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lay above Manasseh, reaching to the Southern extremity of the sea of Tiberias), Nephtali, and Zabulon. The whole Western coast of the Sea of. Tiberias, and as far as Dan, considerably North of it, was occupied by the tribe of Nephtali, and between Nephtali, Issachar, and Asser lay the tribe of Zabulon. The whole Eastern side of Jordan to the Southern extremity of the Sea of Tiberias, was occupied by the other half tribe of Manasseh; below it was Gad, reaching about half way between the two lakes; and below it Reuben, reaching to the plains of Moab at the North Eastern corner of the Lacus Asphaltites. These two tribes and half were the first settled, though their warriors crossed over Jordan to assist their brethren in subduing the Canaanites on the Western side.
A MORE succinct description may suffice in a work like this for the remainder of Asia.
Arabia is divided into Arabia Petræa, Arabia Felix, and Arabia Deserta Arabia Petræa extends from the South of Holy Land along the two gulphs which form the extremity of the Sinus Arabicus, being bordered by Egypt on the West, and Arabia Deserta on the East. That part of it which borders on Judæa was called Idumæa, or Edom, and was possessed by the posterity of Esau. The Arabians in general recognize for their ancestors Jectan, or Kahtan, the son of Eber, and Ismael, the son of Abraham by his concubine Hagar. In Arabia Petræa were Mount Sinai and Horeb, between the two gulphs, but nearer the Eastern gulph, which branches from the extremity of the Red Sea, and which was called Ælanites, from the city of Ælana, or Ailath, at its Northern point. The other gulph was called the Sinus Heroopolites or the Gulpk of Suez, from thecity of that name built on it. The Nabathæi were a nation of Arabia Petræa, deriving their name from Nebaioth, the son of Ismael. Here was Madian, the country of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. Towards Diræ, or the Straights of Babel Mandeb, were the Sabæi, in Arabia Felix, or Yemen, East of which is the thurifera regio. The best
frankincense being white, in Arabic Liban, Libanos also became a Greek name for it, corrupted among the modern merchants into Olibanum. A little island, South of this region, called Dioscoridis Insula, is now Socotora, whence the best aloes are brought. Off the coast of Arabia Deserta, in the Sinus Persicus, was the little island of Tylos, or Bahram, celebrated for its pearl fishery.
At the top of the Persian Gulph, on each side of the Euphrates, is Babylonia; the part nearest the gulph is Chaldæa, which is sometimes taken for the name of the whole country. It is properly called Irak, a name which has extended to the adjacent country of Mesopotamia and part of Media, now Irak Arabi. The principal city of Babylonia was Babylon, the most antient in the world, built by Belus, who is thought to have been the same with Nimrod. It is near a place now called Hellah, on the East bank of the Euphrates, about 47 miles South of Bagdat. It was surrounded with a prodigious strong wall, said to have been 480 stadia in circumference (an exaggeration probably for the surrounding region, as this would give an enclosure of 60 miles), 50 cubits thick, and 200 cubits high. It was built by the celebrated Queen Semiramis, of bricks baked in the sun, and cemented with bitumen, abounding in the country. It was the residence afterwards of Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed Jerusalem, June 9, B. C. 587, and transplanted the Jews to this country, and was taken by Cyrus, B. C. 538, according to the prediction of the Jewish prophets, after he had diverted the waters of the Euphrates into a new channel, and marched his troops by night into the town through the antient bed
of the river. The city is said to have been so large that the inhabitants at the opposite extremity did not know of its fate till the next evening. However, when we consider that the Eastern cities contained enclosures for the pasture and protection of cattle during a siege, there is not reason to think that the inhabited part of Babylon was larger than London. A full account of the siege is to be seen in Herodotus. Babylon also is memorable for the death of Alexander the Great, April 21, B. C. 323. It is now in ruins; but the vestiges of the temple of Belus remain. After the death of Alexander, Seleucus Nicato founded a city called Seleucia a little above it, on the Tigris, which he designed for the capital of the East, and the kings of Parthia founded one on the other side called Ctesiphon, which they made their ordinary residence: they are now called Al Modain, or the two cities, A little below Ctesiphon is the river Gyndes, which was an impediment to Cyrus in his march to Babylon, who lost his favourite horse there: in revenge he divided it into 360 channels, so that it might be forded only knee deep. The lower part of the Tigris, after its juncture with the Euphrates, was called Pasitigris, now Shatul
Arab, or the river of the Arabs. The Chaldæans or Babylonians, as is well known, were greatly addicted to astrology. *
* Tu ne quæsieris, scire nefas, quem mihi quem tibi
Finem Dii dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
Hor. Od. I. 11, 1.
- Juv. Sat. X. 93
Above Babylon is Mesopotamia, lying, as its name imports, between the two rivers, the Euphrates, which divides it from Syria, on the West, and the Tigris, which separates it from Assyria, on the East. Towards the Southern boundary of Babylonia, the rivers approach each other so as to make it considerably narrower than on the confines of Armenia, its northern frontier. The lower part of Mesopotamia is now Irak Arabi, the upper Diar Bekr. The North Western part of Mesopotamia was called Osroene, from Osroes, a prince who wrested from the Seleucidæ a principality here, about B. C. 120. Its capital was called by the Macedonians Edessa, now Orha, or Orfa. South West of Edessa, at the pass of Zeugma, was a city called Apamea, and South East of it Carrhæ, a very antient city, the Charran of scripture, from which Abraham departed for the land of Canaan, and the fatal spot at which Crassus *, the Roman triumvir, lost his life, in his expedition against the Parthians, who cut off his head, and poured melted gold down his throat, B. C. 53, A. U. C. 701. The inhabitants were greatly addicted 'to Sabaism, or the worship of the host of heaven, particularly the moon, under the masculine denomination of the Deus Lunus. The antient name of Charran is still retained in Haran. Descending the Euphrates, nearly opposite to Thapsacus in Syria, we find Circesium, on the river Chaboras : the emperor Dioclesian fortified this city, and made it a frontier of the empire; it is now called Kirkesieh. In Xenophon's account of the expe
- Miserando funere Crassus , Assyrias Latio maculavit sanguine Carras.
Lucan I. 104.