Lydian kings had hitherto affected to ignore the existence of Assyria. A revolution had broken out in this province a quarter of a century previously, which had placed on the throne of the Heraclidse that family of the Mermnado whose previous history had been so tragic. Dascylus, who had made his home for a long time among the White Syrians, had no intention of abandoning his adopted country, when one day, about the year 698 B.C., a messenger arrived bidding him repair to Sardes without delay. His uncle Ardys, prince of Tyrrha, having no children, had applied to Sadyattes, beseeching him to revoke the sentence of banishment passed on his nephew. |My house is desolate,| said he, |and all my kinsfolk are dead; and furthermore, Dascylus and his house have already been pardoned by thine ancestors.| Sadyattes consented, but Dascylus, preferring not to return, sent his son Gyges, then about eighteen years of age, in his stead. Gyges was a tall and very beautiful youth, and showed unusual skill as a charioteer and in the use of weapons, so that his renown soon spread throughout the country. Sadyattes desired to see him, and being captivated by his bold demeanour, enrolled him in his bodyguard, loaded him with presents, and took him into his entire confidence. Gyges was clever enough to utilise the king's favour in order to enlarge his domains and increase his riches, and thus win partisans among the people and the body of |Friends.| Carian mercenaries at that time formed one of the most vigorous and best disciplined contingents in the armies of the period.* The Carians were, above all, a military race, and are said to have brought the shield and helmet to their highest perfection; at Sardes they formed the garrison of the citadel, and their captains were in high favour with the king. Gyges formed a fast friendship with Arselis of Mylasa, one of the chief of these officers, and thus made sure of the support of the garrison, and of the possibility of recruiting a corps among the Carian clans who remained in their own country.** He thus incurred the bitter jealousy of the Tylonidag, whose chief, Lixos, was ready to adopt any measures which might damage his rival, even going so far as to simulate madness and run through the streets of Sardes crying out that Gyges, the son of Dascylus, was about to assassinate the king; but this stratagem did not succeed any better than his other treacherous devices. Meanwhile Sadyattes had sought the hand of Toudo,*** daughter of Arnossos of Mysia, and sent his favourite to receive his affianced bride at the hand of her father.
* Archilochus of Paros, a contemporary of Gyges, mentions the Carian mercenaries, and later on Ephorus said of them, that they had been the first to sell their services to strangers.
** The connection between Arselis and Gyges is mentioned by Plutarch.
*** It is not certain whether the name is Toudo or Trydo.
Gyges fell in love with her on the journey, and tried in vain to win her favour. She repulsed his advances with indignation, and on the very night of her marriage complained to her husband of the insult which had been offered her. Sadyattes swore that he would avenge her on the morrow; but Gyges, warned by a servant, slew the king before daybreak. Immediately after thus assassinating his sovereign, Gyges called together the |Friends,| and ridding himself of those who were hostile to him, induced the others by bribes to further his designs; then descending to the place of public assembly, he summoned the people to a conclave. After a long and stormy debate, it was decided to consult the oracle at Delphi, which, corrupted by the gold from the Pactolus, enjoined on the Lydians to recognise Gyges as their king. He married Toudo, and by thus espousing the widow of the Heraclid sovereign, obtained some show of right to the crown; but the decision of the oracle was not universally acceptable, and war broke out, in which Gyges was victorious, thanks to the bravery of his Carian mercenaries. His career soon served as the fabric on which the popular imagination was continually working fresh embroideries. He was reported at the outset to have been of base extraction, a mere soldier of fortune, who had raised himself by degrees to the highest posts and had finally supplanted his patron. Herodotus, following the poet Archilochus of Paros, relates how the last of the Heraclidas, whom he calls by his private name of Kandaules, and not his official name of Sadyattes,* forcibly insisted on exposing to the admiration of Gyges the naked beauty of his wife; the queen, thus outraged, called upon the favourite to avenge the insult to her modesty by the blood of her husband, and then bestowed on him her hand, together with the crown.
* Schubert considers that the names Sadyattes and Kandaules belong to two distinct persons. Kandaules, according to him, was probably a second son of Myrsos, who, after the murder of Sadyattes, disputed the possession of the crown with Gyges; in this case he was killed in battle by the Carian commander, Arselis, as related by Plutarch, and Gyges was not really king till after the death of Kandaules.
Plato made this story the groundwork of a most fantastic tale. Gyges, according to him, was originally a shepherd, who, after a terrible storm, noticed a fissure in the ground, into which he crept; there he discovered an enormous bronze horse, half broken, and in its side the corpse of a giant with a gold ring on his finger. Chance revealed to him that this ring rendered its wearer invisible: he set out for the court in quest of adventures, seduced the queen, murdered the king and seized his crown, accomplishing all this by virtue of his talisman.*
* This version is curious, because it has preserved for us one of the earliest examples of a ring which renders its wearer invisible; it is well known how frequently such a talisman appears in Oriental tales of a later period.
According to a third legend, his crime and exaltation had been presaged by a wondrous prodigy. Two eagles of supernatural size had alighted on the roof of Toudo's room while she was still dwelling in her father's house, and the soothsayers who were consulted prognosticated that the princess would be the wife of two kings in a single night; and, in fact, Gyges, having stabbed Sadyattes when his marriage was but just consummated, forced Toudo to become his wife on the spot without waiting for the morrow. Other stories were current, in which the events were related with less of the miraculous element, and which attributed the success of Gyges to the unbounded fidelity shown him by the Carian Arselis. In whatever manner it was brought about, his accession marked the opening of a new era for Lydia. The country had always been noted for its valiant and warlike inhabitants, but the Heraclidse had not expended its abundant resources on foreign conquest, and none of the surrounding peoples suspected that it could again become the seat of a brilliant empire as in fabulous times.
[Illustration: 181.jpg LYDIAN HORSEMEN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a Lydian bas-relief now in the British Museum.
Gyges endeavoured to awaken the military instincts of his subjects. If he were not actually the first to organise that admirable cavalry corps which for nearly a century proved itself invincible on the field of battle, at least he enlarged and disciplined it, giving it cohesion and daring; and it was well he did so, for a formidable danger already menaced his newly acquired kingdom. The Cimmerians and Treres, so long as they did not act in concert, had been unable to overcome the resistance offered by the Phrygians; their raids, annually renewed, had never resulted in more than the destruction of a city or the pillaging of an ill-defended district. But from 690 to 680 B.C. the Cimmerians, held in check by the bold front displayed by Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, had at last broken away from the seductions of the east, and poured down in force on the centre of the peninsula. King Midas, after an heroic defence, at length gave way before their overwhelming numbers, and, rather than fall alive into the hands of the barbarians, poisoned himself by drinking the blood of a bull (676 B.C.).* The flower of his nobility perished with him, and the people of lower rank who survived were so terrified by the invasion, that they seemed in one day to lose entirely the brave and energetic character which had hitherto been their safeguard. The Cimmerians seized town after town;** they descended from the basin of the Sangarios into that of the Bhyndakos; they laid waste the Troad, and, about 670 B.C., they established themselves securely in the stronghold of Antandros, opposite the magnificent AEolian island of Lesbos, and ere long their advanced posts were face to face on all sides with the outposts of Lydia.
* The date of 676 B.C. has been borrowed from Julius Africanus by the Christian chronologists of the Byzantine period; these latter made the fall of the Phrygian kingdom coincide with the reign of Amon in Judaea, and this date is accepted by most modern historians.
** One fact alone, probably taken from the Lydiaca of Xanthus, is known to us concerning their operations in Phrygia, namely, the taking of Syassos and the capture of enormous stores of corn which were laid up in the silos in that city.
Gyges resolutely held his own, and successfully repulsed them; but the struggle was too unequal between their vast hordes, recruited incessantly from their reserves in Thrace or the Caucasus, and his scanty battalions of Lydians, Carians, and Creeks. Unaided, he had no chance of reopening the great royal highway, which the fall of the Phrygian monarchy had laid at the mercy of the barbarians along the whole of its middle course, and yet he was aware that a cessation of the traffic which passed between the Euphrates and the Hermos was likely to lead in a short time to the decay of his kingdom. If the numerous merchants who were wont to follow this ancient traditional route were once allowed to desert it and turn aside to one of the coast-roads which might replace it -- either that of the Pontus in the north or of the Mediterranean in the south -- they might not be willing to return to it even when again opened to traffic, and Lydia would lose for ever one of her richest sources of revenue.*
* Radet deserves credit for being the first to point out the economic reasons which necessarily led Gyges to make his attempt at forming an alliance with Assur-bani-pal. He has thus definitely dismissed the objections which some recent critics had raised against the authenticity of this episode in order to defend classic tradition and diminish the authority of the Assyrian texts.
We may well conceive that Gyges, whose fortune and very existence was thus in jeopardy, would seek assistance against these barbarians from the sovereign whose interests appeared identical with his own. The renown of the Assyrian empire had penetrated far into the west; the Achaens of Cyprus who were its subjects, the Greek colonists of Cilicia, and the soldiers whom the exigencies of the coast-trade brought to Syrian ports, must all have testified to its splendour; and the fame of its conquests over the Tabal and the peoples on the Halys had spread abroad more than once during the previous century, and had reached as far as the western extremity of the peninsula of Asia Minor, by means of the merchants of Sardes or Ionia. The Cimmerians had harassed Assyria, and still continued to be a source of anxiety to her rulers; Gyges judged that participation in a common hatred or danger would predispose the king in his favour, and a dream furnished him with a pretext for notifying to the court of Nineveh his desire to enter into friendly relations with it. He dreamed that a god, undoubtedly Assur, had appeared to him in the night, and commanded him to prostrate himself at the feet of Assur-bani-pal: |In his name thou shalt overcome thine enemies.| The next morning he despatched horsemen to the great king, but when the leader of the embassy reached the frontier and met the Assyrians for the first time, they asked him, |Who, then, art thou, brother, thou from whose land no courier has as yet visited our country?| The language he spoke was unknown to them; they only gathered that he desired to be conducted into the presence of the king, and consequently sent him on to Nineveh under good escort. There the same obstacle presented itself, for none of the official interpreters at the court knew the Lydian tongue; however, an interpreter was at length discovered, who translated the story of the dream as best he could. Assur-bani-pal joyfully accepted the homage offered to him from such a far-off land, and from thenceforward some sort of alliance existed between Assyria and Lydia -- an alliance of a very Platonic order, from which Gyges at least derived no sensible advantage. Some troops sent into the country of the White Syrians may have disquieted the Cimmerians, and, by causing a diversion in their rear, procured a respite for Lydia; but the caravan route across Asia Minor was only of secondary importance to the prosperity of Nineveh and the Syrian provinces, since the Phoenician navy provided sufficient outlets for their trade in the west. Assur-bani-pal lavished friendly speeches on the Lydians, but left them to bear the brunt of the attack alone, and devoutly thanked Assur for the security which their determined courage procured for the western frontier of his empire.
The Cimmerian peril being, for the present at least, averted, there no longer remained any foe to trouble the peace of the empire on the northern or eastern frontier, Urartu, the Mannai, and the Medes having now ceased to be formidable. Urartu, incessantly exposed to the ravages of the barbarians, had drawn closer and closer to Assyria; and though not actually descending to the point of owning its rival's superiority in order to obtain succour against these terrible foes, it yet carefully avoided all pretexts for war, and persistently maintained friendly relations with its powerful neighbour. Its kings, Eusas II. and his successor Erimenas, no longer meditated feats of arms and successful raids, but devoted themselves to building their city walls, erecting palaces and temples, and planning pleasant retreats in the mountain fastnesses, where they lived surrounded by gardens planted at great cost, watered by streams brought thither from distant springs. The Mannai submitted without a murmur to their Assyrian governors, and the Medes, kept in check by the garrisons of Parsua and Kharkhar, seemed to have laid aside much of their fierce and turbulent disposition. Esarhaddon had endeavoured to conciliate the good will of Elam by a signal service. He had supplied its inhabitants with corn, wine, and provisions of all sorts during a famine which had afflicted the country about 670 B.C.; nor had his good will ended there. He refused to bring into servitude those Elamite subjects who had taken refuge with their families on Assyrian territory to escape the scourge, although the rights of nations authorised him so to do, but having nourished them as long as the dearth lasted, he then sent them back to their fellow-citizens. Urtaku of Elam had thenceforward maintained a kind of sullen neutrality, entering only into secret conspiracies against the Babylonian prefects on the Tigris. The Aramaeans in the valleys of the Ulai, indeed, were restless, and several of their chiefs, Bel-ikisha of the G-ambula, and Nabo-shumirish, plotted in secret with Marduk-shumibni, the Elamite general in command on the frontier. But no hint of this had yet transpired, and peace apparently reigned there as elsewhere. Never had the empire been so respected; never had it united so many diverse nations under one sceptre -- Egyptians, Syrians, tribes of the Taurus, and the mountain districts round the Tigris and Euphrates, Mannai, Medes, Babylonians, and Arabs; never, moreover, had it possessed greater resources wherewith to compel obedience from the provinces or defend them against foreign attack.
