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Though the Saracens cannot claim to rank high as inventors and discoverers, they must be acknowledged as the restorers of letters and the great depositaries of science. Many useful treatises, now lost in the original, were preserved in their language. Besides some of the commentaries of Galen and Hippocrates, we owe to this cause the completion of the mathematical works of Apollonius Pergæus ; part of which, in Arabic, was discovered about the middle of the seventeenth century, in the Medicean Library, and part among the Bodleian Collection, of which a Latin version was given by the Savilian professors, Bernard and Halley. It is unquestionable that a great number of the inventions which at the present day add to the comforts of life, and without which literature and the arts could never have flourished, are due to the Arabs. They taught us the use of the pendulum in the measurement of time; and also of the telegraph, though not with all the speed and effect of modern improvement. The manufacture of silk and cotton was brought by them into Spain, as was probably the art of dyeing black with indigo. They introduced the use of camels and carrier-pigeons into Sicily. The art of enamelling steel, the system of a national police, the principles of taxation, and the benefits of public libraries, were all derived from the same source. Rhyme, a pleasing characteristic of modern verse, though some have assigned to it a Gothic origin, was doubtless borrowed from the Saracens by the troubadours and Provençal bards, who derived from the same source the sentiment of honour, the mysticism of love, and the spirit of chigreat library at Fez, which contained 32,000 volumes, there was preserved an entire copy of Livy in Arabic.-Lomier, de Biblioth.

valry, so copiously infused into our early romances. Even Descartes, as Huet has asserted, was indebted to them for his celebrated metaphysical principle, Cogito, ergo sum. To them also belongs the honour of making us acquainted with the manufacture and use of paper. This invaluable commodity, it is true, had from a very remote period been made in China from the refuse of silk, bamboo, and other substances. About the year 649 the invention was introduced at Samarcand by the Tartars, who used cotton instead of silk; and when that flourishing city was subdued by the Moslems, the process was conveyed to Mecca, by Yussuf Amru (A. D. 706), where paper was made similar to that now manufactured, though it does not appear to have come immediately into general use. Mecca, the art spread through all the Arabian dominions. In Spain, which was renowned for this article from the twelfth century downwards, flax, which grew there abundantly, was substituted for cotton, the latter being scarce and dear. Alphonso X. established paper-mills, and his example passed successively into France, Germany, and England.


Gunpowder, the discovery of which is generally attributed to Schwartz, a German chemist, was known to the Arabs at least a century before any traces of it appear in European history. Though it is probable they may have derived their knowledge of this composition from the Indians, they certainly improved its preparation, and found out different ways of employing it in war. The mariner's compass has been alternately given to the Italians and the French; but Tiraboschi, notwithstanding his partiality for his country, is decidedly of opinion that the honour of its invention is due to the Arabs.

Its adoption in Europe is not older than the thirteenth century, while among the Arabs it was known in the eleventh. The polarity of the magnet is alleged to have been known to Aristotle; and something like the compass was in use among the Chinese; but as the Saracens paid considerable attention to navigation, and often undertook long and laborious voyages, history has, with much probability, assigned to them the discovery of the magnetic needle.

Some writers have offered a conjecture that this singular people paved the way for our immortal Newton towards discovering the doctrine of attraction; but as the astronomical treatises of the famous mathematician Mohammed ibn Musa, upon which this supposition is founded, are not extant, the honour of the English philosopher remains unimpaired. It is worthy of remark, that when the historians of the middle ages mention most of these inventions for the first time, they treat them not as novelties but as things in general use; hence the presumption is, that they were all gradually imported by obscure individuals, and not by men of genius; and that however much they may have altered our system of war, commerce, science, and education, they were brought by a people familiar with their practice, and from a country where they were already universally known. But whatever may be the claims of the Saracens to the praise of original genius, they formed the link which unites ancient and modern letters. Their schools and academies were the shrines at which the barbarized nations of the West rekindled the torch of science and philosophy; and thus the ravages occasioned by their wars were, in some degree, expiated by their scattering the germs of social and intellectual improvement over the wide regions

which they successively occupied. In the colleges of Cordova, Seville, and Toledo, the scholars of Italy, France, Germany, and England, drank from the copious fountain of Arabian literature. Among the number of their distinguished students were Adelard, a monk of Bath, in the eleventh century, Morley, a native of Norfolk, and our countryman, the celebrated Michael Scott, who is only known in Scotland by his reputation as a wizard.

By the command of Charlemagne, the principal Arabic books were translated into Latin, for the use of the people in the various provinces of his empire. For several centuries medicine found a secure retreat at Salerno and Montpellier, whither students flocked from all quarters of Europe, and where the Christians became acquainted with the works of Galen and Hippocrates. Even the Greeks and Jews did not disdain to learn the healing art from the Saracens, many of whom were induced, by the liberality of Alphonso X., to settle at Toledo. The Arabian arithmetic, introduced by Gerbert, was improved by Leonardo, a merchant of Pisa, who learned the art during his residence at Algiers, about the commencement of the thirteenth century; and to that commercial republic may be attributed the distinction of being the first among the Christian states of the West which employed this system of notation. In short, without exaggerating the labours of the Arabs, it may be said that we are indebted to them, not only for the revival of the exact and physical sciences, but for most of those useful arts and inventions that have wrought so total a change and given so beneficial an impulse to the literature and civilisation of Europe.


Civil History and Government of Arabia.

Extinction of the Saracen Power-Formation of new Kingdoms in the East Victories and Dominions of Timur-Conquests of the Turks and Portuguese in Arabia-Selim I. obtains the Investiture of the Caliphate-Expulsion of the Turks by the independent Arab Chiefs-Dominions of the Imam of Sanaa-His Government, Revenues, and Military Force-Description of SanaaVisits of European Travellers to that Capital-Principal Town in Yemen Beit el Fakih-Taas-Mocha-Aden-Government of Hadramaut-Of Oman-Description of Muscat-Court, Revenues, and Commercial Enterprise of the Imam-Islands of Bahrein-Pearl Fisheries-Depredations of the Joassamee Pirates in the Persian Gulf Various Expeditions from India to suppress them-Reduction of Ras el Khyma and their principal Fortresses -Arab Settlers on the Persian Frontier-Classification of the wandering Bedouin Tribes-Their migratory Habits and military Strength-Government of their Sheiks-Their Laws and Judicial Trials-Reflections on their Political Institutions.

THE history of the Saracens, both as a military and a political nation, may be said to have expired with the reduction of Bagdad by the grandson of Zingis Khan. The successors of Mostasem, to the number of eighteen, called the Second Dynasty of the Abbassides, were merely the spiritual chiefs of the Mohammedan religion. For two centuries and a half the ecclesiastical supremacy continued in the hands of these venerable phantoms; when at length the tide of invasion swept away the only remaining vestige, and feeble representative, of the once proud



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