Page images

Greeks entering the city by the Scaan gate, over which was the picture or statue of an horse. · 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 use 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, practised 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, with-out diftinction of sex or age, or carried by the conqueror into captivity. And thus ended 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 Christ, 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 driven


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 abfence. 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 themfelves, parted, each holding his own courfe homewards. Agamemnon arrived fafe at Mycenae, 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 Arcopagus.. The adventures of Ulyffus are related by Homer in a fabulous manner but what may have fome foundation in hiftory, 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, eftablished himfelf in Italy,



and founded the nation of the Heneti. lenus, 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 Cafars 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 particu. lar; 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 neighbouring 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 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 brave courageous people, hardy, and inured to the trade of war, both by fea and land; averse 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 secure 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 difdained not to pay a kind of homage to them, and own their fuperiority, by moft folemn embaf fies.

Nor were the Grecians themfelves lefs ftruck with admiration and efteem for them, not only on account of their regard to juftice and honour, their love of liberty, and implacable hatred against oppreffion and tyranny, but likewife 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 undauntedness 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 repofe: So that, after the example of Agis,

[blocks in formation]


one of their greatest monarchs, they neither inquired who, nor how numerous, but where their enemies were; and, as they chiefly aimed at a glorious victory or death, they were feldom known to conquer by ftratagem or fur. prife, but by dint of fighting, and in the open field.

The Hiftory of LYCURGUS.

THIS great patriot and lawgiver was the

fon of Polydectes, the fixth King of the Eurytionian line, but by a fecond wife. However, his elder brother dying without children, the right of fucceffion remained in him; and he accordingly took the administration upon him; waiting, however, to fee whether his fifterin-law was with child. This Princefs, finding herfelf pregnant, acquainted him with it privately; and with a promife, that, if he would marry her, fhe would take fome effectual method to destroy the embryo. Lycurgus, though fhocked at the propofal; yet gave her fome diftant hopes that he would comply with it; but withal ufed all proper means to prevent her mifcarrying, till the time of her delivery was come; when he fent for fome perfons of note to be prefent at her labour. She was foon after brought to bed of a fon; the news of which being fent to him, whilst he was at fupper with fome noble Spartans, he came im mediately, and, taking the child in his arms, faid to those who were prefent, This is your King; laid him on a chair of ftate, and gave him the name of Charilaus. This generous

« PreviousContinue »