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precations (if they were guilty of falsehood) against their own head, and the head of Disabul their master. The Greek prince entertained with hospitable regard the ambassadors of a remote and powerful monarch : the sight of silkworms and looms disappointed the hopes of the Sogdoites; the emperor renounced, or seemed to renounce, the fugitive Avars, but he accepted the alliance of the Turks; and the ratification of the treaty was carried by a Roman minister to the foot of Mount Altai. Under the successors of Justinian, the friendship of the two nations was cultivated by frequent and cordial intercourse; the most favored vassals were permitted to imitate the example of the great khan, and one hundred and six Turks, who, on various occasions, had visited Constantinople, departed at the same time for their native country. The duration and length of the journey from the Byzantine court to Mount Altai are not specified; it might have been difficult to mark a road through the nameless deserts, the mountains, rivers, and morasses of Tartary; but a curious account has been preserved of the reception of the Roman ambassadors at the royal camp. After they had been purified with fire and incense, according to a rite still practised under the sons of Zingis,” they were introduced to the presence of Disabul. In a valley of the Golden Mountain, they found the great khan in his tent, seated in a chair with wheels, to which a horse might be occasionally harnessed. As soon as they had delivered their presents, which were received by the proper officers, they exposed, in a florid oration, the wishes of the IRoman emperor, that victory might attend the arms of the Turks, that their reign might be long and prosperous, and that a strict alliance, without envy or deceit, might forever be maintained between the two most powerful nations of the earth. The answer of Disabul corresponded with these friendly professions, and the ambassadors were seated by his side, at a banquet which lasted the greatest part of the day: the tent was surrounded with silk hangings, and a Tartar liquor was served on the table, which possessed at least the intoxicating qualities of wine. The enter. tainment of the succeeding day was more sumptuous; the silk hangings of the second tent were embroidered in various figures; and the royal seat, the cups, and the vases, were of gold. A third pavilion was supported by columns of gilt wood; a bed of pure and massy gold was raised on four peacocks of the same metal : and before the entrance of the tent, dishes, basins, and statues of solid silver, and admirable art, were ostentatiously piled in wagons, the monuments of valor rather than of industry. When Disabul led his armies against the frontiers of Persia, his Roman allies followed many days the march of the Turkish camp, nor were they dismissed till they had enjoyed their precedence over the envoy of the great king, whose loud and intemperate clamors interrupted the silence of the royal banquet. The power and ambition of Chosroes cemented the union of the Turks and IRomans, who touched his dominions on either side : but those distant nations, regardless of each other, consulted the dictates of interest, without recollecting the obligations of oaths and treaties. While the successor of Disabul celebrated his father's obsequies, he was saluted by the ambassadors of the emperor Tiberius, who proposed an invasion of Persia, and sustained, with firmness, the angry and perhaps the just reproaches of that haughty Barbarian. “You see my ten fingers,” said the great khan, and he applied them to his mouth. “You Romans speak with as many tongues, but they are tongues of deceit and perjury. To me you hold one language, to my subjects another; and the nations are successively deluded by your perfidious eioquence. You precipitate your allies into war and danger, you enjoy their labors, and you neglect your benefactors. IIasten your return, inform your master that a Turk is incapable of uttering or forgiving falsehood, and that he shall speedily meet the punishment which he deserves. While he solicits my fričndship with flattering and hollow words, he is sunk to a confederate of my fugitive Varchonites. If I condescend to march against those contemptible slaves, they will tremble at the sound of our whips; they will be trampied, like a nest of ants, under the feet of my innumerable cavalry. I am not ignorant of the road which they have followed to invade your empire; nor can I be deceived by the vain pretence, that Mount Caucasus is the impregnable barrier of the Romans. I know the course of the Dniester, the Danube, and the Hebrus; the most warlike nations have yielded to the arms of the Turks; and from the rising to the setting sun, the earth is my inheritance.” Notwithstanding this menace, a sense of mutual advantage soon renewed the alliance of the Turks and Romans : but the pride of the great khan survived his resentment; and when he announced an important conquest to his friend the emperor Maurice, he styled himself th master of the seven races, and the lord of the seven climates of the World.” Disputes have often arisen between the sovereigns of Asia for the title of king of the world; while the contest has proved that it could not belong to either of the competitors. The kingdom of the Turks was bounded by the Oxus or Gihon ; and Touran was separated by that great river from the rival monarchy of Iran, or Persia, which in a smaller compass contained perhaps a larger measure of power and population. The Persians, who alternately invaded and repulsed the Turks and the Romans, were still ruled by the house of Sassan, which ascended the throne three hundred years before the accession of Justinian. His contemporary, Cabades, or Kobad, had been successful in war against the emperor Anastasius; but the reign of that prince was distracted by civil and religious troubles. A prisoner in the hands of his subjects, an exile among the enemies of Persia, he recovered his liberty by prostituting the honor of his wife, and regained his kingdom with the dangerous and mercenary aid of the Baibarians, who had slain his father. His nobles were suspicio is that Kobad never forgave the authors of his expulsion, or even those of his restoration. The people was deluded and inflamed by the fanaticism of Mazdak,” who asserted the community of 37 All the details of these Turkish and Roman embassies, so curious in the listory of human manners, are drawn from the Extracts of Menander (pp. 106110, 151–154, 161-164), in which we often regret the want of order and connection. is See D'Herbelot (Bibliot. Orient. pp. 508, #29); Hyde (de Religione Vet. Perwomen,” and the equality of mankind, whilst he appropri. ated the richest lands and most beautiful females to the use of his sectaries. The view of these disorders, which had been fomented by his laws and example," imbittered the declining age of the Persian monarch; and his fears were increased by the consciousness of his design to reverse the natural and customary order of succession, in favor of his third and most favored son, so famous under the names of Chosroes and Nushirvan. To render the youth more illustrious in the eyes of the nations, Kobad was desirous that he should be adopted by the emperor Justin : * the hope of peace inclined the Byzantine court to accept this singular proposal; and Chosroes might have acquired a specious claim to the inheritance of his Roman parent. But the future mischief was diverted by the advice of the quaestor Proclus: a difficulty was started, whether the adoption should be performed as a civil or military rite; * the treaty was abruptly dissolved; and the sense of this indignity sunk deep into the mind of Chosroes, who had already advanced to the Tigris on his road to Constantinople. His father did not long survive the disappointment of his wishes: the testament of their deceased sovereign was read in the assembly of the nobles; and a powerful faction, prepared for the event, and regardless of the priority of age, exalted Chosroes to the throne of Persia. He filled that throne during a prosperous period of forty-eight years; * and the JUSTICE of Nushirvan is celebrated as the theme of Immortal praise by the nations of the East. But the justice of kings is understood by themselves, and even by their subjects, with an ample indulgence for the gratification of passion and interest. The virtue of Chosroes was that of a conqueror, who, in the measures of peace and war, is excited by ambition and restrained by prudence; who confounds the greatness with the happiness of a nation, and calmly devotes the lives of thousands to the fame, or even the amusement, of a single man. In his domestic administration, the just Nushirvan would merit in our feelings the appellation of a tyrant. His two elder brothers had been deprived of their fair expectations of the diadem their future life, between the supreme rank and the condition of subjects, was anxious to themselves and formidable to their master: fear as well as revenge might tempt them to rebel; the slightest evidence of a conspiracy satisfied the author of their wrongs ; and the repose of Chosroes was secured by the death of these unhappy princes with their families and adherents. One guiltless youth was saved and dismissed by the compassion of a veteran general; and this act of humanity, which was revealed by his son, overbalanced the merit of reducing twelve nations to the obedience of Persia. The zeal and prudence of Mebodes had fixed the diadem on the head of Chosroes himself; but he delayed to attend the royal summons, till he had performed the duties of a military review; he was instantly commanded to repair to the iron tripod, which stood before the gate of the palace,” where it was death to relieve or approach the victim; and Mebodes languished several days before his sentence was pronounced, by the inflexible pride and calm ingratitude of the son of Kobad. But the people, more especially in the East, is disposed to forgive, and even to applaud, the cruelty which strikes at the loftiest
* This rite is so curious, that I have subjoined the description of it:—
When these (the exorcisers, the Shamans) approached Zemarchus, they took all our baggage and placed it in the centre. Then, kindling a fire with branches of frankincense, lowly murmuring certain barbarous words in the Scythian language, beating on a kind of bell (a gong) and a drum, they passed over the baggage the leaves of the frankincense, crackling with the fire, and at the same time themselves becoming frantic, and violently leaping about, seemed to exorcise the evil spirits. Having thus, as they thought, averted all evil, they led Zemarchus himself through the fire. Menander, in Niebuhr's Byzant. Hist. p. 381. Compare Carpini's Travels. The princes of the race of Zingis Khan condescended to receive the ambassadors of the king of France, at the end of the 13th century, without their submitting to this humiliating rite. See Correspondence published Joy Abel Remusat, Nouv, Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscrip. vol. vii. On the embassy of Zemarchus, compare Klaproth, Tableaux de l'Asie p. 116.-M,
sarum, c. 21, pp. 290, 291); Pocock (Specimen Hist. Arab. pp. 70, 71); Eutychius (Annal. tom. ii. p. 176); Texeira (in Stevens, Hist. of Persia, i. i. c. 34)."
