« ForrigeFortsett »
to the first general who should enter that large and populous country, the kingdom of the ancient Bactrians. The condition was accepted; the prize was deserved; the standard of Ma hornet was planted on the walls of Herat, Merou, and Balch;
and the successful leader neither halted nor reposed till his foaming cavalry had tasted the waters of the Oxus. Tn the public anarchy, the independent governors of the cities and castles detained their separate capitulations: the terms were granted or imposed by the esteem, the prudence, or the compassion, of the victors; and a simple profession of faith established the distinction between a brother and a slave. After a noble defence, Harmozan, the prince or satrap of Ahwaz and Susa, was compelled to surrender his person and his state to the discretion of the caliph; and their interview exhibits a portrait of the Arabian manners. In the presence, and by the command, of Omar, the gay Barbarian was despoiled of his silken robes embroidered with gold, and of his tiara bedecked with rubies and emeralds: "Are you now sensible," said the conqueror to his naked captive—" are you now sensible of the judgment of God, and of the different rewards of infidelity and obedience?" "Alas!" replied Harmozan, "I feel them too deeply. In the days of our common ignorance, we fought with the weapons of the flesh, and my nation was superior. God was then neuter: since he has espoused your quarrel, you have subverted our kingdom and religion.v Oppressed by this painful dialogue, the Persian complained of intolerable thirst, but discovered some apprehension lest he should be killed whilst he was drinking a cup of water. "Be of good courage," said the caliph; "your life is safe till you have drunk this water:" the crafty satrap accepted the assurance, and instantly dashed the vase against the ground. Omar would have avenged the deceit, but his companions represented the sanctity of an oath; and the speedy conversion of Harmozan entitled him not only to a free pardon, but even to a sti pend of two thousand pieces of gold. The administration of Persia was regulated by an actual survey of the people, the cattle, and the fruits of the earth ;34 and this monument,
iKlXttvcv Oifiapog dvaypaipfjv it iracrav rip vir avTOf olxovpilvrjv' iyivtro it f) ivaypatpi) nal dfflpww&it «cal KTtiviZv nai $vt&v. (Chronograph f tit.)
which attests the vigilance of the caliphs, might have instructed the philosophers of every age."
The flight of Yezdegerd had carried him beyond the Oxus and as far as the Jaxartes, two rivers" of ancient and modern renown, which descend from the mountains of India towards the Caspian Sea. He was hospitably entertained by Tarkhan, prince of Fargana," a fertile province on the Jaxartes: the king of Samarcand, with the Turkish tribes of Sogdiana and Scythia, were moved by the lamentations and promises of the fallen monarch; and he solicited, by a suppliant embassy, the more solid and powerful friendship of the emperor of Ch na." The virtuous Taitsong," the first of the dynasty of the Tang may be justly compared with the Antonines of Koine: his people enjoyed the blessings of prosperity and peace; and his dominion was acknowledged by forty-four hordes of the Barbarians of Tartary. His last garrisons of Cashgar and Khoten maintained a frequent intercourse with their neighbors of the Jaxartes and Oxus; a recent colony of Persians had introduced into China the astronomy of the Magi; and Taitsong might be alarmed by the rapid progress and dangerous vicinity of the Arabs. The influence, and perhaps the supplies, of China revived the hopes of Yezdegerd and the zeal of the worshippers of fire; and he returned with an army of Turks to conquer the inheritance of his fathers. The fortunate Moslems, without unsheathing their swords,
"Amidst our meagre relations, I must regret that D'Herbelot baa not found and used a Persian translation of Tabari, enriched, as he says, with many extracts from the native historians of the Ghebers or Magi, (Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 1014.)
34 The most authentic accounts of the two rivers, the Sihon (Jaxartes) and the Gihon, (Oxus,) may be found in Sherif al Edrisi (Geograph. Nubiens. p. 138,) Abulfeda, (Descript. Chorasan. in Hudson, torn. iii. p. 23.) Abulghazi Khan, who reigned on their banks, (Hist Genealogique des Tatars, p. 32, 57, 766,) and the Turkish Geographer, & MS. in the king of France's library, (Examen Critique des Hisk">riens d' Alexandre, p. 194—360.)
