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was to be seen, and the view was as boundless as the horizon.* Yet Alexander had given orders to level every obstacle that interrupted the motions of the troops,† and according to the testimony of this same writer, one of the detachments of the Macedonians occupied, just before the action, a height which the Persians had abandoned,‡ while, as he afterwards says, when speaking of the battle itself, the woods and valleys echoed with the shouts of the armies.§

There is, however, some truth in the midst of these seeming contradictions; and the errors are, perhaps, rather the effect of too high a colouring than of wilful perversion of facts. The ground here, in the neighbourhood of these streams, is sufficiently destitute of very marked hills to be called, in general," a wide plain ;" and it is quite true, that throughout its whole extent, as far as I could myself perceive, not a tree was any where to be seen. The view too, on every side, is "extensive," and, in many places, as "boundless as the horizon." Yet, for all this, there are a sufficient number of undulating ridges, to form both " heights and valleys" in a military sense, where the smallest difference of elevation is of importance in the choice of positions, so that the Macedonians might really have occupied such an eminence, after it had been abandoned by the Persians. But, for the expression of the "woods and valleys echoing with the shouts of the contending armies," it must be abandoned, as quite inapplicable to the scene of the event, and having an existence only in the fervid imagination of the Roman writer.


A million of men is the number which the best historians of the

#66 Opportuna explicandis copiis regio erat equitabilis et vasta planities: ne stirpes quidem et brevia virgulta operiunt solum liberque prospectus oculorum etiam quæ procul recessêre permittitur.”—Quint. Curt. lib. iv. c. 35, tomus ii. p. 233.


"Itaque si quà campi eminebant, jussit æquari totumque fastigium extendi.". lib. 4. c. 35.

Mazæus cum delectis equitum in edito colle, ex quo Macedonum prospiciebantur castra consederat-Macedones eum ipsum collem, quem deseruerat, occupaverunt, nam et tutior planitie erat."-lib. 4. c. 48.

§ Macedones, ingentem pugnantium more, edidêre clamorem-Redditus et a Persis, nemora vallesque circumjectas terribili sono impleverat."-Quint. Curt. lib. 4. cap. 48.

times assign to this army of the Persians; and, as the French critic* has observed, though the calculation may appear extravagant, it certainly does not exceed the bounds of probability. All the nations, in fact, from the Euxine Sea to the extremities of the East, had made a common cause with Darius, and sent him numerous and powerful reinforcements. It was the custom then, as well as now, for the Asiatics to carry even their wives and children along with them, in their military expeditions; and Persian luxury could not dispense with the want of a crowd of the useless followers of a camp; two circumstances which will considerably diminish the number of the real and effective troops.

If we consider, also, the living clouds of Barbarians that have spread themselves in different ages over the western world, and those immense bodies of more regular troops, which, under the command of Tartar princes, possessed themselves of almost all the provinces of Asia, we may easily conceive, that such a multitude might have been collected, to combat, on the plains of Assyria, for the safety of the Persian Empire.

The issue of this battle was fatal to the power of Darius; and the myriads of his devoted followers were dispersed and overcome by the superior discipline, as well as courage, of the Macedonian


After crossing the second or eastern branch of the river, we continued our way still south-easterly, and at sun-set began to descend on a lower level, going through hills of pudding-stone, showing cliffs of considerable depth, in which the rounded pebbles were imbedded in a matrix of so pure a lime, that it was difficult not to believe it to be the remains of some old masonry, or at least the work of human hands, rather than a natural production. This descent brought us out on a plain, in which was a small village, the dwellings of which had conical roofs of straw thatching, though the usual fashion of the country is to have the roofs flat.

* The Baron de St. Croix, in the Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres.-Paris. 4to.

It was dark when we reached the north-western bank of a large stream flowing from the eastward, which was broader, deeper, and more rapid than any part of the Tigris itself that I had yet seen; and we had gone, since leaving Karagoash, about twenty-four miles in a south-south-east direction.

Our horses were here unsaddled; and boys, riding astride on skins, filled-out with wind, swam over to the other side, leading in their hand the animals, who swam also. We ourselves were then conveyed across with all the baggage and horse-furniture, on kelleks, or rafts, formed of stripped branches of trees supported by inflated skins, in the way in which these rivers were navigated at the earliest periods of antiquity.* As large trees are scarce here, the blades of the paddles were made of the sections of split yellow

* See Herodotus, in his description of the commerce and supplies of Babylon. Those kelleks were also used in the time of the younger Cyrus, to navigate the Euphrates. "In their march through the Desert," says Xenophon, "they discovered a large and populous city, situated on the other (the Arabian) side of the Euphrates, called Carmande, where the soldiers bought provisions, having passed over to it upon rafts, by filling the skins, which they made use of for tents, with dry hay, and sewing them together so close, that the water could not get therein." Spelman observes, in his note on this passage, that, anciently, rafts, of the kind here spoken of, were much used in passing rivers; and adds, "that Alexander passed several rivers in this manner, particularly the Oxus, in his victorious march through Asia."-Anabasis, b. i. p. 60. In the third book of the same work, we find an account of the very ingenious invention by which a certain Rhodian proposed to convey the Ten Thousand over the Tigris:-"While they (the generals and captains) were in perplexity, a certain Rhodian came to them, and said, 'Gentlemen, I'll undertake to carry over four thousand heavy-armed men at a time, if you'll supply me with what I want, and give me a talent for my pains.' Being asked what he wanted? I shall want,' says he, two thousand leather bags. I see here great numbers of sheep, goats, oxen, and asses; if these are flayed, and their skins blown, we may easily pass the river with them. I shall also want the girths belonging to the sumpter horses; with these,' adds he, I will fasten the bags to one another, and, hanging stones to them, let them down into the water instead of anchors, then tie up the bags at both ends, and when they are upon the water, lay fascines upon them, and cover them with earth. I will make you presently sensible (continues he) that you cannot sink, for every bag will bear up two men, and the fascines and the earth will prevent them from slipping."

