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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 89



to form a square. And the width of those walla was fifty cubits; and their highest was four times as great as their width, and on the face of the walls were a hundred brazen gates. And through the middle of the city ran the river Euphrates, and outside the walls was a fosse of great width, like a river, completing the entire circuit of the city. The citadel, which commanded the city from within, is that tower, which was began to be built after the flood of Nimrod, a most famous giant, being in height five thousand one hundred and seventy-four paces. And its width is well known to be four thousand paces. There were besides, other houses in the city, consisting of eight towers piled one upon the other, so as to be of a wonderful height, so that it seemed incredible that such a city could ever be destroyed by human valour. Croesus, the king of Lydia, had come thither, a king of great renown for his riches, in order to assist the Babylonians, with many other kings and princes. And when Belshazzar had completed the seventeenth year of his reign, thinking the prophecy of Jeremiah a vain one, in which he had prophesied that after the seventieth year the captivity of the Jews should be terminated, he caused the sacred vessels of the temple of the Lord to be displayed on his own table, and contrary to all divine and human law, he drank out of them. But Cyrus, the grandson of king Astyages, being instigated by a divine oracle, exacted punishment for this wickedness. Cyrus had been educated among the Persians, and when he grew up, having collected a powerful band of Persians he proclaimed war against his grandfather, and, having come to a battle with him, he routed his army, and took Astyages himself prisoner. But he took nothing from him but the kingdom, therefore Cyrus transferred that dignity from the Medes to the Persians, and he subjugated Syria and Scythia ; and when he had done this he then besieged Babylon ; and so Cyrus, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, the prophet who had predicted that these things would hereafter come to pass, put to flight the king and his defeated army, and entered the city. And when he began to arrange the affairs of the city, he relaxed the captivity of the Jews and permitted nearly fifty thousand men to return to Judaea, restoring to them the gold and silver vessels of the temple of the Lord, which were five thousand and forty in number. He also commanded Josedech


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