Obrazy na stronie

while the Athenians, who had eleven generals including the polemarch, were for the day under the orders of Miltiades. According to Cornelius Nepos (Vat. Miltiad.), the Persians were a hundred thousand effective foot and ten thousand horse; yet Plato, meaning probably to include the seamen and the various multitude of attendants upon Asiatic troops, calls the whole armament five hundred thousand; and Trogus Pompeius, according to his epitomizer Justin (2,9), did not scruple to add a hundred thousand more. These writers, however, did not perceive that, by encumbering the Persians with such useless and unmanageable crowds, they were not heightening, but diminishing, the glory of the conquerors. The Athenians numbered six-and-forty different nations in the barbarian host; and the Ethiopian arrows, remains of which are still found at Marathon, seem to attest the fact that Darius drew troops from the remotest provinces of the empire. Yet our calculations must be kept down by the remark, that the whole invading army was transported over the sea, according to Herodotus, in 600 ships. This, on the footing which he fixes elsewhere, of 200 men to each trireme, would give 120,000: and we ought probably to consider this as the utmost limit to which the numbers of the invaders can reasonably be carried. Those of the Athenians, including the Plataeans, are uniformly rated at about 10,000. It is possible that the number of the tribes had some share in grounding this tradition: it probably falls short of the truth, and certainly does not take the slaves into account, who served most likely as light-armed troops. When all these allowances are made, the numerical inequality will be reduced to a proportion of five to one. —It is remarkable, that, though Herodotus represents the Persians as induced to land at Marathon with a view to the operations of their calvary, he does not say a word either of its movements in the battle, or of any cause that prevented them. It seems not to have come into action; but perhaps he could not learn by what means it was kept motionless. Yet there was a tradition on the subject, probably of some antiquity, which appears to have assumed various forms, one of which was adopted by Nepos, who relates, that Miltiades protected his flanks from the enemy's cavalry by an abattis: a fact which it may be thought Herodotus could scarcely have passed over in silence if it had been known to him, but which might have been the foundation of a very obscure account of the matter, which is given by another author. In the explanation of the proverb, Yopic immeic (Suidas.-Cent., 14, 73, Schott), we read, that when Datis invaded Attica, the Ionians got upon the trees (!), and made signals to the Athenians that the cavalry had gone away (dic elev xopic of irreic), and that Miltiades, on learning its retreat, joined battle and gained the victory; which was the origin of the proverb, ori rāv riv ráštv 6tažvövruv. (Thirlwall's Greece, vol. 2, p. 241, seq.)—The Persians lost in all six thousand four hundred men. Of the Athenians only one hundred and ninety-two fell; but among them were the polemarch Callimachus; Stesibius, one of the ten generals; Cynaegirus, brother of the poet AEschylus, and other men of rank, who had been earnest to set an example of valour on this trying occasion. Cornelius Nepos observes that Marathon was ten miles from Athens ; but as, in fact, it is nearly double that distance, it is probable that we ought to read twenty instead of ten. Pausanias affirms it was half way from Athens to Carystus in Euboea. In the plain was erected the tumulus of those Athenians who sell in the battle, their names being inscribed on sepulchral pillars. Another tumulus was raised for the Plataeans and the slaves.—Still, however, after the defeat at Marathon, the Persian armament was very formidable; nor was Athens immediately, by its glorious victory, delivered from the danger of that subversion with which it had been threatened. The

