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[IX.' As soon as Cambyses had resolved on the measures he meant to pu'rsi^, with respect to the 7)/ ^Ethiopians, he sent to the cit^-Qf^ Elephantine for ^
some ofth^Jchth^o^haig^ who were skilled in their "language. In the mean time he directed his naval
»»i ■ "J forces to proceed against the Carthaginians; but the J Phœnicians refused to assist him in this purpose^ t.r't-ts pleading the solemnity of their engagements with 12, that people, and the impiety of committing acts of violence against their own descendants.—S^shjgg*.. "/ the conduct of the Phœnicians, and the other arma* ments were not powerful enough to proceed. Thus, therefore, the Carthaginians escaped being made tributary to Persia, for Cambyses did not choose to use compulsion with the Phœnicians, who had voluntarily become his dependants, and who consti-" tuted the most essential part of his naval power, The Cyprians had also submitted without contest to the Persians, and ha^ served in the Ægyptiarj expedition^ ^ />s ^ ^ ^ f$
XX. As soon as the*. Ichthyophagi arrived from / Elephantine, Cambyses dispatched them to Æthio- ^ 9 j __pia- They were commissioned to deliver, with *' pertain presents, a particular message to the prince. The presents consisted of a purple vest, a gold chain for the neck, bracelets, an^ alabaster boj| of perfumes I4, and a cask of palm wine. The / ./Ethiopians
V:-'' 111) /~2^ a* Alabaster box of perfumes.) —It seems probable that per
fumes, in more ancient times were kept in shells. Arabia is the f jpuntry of perfumes, and^lhe Red SeVthrpws upon the coast a —- number
Ax . s-'
./Ethiopians to whom Cambyses sent, are reported ""jK)"*Be'lupcrior to all other men in the perfections of size and beauty: their manners and customs,
which differ also from those of all other nations, have besides this singular distinction; the supreme 2 / authority is given to him who excels all his fellow citizensIS in size and proportionable strength.
number of large and beautiful fliells, very convenient for such a purpose.—See Horace:
Funde capacious Unguenta de conchis. That to make a present of perfumes was deemed a mark of reverence and honour in the remotest times amongst the Orientals, appears from the following passage in Daniel.
"Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worihi^P^Daniel^ and^mmanded that^ they should offer an oblation and sweet odours to him." See also St. Mark, xiv. 3:
"There came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard, very precious; and (he brake the box, and poured it on his head." See also Matth. xxvi, 7.
To sprinkle the apartments and the persons of the guests with rose-water, and other aromatics, still continues in the East to be ^ mark of respectful attention.
Ahtbaftron did not properly signify a vessel made of the stone now called alabaster, but one without handles, c%oi
Alabaster obtained its name from being frequently used for this purpose; the ancient name for the stone was alabajirites, and perfumes were thought to keep better in it than in any
other substance. Pliny has informed us of the shape of these
f vessels, by "comparing to them the pearls called elenchi, which ti v are known to have been shaped like pears, or, as he expresses it, l * / fastigiata longitudine, alabastrorum figura, in pleniorem orbem 4esinentes. lib. ix. cap. 35.—T.'
35 Who fxccls all bis fellow citizens, &c,]-~That the quality of C \ strength
-' XXI. The Ichthp^iagi on their arrival offered ^ f, the presents, and thus addressed the king: "Cam■ ...^ "byses, sovereign of Persia, from his anxious desire Sr > t( of becoming your friend and ally, has sent us to *c communicate with you, and to desire your accept •*;tance of these presents, from the use of which he f, .->, % t ^ " himself derives the greatest pleasure." The Æthi'* **' / ppian prince, who was aware of the object: they had in view, made them this answer:—" The king of *' Persia has not sent you with these presents, from "any desire of obtaining my alliance; neither do you "speak the truth, who, to facilitate the unjust dis "signs of your master, are come to examine the state ,c of my dominions: if he were influenced by priqr "ciples of integrity, he would be satisfied with his "own, and not covet the possessions of another; nor "would he attempt to reduce thole to servitude "from whom he has received no injury. Give him dierefore this bow, and in my name speak to him "thus: The king of Æthiopia fends this counsel to u the king of Persia—when his subjects shall be , "able to bend this bow with the fame ease that I "do, then with a superiority of-numbers he may <c venture to attack the<Ma^oton^tJuoj)iajis^ lfflmJbrJ
strength and accomplishments of person were in the first insti-
Condere cæperunt urbeis, arcemque locare
*c the mew time let him be thankful to the gods, that "the Æthiopians have not been inspired with the "same ambitious views of extending their possestf sions."
XXII. When he had finished, he unbent the bow and placed it in their hands; after which, taking the purple vest, he enquired what it was, and how it was made: thejchthyopjia^i properly e% plained to him the process by which the purple .tinffiure was communicated; but he told them that they and their vests were alike deceitful. He then made similar enquiries concerning the bracelets and the gold chain for the neck: upon their describing the nature of those ornaments, he laughed, and conceiving them to be chains l6, remarked, that the
*6 Conceiving them to be chains.]—-We learn from a passage in Genesis, xxiv. 22, that the bracelets of the Orientals were remarkably heavy; which seems in some measure to justify • the sentiment of the" Ethiopian prince, who thought them . fhains simply because they were made of gold, which was used for that purpose in his country.—See chap, xxiii.
"And it came to pass as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands, of ten shekels weight of gold."
That the bracelet was formerly an ensign of royalty amongst the Orientals, Mr. Harmer, in his Observations on Passages of Scripture, infers from the circumstance of the Amalekites bring- ing to David the bracelet which he found on Saul's arm, along with his crown. That it was a mark of dignity there can be little doubt; but it by no means follows that it was a mark of royalty, though the remark is certainly ingenious. If it was, there existed a peculiar propriety in making it the part of a present from one prince to another. By the Roman generals they were given to their soldiers, as a reward of bravery. Small
chains Æthiopians pofiefled much stronger. He proceedsed lastly to ask them the ufe of thc^pjerfumes^ and when they informed him how they were made and applied, he made the fame observation as he had before done of the purple robe *7. When he came to the wine, and learned how it was made, he
chains were also in the remotest times worn round the neck, not only by women but by the men. That these were also worn by princes appears from Judges, viii. 26.
And the weight of the golden ear-rings that he requested, was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside orsaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was cn the kings of ^lidian; and beside the chains that were about their camels necks." Which last circumstance tends also to prove that they thus also decorated the animals they used, which fashion is to this day observed by people of distinction in Ægypt.—T.
47 Purple robe-l-r-It is a circumstance well known at present* that on the coast of Guagaquil as well as on that of Gustima, are found those snails which yield the purple dye so celebrated by the ancients, and which the moderns have supposed to have been lost. The shell that contains them is fixed to rocks that are watered by the sea; it is of the size of a large nut.1 The juice may be extracted from the animal in two ways; some per sons kill the animal after they have taken it out of the shell, they, then press it from the head to the tail with a knife, and separating from the body that part in which the liquor is collected, they throw away the rest. When this operation, repeated upon several of the snails, hath yielded a certain quantity of the juice, the thread that is to be dyed is dipped in it, and the business is done, The colour, which is at first as white as milk, becomes afterwards green, and does not turn purple till the thread is dry.
We know of no colour that can be compared to the one we have been speaking of, either in lustre or in permanency.—3 Raynal.
Pliny describes the pur pur a as a turbinated shell like the buccinum, but with spines upon it; which may lead us to suspect the Abbe's account) of the snails of a little inaccuracy .r—T.