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Athens * To the east, the Turks invaded China, CHA P.
. as often as the vigour of the government was re- XLII. laxed : and I am taught to read in the history of the times, that they mowed down their patient enemies like hemp or grass ; and that the mandarins applauded the wisdom of an emperor who repulsed these Barbarians with golden lances. This extent of savage empire compelled the Turkish monarch to establish three subordinate princes of his own blood; who soon forgot their gratitude and allegiance. The conquerors were enervated by luxury, which is always fatal except to an industrious people; the policy of China solicited the vanquished nations to resume their independence; and the power of the Turks was limited to a period of two hundred years. The revival of their name and dominion in the southern countries of Asia, are the events of a later age; and the dynasties, which
; succeeded to their native realms, may sleep in oblivion; since their history bears no relation to the decline and fall of the Roman empire t.
In the rapid career of conquest, the Turks at- The Avars tacked and subdued the nation of the Ogors, or the Turks;
fly before Varchonites on the banks of the river Til, which and ap.
proach the Vol. VII.
* See, in a Memoir of M. de Boze (Memi. de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. vi. p. 549.-565.), the ancient kings and medals of the Cimmerian Bosphorus; and the gratitude of Athens, in the Oration of Demosthenes against Leptines (in Reiske, Orator. Græc. tom. i. p. 466, 467.).
+ For the origin and revolutions of the first Turkish empire, the Chinese details are borrowed from Dc Guignes (Hist. des Huns, tom. i. P. ii. p. 367–462.) and Visdelou (Supplement a la Bibliotheque Orient. d'Herbelot, p. 82–114.). The Greek or Roman hints are gathered in Menander (p. To8-164.) and Theophylact Simócatta (1. vii. c. 7, 8.),
Ć HA P. derived the epithet of black from its dark water
or gloomy forests * The khan of the Ogors was slain with three hundred thousand of his subjects, and their bodies were scattered over the space of four days journey : their surviving countrymen acknowledged the strength and mercy of the Turks; and a small portion, about twenty thousand warriors, preferred exile to servitude. They followed the well-known road of the Volga, cherished the error of the nations who confounded them with the Avars, and spread the terror of that false though famous appellation, which had not, however, saved its lawful proprietors from the yoke of the Turks t. After a long and victorious march, the new Avars arrived at the foot of mount Cau. casus, in the country of the Alani † and Circase sians, where they first heard of the splendour and weakness of the Roman empire. They humbly requested their confederate, the prince of the Alani, to lead them to this source of riches; and their ambassador, with the permission of the go
* The river Til, or Tula, according to the geography of De Guignes (tom. i. part. ii. p. lviii. and 352.), is a small though grateful stream of the desert, that falls into the Orhon, Selinga, &c. See Bell, journey from Petersburgh to Pekin (vol. i. p. 124.); yet his own description of the Keat, down which he sailed into the Oby, represents the name and attributes of the black river (p. 139.). + Theophylact, 1. vü. c. 7, 8. And yet his true Avars are
viic invisible eveu to the eyes of M. de Guignes; and what can be more illustrious than the false. The right of the fugitive Ogors to that national appellation is confessed by the Turks themselves (Menander, p. 108.).
1 The Alani are still found in the Genealogical History of the Tartars (p. 617.), and in d'Anville's maps. They opposed the march of the geuerals of Zingis round the Caspian sea, and were overthrown in a great battle (Hist. de Gengiscan, l. iv. c. 2. p. 447
vernor of Lazica, was transported by the Euxine CH A P. sea to Constantinople. The whole city was poured XLII. forth to behold with curiosity and terror the aspect of a strange people; their long hair which hung in tresses down their backs, was gracefully bound with ribbons, but the rest of their habit appeared to imitate the fashion of the Huns. When they Their em
to were admitted to the audience of Justinian, Can- bassy in dish, the first of the ambassadors, addressed the nople.
A. D. 558 Roman emperor in these terms : “ You see be. * fore you, o mighty prince, the representatives " of the strongest and most populous of nations, w the invincible, the irresistible Avars.
