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this inscription, in which we see the king is not ashamed to own himself indebted to his horse and his groom for so transcendant a benefaction as the regal diadem, when it was his interest, one would think, to have it considered as the fruits of a superior merit, a simplicity and sincerity peculiar to the genius of those ancient times, and extremely remote from the pride and vanity of ours.
One of the first cares of Darius, when he was settled on the throne, was to regulate the state of the provinces, and to put his finances in good order. Before his time, Cyrus and Cambyses had contented themselves with receiving from the conquered nations such free gifts only as they voluntarily offered, and with requiring a certain number of troops, when they had occasion for them. But Darius conceived, that it was impossible for him to preserve all the nations subject to him, in peace and security, without keeping up regular forces, and without assigning them a certain pay; or to be able punctually to give them that pay, without laying taxes and impositions upon the people *
In order, therefore, to regulate the administration of his finances, he divided the whole empire into twenty districts, or governments, each of which was annually to pay a certain sum to the satrap, or governor appointed for that purpose. The natural subjects, that is, the Persians, were exempt from all imposts. Herodotus has an exact enumeration of these provinces, which may very much contribute to give us a just idea of the extent of the Persian empire.
In Asia, it comprehended all that now belongs to the Persians and Turks ; in Africa, it included Egypt and part of Nubia, as also the coasts of the Mediterranean, as far as the kingdom of Barca; in Europe, part of Thrace and Macedonia. But it must be observed, that in this vast extent of country, there were several nations, which were only tributary, and nut properly subjects to Persia; as is the case at this day, with respect to the Turkish empire.
History observes, that Darius, in imposing these tributes, showed great wisdom and moderation. He sent for the principal inhabitants of every province ; such as were best acquainted with the condition and ability of their country, and were obliged by interest to give him a true and impartial account. He then asked them, if such and such sums, which he proposed to each of them for their respective provinces, were not too great, or did not exceed what they were able to pay? his intention being, as he told them, not to oppress bis subjects, but only to require such aids from them as were proportioned to their incomes, and absolutely necessary for the defence of the state. They all answered that the sums be proposed were very reasonable, and such as would not be burdensome to the people. The king, however, was pleased to abate one half, choosing rather to keep a great deal within bounds, than to risk a possibility of exceeding them.f
But notwithstanding this extraordinary moderation on the king's part, as there is something odious in all imposts, the Persians, who gave the surname of father to Cyrus, and of master to Cambyses, thought fit tc characterize Darius with that of merchant. I
The several sums levied by the imposition of these tributes, or taxes, as far as we cau infer from the calculation of Herodotus, which is attended with great difficulties, amounted in the whole to about forty-four millions per annum French, or something less than two millions English money.
After the death of the Magian impostor, it was agreed that the Persian noble. men who had conspired against him, should, besides several other marks of distinction, have the liberty of free access to the king's presence at all times, except when he was alone with the queen. Intaphernes, one of these noble. men, being refused admittance into the king's apartment, at a time when the
* Herod. c. 89—97.
† Plut. in Apophthegm. p. 172. Kaunios signifies something more mcan and contemptible; but I do not know how to express it in our language. It may signify a broker, or a retailer, any
one that buys to sell again $ Nearly nine millions of dollars.
king and queen were in private together, in a violent rage attacked the officers of the palace, abused them outrageously, cutting their faces with his scimitar. Darius highly resented so heinous an insult; and at first apprehended it might be a conspiracy among the noblemen. But when he was well assured of the contrary, he caused Intaphernes, with his children, and all that were of his family, to be taken up, and had them all condemned to be put to death, coufounding, through a blind excess of severity, the innocent with the guilty. In these unhappy circumstances, the criminals lady went every day to the gates of the palace, crying and weeping in the most lamentable manner, and never ceasing to implore the king's clemency with all the pathetic eloquence of sorrow and distress. The king could not resist so moving a spectacle, and besides her own, granted her the pardon of any one of her family whom she should choose. This gave the unhappy lady great perplexity, who desired, no doubt, to save them all. At last, after a long deliberation, she determinedicin favour of her brother.
