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MOUNT TABOR. blue surface are seen through the openings left by the 18. • Into the tent:'—We must consider these Kenites as downward bends in the outline of the western hills.
Arabs, and estimate their proceedings accordingly. Sisera's The mountain itself, as viewed from the south-west, pre- | claim on Jael, in the absence of Heber, was perfectly sents a semi-globular appearance; but from the north-west | proper. When a stranger comes to an Arab camp where it bears the aspect of a truncated cone. It is,' says Po- he has no acquaintance, he proceeds to the first tent, and cocke, one of the finest hills I ever beheld, being a rich if the proprietor is himself absent, his wife or daughters soil that produces excellent herbage, and is most beauti are not only authorized, but required to perform the duties fully adorned with groves and clumps of trees.' These of hospitality to him. As a character for liberal hospiare chiefly, according to Burckhardt, composed of the oak tality is au actual distinction to an Arab, no one can with and wild pistachio; but there are also (says Hasselquist) honour repel from the tent a stranger who claims hospithe carob-tree, the terebinth, the holly, and the myrtle, tality, nor, in ordinary circumstances, does any one desire not to mention the large variety of other plants and flowers to do so : on the contrary, there is rather a disposition to which cover the surface. The verdure is less abundant contend who shall enjoy the privilege of granting him on the south than on the other sides of the mountain. entertainment. In the present instance Sisera's application There are ounces and wild boars in the wooded parts to the tent of the sheikh, whose privilege it was more (Burckhardt); and Hasselquist saw the rock-goat and especially to entertain strangers, was in the common course fallow-deer. Red partridges, also, are in great numbers. of things. As belonging to a friendly people, Sisera's William Biddulph, who was there early in the seven claim for protection was as valid as a common claim for teenth century, gives a much fairer account of the moun hospitality, and could not be refused. Having once protain than some subsequent travellers. “We beheld,” he mised protection to a person, and admitted him to his tent, says, the prospect of the mountain to be very pleasant, the Arab is bound not only to conceal his guest, but to somewhat steepie, but not very high nor very large, but defend him even with his life, from his pursuers; and if a comely round mountaine, beset with trees and thicke | his tent should be forced and his guest slain there, it is bushes, which at that time of the yeere flourished greene.' his duty to become the avenger of his blood. On these Besides the travellers cited in the course of the note, see sentiments of honour Sisera seems to have relied ; partiMaundrell's Journey ; Jolliffe's Letters from Palestine, i. cularly after Jael had supplied him with refreshments, 40; Rae Wilson's "Travels, p. 367; Carne's Letters from which, in the highest sense, are regarded as a seal to the the East, p. 253; Robinson's Biblical Researches, iïi. 210 covenant of peace and safety: and, in fact, after all this, 227; Schubert's Morgenland, iii. 174-180; Lord Nugent, an Arab would be bound to protect with his own life even Lands Classical and Sacred, ii. 204, 205.
his bitterest enemy, to whom he may have inadvertently 15. • Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away | granted his protection. It is probable that Jael introon his feet.'— This seems rather strange conduct; but it is | duced Sisera for safety into the inner or woman's part of evident that the chariots being so hotly pursued, particu the tent. This she might do without impropriety, although larly perhaps his own chariot, which may have been dis it would be the most grievous insult for any man to intinguished by its greater splendour—he saw that his only trude there without permission. There he was safe, as a chance for safety was to escape on foot, when he had an pursued man, opportunity to do this unnoticed, calculating that Barak 19. She .... gave him drink.'— It is very likely that would continue the pursuit of the chariots, as actually Sisera not only desired to have some refreshment, because happened.
