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The History of the Taiping Rebellion in Three Minutes: What could go right?

2019.12.16 10:59 EnclavedMicrostate The History of the Taiping Rebellion in Three Minutes: What could go right?

Three-Minute History on the Taiping

Here’s a quickie. As I was scrolling through my old subscriptions yesterday, lo and behold I was on Jabzy’s channel page, six minutes after he uploaded an updated Taiping Rebellion video. It’s… troubling. Fortunately, it’s not even four minutes long (as per the channel name) so it shouldn’t take too long to deal with, right? Well, if he’s going to compress everything into three minutes, I have no qualms about being as picky as possible about his wording, though I will excuse a degree of omission. A degree.
Link here
0:02 – in the 1830s, in southern China, a man named Hong Xiuquan failed the entrance exams to the Chinese civil service four times. After the fourth exam in 1837, he began to enter deliriums and have visions where he was visited by a great paternal figure in the sky…
Pedantry Point 1: Hong’s fourth exam failure was in 1843; 1837 was his third failure.1 Pedantry Point 2: Hong had visions where he ascended to heaven and visited the great paternal figure, not the reverse.1 Forgivable Omission 1: Jabzy doesn’t bring up the reading of the Good Words to Admonish the Age after the second failure in 1836. However, the strict chronology of events is slightly controversial among historians so this can slide somewhat.
0:20 – and over the next few years he began studying the Christian literature brought in by early Protestant missionaries to the region, and he believed he was the brother of Jesus.
Only comment here is that’s a slightly odd order to put it in – wouldn’t it have made more sense to start with how the visions led him to believe he was the son of this paternal figure, and that the missionary literature led him to conclude that this figure was God?
0:28 – Along with the religious preaching, he also spoke out against the Qing dynasty, thus appealing to the population in this period of turmoil. background image
So the main issue here isn’t the text, which is basically correct, but rather the image…
Pedantry Point 3: This ain’t Hong, chief. There are only 2 known images of Hong Xiuquan: this one, included in J.-M. Callery and M. Yvan’s History of the Insurrection in China (1853), and this portrait painted around March 1861 in Shanghai, allegedly of Hong (more details can be found here). This image, which must have served as Jabzy’s reference, is of uncertain provenance but is most certainly modern.
0:35 – The increasing population left millions poor and unemployed, and the ruling Qing dynasty had by 1842 been humiliated by the British in the First Opium War, background image plus the Qing were also Manchus from the north and the more populous Han Chinese saw them as foreign invaders, background image so by January 1851 Hong had gained tens of thousands of followers and established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Guangxi.
While the population point is correct,
Pedantry Point 4: ‘National Humilation’ as a concept emerged in the 1890s and there was no substantial domestic reaction to the Opium War.2 Pedantry Point 5: The first linked picture depicts a scene from the Second Opium War, namely the storming of the Taku Forts in 1860. In 1839-42 British troops in China still wore black shakoes, not covered kepis. Pedantry Point 6: It is unclear to what extent anti-Manchuism actually existed among the Han Chinese population at the time the Taiping War broke out, and some historians such as Pamela Kyle Crossley have argued that the Taiping were in fact the first to present a serious challenge to Manchu legitimacy on ethnic grounds.3 Pedantry Point 7: The second linked picture depicts Han Chinese mercenaries called ‘braves’ (yong 勇), not Manchu Bannermen. Know how I know this (other than the character on the jacket)? Well, the image referenced is illustration 2 on Plate B of Ian Heath’s The Taiping Rebellion Osprey Men-At-Arms book, which clearly does not mark the figure as Manchu.
0:57 – The Chinese tried to suppress the movement the following month but Hong’s well-organized followers were able to drive the Qing away. background image
Pedantry Point 8: Weren’t the Taiping also ‘the Chinese’, though? Pedantry Point 9: That’s not a correct flag, nor are those Taiping soldiers. The Taiping had no national flag, and while the Wikipedia page for the kingdom has a flag, it is a speculative piece derived from a military banner found in the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum in Nanjing. The archers depicted are obviously Qing thanks to their clothing and hairstyle, and the image reference was probably this composite image of various Qing troops, a version of which is included on p.18 of Philip Jowett’s Imperial Chinese Armies 1840-1911, another Osprey MAA. To digress momentarily, I say it is a composite because the musketeer at the back is quite obviously a copy of the man in this photo, and the drawn archer of this one.
1:03 – From here they moved east and captured Yongan, background image and in September Hong was proclaimed Heavenly King.
Pedantry Point 10: The map shows the Taiping going east to Yongan in Fujian, but the problem is they didn’t do that. They went north to Yongan in Guangxi, now known as Mengxian. This map on p.157 of Spence’s God’s Chinese Son (apologies for the blurriness) shows the relationship between Yongan and the Taiping’s original headquarters in Guiping – look in the southwest corner.
1:09 – The Qing laid siege to Yongan but in April 1852 the Taiping were able to smash their way through the besiegers and began to advance again. background image
Pedantry Point 11: The soldiers depicted are members of the Ever-Victorious Army, which for one fought for the Qing, for another would not exist for another ten years, and for yet another are depicted armed with P1853 Enfields, which as the name suggests were still a year in the future. For those interested, the image reference is illustration D1 in Heath.
1:18 – They sacked the city of Quanzhou… background image
Pedantry Point 12: Wrong Quanzhou. The Taiping sacked Quanzhou 全州 in Guangxi, not Quanzhou 泉州 in Fujian (see the map again).
1:19 – and pushed north, gaining thousands of new recruits on the way, and captured the important city of Wuhan in early 1853. background image
Again, see the Spence map linked above. The Taiping route of march makes much more sense when you look at the river systems and see that they’re tracing the Xiang River up to Wuchang, not zigzagging across to Fujian and back.
Pendantry point 13: Wuhan was not known as such until 1927. In 1853 it still consisted of three separate cities – Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang.
Forgivable Omission 2: The Taiping lost a significant amount of their original converts and senior leadership after leaving Yongan, including Hong’s second convert, the South King Feng Yunshan, and the West King Xiao Chaogui, who had claimed to channel the voice of Jesus. However, in the grand scheme of things this isn’t strictly necessary to include in a brief overview such as this.
1:28 – they soon left Wuhan but took with them the city's gold and, most importantly, boats. This new navy allowed the Taiping to sail on the Yangtze River and conquer Nanjing, the historic capital of China.
Pedantry Point 14: The Taiping actually already had a substantial fleet, gathered during the failed siege of Changsha.4 Pedantry Point 15: Nanjing was a historic capital of China, but not the. It was the capital of the Eastern Wu, the Jin and most of the Southern dynasties from around 220-580, of the Southern Tang successor state from 937-976, and of the Ming from 1368-1421.
1:36 – Nanjing was then made the capital of the Heavenly state background image and they pushed north on Peking with 70,000 men…
Pedantry Point 16: See Point 9. Pedantry Point 17: ‘Peking’? Seriously?
