Page images
PDF
EPUB

at his feet, and he declared his esteem of the valour
of a foe, by extirpating all the males of so intrepid
a race. From Shiraz, his troops advanced to the
Persian gulph; and the richness and weakness
of Ormuz " were displayed in an annual tribute
of six hundred thousand dinars of gold. Bagdad
was no longer the city of peace, the seat of the
caliphs; but the noblest conquest of Houlacou
could not be overlooked by his ambitious successor.
The whole course of the Tigris and Euphrates,
from the mouth to the sources of those rivers, was
reduced to his qbedience. He entered Edessa;
and the Turkmans of the black sheep were chas-
tised for the sacrilegious pillage of a caravan of
Mecca. In the mountains of Georgia, the native
Christians still braved the law and the sword of
Mahomet; by three expeditions he obtained the
merit of the gazie, or holy war; and the Prince of

Teflis became his proselyte and friend.
II. A just retaliation might be urged for the
invasion of Turkestan, or the Eastern Tartary.
The dignity of Tinour could not endure the im-
punity

[ocr errors]

* The history of Ormuz is not unlike that of Tyre. The old city, on the continent, was destroyed by the Tartars, and renewed in a neighbouring island without fresh water or vegetation. The Kings of Ormuz, rich in the Indian trade, and the pearl fishery, possessed large territories both in Persia and Arabia; but they were at first the tributaries of the Sultans of Kerman, and at last were delivered (A. D. 1505.) by the Portuguese tyrants from the tyranny of their own vizirs, (Marco Polo, l. i. c. 15. 16. fol. 7.8. Abulfeda Geograph. tabul. xi. p. 261. 262. an original Chronicle of Ormuz, in Texeira, or Stevens' History of Persia, p. 376—416, and the Itineraries inserted in the 1st volume of Ramusio, of Ludovico Barthema (1523), fol. 167. of Andrea Corsali (1517), fol. 2C2. 223. and of Odoardo Barbessa (in 1516), fol. 315–318.).

II. Of

Turke

stan,
A. D.
1370–-
1353.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

punity of the Getes; he passed the Sihoon, subdued the kingdom of Cashgar, and marched seven times into the heart of their country. His most distant camp was two months journey, or four hundred and eighty leagues to the north-east of Samarcand; and his emirs, who traversed the river Irtish, engraved in the forests of Siberia a rude memorial of their exploits. The conquest of Kipzak, or the Western Tartary *, was founded on the double motive of aiding the distressed, and chastising the ungrateful. Toctamish, a fugitive prince, was entertained and protected in his court; the ambassadors of Auruss Khan were dismissed with an haughty denial, and followed on the same day by the armies of Zagatai; and their success established Toctamish in the Mogul empire of the North. But after a reign of ten years, the new Khan forgot the merits and the strength of his benefactor, the base usurper, as he deemed him, of the sacred rights of the house of Zingis. Through the gates of Derbend, he entered Persia at the head of ninety thousand horse; with the innumerable forces of Kipzak, Bulgaria, Circassia, and Russia, he passed the Sihoon, burnt the palaces of Timour, and compelled him, amidst the winter snows, to contend for Samarcand and his life. After a mild expostulation, and a glorious victory, the Emperor resolved on revenge; and by the east and the west of the Caspian and the Volga, he twice invaded Kipzak with such mighty powers, * Arabshah had travelled into Kipzak, and acquired a sin

gular knowledge of the geography, cities, and revolutions, of that northern region, (p. i. c. 45-49.).

OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.:

powers, that thirteen miles were measured from C H A P.

his right to his left wing. In a march of five months, they rarely beheld the footsteps of man; and their daily subsistence was often trusted to the fortune of the chace. At length the armies encountered each other; but the treachery of the standard-bearer, who, in the heat of action, reversed the Imperial standard of Kipzak, determined the victory of the Zagatais; and Toctamish (I speak the language of the Institutions) gave the tribe of Toushi to the wind of desolation *. He fled to the Christian Duke of Lithuania; again returned to the banks of the Volga ; and, after fifteen battles with a domestic rival, at last perished in the wilds of Siberia. The pursuit of a flying enemy carried Tinour into the tributary provinces of Russia; a duke of the reigning family was made prisoner amidst the ruins of his capital; and Yeletz, by the pride and ignorance of the Orientals, might easily be confounded with the genuine metropolis of the nation. Moscow trembled at the approach of the Tartar, and the resistance would have been feeble, since the hopes of the Russians were placed in a miraculous image of the Virgin, to whose protection they ascribed the casual and voluntary retreat of the conqueror. Ambition and prudence recalled him to the south, the desolate country was exhausted, and the Mogul soldiers were enriched with an immense spoil of precious furs, of linen * Institutions of Timour, p. 123. 125. Mr White, the editor, bestows some animadversion on the superficial account

