Two centuries have passed over the East, and at first sight it looks as if no radical change has taken place in its political or social condition. No new power has entered it from without; only one new state of importance, the Phrygian, has arisen within. The peoples, which were of most account in 1000, are still of the most account in 800--the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Mushki of Cappadocia, the tribesmen of Urartu, the Aramaeans of Damascus, the trading Phoenicians on the Syrian coast and the trading Greeks on the Anatolian. Egypt has remained behind her frontier except for one raid into Palestine about 925 B.C., from which Sheshenk, the Libyan, brought back treasures of Solomon's temple to enhance the splendour of Amen. Arabia has not begun to matter. There has been, of course, development, but on old lines. The comparative values of the states have altered: some have become more decisively the superiors of others than they were two hundred years ago, but they are those whose growth was foreseen. Wherein, then, lies the great difference? For great difference there is. It scarcely needs a second glance to detect the change, and any one who looks narrowly will see not only certain consequent changes, but in more than one quarter signs and warnings of a coming order of things not dreamt of in 1000 B.C.
SECTION 1. MIDDLE KINGDOM OF ASSYRIA The obvious novelty is the presence of a predominant power. The mosaic of small states is still there, but one holds lordship over most of them, and that one is Assyria. Moreover, the foreign dominion which the latter has now been enjoying for three-parts of a century is the first of its kind established by an Asiatic power. Twice, as we have seen, had Assyria conquered in earlier times an empire of the nomad Semitic type, that is, a licence to raid unchecked over a wide tract of lands; but, so far as we know, neither Shalmaneser I nor Tiglath Pileser I had so much as conceived the idea of holding the raided provinces by a permanent official organization. But in the ninth century, when Ashurnatsirpal and his successor Shalmaneser, second of the name, marched out year by year, they passed across wide territories held for them by governors and garrisons, before they reached others upon which they hoped to impose like fetters. We find Shalmaneser II, for example, in the third year of his reign, fortifying, renaming, garrisoning and endowing with a royal palace the town of Til Barsip on the Euphrates bank, the better to secure for himself free passage at will across the river. He has finally deprived Ahuni its local Aramaean chief, and holds the place as an Assyrian fortress. Thus far had the Assyrian advanced his territorial empire but not farther. Beyond Euphrates he would, indeed, push year by year, even to Phoenicia and Damascus and Cilicia, but merely to raid, levy blackmail and destroy, like the old emperors of Babylonia or his own imperial predecessors of Assyria. There was then much of the old destructive instinct in Shalmaneser's conception of empire; but a constructive principle also was at work modifying that conception. If the Great King was still something of a Bedawi Emir, bound to go a-raiding summer by summer, he had conceived, like Mohammed ibn Rashid, the Arabian prince of Jebel Shammar in our own days, the idea of extending his territorial dominion, so that he might safely and easily reach fresh fields for wider raids. If we may use modern formulas about an ancient and imperfectly realized imperial system, we should describe the dominion of Shalmaneser II as made up (over and above its Assyrian core) of a wide circle of foreign territorial possessions which included Babylonia on the south, all Mesopotamia on the west and north, and everything up to Zagros on the east; of a "sphere of exclusive influence" extending to Lake Van on the north, while on the west it reached beyond the Euphrates into mid-Syria; and, lastly, of a licence to raid as far as the frontiers of Egypt. Shalmaneser's later expeditions all passed the frontiers of that sphere of influence. Having already crossed the Amanus mountains seven times, he was in Tarsus in his twenty-sixth summer; Damascus was attacked again and again in the middle of his reign; and even Jehu of Samaria paid his blackmail in the year 842. Assyria in the ninth century must have seemed by far the strongest as well as the most oppressive power that the East had known. The reigning house was passing on its authority from father to son in an unbroken dynastic succession, which had not always been, and would seldom thereafter be, the rule. Its court was fixed securely in midmost Assyria, away from priest-ridden Asshur, which seems to have been always anti-imperial and pro-Babylonian; for Ashurnatsirpal had restored Calah to the capital rank which it had held under Shalmaneser I but lost under Tiglath Pileser, and there the kings of the Middle Empire kept their throne. The Assyrian armies were as yet neither composed of soldiers of fortune, nor, it appears, swelled by such heterogeneous provincial levies as would follow the Great Kings of Asia in later days; but they were still recruited from the sturdy peasantry of Assyria itself. The monarch was an absolute autocrat directing a supreme military despotism. Surely such a power could not but endure. Endure, indeed, it would for more than two centuries. But it was not so strong as it appeared. Before the century of Ashurnatsirpal and Shalmaneser II was at an end, certain inherent