Obrazy na stronie
PDF

these necks and catches the porpoises, seadogs, and other large animals of the sea which swim by, and out of every ship that passes each mouth takes a man. The opposite rock, the goddess informs him, is much lower, for a man could shoot over it. A wild fig-tree grows on it, stretching its branches down to the water; but beneath, “divine Charybdis” three times each day absorbs and regorges the dark water. It is much more dangerous, she adds, to pass Charybdis than Scylla. As Ulysses sailed by, Scylla took six of his crew; and when, after he had lost his ship and companions, he was carried by wind and wave, as he floated on a part of the wreck between the monsters, the mast by which he supported himself was sucked in by Charybdis, and he held by the wild fig-tree till it was thrown out again, when he resumed his voyage.—Such is the earliest account we have of these monsters, in which, indeed, it may be doubted if Charybdis is to be regarded as an animate being. The ancients, who were so anxious to localize all the wonders of Homer, made the Straits of Messina the abode of Scylla and Charybdis. The whole fable has been explained by Spallanzani, according to whom Scylla is a losty rock on the Calabrian shore, with some caverns at the bottom, which, by the agitation of the waves, emit sounds resembling the barking of dogs. The only danger is when the current and wind are in opposition, so that vessels are impelled towards the rock. Charybdis is not a whirlpool or involving vortex, but a spot where the waves are greatly agitated by pointed rocks, and the depth does not exceed 500 feet. (Spallanz., 3, p. 99.)—In Homer the mother of Scylla is named Cratasis (Od., 12, 124), but her sire is not spoken of Stesichorus called her mother Lamia (Eudocia, 377); Hesiod said she was the daughter of Phorbas and Hecate (Schol. ad Apoll. Rhod., 4,828); Arcesilaus said, of Phorcys and Hecate (Schol. ad Od., 12, 85); others asserted that Triton was her sire. (Eudocia, 377.) Later poets feigned that Scylla was once a beautiful maiden, who was fond of associating with the Nereids. The seagod Glaucus beheld and fell in love with her, and, being rejected, applied to Circe to exercise her magic arts in his savour. Circe wished him to transfer his affections to herself; and, filled with rage at his refusal, she infected with noxious juices the water in which Scylla was wont to bathe, and thus transformed her into a monster. (Ovid, Met., 14, 1, seqq.—Hygin., fab., 199.) According to another account, the change in Scylla's form was effected by Amphitrite, in consequence of her intimacy with Neptune. (Tzetz. ad Lycophr., 650.) Charybdis was said to have been a woman who stole the oxen of Hereules, and who was, in consequence, struck with thunder by Jupiter, and turned into a whirlpool. (Serv. ad AEm.,3,420.-Keightley's Mythology, p.271, seqq.) Scyllaeum, a promontory of Argolis, opposite the Attic promontory of Sunium, and said to have derived its name from Scylla, the daughter of Nisus. It formed, together with the promontory of Sunium, the entrance of the Saronic Gulf, and closed, also, the Bay of Hermione. (Strab., 373.) ScyMNUs, a Greek geographer, a native of Chios, who flourished about 80 B.C., during the reign of Nicomedes II., king of Bithynia. He dedicated to this monarch his work entitled Periegesis (IIepúynaw), or Description of the World, written in Greek Iambics. We have remaining of this the first 741 lines, and fragments of 236 others, which together form, according to the critics, not more than a fourth part of the entire work. Scymnus informs the monarch that he has collected and abridged, for his use, all the information he sound scattered among various writers respecting the establishment of colonies, the founding of cities, &c. He proposes to give, first, an account of all that is clear and well ascertained in geographical knowledge; while he promises to treat, in

