Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LXIV - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 11
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CHAPTER LXIV - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 11 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 11.
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Conquests of Zingis Khan and the Moguls from China to Poland — Escape of Constantinople and the Greeks — Origin of the Ottoman Turks in Bithynia — Reigns and Victories of Othman, Orchan, Amurath the First, and Bajazet the First — Foundation and Progress of the Turkish Monarchy in Asia and Europe — Danger of Constantinople and the Greek Empire
From the petty quarrels of a city and her suburbs, from the cowardice and discord of the falling Greeks, I shall now ascend to the victorious Turks, whose domestic slavery was ennobled by martial discipline, religious enthusiasm, and the energy of the national character. The rise and progress of the Ottomans, the present sovereigns of Constantinople, are connected with the most important scenes of modern history; but they are founded on a previous knowledge of the great eruption of the Moguls and Tartars, whose rapid conquests may be compared with the primitive convulsions of nature, which have agitated and altered the surface of the globe. I have long since asserted my claim to introduce the nations, the immediate or remote authors of the fall of the Roman empire; nor can I refuse myself to those events which, from their uncommon magnitude, will interest a philosophic mind in the history of blood.1
From the spacious highlands between China, Siberia, and the Caspian Sea, the tide of emigration and war has repeatedly been poured. These ancient seats of the Huns and Turks were occupied in the twelfth century by many pastoral tribes of the same descent and similar manners, which were united and led to conquest by the formidable Zingis. In his ascent to greatness, that Barbarian (whose private appellation was Temugin) had trampled on the necks of his equals. His birth was noble; but it was in the pride of victory that the prince or people deduced his seventh ancestor from the immaculate conception of a virgin.2 His father had reigned over thirteen hordes, which composed about thirty or forty thousand families; above two-thirds refused to pay tithes or obedience to his infant son; and, at the age of thirteen, Temugin fought a battle against his rebellious subjects. The future conqueror of Asia was reduced to fly and to obey; but he rose superior to his fortune; and, in his fortieth year, he had established his fame and dominion over the circumjacent tribes. In a state of society in which policy is rude and valour is universal, the ascendant of one man must be founded on his power and resolution to punish his enemies and recompense his friends. His first military league was ratified by the simple rites of sacrificing an horse and tasting of a running stream: Temugin pledged himself to divide with his followers the sweets and the bitters of life; and, when he had shared among them his horses and apparel, he was rich in their gratitude and his own hopes. After his first victory, he placed seventy caldrons on the fire, and seventy of the most guilty rebels were cast headlong into the boiling water. The sphere of his attraction was continually enlarged by the ruin of the proud and the submission of the prudent; and the boldest chieftains might tremble, when they beheld, enchased in silver, the skull of the khan of the Keraites,3 who under the name of Prester John had corresponded with the Roman pontiff and the princes of Europe. The ambition of Tegumin condescended to employ the arts of superstition; and it was from a naked prophet, who could ascend to heaven on a white horse, that he accepted the title of Zingis,4 the Most Great; and a divine right to the conquest and dominion of the earth. In a general couroultai, or diet, he was seated on a felt, which was long afterwards revered as a relic, and solemnly proclaimed Great Khan or emperor of the Moguls5 and Tartars.6 Of these kindred though rival names, the former had given birth to the Imperial race; and the latter has been extended, by accident or error, over the spacious wilderness of the North.
The code of laws which Zingis dictated to his subjects was adapted to the preservation of domestic peace and the exercise of foreign hostility. The punishment of death was inflicted on the crimes of adultery, murder, perjury, and the capital thefts of an horse or ox; and the fiercest of men were mild and just in their intercourse with each other. The future election of the great khan was vested in the princes of his family and the heads of the tribes; and the regulations of the chase were essential to the pleasures and plenty of a Tartar camp. The victorious nation was held sacred from all servile labours, which were abandoned to slaves and strangers; and every labour was servile except the profession of arms. The service and discipline of the troops, who were armed with bows, scymetars, and iron maces, and divided by hundreds, thousands, and ten thousands, were the institutions of a veteran commander. Each officer and soldier was made responsible, under pain of death, for the safety and honour of his companions; and the spirit of conquest breathed in the law that peace should never be granted unless to a vanquished and suppliant enemy.7 But it is the religion of Zingis that best deserves our wonder and applause. The Catholic inquisitors of Europe, who defended nonsense by cruelty, might have been confounded by the example of a Barbarian, who anticipated the lessons of philosophy8 and established by his laws a system of pure theism and perfect toleration. His first and only article of faith was the existence of one God, the author of all good, who fills, by his presence, the heavens and earth, which he has created by his power. The Tartars and Moguls were addicted to the idols of their peculiar tribes; and many of them had been converted by the foreign missionaries to the religions of Moses, of Mahomet, and of Christ. These various systems in freedom and concord were taught and practised within the precincts of the same camp; and the Bonze, the Imam, the Rabbi, the Nestorian, and the Latin priest enjoyed the same honourable exemption from service and tribute. In the mosch of Bochara, the insolent victor might trample the Koran under his horse’s feet, but the calm legislator respected the prophets and pontiffs of the most hostile sects. The reason of Zingis was not informed by books; the khan could neither read nor write; and, except the tribe of the Igours, the greatest part of the Moguls and Tartars were as illiterate as their sovereign.9 The memory of their exploits was preserved by tradition; sixty-eight years after the death of Zingis, these traditions were collected and transcribed;10 the brevity of their domestic annals may be supplied by the Chinese,11 Persians,12 Armenians,13 Syrians,14 Arabians,15 Greeks,16 Russians,17 Poles,18 Hungarians,19 and Latins;20 and each nation will deserve credit in the relation of their own disasters and their own defeats.21
The arms of Zingis and his lieutenants successively reduced the hordes of the desert, who pitched their tents between the wall of China and the Volga; and the Mogul emperor became the monarch of the pastoral world, the lord of many millions of shepherds and soldiers, who felt their united strength, and were impatient to rush on the mild and wealthy climates of the South. His ancestors had been the tributaries of the Chinese emperors; and Temugin himself had been disgraced by a title of honour and servitude.22 The court of Pekin was astonished by an embassy from its former vassal, who in the tone of the king of nations exacted the tribute and obedience which he had paid, and who affected to treat the Son of Heaven as the most contemptible of mankind. An haughty answer disguised their secret apprehensions; and their fears were soon justified by the march of innumerable squadrons, who pierced on all sides the feeble rampart of the great wall. Ninety cities were stormed, or starved, by the Moguls; ten only escaped; and Zingis, from a knowledge of the filial piety of the Chinese, covered his vanguard with their captive parents; an unworthy and, by degrees, a fruitless abuse of the virtues of his enemies. His invasion was supported by the revolt of an hundred thousand Khitans, who guarded the frontier; yet he listened to a treaty; and a princess of China, three thousand horses, five hundred youths, and as many virgins, and a tribute of gold and silk, were the price of his retreat. In his second expedition, he compelled the Chinese emperor to retire beyond the yellow river to a more southern residence. The siege of Pekin23 was long and laborious: the inhabitants were reduced by famine to decimate and devour their fellow-citizens; when their ammunition was spent, they discharged ingots of gold and silver from their engines; but the Moguls introduced a mine to the centre of the capital; and the conflagration of the palace burnt above thirty days. China was desolated by Tartar war and domestic faction; and the five northern provinces were added to the empire of Zingis.
In the West, he touched the dominions of Mohammed, sultan of Carizme, who reigned from the Persian gulf to the borders of India and Turkestan; and who, in the proud imitation of Alexander the Great, forgot the servitude and ingratitude of his fathers to the house of Seljuk.24 It was the wish of Zingis to establish a friendly and commercial intercourse with the most powerful of the Moslem princes; nor could he be tempted by the secret solicitations of the caliph of Bagdad, who sacrificed to his personal wrongs the safety of the church and state. A rash and inhuman deed provoked and justified the Tartar arms in the invasion of the southern Asia. A caravan of three ambassadors and one hundred and fifty merchants was arrested and murdered at Otrar,25 by the command of Mohammed; nor was it till after a demand and denial of justice, till he had prayed and fasted three nights on a mountain, that the Mogul emperor appealed to the judgment of God and his sword. Our European battles, says a philosophic writer,26 are petty skirmishes, if compared to the numbers that have fought and fallen in the fields of Asia. Seven hundred thousand Moguls and Tartars are said to have marched under the standard of Zingis and his four sons. In the vast plains that extend to the north of the Sihon or Jaxartes, they were encountered by four hundred thousand soldiers of the sultan; and in the first battle, which was suspended by the night, one hundred and sixty thousand Carizmians were slain. Mohammed was astonished by the multitude and valour of his enemies:27 he withdrew from the scene of danger, and distributed his troops in the frontier towns, trusting that the Barbarians, invincible in the field, would be repulsed by the length and difficulty of so many regular sieges. But the prudence of Zingis had formed a body of Chinese engineers, skilled in the mechanic arts, informed, perhaps, of the secret of gunpowder, and capable, under his discipline, of attacking a foreign country with more vigour and success than they had defended their own. The Persian historians will relate the sieges and reduction of Otrar, Cogende, Bochara, Samarcand, Carizme, Herat, Merou, Nisabour, Balch, and Candahar; and the conquest of the rich and populous countries of Transoxiana, Carizme, and Chorasan. The destructive hostilities of Attila and the Huns have long since been elucidated by the example of Zingis and the Moguls; and in this more proper place I shall be content to observe that, from the Caspian to the Indus, they ruined a tract of many hundred miles, which was adorned with the habitations and labours of mankind, and that five centuries have not been sufficient to repair the ravages of four years. The Mogul emperor encouraged or indulged the fury of his troops; the hope of future possession was lost in the ardour of rapine and slaughter; and the cause of the war exasperated their native fierceness by the pretence of justice and revenge. The downfall and death of the sultan Mohammed, who expired unpitied and alone in a desert island of the Caspian Sea, is a poor atonement for the calamities of which he was the author. Could the Carizmian empire have been saved by a single hero, it would have been saved by his son Gelaleddin, whose active valour repeatedly checked the Moguls in the career of victory. Retreating, as he fought, to the banks of the Indus, he was oppressed by their innumerable host, till, in the last moment of despair, Gelaleddin spurred his horse into the waves, swam one of the broadest and most rapid rivers of Asia, and extorted the admiration and applause of Zingis himself. It was in this camp that the Mogul emperor yielded with reluctance to the murmurs of his weary and wealthy troops, who sighed for the enjoyment of their native land. Incumbered with the spoils of Asia, he slowly measured back his footsteps, betrayed some pity for the misery of the vanquished, and declared his intention of rebuilding the cities which had been swept away by the tempest of his arms. After he had repassed the Oxus and Jaxartes, he was joined by two generals, whom he had detached with thirty thousand horse, to subdue the western provinces of Persia. They had trampled on the nations which opposed their passage, penetrated through the gates of Derbend, traversed the Volga and the desert, and accomplished the circuit of the Caspian Sea, by an expedition which had never been attempted and has never been repeated. The return of Zingis was signalised by the overthrow of the rebellious or independent kingdoms of Tartary; and he died in the fulness of years and glory, with his last breath exhorting and instructing his sons to achieve the conquest of the Chinese empire.
The harem of Zingis was composed of five hundred wives and concubines; and of his numerous progeny, four sons, illustrious by their birth and merit, exercised under their father the principal offices of peace and war. Toushi28 was his great huntsman, Zagatai29 his judge, Octai his minister, and Tuli his general; and their names and actions are often conspicuous in the history of his conquests. Firmly united for their own and the public interest, the three brothers and their families were content with dependent sceptres; and Octai, by general consent, was proclaimed Great Khan, or emperor of the Moguls and Tartars. He was succeeded by his son Gayuk, after whose death the empire devolved to his cousins, Mangou and Cublai, the sons of Tuli, and the grandsons of Zingis.30 In the sixty-eight years of his four first successors, the Moguls subdued almost all Asia and a large portion of Europe. Without confining myself to the order of time, without expatiating on the detail of events, I shall present a general picture of the progress of their arms. I. In the East; II. In the South; III. In the West; and, IV. In the North.
