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his cause by an appeal to their better judgment. Far from it!—he wished to instruct the people generally by so describing facts, as to compel the reader to come to the conclusion which he abstained from stating in his own words and his own person. He was the sound, not crafty, statesman, who endeavours to win his auditors by the weight of facts, not the tingle of words. Hence Cicero naturally disapproved a style in which his whole strength and beauty lay; for he saw the speeches of the truth-loving Thucydides were of no use in the hands of a man whose efforts were directed to persuade, but never to induce his auditors to form their opinion without first stating his own.
There were, it appears, at that time two classes of readers of history j the common people, and the better-educated citizens, who aspired to office and the management of public affairs. The first read history for amusement, and naturally looked for romantic tales, since novels were not yet invented, and the oldest of the scriptoren historicc poilicce mentioned by Fabricius (who were, if not in name, at
least in substance, the novel-writers of our days), flourished as late as 146 A. C.13 consequently after Polybius. It was to this class of readers, who increased as the political state of Greece declined, that Isocrates4'1 alludes when he says: "some looked in history for beauty aud elegance of language, and some for fictions aud fables." The second class looked into history for information and the support of their political opinions, and it was only for that class of readers that the better historians, such as Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, and probably also Philestes a. o. took up their pen. Thucydidestt and Polybius46 speak of these two kinds of readers. The other historians, such as Theopompvs, Ephorus, Anaximenes, Calisthenes, Clitarchus a. o. though more modern, wrote for both classes of readers, and intermixed therefore their historical researches with some fables, just as the apothecary colours his draughts to suit the whim of his patient, Z.
EXPLICATION OF TWO BABYLONIAN CYLINDERS, CONNECTED WITH SACRED HISTORY.
VARIOUS have been the sentiments of the learned respecting the design and import of the engraved Cylinders,* found among the ruins of ancient Babylon.
Some writers have considered them astrological, some astronomical,others mythological vestiges of Chaldsean ait; while by Landseer, Raspe, and other antiquaries who have attempted their exposition, they are said to be signets, amulets, and the like, with mystic signs.
Abstaining, however, from occupying the time of the reader, by anydiscussion on the invalidity, or force of such opinions (for, from the diversity of subjects sculptured on the Gems, each conjecture may be ably supported), 1 shall at once proceed to show, by two examples, that many are decidedly historical, bearing symbolically upon events which at different epochs befel the Assyrians, the Medes, and the Persians, and on other incidents recorded in holy and profane writ.
* Many of these cylinders, Mr. Landseer observes, are formed of haematite, mistakenly termed loadstone, by Mr. Raspe, in his Catalogue Raisonnie of Tassie's Collection. The rest are of carnelian, opal, jasper, agate, chalcedony, and other hard and precious stones.—Sabtean Researches, p. 1.
We also learn from the same source, that considerable numbers of these gems have from time to time been disinterred by the Arabs in digging up those bricks of ancient Babylon, which constitute the material of which the town of Hellah, and most of the houses within a certain distance of the ruins, arc chiefly built.—Ibid. p. 2.
Leonard Rauwolf, a physician of Augsburg, in Germany, who saw the ruins of the city in 1574, says, they lie near a small village on the Euphrates, called Eulogo, or Phelugo, a day and a half's journey from Bagdad.
Many, doubtless, are emblematic representations of the solar* and firef worship of these idolatrous nations, of which Nimrod is said to be the author. Many figurative displays of their rites and sacrifices, and various others, it cannot be denied, are connected with the sciences of astronomy and astrology, and the arts of magic and divination, for which the Chaldaeans were famous, from the remotest antiquity. \ Herodotus indeed tells us, the ancient Persians offered sacrifices to Jove, distinguishing by that appellation all the expanse of the firmament; and adored the Sun and Moon, the Earth, fire, water, and the winds. 8iov<rt Si ijXi'oi, T€ icai aeXrj'srj, Kat yr), Kai inifn, Kai v&zri, Km ai'^oan. Lib. 1. § 131. which Strabo, Lib. xv. confirms.
With these brief prefatory remarks, I hasten to establish the historical import of the Cylinders before us, on solid grounds.
