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The Book of History 

H Ibistor^ of all mations 




VISCOUNT BRYCE, p.c, d.c.l., ll.d., f.r.s. 


W. M. Flinders Petrie, LL.D., F.R.S. 


Hans F. Helmolt, Ph.D. 


Stanley Lane-Poole, M.A., Litt.D. 


Robert Nisbet Bain 


Hugo Winckler, Ph.D. 


Archibald H. Sayce, D.Litt., LL.D. 


Alfred Russel Wallace, LL.D., F.R.S. 


Sir William Lee- Warner, K.C.S.L 


Holland Thompson, Ph.D. 


W. Stewart Wallace, M.A. 


Maurice Maeterlinck 


Dr. Emile J. Dillon 


Arthur Mee 


Sir Harry H. Johnston, K.C.B., D.Sc. 


Johannes Ranke 


K. G. Brandis, Ph.D. 


And many other Specialists 

Volume IV 

India after the Mutiny 

Ceylon . Burma . Siam, etc. 

Central Asia 

Turkestan . Tibet . Afghanistan 


Babylonia . Assyria . Western Asia 
Syria . The Hittites . Phoenicia 










After the Mlitiny .... 

The Wonder of India 

The New Empire of India 

India in our own Time 

Great Dates in the History of India 




Two Indian Scenes Coloured Plate facing 1364 

Land, People, and the Legendary Period ........ 1365 

Ceylon in the Historical Period ......... I37i 

The Europeans in Ceylon ........... 1381 


The Land, its Peoples, and Early History ....... 1387 

Burma and the Malay Peninsula ......... 1393 

Champa, Cambodia, and Siam .......... 1401 

Tonquin, Annam, and Cochin-China ........ 1409 


The Indian Ocean in Early Times ......... 1417 

The Indian Ocean in IModern Times ........ 1431 


Spring Carnival at a Tibetan Monastery Plate facing 1436 

The Country and the Peoples .......-•. 1437 

Primitive Peoples ............ ^M? 


Ancient Turkestan and the Early Nomads ....... 1451 

Mediaeval Turkestan ........... 1465 

Rise and Fall of the Old Empire of Tibet 1473 

Early Civilisation of Central Asia 1477 




The Great Mongol Empire .......... 1481 

The Later Mongol Empires .......... 1489 


Tibet, the Land of the Lamas . . . . .• . . . . . 1499 

A Traveller's First Sight of Lhasa . . . . . . . . . 1506 

Eastern or Chinese Turkestan ......... 1509 

Western Turkestan ............ 1515 

Russian Advance in Central Asia ......... 1519 

Afghanistan and Baluchistan .......... 1523 

Great Dates in History of Central Asia ....... 1533 

Central Asia in our own Time ......... 1535 




Plan of the Fourth Grand Division ........ 1554 

Early Peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt ....... 1555 

Phoenicia, Israel, Assyria, and Persia ........ 1571 

Map of the Near East Division ......... 1582 


Babylonia and its Peoples ........... 1583 

Early States of Babylonia ........... 1593 

Rise of Babylon ........... 1599 

Babylonian Empire in Eclipse .......... 1609 

New Babylonian Empire .......... , 1623 

Mesopotamian Civilisation .......... 1629 


Assyria in the Making 
Old Empire of Assyria 
Middle Assyrian Empire 
New Empire of Assyria 
Assyrian Characteristics 
Empire of the Elamites 



Syria and the Hittitc Empire 
Phoenicia and Canaan 




BY the end of October, 1858, military 
operations had almost ceased ; peace 
and order were fast taking the place of 
confusion and violence, and the transfer 
of government from the Company to the 
Crown, with Lord Canning as first Viceroy, 
had been completed. Anarchy was, of 
course, still rife in outlying districts ; 
marauders were here and there prowling 
about at large ; fugitive bodies of muti- 
neers showed more or less cohesion. Public 
business throughout the North-west 
Provinces and Oudh, with some parts 
of Bengal and the Punjab, had been 
so completely disorganised that many 
months would have to pass before the 
civil power could assert itself to the full. 
But the great cities of Delhi, Agra, Cawn- 
pore, Allahabad, were held in force ; the 
populace knew that rebellion had missed 

_,. „ its mark ; while the native 

1 he Fcacc 1 • r 1 . -iv , 

„ , ^ ,. . chiefs, almost without excep- 
(hat Followed ,- 1 ji 1 jji 1 1 

.. ., .. tion, had been splendidly loyal. 

the Mutiny x j /- j-u x 

Lord Canning was, therefore, 
able to gather up the tangled threads of 
government and to ponder constructive 
measures that in no very long time were to 
tranquillise the country and give uniformity 
of rule throughout its vast area. 

Among his earliest acts was the issue 
of a proclamation drawn up by the 
Ministry in England, and revised by Her 
Majesty, whereby an amnesty was granted 
" to all offenders, save and except those 
who have been, or shall be, convicted of 
having directly taken part in the murder 
of British subjects. ... To those who 
have willingly given asylum to murderers, 
knowing them to be such, or who may 
have acted as leaders or instigators in 
the Revolt, their lives alone can be 
guaranteed. ... To all others in Arms 
against the Government, We hereby 
promise unconditional pardon, amnesty, 
and oblivion of all Offences against Our- 

selves, Our Crown and Dignity, on their 
return to their homes and peaceful 
pursuits. . , ." Impartial protection of 
the law, freedom from interference with 
religious belief, admission to all offices for 
which qualification might be proved, 
_ protection of the rights of the 

- *"" . ^ native princes, and other boons 
P . . to the people at large, were 
graciously authorised. 
Among those to whom leniency was to 
be extended were the turbulent land- 
owners, or talukdars, of Oudh. On the 
final capture of Lucknow, the proclama- 
tion by the Viceroy, previously mentioned, 
had in its first draft confiscated their 
estates, though, upon Outram's remon- 
strance, a clause had been inserted which 
gave hopes that something less than the 
full pound of flesh would be exacted, if 
only complete submission were promptly 
rendered. On a visit to Lucknow, Lord 
Canning assembled the chief of these 
barons, as they have been styled, and, 
accepting their profession of repentance, 
restored to them the possession of their 
forfeited fiefs, with a permanent and 
hereditary proprietary title — an act of 
grace which has since that time borne 
fruit in their active loyalty and the 
orderly control of their vassals ; while it 
at once gave rest to the most dangerously 
disaffected portion of the country, and was 
welcome evidence to the remainder that 
vindictive retribution does not always 
fall upon the conquered. But 
♦kt^'R^t^ while Lord Canning's worst 
anxieties were now at an end. 

that Bred 

and the calm courage with 
which he confronted all difficulties had 
its reward in the assurance of a security 
far greater than had prevailed before 
the rebellion, the task before him was 
one of vast magnitude. Among the 
demands made by the new order of things, 



two stood out as primarily importunate. 
These were the re-estabhshment of financial 
equilibrium and the reorganisation of the 
Army, native and European. 

Changes in the system of public accounts 
render comparisons between the expendi- 
ture of India at one period and another a 
task of no little difficulty. But the final 
„ , report of the Royal Commis- 

p. .'" sion on the administration of 
J. the expenditure of India, pub- 

conomy jjgj^g^ ^^ 1900, throws a clear 
light upon the financial position with which 
Canning had to deal. The year 1860-61 
saw the ebb mark of the tide of Indian 
finance. A chronic deficit, continued 
almost without intermission for a period 
of twenty years, had already added 
250,000,000 dollars to its national debt. 
The outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857 
entailed a loss of revenue which averaged 
$60,000,000 for that and the succeeding 
two years. All the efforts of the Govern- 
ment, aided by the imposition of taxes 
which convulsed society, availed only to 
reduce the annual deficit by $30,000,000 
There was no course open to Cannmg 
and his financial advisers — Wilson, who 
died in August, i860, and Laing, who 
succeeded him — save to supplement 
additional taxation by a severe reduc- 
tion of expenditure. The military, naval, 
and civil outlay of 1860-61 had been 
cut down to $147,500,000, and now, 
with a bold hand, it was reduced by 
nearly twenty million dollars. 

The returning prosperity of the country 
gave buoj^ancy to the public receipts, and 
in 1861-62 the tide had turned. Equi- 
librium was practically restored, and the 
Government escaped the necessity of 
levying the unpopular licence tax. From 
that time forward, further relief was 
afforded in the gradual reduction of the 
income tax, and of the additional duty on 
cotton-twist and yarn, and the reform of 
the salt duties. The stamp duties and 
the excise on spirits and opium continued 
at their enhanced rates to sus- 

easur s^ ^^^^ ^j^^ burden of administra- 
of Financial ,• j u i.i, r 

_ . tion ; and by the exercise of a 

prudent policy in all depart- 
ments, Canning added to his success, in 
restoring peace and order, the further 
merit of placing the national finance upon 
a safe and enduring basis. The land 
revenue in 1862 yielded $12,500,000 more 
than before the Mutiny, and when in that 
year Lord Canning laid down office, all 


doubt as to ultimate financial prosperity 
had passed away. 

While treating of the measures taken 
during this viceroy's time for the reorgani- 
sation of the army, it will be convenient 
to extend the inquiry so as to carry the 
account of the more important changes 
in its constitution up to the present day. 

When the Mutiny broke out the ratio 
of the British forces to the native armies 
of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, together 
with the local levies and contingents, 
was about one to eight, or 39,000 to 311,038. 
Independent of financial considerations 
such a disproportion was one that events 
so soon to follow showed to be dangerous 
to the last degree. But not only had it 
to be determined what a safe ratio would 
be ; the very form of the British arma- 
ment must first be settled. This had 
hitherto consisted partly of Europeans 
enlisted in England for the Company's 
service, and partly of royal regiments of 
cavalry and infantry sent out to India, 
but liable to be withdrawn for service 
elsewhere on the outbreak of war. It was 
now debated whether under the Crown 
a local European army should 
Remaking ^^ p\^ced at the exclusive dis- 
? J- * A posal of the Government of 
Indian Army j^^^.^^ ^^ whether the forces 

deemed necessary should be part and 
parcel of the Queen's army. After much 
discussion it was decided that the Com- 
pany's European forces should be trans- 
ferred to the Crown and be supplemented 
by royal regiments. Further, a Commis- 
sion appointed to advise on these changes 
laid it down that the British forces should 
be 80,000 strong, and that the native 
troops should not exceed them by more 
than two to one in the Bengal army and 
three to one in those of Madras and 
Bombay. In Bengal the native army had 
to be re-formed almost de novo. Eighty- 
six entire regiments had mutinied, and 
only a few had remained loyal, or, at all 
events, inactive. These last were not 
disbanded ; but in the main the new 
force consisted of Sikh, Gurkha, Pathan, 
and Rajput levies. The Madras and Bom- 
bay armies, the Haidarabad contingent, 
and the Punjab Frontier Force, had taken 
no part in the rebellion. These, therefore, 
were left intact, though to them also 
were applied the principles of reorganisa- 
tion now found necessary. When, in 
1864, that reorganisation was complete, 
the three armies in India had an aggregate 



strength of 205,000 men, of whom 65,000 
were British soldiers. The artillery, ex- 
cept a few mountain batteries, were 
wholly British. 

Between i860 and 1878 there were no 
field operations on a large scale. But 
the Afghan war of 1878-80 brought to 
light many important defects ; and a 
. Commission was appointed by 
th'^A ^ '" Lord Lytton not only to devise 
„ ^ ^'^^ means for the reduction of 

ys cm army expenditure, but to test 
how far the existing system had been 
found adapted to the requirements of 
troops on active service. The immediate 
outcome of the inquiry was the reduction 
of four regiments of native cavalry and 
eighteen of native infantry ; though, as 
the strength of each regiment was raised 
from 499 to 550 of all ranks in the cavalry, 
and from 712 to 832 in the infantry, the 
total strength remained much what it 
was before. There was also a reduction 
of eleven batteries of British artillery. 
In 1885 threatenings of war with Russia 
led to considerable additions throughout 
the army. 'In the British forces the 
increase amounted to 10,600 men ; in 
the native armies to 20,000. The grand 
total then reached 226,694 men of all 
ranks, the British numbering 73,602. In 
1886 the battahons of the native armies 
were linked together ; in 1888 regimental 
centres were fixed upon for these groups, 
and at the same period a reserve was 
formed for the native army in general. 
During the next five years various changes 
and improvements took place. The Im- 
perial Service troops, voluntarily supplied 
by some of the leading native states, 
came into being ; military works, hitherto 
carried out by the Civil Department, were 
transferred to a Military Service Depart- 
ment ; amalgamation of the Presidency 
Commissariats was taken in hand ; the 
Punjab Frontier Force passed from the 
control of the Punjab Government to 
that of the Commander-in-Chief ; 

rogrcss -^^ ^^^^ ^^ three staff corps 

° "^"^ one was organised for the 
whole of India; in the Bombay 
army a large infusion of better material 
replaced men of inferior physique ; the 
native army was supplied with the 
Martini-Henry rifle ; the sixteen Hindu- 
stani regiments of the Bengal army 
became " class " regiments, composed 
severally of Brahmans, Rajputs, Moham- 
medans, Jats, and Gurkhas ; the Intelli- 


gence Branch of the Quartermaster- 
General's Department was reorganised 
and strengthened. 

With the year 1895 we come to a 
measure of importance affecting the whole 
of India, the abolition of the separate 
Presidency armies. By this arrangement 
India was now divided into four terri- 
torial commands, named after the Punjab, 
Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, each com- 
mand being vested in a lieutenant-general. 
The whole army thus came under the 
direct control of the Government of India 
and the Commander-in-Chief, whereas 
formerly the armies of Bombay and 
Madras were under local commanders-in- 
chief controlled by the Presidential Gov- 
ernments. Later on certain local corps, 
hitherto under the Foreign Department, 
were also brought under the Commander- 
in-Chief and allotted to the divisional 
commands according to their geographical 

Upon this general reconstitution of the 
army there followed, between 1895 and 
1903, many changes in the composition of 
commands and regiments. The mountain 
batteries were strengthened ; 
the Haidarabad contingent 
disappeared; the Presidency 
medical services were amal- 
gamated under a Director-General ; mih- 
tary factories came under the administra- 
tion of the Director-General of Ordnance. 
The years 1899-1901 witnessed special 
activity in remodelling and improving 
armament, mobilisation, equipment, and 
defences, while man)^ measures then re- 
solved upon were carried out in 1902 and 
1903. Thus, in 1900, the reorganisation of 
the transport system was finally author- 
ised ; in 1900-1 the native army received 
the -303 magazine rifle, whfle the re- 
armament of the regular army was 
completed in 1902-3. Between the years 
1900 and 1904 about 400 British officers 
were added to the nativ^e army ; the field 
artillery and the commissariat service 
received special attention ; transport 
organisation was more fully developed ; 
and a thorough investigation dealt with 
sanitary arrangements, the system of 
clothing, opportunities for recreation, and 
numerous other details. 

The total number of regular troops in 
the five commands, including Burma, is 
roughly 250,000, of which 75,000 are 
British and 175,000 native soldiers. The 
reserve of the native army numbered about 

Series of 




25,000, and the auxiliary forces about an 
additional 76,000 men. By a new scheme 
of military organisation, there are now 
three complete army corps and ten 
divisional commands, which have taken 
the place of the former four territorial 

The present administration of the army 
may be described in a few words. While, 
subject to the control of the Crown, the 
supreme authority is vested in the 
Governor-General in Council. One of the 
members of Council, commonly called the 
" Military Member," formerly dealt with 
administration and finance. Since March, 
1906, this arrangement has been recast, 
and military affairs are now in the hands 
of two departments — the Army Depart- 
ment and the Department of Military 
Supply. This latter department, which is 
in charge of an ordinary member of 
Council, has the management of all matters 
connected with important Army contracts, 
and the supply and registration of trans- 
port animals ; it also controls the working 
of the departments of Ordnance, Re- 
mounts, Military Works, Army Clothing, 
and the Royal Marine, as well 
rescn ^^ ^j^^ military work of the 
g ' * '^'^ Indian Medical Service ; while 
military accounts have become 
a branch of the Finance Department. 
The Army Department is under the imme- 
diate charge of the Commander-in-Chief, 
subject to the control of the Governor- 
General in Council, and while his powers 
have been largely extended, he has been 
relieved from a good deal of petty business. 
Immediately subordinate to him are the 
Chief of the Staff, the Quartermaster- 
General, the Adjutant-General, the Princi- 
pal Medical Officer of His Majesty's Forces, 
and the Military Secretary. 

From this account of Army reorganisa- 
tion inaugurated by Canning and com- 
pleted by his successors, we may now 
return to the other acts of his administra- 
tion. The loyalty during the Mutiny of 
nearly all the great native princes has 
already been noted. Conspicuous among 
these were the Cis-Sutlej chiefs, Patiala, 
J hind, Nabha, and Kapurthala ; the 
Rajas of Jaipur, Udaipur, and Kerauli ; 
Sindhia and the Nizam ; the Begam of 
Bhopal, the Gaekwar of Baroda, the 
Maharaja of Kashmir, and many smaller 
magnates. Gratitude dictated that none 
of these should go unrewarded, and Lord 
Canning determined that no stint should 

be shown in the bestowal of such acknow- 
ledgments as would best be prized. Titles 
of honour, remission of debts, enlargement 
of territory, guarantees of succession, large 
money grants, sanads of adoption, reduc- 
tions of annual tribute, an increase in the 
number of guns of salute, jewelled swords, 
and various privileges, were showered with 
lavish hand on all who had 
Loya ty ^gggj-^g^ ^^^ ^f ^j^g British 
&nd its ^ , 111- 

„ . Government ; and noblv smce 


that time has such munificence 
been repaid. The immediate anxieties of 
the Mutiny being now over, Canning was 
free to devise measures of internal im- 
provement. Early among these was the 
passing, in 1859, of the Bengal Rent Act. 
By the Permanent Settlement of 1793, 
while the Government surrendered to the 
zemindars its right to take the produce of 
the soil, it had been endeavoured to secure 
the ryots in their ancestral holdings. This 
endeavour had met with but small measure 
of success. The promised leases at cus- 
tomary rates had been withheld, rents were 
constantly raised, illegal cesses were levied, 
and by 1859 ^^^ ryots could hardly keep 
body and soul together. Act X. of that 
year, though often evaded, and though it 
did nothing for tenants-at-will, proved a 
considerable boon to the agriculturist by 
recognising occupancy rights and fixity of 
tenure, and its deficiencies have to some 
extent been made good by later enact- 

In i860, the Viceroy's Executive Council 
was strengthened by admission of its legal 
member to the full status of an ordinary 
member of Council, while the Legislative 
Council was remodelled, and certain native 
members added to it. Similar councils on 
a smaller scale were established in Bengal, 
Madras, and Bombay. In the same year 
came the amalgamation of the supreme 
and Sadr courts, whereby each presidency 
had its high court ; and before Canning 
left the country the penal code drafted 
by Macaulay and completed by 


Sir B. Peacocke, became law 

an cga throughout India. Consolida- 
tion of British territory had 
been so prominent a part of Dalhousie's 
policy that little in this direction remained 
for his successor. But in i860 the three 
provinces of British Burma were combined 
under a Chief Commissioner, and the 
Central Provinces formed by the union of 
Nagpur with the Sagar and Narbada 
districts were raised to the same status. 



Between 1859 ^^^^ 1862 much was 
accomplished in 1h; way of material 
proe;ress. Of 1,300 miles of railway open 
at the latter date, more than hall had been 
laid out during the preceding two years, 
while 3,000 more miles were in course of 
makine ; the Grand Trunk Road extended 
from Calcutta to Peshawar, a distance of 
^. 1,500 miles ; new branches of 

I 'I* r"* Ganges Canal had been 

p thrown out and the Eastern 

and Western Jumna Canals 
were already at work ; the cultivation of 
tea, coffee, and cinchona received en- 
couragement ; the foundations were laid 
of a Forest Department ; and partly as a 
consequence of all this enterprise trade 
was now reviving. 

The creation, in 1857, of universities at 
Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay stimulated 
education, the number of schools of all 
classes rose rapidly, a medical college 
was opened at Lahore, English newspapers 
conducted by natives appeared in consider- 
able numbers, and a new literature in 
Hindi and Urdu was springing up. 

In the midst of his beneficent projects 
Canning had, in 1861, to face a famine 
which, in spite of all efforts, carried off 
nearly half a million of thi? poorer classes 
in the northern provinces, and brought 
severe distress upon many millions more. 
This was lollowed by the scourge of 
cholera and by torrential rains, which 
flooded vast tracts of country, sweeping 
away roads, bridges, and crops. 

Lord Canning had hardly completed his 
last tour in India when a terrible blow 
befell him in the death of his gifted wife. 
A few months later he laid down the office 
which for six years he had held with such 
serene courage amid unexampled difhcul- 
ties, and returned to England. But the 
strain, mental and physical, had been 
enough to sap a more vigorous constitu- 
tion, and on the 17th of the following 
January, he, hke Dalhousie, passed away 
. . in the prime 'of life. His suc- 
Cannings ^^^^^^^ j^ord Elgin, landed in 

^°''f.^ ^ March, 1862. and the first 
Continued r i • tt- i-^ 

year of his Viceroyalty was 

passed at Calcutta, where he made him- 
self acquainted with the machinery and 
problems of Indian government. Closely 
following his predecessor's policy, he 
aimed at the peaceful development of 
industry, avoiding the introduction of 
novel and vexatious taxation, setting 
his face against interference with native 


chiefs, doing his best to keep down 

military expenditure, and steering clear 

of frontier complications. Of these last 

there was some danger, arising from the 

proceedings of Dost Mohammed, who 

was bent on an expedition to curb the 

refractory governor of Herat, Sultan Jan. 

Though urged to counsel the Amir against 

this undertaking, lest Persia should side 

with the Governor and Russia should 

back up Persia, Elgin refused in any way 

to embroil himself in the quarrel, and even 

withdrew his Vakil from Kabul in order 

to avoid all appearance of countenancing 

the Amir's designs. The death of the 

Dost in the following summer eventually 

placed Sher Ali on the throne, but in the 

struggle for its possession which ensued 

between the two brothers, the Viceroy 

contented himself with congratulations to 

the successful claimant at whose court 

the British Vakil was to assume his place. 

In February, 1863, Lord Elgin made a 

tour through Northern India, settling 

down at Simla for the hot season. At 

Benares he held his first durbar, and at 

the opening of a new section of the East 

. Indian Railway looked forward 

*"f°^ to the day when private enter- 

. ° *^ prise should supplement, if it 

m Harness f,., j. x i Ju i t 

did not take the place of, 

official activity in the extension of lines 
throughout the country. At Cawnpore, 
he was present at the consecration by the 
Bishop of Calcutta of the spot that 
marked the graves of those whom Nana 
Sahib's treachery had done to death. 
This was followed by a grand durbar at 
Agra to which there thronged the chiefs 
of Rajputana and Central India. Address- 
ing them in a dignified speech the Viceroy 
declared the principles by which the 
Government of India was actuated, and 
the measures by which it was in their 
power to second its endeavours to secure 
peace and general prosperity. Passing on 
to Ambela, he received a large gathering 
of the Sikh princes, whose behaviour 
during the Mutiny he warmly eulogised, 
at the same time offering wise counsels 
for their future guidance. Till the end ot 
September Lord Elgin remained at Simla' 
further familiarising himself with the 
task that seemed to lie before him in the 
coming years. He then set out to visit 
the Kangra Valley and its neighbourhood. 
The journey across the hills west ot 
Simla in the keen mountain air severely 
taxed his powers. At one point he had 


to cross the Chandra on a frail bridge of 
twigs which swayed from side to side at 
every step, and this effort perilously tried 
his heart, already, apparently, in an un- 
healthy condition. When, after some days 
of further travel, he reached Dharmsala, 
it was only to find a grave there. 

One military undertaking had alone 
disturbed the quiet of his two years' 
rule. To the north of Peshawar a colony 
of Wahabi fanatics had their abode at a 
place called Sitana. Here preparations 
had been made for a raid upon British 
territory, and in time these became of 
so threatening a character that the Viceroy 
was strongly urged by the Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Punjab to fit out a puni- 
tive expedition. To this he at last re- 
luctantly assented, and in October, 1863, 
a force of 6,000 men moved out from 
Peshawar towards the Ambela Pass. 
Here, however, it was found that the 
Buner tribe had joined the Wahabis, 
and these, with the men of Swat, made 
further progress impossible for the time. 
From day to day further clans swelled the 
enemy's numbers, and Neville Chamberlain 
was hard set to repulse their 
combined attacks. After Lord 
Elgin's death the Council at 
Calcutta had ordered the with- 
drawal of Chamberlain's force so soon as 
this could be prudently done. Sir VV. 
Denison, however, who had come up from 
Madras to take up temporary charge of 
the duties of Governor-General, promptly 
cancelled this order and directed the des- 
patch of reinforcements. Thus strength- 
ened, Garvock, now in command in place of 
Chamberlain disabled by a wound, drove 
the enemy out of Ambela. The Buners 
came to terms and, acting as guides 
to a British detachment, assisted in des- 
troying the headquarters of the fanatics 
at Malka. This brought the campaign 
to an end. 

When the news of Lord Elgin's death 
reached England it was universally felt 
that no one could so fitly fill the post of 
Viceroy as Sir John Lawrence, then a 
member of the Secretary of State's Indian 
Council. With his usual readiness Sir 
John sailed by the next mail steamer and 
arrived in Calcutta on January 12, 1864. 
His biographer, Mr. Bosworth Smith, has 
said that " a succinct history of India 
during the viceroyalty of Sir John Law- 
rence would require at least a volume to 
itself." Within our narrow limits it will 




not be possible to give more than an out- 
line of the various problems of government 
with which he was called upon to deal. 

No one knew better than Lawrence 
what were the pressing needs of internal 
administration. Although his predecessors 
had restored the financial equilibrium, 
it was only by starving the spending 
. departments and by recourse 
th^ n'^^d^ ^^ taxes which strained the 
onhe^Poor ^oy^^ty o^ ^he people. Law- 
rence did all that was possible 
to relieve the tax-payer from these burdens. 
In 1862 the additional duty of 50 per cent, 
on cotton piece-goods was repealed, and 
in 1864 the remaining enhanced duties of 
customs were reduced from 10 to yh per 
cent., a further reduction being carried 
out in 1867. The unpopular income-tax, 
imposed in i860, had been taken off 
incomes under $250 a year, and Lawrence 
proposed to replace it altogether by duties 
on exports, but public opinion would not 
permit this change. The salt duty and 
increased stamp dues he was constrained 
to leave alone ; but much was done by 
wise administration to increase the 
revenues^ and provide funds for education 
and public works. In particular, a new 
policy of far-reaching consequence, first 
suggested by Dalhousie, was adopted in 
1867-68. The public debt was divided 
into productive and unproductive, the 
expenditure upon irrigation and railways 
being charged to a capital account under 
its proper head. By stern adherence to a 
policy of non-intervention across the 
borders, military expenditure was kept 
low ; and fortunately the fall in the gold 
value of the rupee, which, after 1875, 
dislocated the finances, had not yet 
occurred to increase the home charges. 

Of public works involving enormous 
outlay, the more important may here be 
mentioned. Sanitation, especially in mili- 
tary cantonments, had hitherto been left 
almost to itself, with a consequently heavy 
mortality. Lawrence saw that 
SaniUr"" further neglect was unbear- 
ani ary able. A Commission resulted 

Requirements . ,, x ui- i i. r 

m the establishment 01 a 

Sanitary Department in each Presidency, 
and later of sanitary committees in every 
cantonment. Secondary, if secondary, to 
sanitation was the building of suitable 
barracks and hospitals. Here the ex- 
penditure from first to last amounted to 
more than $50,000,000. A large ex- 
tension of railway lines had become 



imperative for both strategic and com- 
mercial purposes. Adequate schemes were 
framed to meet this demand, and no less 
than $130,000,000 were expended in this 
direction during Lawrence's time. Canals, 
whether as, a means of watering the 
cultivator's fields or of carrying trafhc, 
admitted of no delay. Agreeing with 
Lawrence that their cost should 
ana an ^^ defrayed by loans, Lord 
rriga ion Cranbourne sent out Colonel 
Strachey as Superintendent of 
Irrigation, authorising their construction 
wherever urgent need called for them. 

If anything had been wanted to em- 
phasise the importance of easy com- 
munication by land and water, the two 
famines with which Sir John had to 
grapple were more than sufficient. A 
shortage of the monsoon in 1865, followed 
in the next year by terrible inundations, 
plunged Orissa into the direst distress. Had 
not the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 
shut his eyes to what was going on around 
him, the disaster might have been greatly 
modified. When at length the real state 
of things came to the Viceroy's knowledge, 
vigorous measures of every kind were 
taken. Relief works did something to 
check the mortality, and large sums of 
money were advanced by the Govern- 
ment of India. But it was food, not 
money that was wanted, for money had 
no purchasing power where no crops 

Importation by steamships was then 
attempted. This expedient came too late. 
The monsoon had now burst on the coast, 
and it was with the . greatest difficulty 
that even a small portion of the freights 
could be landed. When the famine ceased, 
it was calculated that the deaths amounted 
to nearly a million. Two years later, the 
failure of the rains in the North-western 
Provinces preluded a similar calamity. 
The lesson learnt in Orissa was not 
neglected. Relief works, distribution of 
alms and food, remissions of 
land revenue, and advances 

of Great 

P . made for the purchase of seed 
corn modified the evil ; while 
the Ganges and Jumna Canals watered 
the thirsty soil and abundant harvests 
in Oudh helped to keep life in the 
millions of the neighbouring provinces. 
Yet, in spite of every effort, some 60,000 
souls are said to have perished. Nor 
was it only in British India that the 
stress was felt. Rajputana, Indur, 


Gwalior, Marwar, Malwa, Bikanir and 

Gujerat suffered equally. To their honour, 

the native chiefs followed the example of 

the Indian Government, and were aided 

by it in their endeavour to ward off 

starvation. But starvation was followed 

by disease, and in some parts of these 

provinces scarcity continued to prevail 

for nearly two years. The tale of deaths 

exacted it is impossible to compute. 

From this story of woe it is pleasant 

to turn to Lawrence's determination to 

win the confidence of the native states 

by explaining the desires of the British 

Government, and by allaying the fears 

to which not even the Sanads of adoption 

granted by Canning had put an end. 

For this purpose he not only abstained 

from interference with their internal 

government, but by personal intercourse 

sought to draw closer the ties by which 

they were bound to the supreme Power. 

To a durbar held at Lahore in 1864 he 

welcomed some 600 of the nobility of 

the Punjab, prominent among whom 

were the Phulkian princes, whose aid in 

the Mutiny stood us in such stead. 

Addressing the assemblage in 

_**^* ^. Hindustani, and in terms 
Co-operation 11 j- ir 1, 

g . which, avoidmg seli-exalta- 

tion, won the ready attention 
of his hearers, the Viceroy adverted to the 
warm interest taken by the Queen in all her 
Indian subjects, enumerated some of the 
blessings that British rule had given the 
country, eulogised the conspicuous loyalty 
shown in the troublous days so lately 
passed, and urged upon the chiefs the 
advantages to be gained by the spread 
of English education. The public cere- 
monial was supplemented by private 
visits to and from the Viceroy. In these 
Sir John discussed the condition of the 
several states, and mingled with approval 
for the past advice and encouragement 
for the future. Coming from a man whose 
sincerity of purpose was so fully recognised, 
such words were not allowed to fall to 
the ground. At the second of these 
impressive scenes he, in 1866, received at 
Agra the principal chiefs of Rajputana 
and Central India. To these also Law- 
rence delivered a weighty speech in 
Hindustani, dwelling upon the principles 
by which he hoped they would be guided 
in dealing with their subjects, and point- 
ing out that those who did most in 
dev^eloping the resources of their 
dominions would find most favour in the 


S5 1325 


eyes of a Government that valued such 
endeavours a.bove long descent and ex- 
tensive sway. Once more, in 1867, a 
similar pageant was enacted at Lucknow, 
where Lawrence received the talukdars 
of Oudh, who assembled in all their 
splendour of retinue to greet for the last 
time the man to whom their country 

-, . owed so much. But if Law- 

Native , ,1 

rence was eager to engage the 
reac cry gQQ^^jjj ^f ^^le native nobility 

by such policy as would best 
commend itself to them, he did not hesi- 
tate to punish tyranny and bad faith. One 
flagrant outrage, committed by the Nawab 
of Tonk, came to his notice in 1867. This 
chief had been at enmity with one of the 
tributaries, the Thakur of Lawa. Under 
the pretence of reconciliation the Nawab 
summoned the Thakur to receive a khilat. 
The latter, attended by his uncle and a 
small retinue, duly presented himself at 
court. By-and-by the Thakur's uncle, 
Rewat Sing, with his son and fourteen 
adherents, were invited to the house of 
the Nawab's Minister, and there treacher- 
ously murdered, one man alone escaping, 
and the Thakur himself being held a 
prisoner. Subsequent inquiry proved 
beyond doubt that this atrocity had been 
contrived by the Nawab. He was there- 
fore deposed in favour of his eldest son, 
his Minister being imprisoned at Chunar. 
The avarice and oppression of another 
chief, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, provoked 
an appeal by his subjects to the Viceroy. 
A severe reprimand warned him that 
deposition would follow unless he mended 
his ways 

Though Lawrence's tace was firmly set 
against annexation, there was one act of 
the authorities in England to which, while 
yielding loyal obedience, he was unable 
lo reconcile himself. This was the restitu- 
tion of Mysore to native rule. For the 
third of a century this kingdom had been 
administered by British officials. On the 
death, in 1868, of the titular 

ysorc Maharaja, it was decided to 
Restored to i • u- • r ^ 

-.1 *• D • proclaim his infant son as 
Native Rule ^ j ^^ i_ j 

successor, and to hand over 

the government of the country to him 

if at the age of eighteen he should show 

himself qualified for its duties. 

Legislation in Lawrence's time bore a 

iruitful crop of Acts ; and two of these, 

dealing with tenant right, specially 

belonged to his initiation. When, after 

the Mutiny, Canning reinstated the 


talukdars of Oudh in their possessions 
and gave them a heritable title, the grants 
were declared " subject to any measure 
which the Government may think proper 
to take for the purpose of protecting the 
inferior zemindars and village occupants 
from extortion, and of upholding their 
rights in the soil." 

Since that time the talukdars, in fancied 
security from interference, had failed to 
heed this proviso. The cry of the oppressed 
went to Lawrence's heart. Determining 
upon a complete investigation of the 
matter, he entered into correspondence 
with the Chief Commissioner, Sir C. 
Wingfield, whose championship of the 
talukdars had already been the subject 
of remonstrances from Lord Elgin. Wing- 
field's opposition to interference on behalf 
of the sufferers was supported by an 
outcry in the Press ; friends of the taluk- 
dars in their own province in Bengal, and 
even in England, swelled the clamour ; 
certain members of the Supreme Council 
were on the same side, and others of the 
Secretary of State's Council recorded 
minutes of dissent from the Viceroy's 
proposals. Lawrence, however, 

f Lair ''^^°°^ ^^"^' ^"^ sending Mr. 
° ^"^ Davies as special commissioner 
to Oudh, empowered him to 
direct the proceedings of the settlement 
officers and to decide all questions of tenant 
right. A report furnished by Davies 
showed that while proprietary rights had 
practically disappeared during the long 
supremacy of the talukdars, tenancy 
rights still survived. These it was resolved 
to maintain, and in 1868 the Oudh Tenancy 
Bill became law. By it, while the landlords 
were confirmed in all the rights granted 
in 1859, the occupancy rights of the 
cultivators received definition, rents could 
be enhanced only under certain restric- 
tions, and compensation for improv^ement 
of holdings was decreed to tenants who 
might be evicted after occupancy for a 
fixed term of years. 

A similar fight had to be waged in the 
Punjab. When, early in Lawrence's time, 
the period for reviewing the settlements 
came round, many of the zemindars who, 
on the annexation of the province, had 
neglected to register their names as 
superior landlords, now claimed to do 
so. 'Had this been allowed, the result 
would have been to degrade to the status 
of tenants-at-will no less than 46,000 out 
of 60,000 heads of families in one district 


alone, who had become entitled to their 
tenancies at beneficial rates. In the 
Viceroy's eyes such a proceeding would 
have been monstrous. Accordingly, in 
1868, he introduced and carried through 
the Legislative Council a Bill whereby 
much the same safeguards as in Oudh 
protected the occupancy tenants in the 

If no great wars occurred between 1864 
and 1869, several small military expedi- 
tions had to be undertaken. The most 
important of these was against Bhutan. 
On the Bengal frontier were certain lands, 
known as the Assam Duars, and com- 
prising 1,600 square miles, which the 
Indian Government rented • from the 
Bhutanese. As a punishment for repeated 
raids and outrages. Lord Canning with- 
held payment of the rents due on these 
lands. Fresh outrages were pj^ 
the result, and in 1863 Lord 
Elgin was persuaded to send 
a mission under Mr. Ashley 
Eden to the 'Deb Raja, 
nominal ruler of Bhutan. 
The members of it met with 
the grossest contumely, and 
Eden, under threat of im- 
prisonment, was compelled to 
sign a treaty ceding the 
Assam Duars. On his return 
this treaty was, of course, 
repudiated by the Indian 
Government, an ultimatum 
being sent to the Deb Raja 
threatening war unless full 

columns moved up to Abbotabad, and 
thence on to Oghi. The main position on 
the Black Mountain was captured with 
little loss, and, the headmen tendering 
their submission, hostages were taken 
from them for the fulfilment of the terms 
imposed. The Government of India Wcis 
also called upon to take part in a war 
which did not concern it — 
/* **'\. namely, that against Theodore, 

fn'^AWcT' K^"g °f Abyssinia. Sir R. 
Napier, afterwards Lord Napier 
of Magdala, commanded this expedition, 
with the result so well known and so 
creditable to his skill and energy. What 
was less creditable was the decision of the 
Government in England that the exjx^nses 
of the campaign were to be borne by India. 
Anything like a detailed account of the 
encouragement given by Lawrence to 
education is impossible here. 
It must suffice to say that 
from the universities down- 
wards to the primary schools, 
public instruction received a 
strong impetus, and in the 
last year of his rule about 
three and three - quarter 
million dollars were allotted 
to the support of Govern- 
ment and aided institutions. 

While Lawrence's domestic 
administration met generally 
with public approval, his 
foreign policy gave rise to 
vigorous opposition. The key- 
note of it was " masterly in- 
reparation was made withhi vilTeroy'of'indraVom isesuii'hts activity," the avoidance of all 
three months. The term of assassination at Port Biair in 1872. interference in Afghan affairs. 

This attitude was justified by its results, 
but it led to awkward situations while the 
numerous sons of Dost Mohammed, who 
died in 1863, were fighting for the throne. 


London Stereoscopic 


sixth Earl of Mayo was 

grace having expired, four columns 
entered the Bengal Duars, and the forts 
commanding the passes into Bhutan were 
captured. The easternmost of these, 
Diwangiri, was held by Colonel Campbell 
with 500 men, who, a few months later, 
taken by surprise, had to abandon their 
position and retreat. Fresh troops being 
hurried up, Diwangiri was re- 
taken, and the enemy sued for 
peace. This was granted them 
upon terms that were generally 
considered unnecessarily lenient. Among 
other expeditions may be mentioned that 
against the Bhils in the centre of India, 
and another on the north-west frontier 
against the Hasanzai Pathans in the 
neighbourhood of the Black Mountain, 
who had swept down upon Oghi, a frontier 
station of the Punjab police. Two strong 

A Little 
War with 

At first Sher Ah Khan, the eldest son, 
was recognised by the Viceroy as Amir of 
Aghanistan ; but when, in 1867, after 
a long struggle, Mohammed Afzal Khan 
made himself master of Kabul and Kanda- 
har, he in his turn was accepted as de 
facto ruler. On his death shortly after- 
wards, similar recognition was accorded 
to his brother, Azim Khan. Later on 
again, Sher Ali, with the aid of his son, 
Yakub Khan, recovered possession of 
Kandahar, and entered Kabul in triumph 
in September, 1868. 

Lawrence had not been indifferent to 
the distractions that had weakened a 
country which he desired to be both strong 



of Peace 

and friendly. He therefore so far modified 
his attitude of neutrality as to give Sher 
Ali six lakhs of rupees and 6,000 stands 
of arms. He also encouraged the Amir's 
proposal lo pay him a visit in India, but 
the rebellion of Abdurrahman in Turke- 
stan caused this to be postponed until 
Lord Mayo's arrival in the following year. 
,^ When, in January, i86g, Law- 
rence laid down his high office, 
he could say with a clear con- 
science that he had "handed^ 
over the Government to his successor 
efficient in all departments, with no arrears, 
and with all open questions in a fair way 
towards settlement." His services were 
rewarded by elevation to the peerage, 
with a pension of |io,ooo a year for his 
own life and that of his immediate heir. 

Lord Mayo, who was chosen by Mr. 
Disraeli to succeed Sir John Lawrence, 
took charge of his post on January 12, 
i86g. India was at peace throughout, 
and his predecessor had, to a very large 
extent, obliterated the traces of the 
Mutiny. There was, however, much scope 
for the energies of even so untiring a 
worker as Lord Mayo. Above every other 
(luestion towered that of finance, and his 
inheritance in that direction was a deficit 
of 16,250,000 dollars. 

To establish an equilibrium was the fixed 
resolve of the new Viceroy, whatever the 
cost might be. In his budget for the year, 
Sir R. Temple had calculated on being able 
to pay his way without loans. But esti- 
mates are one thing and actuals another, 
as had been revealed in the previous year 
when, in place of $10,000,000 to his credit, 
Mr. Massey had to face the same amount 
on the wrong side of the ledger. So when 
Temple's budget, framed upon the actual 
figures for nine months out of the twelve 
came to be checked by the full and final 
accounts of the past year, it presently 
appeared that a deficit more than double 
that for which provision had been made 
awaited the Government. The 
fTs^'Yi''"'* immediate difficulty was tided 
p'^M °^^^ ^"y *^'° expedients. Re- 

trenching the projected outlay 
on public works, education, and other 
services, Lord Mayo obtained $5,750,000. 
Another $2,500,000 accrued from doubling 
the income tax for the last six months 
of the current year, and by raising the 
salt duties in Madras and Bombay. 
It was therefore possible to declare a 
small surplus. 


But Mayo was bent upon reforms which, 
in ordinary circumstances, should render 
deficits impossible. An enhanced income 
tax could not be persisted in ; nor could 
he safely have recourse again to sudden 
curtailments of outlay. His first measure 
was to reorganise the mechanism of the 
Financial Department, so that it should 
no longer be at the mercy of imperfect 
and unpunctual estiniates submitted 
by the local governments. A much more 
important one dealt with the funds 
for provincial expenditure. Hitherto, the 
Government of India had doled out money 
to meet the wants of local governments, 
which, although they collected the greater 
part of the revenue, had no responsibility 
for financial administration. In 1870, Lord 
Mayo gave to each of the larger provinces 
a fixed grant out of the revenues collected 
by it. From this the charges for services 
affecting the province were paid, any 
deficit being met by revenue raised locally. 
Reorganisation was also possible in the 
Public Works Department, in railways, 
and in the Army. In the first of these. 
Lord Mayo adopted his predecessor's 
, proposal that new lines of rail- 
p.*^° ^ way should be undertaken by 

inancia ^^^ State, the cost being de- 

° '*^^ frayed by loan. It was also 
decided that the public works debt should 
be separated from the ordinary debt, and 
capital expenditure on productive works 
treated as borrowed by the Public Works 
Department. Military charges were re- 
duced by $2,500,000, many needless posts 
in the Army Department and the Staff 
being aboUshed. The net result of these 
measures was, for the three years between 
1870 and 1873, a total surplus close upon 
30,000,000 dollars. 

In his foreign policy Lord Mayo addressed 
himself to those problems which had en- 
grossed so much of Sir John Lawrence's 
attention during the later years of his 
Viceroyalty. Shortly before the latter's 
retirement, Sher Ali had made up his 
mind that a visit to India would help to 
consolidate his rule. As already stated, 
internal disturbances delayed the execu- 
tion of this project ; but in March, 1869, 
he was received by Lord Mayo at Ambala 
in the Punjab. In addition to the general 
idea of securing the Viceroy's goodwill, 
the Amir set his heart upon certain definite 
objects. These were a formal treaty with 
the British Power, a fixed annual subsidy, 
assistance in arms or men whenever he 

Lord Mayo, during his viceroyalty, from 1869 to 1872, visited outlying parts of the territory under his charge, including 
Peshawar, which is illustrated above, and Burma, on his return from which he met his death by assassination at Port Blair. 

of the 

might think it necessary, the promise of 
support to himself and his descendants in 
all emergencies and against all rivals ; and 
lastly, an acknowledgment of his younger 
son as heir to the throne in exclusion of 
Yakub Khan, his eldest son, to whom 
he owed his restoration at Kabul. The 
last of these proposals was, of 
course, untenable, and the Amir 
was made to understand that 
it was contrary to our stand- 
ing policy to interfere in the internal 
affairs of Afghanistan. For the rest. Lord 
Mayo could do no more than promise the 
moral support, with occasional supplies of 
money and material, already guaranteed 
by his predecessor. To oral assurances of 
interest in the welfare of Afghanistan, and 
of readiness to enter into correspondence 
with the Amir on all matters about which 
advice might be useful, Lord Mayo, two 
days after the conference, added a letter, 
intimating that the Viceroy's Government 
would view with the utmost displeasure 
any attempt on the part of the Amir's 
rivals to create disturbances at Kabul, 
and would endeavour from time to time, as 
circumstances might require, to strengthen 

his position and enable him to exercise his 
rightful rule with equity and justice. Sher 
Ali could not but be a good deal disap- 
pointed at failing to obtain explicit 
promises on the points so near his heart. 
Nevertheless, the visit was not without 
the effect of confirming the friendly feeling 
on both sides, and impressing the Amir with 
the power and resources of the Government 
of India. As a corollary to the policy 
which it had been determined to maintain 
in regard to the frontier nations, including 
Afghanistan, Lord Mayo was no less 
desirous than Lawrence to come to an 
understanding with Russia. The Govern- 
ment in England were of like mind, and 
interviews between Prince Gortchakotf and 
Lord Granville helped to 

. ^. n °. smooth the way to an accord. 
Anglo-Russian a ■ • i. <- • r j 

. A joint Commission for de- 

gre men fining Afghan and Russian 

territories was not appointed until 1884 ; 

but the first steps towards if were made by 

a formal statement regarding Afghanistan 

which was given to Russia, and is known 

as the Clarendon-Gortchakoff agreement 

of 1872-73. Progress was also made in 

settling the boundaries of Persia. For 



some years the Shah had been encroach- 
ing upon Southern Baluchistan, or Kelat, 
the Khan of which country was under 
British protection. Pressed by Lord 
Mayo, the Shah agreed to arbitration, 
and Colonel Goldsmid was deputed by the 
Government of India to inquire into the 
respective rights of the disputants. The 
. result was a convention satis- 
Arbitrahoa f^^^ory to both parties. At 

Q fsuT" ^^^ ^^"'^ ^''^''^ ^^""^ ^^^y° 

ucs ions ^^^j, ^j^g opportunity of trying 
to compose the quarrels betweeen the 
Khan and his unruly Sirdars, and by the 
adroit management of Sir W. Merewether, 
the Commissioner in Sindh, this end was 
attained. About one other question of 
boundary, that of Sistan on both sides 
of the Helmund, Sher Ali and the Shah 
of Persia were still at variance. On its 
settlement Colonel Goldsmid was engaged 
when summoned to the more urgent 
business regarding Kelat. This done, he 
completed his earlier task by an award 
which stood good for thirty years when, 
the river altering its course, a revision 
became necessary. 

With the frontier tribes on the north- 
west no collision occurred during Lord 
Mayo's time, their inclination to raids 
being checked by the vigilant outlook 
kept by a strong police force. But in the 
country between Assam and Burma 
an inroad of Lushais had to be chastised 
by moving up two columns under General 
Bouchier and Brownlow in November, 
1871. The advance was a toilsome one 
through swamps and jungle. Opposition, 
however, was quickly overcome, the 
headmen of the tribes yielded at discre- 
tion, and hostages being taken for future 
good behaviour, the campaign came to an 
end in February, 1872. 

With the native states in India Lord 
Mayo's relations were very similar to 
those of his predecessor. Avoidance of 
annexation, punishment of the individual 
. offender and not of the state. 

Relations ^y^^ lightest possible control 
with Native 1 xi • n 

^ where thmgs were gomg well, 

with the education of native 
minors by British officers, were the 
cardinal points of his policy. He was, how- 
ever, obliged to take notice of an act of 
discourtesy on the part of the Maharaja 
of Jodhpur, who objected to the seat 
assigned to him in durbar, and to punish 
more severely the Maharao Raja of Alwar, 
whose extravagance and misgovernment 

. 1330 

led, in 1870, to his supersession by a 
council of its nobles under the presidency 
of a British officer. For the training of 
the sons of chiefs two colleges, somewhat 
after the pattern of Eton, were founded, 
the one at Ajmir, the other in Kathiawar. 
Both have flourished, and their outcome 
testifies to their founder's wisdom. 

Turning to legislation, we find a large 
number of valuable enactments. Among 
these were the Evidence Act, the Contract 
Act, an Act embodying various amend- 
ments in the Criminal Code, an Act fot 
legalising marriages of a certain class, 
an Act aiming at the prevention of murder 
of girl-children, the Punjab Revenue Act, 
an Act dealing with encumbered estates 
in Oudh, and many others of greater or 
less importance. 

In the matter of education, Lord Mayo's 
endeavours were chiefly confined to the 
extension of primary schools and to 
encouraging Mussulmans to take advan- 
tage of opportunities hitherto neglected 
by them. The improvement of agriculture 
was a matter upon which he set much 
store. For this purpose he planned a 
. separate department, with a 

uca ion director-general at its head. 
^"^ . But financial difficulties stood 

gncu ure j^ ^-^^ way, and when the new 

department sanctioned by the Secretary 
of State came into being it was made to 
embrace also revenue and commerce. 
So multifarious were the branches of each 
that agriculture profited but httle, and 
after an existence of ten years the whole 
scheme was dropped. 

At the close of his third year Lord 
Mayo paid a visit to Burma, and on his 
voyage back to Calcutta called in at Port 
Blair to inspect the convict settlement 
there. When the day's work was done, 
he insisted on climbing Mount Harriet, 
which he thought might be made to serve 
as a health resort for sick prisoners. 
Before the descent was made darkness 
had come on, and just as he was about 
to embark upon the launch that should 
convey him to the steamer in the offing 
a fanatical Mussulman, who had been 
released on a ticket-of-leave, eluded the 
guards, leapt upon the Viceroy's back, 
and with a sharp knife dealt him two 
fatal blows between the shoulders. Death 
followed a few minutes later. The body 
was taken on board the Glasgow for 
Calcutta, and ultimately to Ireland, 
where it found its last resting-place in a 


village churchyard in County Mayo. The 
assassin was, of course, hanged. 

Pending the arrival of Lord Northbrook 
as Viceroy, the Governor of IMadras, 
Lord Napier of Ettrick, proceeded to 
Calcutta to assume the office of Governor- 
General. The only matter of importance 
that came before him was the publication 
in March of the budget for the coming 
year. Lord Mayo had hoped to see the 
discontinuance of the income tax, and 
Lord Napier's views were in the same 
direction. But Temple was in favour of 
its renewal, and the acting Governor- 
General felt that he ought not to impose 
his wish upon a colleague whose province 
was finance. The tax was, therefore, 
reimposed for a year at the current rate 
of one per cent. The following year saw its 
abolition ; nor was it again put 
into force during Lord North- 
brook's viceroyalty. For 
in spite of the Bengal famine, 
for which some 20,000,000 
dollars had to be provided 
in 1873-4, the deficit was a 
small one. In the following 
year this was converted into 
a surplus which in 1875-76 
reached a handsome figure. 

The famine referred to was 
the one serious difficulty that 
crossed Lord Northbrook's 
path. In 1873 the rainfall 
was so deficient in Bengal 
and Bihar that autumn sow- 

London Stereoscopic 

utilised for transport during the dry 
season. Transport trains of carts, horses, 
mules, and camels had to be organised, 
and Temple, now in charge of operations, 
decided to build a railway fifty miles in 
length which, while serving as a relief 
work, should be an asset for the future. 
When, therefore, in the following May the 
-, famine set in in all its rigour 

_,. , .. ,. the Government was lullypre- 
Distribution , , , •, -r-i -^ '^ 

of Food pared to meet it. 1 he accumu- 
lated stores were opened for 
sale at little more than nominal rates, the 
relief works swarmed with thousands 
eager to obtain supplies on such favour- 
able terms, while those too weak to earn 
a wage, or unable for other reasons to 
leave their homes, had food distril)uted to 
them. In the middle of June the monsoon 
broke. This was followed by 
an abundant harvest. Govern- 
ment having advanced to the 
cultivators the money needed 
for the purchase of seed. 
The failure in Orissa was not 
repeated, the loss of life being 
trivial. But the operations 
cost 30,000,000 dollars, of 
which more than three- 
fourths were provided by the 

Foreign politics at the 
time were quiescent. Russia 
honourably adhered to her 
engagements regarding 
Afghanistan, and Persia had 

ings were impossible. Sir ^wd Northbrook ^was^vice^^ Sj^gr 

G. Campbell, Lieutenant- signed because of differences with All, it is true, was in a less 
Governor of the Provinces, the Government of Lord Salisbury, aj^iabie j^ood than when 

under the spell of Lord Mayo's genial 
influence. Still nervous as to the imagined 
designs of Russia, and hankering after a 
definite agreement with the Government 
of India for the protection of his country, 
he tried to wring from Lord Northbrook 
promises which even Lord Mayo had 
refused to give. He also for a time 
showed much soreness as to the Sistan 
boundary award. The Viceroy did his 
best to allay all uneasiness in regard to 
Russia, but would not go further than 
to assure the Amir that, in case of wanton 
invasion of his territories, help in money, 
arms, and troops should be forthcoming. 
By way of solace for the losses which the 
Amir's subjects had endured from the 
Persian raids, a sum of five lakhs of 
rupees was placed to his credit. Later 
on Sher Ali found a fresh pretext for 


warned the Viceroy of the impending 
calamity, and the latter at once came 
down from Simla to concert measures 
for meeting it. With the help of the 
Lieutenant-Governor and Sir R. Temple 
an elaborate but somewhat extravagant 
scheme of famine relief was worked out in 
the minutest detail. Fortunately the rice 

Relicvi ^'^^P °^ ^^"^^ ^^ Burma proved 

« 1 vmg ^^ ^^ ^^ unusually heavy one, 
a Great j .v -^ . ■' 

P . and thence 300,000 tons were 

purchased, smaller supplies 
from various other localities bringing up 
the total to nearly 480,000 tons. The 
stores from Burma were shipped to 
Calcutta, and the whole amount was 
carried by rail to the neighbourhood of 
the afflicted districts. The railway, how- 
ever, did not penetrate to the actual seat 
of the famine, nor could the Ganges be 




if not 

resentment in the displeasure which Lord 
Northbrook, perhaps unwisely, felt con- 
strained to express at the treacherous im- 
prisonment of Yakub Khan, invited by 
his father to a friendly interview at 
Kabul. Yet, though disappointed and 
he refrained from anj/thing at 
the Government of India could 
take umbrage, and, had the 
Ministry in England been content 
to leave things as they were, 
the relations with Afghanistan, 
actively cordial, would have 
remained sufficiently tranquil. Of frontier 
disturbances there were few. Just 
before Lord Northbrook's arrival the 
Kukas, a new Sikh sect, attempted two 
incursions, the one in Sirhind and the 
other near Nabha. These were easily 
put down. On the north-eastern border 
the Dafla tribes had to be chastised in 
1874 for their frequent raids, and in the 
following year the Nagas, to the east of 
Kachai, caused some trouble. 

In one native state alone was inter- 
ference found necessary. For some time 
past the misrule of the Gaekwar of 
Baroda had become too flagrant to pass 
unnoticed. In 1873 a Commission was 
appointed to inquire fully into the con- 
dition of the state, with the result that 
the chief was warned that unless within 
eighteen months things had 
greatly changed for the better, 
he would be deposed. It was 
by Colonel Phayre, Resident 
at the Gaekwar's court, that 
this ruler's misdemeanours 
had been brought before the 
Viceroy, and six months after- 
wards that officer reported 
an attempt to poison him. 
Evidence pointed to the 
Gaekwar's instigation to this 
crime. It was decided to put 
him on his trial before a 
Commission made up of, the 
Maharajas of Jaipur and 
Gwalior, with the latter's late 
Minister, Dinkar Rao, and 
three British officers. The 
accused was ably defended by 
Sergeant Ballantyne, of the English Bar, 
and after a month's trial the verdict was 
inconclusive, the British Commissioners 
being unanimous as to complicity, while 
Jaipur voted not guilty, and Sindhia, with 
Dinkar Rao, held the charge not proven. 
The matter was referred to the Secretary 



Governor-General of bombay 
1877 to 18S0, who rendered g^ood 
service in the famine of 187+ and 
during the Afghan war of 1S7S-80. 

of State, who ordered the deposition of 
the Gaekwar, not on the result of the 
inquiry, but as a punishment for general 
maladministration. At the same time, 
without annexation of the State, a very 
distant connection of the Gaekwar's 
family was found living in comparative 
poverty in British India, and him the 
Maharani of the late ruler was allowed 
to adopt with a view to his education and 
succession to the throne. 

Education was fostered in every branch, 
primary schools in Bengal receiving 
especial attention. And by this time so 
large was the supply of qualified natives 
that Lord Northbrook found it feasible 
to open to them many of the better-paid 
posts in the local civil services. But 
the most important educational move- 
ment of the period was due to Sir Sayyid 
Ahmad Khan, who opened an Anglo- 
Mohammedan college at Aligarh, in the 
North-western Provinces. This institution 
has continued to flourish, extending its 
operations until at the present it at least 
vies with the best efforts of the Imperial 

The visit of the Prince of Wales in the 
autumn of 1875 came as a pleasant diver- 
sion from more serious matters. 

Early in 1876 Lord Northbrook found 
hi nself entirely out of harmony with the 
Cabinet at home. Distrusting 
Sher Ali and apprehensive of 
Russian designs, the Con- 
servative Ministry had in the 
previous year pressed upon 
the Viceroy the advisability of 
obtaining the Amir's per- 
mission to establish an agency 
at Herat, and thereafter at 
Kandahar, as a means of 
obtaining more certain in- 
formation of .the trend of 
matters in those parts. Lord 
Northbrook, was unanimously 
supported by his Council in 
returning a strong remon- 
strance. His arguments were 
treated with scant respect, 
and in the following year 
Lord Salisbury insisted upon 
a Mission being sent to Kabul, the real 
object of which, however carefully wrapped 
up, was to pave the way for a permanent 
agency there also. Again Lord North- 
brook endeavoured to dissuade from such 
a project. The Ministry was obdurate, 
and the Viceroy resigned. 

i 1 eV F. 


'X'HE empire which Babar and his Moguls reared in the six- 
teenth century was long one of the most extensive and 
splendid in the world. In no European kingdom was so large 
a population subject to a single prince, or so large a revenue 
poured into the treasury. The beauty and magnificence of 
the buildings erected by the sovereigns of Hindustan amazed 
even travellers who had seen St. Peter's. 

The innumerable retinues and gorgeous decorations which 
surrounded the throne of Delhi dazzled even eyes which were 
accustomed to the pomp of Versailles. Some of the great 
viceroys, who held their posts by virtue of commissions from 
the Mogul, ruled as many subjects as the King of France or 
the Emperor of Germany. Even the deputies of these deputies 
might well rank, as to extent of territory and amount of 
revenue, with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, or the Elector of 

There can be little doubt that this great empire, powerful 
and prosperous as it appears on a superficial view, was yet, even 
in its best days, far worse governed than the worst governed 
parts of Europe now are. The administration was tainted 
with all the vices of Oriental despotism and with all the vices 
inseparable from the domination of race over race. The con- 
flicting pretensions of the princes of the royal house produced a 
long series of crimes and public disasters. 

Ambitious lieutenants of the sovereign sometimes aspired 
to independence. Fierce tribes of Hindus, impatient of a 
foreign yoke, frequently withheld tribute, repelled the armies 
of the Government from the mountain fastnesses, and poured 
down in arms on the cultivated plains. In spite, however, 
of much constant maladministration, in spite of occasional 
convulsions which shook the whole frame of society, this 
great monarchy, on the whole, retained, during some genera- 
tions, an outward appearance of unity, majesty, and energy. 

',****^****X / 


^<-y^v^fd^ffcrcri6/lajr^^ *^^'' , 







HTHE sequel to the " forward policy " 
•'• which Lord Northbrook had so vainly 
resisted was not long delayed. Arriving 
in April, 1876, Lord Lytton lost no time 
in giving effect to the wishes of the Cabinet 
in England. His first proposal to the 
Amir was that he should receive a friendly 
mission under Sir L. Pelly. Scenting 
in this some sinister design, Sher Ali, with 
more or less valid excuses, declined the 
intended honour, suggesting in his turn 
that he should send an envoy to confer 
with the Viceroy on all matters needing 
discussion. This was met by a flat refusal, 
the original proposal being again insisted 

At a loss how to meet the danger 
to his independence which he felt to be 
imminent, the Amir then despatched the 
Viceroy's Vakil at his own Court to 
represent the grievances he considered 
himself to have against the Government 
of India, and to explain how he was 
situated. For answer, the 
Vakil was informed that the 
Viceroy would assent to a 
conference at Peshawar or 
elsewhere, between the Amir's 
Minister and Sir L. Pelly, on 
the one condition that the 
residence of British officers 
in Afghanistan should be 
permitted. At the end of 
January, 1877, the respective 
envoys met, Pelly reaffirming 
the conditions upon which 
the Government would 
undertake the defence of 
Afghanistan. In vain did 


instructions, was inexorable, and to a 
fresh appeal made by Nur Mohammed, no 
answer had arrived when, after a short 
illness, the much-tried Minister died. 
Before his successor, bearing conciliatory 
messages from the Amir, could take up 
the negotiations. Lord Lytton closed the 
conference, and the British Vakil was 
withdrawn from Kabul. 

Meanwhile, irritated by England's 
action in reference to the war in 
Turkey, Russia, as a counter stroke, 
determined on a mission to Kabul, and 
by June, 1878, Colonel Stoletoff was 
on his way to that capital. Without 
av/aiting proof as to whether this pro- 
ceeding was invited, or even welcomed by 
the i\.mir, the British Government decided 
to resent the presence of a Russian mission 
following upon the rebuff with which its 
own proposals had been met. In August, 
therefore, Lytton despatched a letter 
callini^ upmi Sher Ali to make arrange- 
ments to receive a special 
embassy about to be sent 
under Sir Neville Chamber- 
lain. The Amir naturally 
protested against so imperious 
a message, explaining that 
the Russian mission had 
been forced upon him, and 
that he was anxious to get 
rid of it ; also promising in 
good time to receive Cham- 
berlain, and appealing to the 
friendship which had so long 
existed between himself and 
the Government of India. 
Nevertheless, the mission 

Nur Mohammed urge the The son of the great novelist was went forward. 

inabihty of the Amir to J^--yJ™f3,^^^^^^^^^ On reaching the mouth 

ensure the safety of a British 
agent m his capital ; in vain did he appeal 
to the agreements sanctioned by Lawrence, 
Mayo, and Northbrook ; in vain was it 
asked what new circumstances had arisen 
to render necessary the new demand so 
insistently pressed. Pelly, bound by his 

of the Khaibar, Chamberlain 
sent on Major Cavagnari to arrange with 
the commandant of Ali Musjid for his 
further advance. That officer courteously 
replied that without orders from the Amir 
this could not be permitted. Such refusal 
was deemed intolerable, and when, to a 



letter demanding ample apology, together 
with an undertaking to accept a perma- 
nent British mission, no answer within the 
brief interval allowed was forthcoming. 
Lord Lytton, supported by the Cabinet, 
declared war. Three columns, under 
Generals Stewart, Roberts, and Browne, 
at once advanced towards Afghanistan. 

A ct .. Ali Musiid was captured, 

A Short Oi J. J T^ 

. - . btewart and Browne respec- 

y.^ ^^ lively occupied Kandahar and 
Jellalabad, while Roberts pre- 
pared to invest Kabul. Terrified by these 
rapid movements, and much broken by the 
death of his favourite son, the Amir made 
over the defence of his capital to Yakub 
Khan, and fled to Mazar-i-Sharif, where 
he died shortly afterwards. Yakub, now 
acknowledged as Amir, soon found that 
armed resistance would be useless. He 
therefore entered into nego- 
tiations, and in May a treaty 
was signed at Gandamak, 
whereby the presence of a 
British Resident at Kabul 
was accepted, the foreign 
relations of Afghanistan came 
under British control, and 
certain positions of the 
country necessary for Lord 
Beaconsfield's " new scientific 
frontier " were ceded, England 
in return undertaking to 
safeguard Afghanistan from 
foreign invasion. Towards the 
end of July, the newly ap- 
pointed Resident, Cavagnari, 
arrived at Kabul with his 
staff and escort, and was 
splendidly received, the Bala 
Hissar being assigned to them for residence. 
Till the beginning of September, every- 
thing seemed to be going well. But on the 
3rd of that month certain of the Amir's 
troops, long kept out of their pay, broke 
into revolt. Failing to obtain more than 
a month's arrears, they, appealed to the 
Resident, who, of course, could do no 
more than refer them to their own master. 
A second application in that quarter 
being met by no redress, they turned their 
fury upon the Residency. A stout resist- 
ance was offered by the small force under 
Cavagnari, but after an attack of some 
hours the insurgents succeeded in setting 
fire to the building. The Resident fell, 
crushed by a beam of the roof, and all with 
him were put to the sword. The Amir at 
once telegraphed to Roberts, who, pushing 


When Sir Frederick Roberts, he 
made his famous forced march from 
Kandahar to Kabul, October, 1880- 

for ward from his camp on the ShuibGardan, 
quickly occupied Kabul, Yakub taking 
refuge with the British. Of the miUtary 
operations the most remarkable incident 
was the brilliant forced march of General 
Sir Frederick Roberts from Kabul to Kan- 
dahar, which concluded with the decisive 
defeat and overthrow of the Afghan Ayub. 
The upshot as regards Afghanistan was 
that , Sher Ah being dead, and Yakub having 
abdicated, Abdurrahman, a grandson of 
Dost Mohammed, was installed as Amir by 
General Stewart in July, 1880, and the army 
of occupation withdrew. The new ruler was 
informed by letter that so long as he was 
guided in the conduct of his foreign relations 
by the advice of the Government of India, 
unprovoked aggression by any foreign 
Power would be met by such assistance from 
the British Government as circumstances 
might require. While Lord 
Lytton was saihng through 
troublous seas in the course 
laid down for him in foreign 
policy, he was not exempt 
from the calamities to which 
the internal administration 
111 India is always exposed 
Irom the malignant forces of 
Nature. First of these was a 
storm-wave which, at the end 
of October, 1876, swept down 
upon Lower Bengal, destroy- 
ing the crops, turning the 
fields into salt marshes, wreck- 
ing homesteads, and filling the 
banks with corpses over an 
area of nearly 3,000 square 
miles. Pestilence followed 
cyclone, and in spite of every 
effort in behalf of the wretched sufferers, 
more than 100,000 human beings perished 
from one cause or another, to say nothing of 
the loss of cattle and the ruin to agriculture. 
This, however, was but a small 
matter compared with the famine which 
shortly afterwards came upon Western 
and Southern India, and to a 
less degree upon the North-West- 
ern Provinces and the Punjab. 
The usual measures of relief 
of importation of rice, remissions 
of revenue, house to house visitation, 
suspension of the import duty on food 
grain — were promptly adopted. The 
Duke of Buckingham in Madras, Sir 
P. Wodehouse in Bombay, and Sir R. 
Temple, as Famine Commissioner in 
both presidencies, strove with untiring 





The fort itself is on the summit of the hill, 1, and the pickets of Ali Musjid are at 2 ; the spot where Major Cavagnari 
met the commandant of Ali Musjid is at 3, and 4 is the Khaibar River. The pass converges to 4U ft. wide near this point. 

energy to minimise the distress that 
surrounded them on every side. Warned 
by the enormous outlay upon the recent 
famine in Bengal, Lord Lytton's Govern- 
ment was compelled to insist upon 
economy, especially as the area to be 
dealt with was now so much more ex- 
tensive. It was, moreover, impossible 
to fight the battle on the same terms as 
before in tracts of land where there were 
no railways and where the death of cattle 
from want of fodder rendered transport 
unavailable. Accordingly, when in 1878 
the awful conflict came to an end it was 
computed that some 7,000,000 of the in- 
habitants owed their death, directly and 
indirectly, to famine, while the cost to 
the State amounted to 55,000,000 
dollars. Out of this twofold evil there at 
all events came the negative good that 
the Government showed itself more keenly 
alive to the urgent necessity of extending 

its system of railways and of supple- 
menting them by irrigation works. A 
Famine Commission was also appointed 
to explore the afflicted districts, to gather 
information as to the causes of past 
famines, and to lay down a plan for 
fighting a like calamity in the future. 

The shadow of the visitation described — 
for in the autumn of 1876 it was already 
evident that a fierce struggle was at 
hand — did not deter the Viceroy from 
carrying out his programme of Imperial 
rejoicings in view of the addition of the 
title of Empress to Her Majesty's style. 
At Delhi a splendid camp was laid out for 
himself, his subordinate governors and 
lieutenant-governors ; a force of 15,000 
troops was cantoned in the immediate 
neighbourhood ; pavilions for the chiefs 
and princes formed a semicircle in front 
of that from which the proclamation was 
to be read. Lord Lytton, with a long 



train of elephants, made a triumphant 
entry, and on the ist of January, 1877, 
addressed the assembled feudatories, con- 
veying to them a gracious message from 
their Empress. The Maharajas of Kash- 
mir and Gwalior were made generals of the 
British Army ; other princes 
had guns added to their 
salutes ; honours for good 
service were conferred upon 
European and native gentle- 
men. A review of the troops 
took place on the following 
day, and various entertain- 
ments filled up the week. 
Similar festivities on a smaller 
scale enlivened the provincial 
stations, and 15,000 prisonci> 
had their sentences remitted. 
Two remedial measures on 
behalf of the cultivators ol 
the soil were set on foot during 
Lord Lytton's 

When, in 1880, Lord Beaconsfield gave 
place to Mr. Gladstone, Lord Lytton at 
once resigned office, and Lord Ripon 
sailed for India. 

Sent out with the special purpose of 
reversing his predecessor's foreign policy, 
the new Viceroy promptly 
handed back to Afghanistan 
Kandahar and certain other 
portions of its territory that 
had been occupied by us, 
while nothing more was said 
as to the residence of British 
agents at Kabul and else 
where, or of the scientific 
frontier on which so much 
stress had been laid. The 
result was to allay Abdurrah- 
man's suspicions and ulti- 
mately to win his loyal 
friendship. But though no 
further complications in- 
^^ ^- ^ viceroyalty. The leader of sir Nevuie Chamber- volved US With Afghanistan 

Ihe Deccan Agriculturists lams advance party, which was itself, there was danger of our 
ReliefAct,which led to further -^-ed P—^e before ah Musjid. ^gj^g brought into collision 


legislation of this kind, enabled courts of 
law to review usurious transactions of 
moneylenders which had provoked agrarian 
disturbances in the Western Presidency, 
while in Bengal the Act of 1859 was 
amended so as to give further protection 
to the ryot from the oppression of the 
landholder. Another measure by which 
it was sought to afford scope to the 
ambition of the more advanced 
classes was the reservation of 
a number of posts in the 
covenanted Civil Service for 
native probationers selected 
by the Government of India. 
These, termed "Statutory 
Civilians," were, after a two 
years' training, to receive 
appointments hitherto filled 
by civihans selected by public 
competition, at a slight re- 
duction of the ordinary salary. 
The scheme seemed a hopeful 
one, but a twenty years' 
experience resulted in the 
establishment in its place of 
the provincial services. One 
other Act, intended to curb 
the licence of the native Press, had a still 
shorter life. By the Liberal Ministry so 
soon to come into power such restriction 
was viewed as indefensible. Yet it cannot 
be said that a free Press has yet given to 
India the benefits expected from it. 


General Sir Donald Stewart, when 
British commander in Kabul in 1 880, 
mstalled Abdurrahman as Amir. 

with Russia in behalf of that ill-defined 
country. To avert any such evil, Lord 
Ripon and his Government proposed an 
arrangement by which the frontier between 
Afghan and Ru.ssian territory in Central 
Asia should be defined. The Cabinet in 
England concurring, negotiations were 
opened with St. Petersburg, which issued 
in the despatch of a joint British and 
Russian Commission to the 
scene of the debatable terri- 
tory, there to devise a 
boundary acceptable by both 
parties ; and before the end 
of the year the commissioners 
had begun their work. While, 
however, to Lord Ripon 
belongs the credit of suggest- 
ing arbitration, the final 
solution was not arrived at in 
his time. An account of its 
incidents must, therefore, be 
reserved until we come to the 
viceroyalty of his successor. 
Besides the instructions 
which Lord Ripon received as 
to foreign politics, he was 
pledged by Mr. Gladstone's 
Ministry to reforms 'in various directions 
upon a more liberal basis. We have seen 
that Lord Lytton's Vernacular Press Act 
was speedily repealed, reliance being placed 
upon the ordinary penalties of the law 
for the correction of seditious writings. 

Sir Louis Cavagnari was appointed British Resident at Kabul in XS70 ; three weeks after his arrival some mutinous 
Afghan regiments besieged the Residency and, aided by the populace, massacred Cavagnari and his companions. 

From this removal of disabilities Lord 
Ripon proceeded to two constructive 
measures, one of which gave rise to a 
considerable enlargement of the policy 
initiated by Lord Mayo, while the other 
evoked a fierce outcry from the British 
Indian public at large. 

The former was an extension of muni- 
cipal and local boards throughout the 
country with the special object of enhsting 
the co-operation of the Indian people in 
matters of education, sanitatipn, and 
local works of public utility. 

The latter was the introduction, in 1883, 
of a Criminal Procedure Amendment 
Bill, generally known as the " Ilbert 
Bill," from the name of the member in 
charge of it, Mr. C. P. Ilbert. Hitherto, 
except in the Presidency towns, no charge 
against a European British subject could 
be entertained by a magistrate or a 
sessions judge who was not of such 
birth. The new BiU, which nimed at 
removing this restriction, at once raised 
a violent outburst of anger and alarm from 
all ranks of the British community. 
Europeans valued the privilege of being 
tried by one of their own blood, and 
feared that racial prejudice or even mis- 

appreciation of evidence would prejudice 
their trial before native magistrates. 
Meetings throughout the country de- 
nounced the project, associations formed 
themselves at various centres to bring 
pressure upon the Government, protests 
poured in upon Lord Ripon, a hot debate 
raged in the Legislative Council Chamber, 
and vigorous representations were made 
to the Secretary of State. In Calcutta 
the excitement was at its fiercest, and 
fears were even entertained that personal 
insult might be offered to the Viceroy 
on his return to the capital. After many 
months of this agitation the Government, 
though refusing to withdraw its Bill, 
assented to a compromise whereby all 
Englishmen were enabled to claim trial 
by jury throughout the country. Whether 
it was worth while to awaken dormant 
animosities for the sake of change in a 
procedure that had hitherto worked so 
smoothly has been much debated, but it 
must be admitted that the law as finally 
passed has created no well-grounded 

From a matter so contentious we may 
pass to more pleasant things. General 
prosperity smiled upon the land. Surpluses 



took the place of deficits ; from rail- 
ways, canals, and other public works 
the returns increased year by year ; 
thanks • to a series of good seasons the 
foreign trade of the country steadily rose ; 
it was found possible to lower the salt 
tax and to abolish the customs duties on the 
importation of foreign piece-goods. With 
the native states no interference was 
found necessary ; but in 1881 the trans- 

and drew up a syllabus of recommenda- 
tions for the guidance of the Departments 
of Public Instruction in the 


One cloud alone was visible on the 
horizon. During his visit to Burma, 
at the end of 1880, Lord Ripon received 
a deputation of mercantile residents at 
Mandalay complaining of the king's arbi- 
trary interference with the course of trade. 
On his return to Calcutta 
the Governor-General made 
representations to the Court 
of Ava, which it was hoped 
would check the abuse of 
monopolies, which formed 
the chief grievance. A dis- 
continuance of the system 
was promised, and a mission 
sent to India accepted a 
treaty that, if carried out, 
would have removed all 
friction between the two 
'Governments. Thebaw, how- 
ever, refused to ratify his 
envoy's concessions, with 
the result that measures of 
a serious nature had to be 
taken in Lord Dufferin's 

In December, 1884, Lord 
Ripon left India, and, except 
that in 1882 he was called 
upon to furnish a contingent 
'--2 of troops for Egypt, his rule 
was not vexed by any 
niihtary operations or by 
internal disturbances that 
demanded forcible repies- 

Shortly after his arrival, 
Lord Dufferin invited Ab- 
durrahman to pay him a 
visit in India for the pur- 


This gateway between India and Afghanistan is the only pass on the north- Stanaing qUCStlOnS in 

west frontier suitable for artilleiry : it is 33 miles long and is overhung by reference tO Afghanistan 

mountains which sometimes rise sheer from 1,400 to 3,000 feet above the pass, -pi 

ference of rule in Mysore to the young 
Raja came into force, and an important 
instrument, or Sanad, recorded in full 
detail the obligations under which the 
state's internal independence was to be 
guaranteed by the paramount power. 
Education was stimulated by the appoint- 
ment of a Commission, which reviewed the 
whole subject from the date of the Des- 
patch n{ 1854, classified the schools of all 
kinds, overhauled the Grant-in-Aid rules, 


Amir cordially re- 
sponded, and in the following March 
arrived at Rawal Pindi in the Punjab, 
where he was welcomed with every 
honour. For some months past the 
Boundary Commission had been at work, 
when an incident occurred which threat- 
ened to put an end to the undertaking. 
On the left bank of the River Kushk was 
a place called Panjdeh, to which both 
Russians and Afghans laid claim. Here, 
on March 31, a collision took place between 

The chief merchandise sold consists of fruit, which is grown locally, also carpets, shawls, and silk and cotton goods. 

The Bala Hissar dominates the city and is a former palace of the Amir ; it was the British Residency in 1S79 and 
in it Major Sir Louis Cavagnari and several companions, with about 75 natives, were murdered by mutmous Afghans. 





the troops of the respective nations, in 
which the Afghans were worsted. For 
the moment it seemed likely that this 
event would kindle a war between England 
and Russia. 

The Amir, however, who was then being 
entertained as the Viceroy's 
guest, attached but little 
importance to the possession 
of Panjdeh, and negotiations 
between the Courts of vSt. 
Petersburg and St. James's 
ended in the neutralisation 
of the disputed territory 
until the demarcation should 
be completed. Meanwhile tlir 
conference at Rawal Pindi 
went on. Lord Dufferin'-^ 
courtesy and tact were nit ' 
by frankness on the part <> 
the Amir, the gist of who- 
policy was a determination 
not to admit either Russian 
or Englishman within his 
dominions. Satisfied by assur- 
ances that the British had no thought 
of interference in his domestic affairs- 
assurances backed by promises of arms 
and money — the Amir returned to 
Kabul, henceforth to remain a loyal friend. 
Demarcation, interrupted for a wliile. was 
pushed forward. Sir P. Lumsden being 
replaced by Colonel Ridgewav. who. 
deputed in 1886 to St. Petersburg." brought 
matters to so 
successful a close 
that in July, 
1887, an agree- 
ment was signed 
which embraced 
the whole of the 
frontier in dis- 

with these ne- 
gotiations ending 
in so friendly a 
m.anner, foreign 
politics had to 
deal with the 
hostile attitude 
of the Burman 
king. Reference 

has al eady been made to his treatment of 
commercial residents at Mandalay, and 
to the abortive mission of 1882. In 1885 
it was suspected that Thebaw was pre- 
paring to throw himself into the arms of 
France as a prospective ally in case of 


pressure being put upon him from India. 
An ultimatum was therefore sent demand- 
ing that he should receive a permanent 
British Resident at his court, and defer to 
the advice of the British Government in 
regard to his foreign relations. The answer 
from Ava was a distinct de- 
fiance. Thereupon a force of 
10,000 troops marched upon 
Mandalay, which was occupied 
in ten days, the king surren- 
dering himself a prisoner. 

After a full consideration of 
the different courses open to 
liim in order to ensure stable 
government, and having 
himself visited the country, 
Lord Dufferin decided that 
annexation pure and simple, 
and the direct administration 
of the province by British 
,„^ ,.„ officers, offered the best 

ABDURRAHMAN ', r • au 

This grandson of Dost Mohammed prOSpectS of SCCUOng the 

was proclaimed Amir by the British peaCC and prosperity of 

under General Stewart in 1880. ^^^^^^^ g^^^ ^^^ g^j^j^j^ 

Imperial and commercial interests. A 
complete administrative system was 
therefore drawn up by which the two 
provinces were gradually assimilated to 
each other. The task, however, of pacifying 
a country infested by robber gangs, and 
both unaccustomed to, and intolerant of, 
an\- form of regular government, was one 
tint at first taxed all the energies of 
the new admini- 
stration. Yet 
within two years 
peace and order 
reigned through- 
out, and each 
succeeding year 
has witnessed 
increasing pro- 
s))erity with a 
cheerful accept- 
ance of British 

While political 

c o m p 1 i c a - 

Russell --- Elliot & Fry tious wcrc thus 


The first Marquess of Ripon was Governor-General of India from , • , .■ ' 

1880 to 1884, and the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, who added legislative CUaCt- 

Burma to the British dominions, was Viceroy from 1884 to 1888. t-npntc Hpalt with 

some vexatious questions. Succinctly told, 
the object and result of the three great 
Tenancy Bills passed in Lord Dufferin's 
time were the settlement of disputes 
between the zemindar and the ryot, with 
especial reference to the protection of the 


latter. The matter as regards Bengal had 
already been under the consideration of 
Lord Ripon's Government without any 
definite arrangement being come to. 

While the landlords contended 
Duffenn s ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ X. of 1859 
Tenancy Tp^^^[^\[^y had been shown to 

their tenants, these, on the 
other hand, emphasised the disabilities 
under which they laboured by refusing 
in many parts to pay rent. Act VIII. 
of 1885 reviewed the whole rent-law 
of the province, 
establishing a fixity 
of tenure whereby, 
while the landlord 
was entitled to a 
fair share of the 
increased value of 
the produce of the 
soil, the tenant 
obtained the same 
security in his hold- 
ing that he had 
enjoyed under the 
old customary law. 

In Oadh, again 
taking up the work 
begun by Lord 
Ripon, Lord Dufferin 
carried through his 
Legislative Council a 
Rent Act which 
largely curtailed the 
powers of eviction 
and enhancement of 
rent that the taluk- 
dars claimed. Where- 
as hitherto the culti- 
vator's tenure held 
good by law for a 
year only, the new 
Act declared the 
tenant - at - will en- 
titled to retain his king thebaw in state 

holding for a period The last native King- of Burma, whose misrule and arro- 

of seven years from gance drew upon him repeated remonstrances and protests 

the date of his rent ^''°™ successive Governors-General of India, until the 

, . ,,11 • climax when Dufferin deposed him and annexed Burma. 

being settled m 
accordance with provisions therein laid 
down, and, further, to claim compensa- 
tipn on ejection for improvements made 
within thirty years previously. 

Reference has already been made to a 
compromise in 1886 which had sought 
to adjust somewhat similar difficulties 
in the Punjab. But by 1886 these had 
considerably increased, and further steps 
were necessary to define existing rights. 

The result was a Bill, in 1887, which, as 
in Bengal and Oudh, gave relief to the 
tenantry, and was accepted by both 
parties as a satisfactory settlement of 
their dispute. 

