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chosen to regulate the articles of peace; and Amrú, who appeared on the part of Moawiyah, contrived to have his friend proclaimed khaliph. The war was renewed, but no decisive battle was fought. At length some enthusiasts met accidentally at Mecca and began to discuss the calamities that threatened the ruin of Islamism. One of them remarked that no one of the claimants of the throne deserved to reign, since they had jointly and severally inflicted great sufferings on the faithful, and brought religion into jeopardy. Three of them then agreed to devote themselves for the public good, and on the same day to assassinate Amrú, Moawiyah, and Ali. The two former escaped; Ali became a victim (A. D. 661), and Moawiyah, without much resistance, became chief of the Saracenic empire, and founded the Ommiade dynasty of khaliphs.

There is a tradition that Mohammed, a little before his last illness, declared, “ The khaliphate will not last more than thirty years after my death ;" if this prediction was not devised after the event, it was singularly fulfilled by the murder of his nephew and son-in-law. Ali's memory is justly venerated by the Mussulmans; he was inferior in statesmanship to his predecessors, but he was certainly the most amiable of the khaliphs. His mildness, placidity, and yielding disposition, which rendered him so beloved in private life, were however fatal to him in an age of distraction and civil warfare. His family continued to be revered long after his death; but their popularity excited the jealousy of succeeding khaliphs, and most of them perished by open violence or secret assassination. The martyrdom of Hassan and Hossein, the sons of Ali, is yearly celebrated by the Sheeahs of India and Persia with great solemnity; and on these occasions the affecting incidents of these events are so vividly represented, that travellers would suppose the bursts of grief they witness, to be caused by some recent and overwhelming calamity.

During these commotions the career of Saracenic conquest had been suspended; but under the Ommiade dynasty the military spirit of the Arabs was restored to its former strength. Egypt furnished an excellent key to southern Europe and western Africa. Thrice the Saracens were compelled to abandon their enterprise against the countries west of Egypt; but at length their perseverance was crowned with success, and the creed of Mohammed was extended through northern Africa to the shores of the Atlantic.

Count Julian, a Gothic noble, irritated by the treatment he had received from his sovereign, Roderic, invited the Saracens into Spain (A. D. 710). A numerous army of adventurers crossed the straits, and, aided by the resentment of the persecuted Jews, subdued the entire peninsula, with the exception of a small district in the Asturian mountains. Not content with this success, the Saracens crossed the Pyrenees, and advanced through France to the Loire : they even meditated a plan of conquest, which would have subjected all Christendom to their yoke; they proposed to conquer France, Italy, and Germany, and then descending the Danube to exterminate the Greek empire, whose capital they had already twice assailed. The valor of Charles Martel, who completely defeated the Saracens in a memorable battle, that lasted seven days (A. D. 732), rescued Europe from the Mohammedan yoke. His grandson, Charlemagne, drove the Saracens back to the Ebro; and

hough they subsequently recovered their Spanish provinces, they were forced to respect the Pyrenees as the bulwark of Christendom.

The revolution which transferred the khaliphate from the descendants of Moawiyah to the posterity of Abbas, the uncle of Mohammed, led to the dismemberment of the empire. Mohammed, the grandson of Abbas, had long been engaged in forming a party to support the rights of his house, and from his obscure residence in Syria, sent emissaries into the remotest parts of the empire, to secure partisans for an approaching struggle. On the death of Mohammed, his son, Ibrahim, succeeded to his influence and his claims; he sent Abu Moslem as the representative of his party into Khorassan, and there that intrepid warrior for the first time raised the black standard of the house of Abbas. From this time the parties that rent the Saracenic empire were distinguished by the colors chosen as their cognizance; black was the ominous badge of the Abbassides, white of the Ommiades, and green of the Fatímites, who claimed to be descended from Mohammed, through Fatima, the daughter of the prophet and the wife of Ali. Abúl Abbas, surnamed Al Saffah, or the Sanguinary, overthrew the last of the Ommiade line near the river Jab, and not only put him to death, but massacred all the princes of his family whom he could seize, broke open the sepulchres of all the khaliphs from Moawiyah downward, burned their mouldering contents, and scattered the ashes to the winds.

Ninety members of the Ommiade family were living at Damascus after their submission, under what they believed the safe protection of Abdallah-Ebn-Ali, the uncle of the khaliph. One day, when they were all assembled at a feast to which they had been invited by the governor, a poet, according to a preconcerted arrangement, presented himself before Abdallah and recited some verses enumerating the crimes of the house of Moawiyah, calling for vengeance on their devoted heads, and pointing out the dangers to which their existence exposed the house of Abbas. “God has cast them down," he exclaimed; “why dost not thou trample upon them ?

This abominable exhortation fell upon willing ears; Abdallah gave she signal to the executioners whom he had already prepared, and ordered the ninety guests to be beaten to death with clubs in his presence. When the last had fainted under the hands of the executioner, he ordered the bodies of the dead and dying to be piled together, and carpets to be thrown over the ghastly heap. He then, with the rest of his guests, ascended this horrible platform, and there they revelled in a gorgeous banquet, careless of the groans and agony below!

Abd-er-rahman, the youngest son of the late khaliph, alone escaped from this indiscriminate massacre. After a series of almost incredible adventures, he reached Spain, where the Saracens, fondly attached to the memory of Moawiyah, chose him for their sovereign, and he thus became the founder of the second dynasty of the Ommiade khaliphs.