Persian commanders, doubling the promontory of Sunium, coasted along the southern shore of Attica, not without hope of carrying that city by a sudden assatilt. But Miltiades made a rapid march with a large part of his forces; and when the Persians arrived off the port of Phalerus, they saw an Athenian army encamped on the hill of Cynosarges which overlooks it. They cast anchor, but, without attempting anything, weighed again and steered for Asia.—Marathon, which still preserves its ancient name, is situated, according to a modern traveller, “at the northwestern extremity of a valley, which opens towards the southeast into the great plain in which the battle was fought. This extends along the coast from the northeast to the southwest. At the extremity and near the sea is seen the conspicuous tomb raised over the bodies of the Athenians who fell in the battle; and close to the coast upon the right is a marsh, wherein the remains of trophies and marble monuments are yet visible.” (Clarke's Travels, vol. 7, p. 23, Lond. ed.) From a memoir of Col. Squire, inserted in Walpole's Memoirs (vol. 1, p. 328), we farther learn, that “the land bordering on the Bay of Marathon is an uninterrupted plain about two miles and a half in width, and bounded by rocky, difficult heights, which enclose it at either extremity. About the centre of the bay a small stream, which flows from the upper part of the valley of Marathon, discharges itself into the sea by three shallow channels. A narrow rocky point, projecting from the shore, forms the northeast part of the bay, close to which is a salt stream connected with a shallow lake, and a great extent of marsh land. The village of Marathon is rather more than three miles from the sea. Towards the middle of the plain may be seen a large tumulus of earth, twenty-five feet in height, resembling those on the plain of Troy.” (Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 2, p. 385, seqq.) Marcella, I. daughter of Claudius Marcellus by his wife Octavia, and sister to Marcus Marcellus. She was first married to Apuleius, and afterward to Valerius Messala. (Sueton, Vit. Aug., 53.)—II. The younger, daughter of Claudius Marcellus by his wife Octavia, and sister of the preceding. She was first married to M. Vipsanius Agrippa, and afterward to M. Julius Antonius. (Sueton., Vit. Aug., 63.) Marcellixus, AMMIRNus, the last Latin writer that merits the title of an historian. He was born at Antioch, and lived under Justinian and his successors down to the reign of Valentinian II. A large portion of his life was spent in military service in the Roman armies. He performed campaigns in Gaul, Germany, and Mesopotamia, and accompanied Julian on his expedition against the Persians. The modesty of Ammianus, which gives us but little information relative to himself, prevents us from determining what rank he held in the army, or what employment he pursued after quitting the profession of arms. It appears that he was invested with the dignity of Comes rei priratae; we find, in fact, in the Theodosian Code (l. xli., de appellat), a rescript of the emperors Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius, addressed to a certain Ammianus, who is decorated with this title. He died at Rome subsequent to A.D. 390. It was probably in this city that, at the age of fifty years, he composed his history of the Roman emperors, which he entitled “Rerum gestarum libri xxxi.” It commenced with the accession of Nerva, A.D. 96, and consequently at the period where the history of Tacitus terminated. It is not known whether Ammianus pretended to write a continuation of that history, or if any other motive induced him to select the time when this historian brought his work to a close. It is very probable that he had no intention whatever of continuing Tacitus, as he not only does not mention him, although he cites Sallust and other Roman writers, but also as his work shows no imitation whatever of the * Inannel of Tacitus. The history of Ammianus proceeds as far as 378 A.D. It embraced, consequently, a period of 282 years; but the first thirteen books, which contained a sketch of the history of 256 years (from 96 to 352), are lost, and we have only the last eighteen. These eighteen, however, form the most important part of the labours of Ammianus. In the first thirteen books he merely arranged materials from writers who had gone before him ; although it must be acknowledged, that even this part would have been interesting for us, as many of the works from which he selected are now lost. In the eighteen books, however, that remain to us, and which it is more than probable the copyists transcribed separately from the rest, Ammianus relates the events which occurred during his own time. As he often took an active part in these, or, at least, was an eyewitness of most of them, he relates them in the first person: when he details what did not pass under his immediate inspection, he is careful to obtain the requisite information from those who are acquainted with the subject, and who took . in the matter that is related: he does not pretend,

