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marble fragments of columns, hewn stones, &c., to be met with here and there, and traces of the great aqueduct, by which the luxurious citizens, or a monarch's whim, brought the cold waters of the river of Claudias (Kakhtah), a distance of ten miles by the side of the less esteemed Euphrates, are all that remain to attest the existence of this once renowned city. : Pompous marriages, not always happy in their results, were celebrated at this spot, to unite, by more intimate alliances, countries ever alternating between wars and intrigues, which the power and genius of Pompey failed to find a solution to. As a Christian episcopacy, Samosata also became a hot bed of innovations, denounced as heretical by a jealous supremacy; but learning must have flourished even under such adverse circumstances, for, it not only boasts of Lucian and Paul of Samosata among its illustrious names, but, according to Armenian tradition, it was here that Saint Mesrop obtained, by incessant prayer, the gift of the Armenian letters, and this so late aş A.D. 406; it is & pity, for the steady, progress of civilization, that they did not at such. a time adopt the Latin alphabet.

Samosata lies in a beautiful open valley of the Euphrates, has a delightful climate, and a fertile soil, with abundance of water, and, therefore, with unlimited resources for a civilized people, and a good government. The passage at this place was distinguished, in ancient times, as the Zeugma of Commagena, and the Antonine and Theodosian tables have several roads leading to it. We corrected, on this occasion, a great error, still extant in all maps and geographies, and derived from mis-statements of the ancients, that it is at this point that the river Euphrates, after having had hitherto always a southwesterly course, assumes a south-easterly one—the fact is, that it flows onwards towards the Mediterranean, till it arrives at Rum-Kal’eh, where it takes its south-easterly bend, and from which curve, Mela was led to say, “Ni obstet Taurus in nostra Maria venturus."

It had gone abroad that a Hakim was of the party, and on our return to Kantarah, a native came, and without saying a word, threw himself full length at my feet. Upon raising him hastily, blushing to see humanity so prostrated, I found he was suffering under an inveterate leprosy, which left but little in my power to do for his relief.

A long ride of upwards of thirty miles across, the ancient kingdom of Osrhoene, so called from Chosroes of Armenia, took us, in one day, from Samosata to Urfah, the ancient capital of the country. Advancing from the river's banks, the outline of country was at first tame, but it soon became broken up by volcanic ridges and cones, with deep intervening valleys, producing cereal grains, cotton, olives, and grapes; and these are succeeded, on ap proaching Urfah, by long lines of rock terraces and narrow valleys, which ultimately expand, to receive the city itself. On approaching the same, from the west, or from Bireh-jik, the country is more stony and naked, and the pathway difficult ; but to the southward, the low, level plains of Mesopotamia extend from the foot of the hills, desig, nated after the mighty hunter Nimrod, and from the gates of the town, to beyond the utmost boundaries of the visible horizon, giving to this ancient place a situation almost unequalled for splendour and magnificence.

Urfah, in its modern condition, has been carefully described by Mr.

Buckingham, who gives the length and breadth of the bazars, and a correct history of the contents thereof. It is a walled city, the circuit of its walls extending from two and a half to three miles; but the citadel, and many public buildings, including barracks and caravanserais, besides suburbs and extensive gardens, are without the walls. The vast mezars, or burial-grounds, common to all Mohammedan towns, with their various tombs, from the humble pillar supporting a sculptured turban to the lofty but ruinous imam, are also on the outskirts, and are here backed by far-stretching rock terraces, dotted with innumerable sepulchral grottoes.

The castle, which defends and commands the city, is a noble ruin, occupying the whole of a rocky ridge, a quarter of a mile long. It is defended on one side by a ditch, a work of great labour, and on the other by the steepness of the ascent. The interior is a mass of disorderly ruin, out of which two Corinthian columns still rear their lofty shafts; and I would call the attention of future travellers to an old inscription on a detached block lying near to these pillars, and which I made a vain attempt to copy, on a subsequent visit to the same city, in 1840.

Urfah is celebrated for its abundant springs of water; one of these, which I did not visit, is some distance from the town, and presents, as was related to us, the peculiar phenomena of gushing out at intervals with a roaring noise. This fountain supplies the stream called Daisan by the Syrians, and Scirto by the Greeks, both alluding to its sudden rises, and which have been known to occasion great damages, as related by Assemanni, from Denys, patriarch of the Jacobites, and confirmed by Evagrius, and other writers of the middle ages.

The other springs, two or three in number, have their origin in the valley between the castle hill, and the rise upon which the town is built. These sources are surrounded by shady groves, amid which they form ponds, and part of the waters is carried off by artificial canals to a marble reservoir in front of the mosque of Abraham-one of the most graceful and elegant specimens of Saracenic architecture to be met with in the East.

