Obrazy na stronie

Belus was in the eastern quarter of Babylon, absolutely rejects this ruin, and treats it as a natural hill, having a brick tower on its summit! The only shadow of a reason that can be found for placing the Temple of Belus on the eastern side of the river, is, that, according to Diodorus, one of the gates of the city, called the Belidean gate, was in the east wall; and that when Darius Hystaspes besieged Babylon, the Belidean and Cissian gates were opened to him by Zopyrus, and the inhabitants fled to the temple for refuge. Now the Cissian, or Susian gate, must have been on the east side, because Susa, to which it led, lay to the east of Babylon, which fixes the position of the Belidean gate, as they were probably not far distant from each other. But then it is the most gratuitous assumption imaginable, to argue, that because the Belidean Gate was on the east side, the Temple of Belus was in that quarter also. There is not even any proof that the inhabitants took refuge in the Temple of Belus ; they may have fled to the Mujillebé, or to any other sanctuary in the eastern quarter, for it will scarcely be contended that the Temple of Belus was the only place of worship in Babylon; in fact, a position so hypothetical, supported, too, only by the hearsay testimony of Diodorus, cannot be sustained for a moment against the clear conviction established by the actual appearance of the ruins we have described.

• If any building,' says Mr Rich, may be supposed to have left considerable traces, it is certainly the Pyramid or Tower of Belus, which, by its form, dimensions, and the solidity of its construction, was well calculated to resist the ravages of time ; and if human force bad not been employed, would, in all probability, have remained to the present day, in nearly as perfect a state as the Pyramids of Egypt. Even under the dilapidation which we know it to have undergone, at a very early period, we might reasonably look for traces of it after every other vestige of Babylon had vanished from the face of the earth. When, therefore, we see, within a short distance from the spot fixed on, both by geographers and antiquarians, and the tradition of the country, to be the site of ancient Babylon, a stupendous pile, which appears to have been built in receding stages, which bears the most indisputable traces both of the violence of man and the lapse of ages, and yet continues to tower over the desert, the wonder of successive generations; it is impossible that this perfect correspondence with all the accounts of the Tower of Belus, should not strike the most careless observer, and induce him to attempt clearing away the difficulties which have been suggested by Major Rennell against its reception within the limits of Babylon. I am of opinion, that this ruin is of a nature to fix of itself the locality of Babylon, even to the exclusion of those on the eastern side of the river ; and if the ancients had actually assigned a position to the Tower, irreconcilable with the Birs, it would be more reasonable to suppose that some error bad crept into their accounts, than to reject this most remarkable of all the ruins.' - Second Memoir, pp. 31, 32.

But there are no such inconsistencies in the description given by the ancients; for not one of them states its position to have been in the eastern quarter; and such a supposition rests only upon the authority we have already cited, that the Belidean gate lay to the east of the Euphrates. On the other hand, if we suppose the mound of the Kasr to have been the royal palace, we have then the direct authority of Herodotus for placing the Temple of Belus on the opposite side of the river, that is, in the western quarter. We have only to apply the dimensions assigned by Herodotus to Babylon, and both the Birs Nemroud, and the ruins on the eastern bank, will come within its limits, and hold their proper positions in their respective quarters.