| he really wanted it, but as a seal to the pledge of protec18
tion which he had received in the words. Fear not,' which known that a more heinous and inexpiable insult could Jael had addressed to him. At least his mind seems to not be offered to the neutral Kenite Emir, than to disturb have been satisfied; for he had then no hesitation to re- the sanctity of his haram, or even to enter, unpermitted, cruit his weary frame with sleep. A person who needs the outer part of his tent. We very much doubt whether protection always feels quite at rest on the subject when they would have ventured, even if they had been certain he has once obtained meat or drink. This is the case that Sisera was there, to have entered to kill him, or take even with a captive enemy, and much more so with a him thence, while under Heber's protection, although they guest, as Sisera was. We have illustrated part of this might possibly have tried means of withdrawing him from subject in the note to Num. xviii. 19; and we now limit that protection. our attention to the single point to which we have ad 21: · Nail of the tent:'--This was probably one of the verted. The usage was not peculiar to the Orientals. | large pins which are driven into the ground, and to which We find it in Homer. Lycaon had been a captive to are attached the ropes which, at the other extremity, are Achilles, who sent him to Lemnos to be sold: but he fastened to the poles of the tent in order to keep them escaped from thence, and was again found by Achilles on erect. These pins are generally of wood, but sometimes the field of battle. He thus commences his plea for life : of iron, and are driven into the ground by a mallet, which I clasp thy knees, Achilles ! Ah, respect
is apparently the hammer' of the text. It would seem And pity me. Behold! I am as one
that Jael could find no instrument more suited to the Who hath sought refuge even at thy hearth.'
It is very likely that Jael, when she first invited Sisera A very striking instance of the force of this feeling, as to the protection of her husband's tent, had no intention to connected with the simple act of receiving drink from a destroy him. But as he slept, the thought seems to have captor, occurs in Bohaeddin's Vita Saladini. During a occurred to her that the greatest enemy of the Israelites truce between the Crusaders and the Saracens, in the now lay helpless before her, and that it was in her power Holy Land, Reginald, lord of Kerak, cruelly pillaged and to win great favour from the victors by anticipating the imprisoned the (pilgrim) caravan returning from Mecca almost certain death which awaited the chief captain of to Egypt; adding insult to breach of faith—“ Let your Jabin's host. When we reflect that there was peace beMahomet deliver you !" Fired with indignation thereat, tween Jabin, king of Hazor, and the house of Heber the Saladin the sultan vowed to despatch him with his own Kenite,' and that it was in the knowledge that he deserved hand, if he could ever make him prisoner. The fatal no wrong at their hands, that Sisera accepted the shelter battle of Hattin, in which the Crusaders were defeated, which Jael offered; and when, moreover, we consider and their principal commanders taken, gave him that op that the emir, Jael's husband, had no interest in the reportunity. He then ordered the captives into his presence sult, save that of standing well with the victorious party,
-Guy de Lusignan, the king of Jerusalem, his brother it will be difficult to find any other motive than that which Geoffry, and Count Reginald. Saladin presented Guy, who we have assigned—the desire to win the favour of the was nearly expiring for thirst, with a delicious cup cooled victors—for an act so grossly opposed to all those notions with snow, out of which the king drank, and then gave it of honour among tent-dwellers on which Sisera had relied to Reginald. “ Observe,” said Saladin, “it is thou, king, and for his safety. It was a most treacherous and cruel not I, who hast given the cup to this man.” After which murder, wanting all those extenuations which were applihe said to Reginald—“See me now act the part of Mobam cable to the assassination of king Eglon by Ehud. The med's avenger.” He then offered him his life, on condi time is gone by when commentators or historians might tion of his embracing the Mohammedan faith; and on his venture to justify this deed. Our extended acquaintance refusal, the sultan first struck him with his drawn scimi. with the East enables us to know that those Orientals whose tar, which breaking at the hilt, his attendants joined and principles would allow them to applaud the act of Ehud, despatched him. Here we see that Saladin felt and in would regard with horror the murder, in his sleep, of a tended that the oup which he gave Lusignan should be confiding and friendly guest, to whom the sacred shelter of received as a pledge of protection. So it was probably the tent had been offered. That Deborah, as a prophetess, understood by the king, whose good-natured attempt to was enabled to foretel the fall of Sisera by a woman's include Reginald in the concession, obliged the sultan to hand, does not convey the Divine sanction of this deed, call his attention to the fact that the force of the pledge but only manifests the Divine foreknowledge; and that the depended on its being received immediately from the same Deborah, in her triumphant song, blesses Jael for person with whom the power to grant protection rested. this act, only indicates the feeling, in the first excitement
20. • Thou shalt say, No.'-Sisera seems to have felt of victory, of one who had far more cause to rejoice at the quite certain that the pursuers would not dare search the death of Sisera than Jael had to inflict it. haram, after the woman had denied that any man was 22. • As Barak pursued Sisera.'-He continued to purthere. Indeed, it is almost certain that they would not sue the chariots after the escape of Sisera (v. 16), but, not have done so: for the Hebrews had too long and too re- finding Sisera when he had routed the whole host, appears cently been themselves a nomade people, not to have to have hastened back to seek the fugitive.
