The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5
Edward Gibbon

Part 12 out of 14

the grave of an enemy, (Alexiad, l. v. p. 162 - 166;) and his
best praise is the esteem and envy of William the Conqueror, the
sovereign of his family Graecia (says Malaterra) hostibus
recedentibus libera laeta quievit: Apulia tota sive Calabria

[Footnote 94: Urbs Venusina nitet tantis decorata sepulchris, is
one of the last lines of the Apulian's poems, (l. v. p. 278.)
William of Malmsbury (l. iii. p. 107) inserts an epitaph on
Guiscard, which is not worth transcribing.]

[Footnote 95: Yet Horace had few obligations to Venusia; he was
carried to Rome in his childhood, (Serm. i. 6;) and his repeated
allusions to the doubtful limit of Apulia and Lucania (Carm. iii.
4, Serm. ii. I) are unworthy of his age and genius.]

[Footnote 96: See Giannone (tom. ii. p. 88 - 93) and the
historians of the fire crusade.]

Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are
alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre. The male line of Robert
Guiscard was extinguished, both in Apulia and at Antioch, in the
second generation; but his younger brother became the father of a
line of kings; and the son of the great count was endowed with
the name, the conquests, and the spirit, of the first Roger. ^97
The heir of that Norman adventurer was born in Sicily; and, at
the age of only four years, he succeeded to the sovereignty of
the island, a lot which reason might envy, could she indulge for
a moment the visionary, though virtuous wish of dominion. Had
Roger been content with his fruitful patrimony, a happy and
grateful people might have blessed their benefactor; and if a
wise administration could have restored the prosperous times of
the Greek colonies, ^98 the opulence and power of Sicily alone
might have equalled the widest scope that could be acquired and
desolated by the sword of war. But the ambition of the great
count was ignorant of these noble pursuits; it was gratified by
the vulgar means of violence and artifice. He sought to obtain
the undivided possession of Palermo, of which one moiety had been
ceded to the elder branch; struggled to enlarge his Calabrian
limits beyond the measure of former treaties; and impatiently
watched the declining health of his cousin William of Apulia, the
grandson of Robert. On the first intelligence of his premature
death, Roger sailed from Palermo with seven galleys, cast anchor
in the Bay of Salerno, received, after ten days' negotiation, an
oath of fidelity from the Norman capital, commanded the
submission of the barons, and extorted a legal investiture from
the reluctant popes, who could not long endure either the
friendship or enmity of a powerful vassal. The sacred spot of
Benevento was respectfully spared, as the patrimony of St. Peter;
but the reduction of Capua and Naples completed the design of his
uncle Guiscard; and the sole inheritance of the Norman conquests
was possessed by the victorious Roger. A conscious superiority
of power and merit prompted him to disdain the titles of duke and
of count; and the Isle of Sicily, with a third perhaps of the
continent of Italy, might form the basis of a kingdom ^99 which
would only yield to the monarchies of France and England. The
chiefs of the nation who attended his coronation at Palermo might
doubtless pronounce under what name he should reign over them;
but the example of a Greek tyrant or a Saracen emir was
insufficient to justify his regal character; and the nine kings
of the Latin world ^100 might disclaim their new associate,
unless he were consecrated by the authority of the supreme
pontiff. The pride of Anacletus was pleased to confer a title,
which the pride of the Norman had stooped to solicit; ^101 but
his own legitimacy was attacked by the adverse election of
Innocent the Second; and while Anacletus sat in the Vatican, the
successful fugitive was acknowledged by the nations of Europe.
The infant monarchy of Roger was shaken, and almost overthrown,
by the unlucky choice of an ecclesiastical patron; and the sword
of Lothaire the Second of Germany, the excommunications of
Innocent, the fleets of Pisa, and the zeal of St. Bernard, were
united for the ruin of the Sicilian robber. After a gallant
resistance, the Norman prince was driven from the continent of
Italy: a new duke of Apulia was invested by the pope and the
emperor, each of whom held one end of the gonfanon, or flagstaff,
as a token that they asserted their right, and suspended their
quarrel. But such jealous friendship was of short and precarious
duration: the German armies soon vanished in disease and
desertion: ^102 the Apulian duke, with all his adherents, was
exterminated by a conqueror who seldom forgave either the dead or
the living; like his predecessor Leo the Ninth, the feeble though
haughty pontiff became the captive and friend of the Normans; and
their reconciliation was celebrated by the eloquence of Bernard,
who now revered the title and virtues of the king of Sicily.

[Footnote 97: The reign of Roger, and the Norman kings of Sicily,
fills books of the Istoria Civile of Giannone, (tom. ii. l. xi. -
xiv. p. 136 - 340,) and is spread over the ixth and xth volumes
of the Italian Annals of Muratori. In the Bibliotheque Italique
(tom. i. p. 175 - 122,) I find a useful abstract of Capacelatro,
a modern Neapolitan, who has composed, in two volumes, the
history of his country from Roger Frederic II. inclusive.]

[Footnote 98: According to the testimony of Philistus and
Diodorus, the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse could maintain a
standing force of 10,000 horse, 100,000 foot, and 400 galleys.
Compare Hume, (Essays, vol. i. p. 268, 435,) and his adversary
Wallace, (Numbers of Mankind, p. 306, 307.) The ruins of
Agrigentum are the theme of every traveller, D'Orville, Reidesel,
Swinburne, &c.]

[Footnote 99: A contemporary historian of the acts of Roger from
the year 1127 to 1135, founds his title on merit and power, the
consent of the barons, and the ancient royalty of Sicily and
Palermo, without introducing Pope Anacletus, (Alexand. Coenobii
Telesini Abbatis de Rebus gestis Regis Rogerii, lib. iv. in
Muratori, Script. Rerum Ital. tom. v. p. 607 - 645)]

[Footnote 100: The kings of France, England, Scotland, Castille,
Arragon, Navarre, Sweden, Denmark, and Hungary. The three first
were more ancient than Charlemagne; the three next were created
by their sword; the three last by their baptism; and of these the
king of Hungary alone was honored or debased by a papal crown.]

[Footnote 101: Fazellus, and a crowd of Sicilians, had imagined a
more early and independent coronation, (A.D. 1130, May 1,) which
Giannone unwillingly rejects, (tom. ii. p. 137 - 144.) This
fiction is disproved by the silence of contemporaries; nor can it
be restored by a spurious character of Messina, (Muratori, Annali
d' Italia, tom. ix. p. 340. Pagi, Critica, tom. iv. p. 467,

[Footnote 102: Roger corrupted the second person of Lothaire's
army, who sounded, or rather cried, a retreat; for the Germans
(says Cinnamus, l. iii. c. i. p. 51) are ignorant of the use of
trumpets. Most ignorant himself!

Note: Cinnamus says nothing of their ignorance. - M]

As a penance for his impious war against the successor of
St. Peter, that monarch might have promised to display the banner
of the cross, and he accomplished with ardor a vow so propitious
to his interest and revenge. The recent injuries of Sicily might
provoke a just retaliation on the heads of the Saracens: the
Normans, whose blood had been mingled with so many subject
streams, were encouraged to remember and emulate the naval
trophies of their fathers, and in the maturity of their strength
they contended with the decline of an African power. When the
Fatimite caliph departed for the conquest of Egypt, he rewarded
the real merit and apparent fidelity of his servant Joseph with a
gift of his royal mantle, and forty Arabian horses, his palace
with its sumptuous furniture, and the government of the kingdoms
of Tunis and Algiers. The Zeirides, ^103 the descendants of
Joseph, forgot their allegiance and gratitude to a distant
benefactor, grasped and abused the fruits of prosperity; and
after running the little course of an Oriental dynasty, were now
fainting in their own weakness. On the side of the land, they
were pressed by the Almohades, the fanatic princes of Morocco,
while the sea-coast was open to the enterprises of the Greeks and
Franks, who, before the close of the eleventh century, had
extorted a ransom of two hundred thousand pieces of gold. By the
first arms of Roger, the island or rock of Malta, which has been
since ennobled by a military and religious colony, was
inseparably annexed to the crown of Sicily. Tripoli, ^104 a
strong and maritime city, was the next object of his attack; and
the slaughter of the males, the captivity of the females, might
be justified by the frequent practice of the Moslems themselves.
The capital of the Zeirides was named Africa from the country,
and Mahadia ^105 from the Arabian founder: it is strongly built
on a neck of land, but the imperfection of the harbor is not
compensated by the fertility of the adjacent plain. Mahadia was
besieged by George the Sicilian admiral, with a fleet of one
hundred and fifty galleys, amply provided with men and the
instruments of mischief: the sovereign had fled, the Moorish
governor refused to capitulate, declined the last and
irresistible assault, and secretly escaping with the Moslem
inhabitants abandoned the place and its treasures to the
rapacious Franks. In successive expeditions, the king of Sicily
or his lieutenants reduced the cities of Tunis, Safax, Capsia,
Bona, and a long tract of the sea-coast; ^106 the fortresses were
garrisoned, the country was tributary, and a boast that it held
Africa in subjection might be inscribed with some flattery on the
sword of Roger. ^107 After his death, that sword was broken; and
these transmarine possessions were neglected, evacuated, or lost,
under the troubled reign of his successor. ^108 The triumphs of
Scipio and Belisarius have proved, that the African continent is
neither inaccessible nor invincible; yet the great princes and
powers of Christendom have repeatedly failed in their armaments
against the Moors, who may still glory in the easy conquest and
long servitude of Spain.

[Footnote 103: See De Guignes, Hist. Generate des Huns, tom. i.
p. 369 - 373 and Cardonne, Hist. de l'Afrique, &c., sous la
Domination des Arabes tom. ii. p. 70 - 144. Their common
original appears to be Novairi.]

[Footnote 104: Tripoli (says the Nubian geographer, or more
properly the Sherif al Edrisi) urbs fortis, saxeo muro vallata,
sita prope littus maris Hanc expugnavit Rogerius, qui mulieribus
captivis ductis, viros pere mit.]

[Footnote 105: See the geography of Leo Africanus, (in Ramusio
tom. i. fol. 74 verso. fol. 75, recto,) and Shaw's Travels, (p.
110,) the viith book of Thuanus, and the xith of the Abbe de
Vertot. The possession and defence of the place was offered by
Charles V. and wisely declined by the knights of Malta.]

[Footnote 106: Pagi has accurately marked the African conquests
of Roger and his criticism was supplied by his friend the Abbe de
Longuerue with some Arabic memorials, (A.D. 1147, No. 26, 27,
A.D. 1148, No. 16, A.D. 1153, No. 16.)]

[Footnote 107: Appulus et Calaber, Siculus mihi servit et Afer.
A proud inscription, which denotes, that the Norman conquerors
were still discriminated from their Christian and Moslem

[Footnote 108: Hugo Falcandus (Hist. Sicula, in Muratori, Script.
tom. vii. p. 270, 271) ascribes these losses to the neglect or
treachery of the admiral Majo.]