81 The territory of Fergana is described by Abulfeda, p. 76, 77.
,e Eo redegit angustiarum eundem regem exsulem, ut Turcici regis, et Sogdiani, et Sinensis, auxilia missis literis imploraret, (Abuttal. AnnaL p. 74 ) The connection of the Persian and Chinese history is illustrated by TYeret 'Mem. de 1' Academie, torn. xvi. p. 245—255) uid De Guignes, (Hist, des Huns, torn. i. p. 54—59.) and for the geog"jphy of the borders, torn. ii. p. 1—43.
*7 Hist. Sinica, p. 41—46, in the iiid part of the Relatiors Cnnensa of Thevenot.
were the spectators of his ruin and death. The grandson of Chosroes was betrayed by his servant, insulted by the sed'tious inhabitants of Merou, and oppressed, defeated, and pursued by his Birbarian allies. He reached the banks of a river, and offered his rings and bracelets for an instant passage in a miller's boat. Ignorant or insensible of royal distress, the rustic replied, that four drams of silver were the daily profit of his mill, and that he would not suspend his work unless the loss were repaid. In this moment of hesitation and delay, the last of the Sassanian kings was overtaken and slaughtered by the Turkish cavalry, in the nineteenth year of his unhappy reign.88* His son Firuz, an humble client of the Chinese emperor, accppted the station of captain of his guards; and the Magian worship was long preserved by a colony of loyal exiles in the province of Bucharia.f nis grandson inherited the regal name; but after a faint and fruitless enterprise, he returned to China, and ended his days in the palace of Sigan. The male line of the Sassanides was extinct; but the female captives, the daughters of Persia, were given to the conquerors in servitude, or marriage; and the race of the caliphs and imams was ennobled by the blood of their royal mothers."
After the fall of the Persian kingdom, the River Oxus divid ed the territories of the Saracens and of the Turks. Thii narrow boundary was soon overleaped by the spirit of the Arabs; the governors of Chorasan extended their successive inroads; and one of their triumphs was adorned with the
M I have endeavored to harmonize the various narratives of Elmacin (Hist. Saracen, p. 37,) Abulpharagius, (Dynast, p. 116,) Abulfeaa, (Annal. p. 74, 79,) and D'Herbelot, (p. 485.) The end of Yezdegerd, was not only unfortunate but obscure.
89 The two daughters of Yezdegerd married Hassan, the son of Ali, and Mohammed, the son of Abubeker; and the first of these was the father of a numerous progeny. The daughter of Phirouz became the wife of the caliph Walid, and their son Yezi 1 derived his genuine or fabulous descent from the Chosroes of Persia, the Caesars of Rome, and the Chagans of the Turks or Avars, (D'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orientale, p. 96, 487.)
* The account of Yezdegerd's death in the Habeib 'usseyr and Rouzut ■zzuffa (Price, p. 162) is much more probable. On the demand of the few dhireius. he offered to the miller his sword, and royal girdle, of inestiirable value. This awoke the cupidity of the miller, who murdered him, and threw the body into the stream. —M.
1 Firoiz died leaving a son called Ni-ni-cha by the Chinese, probablj Katses. Yezdegerd had two sons. Firouz and Bahram St Martin, vol l\ p. 318.—M.
buskin of a Turkish queen, which she dropped in her precipitate flight beyond the hills of Bochara.40 But the final conquest of Transoxiana,41 as well as of Spain, was reserved for the glorious reign of the inactive Walid; and the name of Catibah, the camel driver, declares the origin and merit of his successful lieutenant. While one of his colleagues displayed the first Mahometan banner on the banks of the Indus, the ppacious regions between the Oxus, the Jaxartes, and the Caspian Sea, were reduced by the arms of Catibah to the obe dience of the prophet and of the caliph." A tribute of twc millions of pieces of gold was imposed on the infidels; theii idols were burnt or broken; the Mussulman chief pronounced a sermon in the new mosch of Carizme; after several battles, the Turkish hordes were driven back to the desert; and the emperors of China solicited the friendship of the victorious Arabs. To their industry, the prosperity of the province, the Sogdiana of the ancients, may in a great measure be ascribed; but the advantages of the soil and climate had been understood and cultivated since the reign of the Macedonian kings. Before the invasion of the Saracens, Carizme, Bochara, and Samarcand were rich and populous under the yoke of the shepherds of the north.* These cities were surrounded with a double wall; and the exterior fortification, of a larger circumference, enclosed the fields and gardens of the adjacent district,
40 It was valued at 2000 pieces of gold, and was the prize of Obeiilollah, the son of Ziyad, a name afterwards infamous by the murder nf Hosein, (Ockley's History of the Saracens, vol. ii. p. 142, 143,) His brother Salem was accompanied by his wife, the first Arabian woman ( A. D. 680) who passed the Oxus: she borrowed, or rather stole, tho ^■•own and jewels of the princess of the Sogdians, (p. 231. 232.)
