Obrazy na stronie

At the time of his sovereignty,” he continues, “Meroe is said to have contained 250,000 soldiers and 400,000 artificers. They still reckon there forty-five kings.” Though these accounts lose themselves in the darkness of tradition, yet we may, by tracing history upward, discover some certain chronological data. In the Persian period Meroë was certainly free and independent, and an important state; otherwise Cambyses would hardly have made so great preparations for his unfortunate expedition. (Herod., 2, 25.) The statement of Strabo, according to which Cambyses reached Meroë, may perhaps be brought to accord with that of Herodotus, if we understand him to mean northern Meroë, near Mount Berkel.—During the last dynasty of the Pharaohs at Sais, under Psammetichus and his successors, the kingdom of Meroë not only resisted his yoke, although his son Psammis undertook an expedition against Ethiopia; but we have an important fact, which gives a clew to the extent of the empire at that time towards the south; the emigration of the Egyptian warriorcaste. These migrated towards Meroë, whose ruler assigned them dwellings about the sources of the Nile, in the province of Gojam, whose restless inhabitants were expelled their country. (Herod., 2, 30.) The dominions of the ruler of Meroë, therefore, certainly reached so far at that time, though his authority on the borders fluctuated in consequence of the pastoral hordes roving thereabout, and could only be fixed by colonies. Let us go a century farther back, between 800 and 700 B.C., and we shall mount to the flourishing periods of this empire, contemporaneous with the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah; especially with the reign of Hezekiah, and the time of Isaiah, 750– 700, where we shall consequently have a light from the Jewish annals, and the oracles of the prophets, in connexion with Herodotus. This is the period in which the three mighty rulers, Sabaco, Seuechus, and Tarhaco started up as conquerors, and directed their weapons against Egypt, which, at least Upper Egypt, became an easy prey, from the unfortunate troubles preceding the dodecarchy having just taken place. According to Eusebius (Chron, vol. 2, p. 181—Compare Marsham, p. 435), Sabaco reigned twelve, Seuechus also twelve, and Tarhaco twenty years: but by Herodotus, who only mentions Sabaco, to whom he gives a reign of fifty years, this name seems to designate the whole dynasty, which not unfrequently sollows that of its founder. Herodotus expressly says that he had quitted Egypt at the command of his oracle in Ethiopia (2, 137, seqq.). It may therefore be seen, by the example of this conqueror, how great their dependance must have been, in their native country, upon the oracle of Ammon, when even the absent monarch, as ruler of a conquered state, yielded obodience to it. Sabaco, however, is not represented by him as a barbarian or tyrant, but as a benefactor to the community by the construction of dams. The chronology of Seuechus and Tarhaco is determined by the Jewish history. Seuechus was the contemporary of Hosea, king of Israel, whose reign ended in 722, and of Salmanassar (2 Kings, 17, 4; 19, 9). Tarhaco was the contemporary of his successor Sennacherib, and deterred him, in the year 714 B.C., from the invasion of Egypt merely by the rumour of his advance against him. (2 Kings, 19, 9.) His name, however, dees not seem to have been unknown to the Greeks. Eratosthenes (ap. Strabo, 680) mentions him as a conqueror who had penetrated into Europe, and as far as the Pillars of Hercules; that is, as a great conqueror. Certainly, therefore, the kingdom of Meroë must have ranked about this time as an important state. And we shall find this to be the case if we go about 200 years farther back, to the time of Asa, the great-grandson of Solomon, but who nevertheless mounted the throne of Judah within twenty years after his grandsire's death. 955 B.C. Against him, it is said in the

Jewish annals, went out Zerah, the Ethiopian, with a host of a hundred thousand men and three hundred chariots. (2 Chron., 14, 9.) Although this mumber signifies nothing more than a mighty army, it yet af. fords a proof of the mightiness of the empire, which at that time probably comprised Arabia Felix; but the chariots of war, which were never in use in Arabia, prove that the passage refers to Ethiopia. Zerah's expedition took place in the early part of Asa's reign; consequently, about 950 B.C.; and as such an empire could not be quite a new one, we are led by undoubted historical statements up to the period of Solomon, about 1000 B.C.; and, as this comes near to the Trojan period, Pliny's statements, though only resting on mythi, obtain historical weight. Farther back than this, the annals of history are silent; but the monuments now begin to speak, and confirm that high an

