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cłło. lished, the fruit-trees were cut down, the means of
subsistence were extirpated, a fertile and populous garden was changed into a desert, and the historians of a more recent period could discern the frequent traces of the prosperity and devastation of their ancestors. Such is the tale of the modern Arabians. Yet I strongly suspect that their ignorance of antiquity, the love of the marvellous, and the fashion of extolling the philosophy of barbarians, has induced them to describe, as one voluntary act, the calamities of three hundred years since the first fury of the Donatists and Vandals. In the progress of the revolt Cahina had most probably contributed her share of destruction; and the alarm of universal ruin might terrify and alienate the cities that had reluctantly yielded to her unworthy yoke. They no longer. hoped, perhaps they no longer wished, the return of their Byzantine sovereigns: their present servitude was not alleviated by the benefits of order and justice; and the most zealous Catholic must prefer the imperfect truths of the Koran to the blind and rude idolatry of the Moors. The general of the Saracens was again received as the saviour of the province: the friends of civil society conspired against the savages of the land; and the royal prophetess was slain in the first battle which overturned the baseless fabric of her superstition and empire. The same spirit revived under the successor of Hassan: it was finally quelled by the activity of Musa and his two sons; but the number of the rebels may be presumed from that of three hundred thousand captives; sixty thousand of whom, the caliph's fifth, were sold for the profit of the public treasury. Thirty thousand of the barbarian youth were enlisted in the troops; and the pious labours of Musa, to inculcate the knowledge and practice of the Koran, accustomed the Africans to obey the apostle of God and the commander of the
faithful. In their climate and government, their diet CHAP. and habitation, the wandering Moors resembled the * Bedoweens of the desert. With the religion, they floo." were proud to adopt the language, name, and origin, of Arabs: the blood of the strangers and natives was insensibly mingled; and from the Euphrates to the Atlantic the same nation might seem to be diffused over the sandy plains of Asia and Africa. Yet I will not deny that fifty thousand tents of pure Arabians might be transported over the Nile, and scattered through the Libyan desert; and I am not ignorant that five of the Moorish tribes still retain their barbarous idiom, with the appellation and character of white Africans.” V. In the progress of conquest from the north and Spain. south, the Goths and the Saracens encountered each tour. other on the confines of Europe and Africa. In the . *
of the opinion of the latter, the difference of religion is a o
reasonable ground of enmity and warfare." As early . D. 709. as the time of Othman' their piratical squadrons had ravaged the coast of Andalusia; nor had they forgotten the relief of Carthage by the Gothic succours. In that age, as well as in the present, the kings of Spain were possessed of the fortress of Ceuta; one
of the columns of Hercules, which is divided by a
g The first book of Leo Africanus, and the observations of Dr. Shaw (p. 220. 223. 227. 247, &c.) will throw some light on the roving tribes of Barbary, of Arabian or Moorish descent. But Shaw had seen these savages with distant terror; and Leo, a captive in the Vatican, appears to have lost more of his Arabic, than he could acquire of Greek or Roman, learning. Many of his gross mistakes might be detected in the first period of the Mahometan history.
* In a conference with a prince of the Greeks, Amrou observed, that their religion was different; upon which score it was lawful for brothers to quarrel. Ockley's History of the Saracens, vol. i. p. 328. Abulfeda, Annal. Moslem. p. 78. vers. Reiske.
3 The name of Andalusia is applied by the Arabs not only to the modern province, but to the whole peninsula of Spain (Geograph. Nub. p. 151. D'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orient. p. 114, 115). The etymology has been most improbably deduced from Vandalusia, country of the Vandals (D’Anville, Etats de l’Europe, p. 146, 147, &c.) But the Handalusia of Casiri, which signifies in Arabic the region of the evening, of the West, in a word, the Hesperia of the Greeks, is perfectly apposite (Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. ii. p. 327, &c.)
