Page images

daughter of one of his priests; but Heraclides, on this paffage, informs us, that it was occafioned by the violent heats and peftilentious vapours raifed by the fun, the Greeks being incamped among fens and marshes. The plague was followed by a quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles; for Agamemnon being obliged, by the foothfayer Calchas, to return his fair captive to her father, a priest of Apollo, to appeafe that revengeful deity, took Brifeis in her room, who, in the divifion of the booty, had fallen to Achilles. This af front Achilles revenged, by withdrawing his forces, and retiring with them on board his veffels. In his abfence, feveral battles were fought, with great flaughter on both fides; the victory generally inclining to the Trojans. In one of thefe, Patroclus was flain by Hector; but his death was not long unrevenged; for Achilles, returning to the camp, put the Trojans to flight, and revenged the death of his friend, by killing Hector himself. Achilles did not long outlive him, being flain by Paris. Thus fell many of the chief leaders on both fides. But the Greeks at laft carried the city; whether by force, fratagein, or treachery, is uncertain. All writers agree, that it was taken by night; fome fay, that Eneas and Antenor, who commanded the Dardanians, feeing that Priam would hearken to no terms, even after the death of Hector and Paris, concluded a feparate peace with the Greeks, betraying the city into their hands. The poets tell us, that it was taken by the contrivance of a wooden horfe; which fable fome think to have its birth from the


Greeks entering the city by the Scaan gate, over which was the picture or ftatue of an horfe. Perhaps they entered the town through a breach made in the wall by fome wooden engine called an horfe, and in the nature of that which the Romans, in after ages, made ufe of to batter the walls, and, from its fhape, called a ram. Be that as it will, the Greeks having, at last, mastered the city, practifed all the cruelties and abominations which a cruel, hungry and enraged enemy can be guilty of. The city was laid in ashes; and fuch of the inhabitants as had not time to fave themselves by flight, were either put to the fword, without diftinction of fex or age, or carried by the conqueror into captivity. And thus end. ed the kingdom of Troy, after having ftood, from Teucer to Priam, 296 years, according to the common computation. This city is faid to have been taken the 24th day of the month: Thargelion, or April, 1184 years before Chrift, and 408 before the firft Olympiad.

THE Greeks, having at laft put an end to the war, divided the booty, and put to fea, in order to return to their respective homes; but met with many adventures, many of them being driven on far diftant coafts. Mnefthus King of Athens died at Melos. Teucer, the fon of Telamon, fettled in Cypras; where he built a city, calling it Salamis, from the chief city of his own country, which bore that name. Agapenor, who commanded the Arcadians, built in the fame island the city of Paphos. Pyrrhus, the fon of Achilles, fettled in Epirus, and there built Ephyra. Ajax, the fon of Oileus, was loft. Some of the Locrians were drivem


on the coafts of Afric, others to Italy; whereof all the Eaft part was called Magna Græcia, by reafon of the many towns built there by the Greeks. Many, who got fafe home, were obliged to put to fea again, as Thucydides informs us, in queft of new feats; others having feized their territories, and ufurped the fovereignty during their absence. Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus fell out, when they were upon the point of weighing anchor to return home; and their quarrel divided the whole fleet; fome failing with Menelaus to the island of Tenedos, and others remaining with Agamemnon on the coafts of Troas. Those who followed Menelaus, not agreeing among themfelvés, parted, each holding his own courfe homewards. Agamemnon arrived fafe at Mycenæ, where he was, foon after his arrival, murdered by his wife Clytemneftra; but his fon Oreftes revenged his death, by the murder of Clytemneftra, of Egyfthus her gallant, and of Helen their daughter; for which murders he was tried, and acquitted by the Areopagus. The adventures of Ulyffus are related by Homer in a fabulous manner but what may have fome foundation in history, is, that fome years paffed before he got home. The adventures of the other Greeks are lefs known; but, upon the whole, it appears, that this war proved no lefs fatal to the conquerors, than to the conquered.

As for the Trojans, thofe who escaped the general flaughter, feeing their country utterly ruined, took their meafures accordingly, and fettled in diftant regions. Antenor, as we have faid already, established himself in Italy,


and founded the nation of the Heneti. Helenus, one of Priam's fons, fettled in Macedonia, where he built the city of Ilium. Some fay, that, during the fiege, he went over to the Greeks, and fhewed them in what manner they might eafily mafter the city.

As to Eneas, all the Roman writers affure us, that he fettled in Italy, and there found. ed the kingdom of Alba. From him the Cæfars affected to derive their pedigree, as the other Romans did theirs from the Trojans who accompanied him. Livy alone feems to betray fome fort of doubt as to this particular; infinuating, with a great deal of referve, that he has not fufficient grounds either to admit or reject the common opinion. But, notwithstanding the unanimous confent of the Latins, there are not wanting arguments of great weight, which the learned Bochart has carefully collected, to evince the arrival of Eneas in Italy to be a mere fable.

THE city of Troy being utterly ruined, and moft of the inhabitants of Troas put to the fword, fome writers tell us, that the neigh bouring Phrygians and Lydians, poffeffing themfelves of that country, fettled there; and that Troas, from that time, began to be called Phrygia; others are of opinion, that Eneas, having gathered together the fcattered remains of the Trojans, rebuilt the city; and that his defcendents, and the defcendents of Hector, reigned there till the country was fubdued by the Lydians, who became fo powerful, as to over-run all Afia Minor. If the Trojans had any kings of their own, after their city was deftroyed by the Greeks, they muft

muft needs have made but a very indifferent figure, fince they are not fo much as named in history..

The Character of the LACEDEMONIANS.

HE truth is, the Lacedemonians were a

and in

ured to the trade of war, both by fea and land; averfe to floth and luxury; jealous of their honour and liberty, as well as of their neighbours power. They were wanting in no civil or military difcipline, in order to fecure the one, and curb the other. And by these means it was, that they became fo powerful, and made fo confiderable a figure in Greece, that the Kings of Egypt and Phænicia difdain ed not to pay a kind of homage to them, and own their fuperiority, by moft folemn embaf fies. Nor were the Grecians themselves lefs ftruck with admiration and efteem for them, not only on account of their regard to justice and honour, their love of liberty, and implacable hatred against oppreffion and tyranny, but likewise on account of their intrepid valour and bravery, their excellent laws, difcipline, and uncommon method of training up their youth to martial exploits, to defpife the fatigues and dangers of war, and to face death. with an undauntednefs peculiar to themfelves for, after the ftrict difcipline they underwent at home, they could hardly meet with any thing terrible in the field, and were the. only people in the world to whom war gave repose: So that, after the example of Agis,




« PreviousContinue »