1:45 – but poor supply lines and costly conflicts with the Qing forced them to retreat in 1855, however the Qing could not capitalize on the Taiping's failure because of a number of issues facing the country: in the mid 1850s the Nian rebellion intensified, in 1855 the Miao revolted in Guizhou, the Small Knife society rebelled in Shanghai, Muslims rebelled in Dali, the Nepalese invaded Tibet, the British started the Second Opium War and the Russians annexed territory in the north.
Pedantry Point 18: The rebellion in Yunnan was not solely restricted to Muslims or to Dali – all three major portions of Yunnan rose up, and the indigenous peoples made up a major part of those uprisings. Pedantry Point 19: The British only started the Arrow (Second Opium) War thanks to the French declaring support. Pedantry Point 20: The Russians annexed outer Manchuria as part of the settlements ending the Arrow War.
Forgivable Omission 3: The Red Turban Revolt also happened in Guangdong and Guangxi in 1854-6.
2:11 – But inside Nanjing the Taiping were also dealing with problems of their own. Hong retreated into his palace and away from public life, and many of his strict laws were not being followed. Plus, his subordinate kings began to struggle for control, and as part of the Tianjing Incident tens of thousands were killed, plus two of his subordinate kings, the North King and East King, died, leaving the Yi King in control of most of the military.
Pedantry Point 21: Obvious Wiki use is obvious – no historian I’m aware of uses the term ‘Tianjing Incident’.
Forgivable Omission 3: Also killed were the generals Qin Rigang and Hu Yihuang.
Unforgivable Omission 1: Hong himself was responsible for ordering the East King’s assassination. This was not just squabbling over the #2 spot, Yang Xiuqing (the East King) had ambitions to take the throne.
Omitted Date 1: This took place in 1856.
2:33 – However, Hong feared his new power so the Yi King, fearing been executed, fled with most of his armies, greatly weakening the Taiping forces.
Pedantry Point 22: Shi Dakai’s exact motives for the western expedition are somewhat unclear, but included the death of his own family as well as Hong’s promotion of his brothers to fill the roles once held by the other kings. However, mutual fear does not seem, at least explicitly, to have factored into the decision substantially. Not least because, if Shi feared execution so much, his remaining in charge in Nanjing for the former half of 1857 seems somewhat inexplicable.5 Speaking of which,
Omitted Date 2: Shi made a break for it in 1857.
2:40 – Hong’s cousin Hong Rengan took over the running of the kingdom and tried to reform the nation’s economy and mindset, but in 1860 the other military commanders launched a campaign to expand. They took Huangzhou and Suzhou and then assaulted Shanghai.
Omitted Date 3: Hong Rengan came to power in 1859.
Forgivable Omission 4: Hong’s two brothers held de facto power in the interim between the departure of Shi Dakai and the arrival of Hong Rengan, but as they lack much significance besides, their exclusion is understandable.
Plain Wrong 1: The eastward offensive of 1860 was masterminded by Hong Rengan himself, who had been confident that the Western powers based in Shanghai would be receptive to the Taiping.6
2:54 – now the Taiping had tried to form alliances with the Western powers, but the Western powers did not like this new threat to Shanghai, as they now had considerable commercial interest in the city after the Opium Wars were concluded.
Pedantry Point 24: The Taiping had not attempted to formally engage with the Western powers until Hong Rengan, and they did so by approaching Shanghai. Pedantry Point 25: The Taiping approached Shanghai in the summer of 1860, and British and French troops attacked Taiping positions on 19 August, three full days before attacking the Qing-held Taku Forts. The Arrow (Second Opium) War would not formally conclude until 24 October. As such, the Opium Wars had not yet concluded by the time the Taiping approached Shanghai.7
3:05 – So, during the Battle of Shanghai, which lasted until 1862, thousands of British and French aided the Qing in driving the Taiping back.
Omitted Date 4: The beginning of the Shanghai campaign goes unstated. Wiki alleges that it commenced in July 1861, but in practical terms the Taiping did not renew their offensive until January 1862, with fighting prior to that consisting largely of a slow campaign of sieges against Taiping garrisons undertaken largely by Frederick Townsend Ward’s mercenaries.
3:11 – The Qing, led by the likes of British General Charles George Gordon, pursued the Taiping back to Nanjing and laid siege to the city in 1864. background image
Unforgivable Omission 2: Zeng Guofan’s Hunan Army, which had fought the Taiping constantly since 1853 and which actually laid siege to Nanjing at the end of May 1862.
Plain Wrong 2: Charles Gordon only led the Ever-Victorious Army, which isn’t what’s depicted in the damn background image! Come on, you did the EVA before! Plain Wrong 3: Charles Gordon had temporarily resigned as a result of the Suzhou Massacre in December 1863, and stayed on until the end of May 1864 mainly to oversee the EVA’s disbandment. The Anhui Army and its auxiliary corps like the EVA played a minimal role in the capture of Nanjing, which was primarily a Hunan Army endeavour – as stated above, Nanjing had already been under siege from loyalist forces for one and a half years by the start of 1864, let alone the late spring when the eastern armies made united with the western.
3:17 – The constant back and forth of armies left the countryside plundered and many were dying of starvation and disease, plus the armies constantly massacred cities’ inhabitants, all of which helped bring the estimated death toll of the conflict to around 20 million, making it one of the most deadly events in human history.
Pedantry Point 26: We don’t actually know the death toll for the Taiping War to any precise level of detail.
3:34 – But the Qing troops finally entered Nanjing in the summer of 1864. There, they found the people starving and Hong had already died, possibly of food poisoning, weeks earlier.
Pedantry Point 27: he Qing had been laying siege to the place for 25 months. Is it surprising that people were starving?7
3:43 – Fearing repercussions, many of the Taiping fled to Southeast Asia, where they formed their own bandit armies, and there they became particularly powerful and fought against the Vietnamese, the French, and the Siamese.
Omitted Date 5: The Chinese bandit armies in northern Vietnam formed from 1865 onward.
Plain Wrong 4: The Black Flag Army of Liu Yongfu and the Yellow Flag Army of Pan Lunsi, which did indeed fight the Vietnamese and French, were not actually made up of ex-Taiping to any substantial degree. They were largely made up of Chinese rebels, yes, but they were splinter factions of the Kingdom of Yanling, a distinct rebel state in western Guangxi that, although claiming Taiping affiliations, was not connected to the state in Nanjing to any reasonable extent.9
So in total, I count:
27 points of pedantry, 5 omitted dates, 4 forgivable omissions, 2 unforgivable omissions, and 4 instances of just being plain wrong.
Which puts us at a nice 42 (counted) errors or noticeable omissions in 3 minutes and 50 seconds, or one every 5.5 seconds! I’m sure I probably could have found more but I think I’ll be nice and not do that.