[Illustration: 187.jpg ASSUR-BANI-PAL]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs from Kouyunjik in the British Museum.
Doubtless the population of Assyria proper, and the ancient districts whose contingents formed the nucleus of the army, were still suffering from the results of the civil war which had broken out more than fifteen years before, after the assassination of Sennacherib; but under the easy rule of Esarhaddon the natural increase of population, unchecked by any extraordinary call for recruits, must have almost repaired their losses. The Egyptian campaigns, partially carried out by Syrian auxiliaries, had not sensibly retarded this progress, and, provided that peace were maintained for some years longer, the time seemed at hand when the king, having repaired his losses, could call upon the nation to make fresh efforts in offensive or defensive warfare, without the risk of seeing his people melt and disappear before his eyes. It seems, indeed, as if Assur-bani-pal, either by policy or natural disposition, was inclined for peace. But this did not preclude, when occasion demanded, his directing his forces and fighting in person like any other Assyrian monarch; he, however, preferred repose, and when circumstances forced war upon him, he willingly delegated the conduct of the army to his generals. He would probably have renounced possession of Egypt if he could have done so with safety and such a course would not have been without wisdom, the retention of this newly acquired province being difficult and costly. Not to speak of differences in language, religion, and manners, which would prevent it from ever becoming assimilated to Assyria as Damascus, Hamath, and Samaria, and most of the Asiatic states had been, it was merely connected with the rest of the empire by the thin chain of rocks, desert, and marshes stretching between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. A revolt of the cities of the Philistines, or of one of the Idumsean sheikhs, would have sufficed to isolate it, and, communications once interrupted, the safety of the numerous Assyrian officers and garrisons would be seriously jeopardised, all of whom must be maintained there if the country was to be permanently retained. The inclination to meddle in the affairs of Syria always displayed by the Pharaohs, and their obsolete claims to rule the whole country as far as the Euphrates, did not allow of their autonomy being restored to them at the risk of the immediate renewal of their intrigues with Tyre or Judah, and the fomenting of serious rebellions among the vassal princes of Palestine. On the other hand, Egypt was by its natural position so detached from the rest of the empire that it was certain to escape from the influence of Nineveh as soon as the pressure of circumstances obliged the suzerain to relax his efforts to keep it in subjection. Besides this, Ethiopia lay behind Egypt, almost inaccessible in the fabled realms of the south, always ready to provoke conspiracies or renew hostilities when the occasion offered. Montumihait had already returned to Thebes on the retreat of the Assyrian battalions, and though Taharqa, rendered inactive, as it was said, by a dream which bade him remain at Napata,* had not reappeared north of the cataract, he had sent Tanuatamanu, the son of his wife by Sabaco, to administer the province in his name.** Taharqa died shortly after (666 B.C.), and his stepson was preparing to leave Thebes in order to be solemnly crowned at Gebel Barkal, when he saw one night in a dream two serpents, one on his right hand, the other on his left. The soothsayers whom he consulted on the matter prognosticated for him a successful career: |Thou holdest the south countries; seize thou those of the north, and let the crowns of the two regions gleam upon thy brow!| He proceeded at once to present himself before his divine father Amon of Napata, and, encountering no opposition from the Ethiopian priests or nobles, he was able to fulfil the prediction almost immediately after his coronation.***
* The legend quoted by Herodotus relates that Sabaco, having slain Necho I., the father of Psammetichus, evacuated Egypt which he had conquered, and retired to Ethiopia in obedience to a dream. The name of Sabaco was very probably substituted for that of Taharqa in the tradition preserved in Sais and Memphis, echoes of which reached the Greek historian in the middle of the fifth century B.C.
** It appears, from the Stele of the Dream, that
Tanuatamanu was in the Thebaid at the time of his accession to the throne.
*** Steindorff thinks that Tanuatamanu had been officially associated with himself on the throne by Taharqa, and Schsefer supposes that the dream dates from the first year of their joint reign. The presence of Tanuatamanu beside Taharqa, in the small Theban temple, the bas-reliefs of which were published by Mariette, does not necessarily prove that the two kings reigned conjointly: it may equally well indicate that the one accomplished the work commenced by the other.
The Said hailed his return with joy, and the inhabitants, massed upon either bank of the river, acclaimed him as he glided past them on his boat: |Go in peace! mayest thou have peace! Restore life to Egypt! Rebuild the ruined temples, set up once more the statues and emblems of the deities! Reestablish the endowments raised to the gods and goddesses, even the offerings to the dead! Restore the priest to his place, that he may minister at all the rites!|
The Assyrian officials and the princes of the north, with Necho at their head, were drawn up beneath the walls of Memphis to defy him. He overcame them, however, captured the city, and pushed on into the Delta in pursuit of the retreating foe. Necho either fell in a skirmish, or was taken prisoner and put to death: his son Psammetichus escaped to Syria, but the remaining princes shut themselves up, each in his own stronghold, to await reinforcements from Asia, and a series of tedious and interminable sieges began. Impatient at this dilatory method of warfare, Tanuatamanu at length fell back on Memphis, and there opened negotiations in the hope of securing at least a nominal submission, which might enable him to withdraw from the affair with honour.
[Illustration: 190.jpg MURAL DECORATIONS FROM THE GROTTOES]
The princes of the east received his overtures favourably, and consented to prostrate themselves before him at the White Wall under the auspices of Pakruru. |Grant us the breath of life, for he who acknowledges thee not cannot live, and we will be thy vassals, as thou didst declare at the beginning, on the day in which thou becamest king!|
[Illustration: 191.jpg KING TANUATAMANU IN ADORATION BEFORE THE GODS OF THEBES]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Legrain, taken in the small temple at Thebes.
The heart of his Majesty was filled with joy when he heard this discourse: he bestowed upon them in abundance bread, beer, and all manner of good things. After sojourning some days at the court of Pharaoh their lord, they said to him, |Why stay we here, O prince our master?| His Majesty replied, |Wherefore?| They answered then, |Graciously permit us to return to our own cities, that we may give commands to our subjects, and may bring thee our tribute offerings!| They returned ere long, bringing the promised gifts, and the king withdrew to Napata loaded with spoil.* The Delta proper at once ceased to obey him, but Memphis, as well as Thebes, still acknowledged his sway for some two or three years longer.**
* Tanuatamanu was at first identified by Haigh with the person whose name Assyriologists read as Urdamani, but the impossibility of recognising the name Tanuatamanu in Urdamani decided E. de Rouge, and subsequently others, to admit an Urdamani different from Tanuatamanu. The discovery of the right reading of the name Tandamanu by Steindorff has banished all doubts, and it is now universally admitted that the person mentioned in the Assyrian documents is identical with the king who erected the Stele of the Dream at Gebel Barkal.
** A monument still exists which was dedicated at Thebes in the third year of Tanuatamanu.
It was neither indolence nor fear which had kept Assur-bani-pal from marching to the succour of his subjects as soon as the movement under Tanuatamanu became manifest, but serious complications had arisen in the south-east which had for the moment obliged him to leave Egypt to itself. Elam had at last laid aside the mask, and Urtaku, yielding to the entreaties of the Aramaean sheikhs, who were urged on by Marduk-shumibni, had crossed the Tigris. Shamash-shumukin, thus taken unawares, could only shut himself up in Babylon, and in all haste send information of his plight to his brother and suzerain. Assur-bani-pal, preoccupied with the events taking place on the Nile, was for a moment in doubt whether this incursion was merely a passing raid or the opening of a serious war, but the reports of his scouts soon left no doubt as to the gravity of the danger: |The Elamite, like a swarm of grasshoppers, covers the fields, he covers Accad; against Babylon he has pitched his camp and drawn out his lines.| The city was too strong to be taken by storm. The Assyrians hastened to relieve it, and threatened to cut off the retreat of the aggressors: the latter, therefore, gave up the siege, and returned to their own country, but their demeanour was still so undaunted that Assur-bani-pal did not cross the frontier in pursuit of them (665 B.C.). He doubtless fully expected that they would soon return in larger numbers, and perhaps his fear would not have proved unfounded had not fate suddenly deprived them of all their leaders. Bel-ikisha was killed in hunting by a wild boar, Nabu-shumirish was struck down by dropsy, and Marduk-shumibni perished in a mysterious manner. Finally Urtaku succumbed to an attack of apoplexy, and the year which had been so fatal to his allies proved not less so to himself (664 B.C.). It now seemed as if Assur-bani-pal might breathe freely, and inflict his long-deferred vengeance on Tanuatamanu, but the death of Urtaku did not remove all causes of uneasiness. Peace was not yet concluded, and it depended on the new King of Elam whether hostilities would be renewed. Fortunately for the Assyrians, the transmission of power had rarely taken place at Susa for a century past without a disturbance, and Urtaku himself had gained the throne by usurpation, possibly accompanied by murder. As he had treated his elder brother Khumban-khaldash and the children of the latter, so did his younger brother Tammaritu now treat his sons. Tammaritu was |a devil| incarnate, whose whole thoughts were of murder and rapine; at least, this was the idea formed of him by his Assyrian contemporaries, who declared that he desired to put to death the sons of his two predecessors out of sheer cruelty. But we do not need a very vivid imagination to believe that these princes were anxious to dethrone him, and that in endeavouring to rid himself of them he was merely forestalling their secret plots. They escaped his murderous designs, however, and fled to Assyria, -- Khumban-igash, Khumban-appa, and Tammaritu, sons of Uxtaku, and Kuduru and Parru, sons of Khumban-khaldash, followed by sixty other princes of royal blood, together with archers and servants -- forming, in fact, a small army of Elamites. Assur-bani-pal received them with honour, for their defection furnished him with a powerful weapon against the usurper: by succouring them he could rouse half Elam and involve it in civil war, in which the pretenders would soon exhaust their resources. It was now a favourable moment to renew hostilities in Egypt, while Tammaritu, still insecure on his throne, would not venture to provoke a conflict.*
* The time of the war against Urtaku and the expedition against Tanuatamanu is indicated by a passage in a cylinder as yet unedited. There we read that the invasion of Urtaku took place at the moment when Tanuatamanu ascended the throne. These preliminary difficulties with Elam would thus have coincided with the two years which elapsed between the accession of Tanuatamanu and his conquest of Memphis, up to the third year mentioned in the Berlin inscription; the testimony of the Egyptian monuments would thus be in almost complete accord with the Assyrian documents on this point.
As a matter of fact, Tanuatamanu did not risk the defence of Memphis, but concentrated his forces at Thebes. Once more the Assyrian generals ascended the Nile, and, after a voyage lasting six weeks, at length reached the suburbs of the great city. Tanuatamanu had fled towards Kipkip, leaving Thebes at the mercy of the invaders. It was given up to pillage, its population was carried off into slavery, and its temples and palaces were despoiled of their treasures -- gold, silver, metals, and precious stones, broidered and richly dyed stuffs, and horses of the royal stud.
[Illustration: 195.jpg ASSYRIAN HELMET FOUND AT THEBES]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph by Petrie.
Two of the obelisks which adorned the temple of Amon were taken down from their pedestals and placed on rafts to be transported to Nineveh, and we shall perhaps unearth them some day from its ruins. This work of reprisal accomplished, the conquerors made their way northwards, and the bulk of the army recrossed the isthmus: Ethiopian rule had ceased north of the cataract, and Egypt settled down once more under the Assyrian yoke (663-662 B.C.).*
* The dates which I have adopted follow from the date of 666 B.C. given for the death of Taharqa and the accession of Psammetichus I. The expedition against Thebes must have taken place at the end of the third or beginning of the fourth year of the reign of Tanuatamanu, shortly after the inscription of the third year, and was engraved either in 663 or 662 B.C. at the latest.