germs of corporate decay had developed apace in its system. Natural law appears to decree that a family stock, whose individual members have every opportunity and licence for sensual indulgence, shall deteriorate both physically and mentally at an ever-increasing rate. Therefore, _pari passu_, an Empire which is so absolutely autocratic that the monarch is its one mainspring of government, grows weaker as it descends from father to son. Its one chance of conserving some of its pristine strength is to develop a bureaucracy which, if inspired by the ideas and methods of earlier members of the dynasty, may continue to realize them in a crystallized system of administration. This chance the Middle Assyrian Kingdom never was at any pains to take. There is evidence for delegation of military power by its Great Kings to a headquarter staff, and for organization of military control in the provinces, but none for such delegation of the civil power as might have fostered a bureaucracy. Therefore that concentration of power in single hands, which at first had been an element of strength, came to breed increasing weakness as one member of the dynasty succeeded another. Again, the irresistible Assyrian armies, which had been led abroad summer by summer, were manned for some generations by sturdy peasants drawn from the fields of the Middle Tigris basin, chiefly those on the left bank. The annual razzia, however, is a Bedawi institution, proper to a semi-nomadic society which cultivates little and that lightly, and can leave such agricultural, and also such pastoral, work as must needs be done in summer to its old men, its young folk and its women, without serious loss. But a settled labouring population which has deep lands to till, a summer crop to raise and an irrigation system to maintain is in very different case. The Assyrian kings, by calling on their agricultural peasantry, spring after spring, to resume the life of militant nomads, not only exhausted the sources of their own wealth and stability, but bred deep discontent. As the next two centuries pass more and more will be heard of depletion and misery in the Assyrian lands. Already before 800 we have the spectacle of the agricultural district of Arbela rebelling against Shalmaneser's sons, and after being appeased with difficulty, rising again against Adadnirari III in a revolt which is still active when the century closes. Lastly, this militant monarchy, whose life was war, was bound to make implacable enemies both within and without. Among those within were evidently the priests, whose influence was paramount at Asshur. Remembering who it was that had given the first independent king to Assyria they resented that their city, the chosen seat of the earlier dynasties, which had been restored to primacy by the great Tiglath Pileser, should fall permanently to the second rank. So we find Asshur joining the men of Arbela in both the rebellions mentioned above, and it appears always to have been ready to welcome attempts by the Babylonian Semites to regain their old predominance over Southern Assyria.
SECTION 2. URARTU As we should expect from geographical circumstances, Assyria's most perilous and persistent foreign enemies were the fierce hillmen of the north. In the east, storms were brewing behind the mountains, but they were not yet ready to burst. South and west lay either settled districts of old civilization not disposed to fight, or ranging grounds of nomads too widely scattered and too ill organized to threaten serious danger. But the north was in different case. The wild valleys, through which descend the left bank affluents of the Upper Tigris, have always sheltered fierce fighting clans, covetous of the winter pasturage and softer climate of the northern Mesopotamian downs, and it has been the anxious care of one Mesopotamian power after another, even to our own day, to devise measures for penning them back. Since the chief weakness of these tribes lies in a lack of unity which the subdivided nature of their country encourages, it must have caused no small concern to the Assyrians that, early in the ninth century, a Kingdom of Urartu or, as its own people called it, Khaldia, should begin to gain power over the communities about Lake Van and the heads of the valleys which run down to Assyrian territory. Both Ashurnatsirpal and Shalmaneser led raid after raid into the northern mountains in the hope of weakening the tribes from whose adhesion that Vannic Kingdom might derive strength. Both kings marched more than once up to the neighbourhood of the Urmia Lake, and Shalmaneser struck at the heart of Urartu itself three or four times; but with inconclusive success. The Vannic state continued to flourish and its kings--whose names are more European in sound than Asiatic--Lutipris, Sarduris, Menuas, Argistis, Rusas--built themselves strong fortresses which stand to this day about Lake Van, and borrowed a script from their southern foes to engrave rocks with records of successful wars. One of these inscriptions occurs as far west as the left bank of Euphrates over against Malatia. By 800 B.C., in spite of efforts made by Shalmaneser's sons to continue their father's policy of pushing the war into the enemy's country, the Vannic king had succeeded in replacing Assyrian influence by the law of Khaldia in the uppermost basin of the Tigris and in higher Mesopotamia--the "Nairi" lands of Assyrian scribes; and his successors would raid farther and farther into the plains during the coming age.
