תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

“ The victors themselves were speedily encompassed and besieged by the innumerable forces of Kerboga, prince of Mosul, who, with iwenty eight Turkish emirs, advanced to the deliverance of Antioch. Five-and-twenty days the Christians spent on the verge ef destruction; and the proud lieutenant of the Caliph and the Sultan left them only the choice of servitude or death. In this extremity they collected the relics of their strength, sallied from the town, and in a single memorable day annihilated or dispersed the host of Turks and Arabians which they might safely report to have consisted of six hundred thousand men."*

* The prudence or fortune of the Franks had delayed their invasion till the decline of the Turkish empire. Under the manly government of the first three sultans, the kingdoms of Asia were united in peace and justice; and the innumerable armies which they led in person, were equal in courage and superior to the barbarians of the West. But at the time of the crusade, the inheritance of Malek Shaw was disputed by his sons; their private ambition was insensible of the public danger; and, in the vicissitudes of their fortune, the royal vassals were ignorant or regardless of the true object of their allegiance. The twenty-eight emirs who marched with the standard of Kerboga, were his rivals or enemies; their hasty levies were drawn from the towns or tents of Mesopotamia and Syria; and the Turkish veterans employed or consumed in the civil wars beyond the Tigris. The caliph of Egypt embraced this opportunity of weakness and discord, to recover his ancient possessions; and his sultan, Aphdal, besieged Jerusalem and Tyre, expelled the children of Orlok, and restored in Palestine the civil and ecclesiastical authority of the Fatimises. They heard with astonishment of the vast armies of Christians that had passed from Europe to Asia, and rejoiced in the sieges and battles which broke the power of the Turks, the adversaries of their sect and monarchy.”+

were

No sooner had the Turks entered the Holy Land, and taken possession of Jerusalem, than Europe was in motion and in arms; and nations marched to the field of the world's debate. Crusade followed after crusade. Europeans became the assailants; and instead of extending their territories, the Turks could not retain the conquests they, had won. On the subdivision of their empire into four sultanies, their victorious career was not long unchallenged, but speedily retarded and restrained. The Lesser Asia and Syria again became fields of battle, but with foreign foes. From these countries, formerly overflowed by them, the Turks were repelled. The Crusaders from the west, and the Fatimites on the south, won back the countries which the Turks had conquered, and the original region of their conquests, on the banks and borders of the Euphrates, became the disputed seat of their dominion, and was partly reft from them by the Franks. And even when the Crusades had spent their fury, and Europe had exhausted its strength, a new conqueror of Asia, Zinghis Khan, the emperor of the Moguls, repressed anew the power of the Turks, and, as if taking upon himself the task for which they were already prepared, threatened the Roman empire with destruction.

* Gibbon's Hist, vol. xi. p. 68.

t Ibid. pp. 77, 78.

“The rise and progress of the Ottomans, the present sovereigns of Constantinople, are connected with the most important scenes in modern history; but they are founded on a previous knowledge of the great eruptions of the Moguls and Tartars; whose rapid progress may be compared with the primitive convulsions of nature, which have agitated and altered the surface of the globe.*-The Moguls subdned almost all Asia, and a large portion of Europe.tThey spread beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, pillaged Aleppo and Dam scus, and threatened to join the Franks in the deliverance of Jerusalem. Egypt was lost, had she been defended only by her feeble offspring; but the Mamelukes had breathed in their infancy the keenness of a Scythian air ; equal in valour, superior in discipline, they met the Moguls in many a well-fought field; and brought back the stream of hostility to the eastward of the Euphrates. But it overflowed, with resistless violence, the king. doms of Armenia and Anatolia, of which the former was possessed by the Christians, the latter by the Turks. The sultans of Iconium opposed some resistance to the Mogul arms, till Azzadin sought a refuge among the Greeks at Constantinople, and his seeble successors, the last of the Seljukian dynasty, were finally extirpated by the Khans of Persia. I-Fifteen hundred thousand Moguls and Tartars were inscribed on the military roll.f—The life and reign of the great dukes of Russia, the kings of Georgia and Armenia, the sultans of Iconium, and the emirs of Persia

* Gibbon's Hist. vol. xi. p. 401, c. 64.
† Ibid. p. 413. Ibid. p. 419.

