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strong only in their rocks, their castles, and the winter season; but these obstacles were overcome by the zeal and perseverance of Timour: the rebels submitted to the tribute or the Koran; and if both religions boasted of their martyrs, that name is more justly due to the Christian prisoners, who were offered the choice of abjuration or death. On his descent from the hills, the emperor gave audience to the first ambassadors of Bajazet, and opened the hostile correspondence of complaints and menaces which fermented two years before the final explosion. Between two jealous and haughty neighbours, the motives of quarrel will seldom be wanting. The Mogul and Ottoman conquests now touched each other in the neighbourhood of Erzerum and the Euphrates; nor had the doubtful limit been ascertained by time and treaty. Each of these ambitious monarchs might accuse his rival of violating his territory, of threatening ais vassals, and protecting his rebels; and by the name of rebels each understood the fugitive princes whose kingdoms he had usurped, and whose life or liberty he implacably pursued. The resemblance of character was still more dangerous than the opposition of interest ; and in their victorious career, Timour was impatient of an equal, and Bajazet was ignorant of a superior. The first epistle 28 of the Mogul emperor must have provoked, instead of reconciling, the Turkish sultan, whose family and nation he affected to despise. 29 “ Dost thou not know that the greatest part of Asia is subject to our
arms and our laws ? that our invincible forces extend from one sea " to the other? that the potentates of the earth form a line before
our gate ? and that we have compelled Fortune herself to watch over the prosperity of our empire? What is the foundation of
thy insolence and folly? Thou hast fought some battles in the “ woods of Anatolia ; contemptible trophies! Thou hast obtained
some victories over the Christians of Europe; thy sword was " blessed by the apostle of God; and thy obedience to the precept of “ the Koran, in waging war against the infidels, is the sole considera
* We have three copies of these hostile epistles in the Institutions (p. 147), in Sherefeddin (1. v. c. 14), ani in Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 19, p. 183-201); which agree with each other in the spirit and substance rather than in the style. It is probable that they have been translated, with various latitude, from the Turkish original into the Arabic and Persian tongues."
The Mogul emir distinguishes himself and his countrymen by the name of Turks, and stigmatises the race and nation of Bajazet with the less honourable epithet of Turkmans. Yet I do not understand how the Ottomans couid be descended from a Turkman sailor; those inland shepherds were so remote from the sea and all maritinio affairs.b
• Von Hammer considers the letter letters, see his note, p. 616.-M. which Gibbon inserted in the text to be • Price translates the word piloty or spurious. On the various copies of these boatman.-M.
“ tion that prevents us from destroying thy country, the frontier and * bulwark of the Moslem world. Be wise in time; reflect; repent; • and avert the thunder of our vengeance, which is yet suspended “ over thy head. Thou art no more than a pismire ; why wilt thou “ seek to provoke the elephants ? Alas! they will trample thee “ under their feet.” In his replies Bajazet poured forth the indigna tion of a soul which was deeply stung by such unusual contempt. After retorting the basest reproaches on the thief and rebel of the desert, the Ottoman recapitulates his boasted victories in Iran, Touran, and the Indies; and labours to prove that Timour had never triumphed unless by his own perfidy and the vices of his foes.
Thy armies are innumerable : be they so; but what are the arrows “ of the flying Tartar against the scimitars and battle-axes of my “ firm and invincible Janizaries? I will guard the princes who have “implored my protection : seek them in my tents. The cities of “ Arzingan and Erzeroum are mine ; and unless the tribute be duly
paid, I will demand the arrears under the walls of Tauris and “ Sultania.” The ungovernable rage of the sultan at length betrayed him to an insult of a more domestic kind. “If I fly from thy arms, said he, “ may my wives be thrice divorced from my bed : but if thou “ hast not courage to meet me in the field, mayest thou again receive " thy wives after they have thrice endured the embraces of a
Any vio.ation by word or deed of the secrecy of the baram is an unpardonable offence among the Turkish nations ; 31 and the political quarrel of the two monarchs was embittered by private and personal resentment. Yet in his first expedition Timour was satisfied with the siege and destruction of Suvas or Sebaste, a strong city on the borders of Anatolia; and he revenged the indiscretion of the Ottoman on a garrison of four thousand Armenians, who were buried alive for the brave and faithful discharge of their duty. As a Musulman he seemed to respect the pious occupation of Bajazet, who was still engaged in the blockade of Constantinople; and after
“ stranger.” 30
30 According to the Koran (c. ii. p. 27, and Sale's Discourses, p. 134), a Musulman who had thrice divorced his wife (who had thrice repeated the words of a divorce) could not take her again till after she had been married to, and repudiated by, another h'esband; an ignominious transaction, which it is needless to aggravate by supposing that the first husband must see her enjoyed by a second before his face (Rycaut's kato of the Ottoman Empire, 1. ii. c. 21).
