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21. B. C. 590 to 500. Events in this century begin to crowd thick upon each other. The Greeks rapidly advanced; the Romans succeeded, amid constant wars, in securely establishing their state in Italy, marching from conquest to conquest, not without heavy reverses at times, from which they soon recovered.

598-Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem for the first time. 394- Solon was made archon at Athens, with almost unlimited power to change the existing institutions, and he introduced many very useful reforms.

588-Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the Jews carried into captivity to Babylon, where they remained seventy years. Soon after, Nebuchadnezzar conquered Tyre, after a siege of many years, but he found himself in possession of the walls only, for the inhabitants had built another city on an island near by, but inaccessible to the conqueror, and left him & barren conquest.

560-The most memorable event that followed was the union

of Media and Persia under the military prowess of Cyrus. He first employed the forces of the MedoPersian kingdom in Asia Minor, conquering Lydia and the rest of that region,

549- and dethroning Croesus. Babylon and Egypt had both entered into an alliance with Croesus against Cyrus, but before they could send Croesus effectual aid Cyrus had triumphed. He then turned his arms against Babylon

538- Which he took by stratagem after a long siege. Egypt was afterward obliged to become tributary to the universal conqueror.

534-Cyrus, who had before been the Persian general of the united armies under the Median king, Cyaxares, who was his maternal uncle, succeeded to the kingdom, and soon after sent the Jews home to their native land. During this period the Greeks swarmed on the eastern

part of the Mediterranean sea and carried on nearly all its commerce, the Tyrians being mainly confined to the trade with India, Arabia and the various parts of the Persian empire. 529-Occurred the death of Cyrus, full of years and glory. History has described him as the most amiable of all

the great conquerors. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses, who, to punish the revolt of the Egyptians 525-invaded that country and made it a Persian province. 522 Cambyses died and was succeeded by a Persian nobleman, Darius Hystaspes, the line of Cyrus being extinct. He finally broke the power of the priesthood in his dominions, which perished at once in Egypt and Babylon, where they had so long reigned supreme over the minds of men.

515

510

The second temple was dedicated at Jerusalem.

In this year occurred a very important event in Roman history -the establishment of the republic. Kings had reigned there two hundred and forty-three years.

SECTION VI.

THE ROMAN REPUBLIC.

1. The Romans, more than any other people of ancient times, understood how to establish a well ordered state. Respect for order and law among them was very great. The idea of a government with a definite constitution, which the rulers should always respect, and which should be an adequate bulwark to the people against oppression, had never occurred to any of the Asiatic nations. The nearest approach to it among the Greeks was in Sparta; but as their ain was directed, not so much to the general welfare of the state as to training a race of soldiers, their experiment was a failure. The Greeks had a great impatience of subjection; they had no great ambition to rule, but were impulsive, and each state wanted freedom to pursue its own particular fancy. Their exhaustless energy

and acute minds were devoted to the pursuit of ideal objects. Even the sober and resolute Spartan put aside every other consideration in order to realize his idea of a well formed, thoroughly trained, and invincible warrior. Weakly and deformed children were destroyed in their infancy, by order of the state. The young women were subjected to the most rigorous physical training, that they might become mothers of hardy children. Physical training was one of the passions of all Greece, originating in their delight in beauty and symmetry of person. Sports that contributed to this were as pleasing to the Greeks as to our modern school-boys.

2. Athens, which most perfectly represented the Grecian mind, esteemed a fine poet, an able writer, a skillful painter or sculptor, as much as an enthusiastic scholar of our day can do. They had a passion for beauty, and their love of liberty was in great part produced by their ardent longing for mental freedom and the gratification of their mental tastes. The worship of their gods was chiefly their admiration for superhuman majesty, sublimity, and beauty, as they conceived them, and their theology was compounded of their thirst for knowledge and their love of the mysterious, the grand, the terrible, and the beautiful. Life was of no value to them, if they could not gratify these instincts, and their tenacity in maintaining their liberties found its inspiration in them. They were a nation of mental enthusiasts. They had no love of conquest for the sake of power. They were invaded by the Persians, and a handful of Greeks conquered its immense hosts with ease, by their intelligence and ardor. It was only when they saw the splendor and wealth of the East, and felt that they could repeat the glorious deeds of their mythic heroes, that they became enthusiastic over the romantic idea of conquering a magnificent empire. It was the mental charm of the undertaking that gave to Alexander his miraculous success.

But the Greeks were not practical. They wanted worldly wisdom. The Lacedemonians or Sparta had no adequate

object when they sacrificed almost all that common humanity holds dear, to rear up model soldiers. Their ambition was confined mainly to preserving the headship of their state among, the petty republics of Greece; and the resources of all the states were wasted in the effort to preserve a balance of power among the various members of the nation; or in struggles of the more powerful to obtain a leading influence. They had little political wisdom, when the independence of their territories was secured and the governments that restrained them too much from their favorite enthusiasms were abolished. Athens and all Greece admired immensely the wise measures of Solon, when he reformed the government and gave it excellent laws. But they had not the prudence to maintain them. In ten years all was again confusion. Most of their great men who possessed a special genius for government, were abandoned when they showed the most ability for benefitting their country by their wise statesmanship. Pericles alone, who was the most perfect embodiment of Grecian character, preserved his influence to the last; but it was by falling in perfectly with the tone of Grecian feeling, and he laid the foundation of innovations that corrupted and finally overthrew their liberty. He was as little practical and prudent as his countrymen. Beautiful in person, cultivated in mind, possessed of exquisite taste in literature and art, to which he devoted himself with boundless enthusiasm, Greece could always appreciate him. His age was the glory and joy of Greece; but when more homely political virtues were required to preserve his creations and protect this literary and artistic state, the people could not follow them. Their best statesmen were ostracised, banished, or slain, when their practical genius was most needed.

3. Rome was the opposite of this. She had a genius for producing and preserving a constitution, adding to it by slow degrees, maintaining checks and balances that preserved the machinery in working order, and rendered it capable of producing the most valuable results that were possible in those

times. To rule was her passion. She was not wanting in intelligence, but it was the homely prudence of common life, the skill to adapt means to ends. Of all the nations, she was the first to carry organization into every part of her government, and conduct everything by inexorable system and order. If Rome was resolved to rule others, she was no less resolved to rule herself. The mission of Greece was in the domain of thought, to develop the intellectual capabilities of mankind. That of Rome also required intelligence, but of a lower and more material kind. She was to teach mankind to follow an orderly development, to introduce system, to prevent ruinous clashing of interests, to teach respect for law. Greece taught the world to think to purpose; Rome to govern with effect. Each served an important purpose. Without either the world was not prepared for Christianity, which added moral order, nor for true science, which was the mature fruit of these three, and prepared the perfect civilization which was to be developed to its conclusion in a New World.

4. Rome commenced, not with the king, but with the Senate-a body of experienced men, who made the laws and appointed a king to administer them. The king, except in time of war, was only the executive, the chief magistrate. The later kings were restive under this restraint and sought to place themselves above law, and the Romans at once dismissed them, appointing various officers to fill their place. The fundamental principles of government were not changed at ail, or very little, except by the subsequent course of development. The Romans knew how to adapt their invincible spirit of order to all changing circumstances, and when external changes arose corresponding changes were developed, in a regular manner, within.

Thus the Roman spirit was constant under the regal government, throughout the republic, and to the close of the empire, and had then become so thoroughly established in laws and institutions as to govern the development of the new

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