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sary cruelty. On his return, he summoned the satraps of Western Asia to appear before his tribunal, and answer for their disobedience. Antigonus, seeing his danger, entered into a league with Ptolemy, the satrap of Egypt, Antipater, the governor of Macedon, and several other noblemen, to crush the regency. Perdiccas, on the other hand, leaving Eumenes to guard Lower Asia, marched with the choicest divisions of the royal army against Ptolemy, whose ability he dreaded even more than his power. Antipater and Craterus were early in the field. They crossed the Hellespont with the army that had been left for the defence of Macedon, and, on their landing, were joined by Neoptolemus, the governor of Phrygia. Their new confederate informed the Macedonian leaders that the army of Eumenes was weak, disorderly, and incapable of making the least resistance. Seduced by this false information, they divided their forces; Antipater hastening through Phrygia in pursuit of Perdiccas, while Craterus and Neoptolemus marched against Eumenes. They encountered him in the Trojan plain, and were completely defeated. Neoptolemus was slain in the first onset, and Craterus lay mortally wounded, undistinguished among the heaps of dead. Eumenes, having learned the state of Craterus, hastened to relieve him. He found him in the agonies of death, and bitterly lamented the misfortunes that had changed old friends into bitter enemies.

Immediately after this great victory, Eumenes sent intelligence of his success to Perdiccas; but, two days before the messenger reached the royal camp, the regent was no more. His army, wearied by the long siege of Pelusium, became dissatisfied. Their mutinous dispositions were secretly encouraged by the emissaries of Ptolemy. Python, who had been formerly employed by the regent in the ruthless massacre of some Greek mercenaries for disobedience of orders, organized a conspiracy, and Perdiccas was murdered in his tent, 321 B. C. Had the news of the victory obtained by Eumenes reached the camp earlier, the regent's life might have been saved; but now the news served only to aggravate the malice of the insurgent satraps.

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promote civilization. Accordingly, he built several cities, the most celebrated of which were Antioch, in Syria, and Seleucia, near Babylon. In peopling them, he gave great privileges to the Jews.

From this period, the history of Seleucus belongs to Syria, as he removed his capital to Antioch, and considered Syria the central part of his empire. He was treacherously killed, 280 B. C., in the eighty-second year of his age, by Ptolemy Ceraunus, who had fled from Egypt, and whom he had hospitably received. His successors, called Seleucida, were twenty-one in number, and reigned over Syria till the country was conquered by the Roman general Pompey, 65 B. C.

Seleucus is much praised by ancient writers. He was endowed with great personal strength and courage, and seems to have possessed some generous qualities. His ability as a general, and wisdom as a statesman, were of a superior order, and placed him at the head of the successors of the great Macedonian.

This brief outline shows that the gigantic empire of Alexander continued in his own hands but about ten years. It then fell to pieces, and became the spoil of his greedy followers, in which not a single descendant of the founder was allowed to participate. The city of Alexandria, an enduring memorial of his policy, is the only conspicuous object which bears his name.

Beside the grand divisions of Alexander's empire already noticed, and whose history will be given in the course of our work, several small kingdoms sprung up in Western Asia of considerable historical interest. Among them were Pergamus, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Pontus, Cappadocia, Greater Armenia, Lesser Armenia, to which may be added the commercial state of Petra and the republic of Rhodes. These also will be duly noticed in their place.


280 to 272 B. C.

Parthian Dominion in Persia The Sassanians - Shahpoor - Hormisdas. LEAVING the further history of Alexander's succes

The struggle which followed between the rival aspirants to dominion continued for twenty years, and displayed the most shocking spectacles of intrigue, treachery, and bloodshed. At last, a battle was fought at Ipsus, in Phrygia, 301 B. C., between the contend-sors, we return to Persia. The authority of the Seleuing parties, which ended in the defeat of Antigonus, who had hitherto been in the ascendant. The consequence of this was a new division of the provinces, and an erection of the satrapies into four independent kingdoms, the thrones of which were occupied by four of Alexander's leading generals.

Ptolemy became king of Egypt, including some contiguous territory in Asia. His dynasty, embracing thirteen kings, continued for about two hundred and ninety years, when Egypt was conquered by Rome. Lysimachus obtained Thrace, to which were attached the northern provinces of Asia Minor. Cassander took possession of Macedon and Greece, with the rich province of Cilicia.

