The Library of History

Page 71

Page 71 Whereas remarkable Authors have differ'd among themselves about the large Empire of the Medes, we conceive we shall not stray from the Duty of true and faithful Historians, if we compare the different relations of Writers one with another.

Herodotus indeed, who liv'd in the time of Xerxes, says that the Assyrians were conquer'd by the Medes after they had held the Empire of Asia for the space of five Hundred Years: That thence for many Ages after there was no one King that had the sole and absolute Authority of the Empire, but that the Cities in every Place enjoy'd their own Laws in a Democratical Government. At length after the Course of many Years, he says one Cyaxares, renown'd for his Justice, was advanc'd to the Throne; and that he was the first that subdu'd the neighbouring Nations to the Medes, and gave beginning to that Empire; whose Posterity afterwards brought under the bordering Countries and inlarg'd their Dominions, and continu'd their Empire to the time of Astyages (who was conquer'd by Cyrus and the Persians) of whom we shall now only give a touch in short, and shall treat more distinctly and particularly hereafter when we come to the Times more proper for this Purpose. For in the second year of the seventeeenth Olympiad (as Herodotus says) Cyaxares was elected King by the Medes. But Ctesias the Cnidian who was later then Herodotus, and liv'd about the time of Cyrus his Expedition against his Brother A •taxarxes: (for being then taken Prisoner (for his Skill in Physic) he was taken into the King's Favour, and continu'd with him in great Honour and Esteem for the space of seventeen years.) Out of the publick Records (in which the Persians (by force of some Law made for that Purpose) had in Order of Time noted and registred the ancient Affairs and Things done in the Kingdom) he industriously pick'd out every thing that was remarkable, and methodically compos'd them into an History, and brought them over into Greece.

In this History he declares that after the Overthrow of the Assyrian Empire, all Asia was under the Power of the Medes, and that Arbaces who overcame Sardanapalus (as is before related) was sole Monarch, and that after he had reign'd eight and twenty years, his Son Mandauces succeeded him, who reign'd over all Asia fifty years. After him reign'd Sesarmus thirty years; then Artias Fifty; after whom succeeded Arbianes two and twenty years. In his time (its said) a great War broke out between the Medes and the Cadusians upon the Occasions following. One Parsodes a Persian, for his Valour, Prudence and other Virtues, was a Man highly honour'd and dearly belov'd of the King, and one of the greatest Statesmen in the Kings Council.

This Man taking some Offence at a Sentence pronounc'd against him by the King, fled with three Thousand Foot and a Thousand Horse to the Cadusians, where he marry'd the Sister of the most potent Man amongst them; and not only rebell'd himself, but perswaded the whole Nation of the Cadusians to a general Revolt, and to stand up for their Liberties: Whereupon he was presently (upon the Account of his noted Valour) made General of the War. And now hearing that mighty Forces were preparing against him, he rais'd no less than two hundred Thousand Men out of the Country of the Cadusians, and pitcht his Camp upon the Borders of the Province; and tho' King Arseus came against him with eight hundred Thousand Men, yet Parsodes routed him and kill'd above fifty Thousand, and drove the rest out of the Country. Upon this Victory he was so honour'd and admir'd that the Inhabitants forthwith made him their King; after which he vex'd and tyr'd out Media with continual Incursions, and wasted and destroy'd all Places round about him. His Name therefore being grown famous, and now waxing old and drawing near to the End of his days, he injoyn'd his Successor (with the Denunciation of most dreadful Execrations) never to make Peace with the Medes, and if they did he wish'd that both the whole Nation of the Cadusians and his own Posterity might be rooted out and perish together. And for this Reason the Cadusians were ever after Enemies to the Medes, never subject to their Kings, till Cyrus transferr'd the Empire to the Persians.

After the Death of Artaeus, Artynes was King of the Medes, and reign'd two and twenty years; after him A ••ibarnas fourteen years, in whose Reign the Parthians revolted and deliver'd up both their City and Country into the Hand of

Bibliotheca Historica

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