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built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of the owner of the hill, Samaria."

This city was highly adorned with public buildings, and became the favorite residence of the kings of Israel instead of Shechem and Thirzah, the former capitals. Ahab built here a palace of ivory, and a temple to Baal-which Jehu destroyed. The natural strength of the position, and its strong fortifications, rendered it nearly impregnable against the then system of warfare. The Syrians twice invaded it; the first time B. c. 901, and again B. c. 892, but were both times repulsed. B. c. 724, it was attacked by the powerful Shalmaneser, king of Assyria; but he did not succeed in taking it until after a siege of three years when he carried its people away captive. About 667 B. c. it was repeopled by Esar-Haddon with Cuthites from beyond the Tigris. The city was afterwards taken by Alexander the Great, who put a large part of the inhabitants to the sword, and permitted the remainder to settle in Shechem. He replaced them by a colony of Syro-Macedonians, and gave the adjacent territory to the Jews to inhabit. Afterwards the city came into the possession of Herod the Great, who colonized it with 6,000 veterans and others. He built a wall around it, and a magnificent temple in the centre. How long it maintained its splendor after Herod's improvements does not appear, and henceforth its history is uncertain. Septimius Severus planted a Roman colony there in the beginning of the third century. During the siege of Jerusalem it fell into the hands of the Moslems. The

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RUINS OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH-THE SITE.

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present village is small and poor, and contains about 200 inhabitants.

The most conspicuous ruins are those of the church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, erected over the spot which tradition claims to be the place of his burial. The walls remain entire to a considerable hight, and enclose a large space, in which are now a mosk and the small building over the tomb. The tomb is a small chamber cut deep in the rock, to which the descent is by twenty-one steps. It is said that during the reign of Julian the Apostate, the heathen broke open this sepulchre, burnt the bones and scattered the ashes to the winds. Other ruins are found on three terraces, and consist of a number of columns, twelve of which stand in a row, the others are scattered about. These columns are said to have belonged to the Serai, or Palace. On the second terrace, heaps of stone, lime, and rubbish are found mixed with the soil in great profusion. On the third terrace but few traces of ruins are found.

Most of the public edifices at Samaria appear to have been the work of the same class of builders that built the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem; the Jewish rebate and bevel being the prevailing style, and the private marks of the builders found on the stones here are similar to those on the stones in the Temple substructions.

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CHAPTER VIII.

THE CRADLE OF THE HUMAN RACE.

The Garden of Eden.-Mount Ararat.-The disper sion of the people.-Their location, or the places occupied by them.—First settlements of the human family.

THE region embraced between the Black and Caspian Seas on the north, and the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf on the south, may well be regarded as the cradle of the human race, as it comprises the Garden of Eden, where man made his advent on earth; and Mount Ararat, where the Ark rested after the flood subsided, and from whence the remnant of the human family went forth to repeople the earth. In this region their first settlements were made, and here the ruins of the first cities they built are found; particularly on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, and on the east coast of the Mediterranean.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN.

The only data for determining the location of this important spot is found in Gen. ii. 8, 11, 13, 14. As to the true interpretation of this account, the best authorities are about equally divided; some claiming that it was in the district at the head waters of the rivers

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