I. Before the invasion of Zingis, China was divided into two empires or dynasties of the North and South;31 and the difference of origin and interest was smoothed by a general conformity of laws, language, and national manners. The Northern empire, which had been dismembered by Zingis, was finally subdued seven years after his death. After the loss of Pekin, the emperor had fixed his residence at Kaifong, a city many leagues in circumference, and which contained, according to the Chinese annals, fourteen hundred thousand families of inhabitants and fugitives. He escaped from thence with only seven horsemen, and made his last stand in a third capital, till at length the hopeless monarch, protesting his innocence and accusing his fortune, ascended a funeral pile, and gave orders that, as soon as he had stabbed himself, the fire should be kindled by his attendants. The dynasty of the Song, the native and ancient sovereigns of the whole empire, survived above forty-five years the fall of the Northern usurpers; and the perfect conquest was reserved for the arms of Cublai. During this interval, the Moguls were often diverted by foreign wars; and, if the Chinese seldom dared to meet their victors in the field, their passive courage presented an endless succession of cities to storm and of millions to slaughter. In the attack and defence of places, the engines of antiquity and the Greek fire were alternately employed; the use of gunpowder, in cannon and bombs, appears as a familiar practice;32 and the sieges were conducted by the Mahometans and Franks, who had been liberally invited into the service of Cublai. After passing the great river, the troops and artillery were conveyed along a series of canals, till they invested the royal residence of Hamcheu, or Quinsay, in the country of silk, the most delicious climate of China. The emperor, a defenceless youth, surrendered his person and sceptre; and, before he was sent in exile into Tartary, he struck nine times the ground with his forehead, to adore in prayer or thanksgiving the mercy of the Great Khan. Yet the war (it was now styled a rebellion) was still maintained in the southern provinces from Hamcheu to Canton; and the obstinate remnant of independence and hostility was transported from the land to the sea. But, when the fleet of the Song was surrounded and oppressed by a superior armament, their last champion leaped into the waves with his infant emperor in his arms. “It is more glorious,” he cried, “to die a prince than to live a slave.” An hundred thousand Chinese imitated his example; and the whole empire, from Tonkin to the great wall, submitted to the dominion of Cublai. His boundless ambition aspired to the conquest of Japan; his fleet was twice shipwrecked; and the lives of an hundred thousand Moguls and Chinese were sacrificed in the fruitless expedition. But the circumjacent kingdoms, Corea, Tonkin, Cochinchina, Pegu, Bengal, and Thibet, were reduced in different degrees of tribute and obedience by the effort or terror of his arms. He explored the Indian Ocean with a fleet of a thousand ships; they sailed in sixty-eight days, most probably to the isle of Borneo, under the equinoctial line; and, though they returned not without spoil or glory, the emperor was dissatisfied that the savage king had escaped from their hands.
II. The conquest of Hindostan by the Moguls was reserved in a later period for the house of Timour; but that of Iran, or Persia, was achieved by Holagou33 Khan, the grandson of Zingis, the brother and lieutenant of the two successive emperors, Mangou and Cublai. I shall not enumerate the crowd of sultans, emirs, and atabeks, whom he trampled into dust; but the extirpation of the Assassins, or Ismaelians34 of Persia, may be considered as a service to mankind. Among the hills to the south of the Caspian, these odious sectaries had reigned with impunity above an hundred and sixty years; and their prince, or imam, established his lieutenant to lead and govern the colony of Mount Libanus, so famous and formidable in the history of the crusades.35 With the fanaticism of the Koran, the Ismaelians had blended the Indian transmigration and the visions of their own prophets; and it was their first duty to devote their souls and bodies in blind obedience to the vicar of God. The daggers of his missionaries were felt both in the East and West; the Christians and the Moslems enumerate, and perhaps multiply, the illustrious victims that were sacrificed to the zeal, avarice, or resentment of the old man (as he was corruptly styled) of the mountain. But these daggers, his only arms, were broken by the sword of Holagou, and not a vestige is left of the enemies of mankind, except the word assassin, which, in the most odious sense, has been adopted in the languages of Europe. The extinction of the Abbassides cannot be indifferent to the spectators of their greatness and decline. Since the fall of their Seljukian tyrants, the caliphs had recovered their lawful dominion of Bagdad and the Arabian Irak; but the city was distracted by theological factions, and the commander of the faithful was lost in a harem of seven hundred concubines. The invasion of the Moguls he encountered with feeble arms and haughty embassies. “On the divine decree,” said the caliph Mostasem, “is founded the throne of the sons of Abbas: and their foes shall surely be destroyed in this world and in the next. Who is this Holagou that dares to arise against them? If he be desirous of peace, let him instantly depart from the sacred territory, and perhaps he may obtain from our clemency the pardon of his fault.” This presumption was cherished by a perfidious vizir, who assured his master that, even if the Barbarians had entered the city, the women and children, from the terraces, would be sufficient to overwhelm them with stones. But, when Holagou touched the phantom, it instantly vanished into smoke. After a siege of two months, Bagdad was stormed and sacked by the Moguls; and their savage commander pronounced the death of the caliph Mostasem, the last of the temporal successors of Mahomet; whose noble kinsmen, of the race of Abbas, had reigned in Asia above five hundred years. Whatever might be the designs of the conqueror, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina36 were protected by the Arabian desert; but the Moguls spread beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, pillaged Aleppo and Damascus, 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 Mamalukes 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 drove back the stream of hostility to the eastward of the Euphrates. But it overflowed with resistless violence the kingdoms of Armenia and Anatolia, of which the former was possessed by the Christians, and the latter by the Turks. The sultans of Iconium opposed some resistance to the Mogul arms, till Azzadin sought a refuge among the Greeks of Constantinople, and his feeble successors, the last of the Seljukian dynasty, were finally extirpated by the khans of Persia.
III. No sooner had Octai subverted the Northern empire of China, than he resolved to visit with his arms the most remote countries of the West.37 Fifteen hundred thousand Moguls and Tartars were inscribed on the military roll; of these the Great Khan selected a third38 which he entrusted to the command of his nephew Batou, the son of Tuli;39 who reigned over his father’s conquests to the north of the Caspian Sea. After a festival of forty days, Batou set forwards on this great expedition; and such was the speed and ardour of his innumerable squadrons that in less than six years they had measured a line of ninety degrees of longitude, a fourth part of the circumference of the globe. The great rivers of Asia and Europe, the Volga and Kama, the Don and Borysthenes, the Vistula and Danube, they either swam with their horses, or passed on the ice, or traversed in leathern boats, which followed the camp and transported their waggons and artillery. By the first victories of Batou,40 the remains of national freedom were eradicated in the immense plains of Turkestan and Kipzak.41 In his rapid progress, he overran the kingdoms, as they are now styled, of Astracan and Cazan; and the troops which he detached towards Mount Caucasus, explored the most secret recesses of Georgia and Circassia. The civil discord of the great dukes or princes of Russia betrayed their country to the Tartars. They spread from Livonia to the Black Sea, and both Moscow and Kiow, the modern and the ancient capitals, were reduced to ashes: a temporary ruin, less fatal than the deep and perhaps indelible mark which a servitude of two hundred years has imprinted on the character of the Russians.42 The Tartars ravaged with equal fury the countries which they hoped to possess and those which they were hastening to leave. From the permanent conquest of Russia, they made a deadly, though transient, inroad into the heart of Poland and as far as the borders of Germany. The cities of Lublin and Cracow were obliterated; they approached the shores of the Baltic; and in the battle of Lignitz, they defeated the dukes of Silesia, the Polish palatines, and the great master of the Teutonic order,43 and filled nine sacks with the right ears of the slain. From Lignitz, the extreme point of their western march, they turned aside to the invasion of Hungary;44 and the presence or spirit of Batou inspired the host of five hundred thousand men: the Carpathian hills could not be long impervious to their divided columns; and their approach had been fondly disbelieved till it was irresistibly felt. The king, Bela the Fourth, assembled the military force of his counts and bishops; but he had alienated the nation by adopting a vagranthorde of forty thousand families of Comans; and these savage guests were provoked to revolt by the suspicion of treachery and the murder of their prince. The whole country north of the Danube was lost in a day, and depopulated in a summer; and the ruins of cities and churches were overspread with the bones of the natives, who expiated the sins of their Turkish ancestors. An ecclesiastic, who fled from the sack of Waradin, describes the calamities which he had seen or suffered; and the sanguinary rage of sieges and battles is far less atrocious than the treatment of the fugitives, who had been allured from the woods under a promise of peace and pardon, and who were coolly slaughtered as soon as they had performed the labours of the harvest and vintage. In the winter, the Tartars passed the Danube on the ice, and advanced to Gran or Strigonium, a German colony, and the metropolis of the kingdom. Thirty engines were planted against the walls; the ditches were filled with sacks of earth and dead bodies; and, after a promiscuous massacre, three hundred noble matrons were slain in the presence of the khan. Of all the cities and fortresses of Hungary, three alone survived the Tartar invasion, and the unfortunate Bela hid his head among the islands of the Adriatic.
The Latin world was darkened by this cloud of savage hostility; a Russian fugitive carried the alarm to Sweden; and the remote nations of the Baltic and the ocean trembled at the approach of the Tartars,45 whom their fear and ignorance were inclined to separate from the human species. Since the invasion of the Arabs in the eighth century, Europe had never been exposed to a similar calamity; and, if the disciples of Mahomet would have oppressed her religion and liberty, it might be apprehended that the shepherds of Scythia would extinguish her cities, her arts, and all the institutions of civil society. The Roman pontiff attempted to appease and convert these invincible Pagans by a mission of Franciscan and Dominican friars; but he was astonished by the reply of the khan, that the sons of God and of Zingis were invested with a divine power to subdue or extirpate the nations; and that the pope would be involved in the universal destruction, unless he visited in person, and as a suppliant, the royal horde. The emperor Frederic the Second embraced a more generous mode of defence; and his letters to the kings of France and England and the princes of Germany represented the common danger, and urged them to arm their vassals in this just and rational crusade.46 The Tartars themselves were awed by the fame and valour of the Franks; the town of Neustadt in Austria was bravely defended against them by fifty knights and twenty crossbows; and they raised the siege on the appearance of a German army. After wasting the adjacent kingdoms of Servia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, Batou slowly retreated from the Danube to the Volga to enjoy the rewards of victory in the city and palace of Serai, which started at his command from the midst of the desert.47
IV. Even the poor and frozen regions of the North attracted the arms of the Moguls: Sheibani Khan, the brother of the great Batou, led an horde of fifteen thousand families into the wilds of Siberia; and his descendants reigned at Tobolskoy above three centuries, till the Russian conquest. The spirit of enterprise which pursued the course of the Oby and Yenisei must have led to the discovery of the Icy Sea. After brushing away the monstrous fables, of men with dogs’ heads and cloven feet, we shall find that, fifteen years after the death of Zingis, the Moguls were informed of the name and manners of the Samoyedes in the neighbourhood of the polar circle, who dwelt in subterraneous huts, and derived their furs and their food from the sole occupation of hunting.48
While China, Syria, and Poland were invaded at the same time by the Moguls and Tartars, the authors of the mighty mischief were content with the knowledge and declaration that their word was the sword of death. Like the first caliphs, the first successors of Zingis seldom appeared in person at the head of their victorious armies. On the banks of the Onon and Selinga, the royal or golden horde exhibited the contrast of simplicity and greatness; of the roasted sheep and mare’s milk which composed their banquets; and of a distribution in one day of five hundred waggons of gold and silver. The ambassadors and princes of Europe and Asia were compelled to undertake this distant and laborious pilgrimage; and the life and reign of the great dukes of Russia, the kings of Gregoria and Armenia, the sultans of Iconium, and the emirs of Persia were decided by the frown or smile of the Great Khan. The sons and grandsons of Zingis had been accustomed to the pastoral life; but the village of Caracorum49 was gradually ennobled by their election and residence. A change of manners is implied in the removal of Octai and Mangou from a tent to an house; and their example was imitated by the princes of their family and the great officers of the empire. Instead of the boundless forest, the enclosure of a park afforded the more indolent pleasures of the chase; their new habitations were decorated with painting and sculpture; their superfluous treasures were cast in fountains, and basons, and statues of massy silver; and the artists of China and Paris vied with each other in the service of the Great Khan.50 Caracorum contained two streets, the one of Chinese mechanics, the other of Mahometan traders; and the places of religious worship, one Nestorian church, two moschs, and twelve temples of various idols, may represent, in some degree, the number and division of inhabitants. Yet a French missionary declares that the town of St. Denys, near Paris, was more considerable than the Tartar capital; and that the whole palace of Mangou was scarcely equal to a tenth part of that Benedictine abbey. The conquests of Russia and Syria might amuse the vanity of the Great Khans; but they were seated on the borders of China; the acquisition of that empire was the nearest and most interesting object; and they might learn from their pastoral economy that it is for the advantage of the shepherd to protect and propagate his flock. I have already celebrated the wisdom and virtue of a mandarin who prevented the desolation of five populous and cultivated provinces. In a spotless administration of thirty years, this friend of his country and of mankind continually laboured to mitigate or suspend the havoc of war; to save the monuments, and to rekindle the flame, of science; to restrain the military commander by the restoration of civil magistrates; and to instil the love of peace and justice into the minds of the Moguls. He struggled with the barbarism of the first conquerors; but his salutary lessons produced a rich harvest in the second generation. The northern and by degrees the southern empire acquiesced in the government of Cublai, the lieutenant and afterwards the successor of Mangou; and the nation was loyal to a prince who had been educated in the manners of China. He restored the forms of her venerable constitution; and the victors submitted to the laws, the fashions, and even the prejudices of the vanquished people. This peaceful triumph, which has been more than once repeated, may be ascribed, in a great measure, to the numbers and servitude of the Chinese. The Mogul army was dissolved in a vast and populous country; and their emperors adopted with pleasure a political system which gives to the prince the solid substance of despotism and leaves to the subject the empty names of philosophy, freedom, and filial obedience. Under the reign of Cublai, letters and commerce, peace and justice, were restored; the great canal of five hundred miles was opened from Nankin to the capital; he fixed his residence at Pekin,51 and displayed in his court the magnificence of the greatest monarch of Asia. Yet this learned prince declined from the pure and simple religion of his great ancestor; he sacrificed to the idol Fo; and his blind attachment to the lamas of Thibet and the bonzes of China52 provoked the censure of the disciples of Confucius. His successors polluted the palace with a crowd of eunuchs, physicians, and astrologers, while thirteen millions of their subjects were consumed in the provinces by famine. One hundred and forty years after the death of Zingis, his degenerate race, the dynasty of the Yuen, was expelled by a revolt of the native Chinese;53 and the Mogul emperors were lost in the oblivion of the desert. Before this revolution, they had forfeited their supremacy over the dependent branches of their house, the khans of Kipzak and Russia, the khans of Zagatai or Transoxiana, and the khans of Iran or Persia. By their distance and power, these royal lieutenants had soon been released from the duties of obedience; and, after the death of Cublai, they scorned to accept a sceptre or a title from his unworthy successors. According to their respective situation, they maintained the simplicity of the pastoral life or assumed the luxury of the cities of Asia; but the princes and their hordes were alike disposed for the reception of a foreign worship. After some hesitation between the Gospel and the Koran, they conformed to the religion of Mahomet; and, while they adopted for their brethren the Arabs and Persians, they renounced all intercourse with the ancient Moguls, the idolaters of China.
