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liarly favourable, without entering into any discussion respecting the extent, appearance, or situation of Ancient Babylon. Major Rennell, on the other hand, following Herodotus and other ancient authors, has propounded a theory upon the subject, * very laborious and excellent, considering the information which he possessed, but surely subject to correction from any new light that might be derived from the researches of such an observer as Mr Rich. However, Major Rennell having once got his head full of a Babylon of his own building, will not hear of any other; and every ruin, or building, described by Mr Rich, from observation and measurements taken on the spot, is accordingly treated by Major Rennell either as not existing at all, or as being of modern date-or as not being a building, but a mountain !t-unless the said ruins come within the pale of his own city. In our humble opinion, Mr Rich treats Major Rennell with rather too much courtesy, when he talks of his great • diffidence, in opposing his ideas to such an authority. We are perfectly
willing to give Major Rennell all the praise he deserves; his Geography of Herodotus is, in many respects, an admirable work; and will always place him very high among the geographical writers of this, or, indeed, any other age; but with respect to his Topography of Babylon, we cannot consider him as any great authority. For how stands the fact? Why, incredible as it may appear, in a person undertaking an inquiry, where an accurate, and even critical knowledge of the original is absolutely essential, if that original is to be blindly followed, Major Rennell has taken for his text,—not Herodotus, whose description he proposes to follow-but the very loose and imperfect translation of Mr Beloe !| In the next place, Major Rennell never visited the ruins of Babylon himself; and therefore can have no right to oppose his own conjectures to the details of an accurate eye-witness. He is not to be listened to when he assumes hypotheses to suit his own preconceptions, or when he changes the course of a river to verify a plan which exists only in his own imagination.
The minute details contained in Mr Rich's two memoirs, confirmed as they have been
by the observations of yet more recent travellers,—Sir Robert Ker Porter, Major Keppel, and Mr Buckingham,-appear to us to afford abundant materials for the
• Geography of Herodotus, p. 336, et seq. + Archaeologia, 1816. p. 250, 252, &c.
I See the preface to the Geography of Herodotus, in which Major Rennell very candidly states, that his ignorance of the Greek language has compelled him to adopt Mr Beloe's translation. Pref. ix. x.
discussion of a question, which has never been fairly and fully considered. The information supplied by the ancient writers, was always, indeed, within our reach,—but it is only of late that we have obtained accurate observations of modern travellers, essential as a commentary upon the older historians, and without which, any theory which might be proposed, must rest, in great measure, upon mere probabilities. We propose, therefore, in this article, to collect every thing upon the subject of ancient Babylon which may be depended upon--elucidating the oldest accounts by the most recent, so as to settle, to the best of our ability, a question of no less importance than curiosity, both in a geographical and historical point of view.
Topography is not in general a subject of great interest. But some exception may perhaps be allowed for Babylon; and most readers, we think, will feel some curiosity about the remains of the most ancient work of civilized man. In entering upon an inquiry of this nature, the first question of course is,—what information do the ancient writers afford upon the subject? We are compelled to answer, that the Bible, and the History of Herodotus, are the only ancient records we can safely trust to, The Books of Moses, although of little use when wo come to minute investigation, are yet of great service in the question of general locality : but the authority upon which we must mainly rely is undoubtedly that of Herodotus. Not only is he the earliest profane writer upon this subject; but he alone, of all the ancient historians, had the advantage of having visited Babylon in person, and while it was yet in a state of tolerable preservation; and although he may be liable to the imputation of occasionally retailing marvellous stories, yet, in no one instance where he speaks from his own observation, can he be accused either of partiality or invention. When he describes Babylon, therefore, as an eye-witness, we may rely with perfect security upon his accuracy.
Of the other ancient writers upon Babylon, no one has entered so much into detail as Diodorus; but he is not by any means 80 well entitled to credit as Herodotus: for, never having been upon the spot in person, he takes his account from other writers, and chiefly from Ctesias, an author of no authority, who shows his ignorance, by placing Nineveh upon the Euphrates, and his talent for exaggeration, by making Semiramis erect a monument to Ninus, above three thousand feet high.
Pliny may be entirely disregarded, for he only copies Herodotus. Strabo is very excellent authority as far as he goes; but at the time he visited Babylon, the houses had entirely disappeared, and all the great buildings were in ruins ; 6o that he must have trusted entirely to the traditionary reports of the time, or to the descriptions of other authors. Upon the extent of the walls, however, he deserves attention, as they were standing in his time.
Passing by Quintus Curtius, who describes the state of Babylon when Alexander first entered it, Arrian, the early Arabian authors, and others who have written upon the subject, we come to the travellers who have visited Babylon, from the 12th to the 18th century. Of these, Benjamin of Tudela, Rauwolf, Niebuhr, Pietro della Vallé, and Beauchamp, are the most intelligent and accurate,-although the propensity of the traveller does occasionally peep forth, -as when Rauwolf, describing the Tower of Babel, says, “ It is so full of vermin that hath bored • holes through it, that one may not come near it within half-a
mile, but only in two months in the winter, when they come not out of their holes. Among the insects, there are some * called Eglo in the Persian language, that are very poisonous.
They are bigger than our lizards, and have three heals, and on • their back several spots of various colours,' &c. Trans. by Ray,
For Babylon, as it now exists, we shall refer to the travels of Sir Robert Ker Porter, Major Keppel, and Mr Buckingham, and to what beyond all comparison is the most accurate and useful work which has yet appeared upon this subject, we mean the two memoirs upon the remains of Babylon, by Mr Rich. We have first, then, to consider the situation and
appearance of Babylon, as it existed about 500 years before Christ;—and afterwards the change which it has since undergone,-so as to identify, if possible, certain remains which are now visible upon and near the river Euphrates, with the site and most remarkable buildings of ancient Babylon. As we shall take Herodotus, in preference to any other authority, upon the first branch of this inquiry, it is extremely material to have some definite idea of the measure he makes use of, in a subject where distance and measurement form such important elements. We must, therefore, premise a few observations upon the Grecian stadium, used by Herodotus in Asia.