We are willing to devote ourselves to your service : we
are able to vanquish and destroy all the enemies " who now disturb your repose.
But we expect, as the price of our alliance, as the reward of “ our valour, precious gifts, annual subsidies, and “ fruitful possessions.” At the time of this embassy Justinian had reigned above thirty, he had lived above seventy-five years : his mind, as well as his body, was feeble and languid : and the conqueror of Africa and Italy, careless of the permanent interest of his people, aspired only to end his days in the bosom even of inglorious peace. In a studied oration he imparted to the senate his resolution to dissemble the insult, and to purchase the friendship of the Avars; and the whole senate, like the mandarins of China, applauded the incomparable wisdom and foresight of their sovereign. The instruments of luxury were im- . mediately prepared to captivate the Barbarians
; silken garments, soft and splendid beds, and chains
CHAP. and collars incrusted with gold. The ambassadors, XLII. content with such liberal reception, departed from
Constantinople, and Valentin, one of the emperor's guards, was sent with a similar character to their camp at the foot of mount Caucasus. As their destruction or their success must be alike advan. tageous to the empire, he persuaded them to invade the enemies of Rome ; and they were easily tempted, by gifts and promises, to gratify their ruling inclinations. These fugitives who fled before the Turkish arms, passed the Tanais and Borysthenes, and boldly advanced into the heart of Poland and Germany, violating the law of nations, and abusing the rights of victory. Before ten years had elapsed, their camps were seated on the Danube and the Elbe, many Bulgarian and Sclavonian names were obliterated from the earth, and the remainder of their tribes are found, as tributaries and vassals under the standard of the Avars. The chagan, the peculiar title of their king, still affected to cultivate the friendship of the emperor; and Justinian entertained some thoughts of fixing them in Pannonia to balance the prevailing power of the Lombards. But the virtue or treachery of an Avar betrayed the secret enmity and ambitious designs of their countrymen; and they loudly complained of the timid, though jealous policy, of detaining their ambassadors, and denying the arms which they had been allowed to purchase in the capital of the empire *.
* The embassies and first conquests of the Avars may be read in Menander (Excerpt. Legat. p. 99, 100, 101.554 155.), Theophanes (p. 196.), the Historia Miscella (l. xvi. p. 109.), and Gregory of Tours (l. iv. c. 23. 29. in the Historians of France, tom. ii, p. 214. 217.).
Perhaps the apparent change in the dispositions CHAP. of the emperors, may be ascribed to the embassy XLII. which was received from the conquerors of the Embassies Avars * The immense distance which eluded of the their arms, could not extinguish their resentment : Romans, the Turkish ambassadors pursued the footsteps of AD.
569-582 the vanquished to the Jaik, the Volga, mount Caucasus, the Euxine, and Constantinople, and at length appeared before the successor of Constan tine, to request that he would not espouse the cause of rebels and fugitives. Even commerce had some share in this remarkable negociation: and the Sogdoites, who were now the tributaries of the Turks, embraced the fair occasion of opening, by the north of the Caspian, a new road for the importation of Chinese silk into the Roman empire. The Persian, who preferred the naviga. tion of Ceylon, had stopped the caravans of Bochara and Samarcand : their silk was contemptuously burnt: some Turkish ambassadors died in Persia, with a suspicion of poison; and the great khan permitted his faithful vassal Maniach, the prince of the Sogdoites, to propose, at the Byzantine court, a treaty of alliance against their common enemies.
Their splendid apparel and rich presents, the fruit of Oriental luxury, disa tinguished Maniach and his colleagues, from the rude savages of the the north: their letters, in the Scythian character and language, announced a
* Theophanes (Chron. p. 204.) and the Hist. Miscella (I. xvi. p. 110.). as understood by De Guignes (tom. i. part ii. p. 354.), appear to speak of a Turkish embassy to Justinian himself; but that of Maniach, in the fourth year of his successor Justin, is positively the first that reached Constantino. ple (Menander, P. 108.).