Seleucus, surnamed Nicator, or Conqueror, received the dominion of Upper Asia, of which Babylon was the centre; and here, for a time, he had his capital. He extended his empire, which is said at last to have embraced all the nations conquered by Alexander, from Phrygia to the Indus. He was now at leisure to

cida continued undisturbed for more than half a century, when, about 250 B. C., the Parthians made the first attempt to snatch the sceptre from them. Arsaces, a noble of that country, raised a rebellion, expelled the Macedonians from Parthia, and assumed the title of a king. In a moment of victory, however, he was mortally wounded, and died bequeathing his crown to his brother Tiridates, and his name to the Parthian dynasty. The history of this monarchy will be found in another part of our work.

The Parthian dominion in Persia endured nearly five hundred years. This long period is little better than a blank in the Eastern histories; yet, when we refer to Roman writers, we find this space abounding in events of which a gallant nation might well be proud. Parthian monarchs, whose names cannot now be discovered in the history of their own country, were the only enemies upon whom the Roman arms, in the fulness of their power, could make no permanent impres sion. But this, no doubt, may be attributed to other


causes than the skill and valor of the Parthians. It was to the nature of their country and their singular mode of warfare that they owed their frequent advantages over the disciplined legions of Rome. The frontier which the kingdom of Parthia presented to the Roman empire extended from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf. It consisted of lofty and barren mountains, of broad and rapid streams, and of wide-spreading deserts. In whatever direction the legions of Rome advanced, the country was laid waste. The mode in which the Parthian warrior took his unerring aim, while his horse was carrying him from his enemy, baffled all the efforts of Roman skill and courage, and the bravest veterans of the empire murmured when their leaders talked of a Parthian war.

The commencement of the Sassanian dynasty, A. D. 226, forms a new era in the history of Persia. These monarchs were engaged in constant wars with the Roman empire, and the events recorded by the historians of Rome enable us to correct the accounts of Oriental authors. This dynasty was founded by Ardeshir Babigan, a descendant of Sassan, the grandson of Isfundear. A rapid rise in the service of the Parthian king intoxicated his ardent mind, and dreams, the offspring of ambitious hopes, confirmed his aspiring designs. Driven from court, he was received with acclamation by the nobility of the province of Fars. His resolution to aim at sovereign power was encour aged by the feebleness of the imperial armies. The Persians flocked around his standard, Arduan, the reigning king, took the field to quell the rebellion. The armies met in the plain of Hoormaz, a desperate battle ensued, Arduan lost his crown and his life, and Ardeshir was saluted on the field of victory with the title of Shahan Shah, or King of Kings-a name ever since assumed by the sovereigns of Persia.

Ardeshir took advantage of the impression made by this great victory not only to subdue the remainder of the empire, but to enlarge its limits, which he extended, if we may credit Persian authors, to the Euphra, tes in one quarter, and the kingdom of Kharism in the other. The fame of Ardeshir spread in every direction. All the petty states in the vicinity of his empire proffered submission, while the greatest monarchs of the East and West courted his friendship. He was one of the wisest princes that ever reigned over Persia. The revolution which he effected in the condition of his country was wonderful. He formed a well-consolidated empire out of the scattered fragments of the Parthian monarchy, which had been in an unsettled and distracted state for centuries. The name of Parthia, which Western writers had given to this empire after the death of Alexander, ceased at his elevation to the throne, and the kingdom which he founded was recognized as that of Persia.


One of the characteristic features in the government of Ardeshir was his zeal to sustain the ancient religion, which had been neglected or degraded by the Parthian monarchs. This zeal was as much the offspring of policy as of piety. He summoned a great assembly of mobuds and priests from all parts of the kingdom, to assist in this religious reform; and the event is still regarded as most important, even in the history of the creed of Zoroaster. The testamentary advice which Ardeshir addressed to his son, as recorded by Firdusi, exhibits his views of religion and of the duties of a sovereign in a very favorable light.

