« ForrigeFortsett »
About the middle of the twelfth century, the worship of Christ find the succession of pastors were abolished along the coast of Barbary, and in the kingdoms of Cordova and Seville, of Valencia and Grenada.418 The throne of the Almohades, or Unitarians, was founded on the blindest fanaticism, and their extraordinary rigor might be provoked or justified by the recent victories and intolerant zeal of the princes of Sicily and Castille, of Arragon and Portugal. The faith of the Mozarabes was occasionally revived by the papal missionaries; and, on the landing of Charles the Fifth, some families of Latin Christians were encouraged to rear their heads at Tunis and Algiers. But the seed of the gospel was quickly eradicated, and the long province from Tripoli to the Atlantic has lost all memory of the language and religion of Rome.*1*
After the revolution of eleven centuries, the Jews and Christians of the Turkish empire enjoy the liberty of conscience which was granted by the Arabian caliphs. During the first age of the conquest, they suspected the loyalty of the Catholics, whose name of Melchites betrayed their secret attachment tr. the Greek emperor, while the Nestorians and Jacobites, his inveterate enemies, approved themselves the sincere and voluntary friends of the Mahometan government.11" Yet this partial jealousy was healed by time and submission; the churches
was reproached with this criminal compliance, by the intrepid envoy of the Emperor Otho I., (Vit. Johan. Gorz, in Secul. Benedict. V No. 115, apud Fleury, Hist. Eccles. torn. xii. p. 91.)
3ia Pagi, Critica, torn. iv. A. D. 1149, No. 8, 9. He justly observes, that when Seville, &c, were retaken by Ferdinand of Castille, no Christians, except captives, were fouua in the place; and that the Mozarabic churches of Africa and Spam, described by James a Vitriaco, A. D. 1218, (Hist. Hierosol. c. 80, p. 1095, in Gest. Dei per Francos,) are copied from some older book. I shall add, that the date of the Hegira 677 (A. D. 1278) must apply to the copy, not the composition, of a treatise of a jurisprudence, which states the civil rights of the Christians of Cordova, (Bibliot. Arab. Hisp. torn. i. p. 471;) and that the Jews were the only dissenters whom Abul Waled, king of Grenada, (A. D 1313,) could either discountenance or tolerate, (km. ii. p. 288.)
ai* Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 288. Leo Africanus would have flattered his Roman masters, could he have discovered any latent relics of the Christianity of Africa.
914 Absit (said the Catholic- to the vizier of Bagdad) ut pari loco habeas Nestorianos, quorum praeter Arabas nullus aliuu rex est, et Graecos quorum reges amovendo Arabibus bello non desistunt, <sc. See in the Collections of Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient, torn. iv. p. 94 —101) the state of the Nestorians under the caliphs. That of lb* of Egypt were shared with the Catholics;," and all th» Oriental sects were included in the common benefits of toleration. The rank, the immunities, the domestic jurisdiction of the patriarchs, the bishop J, and the clergy, were protected by the civil magistrate: the learning of individuals recommended them to the employments of secretaries and physicians: they were enriched by the lucrative collection of the revenue; and then merit was sometimes raised to the command of cities and provinces. A caliph of the house of Abbas was heard to declare that the Christians were most worthy of trust in the administration of Persia. "The Moslems," said he, "will abuse their present fortune; the Magians regret their fallen greatness; and the Jews are impatient for their approaching deliverance."SIS But the slaves of despotism are exposed to the alternatives of favor and disgrace. The captive churches of the East have been afflicted in every age by the avarice or bigotry of their rulers; and the ordinary and legal restraints must be offensive to the pride, or the zeal, of the Christians.11" About two hundred years after Mahomet, they were separated from their fellow-subjects by a turban or girdle of a less honorable color; instead of horses or mules, they were condemned to ride on asses, in the attitude of women. Their public and private buildings were measured by a diminutive standard; in the streets or the baths it is their luty to give way or bow down before the meanest of the people; and their testimony is rejected, if it may tend to the prejudice of a true believer. The pomp of processions, the sound of bells or of psalmody, is interdicted in their worship; a decent reverence for the national faith is imposed on their
Jacobites is more concisely exposed in the Preliminary Dissertation of the second volume of Assemannus.
,15 Eutych. Annal. torn. ii. p. 384, 387, 388. Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch." Alex. p. 205, 206, 257, 332. A taint of the Monothelite heresy might render the first of these Greek patriarchs less loyjil to the emperors and less obnoxious to the Arabs.
218 Motadhed. who reigned from A. D. 892 to 902. The Magians still held their name and rank among the religions of the empire, (Assemanni, Bibliot. Orient, torn. iv. p. 97.)
