Obrazy na stronie

Artax. tated of attacking the Greeks. The Magnesians Longim. erected a splendid monument to the memoty of that

general in the publick square, and granted peculiar privileges and honours to his descendants. They. continued to enjoy them in Plutarch's time, that is, near six hundred years after, and his tomb was still standing

y Atticus, in the beautiful dialogue of Cicero, entitled Brutus, resutes, in an agreeable and ingenious manner, the tragical end which some writers ascribe to Themistocles, as related above; pretending that the whole is a fiction, invented by rhetoricians, who on the bare ruinour that this great man had poisoncd himself, had added all the other particulars to embellish the story, which otherwise would have been very dry and unaffecting. He appeals for this to Thucydides, that judicious historian, who was an Athenian, and almost contemporary with Themistocles. This author indeed owns, that a report had prevailed, that this general had poisoned himself; however, his opinion was, that he died a natural death, and that his friends conveyed his bones secretly to Athens, where, in ? Pausanias's time, his mausolæum wis standing near the great harbour. This account seems much more probable than the other.

Themistocles was certainly one of the greatest men that Grocce ever produced. He had a great soul, and invincible courage, which danger even enflamed ; was fired with an incredible thirst for glory, which sometimes his country's love would temper and allay, but which sometimes carried him too far ; * his presence of mind was such, that it immediately suggested whatever it was inost necessary to act: In fine, he had a sagacity and penetration with regard to futurity, that revealed to him, in the

Brut. n. 42, 43.

2 Lib. i. p. 1. De instantibus, ut ait Thucydides, carissime judicabat, 9 de futuris callidissimè conjiciclat. Corn. Nep. in Themist. c. i.

clearest light, the most secret designs of his enemies; Artax. pointing out to him at a distance, the several mea-Longima sures he should take to disconcert them, and inspired him with great, noble, bold, extensive views with regard to the honour of his country. The most essential qualities of the mind were however wanting in him, I mean sincerity, integrity, and fidelity : Nor was he altogether free from suspicions of avarice, which is a great blemish in such as are charged with publick affairs,

à Nevertheless, a noble sentiment as well as action are related of him, which speak a great and disinterested soul. * His daughter being asked of him in marriage, he preferred an honest poor man to a rich one of an indifferent character; and gave for his reason, That in the choice of a son-in-law, he would minuch rather have merit without riches, than riches with out merit.

Sect. IV. The Egyptians rise against Persia, supported

by the Athenians. ABOUT this time the Egyptians, to free them- A. M. selves from a foreign yoke which was insupportable 3538.

Ant. J.C. to them, revolted from Artaxerxes, and made Ina

466. rus, prince of the Lybians, their king. They deinanded aid of the Athenians, who having at that time a fleet of two hundred ships at the island of Cyprus, accepted the invitation with pleasure, and immediately set sail for Egypt ; judging this a very favourable opportunity to weaken the power of the Persians, by driving them out of so great a kingdom.

A.M. Advice being brought Artaxerxes of this revolt, , 9545.

Ant. J.C.

459. a Plut. in Themist. p. 121. b Thucyd. 1. i. p. 68. & 71, 72. Ctes. c. 32-35. Diod. l. xi p. 54-59.

Themistocles, cùin consuleretur ulrum bono viro pauperi, an muis probato diciti filiam collocaret : Ego vero, inquit, MALO VIRUN QUI PECUNIA EGEAT, QUAM PECUNIAM QUÆ VIRO. Cic. de Offic. 1. i. c. 1.

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Artax. he raised an army of three hundred thousand men, Longim. and resolved to march in person against the rebels.

But his friends advising him not to venture himself in that expedition, he gave the command of it to Achæmenes, one of his brothers. The latter being arrived in Egypt, encamped his great army on the banks of the Nile. During this interval, the Athenians having defeated the Persian fleet, and either destroyed or taken fifty of their ships, they went again up that river, landed their forces under the command of Charitimi their general; and having joined Inarus and his Egyptians, they charged Achæmenes, and defeated him in a great battle, in which that Persian general and an hundred thousand of his soldiers were slain. Those who escaped fled to Memphis, whither the conquerors pursued them, and immediately made themselves masters of two quarters of the city : But the Persians having fortified themselves in the third, called the white wall, which was the largest and strongest of the three, they were besieged in it near three years, during which they made a most vigorous defence, till they were at last

delivered by the forces sent to their aid. A. M. Artaxerxes hearing of the defeat of his army,

and how much the Athenians had contributed to it ; to Ant.J.C.