Shahpoor, called by the Western writers Sapor, succeeded his father Árdeshir. He carried his arms into the Roman territories, and the emperor Valerian, then in his 70th year, marched against him. The Romans were defeated, and Valerian was taken prisoner. The treatment of the captive emperor has been the theme of many a singular tale. It is said that the Persian monarch exposed him to the public gaze as a monument of fallen greatness; that he used his neck as a footstool whenever he mounted his horse, and that he finally caused the wretched Valerian to be flayed alive, and his skin to be stuffed and preserved in the chief temple of the empire as a trophy of victory! These accounts are not well authenticated; but it is certain that the Roman emperor passed the remainder of his life in helpless captivity. Odenathus, prince of Palmyra, and after him the emperor Aurelian, avenged, at length, the Roman honor; but Shahpoor, after building various cities, and conquering many provinces, bequeathed his dominions, A. D. 271, to his son, Hormisdas.

The Persian histories relate a very extraordinary adventure of Hormisdas, before he ascended the throne. His father had appointed him governor of Khorosan, where he highly distinguished himself. His conduct, however, did not prevent some envious and designing men from exciting suspicions of his fidelity, in the breast of Shahpoor. Hormisdas was soon made acquainted with the success of his enemies, and resolved on a desperate action. He cut off one of his hands and sent it to his father, desiring him to accept that unquestionable proof of his devoted allegiance. Shahpoor was horror-struck at the rash act which his suspicions had led his son to commit. He recalled him to court, and from that time gave him his full confidence. This virtuous prince reigned but one year. He founded a city called by his own name, where, at this day, the inhabitants show an orangetree believed to have been planted by him, and which, on this account, is universally venerated.

Persian writers have preserved sayings of this prince which display both goodness and wisdom. "There can be no power," he remarked, "without an army; no army without money; no money without agriculture; and no agriculture without justice." | Baharam It was a common saying of his, that "a ferocious lion was better than an unjust king; but an unjust king was not so bad as a long war.' He was also accustomed to say that "kings should never use the sword when the cane would answer 99 a fine lesson to despotic monarchs, whom it was meant to teach that they should never take away life when the offence will admit of a smaller punishment.

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THE reign of Baharam I., the Varanes of the Greek writers, is remarkable for the execution of Mani, the founder of the sect of Manichæans, who attempted to amalgamate the doctrine of Zoroaster, the metempsychosis of the Hindoos, and the tenets of Christianity into one religious code. Driven from



Persia, in the reign of Shahpoor, he ventured back in the time of Baharam, who, under pretext of hearkening to his instructions, seized the impostor, put him to death, and ordered his skin, stuffed with straw, to be hung up at the gate of the capital.

The virtues and talents of Baharam V., his gallantry, his munificence, and his mild yet firm government, are favorite themes with the native historians. The patriarchal simplicity of his sway resembled that of an Arab chief rather than the rule of an absolute monarch. Fond, to excess, of the sports of the field, he was one day hunting a wild ass on the plain of Orjam, which abounds with deep morasses. In his heedless pursuit of the animal, the king plunged on horseback into a bog, and was never seen afterwards. In the reign of this monarch, music and minstrels were first introduced into Persia from Hindostan. One day, we are told, Baharam observed a merry group of people dancing without music. He inquired the cause, and was answered, "We have sent every where, and offered a hundred pieces of gold for a musician, but in vain." The king immediately ordered twelve thousand Hindoo musicians and singers to be invited into his dominions from Hindostan. He died A. D. 438.


gence of this was sent to court. The king, partaking in the superstition of the age, demanded of the chief mobud or high priest, what it portended. The officer gave a reply, which, while it shows him to have been a virtuous courtier, satisfies us that Nushirvan, with all his great qualities, was a despot to whom truth could only be spoken indirectly. By what I have learned from the history of former times," said the pontiff, "it is when injustice prevails, that beasts of prey spread over a kingdom." Nushirvan, who well knew what was meant, immediately appointed a secret body of commissioners, in whom he placed complete confidence, and directed them to visit every province of the empire, and bring him a true report of the conduct of the inferior officers of the state. The result of this inquiry was the discovery of great abuses, and the execution of twenty-four petty governors, convicted of injustice and tyranny.