41 A part of Abulfeda's geography is translated by Greaves, inserted In Hudson's collection of tho minor geographers, (torn, iii.,) and entitled Descriptio Chorasmiae et Mawaral nahnc, id est, regionum extra fluvium, Oxum, p. 80. The name of Transoxiana, softer iu sound, equivalent in sense, is aptly used by Petit de la Croix, (Hist, de Gengiscan, ix..) and some modern Orientalists, but they are mistaken iu ascribing it to the writers of antiquity.
4a The conquests of Catibah are faintly marked by Elmacin, (Hist Saracen, p. 84,) D'Herbelot, (Bibliot. Orient. Catbah, Samarcand VaHd.,) and De Guignes, (Hist, des Huns, torn. i. p. 58, 59.)
"The manuscript Arabian and Persian writers in the royal library con tain very circumstantial details on the contest between the Persians and Arabians. M. St. Martain declined this addition to the work of Le Bean, a* Wtending to too great a length. S Martin vol. xi. p. 320.—M.
The mutual wants of India and Europe were supplied by the diligence of the Sogdian merchants; and the inestimable an of transforming linen into paper has been diffused from the manufacture af Samarcand over the western world.48
II. No sooner had Abubeker restored the unity of faith and government, than he despatched a circular letter to the Ara bian tribes. "In the name of the most merciful God, te the rest of the true believers. Health and happiness, and the mercy and blessing of God, be upon you. I praise the most high God, and I pray for his prophet Mahomet. This is to acquaint you, that I intend to send the true believers into Syria** to take it out of the hands of the infidels. And I would have you know, that the fighting for religion is an act of obedience to God." His messengers returned with the tidings of pious and martial ardor which they had kindled in every province; and the camp of Medina was successively filled with the intrepid bands of the Saracens, who panted for action, complained of the heat of the season and the scarcity of provisions, and accused with impatient murmurs the delays of the caliph. As soon as their numbers were complete, Abuoeker ascended the hill, reviewed the men, the horses, and the arms, and poured forth a fervent prayer for the success
48 A curious description of Samarcand is inserted in the Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana, torn. i. p. 208, &c. The librarian Casiri (torn. ii. 9) relates, from credible testimony, that paper was first imported from China to Samarcand, A. H. 30, and invented, or rather introduced, at Mecca, A. H. 88. The Escurial library contains paper MSS. as old as the ivth or vth century of the Hegira.
44 A separate history of the conquest of Syria has been composed by Al Wakidi, cadi of Bagdad, who was born A. D. 748, and died A. D. 822; he likewise wrote the conquest of Egypt, of Diarbekir, jttfc* Above the meagre and recent chronicles of the Arabians, Al Wakidi has the double merit of antiquity and copiousness. His tales and traditions afford an artless picture of the men and the times. Yc> his narrative is too often defective, trifling, and improbable. Till something better shall be found, his learned and spiritual interpretei ;Ockley, in his History of the Saracens, vol. i. p. 21—342) will not deserve the petulant animadversion of Reiske, (Prodidagmata ad Magii Chalifae Tabulas, p. 236.) I am sorry to think that the labors of Ockley were consummated in a jail, (see his two prefaces to the 1st fid. A. D. 1708, to the 2d, 1718, with the list of authors at the end.)
"M. Hamaker has clearly shown that neither of these works can b« uenbed to Al Wakidi: they are not older than the end of the xith centtiry »r later than the middle of the xivth. Praofat. in Inc. Aact. Lib dr Exr ig sprionc Memphjdis, a ix. x.—M.