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302 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

either side abroad space of bare ground. The Persians passed in without opposition. The

noise of the festival resounded afar. The river-gates were seized by the invaders, who now

sounded the tocsin and began the assault. It was a gigantic massacre. The drunken

Babylonians fled in all directions. The prince Belshazzar and his nobles were slain at

their banquet, and the dawn found the victorious Persian in complete possession of the

city.

As soon as possible he dismantled the outer walls, and then proceeded against Nabonadius.

The latter was still at Borsippa, awaiting an opportunity to strike a blow at the invader.

But the invader came swiftly upon him, and the king, seeing the uselessness of a further

struggle against the inevitable, went forth and surrendered. Honorable terms were granted

by Cyrus, who treated the subject army with consideration, and bestowed on the dethroned

king the governorship of the province of Carmania.

It was the last act in the drama of the great Empire. "The kingdom was given

to the Medes and Persians." A new power had arisen, whose energies were still freshened

with the breezes of the hills and whose natural ambitions had not yet been quenched in the

cups of luxury and lust. "The beauty of the Chaldees excellency" faded like the shadow of

a pageant from the great canvas of history, and the glory of Babylon began to hide itself

under the dust and ruin of the ages.