Imatges de pÓgina


“throw it away, or tamely suffer it to be taken from us.
“ Consider well of the state we are in, and to-morrow I will
“ more largely inform you of my sentiments of the matter.”
The next day accordingly the nobles of Perfa afsembled again;
and the king, being feated on his throne of state, with his
royal crown upon his head, and the mubad mubadan, or high-
priest, seated near him in his golden chair, rose up, and spoke
as he had done the day before, afcribing all dominion to the
Almighty, and acknowleging that the crown of Persia was
his gift. He then observed, that all things depended alike on
the will of the Supreme Being ; and that nothing could take
effect, but by his command, or with his permission. He faid
further, that God had long indulged the Persian nation in the
full enjoyment of many blessings, in consequence of which,
they were bound to live in exact obedience to his laws, that is,
to make a proper use of the good things bestowed on them. He
added, that, as to the point at present before them, viz. the in-
vasion of the Turks, it came not, but by the permission of God;
wherefore to him they ought firft to apply themselves for its
being taken away. He exhorted them to reform their lives, to
be constant in prayer, to exert their courage, and their under-
Itandings, in the defence of their country, and to reft stedfastly
in the hope, that the Almighty would not forsake them, but
restore them again to peace and quiet, either by giving them a
victory over their enemies, or inclining the hearts of their ene-
mies to peace. The piety of this prince was rewarded with a
very long life and reign. As to the extent of the former, we
have no certainty ; but, as to the latter, authors agree in fix-
ing it at an hundred and twenty years. They say likewise,
that the death of Manugjahr was, like his life, majestic and
serene ; that he called to him his son and fuccellor, gave him,
in few words, his advice as to the government of his domi-

nions, and recommended his subjects most affectionately to his " NUDAR or Naudar fucceeded his father ; but his reign was Nudas. | far from being as happy. He was fcai ce feated on his throne

before his grandees began to form parties, and to create feditions in his empire ; which weakened it so much, that the Turks immediately conceived hopes of conquering it; a thing they had long set their hearts on. With this view, Pashangh, at that time king of Touran, the direct descendant of Tur, the fon of Phridun, called his fons together; and having expatiated, first, on the right which their family had to the kingdom of Perfia, and, secondly, of the low state the Persian affairs were then in, he told them, that the intent of his drawing

care !

D'HERBELOT, biblioth, orient, ubi fupra,


them together, was to know which of them had courage enough to assert the pretenlions derived to him from his ancestors, and to undertake the reduction of the provinces on the other side the Gjeihon. Apherafab, his eldest son, ftung with ambition, and defirous of excelling his brethren, immediately offered himself to raise an army, in order to conquer Iran. Accordingly, he drew together four hundred thousand horse and foot; and, with this prodigious army, entered Sigjiftan. Nudar, as soon as he was informed of this, caused his best troops to file off that way, and gave the command of them to Soham, the father of Zal-zer; but he being old and decrepit

, was forced to march slowly towards the enemy; and even that fatigued him so much, that he died before he had reached the place of rendezvous : an event highly pleasing to Apherasiáb, who very much dreaded the valour and conduct of this great man. Nudar, not doubting that Soham, and his troops, were already arrived at the place he appointed them, marched with his army towards Mazanderan, where, on a sudden, and before he expected it, they came within sight of the enemy. The camps being opposite to each other, a Turkish champion, whose name was Bafmon, challenged any of the Perfan warriors to a single combat; which challenge was readily accepted by Kobad, the grandson of Kaoh, of whom we have said fo much in the life of Phridun. The combat terminated in favour of the Persian, who, having sain his antagonist, spoiled him of his arms, and carried them, as the trophy of his victory, to his tent. The Turks were prodigiously incensed at this accident, and refolved with themselves to revenge it speedily on Nudar, and his army. Accordingly, having posfessed themselves of all the posts about it, they attacked the Persians in their camp, where a most obstinate battle was fought, till, at length, there happened such a prodigious Lhower of rain, attended with such an extraordinary darkness, that Nudar laid hold of this opportunity to retire, and to order his sons Thus and Gustam, who were at the head of separate bodies, to march speedily to his relief; which they did, accompanied by Karen the brother of Kobad, who had found means to withdraw the royal treasures out of Sigjiftan, and to send them to a place of safety. Apherasiab observing the meafures taken by Nudar, and conceiving that his intent was to spin out the war, he, to prevent its running into a length, which, in the end, would have been destructive to his troopsy sent an officer of his, whose name was Karahon, with positive orders to attack Karen, and the body of Persians under his command; which accordingly he did, killed their commander, and effectually dispersed the rest. Not long after, Apherafiab attacked Nudar in his camp; and, after obtaining a signal


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vietory, took that monarch prisoner, in his flight, with many Persian nobles. As soon as they came into his presence, Apherasiab ordered them to be cut in pieces ; but his brother, a prince of great humanity and wisdom, hindered him, and prevailed on him to content himself with putting them in prison; to which, with much ado, he yielded. The next step, after this victory, was to possess himself of the court and trcasures of Nudar; in order to which, Apherasiab instantly detached a body of thirty thousand men: they, entering the province of Sigjístan, made themselves masters of the capital, and of the royal palace, the Persians being every-where so intimidated, that they durst not stir ; but submitted tamely to the yoke which conquest had imposed upon them. Meherab, it seems, after the marriage of his daughter to Zal-zer, had retired into Persia, and lived in great honour and affluence there, till this sudden overthrow of the empire threatened him, as well as the rest of its inhabitants. Meherab, being a man of great policy, bethought himself of a means to divert immediate danger, by sending a messenger to Apherafiab, with very rich presents, and a letter to this purpose ; • That, though he lived in ' Perfia, he was by nation a Turk; and not only so, but, in

Come measure, allied to him in blood, being lineally de'scended from Zoak : wherefore he hoped his family, and this early testimony of obedience, would be sufficient to recommend him to his special protection.' Having thus amused the victor, he gave notice to his son-in-law Zal-zer, who, assembling as privately as he could several small bodies of men, appointed them a place of rendezvous, where he himself joined them; and, finding them numerous enough to attempt somewhat against the common enemy, he began to act offensively, and, in a short time, drove the Turks out of the province of Sigjiftan. Of which when Apherasiab received intelligence, it provoked him so much, that he ordered the unfortunate Nudar to have his head struck off in prison; which was accordingly put in execution, without the least regard to his dignity. As to the length of his reign, authors are divided; fome making it seven years, others enlarging it to nine. Mirkhond, whom we generally follow, adheres to the former number. Some oriental writers make this prince cotemporary with Joshua; others place him much higher: we shall not determine here who are in the right m.

APHERASIAB or Āfrasiab, notwithstanding this rebellion, Apheraor rather insurrection, looking upon himself as monarch of fiab. Persia, sent are account to his father Pamangh of the happy success with which his expedition had been crowned. But it

* MIRKHOND, hift. feft. 8. D'HERBELOT, art. Naudhar.

was not long before he had news of another nature to fend him ; for the Persians, universally detesting his haughty and infolent temper, began to raise seditions in every part of the kingdom ; nay, their aversion engaged them in steps which carried their intrigues farther; and made them endeavour to ftir up the brother of Apherafiab, who had, at first, faved Nudar's life, to put in 'his claim to the throne, promising him both assistance and obedience. He, burning with the ambition natural to his family, listened readily to the proposal, and advised them to engage Zal-zer to invade the provinces in the neighbourhood of Sigjiftan, in the spring ; affuring them, that, the war once begun, he would appear in their favour. These negotiations could not be carried on so secretly, but that Apherasiab gained intelligence of them; and immediately set all his wits to work, to prevent their taking effect: with this view he caused his brother to be assassinated, and then applied himself indefatigably to the raising troops, resolving to reduce all his opponents. Zal-zer, being informed of these proceedings, and vehemently regretting the loss of the young Turkish prince

, openly excited the Persians to take arms, deriding their cowardice, and giving them to understand, that more than half their enemy's strength lay in their fears. His discourses, by degrees, had such an effect, that the inhabitants of Perfra

, assembling together in small bodies, marched by night through secret and by-ways to his camp; where, when they were all arrived, Zal-zer found himself at the head of a very formidable army 1. Apherafiab, who had his spies every-where, receiving an exact account of Zal-zer's situation, immediately resolved to change his manner of making war, and to act altogether on the defenfive. This gave the Persian captain a great deal of trouble ; but, at last, he found an opportunity of bringing Aphe. rafiab to a battle: it was very bloody, and so obftinate, that it lasted till it was dark; and then each army, retiring to its camp, found that neither side had any reason to boast of victory. The war continued for a long time after this, without any decisive action; whereby all industry being destroyed, there followed first a fcarcity, then a famine, and, at the end of this, a grievous pestilence; which, falling at once into both camps, filled Apherasiab and Zal-zer with thoughts of peace. Negotiations were not long on foot, before a treaty was cocluded, whereby it was stipulated, that Apherafiab should withdraw his troops and effects without moleftation, and retire into Touran ; while Iran, and all its dependencies, should re main under the protection of Zal-zer. This peace concluded and ratified, it would have been easy for that nobleman to have

'MIRKHOND, hift, ubi fupra.


raised himself to the throne of Persia ; but he, scorning to barter i immortal fame for a short-lived royalty, sought out Zab or

Zoub, the lawful heir of the house of Kejomaras, and put the crown upon his head o.

ZAB, Zoub, or Bazab, at the time of his accession to the Zab. royal dignity, was far advanced in years, but had, notwithstanding, a tolerable share of health and spirits : he applied himself to the restoring, as well as he could, the shattered affairs of Perfia : the more effectually to do this, he associated with him, in the empire, Gher schafp, his nephew, whom some have called Kischtasp, and have made him not the nephew and associate, but the son and fucceffor of Zab or Zoub : but this seems to be a mistake, and the ground of it pretty obvious, the father of this Gherschafp being called Kischtasp. But to return to Zab, he sacrificed much of the prerogative of the crown to make the people easy, and to enable them to recover their losses, after the wretched depredations committed by Afrafiab, and his troops : he did more than all this; he threw open the royal treafury, and, as often as any sums were paid in there, he first paid his foldiers, and then distributed the rest among the poor. These were certainly high virtues ; but this prince is branded for a vice particularly infamous on a throne, viz. that of gluttony, or rather luxury in eating; and is recorded to have been the author of various sorts of fawces and broths, unknown before in these regions. It is not very clear how long he reigned, or who was his successor. Mirkhond makes him exprelly the last of the first race of kings, who, from the surname of HuJhangh, were called, in general; Pischdadians, though to us it seems more probable, that they received this appellation, because, during the several reigns of these princes, the laws and constitution of Persia were thoroughly settled P. According to other authors, Gherschasp or Kischtasp succeeded in the empire, by the voluntary cession of Zab or Zoub; his mother is said to have been a Jewels, of the tribe of Benjamin : he proved a prince of great merit, and deserving of a better fate than he met; for he did all in his power to restore the Persian diadem to its antient lustre. Afrafiab, little regarding his treaties, took advantage of the disorder the kingdom was in, to re-enter it with a formidable army, and to poffefs himself of various provinces. The new king fought under great disadvantages ; but, in spite of these, he frequently defeated the Turks, and recovered various places out of their hands : at last, however, he fell into the error of many of his predecessors in that is, he

• KHOndemir, in Khelaffat Alakbar. D'Herbelor. art. Afraziab, Zal, Zoub. MIRKHOND. hist. sect. 10. P MIRKHOND, hidt, fect. 10. D'HERBELOT, biblioth, orient. art. Naudhar.

Vol. V.



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