* The common delicacy of the Orientals, in never speaking of their women, is Noribed in a much higher degree by Arabshab to the Turkish nations; and it is remarkable enough that Chalcocondyles (I. ii. p. 55 (p. 105, ed. Bonn]) had some know. ladge of the prejudice and the insult."
• See Von Hammer, p. 308, and note, trated on these brave men. Vou Haminor p. 621.-M.
vol. i. p. 293.-4. #Still worse barbarities were perpe
Timou: invades Syria, A.D. 1400
this salutary lesson the Mogul conqueror checked his pursuit, and turned aside to the invasion of Syria and Egypt. In these transactions, the Ottoman prince, by the Orientals, and even by Timour, is styled the Kaissar of Roum, the Cæsar of the Romans; a title which, by a small anticipation, might be given to a monarch who possessed the provinces, and threatened the city, of the successors of Constantine. 32
The military republic of the Mamalukes still reigned in Egypt and Syria : but the dynasty of the Turks was overthrown by that of the Circassians ; 33 and their favourite Barkok, from a slave and a prisoner, was raised and restored to the throne. In the midst of rebellion and discord, he braved the menaces, corresponded with the enemies, and detained the ambassadors, of the Mogul, who patiently expected his decease, to revenge the crimes of the father on the feeble reign of his son Farage. The Syrian emirs 34 were assembled at Aleppo to repel the invasion: they confided in the fame and discipline of the Mamalukes, in the temper of their swords and lances of the purest steel of Damascus, in the strength of their walled cities, and in the populousness of sixty thousand villages; and instead of sustaining a siege, they threw open their gates, and arrayed their forces in the plain. But these forces were not cemented by virtue and union ; and some powerful emirs had been seduced to desert or betray their more loyal companions. Timour's front was covered with a line of Indian elephants, whose turrets were filled with archers and Greek fire: the rapid evolutions of his cavalry completed the dismay and disorder; the Syrian crowds fell back on each other; many thousands were stifled or slaughtered in the entrance of the great street; the Moguls entered with the fugitives; and after a short defence, the citadel, the impregnable citadel of Aleppo, was surrendered by cowardice or treachery. Among the suppliants and captives Timour distinguished the doctors of the law, whom he invited to the dangerous honour of a personal conference. 35 The Mogul prince was a zealous Musulman;
» For the style of the Moguls see the Institutions (p. 131, 147), and for the Persians the Bibliothèque Orientale (p. 882); but I do not find that the title of Cæsar has been applied by the Arabians, or assumed by the Ottomans themselves.
3 See the reigns of Barkok and Faradge, in M. de Guignes (tom. iv. l. xxii.), who, from the Arabic texts of Aboulmahasen, Ebn Schounah, and Aintabi, has added com, facts to our common stock of materials.
34 For these recent and domestic transactions, Arabshah, though a partial, is a credible, witness (tom. i. c. 64-68, tom. ii. c. 1-14). Timour must have been odious to a Syrian; but the notoriety of facts would have obliged him, in some measure, to respect his enemy and himself. His bitters may correct the luscious sweets of Sherefoddin (1. v. c. 17-29).
