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his propensity to those grateful amusements, by prudence and moderation. In order to perpetuate this taste in his dominions, he erected public schools and academies at Alexandria, where they long flourished in great reputation. He loved to converse with men of learning, and as the greatest masters in every kind of science were emulous to obtain his favour, he extracted from each of them, if I may use that expression, the flower and quintessence of the sciences in which they excelled. This is the inestimable advantage which princes and great men possess; and happy are they when they know how to use the opportunity of acquiring, in agreeable conversations, a thousand things, not only curious, but useful and important, with respect to government.
This intercourse of Philadelphus with learned men, and his care to place the arts in honour, may be considered as the source of those measures he pursued, through the course of his long reign, to make commerce flourish in his dominions; and in which attempt no prince ever succeeded more effectually than himself. The greatest expences, in this particular, could never discourage him from persisting in what he proposed to accomplish. We have already observed, that he built whole cities, in order to protect and facilitate his intended traffic; that he opened a very long canal through desarts destitute of water; and maintained a very numerous and complete navy in each of the two seas, merely for the defence of his merchants. His principal point in view was to secure to strangers all imaginable safety and freedom in his ports, without any impositions on trade, or the least intention of turning it from its proper channel, in order to make it subservient to his own particular interest; as he was persuaded, that commerce was like some springs, that soon cease to flow, when diverted from their natural
These were views worthy of a great prince, and a consummate politician, and their lasting effects were
infinitely beneficial to his kingdom. They have even continued to our days, strengthened by the principles of their first establishment, after a duration of above two thousand years; opening a perpetual flow of new riches, and new commodities of every kind, into all nations; drawing continually from them a return of voluntary contributions; uniting the East and West by the mutual supply of their respective wants; and establishing on this basis a commerce that has constantly supported itself from age to age without interruption. Those great conquerors and celebrated heroes, whose merit has been so highly extolled, not to mention the ravages and desolation they have occasioned to mankind, have scarce left behind them any traces of the conquests and acquisitions they have made for aggrandising their empires; or at least those traces have not been durable, and the revolutions to which the most potent states are obnoxious, divest them of their conquests in a short time, and transfer them to others. On the contrary, the commerce of Egypt, established thus by Philadelphus, instead of being shaken by time, has rather encreased through a long succession of ages, and become daily more useful and indispensable to all nations. So that, when we trace it up to its source, we shall be sensible that this prince ought to be considered not only as the benefactor of Egypt, but of all mankind in general, to the latest posterity.
What we have already observed, in the history of Philadelphus, with respect to the inclination of the neighbouring people to transplant themselves in crowds into Egypt, preferring a residence in a foreign land to the natural affection of mankind for their native soil, is another glorious panegyric on this prince; as the most essential duty of kings, and the most grateful pleasure they can possibly enjoy, amidst the splendors of a throne, is to gain the love of mankind, and to make their government desirable. Ptolemy was sensible, as an able politician, that the only
sure expedient for extending his dominions, without any act of violence, was to multiply his subjects, and attach them to his government, by their interest and inclination; to cause the land to be cultivated in a better manner; to make arts and manufactures flourish; and to augment, by a thousand judicious measures, the power of a prince and his kingdom, whose real strength consists in the multitude of his subjects.
SECT. I. Antiochus Theos is poisoned by his Laodice, who causes Seleucus Calinicus to be declared king. She also destroys Berenice and her son. Ptolemy Evergetes avenges their death, by that of Laodice, and seizes part of Asia. Antiochus Hierax, and Seleucus his brother, unite against Ptolemy. The death of Antigonus Gonatas, king of Macedonia. He is succeeded by his son Demetrius. The war between the two brothers, Antiochus and Seleucus. The death of Eumenes, king of Pergamus. Attalus succeeds him. The establishment of the Parthian empire by Arsaces. Antiochus is slain by robbers. Seleucus is taken prisoner by the Parthians. Credit of Joseph, the nephew of Onias, with Ptolemy. The death of Demetrius, king of Macedonia. Antigonus seizes the throne of that prince. The death of Seleucus.
As soon as Antiochus Theos had received intel- 3758. ligence of the death of Ptolemy Philadelphus, his Ant. J. C. father-in-law, he divorced Berenice, and recalled Lao. dice and her children. This lady, who knew the variable disposition and inconstancy of Antiochus, and was apprehensive that the same levity of mind would induce him to supplant her, by receiving Berenice again, resolved to improve the present oppor
Hieron, in Daniel. Plin. 1. vii. c. 12. Val. Max. 1. ix. c. 14. Solin. c. i. Justin. 1. xxvii. c. I.
tunity to secure the crown for her son. Her own children were disinherited by the treaty made with Ptolemy; by which it was also stipulated, that the issue Berenice might have by Antiochus should succeed to the throne, and she then had a son. Lao. dice, therefore, caused Antiochus to be poisoned, and when she saw him expiring, she placed in his bed a person, named Artemon, who very much resembled him both in his features and the tone of his voice. He was there to act the part she had occasion for, and acquitted himself with great dexterity; taking great care, in the few visits that were rendered him, to recommend his dear Laodice and her children to the lords and people. In his name were issued orders, by which his eldest son Seleucus Callinicus was appointed his successor. His death was then declared, upon which Seleucus peaceably ascended the throne, and enjoyed it for the space of twenty years. It appears by the sequel, that his brother Antiochus, surnamed Hierax, had the government of the provinces of Asia Minor, where he commanded a very considerable body of troops.
Laodice, not believing herself safe as long as Berenice and her son lived, concerted measures with Seleucus to destroy them also; but that princess, being informed of their design, escaped the danger for some time, by retiring with her son to Daphne, where she shut herself up in the asylum built by Seleucus Nicator. But being at last betrayed by the perfidy of those who besieged her there by the order of Laodice, first her son and then herself, with all the Egyptians who had accompanied her to that re treat, were murdered in the blackest and most inhuman manner.
This event was an exact accomplishment of what the prophet Daniel had foretold with relation to this marriage. "The king's daughter of the South shall come to the king of the North to make an
• Dan. xi. 6.
agreement: But he shall not retain the power of the arm, neither shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in those times." I am not surprised that Porphyry, who was professed enemy to Christianity, should represent these prophecies of Daniel, as predictions made after the several events to which they refer: for could they possibly be clearer if he had even been a spectator of the acts he foretold?
What probability was there that Egypt and Syria, which, in the time of Daniel, constituted part of the Babylonian empire, as tributary provinces, should each of them be governed by kings who originally sprung from Greece; and yet the prophet saw them established in those dominions above three hundred years before that happened. He beheld these two kings in a state of war, and saw them afterwards reconciled by a treaty of peace ratified by a marriage. He also observed, that it was the king of Egypt, and not the king of Syria, who cemented the union between them by the gift of his daughter. He saw her conducted from Egypt to Syria in a pompous and magnificent manner; but was sensible that this event would be succeeded by a strange catastrophe. In a word, he discovered that the issue of this princess, notwithstanding all the express precautions in the treaty for securing their succession to the crown, in exclusion of the children by a former marriage, were so far from ascending the throne, that they were entirely exterminated; and that the new queen herself was delivered up to her rival, who caused her to be destroyed, with all the officers who conducted her out of Egypt into Syria, and till then, had been her strength and support. "Great GOD! how worthy are thy oracles to be believed and reverenced!" Testimonia tua credibilia facta sunt nimis.
While Berenice was besieged and blocked up in Daphne, the cities of Asia Minor, who had received intelligence of her treatment, were touched with