Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and eBook

James Emerson Tennent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 892 pages of information about Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and.
into the water, armed with sharp stakes.  And ten days after they arrived in Rochapatta, many Tyrians joined Rachius in hunting crocodiles.” (Ch. xii.) “When the ships returned to Tyre, Joramus gave orders to erect a pillar at the temple of Melicarthus, and to engrave on it an account of all that had taken place.  This pillar was thrown down in the earthquake of last year, but it was not broken, so that the narrative can even now be seen.”


(Ch. i) “This is the voyage which Joramus, the king of the Tyrians ordered Joramus, the priest of Melicarthus, to recount and to engrave on a pillar in the temple of Melicarthus, and Sydyk, the scribe, having four copies, was directed to send them to the Sidonians, the Byblians, the Aradians, and the Berythians.  The other copies can nowhere be found, and the pillar lies shattered in the ruins of the temple, but the copy of the Byblians is still left in the Temple of Baaltis, and its words are to this effect.”

(Ch. ii.) “Hierbas, the son of Bartophas, and king of the Tyrians, thus addressed Joramus, the priest of Madynus, at the time when figs were first ripe:  ’Taking a book and pen, describe all the cities and islands and colonies and the countries of the barbarians, and the forces of them all, and their ships of war and of burthen, and their scythe-armed chariots.  For when our ships of war, sailing to the island of Rachius, reached the remotest parts eastward that we knew, the extremities of all lands, and the nations that inhabited them, we discovered things unknown to our ancestors.  For our ancestors, sailing only to the islands and the region extending to the west, knew nothing of the countries which we have explored to the east:  you will therefore write all these things for the information of posterity.’  When having prostrated myself before the king, on his saying these things, and having returned to my own house I wrote as follows:—­

* * * * *

(Ch. xvi) ...  “To the eastward dwell the Babylonians and Medians and AEthiopians.  The city of the Babylonians is flourishing and populous; Media produces white horses; AEthiopia is barren and arid near the sea, and mountainous in the interior.  And further to the east is the peninsula of Rachius, whither the ships of Hierbas sailed.”

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On this narrative of Sanchoniathon it is only necessary to remark that the allusion in ch. ix. to the assistance rendered by the Tyrians to Irenius of Judea, when building his palace, in supplying him with timber and squared stones, is almost literally copied from the passage In the Old Testament (1 Kings, ix. 11), where Hiram is stated to have furnished to Solomon “cedar trees and fir trees,” for the building of the Temple.

The cession by Irenius of the city and harbour of Ilotha refers to the resort of the Tyrians to Ezion Greber, or Eloth, in the AElanitic Gulf of the Red Sea, Ib. v. 26, whence they piloted the ships of Solomon, which once in every three years returned with cargoes of gold from Ophir. (Ib. v. 28.)

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