« EelmineJätka »
ambassadors, and threatened to make war upon was doomed to be confounded by the power he them; and unmindful of his duties towards the despised. Roused from his lethargy by this in. latter, he ruled them with a rod of iron, treating sulting and impious reply, Heraclius concluded them with great rigour.
a peace with the other barbarians on their own It was not long before Chosroes carried his terms, resolved to make a last and desperate efarmy into the Roman empire. In A. D. 602, the fort, and to put all to the hazard of a battle. He emperor Maurice was murdered by Phocas, and was successful. He out-generalled the Persians, Chosroes, under pretext of avenging his murder, and defeated their army with great slaughter. and punishing the assassin, marched a powerful The conqueror made fresh overtures for peace ; army into the Roman frontiers in his sixteenth but they were rejected. Again and again, enyear, A. D. 603. In vain did the assassin, by his abled by the plunder of the Christian churches, ambassador, endeavour to appease him with large Chosroes raised fresh armies to oppose Heraclius; presents and larger promises ; he regarded nei- but he, preserving the strictest discipline, defeated ther, and marched forward. In the first year of them as soon as they appeared in the field, and the war, he succeeded in laying the country under he proceeded so rapidly in his conquests, that the contribution. In the next, he reduced several haughty tyrant was forced to flee from city to fortresses, and recovered others that he had given city with his wives and concubines, in order to to the emperor Maurice in gratitude for his aid. escape death. The Romans marched in one diIn the eighteenth year of his reign, he plundered rection as far as the Caspian; in another to Isall Mesopotamia and Syria, and carried off im- pahan, destroying in their progress all his splenmense riches. In the succeeding year, he ra- did palaces, plundering his hoarded treasures,* vaged Palestine and Phenicia with fire and and dispersing the slaves of his pleasure. Yet sword. And in his twentieth year, his generals even in the wretched state to which his fortune wasted Armenia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Paphla- and character had reduced him, he rejected an gonia, as far as Chalcedon, burning cities, and offer of peace made by the humanity of his condestroying the inhabitants without respect to age queror. But his career was soon at an end. The
subjects of Chosroes had lost all regard for a In A. D. 609, Chosroes took Apamea and monarch whom they deemed the sole cause of Edessa, and blocked up Antioch. This induced the desolation of his country, and they formed a the Romans to hazard a battle, but they were ut- conspiracy against him. That his cup of misery terly defeated, so that scarcely a man was left to might be full, he was seized by his eldest son mourn the death of his companions. The death Siroes, whom he wished to have excluded from of Phocas, and the accession of Heraclius, did the throne. This unnatural prince treated him not put a stop to his career. The year following, with the greatest severity. He first cast him he took Cesarea, and carried away many thou- into a dungeon, and soon afterwards put him to sands of people into captivity. He conquered death; justifying the parricide by the assertion Judea also, took Jerusalem, which he plundered, that he was compelled to the deed by the carried away the pretended cross on which the clamours and importunities of the nobles and superstitious fondly believed that the Redeemer people. suffered, and sold 90,000 Christians for slaves The fall of Chosroes affords a memorable into the Jews in his dominions, who put them stance of the instability of human greatness. At all to death, thereby displaying their ancient the time he sent the impious answer to the deenmity to the cause of the gospel. They still mands of Heraclius for peace, he was living in despised their Messiah, as “the man of Galilee,” splendour and luxury, such as Persian monarchs whence they persecuted his followers, though never exceeded. The vast territories his armies brethren according to the flesh. Thus Jews had subdued were exhausted, that his palaces and and pagans combined to root out true religion the gorgeous state of his court might exceed all from the earth; but the more they raged, the that history ever recorded of kingly grandeur. more it grew and prospered, watered with the He had a palace for every season; he had dew of God's blessing.