tiquity which general opinion and the traditions of Meroë attribute to this state. The name of Ramesses or Sesostris has already been found upon many of the Nubian monuments, and that he was the conqueror of Ethiopia is known from history. (Herod., 2, 110– Strabo, 791.) The period in which he flourished cannot be placed later than 1500 years before the Christian era. But the name of Thutmosis, belonging to the preceding dynasty, has also been found in Nubia, and

that assuredly upon one of the most ancient monuments of Armada. But in this sculpture, as well as

in the procession, representing the victory over Ethio

pia in the offering of the booty, there appears a degree

of civilization which shows an acquaintance with the

peaceful arts; they must consequently be attributed

to a nation that had long been formed. We thus ap

proach the Mosaic period, in which the Jewish tradi

tions ascribe the conquest of Meroë to no less a person

than Moses himself. (Joseph., Ant. Jud, 2, 10.) The

traditions of the Egyptian priesthood also agree in this,

that Meroë, in Ethiopia, laid the foundation of the most

ancient states. In a state whose government differed

so widely from anything that we have been accustom

ed to, it is reasonable to suppose that the same would

happen with regard to the people or subjects. We

cannot expect a picture here that will bear any simili

tude to the civilized nations of Europe. Meroë rather resembled in appearance the larger states of interior Africa at the present day; a number of small nations,

of the most opposite habits and manners—some with,

and some without settled abodes—form there what is

called an empire; although the general political band

which holds them together appears loose, and is often

scarcely perceptible. In Meroe this band was of a twofold nature; religion, that is, a certain worship,

principally resting upon oracles, and commerce; un

questionably the strongest chains by which barbarians

could be settered, except forcible subjugation. The rites of that religion, connected with oracles, satisfied

the curious and superstitious, as did trade the cravings

of their sensual appetites. Eratosthenes has handed

us down an accurate picture of the inhabitants of Me

roe in his time (ap. Strab., 821). According to his

account, the island comprised a variety of people, of whom some followed agriculture, some a nomade, pas

toral life, and others hunting; all of them choosing

that which was best adapted to the district in which

they lived. (Heeren, Ideen, vol. 4, p. 433; Orford

transl., vol. 1, p. 420.)

3. Commerce of Meroë.

The ruling priest-caste in Meroë seem to have sent out colonies, who carried along with them the service of their gods, and became the founders of states. One of these colonies, according to the express testimony of Herodotus (2, 42), was Ammonium in the Libyan desert, which had not merely a temple and an oracle, but probably formed a state in which the priest-caste, as in Meroë, continued a ruling race, and chose a king from their own body. Ammonium served as a resting-place for the caravans passing from northern Africa to Meroë. Another still earlier settlement of this kind was very probably Thebes in Upper Egypt. The circumstance of a town flourishing to such an extent in the midst of a desert, of the same worship of Ammon, of the all-powerful priest-caste, and its permanent connexion with Meroë (united with which it founded Ammonium), conjoined with the express assertion of the Ethiopians that they were the founders (Diod., 3, 3), gives to this idea a degree of probability bordering on certainty. The whole aspect of the cir. cumstances connected with this wide-spread priestcaste gains a clearer light, if we consider Ammonium, Thebes, and Meroë the chief places of the African caravan trade; in this view of the subject, the darkness of Ægypto-Ethiopian antiquity is cleared up, as

in the hands of this priest-caste the southern caravan’

