Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1.: AUTHORITIES - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 11
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1.: AUTHORITIES - 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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Laonicus Chalcondyles1 belonged to a good Athenian family. He went twice as an ambassador to the Sultan Murad, and was on both occasions imprisoned. His History in 10 books covers the period 1298-1463, and thus includes the fall of the Empire of Trebizond. He was a man of great ability, and, though we may wish that he had not set it before himself to imitate Herodotus and Thucydides, we must recognise the talent which he displayed in handling a most intractable period of history. It is very interesting to pass from his predecessors in the series of the Byzantine historians to this writer. We no longer watch events from the single and simple standpoint of Constantinople. The true theme of Chalcondyles is not the decline of the diminished empire, but the growth and development of the Ottoman State.2 The centre of events shifts with the movements of the sultan. The weakest point of Chalcondyles is his chronology. (Ed. Baumbach (Geneva), 1615; ed. Bekker (Bonn), 1843.)
Ducas was a grandson of Michael Ducas (a scion of the imperial family of that name), who is mentioned as having taken part in the struggle between Cantacuzenus and John Palaeologus in the 14th century. He was secretary of the Genoese podestà at Phocaea, before the siege of Constantinople, and afterwards he was employed by the Gattilusi of Lesbos as an ambassador to the sultan. His connection with the Genoese helped, probably, to determine his ecclesiastical views; he was a hearty supporter of union with the Latin Church, as the great safeguard against the Turks. His History covers the period 1341-1462; he is more accurate than Chalcondyles. In language he is not a purist; his work is full of foreign words. (Ed. Bullialdus (Paris), 1649; ed. Bekker (Bonn), 1834, with a 15th cent. Italian translation, which fills up some gaps in the Greek.)
George Phrantzes (cp. above, p. 250, note 33), born 1401, was secretary of the Emperor Manuel, whose son Constantine he rescued at Palias in 1429. In 1432 Protovestiarios, he was made Prefect of Sparta in 1448, and then elevated to the post of Great Logothete. See further above, p. 250 and p. 322 sqq. Taken prisoner on the capture of Constantinople (cp. vol. xii. p. 47), he fled to the Peloponnesus, visited Italy, and ended his life as Brother Gregory in a monastery of Corfu, where he composed his Chronicle. This work, when Gibbon wrote, was accessible only in the Latin translation of Pontanus (1604). The Greek original was first published by F. K. Alter (Vienna, 1796), from an inferior MS. An improved text was issued by Bekker in the Bonn series, 1838.3 The history covers a longer period than that of Chalcondyles; beginning 1258, it comes down to 1476, the year before the work was completed. Bk. 1 comes down to the death of Manuel, Bk. 2, to the death of John; Bk. 3 treats of the reign of Constantine and the capture of the city; Bk. 4 the events of the following twenty-three years. The high position which he held in the State and his opportunities of knowledge render Bks. 2 and 3 especially valuable. He is naturally a good hater of the Turks, from whom he had suffered so much. His style is not pedantic like that of Chalcondyles. (Biographical Monograph by G. Destunis in the Zhurnal Ministerstva narodn. prosv., vol. 287, p. 427 sqq., 1893.)
Critobulus of Imbros wrote a history of the deeds of Mohammad II. from 1451 to 1467. Although he is not out of sympathy with his countrymen, he has thrown his lot in with the conquerors, and he writes from the Turkish point of view. This is the interesting feature of his work, which is thus sharply contrasted with the histories of Chalcondyles and Ducas. He inscribes the book, in a dedicatory epistle, to Mohammad himself, whom he compares to Alexander the Great. Like Ducas and Chalcondyles, he describes the siege of Constantinople at second hand; but like theirs his very full description is a most valuable source for comparison with the accounts of the eyewitnesses. He can indeed be convicted of many small inaccuracies. For example, he states that Giustiniani was wounded in the chest, and that Constantine was slain near the Cercoporta; and in other parts of his work, his chronology is at fault. He was an imitator of Thucydides, and puts Thucydidean speeches into the mouth of Mohammad. But he does not scruple to use a “modern” foreign word like τούϕακες, “guns” (from the Turkish; cp. modern Greek τουϕέκι, a gun). The history of Critobulus is extant in an MS. at Constantinople, and it was first published by C. Müller, in the 2nd part of vol. v. of Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, p. 40 sqq., 1870, with very useful notes.
The description of Murad’s siege of Constantinople by John Cananus is mentioned above, p. 224, note 93; and that of the siege of Thessalonica in 1430, by John Anagnostes, on p. 302, note 14.
The chronicle of the last years of the empire is briefly told in the anonymous Ekthesis Chronike, a work of the 16th century, published by C. Sathas in Bibl. Graec. Med. Aev. vii. p. 556 sqq. (1894). A new edition of this little work by Prof. Lampros is in preparation.
It remains to mention the Anonymous Dirge concerning Tamurlane, Θρη̂νος περὶ Ταμυρλάγγου, written during the campaign of Timur into Asia Minor. It is published by Papadimitriu in the Lietopis ist.-phil. obschestva of Odessa (Vizant. Otdiel.), ii. p. 173 sqq. (Older, bad ed. in Wagner’s Medieval Greek Texts, p. 105 sqq.) Timur’s name also appears in this poem as Ταμυρλάνης (l. 47) and Τεμύρης (l. 41).
Rashīd ad-Dīn, born 1247 at Hamadān was originally a physician, but became Vizir of Persia, 1298. He was executed by Abū Said in 1318. In the preface to his Jāmi at-Tawārīkh he acknowledges his obligations to a minister of Mongol birth and name, who was versed in Turkish and Mongolian history. He refers to the Altan depter, a book of Mongol annals which was in the Khan’s treasury, text and Russian translation by J. N. Berezin, 1858 sqq.
Alā ad-Dīn Ata-mulk Juvainī composed a work entitled Jahān Kushāi (a history of the Conqueror of the World) on the last ten years of Chingiz, and coming down as far as 1257. Born in Khorāsān in 1227-8, he visited the court of Mangū Khān c. 1249. His work (of which there is a MS. in the British Museum) has never been printed, though he is one of the best authorities on the history of his time. But it has been largely used by D’Ohsson and others. For his biography see Fundgruben des Orients, i. 220-34.
Minhāj-i-Sirāj Jūzjānī, son of a cadi of the army of Mohammad Ghōrī, lived c. 1200-70, and wrote his history, the Tabākāt-i-Nāsirī, about the middle of the century, at the court of Nāsir ad-Dīn Mahmūd, King of Delhi. Beginning with the Patriarchs, he brought his history down to his own day, and Bk. 23 is occupied with the incursions of the Turks and Mongols, — the Karā-Khitāy Chingiz and his successors, to 1259. The author writes in a clear straightforward style, and supports his narrative by references to sources. The work was translated by Major Raverty in the Bibliotheca Indica (1848, etc.), and there are large extracts in Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own historians, ii. 266 sqq.
The second and third Books of the Memoirs of Tīmūr are the Institutions and Designs which were translated by Major Davy (1783) and used by Gibbon. Book iv. coming down to 1375 has since been translated by Major Charles Stewart, 1830 (The Mulfuzāt Timūry, or autobiographical Memoirs of the Moghul Emperor Timūr). The original memoirs were written in Turkish (in the “Jagtay Tūrky language”) and were rendered into Persian by Abū Tālib Husainī. The English translations are made from the Persian version.
Mirza Haidar lived in the 16th century and was a cousin of the famous Bābar. His Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī (transl. by Elias and Ross, see above p. 133, note 12, with learned apparatus of introduction and notes) is “the history of that branch of the Moghul Khans who separated themselves, about the year 1321, from the main stem of the Chaghatai, which was then the ruling dynasty in Transoxiana; and it is the only history known to exist of this branch of the Moghuls” (Elias, ib. p. 7). There are two parts of the work; the second contains memoirs of the author’s life, etc., which do not concern any events touched upon by Gibbon. In the first part, written in 1544-6 in Cashmir, the author follows the history of two dynasties: the Khans of Moghulistān, beginning with Tughluk Tīmūr; and their vassals the Dughlāt amīrs of Eastern Turkestan, from one of whom Haidar was descended. This part of the work is based largely on oral traditions, but the author also made use of the work of Sharaf ad-Dīn. Mr. Elias criticises “the weakness of the chronology and the looseness with which numbers and measurements are made.”
Of Chinese authorities for the history of the Mongols, the most important is the annals entitled Yuan Shi, of which Bretschneider (Mediaeval Researches for Eastern Asiatic Sources, 1888) gives the following account (vol. i. p. 180 sqq.). In 1369 “the detailed records of the reigns of the thirteen Yüan emperors were procured, and the emperor (Hungwu) gave orders to compile the history of the Yüan [Mongols], under the direction of Sung Lien and Wang Wei. The work, which occupied sixteen scholars, was begun in the second month of 1369 and finished in the eighth month of the same year. But as at that time the record of the reign of Shun ti (the last Mongol emperor in China) was not yet received, the scholar Ou yang Yu and others were sent to Pei p’ing to obtain the required information. In the sixth month of 1370 the Yüan Shi was complete.” There were various subsequent editions. “The Yüan Shi has been compiled from official documents. Perhaps we must except the biographies, for which the information was probably often derived from private sources. It seems that the greater part of the documents on which the Chinese history of the Mongols is based had been drawn up in the Chinese language; but in some cases they appear to have been translated from the Mongol. I conclude this from the fact that in the Yüan Shi places are often mentioned, not, as usually, by their Chinese names, but by their Mongol names represented in Chinese characters” (p. 183). The Yuan Shi (p. 185 sqq.) is divided into four sections: (1) consists of the lives of the 13 Mongol Khans in Mongolia and China, and the annals of their reigns from Chingiz to Shun ti (1368); (2) memoirs (geographical, astronomical, politico-economical notices; regulations on dress, rites, public appointments, etc.; military ordinances, etc.); (3) genealogical tables and lists; (4) about a thousand biographies of eminent men of the period [Bretschneider observes that these biographies “bear evidence to the liberal views of the Mongol emperors as to the acknowledgment of merit. They seem never to have been influenced by national considerations”]; and notices of foreign lands and nations south and east of China (e.g., Korea, Japan, Burma, Sumatra).
An abstract of the annals of the Yüan shi is contained in the first ten chapters of the Yüan shi lei pien (an abbreviated History of the Mongols) which were translated by Gaubil in his Histoire de Gentchiscan (see above p. 133, note 11). From this abstract, and the Yüan shi and another work entitled the Shi Wei (Woof of History), Mr. R. K. Douglas compiled his Life of Jinghiz Khān, 1877.
The Yüan ch‘ao pi shi, Secret History of the Mongol dynasty, is a Chinese translation of a Mongol work, which was completed before 1240. It contains the early history of the Mongols, the reign of Chingiz, and part of the reign of Ogotai; and it was translated into Chinese in the early period of the Ming dynasty. An abridgment of this work was translated into Russian by Palladius, and published in 1866 in the Records of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission at Peking, vol. 4. It was only six years later that Palladius found that the work was extant in a fuller form. Bretschneider says: This document “corroborates generally Rashid-eddin’s records, and occasionally we find passages in it which sound like a literal translation of the statements of the Persian historiographer. This proves that Rashid had made use of the same source of information as the unknown author of the Yüan ch‘ao pi shi. As to the dates in the latter work, they are generally in accordance with the dates given by the Mohammadan authors; but in a few cases the Yüan ch‘ao pi shi commits great chronological blunders and misplacements of events, as, for instance, with respect to the war in the west.”
In his work cited above Bretschneider has rendered accessible other Chinese documents bearing on Mongol history, especially some relations of Chinese travellers and envoys; for example, an extract (i. p. 9 sqq.) from the Si Yu Lu (Description of Journey to the West) of Ye-lü Ch’u ts‘ai, a minister of Chingiz who attended him to Persia, 1219-24. (There is a biography of this Ye-lü in the Yüan Shi.) Bretschneider makes valuable contributions to the difficult subject of geographical identifications, and discusses among other documents the account of the Armenian prince Haithon’s visit to Mongolia, written by Guiragos Gandsaketsi. This Haithon I. must not be confounded with Haithon, the monk of Prémontré, mentioned by Gibbon (above p. 133, note 13). The account of Guiragos was translated into French by Klaproth (Nouv. Journ. Asiat., p. 273 sqq., 1833) from a Russian version by Argutinski; but the history of Guiragos has since been translated by Brosset.
Ssanang Ssetsen, a prince of the tribe of Ordus and a descendant of Chingiz, born 1604, wrote in Turkish a history of the eastern Mongols which he finished in 1662. It was thus written after the Manchus had conquered China and overthrown the Mongols. The earlier part of the book is practically a history of Tibet. The account of the origin of the Mongols is translated from Chinese sources. The author is a zealous Buddhist and dwells at great length on all that concerned the interests of his religion; other matters are often dismissed far too briefly. The relation of the career of Chingiz is marked by many anachronisms and inaccuracies. The work was made accessible by the German translation of I. J. Schmidt, under the title: Geschichte der Ostmongolen und ihres Fürstenhauses, 1829.
Modern Works. Finlay, History of Greece, vol. iii. J. von Hammer, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches, vol. i. 1834. J. W. Zinkeisen, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches in Europa, vol. i., 1840. Sir H. H. Howorth, History of the Mongols (see above, p. 133, note 12). Gregorovius, History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (see vol. xii. p. 66, note 2).
For a sketch of the history of the Ottoman Turks: S. Lane-Poole, Turkey (Story of the Nations); La Jonquière, Histoire de l’empire Ottoman.
For the laws, constitution, etc., of the Ottoman empire, the chief work is Mouradja d’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’empire Ottoman, 7 vols. 1788-1824.