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Supplement to Chap. III. concerning the population
of antient nations.
Referred to in page 39.
AS popular arithmetic is become a subject of considerable importance, the reader will not be displeased to see the following collections in this place, relative to the population of some antient states.
The free citizens of Sybaris, able to bear arms, and actually drawn out in battle, were 300,000. They encountered at Siagara with 100,000 of Crotona, a neighbouring Greek city, and were defeated. Diod. Sicul. lib. xii. Strabo confirms this account. Jib. vi.
The citizens of Agrigentum, when it was destroyed by the Carthaginians, amounted, according to Diodorus Siculus. (lib. xiii.) to 20,000, besides 200,000 strangers ; but neither the slaves, nor women and children, are included in this account. On the whole, this city must have contained nearly 2,000,000 of inhabitants.
Polybius says, (lib. ii.) that when the Romans were threatened with an invasion from the Gauls between the first and second Punic war, on a muster of their own forces, and those of their allies, they were found to amount to 700,000 men able to bear arms. The country that supplied this number was not one third of Italy, viz. the Pope's dominions, Tuscany, and a part of the kingdom of Naples. But Diodorus Siculus (lib. ii.) makes the same enumeration amount to nearly 1,000,000.
Julius Cæsar, according to Appian (Celtica) encountered 4,000,000 of Gauls, killed one million, and took another million prisoners.
Athenæus says, (lib. vi. cap. 20.) that by the enumeration of Demetrius Phalereus, there were in Athens 21,000 citizens, 13,000 strangers, and 400,000 slaves.
The same author says, that Corinth had once 460,000 slaves; and Ægina 470,000.
The Spartans, says Plutarch (in vit. Lycurg.) were 9,000 in the town, 30,000 in the country : the male slaves must have been 78,000, the whole more than 3,120,000.
In the time of Diodorus Siculus there lived in Alexandria 300,000 free people; and this number does not seem to comprehend either the slaves (who must have been double the number of grown persons) or the women and children. lib. xvii.
Appian says, ( Celt. pars 1.) that there were 400 nations in Gaul; and Diodorus Siculus says, (lib. v.) that the largest of these nations consisted of 200,000 men, besides women and children, and the least of 50,000. Calculating therefore at a medium, we must admit of nearly 200,000,000 of people in that country; the population of which does not now amount to thirty millions. The latter historian tells us, that the army of Ninus was composed of 1,700,000 foot, and 200,000 horse. (lib. ii.) There were exact bills of mortality kept at Rome ;' but no antient author has given us the number of burials, except Suetonius, who tells us that in one season 30,000 names were carried to the temple of Libitina, (the goddess of death): but it appears that a plague raged at that time. Suet, in vit. Neronis.
Diodorus Siculus (lib. ii.) says, that Dionysius the elder had a standing army of 100,000 foot, and 10,000 horse, and a fleet of 400 gallies.
If the preceding statements be correct, what desolations must have taken place in the earth in the course of the last 2000 years !
Baron Montesquieu supposes that population is not so great now as it was formerly. Lettres Persannes, & L'Esprit de Luix, liv. xxiii. Chap. 17, 18, 19. Travel (says this sensible writer) through the whole earth, and you will find nothing but decay : one might well suppose it to be just arising out of the ravages of the plague or of the famine. After the most exact calculation wbich subjects of this nature can admit of, we find that there is scarcely the fiftieth part of men upon the earth now, that there was in the time of Julius Cæsar. What is most astonishing is, that population decreases daily; and, if this should continue, the world must become a desart in the course of ten centuries. This is the most terrible catastrophe that has ever taken place in the world ; but it is scarcely perceived because it comes insensibly, and in the course of a great number of centuries: but this proves that an inward decay, a secret and hidden poison, a languishing disease, afflicts the whole course of human nature.
See Mr. Hune's Essay on the Populousness of Antient Nations.
Certain critics have objected to the statements in this chapter, not because they are falsely quoted; but because they suppose them to be incorrect. I have only to observe that they are historic facts, and the truth of them rests on the credit of the authors from whom they are extracted.
Supplement to Chapter IX. on the Purification of
the Hindoos and MOHAMMEDANS.
Referred to in p. 75.
PURIFICATIONS among the Hindoos make an essential part of religion. Several of those at present in use among this people are dictated by common sense and expediency; but the far greater part is the issue of the grossest superstition. In this latter class are found many that are absurd,
nugatory, and ridiculous. The following, which I have extracted from the Ayeen Akbery, will exhibit a satisfactory view of this subject.
The soul, say the Hindoo sages, is purified by knowledge, and religious worship. A DRUNKARD IS purified by melted glass. When the body is defiled by any impurity that proceeds from itself, it is purified by earth and water, and by washing the teeth and eyes.' Water that has been defiled by the shadow of an impure person is purified by sunshine, moonshine, or wind. If any filth falls from an animal into a well, they must draw out sixty jars of water; and if the same accident happens to a pond, they must take out one hundred jars. If any filth falls into oil, it must be boiled. COTTON, MOLASSES, or GRAIN, after separating whatever had defiled it, must be sprinkled with water. GOLD, SILVER, STONE, VEGETABLES, SILK, and whatever grows in the earth, are purified by being washed in water. If they have been defiled by unclean oil, they must be washed in hot water. WOODEN VESSELS, if touched by an impure person, cannot be purified by any means. But if they are touched by another unclean thing, or by a Sooder, (one of the inferior Hindoo casts,) they may be purified by scraping. The same rule is to be observed of bone or horn. Any stone vessel that has been defiled, after being washed must be buried for seven days. A sieve, or pestle and mortar, is purified by being sprinkled with water. An earthen vessel is purified by being heated on the fire. The earth is cleansed by sweeping, or by washing, or