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 glorious and voluntary retreat of Batou from the Danube was insulted by the vain triumph of the Franks and Greeks;54 and in a second expedition death surprised him in full march to attack the capital of the Cæsars. His brother Borga carried the Tartar arms into Bulgaria and Thrace; but he was diverted from the Byzantine war by a visit to Novogorod, in the fifty-seventh degree of latitude, where he numbered the inhabitants and regulated the tributes of Russia. The Mogul khan formed an alliance with the Mamalukes against his brethren of Persia; three hundred thousand horse penetrated through the gates of Derbend; and the Greeks might rejoice in the first example of domestic war. After the recovery of Constantinople, Michael Palæologus,55 at a distance from his court and army, was surprised and surrounded in a Thracian castle by twenty thousand Tartars. But the object of their march was a private interest; they came to the deliverance of Azzadin,56 the Turkish sultan; and were content with his person and the treasure of the emperor. Their general Noga, whose name is perpetuated in the hordes of Astracan, raised a formidable rebellion against Mengo Timour, the third of the khans of Kipzak; obtained in marriage Maria, the natural daughter of Palæologus; and guarded the dominions of his friend and father. The subsequent invasions of a Scythian cast were those of outlaws and fugitives; and some thousands of Alani and Comans, who had been driven from their native seats, were reclaimed from a vagrant life and enlisted in the service of the empire. Such was the influence in Europe of the invasion of the Moguls. The first terror of their arms secured rather than disturbed the peace of the Roman Asia. The sultan of Iconium solicited a personal interview with John Vataces; and his artful policy encouraged the Turks to defend their barrier against the common enemy.57 That barrier indeed was soon overthrown; and the servitude and ruin of the Seljukians exposed the nakedness of the Greeks. The formidable Holagou threatened to march to Constantinople at the head of four hundred thousand men; and the groundless panic of the citizens of Nice will present an image of the terror which he had inspired. The accident of a procession, and the sound of a doleful litany, “From the fury of the Tartars, good Lord, deliver us,” had scattered the hasty report of an assault and massacre. In the blind credulity of fear, the streets of Nice were crowded with thousands of both sexes, who knew not from what or to whom they fled; and some hours elapsed before the firmness of the military officers could relieve the city from this imaginary foe. But the ambition of Holagou and his successors was fortunately diverted by the conquest of Bagdad and a long vicissitude of Syrian wars; their hostility to the Moslems inclined them to unite with the Greeks and Franks;58 and their generosity or contempt had 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 his Turkish frontier. The death of Cazan,59 one of the greatest and most accomplished princes of the house of Zingis, removed this salutary control; and the decline of the Moguls gave a free scope to the rise and progress of the Ottoman Empire.60
After the retreat of Zingis, the sultan Gelaleddin of Carisme had returned from India to the possession and defence of his Persian kingdoms. In the space of eleven years, that hero fought in person fourteen battles; and such was his activity that he led his cavalry, in seventeen days, from Teflis to Kerman, a march of a thousand miles.61 Yet he was oppressed by the jealousy of the Moslem princes and the innumerable armies of the Moguls; and after his last defeat Gelaleddin perished ignobly in the mountains of Curdistan. His death dissolved a veteran and adventurous army, which included under the name of Carizmians, or Corasmins, many Turkman hordes that had attached themselves to the sultan’s fortune. The bolder and more powerful chiefs invaded Syria and violated the holy sepulchre of Jerusalem; the more humble engaged in the service of Aladin, sultan of Iconium; and among these were the obscure fathers of the Ottoman line.62 They had formerly pitched their tents near the southern banks of the Oxus, in the plains of Mahan and Nesa; and it is somewhat remarkable that the same spot should have produced the first authors of the Parthian and Turkish empires. At the head or in the rear of a Carizmian army, Soliman Shah was drowned in the passage of the Euphrates; his son, Orthogrul, became the soldier and subject of Aladin, and established at Surgut,63 on the banks of the Sangar, a camp of four hundred families, or tents, whom he governed fifty-two years both in peace and war. He was the father of Thaman, or Athman, whose Turkish name has been melted into the appellation of the caliph Othman;64 and, if we describe that pastoral chief as a shepherd and a robber, we must separate from those characters all idea of ignominy and baseness. Othman possessed, and perhaps surpassed, the ordinary virtues of a soldier; and the circumstances of time and place were propitious to his independence and success. The Seljukian dynasty was no more; and the distance and decline of the Mogul khans soon enfranchised him from the control of a superior. He was situate on the verge of the Greek empire; the Koran sanctified his gazi, or holy war, against the infidels; and their political errors unlocked the passes of Mount Olympus, and invited him to descend into the plains of Bithynia. Till the reign of Palæologus, these passes had been vigilantly guarded by the militia of the country, who were repaid by their own safety and an exemption from taxes. The emperor abolished their privilege and assumed their office; but the tribute was rigorously collected, the custody of the passes was neglected, and the hardy mountaineers degenerated into a trembling crowd of peasants without spirit or discipline. It was on the twenty-seventh of July, in the year twelve hundred and ninety-nine of the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia;65 and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose some foresight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster. The annals of the twenty-seven years of his reign would exhibit a repetition of the same inroads; and his hereditary troops were multiplied in each campaign by the accession of captives and volunteers. Instead of retreating to the hills, he maintained the most useful and defensible posts; fortified the towns and castles which he had first pillaged; and renounced the pastoral life for the baths and palaces of his infant capitals. But it was not till Othman was oppressed by age and infirmities that he received the welcome news of the conquest of Prusa, which had been surrendered by famine or treachery to the arms of his son Orchan. The glory of Othman is chiefly founded on that of his descendants; but the Turks have transcribed or composed a royal testament of his last counsels of justice and moderation.66
From the conquest of Prusa we may date the true era of the Ottoman empire. The lives and possessions of the Christian subjects were redeemed by a tribute or ransom of thirty thousand crowns of gold; and the city, by the labours of Orchan, assumed the aspect of a Mahometan capital; Prusa was decorated with a mosch, a college, and an hospital of royal foundation; the Seljukian coin was changed for the name and impression of the new dynasty; and the most skilful professors of human and divine knowledge attracted the Persian and Arabian students from the ancient schools of Oriental learning. The office of vizir was instituted for Aladin, the brother of Orchan; and a different habit distinguished the citizens from the peasants, the Moslems from the infidels. All the troops of Othman had consisted of loose squadrons of Turkman cavalry, who served without pay and fought without discipline; but a regular body of infantry was first established and trained by the prudence of his son.67 A great number of volunteers was enrolled with a small stipend, but with the permission of living at home, unless they were summoned to the field; their rude manners and seditious temper disposed Orchan to educate his young captives as his soldiers and those of the prophet; but the Turkish peasants were still allowed to mount on horseback and follow his standard, with the appellation and the hopes of freebooters. By these arts he formed an army of twenty-five thousand Moslems; a train of battering engines was framed for the use of sieges; and the first successful experiment was made on the cities of Nice and Nicomedia. Orchan granted a safe-conduct to all who were desirous of departing with their families and effects; but the widows of the slain were given in marriage to the conquerors; and the sacrilegious plunder, the books, the vases, and the images were sold or ransomed at Constantinople. The emperor, Andronicus the Younger, was vanquished and wounded by the son of Othman;68 he subdued the whole province or kingdom of Bithynia, as far as the shores of the Bosphorus and Hellespont; and the Christians confessed the justice and clemency of a reign which claimed the voluntary attachment of the Turks of Asia. Yet Orchan was content with the modest title of emir; and in the list of his compeers, the princes of Roum or Anatolia,69 his military forces were surpassed by the emirs of Ghermian and Caramania, each of whom could bring into the field an army of forty thousand men. Their dominions were situate in the heart of the Seljukian kingdom; but the holy warriors, though of inferior note, who formed new principalities on the Greek empire, are more conspicuous in the light of history. The maritime country from the Propontis to the Mæander and the isle of Rhodes, so long threatened and so often pillaged, was finally lost about the thirtieth year of Andronicus the Elder.70 Two Turkish chieftains, Sarukhan and Aidin, left their names to their conquests and their conquests to their posterity. The captivity or ruin of the seven churches of Asia was consummated; and the Barbarous lords of Ionia and Lydia still trample on the monuments of classic and Christian antiquity. In the loss of Ephesus, the Christians deplored the fall of the first angel, the extinction of the first candlestick of the Revelations;71 the desolation is complete; and the temple of Diana or the church of Mary will equally elude the search of the curious traveller. The circus and three stately theatres of Laodicea are now peopled with wolves and foxes; Sardes is reduced to a miserable village; the God of Mahomet, without a rival or a son, is invoked in the moschs of Thyatira and Pergamus; and the populousness of Smyrna is supported by the foreign trade of the Franks and Armenians. Philadelphia alone has been saved by prophecy, or courage. At a distance from the sea, forgotten by the emperors, encompassed on all sides by the Turks, her valiant citizens defended their religion and freedom above four-score years, and at length capitulated with the proudest of the Ottomans. Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins: a pleasing example that the paths of honour and safety may sometimes be the same.72 The servitude of Rhodes was delayed above two centuries by the establishment of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem.73 Under the discipline of the order that island emerged into fame and opulence; the noble and warlike monks were renowned by land and sea; and the bulwark of Christendom provoked and repelled the arms of the Turks and Saracens.
The Greeks, by their intestine divisions, were the authors of their final ruin.74 During the civil wars of the elder and younger Andronicus, the son of Othman achieved, almost without resistance, the conquest of Bithynia; and the same disorders encouraged the Turkish emirs of Lydia and Ionia to build a fleet, and to pillage the adjacent islands and the sea-coast of Europe. In the defence of his life and honour, Cantacuzene was tempted to prevent or imitate his adversaries by calling to his aid the public enemies of his religion and country. Amir, the son of Aidin, concealed under a Turkish garb the humanity and politeness of a Greek; he was united with the great domestic by mutual esteem and reciprocal services; and their friendship is compared, in the vain rhetoric of the times, to the perfect union of Orestes and Pylades.75 On the report of the danger of his friend, who was persecuted by an ungrateful court, the prince of Ionia assembled at Smyrna a fleet of three hundred vessels, with an army of twenty-nine thousand men; sailed in the depth of winter, and cast anchor at the mouth of the Hebrus. From thence, with a chosen band of two thousand Turks, he marched along the banks of the river, and rescued the empress, who was besieged in Demotica by the wild Bulgarians. At that disastrous moment the life or death of his beloved Cantacuzene was concealed by his flight into Servia; but the grateful Irene, impatient to behold her deliverer, invited him to enter the city, and accompanied her message with a present of rich apparel and an hundred horses. By a peculiar strain of delicacy the gentle Barbarian refused, in the absence of an unfortunate friend, to visit his wife or to taste the luxuries of the palace, sustained in his tent the rigour of the winter; and rejected the hospitable gift, that he might share the hardships of two thousand companions, all as deserving as himself of that honour and distinction. Necessity and revenge might justify his predatory excursions by sea and land; he left nine thousand five hundred men for the guard of his fleet; and persevered in the fruitless search of Cantacuzene, till his embarkation was hastened by a fictitious letter, the severity of the season, the clamours of his independent troops, and the weight of his spoil and captives. In the prosecution of the civil war, the prince of Ionia twice returned to Europe; joined his arms with those of the emperor; besieged Thessalonica, and threatened Constantinople. Calumny might affix some reproach on his imperfect aid, his hasty departure, and a bribe of ten thousand crowns, which he accepted from the Byzantine court; but his friend was satisfied; and the conduct of Amir is excused by the more sacred duty of defending against the Latins his hereditary dominions. The maritime power of the Turks had united the pope, the king of Cyprus, the republic of Venice, and the order of St. John, in a laudable crusade; their galleys invaded the coast of Ionia; and Amir was slain with an arrow, in the attempt to wrest from the Rhodian knights the citadel of Smyrna.76 Before his death, he generously recommended another ally of his own nation, not more sincere or zealous than himself, but more able to afford a prompt and powerful succour, by his situation along the Propontis and in the front of Constantinople. By the prospect of a more advantageous treaty, the Turkish prince of Bithynia was detached from his engagements with Anne of Savoy; and the pride of Orchan dictated the most solemn protestations that, if he could obtain the daughter of Cantacuzene, he would invariably fulfil the duties of a subject and a son. Parental tenderness was silenced by the voice of ambition; the Greek clergy connived at the marriage of a Christian princess with a sectary of Mahomet; and the father of Theodora describes, with shameful satisfaction, the dishonour of the purple.77 A body of Turkish cavalry attended the ambassadors, who disembarked from thirty vessels before his camp of Selybria. A stately pavilion was erected, in which the empress Irene passed the night with her daughters. In the morning, Theodora ascended a throne, which was surrounded with curtains of silk and gold; the troops were under arms; but the emperor alone was on horseback. At a signal the curtains were suddenly withdrawn, to disclose the bride, or the victim, encircled by kneeling eunuchs and hymenæal torches: the sound of flutes and trumpets proclaimed the joyful event; and her pretended happiness was the theme of the nuptial song, which was chaunted by such poets as the age could produce. Without the rites of the church, Theodora was delivered to her Barbarous lord; but it had been stipulated that she should preserve her religion in the harem of Boursa; and her father celebrates her charity and devotion in this ambiguous situation. After his peaceful establishment on the throne of Constantinople, the Greek emperor visited his Turkish ally, who, with four sons, by various wives, expected him at Scutari, on the Asiatic shore. The two princes partook, with seeming cordiality, of the pleasures of the banquet and the chase; and Theodora was permitted to repass the Bosphorus, and to enjoy some days in the society of her mother. But the friendship of Orchan was subservient to his religion and interest; and in the Genoese war he joined without a blush the enemies of Cantacuzene.