The diagonal of a square whose side somewhat exceeds eleven miles, will be found to be sixteen miles nearly. Now, the Birs Nemroud lies south-west from the Kasr ; hence, if the line which joins those ruins be the diagonal of a square described round the remains of Babylon, the sides of that square will face the cardinal points. The distance from the Birs to the Kasr is seven miles, in a direct line; consequently, if each of those buildings be placed at the distance of three miles and a half from the centre of the diagonal, the Kasr will be four miles and a half from the north-east angle of the city wall, and the Birs the same distance from its south-west angle. If the interior wall enclosed an area two miles less all round, according to Curtius, then the Birs and Kasr would be two miles and a half distant from the angles of the interior wall nearest to each of them respectively. In either case, these buildings would occupy situations sufficiently central to agree with the description of Herodotus. It must be remarked, that by this position of the walls, the river does not bisect the city, but divides it in the proportion of eleven to five. If a position be given to the walls, 80 as to make the river bisect the area, by moving the walls two miles and a half to the east, then the Birs would be about two miles distant from the nearest point of the west wall, and upwards of three from the south-west angle. Again, if the river be made the diagonal of the square, so that the angles of the wall should point north and south, we should find the Kasr nearly four miles from the northern, and the Birs three from the western angle of the city wall. Thus, whichever position of the walls we adopt, (and we incline to the first, seeing that there is no absolute necessity for making the river bisect the city,) the two buildings which are found to be the most remarkable now existing in Babylonia, will occupy situations so much within the boundary of the walls, as to be perfectly reconcilable with the account of Herodotus, and so as to identify, in the

most satisfactory manner, not only the Kasr and the Birs Nemroud, with the Royal Palace and Temple of Belus, selected by Herodotus as the two structures in Babylon most worthy of observation, but also to establish that the remains now existing upon the river Euphrates, to the distance of four miles to the north, and of five miles to the south-west, of the town of Hillah, are beyond dispute the ruins of ancient Babylon.

The length to which this article has unavoidably extended, to say nothing of the dryness of the subject, is a very sufficient reason for here closing our remarks ; but we cannot dismiss this subject without correcting a remarkable error which Mr Buckingham has indulged in, namely, that he discovered the wall of Babylon, * existing in a certain ruin about ten miles to the east of Hillah, known by the name of Al Hheimar. He saw it but “ for a few minutes,' and describes it as a high mound of loose rubbish, extremely steep, having the appearance of a py. ramidal cone, whose summit was crowned by a long and low piece of thick wall, like a battlement. The rubbish below consisted of burnt brick, and the outline of the whole mass formed nearly an equilateral triangle. It would certainly require some ingenuity to prove that this must have been a part of the ancient wall of Babylon : and the more deliberate observations

* Few subjects have occasioned more astonishment to the learned as well as to the unlearned, than the prodigious size and extent of the wall of Babylon, as a work of human hands; and its total annihilation, lea• ving not a wreck behind. As to the latter, we can offer no other ex, planation than what we have already attempted in the former part of this article. With respect to the former,—the magnitude of the work,—it really does not appear to us to be so enormous as to be incredible, or even improbable. Let us compare it with the great wall of China, built by the Emperor Tsin-chi-Hoang-Ti, solely for the purpose of keeping the Tar. tars out of China. It is called by the Chinese Ouan-li-chang-tching ; that is, “ the great wall of ten thousand ly. A ly is calculated by D'Anville at one twentieth of a league, so that the extent of the wall was five hundred leagues. Its height was twenty-five feet, according to some writers, six toises, according to others. The base was built of large blocks of stone. The upper parts of brick and cement ; the breadth sufficient for six horses to be driven abreast upon it. It was carried in some places, over mountains almost inaccessible. In one place, Verbiest found its elevation a thousand and thirty-seven ' pas géométriques' above the sea. It was defended throughout its whole length by a chain of forts, in which were lodged a million of soldiers. It is now very much in ruins. See Histoire Générale de la Chine ; traduite du Tong-kian-kang-mon. By de Mailla. Paris, 1777. A work like this, begun and finished in the reign of one emperor, beats the wall of Babylon all to nothing.