however, to give a complete history of his time, and

he passes in silence over events respecting which he has neither accurate information nor positive documents. This part of his work, therefore, is less a history than what we would call at the present day memoirs of his time. Ammianus Marcellinus was a wellinformed man, and possessed of great good sense and excellent judgment. No writer was ever more entitled to praise for candour and impartiality. He understood well the art of clearly showing the connexion of events, and of painting in striking colours the characters of those individuals whom he introduces into his narrative. In a word, he would in all probability have been an accomplished historian had his lot been cast in a more favourable age. Had he lived in the golden period of Roman literature, the study of good models and the society of enlightened men would have perfected his historic talent, and have formed his style in a purer mould. The latter would not, as is too often the case in Ammianus, have been destitute of that simplicity which constitutes one of the great beauties of historical narrative, nor overloaded with ornaments and disfigured by turgid and barbarous forms of expression. These faults, how. ever, in the style of Ammianus, find an excuse in the circumstances of his case. He was a stranger, and wrote in a language not his own; neither did the busy life which he had led in camps permit him to cultivate the talent for writing which nature had bestowed upon him. His good qualities are his own; his defects are those of the times; and, in spite of these defects, his style is conspicuous among all the writers who were contemporary with him for a purity to which they could not attain.—Ammianus Marcellinus is the last pagan historian; for, notwithstanding all that some maintain to the contrary, we have no certain proof of his having been a Christian. A public man, enriched with the experience acquired amid the scenes of an

active life, he relates the events connected with the

new religion introduced by Constantine with sang-froid and impartiality, and perhaps with the indifference of a man who knew how to raise himself to a point of view where he could perceive naught but masses and results. He blames with equal frankness the antichristian mysticism of Julian, and the religious intolerance of Constantius and his bishops. He speaks with respect both of the doctrines of Christianity and the ceremonies of paganism. A remarkable passage occurs in the sixteenth chapter of the twenty-first book. After having painted the bitterness of character and the cruelties of Constantius, the historian adds: “Christianam religioncm absolutam et simplicem anili superstitione confundens; in qua scrulanda perplerius, quam componenda gravius, ercitawit discilla plurima ; qual

progressa fusius aluit concertatione verborum: ut catervis antistitum jumentis publicis ultro citroque discurrentibus, per synodos, quas appellant, dum ritum omnem ad suum trahere comantur arbitrium, rel vehiculariae succideret nervos.” On another occasion (22, 11), blaming the conduct of a bishop, he remarks: “Professionis suae oblitus, qual nihil nisi justum suadet et lene, ad delatorum ausa feralia desciscebat.” —The narrative of Ammianus is often interrupted by geographical and physical digressions. . The latter show, as might be expected, a very slight acquaintance with principles; but the descriptions of countries which he had himself seen are extremely valuable. He is one of the principal sources that we have for the geography and history of ancient Germany, a country in which he passed a great number of years. We find in him also some excellent observations on the luxury and courts of the Roman emperors, on the vices which prevailed there, and on the manners in general of the great. Gibbon (c. 26) candidly avows his obligations to this writer; and from the period when he can no longer derive materials from Ammianus, the work of the English historian loses a great portion of its previous interest. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Rom., vol. 3, p. 164, seqq.—Fuhrman, Handbuch der Class. Lit., vol. 2, p. 880, seqq.)—The best edition of Ammianus Marcellinus is that of Gronovius, Lugd. Bat., 1693, 4to. The edition of Wagner, completed by Erfurdt, Lips., 1808, 3 vols. 8vo, is also valuable. Marcellus, I. Marcus Claudius, born of a Ro-.

man consular family, after passing through the offices of a dile and quastor, was made consul B.C. 224. The Transpadane Gauls having declared war against Rome, Marcellus marched against them, defeated them near Acerra, on the Addua, killed their king Viridomarus, and bore off his arms, the “spolia opima,” which were exhibited in his triumph. At the beginning of the second Punic war, Marcellus was sent into Sicily as praetor, to administer the Roman part of the island, and had also the task of keeping the Syracusans firm in their alliance with Rome. After the battle of Cannae, he was recalled to Italy to oppose Hannibal. Having taken the command of the relics of the Roman forces in Apulia, he kept Hannibal in check and defended Nola. In the year 214 B.C., being again consul, he took Casilinum by surprise. He was next sent to Sicily, where Syracuse had declared against Rome. After a siege of nearly three years, the city was taken 212 B.C., and Marcellus returned to Rome with the rich spoils. It was on occasion of the taking of Syracuse that the celebrated Archimedes lost his life. Marcellus did not, however, obtain a triumph, but only an ovation, as the war in Sicily was not entirely terminated. In the year 210 he was again chosen consul, and had the direction of the war against Hannibal in Apulia, when he took the town of Salapia, and fought several partial engagements with the Carthaginians, without any definite result. In the following year he continued in command of the army, and fought a battle against Hannibal at Canusium, in which the Romans were defeated and fled. On the following day Marcellus renewed the fight and defeated the Carthaginians, upon which Hannibal withdrew to the mountains of the Bruttii.

