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of their reward. Four thousand and thirty of the c
Moslems were buried in the field of battle; and the “
skill of the Armenian archers enabled seven hundred to boast that they had lost an eye in that meritorious service. The veterans of the Syrian war acknow
ledged that it was the hardest and most doubtful of
the days which they had seen. But it was likewise the most decisive: many thousands of the Greeks and Syrians fell by the swords of the Arabs; many were slaughtered, after the defeat, in the woods and mountains; many, by mistaking the ford, were drowned in the waters of the Yermuk; and however the loss may be magnified,” the Christian writers confess and bewail the bloody punishment of their sins.” Manuel, the Roman general, was either killed at Damascus, or took refuge in the monastery of mount Sinai. An exile in the Byzantine court, Jabalah lamented the manners of Arabia, and his unlucky preference of the Christian cause.” He had once inclined to the profession of Islam; but in the pilgrimage of Mecca, Jabalah was provoked to strike one of his brethren, and fled with amazement from the stern and equal justice of the caliph. The victorious Saracens enjoyed at Damascus a month of
* We killed of them, says Abu Obeidah to the caliph, one hundred and fifty thousand, and made prisoners forty thousand (Ockley, vol. i. p. 241). As I cannot doubt his veracity, nor believe his computation, I must suspect that the Arabic historians indulged themselves in the practice of composing speeches and letters for their heroes.
y After deploring the sins of the Christians, Theophanes adds, (Chronograph. P. 276), avsarn 5 ten/axos Aua Anz rvororay #zzo oray Alacoy orow Xgurrow, xas yuvera, arearn poez arroris row ‘Pegazov wrewrov h rara, ro Tzotēzy Asya (does he mean Aiznadin ?) xzi Iseo.ovzzy, zal rmy o,0sogov witzrozvouzy. His account is brief and obscure, but he accuses the numbers of the enemy, the adverse wind, and the cloud of dust: an ovynésvris (the Romans) avriorgorarnaz, szécois 312 row zoviceroy #oraviral, Ž&s izvrous £322.2 overs; £ug trag orivobov; oroty Iséuoxéow aroraptov axi, araxovira aeony (Chronograph. p. 280).
* See Abulfeda (Annal. Moslem. p. 70, 71), who transcribes the poetical complaint of Jabalah himself, and some panegyrical strains of an Arabian poet, to whom the chief of Gassan sent from Constantinople a gift of five hundred pieces of gold by the hands of the ambassador of Omar.
pleasure and repose: the spoil was divided by the discretion of Abu Obeidah: an equal share was allotted to a soldier and to his horse, and a double
portion was reserved for the noble coursers of the
Conquest of Jerusa
p. 835. D'Herbelot, Bibliothéque Orientale, Cods, p. 269. Ilia, p. 420). The epithet of Al Cods, the Holy, is used as the proper name of Jerusalem.
city was defended on every side by deep valleys and CHAP.
steep ascents; since the invasion of Syria, the walls and towers had been anxiously restored; the bravest of the fugitives of Yermuk had stopped in the nearest place of refuge; and in the defence of the sepulchre of Christ, the natives and strangers might feel some sparks of the enthusiasm which so fiercely glowed in the bosoms of the Saracens. The siege of Jerusalem lasted four months; not a day was lost without some action of sally or assault; the military engines incessantly played from the ramparts; and the inclemency of the winter was still more painful and destructive to the Arabs. The Christians yielded at length to the perseverance of the besiegers. The patriarch Sophronius appeared on the walls, and by the voice of an interpreter demanded a conference. After a vain attempt to dissuade the lieutenant of the caliph from his impious enterprise, he proposed, in the name of the people, a fair capitulation, with this extraordinary clause, that the articles of security should be ratified by the authority and presence of Omar himself. The question was debated in the council of Medina; the sanctity of the place, and the advice of Ali, persuaded the caliph to gratify the wishes of his soldiers and enemies; and the simplicity of his journey is more illustrious than the royal pageants of vanity and oppression. The conqueror of Persia and Syria was mounted on a red camel, which carried, besides his person, a bag of corn, a bag of dates, a wooden dish, and a leathern bottle of water. Wherever he halted, the company, without distinction, was invited to partake of his homely fare, and the repast was consecrated by the prayer and exhortation of the commander of the faithful." But in this expedition or pilgrimage, his power
" The singular journey and equipage of Omar are described (besides Ockley, vol. i. p. 250), by Murtadi (Merveilles de l'Egypte, p. 200–202).
