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necessary to record. The last of them was Antiochus Asiaticus. In his reign, Pompey, the Roman general, overran his dominions and reduced Syria to a Roman province, B. C. 65.
EGYPT.-Ptolemy Lagus, afterwards Soter, who obtained as his share of Alexander's empire, Egypt and the neighbouring countries, reigned 39 years. He greatly embellished the city of Alexandria, which he made the capital of his dominions. He was, like Seleucus I. the best of his race. He died about 284 years B. C. and was succeeded by
Ptolemy Philadelpus.-The most important events of the reign of this prince were, his founding the celebrated Alexandrian library; his causing the Sacred Scriptures of the Jews to be translated into Greek, which translation is still extant, under the name of the Septuagint Version, from the tradition that seventy persons were employed in executing it; and his opening a port on the western side of the Red Sea, by which he drew the commerce of the east from Tyre, to Alexandria, his capital. He was the first Egyptian king, who entered into an alliance with the Romans.
Ptolemy Euergetes.-This name, which significs benefactor, was given to him by the Egyptians, because he restored to them the idols, which had been carried away by Cambyses into Persia. In a war with Antiochus Theos, king of Syria, he proved successful; and greatly enlarged his dominions towards the east. He also extended his kingdom southward, on both sides of the Red Sea, even to the straits of Babelmandel. He died in the 27th year of his reign, B. C. 221. During these reigns, the Jews enjoyed, at Alexandria, the same privileges with the Macedonians; and this induced great multitudes of that nation to settle there. Ptolemy Euergetes was succeeded by
Ptolemy Philopator, who began his reign by the murder of his brother Magas; and then gave himself up to universal licentiousness. His kingdom fell into confusion, and continued so till his death, B. C. 204,
The Jews were threatened in this reign with extirpation, for refusing to worship the Egyptian idols; but were, as their historians say, miraculously preserved, and restored to their privileges.
Ptolemy Epiphanes succeeded him, when he was an infant, of five years old. Scipio had just defeated the Carthaginians, and forced them to humiliating terms of peace; and the young king was, as has already been mentioned, threatened by the kings of Syria and Macedon; but the Alexandrians placed him under the protection of the Romans. Ptolemy, on coming of age, by his mal-administration, drove the Egyptians into rebellion. He, however, crushed the rebellion; and after having granted terms of peace to the revolted nobles, put them all to death. He was soon after poisoned, B. C. 181, and thus left his dominions to
Ptolemy Philometer, a child of six years old, under the tuition of his mother Cleopatra. In a war, which he had with the kings of Syria, towards the beginning of his reign, he was made prisoner; and this induced the Alexandrians to raise his brother,
Ptolemy Physcon to the throne.-Ptolemy Philometer, however, recovered his liberty; and the two brothers at first united in opposition to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was seeking an opportunity of availing himself of the distracted state of the kingdom, to obtain possession of it. Antiochus then proposed to invade Egypt; but was prevented from doing so, by the intervention of the Romans. Philometer was one of the best of that race; and Physcon, one of the very worst. Under the sanction of the Romans, Philometer reigned in Egypt, and Physcon in Libya and Cyrene. Philometer was slain in battle with Demetrius king of Syria, and Cleopatra, his queen, attempted to secure the kingdom for her son but Physcon making pretensions to it, he married her, and then murdered her son in her arms. The remainder of his reign was a continual series of the most revolting crimes. He died, B. C. 117, and was succeeded by
Ptolemy Lathyrus.-Cleopatra, mother of Lathyrus,
attempted to govern him and the kingdom at the same time; but finding him not sufficiently tractable, she instigated the Alexandrians to drive him from the throne, and to place his younger brother, Alexander, upon it. He, finding his mother's dictation insupportable, caused her to be murdered. He was then driven from the throne by the people, who would not have a matricide for their king; and Lathyrus was recalled. Thebes was one of the cities which had rebelled against Lathyrus, and it continued to resist him; but, after a three years' siege, he took it, and gave it up to plunder and devastation: so that it never afterwards recovered its former influence and splendour. On the death of Lathyrus, he was succeeded by
Alexander II. under the protection of the Romans, among whom he had lived. The Alexandrians had, in the mean time, chosen Cleopatra for their sovereign; and on the arrival of Alexander, it was agreed that he should marry her. This was done, but nineteen days afterwards, he murdered her; and afterwards continuing to perpetrate the most horrible crimes, the people rose up against him, and obliged him to flee for protection to Pompey, the celebrated Roman general. He soon afterwards died, leaving all his rights to the Roman people, declaring them to be the heirs of his kingdom.
