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CHA P. people who had attained the rudiments of science *:



they enumerated the conquests, they offered the
friendship and military aid, of the Turks; and
their sincerity was attested by direful imprecations
(if they were guilty of falsehood) against their
own head, and the head of Disabul their master.
The Greek prince entertained with hospitable re-
gard the ambassadors of a remote and powerful
monarch; the sight of silk-worms and looms dis-
appointed the hopes of the Sogdoites; the emperor
renounced, or seemed to renounce, the fugitive
Avars, but he accepted the alliance of the Turks;
and the ratification of the treaty was carried by a
Roman minister to the foot of mount Altai.
der the successors of Justinian, the friendship of
the two nations was cultivated by frequent and
cordial intercourse; the most favoured vassals were
permitted to imitate the example of the great
khan, and one hundred and six Turks, who, on
various occasions, had visited Constantinople, de-
parted at the same time for their native country.
The duration and length of the journey from the
Byzantine court to mount Altai, are not specified;
it might have been difficult to mark a road through
the nameless deserts, the mountains, rivers, and
morasses of Tartary; but a curious account has
been preserved of the reception of the Roman am-

The Russians have found characters, rude hieroglyphics, on the Irish and Yenisei, on medals, tombs, idols, rocks, obelisks, &c. (Strahlenberg, Hist. of Siberia, p. 324. 346. 406. 429.). Dr. Hyde (de Religione Veterum Persarum, p. 521, &c.) has given two alphabets of Thibet and of the Eygours. I have lon, harboured a suspicion that all the Scythian, and some, perhaps much, of the Indian science, was derived from the Greeks of Bactriana.


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bassadors at the royal camp. After they had been CHA P.
purified with fire and incense, according to a rite
still practised under the sons of Zingis, they were,
introduced to the presence of Disabul. In a val-
ley of the Golden Mountain, they found the great
khan in his tent, seated in a chair with wheels, to
which an horse might be occasionally harnessed.
As soon as they had delivered their presents, which
were received by the proper officers, they exposed,
in a florid oration, the wishes of the Roman em-
peror, that victory might attend the arms of the
Turks, that their reign might be long and pro-
sperous, and that a strict alliance, without envy or
deceit, might for ever be maintained between the
two most powerful nations of the earth. The an-
swer of Disabul corresponded with these friendly
professions, and the ambassadors were seated by his
side, at a banquet which lasted the greatest part of
the day: the tent was surrounded with silk hang-
ings, and a Tartar liquor was served on the table,
which possessed at least the intoxicating qualities of
wine. The entertainment of the succeeding day.
was more sumptuous; the silk bangings of the se-
cond, tent were embroidered in various figures; and
the royal seat, the cups, and the vases, were of gold.
A third pavilion was supported by columns of gilt.
wood; a bed of pure and massy gold was raised on
four peacocks of the same metal and before the
entrance of the tent, dishes, basons, and statues of
solid silver, and admirable art, were ostentatiously
piled in waggons, the monuments of valour rather
than of industry. When Disabul led his armies
against the frontiers of Persia, his Roman allies

U 4



CHA P. followed many days the march of the Turkish camp, nor were they dismissed till they had enjoyed their precedency over the envoy of the great king, whose loud and intemperate clamours interrupted the silence of the royal banquet. The power and ambition of Chosroes cemented the union of the Turks and Romans, who touched his dominions on either side but those distant nations, regardless of each other, consulted the dictates of interest, without recollecting the obligations of oaths and treaties. While the successor of Disabul celebrated his father's obsequies, he was saluted by the ambassadors of the emperor Tiberius, who proposed an invasion of Persia, and sustained with firmness, the angry, and perhaps the just, reproaches of that haughty Barbarian. "You see my "ten fingures," said the great khan, and he applied them to his mouth. "You Romans speak with "as many tongues, but they are tongues of deceit " and perjury. To me you hold one language, "to my subjects another; and the nations are successively deluded by your perfidious eloquence. You precipitate your allies into war and danger, you enjoy their labours, and you neglect your "benefactors. Hasten your return, inform your master that a Turk is incapable of uttering or forgiving falsehood, and that he shall speedily meet the punishment which he de" serves. While he solicits my friendship with 66 flattering and hollow words, he is sunk to a con"federate of my fugitive Varconites. If I con"descend to march against those contemptible

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slaves, they will tremble at the sound of our

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"whips; they will be trampled, like a nest of CHA P. "ants, under the feet of my innumerable cavalry. "I am not ignorant of the road which they have "followed to invade your empire; nor can I be "deceived by the vain pretence, that mount Cau"casus is the impregnable barrier of the Ro

mans. I know the course of the Niester, the "Danube, and the Hebrus; the most warlike "nations have yielded to the arms of the Turks ;' "and from the rising to the setting sun, the earth "is my inheritance." Notwithstanding this me nace, a sense of mutual advantage soon renewed the alliance of the Turks and Romans: but the pride of the great khan survived his resentment ; and when he announced an important conquest to. his friend the emperor Maurice, he styled himself the master of the seven races, and the lord of the seven climates of the world *.


A D.

Disputes have often arisen between the sove- State of reigns of Asia, for the title of king of the world; while the contest has proved that it could not 500+530 belong to either of the competitors. The kingdom of the Turks was bounded by the Oxus or Gihon; and Touran was separated by that great river from the rival monarchy of Iran, or Persia, which, in a smaller compass, contained perhaps a larger The Permeasure of power and population. sians, who alternately invaded and repulsed the Turks and the Romans, were still ruled by the house

*All the details of these Turkish and Roman embassies, so curious in the history of human manners, are drawn from the Extracts of Menander (p. 106-110. 151--154. 161–164.), in which we often regret the want of order and connection.


CHAP. house of Sassan, which ascended the throne three hundred years before the accession of Justinian. His contemporary, Cabades, or Kobad, had been successful in war against the emperor Anastasius : but the reign of that prince was distracted by civil and religious troubles. A prisoner in the hands of his subjects; an exile among the enemies of Persia; he recovered his liberty by prostituting the honour of his wife, and regained his kingdom with the dangerous and mercenary aid of the Barbarians, who had slain his father. His nobles were suspi-' cious that Kobad never forgave the authors of his expulsion, or even those of his restoration. people were deluded and inflamed by the fanaticism of Mazdak*, who asserted the community of women †, and the equality of mankind, whilst he appropriated the richest lands and most beautiful females to the use of his sectaries. The view of these disorders, which had been fomented by his laws and example ‡, embittered the declining age of the Persian monarch; and his fears were increased by the consciousness of his design to reverse the natural and customary order of succession, in favour


* See d'Herbelot (Bibliot. Orient. p. 568. 929.); Hyde (de Religione Vet. Persarum, c. 21. p. 290, 291.); Pocock (Specimen Hist. Arab. p. 70, 71.); Eutychius (Annal. tom." ii. p. 176.); Texeira (in Stevens, Hist, of Persia, 1. i. c. 34-).

The fame of the new law for the community of women was soon propagated in Syria (Asseman. Bibliot. Orient. tom. iii. p. 402.) and Greece (Procop. Persic. 1. i. c. 5.).

He offered his own wife and sister to the prophet; but the prayers of Nushirvan saved his mother, and the indig nant monarch never forgave the humiliation to which his filial piety had stooped: pedes tuos deosculatus (said he to Mazdak), cujus fætor adhuo nares occupat (Pocock, Specimen Hist. Arab. p. 71.).

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