CHAP. was exercised in the administration of justice: he
reformed the licentious polygamy of the Arabs, relieved the tributaries from extortion and cruelty, and chastised the luxury of the Saracens, by despoiling them of their rich silks, and dragging them on their faces in the dirt. When he came within sight of Jerusalem, the caliph cried with a loud voice, “God is victorious. O Lord, give us an easy conquest;” and, pitching his tent of coarse hair, calmly seated himself on the ground. After signing the capitulation, he entered the city without-fear or precaution; and courteously discoursed with the patriarch concerning its religious antiquities." Sophronius bowed before his new master, and secretly muttered, in the words of Daniel, “The abomination of desolation is in the holy place.” At the hour of prayer they stood together in the church of the Resurrection; but the caliph refused to perform his devotions, and contented himself with praying on the steps of the church of Constantine. To the patriarch he disclosed his prudent and honourable motive. “Had I yielded,” said Omar, “to your request, the Moslems of a future age would have infringed the treaty under colour of imitating my example.” By his command the ground of the temple of Solomon was prepared for the foundation of a mosch;" and, during a residence of ten days, he regulated the present and C
* The Arabs boast of an old prophecy preserved at Jerusalem, and describing the name, the religion, and the person of Omar, the future conqueror. By such arts the Jews are said to have soothed the pride of their foreign masters, Cyrus and Alexander (Joseph. Ant. Jud. l. xi. c. 1. 8, p. 547. 579–582).
d To Øsavyaz wns séquaria's ro énéey 3uz Azvinx row argo ontov $orra's sy ororo &yo Theophan. Chronograph. p. 281. This prediction, which had already served for Antiochus and the Romans, was again refitted for the present occasion, by the economy of Sophronius, one of the deepest theologians of the Monothelite controversy.
* According to the accurate survey of D'Anville (Dissertation sur l’ancienne Jerusalem, p. 42–54), the mosch of Omar, enlarged and embellished by succeeding caliphs, covered the ground of the ancient temple (raxalov orov gayo. Aov vaov 32xtboy, says Phocas), a length of 215, a breadth of 172, toises. The Nubian geographer declares, that this magnificent structure was second only in size and beauty to the great mosch of Cordova (p. 113), whose present state Mr. Swin. burne has so elegantly represented (Travels into Spain, p. 296–302). f Of the many Arabic tarikhs or chronicles of Jerusalem (D'Herbelot, p. 867), Ockley found one among the Pocock MSS. of Oxford (vol. i. p. 257), which he has used to supply the defective narrative of Al Wakidi. g The Persian historian of Timur (tom. iii. 1. v. c. 21. p. 300) describes the castle of Aleppo as founded on a rock one hundred cubits in height; a proof, says the French translator, that he had never visited the place. It is now in the midst of the city, of no strength, with a single gate, the circuit is about 5 or 600 paces, and the ditch half full of stagnant water (Voyages de Tavernier, tom. i. p. 149. Pocock, vol. ii. part i. p. 150). The fortresses of the East are contemptible to an European eye.
future state of his Syrian conquests. Medina might be jealous, lest the caliph should be detained by the sanctity of Jerusalem or the beauty of Damascus; her apprehensions were dispelled by his prompt and voluntary return to the tomb of the apostle."
To achieve what yet remained of the Syrian war, of Aleppo
- - d the caliph had formed two separate armies; a chosen . A. D. 638.
detachment, under Amrou and Yezid, was left in the camp of Palestine; while the larger division, under the standard of Abu Obeidah and Caled, marched away to the north against Antioch and Aleppo. The latter of these, the Beraca of the Greeks, was not yet illustrious as the capital of a province or a kingdom; and the inhabitants, by anticipating their submission and pleading their poverty, obtained a moderate composition for their lives and religion. But the castle of Aleppo," distinct from the city, stood erect on a lofty artificial mound: the sides were sharpened to a precipice, and faced with freestone; and the breadth of the ditch might be filled with water from the neighbouring springs. After the loss of three thousand men, the garrison was still equal to the defence; and Youkinna, their valiant and hereditary chief, had murdered his brother, a holy monk, for daring to pronounce the name of peace. In a siege of four or five months, the hardest of the Syrian war, great numbers of the Saracens were killed and wounded: