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Into the land, from Antipatris and Cæsarea, standeth Narbata, whereof the territory taketh name; which Cestius the Roman wasted with fire and sword, because the Jews which dwelt at Cæsarea fled thence, and carried with them the books of Moses. Near unto it is the mountain of Abdia, the steward of king Achab, wherein he hid an hundred prophets, and fed them; after which he himself is said to have obtained from God the spirit of prophecy also.
dom ; and of the invention of letters ascribed to them. BECAUSE these five tribes, of Asher, Nephtalim, Zabulon, Issachar, and the half of Manasseh, possessed the better part of that ancient kingdom of Phoenicia, to wit, of so much as lay to the south part of Anti-libanus, I have therefore gathered a brief of those kings which have governed therein; at least so many of them as time (which devoureth all things) hath left to posterity: and that the rest have perished, it is not strange ; seeing so many volumes of excellent learning in so long a race and revolution, and in so many changes of estates and conquests of heathen princes, have been torn, cast away, or otherwise consumed.
The limits of this kingdom, as touching the south parts, are very uncertain ; but all cosmographers do in effect agree that it takes beginning from the north, where that part of Syria which is called Casiotis ends; most of them bounding it by Orthosia to the north of Tripolis. ? Ptolomy makes it a little larger, as reaching from the river Eleutherus that falls into the sea at the island of Aradus, somewhat to the north of Orthosia, and stretching from thence along the coast of the Mediterranean sea, as far as the river of Chorseus; which seems to be that which the Jews call the tor
! Ptol. 4. Tab. Asiæ. RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.
rent, or river of Maggeddo. Pliny extends it further, and comprehends Joppe within it; Corvinus and Budæus, Joppe and Gaza: Phoenicia apud priscos appelluta, saith Budæus, quæ nunc Palæstina Syriæ dicitur ; “ It was called “ Phænicia of old," saith he, “which now is called Palæstina “ of Syria."
n Strabo comprehends in this country of Phænicia all the sea-side of Judæa and Palästina, even unto Pelusium, the first port of Egypt. On the contrary, Diodorus Siculus foldeth it up in Cælesyria, which he boundeth not. But for myself I take a middle course, and like best of Ptolomy's description, who was seldom deceived in his own art. It had in it these famous maritimate cities, (besides all those of the islands,) to wit, Aradus, Orthosia, Tripolis, Botrys, Byblus, Berytus, Sidon, Tyre, Ptolomais, (or Acon,) Dora, and Cæsarea Palæstinæ: and by reason of the many ports and goodly sea-towns, it anciently commanded the trade of the eastern world ; and they were absolute kings of the Mediterranean sea.
The ancient regal seat of those princes was Zidon, built by Zidon the first son of Canaan ; and the people then subject to that family were called Zidonians; the same state continuing even unto Joshua's time. For till then, it is probable that there was but one king of all that region, afterwards called Phoenicia; which Procopius also confirmeth in his second book of Vandal Wars. But in process of time, the city of Tyre adjoining became the more magnificent; yet, according to the 'prophet, it was but a daughter of Zidon, and by them first built and peopled.
But after the death of Moses, and while Joshua yet governed Israel, Agenor, an Egyptian of Thebes, or a Phenician bred in Egypt, came thence with his sons Cadmus, Phenix, Cyrus, and Cilix, say Cedrenus and Curtius, and built and possessed the cities of Tyre and Zidon, to wit, the new Tyrus; and brought into Phænicia (so called after the name of his second son) the use of letters: which also Cadmus, in his pursuit after his sister Europa, taught the Grem Plin. 1. 5. c. 19.
n Strab. 1. 16. Budæ. de As. 1. 4.
• Isaiah xxii.
cians. For Taurus king of Crete, when he surprised Tyre, had stolen her thence; of which the poets devised the fable of Jupiter's transformation into a bull, by whom that stealth was also supposed to be made. Pomponius Sabinus makes Belus the first king of Phænicia; and finds Cadmus his successor, whom he calleth his grandchild; and it seemeth that Belus was the father of Agenor, and not Neptune; because the successors of Dido held that name always in reverence, making it a part of their own, as Asdrubal, Hannibal ; whose memory Virgil also toucheth in these verses.