In the next year, B.C. 208, Marcellus was elected consul for the fifth time with T. Quintus Crispinus

He continued to carry on the war against Hannibal, when, being encamped near Venusia, he rashly ven tured out, fell into an ambuscade of advanced posts, and was slain, in the 60th year of his age. Hannibal, according to some authorities, caused his body to be burned with military honours, and sent the ashes in a silver urn to his son. According to others, however, he did not even bestow upon the corpse the ordinary rites of burial. (Plut., Wit. Marcell.) Marcellus was one of the most distinguished Roman commanders

during the second Punic war, and was accustomed to be called the sword of the Romans, as Fabius was denominated their shield. We have a life of him by Plutarch.-II. Marcus Claudius, held the consulship with Servius Sulpicius, B.C. 51. He was remarkable for his attachment to republican principles, and his uncompromising hostility towards Caesar; and it was he who proposed to the senate to recall that command. er from his province in Gaul. After the battle of Pharsalia, Marcellus went into voluntary exile, and was not pardoned by Caesar until some considerable interval had elapsed, and then only at the earnest intercession of the senate. It was on this occasion that Cicero delivered his speech of thanks to Caesar. Marcellus, however, did not long survive to enjoy the pardon thus obtained, having been assassinated by an adherent of his, P. Magius Cilo. He was then on his return to Italy. The cause that prompted Cilo to the act is not known. Cicero conjectures that the latter, oppressed with debts, and apprehending some trouble on that score in case of his return, had been urging Marcellus, who was surety for some part of them, to furnish him with money to pay the whole, and that, on receiving a denial, he was provoked to the madness of killing his patron. (Cic., Ep. ad Att., 13, 10.—Compare Ep. ad Fam., 4, 12.) According to others, however, he was prompted to the deed by seeing other friends more highly favoured by Marcellus than himself. (Val. Mar., 9, 11.) After stabbing his patron, Cilo slew himself.-III. Marcus Claudius, commonly known as the “Young Marcellus,” was the son of Octavia the sister of Augustus, and consequently the nephew of the latter. Augustus gave him his daughter Julia in marriage, and intended him for his successor ; but he died at the early age of 18, universally regretted on account of the excellence of his private character. Virgil has immortalized his memory by the beautiful lines at the close of the sixth book of the AEmeid, and which are said to have drawn from Octavia so munificent a recompense. (Wid. Virgilius.) Livia was suspected, though without reason, it would seem, of having made away with Marcellus, who was an obstacle to the advancement of her son Tiberius. The more ostensible cause of his death was the injudicious application of the cold bath by the physician Antonius Musa. (Vid. Musa.) Marci RNA, a sister of the Emperor Trajan, who, on account of her public and private virtues and her amiable disposition, was declared Augusta and empress by her brother. She died A.D. 1 13. Marci ANopälts, a city of Moesia Inferior, to the west of Odessus, founded by Trajan, and named in honour of his sister Marciana. (Amm. Marcell., 27, 4.—Jornand., Get., c. 16.) It soon became an important place in consequence of its lying on the main road from Constantinople to the Ister, and of its being the place where preparations were made for all the expeditions against the barbarians in this quarter. When the Bulgarians formed a kingdom out of what was previously Moesia, Marcianopolis became the capital, under the name of Pristhlaba (IIptaffästöa.— Anna Comn., p. 194) or Preslaw. It still retains this name, and also that of Eski Stamboul with the Turks: the modern Greek inhabitants, however, call it Marcenopoli. According to the Itin. Amt. (p. 228.—Compare Théopylact, 7, 2), Marcianopolis was 18 miles to the west of Odessus. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 7, p. 138.) MARc1ANUs, I. a native of Thrace, born of obscure parents, towards the end of the fourth century. He entered the army, and rose gradually by his merit to high rank, and was made a senator by Theodosius II. When Theodosius died (A.D. 450), his sister Pulcheria, then 52 years old, offered her hand to Marcianus, who was near 60, because she thought him capable of * the crown with dignity, and with 5