Impoverished and decayed as Thebes had now long since become, the nations whom she had afflicted so sorely in the days of her glory had retained for her feelings of respect and almost of awe: the rumour of her fall, spread through the Eastern world, filled them with astonishment and pity. The Hebrews saw in it the chastisement inflicted by their God on the tyrant who had oppressed their ancestors, and their prophets used it to impress upon the minds of their contemporaries the vanity of human prosperity. Half a century later, when Nineveh, menaced in her turn, was desperately arming herself to repel the barbarians, Nahum the Elkoshite demanded of her, amid his fierce denunciations, whether she vaunted herself to be better than |No-amon (city of Amon), that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about her; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was of the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite. Put and Lubim (Libya and the Nubians) came to her succour. Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.| Assur-bani-pal, lord of Egypt and conqueror of Ethiopia, might reasonably consider himself invincible; it would have been well for the princes who trembled at the name of Assur-bani-pal, if they had taken this lesson to heart, and had learned from the downfall of Tanuata-manu what fate awaited them in the event of their daring to arouse the wrath of Assyria by any kind of intrigue. Unfortunately, many of them either failed to see the warning or refused to profit by it. The Mannai had quickly recovered from the defeat inflicted on them by Esarhaddon, and their king, Akhsheri, in spite of his advancing years, believed that his own energy and resources were sufficient to warrant him in anticipating a speedy revenge. Perhaps a further insight into the real character of Assur-bani-pal may have induced him to venture on hostilities. For the king's contemporaries had begun to realise that, beneath his apparent bravery and ostentation, he was by nature indolent, impatient of restraint, and fond of ease and luxury. When not absorbed in the routine of the court and the pleasures of the harem, he spent his leisure in hunting on the Mesopotamian plains, or in the extensive parks which had been laid out by himself or his predecessors in the vicinity of their summer palaces. Urus-stalking had become merely a memory of the past: these animals had been so persistently hunted for centuries that the species had almost become extinct; solitary specimens only were occasionally met with in remote parts of the forest or in out-of-the-way marshes. The wild ass was still to be found in large numbers, as well as the goat, the ostrich, and small game, but the lion was now rarely met with, and the beaters were no longer sure of finding him in his ancient haunts. Specimens had to be sought by the royal gamekeepers in the provinces, and when successfully trapped were forthwith despatched to one or other of the king's country seats. The beast was often kept for several days in a cage while preparations were made for a fete, at which he was destined to form one of the chief attractions, and when the time came he was taken to the appointed place and let loose; the sovereign pursued him either in a chariot or on horseback, and did not desist from the chase till he had pierced his quarry with arrows or lance.
[Illustration: 198.jpg A LION ISSUING FROM ITS CAGE]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken from the original in the British Museum.
Frequently the beast would be turned loose in the park, and left there till accustomed to his surroundings, so that later on he might be run down under conditions somewhat resembling his native freedom. Assur-bani-pal did not shun a personal encounter with an infuriated lion; he displayed in this hazardous sport a bravery and skill which rivalled that of his ancestors, and he never relegated to another the task of leading the attack or dealing the final death-blow. This, however, was not the case when it was a question of starting on some warlike expedition; he would then leave to his Tartans, or to the Eabshakeh, or to some other chosen officer, the entire conduct of all operations.*
* We have seen, for example, that after the death of Esarhaddon, the Egyptian campaign was conducted by one of the Tartans and the Eabshakeh.
This did not preclude the king from taking an interest in what was passing beyond the frontier, nor did he fail in his performance of the various religious duties which custom imposed on an Assyrian sovereign: he consulted the oracles of Shamash or Ishtar, he offered sacrifices, he fasted and humbled himself in the temples to obtain the success of his troops, and when they returned laden with spoil from the campaign, he attributed their victories no less to his prayers than to their courage or to the skill of their leaders. His generals, thoroughly equipped for their task, and well supported by their troops, had no need of the royal presence to ensure their triumph over any foe they might encounter; indeed, in the absence of the king they experienced a liberty of action and boldness in pressing their victories to the uttermost which they would not have enjoyed had he been in command. Foreigners, accustomed to see the sovereigns of Nineveh conduct their armies in person, as long as they were not incapacitated by age, thought that the indolence of Assur-bani-pal was the unconscious expression of weariness or of his feeble control of the empire, and Akhsheri determined to be one of the first to take advantage of it. Events proved that he was mistaken in his calculations. No sooner had his intentions become known, than a division of Assyrian troops appeared on his frontier, and prepared to attack him. Resolving to take the initiative, he fell one night unexpectedly upon the Assyrian camp, but fortune declared against him: he was driven back, and his broken ranks were closely pursued for a distance of twenty-three miles. Eight of his strongholds fell one after the other, and he was at length forced to abandon his capital of Izirtu, and flee precipitately to his fortress of Adrana in the heart of the mountains. Even there he did not find the security he desired, for the conqueror pursued him thither, methodically devastating by the way the districts through which he passed: he carried off everything -- men, slaves, and herds of cattle -- and he never retired from a city or village without previously setting it on fire. Paddir, Arsiyanish, and Eristiana were thus laid waste, after which the Assyrians returned to their camp, having re-established the authority of their master over several districts which had been lost to them for some generations previously. Akhsheri had shown no sign of yielding, but his people, weary of a hopeless resistance, put him to death, and hurling his corpse over the wall of Adrana, proclaimed his son Ualli as king. The new sovereign hastened to conclude a treaty with the Assyrians on reasonable terms: he gave up his eldest son, Erisinni, and one of his daughters as hostages, and promised to pay the former tribute augmented by an annual present of thirty horses; peace was not again disturbed on this side except by some unimportant skirmishes. In one of these, a Median chieftain, named Biriz-khadri, made an alliance with two princes of the people of the Sakhi, Sarati, and Parikhia, sons of Gagu,* to ravage the marches of the Greater Zab; but their territory was raided in return, and they themselves taken prisoners.
* The name of Biriz-khadri has an Iranian appearance. The first element Biriz recalls the Zend bereza, berez, |tall, large;| the second, which appears in the names Bisi- khadir and Khali-khadri, is of uncertain derivation, and has been connected with atar, |fire,| or with Ichwathra, |brilliance.| Gagu, which is found as the name of a people (Gagati) in the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, has been identified from the first with the name of Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal (Ezek. xxxviii.2, 3; xxxix.) The name of the country of Sakhi, which has not been met with elsewhere, has been compared with that of the Sacaj, which seems to have existed not only in the name of the province of Sakascno mentioned by the classical geographers, but in that of Shake known to the old Armenian geographers; the country itself, however, as it seems to me, cannot be sought in the direction of Sakaseno, and consequently the proposed identification cannot hold good.
A little later, Andaria, prince of Lubdi, forgetful of his oath of allegiance to the aged Esarhad-don, made a night attack on the towns of Kullimir and Ubbumi: the inhabitants armed in haste, and he was not only defeated, but was taken captive, and his head cut off to be sent to Nineveh. The garrisons and military colonies along the north-east frontier were constantly required to be on the alert; but they usually had sufficient available resources to meet any emergency, and the enemies who molested them were rarely dangerous enough to necessitate the mobilisation of a regular army.
This was not the case, however, in the south-west, where Tiumman, counting on the military strength of Elam, made continual hostile demonstrations. He was scarcely settled on his throne before he hastened to form alliances with those Aramaean states which had so often invoked the aid of his predecessors against the ancestors of Assur-bani-pal. The Kalda rejected his proposals, as did most of the tribes of the littoral; but the Gambula yielded to his solicitations, and their king, Dunanu, son of Bel-ikisha, entered into an offensive and defensive alliance with Elam. Their defection left the eastern frontier of Karduniash unprotected, and, by opening to the Elamite the fords of the Tigris, permitted him to advance on Babylon unhindered by any serious obstacle. As soon as the compact was sealed, Tiumman massed his battalions on the middle course of the Uknu, and, before crossing the frontier, sent two of his generals, the Susian Khumba-dara and the Chaldean Nabu-damiq, as the bearers of an insolent ultimatum to the court of Nineveh: he offered the king the choice between immediate hostilities, or the extradition of the sons of Urtaku and Khumban-khaldash, as well as of their partisans who had taken refuge in Assyria. To surrender the exiles would have been an open confession of inferiority, and such a humiliating acknowledgment of weakness promptly reported throughout the Eastern world might shortly have excited a general revolt: hence Assur-bani-pal disdainfully rejected the proposal of the Elamite sovereign, which had been made rather as a matter of form than with any hope of its acceptance, but the issue of a serious war with Susa was so uncertain that his refusal was accompanied with serious misgivings. It needed many favourable omens from the gods to encourage him to believe in his future success. The moon-god Sin was the first to utter his prediction: he suffered eclipse in the month of Tammuz, and for three successive days, at nightfall, showed himself in the sky surrounded by strange appearances which heralded the death of a king in Elam, and foretold calamity to that country. Then Assur and Ishtar struck Tiumman with violent convulsions; they caused his lips and eyes to be horribly distorted, but he despised their warning, and as soon as his seizure had passed, set out to assume command of his army. The news of his action reached Nineveh in the month of Ab, on the morning of the solemn festival of Ishtar. Assur-bani-pal was at Arbela, celebrating the rites in honour of the goddess, when the messenger appeared before him and repeated, together with the terms of the declaration of war, the scornful words which Tiumman had uttered against him and his patroness: |This prince whose wits have been crazed by Ishtar -- I will let him escape no more, when once I have gone forth and measured my strength against him!| This blasphemy filled the Assyrian king with horror. That very evening he betook himself to the sanctuary, and there, prostrate before the image of the goddess, he poured forth prayers mingled with tears: |Lady of Arbela, I am Assur-bani-pal, King of Assyria, the creature of thy hands, the offspring of a father whom thou didst create! Behold now, this Tiumman, the King of Elam, who despises the gods of Assyria, hath sent forth his host and prepared himself for the conflict; he hath called for his arms to rush to attack Assyria. Do thou, O archer of the gods, like a bolt falling in the midst of the battle, overthrow him, and let loose upon him a tempest, and an evil wind!| Ishtar heard his prayer, and her voice sounded through the gloom: |Fear not,| said she, comforting him: |since thou hast raised thy hands to me in supplication, and thine eyes are bedewed with tears grant thee a boon!| Towards the end of that night, a seer slept in the temple and was visited by a dream. Ishtar of Arbela appeared to him, with a quiver on either side, a bow in one hand and a drawn sword in the other. She advanced towards the king, and spoke to him as if she had been his mother: |Make war boldly! whichever way thou turnest thy countenance, there will I go!| And the king replied to her, |Where thou goest, will I go with thee, sovereign lady!| But she answered, |Stay thou here. Dwell in this home of Nebo, eat thy food and drink thy wine, listen to joyful songs and honour my divinity, until I have gone and accomplished this work. Let not thy countenance grow pale, nor thy feet fail under thee, and expose not thyself to the danger of battle.| |And then, O king,| added the seer, |she hid thee in her bosom as a mother, and protected thy image. A flame shall spring forth before her, and shall spread abroad to destroy thine enemies: against Tiumman, King of Elam, who has angered her, has she set her face!| Like Minephtah of old, in the days of the Libyan invasions of Egypt, Assur-bani-pal allowed himself to be readily convinced by the decision of the gods; he did not quit Arbela, but gave orders to his troops to proceed to the front. His generals opened the campaign in the month of Em, and directed the main body of their forces against the fortress of Durilu, at the point on the frontier nearest to Susa. Tiumman was not expecting such a prompt and direct attack: he had reckoned doubtless on uniting his forces with those of Dunanu with a view to invading Karduniash, and suddenly realised that his adversary had forestalled him and was advancing on the heart of his empire. He slowly withdrew his advanced guard, and concentrated his forces round the town of Tulliz, a few leagues on this side of Susa, and there awaited the enemy's attack.*
* The site of Tulliz is unknown. Billerbock considers, and with reason, I think, that the battle took place to the south of Susa, on the river Shavur, which would correspond to the Ulai, on the lowest spurs of the ridge of hills bordering the alluvial plain of Susiana.
His position was a strong one, flanked on the right by a wood and on the left by the Ulai, while the flower of the Elamite nobility was ranged around him. The equipment of his soldiers was simpler than that of the enemy: consisting of a low helmet, devoid of any crest, but furnished with a large pendant tress of horsehair to shade the neck; a shield of moderate dimensions; a small bow, which, however, was quite as deadly a weapon as that of the Assyrians, when wielded by skilful hands; a lance, a mace, and a dagger. He had only a small body of cavalry, but the chariotry formed an important force, and presented several original features. The chariot did not follow the classic model, rounded in front and open at the back; it was a kind of light car, consisting of a square footboard placed flat on the axle of the wheels, and furnished with triangular side-pieces on two sides only, the vehicle being drawn by a pair of horses. Such chariots were easier to manage, better adapted for rapid motion, and must have been more convenient for a reconnaissance or for skirmishes with infantry; but when thrown in a mass against the heavy chariotry of the peoples of the Euphrates, they were far too slightly built to overthrow the latter, and at close quarters were of necessity crushed by the superior weight of the adversary.
