The Library of History

Page 35

Page 35 Difference amongst them, it's certain Psammeticus hir'd Souldiers out of Arabia, Caria and Ionia, and in a Field-Fight near the City Moniemphis, he got the day. Some of the Kings of the other side were slain, and the rest fled into Africa, and were not able further to contend for the Kingdom.

Psammeticus having now gain'd possession of the whole, built a Portico to the East Gate of the Temple at Memphis, in honour of that God, and incompass'd the Temple with a Wall, supporting it with Colosses of Twelve Cubits high in the room of Pillars. He bestow'd likewise upon his Mercenary Souldiers many large Rewards over and above their Pay promis'd them.

He gave them also a Place call'd Stratopedon to inhabit, and divided amongst them by Lot a large piece of Land, a little above the Mouth of Pelusium, whom Amasis (who reign'd many Years after) transplanted to Memphis. Being therefore that he had gain'd the Kingdom by the help of his stipendary Souldiers, he intrusted them chiefly in the concerns of the Government, and entertain'd great numbers of Strangers and Foreigners.

Afterwards undertaking an Expedition into Syria (to honour the Foreigners) he plac'd them in the right Wing of his Army; but out of slight and disregard to the natural Egyptians, he drew up them in the Left; with which Affront the Egyptians were so incens'd, that above Two Hundred Thousand of them revolted, and marcht away towards Ethiopia, there to settle themselves in new Habitations. At first the King sent some of his Captives after them, to make an Apology for the Dishonour done them; but these not being hearken'd unto, the King himself with some of his Nobility follow'd them by Water. But they marcht on, and entred Egypt, near the River Nile, where he earnestly entreated them to alter their purpose, and to remember their Gods, their Country, Wives and Children: They all cry'd out (beating upon their Shields, and shaking their Spears) that as long as they had Arms in their Hands, they could easily gain another Country; and then turning aside the Flaps of their Coats, they shew'd their Privy Members, bawling out, That as long as they were so furnish'd, they should never want Wives or Children. Possess'd with this Resolution and Magnanimity of Mind, they despis'd every thing that by all others are highly priz'd and valu'd, and setled themselves in a rich and fruitful Soyl in Ethiopia, dividing the Land amongst themselves by lot.

Psammeticus laid this greatly to heart, and made it his Business to settle the Affairs of Egypt, and to increase his Revenues, and enter'd into League with the Athenians and other Grecians, and was very kind and liberal to all Strangers that came into Egypt. He was so taken with the Grecians, that he caus'd his Son to be instructed in the Grecian Learning. He was certainly the first of all the Kings of Egypt that incourag'd Foreigners to traffick in his Country, giving safe Conduct to all Strangers that sail'd thither. For the former Kings allow'd no Strangers to come into Egypt, and if any did arrive, they either put them to death, or made them Slaves: And it was the Churlishness of this Nation, which caus'd all that noise among the Greeks concerning the Cruelty and Wickedness of Busiris, though all was not true as it was related, but the extraordinary Severity of the Country gave occasion to the raising of those Fables.

After Psammticeus and Four Generations past, Apries reign'd Two and Twenty Years. He invaded with mighty Forces, Cyprus and Phenicia, and took Sidon by Storm; and through Fear and Terror of him, brought other Cities of Phenicia into Subjection. And having routed the Cyprians and Phenicians in a great Sea-Fight, he return'd into Egypt, loaden with the Spoils of his Enemies. But afterwards sending an Army against Cyrene and Barca, he lost most of them; at which those that escap'd, were extraordinarily inrag'd; and suspecting that he imploy'd them in this Expedition on purpose to have them all cut off, that he might reign the more securely over the rest, they all revolted. For Amasis, a Nobleman of Egypt, being sent against them by the King, not only slighted the King's Commands in endeavouring to make all whole again, but on the contrary incited the Rebels to a higher degree of Rage and Indignation against him, and turn'd Rebel himself, and was created King. And not long after, when the rest of the People all went over to him, the King not knowing what to do, was 〈◊〉 to fly for Aid to the stipendiary Souldiers, who were about Thirty Thousand; but being routed in a Field-Fight near to a Town call'd Marius, he was there taken Prisoner and strangl'd.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books