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all the knowledge neceffary for establishing this trade in Perfia; for he must have paffed through the Perfian Gulf, and along the whole eastern coast of Arabia; he must have feen the marts of perfumes and spices that were at the mouth of the Red Sea, and the manner of bartering for gold and filver, as he was neceffarily in those trading places which were upon the very fame coast from which the bullion was brought,
Alexander's expedition into India was, of all events, that which moft threatened the deftruction of the commerce of the Continent, or the difperfing it into different channels throughout the East: First, by the destruction of Tyre, which must have, for a time, annihilated the trade by the Arabian Gulf; then by his march through Egypt into the country of the Shepherds, and his intended further progress into Ethiopia to the head of the Nile. If we may judge of what we hear of him in that part of his expedition, we should be apt not to believe, as others are fond of doing, that he had schemes of commerce mingled with those of conquests. His anxiey about his own birth at the temple of Jupiter Ammon, this first question that he asked of the priest," Where the Nile had its fource," feemed to denote a mind bufied about other objects; for elfe he was then in the very place for in. formation, being in the temple of the horned god, the deity of the Shepherds, the African carriers of the Indian produce; a temple which, though in the midst of sand, and destitute of gold or filver, poffeffed more and better information concerning the trade of India and Africa, than could be found in any other place on the Continent.
Alexander, after having viewed the main ocean to the fouth, ordered Nearchus with his fleet to coast along the Perfian Gulf, accompanied by part of the army on land for their mutual affiftauce, as there were a great many hardships which followed the march of the army by land, and much difficulty and danger attended the fhipping as they were failing in unknown feas against the monfoons. Nearchus himself inform ed the king at Babylon of his fuccessful voyage, who gave him orders to continue it into the Red Sea, which he happily accomplished to the bottom of the Arabian Gulf.
The wifeft princes that ever sat upon the throne of Egypt were the Ptolemies, who applied with the utmost care and attention to cultivate the trade of India, to keep up a perfect and friendly understanding with every country that supplied any branch of it, and inftead of disturbing it either in Afia, Arabia, or Ethiopia, as their predecessors had done, they used their utmost efforts to encourage it in all quarters.
Ptolemy I. was at this time reigning in Alexandria, the foundation of whose greatness he not only laid, but lived to fee it arrive at the greatest perfection. It was his conftant faying, that the true glory of a king was not in being rich himself, but in making his fubjects fo. He, therefore, opened his ports to all trading nations, encouraged ftrangers of every language, protected caravans, and a free navigation by fea, by which, in a few years, he made Alexandria the great ftorehouse of merchandize from India, Arabia, and Ethiopia. Ptolemy had been a foldier from his infancy, and confequently kept up a proper military force, that made him every where refpected in these warlike and unfettled times. He had a fleet of two hundred ships of war constantly ready in the port of Alexandria, the only part for which he had apprehenfions. All behind him was wifely governed, whilst it enjoyed a most flourishing trade, to the prosperity of which peace is neceffary. He died in peace and old age, after having merited the glorious name of Soter, or Saviour of the kingdom.
Alexandria received the current of trade with the greatest impetuofity, all the articles of luxury of the Eaft were to be found there. Gold and filver, which were fent formerly to Tyre, came now down to the Ifthmus (tor Tyre was no more) by a much shorter carriage, thence to Meniphis, whence it was fent down the Nile to Alexandria. The gold from the west and fouth parts of the continent reached the fame port with much less time and risk, as there was now no Red Sea to pafs; and here was found the merchandize of Arabia and India in the greatest profusion.
Ptolemy, to facilitate the communication with Arabia, built a town on the coast of the Red Sea, in the country of
the Shepherds, and called it Bernice, after his mother. This was intended as a place of neceffary refreshment for all traders up and down the Gulf, whether of India or Ethiopia; hence the cargoes of merchants, who were afraid of lofing the monfoons, or had loft them, were carried by the inhabitants of the country, in three days, to the Nile, and there embarked for Alexandria. To make the communication between the Nile and the Red Sea ftill more commodious, this prince tried an attempt (which had twice before mifcarried with very great loss) to bring a canal from the Red Sea to the Nile, which he actually accomplished, joining it to the Pelufiac, or eastern branch of the Nile.
Ptolemy had a very powerful fleet and army, but he was inferior to many of the princes, his rivals, in elephants, of which great ufe was then made in war. Thefe Ethiopians were hunters, and killed them for their fubfiftence. Ptolemy, however, wifhed to have them taken alive, being numerous, and hoped both to furnish himself, and difpofe of them as an article of trade to his neighbours. There is fomething ridiculous in the manner in which he executed this expedition. 'Aware of the difficulty of fubfifting in that country, he chose only a hundred Greek horsemen, whom he covered with coats of monstrous appearance and fize, which left nothing vifible but the eyes of the rider. Their horfes too were difguifed by huge trappings, which took from them all proportion and shape. In this manner they entered this part of Ethiopia, fpreading terror every where by their appearance, to which their firength and courage bore a strict proportion whenever they came to action. But neither force nor intreaty could gain any thing upon the fe Shepherds, or ever make themi change or forfake the food they had been fo long accustomed to; and all the fruit Ptolemy reaped from this expedition, was to build a city, by the sea fide, in the fouth-eaft corner of this country, which he called Ptolemais Theron, or Ptolemais in the country of wild beafts.
Ptolemy Evergetes, fon and fucceffor of Ptolemy Philadel-, phus, having provided himself amply with neceffaries for his army, ordered a fleet to coaft along befide him, up the Red Sea; he penetrated quite through the country of the Shep
herds into that of the Ethiopian Troglodytes, who are black and wooly headed, and inhabit the low country quite to the mountains of Abyffinia. He even afcended thofe mountains, forced the inhabitants to fubmiflion, built a large temple at Axum, the capital of Siré, and raised a great many obelisks, feveral of which are standing to this day. Afterwards proceeding to the fouth-eaft, he defcended into the cinnamon and myrrh country, behind Cape Gardefan, (the Cape that terminates the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean) from this, croffed over to Arabia, to the Homerites, being the fame people with the Abyffinians, only on the Arabian fhore. He then conquered feveral of the Arabian princes, who first reofisted him, and had it in his power to have put an end to the strade of India there, had he not been as great a politician as he was a warrior. He ufed his victory, therefore in no other manner, than to exhort and oblige these princes to protect trade, encourage strangers, and, by every means, provide for the furety of neutral intercourfe, by making rigorous examples of robbers by fea and land.
India, and the Indian feas, were as well known in Egypt as they are now; and the embaffy of Eudoxus to the Indies, must have been to remove the bad effects, which the extortions and robberies of Ptolemy VII. committed upon all frangers in the beginning of his reign, had made upon the trading nations, Eudoxus returned, but after the death of Ptolemy. The neceflity, however, of this voyage appeared fill great enough to make Cleopatra, his widow, project a fecond to the fame place, and greater preparations were made than for the former one. But Eudoxus, trying experi、ments probably about the courses of the trade-winds, toft his paffage, and was thrown upon the coaft of Ethiopia; where, having landed, and made himself agreeable to the natives, he brought home to Egypt a particular description of that country and its produce, which furnished all the difcovery neceffary to inftruct the Ptolemies in every thing that related to the ancient trade of Arabia.
The discovery of Spain, the poffeffion of the mines of Attica, from which they drew their filver, and the revolution
that happened in Egypt itself, fcemed to have fuperfeded the communication with the coaft of Africa; for, in Strabo's time, few of the ports of the Indian Ocean, even those neareft the Red Sea, were known. Mr. Bruce fupposes, that the trade to India by Egypt decreased from the very time of the conqueft by Cæfar. The mines the Romans had at the fource of the river Betis, in Spain, did not produce them above 15,000l. a year; this was not a fufficient capital for carrying on the trade to India; and therefore the immenfe riches of the Romans feem to have been derived from the greatness of the prices, not from the extent of the trade. Egypt now, and all its neighbourhood, began to wear a face of war, to which it had been a stranger for fo many ages. The north of Africa was in conftant troubles, after the first ruin of Carthage; fo that we may imagine the trade to India began again, on that fide, to be carried on pretty much in the fame manner it had been before the days of Alexander. But it had enlarged itself very much on the Perfian fide, and found an easy, short inlet into the north of Europe, which then furnifhed them a market and confumption of spices.
The Jews in Alexandria, until the reign of Ptolemy Phif con, had carried on a very extensive part of the India_trade. All Syria was mercantile ; and lead, iron, and copper, sup plied, in fome manner, the deficiency of gold and filver, which never again was in fuch abundance till after the dif covery of America. But the ancient trade to India, by the Arabian Gulf and Africa, carried on by the medium of these two metals, remained at home undiminished with the Ethiopians, defended by large extenfive deferts, and happy with the enjoyment of riches and fecurity, till a fresh discovery again introduced to them both partners and mafters in their trade.
Mr. Bruce next proceeds to give fome account of the visit made by the queen of Sheba, as we erroneoufly call her, and the confequences of that vifit; the foundation of an Ethiopian monarchy, and the continuation of the fceptre in the tribe of Judah, down to this day.