Though not carried through in Lord 
Dufferin's time, two important measures 
of internal policy were initiated by him. 
The one was an enlargement of the powers 
of legislative councils ; the other, the 
admission of natives of India to a larger 
share of the civil appointments until 
then reserved for the 
wallah." These pro- 
posals synchronised 
with the formation of 
a body styling itself 
the " National Con- 
gress," which, under 
the fostering care of 
Mr. Hume, a retired 
English civilian, had 
been originally 
organised to promote 
self-government and 
representative insti- 
tutions. The party 
soon fell into the 
hands of pleaders and 
the privileged classes 
of Hindu society, 
such as Brahmans, 
Khatris, and Bengali 
Babus, who gradually 
gained control of the 
native Press, re- 
ceiving financial sup- 
port from large 
landowners and 
others desirous of 
securing their 
interest. Mohamme- 
dans held aloof form 
the Congress, and 
the masses of the 
cultivators were in- 
different to it. As 
years advanced, pro- 
fessional agitators and the less scrupulous 
adherents of the party captured the ma- 
chinery, and professing to speak the voice 
of India, entered upon an open 
campaign of sedition and mis- 
representation which led to 
serious trouble in 1907. Lord 
Dufferin foresaw the probable course of 
events, and courageously took the oppor- 




tunity of a farewell dinner given to him on 






St. Andrew's Day to declare the limits 
within which a further share of power 
could alone be conceded to the educated 

In military matters Lord Dufferm's 
Government advocated a far-reaching 
organic reform entailing the abolition of 
the Presidency commands — a measure that 
had to wait for its fulfilment till Lord 
Elgin's time. Among minor 
events may be mentioned the 
rendition to Sindhia of the 
fortress of Gwalior, whereby 
the long-cherished desire of that chief was 
at last gratified ; the foundation of the 
" Countess of Dufferin's Fund," out of 
which hospitals and dispensaries were 
opened for the treatment of native women 
by members of their own sex ; the estab- 
lishment of a university at Allahabad ; 
and the gift of a Legislative Council to the 
North-western Provinces. 

In September, 1888, Lord Dufferin was 
created Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, and 
on December 10 he made over his vice- 
royalty to Lord Lansdowne. It was by 
his own wish that his term of office had 
been shortened by one year, for advancing 
age warned him that energies tried by so 
many burdensome offices must seek relief 

in retirement from public life, or, at all 
events, in duties of a less exacting 

Apart from certain minor expeditions, 
Lord Lansdowne's viceroyalty was free 
from the scourge of war. But many diffi- 
culties in regard to frontier states awaited 
his attention. Barbarous tribes had to be 
brought into subjection and predatory 
outbreaks chastised ; feuds between neigh- 
bouring tribes demanded intervention ; 
tedious negotiations were necessary for 
the opening up of roads for commercial 
enterprise ; various boundaries called for 
definition, as, for instance, between the 
Shan States and Siam, between Burma 
and China, between Sikkim and Tibet. 
Here a British Agency had to be estab- 

lished, there the disputed 

ro cms succession of a chief could be 

, / settled only by our recognition; 

and m one state — that of 
Manipur, on the borders of Assam — stern 
measures were necessary in retribution of 
the treacherous murder of British officials. 
But no problem of foreign policy was so 
important as the settlement of our rela- 
tions with Afghanistan. From time to 
time projected missions to Kabul had been 
abandoned for one reason or another, and 



Russell Elliott & Fry 


The fifth Marquess of Lansdowne was Governor-General of India 
from 188S to lS9:i, and materially strengthened the friendliness of 
the ruling chiefs for the British Crown. Sir Henry Mortimer Durand 
was political secretary to Lord Roberts during the Afghan cam- 
paign of 1879 to 1880, and conducted the mission to the Amii'in 1893. 

especially because of internal dissensions, 
which Abdurrahman had to quell before 
he could safely engage in foreign diplo- 
macy. However, in September, 1893, a 
mission under Sir H. IM. Durand set out for 
Kabul, and was there cordially welcomed 
by the Amir. The result was eminently 
satisfactory, all questions as to respective 
spheres of in- 
fluence being 
amicably de- 
cided, while an 
agreement was 
entered into for 
the demarcation 
of the whole 
frontier between 
Afghanistan and 
India. In return 
for concessions 
made by the 
Amir, his subsidy 
was largely in- 
creased, and the 
Government of 
India agreed to 
permit the im- 
portation of arms 
and ammunition. 

A marked feature of Lord Lansdowne's 
rule was his establishment of personal 
relations with the ruling chiefs. Within 
British India itself he won the approval 
of the educated classes by his treatment 
of the legislative councils. On his recom- 
mendation the number of non-ofhcial 
members Avas largely increased, the right 
of financial discussion and of interpretation 
was conceded, and, further — a privilege 
pre-eminently valued — the local legisla- 
tures and certain other bodies were 
entrusted with the selection of nominees 
for the Imperial Legislative Council ; 
rules conceived in the same liberal spirit 
being drawn up for the local legislative 
bodies. In legislation itself the more 
important Acts due to Lord Lansdowne's 
government were the Factory Act, restrict- 
ing the hours during which 
women and children might be 
employed ; an Act by which 
cruelty to animals was made 
punishable ; the Age of Consent Marri- 
age Act, whereby the age up to which the 
law protected young girls was raised 
from ten to twelve years. To these 
measures must be added the appoint- 
ment of a commission to consider a 
revision of the Deccan Relief Act of 1879. 




To economics and public works Lord 
Lansdowne gave the closest attention. 
Thus, in accordance with the recommenda- 
tions of the Famine Commission of 188 1, 
an Imperial Department of Revenue and 
Agriculture ' was created with provincial 
Departments organised upon a similar basis. 
Steps followed for a more scientific and 
more moderate 
assessment of the 
land revenue, 
one, too, which 
should tend 
towards relieving 
indebted and 
distressed land- 
owners. The area 
brought under 
irrigation in- 

creased by nearly 
2,000,000 acres, 
while close upon 
4,000 miles of 
new railway 
lines were opened 
between 1888 
and 1893. With 
a people so 
wedded to 
custom, perhaps no reform is more difficult 
than that of sanitation. Something, how- 
ever, has been done by the establishment 
of provincial sanitary boards, and the 
system of waterworks introduced during 
Lord Lansdowne's viceroyalty bids fair 
to be of inestimable benefit. As with 
so many previous Viceroys, financial dis- 
turbance troubled Lord Lans- 
p*. "*^. downe. Though between 1889 

c., and 1892 he had been favoured 


with considerable surpluses, 

deficits again made their unwelcome 
appearance. These were mainly due to 
the rapid and continuous decline in the 
value of silver. So great was the embarrass- 
ment thus created that the Ministry in 
England determined to appoint a com- 
mittee to consider proposals made by the 
Government of India for restricting the 
coinage of silver at the Indian mints and 
making sovereigns legal tender at a rate 
not exceeding 36 cents for the rupee. These 
proposals, though modified by the com- 
mittee, resulted in fixing the ratio between 
gold and silver at 32 cents for the rupee, 
and with this standard to work upon, 
Indian finance is now free from the oscilla- 
tions that had so long vexed it from a fall 
in the rate of exchange. 



In military affairs many important steps 
were taken. Among them were the 
abohtion of the Presidential Army 
system, the amalgamation of the three 
separate staff corps, the recruitments from 
more warlike classes in many of the native 
regiments, the equipment of the Imperial 
service troops offered by the feudatory 
chiefs at the instance of Lord 
Dufferin, and large measures 
for the more prompt mobilisa- 
tion of the army and tlx 
defence of the harbours and 
frontiers of India. Lord Lans- 
downe also laid the founda- 
tions of police reorganisation 
on which Lord Curzon was to 
tniild, instituted an inquiry 
into the administration of 
gaols, founded an Imperial 
hbrary, and collected valuable 
statistics by means of the 
Imperial census. 

On January 24, 1894, he ^^^ ^^ ^^^ -- 

handed over charge of his _. „ ..u u, , <• t?, • 

1 T^T ■ ° .., ., The ninth Earl of Elgin, was 
office to Lord Llgm with the Governor-General of India 1804-(n», 
consciousness that the mea- and pursued a ca.tkns and con^ 

sures taken during the five 
years of its tenure had contributed towards 
the greater security and increased well- 
l:)eing of the country at large, more active 
co-operation on the part of the native 
princes, and friendlier relations with foreign 
states. His suc- 
cessor brought 
to the task of 
governing India 
those qualities 
of common-sense 
and high prin- 
ciples which en- 
sure success to 
their possessor if 
willing to profit 
by the experience 
of others. His 
judgment and 
courage were 
soon put to the 
test by a succes- 

servative policy. 


exclusion of his elder brother, Nizam-ul- 
Mulk, who took refuge with the British at 
Gilgit. Hardly had Afzul estabhshed him- 
self on the throne when he was attacked by 
his uncle, Sher Afzul, and fell in the struggle. 
In his turn Sher Afzul had to yield to the 
old Mehtar's eldest son, whose right was 
recognised by Lord Lansdowne, a British 
officer being appointed to 
reside in Chitral as representa- 
tive of the Indian Government. 
In 1895, fresh complications 
arose. Umra Khan, chief of 
Jandol, invaded Chitral, and 
at his instigation Nizam-ul- 
Mulk was treacherously mur- 
dered by a younger brother, 
Amir-ul- Mulk, who called upon 
the Viceroy to recognise him as 
Mehtar. This demand was re- 
fused, and in the confusion 
Sher Afzul again descended 
from Afghanistan, like Amir- 
ul-Mulk, claiming and being 
denied recognition. A collision 
shortly afterwards occurred 
between his troops and a body 
of Indian sepoys, under the 
command of a British officer, which was 
driven into the fort of Chitral, and there 
besieged by a large force of Chitralis. Two 
British columns, speedily despatched, re- 
lieved the fort, order was restored, and 

the invader fled 
the country. 
Everything now 
gave promise of 
quiet times, when 
once again famine 
loomed large. So 
2;eneral, indeed, 
was the failure of 
the monsoon in 
1896 that distress 
xnore or less acute 
nearly the whole 
of India. Every 
measure that pre- 
vious experience 


Elliott & Fry 


cir\n /-if iinlrAf^l'orl 'Lord Curzon of Kedleston was Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, U^A rli/^fo+o/-l nr'^o 
Sion OI UniOOKCQ- ^^^ foUowed an energetic policy of reform in every direction. The "'^^ QlCiaiea WaS 
for calamities, fourth Earl of Minto succeeded Lord Curzon, and was Viceroy at OUCC Set in 

The first trouble ''°'" ''''' '° '"'''• 

was a legacy from events occurring towards 
the close of his predecessor's reign. In 1892 
the Mehtar of Chitral, who received a sub- 
sidy from the Government of India, sud- 
denly died. His second son, Afzal-ul-MuIk, 
thereupon seized the reins of State to the 


operation, yet at 
one period nearly 5,000,000 of half-starved 
human beings were earning a scanty sub- 
sistence on the relief works, while the death- 
rate increased by leaps and bounds. Charit- 
able contributions from various quarters 
reached the high figure of some 15,000,000 


dollars, and the loss to the Government of 
India in one shape or another was com- 
puted at not less than $85,000,000. On 
the top of famine came bubonic plague 
in Bombay, which eventually spread over 
the greater part of the country. Endea- 
vours to stamp it out by isolation and 
sanitary precautions have been 

.^ ^^^^ .. baffled as much by the caste and 
that Follows , •• i-Li.jrj.i- 1 

_ . religious habits of the people 

as by the ignorance of its 
cause, and now it appears to have become 

To crown the anxiety with which the 
Viceroy and his councillors were beset in 
these directions, a general and apparently 
concerted rising of border tribes along 
the north-western frontier necessitated 
extensive military operations. Afridis, 
Mohmands, Orakzais, Buners, Waziris, 
and others poured down into British terri- 
tory, capturing forts, beleaguering posts, 
and overwhelming native garrisons. For 

their punishment, two expeditions were 

fitted out— the one against the Afridis under 

Sir W. Lockhart, the other, commanded 

by Sir Bindon Blood, against the other 

tribes. Throughout the winter of 1897 these 

forces were engaged in a bitter struggle, and 

though in the end the insurgents were 

vanquished, victory was bought at a heavy 

cost of life and large expenditure of money. 

Apart from the measures demanded by 

famine and plague, which absorbed so 

much of the energies of civil governments, 

nothing of striking importance marked 

Lord Elgin's rule. Progress was 

, °\ ^, . , made in the way of opening up 
Lord Elgin s ., j.jj.j 

,,. ,^ a wider career to educated 

natives by enlarging the num- 
ber of posts to which they were accounted 
eligible, and in developing the provincial, 
as distinguished from the Imperial, system ; 
something also was done towards improv- 
ing municipal administration. In 1899 
Lord Elgin was succeeded by Lord Curzon 
of Kedleston. 

It would be difficult to 
imagine a greater contrast 
than that between the 
brilliant Englishman who 
now took up office and 
the cautious Scotsman who 
had just laid it down — ■ 
between the steady deter- 
mination of the one to 
follow in the footsteps of 
his predecessors and the 
bold energy of the other; 
intent upon regenerating 
India in every direction. 
During the seven years of 
his rule Lord Curzon pushed 
his inquiries into every 
nook and corner of the 
administration, completing 
some useful reforms and 
originating a variety of 
schemes upon the value of 
which time alone can pro- 
nounce. It is impossible 
here even to summarise the 
multifarious projects on 
which his active mind 
busied itself. Nor can we 
treat in much detail the 
more prominent occur- 
rences of his rule. 

Of frontier questions, 

In the fort of Chitral, in the native state of Chitral on the north-west frontier SUCCCSsivC ViccroyS haVC 

. r,_u-...__^ ...-. u- j^a,d reference to the North- 

of Kashmir, Sir George Robertson (then Surgeon-Major Robertson) was be 
sieged in 1895, and relieved by Colonel Kelly after a forced march from Gilghit. 



west. Till lately, the territory contiguous 
with the border was under the administra- 
tion of the Punjab Government. This 
involved a great deal of work which, if 
not of any Imperial character, seemed to 
Lord Curzon to demand special arrange- 
ments. These he proposed to make by 
out of the Punjab a frontier 
province under the rule of a 
commissioner, subject to the 
Government of India. Though 
meeting with much opposition, 
the scheme was ultimately sanctioned 
by the Secretary of State. Cognate with 
it was the question of protecting the 
frontier. Hitherto this duty had been in 
the hands of Imperial troops, whose 
neighbourhood was thought at times likely 





of the 

to provoke collision with the frontier 
clans. It was therefore decided to 
substitute tribal levies under the com- 
mand of carefully-selected British officers. 
After the severe castigation which the 
tribes had recently received, it was not 
to be expected that renewed outbursts 
would occur in the near future, and thus 
these two experiments were 
launched at the most favour- 
able time. So far they seem 
to have been successful, but it 
would be rash to draw conclusions from 
so short an experience of their working. 

Another measure which roused still 
greater opposition was the subdivision 
or " partition " of Bengal. In this there 
was no novelty of procedure. As Lord 
Dalhousie had found 
it necessary to sever 
Bengal from the 
Governor- Generalship, 
as the North-western 
Provinces and the 
Punjab became distinct 
provinces, and Assam 
a Chief-Commissioner- 
ship, in each case 
because it was found 
impossible for a single 
officer to administer 
so v/ide an extent of 
country, so now Bengal 
required relief of a 
^"3 similar nature. The 
idea, however, roused 
the Bengal pleaders 
and the newspaper 
]->roprietors to a frenzy 
of wrath, and the 
agitation against it 
was active. Meetings 
of protest were 
organised throughout 
the province ; the 
native Press teemed 
with vituperation of 
the most rancorous 
character ; English 
goods were boycotted, 
and the " Friends of 
India," as they style 
themselves, still con- 
tinue their outcry in 
the House of Commons. 
But the change once 

During the viceroyalty of Cord Curzon, in l'.tO:5, a British mission under Colonel maintained, and it 
Younghusband entered Tibet to compel observance of the provisions of the treaty of ^^o,, cafpUr Kp nrprli/^fprl 
1887; a few minor engagements took place, and Lhasa wras reached on August 3, 1904. may saieiy ue pieuicieu 



5,i4^;*5^^ ViR^^i 'j^^-- 

that the administrative 
advantages of the 
redistribution of charge^ 
will soon be recognised. 

In financial matters 
Lord Curzon reaped 
what others had sown. 
Thanks largely to Lord 
Lansdowne's treatment 
of the exchange difti- 
culty, he enjoyed a 
succession of surpluses 
averaging about fifteen 
million dollars. But 
if the funds at his 
disposal were large, the 
demands upon the 
public purse kept pace 
with the incomings. 
Famine, the equipment 
of the army, and the 
need of civil admini- 
strations, all helped to 
.swallow up what might 
othei'wise have been 
devoted to the remission 
of taxes. Not till 
1903, therefore, was it 
possible to move in 
this direction. In that 
year, however, the salt 
tax was reduced by 
eight annas permaund, 
and the limit of exemp- 
tion from income tax 
was raised, two 
measures involving an 
annual sacrifice of 
revenue to the amount 
of twelve and a half 
million dollars. 

The famine of 1899-1900 affected a 
population of 25,000,000 in British India, 
and more than 30,000,000 in native states. 
For weeks together, upwards of 6,000,000 
of human beings were dependent upon the 
charity of Government. The expenditure 
exceeded 30,000,000 dollars, besides liberal 
advances made to agriculturists, loans to 
native states whose finances were un- 
equal to measures of relief, and large 
remissions of arrears of revenue. At the 
end of 1902, remissions to the extent of 
over 5,000,000 dollars were granted to 
clear off the arrears that had accumulated 
during the time of distress, and so to give 
the rural population of the affected tracts 
a fresh start in life. Each previous visita- 
tion had added to the experience gained 

"■rrr— ?rrrr 



The Treaty of Lhasa, which was signed in the apartments of the Dalai Lama at the 
Potala in Lhasa on September 7, 19ii4, permitted trade between India and Tibet ; it en- 
gaged Tibet not to sell or lease any 1 ibetan territory to any foreign Power without the 
consent of Great Britain and to pay an indemnity of S2,500,(X)0 in 75 yearly instalments. 

by Government in respect to the treat- 
ment of famine, but much credit was due 
to the Viceroy's personal energy in coping 
with so far-reaching a calamity. 

In the existing state of education. Lord 
Curzon found a scope for his reforming 
energies. To consider the subject generally, 
a conference was held at Simla, in 
1901, at which the views of those most 
competent to advise were fully stated, the 
result being a series of resolutions embody- 
ing a programme of reconstruction. The 
most urgent question was that of extending 
elementary education, the provincial fund 
for which had long been insufficient. 
Ultimately an annual grant of thirty-five 
lakhs of rupees for this purpose was 
accepted as a permanent charge upon 



the Imperial Exchequer. Something was 
also done for training colleges, industrial 
schools, and female education. The 
universities presented a more thorny 
problem. In the absence of a general 
inspection of the affiliated institutions, 
many of the so-called colleges 

f^i°T were 
of Indian 

unsatisfactory character, with a 
direct interest in lowering the university 
standards. This desire was tacitly en- 
couraged by the Senates, in which a super- 
abundance of members with no practical 
knowledge of education made it their 
object to attract the largest number of 
students and to glorify themselves by an 

no better than " cram- 
' establishments of an 

General's complaints no heed was paid, 
his letters being returned unopened. In 
1902 a conference at Yatung was arranged 
with China as the suzerain of Tibet. The 
Chinese envoys, however, arrived too 
late, and nothing was done. Later on, 
with the consent of the Chinese, Khamba 
Jong, just across the Tibetan frontier, 
was fixed upon as the place of meeting, 
the Dalai Lama accepting the proposal, 
only to decline all negotiation when the 
mission arrived. It was now felt by the 
Governments of India that no further 
delay could be allowed in settling the 
matter. A British force, therefore, pushed 
on to Lhasa, which it occupied after some 
fighting. A treaty, subsequently revised 


Lhasa, which means "the abode of divine intellig-ence," is the capital of Tibet, and has only recently been 
entered by foreigners. Towards the left of the picture is the Potala, the palace of the Dalai Lama, and there was 
signed the treaty of September 7,1904, by which non-British uiterference in the affairs of Tibet was made impossible. 

by the Secretary of State, was exacted, 
the Dalai Lama lied, and the Tashi Lama, 
his successor, has since shown himself 
ready to accept British friendship. 
Another mission, this time to Afghanistan, 
was despatched in 1904, its object being 
to draw closer the relations between the 
two countries, and so persuade 
^51Tk the new Amir, Habibulla Khan, 
and Afghan ^^ ^^^^ measures for opening 
Relations ^^ ^^^ dominions to free 
commercial intercourse. A treaty was, 
after some delay, concluded which merely 
reaffirmed existing arrangements. 

Lord Curzon, having taken leave to 
England in April, 1904, was reappointed 
Governor-General on his return to India 

increasing out-turn of graduates. By a 
Bill passed into law in 1894, the universi- 
ties were j^rovidedwith new Senates, mainly 
composed of teachers, and leave was given 
to each to frame its own regulations and 
to inspect its own colleges. 'This step, which 
ought to have been taken long before, 
was received with a storm of obloquy, on 
the ground that it was intended to 
" officialise " the universities and, by 
insisting upon an impossible standard of 
efficiency, to crush the weaker colleges 
out of existence. 

Among foreign matters was the mission 
to Lhasa, provoked by the failure of the 
Tibetan Government to observe the treaty 
made with it in 1887. To the Governor- 


In December, 1905, the Prince and Princess ofWales arrived in Calcutta. Their three months' tour was a pageant of 
Orientalmagnificence, and brought much beuefit to India on account of their reception by the native princes and people. 



in the following December. He took an 
active part in the great scheme of mihtary 
reorganisation to which the Commander- 
in-Chief, Lord Kitchener, had devoted 
his energies. The Governor-General per- 
suaded himself that the direct participa- 
tion of the Commander-in-Chief, as a 
member of Council, in the disposal of 
military business that came before the 
Government of India would weaken the 
control of the civil authorities over the 
military affairs of India. Neither the 
Government of Mr. Balfour, nor that of the 
Liberal Party which at a later date suc- 
ceeded it, shared these fears. Before, there- 
fore, another year was over he relinquished 
his post in India in favour of Lord Minto, 
who assumed office in November, 1905. 

The new Governor-General at once 
attended to two matters of great im- 
portance which his predecessor had nearly 
brought to a final issue. A Police Com- 
mission had reported upon the various 
forces throughout India, recommending 
substantial increases of pay and the 
introduction of much-needed reforms of 
system. The necessary changes were 
at once carried out in this department. 
In the extension of irrigation, the late 
Viceroy had provided further important 
safeguards against famine, and Lord 
Minto actively followed the lead given him. 

As soon as he had settled the out- 
standing questions which awaited his 
arrival. Lord Minto strove to aUay the feel- 
ings of unrest and discontent which recent 
changes had increased, and even proceeded 
to consider how far it might be possible 
to associate the natural leaders of Indian 
society in the guardianship of common 
and imperial interests. The formation of 
councils of notables, the enlargement of 
legislative councils, and the increase of 
facilities for discussion of the budget, 
were some of the schemes which he con- 
templated. Unfortunately, the Hindu 
Press in all parts of India, and the opposi- 
tion to the division of Bengal, with the 
popular movement in favour of boycotting 
European goods, had already inflamed 
racial animosity ; and he was obliged to 
turn' aside for the moment from the task 
of reform to that of repression and the 
preservation of the public peace. It may 
be noted that during this period of un- 
rest the Mohammedans, who have always 
realised that the programme of the 
Congress party is not in their interest, 
have displayed loyalty to British rule. 

The tour of their Royal Highnesses the 
Prince and the Princess of Wales in 
the winter of 1905-6 was a success in 
every way and exercised a most salutary 
effect upon all ranks of Indian society. 

The drawing from which the illustration is taken is the work of an artist present at the military review at Rawal 
Pindi, where 25,OiiO troops were on parade. In the picture the Prince of Wales is the front figure on horseback. 
Lord Kitchener is immediately behind hun, and the Princess of Wales occupies the front position in the carriage. 




LJAVING now traversed the dusty road 
^•^ of Indian history, and marked the 
stages along it indicated by the terms of 
office held by the Viceroys down to the 
present time, we may pause and take a 
general survey of the country. 

India consists of two parts — British 
India, comprising, with Berar, which 
is administered by the Nizam, 1,097,900 
square miles, with 244,000,000 of British 
subjects ; and native states, under 
British protection, covering 675,267 square 
miles, with 71,000,000 of people, subject 
to the laws of their own ruling chiefs. 
The former is divided into fifteen 
Provinces, of which the following are the 
largest in matter of area : Burma, Madras, 
Bombay, Bengal, the United Provinces of 
Agra and Oudh, Eastern Bengal and 
Assam, the Central Provinces and the 
"Punjab. Of these, Bengal is 
n*" ^, ^.^ the most populous, with over 
IfZdir'' 45.000,000 ; the United Pro- 
vinces, with nearly 48 ; Madras, 
with 41 ; and Bihar and Orissa with 34 
millions, following in the order stated. 

The Boards of three members, known 
as the Governor-in-Council in the Pre- 
sidencies of Madras and Bombay, 
conduct the affairs of those Provinces ; 
but elsewhere one Lieutenant-Governor 
or Chief Commissioner is the executive 
bead of the administration. Beneath 
these higher authorities Commissioners, 
except in Madras, where there is a 
Board of Revenue, exercise authority 
over divisions, and collectors under them 
have charge of Districts. The 270 dis- 
tricts are the real units of administration 
in British India, being in turn sub- 
divided into talukas, or tahsils, over 
which a native officer has control. 

The law, whether of Parhament or of 
India, lays down in detail the powers 
which the supreme Government of India, 
consisting of a Governor-General and 
six members of Council, to which is 
added the Commander-in-Chief as an 

extraordinary member, must retain m 
their own hands. The Provincial Govern- 
ments exercise all authority not specially 
reserved by the Government of India, 
and in turn distribute a share of their 
powers among the Commissioners, the 
collectors — who are also magis- 
„ . . *" * trates — and the sub-divisional 

„ , ... officers. Throughout, the whole 
Kules India .... a ' 

admmistration busmess is 
divided into departments, such as 
judicial, revenue, military, financial, 
public works, political, and legislative ; 
and as the streams of work pour in from 
the villages through the districts into 
the provincial offices, they are con- 
ducted into the proper department of 
the secretariat or provincial offices, whence 
orders issue to the part affected, or else 
a reference is made to the supreme 

The Indian Civil Service, to which 
natives of India as well as other 
subjects of the King gain access by 
open competition, supplies the upper 
layer of the official classes, and is so thin 
that the average of civilians actually 
at work at any time is about one for every 
quarter of a miMion of the Indian popula- 
tion. Including this thin crust, mainly 
composed of British officers, there are 
some 22,000 natives of India holding 
public posts on monthly salaries of 75 
rupees and upwards, thus forming 77 
per cent, of the entire staff of officials 
employed in India on the salaries stated. 

Part of the work of Government in 
British India is, however, performed by 
municipal and local boards. 
ocai ^ Qj- ^j^g former there are 714 
overning (jg^jj^g y^j^j^ ^j^ urban popula- 
tion of 17,000,000; of the 
latter, 1,124 administering an expenditure 
of over 15,000,000 dollars on education, 
civil works, and sanitation. 

But the real field open in India to the 
application of indigenous principles of 
government consists of the 693 native 



states under their own ruling chiefs, who 
apply a public revenue of 24,000,000 
of rupees to their own uses and the wants 
of more than 70,000,000 of their subjects. 
Some of these chiefs rule over considerable 
states, while others govern mere jurisdic- 
tory estates. Five — viz., Nepal, Haidara- 
bad, Mysore, Baroda and Kashmir — are 
in direct relations with the supreme 
Government, in addition to 148 states 
in Central India, twenty in Rajputana, 
and two in Baluchistan. The rest are under 
the control of the Provincial Govern- 
ments, those under Bombay numbering 
354 large and small states. But none of 

co-operation in time of Imperial need ; 
it settles successions, and preserves their 
integrity ; but it does not interfere in the 
local affairs of those which are large 
enough to exercise internal sovereignty, 
except in cases of gross misrule. 

The economic condition of British 
India, for which the British Governments 
are responsible, depends mainly upon the 
following facts. The population, in the 
main rural, is scattered among 551,490 
villages. Only 8,000,000 are attending 
schools, of whom 505,000 are studying 
English. And in the whole of India, includ- 
ing the native states, not 37,000,000 out 

Simla is beautifully situated amid magnificent scenery on the southern slopes of the Himalayas ; it is a sanatorium 
as well as the seat ot the Government during the hot summer months, and during the winter it is deserted. 

these states are subject to British law, 
the principle of autocracy pervading 
the whole The ruling chief promulgates 
laws without the intervention of a 
legislative council. He is supreme alike 
in executive and judicial matters ; he 
spends the revenues as he thinks proper, 
and tolerates no free Press or political 
agitation. The tie which unites such 
states to the paramount Power is light. 
The British Government acts for one and 
all of them in their foreign relations. 
It regulates the extent of their armed 
forces, and claims their military 


of 315,000,000 have ever learnt to read or 
write. The people are divided by religion, 
caste, and language, no less than 147 
vernaculars being spoken in the empire. 
Two-thirds of the population depend on 
agriculture, and many more on labour or 
industries connected with it. Yet more 
than half of the empire is subject to 
failure of the annual rains, and therefore 
to a cessation of the work from which 
its inhabitants derive their livelihood. 

The prevention and mitigation of famine 
therefore demand constant forethought, 
and in a less degree sanitary measures 

\ The General Post Office, which is built on the site of the Black Hole. 


General view of the city as seen from the Ochterlony Monument. 

The Town Hall and the High Court, showing the statue of Lord William Bentinck. ° °^ ^ 




are urgent, in view of the habits of hfe 

which favour the spread of plague, 

cholera, and fever. Much has been done 

by the extension of irrigation to prevent 

famine, and about one-:eventh of the 

cropped area in British India is now 

fertilised by means of canals. The annual 

value of the crops on irrigated areas was 

_ , . in IQI2 equivalent to over loo 
C&nal and ^ ^ - 


per cent, of the total capital 
outlay, or about 8207,550,000. 

In Sindh and the Punjab, 
irrigation colonies have been recently 
planted out on a grand scale. Railways 
have been extended so as to bring relief 
to all parts, there being now 33,494 miles 
of line open to traffic. 

The material improvement effected by 
these measures is reflected in the extension 
of cultivation, the expansion of trade, 
and the increase of revenue. In the last 
five years imports have risen over 50 per 
cent., and exports nearly as greatly, no less 
and §850,000,000 worth of gold and silver 
having been absorbed in that period. 
The salt tax, reduced from 2| rupees to 
I rupee, brings in less than formerly, 
and opium receipts are falhng as a result 
of other causes. But the increased re- 
ceipts from land, stamps, and excise, and 
the earnings of railways, produce a larger 
revenue. The net revenue of British 
India in 1912-13 was $303,426,500, and for 
some years now substantial surpluses have 
accrued. The burden of taxation proper is 
appro.ximately fifty cents a head, or if land 
revenue, which is not taxation, be added, 
then it amounts to ninety cents a head. 
Of the total Indian debt $1,372,015,000, 
no less than three-fourths is productive 
debt, representing capital borrowed at 
low rates for the construction of railways 
and canals yielding large returns, which 
are therefore excluded from the net 
revenue mentioned above, while the 
country's other liabilities are covered by 
reserves, loans, and other assets. It 
g may be added that the post 

J ^ ..^ office and telegraphs are worked 
„ at a low profit, and the country 

therefore escapes payment of 
charges which elsewhere are pitched 
high enough to produce a substantial 

Despite, therefore, the losses due to 
failure of th_' rains, which no human 
foresight can avert, the risk of frontier 
wars, and outbreaks of devastating plague, 
the material < ondition of India is sound, 


It possesses a free Press, and 600 vernacular 
newspapers testify to the activity of its 
political organisations. The Government, 
secure in its intentions, and confident of 
the results which it has achieved, has 
hitherto taken no steps to correct the 
misstatements of fact which are dis- 
seminated by these organs ; but the ques- 
tion must arise ^vhether a foreign Govern- 
ment, employing a large native army 
and reducing its civil servants of European 
extraction to a minimum, can afford to 
allow the credulous masses of its subjects 
to be daily seduced from their allegiance 
by falsehood and seditious writing. Current 
events seem to indicate the necessity 
of educating the people more rapidly than 
has been the case in the' past, and of 
placing before them the true facts relating 
to themselves and their governors. 

At this point inquiry suggests itself as 
to the part which India is playing in the 
history of mankind. What does its posses- 
sion mean to the United Kingdom ? And 
what does British dominion mean to the 
Indian Empire with its vast population ? 
The India of to-day is in every respect 
different from India at il.e 
Togrcss i^ggij^j^jj^g Qf j-j^g \^^^ century. 


Then desolation still impressed 

its fresh traces on the land. 
Internal wars and the competition of rival 
claimants for native states had not ceased. 
Forests and hill tracts witnessed human 
sacrifices and the most degrading super- 
stitions. Property in slaves was recog- 
nised. The open country was exposed to 
gang robberies and the detestable practices 
of Thugs. The patient cultivator, op- 
pressed by his landlord, was squeezed by 
the robber, and if a horde of Pindaris 
passed through his district, fire and sword 
worked havoc in his village. All this has 
been changed, and even clean forgotten 
by the present generation ; changed not by 
the gradual progress of a people righting 
their own wrongs step by step, but by the 
sudden grasp of the reins by a foreign 
ruler, lifting up the weak, establishing 
courts of justice, suppressing disorder 
with a firm hand, and organising the 
military forces of India for the main- 
tenance of peace and order. To the wo^^k 
of pacification succeeded the rapid appli- 
cation of foreign science to human needs, 
improving by leaps and bounds the moral 
and material condition of the people. 
Even the physical features of the country 
have been altered. The conservation 





Pliotograijlis by H. C. White Co. and Underwood & tinderwood, London 




and restoration of forests have reclaimed 
large tracts from sterility due to want of 
rain. The rainless tracts of desert have 
been converted into popular colonies of 
busy cultivators. 

The Indian, who rarely left the limits 
of his village, is now a frequent traveller 
by road or rail. New markets have been 
opened to his products, foreign capital 
is brought from distant lands to his 
service, and a variety of new occupations 
is offered to him both above and beneath 
the surface of the land. The revenue 
returns show that in the last thirty years 
the proportion borne by land revenue 
to the gross public income has fallen 

all its watertight compartments of caste, 
is moving forward, and Mohammedans 
are no longer content to look only back- 
wards on the glories of the past with longing, 
lingering looks. They have taken their 
education into their own hands. The 
minds as well as the bodies of all classes 
are stirred by new desires, and although 
the masses still lay behind their leaders, 
they feel the ferment of a new civilisation. 
Religion has not escaped the universal 
change. When his river gods have yielded 
their freedom to the engineer and the 
dreaded goddess of smallpox has been 
defrauded of hei victims by the doctor, 
the priest must shift his ground ; and 


fni ., 

.ift-i H5S B» 



This elaborate edifice, in Italian Gothic style, with Oriental modifications in the domes, was completed in l.sss at 
acji.,. oi 01, 000,1)00; it is certainly the finest railway station in India, and is said to be unequalled in any country. 

from 39 to 22 per cent., thus indicating 
the progress of industrial enterprise. 
The increasing volume 9f trade, the ab- 
sorption of the precious metals, the style 
of domestic architecture, the clothing of 
the people, their staying power, and their 
rapid recovery from the effects of bad 
monsoons or disastrous floods — all tell a 
tale of material progress. A moral ad- 
vancement is equally visible. The East, 
which in olden times regarded Western 
methods with " patient deep disdain," 
now sends her sons over the seas to learn 
the secret of European machinery and 
commercial success. Hindu society, with 


although European missionaries may not 
win many converts, railways, public 
works, and hospitals have turned the 
world upside down, and given new courage 
and hopes to even uneducated masses of 

India on her part, lifted from the 
despond and helplessness of ages by her 
improved communications with the West, 
has rendered and will render a still larger 
return for the services received by her. 
Her contributions in corn, tea, cotton, 
and other products to countries in which 
the growth of population has outstripped 
production, are of the highest value. Her 


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religious books, philosophic works, and 
languages are of great help to scientific 
inquirers, and there is no reason why her 
sons should not be enrolled in the lists of 
great inventors. Her fighting power and 
her resources may assist to promote the 
cause of peace, and give her neighbours 
a chance of acquiring that freedom and 
peace which she herself enjoys. The fact 
that the Convention of August 31st, 1907, 
between Great Britain and Russia in- 
cludes three Asiatic countries, Afghanistan, 
Tibet, and Persia, and is actuated by a 
sincere desire " to prevent all cause of 
misunderstanding between Great Britain 
and Russia," shows how the politics of 
East and West are intertwined. The 
maintenance of peace, the development 
of commerce, and promotion of moral 
progress are the objects of British Imperial 
policy, and it is well that India should join 
hands with the United Kingdom in the 
attempt to secure them for her neighbours. 
In the narrower sphere of the relations 
between the two countries, abundant 
testimony is afforded as to the far- 
reaching effects of their mutual inter- 
dependence. The distant dominions of 
the Crown in South Africa, America, and 

British Columbia must to some extent 
accommodate their local interests in the 
labour market to the obligations of the 
central authority towards the Indian 
subjects of his Majesty. Problems of 
public administration, a free Press, repre- 
sentation, and self-government, must be 
looked at from another side when applied 
to a population composed mainly of 
uneducated men, divided by sharp lines 
of religion and caste, upon whose patriot- 
ism — if that term means allegiance to 
an alien rule — too great a strain must 
not be placed. Questions of free trade or 
tariff reform cannot be settled without 
thought of India's feelings and wants. 
The difficult internal problems of the un- 
employed invite inquiry into the Indian 
plan of campaign against famine, and 
economists must ask themselves how it 
is that there is no Poor Law rehef in India. 
These and other instances may be cited to 
ihustrate the extent to which the internal 
as well as the external politics of the United 
Kingdom and the Indian Empire are inter- 
woven, emphasising the oneness of man- 
kind and the claims of universal history 
to the consideration of statesmen. 

William Lee-Warner 


'T'HE Indian Councils Act of 1909 made 
* very considerable changes in the 
Government of India. It placed an Indian 
on the Viceroy's Council and enlarged this 
council for legislative work to a member- 
ship of 68, of whom 36 are nominated and 
32 elected as representatives of land- 
holders, professional classes, Mohamme- 
dans, and European and Indian traders 
and planters. The Act also enlarged both 
the powers and the membership of the 
Provincial Councils and increased the 
number of elected members to these 
councils. But Lord Morley, in intro- 
ducing this Bill, stated emphatically that 
these reforms led neither " directly nor 
necessarily up to the es'tabhshment of a 
Parliamentary system in India." Tlie 
result has been that while the commercial 
Indians and the large landholders have 
welcomed these changes, the extreme 
Nationalists, students and lawyers for the 
most part, remain dissatisfied and pursue 
their campaign of agitation against British 
rule with undiminished activity. 

We must, however, discriminate in con- 


sidering this agitation, between the Nation- 
alists who look for self-government for 
India on the lines of Colonial independence, 
or at least for fuller opportunities to co- 
operate in legislative and administrative 
work, and the small group of academic or 
physical force revolutionists, chiefly in- 
habitants of Bengal, who hope to make 
India completely independent of British 
sovereignty. It is computed that the 
latter, theorists and physical force advo- 
cates combined, only number 3 per cent, 
of the educated Indians. Yet in spite 
of the smallness of their numbers, the anar- 
chists, for the group that practices assas- 
sination and bomb-throwing have assimi- 
lated the anarchist doctrines of the West, 
succeed in conveying the impression that 
they represent a considerable following, 
while the entirely loyal and constitutional 
Nationalists are .apt to be overlooked. 
The Indian National Congress embodies 
the ideals of the Constitutionalists, the 
propaganda of the anarchists is carried on 
by the circulation of pamphlets and by 
newspapers in the vernacular — papers 



which are from time to time suppressed for 

The catalogue of pohtical murders and 
attempted assassinations in India since the 
opening of the twentieth century is too 
long to be written here. It must suffice 
to mention the murder of Sir Curzon 
Wyllie and Dr. Lalcaca in London, 1909 ; 
the bombs thrown at Lord and Lady 
Minto at Ahmedabad that same year ; and 
the attempt on Lord Hardinge's life at 
Delhi in 1912. 
Of course, these 
crimes give an 
altogether exag- 
gerated notion 
of the " unrest " 
in India. The 
conspirators of 
the anarchist 
type are ex- 
tremely few, and 
their influence 
is nil on the 
millions of 
patient labour- 
i n g native 
Indians. But 
education of 
European p a t - 
tern has turned 
a section of the 
youth of India 
from the tradi- 
tional religions 
and philosophies 
of their fathers, 
and it has made 
them fiercely in- 
terested in 
politics, and 
unwilling to enter 
any profession 
except the law. 
The Indian Bar 
is overcrowded, 
the Indian student cannot "become a politi- 
cian of American or European type in his 
native land, and, in revolt against the condi- 
tions that govern his activities, he turns his 
hand against the British Raj, and embarks 
on a career of conspiracy, sedition, and 
murder. When more money is spent on 
schools and colleges in India it is possible 
that the unemployed pleaders at the Bar, 
and the young Indians of education and 
intelligence who now find an occupation 
in planning and executing assassinations, 


may turn to the more peaceful business of 
the schoolmaster ; in that case, the 
" unrest " will no longer be displayed to 
the world in the form of sedition and 

The ground of " unrest " amongst the 
more moderate Nationalists, the partition 
of Bengal in 1905, was removed in 1912 
by the reconstitution of Bengal as a com- 
pact Bengali-speaking province, under a 
Governor in Council, and the creation of 

Bihar and Orissa 


who succeeded Lord Minto as Viceroy in 1910 

as a new pro- 
vince. Assam 
at the same 
time once more 
became a sepa- 
rate province 
under a Chief 

Lord Hardinge 
succeeded Lord 
]\Iinto as Viceroy 
in November, 
1 910, and a great 
Durbar was held 
at Delhi ;i n 
December, 191 1, 
to announce the 
Coronation of 
King George V., 
and at this 
Durbar, the first 
attended in 
person by the 
British Sove- 
reign, the King- 
Emperor made 
the important 
statement that 
the seat of the 
government of 
India was to 
be transferred 
from Calcutta 
to the ancient 
capital, Delhi. On geographical, histori- 
cal, and political grounds this choice 
of Delhi was made, and the new capital 
forms a separate and independent terri- 
tory (like Washington). 

The appointment of a town-plan- 
ning committee, and the selection 
of the southern site for the capital, 
were followed, in December, 1912, by 
the formal entry of the Viceroy into 
Delhi, and the taking possession of the 
new capital. 

Jeakins, Simla 























India occupied by Dravidian 

Aryan domination of Upper 

The Laws of Manu 
: The Mahabharata 
Gautama (Buddha) institutes 

Invasion of India by Alexander 

the Great 
Asoka rules in Hindustan 


Buddhism displaced by the 

later Hinduism 
Saracen incursions begin 


Mahmud of Ghazni begins 
series of Mohammedan in- 

First Mohammedan Dynasty 
("Ghori") established in 
Hindustan by Shahab-ud-Din 

Turkish " Slave " Dynasty es- 
tablished at Delhi 

Afijhan Khilji Dynasty at 

Turkish " Tughlak " Dynasty 
at Delhi conquers the Deccan 

Bengal and the Deccan throw 
o(T the Delhi supremacy. 
Bahmani (Mohammedan) 

Dynasty in the Deccan 

Tameulane devastates Upper 

Seiad (Arab) Dynasty at Delhi 

Lodi (Afghan)I)ynasty at Delhi 

Five main kingdoms in the 

Vasco da Gama reaches India 
by the Ocean route 

The Sikh sect founded in tlie 
Punjab by Nanuk 

I 501-1600 

Portuguese established at Goa 
by Albuquerque 

Bauak the Turk conquers 
Hindustan. Beginning of 
THE Mughal or Mogul 

Humayun succeeds Babar 

Humayun e.xpelled by Fher 
Shah (Afghan) 

Return and death of Humayun. 
The empire won back fur his 
young son Akisar at Panipal 

Akhar assumes the government. 
Period of toleration, Hindus 
and iSIohammedans being ap- 
pointed impartially to the 
Imperial service. Organisa- 
tion of the Mogul Fmpire 
over North India. The great 
Deccan kingdoms remain 

Charter of the English East 
India Company 


Jehan Gir succeeds Akbar 
First English Factory in 

India at Surat 
First English settlement in 

Bengal, at Hugli 
.Shah Jehan succeeds Jehan 

Gir. The Mogul Empire 

partly absorbs the Deccan 
Fall of the Portuguese 

English settlement at Madras 
Aurangzib deposes Shah Jehan 
Beginnings of the Mahratta 

power under Sivaji 
Portugal cedes Bombay 
Aurangzib begins conquest of 

the Deccan 
Fall of the Deccan kingdoms 
Govind, the last Sikh guru 
















• 782-3 







Francois I\lartin, P'rench Gov- 
ernor in the Carnatic 

Death of Aurangzib, followed 
by gradual Disintegration' 
of -Mogul Empire 

Development of Mahratta power 
inider the Pcshwaor Minister 
Balaji Wiswanath, at Puna 

Asaf J ah (Nizam), Viceroy of 
the Deccan, assumes virtual 

Extension of Mahratta ascend- 
ancy over Malwa 

Invasion of Nadir Shah. Sack 
of Delhi 

Oudh and Bengal establish 
virtual independence under 

Dupleix Governor at Pondi- 

France and Britain being at 
war, D'jri.Eix attacks 
.Madras, captures it, and 
employs sepoys to rout the 
forces of the Nawab of Arcot 

Restoration of French and 
English conquests 

Renewed Anglo-French hosti- 
lities in support of rival 
claimants to the thrones of 
Haidarabad and Arcot 

Predominance of the French 


Clive at Arcot: Beginning 
OF British Ascendancy 

Surrender of French at Tri- 

Black Hole of Calcutta 

Battle of Plassey estab- 
lishes British tower in 

Lally decisively defeated by 
Eyre Coote at Wandewash 

End of French power in 

Overthrow of Mahrattas by 
Ahmed Shah at Panipat 

Bengal secured by Munro's 
victory over the Oudh Nawab 
at Buxar 

Clive accepts the Diwani 
OF Bengal for the Com- 
pany from the Mogul 

.Suppression of the Kohillas. 
North's Regulating Act 

W.\rren' Hastings, Governor- 

First Mahratta war ; capture 
ofGwalior. Invasion of Car- 
natic by Haidar Ali of 

The French admiral Suffren 
in Indian waters. The crisis 
ended by the death of Haidar, 
and the treaty of Versailles 

Pitt's India Act 

Cornwallis, Governor-General 

War with Tippu Sahib of 

Partial annexation of Mysore 

The permanent settlement (of 
land) in Bengal 

Sir John Shore (Lord Teign- 
mouth), Governor-General 

Lord Mornington (Marquess 
Wellesley), Governor- 

Conquest of Mysore 

" Subsidiary alliance" with the 
N izam 


Second Mahratta war. British 
victories of Assaye and 

Barlow, Governor-General ati 
inteiiiit. Mahratta treaties 



• 813 

• 814-5 

1820 I 













• 857 



• 8f.3 


1 88 1 




• 893 

• 905 

Minto, Governor-General. Mis- 
sions to Persia, .Afghanistan, 
the Punjab, and Sindh 

Treaty with Ranjit Sin(;h 

Lord Moira (Lord Hastings), 

Ghurka or Nepal war. 
Treaty with Nepal 

PlNUAKl WAR, developing into 
third Mahratta war. An- 
nexation of Peshwa's terri- 

Extension of (the Sikh) Ranjit 
Singh's power in the Punjab 

Lord Amherst, Governor- 
General. First Burmese 
war. Annexation of Assam, 
Arakan, and Tennasserim 

Bentincr, Governor-General 

Abolinon of Suttee 

Suppression of Thuggee 

Establishment of "educational 
system. Liberty of the Press 

Auckland, Governor-General 

Shah Shuja restored at Kabul 
by British arms. Death of 
Kanjit Singh 

Dis.\sTER of Kabul 

Afghan war. Kabul lecaptured. 
Lord Ellenborough, Governor- 

Annexation of Sindh. Gwalior 
repressed in the Maharajpur 
C impaign 

Hardinge, Governor-General 

Sikhs invade British territory. 
Sutlej campaign concluded 
by battle of Sobraon 

Dalhou^ie, Governor-General. 
Second Sikh war ended by 
battle of Gujerat 

Annexation of Punjab 


Seconil Burmese war. An- 
nexation of Pegu 

Annexation of Nagpur 

Annexation of Oudh 

Canning, Governor-General 

Outbreak; of the Mutiny 
(May), Storming of Delhi 
and reinforcement of Luck- 
now (Sept.). Relief of Luck- 
now (Nov.) 

Suppression of Mutiny 

Transfer op government 
from the Company to the 
British Ckown 

Canning first Viceroy 

Lord Elgin, Viceroy 

Ambela Campaign 

Sir John Lawrence, Viceroy 

Lord Mayo, Viceroy 

Lord Mayo assassinated 

Lord Northbrook, Viceroy 

Visit of the Prince of Wales 
(Edward VII.) 

Lord Lytton, Viceroy 

Queen proclaimed Empress 

Afghan War 

Lord Ripon, Viceroy 

British withdrawal fromAfghan- 

Lord Dufferin, Viceroy 

Burma annexed 

First Meeting of National Con- 

Anglo-Russian agreement re- 
garding .'\fghan frontier 

Lord Lansdowne, Viceroy 

Lord Elgin, Viceroy 

Lord Curzon, Viceroy 

Lord Minto, Viceroy 

Indian Councils Act 

Lord Hardinge, Viceroy 

King-Emperor and Queen- 
Empress hold Durbar 

Delhi is made the capital of 


The Ruanweli Dagoba, a Buddhist monument dating Thuparamaya Dagoba, the shrine of Buddha's jawbone, 
from about 2(i() B.C. erected about 250 B.C. 

The Abayahagiriyn Pagoda, completed in 87 U.C. over The ruins of a nine-storey palace built about 20u B C 
a relic of Buddha. and set with precious stones. 



Photographs by H, C. White Co. and Underwood & Cndcrwood, London 





npHE history of India at the very earUest 
■*■ times known to us has been influenced 
by its position on the southern boundary 
of a great continent. Its frontier moun- 
tain ranges, apparently impassable, have 
been repeatedly crossed by foreign nations, 
and these invasions constantly trans- 
formed the history of the country so 
richly dowered by Nature. The case of 
Ceylon is wholly different. As the most 
southerly outpost of India, it is so far 
removed from the rest of Asia that no 
races have penetrated the island from 
the interior of the continent. 

Every invasion within historical times 
started from the peninsula itself, from 
which Ceylon is divided by a narrow 
strait little broader than a river. As 
regards its general characteristics, there- 
fore, it is practically a continuation of 
India. The Eastern and Western Ghats 
form an abrupt boundary to the Deccan. 
On the south lie the plains of the Carnatic, 
broken by several isolated plateaus — the 
Sivaroy, Palni, and other mountains — 
and by numerous small islands of granite 

_ .,. and gneiss rock. This plain 
Position J 11 • 1 j.\ 

gradually smks away south- 

j . . ward to fall below the sea at 

the Coromandel coast. Beyond 

the narrow Palk Straits, Ceylon gradually 

rises again above the sea-level, the north 

of the island being almost entirely flat 

coral soil, while in general outline the 

whole is formed like a shield. The centre 

of this immense shield, the highlands of 

Malaya, are crowned by the central 

mountain range of Ceylon, the most 

southerly and the greatest of those isolated 
mountain systems in Southern India. 
The narrow straits are interrupted by 
numerous islands placed like the pillars 
of a bridge, and form rather a link of 
communication between the island and 
the mainland than an obstacle to inter- 
course, the characteristics of both coun- 
tries being almost identical 

Features of 

in consequence of this con- 
nection. In Ceylon, as in 

India, the rocky foundations 
of the soil consist of the same primeval 
stone, and on each side of the Palk 
Strait the characteristics of rocks and 
moimtains are identical. The same 
winds blow upon both countries ; in the 
summer the rainy south-west monsoon 
bringing a bountiful supply of moisture 
to the steep and mountainous west, 
while in winter the dry north-east mon- 
soon refreshes the eastern side of the 

The vegetable world of Ceylon is 
therefore a repetition of that of India. 
The west of each country is marked by 
luxuriant growth and inexhaustible fer- 
tility, while the east shows a poorer 
vegetation and a more niggardly soil ; 
in the east, as in the flat north of the 
island, the population attains to any 
density only when the industry of man 
has succeeded by scientific works of 
irrigation in collecting the fertilising 
moisture against the times of long 
drought. The fauna of Southern India 
and of the island are again, generally 
speaking, identical. In both cases the 



forests are inhabited by the elephant, 
the great cats — the "Bengal tiger alone has 
not crossed the straits — apes, snakes, 
white ants, and leeches. The scanty 
means of livelihood produce the same 
epidemics in the dwellers of both coun- 
pi A *"^^ ' sickness and death are 

an s an ^^^^ ^^ cholera, and especially 
Animals ^ -^ 

of Ceylon 

to malaria, which is prevalent 

at the foot of the mountain 
ranges and of the many isolated peaks, 
with their blocks of stone thrown in 
wild confusion one upon another, as also 
in the jungles of the river beds. 

It would be astonishing if this identity 
of natural characteristics were not observ- 
aljle also in the 
population which 
has inhabited the 
island from the 
remotest antiquity. 
xAt the present da\ 
Ceylon, like Indiri. 
is inhabited by two 
main types anthro- 
pologically a n ' i 
ethnologically diffe- 
rent, a dark and a 
fair race, of whom 
the latter immi- 
grated at a com- 
paratively late 
time, and were not 
the original in- 
habitants of the 

In primeval times 
India, like Ceylon. 
was the home of 
one race only, 
characterised liy 
dark colourinjj . 
wavy hair, antl 
small or even 
diminutive stature. 
The facts of geology, and of the distri- 
biition of plants and animals, prove that 
the continent and the island must have 
formed a continuous whole at no very 
remote epoch. Assuming, however, that 
the Palk Straits have always been situated 
where they are now, it would have been 
an easy task for people, even in the lower 
stage of civilisation, to have crossed 
from the plains of Southern India by the 
Adam's Bridge to the attractive districts 
of the island. It can be historically 
demonstrated that Tamil invasions took 
place at least two thousand years ago, 



and the plantations of Cej/lon at the 
present day annuahy attract from the 
continent a Dravidian population which 
is to be numbered by thousands. It is, 
however, certain that before the first 
historical immigration the island was 
inhabited by tribes standing in the closest 
possible relation, anthropologically and 
ethnologically, to the Dravidian peoples. 
The legendary woodland tribes of the wild 
Wakka are undoubtedly to be identified 
as the ancestors of the modern Veddas ; 
while, in all probability, the first Aryan 
immigrants into Ceylon found other 
Dravidian races in pos.session who had 
risen to a higher state of civilisation in 
more favourably 
situated habita- 
tions. The " Tamils 
of Ceylon," who 
now inhabit the 
north and the east 
1 oasts of the island, 
;ire undoubtedly 
lor the most part 
descendants of 
those Dravidians 
who overran the 
id and from the 
north in munerous 
I ampaigns. 

Together with 
iliis dark race of 
primeval Indian 
I nigin, the island is 
inhabited in the 
more fertile south- 
west ])ort ion chiefly 
l>y the Singhalese, 
I a entirely different 
race, both in civili- 
sation and phy- 
sique. These were 
originally strangers 
to the country, 
with totally different physical character- 
istics, language, religion, manners, and 
customs. Where was the home of these 
strangers ? Certainly not in the south of 
India, which was then inhabited by pure 
Dravidians. The geographical posi- 
f'th* ^^^^ °^ Ceylon obviously points to 
J . ^ North India as the most prob- 
able point of departure for a 
migration of this nature. The southern 
part of the island is confronted by no 
country whatever, while in the east and 
west the mainland is far distant and is 
divided from Ceylon by broad oceans, to be 


traversed only by the children of a highly- 
developed civilisation. On the other hand, 
the coasts of Nearer India, curving in- 
wards from the north-west and north- 
east, plainly point the mariner towards 
Ceylon. With the exception of a few 
Malays introduced within the last century, 
the island exhibits no trace of Indonesian 
or Malay blood which might in any way 
remind us of the African races. On the 
other hand, the nearest relations of the 
Singhalese are to be found along the line 
of the coast routes followed by those 
Aryans who crossed the mountain frontier 
and entered India in the third millennium 
B.C., and in the mixed tribes of the North 
Indian plains de- p^-jg-w 
scended from them ; i» * i 
physical character- ^ « '^ p 
istics, language, ^-'f" 
customs, and social ; 
organisation alike 
point to this origin. ; 
Evidence of this 
nature even enables 
us to define with 
some precision the 
date at which these 
immigrants entered 
the island and the 
road by which they 
came. The highest 
castes of the 
Singhalese have 
always been the 
Goiwansa or 
Handuruwo — that 
is to say, those of 
noble birth ; Brah- 
mans have never 
found a place 
among their various 
castes. Where they 
are mentioned by 
tradition, or in 
historical records, we have to deal with 
pure invention on the part of the chronicler, 
or with foreign Brahmans, references to 
whom occur, for example, in the accounts 
of the introduction of Buddhism into 

^t ^ . Ceylon : in no case, however. 
The Castes j -,i fj , 
- . do the Brahmans appear as an 

g. . . essential element in Singhalese 

society. Thus the Singhalese 

branch must have broken away from the 

Aryan-Indian group of peoples at a time 

when the Brahmans had not yet secured 

their supremacy over social order, justice, 

an-d morality, popular feeling, thought, 

of the 


and action — that is to say, before the 
period of the formation of the great states 
of the central Ganges. Hence the Singha- 
lese migration cannot have started from 
the east of India, from the mouths of 
the Ganges, or from Orissa ; for it was 
not until the Brahman's supre- 
macy had been assured that 
the Aryans advanced into those 
districts. At a much earlier 
period the Aryans on the west had 
advanced to the sea, starting from the 
Punjab and following the Indus to 
the mouths of that river, while at a 
later period they followed the Aravalli 
Mountains to Gujerat. But the Indus 
was of very little 
importance as a 
trade route for 
transmarine com- 
merce ; its current 
was too strong, its 
delta too soft and 
shifting, while the 
sea coast offered 
no protection 
against storms. On 
the other hand, an 
admirable base for 
transmarine enter- 
prise was afforded 
by the sheltered 
Gulf of Camba}', 
running far into 
the country with 
its rich hinterland. 
^ This was the point 
M where the Arj'ans 
'^ took the sea, during 
t he flour i s h i n g 
period of the great 
Aryan states on 
the Ganges ; and 
during the whole of 
the Mohammedan 
formed the chief harbour of 
India. The inference that earlier Aryan 
marine migrations started from Cambay 
is irresistible. 

This conclusion is well supported by 
tradition. In Ceylon, human memory has 
been more tenacious than on the Indian 
continent, and has preserved a reliable 
historical record for more than 2,000 
years. It is true that the epic of Rama- 
yana, which in its Singhalese form is a 
shorter imitation of the great work of 
Walmiki, a glorification of the mythical 
conqueror of Ceylon, is pure poetical 

period it 


invention. Unhistorical are all the legends 

there related of the expedition of Rama, 

of the seduction of his faithful wife Sita, of 

his alliance with the apes — the black races 

of the Southern Deccan — of his enemies 

the Rakshasa, of his bridge over the 

straits, his wonderful exploits, and his 

ultimate return to India. Rama is a model 

of virtue from the Brahman 
Legends & -^^ ^^ ^-^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ 

exploits related of him are 

of Ceylon 

only the scaffolding used by 
the artists in constructing the ideal of 
a Brahman royal prince. 

We have, however, more valuable his- 
torical sources. The monarchy lasted for 
more than 2,000 years, as did the Bud- 
dhism which it protected, a course of 
development more favourable to the muse 
of history than the political and religious 
revolutions which disturbed the history of 
India proper. In the monastic libraries 
everything was recorded which concerned 
the order itself and its patrons the kings ; 
and the annals thus collected were from 
time to time condensed into literary works. 

Thus the oldest of the Ceylon monas- 
teries, the Mahawira, or Great Monastery 
in Anuradhapura, has preserved the tradi- 
tion of the introduction of Buddhism, and 
the history of the " Great Family " of 174 
kings, in its chronicle, called the Maha- 
wansa. Two Pali books, the Dipawansa, 
or History of the Island, and the Maha- 
wansa, which is later by 150 years, are 
works diverging but little from the original, 
and, like that original, both are continued 
until the death of King Dhatusena in 
479 A.D. At a later period, however, 
continuations were constantly added to the 
Mahawansa, which were carried on to the 
end of the Singhalese monarchy and tiU 
the English occupation in 1816. For a long 
period these and similar works lay forgotten 
in the libraries of the monasteries, until, 
in 1836, George Turnour made the first part 
of the ]\Iahawansa known by a faithful 
translation, throwing a flood 
Ancient ^^ jj^^^^ ^p^^ ^^le early history 

RrJords of Buddhism. Other chronicles 
display divergences from the 
original source, which explain the differ- 
ence between the views of the several 
monasteries to which they belong ; they 
are shorter, less accurate, and, moreover, 
inadequately translated. A third class of 
documents is still hidden in the collec- 
tions of manuscripts within the Buddhist 


In the case of every chronicle the light 
of history dawns only with the introduc- 
tion of Buddhism into the island — that 
is, with the time of Asoka, in the third 
centur}^ B.C. The accounts given of earlier 
events in Ceylon are chiefly pure Buddhist 
invention, which attempted to increase 
the sanctity of the sacred places in the 
island by asserting the presence therein 
of Buddha or of his twenty-three prede- 
cessors. These improbabilities apart, the 
prehistoric portions of the chronicles 
contain secular stories of far greater 
importance for us. Here we find reduced to 
writing that tradition which for centuries 
had been handed down by the people ; 
transformed and decorated, no doubt, the 
work of v/hole epochs being assigned to 
individual personalities, but, on the whole, 
plain and recognisable in its main features. 
The very first figure of Singhalese history 
can be supported from the evidence of his- 
torical ethnology. Wijaj^a — or Victory — 
led the foreign tribes across the straits, 
and his characteristics can be recognised 
in the Aryans who advanced to the sea 
before the era of Brahman supremacy. 

In the country of Lala, or 

f^'p Gujerat, so runs the legend in 

o a oya (,|-|^p|-gj. seven of the I\Iaha- 

wansa, a lion surprised a cara- 
van which was escorting the daughter of 
the King of Wanga and of a Kalinga prin- 
cess ; the lion carried off the king's daughter 
to his cave, and from their marriage was 
born a son, Sihabahu, and a daughter, 
Sihasiwali. INIother and children fled 
from the captivity of the lion ; the lion's 
son grew up and, after kiUing his father, 
became the successor of his maternal 
grandfather, the King of Wanga. At a 
later period, however, he returned to his 
native country of Lala, and built towns 
and villages in the wilderness, in spots 
where irrigation was possible. His eldest 
son, Wijaya, was made viceroy when he 
came of age ; but he developed into an 
enemy of law, and his associates com- 
mitted innumerable acts of treachery and 
violence. Ultimately the people grew 
angry and complained to the king. He 
threw the blame on the friends of the 
prince, but censured his son severely. 
The offences were repeated, and upon the 
third occasion the people called out, 
" Punish thy son with death." The king 
then half shaved the heads of Wijaya and 
his 700 retainers, and put them on board 
a ship, which was driven forth into the 


open sea. Wijaya first landed in the 
harbour of Supparaka, in India ; fearing, 
however, that the reckless immorality of 
his followers would arouse the animosity 
of the natives, he continued his voyage. 
This prince, by name Wijaya, who then 
became wise by experience, landed in the 
district of Tambapanni, of the country 
of Lanka, or Ceylon. As the King Sihabahu 
had killed the lion, his sons and descen- 
dants were called Sihala — that is, lion 
slayers ; and as this island of Lanka was 
conquered and colonised by a Sihala, it 
was given the name of Sihala — Euro- 
peanised as Ceylon — that is. Lion Island. 
The historical foundation of this legend 
carries us back to the starting-point of 
the Singhalese settle- 
ment, the countrv of 
Lala ; the name sur- 
vived in the Greek 
Larike, the modern 
Gujerat ; the solitary 
lion, who at the very 
outset inhabited the 
country and attacked 
and plundered the 
neighbours, is to be 
explained as an early 
Aryan settlement on 
the Gulf of Cambay. 
The nickname of 
" lion " was a favour- 
ite designation for all 
the warrior Aryans 
and their leaders. 
In Gujerat itself a 
famous dynasty, 
known as " the 
Lio'ns," continued till 
recent date ; while 
all Sikhs bear the 
name of Singh — i.e.. 
Lion. At that period the Aryan conquerors 
had not been subjected to the stern caste 
regulations of the Brahmans, and had no 
scruples of conscience in contracting 
alhances with native wives — e.g., the 
Kalinga princess. The migration to 
Ceylon belongs to a somewhat later time. 
The lion prince made the former desert a 
populous country, with towns and villages ; 
then further disturbances broke out. 
According to the Buddhists, who followed 
the Brahman version of Indian history, 
the lawlessness of Wijaya and his adherents 
consisted merely in resistance to the 
Brahman claims. The rulers attempted 
to use compulsion- However, the bold 

Underwood & Underwood, London 


The growth of the jungle is so rapid that sites of the old 
towns in Ceylon are soon overgrown ; even the once 
great city of Anuradhapura, the capital before our era, 
is now, as this picture shows, overgrown with the jungle. 

spirit of the warlike part of the Aryans 
continually revolted against Brahman 
predominance, until the warriors were 
defeated and sailed away to seek intel- 
lectual freedom in a new country. Driven 
back from the Malabar coast, where 
Brahman influence seems to have pene- 
trated at an earlier period, they found 
what they required on the north-east 
coast of Ceylon, an arable district un- 
troubled by Brahmans. 

Wijaya landed with his adherents, 
apparently about 543 B.C., at Tambapanni 
— according to the Sanscrit name of the 
river, Tamraparni, the Taprobane of the 
Greeks. His later history is adorned by 
tradition with features familiar in the 
legends of Odysseus, 
and perhaps appro- 
priated thence, owing 
to the intercourse of 
early European civil- 
isations with the 
Spice Islands. The 
strangers first fall 
into the hands of an 
enchantress, Kuweni, 
who kept them fast 
in an underground 
place ; they are then 
freed, as in Homer, 
by Wijaya, who is 
helped by a god well 
disposed to man — in 
this case, Vishnu. 
He marries the prin- 
cess enchantress, and 
with her help becomes 
supreme over the 
country ; then, how- 
ever, he divorces her 
and marries the 
daughter of- the 
powerful neighbouring King Pandu of 
Madura, while his comrades take wives 
from the daughters of distinguished 
families in the Pandu kingdom. 

The death of Wijaya, who left no 
legitimate descendant, was followed by a 
short interregnum — the country of Lanka 
was without a king for a year ; however, 
a new influx of the Aryans arrived from 
Lala, and Wijaya's nephew, Panduwasu- 
dewa, seized the throne of the Singhalese 
king. After the death of his son Abhaya, 
the succession was interrupted for seven- 
teen years by disputes about the kingship. 
Then, however, after the defeat and 
slaughter of an uncle, the most important 



of a Mighty 


of the legendary rulers ascended the 
throne, by name Pandukabhaya. Under 
his governorship the Singhalese State 
rose to considerable power ; the different 
races of the island were reconciled, and 
lived peacefully together in 
the capital of Anuradhapura. 
This town had been founded 
by the first settlers : now, 
the tank which had been 
previously built was extended to form 
a great lake, and by the construction 
of a palace and shrines for the 
different religions and sects the settle- 
ment became 
highly import- 
ant, and is 
spoken of by the 
chronicler a s 
" delightful and 
well built." The 
oldest of the 
king's uncles, the 
former P r i n c e 
Abhaya. was 
installed as 
governor of the 
town; two 

Yakkas were aj)- 
pointed as over- 
seers for every 
two of the four 
quarters i n t o 
which the town 
was divided. 

The de; 



of the 


p i s e d 


The Temple of Isurumuniya at Anuradhapura, dating from WD B.C., 
and attributed to King Tissa, is hewn from the living rock on a 
lake surrounded by lotus plants but infested with crocodiles. 

races, such as 
the Chandalas, 
were settled in 
the sul:)urbs, 
where they 
were employed in street-cleaning, police 
work at night, and burials ; outside the 
town, cemeteries and places for torture 
and execution were constructed. The 
royal hunters — the Veddas, who now dwell 
apart from the other inhabitants — had a 
street of their own. The king appears in 
the character of a benevolent monarch. 
Hospitals are erected for the sick, and the 
ruler attempts to meet the views of the 
various religious sects by assigning quar- 
ters to them, building them houses, and 
erecting temples. The Singhalese rulers 
thus mentioned by tradition cannot be 


considered in any degree historical 
personages. Wijaya is as vague a 
personality as the founder of Rome, and 
Pandukabhaya was no more a legislator 
than Numa. It is probable that the 
characteristics of famous generals were 
interwoven with the picture of those 
legendary kings ; the most we can say is 
that they represented successive stages 
of civilisation. Wijaya is the personifica- 
tion of the first Aryan emigration, as 
Panduwasudewa' is of a second ; his suc- 
cessor, Abhaya, represents the struggle 
of the princes for supremacy, while Pandu- 
kabhaya personi- 
fies the final 
victory of one 
individual over 
his rivals, and 
the introduction 
of social order, 
the reconciliation 
of the natives to 
the immigrants, 
the rise of general 
prosperity, and 
the development 
of the kingdom. 
Generally s[ieak- 
ing, the Aryan 
development in 
Ceylon advanced 
on parallel lines 
with the deve- 
lopment of the 
kindred tribes in 
the Ganges 
territory. The 
victorious con- 
quest of the 
original inhal)i- 
tants and the 
occupation of the 
country, the 
struggles of 
princes with one another, and the final 
formation of certain great towns, sup- 
ported by the many natural products pro- 
duced by cutivation or by a bountiful 
Nature, and advanced by the peaceful 
incorporation of the subject 
tribes into the body politic 
— such is the general course of 
development. In one respect 
only was the development of the island 
Aryans essentially different from that of 
their brothers on the mainland — the 
Brahmans never asserted their fatal influ- 
ence upon the intellectual development. 

II. C. White Co 


of Settled 






'T'HE early history of Ceylon assumes a 
•*■ more reliable character about the 
year 300 B.C. It is characterised by three 
main movements — Buddhism, internal 
struggles for the succession, and foreign 
wars with the Dravidianson the continent. 

The first human figure in Singhalese 
history is Dewanampiya Tissa, the con- 
temporary of King Asoka. In the Singha- 
lese chronicles his date is not yet accurately 
determined. While his own history is 
written in full detail, the scantiest account 
is given of his three successors, of whom 
we know little more than the facts that 
they were all younger brothers of Tissa, 
that each of them reigned ten years, and 
that they endowed many pious founda- 
tions to support the monks. Similarly, 
King Asela, who is distinguished from the 
alwve-mentioned rulers by the first en- 
trance of the Tamils into the succession, 
is said to have reigned ten years. He is 
stated to be the son of King Mutasiwa, 

^. . who had died a century earlier ! 
csmmng jj^gj^g accouuts of the diffe- 
. ^ . rent reigns have often received 
wholly arbitrary additions. Con- 
sequently the great event in Ceylon, the 
introduction of L^uddhism under Tissa, is to 
be placed at a later date than that assigned 
by the chronicles. The chroniclers sup- 
jwsed Tissa to have accepted the new 
doctrine shortly after his accession, which 
is stated to have occured in 307, the actual 
date being 251 B.C., and placed his death 
in 267 B.C., whereas the despatch of 
Buddhist monks to Ceylon by Asoka did 
not take place before 250 B.C. 

The monarch who gave the monks so 
hearty a reception was naturally painted 
by them in most brilliant colours. Tissa 
is placed at an equal height of piety to 
Asoka, who had extended his kingdom 
from Afghanistan to the modern Mysore, 
and legend is even ready to retrace the 
friendship of the two monarchs to their 
association in a previous state of existence 
in which the kings were said to have been 
brothers. But all this brilliant descrip- 
tion cannot entirely hide the truth that the 
Ceylon king was dependent in some degree 

upon Asoka. In his thirteenth rock 
inscription, Asoka prides himself on the 
fact that he had disseminated the Dhamma 
" as far as Tambapanni " : moreover, 
Tissa, who ascended the throne amid 
great festivities in 251 B.C., represents him- 
P self as being again crowned by 

S^h*°'\ special deputies of Asoka after 
. . the exchange of rich presents 

destined for coronation pur- 
poses. The surprising liberality with which 
the exponents of the new doctrine were 
received was probably due in part to the 
dependent position of Ceylon. Mahinda, 
the son of Asoka by a woman of inferior 
birth, the daughter of a merchant in 
Wedisa, was most kindly received by Tissa 
with six other missionaries a month after 
his second coronation. 

Magnificent endowments of land, such 
as the splendid park of Magamega in the 
capital, together with the mountain of 
Chetya, were the first gifts to the mis- 
sionaries ; the transference was made 
with the greatest pomp, and dwellings for 
the monks were immediately erected upon 
the lands. On the very first day the king 
and six thousand of his subjects were con- 
verted to the new teaching, which had 
long before lost its original simplicity, and 
in which the worship of relics was an 
imi^rtant element. Hence almost imme- 
diately two of the greatest objects of 
veneration were brought by special am- 
bassadors from the country of the founder ; 
these were the collar-bone of the " Enlight- 
ened One," and a branch of the sacred Bo 
tiee. At the present day upon the island 
the shrines built for such relics with their 
cupola-shaped thupas or stupas, in some 
cases of enormous size, are to be found by 
„ . thousands, and are a character- 

j'n^^- i^^tic feature in the landscape. 

and Relics t-i i- • i i 

r D lit. the relics were accompanied by 

of Buddha ., 1 r c c ^ " 

the order of nuns of Samgha- 

mitta, who also found many adherents. 

The introduction of Buddhism was 
fraught with the most important conse- 
quences to the whole development of the 
Singhalese people. The Indian Brahmans 
had attained their high position at the 



price of severe struggles ; the Buddhist only by the admiring accounts of the 

monks received theirs as a present from Singhalese historians and Chinese pil- 

the Singhalese kings, and henceforward grims, but still more by the miles of 

the people were under their spell. At the ruins, now hidden in the primeval forest, 

moment the order merely acquired sites which alone mark the sites of former 

for the erection of monasteries, of summer temporal and ecclesiastical palaces. The 

resorts, and of shrines for relics. In other extent of the arable land and the thickness 

respects, the command of complete poverty 
which Buddha had laid upon his 

Monrstic **'^'^^'^'^' oi" beggars, was strictly 
y^ . , followed, and the monks ob- 

tained the necessaries of life 
as alms, and in no other way ; but after 
a little more than one hundred years this 
rule was broken, first by the king Duttha 
Gamani, who was celebrated foi his 

of the population are shown by the 

_ . enormous tanks — now dry — 

almost as large as lakes ; while 

C5 , . the slavish subiugation of the 

Splendours , ■ 1 j 1 xt_ 

people IS evidenced by the 

gigantic shrines and the many miles of 

irrigation works which were constructed 

by the forced labour of the villages and 

districts. But the apparent greatness of 

services to the order, and afterwards by the royal power was at the same time its 
his grandson Wattha. Successive kings weakness ; the people over whom the 
assigned the best land, the canals and king ruled was a people of subservient 

slaves. In the mountains only did a 
remnant of the former population survive ; 

tanks, and, indeed, whole villages with 
their inhabitants, to the monks. By 
degrees, if not the whole, at any - 
rate the best part, of all arabk' 
and cultivated land passed into 
their possession. 

Meanwhile the inhabitants be- 
came impoverished. The popu- 
lation increased in projiortion to 
the land recovered for cultiv^ation 
by means of irrigation, but the 

products of such land chiefly Lppewsr^'" 

went to support the idle monks. ^ 

Many villages were in a state of mdj^I*^ •> -. 
serfdom to the monasteries ; the ^■* ^ 
remainder, oppressed by the vo\n] 
taxes and the alms which thi \ 
were obliged to place in the pui- 
of the yellow-robed mendicant-. . 
were cut off from all hope d 
prosperity. A considerable pro 
portion of the growing youth 
disaj^peared into the monasteries 
of monks and nuns ; those who f^ 
remained upon the land were 
oppressed by the teaching that 
activity in any form was an i 
obstacle to true happiness ; while 
intellectual growth became im- 
possible, and freedom or self- the most sacred temple of buddhas tooth 

.^ i „ nnVtirm'Ti This temple was built in Kandy in the fourteenth century to contain an 

lespeci weie UriKIlOWn. alleged tooth of Buddha, which speedily caused the city to become an 

The pious kin*^ who had intrO- important centre of Buddhist power and influence throughout Ceylon. 

duced ' Buddhism to the island, with even there small ruins of monasteries 

many of his successors, might well are to be found ; but there also lived 

look with satisfaction upon the wealth strong and independent men. When a 

of the country, the increase of agri- Tamil invasion overran " the royal 

culture, the growth of the population, domains " on the great northern plains 

and the boundless piety of his subjects, and compelled the king to flee from 

To the splendour of the capital, even his capital, the wave of conquest was 

in later times, testimony is borne not broken upon the mountains. 


!I. C. Wlutr Cn 


Almost all the kings were good rulers 
according to Buddhist ideas ; but their 
praise depends entirely upon the extent 
of the gifts with which they endowed the 
order. Mahawansa in one and the same 
breath relates that Asoka, the great 
friend of the order, was the wisest and 
best of princes, and that he killed his 
nmety-nine brothers 
to secure his sole 
power in Jambudipa, 
or India. Similarly, 
later the murderers of 
brothers and kings 
are described as "men 
who devoted them- 
selves to works of 
love and piety," or 
as men " who after 
their death enter the 
community of the king 
of the gods," provided 
only that they were 
benevolent to the 
order during their 

The numbers, the 
riches, and the influ- 
ence of the order 
increased with extra- 
ordinary rapidity. 
Purity of life and 
doctrine, however, deteriorated no less 
speedily. The history of the order is 
a history of violent schisms. From the 
time of King Wattha Gamani, the brother- 
hoods of the monasteries of Mahawihara 
and Abhayagiri were separated by bitter 
jealousy and hatred ; the tension in- 
creased with the value of the possessions 
which the kings assigned to one or other 
of the parties, and bloody struggles broke 
out the 

and the order itself was so shattered by 
the long, weary Tamil wars that from 
1065 A.D. onward scarce four monks in 
full orders could be found throughout the 
island. Since this was the number le- 
quired by the laws of the Church for the 
formation of a legal chapter and the 
creation of new members, monks had 


Wars and 

The chief Buddhist cave temples of Ceylon are in the mountainous district about 
60 miles north-east of Colombo; their date is said by tradition to be about U10 B.C. 

to be imported from India or Burma. 

The list of successors to Dewanampiya 

Tissa provides a more intelligible but a far 

less pleasing picture than the obscurer 

figures of that monarch's predecessors. 

After the reigns of three kings, who appear 

but shadowy personalities in the chronicles, 

the Tamils' invaded the country in the 

year 237 B.C., according to the Mahawansa, 

under the leadership of two young princes, 

moment the king definitely who posses'^ed numerous ships and a strong 

declared for either of the two . force of cavalry. After killing 

rivals. Energetic rulers made ,. ° ., the king. Sura Tissa, they ruled 

- ■ - V"" ^.*°'*' over the kingdom for twenty 
Invasion ^^^^^^ ^^^ Buddhist historians 

describe them as righteous, and we may 
therefore assume them to have been 
tolerant. They were defeated and killed 
by Asela. 

In 205 B.C., however, after the lapse of 
the usual ten years, the Tamil Elara 
invaded Ceylon from the north, " a man 
of the famous tribe of the Uju " ; he 
slew the king, and held the supremacy 
for forty-four years impartially against 
friend and foe. The only province that 
did not bow to the foreign yoke was the 


attempts at reunion, which 
appeared successful for the 
moment ; but the old hatred invariably 
broke out sooner or later, and seriously 
impaired the prestige of the Church. The 
disconnected nature of the doctrine itself 
was reflected in the looseness of monastic 
morality. Mahawansa complains, " In 
the villages which have been presented 
to the order, purity of life for the monks 
consists solely in taking wives and 
begetting children." The people gradually 
grew more indifferent to the order, for 
which their respect had long since ceased ; 



mountainous Rohana m the extreme 
south of the island ; from that point a 
descendant of the great family, Duttha 
Gamani, again expelled the Tamils. One 
Tamil fortress alter another fell into his 
hands ; and finall}' in i6i B.C., in a battle 
at Anuradhapura, he killed the Tamil king 
Elara himself in single combat, 

An Epic 
of Ancient 

and immediately afterward 
Elara's nephew, Bhalluka, who 

had brought up a fresh army 
too late from Malabar. This portion of 
the Mahavvansa reads like a stirring 
epic. The monks had every reason to 
praise the pious and liberal conqueror of 
the Tamils. He refounded numerous mon- 
asteries and erected permanent memorials 
in the Palace of the Thousand Pillars of 
Lohapasada in the Marikawatti and the 
Ruwanweli dagobas. 

Laji Tissa, a grandson of Duttha 
Gamani, killed his uncle, Saddha Tissa, in 
119 B.C. to secure the power for himself ; 
his successor and younger brother, Khallata 
Naga, was murdered by 
his Minister, Maharattaka, 
in 109 B.C. Hardly had 
Wattha Gamani Abhaya, 
the youngest grandson of 
Duttha Gamani, avenged 
this treachery, when the 
Tamils, attracted by these 
quarrels about the suc- 
cession, again invaded the 
country under seven 
leaders, and forced the 
young king to seek refuge 
in the mountains. At that 
time purity of blood among 
the Aryan Singhalese kings 
had long been lost. Scorn- 
fully the Brahman Giri 
called after the flying king, 
" The great Black Sihala is 
flying ! " Like his grand- 
father, Wattha Gamani 
in 88 B.C. raised in the 
highlands a force which 
succeeded in liberating 
the throne of Wijaya 
from the hereditary foe ; 
afterwards, during his 
reign of twelve years he 
built many monasteries, 
and assigned large dis- 
tricts for the support of 
the monks, who had 
hitherto lived on the alms 
they gained by begging. 


During the Tamil supremacy the popu- 
lation had been so impoverished, and the 
contributions of alms had grown so scanty, 
that the very existence of the order would 
have been endangered if forced to de])end 
on this source. At the point where he had 
been insulted by the Brahman Giri, 
Gamani founded a monastery which he 
called Abhaya Giri, after his own name 
and that of the Brahman. The elder 
monastery of Mahawihara, inspired by 
jealousy, soon found an excuse for quarrel- 
ling with its younger sister foundation. 
The dispute led to one good re- 
sult — the reduction to writing of 

of Monastic 

the sacred doctrine which had 
hitherto l)een orally transmitted 
from generation to generation. The three 
Pitakas and the commentaries to these, 
the Atthakathas, were written in the Sing- 
halese language, and a wound was con- 
sequently inflicted upon the Buddhist 
Church which has never since been healed. 
Melancholy is the picture which the 

This photograph of a 
Eliyay the Governor' 

characteristic Singhalese tea-garden was taken at Nuwara 
s summer residence, which is (j,210 feet above sea-leveL 


historians of the monastery 
of Mahawihara have drawn 
of the immediate successors 
ofWatthadamani. His son, 
Chola Naga, is described 
as a robber and brigand 
from the very moment of 
his accession, and after- 
wards as a cruel persecutor 
of the monks ; ajiparently 
he had declared against 
the brotherhood. How- 
ever, his wife, Anula, from 
47 B.C. to 42 B.C. seems to 
have been a disgrace to the 
royal throne, and to have 
rivalled Messalina by her 
poisonings and voluptuous- 
ness. She poisoned her 
husband's successor to 
secure the throne for her- 
self and to gain full license 
for her unbounded avarice. 
Henceforward death was 
active in the royal palace : 
Anula herself was killed in 
42 B.C., while twelve years 
later Amanda Gamani was 
assassinated by his younger 
brother, as was Chanda- 
mukha Siva in the year 
44 B.C. Thelast of the great 
family, Yasalalaka Tissa, 
who had murdered his pre- 

rini.Tu 1 ,v riia.iH I. Loll. 1. .11 

The produce of Ceylon includes coconuts, cinnamon, coffee, tea, plantains, 
1 1 J i- ^ -J. tamarinds, grapes, cinchona, cacao, cardamoms, areca-nuts, and other fruits. 

decessor, had a favourite > & f > 

Jest that 
a Tragedy 

warder, by name Subha, who bore a very 
close resemblance to himself. The king 
would amuse himself by clothing his servant 
in the royal robes and setting him on the 
throne, while he himself took the post of 
doorkeeper. Once, however, when he joked 
with the false king arrayed in 
his royal robes, the latter called 
out, " How can this slave dare 
to laugh in my presence ! " 
Yasalalaka was punished with death, 
and Subha continued to play the part of 
legitimate king ; however, after a year, 
he was killed by Wasabha, a member of 
the Lambakanna caste, who seized the 
throne. The Lambakanna caste had dis- 
played rebellious tendencies at an earlier 
period. Their caste pride had been 
wounded by King Ilanaga, who reigned 
38-44 A.D. ; they had revolted and ex- 
pelled this monarch for three years. On 
the present occasion they maintained 
their possession of the throne for three 
generations. Then ensued a period of 

rebellion and murder, and the power passed 
into different hands, until in 248 A.D. three 
of the Lambakanna murdered the king, 
Wijaya H., and seized the power. 

In the country generally times were hard, 
and the prevalence of robber bands 
made life and property alike uncertain ; 
the royal prestige was greatly impaired, 
and the order was weakened by the dissen- 
sions of the two chief brotherhoods. 
The last of the three above-mentioned 
Lambakanna, by name Gothabhaya, vigor- 
ously attacked the Abhayagiri sect, and 
expelled from the Church and banished 
from the island some sixty 
monks who " had adopted the 
false Wetula doctrine, and were 
like thorns to the conqueror's 
religion." At a later period, however, 
he was persuaded to change his mind by 
Samghamitta, a pupil of the banished 
high-priest, to whom he entrusted the 
education of his sons. In the case of the 
elder, Jettha Tissa L, this education 






A King who 
the Priests 

proved unsuccesstul ; upon reaching the 
throne he sternly oppressed the Abhayagiri 
monks, and persecuted his tutor in 
particular, who was forced to flee to the 
mainland. Twelve years later he was suc- 
ceeded by his younger brother Mahasena, 
who ruled from 277 to 304 a. d. This king 
was persuaded by his tutor, who had now 
returned, to begin a severe per- 
secution of the Mahawihara 
brotherhood. He prohibited 
these monks from receiving 
alms, and thereby made it impossible for 
them to remain in the " royal domains " : 
they were forced to flee to the mountains. 
For nine years the venerable mother 
monastery remained entirely abandoned ; 
proposals were brought forward to dis- 
mantle it, and to use the valuable 
materials for the improvement of the 
hostile Abhayagiri monastery, when at 
length the king revoked his decision 
against the persecuted monks. His adviser, 
Samghamitta, was killed in the course of 
a popular rising, the expelled monks were 
recalled, and their monastery was splen- 
didly restored. Henceforward the king 
attempted to make amends to the brother- 
hood for the wrong which he had done 
to them by a special display of liberality. 
The next four kings were good Buddhists, 
liberal to the Church and benevolent to 
their subjects. Sirimeghawanna, from 
304 to 332, the son of Mahasena, is lauded 
for the complete restoration of the Maha- 
wihara monastery, and also as being the 
ruler under whom a princess of Dantapura, 
the capital of Kalinga, brought to Kandy 
in Ceylon the most sacred relic of the 
Buddhists, the tooth of Buddha. Among 
the following monarchs Shettha Tissa H., 
from 332 to 341, is distinguished as a 
sculptor and a painter, while his son 
Buddhadasa, from 341 to 370, was famous 
as a physician and the author of a Com- 
pendium of the Whole Science of Medicine. 
Then followed Upatissa II. >, from 370 to 412, 
who was murdered by his brother 
*^ Mahanama. Under the latter, from 
. 412 to 434, an event took place of 

high importance to southern 
Buddhism — the translation into the Pali 
language of the Atthakathas, emanating 
from Mahinda, which had hitherto existed 
only in Singhalese and were unknown in 
India. The monk Buddhaghosha was sent 
from Magadha to Ceylon by his teacher 
Rewata to translate this work " according 
to the rules of Magadha, the root of all 


languages" ; in the seclusion of the 
Ganthakara monastery at Anuradhapura 
he completed this great work. 

In the year 1893, on the occasion of the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of his corona- 
tion, King Chulalongkorn of Siam issued 
a new edition of it in thirty-nine volumes. 

The example set by Mahanama in mur- 
dering his brother was rapidly followed. 
Then the Tamils reappeared under their 
king Pandu and his sons, occup^^ing 
the northern part of the island from 4i(:) 
to 463 ; they were ultimately driven 
out of the country by Dhatusena, a great 
landed proprietor and apparently a de- 
scendant of the family of Asoka — the 
Maurya dynasty. " He gave the country 
peace, and restored to religion those rights 
which the strangers had abolished " ; 
however, he was imprisoned by his own 
son Kassapa, and buried alive in the 
year 479. 

This scandalous deed opened another 

period of misery for the country. In the 

next two centuries, from 479 to 691, no 

fewer than twelve rulers died violent deaths. 

Fratricide and the revolts of generals 

„ . , , produced a rapid series of 

Period of 1 ■ , 1 • i J.1, 

_ . , changes m the succession to the 

Crime and ,1 t-i • • 1 • 

... . throne. The i>rovmcial viceroys 

tended to independence, and 
the sectarian warfare within the Buddhist 
Church continued undiminished. The 
Tamils, who had formerly invaded the 
country for plunder and conquest upon 
their own initiative, were now constantly 
brought in by the Singhalese princes or 
generals to overthrow the legitimate 
occupants of the throne. Temples and 
royal treasuries were plundered, religion 
was oppressed, and the people grew more 
and more impoverished. During the fifth 
and sixth centuries, however, the period 
of the king Kumara Dasa, from 515 to 524, 
to whom is ascribed the Sanscrit translation 
of the Ramayana, which remains only in 
the Singhalese translation, and of Agrabhi 
I., from 564 to 598, who was famous as a 
poet, Chinese pilgrims describe the capital 
as a brilliant town ; even at the outset of 
the seventh century a Singhalese historical 
work speaks of the beauty of Anuradha- 

Nevertheless, under Aggabodhi IV.. from 
673 to 689, the capital could no longer hold 
out against the hereditary enemy : the 
royal residence was removed to Polon- 
naruwa, or Pulathi, at a greater distance 
from the point of Tamil invasion, the 


harbour of Mantotte on the Gulf of Manaar, 
This change became permanent about 
846 A.D. The island gained some occasional 
relief from the internal wars of the 
different Dravidian races on the main- 
land. Nevertheless, Sena I. (846 to 866) 
was obliged to take refuge in the inaccess- 
ible recesses of the highlands ; the northern 
part of the island was cruelly devastated, 
the capital plundered, and its treasures 
carried off to India. Now, however, 
attracted by the rich booty, the Chola 
began war with their Tamil neighbours. 
Thus, under Sena I., the Singhalese crossed 
the Palk Straits ; the Pandya king was 
killed, the hostile capital of Madura 
plundered, and the booty taken from 
Ceylon recovered. Under Kassapa IV., 
from gi2 to 929, a Singhalese army went to 

Rohana, the last, though not the inviolate, 
bulwark of the Singhalese kingdom. His 
successor, Vijaya Bahu L, also known as 
Sirasanghabodhi (1065-1120), though at 
first defeated, repeatedly advanced into 
the lowlands, where he overthrew three 
Chola armies, captured their fortresses, 
recovered Anuradhapura, and 
shattered the last resistance of 
E 11 a ^^^ enemy in a bloody conflict 
"** ^ under the walls of Polon- 
naruwa ; this victory permanently freed 
the country from the Chola. 

The power of Ceylon was not yet, how- 
ever, definitely established. When Vijaya 
Bahu endeavoured to enter into friendly 
relations with the enemy, and sent special 
ambassadors to the Chola king with rich 
presents, the noses and the ears of the 


Underwood & Underwood. I ondo 


the help of the Pandya king, though with 
little effect, and the Tamil ruler was forced 
to take refuge in Ceylon. 

This rapid rise of Singhalese prosperity 
was of no long duration. Under Udaya 
III. {964-72) and Mahinda IV. (975-91) 
Ceylon was invaded by the Cholas ; 
under the leadership of their king, Para- 
kesariwarman (1052-61), they 
overran the island to its southern- 
most extremity, the province 
of Rohana, carried away two 
sons of the king Manabharana, and 
killed the king Wira-Salamega about 
1056. The plundering extortions and the 
religious animosity of this Malabar people 
reduced the country to an awful state of 
desolation. It was not until 1059 f^at a 
brave noble, Loka, succeeded in driving 
the Chola from his native province of 

by the 

emissaries were cut off. Further, when 
he ordered his troops to march against 
the Cholas, a mutiny broke out, and the 
whole of the south rose against the king, 
who had much difficulty in crushing the 
rebellion. The country was utterly ex- 
hausted, and the Buddhist order was in 
so feeble a state that not a single monk 
in full orders was to be found anywhere 
in the island ; monks, accordingly, had to 
be brought over from Ramanya or 
Martaban in lower Burma. 

Under Vikkama Bahu I., the southern 
provinces broke away entirely and were 
divided among different rulers. The king 
had the utmost difficulty in driving 
out an Aryan adventurer from North 
India, who had blockaded him in a 
mountain fortress, and in recovering 
Polonnaruwa. The population was com- 

History of the world 

pietely exhausted, and the taxes were 
collected by measures of the severest 
oppression, " as the sugar mill presses the 
juice from the cane." To meet his neces- 
sities, Vikkama Bahu was forced to 
appropriate Church property, and thus 
made the monks his deadly enemies. 
They emigrated to Rohana, taking with 
. them Buddha's tooth and his 
Caultr'"" alms-dish. During the many 
D»" rV wars the irrigation canals had 
been destroyed, and the once 
fruitful land had become a malarial desert. 
Towns and villages were abandoned, and 
had grown so desolate " that their sites 
were undiscoverable." 

Parrakkama Bahu I., or Parakrama, 
from 1 164 to 1 197, was the greatest mon- 
arch who ever sat upon the Singhalese 
throne. Only by realising the misery 
under which the country almost suc- 
cumbed during his youth can we estimate 
the results achieved by the intellectual 
force and patriotism of this ruler, whom 
history rightly names " the Great." 

After the death of Vijaya Bahu I. the 
Singhalese monarchy had almost entirely 
collapsed. The nominal ruler was still 
resident in Polonnaruwa, but the greater 
part of the country was broken into petty 
principalities. In the province of Rohana 
alone four such princes were to be found, 
including Manabharana, who laid claim to 
the little district " of the twelve thousand 
villages," and was the father of Parrak- 
kama the Great. This ruler spent his 
youth in the mountains ; "he received a 
thorough instruction in religion, in the 
different legal systems, in rhetoric and 
poetry, dancing and music, in writing and 
in the use of sword and bow, and in 
these exercises he attained the highest 
degree of perfection." Upon the death of 
his uncle he became ruler of his princi- 

Parrakkama's administration was in 

every respect admirable ; he introduced 

, a properly organised system of 

ey on s ^a,xation, and eftdeavoured to 

-"^P make the utmost possible use 

of streams and rainfall for the 

irrigation of the soil. At the same time 

he drilled those of the male inhabitants 

capable of bearing arms, with a view to 

the reunion of his country as a whole. 

His first expedition was directed against 

the highland of Malaya, which he subdued 

with the support of a general of King 

Gaja Bahu IV. The court at Polon- 


naruwa was entirely denationalised ; it 
was thronged by crowds of foreigners, 
including princes from the mainland, who 
disseminated foreign influence, foreign 
customs, foreign religion, and " filled the 
land of the king like thorns in a bed." 
For this reason he declared war upon 
Gaja Bahu, and advanced by a rapid series 
of victories to the land of pearls, " the coast 
of the Gulf of Manaar." Ultimately the 
king and the princes were captured. After 
thus attaining his object, the conqueror 
restored their country to his defeated foes. 
A chieftain of Rohana, Manabharana the 
younger, had attempted to turn the war 
between Parrakkama and Gaja Bahu to 
its own advantage ; he was conquered in 
like manner, and also left in possession of 
his land. Both of these conquered princes 
appointed the victor as their successor. 
Thus Parrakkama became master of the 
whole island, although at first he was 
obliged sternly to suppress repeated revolts, 
especially among the freedom-loving in- 
habitants of the south and in the western 
province of Mahatittha. 

The king's strong hand soon made itself 

felt beyond the boundaries of his kingdom. 

For a long period he had been in 

e a ions friendly relations with Ramanva 

of Ceylon x -'o \r- tuj 

.„ or Lower Burma, viiayal.had 

and Burma ■ ■ , ■, -w-, -^ ■, 

mvited Burmese monks to 
Ceylon, and the two countres were united 
by peaceful commercial relations. How- 
ever, during the gloomy period of the last 
Singhalese king, Arimaddana, the ruler of 
Ramanya had attempted to profit by the 
unfavourable condition of Ceylon. A tax 
was laid upon the exportation of elephants, 
which made the purchase of these animals 
almost impossible for the impoverished 
Singhalese. The usual presents were with- 
held from the Singhalese ambassadors, 
the ships of Ceylon were forbidden to land 
in Burma, and the emissaries sent from 
Polonnaruwa were finally robbed and 
imprisoned. Parrakkama then sent a 
strong expedition to Ramanya ; his ships 
were greatly damaged by a storm, but the 
army succeeded in defeating the Burmese 
troops, storming the capital, and killing 
the king. Parrakkama's supremacy was 
proclaimed, and peace was granted only 
upon condition of an indemnity to com- 
pensate for former vexations, to which was 
added the obligation of a yearly tribute. 

In Southern India also, Parrakkama 
avenged the wTongs that had been com- 
mitted against Ceylon in former years. 


The struggles between the Cholas and the 
Pandyas had continued since the time 
of Vijaya Bahu I. Under their king 
Kulasekhara the Cholas had fiercely 
besieged King Pandu in his capital of 
Madura. It was not to the interest of 
Ceylon to see a great Dravidian kingdom 
in place of the numerous petty states, 
who might wear one another out by 
internal struggles : Parrakkama therefore 
sent to the help of the Tamil king a strong 
army under Lankapura and Jagad Vijaya 
Nayaka. Before the arrival of this force, 
Madura had fallen and King Pandu had 
been killed ; however, the Singhalese had 
defeated the Cholas and devas- 



, . tated their country. 

Invasion t^ i i u i • j ■ 

, J .. Kulasekhara was besieged in 

his fortress of Rajina and was 
barely able to save himself by flight. He 
was forced to conclude peace upon terms 
highly disadvantageous to himself. The 
Pandya kingdom was restored, Prince 
Vira Pandu was installed in Madura as 
king, and a Tamil coinage, with the head 
of Parrakkama, was struck to commemo- 
rate the campaign. The captured Cholas 
were sent to Ceylon, where they were 
forced to work at the restoration of those 
same religious buildings which their fore- 
fathers had destroyed in their plundering 
raids. True to the proverb of his choice, 
" What is there in the world that a 
persevering man cannot perform ? " 
Parrakkama gave his devastated island 

I !• r Miod & Underwood, London 

The elephant is frequently used for ploughing and other 
purposes on the "paddy," or rice farm, and he is here 
seen harnessed to a primitive Singhalese wooden plough. 

Underwood \- ' : ] ' ii h m 

The intelligence and great strength of the trained elephant 
give him a high industrial value, which is nowhere more 
apparent than it is in the teak forests of Further India. 

a fresh lease of prosperity. As chieftain 

of a small district, he had once observed, 

" In a country like this not the least drop 

of water that falls from heaven should 

be allowed to run into the sea 
Schemes ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ 

° . ,. service to mankind." This 
Irrigation ■ ■ i 1 

principle was now vigorously 

put into practice throughout his great 
kingdom. He had tanks built or restored 
by thousands : the greatest of these, for 
example, the " Sea of Parrakkama," was 
equal in extent to the lake of the Four 
Forest Cantons. More than five hundred 
new canals were made, and several 
thousand ruined waterways were re- 
constructed. Malarious swamps and im- 
penetrable jungles were transformed into 
miles of flourishing rice fields and orchards ; 
towns and villages arose from their ruins, 
with a dense and prosperous population. 
The decaying capital of Polonnaruwa 
rose to new splendour and was provided 
with everything that could conduce to 
comfort and luxury. The ruler was not 
forgetful of the old and famous capital 
of Anuradhapura, the palaces which the 
founder of the empire had erected, the 
shrines consecrated by Mahinda and his 
successors ; and the monasteries and 
relic shrines were cleared of their jungle 
overgrowth and restored. The adminis- 
tration of the country was reorganised, 
and a mild and equable system of taxation 
introduced. The disorders which had 






broken out in the Church were checked, 
and the morality of the priesthood im- 
proved. Parrakicama even succeeded in 
reconciling that feud between the chief 
sects which had lasted for a thousand 
years, and in unifying the doctrine ; 
" the attempt to bring about this 
union seemed no less desperate than an 
attempt to raise the mountain 
of Meru from its foundations." 
Parrakkama the Great was 
succeeded by his nephew Vijaya 
Bahu II. (11Q7-8), a weakling charac- 
terised by the monks as a great scholar 
and poet ; after a reign of one year 
he was assassinated. Then began a 
period of the greatest confusion. During 
the eighteen years immediately follow- 
ing the death of the great king the 
empire saw no less than fifteen different 
rulers, with reigns of one, nine, and 
seventeen days, three, seven, nine, and 
twelve months. At least five were mur- 
dered ; six were deposed, and in some cases 
blinded. A motley row of figures passes 
before us, Singhalese, Kalingas, Cholas, and 
Pandyas. The Kalinga prince Magha, who 
reigned from 1215 to 1236, seized the island 
with an army of twenty thousand warriors, 
was the first ruler able to secure his posi- 
tion upon the throne : at the same time his 
rule proved a devastating scourge to the 
unfortunate country which had never yet 
been subjected to so fearful a visitation. 

In the south alone a few capable leaders 
were able to maintain their independence 
in the mountain fortresses defended alike 
by Nature and art. Of these petty 
principalities, the most important was 
Dambadenya, where Vijaya Bahu III. 
(1236-40), who traced his descent from 
Vijaya Bahu I., had established himself ; 
from this base of operations he was able 
to subdue the province of Malaya. His 
son Parrakkama Bahu III. (1240-75), 
drove out the Dravidians in 1255, almost 
annihilating them, together with the 
Chola king, Someswara ; still, 
5;*^^. he was forced to struggle with 
other enemies, for the weak- 

Raids in 

ness of Ceylon had attracted 
the Malays, who were especially active at 
that period. Their leader, Chandrabhanu, 
twice invaded the country and devasted 
" the whole of Lanka " ; the Malays, 
however, never succeeded in permanently 
establishing themselves on the island. 

In the works of peace, Parrakkama II. 
rivalled his great predecessor. During the 


Dravidian rule proprietary titles had been 
lost or confused, and a redistribution of 
the country among laity and monks was 
now undertaken. Roads were laid down, 
tanks and canals restored, and Polon- 
naruwa, which had been almost entirely 
ruined, was rebuilt ; in Anuradhapnra 
works of restoration were begun upon the 
main buildings, which had been severely 
damaged. Meanwhile, the so-called monks 
had plunged into every kind of vice, and 
the old quarrel between the brotherhoods 
broke out with renewed fury. Here, too, 
the king's action improved the situation. 

Vija3'a Bahu IV., the successor of 
Parrakkama II., was murdered by one of 
his generals two years later, though the 
murderer also received short shrift. In 
default of a powerful ruler, Ihe people 
quickly relapsed into their former state 
of misery, and, to comi)lete the tale of 
their suffering, a terrible famine broke out. 
A Pandu army invaded the country so 
suddenly that even the greatest relic of the 
Buddhist world, the tooth of Buddha, 
could not be hidden, but was carried off 
to Madura with other booty. The tooth 

_ was not recovered until the 
j^ .'^ . reign of Parrakkama Bahu II. 
„V ^ (1288-93). This raid of the 
Pandyas seems to have been 
the last Dravidian invasion of Ceylon ; 
a few years later, in 131 1, the Mohamme- 
dans under Kafur advanced from the 
north to the Palk Straits, and from the 
middle of the fourteenth century the 
Pandyas became tributary to the kingdom 
of Bijanagar, in the Deccan. The Singh- 
alese chronicles make no reference to 
wars with the Dravidians later than the 
year 1290. In consequence of the in- 
cessant civil wars, the ruling kings 
removed their capitals further within 
the mountains, and Buddhism hardly 
existed even in name. Hence, even up 
to the time of Parrakkama IV., about 
1300, only the very scantiest historical 
record was kept in the monasteries, and 
from that date until the middle of the 
eighteenth century historical writing 
ceased entirely. The records became 
somewhat more definite at the time 
of Raja Simha I. (1586-92), who secured 
the throne by murdering his father. 
But it was not until the time of 
Kirti Sri raja Simha (1747-80) that 
the gaps were filled up with the 
scanty material to hand and with the 
aid of tradition. 


" IN those days certain merchants carried 
*■ on trade in the harbour of Kolamba, 
which they continued until, in the course 
of time, they had grown very powerful. 
The Parangi, or Portuguese, were collec- 
tively base unbelievers, cruel, and hard- 
hearted." In the year 1498 Vasco da 
Gama had cast anchor before Calicut ; 
seventeen years later came the destruction 
of the Arab trade, which had hitherto 
monopolised the valuable products of Asia, 
especially the spice exports ; Ormuz, 
Malacca, and Goa became the foundations 
of the Portuguese power in the Indian 
seas. Portuguese ships had visited Ceylon 
as early as 1505 ; in 15 15 a fleet sailed to 
the island from Calicut under Lopez 
Soarez, and the Singhalese monarch in 
Kotta gave permission to the admiral to 
found a permanent trading station in the 
harbour of Colombo, near his residence. 
If the king hoped to gain powerful friends 
by this means, he was soon bitterly 
. undeceived. He was forced to 
ggression |-,g(,Qj^-jg y^ Portuguese vassal, 

n . ^ and to agree to the payment of 

a yearly tribute of cinnamon, 
precious stones, and elephants. Hostilities 
were the early and the natural result. 
The kings removed their capitals to the 
mountains of the interior, first to Sita- 
waka, then to Kandy. But in vain ; the 
war continued without interruption, and 
every Portuguese campaign penetrated 
further into the countr3^ 

By degrees, however, the difficulties 
afforded by the precipitous highland slopes, 
the jungles of the primeval forest, the 
dangers of the climate, and the military 
strength of the highlanders increased. 
The latter learnt the arts of strategy, 
tactics, and the use of weapons from their 
enemies ; they had of old been famous 
for their skill in metal-working, and were 
able to keep their guns and cannons in 
better repair. Mayadhana and his son 
Raja Simha I. vigorously repulsed the 
attacks of the Portuguese ; of Raja Simha 
II., Mahavvansa says : " As a lion bursts 
into a herd of elephants, or as flakes of wool 
are swept away by the wind, so was the 

enemy seized by fear and fled before the 
dauntless king." 

The Portuguese were never able to estab- 
lish themselves in the interior ; their only 
established possessions were the fortresses 
of Negambo. Colombo, Galle, Battikaloa, 
and Trincomali, with the land immediately 
adjoining these settlements. They oper- 
„ ated with some success against 

p" "* ° the Tamil kingdom, which occu- 

or uguese ^^^^ ^-j^q northern extremity of 
the island, and a small strip 
of land upon the east coast. The capital 
of Jafna was stormed in 1560, and the 
sacred tooth fell into the hands of the 
Portuguese. In vain did the King of 
Pegu offer 400,000 gold pieces for the 
relic. The Portuguese valued the destruc- 
tion of that fragment of bone at a higher 
price ; it was pounded in a mortar by the 
Archbishop of Goa, Dom Caspar, burnt in 
the fire, and the ashes thrown into the 
river. Tooth worship was, however, not 
extirpated by this means ; in no long time 
a second " tooth " appeared in Kandy, 
which was said to have been hidden and 
buried during a Portuguese invasion, while 
the conquerors were said to have destroyed 
only an imitation of the real tooth. On 
the first conquest of Jafna, the Portuguese 
contented themselves with depriving the 
Sultan of the island of Mannar and of all 
his treasures, and imposing a heavy 
tribute upon him. In 1617, the town was 
again stormed upon the reported outbreak 
of hostilities against the Christians ; the 
Sultan was beheaded and his land declared 
Portuguese territory.. 

The story of the destruction of Buddha's 
tooth is typical of the religious fanaticism 
of the Portuguese. Every ship 

brought, together with soldiers 


e igious greedy for plunder, bands of 
Fanaticism ^ , i ^ • 

monks who were anxious to 

spread Christianity by any means in their 
power. Their greatest success was the 
conversion of a Singhalese king to the one 
true Church. " The King Dharma Pauli 
Raja embraced the Christian religion, and 
was baptised under the name of Don Juan 
Pandaura ; many nobles of Kotta were 


Battikalao now the capital of the eastern province in Ceylon, is situated on an island in a salt water lake, 
30 miles long- and from two to five miles wide ; the old Dutch fort, seen in the picture, now does service as a prison. 

converted with him. From this time 

onward the wives of the nobles, and 

also those of the lower castes, such as 

the barbers, fishers, huinawas, and 

chalyas, became Christians, and lived 

with the Christians for the sake of the 

Portuguese money." 

This apostate king appointed Philip II. 

of Spain and Portugal his heir, and 

. . from that time the Portuguese 
Religious j^. j^^^_g ^^^^^ ^^ ^j^g-^ 

Condition ^ ^.^^gg ^^^^ ^^ Lq^^ Qf 

of Ceylon ^gyj^p jhe soil was well 
prepared for the conversion of the 
Singhalese to Christianity. The old 
religion had degenerated to the lowest 
possible point ; Raja Simha, the wor- 
shipper of Siva, had persecuted his 
Buddhist subjects. Repeated importations 
of foreign monks had been unable to check 
the decay of Singhalese Buddhism ; the 
people had grown utterly indifferent to 
religious questions. Within the Portu- 
guese districts members of the lower castes 
could exist only by keeping on good terms 
with their masters, and consequently the 
people came over to the Catholic Church 
in numbers. 

High-sounding Portuguese names are 
still to be found among the modern 
Singhalese, the descendants of converts 
who adopted the family names of their 


masters upon their change of faith. 
The Portuguese exemplified their own 
interpretation of Christianity by practising 
inhuman extortion upon every subject 
within their domains. In this manner 
they sought to indemnify themselves for 
the comparatively small profits accruing 
from their trade. The cultivation of the 
most valuable product of the island, 
cinnamon, was retarded by the bitter 
hatred of the foreigners, and confined to 
narrow districts in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of the fortified settlements of 
Colombo and Galle. Spices " were col- 
lected sword in hand and exported under 
the guns of the fortresses." Trade rapidly 
decreased, and the receipts failed to 
balance the expenditure of the Portuguese 
during 150 years of unbroken war. The 
decay of Portuguese trade in Ceylon 
was but one of the many 
ecay o phenomena apparent upon the 


decline of Portugal, which was 
absorbed by the Spanish mon- 
archy in 1580. The spirit of enter- 
prise which had inspired the country 
during the fifteenth century and at 
the outset of the sixteenth had faded ; 
its power was wasted by constant 
wars in deadly climates, the people 
were impoverished, and the oppression 
of the Inquisition lay upon all minds. 


Portugal's career as a colonial Power 
was at an end. Her place in Ceylon was 
taken by the Dutch, who had now 
all but achieved their deliverance from 

In 1602 J oris van Spilbergen landed in 
the island with two ships to conclude an 
alliance with the angry Singhalese king 
against the Portuguese ; the king sent two 
ambassadors " into their beautiful land," 
and persuaded the people to come to 
Ceylon with many ships. In the mean- 
while, the two Powers concluded a con- 
vention in 1609 for the expulsion of the 
Portuguese from the island, though 
neither the feeble king Vimila 

r/outlT I^liamma Surya I. (1592-1620) 

nor the Dutch felt themselves 
strong enough for immediate 
action. The war was not prosecuted with 
any energy until the time of Raja Simha 
II. ; the Dutch then captured one Portu- 
guese fortress after another. Ultimately, 
in 1658, after an armistice of ten years, 
Colombo and Jafna fell, and the Portu- 
guese were definitely ousted by the Dutch. 

The new nationality conducted their 
policy in a wholly different spirit. They 
were primarily merchants, and their chief 
object was to avoid any possible dis- 
turbance to their trade. They had ori- 
ginally agreed to send an embassy to the 
king at Kandy every year. The king 
treated these with contempt and scorn ; 
on different occasions the ambassadors 

^i w» X I were beaten, imprisoned, and 

The Dutch , ' J .1 . 

p . even put to death, outrages 

^ p^ which the Dutch patiently bore. 
On one occasion only, during the 
reign of Kirti Sri Raja Simha, did they 
attempt a punitive expedition with Malay 
soldiers ; Kandy was captured, and the 
king was forced to flee, taking with him 
the tooth of Buddha. Sickness and famine, 
however, broke out among the troops, 
and their line of retreat was cut off ; 
many soldiers succumbed to the attacks 
of the mountaineers, while others were 
scattered and lost their way in the in- 
hospitable forests. 

Raja Simha II. was succeeded by a 
number of weak rulers who favoured the 


Inset in top of the picture is a portrait of the Dutch general, Gerard Hulst, who is described as the " First Coun- 
seller, and Director Generall of ye Indies, Comander in Chief of all the Sea and Land Forces sent to Ceylon, and 
the Coast of the Indies." The united arms of the Singhalese and the Dutch expelled the Portuguese from the island. 



In the reign of Raja Simha, a usurper had himself proclaimed King; Raja Simha enticed 
him to his court, had him buried to the elbows and killed by his attendants, who threw 
wooden balls at his victim. Our illustration is from an old engraving in an early history. 

monks, though they were unable to im- 
prove the position of the order. Sri Wira 
Parakkama Narinda, from 1701 to 1734, 
built the Dalada Maligawa, a temple yet in 
existence, to enshrine the sacred tooth, 
and decoiated its outer walls with thirty- 
two histories of the birth of Buddha ; but 
under his successor, Vijaya Raja Simha, 
from 1734 to 1747, the monks had entirely 
disappeared. The doctrine itself had de- 
generated into a mix- 
ture of Hinduism, devil 
worship, and Buddhist 
conventionalities. The 
connection of the 
island with Southern 
India — a large number 
of the rulers of Kandy 
m a r r i e d princesses 
from Madura — had 
enabled the Brahman 
gods to gain the pre- 
eminence in Ceylon ; 
their images were 
carried in procession 
in company with the 
statues of Buddha, 
and when a king built 
a Buddhist shrine he 
erected with it a tem- 
ple dedicated to Siva 
or Vishnu. It was not 
until the time of 
Kirti Sri Raja Simha, 

from 1747 to 1780, that 
Buddhism was purified 
of its hollow formali- 
ties and revived ; two 
embassies brought over 
each a chapter of ten 
monks, the first imder 
the high-priest Upali, 
from Siam. The reli- 
gious toleration of the 
Dutch and the Eng- 
lish has since enabled 
F^uddhism to extend its 
area and regain some 
of its power in Ceylon, 
though at the same 
time the doctrine has 
been largely modified 
l>y the worshij; of 
Brahman gods and 
Dravidian demons. 

The Dutch at first 

derived great protit 

from their trade in the 

products of Ceylon. 

The cinnamon plantations captured from 

the Portuguese were not increased ; but 

the careful cultivation of the plants raised 

the value of the bark to an unprecedented 

height, and high prices were maintained 

by a strict monopoly. These measures, 

however, eventually led to the decay of 

the trade. The high prices attracted the 

rivalry of other plantations upon other 

islands. An army of subordinate officials 

An incident in the struggle for supremacy in Ceylon before lt)')S when the Dutch finally 
expelled the Portuguese, against whom they had allied themselves with the Singhalese. 


The British assumed complete sovereignty of Ceylon in 1815, when they deported Wikrama Raja Singha, King- 
of Kandy, whose excesses had culminated in the massacre of some native merchants who were British subjects. 

swallowed up a large proportion of the 
profit, and dishonesty was increased by 
the scanty salaries paid. The cinnamon 
trade, which originally brought such 
high profits, at length scarcely succeeded 
in paying its expenses. 

The trade of Ceylon suffered from the 
decline of Holland as a sea-power. The 
capture of the Portuguese possessions 

marks the zenith of Dutch influence, 
and Dutch trade was at that time five times 
greater than that of England. While, 
however, the struggle for Colombo and 
Jafna was in progress, England dealt 
a deadly stroke at her rival ; in 1651-60 
the Navigation Acts were passed, which 
prevented foreign ships from carrying goods 
between England and her colonies. In 



the year 1792 the proportion of trade in 
the hands of these rivals was as two to five. 
When Holland became a virtual dependency 
of the French Republic during the Euro- 
pean wars at the close of the eighteenth 
century, Great Britain took from the 
Dutch not only their trading fleet, 

savage excesses of the monarch, Wikrama 
Raja Singha of Kandy, culminated in 
the massacre of some native merchants 
who were British subjects ; with the 
inevitable result. The king was easily 
captured and deported to Madras, and 
in March, 18 15, the chiefs by formal 
treaty accepted the British supre- 

Since that date Ceylon has had 
" no history." The island is ruled 
as a British Crown Colony, and its 
notable events have been mainly 
of commercial interest. The first 
was the successful development of 
the country as a great coffee 
producer ; the second was the 
destruction of the coffee plantation 
by a fungus which all efforts failed 

H. C. White Co. ^ 


which was valued at 850,000,000, 
but also all their colonies at the 
Cape, in Malacca, in Cochin, in 
the Moluccas, etc. The occupation 
of Ceylon was not a difficult task. 

The British Governor of Madras 
sent an expedition which promptly 
captured Trincomali, a position of 
considerable naval importance. 
The capitulation of Colombo, the 
Dutch capital, which surrendered 
without striking a blow, effectively 
substituted British for Dutch throughout 
the island — which, unlike - many other 
British conquests of the time, was not 
restored at the Peace of Amiens in 
1802, when, on the contrary, it was 
formally annexed to the British Crown. 
For the time, the native rulers in the 
mterior were not dispossessed. But the 


Underwood iV Underwood. London 


to eradicate, about 1870, followed by the 
development of tea-growing, which has 
proved a not inefficient substitute. For 
the rest, the rule of Ceylon has 
followed the lines of other British 
Crown Colonies where a large dark-skinned 
population is governed by a handful 
of British. Emil Schmidt 





pURTHER INDIA, otherwise known as 

*■ Indo-China, forms the most easterly 

of the three great projections southward 

from Asia. Equal in area to the south of 

Nearer India — 830,586 square miles — it 

is bounded by China on the north, by 

India on the north-west ; the western 

boundary in all its length is formed by the 

east coast of the Sea of Bengal, its southern 

boundary is the sea between the mainland 

and the islands of Java and Borneo, 

while the China Sea washes its eastern 

shores. The course of its civilisation has 

been inspired by impulses derived not 

from over seas, but from the two civilised 

countries of India and China. 

The superficial configuration of Further 

India is controlled by parallel mountain 

ranges running for the most part from 

north to south, which, beginning in the 

mountain country between Eastern Tibet 

and Yunnan, Kwangsi and Kwangtung, 

the southern provinces of China, to the 

north of the twenty-fifth degree of latitude, 

., , . diverge southward. At the 
Mountains j. r j.i, j. • 

- , roots 01 these mountams, m 

p . J gorges often 3,000 feet deep, run 

those four mighty rivers which 

rise in Tibet, afterward diverging fan-wise 

to hurry on to the different seas. From its 

passage through the mountains eastward 

the Yangtse Kiang naturally forms the 

most important line of communication in 

the Celestial Empire. The Brahmaputra 

turns back westward through the broad 

valley of Assam to the Ganges delta. 

Only the Sal wen and Mekong, running 

southward, can be said properly to belong 

to the peninsula of Indo-China. Between 
these rivers flow parallel streams, the 
sources of which begin at a point some- 
what to the south of the spot where the 
main streams pass the gorges ; of these 
the most westward is the Irawaddi, 
which rises in the mountain land to the 
east of Assam. The greater part of its 
course is navigable ; with its tributaries 
it facilitates communication with Yunnan, 
passing through the fruitful plains of 
Chittagong and Arakan, and forming 
one of the greatest deltas in the world 
at its mouth in the Gulf of Pegu. 

From this river the Sal wen, eastward, is 
divided by no greater obstacle than a 
low-lying range of hills running north and 
_,. ^ ^ south, which eventually turns 

„. - it away from the narrow coast 

Rivers of j- . • i ^ t- i 

I d Ch' district ot lennassenm and 

directs its course to Central 
Further India. Between the Salwen and 
the ]\Iekong flows the Menam, the main 
river of Siam, the whole couise of which 
falls within Indo-China, since its sources 
do not extend beyond the twentieth 
degree of latitude north. Beyond is the 
Mekong, rising in Tibet, the delta of 
which extends eastward into the China 
Sea. All these streams have fruitful deltas, 
and plains upon their banks, but naviga- 
tion on any large scale is excluded by the 
rapids and shallows immediately above 
their mouths. The mountain chain run- 
ning from north to south forms a sharp 
line of demarcation to the east of the 
Mekong between Central and Eastern 
Further India, Cochin-China, Annam, and 



Tonquin. The Songka, or Red River, is 
the only stream flowing northward in 
Tonquin, a district generally narrow which 
forms the eastern third of Indo-China ; 
it is, however, more navigable than the 
central rivers, and forms the most con- 
venient route of access to Yunnan and 
its mineral wealth. The climate is that 
of a tropical Asiatic district 

ysica under the monsoons. In the 
Id Ch' alluvial plains of the valleys 
and deltas all natural growths 
flourish with inexhaustible fertility, and 
from an early age these have been the 
points of departure for Indo-Chinese 
civilisation. The highlands further to 
the north are less richly dowered by 
Nature, and have retained for thousands 
of years their influence upon tribal 
formation. Here from a remote antiquity 
was the home of powerful half-barbaric 
tibes who were driven out by upheavals 
a nong the restless nomadic hordes of 
Central Asia or attracted by the riches 
of the southern lowlands, which they 
repeatedly invaded, bringing infusions of 
new blood and valuable material for the 
work of civilisation. 

Hence even at the present day racial 
stocks displaying anthropological and 
ethnological differences can be plainly 
recognised. As direct descendants of the 
earliest inhabitants we have three races 
belonging to different anthropological 
groups — the Nigritic, Malay, and Indo- 
nesian types. The Nigritic people, who 
are related to the inhabitants of the 
Andaman Islands, and to the Aetas of 
the Philippines, are now known as Sakai 
and Semangs, and inhabit small districts 
within the peninsula of Malacca. The 
Malays are identical with the inhabitants 
of the islands, to which they were expelled 
at a comparatively late period. Tribes 
which have maintained their purity of 
blood also occup}' certain districts in the 
Malay peninsula ; while others, mixed 
_ with later invaders, occupy 

extensive tracts in the lowlands 
of Siam and Annam ; their 
original settlements seem to 
have been the lowlands of Indo-China. 
On the other hand, the highlands were 
inhabited by Indonesians, whose nearest 
relations are now to be found in the 
Indonesian Archipelago, in the Philippines, 
P>orneo, Sumatra, etc. The modern 
representatives of the Indonesian race 
within Indo-China are the Nagas on the 



frontier between Assam and Burma ; the 
Selongs, in the Mergui archipelago ; the 
Moi — half-wild tribes between the Mekong 
and the coast of Assam and between 
Yunnan and Cochin-China ; the Kui, in 
South-eastern Siam and North-western 
Cambodia ; and the Mons or Takings 
in the deltas of the Burmese rivers, 
formerly distributed throughout Lower 

The highlands, which extend further 
northward from Eastern Tibet to the 
southern provinces of China, were in 
antiquity inhaVjited by a powerful race 
closely allied to the Indonesians, who 
may be generally comprehended in the 
tribal families of the Thai. From this 
point repeated invasions took place into 
the lowlands at a later period: About 
1250 this people was settled in the prin- 
cipality of Xieng-'Mai. Under Rama 
Khomheng in 1283 the more southerly 
kingdom of Sukhodaya is mentioned in 
inscriptions. Driven westward b}' the 
resistance of the Brahman kings of 
Cambodia, the Thai are found in posses- 
sion of the lower Menam about 1350. 
The descendants of these immi- 
.''p^ '"^^ grants after fusion with the 
J . former inhabitants of the dis- 

trict form the chief element in 
the population of those states of Further 
India which reached any high degree of 

It is impossible to decide whether the 
Cham are an early branch of the Thai or 
whether they originated from the Indo- 
nesians ; they found the Malays settled in 
the lowlands and borrowed their language, 
which is closely related to the different 
Malay dialects of the present day ; at 
the same time their physical characteristics 
display marked divergences from the 
Malay type and approach more nearly to 
the Indonesian. The first glimmer of 
historical information shows them as the 
settled people of a kingdom which em- 
braced South Tonquin, Annam, and a 
great part of Central Further India. A 
second wave of migration advancing 
within our era brought the Khmers into 
the fruitful land ; here they, too, mixed 
with the population in possession, the 
Malays, and Indonesians— hence the wavy 
hair of the Kui — and raised their State 
of Cambodia to high prosperity at the 
expense of the Champa kingdom. By 
later invasions of the Thai their district 
was reduced to its present limits, the 


smaller State of Cambodia and Southern 

From this cradle of nations new races 
advanced east and south and expelled the 
Moi, the Malays, and Klimers from their 
settlements : these were the Annamese. 
At the present day they are settled from 
the delta of Tonquin to Southern Cochin- 
China, and have been strongly modified 
by infusions of Chinese blood, while their 
civilisation is almost entirely Chinese. 
Probably the same wave brought a second 
stream of the Thai forward about the same 
date, the Lao race in the mountains of 
what is now North Siam, and a third tribe, 
the Burmese, who are linguistically related 
to the Tibetans ; these tribes advanced 
from the mountain land at the east of 
Tibet to the lower courses of the Irawaddi, 
where they settled, driving to the coast 
the Mons, who show linguistic affinities 
with the Annamese. About looo a.d. 
they were followed by the Shan, now 
settled in the mountain districts of Upper 
Burma, who still call themselves Thai, or 
Free, and further to the east by the 
Siamese, who overthrew the supremacy 
of the former Khmer immi- 

igra ions gj-g^^^^g ^^ Cambodia and formed 

Conflicts ^ highly prosperous kingdom 
oi their own. Ihe physical 
characteristics of all these tribes show 
that they are not free from fusion with 
other races. 

The prehistoric period of Further India 
is shrouded in darkness, though a few 
vague and general indications may be 
derived from the sciences of comparative 
philology and anthropology. These indi- 
cations alike point to early racial com- 
mixture and fusion. From a philological 
point of view, several primordial groups 
stand out in isolation. The dialects of 
the dark inhabitants of the peninsula at 
the present day are as yet but httle known ; 
but the special characteristics of the Malay 
' group of languages show that this branch 
diverged from the original stem in a 
remote antiquity. The remaining dialects 
of the people of Further India belong to 
the isolating family of languages, and 
point to the existence at an extremely 
early age of two distinct tribes, which may 
be designated as Tibeto-Burmese and Thai- 
Chinese, according to their modern 

We have no means of deciding where 
the first ancestors of these groups may 
have dwelt. We can venture to assert 


only that the separation of these primitive 
peoples, with whom we are concerned in 
the history of Further India, took place 
in the north. During the later history of 
Indo-China, the Thai preserved their racial 
purity, as they do at the present day in 
the mountainous frontier between Further 
India and China. Philological evidence 
points to the fact that an early 
bifurcation of the Thai formed 

of the 

the tribes of Mon-Annam, which 
were driven into their present 
remote habitations by the invasions in 
later centuries of the Thai. They were 
then known as Mons and Annamites. 
The Cham also broke away from the Thai 
at an early period, and were strongly 
influenced by the Malay population, with 
whom they came into contact, both in 
respect of language and physical structure. 
Within recent and historical times they 
were followed by the Khmers, the Laos, 
Shans, and Siamese. 

Upon the dates and the history of these 
ancient racial movements we have no 
information whatever. Chinese histories 
refer, indeed, to an embassy sent from 
Indo-China, probably from Tonquin, in 
the year mo B.C. to the Imperial Chinese 
court of the Chau. In 214 B.C. and 
109 A.D. .Chinese generals founded dynas- 
ties of their own in Tonquin. Upon the 
general history of those ages we have no 
other information. The wild imagination 
of the natives has so transformed their 
legends that though these go back to the 
creation of the world, the}' gi\'e us no 
historical material of any value whatever. 
It is not until the first centuries of our 
era that the general darkness is somewhat 
relieved. On the north frontier and in 
the east we find a restless movement and 
a process of struggle, with varying success, 
between the Chinese and the native races ; 
while in the south and west Hindu civilisa- 
tion is everywhere victorious. The most 
important source of our knowledge upon 
. the affairs of Further India in 

ig on those ages is Ptolemy's descrip- 
I Y ^Ch* ^^^^ °^ ^^^ world, dating from 
the first half of the second 
century a.d. The larger part of the 
south was occupied by the Champa 
kingdom of the Chams, with its cap)ital at 
Champa}:)ura. To the east and north-east 
were settled the Khmers, who, according 
to an ancient tradition of Cambodia, had 
advanced southwards from their northern 
settlements and come into connection 



with the Chains. Ptolemy, however, also 
informs us that at his time the coast-line 
of Further India was inhabited throughout 
its length by the Sindoi or Hindus. As 
their importance in Indo-China was at 
that time great enough for the Alexandrine 
geographer to describe them as a race of 
wide distribution, the advance of Hindu 
civilisation must have taken 

Brahmanism i i. i ^ < ■ 

. ^. place at least some centuries 

in the ^ 


previously. The introduction 
of Brahman civilisation was a 
victory for merely a few representa- 
tives of a higher culture. The physical 
characteristics of the population of Further 
India were but little influenced by this new 
infusion. The movement can hardly have 
begun before the period at which the 
Brahmans colonised Orissa. From this 
point Brahmanism apparently made its 
way to Indo-China by sea. On the one 
hand, the Brahmans did not advance along 
the land route, long hidden and leading 
through the Ganges delta and Assam, until 
the second half of the present millennium, 
at which time Brahmanism had long since 
fallen into decay in Indo-China. On the 
other hand, a proof of the fact that the 
colonisation was of transmarine origin is 
the predominance of Hinduism u])on the 
coast. The movement to Indo-China 
cannot have started from Southern India 
for the reason that at that period Brahman- 
ism had taken but little hold on the south. 
and the transmission of their civilisation 
from those shores is therefore extremely 
improbable. It was not until a much later 
period that communication between the 
two countries began, the results of which 
are apparent in the Dravidian influence^ 
visible in the later temple buildings oi 
Indo-China. Further evidence for the 
northern origin of Indo-Chinese Brahman- 
ism is found in the names of the more 
important towns of early Indonesia, which 
are almost entirely borrowed from the 
Sanscrit names of the towns in the Ganges 

_ .. district, and also from the 

iLvidences ■, r ,i y , , 

- „ . desire of the Indonesian rulers 

of Brahman , , ,, • • ^ ii 

. „ to retrace their origin to the 

Influenae ^i • i i 

mythical sun and moon 

dynasties of Madhya-desa. The maritime 
route led straight to Burma, but 
Indian civilisation at the moment 
found that district less favourable to 
its development than that of the great 
and more hospitable Champa kingdom in 
the central south. The Gulf of Ligor and 
the coast and banks of the great rivers of 


Cambodia seem to have been the central 
points of Brahman influence. This influ- 
ence was less important in the eastern part 
of the peninsula of Further India, which 
was both further from the Brahman 
starting-point, and more subject to Chinese 
civilisation. From Upper Burma to 
Cochin-China countless temple ruins are to 
be found at the present day, with rich 
ornamental sculptures and Sanscrit inscrip- 
tions, bearing evidence of the force of 
Brahman influence in earlier ages. 

Every year important discoveries are 
made, especially in those districts which 
the French hav^e opened up. Most of the 
traditional names of the kings of Cambodia 
are to be read in inscriptions in their 
Sanscrit form from the third century a.d. 
to 1 108. At a later period within this 
district Sanscrit writing gave way to the 
native Khmer script. Inscribed memorials, 
carvings, and building general^, make it 
clear that Siva and his son, Ganesa, the 
god with the elephant head, were the most 
widely distributed of the Brahman gods. 
The images and symbols of these gods are 
far more numerous than those of the other 
_ figures of Hindu mythology. 

- „ At the same time Vishnu was 

I .. highly venerated. The most 

important and beautiful Brah- 
man temples of Further India are dedi- 
cated to this god, instances being the 
temples of Angkor Thom and of Angkor 
Wat, built, as we learn from the evidence 
of the inscriptions, in 825. 

At the time when the early exponents 
of Brahmanism advanced to China, Budd- 
hism had also taken root in their native 
land, being then considered merely a 
special variant of the belief in the old 
gods. Hence, with the transmission of 
Brahmanism, the seeds of Buddhism were 
undoubtedly sown in Indo-China. As 
Buddha himself was received into the cult 
of Vishnu as being the incarnation of this 
god, so, during the flourishing period of 
Brahmanism in Champa and Cambodia, 
his images were erected and worshipped 
within the temples dedicated to Siva or 

Buddhism advanced to Indo-China by 
two routes. The first of these led straight 
from India and Ceylon to the opposite 
coast. According to the tradition, Buddha- 
ghosha, in the fifth century a.d., after 
making his translation of the sacred scrip- 
tures into Pali, introduced the doctrine of 
Buddha into the country, starting from 


the island of Ceylon. Resemblances be- 
tween the script of Cambodia and the Pali 
of Ceylon testify to the contact of the 
civilisation and religion of these two 
countries. Subsequently, however, the 
northern or Sanscrit developments of 
Buddhism had advanced to Further India 
by way of Central and Eastern Asia. 

The doctrine in this form was first trans- 
mitted to the vigorous and half-barbaric 
tribes of the mountainous highlands, who 
seem to have accepted it readily. At any 
rate, the Thai races — Laos, Shans, and 
Siamese — who migrated southward at a 
later period, were undoubtedly zealous 
Buddhists. Their advance about the end 
of the first and second centuries a.d. 
implies a definite retrogression on the part 
of Brahmanism in Indo-China. The 
Brahman gods decay, and the temples sink 
into ruins. Upon their sites arise build- 
ings which, in their poverty of decoration 
and artistic conception, correspond to the 
humility of Buddhist theo- 
ecay o ^ ^ j^ ^^^ metaphysics. In 

„ ,. ... Cambodia alone did Brah- 
Further India ■ , ■ ■, 

manism maintain its position 

for a time, as is evidenced by buildings and 

inscriptions from the sixth to the thirteenth 

centuries. About the year 700 the northern 

type of Buddhism made an unobtrusive 

entrance, and King Jayawarman V., who 

Increases its 

reigned from 968 to 1002 undertook reforms 
on its behalf. But it was not until 1205 
that the schools fell into the hands of the 
Buddhists, and Buddhism did not become 
the State religion in Cambodia before 1320. 
At that date, the Southern, or 
Pali, Buddhism had also found 
adherents in the country. 
Brahmanism, however, had 
been very deeply rooted, as is proved by 
the numerous Sanscrit words borrowed 
by the modern languages of Further 
India, and also by many special practices 
which have persisted to the present day. 
Vishnu, Siva, and Ganesa, though no 
longer worshipped as gods, were honoured 
as heroes, and their images in bronze and 
stone decorated the temples side by side 
with the images of Buddha, as, for instance, 
in the temple of Wat Bot Phram at 
Bangkok. Vishnu remains one of the 
heraldic devices on the royal banner of 
Siam, and the kings of this empire show 
special favour to the Brahmans in their 
districts who cling to the old beliefs. 
They alone are allowed to prepare the 
hoty water, and play a predominant 
part in many palace ceremonies. The 
aristocracy of Cambodia still lays claim to 
certain privileges whicn remind us of 
those possessed by the Kshatriyas, or 
Rajputs, in the Brahman caste system. 


The Irawaddi is the main highway of commerce in Burma, and its many-mouthed delta makes a prolific rice field. 


This picture can but imperfectly convey an idea of the splendour of the magnificent edifice, which, for the light elegance 
of its contour, and the happy combination of its several parts, maybe fairly said to challenge for beauty any other of 
its class in India. The building is composed entirely of teak-wood, and the most unwearied pains have not been 
spared upon the profusion of rich carved work which ornaments it. The whole is one mass of the richest gilding, with 
the exception of the three roofs, which are silvered. The carved work is so highly executed as to resemble alto-rilievo. 




r7 R O M the times when, thanks to 
^ Ptolemy, a more definite hght is 
thrown upon the affairs of Further India 
the general history of Indo-China appears 
characterised by a tripartite division cor- 
responding to the three main geographical 
districts of the peninsula ; we have to- 
day the western district, facing the Indian 
Ocean, the central district, watered by the 
rivers of the Salwen, Menam, and Mekong, 
and the eastern district, most easily 
accessible from China and facing the 
Chinese Sea. 

The earliest sources of Burmese history 
are of Chinese origin. From the Chinese 
annals we hear of struggles with the 
inhabitants of the north-west of Further 
India during the first century B.C. In 
these struggles the old capital of Tagong 
ceased to exist, and further Chinese incur- 
sions took place between i66 and 241 a.d. 

„ The earlier history of the 

Burma , , 1 i „ 

_ - country rests solely upon 

Q „ vague tradition. These tradi- 
tions enable us dimly to 
observe the persistence of an incessant 
struggle between petty kingdoms which 
rise to power and again disappear. 

From this constant change a number of 
larger and more tenacious bodies politic 
originate. Such is the state of Arakan on 
the northern coast, which was colonised 
from Burma, but strong^ influenced by 
India by reason of its neighbourhood to 
that country. Under its king, Gaw-Laya, 
it held the predominance over Bengal, 
Pagan, Pegu, and Siam about T13S, and 
about 1450 it advanced from Sandoweh, 
beyond its central point of Akyab, to 
Chittagong. On the south we have the 
state of Malaya Desa, so called after the 
principal tribe, and — more important than 
either of the foregoing — the two states of 
Burma and Pegu. The history of these 
latter is the history of an incessant struggle 
between two races — the Burmese, who 

advanced from the north, and the native 

The earliest mythology of the Burmese 
speaks of Prome in the fifth century a.d. 
as the capital of a primordial kingdom. 
At a later period certain rebels emigrated 
from Prome and founded Pagan, which 
became the central point of a new kingdom, 
Th E 1 ^"*^ flourished from the seventh 

e ar y ^^ ^-^^^ ninth centuries. About 
Burmese ^ ., rr ■ .^ 

jj . lODO it was sufhciently power- 
ful to conquer, under the 
leadership of Anuruddha, or Anorat azo, 
the Talaing kingdom of Sadon, but was 
destroyed about 1300 by the dynasty o! 
Panja. The period during which Tagong 
was the capital of the old Burmese king- 
dom coincides with the distribution of 
Indian civilisation by the Brah:nans. 
According to Brahman legends, Tagong 
on the Irawaddi was founded by King 
Abhiraja about 500 years before our era. 
At any rate, the rulers of Tagong were 
entirely subject to the influence of foreign 
civilisation. Tradition has preserved long 
lists of names belonging to different 
dynasties, in which there is an attempt to 
establish an original connection with th'- 
royal families of early India. Individual 
members of these lists are still celebrated as 
mighty heroes in Burmese popular songs. 

The scanty substratum of historical 
truth that can first be derived from the 
native legends displays the first thousand 

-,.. years of our era as an age of 

Chinese "^ ,, . j / 

. restless movement, and ol 

. agression j-^j-^^gg.jgg fought out between 

the individual states, and also 
against the Singhalese, and in particular 
the Chinese, who attempted to reduce 
Burma under their supremacy when they 
were not themselves occupied by internal 
disturbances. At a later period Chinese 
incursions were repeated, and as late as 
1284 fierce battles against these powerful 
neighbours took place. It was not until 



1305 that the Burmese ruler Minti 
succeeded in shaking off the dominion of 
China, until the time of Shan supremacy in 
that country. The darkness in which the 
details of Burmese history are veiled 
begins to disperse in the second half of 
the fourteenth century. The character of 
the development, however, remains un- 
changed ; bloody wars between the two 
chief races, the Burmese and the Mons, 
brave and cruel rulers alternating with 

During the viceroyalty of Lord Dalhousie the British took Rangoon on 
April H, 1852, after a blockade and- assault by Commodore Lambert. 

weakhngs, and a general state of upheaval 
which affected the little states of the 
west, and even the kingdom of Central 

In the year 1364, King Satomenchin, 
lord of the land of Sagoin and Panja, 
founded the Burmese capital of Ava, 
the classical Ratnapura, which for a long 
time was to be the central point of the 
history of the country. His successor, 
Mengyitsauke, increased his kingdom by 


the conquest of Prome. He and the 
following kings defeated both the Ara- 
kanese in 1413 and later, and the Chinese in 
1424, 1449, and 1477. The centre of power 
then shifted from Ava to Pegu, the ruler of 
which, Mentara, after subduing Burma and 
Arakan in 1540, then stormed Ayuthia, 
the capital of Siam, in spite of a most 
vigorous defence, and thus became para- 
mount over the great kingdom in Central 
Indo-China in 1544. The Siamese repeat- 
edly revolted, although their 
efforts were forcibly suppressed, 
and soon succeeded in freeing 
themselves from the supremacy 
of the Pegu king, Burankri 
Naunchan, who reigned from 
1551 to 1581. Burma remained 
dejiendent upon Pegu for a 
longer period. Attempts to 
sh'ike off the foreign yoke 
failed in 1585 ; Ava became a 
provincial town, and was 
reduced to ruin by neglect. 

At the outset of the seven- 
teenth century the forces of 
Pegu were expelled by Nyaung 
Mendarah ; Ava was restored 
as the capital of Burma in 
i()0i. while Pegu and the 
northern Shan states in the 
neighbourhood were sub- 
jugated. In 1636, however, 
Pegu freed itself from Ava, 
which its rulers then subdued, 
and Ava became the capital 
of the two united states. The 
balance of fortune and power 
continued to oscillate between 
these states. In the second half 
of the seventeenth century 
Pegu was predominant ; the 
turn of Burma came at the 
outset of the eighteenth 
century. However, between 
1740 and 1752 Burma suffered 
several severe defeats, and 
again becam.e subject to Pegu. 
When Burma finally threw off the yoke 
of Pegu in 1753, the last section of her 
history as an independent state begins.' 

Europeans had set foot upon the soil 
of Indo-China several centuries previously ; 
Malacca had been conquered by Albu- 
querque in 151 1, and had become a strong- 
hold of Portuguese influence in the Malay 
Archipelago ; trading stations had also 
been founded on the north and west coasts 
of Further India, but the development 


of these was hindered by the continual 
struggles between Pegu and Burma. 
Upon occasion Portuguese knights and 
soldiers fought on one or the other side. 
Adventurers, both Portuguese and Spanish, 
gained a temporary reputation at the cost 
of a miserable end. However, European 
relations with Further India went no 

further than this. At a later period the 
English and the Dutch also founded settle- 
ments on the Burmese coast, but were 
collectively expelled in consequence of 
their tactless behaviour to the Burmese 
officials. It was not until the middle of 
the eighteenth century that the English, 
in return for the help which they gave to 

Amarapura, literally "the city of the gods," a few miles from Mandalay, was the capital of Burma before laou. 



The well-meaning but incompetent ruler of Burma, who, 
in 1857, changed the capital from Amarapura to Mandalay. 

Alompra, the Burmese liberator, obtained 
permission to found a factory on the 
island of Negrais, at the mouth of the 
Bassein River, which carried on a con- 
siderable trade until October, 175Q. 

In 1740 Burma was overrun b\- Beiny^a- 
Della of Pegu, and the royal family was 
utterly exterminated. In 1753, however, 
Alompra collected a number of adherents 
in the village of INIozzobo. In a parable 
apparently emanating from Buddhaghosha 
we read the following contemptuous 
statement : " Of the twenty-one castes, 
nineteen can be released from their sins 
by good works ; but the huntsmen and 
fishers, though they visit the pagoda, 
hear the law, and keep the five command- 
ments until the end of their lives, can never 
be released from, their sins." 
Alompra drove out the Governor 




of Pegu and the brother of its 
king, Aporaza. who appeared 
in 1754 before Ava with a fleet. In 1755 
he advanced upon Pegu and gained 
possession of the hostile capital in 1757. 
In memory of the victory of Synyangong 
on April ?i, 1755, Rangoon was founded, 
a town which rapidly rose to great 
commercial importance by reason of 
its favourable geographical situation. 



of Burmese 


Pegu, which had struggled for so many 
centuries with Burma for predominance, 
ceased to exist in 1757. From that date 
Burma, which, by the occupation of 
Mergui and Tenasserim, even encroached 
upon Siam, was indisputably the first 
power in the west of the peninsula of 
Further India. After the death of 
Alompra, May 15th, 1760, his 
successor, Namdoji Prau, was 
confronted with the task of 
quelling revolts, repelling the 
attacks of the Chinese, who declined to 
tolerate the growth of this new Power on 
their southern frontier, and incorporating 
those petty states of Western Indo-China 
which had retained their independence. 
Shembaun (1763-66), the second successor 
of Alompra, successfully defended his 
empire against the Chinese, almost destroy- 
ing their army under General Chien Lang 
before Ava ; in 1771 he temporarily con- 
quered Siam and subdued Assam, which 
had hitherto maintained its independ- 
ence both against India and Indo-China. 
Alompra's third son. the sixth king of the 
dynasty of 1757, Bhodau Phra, meaning 
royal grandfather, a brave ruler, though 
cruel and capricious, founded Amarapura 
as a new capital in 1783, and obliged 

The King of Burma receiving the leaders of the Mission 
from the Governor-General of India at Amarapura in 1855. 



all the inhabitants of Ava to emigrate 

He suppressed revolts in Pegu with 
bloodthirsty severity, most cruelly perse- 
cuted the Buddhist doctrine, and, in 
1874, incorporated Arakan, which he had 
captured by treachery, with his kingdom. 
Thus upon his death, in 1819, Burma had 
reached the zenith of its greatness and 
T Ki power. Phagyi-dau, the grand- 
'°^ ^ son and successor of Bhodau 
Phra, returned to residence in 
the capital of Ava. He inherited 
the capricious and irresponsible character 
of his father without any of his high talent. 
His exaggerated estimate of his own powers 
led to the first war with England from 
1824 to 1826. By the peace of Yandabo, 
February 24th, 1826, Burma was deprived 
of most of its power, compelled to pay an 
indemnity of 85,000,000, to conclude a 
com.mercial treaty, and to receive a British 
Resident, and was confined to the basin of 
the Irawaddy ; its possessions now hardly 
extending beyond the delta of that river, 
including Rangoon. However, the rulers 
of the country had been taught nothing 
by the severe punishment which they had 
received. In 1837 Phagyi-dau, having 
become totally insane, was deposed and 

II. C. Wliitc Cu 

The turtle is held in great veneration by the Burmese. 


The city of Mandalay was from 1860 to 1885 the capital 
of the Burmese kingdom and the residence of the king. 


placed in confinement. His successor, 
Tharawadi, who was no less autocratic 
and short-sighted, declined to recognise 
the convention of Yandabo. The English 
missionaries were so badly treated that 
they were forced to evacuate the country, 
ancf the British Resident was withdrawn 
in 1840 in consequence of the insolent 
treatment which he had experienced. 

In 1845 Tharawadi also went mad, and 
was deposed by his son Pagan Meng ; 
hostilities, however, still continued. 
British captains were insulted and pay- 
ment of the indemnities demanded was 
refused. Burma was wilfully provok- 
ing a new war with England. The war 
came in 1852. In rapid succession, though 

. at a price of considerable loss, 

_,'"***, the British troops captured 

g Martaban on April 5, Rangoon, 

Bas.sein, Prome, and finally Pegu 
on November 21. On December 20, Lord 
Dalhousie proclaimed a new frontier line, 
declaring Lower Burma, or Pegu, British 
territory. This was a fatal l^lov/ to 
Burmese independence, as the country 
was cut off from the coast and from 
communications by sea, and deprived of 
its most fruitful rice territory. This peace, 



so favourable to England, placed her in 
complete possession of what had been the 
east coast of Burma on the Sea of Bengal. 
The rest of he native kingdom v^^as placed 
in a position of entire dependency upon 
B "itish India, the maintenance of good 
relations with England being thus indis- 
pensable. This, however, was a condition 
impossible of fulfilment by the Burmese 

Pagan Meng was deposed in 1853 and 
succeeded by Meng dan Meng, a well- 
meaning ruler, benevolent to his subjects : 
he was, however, wholly unable to grasp 
the situation, as is obvious from the fact 
that eighteen months 
after the incorpora- 
tion of Pegu he sent 
an embassy to Cal- 
cutta requesting the 
restoration of the 
territory taken from 
the kingdom. For 
a long time he 
declined to sign the 
convention confirm- 
ing the loss of Pegu. 
At the same time, 
under this king, who 
removed his capital 
from Amarapura to 
Mandalay in 1857, 
highly piofitable rela- 
tions were begun 
between Burma and 
British India. In 
i852 Arakan, Marta- 
bp.n, Pegu, and 
Tenasserim were 

united into " British 
Burma" under 
Arthur Phayre as 
Chief Commissioner, 
and in 1874 Queda 
m Malacca was voluntarily ceded by its 
prince, and united to Tenasserim. In 
1871 Italy, and in 1873 France, concluded 
commercial treaties with Burma, which 
manifested its interest in a definite con- 
nection with Europe by the despatch of 
ambassadors in 1872, 1874, and 1877. 

Meng dan Meng died on October ist, 
1878, and Was succeeded by Thebaw, a 
king of the type of Phagzi dau and Thara- 
wadi. After his accession relations be- 
tween the British and Burmese Govern- 
ments became seriously strained. The 
king signalised the opening of his reign by 
massacring many of his nearest relatives, 



and things came to such a pass that it 
was no longer possible for the British 
envoy to remain in Mandalay. The crisis 
arrived in 1885, when a dispute arose 
between the king and a British mercantile 
company, on whom he had inflicted an 
impossible fine, threatening at the same 
time to confiscate their property in the 
event of non-payment. An ultimatum 
was sent to him by the British Govern- 
ment in October, 1885, and, on his failure 
to comply with it, preparations were made 
for the occupation of Mandalay. Within 
less than a fortnight of the declaration oi 
hostilities, the capital was taken on the 
28tji of November 
and the king made 
prisoner. However, 
desultory fighting 
continued for a long 
time, and it was 
several years before 
the dacoits were 
finally put down and 
the country pacified. 
Upper and Lower 
Burma were made a 
division of the Indian 
Empire under a 
Lieutenant - Gover- 
nor, and in 1886 the 
Burmese Shan States 
were incorporated in 
British India. 


The long tongue of 
land which curls out 
on the south-west of 
Indo-China is the 
Malay Peninsula. Of 
this, the north- 
western portion is 
part of Tenasserim, 
one of the provinces ot Burma which was 
aimexed to British India in the time of 
Lord Amherst. Another portion of the 
peninsula belongs to Siam. The general 
title is not unusually restricted to the 
remaining portion, otherwise described 
inclusively as Malacca. 

The ethnology and early history of the 
region demand no detailed treatment here. 
We should merely be repeating what has 
already been said in the account of the 
Malay Archipelago. Even its more modern 
history requires but very brief notice. 
The value of Malaccan ports from their 
position on trade routes was recognised as 


soon as Europeans arrived in the Indian 
waters ; and Albuquerque himself was 
prompt to establish a Portuguese settle- 
ment at the tov/n of Malacca, which gives 
its name to the whole territory. When 
the Dutch displaced the Portuguese in the 
archipelago, they displaced them also on 
the peninsula ; the petty native states, 
however, still sub- 
sisted. The Dutch 
possessions fol- 
lowed the regular 
course during the 
Napoleonic wars, 
when they fell 
into the hands of 
the British, but 
were ultimately 
restored at the 

During the Brit- 
ish occupation of 
J a va , Sir Stamford 
Raffles detected 
the immense po- 
tentialities of a 
station at Singa- 
pore, which, owing 
to his representa- 
tions, was pur- 
chased from the 
Raja of Johore 
in 1819. Penang 
and the present- 
day Province Wel- 
lesley had been 
similarly acquired 
in 1785 and 1798. 

In 1824 t^^^ 
British received 
the Dutch settle- 
ments of Malacca 
in exchange for 
those on Sumatra. 
For the time the 
" Straits Settle- 
ments " remained 
under the control 
of the Indian 
Government, but 
they were con- 
verted into a 
Crown colony in 
1867 ; and since 
1875, the native 
principalities have 
aU accepted the 

position of protectorates in relation to the 
Government at Singapore. Not many years 
after its acquisition, that town had become 
the British capital, in place of Penang, which 
had previously held that position. So 
great has its prosperity been, that the popu- 
lation had risen from about 10,000 to 
over 300,000 at the present day. 



The Aiakan Pagoda, the famous shrine at Mandalay, contains a great brass sitting image 

of Buddha, under a seven-roofed canopy with massive pillars and gorgeous mosaic ceiling. 



The picture at the top of the page gives a general view of the royal palace, and the bottom 
picture on the left is the throne room, which, with its pictures and chandelier, seems to partake 
of the magnificence of Louis XIV. rather than of a semi-barbaric potentate. The two pictures in 
the middle are views taken in the palace grounds, many of the buildings in which follow the Italian 
rather than the Oriental style. The last picture— that on the bottom right— is the Hall of Audience. 









IN Central Further India three kingdoms wedge between the Champa kingdom and 
■ha-i7A ciinrf^cci^T^Ur c<^nnrprl nrpHnmin. the states ot Annam and Cochin-China, 

which were subject to China. We find 
them in full possession of Brahman civilisa- 
tion ; the earliest written records of the 
K?mier state of Cambodia are in Sanscrit 
and belong to the third century ; in 626 
this inscription mentions a King Isina- 
warman, whose three predecessors, Rudra- 
warman, Bhawawarman, and Mahendra- 
warman, can be inferred from the oldest 
Buddhist inscription but one, of the year 
667 ; from the first of these kings the list 
of rulers is continued with but scanty 
interruption until the year 1108. A reliable 
eye-witness, the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen 
Tsang, visited the two states 
of Cambodia and Champa in 
the years 631-33, and mentions 
their towns "Dewarawati, 
Chamapura, and Champapura. 
At this period Cambodia was a 
state of equal power to the 
earlier Champa kingdom. Even 
then, however, a dangerous 
movement became perceptible 
upon the northern frontier. 
From the Chinese frontier 
mountains, tribes of the Thai 
advanced southward to the 
borders o-f Cambodia. A branch 
of these imnu'grants, the Lao, 
settled upon the eighteenth 
degree of latitude in 547, and 
founded a state with the capital 
of Labong ; at a later period 
other smaller kingdoms of the 
Thai were formed. At the 
outset of the seventh century 
the Lao — in Chinese annals 
Ai-Lao — made a vigorous ad- 
vance upon Cambodia. There, 
however, their power was broken. 
Legend associates the defeat 
of the Thai with the name of 
the king, Phra Ruang ; the 
SIVA, THE DESTROYER chrouology datcs from his 
the north-east of the Champa Cambodians are nominally government, the first year of 
kingdom in the days of Ptolemy. wfSsed'Bu7dh1sKnd which, 638 a.d., still forms 
As early as the seventh century their chief deity is sivai the a chronological starting-point 
they pushed their way like a known fstheSestV^oyeTTufe'^ throughout the whole of Central 


fN Central Further India three kingdoms 
have successively secured predomin- 
ance : Champa, Cambodia, and Siam. 
Our knowledge, however, of the early 
history of Central Indo-China is confined 
to the most general outlines. 

This is especially true of Champa, the 
oldest of the three states. The earliest 
intelligible accounts display the Cham 
as a powerful people. At the time of 
its greatest prosperity, near the middle 
of the first century a.d., Champa was 
about the size of the modern Cam- 
bodia, though at different periods it 
also extended over Cochin-China, Annam, 
and even to Southern Tonquin. At the 
time of Ptolemy the civilisation 
was Brahman, early Sanscrit 
inscriptions covering the period 
from the third to the eleventh 
century a.d. ; from that date 
inscriptions are written in 
Champa, a special dialect 
strongly influenced by Sanscrit 
elements. The religion of the 
country was, as everywhere in 
Further India, chiefly Siva 
worship or Lingam ; scarce a 
trace of Buddhism is to be 
discovered during that period, 
and it was not until the downfall 
of the Champa kingdom that 
Buddhism became more deeply 
rooted in the district. 

Wars with the Chinese, who 
weie extending their supremacy 
over Tonquin, Annam, and 
Cochin-China, and driving out 
the Cham from those districts, 
occupy the period from the 
fourth to the tenth centuries 
of our era. The Champa were 
also forced to struggle with the 
Khiners, who had entered the 
country from the north accord- 
ing to the early traditions of 
Cambodia, and were settled in 


Further India. The defeated enemy 
were absorbed into the local civilisation 
and adopted the writing and the laws 
of Cambodia. However, their youthful 
strength could not thus be permanently 
constrained ; ni the year 959 a.b. 
1 he Thai freed themselves, as is 
unanimously related by the 
early records of Cambodia and 
Siam. Driven on, perhaps, by 
the movement of the Khitan, 
who had invaded China in 037. 
they pressed on under their 
king, also known as Phra 
Ruang, to the south, and 
founded an independent king- 
dom at the expense of the 
Khmer state ; this was the 
nucleus from which was 
formed the principality of 
Xieng-Mai about 1250, and 
the more modern Siam at 
somewhat later date. Like 
flash in the darkness Kublai practically 
Khan, the Chinese Governor of I\Iangu, 
burst upon the Thai in i253-=;4 ; the 
kingdom of Namchao, founded by a Thai 
tribe, was shattered, and 
the Shan were driven 
to their present habita- 
tions. The Thai kingdom 
of Sukhodaya on the 
river Menam, which ex- 
tended from Ligor to 
Wingchau and to the 
great Lake of Cam- 
bodia under the rule of 
Rama Khomheng. 
suffered but little. The 
Thai of Siam continuec 
their advance, hemming 
in the Cham and pressing 
hard upon the Khmer : 
at the end of the 
thirteenth century they 
had already reached the 
mouth of the Menam. 
Siam had then practically 
attained its present ex- 
tension. The Champa 
kingdom had dwindled tc 
a small district m thi 
south, and Cambodia had 
been driven south-east- 
ward. The first period of modern Siamese 
history begins with King Ramathibodi, who 
ascended the throne in 1344, and rapidly 
extended the kingdom by conquest over 
a large part of Cambodia, and as far as 


a. In l,s6:i, Cambodia became a pro- 
tectorate of France, and though 
3- nominally a monarcliy, it is now 
French province. 


the Malacca peninsula on the south- 
west. As the centre of gravity in the 
kingdom had thus changed, the capital 
of Chaliang was removed further south 
in 1350 to Ayuthia, which was erected 
upon the ruins of the old 
Daona. Cambodia was again 
attacked and conquered in 
the years 1353 and 1357 ; 
the newly-founded capital 
was peopled with the 
prisoners, and the weakened 
neighbour kingdom w a s 
forced to cede the province 
of Chantabum to Siam. The 
successors to the great Phra- 
Utong were busied with the 
task of checking their 
northern neighbours, of 
restraining the aggression of 
Champa, which had sunk to 
the position of a piratical 
state, of bringing Malacca 
under the supremacy of 
Siam, and of punishing a revolt in 
Cambodia by the complete destruction of 
the capital town ; the Khmer were, conse- 
quently, removed to the 
swampy lowlands on the 
coast. A number of less 
important rulers then 
came to the throne, who 
had much difficulty in 
maintaining the power of 
the empire, and under 
them came that first 
contact with the Euro- 
}iean world which has so 
deeply influenced the 
modern historj^ of Indo- 
China. In 151 1 King 
Eoroinmaraja, while re- 
conquering the revolted 
province of Malacca, 
came into contact with 
the Portuguese, who had 
occupied the town and 
fortress of Malacca in the 
same year ; relations 
profitable to both parties 
n-ere begun between the 
Powers, and a commercial 
treaty was concluded. 
W i t h this exception 
Siam remained for the moment imtouched 
by European influence. The domestic his- 
tory of the country is characterised by 
disturbances, quarrels for the succession, 
and the rule of favourites and women. 


So long as peace continued abroad, the 
weakness of the kingdom passed un- 
noticed. It collapsed, however, incon- 
tinently when the powerful Pegu turned 
against it after securing the predominance 
in Burma ; King Mentara invaded the 
country with a large force, and the inhabi- 
tants of Cambodia seized the opportunity 
of joining in the military operations. 
Notwithstanding a desperate resistance, 
the capital of Ayuthia surrendered in 1544, 
and Siam became a tributary vassal state 
of Pegu. Hardlj' had the countrj;' begun 
to recover from these disasters, and to 
think of its lost independence, when a 
new invasion by Mentara in 1547 checked 
its aspirations. The capital, defended by 

the present day he is honoured as the 
great national hero of Siam. In 1564 he 
utterly defeated the forces of Pegu, and 
in 1566 peopled the somewhat deserted 
capital with the prisoners. In the north 
he reduced the Lao under his power in the 
two following years, and in the year 1569 
he secured his recognition by China as 
the legitimate King of Siam. 

The high ambitions of Phra Naret were 
directed to extending the Siamese power 
over the whole of Indo-China. His 
first task was to shatter Pegu, the previous 
oppressor of his fatherland. For this 
campaign the King of Cambodia offered 
his help ; but when the Siamese troops 
had marched to Pegu, he treacherously 


Portuguese knights, resisted all efforts at 
capture, and Mentara returned home with- 
out accomplishing his purpose. In 1556, 
however, Ayuthia was stormed by Chumi- 
greri. the successor of Mentara, and almost 
the whole population was carried into 
captivity ; Siam then became a province 
of Pegu. 

Chumigren was so short-sighted as to 
set up the brother-in-law of the last King 
of Siam as Governor of the country ; he 
was a capable man, who transmitted his 
strong patriotism and love of independence 
to his highly-gifted son, Phra Naret, who 
was in power from 1558 to 1593. With him 
begins the second great popular movement 
in modern Siamese history ; and even at 

invaded the undefended land of his ally. 
He was beaten back, but the war of Phra 
Naret with Pegu proved long and arduous 
in consequence, and it was not until 1579 
that the struggle ended with the complete 
subjugation of Pegu to the power of Siam. 
Vengeance was now taken upon the ruler 
of Cambodia for his treachery : in 15S3 
he was defeated and captured, and his 
capital of Lawek was utterly destroyed. 
In 1587 the outbreak of disturbances in 
Pegu a»nd Cambodia necessitated the pre- 
sence of Phra Naret ; when, however, 
after punishing the instigators of the move- 
ment, he proposed in 1593 to conque ' the 
kingdom of Ava, or Burma, his victorious 
career was suddenly cut short by death. 





The reign of this great king was followed 
by more than a century and a half of weak 
rulers, grievous confusion, bloody conflicts 
about the succession — in lirzy the house 
of Phra Naret was exterminated, and the 
Minister, Kalahom, founded a new dynasty 
under the title of Phra Chau Phra-satthong 
— revolts among the people in the pro- 
vinces, especially in 1615, and embar- 
rassments abroad. Only upon one occa- 
sion did it appear as if Siam had any chance 
of advancing to higher prosperity. 

In the year 1656 a Venetian adventurer 
of Cephallenia, by name Constantine 
Phaulkon — in Siamese, Phra Klang ; in 
French, M. Constance — entered the coun- 
try. By his cleverness and capacity he 
gained the favour of the reigning king, 
Narai, who heaped honours' upon him and 
appointed him to responsible positions, 
ultimately giving him almost unlimited 
power in every department of govern- 
mental business. Permission was given 
to the Dutch, the English, the Portuguese, 
and the French to found trading settle- 
ments. Communication was improved by 
the scientific construction of roads and 
canals, and the prosperity of the country 
fapidly increased. The French received 
special favour from Phaulkon ; in 1663 


they were allowed to build a Catholic 
church in Ayuthia and to erect a mission 
under l.amotte Lambert. King Louis 
XIV. and Pope Clement X. sent an 
embassy to Siam in 1673 to further 
the prosperity of Christianity, a friendly 
movement answered in like manner 
by Phaulkon in 1684. In 1685, with 
Chevalier de Chaumont as ambassador, 
a fleet left France, and stations at 
Bangkok and Mergui were granted under 
a convention in 1687 ; these places 
the French fortified, but the encroach- 
ments of the garrison under the command 
of Volantz du Bruant and des Farges soon 
aroused popular animosity. So far-reach- 
ing an organisation had been too rapidly 
initiated ; Phaulkon fell a victim to a 
pojiular revolt, formed by the mandarins 
Phra Phet Ratscha, Wisuta Songtong, 
and others, and was put to death in 1689 ; 
the reforms he had introduced were, as 
far as possible, abolished, the French were 
expelled in 1690, and the missions and 
native Christians were subjected to severe 
oppression. Under the weak rulers 
who succeeded — Phra Phet Racha, from 
1689 to 1700, succeeded by his sons 
and grandsons — the power of Siam 
rapidly decayed. Once again the 

RICHLV carved towers of THE PAGODA 



deepest humiliation was to come from the 
west. In the neighbouring kingdom of 
Burma, Alompra had led his people from 
victory to victory, and had overthrown 
his hereditary enemy of Pegu. He now 
proposed to conquer Siam, but after 
advancing almost to Ayuthia without 
meeting resistance, he died suddenly in 
1760. However, his successor, Shembuan, 
again invaded the country in 1766 ; in 
1767 the capital of Siam was captured and 
burnt, and the king, who was wounded, 
perished in the flames. 

The fall of the capital and the death of 
the king left the country at the mercy 
of the conqueror, who, however, placed 
but a scanty garrison in occupation. 

Burmese, who could not forget or forgive 
the loss of Siam. He became insane, and 
was murdered in a popular revolt. 
Cambodia as a separate state loses all 
importance from this time. 

The position of Phaya Tak was taken 
in 1782 by his Prime Minister, Chakri, 
the ancestor of the present dynasty. At 
that period a French bishop, Behaine, had 
gained complete influence over the suc- 
cessor to the throne of the neighbouring 
kingdom of Annam, and France began to 
interfere more decisively in the domestic 
affairs of Eastern Indo-China. The 
growth of European influence and the 
action of ecclesiastical ambassadors ex- 
cited the apprehension of the natives ; 



Upon the north, where the strength of 
the Thai was, as ever, concentrated 
chiefly on their native soil, a Siamese 
governor was appointed, by name Phaya 
Tak, a Chinese by birth. He gathered as 
many men capable of bearing arms as he 
could, drove back the Burmese, and 
secured recognition by China after the 
extinction of the dynasty of 1627. As 
Ayuthia had been utterly destroyed, the 
capital was transferred to Bangkok, at 
the mouth of the Menam, in 1678, which 
rapidly rose to a great commercial town. 
This success brought power ; in the same 
year Phaya Tak subdued Cambodia and 
the smaller southern states and also the 
Laos in the North ; in 1777 he defeated the 

in Siam the new king and his successors — 
Pierusing until 1809 ; Phendingkang, from 
1809 to 1824 ; Crom Chiat, or Kroma Mom 
Chit, from 1824 to 185 1 — manifested their 
ill-feeling to the foreigners. Embarrass- 
ments were constantly placed inthe wayof 
the missions and decrees hostile to the 
Christian religion were repeatedly pror 
mulgated. It was not until the years 
1840-50 that the French bishop, D. J. B. 
Pallegoix, to whom the education of the 
Crown Prince of Siam had been entrusted, 
succeeded in securing full religious tolera- 
tion from the prince upon his accession 
in April, 1851. 

Ever since the brilliant career of Phaul- 
kon a certain alarmed astonishment had 



been the prevailing spirit with which Siam 
regarded France. The young ruler, Chou 
Fa-Mongkut, a member of that branch of 
the ruling house which . 
had been expelled in 
1824, attempted in 
1 85 1 to enter into closer 
relations with the Em- 
peror Napoleon through 
his ambassadors and 
under his brother and 
successor, Somdet Phra 
Paramindr Maha 
Mongkut (1852-68 
and a commercial treaty 
was concluded with 
France in 1856, with 
Britain in 1855, with 
Germany in 1862. and 
with Austria in 1858. 
Peaceful relations with 
France continued 
during the reign of 
King Paramindr Maha 
C h u 1 a 1 o n g k o r n, 
who ascended the 
throne of Siam at 
the age of fifteen, on 
October ist, 1868, and 
took the power from 
the hands of his trusted 
Minister Chau Phraya 
Sri Suriyawongse on 
November i6th, 1S73. 
In 1884 France obtained 
a protectorate o v e r 
Annam, and the British 
secured possession of the 
whole of Burma in 1886, 
Siam being the only 
important state of 
Further India which 
retained its independence. 
On May 8th, 1874, the 
constitution was re- 
organised, the legislative 
power being exercised by 
the king in concert with 
the great State Council 
and the Cabinet of 
Ministers. With the ad- 
vance of Great Britain 
and France to her western 
and eastern boundaries 
respectively, Siam became 
an object of increasing 
interest to Europe. The two European 
Powers were actually in contact to the 
north of Siam on the acquisition by 


Britain of the Burmese Shan states of 
Kyaing Hung and Kyaing Chaing, over 
which, however, China had claimed a 
nominal suzerainty. 
- Both, moreover, cast 
covetous eyes on the 
trade of Siam, of which 
England possessed 
about ninety per cent., 
while France held only 
a very small fraction. 
The latter Pdwer in 
particular was anxious 
to extend her domin- 
ions ; her colonial party 
cherished the dream of 
incorporating the whole 
ol Siam in their empire, 
And were determined, 
at any rate, to push 
iheir frontier up to the 
Mekong River. The 
leading statesmen in 
both countries were 
anxious to come to an 
li^reement both about 
>iam itself and the 

creation of a buffer 



This king ruled from 1S51 to 1868 and was re- state OU the nortll, the 

markably progressive ; he knew Latin and English. P|-,p1icVi iiroDOsin"' tO 

cede Kyaing Hung to 
China and Kyaing Chaing 
to Siam, with a reversion 
to themselves in case 
either China or Siam 
parted with these states. 
Negotiations were opened 
between the French Am- 
bassador in London and 
the British Government 
as early as 1889 ; but 
^ though they were broken 
off and renewed several 
times, nothing had been 
settled when hostilities 
broke out between the 
French and Siamese early 
in 1893. Whether rightly 
or wrongly, the French 
accused the Siamese of 
invading Annam, and 
announced their intention 
of extending their frontier 
to the Mekong. Alter a 
certain amount of desul- 
tory fighting, during which 
the French occupied one or two posts on 
the Mekong, two French gunboats forced 
their way up to Bangkok, and the French 

King Mongkut's younger brother was crowned 
as second king, and held this office until his 
death, in 1885, when the post was abolished. 


Group at top shows the late King Chulalongkorn and his sons, in Enolish dress, and he is seen immediately 
below on the left in official uniform. To the right his eldest son, who succeeded to the throne on October 23rd, 
1910. At bottom left is the Queen-Mother, and on right the late King in religious ceremonial costume. 

(jroup by W. & D. Downey, London ; King by Lenz. 




and France 

Government proceeded to dictate terms 
to Siam. These they subsequently en- 
forced by a short blockade of the Menam. 
The principal demand of the French was 
the cession of all Siamese territory on the 
left bank of the Mekong, including a 
great portion of the province of Luang 
Prabang, and this was eventually em- 
bodied in the treaty of peace. 
War between ^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^j^^^^ ^^ October 

3rd, 1893. Negotiations were 
at the same time being con- 
ducted between England and France 
with a view to the delimitation of their 
frontier and the creation of a buffer 
state to the north. But, unfortunately, 
these for the time came to nought, France 
being allowed to incorporate the land 
east of the Mekong to which Great Britain 
had a reversion in addition to the Siamese 
territory proper. In January, 1896, how- 
ever, the two countries came to an agree- 
ment by which they guaranteed the inde- 
pendence of the Menam valley, which 
contains by far the larger part of the 
population and trade of Siam, and in 
1904 an Anglo-French agreement guaran- 
teed the integrity of Siam, and defined 
the spheres of France and England. 
The chief cause of friction between 
England and France was thereby removed, 
though the Mekong alone separates their 
empires and the north of Siam. The 
treaty of 1893 has been followed by a 
more recent one between France and 

Siam, by which further territorial con- 
cessions have been made to France in the 
west of the Lower Mekong. 

Siam has thus enjoyed peace and has 
been steadily developing since 1893. 
Although her territory has been con- 
siderably diminished, she has full auto- 
nomy and is in a stronger position than 
she has held for a long time past. By 
employing European advisers and assis- 
tants in nearl}' all the Government de- 
partments, she has made considerable 
progress in various branches of adminis- 
tration. Her finances have been put on a 
much more secure basis, and her revenue 
is gradually increasing, while the corrup- 
tion that was so prevalent a short time 
ago has been in great measure put down. 
The administration of justice and educa- 
tion has advanced steadily, the police 
force has been reorganised, and a system 
of provincial gendarmerie has been estab- 
lished. The railways have been gradually 
expanding, in particular the 
main line to the north, which 
is destined to connect Bangkok 
with Chiengmai ; but the 
interior of the country is still largely 
undeveloped, and when communications 
are further opened up in the matter of 
roads, railways, and canals, it will un- 
doubtedly prove quite a rich one. Lower 
Siam produces excellent rice in increasing 
quantities, and the teak forests in the 
north are of great commercial value. 

in Siam 

An Amazon Guard 

A rope dancer 









pROM an early period the history of 
^ Eastern Further India, which is 
naturally conjoined to China by the con- 
figuration of the continent, has been 
inseparably bound up with that powerful 
empire which developed a civilisation at 
an unusually early period. Early reports 
speak of an embassy from Tonquin to 
the Imperial Court in the second millen- 
nium before our era, and of the foundation 
of Chinese dynasties in that district in 
214 B.C. and 109 A.D. Chinese civilisation, 
however, which was bound to expand, did 
not stop at Tonquin. China had already' 
established herself in Annam and Cochin- 
China, and had made considerable progress 
when the Brahman movement began to 
advance northward from Cambodia. There 
the earlier civilisation was predominant, 
and in a large degree determined the 
nature of the development of Armam. 
The forerunners of Brahmanism made no 
great progress, except in Cochin-China, 
and left but few traces in 
e inesc ^j-^j^^j^ ^^^^ practically none 
Influence in • t^ t- xu j. ^ 

. . p.. m lonqum. rrom that remote 

epoch when the first dynasties 
were founded in Tonquin, China for 
more than a thousand years — until 
968 — firmly established herself in Eastern 
indo-China, though her influence varied 
with the fortunes of Chinese history 
at large. 

When China proper was in difficulties 
from internal disturbances, changes of 
dynasties, or the attack of powerful 
foes, she exercised little more than a 
shadowy predominance. Thus during the 
years 222-618 her powers in Annam were 
greatly limited, and the local governors 
availed themselves of the embarass- 
ments of the empire to make them- 
selves almost independent. At other 
periods China governed Eastern Further 
India with a firmer hand. Thus in 
the first half century .'V.d. revolts were 
suppressed in Cochin-China — which also 
made itself independent for a short period 
in 263 — and after the powerful Tang- 
dynasty had gained the Chinese throne 

Dynasty in 

China once again brought the larger part 
of Annam and Cochin-China into close 
dependence upon herself. 

In the tenth century, when China was 
again shattered by internal convulsions, 
the movements for independence in Annam 
were again victorious, and their success 
was permanent from the year 968 to 981. 
During that period one of the 
Chinese governors, by name Li, 
founded in Annam the dynasty 
known by his name (loio- 
1225) ; Tonquin threw off the Chinese 
yoke in 1164, as did Cochin-China in 
1 166. China again reduced the rebellious 
provinces, hut only for a time ; the 
emperor, Kublai Khan, subdued Tonquin 
and also Annam and Cambodia. How- 
ever, the two last-named states speedily 
recovered their independence, and Ton- 
quin drove the Chinese out of the country 
in 1288. 

In the fourteenth and at the beginning 
of the fifteenth century China again 
secured a footing in Eastern Further 
India ; under the Ming dynasty Annam 
became tributary to China in 1368, and 
Tonquin with Cochin-Chma became a 
Chinese province ; then during the years 
1418-27 the Nationalist m.ovement in these 
states became so strong that the Chinese 
lost all semblance of power. The leader 
of this movement, Le Lo, was the founder 
of the Le dynasty, which ruled for a long 
period in Annam and Tonquin, with the 
capital town Hanoi, founded in 1427 ; by 
embassies and presents of homage, he 
made a formal recognition of Chinese 
supremacy, but henceforward China could 
no longer interfere in the domestic affairs of 
Annam. The European advance 
European ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ Further India 

Advance to i i r ,i . 

.J r-i.- produced for the moment more 
Indo-China r • .1 ■ 

important consequences m this 

district than in the south and west. 
Since 1511 Portuguese, and afterwards 
Dutch, factories had been founded, and 
from 1610 missions and small native 
Christian congregations existed. The coun- 
try and its rulers were at first indifferent, 


s?g5ili SiXitf-nitun 


This spirited picture of the battle, in which 25 Frenchmen were killed, is from a drawing- by a Chinese artist. 

and afterwards generally hostile to all 
foreigners ; trade ceased almost entirely 
in the eighteenth century, while the mis- 
sions and Christian congregations were 
regarded with suspicion, often bitterly 
persecuted, and ultimately forced to 
continue a doubtful existence in secret. 

The powerful rulers of the house of Le 
were succeeded by a succession of weaker 
princes in the sixteenth century. Under 
them some parts of Annam became hide- 
pendent in 1558, and the Le dynasty would 

have collapsed entirely without the assist- 
ance of skilled officials, who became so 
important that they secured, in 1545, the 
position of hereditary Minister, much like 
the Peshwas in the Mahratta States. 
Nguyen Hoang — Tien Wuong until 1614 — 
in Cochin-China broke away from these 
officials, and from the nominal ruler in 
1570, and became the ancestor of the 
present ruler of Annam. His successors 
increased their kingdom by incorporating 
the remnants of Champa and of Southern 



Cambodia — the six provinces of the modern 
lower Cocbin-China — and were resident in 
Hue. These changes caused a consider- 
able degree of complication in the political 
affairs of Eastern Indo-China during the 
seventeenth and most of the eighteenth 
centuries. China claimed a formal supre- 
macy, though she exercised no actual inter- 
ference. The Le dynasty continued to be 
the nominal rulers of Annam ; in reality, 
however, Annam with Cochin-China and 
Toiiquin had become two separate states, 
which were often involved in furious 
struggles against one another. The actual 
rulers of Annam were the descendants of 
Nguyen Hoang, and in Tonquin the house 
of Trigne. 

European relations with the country 
had entirely ceased in the eighteenth 

southern portion of the kingdom of his 
ancestors. He sent his son to France with 
the bishop in 1787, and on November i8th 
secured the conclusion of an offensive and 
defensive alliance from Louis XVL ; by 
this arrangement France was to receive 
the Gulf and the Peninsula of Turon, while 
Nguyen Angne was to be helped by France 
to conquer the rest of Annam. The execu- 
tion of this compact on the })art of France 
was largely hindered by the French Revolu- 
tion ; however, Nguyen Angne, who was 
supported by the Bishop Adrian, secured 
the assistance of many French officers, 
who drilled his troops in European fashion, 
and conducted the military operations. He 
was then able between the years 1792 and 
1799 to subdue, not only Annam and the 
Tay Son, but also, in 1802, Tonquin, which 


century : an English attempt under Catch- 
poole, in 1702, to settle in the island of 
Pulo Condore came to an end in 1704 
with the murder of the settlers by the 
natives, and the destruction of the 
factory. It was not until the end of the 
eighteenth century that Annam came 
closely into connection with France. 

A general rising incited by three 
brothers of low birth, the Tay Son, entirely 
transformed the political situation of 
Annam in 1755 ; the old dynasties of the 
Le, and the mayors of the palace of the 
Trigne, entirely disappeared, while the 
Nguyen family became almost extinct. 
Only the grandson of the last king of this 
family, by name Nguyen Angne, escaped 
to Siam, where he was educated by a French 
bishop ; he then recovered the most 

had meanwhile thrown off the rule of the 
Tay Son and secured the predominance 
in Cambodia. 

The kingdom had long become a mere 
shadow of that larger empire which had 
existed at the time of the emigration of 
the Siam Thais. Since 1583, when Phra 
Naret had dipped his feet in the blood of 
its king, who was beheaded before him, 
the kingdom had been forced to submit to 
Siam. The misery of the country was 
increased by continuous disturbances at 
home and entanglements abroad with 
Siam, the Laos, and Annam ; the kings 
continually retreated before their powerful 
neighbour, and finally transferred their 
capital to Saigon on the coast, which occu- 
pied the site of the town known to Arrian 
as Thinai. An attempt on the part of 




Cambodia to avail itself of the Siamese 
disasters in the war with the Burmese, 
Alompra, came to nothing ; in 1704 the 
vassal ruler, Somrath Phra Marai, who was 
set up by Siam, ceded Battambong and 
Siemrat to his patron in return. Fro.n 
1806 onwards the impoverished country 
paid tribute both to Siam and Annam : it 
held two seals, one from each of the two 
neighbouring states, and the king, of 
Cambodia did homage to each of these 

Thanks to his French auxiliaries, Nguyen 
Angne proved brilliantly successful, and 
henceforward to his title of Emperor or 
King of Annam he added the royal title 
of " Gia long " — that is, the man favoured 
by fortune. Once in power, he became 
suspicious of the foreigners, whose import- 
ance he understood better than any other 
ruler in Further India. While removing 
his favour, he made no exlHbition of open 
hostihty. His Minister of ecclesiastical 
affairs is said to have had translated into 
Annamese for the king's benefit, about 
1788, a somewhat immoral novel, a fact 
which throws much light upon the morality 
and the education prevalent in the court 
of Annam at that period. 

His successor, Minhmang (1820- 1841). 
was at first tolerant towards foreigners ; 
but the political intrigues of the French 
and Spanish missionaries roused him to 


animosity against the Europeans. In 
1833 the missionaries were cruelly perse- 
cuted ; in 1838 he forbade Europeans to 
enter his country, and the profession of 
Christianity was pubhcly declared a crime 
as heinous as high treason. In the same 
year thirty-three French priests fell victims 
to this decree. Thie utri, 1841-47, the 
son and successor of Minhmang, relaxed 
the persecution by merely imprisoning the 
missionaries, four of whom were liberated 
in 1843 upon the threats of the French. 
Generally speaking, however, the oppres- 
sion continued, and in 1847 France de- 
manded full religious toleration through 
Commodore Lapierre, which was granted 
after the fleet of Annam had been des- 
troyed. In the same year the emperor died. 
He was succeeded b^^ his son, Tuduk, 
who was at first well disposed towards 
the Christians, and reigned until July 17, 
1883. Once again the missionaries inter- 
fered in a question as to the succession 
to the throne, and made the young emperor 
the furious enemy of foreigners and Chris- 
tians alike. Severe persecutions broke 
out in 1848 and 1851. France, who con- 
sidered herself the Power responsible for 
the Cnristians in Asia, ultimately sent out 
ships and trooi)s in Septemfjer, 1856. 



Turon was stormed in 1856, but on the 
morning when the ships sailed away 
Annam rephed with a fresh persecution 
of the Christians and the murder of the 
Spanish bishop, Diaz, in 1857. 

France now made a vigorous effort in 
co-operation with Spain. On September 
ist, 1858, Commodore Charles Rigault de 
Genouilly again captured Turon and took 
the town of Saigon in February, 1859. 
The plan of cam]3aign was then changed ; 
in i860 Napoleon III. issued orders to 
evacuate Annam and to occupy only 
Cochin-China, the vassal state of Annam. 
Meanwhile war had broken out with China ; 
operations were thereby hindered, and 
were not resumed until after the peace 
of Pekin. In the beginning of 186.1 
Vice-Admiral Page destroyed the forti- 
fications on the banks of the Mekong. 
Admiral Bonard, who had taken over the 
command in December, 1861, won a victory 
on January 19th, 1862, at Monglap, con- 
quered the whole province of Saigon, and 
captured several important towns in 
Cambodia. Tuduk was forced to conclude 


who succeeded to the throne in l(t07, on the 
abdication of his father, Thanh-Tai. The portrait 
above was taken at his Coronation. A French 
resident administers the country, and Duy-Tan's 
sovereignty is quite nominal. 

peace on June 15th, at the price of the 
cession of the three provinces of Saigon, 
Bienhoa, and Mytho. 

Disturbances broke out in December, 
leading to fresh negotiations, and a 
definite peace was not concluded until 
July 15th, 1864. France then returned 
the above-named provinces, retaining 
Saigon, and, in spite of the protesta- 
tions of Siam, undertook a protectorate 
over Cambodia, a tie which was drawn 
closer by the convention of June 17th, 
1S84. The actual ruler is not the 
king, but the French Resident in Pnom 
Penh. Fresh outbreaks in Annam 
necessitated further military operations 
on the part of France in 1867. The 
result was the definite loss of those 
three provinces which now form French 

Meanwhile, a descendant of the Le 
dynasty, Le Phung, had made himself 
master of Eastern Tonquin, and of 1he 
province of Vac Nigne. However, when 
Tuduk found himself free to act in 1864, 
he was cruelly put to death. Even then 
Tonquin was not pacified. From 1850 


War mandarin 

A group of soldiers 

Civil mandarin 


the great neig;hbouring empire in the 
north had been shaken by the Taipings, 
and it was not until 1865 that the rebels 
in the southern provinces of Kwangsi 
and Kvvangtung were overpowered. INIany 
of the rebels fled into the province of 
Annam under Ua Tsong, where, under 
the " black flag," they disturbed the peace 
of this much-tried country as banditti 
and river pirates. 

When France established herself in 

Annam she had other views than the mere 
extension of her empire. Reports had long 
previously been in circulation concern- 
ing the fabulous natural wealth of the 
southern provinces of China and of Yunnan 
in particular. The British and the French 
were striving to intercept one another 
in the race for these treasures. Upon the 
incorporation of Burma, Great Britain 
gained a water-way, enabling her to ad- 
vance into the immediate neighbourhood 




of Yunnan. The French were now in 
possession of the mouth of a great river 
coming from the north to the Mekong, and 
proceeded to investigate the possibihty of 
its navigation. For this purpose it proved 
impracticable. Captain Dontard de Lagree, 
from 1866 to 1868, estabhshed the fact that 
the rapids in the immediate neighbourhood 
of the river mouth formed an impassable 
obstacle. The Songka, or Red River, in 
Tonquin offered better prospects. Dupuis, 
an enterprising Frenchman, fitted out 
an expedition to this stream at his own 
expense. In 1870 he advanced up the 
river in ships as far as Yunnan, and en- 
tered into relations with the Chinese man- 
darins. Hostilities on the part of the 
Annamese made it 
necessary to despatch 
Lieutenant Garnier, in 
1873, who, with less 
than two hundred 
French troops, subdued 
in a few months in 
Tonquin a country 
populated by a million 
of inhabitants and 
twice the size of 

The French Parlia- 
ment declined, however, 
to sanction the results of 
those successes in Ton- 
quin. The troops were 
withdrawn, Garnier 
having been killed on 
December 31st, 1873, by 
a treacherous attack of 
the pirates, and France 
contented herself with 
the conclusion of a 

treaty on March 15th, King Sisowath, the nominal monarch of Cambodia, 
o -^ IT- A ' but the virtual vassal of France, in full state dress. 

1074, obliging Annam 
to throw open to European trade three 
additional harbours — Ninh hai at Hai 
phong, Hanoi, and Thinai or Qui nhon — 
to grant full religious tolerance, and to 
apply to France alone for help in suppres- 
sing revolts. A commercial treaty was 
also concluded on August 31st, which, 
however, was not kept by Annam in spite 
of its confirmation by that country. 

Annam displayed an unvarying spirit 
of hostility to France, until that Power 
lost patience. Hanoi was bombarded in 
1882, and the French again advanced into 
Tonquin, where the pirates caused a great 
deal of trouble, Major Henri Laurent 
Riviere being killed by an ambuscade on 

May 19th, 1883. By degrees one fortress 
after another was captured by Rear- 
Admiral A. A. P. Courbet, including 
Sontay, which had been occupied by the 
Chinese. Vao Nigne was also taken by 
General Charles Theodore Millot in March, 
1884. Tuduk, the ruler of Annam, had 
died in July, 1883, and had been succeeded 
by his brother, Hiephoa. On August 21st, 
1883, by a treat}^ which was ratified and 
extended on June 6th, 1884, he was 
forced to cede further provinces, to 
recognise the protectorate of France, and 
to renounce all pohtical connection with 
other Powers, China included, which had 
declared in Paris, through the Marquis 
Tseng in 1882, its refusal to acknowledge 
the convention of 1874. 
In the convention of 
Tientsin, dated May, 
1884, China, which had 
seriously entertained 
the project of armed 
interference in Tonquin, 
fully recognised the 
French demands, in- 
cluding the protectorate 
of Annam and Ton- 
quin. Still she did not 
withdraw her troops 
from Langson in Ton- 
quin, and the struggle 
continued with varying 
success for some time, 
the French suffering 
considerable losses at 
the hands of the pirates. 
Ultimately, British 
mediation brought 
about the Peace of 
London on April 4th, 
1885 — confirmed at 
Tientsin on June 9th 
— v/hereby China withdrew all her 
troops from Tonquin and recognised 
the French protectorate over these states, 
which she had ruled, or at any rate claimed, 
for thousands of years. In May, 1886, 
the power of the pirates, who were no 
longer supported by China, was finally 
shattered. Since April 12th, 1888, 
Cochin-China, Cambodia, Annam, and 
Tonquin, to which Laos was added 111 
1893, have formed practically a single 
protectorate as " French Indo-China." 
From that date they cease to have an 
independent existence, and are absorbed 
in the French colonial dominion. 

Emil Schmidt 


Before the great Portuguese navigator sailed for the South Seas his enterprise was blessed at an imposing ceremony 
in the Basilica de Santa Maria, the Cathedral of Lisbon, his royal patron gracing the occasion by his presenc?, 





OF all parts of the mighty ocean which 
encircles the earth, none, unless it 
be the Mediterranean, seems by its position 
and shape more adapted to play a part in 
the history of the world than the Indian 
Ocean. Just as the Mediterranean basin, 
so important for the course of the history 
of the human race, parts the immense mass 
of the Old World on the west and breaks 
it uj) into numerous sections, so the Indian 
Ocean penetrates the same land mass 
from the south in the shape of an incom- 
parably vaster and crescent-like gulf, 
having the continents of Africa and 
Australia on its two sides, while directly 
opposite its northern extremity lies the 
giant Asia. In the number, therefore, of 
the continents surrounding it, the Indian 
Ocean is inferior to none of the larger 
sea-basins — neither to its two great com- 
panion oceans in the east and west, nor 
to the diminutive Mediterranean in the 
north ; each of them is bounded by three 

The frame in which the Indian Ocean 
is set shows a rich variety of configura- 
tion. Only the west side — the east coast, 
that is, of Africa — is massy and unbroken, 
except for the huge island of Madagascar 
and some groups of coastal islands. By 
contrast, the eastern and northern coasts 
appear all the more indented ; and yet 
they are absolutely different in their kind. 
The east side terminates to the south in 
. the Australian continent, which 

imi so £^^ long ages was able to pass 
the Indian ■ , i j. •^^■A. 

_ m lonely tranquilhty an ex- 

istence unknown to history, 
until modern times finally brought it 
within the range of politics. But Australia 
is directly connected on the north with a 
region that has no parallel on the face of 
the globe for the rich variety of its con- 
figuration — the island world, that is, of 
Indonesia — the Indian Archipelago. This 
has been the natural " bridge of nations " 

toward the east from the earliest times 
to the present day. 

The northern shore, also, from its bulk, 
is unique in its conformation. Southern 
Asia, as indeed the whole continent, is a 
land of vast distances. Three immense 
peninsulas, on a scale of size that recurs 
nowhere else, jut out into the sea, and the 
Th Th ocean penetrates the land in 
-J gulfs of corresponding breadth 

plnLsulas ^"^ length which attain the 
dimensions of fair-sized seas. 
The formation seems at first sight almost 
too colossal to guarantee to the adjoining 
part of the sea an active role. But on this 
point we must always bear in mind that 
the two most important offshoots of the 
Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the 
Red Sea, approach to within a short 
distance of the Mediterranean, the centre 
of Western civilisation, like two feelers, 
virtually becoming the eastern continua- 
tion of the Mediterranean. 

The geometrical axis of the Indian 
Ocean runs, like that of the other two 
great oceans, from north to south ; it 
thus follows a direction which at no time 
and in no place has been strongly marked 
in the history of mankind. It was by the 
Red Sea and the Persian Gulf that the 
Mediterranean peoples approached the 
Indian Ocean. Thence their path lay 
south-east to Indonesia, or south-west to 
the coast of Africa. Similarly, then, the 
historical axis of the Indian Ocean runs 
in the direction of the circles of latitude. 
It is therefore parallel to the great routes 
by which communications have been 
maintained between Central Asia and 
Europe on the one hand, and between 
Oceania and the Malay Archipelago on 
the other. 

The Indian Ocean is, physically, not a 
true ocean. It is unbounded only in the 
direction towards the Antarctic, to whirh 
it exposes its full breadth. On the north 



it is enclosed like an inland sea. The 
development, therefore, of oceanic phe- 
nomena is one-sided and incomplete ; 
and thus the farther one goes to the north 
the more apparent is the transition to the 
character of an inland sea. 

The unbridged and unbroken expanse 

ot the Pacific, and still more that of the 

Atlantic, have made them both 

c rca yj^^jj ^ quite late epoch, in- 
f*wT^ superable barriers to mankind. 
It is only when the means of 
communication have been highly perfected 
that, by connecting the nations, they have, 
to a degree unsuspected before, encouraged 
the impulse of the human race to expand. 
The Indian Ocean, from its shape, which 
is closed on the one side, has never proved 
a barrier. Its two corner pillars on the 
south, Austraha and South Africa, have 
never felt the need to form relations one 
with the other, and for the countries lying 
to the north it has always been easier to 
avoid it. or to cross it by hugging the 
coast or by cautiously creeping from cape 
to cape. In this way the thoroughfares 
of the Indian Ocean are strangely unlike 
those of other seas. 

These thoroughfares, so far as they are 
confined to the sea, resemble chords drawn 
from point to point of a great semicircle. 
They cut the circumference of the ocean 
at the points where the population clusters 
most densely on the coasts. A regular 
sheaf of rays issues from Eastern Africa ; 
one line to Arabia and the Red Sea, a 
second to India, a third diagonally through 
the semicircle from Madagascar to the 
Malay Archipelago. A fourth line con- 
nects Ceylon with Indonesia ; another, the 
Indonesian medley of islands with Aus- 
tralia. But far more important than all 
these is that great chord which intersects 
the semicircle, almost parallel to the base, 
between the Red Sea and the Sunda Sea, 
and thus cuts all other lines. It is chiefly 
on this route that the history of the Indian 
Ocean has been made. Both 
the ancient arid the modern 

Ocean Routes 
That Have 
Made History 

world have used this path. 

The land routes also which 
border upon this ocean form a compara- 
tively simple system, although they are 
naturally less subject to general laws than 
the maritime routes. In Eastern Africa, in 
Arabia, and in the Malay Archipelago, the 
chief land routes have followed the coasts ; 
it is only in India and the Malay Peninsula 
that they strike inland. But there are 


many routesof minor importance, and these 
run in the most diverse directions. This is 
only what must be expected in countries 
of such widely different character as those 
which enclose the Indian Ocean. 

It might be expected that the two deep 
indentations of the Red Sea and Persian 
Gulf would make coast routes incon- 
venient. But this is not the case. Both 
have entrances so narrow as to be crossed 
with ease by entire nations and races, 
and it is easy for the land traveller to pass 
round the head of either. But in the 
south the conformation of the land masses 
is such as to make many parts of them 
inaccessible. Both Africa and Australia 
possess a comparatively small coast line, 
and there are no natural highways to 
connect the interior of either continent 
with the sea. The north, however, with 
the exception of the Arabian peninsula, 
is somewhat more favourably situated. 
It is true that the vast peninsula of the 
Deccan lacks any to the sea ; but 
to its base, where India proper lies in its 
full breadth, the Indus and the Ganges 
and their enormous river basins form the 
best international highways in 

Value of 
Great Indian 

the world. If fortune had ever 
smiled on these river basins 
sufficiently to allow them to be 
inhabited by energetic peoples, skilled in 
seamanship, nothing could have hindered 
them from making India predominant in 
the politics of the Indian Ocean and the 
Pacific, and impressing Indian civilisation 
upon the whole of that vast area. 

This brings us to the salient point in 
the history of the Indian Ocean generall5\ 
The preliminary conditions to historical 
greatness are already existent, but the 
adjacent peoples have shown only local 
and spasmodic inclinations to make full 
use of them. The native races of this area 
have contributed little to history in com- 
parison with the foreigners who at one 
time and another have invaded it. From 
millennium to millennium this condition 
has become worse. The importance of 
the Indian Ocean has declined, while that 
of the Atlantic and the Pacific has in- 
creased. In these last the white race has 
triumphed over Nature and the inferiors 
of its own species ; but in the Indian 
Ocean white men have- met, at the best 
of times, with only a qualified success. 
They have found the peoples by which 
this ocean is bordered too immense and 
too inert for any permanent conquest. 

'%4 . 


Th€ 5«a txraam aettveen Ore coast ana the /OOfatJJom linz is caJfed Che Conttne/rtaf 5hdf 

Jf Tfriitirvil J£Jjes. 


The hac/iures on the sea represent 
t/ie depths bdo>^ 2000 faihoms 
CaJiles Deaths m frthoms 

Su^^r^,^^^ te--. 

A SectioD along tbe Equator A Sectian aloag 20' South Lat. 


The remote past of the Indian Ocean 
is wrapped in the same obscurity as that 
of most parts of the earth's surface. We 
are tempted to dwell on the enigma in this 
case because more than one investigator 
has been inclined to look for the earliest 
home of primitive man in one part or 
another of this ocean. But it is idle to 
speculate when we have no materials for 
a conclusion. We must rather take as 
our starting-point the moment when 
pressure, exerted from the heart of Asia, 
drove out the inhabitants of its southern 
coasts to find a refuge and a new home on 
the ocean. Supposing this expelled people 
not to have already inhabited Ceylon, it 
could only diverge from the direction in 
which it was pushed, as far as this easily 
accessible island ; any further advance 

over the surface of the ocean was barred 
at once by the want of a bridge of islands 
leading out to it. 

On the other hand, the exiles might 
roam for vast distances toward the 
south-west or the south-east without let 
or hindrance, for neither the road to the 
south-western part of the Old World nor 
the bridge of islands to the Pacific offered 
any appreciable obstacles, even for mi- 
grating peoples who possessed little know- 
ledge of seamanship. Both paths, indeed, 
had been trodden by that dark race on its 
retreat before the wave of Asiatic nations 
rolling from north to south. Even at the 
present day we find scanty remnants of it 
on Ceylon, as in Southern India itself. 
We find additional traces in Further India 
or Malacca ; indeed, with some certainty, 



even in Southern Arabia. But it is far 
more strongly represented in the Indian 
Archipelago as far as the Philippines and 
Melanesia, and even still further in the 
east. We find it on the largest scale, 
however, on the continent of Africa, 
where it forms the chief component 
element of the population. These migra- 
Th E I tions gave the dark-skinned 

c ar y pgQp|gg hardly any occasion 
Movements ^^^ g^'^cit achievements in 
seamanship. Ihe passage to 
Ceylon was simple enough ; and the 
easterly })ath with its thickly sown clusters 
of islands did not require any pretensions 
to navigation. It is impossible to ascer- 
tain whether the early ancestors of the 
African negroes crossed the ocean on its 
lateral arms, the Persian Gulf and the 
Red Sea, or whether they went round 
them. Even if the negroes on their 
march to the new home chose the sea 
route, the few miles of the passage over 
those narrow arms of the sea were no more 
able to turn them into a nation of sea- 
farers than their old homes on the coasts 
of Asia had served to lure them out on 
to the open sea. Even in their new home 
they remained aloof from the ocean and 
averse from it. Was it the vastness of 
the spaces in Africa in which they lost 
themselves, or were nautical skill and love 
of the sea foreign to the race ? The 
last alternative would seem to be the true 
one, for at no time and in no place have 
members of the negro race performed 
noteworthy feats at sea. In Africa their 
efforts were exhausted by the occupation 
of Madagascar, which was close at hand, 
and of the coast islands from the main- 

In the island world of Indonesia and 
Melanesia even the admixture of Malay 
blood did not raise the dark-skinned man 
above the level of coasting navigation. 
We have, therefore, little to do with him 
in what follows ; in the sphere of the 
Historical ^'''^i^i^ Ocean he is as unim- 
Valuc of portant a factor in the history 
Black Races '^^ ^^^ world as we shall after- 
ward find him in the Atlantic 
Ocean. The lands which he inhabits 
may still play a part in history ; but he 
has shown little or no ambition to share 
in the life of the outer world. 

In sj)ite of the small historical import- 
ance of the black race, its diffusion over 
the countries round the Indian Ocean is an 
event of great significance ; it creates 


in the island realm of South-east Asia 
the preliminary conditions for those in- 
tricate mixtures and blendings the result 
cJf which we see in the motley conditions 
of the population of Indonesia and the 
Pacific world at the present day. The 
dark-coloured races have never been 
numerous enough there to constitute any 
noticeable check on a wave of nations as 
it presses on. 

Thus, when the Malay stream of nations, 
giving way before a pressure from north to 
south, was forced out to the sea from 
the south-east of the Asiatic continent, 
it did not touch the zone of Indonesia- 
Melanesia without influencing the negroid 
race which it found there ; and it did not 
leave the country without carrying with it 
the traces of this probably prolonged con- 
tact over the entire breadth of the Pacific 
to the east. The results of this contact 
vary according to the respective locality 
and the duration of the reciprocal action. 
Melanesians and Polynesians are the 
two ends of the scale : the former is the 
product of a oomi)lete fusion of the two 
races, the latter seems to have only a 

_ , , negroid tinge. The interme- 
Contact T J i J 

, _ . .,. diate stei)s are numerous and 
of Primitive J i\/r- A 14- „^ 

j^ . varied — Micronesians, Alturs, 

and Negritos mark only sharply 
outlined groups in the medley. Indirectly 
the Australian may be reckoned in, for, 
in addition to Polynesian influences, 
Melanesian are not to be rejected. 

The Pacific and the Atlantic have each 
in their turn contributed to develop 
these ethnic types. If we retain the 
customary division of the Malay race into 
an eastern and a western branch, the 
classification coincides more or less with 
the region of the two oceans. But while 
the eastern branch saw its historical task 
discharged by the occupation of the vast 
Pacific world, and made hardly any per- 
ceptible advances into the turmoil of the 
history of mankind, notwithstanding a 
skill in seamanship which approached the 
miraculous, the Western Malays, firmly 
planted on their native soil of Indonesia, 
and from the very first efiicient and able 
seamen, presented a different picture. 
Not only did they advance over the 
Indian Ocean to Ceylon and Madagascar, 
but in the majority of the homes which 
they permanently occupied played a part 
whose significance is far greater than that 
of their eastern kinsmen and of nearly all 
the inhabitants of the Indian Ocean. 


They set foot nowhere on the mainland 
except in the peninsula of Malacca, and 
are the true children of the ocean ; if they 
did not succeed in raising themselves to 
be its acknowledged masters, that is per- 
haps due less to deficiencies of character 
and natural ability than to the division 
and subdivision of their homes over so 
many islands, and to the position of the 
Malay Archipelago at the meeting point 
of two such mighty civilisations as the 
Chinese and the Indian. It is true that 
the influence of China was mainly confined 
to the field of commercial politics ; but 
this only made the influence of India the 
wider in its day. This latter reacted 
with quite unprecedented vigour upon 
the culture and the spiritual life of the 
Western Archipelago ; and, although it 
could not bring the Malay, who was by 

temperament far keener, under the yoke 
of religious ideas, and thus bind him to 
the native soil in the way in which the 
Hindus were bound, still, under the burn- 
ing rays of Indian philosophy, the political 
energy of the insular people was more 
prejudicially influenced than we are or- 
dinarily accustomed to suppose. The 
modest share of the Indian 
Ocean in the history of mankind 

of Ocean 

goes back to distant ages, about 
which we shall probably never 
be able to express a definite opinion. It 
is m its length and breadth prehistoric. 
Long ages must have passed before the 
historically authenticated relations of the 
West and the East were formed through 
the instrumentality of those same Hamitic 
peoples who formerly had barred the 
movement from the East to the West. 


nPHE Indian Ocean has sent out miglity 
*■ armies of peoples eastward and west- 
ward ; but those which went westward have 
mostly remained strangers to it and kept 
aloof ; the others, in the east, passed 
rapidly from its dominion. It has cer- 
tainly created nations ; where this task 
faced it on a large scale, as in the Archi- 
pelago and in Australia, it has had to share 
it with its larger neighbours ; while where 
the task appealed to it on a small scale, 
as on the coasts of East Africa and on 
Madagascar, there the result is not com- 
mensurate with the dignity and size of the 
ocean. Again, the political activity of 
the Indian Ocean has never been pro- 
minent. Where growing nations live, as 
in the western archipelago, on Madagascar, 
and on the coasts of South and East Arabia, 
there the great far-reaching empires are 
wanting ; and where these exist, as in the 
whole of Southern Asia from the Euphrates 
on the west to the Brahmaputra on the 
east, there is no nautical efficiency or 
liking for the open sea. What 
oyagcs ^.^g ^^^ movement there has 

°'" ""* been on the highways of the 
Purposes t t r^ • j • i 

Indian Ocean is due mainly 

to commerce. All the nations which 
ventured out on to the Indian Ocean 
in times known to history were in- 
duced chiefly by commercial objects to 
make such voyages. The historical role 
of the Indian Ocean must therefore be 
regarded predominantly from the stand- 
point of the history of trade. The range 

of view is only apparently limited ; in 
reality it discloses prospects of remarkable 
depth and reveals glimpses of the rise and 
fall of nations, such as we never find on 
an equal scale in the far wider and more 
richly diversified fields of view presented 
by the two other great oceans. 

It is impossible to picture to oneself 
the historical significance of the Indian 
Ocean without thinking primarily of the 
weighty part which the Red Sea and the 
Persian Gulf have been called on to 
play within this area. These two north- 
westerly lateral arms of the ocean are the 
natural canals and the obvious connecting 
links between east and west. But even 
more than the southern approach to the 
great Mesopotamian plain, whose value 
would be more clearly realised by us if we 
possessed greater details about the trade 
of the Elamites, the ditch-like Red Sea, 
which reaches close up to the Mediter- 
ranean world, has facilitated and main- 
tained this connection. Although in the 
course of human history there was a long 
period during which the Red Sea relapsed 
into a profound tranquillity, yet no proof 
of its historical value is clearer than the 
fact that an occurrence so simple as its 
union with the Mediterranean, which was 
accomplished between 1S59 and i86q, 
restored to it at one blow its old role. 
Its busy waters even now, when the East 
has been opened to the widest extent, are 
the great link of connection between 
the eastern and the western worlds. 



The commerce in the north-west of the 
Indian Ocean goes back far into remote 
antiquity. Although the ancient Egyp- 
tians, with their invincible predilection 
for seclusion, never maintained a per- 
manent fleet on the Red Sea, yet they 
repeatedly tried at the most different 
periods to bring themselves into direct 
communication with the coun- 
ts ory ^^.-^^ producing the spices which 

^ '^ they used so much and valued 

Commerce i:- i i •■> j. ■ . .lu 

so highly — that is to say, with 

Southern Arabia and the eastern horn of 
Africa. The last king of the eleventh 
dynasty, Seanchkara, commissioned Henu 
to fit out an expedition from Coptos to 
" Punt " ; a similar task was entrusted 
to the fleet of Queen Hathepfut about 
1490 B.C. on its voyage south. We must 
certainly regard the Egyptians as the 
earliest authenticated navigators of the 
Red Sea and the adjoining parts of the 
Indian Ocean. Although those isolated 
expeditions, and even ihe fleet maintained 
by Rameses III. (i 200-1 168), can hardly 
have served to point out the way to their 
Punic successors, they are noteworthy as 
evidence of a nautical spirit in a people 
which otherwise was so firmly rooted to 
its own soil. 

The magnet, however, which chiefly 
attracted navigators into this ocean was 
the peninsula of India. India and the 
Indian Ocean are two inseparable ideas, 
as is shown by the two names. And yet 
this close relationship holds good only 
in a limited sense. The peninsula to the 
south of the Himalayas is by its geo- 
graphical position fitted to rule the 
surrounding seas more than any other 
country which bounds the Indian Ocean. 
Nevertheless, during the course of its 
■^ history it has never attained a com- 
manding position, from its own unaided 
strength, at any rate. Yet the peninsula 
is not so vast as to hinder the thorough 
development of its latent strength, repre- 
sented by an excessively dense 
° '* ^. population; and the unfavour- 

ii.*^i!)**° able configuration of its coast 
the Nations ,. ^ ,1 c J_^ 

line IS not the cause of the 

amazing dearth of historical influence. 

The fault lies simply and solely in the 

ethnographical conditions of India. 

The Indian Aryans never made a 

■ permanent habit of navigation. India 

never felt the need of seeking the outside 

world ; but it always was destined to be 

the goal for the other nations, by land 


as well as by sea. From its vast treasures 
it has given to the world more than any 
other country of the earth, but the world 
has had to fetch these treasures for itself. 

The first attempts at direct maritime 
communication with India from the west 
were certainly made by the Phoenicians. 
Even if we put aside the accounts given 
by Strabo of their early settlements on 
the Persian Gulf, and of their emporia 
on Tylos and Arados, yet their trading 
voyages on the north-western Indian 
Ocean go back to the second millennium 
B.C. ; since at the time of the expedition 
sent by Hiram and Solomon to Ophir 
from Eziongeber and Elath, the route to 
that mysterious land of gold was well 
known and regularly frequented. 

The advance of the Hebrews toward 
the Indian Ocean is, however, more note- 
worthy from the historical standpoint. 
Though at that early period, and down 
to the Babylonian captivity, they were 
far from being a commercial nation, and 
though their political fabric was barely 
consolidated by the end of that millen- 
nium, yet under their keen-sighted King 

_, „ . David thev already with set 
The Hebrews - j t^j .1 

. , .. purpose secured bdom, the 
in Indian fi j. i r ai 

^ „. . northern extremity ot the 

Ocean History t-, i <- i-i i n- 

Red Sea. ihe brilliant 

success which attended the friendly alliance 
of his son Solomon with Hiram, king of 
Tyre, owing to the above-mentioned 
expeditions, was only the natural conse- 
quences of David's polic}'. 

There is no better proof of the value 
which the Hebrews placed on the access 
to the Indian Ocean than the eagerness 
with which a whole series of subsequent 
sovereigns attempted to keep it open. 
As often as the kingdom of Judah 
was hard pressed and cut off from the 
sea, it was always one of the first tasks 
of its princes to subdue afresh the insubor- 
dinate Edomites, or Idumsans, to rebuild 
the repeatedly destroyed town of Elath, 
and thus to command the Gulf of Akabah. 
Judah, humiliated and hemmed in by 
Sheshonk I., or Shishak, of Egypt during 
the reign of Rehoboam, showed once 
more a vigorous expansion in 860 B.C. 
under Jehoshaphat, who restored Elath 
and fitted out a new fleet. Then under 
Jehoram the Idumaeans regained their 
independence, until Uzziah, or Azariah. 
in the first half of the eighth century, 
subjugated them for the third time, and 
rebuilt Elath. Under Ahaz, about 730, 

The castle and village of Akabah are 2^ miles from the head of the Gulf of Akabah, and are supposed to be the 
site of the Elath of Scripture, the ancient commercial city whence the Jews carried on their trade with India and the East. 

the star of Judah on the Indian Ocean 
paled for ever ; the Idumaeans henceforth 
permanently occupied their ancestral 

The loss by the Hebrew nation of its 
position on the Indian Ocean marks an 
important epoch in the history of both. 
In the history of the development of the 
policy and civilisation of Judah, it 
signifies the close of the first and only age 
of united, conscious, and willing efforts 
at expansion in the direction of the ocean. 
Being driven back into the interior, 
Judah was deprived for all succeeding 
time of the possibility of winning a posi- 
tion in the world as a political unity. 
For the Indian Ocean, however, that 

forced retreat of the Jewish people meant 
the conclusion of a period when for the 
first time a nation to which no seaman- 
like qualities could be attributed learnt 
and recognised with full consciousness its 
own value to the history of the world. 

With the Phoenicians the case was 
altogether different. Aiming always at 
commercial profit without political power, 
they were deterred by no obstacles from 
opening up new spheres. Never trusting 
to force for success, they were past 
masters of the art of reaching their goal, 
not by opposing an enemy or a rival, but 
by utilising him. They had made full 
use of the Hebrews for this end so long as 
these latter held a position on the Gulf 




y.'m *?« Jsasswsshis?- 

The Gulf of Akabah is the eastern bifurcation of the northern end of the Red Sea, and is the centre of scenes in sacred 
history, with Mount Sinsi 29 miles from its western shore ; its waters are said to have overwhelmed Pharaoh and his hosts. 



Round Africa 

of Akabah, and they did not hesitate 
then for a moment, although from a 
purely political point of view they were 
not entirely free agents, to lend the 
Egyptians the support of their commercial 
policy. The results of this alliance culmi- 
nated in the celebrated circumnavigation 
of Africa under Necho II. in 608 B.C., 
a feat which throws the most 
vivid light on the boldness 
and skill of the Phoenician 
mariners. The trade, which 
in the last six centuries before the begin- 
ning of our present era never completely 
ceased, either on the Red Sea or the 
Persian Gulf or the adjacent parts of the 
Indian Ocean, at no time went beyond that 
stage of transit trade whicli it had reached 
at an early time. Transmitted by the 
most varied nationalities, it remained for 
that reason insignificant, being carried on 
from one intermediate station to another. 
No change was effected in this respect 
when Darius, son of Hystaspes, completed 
the canal begun by Rameses II., from the 
Delta to the Red Sea, or when Ptolemy II., 
Philadelphos (284-247), restored the work 
which had meantime fallen into ruin. 
What difference did it make that Nebu- 
chadnezzar II. founded Teredon at the 
mouth of the Euphrates, primarily for 
trading purposes, and improved the 
channels of the Euphrates and Tigris 
for navigation by the construction of 
numerous windings ? His improvements 
were ruined hy the rulers of the family of 
the Achfemenids. Besides this, since one 
world empire after another enslaved 
Western Asia as far as the Nile, the 
Phoenicians had disappeared from the 
Indian Ocean, thus inflicting a loss to 
the wholesale commerce which the in- 
habitants of Southern Arabia, with their 
still very deficient means of navigation, 
were, in spite of all their efforts, quite 
unable to replace. Even the Indian 
campaign of Alexander the Great, vast 
as is its historical import- 


of India 

ance, did not immediately 
bear the fruits, so far as mari- 

time trade went, which the 
conqueror had endeavoured to obtain. 
Egyptian Alexandria itself developed only 
some centuries after his death into that 
which it ought to have become imme- 
diately after its foundation — the focus, 
that is, for the trade between India and 
the Mediterranean, and consequently the 
emporium for the combined trade of the 


ancient world. But Alexander's own 
short maritime excursion into the regions 
of the mouths of the Indus, which sym- 
bohsed his annexation of the ocean ; 
farther, the celebrated expedition of 
Nearchus from the Indus to the mouths 
of the Euphrates ; then the attempt of 
the king to open once more the long- 
neglected route from the Persian Gulf 
round Arabia ; his plan for the circum- 
navigation of Africa ; finally, the im- 
provement which he made in the naviga- 
tion up to Babylon, and the founding of 
the port of Char ax at the mouth of the 
Tigris — all this bears eloquent testimony 
to the importance which Alexander attri- 
buted to the Indian Ocean, and to the 
part which the newly opened-up sea was 
intended to play in the future schemes 
of the conqueror. The early death of the 
monarch brought these plans to an abrupt 

Nevertheless the magnificently dis- 
played activity of the Macedonian ruler 
was not altogether barren of the results 
which had been expected from it ; on the 
contrary, its subsequent effects drew India 
and the Indian Ocean out from 

Akxandlr's ^^® ^^°°"^ °^ Oriental se dusion 
F ^^'^^ ." ^ into the full light of Hellen- 
xpe 1 ion ^^^.^ culture. Babylon, indeed, 
which, after the removal of the Seleucid 
capital to Antioch rapidly succumbed to 
the newly found rival, Seleuceia or 
Ctesiphon, did not become the political, 
intellectual, or commercial centre of the 
civilised world at that time. But while, 
before Alexander, India was known to 
the Greeks from the meagre accounts of 
a few travellers, after that brilliant epoch 
the maritime communicaticm with the 
East continued uninterrupiedly for nearly 
a thousand years. Favoured by the far 
seeing policy of the Ptolemies, which 
culminated in the construction of the 
canal to the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, in 
the founding of ports on the Red Sea, and 
in securing the old route to Coptos, the 
intercourse of the West with India now 
rose above the stage of transit tradr 
practised for so many centuries : it be- 
came direct, and in its still modest dimen- 
sions formed the intermediate step to 
international commerce on a larger scale. 
The year 30 B.C., when Egypt was pro- 
claimed a Roman province, introduced 
quite new conditions of communication 
over the Indian Ocean. The way to India, 
so rich in treasures, now lay open and free 


to a nation whose material requirements, 
in spite of all politic self-restraint, had 
increased enormously. The Romans 
therefore made full and comprehensive 
use of the newly opened road. Yet even 
under these altered circumstances their 
intercourse with the East would not have 
gone far beyond the earlier stage had not 
the new rulers by the utilisation of the 
monsoons profitably employed a new 
power which at once enabled them to 
renounce for ever the hitherto traditional 
coasting navigation. 

The discovery of this phenomenon, 
peculiar to the northern Indian Ocean, 
which was made about the middle of the 
first century a.d., is ascribed to the Greek 
navigator Hippalus, after whom, indeed, 
the south-west monsoon has been called. 
On the one hand, this for the first time 
rendered real voyages on the high seas 
possible, and, on the other hand, the 
regular alternation of the two opposite 
winds compelled the traders to adopt a 
regulated system of navigation, which, 
besides, was too convenient to be aban- 
doned. In the succeeding period Indian 
embassies are no longer a rarity 

„ "^ . in Rome, and the Arabian Sea 

Envoys in , j ^ j 

P was traversed to a degree 

hitherto unknown. Alexandria 
also now realised the intentions of its 
founder. One fact alone filled the hearts of 
the Roman economists with deep con- 
cern — that this brisk trade did not swell 
the national revenue. Even then the 
Indian trade displayed the characteristic 
peculiarity that the exports were not 
balanced by any imports. Pliny, besides 
Strabo, makes the observation, and under 
Tibciius the Senate seriously considered 
by what measures if could stem the con- 
stant outflow of Roman gold to the East. 

From the earliest times of which we 
have any authentic information the Indian 
Ocean has never served any purpose other 
than that of being a road to India, the 
eagerly sought-for goal of the West. As 
might be expected from the scanty re- 
sources, the results were meagre, and they 
did not become important until coasting 
navigation was abandoned. From that 
moment the aspect of the Indian Ocean 
changed. India ceased to be the goal of 
navigators and explorers alternately. 

Ceylon and the Golden Chersonese, or 
Malacca, were now reached from the West, 
and after the second half of the fiist cen- 
tury A.D. the merchants of the Roman 

Empire penetrated as far as Kattigara. 
Whethei we are to identify this place, as 
Von Richthofen supposes, with Tonquin, 
or, as others maintain, with Canton, there 
is no doubt that the Romans who reached 
Kattigara came into contact with the 
Chinese. So, for the first time in the 
period of authenticated history, this 
^ . people is drawn into the affairs 
oming ^^ ^-^^ Indian Ocean, where it 

^.. was afterwards to play so 

Chinese . , „, xr j 

promment a role. 

The efforts of the Chinese people at sea 
have already been discussed. Chinese 
navigation, so far as it touched the Indian 
Ocean, presents the peculiar feature of 
always advancing toward the west, until 
it came into contact with that of the 
western peoples^ This contact is what 
it required, but it avoided any further 
progress or overlapping. Accordingly, in 
the fourteen to eighteen centuries during 
which we have to consider the Chinese 
intercourse on the Indian Ocean, that 
ocean has witnessed a drama such as no 
other sea can show. 

If the western nations limit the area of 
their voyages, the Chinese, in conformity 
with their undeniable commercial spirit, 
follow them with their merchantmen into 
more western regions ; but if enterprising 
captains of Western Asia or Europe push 
further toward the east, the son of the 
Middle Kingdom gives way without demur. 
This was the case in the first centuries of 
the relations between West and East, and 
the dawn of modern times has seen the 
same course of events. 

These movements take place almost 
rhythmically. They follow one another 
with a regularity which tempts one to 
arrange in harmony with them the rela- 
tions of the Chinese toward the Indian 
Ocean. The whole character of the Chin- 
ese deterred them from navigating it on 
their own initiative. They required the 
stimulus given by the circumstance that 
_, . the mariners of Western Asia, 

^ . , about the year 21^0 a.d. at the 

Commercial , . , ^ ^^ ^■ ,• 1 

V latest, gradually discontmued 

Voyages - t"^ i.^- j 

voyages to Kattigara and 

contented themselves with seeking nearer 

ports. The threatened loss of trade 

compelled the Chinese to follow the 

barbarians to the West. In the middle 

of the fourth century a.d. we find them at 

Penang in the Malacca Straits. Toward the 

end of that century they reached for the 

first time Ceylon, the only point outside 



the region of their native ocean which 
had any great attraction for them. In 
Ceylon, however, they saw the germs of 
that Buddhist doctrine which exercised 
the most powerful formative influence on 
their own civilisation. Not content with 
this goal, which they again and again 
strove to reach, they came by the middle 
_ - of the fifth century as far as 

^. . the Persian Gulf and the town 

., of Hira on the Euphrates : 

later, we find them, if we may 
believe Edrisi, even at Aden and other ports 
of the Red Sea. The expeditions of the 
Chinese to Persia and Mesopotamia ended 
about the year 700, while their ships did 
not withdraw from Ceylon, which, in this 
interval, had developed into a flourishing 
emporium between East and West, until 
the middle of the eighth century. 

The seven centuries in which we first 
notice the pendulum-like oscillations of 
Chinese maritime enterprise saw con- 
siderable changes in the powers of Western 
Asia, by whom the trade with China was 
conducted. Here, too, as always in his- 
tory, the Chinese were the permanent 
factor. x\part from the people known in 
later times under the name of the Malays, 
who, by sharing in the voyages to Ceylon, 
became important competitors with them 
in the second period, the Chinese were for 
the whole time the undisputed bearers of 
the trade directed toward the West. But 
in the W^est there were far-reaching revo- 
lutions. There the Greco-Roman trader 
was being ousted more and more by 
nations which, although long settled on 
the borders of the Indian Ocean, had only 
just turned their attention to sea traffic. 

In the first place we must here mention 
the Indians themselves, who then, perhaps 
for the first time in the course of their 
history, so uneventful in foreign policy, 
ventured to any large extent upon the 
sea. We may form our own opinions as 
to their share in the expeditions to Malacca 
. and the Archipelago, but there is 

. ' " no doubt that they did not regard 
. .. passively the sp)lendid develop- 
ment of Western trade which was 
taking place at their own gates. 

By far the greater part of this trade 
passed into the hands of Persia, after the 
powerful dynasty of the Sassanids (227- 
651) had raised that kingdom to the rank 
of a great Power. Bui Persia commanded 
only one of the two sea routes leading 
from India to the West — that across the 


Persian Gulf. Of this it soon gained 
absolute possession ; and the monopoly 
remained for a long time in its hands, for 
neither the Indians nor the vigorous 
inhabitants of the kingdom of Hira 
(210-614) had any other route available. 

Like the Persian ships themselves, the 
Indian and Arabian merchantmen sailed 
to Ceylon, where they received the wares 
brought there by Chinese junks, more 
especially silk, cloves, aloes-wood, and 
sandal-wood, in order to carry them 
directly across the Persian Gulf. On the 
other hand, the Persian dominion did not 
extend, either at the time of the Sassanids 
or later, over the second route to the West, 
that of the Red Sea. The traces, there- 
fore, of Rome's former command of the 
seas were preserved here the longest. The 
far-famed city of Berenice Troglodytice 
flourished down to the fourth century ; 
and even in the days of Justinian the ships 
of the East Roman Empire sailed yearly 
from Klisma and the ancient Elath to 
India. Owing to the unusuafly firm 
St th position of the Persians in 
r'^p''^ . the Euphrates valley all at- 
j, . tempts to break through their 

monopoly of the maritime 
trade on this, the shortest, route were 
always futile. The Red Sea presented 
itself as the only avenue of app)roach 
to the Far East. The small shipping 
industry of Klisma and Elath was 
quite unable to meet the immense 
requirements of the luxurious Byzantine 
court as well as those of the civilised 
world of the Mediterranean. Justinian 
looked for and found allies geographically 
more favoured in the Ethiopians of the 
friendly Axumitic kingdom, whose position 
at the entrance of the Indian Ocean as 
well as at that of the Red Sea naturally 
suggested the transit trade. 

The attempt, nevertheless, failed. Many 
Greek merchants, indeed, went down to 
Adulis, and actually crossed over to India 
in Ethiopian ships ; yet they did 
not succeed in impairing the Persian 
monopoly to any appreciable extent. 
The Persians in the course of centuries 
had established themselves too firmly in 
the Indian ports to be ousted by the com- 
petition of an unadventurous and uninflu- 
ential people from the position which they 
had laboriously acquired. So far as the 
Indian Ocean is concerned, the Persians 
seem rather to have derived fresh strength 
for further advances from every attack. 



WHAT the western voyage of Columbus 
was for the Atlantic, or the descent 
of Balboa and the expedition of Magalhaes 
for the Pacific, the eastern voyage of 
Vasco da Gama was for the Indian Ocean — 
an event, that is, of the most telling import- 
ance for all succeeding time. But w^hile 
those events in the history of the first 
two oceans are unmatched for their far- 
reaching influence, the discovery of the 
way round the Cape does not stand alone 
in its importance for the Indian Ocean. 

The pioneers of Europe found that they 
had been anticipated by Islam, which in its 
whole life and being l^elongs to the Indian 
Ocean. On a victorious march of in- 
comparable swiftness it bore the flag 

of the Prophet p 

to the shores | 
of the Atlantic, 
and it touched 
the Pacific with 
its most eastern 
offshoots ; but 
only in the 
region of the 
Indian Ocean 
did it attain a 
vigorous and 
unhindered de- 
velopment ol 
its strength 
and, more im- 
portant still, 
only there was 
it able to 
spread itself 
over the surface 
of the ocean. 

It is not to 
be assumed that the Arabs sailed the 
sea for the first time after the Hegira. 
Such a view is contradicted not only 
by the migration by sea of the Ge-ez 
nations of South Arabia to the highlands 
of Abyssinia, but by the navigation 
of the peoples of Hira and Aden, and by 
many other facts. But at no period before 
Mahomet do we find in them even an 
inclination to that deliberate oversea 
policy which is so characteristic .of the 
Arabian world during the whole age of 
the caliphs and later. 

Four years after the Prophet's death 
the Neo-Persian kingdom lay shattered 
on the ground, struck down by the powerful 


hand of Omar. It seemed almost as if, 
under the new conditions and in the warlike 
turmoil of that time, the Indian Ocean 
would relapse into that state of insignifi- 
cance from which it had only slowly 
emerged in the course of the last few 
centuries ; for at this same time, 641, 
the rest of Nearer Asia and even Egypt 
fell a victim to the Mohammedans. 

The Indian Ocean thus had become an 
Arabian Sea ; from Suez and Massowah 
on the west as far as the Indus delta 
on the east its waves, at the time of the 
Ommeiads and the Abbassids, beat on 
shores over which the caliphs ruled. 
In this way the whole commerce of West 
with East, the world commerce of that 

day, lay in the 
hands of the 
Arabs alone. 
For the first 
time since the 
Indian Ocean 
has played a 
part in the 
authentic a t e d 
history of man- 
kind, the ap- 
pearance of the 
Arabs on the 
scene compels 
the observer to 
divide his field 
of view. In 
addition to the 
route from west 
to east, which 
hitherto has 
been exclu- 
sively treated, 
one of the routes which passes through 
the northern part of the ocean from 
north to south now claims serious 
consideration. We have, in fact, to deal 
with the encroachment of the Arabs 
on the coast of East Africa. It is on 
this particular region that the Arab 
people has longest asserted its capacity 
to resist the world powers of modern 

The expansion of the Arabs toward 
the East during the age of the Caliphate 
must still be regarded entirely from the 
standpoint of the reciprocal relations 
between Eastern and Western Asia. 
Possessing a large number of the best 



Traders in 

harbours of the Indian Ocean, among 
them those which commanded the East 
Indian trade, the Arabs saw themselves 
compelled to turn their attention more 
and more to the sea, and primarily to the 
eastern ocean. We find Arab fleets on the 
west coasts of India as early as 637 ; but 
then it was imperatively necessary to 
deprive the Persians, who even 
after the fall of the Sassanids 
were a formidable naval power, 
of the supremacy in the 
Indian Ocean. The Arabs did not conquer 
India by the sea route, and failed to drive 
out of the field the competition of the 
Persians, in spite of the founding of Basra, 
or Bassora, and Bagdad, which testifies 
to their political foresight and their know- 
ledge of the geographical requirements 
of commerce. For more than two centuries 
their fleets ploughed the waters of the 
Indian Ocean in peaceful harmony with 
the Persian merchantmen. During the 
first decades of the Caliphate era, this 
navigation kept to the paths which had 
been followed from the Sassanid age. It 
did not go beyond Ceylon ; at that time, 
indeed, the voyages of the Chinese still 
extended to the Persian Gulf. 

About the year 700, Arabs and Persians, 
encouraged by improvements in ship- 
building and the knowledge ot the com- 
pass which they then probably acquired, 
advanced boldly over the Bay of Bengal 
and reached the shores of China. In 
correspondence to this forward movement, 
and true to their custom of penetrating 
only so far as was requisite for the main- 
tenance of commercial intercourse, the 
Chinese at once proceeded to narrow the 
extent of their voyages more and more. 

Although the Chinese held aloof, the 
Indian Ocean by no means became 
deserted. For even if the Pacific was 
closed to the Persians and Arabs in the 
ensuing period, yet they found in Kalah, 
on the Strait of Malacca, a place where 
the trade with the Chinese 
could be transacted until these 
latter once more sought out 
the old route to Ceylon and 
the ports of Malabai. This renewed 
advance of the Chinese is the last of their 
rhythmic movements on the surface of 
the Indian Ocean. It began in the second 
half of the thirteenth century, when 
Kublai Khan gave a great stimulus to 
navigation. The ponderous junks of the 
Chinese, just as in the second age, whose 


of Chinese 

beginnings lay some 900 years back, once 
more sailed in large fleets toward the 
west. Ceylon remained their terminus, 
as of old, but the powerful and flourishing 
ports of Calicut and Ormuz became also 
the objects of their voyages. These were 
primarily intended for trade, without, 
however, excluding other enterprises. 
The Chinese then attempted what they 
had never previously done on the waters 
of the Indian Ocean — they actually under- 
took one voyage of discovery as far as 
Makdishu, in East Africa, and in the first 
half of the fifteenth century the monarchs 
of the Ming dynasty subjugated Ceylon. 
This was the culminating point of Chinese 
activity in the Indian Ocean. 

By the middle of the fifteenth century 
China disappeared again from the Indian 
Ocean, and this time permanently. The 
attempts repeatedly made by the Chinese 
during a period of more than one thousand 
years to remain in touch with the nations 
of the West bore but little fruit, either 
for the West or for the East. 

On the other hand, the Malay people, 

which is characterised more than any 

other in the Eastern Hemi- 

a ays e gpj^g^g |-)y nautical spirit and 
Sailors of ^ i u a A -a- 

. „ capacity, began at this time 

to emerge from its previous 
obscurity. The voyages which the Malays 
had undertaken at that early period, 
when the Chinese for the first time 
advanced far beyond the Straits of 
Malacca towards the west, were certainly 
not the fi-rst in their history ; but we 
possess no exact information on the 
subject. We can, however, trace with 
tolerable clearness how the Western 
Archipelago, and Java in particular, 
early came into certain relations with 
India. Thither Brahmanism and Budd- 
hism had both found their way. 

It was only at the moment when the 
Malays, from a correct appreciation of 
the narrowness of their political and 
economic basis, withdrew from the island- 
world to the long since abandoned main- 
land that they acquired strength and 
opportunity to affect the destinies of their 
seas. The founding of Singapore from 
the old empire of Menangkabau in iiCo 
is in fact the starting-point of their power, 
which, in the course of the next centuries, 
extended to a large part of Indonesia, 
and found its most conspicuous expression 
in the prosperity of Malacca, founded in 
1252, through which for many centuries 


the whole commerce from west to east 

An unkind dispensation ordained that 
the ^Malays should not succeed in develop- 
ing on a larger scale their hereditary 
nautical abilities. Hardly were they pre- 
pared for a more comprehensive oversea 
policy, when the era dawned which 
revolutionised all the existing conditions 
on the Indian Ocean — the era of its open- 
ing up by the Europeans from west to 
east. Even before this, piracy had been 
greatly esteemed by the Malays, and it 
became henceforth their almost exclusive 
occupation ; by this involuntary step the 
Malays relinquished any historical role 
in the higher sense. 

Only one feat on a larger scale Avas per- 
formed by the Malays within the limits 
of the Indian Ocean ; this was their settle- 
ment of the large island of Madagascar. 
This migration from their original homes 
in the Indian Archipelago is mainly 
prehistoric ; the dates assigned to it vary 
between the first and the twelfth centuries 
A.D. The western coasts of the ocean even 
at this gloomy period did not share the fate 
_ of the east side, which ccn- 

, ., . tinued to be a complete blank 
of Africa . , • . ^ , 

. A K SO tar as history is concerned. 

Although the Greek traders 

finally kept aloof, yet the Arabs, who had 

early sailed from their emporiums in 

Yemen to the south, did not cease until 

past the second century a.d. to navigate 

energetically the east coast of Africa, 

even far below the equator. Before the 

advent of the Prophet their voyages were 

directed exclusively to commercial objects. 

But fully a century after the Hegira the 

connection with the south, which was 

formerly only loose, was drawn tighter ; 

where previously simple factories had 

existed, one fortified town after another 

now sprang up. Round thesfe towns 

were grouped kingdoms, of . small size, 

it is true, but nevertheless able largely to 

influence and change the nationality and 

customs, the religion and type, of the 

settled population. Madishu and Barav/a, 

Malindi and Mouibasa, but especi.Jly 

Kilwa-Kisiwani, which flourished for many 

years, were the centres of these states, by 

whose maintenance for fully nine hundred 

years the Arab nation has given the most 

brilliant proof of historical strength and 


Down to modern times the shape of the 

Indian Ocean was completely misrepre- 

sented. It was imagined to be an inland 
sea, a long, narrow channel, which, joining 
the Red Sea, formed, as it were, a pro- 
longation of the Mediterranean turned 
toward the south. While the north shore 
of this marvellous I)asin is represented 
by the south coast of Asia, it was supposed 
that the boundary on the south was 
\A- t h r ^^^\ p'ied by the continent of 
„ , r- . Alnca. Iheeast coast of Alrjca 

Early Carlo- , •, i i • i 

, was twisted round in early 

maps, and made to run due 

east and west at its southern extremity, 

and to join the south of Asia somewhere 

in the Far East. 

This erroneous conception became 
momentous for the history of mankind 
when it was perpetuated by Ptolemy, 
whose cosmographic system was the 
main source of the geogra})hical knowledge 
of the early Middle Ages. The Arabs, 
the direct lieirs of the great geographer, 
adopted without criticism his facts and 
his blunders, and thus accepted the 
tradition that the Indian Ocean was an 
inland sea, although the direction of the 
Somali and Zanzibar coast must have 
been familiar to them. 

The Indian Ocean in this Ptolemaic 
shape became important for the history of 
the human race in two ways. The one 
part of its role ended in the political 
achievements of the Arabs on the east 
coast of Africa, of which the extent was 
perhaps conditioned not only by the causes 
already mentioned, but also by the very 
natural desire of the conquerors to keep 
in touch with the mother country. Apart 
from these settlements the Indian Ocean is 
important for the fable of the " Terra 
Australis," the unknown southern land, 
with which it was associated. The idea 
of this continent, mainly derived from 
Ptolemy, who gave the name of the Ethi- 
opian Australia to the sujiposed southern 
shore of his land-girdled Indian Ocean, 
was taken up by the Arabs, who gave the 
.... unknown land the name of 
p/^i^ '^ the Sendsh coast. Then, partly 
Milukl^ through the agency of the 
Arabs, partly directly, the 
myth was adopted into the geography of the 
scholastics, and at the close of a troublous, 
but in many respects sterile, period 
remained as a problem which the Middle 
Ages had acquired no claim to solve. 

Although it was a mere fancy to think 
of the Indian Ocean as an inland sea, 
still its influence in history has practicaUy 



corresponded to its imagined character. 
It proved an insuperable barrier between 
the imperfect civihsations which bordered 
on it. In early times, it was simply 
avoided by a detour ; later, men sailed 
along the coasts from harbour to harbour, 
or let themselves be driven by the monsoon 
eastward or westward. The direction of 
the circles of latitude is almost 
J the only historical axis of the 
° ' ancient Indian Ocean which 
comes before us. With the 
exception of the voyages to Sendsh and 
Sofala, the whole intercourse takes this 
direction, from the enterprises of the 
Phoenicians in the second millennium B.C., 
down past the Greeks and Romans, the 
Persians and the Arabs, to the last expedi- 
tions of the Chinese, whose aim was Ceylon, 
in the middle of the fifteenth century a.d. 
One-sided as was this intercourse — except 
for a few journeys undertaken by the 
Chinese from religious motives and the 
warlike expeditions of the Arabs against 
India, which stand by themselves, it was 
invariably devoted to purposes of trade — 
it showed itself important for the develop- 
ment of the civilisation of mankind. 

In this exchange of the products of 
civilisation between the East and the West 
the latter was always the recipient, the 
former the giver. And for the last third 
of the period which we have surveyed the 
exchange was effected merely by the 
agency of West Asiatic peoples, by the 

Persians, antl more paiticularly by the 
Arabs. At the moment when the latter 
swept forward from insignificance into the 
position of a political and intellectual 
world-power, the old direct connection 
between the sphere of Mediterranean 
culture and that of South and East Asia 
was snapped. Whether it is a question of 
obtaining rare spices, dyes, or luxuries, or 
of the introduction of the Indian system 
of numerals, or of the widening of the 
knowledge of medicine and mathematics, 
of geography and astronomy, the result 
is always the same ; the nations that 
command the Red Sea and the Persian 
Gulf are inevitably the agents. The Indian 
Ocean after the seventh or eighth century 
bears the stamp of a purely Asiatic sea, 
with possibly a faint African admixture. 

Like the Pacific, the Indian Ocean 
was entirely removed from the field of 
vision of the western civilised nations ; it 
required to be rediscovered and opened up 
no less than its great and 
Indian Ocean virgin neighbours. That the 

Re-discovered ^ - ° r xi, j. 

by White Races ^P^,^^"? ^P of the two oceans 
took place about the same 
time, simultaneously also with the lifting 
of the gloom which rested on the Atlantic, 
was partly the result of accidents, but was 
much more due to the internal develop- 
ment of the western nations. But in each 
of the oceans the work of exploration ran 
a different course ; for this diversity the 
facts of physical geography are responsiVile. 










nPO the men of to-day the difference 
^ between the physical and the historical 
ocean is no longer familiar. As the waves 
of the one ocean mingle freely with those of 
the other, so the cui rents of world com- 
merce, and also of world history, flow 
unchecked from one to the other. Both, 
indeed, move on specially favoured paths, 
but these paths encircle the whole globe ; 
they cross the sea in the diiection which 
each man chooses, the essential feature 
of true international commerce. 

Four hundred years have sped since this 
change in the character of the oceans — 
not in men's ideas about them — was com- 
pleted ; a short span of time compared 
with the millenniums that preceded. They 
have brought infinitely much to the 
Atlantic as well as to the Pacific, to each 
certainly more than to the Indian Ocean ; 
nevertheless, the sum total of the historical 
importance of the two former is not 

_. „ greater than that of the latter. 
The Era r j.x, ■ i 

, _, .in their case also, a new 
of Oceanic , ■.■, ., t- 

_. era begins with the Euro- 


pean voyages of discovery. 

One is tempted at first sight to say that 
the opposition of the maritime nations to 
the white invader has been more deter- 
mined than that of nations living inland 
or neglecting the use of the sea. But such 
a generalisation must be qualified by 
exceptions so important as to rob it of 
nearly all its value. It is true that the 
Aztecs and Peruvians succumbed to the 
onslaught of. the whites still more feebly 
than the Indians ; but China, in spite of 
many storms, still stands unshaken in any 
respect. On the other side, the opposition 
was nowhere slighter than from the Poly- 
nesians ; the distribution of a sparse 
population over an immense area from 
the very first prevented any war being 
waged. Again, the geographical condi- 
tions of India and Indonesia are similar on 
both the east and west ; yet their deahngs 
with the white races have been of the most 
different description. So far as the Indies 
are concerned, we must abandon the idea 

of treating the ocean as an important 
influence on the course of history. It is 
in the facts of religious and political 
development that we must seek for the 
reason why, in India proper, native civili- 
sation succumbed to the slightest shock 
from without, while in Indonesia it found 
a safe refuge. The Arabs at the time 
when Vasco da Gama, after his 
memorable voyage to Calicut, 

by India's 

set foot" on the soil of India, 
represented the dominant reli- 
gion of the Indian Ocean, and possessed 
the monopoly of commercial intercourse so 
far as it connected the Indian world with 
the West. Not merely did the fabulous 
prosperity of Cairo and Alexandria, the 
power of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, of 
Barcelona and Florence, the splendour, in 
short, of the Mediterranean world of those 
times, rise and fall with this trade, but the 
economic life of Northern Europe as far as 
Germany and Flanders was materially 
affected by it. The whole West, indeed, 
between 1200 and 1500 lay under the spell 
of the trade with India. 

At the moment of the landing of Vasco 
da Gama, the Arabs recognised the des- 
perate danger which threatened their 
supremacy. In the succeeding period 
their resistance to the intruders was more 
obstinate and lasting than that offered by 
the natives of India, who were unfamiliar 
with the sea. Even the Ottoman Turks, 
who in 1517 by the conquest of Egypt had 
entered upon the heritage of the Mame- 
lukes, knew perfectly well that Egypt was 
^ . worthless to them unless they 
A • t'lh possessed complete liberty of 
0^**d^ ^ movement on the Indian Ocean. 
This truth was, however, first 
brought home to them by the Venetians 
and Genoese, who lost their main 
source of prosperity with the interruption 
of the Levantine trade. The attempts, 
accordingly, of the Turks to regain that 
liberty of movement were less persistent 
than would have been desirable in the 
interests of all the Mediterranean states. 



Far from overthrowing the power of the 

Portuguese, they were unable even to 

break through the blockade of the Red 

Sea, which the new-comers maintained 

for some decades. The Red Sea, therefore, 

relapsed temporarily into the condition of 

Tk T f ^ backwater ; at the same 
The Turk s ^j^g ^j^g j^g ^^^^ Qf ^j^g 

Slnd"''"'^ Turk, spreading death every- 
where, fell on its northern exit. 

From the fifteenth to the nineteenth 
century the Indian Ocean by no means 
served the purpose of a common thorough- 
fare. The Portuguese for more than a 
century regarded it as their own sea. 
For while the famous Bull of Alexander 
VI., limiting Spanish enterprise to the 
lands and seas west of the Azores, had 
been withdravvn in the very year when it 
was issued, still Portugal and Spain had, 
within a few years of this abortive attempt 
at demarcation, come to an agreement in 
which the principle of the Papal judgment 
was recognised ; and the New World was 
partitioned between these, the two greatest 
maritime and colonising Powers of the age, 
by the tracing of an imaginary frontier to 
the west of the Cape Verde Islands. 

The post-Columbian age did away 
with this, as with so many other ideas. 
In colonial history between 1600 and 1850 
we hear of no considerable region, except 

the sea of Central America, which was 
more obstinately contested than the 
border lands and islands of the Indian 
Ocean. And as if it were not enough 
that the European nations should rush 
forward to secure for themselves the 
heritage of Portugal, the Arabs from 
Maskat stepped vigorously on the scene 
after 1660, and after eighty years of war 
wrested ante more the central coast of 
East Africa from the detested European. 
This international competition ends at 
the moment when the political equilibrium 
was disturbed in favour of England, under 
whose dominion it was now destined to 
pass for the whole succeeding period. 
This disturbance was produced by an 
event which in its later developments has 
controlled the whole subsequent history of 
the ocean and the surrounding countries — 
the first acquisition of territory in India by 
Britain. If we bear in mind that from 1498 
to past the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury the political activity of the European 
Powers w as spent on the founding of mere 
factory colonies, which could not secure to 
any of the participating nations a broad 
economic basis or any supremacy, we 
may see in Robert Clive's decisive victory 
at Plassey, on June 23rd, 1757, the 
beginning of a new era both for India 
and for the Indian Ocean. 


'"THE age which started with the victory 
■'■ of Plassey was inaugurated, first by 
the Peace of Paris of February loth, 1763, 
when that very France, to which a 
Dupleix had opened out such glittering 
prospects, renounced for ever the posses- 
sion of India and consequently the su- 
premacy in the Indian Ocean ; and next 
by the dissolution of the French East 
India Company in 1770. In this way the 
only European rival whom England had 
then to consider was finally driven from 
the field. England could npw look to the 
realisation of her aim, which was to impress 
on the Indian Ocean the stamp of a 
British sea — of a central sea, that is, 
round which the Asiatic, African, and 
Australian branches of the British world- 
empire might cluster. Gigantic as this 
conception must have appeared to the 
eighteenth century, yet it was actually 
realised a hundred years after the with- 
drawal of the French from India. Im- 
mediately before the opening of the 


Suez Canal England did not, it is true, 
possess all the shores of the Indian Ocean ; 
hut there was no power which could 
dispute her supremacy single-handed. 

The historical importance of the Indian 
Ocean culminates during those hundred 
years from the fact that then it was 
mainly sought and won for its own sake ; 
it was only after the opening up of East 
Asia that it sank more and more into the 
position of a thoroughfare. The activity 
of its indigenous population, although it 
was not less vigorous than in the fore- 
going age, recedes into the background 
compared with that of the in- 
^ vaders from outside. The 

„. ^^ theatre of events lay now, as 

ig way g^j-jjgj.^ exclusively on the west 
coast of the ocean, and it ended in the 
founding and growth of the sultanate of 
Zanzibar, the keystone to the fabric of poli- 
tics and civilisation raised by the Arabs in 
the Indian Ocean. Hardly was the struc- 
ture completed, when it cracked in every 


joint. While the ocean previously had been 
a remote gulf, with one single approach far 
down at the Cape, it was brought, through 
the artificial strait of Suez, far nearer to 
the section of mankind which required 
expansion ; and in place of the Latin 
nations, which, dogged as they were, had 
grown weary from the colonising work of 
centuries, the fresh and resolute Teutonic 
races stepped forward. The Moslem bul- 
wark, laboriously reared by the work of 
a thousand years at the eastern entrance 
to the Dark Continent, rapidly fell to the 

The establishment of her position in 
India has marked out for Great Britain 
a definite road by which to maintain com- 
munications with her Australian colonies ; 
she must endeavour to protect the 
approach at all possible points, as well as 
to command the surface of the adjacent 
sea. The Portuguese and Dutch, even the 
French, had already tried to do so. The 
Portuguese had laid their hands on 
numerous parts of the west coast of 
Africa, from Madeira arid Arguin in the 
north as far as Benguela in the south, 
_ and had also made bases on the 

th"*R "*d ^^^^ coast from Sofala to Mak- 

1 .. dishu and Socotra. The Dutch, 
with better discernment, made 
the southern extremities of Africa and 
India, the Cape of Good Hope (1602 
and 1652), and Ceylon (1602-1796) the 
centre of their system of defence, and at 
the same time took care to occupy Mau- 
ritius (1598-1710) and Delagoa Bay (1721). 
For France finally the islands, Madagascar 
and its neighbours, were intended to 
protect the road to India, at least in the 
south of the Indian Ocean. 

The British were far from following in 
these steps directly after the beginning of 
their Indian sovereignty ; on the contrary, 
for decades St. Helena was still reckoned 
as a sufficient base on the long route 
round the Cape. Even the first occupa- 
tion of Cape Colony (1795-1802), which 
was merely the result of jealousy of the 
French, had not yet opened the eyes of 
English Ministers to the value of South 
Africa for the Indian Ocean ; they would 
hardly otherwise have given it back to 
the Batavian Republic. It was only the 
agitation of keen-sighted politicians like 
Eord Wellesley, who as far back as 
1798 had clearly expressed his opinion 
that India was untenable without the 
Cape, and still more the attacks on the 

British colonial empire executed or 
planned by Napoleon I., which brought 
about the resolution to secure it. 

Great Britain, therefore, in 1806, rapidly 
anticipating Napoleon's intention of occu- 
pying the Cape, planted her foot once more, 
and this time finally, on South Africa. 
This step decided the whole further course 

_ ., . , of events on the Indian Ocean. 

Britain s ^^ j. t~> j. ■ 

„ . Great Britam is now supreme 

p ... not only at the apex of the 

great inland sea, but also at 

the corner pillars at its base. In this way 

she has not only acquired an impregnable 

defensive position, but she, beyond all 

other nations, is in the position to guide 

the destinies of the Indian Ocean. 

Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, which 
undoubtedly would have attained the 
desired end had France been a match for 
England by sea, must be considered as 
comparatively the most eventful of these 
operations. But its results were very 
different from what had been anticipated. 
It reminded England of the vulnerable 
point in her position ; and from this time 
British policy was naturally guided by the 
hope of securing the Red Sea. 

Great events cast their shadows before 
even in the history of the seas. The 
plan of cutting the isthmus of Suez was 
mooted during Napoleon's stay in Egypt, 
and was never again allowed to drop. 
The repose in which the Red Sea had been 
left for three hundred years was rudely 
shattered now that the interest of Europe 
was concentrated on it. It became appar- 
ent that direct communications were to be 
reopened between the Mediterranean and 
the Far East. Once more the attention 
of the colonial Powers was concentrated 
on the north-west corner of the Indian 
Ocean. In 1839 the British occupied 
Aden, the emporium at the entrance of the 
Red Sea which had flourished in the old 
days of sailing-ships. At the moment 

, „ when the construction of the 

Influence , 11 1 1 

- canal could no longer be pre- 

g -, J vented, she firmly planted her- 
self on Perim in the straits of 
Bab el Mandeb in 1857, ^^^ almost at the 
same time included in her dominion the 
Persian Gulf. 

The expedition of Napoleon had shown 
Great Britain how insecure her Indian pos- 
sessions were, so soon as France or any 
other Power set foot in Egypt. Accor- 
dingly, after the battle of the Pyramids, 
on July 2ist, 1798, the chief object of her 



^iFort Gon iieh MEDITERRANEAN 




Indian policy was necessarily to prevent 
such a contingency, or even any political 
and economic strengthening of the country. 
There was no difficulty in carrying out this 
purpose so long as the plan of the Suez 
Canal was still only in the germ, and the 
British continued to hold the undisputed 
sovereignty of the seas which they had 
won during the Revolutionary and 
Napoleonic wars. 