This choice, wherein she seemed not to have followed the sentiments which nature should dictate to a mother and a wife, surprised the king, who desired her to be asked the reason of it, to which she made answer, that by a second marriage, the loss of a husband and children might be retrieved ; but that, her father and mother being dead, there was no possibility of recovering a brother. Darius, besides the life of her brother, granted her the same favour for the eldest of her children.*
I have already related in Vol. I. by what an instance of perfidy Oretes, ono of the king's governors in Asia Minor, brought about the death of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos. So black and detestable a crime did not go unpunished. Darius found out that Oretes strangely abused his power, making no account of the blood of those persons who had the misfortune to displease him. This satrap carried his insolence so far as to put to death a messenger sent him by the king, because the orders he had brought him were disagreeable. Darius, who did not yet think himself well settled on the throne, would not venture to attack him openly; for the satrap had no less than a thousand soldiers for his guard, not to mention the forces he was able to raise from bis government which included Phrygia, Lydia, and Ionia. The king therefore thought fit to proceed in a secret manner to rid himself of so dangerous a servant. With this commission he intrusted one of his officers, of approved fidelity and attachment to his person. The officer, under pretence of other business, went to Sardis, where, with great dexterity, he sounded the dispositions of the people. To open the way to his design, be first gave the principal officers of the governor's guard letters from the king, which contained nothing but general orders. A little while after he delivered them other letters, in which their orders were more express and particular. And as soon as he found himself perfectly sure of the disposition of the troops, he then read them a third letter, wherein the king, in plain terms, commanded them to kill the governor ; which order was executed without delay. All his effects were confiscated to the king, and all the persons belonging to his family and household were removed to Susa. Among the rest, there was a celebrated physician of Crotona, whose name was Democedes. This physician's story is very singular, and happened to be the occasion of some considerable events.t
Not long after the above mentioned transactions, Darius chanced to have a fall from his horse in hunting, by which he sprained one of his feet in a violent manner, and put his heel out of joint. The Egyptians were then considered the most skilful in physic; for which reason Darius had several physicians of that nation about him. These undertook to cure the king,I and exerted all their skill on so important an occasion : but they were so awkward in the opera. tion, and in handling and managing the king's foot, that they put him to incredi
* Herod. J. iii. c. 119, 119.
| Idem, c. 120-128. # Anciently the same persons practised both as physicians and surgeonike
ble pain; so that he passed seven days and seven nights without sleeping. De inocedes was mentioned on this occasion by some person, who had heard him extolled at Sardis as a very able physician. He was sent for immediately, and brought to the king in the condition he was in, with his irons on, and in very poor apparel ; for he was at that time actually a prisoner. The king, asked him whether be had any knowledge of physic? At first he denied he had, fearing that if he should give proofs of his skill, he should be detained in Persia, and by that means be for ever debarred from returning to his own country, for which he had an exceeding affection. Darius, displeased with his answer, ordered him to be put to the torture. Democedes found it was necessary to own the truth, and therefore offered his service to the king. The first thing he did, was to apply gentle fomentations to the parts affected. This remedy had a speedy effect; the king recovered his sleep, and in a few days was perfectly cured, both of the sprain and dislocation. To recompense the physician, the king made him a present of two pair of gold chains. Upon which Democedes asked him whether he meant to reward the happy success of his endeavours, by doubling his misfortune. The king was pleased with that saying, and ordered his eunuchs to conduct Democedes to his wives, that they might see the person to whom he was indebted for his recovery. They all made him very magnificent presents ; so that in one day's time he became extremely rich.*
Democedes was a nativ Crotona, a city of Græcia Major, in the Low Calabria in Italy, from whence he had been ubliged to fly, on account of the ill trealment he received from his father.t He first went to Egina, f where by several successful cures he acquired great reputation: the inhabitants of this place settled on him a yearly pension of a talent. The talent contained sixty minas, and was worth about three thousand livres French money. Some time after, he was invited to Athens, where they augmented his pension to five thousand livres per annum. After this, he was received into the family of Palycrates, tyrant of Samos, who gave him a pension of two thousand crowns.ll It is very much for the honour of cities, or princes, by handsome pensions and salaries, to engage such persons in their service, as are of public benefit to mankind; and even to induce foreigners of worth and merit to come and settle among them. The Crotonians from this time had the reputation of having the ablest physicians; and next after them, the people of Cyrene in Africa. The Argives were at the same time reputed to excel in music.