[Illustration: 206.jpg ITUNI BREAKS HIS BOW WITH A BLOW OF HIS SWORD, AND GIVES HIMSELF UP TO THE EXECUTIONER]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken from the original in the British Museum.
[Illustration: 206b.jpg THE BATTLE OF TULLIZ]
Tiumman had not succeeded in collecting all his forces before the first columns of the Assyrian army advanced to engage his front line, but as he was expecting reinforcements, he endeavoured to gain time by despatching Ituni, one of his generals, with orders to negotiate a truce.
The Assyrian commander, suspecting a ruse, would not listen to any proposals, but ordered the envoy to be decapitated on the spot: Ituni broke his bow with a blow of his sword, and stoically yielded his neck to the executioner. The issue of the battle was for a long time undecided, but the victory finally remained with the heavy regiments of Assyria. The left wing of the Susians, driven into the Ulai, perished by drowning, and the river was choked with the corpses of men and horses, and the debris of arms and broken chariots. The right wing took to flight under cover of a wood, and the survivors tried to reach the mountains.
[Illustration: 209.jpg URTAKU COUSIN OF TIUMMAN, SURRENDERING TO AN ASSYRIAN]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the British Museum.
Urtaku, the cousin of Tiumman, was wounded by an arrow; perceiving an Assyrian soldier coming up to him, he told him who he was, and recommended him to carry his head to the general: |He will pay you handsomely for it,| he added. Tiumman had led in person several charges of his body-guard; and on being wounded, his son Tammaritu had succeeded in rescuing him from the thick of the fight: both seated together in a chariot, were in full flight, when one of the wheels caught against a tree and was shattered, the shock flinging the occupants to the ground. A large body of Assyrians were in close pursuit, led by one of the exiled Susian princes, a second Tam-maritu, son of Urtaku.
[Illustration: 210.jpg THE LAST ARROW OF TIUMMAN AND HIS SON]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British Museum.
At the first discharge an arrow wounded Tiumman in the right side, and brought him to his knee. He felt that all was over, and desiring at all events to be revenged, he pointed out the deserter prince to his companion, crying indignantly, |Let fly at him.| The arrow missed its mark, and a flight of hostile darts stretched the young man on the ground: the traitor Tammaritu dealt the son his death-blow with his mace, while an Assyrian decapitated the father. The corpses were left on the field, but the head of the king, after being taken to the general in command, was carried through the camp on one of the chariots captured during the action, and was eventually sent to the palace of Arbela by the hand of a well-mounted courier.
[Illustration: 211.jpg DEATH OF TIUMMAN AND HIS SON]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British Museum.
The day concluded with the making of an inventory of the spoil, and by an enumeration of the heads of the slain: prisoners from the rank and file were beaten to death according to custom, and several of the principal officers had their tongues torn out or were flayed alive. The news of the disaster was brought to Susa towards evening by the fugitives, and produced a revolution in the city. The partisans of the exiled princes, seizing the adherents of Tiumman, put them in chains, and delivered them up to the conqueror. The shattered remnants of the army rallied round them, and a throng of men and women in festal garb issued forth along the banks of the Ulai to meet the Assyrians. The priests and sacred singers marched to the sound of music, marking the rhythm with their feet, and filling the air with the noise of their harps and double flutes, while behind them came a choir of children, chanting a hymn under the direction of the consecrated eunuchs. The Tartan met them, and, acting in accordance with the orders of Assur-bani-pal, presented to the multitude Khumban-igash, the eldest son of Urtaku, as their king. The people joyfully hailed the new sovereign, and the Assyrians, after exacting tribute from him and conferring the fief of Khaidalu on his brother Tammaritu, withdrew, leaving to the new princes the task of establishing their authority outside the walls of Susa and Madaktu. As they returned, they attacked the Gambula, speedily reducing them to submission. Dunanu, besieged in his stronghold of Shapibel, surrendered at discretion, and was carried away captive with all his family.
[Illustration: 212.jpg Khumban-igash Proclaimed King]
Thus Assur-bani-pal had scrupulously obeyed the orders of Ishtar. While his generals were winning his victories he had been eating and drinking, hunting, dallying with his wives, and living in the open air. He was taking his pleasure with the queen in the palace garden when the head of Tiumman was brought to him: he caused it to be suspended from the branch of a pine tree in full view of the whole court, and continued his banquet to the sound of harps and singing. Rusas III., King of Urartu, died about this time, and his successor, Sharduris III., thought it incumbent on him to announce his accession at Nineveh. Assur-bani-pal received the embassy at Arbela, with the graciousness befitting a suzerain whom a faithful vassal honours by his dutiful homage, and in order to impress the Urartians still further with an idea of his power, he showed them the two Elamite delegates, Khumba-dara and Nabu-damiq, in chains at his feet.*
* Belck and Lehmann have very ingeniously connected the embassy, mentioned in the Assyrian documents, with the fact of the accession of the king who sent it.
[Illustration: 215.jpg THE HEAD OF THUMMAN SENT TO NINEVEH]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British Museum. The chariot speeding along at a gallop in the topmost series of pictures carries a soldier bearing the head of Tiumraan in his hand; behind him, under a tent, scribes are registering the heads which are brought in. In the two lower bas-reliefs are displayed the closing scenes of the battle.
These wretched men had a more cruel ordeal yet in store for them: when the Assyrian army re-entered Nineveh, Assur-bani-pal placed them on the route along which the cortege had to pass, and made them realise to the full the humiliation of their country. Dunanu walked at the head of the band of captive chiefs, with the head of Tiumman, taken from its tree, suspended round his neck. When the delegates perceived it, they gave way to despair:
Khumba-dara tore out his beard by handfuls, and Nabu-damiq, unsheathing the dagger which hung from his belt, plunged it into his own breast.
[Illustration: 216.jpg ASSUR-BANI-PAL BANQUETING WITH HIS QUEEN]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the British Museum The head of Tiumman hangs on the second tree on the left-hand side.
The triumphal entry was followed by the usual tortures. The head of Tiumman was fixed over the gate of Nineveh, to rot before the eyes of the multitude. Dunanu was slowly flayed alive, and then bled like a lamb; his brother Shamgunu had his throat cut, and his body was divided into pieces, which were distributed over the country as a warning. Even the dead were not spared: the bones of Nabu-shumirish were disinterred and transported to Assyria, where his sons were forced to bray them in a mortar.* We may estimate the extent of the alarm which had been felt at Nineveh by the outburst of brutal joy with which the victory was hailed.
* The fullest text of all those which narrate the campaign against Tiumman and Dunanu is that on Cylinder B of the British Museum. It pretends, as usual, that the king led the army in person, but the words which the seer places in the mouth of Ishtar prove that the king remained at Arbela by divine command, and the inscription on one of the bas- reliefs, as well as Tablet K 2674, mentions, without giving his name, the general who was sent against Susa.
[Illustration: 217.jpg TWO ELAMITE CHIEFS FLAYED ALIVE AFTER THE BATTLE OF TULLIZ]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British Museum.
The experience of the past showed what a terrible enemy Assyria had in Elam, and how slight was the chance of a successful issue in a war against her. Her kings had often invaded Chaldaea, and had more than once brought it directly under their sway; they had ravaged its cities and pillaged its temples, and the sanctuary of Susa were filled with statues of the gods or with bas-reliefs which they had dedicated after their campaigns on the Euphrates. Although they had not been successful against Assyria to the same extent, they had at least always victoriously repelled her attacks: they had held their own against Sargon, given much trouble to Sennacherib, and defied the power of Esarhaddon with impunity. Never till now had an Assyrian army gained such an important victory over Elam, and though it was by no means decisive, we can easily believe that Assur-bani-pal was filled with pride and delight, since it was the first time that a king of Nineveh had imposed on Elam a sovereign of his own choice.
Since homage was voluntarily rendered him by the rulers of foreign nations, Assur-bani-pal doubtless believed that he might exact it without hesitation from the vassal princes dependent on the empire; and not from the weaker only like those who were still to be found in Syria, but also from the more powerful, not excepting the lord of Karduniash. Shamash-shumukin had fully risen to his position as King of Babylon, and the unbroken peace which he had enjoyed since the death of Urtaku had enabled him almost to complete the restoration of the kingdom begun under Esarhaddon. He had finished the rebuilding of the walls of Babylon, and had fortified the approaches to the city, thus rendering it capable of withstanding a long siege; he had repaired the temple of Sippara, which had never recovered from the Elamite invasion; and while unstintingly lavishing his treasures in honour of the gods and for the safety of his capital, he watched with jealous care over the interests of his subjects. He obtained for them the privilege of being treated on the same footing as the Assyrians throughout his father's ancestral domains; they consequently enjoyed the right of trading without restriction throughout the empire, and met with the same degree of protection from the officials of Nineveh as from the magistrates of their own country. Assur-bani-pal had at the outset furthered the wishes of his brother to the utmost of his power: he had granted the privileges demanded, and whenever a Chaldaean of noble birth arrived at his court, he received him with special marks of favour. The two states enjoyed a nearly absolute equality during the opening years of his reign, and though the will of Esarhaddon had made Babylon dependent on Assyria, the yoke of vassalage was far from heavy. The suzerain reserved to himself the honour of dedicating the mighty works begun by his father, the restoration of the temple of Bel-Marduk and of the double wall of fortification; he claimed, in his inscriptions, the whole merit of the work, but he none the less respected his brother's rights, and in no way interfered in the affairs of the city except in state ceremonies in which the assertion of his superior rank was indispensable. But with success his moderation gradually gave place to arrogance. In proportion as his military renown increased, he accentuated his supremacy, and accustomed himself to treat Babylon more and more as a vassal state. After the conquest of Elam his infatuated pride knew no bounds, and the little consideration he still retained for Shamash-shumukin vanished completely. He thenceforward refused to regard him as being more than a prefect bearing a somewhat higher title than his fellows, a viceroy owing his crown, not to the will of their common father, but to the friendship of his brother, and liable to be deprived of it at any moment through the caprice of the sovereign. He affected to consider all that took place at Babylon as his own doing, and his brother as being merely his docile instrument, not deserving mention any more than the ordinary agents who carried out his designs; and if, indeed, he condescended to mention him, it was with an assumption of disdainful superiority. It is a question whether Shamash-Shumukin at this juncture believed that his brother was meditating a design to snatch the reins of government from his hand, or whether he merely yielded to the impulse of wounded vanity in resolving to shake off a yoke which had become intolerable. Knowing that his power was not equal to that of Assur-bani-pal, he sought to enter into relations with foreign allies who shared the same fears, or nursed a similar feeling of bitterness. The nobles and priests of the ancient Sumerian and Accadian cities were already on his side, but the Aramaeans had shown themselves hostile at his accession, and had brought down on him the forces of Elam. He found means, however, to conciliate them, together with the tribes which dwelt on the Tigris and the Uknu, as well as those of the lower Euphrates and the Arabian desert. He won over to his projects Nabu-belzikri, the chief of the Kalda -- grandson of that Merodach-baladan who had cherished invincible hatred against Sargon and Sennacherib -- besides the lords of the Bit-Dakkuri and Bit-Amukkani, and the sheikh of the Pukudu. Khumban-igash ought to have remained loyal to the friend to whom he owed his kingdom, but he chafed at the patronage of Assyria, and Assur-bani-pal had just formulated a demand to which he, not unreasonably, hesitated to accede. The archaic statue of Nana, stolen from Uruk by Kutur-nakhunta sixteen centuries before, and placed by that prince in one of the temples of Susa, had become so naturalised in its new abode that the kings of Elam, not content with rendering it an official cult, were wont to send presents to Babylonia, to the image which had replaced it in its original sanctuary. Assur-bani-pal now required Khumban-igash to give back the original statue, but the Elamite could not obey this mandate without imperilling both his throne and his person: he would thereby have risked incurring the displeasure both of the nobles, whose pride would have suffered at the loss of so precious a trophy, and of the common people, who would have thus been deprived of one of their most venerable objects of devotion. The messengers of Shamash-shumukin, arriving at the moment when this question was agitating the court of Susa, found the way already prepared for a mutual understanding. Besides, they held in their hands an irresistible argument, the treasures of Bel-Marduk of Babylon, of Nebo of Borsippa, and of Nergal of Kuta, which had been confided to them by the priests with a view to purchasing, if necessary, the support of Elam. Khumban-igash thereupon promised to send a detachment of troops to Karduniash, and to invade the provinces of Assyria the moment war should be declared. The tribes of Guti were easily won over, and were followed by the kings of Phoenicia and the Bedawin of Melukhkha, and perhaps Egypt itself was implicated in the plot. The Prince of Kedar, Amuladdin, undertook to effect a diversion on the frontiers of Syria, and Uate, son of Layali, one of the Arab kings who had paid homage to Esarhaddon, was not behindhand in furnishing his contingent of horsemen and wild native infantry. The coalition already extended from the shores of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf before Assur-bani-pal became aware of its existence. An unforeseen occurrence suddenly broke in upon his peace and revealed the extent of the peril which threatened him.*
* The chronology of this war has been determined by G. Smith from the dates attached to the documents in the British Museum, which give the names of three limmi, Assur- durnzur, Zagabbu, and Bel-kharran-shadua: these he assigned respectively to the years 650, 649, and 648 B.C. Tiele has shown that these three limmi must be assigned to the years 652-650 B.C. Though these dates seem in the highest degree probable, we must wait before we can consider them as absolutely certain till chance restores to us the missing parts of the Canon.
