Diodorus Siculus

BOOK II - The Library of History

Page 64 of all Asia, except India, after she had liv'd Sixty two years, and reign'd Forty two. And these are the Things which Ctesias the Cnidian reports of her in his History.

Athenaeus, and some other Writers, affirm that she was a most beautiful Strumpet, and upon that account the King of Assyria fell in Love with her, and at first was taken into his Favour, and at length becoming his lawful Wife she prevail'd with her Husband to grant her the sole and absolute Authority of the regal Government for the space of five days. Taking therefore upon her the Scepter and royal Mantle of the Kingdom, the first day she made a sumptuous Banquet and magnificent Entertainments, to which she invited the Generals of the Army and all the Nobility, in order to be observant to all her Commands. The next day having both great and small at her beck, she committed her Husband to the Goal: And in Regard she was of a bold and daring Spirit, apt and ready to undertake any great Matters, she easily gain'd the Kingdom, which she held to the time of her old Age, and became famous for her many great and wonderful Acts: And these are the Things which Historians variously relate concerning her.


Ninyas succeeds Semiramis: His close and slothful Manner of Life. The Reign of Sardanapalus: His Luxury and Effeminacy. His Epitaph. Depos'd by Arbaces the Mede; and the Assyrian Empire overturn'd. Nineveh raz'd.

AFTER her Death Ninyas, the Son of Ninus and Semiramis, succeeded, and reign'd peaceably, nothing at all like his Mother for Valour and martial Affairs. For he spent all his Time shut up in his Place, insomuch as he was never seen of any but of his Concubines and Eunuchs; for being given up wholly to his Pleasures, he shook off all Cares and every thing that might be irksome and troublesome, placing all the Happiness of a King in a fordid Indulgence of all sorts of Voluptuousness. But that he might reign the more securely, and be fear'd of all his Subjects, every year he rais'd out of every Province a certain number of Souldiers, under their several Generals, and having brought them in the City, over every Country appointed such a Governor as he could most confide in, and were most at his Devotion. At the end of the year he rais'd as many more out of the Provinces, and sent the former home, taking first of them an Oath of Fidelity. And this he did, that his Subjects observing how he always had a great Army ready in the Field, those of them that were inclin'd to be refractory or rebel (out of fear of Punishment) might continue firm in their due Obedience. And the further Ground likewise of this yearly Change was, that the Officers and Souldiers might be from time to time disbanded before they could have time to be well acquainted one with another. For length of Time in martial Imployments so improves the Skill and advances the Courage and Resolution of the Commanders, that many times they conspire against their Princes and wholly fall off from their Allegiance.

His living thus close and unseen, was a Covert to the Voluptuous Course of his Life, and in the mean time (as if he had been a God) none durst in the least mutter any thing against him. And in this manner (creating Commanders of his Army, constituting of Governors in the Provinces, appointing the Chamberlains and Officers of his Houshold, placing of Judges in their several Countries, and ordering and disposing of all other Matters as he thought sit most for his own Advantage) he spent his Days in Nineve.

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