Hic regina gravem gemmis auroque poposcit
And all of Belus' line. Whether this Belus were father or grandfather to Agenor, the matter is not great. But it seems to me by comparing of times, that Belus was ancestor to these Phoenicians, and preceded Agenor. For were Belus, or Jupiter Belus, the son of Neptune by Libya the daughter of Epaphus, or were he the son of Telegonus, according to Eusebius, yet it is agreed that Cecrops then ruled in Attica ; and in the end of Cecrop's time, saith St. Augustin, Moses left Egypt, Agenor's successor living at once with Joshua. Now that Agenor returned about the same time into the territory of Zidon, I cannot doubt; neither do I deny, but that he gave that region the name of Phænicia in honour of his son. But instead of the building of Tyre and Zidon, it is probable that he repaired and fortified both ; and therefore was called a founder, as Semiramis and Nabuchodonosor were of Babylon.
For, be it true that Agenor was of the same nation, and brought up
in Egypt, where he learned the use of letters, (Egypt flourishing in all kind of learning in Moses's time,) or were he by nation an Egyptian ; yet it is very likely that either he came to save his own territory, or otherwise
to defend the coast of Canaan from the Israelites, who were by Moses led out of Egypt, to the great loss and dishonour of that nation, and by Joshua conducted over Jordan, to conquer and possess the Canaanites’ land. For though the Egyptians, by reason of the loss which they received by the hand of God in the Red sea, and by the ten plagues cast on them before that, and by the slaughter of
of the male children at the same time, could not hinder the Hebrews from invading Canaan by land, which also they knew had so many powerful nations to defend it; the deserts interjacent, and the strong Edomites, Moabites, Emorites, and Ammonites, their borderers : yet Egypt having such vessels or ships, or galleys, as were then in use, did not in all probability neglect to garrison the sea-coast, or assist Agenor with such forces as they had to spare ; and which they might perform with the greater facility, in that the Philistines, which held the shores of Canaan next adjoining unto them, were their friends and confederates.
Now, as it appeareth by the course of the story, those cities of Phænicia which Agenor was said to have built, (that is, to have fortified and defended against Joshua, and against the tribes after him, as Zidon, Sor, or Tyre, by Joshua xix. 29. called the strong city Accho, afterwards Ptolomais, Achzib, and Dor,) were all that Phænicia had in those days:
That the kings of Phoenicia were mighty, especially by sea, it appears, first, by their defence against Israel; secondly by this, that David and Solomon could not master them, but were glad of their alliance; thirdly, that one of their cities, though they were then but reguli, defended itself thirteen years against a king of kings, Nabuchodonosor; and that Alexander the Great (who being made victorious by the providence of God, seemed unresistible) spent more time in the recovery of Tyre, than in the conquest of all the cities in Asia.
Other opinions there are, as that of Berosus out of Josephus, who conceives that Tyre was founded by Tyras the son of Japhet. And for the region itself, though Cali
sthenes derives it, ab arbore dactylorum ; and the Greeks from the word phonos, of slaughter, because the Phænicians slew all that came on their coasts ; yet for myself, I take it that Phoenix, the son of Agenor, gave it that name. But that either Agenor in Phoenicia, or Cadmus his son in Greece, were the inventors of letters, it is ridiculous; and therefore the dispute unnecesary.
The Ethiopians affirm, that Atlas, Orion, Orpheus, Linus, Hercules, Prometheus, Cadmus, and others, had from them the first light of all those arts, sciences, and civil policies, which they afterwards professed and taught others; and that Pythagoras himself was instructed by the Libyans; to wit, from the south and superior Egyptians; from whom those which inhabited nearer the outlet of Nilus, as they say, borrowed their divinity and philosophy; and from them the Greeks, then barbarous, received civility. Again, the Phenicians challenge this invention of letters and of learning, acknowledging nothing from the Egyptians at all; neither do they allow that Agenor and his sons were Africans; whence Lucan,
p Phænices primi (fame si creditur) ausi
In rude characters dar'd our words to grave. And that Cadmus was the son of Agenor, and was a Phænician, and not an Egyptian, it appeareth by that answer made by Zeno, when he in a kind of reproach was called a stranger and a Phænician : 9 Si patria est Phænix, quid tum ? nam Cadmus et ipse
Phænix ; cui debet Græcia docta libros.
The books of learned men. Out of doubt the Phoenicians were very ancient, and from the records and chronicles of Tyre, "Josephus the historian confirms a great part of his antiquities. The Thracians again subscribe to none of these reports; but affirm conp Lucan. 1. 5. 3.
9 Athen 1. Dipnos. Joseph. contra Appionem.