Since the decease of Robert Guiscard, the Normans had
relinquished, above sixty years, their hostile designs against
the empire of the East. The policy of Roger solicited a public
and private union with the Greek princes, whose alliance would
dignify his regal character: he demanded in marriage a daughter
of the Comnenian family, and the first steps of the treaty seemed
to promise a favorable event. But the contemptuous treatment of
his ambassadors exasperated the vanity of the new monarch; and
the insolence of the Byzantine court was expiated, according to
the laws of nations, by the sufferings of a guiltless people.
^109 With the fleet of seventy galleys, George, the admiral of
Sicily, appeared before Corfu; and both the island and city were
delivered into his hands by the disaffected inhabitants, who had
yet to learn that a siege is still more calamitous than a
tribute. In this invasion, of some moment in the annals of
commerce, the Normans spread themselves by sea, and over the
provinces of Greece; and the venerable age of Athens, Thebes, and
Corinth, was violated by rapine and cruelty. Of the wrongs of
Athens, no memorial remains. The ancient walls, which
encompassed, without guarding, the opulence of Thebes, were
scaled by the Latin Christians; but their sole use of the gospel
was to sanctify an oath, that the lawful owners had not secreted
any relic of their inheritance or industry. On the approach of
the Normans, the lower town of Corinth was evacuated; the Greeks
retired to the citadel, which was seated on a lofty eminence,
abundantly watered by the classic fountain of Pirene; an
impregnable fortress, if the want of courage could be balanced by
any advantages of art or nature. As soon as the besiegers had
surmounted the labor (their sole labor) of climbing the hill,
their general, from the commanding eminence, admired his own
victory, and testified his gratitude to Heaven, by tearing from
the altar the precious image of Theodore, the tutelary saint.
The silk weavers of both sexes, whom George transported to
Sicily, composed the most valuable part of the spoil; and in
comparing the skilful industry of the mechanic with the sloth and
cowardice of the soldier, he was heard to exclaim that the
distaff and loom were the only weapons which the Greeks were
capable of using. The progress of this naval armament was marked
by two conspicuous events, the rescue of the king of France, and
the insult of the Byzantine capital. In his return by sea from
an unfortunate crusade, Louis the Seventh was intercepted by the
Greeks, who basely violated the laws of honor and religion. The
fortunate encounter of the Norman fleet delivered the royal
captive; and after a free and honorable entertainment in the
court of Sicily, Louis continued his journey to Rome and Paris.
^110 In the absence of the emperor, Constantinople and the
Hellespont were left without defence and without the suspicion of
danger. The clergy and people (for the soldiers had followed the
standard of Manuel) were astonished and dismayed at the hostile
appearance of a line of galleys, which boldly cast anchor in the
front of the Imperial city. The forces of the Sicilian admiral
were inadequate to the siege or assault of an immense and
populous metropolis; but George enjoyed the glory of humbling the
Greek arrogance, and of marking the path of conquest to the
navies of the West. He landed some soldiers to rifle the fruits
of the royal gardens, and pointed with silver, or most probably
with fire, the arrows which he discharged against the palace of
the Caesars. ^111 This playful outrage of the pirates of Sicily,
who had surprised an unguarded moment, Manuel affected to
despise, while his martial spirit, and the forces of the empire,
were awakened to revenge. The Archipelago and Ionian Sea were
covered with his squadrons and those of Venice; but I know not by
what favorable allowance of transports, victuallers, and
pinnaces, our reason, or even our fancy, can be reconciled to the
stupendous account of fifteen hundred vessels, which is proposed
by a Byzantine historian. These operations were directed with
prudence and energy: in his homeward voyage George lost nineteen
of his galleys, which were separated and taken: after an
obstinate defence, Corfu implored the clemency of her lawful
sovereign; nor could a ship, a soldier, of the Norman prince, be
found, unless as a captive, within the limits of the Eastern
empire. The prosperity and the health of Roger were already in a
declining state: while he listened in his palace of Palermo to
the messengers of victory or defeat, the invincible Manuel, the
foremost in every assault, was celebrated by the Greeks and
Latins as the Alexander or the Hercules of the age.

[Footnote 109: The silence of the Sicilian historians, who end
too soon, or begin too late, must be supplied by Otho of
Frisingen, a German, (de Gestis Frederici I. l. i. c. 33, in
Muratori, Script. tom. vi. p. 668,) the Venetian Andrew Dandulus,
(Id. tom. xii. p. 282, 283) and the Greek writers Cinnamus (l.
iii. c. 2 - 5) and Nicetas, (in Manuel. l. iii. c. 1 - 6.)]

[Footnote 110: To this imperfect capture and speedy rescue I
apply Cinnamus, l. ii. c. 19, p. 49. Muratori, on tolerable
evidence, (Annali d'Italia, tom. ix. p. 420, 421,) laughs at the
delicacy of the French, who maintain, marisque nullo impediente
periculo ad regnum proprium reversum esse; yet I observe that
their advocate, Ducange, is less positive as the commentator on
Cinnamus, than as the editor of Joinville.]

[Footnote 111: In palatium regium sagittas igneas injecit, says
Dandulus; but Nicetas (l. ii. c. 8, p. 66) transforms them, and
adds, that Manuel styled this insult. These arrows, by the
compiler, Vincent de Beauvais, are again transmuted into gold.]

Chapter LVI: The Saracens, The Franks And The Normans.

Part V.

A prince of such a temper could not be satisfied with having
repelled the insolence of a Barbarian. It was the right and
duty, it might be the interest and glory, of Manuel to restore
the ancient majesty of the empire, to recover the provinces of
Italy and Sicily, and to chastise this pretended king, the
grandson of a Norman vassal. ^112 The natives of Calabria were
still attached to the Greek language and worship, which had been
inexorably proscribed by the Latin clergy: after the loss of her
dukes, Apulia was chained as a servile appendage to the crown of
Sicily; the founder of the monarchy had ruled by the sword; and
his death had abated the fear, without healing the discontent, of
his subjects: the feudal government was always pregnant with the
seeds of rebellion; and a nephew of Roger himself invited the
enemies of his family and nation. The majesty of the purple, and
a series of Hungarian and Turkish wars, prevented Manuel from
embarking his person in the Italian expedition. To the brave and
noble Palaeologus, his lieutenant, the Greek monarch intrusted a
fleet and army: the siege of Bari was his first exploit; and, in
every operation, gold as well as steel was the instrument of
victory. Salerno, and some places along the western coast,
maintained their fidelity to the Norman king; but he lost in two
campaigns the greater part of his continental possessions; and
the modest emperor, disdaining all flattery and falsehood, was
content with the reduction of three hundred cities or villages of
Apulia and Calabria, whose names and titles were inscribed on all
the walls of the palace. The prejudices of the Latins were
gratified by a genuine or fictitious donation under the seal of
the German Caesars; ^113 but the successor of Constantine soon
renounced this ignominious pretence, claimed the indefeasible
dominion of Italy, and professed his design of chasing the
Barbarians beyond the Alps. By the artful speeches, liberal
gifts, and unbounded promises, of their Eastern ally, the free
cities were encouraged to persevere in their generous struggle
against the despotism of Frederic Barbarossa: the walls of Milan
were rebuilt by the contributions of Manuel; and he poured, says
the historian, a river of gold into the bosom of Ancona, whose
attachment to the Greeks was fortified by the jealous enmity of
the Venetians. ^114 The situation and trade of Ancona rendered it
an important garrison in the heart of Italy: it was twice
besieged by the arms of Frederic; the imperial forces were twice
repulsed by the spirit of freedom; that spirit was animated by
the ambassador of Constantinople; and the most intrepid patriots,
the most faithful servants, were rewarded by the wealth and
honors of the Byzantine court. ^115 The pride of Manuel disdained
and rejected a Barbarian colleague; his ambition was excited by
the hope of stripping the purple from the German usurpers, and of
establishing, in the West, as in the East, his lawful title of
sole emperor of the Romans. With this view, he solicited the
alliance of the people and the bishop of Rome. Several of the
nobles embraced the cause of the Greek monarch; the splendid
nuptials of his niece with Odo Frangipani secured the support of
that powerful family, ^116 and his royal standard or image was
entertained with due reverence in the ancient metropolis. ^117
During the quarrel between Frederic and Alexander the Third, the
pope twice received in the Vatican the ambassadors of
Constantinople. They flattered his piety by the long-promised
union of the two churches, tempted the avarice of his venal
court, and exhorted the Roman pontiff to seize the just
provocation, the favorable moment, to humble the savage insolence
of the Alemanni and to acknowledge the true representative of
Constantine and Augustus. ^118

[Footnote 112: For the invasion of Italy, which is almost
overlooked by Nicetas see the more polite history of Cinnamus,
(l. iv. c. 1 - 15, p. 78 - 101,) who introduces a diffuse
narrative by a lofty profession, iii. 5.]

[Footnote 113: The Latin, Otho, (de Gestis Frederici I. l. ii. c.
30, p. 734,) attests the forgery; the Greek, Cinnamus, (l. iv. c.
1, p. 78,) claims a promise of restitution from Conrad and
Frederic. An act of fraud is always credible when it is told of
the Greeks.]

[Footnote 114: Quod Ancontiani Graecum imperium nimis diligerent
... Veneti speciali odio Anconam oderunt. The cause of love,
perhaps of envy, were the beneficia, flumen aureum of the
emperor; and the Latin narrative is confirmed by Cinnamus, (l.
iv. c. 14, p. 98.)]

[Footnote 115: Muratori mentions the two sieges of Ancona; the
first, in 1167, against Frederic I. in person (Annali, tom. x. p.
39, &c.;) the second, in 1173, against his lieutenant Christian,
archbishop of Mentz, a man unworthy of his name and office, (p.
76, &c.) It is of the second siege that we possess an original
narrative, which he has published in his great collection, (tom.
vi. p. 921 - 946.)]

[Footnote 116: We derive this anecdote from an anonymous
chronicle of Fossa Nova, published by Muratori, (Script. Ital.
tom. vii. p. 874.)]

[Footnote 117: Cinnamus (l. iv. c. 14, p. 99) is susceptible of
this double sense. A standard is more Latin, an image more

[Footnote 118: Nihilominus quoque petebat, ut quia occasio justa
et tempos opportunum et acceptabile se obtulerant, Romani corona
imperii a sancto apostolo sibi redderetur; quoniam non ad
Frederici Alemanni, sed ad suum jus asseruit pertinere, (Vit.
Alexandri III. a Cardinal. Arragoniae, in Script. Rerum Ital.
tom. iii. par. i. p. 458.) His second embassy was accompanied cum
immensa multitudine pecuniarum.]

But these Italian conquests, this universal reign, soon
escaped from the hand of the Greek emperor. His first demands
were eluded by the prudence of Alexander the Third, who paused on
this deep and momentous revolution; ^119 nor could the pope be
seduced by a personal dispute to renounce the perpetual
inheritance of the Latin name. After the reunion with Frederic,
he spoke a more peremptory language, confirmed the acts of his
predecessors, excommunicated the adherents of Manuel, and
pronounced the final separation of the churches, or at least the
empires, of Constantinople and Rome. ^120 The free cities of
Lombardy no longer remembered their foreign benefactor, and
without preserving the friendship of Ancona, he soon incurred the
enmity of Venice. ^121 By his own avarice, or the complaints of
his subjects, the Greek emperor was provoked to arrest the
persons, and confiscate the effects, of the Venetian merchants.
This violation of the public faith exasperated a free and
commercial people: one hundred galleys were launched and armed in
as many days; they swept the coasts of Dalmatia and Greece: but
after some mutual wounds, the war was terminated by an agreement,
inglorious to the empire, insufficient for the republic; and a
complete vengeance of these and of fresh injuries was reserved
for the succeeding generation. The lieutenant of Manuel had
informed his sovereign that he was strong enough to quell any
domestic revolt of Apulia and Calabria; but that his forces were
inadequate to resist the impending attack of the king of Sicily.
His prophecy was soon verified: the death of Palaeologus devolved
the command on several chiefs, alike eminent in rank, alike
defective in military talents; the Greeks were oppressed by land
and sea; and a captive remnant that escaped the swords of the
Normans and Saracens, abjured all future hostility against the
person or dominions of their conqueror. ^122 Yet the king of
Sicily esteemed the courage and constancy of Manuel, who had
landed a second army on the Italian shore; he respectfully
addressed the new Justinian; solicited a peace or truce of thirty
years, accepted as a gift the regal title; and acknowledged
himself the military vassal of the Roman empire. ^123 The
Byzantine Caesars acquiesced in this shadow of dominion, without
expecting, perhaps without desiring, the service of a Norman
army; and the truce of thirty years was not disturbed by any
hostilities between Sicily and Constantinople. About the end of
that period, the throne of Manuel was usurped by an inhuman
tyrant, who had deserved the abhorrence of his country and
mankind: the sword of William the Second, the grandson of Roger,
was drawn by a fugitive of the Comnenian race; and the subjects
of Andronicus might salute the strangers as friends, since they
detested their sovereign as the worst of enemies. The Latin
historians ^124 expatiate on the rapid progress of the four
counts who invaded Romania with a fleet and army, and reduced
many castles and cities to the obedience of the king of Sicily.
The Greeks ^125 accuse and magnify the wanton and sacrilegious
cruelties that were perpetrated in the sack of Thessalonica, the
second city of the empire. The former deplore the fate of those
invincible but unsuspecting warriors who were destroyed by the
arts of a vanquished foe. The latter applaud, in songs of
triumph, the repeated victories of their countrymen on the Sea of
Marmora or Propontis, on the banks of the Strymon, and under the
walls of Durazzo. A revolution which punished the crimes of
Andronicus, had united against the Franks the zeal and courage of
the successful insurgents: ten thousand were slain in battle, and
Isaac Angelus, the new emperor, might indulge his vanity or
vengeance in the treatment of four thousand captives. Such was
the event of the last contest between the Greeks and Normans:
before the expiration of twenty years, the rival nations were
lost or degraded in foreign servitude; and the successors of
Constantine did not long survive to insult the fall of the
Sicilian monarchy.