But later, as the plan of the canal 
assumed more definite shape, and the 
other Powers, who had gained strength in 
the interval, once more advanced on the 
seas, this sovereignty became more diffi- 
cult, but at the same time more important. 
Lord Elienborough was therefore justified 
in saying that England, if she wished to 
secure the supremacy of the world, must 
stand with one foot in India and the other 
in Egypt. Lord Palmerston privately in- 
formed Count Ferdinand de Lesseps that 
if England was allowed to occupy Egypt 
permanently with an army and to super- 
intend the traffic in the canal, he and 
England would be willing to aid the enter- 
prise in every way : but it was found 
possible to complete the canal in 1869 
without this great concession. British 
policy, however, soon found the means of 
making the canal a source of strength 
instead of weakness to her Colonial 
Empire. In 1875, Lord Beaconsfield 
seized the opportunity of the Khedive 
Ismail's pecuniary embarrassments to 
purchase his shares in the canal. The 
rebellion of Arabi Pasha afforded an un- 
expected opportunity of taking a still 
further step. Half against the will of the 
Ministry of the moment, the British 
crushed the revolt and, in 1S82, effected the 
occupation of Egypt. The great problem 
was thus solved ; the way to the Indian 
Ocean as well as to the Pacific had become 
a British road. But at the same time the 
occupation of the old country of the 
Pharaohs brought Great Britain face to 
face with a new task, that of flanking the 
Indian Ocean by an Africa which should 
be British from Cape Town to the Nile. 

The opening of the new waterway 
brought with it also a mass of new results 
for mankind in general and for the Indian 
Ocean and the Mediterranean in particular. 
This latter now not only developed itself 
into one of the most crowded thorough- 
fares, but awoke slowly to a new life of its 
own, which in its most \igorous form 
stirred the Italians to oversea expansion. 



But still more wide were the effects of the 
completion of the Suez Canal on the Indian 
Ocean and the commerce of the world. 
The numerous routes which ran from the 
Cape of Good Hope to the north and north- 
west were suddenly deserted, except by a 
few saihng-ships. On the other hand, the 
few routes which traversed the new 
commercial highway in the 
first years after its opening 
have been multiplied and 
differentiated ; there are, at 
the present day, numbers of 
trunk lines which converge 
upon Port Said and diverge 
again from Aden eastward. 

provinces must naturally have forced itself 
upon men's minds, especially since between 
them, on the south coast of the Gulf 
of Aden, on the Zambesi, on the Nyassa, 
and in the important Zanzibar Archipelago, 
at the same time or a little later, oppor- 
tunties were offered for the expansion of 
the British power. The magnificent idea 
of an Africa which, on its 
eastern side at all events, 
shall be British from the Cape 
to the mouths of the Nile 
loses some of its audacity 
under these circumstances ; 
but it has been keenly taken 
up, and has already ap- 


Inset is a portrait of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the distinguished Frenchman, to whom we owe the great 
artificial waterway that shortens the road to India and the East. Photo of De Lesseps by Elliot & Fry. 

The opening up of Austraha and Mada- 
gascar has done something to restore the 
importance of the older routes. But old 
and new alike have the Pacific for their 
ultimate objective. The Indian Ocean at 
the present day has again become an 
anteroom to its larger neighbour. 

Great Britain endeavoured in other ways 
to retrieve the losses which she had thus 
sustained. In 1866 she acquired British 
East Africa, a territory precisely equi- 
distant between Cape Colony and Egypt. 
The idea of a junction of these three 

proached its realisation. This id^a played 
its part in causing the masters of Egypt to 
give Mahdism its well-deserved quietus on 
September 2nd, iSg8, before Omdurman. 
In realising it, the British have crushed 
the Matabele empire, and have moved 
their frontiers far beyond the Zambesi 
to the north. For its sake they are 
constructing through Africa a railroad sys- 
tem which not only testifies to economic 
sagacity, but by means of its northern 
branches — the Nile Valley and the Uganda 
railways — makes England independent of 



the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf in the 
event of these being blocked by a hostile 
fleet. In fact, combined with other 
motives, it led also to the defeat of the 
Boers. The Boers, it is true, were more 
African than the negroes, since they have 
struggled., like these at least, to reach the 
sea, and so far could not disturb Great 
Britain by sea ; but as a land power she was 
bound to remain defective on the Indian 
Ocean so long as the Boer states existed. 

During the last thirty or fifty years the 
north and north-west of the Indian Ocean 
have also attained an mcreased importance 
as the thoroughfare to the East at the 
moment when East Asia, violently roused 
from its lengthened seclusion, was opened 
to the enterprise of the European. Here, 
too, Britain was victorious. At the first 
dawn of this period — 1824 — she laid her 
grasp upon the Straits of Malacca, with 
Singapore, Malacca, and Pulo Penang. 
Since that time the Indian Ocean so far 
as it comes into the question of modern 
world commerce, bears in that part, not- 
withstanding the extensive possessions of 
the Dutch, a British stamp. 

In conclusion, the last act of this drama 
lies mostly in the womb of time. It brings 
us into contact with a nation which has 
often occupied our attention on the Pacific, 
but which apparently has no right to meet 

us here — the Russians. And yet their 
appearance on the Pacific implies their 
movement toward the Indian Ocean. If 
Russia wishes not to be stifled in the 
enormous expanse of her Asiatic posses- 
sions, if she wishes to guide the unwieldy 
mass, she must force a way to the nearest 
sea ; her East Asiatic coast is in every 
respect insufficient, and, above all, too 
remote. Hence comes that onward move- 
ment, during the last decades, toward 
the south, towards Mesopotamia and the 
Persian Gulf, which in our days so often 
assumes tangible form in the question of 
the Western Asiatic railways and of a 
Russian harbour on that gulf. The British 
have here a far more difficult position than 
anywhere else on the coasts of the Indian 
Ocean. In the Archipelago the power of 
Holland is broken up over infinite islands 
great and small ; in East Africa England's 
colonial possessions lie firmly riveted round 
and behind the territories of the Portu- 
guese, Germans, and Italians. But here 
she sees herself confined between the sea 
and an antagonist whose ponderous mass 
presses slowly, but with irresistible power, 
toward the south. For the moment, the 
Anglo-Russian agreement of 1907 has 
recognised the British position ; but it 
may be that a struggle is only deferred. 

Karl Weule 

Phoioi hromc Co. 






TN comparatively recent times the vast 
* highlands of Asia, with their glittering 
ramparts of eternal snow, their pasture 
grounds, their bleak deserts and verdant 
oases, were regarded with awe by the 
civilised nations of Europe. It seemed 
that science, in harmony with the religion 
and the myths of so many peoples, had 
succeeded in demonstrating by almost 
irrefragable proofs that Central Asia 
was the piimitive home of mankind, the 
cradle whence even our own forefathers 
were sent out in the pride of youth to 
find eventually a new home in Europe, 
while other brothers of our race descended 
into India, that sun-steeped land of 
marvels. The truth is still to seek, but 
it has been shown that Central Asia 
possesses, so far as we know, no better 
claim than many other regions of the earth 
to be considered the cradle of the human 
. . race. But Central Asia deserves, 

„^'*, ^ .even at the present day, the 

Fountain of , ,,_ j_- r ■ 

r.. ... ,. most serious attention of scien- 
Civilisation .-n A 1 .1 • 

tinc inquirers. Around this 

citadel of the world lay clustered in a wide 
semicircle the ancient countries of civilisa- 
tion, Babylonia, China, and India ; even 
the beginnings of Egyptian culture point 
to Asia. All who believe in a common 
fountain-head of these higher civilisations 
must look for it in Middle Asia, or must 
assume that the germs of higher forms of 


life were carried through that region in 

consequence of migrations or of trading 


Central Asia is the most continental 

region of the world. In a geographical 

sense Middle or Central Asia comprises 

the self-contained interior of Asia ; in a 

historical sense Siberia and the plains of 

Tt 1X7 .J. Western Asia and Europe form 
The World s , c ,->■ , 

^ , . an appendage of this vast 

Plate u expanse. Central Asia, m the 

more restricted sense, is the 
arid plateau, without any outlet, which is 
divided by immense chains of mountains 
stretching from east to west into distinct 
regions — Tibet, Turkestan, and Mongoha. 
But this bleak and desolate region has 
not remained unaltered in the course of 
thousands of years. In the Tertiary 
Period, which perhaps saw man develop 
into the most distinctive form of living 
creature on the earth, a sea was rolling 
where now the barren wastes of the Gobi 
desert and the basin of the Tarim extend : 
new mountains were upraised and mighty 
masses subsided. When the sea dis- 
appeared, and Central Asia acquired its 
present configuration, a long time must 
have elapsed before the land was changed 
into the sterile steppe which we know 
at the present day. The Ice Age, which 
filled Siberia with immense glaciers, 
hardly affected that transformation. The 


The illustration conveys some idea of the grandeur of Tibet's scenery ; in the distance is a permanent barrier of 
ice-bound mountain tops high in the region of eternal snows, and in the foreground is a natural stone Hindu temple. 

inhabitants of Central Asia, therefore, at 
the close of the Glacial Period, which must 
provisionally form the starting-point of 
historical investigation in this field, were 
still living in a comparatively well-watered 
and favoured region, which later became 
by slow degrees mere steppe and desert. 
On the other hand, the elevated character 
of the country has not changed ; and 
this produces even in the southern parts a 
temperate and almost cold climate, and 
has in this way exercised a lasting in- 
fluence on the inhabitants. 

Central Asia in the restricted sense is 
partly bounded, partly intersected, by 
numerous chains of mountains, which by 
their trend from east to west are of great 

importance for- the character 

T. * ^f^ and history of the country, and 

oun am (jj-^jfje {^ j^to several distinct 

sections. On the south, the 
immense wall of the Himalayas divides the 
cold plateau of Tibet so sharply from the 
sultry plains of India that the two countries, 
notwithstanding their close proximity, 
have exercised little influence on each other 
and have never entered into close political 
relations. Farther to the north the Kuen 
Lun, with its offshoots, divides Tibet from 


the desolate plain of the Tarim, which in 
its turn is cut off on the north by the Tian 
Shan. All three ranges meet toward the 
west in an immense group of mountains, 
the centre of which is formed by the 
Pamirs, so that on this side Central Asia 
is quite separated from the Turanian 

Even the rest of the high plateau of 
Central Asia, the Gobi desert with the sur- 
rounding steppes, is bounded by a vast 
circle of mountain ranges, of which the 
most important are the Altai on the west, 
and the Sayansk and Yablonoi Moun- 
tains on the north. Beyond the Altai 
stretch the lowlands of Siberia, which 
are separated from the plains of Eastern 
Europe only by the Ural range. On the 
north-east, however, a chaos of mountains 
bars the way and fills up the greater 
part of Eastern Siberia. In this direc- 
tion, therefore, the migratory spirit of 
Central Asiatic tribes found least scope. 
The mountain ranges on the west were 
never any permanent check on the move- 
ments of the nomads, who found in the 
plains of Turkestan and Western Siberia 
room for expansion and growth of power. 
Toward the south the Himalayas blocked 


their advance ; but on the east, China, 
although partially protected by highlands, 
lay open to the attacks of the peoples of 
the steppes. 

Thus the trend due east and west, which 
characterises the lie of the mountain 
ranges, is clearly noticeable in the migra- 
tory movements of the nations. 

It is thus a most significant fact that 
the chain of the Kuen Lun, which runs 
right through the heart of Central Asia, 
stretches with its offshoots and parallel 
ranges, the Altyn Tagh and Nanshan, as 
far as the middle Hoangho — that is to 
say, into the most fertile districts of China. 
Along these lines of mountains, especially 
on the north side, extends a strip of fertile 
and more or less well-watered land, which 
enables the husbandman to make a home 
there and opens a road to the basin of 
the Tarim through the horrors of the 
desert. The importance of this district, 
the modern province of Kansu, for the 
civilisation and history of the country is 
incalculable. It was here that the perse- 
vering and stolid Chinaman first waged 
war with the nomads, built a rampart of 
fortified towns and agricultural colonies 

across the pasture lands of the unruly 

Central Asiatics, and thus discovered the 

key to the political supremacy over the 

whole interior of Asia ; but this road 

must have been taken in far earlier times 

by those who first brought the manners 

and customs of the West and East into 

contact, even if the people which first 

Th p tK introduced civilisation into 

. _ ^ China did not follow that course 

c ..,*'' ^ . in their migration. An ad- 
Settlement . ^.P , . xt ^i 

vance to libet or to Northern 

Siberia was difficult or impossible for the 
nomad hordes of Central Asia ; their 
movements, from economic reasons, had 
to be directed mainly eastward or west- 
ward ; they followed, therefore, the same 
paths as trade. It was not until a late 
period that Buddhism by its pilgrimages 
produced in Central Asia an important 
movement from north to south. If the 
history of the surrounding countries 
is unintelligible without a clear know- 
ledge of Central Asia and its peoples, 
that of the region of the steppes in the 
interior of Asia is still more so without 
reference to the civnlised countries which 
border it, to China on the east, the area 


Sterility and ruggedness are the chief characteristics of a great part of Tibet, the mountains barring passage and 
the soil supporting with difficulty the sparse animal life that tries to win sustenance from its vegetation. 


History of the world 

of Mediterranean civilisation on the west, 
and India on the south. 

India, which was repeatedly overrun by 
hordes of Central Asiatic nomads, for a 
long period exercised little influence gener- 
ally on the steppe region, and almost none 
politically, since the barrier of the Hima- 
layas was a deterrent from military 
. enterprises, and, apart from 

StronTr than ^^^^' ^^^ natural features of 

ronger an j^|^g^ offered no attraction 

Warfare , t^, , . , 

to a conqueror. Ihe attempt 

made in 1337 by Mohammed Shah 

Tughlak to push on victoriously from 

India to China was foiled by the Himalayas 

and was not subsequently imitated. But 

here, as in so many cases, the spirit has 

been mightier than the sword. Northern 

India, that great seminary of religious 

and philosophic thought, gradually made 

its influence felt in Central Asia, and by 

Buddhist propaganda revolutionised the 

lives and opinions of the nomads. It was, 

of course, a case of scattered seeds, which 

were carried across the mountains and 

struck root independently, and we must 

not imagine any permanent union of Indian 

l)hilosophy with the nomad culture of the 


China stood in a quite different position 

towards Central Asia. The highlands of 

Western China offered, it is true, some 

protection against the inroads of the 

nomads ; but it did not always prove 

sufficient. The policy, which the Chinese 

often adopted, of playing off the nomads 

one against the other, and of settling 

various tribes as border-guards within the 

natural ramparts of the empire, sometimes 

led to the result that these guardians 

asserted their independence or made 

common cause with their kinsmen of 

Central Asia. The weapons wath which 

China fought the peoples of the steppes 

were, at all times, not so much 

^Ch^ ' ^^^ warlike spirit of her sons 

C it^ "** '^^ ^^^ inaccessibility of the 

country as the 'highly advanced 
civiHsation which rendered it possible for 
an extremely dense population to live 
on the fertile soil. The country might 
submit, partially or altogether, but the 
bands of the conquerors soon disappeared 
among the overwhelming numbers of the 
conquered, and their barbarian strength 
could not withstand the example of a higher 

culture. The civilised countries of Western 

Asia were better protected than China 

against the tide of restless nomads. 

Between the Caspian Sea and the Hiam- 

layas rise the mountains of Chorasan and 

Afghanistan. Eastward of these, the fertile 

districts of the Oxus and the Jaxartes, 

where agricultural colonies and fortified 

towns could grow up, formed a vanguard 

of civilisation. But between the Caspian 

and the Black Sea the Caucasus rises like a 

bulwark built for the purpose, and cuts off 

Western Asia from the steppes of Southern 

Russia, that ancient arena of nomadic 

hordes. So long as the natural boundaries 

were maintained, the fertile plains of 

Western Asia were safe from the raids and 

invasions of the nomads. But the people 

of Iran, which guarded civilisation there, 

succumbed at length to the attack. The 

nomads found homes to their liking in the 

steppes which abound in Iran, Syria, and 

Asia Minor, and consequently preserved 

their individuality far longer than in 

China, and were only partially absorbed 

by the peoples they had conquered. 

_ We have thus an explanation 

- . r* of the great difference between 

, ,, East and West. China was 

Influence ., • n 

never more than nommally 

subject to the nomads, and it finally 
crippled their power by a systematic coloni- 
sation of the steppes ; while the ancient 
civilisation of Western Asia sank beneath 
the repeated onslaught of the nomad 
horsemen, and the country became for a 
long time an appendage of Central Asia. 

Europe, the eastern steppes of which 
merge into those of South-west Siberia 
without any well-defined boundaries, was 
never able to ward off the attacks made 
from Central Asia. The Huns advanced 
to the Atlantic, the Avars and Magyars 
invaded France, the Mongols reached 
Eastern Germany, and the Ottoman wav^e 
spent itself against the walls of Vienna. 
Europe still harbours in the Magyars, the 
Turks, and numerous Finnish and Mon- 
golian tribes the remnants of these inhabi- 
tants of the heart of Asia. Western 
Europe, however, with its moist climate, 
its deficiency in wide tracts of pasture 
ground, and its national strength and 
civilisation, suffered no permanent injury, 
but was able to accept the inheritance of 
West Asiatic culture. 



























IF we suppose that the original home of 
■•• mankind lay somewhere in the south- 
east of Asia, as the discovery of the 
supposed " missing link " by E. Dubois in 
Java in i8g2 rendered probable, then 
the rest of the globe may have been early 
populated from this source. But we 
cannot speak definitely on this point. It 
has been shown that man was a contem- 
porary of the mammoth in Siberia. .'\n 
attempt at a connected historical account 
must start provisionally with the end of 
the Glacial Period, since from that time 
onward no extensive changes of climate 
or of the earth's surface have taken place. 
The increasing desiccation of Central 
Asia is, for instance, important in itself, 
but cannot be compared with the stupen- 
dous phenomenon of the Ice Age. 

Two main types, which recur in Europe, 

are represented among the peoples of 

Central Asia and Siberia in varying 

combinations. There is a dolichocephalic, 

or long-skulled, race, which was 

oi *" 1 . perhaps originally allied to the 
Short-heads ^ u ^ i j xi 

„ . . . negro, but has acquired m the 
Predominate °,i i- i , ' , i 

nortli a light complexion and 

partly also fair hair, and a short-skulled 
or brachycephalic race, also comparatively 
light-complexioned, whose purest repre- 
sentatives we may at present find 
among the Mongols and Northern Chinese. 
Besides these, a pigmy race may have 
been sparsely distributed, as prehistoric 
discoveries in Europe and early accounts 
from China and Japan attest ; but 
this gradually disappeared among the 
others, and attained no importance for 
civilisation. The relation of the long- 
headed tribes to the short-headed has 
become all the more important. At the 
present day the short head is predominant 
in Central Asia ; but that is a result 
which has been preceded by many stages 
of evolution. 

According to all appearances, long- 
headed races filled the North of Europe 
and Asia at the close of the Ice Age, and 
they certainly predominated in both 
continents, with the exception of certain 

regions of Central Asia. The remnants 
of these dolichocephalic peoples in Asia 
are probably the Ainos in Yezo and 
Saghalin, the Yenissei-Ostiaks who have 
preserved their ancient tongue in the 
midst of tribes speaking a Mongolian and 
Finno-Ugrian language, and other frag- 
. mentsof nationalities in Siberia. 

IS ri u ion jj^ ^j^^ south the long-heads 

P . „ are again predominant in the 
^ mixed population of Tibet. 

Many of these primitive dolichocephalic 
nations have developed in Northern 
Europe, and partly in Northern Asia, 
under the influence of the climate, 
into fair-haired and blue-eyed men ; 
among the Siberians and the inhabitants 
of Central Asia large numbers of these 
can still be found. Probably long heads 
and also a dark skin are the peculiarities 
common to i')rimitive man. 

Granted that the fair-skinned races 
were developed under the influence of 
the climate, the short-headed race is 
perhaps a variety which is explicable by 
the relaxation of the struggle for existence 
which growing civilisation induced. We 
may find parallels in the domestic animals, 
in which the same fundamental cause 
leads to all sorts of changes — to gigantic 
or diminutive growth, to wool-like hair 
or different coloured hair, and so on. 
A short-headed race developed in Asia 
in early times, and in the course of history 
occupied the greater part of that continent 
as well as large districts of Europe. 
Innermost Asia may pos'=;ibly have been 
the primitive home of this race. It cannot 
at present be definitely settled whether it 
H grew up in Tibet, or in Mon- 

r n • °^-^ golia, or, lastly, farther west in 
of Primitive ^ i . S t i^i 

^ ... lurkestan and even Iran. The 
Mankind i_ ■ ■ c ^ ^^ ■ i- 

beginnings of a higher civili- 
sation seem to start from this race. The 
first gleam of credible historical knowledge 
shows to us in the west and east of Asia, 
in Babylonia and China respectively, a 
brachycepliahc people as the representa- 
tives of civnlisations which are so closely 
related in their main features that they 



suggest with almost overwhelming force 
a former connection between these peoples, 
or, at least, their manners and customs. 
That civdlisation was based on agriculture 
by means of the plough, and on stock- 
breeding ; that is, on the same foundation 
as our modern farming. These are by n*" 
means obvious achievements which must 

^. ... ^. necessarily have been made by 
Civilisation -' • i t-i 

and Early ^^'^^^ progressive people. The 
„ , . contrary is proved by the 

Husbandry , r ^-u ■ ■^■ j .■ 

mstance of the civilised nations 
of America, who were ignorant of the 
plough or beasts of draught, and 
adhered to the use of the mattock, 
although in other respects their husbandry 
stood on a high level. In Eastern as well 
as Western Asia wheat was originally the 
chief cereal. 

Even stock-breeding, which at first 
was almost exclusively cattle-breeding, 
shows similar features in both regions. 
In ancient Bab5'lonia, as in China even 
to-day, cattle were used exclusively for 
drawing burdens and for food, and no use 
was made of their milk. In this respect 
the two civilised peoples are sharply 
differentiated from the nomads, who 
later interrupted the connection between 
East and West, for the existence of the 
wandering herdsman depended mainly on 
the milk of his herds. Horse-breeding 
appears to have been already practised at 
the time when the two civilisations weie 
still in contact or arose in a common 
original home. Here, again, a peculiarity 
appears. The horse is not ridden, but is 
used only for draught, and nothing is 
known of the value of niare's inilk, the 
favourite drink of the Scythians and 

Another peculiarity common to both 
the ancient civilised peoples is their 
acquaintance with copper and bronze, 
so that we may regard the short-headed 
races as inventors of metal-working. 
This fact is important for Europe. There 
^ . also short-headed tribes, fol- 

KnowUdgc lowing the range of the Alps, 
of Metals migrated in early times from the 
East, and spread the knowledge 
of casting bronze as far as Britain. Anotht^r 
similar stream of civilisation reached 
Southern Siberia, where the rich copper 
mines and gold mines of the Altai favoured 
the growth of a peculiar bronze culture. 

Supposing that the original home of 
civilisation did not lie in Central Asia, 
stih the union of the two most ancient 


civilisations must somehow have been 
produced by this region. 

This much, therefore, can be stated with 
tolerable certainty, that an ancient civiU- 
sation depending on agriculture, stock- 
breeding, and the knowledge of bronze, 
whose representatives were peoples of a 
short-headed race, developed in Central 
Asia or its western frontiers. Under the 
influence of this civilisation the popula- 
tion increased, so that emigration and 
colonisation were possible in various 
directions. In this way tribes of the 
northern as well as of the southern long- 
headed race may have been influenced and 
won over to this higher civilisation. This 
first period ends roughly with the close of 
the fourth millennium B.C. 

The view that agriculture is older than 

nomadism contradicts the traditional idea 

which makes the stages of subsistence 

by natural products, of cattle-breeding, 

and of agriculture, follow one after another 

as regular steps in development. But 

this theory, which so long stood in the way 

of a sound comprehension of the most 

ancient questions of civilisation, is now 

no longer accepted. The 

_ ^ *" ^. oldest agricultural peoples, 
Domestication 11? iu 1 

, . . , who broke up the ground 

of Animals -.i .i 11 , 

With the plough, were also 

the first cattle-breeders. This does not 
imply that men tamed oxen and horses from 
the very first with the conscious intention 
of using them as beasts of draught. Com- 
parative ethnology teaches us that even 
now primitive peoples, who tame all sorts 
of animals, first do so to make pets or 
companions of them before they think of 
turning the animals to any profitable use. 
This does not exclude the possibihty that 
religious conceptions may have first 
prompted them to domesticate animals. 

So long as the breeding of cattle and 
subsequently of horses continued to be 
closely bound up with agriculture, and so 
long as the milk of the female animals 
was not used there could be no idea of 
nomadism. It was the use of milk that 
first enabled whole nations to depend on 
the possession of flocks and herds for 
their existence, without reducing their 
stock by excessive slaughtering. This 
food first made the arid tracts of steppe 
habitable and actual sources of prosperity 
and power. But the nature of their 
homes and pastures forces these people to 
make continual and systematic migrations, 
and thus stamps on the whole sphere of 


their material civilisation a trait of mo- 
bility and uncertainty, while it marks 
their character with a mixture of unrest 
and aggressiveness which from time to 
time recurs prominently in history. This 
new economic form of nomadism cannot 
have arisen suddenly ; it assumes the 
breeding of such animals as secrete a 
continuous and large quantity of milk. 
This is, again, a result of long custom ; 
for the female animals of themselves give 
only as much milk as is necessary for the 
early nourishment of their young ones, 
after which time the supply dries up. 

The laborious and tedious breeding of 
milk-giving breeds of cows and soon 
afterwards of mares, was not accomplished 
by the short-headed civilised nations — 
among whom the Chinese to the present 
day despise milk — but apparently by 
long-headed tribes. We now see Aryan- 
speaking nomads in the north and Semitic- 
speaking nomads in the south appear on 
the scene as economic and political powers. 
The civilisation of China still remained 
uninfluenced by them ; from which it 
seems to follow that nomadism originated 
on the steppes of Western Asia 

^ and bastern burope, not m Cen- 

° *j.^ tral Asia. In Babylonia, the old 
Nomadism . ^^ ■•' ..... 

empire oi Sumerian civilisation 

had been overthrown by Semitic nomads 
before the year 3000 B.C. After that date 
the conquerors and conquered gradually 
amalgamated and appeared next in 
history as Babylonians. Other Semites 
as migratory herdsmen kept to that way 
of life, of which the oldest narratives in 
the Bible draw so pleasing a picture. 

Still more momentous was the first 
appearance in history of the Aryan nomads. 
The old dispute as to the origin of the 
Aryans cannot be answered, because the 
whole problem has been put .so wrongly. 
Two totally distinct questions have been 
jumbled together — namely, what was the 
origin of the blond, or at least light- 
coloured, dolichocephalic peoples, the 
majority of whom now employ Aryan 
dialects, and what was the starting-point of 
the Aryan language ? Of the first ques- 
tion we have already spoken. The fair- 
skinned, dolichocephalic peoples are a 
race of men which has developed under 
the influence of the cool climate out of the 
long-headed tribes originally spread over 
the whole of Europe and the greater part 
of Asia. The original Aryan language, 
on the other hand, may have begun, as 

some good linguists maintain, in the low- 
lands of Eastern Europe. It is easy to 
draw the inference that precisely this 
beginning of a nomadic way of life, and 
the necessary migrations, go far to 
explain the extraordinary dissemination 
of Aryan dialects. 

The great historical events with which 

the Aryan nomads appear on the scene 

are the conquest and the 

., *^^ . Aryanisation of Iran and India. 

Nomad T-, -^ r i- 1, 

»j. . Ihe wave of nations may have 
rolled in the third millennium 
B.C. from Eastern Europe over the 
Turanian steppe to the south and have first 
flooded Eastern Iran, until an outlet was 
made through the valley of Kabul, through 
which a part of the Aryans flowed into 

A large number of the nomads remained 
behind in the steppes of Eastern Europe 
and Western Siberia, where they were 
known to the earliest Greek authorities 
as Scythians. Probably all the nomad 
tribes of the great lowlands of Asia and 
Europe were comprised under the name 
" Scythians " in the wider sense, and 
among them probably were represented 
peoples speaking a non-Aryan language. 

The Scythians long showed no wish to 
penetrate into the mountainous civilised 
country of the Balkan peninsula, or to 
push on over the Caucasus into the region 
of the Assyrio-Babylonian civilisation. Iran 
was protected by their own kinsmen, who 
gradually settled there. On the other 
hand, they certainly spread widely toward 
the east, perhaps beyond the Altai, where 
other tribes gradually imitated them in 
their way of life. Numerous blond nomads 
are found at a subsequent period in West- 
Central Asia. 

The horse was employed at first by the 

nomads to draw their waggons, until they 

acquired the art of riding, and by that 

means enormously increased their mobility. 

It cannot yet be decided with 

u ° complete certainty whether the 
the Morse . ' r t j- "^ .lu ■ 

. „. Aryans oi India on their mi- 

grations were acquainted with 
riding. It is indisputable that the Scy- 
thians by Homeric times were a nation 
of horsemen. The nomad tribes became 
acquainted with iron at a later period than 
the settled civilised nations. The Iranian 
Massagetae in the modern lurkestan, 
when they fought their battles against the 
Persians in the time of Cyrus, were 
familiar with only copper and gold. 



Both these metals were obtained from the 

mines in the Altai, and probably also from 

the old mining district of the Caucasus. 

The great Aryan migrations completely 

interrupted the connection between the 

old civilisations of the East and West, if 

such connection still existed. The Chinese 

nation has continued its independent 

r... « .. development, although it has 
ihe Parting i ^ -^ i •, 

_, by no means remamed quite 

^. ... ,. stiff and impervious to ex- 
ternal mfluences. Anystmiulus 
that reached China later on the long and 
dangerous road through the nomad regions 
of Central Asia, or by sea round Further 
India, was far too weak to produce deep 
results. The Chinese nation had to con- 
centrate all its energies on external policy, 
to keep off the nomads who thronged 
round its frontiers, or to absorb them, and 
finally to separate them and pacify them 
by a well-devised system of throwing out 
agricultural colonies. 

The men wnth whom the Chinese had 
to struggle were not migratory herdsmen 
of Aryan language, but members of the 
short-headed race or the Mongolian stock, 
as it is called, after a victorious people 
which appeared late on the scene. The 
earliest history of China records nothing as 
yet of struggles with nomads, but only of 
the conquest of the forces of Nature and 
at most of collisions with aborigines, who 
were at the early hunting stage. However 
incredible and indefinite in detail these 
earliest traditions may be, yet the absence 
of all accounts of nomad invasions, which 
subsequently were every-day occurrences, 
and could hardly have been forgotten in 
an artificial construction of history, is a 
very significant feature. 

It cannot yet be shown whether the 

nomads of Central Asia had a Bronze Age 

of a duration worth mentioning, or whether 

they passed immediately from the Stone 

_, .. , Age to the Iron Age. The 

Blending of , ^, ,, ,. . *= 

-J . . latter alternative is more pro- 

. , bable in the case of most tribes 

of Central Asia, apart from the 
old Bronze region in Southern Siberia 
and its adjoining districts. In Central Asia 
itself the growth of nomadism with its war- 
like propensities and its mobility greatly 
favoured the mixture of nationalities. We 
find a proof of this in the language. While 
in earlier times the Aryan language spread 
in the west under the influence of nomad 

life, at a later period the Mongolian and 
Finnish-Ugrian group of languages pre- 
vailed in Central Asia and far in the direction 
of Siberia and Europe. The charac- 
teristics of the boundless plains, in which 
the nations combine and blend like clouds 
of dust, are reflected in the facts of history. 
In the gorges of the few mountains a people 
may possibly preserve its individuality. 
But any nations that have developed 
without disturbance for a time will at last 
inevitably be dislodged, destroyed, and 
absorbed in another nationality, only to 
share with this in its turn a similar fate. 
Small tribes carry others along with them, 
increase like an avalanche, and finally give 
their name to an enormous nationality 
composed of most heterogeneous elements. 
Peoples before whom the world trembled 
burst like soap-bubbles, and disappear 
from the pages of history without leaving 
a trace behind. 

The result is that the population of 
Central Asia becomes more and more 
homogeneous from the point of view of 
language and ethnology, and that the 
national names designate less and less 
. distinct groups of humanity. 

usson o yi^y^ differences are created 
-,*^ ' . only by the degree of ci vihsation 
and by the mixture with other 
races on the edge of the steppe region of 
Central Asia. Such racial mixtures were 
naturally formed first where the Aryan 
nomads adjoined the Mongolian, and 
where subsequently Iranian agriculturists 
gained a footing on the pasture lands of 
Turkestan. The Aryan race lost much 
ground here from the point of view of 
language, but from that of anthropology 
it exercised great influence on the Mon- 
golian peoples. The old long-skulled race 
is often mixed with the Mongolian in 
Siberia. On the other hand, the linguistic 
affinity of the Mongols with the Tibetans 
and with the inhabitants of Further India 
has nothing to do with these more recent 
occurrences, but may point to a very early 
connection, which cannot for the moment 
be more accurately determined. A signifi- 
cant trace of this connection is the name 
of heaven and the god of heaven — 
Chinese, Hen, Bureyatic, tengri, Altaic, 
tengere, which crops .up as tangaroa in 
PoljTiesia, and was clearly brought there 
by the Malayan wave of nations from 
Southern Asia, Heixrich Schurtz 




""THE nation of Mongolian nomads which 
•'■ first formed a constitutional unit, and 
harassed Eastern Asia for many centuries, 
were known to Chinese authorities as the 
Hiung nu. The similarity of this name 
with that of the Huns, who later flooded 
Europe and heralded the great migration 
of nations, has long been noticed, and 
Joseph de Guignes {1721-1800), the first 
real student of the history of Central Asia, 
declared the Huns to be kinsmen or 
descendants of the Hiung nu. This con- 
jecture has in recent times been corro- 
borated by convincing proofs. We may 
therefore designate the old Hiung nu by 
the indisputably more correct name of 
Huns. They appear in the Indian epics 
as Huna, in the Avesta as Hunavo, in 
Greek accounts as Phunoi and Unoi. 
Linguistically the nation was most akin to 
the later Turks. The kingdom of the Huns 
was formed in the modern Mon- 
goha about 1200 B.C., apparently 
under the influence of a Chinese 
exile of high rank, who created 
out of the scattered hordes the beginnings 
of constitutional unity on the model of his 
own country. In the preceding century 
some of these hordes had made inroads 
on China, but were unable to achieve 
great results. After the unification of 
the Huns, and especially after the begin- 
ning of the Chau dynasty in China 
in 1 122 B.C., which marks the beginning 
of the Chinese feudal system, the danger 
became greater. The scantiness of our 
sources of information prevents us from 
deciding whether any connection existed 
between the wars against the nomads 
and the growth of the feudal system of 
partitioning the land. 

The first ruler of the Chau dynasty, 
Wu Wang, had still maintained friendly 
relations with the Huns, who certainly 
feared the power of the empire, which 
had gained fresh strength under his 
government, and tried to buy his goodwill 

The First 



by presents. As the imperial power 

decayed, the attacks were renewed with 

increased vigour. Northern Shansi was 

laid waste in 910. Some decades later 

the Huns must have been driven out from 

the heart of Shansi, where they had 

established themselves, by an army under 

, . the personal command of the 

Invasion '- t-, 

, ^. . emperor. Ihere was a recur- 

of China ^ ^ . ., , t-i 

b th H rence of simnar events. 1 here 
was apparently pasture land 
enough in China at that time to attract 
the nomads to a long sojourn, just as after- 
wards small hordes of nomads frequently 
settled in the interior of China. 

About 700 B.C. the Huns advanced to 
Shantung ; in 650 B.C. they devastated 
Pechili, and there was a succession of 
attacks on the country, disintegrated by 
feudalism, and incapable of any com- 
bined resistance, until at last the ruler 
of the Chin Empire, known as Shih 
Huang-ti (246-210 B.C.), once more trans- 
formed, in 220 B.C., China into a real 
united state, enormously increased his 
power by the conquest of Southern China, 
and proceeded to take prompt and 
decided steps against the nomads. A 
powerful army drove out the Huns from 
the country of Ordo within the northern 
bend of the Hoang-ho, which was an im- 
portant position as the rendezvous for 
nomad invaders. The new possessions 
were protected by military colonies, and 
China proper was defended against the 
attacks of predatory hordes by the 
TK r gigantic rampart of the Great 
Wall "* ^^^^^- Portions of the Great 

r^i.- Wall already existed on the 

of China ,- , . J- -^ T I J 1 

frontiers of some earher leudai 

states. Shih Huang-ti connected them 

so as to form a continuous line of 

defence, which stretched from the shore 

of the Yellow Sea to the port of Kansu ; 

if it had been kept in repair and efficiently 

defended, it would certainly have checked 

the inroads of the Huns. During the 



first period it served its purpose to some 
extent. It was due to the Great Wall 
that the attacks of the Huns were now- 
directed against another quarter, and 
remote regions of Asia indirectly felt the 
mighty shock. But the chaotic condition 
into which China relapsed immediately 
after the death of Shih Huang-ti soon spoilt 
^ the purpose of the stupendous 

^^ erection. It was then that the 
p power of the Huns was acquir- 

ing new strength under vigorous 
leaders. Our first comparatively accurate 
account of the constitution of the Huns 
dates from the period subsequent to the 
death of Shih Huang-ti. The eyes of the 
Chinese were then turned with anxious 
attention to the increasing power of their 
nomad neighbours. 

The new growth of the Hun Empire 
began under the rule of Mete, whose 
father, Tuman or Deuman, had already 
extended his power from Northern Mon- 
golia to Kansu. Mete, who would have 
been excluded from the legitimate suc- 
cession, murdered his father with the 
help of a devoted army, and was soon 
able to reanimate the old warlike spirit 
of his people. He found the territory of 
the Huns shut in by powerful neighbours 
on two sides. On the east the Tunghu or 
VVu hwan, Tungusian tribes akin to the 
Koreans, had founded a powerful realm 
and felt themselves so superior to the 
Huns that they took advantage of the 
usurpation to claim a high price for their 
neuhality. On the south-west, on the 
Altyn in Tagh, were settled the Yue-tshi, 
a nomad people of Tibetan stock, who were 
the connecting link of the trade of China 
and the West, and were perhaps identical 
with the old Issedones. The Tunghu, 
deceived by the apparent compliance of 
Mete, were first attacked and dispersed 
in 209 B.C. ; they withdrew to the high- 
lands of modern Manchuria. A part of 
the Sien-pe Tartars, or Tungusians, a 

Neighbours P^^P^^' '^^'"S' further to the 
of the east, who also suffered from 

Early Huns ^^^ attacks of the Huns, mi- 
grated to Korea and Japan. 
On the east the sea fixed an impassal>le 
limit to further shiftings of the position 
of nations ; but on the west, where the 
Huns now hurled themselves against the 
Yue-tshi, the movement had room to 
spread more widely. The Yue-tshi first 
retreated before the advance of their 
assailant? only into more remote regions 


of their own country, to the basin of the 
Tarira, in 177 B.C. After the death of 
Mete, in 170, they attempted to recover 
their old territory, but suffered a second 
crushing defeat from his successor, which 
produced a division of the nation in 165 
B.C. The smaller part found homes south 
of the Nanshan range ; but the bulk of 
the people, the " Great Yue-tshi," did 
not turn southward, but followed the 
natural trend of the country westward. 
Driven out from the Tarini basin, they 
crossed the Tianshan Mountains and 
sought refuge in the pasture lands on the 
confines of Europe and Asia, the old 
arena of the Scythian nomads. On the 
Issik-kul they came across a shepherd 
people of Iranian stock, the She, who were 
compelled to fly before the overwhelming 
invasion into Ferghana. 

Meanwhile the Huns had succeeded in 
conquering a part of North-west China 
and East Siberia. The vanquished tribes 
were not dislodged or made tributary, 
but to some degree absorbed, since the 
women were distributed among the con- 
querors, and the young men were enrolled 

_ ,. in the army. In their life and 

Domestic , .1 tt 

I .J. . customs the Huns appear as a 

Th H l)eople who depended for their 
existence on cattle-breeding, 
hunting, and to some extent agriculture, 
but gave the fullest play to their warlike 
propensities. The place of honour was 
given to the young and efficient warriors, 
and old age was despised. No one was 
reckoned to have reached full manhood 
until he had slain at least one foe. The 
method of fighting which afterward 
decided the battles of the Western Huns 
and Mongols — the charge of mounted 
archers, the feigned flight, and the storm 
of arrows which laid low the unsuspecting 
pursuer — was already developed among 
the ancient Huns, as well as the division 
of the army into two wings. This military 
system was maintained in times of peace 
also. The ruler, or Shenyu, who to some 
degree commanded the centre, had two 
supreme officials, the Tuchi, or Duchi, 
under him, one of whom was over the 
eastern, the other over the western, wing 
or division of the army and the country. 
The trend from west to east in the geo- 
graphical configuration of Asia is again 
recognisable in this arrangement, which 
was also adopted by the later great nomad 
empires. The Tuchi and a number of 
other high officials could be chosen only 



and Huns 

from the kinsmen of the Shenyu, who, 
with some few other famiUes, had the 
\drtual government of the empire in 
their hands. 

After the death of Mete, in 170 B.C., the 
power of the Huns increased at first. 
The Yue-tshi were completely beaten, 
and the Usun, one of the fair-haired 
nomad tribes of Central Asia, 
were driven from their homes 
in Kansu to the west, where, 
following on the steps of the 
Yue-tshi, they caused these latter to 
fly before them from the Issik-Kul farther 
southward. The sphere of the Mongolian 
language and race was thus considerably 
extended by the Huns. The growing 
power of the Hun empire was most danger- 
ous to China, the frontiers of which were 
perpetually ravaged, and seemed still 
more threatened, since the Tibetan nomads, 
who were settled in the western moun- 
tains, now began to form alliances with 
the Huns, and to undertake their raids on 
a mutual understanding. 

It was of no use merely to repel these 
attacks. If the Chinese wished to free 
themselves from their oppressors, they 
were compelled to adv^ance along the old 
road from Kansu to the Tarim basin, 
take up strong positions there, separate 
the southern nomad countries from the 
northern, and at the same time obtain 
possession of the indispensable bases and 
halting-places of the Hun armies to the 
south of the desert of Gobi. In this way 
the Western trade also, which had previ- 
ously depended for its prosperity on the 
caprice of the nomads, was certain to 
come under the influences of China. 
The energetic Emperor Wu Ti (140-87) 
staked everything on the execution of 
this colossal plan, entered into alliances 
with the Yue-tshi and Usun, by this means 
threatened the Huns in the rear, and 
finally forced them by successful engage- 
ments to retire to the north of Mongolia 
in 120 B.C. The first step in 
the advance westward was 

Take the 

thus taken, and a new era 
inaugurated in the foreign 
policy of China. 

The Hun empire still maintained its 
position in the north for some time, and 
even considerably extended its power 
toward the west, but the old sovereignty 
was a thing of the past. The attacks on 
the neighbouring peoples and disputes 
for the crown began to disorganise the 


constitution, until finally, about 50 B.C., 
the empire broke up into a southern and 
a northern part, of which the first re- 
cognised the Chinese suzerainty, while 
the northern still maintained its inde- 

Transitory successes could no longer 
check the fall of the Hun power, for the 
Chinese could now play off the southern 
Huns successfully against the northern 
Huns, and instigate other nomad tribes 
against the northern empire, which was 
encircled by enemies. The northern Hun 
empire finally, in 84 A.D., succumbed to 
the attacks, in which even Siberian tribes, 
and especially the Sien pe Tartars, formerly 
the victims of the Huns, but now grown 
strong enough for a new conflict, took 
part. Some of the Huns fled westward, 
where they were destined yet to attain 
great prosperity ; the rest were scattered, 
or were absorbed in the Sien pe, who now 
possessed the greater portion of Mongolia. 

The southern Huns held out longer, at 
one time as subjects and allies of the 
Chinese, at another as their opponents, or 
as supporters of pretenders to the throne. 
. . But after 142 a.d. there was an 

f th^*^ end to the southern empire of 
_, . " the Huns, though not to the 
mpirc influence of the people on the 
destinies of China. The Huns, who had 
familiarised themselves with the Chinese 
civilisation, gradually began to exert a 
political influence, and finally emperors 
of Hun origin for a time sat on the throne 
of the Celestial Empire, or on those of 
the fragments into which it broke up. 
But they no longer ruled as nomad princes ; 
they had become genuine Chinese in act 
and thought. 

The nomadic element in the west of 
Central Asia was of earlier origin than 
that in the east, and large migrations of 
nomad peoples had taken place far earlier 
there than elsewhere. Some thousand 
3'ears before the founding of the empire 
of the Huns, migratory tribes of Aryans 
had occupied Iran and India. But there 
the movements met with a certain check. 
The Iranians did not succeed in pene- 
trating westward into the lowlands of 
Babylonia ; on the contrary, they saw 
themselves restricted to their new home, 
and by the influence of the inhabitants 
who had settled before them, as 
well as of the ancient civilisation of the 
country watered by the Tigris and 
Euphrates, they were gradually brought 



over to a settled life, without immediately 
losing the warlike, virtues of their old 
pastoral existence. 

The mixed Iranian people, which was 
formed from the Aryan immigrants and 
the aboriginal population, thus became 
a bulwark of Western Asia against any 
further inroads of nomads. The shock of 
invading hordes was checked by 

cc ing ^j^g resistance of a people cling- 

thc Wave of ■ , 1 ' \, n 

, . mg more closelv to the soil. 

Invasion ^P y • " , , , 

Ihe Iranians were not pushed 

further toward Western Asia by vast 
bodies of men pressing after them, but the 
great movement of the nations came to a 
stop. When the Medes and the Persians 
obtained the sovereignty over the whole of 
Western Asia, they were already under the 
spell of the existing Western civilisation, 
and were unable to give any Iranian charac- 
ter to the newly conquered countries. 

It thus follows that the Aryan nomads 
of Western Asia generally are hardly 
spoken of for more than a thousand years. 
The Assyrio-Babylonian records know 
nothing of them, and no news of them 
has reached the Chinese. There were, no 
doubt, numerous battles and movements 
of nations, but these last were not on the 
imposing scale of the migration to India 
and Iran. The arrival of brachycephalic 
nomad tribes in Central Asia proper must 
gradually have made its influence felt, 
with the effect that the Scythian hordes — 
nomads of Aryan stock — which had 
pushed far toward the east, were partly 
absorbed, partly driven back upon the 
west, where the shocks of their attack 
continued, wave upon wave. 

The last consequence of the mightiest 

onslaught was the invasion of Asia Minor 

by the Cimmerians about the year 700 B.C. 

These were a nomad people of Thracian 

stock, who pastured their flocks north of 

the Danube. After them pressed on the 

.Scythians, who again were expelled by 

the Sarmatians. The first cause of the 

. . ... movement' may perhaps be 

Asia Minor ^j. -v, j 1 ± :\ : ^ 

... , attributed to the westward 

the Arena of , j-^, tt i i i 

„ r^ tf . advanceoi the Huns, who had 

Race Conflict , • r , i 

long since tounded an empire, 

and clearly pressed on not only ajjainst 

China, but also toward the west. The 

Cimmerians threatened Assyria from Asia 

Minor and Armenia, and by so doing came 

into contact with the Medes, who were 

pressing on from the east. 

The period of more certain history, 

which begins with the founding of the 


Medo-Persian Empire, shows us at once 
the settled Iranians at war with the 
nomads. An incorrect idea, which is 
explained by the failure of the Greek 
historians to understand the conditions of 
Persia, and Eastern Persia in particular, 
represents the Persians as the aggressors, 
who coveted the territory of the nomad 
herdsmen. In reahty, the half mythical 
expedition of Cyrus against the Massaget?e 
in 530 B.C., and the well-authenticated 
inarch of Darius against the Scythians 
in 515 B.C., were only attempts to attack' 
the, ever- restless neighbours in their own 
country, and by this means to secure the 
frontiers. The expedition of Darius in 
particular was probably based on the plan 
of attacking the nomad tribes by a sweep- 
ing flank movement, and of thus preventing 
their retreat and finally subjugating them. 
The Persian Empire was too short-lived 
to complete so colossal an undertaking, 
which would have required the dogged 
patience of the Chinese. The attempt of 
Darius, which effectively secured the 
lower line of the Danube for the Persians, 
was not repeated. The Scythians, on the 
n . . . .- other hand, realised the weak 

/n • ^ points in the Persian Empire, 
of Persian ' • j 1 ^i • i . 

„ . as is proved by their somewhat 

later plan of attacking Persian 
territory by way of the Caucasian isthmus, 
for which they tried to obtain the aid of 
the Spartans, who were intended to make 
a simultaneous invasion of Asia Minor. 

The system of colonisation, which alone 
promised permanent results, seems to 
have been prosecuted all the more vigor- 
ously from Eastern Iran, and the fact 
that the majority of the nomads were of 
Iranian stock, like the Persians, facilitated 
the movement. It is probable that in 
quite early times on the Oxus and Jaxartes 
— that is to say, in Bactria and Sogdiana — 
states possessing an Iranian civilisation 
were developed, which were afterward 
politically united with Persia, although 
they can hardly have remained in perma- 
nent and complete dependence. By the 
expedition of Alexander the Great in 327 B.C. 
they were more closely united with the 
new world -empire of that monarch, and 
the foundation was laid for a Greco- 
Iranian civilised state, the Bactrian Em- 
pire, which was developed in the Seleucid 
period about 250 B.C. and showed a con- 
siderable vitality. This empire, like the 
ancient Iranian Bactria, was a bulwark 
against the onset of the nomads. It 


showed itself a match for the migratory 
Iranian tribes, and it was only the impact 
of a non-Aryan shepherd people from 
Central Asia that for the first time shook 
once more the strong rampart which 
guarded Western Asia and India. This 
new tide of nations, which set in about 
i6o B.C., was certainly, even if indirectly, 
due to the Huns. 

The nomad tribe of the Usun had aban- 
doned its home on the borders of China 
and had retreated westward away from 
the sphere of the power of the Huns, 
as related above. Since it followed the 
roads which led away along the Tian 
Shan and finally crossed that range, it 
reached the Issik-Kul, where the Yue- 
tshi, its predecessors on the same path, 
had won homes for themselves. These 
latter were now compelled to give way ; 
but they did not again advance westward, 
where warlike Scythian tribes barred the 
way, but turned southward against the 
Bactrian Empire, the internal disruption 
of which would have been well known 
to them as neighbours. The result was 
that Northern Bactria, the country on 
the Oxus and Jaxartes, fell easily into 
their hands, while the rest of the Greek 
state south of the Hindu Kush main- 
tained its position for the time. 

The Parthian kingdom, which success- 
fully undertook the defence of the fron- 
tiers against the nomads, had grown up 
since 250 B.C. in Western and Central Iran. 
But if Iran was closed to the Yue-tshi, 
they did not allow the road to India, 
which from all time had possessed a 
magic attraction for every conquering 
people, to be permanently blocked. The 
southern part of the Bactrian Empire 
stood for some hundred years more. 
Then, about 25 B.C., Kozulo Kadphises, 
who had reunited the Yue-tshi after their 
division into five clans, subdued the modern 
Afghanistan. This immediately opened 
the road to the Indian possessions of the 
Bactrian Empire. 

About the year 10 a.d. Kozulo's suc- 
cessor, Huemo Kadphises, or Kadaphes, 
advanced into North-western India, and 
thus laid the foundation of the Indo- 
Scythian Empire. The Yue-tshi now 
appear in history as Indo-Scythians. 
They have frequently been confused at 
a later date with the White Huns, or Ephta- 
lites, with whom they are absolutely un- 
connected. Undeniably, the fact that 
Bactria as far as the borders of Central 
Asia was then united with large portions 
of India under one rule did much to make 
Indian influence, especially the Buddhism 

1457 , 


then flourishing in India, felt far away 
northward. India generally entered into 
closer and more direct relations with 
Central Asia. Fifty years after the found- 
ing of the Indo-Scythian Empire the Budd- 
hist propaganda had already reached 
China. This empire of the Yue-tshi 
showed a stubborn vitality, and broke 

„ . ,. , up only in the year 579 a.d. 

Relations of .1 ^ c r j. 1 a „ 

, .. .^, A large part 01 Central Asia 

India with £ i • . c 

^ . , . . first acquires importance lor 

Central Asia ,, i\ j i^ t 
the history and culture 01 

mankind on the appearance of nomad 
peoples, and as the fountain-head of a dis- 
integrating force ; on the other hand, the 
Tarim basin, which is also called East Tur- 
kestan or High Tartary, claims the attention 
of the historian much earlier and in another 
sense. By far the greater part of the ])lain 
lying between the Tian Shan, the Pamirs, 
and the Kuen Lun is emphatically a region 
of steppe and desert. But the mountain 
streams, the largest of which unite in the 
River Tarim and the Lob Nor, create a 
series of fertile oases, which support a con- 
siderable permanent population, and form 
a chain of trading posts along the foot of 
the mountains. In all probability the 
oases were more numerous in early times, 
and the intermediate barren stretches It^ss 
desolate. The Tarim basin could thus 
form in ancient days the bridge between 
the civilisation of Eastern and Western 
Asia, even if it was not an international 
highway, and saw at the same time a higher 
civilisation develop in its fertile regions. 
The key to many problems of the prehis- 
toric period lies under the burning sands 
of Eastern Turkestan. 

The ancient trade communications 
through the Tarim basin are certainly to 
be regarded as a relic of the former con- 
nection with civilisation, which was main- 
tained notwithstanding the increasing 
poverty of the soil and the appearance of 
barbarous nomad tribes. The nomad, as 
such, is not inclined to amass the heavy 
w ith &°°^s which the' town merchant 
stores in his vaults. His chief 
wealth lies in his flocks and 
herds, which again depend for 
their numbers on the possession of the 
requisite pasture land. Even in the 
Tarim basin the real traders were thus 
always to be found among the settled 
inhabitants of the oases. 

The earliest recorded trade which passed 
through the Tarim basin and brought 
Eastern and Western Asia into some sort 


of the 

of communication was the silk trade. The 
breeding of silkworms, if Chinese tradition 
does not err, was practised by that people 
from very ancient times. The Chinese 
themselves seem to have attached no 
especial importance to the silk trade with 
the West, as is shown by the silence of the 
ancient accounts. The trade accordingly 
must have been conducted chiefly by 
foreigners, who were eager to obtain in 
exchange the highly valued product of 
China, while it was long a matter of in- 
difference to the Chinese, who were aware 
that they could very well dispense with 
the goods received in return. 

The imagination of the West was all the 
more excited by the mysterious Eastern 
land which produced the costly silk, and 
attempts to gain further information were 
made from early times. Herodotus was 
able to refer to a book of travels, which 
did not indeed throw light on China itself, 
but only on the route of the silk trade 
and the condition of things in the valley 
of Tarim ; this was the Arimaspeia of 
Aristeas, which appeared in the seventh 
century B.C., soon after the Cimmerian 
_ „ irruption. This narrative, not- 

- . withstanding its romantic dress, 

s*ik T d ^^'^^ probably based on actual 
explorations and travels. The 
Issedones, whom Aristeas pirofesses to have 
reached, were an actual people, and their 
homes probably lay in the Tarim basin. 
The western neighbours of the Isse- 
dones were the Massagetse — that is, the 
Iranian nomads, who pastured their herds 
in Western Turkestan. The name of the 
Issedones may be of Iranian origin, and 
have been given to the people, who styled 
themselves otherwise, by the merchants, 
wno were mainly Iranians. We thus see 
why Chinese records do not mention the 

The Issedones were probably a branch 
of the Tibetan stock, which once spread 
further northward than now. They are 
possibly identical with, or at least allied 
to, the later Yue-tshi, who were expelled 
by the Huns from their homes in the 
Tarim basin. But the population of that 
region can hardly have been homogeneous 
at the time of Aristeas. The Tibetan 
Issedones, who are occasionally called 
Scythians, were far more probably a 
nomad people, who exercised sovereignty 
over the country of the oases ; but the 
remnants of the representatives of an 
earlier civilisation may well have settled 



The long commercial highway of Central Asia, running right across the southern part of Western Turkestan and through 
the Tarim basin in Eastern Turkestan, is a road unparalleled for its length and difficulties. It has changed its course many 
times in history as robber nomads gained supremacy in the various districts, and a laborious and difficult route has always 
been preferred to the best road if the latter involved risk of robberies, exorbitant toUs, and pther vexatious unposts. 



in these oases, precisely as in modern times 
the towns of Eastern Turkestan are in- 
habited by a very mixed population. 
Long-skulled Iranians, who came into the 
country as traders, or immigrated as agri- 
culturists, may well have mixed here in 
early times with the permanently settled 
short-skulled inhabitants and with the 
tribes of the Tibetan nomads. 
Mh^^ The Arimaspes, a warlike 

V, . tribe of nomads who seem 
Nomads , , , - , ■ 

to have made irequent in- 
roads into the Tarim basin, are men- 
tioned by Aristeas as northern neighbours 
of the Issedones. By this title he un- 
doubtedly means the Huns, whom we have 
already seen as invaders of China. In the 
second century B.C. they also fundament- 
ally altered the conditions of Eastern 
Turkestan by driving the Yue-tshi west- 
ward. The settled population of the oases 
probably was little influenced by these 
movements. Aristeas gives noteworthy 
accounts of the battles of the Arimaspes 
with the " grifhns," the guardians of the 
gold, who lived to the north of them. 
These " griffins " are certainly the nations 
on the Altai, the representatives of the 
old bronze culture of Southern Siberia, 
and the builders of those tombs in which 
great quantities of gold ornaments have 
recently been found. 

Thus the picture of the activity of the 
warlike nation of the ancient Huns, that 
leaven of the nomad peoples, is complete 
on every side. On the east the indefatig- 
able sons of the desert continually 
advanced against the rich plains of 
China ; on the south they directed their 
raids against the representatives of the 
transit trade of Central Asia, the Tibetan 
nomads, and the inhabitants of the oases 
in the Tarim basin ; and on the north 
they harassed the industrious tribes of 
the Altai with their expeditions. The 
great Hun campaign, which finally con- 
vulsed Europe to its centre, was only a 

n . , . gigantic continjiation of these 
Preludes to ° °,- , , r 

. „. earlier struggles for power 

. r and booty. While Aristeas 

has exhaustively described the 
Issedones and Arimaspes, he appears to 
confound the Chinese with the Hyper- 
boreans, the peaceful people on the utter- 
most border of the world ; at any rate, 
his account of the Hyperboreans as re- 
ported by Herodotus almost coincides 
with the later descriptions of the Seres. 
The towns and trading settlements in 


the Tarim basin, which Aristeas mentions, 
can partially be identified with still ex- 
isting modern localities. This is im- 
possible in the case of many, as may be 
concluded from the great number of towns 
buried beneath the sand which have 
been recently explored by Sven Hedin. 
Further aids toward identification are 
supplied by the accounts of the Mace- 
donian merchant Maes, or Titianus, who 
enables us to fix the stations on the East 
Asiatic trade route in the first century 
A.D. This road led from Samarkand to 
Ferghana, whence the " Stone Tower " 
and the valley of the Kisil Su were reached, 
at the entrance of which an important 
trading town lay in the territory of Kasia. 
This was certainly the modern Kashgar, 
for which natural advantages of situation 
have secured uninterruptedly since ancient 
times a foremost ])osition among the 
cities of the Tarim basin. The " Scythian 
Issedon " may be represented by the 
modern Kuchar, the most important marl 
of the Turkish tribes settled to the north 
in the Tian Shan ; Asmira may be the 
present Hami. The first Chinese trading 

. . _ town in the district of Kansu 
Ancient Towns , , u j u au 

,, . which was reached by the 

Under r xi, 

^ . Ki caravans coming from the 
Modern Names . ,1 i o u 

west, the modern Su chau, 

is identified with the ancient Drosache. 

The larger centres of trade, from a 
political point of view, enjoyed certainly 
some share of independence, although 
they did not venture on any very stringent 
measures against the nomads from fear 
of interruption to commerce. The 
different vicissitudes in the relations of 
the nomads to the dwellers in the country 
and the towns will have been repeated on 
a small scale in the Tarim basin ; at one 
time brute force, at another the refine- 
ments of civilisation, gained the day. 
The connection with India, the beginnings 
of which are obscure, was of great im- 
portance to this civilisation. In this way 
Eastern Turkestan became the bridge on 
which Indian manners and customs, and, 
above all, Indian religion, passed both to 
China and the rest of Central Asia, in 
order, in course of time, to work great 
revolutions in the character and habits 
of the Central Asiatic peoples. 

The trade which moved on the long 
commercial highway of Central Asia, a 
road unparalleled for its length and diffi- 
culties, could not always be prosecuted 
with unvarying uniformity. External 


influences and internal commotions pro- 
duced the inevitable result that the 
traffic became brisker at one time, and 
at another flagged or almost died away, 
and that the character of the trade 
altered. In fact, so far as we can survey 
the conditions generally, we see continual 
changes occurring. The routes along which 
the main bulk of trade passes are changed, 
the customs of commerce are altered ; 
and finally even the wares which East and 
West exchange are not always the same, 
but new ones are added to the old. 

It is quite in accordance with the nature 
of commercial intercourse that it always 
seeks out paths for itself along the line 
of least resistance. A somewhat difficult 
and laborious route is preferred to the 
best road, if the latter involves risk and cost 
from repeated robberies, exorbitant tolls. 

tshi, who possibly are to be identified 
with the Issedones, the Huns had the 
northern highway through the Tarim basin 
in their power, while in the south Tibetan 
nomads, the Khiang, commanded the 
roads. It appears from the account 
furnished in the year 122 B.C. by Chang- 
kien to his emperor, Wu Ti, after an 
inquiry into the roads leading 
Chinese ^^ ^j^g ^^gg^ ^^^ ^j^g possibilities 

of trade, that traffic then went 


quite in the south through 
Szechuen and Tsaidam to the southern 
border of the Tarim basin, while in the 
north the Huns and in the centre the 
Khiang barred the roads. These un- 
favourable conditions largely contributed 
to the result that the Chinese aban- 
doned their former policy of indifference 
toward the peoples of the steppe 


The old town of Kashgar, which dates from 1S13, is surrounded by a high clay wall ; the new town, of which the 
above is a view, is also surrounded by massive clay walls and dates from 1S3S. The population is about 50,000. 

and other vexatious imposts. In Central 
Asia, where, on the one hand, different 
routes were available for the trade between 
Eastern and Western Asia, and, on the 
other hand, the nomads were always 
ready to plunder the merchants directly 
by brigandage or indirectly by tolls, 
commerce clearly changed its roads 
more frequently than the 

Shifting of 
the Paths 

extant accounts give us to 

,-, understand. The supremacy 

of Commerce r ,i tt j.u i-i 

of the Huns in the north 

doubtless largely contributed toward 
the result that the northern routes 
were deserted and the traffic restricted 
to the roads in the Tarim basin. The 
wars of the Arimaspes with the Isse- 
dones may well have partly aimed at 
securing to the former the monopoly of 
trade. After the expulsion of the Yue- 

There must also have been changes in 
the customs of trade. Over vast distances 
trade can be prosecuted in two ways : 
either one tribe hands on the goods to 
another by a system of frontier trade, 
until they finally reach their farthest 
destination after various exchanges, or 
the members of one or more peoples adopt 
the carrying trade as a profession and 
traverse the whole distance with their 
wares. It is, of course, conceivable that for 
part of the distance caravan trade was 
usual, and for the other transit trade. 
On the Central Asiatic routes both methods 
may have been popular, according to 
circumstances. The transit trade is, how- 
ever, certainly older than the caravan 
system on a large scale. Whether it 
actually in places, as early Western 
accounts report, took the simple form of 



" dumb trade," or whether customs had 
been ascribed to the half mythical Seres 
which were observed elsewhere in inter- 
course with primitive nations, can no 
longer be ascertained. 

It is in accordance with the whole 
attitude of China to the outer world that 
the Chinese did not engage in the carrying 
trade until late, while, on the 
*^^ ° contrary, the merchants of 
Q^ ^ Iranian stock were continually 
exerting themselves to obtain the 
caravan trade over the whole distance. 
The opponents of the direct traffic between 
east and west were naturally the nomads ; 
above all, the Huns, who preferred to make 
the roads a desert rather than to lose the 
high profits obtainable from the transit 
trade. The laboriousness and insecurity 
of the traffic produced the result that large 
emporia grew up in different places, 
which served also as markets for the 
surrounding tribes ; such were Samarkand 
in Western and Kashgar in Eastern 

China, as we have seen, originally had 
little need for commerce with the outer 
world. Foreigners came to the Middle 
Kingdom in order to purchase the valued 
Chinese wares, but the Chinese themselves 
were quite satisfied to take in exchange 
all kinds of foreign products, with which 
they could easily dispense in case of need. 
The state of affairs could not perma- 
nently remain so favourable for China. 
The constant large exportations inevitably 
led to the growth of a sort of export 
industry ; that is to say, silk, lacquer, etc., 
were produced in greater quantities than 
the home Chinese market required. 

If the export trade suddenly stopped, 
the 'consequences to China were serious. 
Besides this, China became gradually 
accustomed to certain foreign commodities, 
with which it could not dispense, especially 
to the spices, drugs, etc., of India and 
Arabia. Thus any dislocation of trade was 
severely felt. Such a result 
ensued when the Huns over- 
threw the Yue - tshi and 
barred the valley of the 
Tarim, while uncivilised Tibetan hordes 
rendered the roads dangerous in the south. 
It was an intolerable situation that the 
Huns should be able to cut off trade com- 
munications entirely or to cripple them 
by excessively high tolls, and the Chinese 
were inevitably driven to reprisals so 
soon as an energetic ruler governed them. 


of China's 
Export Trade 

Other considerations prompted an 
advance into the basin of the Tarim. It 
was recognised in China that the menacing 
growth of the power of the nomads could 
be checked only by the occupation of a 
strong position in their rear and the 
division of the steppe region into two 
sections by a strongly fortified military 
road. Even in this case the old trade 
route through the Tarim basin suggested 
itself as the natural line of direction for the 
advance, while the trading towns naturally 
formed suitable bases of operations. 

The Emperor Wu Ti, about 125 B.C., 
tried, therefore, to reopen the trade route 
of Central Asia, and at the same time to 
crush the enormously increased power of 
the Huns. An effort was made to gain for 
this object the alliance of the hereditary 
enemies of the Huns, the Yue-tshi, who had 
just conquered Northern Bactria and 
Sogdiana, and thus were masters of the 
western extremity' of the Tarim roads. 
Wu Ti sent to them his general, Chang kien ; 
but, being taken prisoner on the way bj' 
the Huns, he did not reach the Yue-tshi 
until ten years later, and returned to China 
--- after an absence of thirteen 

P '""^ years. He had been unable to 
copcn accomplish his chief object of 
concluding an alliance with the 
Yue-tshi and arranging a combined attack 
on the Huns, since the successes of the Yue- 
tshi in Bactria had given a new, and for 
China an unfavourable, turn to the future 
policy of that people. In compensation he 
brought back to China a store of infor- 
mation about the W'estern countries and 
India. The consequent attempts of Wu Ti 
to establish communications with India 
through Tibet were a failure. On the 
other hand, the war against the Huns was 
now vigorously prosecuted, and the old 
trade road was intentionally made the 
base of operations. The Yumen Pass was 
occupied and secured by military colonies, 
while the power of the Huns was weakened 
by repeated blows and ousted from the 
Tarim basin- Trade revived, but with the 
difference that now even Chinese caravans 
and embassies went westward and there 
formed political connections, especially 
with the people of the An hsi or Ansi, 
probably the Parthians. The most easterly 
point of the Parthian Empire appears 
then to hav^e been Margiana, or Merv, the 
Mu lu of Chinese accounts. The Chinese, 
therefore, certainly advanced so far. 
Many petty states of the Tarim basin, 


and possibly of the countries lying farther 
to the west, entered into closer political 
union with the east, and partially recog- 
nised the suzerainty of China. It was not, 
however, before the year io8 B.C. that the 
immediate possessions of China were 
extended to the Lob Nor — that is to say, 
to the eastern boundary of the basin of 
the Tarim — and secured by fortifications. 
Chinese tioops later advanced to Kashgar 
in loi B.C. But the dominion of China in 
the Tarim basin was never firmly estab- 
lished, although alliances were frequently 
concluded with the Usun against the 
Huns. The power of the latter was still 
too strong to allow the petty states of 
Eastern Turkestan and the Uigurians any 
permanent connection with China. The 

deposed the new sovereign, who, rightly 
or not, was accused of cruel tyranny, and 
put him to death. A Chinese army then 
appeared, killed the usurper in turn, and 
placed on the throne a new monarch, 
approved by China, who appears also to 
have asserted his power. The influence of 
China in the Tarim valley gradually 
diminished. At the beginning of the first 
century a.d. the power of Yarkand grew 
so strong that its king, in 33 a.d., claimed 
the suzerainty of the entire basin of the 
Tarim, after his request to be recognised 
by China as Governor of Eastern Turkestan 
had been refused. The prayers of the 
other oppressed minor states and the 
commercial blockade maintained by the 
king of Yarkand ought to have forced 


influence of the Huns on the valley of the 
Tarim and the Western trade rose or fell 
according to their successes or reverses in 
their struggle with China. 

But the other nomad tribes of Central 
Asia also interfered in the affairs of those 
parts. The childless sovereign of the 
small kingdom of Yarkand had destined a 
son of the king of the Usun to succeed him. 
The inhabitants of Y'arkand, after the 
death of their monarch, with the consent 
of the Chinese Emperor Hsuan Ti, sum- 
moned this prmce from China, where he 
was being educated, and in 64 B.C. placed 
him on the throne, thus hoping to secure 
for themselves the protection of the Usun 
and of the Chinese. But the brother of 
the late king, with the help of the Huns, 

Shi Tsu to take vigorous action. The war 
with Yarkand, however, was left mainly 
to the Huns, who harassed the new 
kingdom in the Tarim basin for decades, 
with varying success. 

The second great advance of the Chinese 
towards the West did not begin until 72 a.d. 
The wish to open up communications with 
the West was then stimulated by the intro- 
duction of the Buddhist teaching, which 
had entered China through the Tarim 
basin. A deputation which Ming Ti, the 
second emperor of the later or Eastern 
Han dynasty, had himself sent to the 
Yue-tshi had returned in 65 a.d.. and 
brought back detailed information about 
Buddhism. The emperor, in consequence, 
was induced to erect a statue of Buddha 



in his capital, and to show pecuhar favour 
to the new doctrine, without, however, 
giving it preference over the doctrines of 
Confucius. The chief cause, however, of 
the renewed advance westward was doubt- 
less the circumstance that the South Huns 
WT •* J A *• had once more combined with 

u ti f° traffic, and had completely 
nun Nations ,. ' . , ,, re • xi 

disorganised the suthciently 

unsatisfactory conditions already existing 
in the Tarim basin. Various Chinese armies 
marched against the Huns in the year 72, 
one of which, under the command of the 
general Pan Chau, followed the old trade 
route to the Tarim basin. The appearance 
of this renowned commander and diplo- 
matist immediately secured the victory of 
Chinese influence among the j:)etty states, 
which had all suffered under the insecurity of 
trade and the military policy of the Huns. 
This time the Chinese were not content 
with the easily-acquired spoil. They had 
heard, meanwhile, that a mighty empire 
of Ta-tsin, the Roman world-empire, lay 
in the west. The remarkable magnetic 
force exercised on each other by great 
states, which lies at the root of their 
conditions of existence and compels them 
gradually to absorb all petty intervening 
states and to form a well-defined frontier, 
began to assert its power here, although 
its complete triumph was prevented by 
the immensity of the distance to be 
traversed. The Chinese never obtained 
accurate knowledge of the Roman Empire. 
Probably they were partly acquainted 
with the eastern half only, and thought 
Antioch the capital of the Empire. The 
name Fu lin for the Roman Empire, which 
subsequently occurs, seems to be derived 
from Bethlehem, and thus to point to 
the Christian faith of the later Romans. 

The campaign of Pan Chau, which took 
him nearly to the confines of Roman 
influence, dates some decades after the 
conquest of the Tarim basin. Pan Chau 
crossed the range of mountains to the 
west, traversed the territory of the Yue- 
tshi, and finally, in 102 a.d., reached the 
Caspian Sea, whence he sent explorers 
further to the west in order to prepare for 
an attack on the Roman Empire. The 
unfavourable report, however, which he 
received and his advanced age forced him to 
return to China, where he died shortly after. 

The political importance of his conquest 
was considerable, but could hardly be 
lasting. The numerous petty states, 
which, at the sight of his army, had 
sought the protection of China, had no 
choice but to make terms with their 
other powerful neighbours, now that 
China ceased to lend them assistance. 
The revenue from tribute, gifts, and tolls 
which China drew from the western coun- 
tries was far from being sufficient to cover 
the great outgoings. And the traditional 
Chinese policy, which would hear nothing 
of any expansion of the old boundaries and 
attached little importance to the promotion 
of trade, now reasserted itself. There was, 
as early as 120 a.d., a feeling in favour of 
abandoning all possessions beyond 
the Yumen Pass, and it was due 
to the advice of a son of Pan 
Chau that the military road, 
at least as far as the Tarim l)asin, was 
retained. The disorders which soon 
afterward broke out in China completely 
checked any vigorous foreign policy, while 
maritime commerce diminished the im- 
portance of the overland trade. The petty 
states in the Tarim basin for many years 
subsequently led a quiet existence, influ- 
enced by India more than by China. 

Decay of 


fe.^::^^^' i-^^^>^.s 







HTHE advance of the Chinese toward the 
■'• West, in spite of the bold plan of Pan 
Chau to attack the Roman Empire, inflicted 
no injury upon civilisation, but, on the 
whole, was beneficial to it. Far more 
momentous was the turn of events when 
the nomad hordes of Central Asia sought 
an outlet in Western Asia and Europe. 
Northern India had already fallen into 
the hands of the Yue-tshi, and the hour 
was approaching when a great part of 
Europe also would tremble beneath the 
scourge of the yellow races of the steppes. 
The main body of the Huns, when their 
star had set in Mongolia, hurled themselves 
against the civilised nations of the West. 
The consequences which the onslaught 
of the Huns, and, in close connection with 
it, the advance of other Asiatic nomads, 
had lor Europe, do not come into the 
history of Central Asia ; but it is worth 
our while to glance at the development of 
Asiatic affairs up to the emigra- 
rogress tion of the Huns. The western 
„ r 4 civilised world had long escaped 

Hun Exodus . i r^ 

any dangerous attacks from 
the nomad peoples of Asia and Europe, 
perhaps because the nomads of East Europe 
became gradually more settled and paid 
more attention to agriculture. The Alani, 
who are identical with the Aorsi of earlier 
accounts, seem to have been the most 
influential nation. Probably this is to be 
regarded only as a collective name for the 
nomad tribes, who occupied the region 
from the Black Sea to the Sea of Aral, and 
were composed partly of the remains of 
Irano-Scythians, partly of Ural-Altaians. 
The proper bearers of the name were 
settled in the first century B.C. to the north 
of the Caucasus, where they fought against 
Pompey in the year 65 B.C. ; they then 
spread themselves further over the steppe, 
and appear to have ruled, for a time at 
least, over most of the nomad tribes of the 
region of Pontus and the Caspian. There 
were frequent but unimportant contests 
with the Romans. According to Chinese 
records, a part of the country of the Alani 

belonged for a time to Sogdiana, a fact 
which argues armed complications on that 
frontier. Attacks through the Caucasian 
gale on Per.-ian and Roman territory oc- 
curred several times, but there was no 
immense migration until the advance of 
_ _. the Western Huns. The first 

j^ ^ ""^ march of Hun nomads towards 
H N d ^^^^ West took place about the 
middle of the first century B.C., 
when the Hun empire was thrown into the 
most violent confusion by internal seditions. 
Several rulers tried simultaneously to 
usurp the power, and waged bitter war 
on each other. When at last one of the 
pretenders, Huhanye, appeared to be 
victorious, his own brother, the " Viceroy 
of the East," rose against him. This 
Chichi, as he now called himself, ex- 
pelled his brother from the capital, but 
then turned to the west ; and since he 
could not hold the whole empire, founded 
an independent power, which he gradually 
extended further westward. The cir- 
cumstance that a prince in Sogdiana 
called in his help against the Usun enabled 
him to transfer the seat of his power to 
the region of the Sea of Aral. Part of the 
Alani in that district were perhaps already 
subject to the Huns. The wars with the 
Chinese in the Tarim basin ended with 
the death of Chichi, in 36 B.C., and greatly 
weakened the Hun power. 

Their power did not revive until, in the 
year 90 a.d., another Hun prince with a 
large part of his people marched westward 
and joined the earlier emigrants. This 
migration was due to the complete 
collapse of the empire of the Eastern 
Huns. In both of these migra- 
j^. °^ tions it was the most war- 

igra ion j-j^^ ^^^^ strongest part of the 

population which turned west- 
ward. The West Huns, therefore, were 
the picked men of their tradition- 
ally war-loving and adventurous race. 
Their people can hardly have remained 
unmixed during its migrations, but 
it probably incorporated the bravest 



men from the conquered tribes. In this 
way a new nationahty might well be 
developed, whose thirst for wars would 
prove fateful for even distant regions, so 
soon as an occasion should arise when 
this concentrated energy could find an 
outlet. The Chinese, after the advantages 
gained in the west by the advance of Pan 
. Chau had been mostly relin- 

Confhct quished, had, at the begin- 

Between nuns ^- r ^i. j i 

, „. . nmg of the second century 

and Chinese ^ , c . . ■i' 

A.u.,to face new contests with 

the Huns and their Uigurian allies in the 
Tarim basin. After the middle of the 
century the West Huns disappear from the 
horizon of the Chinese, a fact which suggests 
that the warlike nomads, finally renounc- 
ing any plans for the reconquest of their old 
homes in Mongolia, turned their attention 
in other directions. For two centuries 
more they seem to have been content with 
minor hostilities, until at last, in 350 a.d., 
the avalanche began to roll. The Huns 
attacked the Alani first, killed their king, 
and brought the people partly under their 
power, and partly forced them in panic 
further to the west. The great steppe of 
Eastern Europe and Siberia was thus 
opened to the Huns and the direction of 
their further advance suggested. That 
the storm of conquest did not sweep down 
on Persia, the fertile plains of which 
certainly aroused the greed of the ma- 
rauders, was due to the awe with which 
the still powerful Neo- Persian empire of 
the Sassanids inspired the nomads. 

The appearance of the Huns would not 
have had nearly so great an influence on 
Europe had it not been that the Roman 
Empire was already beginning to decay 
and that the Germanic races were in con- 
fusion and disorder. The convulsions 
which shook Europe when the Huns, 
under the leadership of Balamir, in 375, 
invaded the Danubian countries do not 
concern the history of Asia. It is un- 
likely that all the Huns and Alani took 

Ti. u part in the movement toward 
The Huns ii , xv . 

-, , the west : on the contrary, 
Convulse ,, ^^ J.l 

_ the Hun supremacy was still 

Europe • + ■ j ..v, • 1 

maintained in the region of 

Pontus and " the Caspian. For when, 

after the death of Attila, in 453, their 

European empire broke up, the rest 

of the people withdrew once more to 

the east, and found a refuge there in 

the old homes of the Huns and Alani. 

The sovereignty of those regions devolved 

on Attila's favourite son Irnach. In the 


sixth century the empire gradually dis- 
integrated into petty states, whose 
princes frequently interfered in the wars 
between Persia and Byzantium, or took 
up arms against each other. In 558 an 
army of Huns advanced to the gates of 
Constantinople. As the power of the 
Huns broke up, the separate elements of 
which this heterogeneous nation of warriors 
was composed recovered individual im- 
portance, until finally even the name of 
Huns disappeared from history. 

The same fate befell another very mixed 
branch of the Hun nation, the White 
Huns, or Hephtalites, who had firmly 
planted themselves in the modern Khiva 
and, after 420, made vigorous attacks on 
Persia. The Sassanid king, Peroz, fell 
in battle against them in 484. The year 
531 saw the last fights with these Huns, 
some of whom were destined to reappear 
under a new name and mixed with other 
nations as Kharismians. 

After the disruption of the great Hun 

Empire in Central Asia and the retreat 

of most of the Huns to the west, the major 

part of Mongolia had fallen to the Sien 

J. . pe, since the Chinese had 

Aft'*^°th* neither the wish nor the power 

u r • to hold the immense region of 
nun Empire ^, . „, . „ » . 

the steppes. Ihis lungusian 

nation came originally from the modern 
Manchuria, and, by its advance to the 
west, during which it probably absorbed 
the remnants of the Huns and other 
inhabitants of the steppes, it intro- 
duced a new ingredient into the hotch- 
potch of nations in the pasture-lands 
of Mongolia. Like all nomad peoples 
the Sien pe broke up into a number of 
petty states, which usually had their own 
political systems, but were occasionally 
united under an energetic ruler, and then 
constituted a formidable power, which 
soon made its influence felt in China and 
the Tarim basin. 

Some such rapid rise of the Sien pe 
occurred about 150 a.d., when Tun shih 
huai placed himself at the head of one of 
their tribes and soon extended his power 
far over the adjacent peoples. This new 
nomad empire was hardly inferior in size 
to the earlier Hun empire, and comprised 
roughly the same countries, because then, 
as formerly, the line of least resistance lay 
due east and west. Even the division of 
their gigantic territory into a central king- 
dom with an eastern and a western province 
was once more adopted by the Sien pe. 


Since it was virtually the personality of 
the ruler which kept the empire together, 
the power of the Sien pe was considerably 
diminished by the death of their first 
prince, in 190, and would certainly have 
given way to the influence of China had 
not this danger been averted by the 
ov-erthrow of the Han dynasty in China 
in 220, and by the disorders which subse- 
quently ensued. The Sien pe were thus 
able to realise for a moment the great 
ambition of the ruling nomad tribes — 
namely, to bring under their control the 
Western trade. Like the Huns before 
them, they had, for this purpose, to come 
to terms with the Tibetan nomads in the 
south of the Tarim basin. 

During the civil wars in China several 
hordes of the Sien pe found a welcome 
opportunity of migrating into that coun- 
try, where they either served as mercenaries 
or founded independent states. The most 
powerful of these tribes were the To ba, 
Between 338 and 376 the house of To ba 
ruled the state of Tai in Northern Shansi. 
In 386 Kuei, who belonged to that dynasty, 
founded there the Northern Wei, which ex- 
panded farther and farther over Northern 
China, until it practically covered the 

also a member of the house of To ba, 
Governor of Hohsi after 394, declared 
himself King of Hsi ping in 397, and 
formed the state of Nan Liang, which was 






... -^^ 

f|- ^M 


. / 


1 "^m 


\ ^» 




same area as the Wei of the Three King- 
doms. In 534 Pei Wei broke up into the 
Eastern Tung and the Western Wei, which 
were overthrown in 550 and 557. Wu ku, 


conquered in 414 by the prince of Hsi Chin. 
The To ba had soon become Chinese in 
life and thought, and they were forced to 
confront their kinsmen, the nomads of 
the steppes, entirely in the spirit of the 
traditional policy of China. 

