« AnteriorContinua »
, as a full reward, that he might have leave to kiss his shoulders ; which being granted, an ugly serpent immediately took post in each, and gnawed itself a den in his fleth. Either some sorcerer, or the devil in a dream; suggested to Zoak ani inhuman remedy for this evil; viz. that of washing these ulcers frequently with the warm blood Šf men; or, as others say, applying to them the brains of meri newly lain. - At firft the tyrant put to death criminals of all sorts ; but, when there were no more of these, he fell without mercy upon the innocent, that he might have wherewithal to alleviate his pain. The priests
, and other persons in authority; employed all the arguments they could use, to engage him to have recourse rather to the blood or brain of sheep; but to no purpose : 'those, however, who were intrusted with the care of these unhappy wretches destined to flaughter, for the tyrant's ease, often, out of mere pity, let them make their escape : so that, Aying to the mountains, in order to preserve themselves and their benefactors from danger, they there formed themselves into a particular nation, called since the Curdes x, All his reign long Zoak caused Phridun, the son of his predeceffor, to be searched for, but 'to no purpose; his mother took care to hide him out of the reach of Zoak, and his other enemies : however, the tyrant discharged his wrath upon her father, whom he put to death, as he did many others, whom he suspected inclined to the interest of the young Phridun. The chief cause of these proceedings was a'dream, wherein the tyrant beheld three men, who came to attack him ; these, he thought, threw him down, and bound him : afterwards, one of them gave him a mortal wound on the head; then the other two loosened his girdle, tied his feet therewith, and carried him into the territory of Damavand. Having applied to the most skilful interpreters of dreams in his dominions, to know what this figni fied, they unanimously agreed, that it portended the loss of his kingdom, and of his life, because, among the Persians, the girdle is a mark of dignity: now this Žoak conceived could never be done but by Phridun, and his party. Among the numbers put to death, on various accounts, by Zoak, were the sons of a certain smith, whose name was Gao, or, as others write it, Kaoh. This man, driven to madness at the light of his childrens blood, ran up and down the streets, crying out for justice and help against the tyrant, holding up a leathern apron in his hand, as if it had been a standard. In a short time, the army he got together became very formidable ; so that he made himself master of various strong forts, and great cities, particularly of the city Heri, or Herat, the capi* MIRKHOND, hift. sect. 6.
tal of Chorafan, where he staid for some time, to put his affairs in order , and when he found, that he was in a condition to offer Zoak battle, he made a long oration to encourage his people, assuring them, amongst other things, that he had not taken arms with any view to his private advantage ; but that, as foon as he had restored them to their liberty, he would leave them to elect. whom they would for a king. The people, with one accord, offered the sovereignty to him ;. which he as positively refused, telling them, that as the sense he had of his own injuries had put him upon first taking arms, so he would never consent to injure others; that Phridun, the son of Giamschid, was their lawful prince; that they ought to bring him immediately from his retreat, and put him at their head. Popular humours are easily turned : the army, on this speech, grew as loyal to Phridun, as they had been grateful to the smith. Phridun observing the spirit of his people, and be ing informed, that Zoak's army were by no means hearty in his interest, he marched, with the utmost expedition, to meet him; and the armies engaging, after a brisk action, Zoak's troops abandoned him, and he was taken prisoner : whereupon Phridun ordered him to be conducted to the mountains of Da. mavand, and gave directions for his being imprisoned in a cave there. This victory being gained about the time of the autumnal equinox, the Persians instituted a feast in memory thereof, which they called Mihirgjan, or rather Mibragjân y (E).
PHRIDUN, y Hype rel. vet. Pers. c. 8. p. 158. D'HERBELOT, biblioth. orient. art. Feridoun, Gaoh.
(E) The history of Zoak makes neral, and of poets in particular, a prodigious figure in the Perfan we need not be at a loss for all fomances ;' what is related in the strange things that we now them of him being too absurd as read of Zoak, and yet allow the well as fabulous, it would be to first authors of them to have no purpose to swell out a note been men of good sense too. with such stories. It is very like- Metaphors well understood, al. ly, that the poets, immediately lufions readily apprehended, and after the time of this cruel prince, allegories easily explained, in one drew the most invidious chara- age, appear all as matters, or, at Ĉters of him they could devise, least, as circumstances, of fact, in and heightened all the mischie- ages which fucceed ; and hence vous things he did with the ut- it comes to pass, that a stroke of most force of their inventions. poetic satire, or the rhetorical If we conceive to ourselves poets Rourish of an author, is misap writing with this view, and, at prehended for a ftri&t affertion, the same time, reflect on the ge- and so delivered by historians, nius of oriental writers in ge- who come after, and transcribe
PHRIDUN, Apbridun, or Feridoun. This prince proved Phridun, one of the greatest, wisest, and most successful monarchs that ever ruled in the east. His first act, after being quietly feated on the throne, was to make Kaoh the smith general of his armies ; after which he sent him towards the western parts of his dominions, in order to reduce fuch provinces, as, during the troubles of the kingdom, had shaken off the Persian yoke. Kaoh spent twenty years in this enterprize, in which space he added many fine countries to the Persian empire. At length the king recalled him, and made him governor of Aderbayagjan, which he ruled ten years, with equal satisfaction to the people and his prince, and then died much regretted by Phridun, who, to do honour to his memory, gave all his estates among his relations; and then, taking his sons into his own court, bred them there in a moft honourable manner, and, when they grew up, gave each of them greater poffeffions than their father had acquired ?
To fhew his gratitude yet more, he made the leathern apron, which Kaoh had hung upon a stick at the beginning of the insurrection, the royal standard of Pera fia, calling it dirfesch Kaviani, i. e. the standard of Kaoh,
z MIRKHOND. hift. fect. 7. all they find, without weighing being confined in the caverns of or confidering how or in what Damavand, or rather of Dunba. manner it was written. The vand, we think it may be underfirst historians, in all countries, stood to mean no more, than that
ets ; the second race he was kept there in some ftrong prose-writers, who copied from caftle. These mountains are in them : and hence it is, that an- the province of Aderbayagjan, tient historians are full of grave which, as we have more than fables, which, through length of once remarked, is part of the time, are hard to be understood : antient Media ; they are rocky, this has been the fate of Greece, full of caverns, and consequently and of Rome, of Britain, of Ire- have a gloomy appearance. The land, and why not of Persia ? poets therefore, taking the same But fiction, though it may ob- licence here, allowed them elsefcure, yet it does not absolutely where, have feigned that Tahnudeftroy truth. Zoak was, in alt rah, after overcoming the dius, probability, an Arabian invader, or evil genii, imprifoned them in who, after making himfelf ma- these grottoes; and, by degrees, ter of Perpa, used his new sub- thefe expressions grew fo frejects ilt, till the weight of the quent, that a wizard or a tyrant loads he laid upon them grew too was as readily sent to the mounheavy to be borne, and then they tains of Damavand, as, among did, what a people may always our common people, ghosts are do, throw them off their fhout- chained, of, to preserve the true ders, and would bear no more. phrafe, laid, in the bottom of the As to what we are told of his . Red fea.
that he might perpetuate his name and fervices to all pofterity. This standard he adorned with precious stones, to which his successors continually adding, it became at last of such inestimable value, that, being taken by the Arabians in the battle of Cadefia, it enriched the whole army a. As Pbridun was desirous of restoring peace and good order throughout all his dominions, he sent persons, not only of great parts, but eminent for their integrity, to govern all the provinces under his dominion. He married also, with a view of intereft only, the daughter of his predecessor Zoak, by whom he had two sons, Salm and Tur; but these proving, like their grandfather, haughty, obstinate, and cruel, he took a Persian lady to his bed, by whom he had a son, named Irege, equally wise and courteous ; so that he' became at once the darling of his father, and the delight of the people. Thus things passed on, till Phridun, feeling himself beginning to decline under the weight of age and illness, summoned his grandees together, and, having informed them of his design to quit the regal dignity, desired to know, which of his fons they wilhed he should make his fucceffor. These lords 'unanimously answered, that, if he would no longer govern himself, they desired to have Irege for their prince; to which Phridun assented: but, to prevent his brothers from taking this ill, he gave Tur all the eastern provinces of his empire; to Salm the provinces on the other side; and restrained Irege within the compass of Persia, Asyria, and Mesopotamia. From this division came the names of Turan and Iran, the one signifying that great extent of country which dies to the east of Persia, and the other Perpa itself, and the provinces dependent thereon . As for Tur, he built a noble city, which he made the capital of his territories, calling it, after his own name, Turon, and the country Turqueftan. This city was seated in the province of Mauarałnahar, in the neighbourhood of the Caspian fea; and hence the nation inhabiting that tract of country acquired the name of Turksc. However large thofe shares might be which Salm and Tur had received from their father, they still hated him, and their brother Irege, whose ruin they concerted together. Things being at last ripe for the.execution of their projects, Salm and Tur marched each with great forces into Aderbayagjan; and, having joined their 'armies, fent a sort of manifesto to their father, wherein they set forth, that, with just reason, they were displeased with the kindness which he had shewn Irege, whom they stiled a baftard; and declared at the same time, that they would never lay down
? D'HERBELOT. biblioth, oriental. art. Dirfesch. b HYD rel. vet. Persar. c. 35, p. 417. D'HERBELOT, biblioth. orient, art. Feridoun, MIRXHOND, hift. ubi fupra,
their arms till he was deposed, and the countries divided between them, which hitherto had been in his poffeffion. Phridun, justly displeased at this undutiful behaviour, sent immediately his orders to Irege, to draw together all the forces he was able, and to march against his brothers. Irege, however, desired the king to have recourse to milder measures, in hopes of preserving the peace of the empire. Phridun was of a contrary opinion, and determined to reduce the rebels by arms. - But Irege, unwilling to do his brothers any wrong, took with
him some of his wifest counsellors, and went with them to his - brothers camp, in order, if posible, amicably to adjust the
differences between them. They, who wished for nothing more, immediately seized him, and struck off his head; which having stuck on a pole, they insolently sent to their father.
Phridun was exceffively grieved at his son's misfortune, and therefore resolved to carry on the war against Salm and Tur; in order to which, he gave the dominions of Irege to his son Manugeher, who immediately marched with an army against his uncles. They, despising his youth, quickly came to an engagement, in which the two brothers were routed, and lost, their lives by the hand of Manugeher, who, after this glorious victory, returned in triumph to his grandfather Phridun, who - was now grown blind. When he heard the acclamations of the people at the entrance of Manugeher, he asked, who it was that presumed to enter his presence in such a manner. The young victor cried out, It is your grandson Manugeher, the
avenger of the blood of Irege, who hath sain Salm and Tur with his own hand. Phridun then received him with open arms, and with all the demonstrations of paternal fondness. Afterwards he took the tagi or tiara from his head, and put it on that of Manugeher or Manugjar, declaring him thereby sovereign of Perfia, appointing at the same time one Soam or Soham, a person of great wisdom and valour, to be his vizir d. Within a short space after this, Phridun died, full of years and glory (E).
As a D'HERBELOT, biblioth. orient. art. Soham.
(E) The oriental writers are a time; for it appears, that Irege, universally agreed, that the terms Tur, and Salm, all died in the Touran and Iran, expressive of life-time of Phridun, and within
the two great empires on the a small space after the partition i* other and on this fide the Oxus, of his dominions among them:
called by them the Gjeihun, took But, when this is more throughly rise at this time. It may seem considered, the wonder will ceafé. strange, that such large tracts: The monarchs of these extenfive
of country should receive ap- kingdoms were, during a long o pellations from persons who liv- course of ages, at war with each ed and governed them fo fhort other; and this enmity proceed.