§ Ib.

were decided by the frown or smile of the great Khan. In this shipwreck of nations, some surprise may be excited by the escape of the Roman empire, whose relics, at the time of the Mogul invasion, were dismembered by the Greeks and Latins. Less potent than Alexander, they were pressed like the Macedonian, both in Europe and Asia, by the shepherds of Scythia ; and, had the Tartars undertaken the siege, Constantinople must have yielded to the fate of Pekin, Samarcand, and Bagdad."*

The Turks, for a long period, were thus restrained and bound. Though they came like a whirlwind, so soon as their time of preparation began, yet their triumphs were checked, their power was broken; the first of their dynasties was dissolved,—they seemed to be fitted for slaughter rather than prepared to slay: but yet apostate Christendom was not without its woe.' The phrenzy of a combined superstition and fanaticism wrought its own punishment, although that punishment failed to cure the mental and moral malady. Europeans, indeed, passed through the countries of Lesser Asia and Syria, which the Turks had previously overflowed: but desperate was the strife, and dreadful the slaughter; and their pathway was sprinkled, if we may use the profane phraseology of the world, with the best blood of Christendom. Europe, for the

space of two hundred years, from the close of the eleventh to that of the thirteenth century, sent forth its swarms of armed crusaders; and innumerable calamities followed in their train, no less disastrous eventually to the Catholics than to the Turks.

The Crusaders, from the farthest west, with incredible loss of treasure and of blood, forced back the Turks to the regions where their conquests began: and the Moguls, from the farthest east, took up the task of repressing them. But though the extremes of the then known world met to eradicate the Turkish power; though the lion-hearted Richard of England, and also the great Mogul, traversed at different periods the same plains for the execution of the same purpose; nay, though Mahometans disarmed the representatives and successors of the commander of the faithful, and Saracens and Fatimites contended with the Turks; yet not all the multitudes and millions of the teeming west, led on by thousands and thousands of the boldest knights in Europe, and by priests, and princes, and kings; nor the “fifteen hundred thousand” who formed the muster-roll of warriors of Zinghis, and Kolagou Khan, could do any more than bind the Turkish sultanies for a season, who in despite of all their power, when such restraining causes ceased, were again free to sweep like a whirlwind, and to work the woe of idolatrous Christendom, after the grass or the sand of Palestine covered the myriads which Europe had sent thither, and "the Mogul emperors were lost in the oblivion of the desert.'

* Gibbon's Hist. vol. xi. pp. 425-428.

Of the Loosing of the four sultanies, Gibbon speaks as freely as of the first investure of the Turkish Sultan in his high office over the Moslem world.

“ Their hostility, (that of Halagou and his successors,) to the Moslems, inclined them to unite with the Greeks and Franks; and their generosity or contempt bad offered the kingdom of Anatolia as the reward of an Armenian vassal.. The fragments of the Seljukian monarchy were disputed by the emirs who had occupied the cities or the mountains; but they all confessed the supremacy of the Khans of Persia, and he often interposed his authority, and sometimes his arms, to check their depredations, and to preserve the peace and balance of the Turkish frontier. The death of Cazan, one of the greatest and most accomplished princes of the house of Zinghis, REMOVED THIS SALUTARY CONTROL; 'and the decline of the Moguls gave free scope to the rise and progress of the OttomAN EMPIRE.”+

The dates as well as the facts are striking. It was not solely the decline of the Moguls that gave free scope to the Ottomans. In the year 1291, Acre was stormed and taken by the Mamelukes, and the Crusaders lost their last inch of ground in Palestine. “A mournful and solitary silence prevailed along the coast which had so long resounded with the world's debate.” The death of Cazan, which had removed the salutary control that checked the depredations of the Turks, took place on the twenty-first of May 1301, and from that time “the decline of the Moguls gave free scope to the rise and progress of the Ottoman empire." And it was on the twentyseventh of July, in the year 1301,* (erroneously stated by Gibbon 1299,)“ of the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territories of Nicomedia; and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose some foresight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster.”+ The bands were broken, the crusaders and the Mogul Tartars alike disappeared; the Turks were loosed, the second woe was in action again; and the worshippers of idols and persecutors of saints needed not to seek an enemy in Asia or in Europe. And having seen how the FOUR sultanies were formed and were BOUND ; their being LOOSED is the fact to which we have now to turn: and of that also there is no lack of proof, when our ready and laborious purveyor of evidence is at hand. The hewer of wood and drawer of water may smile or scowl at the edifice he labours to rear, but it is his task to labour still, till the last log be

* Gibbon's Hist. vol. xi, p. 428, chap. 64.

† Ibid. p. 431.

* Baron Von Hammer, whose name carries with it the highest authority in oriental literature and researches, has lately corrected this singular error of Gibbon ; and refers to the very authority of Pachymer, appealed to by Gibbon, in proof that 1301 is the true date. He refers also to other authorities, such as Nach Hadchi Chalfas Chronology. Geschiehte des Osmanischen reiches, durch Von Hammer, vol. i. p. 68, et not. p. 557..

Gibbon’s Hist. vol. xi. p. 433, c. 64.

« הקודםהמשך »