Footnotes:
  1. Jonathan Spence, God’s Chinese Son chs. 4-5
  2. Julia Lovell, The Opium War chs. 17-18; Dong Wang, China’s Unequal Treaties
  3. Pamela Kyle Crossley, A Translucent Mirror, Epilogue
  4. Jonathan Spence, God’s Chinese Son ch. 12
  5. Jonathan Spence, God’s Chinese Son ch. 17
  6. Stephen R. Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, chs. 1-5
  7. Stephen R. Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, ‘Chronology’
  8. Stephen R. Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, chs. 15-16
  9. Bradley Camp Davis, Imperial Bandits, ch. 1
Good Starting Points on the Taiping:
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2019.08.09 20:04 MarleyEngvall Socrates — Greek Philosophy (ii)

by John Lord, LL.D. SOCRATES GREEK PHILOSOPHY (continued) Think what a man he was; truly was he a "moral phenomenon." You see a man of strong animal pro- pensities, but with a lofty soul, appearing in a wicked and materialistic — and possibly atheistic — age, over- turning all previous systems of philosophy. and incul- cating a new and higher law of morals. You see him spending his whole life, — and a long life, in disin- terested teachings and labors; teaching without pay, attaching himself to youth, working in poverty and discomfort, indifferent to wealth and honor, and even power, inculcating incessantly the worth and dignity of the soul, and its amazing and incalculable superiority to all the pleasures of the body and all the rewards of a worldly life. Who gave to him this wisdom and this almost superhuman virtue? Who gave to him this insight into the fundamental principles of morality? Who, in this respect, made him a greater light and a clearer expounder than the Christian Paley? Who made hm, in all spiritual discernment, a wiser man than ' the gifted John Stuart Mill, who seems to have been a candid searcher after truth? In the wisdom of Soc- rates you see some higher force than intellectual hardi- hood or intellectual clearness. How much this pagan did to emancipate and elevate the soul! How much he did to present the vanities and pursuits of worldly men in their true light! What a rebuke were his life and doctrines to the Epicureanism which was pervad- ing all classes of society, and preparing the way for ruin! Who cannot see in him a forerunner of that great Teacher who was the friend of publicans and sinners; who rejected the leave of the Pharisees and the speculations of the Sadducees; who scorned the riches and glories of the world; who rebuked everything pretentious and arrogant; who enjoined humility and self-abnegation; who exposed the ignorance and sophis- tries of ordinary teachers; and who propounded to his disciples no such "miserable interrogatory" as "Who shall show us any good?" but a higher question for their solution and that of all pleasure-seeking and money-hunting people to the end of time, — "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" It very rarely happens that a great benefactor es- capes persecution, especially if he is persistent in de- nouncing false opinions which are popular, or prevailing follies and sins. As the Scribes and Pharisees, who had been so severely and openly exposed in all their hypoc- risies by our Lord, took the lead in causing his cruci- fixion, so the Sophists and tyrants of Athens headed the fanatical persecution of Socrates because he ex- posed their shallowness and worldliness, and stung them to the quick by his sarcasms and ridicule. His elevated morality and lofty spiritual life do not alone account for the persecution. If he had let persons alone, and had not ridiculed their opinions and pre- tensions, they would probably have let him alone. Galileo aroused the wrath of the Inquisition not for his scientific discoveries, but because he ridiculed the Dominican and Jesuit guardians of the philosophy of the Middle Ages, and because he seemed to undermine the authority of the Scriptures and of the Church: his boldness, his sarcasms, and his mocking spirit were more offensive than his doctrines. The Church did not persecute Kepler or Pascal. The Athenians may have condemned Xenophanes and Anaxagoras, yet not the other Ionian philosophers, nor the lofty speculations of Plato; but they murdered Socrates because they hated him. It was not pleasant to the gay leaders of Athenian society to hear the utter vanity of their worldly lives painted with such unsparing severity, nor was it pleasant to the Sophists and rheto- ricians to see their idols overthrown, and they them- selves exposed as false teachers and shallow pretenders. No one likes to see himself held up to scorn and mockery; nobody is willing to be shown up as ignorant and conceited. The people of Athens did not like to see their gods ridiculed, for the logical sequence of the teachings of Socrates was to under- mine the popular religion. It was very offensive to rich and worldly people to be told that their riches and pleasures were transient and worthless. It was im- possible that those rhetoricians who gloried in words, those sophists who covered up the truth, those pedants who prided themselves on their technicalities, those politicians who lived by corruption, those worldly fa- thers who thought only of pushing the fortunes of their children, should not see in Socrates their uncom- promising foe; and when he added mockery and ridi- cule to contempt, and piqued their vanity, and offended their pride, they bitterly hated him and wished him out of the way. My wonder is that he should have been tolerated until he was seventy years of age. Men less offensive than he have been burned alive, and stoned to death, and tortured on the rack, and de- voured by lions in the amphitheatre. It is the fate of prophets to be exiled, or slandered, or jeered at, or stigmatized, or banished from society, — to be subjected to some sort of persecution; but when prophets de- nounce woes, and utter invectives, and provoke by stinging sarcasms, they have generally been killed. No matter how enlightened society is, or tolerant the age, he who utters offensive truths will be disliked, and in some way punished. So Socrates must meet the fate of all benefactors who make themselves disliked and hated. First the great comic poet Aristophanes, in his comedy called the "Clouds," held him up to ridicule and reproach, and thus prepared the way for his arraignment and trial. He is made to utter a thousand impieties and impertinences. He is made to talk like a man of the greatest vanity and conceit, and to throw contempt and scorn on everybody else. It is not probable that the poet entered into any formal conspiracy against him, but found him a good subject of raillery and mockery, since Socrates was then very unpopular, aside from his moral teachings, for being declared by the Oracle of Delphi the wisest man in the world, and for having been intimate with the two men whom the Athenians above all men justly execrated, — Critias, the chief of the Thirty Tyrants, whom Lysander had imposed, or at least consented to, after the Peloponnesian war; and Alcibiades, whose evil counsels had led to an unfortunate expedition, and who in addition had proved himself a traitor to his country. Public opinion being now against him, on various grounds he is brought to trial before the Dikastery, — a board of some five hundred judges, leading citizens, of Athens. On of his chief accusers was Anytus, — a rich tradesman, of very narrow mind, personally hostile to Socrates because of the influence the philoso- pher had exerted over his son, yet who then had con- siderable influence from the active part he had taken in the expulsion of the Thirty Tyrants. The more formidable accuser was Meletus, — a poet and rheto- rician, who had been irritated by Socrates terrible cross-examinations. The principal charges against him were, that he did not admit the gods acknowl- edged by the republic, and that he corrupted the youth of Athens. In regard to the first charge, it could not be techni- cally proved that he had assailed the gods, for he was exact in his legal worship; but really and virtually there was some foundation for the accusation, since Socrates was a religious innovator if there ever was one. His lofty realism was subversive of popular superstitions, when logically carried out. As to the second charge, of corrupting youth, this was utterly groundless; for he had uniformly enjoined courage, and temperance, and obedience to laws, and patriotism, and the control of