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of the Euxine fea, which both natural indications and antient records point out. Before that fea was diminished by the breaking down of its fouthern mounds on the Bofphorus of Thrace, they lived much higher up on the Borifthenes; but when more fouthern lands were uncovered, and the north grew colder by the dereliction of the fea, they came down the river, and became nearer neighbours to the Greeks and more polifhed nations of Afia. These fnows and eight months of winter, which Herodotus describes. in his time in their then country, which is the most southern part of Ruffian Ukraine and Tartary, and which are fuppofed to have been inhabited only 1000 years before the hiftorian, and to be ftill very thinly peopled, by no means fupport the fyftem of Mr. Bailly. To the eat, except their fhort and late irruption into Media, they kept on the defenfive against the Perfians, in which they were favoured not by their numbers, but by the barrenness and difficulties of the country they inhabited.

(k) Page 240.

It was in 1218 that Jenghiz-Khan advanced against the fultan of Karafm. He was the conductor of the first great irruption of the northern nations into fouthern Afia. This conqueror, having caufed himself to be acknowledged grand Khan of the Mongol Tartars, had already fubdued all eastern Tartary inhabited by the Mantchoux, and had reunited to his dominions all western and northern Tartary now fubject to Ruffia. In the time of this irruption Indoftan was governed by feveral fovereigns, the most powerful of whom was the king of the Patans, the most northern nation of that country. The fultan of Karafm, of the family of the Seljukians, poffeffed part of Turkeftan, all Tranfoxiana, and the best part of antient Parthia, called Iran and Irac Agemi, as alfo northern Perfia, called Fars. The king of the greater Armenia paid tribute to him. Georgia had its independent princes. The calif Naffer reigned at Bagdat over Chaldea or Irac Araby, over part of Mefopotamia and the three Arabias. The Atabequite princes of Moufel, defcendants of the great Nourradin, reigned over part of Syria and the remainder of Mefopotamia; the fucceffors of Saladin held the rest of Syria and

and Egypt. It was then Almalkamel, nephew of Saladin. The fultans of Iconia of the third branch of the Seljukians were masters of Biladerfoum or Anatolia. The French had at that time feized Conftantinople and the remains of the western empire. The diffenfions of all these fovereigns favoured the conquefts of this invader in Afia. In 1213 he invaded the feven provinces of northern China, then called Kitay, the emperor of which, called by the Mongols Alou Khan, loft both his throne and life on this occafion. The generals of Jenghiz-Khan soon after added Kurje or Correa to his conquests; and he was preparing to add the country of Mangi or Matchin (fouthern China), then ruled by a diftinct monarch, to his dominions, when death arrested him in the midst of his triumphs. His fon Kublai-Khan pursued the enterprise, and was the first fovereign of all China. One hundred years after him Timur-Khan or Tamerlan, who pretended to be iffued from him, pushed his conquefts ftill further, and made himself master of Indoftan.

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ON THE

STRUCTURE

OF THIS GLOBE,

LETTER III.

Examination of Teftimonies adduced from antient Aftronomy, to prove the Antiquity of the World; and particularly of Mr. Bailly's fecond Syftem, founded on an Indian Era pretended to be fixed on real Aftronomical Obfervations.

WE have feen, Sir, the fubterfuges by which some frag

ments of antient authors have been wrested, in order to prove an indefinite antiquity to the population of the earth; and I flatter myself to have fufficiently demonftrated the futility and inadmissibility of these forced explications. Inwardly fenfible of the weaknefs of such means, which folely confist in perverting the most evident sense of these traditions, and ashamed of laying much stress on the ridiculous pretenfions of those nations who, to prolong their existence,

existence, have had recourfe to imaginary beings, the favourers of the high antiquity of the world imagined they had at last found triumphant proofs of it in the pretended series of eclipfes obferved in China. But fuch astronomers as have attempted to verify them have uniformly agreed, that it was impoffible to lay any folid foundation on obfervations of fuch early periods. They generally bear no other date but that of a reign: are never so precife as to mark the season of the year, or the place of obfervation ;-circumftances, however, abfolutely neceffary to fix the reality of fuch obfervations in a country fo extenfive as China. From the most learned researches they have concluded, that the real obfervations of the Chinese do not carry us so high as those which the Chaldeans are faid, on more authentic testimonies, to have made (a). Besides, evident absurdities intermixed with these pretended obfervations, such as that of the fun being stationary during ten days, fufficiently fhew what little regard is to be had to them. The as yet very narrow science of that nation, which, though it has carefully preferved the degree of knowledge it had once acquired, has been ever very little folicitous of acquiring further perfection, is ill calculated to infpire us with much confidence on these points (b). It is certain that, whether this nation was originally lefs learned in aftronomy, or whether it has lost more of its former knowledge in its frequent revolutions, its principles in this science are less exact, notwithstanding its college of mathematicians, than those of its neighbours the Tartars, and still less fo than those of Indoftan.

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