Kudur, the Assyrian prefect of Uruk, learnt from Sin-tabni-uzur, the governor of Uru, that certain emissaries of Shamash-shumukin had surreptitiously entered that city and were secretly fomenting rebellion among the people. Sin-tabni-uzur himself had been solicited to join the movement, but had absolutely refused to do so, and considering himself powerless to repress the disaffection with the few soldiers at his disposal, he had demanded reinforcements. Kudur first furnished him with five hundred men of his own troops, and subsequently sent some battalions which were under the command of the governors of Arrapkha and Amidi, but which were, for some unknown reason, encamped in the neighbourhood. It would appear that Shamash-shumukin, finding his projects interfered with by this premature exposure, tried to counteract its effects by protestations of friendship: a special embassy was despatched to his brother to renew the assurances of his devotion, and he thus gained the time necessary to complete his armaments. As soon as he felt himself fully prepared, he gave up further dissimulation, and, throwing away the mask, proclaimed himself independent of Assyria, while at the same moment Khumban-igash despatched his army to the frontier and declared war on his former protector. Assur-bani-pal was touched to the quick by what he truly considered the ingratitude of the Babylonians. |As for the children of Babylon, I had set them upon seats of honour, I had clothed them in robes of many colours, I had placed rings of gold upon their fingers; the children of Babylon had been established in Assyria, and were admitted into my presence. But Shamash-shumukin, the false brother, he has not observed my ordinances, but has raised against me the peoples of Akkad, the Kalda, the Aramaeans, the peoples of the country of the sea, from Akabah to Bab-salimeti!| Nineveh was at first in a state of trepidation at this unexpected blow; the sacred oracles gave obscure replies, and presaged evil four times out of five. At last, one day, a seer slept and dreamed a dream, in which he saw this sentence written on the ground in the temple of Sin: |All those who are meditating evil against Assur-bani-pal, King of Assyria, and who are preparing themselves to fight with him, I will inflict on them a terrible death: by the swift sword, by flinging them into fire, by famine and by pestilence, will I destroy their lives!| The courage of the people being revived by this prophecy, Assur-bani-pal issued a proclamation to the Babylonians, in which he denounced his brother's treason, and commanded them to remain quiet as they valued their lives, and, having done this, he boldly assumed the offensive (652 B.C.).*
* The proclamation is dated in the eponymous year of Assur- duruzur, corresponding to 652 B.C.; the events which immediately preceded the proclamation ought, very probably, to be assigned to the same year.
The only real danger came from the side of Elam; this state alone was in a condition to oppose him with as numerous and determined an army as that which he himself could put into the field; if Blam were disabled, it would be impossible for Babylon to be victorious, and its fall would be a mere question of time. The opening of the campaign was a difficult matter. Khumban-igash, having sold his support dearly, had at all events spared no pains to satisfy his employer, and had furnished him with the flower of his nobility, comprising Undashi, one of the sons of Tiumman; Zazaz, prefect of Billate; Parru, chief of Khilmu; Attamitu, commanding the archers; and Nesu, commander-in-chief of his forces. In order to induce Undashi to serve under him, he had not hesitated to recall to his memory the sad fate of Tiumman: |Go, and avenge upon Assyria the murder of the father who begat thee!| The two opposing forces continued to watch one another's movements without any serious engagement taking place during the greater part of the year 651 B.C.; though the Assyrians won some slight advantages, killing Attamitu in a skirmish and sending his head to Nineveh, some serious reverses soon counterbalanced these preliminary successes. Nabo-bel-shumi had arrived on the scene with his Aramaean forces, and had compelled the troops engaged in the defence of Uruk and Uru to lay down their arms: their leaders, including Sin-tabni-uzur himself, had been forced to renounce the supremacy of Assyria, and had been enrolled in the rebel ranks.*
* The official accounts say nothing of the intervention of Nabo-bel-shumi at this juncture, but the information furnished by Tablet K 159 in the British Museum makes up for their silence. The objection raised by Tielo to the interpretation given by G. Smith that this passage cannot refer to Assyrian deserters, falls to the ground if one admits that the Assyrian troops led into Elam at a
subsequent period by Nabo-bel-shumi, were none other than the garrisons of the Lower Euphrates which were obliged to side with the insurgents in 651 B.C. The two despatches, K 4696 and K 28 in the British Museum, which refer to the defection of Sin-tabni-uzur, are dated the 8th and 11th Abu in the eponymous year of Zagabbu, corresponding to the year 651 B.C., as indicated by Tiele with very good reason.
Operations seemed likely to be indefinitely prolonged, and Assur-bani-pal, anxious as to the issue, importunately besought the gods to intervene on his behalf, when discords breaking out in the royal family of Elam caused the scales of fortune once more to turn in his favour. The energy with which Khumban-igash had entered on the present struggle had not succeeded in effacing the disagreeable impression left on the minds of the majority of his subjects, by the fact that he had returned to his country in the chariots of the stranger and had been enthroned by the decree of an Assyrian general. Tammaritu, of Khaidalu, who had then fought at his side in the ranks of the invaders, was now one of those who reproached him most bitterly for his conduct. He frankly confessed that his hand had cut off the head of Tiumman, but denied that he did so in obedience to the hereditary enemies of his country; he had but avenged his personal injuries, whereas Khumban-igash, following the promptings of ambition, had kissed the ground at the feet of a slave of Assur-bani-pal and had received the crown as a recompense for his baseness. Putting his rival to death, Tammaritu seized the throne, and in order to prove that he was neither consciously nor unconsciously an instrument of Ninevite policy, he at once sent reinforcements to the help of Babylon without exacting in return any fresh subsidy. The Assyrians, taking advantage of the isolated position of Shamash-shumukin, had pressed forward one of their divisions as far as the districts on the sea coast, which they had recovered from the power of Nabo-bel-shumi, and had placed under the administration of Belibni, a person of high rank. The arrival of the Elamite force was on the point of further compromising the situation, and rekindling the flames of war more fiercely than ever, when a second revolution broke out, which shattered for ever the hopes of Shamash-shumukin. Assur-bani-pal naturally looked upon this event as the result of his supplications and sacrifices; Assur and Ishtar, in answer to his entreaties, raised up Indabigash, one of the most powerful feudal lords of the kingdom of Susa, and incited him to revolt. Tarnmaritu fled to the marshes which bordered the Nar-marratum, and seizing a vessel, put out to sea with his brothers, his cousins, seventeen princes of royal blood, and eighty-four faithful followers: the ship, driven by the wind on to the Assyrian shore, foundered, and the dethroned monarch, demoralised by sea-sickness, would have perished in the confusion had not one of his followers taken him on his back and carried him safely to land across the mud. Belibni sent him prisoner to Nineveh with all his suite, and Assur-bani-pal, after allowing him to humble himself before him, raised him from the ground, embraced him, and assigned to him apartments in the palace and a train of attendants befitting the dignity which he had enjoyed for a short time at Susa. Indabigash was too fully occupied with his own affairs to interfere again in the quarrel between the two brothers: his country, disorganised by the successive shocks it had sustained, had need of repose, for some years at least, before re-entering the lists, except at a disadvantage. He concluded no direct treaty with the Assyrian king, but he at once withdrew the troops which had entered Karduniash, and abstained from all hostile demonstrations against the garrisons of the border provinces: for the moment, indeed, this was all that was required of him (650 B.C.).
Deprived of the support of Elam, Babylon was doomed to fall. The Aramaeans deserted her cause, and Nabu-bel-shumi, grandson of Merodach-baladan, despairing of ever recovering the heritage of his family, withdrew to his haunts among the reed beds of the Uknu, taking back with him as hostages the Assyrians whom he had forced to join his army at the beginning of the campaign. Shamash-shumukin, however, was not disconcerted: he probably hoped that his distant allies might yet effect a diversion in his favour, and thus oblige his brother to withdraw half of the forces employed against him. Indeed, after the blockade had already begun, a band of Arabs under the two sheikhs Abiyate and Aamu forced a way through the besieging lines and entered the city. This was the last succour which reached Babylon from without: for many long months all communication between her citizens and the outer world was completely cut off. The Assyrians laid waste the surrounding country with ruthless and systematic cruelty, burning the villages, razing to the ground isolated houses, destroying the trees, breaking down the dykes, and filling up the canals. The year 649 B.C. was spent in useless skirmishes; the city offered an energetic and obstinate resistance, and as the walls were thick and the garrison determined, it would not have succumbed had not the supply of provisions finally failed. Famine raged in the city, and the inhabitants devoured even their own children, while pestilence spreading among them mowed them down by thousands.
[Illustration: 228.jpg THE EASTERN WORLD IN THE REIGN OF ASSUR-BANI-PAL]
The Arab auxiliaries at this juncture deserted the cause of the defenders, and their sheikhs surrendered to Assur-bani-pal, who received and pardoned them; but the Babylonians themselves, knowing that they could expect no mercy, held out some time longer: at length, their courage and their strength exhausted, they rose against their chiefs, whose ambition or patriotic pride had brought them to such a pass, and determined to capitulate on any terms. Shamash-shumukm, not wishing to fall alive into the hands of his brother, shut himself up in his palace, and there immolated himself on a funeral pyre with his wives his children, his slaves, and his treasures at the moment when his conquerors were breaking down the gates and penetrating into the palace precincts.*
* G. Smith thought that the Babylonians, rendered furious by their sufferings, had seized Shamash-shumukin and burnt him to death. It is, however, certain that Shamash-shumukin killed himself, according to the Eastern custom, to escape the tortures which awaited him if he fell alive into the hands of his enemies. The memory of this event, transferred by the popular imagination to Assur-bani-pal, appears lu the concluding portion of the legendary history of Sardanapalus.
The city presented a terrible spectacle, and shocked even the Assyrians, accustomed as they were to horrors of this sort. Most of the numerous victims to pestilence or famine lay about the streets or in the public squares, a prey to the dogs and swine; such of the inhabitants and of the soldiery as were comparatively strong had endeavoured to escape into the country, and only those remained who had not sufficient strength left to drag themselves beyond the walls. Assur-bani-pal pursued the fugitives, and, having captured nearly all of them, vented on them the full fury of his vengeance. He caused, the tongues of the soldiers to be torn out, and then had them clubbed to death. He massacred the common folk in front of the great winged bulls which had already witnessed a similar butchery half a century before, under his grandfather Sennacherib; the corpses of his victims remained long unburied, a prey to all unclean beasts and birds. When the executioners and the king himself were weary of the slaughter, the survivors were pardoned; the remains of the victims were collected and piled up in specified places, the streets were cleansed, and the temples, purified by solemn lustrations, were reopened for worship.* Assur-hani-pal proclaimed himself king in his brother's room: he took the hands of Bel, and, according to custom, his Babylonian subjects gave him a new name, that of Kandalanu, by which he was henceforth known among them.**
* The date of 648-647 B.C. for the taking of Babylon and the death of Shamash-shumukin is corroborated by the Canon of Ptolemy and the fragments of Berosus, both of which attribute twenty or twenty-one years to the reign of Saosdukhm (Sammughes). Lehmann points out a document dated in the XXth year of Shamash-shumukin, which confirms the exactitude of the information furnished by the Greek chronologists.
** The Canon of Ptolemy gives as the successor of Saosdukhm a certain Kineladan, who corresponds to Kandalanu, whose date has been fixed by contemporary documents. The identity of Kineladan with Assur-bani-pal was known from the Greek chronologists, for whereas Ptolemy puts Kineladan after Saosdukhm, the fragments of Berosus state that the successor of Sammughes was his brother; that is to say, Sardanapalus or Assur-bani-pal. This identification had been proposed by G. Smith, who tried to find the origin of the form Kineladan in the name of Sinidinabal, which seems to be borne by Assur-bani-pal in Tablet K 195 of the British Museum, and which is really the name of his elder brother; it found numerous supporters as soon as Pinches had discovered the tablets dated in the reign of Kandalanu, and the majority of Assyriologists and historians hold that Kandalanu and Assur- bani-pal are one and the same person.