Whatever success attended the endeavors of Nushirvan to promote the happiness of his subjects, there can be no doubt that he was, personally, a friend to justice. A Roman ambassador, who had been sent to Persia with rich presents, was one day admiring the noble prospect from the windows of the royal palace of Ctesiphon, observing an uneven piece of ground, Khosrou Nushirvan, a prince whose name is repeated asked the reason why it was not levelled. "It is the with enthusiasm and reverence by all the Eastern property of an old woman," said a Persian noble; historians, and which is still in the mouth of every Per-" she refuses to sell it, and the king is more willing sian, as the symbol of wisdom, justice, and munificence, to have his prospect spoiled than to commit injustice. came to the throne A. D. 531. He made great reforms in the empire, built caravanserais, bazars, bridges, and other public edifices, founded schools and colleges, encouraged learning, and introduced at his court the philosophers of Greece. He carried on wars with the Greek empire of Constantinople, and compelled the emperor Justinian to purchase a peace by a tribute of thirty thousand pieces of gold. He conquered Syria, and extended the limits of his empire from the banks of the Phasis to the shores of the Mediterranean. But his victorious career in the West was checked by the talents of Belisarius. After his conquest of Syria, he transported the inhabitants of Antioch to the banks of the Tigris. Here he built, near Ctesiphon, a city exactly like Antioch, according to a minute plan drawn for that purpose. The resemblance was so perfect, that, on the arrival of the Antiochians at the new city, every man went as naturally to his own house, as if he had never left his native home!

Historians have dwelt on the magnificence of the courts which sought the friendship of Nushirvan. The emperors of China and Hindostan are the most distinguished. Their presents to the sovereign of Persia are described as exceeding in curiosity and value, any that were ever before seen. Eastern monarchs delight to display their wealth and grandeur in the splendor of their embassies; but this conduct has, in general, a better motive than vanity. It is from the style of his equipage, the magnificence of his presents, and the personal deportment of an ambassador, that ignorant nations judge of the power and character of the monarch whom he represents.

All the vigilance and justice of Nushirvan could not prevent corruption and tyranny among the officers of his government. During the latter years of his reign, an immense number of jackals, from the deserts of Tartary, invaded the northern provinces of Persia, and the inhabitants were greatly alarmed at the horrid screams and howlings of their new visitors. Intelli

The Roman replied, "That irregular spot, consecrated as it is by justice, appears more beautiful than all the surrounding scene." The Eastern histories are full of similar anecdotes of NUSHIRVAN THE JUST. The noble and firm character of this monarch resisted the influence of that luxury by which he was surrounded. He neither gave himself up to indulgence, nor permitted it in others; and the aged king of Persia was seen, shortly before his death, to lead his troops to battle with as active and ardent a spirit as he had shown in his earliest enterprises.

Nushirvan died A. D. 579. His brilliant reign may be regarded as the close of ancient Persian history.* He found the monarchy hastening to decay, and he attempted to restore its strength. His success was unparalleled, and his great genius preserved the declining empire during his own life. But, from the moment of his decease, the fortunes of Persia assumed an entirely new face, and the national history became stamped with a character unknown to former times.

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separated by the Tigris, was Susiana, of which Susa, or Shushan-the "City of Cities was the chief town. This was situated on the Choaspes River, and, though without walls, was a place of great strength, having a strong citadel called the Memnonia. Alexander, on his march towards India, here found fifty thousand talents of uncoined gold, besides silver, and precious stones, of great value. It is said that the prophet Daniel died here, and here the people pretend to show his monument. Here, also, Esther prevailed on Ahasuerus to spare the lives of the Jews, whom Haman had persuaded him to destroy. Here Alexander married a daughter of Darius, and ten thousand Macedonians wedded as many Persian women. Khusistan, the modern name of Susiana, is a corruption of its ancient title.

Persia Proper, the central part of modern Persia, was but a province of the empire. Carmania we have described as a province lying between Persia proper and Gedrosia. Its capital, Carmana, now Kaman, was in the interior. On the coast is the little island of Tyrine, now Ormus, and famed for the wealth of its commerce three centuries since.

Gedrosia, now Beloochistan, and Aria, or Ariana, now Afghanistan and part of Independent Tartary, were, at one time, provinces of Persia. The latter was famous for its mines. Here was anciently a tribe called Evergetæ, or Benefactors, in consequence of saving many persons lost in the deserts of the country. The people were formed into republics, and showed such evidences of intelligence, that Alexander conferred upon them special privileges.

In Aria was the town of Prophthasia, where Alexander caused Philotas, son of Parmenio, to be put to death. From one of the Arian tribes, called Cabolita, the modern city of Cabul derives its name. Margiana was a part of this territory, and celebrated for its grapes. Here many of the Roman soldiers, after their defeat under Crassus, were taken, and, intermingling with the people, refused to leave the country. These were among the more immediate and central provinces of ancient Persia, and constituted the heart of the empire.