The condition of MongoHa had changed 
in the course of time. The empire of the 
Sien pe crumbled away after the strongest 
and most numerous hordes had migrated 
to Cliina, and its place was taken by a 
new one under the rule of the Yen Yen, a 
mixed people, which apparently had incor- 
porated fragments of primitive Siberian 
] peoples, but linguistically belonged to the 
Turko-Tartar race. In the~ early stages 
of their history the Yen Yen appear to 
have acquired so invidious a reputation 
lor barbarity and vice that they aroused 
disgust even among their nomad neigh- 
bours, who certairily were not fastidious 
in this respect. The emperors of the Wei 
dynasty long held this refractory people 
in check. The Yen Yen ultimately estab- 
lished their power at the close of the fourth 
century by the subjugation of the indus- 
trious tribes of the Altai range ; they 
proceeded further to the west and obtained 
possession of the Central Asiatic trade 



routes, and extended their influence over 
Mongolia as far as the frontiers of Korea. 
The ruler to whom they owed this rapid 
rise was Talun. From the name of his 
successor, Tatara, is said to be derived 
the designation " Tartars," which in time 
has become usual for the peoples of the 
Turko-Mongolian stock. The To ba in 
Northern China soon saw them- 
rugg cs gg^ygg involved in arduous wars 
for Trade •,, ,, , 

P With the new nomad empire, 

but in the end proved fully a 
match for it. After the Yen Yen, in ^25 
and on many subsequent occasions, had 
received heavy reverses in their attacks 
on China, and had been pursued into 
their own territory, the Pei Wei, accord- 
ing to the time-honoured Chinese policy, 
extended their influence once more 
along the old trade route to the west, 
and thus sapped the very founda- 
tions of the opposition of the nomads. 
Alliances with the two other empires, into 
which China was then divided, those of 
the Sung and the Liang, brought little 
advantage to the Yen Yen ; they were 
repeatedly defeated, and were unable to 
regain the command of the trade routes, 
although in the year 471 they reduced the 
kingdoms of Kashgar and Khotan to 
great straits. The Yen Yen were not 
completely overthrown by the Chinese. 
It was not until the middle of the sixth 
century that their kingdom, weakened by 
internal dissensions, fell before the on- 
slaught of the Turks. A great part of 
the people followed the example of the 
Huns and fled to the west. The Avars, 
who soon afterward appeared as conquerors 
in East Europe, are probably identical 
with the Yen Yen. Like the remnants of 
the Yen Yen in Central Asia, the Avars 
finally disappeared altogether, or were 
absorbed by the other nations. 

When we see these nomad empires 
attaining such gigantic size and then com- 
pletely disappearing, we may easily forget 

» .^ ^ . , that Central Asia was not 
Before Central 1 - 1 1 

. . _ exclusnelv a region where 

Asia Became , ■ -^ , i r 1 ,1 • 

jj wandering hordes fed their 

flocks and herds, but that it 

offered homes and food to more or less 

settled peoples. It has already been shown 

how flourishing and comparatively civilised 

settlements developed in the Tarim basin, 

owing to its favourable position for the trade 

between East and West, and became the 

centres of small states. But there were 

trade routes even further north which led 


to the west, and at the foot of the moun- 
tains lay districts which were adapted for 
agriculture. Still further awa}^ towered 
the Altai, with its rich mines, the focus 
of a primitive civilisation, which, in spite 
of countless raids by nomads, was still 

It is certain that numerous towns and 
permanently settled nations were to be 
found from the Tian Shan to the Altai. 
Political power, however, lay mostly in 
the hands of the nomads, who stamped 
their character on the constitution of the 
country, and thus do not appear even in 
the earliest records as true disseminators 
of culture. The Uigurians were long the 
most important nation of this region ; 
they formed the nucleus of the nine Oghuz, 
or "hordes, to which the Tongra, Sukit, 
Adiz, Sap, etc., belonged. A distinction 
was made between a northern branch of 
the Uigurians, which w^as settled on the 
Selenga and subsequently spread to the 
sources of the Yenissei, and a southern 
branch in the south and east of the Tian 
Shan. While the northern L'igurians, 
called by the Chinese Kao che, or Thin le, 

„. , did not attain anv high degree 

Rise of ( ■ ■^■^.■ lu 4^\ 

of civilisation, the southern 

-,. ... ,. Uigurians, whose country was 
Civilisations , , , , i 1 ^i 

touched or traversed by the 

most important trade routes from west to 
east, were not unaft'ected by the civilised 
nations. A remarkable mixture of civilisa- 
tions, which had a momentous influence on 
the life of the other nomad peoples, was 
developed in the towns of the southern 

The supremacy of the Yen Yen in 
Mongolia was broken by the Turks, a 
nation which significantly became powerful 
on the Altai. The Turks, it is true, do not 
belong at all to the old representatives of 
civilisation of Yenissean stock on the 
Altai ; they were genuine nomads of 
Mongolian descent, probably one of those 
fragments of the great Hun people, which 
gradually increased again in numbers and 
importance. But the mineral wealth of 
the Altai doubtless furnished a source of 
power, which they kne\v how to use, 
whether they themselves mined and 
smelted, or entrusted this work to their 
subjects, the old settled inhabitants. 

The term " our smiths " which the Yen 
Yen applied to the Turks on the outbreak 
of the war, was probably only a deliberate 
taunt, and not in accordance with facts. 
It must be observed, however, that among 


the nomads of Central Asia the trade of 
the smith was held in high esteem, quite 
otherwise than, for example, among the 
nomad tribes of North Africa ; and that 
in Mongolian tradition ev^en the legendary 
national hero, Genghis Khan, appears as a 
smith. At any rate, the superior arma- 
ment of breastplates, helmets, swords, and 
lances, and the marvellous " singing 
arrows," rendered possible by the rich 
mines, contributed greatly toward securing 
for the originally not very numerous 
Turks the victory over their opponents. 

The national legend of the Turks traces 
the descent of the nation from a boy 
whom a she-wolf suckled. This tradition, 

the northern Uigurians with the Yen Yen 
offered to the Turks a welcome opportunity 
of further advances. At the first contest 
of the two peoples, in 490, the Turks made 
no movement, but when, in the year 536, 
a Uigurian army marched eastward, and 
in so doing touched Turkish territory, 
the ruling chief of the Turks, Tu myn, 
attacked and conquered them, and incor- 
porated into his people the whole tribe of 
50,000 Yurtes. The ease with which this 
amalgamation was effected betokens the 
close affinity which existed between the 
peoples on the bovmdless steppes of Central 
Asia. Tu myn was now in a position to 
defy the Yen Yen, whose power had long rd l,y ii.T;i,iv,;...i ii..),i IM ->\.'i H' !i;!-, " Central Asia." 

Dr. Sven Hedin's excavations have thrown a flood of light upon the former prosperity of the Tarim basin. Where 
there are now wastes of sand, which can be traversed with difficulty by riding animals, once stood waving fields, 
green forests, and smiling villages. Under this clay ruin Dr. Hedin found cart-wheels, coins, and domestic vessels. 

which recalls the story of Romulus and 
Romus, refers, like it, to totemistic cus- 
toms, for a golden wolf-head was the 
badge of Turkish warriors. The scanty 
Chinese accounts represent the Turks as 
a branch of the Aschin Huns, who, after 
their expulsion from China by the Wei 
dynast3^ placed themselves under the 
protection of the Yen Yen, and were 
allotted in 439 settlements on the southern 
slopes of the Altai. Few traces of Chinese 
civilisation seem to have been retained by 
them ; on the other hand, they appear to 
have acquired some culture from the 
Uigurians, to which fact the adoption of 
the Uigurian script points. The feuds of 


been tottering, and he did so after the 
prince of the Yen Yen had contemptuously 
rejected him as a suitor for the hand of 
one of his daughters. In the year 552 
the overthrow of the empire of the Yen 
Yen was complete, and the Turks now 
assumed the headship of the Central 
Asiatic nomads, whose conditions on the 
whole were little altered by this change of 

Since the traditional policy of aggres- 
sion against China was rendered hopeless 
by the now iirmly-consohdated power of 
that state, the Turks turned toward the 
west, along the road which the Huns had 
pointed out to all succeeding peoples ; 



even Uigurian armies had penetrated to 
the Volga in 463. Their first success was 
the subjugation of Sogdiana, where the 
descendants of the Yue-tshi still main- 
tained their supremacy, and an advance 
had been made toward the Tarim basin. 
By the year 437 nine states existed in 
Sogdiana which were ruled by princes of 
p . the dynasty of the Can-wu. 

ampaigns ^j^^ most important of them 

VI J T • wasSamarkand. InTashkent, 
Nomad Turks T- 1 1 m ■ 

r'erghana, and Khansmia 

other dynasties occupied the thrones. The 
conquest of Sogdiana, the petty states 
of which, however, had hardly dis- 
appeared, gave the Turkish conquerors an 
interest in the Western trade, especially in 
the export of silk from Sogdiana, which 
was then hindered by the Persians, prob- 
ably because in Persia itself the breeding 
of silkworms was a prevalent industry, 
and also because silk was obtained from 
China by the sea route. The attempt to 
wm the desired object from the Persians 
by diplomacy led to a long series of hostile 

The Turks then, in 569, determined to 
enter into direct communication with the 
Byzantines, who must have been equally 
interested in breaking the Persian trading 
monopoly. A Turkish embassy arrived 
at Constantinople, in consequence of which 
Ziniarch went to the capital of the Turkish 
Great Khan in the Altai with a commission 
from Justin II., the Byzantine Emperor. 
We possess his detailed account of the 
journey, and of the battles of the Turks 
against the " White Huns " and the Per- 
sians, at some of which he was present. 
We learn from him also that the west of 
the Tarim basin then fell into the power of 
the Turks. Later, the Byzantines also, 
in spite of their cautious policy, were hard 
pressed by the Turks, since with the period 
of the Turkish power generally a fresh 
flood of Central Asiatic tribes poured over 
Western Asia and Europe. The Khazars, 
. who advanced jn 626 to East 
T h 'fh •^'^^'"OP'^' ^\'ere a detached frag- 
_ ,. ment of the Turkish nation. 
Byzantium . 1,1 .1 , 

As might be expected, attacks 

were made on China so soon as any oppor- 
tunity presented itself. 

China now adopted her successful policy 
of sowing seeds of disserision among the 
nomads. The Turkish Empire, like the 
earlier empires, split up into three portions, 
an eastern and a western province, which 
were governed by a viceroy, and the 


centre, which, both in peace and war, 
was under the command of the supreme 
ruler. The Chinese, about the year 600, 
succeeded in weakening permanently the 
power of the Turks by dividing the empire 
into an eastern and a western part. 

In the year. 630 the Chinese armies won 
a brilliant victory over the eastern Turks, 
in which the khan. Kin Li, was captured ; 
thus Chinese influence was again extended 
to Sogdiana. The eastern empire then 
broke up into a number of weak and petty 
states ; but part of the Turks migrated 
to China, where settlements were assigned 
to them in order that they might serve as 
a frontier guard against other nomad 
tribes. The people, which had not for- 
gotten its old fame, became in Chinese 
territory once more so strong that, in 681, 
under Qutluq, it was able to shake off the 
Chinese rule and spread its influence over 
Mongolia. The power of the Turks grew 
still stronger under Me chun, the brother 
and successor of Qutluq, who skilfully 
availed himself of the disputes for the 
Chinese throne. Once more the Turkish 
Empire became a mightv power: Even 

_ . . . the western Turks seem tem- 
Turks Again 1 ^ i, i_ 1 

. . poranly to have been sub- 

A J . iugated, and the Turkish 

Ascendant ^ " ,.111 

supremacy was re-established 

in Sogdiana, where the petty states of 
the Yue-tshi still existed. 

After Me chun's death, Kultegin, the 
commander of the army, a nephew of the 
dead man, murdered the lawful heir, his 
cousin, and placed his own brother Me ki 
lien on the throne. We have accurate 
accounts of these events from the inscrip- 
tions on the grave-pillars of Orkhon. The 
east Turkish Empire still kept its position 
as a formidable power. But its decline 
began, and the end was produced by a 
coalition of the l^igurians and Chinese in 
the year 745. From that date the Turks 
almost disappear from the history of 
Central Asia. The fall of the Turkish 
power was hastened by the advance of the 
Arabs, who in the meantime had con- 
quered Persia and penetrated to Sogdiana, 
where some of the princes sought help 
from the Turks and fought with chequered 
success against their new oppressors. In 
712 the Arabs won a brilliant victory over 
the allied Sogdians and Turks, the latter 
probably being led by Kultegin. In the 
year 730, however, they met with a severe 
del eat at Samarkand from the same 
antagonists. The necessity of defending 


themselves on different sides certainly 
helped to effect the rapid fall of the east 
Turkish Empire. 

The western Turks, soon after their 
separation from the eastern empire, had been 
forced to acknowledge a sort of suzerainty 
of Persia. In 620, however, they felt 
themselves strong enough to extend their 
empire — which must have lain between 
the Altai and the Sea of Aral — and to 
invade Persia and Sogdiana. Turkish 
mercenaries or allies played a momentous 
part in the contests for the Persian throne 
at that time. All the conquered territory, 
indeed, was very loosely united, as is 
invariably the case with nomad empires, 
and when occasion offered it was the 
more easily broken up again, since the 
nomad is never so closely attached to his 
country as the agriculturist. Instances 
occur where entire nations crossed the 
steppes of Central Asia in their 
fullest extent, in order to 
escape the yoke of a hated 
conqueror and to seek pro- 
tection perhaps on the Chinese frontier. 
The western Turks then had command 
of the northern trade routes of Central 
Asia so far as they passed through the 
Uigurian country. Since the Chinese 
favoured the southern roads through the 
Tarim basin, Turks and Uigurians com- 
bined and, in 639, invaded the petty states 
of that district, attacked Hami, which was 
occupied by the Chinese, and thus com- 
pelled China to act on the defensive. 
These disorders lasted for a long time, but 
finally ended in favour of the Chinese. 
Soon afterwards the advance of the Arabs 
through Persia was felt by the western 
Turks, while the Chinese armies pressed on 
threateningly from the east. The result 
was the almost complete fall of the power 
of the western Turks, whose inheritance 
passed for a short period to the Tibetans, 
who had become powerful in the interval. 

Turks in 

It was not until the year 700 that the 
empire revived, only to find itself soon 
afterwards entangled in bitter wars with 
the Arabs. It was more affected by 
remarkable factions at the court and within 
TK T k ^^^ tribal federation, the true 

d A b ^'^^'^^ °^ which, whether ethnic, 
at Wa social, or political, cannot be 
discovered. There was a black 
and a yellow party, which often fought 
furiously together, and put forward their 
own candidates whenever the succession 
to the throne was disputed. The complete 
overthrow of the empire was effected in 
760 by the Oarluk, a tribe of the Turko- 
Mongolian race living to the west of the 
Altai range. The remnants appear in 
later history as Ghuzes. 

In Central Asia the place of the Turks 
as the dominant people was taken by the 
nomad Uigurians, who were then called 
Hoei He. Their chief opponents were the 
Kirghiz in South-western Siberia, who now 
for the first time came forward as a 
powerful people and tried to enter into 
direct relations with China. In alliance 
with the Chinese they shattered the 
Uigurian supremacy in the year 830. 
The question at issue seems once more to 
have been the command of the trading 
communications with the west. The 
Kirghiz then appeared as the connecting 
agents, who conducted Arabian caravans 
to China with armed escorts through the 
hostile Uigurian territory. The Kirghiz 
never founded an empire of equal extent 
with that of the Huns or Turks. The 
Uigurian empire was always restricted to 
a limited area. 

Later, in the tenth and eleventh cen- 
turies, the nation of the Khitan, which 
was mainly of Tungusian stock, extended 
its rule from Manchuria over a large part 
of the steppes of Central Asia, until the 
Mongols founded a new world-empire in 
that region. 

SSSsSSSS^e, . Xj£,iJ.a^ 



147 1 


These views of a Tibetan town show the general practice of building the Lamaite monasteries upon the crests of 
the ridges, while on the face of the hill-side are the cave-like dwellings in which the peasant laity find their homes. 







nriBET lor a long j^eriod was little 
■*• affected by the enormous revolutions 
that convulsed Central Asia, and in any 
case it was only its Irontier that felt them. 
These frontier tribes of Tibet were formerly 
further removed from the centre. On 
the south, the Himalayas always formed 
a strong barrier, but to the north Tibetans 
were settled as far as the Tarim basin, and 
even a great jmrt of South-eastern China 
was filled with Tibetan tribes, which were 
only gradually absorbed by the Chinese 
population. Tibet proper lay completely 
off the main track. The routes of trade 
and culture did not traverse the country ; 
and the desolate plateau, scorched by 
intolerable summer heats and lashed by 
winter snowstorms, did not allure the 
neighbouring nomads to daring raids, 
which might at least have interrupted the 
stereotyped monotony of existence, and 
„ have created movement and 

ow j-^^^ ^1^^ achievements of 
Advance • i •.• i 

, T,.. » Civilisation were slow in per- 
of Tibet , . ,, . J v 

meating this region, and it was 

long before the seeds of progress sprang up 
from the barren ground. 

Originally all Tibetan peoples must 
have lived that life of mere hunters which 
appears to be the lowest grade of human 
existence. Tibet, in spite of its desola- 
tion, was adapted for this mode of life. 
However poor it might be in edible wild 
plants, it teemed with beasts of the chase, 
which even now cover the country in 
immense herds. The agricultural life, 
which originated with the short-skulled 
race, was followed only in the advanced 
posts of the Tibetan people, where they 
settled in the Tarim basin on the trading 
route, and found in the oases suitable 
tracts of country at their disposal. The 
reason why it did not spread further 
toward Tibet is mainly that the only 
districts at all adapted for agriculture 
lay far to the south, in the upper valleys 
of the Brahmaputra and the Indus. Any 
germs of culture that developed in these 
southern tracts were brought from India, 
and, naturally, not until the Aryan in- 
habitants of India had created a civilisa- 

tion of their own. This circumstance 
helps to explain the slow advance of 
civilisation in Tibet as well as the far- 
reaching influence of India on what was 
once purely a Central Asiatic region. 

What the inhabitants of Northern and 
Central Tibet derived from Central Asia 

, was not the old agricultural 

Lessons ,-c u j. xu • i 

. _ . hie, but the newer social 

„ * economy of the nomad tribes. 

It must remain a moot point 
whether Tibetans were in this mere 
recipients, or whether by the domestica- 
tion of the yak they did not materially 
add to the number of useful animals. 
The wild yak is spread so far to the north 
that a tribe of Turko-Mongolian or even 
Aryan race may have made the first 
attenipts at breeding them. In any case, 
the waggon was hardly known in Tibet 
as a means of transport, but animals, and 
especially the yak, were exclusively used 
to carry burdens. The introduction of 
nomadic habits gave the Tibetans, espe- 
cially those of the north, a greater 
mobility, allowed an increase of popula- 
tion, and gradually taught them the 
warlike, marauding life peculiar to all 
nomads. It would seem that the bow 
also, which is not the national weapon in 
Tibet, was introduced from the north. 

The Tibetan tribes may have waged 
little wars on each other, and also on the 
nomad peoples of Mongolian race living 
to the north, but no historically important 
struggles took place until the growing 
power of Tibet sought its booty among 
the settled nations. The roads to the 
south and west were completely barred, 
but, in compensation, the great commer- 
^ . cial route on the north, with 

rowing 1^^ trading stations and oases, 
„.. was exposed to attack, and 

on the north-east the riches 
of China itself presented a goal for profit- 
able raids. In Mongolia the mighty 
empire of the Huns had already been 
formed out of small tribes, which com- 
bined for such marauding expeditions. 
In Tibet, where the conditions were far 
less favourable, the political unification 




of Political 


of the separate hordes began far later 
and was less successful. Occasionally, 
indeed, some frontier tribes had an 
opportunity of interfering in the internal 
affairs of China. A doubtful account 
states that Tibetan auxiliaries appeared 
in the Chinese service in 1123 B.C., but 
no large empire appears to 
have been, formed until the 
advent of Buddhism, which, 
with its proselytising power, 
levelled the barriers between rival tribes, 
and first stimulated national union. 

The Tibetan history, the Book of the 
Kings, which appeared only compara- 
tively late under the influence of Chinese 
models, contains a legendary account of the 
prehistoric period, which, naturally, is un- 
trustworthy in its details, but shows the 
sources from which the Tibetans themselves 
derived their civilisation. According to 
this there appeared, in the first century B.C., 
in the country to the south of the modern 
Lhasa, a marvellously endowed child, 
whom the wild natives soon regarded as 
their heaven-sent leader. This child, an 
invention clearly on the model of the 
infant Dalai-Lamas of a later age, was a 
direct descendant of Buddha. He founded 
a kingdom, the subjects of which were 
gradually raised by his successors to 
higher grades of culture, precisely in the 
way in which Chinese legend traces the 
progress of civilisation. Lender the seventh 
monarch, in the second century a.d., 
smelting, the use of the plough, and 
irrigation were discovered. In the fifth 
century the fields were enclosed, articles 
of clothing were made from leather, and 
walnut-trees were planted. Soon after- 
ward the yak was crossed with the ox, 
and mules were bred. 

Although the legend does not acknow- 
ledge any direct introduction of Indian 
civilisation into Tibet, still the fact that 
the centre of culture lay in the vicinity 
of the Indian frontier, and that the 
genealogy of the royal house was traced 
^. ... ^. from Buddha, points un- 
, . . mistakably to this source. The 

Inspired j • j- • .• r 

b India Widening dissemination of 
Buddhist doctrine in India had 
fired a missionary zeal there, which brought 
the new faith, and in its train a higher 
civilisation, over the dreaded barrier of 
the Himalayan snows. From the West, 
also, where the Buddhist doctrine spread 
as far as the Tarim basin, Tibet felt the 
same influence, and when the new faith 


struck root even in China, Tibet, as the 

connecting link between China and 

Central Asia on the one side, and India 

on the other, suddenly acquired a new 

importance ; and finally, after the decay 

of Buddhism in the Indian mother 

country, Tibet became the peculiar home 

and sanctuary of the northern worshippers 

of Buddha. 

While in Southern Tibet a small 

civilised state gradually developed, which 

depended for its power and prosperity on 

agriculture, the northern nomads had 

also begun to organise themselves, and 

in so doing may have been influenced by 

the example of the neighbouring Chinese 

constitution, and of the nomad kingdoms 

in Central Asia. The north-eastern tribes, 

called by the Chinese Ti. played, on 

a small scale, in the first century after 

the Christian era. the role of the Central 

Asiatics, since they figured at one time 

as enemies, at another as allies, of the 

Chinese kingdoms and their claimants. 

Tibetan chieftains even appear as rulers 

of small Chinese states in the same way 

as Hun and Turkish princes usurped the 

thrones of the isolated king- 

~l^ ^ doms. The Khiang, who lived 
Tibetan cs' 


to the south-east of the Tarim 

basin and menaced trade 
communications with the west, were 
another branch of the Tibetan race. 
No real empire was established until, * 
in the course of the sixth century B.C., 
the civilised state in the south brought 
the northern nomads also under its 
influence. A j)ower was created which 
had a large share in the further political 
development of Central Asia. Almost 
impregnable in its own country, it held 
a menacing position on the south-west 
frontier of China and on the trade routes 
which crossed the Tarim basin. The 
shifting fortunes of the Turkish empires 
offered ample opportunities of inter- 

The empire first aroused the attention 
of the Chinese in the year 589. With 
what deliberate pur])ose the Tibetan 
rulers endeavoured to advance their 
civilisation by Indian influence is shown 
by the embassy to India in 632, which 
resulted in a more accurate knowledge 
of the Buddhist religion and in the inven- 
tion of a script " formed after the Indian 
model. Even then Lhasa was the capital 
of the empire and the focus of religious 
life. The relations of the new empire 


with China were friendly at first ; but very 
soon the pretext for war was given by 
an incident of a kind not unusual in the 
history of Central Asiatic kingdoms : 
the request of the Tibetan monarch for 
the hand of a Chinese princess was insult- 
ingly refused. Since, however, the king 
obtained his wish in the end, the cam- 
paign cannot have resulted so favourably 
for the Chinese as their historians would 
have us believe. But the Tibetan pre- 
ferred to turn his arms for the future 
against the Tarim basin, where there was 
a state of anarchy which offered greater 
prospects of successful conquest ; and by 
the year 680 the power of Tibet extended as 
far as the Tian Shan. A combined attack 
of the Chinese and Turks in 692 had indeed 
the momentary effect of driving back the 
Tibetans ; but they returned to the 
attack, and pressed on in 715 as far as 
Ferghana, after they had concluded an 
alliance with the Arabs. During the whole 
of the eighth century Tibet remained 
the leading power in the south of Central 
Asia, and a formidable enemy of China, 
_,.. . the capital of which was actually 

„ . . y stormed and plundered by the 
J p Tibetans in the year 763. 

It was not until 820 that a 
permanent peace was concluded between 
Tibet and China, and a pillar with an 
inscription was erected in Lhasa to com- 
memorate the event. 

In the course of the ninth century the 
power of Tibet rajiidly diminished. The 
Uigurians seized the borderland on the 
north, and Hsia successfully took over the 
duty of guarding the frontier against 
the decaying empire. This kingdom — 
more accurately Hsi Hsia, or Western 
Hsia — had been formed in 884, at the 
time of the Tang dynasty, on the upper 
course of the Hoang-ho. The royal house 
was descended from the Toba dynasty 
of Pei We, which had been destroyed in 
North China in 557 ; but Tangutes, 
near kinsmen of the Tiljetans, formed the 
picked warriors of the people. In 1032 
the state made itself completely inde- 
pendent of the northern Sung dynasty, 
which ruled in Southern China, and sub- 
sequently maintained its position, since 
it allied itself at one time with the Sung, 
at another with the Khitan, and later with 
the Kin, who were supreme in Northern 
China. The independent position of the 

country was outwardly demonstrated — 
and this is a feature which frequently 
recurs in Central Asia — by the invention 
of a new script, which was mainly based on 
the ancient Chinese signs. We have only 
brief records of the wars of the Hsia 
kingdom. An invasion by the Tibetans, in 

1076, ended in their precipitate 

nerva ing j-g^j-gg^^ ^{-^g ig^uit, it is said, of a 

Influence of ,-,• 11 • j 

D jji.- superstitious panic which seized 

Buddhism ,, ^ T ii TT • 

the army. In 1227, the Hsia 

kingdom was annihilated by the Mongols. 
The fall of the political power of Tibet 
must be ultimately traced to the fact 
that Buddhism then permeated the 
country, crippled the secular power, and 
effected a thorough spiritual revolution 
in the minds of the people. Buddhism 
soon assumed a peculiar character in that 
isolated land. The priests of Tibet showed 
little appreciation of the more subtle 
theological and philosoj^hical disputes 
and doctrines of their Indian or Chinese 
co-religionists. But all the more im- 
portant was the influence of the originally 
Shamanistic national religion, which 
exalted the Buddhist clergy and monks 
into magicians and ascribed to them all 
the various arts of a degraded mysticism. 
This is the explanation of the commanding 
position which the Buddhist priesthood 
was able to acquire in Tibet, and of the 
chaos of superstitious ideas which gradually 
spread thence over Central Asia. 

After the end of the ninth century 
Tibet led a quiet existence, which in no 
respect excited the attention of its neigh- 
bours. In the year 1015 alone an armed 
quarrel with China caused a short inter- 
ruption of this tranquillity. Relations with 
China had again slightly improved the 
culture of the country. After the entry 
of the Chinese princess already mentioned, 
the knowledge had been acquired of making 
wine from rice or barley, of erecting 
water-mills, and of weaving stuffs. Chinese 
- artisans also had come into the 

^. u , , country, and the sons of the 
the Heel of , , .-" ,. - ,, 

^. . best families were Irequently 

sent to China to be educated. 
Tibetan civilisation, which had been 
at first entirely subject to Indian in- 
fluence, took more and more a Chinese 
stamp, until finally the storm of the 
Mongols swept over the land of Tibet, 
and brought the country into a still 
more intimate political union with China. 



The monastery of Kum-Bum, in Tibet, once the residence of the Dalai-Lama, was founded in 1360 and now 
contains some three thousand monks. Before the Holy of Holies are six cloth-covered columns each of which 
has on its upper part a " skirt " of pleated cloth, and the floor is covered with prayer-boards. These, having been in 
constant use for centuries, have been worn into deep grooves by the lamas doing: penance. Before worshipping- the 
T^*i''®'"°^®^ ■ °"'^^'' garments and his shoes ; then he bows, and throws himself prostrate on the praying-boards 
I he lama wearing the " Roman " helmet is of a higher caste than the others, and carries a prayer-bell in one hand 






HTHE example of Tibet shows how closely 
*■ the progress of civilisation is con- 
nected with religious propaganda, and 
how the wish to spread their own peculiar 
creed can be the chief cause why members 
of a more highly civilised people venture 
to be the apostles of culture in the most 
remote and most uninviting regions of 
the world. But this is not a unique 
phenomenon in Central Asia. However 
greatly the trade between East and West 
promoted the civilisation of Central Asia, 
it cannot be disputed that the most 
strenuous work in the cause of culture 
was done by those who, as preachers of 
the different world-religions, penetrated 
into the heart of Asia, or marched toward 
the east on the great commercial roads. 
Religious zeal alone created that endurance 
and self-denial which all must possess who 
attempt to sow in backward nations the 
seeds of a higher culture and of nobler 
modes of life. It is an important fact 
that, among the civilised coun- 

^Vt. ^ . tries which border upon Central 
of Mission . ■ ^, . , ^ J J 

^ ^1^ Asia, Chma alone produced 

no world-religion, properly so- 
called, and sent out no missionaries apart 
from Buddhists. In consequence of this, 
the Chinese never succeeded in firmly 
attaching the Central Asiatics to them- 
selves until they finally found, in their 
encouragement of the Buddhist teaching, 
an inestimable aid in taming the wild 
nomad hordes. 

The original " religion " of the Central 
Asiatics was doubtless that simple mys- 
ticism which, under various forms, is to 
be found in all primitive peoples. The 
chief duties of the wizard priests, who 
are revered as possessors of mystic powers, 
consist in averting evil influences and in 
healing diseases. That belief in one 
supreme divinity, which is usually found 
in such cases, has only a subordinate 
significance and has little influence on 
the spiritual life. The characteristic form 
of lower mysticism among the Northern 
and Central Asiatics is Shamanism. The 
shaman, or sorcerer, works himself up to a 
frenzy by beating a drum or by other 

similar methods, and then enters into com- 
munication with the spirit world, about 
the nature of which very different ideas, 
partly influenced by the civilised religions, 
prevail among the various nations. Even 
where a higher form of religion has 
already penetrated. Shamanism usually 
p remains for a long time as a 

P - popular national custom ; in 

g^jj . fact, it stamps a peculiar local 
character on these religions. 
In the eyes of the nomads of Central Asia, 
all priests were a kind of shamans, from 
whom cures, prophecies, and miracles 
might be expected. This led to perverted 
forms of the original religious doctrines, 
from which neither Buddhists nor Nestor- 
ians were exempt. 

Every higher form of religion is based 
on written records and has its sacred 
books. It thus follows that writing, the 
first great step towards culture, spreads 
most quickly in the train of a religious 
propaganda. Art also follows in the 
steps of religion. Images of deities and 
saints, or temples erected in their honour, 
form part of the indispensable equipment 
of the missionaries, and announce the 
victory of the new doctrine. It is thus 
conceivable that the position of Central 
Asia between important spheres of civili- 
sation and foci of religious doctrines must 
certainly have led to a marvellous mixture 
of influences, among which the original 
racial characteristics were still discernible. 

We must not forget in this connection 
that the oases of Central Asia were 
themselves the sites of an ancient civilisa- 
tion, but that this civilisation, after the 
irruption of warlike nomad 

ow^ ^ ,*? . ^ peoples, rested on so narrow 
Sites of Ancient rj,- ,, ,-, ii , 

^. ... .. aloundationthatitcoulcinot 

Civilisation , . 

have made any contmuous 

progress without the stimulating example 
of other civilisations. The blending of re- 
ligions and civilisations was accelerated by 
the fact that rival doctrines did not make 
their appearances successively, but that 
the majority of Ihem began to strike root 
in Central Asia side by side, during the 
centuries preceding and following the 



Christian Era. Buddhism appeared the 
earUest on the scene, and also exercised 
the greatest influence on Central Asia. 
Zoroastrian sun-worship was not vigor- 
ously disseminated until 250 A.D., when, 
imder the Sassanids, its priests were 
stimulated to undertake the work of 
missionaries by the renascence of Iranian 
life and thought ; but con- 
iva ry currently Christianity began to 

o ,. . enhst supporters. Neither of 
Religions ,, ,.^^ , , , 

these religions was completely 

victorious until finally Islam gained the 

supremacy in one part of that region, 

while Buddhism, disseminated from Tibet, 

held the field in the east. The earlier 

Buddhism of Eastern Turkestan, which 

was directly connected with India, entirely 


We are tolerably well informed from 
literary sources as to the religious condi- 
tions of Central Asia. Our knowledge 
has been widened by recent archaeological 
investigations in Central Asia, which have 
yielded a rich harvest of results, notably 
in the Tarim basin, and give us a vivid 
idea of the influence exercised by the 
various civilisations and doctrines. The 
British excavations in the western valley 
of the Tarim have brought to light," in 
addition to Indo-Buddhist, Chinese, and 
Persian antiquities and inscriptions, rude 
copper images, which probably served 
Shamanistic purposes, and may have 
come from the old civilised province of 
the Altai, where Shamanism exists even 
at the present day. 

The importance of Buddhism for the 
west of Central Asia was felt chiefly 
before the Mongol period. The activity 
of Buddhist missionaries outside the con- 
fines of India could not be vigorously 
exerted until the new religion had taken 
firm root in its native country. The 
period of the great Asoka of Magadha 
(263-226 B.C.) marks both the victory of 
Buddhism in Northern India and the ex- 
. tension of the political and 

oreign religious influences toward the 
Missions of 7i i. f u • i.u 1 j 

D jji.- north-west. Kashmir, the bridge 
Buddhism . /- . 1 A • • J .1^^ 

to Central Asia, recognised the 

suzerainty of Asoka. Even though Buddh- 
ism was unable to gain a firm footing there, 
and was driven to wa^^e frequent struggles 
with remnants of the old native snake- 
worship and a repressed Brahmanism, still 
access had been obtained to the civilised 
oases of the Tarim basin, where the new 
religion quickly found ready acceptance. 


In externals this Buddhism was, it must 
be admitted, no result of purely Indian 
culture. In the first place, the Iranians 
had encroached upon India and left traces 
of their nationality on the manners and 
customs of the people ; but after the age 
of Alexander the Great an offshoot of 
Hellenistic civilisation existed in Bactria, 
which exercised an effective influence on 
art and culture both in the Tarim basin 
and in North-western India. Where the 
missionary zeal of Buddhism appeared at 
this time, it was accompanied and per- 
meated by the elements of Greek art. 
This Greco-Buddhist art and culture of 
North-west India found a new home in 
the Tarim basin. Here, too, the difference 
between the more ancient western form 
of Buddhism and the more modern 
eastern form, which took its shape in 
Tibet, is clearly defined. Generally speak- 
ing, Indians of pure race preached the 
new faith, and their labours led naturally 
enough to a wide diffusion of the Indian 
language, since a knowledge of Sanscrit 
was necessary for the comprehension of 
the sacred books. A large non-religious 

_ ,. immigration also probably took 

Connecting , " tu • a r t j- 

,. place. Ihe influence of India 

. . J .. apparently first made itself 
felt in Khotan, where a son 
of Asoka is said to have founded a djmasty. 
Khotan, owing to its geogra])hical position, 
has generally formed the connecting link 
between Central Asia and India, and 
shows in its civilisation abundant traces 
of Indian influences. A large number of 
Buddhist shrines and monasteries were 
to be found in Khotan. The densely 
populated oasis, helped by its religious 
importance, repeatedly obtained great 
power, although it could not keep it 
permanently, since, as the gate to the 
trade route from India and the southern 
road from the West to the East, it appeared 
a valuable prize to all conquering tribes 
of Central Asia. From Khotan Buddhism 
spread further over the Tarim basin and 
its northern boundary. The clearest proof 
of this is found in the numerous cave 
temf)les constructed on the Indian model, 
95 well as in the products of Greco- 
Buddhist art, which modern explorations 
have brought to light, especially in the 
western part of Eastern Turkestan. It 
was certainly the settled portions of the 
nation, which were steeped in the ancient 
civilisation, that most eagerly adopted this 
higher form of religion. The nomads were 

The Nestorians were the first Christian sect to make headway among the nations of Asia, and at one time they 
attained considerable importance, but, cut off from tlieir headquarters, they and their doctrines became degraded. 

less satisfied with it. The coun.sellor of 
a Turkish prince candidly stated his 
opinion that neither the building of towns 
nor of Buddhist temples was advan- 
tageous to the nomads, since it was opposed 
to their traditional mode ot life and would 
break their spirit. This opinion was 
justified ; for in reality it was Buddhism 
which, thanks to the crafty support of 
the Chinese, finally destroyed the savage 
bravery of the Central Asiatics. 

The second great religion, Zoroastrian- 
ism, had naturally its chief sphere of 
expansion in Western Turkestan, which 
repeatedly stood completely under Iranian 
influence. Following the line of the trade 
routes, which were chiefly frequented by 
Persian merchants, it forced its way 
farther to the East, without l:»eing able to 
win for itself there any considerable posi- 
tion as compared with Buddhism. Zoro- 
astrianism spread also among the western 
nomads, especially the Scythians of Iranian 
stock, and left some remarkable 
traces behind. The ancient 
2 Slavonic mythology, with its 

contrast between deities of light 
and deities of darkness, seems to have been 
influenced by the Iranian sun-worship ; 
so, too, were the ideas of the heathen 
Turkish tribes on the Altai, according to 
which the human race held the middle 
place between the powers of light and of 
darkness. Among several nations, such 


as the Uigurians, Buddhism and Zoroas- 
trianism for a time counterbalanced 
each other. We cannot now decide 
whether their domestic dissensions, which 
were numerous and important, especially 
among the Turks, had also a religious 
tinge. Even before the Iranian sun-worship 
_ . acquired fresh powers of win- 

ommg ning adherents at the beginning 
^. . .. .. of the Sassanid period, the 

missionaries ot Christianity 
had already traversed Iran and set foot 
in Central Asia. The revival of Zoroas- 
trianism must partly be regarded as a 
reaction against the irresistible advance 
of Christianity, so unacceptable to the true 
Iranians. It was not indeed the great 
united Christian Church that broke down 
the Iranian barriers by her emissaries, but 
a branch separated from the parent stem, 
that of the Nestorians, whom we have 
already seen, in like manner, as the first 
introducers of the faith into China. That 
sect planted the seeds of Western civilisa- 
tion far away toward the East, but in 
their isolation they soon became degene- 
rate, since they were thrown upon their 
own resources, and were unable to keep up 
any constant communications with the 

The Nestorian Church, nevertheless, 
attained for a time to great prosperity. 
At the beginning of the Mongol period, 
when the Western Church began to 



concern herself about her estranged sister 
in the East, it did not appear hopeless 
to think of converting the Mongol rulers, 
and thus to assure the victory of Chris- 
tianity over its rivals, of whom Islam had 
long been the most dangerous. There 
were Christian communities and even small 
states with Christian princes in China after 
-, , . the seventh century. Here, 
p perhaps, lay origmally the 

. . . half-legendary realm of Prester 
John, the discovery of which 
was one of the motives for the Portuguese 
explorations, until it was thought to have 
been found in Abyssinia. Besides the 
Nestorians, missionaries of the Mani- 
chaeans found their way to China about 
the year looo. 

The prospects of the older forms of 
religion in Western Central Asia were 
completely, even if not immediately, 
destroyed by the advance of Islam. It 
was its appearance late on the scene, full 
of fresh ideals, that secured it the victory 
over the other faiths which were honey- 
combed by Shamanist influences and had 
degenerated in their isolation. In the 
decisive contest for the conversion of 
the Mongolian chieftains, which secured 
spiritual supremacy for the successful 
religion, Islam was finally victorious in 
the West. 

The struggle, nevertheless, lasted for 
centuries. At the beginning of the eighth 
century the Arabs had already become 
lords of Western Central Asia, and had 
then advanced on their victorious career 
to the Tarim basin. Khotan, the chief 
seat of the Buddhists, had resisted attacks 
for twenty-five years. Among the in- 
habitants of Eastern Turkestan the tra- 
ditions of these religious wars found a 
concrete expression in the legendary hero, 
Ordan Pad j ah, whose marvellous deeds 
are supposed to have decided the victory 
of Islam. The new doctrine did not 
triumph until, in the tenth century, Satuk, 
. the Turkish ruler pf Kashgar, 

adopted it, and conquered a large 
Asia ^^^^^ ^^ *^^ Tarim basin and even 
of Western Turkestan. After his 
death, in 1037, the power of the new 
empire rapidly diminished. 

Religious differences gradually acquired 
a certain ethnic imjiortance, even for the 
nomad tribes of Central Asia. The Turko- 
Tartar branch now comprised mainly the 
Central Asiatics won over for Islam, while 
the Mongolian branch contained the 


adherents of the Buddhist creed ; but 
originally both branches were quite closely 
related, or, more correctly speaking, were 
of common origin and only in part altered 
by admixture of foreign blood. Among 
the Uigurians in particular Islam found 
at a comparatively early period numerous 
believers, by the side of whom, however, 
the representatives of other religions long 
maintained their position. 

The mixture of religions, to which, in 
the West, Hellenic mythology may have 
slightly contributed, corresponded to 
the mixture of civilisation, which found 
its most permanent expression in the 
native script and styles of art. Modern 
excavations in Turkestan have furnished 
more exact information on the point, 
especially as to the existence of a style 
which has grown up out of Indian, Greek, 
and Persian influences. 

If this mixed style betrays the effort 
made to rise from mere imitation of 
foreign forms to a certain individuality, 
the tendency appears still more clearly 
in the fact that Central Asia produced, 
in addition to foreign methods of writing, 
. . a large number of peculiar 
^ scripts, which were naturally 

VVriuL suggested by already existing 
models, but nevertheless possess 
distinctive features of their own. The 
Chinese script seems least of all to have 
served as a model, since its defects, as 
contrasted with the syllabic and alpha- 
betic scripts of the other civilised nations, 
were too vividly prominent. The in- 
fluence of the Indian scripts was greater, 
especially in the Tarim basin. On the 
other hand, the Persian Pehlevi script had 
been adopted by the Uigurians, probably 
through the medium of the Yue-tshi, and 
the Turkish tribes in their turn learnt it 
from them. After that, through the in- 
fluence of the Nestorian missionaries, the 
use of the Syrian script was extended, and 
this soon served as a model for new native 
systems. The Mongols and the Manchus 
used varieties of the same script. The 
number of foreign and native scripts in 
Central Asia during the eighth and ninth 
centuries seems, as numerous discoveries 
prove, to have been unusually large. 
This circumstance points at once to a 
certain incoherency in the prevailing civili- 
sation, and to the fact that the Central 
Asiatic culture was local, and at the 
same time highly susceptible to foreign 
influences. Heinrich Schurtz. 



""THE efforts of civilisation and religion 
■■■ to tame the barbarous people of Central 
Asia continued for many centuries. 
Temples of Buddha, Zoroastrian seats 
of culture, Christian churches, and 
Moslem mosques arose in the oases ; in- 
dustries flourished, trade brought foreign 
merchants into the country, and those 
who aimed at a refinement of manners and 
customs and a nobler standard of life were 
amply provided with brilliant models. 
Of the nomads a less favourable account 
must be given ; and yet among many of 
them the higher forms of religion had 
struck root. Skilled writers were to be 
found among them, and the allurements 
of civilised life made considerable impres- 
sion. The road which was destined to 
lead these tribes out of their ancient 
barbarism had already often been trodden ; 

., . the forces of civilisation seemed 
Nomad .... 

, J pressmg on victoriously in 

p.. J every direction. Then once 

more the nomad spirit rallied 
itself to strike a blow more formidable 
than any which had previously fallen. 
The effort was successful, and as the result 
of it a region once prosperous and pro- 
gressive lay for generations at the mercy 
of races whose guiding instincts were the 
joy of battle and the lust of pillage. The 
world glowed with a blood-red light in the 
Mongol age. Twice — first under Genghis 
Khan and his immediate successors, and 
secondly under Timur — the hordes of 
horsemen burst over the civilised countries 
of Asia and Europe ; twice they swept on 
like a siorm-cloud, as if they wished to 
crush every country and convert it into 
pasture for their flocks. And so thoroughly 
was the work of ravage and murder done 
that to the present day desolate tracks 
show the traces of their destructive fury. 
These were the last great eruptions of the 
Central Asiatic volcano. Civilisation con- 

quered, and the hordes of the wide steppes 

were no longer a danger at which it needed 

to tremble. That which now struck at the 

civilised world was once more the full power 

of the nomads of Central Asia welded 

together for a time by a master hand. The 

new people which suddenly appeared on 

the scene, and, although hardly known 

Q. . or noticed before, now ad- 

. . - vanced with gigantic armies, in 

.k Ki J reality dealt only the first VAow, 

the Nomads , " , i ,i , 

and represented the vanguard 

of hosts which grew larger and larger, like 
an avalanche. The vanguard gave its 
name to the hosts who followed, and re- 
kindled in them the wild enthusiasm for 
war, which had died away, owing to the 
intercourse with civilisation. But the per- 
sonality of some individual is always of 
paramount value. 

The Mongols play so small a part in the 
earlier history of Central Asia that we 
may fairly doubt whether in their case we 
are dealing with a race whose roots stretch 
far back into the past. The original home 
of the Mongols lay, so far as can be ascer- 
tained, on the northern edge of the Central 
Asiatic steppe, in the region of Lake 
Baikal. Now, it was this same northern 
edge which was the home of the most 
important nomad states, and was the true 
cradle of the conquering pastoral peoples. 
It was there that the Huns held their own 

Th D th ^^^^^ ^^'^ ^^^^' ^^^ ^^^ centre 
J „. .. of the Turkish power lay there. 
and oirth t-, , i , • r i 

of Nations nomad j)opulation of that 

region was mainly due to the dis- 
ruption of the older nationalities, and 
contained remnants of all earlier inhabi- 
tants. The Mongols in particular rose 
from the remains of the Turkish people, 
which again was a mixture of Hun and 
other stocks. 

It was no mere accident that this 
people rekindled the ancient nomad love 



New World 

of war and rapine. In their remote homes 
they had been the least softened by civili- 
sation or tamed by religious influence, and 
they had most stubbornly preserved their 
warlike traditions. 

The Mongolian horde had begun to make 
a name for itself in Central Asia at the 
beginning of the twelfth century a.d. The 
_ ,t, f conditions of that period were 
favourable to its rise, as there 
was no great power in Central 
Asia at the time. The Kin, 
or Nu-chi, who in 1125 had conquered , 
and dislodged the Khitan, were the 
most powerful in the eastern parts of the 
country ; both peoples were of Tungusian 
stock, and a part of North China recognised 
their suzerainty. The Mongols seem to 
have been tributary to the Nu-chi. In 
the west the power of the Hakas had 
greatly weakened ; the Uigurians and 
some Tartar hordes, such as the partially 
Christianised Kerait, led an independent 
life. Yesukai, the father of Genghis Khan, 
first brought a number of nomad tribes 
under his rule, and thus aroused the dis- 
trust of the Nu-chi, who, in 1135, and again 
in 1 147, made futile efforts to nip in the 
bud the growing world-power. 

Little is known of the other exploits of 
Yesukai. His empire seemed ready to 
collapse as quickly as it had risen. On 
Yesukai's death, in 1175, his son Temujin 
was only twenty, or, according to some 
accounts, twelve years old^ This was a 
sufficient reason for the subjugated hordes 
to revolt from him ; so that the new ruler, 
who was under his mother's guardianship, 
had scarcely more left him than the ori- 
ginal parent tribe. But an iron will 
animated the youth. He rallied his 
adherents and fought with Ong Khan, or 
Wang, the rival ruler chosen by the other 
hordes, a battle which at once j)ut an end 
to any further spreading of the revolt, 
while a year later he won a brilliant victory 
over the insurgents, who renewed their 
^ . , attack. He tlioroughly vindi- 

Foundcr of . , , • o j 

. j^ . cated his power as a monarch 
J, . by his barbarous punishment 

of the rebel leaders. Some 
tribes now sought the friendship of the 
conqueror, others plotted against him or 
openly attacked him ; but, in the midst 
of unceasing wars, his power steadily in- 
creased. He defeated the Naiman, the 
Kerait, who were at first his allies, and 
other tribes, in a series of campaigns ; until, 
in the year 1206, he was able to hold on 


the banks of the Onon, a tributary of 

the Amur, a great review and council, at 

which he saw the greater part of the nomad 

fighting strength collected round him. 

Here, at the wish of his followers, he 

assumed the name of Genghis Khan, or 

" perfect warrior." It now seemed time 

to adopt a bolder policy and to carry his 

victorious arms into the adjoining civilised 

countries. A pretext for further wars 

was afforded by the machinations of the 

Naiman prince Kushlek, who had dealt 

the deathblow to the empire of ihe 

Kara Khitai in 1201 ; he was compelled 

to fly for refuge to the Nu-chi. The 

Kirghiz, and after them the Uigurians, 

in 1209, voluntarily submitted in the 

meantime. The war with the Nu-chi, 

after some unimportant skirmishes, broke 

out in the year 1211 ; and in it the 

Khitans, who had been subjugated by the 

Nu-chi, lent valuable aid to the Mongols. 

Genghis Khan's chief object was to gain 

possession of Northern China, the best 

part of the Nu-chi Empire. Hsuan Tsung, 

the emperor of the Nu-chi, finally fled to 

the south in 1214, and was thus entirely 

cut off from his northern re- 

ongo sources. Yen King, the capital. 

Methods of I • 1 , ] ^ V i 

y^ J which roughly corresponds to 

the present Peking, now fell 
into the hands of the Mongols ; but the 
war ended only in 1234 with the over- 
throw of the Kin dynasty, seven years 
after the death of Genghis Khan. It was 
fortunate for the Nu-chi that they could 
place in the field against the Mongols the 
forces of half of China, and could fall back 
on the strongly fortified Chinese towns. 
The Mongols learnt gradually in the 
school of necessity the art of conducting 
sieges, in which they were destined later 
to perform great feats at the cost of the 
civilised ])eoples who were hard pressed by 
them. The employment of gunpowder in 
siege warfare was already familiar to the 
Chinese, who could teach many other 
lessons in this branch of warfare, where 
scientific knowledge was more important 
than impetuous valour. 

During the wars between the Mongols 
and the Nu-chi, the Khan Kushlek had 
journeyed to Turkestan, had formed an 
alliance there with Kutb ed-din Mo- 
hammed, the sultan of the Kharismians, 
and was on the point of building an empire 
in Western Central Asia with his help. 
The interference of the Kharismians on 
behalf of Kushlek may be attributed partly 


to trade jealousy. Genghis Khan had 
certainly tried to bring the trade over the 
northern roads, but encountered the dis- 
tinct opposition of the rulers of Turkestan, 
of whom the most powerful was the Sultan 
of Kharismia or Chwarizm. Mohammed, 
who was master of Kashgar, and therefore 
of the southern roads, had ordered the 
envoys of Genghis Khan, who wished to 
conclude a sort of commercial treaty, to 
be put to death on the spot. The prince 
of Turkestan could not 
but have been aware of 
his power. It seemed as 
if the Kharismians would 
be the successors of the 
enfeebled Seljuks in their 
dominion over Western 
Asia and in their protec- 
torate over the Cahplis 
of Bagdad. As always 
happens in such cases, a 
considerable part of the 
Kharismian power rested 
on the wealth which they 
derived from the pos- 
session of the Central 
Asiatic and Indian trade 
roads. But now this 
and all the 


covetous dreams which 
were connected with it, 
received an overwhelming 
shock from the onslaught 
of the Mongols. First of 
all, Kushlek, who had 
raised a considerable 
army, was completely 
defeated and slain during 
the rout in 121 8. The 
Mongol forces then swept 
on against Kharismia, 
which at that time com- 
prised a great portion 

of Turkestan and Persia, _ 

besides the modern showing chain armour and fighting weapons prisoner. The Mongols, 


a battle in the open field, but fled through 
Persia from town to town, continually 
pursued by the Mongol troops, only to die 
at last in misery on an island of the 
Caspian Sea. The greater part of Persia 
submitted to the Mongols in 1220. A 
counter-blow dealt by Mohammed's son, 
Jelal ed-din Mankburni, temporarily re- 
pulsed the troops of Genghis Khan. 
Nevertheless, the appearance of the Mongol 
sovereign in person forced the Kharismian 
to fly to India ; various 
revolted towns, Herat 
among them, were re- 
lentlessly massacred and 
burnt. The Mongols 
pressed on toward the 
Indus and laid waste 
Peshawar, Lahore, and 

Thus the old path of 
conquest to India had 
been already trodden 
when Genghis Khan took 
the first steps on the 
beaten road which leads 
from the plains of Western 
Siberia to Europe. Pre- 
texts for a campaign, 
which was first directed 
against the nomad tribes 
in the north of the 
Caucasus, were soon forth- 
coming. When, therefore, 
the Russians from Kieff 
appeared in the field as 
allies of these peoples, 
Mongol and European 
troops for the first time, in 
1233, faced each other in 
battle. The Russians, who 
were victorious at the out- 
set, were finall}^ beaten, 
and the Grand Duke of 
Kieff himself was taken 

Khiva. Bokhara, the °^ ^ ^°"^°^ "^"^^ '" 
garrison of which offered only a feeble 
resistance, was plundered and burnt ; 
Otrara, on the middle Syr Daria, the 
proper border fortress facing Central Asia, 
held out longer, but finally fell into the 
hands of Genghis Khan, as did Khojend, 
Uzgent, and other fortified towns. The 
main army turned toward Samarkand, 
which soon surrendered, but had to pay for 
the sins of its ruler by a terrible massacre. 
The re?istance of the Sultan Mohammed 
was now broken ; he did not venture on 

Tamerlane's array. hoWCVCr, tO guard agaiust 

whose attacks even Constantinople had 
been more strongly fortified, did not follow 
up their victory. In the year 1224 Genghis 
Khan planned a campaign in person 
against India, but was induced by a 
portent, or more probably by the exhaus- 
tion of his war-worn army, to retire to 
Karakoram, the former capital of the 
Christian Kerait, which had now become 
the centre of the Mongol Empire. In 
the previous year he had organised in the 
steppe of South Siberia with his whole 



army a gigantic battue, an enormously 
exaggerated example of the method of 
hunting familiar to the nomads of Central 
Asia, both as a sport and as a means of 

In the meantime the war in China had 
continued. Even the West Chinese Em- 
pire of the Hsia, with its partly Tibetan 
population, had been drawn 

/* .. into the whirlpool, and had 
of Genghis , , , ■ ^ ,, ,„^ 

I,. been wasted m the years 1200 

Khan 1 XT ri 1 ■ 

and 1217. Now, after losmg 
Ordos, its northern province, it suffered a 
still more sweeping devastation at the 
hands of the Mongols from 1223 to 1226, 
until in 1227 the last prince of the dynasty 
was captured and the country completely 
conquered by the generals of Genghis 
Khan. The Kin, or Nu-chi, in Northern 
China, on the other hand, still resisted, 
until 1234, the attacks of the Mongols, 
whose best general, Mogli, died in 1225. 
Genghis Khan survived his general only 
two years. He died in 1227 in a town on 
the Upper Hoang-ho, whether from 
natural causes or poisoned by one of his 
wives is uncertain. In his person passed 
away the most genuine representative of the 
wild, untameable nomads of Central Asia, 
who, in the old Hun fashion, had built up 
for himself a giant empire over dead bodies 
and ruined cities. A thirst for power and 
a savage joy in destruction were the 
guiding motives of his policy. The need 
of professing any nobler aims, ev^en as a 
specious pretext for his campaigns, was 
absolutely unfelt by him. And yet he 
was not wanting in those traits of rough 
honesty and magnanimity which are 
redeeming points in the heroes of nomad- 
ism ; indeed, a certain receptivity of 
civilisation is apparent in him. The lesson 
which all the savage commanders of 
Central Asia learned in the end was 
destined to be revealed in him, and, above 
all, in his descendants. Civ'ilisation, down- 
trodden and bleeding from a thousand 
_. ... . wounds, showed itself the 

, „ stron^jer m the spiritual con- 

Influence on , , -' , 1 J A u i-- i. 

T,. w , test, and crushed the obstinate 

The Mongols j r ,, r xt, 

pride of the princes of the 
steppes, until at last they humbly did 
homage in chapels and temples to the 
ideals of the civilised world, and painfullv 
accustomed their mail-clad hands to hold 
the pen. 

It was the successors of Genghis Khan 
who submitted to these influences ; but 
already by the side of the gloomy, blood- 


stained figure of the first Mongol monarch 
a man had appeared whom the power- 
ful nomad prince seemed to have chosen as 
a representative and advocate of civilisa- 
tion. This was Hi Chutsai, or Yeliu Chut- 
sai, a scion of the royal house of the Kin, 
a Tungusian, acquainted with Chinese 
culture. The motive that induced Genghis 
Khan to bring this member of a hostile 
family to his court, and soon to er^trust him 
with the complete internal administration, 
was certainly less the wish to promote 
the culture of his Mongol subjects than 
the effort to organise his empire, and 
especially his revenue, on the model of 

This succeeded so well that Hi Chutsai 
continued to hold his high position under 
the successors of Genghis Khan until 
his death. But it reflects far more honour 
on him that he regarded himself at the 
same time as the advocate of an advanced 
civilisation, that he boldly opposed the 
cruel commands of the monarch, protected 
the oppressed, and, wherever he could, 
preserved the monuments of art from 
destruction. He devoted his own property 
^ , , - to these objects, or emitloved 

Extent of , • n . ■ i • j 

^. .. , it in collecting archives and 
the Mongol ... a v x ^i 

„ . inscriptions. A number 01 these 

latter and a few musical instru- 
ments composed the whole wealth which 
he was found to possess, when calumniators 
suspected his official administration. In 
Genghis Khan and his Minister we see the 
embodiment, side by side, of two great 
and antagonistic principles — barbarous 
despotism and civilised self-restraint. These 
two men seem an epitome of the whole 
history of Central Asia. It is difficult to 
ascertain the extent of the Mongol 
Empire on the death of Genghis Khan ; 
it was still an incompleted structure. 
The steppes of Mongolia and South- 
West Siberia were the immediate posses- 
sions of the new ruling nation, or were 
governed, as the country of the Uigurians 
was, by native rulers in complete subjection 
to the conqueror. Turkestan might rank 
as conquered, whereas in Persia the 
Mongol power was still insecurely estab- 
lished, and North-West India had been 
raided rather than really subjugated. In 
China the empire of the Western Hsia 
was completely annexed ; the Nu-chi, on 
the contrary, still offered stubborn resist- 
ance in the ])rovinces on the L.ower 
Hoang-ho. The extent of the Mongol 
influence towards the south is the most 


uncertain. No large campaigns were 

undertaken in the Tarim basin or in Tibet ; 

but probably a number at 

least of the states in the 

oases of Eastern Turkestan 

voluntarily submitted. 

Many of these petty states 

were probably subject to 

the suzerainty of the 

Uigurians, the Kerait, and 

other nations, and shared 

their fate ; others, like 

Kashgar, had been already 

conquered in the wars against 

the Kharismians. 

The constitution of the 
Mongol Empire was organ- 
ised throughout on a military 
footing, and, from this 
aspect, was a mere renewal 
of the ancient Central 
Asiatic system which 
obtained among the Huns 
and Turks. All men cap- 
able of bearing arms in 
the different tribes were 
enrolled by tens, 
hundreds, or thousands. 
The army recruited its 
ranks from the young 
men of the subjugated 
districts, who were dis- 
tributed among the 
existing troops, or, if the 
country had voluntarily 
surrendered, formed dis- 
tinct regiment s . 
Standards of yak-tails 
or horse-tails, of which 
the most important 
were the nine-tailed 
Mongol ensign, and the 
banner of the Khan 
made of four black 
horse-tails, were equally 
in accordance with 
Central Asiatic custom. 
The nine-tailed flag 
denoted the nine great 
divisions, or army corps, 
into which the Mongol 
levies were distributed. 

Genghis Khan 
regulated the internal 
affairs of his people by 
a series of laws, most 
of which were derived 
from traditions and earlier precedents, and 
were still suitable to the nomad life. The 



A Mongolian helmet of the 14th century 
in the collection of the Tsar of Russia. 

Specimens of weapons, tunic, and helmet of the 
Mongolian period in the Russian Imperial collection. 

which he maintained toward 
is noteworthy. On the one side 
there is the evident wish to 
elevate the traditional 
Shamanistic creed by laying 
greater stress on the belief 
in the existence of a divine 
being ; on the other side it 
is recommended that con- 
sideration be shown to all 
other religions and to their 
priests. Public offices, how- 
i \ er, were not to be entrusted 
10 the priests. Generally 
-jieaking, the enactments of 
Genghis Khan are principally 
concerned with military 
matters ; at the same time 
they regulate family life in 
a very simple fashion, 
define the close time for 
game, and make universal 
regulations of certain 
Mongol customs — such as, 
for instance, the slaughter- 
ing of animals by slitting 
up the body, the pro- 
hibition of bathing, and 
so on. In his latter days 
GenghisKhan displayed 
some leaning toward 
Buddhism, but showed 
otherwise that in- 
different toleration of 
the various religions 
which is everywhere 
characteristic of the 
Mongols. Religious zeal, 
the excuse for so man3^ 
cruelties, never 
prompted the massacres 
perpetrated by them. 

The great nobles of the 
Mongol Empire met in 
solemn deliberation in 
1227 on the banks of 
the River Kerulen, in 
the northern steppe. 
Genghis Khan by his 
will had nominated as 
his successor his third 
son, Ogdai, or Ogotai 
Khan, who soon after- . 
wards, at a great 
imperial diet at Kara- 
koram, received the 
homage of his subjects, 
conceded considerable 
father's first 


Since Ogdai still 

powers to Hi Chutsai, his 


Minister, the latter was able to continue the 
internal development of the empire, to 
organise thoroughly the system of taxation, 
and to draw up lists of the men liable to 
military service ; thus laying a firm founda- 
tion, which enabled the Mongol monarchs 
to extract the maximum of profit from the 
subjugated civilised countries without 
©Derations Pursuing a pohcy of crushing 

A • . /^f them completely. Ihe con- 

Against China ^ r .^ •. j 

. _ . quenng power of the united 

2kIiO JrCrSlSk 1 1 1111 

nomad peoples made bold 
advance under Ogdai. Persia, where the 
Kharismian Jelal ed-din had recovered a 
part of his inheritance, was once more, in 
1231, subjugated, and the unfortunate 
prince was compelled to seek refuge among 
the western mountains, where he was 
murdered by Kurdish robbers. Ogdai 
himself directed his attention against 
China, where the empire of the Kin was 
struggling for existence with failing 
strength. The provinces of Pechili, 
Shantung, Shansi, and Liaotung were then 
already in the possession of the Mongols. 
The Kin held their own only to the south 
of the Hoang-ho in Shensi and Honan. 
Tuli, the youngest brother of Ogdai, was 
commander-in-chief of the Mongols in most 
of the later battles. The siege of the 
capital, Kaifongfu, at which the be- 
leaguered Chinese employed powder with 
great effect, was unsuccessfully attempted 
in the year 1232. But subsequently an 
alliance was negotiated between the 
Mongols and the Chinese Empire of 
the southern Sung, which quickly crushed 
the resistance of the Kin. In the year 
1234 the last emperor of the Nu-chi was 
defeated by a combined army of Mongols 
and Chinese. Shensi fell to the Mongols, 
Honan principally to the Sung, although 
misunderstandings already arose between 
the allies which were premonitions of 
subsequent events. 

The conquest of North China was of 

paramount importance to the Mongols. 

Chinese civifisation was the 

■..r?''^ n^ first with which they had any 

Who Became , ,• • , j -i 

^. . lastmg mtercourse, and thus 

the political institutions of 
China served in many respects as models for 
the wild people of the steppes, while the 
Uigurian civilisation, which had originally 
been imitated, sank into the background. 
The ancient power of China in transforming 
and absorbing the peoples of the steppe 
gradually asserted itself more strongly. 
The further the Mongols penetrated into 


the Middle Kingdom, the more Chinese 
they became, until at last the disruption 
of the gigantic world-empire into the dis- 
tricts of Central Asia on the one side and 
of China on the other was inevitable. 

The forces which were set free by the 
overthrow of the Kin were destined to 
extend the Mongol Empire towards the 
west. The Mongol hordes under the com- 
mand of Batu swept on after 1235 against 
Europe, where the protection of the 
frontiers lay in the hands of the Russian 
princes. Riazan was captured on December 
2ist, 1237, and on February 14th, 1238, 
fell Vladimir on the Kliasma. The Russian 
chiefs had to submit to the suzerainty of 
the Mongols, while Kieff was destroyed on 
December 6th, 1240. Poland was now 
ravaged, Duke Boleslav V., the Modest — 
or the Chaste — was forced by Sandomir 
to take refuge in Hungary, and a mixed 
army of Poles and Germans under Henry 
II. of Lower Silesia was annihilated at 
Licgnitz on April 9th, 1241. 

There, at the edge of the steppe region, 
the western march of Paidar, or Peta, 
and his Mongols ended. They turned to 
Hungary, which Batu himself 
enacc ^^^ already invaded in March, 
to Central t-v: 

„ 1241. Ihere was immment 

^^°^^ danger that these Mongols 
would establish themselves firmly in 
the Hungarian steppe, and that Hungary 
would now, as on several previous occa- 
sions, become the nest of predatory 
swarms of nomads, who would perpetually 
harass Europe. The Magyars suffered 
the very fate which their forefathers had 
inflicted on so many prosperous countries. 
The Mongols seemed, in the summer and 
autumn of 1241, to have formed the inten- 
tion of making room for themselves and 
of exterminating the inhabitants. How- 
ever, on the tidings of the death of the 
Great Khan, Ogdai, which occurred at 
Karakoram on December nth, 1241, they 
resolved, in the spring of "1242, to withdraw 
through Kumania to Russia. 

The expansive power of the Mongol 
Empire was even then immense. While war 
was being waged in Europe, Ogdai 's armies 
threatened Irak and Asia Minor. Like 
Turkish armies earlier and later, the 
Mongols used the road through Armenia, 
and repeatedly attempted to attack Bag- 
dad. Simultaneously there began in China 
the attack on the kingdom of the southern 
Sung, whose princes, in blind infatuation, 
had helped to destroy the bulwark of their 


power, the empire of the Kin. The troops 
of the Sung held for a long time the lines 
of the middle Hoang-ho and of the Wei-ho 
by dint of hard fighting ; at the same time 
the contest was raging in Szechuen on 
the upper Yangtse Kiang, during which, 
at the siege of Lu-cheng, a strong Mongol 
army was almost totally destroyed. There 
also the death of Ogdai temporarily 
put an end to the operations. The Great 
Khan had bequeathed the empire to 
one of his grandsons, a minor ; but in 
1241 the first wife of Ogdai, Nai ma 
chen, or Jurakina, usurped the regency in 
his place. Hi Chutsai, the aged chan- 
cellor of the first two Great Khans, who 
wished to secure to the defrauded heir his 
rights, died suddenly. The empress now 
succeeded in carrying at a great imperial 
diet, or kuniltai, the nomination of her 
son Kuyuk Khan as sovereign, in 1246. 
Thus ended an interregnum which had 
greatly impaired the aggressive powers of 
the Mongols. It is this which partly 
explains why in many places, especially 
when confronting the western states of 
Europe, the policy of conquest, notwith- 

. , ^ , standing all sorts of threaten- 
Attempt to • ^ , - , 

_. . ,. . mg preparations, was aban- 

M doned. Besides this, envoys of 

the Pope had appeared at the 
diet, in order to ask the Mongols to abstain 
from further expeditions against the 
Christians. It is true that they had irri- 
tated the self-conscious sovereigns of a 
world-empire. Nevertheless, the common 
hostility of the Christians and the Mongols 
to the Mohammedans seemed to offer the 
basis for an understanding, especially 
in Syria, where Crusaders and Mongols 
were forced to stand by one another. 
Indeed, finally there appeared some 
prospect of converting even the Mongol 
dynasty to Christianity, and of thus 
winning a mighty triumph for the Church. 
Kuyuk turned his attention princij^ally 
to the east, and attacked Korea, which at 
the same time might form a bridge to 
Japan. He died, however, in the year 
1248, and Mangu Khan, a son of Tuli and 
grandson of Genghis Khan, came to the 
throne in 1251, although only after long 
deliberations by the great nobles. The 
gigantic extent of the Mongol Empire of 
that day is shown by the length of time 
required to summon and assemble the 
great councils of the realm. The decay of 
the unwieldy structure was only a question 
of time. Mangu himself took the first step 

towards it when he nominated his brother 
Kublai Governor-General in China, and 
thus placed his destined successor under 
the immediate influence of Chinese civil- 
isation. The Mongol dynasty was fated 
to become Chinese at no very distant 

For the time being, however, the 
frontiers of the empire continued to 

expand under Mangu. Tibet, 
yj^ *"^ hitherto protected by its 
. j^ . situation, was attacked, and, as 

Marco Polo testifies, was com- 
pletely devastated. A second advance, 
under the leadership of Hulagu, against 
Irak and Syria was momentous in 
results. The war was fiist waged with 
the Assassins, whose eastern or Persian 
branch was almost exterminated. The 
Mongol arms were then turned against 
Bagdad, which the feeble resistance of 
the ruling caliph failed to save. A 
frightful massacre almost exterminated 
the whole population of this religious 
capital of the Islam world. The hostihty 
then evinced by the Mongols to the 
Mohammedan faith strengthened the hope 
that the Mongols would let themselves be 
won over to Christianity. Christians did, 
indeed, obtain a favoured position at the 
Great Khan's court ; but Mangu regarded 
baptism and other rites merely as a sort 
of convenient magic formula. The 
behaviour of the unorthodox Nestorian 
and Armenian priests could not but 
confirm him in this belief. The Mongol 
princes must have had very hazy notions 
as to the inner meaning of the various 
religions, the ceremonies of which they 
occasionally observed. 

After a great part of Syria and Asia 
Minor had been ravaged, the attention 
of the Mongol sovereign was once more 
directed to the dominions of the southern 
Sung, which were now vigorously attacked 
for some successive years. Kublai, who 
had satisfactorily averted the disfavour 
_ which threatened him, con- 

- 1^ quered the western border- 

angu Y^^(\^ of the Chinese Empire, 
Szechuen and Yunnan, and, by 
advancing his armies as far as Tonquin 
and Cochin China, surrounded -Southern 
China on all sides. Once more the death 
of the Great Khan temporarily brought 
the operations to a standstill. Mangu 
died in the year 1259, ^"^ ^^^ the Mongol 
leaders went off to the Tartar steppe to 
attend the imperial diet. 


The first of these pictures shows the ruins of the tomb of the wives of Timur, or Tamerlane, while the centre picture is 
that of the mosque at Samarkand containing the remains of the great emperor, and the third shows the tomb 
itself. Timui 's sarcophagus is the dark one, cracked across the top, and i 

ade from an immense block of jade. 






The fall of the gigantic empire could no 
longer be delayed. It was due not merely 
to the enormous size of the Mongol state, 
and the impossibility of preserving the 
unity of the realm in the face of such 
immense distances. Still more destruc- 
tive was the influence of the different 
civilisations which everywhere forced their 
way, as it were, through the layer of sand 
spread over them by the storm-wind of 
the desert : a spiritual revolution was 
at work. 

If Kublai was on the point of being 
transformed into a civilised Chinese, the 
western governors felt themselves sur- 
rounded by the civilisations of Western 
Asia and Europe, while the ancient and 
genuine Mongol spirit in its primitive 
barbarism was to be found only in the 
steppes of Central Asia. The force of the 
geographical position, which had first 
called to life the earlier states and civilisa- 
tions, made itself again irresistibly felt ; 
, . out of the provinces of the 

Mongols in i.t i ■,-, 

_, . .,. JMongoi world-em pn^e were 

Touch with '-' ' - 


formed once more national 

states under the rule of dynasties 
of Mongol origin. The way in which the 
fall would take place depended on the 
point to which the centre of gravity of 
the empire should be shifted. If toward 
the east, then the west would at once 
wrench itself free ; if toward the civilised 
countries of the west, it would be a 
natural consequence that China should 
attain independence under a Mongol 

In 1260 the choice of the Mongols fell 
on Kublai Khan ; by this election the 
centre of gravity was shifted toward the 
east. Kublai still, indeed, was reckoned 
the supreme lord of all Mongols ; but 
in truth he ruled only the eastern steppe 
districts of Central Asia and the parts of 
China hitherto conquered. Iran and the 
possessions in Syria and Asia Minor fell 
to his brother Hulagu ; in Kipchak, the 
steppe country of West Siberia and the 
adjoining European regions, the descen- 
dants of Batu ruled, and other Mongol 
dynasties were being formed in Turkestan. 

Chinese civilisation now triumphed in 
the main eastern empire. What con- 
quering energy still existed among the 
Mongol people was employed on the sub- 
jugation of the empire of the southern 
Sung and on futile attacks against Japan, 
after the disorders in Mongolia, which 
followed on the change of sovereigns, had 

been quieted. Serious opera- 
angers tions against the Sung were not 
J. . begun until the year 1267, and 

twelve years elapsed before 
the final resistance of the Southern 
Chinese was ended. But while Kublai 
thus won the dominion over the whole 
of China, he was threatened by the danger 
of losing his possessions in Central Asia 
through rebellious Mongol princes. At 
Karakoram, in the years 1260 to 1264, 
appeared a rival emperor, Alipuko, or 
Arikbuga. A grandson of Ogdai, Kaidu 
by name, rebelled, and held out till his 
death, in 1301. Baian, however, to whom 
the victory over the Sung is chiefly to be 
ascribed, brought Mongolia, with the old 
capital, Karakoram, once more into the 
possession of his master. Kublai himself 
resided from the first in Peking, and thus 
announced that he was more Chinese than 
Mongol. The histories of China have 
recognised this fact, since, after 1280, 
they treat the Mongol reigning house of 
Kublai as a genuine Chinese dynasty. 
The further destinies of this dynasty 
accordingly belong to the history of 
Central Asia in a very restricted degree, 
especially after the death, in 1294, of 
Kublai whose name had testified to some 
sort of imaginary cohesion between the 
-, . various fragments of the Mon- 

w"Ta ^^^ sol Empire. Anyone who has 
p tried to pass a "fair judgment 

on the crumbling world-empire, 
and asks what its effect on the civilisation 
of mankind was, will, as he turns over 
the records of that blood-stained period, 
be filled first with a feeling of abhorrence, 
and of despair of any progress or of any 
results of higher culture. Is it always 
the destiny of the nations which are 
laboriously struggling forward to succumb 



to thf; onslaught of rude barbarians, 

whose dull senses are intoxicated with 

battle and booty until they are maddened 

with an aimless and hideous lust for 

murder ? 

On no page of history does the old 

cruelty of nature and destiny stare us so 

derisiv'ely in the face. But it has been 

-, . already stated that there 

J ^ existed counter intluences to 

J Di J 1. J all that evil and mischief, 
and Bloodshed , - , i , , 

which were able to mitigate 

the terrible impression. The storm did 
not only wreak destruction ; it purified 
the atmosphere. It was the Mongols who 
first put an end to the sect of murderers, 
the Assassins — a conspicuous but not an 
isolated example of this purifying power. 
Far higher value must be attached to the 
fact that once again, although for a brief 
period and under the supreme command 
of a barbarous people, all the civilised 
countries of the Old World enjoyed free 
intercourse with each other ; all the roads 
were temporarily open, and representatives 
of every nation appeared at the court of 
Karakoram. Chinese artisans were 
settled there ; Persian and Armenian 
merchants met the envoys of the Pope 
and other Western Powers ; a goldsmith 
from Paris constructed for Mangu the chief 
ornament of his court, a silver tree ; there 
were numerous Arabs in the service of the 
Khan, and Buddhist priests laid the civi- 
lisation of India at his feet. These repre- 
sentatives of different civilisations must 
have reacted on each other. For the 
isolated kingdom of China in particular 
the Mongol age marked the influx of new 
and stimulating ideas. Arabian writings 
were frequently translated into Chinese; 
Persian astronomers and mathematicians 
came into the country ; daring European 
travellers also found many opportunities 
to communicate their knowledge. The 
keen zest for learning exhibited by the 
better part of the Mongols seemed to com- 
municate itseM to the Chinese. 
p °^^° and for a period to overcome 

a ronagc o ^^^^ ^^-^ conservatism of the old 

self-centred civilised nation. 
While the history of the Eastern Mongol 
Empire was gradually becoming a chapter 
of Chinese history, an Iranian state was 
developing in the west under a Mongol 
dynasty, which it is usual henceforth to 
designate as the dynasty of the II khans. 
Hulagu, who in I^.Iangu's time had con- 
solidated the conquest in Persia, and had 


added other parts of Western Asia to them, 
must be reckoned as an independent 
sovereign after the accession of Kublai, 
although a semblance of dependence was 
preserved. After the capture of Bagdad, 
Hulagu had conquered some of the petty 
Mohammedan princes, and thus put him- 
self on good terms with the Christians in 
Armenia and Palestine. But when an 
Egyptian army inflicted a heavy defeat 
on his general, Ketboga, not far from 
Tiberias, in 1260, the Mongol advance 
was checked in that direction also. The 
attempts of Hulagu to reconquer Syria 
led to frightful massacres, but had not 
been crowned with any real success when 
he died, in 1265. 

His successor, Abaka, was in conse- 
quence restricted to Persia and Irak, thus 
realising the idea of an Iranian empire 
under a ^longol dynasty. The irony of 
fate willed that Abaka should be forced 
immediately, according to the old Iranian 
policy, to take measures for protecting 
his realm against his own countrymen, 
the Mongols of Kipchak, who threatened 
to invade the land through the Caucasian 
gate from Derbend, and had 
. °''.^° already come to an understand- 
gains j^^ ^.^j^ ^^^ Egyptians, the arch 

^^ foes of Abaka. Nothing shows 
more clearly how complete the faU of the 
jNlongol Empire then was. War now began 
on the other frontier of Iran, towards Tur- 
kestan, which had long been threatened, 
since the ^Mongols of Jagatai invaded 
Khorasan, and were only driven out of 
Persia by Abaka's victory at Herat. A 
final attempt to recover Syria ended, how- 
ever, in the defeat of Abaka at Emesa in 

In that same year Abaka died, and with 
his successor the transformation of the 
dynasty seemed to be completed. The 
prince, originally a baptised Christian, 
and brother of the deceased, openly 
adopted the Mohammedan religion under 
the name of Ahmed, and thus snapped 
the last bond of union with his unruly 
Central Asiatic brethren. This step was, 
however, premature. The Christians of 
Armenia and Georgia, the mainstay of the 
empire, were roused to ominous excite- 
ment, and the IMongols could not make up 
their minds so quickly to abandon their 
hatred of Islam and its followers. Re- 
bellions ensued, the leaders of which called 
in the help of the far-off Great Khan, 
Kublai. Ahmed was deposed, and his 


nephew Argun gained the sovereignty. 
Then followed a period of disturbances 
and renewed fighting in Syria, which was 
favourable to the Mongols, especially in 
the time of the Ilkhan Ghazan (I2q5- 
1304), but ended later in repeated dis- 
asters. Under Ghazan, who henceforward 
helped Islam to victoiy, the empire of 
the Ilkhans temporarily acquired new 
power ; but a reconciliation with the 
Mohammedan world was not effected, and 
the zeal of the Christians 
for the Mongol dynasty 
soon cooled. Under 
the successors of Ghazan 
the empire became 
disorganised, but the 
semblance at least of 
unity was kept up until 
the death of the Ilkhan 
Abu Said Bahadur in 
1335- The disruption 
then began which re- 
peated on a small scale 
the fate of the Mongolian 
world-empire. The 
provinces became 
independent, and the 
Ilkhan retained a mere 
shadow of dignity 
without any real power. 
In 1336, round Bagdad, 
under sheikh Hasan 
Busurg, the emir of the 
Jelair, who died in 1356, 
was formed the empire 
of the Ilkhani, which 
acquired fresh power, 
but finally was destroyed 
in the struggle with the 
Mozaffarids and Timur 
between 1393 and 1405. 
In 1410 died the last of 
the Ilkhani but one. 

and Jaxartes, as well as the greatest part 
of the Tarim basin. The prevailing 
rehgion in these regions was Islam ; 
sectarians of that faith had there offered 
the Mongols in 1232 a more obstinate 
resistance than the native princes . had 
previously done. At an early period one 
of the Mongol sovereigns had gone over 
to the teaching of Mahomet, although the 
bulk of the people had not followed his 

Since there were no external enemies 
left, the natural effect was that the 
Mongols soon fought among themselves. 
Disputes as to the succession, and rebel- 
lions were endless ; the legitimate reign- 
ing dynasty of the line of Genghis Khan 
sank into the background 
after 1358, and a govern- 
ment by a mayor of the 
palace took its place, 
which obviously could 
not remain uncontested 
in the hands of any one 
family. Some provinces 
became absolutely inde- 
pendent ; for example, 
Kashgar, which was the 
most powerful state in 
those parts in 1369, when 
Timur first appeared on 
the scene. The Mongol 
dynasty of the Shaibanids, 
though temporarily over- 
thrown, did not disappear ; 
but after the fall of 
Timur's dynasty in 1494 
soon raised itself again to 
the throne of Samarkand 
and Bokhara, which it 
held in the male Hne until 
1599, and in the female 
until 1868. The kingdom 

of Kipchak — the Golden 
Ahmed ben Owais, as a "^"^ ^^^^"^ ™''''' °^ tamerlane Horde-which, roughly 

£ jt T- 1 The Mongol empire-builder who had the greater , • • j 

prisoner of the Turkoman part of Asia at his feet at the end of the four- speaking, comprised 

Prince Kara Yusuf. The ^eenth century; but whose empire soon broke up. ^J^e lowlauds of Westcm 

dynasties which had Hron, .he .mnM.ure i,, ,he Bodica,, i.brary. Siberia and Eastern 

been formed in the steppe regions of Europe, showed greater stability than 

West Siberia and Turkestan were better 
able to maintain their individuality than 
the Mongol princes of China and Iran ; it 
was from these districts that the second 
great advance of the Mongols under 
Timur started. In Turkestan arose the 
empire of Jagatai, which took its name 
from one of the sons of Genghis Khan, 
and at the time of its greatest prosperity 
comprised all the countries on the Oxus 

the Jagatai. A more vigorous foreign 
policy was both possible and necessary 
there, and helped to bind the Mongols 
closely together. The command of 
Russia, that land of constant ferment, 
the wars with Poland and Byzantium, 
and the raids over the Caucasus 
into Western Asia, kept alive the old 
warlike ardour of the conquest-loving 
nation. The countries which later formed 



the kingdom of Kipchak were first partly 
subdued by Juji, the eldest son of Genghis 
Khan, and then were completely brought 
under the dominion of the Mongols by his 
son Batu. 

The expedition of Batu to Central 
Europe ended the period of great con- 
quests in the west. The Mongols were 
unable to hold their position in 
ongo ^ Hungary and Poland, which 
Conquests m " , -',, . . i i 

^1. «7 . were both attacked agam m 
the West 1 T-i 1 

1254, ^iici Russia alone re- 
mained completely in their hands. Batu, 
who died in 1256, had been practically an 
independent ruler. He was succeeded, 
without opposition from the Great Khan, 
Kublai, by his younger brother Berkai, 
who was soon involved in contests with 
the Iranian sovereign of the Mongols, 

The highest civilisation in the kingdom 
of Kipchak was then found in the Crimea. 
The towns of the Crimea had flourished 
since ancient times, and had increased 
in prosperity under the Mongols ; the 
country had maintained its intercourse 
with Byzantium and Southern Europe. 
The influence of this advanced culture 
was noticeable in the Mongolian princes. 
Many of them, in spite of their soldier- 
like roughness, appreciated scientific pur- 
suits, tried to draw learned men to their 
court, and showed towards the representa- 
tives of the different religions that toler- 
ance which is perhaps the most pleasing 
trait in the Mongol character. It must 
be admitted that the hopes which were so 
often entertained of winning the Mongol 
princes completely over to one definite 
religion were long unrealised. 