[Footnote 119: Nimis alta et perplexa sunt, (Vit. Alexandri III.
p. 460, 461,) says the cautious pope.]

[Footnote 120: (Cinnamus, l. iv. c. 14, p. 99.)]

[Footnote 121: In his vith book, Cinnamus describes the Venetian
war, which Nicetas has not thought worthy of his attention. The
Italian accounts, which do not satisfy our curiosity, are
reported by the annalist Muratori, under the years 1171, &c.]

[Footnote 122: This victory is mentioned by Romuald of Salerno,
(in Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. vii. p. 198.) It is whimsical
enough, that in the praise of the king of Sicily, Cinnamus (l.
iv. c. 13, p. 97, 98) is much warmer and copious than Falcandus,
(p. 268, 270.) But the Greek is fond of description, and the
Latin historian is not fond of William the Bad.]

[Footnote 123: For the epistle of William I. see Cinnamus (l. iv.
c. 15, p. 101, 102) and Nicetas, (l. ii. c. 8.) It is difficult
to affirm, whether these Greeks deceived themselves, or the
public, in these flattering portraits of the grandeur of the

[Footnote 124: I can only quote, of original evidence, the poor
chronicles of Sicard of Cremona, (p. 603,) and of Fossa Nova, (p.
875,) as they are published in the viith tome of Muratori's
historians. The king of Sicily sent his troops contra nequitiam
Andronici .... ad acquirendum imperium C. P. They were ....
decepti captique, by Isaac.]

[Footnote 125: By the failure of Cinnamus to Nicetas (in
Andronico, l. . c. 7, 8, 9, l. ii. c. 1, in Isaac Angelo, l. i.
c. 1 - 4,) who now becomes a respectable contemporary. As he
survived the emperor and the empire, he is above flattery; but
the fall of Constantinople exasperated his prejudices against the
Latins. For the honor of learning I shall observe that Homer's
great commentator, Eustathias archbishop of Thessalonica, refused
to desert his flock.]

The sceptre of Roger successively devolved to his son and
grandson: they might be confounded under the name of William:
they are strongly discriminated by the epithets of the bad and
the good; but these epithets, which appear to describe the
perfection of vice and virtue, cannot strictly be applied to
either of the Norman princes. When he was roused to arms by
danger and shame, the first William did not degenerate from the
valor of his race; but his temper was slothful; his manners were
dissolute; his passions headstrong and mischievous; and the
monarch is responsible, not only for his personal vices, but for
those of Majo, the great admiral, who abused the confidence, and
conspired against the life, of his benefactor. From the Arabian
conquest, Sicily had imbibed a deep tincture of Oriental manners;
the despotism, the pomp, and even the harem, of a sultan; and a
Christian people was oppressed and insulted by the ascendant of
the eunuchs, who openly professed, or secretly cherished, the
religion of Mahomet. An eloquent historian of the times ^126 has
delineated the misfortunes of his country: ^127 the ambition and
fall of the ungrateful Majo; the revolt and punishment of his
assassins; the imprisonment and deliverance of the king himself;
the private feuds that arose from the public confusion; and the
various forms of calamity and discord which afflicted Palermo,
the island, and the continent, during the reign of William the
First, and the minority of his son. The youth, innocence, and
beauty of William the Second, ^128 endeared him to the nation:
the factions were reconciled; the laws were revived; and from the
manhood to the premature death of that amiable prince, Sicily
enjoyed a short season of peace, justice, and happiness, whose
value was enhanced by the remembrance of the past and the dread
of futurity. The legitimate male posterity of Tancred of
Hauteville was extinct in the person of the second William; but
his aunt, the daughter of Roger, had married the most powerful
prince of the age; and Henry the Sixth, the son of Frederic
Barbarossa, descended from the Alps to claim the Imperial crown
and the inheritance of his wife. Against the unanimous wish of a
free people, this inheritance could only be acquired by arms; and
I am pleased to transcribe the style and sense of the historian
Falcandus, who writes at the moment, and on the spot, with the
feelings of a patriot, and the prophetic eye of a statesman.
"Constantia, the daughter of Sicily, nursed from her cradle in
the pleasures and plenty, and educated in the arts and manners,
of this fortunate isle, departed long since to enrich the
Barbarians with our treasures, and now returns, with her savage
allies, to contaminate the beauties of her venerable parent.
Already I behold the swarms of angry Barbarians: our opulent
cities, the places flourishing in a long peace, are shaken with
fear, desolated by slaughter, consumed by rapine, and polluted by
intemperance and lust. I see the massacre or captivity of our
citizens, the rapes of our virgins and matrons. ^129 In this
extremity (he interrogates a friend) how must the Sicilians act?
By the unanimous election of a king of valor and experience,
Sicily and Calabria might yet be preserved; ^130 for in the
levity of the Apulians, ever eager for new revolutions, I can
repose neither confidence nor hope. ^131 Should Calabria be lost,
the lofty towers, the numerous youth, and the naval strength, of
Messina, ^132 might guard the passage against a foreign invader.
If the savage Germans coalesce with the pirates of Messina; if
they destroy with fire the fruitful region, so often wasted by
the fires of Mount Aetna, ^133 what resource will be left for the
interior parts of the island, these noble cities which should
never be violated by the hostile footsteps of a Barbarian? ^134
Catana has again been overwhelmed by an earthquake: the ancient
virtue of Syracuse expires in poverty and solitude; ^135 but
Palermo is still crowned with a diadem, and her triple walls
enclose the active multitudes of Christians and Saracens. If the
two nations, under one king, can unite for their common safety,
they may rush on the Barbarians with invincible arms. But if the
Saracens, fatigued by a repetition of injuries, should now retire
and rebel; if they should occupy the castles of the mountains and
sea-coast, the unfortunate Christians, exposed to a double
attack, and placed as it were between the hammer and the anvil,
must resign themselves to hopeless and inevitable servitude."
^136 We must not forget, that a priest here prefers his country
to his religion; and that the Moslems, whose alliance he seeks,
were still numerous and powerful in the state of Sicily.

[Footnote 126: The Historia Sicula of Hugo Falcandus, which
properly extends from 1154 to 1169, is inserted in the viiith
volume of Muratori's Collection, (tom. vii. p. 259 - 344,) and
preceded by a eloquent preface or epistle, (p. 251 - 258, de
Calamitatibus Siciliae.) Falcandus has been styled the Tacitus of
Sicily; and, after a just, but immense, abatement, from the ist
to the xiith century, from a senator to a monk, I would not strip
him of his title: his narrative is rapid and perspicuous, his
style bold and elegant, his observation keen; he had studied
mankind, and feels like a man. I can only regret the narrow and
barren field on which his labors have been cast.]

[Footnote 127: The laborious Benedictines (l'Art de verifier les
Dates, p. 896) are of opinion, that the true name of Falcandus is
Fulcandus, or Foucault. According to them, Hugues Foucalt, a
Frenchman by birth, and at length abbot of St. Denys, had
followed into Sicily his patron Stephen de la Perche, uncle to
the mother of William II., archbishop of Palermo, and great
chancellor of the kingdom. Yet Falcandus has all the feelings of
a Sicilian; and the title of Alumnus (which he bestows on
himself) appears to indicate that he was born, or at least
educated, in the island.]

[Footnote 128: Falcand. p. 303. Richard de St. Germano begins
his history from the death and praises of William II. After some
unmeaning epithets, he thus continues: Legis et justitiae cultus
tempore suo vigebat in regno; sua erat quilibet sorte contentus;
(were they mortals?) abique pax, ubique securitas, nec latronum
metuebat viator insidias, nec maris nauta offendicula piratarum,
(Script. Rerum Ital. tom. vii p 939.)]

[Footnote 129: Constantia, primis a cunabulis in deliciarun
tuarum affluentia diutius educata, tuisque institutis, doctrinus
et moribus informata, tandem opibus tuis Barbaros delatura
discessit: et nunc cum imgentibus copiis revertitur, ut
pulcherrima nutricis ornamenta barbarica foeditate contaminet
.... Intuari mihi jam videor turbulentas bar barorum acies ....
civitates opulentas et loca diuturna pace florentia, metu
concutere, caede vastare, rapinis atterere, et foedare luxuria
hinc cives aut gladiis intercepti, aut servitute depressi,
virgines constupratae, matronae, &c.]

[Footnote 130: Certe si regem non dubiae virtutis elegerint, nec
a Saracenis Christiani dissentiant, poterit rex creatus rebus
licet quasi desperatis et perditis subvenire, et incursus
hostium, si prudenter egerit, propulsare.]

[Footnote 131: In Apulis, qui, semper novitate gaudentes, novarum
rerum studiis aguntur, nihil arbitror spei aut fiduciae

[Footnote 132: Si civium tuorum virtutem et audaciam attendas,
.... muriorum etiam ambitum densis turribus circumseptum.]

[Footnote 133: Cum erudelitate piratica Theutonum confligat
atrocitas, et inter aucbustos lapides, et Aethnae flagrant's
incendia, &c.]

[Footnote 134: Eam partem, quam nobilissimarum civitatum fulgor
illustrat, quae et toti regno singulari meruit privilegio
praeminere, nefarium esset .... vel barbarorum ingressu pollui.
I wish to transcribe his florid, but curious, description, of the
palace, city, and luxuriant plain of Palermo.]

[Footnote 135: Vires non suppetunt, et conatus tuos tam inopia
civium, quam paucitas bellatorum elidunt.]

