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and masterly view of the very interesting period which it embraces, as would have been given by Mr. Gibbon or Dr. Robertson; but it exhibits proofs of learned research, and may, upon the whole, we think, be read with pleasure and advantage. It deserves no praise on the score of style, which is commonly diffuse and overcharged; and often vulgar and slovenly. We cannot dismiss this subject, without remarking, that there are some interesting questions with regard to the Grecian monarchies after Alexander, which are scarce at all touched by Dr. Gillies. Such are the state of their armies, and the sort of troops of which they were composed, their laws and government,-the tone of the national character and manners,-the state of the natives under their subjection, and the symptoms of internal strength or weakness in their situation. We cannot justly be expected to make up this deficiency; but perhaps the reader will excuse us for putting together a few facts upon some of these points, which will not be found collectively in the work under our review.
I. The small Macedonian army of Alexander received frequent recruits from the same country during the course of his conquests; which, however, unless more numerous thàn ancient writers report them, could have little more than repaired the losses of war and fatigue during eleven years, and filled the place of those veterans whom, from time to time, he dismissed to their native country. The collective armies, however, of his generals, while they were disputing the spoil, almost immediately after his death, seem to have been very numerous. Antigonus brought 80,000 men into the battle of Ipsus. The opposite army was little inferiour; and the troops of Ftolemy were not engaged in this action. This too, was after twenty years of constant warfare, and many well contested and sanguinary battles. Macedon was, indeed, the mint of soldiers; but Macedon was a country of no vast extent, and, after it became divided from the rest of the empire, could not, it should seem, have furnished troops to foreign and often hostile sovereigns. The solution of this problem may be found by comparing scattered passages of antiquity. The great strength of all these armies was the Macedonian phalanx; one of those grand military innovations which have rewarded the genius of their inventors with supreme power and renown. For two centuries the phalanx was supposed to be irresistible. When complete, it consisted of 1024 files, 16 deep. Their charge in close order, presenting their Macedonian spears, which were of such a length, that those of the fifth rank projected beyond the front, was not to be withstood by the shorter weapons and less compact arrangement of the Greeks; much less by the rude and irregular multitudes of the Asiaticks. This phalanx, so early as the time of Alexander, was filled up with Persians. We are told by Arrian, that he formed the three first ranks of Macedonians, the twelve next of Persians, and placed another Macedonian in the last. By this judicious intermixture, the want of skill, and perhaps of bravery, in the Persians, was compensated. They acquired, with the arms and discipline, the spirit and self estimation of their conquerors; and we are almost inclined to suspect, that they were gradually confounded under the same name. Long at least after this age, and when few native Macedonians can be well supposed to have served in the troops of Egypt, in the sedition which followed the death of Ptolemy Philopater, the soldiery is addressed by Agathocles with that honourable appellation. Next in dignity to the Macedonians, or those at least who bore their name in the phalanx, were the mercenary troops who were raised, in great numbers, for the service of the two eastern kings, from the Grecian cities of Europe and Asia. These seem not to have adopted the Macedonian
tacticks, but were ranged commonly on each side of the phalanx, and formed a very respectable part of the army. The great victory obtained by Ptolemy Philopater at Raphia, is ascribed, by Polybius, to the freshness of his Grecian mercenaries, which had lately been levied for his service; whereas, those of Antiochus were exhausted by the fatigue of long campaigns in the Upper Asia. A passage in Plautus throws light upon the recruiting or crimping system of that time. In the comedy of the Miles Gloriosus, Pyrgopolinices tells us that he was employed upon such a commission :
"Nam rex Seleucus me opere oravit maximo,
Act 1. Sc. 1.
In the plays, indeed, of that writer, and of Terence, the mirrours of the later Greek comedy, we find the stage character of the partisan, who has served in the wars of Asia, as much established as those of the slave and the parasite. It occurs three or four times in Plautus, and once in the well known Thraso of Terence: and although the sameness which pervades them may lead us to think that these authors rather copied each other than real life, there must have been a prototype in the received notion of the character, which the publick were able to recognise. In every instance, they are represented as having acquired inordinate riches, and as spending it a good deal in the same manner as an English sailor is supposed to get rid of his prize money. But the parallel will hold no further. The most ridiculous vanity, stupidity, and cowardice, are the constant attributes of the soldier in those comedies. A nation, one would think, must be sunk very low, in which the military character was never exhibited but as odious and contemptible. But, to judge from history, the picture must be somewhat overcharged. The Greeks of that age, though unable to cope with Rome or Macedon, displayed, occasionally, both skill and prowess. Perhaps it was unpopular thus to waste the blood of Greece in wars in which it had no concern; and publick indignation refused to the mercenaries of the Seleucide that admiration and sympathy which are the usual reward of a military life. The third class of troops, in the armies of these princes, were their their native subjects. Though the inhabitants of the finest climates of Asia were generally unwarlike, other parts, especially the mountainous districts, contained a hardy race of men. The skill which barbarians frequently acquire in missile weapons, is formidable to any army not possessed of artillery, and consequently obliged to fight near at hand. Media, the finest province of Asia, produced an incomparable breed of horses; and the kings of Syria, at one time, were able to reenforce their armies from the savage hardihood of the Isurian mountaineers, the obstinate bravery of the Jews, and the dexterity of the Par thian cavalry. The kingdom of Egypt seems to supply less military resources from itself. Yet, if 200,000 infantry and 40,000 horse obeyed the mandate of Philadelphus, so prodigious an army could hardly have been collected without great draughts upon the native population.
