Less than ten years later, Alexander lay dead in Babylon. He had gone forward to the east to acquire more territories than we have surveyed in any chapter of this book or his fathers had so much as known to exist. The broad lands which are now Afghanistan, Russian Turkestan, the Punjab, Scinde, and Beluchistan had been subdued by him in person and were being held by his governors and garrisons. This Macedonian Greek who had become an emperor of the East greater than the greatest theretofore, had already determined that his Seat of Empire should be fixed in inner Asia; and he proposed that under his single sway East and West be distinct no longer, but one indivisible world, inhabited by united peoples. Then, suddenly, he was called to his account, leaving no legitimate heir of his body except a babe in its mother's womb. What would happen? What, in fact, did happen? It is often said that the empire which Alexander created died with him. This is true if we think of empire as the realm of a single emperor. As sole ruler of the vast area between the Danube and the Sutlej Alexander was to have no successor. But if we think of an empire as the realm of a race or nation, Greater Macedonia, though destined gradually to be diminished, would outlive its founder by nearly three hundred years; and moreover, in succession to it, another Western empire, made possible by his victory and carried on in some respects under his forms, was to persist in the East for several centuries more. As a political conquest, Alexander's had results as long lasting as can be credited to almost any conquest in history. As the victory of one civilization over another it was never to be brought quite to nothing, and it had certain permanent effects. These this chapter is designed to show: but first, since the development of the victorious civilization on alien soil depended primarily on the continued political supremacy of the men in whom it was congenital, it is necessary to see how long and to what extent political dominion was actually held in the East by men who were Greeks, either by birth or by training. Out of the turmoil and stress of the thirty years which followed Alexander's death, two Macedonians emerged to divide the Eastern Empire between them. The rest--transient embarrassed phantoms of the Royal House, regents of the Empire hardly less transient, upstart satraps, and even one-eyed Antigonus, who for a brief moment claimed jurisdiction over all the East--never mattered long to the world at large and matter not at all here and now. The end of the fourth century sees Seleucus of Babylonia lording it over the most part of West Asia which was best worth having, except the southern half of Syria and the coasts of Asia Minor and certain isles in sight of them, which, if not subject to Ptolemy of Egypt, were free of both kings or dominated by a third, resident in Europe and soon to disappear. In the event those two, Seleucus and Ptolemy, alone of all the Macedonian successors, would found dynasties destined to endure long enough in kingdoms great enough to affect the general history of civilization in the Ancient East. Seleucus has no surviving chronicler of the first or the second rank, and consequently remains one of the most shadowy of the greater men of action in antiquity. We can say little of him personally, except that he was quick and fearless in action, prepared to take chances, a born leader in war, and a man of long sight and persistent purpose. Alexander had esteemed and distinguished him highly, and, marrying him to Apama, a noble Iranian lady, convinced him of his own opinion that the point from which to rule an Asiatic empire was Babylonia. Seleucus let the first partition of the dead man's lands go by, and not till the first turmoil was over and his friend Ptolemy was securely seated in Egypt, did he ask for a province. The province was Babylonia. Ejected by the malevolence of Antigonus, he regained it by grace of Ptolemy in 312, established ascendency over all satraps to east of him during the next half-dozen years, letting only India go, and then came west in 305 to conquer and slay Antigonus at Ipsus in central Asia Minor. The third king, Lysimachus of Thrace, was disposed of in 281, and Seleucus, dying a few months later, left to his dynastic successors an Asiatic empire of seventy-two provinces, very nearly equal to Alexander's, with important exceptions in Asia Minor. In Asia Minor neither Seleucus nor the Seleucids ever held anything effectively except the main lines of communication from East to West and the district in which these come down to the Aegean Sea. The south coast, as has been said, remained in Egyptian hands almost all through the Seleucid period. The southwest obeyed the island republic of Rhodes. Most of the Greek maritime cities of the northwest and north kept their freedom more or less inviolate; while inland a purely Greek monarchy, that of Pergamum, gradually extended its sway up to the central desert. In the north a formidable barrier to Seleucid expansion arose within five years of Seleucus' death, namely, a settlement of Gauls who had been invited across the straits by a king of Bithynia. After charging and raiding in all directions these intractable allies were penned by