In the treaty with the empress Anne, the Ottoman prince had inserted a singular condition, that it should be lawful for him to sell his prisoners at Constantinople or transport them into Asia. A naked crowd of Christians of both sexes and every age, of priests and monks, of matrons and virgins, was exposed in the public market; the whip was frequently used to quicken the charity of redemption; and the indigent Greeks deplored the fate of their brethren, who were led away to the worst evils of temporal and spiritual bondage.78 Cantacuzene was reduced to subscribe the same terms; and their execution must have been still more pernicious to the empire; a body of ten thousand Turks had been detached to the assistance of the empress Anne; but the entire forces of Orchan were exerted in the service of his father. Yet these calamities were of a transient nature; as soon as the storm had passed away, the fugitives might return to their habitations; and at the conclusion of the civil and foreign wars Europe was completely evacuated by the Moslems of Asia. It was in his last quarrel with his pupil that Cantacuzene inflicted the deep and deadly wound, which could never be healed by his successors, and which is poorly expiated by his theological dialogues against the prophet Mahomet. Ignorant of their own history, the modern Turks confound their first and their final passage of the Hellespont,79 and describe the son of Orchan as a nocturnal robber, who, with eighty companions, explores by stratagem an hostile and unknown shore. Soliman, at the head of ten thousand horse, was transported in the vessels, and entertained as the friend, of the Greek emperor. In the civil wars of Roumania, he performed some service and perpetrated more mischief; but the Chersonesus was insensibly filled with a Turkish colony; and the Byzantine court solicited in vain the restitution of the fortresses of Thrace. After some artful delays between the Ottoman prince and his son, their ransom was valued at sixty thousand crowns, and the first payment had been made, when an earthquake shook the walls and cities of the provinces; the dismantled places were occupied by the Turks; and Gallipoli, the key of the Hellespont, was rebuilt and repeopled by the policy of Soliman. The abdication of Cantacuzene dissolved the feeble bands of domestic alliance; and his last advice admonished his countrymen to decline a rash contest, and to compare their own weakness with the numbers and valour, the discipline and enthusiasm, of the Moslems. His prudent counsels were despised by the headstrong vanity of youth, and soon justified by the victories of the Ottomans. But, as he practised in the field the exercise of the jerid, Soliman was killed by a fall from his horse; and the aged Orchan wept and expired on the tomb of his valiant son.
But the Greeks had not time to rejoice in the death of their enemies; and the Turkish scymetar was wielded with the same spirit by Amurath the First, the son of Orchan and the brother of Soliman. By the pale and fainting light of the Byzantine annals,80 we can discern that he subdued without resistance the whole province of Roumania or Thrace, from the Hellespont to Mount Hæmus and the verge of the capital; and that Hadrianople was chosen for the royal seat of his government and religion in Europe.81 Constantinople, whose decline is almost coeval with her foundation, had often, in the lapse of a thousand years, been assaulted by the Barbarians of the East and West; but never till this fatal hour had the Greeks been surrounded, both in Asia and Europe, by the arms of the same hostile monarchy. Yet the prudence or generosity of Amurath postponed for a while this easy conquest; and his pride was satisfied with the frequent and humble attendance of the emperor John Palæologus and his four sons, who followed at his summons the court and camp of the Ottoman prince. He marched against the Sclavonian nations between the Danube and the Adriatic, the Bulgarians, Servians, Bosnians, and Albanians; and these warlike tribes, who had so often insulted the majesty of the empire, were repeatedly broken by his destructive inroads. Their countries did not abound either in gold or silver; nor were their rustic hamlets and townships enriched by commerce or decorated by the arts of luxury. But the natives of the soil have been distinguished in every age by their hardiness of mind and body; and they were converted by a prudent institution into the firmest and most faithful supporters of the Ottoman greatness.82 The vizir of Amurath reminded his sovereign that, according to the Mahometan law, he was entitled to a fifth part of the spoil and captives; and that the duty might easily be levied, if vigilant officers were stationed at Gallipoli, to watch the passage, and to select for his use the stoutest and most beautiful of the Christian youth. The advice was followed; the edict was proclaimed; many thousands of the European captives were educated in religion and arms; and the new militia was consecrated and named by a celebrated dervish. Standing in the front of their ranks, he stretched the sleeve of his gown over the head of the foremost soldier, and his blessing was delivered in these words: “Let them be called Janizaries (Yengi cheri, or new soldiers); may their countenance be ever bright! their hand victorious! their sword keen! may their spear always hang over the heads of their enemies; and, wheresoever they go, may they return with a white face!”83 Such was the origin of these haughty troops, the terror of the nations, and sometimes of the sultans themselves. Their valour has declined, their discipline is relaxed, and their tumultuary array is incapable of contending with the order and weapons of modern tactics;84 but at the time of their institution, they possessed a decisive superiority in war; since a regular body of infantry, in constant exercise and pay, was not maintained by any of the princes of Christendom. The Janizaries fought with the zeal of proselytes against their idolatrous countrymen; and in the battle of Cossova the league and independence of the Sclavonian tribes was finally crushed.85 As the conqueror walked over the field, he observed that the greatest part of the slain consisted of beardless youths; and listened to the flattering reply of his vizir, that age and wisdom would have taught them not to oppose his irresistible arms. But the sword of his Janizaries could not defend him from the dagger of despair; a Servian soldier started from the crowd of dead bodies, and Amurath was pierced in the belly with a mortal wound. The grandson of Othman was mild in his temper, modest in his apparel, and a lover of learning and virtue; but the Moslems were scandalised at his absence from public worship; and he was corrected by the firmness of the mufti, who dared to reject his testimony in a civil cause: a mixture of servitude and freedom not unfrequent in Oriental history.86
The character of Bajazet, the son and successor of Amurath, is strongly expressed in his surname of Ilderim, or the lightning; and he might glory in an epithet which was drawn from the fiery energy of his soul and the rapidity of his destructive march. In the fourteenth year of his reign,87 he incessantly moved at the head of his armies, from Boursa to Hadrianople, from the Danube to the Euphrates; and, though he strenuously laboured for the propagation of the law, he invaded, with impartial ambition, the Christian and Mahometan princes of Europe and Asia. From Angora to Amasia and Erzeroum, the northern regions of Anatolia were reduced to his obedience; he stripped of their hereditary possessions his brother emirs, of Ghermian and Caramania, of Aidin and Sarukhan; and after the conquest of Iconium the ancient kingdom of the Seljukians again revived in the Ottoman dynasty. Nor were the conquests of Bajazet less rapid or important in Europe. No sooner had he imposed a regular form of servitude on the Servians and Bulgarians, than he passed the Danube to seek new enemies and new subjects in the heart of Moldavia.88 Whatever yet adhered to the Greek empire in Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly acknowledged a Turkish master. An obsequious bishop led him through the gates of Thermopylæ into Greece; and we may observe, as a singular fact, that the widow of a Spanish chief, who possessed the ancient seat of the oracle of Delphi, deserved his favour by the sacrifice of a beauteous daughter. The Turkish communication between Europe and Asia had been dangerous and doubtful, till he stationed at Gallipoli a fleet of galleys, to command the Hellespont and intercept the Latin succours of Constantinople. While the monarch indulged his passions in a boundless range of injustice and cruelty, he imposed on his soldiers the most rigid laws of modesty and abstinence; and the harvest was peaceably reaped and sold within the precincts of his camp.89 Provoked by the loose and corrupt administration of justice, he collected, in a house, the judges and lawyers of his dominions, who expected that in a few moments the fire would be kindled to reduce them to ashes. His ministers trembled in silence; but an Æthiopian buffoon presumed to insinuate the true cause of the evil; and future venality was left without excuse by annexing an adequate salary to the office of Cadhi.90 The humble title of Emir was no longer suitable to the Ottoman greatness; and Bajazet condescended to accept a patent of Sultan from the caliphs who served in Egypt under the yoke of the Mamalukes:91 a last and frivolous homage that was yielded by force to opinion, by the Turkish conquerors to the house of Abbas and the successors of the Arabian prophet. The ambition of the sultan was inflamed by the obligation of deserving this august title; and he turned his arms against the kingdom of Hungary, the perpetual theatre of the Turkish victories and defeats. Sigismond, the Hungarian king, was the son and brother of the emperors of the West; his cause was that of Europe and the church; and, on the report of his danger, the bravest knights of France and Germany were eager to march under his standard and that of the cross. In the battle of Nicopolis, Bajazet defeated a confederate army of an hundred thousand Christians, who had proudly boasted that, if the sky should fall, they could uphold it on their lances. The far greater part were slain or driven into the Danube; and Sigismond, escaping to Constantinople by the river and the Black Sea, returned after a long circuit to his exhausted kingdom.92 In the pride of victory, Bajazet threatened that he would besiege Buda; that he would subdue the adjacent countries of Germany and Italy; and that he would feed his horse with a bushel of oats on the altar of St. Peter at Rome. His progress was checked, not by the miraculous interposition of the apostle, not by a crusade of the Christian powers, but by a long and painful fit of the gout. The disorders of the moral, are sometimes corrected by those of the physical, world; and an acrimonious humour falling on a single fibre of one man may prevent or suspend the misery of nations.