SECTION 3. THE MEDES Menacing as this power of Urartu appeared at the end of the ninth century to an enfeebled Assyrian dynasty, there were two other racial groups, lately arrived on its horizon, which in the event would prove more really dangerous. One of these lay along the north-eastern frontier on the farther slopes of the Zagros mountains and on the plateau beyond. It was apparently a composite people which had been going through a slow process of formation and growth. One element in it seems to have been of the same blood as a strong pastoral population which was then ranging the steppes of southern Russia and west central Asia, and would come to be known vaguely to the earliest Greeks as Cimmerians, and scarcely less precisely to their descendants, as Scyths. Its name would be a household word in the East before long. A trans-Caucasian offshoot of this had settled in modern Azerbaijan, where for a long time past it had been receiving gradual reinforcements of eastern migrants, belonging to what is called the Iranian group of Aryans. Filtering through the passage between the Caspian range and the salt desert, which Teheran now guards, these Iranians spread out over north-west Persia and southwards into the well-watered country on the western edge of the plateau, overlooking the lowlands of the Tigris basin. Some part of them, under the name Parsua, seems to have settled down as far north as the western shores of Lake Urmia, on the edge of the Ararat kingdom; another part as far south as the borders of Elam. Between these extreme points the immigrants appear to have amalgamated with the settled Scyths, and in virtue of racial superiority to have become predominant partners in the combination. At some uncertain period--probably before 800 B.C.--there had arisen from the Iranian element an individual, Zoroaster, who converted his people from element-worship to a spiritual belief in personal divinity; and by this reform of cult both raised its social status and gave it political cohesion. The East began to know and fear the combination under the name _Manda_, and from Shalmaneser II onwards the Assyrian kings had to devote ever more attention to the Manda country, raiding it, sacking it, exacting tribute from it, but all the while betraying their growing consciousness that a grave peril lurked behind Zagros, the peril of the Medes. [Footnote: I venture to adhere throughout to the old identification of the _Manda_ power, which ultimately overthrew Assyria, with the _Medes_, in spite of high authorities who nowadays assume that the latter played no part in that overthrow, but have been introduced into this chapter of history by an erroneous identification made by Greeks. I cannot believe that both Greek and Hebrew authorities of very little later date both fell into such an error.]
