Слике страница

peror of the east. Genseric delivered up his he immediately put to sea with a fleet of son Hunneric by way of hostage ; but so sixty ships; but, being attacked by the Roman great was the confidence which the Romans fleet under Ricimer, he was utterly defeated, placed in this barbarian, that they sent back and forced to fly back into Africa; he rehis son.

Of this they had' soon reason to re- turned, however, soon after, with a more pent; for in 439, the Romans being engaged powerful fleet, committing great ravages on in à war with the Goths, Genseric embraced the coast of Italy: but' in a second expedithe opportunity to seize upon the city of tion he was not attended with so much sucCarthage; by which he considerably enlarged cess; the Romans falling unexpectedly upon his African dominions. Genseric now made his men, while busied in plundering the counCarthage the seat of his empire ; and in 440 try, put great numbers of them to the sword, he attacked the island of Sicily, where he and among the rest the brother-in-law. of ravaged the open country, and laid siege to Genseric. Majorianus, at that time emperor, Palermo. But, not being able to reduce that now resolved to pass over into' Africa, and place, he returned to Afiica with an'immense attempt the recovery of that country.

For booty, and a vast number of captives. Being this purpose he made preparations ; but his now become formidable to both empires, fleet being surprised and defeated by the Theodosius, emperor of the East, resolved to Vandals, through the treachery, it is said, of assist Valentinian, emperor of Rome, against some of his commanders, the enterprise misso powerful an enemy. Accordingly, he fitted carried. Majorianus, however, persisted in out a large fleet of ships; and putting on his resolution"; and would probably have sucboard the flower of his army, under the con ceeded, had he not been murdered by Ricimer. duct of Arcovindas, ensilus, and Germanus, After his death, Genseric committed what he ordered them to land in Africa, and, join- ravages he pleased, and even made descents ing the western forces there, to drive Gen on Peloponnesus and the islands belongseric out of the countries he had seized. But ing to the emperor of Constantinople. To Genseric in the meantime pretending a revenge this affront, Leo made vast preparadesire to be reconciled with both empires, he tions for the invasion of Barbary, insomuch amused the Roman general with proposals that, according to Procopius, he laid laid out of peace, till the season for action was over; 130,000 pounds weight of gold in the equipand, next year, Theodosius being obliged to ment of his arıny and navy. The forces recal his forces to oppose the Huns, Valen, employed were sufficient for expelling the tinian was obliged to conclude a peace with Vandals, had they been much more powerful the Vandals; and this he could obtain on no than they were; but the command being other terms than yielding to them the quiet given to Basiliscus, a covetous and ambitious possession of the countries they had seized. man, the fleet was utterly defeated through

So powerful was Genseric now become, or his treachery, and all these vast preparations Yather só reduced was the Roman empire, came to nothing. By this defeat the power that in 455 he took and plundered the city of of the Vandals in Africa became fully estaRome; and, after his return to Africa, he made blished, and Genseric made himself master himself master of the remaining countries of Sicily, and of all the other islands between held by the Romans in that part of the world Italy and Africa, without opposition from Afterwards Avitus, who had succeeded Va- the western emperors,


power was enlentinian, dispatched ambassadors to Genseric, entirely abolished in the year 476. Thus was putting him in mind of the treaty he had con the Vandalic monarchy in Barbary founded cluded with the Roman empire in 442; and by Genseric, between the years 428 and 468. threatening, if he did not observe the articles If we contemplate that prince's government at that time agreed upon, to make war upon in his new dominions, it presents no very him not only with his own forces, but with agreeable aspect. Being himself an absolute those of his allies the Visigoths, who were barbarian, and an utter stranger to every useready to pass over into Africa. To this Gen- ful art, he did not fail to destroy all the moseric was so far from paying any regard, that numents of Roman greatness which were so

numerous in the country he had conquered. rival of Belisarius, however, he was conWhatever noble structure the Romans had strained to put himself in a posture of debeen at such an immense expence to erect, in fence. The management of his army he order to eternize their glory in this country, committed to his two brothers Gundimerthe Vandals were now at no less pains to re and Gelamund, who attacked the Romans, duce into heaps of ruins. Besides this de- at the head of a numerous army. The envastation, Genseric made his dominions a gagement was long and bloody; but the scene of blood and slaughter, by persecu Vandals were defeated, and the two princes ting the orthodox Christians; being himself slain. Gilimer grown , desperate at this a zealous Arian. He died in 477, after a news, sallied out at the head of his corps reign of sixty years; and was succeeded by de reserve, resolving .to renew the attack his son Hunneric.