a separate part of the work, of what is obscure, in order that Nicomedes may thus have a concise outline of the geography of the day. This work, which has little merit as a poem, is somewhat more valuable as a geographical treatise; the information it gives respecting the establishment of the Greek colonies is particularly useful; but in some other respects it is not very accurate. . This production, together with the fragments (which we owe to the labours of Holstenius), may be found in the minor Greek geographers, of Hudson, Gail, &c. Scyrias, a name applied to Deidamia as a native of Scyros. (Ovid, A., 1, 682.) Scyros, an island of the AEgean Sea, northeast of Euboea, and now called Scyro. Thucydides informs us that its first inhabitants were Dolopians, who were afterward expelled by the Athenians (1,98). It is to this early period that we must assign the adventures of Achilles and the birth of Neoptolemus. (Strabo, 437.) Here Theseus was said to have terminated his existence, by having fallen, or been pushed down a precipice. (Lycophr., 1324.) Scyros, according to Strabo, was also celebrated for its breed of goats and its quarries of varied marble, which vied with those of Carystus and Synnada. In the geographer's time it was in great request at Rome for public edifices and other ornamental purposes. (Strab., 437.-Plin., 36, 26.—Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 1, p. 453.) Scythae, the inhabitants of Scythia. (Wid. Scythia.) Scythia, a general name given by the ancient Greeks and Romans to a large portion of Asia, and divided by them into Scythia intra and extra Imaum, that is, on either side of Mount Imaus. The Scythians have been considered by some writers as the same people with the Gomerians, and as being the descendants of Gomer, the eldest son of Japhet. Their name is derived by some from the Teutonic scheten or schuten, or the Gothic skiuta, all signifying “to shoot,” this nation being very expert with the bow. (Compare Jamieson's Hermes Scythicus, p. 6.) Others make it equivalent to the Latin potatores ; others, again, derive it from shakhaa, “a quiver;” while a fourth class deduce the term from the Persian Ssagh, “a dog,” and suppose it to have been applied by way of contempt. This last opinion, however, to say nothing of the others, is decidedly erroneous, since the do was held in high estimation among the Persians, ...; ranked among the good animals of Ormusd. (Plut., de Isid. et Osir., p. 369, F., p. 514, Wytt.) It was a symbol also of faith, and especially of the hope of an immortal existence, and holds a conspicuous place, therefore, on sepulchral monuments. (Compare Crewzer, Symbolik, vol. 1, p. 752.) Sir William Jones likewise indulges in some speculations on this subject (Asiatic Researches, vol. 2, p. 401), as well as Ritter in his Erdkunde (vol. 2, p. 729). Von Hammer, however, appears to furnish the most ingenious explanation. According to this learned Orientalist, the writers of the East, and, more particularly, the work entitled Schahnameh, refer what the Greeks tell us concerning the incursion of the Sacae, to the Turks and .#, as they are styled; and even the very festival which the Greeks term Xakaua is found in the ancient Persian calendar as a day set apart to commemorate a victory gained over the Turks. Hence Von Hammer proposes to read Totopyov, for 'Auoupyíovc in the text of Herodotus (7, 64). These Turks are the same, according to the German scholar, with the Turanians, and with the Ssakalib of the Schahnameh; and this name Ssakalib, from Ssaklab or Scoklob, presents a remarkable coincidence with what Herodotus states respecting the Scythians (4, 6), that they call themselves XKożórot. As in Herodotus, therefore, the Sacae and Amyrgii are said to be the same, so in the Schahnameh the Turks and the Ssa: kalib are identical. This same term :* will l