SECTION 4. THE CHALDAEANS The other danger, the more imminent of the two, threatened Assyria from the south. Once again a Semitic immigration, which we distinguish as Chaldaean from earlier Semitic waves, Canaanite and Aramaean, had breathed fresh vitality into the Babylonian people. It came, like earlier waves, out of Arabia, which, for certain reasons, has been in all ages a prime source of ethnic disturbance in West Asia. The great southern peninsula is for the most part a highland steppe endowed with a singularly pure air and an uncontaminated soil. It breeds, consequently, a healthy population whose natality, compared to its death-rate, is unusually high; but since the peculiar conditions of its surface and climate preclude the development of its internal food-supply beyond a point long ago reached, the surplus population which rapidly accumulates within it is forced from time to time to seek its sustenance elsewhere. The difficulties of the roads to the outer world being what they are (not to speak of the certainty of opposition at the other end), the intending emigrants rarely set out in small bodies, but move restlessly within their own borders until they are grown to a horde, which famine and hostility at home compel at last to leave Arabia. As hard to arrest as their own blown sands, the moving Arabs fall on the nearest fertile regions, there to plunder, fight, and eventually settle down. So in comparatively modern times have the Shammar tribesmen moved into Syria and Mesopotamia, and so in antiquity moved the Canaanites, the Aramaeans, and the Chaldaeans. We find the latter already well established by 900 B.C. not only in the "Sea Land" at the head of the Persian Gulf, but also between the Rivers. The Kings of Babylon, who opposed Ashurnatsirpal and Shalmaneser II, seem to have been of Chaldaean extraction; and although their successors, down to 800 B.C., acknowledged the suzerainty of Assyria, they ever strove to repudiate it, looking for help to Elam or the western desert tribes. The times, however, were not quite ripe. The century closed with the reassertion of Assyrian power in Babylon itself by Adadnirari.
SECTION 5. SYRIAN EXPANSION OF ASSYRIA Such were the dangers which, as we now know, lurked on the horizon of the Northern Semites in 800 B.C. But they had not yet become patent to the world, in whose eyes Assyria seemed still an irresistible power pushing ever farther and farther afield. The west offered the most attractive field for her expansion. There lay the fragments of the Hatti Empire, enjoying the fruits of Hatti civilization; there were the wealthy Aramaean states, and still richer Phoenician ports. There urban life was well developed, each city standing for itself, sufficient in its territory, and living more or less on the caravan trade which perforce passed under or near its walls between Egypt on the one hand and Mesopotamia and Asia Minor on the other. Never was a fairer field for hostile enterprise, or one more easily harried without fear of reprisal, and well knowing this, Assyria set herself from Ashurnatsirpal's time forward systematically to bully and fleece Syria. It was almost the yearly practice of Shalmaneser II to march down to the Middle Euphrates, ferry his army across, and levy blackmail on Carchemish and the other north Syrian cities as far as Cilicia on the one hand and Damascus on the other. That done, he would send forward envoys to demand ransom of the Phoenician towns, who grudgingly paid it or rashly withheld it according to the measure of his compulsion. Since last we looked at the Aramaean states, Damascus has definitely asserted the supremacy which her natural advantages must always secure to her whenever Syria is not under foreign domination. Her fighting dynasty of Benhadads which had been founded, it seems, more than a century before Shalmaneser's time, had now spread her influence right across Syria from east to west and into the territories of Hamath on the north and of the Hebrews on the south. Ashurnatsirpal had never ventured to do more than summon at long range the lord of this large and wealthy state to contribute to his coffers; but this tributary obligation, if ever admitted, was continually disregarded, and Shalmaneser II found he must take bolder measures or be content to see his raiding-parties restricted to the already harried north. He chose the bold course, and struck at Hamath, the northernmost Damascene dependency, in his seventh summer. A notable victory, won at Karkar on the Middle Orontes over an army which included contingents from most of the south Semitic states--one came, for example, from Israel, where Ahab was now king,--opened a way towards the Aramaean capital; but it was not till twelve years later that the Great King actually attacked Damascus. But he failed to crown his successes with its capture, and reinvigorated by the accession of a new dynasty, which Hazael, a leader in war, founded in 842, Damascus continued to bar the Assyrians from full enjoyment of the southern lands for another century. Nevertheless, though Shalmaneser and his dynastic successors down to Adadnirari III were unable to enter Palestine, the shadow of Assyrian Empire was beginning to creep over Israel. The internal dissensions of the latter, and its fear and jealousy of Damascus had already done much to make ultimate disaster certain. In the second generation after David the radical incompatibility between the northern and southern Hebrew tribes, which under his strong hand and that of his son had seemed one nation, reasserted its disintegrating influence. While it is not certain if the twelve tribes were ever all of one race, it is quite certain that the northern ones had come to be contaminated very largely with Aramaean blood and infected by mid-Syrian influences, which the relations established and maintained by David and Solomon with Hamath and Phoenicia no doubt had accentuated, especially in the territories of Asher and Dan. These tribes and some other northerners had never seen eye to eye with the southern tribes in a matter most vital to Semitic societies, religious ideal and practice. The anthropomorphic monotheism, which the southern tribes brought up from Arabia, had to contend in Galilee with theriomorphic polytheism, that is, the tendency to embody the qualities of divinity in animal forms. For such beliefs as these there is ample evidence in the Judaean tradition, even during the pre-Palestinian wanderings. Both reptile and bovine incarnations manifest themselves in the story of the Exodus, and despite the fervent missionary efforts of a series of Prophets, and the adhesion of many, even among the northern tribesmen, to the more spiritual creed, these cults gathered force in the congenial neighbourhood of Aramaeans and Phoenicians, till they led to political separation of the north from the south as soon as the long reign of Solomon was ended. Thereafter, until the catastrophe of the northern tribes, there would never more be a united Hebrew nation. The northern kingdom, harried by Damascus and forced to take unwilling part in her quarrels, looked about for foreign help. The dynasty of Omri, who, in order to secure control of the great North Road, had built himself a capital and a palace (lately discovered) on the hill of Samaria, relied chiefly on Tyre. The succeeding dynasty, that of Jehu, who had rebelled against Omri's son and his Phoenician queen, courted Assyria, and encouraged her to press ever harder on Damascus. It was a suicidal policy; for in the continued existence of a strong Aramaean state on her north lay Israel's one hope of long life. Jeroboam II and his Prophet Jonah ought to have seen that the day of reckoning would come quickly for Samaria when once Assyria had settled accounts with Damascus. To some extent, but unfortunately not in all detail, we can trace in the royal records the advance of Assyrian territorial dominion in the west. The first clear indication of its expansion is afforded by a notice of the permanent occupation of a position on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, as a base for the passage of the river. This position was Til Barsip, situated opposite the mouth of the lowest Syrian affluent, the Sajur, and formerly capital of an Aramaean principate. That its occupation by Shalmaneser II in the third year of his reign was intended to be lasting is proved by its receiving a new name and becoming a royal Assyrian residence. Two basaltic lions, which the Great King then set up on each side of its Mesopotamian gate and inscribed with commemorative texts, have recently been found near Tell Ahmar, the modern hamlet which has succeeded the royal city. This measure marked Assyria's definite annexation of the lands in Mesopotamia, which had been under Aramaean government for at least a century and a half. When this government had been established there we do not certainly know; but the collapse of Tiglath Pileser's power about 1100 B.C. so nearly follows the main Aramaean invasion from the south that it seems probable this invasion had been in great measure the cause of that collapse, and that an immediate consequence was the formation of Aramaean states east of Euphrates. The strongest of them and the last to succumb to Assyria was Bit-Adini, the district west of Harran, of which Til Barsip had been the leading town. The next stage of Assyrian expansion is marked by a similar occupation of a position on the Syrian side of the Euphrates, to cover the landing and be a gathering-place of tribute. Here stood Pitru, formerly a Hatti town and, perhaps, the Biblical Pethor, situated beside the Sajur on some site not yet identified, but probably near the outfall of the stream. It received an Assyrian name in Shalmaneser's sixth year, and was used afterwards as a base for all his operations in Syria. It served also to mask and overawe the larger and more wealthy city of Carchemish, a few miles north, which would remain for a long time to come free of permanent Assyrian occupation, though subjected to blackmail on the occasion of every western raid by the Great King. With this last westward advance of