The Library of History

Page 60

Page 60 Beyond the River there is a Morass, about which is a crusty Earth; if any unacquainted with the Place get into it, at first he floats upon the Top, when he comes into the Middle he's violently hal'd away, and striving to help himself, seems to be held so fast by something or other, that all his Labour to get loose is in vain. And first his Feet, then his Legs and Thighs to his Loyns are benumm'd, at length his whole Body is stupify'd, and then down he sinks to the Bottom, and presently after is cast up dead to the Surface. And thus much for the Wonders of BABYLON.

When Semiramis had finish'd all her Works, she marcht with a great Army into Media, and encamp'd near to a Mountain call'd Bagistan; there she made a Garden twelve Furlongs in Compass: It was in a plain Champain Country, and had a great Fountain in it, which water'd the whole Garden. Mount Bagistan is dedicated to Jupiter, and towards one side of the Garden has steep Rocks seventeen Furlongs from the Top to the Bottom. She cut out a Piece of the lower Part of the Rock, and caus'd her own Image to be carv'd upon it, and a Hundred of her Guard that were Launceteers standing round about her. She wrote likewise in Syriac Letters upon the Rock, That Semiramis ascended from the Plain to the Top of the Mountain by laying the Packs and Fardles of the Beasts that follow'd her one upon another.

Marching away from ence, she came to Chaone, a City of Media, where she incamp'd upon a rising Ground, from whence she took notice of an exceeding great and high Rock, where she made another very great Garden in the very Middle of the Rock, and built upon it stately Houses of Pleasure, whence she might both have a delightful Prospect into the Garden, and view the Army as they lay incamp'd below in the Plain; being much delighted with this Place she stay'd here a considerable Time, giving up her self to all kinds of Pleasures and Delights, for she forbore marrying lest she should then be depos'd from the Government, and in the mean time she made Choice of the handsomest Commanders to be her Gallants; but after they had layn with her she cut off their Heads.

From hence she march'd towards Ecbatana, and arriv'd at the Mountain Zarcheum, which being many Furlongs in Extent, and full of steep Precipices and craggy Rocks, there was no passing but by long and tedious Windings and Turnings. To leave therefore behind her an Eternal Monument of her Name, and to make a short Cut for her Passage, she caus'd the Rocks to be hew'd down, and the Valleys to be fill'd up with Earth, and so in a short time at a vast Expence laid the Way open and plain, which to this day is call'd Semiramis's WAY.

When she came to Ecbatana, which is situated in a low and even Plain, she built there a stately Palace, and bestow'd more of her Care and Pains here than she had done at any other Place. For the City wanting Water (there being no Spring near) she plentifully supply'd it with good and wholesom Water, brought thither with a great deal of Toyl and Expence, after this manner: There's Mountain call'd Orontes, twelve Furlongs distant from the City, exceeding high and steep for the Space of five and twenty Furlongs up to the Top; on the other side of this Mount there's a great Mear which empties it self into the River. At the Foot of this Mountain she dug a Canal fifteen Foot in Breadth and forty in Depth, through which she convey'd Water in great Abundance into the City. And these are the Things which she did in Media.

Afterwards she made a Progress through Persia and all the rest of her Dominions in Asia, and all along as she went she plain'd all the Way before her, levelling both Rocks and Mountains. On the other hand in Champain Countries she would raise Eminences on which she would sometimes build Sepulchres for her Officers and Commanders, and at other times Towns and Cities. Throughout her whole Expeditions she always us'd to raise an Ascent, upon which she pitcht her own Pavilion, that from thence she might have a View of her whole Army. Many Things which she perform'd in Asia remain to this day, and are call'd Semiramis's Works.

Afterwards she pass'd through all Egypt, and having conquer'd the greatest Part of Lybia, she went to the Temple of Jupiter Hammon, and there inquir'd of the Oracle how long she should live; which return'd her this Answer, That she should leave this World and afterwards be for ever honour'd by some Nations in Asia, when Ninyas her Son should be plotting against her.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books