the passions, and all the higher sentiments of the soul. But the tendency of his teachings was to create in young men contempt for all institutions based on falsehood or superstition or tyranny, and he openly dis- approved some of the existing laws, — such as choosing magistrates by lot, — and freely expressed his opinions. In a narrow and technical sense there was some reason for this charge; for if a young man came to combat his father's business or habits or life or general opinions, in consequence of his own superior enlightenment, it might be made out that he had not sufficient respect for his father, and thus was failing in the virtues of reverence and filial obedience. Considering the genius and innocence of the accused he did not make an able defence; he might have done better. It appeared as if he had not wished to be acquitted. He took no thought of what he should say; he made no preparation for so great an occasion. He made no appeal to the passions and feelings of his judges. He refused the assistance of Lysias, the greatest orator of the day. He brought neither his wife nor chil- dren to incline the judges in his favor buy their sighs and tears. His discourse was manly, bold, noble, dignified, but without passion and without art. His unpre- meditated replies seemed to scorn an elaborate defence. He even seemed to rebuke his judges, rather than to conciliate them. On the culprit's bench he assumed the manner of a teacher. He might easily have saved himself, for there was but a small majority (only five or six at the first vote) for his condemnation. And then he irritated his judges unnecessarily. According to the laws he had the privilege of proposing a substitution for his punishment, which would have been accepted, — exile for instance; but, with a provoking and yet amusing irony, he asked to be supported at the public expense in the Prytaneum; that is, he asked for the highest honor of the republic. For a condemned criminal to ask this was audacity and defiance. We cannot otherwise suppose than that he did not wish to be acquitted. He wished to die. The time had come; he had fulfilled his mission; he was old and poor; his condemnation would bring his truths before the world in a more impressive form. He knew the moral greatness of a martyr's death. He reposed in the calm consciousness of having rendered great services, of having made important revelations. He never had an ignoble love of life; death had no terrors to him at any time. So he was perfectly resigned to his fate. Most willingly he accepted the penalty of plain speaking, and presented no serious remonstrances and no indignant denials. Had he pleaded eloquently for his life, he would not have fulfilled his mission. He acted with amazing foresight; he took the only course which would secure a lasting influence. He knew that his death would evoke a new spirit of in- quiry, which would spread over the civilized world. It was a public disappointment that he did not defend himself with more earnestness. But he was not seek- ing applause for his genius, — simply the final triumph of his cause, best secured by martyrdom. So he received his sentence with evident satisfaction; and in the interval between it and his execution he spent his time in cheerful but lofty conversations with his disciples. He unhesitatingly refused to escape from his prison when the means would have been provided. His last hours were of immortal beauty. His friends were dissolved in tears, but he was calm, composed, triumphant; and when he lay down to die he prayed that his migration to the unknown land mighth be propitious. He died without pain, as the hemlock produced only torpor. His death, as may well be supposed, created a pro- found impression. It was one of the most memorable events of the pagan world, whose greatest light was extinguished, — no, not extinguished, since it has been shining ever since in the "Memorabilia" of Xenophon and the "Dialogues" of Plato. Too late the Athe- nians repented of their injustice and cruekty. They erected to his memory abrazen statue, executed by Lysippus. His character and his ideas are alike im- mortal. The school of Athens properly date from his death, about the year 400 B.C., and these schools redeemed the shame or her loss of political power. The Socratic philosophy, as expounded by Plato, sur- vived the wrecks of material greatness. It entered even into Christian schools, especially at Alexan- dria; it has ever assisted and animated the earnest searchers after the certitudes of life; it has permeated the intellectual world, and found admirers and ex- pounders in all the universities of Europe and America. "No man has ever been found," says Grote, "strong enough to bend the bow of Socrates, the father of phi- losophy, the most original thinker of antiquity." His teachings gave an immense impulse to civilization, ut they could not reform or save the world; it was too deeply sunk in the infamies and immoralities of an Epicurean life. Nor was his philosophy ever popular in any age of our world. It never will be popular until the light which men hate shall expel the dark- ness which they love. But it has been the comfort and the joy of an esoteric few, — the witnesses of truth whom God chooses, to keep alive the virtues and the ideas which shall ultimately triumph over all the forces of evil. AUTHORITIES. THE direct sources are chiefly Plato (Jowett's translation) and Xeno- phon. Indirect sources: chiefly Aristotle, Metaphysics; Diogenes Laer- tius's Lives of Philosophers; Grote's history of Greece; Brandis's Plato, in Smith's Dictionary; Ralph Waldo Emerson's Representative Men; Cicero on Immortality; J. Martineau, Essay on Plato; Thirlwall's His- tory of Greece. See also the late work of Curtius; Ritter's History of Philosophy; F. D. Maurice's History of Moral Philosophy; G. H. Lewes' Biographical History of Philosophy; Hampden's Faters of Greek Philoso- phy; J. S. Balckie's Wise Men of Greece; Starr King's Lecture on Socrates; Smith's Biographical Dictionary; Ueberweg's History of Philosophy; W. A. Butler's History of Ancient Philosophy; Grote's Aristotle. 
from Beacon Lights of History, by John Lord, LL. D., Volume I, Part I: The Old Pagan Civilizations, pp. 271 - 280 ©1883, 1888, by John Lord. ©1921, By Wm. H. Wise & Co., New York.
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2019.01.31 02:21 lyrika Jan 31th patch notes for JP

Lots of crazy stuff coming for JP that isn't covered in the EN patch notes. Figured a number of JP players would want to know whats coming...
ALL CREDIT GOES TO LUXNOVA AND THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO DO TRANSLATION ON THE COMMUNITY DISCORD

Lunar New Year 2019 Celebration with New Ships, Warspite Kai, and Yukikaze Wedding Skin Update Patch Notes
Thank you as always for playing Azur Lane.
Maintenance Period: January 31st 14:00 - 18:00 JST.
Converted Time Period for PST: January 30th 21:00 - 25:00 PST.
【New Events】
1. Limited Event Campaign "Lunar New Year Celebration."
Event period: January 31st after maintenance - February 14th maintenance.
★ The Big Adventures of the Four Devas - Anshan Chapter - JP Re-Run
You can access the "Painting" 「おえかき」 event screen from the event banner "Lunar New Year's Gift" 「春節年玉」.
In the event, you can use Paint to complete a series of paintings. You can obtain Paint from completing event tasks tied to the total amount of Fuel spent during the event period.
Completing a painting will reward you Dice used in the event "Spring Festival Board Game," Skill Books, Plates, and other rewards.
Furthermore, you will obtain SR Destroyer Anshan once you have completed 8 paintings.
※ You will obtain all the necessary Paint for the 8 paintings after spending a total of 15000 Fuel.
※ The 9th painting is a blank canvas; you may draw anything you like, and there will be no more rewards.
★ The Big Adventures of the Four Devas - Fushun Chapter - JP Re-Run
You can access the event from the event banner "Fushun's Big Adventure" 「撫順の大冒険」.
In the event, you can fight the Nian Beast. Attacking the Nian Beast a number of times will reward you Dice used in the event "Spring Festival Board Game."
You will obtain SR Destroyer Fushun once the Nian Beast has been defeated.
※ On the first day of the event (January 31st), you start with 10 attacks. After January 31st, 5 attacks will refresh upon each daily reset.
※ You will obtain a total of 9 Dice from this event.
★ Warspite Kai Event "Special Warrior Training."