Had he been wise, he would have completed the work begun by famine, pestilence, and the sword, and, far from creating, a new Babylon, he would have completed the destruction of the ancient city. The same religious veneration which had disarmed so many of his predecessors probably withheld him from giving free rein to his resentment, and not daring to follow the example of Sennacherib, he fell back on the expedient adopted by Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon, adhering to their idea of two capitals for two distinct states, but endeavouring to unite in his own person the two irreconcilable sovereignties of Marduk and Assur. He delegated the administration of Babylonian affairs to Shamash-danani, one of his high officers of State,* and re-entered Nineveh with an amount of spoil almost equalling that taken from Egypt after the sack of Thebes.
* Tin's Shamash-danani, who was limmu in 644 B.C., was called at that date prefect of Akkad, that is to say, of Babylon. He probably entered on this office immediately after the taking of the city.
Kuta, Sippara, and Borsippa, the vassal states of Babylon, which had shared the misfortune of their mistress, were, like her, cleared of their ruins, rebuilt and repeopled, and were placed under the authority of Shamash-danani: such was their inherent vitality that in the short space of ten or a dozen years they had repaired their losses and reattained their wonted prosperity. Soon no effect of their disaster remained except an additional incentive for hating Nineveh, and a determination more relentless than ever not to spare her when the day of her overthrow should come and they should have her in their power.
It was impossible for so violent and so prolonged a crisis to take place without in some degree injuring the prestige of the empire. Subjects and allies of long standing remained loyal, but those only recently subjugated by conquest, as well as the neighbouring independent kingdoms, without hesitation threw off the yoke of suzerainty or of obligatory friendship under which they had chafed. Egypt freed herself from foreign domination as soon as the possibilities of war with Elam had shown themselves, and it was Psammetichus of Sais, son of Necho, one of the princes most favoured by the court of Nineveh, who set on foot this campaign against his former patron. He expelled the Assyrian garrisons, reduced the petty native princes to submission, and once more set up the kingdom of the Pharaohs from Elephantine to the Syrian desert, without Assur-bani-pal having been able to spare a single soldier to prevent him, or to bring him back to a sense of his duty. The details of his proceedings are unknown to us: we learn only that he owed his success to mercenaries imported from Asia Minor, and the Assyrian chroniclers, unaccustomed to discriminate between the different peoples dwelling on the shores of the AEgean, believed that these auxiliaries were supplied to the Pharaoh by the only sovereign with whom they had had any dealings, namely, Gyges, King of Lydia. That Gyges had had negotiations with Psammetichus and procured assistance for him has not yet been proved, but to assert that he was incapable of conceiving and executing such a design is quite a different matter. On the contrary, all the information we possess concerning his reign shows that he was daring in his political undertakings, and anxious to court alliances with the most distant countries. The man who tried to draw Assur-bani-pal into a joint enterprise against the Cimmerians would not have hesitated to ally himself with Psammetichus if he hoped to gain the least profit from so doing. Constant intercourse by sea took place between Ionia or Caria and Egypt, and no event of any importance could occur in the Delta without being promptly reported in Ephesus or Miletus. Before this time the Heraclid rulers of Sardes had lived on excellent terms with most of the AEolian or Ionian colonies: during the anxious years which followed his accession Gyges went still further, and entered into direct relations with the nations of Greece itself. It was no longer to the gods of Asia, to Zeus of Telmissos, that he addressed himself in order to legitimatise his new sovereignty, but, like Midas of Phrygia, he applied to the prophetic god of Hellas, to the Delphian Apollo and his priests.
[Illustration: 235.jpg PSAMMETICHUS I.]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.
He recompensed them lavishly for pronouncing judgment in his favour: beside the silver offerings with which he endowed the temple at Delphi, he presented to it a number of golden vases, and, among others, six craters weighing thirty talents each, which, placed by the side of the throne of Midas, were still objects of admiration in the treasury of the Corinthians in the time of Herodotus. To these he added at various times such valuable gifts that the Pythian priestess, who had hitherto been poor, was in later times accounted to have owed to him her wealth. Having made sure of the good will of the immortals, Gyges endeavoured to extend his influence among the Greek colonies along the coast, and if he did not in every case gain a footing amongst them, his failure seems to have been due, not to his incapacity, but to the force of circumstances or to the ambiguous position which he happened to occupy with regard to these colonies. Ambition naturally incited him to annex them and make them into Lydian cities, but the bold disposition of their inhabitants and their impatience of constraint never allowed any foreign rule to be established over them: conquest, to be permanent, would have to be preceded by a long period of alliance on equal terms, and of discreet patronage which might insensibly accustom them to recognise in their former friend, first a protector, and then a suzerain imbued with respect for their laws and constitution. Gyges endeavoured to conciliate them severally, and to attach them to himself by treaties favourable to their interests or flattering to their vanity, and by timely and generous assistance in their internecine quarrels; and thus, secretly fostering their mutual jealousies, he was able to reduce some by force of arms without causing too much offence to the rest. He took Colophon, and also, after several fruitless campaigns, the Magnesia which lay near Sardes, Magnesia of Sipylos, tradition subsequently adorning this fortunate episode in his history with various amusing anecdotes. According to one account he had a favourite in a youth of marvellous beauty called Magnes, whom the Magnesians, as an act of defiance to Gryges, had mutilated till he was past recognition; and it was related that the king appealed to the fortune of war to avenge the affront. By a bold stroke he seized the lower quarters of Smyrna, but was unable to take the citadel,* and while engaged in the struggle with this city, he entered into a friendly understanding with Ephesus and Miletus.
* Herodotus mentions this war without entering into any details. We know from Pausanias that the people of Smyrna defended themselves bravely, and that the poet Mimnermus composed an elegy on this episode in their history.
Ephesus, situated at the mouth of the river Oayster, was the natural port of Sardes, the market in which the gold of Lydia, and the commodities imported from the East by the caravans which traversed the royal route, might be exchanged for the products of Hellas and of the countries of the West visited by the Greek mariners. The city was at this time under the control of a family of rich shipowners, of whom the head was called Melas: Gryges gave him his daughter in marriage, and by this union gained free access to the seaboard for himself and his successors. The reason for his not pushing his advantages further in this direction is not hard to discover; since the fall of the kingdom of Phrygia had left his eastern frontier unprotected, the attacks of the Cimmerians had obliged him to concentrate his forces in the interior, and though he had always successfully repulsed them, the obstinacy with which these inroads were renewed year after year prevented him from further occupying himself with the Greek cities. He had carefully fortified his vast domains in the basin of the Ehyndakos, he had reconquered the Troad, and though he had been unable to expel the barbarians from Adramyttium, he prevented them from having any inland communications. Miletus rendered vigorous assistance in this work of consolidating his power, for she was interested in maintaining a buffer state between herself and the marauders who had already robbed her of Sinope; and it was for this reason that Gyges, after mercilessly harassing her at the beginning of his reign, now preferred to enter into an alliance with her. He had given the Milesians permission to establish colonies along the Hellespont and the Propontid at the principal points where communication took place between Europe and Asia; Abydos, Lampsacus, Parium, and Cyzicus, founded successively by Milesian admirals, prevented the tribes which remained in Thrace from crossing over to reinforce their kinsfolk who were devastating Phrygia.
Gryges had hoped that his act of deference would have obtained for him the active support of Assur-bani-pal, and during the following years he perseveringly continued at intervals to send envoys to Nineveh: on one occasion he despatched with the embassy two Cimmerian chiefs taken in battle, and whom he offered in token of homage to the gods of Assyria. Experience, however, soon convinced him that his expectations were vain; the Assyrians, far from creating a diversion in his favour, were careful to avoid every undertaking which might draw the attention of the barbarians on themselves. As soon as Gyges fully understood their policy, he broke off all connection with them, and thenceforth relied on himself alone for the protection of his interests. The disappointment he thus experienced probably stirred up his anger against Assyria, and if he actually came to the aid of Psammetichus, the desire of giving expression to a secret feeling of rancour no doubt contributed to his decision. Assur-bani-pal deeply resented this conduct, but Lydia was too far off for him to wreak his vengeance on it in a direct manner, and he could only beseech the gods to revenge what he was pleased to consider as base ingratitude: he therefore prayed Assur and Ishtar that |his corpse might lie outstretched before his enemies, and his bones be scattered far and wide.| A certain Tugdami was at that time reigning over the Cimmerians, and seems to have given to their hitherto undisciplined hordes some degree of cohesion and guidance.*; He gathered under his standard not only the Treres, the Thracian kinsfolk of the Cimmerians, but some of the Asianic tribes, such as the Lycians,** who were beginning to feel uneasy at the growing prosperity of Gyges, and let them loose upon their Lydian quarry.
* The name Tugdami, mentioned in the hymn published by Strong, has been identified by Sayce with the Cimmerian chief mentioned by Strabo under the name of Lygdamis. The opinion of Sayce has been adopted by other Assyriologists. The inscription makes Tugdami a king of the Manda, and thus overthrows the hypothesis that Lygdamis or Dygdamis was a Lycian chief who managed to discipline the barbarian hordes.
** The alliance of the Lycians with the Cimmerians and Treres is known from the evidence of Callisthenes preserved for us by Strabo. It is probable that many of the marauding tribes of the Taurus -- Isaurians, Lycaonians, and
Painphylians -- similarly joined the Cimmerians.
Their heavy cavalry, with metal helmets and long steel swords, overran the peninsula from end to end, treading down everything under their horses' hoofs. Gyges did his best to stand up against the storm, but his lancers quailed beneath the shock and fled in confusion: he himself perished in the flight, and his corpse remained in the enemy's hands (652 B.C.). The whole of Lydia was mercilessly ravaged, and the lower town of Sardes was taken by storm.*
* Strabo states definitely that it was Lygdamis who took the city. The account given by the same author of a double destruction of Sardes in 652 and 682 B.C. is due to an unfortunate borrowing from the work of Caliisthenes.
[Illustration: 240.jpg BATTLE OF THE CIMMERIANS AGAINST THE GREEKS ACCOMPANIED BY THEIR DOGS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sarcophagus of Clazomenae.
Ardys, who had succeeded his father on the throne, was able, however, to save the citadel: he rallied around him the remnants of his army and once more took the field. The cities of Ionia made common cause with him; their hoplites issued victorious from more than one engagement, and their dogs, trained to harry fearlessly the horses of the enemy, often took an active part in the battle. City after city was attacked by the barbarians, and the suburbs plundered. Ephesus, on account of the wealth it contained, formed their chief attraction, but their forces dashed themselves fruitlessly against its walls; they avenged themselves for their failure by setting on fire the temple of Artemis which stood in the outskirts. This act of sacrilege profoundly stirred the whole Hellenic world, and when the first fury of pillage was exhausted, the barbarians themselves seemed to have been struck with superstitious horror at their crime: deadly fevers contracted in the marshes near the city thinned their ranks, and in the scourge which struck down their forces they recognised the chastisement of the goddess.*
* The invasion of Ionia by the Cimmerians is indicated in general terms by Herodotus; the details of the attack on Ephesus and the destruction of the temple of Artemis are preserved in a passage of Callimachus, and in the fragments quoted by Hesychius.
The survivors abandoned the siege and withdrew in disorder towards the mountains of the interior. On their way they surprised Magnesia on the Maeander and entirely destroyed it, but this constituted their sole military success: elsewhere, they contented themselves with devastating the fields without venturing to attack the fortified towns. Scarcely had Ardys freed himself from their unwelcome presence, than, like his father before him, he tried to win the support of Assyria. He sent an envoy to Nineveh with a letter couched in very humble terms: |The king whom the gods acknowledge, art thou; for as soon as thou hadst pronounced imprecations against my father, misfortune overtook him. I am thy trembling servant; receive my homage graciously, and I will bear thy yoke!| Assur-bani-pal did not harden his heart to this suppliant who confessed his fault so piteously, and circumstances shortly constrained him to give a more efficacious proof of his favour to Ardys than he had done in the days of Gyges. On quitting Lydia, Tugdami, with his hordes, had turned eastwards, bent upon renewing in the provinces of the Taurus and the Euphrates the same destructive raids which he had made among the peoples of the AEgean seaboard; but in the gorges of Cilicia he came into contact with forces much superior to his own, and fell fighting against them about the year 645 B.C. His son Sanda-khshatru led the survivors of this disaster back towards the centre of the peninsula, but the conflict had been so sanguinary that the Cimmerian power never fully recovered from it. Assur-bani-pal celebrated the victory won by his generals with a solemn thanksgiving to Marduk, accompanied by substantial offerings of gold and objects of great value.*
* Strabo was aware, perhaps from Xanthus of Lyclia, that Lygdamis had fallen in battle in Cilicia. The hymn to Marduk, published by Strong, informs us that the Cimmerian chief fell upon the Assyrians, and that his son Sanda- khshatru carried on hostilities some time longer. Sanda- khshatru is an Iranian name of the same type as that of the Median king Uva-khshatra or Cyaxares.