[Footnote 136: The Normans and Sicilians appear to be

The hopes, or at least the wishes, of Falcandus were at
first gratified by the free and unanimous election of Tancred,
the grandson of the first king, whose birth was illegitimate, but
whose civil and military virtues shone without a blemish. During
four years, the term of his life and reign, he stood in arms on
the farthest verge of the Apulian frontier, against the powers of
Germany; and the restitution of a royal captive, of Constantia
herself, without injury or ransom, may appear to surpass the most
liberal measure of policy or reason. After his decease, the
kingdom of his widow and infant son fell without a struggle; and
Henry pursued his victorious march from Capua to Palermo. The
political balance of Italy was destroyed by his success; and if
the pope and the free cities had consulted their obvious and real
interest, they would have combined the powers of earth and heaven
to prevent the dangerous union of the German empire with the
kingdom of Sicily. But the subtle policy, for which the Vatican
has so often been praised or arraigned, was on this occasion
blind and inactive; and if it were true that Celestine the Third
had kicked away the Imperial crown from the head of the prostrate
Henry, ^137 such an act of impotent pride could serve only to
cancel an obligation and provoke an enemy. The Genoese, who
enjoyed a beneficial trade and establishment in Sicily, listened
to the promise of his boundless gratitude and speedy departure:
^138 their fleet commanded the straits of Messina, and opened the
harbor of Palermo; and the first act of his government was to
abolish the privileges, and to seize the property, of these
imprudent allies. The last hope of Falcandus was defeated by the
discord of the Christians and Mahometans: they fought in the
capital; several thousands of the latter were slain; but their
surviving brethren fortified the mountains, and disturbed above
thirty years the peace of the island. By the policy of Frederic
the Second, sixty thousand Saracens were transplanted to Nocera
in Apulia. In their wars against the Roman church, the emperor
and his son Mainfroy were strengthened and disgraced by the
service of the enemies of Christ; and this national colony
maintained their religion and manners in the heart of Italy, till
they were extirpated, at the end of the thirteenth century, by
the zeal and revenge of the house of Anjou. ^139 All the
calamities which the prophetic orator had deplored were surpassed
by the cruelty and avarice of the German conqueror. He violated
the royal sepulchres, ^* and explored the secret treasures of the
palace, Palermo, and the whole kingdom: the pearls and jewels,
however precious, might be easily removed; but one hundred and
sixty horses were laden with the gold and silver of Sicily. ^140
The young king, his mother and sisters, and the nobles of both
sexes, were separately confined in the fortresses of the Alps;
and, on the slightest rumor of rebellion, the captives were
deprived of life, of their eyes, or of the hope of posterity.
Constantia herself was touched with sympathy for the miseries of
her country; and the heiress of the Norman line might struggle to
check her despotic husband, and to save the patrimony of her
new-born son, of an emperor so famous in the next age under the
name of Frederic the Second. Ten years after this revolution,
the French monarchs annexed to their crown the duchy of Normandy:
the sceptre of her ancient dukes had been transmitted, by a
granddaughter of William the Conqueror, to the house of
Plantagenet; and the adventurous Normans, who had raised so many
trophies in France, England, and Ireland, in Apulia, Sicily, and
the East, were lost, either in victory or servitude, among the
vanquished nations.

[Footnote 137: The testimony of an Englishman, of Roger de
Hoveden, (p. 689,) will lightly weigh against the silence of
German and Italian history, (Muratori, Annali d' Italia, tom. x.
p. 156.) The priests and pilgrims, who returned from Rome,
exalted, by every tale, the omnipotence of the holy father.]

[Footnote 138: Ego enim in eo cum Teutonicis manere non debeo,
(Caffari, Annal. Genuenses, in Muratori, Script. Rerum
Italicarum, tom vi. p. 367, 368.)]

[Footnote 139: For the Saracens of Sicily and Nocera, see the
Annals of Muratori, (tom. x. p. 149, and A.D. 1223, 1247,)
Giannone, (tom ii. p. 385,) and of the originals, in Muratori's
Collection, Richard de St. Germano, (tom. vii. p. 996,) Matteo
Spinelli de Giovenazzo, (tom. vii. p. 1064,) Nicholas de
Jamsilla, (tom. x. p. 494,) and Matreo Villani, (tom. xiv l. vii.
p. 103.) The last of these insinuates that, in reducing the
Saracens of Nocera, Charles II. of Anjou employed rather artifice
than violence.]

[Footnote *: It is remarkable that at the same time the tombs of
the Roman emperors, even of Constantine himself, were violated
and ransacked by their degenerate successor Alexius Comnenus, in
order to enable him to pay the "German" tribute exacted by the
menaces of the emperor Henry. See the end of the first book of
the Life of Alexius, in Nicetas, p. 632, edit. - M.]

[Footnote 140: Muratori quotes a passage from Arnold of Lubec,
(l. iv. c. 20:) Reperit thesauros absconditos, et omnem lapidum
pretiosorum et gemmarum gloriam, ita ut oneratis 160 somariis,
gloriose ad terram suam redierit. Roger de Hoveden, who mentions
the violation of the royal tombs and corpses, computes the spoil
of Salerno at 200,000 ounces of gold, (p. 746.) On these
occasions, I am almost tempted to exclaim with the listening maid
in La Fontaine, "Je voudrois bien avoir ce qui manque."]

Chapter LVII: The Turks.

Part I.

The Turks Of The House Of Seljuk. - Their Revolt Against
Mahmud Conqueror Of Hindostan. - Togrul Subdues 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 was 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 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, ^2 who broke,
by his revolt, the bonds of political slavery. 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, ^3 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 ^4 was first invented; and his kingdom was
enlarged from Transoxiana to the neighborhood of Ispahan, from
the shores of the Caspian to the mouth of the Indus. But the
principal 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 of his twelve
expeditions. Never was the Mussulman hero dismayed by the
inclemency of the seasons, the height of the mountains, the
breadth of the rivers, the barrenness of the desert, the
multitudes of the enemy, or the formidable array of their
elephants of war. ^5 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, ^6 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 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. ^7 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 presume 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. "Your
reasons," replied the sultan, "are specious and strong; but never
in the eyes of posterity shall Mahmud appear as a merchant of
idols." ^* He repeated his blows, and a treasure of pearls and
rubies, concealed in the belly of the statue, explained in some
degree the devout prodigality of the Brahmins. 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

[Footnote 1: I am indebted for his character and history to
D'Herbelot, (Bibliotheque Orientale, Mahmud, p. 533 - 537,) M. De
Guignes, (Histoire des Huns, tom. iii. p. 155 - 173,) and our
countryman Colonel Alexander Dow, (vol. i. p. 23 - 83.) In the
two first volumes of his History of Hindostan, he styles himself
the translator of the Persian Ferishta; but in his florid text,
it is not easy to distinguish the version and the original.

Note: The European reader now possesses a more accurate
version of Ferishta, that of Col. Briggs. Of Col. Dow's work,
Col. Briggs observes, "that the author's name will be handed down
to posterity as one of the earliest and most indefatigable of our
Oriental scholars. Instead of confining himself, however, to
mere translation, he has filled his work with his own
observations, which have been so embodied in the text that Gibbon
declares it impossible to distinguish the translator from the
original author." Preface p. vii. - M.]

[Footnote 2: The dynasty of the Samanides 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, tom. i. p.
404 - 406.) They were followed by the Gaznevides, A.D. 999 -
1183, (see tom. i. p. 239, 240.) His divisions of nations often
disturbs the series of time and place.]

[Footnote 3: Gaznah hortos non habet: est emporium et domicilium
mercaturae Indicae. Abulfedae Geograph. Reiske, tab. xxiii. p.
349. D'Herbelot, p. 364. It has not been visited by any modern

[Footnote 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 by the Byzantine
writers of the eleventh century; and the name (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 Egypt. 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, &c., 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, tom.
i. p. 246.)]

[Footnote 5: 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.

Note: 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) for khudung,
(arrow.) But no Persian or Arabic history speaks 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.]

[Footnote 6: Kinnouge, or Canouge, (the old Palimbothra) is
marked in latitude 27 Degrees 3 Minutes, longitude 80 Degrees 13
Minutes. See D'Anville, (Antiquite de l'Inde, p. 60 - 62,)
corrected by the local knowledge of Major Rennel (in his
excellent Memoir on his Map of Hindostan, p. 37 - 43: ) 300
jewellers, 30,000 shops for the arreca nut, 60,000 bands of
musicians, &c. (Abulfed. Geograph. tab. xv. p. 274. Dow, vol. i.
p. 16,) will allow an ample deduction.

Note: Mr. Wilson (Hindu Drama, vol. iii. p. 12) and Schlegel
(Indische Bibliothek, vol. ii. p. 394) concur in identifying
Palimbothra with the Patalipara of the Indians; the Patna of the
moderns. - M.]

[Footnote 7: The idolaters of Europe, says Ferishta, (Dow, vol.
i. p. 66.) Consult Abulfeda, (p. 272,) and Rennel's Map of

[Footnote *: 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 millions sterling; but this was a
hundred-fold the ransom offered by the Brahmins. Price, vol. ii.
p. 290. - M.]

[Footnote *: Rather than the idol broker, he chose to be called
Mahmud the idol breaker. Price, vol. ii. p. 289 - M]

From the paths of blood (and such is the history of nations)
I cannot refuse to turn aside to gather some flowers of science
or virtue. The name of Mahmud the Gaznevide is still venerable 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. "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 the
dynasty of the Bowides, the sovereigns of the western Persia: he
was disarmed by an epistle of the sultana mother, and delayed his
invasion till the manhood of her son. ^8 "During the life of my
husband," said the artful regent, "I was ever apprehensive of
your ambition: he was a prince and a soldier worthy of your arms.

He is now no more his sceptre has passed to a woman and a child,
and you dare not attack their infancy and weakness. How
inglorious would be your conquest, how shameful your defeat! and
yet the event of war is in the hand of the Almighty." Avarice was
the only defect that tarnished the illustrious character of
Mahmud; and never has that passion been more richly satiated. ^*
The Orientals exceed the measure of credibility in the account of
millions of gold and silver, such as the avidity of man has never
accumulated; in the magnitude of pearls, diamonds, and rubies,
such as have never been produced by the workmanship of nature. ^9
Yet the soil of Hindostan is impregnated with precious minerals:
her trade, in every age, has attracted the gold and silver of the
world; and her virgin spoils were rifled by the first of the
Mahometan conquerors. His behavior, in the last days of his
life, evinces the vanity of these possessions, so laboriously
won, so dangerously held, and so inevitably lost. He surveyed
the vast and various chambers of the treasury of Gazna, burst
into tears, and again closed the doors, without bestowing any
portion of the wealth which he could no longer hope to preserve.
The following day he reviewed the state of his military force;
one hundred thousand foot, fifty-five thousand horse, and
thirteen hundred elephants of battle. ^10 He again wept the
instability of human greatness; and his grief was imbittered by
the hostile progress of the Turkmans, whom he had introduced into
the heart of his Persian kingdom.

[Footnote 8: D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 527. Yet
these letters apothegms, &c., are rarely the language of the
heart, or the motives of public action.]

[Footnote *: Compare Price, vol. ii. p. 295. - M]

[Footnote 9: For instance, a ruby of four hundred and fifty
miskals, (Dow, vol. i. p. 53,) or six pounds three ounces: the
largest in the treasury of Delhi weighed seventeen miskals,
(Voyages de Tavernier, partie ii. p. 280.) It is true, that in
the East all colored stones are calied rubies, (p. 355,) and that
Tavernier saw three larger and more precious among the jewels de
notre grand roi, le plus puissant et plus magnifique de tous les
rois de la terre, (p. 376.)]

[Footnote 10: Dow, vol. i. p. 65. The sovereign of Kinoge is
said to have possessed 2500 elephants, (Abulfed. Geograph. tab.
xv. p. 274.) From these Indian stories, the reader may correct a
note in my first volume, (p. 245;) or from that note he may
correct these stories.]