Bemocedes, after performing this cure upon the king, was admitted to the bonour of eating at his table, and was highly respected at Susa. At his intercession, the Egyptian physicians were pardoned, who had been condemned to be hanged for having been less skilful than the Grecian physician; as if they were obliged to answer for the success of their remedies, or that it was a crime not to be able to cure a king. This is a strange abuse, though too common an effect of unlimited power, which is seldom guided by reason or equity, and which, being accustomed to see every thing give way implicitly to its authority, expects that its commands, of whatever nature, should be infallibly performed! We have seen something of this kind in the history of Nebuchadnezzar, who pronounced a general sentence of death upon all his magicians, because they could not divine what it was he had dreamed in the night, which he himself had forgot. Democedes procured also the enlargement of several of those persons who had been imprisoned with him. He lived in the greatest affluence, and was in the highest esteem and favour with the king. "But he was at a great distance from bis own country, upon which his thoughts and desires were continually Lent. T
He had the good fortune to perform another cure, which contributed to raise his credit and reputation still higher. Atossa, one of the king's wives, and daughter to Cyrus, was attacked with a cancer in her breast. As long as the
• Herod. 1. iii. c, 129, 190.
1 A bundred miaze
Herod. I. iii. c. 131. 1 An island between Attica and Peloponnesus # Two talents.
1 Herod. L üi. c. 132.
pain of it was tolerable, she bore it with patience, not being able to prevail on herself, out of modesty, to discover her disorder. But at last she was constrained to it, and sent for Democedes; who promised to cure her, and at the same time requested, that she would be pleased to grant him a certain favour he should beg of her, entirely consistent with her honour. The queen engaged her word, and was cured. The favour promised the physician, was to procure him a journey into his own country; and the queen was not unmindful of her promise.*
It is worth while to take notice of such events, which, though noi very considerable in themselves, often give occasion to the greatest enterprises of princes, and are even the secret springs and distant causes of them.t
As Atossa was conversing one day with Darius, she took occasion to represent to him, that, being in the Power of his age, and of a vigorous constitution, capable of enduring the fatigues of war, and having great and numerous armies at command, it would be for his honour to form some great enterprise, and let the Persians see they had a man of courage for their king. “Your thoughts coincide with mine," replied Darius, “which were upon invading the Scythians. "I had much rather," said Atossa, you would first turn your arms against Greece. I have heard great things said in praise of the women of Lacedæmon, of Argos, Athens, and Corinth, and should be very glad to have some of them in my service. Besides, you have a person here, that might be very useful to you in such an enterprise, and could give you a perfect knowledge of the country ; the person I mean is Democedes, who has cured both you and me." This was enough for the king, and the affair was resolved on immediately. Fifteen Persian noblemen were appointed to accompany Democedes into Greece, and to examine with him all the maritime places, as thoroughly as possible. The king farther charged those persons, above all things, to keep a strict eye upon the physician, that he did not escape from them, and to bring him back with them to the Persian court.
Darius, in giving such an order, plainly showed he did not understand the proper methods for engaging men of wit and merit to reside in his dominions, and for attaching them to his person. To pretend to do this by authority and compulsion, is the sure way of suppressing all knowledge and industry, and of driving away the liberal arts and sciences, which must be free and unconfined, like the genius from whence they spring. For one man of genius that will be kept in a country by force, thousands will be driven away,
who would probably have chosen to reside in it, if they could enjoy their liberty, and meet with kind treatment.
When Darius had formed his design of sending into Greece, he acquainted Democedes with it, laid open his views to him, and told him the occasion he bad for his services to conduct the Persian noblemen thither, particularly to the maritime towns, in order to observe their situation and strength ; at the same time earnestly desiring him, that, when that was done, he would return with them to Persia. The king permitted him to carry all his moveables with bim, anů to give them, if he pleased, to his father and brothers, promising, at his return, to give him as many of greater value ; and signified to bim farther, that he would order the galley in which he was to sail to be laden with very rich presents, for him to bestow as he thought fit on the rest of his family. The king's intention appeared, by his manner of speaking, to be undisguised and without artifice; but Democedes was afraid it might be a snare laid for him, to discover whether he intended to return to Persia, or not: and therefore, to remove all suspicion, he left his own goods behind him at Susa, and only took rith him the presents designed for his family.
