Sidor som bilder

lost the Persians the Battle of Marathon. [490 B. c.] The Macedonian had another motive in reporting that his fleet was approaching—viz., To take the Tyrian attention from any land defence, by enforcing the belief that the attack would be by means of the Navy. He knew, also, that Azelmic and his People had no extensive knowledge of Military Science,—for they could have no occasion for its exercise, occasioned by their Island locality,+their high-reared walls being their bulwarks:–and they consequently commenced, as he expected, preparations for a Naval Conflict:— but, unknown to Alexander they had formed a masterly design, viz., to attack him both by land and sea, and that simultaneously; thence, if the Macedonian lost a land battle, and his fleet dispersed, (no difficult matter for the Tyrians) it would be easy to arouse other nations to crush the Invader. Tyrus, however, had no army fit to cope with Alexander, in any general engagement, and especially with his Phalanx and Cavalry. Azelmic, therefore, secretly despatched special Envoys to his only remaining ally,–viz., Carthage, —for no other nation could be with safety applied to in any emergency, except Sidon, for the treatment by the Tyrians to other countries had alienated every sentiment of National friendship. In their pride and prosperity they had forgotten that adversity may come ! Sidon had capitulated, and received nearly an alien King-Carthage, therefore, aloneremained. Azelmic's ambassadors were received by the Tyro-Carthaginians with every demonstration of respect, as being

due to a Nation from which they themselves had sprung. The answer to the application for an Army to oppose the advance of Alexander upon Tyrus, could only be divulged by, and within the Senate of the Republic; the Envoys were, therefore, courteously dismissed with presents and honours, togother with the assurance that a speedy reply should be sent to the Island-Capital. In the mean time, the policy of Azelmic was still further employed to circumvent that of Alexander's, for during the absence of the Envoys he endeavoured to flatter the wily Macedonian in his own manner; and thereupon sent as a present to him a splendid golden Crown, as a friendly compliment:—this was received with apparent feelings of amity, and in return, Philip's Son desired to honour Tyrus by worshipping in person, (with his Officers,) in the Temple of HerculesApollo! Azelmic sarcastically replied to this effect, on behalf of Tyrus, viz., that the honour intended by Alexander in entering the Metropolis, and worshipping, with his followers, (for his suite would have been the entire Army) in the Chief Temple of the Nation was duly appreciated, and more than they deserved, or were desirous of receiving, that since the Hero of Macedon only desired to pay his tribute of respect to the Temple of Hercules-Apollo, that could be done amid the Ruins of the Old Temple on the Mainland; and that from the summit of the walls of the Island-City, Azelmic, his Nobles, and People, would witness the ceremony Alexander, of course, declined the offer, at once perceiving that his scheme of entering Tyrus was frustrated: and he, also, almost simultaneously with this invitation to worship in the Ruined Temple, received intelligence of the important embassy secretly sent to Carthage. Alexander, therefore, instantly found that he had cause to view in Azelmic and his People, foes whose forethought and consequent judgment, might replace any deficiency that might be apparent from the want of an organised Army. The two rival Monarchs awaited with anxiety the reply of Carthage. In the mean time the Republican Senate [333 B. c.] held the final conference upon the subject of the Tyrian solicitation,-and thereupon, deputed thirty of the chief Citizens of Carthage as a delegation, to convey to Azelmic the following unlooked for reply: viz. –That the Senate viewed with deep condolence the present, and approaching condition of the home of their ancestors —but, upon contemplation of the position of Carthage itself, they deeply regretted to find, that it precluded even the remote possibility of sending troops or succour to Tyrus ! Thus Carthage, apparently safe from the present approaches of Alexander, had her own fears of Invasion; yet had the Senate acceded to the wish of Tyrus, the two nations, by forming a junction, might have successfully opposed the further advance of the enemy; but Carthage had resolved (like Sidon) to save herself by policy, not warfare. The Senate of Carthage, therefore, (following the Sidonian example) deputed an Ambassador to Alexander in order to secure his favour, or by a tribute to remain in peace. They consequently deputed for the important and National embassy.-Rhodanus, a man possessing extraordinary address and beauty of person, supported by the fascination of the most accomplished eloquence. The insinuating manners, and flattery of Rhodanus, (who was presented by Parmenio) together with his gallant bearing, had such a magical effect upon the vain Macedonian, that he instantly cast a friendly eye upon Carthage:—thus, that Country was saved from invasion by the cheapest, yet most valued tribute in the mind of the hero of the Granicus, viz., Flattery. Jaddus, the High-Priest of Judaea, subsequently saved Jerusalem in the same manner, by producing the Prophecy of DANIEL, and identifying Alexander as “the King of Grecia,”—the “rough goat" of the prediction. Rhodanus accompanied the Son of Philip in all his after-expeditions, and consequently had power, and did transmit to Carthage the plans of his new Master, who had no suspicion of his flatterer's treachery. Rhodanus saved his country, and yet upon his return to Carthage, he was looked upon as a traitor, from having served in the army of the Grecian, and was thereupon sentenced to death:—ingratitude and barbarity carried the decree into execution. The reply of the Republic to Azelmic's application for troops, cast a foreboding gloom over the spirits of his subjects. It was too late now to supplicate to Alexander and receive from him the same terms, as had been granted to either Sidon or Carthage; for it was

known to the Invader, that a solicitation for an Army had been made to Carthage and refused; which point was naturally not lost by Rhodanus in his eloquent appeal; for he represented the denial as having emanated not so much from fear, or hope of favour, as from admiration and love of Alexander and his Glory !

The Tyrians were, therefore, now left solitary and alone, as a majestic Column in the desert of Nations: they had now to depend upon their own solid base for support. Their chief weapon was their ancient Pride, which was daily being transfused from the brittle character of its metal, into the more pliable and useful temper of true courage; enabling its possessor to correctly analyze and appreciate the powers of an opponent. This courage, and their walled and Island-Citadel, enabled them to laugh to scorn the approach of the Macedonian: for intelligence had been received by them, that his Navy had been dismissed, and that the original report of its bearing down upon Tyrus, was but “a stratagem of the Invader.”

Alexander's army now advanced, and commenced hostilities by destroying the suburbs of Tyrus situate upon the mainland; the inhabitants of which had previously entered the Island-Metropolis. Thus was the Last Siege of Tyrus commenced in the eleventh Hebrew month, Shebat, (January-February) in the year 332 before the Christian AEra.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »