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is the symbol of hospitality, and the pious robber immediately retired without spoil or damage. The discovery of this honourable behaviour recommended Jacob to pardon and trust; he led an army at first for his benefactor, at last for himself, subdued Persia, and threatened the residence of the Abbassides. On his march towards Bagdad, the conqueror was arrested by a fever. He gave audience in bed to the ambassador of the caliph; and beside him on a table were exposed a naked scymetar, a crust of brown bread, and a bunch of onions. "If I die,” said he, "your master is delivered from his fears. If I live, this must determine between us. If I am vanquished, I can return without reluctance to the homely fare of my youth."
From the height where he stood, the descent would not have (A.D. 878) been so soft or harmless : a timely death secured his own re
pose and that of the caliph, who paid with the most lavish concessions the retreat of his brother Amrou to the palaces of Shiraz and Ispahan. The Abbassides were too feeble to con
tend, too proud to forgive : they invited the powerful dynasty The Sam- of the Samanides,128 who passed the Oxus with ten thousand A.D. 874-999 horse, so poor, that their stirrups were of wood; so brave, that
they vanquished the Soffarian army, eight times more numerous (A.D. 900) than their own. The captive Amrou was sent in chains, a
grateful offering to the court of Bagdad; and, as the victor was content with the inheritance of Transoxiana and Chorasan, the realms of Persia returned for a while to the allegiance of the
caliphs. The provinces of Syria and Egypt were twice disThe Tour membered by their Turkish slaves, of the race of Toulun and A.D. 868-905 Ikshid.129 These barbarians, in religion and manners the country
138 (The Sāmānid dynasty, which held sway in Transoxiana and Persia, was founded by Nasr ben-Ahmad, great-grandson of Sāmān (& nobleman of Balkh). This dynasty lost Persia before the end of the 10th century and expired in a.d. 999. Op. 8. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 131-3.]
129 M. de Guignes (Hist. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 124-154) has exhausted the Tou. lonides and Ikshidites of Egypt, and thrown some light on the Carmathians and Hamadanites. [The Tūlūnid dynasty was founded by Ahmad, son of Tūlūn (a Turkish slave), who established his capital at the saburb of al-Katãi between Fustát and the later Cairo. Syria was joined to Egypt under the government of Ahmad in A.D. 877.-Mohammad al-Ikhshid, founder of the Ikhshidid dynasty, Was son of Tughj, a native of Farghānā. His government of Egypt began in A.D. 935; Syria was added in 941, and Mecca and Medina in 942. Cp. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 69. The Fátimids succeeded the Ikhshidids in 969.-The influence of the Hamdānids in Mosul (Mósil) may be dated from c. A.D. 873, but their independent rule there begins with Hisan (Nāsir ad-dawla) A.D. 929 and lasts till 991, when they gave way to the Buwayhids. In Aleppo, the Hamdānid dynasty lasted from a.d. 944 to 1003, and then gave way to the Fátimids. See S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 111-113.)
danites. A.D. 892-1001
men of Mahomet, emerged from the bloody factions of the The Ikshidpalace to a provincial command and an independent throne : 934 (935)-968
(969) their names became famous and formidable in their time ; but the founders of these two potent dynasties confessed, either in words or actions, the vanity of ambition. The first on his deathbed implored the mercy of God to a sinner, ignorant of the limits of his own power : the second, in the midst of four hundred thousand soldiers and eight thousand slaves, concealed from every human eye the chamber where he attempted to sleep. Their sons were educated in the vices of kings ; and both Egypt and Syria were recovered and possessed by the Abbassides during an interval of thirty years. In the decline of their empire, Mesopotamia, with the important cities of Mosul and Aleppo, was occupied by the Arabian princes of the tribe of Hamadan. The poets of their court could repeat with- The Hamaout a blush, that nature had formed their countenances for beauty, their tongues for eloquence, and their hands for liberality and valour ; but the genuine tale of the elevation and reign of the Hamadanites exhibits a scene of treachery, murder, and parricide. At the same fatal period, the Persian kingdom was again usurped by the dynasty of the Bowides, by the sword The of three brothers, who, under various names, were styled the A.D. 933 support and columns of the state, and who, from the Caspian sea to the ocean, would suffer no tyrants but themselves. Under their reign, the language and genius of Persia revived, and the Arabs, three hundred and four years after the death of Mahomet, were deprived of the sceptre of the East.130 Rahdi, the twentieth of the Abbassides, and the thirty-ninth Fallen
state of the of the successors of Mahomet, was the last who deserved the caliphs of title of commander of the faithful : 131 the last (says Abulfeda) A.D. 936, &c.
