« ForrigeFortsett »
overthrow the Greek or Roman empire of Constan- CHAP.
tinople, and returning from Europe to Asia, to unite his new acquisitions with Antioch and the provinces of Syria.' But his vast enterprise, perhaps of easy execution, must have seemed extravagant to vulgar minds; and the visionary conqueror was soon reminded of his dependence and servitude. The friends of Tarik had effectually stated his services and wrongs: at the court of Damascus, the proceedings of Musa were blamed, his intentions were suspected, and his delay in complying with the first invitation was chastised by a harsher and more peremptory summons. An intrepid messenger of the caliph entered his camp at Lugo in Gallicia, and in the presence of the Saracens and Christians arrested the bridle of his horse. His own loyalty, or that of his troops, inculcated the duty of obedience; and his disgrace was alleviated by the recal of his rival, and the permission of investing with his two governments his two sons, Abdallah and Abdelaziz. His long triumph from Ceuta to Damascus displayed the spoils of Afric and the treasures of Spain: four hundred Gothic nobles, with gold coronets and girdles, were distinguished in his train; and the number of male and female captives, selected for their birth or beauty, was computed at eighteen, or even at thirty, thousand persons. As soon as he reached Tiberias in Palestine, he was apprised of the sickness and danger of the caliph, by a private message from Soliman, his brother and presumptive heir; who wished to reserve for his own reign the spectacle of victory. Had Walid recovered, the delay of Musa would have been criminal: he pursued his march, and found an enemy on the throne.
* This design, which is attested by several Arabian historians (Cardonne, tom. i. p. 95, 96), may be compared with that of Mithridates, to march from the Crimaea to Rome; or with that of Caesar, to conquer the East, and return home by the North; and all three are perhaps surpassed by the real and successful enterprise of Hannibal.
char. In his trial before a partial judge against a popular
antagonist, he was convicted of vanity and falsehood; and a fine of two hundred thousand pieces of gold either exhausted his poverty or proved his rapaciousness. The unworthy treatment of Tarik was revenged by a similar indignity; and the veteran commander, after a public whipping, stood a whole day in the sun before the palace gate, till he obtained a decent exile, under the pious name of a pilgrimage to Mecca. The resentment of the caliph might have been satiated with the ruin of Musa; but his fears demanded the extirpation of a potent and injured family. A sentence of death was intimated with secrecy and speed to the trusty servants of the throne both in Africa and Spain; and the forms, if not the substance, of justice were superseded in this bloody execution. In the mosch or palace of Cordova, Abdelaziz was slain by the swords of the conspirators; they accused their governor of claiming the honours of royalty; and his scandalous marriage with Egilona, the widow of Roderic, offended the prejudices both of the Christians and Moslems. By a refinement of cruelty, the head of the son was presented to the father, with an insulting question, whether he acknowledged the features of the rebel?. “I know his features,” he exclaimed with indignation: “I assert his innocence; and I imprecate the same, a juster, fate against the authors of his death.” The age and despair of Musa raised him above the power of kings; and he expired at Mecca of the anguish of a broken heart. His rival was more favourably treated: his services were forgiven; and Tarik was permitted to mingle with the crowd of slaves.” I am ignorant
g I much regret our loss, or my ignorance, of two Arabic works of the viiith century, a Life of Musa, and a Poem on the Exploits of Tarik. Of these authentic pieces, the former was composed by a grandson of Musa, who had escaped from the massacre of his kindred; the latter, by the Vizir of the first Abdalrahman caliph of Spain, who might have conversed with some of the veterans of the conqueror (Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. ii. p. 36. 139).
whether count Julian was rewarded with the death CHAP.
which he deserved indeed, though not from the hands of the Saracens; but the tale of their ingratitude to the sons of Witiza is disproved by the most unquestionable evidence. The two royal youths were reinstated in the private patrimony of their father; but on the decease of Eba, the elder, his daughter was unjustly despoiled of her portion by the violence of her uncle Sigebut. The Gothic maid pleaded her cause before the caliph Hashem, and obtained the restitution of her inheritance; but she was given in marriage to a noble Arabian, and their two sons, Isaac and Ibrahim, were received in Spain with the consideration that was due to their origin and riches.
A province is assimilated to the victorious state Prosperity
by the introduction of strangers and the imitative
of Spain under the
spirit of the natives; and Spain, which had been suc-Arabs.