advantage to the state. Marcianus married her, and was proclaimed emperor. His reign, which lasted little more than six years, was peaceful, and his administration was equitable and firm. He resused to pay to Attila the tribute to which Theodosius had submitted. In the year 455, Marcianus acknowledged Avitus as Emperor of the West. Marcianus died in 457; his wife Pulcheria had died before him. He was succeeded by Leo I. (Encycl. Us. Knowl, vol. 14, p. 412.)—II. Capella. (Vid. Capella.) MARcoMANNI, a nation of Germany, in the southeastern part of the country. According to some authorities, their original seats were in Moravia, whence, on being hard pressed by the Romans, they retired into what is now Bohemia. (Well. Paterc., 2, 108. —Mannert, Geogr., vol. 3, p. 110.) Other writers, however, such as Cluver, Adelung, Mascov, &c., make them to have lived between the Maine and Neckar, previous to their departure for Bohemia.They were subdued by the emperors Trajan and An

toninus. Their name denotes “border men,” i. e., men of the marches. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 3, p. 382, seqq.).

MARcus, a praenomen common to many of the Romans. (Wid. AEmilius, Lepidus, &c.) Mardi, I. a people of Asia, near the northern frontiers of Media, or rather of Matiene, which formed part of Media. (Strabo, 524–Tzschucke, ad Strab., l.c., vol. 4, p. 550–Quint. Curt., 5, 5)—II. A tribe of the Persians, according to Herodotus (1, 125), but, according to other writers, a distinct race in their immediate neighbourhood. (Arrian, Hist. Ind., 40.) They are represented as a plundering race. (Arrian, l. c.)—III. A nation dwelling to the south of Bactriana, and to the north of the chain of Paropamisus. Pliny (6, 16) says they extended from Caucasus to Bactriana, in which he evidently followed the historians of Alexander, who, out of flattery to that prince, called the Paropamisus by the name of Caucasus. As regards these three nations, consult the remarks of Larcher (Hist. d'Herod. Table Geogr., vol. 8, p. 317, seqq.). MAR posius, a general of Xerxes, who, after the defeat of his master at Thermopylae and Salamis, was left in Greece with an army of 300,000 chosen men, to subdue the country, and reduce it under the power of Persia. His operations were rendered useless by the courage and vigilance of the Greeks; and in a battle at Plataea, Mardonius was defeated and left among the slam, B.C. 479. He had been commander of the armies of Darius in Europe, and it was chiefly by his advice that Xerxes invaded Greece. He was son-in-law of Darius. (Wid. Darius I., where some other particulars are given respecting him.) MARE MortuuM, an extensive and most interesting piece of water, in Judaea, about 70 miles long and 20 broad. It was anciently called the “Sea of the Plain” (Deut. 3, 17; 4, 19), from its situation in the great hollow or plain of the Jordan; the “Salt Sea” (Deut. 3, 17.—Josh. 15, 5), from the extreme saltness of its waters; and the “East Sea” (Ezek. 47, 18.-Joel 2, 20), from its situation relative to Judaea, and in contradistinction to the West Sea, or Mediterranean. It is likewise called by Josephus, and by the Greek and Latin writers generally, Lacus Asphaltites, from the bitumen ('adaztoc) found in it; and the “Dead Sea,” its more frequent modern appellation, from the belief that no living creature can exist in its saline and sulphureous waters. It is at present known in Syria by the names of Almotanah and Bahar Loth; and occupies what may be considered as the southern extremity of the vale of Jordan. This sea, so important and so often mentioned in sacred history, still bears the most unequivocal marks of the catastrophe of which it has been the site. It differs, indeed, so essentially in * properties from every other piece of water in the known world, that it is a wonder it has not been the subject of more frequent and extensive observation. Its depth seems to be altogether unknown; and it is only of late that a boat has navigated its surface. Towards its southern extremity, however, in a contracted part of the lake, is a ford, about six miles over, made use of by the Arabs: in the middle of which they report the water to be warm, indicating the presence of warm springs beneath. In general, towards the shore it is shallow ; and it rises and falls with the seasons, and with the quantity of water carried into it by seven streams, which fall into this their common receptacle, the chief of which is the Jordan. It also appears either to be on the increase, or to be lower in some years than in others, whence those travellers are to be credited who assert that they have beheld the ruins of the cities either exposed or ingulfed beneath the waters. Troilo and D'Arvieux attest that they observed fragments of wall, &c. Josephus remarks, that one might still see there “the shadows of the five cities” (Tevre usu Tožov akuāc), leaving it somewhat uncertain what he means by this figurative language. (Bell. Jud., 4, 8, 4.) Strabo gives a circumference of 60 stadia to the ruins of Sod. om, according to the traditions of the neighbouring communities (Öare Tuareiew roic 3puzzlovuévot, iro tov Šyxoptov, &c apa (okovtó Tore Tptakaijeka Tóżetc. &vravta, Öv tic unsporožđoc, Soóðuov, adootto Atikāo; #mrovtsi Tov gradiov.—Strab., 764). Two #. and respectable inhabitants of Jerusalem told