417 Reland explains the general restraints of the Mahometan policy and jurisprudence, (Dissertat. torn. iii. p. 16—20.) The oppressive edicts of the caliph Motawakkel, (A. D. 847—861,) which are still in force, are noticed by Eutychius, (Annal. torn. ii. p. 448,) and D'Herbelot, (Bibliot. Orient, p. 640.) A persecution of the caliph Omar II. is related, and most probably magnified, by the Greek Theophanai (Chroa p. 334.)
sermons and cojversations; and the sacrilegious attempt tc enter a mosch, or to seduce a Mussulman, will not be suffered to escape with impunity. In a time, however, of tranquillity and justice, the Christians have never been compelled to renounce the Gospel, or to embrace the Koran; but the punishment of death is inflicted upon the apostates who have pro fessed and deserted the law of Mahomet. The martyrs of Cor dova provoked the sentence of the cadhi, by the public con fession of their inconstancy, or their passionate invectives 'igainst the person and religion of the prophet.*1*
At the end of the first century of the Hegira, the caliphs were the most potent and absolute monarchs of the globe. Their prerogative was not circumscribed, either in right or in fact, by the power of the nobles, the freedom of the commons, the privileges of the church, the votes of a senate, or the memory of a free constitution. The authority of the companions of Mahomet expired with their lives; and the chiefs or emirs of the Arabian tribes left behind, in the desert, the spirit of equality and independence. The regal and sacerdotal characters were united in the successors of Mahomet; and if the Koran was the rule of their actions, they were the supreme judges and interpreters of that divine book. They reigned by the right of conquest over the nations of the Cast, to whom the name of liberty was unknown, and who were accustomed to applaud in their tyrants the acts of violence and severity that were exercised at their own expense. Under the last of the Ommiades, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days' journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. And if we retrench the sleeve of the robe, as it is styled by their writers, the long and narrow province of Africa, the solid and compact dominion from Fargana to Aden, from Tarsus to Surat, will spread on every side to the measure of four or five months of the march of a caravan.*18 We should
", The martyrs of Cordova (A. D. 850, Ac.) are commemorated and justified by St. Eulogius, who at length fell a victim himself. A iiynod, convened by the caliph, ambiguously censured their rashness The moderate Fleury cannot reconcile their conduct with the disci pline of antiquity, toutefois l'autorite de l'eglise, «fec. (Fleurv, Hist fecclcs. torn. x. p" 415—52-2, particularly p. 451, 508, 509.) Their au thentic acts throw a strong, though transient, light on the Spani-d1 church in the ixth century.
*'• See the article Eslamiah, (as we say Christendom,) in the Biblk. painly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; but the progress of the Mahometan religion diffused over this ample space a general resemblance of manners and opinions. The language and laws of the Koran were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca; and the Arabian language was adopted as the populai idiun in all the provinces to the westward of the Tigris.
theque Orientale, (p. 325.) This chart of the Mahometan world is suited by the author, Ebn Alwardi, to the year of the Hegira 385 (A. D. 995.) Since that time, the losses in Spain have been overbalanced by the conquests in India, Tartary, and the European Turkey.
220 The Arabic of the Koran is taught as a dead language in the college of Mecca. By the Danish traveller, this ancient idiom is compared to the Latin; the vulgar tongue of Hejaz and Yemen to the Italian; and the Arabian dialects of Syria, Egypt, Africa, <fec. to the Provencal, Spanish, and Portuguese, (Niebuhr, Description de V Arabia, p. 74, *e.)
fHJ fWO SIEGES OF CONSTANTINOPLE BY THE ARABS. THEIB
INVASION OF FRANCE, AND DEFEAT BY CHARLES MARTEL.—
CIVIL WAR OF THE OMMIADES AND ABBASSIDES. LEARNING
OF THE ARABS.—LUXURY OF THE CALIPHS. NAVAL ENTERPRISES ON CRETE, SICILY, AND ROME. DECAY AND DIVISION
OF THE EMPIRE OF THE CALIPHS. DEFEATS AND VICTORIES
OF THE GREEK EMPERORS.
When the Arabs first issued from the desert, they must have been surprised at the ease and rapidity of their own success. But when they advanced in the career of victory to the banks of the Indus and the summit of the Pyrenees; when they had repeatedly tried the edge of their cimeters and the energy of their faith, they might be equally astonished that any nation could resist their invincible arms; that any boundary should confine the dominion of the successor of the prophet. The confidence of soldiers and fanatics may indeed be excused, since the calm historian of the present hour, who strives to follow the rapid course of the Saracens, must study to explain by what means the church and state were saved from this impending, and, as it should seem, from this inevitable, danger. The deserts of Scythia and Sarmatia might be guard d by their extent, their climate, their poverty, and the courage of the northern shepherds; China was remote and inaccessible; but the greatest part of the temperate zone was subject to the Mahometan conquerors, the Greeks were exhausted by the calamities of war and the loss of their fairest provinces, and the Barbarians of Europe might justly tremble at the precipitate fall of the Gothic monarchy. In this inquiry I shall unfold the events that rescued our ancestors of Britain, and our neighbors of Gaul, from the civil and religious yoke of the Koran; that protected the majesty of Rome, and delayed the servitude of Constantinople; that invigorated the defence of the Christians, and scattered among their enemies the seeds of division and decay.
Forty-six years after the flight of Mahomet from Mecca, oU disciples appeared in arms under the Whiu of fVwwttwu