make a diversion of their forces, and oblige them to turn their arms another way, he sent ambassadors to the Lacedæmonians, with a large sum of money, to engage them to proclaim war against the Athenians. But the Lacedæmonians having rejected the offer,

their refusal did not abate his ardor, and accordingly A. M.


gave Megabysus and Artabazus the command of 3547. the forces designed against Egypt. These generals Ant J.C.immediately raised an army of three hundred thou557.

sand men in Silicia and Phænicia. They were obliged

to wait till the fleet was equipped, which was not A. M. 3546.

till the next year. Artabazus then took upon himn Ant. J.C. the command of it, and sailed towards the Nile, 455. whilst Megabysus, at the head of the land army,

marched towards Memphis. He raised the siege of



that city, and afterwards fought Inarus. All the Artax. forces on both sides engaged in this battle, in which Longim. Inarus was entirely defeated ; but the Egyptians, who had rebelled, suffered most in this slaughter.

After this defeat, Inarus, though wounded by Me gabysus, retreated with the Athenians, and such Egyptians as were willing to follow him; and reache ed Biblos, a city in the island of Prosopitis, which is surrounded by two arms of the Nile, and both na* vigable. The Athenians ran their fleet into one of these arms, where it was secured from the attacks of the enemy, and held out a siege of a year and a half in this island.

After the battle, all the rest of Egypt submitted to the conqueror, and was re-united to the empire of Artaxerxes, except Amyrteus, who had still a small party in the fens, where he long supported himself, through the difficulty the Persians found in penetrating far enough to reduce him.

The siege of Prosopitis was still carrying on. The A. M. Persians finding that they made no advances in at


Ant. J.C. tacking it after the usual methods, because of the

454. stratagems and intrepidity of the besieged, they therefore had recourse to an extraordinary expe. dient, which soon produced what force had not been able to effect. They turned the course, by different canals, of the arm of the Nile in which the Athenians lay, and by that means opened themselves a passage for their whole army to enter the island. Inarus seeing that all was lost, compounded with Megabysus for himself, for all his Egyptians, and about fifty Athenians, and surrendered upon condition that their lives should be spared. The remainder of the auxiliary forces, which formed a body of six thousand men, resolved to hold out longer ; and for this purpose they set fire to their ships, and drawing up in order of battle, resolved to die sword in hand, and sell their lives as dear as they could, in imitation of the Lacedæmonians, who refused to yield, and were all cut to pieces at Thermopyla. "The Persians,

Artax. hearing they had taken so desperate a resolution, Longim. did not think it advisable to attack them. A peace

was therefore offered them, with a promise that they should all be permitted to leave Egypt, and have free passage to their native country either by sea or land,

They accepted the conditions, put the conquerors in possession of Biblos and of the whole island, and went by sea to Cyrene, where they embarked for Greece: But most of the soldiers who had served in this expedition perished in it.

But this was not the only loss the Athenians sustain. ed on this occasion. Another fleet of fifty ships, which they sent to the aid of their besieged countrymen, sailed up one of the arms of the Nile, (just after the Athenians had surrendered) to disengage them, not knowing what had happened, But the instant they entered, the Persian feet, which kept out at sea, fol. lowed them and attacked their rear, whilst the army discharged showers of darts upon them from the banks of the river ; thus only a few ships escaped, which opened themselves a way through the enemy's fleet, and all the rest were lost. Here ended the fatal war carried on by the Athenians for six years in Egypt, which kingdom was now united again to the Persian

empire, and continued so during the rest of the reign A. M. of Artaxerxes, of which this is the twentieth year. Ant. J. c. But the prisoners who were taken in this war met 454. with the most unhappy fate.

Sect. V. Inarus is delivered up to the king's mother, contrary to the articles of the treaty. The affliction of

Megabysus, who revolts. A. M. C

ARTAXERXES, after refusing to gratify the Ant.J.C. request of his mother, who for five years together 448, had been daily importuning him to put Inarus and

his Athenians into her hands, in order that she might sacrifice them to the manes of Achæmenes her son,


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