the repeated efforts of both the Seleucid and the Pergamene kings into the upper Sakaria basin (henceforth to be known as Galatia) and there they formed a screen behind which Bithynia and Paphlagonia maintained sturdy independence. The north-east also was the seat of independent monarchies. Cappadocia, Pontus and Armenia, ruled by princes of Iranian origin, were never integral parts of the Seleucid Empire, though consistently friendly to its rulers. Finally, in the hill-regions of the centre, as of the coasts, the Seleucid writ did not run. Looked at as a whole, however, and not only from a Seleucid point of view, the Ancient East, during the century following Seleucus' death (forty-three years after Alexander's), was dominated politically by Hellenes over fully nine-tenths of its area. About those parts of it held by cities actually Greek, or by Pergamum, no more need be said. As for Seleucus and his successors, though the latter, from Antiochus Soter onward, had a strain of Iranian blood, they held and proved themselves essentially Hellenic. Their portraits from first to last show European features, often fine. Ptolemy Lagus and all the Lagidae remained Macedonian Greeks to a man and a woman and to the bitter end, with the greatest Hellenic city in the world for their seat. As for the remaining tenth part of the East, almost the whole of it was ruled by princes who claimed the title "philhellene," and justified it not only by political friendliness to the Seleucidae and the Western Greeks, but also by encouraging Greek settlers and Greek manners. So far as patronage and promotion by the highest powers could further it, Hellenism had a fair chance in West Asia from the conquest of Alexander down to the appearance of Rome in the East. What did it make of this chance? How far in the event did those Greek and Macedonian rulers, philhellenic Iranian princes and others, hellenize West Asia? If they did succeed in a measure, but not so completely that the East ceased to be distinct from the West, what measure was set to their several influences, and why? [Plate 6: HELLENISM IN ASIA. ABOUT 150 B.C.] Let us see, first, what precisely Hellenism implied as it was brought to Asia by Alexander and practised by his successors. Politically it implied recognition by the individual that the society of which he was a member had an indefeasible and virtually exclusive claim on his good will and his good offices. The society so recognized was not a family or a tribe, but a city and its proper district, distinguished from all other cities and their districts. The geographical configuration and the history of Greece, a country made up in part of small plains ringed in by hills and sea, in part of islands, had brought about this limitation of political communities, and had made patriotism mean to the Greek devotion to his city-state. To a wider circle he was not capable of feeling anything like the same sense of obligation or, indeed, any compelling obligation at all. If he recognized the claim of a group of city-states, which remotely claimed common origin with his own, it was an academic feeling: if he was conscious of his community with all Hellenes as a nation it was only at moments of particular danger at the hands of a common non-Hellenic foe. In short, while not insensible to the principle of nationality he was rarely capable of applying it practically except in regard to a small society with whose members he could be acquainted personally and among whom he could make his own individuality felt. He had no feudal tradition, and no instinctive belief that the individualities composing a community must be subordinate to any one individual in virtue of the latter's patriarchal or representative relation to them. Let us deal with this political implication of Hellenism before we pass on to its other qualities. In its purity political Hellenism was obviously not compatible with the monarchical Macedonian state, which was based on feudal recognition of the paternal or representative relation of a single individual to many peoples composing a nation. The Macedonians themselves, therefore, could not carry to Asia, together with their own national patriotism (somewhat intensified, perhaps, by intercourse during past generations with Greek city-states) any more than an outside knowledge of the civic patriotism of the Greeks. Since, however, they brought in their train a great number of actual Greeks and had to look to settlement of these in Asia for indispensable support of their own rule, commerce and civilization, they were bound to create conditions under which civic patriotism, of which they knew the value as well as the danger, might continue to exist in some measure. Their obvious policy was to found cities wherever they wished to settle Greeks, and to found them along main lines of communication, where they might promote trade and serve as guardians of the roads; while at the same time, owing to their continual intercourse with each other, their exposure to native sojourners and immigrants and their necessary dependence on the centre of government, they could hardly repeat in Asia the self-centred exclusiveness characteristic of cities in either European Greece or the strait and sharply divided valleys of