In the modern depopulation of Asia, the regular operation of
government and agriculture is confined to the neighborhood of
cities; and the distant country is abandoned to the pastoral
tribes of Arabs, Curds, and Turkmans. ^11 Of the last-mentioned
people, two considerable branches extend on either side of the
Caspian Sea: the western colony can muster forty thousand
soldiers; the eastern, less obvious to the traveller, but more
strong and populous, has increased to the number of one hundred
thousand families. In the midst of civilized nations, they
preserve the manners of the Scythian desert, remove their
encampments with a change of seasons, and feed their cattle among
the ruins of palaces and temples. Their flocks and herds are
their only riches; their tents, either black or white, according
to the color of the banner, are covered with felt, and of a
circular form; their winter apparel is a sheep-skin; a robe of
cloth or cotton their summer garment: the features of the men are
harsh and ferocious; the countenance of their women is soft and
pleasing. Their wandering life maintains the spirit and exercise
of arms; they fight on horseback; and their courage is displayed
in frequent contests with each other and with their neighbors.
For the license of pasture they pay a slight tribute to the
sovereign of the land; but the domestic jurisdiction is in the
hands of the chiefs and elders. The first emigration of the
Eastern Turkmans, the most ancient of the race, may be ascribed
to the tenth century of the Christian aera. ^12 In the decline of
the caliphs, and the weakness of their lieutenants, the barrier
of the Jaxartes was often violated; in each invasion, after the
victory or retreat of their countrymen, some wandering tribe,
embracing the Mahometan faith, obtained a free encampment in the
spacious plains and pleasant climate of Transoxiana and Carizme.
The Turkish slaves who aspired to the throne encouraged these
emigrations which recruited their armies, awed their subjects and
rivals, and protected the frontier against the wilder natives of
Turkestan; and this policy was abused by Mahmud the Gaznevide
beyond the example of former times. He was admonished of his
error by the chief of the race of Seljuk, who dwelt in the
territory of Bochara. The sultan had inquired what supply of men
he could furnish for military service. "If you send," replied
Ismael, "one of these arrows into our camp, fifty thousand of
your servants will mount on horseback." - "And if that number,"
continued Mahmud, "should not be sufficient?" - "Send this second
arrow to the horde of Balik, and you will find fifty thousand
more." - "But," said the Gaznevide, dissembling his anxiety, "if
I should stand in need of the whole force of your kindred
tribes?" - "Despatch my bow," was the last reply of Ismael, "and
as it is circulated around, the summons will be obeyed by two
hundred thousand horse." The apprehension of such formidable
friendship induced Mahmud to transport the most obnoxious tribes
into the heart of Chorasan, where they would be separated from
their brethren of the River Oxus, and enclosed on all sides by
the walls of obedient cities. But the face of the country was an
object of temptation rather than terror; and the vigor of
government was relaxed by the absence and death of the sultan of
Gazna. The shepherds were converted into robbers; the bands of
robbers were collected into an army of conquerors: as far as
Ispahan and the Tigris, Persia was afflicted by their predatory
inroads; and the Turkmans were not ashamed or afraid to measure
their courage and numbers with the proudest sovereigns of Asia.
Massoud, the son and successor of Mahmud, had too long neglected
the advice of his wisest Omrahs. "Your enemies," they repeatedly
urged, "were in their origin a swarm of ants; they are now little
snakes; and, unless they be instantly crushed, they will acquire
the venom and magnitude of serpents." After some alternatives of
truce and hostility, after the repulse or partial success of his
lieutenants, the sultan marched in person against the Turkmans,
who attacked him on all sides with barbarous shouts and irregular
onset. "Massoud," says the Persian historian, ^13 "plunged singly
to oppose the torrent of gleaming arms, exhibiting such acts of
gigantic force and valor as never king had before displayed. A
few of his friends, roused by his words and actions, and that
innate honor which inspires the brave, seconded their lord so
well, that wheresoever he turned his fatal sword, the enemies
were mowed down, or retreated before him. But now, when victory
seemed to blow on his standard, misfortune was active behind it;
for when he looked round, be beheld almost his whole army,
excepting that body he commanded in person, devouring the paths
of flight." The Gaznevide was abandoned by the cowardice or
treachery of some generals of Turkish race; and this memorable
day of Zendecan ^14 founded in Persia the dynasty of the shepherd
kings. ^15

[Footnote 11: See a just and natural picture of these pastoral
manners, in the history of William archbishop of Tyre, (l. i. c.
vii. in the Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 633, 634,) and a valuable
note by the editor of the Histoire Genealogique des Tatars, p.
535 - 538.]

[Footnote 12: The first emigration of the Turkmans, and doubtful
origin of the Seljukians, may be traced in the laborious History
of the Huns, by M. De Guignes, (tom. i. Tables Chronologiques, l.
v. tom. iii. l. vii. ix. x.) and the Bibliotheque Orientale, of
D'Herbelot, (p. 799 - 802, 897 - 901,) Elmacin, (Hist. Saracen.
p. 321 - 333,) and Abulpharagius, (Dynast. p. 221, 222.)]

[Footnote 13: Dow, Hist. of Hindostan, vol. i. p. 89, 95 - 98. I
have copied this passage as a specimen of the Persian manner; but
I suspect that, by some odd fatality, the style of Ferishta has
been improved by that of Ossian.

Note: Gibbon's conjecture was well founded. Compare the
more sober and genuine version of Col. Briggs, vol. i. p. 110. -

[Footnote 14: The Zendekan of D'Herbelot, (p. 1028,) the Dindaka
of Dow (vol. i. p. 97,) is probably the Dandanekan of Abulfeda,
(Geograph. p. 345, Reiske,) a small town of Chorasan, two days'
journey from Maru, and renowned through the East for the
production and manufacture of cotton.]

[Footnote 15: The Byzantine historians (Cedrenus, tom. ii. p.
766, 766, Zonaras tom. ii. p. 255, Nicephorus Bryennius, p. 21)
have confounded, in this revolution, the truth of time and place,
of names and persons, of causes and events. The ignorance and
errors of these Greeks (which I shall not stop to unravel) may
inspire some distrust of the story of Cyaxares and Cyrus, as it
is told by their most eloquent predecessor.]

The victorious Turkmans immediately proceeded to the
election of a king; and, if the probable tale of a Latin
historian ^16 deserves any credit, they determined by lot the
choice of their new master. A number of arrows were successively
inscribed with the name of a tribe, a family, and a candidate;
they were drawn from the bundle by the hand of a child; and the
important prize was obtained by Togrul Beg, the son of Michael
the son of Seljuk, whose surname was immortalized in the
greatness of his posterity. The sultan Mahmud, who valued
himself on his skill in national genealogy, professed his
ignorance of the family of Seljuk; yet the father of that race
appears to have been a chief of power and renown. ^17 For a
daring intrusion into the harem of his prince. Seljuk was
banished from Turkestan: with a numerous tribe of his friends and
vassals, he passed the Jaxartes, encamped in the neighborhood of
Samarcand, embraced the religion of Mahomet, and acquired the
crown of martyrdom in a war against the infidels. His age, of a
hundred and seven years, surpassed the life of his son, and
Seljuk adopted the care of his two grandsons, Togrul and Jaafar;
the eldest of whom, at the age of forty-five, was invested with
the title of Sultan, in the royal city of Nishabur. The blind
determination of chance was justified by the virtues of the
successful candidate. It would be superfluous to praise the
valor of a Turk; and the ambition of Togrul ^18 was equal to his
valor. By his arms, the Gasnevides were expelled from the
eastern kingdoms of Persia, and gradually driven to the banks of
the Indus, in search of a softer and more wealthy conquest. In
the West he annihilated the dynasty of the Bowides; and the
sceptre of Irak passed from the Persian to the Turkish nation.
The princes who had felt, or who feared, the Seljukian arrows,
bowed their heads in the dust; by the conquest of Aderbijan, or
Media, he approached the Roman confines; and the shepherd
presumed to despatch an ambassador, or herald, to demand the
tribute and obedience of the emperor of Constantinople. ^19 In
his own dominions, Togrul was the father of his soldiers and
people; by a firm and equal administration, Persia was relieved
from the evils of anarchy; and the same hands which had been
imbrued in blood became the guardians of justice and the public
peace. The more rustic, perhaps the wisest, portion of the
Turkmans ^20 continued to dwell in the tents of their ancestors;
and, from the Oxus to the Euphrates, these military colonies were
protected and propagated by their native princes. But the Turks
of the court and city were refined by business and softened by
pleasure: they imitated the dress, language, and manners of
Persia; and the royal palaces of Nishabur and Rei displayed the
order and magnificence of a great monarchy. The most deserving
of the Arabians and Persians were promoted to the honors of the
state; and the whole body of the Turkish nation embraced, with
fervor and sincerity, the religion of Mahomet. The northern
swarms of Barbarians, who overspread both Europe and Asia, have
been irreconcilably separated by the consequences of a similar
conduct. Among the Moslems, as among the Christians, their vague
and local traditions have yielded to the reason and authority of
the prevailing system, to the fame of antiquity, and the consent
of nations. But the triumph of the Koran is more pure and
meritorious, as it was not assisted by any visible splendor of
worship which might allure the Pagans by some resemblance of
idolatry. The first of the Seljukian sultans was conspicuous by
his zeal and faith: each day he repeated the five prayers which
are enjoined to the true believers; of each week, the two first
days were consecrated by an extraordinary fast; and in every city
a mosch was completed, before Togrul presumed to lay the
foundations of a palace. ^21

[Footnote 16: Willerm. Tyr. l. i. c. 7, p. 633. The divination
by arrows is ancient and famous in the East.]

[Footnote 17: D'Herbelot, p. 801. Yet after the fortune of his
posterity, Seljuk became the thirty-fourth in lineal descent from
the great Afrasiab, emperor of Touran, (p. 800.) The Tartar
pedigree of the house of Zingis gave a different cast to flattery
and fable; and the historian Mirkhond derives the Seljukides from
Alankavah, the virgin mother, (p. 801, col. 2.) If they be the
same as the Zalzuts of Abulghazi Bahadur Kahn, (Hist.
Genealogique, p. 148,) we quote in their favor the most weighty
evidence of a Tartar prince himself, the descendant of Zingis,
Alankavah, or Alancu, and Oguz Khan.]

[Footnote 18: By a slight corruption, Togrul Beg is the
Tangroli-pix of the Greeks. His reign and character are
faithfully exhibited by D'Herbelot (Bibliotheque Orientale, p.
1027, 1028) and De Guignes, (Hist. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 189 -

[Footnote 19: Cedrenus, tom. ii. p. 774, 775. Zonaras, tom. ii.
p. 257. With their usual knowledge of Oriental affairs, they
describe the ambassador as a sherif, who, like the syncellus of
the patriarch, was the vicar and successor of the caliph.]

[Footnote 20: From William of Tyre I have borrowed this
distinction of Turks and Turkmans, which at least is popular and
convenient. The names are the same, and the addition of man is
of the same import in the Persic and Teutonic idioms. Few
critics will adopt the etymology of James de Vitry, (Hist.
Hierosol. l. i. c. 11 p. 1061,) of Turcomani, quesi Turci et
Comani, a mixed people.]

[Footnote 21: Hist. Generale des Huns, tom. iii. p. 165, 166,
167. M. DeGognes Abulmahasen, an historian of Egypt.]