The first place they landed at was Sidon in Phænicia, where they equipped i wo large vessels for themselves, and put all they had brought along with them in board another vessel of burden. After having passed through, and care
* Herod. I. iii. c. 135, 137. † Non sine usu fuerit introspicere illa primo aspectu levia, ex queis magnarum sæpe reru:za motus orius
Tacit. l. iv. c. 32,
fully examined the chief cities of Greece, they went to Tarentum in Italy Here the Persian noblemen were taken up as spies; and Democedes taking advantage of this arrest, made his escape from them, and fled to Crotona. When the Persian lords had recovered their liberty, they pursued him thither, but could not prevail upon the Crotonians to deliver up their fellow-citizen. The city moreover seized the loaded vessel; and the Persians, having lost their guide, laid aside the thoughts of going over to the other parts of Greece, and set out for their own country. Democedes informed them, at their departure, that he was going to marry the daughter of Milo, a famous wrestler of Crotona, whose name was very well known to the king, and of whom we shall have occasion to speak hereafter. This voyage of the Persian noblemen into Greece, was attended with no immediate consequence; because, on their return home, they found the king engaged in other affairs.
In the third year of this king's reign, which was but the second according to the Jewish computations, the Samaritans excited new troubles against the Jews.* In the preceding reigns, they had procured an order to prohibit the Jews from proceeding any farther in building the temple of Jerusalem. But upon the lively exhortation of the prophets, and the express order of God, the Israelites had lately resumed the work, which had been interrupted for several years, and carried it on with great vigour. The Samaritans had recourse to their ancient practices to prevent them. To this end they applied to Tatnai, whom Darius had made governor of the provinces of Syria and Palestine. They complained to him of the audacious proceeding of the Jews, who, of their own authority, and in defiance of the prohibitions to the contrary, presumed to rebuild their temple ; which must necessarily be prejudicial to the king's interest. Upon this representation of theirs the governor thought fit to go himself to Jerusalem. And being a person of great equity and moderation, when he had inspected the work, he did not think proper to proceed violently, and to put a stop to it without any farther deliberation ; but inquired of the Jewish elders, what license they had for entering upon a work of that nature. The Jews hereupon producing the edict of Cyrus made in their behalf, he would not of himself ordain any thing in contradiction of it, but sent an account of the matter to the king, and desired to know his pleasure. He gave the king a true representation, acquainting him with the edict of Cyrus, which the Jews alleged in their justification, and desiring him to order the registers to be consulted, to know whether Cyrus had really published such an edict in their favour, and thereupon to send him instructions of what he thought fit to order in the affair. Darius having commanded the registers to be examined, the edict was found at Ecbatana in Media, the place where Cyrus was at the time of its being granted. Now Darius, having a great respect for the memory of that prince, confirmed his edict, and caused another to be drawn up, wherein the former was referred to, and ratified. This motive of regard to the memory of Cyrus, had there been nothing else to influence the king, would be very lauda
but the Scripture informs us, that it was God himself who influenced 'he mind and heart of the king, and inspired him with a favourable disposition to the Jews. The truth of this appears pretty plain from the edict itself. In the first place, it ordains, that all the victims, oblations, and other expenses of the temple, be abundantly furnished the Jews, as the priests require : in the second place, it enjoins the priests of Jerusalem, where they offered their sacrifices to the God of heaven, to pray for the preservation of the life of the king, and of the princes his children: and, lastly, it goes so far as to denounce imprecations against all princes and people, that should hinder the carrying, in of the building of the temple, or that should attempt to destroy it: by all which, Darius evidently acknowledges, that the God of Israel is able to overturn the kingdom of the world, and to dethrone the most mighty and powerful princes.
By virtue of this edict, the Jews were not only authorized to proceed in the building of their temple, but all the expenses thereof were also to be furnished
* Ezra, chap. 5.
| Ezra, chap. or.