It was from the beautiful position of these waters, that the Greeks gave to Urfah the frequent designation of Callirhoe; but it is very uncertain if this is the city of that name to whose thermal waters Herod is made to repair, according to Josephus, in the Arabian mountains, beyond the Jordan. Certain it is, however, that, on the occasion of my second visit, in 1840, I examined closely the temperature of these springs, and found them to be above what may be considered as the mean temperature of the place, and therefore slightly thermal. Indeed, they never freeze, although the frosts at Urfah are often severe, as they preserve, in the midst of winter, a temperature equal to 69; Fahrenheit.

The sacred fish, which abound in these reservoirs descendants, according to the traditions of the place, of the fish beloved by Abraham, but more probably a propagation of the ancient Syrian worship of the principle of fecundity-are not, it may be observed, carp, but barbel ; nor are they fed upon vegetables and leaves, purchased for that purposes at least, in the present day--but upon roast grains of maize, and other good things, sold upon the terrace of the reservoir. Buckingham estimates the number of fish at 20,000. It would be rather difficult to test the accuracy of such an estimate.

We did not fail, while at Urfah, to inquire concerning the tradition of our Saviour's correspondence with Abgar, and the transmission to that prince of a kerchief with the portrait of our Lord impressed upon it. We were shewn, at the Armenian Cathedral, after some demur, evidently occasioned by the fear of ridicule, a kerchief upon which our Saviour's face, according to the modern ideas of the divine countenance borrowed from Raphael, and by him from the apocryphal letter to Tiberius, was imprinted. They, however, merely stated this to be a copy of the original, which they said was lost in the miraculous spring before described. According to ecclesiastical tradition, however, the original was sold by the Saracens to the court of Constantinople for the sum of 12,000 pounds weight of silver, the redemption of two hundred Mussulman captives, and a perpetual truce for the territory of Urfah. · This Abgar, called Abgarus and Augarus by the Latins and Greeks, was the second of the dynasty, whose history has been illustrated by Bayer, in his work called Historia Osrhoena et Edessena ex nummis illustrata,Petrop., 1734; but he does not notice the Armenian chronicles, as preserved by the Father Chamich, and which relate that the name is derived from Arag-ayr, "excellent in wisdom,” and that the first prince of that name founded, in Mesopotamia, a city which was called Abgar-Shat.

The Abgar, who rebuilt and fortified Edessa, and who, according to the same chronicles, held correspondence with our Lord, and embraced Christianity, removed thither in A.D. 14; and it is therefore probable, that the first of the name—the same who drew Crassus into an unfavourable position before his defeat, and who is called Ariamnes by Plutarch-resided at Nisibin, or Abgar-Shat, and not at Edessa.

Eusebius says, in his “ Ecclesiastical History," (i. 13,) that he found a letter, written by Abgarus to our Saviour, in a church at Edessa, and that he translated it from the Syriac. This letter is, however, believed to be spurious, although it does not appear why such an epistle may not have been written. The tradition of such a correspondence is believed by all the Oriental churches indiscriminately; and yet Bell, in his geography, treats it as a fiction-a devout lie which, he adds, has received credit among some episcopalian protestants, as Addison, and others, as if the amount of credulity among such was greater than amongst those whose boasted anagram is best in prayer.

The peculiarity of the position of Edessa, (the name which it received from the Macedonians, albeit the vanity of one gave to it, for a short time, that of Antiochea,) upon the dangerous verge of two long contending empires, has been so distinctly felt, and so ably ex. pressed by Gibbon, as to leave us nothing to add thereunto. The last of the Abgars was sent in chains to Rome, by Caracalla; but the walls of their princely city witnessed his avengement, in the overthrow and capture of a Cæsar, in the person of Valerian, by the first Shapur. In the time of Heraclius, it was reduced by the Saracens, under Izedi. After it became a principality under the Crusaders, it was captured by Nur-ed-din, ata beg of Mosul; and I have seen two pieces of ordnance at the citadel of that city, which belonged to the Christian counts of Edessa. Thirty-eight years afterwards, it was again reduced by the victorious Saleh-ed-din. This unfortunate city was also devastated by the Moguls, under Hulagu, and by the Tatars, under Teimur. It passed under the dominion of the Osmanlis in the reign of Setim I.

During the middle ages, it attained high eminence as a seat of ecclesiastical learning and power. If not the actual residence of Saint James the Apostle, the patron saint of the place, it was certainly that of James Baradæus, the founder of the Syrian Monophysite or Jacobite heresy, and who is said to have ordained the enormous number of 80,000 bishops, priests, and deacons. It was, also, the stronghold of Nestorius, in the time of his persecution; and it was from hence that Abraham, afterwards Bishop of Beth Raban, went forth to spread the Nestorian doctrine throughout the East. Many, however, suffered martyrdom in the same city; among whom was Adæus, sent thither by Saint Thomas.

But we wish to allude more particularly to the traditions connected with Urfah in relation to the patriarch Abraham, in order, as will be easily done, to take them from that latitudinarianism which has led the father of Isaac to be regarded as the mere representative of the patriarchal principle.

