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than customary exertions, they must want even feminine excellence to be deaf to the call; and bereft of generosity, sense, and feeling, to be helpless at such a juncture.
HASSAN, eldest son of Ali, by Fatima, daughter of Mahomet, was born in the third year of the Hegira, A. D. 625. He was advanced to the caliphate in 660, without any opposition, though the mildness of his temper ill fitted him for the turbulent scenes in which he was likely to be engaged. Scarcely had he ascended the throne, when he was obliged to contend with Moawiyah, at the head of a powerful army. The caliph was defeated, and took refuge in a strong castle, the governor of which was strongly solicited to put Hassan to death, which he peremptorily refused. Hassan, shocked at the scenes of devastation and blood to which he had been an eye-witness, determined to abdicate his office; which he accomplished, in the presence of the general assembly of the people of Cufa, in the great mosque, and which he attributed to his anxious desire of sparing the blood of his people. He now retired to Medina, with ample provision for his future support. Of this, he expended the greater part in acts of charity; sometimes he did not even leave himself sufficient to alleviate the common wants of nature. Twice he stripped himself of all he possessed; and thrice he divided half his substance among the poor. Hassan passed eight years in a private condition, and obtained universal respect from his countrymen, on account of his many virtues, and was venerated for his resemblance of his grandfather Mahomet, who had been particularly kind to him when he was a child. He died in the year 669; his death was imputed to poison. Being pressed to name the person whom he suspected of the foul deed, he replied, "The life of this world is made up of the nights that vanish away. Let him alone till he and I meet before the tribunal of God."
MOAWIYAH, sixth caliph of the Arabians, was the son of Abu Sofian, a chief of the Koreish, and an eminent commander under Mahomet. He was first appointed secretary to Mahomet, which office he held several years. Omar made him governor of Syria, which important office he continued to hold under the caliph Othman. He gained several victories over the Greek emperors; and in the thirty-fifth year of the Hegira, A.D. 654, he conquered the island of Rhodes, and demolished the famous colossus of the sun. Possessing great wealth and influence, as well as reputation, he became, on the death of Othman, in 655, a competitor for the caliphate. When Ali was chosen, Moawiyah declared against him, and prevailed upon Amru to join him. He was proclaimed caliph at Mecca and Medina, and maintained a civil war against Ali, till the assassination of that caliph in 660. Moawiyah himself was severely wounded by one of the three conspirators, who undertook to restore peace among
Mussulmans by the assassination of the two rivals and of Amru, but he escaped with his life. Hassan, the son and successor of Ali, took the field againt Moawiyah; but the mildness of his character would not permit him to involve the empire in war on his personal account, therefore, in 661, he resigned the caliphate to his competitor; and Moawiyah succeeded to the government, being the first prince of the dynasty of the Ommiyans. In the year 668, Moawiyah sent his son Yezid with an army to besiege Constantinople, so formidable had the Mussulman power become only forty-eight years after the flight of the founder from Mecca! The undertaking, however, was beyond their military skill; and after spending seven years in a series of repeated summer attacks, attended with a variety of petty events, but signalized by no great action, they relinquished the enterprise. The caliph's arms were successful in another quarter, in the defeat of the Usbeks, and the taking of Sarmacand. He fixed his residence at Damascus. He was very anxious to secure the crown to his son Yezid, and for this purpose he associated him as his colleague. Moawiyah expired at Damascus, in the year 679, being the twentieth of his age, and about the seventyfifth of his age. He is accounted one of the most eminent of the Saracen caliphs; and is extolled for his capacity, his courage, generosity, and clemency. He was the first of the caliphs who wore rich garments, and affected royal splendour. He also drank wine without scruple, and in other respects deviated from the strictness of the Mahometan law. Though not learned, he favoured the sciences, and was particularly fond of poetry, to the proficients in which, he shewed singular kindness, on several occasions.
HOSEIN, the second son of Ali, by Fatima, Mahomet's daughter, equalled his elder brother Hassan in piety and beneficence, and inherited more of the martial spirit of his father. After the death of the caliph Moawiyah, A. D. 679, when his son Yezid was acknowledged for his successor, Hosein prepared to assert his own right to the succession. He received assurances of support from the citizens of Cufa, who promised to rise in his favour as soon as he should appear on the banks of the Euphrates. Relying upon the fidelity of the Cufites, contrary to the advice of his best friends, he resolved to comply with their invitation. With a train composed of his wives, children, and servants, and a few warriors who followed his fortunes, he crossed the Arabian desart, and approached the confines of Irak. He was there met by a large force sent by Obeidollah, the governor; and Hosein, with his small company, found himself surrounded in the plain of Kerbela, with five thousand horse, who cut off his communication with the Euphrates. He was now willing to submit on reasonable conditions; but the governor insisted upon unconditional submis
sion, and sent an officer of a ferocious character, one Shamer, to enforce it. Hosein, refusing to be thus dishonoured, and having obtained a truce for a night, fortified his little camp as well as circumstances would permit, and prepared for a resolute resistance. To the loud lamentations of his sister Fatima, he opposed the duty of pious resignation. "Our trust," said he, "is in God above. All things, both in heaven and earth, must perish, and return to their Creator. My brother, my father, and mother, were better than I, and every mussulman has an example in the Prophet." In the morning he mounted his horse, with his sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, and drew up his little band, which consisted of no more than thirty-two horse and forty foot. The enemy advanced reluctantly; for a veneration for the grandson of the Prophet was almost universal among them; and the officer who had been first sent to intercept him, Harro by name, went over with thirty horsemen to partake his fate. A considerable time was spent in skirmishes and single combats, in which Hosein's party were generally victorious; at length the main body was marched to the attack, and showers of arrows poured from all parts. The hour of noon-prayer gave a short truce, in which Hosein was seen performing his devotions with great fervency amid his shattered troop. The battle was renewed with greater fierceness, and the most desperate valour of the defenders could not long withstand the attacks of a whole host. Hosein saw one of his sons cut to pieces; another was killed by an arrow in his lap, and a nephew was pierced through while just taking a last embrace. Hosein himself received a wound in his head, which filled his helmet with blood, and was struck in the mouth while tasting a drop of water. He still defended himself; and when his sister, rushing from the tent, conjured the general, Amer, to spare his life, a tear trickled down that warrior's beard, and he turned away his face. Shamer then rushed in, and thirty-three wounds despatched the venerable chief. His head was carried as a trophy to Obeidollah. The ungenerous governor struck it on the mouth with his cane. "Alas!" said an aged spectator, "on those lips I have seen the lips of the apostle of God." It was with much difficulty that Hosein's sister saved from slaughter Ali, his youngest son. The caliph Yezid disapproved of this massacre, and treated the surviving family of Hosein with great kindness. Hosein is to this day regarded by the Persians as a holy martyr, and the anniversary of his death is kept by them with great solemnity. ABDALLAH EBN ZOBEIR, an Arabian chief, who having ingratiated himself with the inhabitants of Mecca and Medina, by his religious zeal and engaging behaviour, was proclaimed caliph, A.D. 682. Heg. 63. He was recognized in all the provinces of the empire, except Syria and Palestine; and enjoyed
his dignity nine years, till the seventy-second year of his age, and seventy-third of the Hegira. At this juncture Mecca was besieged, and the caliph's spirits were supported by the attention of his mother Asema, grand-daughter to the caliph Abu Beer, who, at the age of ninety, administered refreshment to him and his soldiers at the breach with her own hand. At length, however, he took leave of his mother, and sallied out on the enemy. Having killed many with his own hand, he was at last overpowered; and when he found the blood trickling down his face and beard, he is said to have repeated this verse from an Arabian poet; "The blood of our wounds falls not upon our heels, but our feet;" and he soon died. The avarice of this Abdallah gave rise to the proverb, "That there was never a brave man who was not liberal, till Abdallah the son of Zobeir." He is reported to have been so pious and so intent on his devotions, that a pigeon once alighted on his head whilst he was thus employed, and sat long there without his perceiving it.