In this mini-game, you can control Warspite to avoid "Firecracker Manjuu" and to hit "Coin Manjuu" to score points.
If you obtain more than 10 points in 1 game, you will be rewarded a Service Medal. Once you have 7 Service Medals, they can be converted to Warspite's special retrofit material Warrior Mastery.
Furthermore, you will obtain one Dice used in the event "Spring Festival Board Game" after clearing the mini-game.
※ The maximum number of Service Medals you can obtain will be increased by one daily from January 31st - February 6th.
※ The maximum number of Dice you can obtain will be increased by one daily from January 31st - February 14th.
★ Spring Festival Board Game.
You can access the event from its event banner 「春節すごろく」. In the board game, you can move on the board by using up the Dice you own. 4 Dice are given upon each daily reset in the event period.
Furthermore, you can obtain additional Dice from the events The Big Adventures of the Four Devas - Anshan Chapter, The Big Adventures of the Four Devas - Fushun Chapter, and Special Warrior Training.
After using 8 Dice, you will receive a special New Year's gift.
The 7th New Year's gift will be a Large New Year's gift. All the New Year's gifts after the 7th will be normal.
Furthermore, after going around the board game 10 times (landing at the start the 11th time), you will obtain Kimberly's skin "Eastern Radiance Style."
【New Features】
1. Limited ships added to Light Construction.
Construction period: January 31st after maintenance - February 14th maintenance.
SR
R
※ Other ships will appear in the event construction pool.
※ These limited ships will be added to the permanent construction pool in the future.
2. New and returning discounted skins added to Shop.
Sale period: January 31st after maintenance - February 13th 23:59 JST
★ New Skins:
TL Note: Translated skin names may be subject to change.
★ Discounted Returning Skins:
3. "Furniture Coin Pack" added to Shop.
4. "Spring Festival Lucky Bag" added to Shop.
Contents:
  1. One random skin
  2. 2019 Gems
  3. 20 Cubes
  4. 50 Mental Units
  5. 100 Furniture Coins
  6. 10 Instant Construction
※ The rates for a random skin are as follows:
※ If you receive a skin you already own, you will instead receive gems equal to the cost of the skin.
※ You can only buy 1 Lucky Bag.
※ The Lucky Bag will be sent to your mailbox.
※ Skins for Curacoa, Curlew, and Mullany are not in the Lucky Bag.
5. Returning "Lunar New Year Equipment Skin Box" added to Shop.
6. Furniture series added.
New: "Year of the Pig Festival"
Returning: "Happy Lunar New Year"
7. Wedding skin addition.
8. Character story additions.
Set a ship as secretary and tap her to begin her character story.
9. Voice additions.
Base:
Skin:
10. Warspite retrofit.
【Fixes and Changes】
1. Sirius skill "The Wolf's Seal" text change.
Before:
After:
The skill itself is unchanged.
2. UI, text, and other small fixes.
【Ongoing Events】
  1. Limited Event Winter Crown Rerun.
  2. Winter Crown Limited Construction.
  3. Limited skin sale for Winter Crown.
Sale period: January 24th after maintenance - February 13th JST.
  1. "Fuel Pack" and "Construction Pack" added to Shop.
Sale period: January 24th after maintenance - February 13th JST.
  1. "Royal Navy Equipment Skin Box" added to Shop.
Sale period: January 24th after maintenance - February 13th JST.
  1. February Login Rewards.
※ Arashio will be obtainable in another campaign at a later date.
Note:
Please do not delete the game.
You will not be able to play the game during maintenance.
Please exit the game before maintenance starts.
The maintenance time is prone to further changes.
After the maintenance, please select the appropriate server after entering the game.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Please cooperate with us.
Azur Lane Management Team
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2018.12.12 18:29 MarleyEngvall Socrates — Greek Philosophy (ii)

by John Lord, LL.D. Think what a man he was; truly was he a "moral phenomenon." You see a man of strong animal pro- pensities, but with a lofty soul, appearing in a wicked and materialistic — and possibly atheistic — age, over- turning all previous systems of philosophy. and incul- cating a new and higher law of morals. You see him spending his whole life, — and a long life, in disin- terested teachings and labors; teaching without pay, attaching himself to youth, working in poverty and discomfort, indifferent to wealth and honor, and even power, inculcating incessantly the worth and dignity of the soul, and its amazing and incalculable superiority to all the pleasures of the body and all the rewards of a worldly life. Who gave to him this wisdom and this almost superhuman virtue? Who gave to him this insight into the fundamental principles of morality? Who, in this respect, made him a greater light and a clearer expounder than the Christian Paley? Who made hm, in all spiritual discernment, a wiser man than ' the gifted John Stuart Mill, who seems to have been a candid searcher after truth? In the wisdom of Soc- rates you see some higher force than intellectual hardi- hood or intellectual clearness. How much this pagan did to emancipate and elevate the soul! How much he did to present the vanities and pursuits of worldly men in their true light! What a rebuke were his life and doctrines to the Epicureanism which was pervad- ing all classes of society, and preparing the way for ruin! Who cannot see in him a forerunner of that great Teacher who was the friend of publicans and sinners; who rejected the leave of the Pharisees and the speculations of the Sadducees; who scorned the riches and glories of the world; who rebuked everything pretentious and arrogant; who enjoined humility and self-abnegation; who exposed the ignorance and sophis- tries of ordinary teachers; and who propounded to his disciples no such "miserable interrogatory" as "Who shall show us any good?" but a higher question for their solution and that of all pleasure-seeking and money-hunting people to the end of time, — "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" It very rarely happens that a great benefactor es- capes persecution, especially if he is persistent in de- nouncing false opinions which are popular, or prevailing follies and sins. As the Scribes and Pharisees, who had been so severely and openly exposed in all their hypoc- risies by our Lord, took the lead in causing his cruci- fixion, so the Sophists and tyrants of Athens headed the fanatical persecution of Socrates because he ex- posed their shallowness and worldliness, and stung them to the quick by his sarcasms and ridicule. His elevated morality and lofty spiritual life do not alone account for the persecution. If he had let persons alone, and had not ridiculed their opinions and pre- tensions, they would probably have let him alone. Galileo aroused the wrath of the Inquisition not for his scientific discoveries, but because he ridiculed the Dominican and Jesuit guardians of the philosophy of the Middle Ages, and because he seemed to undermine the authority of the Scriptures and of the Church: his boldness, his sarcasms, and his mocking spirit were more offensive than his doctrines. The Church did not persecute Kepler or Pascal. The Athenians may have condemned Xenophanes and Anaxagoras, yet not the other Ionian philosophers, nor the lofty speculations of Plato; but they murdered Socrates because they hated him. It was not pleasant to the gay leaders of Athenian society to hear the utter vanity of their worldly lives painted with such unsparing severity, nor was it pleasant to the Sophists and rheto- ricians to see their idols overthrown, and they them- selves exposed as false teachers and shallow pretenders. No one likes to see himself held up to scorn and mockery; nobody is willing to be shown up as ignorant and conceited. The people of Athens did not like to see their gods ridiculed, for the logical sequence of the teachings of Socrates was to under- mine the popular religion. It was very offensive to rich and worldly people to be told that their riches and pleasures were transient and worthless. It was im- possible that those rhetoricians who gloried in words, those sophists who covered up the truth, those pedants who prided themselves on their technicalities, those politicians who lived by corruption, those worldly fa- thers who thought only of pushing the fortunes of their children, should not see in Socrates their uncom- promising foe; and when he added mockery and ridi- cule to contempt, and piqued their vanity, and offended their pride, they bitterly hated him and wished him out of the way. My wonder is that he should have been tolerated until he was seventy years of age. Men less offensive than he have been burned alive, and stoned to death, and tortured on the rack, and de- voured by lions in the amphitheatre. It is the fate of