furnish also the root of the name Slavi; and if the theory of another writer be admitted, the Saxones will be descended from the Sacae. (Compare Bühr, ad Ctes., p. 97.)—The earliest detailed account of the Scythian race is given by Herodotus, who states, as has already been remarked, that they called themselves by the general name of Scoloti (2xožárol). The appellation of Scythians (2x58at) originated with the Greeks along the Euxine. Their primitive seats were in the vicinity of the Caspian; but, being driven from these by the Massageta, they migrated to the countries around the Tanais and north of the Euxine, and the head settlement of the race, according to Herodotus, was now between the Tanais and Borysthenes. Only a few tribes attended to agricultural pursuits and had fixed abodes; the greater part were of nomadic habits, and roamed about in their wagons, which served them for abodes. These last subsisted on the produce of their flocks and herds. Herodotus divides them into Royal Scythians (Baqtājjiot Xxotal), the Nomadic Scythians (Nouáðec), and the Agricultural (Tewpyot). Besides these, there were other tribes living to the west of the Borysthenes, and separated from the main body of the race, such as the Callipoda and Alazomes. Until the time of Ptolemy, but little was known respecting the Scythians except what had been obtained from the narrative of Herodotus. In the days of Ptolemy, Scythia, as known to Herodotus, had changed its name to that of Sarmatia (compare Plin., 4, 12), and the northern part of Asia above the Sacae and beyond Sogdiana, with an indefinite extent towards the east, was now denominated Scythia. The range of Mount Imaus was considered as dividing this extensive region into two parts, and hence arose the two divisions of Scythia intra Imaum and Scythia extra Imaum, or Scythia within and without the range of Imaus. The former of these, Scythia intra Imaum, had the following limits assigned to it: on the north, unknown lands; on the o: on the south, the Sacae, Sogdiana, and Margiana, as far as the mouth of the Oxus, and the Caspian Sea to the mouth of the Rha ; on the west, Asiatic Sarmatia. Scythia extra Imaum had the following boundaries: on the north, unknown lands; on the west, Imaus; on the south, a part of India; and on the east, Serica.-The Scythians made several irruptions into the more southern provinces of Asia, especially B.C. 624, when they remained in possession of Asia Minor for 28 years. Scythopālis, a city of Judaea, belonging to the half tribe of Manasseh, on the west of and near to the Jordan. Its Hebrew name was Bethsan, Bethshean, or Bethshan. It was called Scythopolis, or the city of the Scythians, as the Septuagint has it (Xavbow Tóżic. —Judges, 1, 27), from its having been taken posses. sion of by a body of Scythians in their invasion of Asia Minor and Syria. It is now Bysan or Baisan. (Plin., 5, 18. —Ammian. Marcell., 19, 27. Joseph., Ant., 5, 1.—Id, ibid., 12, 12.-Id., Bell. Jud., 3, 4.) SebastE, I. rid. Samaria.-H. The name was common to several cities, as it was in honour of Augustus. Sebaste (Xe6aará, sc. tróżig) is the Greek form for Augusta, sc. urbs. ŠEbenNyrus, a town of the Delta in Egypt, north of Busiris, and the capital of the Sebennytic nome. The modern Semenud corresponds to its site. (Plin., 5, 18.) f Sebætus, a small river of Campania, now the Maddalona, falling into the Bay of Naples, whence the epithet Sebetis, given to one of the nymphs who frequented its borders, and became mother of CEbalus by ‘felon. (Virg., AEn., 7, 734.) Sederini, a people of Spain, supposed to have been the same with the Edetani. (Vid. Edetani.) SepúN1, a nation of Gaul on the south bank of the Rhodanus, to the east of Lacus Lemanus. They opposed Hannibal near the very summit of the Alps, 1206

