Page images

sack. Thou hast given us also clothes wrought with all the art of Misr and embellished by the workmanship of Tinnis (10). We thus possess, from thy generosity, meat, drink, clothing, and a bedfellow.

On hearing these verses, Saif ad-Dawlat observed that they were very good, only that the last word was not fit to be uttered in the hearing of princes (11). Numerous are the anecdotes related of Saif ad-Dawlat with his poets, particularly al-Mutanabbi (vol. I. p. 102) as-Sari ar-Raffà (vol. I. p. 557), an-Nami (vol. I. p. 110), al-Babbågha (vol. II. p. 147), al-Wawa (12), and others of that band, too numerous to be mentioned. He was born on Sunday the 17th of Zù 'l-Hijjà, A. H. 303 (June, A. D. 916), some say A. H. 301 —and he expired at Aleppo on the sixth hour of Friday—others say the fourth—the 24th of the month of Safar, A. H. 356 (February, A. D. 967). His body was transported to Maiyåfàrikin and interred in the mausoleum erected over the grave of his mother, and situated within the city walls. He died of a retention of urine. The dust which settled on his clothes in his campaigns was shaken off and carefully collected by his orders; it was then formed into a brick about as large as the hand, and this, by his dying injunctions, was placed under his head in the tomb. It was in the year 333 (A. D. 944-5) that he got possession of Aleppo, having wrung it from the hands of Ahmad Ibn Said al-Kilàbi, a partisan of al-Ikhshid (13). I have read, in the history of Aleppo, that the first of the Hamdàn family who ruled in that city was al-Husain Ibn Said, brother of Abu Faràs (vol. I. p. 366)

, who had gotten it into his possession in the month of Rajab, A. H. 332 (March, A. D. 944). (Al-Husain) was renowned for bravery, and it is of him that Ibn al-Munajjim (14) said:

On seeing him advance, the foes exclaim: “Are not those the fates which march “ under that man's standard ?” He died at Mosul on Monday, the 16th of the latter Jumàda, A. II. 338 (Dec, A. D. 949), and was interred in the mosque which he had erected at ad-Dair alAala (the Upper Convent). This I supposed to be the same as the Dair Said (Convent of Said), outside Mosul, and so called after him ; but I have since read in the Kitâb ad-Diara (book of convents) that the latter was named after the Omaiyide prince Said Ibn Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan. — Saif ad-Dawlat, before taking Aleppo, was master of Wasit and that neighbourhood; he then underwent various vicissitudes and passed into Syria, where he got possession of Damascus and most


of the cities in that country, and of Mesopotamia besides. His numerous campaigns against the Greeks are well known, and most of his battles have been celebrated by al-Mutanabbi in his kasîdas. He was succeeded by his son Saad adDawlat (good fortune of the empire) Abû ’l-Makli Sharif, who reigned a long time. This prince had an attack of cholera, which brought him to the brink of death. On the third day of his convalescence, he had intercourse with one of his slavegirls, but the result was that he fell to the ground, having lost the power of his right side. The physician who was called in, ordered perfumes of aloes-wood and ambergris to be burned (15) near him, and this recovered him a little. He then asked to feel his pulse, and the patient held out his left hand.

" It is the right which I want,” said the doctor.—“I have left it (in a state),” replied the other, (that it is) no longer a right hand for me; it swore (to serve me) and “deceived (me, and I have therefore punished it) (16).” He expired on the eve of Sunday, the 25th of Ramadàn, A. H. 381 (December, A. D. 991), aged forty years, six months, and ten days. He was succeeded by his son Abû ’l-Fadail Saad, the date of whose death I have not discovered (17). With the termination of Abû 'l-Fadàil's existence, the empire founded by Saif ad-Dawlat came also to an end (18).-Abû Ali Ibn al-Ukhwat, the person mentioned in this article, died on Friday, the 14th of the latter Jumâda, A. H. 546 (September, A. D. 1151). He was a good poet.

(1) I translate literally. He means to say that the members of this family were like a necklace of pearts adorning the state, and that Saif ad-Dawlat was the middle or largest pearl.

(2) The author of the Yatima says that Ibn al-Faiyâd was Saif ad-Dawlat's favorite katib, or secretary.

(3) There is here a play upon words and a double meaning which cannot be rendered. The last word of the verse is written jsew in the autograph.

(4) He means dark clouds the edges of which are dissolving into a trail of rain.
(6) See vol. I. page 354, note (9).
(6) The true reading is juilles

. The false one is given in all the other manuscripts, and Dr. Carlyle has reproduced it in his Specimens of Arabian poetry, where he has inserted the same piece.

(7) Ain Zarba is situated to the north of the Gulf of Scanderún, in lat. 37° 10'. (8) The autograph, the other MSS., and the printed text have ly; but grammar and sense require


(9) For the loves of Joseph and Zulaikha, and of king Solomon and Balkis, I refer to D'Herbelot’s Bibliothèque orientale.

(10) “Plain cloaks, made of cloth dyed at Tinnis, sold for one or two hundred pieces of gold. If embroidered “ in gold, their price might amount to one thousand pieces."-(Al-Idrisi, in his Geography.)

(11) Mankah, the Arabic word, signifies initui apta, congressui idonea.

(12) Abu 'l-Faraj Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Ghassani ad-Dimishki (a native of Damascus), surnamed alWåwå, was one of Saif ad-Dawlat's companions. He sung with great taste and was a good poet. Numerous extracts from his pieces are given by ath-Thaalibi in his Yatima, but the date of his death is not mentioned.

(13) The life of Muhammad Ibn Toghj, surnamed al-Ikhshid, is given by Ibn Khallikân.
(14) See page 309, note (7), of this volume.
(15) Here the autograph has join., but the true reading is certainly jsm. as in the printed text.
(16) In rendering this passage, I may perhaps have misunderstood the original Arabic.
(17) He died in the month of Safar, A. H. 392 (Dec -Jan. A. D. 1001-2).- (Ibn al-Adim.)

(18) For the history of Saif ad-Dawlat, consult the extract from Ibn al-Adim's History of Aleppo, published by professor Freytag under the title of Selecta ex historia Halebi. Paris, 1819; in Arabic and Latin.


Abû Hashim Ali, the (Obaidite or Fatimite) sovereign of Egypt and surnamed az-Zahir li-Izâz Din illah (the assister in exalting God's religion), was the son of alHâkim Ibn al-Aziz Ibn al-Moizz Ibn al-Mansur Ibn al-Kaim Ibn al-Mahdi Obaid Allah. We have already noticed some of the princes of this dynasty. His reign commenced some time after the disappearance of his father, which event occurred on the 27th of Shawwal, A.H. 411 (February, A. D. 1021), as we shall state in his life. The people expected that he would appear again, but, on tracing his footsteps, they came to the conviction that he was gone for ever. On the Day of Sacrifice (the 10th of Za l-Hijja), in the same year, they placed his son az-Zahir on the throne. The empire (of the Fatimites) was composed, at that time, of Egypt, Ifrikiya, and Syria. Sâlih Ibn Mirdås al-Kilâbi (vol. I. p. 631 then marched against Aleppo, which he besieged and wrested from the hands of Murtada 'd-Dawlat Ibn Lûlû al-Jarrahi, formerly a slave (ghulâm) of Abû 'lFadail Ibn Sharif Ibn Saif ad-Dawlat al-Hamdâni (vol. II. p. 339), and now governing that city as lieutenant to az-Zahir. All the neighbouring country then submitted to Ibn Mirdàs, and Hassan Ibn Mufarrij Ibn Daghfal al-Badawi (chief of the Bedwin Arabs and) lord of Ramla (1), having conquered the greater part of Syria, the power of az-Zàhir was humbled, and a number of events succeeded, too long to relate. This prince took for vizir Najib ad-Dawlat (optimus imperii)

Abû ’l-Kasim Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Jarjarài, him whose arms had been cut off at the elbows by al-Håkim in the month of the latter Rabî, A. H. 404. This punishment was inflicted on him at the gate of Cairo called Båb al-Kasr al-Bahri (the Castle Gate on the road to the river), after which he was carried home. He held, at that time, the direction of one of the government offices, but being discovered in peculation, he incurred the punishment just mentioned. In the year 409 (A. D. 1018-9), he was appointed director of the pension-office (Diwân an-Nafakåt), and, in A. H. 418, nominated vizir to az-Zahir. Previously to this, he had held different posts under government, in Upper and Lower Egypt. When raised to the dignity of vizir, he authorised the kâdi Abû Abd Allah al-Kudài,511 author of the book called as-Shihab (2), to write his alåma (3). It consisted of these words : al-Hamdu lillahi Shakran li Nimatih (Priase be to God in gratitude for his bounty). Al-Jarjarâi affected a rigid purity of conduct, strict integrity, and an extreme precaution in avoiding sin; to this Jåsûs al-Fulk (4) alluded in the following verses :

Fool that thou art ! listen and make answer! leave that feigned stupidity. Dost thou set thyself up for an honest man? Well I let us suppose thy words to be true, and tell us if it was for honesty and piety that thy arms were cut off at the elbows ?

Jarjarâi means belonging to Jarjaråyå, a village in Iråk.—Az-Zahir was born at Cairo, on Wednesday, the 10th of Ramadân, A. H. 395 (June, A. D. 1005); he died towards the end of Saturday night, the 15th Shaabân, A. H. 427 (June, A. D. 1036). I was told that he breathed his last in the Garden of the Strand Bustån ad-Dakka), situated in al-Maks (5) at a place called the Strand (adDakka).—Al-Jarjarâi died on the 7th of Ramadân, A.H. 436 (March, A.D. 1045). He held the vizirat under az-Zahir and al-Mustansir, that prince's son, for the space of seventeen years, eight months, and eighteen days.

(1) See vol.I. page 482, where his father's name is incorrectly written Mufrij. (2) The life of al-Kudai is given in this work.

(3) The words forming the alama, or mark, were written on all official papers to validate them. At Tunis, when Ibn Khaldun held the post of alama writer, the inscription consisted of these words: al-Hamdu lillahi wa 'sh-shakru lillah (Praise be to God, and thanks be to God).-(Autobiography of Ibn Khaldun.)

(4) Jåsus al-Fulk signifies the explorer of the sphere. It is certainly a surname, but I have not been able to discover any information respecting the person who bore it.

(8) Maks was a village near Cairo. See De Sacy's Chrestomathie, tom. I. p. 171.


Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Mukallad Ibn Nasr Ibn Munkid al-Kinàni, surnamed Sadid al-Mulk (bene directus in imperio) and lord of the castle of Shaizar, was a brave, enterprising, resolute, and generous prince. He was the first of the Munkid family who established his authority in that castle, having obtained possession of it in the following manner : Happening to dwell for some time at the bridge (afterwards) called Jisr bani Munkid (bridge of the Munkid family', in the neighbourhood of the castle, which was then in the hands of the Greeks, he conceived hopes of getting it into his power, and, having laid siege to it, the garrison surrendered on condition of receiving quarter. This occurred in the month of Rajab, A. H. 474 (Dec.-Jan. A. D. 1081-2). It continued in his possession and in that of his descendants till overturned by the earthquake of A.H. 552 (A.D. 1157), when all the members of the family, and other persons besides, perished in the ruins. It remained uninhabited till the end of the year, when it was occupied by Nůr ad-din Mahmûd Ibn Zinki, the sovereign of Syria. Bahâ ad-din Ibn Shaddad states, in his life of Salâh ad-din (1), that on the 18th of Shawwal, A.H. 565 (July, A. D. 1170), Aleppo and many other cities suffered severely from an earthquake, but the reader must not suppose that this is a mistake, for these were really two different events; the first is noticed (moreover) by Ibn al-Jauzi in his Shuzûr al-Okud and by other historians. This Sadid alMulk possessed such great influence that his favour was universally courted, and many of his descendants acquired renown as brave chieftains, generous patrons, and accomplished scholars. His own praises were celebrated by Ibn al-Khaiyât (see vol. I. p. 128), al-Khafàji (2), and other poets. He composed some good verses himself, such, for instance, as those which he pronounced on having beaten one of his young slaves in a fit of anger :

I used him harshly; but had my heart been master of my hands, it would have chained them to my neck. When I punished him, my anger was assumed; how great the distance between the depth of affection and the height of passion (3).

He was particularly noted for quickness of penetration, of which the following anecdote is related as an example : Before he had obtained possession of Shaizar,

« PreviousContinue »