The Library of History

Page 65

Page 65 After the same manner almost liv'd all the rest of the Kings for the space of Thirty Generations, in a continu'd Line of Succession from Father to Son, to the very Reign of Sardanapalus; in whose time the Empire of the Assyrians devolv'd upon the Medes, after it had continu'd above Thirteen Hundred and Sixty Years, as Ctesias the Cnidian says in his Second Book. But it's needless to recite their Names, or how long each of them reign'd, in regard none of them did any thing worth remembring, save only that it may deserve an Account how the Assyrians assisted the Trojans, by sending them some Forces under the Command of Memnon the Son of Tithon.

For when Teutamus reign'd in Asia, who was the Twentieth from Ninyas the Son of Semiramis, it's said the Grecians under their General Agamemnon, made War upon the Trojans, at which time the Assyrians had been Lords of Asia above a Thousand Years. For Priam the King of Troy (being a Prince under the Assyrian Empire, when War was made upon him) sent Ambassadors to crave aid of Teutamus, who sent him Ten Thousand Ethiopians, and as many out of the Province of Susiana, with Two Hundred Chariots under the Conduct of Memnon the Son of Tithon. For this Tithon at that time was Governor of Persia, and in special Favour with the King above all the rest of the Princes: And Memnon was in the Flower of his Age, strong and couragious, and had built a Pallace in the Cittadel of Susa, which retain'd the Name of Memnonia to the time of the Persian Empire. He pav'd also there a Common High-way, which is call'd Memnon's Way to this day. But the Ethiopians of Egypt question this, and say that Memnon was their Country-man, and shew several antient Palaces which (they say) retain his Name at this day, being call'd Memnon's Palaces.

Notwithstanding, however it be as to this matter, yet it has been generally and constantly held for a certain Truth, that Memnon led to Troy Twenty Thousand Foot, and Two Hundred Chariots, and signaliz'd his Valour with great Honour and Reputation, with the Death and Destruction of many of the Greeks, till at length he was slain by an Ambuscade laid for him by the Thessalians. But the Ethiopians recover'd his Body, and burnt it, and brought back his Bones to Tithon. And these things the Barbarians say are recorded of Memnon in the Histories of their Kings.

Sardanapalus, the Thirtieth from Ninus, and the last King of the Assyrians, exceeded all his Predecessors in Sloth and Luxury; for besides that, he was seen of none out of his Family, he led a most effeminate Life: For wallowing in pleasure and wanton Dalliances, he cloathed himself in Womens Attire, and spun fine Wool and Purple amongst the throngs of his Whores and Concubines. He painted likewise his Face, and deckt his whole Body with other Allurements like a Strumpet, and was more lascivious than the most wanton Curtezan. He imitated likewise a Womans Voice, and not only daily inured himself to such Meat and Drink as might incite and stir up his lascivious Lusts, but gratify'd them by filthy Catamites, as well as Whores and Strumpets, and without all sense of Modesty, abusing both Sexes, slighted Shame, the concomitant of filthy and impure Actions; and proceeded to such a degree of Voluptuousness and sordid Uncleanness, that he compos'd Verses for his Epitaph, with a Command to his Successors to have them inscrib'd upon his Tomb after his Death, which were thus Translated by a Grecian out of the Barbarian Language,

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ,
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
Haec habeo quae edi, quaeque exsaturata Libido.
Hausit, at illa jacent multa ac praeclara relicta.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books