when he crossed these lofty mountains to invade Italy Their capital was afterward called civitas Sedunorum, now Sion. They appear to have sent out numerous colonies, in quest, no doubt, of a milder climate. Hence we find tribes of this name in various places. (Caes., B. G., 3.) SEDUsii, a German nation on the northeast bank of the Rhenus. They are named in conjunction with the Marcomanni, and are supposed to have been situate between the Danube, the Rhine, and the Necker (Nicer), SrgestA, a town of Sicily. (Wid. AEgesta.) Segni, a people, with a town of the same name, in Belgic Gaul. A small town, called Signei, points out the place which they once inhabited. (Cas., B.G., 6) Segobriga, the capital of the Celtiberi, in Hispania Tarraconensis, southwest of Caesaraugusta. According to Reichard, it is now Priego; but the actual position is much disputed. (Compare Ukert, Geogr, vol. 2, p. 459.) SEGontiA or Seguntfa, I. a town of Hispania Talraconensis, in the territory of the Celtiberi, and to the west of Caesaraugusta. —II. A city of the Arevaci, in Hispania Tarraconensis, now Siguenza. (Itin. Ant., 436, 438.) Segovia, a city of Hispania Tarraconensis, in the farthest part of the territory of the Arevaci, towards the southwest. It is now Segovia. (Plin., 3,4). SejRNus, AELius, a native of Wulsinii, in Etruria, and prime minister to the Emperor Tiberius. His so ther was Seius Strabo, a Roman knight, commander of the praetorian guard in the reign of Åugustus. His mother was descended from the Junian family. Sejo nus was at first one of the train of Caius Cæsar, but he afterward gained so great an ascendancy over To berius, that the emperor, who was naturally of a sur picious temper, was free and open with him, and, while he distrusted others, he communicated his greatesto: crets to this fawning favourite. For eight years did this unprincipled man retain an undivided influence over the mind of the emperor; and during that penod he contrived to procure the death or banishment of al. most every person who might have checked his prog: ress to the possession of imperial power, which was the object of his treacherous ambition. The death of Drusus, the son of Tiberius, was effected by him and the adulterous Livilla (vid. Drusus II.); to him also attributed the death of the two eldest sons of German" cus, and the banishment of their mother, the celeb!” Agrippina. The younger son, Caligula, escaped, no probability, in consequence of his almost constan, so dence with the army. But the master-stroke of Po cy by which Sejanus strove to secure his object, who his persuading the emperor to remove from the care" and dangers of Rome, and to indulge his passions in retirement where he would have none around him but the depraved ministers of his vices. Tiberius accord. ingly retired to Caprete, where he abandoned himself to the most disgusting and unnatural indulgences, leaving Sejanus at Rome, in possession of all but the name of imperial power. To this base and bloody favourite the senate displayed the most degrading servility; the Po ple gave him honours second only to those of the emiperor; and the sceptre itself seemed on the point of passing into his grasp. Already were his status.“ up by the Romans in their dwellings, in public placo and in temples, along with those of the reigning family, when Tiberius, in an interval of sobriety (he was now almost always intoxicated), either of himself perceived the pass to which matters had come, or was made aware of the real views of Sejanus by his own suit." the hand of an imperial princess, the adulterous wido" of Drusus; or finally, as Josephus states, was inson". ed of his plans by a billet from Antonia, the widow's the emperor's brother. The whole demeanour and management of Tiberius, when he had formed the " olution of destroying the man who had hitherto been his all-intrusted confidant and all-powerful minister, is admirably described by Dio Cassius. After a singular course of dissembling, by which he withheld his victim from proceeding to extremities, he sent Macro with full powers to arrest Sejanus, put him to death, and take his place. The decree of arrest was accordingly read in the senate ; Sejanus was enticed into the senate-house, by the pretext that Macro was the bearer of a letter, by virtue of which the minister was to receive the dignity of tribune; and, being instantly condemned, was dragged through the streets, and put to death with the utmost ignominy, by those who, a few hours before, had followed him with acclamations. The execution of Sejanus was followed by that of his innocent children, relations, and even distant connexions. The numerous persons crowded into the prisons as sriends of Sejanus were, without any judicial proceeding, massacred en masse, and even their bodies were subjected to indignities. (Suet., Wit. Tib. Tacit., Ann., 4, 1, seqq.—Id. ib., 5–Dio Cass., 58, 9, seqq.) SeleMNus. Wid. Argyra II. Sklene, the sister of Helios, and the same with Luna or the Moon. According to another view of the subject, she was the daughter of Helios, the latter being regarded as the source of light. (Eurip., Phaen, 178, seqq.—Nonnus, 44, 191.) A third view makes her the mother by him of the four Seasons. (Quint. Smyrn., 10, 334, seq.) In one of the Homeric hymns Selene is called the daughter of Pallas, son of Megamedes. It was said that Selene was enamoured of Endymion, on whom Jupiter had bestowed the boon of perpetual youth, but united with perpetual sleep; and that she used to descend to him every night, on the summit of Mount Latmus, the place of his repose. She bore to Jupiter a daughter named Pandia; and Hersa (Dew) was also the offspring of the King of Heaven and the Goddess of the Moon. (Hom. Hymn, 32, 15. —Alcman, ap. Plut., Quast. Nat., 24.) In explanation of this last legend it may be remarked, that the moon was naturally, though incorrectly, regarded as the cause of dew ; and nothing, thereore, was more obvious than to say that the dew was the progeny of the moon and sky personified after the usual manner of the Greeks. – The name Selene (Xe?ivn) is plainly derived from ač%aç, brightness, and is one of the large family of words of which 82d or *An (Helle, Germ.), may be regarded as the root. (Keightley's Mythology, p.61, seq.) Seleucia, I. a famous city of Asia, built by Seleucus, one of Alexander's generals, and situate on the western bank of the Tigris, about forty-five miles north of ancient Babylon. It was the capital of the Macedonian conquests in Upper Asia, and is said to have been the first and principal cause of the destruction of Babylon. Pliny reports (6, 26) that the intention of Seleucus was to raise, in opposition to Babylon, a Greek city with the privilege of being free. Many ages after the fall of the Macedonian empire, Seleucia retained the genuine characteristics of a Grecian colony, arts, military virtue, and the love of freedom. Its population consisted of 600,000 citizens, governed by a senate of 300 nobles. The rise of Ctesiphon, however, in its immediate vicinity, proved injurious to Seleucia; but it was fated to receive its death-blow from the hands of the Romans. The inhabitants had ever, shown themselves friendly to the latter people, and had yielded them very effectual aid in their expeditions against the Parthians; and yet a general of the Emperor Trajan's plundered and set fire to the lace. The cause of this severe treatment is unnown : it may have been that the inhabitants, accustoined to self-government, were restless under the yoke of their new allies. (Dio Cass., 68, 30.) The sudden death, however, of Trajan, and the rapid de

