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lost their General Epaminondas. At that time Age-
silaus had a scheme of being hired to command the
Egyptian armies against the Persians, and the Egyp-
tians were fond of having him; f but he could not
think it safe to go out of Greece, unless he could be
sure of settling a firm and lasting peace amongst the
several states of it; in order to which, he laid hold of
this accident of the antique inscription in the tomb of
Alcmena, and he and his messengers and Chronuphis
joined all together to frame such an interpretation of
it, and to confirm it by a like order from Delos, as
might bind the Greeks to a religious observance of
the general peace which was at that time just con-
cluded amongst them. Had the brass table been truly
decyphered, without doubt it contained nothing else
but an account of the persons whose ashes were depo.
sited in the tomb where it was found, and most pro.
bably the letters were such as Amphitryon inscribed
upon his Tripod at Thebes. However, it happened
luckily to serve the political views of Agesilaus and
the Egyptians; and so the Egyptians contrived such
an account of it as might render it effectual for that
purpose. What became of the original, we are not
informed; probably the Egyptians did not send it
back to have it further examined. But to return to
Cadmus.

When Cadmus came into Greece, he was accompanied by a number of followers whom Herodotus calls the Gephyræi.” They were natives of Phoenicia,

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€ Prideaux Connect. Vol. i. B. vii. p. 661. Ibid. : Uerodot. in 'Terpsichor. c. 59. . h Idlib. 5. C. 58.

and went under his direction to seek a new habitation; a custom not very unusual in these days. When they came into Greece, they were at first opposed by the inhabitants of the country; but being better soldiers than the raw and ignorant Baotians, they easily conquered them. Baotia was inhabited at the time of Cadmus' coming into it by the Hyantes and the Aones; one of these, the Hyantes, Cadmus intirely routed, and compelled them to flee out of the country; but he came to terms of accommodation with the Aones,' and having bought a cow, and marked her according to the superstitious ceremonies of the Egyptian religion," he pretended he had a special command from the gods to build a city where the cow, which he ordered his companions to drive gently into the country, should lie down when weary. So where the cow lay down he built a city and called it Cadmea, and here he settled with his companions; giving the Aones frec liberty, either to come and live in his city, and incorporate with his people, or to live in the little vil. lages and societies which they had formed, in the manner they had been used to before he came into their country. It is commonly said that Cadmus began his travels by his father's order, in search of his sister Europa ; " but some considerable writers think this a fiction," and Pausanias hints that Europa

. Pausan. in Bæoticis, c. 5. Id. ibid. c. 12. See Prideaux Not. ad Chronic. Marmor.

| Pausanias in Bæoticis, c. 5. m Diodorus Sic. 1. 4. in See Prideaux not. ad Chron. Marmor. Epoch. 7.

was not the daughter of Agenor, but of Phænix.• Ovid relates at large an account of Cadmus' followers being devoured by a serpent; that Cadmus killed the serpent, and sowed his teeth in the ground; and that there sprang from this serpent's teeth a number of armed men, who as soon as they were grown up out of the ground, fell to fighting one another, and were all killed except five, and that these five, who survived the conflict, went with Cadmus' and assisted him in building Thebes.? I am sensible that the men who believed this strange story, may be justly thought as weak as the fiction is marvellous; but there are hints of it in writers not so poetically inclined as Ovid; and there is room to conjecture what might

give the first rise to so wild and extravagant a fable. hear ,

When Cadmus came into Bæotia, and had conquered the inhabitants, it might be recorded of him, in the Phænician or Hebrew language, which anciently were the same, that he [vna uswa Dipuu OVIR won boniows] Nasah Chail Chamesh Anoshim, ' Noshekim be Shenei Nachash T hese words might begin the account, and in these words there are the following ambiguities. Chamesh signifies warlike or prepared for war, and a word of the same letters ? may be trans

aler In Achaicis c. 4. - P Metamorph. lib. 3. fab. 1. E , We may easily apprehend, that in a language where

the vowels were originally not written, many words of exactly the same letters must have a very different signifi. cation. If we were to write our English words in con. sonants only, leaving the reader to supply the vowels, as the Hebrew was anciently written, our own tongue would afford many instances.

VOL. II.

lated five, Shenei may, signify spears, or it may be rendered teeth. Nachash is the Hebrew word for a serpent, or for brass; and these words being thus capable of denoting very different things, a fabulous translator might say,' he raised a force of five men armed, from the teeth. of a serpent, when the words ought to have been translated, he raised a warlike force of men, or an army, armed with spears of brass. The Greeks in the mythological times were particularly fond of disguising all their ancient accounts with fable and allegory; therefore it is no wonder that they gave the history of Cadmus this turn, when the words in which his actions were recorded, gave them so fair an opportunity. Cadmus is said to have found out the art of working metals and making armour;' and I suppose that some of liis companions were the Idæi Dactyli mentioned by Pau. sanias, Diodorus, Strabo, and other writers; for these Idæi Dactyli made their first appearance near mount Ida in Phrygia,' and Cadmus travelled this way from Phænicia into Greece, going out of Asia into Thrace, and from thence into Greece. Cadmus and his companions introduced the use of the Phænician letters into Greece, their alphabet consisting only of sixteen letters."

Danaus was another considerable person, who, tra. velled about this time from Egypt into Greece; and the ancient writers agree pretty well in their accounts.

See Bocharti Canaan. lib. 1. c. 19. . Plin. lib. 7. p. 56.

+ Diodor. Sic. lib.ba u See vol. i. b. iv.

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of bim. Chemnis, says Herodotus,* is a large city
near Nea, in Thebais; and the Egyptians say that
Danaus and Lynceus were of Chemnis, and that they
sailed into Greece. Apollodorus '' agreeing with the
Parian marble, says, that Danaus built a ship and
fied with it from Egypt. Diodorus gives a larger
account of him;? that he came from Egypt to Rhodes
with his daughters, that thrce of his daughters died
at Rhodes, and the rest went with him to Argos.
Pausanias relates that Danaus came from Egypt; and
obtained the kingdom of Argos from Gelanor the son
of Sthenelus. Danaus was himself descended from
a Grecian ancestor. Io the daughter of Iasus king of
Argos married into Egypt, and when Iasus died, his
brother's children came to the crown; lasus having
no other child but Io, and she being absent and mar.
ried into a foreign country. Gelanor was a descendant
of lasus' brother, Danaus of Iasus by Io his daughter,
and this must be the plea which he had to offer the :
Argives to induce them to accept him for their king:
The dispute between him and Gelanor before the
people of Argos, upon this point, was argued at large
on both sides for a whole day. Gelanor was thought
to have offered as weighty and strong arguments for
his own right, as Danaus could offer for his; and the
next day was appointed for the further hearing and
determining their claims, when an accident put an end
to the dispute, and obtained Danaus the crown,
There happened a fight between a wolf and a bull

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29

2 Hist. 1. 5.

Lib. 2. c. 91. y Lib. 2. p. 63.
• Pausan. in Corinthiacis, c. 16. c. 19.

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