II It would be a more difficult task to attempt the satisfactory delineation of the internal state of society. If we were to judge from the personal character of the sovereigns, upon which, in a mere despotism, so much 'seems to depend, the condition of the eastern Greeks would generally appear deplorable. After the first or second generation, the successours of Seleucus and Ptolemy degenerated into effeminate luxury or portentous guilt; and the annals of Constantinople itself hardly contain a greater series of crimes, than sullied the royal families of Antioch and Alexandria<
But this was compensated to their subjects by the peculiar advantages of their situation. They enjoyed the inexhaustible fertility of Syria, Babylonia, and Egypt. The ports of the Mediterranean were crowded with vessels, secure from maritime hostility; and the creation of almost numberless cities, bearing the names of Seleucus and his family, is the noblest evidence of the riches and magnificence of that dynasty. Atheneus speaks of the Syrians, as a people who, from the fertility of their country, had little need to labour, and consumed their leisure in banqueting and diversions. Antioch, the capital, was most distinguished for this character. The beautiful grove of Daphne, situated about five miles from that city, was the scene where its luxurious inhabitants abused the prodigality of nature in every enjoyment of voluptuous ease. It was the more honourable characteristick of Alexandria, to be the seat of literature; and the praise of her sovereigns to have bestowed patronage upon men who, however inferiour to those nursed in the bosom of Grecian liberty, surpassed them in erudition, and have formed a sort of epoch in the history of letters. Less regard seems to have been paid to science by the Selucida; but they cultivated the favourite and almost peculiar at of the Greeks, that of stamping metals with consummate beauty ar ingenuity; and by their coins and medals, the imperfect remains of meir history have often been illustrated. The condition of the native orientals is not easily to be distinguished. The remote and barbarous provinces, wherein but few Greeks were settled, probably felt little more than a nominal subjection, and retained such laws and customs as they might have of their own. Even in the city of Seleucia, Polybius seems to speak of magistrates or judges belonging to the native inhabitants. Their condition, however, where the Greeks were numerous, as in Syria or Cilicia, was probably little better than servile; at least those countries seem to have supplied slaves to the markets of Greece and Italy.
III. If we were to appreciate political vigour, merely by extent of dominion, the kingdom of Syria would appear incomparably the most powerful of those that were shared amongst the conquerors of Ipsus. But it was weakened by its own size, and by the difficulty of retaining in subjection nations distinct in their race, manners, and language. The distant provinces were necessarily intrusted to the care of viceroys, who sometimes became too powerful to continue subjects. Two successive revolts of Molo in the Upper, and of Acheus in the Lesser Asia, threatened the throne of Antiochus the Great; and although his victories for a time reestablished the Syrian power throughout Asia, yet, after his death, or rather, after the inglorious events of the latter part of his reign, it soon fell to pieces, and, in less than half a century, was reduced to insignifi cance. Even in its best days, we must not conceive, that the successours of Seleucus possessed that firm and well compacted sovereignty over all parts of their dominions, which notions, borrowed from modern Europe, would lead us to expect. They received assistance in war, and tribute in peace, from many barbarous nations, who maintained, in their own precincts, a virtual independence. The writ of the king of Syria, we suspect, did not run into the mountains of the Mardi or the Carduchi. But decisive proofs of their weakness appear in the countries which were successively dismembered from their dominions. In Asia Minor, the northern parts were occupied by the three petty kingdoms of Pergamos, Bithnia, and Paphlagonia and the more powerful one of Bontus; a horde of Gauls and the kings of Cappadocia shared part of the midland district; and latterly, a nest of pirates fastened upon the southern coast of Pamphilia and Ci
licia. In the east, their possessions were equally dilapidated. Immediately after the death of Alexander, an Indian chief, by name Sandrocottus, drove the Macedonians from the Panjab; and Seleucus prudently sold his claim to those distant conquests for 500 elephants. So little is heard afterwards of the provinces lying on the hither side of the Indus, about Candahar, that we may suspect them to have followed the example. Theodotus, a Greek, soon afterwards revolted in Bactria, and established a dynasty which lasted for near a century and a half, till it was swept away by an invasion of Tartars; which is attested at once by the historians of Greece and of China. This little kingdom, stationed, as it were, upon the out posts of civilized life, has excited some interest in modern times; and Mr. Gibbon has thought fit to give them credit for being the instructers of the Tartars, and even the Hindoos, in science. It was not, however, as has sometimes been imagined, insulated, till within a few years of its downfal; the kings of Syria retaining the adjacent province of Ariana, part of the present Khorasan and Sigistan. A far more important people occupied the western parts of Khorasan, the Parthians, who are thought, with much probability, to have been a Scythian clan, which at an early Period had fixed itself in that region. Antiochus the Great kept them with bounds; but after his death they encroached upon Media, and finally usured all the provinces to the east of the Euphrates.