The tranquillity of the north-west frontier was thus for a time secured, and this success most opportunely afforded the king leisure to turn his attention to those of his vassals who, having thrown off their allegiance during the war against Shamash-shumukin, had not yet returned to their obedience. Among these were the Arabs and the petty princes of Egypt. The contingents furnished by Yauta, son of Hazael, had behaved valiantly during the siege of Babylon, and when they thought the end was approaching, their leaders, Abiyate and Aamu, had tried to cut a way through the Assyrian lines: being repulsed, they had laid down their arms on condition of their lives being spared. There now remained the bulk of the Arab tribes to be reduced to submission, and the recent experiences of Esarhaddon had shown the difficulties attending this task. Assur-bani-pal entrusted its accomplishment to his subjects in Edom, Moab, Ammon, the Hauran, and Damascus, since, dwelling on the very borders of the desert, they were familiar with the routes and the methods of warfare best suited to the country. They proved victorious all along the line. Yauta, betrayed by his own subjects, took refuge with the Nabataeans; but their king, Nadanu, although he did not actually deliver him up to the Assyrians, refused to grant him an asylum, and the unhappy man was finally obliged to surrender to his pursuers. His cousin Uate, son of Birdadda, was made chief in his place by the Assyrians, and Yauta was sent to Nineveh, where he was exposed at one of the city gates, chained in a niche beside the watch-dogs. Amuladdin, the leading prince of Kedar, met with no better fate: he was overcome, in spite of the assistance rendered him by Adiya, the queen of a neighbouring tribe, and was also carried away into captivity. His defeat completed the discouragement of the tribes who still remained unsubdued. They implored mercy, which Assur-bani-pal granted to them, although he deposed most of their sheikhs, and appointed as their ruler that Abiyate who had dwelt at his court since the capitulation of Babylon. Abiyate took the oath of fidelity, and was sent back to Kedar, where he was proclaimed king of all the Arab tribes under the suzerainty of Assyria.*
* The Cylinder B of the Brit. Mus. attributes to the reign of Assur-bani-pala whole series of events, comprising the first submission of Yauta and the restitution of the statues of Atarsamain, which had taken place under Esarhaddon. The Assyrian annalists do not seem to have always clearly distinguished between Yauta, son of Hazael, and Uate, son of Birdadda.
Of all the countries which had thrown off their allegiance during the late troubles, Egypt alone remained unpunished, and it now seemed as if its turn had come to suffer chastisement for its rebellion. It was, indeed, not to be tolerated that so rich and so recently acquired a province should slip from the grasp of the very sovereign who had completed its conquest, without his making an effort on the first opportunity to reduce it once more to submission. Such inaction on his part would be a confession of impotence, of which the other vassals of the empire would quickly take advantage: Tyre, Judah, Moab, the petty kings of the Taurus, and the chiefs of Media, would follow the example of Pharaoh, and the whole work of the last three centuries would have to be done over again. There can be no doubt that Assur-bani-pal cherished the secret hope of recovering Egypt in a short campaign, and that he hoped to attach it to the empire by more permanent bonds than before, but as a preliminary to executing this purpose it was necessary to close and settle if possible the account still open against Elam. Recent events had left the two rival powers in such a position that neither peace nor even a truce of long duration could possibly exist between them. Elam, injured, humiliated, and banished from the plains of the Lower Euphrates, over which she had claimed at all times an almost exclusive right of pillage, was yet not sufficiently enfeebled by her disasters to be convinced of her decided inferiority to Assyria. Only one portion of her forces, and that perhaps the smallest, had taken the field and sustained serious reverses: she had still at her disposal, besides the peoples of the plain and the marshes who had suffered the most, those almost inexhaustible reserves of warlike and hardy mountaineers, whose tribes were ranged on the heights which bounded the horizon, occupying the elevated valleys of the Uknu, the Ulai, and their nameless affluents, on the western or southern slopes or in the enclosed basins of the Iranian table-land. Here Elam had at her command at least as many men as her adversaries could muster against her, and though these barbarian contingents lacked discipline and systematic training, their bravery compensated for the imperfection of their military education. Elam not only refused to admit herself conquered, but she believed herself sure of final victory, and, as a matter of fact, it is not at all certain that Assur-bani-pal's generals would ever have completely triumphed over her, if internal discords and treason had not too often paralysed her powers. The partisans of Khumban-igash were largely responsible for bringing about the catastrophe in which Tiumman had perished, and those who sided with Tammaritu had not feared to provoke a revolt at the moment when Khumban-igash was occupied in Chaldaea; Indabigash in his turn had risen in rebellion in the rear of Tammaritu, and his intervention had enabled the Assyrians to deal their final blow at Shamash-shumukin. The one idea of the non-reigning members of the royal house was to depose the reigning sovereign, and they considered all means to this end as justifiable, whether assassination, revolt, desertion to the enemy, or defection on the very field of battle. As soon as one of them had dethroned another, hatred of the foreigner again reigned supreme in his breast, and he donned his armour with a firm determination to bring the struggle to an end, but the course he had pursued towards his predecessor was now adopted by one of his relatives towards himself; the enemy meanwhile was still under arms, and each of these revolutions brought him a step nearer to the goal of his endeavours, the complete overthrow of the Elamite kingdom and its annexation to the empire of Nineveh. Even before the struggle with Babylon was concluded, Assur-bani-pal had demanded of Indabigash the release of the Assyrians whom Nabo-bel-shumu had carried off in his train, besides the extradition of that personage himself. Indabigash had no desire for war at this juncture, but hesitated to surrender the Kalda, who had always served him faithfully: he entered into negotiations which were interminably prolonged, neither of the two parties being anxious to bring them to a close. After the fall of Babylon, Assur-bani-pal, who was tenacious in his hatred, summoned the Elamite ambassadors, and sent them back to their master with a message conceived in the following menacing terms: |If thou dost not surrender those men, I will go and destroy thy cities, and lead into captivity the inhabitants of Susa, Madaktu, and Khaidalu. I will hurl thee from thy throne, and will set up another thereon: as aforetime I destroyed Tiumman, so will I destroy thee.| A detachment of troops was sent to enforce the message of defiance, but when the messengers had reached the frontier town of Deri, Indabigash was no longer there: his nobles had assassinated him, and had elected Khumban-khaldash, the son of Atta-metush, king in his stead. The opportunity was a favourable one to sow the seeds of division in the Elamite camp, before the usurper should have time to consolidate his power: Assur-bani-pal therefore threw himself into the cause of Tammaritu, supporting him with an army to which many malcontents speedily rallied. The Aramaeans and the cities of the marsh-lands on the littoral, Khilmu, Billate, Dummuku, Sulaa, Lakhiru, and Dibirina, submitted without a struggle, and the invaders met with no resistance till they reached Bit-Imbi. This town had formerly been conquered by Sennacherib, but it had afterwards returned to the rule of its ancient masters, who had strongly fortified it. It now offered a determined resistance, but without success: its population was decimated, and the survivors mutilated and sent as captives into Assyria -- among them the commander of the garrison, Imbappi, son-in-law of Khumban-khaldash, together with the harem of Tiumman, with his sons and daughters, and all the members of his family whom his successors had left under guard in the citadel. The siege had been pushed forward so rapidly that the king had not been able to make any attempt to relieve the defenders: besides this, a pretender had risen up against him, one Umbakhabua, who had been accepted as king by the important district of Bubilu. The fall of Bit-Imbi filled the two competitors with fear: they abandoned their homes and fled, the one to the mountains, the other to the lowlands on the shores of the Nar-Marratum. Tammaritu entered Susa in triumph and was enthroned afresh; but the insolence and rapacity of his auxiliaries was so ruthlessly manifested, that at the end of some days he resolved to rid himself of them by the sword. A traitor having revealed the design, Tammaritu was seized, stripped of his royal apparel, and cast into prison. The generals of Assur-bani-pal had no one whom they could proclaim king in his stead, and furthermore, the season being well advanced, the Elamites, who had recovered from their first alarm, were returning in a body, and threatened to cut off the Assyrian retreat: they therefore evacuated Susa, and regained Assyria with their booty. They burnt all the towns along the route whose walls were insufficient to protect them against a sudden escalade or an attack of a few hours' duration, and the country between the capital and the frontier soon contained nothing but heaps of smoking ruins (647 e.g.).*
* The difficulty we experience in locating on the map most of the names of Elamite towns is the reason why we cannot determine with any certainty the whole itinerary followed by the Assyrian army.
The campaign, which had been so successful at the outset, had not produced all the results expected from it. The Assyrians had hoped henceforth to maintain control of Elam through Tammaritu, but in a short time they had been obliged to throw aside the instrument with which they counted on effecting the complete humiliation of the nation: Khumban-khaldash had reoccupied Susa, following on the heels of the last Assyrian detachment, and he reigned as king once more without surrendering Nabo-bel-shumi, or restoring the statue of Nana, or fulfilling any of the conditions which had been the price of a title to the throne. Assur-bani-pal was not inclined to bear patiently this partial reverse; as soon as spring returned he again demanded the surrender of the Chaldaean and the goddess, under pain of immediate invasion. Khumban-khaldash offered to expel Nabo-bel-shumi from Lakhiru where he had entrenched himself, and to thrust him towards the Assyrian frontier, where the king's troops would be able to capture him. His offer was not accepted, and a second embassy, headed by Tammaritu, who was once more in favour, arrived to propose more trenchant terms. The Elamite might have gone so far as to grant the extradition of Nabo-bel-shumi, but if he had yielded the point concerning Nana, a rebellion would have broken out in the streets of Susa: he preferred war, and prepared in desperation to carry it on to the bitter end. The conflict was long and sanguinary, and the result disastrous for Elam. Bit-Imbi opened its gates, the district of Kashi surrendered at discretion, followed by the city of Khamanu and its environs, and the Assyrians approached Madaktu: Khumban-khaldash evacuated the place before they reached it, and withdrew beneath the walls of Dur-Undasi, on the western bank of the Ididi. His enemies pursued him thither, but the stream was swift and swollen by rain, so that for two days they encamped on its bank without daring to cross, and were perhaps growing discouraged, when Ishtar of Arbela once more came to the rescue. Appearing in a dream to one of her seers, she said, |I myself go before Assur-bani-pal, the king whom my hands have created;| the army, emboldened by this revelation, overcame the obstacle by a vigorous effort, and dashed impetuously over regions as yet unvisited by any conqueror. The Assyrians burnt down fourteen royal cities, numberless small towns, and destroyed the cornfields, the vines, and the orchards; Khumban-khaldash, utterly exhausted, fled to the mountains |like a young dog.| Banunu and the districts of Tasarra, twenty cities in the country of Khumir, Khaidalu, and Bashimu, succumbed one after another, and when the invaders at length decided to retrace their steps to the frontier, Susa, deserted by her soldiers and deprived of her leaders, lay before them an easy prey. It was not the first time in the last quarter of a century that the Assyrians had had the city at their mercy. They had made some stay in it after the battle of Tulliz, and also after the taking of Bit-Imbi in the preceding year; but on those occasions they had visited it as allies, to enthrone a king owing allegiance to their own sovereign, and political exigencies had obliged them to repress their pillaging instincts and their long-standing hatred. Now that they had come as enemies, they were restrained by no considerations of diplomacy: the city was systematically pillaged, and the booty found in it was so immense that the sack lasted an entire month. The royal treasury was emptied of its gold and silver, its metals and the valuable objects which had been brought to it from Sumir, Accad, and Karduniash at successive periods from the most remote ages down to that day, in the course of the successful invasions conducted by the princes of Susa beyond the Tigris; among them, the riches of the Babylonian temples, which Shamash-shumukin had lavished on Tiumman to purchase his support, being easily distinguishable. The furniture of the palace was sent to Nineveh in a long procession; it comprised beds and chairs of ivory, and chariots encrusted with enamel and precious stones, the horses of which were caparisoned with gold. The soldiers made their way into the ziggurat, tore down the plates of ruddy copper, violated the sanctuary, and desecrated the prophetic statues of the gods who dwelt within it, shrouded in the sacred gloom, and whose names were only uttered by their devotees with trembling lips. Shumudu, Lagamar, Partikira, Ammankasibar, Uduran, Sapak, Aipaksina, Bilala, Panintimri, and Kindakarpu, were now brought forth to the light, and made ready to be carried into exile together with their belongings and their priests.