the west Anatolian coast. In fact, by design or not, most Seleucid foundations were planted in comparatively open country. Seleucus alone is said to have been responsible for seventy-five cities, of which the majority clustered in that great meeting-place of through routes, North Syria, and along the main highway through northern Asia Minor to Ephesus. In this city, Seleucus himself spent most of his last years. We know of few Greek colonies, or none, founded by him or his dynasty beyond the earlier limits of the Ancient East, where, in Afghanistan, Turkestan and India, Alexander had planted nearly all his new cities. Possibly his successor held these to be sufficient; probably he saw neither prospect of advantage nor hope of success in creating Greek cities in a region so vast and so alien; certainly neither he nor his dynasty was ever in such a position to support or maintain them, if founded east of Media, as Alexander was and proposed to be, had longer life been his. But in western Asia from Seleucia on Tigris, an immense city of over half a million souls, to Laodicea on Lycus and the confines of the old Ionian littoral, Seleucus and his successors created urban life, casting it in a Hellenic mould whose form, destined to persist for many centuries to come, would exercise momentous influence on the early history of the Christian religion. By founding so many urban communities of Greek type the Macedonian kings of West Asia undeniably introduced Hellenism as an agent of political civilization into much of the Ancient East, which needed it badly and profited by it. But the influence of their Hellenism was potent and durable only in those newly founded, or newly organized, urban communities and their immediate neighbourhood. Where these clustered thickly, as along the Lower Orontes and on the Syrian coast-line, or where Greek farmers had settled in the interspaces, as in Cyrrhestica (i.e. roughly, central North Syria), Hellenism went far to make whole districts acquire a civic spirit, which, though implying much less sense of personal freedom and responsibility than in Attica or Laconia, would have been recognized by an Athenian or a Spartan as kin to his own patriotism. But where the cities were strung on single lines of communication at considerable intervals, as in central Asia Minor and in Mesopotamia, they exerted little political influence outside their own walls. For Hellenism was and remained essentially a property of communities small enough for each individual to exert his own personal influence on political and social practice. So soon as a community became, in numbers or distribution, such as to call for centralized, or even representative, administration, patriotism of the Hellenic type languished and died. It was quite incapable of permeating whole peoples or of making a nation, whether in the East or anywhere else. Yet in the East peoples have always mattered more than cities, by whomsoever founded and maintained. Hellenism, however, had, by this time, not only a political implication but also moral and intellectual implications which were partly effects, partly causes, of its political energy. As has been well said by a modern historian of the Seleucid house, Hellenism meant, besides a politico-social creed, also a certain attitude of mind. The characteristic feature of this attitude was what has been called Humanism, this word being used in a special sense to signify intellectual interest confined to human affairs, but free within the range of these. All Greeks were not, of course, equally humanistic in this sense. Among them, as in all societies, there were found temperaments to which transcendental speculation appealed, and these increasing in number, as with the loss of their freedom the city-states ceased to stand for the realization of the highest possible good in this world, made Orphism and other mystic cults prevail ever more and more in Hellas. But when Alexander carried Hellenism to Asia it was still broadly true that the mass of civilized Hellenes regarded anything that could not be apprehended by the intellect through the senses as not only outside their range of interest but non-existent. Further, while nothing was held so sacred that it might not be probed or discussed with the full vigour of an inquirer's intelligence, no consideration except the logic of apprehended facts should determine his conclusion. An argument was to be followed wherever it might lead, and its consequences must be faced in full without withdrawal behind any non-intellectual screen. Perfect freedom of thought and perfect freedom of discussion over the whole range of human matters; perfect freedom of consequent action, so the community remained uninjured--this was the typical Hellene's ideal. An instinctive effort to realize it was his habitual attitude towards life. His motto anticipated the Roman poet's "I am human: nothing human do I hold no business of mine!" By the time the Western conquest of Asia was complete, this attitude, which had grown more and more prevalent in the centres of Greek life throughout the fifth and fourth centuries, had come to exclude anything like religiosity from the typical Hellenic character. A religion the Greek had of course, but he held it lightly, neither