35 These interesting conversations appear to have been copied by Arabshah (tom. i. e. 68, p. 625-645) from the cadhi and historian Ebn Schounah, a principal actor. Yet bow could he be alive seventy-five years afterwards (D’Herbelot, p. 792)
but his Persian schools had taught him to revere the memory of Ali and Hosein ; and he had imbibed a deep prejudice against the Syrians, as the enemies of the son of the daughter of the apostle of God. To these doctors he proposed a captious question, which the casuists of Bochara, Samarcand, and Herat were incapable of resolving “ Who are the true martyrs, of those who are slain on my “ side, or on that of my enemies?” But he was silenced, or satisfied, by the dexterity of one of the cadhis of Aleppo, who replied, in the words of Mahomet himself, that the motive, not the ensign, constitutes the martyr; and that the Moslems of either party, who fight only for the glory of God, may deserve that sacred appellation The true succession of the caliphs was a controversy of a still more delicate nature; and the frankness of a doctor, too honest for his situation, provoked the emperor to exclaim, “Ye are as false as those “ of Damascus : Moawiyah was an usurper, Yezid a tyrant, and Ali “ alone is the lawful successor of the prophet.” A prudent explanation restored his tranquillity ; and he passed to a more familiar topic of conversation. “ What is your age?” said he to the cadhi. “Fifty
years.”—“ It would be the age of my eldest son: you see me here
(continued Timour) a poor lame, decrepit mortal. Yet by my arm “ has the Almighty been pleased to subdue the kingdoms of Iran, “ Touran, and the Indies. I am not a man of blood; and God is my
witness that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, " and that my enemies have always been the authors of their own “ calamity.” During this peaceful conversation the streets of Aleppo streamed with blood, and re-echoed with the cries of mothers and children, with the shrieks of violated virgins. The rich plunder that was abandoned to his soldiers might stimulate their avarice; but their cruelty was enforced by the peremptory command of producing an adequate number of heads, which, according to his custom, were curiously piled in columns and pyramids: the Moguls celebrated the feast of victory, while the surviving Moslems passed the night in tears and in chains. I shall not dwell on the march of the destroyer from Aleppo to Damascus, where he was rudely encountered, and almost overthrown, by the armies of Egypt. A retrograde motion was imputed to his distress and despair: one of his nephews deserted to the enemy; and Syria rejoiced in the tale of his defeat, when the sultan was driven by the revolt of the Mamalukes to escape with precipitation and shame to his palace of Cairo. Abandoned by their prince, the inhabitants of Damascus still defended their walls; and Timour consented to raise the siege, if they would adorn his retreat with a gift or ransom ; each article of nine pieces. But no sooner tiad he introduced himself into the city, under colour of a truce, than
he perfidiously violated the treaty; imposed a contribution of ten mil.ions of gold; and animated his troops to chastise the
Damascus, posterity of those Syrians who had executed, or approved, A.D. 1401, the murder of the grandson of Mahomet. A family which had given honourable burial to the head of Hosein, and a colony of artificers whom he sent to labour at Samarcand, were alone reserved in the general massacre; and after a period of seven centuries Damascus was reduced to ashes, because a Tartar was moved by religious zeal to avenge the blood of an Arab. The losses and fatigues of the campaign obliged Timour to renounce the conquest of Palestine and Egypt; but in his return to the Euphrates he delivered Aleppo to the flames ; and justified his pious motive by the pardon. and reward of two thousand sectaries of Ali, who were desirous to visit the tomb of his son. I have expatiated on the personal anecdotes which mark the character of the Mogul hero ; but I shall briefly mention 36 that he erected on the ruins of Bagdad a pyramid of ninety thousand heads; again visited Georgia ; encamped and Bagon the banks of the Araxes; and proclaimed his resolution of marching against the Ottoman emperor. Conscious of July 23. the importance of the war, he collected his forces from every province : eight hundred thousand men were enrolled on his military list ; 37 but the splendid commands of five and ten thousand horse may be rather expressive of the rank and pension of the chiefs than of the genuine number of effective soldiers. 38 In the pillage of Syria the Moguls had acquired immense riches ; but the delivery of their pay and arrears for seven years more firmly attached them to the Imperial standard.
During this diversion of the Mogul arins, Bajazet had two years to collect his forces for a more serious encounter. They consisted of four hundred thousand horse and foot, 39 whose merit and fidelity were of an unequal complexion. We may
56 The marches and occupations of Timour between the Syrian and Ottoman wars are represented by Sherefeddin (1. v. c. 29-43) and Arabshah (tom. i. c. 15-18).
37 This number of 800,000 was extracted by Arabshah, or rather by Ebn Schounah, ex rationario Timuri, on the faith of a Carizmian officer (tom. i. c. 68, p. 617); and it is remarkable enough that a Greek historian (Phranza, 1. i. c. 29) adds no more than 20,000 men. Poggius reckons 1,000,000; another Latin contemporary (Chron. Tarvisianum, apud Muratori, tom. xix. p. 800) 1,100,000; and the enormous sum of 1,600,000 is attested by a German soldier who was present at the battle of Angora (Leunclav. ad Chalcocondyl. l. iii. p. 82). Timour, in his Institutions, has not deigned to calculate his troops, his subjects, or his revenues.
A wide latitude of non-effectives was allowed by the Great Mogul for his own pride and the benefit of his officers. Bernier's patron was Penge-Hazari, commander of 5000 horse; of which he maintained no more than 500 (Voyages, tom. i. p. 288, 289).
39 Timour himself fixes at 400,000 men the Ottoman army (Institutions, p. 153), which is reduced to 150,000 by Phranza (1. i. c. 29), and swelled by the German soldier to 1,400,000. It is evident that the Moguls were the more numerous
Invades Anatolia, A.D. 1402