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CHAPTER LVII.

•HE TURKS OF THE HOUSE OF SELJl K. THEIR REVOLT AGAINM

MAHMUD CONQUEROR OF HINDOSTAN. TOGRUL SUBriKfi

PERSIA, AND PROTECTS THE CALIPHS. DEFEAT AND CAPTIVITY OF THE EMPEROR ROMANUS DIOGENES BY ALP ARSLAN.

POWER AND MAGNIFICENCE OF MALEK SHAH.— CONQUEST OF ASIA MINOR AND SYRIA.—STATE AND OPPRESSION OF JERUSALEM. PILGRIMAGES TO THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.

From the Isle of Sicily, the reader must transport himself beyond the Caspian Sea, to the original seat of the Turks or Turkmans, against whom the first crusade w;is principally directed. Their Scythian empire of the sixth century was long since dissolved; but the name was still famous among the Greeks and Orientals; and the fragments of the nation, each a powerful and independent people, were scattered over the desert from China to the Oxus and the Danube: the colony of Hungarians was admitted into the republic of Europe, and the thrones of Asia were occupied by slaves and soldiers of Turkish extraction. While Apulia and Sicily were subdued by the Norman lance, a swarm of these northern shepherds overspread the kingdoms of Persia; their princes of the race of Seljuk erected a splendid and solid empire from Samarcand to the confines of Greece and Egypt; and the Turks have maintained their dominion in Asia Minor, till the victorious crescent has been planted on the dome of St, Sophia.

One of the greatest of the Turkish princes was Mahmood or Mahmud,1 the Gaznevide, who reigned in the eastern

1 I am indebted for hi9 character and history to D'Herbelot, (Bi Hiotheque Orientale, Mahmud. p. 538—537,) M. De Guignes, (Histoire des Huns, torn. iii. p. 155—173,) and our countryman Colonel Alexander Dow, (vol. i. p. 23—83.) In the two first volumes of his His tory of Hiiiflostnn, he styles himself the. translator of the Persiaa Ferishta; but in his florid text, it is not easy to distinguish the version md the original.*

"The European reailer now possesses a moro accurate version of Ferisb VOL. v.—17

provinces of Persia, one thousand years after the birth of Christ His father Sebectagi was the slave of the slave of the slave of the commander of the faithful. But in this descent of servitude, the first degree was merely titular, since it was filled by the sovereign of Transoxiana and Chorasan, who still paid a nominal allegiance to the caliph of Bagdad. The second rank was that of a minister of state, a lieutenant of the Samanides,* who broke, by his revolt, the bonds of politic*! •lavery. But the third step was a state of real and domestic servitude in the family of that rebel; from which Sebectagi. by his courage and dexterity, ascended to the supreme command of the city and provinces of Gazna,* as the son-in-law and successor of his grateful master. The falling dynasty of the Samanides was at first protected, and at last overthrown, by their servants; and, in the public disorders, the fortune of Mahmud continually increased. From him the title of Sultan * was first invented; and his kingdom was enlarged

* The dynasty of the Samanide9 continued 125 years, A. D. 847— 999, under ten princes. See their succession and ruin, in the Tables of M. De Guignes, (Hist, des Huns, torn. i. p. 404—406.) They were followed by the Gaznevides, A. D. 999—1183, (see torn. i. p. 239, 240.) His divisions of nations often disturbs the series of time and place.

8 Gaznah horto9 non habet: est emporium et domicilium merca tune Indicae. Abulfedie Geograph. Reiske, tab. xxiii. p. 349. D'Herbelot, p. 364. It has not been visited by any modern traveller.