possessed by it nor even looking to it for guidance in the affairs of his life. If he believed in a world beyond the grave, he thought little about it or not at all, framing his actions with a view solely to happiness in the flesh. A possible fate in the hereafter seemed to him to have no bearing on his conduct here. That disembodied he might spend eternity with the divine, or, absorbed into the divine essence, become himself divine--such ideas, though not unknown or without attraction to rarer spirits, were wholly impotent to combat the vivid interest in life and the lust of strenuous endeavour which were bred in the small worlds of the city-states. The Greeks, then, who passed to Asia in Alexander's wake had no religious message for the East, and still less had the Macedonian captains who succeeded him. Born and bred to semibarbaric superstitions, they had long discarded these, some for the freethinking attitude of the Greek, and all for the cult of the sword. The only thing which, in their Emperor's lifetime, stood to them for religion was a feudal devotion to himself and his house. For a while this feeling survived in the ranks of the army, as Eumenes, wily Greek that he was, proved by the manner and success of his appeals to dynastic loyalty in the first years of the struggle for the succession; and perhaps, we may trace it longer still in the leaders, as an element, blended with something of homesickness and something of national tradition, in that fatality which impelled each Macedonian lord of Asia, first Antigonus, then Seleucus, finally Antiochus the Great, to hanker after the possession of Macedonia and be prepared to risk the East to win back the West. Indeed, it is a contributory cause of the comparative failure of the Seleucids to keep their hold on their Asiatic Empire that their hearts were never wholly in it. For the rest, they and all the Macedonian captains alike were conspicuously irreligious men, whose gods were themselves. They were what the age had made them, and what all similar ages make men of action. Theirs was a time of wide conquests recently achieved by right of might alone, and left to whomsoever should be mightiest. It was a time when the individual had suddenly found that no accidental defects--lack of birth, or property, or allies--need prevent him from exploiting for himself a vast field of unmeasured possibilities, so he had a sound brain, a stout heart and a strong arm. As it would be again in the age of the Crusades, in that of the Grand Companies, and in that of the Napoleonic conquests, every soldier knew that it rested only with himself and with opportunity, whether or no he should die a prince. It was a time for reaping harvests which others had sown, for getting anything for nothing, for frank and unashamed lust of loot, for selling body and soul to the highest bidder, for being a law to oneself. In such ages the voice of the priest goes for as little as the voice of conscience, and the higher a man climbs, the less is his faith in a power above him. Having won the East, however, these irreligious Macedonians found they had under their hand a medley of peoples, diverse in many characteristics, but almost all alike in one, and that was their religiosity. Deities gathered and swarmed in Asia. Men showed them fierce fanatic devotion or spent lives in contemplation of the idea of them, careless of everything which Macedonians held worth living for, and even of life itself. Alexander had been quick to perceive the religiosity of the new world into which he had come. If his power in the East was to rest on a popular basis he knew that basis must be religious. Beginning with Egypt he set an example (not lost on the man who would be his successor there) of not only conciliating priests but identifying himself with the chief god in the traditional manner of native kings since immemorial time; and there is no doubt that the cult of himself, which he appears to have enjoined increasingly on his followers, his subjects and his allies, as time went on, was consciously devised to meet and captivate the religiosity of the East. In Egypt he must be Ammon, in Syria he would be Baal, in Babylon Bel. He left the faith of his fathers behind him when he went up to the East, knowing as well as his French historian knew in the nineteenth century, that in Asia the "dreams of Olympus were less worth than the dreams of the Magi and the mysteries of India, pregnant with the divine." With these last, indeed, he showed himself deeply impressed, and his recorded attitude towards the Brahmans of the Punjab implies the earliest acknowledgment made publicly by a Greek, that in religion the West must learn from the East. Alexander, who has never been forgotten by the traditions and myths of the East, might possibly, with longer life, have satisfied Asiatic religiosity with an apotheosis of himself. His successors failed either to keep his divinity alive or to secure any general acceptance of their own godhead. That they tried to meet the demand of the East with a new universal cult of imperial utility and that some, like Antiochus IV, the tyrant of early Maccabaean history, tried very hard, is clear. That they failed and that Rome failed after them is writ large in the history of