Having been for some time engaged in an analysis of the characters impressed on the Bab\ Ionian bricks, my attention, at intervals, was necessarily directed to the figures and the legends, so admirably engraven upon the cylinders; and upon a closer inspection of those sculptured upon the Gem No. 1, a few days since, an idea flashed across my mind, from the variety and particular disposition of the figures, that the subject was of a scriptural nature; and, turning to my Bible, I discovered that the monument, though so small, contained a representation of one of the verysurprising stories recited by the prophet Daniel, chap, iii., in which the intervention of Divine power was manifested to the resolute adherents to the true faith, in a manner certainly
miraculous. I allude to the preservation of the three companions of Daniel, in captivity at Babylon, who, on their praiseworthy refusal to conform to the idolatrous worship of the image which Nebuchadnezzar § had set up, were cast into a heated furnace, and left, as imagined by the cruel despot, to inevitable destruction. Their Jewish names, it is well known, were Hananiah, Misael, and Azariah, which the Babylonian sovereign changed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Let us now examine the cylinder under its several aspects, and collate the circumstances it developes with the story as told in scripture.
The engravings upon the Gem, it will be seen, embrace three objects.
* Macrobius tells us, that the great god of Ashur was the sun, and that his name wan Add, or Adad; which, he says, by interpretation signifies one from the Hebrew inM Achad, Unas. See also Isaiah, ch. brr. ver. 17; and that from the Assyrians the idolatry spread itself throughout the whole world, is generally acknowledged.
t The Persian name of Persepolis is Istakhar, i. e. the City of Fire; and the sculptures on the ruins of Tschilminar represent many of the ceremonies of fire worship.
I "Many of these gems, we read, are contained in the British Museum; others are at the Borghese palace and the Museums of Germany; and several are at Paris, in the cabinets of the King of France and of Baron Silvestre de Sacy, and other distinguished antiquaries." There is also a choice collection in the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, at St. Petersburg.
§ The name of this king is variously written—Nebuchadnezar, Nebuchadrezzar, Nabuchadonosar, Nabucodrosorus, &c.
|| Mr. Rich, late Consul at Baghdad, to whom we are indebted for much information respecting the Babylonian and Persepolitan Gems, asserts that the true Babylonian antiques were generally finished with the utmost care and delicacy.
waste by fire many cities and temples: (that of Jerusalem in particular) besides Memphis and other places, as detailed in Ezekiel xxx. 1—26. Flushed with this success, he was still further encouraged and strengthened in the worship of his solar or fire god, to whom he attributed all his victories, and whom he worshipped under the name of Baal, Bel, or Jupiter Belus.
Having burnt the temples of the gods of the Egyptians, he conceived his god to be superior to the gods of all the con qucred nations, and amongst others, consequently, to the Holy One of Israel. He therefore erected the golden image so memorable in scripture; and which is likewise mentioned by Herodotus, Diodorus, and other ancient writers. And this image he made of polished gold, or ornamented with gilding highly burnished; that when the sun, rising in glory, shone upon it, it gave an appearance as though surrounded with rays of light. This image he set up in the vast plain of Dura, or the surrounding plain of Babylon.*
He then, Dan. ch. iii. required the princes, governors, and rulers of the provinces, to be present at the dedication of the image, and commanded, by proclamation, all nations, people, and languages, whom his arms had conquered, and whose gods he fancied his god had vanquished, to come and join with his own princes, captains, and people, at what time they hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, &c. in bowing down before it and worshipping it.
This image we learn, in ch. iii. was of the height of sixty cubits and in breadth six.
Turning now to the engraved image on the cylinder, we observe it to be no less singular in its design, than in its position. It is evidently human; the face full, having the features clearly drawn, bearing on its head a species of cap or crown, + with horns at each end; the hair hanging in tresses on the right side. It is also bearded. Upon the chest there is a studded ornament or breast plate, extending from shoulder to shoulder. The figure seems partly uncovered and partly clothed, with some tight vestment fitting the body, fastened by a girdle round the waist. But what is most remarkable, the image is without hands. Another singularity is, that though the upper part of the figure presents a full front, the middle is in profile, and the feet are extended, as in a walking attitude. Yet this is easily explained; for as the image is of Belus or Bel, answering to the Hebrew "?j73 Baal, and a personification of the sun ruling in the heavens, it was necessary to cast it in this form that it might at once convey an idea of the splendour and the motion of that planet.