his permanent territorial holding, Shalmaneser appears to have rested content. He was sure of the Euphrates passage and had made his footing good on the Syrian bank. But we cannot be certain; for, though his known records mention the renaming of no other Syrian cities, many may have been renamed without happening to be mentioned in the records, and others may have been occupied by standing Assyrian garrisons without receiving new names. Be that as it may, we can trace, year by year, the steady pushing forward of Assyrian raiding columns into inner Syria. In 854 Shalmaneser's most distant base of operations was fixed at Khalman (Aleppo), whence he marched to the Orontes to fight, near the site of later Apamea, the battle of Karkar. Five years later, swooping down from a Cilician raid, he entered Hamath. Six more years passed before he made more ground to the south, though he invaded Syria again in force at least once during the interval. In 842, however, having taken a new road along the coast, he turned inland from Beirut, crossed Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, and succeeded in reaching the oasis of Damascus and even in raiding some distance towards the Hauran; but he did not take (perhaps, like the Bedawi Emir he was, he did not try to take) the fenced city itself. He seems to have repeated his visit three years later, but never to have gone farther. Certainly he never secured to himself Phoenicia, Coele-Syria or Damascus, and still less Palestine, by any permanent organization. Indeed, as has been said, we have no warrant for asserting that in his day Assyria definitely incorporated in her territorial empire any part of Syria except that one outpost of observation established at Pitru on the Sajur. Nor can more be credited to Shalmaneser's immediate successors; but it must be understood that by the end of the century Adadnirari had extended Assyria's sphere of influence (as distinct from her territorial holding) somewhat farther south to include not only Phoenicia but also northern Philistia and Palestine with the arable districts east of Jordan.
SECTION 6. CILICIA When an Assyrian emperor crossed Euphrates and took up quarters in Pitru to receive the submission of the western chiefs and collect his forces for raiding the lands of any who might be slow to comply, he was much nearer the frontiers of Asia Minor than those of Phoenicia or the Kingdom of Damascus. Yet on three occasions out of four, the lords of the Middle Assyrian Kingdom were content to harry once again the oft-plundered lands of mid-Syria, and on the fourth, if they turned northward at all, they advanced no farther than eastern Cilicia, that is, little beyond the horizon which they might actually see on a clear day from any high ground near Pitru. Yet on the other side of the snow-streaked wall which bounded the northward view lay desirable kingdoms, Khanigalbat with its capital, Milid, comprising the fertile district which later would be part of Cataonia; Tabal to west of it, extending over the rest of Cataonia and southern Cappadocia; and Kas, possessing the Tyanitis and the deep Lycaonian plain. Why, then, did those imperial robbers in the ninth century so long hold their hands from such tempting prey? No doubt, because they and their armies, which were not yet recruited from other populations than the Semites of Assyria proper, so far as we know, were by origin Arabs, men of the south, to whom the high-lying plateau country beyond Taurus was just as deterrent as it has been to all Semites since. Tides of Arab invasion, surging again and again to the foot of the Taurus, have broken sometimes through the passes and flowed in single streams far on into Asia Minor, but they have always ebbed again as quickly. The repugnance felt by the Assyrians for Asia Minor may be contrasted with the promptitude which their Iranian successors showed in invading the peninsula, and may be illustrated by all subsequent history. No permanent footing was ever established in Asia Minor by the Saracens, its definite conquest being left to the north-country Turks. The short-lived Arab power of Mehemet Ali, which rebelled against the Turks some eighty years ago, advanced on to the plateau only to recede at once and remain behind the Taurus. The present dividing line of peoples which speak respectively Arabic and Turkish marks the Semite's immemorial limit. So soon as the land-level of northern Syria attains a mean altitude of 2500 feet, the Arab tongue is chilled to silence. We shall never find Assyrian armies, therefore, going far or staying long beyond Taurus. But we shall find them going constantly, and as a matter of course, into Cilicia, notwithstanding the high mountain wall of Amanus which divides it from Syria. Cilicia--all that part of it at least which the Assyrians used to raid--lies low, faces south and is shielded by high mountains from northerly and easterly chills. It enjoys, indeed, a warmer and more equable climate than any part of Syria, except the coastal belt, and socially it has always been related more nearly to the