It is perfectly undeniable, that different ancient writers, in describing distances, make use of different measures, under the common name of stadium. It is only by such a supposition, that their measurements cau in any way be reconciled. It bas, indeed, been contended by some, that all their measures should be considered as local measures-upon the supposition that they always translated the measures of the country they were describing, by their own word stadium. There is not, however, the least authority for this extraordinary bypothesis.
It is sometimes extremely difficult to reconcile the stadia used even by the same writer. Thus Herodotus employs a stadium in Egypt and on the Euxine sea, totally at variance with that which he uses in Greece, Asia, and Persia. For, by taking an average of distance, we find his stadium in Egypt to be equal to the tozoth part of a degree, or nearly seventeen (16,95) to a geographical mile.* Now, in Greece, we find it increased to 755 to a degree. The distance from Pisa to Athens,' he says,
wants precisely fifteen stadia of 1500. That distance being 118 miles, gives 755 stadia to the degree. His distances in Asia, as we shall show presently, nearly agree with this measure in Greece, and correspond almost exactly with the stadium of Xenophon and Strabo.t . It is found, from a like comparison of distances, that the stadium used by Strabo, is the oth part of a degree, which has been employed in partial measurements in Greece, Italy, throughout the Mediterranean, and even in India ; while an uninterrupted series of itinerary measurements from Cape St Vincent to the mouth of the Ganges, may be reconciled by reckoning the stadium at 833 to a degree. These observations are taken from a number of Phænician and Babylonian measures collected by the Greeks, and from this it may be contended, that the stadium used by some Greek writers in Babylonia, must be taken to be the g}d part of a degree.f There is, however, another mode by which we may arrive at the value of the stadium, and which appears to us the best to be adopted, where the question is, after all, a balance of probabilities;- viz. by taking as a standard the mean march of an army.
Taking the distance from Tyana to Tarsis, and from Tarsis to Mansista, and from Natolia to Trebizonde, as given by Herodotus, the times of march, as stated by Xenophon,|| and comparing these distances with those given by the Jerusalem Itinerary, we have 15 Roman miles, or nearly 14 British miles for a** day's
• Herod. Euterpe, c. 6. 7. Melp. c. 85.
+ This has nothing to do with the olympic stadium, described by Herodotus as consisting of an hundred orgyia, or 600 Grecian feet, and va. lued by D'Anville at 94] toises, or rather less than a furlong. Eut. c. 149. Melp. c. 41.
| Gosselin, Mes. Itin. 9, 18. Malte Brun, following Gosselin, establishes this fact; but it does not apply to Herodotus, who never described the distance in question. Vol. i. p. 93, 94.
$ Herod. Erato. c. 43. Terp. c. 53, 54. li Anab. lib. i. ii. Jer. Itin.
577, 580. According to D'Anville, 75 Roman miles make a degree, which makes the Roman mile to the British as 15 to 14 nearly.
march of 150 stadia; that is, 10 stadia to each Roman mile, or 750 to a degree, and this comes very near the result of modern experience ; for we are informed by Major Rennell, that the mean of ninety-five measured marches of Indian armies was a little more than 14 British miles per day.*
Now, the road from Sardis to Susa was the main road through that country, and was divided into eleven hundred and eleven stathmi, each stathmus being considered one day's journey, and terminating with a caravanserai. Herodotus, describing this road, states the distance at 450 parasangas, or 13,500 stadia.+ This makes nearly 120 stadia from one stathmus to the next, and these being olympic stadia, of 600 to a degree, we have 120 : 600 :: 150 : 750, precisely agreeing with the day's march. of Xenophon, and also with the stadium used by Herodotus in Greece. This stadium is equal to 489 English feet. The mean length of the stadium used by Xenophon, Strabo, Eratosthenes, and Herodotus, (in Asia and Greece,) is equal to goth part of a degree, or 505 English feet. The difference is not very material. But if greater accuracy should be thought necessary, we would prefer the first of these verifications, and hold, accordingly, that the stadium by which Herodotus reckons in Babylonia was equal to about 490 English feet.
Babylon was situated in the most fertile district of that part of Asia, which extended in length from the Mediterranean opposite Cyprus, to the head of the Persian gulf, and in breadth from Mount Taurus to the desert of Arabia. The country was watered by the Euphrates, which dispersed its streams by means of canals and hydraulic engines, and fertilized the land without overflowing it. I The general name given to this district is Senaar or Sinjar, called in the Bible Shinar. • And the beginning of his
kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the • land of Shinar.' Gen. x. 10. We are in ignorance of the precise time when Babylon was built, as well as of the name of its founder. Some, indeed, pretend that it was begun before the deluge, and completed afterwards. While it is contended by Megasthenes and Abydenus, that it was founded by Belus, an Egyptian prince, who led a colony of Chaldeans into Babylonia, and was the fourteenth king after Ninus, the founder of Ni
* Geog. of Herod. p. 22, note. + Terp. c. 52
| Her. Clio. 193. "The 9th Satrapy of Darius Hystaspes. It comprehended the country beyond the Tigris, of which Nineveh was the capital, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Babylonia. Herod. Thalia, c. 92.
$ Perizonius, Origines Babylonicae, ii. c. v. p. 69. Edit. 1786. See also Reimannus, Hist. Litt. Babyloniorum. Bruns. 1741.