the expansion of half-a-dozen Eastern cults before the Christian era, and of Christianity itself. Only in the African province did Macedonian rule secure a religious basis. What an Alexander could hardly have achieved in Asia, a Ptolemy did easily in Egypt. There the _de facto_ ruler, of whatever race, had been installed a god since time out of mind, and an omnipotent priesthood, dominating a docile people, stood about the throne. The Assyrian conquerors had stiffened their backs in Egypt to save affronting the gods of their fatherland; but the Ptolemies, like the Persians, made no such mistake, and had three centuries of secure rule for their reward. The knowledge that what the East demanded could be provided easily and safely even by Macedonians in the Nile valley alone was doubtless present to the sagacious mind of Ptolemy when, letting all wider lands pass to others, he selected Egypt in the first partition of the provinces. The Greek, in a word, had only his philosophies to offer to the religiosity of the East. But a philosophy of religion is a complement to, a modifying influence on, religion, not a substitute sufficient to satisfy the instinctive and profound craving of mankind for God. While this craving always possessed the Asiatic mind, the Greek himself, never naturally insensible to it, became more and more conscious of his own void as he lived in Asia. What had long stood to him for religion, namely passionate devotion to the community, was finding less and less to feed on under the restricted political freedom which was now his lot everywhere. Superior though he felt his culture to be in most respects, it lacked one thing needful, which inferior cultures around him possessed in full. As time went on he became curious, then receptive, of the religious systems among whose adherents he found himself, being coerced insensibly by nature's abhorrence of a vacuum. Not that he swallowed any Eastern religion whole, or failed, while assimilating what he took, to transform it with his own essence. Nor again should it be thought that he gave nothing at all in return. He gave a philosophy which, acting almost as powerfully on the higher intelligences of the East as their religions acted on his intelligence, created the "Hellenistic" type, properly so called, that is the oriental who combined the religious instinct of Asia with the philosophic spirit of Greece--such an oriental as (to take two very great names), the Stoic apostle Zeno, a Phoenician of Cyprus, or the Christian apostle, Saul the Jew of Tarsus. By the creation of this type, East and West were brought at last very near together, divided only by the distinction of religious philosophy in Athens from philosophic religion in Syria. The history of the Near East during the last three centuries before the Christian era is the history of the gradual passing of Asiatic religions westward to occupy the Hellenic vacuum, and of Hellenic philosophical ideas eastward to supplement and purify the religious systems of West Asia. How far the latter eventually penetrated into the great Eastern continent, whether even to India or China, this is no place to discuss: how far the former would push westward is written in the modern history of Europe and the New World. The expansion of Mithraism and of half-a-dozen other Asiatic and Egyptian cults, which were drawn from the East to Greece and beyond before the first century of the Hellenistic Age closed, testifies to the early existence of that spiritual void in the West which a greater and purer religion, about to be born in Galilee and nurtured in Antioch, was at last to fill. The instrumentality of Alexander and his successors in bringing about or intensifying that contact and intercourse between Semite and Greek, which begot the philosophic morality of Christianity and rendered its westward expansion inevitable, stands to their credit as a historic fact of such tremendous import that it may be allowed to atone for more than all their sins. This, then, the Seleucids did--they so brought West and East together that each learned from the other. But more than that cannot be claimed for them. They did not abolish the individuality of either; they did not Hellenize even so much of West Asia as they succeeded in holding to the end. In this they failed not only for the reasons just considered--lack of vital religion in their Macedonians and their Greeks, and deterioration of the Hellenism of Hellenes when they ceased to be citizens of free city-states--but also through individual faults of their own, which appear again and again as the dynasty runs its course; and perhaps even more for some deeper reason, not understood by us yet, but lying behind the empirical law that East is East and West is West. As for the Seleucid kings themselves they leave on us, ill-known as their characters and actions are, a clear impression of approximation to the traditional type of the Greek of the Roman age and since. As a dynasty they seem to have been quickly spoilt by power, to have been ambitious but easily contented with the show and surface of success, to have been incapable and contemptuous of thorough organization, and to have had little in the way of policy, and less perseverance in the pursuit of it. It is true