trade was placed, and they founded the proud temples and palaces along the banks of the Nile, and the great trading edifices, which served their gods for sanctuaries, themselves for dwellings, and their caravans for places of rest. To this caste, the states of Meroë and Upper Egypt very probably owed their foundation; except, indeed, that Egypt was much more exposed to the crowding in of foreign relations from Asia, than Meroë, separated as this last was from other countries by deserts, seas, and mountains. The close connexion, in high antiquity, between Ethiopia and upper Egypt, is shown by the circumstance that the oldest Egyptian states derived their origin partly from Abyssinia; that Thebes and Meroë founded, in common, a colony in Libya; that Ethiopian conquerors several times advanced into Egypt, and, on the other hand, that Egyptian kings undertook expeditions to Ethiopia; that in both countries a similar worship, similar manners and customs, and similar symbolical writing were found ; and that the discontented soldiercaste, when offended by Psammetichus, emigrated into Ethiopia. By the Ethiopians Egypt was likewise prosusely supplied with the productions of the southern countries. Where else, indeed, could it have obtained those aromatics and spices with which so many thousands of its dead were annually embalmed ! Whence those perfumes which burned upon its altars 1 Whence that immense quantity of cotton in which the inhabitants clothed themselves, and which Egypt itself furnished but sparingly Whence, again, that early report in Egypt of the Ethiopian gold-countries, which Cambyses sought after, and lost half his army in the fruitless speculation 4 Whence the quantity of ivory and ebony which adorned the oldest works of art of the Greeks as well as of the Hebrews 1 Whence, especially, that early extension of the Ethiopian name, which shines in the traditionary history of so many nations, and which the Jewish poets as well as the oldest Greek bards have celebrated Whence all this, if the deserts which bordered on Ethiopia had always kept the inhabitants isolated from those of more northern countries 1—At a later period, in the time of Ptolemy I., it is astonishing how completely that able prince had established the trade between his own country, India, Ethiopia, and Arabia. The series of magnificent and similar monuments, interrupted on the frontiers of Egypt, near Elephantine, and recommencing on the southern side of the African desert, at Mount Berkel, and especially at Meroë, to be continued to Axum and Azab, certainly denote a people of similar civilization and activity. Meroë was the first fertile country after crossing the Libyan desert, and formed a natural resting-place for the northern caravans. It was likewise the natural mart for the productions of inner Africa, which were brought for the use of the northern portion, and was reckoned the outermost of the countries which produced gold, while by the navigable rivers surrounding it on all sides, it

had a ready communication with the more southern countries (Diod., 1, 33). As ready, owing to the moderate distance, was its connexion with Arabia Felix; and so long as Yemen remained in possession of the Arabian and Indian trade, Meroë was the natural market-place for the Arabian and Indian wares in Asrica. The route which led in antiquity from Meroë to the Arabian Gulf and Yemen, is not designated by any historian : the commerce between those nations being indicated only by monumental traces which the hand of time has not been able to destroy. Immediately between Meroë and the gulf are situated the ruins of Axum, and at the termination of the route, on the coast opposite to Arabia Felix, are those of Azab or Saba. Heeren, from whom the above ideas are principally borrowed, deduces the following conclusions from a review of the entire subject.—1. That in the earlier ages, a commercial intercourse existed here between the countries of southern Asia and Africa; between India and Arabia, Ethiopia, Libya, and Egypt, which was founded upon their mutual necessities, and became the parent of the civilization of these nations.—2. That the principal seat of this international commerce was Meroë ; and its chief route is distinguished by a chain of ruins reaching from the shores of the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean : Axum and Azab being links in this chain between Arabia Felix and Meroë ; Thebes and Ammonium between Meroe, Egypt, and Carthage.—3. That chief places for trade were at the same time settlements of that priest-caste, which, as the ruling tribe, had its chief residence at Meroë, and sent out colonies thence, who became builders of towns and temples, and, at the same time, founders of new states.—The conductors of this caravan trade in Africa, as in Asia, were the Nomadic shepherd-nations. Men accustomed to fixed residences and to dwellings in towns were not adapted for the restless caravan-life, especially on account of the attention necessary for the camels, and for the loading and unloading of wares. It was better suited to Nomadic nations. In the case of the Carthaginian caravans, we know that they were managed by the Nomadic Lotophagi and Nasamones, as the caravans were by the Midianites and Edomites in Arabia: this is historically proved, and it is probable that it was the ease on the great commercial road from Ammonium to Azab, as similar Nomadic tribes are still found on the coast of the Arabian Gulf.-Meroë had mines not only of silver and gold, but also of copper and even of iron itself. (Diod, 1, 33.)