Such is the general idea of the Hungarian war; but the disastrous adventure of the French has procured us some memorials which illustrate the victory and character of Bajazet.93 The duke of Burgundy, sovereign of Flanders, and uncle of Charles the Sixth, yielded to the ardour of his son, John count of Nevers; and the fearless youth was accompanied by four princes, his cousins, and those of the French monarch. Their inexperience was guided by the Sire de Coucy, one of the best and oldest captains of Christendom;94 but the constable, admiral, and marshal of France95 commanded an army which did not exceed the number of a thousand knights and squires. Those splendid names were the source of presumption and the bane of discipline. So many might aspire to command that none were willing to obey; their national spirit despised both their enemies and their allies; and in the persuasion that Bajazet would fly or must fall, they began to compute how soon they should visit Constantinople, and deliver the holy sepulchre. When their scouts announced the approach of the Turks,96 the gay and thoughtless youths were at table, already heated with wine; they instantly clasped their armour, mounted their horses, rode full speed to the vanguard, and resented as an affront the advice of Sigismond, which would have deprived them of the right and honour of the foremost attack. The battle of Nicopolis would not have been lost, if the French would have obeyed the prudence of the Hungarians; but it might have been gloriously won, had the Hungarians imitated the valour of the French. They dispersed the first line, consisting of the troops of Asia; forced a rampart of stakes, which had been planted against the cavalry; broke, after a bloody conflict, the Janizaries themselves; and were at length overwhelmed by the numerous squadrons97 that issued from the woods, and charged on all sides this handful of intrepid warriors. In the speed and secrecy of his march, in the order and evolutions of the battle, his enemies felt and admired the military talents of Bajazet. They accuse his cruelty in the use of victory. After reserving the count of Nevers, and four-and-twenty lords, whose birth and riches were attested by his Latin interpreters, the remainder of the French captives, who had survived the slaughter of the day, were led before his throne; and, as they refused to abjure their faith, were successively beheaded in his presence. The sultan was exasperated by the loss of his bravest Janizaries; and if it be true that, on the eve of the engagement, the French had massacred their Turkish prisoners,98 they might impute to themselves the consequences of a just retaliation. A knight, whose life had been spared, was permitted to return to Paris, that he might relate the deplorable tale and solicit the ransom of the noble captives. In the meanwhile the count of Nevers, with the princes and barons of France, were dragged along in the marches of the Turkish camp, exposed as a grateful trophy to the Moslems of Europe and Asia, and strictly confined at Boursa, as often as Bajazet resided in his capital. The sultan was pressed each day to expiate with their blood the blood of his martyrs; but he had pronounced that they should live, and either for mercy or destruction his word was irrevocable. He was assured of their value and importance by the return of the messenger, and the gifts and intercessions of the kings of France and of Cyprus. Lusignan presented him with a gold salt-cellar of curious workmanship and of the price of ten thousand ducats; and Charles the Sixth despatched by the way of Hungary a cast of Norwegian hawks, and six horse-loads of scarlet cloth, of fine linen of Rheims, and of Arras tapestry, representing the battles of the great Alexander. After much delay, the effect of distance rather than of art, Bajazet agreed to accept a ransom of two hundred thousand ducats for the count of Nevers and the surviving princes and barons; the marshal Boucicault, a famous warrior, was of the number of the fortunate; but the admiral of France had been slain in the battle; and the constable, with the Sire de Coucy, died in the prison of Boursa. This heavy demand, which was doubled by incidental costs, fell chiefly on the duke of Burgundy, or rather on his Flemish subjects, who were bound by the feudal laws to contribute for the knighthood and captivity of the eldest son of their lord. For the faithful discharge of the debt, some merchants of Genoa gave security to the amount of five times the sum: a lesson to those warlike times that commerce and credit are the links of the society of nations. It had been stipulated in the treaty that the French captives should swear never to bear arms against the person of their conqueror; but the onerous restraint was abolished by Bajazet himself. “I despise,” said he to the heir of Burgundy, “thy oaths and thy arms. Thou art young, and mayest be ambitious of effacing the disgrace of misfortune of thy first chivalry. Assemble thy powers, proclaim thy design, and be assured that Bajazet will rejoice to meet thee a second time in a field of battle.” Before their departure, they were indulged in the freedom and hospitality of the court of Boursa. The French princes admired the magnificence of the Ottoman, whose hunting and hawking equipage was composed of seven thousand huntsmen, and seven thousand falconers.99 In their presence, and at his command, the belly of one of his chamberlains was cut open, on a complaint against him for drinking the goat’s milk of a poor woman. The strangers were astonished by this act of justice; but it was the justice of a sultan who disdains to balance the weight of evidence or to measure the degrees of guilt.
After his enfranchisement from an oppressive guardian, John Palæologus remained thirty-six years the helpless and, as it should seem, the careless spectator of the public ruin.100 Love, or rather lust, was his only vigorous passion; and in the embraces of the wives and virgins of the city the Turkish slave forgot the dishonour. of the emperor of the Romans. Andronicus, his eldest son, had formed, at Hadrianople, an intimate and guilty friendship with Sauzes, the son of Amurath; and the two youths conspired against the authority and lives of their parents. The presence of Amurath in Europe soon discovered and dissipated their rash counsels; and, after depriving Sauzes of his sight,101 the Ottoman threatened his vassal with the treatment of an accomplice and an enemy, unless he inflicted a similar punishment on his own son. Palæologus trembled and obeyed; and a cruel precaution involved in the same sentence the childhood and innocence of John, the son of the criminal. But the operation was so mildly, or so unskilfully, performed that the one retained the sight of an eye and the other was afflicted only with the infirmity of squinting. Thus excluded from the succession, the two princes were confined in the tower of Anema; and the piety of Manuel, the second son of the reigning monarch, was rewarded with the gift of the Imperial crown. But at the end of two years the turbulence of the Latins and the levity of the Greeks produced a revolution; and the two emperors were buried in the tower from whence the two prisoners were exalted to the throne. Another period of two years afforded Palæologus and Manuel the means of escape. It was contrived by the magic or subtlety of a monk, who was alternately named the angel or the devil. They fled to Scutari; their adherents armed in their cause; and the two Byzantine factions displayed the ambition and animosity with which Cæsar and Pompey had disputed the empire of the world. The Roman world was now contracted to a corner of Thrace, between the Propontis and the Black Sea, about fifty miles in length and thirty in breadth; a space of ground not more extensive than the lesser principalities of Germany or Italy, if the remains of Constantinople had not still represented the wealth and populousness of a kingdom. To restore the public peace, it was found necessary to divide this fragment of the empire; and, while Palæologus and Manuel were left in possession of the capital, almost all that lay without the walls was ceded to the blind princes, who fixed their residence at Rhodosto and Selybria.102 In the tranquil slumber of royalty, the passions of John Palæologus survived his reason and his strength; he deprived his favourite and heir of a blooming princess of Trebizond; and, while the feeble emperor laboured to consummate his nuptials, Manuel, with an hundred of the noblest Greeks, was sent on a peremptory summons to the Ottoman porte. They served with honour in the wars of Bajazet; but a plan of fortifying Constantinople excited his jealousy; he threatened their lives; the new works were instantly demolished; and we shall bestow a praise, perhaps above the merit of Palæologus, if we impute this last humiliation as the cause of his death.
The earliest intelligence of that event was communicated to Manuel, who escaped with speed and secrecy from the palace of Boursa to the Byzantine throne. Bajazet affected a proud indifference at the loss of this valuable pledge; and, while he pursued his conquests in Europe and Asia, he left the emperor to struggle with his blind cousin, John of Selybria, who, in eight years of civil war, asserted his right of primogeniture. At length the ambition of the victorious sultan pointed to the conquest of Constantinople; but he listened to the advice of his vizir, who represented that such an enterprise might unite the powers of Christendom in a second and more formidable crusade. His epistle to the emperor was conceived in these words: “By the divine clemency, our invincible scymetar has reduced to our obedience almost all Asia, with many and large countries in Europe, excepting only the city of Constantinople; for beyond the walls thou hast nothing left. Resign that city; stipulate thy reward; or tremble for thyself and thy unhappy people at the consequences of a rash refusal.” But his ambassadors were instructed to soften their tone, and to propose a treaty, which was subscribed with submission and gratitude. A truce of ten years was purchased by an annual tribute of thirty thousand crowns of gold; the Greeks deplored the public toleration of the law of Mahomet; and Bajazet enjoyed the glory of establishing a Turkish cadhi and founding a royal mosch in the metropolis of the Eastern church.103 Yet this truce was soon violated by the restless sultan. In the cause of the prince of Selybria, the lawful emperor,104 an army of Ottomans again threatened Constantinople; and the distress of Manuel implored the protection of the king of France. His plaintive embassy obtained much pity, and some relief; and the conduct of the succour was entrusted to the marshal Boucicault,105 whose religious chivalry was inflamed by the desire of revenging his captivity on the infidels. He sailed with four ships of war from Aiguesmortes to the Hellespont; forced the passage, which was guarded by seventeen Turkish galleys; landed at Constantinople a supply of six hundred men at arms and sixteen hundred archers; and reviewed them in the adjacent plain, without condescending to number or array the multitude of Greeks. By his presence, the blockade was raised both by sea and land; the flying squadrons of Bajazet were driven to a more respectful distance; and several castles in Europe and Asia were stormed by the emperor and the marshal, who fought with equal valour by each other’s side. But the Ottomans soon returned with an increase of numbers; and the intrepid Boucicault, after a year’s struggle, resolved to evacuate a country which could no longer afford either pay or provisions for his soldiers. The marshal offered to conduct Manuel to the French court, where he might solicit in person a supply of men and money; and advised in the meanwhile that, to extinguish all domestic discord, he should leave his blind competitor on the throne. The proposal was embraced; the prince of Selybria was introduced to the capital; and such was the public misery that the lot of the exile seemed more fortunate than that of the sovereign. Instead of applauding the success of his vassal, the Turkish sultan claimed the city as his own; and, on the refusal of the emperor John, Constantinople was more closely pressed by the calamities of war and famine. Against such an enemy prayers and resistance were alike unavailing; and the savage would have devoured his prey, if, in the fatal moment, he had not been overthrown by another savage stronger than himself. By the victory of Timour, or Tamerlane, the fall of Constantinople was delayed about fifty years; and this important though accidental service may justly introduce the life and character of the Mogul conqueror.
[1 ]The reader is invited to review the chapters of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh volumes; the manners of pastoral nations, the conquests of Atila and the Huns, which were composed at a time when I entertained the wish, rather than the hope, of concluding my history.
[2 ][The miraculous origin of the race of Chingiz Khan appears in Turkish and Chinese as well as in Mongol legend. The family to which he belonged was called the Borjigen; it seems to have been of Turkish origin on the female side, but Mongol on the male (Cahun, Intr. à l’histoire de l’Asie, p. 203). It possessed lands and high prestige among the Mongol tribes to the north of China between the rivers Selinga and Orchon. It is important to realise that the Mongols were not very numerous. In the Mongol empire, as it is called, which Chingiz Khan created, the Mongolian element was small. What he did was to create a great Turkish empire under Mongol domination.]
[3 ]The Khans of the Keraites [Karaits] were most probably incapable of reading the pompous epistles composed in their name by the Nestorian missionaries, who endowed them with the fabulous wonders of an Indian kingdom. Perhaps these Tartars (the Presbyter or Priest John) had submitted to the rites of baptism and ordination (Assemann. Bibliot. Orient. tom. iii. p. ii. p. 487-503). [Sir H. Howorth has shown very clearly (Hist. of the Mongols, i. p. 696 sqq.) that the Karaits were Turks, not Mongols. Their territory was near the Upper Orchon, between the rivers Selinga and Kernlen. They were Christians. Their chief Tughril received the title of Wang (“king”) from the (Manchu) Emperor of Northern China for his services in 1193 against the Naiman Turks of the regions of the Altai and Upper Irtish. Chingiz also took part in this war, and his services were recognised by the title of Dai Ming, “high Brightness.” For an account of Prester John — the name by which the Karait khans were known in the west — and the legends attached to him, see Howorth, i. cap. x. p. 534 sqq.]
[4 ]Since the history and tragedy of Voltaire, Gengis, at least in French, seems to be the more fashionable spelling; but Abulghazi Khan must have known the true name of his ancestor. His etymology appears just; Zin, in the Mogul tongue, signifies great, and gis is the superlative termination (Hist. Généalogique des Tartars, part iii. p. 194, 195). From the same idea of magnitude the appellation of Zingis is bestowed on the ocean. [Chingiz (= very great, or autocrat) represents the true spelling. He also bore the title Sutu Bodgo, “son of Heaven.”]
[5 ]The name of Moguls has prevailed among the Orientals, and still adheres to the titular sovereign, the Great Mogul of Hindostan. [Mongol, Mogul, and (Arabic) Mughal are all attempts to represent a name which among the true Mongols is pronounced something between Moghol (or Mool) and Mongol, but never with the u sound. See Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī, tr. Elias and Ross, p. 73 note.]
[6 ]The Tartars (more properly Tatars) were descended from Tatar Khan, the brother of Mogul Khan (see Abulghazi, part i. and ii.), and once formed a horde of 70,000 families on the borders of Kitay (p. 103-112). In the great invasion of Europe ( 1238), they seem to have led the vanguard; and the similitude of the name of Tartarei recommended that of Tartars to the Latins (Matth. Paris, p. 398, &c.). [The Tatars seem to have been a mixture of Manchus and Turks. On one of the old Turkish inscriptions of 733 (see above vol. vii. p. 399) Tatars are mentioned.]
[7 ][The code drawn up by Chingiz was called Yāsāk or Law. (On it, see Sir H. Howorth’s paper in the Indian Antiquary, July, 1882.) The cruelties of Chingiz were always the simple execution of the laws: he was never capricious.]
[8 ]A singular conformity may be found between the religious laws of Zingis Khan and of Mr. Locke (Constitutions of Carolina, in his works, vol. iv. p. 535, 4to edition, 1777).
[9 ][When Chingiz conquered the Naiman Turks of the Altai regions, c. 1203-4, the vizir of the Naiman king passed into his service and became his chancellor. This minister was an Ūigur and had Ūigur successors. Through these Ūigurs, the Ūigur alphabet (derived from the Syriac) was adopted by the Mongols, and the old Turkish script (of the Orchon inscriptions, see above vol. vii. p. 399) became obsolete.] On the Ūigurs see Vámbéry’s Uigurische Sprachmonumente und das Kudatku Bilik, 1870.
[10 ]In the year 1294, by the command of [Mahmūd Ghāzān] Cazan, khan of Persia, the fourth [fifth] in descent from Zingis. From these traditions, his vizir, Fadlallah [Rashīd ad-Dīn], composed a Mogul history in the Persian language, which has been used by Petit de la Croix (Hist. de Genghizcan, p. 537-539) [see D’Ohsson, Hist. des Mongols, i. 627 sqq. For Rashīd’s Jāmi al-Tawārīkh see Appendix 1.] The Histoire Généalogique des Tatars (à Leyde, 1726, in 12mo, 2 tomes) was translated by the Swedish prisoners in Siberia, from the Mogul MS. of Abulgasi Bahadur Khan, a descendant of Zingis, who reigned over the Usbeks of Charasm, or Carizme ( 1644-1663). He is of most value and credit for the names, pedigrees, and manners of his nation. Of his nine parts, the ist descends from Adam to Mogul Khan; the iid, from Mogul to Zingis; the iiid is the life of Zingis; the ivth, vth, vith, and viith, the general history of his four sons and their posterity; the viiith and ixth, the particular history of the descendants of Sheibani Khan, who reigned in Maurenahar and Charasm. [The work of Abulghazi has been edited and translated by Des Maisons (St. Petersburg, 1870). For Jūzjānī and Juvainī see Appendix 1.]
