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Xerxes, "who reigned thirty years. Abraham was contemporary with all these; for the years of all their reigns put together amount only to one hundred and eighty, and Abraham lived one hundred and seventy-five; therefore having spent but nine of them at • the death of Ninus, his life will extend to the sixteenth year of the reign of Xerxes. And if we go into Egypt, and allow, as I have before computed, that Menes or Mizraim began to reign there A. M. 1772, and that he reigned there until A. M. 1943; it will follow that Abraham was born in the reigns of Athothes, Cencenes and Mesochris, kings of Egypt, that kingdom being at this time parted into several sovereignties; and he lived long enough to see three or four successions in each of their kingdoms, as will appear to any one who consults Sir John Marsham's Tables of these kings, making due allowance for the difference between my account and his of the reign of Menes. Abraham was born, according to Castor in Eusebius, in the thirty-sixth year of Europs the second king of Sicyon; for according to that writer,8 iEgialeus the first king of Sicyon began his reign in the fifteenth year of Belus king of Assyria, i. e. A. M. 1920. jEgialeus reigned fifty-two years; so that Europs succeeded him A. M. 1972, and the thirty-sixth year of Europs will be'A. M. 2008, in which year Abraham was born. Europs reigned forty-five years, and Abraham lived to see five of his successors, and died ten years before Thurimachus the seventh kin? of
Sicyon. Cres is said to have been king of Crete about the fifty-sixth year of Abraham, and about twenty-nine years before Abraham's death. Inuchun reigned first king of Argos about A. M. 9154.
I am sensible, that some writers think the kings of Greece, whom I have mentioned, were not thus early. As to the first king of Crete, there can be but little offered; for we have nothing of the Cretan history, which can be depended upon before Minos. Eum■ bius,b indeed places Cres in the fourth or fifth year of Ninyas; but afterwards he seems in some doubt, whether there really was such a person ; and remarks,1 that some writers affirmed Cres to be the first king of Crete, others that one of the Curetes governed there about the time at which he imagined Cres to begin his reign; so that he found more reason to think that there was a king in Crete at this time, than to determine wluit particular person governed it. We meet the names of three other kings of Crete in Eusebius; Cydon, Apteras, and Lapes; but we have little proof of the times of their reigns. There is a large account of the first inhabitants of Crete in Diodorus ;k the history is indeed in many things fabulous, and too confused to be reduced into such order as might ennable us to draw any consistent conclusions from it; but there seem to be hints of generations enough before Minos to induce us to think, that they might have u king as early as Eusehius supposes; but who*
ther their first king was called Cres, or who he was, we cannot conjecture. Inachus is said to be the first king of Argos. He scarcely indeed deserves the name of king; for in his days the Argives lived up and down the country in companies. Phoroneus the son of Inachus gathered the people together, and formed them into a community.' Very probably Inachus might be a very wise and judicious man, who instructed his countrymen in many useful arts of living, and he might go frequently amongst them, and head their companies in several parts of the country, teaching them to kill or take, and tame the wild beasts for their service, and instructing them in the best manner of gathering and preserving the fruits of the earth for their occasions. In this manner he might take the first steps towards forming them into society; and having been a leader and director of many companies, as he happened to fall in amongst them, he might be afterwards commemorated as their king, though strictly speaking it was his son whocompleated his designs, and brought the people to unite in forming a regular society, under the direction of one to govern them for the public good. Some writers think, that there was no such person as Inachus. Inachus is the name not of a king, but of a river, says Sir John Marshmu ;m but here I think that learned gentleman is mistaken. Inachus being the name of a river, may be offered as an argument, that there
1 Pausanias in Corinthiacis.
had been some very eminent person so called before the naming the river from him; for thus the ancients endeavoured to perpetuate the memories of their ancestors, by giving their names to countries, cities, mountains, and rivers. Haran being the name of a country," and Nahor the name of a city," is no proof that there were no men thus called, but rather the contrary; and abundance of like instances might be offered from the profane historians. Other writers allow, that there was such a person as Inachus; but they do not think him near so ancient as we here suppose him.' Clemens Alexandrinus places him about the time of the children of Israel's going out of Egypt;1■ and this was the opinion of Africanus, and of Josephus, or Josippus, and of Justus who wrote a history of the Jews ;q which was espoused by Clemens, and by Tatian also, most probably out of a zeal to raise the antiquity of Moses as high as any thing the heathens could pretend to offer. Porphyry took advantage of this mistake, and was willing to improve it. He not only allowed Moses to be as ancient as Inachus, but placed him even before Semiramis. And Eusebius hints that he had endeavoured to do that out of zeal against the sacred writers/ Thus no endeavours have been wanting to puzzle and perplex the accounts of the sacred history. At first the heathen writers endeavoured to pretend to antiquities beyond what the
sacred writers could be thought to aim at; but when the falsity of this pretence was abundantly detected, then Porphyry thought he could compass the end aimed at another way, by endeavouring to shew, that the heathen history did not reach near so far back a* had been imagined; but that the times of which Moses treated were really so much prior to the first rise of the most ancient kingdoms, that all possible accounts of them can at best be but fiction and mere fancy. This put Eusebius upon a strict and careful review of the ancient history;' and in order hereto, he first collected the particulars of the ancient histories of all nations, that had made any figure in the world, and then endeavoured to arange them with one another. And if any one will take the pains to look over the materials which Eusebius collected,' he will sec that the first y cTi r of the reign of Inachus must be placed about the time where I have above fixed it. The writers, who had treated of the Argive accounts before Castor, could not find" what to synchronize the • first year of Inachus with, and therefore could at best but guess where to fix it. But Castor has informed us, that Inachus began to reign about the time of Thurimachus the seventh king of Sicyon,v I suppose