prophets to be exiled, or slandered, or jeered at, or stigmatized, or banished from society, — to be subjected to some sort of persecution; but when prophets de- nounce woes, and utter invectives, and provoke by stinging sarcasms, they have generally been killed. No matter how enlightened society is, or tolerant the age, he who utters offensive truths will be disliked, and in some way punished. So Socrates must meet the fate of all benefactors who make themselves disliked and hated. First the great comic poet Aristophanes, in his comedy called the "Clouds," held him up to ridicule and reproach, and thus prepared the way for his arraignment and trial. He is made to utter a thousand impieties and impertinences. He is made to talk like a man of the greatest vanity and conceit, and to throw contempt and scorn on everybody else. It is not probable that the poet entered into any formal conspiracy against him, but found him a good subject of raillery and mockery, since Socrates was then very unpopular, aside from his moral teachings, for being declared by the Oracle of Delphi the wisest man in the world, and for having been intimate with the two men whom the Athenians above all men justly execrated, — Critias, the chief of the Thirty Tyrants, whom Lysander had imposed, or at least consented to, after the Peloponnesian war; and Alcibiades, whose evil counsels had led to an unfortunate expedition, and who in addition had proved himself a traitor to his country. Public opinion being now against him, on various grounds he is brought to trial before the Dikastery, — a board of some five hundred judges, leading citizens, of Athens. On of his chief accusers was Anytus, — a rich tradesman, of very narrow mind, personally hostile to Socrates because of the influence the philoso- pher had exerted over his son, yet who then had con- siderable influence from the active part he had taken in the expulsion of the Thirty Tyrants. The more formidable accuser was Meletus, — a poet and rheto- rician, who had been irritated by Socrates terrible cross-examinations. The principal charges against him were, that he did not admit the gods acknowl- edged by the republic, and that he corrupted the youth of Athens. In regard to the first charge, it could not be techni- cally proved that he had assailed the gods, for he was exact in his legal worship; but really and virtually there was some foundation for the accusation, since Socrates was a religious innovator if there ever was one. His lofty realism was subversive of popular superstitions, when logically carried out. As to the second charge, of corrupting youth, this was utterly groundless; for he had uniformly enjoined courage, and temperance, and obedience to laws, and patriotism, and the control of the passions, and all the higher sentiments of the soul. But the tendency of his teachings was to create in young men contempt for all institutions based on falsehood or superstition or tyranny, and he openly dis- approved some of the existing laws, — such as choosing magistrates by lot, — and freely expressed his opinions. In a narrow and technical sense there was some reason for this charge; for if a young man came to combat his father's business or habits or life or general opinions, in consequence of his own superior enlightenment, it might be made out that he had not sufficient respect for his father, and thus was failing in the virtues of reverence and filial obedience. Considering the genius and innocence of the accused he did not make an able defence; he might have done better. It appeared as if he had not wished to be acquitted. He took no thought of what he should say; he made no preparation for so great an occasion. He made no appeal to the passions and feelings of his judges. He refused the assistance of Lysias, the greatest orator of the day. He brought neither his wife nor chil- dren to incline the judges in his favor buy their sighs and tears. His discourse was manly, bold, noble, dignified, but without passion and without art. His unpre- meditated replies seemed to scorn an elaborate defence. He even seemed to rebuke his judges, rather than to conciliate them. On the culprit's bench he assumed the manner of a teacher. He might easily have saved himself, for there was but a small majority (only five or six at the first vote) for his condemnation. And then he irritated his judges unnecessarily. According to the laws he had the privilege of proposing a substitution for his punishment, which would have been accepted, — exile for instance; but, with a provoking and yet amusing irony, he asked to be supported at the public expense in the Prytaneum; that is, he asked for the highest honor of the republic. For a condemned criminal to ask this was audacity and defiance. We cannot otherwise suppose than that he did not wish to be acquitted. He wished to die. The time had come; he had fulfilled his mission; he was old and poor; his condemnation would bring his truths before the world in a more impressive form. He knew the moral greatness of a martyr's death. He reposed in the calm consciousness of having rendered great services, of having made important revelations. He never had an ignoble love of life; death had no terrors to him at any time. So he was perfectly resigned to his fate. Most willingly he accepted the penalty of plain speaking, and presented no serious remonstrances and no indignant denials. Had he pleaded eloquently for his life, he would not have fulfilled his mission. He acted with amazing foresight; he took the only course which would secure a lasting influence. He knew that his death would evoke a new spirit of in- quiry, which would spread over the civilized world. It was a public disappointment that he did not defend himself with more earnestness. But he was not seek- ing applause for his genius, — simply the final triumph of his cause, best secured by martyrdom. So he received his sentence with evident satisfaction; and in the interval between it and his execution he spent his time in cheerful but lofty conversations with his disciples. He unhesitatingly refused to escape from his prison when the means would have been provided. His last hours were of immortal beauty. His friends were dissolved in tears, but he was calm, composed, triumphant; and when he lay down to die he prayed that his migration to the unknown land mighth be propitious. He died without pain, as the hemlock produced only torpor. His death, as may well be supposed, created a pro- found impression. It was one of the most memorable events of the pagan world, whose greatest light was extinguished, — no, not extinguished, since it has been shining ever since in the "Memorabilia" of Xenophon and the "Dialogues" of Plato. Too late the Athe- nians repented of their injustice and cruekty. They erected to his memory abrazen statue, executed by Lysippus. His character and his ideas are alike im- mortal. The school of Athens properly date from his death, about the year 400 B.C., and these schools redeemed the shame or her loss of political power. The Socratic philosophy, as expounded by Plato, sur- vived the wrecks of material greatness. It entered even into Christian schools, especially at Alexan- dria; it has ever assisted and animated the earnest searchers after the certitudes of life; it has permeated the intellectual world, and found admirers and ex- pounders in all the universities of Europe and America. "No man has ever been found," says Grote, "strong enough to bend the bow of Socrates, the father of phi- losophy, the most original thinker of antiquity." His teachings gave an immense impulse to civilization, ut they could not reform or save the world; it was too deeply sunk in the infamies and immoralities of an Epicurean life. Nor was his philosophy ever popular in any age of our world. It never will be popular until the light which men hate shall expel the dark- ness which they love. But it has been the comfort and the joy of an esoteric few, — the witnesses of truth whom God chooses, to keep alive the virtues and the ideas which shall ultimately triumph over all the forces of evil. AUTHORITIES. THE direct sources are chiefly Plato (Jowett's translation) and Xeno- phon. Indirect sources: chiefly Aristotle, Metaphysics; Diogenes Laer- tius's Lives of Philosophers; Grote's history of Greece; Brandis's Plato, in Smith's Dictionary; Ralph Waldo Emerson's Representative Men; Cicero on Immortality; J. Martineau, Essay on Plato; Thirlwall's His- tory of Greece. See also the late work of Curtius; Ritter's History of Philosophy; F. D. Maurice's History of Moral Philosophy; G. H. Lewes' Biographical History of Philosophy; Hampden's Faters of Greek Philoso- phy; J. S. Balckie's Wise Men of Greece; Starr King's Lecture on Socrates; Smith's Biographical Dictionary; Ueberweg's History of Philosophy; W. A. Butler's History of Ancient Philosophy; Grote's Aristotle. 
