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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.
* Metamorph. lib. 12.

The two ages or generations which he had
lived, were computed to be about two hun .
dred years, and he was thought to be going
on for the third century. Now, if Herodo-'
tus in the place before us used the word
yeyed, in this sense, then by Semiramis being
five ages or generations before Nictoris, he
meant nothing like what our learned author .
infers from him; but that she was about five,
hundred years before her. I might add,
this seems most probably to be his meaning:
because, if we take him in this sense, he will,
as all other writers have ever done, place
Semiramis near the time where he begins
the Assyrian empire. I have formerly.con-
sidered Herodotus' opinion, about the rise
of this empire, as to the truth of it,' and I
may here from the most learned Dean Pri-
deaux add," that “ Herodotus having tra-
velled through Egypt, Syria, and several
other countries, in order to write his history,
did, as travellers usually do, put down all re-

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Preface to vol. i.
- Connection, vol. i. book ii. page 156.

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
the rise of that empire; and therefore the
Assyrian empire arose, when the kings of
Assyria began to afflict the Jews.” In an-
swer to this objection, I would observe, that
the expression, since the time of the kings'
of Assyria, or, to render it more strictly,
according to the Hebrew words, from the
days of the kings of Assyria, is very gene-
ral, and may signify a time commencing
from any part of their times; therefore it is
restraining the expression purely to serve a
hypothesis, to suppose that the words mean,
not from their times in general, but from
the very rise or beginning of their times..
The heathen writers frequently used a like
general expression, the Trojan times, ago
Tax Tewuxas, before the Trojan times, is an
expression both of Thucydides and Diodo--
rus Siculus; yet neither of them meant
by it, before the rise of the Trojan peo-

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•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.

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