139 (The three brothers, sons of Buwayh (a highland chief, who served the Zi. Farid lord of Jurján), formed three principalities in the same year (932): 1. Imad ad-dawla, in Färs; 2. Muizz ad-dawla in Irāk and Kirmán ; 3. Rukn ad-dawla in Bagy, Hamadhắn, and Ispahan. The third division of the Buwayhids lasted till 1023, when they were ousted by the Kākwayhids. The dominions of the second passed under the lords of Fårs in 977 and again permanently in 1012; and the dynasty of Fárs survived until the conquest of the Seljūks. See the table of the geographical distribution of the Buwayhids in S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 142.]
131 Hic est ultimus chalifah qui multum atque sæpius pro concione perorarit.
Fuit etiam ultimus qui otium cum eruditis et facetis hominibus fallere hilari. terque agere soleret. Ultimus tandem chalifarum cui sumtus, stipendia, reditus, et thesauri, online, cæteraque omnis aulica pompa priorum chalifarum ad instar cumparata fuerint. Videbimus enim paullo post quam indignis et servilibus luditrns essgitati, quam ad humilem fortunam ultimumque contemptum abjecti fuerint
who spoke to the people, or conversed with the learned ; the last who, in the expense of his household, represented the wealth and magnificence of the ancient caliphs. After him, the lords of the eastern world were reduced to the most abject misery, and exposed to the blows and insults of a servile condition. The revolt of the provinces circumscribed their dominions within the walls of Bagdad; but that capital still contained an innumerable multitude, vain of their past fortune, discontented with their present state, and oppressed by the demands of a treasury which had formerly been replenished by the spoil and tribute of nations. Their idleness was exercised by faction and controversy. Under the mask of piety, the rigid followers of Hanbal 132 invaded the pleasures of domestic life, burst into the houses of plebeians and princes, spilt the wine, broke the instruments, beat the musicians, and dishonoured, with infamous suspicions, the associates of every handsome youth. In each profession, which allowed room for two persons, the one was a votary, the other an antagonist, of Ali; and the Abbassides were awakened by the clamorous grief of the sectaries, who denied their title and cursed their progenitors. A turbulent people could only be repressed by a military force; but who could satisfy the avarice or assert the discipline of the mercenaries themselves? The African and the Turkish guards drew their swords against each other, and the chief commanders, the emirs al Omra,133 imprisoned or de. posed their sovereigns, and violated the sanctuary of the mosque and harem. If the caliphs escaped to the camp or court of any neighbouring prince, their deliverance was a change of servitude, till they were prompted by despair to invite the Bowides, the sultans of Persia, who silenced the factions of hi quondam potentissimi totius terrarum Orientalium orbis domini. Abulfed. Annal. Moslem. p. 261. I have given this passage as the manner and tone of Abulfeda, but the cast of Latin eloquence belongs more properly to Reiske. The Arabian historian (p. 255, 257, 261-269, 283, &c.) has supplied me with the most interesting facts of this paragraph. (Rādi, A.D. 934-940.]
132 Their master, on a similar occasion, shewed himself of a more indulgent and tolerating spirit. Ahmed Ebn Hanbal, the head of one of the four orthodox sects, was born at Bagdad a.1. 164, and died there A.A. 241. He fought and suffered in the dispute concerning the creation of the Koran.
133 The office of vizir was superseded by the emir al Omra (amir al-umarā] Imperator Imperatorum, a title first instituted by Rahdi (Weil quotes an instance of its use under al-Muktadir, Rādi's father, op. cit., ii. p. 559) and which merged at length in the Bowides and Seljukides ; vectigalibus et tributis et curiis per omnes regiones præfecit, jussitque in omnibus suggestis nominis ejus in concionibus men. tionem fieri (Abulpharagius, Dynast. p. 199). It is likewise mentioned by Elmacin (p. 254, 255),