With the belief of the Koran, the son of Seljuk imbibed a
lively reverence for the successor of the prophet. But that
sublime character was still disputed by the caliphs of Bagdad and
Egypt, and each of the rivals was solicitous to prove his title
in the judgment of the strong, though illiterate Barbarians.
Mahmud the Gaznevide had declared himself in favor of the line of
Abbas; and had treated with indignity the robe of honor which was
presented by the Fatimite ambassador. Yet the ungrateful
Hashemite had changed with the change of fortune; he applauded
the victory of Zendecan, and named the Seljukian sultan his
temporal vicegerent over the Moslem world. As Togrul executed
and enlarged this important trust, he was called to the
deliverance of the caliph Cayem, and obeyed the holy summons,
which gave a new kingdom to his arms. ^22 In the palace of
Bagdad, the commander of the faithful still slumbered, a
venerable phantom. His servant or master, the prince of the
Bowides, could no longer protect him from the insolence of meaner
tyrants; and the Euphrates and Tigris were oppressed by the
revolt of the Turkish and Arabian emirs. The presence of a
conqueror was implored as a blessing; and the transient mischiefs
of fire and sword were excused as the sharp but salutary remedies
which alone could restore the health of the republic. At the
head of an irresistible force, the sultan of Persia marched from
Hamadan: the proud were crushed, the prostrate were spared; the
prince of the Bowides disappeared; the heads of the most
obstinate rebels were laid at the feet of Togrul; and he
inflicted a lesson of obedience on the people of Mosul and
Bagdad. After the chastisement of the guilty, and the
restoration of peace, the royal shepherd accepted the reward of
his labors; and a solemn comedy represented the triumph of
religious prejudice over Barbarian power. ^23 The Turkish sultan
embarked on the Tigris, landed at the gate of Racca, and made his
public entry on horseback. At the palace-gate he respectfully
dismounted, and walked on foot, preceded by his emirs without
arms. The caliph was seated behind his black veil: the black
garment of the Abbassides was cast over his shoulders, and he
held in his hand the staff of the apostle of God. The conqueror
of the East kissed the ground, stood some time in a modest
posture, and was led towards the throne by the vizier and
interpreter. After Togrul had seated himself on another throne,
his commission was publicly read, which declared him the temporal
lieutenant of the vicar of the prophet. He was successively
invested with seven robes of honor, and presented with seven
slaves, the natives of the seven climates of the Arabian empire.
His mystic veil was perfumed with musk; two crowns ^* were placed
on his head; two cimeters were girded to his side, as the symbols
of a double reign over the East and West. After this
inauguration, the sultan was prevented from prostrating himself a
second time; but he twice kissed the hand of the commander of the
faithful, and his titles were proclaimed by the voice of heralds
and the applause of the Moslems. In a second visit to Bagdad,
the Seljukian prince again rescued the caliph from his enemies
and devoutly, on foot, led the bridle of his mule from the prison
to the palace. Their alliance was cemented by the marriage of
Togrul's sister with the successor of the prophet. Without
reluctance he had introduced a Turkish virgin into his harem; but
Cayem proudly refused his daughter to the sultan, disdained to
mingle the blood of the Hashemites with the blood of a Scythian
shepherd; and protracted the negotiation many months, till the
gradual diminution of his revenue admonished him that he was
still in the hands of a master. The royal nuptials were followed
by the death of Togrul himself; ^24 ^! as he left no children,
his nephew Alp Arslan succeeded to the title and prerogatives of
sultan; and his name, after that of the caliph, was pronounced in
the public prayers of the Moslems. Yet in this revolution, the
Abbassides acquired a larger measure of liberty and power. On
the throne of Asia, the Turkish monarchs were less jealous of the
domestic administration of Bagdad; and the commanders of the
faithful were relieved from the ignominious vexations to which
they had been exposed by the presence and poverty of the Persian

[Footnote 22: Consult the Bibliotheque Orientale, in the articles
of the Abbassides, Caher, and Caiem, and the Annals of Elmacin
and Abulpharagius.]

[Footnote 23: For this curious ceremony, I am indebted to M. De
Guignes (tom. iii. p. 197, 198,) and that learned author is
obliged to Bondari, who composed in Arabic the history of the
Seljukides, tom. v. p. 365) I am ignorant of his age, country,
and character.]

[Footnote *: According to Von Hammer, "crowns" are incorrect.
They are unknown as a symbol of royalty in the East. V. Hammer,
Osmanische Geschischte, vol. i. p. 567. - M.]

[Footnote 24: Eodem anno (A. H. 455) obiit princeps Togrulbecus
.... rex fuit clemens, prudens, et peritus regnandi, cujus terror
corda mortalium invaserat, ita ut obedirent ei reges atque ad
ipsum scriberent. Elma cin, Hist. Saracen. p. 342, vers. Erpenii.

Note: He died, being 75 years old. V. Hammer. - M.]

Chapter LVII: The Turks.

Part II.

Since the fall of the caliphs, the discord and degeneracy of
the Saracens respected the Asiatic provinces of Rome; which, by
the victories of Nicephorus, Zimisces, and Basil, had been
extended as far as Antioch and the eastern boundaries of Armenia.

Twenty-five years after the death of Basil, his successors were
suddenly assaulted by an unknown race of Barbarians, who united
the Scythian valor with the fanaticism of new proselytes, and the
art and riches of a powerful monarchy. ^25 The myriads of Turkish
horse overspread a frontier of six hundred miles from Tauris to
Arzeroum, and the blood of one hundred and thirty thousand
Christians was a grateful sacrifice to the Arabian prophet. Yet
the arms of Togrul did not make any deep or lasting impression on
the Greek empire. The torrent rolled away from the open country;
the sultan retired without glory or success from the siege of an
Armenian city; the obscure hostilities were continued or
suspended with a vicissitude of events; and the bravery of the
Macedonian legions renewed the fame of the conqueror of Asia. ^26
The name of Alp Arslan, the valiant lion, is expressive of the
popular idea of the perfection of man; and the successor of
Togrul displayed the fierceness and generosity of the royal
animal. He passed the Euphrates at the head of the Turkish
cavalry, and entered Caesarea, the metropolis of Cappadocia, to
which he had been attracted by the fame and wealth of the temple
of St. Basil. The solid structure resisted the destroyer: but he
carried away the doors of the shrine incrusted with gold and
pearls, and profaned the relics of the tutelar saint, whose
mortal frailties were now covered by the venerable rust of
antiquity. The final conquest of Armenia and Georgia was
achieved by Alp Arslan. In Armenia, the title of a kingdom, and
the spirit of a nation, were annihilated: the artificial
fortifications were yielded by the mercenaries of Constantinople;
by strangers without faith, veterans without pay or arms, and
recruits without experience or discipline. The loss of this
important frontier was the news of a day; and the Catholics were
neither surprised nor displeased, that a people so deeply
infected with the Nestorian and Eutychian errors had been
delivered by Christ and his mother into the hands of the
infidels. ^27 The woods and valleys of Mount Caucasus were more
strenuously defended by the native Georgians ^28 or Iberians; but
the Turkish sultan and his son Malek were indefatigable in this
holy war: their captives were compelled to promise a spiritual,
as well as temporal, obedience; and, instead of their collars and
bracelets, an iron horseshoe, a badge of ignominy, was imposed on
the infidels who still adhered to the worship of their fathers.
The change, however, was not sincere or universal; and, through
ages of servitude, the Georgians have maintained the succession
of their princes and bishops. But a race of men, whom nature has
cast in her most perfect mould, is degraded by poverty,
ignorance, and vice; their profession, and still more their
practice, of Christianity is an empty name; and if they have
emerged from heresy, it is only because they are too illiterate
to remember a metaphysical creed. ^29

[Footnote 25: For these wars of the Turks and Romans, see in
general the Byzantine histories of Zonaras and Cedrenus,
Scylitzes the continuator of Cedrenus, and Nicephorus Bryennius
Caesar. The two first of these were monks, the two latter
statesmen; yet such were the Greeks, that the difference of style
and character is scarcely discernible. For the Orientals, I draw
as usuul on the wealth of D'Herbelot (see titles of the first
Seljukides) and the accuracy of De Guignes, (Hist. des Huns, tom.
iii. l. x.)]

[Footnote 26: Cedrenus, tom. ii. p. 791. The credulity of the
vulgar is always probable; and the Turks had learned from the
Arabs the history or legend of Escander Dulcarnein, (D'Herbelot,
p. 213 &c.)]

[Footnote 27: (Scylitzes, ad calcem Cedreni, tom. ii. p. 834,
whose ambiguous construction shall not tempt me to suspect that
he confounded the Nestorian and Monophysite heresies,) He
familiarly talks of the qualities, as I should apprehend, very
foreign to the perfect Being; but his bigotry is forced to
confess that they were soon afterwards discharged on the orthodox

[Footnote 28: Had the name of Georgians been known to the Greeks,
(Stritter, Memoriae Byzant. tom. iv. Iberica,) I should derive it
from their agriculture, (l. iv. c. 18, p. 289, edit. Wesseling.)
But it appears only since the crusades, among the Latins (Jac. a
Vitriaco, Hist. Hierosol. c. 79, p. 1095) and Orientals,
(D'Herbelot, p. 407,) and was devoutly borrowed from St. George
of Cappadocia.]

[Footnote 29: Mosheim, Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 632. See, in
Chardin's Travels, (tom. i. p. 171 - 174,) the manners and
religion of this handsome but worthless nation. See the pedigree
of their princes from Adam to the present century, in the tables
of M. De Guignes, (tom. i. p. 433 - 438.)]

The false or genuine magnanimity of Mahmud the Gaznevide was
not imitated by Alp Arslan; and he attacked without scruple the
Greek empress Eudocia and her children. His alarming progress
compelled her to give herself and her sceptre to the hand of a
soldier; and Romanus Diogenes was invested with the Imperial
purple. His patriotism, and perhaps his pride, urged him from
Constantinople within two months after his accession; and the
next campaign he most scandalously took the field during the holy
festival of Easter. In the palace, Diogenes was no more than the
husband of Eudocia: in the camp, he was the emperor of the
Romans, and he sustained that character with feeble resources and
invincible courage. By his spirit and success the soldiers were
taught to act, the subjects to hope, and the enemies to fear.
The Turks had penetrated into the heart of Phrygia; but the
sultan himself had resigned to his emirs the prosecution of the
war; and their numerous detachments were scattered over Asia in
the security of conquest. Laden with spoil, and careless of
discipline, they were separately surprised and defeated by the
Greeks: the activity of the emperor seemed to multiply his
presence: and while they heard of his expedition to Antioch, the
enemy felt his sword on the hills of Trebizond. In three
laborious campaigns, the Turks were driven beyond the Euphrates;
in the fourth and last, Romanus undertook the deliverance of
Armenia. The desolation of the land obliged him to transport a
supply of two months' provisions; and he marched forwards to the
siege of Malazkerd, ^30 an important fortress in the midway
between the modern cities of Arzeroum and Van. His army
amounted, at the least, to one hundred thousand men. The troops
of Constantinople were reenforced by the disorderly multitudes of
Phrygia and Cappadocia; but the real strength was composed of the
subjects and allies of Europe, the legions of Macedonia, and the
squadrons of Bulgaria; the Uzi, a Moldavian horde, who were
themselves of the Turkish race; ^31 and, above all, the mercenary
and adventurous bands of French and Normans. Their lances were
commanded by the valiant Ursel of Baliol, the kinsman or father
of the Scottish kings, ^32 and were allowed to excel in the
exercise of arms, or, according to the Greek style, in the
practice of the Pyrrhic dance.

[Footnote 30: This city is mentioned by Constantine
Porphyrogenitus, (de Administrat. Imperii, l. ii. c. 44, p. 119,)
and the Byzantines of the xith century, under the name of
Mantzikierte, and by some is confounded with Theodosiopolis; but
Delisle, in his notes and maps, has very properly fixed the
situation. Abulfeda (Geograph. tab. xviii. p. 310) describes
Malasgerd as a small town, built with black stone, supplied with
water, without trees, &c.]

[Footnote 31: The Uzi of the Greeks (Stritter, Memor. Byzant.
tom. iii. p. 923 - 948) are the Gozz of the Orientals, (Hist. des
Huns, tom. ii. p. 522, tom. iii. p. 133, &c.) They appear on the
Danube and the Volga, and Armenia, Syria, and Chorasan, and the
name seems to have been extended to the whole Turkman race.]

[Footnote 32: Urselius (the Russelius of Zonaras) is
distinguished by Jeffrey Malaterra (l. i. c. 33) among the Norman
conquerors of Sicily, and with the surname of Baliol: and our own
historians will tell how the Baliols came from Normandy to
Durham, built Bernard's castle on the Tees, married an heiress of
Scotland, &c. Ducange (Not. ad Nicephor. Bryennium, l. ii. No.
4) has labored the subject in honor of the president de Bailleul,
whose father had exchanged the sword for the gown.]