of Sir R. Ker Porter have completely dispelled this vision of Mr Buckingham. In point of fact, Al Hheimar is a square, or rather oblong pile, (not triangular, as Mr Buckingham says,) about one hundred and fifty feet long, by one hundred and ten broad. Its sides face the cardinal points. The bricks of which it has been built are fourteen inches long, twelve and three-quarters broad, and two and a half thick; they are, in general, without inscriptions, and are laid in clay cement. Sir R. K. Porter found one brick only, with characters upon it, but somewhat different from the cuneiform figures upon the Babylonian bricks. It is, in short, a perfect and insulated building, without a trace of having been extended on any side, and probably was either a tomb, or a temple, like the Barsita of Ptolemy, or Borsippa of Strabo. In fact, the whole country abounds with ruins of this description, which, although Babylonian in their general character, do not by any means

necessarily belong to the

city of Babylon. Thus, there is the Nebbi Eyoub, the tomb of Job,' near the Euphrates, and three leagues to the south of Hillah. Near it are two mounds, called El Mokhatat and El Adouar, one league further south; and at some distance from the bank of the river, there is a considerable ruin, which Mr Rich calls Boursa, and conjectures to have been Barsita, or Borsippa. Ten miles north-west of Bagdad is found a great mass of unburnt bricks, with layers of reeds between every fifth and sixth course. The circumference of the base is three hundred feet, and its height one hundred and twenty-six. It is called Akerkouf, and has the remains of smaller buildings near it, like the temple at the Tower of Babel. Any one of these ruins might, with as great propriety, be called remains of Babylon, or of the wall of Babylon, as Al Hheimar.

There is another subject connected with Babylon, upon which much curious matter might be collected; we mean, the cylinders of agate, cornelian, chalcedony, and other hard stones, which have been at different times disinterred among the ruins of Babylon, in great numbers, having engraven upon them singular devices, apparently astronomical ; an inquiry into which, illustrated by the Bible and other ancient records, might tend much to the elucidation of the astrological studies of the Chaldeans, and might even throw some light upon the cuneiform characters inscribed upon the Babylonian bricks. This is not, however, an inquiry fit to be discussed at the end of a long article ; but we hope, at some future period, to recur to it.

Art. IX.- Proceedings of the Expedition to explore the Northern

Coast of Africa, from Tripoly eastward, in 1821-22; comprehending an Account of the Greater Syrtis and Cyrenaica, and of the ancient cities composing the Pentapolis

. By Captain F. W. BEECHEY, R.N. F.R.S., and H. W. BEECHEY, Esq.

F.S.A. 4to. London, 1828. Della Cella, ( Paolo,) Narrative of an Expedition from Tripoli to

the Borders of Egypt in 1817, by the Bey of Tripoli. From

the Italian. 8vo. London. Pacho (J. R.) Rapport des Commissaires nommés par la Commis

sion centrale pour examiner les resultats de Voyage de M. Pacho dans la Cyrenaique.

Notice sur la Cyrenaique, lué à la Societé de Geographie.

Relation d'un Voyage dans la Marmorique, la Cyrenaique, 8c. Tre Partie. Paris, 1827. T Though we certainly know more of the globe than was known

to any older people, it is remarkable that considerable portions of it that were familiar to other generations, have been shut, and lost, as it were, to us; and that some of the most interesting contributions which modern enterprise has made to geographical science, have been obtained by exploring regions long famous in story, and discovering anew the scenes of the most celebrated transactions. We have just been engaged in an attempt to verify the situation of Babylon and Nineveh,-an attempt founded on very recent and perilous excursions in the deserts which now stretch their unbroken gloom over regions which once swarmed with the vast population, and glittered with the unmeasured splendour, of the great Asiatic monarchies. It is not very long since the gigantic remains of Persepolis, Egyptian Thebes, and Palmyra, were restored to the wondering eyes of these later ages; and we still know but little of the cultivated regions which smiled under the rule of Carthage, and sent forth the colonists who civilized the barbarous shores of Spain, and the legions who disputed the empire of the world with the ambition of heroic Rome.

There is no portion, however, of the earth, which had fallen into such oblivion as that great range of coast which intervenes between Tripoli and Egypt, and extends to more than a third part of the length of the Mediterranean. Other regions have defied the efforts of modern enterprise; but this seems never to have excited them-an indifference which, whether we consider its ancient fame, or its proximity to countries of familiar resort, certainly does appear to us unaccountable. It was from this very

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