invaluable thrones, particularly that called These conquests inflamed the ambition of Takh-dis, formed to represent the twelve signs of Chosroes. In his twenty-seventh year, A. D. the zodiac and the hours of the day; 12,000 614, he invaded Egypt, took Alexandria, reduced ladies, who, in the hyperbolic language of the both the Lower and Upper Egypt, to the frontiers east, were equal to the moon in beauty, atof Lydia and Abyssinia, and added this kingdom tended his court; and mirth and music were to his dominions ; a conquest which none of his heard throughout his halls. But, like Belshazpredecessors had been able to effect. The year zar, he lifted up his heart and defied the Alfollowing, he once more turned his forces against mighty, and sentence against him that moment the Constantinopolitan empire, and he reduced went forth. The foes whom he had long dethe city of Chalcedon, to which he had long laid spised, and long trampled upon, driven to despair siege.
by his oppressive violence, flew to arms, and went Alarmed at his progress, the emperor Her- on in their conquests, till almost the whole of his aclius sent to implore peace upon any conditions. empire was beneath their feet, and he himself But Chosroes, elated with his success, and me- laid in the dust. The haughty spoiler of the ditating nothing less than the destruction of the world fell as an oak cut down in its glory. Roman name, arrogantly replied, that he would never grant him or his subjects peace, till they abjured their crucified God, and embraced the
• One of these treasures was called Badawerd, or, “The
gift of the winds," because it had been cast upon his Persian religion.
territory, when on its way to the Roman emperor, He never prospered more. The proud boaster
his “ The forked weapon of the skies can send
Constantinople, and Chosru Parviz in Persia, Illumination into deep, dark holds,
announced himself as a prophet. For some time, he Which the mild sunbeam hath not power to pierce.
was unheeded, except by a few intimate friends. Ye thrones that have defied remorse, and cast Pity away, soon shall ye shake with fear.”
At length, however, the impostor began to preach WORDSWORTH.
publicly in Mecca, and daily added to the num
ber of his disciples. The Koreish soon took the Chosroes was succeeded in his kingdom, A.D.
alarm, and Mohammed with his friends were 627, by that son who was the instrument of his obliged to take refuge in flight. He retired to death,
Tayef, apparently yielding to the storm, but
waiting in reality for an opportuuity of exerting SIROES, OR SHIROUIEH.
himself with advantage. The time he chose was
the sacred month, in which the caravans of pilThe first act of Siroes was, to conclude a per- grims came to Mecca, and which was, like the petual peace with Heraclius, and to set at liberty period called “the truce of God” in the middle all the Roman captives, and among the rest, ages, a season of universal peace. Mohammed Zacharias, patriarch of Jerusalem. He also, it returned to Mecca at this season, and announced is said, sent back the wood which the supersti- his mission to the strangers, who came thither tious supposed to have formed part of the cross on on pilgrimage. Among these strangers were which the Saviour was crucified, and which had pilgrim Jews from Yatreb, or Medina, who longed been carried by Chosroes in triumph from Jeru- for the coming of the Messiah, and a tribe of idolasalem into Persia.
trous Arabs from the same city, who held these Siroes did not long survive the parricide of Jews in subjection. When the Medinese Arab which he had been guilty, He died after he had pilgrims heard the account of the new prophet at reigned seven months, according to the oriental, Mecca, they asked, “ Can this be the Messiah of or a little more than a year, according to the whom the Jews are constantly speaking? Let us Roman historians. Rozut-ul-Suffa states that his find him out, and gain him over to our interests.” life was terminated by melancholy arising from Mohammed saw the advantage he should gain by his crime; but Roman historians say that he was their alliance, and replied that he was the person murdered by one of his generals. He was suc- whom the Jews expected, but that his mission ceeded by his son
was universal; for all who believed in God and his
prophet should share its advantages. From that ARDESIR, OR ARDESCHIR BEN SCHIROUIEH, moment they joined his cause, and it flourished.
After having given his disciples permission to a child of seven years of age, A. D. 628. Ardesir stand up in their own defence, when his power reigned only seven months.
He was deposed was still further strengthened, he issued his comand murdered by the commander of the forces, mand to propagate the new religion by force of Sarbarazas, or Scheheriah, who usurped the “When ye encounter the unbelievers,” throne; which, however, he held but a few days, said he, “ strike off their heads until ye have being slain by the adherents of the royal family. made a great slaughter among them; and bind
After the death of Sarbarazas, according to them in bonds; and either give them a free disPersian writers, a queen of the name of Pooran- | mission afterwards, or exact a ransom until the dokht, the daughter of Chosru Parviz, reigned war shall have laid down its arms."
This comone year and four months; then her cousin, Shah- mand was consonant to the feelings of his folShenendeh, who only reigned one month; then lowers. They first waged war with the Mecanother queen of the name of Arzem-dokht, cans and the Jewish tribes near Medina. Success sister to the former ; then Kesra, reported to crowned their efforts, recruits crowded from all have belonged to the royal family, who was quarters to join his banners, and at length the quickly murdered; then Ferokhzad, the son of armies of the Mussulmans were spread over Chosru Parviz, whose days were terminated by Arabia, and were to be seen on the shores of the poison; and finally Jezdegerd, under whose rule Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and even in Syria. the Persian monarchy sunk to rise no more. Elated with the success of his predatory incursions,
Nothing of interest is recorded during the pe- it is said that Mohammed sent a letter to Chosru riod in which the above kings and queens reigned. Parviz, inviting him to embrace his doctrines, Their rapid elevation and destruction denotes a which was rejected with contempt.* Such was state of great anarchy, and shows that the manage the state of Mohammedanism when its founder ment of public affairs was at this period a subject died, and Abu-Bekr succeeded to the khaliphate, of contest among the nobles, who veiled their A.D. 632, the same year that Jezdegerd ascended ambition under the garb of loyalty and attach- the throne of Persia. The khaliph not knowing ment to the house of Sassan.
how to find employment for the vast multitude
of enthusiasts that arose in every part of Arabia, HORMISDAS, OR JEZDEGERD BEN
resolved to display the standard of the faith of IsSCHEHERIAH.
lam in the fields of Syria. He first sent detach
ments to the borders of Syria and Babylonia. Jezdegerd was raised to the throne of Persia, A.D. 632. He was a grandson of Chosroes by
* This letter commenced thus: “ Mohammed, son of one of his sons, and, it is said, the only surviving of Persia, greeting.” When 'it had been read thus far,
Abd Allah, the apostle of God, to Chosru Parviz, monarch branch of the royal family.
the monarch seized it, and tore it in pieces, because MoThe reign of Jezdegerd was brief and disas- hammed had placed his name first. When Mohammed trous. Mohammed, who was born at Mecca, dom," an expression which after events justified as a pre
heard of this, he exclaimed. “Thus may God tearhis kingA.D. 569, had, during the reign of Heraclius in
diction in the sight of his enthusiastic followers.
These encountered no obstacles, and returned laden This speech, wherein are displayed the marks with plunder, upon which the khaliph invited all of pride and weakness, was heard by the envoy the Arabs to join in the enterprise he projected, unmoved, and he replied thus: “ Whatever thou and great numbers responded to the invitation. hast said concerning the former condition of the From the cowardice and treachery of the Byzan- Arabs, is true. Their food was green lizards; tine provincial governors, the invaders encoun- they buried their infant daughters alive; nay, tered no effective opposition; and in less than two some of them feasted dead carcases, and drai years, the greater part of Syria was subdued. blood; while others slew their relations, and While the Saracens, as the Arabs were from this thought themselves great and valiant, when by time generally called, were thus pursuing their such an act they became possessed of more procareer of victory, Abu-Bekr died, and was suc- perty; they were clothed with hair garments ; ceeded in the khaliphate by Omar, who thirsted knew not good from evil; and made no distincto massacre all who would not believe in the pro- tion between that which is lawful and that which phet. No sooner was Omar placed at the head is unlawful. Such was our state. But God, in of affairs, than the armies of the Mohammedans his mercy, has sent us, by a holy prophet, Moseemed to have acquired tenfold vigour. The hammed, a sacred volume, the koran, which greater part of Syria and Mesopotamia had been teaches us the true faith. By it we are comsubdued during the life of Abu-Bekr; the con- manded to war against infidels, and to exchange quest of these countries was now completed, and our poor and miserable condition for wealth armies were sent into Persia, Palestine, Phe- and power. We now solemnly desire you to