with the utmost vigour; but by his own inThe new king proved a greater tyrant than discretion he lost a fair opportunity of dehis father, persecuting the orthodox Chris- feating the Romans. For no sooner did tians with the utmost fury; and, during his they perceive Gilimer hastening after them. short reign of seven years and an half, destroy- at the head of a fresh army, than they beed more than Geneseric had done in all his took themselves to flight; and the greatest

, life-time. He is said to have died in the part were dispersed in such a manner, that same manner as the heresiarch ARIUS; prior had the king pursued them, they must have, to which his flesh had been rotting upon his been totally cut off. Instead of this, how. , bones, and crawling with worils, so that he ever, meeting with the body of one of his, looked more like a dead carcase than a living slain brothers, he spent his time in idle lamen

man. Concerning his successors, Gutamund, tations, and in burying the corpse with , * Thrasimund, and Hilderie, we find nothing pomp and dignity. By this means Belisa

remarkable, except that they sometimes per- rius had an opportunity of rallying his men, secuted, and sometimes were favourable to, which he did so effectually, that, coming unthe orthodox; and by his favour for them expectedly upon Gilimer, he gained a new the last king was derosed. . For, having and complete victory over him. This depublislied), in the beginning of his reign, a feat was followed by the loss of Carthage, .. manifesto, wherein he repealed all the acts of which the barbarians had been at no pains his predecessors against the orthodox, a rebel- to put into a state of defence. Gilimer haylion was the consequence. At the head of ing in vain endeavoured to obtain assistance, the malcontents was Gilimer, or Gildemar, from the Moors and Goths, was now abliged a prince of the blood-royal, who became so to recal his brother Tzason from Sardinia. powerful as to depose Hilderic in the seventh

The meeting between them was very mournyear of his reign ; after which he caused the ful; but they soon came to a resolution of unl.appy monarch with all his family to be making one desperate attempt to regain the closely confined, and was himself crowned lost kingdom, This brought on another ell: king of the Vandals at Carthage.

gagement, in which Tzason was killed with. Gilimer proved a greater tyrant than any 800 of his choicest men, while the Romans. that has gone before liim; insomuch that he lost no more than fifty; after which Belisarius was held in universal abhorrence, when the moving suddenly forward at the head of his, Greek emperor Justinian projected an inva- army, tell upon the camp of the Vandals

. sion of Barbary. Notwithstanding he was Giliner, without staying to give any orders at that time engaged in a war with Persia, to his army, fled towards Numidia in the he sent a powerful fleet and army in Africa, utmost consternation. His flight was not under the command of the celebrated general immediately known among his troops; but

, Belisarilis,, who was for that reason recailed when it was, they abandoned their camp to. from l'ersia. So much was Giliwer taken up the Romans, who plundered it, and massawith his own pleasures, that he knew little cred all they found in it, except the women, or nothing of the fornsidable preparations whom they carried away captives. that were making against him. On the ar Thus a total end was put to the porter

of the Vandals in Barbary, and the Romans which Gilimer was conducted to Belisarius, once more became masters of this country. , who gave him a very kind reception. Gili. The Vandal inhabitants were permitted to mer was afterwards brought before Justinian remain, on condition of exchanging the heresy in golden chains, whom he besought in the of Arius for the orthodox faith. As for Gi most submissive manner to spare his life. limer, he took shelter at Medamus, a town This was generously granted by the emperor; situated on the top of the Pappuan moun who also allowed him a pension to live upon tain, and almost inaccessible by reason of its as a private gentleman. But his spirits and height and ruggedness. The siege of this heart were too much broken to enjoy the place was committed to one Pharas, an officer sweets of private life; insomuch that he died of great experience, who having shut up all in the year 534, the first of his captivity, and avenues to the town, the unhappy Gilimer five years after he had been raised to the was reduced to the greatest distress. Pha- throne. ras being apprised of the state he was in, Barbary being thus reduced by the arms wrote him a friendly and pathetic letter, of Justinian, it continued a province of the earnestly exhorting him to surrender. This eastern Roman empire, and received its laws Gilimer positively declined; and concluded from Constantinople, until it was taken by. his answer with a request, that Pharas would the Saracen army, in the khalifat of Omar. send him a loaf of bread, a sponge, and a lute. It continued subject to the khalifs of Arabia This strange request surprised Pharas ; but and Bagdad till the reign of Harun al Rashid, it was explained by the messenger, who told who having appointed Ibrahim Ebn Aglab him that the king had not tasted bread since governor of the western parts of his empire, his arrival on that mountain, and earnestly that prefect took the opportunity, first of longed to eat a morsel before he died; the assuming greater powers to himself than had sponge he wanted to allay a tumour on one been granted by the khalif, and then erecting of his eyes ; and the lute, on which he had a principality altogether independent of him. learned to play, was to assist him in setting The race of Aglab continued to enjoy this some elegiac verses he had composed on the new principality peaceably, till the year of subject of his misfortunes, to a suitable tune. the Hegira 297, during which time they Pharas could not refrain from tears, and im- made several descents on the island of Sicily, mediately dispatched the messenger with the and conquered part of it. About this time things he wanted. Gilimer had spent near three Obeidallah rebelledagainst the house of Aglab, winter months on the summit of this inhos- and assumed the tiile of khalif of Kairwan pitable mountain, his misery, hardening him (the ancient Cyrene, and residence of the still more against the thoughts of surrender, Aglabite princes). To give the greater ing, when a melancholy scene in his own weight to hiş pretensions, he took the surfamily at once resolved him to it. This was naine of Al Mondi, or Al Mahedi, the dia violent struggle between two boys, one of rector. According to sone, also, he prethem his sister's son, about a piece of dough tended to be descended from Ali Ebn Abu laid on the coals; which the one seized upon, Taleb, and Fatema ihe daughter of Mahoburning hot as it was

