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By Archibald Henry Sayce

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Laccabees CHAPTER III. THE AGE AND WORK OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH. C. He was already master of Persia, Media, and Lydia; and the overthrow of the empire of N ebuchadnezzar extended his dominions from the mountains of the Hindu Kush on the east to the shores of the Mediterranean on the west. Egypt alone of the older empires of the Oriental world remained independent, but its doom could not be long delaye4. The career of Cyrus had indeed been marvellous. He had begun as the king only of Anzan or Elam, whose power seemed but' small' and contemptible to his neighbour the great Babylonian monarch.

Gomates, so Darius informs us, had destroyed the temples of the Zoroastrians, had abolished the use of the sacred hymns, and had confiscated the property of the Persian nobility. All this was now reversed. Under Darius and his successors Zoroastrianism became the State religion, and the empire was managed by the Persian ministers of a Persian king. l But before this could be effected, Darius had to reconquer the empire he had seized. Hardly had Gomates been slain, when Elam rose in rebellion. The Susianians had not forgotten that Cyrus and Kambyses had been kings of their own, and they refused to submit to a people whom Cyrus had subdued.

Only prevented from doing so by the prompt measures of Darius and his own execution. The revolt in Elam, which was soon put down, was followed by the far more serious revolt of Babylonia. Nidinta-Bel, the son of Anir, placed 1 The eight kings were :I. Teispes. I 1 Elam :2. Cyrus I. 3. Kambyses I. Persia:4. Ariaramnes. S. Arsames. 6. Hystaspes. ' - - _ - . _ _ _ _ ,1 I 7. Cyrus II. 8. Kambyses II. 54 THE AGE ND WORK OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH. of which were no longer able to offer the same resistance to the enemy that they had done before.

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An Introduction to The Books of Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther by Archibald Henry Sayce


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