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that Herodotus has more than once used it in this sense; but it sometimes signifies what the Latins call Ætas, or Ævum; or we in English, an age. Now if Herodotus used it in this sense here, then he meant that Semiramis was Kevle, Yevenol, quinque ætatibus, (says the Latin translator) before Nitocris; not five generations or descents, but five ages before her. The ancient writers both before and after Herodotus, computed a generation or age of those who lived in the early times, to be a hundred years. Thus they reckoned Nestor, of whom Tully says, “ tertiam ætatem hominum vivebat;h Horące, that he was « ter' ævo functus,” i because it was reported that he had lived three generations or ages, to have lived about three hundred years. Ovid, well expressing the common opinion, makes him say,
..................yixi . Annos bis centum, nunc tertia vivitur ætas. * :
Lib. 2. Ode II.
» Lib. de Senectute.
The two ages or generations which he had
Preface to vol. i.
lations upon trust, as he me twith them; and no doubt he was imposed on in many of them,” and particularly in the instance before us; but Ctesias living in the court of Persia, and searching the public registers, was able to give a better account than Herodotus, of the Assyrian kings. But whether Herodotus' account be true or false, the whole of it, I am sure, does not favour our learned author's hypothesis; nor, as I apprehend, does the particular cited about Semiramis, if we take the words of Herodotus according to his own meaning.
3. Sir Isaac Newton cites Nehemiah, chap. x. ver. 32. The words are Now, therefore, our God- -Let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Our learned author says, since the time of the kings of Assyria—“ that is, since
• Newton's Chron. p. 267.
the time of the kingdom of Assyria, or since
•Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 3. Diodor. lib. 1. p. 4, and the same author uses awo twv Tgwixar in the same sense, ibid.
ple, but before the Trojan war, with which the Trojans and their times ended. As to the expression before us, we shall more clearly see what was designed by it, if we consider, 1. That the sacred writers represent the Jews as suffering in and after these times from the kings of two countries, from the kings of Assyria and from the kings of Babylon. Israel was a scattered sheep : the Lions had drove him away : first, the king of Assyria devoured him; and last, the king of Babylon brake his bones.” -2. The kings of Assyria, who began the troubles which were brought upon the Israelites, were the kings who reigned at Nineveh, from Pul, before Tiglath-Pileser, to Nabopolassar, who destroyed Nineveh, and made Babylon the sole metropolis of the empire. Pul first began to afflict them; his successors, at different times, and in different
P Jeremiah 1. ver. 17.
9 1 Chron. v. ver. 26. 2 Kings xv. 19. Usher. Chronol.
See Prideaux Connect. vol. i. book 1.