4 LORD, 'when thou wentest out of Seir,
when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, The song of Deborah and Barak.
the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, They sang Deborah and Barak the son of the clouds also dropped water. Abinoam on that day, saying,
5 "The mountains #melted from before the 2 Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD Israel, when the people willingly offered them God of Israel. selves.
6 In the days of 'Shamgar the son of 3 Hear, Oye kings; give ear, O ye princes; Anath, in the days of oJael, the highways were I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing | unoccupied, and the "travellers walked through praise to the LORD God of Israel.
obyways. 1 Deut. 83. 2. 2 Dent. 4. 11. Psal. 97. 5.. 3 Heb. flowed. Exod. 19. 18. 5 Chap. 3. 31. 6 Chap. 4. 18.
7 Heb. tralkers of paths.
8 Heb. crooked ways.
7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah of Megiddo ; they took no gain of money. arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
20 They fought from heaven; the stars in 8 They chose new gods; then was war in their ''courses fought against Sisera. the gates : was there a shield or spear seen | 21 The river of Kishon swept them away, among forty thousand in Israel?
that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my 9 My heart is toward the governors of soul, thou hast trodden down strength. Israel, that offered themselves willingly among 22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the the people. Bless ye the LORD.
means of the 'pransings, the pransings of their 10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye mighty ones. that sit in judgment, and walk by the way. 23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of
11 They that are delivered from the noise the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants of archers in the places of drawing water, thereof; because they came not to the help of there shall they rehearse the ''righteous acts the LORD, to the help of the Lord against the of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward | mighty. the inhabitants of his villages in Israel : then 24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife shall the people of the LORD go down to the of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be gates.
above women in the tent. 12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, 25 He asked water, and she gave him utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy cap milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly tivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
dish. 13 Then he made him that remaineth have 26 She put her hand to the nail, and her dominion over the nobles among the people : right hand to the workmen's hammer; and the Lord made me have dominion over the | ?'with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote mighty.
off his head, when she had pierced and stricken 14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them through his temples. against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among 27 ?? At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay thy people; out of Machir came down go- down: at her feet he bowed, he fell : where vernors, and out of Zebulun they that "handle he bowed, there he fell down ? dead. the pen of the writer.
28 The mother of Sisera looked out at a 15 And the princes of Issachar were with window, and cried through the lattice, Why Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he is his chariot so long in coming ? why tarry was sent on 'foot into the valley. "For the the wheels of his chariots ? divisions of Reuben there were great '*thoughts 29 Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she of heart.
returned ?*answer to herself, 16 Why abodest thou among the sheep-| 30 Have they not sped ? have they not folds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks ? divided the prey; 'to every man a damsel "For the divisions of Renben there were great or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, searchings of heart.
a prey of divers colours of needlework, of 17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why divers colours of needlework on both sides, did Dan remain in ships ? Asher continued on meet for the necks of them that take the spoil ? the sea 'shore, and abode in his "breaches. L 31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD:
18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people but let them that love him be as the sun when that "Sjeoparded their lives unto the death in he goeth forth in his might. And the land the high places of the field.
had rest forty years. 19 The kings came and fought, then fought | 2 Or, Meditate.
10 Heb. righteousness of the LORD. 18 Ileb. erposed to reproach.
20 Or, tramplings, or, plungings.
1.3 Or, In the dirisions, &c.
14 Heb. impressions.
19 Heb. paths. 23 Heb, destroyed,
11 Heb. draw with the pen, &c.
1: lleb, his feet. 15 Or, In. 16 Or, port.
17 Or, creeks.
21 lleb, she hammered. 24 Heb, her words.
