Sidor som bilder
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


THAT CITY WAS A COLONY. THE Carthaginians were indebted to the Tyrians, not only for their origin, but their manners, language, customs, laws, religion, and their great application to commerce, as will appear from every part of the sequel. They spoke the same language with the Tyrians, and these the same with the Canaanites and Israelites; that is, the Hebrew tongue, or at least a language which was entirely derived from it. Their names had commonly some particular meaning: Thus, Hanno signified gracious, bountiful ; Dido, amiable, or well be:

• Bochart, Part II. I. ü. c. 16.

loved ; Sophonisba, one who keeps faithfully her hus. band's secrets. From a spirit of religion, they likewise joined the name of God to their own, conformably to the genius of the Hebrews. Hannibal, which answers to Ananias, signifies Baal (or the Lord) has been gracious to me. Asdrubal, answering to Azarias, implies, the Lord will be our succour.

It is the same with other names, Adherbal, Maharbal, Mastanabal, &c. The word Pæni, from which Punic is derived, is the same with Phæni or Phænicians, because they came originally from Phænicia. In the Penulus of Plautus, is a scene written in the Punic tongue, which has very

much exercised the learned." But the strict union which always subsisted between the Phenicians and Carthaginians, is still more re. markable. When Cambyses had resolved to make war upon the latter, the Phenicians, who formed the chief strength of his fleet, told him plainly, that they could not serve him against their countrymen; and this declaration obliged that prince to lay aside his design. The Carthaginians, on their side, were never forgetful of the country from whence they came, and to which they owed their origin. They sent regu- . larly every year to Tyre a ship freighted with presents, as a quitrent or acknowledgment paid to their ancient country.; and its tutelar gods had an annual sacrifice offered to them by the Carthaginians, who considered them as their protectors. They never failed to send thither the first fruits of their revenues; nor the tithe of the spoils taken from their enemies, as offerings to

b The first scene of the fifth act, translated into Latin by Petit, in the second book of his Miscellanies. Herod. I. iii. c. 17-19.

Polyb. 944. Q. Curt. I. iv. c. 2, 3.


Hercules, one of the principal gods of Tyre and Car. thage. The Tyrians, to secure from Alexander, who was then besieging their city, what they valued above all things, I mean their wives and children, sent them to Carthage, where, at a time that the inhabitants of the latter were involved in a furious war, they were received and entertained with such a kindness and generosity as might be expected from the most tender and opulent parents. Such uninterrupted testimonies of a warm and sincere gratitude, do a nation more honour, than the greatest conquests and the most glorious victories.




appears from several passages of the history of Carthage, that its generals looked upon it as an indispensable duty to begin and end all their enterprises with the worship of the gods. ° Hamilcar, father of the great Hannibal, before he entered Spain in an hostile manner, offered up a sacrifice to the gods ; and his son treading in his steps, before he left Spain, and marched against Rome, went to Cadiz in order to pay the vows he made to Hercules, and to offer up new ones, in case that god should be propitious to him. "After the battle of Canne, when he acquainted the Carthaginians with the joyful news, he recommended to them above all things, the offering up a thanksgiving to the immortal gods, for the several victories he had

Liv. 1. xxi. n. 1. Ibid. n. 21.

Liv. I. xxii. n. 11

obtained. Pro his tantis totque victoriis verum esse grates diis immortalibus agi haberique.

Nor was this religious honouring of the deity on all occasions the ambition of particular persons only, but was the genius and disposition of the whole nation.

8 Polybius has transmitted to us a treaty of peace concluded between Philip, son of Demetrius, king of Macedon, and the Carthaginians, in which the great respect and veneration of the latter for the Deity, their inherent persuasion that the gods assist and preside over human affairs, and particularly over the solemn treaties made in their name and presence, are strongly displayed. Mention is therein made of five or six different orders of deities; and this enumeration appears very extraordinary in a public instrument, such as a treaty of peace concluded between two nations. I will here present my reader with the very words of the historian, as it will give some idea of the Carthaginian theology. “This treaty was concluded in the presence of Jupiter, Juno, and Apollo ; in the presence of the demon or genius,“ of the Carthaginians, of Hercules and Iolaus ; in the presence of Mars, Triton, and Neptune ; in the presence of all the confederate gods of the Carthaginians ; and of the sun, the moon, and the earth ; in the presence of the rivers, meads, and waters ; in the presence of all those gods who possess Carthage.” What would we now say to an instrument of this kind, in which the tutelar angels and saints of a kingdom should be introduced ?

The Carthaginians had two deities, to whom they paid a more particular worship, and who deserve to have some mention made of them in this place.

Lib. vii. p. 699. Edit Gronny.

The first was the goddess Celestis, called likewise Urania, or the Moon, who was invoked in great calamities, and particularly in droughts, in order to obtain rain : That very virgin Celestis, says Tertullian, the promiser of rain. Ista ipsa virgo Cælestis pluviarum pollicitatrix. Tertullian, speaking of this goddess, and of Esculapius, makes the heathens of that age a challenge, which is bold indeed, but at the same time very glorious to the cause of Christianity; and declares, that any christian, who first comes, shall oblige these false gods to confess publicly that they are but devils; and consents that this christian shall be immediately killed, if he does not extort such a confession from the mouth of these gods. Nisi se demones confessi fuerint Christiano, mentiri non audentes, ibidem illius Christiani procacissimi sanguinem fundite. St. Austin likewise makes frequent mention of this deity. k « What is now," says he, “become of Celestis, whose empire was once so great in Carthage ?” This was doubtless the same deity whom Jeremiah calls “the queen of heaven ;” and who was held in so much reverence by the Jewish women, that they addressed their vows, burnt incense, poured out drink offerings, and made cakes for her with their own hands, ut faciant placentas reginæ cæli ; and from whom they boasted their having received all manner of blessings, whilst they paid her a regular worship; whereas, since they had failed in it, they had been oppressed with misfortunes of every kind.

The second deity particularly adored by thc Carthaginians, and in whose honour human sacrifices were

Jer. vii. 18, xliy. 17.05.

Apolog. c. xxiii.


k In Psalın xcriti 43

« FöregåendeFortsätt »