4. Influence of Meroë on Egyptian civilization.

Everything seems to favour the supposition that Meroe gave religion and the arts of civilized life to the valley of the Nile. The following are some of the principal arguments in support of this opinion : 1. The concurrent testimony of the ancient writers.—2. The progress of civilization in Egypt from south to north ; for the Delta, the part of Egypt contiguous to Arabia, appears to have been originally uninhabitable, except a small space about the extremities of the marsh ; and history asserts that the inhabitants of upper Egypt descended and drained the country.—3. The improbability that an Arabian colony would have crossed Syria from Babylon to Suez, and wandered so far south as Thebes to found its first settlement.—4. The radical difference between the Coptic and Arabic languages, which existed even in the days of Abraham. (Murray, Appendiz to Bruce, book 2, p. 479.) —5. The trade from the straits of Babelmandel by Azab, Axum, Meroë, and Upper Egypt. If this trade be as old as from the remarks previously made it would seem to be, we may consider Ethiopia as one of the first seats of international trade, or, in other words, of civilization ; for an exchange of wares would lead to an exchange of ideas, *...* recipro


cal communication would necessarily give rise to moral and intellectual improvement.—6. The curious

fact, that the images of some of the Egyptian gods were at certain times conveyed up the Nile, from their temples to others in Ethiopia; and, after the conclusion of a festival, were brought back again into Egypt. (Eustath., ad Il., 1,424.)—7. The very remarkable character of some of the Egyptian paintings, in which black (or, more correctly, dark-coloured) men are represented in the costume of priests, as conferring on certain red figures, similarly o, the instruments and symbols of the sacerdotal office. “This singular representation,” says Mr. Hamilton, “which is often repeated in all the Egyptian temples, but only here at Phila and at Elephantine with this distinction of colur, may very naturally be supposed to commemorate ne transmission of religious fables and the social institutions from the tawny Ethiopians to the comparatively fair Egyptians.”—8. Other paintings of nearly the same purport. In the temple of Philae, the sculptures frequently depict two persons, who equally represent the characters and symbols of Osiris, and two persons equally answering to those of Isis; but in both cases one is invariably much older than the other, and appears to be the superior divinity. Mr. Hamilton conjectures that such figures represent the communication of religious rites from Ethiopia to Egypt, and the inferiority of the Egyptian Osiris. In these delineations there is a very marked and positive distinction between the dark figures and those of fairer complexion ; the former are most frequently conferring the symbols of divinity and sovereignty on the other.—9. The very interesting fact recorded by Diodorus, namely, that the knowledge of picture-writing in Ethiopia was not a privilege confined solely to the caste of priests as in Egypt, but that every one might attain it as freely as they might in Egypt the writing in common use. A proof at once of the earlier use of picture-writing, or hieroglyphics, in Meroë than in Egypt, and also of its being applied to the purposes of trade. —10. The more ancient form of the pyramid, approaching that of the primeval mound, occurs more to the south than the rectilinear form. Thus the pyramids of Saccāra are older in form than those of Djiza, another proof of architecture's having come in from the countries to the south. (Clarke's Travels, vol. 5, p. 220, Lond, ed.)—From this body of evidence, then, we come to the conclusion, that the same race which ruled in Ethiopia and Meroë spread themselves by colonies, in the first instance, to Upper Egypt; that these latter colonies, in consequence of their great prosperity, became in their turn the parents of others; and as in all this they followed the course of the river, there gradually became founded a succession of colonies in the valley of the Nile, which, according to the usual custom of the ancient world, were probably, at first, independent of each other, and therefore formed just so many little states. Though, with the promulgation of their religion, either that of Ammon himself, or of his kindred deities and temple-companions, after whom even the settlements were named, the extension of trade was the principal motive which tempted colonists from Meroë to the countries beyond the desert; yet there were many other causes, such as the fertility of the land, and the facility of making the rude native tribes subservient to themselves, which, in a period of tranquillity, must have promoted the prosperity and accelerated the gradual progress of this colonization. The advantages which a large stream offers, by facilitating the means of communication, are so great, that it is a common occurrence in the history of the world to see civilization spreading on their banks. The shores of the Euphrates and Tigris, of the Indus and Ganges, of the Kiangh and Hoangho, afford us as plain proofs of this as the banks of the Nile. (Heeren, Ideen, vol. 5, p. 109, seqq.; Oxford transl., vol. 2, p. 110.)

—As to the origin of the civilization of Meroë itself, all is complete uncertainty; though it is generally supposed to have been derived from the plains of India. The reader may consult on this subject the work of Von Bohlen, Das alte Indien, mit besonderer Rucksicht auf AEgypten, vol. 1, p. 119, seqq. MERópe, 1. one of the Pleiades. She married Sisyphus, son of Æolus, before her transformation into a star; and it was fabled that, in the constellation of the Pleiades, Merope appears less luminous than her sisterstars, through shame at having been the only one of the number that had wedded a mortal. Other mythologists relate the same of Electra. Schwenck sees in the union of Merope with Sisyphus a symbolical allusion to Corinthian navigation. (Schwenck, Skizzen, p. 19.-Compare Welcker, Æsch., Tril., p. 555-1d. ib., p. 573.)—II. A daughter of Cypselus, who married Cresphontes, king of Messenia, by whom she had three children. Her husband and two of her children were murdered by Polyphontes. The murderer wished her to marry him, and she would have been obliged to comply had not Epytus or Telephontes, her third son; avenged his father's death by assassinating Polyphontes. (Apollod., 2, 6–Pausan., 4, 3.) Merops, a king of the island of Cos, who married Clymene, one of the Oceanides. He was changed into an eagle, and placed among the constellations. (Ovid, Met., 1, 763.) MEros, a mountain of India sacred to Jupiter. It is said to have been in the neighbourhood of Nysa, and to have been named from the circumstance of Bacchus's being enclosed in the thigh (unpöc) of Jupiter. This attempt at etymology, however, is characteristic of the Grecian spirit, which found traces of their nation and language in every quarter of the world. The mountain in question is the famous Meru of Indian mythology. (Creuzer's Symbolik, vol. 1, p. 537.) MEs EMB RIA, a maritime town of Thrace, east of the mouth of the Nessus, now Mesevria or Mesera. According to Herodotus (7, 108), it was a settlement of the Samothracians.—Von Humboldt notices the terminations of nagus, briga, and brica, appended to the names of towns, as undoubtedly Celtic. He refers to the same source the termination bria, which is met with in the geography of Thrace, as, for example, in the cities of Selymbria and Mesembria. He thinks that the Basque iri and uri are also connected with this; and that we can go no farther than to say that there was an old root bri or bro, expressing land, habitation, settlement, with which the Teutonic burg and the Greek tropyos may have been originally connected. In the Welsh and Breton languages, bro is still, he says, not only a cultivated field, but generally a country or district; and the scholiast on Juvenal (Sat., 8, 234) explains the name of Allobroges as signifying strangers, men from another land, “quoniam broga Galli agrum dicunt; alla autem aliud.” (Vid., however, Allobroges.—Arnold's Rome, p. xxii.) MesãNE, I. an island in the Tigris, where Apamea was built. It is now Digel. (Strah., in Huds., G. M., 2, p. 146–Plin., 6, 31–Steph. Byz., p. 91, n. 8.)—II. Another, enclosed between the canal of Basra and the Pasitigris, and which is called in the Oriental writers Perat-Miscan, or “the Mesene of the Euphrates,” to distinguish it from the Mesene of the Tigris. The term Mesene is a Greek one, and refers to land enclosed between two streams. (Philostorgius, 3, 7.-Cellarius, Geogr. Antiq., vol. 1, p. 641, cd. Schwartz.) MEsomédes, a poet, a native of Crete. He was a freedman of the Emperor Hadrian's, and one of his favourites, and wrote a eulogium on Antinous. Hadrian's successor, the philosophic Antoninus, made it a duty to restore order and economy into the finances of the empire; and, among other things, he stopped the salaries which had been allowed to the useless