cHAP. narrow strait from the opposite pillar or point of
Europe. A small portion of Mauritania was still wanting to the African conquest; but Musa, in the pride of victory, was repulsed from the walls of Ceuta, by the vigilance and courage of count Julian, the general of the Goths. From his disappointment and perplexity, Musa was relieved by an unexpected message of the Christian chief, who offered his place, his person, and his sword, to the successors of Mahomet, and solicited the disgraceful honour of introducing their arms into the heart of Spain." If we inquire into the cause of his treachery, the Spaniards will repeat the popular story of his daughter Cava;' of a virgin, who was seduced, or ravished, by her sovereign; of a father, who sacrificed his religion and country to the thirst of revenge. The passions of princes have often been licentious and destructive; but this well-known tale, romantic in itself, is indif. ferently supported by external evidence; and the history of Spain will suggest some motives of interest and policy more congenial to the breast of a veteran statesman." After the decease or deposition of Witiza, his two sons were supplanted by the ambi- CHAP. tion of Roderic, a noble Goth, whose father, the duke – “. or governor of a province, had fallen a victim to the preceding tyranny. The monarchy was still elective; state of the but the sons of Witiza, educated on the steps of the *ay. throne, were impatient of a private station. Their resentment was the more dangerous, as it was varnished with the dissimulation of courts: their followers were excited by the remembrance of favours and the promise of a revolution; and their uncle Oppas, archbishop of Toledo and Seville, was the first person in the church, and the second in the state. It is probable that Julian was involved in the disgrace of the unsuccessful faction; that he had little to hope and much to fear from the new reign; and that the imprudent king could not forget or forgive the injuries which Roderic and his family had sustained. The merit and influence of the count rendered him an useful or formidable subject: his estates were ample, his followers bold and numerous, and it was too fatally shown that, by his Andalusian and Mauritanian commands, he held in his hand the keys of the Spanish monarchy. Too feeble, however, to meet his sovereign in arms, he sought the aid of a foreign power; and his rash invitation of the Moors and Arabs produced the calamities of eight hundred years. In his epistles, or in a personal interview, he revealed the wealth and nakedness of his country; the weakness of an unpopular prince; the degeneracy of an effeminate people. The Goths were no longer the victorious barbarians, who had humbled the pride of Rome, despoiled the queen of nations, and penetrated from the Danube to the Atlantic ocean. Secluded from the world by the Pyrenaean mountains, the successors of Alaric had slumbered in a long
* The fall and resurrection of the Gothic monarchy are related by Mariana (tom. i. p. 238–260. l. vi. c. 19–26. l. vii. c. 1, 2). That historian has infused into his noble work (Historiae de Rebus Hispaniae, librixxx. Hagae Comitum 1733, in four volumes in folio, with the Continuation of Miniana) the style and spirit of a Roman classic; and after the xiith century, his knowledge and judgment may be safely trusted. But the Jesuit is not exempt from the prejudices of his order; he adopts and adorns, like his rival Buchanan, the most absurd of the national legends; he is too careless of criticism and chronology, and supplies, from a lively fancy, the chasms of historical evidence. These chasms are large and frequent; Roderic, archbishop of Toledo, the father of the Spanish history, lived five hundred years after the conquest of the Arabs; and the more early accounts are comprised in some meagre lines of the blind chronicles of Isidore of Badajoz (Pacensis) and of Alphonso III. king of Leon, which I have seen only in the annals of Pagi.
* Le viol (says Voltaire) estaussi difficile à faire qu'à prouver. Des Evêques se seroient ils ligués pour une fille 2 (Hist. Generale, c. xxvi)." His argument is not logically conclusive.
* In the story of Cava, Mariana (l. vi. c. 21. p. 241, 242) seems to vie with the Lucretia of Livy. Like the ancients, he seldom quotes; and the oldest testimony of Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A. D. 713, N° 19), that of Lucas Tudensis,
peace; the walls of the cities were mouldered into dust: the youth had abandoned the exercise of arms; and the presumption of their ancient renown would expose them in a field of battle to the first assault of the invaders. The ambitious Saracen was fired by the ease and importance of the attempt; but the execution was delayed till he had consulted the commander of the faithful; and his messenger returned with the permission of Walid to annex the unknown kingdoms of the West to the religion and throne of the caliphs. In his residence of Tangier, Musa, with secrecy and caution, continued his correspondence and hastened his preparations. But the remorse of the conspirators was soothed by the fallacious assurance that he should content himself with the glory and spoil, without aspiring to establish the Moslems beyond the sea that separates Africa from Europe." Before Musa would trust an army of the faithful to the traitors and infidels of a foreign land, he made a less dangerous trial of their strength and veracity. One hundred Arabs, and four hundred Africans, passed over, in four vessels, from Tangier, or Ceuta; the place of their descent on the opposite shore of the strait, is marked by the name of Tarif their chief; and the date of this memorable event is fixed * The Orientals, Elmacin, Abulpharagius, Abulfeda, pass over the conquest of Spain in silence, or with a single word. The text of Novairi, and the other Arabian writers, is represented, though with some foreign alloy, by M. de Cardonne (Hist. de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne sous la Domination des Arabes, Paris, 1765, 3 vol. in 12mo, tom. 1. p. 55–114), and more concisely by M. de Guignes (Hist, des Huns, tom. i. p. 347–350). The librarian of the Escurial has not satisfied my hopes: yet he appears to have searched with diligence his broken materials; and the history of the conquest is illustrated by some valuable fragments of the genuine Razis (who wrote at Corduba, A. H. 300), of Ben Hasil, &c. See Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. ii. p. 32. 105, 106. 182. 252. 319– 332. On this occasion, the industry of Pagi has been aided by the Arabic learning of his friend the Abbé de Longuerue, and to their joint labours I am deeply indebted. * A mistake of Roderic of Toledo, in comparing the lunar years of the Hegira with the Julian years of the AEra, has determined Baronius, Mariana, and the
The first descent of the Arabs, A. D. 710, July.
crowd of Spanish historians, to place the first invasion in the year 713, and the battle of Xeres in November 714. This anachronism of three years has been