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CHAPTER I. EXTENT OF THE EMPIRE. "Behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great; the tree grew and was strong: and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth."—Dan. iy. 10, 11. The limits of Babylonia Proper, the tract in which the dominant power of the Fourth Monarchy had its abode, being almost identical with those which have been already described under the... more...

CHAPTER I. DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY. Along the eastern flank of the great Mesopotamian lowland, curving round it on the north, and stretching beyond it to the south and the south-east, lies a vast elevated region, or highland, no portion of which appears to be less than 3000 feet above the sea-level. This region may be divided, broadly, into two tracts, one consisting of lofty mountainous ridges, which form its outskirts on the north and on... more...

CHAPTER I. DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY. "Greek phrase[—]"—HEROD. i. 192. The site of the second—or great Assyrian-monarchy was the upper portion of the Mesopotamian valley. The cities which successively formed its capitals lay, all of them, upon the middle Tigris; and the heart of the country was a district on either side that river, enclosed within the thirty-fifth and thirty-seventh parallels. By degrees these limits were... more...

CHAPTER I. GENERAL VIEW OF THE COUNTRY. "Behold the land of the Chaldaeans."—ISAIAH xxiii. 13. The broad belt of desert which traverses the eastern hemisphere, in a general direction from west to east (or, speaking more exactly, of W. S. W. to N. E. E.), reaching from the Atlantic on the one hand nearly to the Yellow Sea on the other, is interrupted about its centre by a strip of rich vegetation, which at once breaks the continuity of... more...

CHAPTER I The wife of Belisarius, whom I have spoken of in my previous writings, was the daughter and grand-daughter of chariot-drivers, men who had practised their art in the circus at Byzantium and at Thessalonica. Her mother was one of the prostitutes of the theatre. She herself at first lived a lewd life, giving herself up to unbridled debauchery; besides this, she devoted herself to the study of the drugs which had long been used in her... more...


Of Ammianus Marcellinus, the writer of the following History, we know very little more than what can be collected from that portion of it which remains to us. From that source we learn that he was a native of Antioch, and a soldier; being one of the prefectores domestici—the body-guard of the emperor, into which none but men of noble birth were admitted. He was on the staff of Ursicinus, whom he attended in several of his expeditions; and... more...

CHAPTER I The State of Greece from the earliest Times to the Commencement of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it. This belief was not without its grounds. The preparations of both the combatants were in every... more...

BOOK IX. B.C. 321-304 23 Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius, with their army, surrounded by the Samnites at the Caudine forks; enter into a treaty, give six hundred hostages, and are sent under the yoke. The treaty declared invalid; the two generals and the other sureties sent back to the Samnites, but are not accepted. Not long after, Papirius Cursor obliterates this disgrace, by vanquishing... more...

BOOK I. The coming of Æneas into Italy, and his achievements there; the reign of Ascanius in Alba, and of the other Sylvian kings. Romulus and Remus born. Amulius killed. Romulus builds Rome; forms a senate; makes war upon the Sabines; presents the opima spolia to Jupiter Feretrius; divides the people into curiæ; his victories; is deified. Numa institutes the rites of religious worship; builds a temple to Janus; and having made... more...

BOOK V. THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE HISTORIES, CALLED TERPSICHORE 1. In the meantime those of the Persians who had been left behind in Europe by Dareios, of whom Megabazos was the commander, had subdued the people of Perinthos first of the Hellespontians, since they refused to be subject to Dareios. These had in former times also been hardly dealt with by the Paionians: for the Paionians from the Strymon had been commanded by an oracle of their god to... more...