courtiers with whom the palace of Hadrian had swarmed. It was on this occasion that the stipend allowed to Mesomedes suffered a reduction. (Jul. Cap., Wit. Ant. Pit, c. 7.)—We have two epigrams of this poet's in the Anthology, and also a piece of a higher character, a Hymn to Nemesis. Judging from this last specimen, Mesomedes must have possessed talents of no mean order. The Hymn to Nemesis was published for the first time, with ancient musical notes, by Fell, at the end of his edition of Aratus, Oxon., 1762, 8vo. It was subsequently given by Burette in the 5th vol. of the Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscr., &c., by Brunck in his Analecta, and by Snedorf in his work, “De Hymnis veterum Graecorum,” Hafn., 1786, 8vo. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 4, p. 51.) MesopotAMIA, an extensive province of Asia, the Greek name of which denotes between the rivers (from Auédoc and trorapuãc.) It was situate between the Euphrates and the Tigris. The name itself, however, does not appear to have been given to this tract prior to the Macedonian conquest. The southern part of Mesopotamia Xenophon calls Arabia (Anab., 1, 5, 1); and other writers included this country, especially the northern part, under the general name of Syria. (Strabo, 737.) The Romans always regarded Mesopotamia as a mere division of Syria. (Mela, 1, 11.-Plin., 5, 13.) It is called by the Arabs at the present day Al Jezira, or “the island.” In scripture it is styled Aram and Aramaea; but as Aram also signifies Syria, it is denominated, for distinction' sake, Aram Naharaim, or the “Syria of the rivers.” It was first peopled by Aram, the father of the Syrians, though little is known of its history till it became a province of the Persian empire. Cushan-rishthathaim, who is mentioned in Judges (3, 8, 10) as king of Mesopotamia, appears to have been only a petty prince of a district east of the Euphrates. In the time of Hezekiah, the different states of Mesopotamia were subject to the Assyrians (2 Kings, 19, 13), and subsequently belonged in succession to the Chaldaean, Persian, and Syro-Macedonian monarchies.—Mesopotamia, which inclines from the southeast to the northwest, commenced at lat. 33° 20' N., and terminated near N. lat. 37° 30'. Towards the south it extended as far as the bend formed by the Euphrates at Cunaxa, and to the wall of Semiramis, which separated it from Mesene. Towards the north it was bounded by a part of Mount Taurus. The northern part of Mesopotamia, which extended as far as the Chaboras, a tributary of the Euphrates, is mountainous, and for the most part fruitful. The southern portion consists chiefly of reddish hills, and deserts without any trees, except liquorice-wood; and, like the desert of Arabia, suffers, at a distance from the rivers, a dearth of food and water. Here, on the parched steppes or table-lands, where the simoom often breathes destruction, hordes of Arabs have from the earliest times wandered. When history, therefore, speaks of the Romans and Persians as possessing Mesopotamia, we must understand the northern part, which abounded in all the necessaries of life. The inhabitants of this portion, who still speak an Armeno-Syriac dialect, were called among themselves Mygdonians, and their district was known by the name of Mygdonia. (Polyb., 5, 51. – Steph. Byz., s. v.) Subsequently, under the Syro-Macedonian monarchy, it took the name of Anthemusia. (Amm. Marcell., 14, 9.Eutrop., 8, 2.-Sextus Rufus, c. 20.) In the time of the Parthian sway, about 120 B.C., an Arab sheik, Osroes, took possession of the northwestern part of the land, wresting a principality in this quarter from the Seleucidae of Syria. This district then assumed the name of Osroene. (Steph. Byz., s. v.–Procop., Pers., 1, 17.—Amm. Marcell, 14, 3.) Mesopotamia was frequently the scene of warlike operations, especially between the Parthians and Romans, who here lost Crassus, and between the latter nation and the new Per5 N

sians. After remaining for some time a Roman province, it fell under the power of the new Persian kingdom, and then successively under the Saracens and Turks. The oppression of the Turkish government has so altered the appearance of this large tract of country, that these fruitful plains, which once were covered with cities, now scarcely exhibit more than a few miserable villages. The lower part of Mesopotamia is now called Irak Arabi, the upper Diar-Bekr. (Laurent's Anc. Geogr., p. 268.-Rennell, Geography of Western Asia, vol. 1, p. 432.)