Ptolemy Auletes was heir to the throne; and endeavoured to obtain possession of the kingdom, by the consent of the Roman Senate, among whom he expended large sums of money. After many disappointments, he at length obtained the crown, and held it for four years. On his death, he left a son and two daughters under the tuition of the Roman people. One of these daughters was the celebrated Cleopatra, who makes so conspicuous a figure in the civil wars of Rome. With Cleopatra ended the race of the Ptolemies, who had reigned over Egypt, for the space of 294 years. Egypt then became a province of the Roman empire.
In the other two kingdoms, namely, THRACE and MACEDON, into which Alexander's empire was divided, no events affecting the general history of the world, took place, except such as were connected with the history of Rome, till they were both swallowed up in that all-absorbing empire. We, therefore, proceed to give a brief view of the history of
ROME, from the age of Alexander, till the advent of the Saviour of the World. The last and most formidable enemy, that the Romans met with, in their wars to obtain the sovereignty of Italy, was Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. He was brought into Italy by the Samnites and Tarentines, to assist them against the Romans; and it was not till after a six years' war, that the Romans were able to expel them. Pyrrhus was killed at the siege of Argos, B. C, 272; after which, the unsubdued states of Italy submitted to Rome.
Soon after this, the Romans were engaged in the first war with the Carthaginians; usually called the first Punic War, from the Carthaginian name, Pani, or Phoeni, which they had, as being descended from the Phoenicians. This war was occasioned by the Carthaginians having possession of part of Sicily, and grasping at possession of the rest. The Mamertines, having been defeated by Hiero, king of Syracuse, and reduced to great distress, had resolved to surrender the city of Messina to him; when Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, obtained possession of it by stratagem. The Mamertines called in the assistance of the Romans; and thus brought Rome and Carthage into direct collision. The war continued 24 years; and ended in the Romans obtaining possession of Sicily, and forcing the Carthaginians to conclude a peace on very disadvantageous terms.
The interval between the first and second Punic Wars, was occupied in subduing some tribes of Italy that had revolted; and also in taking possession of Corsica, Sardinia, and Malta. The second Punic War was purposely provoked by the younger Hannibal, now
general of the Carthaginian army. He found a pre
text for attacking Saguntum, a city in alliance with Rome. The Romans remonstrated, but in vain; and war was the consequence. Hannibal, having taken measures for securing Africa and Spain, crossed the Pyrenees, and then continued his march to the Rhone. This he passed, in the face of some opposition from the Gauls; and then, scaling the Alps with his army, he descended into the plains of Italy. There, by a series of able measures, military and diplomatic, he maintained himself for 16 years; defeated the Romans in several pitched battles,-namely, at Ticinium, at Trebia, at Thrasymene, and at Cannæ; and brought Rome itself into the most imminent danger. Had he been supported by his country, as its interests required, he might probably have turned the scale permanently in its favour. But an envious faction at home refused him the necessary supplies; and, for a considerable time, he could do little more in Italy, than maintain his ground. At length Scipio, the Roman general, after defeating the Carthaginian forces in Spain, passed over to Africa, and threatened Carthage itself. Hannibal was then recalled to defend his native city. He left Italy with regret, and contrary to his own judgment. He encountered Scipio at Zama; but his army, consisting chiefly of mercenaries, was unequal to the army which Scipio commanded, and was defeated, B. C. 196. Peace was then made on terms for Carthage still more humiliating.
The Romans, however, were not satisfied with humbling this rival republic. It was a favourite maxim with some of their statesmen, that Carthage should be overturned. An opportunity soon occurred of renewing hostilities. The Carthaginians were anxious to avoid war, and made many extraordinary concessions; but nothing would satisfy the Romans. They proposed that Carthage should be destroyed, and a city, to accommodate the inhabitants, built 10 miles inland. This proposal drove the Carthaginians to despair, and they determined to resist to the uttermost. The city was besieged; the people defended themselves with the greatest resolution; but, being