Cyrus the Great had no income but presents. Darius, in consequence, was nicknamed "the Merchant," while Cyrus was called "Father." Before the conquest of Lydia, the Persians are said to have had no money, and so little artificial wealth of any kind, that they had no clothing except the skins of beasts. No religion except that of the Jews, has experienced so little change as that of the ancient Persians. Originating in an age when history is lost in fable, it maintained itself through good and bad fortune, till in our days it faintly appears in the persecuted sect of the Guebres, in Persia, or among the more fortunate and industrious Parsees of India. The primeval religion of Persia consisted in a belief in one supreme God, a pious fear, love, and adoration of him, a reverence for parents and aged persons, a paternal affection for the whole human race, and a compassionate tenderness for the brute creation. This belief was followed by the adoration of the host of heaven or the celestial bodies. To this worship succeeded that of fire. According to Herodotus, the Persians had neither temples, statues, nor idols, though they offered sacrifices to the Supreme Being on the tops of high mountains.

Zoroaster, if not the founder of the Persian religion, so perfected it as to make it identified with his own name. His history is obscure, and he had the reputation of being a great astrologer. His religious system has been pronounced the most perfect that was ever devised by unassisted human reason. He taught that God existed from all eternity, and was like infinity of time and space. He believed there were two principles animating the whole universe; the one good, named Ormuzd, and the other evil, named Ahriman. Each of these had the power of creation, but that power was exercised with opposite designs. From their united action, an admixture of good and evil was found in every created thing. The good principle alone was believed to be eternal, and destined ultimately to prevail. With these speculative tenets was combined a system of castes, the introduction of which is ascribed to GiamFrom the earliest periods of history, Persia appears schid. The conservation of the ordinances regulating to have been under a despotic government. Of the the public morals was entrusted to the Magians, who precise form of this government we know merely appear to have been originally a tribe of the Medes. that it was an hereditary monarchy, that the sovereign Zoroaster reformed the institutions of this body, and was absolute, and his person almost sacred. The made the priestly dignity accessible to men of every Greek historians assert that ancient Persia was in-class, though few persons assumed the office who habited by a wise and enlightened race of men who lived under a just government; and we read in Scripture that the laws of the Medes and Persians were unchangeable. The kings of Persia, from the earliest ages, have assumed extravagant titles, and lived in great splendor; but they seem to have been subject to the occasional check, if not the control, of a military nobility, many of whom descended from the royal family, and held the richest provinces as

were not of Magian descent. The Persian court was principally composed of sages and soothsayers. The priests also were judges in civil cases, because religion was the basis of their legislation.



Character, Manners, &c., of the

principalities. These nobles were always assembled State of Civilization among the ancient Perbefore a monarch was placed upon the throne; and their assent was, in fact, necessary, as they held, by right of birth, the several commands in the army.

The ministers of the crown seem, in ancient times, as at present, to have been generally chosen from men of learning and experience, but of low birth. The collection of the revenues was first settled by Darius Hystaspes, who divided Persia into twenty satrapies or governments, and fixed the regular contributions from each. This was an innovation.


MANY arguments for the ancient civilization and prosperity of Persia are founded on the extent and magnitude of its edifices: but amid these ruins we find few that were dedicated to purposes of real public utility. The polished fragments of vast palaces, and the remains of rich sculpture, prove only that the kings were wealthy and powerful monarchs

not that



they had happy or civilized subjects. The object of ambition among all Eastern kings is to enjoy grandeur, and to leave a great name. The luxury in which the sovereigns of Persia have always indulged, extended Manners, Learning, Military System, &c., of

to the nobility, and, in prosperous times, it must have been generally diffused over the empire. That such luxury could not have existed without many of the arts of peace, and a certain progress in civilization, is obvious; but this progress was continually retarded by the internal wars consequent upon the system of the government.

That the ancient Persians inhabited towns and cities, is proved both by history and by the antiquity of some of the most extensive ruins now visible. In the earliest ages of which we have any knowledge, they must have depended more upon agriculture than on their flocks for support, as we are assured that they long held animal food in abhorrence. The ancient Persians were athletic and strong, and of a good personal appearance. Some of their descendants are now settled on the western coast of Hindostan : these persons are of pure blood, and never intermarry with any other race. But after a residence of eleven hundred years in an enervating climate, they are still superior to the modern inhabitants of Persia, who belong to a great number of mixed races that have poured into the kingdom since the overthrow of Yezdijird and the establishment of Mahometanism.