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

parture of his army, prevented at this time the total destruction of the city. That sate befell it under Werus, the colleague of Marcus Aurelius. A general of his, notwithstanding a friendly reception from the inhabitants, j the city under the pretext of its having violated its faith. (Eutrop., 8, 5.—Capitolin., Verus, c. 8. —Dio Cass., 71, 2.) Some idea of the size of the place in its best days may be formed from the circumstance that even at this period 400,000 prisoners were taken. (Oros., 8, 15.) The ruins of Seleucia, and those of Ctesiphon on the opposite side of the river, are called by the Arabs at i. present day Al Modain (El Madeien), or “the two cities.” (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 5, p. 397, seqq., part 2.)—II. A city of Susiana, in the territory of the Elymasi. According to Strabo, it was subsequently called Solyce (Xožňkm), and lay on the river Hedyphon. (Strabo, 744.—Plin., 6, 27.)—III. A city of Cilicia Trachea, a short distance to the north of the mouth of the Calycadnus. It was sounded by Seleucus Nicator, and is sometimes called, for distinction' sake, Seleucia Trachea. (Steph. Byz., s. v.–Amm. Marcell., 14, 2.)— IV. A city in the northwestern part of Pisidia, south of Amblada. It was sometimes called Seleucia Ferrea, and ad Taurum. (Hierock, p. 673.)—V. A city on the coast of Pamphylia, west of Side, and coinciding probably with the Syllon of Scylax. — VI. A city of Apamene, not far from the city of Apamea. It was sometimes called Seleucia ad Belum. (Pliny, 5, 23. Hierocles, p. 712.)—WII. A city of Syria, on the seacoast, near the mouth of the Orontes, and southwest of Antioch. It was called Seleucia Pieria, from Mount Pierus in its vicinity, and was founded by Seleucus. The city was strongly fortified, and had a large and secure harbour. Browne identifies Seleucia with Suadea, the port of Antioch, about four hours distant from it. Others give the modern name as Kepse. (Strabo, 751. — Polyb., 5, 59.-Mela, 1, 12.—Pliny, 5, 18.)

Seleucidae, a surname given to the dynasty of Seleucus, comprising the monarchs who reigned over Syria from B.C. 312 to B.C. 66. The first of these dates gives the commencement of the reign of Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the dynasty. The last date gives the time when Pompey reduced Syria under the Roman sway. Some compute the era of the Seleucidae from B.C. 301, the date of the battle of Ipsus. (Consult Vaillant, Seleucidarum Imperium, Horag., 1732. — Reineccius, Familia Seleucidarum, Wittenb., 1571.—Clinton, Fast. Hell., vol. 2, p. 308, seqq.)

$ower. a division of Syria, which received its name from Seleucus, the sounder of the Syrian em-. pire, after the death of Alexander the Great. It was called Tetrapolis from the four cities it contained, called also sister cities; Seleucia, Antioch, Laodicea, and Apamea.

Seleucus, I. surnamed Nicator, or “the Conqueror,” was the son of Antiochus, a general of Philip's. He served from early youth under Alexander, accompanied him to Asia, and there had commonly the command of the elephants. After the death of that monarch he was appointed to the command of the cavalry, and, on the second division of the provinces, received the government of Babylonia. He was at first on friendly terms with Antigonus, and acknowledged his authority; but the latter having taken offence at some slight provocation, Seleucus fled to Ptolemy in Egypt. Returning with an army which he had collected from various quarters, Seleucus recovered the possession of Babylon, which had, after his departure, fallen into the hands of Antigonus ; and the citizens of the place themselves, by whom his mild government had made him much beloved, aided him in effecting this (B.C. 312). Nicanor and Evagoras, the governors of Media

and Persia, immediately took up arms in behalf of ,

[graphic]

