« PrécédentContinuer »
the Persian kings to the tomb of his fathers. In the battle of Arbela the Persian empire fell. The reduction of the provinces occupied the few remaining years of Alexander's life; but their submission was certain from the moment when the forces of Asia were put to flight and their monarch was a captive.
Xerxes, having re-conquered Egypt and laid all his empire under contribution, led into Europe the largest army which the world has seen. He gained the pass of Thermopyla by treachery, but his fleet was shattered by storms and utterly defeated at Salamis. The war ended, the following year, in the overthrow of Mardonius at Platea, and the destruction of a Persian fleet and army at Mycale. The forty years' reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus began the decline of the empire. A fresh immigration of liberated Jews re-fortified Jerusalem, and the books of the Old Testament were for the first time collected and arranged. The feud with the Samaritans was perpetuated by their building a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. In the reign of Darius II many provinces revolted, and Egypt remained independent sixty years. Upon the death of Darius, his younger son Cyrus, with the aid of 10,000 Spartan mercenaries, made war upon his brother Artaxerxes Mnemon, but he was defeated and slain at Cunaxa. A general war followed, in which Sparta was humbled by the combined forces of Persia and the minor states of Greece, and the treaty of Antalcidas made the great king arbiter in Grecian affairs. Artaxerxes III, having murdered all his kindred, re-conquered Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt. He was destroyed, with all his children, by Bagoas, his minister, who conferred the sovereignty on Darius Codomannus. This last of the Achaemenida was defeated by Alexander the Great at Issus, and finally at Arbela; and all the dominions of Persia became parts of the Macedonian Empire.
QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW.
1. Who and what were the Persians?
2. What were their relations with the Medes?
3. What led to the revolution in the Medo-Persian dominion?
Book I, 39; Book II, 2.
17. Compare the religious systems of the Persians, Hindus, and Medes. 18. What causes of corruption in the Persian court?
19. Describe the wars of Darius I.
The causes and incidents of the Ionian revolt.
The Persian measures of revenge against the Athenians.
23. Describe the beginning of Xerxes' reign.
29. What occurred at Delphi? At Athens? At Salamis?.
30. Describe the retreat of Xerxes, and his subsequent career.
The affairs of the Jews under Artaxerxes.
35. Who were the next three kings?
36. What was the condition of the kingdom under Darius II? 37. Describe the enterprise of Cyrus the younger.
46. How long had the Persian Empire continued?
47. How many kings, commencing with Cyrus?
48. What was its greatest extent, described by boundaries? 49. What is meant by a satrapy?
GRECIAN STATES AND COLONIES FROM THEIR EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE ACCESSION OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT.
GEOGRAPHICAL OUTLINE OF GREECE.
1. Of the three peninsulas which extend southward into the Mediterranean, the most easterly was first settled, and became the seat of the highest civilization which the ancient world could boast. Its southern portion only was occupied by Greece, which extended from the 40th parallel southward to the 36th. Continental Greece never equaled in size the state of Ohio. Its greatest length, from Mount Olym'pus to Cape Tæn'arum, was 250 miles; and its greatest breadth, from Actium to Marathon, was but 180. Yet this little space was divided into twenty-four separate countries, each of which was politically independent of all the rest.
2. The most peculiar trait of the Grecian peninsula is the great extent of its coast as compared with its area. It is almost cut into three distinct portions by deep indentations of the sea, northern Greece being separated from the central portion by the Ambra'cian and Maʼlian, and central Greece from the Peloponnesus by the Corinth'ian and Saron'ic gulfs. A country thus surrounded and penetrated by water, of necessity became maritime. The islands of the Ægean afforded easy stepping-stones from Europe to Asia. Opposite, on the south, was one of the most fertile portions of Africa; and, on the west, the Italian peninsula was only thirty miles distant at the narrowest portion of the channel.
3. The northern boundary of Greece is the Cambu'nian range, which crosses the peninsula from east to west. About midway between the two seas, this range is intersected by that of Pin'dus, which runs from north to south, like the Apennines of Italy. This lofty chain sends off a branch toward the eastern coast, which, running parallel to the Cambunian at a distance of sixty miles, incloses the beautiful plain of Thes'saly. West of Mount Pindus is Epi'rus, a rough and mountainous country inhabited by various tribes, some Greek, some barbarian. Its ridges, running north and
south, were alternated with well-watered valleys. Through the most easterly of these flows the Achelo ́us, the largest river in Greece. Near its source were the sacred oaks of Dodo'na, in the rustling of whose leaves the voice of the supreme divinity was believed to be heard.
4. Central Greece was occupied by eleven states: At'tica, Meg'aris, Boo'tia, Malis, Ænia'nia, eastern and western Locris, Phocis, Doris, Ætolia, and Ac'arna'nia. Between Etolia and Doris, Mount Pindus divides into two branches. One of these runs south-easterly into Attica, and comprises the noted summits of Parnas'sus, Hel'icon, Citha'ron, and Hymét ́tus; the other turns to the southward, and reaches the sea near the entrance of the Corinthian Gulf.
Attica is a triangular peninsula, having two sides washed by the sea and its base united to the land. Protected by its mountain barriers of Citharon and Parʼnes, it suffered less from war in early times than other parts of the country; and the olive, its chief production, became for all ages a symbol of peace.
5. Southern Greece contained eleven countries: Corinth, Sicyo ́nia, Acha'ia, E'lis, Arca'dia, Messe'nia, Laco ́nia, Ar'golis, Epidauʼria, Trozenia, and Hermi'onis.
The territory of Corinth occupied the isthmus between the Corinthian and Saronic gulfs; and by its two ports, Lecha'um and Cen'chreae, carried on an extensive commerce both with the eastern and western seas. Thus admirably situated, Corinth, the chief city, was noted for its wealth even in the time of Homer.
Sicyonia was considered the oldest state in Greece, and Argolis next. The ruins of Tir'yns and Myce'næ, in the latter, existed long before the beginning of authentic history.
Elis was the Holy Land of the Helle'nes. Every foot of its territory was sacred to Zeus, and it was sacrilege to bear arms within its limits. Thus it was at peace when all Greece beside was at war; and though its wealth surpassed that of all the neighboring states, its capital remained unwalled.
Arcadia, the Switzerland of the Peloponnesus, was the only Grecian state without a sea-coast. Its wild, precipitous rocks were clothed in gloomy forests, and buried during a great part of the year in fogs and Its people were rustic and illiterate; they worshiped Pan, the god of shepherds and hunters, but if they returned empty-handed from the chase, they expressed their disgust by pricking or scourging his image.
Messenia occupied the south-western corner of Greece, and encircled a gulf to which it gave its name. Laconia embraced the other two promontories in which the Peloponnesus terminates, together with a larger tract to the northward. It consisted mainly of a long valley bounded by two high ranges, whence it was sometimes called Hollow La'cedæ'mon. Down