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distances from each other; and above all when we find a great
We might multiply quotations of this sort but it is unnecessary. We have now given a full view of the progress, and especially of the present state of opinion among geologists respecting the deluges of history and geology. We have seen, that beginning with the belief that every important geological change on the globe since the creation ought to be imputed to the deluge of Noah, nay that the globe itself was torn to pieces and dissolved by that event, learned men have gradually so modified their opinions on the subject, and their ideas of diluvial agency have been so diminished, that the question now is whether there are any traces on the globe of the Mosaic deluge ; nay, whether there is any proof of a general deluge at any period.' Formerly all the disturbances and organic remains deep in the earth were regarded as conclusive proof of such an event; but geologists have long since abandoned every supposed proof below the surface; and now some of them begin to deny that even here is any evidence of diluvial agency. Amid such fluctuations of opinion, even among those best qualified to judge, it is no easy matter to present its exact condition at the present time. Yet in order to compare these opinions with the Mosaic account we must know what they are : and therefore we have made numerous extracts from the most modern and able geological
• Amer. Quarterly Review for 1830, p. 373, 374.
ind organic remains deep in the earth andoned every supposed proof below diluvial agency. Amid such fluctua. its exact condition at the present time. y are: and therefore we have made d History, No. 1. p. 55, Boston 1834.
1 other; and above all when we find a gre
in the most ancient of all records, a recent christian nations; we appear to possess every ence of the surface of our planet having sub od or other to the mastery of the water. irik, would present phenomena entirely 3
fluvialitism. ~ This fact," savs Dr.C. ider of value in geology, as it concurs vi ove, that at some period since the creating erful current of water rushing over our com -west toward the south-east ; a current
to carry away with it enormous quantities Iders, and deposite them many miles tru
It is highly probable that this was e rand cataclysm which overu helmed the he traditions and religious belief of every mony.”+ quotations of this sort but it is unnecess: en a full view of the progress, and espe rate of opinion among geologists respect tory and geology. We have seen, the ef that every important geological change creation ought to be imputed to the de the globe itself was torn to pieces an
learned men have gradually so modif ubject, and their ideas of diluvial agency , that the question now is whether then be of the Mosaic deluge ; nay, whether eneral deluge at any period. Former ive proof of such an event; but gealo me of them begin to deny that even ong those best qualified to judge, it is hese opinions with the Mosaic account e most modern and able geological
for 1830, p. 373, 374.
writers, and endeavored also to point out those instances in which we believe the witnesses to be incompetent to give an opinion, either from their want of thorough knowledge of the subject, or from violent prejudices. Even setting aside such authors, we expect that our readers will regard the existing state of opinion respecting diluvial action as not a little chaotic. We think, however, the opinions of able geologists of the present day respecting diluvial action may be reduced to three classes :
The first class deny that any universal or even general deluge has occurred on our globe, and suppose that the deluge of Noah was local like that of Deucalion, Ogyges, and others.
The second class admit a general deluge; but suppose it took place before the creation of man, and make the Mosaic deluge a local event.
The third class suppose that the traces of several extensive, if not universal deluges, are to be found on the globe, and that the last of these events may have been identical with that of Noah.
We are now prepared to bring these opinions into direct comparison with the Mosaic history. But this we must defer till another opportunity ; for we doubt not that our readers as well as ourselves will by this time be gratified with a hiatus.
RUINS OF ANCIENT NINEVEH.
By the Editor.