That this is clearly a copy of the idol, as it presented itself to the king in his dream, and which greatly disturbed his mind, the description of the image by Daniel in his interpretation of the vision, abundantly testifies.
"Thou, O king, sawest," says Daniel, ch. ii. "and behold a great image; this great image whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible.
"This image's head was of pure gold. His breast and his arms silver, his belly and his thighs of brass. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and clay. J
• Vide Schimmelpenninck's Biblical Fragments, p. 168.
+ Possibly the Cidari*, the usual diadem of the Persian kings, of which Q. Curtius furnishes the best description, lib. in. Cidarim Ptria regium capitis vocabant ituii/nc .• hoc c&ruleafa»cia albo diitincta circtimibat.
J "In the Golden Head," says a learned writer, "is pourtrayed, as it were, the face of the first monarchic In the breast of silver, behold the second stretching out her two arms over the two mighty kingdoms of Medea and Persia. The brazen paunch swells out in the ambition of proud Alexander. The thighs of the same metal, but weakened by division, represent the successors of that great Captain, in special the two more noted rulers of the North and South. The iron leggs lighting upon an age like themselves, stand out for the Romane furie (at least manie writers determine so) whose martial presumption, under the protection of their grandsirc the God of Battle, crusht the rest of the world in pieces like a potter's vessel."—J. Gregorie, Assyrian Monarchie, p. 210.
In this detail no mention is made of hands.
Passing over the rest of the interpretation as familiar to every one, I proceed with my exposition.
On each side of the image, two objects are apparent, resembling tubes, upon which in the centre are semicircular knobs or bosses. These symbols present striking resemblances to the Egyptian hieroglyphic, denoting the expletive sign or a roll of papyrus, over which are two basons, cups, or patera.
We read from Maximus the Tyrian, Serin. 38, that the P<eonians adored the sun under the form of a cup-dish, 'Ayakfiab* T/xiw nawviKuv bioKOS iipu\is vxip ftaitpov £uXov, because the sun seems to resemble that form, and therefore fiuricor is sometimes taken for softs orbit.
These objects may therefore be of an astronomical nature, or symbolical simply of the worship of the sun and the host of heaven, in vogue among the Babylonians.
Behind these things, to the right side and the left, human figures are sculptured with uplifted hands, richly attired, after the Babylonian custom, in long embroidered gowns,* wearing high-pointed bonnets or tiaras,f standing, and in the attitude of invoking
or offering worship to the idol. These personages I judge to be priestesses, no less from their dresses than their countenances. On the Egyptian monuments similar forms are seen, acknowledged to be female, paying reverence to the deities. Justin, Lib. X. states, that the ancient Persians had women priestesses, consecrated to the sun, who were obliged to perpetual chastity. They may, however, be priests.
Reserving this point, our attention is next called to the subject I set out with, namely, the representation of the three faithful persons, who were cast into the furnace.
That these figures upon the cylinder are in keeping with the foregoing, must, I think, be granted; and that they can represent no others than the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego of Scripture, will, I presume, be equally allowed. They are portrayed (without any aid of fancy) as being in the furnace; above which the flames are evidently ascending.J Over these are two animals, apparently lions § or hares, the emblems, according to Hor. Apoll. Lib. I., of Vigilance and Guardianship. But let us support our argument by other extracts from Sacred Writ.
We have heard the decree, and no
* The dresses of these figures exactly correspond with the vestments of the Babylonians, as described by Pliny.
Notissimum enim Babylonios fuisse olim vel maxime celebres pingendi vestes acu vel diversos colores in texendi arte, unde et Babylonica dicebantar talia vestimenta. —Nat. Hist viii. 48.
Plutarch moreover tells us, that Alexander the Great rejected the vestments of the Medes, and adopted the Persian dress as being less costly and more plain, laying aside the tiara.