Antigonus, the latter himself and his son Demetrius being too far distant to act in person. But Seleucus, having planted an ambuscade, surprised the hostile camp in the night, and gained a complete victory. From the recovery of Babylon by Seleucus, the historians of all nations, except the Chaldaeans alone, date the era of the Seleucidae, or dynasty of Seleucus, in Upper Asia. A temporary absence of Seleucus in Media, where he was prosecuting his conquests, left Babylon at the mercy of the enemy, and Demetrius, by rapid marches, was enabled to regain possession of it; but his subsequent departure, and the return of Seleucus, soon restored things to their former condition. Seleucus now carried his victorious arms into Persia, Bactria, Hyrcania, and many other countries of Upper Asia, and, on account of the rapidity of his conquests, assumed the title of Nicator, and with it that of king, in imitation of the other successful generals of Alexander. Having united subsequently with Ptolemy, Cassander, and Lysimachus against Antigonus, and the latter having lost his life in the defeat at Ipsus, the kingdom .# Syria, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Catalonia, and a part of Asia Minor, were added to the possessions of Seleucus, and he became the greatest and most powerful of all the generals of Alexander. He now built Antiochia, calling it after the name of his father, and made it the capital of his dominions. Many other cities, too, were erected in other quarters. The great power of Seleucus having caused at first uneasiness, and afterward having given rise to a confederacy against him, this monarch sought to draw Demetrius to his side, by giving him in marriage his daughter Stratonice, and intrusting him with an army. But jealousy towards his son-in-law soon induced Se: leucus to deprive him of his new command, and hold him in confinement until his death. Seleucus aster this took up arms against Lysimachus, at the urgent entreaties of the friends of Agathocles, son of Lysimachus, whom the sather had put to death on a false charge brought against him by his stepmother. His real motive, however, was the removal of a dangerous neighbour; and in this he was completely successful; for, having invaded Asia Minor, he defeated and slew Lysimachus in the battle of Compedion (B.C. 281). Ptolemy Soter had died above a year before this battle took place, and Seleucus now remained alone of all the Macedonian captains, the fellow-soldiers and friends of Alexander. He became ardently desirous of revisiting Macedonia, and reigning in a country where he had first drawn breath; but his schemes were frustrated by assassination. As he was on his march to Macedon, he was murdered by Ptolemy Ceraunus, the expatriated prince of Egypt, who wished to obtain for himself the Macedonian throne; and he thus fell B.C. 280, in the 73d year of his age, and the 32d of his reign.—II. The second of the name, surnamed Callinicus, succeeded his father Antiochus Theos on the throne of Syria. He attempted to make war against Ptolemy, king of Egypt, but his fleet was shipwrecked in a violent storm, and his armies soon after conquered by his enemy. He was at last taken prisoner by the Parthians, and retained by them ten years, until the period of his death, which was occasioned by a fall from his horse in hunting, B.C. 226.-III. The third, succeeded his father Seleucus II., while the latter was in captivity. He was surnamed Ceraunus (“thunderbolt"), an ostentatious and unmerited title, as he was a very weak, timid, and irresolute monarch. He was murdered by two of his officers after a reign of three years, B.C. 223, and his brother Ao. though only fifteen years old, ascended the throne, and rendered himself so celebrated that he acquired the name of the Great.—IV. The fourth, succeeded his father Antiochus the Great on the throne of Syria. He was surnamed Philopator, or, *:: to Josephus, Soter. His empire had 1208