aundrell that they had once been able to see some part of these ruins; that they were near the shore, and the water so shallow at the time, that they, together with some Frenchmen, went into it, and found several pillars and other fragments of buildings. These several authorities are too weighty to be despised; and we may collect from them some support to the opinion, that, at the destruction of the guilty cities, they were not entirely overwhelmed with the waters, but remained more or less exposed to view, as monuments of the judgments of God; and that, from the slow increase of the waters through a period of nearly 4000 years, they have gradually receded from our sight, and are now only to be seen through the water, if seen at all, after seasons of long-continued drought. The water now covering these ruins occupies what was formerly the Vale of Siddim ; a rich and fruitful valley, in which stood the five cities, called the cities of the plain, namely, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela or Zoar. The first four of these were destroyed, while the latter, being “a little city,” was preserved at the intercession of Lot; to which he fled for refuge from the impending catastrophe, and where he remained in safety during its accomplishment. Naturalists have indulged themselves in many speculations as to the manner in which this destruction took place, and the immediate causes engaged in effecting it; as if this were necessary for our faith. It is probable, however, that in this instance, as in most others, the Almighty called in the aid of second causes for the accomplishment of his purpose. The most reasonable explanation of such causes is sounded on what is said in Gen., 14, 10, of the soil of the Wale of Siddim, that it was “full of slime pits,” or, more properly, pits of bitumen, for thus the word is rendered in the Septuagint. Now it is probable that in this instance, as in that of the flood, the inhabitants of the offending cities were involved in destruction, which met them on all sides, from above and below; that the earth opened its sountains of lava or pitch ignited by subterraneous combustion, while a fiery shower from above expedited and ensured their utter destruction. Whatever the means employed might have been, . were evidently confined in a remarkable manner to the devoted district; as Lot found safety in Zoar, although only a few miles distant, and

