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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Footnote 101 Ctesias apud Didor


[Footnote

101: Ctesias (apud Didor. Sicul. tom. i. l. ii. p. 115, edit. Wesseling) assigns 480 stadia (perhaps only 32 miles) for the circumference of Nineveh. Jonas talks of three days' journey: the 120,000 persons described by the prophet as incapable of discerning their right hand from their left, may afford about 700,000 persons of all ages for the inhabitants of that ancient capital, (Goguet, Origines des Loix, &c., tom. iii. part i. p. 92, 93,) which ceased to exist 600 years before Christ. The western suburb still subsisted, and is mentioned under the name of Mosul in the first age of the Arabian khalifs.]

[Footnote 102: Niebuhr (Voyage en Arabie, &c., tom. ii. p. 286) passed over Nineveh without perceiving it. He mistook for a ridge of hills the old rampart of brick or earth. It is said to have been 100 feet high, flanked with 1500 towers, each of the height of 200 feet.]

[Footnote 103: Rex regia arma fero (says Romulus, in the first consecration).... bina postea (continues Livy, i. 10) inter tot bella, opima parta sunt spolia, adeo rara ejus fortuna decoris. If Varro (apud Pomp Festum, p. 306, edit. Dacier) could justify his liberality in granting the opime spoils even to a common soldier who had slain the king or general of the enemy, the honor would have been much more cheap and common]

[Footnote 1031: Macdonald Kinneir places Dastagerd at Kasr e Shirin, the palace of Sira

on the banks of the Diala between Holwan and Kanabee. Kinnets Geograph. Mem. p. 306.--M.]

[Footnote 104: In describing this last expedition of Heraclius, the facts, the places, and the dates of Theophanes (p. 265--271) are so accurate and authentic, that he must have followed the original letters of the emperor, of which the Paschal Chronicle has preserved (p. 398--402) a very curious specimen.]

When the ambition of Chosroes was reduced to the defence of his hereditary kingdom, the love of glory, or even the sense of shame, should have urged him to meet his rival in the field. In the battle of Nineveh, his courage might have taught the Persians to vanquish, or he might have fallen with honor by the lance of a Roman emperor. The successor of Cyrus chose rather, at a secure distance, to expect the event, to assemble the relics of the defeat, and to retire, by measured steps, before the march of Heraclius, till he beheld with a sigh the once loved mansions of Dastagerd. Both his friends and enemies were persuaded, that it was the intention of Chosroes to bury himself under the ruins of the city and palace: and as both might have been equally adverse to his flight, the monarch of Asia, with Sira, [1041] and three concubines, escaped through a hole in the wall nine days before the arrival of the Romans. The slow and stately procession in which he showed himself to the prostrate crowd, was changed to a rapid and secret journey; and the first evening he lodged in the cottage of a peasant, whose humble door would scarcely give admittance to the great king. [105] His superstition was subdued by fear: on the third day, he entered with joy the fortifications of Ctesiphon; yet he still doubted of his safety till he had opposed the River Tigris to


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