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tack his domains, adding, that her audacity should meet the punishment it deserved. “Tell your master," replied the queen, “ that in a little time I myself will: let him know who I am.” She immediately advanced to the river Inus, and attempted to pass it with her whole army. The passage was a long time disputed, but, after a bloody battle, she put her enemies to flight, and advanced into the heart of the country, where a second engagement ensued, in which her army was routed, and herself wounded; she, however, with the remains of her shattered army, re-passed the river, and returned to her own country. Semiramis and Alexander were the only persons that ever ventured to carry war beyond the Indus..

Ninyas, who succeeded his mother, being in no respect like his parents, devoted himself to his pleasures, leaving the care and conduct of his government to approved and experienced officers. Of him, it may be said, that he ascended the throne of his ancestors, lived in indolence, and died in their palace at Nineveh.

Sardanapulus, the last of the Assyrian monarchs, led a most effeminate and voluptuous course of life. His conduct excited the general indignation of the officers employed under him. Arbaces, governor of Media, enraged at beholding the monarch spinning among his women, withdrew his allegiance, and excited a rebellion against him. In this revolt he was encouraged by the advice and assistance of a Chaldean priest, who engaged the Babylonians to follow the example of the Medes. These powerful provinces, aided by the Per, sians, and other allies, who despised the effeminacy, or dreaded the tyranny of their Assyrian masters, attacked the empire on all sides. Their most vigorous efforts, were, in the beginning, unsuccessful. Firm and determined, however, in their opposition, they at length prevailed, defeated the Assyrian army, besieged Sardanapulus in his capital, which they demolished, and became masters of the empire about the year 711, B. C,

After the death of Sardanapulus the Assyrian em. pire was split into three kingdoms, viz. the Median, Asr, syrian, and Babylonian: the first king of the Medjan

empire was Arbaces, who reigned at Acbatana, the metropolis of Media. This kingdom lasted till the time of Assyages, who was subdued and divested of his kingdom by Cyrus. The metropolis of the second Assyrian kingdom was Nineveh ; of which the first monarch was Phul, who was succeeded by Tiglathpileser, Salmanassar, Sennacherib, and at last by Assarhadon, who took possession of the kingdom of Babylon. After the death of Assarhadon the Assyrian kingdom became subject to the Medes and Babylonians, who destroyed the city of Nineveh, in the year. 660, B. C. The most celebrated of the kings of Babylon was Nebuchadnezzar, who subdued all the east. Darius, the Mede, was the last king, who being conquered by Cyrus, king of Persia, the Babylonians, as well as the Medes, and with them the Assyrians, submitted to the Persians. Thus, in the reign of Cyrus, there arose a second monarchy, generally known by the name of the Persian monarchy.

During the first monarchy, Egypt flourished, and claims the admiration of posterity on various accounts.

Next to the Egyptians, the Phænicians were the most celebrated. Their skill in maritime affairs; their address and excellent policy in commercial concerns, have ever excited applause. Tyre was their chief city which was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, about the year 570, B. C. Pygmalion is well known as a Phænician monarch; whose sister, Dido, built Carthage.

The kingdom of the Lydians flourished under the first monarchy, chiefly during the reign of Cræsus, whose dominions was far extended over the regions of Asia, and who was considered the richest king of his time.

This age produced Homer, Hesiod, Æsop, and the seven wise men of Greece. To this period must be referred the Sibyls, women famous for their prophecies, but of whom we have no very certain or accurate accounts, though there is no doubt but that the Romans had books denominated Sibylline, which they consulted as divine oracles upon particular emergencies.

The office of consulting these sacred writings was first committed to two persons, called duumviri ; after. wards to ten called the decemviri, then to fifteen, and at last to forty. The punishment for improperly divulg. ing these answers was very severe, the criminal being sentenced to be put into a sack with a venomous serpent, and then thrown together into the sea.