within the precincts of the plain itself. This circum. stance seems to show sufficiently that the country was not destroyed by an earthquake, as supposed by some, which would scarcely have been so partial in its ef. fects. There is also a passage (Gen., 19, 28) which favours very much the above opinion respecting the combustion of the soil; where it is said that Abraham got up early in the morning, and “looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and towards all the land of the plain, and behold, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” The character of this catastrophe approaches nearest to that of a volcanic eruption: an opinion which is supported by the physical structure of the soil of the neighbourhood both before and since; the bituminous nature of the soil as described in Genesis (14, 10); the occasional eruptions of flame and smoke so late as the first century, as attested by Josephus; and the hot springs and volcanic substances, consisting of lava, sulphur, pumice, and basalt, still found in the vicinity of the lake, as described by Volney, Burckhardt, Buckingham, and other travellers. We know not the character of the soil beneath the surface ; the figure, material, and stratification of the mountains: whether a crater or craters are to be found on them, and, if so, whether they have emitted any streams of lava, and what was their direction. All this, and much more in this interesting neighbourhood, remains to be explored by the experienced eye of a geologist. In the absence, how ever, of such information, it may be surmised that the cities could not have been buried beneath a shower of ashes from a mountain-crater, aster the manner of Herculaneum and Pompeii, as this would be incompatible with the testimony of those who have witnessed the exposed remains of the cities, as well as with the account which represents the plain itself as burning, not the neighbouring mountains. Nor could they have been overwhelmed by a torrent of lava: for besides that this mode is liable to the objection already urged of totally obliterating the cities, the ordinary progress of a lava would not have been equal to the design, as it is never so rapid as not to give ample time for escape. The catastrophe might still, however, have been of a yolcanic character, but the vale itself, or some part of it, must have been a crater; which, vomiting forth, not a vitreous and sluggish lava, but a far more liquid and diffusive stream from the bituminous stores beneath, involved the miserable inhabitants on all side, from the earth and from the air, in a deluge of fire. Before this event, the vale of Siddim was a rich and fertile valley; a continuation of that of the Jordan; through which the river took its course southward. Here we are assisted by the investigations of Burckhardt, who, although he had not an opportunity of personally examining the spot, obtained very satisfactory information, that, at the southern extremity of the lake, there is an opening leading into the Valley of El Ghor; which, with its southern continuation, termed El Araba, both inspected by Burckhardt himself, descends uninterruptedly to the AElanitic Gulf of the Red Sea; which it joins at Akaba, the site of the ancient Ezion-geber. This Burckhardt supposes to be the prolongation of the ancient channel of the Jordan, which discharged itself into the sea before its absorption in the expanded Lake of Sodom. This is extremely probable: and there cannot be a more interesting country in the world than this, to be made the subject of an intelligent and accurate geological survey. We may, however, from what we know, inser thus much : that before the face of the country was changed by the judgment which fell upon it, the ground now covered by the waters of the Dead Sea was an extensive valley, called the Vale of Siddim, on which stood the five cities, and through which the Jordan flowed in its course to the sea. That it flowed through the vale may be inferred from the great fertility of the latter; that it passed beyond it, is equally to be inferred from the want of space over which the water could expand itself to be exhausted by evaporation. But the discovery of the opening on the southern border of the lake, and the inclined valley leading thence to the sea, have rendered these inserences almost conclusive. We may then, and must in fact, refer the origin of the lake to the epoch in question, when the combustion of the soil, or of its substrata, occasioned a subsidence of the level of the valley, by which the river was arrested in its course, and a basin formed to receive its waters. These gradually spread themselves over its surface, and would no doubt soon have filled it, and resumed the ancient channel to the southward, had not their increase been retarded by the process of evaporation, which advanced in an increasing ratio as the expanse of water grew wider and wider. The newly-formed lake would thus continue to extend itself, until the supply of water from the streams, and the consumption by evaporation, arrived at a balance. When this took place, or whether it has even yet taken place, cannot be known; at least without such observations as have not yet been made. That it has not long been the case may be inferred from the disappearance of the ruins which were visible two centuries ago.—The water of this sea is far more salt than that i. ocean ; containing one fourth part of its weight of saline contents in a state of perfect desiccation, and forty-one parts in a hundred in a state of simple crystallization: that is to say, a hundred pounds by weight of water will yield forty-one pounds of salts; while the proportion of saline contents in the water of the Atlantic is not more than 1-27th part in a state of dryness, and about six pounds of salts in a hundred of the water. The specific gravity of the water is 1.211: that of common water being 1000. A vial of it having been brought to England by Mr. Gordon of Clunie, at the request of Sir Joseph Banks, was analyzed by Dr. Marcet, who gives the following results: “This water is perfectly transparent, and does not deposite any crystals on standing in close vessels. Its taste is peculiarly bitter. saline, and pungent. Solutions of silver produce from it a very copious precipitate, showing the presence of marine acid. Oxalic acid instantly discovers lime in the water. The lime being separated, both caustic and carbonated alkalies readily throw down a magnesian precipi. tate. Solutions of barytes produce a cloud, showing the existence of sulphuric acid. No alumine can be discovered in the water by the delicate test of succinic acid combined with ammonia. A small quantity of pulverized sea salt being added to a few drops of the water, cold and undiluted, the salt was readily dissolved with the assistance of a gentle trituration, showing that the Dead Sea is not saturated with common salt. None of the coloured infusions commonly used to ascertain the prevalence of an acid or an alkali, such as littnus, violet, and turmeric, were in the least altered by the water.” The result of Dr. Mar

cet's analysis gives the following contents in 100 grains of the water:

Muriate of Lime . - - . 3.920 grains.