Tlie history of the kingdom of Kijichak 
is full of constant wars against all neigh- 
bours on the west and the south, and of 
dynastic disputes and insurrections at 
home. Part of it belongs to the course of 
Russian history. The Mongol age does 
not imply for Russia a brief and bloody 
interlude, as it .does for most 
other Western countries ; on 
the contrary, the nomads of 
the steppes seem for a time to 
have associated so much with the native 
poi)ulation that at the present day in- 
delible traces of that affinity are left on the 
national Russian character. A still closer 
amalgamation was partly prevented by 
the circumstance that finally the dynasty 
of Kipchak in the trnie of Uzbcg, from 
1312 to 1340, went over to Islam, and 


Influence on 

thus repelled the Christian Russians in 
the same way as the Persian Mongols 
offended the Armenians and Georgians. 

After 1360 the kingdom was filled with 
disturbances, and it was only the union 
of the White and the Blue Hordes by 
Toktamish, in 1378, and the invasion of 
Timur, from 1391 to 1395, that tempo- 
rarily restored order ; but with the~ result 
that, after the death of Toktamish in 
1406, the disorders increased and the 
power of the kingdom continually dimin- 
ished. In the fifteenth century the Crimea, 
with the adjoining parts of Southern 
Russia, was all that remained of the once 
mighty realm of Kipchak. In the year 
1502 the " Golden Horde " died out, and 
the kingdom completely broke up. 

The Nogai, a branch of the Mongol 
Jujis, formed in 1466 a kingdom round 
Astrakhan, which fell before the attacks 
of the Grand Duke of Moscow. Further 
to the north arose in 1438 the Khanate 
of Kasan ; and in the Crimea a small 
Mongol state, founded in 1420 with the 
help of Turkey, to which it agreed to pay 
tribute, held its own until its incorpora- 
c !•* f^i. ^'<^>i^ with Russia in the year 
Split of the ^^ With the split of the 
Empire under 11 1 t- • • fi ^- r 

ir t.t ■ VL Mongol Empire m the time ot 

Kublai Khan t- , , ,, '^ r ,, , 

Kublai the era ot the great 
conquests was virtually closed, although 
raids and border wars still lasted for a 
long time. The subjugation of Southern 
China brought the eastern Mongols com- 
pletely under the influence of Chinese 
civilisation. The more westerly of the 
Mongol states did not show any further 
p)ower of similar expansion. The most 
striking proof of this stagnation is the 
fact that no attempt was made to conquer 
India, although the gates to this country, 
so alluring to every great Asiatic con- 
queror, were in Mongol hands, and 
although the Mongols had already 
traversed the Punjab in the time of 
Genghis Khan. A fresh and powerful 
impulse, which united a part of the 
ancient Mongol power once more under 
one ruler, was needed in order to reach 
this last goal. 

It seems at first sight strange that the 
new tide of conquest flowed from Turke- 
stan, from the kingdom of Jagatai ; that 
is to say, from the Mongol state which 
was most rent by internal wars and showed 
the least energetic foreign policy. But 
these dissensions were actually a proof 
that the ancient Mongol love of fighting 


This reproduction of an old woodcut illustrates the methods of warfare practised by Timur and his hordes ; one 
Mongol warrior may be seen just after decapitating his fallen foe, and another is in the act of cutting off the nose 
of an enemy. The original inscription quaintly adds that "the man who had his nose cut off, lost it on the field." 

was all-powerful there, and that the 
forces and impulses of nomadism had 
remained there unimpaired. The nomad 
tribes of Turkestan, who, long before the 
time of Genghis Khan, had repeatedly 
made victorious inroads into Iran and 
India, supplied the most splendid material 
to a leader who knew how to mould them 
into a loyal and devoted army. While 
Mongolia proper, which had spread its 
armies over half the globe, was now poor 
in men and no longer a theatre for great 
enterprises, Turkestan had every claim to 
become the foremost power of the nomad 
world. All that was required was a master 

will. Civilisation may have tried her arts 
on the forefathers of Timur, that true child 
of the desert, who was born, the son of a 
Turki general, on April 8, 1336. They 
had lived for some hundred years or so as 
the feudal lords of the small district of 
Kash, in the very heart of the civilised 
world of Turkestan, to the south of the 
prosperous town of Samarkand. But 
Timur's character shows barely a trace of 
these influences. In his relations to his 
native soil he is true to the nomad bent. 
The little countrs^ of Kash served him 
indeed as a starting-point for his first 
operations, but he soon shook himself 



free from it, and fought like a soldier of 
fortune, whose true home is among the 
moving tents of his camp — who to-day 
has under him a mighty army recruited 
or impressed from every nation, and to- 
mon-ow with a few faithful followers is 
seeking a precarious refuge in the mountain 
gorges or the desert. The vivid contrasts, 

so usual among nomads, be- 

ftV^c^^ tween harshness and magnani- 

° * •■ * mity, between cruel contempt 

Tamerlane . -^ \ ^•r r . j 

for the lite oi strangers and 

desperate grief for his kinsmen and his 
friends, are repeated in Timur. Like a 
true Mongol, he was indifferent in religious 
questions ; but — and this one evil trait 
he learnt from the civilised peoples — he 
could play the Mohammedan fanatic 
when it served his purpose. 

In the 3'ear 1358 the realm ot Jagatai 
was in the most desperate disorder. The 
khan, Buyan Kuli, had become a mere 
pujipet in the hands of his mayors of the 
palace ; but even the family which ruled 
in his place saw itself in this same year 
deprived of all influence by a general 
revolt of the vassal princes, and the king- 
dom broke up into its separate provinces. 
In the wars which these new principalities 


keproduceti trom an orig^innl drawing^ by a Persian artist. 

continually waged on one another, Kutb 
ed-din Amir Timur, as a nephew of the 
reigning prince of Kash, found opportuni- 
ties of gaining distinction, and used them 
to the full. 

The first attempts to reconstitute the 
State under a different rule started in 
Kashgar, the prince of which, Toghluk 
Timur — descended from Jagatai in the 
sixth degree — appears to have extended 
his influence as far as the Altai Moun- 
tains. In the years 1359 and 1360 the 
armies of Kashgar advanced victoriously 
to Western Turkestan ; Timur found it 
politic to join them, and he contrived that 
after the fall of his uncle the principahty 
of Kash should come to his share. But 
it must have soon been obvious that there 
was not much to gain in this way. He 
soon reappeared in the field, but this time 
as an ally of the emir Hosain, who, as 
a descendant of the family of the mayors 
of the palace, had held out in Kabul 
and now reasserted his claims to the 
supreme power. In the year 1360 the two 
allies experienced the most strange vicissi- 
tudes, being at one time victors, at another 
fugitives and even prisoners. But after 
years of fighting, fortune inclined to their 
side ; a change of sovereigns in Kash- 
gar gave them breathing time, and in 
1363 they were able to enthrone as 
khan at Samarkand a new puppet of 
the family of Jagatai. Kabul Sultan. 
It is not surprising that Timur 
now tried to put aside his overlord 
Hosain ; but he met with an over- 
whelming defeat in 1366. He 
contrived, however, to obtain the 
forgiveness of Hosain in 1367 and 
to regain his influence. After better 
preparations, another attempt suc- 
ceeded in 136Q. Hosain was captured 
and executed, and a council of the 
realm nominated Timur to be 
supreme Great Khan. The nominal 
sovereignty of the descendants of 
Genghis Khan was not terminated 
iiir some time. Suyurghatmish was 
ucceeded in I388-I3g7 by his son 
lahmud as Khan of Transoxania. 
The new " Lord of the World " 
began with West Turkestan for his 
sole possession, .and even of that 
territory parts remained to be con- 
quered. Yusuf Beg of Kharismia, 
which then comprised Khiva and 
Bokhara, defied Timur continually, 
and was not completely defeated 



until 1379- Kamar ed-din of 
Kashgar, in spite of campaigns in 
1375 and 1376, could never be 
completely vanquished. It was onl\ 
when West Turkestan was entirely 
subjugated that the great wars and 
raids of Timur, fraught with such 
consequences for civilisation, began 
with an attack on Persia, which then, 
like Jagatai at an earlier time, was 
broken up into several independent 

Tlie separate states could not 
resist the united power of Turkestan. 
Khorasan and Herat, the ancient 
bulwarks of Iran against the nomads, 
were the tirst to succumb before the 
attack of Timur (13S1). Iri the years 
138G-7 the Mongol army fought with 
Armenia, the Turkomans, and the 
Ilkhani of Bagdad. The year 1388 
saw the terrifjle overthrow of the 
Iranian national states of the 
Mozaffarids, which had been formed 
in Farsistan, the ancient Persia. 
Kirman, and Kurdistan, and tin 
complete destruction of Ispahan, tin 
capital of Persia. The invasion of 
Turkestan b}' the ungrateful Khan 
Toktamish of Kipchak called Timur 
away from Persia in 1388-gi. He 
was then completely occupied witl; 
the subjugation of the Tarim basin. 
In 1392 he reappeared in Persia, 
and laid the country waste, since 
most of the dethroned princes, even 
the Mozaffarids, had partially regained 
their dominions. The race of th-e 
• Mozaffarids was this time exterminated. 
In 1393 Armenia and Kurdistan were 
occupied once more. 

It was most unfortunate for the sub- 
jugated countries that Timur by his love of 
conquest was always allured from van- 
quished regions to other parts of his terri- 
tories. The native princes then found 
opportunities to recover their dominions 
D r Kt ^^^ ^ time ; whereupon Timur 
. V^ . . would retaliate. Timur's rmagi- 

in Barbaric . • n j • i 

^ J nation revelled m horrors ; 

he aimed at striking terror 
far and wide. He delighted in rais- 
ing towers of skulls or building 
gigantic monuments of corpses and living 

A momentous campaign in India called 
Timur away from Persia on this par- 
ticular occasion. The influence of the 
Mongols seerns to have been asserted here 


m the Persian illuminated manuscript Tuzuk-i Timur, or "Memoirs of Tiiml 

and there in Northern India on the east 
side of the Indus. Independent border 
tribes impeded, as now, the communica- 
tions between Afghanistan and the \alley 
of the Indus. Beyond the Indus lay 
Mohammedan states. In 1398 part of the 
border tribes were conquered after a 
laborious campaign under the personal 
command of Timur. Meanwhile a grand- 
son of Timur, Pir Mohammed, captured 
Multan after a six months' siege, and the 
combined forces then advanced before 
Delhi. The city fell into the hands of Timur 
after a bloody battle. The conqueror 
then marched beyond the Ganges, and 
returned to Samarkand in 1399 laden with 
immense booty. 

The attacks on the West were now at once 
renewed. In 1309 Timur was in Georgia, 
which he cruelly devastated ; but his 
eyes were already fixed on Asia Minor, 
where the Osmans — or Ottomans— had 
founded their empire, and on Syria, which 



was under Egyptian rule. The Osman 
war began in the year 1400 with the siege 
of the city of Sivas, which resisted so 
long that Timur, after taking it, desisted 
for the time from further operations in 
that quarter. He advanced instead 
against the feebly-defended Syria, the 
northern part of which, including Damas- 
cus, fell into his hands. Bagdad also, 
where Ahmed ibn Owais had established 
himself, was captured. The storm then 
broke on the heads of the Osmans. In 
the middle of 1402, the Turkish army was 
defeated near Angora by the forces of 
Timur. Sultan Bajazet I. himself was 
taken prisoner, and Asia Minor totally 
laid waste. Faraj of Egypt, who feared a 
similar fate, acknowledged the supremacy 
of Timur. 

Thus Tamerlane, the " lame " Timur, 
had again united the three chief western 
portions of the Mongol world-empire, 


After the original Persian drawing. 

Jagatai, Kipchak, and Persia, and widened 
their frontiers still more. When he once 
more convened a great council of the 
realm at Samarkand, in the year 1404, he 
explained to his magnates that only one 
great undertaking was left him, the con- 
quest of China. But this time a kindly 

China Spared l^}^^ ^^^'^^ .^^'^ prosperous 
by the Death Chinese Empire. An army of 
of Tamerlane r^^'^o^ ^f" ^^^s already in 
the held, when death cut short 
the conqueror's plans on February i8th. 
He died of fever at the age of sixty-nine 
years. The spirit of boundless ambition and 
conquest was once more embodied in him ; 
but it died with him, and the down-trodden 
seeds of culture were free to spring up 
again if life was still in them. The age of 
the great nomad empires definitely closed 
with Timur, but not before it had 
produced endless misery and had rent 
the ancient civilisation of Western Asia 
to shreds. 

Timur's empire had been held together 
only by the personality of its ruler, and 
It crumbled away even in his hands 
-o soon as his attention was too closely 
riveted in any one direction. The term 
empire is almost too pretentious for 
this political structure, which merits 
rather the name of military despotism. 
The national basis was almost entirely 
replaced by the purely military. The 
body that took the field was not a levy 
from defined districts, but recruited or 
impressed followers of the individual 
leaders. Every campaign was an under- 
taking at the common cost, the supreme 
command being in the hands of Timur. 
The troops were not paid by Timur, but 
by the generals, who looked to recoup 
themselves with interest. If by so 
doing they amassed excessive wealth, 
Timur simply ordained that all sections 
of the army should be strengthened. 
Every leader was then forced to employ 
his fortune in enlisting more soldiers. 
Such an army could naturally be kept 
on foot only so long as it was fighting. 
It would soon have eaten itself away in 
peace time. Thus, behind Timur's un- 
bridled lust for war, which entirely 
corresponded to his character, there 
was a compelling force from which he 
could not, with safety' to himself, v/ith- 
draw. He possessed an army ready to 
hand only so long as he waged war and 
obtained booty, and, so long only as 
this army remained loyal to him, he 



was lord of a gigantic empire. He was 
confronted by the national rulers, whose 
existence was more firmly rooted in the 
soil, but who were seldom able to face 
the rushing torrent of his enormous 

With the death of Timur these oppos- 
ing forces were certain soon to regain the 
upper hand. No course was left to the 
descendants of the mighty conqueror 
but to submit to them or to give a 
national tinge to their own policy, a 
course for which the earlier Mongol 
d), nasties furnished a precedent. For 
the moment, indeed, the army, the 
invincible weapon of Timur, was still 
available, and its leaders were ready to 
continue the previous system, although 
there was no longer a master mind to 
lead them. Above all, it was intended 
that the expedition against China, which 
promised such ample booty, should be 
entrusted to a board of generals, and the 
question as to Timur's successor be left 
temporarily in abeyance. But the 
dispute about the inheritance, which at 
once broke out, brought these plans to 
an abrupt close. 

The wars about the succession lasted 

four years. At first it seemed as if 

Timur's grandson, Khalil, would inherit 

the empire ; but Shah Ruch, a son of the 

conqueror, born in 1378, asserted his claim 

in Persia. In 1409 the well-meaning and 

peaceful Khalil was deposed, and Timur's 

empire, which already seemed likely to 

break up into the two states of Turkestan 

and Persia, was again united under Shah 

Ruch. But it was no longer the old 

empire. The larger states, which had 

outwardly submitted to the scimitar of 

the lord of the world, Kipchak, Egypt, 

the Ottoman empire, the Turkoman states 

of Armenia, and the majority of the 

Indian possessions, were irretrievably lost 

now that Timur was dead. Only West 

Turkestan, the Iranian highlands, and a 

^. ^ . part of the Punjab were still 

The Empire ' , ■ j 1 1 ■ 

. retamed by his successors. 

rk .u r T- Shah Ruch was not the man 
Death of Timur , ^ 1 , 

to contemplate a continu- 
ance of the old policy of war and conquest. 
The oiily recourse left to him was to bring 
the national forces of his states into his 
service ; in other words, to recognise the 
Iranian people with their culture and to 
help them. It was chiefly due to the 
prudence with which he pursued this 
object that he was able to maintain the 

The great conqueror travelling through his dominions. 

remnant of the empire for many years 
until his death in 1447. 

His arch-foes were the Turkomans in 
Armenia and Azerbijan, wild hordes of 
Central Asiatic nomads, who had planted 
themselves there on the old military 
route of the Turkish and Mongol invaders 
and had formed a predatory state in the 
old Hun style. There were fragments of 
all the migratory tribes, who at one time 
were divided by internecine feuds, at 
another were united into a formidable 
military power by the prospect of booty. 

The headship of the hordes rested at 
first with the Turkoman tribe of the 
" Black Sheep " under its chief Kara 
Yusuf, who brought Mesopotamia and Bag- 
dad into his power, and gravely menaced 
Persia. The sudden death of Kara Yusuf, 
in 1420, freed Shah Ruch from his most 
formidable antagonist. Azerbijan was now 
definitely taken from the Turkomans. 

But any hope that the Iranised house 
of Timur would retain at least Persia and 
Turkestan was ended by the disorders 
ensuing on the death of Shah Ruch. 
A stormy period, in which parricide and 



fratricide were not infrequent, shook the 
empire for years, and while the descen- 
dants of Timur tried to exterminate each 
other, the swarms of Turkomans, at 
whose head the horde 
of the " White Sheep " 
now stood, poured afresh 
over the Persian frontier. 
Abul Kasim Barbar 
Bahadur, a grandson of 
Shah Ruch. held his own 
in Khorasan until 1457; [i ' 
then, while West Persia f^, j 
was already lost to the 
Turkomans, Sultan Abu 
Said, a grand-nephew of ]j 
Shah Ruch, usurped the 
power in 1459. But in 
the year 1467 he found 
himself forced to fight 
with Uzun Hasan, the 
leader of the Ak Koinlo. 
The heir of Timur was 
defeated and killed in 
1468 ; the larger part 
of his Persian possessions fell to the 
Turkoman. Complete disorder then 
reigned in Turkestan, until, in 1500, 
Mohammed Shaibani, of the family of 
Genghis Khan, and his Uzbegs, who 
represented the nomad spirit as modified 
by Iranian civilisation, became masters 
of the country. The Uzbeg dynasties of 
the Shaibanids, Janids, and Mangites 
possessed, down to 1868, the various 
kingdoms into which the country agairi 


broke up almost precisely as before the 
Mongol age. 

A Timurid dynasty had held its own in 
Ferghana. Driven thence by the Uzbeg 
leader Shaibek Khan, the 
ruling prince, Babar, 
grandson of Abu Said, 
who was born in 1483, 
threw himself into the 
mountains of Afghanis- 
tan, where he commanded 
the gates to India. The 
old conquest-loving spirit 
of his ancestor awoke in 
Babar, whom the splendid 
triumphs of Timur in 
India may have stimu- 
lated to similar enter- 
prises. He first secured 
his position in Kabul in 
1505) where he collected 
round him a small 
force of some 2,000 men. 
He took the field five 
times, until eventually, 
in 1526, he succeeded in defeating 
Ibrahim of Delhi and thus bringing 
under his sway the most powerful of 
the five great Mohammedan dominions 
which then existed in India. When he 
died, in the year 1530, the last and 
intellectually the foremost conqueror of 
Mongolian stock, he had founded a stable 
empire, that of the " Great Moguls," 
whose history has already been narrated. 
Heinrich Schurtz 





By Dr. H. Schurtz & Francis H. Skrine 

'X'HE world was still trembling before the 
•'■ warlike hosts of Central Asia when 
those forces were gathering strength 
which eventually succeeded in taming and 
rendering harmless the wild spirits of the 
nomads. These forces were Chinese 
civilisation and eastern Buddhism, whose 
influences can be understood only by a 
survey of the more recent history of Tibet, 
the theocratic state par excellence of 
Eastern Asia. The teaching of Buddha 
had long lost its power in the Indian mother 
country when it acquired Eastern Central 
Asia, beginning with Tibet. Mongol 
Buddhism was not rooted in Indian 
civilisation, but in the fantastically de- 
veloped monastic and ecclesiastical system 
of the lonely Tibetan highlands, which 
had cut themselves completely off from 
the plains of India when the Buddhist 
teaching died away in those parts. 

For this reason the more recent eastern 
Buddhism of Central Asia is sharply 
differentiated from the earlier western 
form, which once was so important for 
the culture of a wide area. The older 
form had stood in close connection with 
the plains of the Indus and Ganges 
valleys ; yet the missionaries in the time 
of Asoka, when the Buddhism of India 
was at its zenith, had passed through 
Kashmir, scaled the southern mountain 
_ walls of Central Asia, and 

o*"" ^ , carried their sacred books, their 
Success of • , J .1 • ■ i- j^- 

B ddh' script, and their civilisation 

directly to the Tarim basin, 

and thence northward to the Uigurians 

and eastward to China. The new teaching 

had at the time met with hardly any 

response among the Mongols and the other 

eastern nomads ; in Tibet it first began 

slowly to gain a footing. In the course of 

time the whole western mission field 

was once more lost. 

Christian and Zoroastrian emissaries 
had worked in opposition to the Buddhist 
priests until the doctrine of Islam, grand 
in its simplicity, which has always 
exercised a marvellously enthralling in- 
fluence over semi-civilised peoples, drove 
out all other forms of religion. Besides 
this, the Buddhism of Central Asia had 
_, . . lost any support in India, owing 
riump ^^ ^^^ victory of the Brahmanic 
J . teaching, and was dependent en- 

tirely upon its own strength. 
The term " simplicity " is indeed only 
to be applied with reserve to Islam, 
which reached Central Asia through 
Persia. An Islamite mysticism developed 
under the influence of Iranian intel- 
lectual life, which was hardly inferior to 
the Buddhist in profundity and love of 
the marvellous, but was for that precise 
reason capable of ousting and replacing 
the former. In its ultimate meaning, the 
victory of the Mohammedan teaching 
signifies the supremacy of West Asiatic 
culture over the Indian. And this victory 
was natural, for Western Asia marches 
with the steppes of Central Asia for some 
distance and is closely connected with 
them by old trade-routes, while the bonds 
of intercourse between India and the 
heart of Asia have never been strong. 

The later eastern dissemination of the 
Buddhist faith over Central Asia would 
have been inconceivable but for the 
circumstance that even in China Budd- 
hism reckoned numerous followers, and 
that the Chinese of set purpose favoured 
a doctrine so gentle and so much opposed 
to military brutality. But that Tibet, of 
all others, should become the holy land 
of Buddhism had been the object of the 
efforts of Genghis Khan, who, indeed, as 
a true Mongol, tried to employ for his 
own purposes the " magic powers " of all 

• 1499 



V : 


religions, without adopting any one of 
them exclusively. It was, after all, a 
very natural result that Tibet took, so 
far as religion was concerned, the place of 
India in the eyes of Central Asia ; men 
were accustomed to look for the home of 
Buddhism in the South, and, since India 
seceded, Tibet, which was always full of 
mystery, offered a welcome substitute. 

At first, indeed, the growing reputation 
of Tibet for sanctity did not shield it from 
disastrous attacks: under the first Mogul 
princes it was mercilessly plundered and 
laid waste. But perhaps these lamentable 
events, by which the temporal kingdom 
of Tibet was overthrown, were the con- 
tributory cause that henceforth the 
spiritual power came forward and under- 
took the protection of the country with 
better prospect of success. 

Kublai Khan took ac 
count of the altered con- 
ditions when he pro- 
moted the Lama Pasepa. 
who was a member of a 
noble Tibetan family, tc 
be the supreme head of all 
Lamas in his realm, and 
thus shifted the centre of 
gravity of the Buddhist 
hierarchy to Tibet. In 
reality by so doing he con- 
ferred on the Lama the 
temporal power also over [ 
the country. On the com- 
plete disruption of the 
Mongol Empire, Tibet, 
which was not claimed 
by the Chinese Mongol 

dynasty, remained as an 
independent ecclesiastical 
state, and could then for 
more than a century con- 
tinue its unaided develop- 
ment under the successors 
of Pasepa. While in China 
the Buddhist papacy of the 
Tibetan chief Lama was no 
longer recognised, or re- 
mained without influence, 
the activity of Tibetan 
missionaries was, on the 
contrary, successfully con- 
tinued. Tibet could not 
fail to become the religious 
centre for these efforts. 

The Buddhist doctrine 
of a new birth made men 
regard the chief Lamas 
as reincarnations of great saints, or, in- 
deed, as Buddhas themselves. Ultimately 
a belief gained ground that the Great Lama 
remained always the same, and imme- 
diately after his death was reincarnated 
in a child, who without, demur was regarded 
and reverenced as Great Lama ; the first 
regeneration of this kind is said to hav^e 
occurred in the year 1399. At the begin- 
ning of the fifteenth century there was 
still no idea of strict religious government. 
The reincarnated Great Lama had by no 
means met with universal recognition, 
and many years elapsed before he attained 
any great authority. Most of the monas- 
teries, in which religious life and learning 
were centred, probably led a very inde- 
pendent existence. China, where the new 
reigning house of the Ming was threatened 




from the side of Mongolia 
by the Mongol dynasty 
driven out in 1368, then 
turned her attention again 
to Tibet. The religious 
influence of Tibet on the 
nomads of Central Asia was 
not to be under-estimated. 
Halima, one of the most 
esteemed Tibetan Lamas, 
was brought to the Chin- 
ese imperial court, over- 
whelmed with, pompous 
titles, and entrusted with 
the spiritual supremacy 
in Tibet, on the condition 
that a small tribute was 
paid yearly. Tibet was 
thus more closely linked to 
China, and the conversion 
and civilisation of the 
Central Asiatic nomads by emissaries 
from the holy land were encouraged in 
accordance with the Chinese policy. 

The Buddhist Reformation, which took 
place about the middle of the hfteenth 
century, is a noteworthy counterpart of 
the Reformation of Luther, which began 
only a little later. In Tibet also the 
immediate cause of the movement was 
found in the depravity of the priesthood 
and the adulteration of the pure faith 
with popular superstitions of a Shaman- 
istic origin, though the national questions 
which played an important part in Europe 
were hardly noticeable there. Tsong ko pa 
(1419-1478) founded the new sect of the 
" Yellow Lamas," which the followers of 






the old sect opposed under the name 
of "Red Lamas." The yellow sect re- 
mained victorious in Tibet proper, while 
the red sect held its own in Ladak and 

Tsong ko pa was the real founder of the 
Tibetan hierarchy in the form which it 
has retained up to the present day. He 
nominated one of his pupils to be Dalai- 
Lama, a second to be Panchan-Lama ; 
both would undergo a perpetual process 
of rebirth and hold permanently the 
spiritual headship. Tibet was partitioned 
between them, but the Dalai-Lama 
received the greater half, and gradually 
drove * the Panchan - Lama into the 
It was long before the 
Chinese paid attention to 
the new order of things 
in Tibet, although under 
certain circumstances it 
might produce serious 
results. A Chinese embassy, 
accompanied by a small 
army, appeared at the 
court of the Dalai-Lama 
in the year 1522, in order 
to invite him to the im- 
perial court. When the 
prince of the Church de- 
clined and was concealed 
by his subjects, attempts 
were made to carry him off 
by force, but they resulted 
in complete failure. The 
Chinese Emperor Wu Tsung 
died at this crisis, and his 
succcessor, Shi Tsung, who 






favoured Taoism, did not continue the 
plans against Tibet. 

The third reincarnated Dalai-Lama, 
So nam, gave himself out for a " living 
Buddha," and as such won wide recog- 
nition. He travelled into Mongolia, where, 
being received with the deepest reverence, 
he came forward as a mediator 
between a Mongol prince and 
the Chinese. The victory then 
of the yellow sect was decisive 
north also ; countless Mongol 
pilgrims went yearly to Lhasa, and Budd- 
hist monasteries were founded in great 
numbers. In China the propitious in- 
fluence of the Tibetan high -priest was 
noticeable in the increasing peacefulness 
of the nomads of the steppe. Shi Tsu, 
the first emperor of the Manchu dynasty, 
which had ousted the house of the Ming 
after 1644, fully appreciated that fact, 
and acknowledged the presents of Tibetan 
envoys with a flattering invitation to the 
Dalai-Lama to come to Peking. The 
invitation was accepted this time ; the 
Great Lama appeared in the year 1653 at 
the court of the Manchu dynasty, where 
he was the centre of universal respect, 
was invested with magnificent titles, 
and was finally escorted to his home 
by a guard commanded by an imperial 
prince. But this triumph of the " living 

Buddha " was soon followed by a humilia- 
tion. Since at the death of each Dalai- 
Lama the office passed to a child, who was 
considered to be his reincarnation, the 
government every time rested for many 
years in the hands of regents, who were 
naturally tempted to keep their power 
even when the Dalai-Lama came to man- 
hood, or, what was still simpler, never to 
allow the boy to live beyond a certain age. 
The regency was held by temporal princes, 
in whom we must simply see the successors 
of those old Tibetan rulers, who for a 
time had made Tibet a powerful state, 
but then had been more and more driven 
back by the hierarchy. As temporal pro- 
tectors of the priesthood, and supported 
doubtless by large possessions of land, 
they had learned how to maintain a 
certain position. 

Finally, when the reins of power slipped 
from the hands of the decrepit fifth 
Dalai-Lama, the reigning Tipa, 
l!"^!'"* or king, Sang Kiu, saw that 
the moment had arrived to re- 
place the spiritual supremacy, 
Vv'hich might be nominally retained, by a 
temporal. When the Great Lama died 
in 1682, the Tipa concealed his death, 
and was then in fact lord of Tibet. The 
alteration was soon noticed by the 
surrounding countries. The Tipa placed 



Colonel Younghusband conducted a mission from the Government of India to Lhasa, which was entered on 
August 3, 1904. The treaty of Lhasa, signed on September 7, brought Tibet within the British sphere of influence. 

disturbances. The news of these events 




a Kalmuck prince, Kaldan, educated in 
Tibet as a Lama, at the head of this 
tribe, and the Kalmucks or Eleutes helped 
him in return to repel an attack of the 
Nepalese, a powerful nation of mountain- 
eers, who were dangerous neighbours of 
the holy land. 

The prince of the Eleutes now extended 
his power on a secret understanding with 
the Tipa, and ventured to 
attack China, where the fact had 
been realised with great dissatis- 
faction that the influence for 
peace exercised by Tibet on the nomads 
of the steppes was completely changed. 
A Chinese Lama, who had been sent to the 
Dalai-Lama, had not been allowed to see 
him. When, then, the Eleutian prince, 
after a defeat, declared to his lord that he 
had begun the war with China simply and 
solely at the wish of the Dalai-Lama, 
the terrified Tipa acknowledged, in answer 
to a peremptory letter of the emperor 
Sheng Tsu, or Kang hsi, that the fifth 
incarnation of the Dalai-Lama was long 
since dead, and that the deceased had been 
reincarnated in a boy ; the death had been 
hushed up and the sixth incarnation not 
publicly acknowledged, in order to avoid 

spread rapidly, and, although China took 
no further steps, considerably lessened the 
power of the Tipa. He began in the 
year 1705 a fresh war against a Tibetan 
chieftain, but was defeated and slain. 

The victorious prince. La tsang, had 
already instated a new Dalai-Lama. But 
he was not recognised by China and was 
replaced by another, whom La tsang 
undertook to protect. Another Dalai- 
Lama, who appeared in Mongolia and 
claimed to be the real sixth incarnation, 
was also rejected by the Chinese Govern- 
ment, and was recognised only as a saint 
of inferior rank. The bad example of the 
. Tipa Sang Kiu had, however, 

cmp o pj-Q(jucg(;[ i^s result : the Zun- 
Seize the ^ ■ . ^ a . 

n , . w garian prince /agan-Araptan, 

successor to Kaldan, who had 
seen what power in politics and religion 
the protector of the Dalai-Lama could 
exert, invaded Tibet with an army in 
1717, in order to seize the Buddhist pope. 
Potala, near Lhasa, where the Dalai-Lama 
resided with the Khan La tsang, was 
stormed, and the Khan killed, but the 
Great Lama was kept in a place of safety. 
China no longer hesitated to check by 



force this dangerous turn of events, which 
might lead to a new invasion of the 
Middle Kingdom by the nomads. A 
Chinese army and a Mongolian levy 
pushed into Tibet, but the united troops 
were outflanked and cut to pieces by the 
Zungarians on the River Kola. The 
dejection which the Chinese and Mongols 
felt at this reverse led to the 
Defeat of proposal that Tibet should be 

Mongols and 

left to itself, and that a new 
Dalai-Lama should be ap- 
pointed in another district. Emperor Kang 
hsi, however, insisted on renewing the cam- 
paign with increased forces. The attempt 
was successful this time ; the Zungarians 
evacuated the country in the year 1720, 
and Kang hsi was then able to effect the 
necessary closer union of Tibet with 
China. For the future two Chinese resi- 
dents, for whom the necessary respect 
was ensured by a considerable armed 
force, undertook the protection of the 
Dalai-Lama in place of the native temporal 

The reverence felt for this living Buddha 
diminished, however, considerably in China 
when the Dalai-Lama, who was staying 
in Peking on a visit, died like any ordinary 
man, of smallpox. The small feudal 
princes of Tibet at first still retained some 
power ; but after repeated disturbances 
they were completely subordinated to the 
Dalai-Lama — that is to say, to the Chinese 
governors — in the year 1750. The internal 
administration of the country, with which 
China generally interfered very little, was 
now entirely organised on an ecclesiastical 
system, since every local governor was 
given a Lama as colleague, who jointly with 
him managed the affairs of the inhabitants. 

Although the Dalai-Lama was again 
recognised as supreme, there could be no 
idea of any actually permanent rule of 
the "living Buddha," since a new Dalai- 
Lama was always raised to his high dignity 
in tender infancy and imperatively 
_,, _ required an adviser. For all 

p . . foreign affairs the Chmcse 
p regents undertook this post ; 

for home affairs a sort of new 
temporal monarchy was founded, since 
the "Rajah " of Lhasa usually conducted 
the government until the Dalai-Lama 
attained his majority. A strange fatality 
afterward willed that the Dalai-Lama 
hardly ever attained the required age of 
twenty years, but usually died just before, 
and then was always reincarnated in a 


child. In this way the Chinese influence 
also lost ground. Tibet detached itself 
more and more completely on every side, 
and has remained down to the present day 
one of the most mysterious and isolated 
countries in the world. When, in 1792, 
a new invasion of the Nepalese was re- 
pulsed with the aid of Chinese troops, the 
frontier towards India was almost entirely 
barred. A safeguard against the influences 
of civilisation was also found in the 
Himalayan state of Bhutan, lying south 
of Lhasa, which is a miniature Tibet with 
a dual government, temporal and spiritual, 
and an equally intense aversion from any 
influences from the outside world. 

Foreigners were once received with open 
arms in Tibet. A Jesuit mission gained 
a footing there in the seventeenth centur3^ 
and Lhasa was the seat of a group of 
Capuchins between 1725 and 1760. In 
1774 Warren Hastings despatched a 
special envoy thither, in the person of his 
friend, George Bogle, who had a friendly 
reception, and concluded a treaty of peace 
and amity with Tibet. In 181 1 Dr. 
Manning was entertained by the Dalai- 
Lama. The intense dislike of all 

the Door 
of Tibet 

foreigners, which was rampant 
in China, was fatal to our rela- 
tions with Tibet. A veil fell 
on the mysterious land, and would-be 
explorers were ignominiously turned back 
from the frontier. In 1886 an attempt 
to establish commercial intercourse was 
made by the Government of India. It 
was defeated by the jealousy of Peking. As 
is always the case with Oriental races, the 
Lamas misconstrued our reluctance to 
enforce reciprocity of trade. They inter- 
meddled in the affairs of Sikkim, a petty 
frontier state under British tutelage. In 
1888 a British expeditionary force retali- 
ated by crossing the Jeylap Pass, north of 
Darjiling. Tibetan opposition was brushed 
aside, and if Lord Lansdowne, then 
Viceroy of India, had not recalled his 
victorious troops they would have occu- 
pied Lhasa. Negotiations continued with 
Peking, and in March, 1890, the Senior 
Amban at Lhasa arrived in Calcutta with 
full power to conclude a commercial treaty. 
After three years' parleying a Convention 
was ratified by China, which provided for 
the demarcation of the Anglo-Tibetan 
frontier and the creation of a trade mart 
at Yatung. It remained a dead letter, 
remonstrance being met by tactics which 
have proved effectual for half a century. 

V L H A S .\ 

&*7 h''^^ 

Colonel Younghusband's force reached Gyangtse on April 11, l'.>ii4, and numerous engagements took place 
there during the succeeding three months. The monastery was finally taken and opposition broken on July 7. 

The Lamas jileaded a non possiimiis on 
the score that they could not resist the 
Emperor's will, while the Peking Council 
ascribed the embargo laid on European 
traders to the jealousy of the Lhasa junta. 
Lord Curzon of Kedleston, who became 
Viceroy of India in i8gg, was not inclined 
to regard such recalcitrance with equani- 
mity. In July, 1903, he despatched an 
armed mission, with orders to force its 
way to Lhasa. Our inveterate foe, the 
Dalai-Lama, fled to Mongolia, and his ill- 
armed troops were routed with great 
slaughter. The occupation of Lhasa on 
August 3rd, 1904, added nothing to the 
knowledge of Tibet acquired by stealthy 

visits of Indian explorers ; but on Sep- 
tember 7th a provisional treaty was con- 
cluded with the Tashi - Lama, who has 
superseded his colleague. As ratified by 
the Convention of Peking of April 27th, 
1906, it provides for the erection of 
boundary pillars between Tibet and Sik- 
kim, and the establishment of three trade 
centres on the frontier. Great Britain 
disavowed any wish to intervene in 
Tibetan affairs, while the Lamas promised 
not to alienate territory to a foreign 
Power. Pending the liquidation of a 
war indemnity of $830,000, the occupation 
by Great Britain of the Chumbi Valley, 
between Sikkim and Bhutan, was conceded. 




This vivid word picture of a first sight of the " strange and lovely city " of the Dalai-Lama is perhaps 
the finest de^/'-iption of one of the rarest experiences enjoyecl by any traveller of our time. It is 
taken from K/.. Landon's admirable work "Lhasa," by permission of Messrs. Hurst & Blackett, Ltd. 

J HASA would remain Lhasa were it but a cluster of hovels on the sand. But the 
sheer mag^nificence of the unexpected sight which met our unprepared eyes was to 
us almost a thing incredible. There is nothing missing from this splendid spectacle — 
architecture, forest trees, wide green places, rivers, streams, and mountains, all lie 
before one as one looks down from the height upon Lhasa stretching out at our feet. 
The dark forbidding spurs and ravines of the valley of the Kyi Chu, up which we had 
come, interlock one with another and had promised nothing of all this. The beauty of 
Lhasa is doubled by its utter unexpectedness. . . . There was nothing to promise us this 
city of gigantic palace and golden roof, these wild stretches of woodland, these acres of 
close-cropped grazing land and riiarshy grass, ringed or delimited by high trees or lazy 
streamlets of brown transparent water over which the branches almost met. 
DETWEEN the palace on our left and the town a mile away in front of us there is this 
arcadian luxuriance interposing a mile-wide belt of green. Round the outlying 
fringes of the town itself and creeping up between the houses of the village, at the foot 
of the Potala, there are trees — trees numerous in themselves to give Lhasa a reputation 
as a garden city. But in this stretch of green, unspoiled by house or temple, and 
roadless save for one diverging highway, Lhasa has a feature which no other town on 
earth can rival. 

|T is all a part of that splendid religious pride which has been the making, and may 
yet prove the undoing, of Tibet. It was right that there should be a belt of nature 
undefiled encircling the palace of the incarnate god and king, and there the belt is, 
investing the Potala even inside the loop of the Ling-kor with something of the isolation 
which guards from the outer world the whole of this strange and lovely town. Between 
and over the glades and woodlands the city of Lhasa itself peeps, an adobe stretch of 
narrow streets and flat-topped houses crowned here and ther^ with a blaze of golden 
roofs or gilded cupolas. 
gUT there is no time to look at this ; a man can have no eye for anything but the 

huge upstanding mass of the Potala palace to his left. It. drags the eye of the 
mind like a loadstone, for indeed sheer bulk and magnificent audacity could do no 
more in architecture than they have done in this huge palace temple of the Grand Lama. 
Smiplicity has wrought a marvel in stone, 900 ft. in length and towering 70 ft. higher than 
the golden cross of St. Paul's Cathedral. The Potala would dominate London— Lhasa 
it simply eclipses. By European standards it is impossible to judge this building ; there 
is nothing tiiere to which comparison can be made. Perhaps in the austerity of its huge 
curtains of blank, unveiled, unornamented wall, and in the flat, unabashed slants of its 
tremendous south-eastern face there is a suggestion of the massive grandeur of Egyptian 
work ; but the contrast of colour and surroundings, to which no small part of the 
magnificence of the sight is due, Egypt cannot boast, 
■y HE vivid white stretches of the buttressing curtains of stone, each a wilderness of 

close-ranked windows, and the home of the hundreds of crimson-clad dwarfs who 
sun themselves at the distant stairheads, strike a clean and harmonious note in the sea of 
green which washts up their base. Once a year the walls of the Potala are washed with 
white, and no one can gainsay the effect ; but there is yet the full chord of colour to be 
sounded. The central building of the palace, the Phodang Marpo, the private home of 
the incarnate divinity himself, stands out four-square upon and between the wide- 
supporting bulks of masonry a rich red crimson, and, most perfect touch of all, over it 
agamst the sky the glittering golden roofs— a note of glory added with the infinite taste 
and the sparing hand of the old illuminator- recompose the colour scheme from end to end, 
a sequence of green in three shades, of white, of maroon, of gold, and of pale blue. The 
brown yak-hair curtain. So ft. in height and 25 ft. across, hangs like a tress of hair down 
the very centre of the central sanctuary, hiding the central recess. Such is the Potala. 




Potala, illustrated in Kircher's "China lUustrata," 1670 Palaceof the Kings nf Tibrt ntliptinip (jf tlif- cilrl ^-m 


General view of the wonderful Potala, or palace of the Dalai-Lama, as seen from the south. 




At the top on the right is the Si.^i.. ^...^.^n ivlosque. the finest Moslem building in Central Asia, and on its left is the 
main street in SamarKand. From the conspicuous tower in the centre picture criminals have been thrown to their 
destruction, and th. lowest picture gives a general view of the citadel or fortress of Samarkand from the exterior. 








VY/'IIEN the flood-tide of Mongol con- 
^^ quest ebbed, the home of the new 
world conquerors sank rapidly from its 
dazzling height. The sparsely peopled 
country had given up its best resources, and 
needed a long time to regain its strength. 
It was always a point of honour with the 
senior or Chinese branch of the Mongol 
dynasty to preserve the cradle of their 
race, with its old capital, Karakoram. 
This endeavour also harmonised with the 
traditional Chinese policy, which always 
aimed at exerting some influence over the 
restless nations of the steppe, and must 
have been adopted by the Mongol sove- 
reigns when they had transformed them- 
selves more and more into genuine 
Chinese. Kublai Khan had repeatedly 
suppressed rebellions in Mongolia and 
become master of the country ; his suc- 
cessor, Timur, brought the whole country 
for a time under his influence. At the 
period of the Mongol supremacy in China 
the Buddhist propaganda, of which Tibet 
_. . was the centre, seems to have 

^ - shown great activity, being 

Favour for r j i .u /-i • 

„ , ., . lavoured by the Chinese em- 

perors, who ■ were mostly 
attracted by Buddhism. The circumstance 
that the Mongols, who had immigrated into 
China and were again driven out by the 
Ming, were streaming back to their old 
home could not fail to help this change. 

When the Mongol dynasty was fight- 
ing for it-s existence against the Ming, the 
Mongols of Central Asia rendered feeble 
and ambiguous aid. After his complete 
defeat in 1368, Shun Ti, the Mongol 
emperor, fled to Shang tu in the north, 
and soon afterwards died. His son and 
successor, Biliktu (1370-1378), removed 
his court once more to Ka^rakor?m. 
Since all the Mongol foreign territories 
had long since been lost, the sole remnant 
of the empire- left him was the pasture 
country on the north of the Gobi, which 
had been the starting-point of the power 
of his house. There was still the possi- 
bility that a new storm might be slowly 
gathering there, whose bursting would 
bring disaster on more civilised countries. 

But the loss of China, which, to a large 

extent, was due to the lack of union 

between the generals and the princes, 1 aJ 

not taught the Mongols wisdom. The 

smaller the remnants of their empire 

became, the more furiously they fought 

_. ... , for each shred, until finally 
Fighting for i^j-. ^- , ■ 

Fallin complete disintegration set m. 
Em *i ^^^ ^^^*^ emperor of the Ming seized 
this opportunity to sul)juizate 
Eastern Mongolia. The kingdom of Altyn 
Khan, to the north-west of the Gobi, 
remained as the last relic of the Mongolian 

The more modern attempts to found a 
great Power in Central Asia, and then in 
the true Hun fashion to attack the 
civilised nations, were no longer initiated 
by the Mongols, whose character had been 
altered by the tribal disintegration and 
the awakening zeal for the exercise of 
the Buddhist religion. Their place was 
taken by the tribes to the south and 
south-west of the desert of Gobi, whose 
country was now partly known as Zun- 
garia. The contem})lative doctrines of 
Buddhism had not gained ground here so 
quickly, since many of the nomads had 
been won over to Islam; which is less 
dangerous to the warlike spirit. From the 
chaos of peoples in Central Asia a new 
branch of that Mongolian race of which 
the Mongols were only a division had 
detached itself to the south of the Gobi — ■ 
the Eleutes, or Kalmucks, who, after 1630, 
had shaken off the Mongol yoke, and had 
already extended th-eir influence as far as 

Under its Khan, Kaldan, this people 
seized Kashgar, destroyed the Mongol 
Empire of the Altyn Khan, and towards 
the end of the seventeenth 
j^ . aentury threatened China. At 
J,"" the same time Kaldan tried 
to employ the religious power 
of Tibet in his own interest by declaring 
that the Dalai-Lama had raised him to 
his high position ; the temporal prince of 
Tibet, Sang Kin, supported him secretly. 
The Mongols suffered .severely under 
the attacks of the Eleutes, and China's 



influence in Central Asia dwindled con- 
siderably, until eventually the Manchu 
Emperor, Kang hsi, determined in the 
year 1696 on a great campaign against 
Kaldan. Kaldan was forced to retreat 
further and further. Since his scheme 
for the support of his claims by the 
Dalai-Lama seemed not to work satis- 
factorily, he now went over 
to Islam, which had many 

Buddha to 

followers in the west of his 
dominions ; but his death, 
which occurred soon afterwards, cut these 
plans short. The military power of the 
nomad world, which had been again con- 
centrated in Zungaria as a focus, was not 
extinguished by this event. Zagan- Araptan, 
the successor of Kaldan, subjugated most 
of the towns of the Tarim basin and 
extended his dominions in other directions. 
He then formed the plan of sending an army 
to Tibet to assume by force the protection 
of the Dalai-Lama, and in this way to 
make full use of the influence of the 
religious puppet for his own purposes. 
The attempt met with unexpected success, 
but drove the Chinese to adopt more 
decided measures. The expulsion of the 
Eleutes from Tibet in 1720 was the result. 
The Zungarian empire remained, never- 
theless, for some time a dangerous neigh- 
bour of the other Central Asiatic tribes 
and of the Chinese. Finally, however, 
China employed* dynastic quarrels and 
internal wars to excuse the destruction of 
the last great nomad empire of Central 
Asia, and thus, it seems, to terminate for 
ever the age of the great wars between 
the nomad races of Central Africa and 
the civilised peoples. Eastern Turkestan, 
which had been in the hands of the 
Kalmucks, in 1757 fell to the Chinese. 

It was not the first time that the 
Chinese had taken possession of the 
Tarim basin, commanded the trade roads 
of Central Asia, and divided the nomad 
tribes in the north from those in the south ; 
_ but this time the effect was 

P *" .'\. different and more permanent, 
j^ . The perpetually turbulent 
nomad tribes could not be 
really subdued until they were shut in and 
surrounded on both sides — until the strong 
fortresses of civilisation bounded the 
illimitable horizon of the steppe. The 
first steps toward this condition had 
meanwhile been taken by the advance of 
Russia ; the frontier towards Siberia 
had been already determined, and any 


movement of the Mongols toward the north 
and the north-west was made impossible. 
In the south-west Russia only gradually 
succeeded in acquiring Turkestan. Here, 
too, the Chinese position was so weak that 
the Tarim basin was temporarily lost. 
When, however, the khanates of Turkestan 
were occupied by the Russians, China also 
soon recovered what she had lost. 

The expansion of the power of Russia, 
which in the long run presents dangers 
to China itself, has therefore admirably 
supported the Chinese policy, which has 
always been directed towards the sub- 
jugation of the nomad nations of Central 
Asia. But this very policy employed not 
only the old method of colonisation and of 
pitting one nomad prince against another, 
but also the newer method of encouraging 
Buddhism. The Manchurian dynasty in 
this respect has entirely followed the 
example of the Ming, and the result is 
simply astonishing. " Buddhist doctrines," 
says Nikolai von Prschevalski], " are more 
deeply rooted in Mongolia than in almost 
any other part of the world. . Buddhism, 
whose highest ideal is indolent contem- 
plation, entirely suits the 

^ " *^™ natural disposition of the 

.,. ^l.f ^ J Mongol, and has created a 

the Nomads , ?i ,• v.- i, 

terrible asceticism, which 

deters the nomad from any progress, and 
tempts him to seek the goal of human exist- 
ence in misty and abstract ideas as to the 
Deity and the life beyond the grave." The 
ordinary good-tempered indolence of the 
nomads is left, but in the place of outbursts 
of martial fury, which affected individuals 
as well as nations, a continual slow dissi- 
pation of energy in religious observances, 
prayers, and pilgrimages has appeared. 
In this light the pilgrimages to Tibet or to 
famous Mongolian sanctuaries are substi- 
tutes for the old predatory and warlike 

All the less important for the spiritual 
Ufe of the Central Asiatics is the Buddhist 
teaching, whose primitive' form is so 
instinct with spirituality and thought. 
The Tibetan form of religion is itself quite 
debased, and has been merely outwardly 
introduced into Mongolia, where even the 
priests as a whole do not understand the 
Tibetan sacred writings and formulae, but 
use them in ignorance as an obscure system 
of magic. This branch of Buddhism 
shows a certain independence only in so 
far as centres of the faith are found in 
Mongolia, especially the town of Urga, 


The old town of Kashg'ar stood on one of the head streams of the Tarim at the junction of several important 
and ancient trade routes, and the place has thus attained great eminence as a commercial and soc'al centre. 

whose Kiititchta, or high-priest, ranks 
directly after the two highest Tibetan 
Lamas, and, hke these, is always reincar- 
nated. As a rule, almost every Buddhist 
monastery possesses a " Gegan," or rein- 
carnated saint. But the priests have in 
their influence taken the place of the old 
tribal chieftains. They are treated with 
unbounded respect, and the wealth of the 
country is collected in their sanctuaries. 
In the border districts toward Islam stand 
fortified Buddhist monasteries, where the 
inhabitants seek refuge from marauding or 
insurrectionary Mohammedans. 

While the Buddhist religion thus showed 
its marvellous ability to restrain the 
uild Central Asiatics, and while the region 
of nomadism was more and more en- 
croached upon by Chinese colonies, another 
and ancient aid to the progress of civili- 
sation, the commerce and international 
communication on the high-roads of the 
heart of Asia, leading from east to west, 
had gradually lost most of its significance. 

_ ,. Even in the Mongol age wars 
Decline , , ^ r av? • 

broke out for the possession 

of these roads. The attack of 
Genghis Khan on the Kharis- 
mians was due partly to reasons of com- 
mercial policy. But the discovery of 
the sea route to the East Indies, which 
soon led to the appearance of European 
ships in Chinese harbours, could not fail to 

of Land 

reduce the already much diminished over- 
land trade to insignificant proportions. 
It was no longer a profitable undertaking 
to make the immense journey through 
insecure districts with valuable wares. 

_, ^ , The great caravan traffic was 
Tea Trade " , , j • ., i 

. . suspended, and in its place was 

^. ... . left merely a transit trade from 
station to station, which had 
no bearing upon civilisation. The overland 
trade, especially the export of tea, revived 
only in one previouslv neglected place — ■ 
namely, in the north of Mongolia, where 
the frontiers of the two civilised empires, 
Russia and China, touch each other. 
This route contributed distinctly to the 
pacification of the Mongol tribes, who 
now obtained good pay for transporting 
tea through the steppes, and acquired 
an interest in the prosperity of the trade. 

The Chinese policy, notwithstanding all 
the improvement in the outlook, still 
met with many obstacles in Central Asia, 
the chief causes of which were the adherents 
to Islam in Zungaria, the Tarim basin, 
and the western provinces of China. 
Where Islam had once gained a footing 
it could not be ousted by the more 
accommodating Buddhism. But the in- 
fluence which the doctrines of Mohammed 
exercisedon the warlikespirit, the industry, 
and the energy of its followers, had to 
be considered, and it required care and 


Revolts in 
Central Asia 

tact on the part of Chinese officials to 
avoid dangerous outbreaks of the masses, 
whom the new faith had brought into a 
closer unity. In spite of all this there 
were often sanguinary and temporarily 
successful insurrections of the 
Dungans, in which the last of 
the embers of the old warlike 
spirit of Central Asia glowed 
afresh. In the Tarim basin an Islamite 
revolt had already raged from 1825 to 1828. 
About the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, the descendants of the dynasty 
which had been driven out of the western 
Tarim basin by the Chinese at the close 
of the Eleutian war, in 1757, tried to win 
back their territory after they had already 
made small expeditions over the Chinese 

from Khokand, Yakub Bey distinguished 
himself more and more as a general, until 
he entirely deprived the incapable Buzurg 
Khan of his command, and sent him back 
to Ferghana. In the year 1868 the greater 
part of the .Tarim basin was in the posses- 
sion of the new ruler, who styled himself, 
after 1870, " Atalik Ghazi," meaning, 
defender of the faith. 

These successes would have been im- 
possible had not a simultaneous revolt 
of the Mohammedans in Western China 
and Zungaria reduced the Chinese Gov- 
ernment to dire straits. It was fortunate 
for China, which was in addition weakened 
by the Taiping insurrection, that the 
insurgents attained no great results and 
did not combine in a general attack on 

The favourable position of Yarkand made it the chief trading centre with North India across the Karakoram Pass. 

frontier. The first campaisin failed through 
the resistance of the towns of Kashgar 
and Yarkand. 

An Islamite revolt under the leadership 
of Rasch ed-din Khodja prepared the 
ground, in 1862, for further operations. 
An auxiliary force from Khokand, under 
Mohammed Yakub Bey, fcok part in a 
new invasion, which was led by Buzurg 
Khan, then a pretender. This time the 
Dungan soldiers of the Chinese mutinied, 
and seized Yarkand and Khotan, while 
simultaneously bands of Kirghiz robbers 
swept by and besieged Kashgar in 1864 ; 
when they had taken the towoi, Buzurg 
Khan deprived them of their booty. 
During the subsequent wars with the 
Chinese and the Dungan insurgents, who 
refused to submit to the Mohammedans 


the tottering Celestial Kingdom. Still less 

did they think of making common cause 

with Yakub Bey, to whom they were, on 

the contrary, hostile, or even with the 

Taipings and the disaffected Buddhist 

Mongols. The great Dungan insurrection 

was thus, after all, only a chain of local 

risings, involving terrible bloodshed and 

widespread devastation. The Chinese 

took refuge in the towns, some of which 

, „. . gave way before the attacks 
Local Risings r ,i "^ ^■ r\ 

. . of the surrounding Dungans, 

»i.^*i^u- while others held out and 

the Chinese .i_ 1 ^ ^ 1 

thus became important bases 

for the leconquestof the country; tliis was 
especially the case in Kansu, the high- 
road from China to the Tarim basin, 
where the insurrection broke out in 
18O2. In 1869 a Dungan army once more 


advanced and pillaged as far as Ordos ; and 
again, in 1873, towns in Southern Mongolia 
were attacked and destroyed. The con- 
duct of the war on both sides was pitiable. 
After 1872 the Chinese began once more 
to take the offensive and to reconquer 
Kansu. When this object was attained, 
after some years of fighting, the fate of 
Yakub Bey was practically sealed. In 
the meantime he had been deprived of 
the support of his fellow-tribesmen and 
co-religionists in Western Turkestan by 
the advance of the Russians. In 1878, 
the year following the sudden death 
of Yakub, which put an end to all 
organised resistance, the Tarim basin fell 
again into the hands of the Chinese, and, 
together with the districts on theTianshan, 
was constituted a separate province in 
1884. Here, too, China touches almost 

everywhere on the territory of the civilised 
nations, Russia and England, since the 
last ill-defined border countrj^, the high- 
lands of the Pamirs, has been distributed 
among the three Powers by the Anglo- 
Russian agreement of 1895. The trade in 
the Tarim basin has improved since 
England has devoted her attention to the 
communications with India, and has 
stimulated a considerable caravan traffic. 
Russia, on the other side, is anxious to 
revive the old routes to Western Turke- 
stan. The fact that the population of the 
Tarim basin and that of many parts of 
Western China profess the Mohammedan 
faith is a permanent danger to the Chinese 
- — the Dungans again rebelled in 1894 — 
which can be obviated in course of time 
only by an extensive settlement of 
Chinese colonists in these districts. 



Bokhara has fallen from its position as principal native state of Central Asia, and the palace of its Amir, 
shown in the pictures at the top and left bottom corner of the page, though striking in character, is in 
a somewhat dilapidated condition. A photograph of the Amir is also given, and on his left is a view of 
the tomb of a saint, while the interior of one of Bokhara's many bazaars is shown in the fifth photograph. 







AFTER the Mongol onslaught the 
population of Turkestan had gradu- 
ally divided into three groups. The 
first of these consisted of the Sarts, 
the settled agricultural section of the 
people, the inhabitants of the towns, oases, 
and riparian districts. These represent 
to us the relics of the oldest elements 
of culture, which had been Iranised 
in course of time, and, owing to large 
Persian immigrations, had acquired also 
a physical likeness to the Persians. This 
peculiarity was intensified by the im- 
portation of Persian slaves, and thus the 
inevitable admixture of brachycephalic 
nomads was counterbalanced. The Sarts 
had long abandoned their old faith, and 
that of Islam was universally adopted. 
They showed no capacity for political 

By the second group, the Uzbegs, on 
the contrary, we are to understand half- 
settled Turko-Tartars, in whom, notwith- 
standing an admixture of 
p ^ '^^j Iranian blood and a smatter- 
cop es o ^ ^^ higher culture, the mili- 
tary temper oi the nomad is 
predominant. This large section of the 
people, which sprang up during the nomad 
conquests, first ventured to lay claim 
to the supremacy, and finally usurped the 
power of the Mongol dynasties. The 
movement was really started in the Tarim 
basin, where, even in the time of Timur, 
the Kashgarians, who were never com- 
pletely subjugated, had repeatedly tried 
to subjugate Western Turkestan. 

A third group of inhabitants of Turke- 
stan is composed of genuine nomads, whose 
chief pasture-lands lie partly in the north 
and partly to the west of the Amu Daria, 
toward the Caspian Sea and Khorasan. 
In the north the people of the Kirghiz — 
the Cossacks — had lived since early times, 
and had been driven out only for a short 
time and from a few regions by roving 
bands of other nomads ; in the west the 
Turkomans, predatory hordes who con- 
trolled the communications between Persia 
and the states of Turkestan, had risen 
from the fragments of nomad tribes. 

The rule of the house of Timur in 

Turkestan ended in 1494. This revolution 

originated in an attack of several Timurid 

princes on Mohammed Shaibek Khan, 

the leader of the Uzbegs, who seem then 

to have had their homes on the upper 

Jaxartes and in the borderlands of 

r a f th ^^stern Turkestan. The attack 

„ " led to a complete defeat of the 
House ^.• -J ^j ■ 

, „. iimunds, and in consequence 

of Timur , , 1 ^ ^i, • ■ • 

they lost their possessions m 

Masenderan and Khorasan. It seemed 
as if the whole of Persia would be con- 
quered by Shaibek ; but at that very 
time the Iranian people had been roused 
to fresh vitality under the leadership of 
Ismail el-Safi, and Shaibek with his army 
fell before this new power in 1510. 

Under Shaibek's successors, the Shai- 
banids, Turkestan still remained for a 
time a united empire, but then broke up, 
as had been the case in the later period of 
the Timurids, and yet earlier under the 
princes of the Yue chi, into a number of 
independent states, whose position and 
size were prescribed by geographical con- 
ditions. The purely nomad countries in 
this way became, for the most part, in- 
dependent. The people of the Kirghiz, 
who inhabited the steppe to the north of 
the Aral Sea and Take Balkash, had 
submitted only partially to the house of 
Timur and the Uzbegs. The decline of 
the empire of Kipchak gave these nomads 
an increasing degree of liberty, until, in 
the sixteenth century, two empires were 
formed in the South-western Siberian 
steppes — that of the UIu Mongol and that 
of the Kirghiz proper, or Cossacks, under 
_, _ the Khan Arslan, who brought 

-, ^ . ^ . numerous other nomad tribes of 
™'*y" ° Central Asia under his rule. The 
Kirghiz Empire prevented the 
Uzbegs from encroaching further to the 
north, but subsequently it broke up — that 
is to say, the nation of the Kirghiz divided 
itself into several hordes. In the eigh- 
teenth century we find the Southern Kir- 
ghiz, who were comparatively the most 
highly civilised and were partly settled, 
forming a state in the region of Tashkent. 



regarded as forming a 
part of the province 
which went by the 
name of Maurennahar, 
and included the 
civilised parts of the 
jM'ovince of Western 
Turkestan. Their rela- 
tions vv'ith the nomads 
were of a fluctuating 
character. If the power 
of the Kirghiz dimin- 
ished, then they or 
their Uzbeg princes 
were practically inde- 
pendent, but if it again 
increased, then they 
were more or less sub- 
ject to nomad rule. 
For the time being 
they were attached to 
They subsequently commanded the middle the Uzbeg empires.' The Zungarian^ 
course of the Syr Daria. The purely possessed Turkestan in 1723, but after 
nomadic elements of the people formed 1741 the Kirghiz were again masters of 
the Great, the Middle, and the Small the town. In the year 1780, Yunus 
Horde. Among the Kirghiz there lingered Khoja, of Tashkent, inflicted so crushing 
a trace of the old warhke and predatory a defeat on the Kirghiz of the Great Horde" 
spirit of the Central Asiatics, which the and inspired such terror by the massacre 
surrounding nations must have often felt of several thousand prisoners, that thev 
to their prejudice. acknowledged him ?s their supreme lord. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth Maurennahar, owing to the nature of 

A fierce nomad tribe dwellins: in the fertile cases of Western or Russian Turkestan. 

century there was 
formed a league of 
the Zungarians, the 
Bashkirs, the Kalmucks 
of the Volga, and those 
Cossacks who were 
already settled in 
Siberia as Russian ad- 
vance guards, which 
reduced the Kirghiz 
to such straits that 
ni 1719 they vainly 
appealed to Russia 
to interfere. Turkestan, 
the capital of thelMiddle 
Horde, lying on the 
right bank of the Syr 
Daria, was taken by 
the Zungarians. Part 
of the Kirghiz sub- 
mitted, the others 
retreated toward the 

The Sarts represent the oldest culture of Turkestan. 

its soil, is divided into 
different regions, from 
which in the course of 
history corresponding 
states have been de- 
veloped : Khiva, the 
district on the lower 
course of the Amu 
Daria ; Bokhara, that 
on the middle course 
of the same stream 
with the valley of the 
Zarafshan, and the 
upper valley of the Syr 
Daria. In addition to 
these the country 011 
the upper Amu Daria 
often formed a sepa- 
rate state : but this 
last region soon fell 
under the influence of 
Afghanistan, when a 

south. Soon, however, they advanced stronger empire was formed in the south, 

again and won back their country, though The middle and lower course of the Syr 

only to fall more and more under the Daria were so much under the influence 

influence of Russia. of purely nomad tribes that no powerful 

The two towns of Turkestan and Tash- states could have been formed there, 

kent wore in the Middle Ages commonly Not infrequently the upper valley of the 


^^ c-r 


Zarafshan, with its capital Samarkand, 
detached itself from the region of Bokhara 
and constituted a separate state. 

Of these states, Khiva had been at first 
seized by the Persians . 
after the defeat and death 
of Shaibek Khan. But 
since the Persians soon 
made themselves un- 
popular with the strictly 
Sunnite inhabitants of 
the country by favouring 
the Shiite propaganda, 
an insiuTcction broke out 
in 1515, headed by the 
Uzbeg Prince Ilbars ; 
with the help of his 
brothers he gradually 
drove out the Persians 
from all the towns in the 
country, and made suc- 
cessful attacks on Khorasan. Further 
developments in that direction were 
checked by the Turkoman tribes, who 
even then regarded the steppe on the 


borders of Persia and Khiva as their 

exclusive property. 

Since the brothers of Ilbars had firmly 

established themselves in different towns 
as feudal lords, there 
could be no idea of any 
close union after the 
death of the first 
monarch. It was not until 
the feuds between the 
various vassal princes 
had somewhat calmed 
down, and the Turkomans 
were pacified, that the 
Uzbegs of Khiva, with 
those of Bokhara, could 
renew their attacks on 
the territory of Persia. 
The Safavid Tamasp I. 
of Persia finally had no 
other resource than to 

a.lh^ himself by marriage with the royal 

family of Khiva, and to purchase with 

a large sum a treaty which ensuied 

peace for his front ieis. 





Fresh disorders in China ended with the 
almost entire extermination of the descen- 
dants of Ilbars by Din Mohammed Sultan, 
who divided the country among the mem- 
bers of his family, and was proclaimed 
Khan in 1549. ^^^ ^0°^ from the Khan of 
Bokhara the town of Merv, that ancient 
outpost of Persian culture, and made it 
his capital. After his death, 
Struggle ^ however, in 1553, Merv soon 
for Possession j^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ Persians. The 
of Merv ^^^^ ^^ Bokhara, Abd Allah, 

repeatedly interfered in the ensuing dis- 
orders, until, in 1578, he succeeded in 
making himself master of the whole realm. 
It was not, until 1598, that one of the ex- 
pelled princes was able to seize the greater 
part of the country. 

Nor was this the last time that Khiva 
was harassed by civil wars. Princes of 
the reigning house were allotted towns, 
which they governed almost indepen- 
dently, relying sometimes on the Uzbegs, 
sometimes on the Turkomans, the Naiman, 
the Kirghiz, or the Uigurians, the remnants 
of whom were living in Khivan territory. 
Towards the middle of the seventeenth 
century, when Abul Ghazi I. Bahadur 
distinguished himself as prince {1644- 
1663) and as historian of the descendants 
of Genghis, the Kalmucks extended their 
rule over the Kirghiz steppe as far as 
Khiva. The struggles with these new 
antagonists, and renewed wars with Bok- 
hara, filled up the succeeding decades. 
Then a more peaceful period set in ; the 
Khan, who resided in Urgenj, or Khiva, 
v/as really only the most powerful of the 
numerous vassal princes, who lived in the 
various towns, and sometimes fought out 
their petty feuds among themselves. 

The characteristic feature of the history 
of Turkestan in modern times is this petti- 
ness. In the eighteenth century the 
Kirghiz of the Small Horde got the upper 
hand in Khiva, until, in 1792, an Uzbeg 
chieftain founded a new dynasty, which 
. lasted until 1873. I3okhara, 

f p° the central province of Western 
of Petty Yuj-j^gs^an, also played no 

*" ^ further important part in the 
world's history. At first the descendants 
of Shaibek Khan established themselves 
there ; one of these, Obaid Allah (1533- 
1539), waged war with Persia, if we may 
apply such a term to his marauding ex- 
peditions. The most important of the 
Shaibanids, Abd Allah 11. (1556-159S), 

attempted with better success to reach a 
higher stage of civilisation. In the year 
1559 a dynastj' from Astrakhan came to 
the throne, having migrated back again 
from the Khanate of Astrakhan to Trans- 
oxiana in 1554. The Khanates of Balkh 
and of Samarkand soon completely severed 
themselves from Bokhara, the political 
downfall of which became still more com- 
plete when Nadir Shah of Persia, in the 
year 1737, took vengeance for the constant 
raids on his frontiers by a victorious 

A new Uzbeg dynasty, that of the Man- 
gites, which also boasted of Mongol de- 
scent, drove out the house of Astrakhan 
and occupied the throne of Bokhara until 
1868. Ferghana, or the Khanate of 
Khokand, was the country where the 
Timurids had held their own for the 
longest period. It then fell into the power 
of the Shaibanids and house of Astrakhan, 
but won in 1700 complete independence, 
which it preserved until 1876. 

Owing to the geographical position of 

Ferghana, the Persian power, which Khiva 

and Bokhara were always forced to respect, 

was unimportant in those parts, 
Ferghana ^^^ j^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^f 

Eastern Turkestan and the 

a Point 
of Peril 

Kirghiz steppe demanded con- 
tinual attention ; for example, the cam- 
paign of Yakub Khan, who temporarily 
drove the Chinese out of the Tarim basin, 
was initiated from Ferghana. In the 
year 1S14, Khokand, which was then gain- 
ing strength, conquered the southern 
Kirghiz steppe with the towns of Tashkent 
and Turkestan, and thus exasperated the 
jealousy which Bokhara had always felt 
towards Khokand since the rise of the 
Mangite dynasty. Khokand was finally 
conquered in 1841 by Nasr Allah of Bok- 
hara (1827-1860), and, notwithstanding, 
frequent rebellions, it continued in this 
subjection until the appearance of the 
Russians in Central Asia. 

On the whole the Uzbeg period was for 
Turkestan an age of petty struggles, which 
shows little genuine progress in civilisation. 
A nomadic spirit was predominant in the 
population, which showed itself in cease- 
less raids upon Persia. The international 
traffic, which had once brought prosperity 
to Turkestan, was diverted into other 
channels, and the formerly wealtny cities 
showed but the shadow of their earlier 



HTHE period of Russia's active forward 
^ movement in Central Asia — as distinct 
from her progress in the regions dealt with 
in our Siberian section — dates from the 
close of the Napoleonic wars. Russia, in 
effect, opened a sweeping movement against 
the nomad hordes, primarily of the Kirghiz 
steppe. But this led to the necessity of sub- 
jugating the steppe country in general, 
and the acquisition of a firm foothold 
on its western margin. So step by step 
the troops pushed forward. Every fresh 
advance of the line made the nomads 
more desperate. When they saw their 
freedom of movement curtailed and their 
pasturages cut off, they broke out in 
revolt ; and Russia's answer to revolt was 
invariably an extension of the fortress 
cordons. But for a long time it was im- 
possible to carry out the plan systematic- 
ally, since large tracts of the steppe were 
not suited for permanent settlements. The 
Russian lines of defence had therefore to 
P . rest on the rivers ; in the year 

ussia on J847 the southern frontier line 
the Borders ^v -u 1 c t-v x 

f T k t ^^^ from the lower Syr Dana to 
the River Chu, and thence to 
the Hi. But it was impossible to halt at 
this stage. Hitherto the struggle had been 
with the Kirghiz and the other nomad 
hordes, but now the sphere of the power 
of Turkestan was entered. If the Khanates 
had been consolidated states, with which 
a well-defined boundary could have been 
arranged, the advance would have been 
perhaps checked for a long time there, as 
was actually the case on the Chinese 
frontier, with the exception of the dis- 
tricts on the Amur. But these countries 
were only centres of power with an ill- 
defined sphere of influence, which ex- 
panded or contracted according to the 
energy of the ruler and the accidents of 

The first collision was with Khiva, since 
on the west, between the Aral and the 
Caspian Seas, a frontier secure against the 
predatory nomads who were willing to 
act as subjects of Khiva could be ob- 
taitifci only by the occupation of the 

Khanate proper. In the year 1839 (General 
Perovsky started from Orenburg, but, 
after losing a quarter of his army and 
10,400 camels from snowstorms on the 
steppe, he was compelled to return with- 
out having set eyes on the troops of 
AUah-Kuli Khan. On the other side, the 
first conflicts with Khokand occurred in 
„ . the year 1850, when the men of 

ussian Khokand, and the Kirghiz who 
Fortresses u- 1. a ^u a • 1 a 

J were subject to them, tried to 

drive back the Russians from 
the lower Syr Daria, with the sole result 
that the number of Russian fortresses was 
increased. Fort Perovsk was built in 1853 
as the most advanced post. After a long 
period of quiet caused by the Crimean War, 
the upper Chu valley was occupied from 
the Hi district in spite of Khokand. The 
town of Turkestan fell on June 23rd, 
1864, and Chimkent on October 4th. 

In the meantime, however, a war had 
broken out between Bokhara and Kho- 
kand, and when the Russians, under 
Michael Tschernaiev, took possession of 
Tashkent also in June, 1865, which the 
Bokharans already regarded as a certain 
prize, a war between Russia and Bokhara 
was the natural consequence. After an 
uneventful campaign, the Bokharan army 
was totally defeated by the Russians on 
May 20th, 1866, near Irjar ; and immedi- 
ately afterwards General Romanovski 
marched against the Khanate of Khokand, 
now a dependency of Bokhara, and took 
the town of Khojent. The territory on the 
Syr Daria, which had been previously 
administered from Orenburg, was united 
. in 1867 with the possessions on 

r"*'^ 1 *^^ ^^^ (Semirihansk) into a 
P .^ general government of Turkestan, 
until 1878. Mozaffar - ed - din 
of Bokhara, who had been compelled to 
abandon Khokand, now made vain efforts 
to conclude an alliance with it against the 
Russians. Khiva also refused to help him, 
when, urged by the fanaticism of his 
people, he once more made preparations 
to attack the new Russian territory from 
Samarkand. But before he had raised his 



Advance in 

sword, it was struck out of his hand ; 
General Kaufmann unexpectedly advanced 
on Samarkand, defeated the superior forces 
of the Bokharans, and entered the old 
capital of Timur on May 14th, 1868. 

The humbled Khan of Bokhara was 
forced to abandon the Zarafshan valley 
with Samarkand, and so lost one of his 
best provinces. It was, in the end, an 
advantage for Bokhara that 
Russia in this way obtained a 
well-defined boundary in the 
civilised country. This is the 
onlyexplanation why there was no complete 
subjugation, and why the reigning house 
was left in possession of some, even if very 
restricted, powers. Russia subsequently 
went so far as to support the Emir of 
Bokhara, who diecfin November, 1885, and 
his son Seyyid Abd-ul-Ahad against insur- 
rections of his subjects. 

By their advance into Turkestan the 
Russians had entered on the region which 
since earliest times had commanded the 
Central Asiatic trade and the roads through 
the Tarim basin. Although this trade 
had greatly fallen off, it still appeared to \^e 
an important source of wealth and jiolitical 
influence. Russia had early tried lo 
establish communications with Yarkand. 
The revolt of the Dungans and the suc- 
cesses of Yakub Bey in the Tarim basin 
during the 'sixties had prevented any 
direct intercourse with China, which was 
bound to be the final object of Russian 
policy ; the Russians were obliged to con- 
tent themselves with occupying Kuljar, 

the terminus of the northern road, in 
1871, and with requiring Yakub Bey to 
conclude a commercial treaty in 1872. 
Even then the diplomatic rivalry with the 
British, who anxiously watched the ad- 
vance of the Russian power in Central 
Asia, and with the still independent states 
of Turkestan, was in full swing. While the 
Russians were busy in diverting the trade 
of the Tarim basin to their possessions, the 
British were renewing the old connection 
between India and that region. Every- 
where, in Khokand, Bokhara, and Khiva, 
British gold was pitted against Russian 
bayonets. Gradually, also, China, which 
after prodigious efforts had suppressed 
the revolts of her subjects in the Tarim 
basin, appeared on the scene as a great 
Power, with whom definite frontiers could 
be arranged. Kuljar was restored to 
the Chinese at their own wish. 

Meanwhile, in the west, the struggle with 
Khiva had begun afresh, since Seyyid 
Mohammed Rahim Khan was neither 
willing nor able to hinder the 
incursions of the Kirghiz and 

for Khiva 

Turkomans into Russian terri- 
tory. In spring, 1873, the 
Khanate was attacked simultaneously from 
the Caspian Sea and several other direc- 
tions. The Khan was not deposed, but was 
forced, on August 12th, to abandon the right 
bank and the delta of the Amu Daria, 
and to becom.e a vassal of Russia. Soon 
afterwards the days of the Khanate of 
Khokand were also numbered ; a revolt, 
which, in 1875, caused the prince Khudayar 




the Eastern question in 
Europe was to frighten 
England by advancing to 
the gates of India. Both 
mihtary men and civihans 
thought that, at the least, 
an advance was the only 
means of neutralising hypo- 
thetical British intrigues 
with the native princes o 
Central Asia. Accordingly, 
the Turkomans were at- 
tacked, at first by a series 
of small campaigns, but, 
that proving unsuccessful, 
larger schemes were 
framed, and attempts were 
made to reach the chain of 
oases which were the real 

The illustration is from a drawing by a Russian officer, and represents the eitlier irom tllC mOUlIl OI 
interview of the Russian general with Seyyid Mohammed Rahim Khan to ihp Atrck Ol" from KriSllO-' 
arrange terms of peace after the campaign during the summer of 1873. , , ' 

vodsk at the foot oi the 
mountains on the Persian frontier. 

The first undertaking of this kind failed 

to Nomad 

to seek flight, furnished the Russians 
with a welcome pretext for interference. 
Finally, on March 3rd, 1876, all that was 
left of the Khanate of Khokand was in- 
corporated with the Russian Empire as 
the province of Ferghana. A condition of 
things which promised to be stable was 
thus established in the northern and eastern 
parts of Turkestan : in front of the Russian 
territory, the nomad inhabi- 
tants of which might be con- 
sidered as subjugated, lay the 
Khanates of Khiva and 
Bokhara, both subject to Russian in- 
fluence, as a secure belt of frontier, whose 
complete incorporation into the dominions 
of the Tsar could be of little importance. 

The situation was different in the west, 
in the steppes between the Caspian 
Sea and the Amu Daria. Here marauding 
Turkoman tribes still roamed without 
let or hindrance ; and their nominal suze- 
rain, the Khan of Khiva, was, after his 
humiliation by Russia, less capable than 
ever of holding them in check. To subdue 
them was possible only if the southern 
frontier were pushed forward to the 
southern margin of the steppe and the 
Persian sphere of influence. But there was 
a two-fold inducement for undertaking 
this laborious enterprise. It was not 
merely a question of abating the nuisance 
of Turkoman marauders ; Russian states- 
men considered the new move as a check 
to England. The military party avowed 
their belief that the surest way of setthng 

in the year 1879. But a year later a new 
expedition started under the command of 
General Michael Skobeleff. This time a 
railway was built simultaneously with the 
advance of the troops — the first portion 
of the subsequent Transcaspian Railway, 
which has now reached Samarkand and 
opened a new road to international traffic. 
The late of the Turkomans was soon sealed. 
On January 24th, 1881, their strongest 
tortress, Geok-Tepe, was taken after a heroic 
defence, and soon afterward the subjuga- 
tion of the northern, or Tekke. Turkomans 
was complete. 

In this same year a frontier treaty with 
Persia made the fact clear that Russia 
had as her neighbour on that side a state 
possessing a tolerable degree of culture. 
Toward the south-east, on the other hand, 
the advance of the Russians did not stop 
until it reached the borders of Afghanistan. 
There was no necessity for 
further wars against the no- 
mads : the Turkomans of Merv 
tendered their submission under 
diplomatic and military pressure. In spite 
of this the Russians were soon active in 
the country to the south of Merv ; and in 
1885 their advanced posts came into 
collison with the Afghans on the River 
Kushk, a battle being fought in which 
the Afghans were defeated. The blame 
for this collision has been thrown by some 
on England ; it is alleged that the Afghans 


Advance in 
the South 


were instigated to prevent Russia from 
acquiring that firm position in the south 
of the steppe country which was a pohtical 
necessity for her. Others have accused 
the Foreign Oifice at St. Petersburg of 
having dehberately forced on a breach 
with Afghanistan. 

The trouble would seem to be that 

. the hand of the Russian 

o ision Government was forced by the 

of Russians t r r .■ 1 T-l. 

. ., . zeal oi frontier generals. Ihe 
and Afghans ,. , . ° aai j 

questions at issue were settled 

by a Boundary Commission in 1886-1887, 
which fixed the frontier between Afghani- 
stan and Asiatic Russia. In 1895 the 
delimitation of British and Russian spheres 
of influence was advanced yet another 
step by the partition of the mountainous 
Pamir region, which separates North- 
eastern Afghanistan from the Tarim basin. 
Since 1886 the influence of Russia within 
her allotted sphere has been materially 
increased by the extension of the Trans- 
caspian Railway, which has brought dis- 
tricts long desolate within the range of 
Russian commerce, and completely assured 
the military supremacy of its possessors. 

The one notable event in recent years 
has been the Anglo- Russian Agreement of 
1907, which in the main is concerned 
with Persia, but recognises Afghanistan 
as within the specifically British sphere 
of interest. 

If we look back on what Russia has done 
in Turkestan we shall see that there is room 
for conjecture as to her ultimate policy. 
Her advance might be explained solely 

by the causes which have induced the 
peaceful Chinese Empire to occupy the 
Tarim basin on the verge of the Central 
Asiatic steppes were it not that evidence 
exists to suggest some motive beyond the 
mere desire of obtaining security from 
the raids of nomad tribes. The first plan 
for a Russian invasion of India was framed 
as long ago as 1791 ; and plans are said to 
have been considered at various dates 
since then, notably in 1800, 1855, and 1876. 
These plans have usually been formed 
with the idea of influencing the European 
situation to the advantage of Russia 
by locking up British troops in India and 
inducing Great Britain to take a more con- 
ciliatory attitude. In aU such plans the 
occupation of Afghanistan has been an 
essential feature, and no pains have been 
spared to detach that country from its de- 
pendence on Great Britain. An attempt 
of this kind in 1878, immediately after the 
Treaty of Berlin, was so far successful 
that the Afghans declared war on 
England. But Russia took no steps to 

. , assist the Afghans when they had 

ussia s Y,QQxi drawn into the war ; and 

p p *** since that time Russian influence in 

^ Afghanistan has suffered a check. 
The foreign policy of Russia at the present 
time looks towards the Persian Gulf 
rather than towards India. The possession 
of the mouth of the Euphrates would give 
Russia one of those outlets for the trade 
of her empire which it has always been her 
prime anxiety and endeavour to secure. 
Heinrich Schurtz 




By Angus Hamilton & Arthur D. Innes 

■"PHE dominant physical feature of 
■*■ Afghanistan is the Hindu Kush, 
together with that extension which 
radiates from the Tirogkhoi plateau and 
the stupendous peaks of the Koh-i-Baba. 
But everywhere the orology is of a very 
rugged character. Its natural divisions 
may be said to be as follow : The 
basin of the Kabul river, including 
its tributaries, the Logar, Panjsher and 
Kunar rivers ; the tableland valleys of 
the Ghilzai country from Ghazni to Kan- 
dahar, including the Argandab, the Tarnak, 
and the Arghesan ; the tributary valleys 
of the Indus — viz., Kurram, Khost, Dawar, 
Gomul, Zobe, and Bori ; the valley of the 
Helmund ; the basin of the Hamun lake ; 
the valley of the Hari Rud ; the valley of 
the Murghab and the tributary valleys of 
the Oxus — viz., the Maimana, Balkh, 
Khulm, Kunduz and Kokcha rivers. 

While the general elevation of Afghani- 
stan is considerable and opposed to the 
mountain systems, there is but 
f ^h* * ^ little plain, save the belt be- 
^ tween the northern slope of the 

Hindu Kush and the Oxus, as 
well as towards the south-west in the wide 
stretch of desert levels forming the western 
border. The main natural difficulty is 
presented by the water question. If the 
Oxus and the Indus are excluded, as shared 
by Russia and India respectively, the Hel- 
mund is the only river of any magnitude, 
although there are numerous small streams 
which yield important tribute to the irri- 
gation systems of the country-side. 