4 By the ambassador of the caliph of Bagdad, who employed an Arabian or Chaldaic word that signifies lord and master, (D'Herbelot, p. 825.) It is interpreted AiroKpinop, BaatXtv; BowiXtuv, by the Byzan tine writers of the xith century; and the name (£)t>Ar«i/d{, Soldanus) is familiarly employed in the Greek and Latin languages, after it had passed from the Gaznevides to the Seljukides, and other emirs of Asia and hgypt. Ducange (Dissertation xvi. sur Joinville, p. 238—240 Gloss. Graec. et Latin.) labors to find the title of Sultan in the ancient kingdom of Persia: but his proofs are mere shadows; a proper name in the Themes of Constantine, (ii. 11,) an anticipation of Zonaras, <tc, and a medal of Kai Khosrou, not (as he believes) the Sassanide of the vith, but the Seljukide of Iconium of the xiiith century, (De Guignes, Hist, des Huns, torn. i. p. ?46.)

m. that of Ccl. Briggs. Of Col. Dow's work, Col. Briggs observes, "thai the author s name will be handed dwn to posterity as one of the earliest »nd most indefatigable of our Oriental scholars. Instead of confining .im lelf, however, to mere translation, he has filled his work with his own observations which have been so embodied in the text that Gibbon declare* it impossible to distinguish the translator from the original author-'' Prefao* ». nu- M.

from Transoxiana to the neighborhood of Ispahan, from the shores of the Caspian to the mouth of the Indus. But the orincipal source of his fame and riches was the holy war which he waged against the Gentoos of Hindostan. In this foreign narrative I may not consume a page; and a volume would scarcely suffice to recapitulate the battles and sieges t»f his twelve expeditions. Never was the Mussulman hero lismayed by the inclemency of the seasons, the height of the nountains, the breadth of the rivers, the barrenness of the desert, the multitudes of the enemy, or the formidable array of their elephants of war.* The sultan of Gazna surpassed the limits of the conquests of Alexander: after a march of three months, over the hills of Cashmir and Thibet, he reached the famous city of Kinnoge,' on the Upper Ganges; and, in a naval combat on one of the branches of the Indus, he fought and vanquished four thousand boats of the natives. Delhi, Lahor, and Multan, were compelled to open their gates: the fertile kingdom of Guzarat attracted his ambition and tempted his stay; and his avarice indulged the fruitless project of discovering the golden and aromatic isles of the Southern Ocean. On the payment of a tribute, the rajahs preserved their dominions; the people, their lives and fortunes; but to the religion of Hindostan the zealous Mussulman was cruel and inexorable: many hundred temples, or pagodas, were

* Ferishta (apud Dow, Hist, of Hindostan, vol. i. p. 49) mentions the report of a gun* in the Indian army. But as I am slow in believing this premature (A. D. 1008) use of artillery, I must desire to scrutinize first the text, and then the authority of Ferishta, who lived in the Mogul court in the last century.

8 Kinnouge, or Canouge, (the old ralimbothra.f) is marked in latitude 27° 8\ longitude 80° 13'. See D'Anville, (Antiquite de l'lnde, p. 60—62,) corrected by the local knowledge of Major Rennel (in hi9 excellent Memoir on his Map of Hindostan, p. 37—43 :) 300 jewellers, 30,000 shops for the arreca nut, 60,000 bands of musicians, Ac. (Abulfed. Geograph. tab. xv. p. 274. Dow, vol. i. p. 16,) will allow an ample deduction.

"This passage is differently written in the various manuscripts I have seen; and in some the word tope (gun) has been written for nupth. (naphtha,, and toofung (musket) forkbudung, (arrow.) But no Persian or Arabic history •peaks of gunpowder before the time usually assigned for its invention (A. D. 1317 ;) long after which, it was first applied to the purposes of war. Briggs's Ferishta. vol. i. p. 47. note.—M.

