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EGYPTIANS, ASSYRIANS, CHALDEANS, MEDES, LYDIANS,
ROLLIN, AND OTHER AUTHENTIC SOURCES,
BOTH ANCIENT AND MODERN.
IN FOUR VOLUMEs.
ROBERT CARTER, 58 CANAL STREET.
History has been well defined, by an English poet, as “Time's slavish scribe.” It stands charged with the task of narrating past events, and carrying them down to that awful period when time shall give place to eternity.
Looking at Ancient History in this broad light, its importance to mankind must be obvious. Its value, however, is not confined to the mere knowledge of past events which may be derived from its pages. The harmony which subsists between the events it records and the Divine predictions unfolded in the Bible; the evidence it contains of there being a Divine Almighty Governor ruling and directing all the affairs of our lower world according to his holy will and pleasure; the varied display of human character it presents to our view; the response it gives in every page to the declaration of Holy Writ, that man has no abiding city on earth; and the scope it affords for Christian reflection and improvement, whereby we are called to press forward in the ways of righteousness, are features in this department of literature which increase its importance a hundred fold. It is true, that historical works, in general, take no note of these features. A mere detail of facts is placed before the reader, and he is left to draw his own inferences. Of the writers of such histories, it may be said that God was not in all their thoughts; that although he was placed in legible characters before them, they carefully excluded Him from the notice of mankind. A work, therefore, upon an opposite and better plan, must be acknowledged by all Christian readers to be a desideratum; and it is hoped that, in the accompanying pages, it will be in some measure supplied. The precious fragments, which other historians have either despised or not searched out, are here gathered together and presented to the world. There are two sources from which our knowledge of the ancients is derived—from sacred and from profane history. The Bible relates chiefly to the Jews, and does not, indeed, afford a consecutive history of any other people. They are only noticed incidentally, or in so far as some historical facts representing them are connected with the history of the ancestors of the Jewish race, or with the Jews considered as a nation. As, however, the Bible is the oldest historical record extant, these incidental notices are very valuable, and hence they form a prominent feature in this work. Before their light, the narratives of Ctesias and Diodorus Siculus, which Rollin has vainly endeavoured to combine with them in his history, and which have been seriously believed by some of the greatest names in the literary world, whether of ancient or modern times, have been found to be but the tales of romance—tales utterly at variance with sober reason, sacred chronology, and Scripture statements. To separate those fictions from the truth, which have been deemed worthy of credit by many, has cost much anxious thought and care. It is hoped, however, that this desirable object has been accomplished. Not that every statement here given can be pronounced indisputably true; for sacred history alone can be fully depended upon for veracity. Profane historians, among the ancients, were liable to err from superstition, prejudice, and a love of the marvellous; and to record the o. erroneous emanations from these evil sources, as formed no part of the plan of this publication. A distinguishing feature of the work placed in the hands of the reader, is the concentrated view it affords of the countries and cities which the different nations inhabited, and which will be found in the various physical and topographical sections. It is strange, that while historians have dwelt upon the political history of nations, while they have recorded the lives of mon