of Sherefeddin, (l. iii. c. 12–14.), who was ignorant of the designs of Timour, and the true springs of action. *

[ocr errors]

C H.A.P. linen of Antioch ", and of ingots of gold and sil-to- ver f. On the banks of the Don, or Tanais, he

received an humble deputation from the consuls and merchants of Egypt j, Venice, Genoa, Catalonia, and Biscay, who occupied the commerce and city of Tana, or Azoph, at the mouth of the river. They offered their gifts, admired his magnificence, and trusted his royal word. But the peaceful visit of an emir, who explored the state of the magazines and harbour, was speedily followed by the destructive presence of the Tartars. The city was reduced to ashes; the Moslems were pillaged and dismissed; but all the Christians who had not fled to their ships, were condemned either to death or slavery ||. Revenge prompted him to burn the cities of Serai and Astrachan, the monuments of rising civilization;

and

* The furs of Russia are more credible than the ingots. But the linen of Antioch has never been famous; and An

tioch was in ruins. I suspect that it was some manufacture of

Furope, which the Hanse merchants had imported by the way
of Novogorod. -
+ M. Levésque (Hist, de Russie, tom. ii. p. 247. Vie de
Timour, p. 64–67, before the French version of the Insti-
tutes) has corrected the error of Sherefeddin, and marked the
true limit of Timour's conquests. His arguments are super-
fluous, and a simple appeal to the Russian annals is sufficient
to prove that Moscow, which six years before had been taken
by Toctamish, escaped the arms of a more formidable invader.

f An Egyptian consul from Grand Cairo, is mentioned in Barbaro's voyage to Tana in 1436, after the city had been rebuilt, (Ramusio, tom. ii. fol. 92.).

| The sack of Azoph is described by Sherefeddin, (l. iii. c. 55-), and much more particularly by the author of an ItaJian chronicle, (Andreas de Redusiis de Quero, in Chron. Tarvisiano, in Muratori Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xix. p. 822–825.). He had conversed with the Mianis, two Venetian brothers, one of whom had been sent a deputy to the

wamp of Timour, and the other had lost at Azoph three sons and 12,200 ducats.

and his vanity proclaimed, that he had penetrated to the region of perpetual day-light, a strange phenomenon, which authorised his Mahometan doctors to dispense with the obligation of evening prayer". III. When Timour first proposed to his princes and emirs the invasion of India or Hindostan +, he was answered by a murmur of discontent : “The rivers' and the mountains and desarts and “ the soldiers clad in armour ! and the elephants, “ destroyers of men!” But the displeasure of the Emperor was more dreadful than all these terrors; and his superior reason was convinced, that an enterprise of such tremendous aspect was safe and easy in the execution. He was informed by his spies of the weakness and anarchy of Hindostan; the Soubahs of the provinces had erected the standard of rebellion; and the perpetual infancy of Sultan Mahmood was despised even in the haram of Delhi. The Mogul army moved in three great divisions; and Timour observes with pleasure, that the ninety-two squadrons of a thousand horse most fortunately corresponded with the ninety-two names or epithets of the prophet Mahomet. Between the Jihoon and the Indus, they crossed one of the ridges of * Sherefeddin only says, (l. iii. c. 13.), that the rays of the setting, and those of the rising sun, were scarcely separated by any interval ; a problem which may be solved in the latitude of Moscow, (the 56th degree), with the aid of the Aurora Borealis, and a long summer-twilight. But a day of

forty days (Khondemir apud d'Herbelot, p. 880.) would rigorously confine us within the polar circle.

+ For the Indian war, see the Institutions, (p. 129–139.2, the fourth book of Sherefeddin, and the history of Ferishta, (in Dow, vol. ii. p. 1–20.), which throws a general light ot, the affairs of Hindostan. +

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »