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399

А

SHORT HISTORY

OF

PERSIA.

CHAP. I.

Curist,

890.

The Pishdadian Family. CAIUMARAS*, whom fome have fup. Before posed to be the King of Elam mentioned in the Scripture, founded the Persian Empire, and fixed the seat of it in the province of Azarbigian. He was opposed in his noble enterprises by the inhabitants of the mountains and forests, who, like the wild Tartars and Arabs, dwelled in tents or caverns, and led a rambling life among rocks and in deserts. The rude appearance of these Savages, compared with the more polished manners of those, who first began to be civilized, gave rise to the fi&tion of Demons and Giants among the Persians, who call them Dives † and represent them as declared enemies to Man.

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B. C. 865.

HUSHENG *, Grandson of Caiumaras, was, probably, contemporary with Minos, and, like him, was eminent for his Justice and excellent Laws, which gained him the surname of Pishdåd t, or The Legislator, whence the first race of Persian Kings took the name of Pifhdadians. He taught Agriculture to his subjects, and made great improvements in the art; he advised them to water their fields with artificial canals, a custom still frequent in Perha, where the soil is uncommonly dry. He also discovered mines of iron in his kingdom, which metal he wrought into weapons, and tools for husbandry. He was the first, who bred dogs and leopards for hunting, and introduced the fashion of wearing the furs of wild beasts in winter. He is also said to have built the city of Shufter or Susa, to have extended the bounds of his Empire, and to have penetrated as far as the coast of the Indian Sea.

TAHMURAS I succeeded his father HuMeng ; he built several cities in the two provinces of Irak, and among them Babel or Babylon, and Niniveh, near the ruins of which the cities of Bagdad and Musel are now supposed to stand. He assigned the government

B. C. 835.

طيورث + پیشداد + هوشنی م

bend *, or,

of these cities, with large territories annexed B.

C. 835. to them, to his most illustrious Ministers, who are known to us by the names of Allyrian and Babylonian Monarchs, though, most probably, they payed homage to the sovereign lords of Iran.

This prince encouraged arts and manufactures, and particularly the planting of rice, and the breeding of silk-worms; he first used a complete suit of armour, and civilized many barbarous nations, whence he was called Dív

, or, The Tamer of Giants. GEMSHI'D finished the City of Istakhar, B.C: sop. or, as the Greeks called it, Persepolis, which his uncle Tahmuras had begun, and the ruins of which are still shown, by the name of Chehlminár I, or, The Forty Pillars. He introduced the use of the Solar Year among the Perhans, and ordered the first day of it, called Nurúz , when the Sun enters the Ram, to be folemnized by a splendid festival. This gave a beginning to Astronomy among his subjects, and at the same time, perhaps, to the idolatrous respect, which the common people afterwards showed to the Sun. Gembid, or Gem, for he is known by both names, was a

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B. C. 800. wise and magnificent prince: he was the first,

who instituted publick baths, and encouraged his subjects to dive for pearls in the Green Sea, or Persian Gulf; he invented tents and pavilions, and discovered the use of lime in building: he built a strong bridge over the Tigris, which, according to the Asiatick writers, was demolished by the Greeks. Yet this illustrious monarch was unfortunate in war: he was driven from his throne by Zohác, a native of Arabia, and spent the remainder of his life in travel. The Queen, his wife, saved her son Feridun from the usurper, and educated him in a distant retreat. The Persians say, that musical instruments were invented in the reign of Gemshid; and they add, that Pythagoras and Thales were his Contemporaries.

ZOHAC*, the Usurper, was a detestable Tyrant: his cruelty forced the Persians to revolt, and a General, named Gáo, having defeated him, drew the young Feridun from his retirement, and placed him upon the throne.

FERIDUNT is considered by the Persians
as a model of
every virtue: he

gave
the

province of Irak or Parthia to his Deliverer Gaó, as a principality for life; and having sent for

B.C. 780.

B. C. 750.

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