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these caravans, were still wealthy cities in the second century of our era, when the voyage by the Arabian Sea became for the first time easier and cheaper than the journeys across the desert.

(72) Euergetes had been a pupil of Aristobulus, a learned Jew, a writer of the Peripatetic sect of philosophers, 2 Maccaone who had made his learning respected by the bees, i. 10. pagans from his success in cultivating their philo- Clem. Alex. sophy; and also of Aristarchus, the grammarian, Strom. i. the editor of Homer; and though the king had Athenæus, given himself up to the lowest pleasures, yet he lib. ii. 84. held with his crown that love of letters and of learning which had ennobled his forefathers. He was himself an author, and like Ptolemy Soter wrote his Memorabilia, or an account of what he had seen most remarkable in his lifetime. We may suppose that his writings were not of a very Lib. xiii. 5. high order; they were quoted by Athenæus, who Lib. xiii. 5. wrote in the reign of Marcus Aurelius; but we learn little else from them than the names of the mistresses of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and that a flock of pheasants Lib. xiv. 20. was kept in the palace of Alexandria. He also wrote a commentary.on Homer, of which we know nothing. When busy upon literature he would allow his companions to argue with him till midnight on a point of history or a verse of poetry; but not one De adulaof them ever uttered a word against his tyranny, or argued in favour of a less cruel treatment of his enemies.

Lib. ii. 58.




(73) In this reign the schools of Alexandria, though not holding the rank which they had gained under Philadelphus, were still highly thought of. The king still gave public salaries to the professors; and Panaretus, who had been a pupil of the philosopher Arcesilaus, received the very large sum of twelve talents, or two thousand pounds a year. Sositheus, and his rival, the younger Homer, the tragic poets of this reign, have even been called two of the Pleiades of Alexandria; but that was a title given to many authors of very different times, and to some of very little merit. Such indeed was the want of merit among the poets of Alexandria, that many of their names would have been unknown to posterity had they not been saved in the pages of the critics and grammarians.

lib. iv. 29.

(74) But, unfortunately, the larger number of the men of letters had in the late wars taken part with PhiloAthenæus, metor against the cruel and luxurious Euergetes. Hence when the streets of Alexandria were flowing with the blood of those whom he called his enemies, crowds of learned men left Egypt, and were driven to earn a livelihood by teaching in the cities to which they then fled. They were all Greeks, and few of them had been born in Alexandria. They had been brought there by the wealth of the country and the favour of the sovereign; and they now withdrew when these advantages were taken away from them. The isles and coasts of the Mediterranean were so filled with grammarians, philosophers, geometers, musicians, schoolmasters, painters, and physicians, from Alexandria, that the cruelty of Euergetes II., like the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, may be said to have spread learning by the ill-treatment of its professors.

(75) The city which was then rising highest in arts and letters was Pergamus in Asia Minor, which under Eumenes and Attalus was almost taking the place which Alexandria had before held. Its library already held two hundred thousand volumes, and raised a jealousy in the mind of Euergetes. Not content with buying books and

Pliny adding to the size of his own library, he wished to .lib. xiii. 21. lessen the libraries of his rivals; and, nettled at the number of volumes which Eumenes had got together at Pergamus, he made a law, forbidding the export of the Egyptian papyrus on which they were written. On this the copiers employed by Eumenes wrote their books upon sheepskins, which were called charta pergamena, or parchment, from the name of the city in which they were written. Thus our own two words, parchment, from Pergamus, and paper, from papyrus, remain as monuments of the rivalry in bookcollecting between the two kings.

(76) But even money and the commands of kings could not procure faultless copies of the books wanted; Galen, in Galen, who lived in Pergamus under the Antonines, Hippocrat. il. De nat. complains woefully of the treatment which authors had received from these hasty copiers; and such were the prices given for books that the copiers often ventured to put forth false writings to supply the demand




xiii. 12.

of the purchasers. Alexandria in this and the following centuries, was the birthplace of many literary forgeries, which have puzzled the learned in modern days. Posidonius, a Stoic philosopher who wrote a history of the wars of this and the last reign in continuation of Polybius, was believed to be the author of a volume of speeches in accusation of Demosthenes, written in the names of the Athenian orators. Aristobulus, the king's tutor, in his Commentary on the Laws of Moses, was aPræp. Evang. bold forger of lines which he brings forward as from the Greek poets, in order to persuade the Greeks that their early writers borrowed much from the Hebrew Scriptures. Such are the lines declaring the seventh day to be holy, which he says are from Homer and Hesiod. The Apostle Paul would seem to have been misled by one of his forgeries when he quotes the words of Aratus, "For we are also His offspring." In Aratus those words refer to Jupiter; it is Aristobulus who first makes them point to God. At this time, perhaps, were written those prophetic words which now form part of Lycophron's poem, which proclaim the greatness of Rome, and that "the children of Æneas would hold the sceptre of sea and land."


xvii. 28.

lib. xii. 12.