that our piecemeal information comes largely from writers who somewhat despised them; but the known history of the Seleucid Empire, closed by an extraordinarily facile and ignominious collapse before Rome, supports the judgment that, taken one with another, its kings were shallow men and haphazard rulers who owed it more to chance than to prudence that their dynasty endured so long. Their strongest hold was on Syria, and in the end their only hold. We associate them in our minds particularly with the great city of Antioch, which the first Seleucus founded on the Lower Orontes to gather up trade from Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor in the North Syrian country. But, as a matter of fact, that city owes its fame mainly to subsequent Roman masters. For it did not become the capital of Seleucid preference till the second century B.C.--till, by the year 180, the dynasty, which had lost both the Western and the Eastern provinces, had to content itself with Syria and Mesopotamia alone. Not only had the Parthians then come down from Turkestan to the south of the Caspian (their kings assumed Iranian names but were they not, like the present rulers of Persia, really Turks?), but Media too had asserted independence and Persia was fallen away to the rule of native princes in Fars. Seleucia on Tigris had become virtually a frontier city facing an Iranian and Parthian peril which the imperial incapacity of the Seleucids allowed to develop, and even Rome would never dispel. On the other flank of the empire a century of Seleucid efforts to plant headquarters in Western Asia Minor, whether at Ephesus or Sardes, and thence to prosecute ulterior designs on Macedonia and Greece, had been settled in favour of Pergamum by the arms and mandate of the coming arbiter of the East, the Republic of Rome. Bidden retire south of Taurus after the battle of Magnesia in 190, summarily ordered out of Egypt twenty years later, when Antiochus Epiphanes was hoping to compensate the loss of west and east with gain of the south, the Seleucids had no choice of a capital. It must thenceforth be Antioch or nothing. That, however, a Macedonian dynasty was forced to concentrate in north Syria whatever Hellenism it had (though after Antiochus Epiphanes its Hellenism steadily grew less) during the last two centuries before the Christian era was to have a momentous effect on the history of the world. For it was one of the two determining causes of an increase in the influence of Hellenism upon the Western Semites, which issued ultimately in the Christian religion. From Cilicia on the north to Phoenicia and Palestine in the south, such higher culture, such philosophical study as there were came more and more under the influence of Greek ideas, particularly those of the Stoic School, whose founder and chief teacher (it should never be forgotten) had been a Semite, born some three hundred years before Jesus of Nazareth. The Hellenized University of Tarsus, which educated Saul, and the Hellenistic party in Palestine, whose desire to make Jerusalem a southern Antioch brought on the Maccabaean struggle, both owed in a measure their being and their continued vitality to the existence and larger growth of Antioch on the Orontes. But Phoenicia and Palestine owed as much of their Hellenism (perhaps more) to another Hellenized city and another Macedonian dynasty--to Alexandria and to the Ptolemies. Because the short Maccabaean period of Palestinian history, during which a Seleucid did happen to be holding all Syria, is very well and widely known, it is apt to be forgotten that, throughout almost all other periods of the Hellenistic Age, southern Syria, that is Palestine and Phoenicia as well as Cyprus and the Levant coast right round to Pamphylia, was under the political domination of Egypt. The first Ptolemy added to his province some of these Asiatic districts and cities, and in particular Palestine and Coele-Syria, very soon after he had assumed command of Egypt, and making no secret of his intention to retain them, built a fleet to secure his end. He knew very well that if Egypt is to hold in permanency any territory outside Africa, she must be mistress of the sea. After a brief set-back at the hands of Antigonus' son, Ptolemy made good his hold when the father was dead; and Cyprus also became definitely his in 294. His successor, in whose favour he abdicated nine years later, completed the conquest of the mainland coasts right round the Levant at the expense of Seleucus' heir. In the event, the Ptolemies kept almost all that the first two kings of the dynasty had thus won until they were supplanted by Rome, except for an interval of a little more than fifty years from 199 to about 145; and even during the latter part of this period south Syria was under Egyptian influence once more, though nominally part of the tottering Seleucid realm. The object pursued by the Macedonian kings of Egypt in conquering and holding a thin coastal fringe of mainland outside Africa and certain island posts from Cyprus to the Cyclades was plainly commercial, to get control of the general Levant trade and of certain particular supplies (notably ship-timber) for their royal port of Alexandria. The first Ptolemy had well understood why his master