cane, tied together side by side, and in shape resembling the classic oar of Grecian sculpture.

We were conveyed across the river on these rafts, amid the cheering songs of the rowers; not however without some alarm, from the smallness of the vessel, compared with the weight of its lading and the rapidity of the stream; the eddies of which sometimes whirled our little raft round and round, and defied the controuling power of the oar.

This stream, the depth of which it is difficult, from the rapidity of its current, to ascertain by sounding, ran at the rate of about five miles an hour when we crossed it. Its sources are said to be in the mountains of Koordistan, about four or five days' journey to the eastward of this. It is, consequently, lower in the spring and winter, and higher in the summer and autumn months; the first, from the melting of the snows, and the second, from its augmentation by rains: but, from the nature of the bed through which it flows, its waters are always clear and sweet. The name of this river here is Therba, or Zerba, as it is pronounced both ways by the people of the country; and this, which is distinct from the two branches of the Kauzir Sou, which join together and run in one into the Tigris, is unquestionably the Greater Zab of the ancients, the Zabatus of Xenophon, and the Lycus of Ptolemy.

D'Anville supposes an error, either in the text or the translation of the Arabian Geographer, Edrisi, when he says, that the Greater and Lesser Zab join each other, and their united stream then equals, or even surpasses, the half of the Tigris; "for," says the French Geographer, "it is notorious that they do not join at all.”*

This is, however, too rigid a criticism, as nothing is more liable to change than the course of rivers, in flat countries like these, where

* "Il y a quelque defaut dans la traduction de l'Edrisi, ou il le trompe lui-même, dans la sixième partie du quatrième climat, en disant que les deux Zab, lorsqu'ils se joignent (quando in unum coalescunt) egalent et surpassent même la moitie du Tigre: car il est notoire qu'ils ne se joignent point.”—D'Anville sur l'Euphrate et le Tigre, 4to. Paris, 1779.

the points of union and separation, particularly when the branches themselves are near each other, may be subject to many and frequent alterations. Neither is it impossible, that the Arabian geographer might have spoken of the two branches of the Kauther, or Kauzir Sou, as I understood the people of the country, who spoke very indistinctly, to call the two branches which we passed between Karagoash and this place. These really do unite, and are but then about equal to half the breadth of the Tigris; while the Greater Zab, at the point of its discharge into that river, appeared to the Greeks, according to Xenophon, to be as large as the Tigris itself, and at the point where we crossed it was certainly fully so.*

This river is called the Lycus, by Ptolemy; and it is apparently its rapidity, says D'Anville, which, by a comparison with the fury of a wolf, has occasioned it to be called, in Persian, Ab-e-Djenoun, or the Furious Water. In Pliny, it has the name of Zerbis, which is just its present one, with a Greek termination; and by Xenophon it is called Zabatus; and by other ancient writers, Zabus, all evidently variations of the same word.†

Nicolaus of Damascus relates, that Antiochus erected a trophy

* This river, at the time that Xenophon and the Ten Thousand passed it in their retreat, was four hundred feet in breadth. The mode in which they crossed over is not described.Anabasis, lib. iii.

The following is what Otter, a curious but cursory traveller, observes of the Zab:"Le Zab se jette dans le Tigre, à deux journées plus bas que Mousul, au-dessous de Hadicè, autrefois capitale de ce pays. Ebul-Feda dit que le Zab a été appellé Medgenoun, ou le furieux, à cause de sa rapidité. Au rapport du Géographe Turc, on a donné ce nom a une rivière appellée Zibar, qui passe par le pays d'Amadia. Les Zibaris ont été nommés ainsi à cause qu'ils habitent sur ses bords. C'est peut-être la même rivière sous différens noms."-Tome i. pp. 147-148.


Le Grand Zab est appellé Lycus dans Ptolemée, et c'est apparemment sa rapidité, qui, par un comparaison avec un Loup, le fait appeller en Persan, Ab-edjènoun,' ce qui signifie, Eau furieuse.' Le nom de Zerbis, sous lequel le Grand Zab paroît dans Pline, (lib. vi. cap. 26,) est remarquable, en ce qu'il se maintient dans le pays même, comme Thevenot et Tavernier concourent à nous en instruire, en écrivant Zarb."-D'Anville sur l'Euphrate et le Tigre, p. 90.

This was Antiochus the Seventh, or Sidetes, and not Antiochus the Tenth, or Pius, though the latter was called, as Josephus says, Antiochus the Pious, from his great zeal for religion.


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