It is the concurrent testimony of ancient historians both sacred and secular, that the vast plains watered by the Tigris and the Euphrates were once the seat of populous cities and of fourishing empires. Mouldering ruins are found in every direction, attesting, in some instances by their magnificence, the riches and splendor of the mighty dead; and in others, by their shapeless appearance and almost utter decay, the truth of the Scripture predictions, and the vanity of human works. The voyager down the Tigris or the Euphrates, is struck, at nearly every turn, with the evidences of ancient civilization which jut out of the banks,
or line the adjacent plains. No well-read traveller, no christian student could pass, without emotion, over the ground which covers the relics of Babylon, Ctesiphon, Seleucia, Arbela, Nineveh. He will learn to read the pages of the Jewish prophets and of the Greek and Latin historians with a new love. With none of these ruins does a stronger interest linger than around those of Nineveh. It was one of the first founded cities in the world. Its reported greatness has almost the air of an eastern fable. It was the theatre of an extraordinary mission of one Hebrew prophet, while another foretold its desolation in words of brief but terrible import. The scenes which transpired at its overthrow have been copied into the verses of some of the most distinguished modern poets. Over or near its ruins marched the Macedonian army just on the eve of the third and last great battle with Darius. On the bridge, which connects those ruins with the modern city, Mosul, at a later day, a Greek emperor engaged in a fearful strife with the Persian Chosroes II.
In the following paper we propose to collect and embody some scattered notices in relation to this renowned city — its rise, greatness, overthrow, and existing ruins.
Our first inquiry has respect to the question: “Who was the founder of the city ?” In Gen. 10: 11 are the words : Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, etc. Probably, the true rendering is, however, the following: From that land, i. e. Shinar, went forth Nimrod, (who had just before been mentioned), into Assyria, and built Nineveh. Moses, in this passage, is enumerating the sons of Ham. It is not, therefore, probable that he would insert a notice of Asshur, who was a son of Shem, and who is subsequently named. Besides, it would be unusual to describe the actions of a person before his nativity is alluded to. The connection of the context is also in this way better preserved. In v. 10, it is said that the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. Then, enlarging his dominions, he went out into Assyria, built Nineveh, etc.* The name of the
Rosenmueller in his Bib. Geog. I. bk. 9. note 79, vindicates the above interpretation. But in bis Commentary on Genesis (Compend 1829), be decides in favor of the other reading, on the ground that if Moses bad intended to say that Niinrod went out into Assyria, he would have written 77702 with the 7 local. But the .; local is often understood.
his Commentary on Genesis (Compend
plains. No well-read traveller, no charta
without emotion, over the ground a luz Babylon, Ctesiphon, Seleucia, Arbela, da i to read the pages of the Jewish prophet | Latin historians with a new love. W De's a stronger interest linger than arus I was one of the first founded cities in the
greatness has almost the air of an easter Patre of an extraordinary mission of ce? bile another foretold its desolation ble import. The scenes which transpire reen copied into the verses of some of the dern poets.
Over or near its ruins marchny just on the eve of the third and a s. On the bridge, which connects towa rity, Mosul, at a later dav, a Greek eru strife with the Persian Chosroes II. per we propose to collect and embodi in relation to this renowned city - is v, and existing ruins. espect to the question: "Who was the In Gen. 10: 11 are the words : Out of hur, and builded Nineveh, etc. Pro is, however, the following: From tha: orth Nimrod, (who had just before been , and built Nineveh. Moses, in this le sons of Ham. It is not, therefore. insert a notice of Asslur, who was a is subsequently named. Besides, i be the actions of a person before his e connection of the context is also in
In v. 10, it is said that the begins was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Cal
Then, enlarying his dominions, he
city* is also a circumstance in favor of its having been founded by Nimrod. The whole of Assyria is called in Micah 5: 6 “the land of Nimrod.” The city is generally termed by the Greek and Roman writers Ninus.' The term Nineveh, however, was not wholly unknown.f Some writers attribute the founding of the city to Ninus, son of Belus, and husband of Semiramis. The history of Ninus is, however, very obscure, and perhaps fabulous. Ctesias is the principal historian from whom it is derived; but little reliance is to be placed upon him, when Aristotle deems him unworthy to be believed.
The next point for examination is the site of the city. Lucian says that in his day no vestiges of the ruins of the city remained. There is a singular confusion and self-contradiction on this subject, in the ancient historians. Herodotus speaks, in one place, of the Euphrates as flowing through the midst of the city; in another passage, of its being built on the Tigris ; in a third, of the Tigris as flowing by Nineveh.Ş Diodorus describes Nineveh as built on the Euphrates ; elsewhere, of its being near the city Arbela, the scene of Alexander's victory over Darius. || Ammianus Marcellinus places it on the Euphrates in the district of Comagena, near the cities Samosata and Hierapolis. But elsewhere he speaks of Nineveh as being a large city of Adiabene (a province of Assyria Proper.) 1 It is difficult to reconcile these warring statements. Bochart supposes that there were two cities of the same name ; one on the Euphrates in Comagena ; the other on the Tigris. This supposition, he thinks, is strengthened by Philostratus,** who makes Apollonius in going from Antioch to Mesopotamia to pass through “ancient Nineveh.” He conjectures that the Syrian Nineveh was called ancient, not because it was the oldest, but as a compliment, and to reconcile it to its comparative obscurity. Bochart's is, perhaps, the most plausible conjecture which can be made, unless we may suppose that one of the earliest historians was
* "Dwelling-place of Ninus.” 77; and 1777 signify dwelling.
† Ptolemy lib. 8, i per Nivos, ý xai Nivevi. Ammianus lib. 18, Postquam reges Nineve Adiabenes ingenti civitate travsınissa, etc.
1 η Νίνος μέν απόλωλεν ήδη, και ουδέν ίχνος έτι λοιπόν αυτής, ου δ' αν είπης όπου που ήν.
§ Lib. I. cap. 185, I. 193, II. 150.
mistaken in relation to the Syrian Nineveh, and that the others copied the mistake. The uncertainty of the testimony may be further seen from the fact that Ammianus and others place the Assyrian Nineveh below the Lycus, in opposition to the declarations of Herodotus, Strabo, Arrian, Ptolemy, Eustathius, etc. Again, those who agree in placing the Assyrian Nineveh on the Tigris near the present city Mosul are not united in respect to its location on the Tigris; some placing it on the eastern and others on the western bank. But it is possible that the city was built on both banks, as was the case with Babylon.
We are now prepared to consider the questions in respect to the magnitude of the city. There are three statements in the book of Jonah, 1: 2. 3: 3. 4: 11. In the first two passages it is styled “ a great city," and "an exceeding great city of three days’ journey."* Three days’ journey has reference to the circuit of the city, rather than to its length. So Abenezra, Jerome, Cyrill, and Theodoret interpret.f Strabo, who makes Babylon to have been 385 stadia in circuit, says that Nineveh was much larger.I Diodorus asserts that Ninus, the founder, determined to erect a city which should surpass not only all which had existed, but all which any one would afterwards be likely to build. He mentions that the circuit of Nineveh was 480 stadia ; which make somewhat more than sixty miles, and sixty miles were three days' journey ; twenty miles a day being the common computation for a foot-traveller. Diodorus describes the walls as one hundred feet high, and sufficiently broad to admit of three chariots being driven abreast. On the walls were 1500 towers, each 200 feet high. Cyrill in commenting on Nahum ii, remarks that the walls were regarded as impregnable. The royal palace is represented as having been 9 stadia high and 10 broad. Nahum 2: 8 says that " Nineveh was of old like a pool of water,” signifying, by this expression, the vast multitudes who flowed into her gates.' It is asserted in
* In the original: 07738 577-98, Deo magna civis. Sept. nóhıs ueyákn tô Osw. Thus Ps. 36:6, “the mountains of God,” are
exceeding high mountains ;” and Acts 7: 20, Moses is said to have been very fair,' ágreios tū 9.
| Jerome: civitas magna et tanti ambitus, ut vix trium dierum posset itinere circumiri. Η πολύ μείζων τού ήν τού Βαβυλώνος. Lib. 16.
Diodorus, Lib. II. p. 65.