had founded this city after ruining Tyre, and why he had taken so great pains both earlier and later to secure his Mediterranean coasts. Their object the Ptolemies obtained sufficiently, although they never eliminated the competition of the Rhodian republic and had to resign to it the command of the Aegean after the battle of Cos in 246. But Alexandria had already become a great Semitic as well as Grecian city, and continued to be so for centuries to come. The first Ptolemy is said to have transplanted to Egypt many thousands of Jews who quickly reconciled themselves to their exile, if indeed it had ever been involuntary; and how large its Jewish population was by the reign of the second Ptolemy and how open to Hellenic influence, may be illustrated sufficiently by the fact that at Alexandria, during that reign, the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek by the body of Semitic scholars which has been known since as the Septuagint. Although it was consistent Ptolemaic policy not to countenance Hellenic proselytism, the inevitable influence of Alexandria on south Syria was stronger than that consciously exerted by Antiochus Epiphanes or any other Seleucid; and if Phoenician cities had become homes of Hellenic science and philosophy by the middle of the third century, and if Yeshua or Jason, High Priest of Jehovah, when he applied to his suzerain a hundred years later for leave to make Jerusalem a Greek city, had at his back a strong party anxious to wear hats in the street and nothing at all in the gymnasium, Alexandria rather than Antioch should have the chief credit--or chief blame! Before, however, all this blending of Semitic religiosity with Hellenic philosophical ideas, and with something of the old Hellenic mansuetude, which had survived even under Macedonian masters to modify Asiatic minds, could issue in Christianity, half the East, with its dispersed heirs of Alexander, had passed under the common and stronger yoke of Rome. Ptolemaic Alexandria and Seleucid Antioch had prepared Semitic ground for seed of a new religion, but it was the wide and sure peace of the Roman Empire that brought it to birth and gave it room to grow. It was to grow, as all the world knows, westward not eastward, making patent by its first successes and by its first failures how much Hellenism had gone to the making of it. The Asian map of Christianity at the end, say, of the fourth century of the latter's existence, will show it very exactly bounded by the limits to which the Seleucid Empire had carried Greeks in any considerable body, and the further limits to which the Romans, who ruled effectively a good deal left aside by their Macedonian predecessors--much of central and eastern Asia Minor for example, and all Armenia--had advanced their Graeco-Roman subjects. Beyond these bounds neither Hellenism nor Christianity was fated in that age to strike deep roots or bear lasting fruit. The Farther East--the East, that is to say, beyond Euphrates--remained unreceptive and intolerant of both influences. We have seen how almost all of it had fallen away from the Seleucids many generations before the birth of Christ, when a ring of principalities, Median, Parthian, Persian, Nabathsean, had emancipated the heart of the Orient from its short servitude to the West; and though Rome, and Byzantium after her, would push the frontier of effective European influence somewhat eastward again, their Hellenism could never capture again that heart which the Seleucids had failed to hold. This is not to say that nothing of Hellenism passed eastward of Mesopotamia and made an abiding mark. Parthian and Sassanian art, the earlier Buddhist art of north-western India and Chinese Turkestan, some features even of early Mohammedan art, and some, too, of early Mohammedan doctrine and imperial policy, disprove any sweeping assertion that nothing Greek took root beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire. But it was very little of Hellenism and not at all its essence. We must not be deceived by mere borrowings of exotic things or momentary appreciations of foreign luxuries. That the Parthians were witnessing a performance of the Bacchae of Euripides, when the head of hapless Crassus was brought to Ctesiphon, no more argues that they had the Western spirit than our taste for Chinese curios or Japanese plays proves us informed with the spirit of the East. The East, in fine, remained the East. It was so little affected after all by the West that in due time its religiosity would be pregnant with yet another religion, antithetical to Hellenism, and it was so little weakened that it would win back again all it had lost and more, and keep Hither Asia in political and cultural independence of the West until our own day. If modern Europe has taken some parts of the gorgeous East in fee which were never held by Macedonian or Roman, let us remember in our pride of race that almost all that the Macedonians and the Romans did hold in Asia has been lost to the West ever since. Europe may and probably will prevail there again; but since it must be by virtue of a civilization in whose making a religion born of Asia has been the paramount indispensable factor, will the West even then be more creditor than debtor of the East?