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a prisoner in the camp of the Arabian general. The CHAP.
insurgents had trusted to his discontent and revenge; he disdained their offers and revealed their designs. In the hour of danger, the grateful Akbah unlocked his fetters, and advised him to retire; he chose to die under the banner of his rival. Embracing as friends and martyrs, they unsheathed their scimitars, broke their scabbards, and maintained an obstinate combat, till they fell by each other's side on the last of their slaughtered countrymen. The third general or governor of Africa, Zuheir, avenged and encountered the fate of his predecessor. He vanquished the natives in many battles; he was overthrown by a powerful army, which Constantinople had sent to the relief of Carthage.
It had been the frequent practice of the Moorish Foundation
tribes to join the invaders, to share the plunder, to
profess the faith, and to revolt to their savage state-67%
of independence and idolatry, on the first retreat or misfortune of the Moslems. The prudence of Akbah had proposed to found an Arabian colony in the heart of Africa; a citadel that might curb the levity of the barbarians, a place of refuge to secure, against the accidents of war, the wealth and the families of the Saracens. With this view, and under the modest title of the station of a caravan, he planted this colony in the fiftieth year of the Hegira. In its present decay, Cairoan' still holds the second rank in the kingdom of Tunis, from which it is distant about fifty miles to the south:7 its inland situation, twelve
* The foundation of Cairoan is mentioned by Ockley (Hist. of the Saracens, vol. ii. p. 129, 130); and the situation, mosch, &c. of the city are described by Leo Africanus (fol. 75), Marmol (tom. ii. p. 532), and Shaw (p. 115).
7. A portentous, though frequent, mistake has been the confounding, from a slight similitude of name, the Cyrene of the Greeks, and the Cairoan of the Arabs, two cities which are separated by an interval of a thousand miles along the sea-coast. The great Thuanus has not escaped this fault, the less excusable as it is connected with a formal and elaborate description of Africa (Historiar. 1. vii. c. 2, in tom. i. p. 240, edit. Buckley).
CHAP. miles westward of the sea, has protected the city * from the Greek and Sicilian fleets. When the wild beasts and serpents were extirpated, when the forest, or rather wilderness, was cleared, the vestiges of a Roman town were discovered in a sandy plain: the vegetable food of Cairoan is brought from afar; and the scarcity of springs constrains the inhabitants to collect in cisterns and reservoirs a precarious supply of rain-water. These obstacles were subdued by the industry of Akbah; he traced a circumference of three thousand and six hundred paces, which he encompassed with a brick wall; in the space of five years, the governor's palace was surrounded with a sufficient number of private habitations; a spacious mosch was supported by five hundred columns of granite, porphyry, and Numidian marble; and Cairoan became the seat of learning as well as of empire. But these were the glories of a later age; the new colony was shaken by the successive defeats of Akbah and Zuheir, and the western expeditions were again interrupted by the civil discord of the Arabian monarchy. The son of the valiant Zobeir maintained a war of twelve years, a siege of seven months against the house of Ommiyah. Abdallah was said to unite the fierceness of the lion with the subtlety of the fox; but if he inherited the courage, he was devoid of the generosity, of his father.” o The return of domestic peace allowed the caliph * Abdalmalek to resume the conquest of Africa; the T“ standard was delivered to Hassan governor of Egypt, and the revenue of that kingdom, with an army of forty thousand men, was consecrated to the important service. In the vicissitudes of war, the interior pro- CHAP.
* Besides the Arabic chronicles of Abulfeda, Elmacin, and Abulpharagius, under the lxxiiidyear of the Hegira, we may consult D'Herbelot (Bibliot. Orient. p. 7) and Ockley (Hist. of the Saracens, vol. ii. p. 339–349). The latter has given the last and pathetic dialogue between Abdallah and his mother; but he has forgot a physical effect of her grief for his death, the return, at the age of ninety, and fatal consequences, of her menses.
vinces had been alternately won and lost by the Sa-
authority. * This commander is styled by Nicephorus Baroxiv, Zagaznway, a vague though
armament by sea and land; and the patrician in his turn was compelled to evacuate the post and fortifications of Carthage. A second battle was fought in the neighbourhood of Utica; the Greeks and Goths were again defeated; and their timely embarkation saved them from the sword of Hassan, who had invested the slight and insufficient rampart of their camp. Whatever yet remained of Carthage was delivered to the flames, and the colony of Dido" and Caesar lay desolate above two hundred years, till a part, perhaps a twentieth, of the old circumference was repeopled by the first of the Fatimite caliphs. In the beginning of the sixteenth century, the second capital of the West was represented by a mosch, a college without students, twenty-five or thirty shops, and the huts of five hundred peasants, who, in their abject poverty, displayed the arrogance of the Punic senators. Even that paltry village was swept away by the Spaniards whom Charles the fifth had stationed in the fortress of the Goletta. The ruins of Carthage have perished; and the place might be unknown if some broken arches of an aqueduct did not guide the footsteps of the inquisitive traveller." The Greeks were expelled, but the Arabians were not yet masters of the country. In the interior provinces the Moors or Berbers," so feeble under the first Caesars, so formidable to the Byzantine princes, cor.
not improper definition of the caliph. Theophanes introduces the strange appel-
maintained a disorderly resistance to the religion and power of the successors of Mahomet. Under the standard of their queen Cahina the independent tribes acquired some degree of union and discipline; and as the Moors respected in their females the character of a prophetess, they attacked the invaders with an enthusiasm similar to their own. The veteran bands of Hassan were inadequate to the defence of Africa: the conquests of an age were lost in a single day; and the Arabian chief, overwhelmed by the torrent, retired to the confines of Egypt, and expected, five years, the promised succours of the caliph. After the retreat of the Saracens, the victorious prophetess assembled the Moorish chiefs, and recommended a measure of strange and savage policy. “Our cities,” said she, “and the gold and silver which they contain, perpetually attract the arms of the Arabs. These vile metals are not the objects of our ambition; we content ourselves with the simple productions of the earth. Let us destroy these cities; let us bury in their ruins those pernicious treasures; and when the avarice of our foes shall be destitute of temptation, perhaps they will cease to disturb the tranquillity of a warlike people.” The proposal was accepted with unanimous applause. From Tangier to Tripoli the buildings, or at least the fortifications, were demothe time of Homer, when the Greeks and Asiatics might probably use a common idiom, the imitative sound of Barbar was applied to the ruder tribes, whose pronunciation was most harsh, whose grammar was most defective. Kagos BaeCzeopovo (Iliad ii. 867. with the Oxford scholiast, Clarke's Annotation, and Henry Stephens's Greek Thesaurus, tom. i. p. 720). 2. From the time, at least, of Herodotus, it was extended to all the nations who were strangers to the language and manners of the Greeks. 3. In the age of Plautus, the Romans submitted to the insult (Pompeius Festus, l. ii. p. 48. edit. Dacier), and freely gave themselves the name of barbarians. They insensibly claimed an exemption for Italy, and her subject provinces; and at length removed the disgraceful appellation to the savage or hostile nations beyond the pale of the empire. 4. In every sense, it was due to the Moors; the familiar word was borrowed from the Latin
provincials by the Arabian conquerors, and has justly settled as a local denomination (Barbary) along the northern coast of Africa.