This example of separation was followed by the Edrissites of Mauritania, and the Fatimites and Aglabites of eastern Africa. Bagdad, founded by Almansúr, became the capital of the Abbasside dynasty. The khaliphs of this line were generous patrons of science, literature, and the arts, especially Harún-al-Rashid, the hero of the Arabian Nights, and his son Al Mamún. The love of learning spread from Bagdad into the other Saracenic countries; the Ommiade khaliphs founded several universities in Spain, the Fatimites established schools in Egypt, and the Mahommedan nations were distinguished for their attainments in physical science, while Europe remained sunk in barbarism. The Saracenic empire gradually passed from splendor into weakness; the Turkish mercenaries employed by the later khaliphs became the masters of their sovereign; and the dignity, after being long an einpty title, was finally abolished (A. D. 1258).

CHAPTER III.

RESTORATION OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE.

SECTION I.-The Life of Charlemagne.

WHEN the last of the feeble descendants of Clovis was lethroned lig Pepin, France, by being brought into close connexion win the See vf Rome, became the most prominent state in Europe, and the foundation was laid for the system of policy which has since prevailed in Europe, by the union of the highest ecclesiastical authority with the most extensive civil power. Many circumstances had previously conspired to give the popes, as the bishops of Rome were called from an unknown period, great and commanding authority over the Christian nations of the West. Among the most influential, was the extravagant claim to the ancient sway of the Cæsars, gravely urged by the Byzantine emporors, when they had neither means nor ability to support their preten sions. Wearied by the pride and cruelty of the Greeks, the Italians supported the papal power as a counterpoise to the imperial, and were eager to have the bishop of Rome recognised as head of the Christian church, to prevent the title from being usurped by the patriarch of Constantinople. The recognition of Pepin's elevation to the throne of France was something more than a mere form : it was a ratification of his claims by the only authority that was respected by the nations of western Europe. In return, Pépin gave military aid to the popes, in their wars with the Lombards, and openly proclaimed himself the champion of the church. The French king intrusted the command of the armies he employed in Italy to his youthful son, Karl, better known by his French name, Charlemagne. The prince, thus early brought into public life, displayed more than ordinary abilities, both as a general and a statesman; he acted a distinguished part in the subjugation of Aquitaine, and deservedly obtained the fame of adding that fine prorince to the dominions of the Franks.

Pepin did not long survive this acquisition; pursuing the pernicious policy which had already proved so destructive to the preceding dynasty, he divided his dominions between his sons Charles and Carloman Their mutual jealousies would have exploded in civil war, but for tho judicious interference of their mother Bertha. At length Carloman died suddenly; his wife and children fled to the Lombards, his subjects, with one accord, resolved to have Charlemagne for their sovereign, and thus the French monarchy was again reunited under a single head. The protection granted to the family of Carloman was not the only ground of hostility between Charlemagne and the Lombard king Desid erius ; Charlemagne had married, and afterward repudiated, that mon arch's daughter; Desiderius menaced war, but had not the means of executing his threats ; Charlemagne was prevented from crossing the Alps, by the appearance of a more formidable enemy on his eastern frontiers.

The Saxons, and other Germanic tribes, were still sunk in idolatry : they frequently devastated the frontier provinces of the Christian Franks, and showed particular animosity to the churches and ministers of religion. A missionary, St. Libuinus, had vainly endeavored to convert the Saxons by denouncing the vengeance of Heaven against their idolatry; irritated by his reproaches, they expelled him from their country burned the church erected at Daventer, and slew the Christians. The general convocation of the Franks, called from the time of meeting the Champ de Mar, was at the time assembled at Worms under the presidency of Charles ; its members regarded the massacre at Daventer as a just provocation, and war was declared against the Saxons. As the assembly of the Champ de Maï was at once a convention of the estates and a review of the military power of the Franks, an army was in immediate readiness: Charlemagne crossed the Rhine, captured their principal fortresses, destroyed their national idol, and compelled them to give hostages for their future good conduct. He had scarcely returned home, when he was summoned into Italy, to rescue the pope from the wrath of Desiderius, who, enraged at the pontiff's refusal to recognise the claims of the sons of Carloman, had actually laid siege to Rome. Like Hannibal in ancient, and Napoleon in modern times, Charlemagne forced a passage over the Alps, and was actually descending from the mountains before the Lombards knew of his having commenced his march. Desiderius, after vainly attempting to check the Franks in the defiles, abandoned the field, and shut himself up in Pavia. The city was taken after a year's siege : during the interval, Charlemagne visited Rome, and was received with great enthusiasm by the pope and the citizens. Soon after his return to his camp Pavia surrendered, Desiderius and his queen were confined in separate monasteries, and the iron crown, usually worn by the kings of Lombardy, was placed upon the head of the French monarch.

The Saxons and Lombards made several vigorous efforts to shake off the yoke, but their insurrections were easily suppressed; while, however, alarming discontents prevailed in both nations, Charlemagne was involved in a new and perilous war. A Saracenic prince sought refuge in the French court, and persuaded the monarch to lead an army over the Pyrenees. The frontier provinces were easily subdued, owing to the disputes that divided the Mohammedans in Spain. Charlemagne gained a decisive victory over the Saracens at Saragossa, but before he could complete his conquest, he was recalled home by a new and more dangerous revolt of the Saxons. The rear-guard of the French, commanded by the gallant Roland, was treacherously assailed on its return, by the Gascons, in the defiles of Roncesvalles, and almost wholly destroyed. The celebrated valley of Roncesvalles is the line of communication between France and Navarre; the road through it is rugged and tortuous, with narrow gorges between steep mountains. While the Franks were toiling through these defiles, the Gascons and Navarrese formed ambuscades on the summits of the mountains, concealed by the

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