, and clapped it into met: for which reaso:n, say they, the Arabs his mouth ; but the other by dint of blows called him and his descendants Faterites.forced it out and ate it from him. This He likewise encouraged himself and his folquarrel, which would have ended fatally had lowers by a traditional prophecy of Bahomet, not Gilimer interposed, made so deep an

that at the end of three hundred years the impression upon him, that he dispatched a sun should rise out of the west. Having ai messenger to Tharas, acquainting him that length driven the islabites into Egypt,

willing to surrender with all his where they became known by the name of effects, upon ihe conditions offered, as soon Magrebians, he extended his dominions in as he was assured that they were accepted Africa and Sicily, taking Kairwan the place by Belisarilis. Pharas lost no time to get of his residence. them ratified and sent back to him; after In the three hundredth year of the Hegira,,

he was

[ocr errors]

Habbasah, one of Al Mohdi's generals, over- Al Kayem Mohdi. During his reign we threw the khalif Al Mokhtader's forces in read of nothing remarkable, except the rethe neighbourhood of Barca, and made him- volt of Yezid Ebn Condat, a man of mean self master of that city. After which he re extraction, but who, having been elevated to duced Alexandria, and was making great the dignity of chancellor, found means to progress in the conquest of the whole coun raise such a strong party, that the khalif was try, when Al Mokhtader dispatched against obliged to shut himself up in the castle of him his two generals Takin and Al Kasem, Mohedia. Yezid, at the head of a powerful with an army of 100,000 men. Habbasah,

army, soon reduced the capital of Řairwan, being informed that the khalif's troops were the cities of Al Rakkada and Tunis, and sein motion, advanced at the head of his army veral other fortresses. He was no less sticto give them battle, and at last came up with cessful in defeating a considerable number of them in an island called by the Arabs Ard troops which Al Kayem had sent against al Kansin. Here he attacked them with him; after which he closely besieged the incredible bravery, notwithstanding their khaliff in the castle where he had shut himforces were much superior to his own, but self up. The siege continued seven months ; the approach of night obliged both generals during which time the place was reduced to to retreat. The action was by no means such straits, that the khalif must either have decisive, though extremely bloody, the kha- «surrendered or been starved, when death put lif's generals having lost 20,000 men, and an end to his anxiety, in the 12th year

of his Habbasah 10,000. The latter, however, reign, and 334th of the Hegira. durst not renew the fight, but stole off in Al Kayem was succeeded by his son Ishthe night, so that Al Mokhtader in effect "mael, who took the title of Al Mansur.gained a victory. In the 302d year of the This khalif thought proper to conceal the Hegira, Habbasah returned, possessed him- death of his father, till he had made the preself of Alexandria a second time, defeated a parations necessary for reducing the rebels

. body of the khalif's forces, and killed 7000 In this he was so successful, that he obliged of them upon the spot. What farther pro Yezid to raise the siege of Mohedia the same gress

he made at that time we are not cer year; and in the following gave him two tainly told; but in the 307th year of the signal overthrows, obliging him to shut himHegira, Abul Kasem, son to the Fatemite self up in the fortress of Kothama, or Cutama, khaliff Al Mohdi, again entered Egypt with where he besieged him in his turn. Yezid an army of 100,000 men. At first he met defended the place with desperate bravery: with extraordinary success, and over-ran a but, finding the garrison at last obliged to considerable part of that fine country. He capitulate, he escaped privately. Al Mansur made himself master of Alexandria, Al Taydispatched a body of forces in pursuit of um, Al Banasa, and the isle of Al Ashma- him; who overtook, and brought him back ryin, penetrating even to Al Jizah, where in fetters; but not till after a vigorous dethe khalif's army, under the command of fence, in which Yezid received several Munes, was posted to oppose him. In this wounds, of which

wounds, of which he died in prison. After country he found means to maintain himself his death, Al Mansur caused his body to be till the 308th year of the Hegira, when he flayed, and his skin stuffed and exposed to was entirely defeated by Munes, who be- public view. Al Mansur died after a reign came master of all his baggage, as well as of of seven years and sixteen days, in the 341st the plunder he had acquired; and this ob of the Hegira. liged him to fly to Kairwan with the shat Al Mansur was succeeded by his son Abu tered remains of his army, where he remained Zammin Moad, who assumed the surname without making any farther attempt on of Al Monz Ledinillah. Egypt.