cessively tinctured with Punic, and Roman, and Gothic blood, imbibed, in a few generations, the name and manners of the Arabs. The first conquerors, and the twenty successive lieutenants of the caliphs, were attended by a numerous train of civil and military followers, who preferred a distant fortune to a narrow home: the private and public interest was promoted by the establishment of faithful colonies; and the cities of Spain were proud to commemorate the tribe or country of their eastern progenitors. The victorious though motley bands of Tarik and Musa asserted, by the name of Spaniards, their original claim of conquest; yet they allowed their brethren of Egypt to share their establishments of Murcia and Lisbon. The royal legion of Damascus was planted at Cordova; that of Emesa at Seville; that of Kinnisrin or Chalcis at Jaen; that of Palestine at Algezire and Medina Sidonia. The natives of Yemen and Persia were scattered round Toledo and the inland country, and the fertile seats
CHAP. of Grenada were bestowed on ten thousand horse
men of Syria and Irak, the children of the purest and most noble of the Arabian tribes." A spirit of emulation, sometimes beneficial, more frequently dangerous, was nourished by these hereditary factions. Ten years after the conquest, a map of the province was presented to the caliph: the seas, the rivers, and the harbours, the inhabitants and cities, the climate, the soil, and the mineral productions of the earth. In the space of two centuries, the gifts of nature were improved by the agriculture, the manufactures, and the commerce of an industrious people; and the effects of their diligence have been magnified by the idleness of their fancy. The first of the Ommiades who reigned in Spain solicited the support of the Christians; and, in his edict of peace and protection, he contents himself with a modest imposition of ten thousand ounces of gold, ten thousand pounds of silver, ten thousand horses, as many mules, one thousand cuirasses, with an equal number of helmets and lances." The most powerful of his successors derived from the same kingdom the annual chAP. LI.
* Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. ii. p. 32.252. The former of these quotations is taken from a Biographia Hispanica, by an Arabian of Valentia (see the copious Extracts of Casiri, tom. ii. p. 30–121); and the latter from a general Chronology of the Caliphs, and of the African and Spanish Dynasties, with a particular History of the Kingdom of Grenada, of which Casiri has given almost an entire version (Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. ii. p. 177–319). The author, Ebn Khateb, a native of Grenada, and a contemporary of Novairi and Abulfeda (born A. D. 1313, died A. D. 1374), was an historian, geographer, physician, poet, &c. (tom. ii. p. 71, 72). * Cardonne, Hist. de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne, tom. i. p. 116, 117. j A copious treatise of husbandry, by an Arabian of Seville, in the xiith century, is in the Escurial library, and Casiri had some thoughts of translating it. He gives a list of the authors quoted, Arabs, as well as Greeks, Latins, &c.; but it is much if the Andalusian saw these strangers through the medium of his countryman Columella (Casiri, Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. i. p. 323–338). * Bibliot. Arabico-Hispana, tom. ii. p. 104. Casiri translates the original testimony of the historian Razis, as it is alleged in the Arabic Biographia Hispanica, pars iz. But I am most exceedingly surprised at the address, Principibus casterisque Christianis Hispanis suis Castellae. The name of Castellae was unknown in the viiith century; the kingdom was not erected till the year 1022, a hundred years after the time of Razis (Bibliot. tom. ii. p. 330), and the appellation was always expressive, not of a tributary province, but of a line of castles independent of the Moorish yoke (D'Anville, Etats de l’Europe, p. 166–170). Had Casiri been a critic, he would have cleared a difficulty, perhaps of his own making. | Cardonne, tom. i. p. 337, 338. He computes the revenue at 130,000,000 of French livres. The entire picture of peace and prosperity relieves the bloody uniformity of the Moorish annals. "I am happy enough to possess a splendid and interesting work, which has only been distributed in presents by the court of Madrid; Bibliotheca ArabicoHispana Escurialensis, operá et studio Michaelis Casiri, Syro Maronitae. Matriti, in folio, tomus prior, 1760. tomus posterior, 1770. The execution of this work does honour to the Spanish press; the MSS. to the number of MDcccL1, are judiciously classed by the editor, and his copious extracts, throw some light on the Mahometan literature and history of Spain. These relics are now secure, but the task has been supinely delayed, till in the year 1671, a fire consumed the greatest part of the Escurial library, rich in the spoils of Grenada and Morocco. " The Harbii, as they are styled, qui tolerari nequeunt, are, 1. Those who, besides God, worship the sun, moon, or idols. 2. Atheists. Utrique, quamdiu princeps aliquisinter Mohammedanos superest, oppugnari debent donec religionem
tribute of twelve millions and forty-five thousand
dinars or pieces of gold, about six millions of sterling money;
a sum which, in the tenth century, most
probably surpassed the united revenues of the Christian monarchs. His royal seat of Cordova contained six hundred moschs, nine hundred baths, and two hundred thousand houses: he gave laws to eighty cities of the first, to three hundred of the second and third order; and the fertile banks of the Guadalquivir were adorned with twelve thousand villages and hamlets. The Arabs might exaggerate the truth, but
they created, and they describe, the most prosperous
aera of the riches, the cultivation, and the populous
ness of Spain."
prophet; but, among the various precepts and ex
amples of his life, the caliphs selected the lessons of
toleration that might tend to disarm the resistance of the unbelievers. Arabia was the temple and patrimony of the God of Mahomet; but he beheld with less jealousy and affection the nations of the earth. The polytheists and idolaters, who were ignorant of his name, might be lawfully extirpated by his votaries;"