[11 ]Histoire de Gentchiscan, et de toute la Dinastie des Mongous ses Successeurs, Conquérans de la Chine; tirée de l’Histoire de la Chine, par le R. P. Gaubil, de la Société de Jésus, Missionaire à Pekin; à Paris, 1739, in 4to. This translation is stamped with the Chinese character of domestic accuracy and foreign ignorance. [It has been superseded by the Russian work of the Père Hyacinth, on the first four Khans of the house of Chingiz, 1829. A contemporary Chinese work by Men-Hun has been translated by Vasiliev in the ivth vol. of the Transactions of the Russian Arch. Soc., Oriental Sect.]
[12 ]See the Histoire du Grand Genghizcan, premier Empereur des Mogols et Tartares, par M. Petit de la Croix, à Paris, 1710, in 12mo [it has been translated into English]: a work of ten years’ labour, chiefly drawn from the Persian writers, among whom Nisavi, the secretary of Sultan Gelaleddin, has the merit and prejudices of a contemporary. A slight air of romance is the fault of the originals, or the compiler. See likewise the articles of Genghizcan, Mohammed, Gelaleddin, &c., in the Bibliothèque Orientale of d’Herbelot. [Several histories of the Mongols have appeared in this century: D’Ohsson, Histoire des Mongols, 1852; Wolff, Geschichte der Mongolen oder Tataren, 1872; Quatremère, Histoire des Mongoles de la Perse, 1836; Howorth, History of the Mongols, Part 1, 1876, Part 2 (in 2 vols.), 1880 (on the “Tartars” of Russia and Central Asia); Part 3, 1888 (on Mongols of Persia); Cahun, Introduction à l’Histoire de l’Asie, 1896. For later Mongols of Central Asia, see the Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī of Mirzā Muhammad Haidar Dughlāt, transl. by E. D. Ross, ed. by N. Elias, 1895; for which, and for Schmidt, Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen, cp. Appendix 1. For Chingiz Khan: Erdmann, Temudschin der Unerschütterliche, 1862; R. K. Douglas, Life of Jinghiz Khān, 1877; Howorth, op. cit. Pt. 1. Gibbon does not mention: Pallas, Sammlungen historischer Nachrichten über die Mongolischen Völkerschaften, which appeared at St. Petersburg in 1776, 2 vols.]
[13 ]Haithonus, or Aithonus, an Armenian prince, and afterwards a monk of Premontré (Fabric. Bibliot. Lat. medii Ævi, tom. i. p. 34), dictated, in the French language, his book De Tartaris, his old fellow-soldiers. It was immediately translated into Latin, and is inserted in the Novus Orbis of Simon Grynæus (Basil, 1555, in folio). [See above, vol. ix. p. 398. For Haithon I. see Appendix 1.]
[14 ]Zingis Khan, and his first successors, occupy the conclusion of the ixth Dynasty of Abulpharagius (vers. Pocock, Oxon. 1663, in 4to); and his xth Dynasty is that of the Moguls of Persia. Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii.) has extracted some facts from his Syriac writings, and the lives of the Jacobite maphrians or primates of the East.
[15 ]Among the Arabians, in language and religion, we may distinguish Abulfeda, sultan of Hamah in Syria, who fought in person, under the Mamaluke standard, against the Moguls.
[16 ]Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ii. c. 5, 6) has felt the necessity of connecting the Scythian and Byzantine histories. He describes, with truth and elegance, the settlement and manners of the Moguls of Persia, but he is ignorant of their origin, and corrupts the names of Zingis and his sons.
[17 ]M. Levesque (Histoire de Russie, tom. ii.) has described the conquest of Russia by the Tartars, from the patriarch Nicon and the old chronicles. [See Soloviev, Istoriia Rossii, vol. iii. cap. ii. p. 820 sqq.].
[18 ]For Poland, I am content with the Sarmatia Asiatica et Europaea of Matthew à Michou, or de Michoviâ, a canon and physician of Cracow ( 1506), inserted in the Novus Orbis of Grynæus. Fabric. Bibliot. Latin. mediæ et infimæ Ætatis, tom. v. p. 56. [The most important Polish source is the Historia Polonica of Johannes Dlugossius (who lived in the 15th century and died 1480). His works have been edited in 14 vols. by Alexander Przezdziecki (1867-87) and the Hist. Pol. occupies vols. x.-xiv. Roepell’s Geschichte Polens, vol. i. (1840). Only one contemporary Polish chronicle has survived: the Annals of the Cracow Chapter, Mon. Germ. xix. 582 sqq.]
[19 ]I should quote Thuroczius, the oldest general historian (pars ii. c. 74, p. 150), in the first volume of the Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum, did not the same volume contain the original narrative of a contemporary, an eyewitness, and a sufferer (M. Rogerii, Hungari, Varadiensis Capituli Canonici, Carmen miserabile, seu Historia super Destructione Regni Hungariæ, Temporibus Belæ IV. Regis per Tartaros factâ, p. 292-321) [it will be found in Endlicher, Rer. Hung. Monum. Arpadiana, p. 255 sqq.]; the best picture that I have ever seen of all the circumstances of a Barbaric invasion. [Gibbon omits to mention another contemporary account (of great importance) of the invasion of Hungary, by Thomas Archdeacon of Spalato, in his Historia Salonitana, published in Schwandtrer’s Scriptores Hung., vol. iii.]
[20 ]Matthew Paris has represented, from authentic documents, the danger and distress of Europe (consult the word Tartari in his copious Index). [It has been conjectured that among the documents used by Matthew were anti-Semitic fly-leaves, accusing the Jews of inviting and helping the Mongols. Strakosch-Grassmann, Der Einfall der Mongolen, p. 116.] From motives of zeal and curiosity, the court of the great Khan, in the xiiith century, was visited by two friars, John de Plano Carpini and William Rubruquis, and by Marco Polo, a Venetian gentleman. The Latin relations of the two former are inserted in the first volume of Hackluyt: the Italian original, or version, of the third (Fabric. Bibliot. Latin. medii Ævi, tom. ii. p. 198; tom. v. p. 25) may be found in the second tome of Ramusio. [Colonel H. Yule’s English translation, The Book of Ser Marco Polo the Venetian, in 2 vols., 1875, with plans and illustrations, and most valuable elucidations and bibliography, is indispensable to the study of the traveller. A new edition of Rubruquis is wanted. The account of a journey among the Mongols by another traveller, Ascellinus, is printed in Fejér, Codex diplomaticus Hungariae, iv. 1, 428 sqq.]
[21 ]In his great History of the Huns, M. de Guignes has most amply treated of Zingis Khan and his successors. See tom. iii. l. xv.-xix., and in the collateral articles of the Seljukians of Roum, tom. ii. l. xi., the Carizmians. l. xiv., and the Mamalukes, tom. iv. l. xxi.; consult likewise the tables of the ist volume. He is ever learned and accurate; yet I am only indebted to him for a general view, and some passages of Abulfeda, which are still latent in the Arabic text.
[22 ][The people who ruled over Northern China at this time were the Niu-Chi or Man-Chu. (They called themselves Aisin, “golden,” which the Chinese translated by Kin, and hence they are generally called the Kin dynasty.) They had conquered Northern China in 1120 from the Karā-Khitay Turks, who had held it since 1004. Chingiz, who was always punctilious in matters of form, chose his moment when the Emperor Chang-Tsong, to whom he had taken a feudal oath, was dead (1208); then he openly refused allegiance to the successor. He had prepared the way for the overthrow of the Niu-Chi by the conquest of the land of the Hia (north of Tibet, and west of the great bend of the Hoang Ho: the country of the Tanguts), which was then a republic of brigands, who (with their capital at Ning-Hia on the Hoang Ho), commanding the routes to the west, were a pest both to the southern and the northern Chinese empires. Cahun, Intr. à l’histoire de l’Asie, p. 248. Chingiz in conquering the Hia thus appeared as a public benefactor, but really seized a key position both in regard to China and in regard to the routes to the west through Dzungaria and through Cashgaria. On the Kin empire see the Histoire de l’empire de Kin ou empire d’or, Aisin Gurun-i Suduri Bithe, transl. by C. de Harlez, 1887.]
[23 ]More properly Yen-king, an ancient city, whose ruins still appear some furlongs to the south-east of the modern Pekin, which was built by Cublai Khan (Gaubel, p. 146). Pe-king and Nan-king are vague titles, the courts of the north and of the south. The identity and change of names perplex the most skilful readers of the Chinese geography (p. 177). [When the Karā-Khitay Turks (under their chiefs the Ye-Lu family) conquered Northern China in 1004, they took Yen as their capital; it is now called Pe-king, “capital of the north.” “Khitan” is the Chinese form of Khitay.]
[24 ][In the last quarter of the 11th cent., Anushtigīn a Turkish slave was appointed governor of Carizme (Khwārizm) by the Sultan Malik Shāh. His son took the title of Carizme Shāh, and his grandson Atsīz made himself independent of the Seljuk sultans in the second quarter of the 12th cent. Alā ad-Dīn Mohammad ( 1199-1220) made this principality of Carizme (which Atsīz and Tukush (1172-1199) had already extended as far as Jand in the north and Ispahan in the west), into a great realm, subduing Persia and Transoxiana, overthrowing the Ghōrid dynasty of Afghanistan, and invaded Eastern Turkestan (the kingdom of the Karā-Khitay).]
[25 ][On the middle Jaxartes. It was the capital of the Gūr-Khans of the Turkish kingdom of Karā-Khitay. Gibbon omits to mention the conquest of this kingdom (the south-western provinces of the modern empire of China) by Chingiz, before he came face to face with the Carizmian empire.]
[26 ]M. de Voltaire, Essai sur l’Histoire Générale, tom. iii. c. 60, p. 8. His account of Zingis and the Moguls contains, as usual, much general sense and truth, with some particular errors.
[27 ][The strategical ability displayed in the campaigns of Chingiz and his successors has been well brought out by Cahun. It is wholly an error to regard the Mongol conquests as achieved merely by numbers and intrepid physical bravery. The campaigns were carefully planned out — not by Chingiz himself, he only considered, and approved or rejected, the plans submitted to him by his military advisers. He knew how to choose able generals (Samuka and Subutai were two of the most illustrious), but he did not interfere with them in their work. The invasion of the Carizmian empire was carried out thus: a Mongol army which had just conquered the land of Cashgar advanced over the great southern pass into Fergana and descended upon Khojend. The main army advanced by the great northern gate, through Dzungaria and the Ili regions, to Otrār on the Jaxartes. Half the army spread up the river to take or mask the Carizmian fortresses and join hands at Khojend with the corps from Cashgar. The other half, under Chingiz himself, marched straight across the Red Sand Desert upon Bochara. Cahun, op. cit. p. 285. Success was rendered easy by the strategical mistakes of Mohammad.]
[28 ][Jūjī received the realm of Karā-Khitay, and his son Bātū obtained possession of the Khanate of Kipchak; see below, p. 145.]
[29 ]Zagatai [Chagatāy] gave his name to his dominions of Maurenahar [Mā-warā-l-nahr], or Transoxiana [along with part of Kashgar, Balkh, and Ghazna]; and the Moguls of Hindostan, who emigrated from that country, are styled Zagatais by the Persians. This certain etymology, and the similar example of Uzbek, Nogai, &c. may warn us not absolutely to reject the derivations of a national, from a personal, name. [The succession of the Chagatāy Khans of Transoxiana is very uncertain. On this branch see Mr. Oliver’s monograph, “The Chaghatai Mughals,” in Journ. R. As. Soc., vol. xx. Cp. the list in Lane-Poole’s Mohammadan Dynasties, p. 242.]
[30 ][Mangū (1251-1257) appointed his brother Khubilāy governor of the southern provinces. On Mangū’s death, Khubilāy defeated the attempts of the line of Jūjī to recover the chief Khanate, and reigned till 1294. He transferred the royal residence from Karakorum to Peking.]
[31 ]In Marco Polo and the Oriental geographers, the names of Cathay and Mangi distinguish the Northern and Southern empires, which, from 1234 to 1279, were those of the Great Khan and of the Chinese. The search of Cathay, after China had been found, excited and misled our navigators of the sixteenth century, in their attempts to discover the north-east passage. [Cp. Cathay and the Way Thither: a collection of all minor notices of China previous to the sixteenth century, translated and edited by Col. H. Yule, 2 vols. 1866.]