from Beacon Lights of History, by John Lord, LL. D., Volume I, Part I: The Old Pagan Civilizations, pp. 271 - 280 ©1883, 1888, by John Lord. ©1921, By Wm. H. Wise & Co., New York
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2018.07.03 17:26 MarleyEngvall Lecture I : The Call of Abraham (part 1)

by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D. The Patriarchal Age is not in itself the beginning of the history of the Jewish Church or nation. That, as we shall see, has its origin from Moses. But the more primitive period is the necessary prelude of that history, because it contains the earliest distinct begin- nings of the Jewish religion and of the Jewish race. It is in this sense that the first event in this period may fitly be treated as the opening of all Ecclesias- tical History, as the first historical commencement of a religious community and worship, which has contin- ued ever since, without interruption, into the Chris- tian Church, such as, with all its manifold diversities, it now exists. This event, according as it is appre- hended from its human or its Divine side, may be described as "the Migration," or as "the Call" of Abraham. In every crisis of history these two ele- ments in their measure may be perceived, the one secular, the other religious; the one belonging merely to the past, the other reaching forward into the re- motest future. In this instance, both are set dis- tinctly before us in the Biblical narrative, side by side, as if in almost unconscious independence of each other. "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them [LXX. "he led them"] from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan: and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there . . . And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten [the slaves that they had bought] in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." This is the external as- pect of the Migration. A family, a tribe of the great Semitic race, moves westward from the cradle of its earliest civilization. There was nothing outwardly to distinguish them from those who had descended from former times, or who would do so in times yet to come. There was, however, another aspect which the surrounding tribes saw not, but which is the only point that we now see distinctly. "The Lord 'said' unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kin- dred and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Interpret these words as we will; give them a meaning more or less literal, more or less restricted; yet with what a force do they break in upon the homeliness of the rest of the nar- rative: what an impulse do they disclose in the inner- most heart of the movement: what a long vista do they open, even to the very close of the history, of which this was the first beginning! Let us then follow the example of the sacred narra- tive by drawing out both these views of the event. Take, first, its outward character as a national or mi- gratory movement. I. The name of Abraham, as we shall afterwards see more fully, is not confined to the Sacred His- tory. Over and above the Book of Genesis, there are two main sources of information. We have the fragments preserved to us by Josephus and Eusebius from Greek or Asiatic writers. We have also the Jew- ish or Mussulman traditions, as represented chiefly in the Talmud and the Koran. It is the former class — those presented to us by the Pagan historians — that the migration of Abraham assumes its most purely secu- lar aspect. They describe him as a great man of the East, well read in the stars, or as a conquering Prince who swept all before him on his way to Palestine. These characteristics, remote as they are from our com- mon view, have nevertheless their point of contact with the Biblical account, which, simple as it is, implies more than it states. In the darkness of this distant past, the most distinct images we can now hope to recall are those of the place and scene of the event. Where was "Ur of the Chaldees?" It would seem at first sight as if this, the most solid footing on which we could rely, shifted beneath our feet so rapidly as to deprive us of any standing ground whatever. The name itself of "Chasdim" or "Chaldæa" has, in the progress of centu- ries, descended like a landslip from the northern Arme- nian mountains, to which it originally belonged, into the southern limits of Mesopotamia, which claimed it in after-times. This is the first source of confusion. Is it the northern or southern, the ancient or the more recent Chaldæa, of which we are speaking? But, besides this, the name of Ur also seems to have been sown broadcast over the whole region. One is pointed out near Nisi- bis, another near Nineveh; a third and fourth have lately been found in the neighborhood of Babylon. It is perhaps the most probable solution that the name originally meant (as the Septuagint translators have ren- dered it) a country rather than a place. But no argu- ment advanced, even by the high authority of recent discoverers, seem as yet sufficiently established to dis- turb the old and general tradition which fixes the chief centre of the early movements of the tribe of Abraham at the place variously known as Orfa, Roha, Orchoe, Callirhoe, Chaldæopolis, Edessa, Antioch of the far East, Erech, Ur; and, were it more in doubt than it is, the singular ecclesiastical position occupied by this city of many names calls for a few words in passing. In Christian times, it was celebrated as the capital of Abgarus, Agbarus, or Akbar, who received, according to the ancient tradition, the letter and por- trait of our Saviour, and thus became the first Christian king. Gradually it was invested with a sacred preëmi- nence, as the cradle, the university, the metropolis of the Christianity of the remote East. Within its walls lived and died and is buried the chief saint of the Syrian Church, Ephrem, Deacon of Edessa. In its neighbor- hood, in strange conformity with its earliest history wandered a race of hermits, not monastic or cœnobitic, but nomadic and pastoral, who took to the desert life, and almost literally grazed like sheep on the desert herbage. In later times, yet again, it became the seat of a Christian principality under the chiefs of the First Crusade. But whilst these later glories of Edessa are gathered from books, the stories of Abraham alone still live in the mouths of the Arab inhabitants of Orfa, and in the peculiarities of its remarkable situation. The city lies on the edge of one of the bare, rugged spurs which descend from the mountains of Armenia into the Assyrian plains, in the cultivated land which, as lying under those mountains, is called Padan-Aram. Two physical features must have secured it, from the earliest times, as a nucleus for the civilization of those regions. One is a high crested crag, the natural for- tification of the present citadel, doubly defended by a trench of immense depth, cut out of the living rock behind it. The other is an abundant spring, issuing in a pool of transparent clearness, and embossed in a mass of luxuriant verdure, which, amidst the dull brown desert all around, makes, and must always have made, this spot an oasis, a paradise, in the Chaldæan wilderness. Round this sacred pool, "The Beautiful Spring," "Callirhoe," as it was called by the Greek writers, gather the modern traditions of the Patriarch. Hard by, amidst its cypresses, is the mosque on the spot where he is said to have offered his first prayer: the cool spring itself burst forth in the midst of the fiery furnace which the infidels had kindled to burn him; its sacred fish, swarming by thousands and thousands, from their long-continued preservation, are cherished by the faithful as under his special patron- age; the two Corinthian columns which stand on the crag above are made to commemorate his deliverance. In the first centuries of the Christian era we know that other memorials of the Patriarchal age were pointed out. The year of Abraham was long adopted in Edessa as the epoch of its dates. Josephus speaks of the sepulchre of Haran, still shown in his time at Ur; Eusebius speaks of the tent which Jacob inhab- ited whilst feeding the flocks of Laban, as preserved till it was accidentally burnt by lightning in the second century. But, apart from all such transitory and doubtful reminiscences as these, we may well be- lieve that