been weakened by the Romans when he became a monarch, and the yearly tribute of a thousand talents to these victorious enemies concurred in lessening his power and consequence among nations. Seleucus was poisoned after a reign of twelve years, B.C. 175. His son Demetrius had been sent to Rome, there to receive his education, and he became a prince of reat abilities.—W. The fifth, succeeded his father emetrius Nicator on the throne of Syria, in the twentieth year of his age. He was put to death in the first year of his reign by Cleopatra, his mother, who had also sacrificed her husband to her ambition. He is not reckoned by many historians in the number of the Syrian monarchs.-VI. The sixth, one of the Seleucidae, son of Antiochus Gryphus, killed his uncle Antiochus Cyzicenus, who wished to obtain the crown of Syria. He was some time after banished from his kingdom by Antiochus Pius, son of Cyzicenus, and fled to Cilicia, where he was burned in a palace by the inhabitants, B.C. 93–VII. A prince of Syria, to whom the Egyptians offered the crown of which they had robbed Auletes. Seleucus accepted it, but he soon disgusted his subjects, and received the surname of Cybiosactes, for his meanness and avarice. He was at last murdered by Berenice, whom he had mar. ried. Selge, the largest and most powerful of the cities of Pisidia, situate north of the Eurymedon. It is said by some of the ancient writers to have been sounded by a Lacedaemonian colony. (Strabo, 570–Dionys. Perieg., v. 860.—Steph. Byz, s. v.–Polyb, 5, 76) The probability, however, is, that this was a mere sup: position, grounded upon the valour of the inhabitants, since, independent of the difficulty of establishing * colony in an inland and mountainous country, amid rude and savage tribes, we find Arrian expressly slyling the inhabitants of Selge Barbarians, when making mention of an embassy sent by them to Alexander. (Exp. Alex., 1, 28, i.) In a later age, however, we find the people of Selge laying open claim to the honour of a Spartan origin, and even adding to their medals the name of Lacedaemon.—The city was large, and the inhabitants very warlike. They could bring into the field, according to Strabo, an army of 20,000 men (Strab., 570), and they maintained their independence for a long period against the petty princes in the vicinity. To the Romans they subse. quently paid a stipulated sum for permission to live under their old republican institutions; but under the weak emperors after the time of the Antonines they rendered little more than a mere nominal obedience. At a later period we read of its effectually resisting an army of the Goths. (Zosimus, 5, 15.) Mr. Fellow" describes some splendid ruins, which he considers to be those of Selge. (Asia Minor, p. 172, seq.) Selinus (-wntis.-->eživoir, -oivros), I. a largo and flourishing city of Sicily, situate on the southern shore of the western part of the island, and in a southwest direction from Lilybaeum. It was founded, * cording to Thucydides (6, 4), by a Doric colony from Megara or Hybla, on the eastern coast of Sicily, * hundred years after the establishment of the paren' city, which latter event took place about the ego. teenth Olympiad. (Compare, however, the remaso of Mannert, Geogr., vol. 9, pt. 2, p. 370.)—Selin" soon became a rich and powerful city, in consequeno of the fertile territory in which it was situated, * was engaged in almost continual wars with the leg" bouring city of Ægesta or Segeste. The weak* of the latter place induced its inhabitants to call in the aid of Carthage, which power gladly availedo. self of an opportunity of meddling in the affairs of the island. A powerful Carthaginian army was according: ly sent, and Selinus, notwithstanding the bravt resis. ance of its inhabitants, was taken, plundered, and.” a great measure destroyed. (Diod. Suc., 13,42. —ld, 13, 57.) About 16,000 men fell in the siege or during the slaughter that followed the taking of the place, 5000 were led away to Carthage into slavery, 2600 fled to Agrigentum, and many wandered about the adjacent country. Selinus would seem, from this account, to have been a city of more than 30,000 inhabitants.-The Carthaginians afterward allowed the fugitives to return to their ruined city, and again inhabit it. (Diod., 13, 59.) A short time before his death, Dionysius the elder, of Syracuse, made himself master of Selinus and the adjacent places, but they all, not long after, reverted to their former possessors. The Carthaginians at last, during the first Punic war, feeling the difficulty of maintaining this post, transferred the few remaining inhabitants to Lilybaeum, and Sellnus was destroyed. (Diod. Sic, 24, 1.- Mannert, Geogr., vol. 9, pt. 2, p.370, seqq.) A description of the ruins of Selinus may be sound in Hoare's Classical Tour, vol. 2, p. 78, seqq. The ruins exist near what is called Torre di Polluce, and, according to Sir R. Hoare, their modern appellation is Pilieri del Castel Vetrano. —II. A city of Cilicia Trachea, the most westerly place in that province with the exception of Laertes, and situated on the coast. Its site was on a rock surrounded by the sea, at the mouth of the river Selinus. The Emperor Trajan died here; and from him the place took the new name of Trajanopolis. (Strabo, 681. — Liv., 33, 20.) The modern name is Selenti...—Its territory was called Selentis. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 6, pt. 2. p. 85.) SellAsia, a town of Laconia, northeast of Sparta, and commanding one of the principal passes in the country. It was situate near the confluence of the CEnus and Gongylus, in a valley confined between two mountains, named Evas and Olympus. (Polyb., 2, 6.) It commanded the only road by which an army could enter Laconia from the north, and was, therefore, a position of great importance for the defence of the capital. Thus, when Epaminondas made his attack on Sparta, his first object, after forcing the passes which led from Arcadia into the enemy's country, was to march directly upon Sellasia with all his troops. (Xen., Hist. Gr., 5, 5, 17.) Cleomenes, tyrant of Sparta, was attacked in this strong position by Antigonus Doson, and totally defeated after an obstinate conflict. (Polyb., 2, 66, seqq.)—No modern traveller appears to have explored the site of Sellasia. (Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 3, p. 221.) Selléis, a river of Elis, in the Peloponnesus, rising in Mount Pholoé, and falling into the sea below the Peneus. Near its mouth stood the town of Ephyre. (Strabo, 337.) Selymbría, a city of Thrace, founded by the Megarensians at a still earlier period than Byzantium. (Scymn., c. 714.—Scylar, p. 28. Herodot., 6, 33.) The name of its founder, the leader of the colony, was Selys (XàAvr), at least, Strabo explains the name by 27Aovo tróżic (“the city of Selys”), the term bria being the Thracian word for “a city.” It became a flourishing city, of considerable strength, and for a long time defended itself against the inroads of the Thracians, and the attempts of Philip of Macedon. It fell at last, however, into the hands of this monarch. It sank in importance after this event.—With the common people in the Doric dialect, the form Salambria was used. The writers of the middle ages give Selybria, from which comes the modern Selipria. The city changed its name at a late period to that of Eudoxiapolis, in honour of the wife of the Emperor Arcadius. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 7, p. 173, seqq.) SeMéle, a daughter of Cadmus by Hermione, the daughter of Mars and Venus. (Vid. Bacchus.) Sewirixts, a celebrated queen of Assyria, daughter of the goddess Derceto by a young Assyrian. She was exposed in a desert, but her life was preserved by doves for one whole year, till Simmas, one of the 7 O