prince, and maintained a bloody contest with Al Mohdi reigned twenty-four years, and Abdalrahman, khalif of Andalusia. In the was succeeded by his son Abul Casem above- 347th year of the Hegira, beginning March mentioned, who then took the surname of 25th, 958, Al Moaz sent a powerful army to

He was a warlike

[ocr errors][merged small]

the western extremity of Africa, under the all controul, they soon began to set up for
command of Abul Hasan Jawhar, one of his themselves, licensing and abetting every
slaves, whom he had advanced to the dig. kind of lawless depredation, until the desert
nity of vizier. Jawhar first advanced to Ta- became filled with banditti, and the whole
hart, which he besieged ineffectually. From maritime coast, from the Egyptian confines
thence he marched to Fez, and made the to the pillars of Hercules, now named Gib-
proper disposition for attacking that eity.- raltar, swarmed with pirates, insomnuch that
But finding that Ahmed Ebn Becr, the they have since been distinguished by the
emir of the place, was resolved to defend it title of the Piratical States.
to the last, he thought proper to abandon The ancestors of the Saracens made a con-
the enterprise. However, having traversed quest of the greater part of Spain; but after
all the tract between that capital and the the loss of Grenada, about the year 1492,
Atlantic ocean, he again sat down before they were dispossessed of that country, and
Fez, and took it by storm the following compelled, by Ferdinand and Isabella; to re-
year. But the greatest achievement of this nounce their religion, or transport themselves
khalif was his conquest of Egypt, and the to the coast of Africa. The exiles confeder-
removal of the khalifat to that country. ated with the Mahometan princes on the
This conquest, though long projected, he did coast of Barbary, and fitted out little fleets
not attempt till the year of the Hegira 358. of cruizers, which made depredations on
Having then made all necessary preparations, Spain, which we shall record hereafter,
he committed the care of that expedition to brought away many of its inhabitants, and
a faithful and experienced general, called made slaves of them. The Spaniards assem-
Giafar, or Jaafar ; but, in the meantime, bled a fleet of men of war, invaded Barbary,
this enterprise did not divert Al Moez from took Oran and other places on the coast of
the care of his other conquests, particularly Algiers, and were proceeding to make an en-
those of Sicily and Sardinia: to the last of tire conquest of the country. In this distress,
which he sailed in the year of the Hegira the African prince besought the assistance of
361, continuing a whole year in it, and leav the famous Turkish rover Barbarossa, whose
ing the care of his African dominions to an singular talents, exploits, and vicissitudes of
experienced officer named Yusef Ben Zeiri. fortune, we shall enumerate at large in a fu-
He sailed the following year for Tripoli, ture chapter. When he had repulsed their
where he received the agreeable news that enemies he assumed the government of Al-
his general had made himself, master of Alex- giers, and treated the people who called him
andria. He immediately embarked for that to their succour as slaves. His brother,
city, leaving the government of his African Hayradin, pursued the same measures with
dominions in the hands of his trusty servant regard to the people of Tunis; and a third,
Yusef above-mentioned, and arriving safely. by similar means, obtained the government
at that port, was received with every demon- of Tripoli. In these usurpations they were
stration of joy. Here he began to lay the supported by the Grand Seignor, who claimed
foundation of his new Egyptian dynasty, the sovereignty of the whole coast, and for
which was to put a final end to the old one some time the people were considered as the
of Kairwan, after it had continued about subjects of Turkey, and governed by Turkish

bashaws and viceroys: but each of these From the era of the departure of Al Moez, states, under the auspices of military men, we may date the commencement of the pre- at length erected a sovereign out of their sent abject and degenerated policy in the own body, and rendered themselves indegovernment of Barbary. Al Moez, indeed, pendent of the Turkish empire. The Grand for a time, preserved his dominions of Kair- Seignor has not at the present time a single wain, or Africa Proper : but the ambition or bashaw, or officer, at lgiers. The dey acts avarice of the governors he appointed suf as an absolute prince, and is only liable to be fered them to run quickly to decay. And deposed by the soldiery that advanced him. these governors in a short time shaking off At Tunis and Tripoli he has still bashaws,

[ocr errors]

sixty-five years.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »