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nicians, as well as the object of their policy and BOOK the spirit of their laws, were entirely commercial. They were a people of merchants who . aimed at the empire of the sea, and actually possessed it. Their fhips not only frequented all the ports in the Mediterranean, but they were the first who ventured beyond the ancient boundaries of navigation, and passing the Streights of Gades, visited the western coasts of Spain and Africa. In many of the places to which they resorted, they planted colonies, and communicated to the rude inhabitants fome knowledge of their arts and improvements. While they extended their discoveries towards the north and the west, they did not, neglect to penetrate into the more opulent' and fertile regions of the fouth and east. Having rendered themselves màsters of several commodious har. bours towards the bottom of the Arabian Gulph, they, after the example of the Egyptians, established a regular intercourse with Arabia and the continent of India on the one hand, and with the eastern coast of Africa on the other. From these countries they imported many valuable commodities, unknown to the rest of the world, and, during a long period, engrossed that lucrative branch of commerce without a rival. · · See NOTE I. at the end of the volume.
BOOK THE vast wealth which the Phenicians acc an quired by monopolizing the trade carried on Of the Jews in the Red Sea, incited their neighbours the
Jews, under the prosperous reigns of David and Solomon, to aim at being admitted to fome share of it. This they obtained, partly by their conquest of Idumea, which stretches along the Red Sea, and partly by their alliance with Hiram king of Tyre. Solomon fitted out fleets, which, under the direction of Phenician pilots, failed from the Red Sea to Tarshish and Ophir. These, it is probable, were ports in India and Africa which their conductors were accustomed to frequent, and from them the Jewish ships returned with such valuable cargoes as suddenly diffused wealth and splendour through the kingdom of Ifrael d. But the singular institutions of the Jews, the observance of which was enjoined by their divine legislator, with an intention of preserving them a separate people, uninfected by idolatry, formed a national character, incapable of that open and liberal intercourse with strangers which commerce requires. Accordingly, this unfocial genius of the people, together with the disasters which befel the kingdom of Israel,
Memoire sur le Pays d'Ophir, par M. D'Anville, Mem. de l'Academ. des Inscript. &c. tom. xxx. 83.
prevented the commercial spirit which their B O O monarchs laboured to introduce, and to cherish, from fpreading among them. The Jews cannot be numbered among the nations which contributed to improve navigation, or to extend discovery.
But though the instructions and example of of the Car
thaginians, the Phenicians were unable to mould the manners and temper of the Jews, in opposition to the tendency of their laws, they transmitted the commercial spirit with facility, and in full vigour, to their own descendants the Carthaginians. The commonwealth of Carthage applied to trade and to naval affairs, with no less ardour, ingenuity, and success, than its parentftate. Carthage early rivalled, and soon surpassed Tyre, in opulence and power, but seems not to have aimed at obtaining any share in the commerce with India. The Phenicians had engrossed this, and had such a command of the Red Sea as secured to them the exclu. five possession of that lucrative branch of trade, The commercial activity of the Carthaginians was exerted in another direction. Without contending for the trade of the east with their mother-country, they extended their navigation chiefly towards the west and north. Fol. lowing the course which the Phenicians had
B 00 K opened, they passed the Streights of Gades, n and pushing their discoveries far beyond those
of the parent state, visited not only all the coasts of Spain, but those of Gaul, and penetrated at last into Britain. At the fame time that they acquired knowledge of new countries in this part of the globe, they gradually carried their researches towards the South. They made considerable progress, by land, into the interior provinces of Africa, traded with some of them, and subjected others to their empire. They failed along the western coast of that great continent, almost to the tropic of Cancer, and planted several colonies, in order to civilize the natives, and accustom them to commerce. They discovered the Fortunate Islands, now known by the name of the Canaries, the utmost boundary of ancient navigation in the western ocean
Nor was the progress of the Phenicians and Carthaginians in their knowledge of the globes owing entirely to the desire of extending their trade from one country to another. Commerce was followed by its usual effects among both these people. . It awakened curiosity, en
. Plinii Nat. Hift. lib. vi. c. 37. edit, in usum Delph, 4to, 1685.
larged the ideas and defires of men, and incited BOOK them to bold enterprises. Voyages were undertaken, the sole object of which was to discover new countries, and to explore unknown feas. Such, during the prosperous age of the Carthaginian republic, were the famous navigations of Hanno and Himilco. Both their fleets were equipped by authority of the senate, and at public expence. Hanno was directed to steer towards the south, along the coast of Africa, and he seems to have advanced much nearer the equinoctial line than any former navigator f. Himilco had it in charge to proceed towards the north, and to examine the western coasts of the European continent %. Of the same nature was the extraordinary navigation of the Phenicians round Africa. A Phe. nician fleet, we are told, fitted out by Necho king of Egypt, took its departure about fix hundred and four years before the Christian æra, from a port in the Red Sea, doubled the southern promontory of Africa, and after a voyage of three years, returned by the Streights
Plinii Nat. Hist: lib. v. c. 1. Hanonis Periplus ap. Geograph. minores, edit. Hudsoni, vol. i. p. 1.
3 Plinii Nat. Hist. lib. ii. c. 67. Feftus Avienus apud Bochart. Geogr. Sacr. lib. i. c. 60, p. 652. Oper, vol. iü. L. Bat. 1707.