[32 ]I depend on the knowledge and fidelity of the Père Gaubil, who translates the Chinese text of the annals of the Moguls or Yuen (p. 71, 93, 153); but I am ignorant at what time these annals were composed and published. The two uncles of Marco Polo, who served as engineers at the siege of Siengyangfou (l. ii. c. 61, in Ramusio, tom. ii.; see Gaubil, p. 155, 157) must have felt and related the effects of this destructive powder, and their silence is a weighty and almost decisive objection. I entertain a suspicion that the recent discovery was carried from Europe to China by the caravans of the xvth century, and falsely adopted as an old national discovery before the arrival of the Portuguese and Jesuits in the xvith. Yet the Père Gaubil affirms that the use of gunpowder has been known to the Chinese above 1600 years. [For Chinese Annals see Appendix 1.]
[33 ][Hūlāgū. His reign in Persia began in 1256. His dynasty was called the Il Khāns, that is “Khāns of the Ils” or tribes (i.e. provincial). Hammer has made them the subject of a book: Geschichte der Ilchane, 1842.]
[34 ]All that can be known of the Assassins of Persia and Syria, is poured from the copious, and even profuse, erudition of M. Falconet, in two Mémoires read before the Academy of Inscriptions (tom. xvii. p. 127-170). [One of the princes Jelal ad-Dīn Hasan had sent his submission to Chingiz: it was his son Rukn ad-Dīn who fought with Hūlāgū. On the Assassins see Hammer’s History of the Assassins, transl. by O. C. Wood, 1835.]
[35 ]The Ismaelians of Syria, 40,000 assassins, had acquired or founded ten castles in the hills above Tortosa. About the year 1280, they were extirpated by the Mamalukes. [See Guyard, Un grand-Maître des Assassins, in the Journal asiatique, 1877.]
[36 ]As a proof of the ignorance of the Chinese in foreign transactions, I must observe that some of their historians extend the conquests of Zingis himself to Medina, the country of Mahomet (Gaubil, p. 42).
[37 ][On the history of the Mongols in the West and the Golden Horde, see Hammer’s Geschichte der goldenen Horde, 1840, and Howorth’s History of the Mongols, part ii. In May 1334 the Moorish traveller Ibn Batūta visited the camp of Uzbeg Khan of the Golden Horde (Voyages, ed. and transl. Defrémery and Sanguinetti, vol. ii. 1877).]
[38 ][The numbers given in the western sources are mere metaphors for immensity. Cp. Cahun, op. cit. p. 343-344; Strakosch-Grassmann, Der Einfall der Mongolen in Mitteleuropa, p. 182-184. The total number of the Mongols may have been about 100,000.]
[39 ][Bātū was son of Jūjī (not of Tulūy).]
[40 ][Bātū was only nominally the leader. The true commander was Subutai, who deserves to be remembered among the great generals of the world for the brilliant campaign of 1241. See Appendix 4.]
[41 ]The Dashte Kipzak [Dasht-i-Kipchāk] or plain of Kipzak, extends on either side of the Volga, in a boundless space towards the Jaik and Borysthenes, and is supposed to contain the primitive name and nation of the Cossacks.
[42 ][Riazan was taken 21st December, 1237; then Moscow; then Vladimir, the Grand Duke’s capital, 7th January, 1238; then the Grand Duke’s army was routed, 4th March. Subutai did not go farther north-westward than Torjok; he turned to subdue the Caucasian regions, the valley of the Don and the land of the Kipchaks. This occupied him till the end of 1239. Then he advanced on Kiev, and ruined it, with an exceptional and deliberate malice, which requires some explanation. Kiev was at this time a most prosperous and important centre of commerce with the East. From this time forward Venice had a monopoly of trade with the extreme East. Now the Venetian merchants of the Crimea were on very good terms with the Mongols. It has been plausibly suggested by M. Cahun that in the destruction of Kiev the Mongols acted under Venetian influence (op. cit. p. 350).]
[43 ][And a band of Knights Templar of France.]
[44 ][This is not correct. The battle of Liegnitz was gained by the right wing of the Mongol army. The advance into Hungary, under Bātū and Subutai, was simultaneous. See Appendix 4.]
[45 ]In the year 1238, the inhabitants of Gothia (Sweden) and Frise were prevented, by their fear of the Tartars, from sending, as usual, their ships to the herring fishery on the coast of England; and, as there was no exportation, forty or fifty of these fish were sold for a shilling (Matthew Paris, p. 396). It is whimsical enough that the orders of a Mogul Khan, who reigned on the borders of China, should have lowered the price of herrings in the English market.
[46 ]I shall copy his characteristic or flattering epithets of the different countries of Europe: Furens ac fervens ad arma Germania, strenuæ militiæ genetrix et alumna Francia, bellicosa et audax Hispania, virtuosa viris et classe munita fertilis Anglia, impetuosis bellatoribus referta Alemannia, navalis Dacia, indomita Italia, pacis ignara Burgundia, inqueta Apulia, cum maris Græci, Adriatici, et Tyrrheni insulis pyraticis et invictis, Cretâ, Cypro, Siciliâ, cum Oceano conterminis, insulis, et regionibus, cruenta Hybernia, cum agili Walliâ, palustris Scotia, glacialis Norwegia, suam electam militiam sub vexillo Crucis destinabunt, &c. (Matthew Paris, p. 498).
[47 ][The news of the death of the Grand Khan Ogotai recalled Bātū and Subutai to the East. The Mongols left Siebenbürgen in summer, 1242, Bulgaria in the following winter. Europe did not deceive itself. It was fully conscious that the Mongols could have extended their conquests if they had chosen. As Roger puts it, they disdained to conquer Germany — Tartari aspernabantur Theutomain expugnare (Miserabile Carmen, in M.G.H. 29, p. 564). On the position of the capital of the Golden Horde, Serai, the chief works are Grigor’ev, O miestopolozhenii stolitsy zolotoi Ordy Saraia, 1845; and Brun, O rezidentsii chanov zolotoi Ordy do vremen Dzhanibeka (in the publications of the 3rd Archeological Congress at Kiev), 1878. Brun attempts to show that there were two (old) Serais, — the elder, nearer the Caspian Sea, not far from the village of Selitrian, the later at Tsarev.]
[48 ]See Carpin’s relation in Hakluyt, vol. i. p. 30. The pedigree of the khans of Siberia is given by Abulghazi (part viii. p. 485-495). Have the Russians found no Tartar chronicles at Tobolskoi?
[49 ]The Map of d’Anville and the Chinese Itineraries (de Guignes, tom. i. p. 57) seem to mark the position of Holin, or Caracorum, about six hundred miles to the north-west of Pekin. The distance between Selinginsky and Pekin is near 2000 Russian versts, between 1300 and 1400 English miles (Bell’s Travels, vol. ii. p. 67). [For the situation of Caracorum, at a place still called Kara-Kharam, on the north bank of the Orchon, see Geographical Magazine for July 1874, p. 137; Yule’s Marco Polo, vol. i. p. 228-229.]
[50 ]Rubruquis found at Caracorum his countryman Guillaume Boucher, orfèvre de Paris, who had executed, for the khan, a silver tree, supported by four lions, and ejecting four different liquors. Abulghazi (part iv. p. 336) mentions the painters of Kitay or China.
[51 ][Which was called Khān Baligh, City of the Khān.]
[52 ]The attachment of the khans, and the hatred of the mandarins, to the bonzes and lamas (Duhalde, Hist. de la Chine, tom. i. p. 502, 503) seems to represent them as the priests of the same god, of the Indian Fo, whose worship prevails among the sects of Hindostan, Siam, Thibet, China, and Japan. But this mysterious subject is still lost in a cloud, which the researches of our Asiatic Society may gradually dispel.
[53 ][Under Chu Yuen Chang, who became emperor and founded the Ming dynasty.]
[54 ]Some repulse of the Moguls in Hungary (Matthew Paris, p. 545, 546) might propagate and colour the report of the union and victory of the kings of the Franks on the confines of Bulgaria. Abulpharagius (Dynast. p. 310), after forty years, beyond the Tigris, might be easily deceived.
[55 ]See Pachymer, l. iii. c. 25, and l. ix. c. 26, 27; and the false alarm at Nice, l. iii. c. 27 . Nicephorus Gregoras, l. iv. c. 6.
[56 ][Izz ad-Dīn II. reigned 1245-1257.]
[57 ]G. Acropolita, p. 36, 37 [c. 41]. Nic. Gregoras, l. ii. c. 6, l. iv. c. 5.
[58 ]Abulpharagius, who wrote in the year 1284, declares that the Moguls, since the fabulous defeat of Batou, had not attacked either the Franks or Greeks; and of this he is a competent witness. Hayton, likewise, the Armeniac prince, celebrates their friendship for himself and his nation.
[59 ]Pachymer gives a splendid character of Cazan Khan, the rival of Cyrus and Alexander (l. xii. c. 1). In the conclusion of his history (l. xiii. c. 36), he hopes much from the arrival of 30,000 Tochars, or Tartars, who were ordered by the successor of Cazan [Ghāzān Mahmūd, 1295-1304; his successor was Uljāitu, 1304-1316] to restrain the Turks of Bithynia, 1308.
[60 ]The origin of the Ottoman dynasty is illustrated by the critical learning of MM. de Guignes (Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. p. 329-337), and d’Anville (Empire Turc, p. 14-22), two inhabitants of Paris, from whom the Orientals may learn the history and geography of their own country.
[61 ][Jalăl ad-Dīn Mangbarti, 1220-1231.]
[62 ][They were a clan of the tribe of Oghuz.]
[63 ][Sugut (Turkish name = “willow”), south of Malagina on the way to Dorylaeum, is mentioned by Anna Commena (Σαγουδάους, xv. 2). Othmān was born in 1258. Gibbon has shown his critical faculty in neglecting the confused and false accounts of the Greek historians, Phrantzes and Chalcondyles, of the deeds of Ertughrul.]
[64 ][This is the correct form of the name — Othmān. The name of the people is Othmānli: Ottoman is a corruption.]
[65 ]See Pachymer, l. x. c. 25, 26; l. xiii. c. 33, 34, 36; and concerning the guard of the mountains, l. i. c. 3-6; Nicephorus Gregoras, l. vii. c. 1; and the first book of Laonicus Chalcondyles, the Athenian.
[66 ]I am ignorant whether the Turks have any writers older than Mahomet II., nor can I reach beyond a meagre chronicle (Annales Turcici ad annum 1550), translated by John Gaudier, and published by Leunclavius (ad calcem Laonic. Chalcond. p. 311-350), with copious pandects, or commentaries. The History of the Growth and Decay ( 1300-1683) of the Othman empire was translated into English from the Latin MS. of Demetrius Cantemir, Prince of Moldavia (London, 1734, in folio). The author is guilty of strange blunders in Oriental History; but he was conversant with the language, the annals, and institutions of the Turks. Cantemir partly draws his materials from the Synopsis of Saadi Effendi of Larissa, dedicated in the year 1696 to Sultan Mustapha, and a valuable abridgment of the original historians. In one of the Ramblers, Dr. Johnson praises Knolles (a General History of the Turks to the present year, London, 1603), as the first of historians, unhappy only in the choice of his subject. Yet I much doubt whether a partial and verbose compilation from Latin writers, thirteen hundred folio pages of speeches and battles, can either instruct or amuse an enlightened age, which requires from the historian some tincture of philosophy and criticism. [See Appendix 1.]
[67 ][Alā ad-Dīn was a political thinker. Having resigned all claim to a share in Othman’s inheritance he spent some years in retirement and thought, and then gave to his brother the result of his meditations. Orchan made him vizir and followed his suggestions. The chief reforms introduced by Alā ad-Dīn were three. (1) The regulation of Turkish dress is mentioned in the text. (2) The introduction of an independent Ottoman coinage. Hitherto the Seljuk money circulated. The historian Sad ad-Dīn (transl. Bratutti, i. p. 40) states that the first Ottoman coins, gold and silver, with Orchan’s name, were issued in 1328. There are no dates on Orchan’s coins. (3) The institution of the Janissaries (Yani Chari, “new soldiery”), probably in 1330 (cp. Sad ad-Dīn, ib. p. 42). This used to be wrongly ascribed to Murad I. (so Marsigli, Stato militare, i. 67, and Gibbon). Compare Hammer, Gesch. des osmanischen Reiches, i. 97 sqq. Alā ad-Dīn clearly grasped the fact that an establishment of well-trained infantry was indispensable. A regular body of cavalry was also established at the same time. The regular troops received pay; whereas the great general levy of cavalry performed military service for their fiefs.]
[68 ]Cantacuzene, though he relates the battle and heroic flight of the younger Andronicus (l. ii. c. 6-8), dissembles, by his silence, the loss of Prusa, Nice, and Nicomedia, which are fairly confessed by Nicephorus Gregoras (l. viii. 15; ix. 9, 13; xi. 6). It appears that Nice was taken by Orchan in 1330, and Nicomedia in 1339, which are somewhat different from the Turkish dates. [Capture of Nicomedia, 1326; battle of Philocrene, 1330; capture of Nicæa, 1330; reduction of Karāsī (the ancient Mysia, including Pergamus) after 1340. See Zinkeisen, Gesch. des osmanischen Reiches in Europa, i. 102-117.]
[69 ]The partition of the Turkish emirs is extracted from two contemporaries, the Greek Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 1), and the Arabian Marakeschi (de Guignes, tom. ii. P. ii. p. 76, 77). See likewise the first book of Laonicus Chalcondyles.