These vestments, it should seem, were richly fringed, and worked with gold and purple.
J. Gregorie, after Herodotus, speaking of men, says, " their habite in apparel was to wear long garments, one without of woollen, another under that of linnen. Wee may call the first a coat, the other a shirt; they had without these a white mantle."
+ On this point the reader is referred to Brissonius de Regno Persarum Principatu, lib. 1, § 46, and lib. 611, $ 184, where the subject is treated at large, " Persse Tiara caput tegebant (he says) initio a Semiramide orto quemadmodum."—Justin, 1, 2, 3.
J In the apochryphal Hymn of the three young persons, which they chaunted in praise of the Almighty while in the furnace, the flame of the fire, which was supplied with oils, pitch, odours, and other combustibles, is said to have risen above the mouth of the furnace, 47 cubits high.
§ Mr. Rich tells us in his Travels, " that he was present at the digging up of one of these colossal lions; it was rudely formed of granite, and was almost buried near one of the places of sepulture discovered in the ruins of ancient Babylon. Lions, we further learn, are comparatively as frequently to be met with in the remains of Chaldean Antiquity, as the Sphinx is in those of Egypt."
ticed the worship of the priestesses, who may be regarded as types of the general adoration paid to the idol. Now what follows in the Holy Record: "And whoso (chap. iii. v. 6) falleth not down and worshippeth, shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."
Further, "that upon the non-observance of the proclamation by Shadrach, Meshach, and Aiiednogo, being reported to the king, he, Nebuchadnezzar, caused the fire to be heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated, and that these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the furnace."
Let the figures on the cylinder be now carefully noticed, and the perfect agreement with the sacred story will be evident. They have respectively close caps or hats upon their heads; the coats are bound by girdles; and what sets the matter at rest, the coats which these three Jewish youths are represented as wearing, clearly loose and descending to the feet (and which were found unchanged upon their deliverance), are precisely of the kind called in the text >VnD Sarabali, a Babylonian or Persian term adopted in the Vulgate, ver. 23, "Et confestim illi viri sunt vincti cum Saraballis suis,"ofwhich Burton in his AEIVANA Veteris Linguae Persicae, thus speaks: "Sarabaras, sunt fluxa ac sinuosa vestimenta, de quibus legitur in Daniele: Et Sarabara* eorum non sunt immutata." A word also used in the sense of coats, by the LXX. verse 27, leal To. aapufiupa aiiriav oiiK rjWoLo>0Tj, Kai 6o~fiij nvpos Ovk 7jv (v avTms, than which nothing, it is presumed, can be more conclusive of the justness of my view of the subject.
Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed, and he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters.
"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, divers, one from the other. The first was like a lion and had eagle's wings, and I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart be given to it."
Referring to the engraved Cylinder, what do we observe? First, the figure of a lion bearing wings, standing erect;—Secondly, the presentation of a heart to the beast by an angelic personage of fine countenance, wearing a crown or cap, fromwhich the hair descends in curls, bearded, having on his shoulders two unfolded wings, and attired in splendid Babylonish costume; the outer garment descending to the ankle on the leftside, yet flying off, so as to leave exposed a part of the right thigh, and the whole of the leg and foot. The figure has also a girdle round his loins ; and what is very remarkable, while with the right hand raised, the heart is offered to the lion, the left bears downward a kind of staff or sceptre, with a pastoral crook of the identical form seen in the
* Of the Sarabala, or Sarabara, called in some copies of the Scriptures bracce, braccie, Monchablon, a French antiquary, thus speaks: —" C'^toit un vestment dont on ne peut gu£re determiner le genre, ni la forme. On croit plus communc"ment que cVtoit une espece de Casaque: ce qu' on en scait seulement de positif, e'est que l'usage en £toit general chez tous les peuples de Portent, meme chez les Scythes, qui la communiquerent aux Sarmates, et ceux-ci ou peut-etre d'autres, a quelques nations de l'Europe."
Leigh. Crit. Sacr. p. 336, explains it by Vestimentum exterius quod statim conipicitur.
Vatablus and others render it by mantle.