25 Heb. to the head of a man.
22 Ileb, Between.
Verse 1. · Then sang Deborah.'—The fine triumphal | • Its design,' says Dr. Hales,“ seems to be two-fold, reliode in this chapter is a noble specimen of Hebrew poesy; | gious and political : first, to thank God for the the more prominent beauties of which will not fail to
. recent strike the reader even as seen through the disadvantages
victory and deliverance of Israel from Canaanitish bondage victory and deliverance of mal fun
and oppression; and next, to celebrate the zeal with which of a translation, made at a time when the principles of some of the tribes volunteered their services against the Hebrew poetry were but little understood. It has been common enemy; and to censure the lukewarmness and ably analyzed and illustrated by Bishop Lowth and others. | apathy of others, who staid at home, and thus betrayed the
public cause; and by this contrast and exposure to heal version offered by the Alexandrian codex of the Septuathose fatal divisions among the tribes so injurious to the gint, which has the sanction of Theodotion, and has been common weal.'
in modern times produced by Schnurrer, is critically the Much ingenious but somewhat too lax criticism has been most correct, as it certainly is the most intelligible of any produced to shew that this poem must have been in fact that the leaders lcd in Israel.' It has been adopted by Dr. composed long after the events to which it relates. Much Robinson, who translates the verse thus :has been inferred from a supposed resemblance which it bears to Ps. Ixviii., whence it has been supposed that the
· That the leaders led in Israel, psalm was the original from which this was imitated. But
That the people willingly offered themselves, it is surely quite as reasonable to infer that certain ideas
Praise ye Jehovah ! and phrases in this ancient theophania were transferred to He shews how suitable it is to the context by remarking: the psalm, which is admitted to have been composed on
• Israel had long been sunk in despondency, and was inoccasion of the removal of the ark by David. The allega
capable of making an effort to throw off its chains. Hence tion is part of a system which denies to the early books of
the prophetess begins with a burst of gratitude to God, Scripture the antiquity which they claim, and assigns them
that the nation had once more roused itself to action. The to a much later age than the events which they describe.
second clause refers, by common consent, to the people, That this ode does however belong to the carlier time,
who spontaneously came forward to the war: what then might be shewn by no small amount of internal evidence.
could be more suitable or natural, than that the first clause Thus it alludes to several historical facts, which are not
should contain a reference to the princes and rulers of the mentioned in ch. iv., nor anywhere else in Jewish history;
people, who did the same? We see in the case of Barak and which are such as a later writer would not have been
how unwilling they were to lead the way; and the same likely to invent. Such are the mention of Jael in v. 6, a
fact is asserted in v. 17. That this unwillingness was overleader apparently contemporary with Shamgar (Judg. iii.
come, both on the part of the rulers and of the people, the 31), who is elsewhere entirely passed over. So too, in
prophetess makes the opening subject of her song of praise.' ch. iv., only the tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali arc spoken
6. • In the days of Shamgar... in the days of Jael.:-Of of (comp. v. 18); but in v. 14, 15 of the song, Ephraim,
Shamgar see the note on iïi. 31. In the interval which Benjamin, Manasseh, and Issachar, are represented as
followed between him and the oppression by Jabin, we having been present at the battle. In v. 23 the poetess in
may perhaps place Jael, who is here spoken of along with vokes curses on Meroz, of which there is elsewhere no
Shamgar, as a judge or deliverer of Israel; but who is mention. All these are beyond the invention of a later
nowhere else mentioned in the Jewish annals. The older poet; at least, they give to such a supposition the greatest
interpreters have generally supposed this person to be the degree of improbability. So too the mention of the mother
same with the wife of Heber, mentioned below. There is, of Sisera probably rests upon family circumstances, well however, no ground whatever for this assumption, except known to the Israelites of the day; while a later poet, in
the identity of the names; and in the multiplicity of inemploying an ornament of this kind, would have been far
stances in which different Hebrews bore one and the same more likely to have introduced the wife or children of the
appellation, this ceases to be an argument for an identity of unfortunate chief, lamenting the destruction of a husband
persons here. There are besides several considerations and a father.-In the second place, the poem exhibits no
against this assumption. The wife of Heber is nowhere allusion whatever to events of a later age, nor any traces of
spoken of, except as the destroyer of Sisera ; had she been a later language. On the other hand, there are traces of
formerly celebrated, there could hardly have failed to be the more ancient views in respect to God, which in later
some distinct allusion to it. Further, the phrase in the days ages were changed,-e.g., God is represented as dwelling
of any one, is nowhere employed except in reference to on Mount Sinai; while afterwards Zion becomes his ha
persons who have made an epoch in history by their chabitation.