renicia, and Egypt. The Persians were so weak- ceive our religion. If you consent, not an Arab ened by the incessant wars of Chosroes, and the shall enter Persia without your permission; and subsequent civil commotions, that they could not our leaders will only demand the established hope to repel their powerful assailants. Hence, taxes,* which all believers are bound to pay. If on their appearance, Jezdegerd sent an envoy to you do not accept our religion, you are required Saad, the leader whom Omar had appointed to to pay the tributet fixed for infidels : should you the chief command of his forces in Persia; and reject both these propositions, you must prepare Saad, in compliance with their request, sent a for war." deputation to Madain, consisting of three old Jezdegerd was too proud to submit to such deArab chiefs. When these were seated in the grading conditions, and a battle ensued near the presence of Jezdegerd, that monarch addressed city of Cadessia, which was fought with great himself to the principal person among them, fury for three days, and which at length ended whose name was Shaikh Maghurah, in the fol- the total defeat of the Persians, and the greatlowing words : “ We have always held you in est part of the Persian dominions fell into the the lowest estimation. Arabs, hitherto, have hands of the conquerors, A.D. 636. been only known in Persia in two characters, as On the loss of this great and decisive battle, merchants and as beggars. Your food is green Jezdegerd fled to Hulwan, with all the property lizards ;* your drink, salt water ; your covering, he could collect. Saad, after taking possession garments made of coarse hair. But of late, you of Madain, pursued him, and sent his nephew have come in bands to Persia ; you have eaten Hashem to attack a body of troops which had of good food, you have drunk of sweet water, and arrived from Shirwan and Aderbijan. This force have enjoyed the luxury of soft raiment. You took shelter in the fort of Jelwallah, where they have reported these enjoyments to your brethren, were captured; upon which Jezdegerd left his and they are flocking to partake of them. But, army, and fled to Rhe. Hashem advanced to not satisfied with all the good things you have Hulwan, which he reduced ; and, soon after, the thus obtained, you desire to impose a new reli- city of Ahwaz shared the same fate. Saad gion on us, who are unwilling to receive it. You marched from thence, by Omar's order, to appear to me like the fox in our fable, who went Amber, and from thence to Koofah, a place into a garden, where he found an abundance of which soon after acquired celebrity. From Koograpes. The generous gardener would not dis- fah, Saad was recalled by Omar, on account of a turb him. The produce of his abundant vine- complaint made against him by those under his yard would, he thought, be little diminished by a rule; and Omar Yuseer was appointed his sucpoor hungry fox enjoying himself; but the animal, not content with his good fortune, went and Jezdegerd, encouraged by the removal of a informed all his tribe of the excellence of the leader he so much dreaded, assembled an army grapes, and the good-nature of the gardener. from Khorassan, Rhe, and Hamadan, and placing The garden was filled with foxes; and its indul- it under the command of Firouzin, the bravest of gent owner was forced to bar the gates, and kill the Persian generals, resolved to contest once all the intruders, to save himself from ruin. How- more for the empire. ever, as I am satisfied you have been compelled As soon as Omar heard of these preparations, to the conduct which you have pursued from ab- he ordered reinforcements to be sent to his army solute want, I will not only pardon you, but load in Persia, from every quarter of his dominions ; your camels with wheat and dates, that, when and committing the chief command to Noman, you return to your native land, you may feast he directed him to exert his utmost efforts to deyour countrymen. But, be assured, if you are insensible to my generosity, and remain in Persia, you shall not escape my just vengeance."
• The zukat, or religious charity for the poor, was twoand-a-half per cent. upon property : the khums, or fifth,
was a tax to support the family of the prophet. • The Persians usually called the Arabs, by way of con- + The tax paid by infidels was thirty-five per cent. on tempt,“ naked lizard eaters."
stroy for ever the worship of fire. The Arabian years; ten of which he was a fugitive, reckonforce assembled at Koofah, and thence marched ing from the battle of Nahaound, A.D. 642. He to the plains of Nahaound, about forty miles to was the last sovereign of the house of Sassan, the south of Hamadan, on which the Persians a family which governed Persia during 411 had established a camp, surrounded by a deep years; and the memory of which is still cherishentrenchment. During two months these great ed by a nation whose ancient glory is associated armies continued in sight of each other, and with the names of Artaxerxes, Sapor, and many skirmishes occurred. At the end of that Chosroes. time, Noman drew up his army in order of battle, Thus closes the ancient history of Persia._So and thus addressed the soldiers : " My friends, rapid a declension, from A.D. 614, when the Perprepare yourselves to conquer, or to drink of the sian empire was at its height, and larger than it sweet sherbet* of martyrdom. I shall now call had been since the days of Alexander the Great, the Tukbeer three times: at the first, you will is unexampled in history. But the rod had blosgird your loins; at the second, mount your somed, pride had budded, and violence had risen steeds; and at the third, point your lances, and up into a rod of wickedness; and hence its doom rush to victory or to paradise. As to me,” said went forth from Heaven, that it should be deNoman, with a loud voice, “ I shall be a martyr! stroyed. The extraordinary Saracen* power was When I am slain, obey the orders of Huzeefah- the instrument by which its overthrow was efebn-Aly-Oran."
fected ; but the seeds of destruction were found The Tukbeer (Allah-Akbar, or, “ God is in its own bosom. That impious monarch, great") was sounded ; and when it had ceased, Chosru Parviz, by his rapacity and cruelty, the Mohammedans charged with a fury that was alienated the affections of his generals from his irresistible. Noman was slain, as he predicted; family, while his rage for war had drained the but the Persians sustained a total overthrow.country of its ablest defenders, and left it wasted The empire of Persia was for ever lost ; and that and distracted ; thus it became an easy prey to the mighty nation fell under the dominion of the needy and ferocious Saracens. They came upon Arabian khaliphs.
the Persians as an overflowing flood, and swept Jezdegerd protracted for several years a their power from off the earth. Animated by an wretched and precarious existence. He first enthusiasm which made them despise the most fled to Segistan, then to Khorassan, and lastly fearful odds, as the ministers of vengeance, they to Merou, on the river Oxus, or Gihon. The sought battle as a feast, and counted danger a governor of this city invited the khakan of the sport. They had ever in their mouths the magTartarst to take possession of the person of the nificent orientalism, traditionally ascribed to fugitive monarch. The invitation was accepted; Mohammed, “ In the shades of the scimitars is his troops entered Merou, (the gates of which paradise prefigured;" and under the influence of were opened to them by the treacherous govern- these feelings, their power was irresistible. Such or,) and made themselves masters of it, after a is the ever-changing nature of all mundane afbrave resistance from the inhabitants. Jezde- fairs. In this age, power and empire are in the gerd escaped from the town during the contest, hands of one people; in the next, a nation unand reached a mill eight miles from Merou, and heard of before comes forth, and rudely plucks entreated the miller to conceal him. The man it from their hands. By whose direction do these promised his protection; but, yielding to the things occur? temptation of making his fortune by the possession of the rich arms and robes of the unfortunate Happy the man who sees a God employ'd prince, he treacherously murdered him. The
In all the good and ill that chequer life;
Resolving all events, with their effects governor of Merou, and those who had aided him,
And manifold results, into the will in a few days began to suffer from the tyranny And arbitration wise of the Supreme. of the khakan, and to repent of their treachery. They encouraged the citizens to rise upon the Tartars; and they not only recovered the city,
Reader, let it be your prayer, that you may but forced the khakan to Xy with great loss to enjoy this happiness, that you may see the Divine Bokharah,
hand in past, present, and coming events ! The fate of Jezdegerd was now discovered, and the rapacious and treacherous miller fell á * Concerning the etymology of the word Saracen, there victim to the popular rage; and the corpse of the Sharkeyn, which means, in Arabic, “ the eastern people.”
have been various opinions; but its true derivation is monarch was embalmed, and sent to Istakhr, to This was first corrupted into Saracenoi, by the Greek, be interred in the sepulchre of his ancestors, and thence into Saraceni, by the Latin writers. The A.D. 652.
name seems to have been applied by Pliny to the BeJezdegerd possessed the royal title nineteen Euphrates and the Tigris, and separated the Roman pos
douin Arabs, who inhabited the countries between the
sessions in Asia from the dominions of the Parthian • In warm countries, where wine is forbidden, sherbet kings. In course of time, it became the general name of or lemonade is the beverage in which they delight.
all the Arab tribes who embraced the faith of Islam, and + Khondimir says it was the king of the Hiatila, of spread their conquests widely through Asia and Africa, “ White Huns," whom he invited; but Ferdosi says it
and part of Europe. was a chief or Turan, who ruled at Samarcand.