On the report of this bold invasion, which threatened his
hereditary dominions, Alp Arslan flew to the scene of action at
the head of forty thousand horse. ^33 His rapid and skilful
evolutions distressed and dismayed the superior numbers of the
Greeks; and in the defeat of Basilacius, one of their principal
generals, he displayed the first example of his valor and
clemency. The imprudence of the emperor had separated his forces
after the reduction of Malazkerd. It was in vain that he
attempted to recall the mercenary Franks: they refused to obey
his summons; he disdained to await their return: the desertion of
the Uzi filled his mind with anxiety and suspicion; and against
the most salutary advice he rushed forwards to speedy and
decisive action. Had he listened to the fair proposals of the
sultan, Romanus might have secured a retreat, perhaps a peace;
but in these overtures he supposed the fear or weakness of the
enemy, and his answer was conceived in the tone of insult and
defiance. "If the Barbarian wishes for peace, let him evacuate
the ground which he occupies for the encampment of the Romans,
and surrender his city and palace of Rei as a pledge of his
sincerity." Alp Arslan smiled at the vanity of the demand, but he
wept the death of so many faithful Moslems; and, after a devout
prayer, proclaimed a free permission to all who were desirous of
retiring from the field. With his own hands he tied up his
horse's tail, exchanged his bow and arrows for a mace and
cimeter, clothed himself in a white garment, perfumed his body
with musk, and declared that if he were vanquished, that spot
should be the place of his burial. ^34 The sultan himself had
affected to cast away his missile weapons: but his hopes of
victory were placed in the arrows of the Turkish cavalry, whose
squadrons were loosely distributed in the form of a crescent.
Instead of the successive lines and reserves of the Grecian
tactics, Romulus led his army in a single and solid phalanx, and
pressed with vigor and impatience the artful and yielding
resistance of the Barbarians. In this desultory and fruitless
combat he spent the greater part of a summer's day, till prudence
and fatigue compelled him to return to his camp. But a retreat
is always perilous in the face of an active foe; and no sooner
had the standard been turned to the rear than the phalanx was
broken by the base cowardice, or the baser jealousy, of
Andronicus, a rival prince, who disgraced his birth and the
purple of the Caesars. ^35 The Turkish squadrons poured a cloud
of arrows on this moment of confusion and lassitude; and the
horns of their formidable crescent were closed in the rear of the
Greeks. In the destruction of the army and pillage of the camp,
it would be needless to mention the number of the slain or
captives. The Byzantine writers deplore the loss of an
inestimable pearl: they forgot to mention, that in this fatal day
the Asiatic provinces of Rome were irretrievably sacrificed.

[Footnote 33: Elmacin (p. 343, 344) assigns this probable number,
which is reduced by Abulpharagius to 15,000, (p. 227,) and by
D'Herbelot (p. 102) to 12,000 horse. But the same Elmacin gives
300,000 met to the emperor, of whom Abulpharagius says, Cum
centum hominum millibus, multisque equis et magna pompa
instructus. The Greeks abstain from any definition of numbers.]

[Footnote 34: The Byzantine writers do not speak so distinctly of
the presence of the sultan: he committed his forces to a eunuch,
had retired to a distance, &c. Is it ignorance, or jealousy, or

[Footnote 35: He was the son of Caesar John Ducas, brother of the
emperor Constantine, (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 165.) Nicephorus
Bryennius applauds his virtues and extenuates his faults, (l. i.
p. 30, 38. l. ii. p. 53.) Yet he owns his enmity to Romanus.
Scylitzes speaks more explicitly of his treason.]

As long as a hope survived, Romanus attempted to rally and
save the relics of his army. When the centre, the Imperial
station, was left naked on all sides, and encompassed by the
victorious Turks, he still, with desperate courage, maintained
the fight till the close of day, at the head of the brave and
faithful subjects who adhered to his standard. They fell around
him; his horse was slain; the emperor was wounded; yet he stood
alone and intrepid, till he was oppressed and bound by the
strength of multitudes. The glory of this illustrious prize was
disputed by a slave and a soldier; a slave who had seen him on
the throne of Constantinople, and a soldier whose extreme
deformity had been excused on the promise of some signal service.

Despoiled of his arms, his jewels, and his purple, Romanus spent
a dreary and perilous night on the field of battle, amidst a
disorderly crowd of the meaner Barbarians. In the morning the
royal captive was presented to Alp Arslan, who doubted of his
fortune, till the identity of the person was ascertained by the
report of his ambassadors, and by the more pathetic evidence of
Basilacius, who embraced with tears the feet of his unhappy
sovereign. The successor of Constantine, in a plebeian habit,
was led into the Turkish divan, and commanded to kiss the ground
before the lord of Asia. He reluctantly obeyed; and Alp Arslan,
starting from his throne, is said to have planted his foot on the
neck of the Roman emperor. ^36 But the fact is doubtful; and if,
in this moment of insolence, the sultan complied with the
national custom, the rest of his conduct has extorted the praise
of his bigoted foes, and may afford a lesson to the most
civilized ages. He instantly raised the royal captive from the
ground; and thrice clasping his hand with tender sympathy,
assured him, that his life and dignity should be inviolate in the
hands of a prince who had learned to respect the majesty of his
equals and the vicissitudes of fortune. From the divan, Romanus
was conducted to an adjacent tent, where he was served with pomp
and reverence by the officers of the sultan, who, twice each day,
seated him in the place of honor at his own table. In a free and
familiar conversation of eight days, not a word, not a look, of
insult escaped from the conqueror; but he severely censured the
unworthy subjects who had deserted their valiant prince in the
hour of danger, and gently admonished his antagonist of some
errors which he had committed in the management of the war. In
the preliminaries of negotiation, Alp Arslan asked him what
treatment he expected to receive, and the calm indifference of
the emperor displays the freedom of his mind. "If you are
cruel," said he, "you will take my life; if you listen to pride,
you will drag me at your chariot-wheels; if you consult your
interest, you will accept a ransom, and restore me to my
country." "And what," continued the sultan, "would have been your
own behavior, had fortune smiled on your arms?" The reply of the
Greek betrays a sentiment, which prudence, and even gratitude,
should have taught him to suppress. "Had I vanquished," he
fiercely said, "I would have inflicted on thy body many a
stripe." The Turkish conqueror smiled at the insolence of his
captive observed that the Christian law inculcated the love of
enemies and forgiveness of injuries; and nobly declared, that he
would not imitate an example which he condemned. After mature
deliberation, Alp Arslan dictated the terms of liberty and peace,
a ransom of a million, ^* an annual tribute of three hundred and
sixty thousand pieces of gold, ^37 the marriage of the royal
children, and the deliverance of all the Moslems, who were in the
power of the Greeks. Romanus, with a sigh, subscribed this
treaty, so disgraceful to the majesty of the empire; he was
immediately invested with a Turkish robe of honor; his nobles and
patricians were restored to their sovereign; and the sultan,
after a courteous embrace, dismissed him with rich presents and a
military guard. No sooner did he reach the confines of the
empire, than he was informed that the palace and provinces had
disclaimed their allegiance to a captive: a sum of two hundred
thousand pieces was painfully collected; and the fallen monarch
transmitted this part of his ransom, with a sad confession of his
impotence and disgrace. The generosity, or perhaps the ambition,
of the sultan, prepared to espouse the cause of his ally; but his
designs were prevented by the defeat, imprisonment, and death, of
Romanus Diogenes. ^38

[Footnote 36: This circumstance, which we read and doubt in
Scylitzes and Constantine Manasses, is more prudently omitted by
Nicephorus and Zonaras.]

[Footnote *: Elmacin gives 1,500,000. Wilken, Geschichte der
Kreuz-zuge, vol. l. p. 10. - M.]

[Footnote 37: The ransom and tribute are attested by reason and
the Orientals. The other Greeks are modestly silent; but
Nicephorus Bryennius dares to affirm, that the terms were bad and
that the emperor would have preferred death to a shameful

[Footnote 38: The defeat and captivity of Romanus Diogenes may be
found in John Scylitzes ad calcem Cedreni, tom. ii. p. 835 - 843.

Zonaras, tom. ii. p. 281 - 284. Nicephorus Bryennius, l. i. p.
25 - 32. Glycas, p. 325 - 327. Constantine Manasses, p. 134.
Elmacin, Hist. Saracen. p. 343 344. Abulpharag. Dynast. p. 227.
D'Herbelot, p. 102, 103. D Guignes, tom. iii. p. 207 - 211.
Besides my old acquaintance Elmacin and Abulpharagius, the
historian of the Huns has consulted Abulfeda, and his epitomizer
Benschounah, a Chronicle of the Caliphs, by Abulmahasen of Egypt,
and Novairi of Africa.]

In the treaty of peace, it does not appear that Alp Arslan
extorted any province or city from the captive emperor; and his
revenge was satisfied with the trophies of his victory, and the
spoils of Anatolia, from Antioch to the Black Sea. The fairest
part of Asia was subject to his laws: twelve hundred princes, or
the sons of princes, stood before his throne; and two hundred
thousand soldiers marched under his banners. The sultan disdained
to pursue the fugitive Greeks; but he meditated the more glorious
conquest of Turkestan, the original seat of the house of Seljuk.
He moved from Bagdad to the banks of the Oxus; a bridge was
thrown over the river; and twenty days were consumed in the
passage of his troops. But the progress of the great king was
retarded by the governor of Berzem; and Joseph the Carizmian
presumed to defend his fortress against the powers of the East.
When he was produced a captive in the royal tent, the sultan,
instead of praising his valor, severely reproached his obstinate
folly: and the insolent replies of the rebel provoked a sentence,
that he should be fastened to four stakes, and left to expire in
that painful situation. At this command, the desperate
Carizmian, drawing a dagger, rushed headlong towards the throne:
the guards raised their battle-axes; their zeal was checked by
Alp Arslan, the most skilful archer of the age: he drew his bow,
but his foot slipped, the arrow glanced aside, and he received in
his breast the dagger of Joseph, who was instantly cut in pieces.

The wound was mortal; and the Turkish prince bequeathed a dying
admonition to the pride of kings. "In my youth," said Alp
Arslan, "I was advised by a sage to humble myself before God; to
distrust my own strength; and never to despise the most
contemptible foe. I have neglected these lessons; and my neglect
has been deservedly punished. Yesterday, as from an eminence I
beheld the numbers, the discipline, and the spirit, of my armies,
the earth seemed to tremble under my feet; and I said in my
heart, Surely thou art the king of the world, the greatest and
most invincible of warriors. These armies are no longer mine;
and, in the confidence of my personal strength, I now fall by the
hand of an assassin." ^39 Alp Arslan possessed the virtues of a
Turk and a Mussulman; his voice and stature commanded the
reverence of mankind; his face was shaded with long whiskers; and
his ample turban was fashioned in the shape of a crown. The
remains of the sultan were deposited in the tomb of the Seljukian
dynasty; and the passenger might read and meditate this useful
inscription: ^40 "O ye who have seen the glory of Alp Arslan
exalted to the heavens, repair to Maru, and you will behold it
buried in the dust." The annihilation of the inscription, and the
tomb itself, more forcibly proclaims the instability of human

[Footnote 39: This interesting death is told by D'Herbelot, (p.
103, 104,) and M. De Guignes, (tom. iii. p. 212, 213.) from their
Oriental writers; but neither of them have transfused the spirit
of Elmacin, (Hist. Saracen p. 344, 345.)]