* Mazdak was an Archimagus, born, according to Mirkhond (translated by De Sacy, p. 353, and Malcolm, vol. i. p. 104), at Istakhar or Perseoplis, according to an inedited and anonymous history (the Modjmal-alte-warikh in the Royal Lilorary at Paris, quoted by St. Martin, vol. vii. p. 322), at Nischapour in Chorasan : his father's name was Bamdadam. He announced himself as a reformer of Zoroastrianism, and carried the doctrine of the two principles to a much greater height. He preached the absolute indifference of human action, perfect equality of rank, community of property and of women, marriages between the neares; Kindred; i.e o the use of animal food, proscribed the killing ot 30 The fame of the new law for the community of women was soon propaated in Syria (Asseman. Bibliot. Orient. tom. iii. p. 402), and Greece (Procop. ’ersic. l. i. c. 5).
40 He offered his own wife and sister to the prophet; but the prayers of Nushirvan saved his mother, and, the indignant monarch never sorgave the h: uniliation to which his filial piety had stooped ; pedes tuos deosculatus (said he to Mazdak) cujus foctor adhuc nares occupat (Pocock, Specimen Hist. Arab. 19.71).
4 l Four. Persic. l. i. c. 11. Was not Proclus over-wise? Was not the danger imaginary 2—The excuse, at least, was injurious to a nation not ignorant of letters: ov Yosiunaauw ot. Báp3apot toys Tatóas trovodvtat, &AA’ 6trawworkevi. Whether any mode of adoption was practised in Persia, I much doubt.
animals for food, enforced a vegetable diet. See St. Martin, vol. vii. p. 322. Malcolm, vol. i. p. 104. Mirkhond translated by De Sacy. It is remarkable that the doctrine of Mazdak spread into the West. Two inscriptions found in Cyrene, in 1823, and explained by M. Gesenius, and by M. Hamaker of Leyden, prove clearly that his doctrines had been eagerly embraced by the remains of the ancient Gnostics; and Mazdak was enrolled with Thoth, Saturn, Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Epicurus, John, and Christ, as the teachers of true Gnostic wisdom. See St. Martin, vol. vii. p. 338. Gesenius de Inscriptione Phoenicio-Graecă in Cyrenaică nuper repertà, Halle, 125. Hamaker, Lettre à M. Raoul Rochette, Leyden, 1825.-M. * St. Martin questions this adoption: he argues its improbability; and supposes that Procopius, perverting some popular traditions, or the remembrance of some fruitless negotiations which took place at that time, has mistaken, for a treaty of adoption, some treaty of guaranty or protection for the purpose of insuring the crown, after the death of Kobad, to his favorite son Chosroes, vol. viii. p. 32. Yet the Greek historians seem unanimous as to the proposal: the Persians might be expected to maintain silence on such a subject.—M.
42 From Procopius and Agathias, Pagi (tom. ii., pp. 543,626) has proved that Chosroes Nushirvan ascended the throne in the fifth year of Justinian (A. D. 531, April 1.-A. D 532, April 1). But the true chronology, which harmonizes with the Greeks and Orientals, is ascertained by John Malala (tom. ii. 211). Cabades, or Kobad, after a reign of forty-three years and two months, sickened the 8th, and died the 13th of September, A. D. 531. aged eighty-two years. Accarding to the annals of Eutychius, Nushirvan reigned forty-seven years and six months; and his death must consequently be placed in March, A. D. 579.
48 Procopius, Persic. l. i. c. 23. Brisson, de Regn. Pers. p. 494. The gate of the palace of Ispahan, is, or was, the fatal scene of disgrace or death (Chardin, Voyage en Perse, tom. iv. pp. 312, 313).