[Illustration: 251.jpg STATUES OF THE GODS CARRIED OFF BY ASSYRIAN SOLDIERY]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard, The Monuments of Nineveh.
Thirty-two statues of the kings, both ancient and modern, in silver, gold, bronze, and marble, escorted the gods on their exodus, among their number being those of Khumbanigash, son of Umbadara, Shutruk-nakhunta, and Tammaritu II., the sovereigns who had treated Assyria with the greatest indignity. The effigy of Khalludush was subjected to humiliating outrage: |his mouth, with its menacing smile, was mutilated; his lips, which breathed forth defiance, were slit; his hands, which had brandished the bow against Assur, were cut off,| to avenge, though tardily, the ill success of Sennacherib. The sacred groves shared the fate of the temples, and all the riches collected in them by generations of victors were carried off in cartloads. They contained, amongst other edifices, the tombs of the ancient heroes of Elam, who had feared neither Assur nor Ishtar, and who had often brought trouble on the ancestors of Assur-bani-pal. Their sepulchres were violated, their coffins broken open, their bones collected and despatched to Nineveh, to crumble finally into dust in the land of exile: their souls, chained to their mortal bodies, shared their captivity, and if they were provided with the necessary sustenance and libations to keep them from annihilation, it was not from any motives of compassion or pity, but from a refinement of vengeance, in order that they might the longer taste the humiliation of captivity.
[Illustration: 252.jpg THE TUMULUS OF SUZA]
The image of Nana was found among those of the native gods: it was now separated from them, and after having been cleansed from pollution by the prescribed ceremonies, it was conducted to Uruk, which it entered in triumph on the 1st of the month Kislev. It was reinstated in the temple it had inhabited of old: sixteen hundred and thirty-five years had passed since it had been carried off, in the reign of Kutur-nakhunta, to dwell as a prisoner in Susa.
Assur-bani-pal had no intention of preserving the city of Susa from destruction, or of making it the capital of a province which should comprise the plain of Elam. Possibly it appeared to him too difficult to defend as long as the mountain tribes remained unsubdued, or perhaps the Elamites themselves were not so completely demoralised as he was pleased to describe them in his inscriptions, and the attacks of their irregular troops would have rendered the prolonged sojourn of the Assyrian garrison difficult, if not impossible. Whatever the reason, as soon as the work of pillage was fully accomplished, the army continued its march towards the frontier, carrying with it the customary spoil of the captured towns, and their whole population, or all, at least, who had not fled at the approach of the enemy. The king reserved for himself the archers and pikemen, whom he incorporated into his own bodyguard, as well as the artisans, smelters, sculptors, and stonemasons, whose talents he turned to account in the construction and decoration of his palaces; the remainder of the inhabitants he apportioned, like so many sheep, to the cities and the temples, governors of provinces, officers of state, military chiefs, and private soldiers. Khumban-khaldash reoccupied Susa after the Assyrians had quitted it, but the misery there was so great that he could not endure it: he therefore transferred his court to Madaktu, one of the royal cities which had suffered least from the invasion, and he there tried to establish a regular government. Rival claimants to the throne had sprung up, but he overcame them without much difficulty: one of them, named Pae, took refuge in Assyria, joining Tammaritn and that little band of dethroned kings or pretenders to the throne of Susa, of whom Assur-bani-pal had so adroitly made use to divide the forces of his adversary. Khumban-khaldash might well believe that the transportation of the statue of Nana and the sack of Susa had satisfied the vengeance of the Assyrians, at least for a time, and that they would afford him a respite, however short; but he had reckoned without taking into consideration the hatred which had pursued Nabo-bel-shumi during so many years: an envoy followed him as far as Madaktu, and offered Khumban-khaldash once more the choice between the extradition of the Chaldean or the immediate reopening of hostilities. He seems to have had a moment's hesitation, but when Nabo-bel-shumi was informed of the terms offered by the envoy, |life had no more value in his eyes: he desired death.| He ordered his shield-bearer to slay him, and when the man refused to do so, declaring that he could not live without his master, they stabbed each other simultaneously, and perished, as they had lived, together. Khumban-khaldash, delivered by this suicide from his embarrassments, had the corpse of the master and the head of the faithful shield-bearer duly embalmed, and sent them to Nineveh. Assur-bani-pal mutilated the wretched body in order to render the conditions of life in the other world harder for the soul: he cut off its head, and forbade the burial of the remains, or the rendering to the dead of the most simple offerings.
[Illustration: 256.jpg Prayer in the Desert After Painting by Gerome]
About this time the inhabitants of Bit-Imbi, of Til-Khumba, and a dozen other small towns, who had fled for refuge to the woods of Mount Saladri, came forth from their hiding-places and cast themselves on the mercy of the conqueror: he deigned to receive them graciously, and enrolled them in his guard, together with the prisoners taken in the last campaign. He was contented to leave Elam to itself for the moment, as he was disquieted at the turn affairs were taking in Arabia. Abiyate, scarcely seated on the throne, had refused to pay tribute, and had persuaded Uate and Nadanu to join him in his contumacy; several cities along the Phoenician seaboard, led away by his example, shut their gates and declared themselves independent. Assur-bani-pal had borne all this patiently, while the mass of his troops were engaged against Khumban-khaldash; but after the destruction of Susa, he determined to revenge himself. His forces left Nineveh in the spring of 642 B.C., crossed the Euphrates, and the line of wooded hills which bordered the course of the river towards the west, provisioned themselves with water at the halting-place of Laribda, and plunged into the desert in search of the rebels. The Assyrians overran the country of Mash, from the town of Iarki to Azalla, where |there dwell no beasts of the field, where no bird of the sky builds its nest,| and then, after filling their water-skins at the cisterns of Azalla, they advanced boldly into the thirsty lands which extend towards Qurazite; they next crossed the territory of Kedar, cutting down the trees, filling up the wells, burning the tents, and reached Damascus from the north-east side, bringing in their train innumerable flocks of asses, sheep, camels, and slaves. The Bedawin of the north had remained passive, but the Nabathaeans, encouraged by the remoteness of their country and the difficulty of access to it, persisted in their rebellion. The Assyrian generals did not waste much time in celebrating their victory in the Syrian capital: on the 3rd of Ab, forty days after leaving the Chaldsean frontier, they started from Damascus towards the south, and seized the stronghold of Khalkhuliti, at the foot of the basaltic plateau overlooked by the mountains of the Hauran; they then destroyed all the fortresses of the country one after another, driving the inhabitants to take shelter in the rugged range of volcanic rocks, where they were blockaded, and finally reduced by famine: Abiyate capitulated, Nadanu ransomed himself by a promise of tribute, and the whole desert between Syria and the Euphrates fell once more into the condition of an Assyrian province. Before returning to Nineveh, Assur-bani-pal's generals inflicted chastisement on Akko and Ushu, the two chief Tyrian cities which had revolted, and this vigorous action confirmed the fidelity of the Assyrian vassals in Palestine. Uate's life was spared, but his lip and cheek were pierced by the hand of the king himself, and he was led by a cord passed through the wounds, as if he had been a wild beast intended for domestication; a dog's collar was riveted round his neck, and he was exposed in a cage at one of the gates of Nineveh. Aamu, the brother of Abiyate, was less fortunate, for he was flayed alive before the eyes of the mob. Assyria was glutted with the spoil: the king, as was customary, reserved for his own service the able-bodied men for the purpose of recruiting his battalions, distributing the remainder among his officers and soldiers. The camels captured were so numerous that their market-value was for a long time much reduced; they were offered in the open market, like sheep, for a half-shekel of silver apiece, and the vendor thought himself fortunate to find a purchaser even at this price.
The final ruin of Elam followed swiftly on the subjugation of Arabia. While one division of the army was scouring the desert, the remainder were searching the upland valleys of the Ulai and the Uknu, and relentlessly pursuing Khumban-khaldash. The wretched monarch was now in command of merely a few bands of tattered followers, and could no longer take the field; the approach of the enemy obliged him to flee from Madaktu, and entrench himself on the heights. Famine, misery, and probably also the treachery of his last adherents, soon drove him from his position, and, despairing of his cause, he surrendered himself to the officers who were in pursuit of him. He was the third king of Elam whom fate had cast alive into the hands of the conqueror: his arrival at Nineveh afforded the haughty Assur-bani-pal an occasion for celebrating one of those triumphal processions in which his proud soul delighted, and of going in solemn state to thank the gods for the overthrow of his most formidable enemy. On the day when he went to prostrate himself before Assur and Ishtar, he sent for Tammaritu, Pae, and Khumban-khaldash, and adding to them Uate, who was taken out of his cage for the occasion, he harnessed all four to his chariot of state, and caused himself to be drawn through Nineveh by this team of fallen sovereigns to the gate of the temple of Emashmash. And, indeed, at that moment, he might reasonably consider himself as having reached the zenith of his power. Egypt, it is true, still remained unpunished, and its renewed vitality under the influence of the Saite Pharaohs allowed no hope of its being speedily brought back into subjection, but its intrigues no longer exerted any influence over Syria, and Tyre itself appeared to be resigned to the loss of its possessions on the mainland. Lydia under the rule of Ardys continued to maintain intermittent intercourse with its distant protector. The provinces of the Taurus, delivered from the terror inspired by the Cimmerians, desired peace above all things, and the Mannai had remained quiet since the defeat of Akhsheri. Babylon was rapidly recovering from the ills she had endured. She consoled herself for her actual servitude by her habitual simulation of independence; she called Assur-bani-pal Kandalanu, and this new name allowed her to fancy she had a separate king, distinct from the King of Assyria. Elam no longer existed. Its plains and marsh lands were doubtless occupied by Assyrian garrisons, and formed an ill-defined annexation to Nineveh; the mountain tribes retained their autonomy, and although still a source of annoyance to their neighbours by their raids or sudden incursions, they no longer constituted a real danger to the state: if there still remained some independent Elamite states, Elam itself, the most ancient, except Babylon, of all the Asiatic kingdoms, was erased from the map of the world. The memories of her actual history were soon effaced, or were relegated to the region of legend, where the fabulous Memnon supplanted in the memory of men those lines of hardy conquerors who had levied tribute from Syria in the day when Nineveh was still an obscure provincial town. Assyria alone remained, enthroned on the ruins of the past, and her dominion seemed established for all time; yet, on closer investigation, indications were not wanting of the cruel sufferings that she also had endured. Once again, as after the wars of Tiglath-pileser I. and those of Assur-nazir-pal and Shalmaneser III., her chiefs had overtaxed her powers by a long series of unremitting wars against vigorous foes. Doubtless the countries comprised within her wide empire furnished her with a more ample revenue and less restricted resources than had been at the command of the little province of ancient days, which had been bounded by the Khabur and the Zab, and lay on the two banks of the middle course of the Tigris; but, on the other hand, the adversaries against whom she had measured her forces, and whom she had overthrown, were more important and of far greater strength than her former rivals. She had paid dearly for humiliating Egypt and laying Babylon in the dust. As soon as Babylon was overthrown, she had, without pausing to take breath, joined issue with Elam, and had only succeeded in triumphing over it by drawing upon her resources to the utmost during many years: when the struggle was over, she realised to what an extent she had been weakened by so lavish an outpouring of the blood of her citizens. The Babylonian and Elamite recruits whom she incorporated into her army after each of her military expeditions, more or less compensated for the void which victory itself had caused in her population and her troops; but the fidelity of these vanquished foes of yesterday, still smarting from their defeat, could not be relied on, and the entire assimilation of their children to their conquerors was the work of at least one or two generations. Assyria, therefore, was on the eve of one of those periods of exhaustion which had so often enfeebled her national vitality and imperilled her very existence. On each previous occasion she had, it is true, recovered after a more or less protracted crisis, and the brilliancy of her prospects, though obscured for a moment, appeared to be increased by their temporary eclipse. There was, therefore, good reason to hope that she would recover from her latest phase of depression; and the only danger to be apprehended was that some foreign power, profiting by her momentary weakness, might rise up and force her, while still suffering from the effects of her heroic labours, to take the field once more.