A BRIEF SKETCH
MODERN HISTORY OF PERSIA.
The hand of the great Ruler of the universe from the Caspian and the sca of Aral, to the may be as clearly traced in the modern, as in Indus and the Persian Gulf. the ancient history of Persia. For more than This mighty power, however, soon vanished. two centuries after the Mohammedan conquest, Gengis-Khan, the redoubtable ruler of the the country was a mere province in the empire Moguls beyond the Jaxartes, invaded Persia, of the caliphs. With the decay, however, of A.D. 1218, with a mighty host, and chased the power of the caliphs, the spirit of independ- Mohammed, the successor of Takash, from his ence revived, so that about A.D. 868, Yakub Ibu dominions. The son of Takash struggled manLais threw off his allegiance to the caliph, | fully for the kingdom ; but he dying, A.D. 1230, founded the Soffarian dynasty, and fixed at Shi- | the Khorasmian power was dissolved, and Persia ras the capital of a dominion including nearly all laid prostrate at the feet of the Moguls. Persia.
Gengis-Khan and his successors ruled in Persia His brother and successor, Amer, was subdued during about ninety years, when Persia became A. D. 900, by the Tartar family of the Sama- divided and distracted by numberless petty dynides, who ruled Khorassan and Trans-Oxiana, nasties perpetually at war with each other. This till A. D. 999, while Western Persia again ac- was the signal for another invader. knowledged allegiance to the caliph till A.D. The celebrated Tamerlane, already master of 936, when the utter disruption of the Abbaside Trans-Oxiana and Tartary, invaded Khorassan, power threw it into the hands of the three sons in 1381, and in twelve years subdued Persia to his of Bouyah, Amad-ed-doulah, Ruku-ed-doulah, sway. In a few years after his death, however, and Moazz-ed-doulah, who shared the kingdom Persia relapsed into a state of division and anaramong them. These, with their successors, ruled chy, worse than even that which had preceded his Persia, with more or less success, till A.D. 1028, irruption. His son, indeed, ruled over Khorassan, when Mahmood, who, thirty years before, had Trans-Oxiana, and Tartary ; but his descendants founded the dynasty of the Ghazneoides in were expelled by the Uzbeks, at the end of the Cabul and Khorassan, subdued their last succes-century, while the western provinces were consors in Eastern Persia.
tested by two races of Turkomans, distinguished The whole country was on the point of falling by their emblems of the Black and White Sheep, into the hands of this conqueror, when the Sel- the latter of which finally prevailed, A.D. 1469, jukian Turks, originally received as vassals by under their leader, Hassan the Tall, ruler of the Ghazneoide princes, snatched the prize from Diarbekr. their hands. Pouring down from Central Asia, The White Sheep dynasty was of brief durathey defeated Massood, the son and successor of tion. Hassan the Tall, encountering the superior Mahmood, A.D. 1040, near Nishapur, and placed power of the Ottoman sultan, Mohammed 11., their own sultan, Togrul Beg, in possession of sustained a signal defeat in Anatolia, 1473, Persia, to which, A.D. 1055, he added Bagdad which greatly weakened his power, and his reand Irak, with the guardianship of the caliphate, latives and descendants were finally supplanted deposing
the last of the house of Bouyah. and crushed, in 1502, by Ismael Shah, the This Perso-Turkish monarchy rose to great founder of the Seft, Sooffee, or Seffavean dysplendour; but civil wars commencing between nasty. the sons of Malek Shah, about A.D. 1120, and This race of sovereigns, by their rule and continuing their devastations to the next gene- character, imparted to the Persian monarchy ration, their power was gradually weakened, so a greater degree of stability, and a more setthat, A.D. 1194, Persia fell under the yoke of the tled form of government, than it had enjoyed Khorasmian sultan, Takash, who slew their last for some centuries. They sat on the throne of successor, Togrul I., and extended his sway | Persia during two hundred and twenty years, at