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■They were so weak as to think that the city Canobus had its name from a pilot of Menelaus, and that even Memphis was built by Epaphos of 11 Argos. There surely was never any nation so incurious and indifferent about truth. Hence have arisen those contradictions and inconsistences with which their history is x+ embarrassed.

It may appear ungracious, atid 1 am sure it is far from a pleasing task to point but blemishes in a people of so refined a turn as the Grecians, whose ingenuity and elegance have been admired for ages. Nor Would I engage in a display of this kind, were it not necessary to shew their prejudices and mistakes, in order to remedy their failures. On our part we have been too much accustomed to take in the gross with little or no examination, whatever they have been pleased to transmit: and there is no method of discovering the truth but by shewing wherein they failed, and pointing out the mode of error, the line of deviation. By unravelling the clue, we may be at last led to see things in their original state, and to reduce their mythology to order. That

13 Apollodorus. 1. 2. p. 62. -Clemens. 1. 1. Strom., p. 383, from Aristippus. ,

14 vSce Josephus contra ^Apion. 1.1. e. 3. p. 439.

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my censures are not groundless, nor carried to an undue degree of seventy, may be proved from the like accusations from some of their best writers; who accuse them both of ignorance and forgery. fs Hecatteus, of Miletus, acknowledges, that the traditions of the Greeks zcere as ridiculous as they were numerous: * and Philo confesses that he could obtain little intelligence from that quarter: that the Grecians had brought a mist upon learning, so that it was impossible to discover the truth ■•■ he therefore applied to people of other countries for information, from whom only it couli be obtained. PlatoX7 owned that the most genuine

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helps to philosophy zvere borrowed from those wha by the Greeks were styled barbarous: and *8 Jam-* blichus gives the true reason for the preferences The Helladians, says this writer, arc ever waver* ing and unsettled in their principles, and an carried about by the least impulse:" They want steadiness; and if they obtain dny salutary know* ledge, they cannot retain it f nay,'they aaitiiwit ft a kind of eagerness; and, whateter i&ey do admitj they new mould and fashion,-according, to sorrii novel and uncertain mode of i>easoning. Bttt people of other countries are more determinate in their principles, and abide more uniformly by the very terms which they have traditionally retcivedi They are represented in the sarrie 4igh£ byi-Theophilus: 29he says, that they'^i'totd merely fop empty praise, and were so blinded With *vanitg,> that they neither discovered the truth theirsehxd,' nor encouraged others to pursue it. Hence Tati

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anus says, with great truth, 5° that the writers of other countries were strangers to that vanity with •which the Grecians were infected: that they wera wore simple and uniform, and did not encourage themselves in an affected variety of notions.

In respect to foreign history, and geographical knowledge, the Greeks, in general, were very ignorant: and the writers, who, in the time of the Roman Empire, began to make more accurate inquiries, met with insuperable difficulties from the mistakes of those who had preceded. I know no censure more severe and just than that which Strabo has passed upon the historians and geographers of Greece, and of its writers in general. In speaking of the Asiatic nations, he assures us, that there never had been any account transmitted of them upon which we can depend. '' Some of these nations, says this judicious writer, the Grecians have called Saba, and others Massageta, without having the least light to determine them. And though they have pretended to give a history of Cyrus, and his parti' cular wars with those who were called Massagetce, yet nothing precise and satisfactory could ever be obtained; not even in respect to the war. There is the same uncertainty in respect jto the antient history of the Persians, as well as to that of the Medes and Syrians. We can meet with little that can be deemed authentic, on account of the weakness of those who wrote, and their uniform love of fable. For, finding that wri~

30 n«ji input it Th< xiyoJof ia; 5 i^/ipo; ax in' hy/tarut h woixiPiiaif w xxra.xfpiu(ix. Tatianus contra Graecos. p. 269.

31 Tok; pit ta.Kttf, rtvf it lAxtrtraytrxs txxMvv, ux S^o>ti; ctxfiGvt Aiyito w«pi xvrat avitt, xaiirip sr^o; lAxfaayttxs -rot Kcga woAifto* »Vofoi/m?' aXhx Oi>t« iri^j iovru» ocant ijx^ifcaiTo crfa; aXn9eia» ovist, >ni T* ttxhxix TW Utf&w, ovn ruv Mriiixvt, ij Tvpsxxvr, 1; vtr" nfsxtsiTt . yuyxXnt ita Ti)» rut avyy^xtysat xirXorriTX Xxi rrit ^iXofivSiau, Ogvrrst yaj Touc fxts%v$ fA.v6<iy£x$evf tviowjAovrrxs, vydne-xf xxi a.vrti<; fffltf tf eo-6a* t^y yqxtynv bisixt, sxv tt> iro&xs v^rifAxrt htyvcriv, x /ArjdWflTs ttaot, ,

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Graecis H^storicis plerumquc poeticje similem esse licentiam. Quinctilianus. 1.11. c. 11.

quicquid Gracia mendax

Audet in Historic. Juvenal.

Strabo of the antient Grecian historians: Ah h run tzaXawy

Tortus axo«£i» ovriiii, us Imi hjjLo^oyavfiivut o-tpofyct. 01 yap »£«Tfpoi B(^ *««i; ►opn£ao-i xai T' a»ama *£y£i». 1. 8. p. 545.

flams p£» yap oi Ot^i AXffa^ov To Oai^aron am T' a^G»{ awoijE

Z''>TM /*aWw>n. Strabo. 1. 15. p. 1022. •

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