The Library of History

Page 54

Page 54 Ninus is the First King of Assyria that is recorded in History; he perform'd many great and noble Actions; of whom we have design'd to set forth something particularly.

He was naturally of a Warlike Disposition, and very ambitious of Honour and Glory, and therefore caus'd the strongest of his Young Men to be train'd up in Martial Discipline, and by long and continual Exercise inur'd them readily to undergo all the Toyls and Hazards of War.

Having therefore rais'd a gallant Army, he made a League with Arieus King of Arabia, that was at that time full of strong and valiant Men. For that Nation are constant Lovers of Liberty, never upon any Terms admitting of any Foreign Prince: And therefore neither the Persian, nor the Macedonian Kings after them, (though they were most powerful in Arms) were ever able to conquer them. For Arabia being partly Desart, and partly parcht up for want of Water (unless it be in some secret Wells and Pits known only to the Inhabitants) cannot be subdu'd by any Foreign Force.

Ninus therefore, the Assyrian King, with the Prince of Arabia his Assistant, with a numerous Army, invaded the Babylonians, then next bordering upon him: For the Babylon that is now, was not built at that time; but the Province of Babylon had in it then many other considerable Cities, whose Inhabitants he easily subdu'd, (being rude and unexpert in Matters of War,) and impos'd upon them a Yearly Tribute; but carried away the King with all his Children Prisoners, and after put them to Death. Afterwards he entred Armenia with a great Army, and having overthrown some Cities, he struck Terror into the rest, and thereupon their King Barzanus seeing himself unable to deal with him, met him with many rich Presents, and submitted himself; whom Ninus out of his generous dissition, courteously receiv'd, and gave him the Kingdom of Armenia, upon condition he should be his Friend for the future, and supply him with Men and Provision for his Wars as he should have occasion.

Being thus strengthen'd, he invaded Media, whose King Pharnus coming out against him with a mighty Army, was utterly routed, and lost most of his Men, and was taken Prisoner with his Wife and Seven Children, and afterwards Crucified.

Ninus being thus successful and prosperous, his Ambition rose the higher, and his desire most ardent to conquer all in Asia, which lay between Tanais and Nile; (so far does Prosperity and Excess in getting much, inflame the Desire to gain and compass more.) In order hereunto, he made one of his Friends Governor of the Province of Media, and he himself in the mean time marcht against the other Provinces of Asia, and subdu'd them all in Seventeen Years time, except the Indians and Bactrians. But no Writer has given any Account of the several Battels he fought, nor of the number of those Nations he conquer'd; and therefore following Ctesias the Cnidian, we shall only briefly run over the most famous and considerable Countries. He over-ran all the Countries bordering upon the Sea, together with the adjoining Continent, as Egypt and Phenicia, Celo-Syria, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lycia, Caria, Phrygia, Mysia and Lydia; the Province of Troas and Phrygia upon the Hellespont, together with Propontis, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and the Barbarous Nations adjoyning upon Pontus, as far as to Tanais; he gain'd likewise the Country of the Caddusians, Tarpyrians, Hyrcanians, Dacians, Derbians, Carmanians, Choroneans, Borchanians and Parthians. He pierc'd likewise into Persia, the Provinces of Susiana, and that call'd Caspiana, through those narrow Straits, which from thence are call'd the Caspian Gates. He subdu'd likewise many other less considerable Nations, which would be too tedious here to recount. After much toyl and labour in vain, because of the difficulty of the Passes, and the multitude of those Warlike Inhabitants, he was forc'd to put off his War against the Bactrians to another opportunity.

Having marcht back with his Army into Syria, he markt out a Place for the building of a stately City: For in as much as he had surpast all his Ancestors in the glory and success of his Arms, he was resolv'd to build one of that state and grandeur, as should not only be the greatest then in the World, but such as none that ever should come after him should be able easily to exceed.

The King of Arabia he sent back with his Army into his own Country, with many rich Spoils, and noble Gifts. And he himself having got a great number

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books