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CHIAP. must at least include the inhabitants of the dependent dis

tricts. They were surrounded and taken by assault; but Tarsus was reduced by the slow progress of famine; and no sooner had the Saracens yielded on honourable terms than they were mortified by the distant and unprofitable view of the naval succours of Egypt. They were dismissed with a safe-conduct to the confines of Syria ; a part of the old Christians had quietly lived under their dominion ; and the vacant habitations were replenished by a new colony, But the mosch was converted into a stable ; the pulpit was delivered to the flames; many rich crosses of gold and gems, the spoils of Asiatic churches, were made a grateful offering to the piety or avarice of the emperor; and he transported the gates of Mopsuestia and Tarsus, which were fix

ed in the wall of Constantinople, an eternal monument of Invasion his victory. After they had forced and secured the narrow of Syria.

passes of mount Amanus, the two Roman princes repeatedly carried their arms into the heart of Syria. Yet, instead of assaulting the walls of Antioch, the humanity or superstition of Nicephorus appeared to respect the ancient metropolis of the East: he contented himself with drawing round the city a line of circumvallation; left a stationary army; and instructed his lieutenant to expect, without impatience, the return of spring. But in the depth of winter, in a dark and rainy night, an adventurous subaltern, with three hundred soldiers, approached the rampart, applied his scaling-ladders, occupied two adjacent towers, stood firm against the pressure of multitudes, and bravely maintained his post till he was relieved

by the tardy, though effectual, support of his reluctant chief. Recovery The first tumult of slaughter and rapine subsided; the reign of Antioch.

of Cæsar and of Christ was restored; and the efforts of an hundred thousand Saracens, of the armies of Syria and the facets of Afric, were consumed without effect before the walls of Antioch. The royal city of Aleppo was subject to Seifeddowlat, of the dynasty of Hamadan, who clouded his past glory by the precipitate retreat which abandoned his kingdom and capital to the Roman invaders. In his stately palace that stood without the walls of Aleppo, they joyfully

seling, I'inerar. p. 580). Yet I cannot credit this extreme populousness a few years after the testimony of the emperor Leo, 8 yep Tohur andra spu78 1015 Kiniği fap Bepois 6500 (Tactica, c. xviii. in Meursii Oper. tom. vi. p. 817).



seized a well-furnished magazine of arms, a stable of four. CHAP. teen hundred mules, and three hundred bags of silver and gold. But the walls of the city withstood the strokes of their battering-rams; and the besiegers pitched their tents on the neighbouring mountain of Jaushan. Their retreat exasperated the quarrel of the townsmen and mercenaries; the guard of the gates and ramparts was deserted; and, while they furiously charged each other in the market-place, they were surprised and destroyed by the sword of a common enemy. The male sex was exterminated by the sword; ten thousand youths were led into captivity; the weight of the precious spoil exceeded the strength and number of the beasts of burthen ; the superfluous remainder was burnt; and, after a licentious possession of ten days, the Romans marched away from the naked and bleeding city. In their Syrian inroads they commanded the husbandmen to cultivate their lands, that they themselves, in the ensuing season, might reap the benefit: more than an hundred cities were reduced to obedience; and eighteen pulpits of the principal moschs were committed to the flames to expiate the sacrilege of the disciples of Mahomet. The classic names of Hierapolis, Apamea, and Emesa, revive for a moment in the list of conquest: the emperor Zimisces encamped in the Paradise of Damascus, and accepted the ransom of a submissive people; and the torrent was only stopped by the impregnable fortress of Tripoli, on the sea-coast of Phænicia. Since the days of Heraclius, the Euphrates, below the Passage of passage of mount Taurus, had been impervious, and almost

phrates. invisible, to the Greeks. The river yielded a free passage to the victorious Zimisces; and the historian may imitate the speed with which he overran the once famous cities of Samosata, Edessa, Martyropolis, Amida, 116 and Nisibis, the ancient limit of the empire in the neighbourhood of the Tigris. His ardour was quickened by the desire of grasping the virgin treasures of Ecbatana, 117 a well-known name,

the Eu

116 The text of Leo the deacon, in the corrupt names of Emeta and Myc. tarsim, reveals the cities of Amida and Martyropolis (Miafarekin. See Abulfeda, Geograph. p. 245. vers. Reiske). Of the former, Leo observes, urbs munita er illustris; of the latter, clara atque conspicua opibusque et pecore, reliquis ejus provinciis urbibus atque oppidis longe præstans.

117 Ut et Ecbatana pergeret Ägarenoruinque regiam everteret ... aiunt enim urbium quæ usquam sunt ac toto orbe existunt felicissimam esse auroque ditissimam (Leo Diacon, apud Pagium, tom. iv. p. 34). This splendid deseription suits only with Bagdad, and cannot possibly apply either to Hamadan,

CHAP. under which the Byzantine writer has concealed the capital

of the Abbassides.' The consternation of the fugitives had already diffused the terror of his name; but the fancied

riches of Bagdad had already been dissipated by the avarice Danger of and prodigality of domestic tyrants. The prayers of the Bagdad. people, and the stern demands of the lieutenant of the Bo

wides, required the caliph to provide for the defence of the city. The helpless Mothi replied, that his arms, his revenues, and his provinces, had been torn from his hands, and that he was ready to abdicate a dignity which he was unable to support. The emir was inexorable; the furniture of the palace was sold; and the paltry price of forty thousand pieces of gold was instantly consumed in private luxury. But the apprehensions of Bagdad was relieved by the retreat of the Greeks:'thirst and hunger guarded the desart of Mesopotamia; and the emperor, satiated with glory, and laden with Oriental spoils, returned to Constantinople, and displayed, in his triumph, the silk, the aromatics, and three hundred myriads of gold and silver. Yet the powers of the East had been bent, not broken, by this transient hurricane. After the departure of the Greeks, the fugitive princes returned to their capitals; the subjects disclaimed their involuntary oaths of allegiance; the Moslems again purified their temples, and overturned the idols of the saints and martyrs; the Nestorians and Jacobites preferred a Saracen to an orthodox master; and the numbers and spirit of the Melchites were inadequate to the support of the church and state. Of these extensive conquests, Antioch, with the cities of Cilicia and the isle of Cyprus, was alone restored, a permanent and useful accession to the Roman empire.118

the true Ecbatana (d’Anville. Geog. Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 237), or Tauris, which has been commonly mistaken for that city. The name of Ecbatana, in the same indefinite sense, is transferred by a more classic authority (Cicero pro lege Manilià, c. 4.) to the royal seat of Mithridates, king of Pontus.

118 See the Annals of Elmacin, Abulpharagius, and Abulfeda, from A. H. 351, to A. H. 961; and the reigns of Nicephorus Phocas and John Zimis. ces, in the Chronicles of Zonaras tom. ii. l. xvi. p. 199. 1. xvii. 215.) and Cedrenus (Compend. p. 619...684). Their manifold defects are partly supplied by the MS. history of Leo the deacon, which Pagi obtained from the Benedictines, and has inserted almost entire, in a Latin version (Critica, tom. jï. p. 873. tom. iv. p. 37).




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