Excerpt from Ancient Greece, and Three Historical Treatises
The volume of which a translation is here offered to the public, forms in the original a portion of an extensive work, entitled, "Reflections on the Politics, Intercourse, and Commerce of the chief Nations of Antiquity." Mr. Heeren has accomplished his design only with respect to the nations of Asia and Africa. On those of Europe he has published nothing further than the present series of essays, which relate solely to subjects connected with the political institutions of the Greeks, and may be regarded as an independent collection of historical sketches.
It is on that larger work that the literary reputation of Mr. Heeren primarily depends. With respect to the Asiatic and African nations, he has discussed his subject in its full extent, and furnishes a more distinct account of their ancient condition than has perhaps been given by any other writer. Early in life he was led to consider the history of the world as influenced by colonial establishments and commerce; and the results of his investigations, in a department of science to which he is enthusiastically attached, and to which he has uninterruptedly devoted the most precious years of a long life, are communicated in the elaborate production which we have named.
In that portion which relates to Asia, after considering the character of the continent itself, he first treats of the Persians, giving a geographical and statistical account of their ancient empire, their form of government, the rights and authority of their kings, the administration of their provinces, and their military resources.
The Phœnicians next pass in review; and a sketch is given of their internal condition and government, their colonies and foreign possessions, their commerce, their manufactures and inland trade.
The country and nation of the Babylonians, and their commerce, form the next subjects of consideration.
The Scythians are then d…
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