south lands than to its own geographical whole, Asia Minor. A Semitic element was predominant in the population of the plain, and especially in its chief town, Tarsus, throughout antiquity. So closely was Cilicia linked with Syria that the Prince of Kue (its eastern part) joined the Princes of Hamath and of Damascus and their south Syrian allies in that combination for common defence against Assyrian aggression, which Shalmaneser broke at Karkar in 854: and it was in order to neutralize an important factor in the defensive power of Syria that the latter proceeded across Patin in 849 and fell on Kue. But some uprising at Hamath recalled him then, and it was not till the latter part of his reign that eastern Cilicia was systematically subdued. Shalmaneser devoted a surprising amount of attention to this small and rather obscure corner of Asia Minor. He records in his twenty-fifth year that already he had crossed Amanus seven times; and in the year succeeding we find him again entering Cilicia and marching to Tarsus to unseat its prince and put another more pliable in his room. Since, apparently, he never used Cilicia as a base for further operations in force beyond Taurus, being content with a formal acknowledgment of his majesty by the Prince of Tabal, one is forced to conclude that he invaded the land for its own sake. Nearly three centuries hence, out of the mist in which Cilicia is veiled more persistently than almost any other part of the ancient East, this small country will loom up suddenly as one of the four chief powers of Asia, ruled by a king who, hand in hand with Nebuchadnezzar II, negotiates a peace between the Lydians and the Medes, each at the height of their power. Then the mist will close over it once more, and we shall hear next to nothing of a long line of kings who, bearing a royal title which was graecized under the form Syennesis, reigned at Tarsus, having little in common with other Anatolian princes. But we may reasonably infer from the circumstances of the pacific intervention just mentioned that Cilician power had been growing for a long time previous; and also from the frequency with which Shalmaneser raided the land, that already in the ninth century it was rich and civilized. We know it to have been a great centre of Sandan worship, and may guess that its kings were kin of the Mushki race and, if not the chief survivors of the original stock which invaded Assyria in Tiglath Pileser's time, ranked at least among the chief inheritors of the old Hatti civilization. Some even date its civilization earlier still, believing the Keftiu, who brought rich gifts to the Pharaohs of the eighteenth and succeeding dynasties, to have been Cilicians. Unfortunately, no scientific excavation of early sites in Cilicia has yet been undertaken; but for many years past buyers of antiquities have been receiving, from Tarsus and its port, engraved stones and seals of singularly fine workmanship, which belong to Hittite art but seem of later date than most of its products. They display in their decoration certain peculiar designs, which have been remarked also in Cyprus, and present some peculiarities of form, which occur also in the earliest Ionian art. Till other evidence comes to hand these little objects must be our witnesses to the existence of a highly developed sub-Hittite culture in Cilicia which, as early as the ninth century, had already been refined by the influence of the Greek settlements on the Anatolian coasts and perhaps, even earlier, by the Cretan art of the Aegean area. Cilician civilization offers a link between east and west which is worth more consideration and study than have been given to it by historians.
SECTION 7. ASIA MINOR Into Asia Minor beyond Taurus we have no reason to suppose that an Assyrian monarch of the ninth century ever marched in person, though several raiding columns visited Khanigalbat and Tabal, and tributary acknowledgment of Assyrian dominance was made intermittently by the princes of both those countries in the latter half of Shalmaneser's reign. The farther and larger part of the western peninsula lay outside the Great King's reach, and we know as little of it in the year 800 as, perhaps, the Assyrians themselves knew. We do know, however, that it contained a strong principality centrally situated in the southern part of the basin of the Sangarius, which the Asiatic Greeks had begun to know as Phrygian. This inland power loomed very large in their world--so large, indeed, that it masked Assyria at this time, and passed in their eyes for the richest on earth. On the sole ground of its importance in early Greek legend, we are quite safe in dating not only its rise but its attainment of a dominant position to a period well before 800 B.C. But, in fact, there are other good grounds for believing that before the ninth century closed this principality dominated a much wider area than the later Phrygia, and that its western borders had been pushed outwards very nearly to the Ionian coast. In the Iliad, for example, the Phrygians are spoken of as immediate neighbours