ABDALLAM EBN ALI, the uncle of the two first caliphs of the Abassides, under whom he served as a general against the caliph Merwan, and having vanquished that prince, proclaimed his nephew. He was guilty of horrible cruelties on the family of the Ommiades. When his eldest nephew died, his brother Almanzor assumed the government, which so displeased Abdallah that he raised an army against him, but was defeated, and obliged to fly to Bostra. Here he concealed himself seven months; but his retreat being at length discovered, he was enticed by his nephew, with the same arts he had himself used against the Ommijans, to venture himself at court, where he was at first graciously received. A house was built for him, the foundations of which were of salt. These suddenly giving way on the effusion of water, he, with many of his friends, was crushed to death under the ruins. This happened A.D. 754.
ABDALMELEH, son of Moivan, and the fifth caliph of the race of the Ommiades, sirnamed RASCH AL HEGRANAT, i. e. the skinner of a stone, because of his extreme avarice; as also Aboubzebah, because his breath was said to be so poisonous as to kill all the flies which rested on his face. Yet he surpassed all his predecessors in power and dominion; for in his reign the Indies were conquered in the East, and his armies penetrated Spain in the West; he likewise extended his empire towards the South, by making himself master of Medina and Mecca. He was raised to the throne at his father's death, being about forty years of age, A.D. 684. Heg. 65. It is said that he received the news of his elevation when sitting with the Koran in his lap, and that he cried, folding it up, "Divine book, I must now take leave of thee." Abdalmelek died
A.D. 705. He left sixteen sons, four of whom reigned after him in succession. This caliph was so great an enemy to the house of Ali, that he could not endure the praises that the poet Ferozdac had in several places of his works lavished on them. He is commended for moderation towards the Christians, whom he left in possession of a church at Damascus, which they would not give up at his demand. He is asserted to have been the first who coined Arabic money.
ABDALRAHMAN, a Saracen general, and governor of Spain, who, after ravaging France with fire and sword, was attacked at Tours by Charles Martel, who had been reinforced by a body of Germans and Gepida; and, after skirmishes for six successive days, a general action ensued on the seventh, in which the Saracen army was totally defeated, and Abdalrahman killed, with three hundred and seventy thousand Moors. This great event, which first broke the Saracen power, and taught the Europeans that they were not invincible, is generally placed in the year 732.
ABDALLAH, a son of Yezid, celebrated as a Mussulman lawyer in the seventh century.
ÓMAR II., the thirteenth caliph of the race of Ommiades, succeeded his cousin Solyman in 717. He laid siege to Constantinople, but was forced to raise it, and his fleet suffered much from a violent tempest. He was poisoned at Emessa, A.D. 720.
ARGHAN-KHAN, the eighth emperor of the race of Jeughiz Khan, succeeded his uncle Mendar Oglan, whom he had dispossessed of the throne in the year of the Hegira 683.
GENMEI, and GENSIOO, empresses of Japan, famous for their wisdom and prudence. The former came to the empire in 708, and reigned seven years, and gave names to the provinces, cities, and villages, which were marked down in the public registers. The latter came to the throne in 715, and reigned nine years.
ROTHARIS, king and legislator of the Lombards, was duke of Brescia, at the time of the death of king Ariovald, in the year 638, who left a widow, named Gundeberg, but no male issue. The Lombards gave this lady the privilege of raising to the throne the person whom she should fix on for her husband, and her choice fell upon Rotharis. For the sake of uniting himself with the queen, he repudiated his own wife, whom, however, he promised to maintain in the dignity of a queen. This engagement he did not long regard, but shut her up an apartment of the palace of Pavia, where she reVOL. II. 2 H