Page images

himself. 4th. By Jabin, king of Canaan, from whom the Israelites were delivered, under the leadership of Deborah and Barak. 5th. The Midianites and Amalekites, whose oppression was terminated by the several decisive victories of Gideon. 6th. The Ammonites, who were at length overthrown by Jephthah. 7th. The Philistines, against whom Samson signalized himself, though it remained for Saul and David effectually to subvert their dominion. 8th. Great encroachments on the territory of the Israelites were made in the time of their kings till the ten tribes were carried away captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, 721 B.C. 9th. The remaining two tribes shared the fate of their brethren when, under their last king Zedekiah, they were carried captive to Babylon. 10th. On the return of the two tribes from captivity they remained tributary to the Persians, secured the protection of Alexander the Great, in 332 B.C., but were subjected to the Egyptians, under Ptolemy, 320. 11th. Antiochus, king of Syria, persuaded the Jews to transfer their allegiance from the Egyptians to him, 294 B.C. 12th. On account of the tyranny and cruelty of the Syrians, the Jews made a successful effort to regain their independence, which they finally lost, by the reduction of their country to the condition of a Roman province, 63 B.C.

2. "Describe the extent of Alexander's dominions, at his death, and name his successors."

At the time of his death the countries which acknowledged the sovereignty of Alexander, exclusive of those which were tributary to him in various degrees, were Macedon, all the Grecian States, the whole of Asia Minor, Egypt, Arabia, Phoenicia, and Persia: the Ganges was at one time the eastern, and the Adriatic the western, boundary of his empire.


After many intrigues and dissensions among his officers, his empire was dismembered into four great monarchies, of which Ptolemy obtained Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Cole Syria, and Palestine; Cassander had Macedon and Greece; Lysimachus had Thrace, Bithynia, and other provinces, near the Bosphorus and the Hellespont; and Seleucus the remainder, except some remote provinces, which had again asserted their independence, as the doubtful conquests on the Indus and Ganges.

3. "Name the greatest poets, philosophers, and historians of Greece.'

[ocr errors]

1. Poets-Linus, Orpheus (both doubtful as to the authenticity of remains imputed to them), Homer, Hesiod, Terpander, Sappho, Alcæus, Simonides, Pindar, Anacreon, Eschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Menander, &c.

2. Philosophers-Thales, Anaxagoras, Pythagoras, Zenophanes, Zeno, Parmenides, Democritus, Anaxarchus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes, Epicurus, &c.

3. Historians-Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Strabo, Plutarch, Arrian, &c.


1. "Under what Roman emperors were the Christians most cruelly persecuted? "

Under Nero, Domitian, Maximin, Decius, and Diocletian; and to a less extent under Trajan, Adrian, Antonius Pius, Severus, Gallus, and Valerian.

2. "What were the successive forms of government in Rome?"

The first form of government among the Romans

was that of kings, of whom, according to the doubtful records that remain of that remote period, there were seven, in two hundred and forty-four years. The regal government began with Romulus, 752 B.C. His successors were, Numa Pompilius, 715 B.C.; Tallus Hostilus, 672; Ancus Martius, 640; Tarquinius Priscus, 616; Servius Tullius, 578; Tarquinius Superbus, 534 to 509. The tyranny and vices of Tarquin the Proud. procured his expulsion, and the abolition of kingly government.

The next form of government was monarchical in all but the name of the chief magistrates and the limited duration of their power. This was that of the consuls, of whom there were two contemporaneously, and their jurisdiction lasted for a year. The supreme government was vested in an annual succession of consuls, from 509 to 451 B.C. The consulate was displaced by the Decemvirate, or government of ten, which lasted only three years, when the consuls and the tribunes, or representatives of the people, were restored to their functions, and the popular element became the leading feature in the constitution. Many partial revolutions interrupted the period of the consulate, till its extinction by Julius Cæsar, 45 B.C. That successful general caused himself to be created consul for ten years, then perpetual dictator and imperator. But if the republic and popular liberties were extinguished, the name of a king was so odious to a large section of the Roman citizens, that on Cæsar's attempting the formal assumption of that title he was assassinated (44), and the Triumvirate established, 43 B.C. In 59, Pompy, Crassus, and Cæsar had divided among them the supreme power, which afterwards devolved on Cæsar alone. The reign of Cæsar may therefore be said to have intervened between the first Triumvirate and the second, which was established on the death of Cæsar,

by Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius. The deposition of Lepidus, and the death of Antony, left Octavius the sole master of the Roman empire (B.C. 27). He assumed the name of Augustus, and the style of emperor; and thenceforth almost every trace of the old republican institutions was extinguished. Soon the vigorous government of the emperors degenerated into a crushing military despotism, for the legions, at first the support of arbitrary power, became the masters of the emperors.

3. "Name the principal provinces of the Roman empire at its greatest extent, and the countries of modern times which are included in each."

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

13. Asia Minor, &c......Turkey in Asia.

14. Syria and Judæa ...Syria and Palestine. 15. Africa Propria, Mau- Morocco, Algiers & Tunis, ritania, & Numidia S or the States of Barbary. ...Egypt.

16. Egyptus

The foregoing is a list of the principal Roman provinces before their partition into the Eastern and Western Empires.


1. "When did the division between the Eastern and Western Empire take place; and what was the line of separation between them?"

Constantine the Great first divided the sovereignty of the Roman empire, A.D. 337; but his grandson, Julian, reunited the separate governments in 362. Valentinian began his reign (364) by associating with himself in the government of the empire his brother Valens, to whom he gave the government of the East. In 392 the empires were again amalgamated under Theodosius the Great, who bequeathed to his sons, Arcadius and Honorius, the separate sovereignties of the East and the West, in 395, after which they were never again united.

The extent of these empires fluctuated from time to time; but the original provinces of each were 1st. For the Western-Italy, Illyria, Africa, Spain, Britain, and Gaul. 2nd. For the Eastern-Thrace, Macedonia, Dacia, Asia Minor, Pontus, Armenia, Assyria, Media, and Egypt.

2. "Which of the northern nations possessed themselves of the greater portions of Britain and Gaul on the decline of the Western Empire?"

Britain became the prize of the Saxons and Angles, two Germanic tribes, who formed the Saxon Heptarchy in the fifth and sixth centuries.

The Visigoths compelled Honorius to cede them the southern province of Gaul, but were expelled by the Franks, a confederacy of German tribes, who inhabited the country lying along the lower Rhine and the Weser. Clovis, king of the Franks, after many collisions with the Visigoths and Burgundians, in his frontiers, finally consolidated his kingdom, and made Paris his capital, A.D. 510.

« PreviousContinue »