[70 ]Pachymer, l. xiii. c. 13. [The western coast of Asia Minor south of Karāsī (Mysia) was not incorporated in the Ottoman realm till the reign of Bayezid I. The most powerful rival of the Ottomans in Asia, at this time, was the state of Caramania (which reached from the Sangarius to the Pamphylian sea, and included Galatia, Eastern Phrygia, Lycaonia, Pisidia and Pamphylia). Murad took Angora (Ancyra) in 1360, and in 1386 he inflicted a demoralising defeat on the Caramanian Sultan in the battle of Iconium. In 1391 the prince of Sarūkhān (the regions of the Hermus, including Sardis and Magnesia) and the prince of Aidin (south of Sarūkhān, reaching to south of the Mæander) submitted, and likewise the lord of Mentesia (Caria, including Miletus). At the same time Bayezid subdued Kermiyān (Western Phrygia) and Tekka (Lycia), and the western part of Caramania. In 1393 the principality of Kastamunīyā (in Paphlagonia, including Sinope) was conquered; and with the exception of the eastern parts of Caramania all the little Seljuk states of Anatolia were in the hands of the Ottomans. Cp. the table in S. Lane-Poole’s Mohammadan Dynasties, p. 134. See below, p. 34.]
[71 ]See the Travels of Wheler and Spon, of Pocock and Chandler, and more particuarly Smith’s Survey of the Seven Churches of Asia, p. 205-276. The more pious antiquaries labour to reconcile the promises and threats of the author of the Revelations with the present state of the seven cities. Perhaps it would be more prudent to confine his predictions to the characters and events of his own times. [For Ephesus and the temple of Diana see Wood’s Discoveries at Ephesus, 1877.]
[72 ][The date of the Ottoman capture of Philadelphia is uncertain (cp. Finlay, History of Greece, iii. p. 469, note). Probably 1391.]
[73 ]Consult the fourth book of the Histoire de l’Ordre de Malthe, par l’Abbé de Vertot. That pleasing writer betrays his ignorance in supposing that Othman, a freebooter of the Bithynian hills, could besiege Rhodes by sea and land.
[74 ][For the success of the Ottomans, “the last example of the conquest of a numerous Christian population by a small number of Musulman invaders, and of the colonisation of civilised countries by a race ruder than the native population,” Finlay assigns three particular causes (History of Greece, iii. p. 475). “1. The superiority of the Ottoman tribe over all contemporary nations in religious convictions and in moral and military conduct. 2. The number of different races that composed the population of the country between the Adriatic and the Black Sea, the Danube, and the Aegean. 3. The depopulation of the Greek empire, the degraded state of its judicial and civil administration, and the demoralisation of the Hellenic race.”]
[75 ]Nicephorus Gregoras has expatiated with pleasure on this amiable character (l. xii. 7; xiii. 4, 10; xiv. 1, 9; xvi. 6). Cantacuzene speaks with honour and esteem of his ally (l. iii. c. 56, 57, 63, 64, 66-68, 86, 89, 95, 96); but he seems ignorant of his own sentimental passion for the Turk, and indirectly denies the possibility of such unnatural friendship (l. iv. c. 40).
[76 ]After the conquest of Smyrna by the Latins, the defence of this fortress was imposed by Pope Gregory XI. on the Knights of Rhodes (see Vertot, l. v.).
[77 ]See Cantacuzenus, l. iii. c. 95. Nicephorus Gregoras, who, for the light of Mount Thabor, brands the emperor with the names of tyrant and Herod, excuses, rather than blames, this Turkish marriage, and alleges the passion and power of Orchan, ἐγγύτατος, καὶ τῃ̑ δυνάμει τοὺς κατ’ αὐτὸν ἤδη Περσικοὺς (Turkish) ὑπεραίρων Σατράπας (l. xv. 5). He afterwards celebrates his kingdom and armies. See his reign in Cantemir, p. 24-30.
[78 ]The most lively and concise picture of this captivity may be found in the history of Ducas (c. 8), who fairly transcribes what Cantacuzene confesses with a guilty blush!
[79 ]In this passage, and the first conquests in Europe, Cantemir (p. 27, &c.) gives a miserable idea of his Turkish guides; nor am I much better satisfied with Chalcondyles (l. i. p. 12, &c. [p. 25 ed. Bonn]). They forget to consult the most authentic record, the ivth book of Cantacuzene. I likewise regret the last books, which are still manuscript, of Nicephorus Gregoras. [They have been since published. See above, vol. ix. p. 384-5. The Ottomans captured the little fortress of Tzympe, near Gallipoli, in 1356, and Gallipoli itself in 1358. For Tzympe, cp. Cantacuzenus, iv. 33; vol. iii. p. 242 ed. Bonn.]
[80 ]After the conclusion of Cantacuzene and Gregoras, there follows a dark interval of an hundred years. George Phranza, Michael Ducas, and Laonicus Chalcondyles, all three wrote after the taking of Constantinople.
[81 ][Hadrianople was taken in 1361, Philippopolis in 1362. In the next year (1363) a federate army of the Servians (under Urosh V.), Bosnians, and Walachians marched to deliver Hadrianople, but were defeated by a far inferior force on the banks of the Maritza. (Cp. Sad ad-Dīn, tr. Bratutti, i. p. 91 sqq.) In 1365 Murad established his residence at Hadrianople. In 1373-4 he pressed into Macedonia. In 1375 the Bulgarian prince Sisman became his vassal. In 1385 Sophia was captured. It should be noted that in 1365 Murad made a treaty with the important commercial city of Ragusa.]
[82 ]See Cantemir, p. 37-41, with his own large and curious annotations. [The institution of the Janissaries is here wrongly ascribed to Murad; it belongs to the reign of Orchan. See above, p. 158, note 67.]
[83 ]White and black face are common and proverbial expressions of praise and reproach in the Turkish language. Hic niger est, hunc tu Romane caveto, was likewise a Latin sentence.
[84 ][They were abolished (massacred) by the sultan Mahmūd II. in 1826.]
[85 ][Lazarus, the Kral of Servia, won important successes over Ottoman invaders of Bosnia in 1387. This emboldened the other Slavs of the Balkan peninsula. Shishman of Bulgaria revolted, and this led to the direct incorporation of Bulgaria in the Ottoman empire. The Servian Kral, who was the leader of the Slavs in their struggle to maintain their independence, took the field at the head of a federate army in spring 1389. He was supported by the King of Bosnia, the princes of Croatia, Albania, and Chlum (afterwards Herzegovina) and Walachia; and there were some Bulgarians (who had escaped the wreck of their country) and Hungarian auxiliaries in his army. The battle was fought, 15th June, on the Kosovo-polje or Amselfeld (blackbird field) on the banks of the Lab, west of Pristina. The name of the Servian who stabbed Murad was Milosh Obilić (or Kobilović). See the Turkish historian Nesri’s account of the campaign (Hungarian translation by Thúry in Török történetírók, i. p. 32 sqq.). For the general history of the Slavonic struggles against the Turks see Rački’s articles in the Rad (South Slavonic Journal), vols. ii. iii. and iv.; on the battle of Kosovo, iii. p. 91.]
[86 ]See the life and death of Morad, or Amurath I., in Cantemir (p. 33-45), the 1st book of Chalcondyles, and the Annales Turcici of Leunclavius. According to another story, the sultan was stabbed by a Croat in his tent: and this accident was alleged to Busbequius (Epist. i. p. 98), as an excuse for the unworthy precaution of pinioning, as it were, between two attendants, an ambassador’s arms when he is introduced to the royal presence.
[87 ]The reign of Bajazet I. or Ilderim Bayazid, is contained in Cantemir (p. 46), the iid book of Chalcondyles, and the Annales Turcici. The surname of Ilderim, or lightning, is an example that the conquerors and poets of every age have felt the truth of a system which derives the sublime from the principle of terror.
[88 ]Cantemir, who celebrates the victories of the great Stephen over the Turks (p. 47), had composed the ancient and modern state of his principality of Moldavia, which has been long promised, and is still unpublished.
[89 ][The reign of Bayezid [Bāyezīd] was marked by a general corruption of morals and manners, propagated by the example of the court — especially of Bayezid himself and his grand vizir, Ali Pasha. See Zinkeisen. Gesch. des osm. Reiches, i. p. 384-6.]
[90 ]Leunclav. Annal. Turcici, p. 318, 319. The venality of the cadhis has long been an object of scandal and satire; and, if we distrust the observations of our travellers, we may consult the feeling of the Turks themselves (d’Herbelot, Bibliot. Orientale, p. 216, 217, 229, 230).
[91 ]The fact, which is attested by the Arabic history of Ben Schounah [Ibn-Shihna], a contemporary Syrian (de Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. p. 336), destroys the testimony of Saad Effendi and Cantemir (p. 14, 15), of the election of Othman to the dignity of Sultan.
[92 ]See the Decades Rerum Hungaricarum (Dec. iii. l. ii. p. 379) of Bonfinius, an Italian, who, in the xvth century, was invited into Hungary to compose an eloquent history of that kingdom. Yet, if it be extant and accessible, I should give the preference to some homely chronicle of the time and country. [There is an account of the battle by John Schiltberger of Munich (who was made prisoner), in his story of his Bondage and Travels, 1394-1427, which has been translated into English by J. B. Telfer, 1879 (Hakluyt Society). Mirtschea the Great, prince of Walachia, who had been made prisoner at Kosovo, was also engaged at Nicopolis, as the ally of Sigismund; but seeing that the battle was hopeless, he drew off his forces in good time. He was followed by a Turkish force to Walachia, and defeated it near Craiova. On the confusion in the Turkish historians on the Nicopolis campaign, see Thúry, Török történetírók, i. p. 50 note.]
[93 ]I should not complain of the labour of this work, if my materials were always derived from such books as the Chronicle of honest Froissard (vol. iv. c. 67, 69, 72, 74, 79-83, 85, 87, 89), who read little, inquired much, and believed all. The original Mémoires of the Maréchal de Boucicault (Partie i. c. 22-28) add some facts, but they are dry and deficient, if compared with the pleasant garrulity of Froissard. [Very important is the Chronique du religieux de Saint Denys, published in a French translation under the title Histoire de Charles VI., roy de France, in 1663. The original Latin was first published by Bellaguet (in 6 vols.) in 1839-52. There is a study on the work by H. Delaborde, La vraie Chronique du Religieux de Saint Denis, 1890.]
[94 ]An accurate Memoir on the life of Enguerrand VII. Sire de Coucy, has been given by the Baron de Zurlauben (Hist. de l’Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xxv.). His rank and possessions were equally considerable in France and England; and, in 1375, he led an army of adventurers into Switzerland, to recover a large patrimony which he claimed in right of his grandmother, the daughter of the emperor Albert I. of Austria (Sinner, Voyage dans la Suisse Occidentale, tom. i. p. 118-124).
[95 ]That military office, so respectable at present, was still more conspicuous when it was divided between two persons (Daniel, Hist. de la Milice Françoise, tom. ii. p. 5). One of these, the marshal of the crusade, was the famous Boucicault, who afterwards defended Constantinople, governed Genoa, invaded the coast of Asia, and died in the field of Azincour.
[96 ][Bayezid was engaged in besieging Constantinople when he received news that the Franks were besieging Nicopolis.]
[97 ][About half the Turkish army, which amounted altogether to about 100,000.]
[98 ]For this odious fact, the Abbé de Vertot quotes the Hist. Anonyme de St. Denys [see above note 93], l. xvi. c. 10, 11 (Ordre de Malthe, tom. ii. p. 310).
[99 ]Sherefeddin Ali (Hist. de Timour Bec, l. v. c. 13) allows Bajazet a round number of 12,000 officers and servants of the chase. A part of his spoils was afterwards displayed in a hunting-match of Timour: 1. Hounds with satin housings; 2. Leopards with collars set with jewels; 3. Grecian greyhounds; and, 4. dogs from Europe, as strong as African lions (idem, l. vi. c. 15). Bajazet was particularly fond of flying his hawks at cranes (Chalcondyles, l. ii. p. 35 [p. 67 ed. Bonn]).
[100 ]For the reigns of John Palæologus and his son Manuel, from 1354 to 1402, see Ducas, c. 9-15, Phranza, l. i. c. 16-21, and the ist and iid books of Chalcondyles, whose proper subject is drowned in a sea of episode.
[101 ][And beheading him. The prince’s name, Saudshi, is given rightly by Chalcondyles: Saûzes, but Ducas and Phrantzes give wrong names.]
[102 ][A confirmation of this treaty by the Patriarch Nilus (1380-8) is published in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy 1851, p. 345.]
[103 ]Cantemir, p. 50-53. Of the Greeks, Ducas alone (c. 13, 15) acknowledges the Turkish cadhi at Constantinople. Yet even Ducas dissembles the mosch.
[104 ][The Sultan had forced John to come forward as pretender to the throne, extorting a secret promise that he would hand over Constantinople to himself.]
[105 ]Mémoires du bon Messire Jean le Maingre, dit Boucicault, Maréchal de France, partie i. c. 30-35.