so I. Marcus Valerius Messala Corvinus, a Roman nobleman of ancient family. In the Eusebian Chronicle he is said to have been born A.U.C. 694; but if that date be correct, he would have been 17 when he joined the republican standard at Philippi. He acted a prominent part in that battle, and, after it was lost, was offered the command of the dispersed forces of the commonwealth. It is not, therefore, likely that he was younger than 21 at this period, and his birth, consequently, ought not to be fixed later than the year 690. In his youth he studied for a short time at Athens, along with the son of Cicero, After his return to Rome, his name having appeared in the roll of the proscribed by the nomination of Antony, he fled from Italy, and sought refuge with the army of Brutus and Cassius. Previous, however, to the battle of Philippi, his name, along with that of Warro, was erased from the fatal list, on the plea that he had not been in Rome at the time of Caesar's murder. Varro accepted the proffered pardon, and retired to his studies and his books, among which he afterward died in the ninetieth year of his age ; but it was indignantly rejected by Messala, who steadily adhered to the cause of the commonwealth. The night before the battle of Philippi he supped in private with Cassius in his tent. That chief had wished to protract the war, and opposed himself to the general desire that prevailed in the army to hazard the fortunes of the republic on one decisive battle. At parting for the night, he grasped Messala by the hand, and, addressing him in Greek, called him to bear witness that he was reduced to the same painful necessity as the great Pompey, who had been reluctantly forced to stake on one throw the safety of his country. On the following day, so fatal to the liberties of Rome, Messala commanded one of the best legions in the army of Brutus. After the second defeat at Philippi he escaped to Thasus, an island in the AEgean Sea. He was there invited to place himself at the head of the remains of the republican party. But he probably considered the cause of the commonwealth as now utterly hopeless, and accordingly listened to the persuasions of Pollio, who undertook to reconcile him to the conquerors, and to preserve the lives of those who should surrender under his command. Antony passed over to Thasus, and, with great appearance of cordiality, received Messala, as well as some of *Y."; into favour, and, in return, was put in possession of the stores which had been amassed in that island for the wreck of the republican forces. Having now joined the arms of Antony, Messala accompanied him in the dissolute progress which he made through the Roman dominions in Asia, when he received the homage of the tributary kings and settled their disputes. Messala, from his earliest youth, had been distinguished for his powers in speaking, and he sometimes plead before Antony in favour of an accused tetrarch or of an injured people. At length, however, the scandalous and infatuated conduct of Antony, and the comparative moderation of Augustus, induced him to transfer his services to the latter, whom he continued to support during the remainder of his life. In the naval war with Sextus Pompey, he was second in command under Agrippa, and, on one occasion du: ring his absence, had the supreme *::::" of the

fleet. In the course of this contest he was also for some time stationed with an army on the Neapolitan shore; and Augustus, having been not only defeated, but shipwrecked in one of the many naval engagements which he fought with Pompey, sought shelter in the most wretched condition in the camp of Messala, by whom he was received as a friend and master, and treated with the tenderest care. The death of Sextus Pompey at length opened both sea and land to his successful adversary, and it was quickly followed by the long-expected struggle for superiority between Antony and Augustus.-Messala was consul in A.U.C. 721, the year of the battle of Actium, in which he bore a distinguished part. After that decisive victory and the firm establishment of the throne of Augustus, he lived the general favourite of all parties, and the chief ornament of a court where he still asserted his freedom and dignity. While at Rome he resided in a house on the Palatine Hill, which had formerly belonged to Marc Antony; but he was frequently absent from the capital on the service of the state. War after war was intrusted to his conduct, and province after province was committed to his administration. In some of his foreign expeditions he was accompanied by the poet Tibullus, who has celebrated the military exploits of Messala in his famed so. and his own friendship and attachment to is patron in his elegies. The triumph which Messala obtained in 727, for his victories in a Gallic campaign, completed the measure of his military honours; and he filled in succession all the most important civil offices in the state. Besides holding the consulship in 721, he was elected into the college of Augurs, and was intrusted with the superintendence of the aqueducts, one of those great public works for which Rome has been so justly celebrated. In 736, on account of the absence of Augustus and Maecenas from the capital, he was nominated prefect of the city; but he resigned that situation a few days after his appointment, regarding it as inconsistent with the ancient constitution of his country. He is also believed to have been the person who, by command of the Conscript fathers, first saluted Augustus in the senatehouse as the “Father of his country;” a distinction which was bestowed in a manner that drew tears from the master of the Roman world (Suet., Aug., 58), and a reply, in which he declared that, having attained the summit of his wishes, he had nothing more to desire from the immortal gods but a continuance of the same attachment till the last moments of his life.—From this period the name of Messala is scarcely once mentioned by any contemporary writer. He survived, however, ten or twelve years longer. Tiberius Caesar, who was then a youth, fond of the liberal arts, and by no means ignorant of literature, paid Messala, when in his old age, much deference and attention, and attempted to imitate his style of oratory. (Suet., Tib., c. 70.) Towards the close of his life he was dreadfully afflicted with ulcers in the sacra spina; and it is said that, two years before his deat!, he was deprived of both sense and memory. He at length forgot his own name (Plin. 7, 24), and became incapable of putting two words together with meaning. It is mentioned in the Eusebian Chronicle that he perished by abstaining from food when he had reached the age of seventy-two ; but if he were born in 690, as is supposed, this computation would extend his existence till the close of the reign of Augustus, which is inconsistent with a passage of the dialogue “De causis corrupta eloquentia,” where it is said, “Corvinus in medium usque Augusti principatum, Asinus pane ad ertremum durant.” Now the middle of the reign of Augustus cannot be fixed later than the year 746, when Messala could only have attained the age of fifty-six.—His death was deeply lamented, and his funeral elegy was written by Ovid. (Ep., ex. Pont.,

1,7)—Though Messala had attained the highest point of exaltation, in an age of the most violent political factions and the most flagrant moral corruption, he left behind him a spotless character; being chiefly known as a disinterested patron of learning, and a steady supporter, so far as was then possible, of the principles of the ancient constitution. “Messala,” says Berwick, “had the singular merit of supporting an unblemished character in a most despotic court, without making a sacrifice of those principles for which he had fought in the fields of Philippi; and the genuine integrity of his character was so deeply impressed on all parties, that it attracted a general admiration in a most corrupt age. He was brave, eloquent, and virtuous; he was liberal, attached to letters, and his patronage was considered as the surest passport to the gates of fame, and extended to every man who was at all conversant with letters. This character is supported by history, is not contradicted by contemporary writers, and is sealed by the impartial judgment of posterity. No writer, either ancient or modern, has ever named Messala without some tribute of praise. Cicero soon perceived that he possessed an assemblage of excellent qualities, which he would have more admired had he lived to see them expanded and matured to perfection. Messala was his disciple, and rivalled his master in eloquence. In the opinion of the judicious Quintilian, his style was neat and elegant, and in all his speeches he displayed a superior nobility. In the Dialogue of Orators, he is said to have excelled Cicero in the sweetness and correctness of his style. His taste for poetry and polite literature will admit of little doubt, when we call to mind that he was protected by Caesar, favoured by Maecenas, esteemed by Horace, and loved by Tibullus. Horace, in one of his beautiful odes, praises Messala in the happiest strains of poetry, calls the day he intended to pass with him propitious, and promises to treat him with some of his most exceilent wine. “For,’ says the poet, ‘though Messala is conversant with all the philosophy of Socrates and the Academy, he will not decline such entertainment as my humble board can supply.” (Od., 3, 21.) The modest Tibullus flattered himself with the pleasing hope of Messala's paying him a visit in the country, ‘where,” says he, “my beloved Delia shall assist in doing the honours for so noble a guest' (1, 5). The rising genius of Ovid was admired and encouraged by Messala; and this condescension the exiled bard has acknowledged in an epistle to his son Messalinus, dated from the cold shores of the Euxine. In this letter Ovid calls Messala his friend, the light and director of all his literary pursuits. It is natural to suppose that an intimacy subsisted between Messala and Virgil, and yet no historical circumstance has come to our knowledge sufficient to evince it. The poem called Ciris, which is dedicated to Messala, and has been ascribed to Virgil by some grave authorities, grows more suspicious every day. Tacitus, whose judgment of mankind is indisputable, and whose decision is not always in the most favourable point of view, seems fond of praising Messala; and in a speech given to Silius, the consul-elect, he considers him among the few great characters who have risen to the highest honours by their integrity and eloquence. (Ann., 11, 6.) Even Tiberius himself, when a youth, took him for his master and pattern in speaking; and happy would it have been for the Roman people had he also taken him for his guide and pattern in virtue." (Berwick's Lives, p. 59, seqq.)—Messala was united to Terentia, who had been first married to Cicero, and subsequently to Sallust, the historian. After the death of Messala, she entered, in extreme old age, into a fourth marriage, with a Roman senator, who used to say that he possessed the two greatest curosities in Rome, the widow of Cicero, and the chair

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