racter and distinguished standing; e.9., Gideon, Judg. viii. The following may be mentioned as among the most
28; Saul, 1 Sam. xvii. 12; David, 2 Sam, xxi. 2. important of the works and treatises which have been
1. «The villages ceased:—What goes before in italics, written in illustration of this song, to some of which we
rather mars than improves the sense. It is easy to underhave ourselves been much indebted :-Schultens, Obss. Phi
stand that the inhabitants of the villages and small towns, lol. Crit, ad Debora et Mosis Cantica, 1745; Lüderwald, being peculiarly defenceless and exposed to oppression, in Spicileg. Obss. in Debore Epinicium, 1772; Schnurrer,
so troubled a state of society, would in time abandon their Comment. Philol. in Cantic. Debora, 1775; Weston, An homes and repair to the fortified towns and the caverns Attenpt to translate and explain the difficult Passages in the
of the mountains, so that at length an occupied village Song of Deborah, 1788; Hollman, Comment. Philol. Crit.
could scarcely be found in the country. Dr. Robinson in Carmen Deboræ, 1818; Kalkar, De Cantico Debora,
proposes the leaders ceased.' But the reasons advanced 1834; Robinson, Interpretation of Judges v., in the Ame for it seem to us of little weight, and the sense of the aurican Biblical Repository for 1831.
thorized version is not only better supported, but appears 2. • For the avenging of Israel.' - The original words thus
much more suitable to the context. translated have, says Dr. Robinson, 'been a crux inter -'A mother in Israel:- Deborah here calls herself a pretum in every age. The Vatican copy of the Septuagint
mother in Israel' in the sense of benefactress; just as dishas átekanúoon erorárvuua ěv 'lopann, a revelation has
tinguished men are termed · fathers of their country,' or been revealed in Israel'-a version which stands in no • fathers' in general. Job xxix. 16; Gen. xlviii. 5. possible connection with the context; while it seems im
Compare also the use of the phrase father towards a propossible to discover how the Vulgate makes out from the
phet (2 Kings vi. 21; xiii. 14). Hebrew words the sense ad periculum, which it gives thus :
8. · Was there a shield or spear scen .... in Israel.'qui sponte obtulistis de Israel animas vestras ad periculum, We thus see that it was the policy of the northern Canaanites, who of Israel freely exposed your lives to peril.' The
while the Israelites were in subjection, as it was afterwards verb yn parah, sometimes means to let loose, to free from of the Philistines (1 Sam. xiii. 9), to deprive the people of restraint,' whence the version of Luther and many other their arms. Did Shamgar's employment of the ox-goad continental translators; but it occurs in a bad sense when arise from the want of a better weapon? This text affords us ever so employed elsewhere (Exod. xxxii. 25; Prov. xxix. an opportunity of noticing shields and spears, which are so 13), and neither in a good or bad sense does that interpre often mentioned in the Bible, accompanied by such pictorial tation suit the context. Our own version, although not illustrations as will, at one view, bring the whole subject fully very clear, is preferable to any of these, and appears to before the reader. They exhibit the various forms of these hare been derived from the Syriac, in which the word in offensive and defensive arms among the same and among question signifies to avenge. Still the sense thus obtained different ancient people, and also among those modern is not produced without a painful and scarcely justifiable Oriental nations which are supposed to have preserved the inversion of the whole sentence; and, upon the whole, the l ancient forms of these weapons. From these, and from
the statements which we annex, some ideas of the form of the Hebrew weapons may be collected. We are not to suppose that there was anything peculiar in their shape or substance. There are fewer peculiarities in the arms of most nations than in anything else belonging to them. The act of warfare itself brings them acquainted with the weapons of their neighbours. and perhaps of remote nations : and a people is seldom slow in adopting from a conquered or conquering enemy, improved or varied forms of the arms which they mutually employ. Hence, as we know little or nothing precisely concerning the forms of the Hebrew arms, we may safely consider them as represented by those of the nations with which they were acquainted.
