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poetical description of those evolutions of the Parthian cavalry, shooting their arrows in retreat as well as in advance, which were so terrible to the Romans. Sogdiana, which the Scythian invaders are supposed to have wasted, was the extreme north-east province of the Parthian Empire, and beyond the Oxus.

309. "In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and wings." All these, as Dunster explained, are ancient military terms. The "rhomb" (ῥομβοειδὴς φάλαγξ) was an acute-angled parallelogram, with the acute angle in front; the "wedge" (Eußolov, or cuneus) was half of a rhomb, or an acute-angled triangle, with the acute angle in front; the "half-moon was a crescent with the convex to the enemy; the "wings (Képaтa, or ala) were the extremes or flanks.

311. "the city-gates," i.e. the gates of Ctesiphon, where the muster takes place.

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316-321. "From Arachosia," etc. Another of Milton's most musical lists of proper names. Arachosia is part of the modern Afghanistan ; Candaor is Kandahar in that country; Margiana was a province adjoining the invaded Sogdiana; the Hyrcanian cliffs of Caucasus stand for Hyrcania, another province in the north; the dark Iberian dales are Iberia, a province between the Euxine and the Caspian; Atropatia was part of Media; Adiabene part of Assyria; Media and Susiana explain themselves; Balsara's haven is Bussorah on the Persian Gulf.

329. "indorsed with towers." A fine expression and yet literal, "having towers on their backs."

338-343. "When Agrican," etc. The romance here cited is Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato," where there is a siege of Albracca, the city of Gallaphrone, King of Cathay, by Agricane, King of Tartary, to win Angelica, Gallaphrone's daughter, famous for her beauty at Charlemain's court.

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342. prowest": bravest, most valiant, most approved. 343. "Paynim," Pagan. The two words are the same, save that Pagan is directly from the Latin (paganus), while Paynim is through the French (paien or payen).

357. "of David's throne," i.e. of all those dominions which had belonged to David in the palmy days of the Hebrew monarchy, before its diminution.

359. "Samaritan or Jew." Palestine consisted then of three divisions-Judæa, Samaria, and Galilee; but, as Samaria had

received many foreign colonists since the abduction of the Ten Tribes, the Samaritans were not a pure Hebrew race.

361-385. "Between two such opposing enemies, Roman and Parthian," etc. Satan now more fully discloses his purpose in having brought Jesus to the mountain-top and enabled him to survey the great Parthian or Eastern Empire. On the assumption that Christ's ambition is political, and that he has begun to meditate the means of restoring the independence of the Jews, and re-establishing that Kingdom of David which once extended from Egypt to the Euphrates, he has a plan to explain, as follows:-There were then only two great powers in the world, the Roman and the Parthian; and only by the help or connivance of one of those powers in opposition to the other could Jesus hope to succeed in his enterprise. Now, circumstances were such as to recommend, in the first place at least, as the Devil thought, an application to the Parthians. Since B.C. 65 the whole of Syria, with Palestine included in it, had been part of the Roman Empire; and, though the Romans had for some time permitted the native dynasty of the Asmonæans or Maccabees (see note, 165-170) to govern in Palestine under them, and had then caused that dynasty to be supplanted by the Idumæan dynasty of Antipater and his son Herod the Great, they had at length (A.D. 7) abolished all nominal sub-sovereignty in Judæa and Samaria, and converted those two sections of Palestine into a regular Roman province, to be governed by "procurators" under the Prefect of Syria. Pontius Pilate had just been appointed Roman procurator of the province (A.D. 26), while Herod Antipas, called "the Tetrarch," one of the sons of Herod the Great (this was the Herod that beheaded John the Baptist), was suffered still to rule for the Romans in Galilee. All these changes had been of great interest to the Parthians; to whose empire Syria adjoined, separated from it only by the Euphrates, and who had long been trying to wrest that whole region from the Romans, so as to advance the Parthian boundary from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean. They had interfered again and again in Jewish affairs under the later Maccabees, and also under the Idumæan dynasty. Especially they had backed Antigonus, one of the Maccabee family, in his contest for the throne against his uncle Hyrcanus II., whom the Romans kept there. They had actually "carried away old Hyrcanus

bound, maugre the Roman" (B. C. 40),—not doing the same for Antigonus, as Milton's words seem to imply, but sustaining him on the throne of Palestine, with Parthian help, till B.C. 37, when the Romans overpowered him and put him to death, to make way for Herod the Great. Remembering these facts, might not Jesus draw the inference? Syria was still the debateable-land between the Romans and the Parthians, the Romans sometimes attacking the Parthians thence, and the Parthians sometimes retaliating by covering Syria with a cloud of their horse. What more likely, therefore, than that, if the Parthians heard of a native claimant for the throne of David, who was no mere Maccabee, but the lineal descendant of David, they would find it their interest to do for him against the Romans even more than they had done for Antigonus, the last of the Maccabees? Jesus, it is hinted (lines 368-385), need not cultivate the Parthian alliance longer than he finds it useful; nay, ultimately, a subversion of the Parthian power itself might be the true policy. For (and here is another subtle ingenuity suggested by historical knowledge) was not the very instrumentality by which the Hebrew monarchy could most easily and most nobly be restored lodged in the heart of the Parthian Empire? Was it not "in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (2 Kings xviii. 11) that Shalmanezer, the King of Assyria, had put the Ten Tribes of Israel when he had carried them away captive; and would not the liberation of those lost Tribes in their Parthian fastnesses be at once a great exploit in itself, and the arming of an agency for the rest of the work?

377. "Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph." The ten captive tribes of Israel were those of Reuben, Simeon, Zebulon, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Ephraim, and Manasseh, the first eight being Jacob's sons, and the last two Joseph's. It has been objected that the text is therefore incorrect that it should have been "Eight sons of Jacob, two of Joseph." But it is correct enough. Joseph, being represented in Ephraim and Manasseh, brings the number of Jacob's sons concerned up to nine; and the tenth is Levi, many of whose descendants, the Levites, were, of course, carried away, mixed with the other tribes.

384. "From Egypt to Euphrates." Gen. xv. 18, and I Kings iv. 21.

409-412. "When thou stoodst up his tempter," etc. 1 Chron. xxi. I-14.

415-431. "fell off from God to worship calves," etc. I Kings xvi. 32 and xi. 5; 2 Kings xvii.


10-14. "as a man who had been matchless held," etc. It is a shrewd guess of Dunster's that Milton may have thought here of his own antagonist Salmasius.

25. "to the western side": for the vision is now to be in that direction.

27-42. "Another plain," etc., i.e. the whole long strip of Italy west of the Apennines, with the Tiber and Rome visible in it. The vision was procured either by magical means, causing some "strange parallax," or apparent elevation of distant objects, or by some arrangement of optical instruments. There had been much speculation on the point among Biblical commentators.

31. "thence," i.e. from the Apennines.


32, 33. off whose banks on each side," etc. The original gives "of whose banks on each side," etc. I have little doubt that Milton dictated "off"; which, indeed, is but an emphatic form of "of."

33-39. an imperial city," etc. The city is, of course,



50-54. "Mount Palatine, the imperial palace turrets . . . glittering spires." Here again Milton makes poetry overbear chronology and history. It was not till Nero's time that there was any such very splendid palace on the Palatine; and "turrets" and "spires' were hardly features of Roman architecture.


66. "turms," troops, coined from the Latin turma. 68, 69. 66 on the Appian road, or on the Emilian." The former led south, the latter north.


69-79. some from farthest south, Syene," etc. Another of Milton's geographical enumerations. Syene, in Egypt, on the borders of Ethiopia, was accounted the southernmost point of the Roman Empire; Meroe was a celebrated island and city on the Nile in Ethiopia, far beyond Syene, and within the Tropics, so that twice a year shadows of objects

there would change their direction; "the realm of Bocchus," was Gætulia in Northern Africa, where king Bocchus had been the father-in-law of Jugurtha, King of Numidia; and this Numidia, with Mauritania, etc., constituted the rest "to the Blackmoor sea." Asia also sends her embassies (observe the dexterity of the remark that the Parthians themselves send ambassadors to Rome), so that even "the Golden Chersoness," i.e. Malacca, and "the utmost Indian isle, Taprobane," i.e. Ceylon, are represented. All Europe, of course, is represented,-from the west, where the city of Gades or Cadiz stands for Spain, to the Germanic north, and the Scythian east, as far as "the Tauric pool," or sea of Azof.

70. "both way." We should now say "both ways"; but, as the word "falls" follows, Milton probably desired to get rid of the s.

76. "turbants." So in the original, and it is a frequent form in old writers. Milton uses it in his prose. It is the Italian form, turbante: the form turban is French.


90. This Emperor." Tiberius.

95. “a wicked favourite." Sejanus.'

115. "citron tables or Atlantic stone." Citron - wood, from Mount Atlas, was much prized for the beauty of its veining and polish. Atlantic stone is probably Numidian marble.

117, 118. "Their wines," etc. The first three kinds of wine mentioned were native Italian, grown near Rome; the others were Greek.


119. myrrhine," porcelain.

136. Peeling," i.e. stripping or pillaging. 142. "scene," theatre.

175-177. "It is written," etc.

Matt. iv. 10.

201. "Tetrarchs." So called as sharing among them the four Elements.

234. "idolisms," peculiar opinions or prejudices: a word apparently of Milton's own coining.

236. "this specular mount." Compare Paradise Lost, XII. 588, 589.

240. "Athens, the eye of Greece." The phrase is attributed to Demosthenes.


241, 242. "native. or hospitable," i.e. either producing them or giving them welcome.

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