of the Trojans; and a considerable body of primitive Hellenic legend is based on the early presence of Phrygians not only in the Troad itself, but on the central west coast about the Bay of Smyrna and in the Caystrian plain, from which points of vantage they held direct relations with the immigrant Greeks themselves. It seems, therefore, certain that at some time before 800 B.C. nearly all the western half of the peninsula owed allegiance more or less complete to the power on the Sangarius, and that even the Heraclid kings of Lydia were not independent of it. If Phrygia was powerful enough in the ninth century to hold the west Anatolian lands in fee, did it also dominate enough of the eastern peninsula to be ranked the imperial heir of the Cappadocian Hatti? The answer to this question (if any at all can be returned on very slight evidence) will depend on the view taken about the possible identity of the Phrygian power with that obscure but real power of the Mushki, of which we have already heard. The identity in question is so generally accepted nowadays that it has become a commonplace of historians to speak of the "Mushki-Phrygians." Very possibly they are right. But, by way of caution, it must be remarked that the identification depends ultimately on another, namely, that of Mita, King of the Mushki, against whom Ashurbanipal would fight more than a century later, with Midas, last King of Phrygia, who is mentioned by Herodotus and celebrated in Greek myth. To assume this identity is very attractive. Mita of Mushki and Midas of Phrygia coincide well enough in date; both ruled in Asia Minor; both were apparently leading powers there; both fought with the Gimirrai or Cimmerians. But there are also certain difficulties of which too little account has perhaps been taken. While Mita seems to have been a common name in Asia as far inland as Mesopotamia at a much earlier period than this, the name Midas, on the other hand, came much later into Phrygia from the west, if there is anything in the Greek tradition that the Phryges or Briges had immigrated from south-east Europe. And supported as this tradition is not only by the occurrence of similar names and similar folk-tales in Macedonia and in Phrygia, but also by the western appearance of the later Phrygian art and script, we can hardly refuse it credit. Accordingly, if we find the origin of the Phrygians in the Macedonian Briges, we must allow that Midas, as a Phrygian name, came from Europe very much later than the first appearance of kings called Mita in Asia, and we are compelled to doubt whether the latter name is necessarily the same as Midas. When allusions to the Mushki in Assyrian records give any indication of their local habitat, it lies in the east, not the west, of the central Anatolian plain--nearly, in fact, where the Moschi lived in later historical times. The following points, therefore, must be left open at present: (1) whether the Mushki ever settled in Phrygia at all; (2) whether, if they did, the Phrygian kings who bore the names Gordius and Midas can ever have been Mushkite or have commanded Mushkite allegiance; (3) whether the kings called Mita in records of Sargon and Ashurbanipal were not lords rather of the eastern Mushki than of Phrygia. It cannot be assumed, on present evidence at any rate (though it is not improbable), that Phrygian kings ruled the Mushki of Cappadocia, and in virtue of that rule had an empire almost commensurate with the lost sway of the Hatti. Nevertheless theirs was a strong power, the strongest in Anatolia, and the fame of its wealth and its walled towns dazzled and awed the Greek communities, which were thickly planted by now on the western and south-western coasts. Some of these had passed through the trials of infancy and were grown to civic estate, having established wide trade relations both by land and sea. In the coming century Cyme of Aeolis would give a wife to a Phrygian king. Ephesus seems to have become already an important social as well as religious centre. The objects of art found in 1905 on the floor of the earliest temple of Artemis in the plain (there was an earlier one in the hills) must be dated--some of them--not later than 700, and their design and workmanship bear witness to flourishing arts and crafts long established in the locality. Miletus, too, was certainly an adult centre of Hellenism and about to become a mother of new cities, if she had not already become so. But, so early as this year 800, we know little about the Asiatic Greek cities beyond the fact of their existence; and it will be wiser to let them grow for another two centuries and to speak of them more at length when they have become a potent factor in West Asian society. When we ring up the curtain again after two hundred years, it will be found that the light shed on the eastern scene has brightened; for not only will contemporary records have increased in volume and clarity, but we shall be able to use the lamp of literary history fed by traditions, which had not had to survive the lapse of more than a few generations.