The kingdom of Egypt, though ecessarily more circumscribed than that of Syria, was less liable to dismemberment. Its limits were, however, various. Cyrene was its permanent appendage. It contained also, generally, Cyprus, and sometimes Celo Syria, which was its debatable frontier on the side of Asia. Two only of its monarchs seem to have achieved more extensive conquests. In the golden age of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Crete, Caria, and Lycia, were subject to Egypt. At a later period, Ptolemy Euergetes gained more unprofitable trophies, from an expedition into Nubia, the memory of which is preserved by an inscription discovered in that country about the sixth century. But when the Romans came to meddle with the affairs of the east, the kings of Egypt felt their inadequacy to contend; obeyed the mandates of the republick with humiliating obsequiousness; and were rewarded by that great Polypheme, with the privi lege of being devoured the last.
In extent and opulence, the kingdom of Macedon was the least considerable of the three. In rating its effective power, we should perhaps make a different estimate. Though not very commercial, it contained mines of the precious, as well as the ruder metals. Its natives formed excellent soldiers, brave, faithful, steady, and patient. It was embraced, except on the side of the sea, by a strong, mountainous barrier; beyond which, to the north and east, dwelt fierce and warlike barbarians, which, though not always in very thorough submission, were commonly its auxiliaries in the field. By the resistance which it made to the Roman arms, we may judge of the intrinsick strength of Macedon. The contest was quite unequal. Rome had ceased to fight up hill, and had come to wield forces of every kind, far superiour to those of any competitor. Yet even under these disadvantages, the unpopular and spiritless Perseus was able to foil three successive Roman consuls in the defence of his country. The harsh measures to which the Romans resorted, prove the sense they entertained of the compatriots of Alexander. Macedon was divided into four districts, perfectly distinct in police, and government; and, to render the separation more perfect, intermarriages among their exclusive inhabi
tants were prohibited. There is one peculiarity which applies equally to the Macedonians and Greeks of Syria and Egypt. Though each of their royal families was placed upon the throne by no right but conquest; though they had supplanted and extinguished the ancient stock; though their own elevation was recent in the memory of man; their subjects appear to have felt for them, all that blindness of loyalty, which is commonly supposed to follow only long established and illustrious dynasties. No impostor, who made pretensions to royal descent, failed of temporary success; even though he claimed to draw his breath from the contemptible Perseus, or the frantick Antiochus Epiphanes. So irregular is the attachment of nations to their rulers, and so fallacious the reasoning of those who suppose that such sentiments cannot be felt for those whose possession is but of yesterday, and whose title is the sword.
FROM THE BRITISH CRITICK.
Whistle for it. A Comick Opera, in two Acts. By the Hon. G. Lamb. 8vo.
WE have not had an opportunity of witnessing the exhibition of this little piece; but conclude that it must have excited considerable interest in the representation, containing so much that is popular, both in incident and .scenery; viz. the unexpected meeting of two captive lovers of rank and importance, in the subterraneous cave of a troop of banditti; a grand struggle between love and honour; and a most sudden and critical rescue at the very moment the dagger and gallows are about to do their gloomy business.
FROM THE BRITISH CRITICK.
Queen Hoo Hall, a Romance; and Ancient Times, a Drama. By the late Joseph Strutt, author of Rural Sports, and Pastimes of the People of England, &c. 12mo. 4 vols.
ACCUSTOMED to consider Mr. Strutt, and indeed to esteem him as one of the most diligent and most expert of our English antiquarians, we little expected to receive from his pen a work of fancy, and that too, of a superiour kind. We have been exceedingly entertained with this perfor mance, which has many characteristick marks of a lively and well regulated imagination. Perhaps the low comick scenes, representing the manners of the domesticks in great families in ancient times, is extended too far; but the superiours themselves are entitled to our warmest praise. Some pleasing poetry is also interspersed, which we have read with great gratification and interest. Altogether it deserves a distinguished place among works of the kind. It will not easily be perused by those who are unacquainted with the phraseology of the times; but a glossary is added, which will remove every difficulty.
The drama of Ancient Times is also of considerable merit; but it might as well have been separately printed, which we recommend to be done in a second edition; and that this will soon be required, we have no hesitation in foretelling.