the high rock, the clear spring, the burst of verdure, must have as truly made this (such might be a possible interpretation of the name) "the light of the race of Arphaxad" (Ur Chasdim), as the like circumstances made Damascus "the eye of the East;" and amongst the countless sepulchres which fill the rocky hill behind the city, some may reach back to the earliest times of human habitation and interment. From this spot, invested with a tender attractiveness from which even the passing traveller reluctantly tears himself away, we may believe that the family of Abraham were called. Was it, as according to "Jose- phus," the grief of Terah over the untimely death of Haran? Was it, as according to the tradition fol- lowed by Stephen, that the higher call had already been made to Abraham? We know not. We are told only that they went southward: they went upon the track which Chaldæans, and Medes, and Persians, and Kurds, and Tartars, afterwards in long succession followed, as if towards the rich plains of Nineveh or of Babylon. One day's journey from Ur, if Orfa be Ur, was the spot which they chose for their encampment — Harran, Charran, Carrhæ. That it was a place of note may be gathered from its long-continued name and fame in later days. As the sanctuary of the Moon goddess, it was, far into the Roman Empire, regarded as the centre of Eastern Paganism, its rivalry to Edessa, the center of Eastern Christendom. It was the scene, too, of the memorable defeat of Cras- sus. But no modern traveller, up to the present time, has left a written account of this world-old place. There is hardly anything to tell us why it was fixed upon either as the scene of that fierce conflict, or as the scene of the Patriarchal settlement. Only we observe that it is the point of divergence between the great caravan routes towards the various fords of the Euphrates on the one hand, and the Tigris on the other; and therefore must have had some marked features to make it a fitting encampment both for Roman general and Chaldæan Patriarch. Beside the settlement, too, were the wells, round which for the next generation one large portion of the tribe of Terah continued to linger; and the settlers in the distant west are described as still retaining their affec- tion for the ancient sanctuary, where the father of their race was buried, and whence they sought, ac- cording to the true Arabian usage, their own kins- women and cousins in marriage. But for the highest spirit of the Patriarchal family Haran could not be a permanent resting-place. "The great river," "the river," as his de- scendants called it, the river Euphrates, rolled its vast boundaries of water between him and the remote coun- try to which his steps were bent. Two days' journey brought him to the high chalk cliffs which overlook the wide western desert. Broad and strong lay the great stream beneath and between. He crossed over it, probably near the same point where it is still forded. He crossed it, and became (such at least was one interpretation always put upon the word) Abraham, "the Hebrew," the man who had crossed the river flood — the man who came from beyond the Eu- phrates. For seven days' journey or more, the caravan would advance along what is still the main desert road to Syria. Nothing is said in history of their route. It is but an etymological legend which con- nects Aleppo with the herds of the Patriarch's pas- toral tribe. They neared the range of the Lebanon which screened the Holy Land from their view; and underneath its shade they rested, for the last time, in Damascus. It is curious that whilst the connection of Abraham with the most ancient of cities is almost entirely derived from extraneous sources, it is yet sufficiently confirmed by the sacred narrative to be worthy of credit. "Abraham," we are told, "was king of Damascus." He had crossed the desert with his tribe, as not many years afterwards came Chedorlao- mer and the kings of the East; and, as they descended on the green oasis of Siddim, so this earlier conqueror established himself in the green oasis of Damascus, the likeness, on a larger scale, of his own native Ur. In later ages his name was still honored in the region; and a spot pointed out as "Abraham's dwelling-place." And in the primitive play on the name of Abraham's faithful slave, preserved in the sacred record, we have a guaranty of the close tie which subsisted between the patriarch and his earliest conquest. "Eliezer of Damascus" was the lasting trophy of his victory. As we pause at the last halting-place before his entrance into Palestine, let us look more fully in the face the great character that we have brought thus far on his way. Not many years ago much offence was given by one, now a high dignitary in the English Church, who ventured to suggest the original likeness of Abraham, by calling him a Bedouin Sheik. It is one advantage flowing from the multiplication of Eastern travels that such offence could now no longer be taken. Every English pilgrim to the Holy Land, even the most reverential and most fastidious, is delighted to trace and to record the likeness of patriarchal manners and costumes in the Arabian chiefs. To refuse to do so would be to decline the use of what we may almost call a singular gift of Providence. The unchanged habits of the East render it in this respect a kind of living Pompeii. The outward appearances, which in the case of the Greeks and Romans we know only through art and writing, through marble, fresco, and parchment, in the case of Jewish history we know through the forms of actual men, living and moving before us, wearing almost the same garb, speaking in almost the same language, and certainly with the same general turns of speech and tone and manners. Such as we see them now, starting on a pilgrimage or a journey were Abraham and his sister's son, when they "went forth" to go into the land of Canaan. "All their substance that they had gathered" is heaped high on the backs of their kneeling camels. The "slaves that they had bought in Haran" run along by their sides. Round about them are their flocks of sheep and goats, and the asses moving underneath the tow- ering forms of the camels. The chief is there, amidst the stir of movement, or resting at noon within his black tent, marked out from the rest by his cloak of brilliant scarlet, by the fillet of rope which binds the loose handkerchief round his head, by the spear which he holds in his hand to guide the march, and to fix the encampment. The chief's wife, the princess of the tribe, is there in her own tent, to make the cakes, and prepare the usual meal of milk and but- ter; the slave or the child is ready to bring in the red lentil soup for the weary hunter, or to kill the calf for the unexpected guest. Even the ordinary social state is the same: polygamy, slavery, the ex- clusiveness of family ties; the period of service for the dowry of a wife; the solemn obligations of hospi- tality; the temptations, easily followed, into craft or falsehood. In every aspect, except that which most concerns us, the likeness is complete between the Bedouin chief of the present day, and the Bedouin chief who came from Chaldæa nearly four thousand years ago. In every aspect but one; and that one contrast is set off in the highest degree by the resemblance of all besides. The more we see the outward conformity of Abraham and his immediate descendants to the godless, grasping, foul-mouthed Arabs of the modern desert, nay even their fellowship in the infirmities of their common state and country, the more we shall recognize the force of the religious faith, which has raised them from that low estate to be the heroes and saints of their people, the spiritual fathers of European religion and civilization. The hands are the hands of the Bed- ouin Esau; but the voice is the voice of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, — the voice which still makes itself heard across deserts and continents and seas; heard wherever there is a conscience to listen, or an imag- ination to be pleased, or a sense of reverence left amongst mankind. 
from The History of the Jewish Church, Vol. I : Abraham to Samuel, Lecture I: The Call of Abraham by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., Dean of Westminster Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1879, pp. 3-13
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