SHIELDS.—The shield is unquestionably the most ancient and most general piece of defensive armour in the world. When it was first invented we cannot say: but it is mentioned in the Bible long before helmets or other defensive armour. It is the only defensive armour mentioned in the books of Moses. The Egyptians as usual claim the honour of the invention; and before it was discovered, men probably endeavoured to break the force of blows by investing-as Diodorus tells us that the first kings of Egypt did their persons in the skins of lions and bulls. Among the means for this purpose, the superior convenience and efficacy of such a contrivance as a shield, could not fail soon to occur to the mind : and accordingly, there is hardly any nation in which the shield, in some form or other, is not employed. Savages, who have not the least idea of such defences as the helmet or cuirass, are yet seldom found without the shield.
There are three, if not four, sorts of shields mentioned in Scripture; or, at least, there are four names by which they are distinguished. The largest seems to be that called 1733 tzinnah, which was twice the size of the ordinary shield, as we learn from 1 Kings x. 16, 17; 2 Chron. ix. 16, where 600 shekels of beaten gold were employed in the construction of the one, and 300 shekels of the other. Formidable as this weight of metal for the tzinnah is, it probably does not give an approximating idea of its full weight, and still less of its size, as shields were almost never wholly of metal, but were of wood or skin covered with metal. We may suppose the tzinnah to answer to the larger kind of shields which were used in ancient nations. Concerning these and other ancient arms there are very complete indications in Homer's Iliad. Among his heroes, as well as in other times and nations, these larger shields were chiefly used by persons fighting on foot. Their length was nearly equal to that of a man, as
• So saying, the hero went, and as he strode,
The bull-skin border of his bossy shield
Smote on his heels, and on his neck behind.' There are some specimens of such large shields among the paintings of the ancient Egyptians; and being measured with the figures of the warriors who bear them, they are found to be as high as from the heel to the neck. They do not often occur in the paintings, and are of a different shape from those in common use, being broader in proportion to their length, and not being rounded at the summit, but pointed, something like a Gothic arch. The great size of the larger shields is also implied in the intimations which we find of the bodies of the slain being carried on a shield; as in the famous injunction of the Spartan mother to her son, ' Either bring back this buckler, or be brought back upon it.' This refers also to the sentiment of honour connected with the preservation of the shield. It was natural enough for a man, when escaping, to desire to disencumber himself of such a burden and incumbrance as the larger kinds of shields were; and therefore the sentiment of honour was brought in, which made it disgraceful to lose the shield under any circumstances. The civilized Greeks and Romans, and the barbarous Germans, equally shared this sentiment. Among the latter, those who left their shields in the enemy's power, were excluded from civil and religious privileges, and often sought a release from ignominy in a voluntary death. The Hebrews participated in this feeling; and David, in his fine elegiac ode on the death of Saul and Jonathan, does not omit to mention this among the subjects of national regret, · Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings : for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away. ( 2 Sam. i. 21.)
The length of these shields seems to shew that they were either oblong or oval; and that they were hollow, which implies external convexity, we gather from their being described as "enclosing' or 'encompassing' the body. Homer has such expressions, and so has Ďavid (* With favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield,' Ps. v. 12), which seems to prove the analogy in this respect. Tyrtæus, in one of his hymns still extant, is very precise on this point : The warrior stands in the contest firm upon both feet: the hollow of the spacious shield covering, below, his sides and thighs, and his breast and his shoulders above. The manner in which these large heavy shields were used may be collected by a comparison of the different passages in Homer. They were supported by a leathern thong which crossed the breast. So Agamemnon advises the warriors to · Brace well their shields,' and foretels that before the approaching battle is over
• Every buckler's thong Shall sweat on the toil'd bosom.' And so in the battle itself, Pallas finds Diomede beside his chariot,
• Cooling the wound inflicted by the shaft
That bore his ample shield.' His wound was on the right shoulder ; whence we may infer that the belt hung from that shoulder, and crossed the breast to the left side, where it was attached to the shield, which could, of course, be moved at pleasure, behind, or in front Lighter shields had sometimes a thong fastened to the handle, by which they were hung round the neck, and carried in any convenient position when not in use, -upon the arm, at the back, or even on the hip. In action, and indeed often out of action, shields of different sizes were carried and swayed by means of a handle fixed to its inner surface; or, if large, by two loops or handles, through one of which the arm was passed while the hand grasped the other. Among the Egyptians, the thong by which the shield was hung at the back, so high that its top rose above the head of the bearer, passed over the right shonlder and under the left arm. The
LARGE EGYPTIAN SHIELD, we gather from several passages in that old poet: thus, he says of Hector :