(77) Euergetes was so bloated with disease that his body was nearly six feet round, and he was made weak and slothful by this weight of flesh. He walked Athenæus, with a crutch, and wore a loose robe like a woman's, which reached to his feet and hands. He gave himself up very much to eating and drinking, and on the year that he was chosen priest of Apollo by the Cyrenæans, he showed his pleasure at the honour by a memorable feast which he gave in a costly manner to all those who had before filled that office. He had reigned six years with his brother, then eighteen years in Cyrene, and lastly twenty- Porphyrius, ap. Scalig. nine years after the death of his brother, and he died in the fifty-fourth year of his reign, and perhaps the sixty-ninth of his age. He left a widow, Cleopatra Cocce; two sons, Ptolemy and Ptolemy Alexander; and three daughters, Cleopatra, married to her elder brother, Tryphæna, married to Antiochus Grypus, and Selene, unmarried; and also a natural son, Ptolemv Apion, to whom by will he left

the kingdom of Cyrene; while he left the kingdom of Egypt to his widow and one of his sons, giving her the lib. xxxix. power of choosing which should be her colleague.


3. The first Euergetes earned and deserved the name, which was sadly disgraced by the second; but such was the fame of Egypt's greatness, that the titles of its kings were copied in nearly every Greek kingdom. We meet with the flattering names of Soter, Philadelphus, Euergetes, and the rest, on the coins of Syria, Parthia, Cappadocia, Luke, ch. Paphlagonia, Pontus, Bactria, and Bithynia; while xxii. 25. that of Euergetes, the benefactor, was at last used as

another name for a tyrant.

(78) It was during the reigns of Philometor and Euergetes II. that the earliest of the Hebrew Inscriptions at the foot of Mount Serbal, to which we can give a date, were written. The Jews living in Lower Egypt had naturally for several centuries been in the habit of making a pious pilgrimage to the Holy Mount, the Mount of God, which their history had pointed out as the spot where the Law was delivered to Moses. When they arrived there they usually cut a votive. inscription on the rock. This custom had certainly begun before Genesis x. 30 was written, as then the mountain had already gained the name of "Sephar, [or written,] the mountain which was of old." The writer of the Book of Job had probably visited the Holy Mountain about the time of the Jews' return from Captivity in Babylon. He points to these Inscriptions, and gives to the mountain the same name in Chap. xix. 23, saying:

Oh that my words were now written!

Oh that they were imprinted on [Mount] Sephar!
That with an iron pen and a leaden hammer,
They were chiselled into the rock for ever!

In Numbers xxxiii. 23, the name of the mountain is written Shephar; and the geographical minuteness of that chapter quite fixes on Serbal the honour of being the mountain spoken of. It is in Wady Mokatteb, or the sculptured valley, on the Egyptian side of Mount Serbal, that the most legible of the inscriptions are found.

These are short sentences, called votive Peace offerings and Memorial offerings, usually containing a prayer to Jehovah for unhappy Jerusalem. To most of them we

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can fix no date. But some few pray for relief from an enemy whom it was not safe to name openly; written perhaps while Antiochus Epiphanes was master of Egypt as well as of Judea. It was probably after his death, when in Egypt at least, a Jew might speak boldly, that one pilgrim adds the prayer "Slaughter, O Jehovah, Syria." Then we have a burst of inscriptions by men thankful that the city has broken free from a wicked people; and for a time they have a more hopeful tone. (See Fig. 260.) These latter writings

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Fig. 260.

clearly belong to the time of the Maccabee revolt. The pilgrims had each travelled two hundred miles from the neighbourhood of Onion, or three hundred miles from Alexandria, and the same distance back again. Some came with camels, and some with horses. We must suppose them to have been men of substance, tradesmen and merchants, feeling warmly for the country of their fathers; and though the inscriptions profess to give no historic information, yet we learn from them that there had been for several centuries a colony of prosperous Jews in Lower Egypt, that they had always considered Serbal as the Holy Mountain spoken of in the Book of Exodus; and we further learn the forms of the Hebrew letters which they used.


Page 171, line 23.

When a writer at this early period of the world's history shows much knowledge of a foreign country, we may be sure that he had visited it. Books of travels had not yet been written. Hence to the Greek travellers mentioned above, we

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