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with large reveppes. Hence, Timon the Phliasian, who was cotemporary with Ptolemy Soter, used to call it the coop; denoting thereby, that the philosophers were fed in the museum, and fattened, like birds in a coop:Thus, we see the museum was an institution, of the same kind with the colleges of the present times; and, as, to these, the kingdoms where they flourish are indebted, for so many of the great men, which they have given to the world: so, Alexandria owed to its museum the many eminent writers it produced.
The celebrated Demetrius Phalereus was the first president of this seat of learning; and, as the library was a part of it, he had, in all probability, the books likewise under his care.- Plutarch tells us, that it was he, who first suggested to the king, the idea of founding both the museum and library; and that the king readily embraced the proposal of a man, so eminent for his learning, and other extraordinary qualifications.--De metrius' was charged, with the care of collecting these books, an employment not unworthy of so great a man, since, the king himself placed therein all his pleasure and diversion; a diversion suitable to the taste of a prince, who was himself a man of eminent learning, and an encourager of it in others. Livy, in speaking of this library, stiles it, a noble monument of the wealth of the Egyptian kings, and of their commendable attention, in propagating knowledge among their subjects.
The second Ptolemy was, like his father, a most diligent collector of books. He employed an indefatigable industry in augmenting, at an immense charge, the library founded by his father. Nor did he rest there he dispatched various agents into Greece, particularly Aratus the Sicyonian, to collect for him statues, drawings, and pictures. He is likewise said to have main. tained, at vast expence, and to have sent into different
parts of the world, ilful persons, în search of interesting objects of narral history, particularly, of all sorts of wild beasts, and birds; and is said, to have made a vast number of new discoveries, respecting the nature and propeies of animals. . This mecond Ptolemy, who was ironically called Philadelphithi by the Alexandrians, in their sarcastic manner, because he had put two of his brothers to death, was, Abstracted from this act of cruelty, a great and accomplished prince; like his father, he possessed great learning himself, and was a liberal promoter of it in others. As he was a consummate judge of merit, and his libetality was equal to his taste, the fame of his generosity, not only drew to his court the famous Pleiades, but also a variety of other persons, distinguished for learning and genius, poets, historians, critics, philosophers, and artists. Here, among others, Nourished Asinarchus she critic, Manetho, the famous Egyptian historian, Cenon and Hipparchus, two; çelebrated mathematicians, and Zenodotus of Ephesus, who first corrected the works of Homer. To this prince, also, the world is indebted, for the Greek translation of the Scriptures, which is known by the name of the Septuagint.
At the same time, this magnificent and generous prince applied himself, with unwearied attention, to business, studying all possible methods, to make his sub. jects happy, and raise his dominions to a flourishing condition.--He exerted himself to draw to Egypt the trade of the east, which the Tyrians had to that time carried on by sea to, Elath, and thence, by the way of Rhinocorura to?Tyre. To draw this-trade into Egypt, Ptolemy, Philadelphus built, a, city, on the west of the Red Sea, whence he sent out fleets to all the countries, with which the Tyrians had traded. He called it after the name of his mother Berenice; but the harbour..not being convenient, Myrus Hormus, a city in the neighbourhood, was preferred. AH the commodities of the cast were carried thence, on camels, to Coptos, a city on the Nile, where they were again shipt for Alexandria, and from that city disperst over the west, in exchange for the merchandize, which was exported to the east. Thus, the whole trade being fixed at Alexandria, that place became the chief mart of all the traffic, which was carried on between the east and the west, and continued to be the greatest empory in the world, for above seventeen hundred years. As Ptolemy intended to engross the whole trade of the east and west, he fitted out two great fleets to protect his trading subjects. One of these he kept in the Red Sea, the other in the Mediterranean; and not only protected trade, but held in subjection the maritime provinces of Asia Minor.Such was Ptolemy Philadelpbus. It might naturally be expected, that Theocritus and Callimachus, who had witnessed the won. ders of his adıninistration, had enjoyed the splendour and pleasures of his court, and tasted freely of his bounty, should pour out the dew of courtly praise. in · The great pastoral poet has consecrated, to the fame of Ptolemy, that fine composition, his seventeenth Idyllo
« 'Ανδρων δ' αυ Πτολεμαι ένα πρωτοισι λεγεσθω “ Kai muuata xas. Mecca é yag neoperes alo úroquis, so
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. The poet, after a strain of sublime and ingenious panegyric, does not forget to expatiate, with all the feeling of experience, on the liberality of the monarch.
" And yet, he hoards not up his useless store,
* To mighty kings his bounty he extends, i “ To states confederate, and illustrious friends." “ No bard at Bacchus' festival appears, “ Whose lyre bas pow'r to charm the ravish'd ears, “ But he bright honours, and rewards imparts, “ Due to his merits, equal to his arts. " And poets hence, for deathless song renown'd, “ The generous fame of Ptolemy resound.
At what more glorious can the wealthy aim, “ Than thus to purchase fair and lasting fame. “ The quick Atride this alone enjoy, “ While all the wealth and spoil of plunder'd Troy, « T'bat scap'd the raging fire, or whelming wave, “ Lies buried in oblivion's greedy grave. “ Close trod great Ptolemy, at virtue's call, “ His father's footsteps but surpass'd them all."
- Fawkes. Callimachus, in his hymn to Jupiter, after having descanted, on the praises of the sovereign of the gods; in a strain of sublime Aattery, and ingenious hyperbole, in troduces the praise of Ptolemy; for, passing from the gods, to kings, the vicegerents of the deity, he is led, by an easy transition, to mention his own sovereigo; and says of him
“ Ilegi apo gop lygu. BoBoxer.
“ EoTeQ Tee Moyosa, ta jetova d' lute vomol,” On which passage, I cannot forbear remarking, that, most probably, the poet had in view the sublime sentence in Genesis~“And God said, let there be light, " and there was light." . .
“ When mighty deeds his ruling genius wills,
“ Each minor work on thought obedient waits, “ His word, is being, and his wish creates."-Calli.
machus, Hymn to Jove. . . Such, in fact, was the ardour of this prince, in pursuit of his favourite objects, that, in the midst of a war with Antiochus Theus, king of Syria, he did not give over his search for books, pictures, and drawings.
The third Ptolemy, who was surnamed Euergetes, was a no less generous encourager of learning, than his father and grandfather had been, for he applied himself with the same care and attention to the enlarging of his library, and purchasing of books, at an immense charge; he invited with ample rewards to his court, all those who were of any note for their learning, and took great pleasure in improving his own knowledge by their conversation, for he was himself, as Athenèus informs us, well versed in all branches of learning, having been brought up in his youth by the famous Aristarchus, and hę even wrote historical commentaries, which were in great repute.
One would hardly believe, that a prince, who is represented by historians as a monster, rather than a man, for' such was the character of Ptolemy Physcon, should have deserved the reputation of being the restorer of letters, and the patron of learned men: yet this is attested by Athenæus, Vitruvius, Epiphanius, and others. Atheneus relates, that in the short intervals between his yicious excesses, and licentious orgies, he applied himself to the study of the polite arts and sciences.' Nay, according to this author, he had a knowledge so extenșive, and such case in discoursing of all kinds of literature, that he acquired the surname of Ptolemy the philologist. The same author adds, that he wrote a history in twenty-four books, and a learned comment on Homer.