shepherds of Ninus, found her and brought her up as his own child. Semiramis, when grown up, married Menones, the governor of Nineveh, and was present at the siege of Bactra, where, by her advice and di. rections, she hastened the king's operations and took the city. The monarch, having seen and become enamoured of Semiramis, asked her of her husband, and offered him his daughter Sosana instead; but Menones, who tenderly loved his wife, refused, and, when Ninus had added threats to entreaties, he hung himself. No sooner was Menones dead than Semiramis married Ninus, by whom she had a son called Ninyas. Not long after this Ninus died, and Semiramis became sole ruler of Assyria. Another account, however, makes her to have put Ninus to death. According to this latter statement, Semiramis, having secured the co-operation of the chief men of the state by gifts and promises, solicited the king to put the sovereign power in her hands for five days. He yielded to her request, and all the provinces of the empire were commanded to obey Semiramis. These orders were executed but too exactly for the unfortunate Ninus, who was put to death, says this account, either immediately, or after some years' imprisonment. Semiramis, on attaining to sovereign power, resolved to immortalize her name, and with this view commenced the building of the great city of Babylon, in which work she is said to have employed two millions of men, who were collected out of all the provinces of her vast empire. She visited every part of her dominions, and left everywhere monuments of her greatness. To render the roads passable and communication easy, she hollowed mountains and filled up valleys, and water was conveyed, at a great expense, by large and convenient aqueducts to barren deserts and unfruitful plains. She was not less distinguished for military talents, and reduced many neighbouring and also distant nations under her sway. India, in particular, felt the power of her arms. At length, boing plotted against by her son Ninyas, and recalling to mind a response which she had received some time before from the oracle of Ammon, she voluntarily abdicated in favour of her son, and immediately disappeared from the eyes of men. Some said that she was changed into a dove, and that several birds of this species having alighted upon the palace, she flew away along with them. Hence, according to the legend, the dove was held sacred by the Assyrians. Semiramis is said to have lived 62 years, and to have reigned 42 years. (Diod. Sic., 2, 4, seqq.-Val. Maz., 9, 3. Herod., 1, 185.-Mela, 1, 3–Paterc., 1, 6–Justin, 1, 1, &c.—Propert., 3, 11, 21.)—For an account of Semiramis altogether different from the received one, consult the work of Cirbied and Martin, Recherches Curieuses sur l’Histoire Ancienne, cap. 17, p. 176, seqq.—The legend of Semiramis serves to connect together the Assyrian and Syrian mythologies. That she was an historical personage seems extremely doubtful, inasmuch as all that is related of her wears so evidently the garb of fiction. There appears, indeed, a very striking resemblance between the account given of Semiramis and the Hindu fable of Mahadevi and Parvadi as detailed in the Puranas, and both narratives have probably emanated from the same source. The very name, too, would seem to favour this idea, for Semiramis becomes in Sanscrit Sami-Ramesi or Isi, “qua Sami arborem colit.” Others, however, give a different etymology, and make the term Semiramis denote “a wild dove” (columbam feram montanamque), and a third class regard it as equivalent to “the mother of doves” (Semir or Somir, the Syriac for “a dove,” and Amis). The worship of doves among the Syrians and Assyrians is well known, and appears to lie at the base of the whole sable. (Consuit Voss., Idolol., 1, 23.-Creuzer, Symbolik, vol. 2, p. 70, seqq.—Von Hammer, F.*#" Orients,

[graphic]
« PoprzedniaDalej »