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Old and New Testaments
CONNECTED IN THE HISTORY OF
JEWS AND NEIGHBOURING NATIONS,
Declensions of the Kingdoms of ISRAEL and JUDAH
TIME OF CHRIST.
BY HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX, D.D.
DEAN OF NORWICH.
The first American, from the Sixteenth London edition.
TO WHICH IS NOW ADDED,
THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
Which contains some Letters which he wrote in Defence and
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Old and New Testaments
ARTAXERXES having, by the death of Artabanus, removed one grand obstacle to his quiet possessing of the throne, had still two others to struggle with, his brother Hystaspes in Bactria, and Artabanus' party at home. And this last being nearest at hand, gave him the first trouble: for although a Artabanus was dead, he had left behind him seven sons, and many partisans, who immediately gathered together to revenge his death; whereon a fierce conflict ensued between them and those who stood by Artaxerxes, in which many noble Persians were slain; but at length Artaxerxes having prevailed, did cut off all that were concerned in this conspiracy; and especially he took a signal revenge of every one of those who had an hand in the murder of his father, and particularly of the eunuch Mithridates that betrayed him, whom he caused to be boated to death. The manner of this punishment was thus: the person condemned to it being laid on his back in a boat, and having his hands stretched out, and tied fast to each side of it, had another boat put over him, his head only being left out through a place made fit for it. In this posture they fed him, till the worms which were bred in the excrements that he voided as he thus lay, did eat out his bowels, and so caused his death; which was usually this way twenty days in effecting, the criminal lying all this while in exquisite torments.
b Plutarchus in Artaxerxe.
An. 464. Artax. 1.
Artaxerxes, having mastered this difficulty, was at leisure to send an army into Bactria against his brother. But there he did not meet with so easy success;d for a fierce battle ensuing, though Hystaspes did not get the victory, yet he did so well make good his ground, that no advantage was got against him; but both armies parted with equal success, and each retired to make better preparations for a second encounter.
But the next year, Artaxerxese having drawn together a much stronger army, as having the Artax. 2. greatest part of the empire at his devotion, overpowered Hystaspes, and utterly overthrew him in a second battle; whereby having removed all difficulties and oppositions, he now became fully possessed of the whole empire; and the better to secure himself in it, he removed all those governours of cities and provinces of whom he had any suspicion, that they had been concerned with, or any way well affected to either of the parties which he had suppressed, and put into their places only such as he had a thorough confidence in. After this he did set himself to reform all the abuses and disorders of the government; whereby he gained to himself much credit and authority throughout all the provinces of the empire, and thoroughly established himself in the affections of the people, wherein lieth the surest interest of princes. After Artaxerxes had obtained these successes, and thereby firmly settled himself in the peaceaAn. 463. ble possession of the whole Persian empire, g he appointed a solemn rejoicing on this account, and caused it to be celebrated in the city of Shushan or Susa in feastings and shows, for the term of one hundred and eighty days, on the conclusion of which he made a great feast for all the princes and people that were then in Shushan for seven days. And Vashti the queen at the same time made a like feast in her apartment for the women. On the seventh day, the king's heart being merry with wine, he command
e That Hystaspes was governour of Bactria, at his father's death, is attested by Diodorus Siculus, lib. 11, p 53.
d Ctesias. e Ibid.
f Diodorus Siculus, lib. 11.
Joseph. Antiq. lib. 11, c. 6.