The Persian troops, in the days of Cyrus, were looked upon as invincible. This is ascribed to the temperate and laborious life to which they were accustomed from infancy. They drank only water; their food was bread and roots, and the bare ground generally their bed. They were also inured to the most painful exercises and labors. They were trained up to military service from their most tender years, by passing through different exercises. They served in the army from the age of twenty to that of fifty, and whether in peace or war, they always wore swords, as was the custom in most European countries till within a century. The hardy education of the Persians, however, belongs only to the age of Cyrus, and perhaps a short period afterward. When we compare the manners of these times with those of a later age, they hardly seem to indicate the same people. The conquests of Cyrus led to the corruption of the Persian manners. The ancient, simple attire was exchanged for foreign apparel-shining with gold and purple. Luxury and extravagance soon rose to a ruinous excess. The monarch carried all his wives with him to the wars, and his chief officers followed his example. The most exquisite meats and costly dainties were provided for the commanders of armies during the whole of their campaigns. This luxury, we are told by Plato, was one of the causes of the decline of the Persian empire. Another was the want of public faith. The primitive Persians prided themselves upon keeping their word; but the servile flatterers of the great king relapsed into falsehood, deceit, and perjury, and sacrificed every thing to the humor of the despot.

The lesson taught by the history of Persia is the same as that which we gather from the annals of Greece and Rome. Corruption of public morals inevitably leads to political disease and dissolution. A sound moral basis is as essential to the durability of government as a good foundation to the stability of an architectural edifice.

the ancient Persians.

THE manners of the Persians, it is true, were softened, and in some degree refined, by a spirit of chivalry which prevailed in Persia between the time of Cyrus and that of Alexander. Courage was hardly held in more esteem than generosity and humanity; and the first heroes in the Persian romantic histories are not more praised for valor than for clemency and munificence. If we may believe Firdusi, the laws of modern honor were well understood and practised by the ancient Persians. The great respect in which the female sex was held, was, no doubt, the principal cause of their progress in civilization. men had an honorable rank in Persian society. The warriors, as an incentive to courage, often took with them to battle their wives and children.


The residence of the Persian kings varied with the season, during the early ages of the empire. The court was held generally about seven months at Babylon, three at Susa, or Shushan, and two at Ecbatana. At a later date, Persepolis became the chief capital. The royal palace in this city was very magnificent, and its furniture of inestimable value. According to the description of Herodotus, the walls and ceilings of the apartments were entirely covered with gold, silver, ivory, and amber. The throne was of fine gold, supported by four pillars richly adorned with precious stones. The same author describes a vine of gold, presented to Darius by Pythias, a Lydian, of which the trunk and branches were enriched with jewels of great value. The clusters of grapes which hung over the king's head, as he sat on the throne, were all composed of precious stones. Adjoining the palace were fine gardens, parks, &c.

Nushirvan was the first monarch whom historians mention as the founder of a college; but the mobuds, or priests, had their books of religion at an early period, and the chronicles of the kings of Persia were preserved with great care. It is not easy to ascertain how far learning was cultivated by the ancient Persians. Their wise men were distinguished for their knowledge of astrology, which implies some acquaintance with the science of astronomy; but this study, as well as most others, appears to have been confined to the priesthood. Whatever treasures in science and learning the ancient Persians may have possessed, they are now irrecoverably lost. The reign of Nushirvan is said to have been the Augustan era of Persian literature; but the learned men of Rome, who resorted to the court of that monarch, returned disappointed at not finding so advanced a state of knowl edge as they had expected.

Persia, however, is the earliest country in which we find the use of regular posts and couriers. This invention is ascribed to Cyrus, and by some writers to Darius. As the empire, by conquests, had become greatly enlarged, it was essential that all the governors of the provinces should send accounts to the seat of government, at stated times, of every thing that passed in their several districts. To accomplish this with the greater despatch, post-houses were built, and messengers stationed in every province. At all these stations were large stables, with relays of horses, postmasters, &c., so that the couriers were kept going day and night.

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