Muriate of Magnesia - ... 10.246 “

Muriate of Soda - - - ... 10.360 “

Sulphate of Lime . . . . . 0.054 “ 24.5S0

Dr. Madden, a recent traveller, brought home with him a bottle of the same water, which, on being analyzed, was found to contain the following substances:

Chloride of Soda, with a trace of Bromine . . . . 9.55 Chloride of Magnesium - - - - - . 5.28 Chloride of Calcium . - - - - - . 3.05 Sulphate of Lime . - - - - - - 1.34


The traveller last mentioned gives us the following account of a visit which he paid to the Dead Sea.

“About six in the morning I reached the shore, and, much against the advice of my excellent guides, I resolved on having a bathe. I was desirous of ascertaining the truth of the assertion, that “nothing sinks in the Dead Sea.” I swam a considerable distance from the shore, and about four yards from the beach I was beyond my depth. The water was the coldest I ever felt, and the taste of it the most detestable ; it was that of a solution of nitre, mixed with an infusion of quassia. Its buoyancy I found to be far greater than that of any sea I ever swan in, not excepting the Euxine, which is extremely salt. I could lie like a log of wood on the surface, without stirring hand or foot, as long as I chose ; but, with a good deal of exertion, I could just dive sufficiently deep to cover all my body, when I was again thrown on the surface, in spite of my endeavours to descend lower. On coming out, the wounds on my feet, which had been previously made, pained me excessively; the poisonous quality of the waters irritated the abraded skin, and ultimately made an ulcer of every wound, which confined me fifteen days in Jerusalem, and became so troublesome in Alexandrea, that my medical attendant was apprehensive of gangrene.” Dr. Madden is convinced that no living creature can be found in the Dead Sea; and, to try whether there were any fish in it, he spent two hours in fishing. The surface of the sea, according to him, is covered with a thin pellicle of asphaltum, which issues from the fissure of the rock adjoining it. On coming out of the water he found his body covered with it, and likewise with an incrustation of salt, almost the thickness of a sixpence. The rugged aspect of the mountains, the deep ravines, and the jagged rocks, all prove that the surrounding country has once been the scene of some terrible convulsion of nature. “I have no hesitation,” says Dr. Madden, “in stating my belief, that the sea which occupies the site of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Segor, covers the crater of a volcano.” We have said that this traveller was convinced that no living creature could be found in the Dead Sea: Chateaubriand, however, states that, hearing a noise on the lake at midnight, he was told by the Bethlemists that it proceeded from legions of small fish, which come and leap about near the shore. Maundrell also observed, anong the pebbles on the bank, shells which had once contained fish. The traveller last mentioned also saw birds flying about and over the sea with impunity, which contradicts the common belief that birds sell dead in flying over it. The Dead Sea is situate between two ridges of mountains; of which those on the eastern or Arabian side are the highest and most rocky, and have much the appearance of a black perpendicular wall, throwing a dark and lengthened shadow over the water of the sea. (Mansford's Scripture Gazetteer, p. 123, seqq.) We shall close the present article with the following remarks of Dr. Clarke, which have been already in some degree anticipated. “The atmosphere was remarkably clear and serene; but we saw none of those clouds of smoke which, by some writers, are said to exhale from the surface of the lake. Everything about it was in the highest degree grand and awful. Its desolate, although majestic features, are well suited to the tales related concerning it by the inhabitants of the country, who all speak of it with terror, seeming to shrink from the narrative of its deceitful allurements and deadly influence. “Beautiful fruit,” say they, “grows upon its shores, which is no sooner touched than it becomes dust and ashes.” In addition to its physical horrors, the region around is said to be more perilous, owing to the ferocious tribes wandering upon the shores of the lake, than any other part of the Holy Land. A passion for the marvellous has thus affixed, for ages, false characteristics to the sublimest associations of natural scenery #;" whole

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