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The History and Religion
EGYPTIANS, ASSYRIANS, BABYLONIANS, MEDES,
PERSIANS, GREEKS, AND ROMANS;
COLLECTED FROM ANDIENT AUTHðRS AND HOLY SCRIPTURE, AND
PERSIAN, AND ASSYRIAN INSCRIPTIONS:
FORMING A COMPLETE
CONNEXION OF SACRED AND PROFANE HISTORY,
THE FULFILMENT OF SACRED PROPHECY.
BY GEORGE SMITH, F. A. S.,
ARCHÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY, ETC.
In presenting the third and concluding part of the “Sacred Annals” to the public, the author feels called upon to apologize for the delay which has taken place in its publication. In the Preface to “The Hebrew People,” he announced that, so long since as 1849, he had made considerable preparation for the composition of this portion ; but, notwithstanding this preparation, and his most diligent exertions, it has not been found possible to complete it at an earlier period. This has been in part the result of unexpected demands which have been made on the author's time; but the principal cause has been his anxious wish to avail himself to the utmost of the recent important discoveries in the East, and to incorporate their result, as far as practicable, in his account of the annals and faith of the earlier of the four great empires.
This has been done; and the history and religion of these ancient Gentile nations are now placed before the reader, with the full advantage of the additions, corrections, and corroborations, which have been obtained by the disinterment of Assyrian and Babylonish sculptures, and the translations of the inscriptions which have been found in those countries, and in Persia.
In this part of the work, as well as in the preceding, it has been the author's unvarying aim to exhibit an intelligible view of the history and religion of these ancient monarchies. From the size of the book, the historical part can hardly be expected to extend beyond a mere sketch of each of the great empires. Yet, even in this limited compass, scarcely a single difficulty or an important event has escaped notice and elucidation. Especial attention has been given to chronology; and this, which has been aptly termed “the soul of history," has, in respect of the early portion of the annals of every nation, been very carefully investigated, and, it is hoped, accurately ascertained.
B the ruling element of this volume, and, in fact, of the whole work, is its religious character. The maintenance of this throughout the series of researches comprised in the “Gentile Nations," has been a labour attended with very great difficulty. To pass beyond the ritualism and ceremonial externalism everywhere preva