The first of these is the tradition which has consecrated, throughout all times, Urfah as the birth-place of the patriarch. It is identified with its Syrian name, Urhoi, and its actual name Urfah, and which was the “Ur of the Chaldees," where we know from holy writ that Terah dwelt, and Abraham's brother, Haran, was born. There is no variation in the universality of this tradition; and the identity of Urfah and Ur is supported by the authority of Mohammedan writers.

Many, however, following Eupolemus, as quoted by Eusebius, identify the Ur of the Chaldees with Urchoe in Babylonian Chaldea, which is opposed to scriptural authority, which places Ur in Mesopotamia, and from which latter place the promised land does not lie in the direction which the same Scriptures describe the patriarch as following, in his migration from his fatherland to the land of Canaan. This Ur in Babylonian Chaldea, now Mugeïyer, although not the Ur of Genesis, appears to be that mentioned by Isaiah, when he says, “ Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwelt in the wilderness."

The learned Bochart, also, unfortunately confounded the Ur of the Chaldees with Atra, now Al Hadhr, which is called by Ammianus, “ Ur, the castle of the Persians," and by him only, having, itself, neither traditions nor monuments of Assyrian times connected with it. These two erroneous deductions have created much confusion in Biblical geography, as also in Historical descriptions concerning the origin of the Chaldees.

The next remarkable tradition is that which relates that Nimrod ordered Abraham to be thrown into a fiery furnace at this place, for his refusal to worship fire; and the flame of which furnace was so intense, that the famous Manjanik, or Mangonel, was, according to the Orientals, first used on this occasion.

This tradition is not, however, peculiar to Urfah; it is attached to the Birs Nimrod, where the Arabs say the event took place; and by the Persians and Kurds, to the mound of Manjanik, in Luristan, as well, also, to Tashun, (the name of which is derived from Atash, fire) in the same country.

It will remind the reader, in some of its particulars, of the “ burn

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ing fiery furnace," into which Nebuchadnezzar cast the three Jews; but it belongs, in reality, to a more remote antiquity, and is connected with the “Ur," or fire, of the Chaldees; for Colonel Rawlinson truly remarks, that the fire worshippers of the East all refer the institutions of their religion to this legend of Nimrod and the patriarch.

It has been frequently proposed to read Ur in the acceptation of “ country," but the Jewish rabbins are unanimous in translating the word as fire, or light, and it is the version given in the Vulgate. It would appear, thus, simply to refer to the spot where the primordial fire of the Chaldeans burnt, and which was in all times distinguished from the “Ur,” or fire temple, of the Persians at Atra, by its designation of Ur of the Chaldees, and which same fire was transferred to the mound of Urchoe during the Chaldæo-Babylonian empire.f

There is every reason, from the study of antiquity, to believe that the original creed of the Chaldeans was that propagated with various modifications by the Sabæans and Persians. Their god Oannes, the Hermes of mythology, sprang, according to Berosus, from the sun; and light was regarded as the eternal substance itself, until the learned Magians of the Babylonian Ur gave a body and form to the primordial worship.

It is not impossible that Abraham, to whom the knowledge of one God was divinely vouchsafed, underwent persecutions in his own country, from his disregard to the received divinity, previous to his migration to the promised land. All Oriental traditions refer to something of the kind; and it is even related, that he was imprisoned in the city of Accad; but this tradition of his auto-da-can have no further foundation in truth than his connexion with “Ur of the Chaldees.” And it will be observed, that the term Manjanik may have been derived from the Greek “Manganicon," a military engine ; but the use of the Mangonel was not known to the Orientals till the time of the Crusades, so that this is a very modern addition to the original legend.

Whether the Chaldeans were descendants of Cush, or of Arphaxad, as advocated by some, or of Chased, (who was not born at the time of Abraham's dwelling at “Ur,") as advocated by others, does not affect these considerations; nor do the various discussions as to their nomadic existence in countries to the northwards ; it is sufficient for our purpose, that Ur is first noticed in Holy Writ in the time of Terah, the father of Abraham, and in connexion with the patriarch and his brethren; and the distinction established between the Ur of the Chaldees, and the Ur of Babylonia, facilitates a far greater extent of Biblical inquiry than is connected with the origin of the Chaldees as a people anterior to the Chaldæo-Babylonian empire.

The third tradition is that which points out a recent Mohammedan tomb as the sepulture of Abraham, at Urfah. This would be scarcely worthy of notice, except as having, percbance, originated from the

Isaiah, xxiv, 15, where the word Ur occurs in the Hebrew, is translated by Bochart in vallibus celelrate Dominum ; but in the Vulgate, “ In the fires."

† Julian notices Edessa as sacred from time immemorial to the sun ; and where, in company with the orb of day, were worshipped Momimum and 'Azizum, whom Jamblicus, as quoted by the emperor, identifies, the one with Mercury and the other with Mars. We have still, in the present day, the hills called Abd el 'Aziz, " the Exalted,” in the same neighbourhood.

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