♦ Mr. Wilson (Hindu Drama, vol. iii. p. 12) and Pchlesrel (Indische Bib dotbek, vol. ii. p 394) concur in identifying Paliiubothra with the Pataliiran if tbe Indians; the Patna of the moderns.—M.

levelled with the ground; many thousand idols were demolished; and the servants of the prophet were stimulated and rewarded by the precious materials of which they were composed. The pagoda of Sumnat was situate on the promontory of Guzarat, in the neighborhood of Diu, one of the last remaining possessions of the Portuguese.' It was endowed with the revenue of two thousand villages; two thousand Brahmins were consecrated to the service of the Deity, whom they washed each morning and evening in water from the distant Ganges: the subordinate ministers consisted of three hundred musicians, three hundred barbers, and five hundred dancing girls, conspicuous for their birth or beauty. Three sides of the temple were protected by the ocean, the narrow isthmus was fortified by a natural or artificial precipice; and the city and adjacent country were peopled by a nation of fanatics. They confessed the sins and the punishment of Kinnoge and Delhi; but if the impious stranger should pre sume to approach their holy precincts, he would surely be overwhelmed by a blast of the divine vengeance. By this challenge, the faith of Mahmud was animated to a personal trial of the strength of this Indian deity. Fifty thousand of his worshippers were pierced by the spear of the Moslems; the walls were scaled; the sanctuary was profaned; and the conqueror aimed a blow of his iron mace at the head of the idol. The trembling Brahmins are said to have offered ten millions * sterling for his ransom; and it was urged by the wisest counsellors, that the destruction of a stone image would not change the hearts of the Gentoos; and that such a sum might be dedicated to the relief of the true believers. "Youi reasons," replied the sultan, "are specious and strong; bul never in the eyes of posterity shall Mahmud appear as a

'The idolaters of Europe, says Ferishta, (Dow, vol. i. p. 66.) Cod suit Abulfeda, (p. 272,) and Kennel's Map of Hindustan.

• Ferishta says, some "crores of gold." Dow says, in a note at the bottom of the page, '• ten millions," which is the explanation of the word "crore. Mr. Gibbon says rashly that the sum offered by the Brahmins was ten millions sterling. Note to Mill's India, vol. ii. p. 222. Col. Briggs's translation is •' a quantity of gold."

The treasure found in the temple, "perhaps in the image.*' according to Major Price's authorities, was twenty millions of dinars of gold, above nine minions sterling; but this was a hundred-fold the ransom nfToTod by uw Brsiunins. Price, vol. ii. p 290.—M.

merchant of idols."' * He repeated his blows, and a treasurt af pearls and rubies, concealed in the belly of the statue, ex plained in some degree the devout prodigality of the Brah roins. The fragments of the idol were distributed to Gazna, Mecca, and Medina. Bagdad listened to the edifying tale; and Mahmud was saluted by the caliph with the title of guardian of the fortune and faith of Mahomet.

From the paths of blood (and such is the history of nations) 1 cannot refuse to turn aside to gather some flowers of science or virtue. The name of Mahmud the Gaznevide is still ven erable in the East: his subjects enjoyed the blessings of prosperity and peace; his vices were concealed by the veil of religion; and two familiar examples will testify his justice and magnanimity. I. As he sat in the Divan, an unhappy subject bowed before the throne to accuse the insolence of a Turkish soldier who had driven him from his house and bed. u Suspend your clamors," said Mahmud; "inform me of his next visit, and ourself in person will judge and punish the offender." The sultan followed his guide, invested the house with his guards, and extinguishing the torches, pronounced the death of the criminal, who had been seized in the act of rapine and adultery. After the execution of his sentence, the lights were rekindled, Mahmud fell prostrate in prayer, and rising from the ground, demanded some homely fare, which he devoured with the voraciousness of hunger. The poor man, whose injury he had avenged, was unable to suppress his astonishment and curiosity; and the courteous monarch condescended to explain the motives of this singular behavior. "I had reason to suspect that none, except one of my sons, could dare to perpetrate such an outrage; and I extinguished the lights, that my justice might be blind and inexorable. My prayer was a thanksgiving on the discovery of the offender; and so painful was my anxiety, that I had passed three days without food since the first moment of your complaint." II. The sultan of Gazna had declared war against ihe dynasty of the Bowides, the sovereigns of the western l'oroia: he was disarmed by an epistle of the sultana mother, end delayed his invasion till the manhood of her son.8 "Dur

• D'Herbelot, Biblioth&que Orientale, p. 527. Yet these letter*

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