[Footnote 40: A critic of high renown, (the late Dr. Johnson,)
who has severely scrutinized the epitaphs of Pope, might cavil in
this sublime inscription at the words "repair to Maru," since the
reader must already be at Maru before he could peruse the

During the life of Alp Arslan, his eldest son had been
acknowledged as the future sultan of the Turks. On his father's
death the inheritance was disputed by an uncle, a cousin, and a
brother: they drew their cimeters, and assembled their followers;
and the triple victory of Malek Shah ^41 established his own
reputation and the right of primogeniture. In every age, and
more especially in Asia, the thirst of power has inspired the
same passions, and occasioned the same disorders; but, from the
long series of civil war, it would not be easy to extract a
sentiment more pure and magnanimous than is contained in the
saying of the Turkish prince. On the eve of the battle, he
performed his devotions at Thous, before the tomb of the Imam
Riza. As the sultan rose from the ground, he asked his vizier
Nizam, who had knelt beside him, what had been the object of his
secret petition: "That your arms may be crowned with victory,"
was the prudent, and most probably the sincere, answer of the
minister. "For my part," replied the generous Malek, "I implored
the Lord of Hosts that he would take from me my life and crown,
if my brother be more worthy than myself to reign over the
Moslems." The favorable judgment of heaven was ratified by the
caliph; and for the first time, the sacred title of Commander of
the Faithful was communicated to a Barbarian. But this
Barbarian, by his personal merit, and the extent of his empire,
was the greatest prince of his age. After the settlement of
Persia and Syria, he marched at the head of innumerable armies to
achieve the conquest of Turkestan, which had been undertaken by
his father. In his passage of the Oxus, the boatmen, who had
been employed in transporting some troops, complained, that their
payment was assigned on the revenues of Antioch. The sultan
frowned at this preposterous choice; but he miled at the artful
flattery of his vizier. "It was not to postpone their reward,
that I selected those remote places, but to leave a memorial to
posterity, that, under your reign, Antioch and the Oxus were
subject to the same sovereign." But this description of his
limits was unjust and parsimonious: beyond the Oxus, he reduced
to his obedience the cities of Bochara, Carizme, and Samarcand,
and crushed each rebellious slave, or independent savage, who
dared to resist. Malek passed the Sihon or Jaxartes, the last
boundary of Persian civilization: the hordes of Turkestan yielded
to his supremacy: his name was inserted on the coins, and in the
prayers of Cashgar, a Tartar kingdom on the extreme borders of
China. From the Chinese frontier, he stretched his immediate
jurisdiction or feudatory sway to the west and south, as far as
the mountains of Georgia, the neighborhood of Constantinople, the
holy city of Jerusalem, and the spicy groves of Arabia Felix.
Instead of resigning himself to the luxury of his harem, the
shepherd king, both in peace and war, was in action and in the
field. By the perpetual motion of the royal camp, each province
was successively blessed with his presence; and he is said to
have perambulated twelve times the wide extent of his dominions,
which surpassed the Asiatic reign of Cyrus and the caliphs. Of
these expeditions, the most pious and splendid was the pilgrimage
of Mecca: the freedom and safety of the caravans were protected
by his arms; the citizens and pilgrims were enriched by the
profusion of his alms; and the desert was cheered by the places
of relief and refreshment, which he instituted for the use of his
brethren. Hunting was the pleasure, and even the passion, of the
sultan, and his train consisted of forty-seven thousand horses;
but after the massacre of a Turkish chase, for each piece of
game, he bestowed a piece of gold on the poor, a slight
atonement, at the expense of the people, for the cost and
mischief of the amusement of kings. In the peaceful prosperity
of his reign, the cities of Asia were adorned with palaces and
hospitals with moschs and colleges; few departed from his Divan
without reward, and none without justice. The language and
literature of Persia revived under the house of Seljuk; ^42 and
if Malek emulated the liberality of a Turk less potent than
himself, ^43 his palace might resound with the songs of a hundred
poets. The sultan bestowed a more serious and learned care on
the reformation of the calendar, which was effected by a general
assembly of the astronomers of the East. By a law of the
prophet, the Moslems are confined to the irregular course of the
lunar months; in Persia, since the age of Zoroaster, the
revolution of the sun has been known and celebrated as an annual
festival; ^44 but after the fall of the Magian empire, the
intercalation had been neglected; the fractions of minutes and
hours were multiplied into days; and the date of the springs was
removed from the sign of Aries to that of Pisces. The reign of
Malek was illustrated by the Gelalaean aera; and all errors,
either past or future, were corrected by a computation of time,
which surpasses the Julian, and approaches the accuracy of the
Gregorian, style. ^45

[Footnote 41: The Bibliotheque Orientale has given the text of
the reign of Malek, (p. 542, 543, 544, 654, 655;) and the
Histoire Generale des Huns (tom. iii. p. 214 - 224) has added the
usual measure of repetition emendation, and supplement. Without
those two learned Frenchmen I should be blind indeed in the
Eastern world.]

[Footnote 42: See an excellent discourse at the end of Sir
William Jones's History of Nadir Shah, and the articles of the
poets, Amak, Anvari, Raschidi, &c., in the Bibliotheque
Orientale. ]

[Footnote 43: His name was Kheder Khan. Four bags were placed
round his sopha, and as he listened to the song, he cast handfuls
of gold and silver to the poets, (D'Herbelot, p. 107.) All this
may be true; but I do not understand how he could reign in
Transoxiana in the time of Malek Shah, and much less how Kheder
could surpass him in power and pomp. I suspect that the
beginning, not the end, of the xith century is the true aera of
his reign.]

[Footnote 44: See Chardin, Voyages en Perse, tom. ii. p. 235.]

[Footnote 45: The Gelalaean aera (Gelaleddin, Glory of the Faith,
was one of the names or titles of Malek Shah) is fixed to the
xvth of March, A. H. 471, A.D. 1079. Dr. Hyde has produced the
original testimonies of the Persians and Arabians, (de Religione
veterum Persarum, c. 16 p. 200 - 211.)]

In a period when Europe was plunged in the deepest
barbarism, the light and splendor of Asia may be ascribed to the
docility rather than the knowledge of the Turkish conquerors. An
ample share of their wisdom and virtue is due to a Persian
vizier, who ruled the empire under the reigns of Alp Arslan and
his son. Nizam, one of the most illustrious ministers of the
East, was honored by the caliph as an oracle of religion and
science; he was trusted by the sultan as the faithful vicegerent
of his power and justice. After an administration of thirty
years, the fame of the vizier, his wealth, and even his services,
were transformed into crimes. He was overthrown by the insidious
arts of a woman and a rival; and his fall was hastened by a rash
declaration, that his cap and ink-horn, the badges of his office,
were connected by the divine decree with the throne and diadem of
the sultan. At the age of ninety-three years, the venerable
statesman was dismissed by his master, accused by his enemies,
and murdered by a fanatic: ^* the last words of Nizam attested
his innocence, and the remainder of Malek's life was short and
inglorious. From Ispahan, the scene of this disgraceful
transaction, the sultan moved to Bagdad, with the design of
transplanting the caliph, and of fixing his own residence in the
capital of the Moslem world. The feeble successor of Mahomet
obtained a respite of ten days; and before the expiration of the
term, the Barbarian was summoned by the angel of death. His
ambassadors at Constantinople had asked in marriage a Roman
princess; but the proposal was decently eluded; and the daughter
of Alexius, who might herself have been the victim, expresses her
abhorrence of his unnatural conjunction. ^46 The daughter of the
sultan was bestowed on the caliph Moctadi, with the imperious
condition, that, renouncing the society of his wives and
concubines, he should forever confine himself to this honorable

[Footnote *: He was the first great victim of his enemy, Hassan
Sabek, founder of the Assassins. Von Hammer, Geschichte der
Assassinen, p. 95. - M.]

[Footnote 46: She speaks of this Persian royalty. Anna Comnena
was only nine years old at the end of the reign of Malek Shah,
(A.D. 1092,) and when she speaks of his assassination, she
confounds the sultan with the vizier, (Alexias, l. vi. p. 177,

Chapter LVII: The Turks.

Part III.

The greatness and unity of the Turkish empire expired in the
person of Malek Shah. His vacant throne was disputed by his
brother and his four sons; ^! and, after a series of civil wars,
the treaty which reconciled the surviving candidates confirmed a
lasting separation in the Persian dynasty, the eldest and
principal branch of the house of Seljuk. The three younger
dynasties were those of Kerman, of Syria, and of Roum: the first
of these commanded an extensive, though obscure, ^47 dominion on
the shores of the Indian Ocean: ^48 the second expelled the
Arabian princes of Aleppo and Damascus; and the third, our
peculiar care, invaded the Roman provinces of Asia Minor. The
generous policy of Malek contributed to their elevation: he
allowed the princes of his blood, even those whom he had
vanquished in the field, to seek new kingdoms worthy of their
ambition; nor was he displeased that they should draw away the
more ardent spirits, who might have disturbed the tranquillity of
his reign. As the supreme head of his family and nation, the
great sultan of Persia commanded the obedience and tribute of his
royal brethren: the thrones of Kerman and Nice, of Aleppo and
Damascus; the Atabeks, and emirs of Syria and Mesopotamia,
erected their standards under the shadow of his sceptre: ^49 and
the hordes of Turkmans overspread the plains of the Western Asia.

After the death of Malek, the bands of union and subordination
were relaxed and finally dissolved: the indulgence of the house
of Seljuk invested their slaves with the inheritance of kingdoms;
and, in the Oriental style, a crowd of princes arose from the
dust of their feet. ^50

[Footnote !: See Von Hammer, Osmanische Geschichte, vol. i. p.
16. The Seljukian dominions were for a time reunited in the
person of Sandjar, one of the sons of Malek Shah, who ruled "from
Kashgar to Antioch, from the Caspian to the Straits of
Babelmandel." - M.]

[Footnote 47: So obscure, that the industry of M. De Guignes
could only copy (tom. i. p. 244, tom. iii. part i. p. 269, &c.)
the history, or rather list, of the Seljukides of Kerman, in
Bibliotheque Orientale. They were extinguished before the end of
the xiith century.]

[Footnote 48: Tavernier, perhaps the only traveller who has
visited Kerman, describes the capital as a great ruinous village,
twenty-five days' journey from Ispahan, and twenty-seven from
Ormus, in the midst of a fertile country, (Voyages en Turquie et
en Perse, p. 107, 110.)]

[Footnote 49: It appears from Anna Comnena, that the Turks of
Asia Minor obeyed the signet and chiauss of the great sultan,
(Alexias, l. vi. p. 170;) and that the two sons of Soliman were
detained in his court, p. 180.)]

[Footnote 50: This expression is quoted by Petit de la Croix (Vie
de Gestis p. 160) from some poet, most probably a Persian.]

A prince of the royal line, Cutulmish, ^* the son of Izrail,
the son of Seljuk, had fallen in a battle against Alp Arslan and
the humane victor had dropped a tear over his grave. His five
sons, strong in arms, ambitious of power, and eager for revenge,
unsheathed their cimeters against the son of Alp Arslan. The two
armies expected the signal when the caliph, forgetful of the
majesty which secluded him from vulgar eyes, interposed his
venerable mediation. "Instead of shedding the blood of your
brethren, your brethren both in descent and faith, unite your
forces in a holy war against the Greeks, the enemies of God and
his apostle." They listened to his voice; the sultan embraced his
rebellious kinsmen; and the eldest, the valiant Soliman, accepted
the royal standard, which gave him the free conquest and
hereditary command of the provinces of the Roman empire, from
Arzeroum to Constantinople, and the unknown regions of the West.
^51 Accompanied by his four brothers, he passed the Euphrates;
the Turkish camp was soon seated in the neighborhood of Kutaieh
in Phrygia; and his flying cavalry laid waste the country as far
as the Hellespont and the Black Sea. Since the decline of the
empire, the peninsula of Asia Minor had been exposed to the
transient, though destructive, inroads of the Persians and
Saracens; but the fruits of a lasting conquest were reserved for
the Turkish sultan; and his arms were introduced by the Greeks,
who aspired to reign on the ruins of their country. Since the
captivity of Romanus, six years the feeble son of Eudocia had
trembled under the weight of the Imperial crown, till the
provinces of the East and West were lost in the same month by a
double rebellion: of either chief Nicephorus was the common name;
but the surnames of Bryennius and Botoniates distinguish the
European and Asiatic candidates. Their reasons, or rather their
promises, were weighed in the Divan; and, after some hesitation,
Soliman declared himself in favor of Botoniates, opened a free
passage to his troops in their march from Antioch to Nice, and
joined the banner of the Crescent to that of the Cross. After
his ally had ascended the throne of Constantinople, the sultan
was hospitably entertained in the suburb of Chrysopolis or
Scutari; and a body of two thousand Turks was transported into
Europe, to whose dexterity and courage the new emperor was
indebted for the defeat and captivity of his rival, Bryennius.
But the conquest of Europe was dearly purchased by the sacrifice
of Asia: Constantinople was deprived of the obedience and revenue


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