Meanwhile the scientific onslaught upon the libertarian position has been directed from two chief quarters.
King John, the negus of Abyssinia, burning to avenge this defeat, marched, in February 1889, with an enormous army to Gallabat, where the amir Zeki Tumal commanded the khalifas forces, some 60,000 strong, and had strongly fortified the town and the camp. On the 9th of March 1889 the Abyssinians made a terrific onslaught, stormed and burnt the town, and took thousands of prisoners.
In the same year there appeared the third volume of the French edition of the Essay on Man, which reached Ferney, and exasperated Voltaire, by its onslaught on Helvetius, into a sharp attack which only made the young author more conspicuous.
Xenophanes in the middle of the 6th century had made the first great attack on the crude mythology of early Greece, including in his onslaught the whole anthropomorphic system enshrined in the poems of Homer and Hesiod.
Itself came he stood on his native earth to receive the onslaught of her enemies."