During the first monarchy philosophy flourished in Egypt, and astronomy in Chaldea ; and the celebrated cities of Nineveh and Babylon are the most decided proofs that the Assyrians and Chaldeans were well skilled in works of architecture and mechanics

Of Nineveh we have already spoken ; Babylon was built by Semiramis, with a view of emulating, or even exceeding in glory that city. The circumference of both cities was the same. The wall which surrounded Babylon was three hundred and fifty feet high, double the breadth of that of Nineveh. It is supposed to have been situated on the river Euphrates, that divided it into two parts, which were united by means of a bridge made of cedar. Quays of beautiful marble adorned the banks of the river. On one bank stood the magnificent temple of Bel, and on the other the palace of the queen. These two edifices communicated by a pas. sage under the bed of the river. Near the citadel were the borti penfiles, or hanging gardens, made by one of the kings to please his lady, who was a Persian by birth, and who, desirous of seeing meadows.on mountains, as in her own country, prevailed on him to raise artificial gardens, which, with trees and meadows, might resemble those of Persia. Vaulted arches were for this purpose, raised from the ground, one above another, to an almost inconceivable height, and of a magnitude and strength sufficient to support the vast weight of the whole garden.

CONTEMPLATION.- What is there in man so worthy of honor and reverence as this that he is capable of contemplating something higher than his own reason; more sublime than the whole universe; that spirit which alone is self-subsistent;—from which all truth proceeds without which is no truth.




The orbit of the Earth is situated between the orbits of Venus and Mars; at the mean distance of 26,183,000 miles from the former planet, and 49,769,000 from the latter; and 95,000,000 from the Sun.

The diameter of the Earth is 7,928 miles; the circumference is 24,907. It contains upwards of 197,000,000 square miles upon its surface, and 270,000,000 cubic miles.

The Earth goes round the Sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 59 minutes, from any equinox, or solstice, to the same again : but from any fixed star, to the same again, in 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, 12 seconds; the former being the length of the tropical year, and the latter the length of the sidereal.

The Earth completes one absolute revolution on its axis in 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds. Any given meridian revolves from a fixed star to the same star again in the same time; but from the Sun to the Sun again in 24 hours; so that the stars gain upon the Sun 3 minutes and 56 seconds every day; and, therefore, in 365 days, as measured by the returns of the Sun to the meridian, there are 366 days, as measured by the stars returning to it. The former are called solar days, and the latter sidereal.

The diameter of the Earth's orbit is but a point, in proportion to the distance of the stars ; for which reason, and the Earth's uniform motion on its axis, any given meridian will revolve from any star to the same star again in every absolute turn of the Earth's axis without the least perceptible difference of time shown by a clock which goes correctly. The difference between a solar and a sidereal day is 3 minutes and 56 seconds. This amounts, in a year, to one day; so that there must be one sidereal day more in a year than the number of solar days, be the number what it may, on the Earth, or on any other planet; one turn being lost, with respect to the number of solar days in the year, by the planet's going round the Sun; just as it would be lost to a traveller, who, in going round the Earth, would lose one day, by following the apparent diurnal motion of the Sun; and consequently would reckon one day less at his return, (let him take what time he might to go round the Earth,) than those who remained all the while at the place from which he set out. If the Earth had no annual motion, any given meridian would revolve from the Sun to the Sun again in the same quantity of time, as from any star to the same star again; because the sun would never change his place with respect to the fixed stars. But as the Earth advances almost a degree eastward in its orbit, in the time that it turns eastward round its axis, whatever star passes over the meridian on any day with the Sun, will pass over the same meridian on the next day, when the sun is almost a degree short of it; that is, 3 minutes and 56 seconds sooner. - The earth, by turning round its axis every 24 hours from west to east, causes an apparent diurnal motion of all the heavenly bodies from east to west. By this rapid motion of the earth on its axis, the inhabitants about the equator are carried 1000 miles every hour; the inhabitants at Madrid, 702; of London, 644; of Edinburgh, 578; of Lerwick, in Shetland, 508; of Archangel, 420.

Should any youthful reader wish to know how these calculations are made, the easiest method is to multiply the natural sine of the complement of the latitude of any given place by 360, the number of degrees contained in the equator; and divide the product by 10,000; the result is, the number of equatorial degrees contained in that parallel of latitude: these degrees must be multiplied by 69, the number of geographical miles in a degree of the Equator, and divided by 24, the number of hours in one solar revolution of the Earth on its axis.

By the same easy rule, the number of equatorial degrees contained in any parallel of latitude may be readily found.


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