The following are the principal hydro- 
graphic divisions : the Kabul river and 
its tributaries, the Indus affluents, the 
basin of the Oxus, the basin of the 
Helmund, and the basin of the Hari 

To this outline of the physical and terri- 
torial conditions of the country must be 
added an ethnographic summary of the 
various racial divisions which, since the 
incorporation of the Khanates with the 

dominions of the Amir of Afghanistan, pre- 
sent a very confused study. The Afghans 
proper are settled principally in the Kan- 
dahar country, extending into Seistan 
and to the borders of the Herat valley. 
_, Eastward they spread across 

.J . the Afghan border into the 
Races'* Toba highlands north of the 
Khojak, where they are repre- 
sented by Achakzai and Sudozai clans. 
They exist in the Kabul districts as Barak- 
zai, the Amir's clan, and as Mahmundzai, 
or Mohmands, and Yusufzai. They occupy 
the hills north of the Kabul river, Bajor, 
Swat, Buner, and part of the Peshawar 

After the Afghans come the Pathans, 
who, recognised in many instances as 
being of Indian origin, inhabit the hilly 
regions along the immediate British border. 
The Afridi, Jowaki and Orakzai clans hold 
the highlands immediately south of the 
Khaibar and Peshawar ; the Turis of the 
Kurram, the Dawaris of Tochi, and the 
Waziris of Waziristan filling up the inter- 
vening Pathan hills north of the Gomul. 
In the Kohat district the Khattak and 
Bangash clans are Pathan, so that Pathans 
are found on both sides of the border. 

The Ghilzai, reckoned as a Pathan, but 
connected also with the Afghan, is another 
racial unit. This tribe ranks as second 
to none in the military strength of 
Afghanistan, and in commercial enter- 
prise. Underlying these elements in Afghan 
ethnography, there is the Tajik, who, 
representing the original Persian possessors 
of the soil, still speaks his mother tongue. 
There are pure Persians in Afghanistan, 
^ such as the Kizil Bashis of 

* ... Kabul, and the Naoshirwans 
Q ■ ■ of Kharan. The Tajiks are 
the cultivators in the rural dis- 
tricts, the shopkeepers and clerks in the 
towns ; while they are slaves of the 
Pathan in Afghanistan no less than the 
Hindkis are in the plains of the Indus. 
Next in importance to the Tajik is 



the Hazara, who speaks a dialect of 
Persian, and belongs to the Shiah sect 
of Mohammedans. The Hazaras occupy 
the highlands of the Upper Helmund 
valley, spreading through the country 
between Kabul and Herat, as well as into 
a strip of territory on the frontier slopes 
of the Hindu Kush. In the western pro- 
vinces they are known as Hazaras, Jam- 
shidis, Taimanis, and Ferozkhois. They 
are pure Mongols, and intermixed with no 
other races, while they preserve their 
language and characteristics from the 
influence of environment. Last of all 
there are the Uzbegs and the Turkomans, 
so that the Afghan tribes represent no 
single people, but a number of racial 
communities, each 
possessed of separate 
interests, and, in 
great measure, of a 
separate national 

Lying between Per- 
sia, on the one hand, 
and on the other the 
mountain passes 
through which, from 
time immemorial, all 
invaders have pene- 
t'."ated to the Punjab 
and the plains of 
Hindustan, Afghani- 
stan to-day fulfils tlie 
functions of a buffer 
state between the 
British and the Rus- 
sian powers in Central 
Asia, wiiile in the 
past Afghan territory 
has given dynasties 
on the one side to 
Persia, and on the 
other to Delhi, and has formed a part 
now of one empire, now of the other, and 
again has formed a state or a group of 
states hiore or less independent of both. 

Thus Mahmud, the great. Ghaznavid, 
issued from the fortress-city of Ghazni ; 
Babar, the founder of the Mogul Empire, 
was lord of Kabul when he began his 
career of conquest. Like all outlying 
provinces of all Oriental empires, the 
Afghan tribesmen rendered obedience to 
their suzerain only when they were aware 
that he could spare an army to coerce 
recalcitrants ; their subjection was always 
unsul)stantial. They owned the might of 
Nadir Shah, but when he died, the Abdali 


The son of Sher Ali, whom he 
of British arras he signed 

chief, Ahmed Khan, assumed independence 
and the royal title of Shah, at Kandahar, 
and established the " Durani " dynast}^ 
at Kabul, changing his tribal name for 
superstitious reasons. 

Ahmed Shah led a series of incursions 
into India ; in the greatest of them he 
temporarily shattered the Mahratta power 
at Panipat, while the British were making 
themselves masters of Bengal. But he 
did not seek to establish an Indian 
Empire, though the Duranis were owned 
as masters of the Punjab until the Sikhs 
freed themselves from the Afghan yoke, 
and created a dominion of their own under 
Ranjit Singh. When Mornington arrived 
as Governor-General in India, men believed 
that the power of 
Zeman Shah at Kabul 
was a menace to 

But his might was 
less than it seemed. 
In 1801 Zeman Shah 
was deposed and 
blinded, and his bro- 
ther set up in his 
place, as Shah Shuja, 
by a group of the 
Barakzai family, who 
in reality held the 
reins of power, 
though they pre- 
ferred to assume the 
jiosition of Ministers. 
A few years later the 
Indian Government 
thought it worth 
while to seek Shah 
Shuja's friendship. 
KHAN Little enough came 

succeeded; underpressure of this mOVe at the 
the treaty of Gandamak. ^-^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ 

was deposed in his turn in 1810. and 
betook himself to safe quarters in British 
territory, whence he made periodical and 
futile attempts to recover his throne. 

For thirty years the Barakzais in 
Afghanistan and the Sikh Maharaja of 
Lahore were in constant rivalry, with the 
practical result that Ranjit Singh wrested 
from the Afghans one after another of 
their positions in the Punjab, and in- 
corporated in his own domain Multan, 
Peshawar, and Kashmii". For these 
successes he was partly indebted to the 
internal dissensions of Afghanistan. The 
titular kings were disposed to resent the 
supremacy of the Barakzai brotherhood ; 

Ninicha, or a convert to Moslemism Barakzai chief of Bezoot An Umrner Kheyl chief of Darunta 

Tajik chief of the Kunar Valley Mohmand chief of' Lalpura A Barakzai, a relative of the Amir 



History of the world 

there was a period of fierce strife and 
bloodshed, at tfie end of which the king 
remained in possession of Herat, while 
the vizirate and effective dominion passed 
to a younger Barakzai, Dost Mohammed. 

In 1836 Persia was assuming an 
aggressive attitude towards Afghanistan. 
Dost Mohammed, somewhat suspicious 
of the British on one side, perceived 
on the other that Russia was at the 
back of Persia. He made overtures 
to the British, which were reiected. 
Lord Auckland's 
Government became 
possessed with the 
idea that the only 
security lay in placing 
on the throne at 
Kabul a ruler who 
would be in effect a 
puppet of the British ; 
and the Governor- 
General resolved to 
reinstate Shah Shu] a. 
In carrying out this 
programme, no very 
serious resistance was 
encountered ; a few 
white troops and a 
considerable force of 
Hindustani sepo\-^ 
restored the Durani 
Dost Mohammed 
after vindicating h\- 
character as a valiant 
warrior, surrendered 
himself, and was 
placed under honour- 
able surveillance in 
British territory. 
British forces re- 
mained at Kabul, to 
maintain the Govern- 
ment they had set up. 

The result was what 
might have been anti- 
cipated. Little more 
than two years had 
elapsed since the restoration when a 
riot at Kabul developed into a general 
insurrection in November, 1841. At Kan- 
dahar the British garrison more than held 
its own ; at Jellalabad a small force main- 
tained a successful defence. But Ghazni 
was forced to yield before long, and the 
whole of the large Kabul force, after some 
of the chiefs had been murdered and others 
surrendered to the rebels as hostages, was 
cut to pieces. Retribution followed as a 


Habibulla succeeded his father in 1901, and though at 
first cold towards British overtures, has now ratified 
the friendship that prevailed under his predecessor. 

matter of course. But the British had 
awakened to the fact that no politic end 
could be served by a military occupation. 
Having definitely vindicated their military 
supremacy, they reinstated their quondam 
antagonist, Dost Mohammed, under his 
old title of Amir. 

That very shrewd ruler bore no grudge 
against the British. In fact, he realised that 
they had no desire to possess themselves 
of Afghanistan, whereas Persia was obvi- 
ously hankering to recover at least Herat. 
It was from the west 
that aggression was 
to be feared ; there- 
fore he recognised his 
own best interests m 
cultivating British 
goodwill. To the day 
of his death he con- 
tinued consistently 
loyal. The Afghan 
tribesmen remem- 
bered the British 
occupation vindic- 
tively, and with an 
especial hatred to- 
wards the Hindustani 
sepoys. Nevertheless, 
Dost Mohammed 
held them in check, 
even when the san- 
guinary engagements 
of the second Sikh 
war (1848-g) seemed 
to ofter a chance of 
striking a damaging 
blow. Later, in 1855, 
a definite treaty was 
made between the 
Dost and the British, 
which was viewed 
with dislike by some 
of the ablest 
I nd i an officials , 
but bore invaluable 
fruit in the com- 
plete quiescence of 
Afghanistan in 1857, when the Hindu- 
stani regiments mutinied against the 
British Raj. In the interval the Afghan 
ruler had successfully resisted a Persian 
attempt on Herat, and British troops had 
intervened effectively on the Persian Gulf. 
So long as Afghanistan showed no signs 
of being drawn into dangerously 
relations with Russia, the Indian (Govern- 
ment maintained a policy of non-inter- 
vention, which was very unsatisfactory 







to statesmen of the " forward *' school. 
In pursuance of that pohcy, the British 
did not interfere in the period of anarchy 
which followed the death of Dost Moham- 
med in 1863. His actual successor was a 
3'ounger son, Sher Ali, who soon found his 
brothers in arms against him. It was not 
until 1868 that he appeared to be securely 
established at Kabul. In 1870 the Amir 
met the Viceroy of India, Lord Mayo, in 
durbar at Ambela, when the principle of 
British non-intervention was clearly 
enunciated. In the following year his 
throne was shaken by the revolt ol his 
son, Yakub Khan ; he began to show 
signs of yielding to Russian influences. 
In 1878 he received a Russian mission at 

the Resident, Sir Louis Cavagnari, with 
his staff and guard were cut to pieces. 

A month later the British had success- 
fully reoccupied Kabul ; Yakub Khan 
abdicated, and placed himself in their 
hands. But in July of the following year 
his brother, Ayub Khan, roused a number 
of the tribes to join in a jehad, or holy war, 
against the British. Defeating General 
Burrows on July 27, he at once invested 
Kandahar. His success was brief. General 
Roberts, after achieving in August his 
famous march from Kabul to Kandahar 
in twenty-two days, completely crushed 
Ayub in a decisive battle. Abdurrahman, 
another nephew of Sher Ali, was recognised 
by the British as Amir. As in 1843, after 

Herat, on the River Hari-Rud, was founded by Alexander the Great, who seems to have recognised its strategic 
importance; it is the capital of Western Afghanistan, is well fortified, and has a population estimated at 45,(110 

Kabul. The British Viceroy. Lord Lytton, 
promptly demanded that a British mission 
should be received ; when Sher Ali failed 
to accede to his demands, the second 
Afghan War— that of 1878-80 — began. 

Resistance was crushed decisively, and 
Sher Ali, flying from Kabul, died at Mazar- 
i-Sharif in February, 1879, his son, Yakub 
Khan, being proclaimed Amir. The treaty 
of Gandamak, on May 26, 1879, gave the 
British control of a series of the mountain 
passes, and provided that " scientific 
frontier " which it had been their main 
object to secure. But the new arrange- 
ments involved the establishment of a 
British Residency at Kabul, to exercise a 
controlling influence over the Amir. In 
September there was a rising in Kabul, and 


an aggressive fit, the Indian Government 
reverted to its normal policy, and in 188 1 
withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. 

Abdurrahman proved himself a ruler 
of great power and ability, crushing revolts 
with swift and merciless energy. What- 
ever suspicions ma3' have been from time 
to time entertained as to his policy, and 
however grievances against the British, 
justifiable or otherwise, may have rankled 
in his mind, he remained effectively loyal 
to the British connection, aware, like 
Dost Mohammed, that the British much 
preferred maintaining his country as an 
independent state to bringing it under 
their own direct dominion, while he 
could rely upon their resisting any 
attem})t on the part of Russia to absorb 



. \ 


, ■■■ ■■■--■■.:■ ■ '^^^- ■■«*;, ■ 

■■ :-^a|pi|p^,^. ^ . 




HHhb^. '"^'^-^.u. 







it. When the Powers proposed a definite 
delimitation of boundaries, and a colhsion 
occurred between Russian and Afghan 
forces, known as the Panjdeh incident, 
the Ainir showed genuine statesmanship 
in refusing to make much of 
what might easily have been 

of Afghan 

construed into a casus belli. 
The delimitation was duly 
carried out, and ratified by a treaty 
signed at St. Petersburg in 1887. 

The Afghanistan which Abdurrahman 
left is divided into five provinces — Kabul, 
Herat, Kandahar, Afghan Turkestan and 
Badakshan ; and two territories — Kafiris- 
tan and Wakhan. Kandahar includes 
Seistan and the basin of the Helmund ; 
Herat the basin of the Hari-Rud and 
North-western Afghanistan ; Afghan 
Turkestan the former khanates Andkhui, 
Maimana, Balkh, and Khulm ; the pro- 
vince of Badakshan administers the 
territory of Wakhan and the regions of 
the Upper Oxus. Kabul, Herat, and 
Kandahar are the centres of their re- 
spective provinces ; Tashkurgan and 
Mazar-i-Sharif of Afghan Turkestan and 
Faizabad of Badakshan. 

This division of Afghanistan into settled 
provinces is due to Dost Mohammed, 
who despatched an expedition under his 
son for the purpose of subjecting the 
various independent territories that 
existed in those days in the regions south 
of the Oxus. By the success which attended 

these operations, the Afghan dominions 
were pushed out to the banks of the Oxus 
and the Murghab. It was Abdurrahman, 
however, who split the territory thus 
secured into the divisions of Afghan Turke- 
stan and Badakshan, with which change 
a considerable improvement upon the 
previous anarchy and misrule was obtained. 
Under Dost Mohammed, as also in the 
reign of Sher Ali, the utmost confusion 
prevailed in every department of govern- 
ment. The chiefs of the various tribes 
were both independent and ambitious, and 
not infrequently defied the authority of 
the Amir at Kabul. The period of greatest 
confusion may be said to have closed with 
the civil war of 1863-g, from which Sher Ali 
emerged triumphant. Founding a despotic 
sovereignty over the tribes, Sher Ali laid 
the foundations upon which Abdurrahman 
so successfully reared his autocracy. One 
by one Abdurrahman suppressed the 
turbulent Sirdars, thus paving the way to 
the solidarity which distinguished his own 
position. In addition, he reformed the 
Government and its methods. He put a 
p stop to corruption in the public 

rogr ss Qj:Q(-gg^ ^j^^ forbade the accept- 

jj ance of bribes or the sale of 

appointments. Beginning at 
the bottom, he built up a civil and mili- 
tary machinery which, before he appeared, 
may be said to have been non-existent. 
On the military side he re-organ- 
ised the army and introduced modern 

In November of 1904 a British Mission from the Indian Government, under Mr. Louis Dane, the Indian Foreign 
Secretary, proceeded by way ot Peshawar to Kabul to discuss Indo-Afghan questions with the Amir HabibuHa.. 

Mir Mahnrnd Khan succeeded upon his father's abdication in 1S93, and is head of the loose confederancy of chiefs in the 
native state ot Kelat in Baluchistan ; as a dependency of India the state has a British political agent resident in Kelat. 

weapons and Western drill ; on the civil 
side he established financial and political 
control, and set up an even-handed, if 
rough and ready, form of justice. The 
final touch to his edifice was the creation 
of a Cabinet, the recasting of the pro- 
vincial methods of administration, and a 
reform of the laws. The improvements 
proceeding from these changes have made 
Afghanistan a firmly constructed, well- 
ordered, and financially sound state. 
Occupymg 250,000 square miles, with a 
population of five millions, and a revenue 
of 5,000,000 dollars a year, with an army 
estimated at 150,000 on a peace footing, 
the present state of the country is an 
effective illustration of the excellence of 
Abdurrahman's reign. 

The death of Abdurrahman caused some 
anxiety. It was felt that the disappear- 
ance of so vigorous a ruler might be fol- 
lowed by a period of turbulence and con- 
' , tests over the succession. Hap- 

W N P^^^' ^^^ Amir's son, Habibulla, 
F Ifill d ^^^^ accepted by the tribes 
quietly and without disturb- 
ance. The new Amir has continued on the 
old lines ; his authority has not been chal- 
lenged, and he has shown himself not less 
loyal to the British connection than his 
father. There has been no trouble with 

Russia, while the peace of the border has 
been well maintained. The relations 
between the Amir and the Indian Govern- 
ment, at first distant, were improved by the 
result of the Dane Mission, and thoroughly 
cemented by the Amir's visit to India in 


Between Afghanistan and the Ocean, 
its eastern boundary marching with Sindh, 
lies the territory known as Baluchistan. 
The country is mountainous, and on the 
western or Persian side is largely desert. 

Its barren character has rendered it 
unattractive to conquering kings and 
khans, and exceedingly ill-adapted for the 
passage of large armies. The invaders of 
India have habitually preferred to pene- 
trate the northern passes rather than those 
of Baluchistan. 

The population is composed of two quite 
distinct races — the Brahuis, whom ethno- 
logists incline to associate with the 
Dravidian peoples of India, and the 
Baluchis, who are probably of Iranian 
stock. The prevailing religion is Moham- 
medanism — Sunni, not Shi-ite. The coun- 
try has never acquired the dignity of 
an organised state. Some chieftain has 
usually been vaguely recognised as para- 
mount, and, in his turn, has been more 



or less a tributary of Persia or of Kabul. 
In short, Baluchistan can hardly be said 
to have had a history of its own, at least 
until it came in contact with the British 
Government in India. 

A century ago the British were begin- 
ning to investigate the Indus and to open 
relations with Sindh and with Afghanistan. 
Incidentally, some knowledge of Baluchi- 
stan began to be acquired. Then, as now, 
the chief authority was recognised as lying 
with the Khan of Kelat. When the British 
plunged into their ill-starred Afghan ven- 
ture of 1838-9, Ranjit Smgh's refusal to 
allow their army passage to the Khaibar 
Pass and Peshawar, compelled them to 
make Kandahar instead of Kabul their 
immediate objective, and to advance 
through Sindh and Baluchistan by way of 
the Bolan Pass. The reigning Khan of 
Kelat rendered no assistance, and was 
accused of deliberate and designed ob- 
struction. Hence Kelat itself was inci- 
dentally attacked and seized, and was 
again temporarily occupied in 1841. 

From the time of Ellenborough to that 
of Lord Lytton, British policy beyond 
Sindh and the Punjab was controlled by 
the principle of " masterly inactivity." But 
the Government of Disraeh and his Viceroy, 
Lord Lytton, adopted the doctrines of the 
"forward" school and the theory of a 

"scientific frontier."^ IMilitary opinion, 
with Russia in view, has been practically 
unanimous in maintaining that the moun- 
tains of the north-west should be made 
absolutely impassable to the invader. 
Through the Bolan Pass the mountains 
can be penetrated. Quetta commands the 
Bolan Pass. An important step, there- 
fore, was taken when, in 1877, Lord Lytton 
secured by treaty the right of occupying 

Ten years later the Khan of Kelat as- 
sented to the definite annexation of the 
Quetta territory by the British. A mili- 
tary railway — a triumph of engineering 
skill— has secured through communica- 
tion with the great outpost, which is looked 
upon as virtually impregnable ; and, 
politically speaking, the district now forms 
a part of British India. On the other 
hand, the Khan of Kelat, by practically 
becoming a British feudatory, has found 
his own position secured against rivalry, 
and consequently exercises over the tribes 
an authority of a much more definite char- 
acter than in the past. It has followed that 
a certain responsibility for his behaviour 
attaches to the British Government, the 
consciousness ot which was exemplified in 
1893 by the deposition of the Khan for 
misconduct, and the establishment of his 
son, the present Khan, in his place. 


fir ' ' ■"-* '''^*'*-v. 

,,;*,#>,. y .■.«.. ,^ 














1 66 1 





Alexander the Great passes through 
Central Asia in the course of his 
great march to India 

Huns conquer China 

Huns expelled from China 

Huns invade Hungary and drive out 
the Goths 

Attila, the " Scourge of God," 
ravages the Western Roman 

Battle of Chalons, and defeat of 
Attila by Aetius 

Buddhism introduced into Tibet 

Genghis Khan reigns from 1206 to 
1207, and embraces in his empire 
all Central Asia as well as Persia 
and China 

Baton, the grandson of Genghis 
Khan, at the head of his " Golden 
Horde " — the name given to his 
Mongolian Tartars — establishes an 
empire in Kajatchak or Kibzak, 
now South-east "Russia 

The " Golden Horde " invades Rus- 
sia and makes Alexander Newski 
Grand Duke 

Tibet visited by Marco Polo 

Timur, or Tanierlane, who reigned 
from 1370 to 1400, conquered 
Persia, invaded India, and broke 
the power of the Turks in Asia 

Battle of Bielawisch, at which Ivan 
III. of Russia crushes the Golden 
Horde, or Mongolian Tartars 

Bokhara, or Sogdiana, subdued by 
the Uzbek Tartars, its present 

Babar, first Mogul Emperor of India, 
conquers Kabul ; after his death 
Afghanistan is divided between 
India and Persia 

Jesuits visit Tiber 

Great migration of the Tartar tribe 
of Kalmucks, who were expelled 
from China and settled on the 
Volga and returned in 1771 

Ahmed Shah makes Afghanistan 
independent, and reigns till 

Kashgaria, or Eastern Turkestan, 

subdued by China 
Return to Western China of the 

Kalmucks, thousands perishing 

during the long march through 

Central Asia 
Visit of Bogle and Hamilton to Tibet 
Beginning of a series of unsuccessful 

insurrections in Kashgaria against 

Restoration of Shah Shuja by British 

in Afghanistan 














Expedition sent against Khiva by 
Nicholas of Russia ; perished in 
the cold 

British Disaster at Kabul : first 
Afghan War 

Treaty of Britain with Dost Mo- 

The Province of Russian Turkestan 
created by decree of the Tsar 

Mohammed Yakub Beg, during an 
insurrection in Kashgaria, makes 
himself ruler, and, in 1867, sends 
envoys to London 

Russian War in Turkestan, and suc- 
cessive defeats of the native 

Temporary peace between Russia 
and Turkestan 

Renewal of hostilities between Rus- 
sia and Turkestan. Samarkand 
captured and secured by treaty 

Khiva taken by the Russians. 
Political and commercial treaty 
between Russia and Turkestan 

China ends the insurrection in Kash- 
garia by defeating Mohammed 
Yakub Beg, who was afterwards 
assassinated, and by capturing 

Third Afghan War ; Abdurrahman 
becomes Amir 

Anglo-Russian Agreement regarding 

Quetta and surrounding territories 
annexed to British territories 

Central Asian railway from the Cas- 
pian to Samarkand opened 

The Zhob Valley in Baluchistan 
annexed by Britain at the request 
of the chiefs 

Treaty of Commerce between Great 
Britain and Tibet. Amir of Turk- 
estan visits Russia, and again in 

Mohammedan rebellion in Tibet 

Explorations and discoveries by Dr. 
Sven Hedin 

Death of the Amir of Afghanistan ; 
succeeded by his son, Habibulla 

Expedition under Colonel Young- 
husband sent to Tibet by Indian 

After opposition by the Tibetans and 
their defeat, British force enters 
Lhasa on August 3rd, and the 
Treaty of Lhasa is signed on Sep- 
tember 7th 

Visit of the Amir of Afghanistan to 

Anglo-Russian Convention respects 
integrity of Afghanistan and 

Tibetan rising against the Chinese 

1533 . 

Mirim^ mm m>m kj^ t m0mmm0Ki 




/^ENTRAL ASIA, in its present aspect, 
^-^ demonstrates the influence of environ- 
ment on tlie fortunes of the human 
race. The cradle of our civilisation and 
religions has lost all political import- 
ance. It is a mere geographical ex- 
pression, connoting 2,600,000 square miles 
of sparsely-peopled territory lying between 
Siberia and the vast mountain system 
which has determined the physical and 
social evolution of the continent. 

The south-western boundary of Central 
Asia is defined b^^ the plateau of Northern 
Persia, which skirts the Caspian Sea, 
continuing the Taurus range of Asia 
Minor. Its spurs mingle with those of 
the Kopet Dagh mountains, which are 
connected with the Caucasus by a sub- 
marine ridge whose summits are 150 feet 
under the surface of the water, and which 
stretches between Baku and Krasnovodsk, 
on the Caspian. At the north-western 

_ . . angle of Afghanistan the Kopet 
Boundaries t-x - 1 ^ ii, a 1 • a 

- Dagh meets the Alpme system 

^ ^ ... of Asia, which stretches in 
Central Asia , , ,. , t^ • , 

an unbroken Ime to Bermg s 

Straits. Its central citadel is a labyrinth 
of snowy peaks and profound valleys, 
known as the Pamirs, in which converge 
the boundaries of the British, Russian, 
and Chinese empires. Here the Hindu 
Kush joins hands with the Alai Tagh, 
which projects a network of lower peaks 
westwards, forming the Russian provinces 
of Samarkand and Ferghana, and the 
Khanate of Bokhara. From the Pamirs 
stretch eastwards the Kuen Lun Moun- 
tains, which bifurcate into the Altyn Tagh 
and Akka Tagh, separating Chinese Turke- 
stan from Tibet. South-eastM'^rds is the 
Karakoram range, under which Kashmir 
nestles ; and thence the mightier Hima- 
layas extend in a graceful curve, marking 
the northern boundary of Hindustan. 
Between them and the Akka Tagh is 
Tibet — a pear-shaped plateau whose lower 
extremity rests on the Karakoram. Its 

eastern marches are roughly defined by a 
tangle of curved ranges separating it 
from China. North of the Akka Tagh 
is a sandy waste, dotted with oases, 
known as Eastern or Chinese Turkestan, 
which melts eastwards into the Gobi 

Harking back to the Pamirs plateau, 
we find it joined on the north-east by the 
-, Tian Shan, or Celestial Moun- 

j^ . tains, which rise abruptly from 


the Gobi Desert, and throw 

out a spur westwards, in the 
Alexanrovskii and Kara Tau Mountains. 
To the north-east they are continued by 
the Ala Tau and Altai ranges, separated 
by the Zungarian depression, 300 miles 
in width. 

The Central Asian system is the loftiest 
on the globe's surface. Reckoning only 
mountains of a greater altitude than 
23,000 feet, we have : Mount Kauf- 
mann, in the Ali Plateau, 23,000 ; Mus- 
tagh Ata, in the Pamirs, 25,797 5 Akka 
Tagh, 25,340 ; Aling Gangri, 24,000 ; 
Kamet, 25,543 ; Gurla Mandlata, 25,934 ; 
Dhawalgiri, 26,825 ; Mount Everest, 
29,002 ; Kanchanjunga, 28,133 ; Donkia, 
23,994 ; and Udu, 24,750. 

The mountains which stretch in parallel 

ranges from the Caspian Sea to Central 

China and the Polar Ocean have had a 

determining effect on civilisation. On 

their eastern flank Tibet, with an average 

elevation of 15,000 feet, proved an insuper- 

., ^ . able barrier to the migratory 
Mountains ■ .■ . r t- j 

mstmct of our race, rew and 

difficult are the breaches in 
this giant wall, which is pene- 
trable by large bodies of men only in' the 
Suleiman range at its western extremity. 
Northwards lay the habitat of our remote 
ancestors, the Aryans. Balkh is now 
believed to have been the metropolis of 
these mysterious races. The ruins of 
the " Mother of Cities," and birthplace of 
Zoroaster, cover thirty square miles of 




North-western Afghanistan. Through easy 
passes in the Suleimans, the great bulk 
of these Aryans sought the sunlit plains 
of India, while other waves of emigra- 
tion reached Europe by way of Siberia 
and the Caucasus. Far to the north-east, 
again, Zungaria, broken by the Tar- 
bagatai Mountain, was the chief outlet 
for Mongolian hordes, who 
poured through the depres- 

Flood of 

. ^ , .. sion to brmg half the world 
into India , , i 

to heel. 

Why did the aboriginal inhabitants of 
Central Asia burst through trammels 
imposed by Nature ? The answer is to 
be found in tremendous geological changes 
which desiccated their habitat and com- 
pelled them to seek pastures new. North- 
wards of the mountain chains starting from 
the Caspian, the lowlands of Turkestan 
stretch to the Arctic Ocean. They are 
divided into two zones by a ridge which 
never exceeds i,ooo feet in height, ex- 
tending from the Urals to the Altai range. 
This is the watershed of the Siberian 
rivers. The whole area between this 
gentle elevation and the southern moun- 
tain spurs was once an ocean bed. Con- 
paratively recent changes of level, with 
a corresponding revolution in climatic 
conditions, have left it a sandy desert 
studded with salt lakes. The Caspian is 
the largest of the world's inland seas. It 
has an area of 180,000 square miles, and 
is 85 feet lower than ocean-level. The Sea 
of Aral co\ers 24,500 square miles, 243 
feet above the Caspian. Eastwards is 
Lake Balkash, extending over 12,800 
square miles, and lying 900 feet above 
the ocean. All have shrunk considerably, 
and all contain denizens common in Polar 
seas. Seals abound in the Caspian and 
Lake Balkash, and the former supplies 
mankind with isinglass and caviar from 
the Polar sturgeon. This vast upheaval 
has changed the face of Asia and the cur- 
rent of liistory. Rivers rising on the 
southern and eastern slopes 
of t he vast central water-shed 
find their wav to the Indian 
and Pacific Oceans, and their 
alluvial deposit has formed and fertilised 
the plain of India, Burma, Siam, and 
China. Those which spring from immense 
glaciers on the northern side have gradually 
lost their velocity. In their upper reaches 
they excel the Nile in vivifying power ; 
but they feed mere inland lakes, or are 
absorbed by thirsty sand. The Amu 


Inland Seas 

of the 

Great Plateau 

Daria, or Oxus, springs from glaciers 
in the Pamirs, and penetrates the 
Turkoman Desert at Kilif. Up to this 
point it has many tributaries, among 
them four rivers which made Balkh a 
centre of dense population. In its lower 
course the Amu Daria enriches Khiva, 
and now finds an outlet in Aral. Between 
500 B.C. and 600 of our era it turned 
abruptly westward no miles south of the 
inland sea, and discharged into the 
Caspian after a devious course of 600 
miles. Its old bed, known as the Uzboi, 
is still clearly marked, and Russian 
engineers of the pre-railway era contem- 
plated diverting its current into ancient 

The Tejend, Murghab, and Zarafshan, 
which give fertility to the oases and 
valleys of Russian Turkestan, once joined 
the Amu Daria. Owing to changes in 
level and the needs in irrigation, they now 
disappear in the Turkoman Desert. The 
Syr Daiia, or Jaxartes, known in upper 
reaches as the Naryn, rises in the Tian 
Shan Mountains, and finds the Aral Sea 
after a course of 1,500 miles. Russian 
Ferghana, watered by the 
f^c'^^t ^y^ Daria and its tributaries, 
° . " is the most fertile valley in 
Central Asia. Eastwards, and 
parallel with these mightier rivers, flows 
the Chu, which is born in the Tian Shan 
range, to waste its waters in Siberian 
steppes. The Hi, issuing from the same 
mountains, pours a flood of wealth into 
Russian Kulja, and discharges into Lake 
Balkash. In Chinese Turkestan population 
clings to oases formed by the River 
Tarim and its confluents. It rises in the 
Tian Shan range and, flowing eastward, 
is lost in the Gobi Desert. 

The historical interest of Central Asia 
is confined to its riverine territories, 
\\'hich have been the scenes of many of 
history's most tragic episodes. Soil 
overspread by their waters possesses 
uneciualled fertility. Desert sands and 
upland valley's alike are streaked with 
deposits of loess, so styled from a Tertiar}^ 
product found in the Rhine valle}^ It 
is a friable yellow loam, which is carried 
far and wide by the wind, and sometimes 
covers the subsoil to an immense depth. 
Loess ranks first among the causes of 
China's dense population. In Central 
Asia irrigated loess yields two, and some- 
times three, bountiful crops in a single 
year. Strabo, who wrote shortly before 






the birth of Christ, tells us that the Mero 
oasis boasted vines yielding clusters three 
feet in diameter. The Zarafshan, literally 
" gold-spseading," owes its name to the 
agricultural wealth which it pours into 
Samarkand and Bokhara. 

The climate of this immense tract 
varies with latitude and height above sea- 
level. Its northern steppes have a rainfall 
of eleven inches, confined to June and 
July, and the same extremes of heat and 
cold as are presented by Mid-Siberia. 
The desert, sparsely studded with oases, 
does not l^elong to the Sahara type made 
familiar to us by records of African 
exploration. In some parts the surface 
is so firm that a horse's hoofs ring on it 
as on a macadamised road. Elsewhere 
the loose sand is lashed by the wind into 
ridges resembling petrified waves. An 
intense stillness broods over these wastes, 
and a boundless horizon seen through the 
clear air shimmering in heat or broken by 
mirages. During the spring rains, averag- 
ing four inches, the mingled sand and loess 
is carpeted with the flowers of bulbous 
plants, long grass, and tufts of reed. 

Water is alone needed to cover 

D* the sand with perennial verdure. 

„. It is found almost everywhere 

at a depth of thirty feet, and 
primitive wells are frequently met with. 
Vegetation is scanty save during six 
weeks following the spring rainfall. Large 
tracts are, however, covered with the 
Camel's Thorn — which can be assimilated 
only by the Ship of the Desert — stunted 
tamarisks, and a knotty shrub termed 
saxaul (halyoxyon amniodcndron), which 
is prized as fuel, and is even more valuable 
as a means of binding the billowy sand. 
The oases, formed by irrigation, sustain 
a constant battle with encroaching desert. 
Upland valleys enjoy a heavier rainfall 
and the climate of Southern Europe, 
with wider thermometric ranges due to 
continental conditions. Tibet, in the 
same latitude, is swept by storms and 
cursed by an Arctic climate. Cut off 
from the outer world by desert and moun- 
tain. Central Asia has developed a fauna 
and flora of its own. Explorers reckon 
five species of mammals, nine of birds, 
and fourteen of fish which are not found 
elsewhere. Tigers are encountered as far 
north as the Ala Tau range ; bears, 
wolves, and wild boar abound in the 
forests which still cover large tracts of 
upland. Herds of wild asses, antelope, and 


deer roam over the desert. Loftier 
plateaus are the habitat of wild camels, 
horses, and yaks. 

The human denizens of Central Asia 
reflect every stage of the world's civilisa- 
tion. The Kirghiz, numbering about 
2,500,000, wander in the steppes of 
Northern Turkestan. They dwell in 
p circular tents of dark grey 

f^^ ^t 1 ^^^^' ^^y^^d kibitkas, which 
. . they tapestry with brilliant 

carpets. The Kirghiz are a 
keen-witted and poetical race, and their 
barbarism is mitigated by a dash of 
chivalry. The strong arm of Russian 
conquest has compelled them to desist 
from the forays which broke the mono- 
tony of tending cattle ; but they are 
inveterate nomads, defying all attempts 
to introduce education among them or 
a taste for sedentary life. Government is 
exercised by hereditary khans. The 
personal equation is everything, and 
the chief who derogates is lost. The 
" Black " Kirghiz, 324,000 strong, range 
the mountains encircling Lake Issik-kul, 
on the eastern flank of Russian Turkestan. 
Their language proves them a very 
ancient offshoot of the great Turkish 
family. The Uzbegs are another stem 
of the race which quitted the Gobi Desert 
to enter on a career of world-conquest. 
They are sturdier and more clumsily 
built than the Kirghiz, with high cheek- 
bones, ruddy complexions, and dark 
auburn hair. Uzbegs formed the penulti- 
mate wave of conquest which swept over 
Central Asia. The ruling dynasties of 
Bokhara and Khiva belong to one of 
their 72 clans. They are haughty fanatics, 
despising commerce and the urban popula- 
tion among whom they live. Unlike 
their kinsfolk, the Kirghiz, Uzbegs have 
taken kindly to sedentary life. The 
grossness of their manners is mitigated by 
a touch of the inborn dignity which 
characterises unadulterated Asmaulis. 
The Turkomans belong to a 
r?'^ J°K branch of the Turkish family 
Drorhts which dwell in Mid-Siberia and 
roug s ^^^^ Altai Mountains. Long 
before the Christian Era, the desiccation 
of their pastures compelled them to 
migrate southwards. Following, probably, 
the ancient course of the Oxus, they spread 
over the desert which still bears their 
name. Until the era of Russian conquest 
their tribal organisation was retained 
intact. The Yomud Turkomans feed their 


flocks and herds in the desert south of 
Aral, 'taking shelter in the valleys of 
North-western Persia during the winter 
months. The Tekkes have absorbed many 
minor clans in a struggle for existence. 
About half a century ago they took 
possession of the Merv oasis and a fertile 
strip fringing the Kopet Dagh Mountains. 

From these points of vantage 
f T *^^ d *^*^y harried Northern Persia 
Z *™.^ and Afghanistan, selling their 
Barbarians . , , -.^ , • , ,1 

mhabitants mto hopeless 

slavery at Bokhara and Khiva. Between 
1881 and 1884 these hornets' nests were 
extirpated by Russia. The Turkomans 
have lost their passion for rapine, and 
sullenly settled down as agriculturists 
and cattle-breeders. The horses, which 
once carried tribesmen incredible dis- 
tances on forays, are no longer raised. 
Brilliant and durable carpets were formerly 
woven by their womenfolk ; but this 
industry has been well-nigh killed by 
imported coal-tar dyes. 

Sart is the generic term employed by 
Russians for the sedentary population 
of Central Asia ; but it includes a variety 
of ethnological types. Tajiks predomi- 
nate in urban centres. They descend 
from Aryan aborigines, from Persian im- 
migrants, or alliances between Uzbegs 
and imported slaves. The Tajiks are a 
tall, well-favoured race, vvith clear olive 
complexions and black hair and eyes. As 
each tide of conquest swept over Central 
Asia they bowed their necks and acquired 
all the vices bred by slavery. They are 
intelligent, polished, and laborious, but 
their faithlessness is as notorious as their 
want of courage. The languages spoken 
by this motley human horde are Chagatay, 
a dialect of Turki, and Tajiki, which is a 
corrupt form of Persian. In Russian 
Turkestan the conquerors have not com- 
mitted the blunder of forcing a knowledge 
• of their vernacular on subject races. 
Religion has played a great part in mould- 
ing the destinies of Central 

Rctrious ^^^^- ^^ ^^^ eighth century 
c igious ^^^ entire territory succumbed 
Conquest , x i • j. t-- 

to Islamic conquest. tive 

hundred years later a wave of mysticism 
swept over Asia, which was probably a 
reflex action of the Crusades. This 
revival has left indelible traces on social 
life and thought. Uzbegs, Turkomans 
and the bulk of dwellers in cities are ardent 
Sunnis, adhering to Mohammed's tra- 
ditionary teachings. These are rejected 

by Shias, who also champion the claims 

to succesion as Caliph of the Prophet's 

son-in-law Ali, and the latter's sons, 

Hasan and Husayn. The rival sects 

detest each other cordially. Many Sarts 

of Persian descent are crypto-Shias ; 

but overt nonconformity is forbidden by 

Uzbeg fanaticism. Islam has never taken 

root among the Kirghiz, whose inveterate 

nomadism resists all attempts to instruct 

or civilise. 

The Russian possessions in Central 

Asia result from a law which compels 

an organised government in contact with 

barbaric tribes to extend the area of its 

conquests until they reach the sea, an 

impenetrable mountain range, or the 

boundaries of a state strong enough to 

be mistress at home. The Russo-Chinese 

frontier is defined by mountain chains 

connecting the Caspian and Polar seas. 

The last rectification of frontier took 

place in 1882, when five-sixths of Kulja, 

which had been occupied during the 

anarchy of the Taiping Rebellion, was 

retroceded to China. In the same year 

Russia surrendered to Persia certain 

. valleys watered by the River 

"!*n*^.- I. Atreic, on the Caspian's south- 
and British , , if.. ,, r>, , 

, „ eastern shore : while the Shah 

Influences 1111 1 ■ 

resigned his sliadowy claims 

to suzerainty over Tekke Turkomans. 
The spheres of British and Russian 
influence were defined by the mixed 
Boundary Commissions of 1885 and 1895. 
Afghanistan is admitted to lie within the 
orbit of British India, whose approaches 
are now defended by solemn treaties. 
Thus, Russia has, of her own free will, 
placed limits on her expansion south- 
wards, and she is free to pursue the task of 
civilising her vast possessions in Central 
Asia. They include the following provinces. 




Sq. miles. 




Semipalatinsk . . 



Turgai . . 






Syr Daria 









Transcaspian Territcry 






Khiva . . 





The first three are under the Governor- 
General of the Steppes, whose hiead- 





quarters are Omsk, which has 37,37^1 in- 
habitants. Though their soil and ciimate 
are essentially Siberian, they arc always 
reckoned as part of Central Asia. Northern 
Akmolensk is a continuation of the Black 
Earth zone of Southern Russia, pro- 
ducing cereals, potatoes, and livestock ; 
the southern half is known as the Hungry 
Steppe. Semipalatinsk is more fertile, 
and 20,000 ounces of gold are extracted 
annually from its sand and gravel deposits. 
Turgai has emerged from the ocean in 
comparatively recent ages. Its surface 
is covered with half-fossilised shells and 
aquatic plants. The population is wholly 
nomad Kirghiz, whose herds of cattle 
are decimated by blizzards during an 
Arctic winter. Semirechensk possesses 
vast unexploited treasures of coal and 
iron, and its eastern valleys, adjoining 
Chinese Kulja, rank among the most 
fertile tracts in the world. 

Three-fourths of Syr Daria is track- 
less desert, affording pasture to Turko- 
man tribes after the spring rains. It is 
bisected by a highland region watered by 
tributaries of the river which gives the pro- 
vince its name. The Governor- 
General of Turkestan resides 
at Tashkent, a Russianised 
city containing 156,000 in- 
habitants. Ferghana, watered by upper 
reaches of the Syr Daria is as productive 
as Russian Kulja. For countless centuries 
it was the main artery of caravan traffic 
between Europe and China, and supports 
a relatively dense population. Kokan 
(112,428). Na Mangan (62,000), Andisan 
(47,627), and Marghilan (36,490), are 
centres of trade and of Moslem fanaticism. 
The province of Samarkand owes its 
amazing fertility to the River Zarafshan ; 
and vast mineral wealth is stored up in 
the eastern valleys. Its world-famous 
capital is a mere shadow of departed 

Samarkand has been deprived by the 
Transcaspian railway of its ancient im- 
portance as a starting-point of caravan 
traffic, and its population has sunk to 
50,000. The shade of Timur still seems to 
brood over the metropolis from which he 
ruled the world from Russia to the 
Persian Gulf, from Constantinople to the 
Ganges. His sepulchre's fluted dome soars 
high above the leafy forest whicJi enshrouds 
Samarkand, and its citizens speak of him 
as the Amir. His glorious tombs and 
mosques, once radiant with enamelled 



Syr Daria 

tiles, have been brought to the verge 
of collapse by earthquakes and centuries 
of neglect. Nine-tenths of the Trans- 
caspian territory is a desert over which 
Turkomans wander in spring and winter. 
Its settled population is concentrated in 
Merv and smaller oases watered by the 
Murghab and Tejend, or occui)y the Atok, 
a fertile belt on the northern 

, „ . slope of the Koi:)et Dagh. Em- 
of Russian ■ 1 1 1 ■ o ■ ^ -^ 
rr 1 X bedded m Russian territory are 
Turkestan i, , , 1 t^i 1 

Bokhara and l\.liiva, known as 

the Khanates, the sole relics of the Islamic 
dominion established b}^ Mahomet's 
all-conquering successors. Bokhara con- 
sists of a mountainous tract unfit for 
cultivation, a central plateau watered by 
the Zarafshan, cool, healthy, and densely 
peopled, and lowlands subject to encroach- 
ments by the desert sand. The arable 
area does not exceed 8,000 square miles, 
and the pressure of population is beginning 
to be felt. The capital is a walled city 
with 65,000 inhabitants. It was once a 
busy centre of trade and manufacture, but 
b'jth have suffered from Russian competi- 
tion. Unlike Samarkand, Bokhara is a 
focus of Oriental learning. Thousands of 
students imbibe useless lore and a strong 
leaven of fanaticism in its well-endowed 
colleges. Booksellers' shops abound, but 
the libraries, which were formerly Bok- 
hara's chief pride, have succumbed to 
neglect and conflagrations. 

The government is a despotism, tem- 
pered by priestly influence and the tactful 
guidance of a Russian Resident. It is 
wielded by the Amir, who belongs to the 
leading Uzbeg clan. Internal order is 
maintained by an armed rabble of 11,000 
soldiers. In its days of independence 
Bokhara was a theocracy, as thorough- 
going as Calvin's rule in Geneva. 
Uniformity was enforced by a rigid censor- 
ship of morals, and Tajiks, who secretly 
clung to Shia dogma, suffered untold 
oppression. Punishments were atrociously 
cruel ; prisons were hotbeds of 
II ^1 ""^ disease ; slavery was rampant 

-,. in its worst form, and agricul- 

1 licocr&cv 

ture groaned under manifold 

exactions. The sinister features of native 
rule have been softened by Russian 
influence, and though Uzbegs and Mullas 
may regret the loss of complete autonomy, 
it is not felt by the masses. Prior to its 
conquest in 1873, Khiva was a yet more 
barbarous replica of Bokhara. It consists 
of an oasis of 5,210 square miles, fertilised 



by the Oxus, and 17,800 square miles of 
desert. No standing army is maintained, 
and 2,000 naukars, or royal servants, suffice 
for purposes of state and police. Both 
Khanates are divided into districts, ad- 
ministered by a Beg, which are again 
parcelled out into Amlaks, or groups of 
villages, severally represented by their Ak- 
sakal, or greybeard. The 
ympa y Russian character is well 

Between People j . ii, i. i t 

. f.,.. . , equipped lor the task 01 
and Officials ^ ^ r . . • , ■ /-i ■ 

governmg Asiatics. Chris- 
tianity, which IS very vital in all classes 
at home, has checked the growth of racial 
pride and caste feeling. For 240 years 
Russia lay under the heel of Tartar hordes, 
whose blood flows in the veins of many 
ruling families. The ivubred sympathy 
which links European Russians with their 
Asiatic fellow-subjects was seen in a full 
measure during the period of conquest. 
The Tsar has had many servants in the 
East who are quite worthy to rank with 
Munros, Elphinstones, and Lawrences. No 
impassable gulf yawns between rulers and 
ruled. Children of the soil are eligible for 
the highest posts, and such friction as 
exists is bred by religious prejudices. 

In administering this enormous terri- 
tory, Russia distinguishes between nomad 
tribes and the denizens of fertile valleys 
who have long enjoyed a certain degree of 
civilisation. The Turkomans are governed 
in patriarchal fashion ; their tribal organi- 
sation has been destroyed, and a starshina, 
or mayor, elected by each Aul, or group of 
Kibitkas, has replaced the chieftain whose 
behests were blindly obeyed during forays. 
Respecting nought but superior force, they 
have learnt to revere the District Officer, 
who sternly represses tendencies to revert 
to ancient misdoings. On the other hand, 
inhabitants of Samarkand, Ferghana, and 
Russian Kulja retain their social, and much 
of their legal, mechanism intact. Indi- 
genous institutions have not been trampled 
upon, nor dates a half-educated proletariat 
. preach racial discord and fill 

ussia ^j,^^ minds of the masses with 

^ . , . . the daydream of political in- 
Central Asia T y „ , ^ 

dependence. Each province is 

undei a military governor, who is subordin- 
ate in professional details to the Minister of 
War at St. Petersburg. It is dividM into 
districts, which are administered b}' army 
officers responsible for executive govern- 
ment and the collection of revenue. The 
district, again, is portioned out into Pristas, 
or subdivisions, under executive chiefs. 


The Volost, or group of 25 villages, is the 
next unit. Villages, averaging 100 houses, 
or kibitkas, are officially represented by 
starshinas, who are elected by the people, 
subject to the district chief's veto. A 
com])lete separation has been effected 
between executive and judicial functions. 
Crimes are reported by the starshina to 
the volostnoi, and ultimately to a Judge 
of First Instance, stationed at the district 
headquarters. This officer holds a local 
investigation, and prepares the case for 
trial by a Judge of the Peace under 
Russian criminal law. Both are subor- 
dinate to the Minister of Justice at St. 
Petersburg, and every penal suit runs 
through a gamut of appeals involving a 
great waste of time. Civil suits between 
natives are also tried by the Judge of the 
Peace under Mohammedan law, inter- 
preted by a Qazi. If either party be a 
Russian, the case is judged in the light of 
Russian law, which is gradually superseding 
the incoherent mass of dicta and tradition 
current in Mohammedan courts. The 
Transcaspian territory, inhabited mainly 
by Turkomans, has received a peculiar 
p legal system from General 

„ .. , , Kuropatkin, who is still re- 
Tnbunals of ,' , 11, j 

^ , , A • memaered as an enlightened 
Central Asia „ ^ 1 r 

Governor-General. i\ com- 
mission of five judges sits at the capital, 
Askabad, as a Court of Ap]:)eal. Under it 
are district courts, consisting of the chief, 
aided by five " Popular " Judges, who are 
selected from the personnel of the Courts 
of First Instance. These latter hold 
sessions weekly at the headquarters of each 
Volost, for the trial of petty cases. They 
are composed of five "Candidate" Judges, 
elected by villagers in the several volosts. 
This simple system is much apjireciated, 
and perjury, which is the bane of superior 
courts throughout the East, rarely occurs 
in these patriarchal tribunals. 

Under Moslem rule the State was theo- 
retically sole landlord, although huge areas 
had been ceded to generals and Court 
favourites, or set apart for the main- 
tenance of mosques and colleges. When 
the Russians took possession of con- 
quered provinces they depended on 
officers of the former regime for infor- 
mation on land revenue. The inequali- 
ties and injustice of • these statistics 
have not yet been removed. Taxation 
on land ranges between 50 cents and 
80 cents per acre, the maximum being 
charged for irrigated fields. A house tax 


is levied on heads of families, whether 
settled or nomad. The average incidence 
is approximately three dollars — about 
5 per cent, on the household's income. 
Every starshina is responsible for the 
amount assessed on his village. There 
is a tax of one-fortieth on the value of 
goods sold, from which Russians are 
exempt. Small duties are paid on tobacco, 
matches, and kerosene ; and nomads are 
charged head-money for the right of graz- 
ing their cattle on Russian territory. Data 
are wanting for an estimate of the cost of 
Russian rule in Asia ; but it is known to 
be far in excess of revenue. The garrison 
consists of 213 infantry battalions and 
91 squadrons of cavalry, 58 companies of 
fortress artillery, and log of enginee s, 
who are employed on the State railways. 
The aggregate strength is 130,250 men, 
who are cantoned at Merv, Samarkand, 
and other centres o population. 

Irrigation and transport are the chief 
problems presented by Central Asia. A 
vast upheaval of the soil has' dislocated 
the ancient fluvial system, and rainfall 
has shrunk owing to the disappearance of 

'.11- . xir .t forests. Hence the wholesale 
Water Worth ,• r ,, u • • 1 

. w • i-t emigration of the abongmal 

! «., inhabitants to Europe, India, 

m Silver , „ - i-i 1 

and Egypt, ihose who re- 
mained battled successfully with an adverse 
environment, and stupendous irrigation 
works remain to attest their indomitable 
energy. Near Samarkand there is a chain 
of wells 420 feet deep, connected by tunnels 
in which a man can stand upright. The 
loess, deluged with water from an arik, 
or distributory, yields two, and sometimes 
three, harvests in the year. The critical 
weeks are those which follow the melting 
of mountain snows. Water is then worth 
its weight in silver, and it must be so 
apportioned that every plot may receive 
its just quota. The task is complicated 
by ancient royal grants and fierce disputes 
between inhabitants of upland valleys and 
villages on a lower level. Russia wisely 
leaves the management of such delicate 
operations in native hands. Irrigation is 
supervised by. elected overseers, termed 
aksakal, and village mirabs, " Lords of 
the Water," who are remunerated with a 
fixed proportion of the crops. The area 
irrigated in Russian Turkestan is nearly 
50,000 square miles. 

Agriculture, conducted by means of the 
most primitive appliances, gives results 
which our scientific farmers might envy. 

In Southern Turkestan the poor man's 
staple food is giant millet, which yields two- 
hundredfold. Spring and winter, wheat 
and barley and rice are largely cultivated. 
Cotton has developed enormously since 
the introduction of American seed in 1883. 
Russia depends wholly on Turkestan for 
the raw material worked up in the 
. . ,^ , mills of Moscow and Polish 

Agricultural , ™, , , - 

„ . r centres. Ihe yearly export is 
Produce of ^^ o ,^ 1 j ■ 

Turkestan 663,820,000 lb., valued at 
§50,000,000. Viticulture is 
pursued on a large scale in Samarkand. 
In October the environs are knee-deep in 
luscious grapes, and the output sometimes 
reaches 26 tons per acre. The bulk is ex- 
ported in the form of raisins ; but wine, 
equal to superior Burgundy, is sold at 
12 cents a bottle. The only limit to the 
production of wine and brandy is the 
enormous cost of imported bottles, corks, 
and casks. Every fruit and vegetable 
known in temperate or semi-tropical 
climates is raised in the utmost perfection. 
The future of Central Asia is bound up 
in the irrigation question. It is a 
matter of vital necessity to bring back 
the spacious days of Timur by extend- 
ing the means of water supply. On 
the Tsar's private domains, near Merv, 
great results have been achieved by re- 
storing one of the great anicuts destroyed 
by Bokharan invaders in 1784. But 
scientific irrigation is still in its infancy. 
Innumerable streams run to waste in the 
belt of loess which fringes the mountains. 
The seven rivers of vSemirechensk plough 
their way into the desert by deeply-cut 
channels. With the aid of science and 
capital the oases would be delivered from 
their incubus of sand-encroachment, and 
Central Asia would again support a dense 
and prosperous population. 

Greater progress has been made in the 
matter of transport. For 2,500 years 
Central Asia was the main artery of com- 
merce between the East and West. Chinese 
teas, silks, and spices were 
carried on horse and camel-back 
v.. » wu..i.,«. ^^^^^^ .^^ passes and deserts. 

Internal traffic was restricted 
to goods of small bulk but considerable 
value. A revolution has been wrought 
by the State railways constructed during 
the decade ending with 1904. Krasnovodsk, 
on the Caspian, is linked with Tashkent 
by a line 1,164 miles in length ; and a 
branch of 204 miles has opened up the 
Ferghana Valley. Another, 193 miles 



of Primitive 


long, runs south of Merv to Kushinsk on 
the Afghan frontier. The Central Asian 
and Trans-Siberian systems are united by 
a railway 1,175 miles in length between 
Orenburg and Tashkent. The whole net- 
work of 2,758 miles was intended to serve 
strategic purposes ; but these considera- 
tions have given way to the imperious 
demands of commerce. Cara- 
*• ^*y vans no longer bring from 

System of 
Central Asia 

China the tea which is con- 
sumed in every hut and 
kibitka. The produce of Indian and Ceylon 
gardens comes by sea to Batum, whence it 
is distributed in the interior by railways 
following ancient trade routes. Nor is the 
indirect gain less considerable. The cruel 
waste of animal life has ceased ; and 
fodder, once consumed by millions of 
creatures engaged in transport, is more 
profitably employed. Though the long 
isolation of Central Asia has been broken, 
it is by no means in close contact with the 
currents of modern activity. A branch 
railway between the Orenburg-Tashkent 
line and Kulja is sorely needed. The 
Russian terminus at Kushinsk and that 
of our Indian system at Chaman, Ijeyond 
Kandahar, are separated by 425 miles of 
hilly coimtry ofiering no serious obstacle 
to the engineers. If this gap were bridged 
London would be brought within a week's 
journey of Karachi. The Persian Gulf is 
barely 700 miles from the nearest station 
on the Transcaspian Railway ; and 
Russia's perennial quest of a warm-water 
port might thus find an outlet to the 
Indian Ocean. The genius of her i)eople 
forbids her to aim at maritime supremacy. 
Established on the Persian Gulf, she would 
be more vulnerable to naval attack. When 
groundless prejudices disappear Great 
Britain and Russia will perceive that there 
is no cause for political or economic rivalry 
between them, and they will pursue the 
task of civilising Asia hand in hand. 
Commerce has responded to the stimulus 
given by improved means 
of transit It embraces raw 
materials of considerable bulk, 
but many native industries 
have suffered from Russian competition. 
After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1, 
European Russia was invaded by a horde 
of German manufacturers, eager to profit 
by the iron wall of protection which girds 
the empire. Their velvets, drill, broad- 
cloth, damask, and brocades have ousted 
the beautiful silk stuffs produced by 





Bokharan looms. Coal-tar dyes have 
lowered the value of Turkoman carpets ; 
bounty-fed beet-sugar undersells the pro- 
duct of the cane ; Russian yarns are 
exclusively employed in such cotton 
manufactures as survive. Central Asia is 
essentially a chintz-consuming country. 
The ever-changing taste for this gaudy 
fabric is watched and catered , for by 
Russo-German mill-owners. 

Before the era of conquest a thriving 
trade was carried on between India and 
the Khanates. It has been ruined by 
protection and the absence of British 
consular agencies east of Baku. The 
Indian colonies at Bokhara and other 
trade centres confine themselves to dealing 
in tea or opium, and lending money at 
usurious interest. A lucrative field is 
open to British capital in the export of 
lamb-skins, known as " Astrachan," which 
are a speciality of Central Asia. Its 
mineral wealth has hardly been touched. 
Kerosene oil is imported fr®m Baku, 
although extensive deposits exist in the 
Transcaspian territor\^ Alluvial gold is 
mined in Semi])alatinsk, and coal to some 
extent in Seniirechensk. The 
Zarafshan Valley — and, indeed, 




the whole mountainous area- 

abound in useful and precious 
metals. The principle of laisser-faire, 
which Russians adopt in dealing with 
religion, extends to education. In the 
northern provinces about i'5 per cent, of 
the population is undergoing some sort of 
instruction. Elsewhere the Government 
schools barely suffice to provide a small 
modicum of Russian, required in candi- 
dates for inferior offices. Indigenous edu- 
cation is more vital. Every mosque has 
its primary school, which gives elementary 
instruction in theology and the vernacular. 
Promising lads are drafted into richly- 
endowed Madrissas, where they undergo 
a severe training in Arabic literature. 
These colleges are hotbeds of mysticism 
and Pharisaic pride. 

A serious rising, which took place at 
Andijan, in Ferghana in 1898. was 
fomented by adepts in theology termed 
Ishans. But the danger of a religious war 
is no longer acute. Islam in Asia is 
rapidly losing its militant character. Its 
professors have learnt from the Russo- 
Japanese War that Europe may be met 
on equal terms by cmplo^nng its own 
weapons ; and they are eager to assnnilate 
all that is valuable in our civilisation. 





Attempts to foster Russian colonisation 
have met with smah success. Fourteen per 
cent, of the population of Semirechensk 
are European immigrants or Cossacks, 
whose children thrive in the cool valleys 
of Kulja. Military settlements planted in 
the Transcaspian territory have failed 
owing to the colonists' predilection for 
strong drink. European races seem to be 
incapable of taking root in the continent 
which gave them birth. Their dominion 
in Asia must be preserved by a constant 
stream of temporary immigrants. 

Russian rule has conferred untold bless- 
ings on subject races. The canker of 
slavery has been cured, and many a 
robber's lair exterminated. The fanaticism 
and cruelty of native rule has given 
place to a just and gentle administration. 
Indigenous industries have, indeed, suc- 
cumbed to European competition ; monu- 
ments of a glorious past are in hopeless 
decay, and its gorgeous colouring . has 
faded from Oriental life. Such are the 
drawbacks attaching to aggressive civilisa- 
tion ; and they are seen at Delhi or Cairo, 
as well as in Samarkand. British India 
has given Russia many a hint 
_ *. for the government of Asiatics ; 
„ _ and, on the whole, it may be 
admitted that the model has 
been improved on; So diverse are the 
conditions encountered that no com- 
parison between the two systems can be 
fairly drawn. 

The area of Russian Central Asia is 
nearly equal to that of India. Its popula- 
tion is less than 10,000,000, even allowing 
for the concealment of their womenfolk 
indulged in by Mohammedans, while that 
of India is nearly 300,000,000. Turkestan 
has no predatory classes to be a perpetual 
thorn in the administrator's side. Over- 
population has not brought with it a long 
train of famine and disease. Political dis- 
content is not fostered by a horde of 
briefless lawyers and starving hterates. 
Religious fanaticism is subsiding, and the 
current of sympathy between man and 
man is unchecked by the artificial barriers 
of caste. There are, indeed, many ob- 
stacles in the path of Russia as a 
civilising power ; and they are attacked 
in a spirit which should appeal with 
special force to the fellow-countrymen of 
Clive and Hastings, of George Stevenson 
and Brunei. A frank understanding 
between the two Empires will make the 
immense force let loose in Asia's awakening 


serve the true interests of humanity. 
Eastern, or Chinese, Turkestan has strong 
physical and ethnological affinities with 
Russian Central Asia. Until 1758 its oases 
were the seats of Mohammedan Khanates 
formed in the dissolution of Genghis Khan's 
overgrown empire. They were over- 
whelmed by the tide of Chinese expansion, 
^. . and constituted a province 

^ J styled Hsin King, or the New 
. . Dominion. In 1864 the garri- 

son, perforce neglected by Peking 
during the terrible Taiping Rebellion, 
mutinied against its officers. A soldier 
of fortune named Yakub Beg seized the 
opportunity of establishing himself as 
ruler of the outlying province. The 
moment was opportune for empire-build- 
ing. China was bleeding from every vein ; 
Russia was occupied in subduing the 
Khanates. Yakub Khan's appeal to Great 
Britain for recognition was welcomed 
in London and Calcutta, which were 
hypnotised by the chimera of a Russian 
invasion of India. Had fate been propitious 
this able adventurer might have founded 
an empire as extensive as Persia. He 
reckoned without the recuperative power 
and the sleuth-hound determination of 
China. In 1877 he was overwhelmed by 
a Celestial army, and Eastern Turkestan 
was regained. In 1871 Russian troops 
occupied Kulja, which had fallen into a 
state of complete anarch3% but, eleven 
years later, China was strong enough to 
demand its retrocession. Good relations 
were essential to Russia's deep-laid scheme 
of expansion. The eastern portion of 
Kulja, 23,750 square miles in area, was 
surrendered ; while 4,357 square miles 
were incorporated in Semirechensk. 
This was the only instance in which 
Russia has retraced her steps in Central 

Eastern Turkestan is bounded on the 
north by Zungaria and the Altai Moun- 
tains, southward by the highlands of 

, . Kashmir and Tibet. Towards 

Boundaries ,, . •, ■ j.u /^ \ ■ 

. „. . the east it merges m the Gobi 

-, . Desert and spurs of the Altyn 

and Akka Tagh, which bisect 

the province. Its western marches are 

sharply defined by the Tian Shan range 

and the hills of Kashmir. Its area is 

440,000 square miles ; biit its population 

is confined to Kulja, and a ring of oases 

watered by the Tarim and its tributaries, 

which rise in the environing mountains, 

to lose themselves in a fringe of salt lakes 


From the painting by Vassilli Verestchagin, photographed by Braun, Clement et Cie. 



styled Lob Nor. In one of these green 
spots stands Yarkand, a decayed town of 
90,000 inliabitants. Another is com- 
manded by Kashgar, a walled city with a 
population of 120,000, the seat of govern- 
ment of an influential Russian Consul- 
General, and a British Commercial Agent 
under the Resident in Kashmir. Khotan, 
the south, is cultivated 
like a garden. The valleys 

Cities of 

r- , . of Kulia, fertilised by the 
river Ih, were once a mam 
avenue of international trade. The centre 
of Chinese Turkestan is the Lakshan 
depression, below sea-level, and geographic- 
ally the heart of Asia. The climate is 
ex( essively dry, with extremes of heat and 
cold. The province suffers still more than 
Russian Central Asia from the isolation 
imposed by natural barriers. Communica- 
tion with the West is hampered by theTian 
Shan and Pamirs, whose passes exceed 
12,000 feet in altitude. Those toward India 
are still more dif^cult. Eastwards it is cut 
off from China by the Gobi Desert, once a 
great centre of pojuilation, and by a 
daedalus of mountain ranges. The popula- 
tion, estimated at 1,000,000, are akin to 
the sedentary inhabitants of Western 
Turkestan. They are nominally Moham- 
medans, but have lost the religious zeal 
which characterised their ancestors. 
Morality is at the lowest ebb, and disease 
is rampant. 

Administration is conducted by a 
Governor-General, Fiitni,- and two depu- 
ties, Tao Tai, who reside at Kashgar and 
in Kulja. Below these functionaries are 
District Magistrates, Chow Kuan, known 
as " Ambans " to the West. All these 
are members of the mandarinate. Being 
ignorant of the Tajiki and Turki vernacu- 
lars, they are dependent on venal inter- 
preters. An unpaid hierarchy of native 
officials is responsible for revenue and 
police functions. Begs are in charge of 
towns ; ming-bashis, yiz-bashis, and 
„ om-bashis represent thousands, 

- Q„. . . hundreds, and tens of the popu- 

^ .. lation. The whole system of 
Corruption . ^^ , .. 

government is utterly rotten, 

for every vice of a corrupt bureaucracy 
increases directly with the distance of 
outlying provinces from Peking. Public 
offices are sold to the highest bidder, 
and able men who cannot afford to pur- 
chase are unemjiloyed. Though taxation 
is on a most oppressive scale, a mere 
fraction of the sums wrung from hapless 


traders and peasants reaches the Imperial 

exchequer. Every collector of revenue 

retains the lion's share, and it is hardly 

surprising that Turkestan should cost 

China $150,000 a year white fortunes are 

amassed by officials of every grade. 

Agriculture is burdened with tithes, Y img 

Lin, levied in kind. Oil-presses, rice-mills, 

and transfers of land are heavily taxed. 

Goods sold in the bazaars pay a twentieth 

to the State, and mines are sui)ject to a 

royalty of 33 per cent. Criminal justice 

is in the hands of the Chow Kuan and his 

satellite, the Beg. When a fine can be 

levied, the worst offender escapes personal 

punishment. Homicide is punished by 

decapitation, which is carried out after 

the sentence has been confirmed at 

Peking. Murders, however, are generally 

hushed up, for the District Chief who 

re})orts is liable to fine. Severe scourging, 

a portable pillory, termed kang, or an 

iron bar permanently riveted to the 

culprit's body are penalties awarded to 

robbers and housebreakers. The gaols 

are dens as atrocious as those of liokhara 

and' Khiva before the Russian conquest. 

_ , Eastern Turkestan lies at the 

Barbarous c ^^ t. 

_ . . , mercy ol Russia. Its army, com- 
Criminal i j 1 ■^ 1 

p , . manded by an unpaid general, 

or 1 eetiH, consists of 3,000 horse- 
men and 4,500 foot soldiers, on paper; but 
the actual strength is 2,300. It is a rabble, 
whose discipline and weapons are beneath 

Agriculture depends wholly on irriga- 
tion, which, a century ago, was the most 
highly-developed system of Central Asia. 
It suffers from the blight of misgovern- 
ment. Native officers decline to supply 
water unless the}' are heavily bribed ; 
forced labour emplo3'ed in repairing the 
canals and distrilnitories is paid for at 
half the current rates, or not paid at all. 
The vast public works bequeathed by a 
happier age are rapidly decaying. The 
cro})s raised are identical with those of 
Russian Turkestan. Cereals, cotton, 
hemp, tobacco, and fruit are produeed in 
great abundance ; but the export of grain 
is seriously hampered by a monopoly 
surreptitiously claimed by Chinese officials. 
The province contains immense mineral 
wealth. Alluvial gold was mined in the 
Khotan district until the industry was 
killed by exorl>itant ro3'alties. In the 
mountainous tracts deposits of copper, 
lead, coal, and naphtha are met with, but 
every species of metal is imported froro 


Western Turkestan ; and the hills are 
stripped of their forest clothing to serve 
as fuel. 

Despite the oppression under which 
they groan, the inhabitants of this 
province have not lost the technical skill 
which rendered them famous throughout 
Central Asia. Fabrics of gold and silver 
thread and coloured cotton goods are 
produced in Kashgar. Khotan is re- 
nowned for its cottage-made silks, but 
cocoon disease has lowered the quality 
of the raw material. 

The transport question is a determin- 
ing issue in the matter of foreign trade. 
Turkestan is hemmed in by lofty moun- 
tain walls and a trackless desert. Inter- 
course with the outer world is maintained 
by caravans of ponies, which work on the 
" double load " system. Each train of 
animals carries its burdens to the end 
of a stage, and then returns for fresh ones. 
Over-driving, starvation, and cruel usage 
are universal. The province is closely 
connected with Western Turkestan by 
ethnical affinities and the influence of 
the Russian Consul-General at Kashgar. 

_ Chintzes, calicoes, beet sugar. 

Commerce , -, , , ■, ^ 

. _, kerosene oil, and metals are 

T, , . brought thither through the 
Turkestan „ p „ ^ i Y, 

lerek, lurgat, and Alaman 

Passes. Communication with India is still 

more difficult. The Karakoram defiles are 

open only between July and November, 

and the journey to Peshawar occupies two 


In longcloths, handkerchiefs, and coarse 
drills Manchester holds its own against 
Russian competition. English broad- 
cloths, however, have been superseded 
by silk velvet exj^orted from Germany, 

The Tibetan plateau, with an area of 
700,000 square miles, is the result of an 
upheaval which must have occurred at 
a more recent date than the cataclysmic 
change which raised Turkestan from the 
ocean. Northwards it marches with the 
province just described ; its southern 
boundary is defined by the Himalayas. 
On the east it is separated from China 
by a tangle of curved mountain ranges. 
Kashmir occupies its western confines. 
Tibet consists of three distinct regions. 
'' he northern plateau, known as Chang 
Tang, averages 500 miles in width and 
15,500 feet in altitude. It is dotted with 
salt lakes, destitute of wood and waters, 
swept at all seasons by terrific storms, and 
cursed with an Arctic winter. This in- 


hospitable tract is separated from the 
Himalayas by an immense trough, styled 
Bodyul, the name by which the whole 
country is known in China. This valley is 
the main seat of population. Here the 
Brahmaputra, called Yarro Tsanpo in its 
upper reaches, and the Indus rise in close 
proximity. Mysterious Lhasa stands 
, 11,600 feet above sea-level on a 
ysica (^Qj^fl^gj^^ Qf ^j^g Tsanpo, and 

of T'b t ^higatse, the second capital, is 
situated on the main river. 
Bodyul has a severe climate, but heavy 
crops of wheat and barley are raised by 
terrace cultivation. The eastern mountain 
system is covered with forest, but shelters 
many a pleasant valley producing every- 
thing that the semi-tropical zone can fur- 
nish. A lofty watershed which traverses 
this region is the source of the Salwen 
river, which fertilises Burma, the Mekong, 
on which Siam depends, the Hwangho 
and Yangtse Kiang, to which China 
owes her dense population. 

The keynote of Tibetan history is 
struck by its profound isolation. Access 
from the north is barred by a double 
mountain wall and the Chang Tang 
plateau. Tibet can never be brought 
within the orbit of Russian influence. 
Westwards the mountains of Ladak and 
Kashmir are impenetrable for considerable 
bodies of men. Those of the Himalayas 
are hardly less formidable. Darjiling is 
within a fortnight's march of Lhasa ; 
but there are three passes of 16,000 feet 
which might be defended by a handful of 
resolute troops against an army. The 
eastern highlands were thrice a highway 
of Chinese invasion. They are still 
traversed by caravans and a host of 
pilgrims bound for holy Lhasa. But this 
huge expanse of broken country, with its 
watershed 16,000 feet in height, would 
baffle all the resources of European 
science. The portal designated by Nature 
is at the extreme south-easterly corner 

n . . 1- of Tibet. It is a belt of forest- 
Portal of 1 J , . ... 
F b"dd mountams, 200 miles m 
, . width, through which the 
Brahmaputra ploughs its way 
into Assam. This unknown land is held 
against all comers by savage Abor and 
Mishmi tribes, who enjoy free access to 
British India while they guard their 
fortresses from exploration. 

Save in its eastern valleys, Tibet pos- 
sesses a very restricted flora. Nine-tenths 
of its territory is far above forest level, 



but three or four varieties of shrub, in- 
cluding an indigenous willow, are found 
in sheltered positions. During its brief 
summer this northern plateau is dotted 
with patches of wiry grass, which afford 
food to immense herds of deer and ante- 
lope. The yak feeds in summer on 
pastures 17,000 feet above the sea, 

descending to the valleys on 
**"*■* winter's approach. This hnk 
{^T^hT^ between the ox and sheep 

has been domesticated, and 
carries packs over the highest passes at 
the rate of twenty miles a day. Its long, 
silky wf)ol is the raw material of Tibetan 
clothing and a staple article of transport. 
The mineral wealth of this secluded 
country defies calculation. Gold is pro- 
bably more abundant than in any other 
region. Despite excessive royalties it is 
extracted at Thok Talung, in Western 
Tibet, and the lake region, 16,300 feet 
above sea-level. The mines, if the word 
applies to mere surface scratchings, hav-e, 
from time immemorial, yielded vast 
wealth to the Peking treasury. Gold is 
even more plentiful in the northern 
mountains ; and in the highlands east- 
wards it is found in the shape of small 
nuggets under twenty feet of gravel. 
Silver, copper, lead, and mercury mines 
are worked there in a primitive fashion. 

Tibet is inhabited by a Mongolian race 
numbering about 6,000,000, but the popu- 
lation is confined to the great southern 
valley and the eastern mountain system. 
The Tibetans are clumsily built, but 
possess great physical strength. They 
are light-hearted folk, passionately fond 
of dancing and childish games. Their 
bravery was proved during two invasions 
from British India, but priestly despotism 
has robbed them of initiative and im- 
planted many slavish vices in their 
character. Both sexes are clad in a 
flowing robe with a high collar, and long 
boots with cloth tops. Violet is the 
colour affected t)y males, while 

. * * f^ , blue distinguishes females, who 
Morals and , j- 1 1 j r 1 j 

j^ also display a band of coloured 

stuff attached to their backs 

covered with quaint silver ornaments. 

The men arc expert blacksmiths, and 

have the instinct for art which is the 

mark of Mongolian races. Polj^andry is 

the rule where land is scarce ; elsewhere 

polygamy prevails among the wealthier 

classes. IVIorals have no existence. 

Religion has proved a determining 


force in the formation of the national 
character. About 640 a.d. Buddhism was 
grafted by wandering missionaries on an 
archaic form of demon-.worship suggested 
by the fearful storm which rages in their 
elevated valleys. About the year 1390 
the creed of Buddha underwent a revival ; 
but its spirit was antithetic to the Re- 
formation. Lamaism slowly took shape, 
its cardinal doctrines being the occurrence 
of infant incarnations of Buddha, and the 
superior efficacy of elaborate ceremony 
as distinguished from good deeds. This 
belief favoured the growth of a hierarchy 
in the strictest sense. At its apex are 
two avatar Popes, in the person of the 
Dalai-Lama, whose abode is Lhasa, and 
the Tashi-Lama, ruling at Shigatse. 
Below them are orders closely resembling 
the cardinals and bishops of the West. 
Nearly every family dedicates at least 
one of its members to the priesthood. 
Two-thirds of the 30,000 inhabitants of 
Lhasa are monks ; and the clusters of 
solid, white-fronted houses which are 
scattered over Bodyul and the eastern 
valleys are invariably dominated by 
. ^ . ^ monasteries. The clergy, as a 
jj. body, are dissolute, avaricious, 

isso u e ^^^ tyrannical ; but their 
behests are blindly obeyed by 
the people. Libraries are found in every 
monastery. The Tibetan language is los- 
ing its monosyllabic character. It has 
an ancient literature, consisting mainly of 
translations from the Sanscrit Tantras. 
These text-books reflect the degradation 
which Hinduism has suffered by the rise 
of sects which worship the Female Principle 
as a means of gaining transcendental power. 
Government is on a theocratic basis, 
public policy being shaped by oracular 
utterances interpreted by the priesthood. 
There is a secular arm, in the person of the 
Desi Gyalpo, who acts as regent during 
the Dalai-Lama's minority. Executive 
power is wiekied by a Nomokan, " King 
of Law," selected by infant incarnation 
from the chief of the four great monas- 
teries. Like the Lama Popes, these great 
functionaries are believed to be avatars of 
Buddha. The King of Law is assisted by 
a council of five inferior Lamas, who are 
in charge of judicial, revenue, provincial, 
foreign, and religious departments. Tibet 
is divided into four provinces — Nari, U, 
Tsang, and Khem, each larger than an 
average European state, which are ad- 
ministered by Kablons, or governors. The 


mountains eastward are occupied by four 
principalities, more or less controlled by 

Tibet was conquered during the war of 
Chinese expansion which characterised the 
eighteenth century. This feat, which was 
consummated between 1720 and 1725, 
throws Alexander's and Napoleon's most 
daring exploits into the shade. It involved 
a march of 2,000 miles from military bases 
over eleven passes, each considerably higher 
than Mont Blanc. In 1749 a Tibetan 
rebellion was stifled in blood ; and in 
1792 the warlike Nepalese, whose fast- 
nesses lie south of the Himalayas, were 
brought to heel by a Chinese army. 
Celestial prestige in Asia was temporarily 
impaired by the issue of the war with 
Japan in 1904 ; but it remained unques- 
tioned in Tibet till the Chinese Revolution 
of 1911-1912. Previous to the revolution 
at Peking the paramount power was 
represented at Lhasa by two Ambans, 
who controlled foreign and commercial 
relations, and were believed to exercise 
an occult influence on the selection of 
Lamas. The military garrison was re- 
stricted to 4,500 men, but an Imperial 
rescript of July, 1907, directed the reor- 
ganisation of the Tibetan army by an 
addition of 3,600 Chinese troops, drawn 
from the province of Szechuen. and 2,400 
native levies. A special coinage was also 
ordained. In 1910 the Dalai Lama fled 
from Tibet and sought refuge in India, on 
the ground that his power and security 
were threatened by the Chinese. But the 
Chinese revolution brought a mutiny of 
the garrison at Lhasa, and the abdica- 
tion of the Ambans. The Tibetans rose 
against the Chinese, the Dalai Lama re- 

turned to Lhasa, the Chinese garrison was 
allowed to retire, and by March, 1913, 
every Chinese official had left Tibet. 

A new commercial agreement between 
Great Britain and Tibet, signed in April, 
1908, and confirmed for ten years, esta- 
blished the maintenance of telegraphs and 
posts, and ensured the rights of British 
subjects. But the Chinese had many 
reasons for excluding foreign traders. Tea, 
which is the staple article of diet, is 
brought by caravan from distant Szechuen, 
in the shape of bricks composed of refuse 
leaf and stalks consolidated with rice water. 
Chmese producers have good reason to 
dread the competition of the Indian leaf, 
and not less the possibility that the gold 
regions may be invaded by European 
prospectors. The volume of commerce 
passing through the Chinese trade centres 
at Sining Fu and Ta Chien Lu is esti- 
mated at several millions sterling. The 
value of ribetan trade with India has never 
exceeded $1,450,000. Exports consist 
of wool, yaks' tails, animal musk, borax, 
and gold ; and the imports of amber, 
coral, turquoise, pearls, tobacco, and 

If the key of Tibet must still be sought 
at Peking, its door stands at the threshold 
of our north-eastern frontiers. It has 
often been remarked that if Great Britain 
were in Russia's place she would long since 
have forced her way to warm-water ports 
essential to her legitimate expansion. 
None the less it is true that, if conditions 
were reversed, a handful of irreclaimable 
savages would not be suffered to block 
the approaches to a country possessing 
mineral wealth beyond the dreams of 






With the Near East we enter upon the regions whose 
history is in continuous connection with that of Europe 
from the time when European records begin. Our 
division covers Persia and all of Asia that lies west of 
Persia. Geographically, this area is much smaller than 
that of the preceding divisions ; but it has been the scene 
of still more tremendous and world-shaking events. 

For here the Semitic races developed — the races which 
gave to the world the religion of the Hebrews, and its 
offspring, the Christian Faith, and Islam. Here was the 
cradle of those civilisations of the Tigris and Euphrates, 
the oldest of which we have record, save Egypt. 

Here the Chaldaean learnt the secrets of the stars, 
Babylon and Nineveh rose and fell ; Solomon raised his 
Temple ; Aryan conquerors from the East, led first by 
Cyrus the Persian, fell under the Semite spell ; Aryan 
conquerors from the West, led first by Alexander of 
Macedon, yielded to the same enchantment. 

Thence the Phoenicians set forth, the pioneers of the 
greater navigations. From these regions the Apostles 
spread the Gospel which turned the world upside 
down ; issuing from them, the successors of the Arabian 
Prophet made conquest of half Asia and North Africa, 
and crashed in a thousand years' struggle against the 
nations of the West. The glory of the Near East is no 
more ; but it has played a majestic part in human history. 




Professor Archibald H. Sayce 

Dr. Hugo Winckler. Leonard W. King., M.A. 


Dr. Hugo Winckler, Leonard W. King, M.A., 

Dr. K. G. Brandis, H. R. Hall, M.A, 



Dr. Hugo Winckler, Leonard W. King, M.A., 

Dr. K. G. Brandis. H. R. Hall, M.A. 

Dr. Heinrich Schurtz, Leonard W. King, M.A. 

By Angus Hamilton 

For full contents and page numbers see Index 







Egypt, as regards its early civilisation, is so intimately associated with the ancient empires of Western Asia that in any 
general survey considerable attention must be devoted to it; but the geographical plan of this History requires that 
the main treatment of that country should come into the Fifth Grand Division, which deals with the continent of Africa 

f ESS th-an a century ago the history 
^ of the ancient East could have been 
compressed into a few pages, and even 
these few pages would have been a 
mixture of history and romance. The 
scanty accounts of the great empires of 
Oriental antiquity which had drifted 
down to us from the writers of Greece 
and Rome were intermingled with myth 
and fiction, and what the Old Testament 
had to tell us about them was meagre 
and fragmentary. A single case was 
sufficient to hold all the monuments of 
Assyrian or Babylonian civilisation 
possessed by the British Museum, and 
the mummies and other objects of Egyp- 
tian antiquity scattered through the 
museums of Europe were merely so many 
curiosities the nature and age of which 
were unknown. 

In no department of science has so 
complete a revolution taken place in 
our knowledge during the last half- 
century as in that of Oriental archaeology. 
Thanks to the excavator and decipherer, 
the ancient world of the East has risen, 
as it were, from its grave, and has become 
almost as familiar to us as the European 

world of the Middle Ages. We can 
follow the daily life and read the inmost 
thoughts of the men who lived before 
Abraham was born ; can study the 
actual letters written by the Babylonian 
king against whom he fought ; can 
examine the handwriting of Egyptian 
litterateurs who flourished centuries before 
him ; and handle the jewellery and 
articles of toilette which once belonged 
to the ladies of the same distant past. 
The Oriental past, in fact, has ceased 
to be distant ; like a landscape which 
the telescope brings near to us, the 
age of Moses or even of Abraham is being 
unfolded to us in all its minutest details. 

The excavator was at work in Egypt 
before he invaded the valleys of the 
Tigris and Euphrates. Tombs were ran- 
sacked with merciless activity, and the 
museums of Europe filled with their 
spoils. But it is only recently that 
excavation has been conducted with that 
scientific care and precision which alone 
can yield satisfactory results. Much of 
the earlier work was mere spoliation, 
which ended in destroying material of 
priceless value to the archaeologist of 



to-day. But there was also much which 

heljjed to build up our present knowledge 

of the history of the past. The artistic 

skill and patient labour of Sir Gardner 

Wilkinson recovered for us the life and 

manners of ancient Egypt, while the 

Prussian Exploring Expedition, under 

Professor Lej)sius, revealed the extent 

of Egyptian influence in the 
Kevealers o j j • j i. tj r 

Sudan, and carried to Berlm 

., .... the materials for recon- 
Vanished Ages , ^. .1 u • i c 4-\ 

structmg the history of tlie 

country. Mariette's excavations com- 
pleted the work of Lepsius on the his- 
torical side, and, with the foundation of 
the Cairo Museum, closed what may be 
termed the older period of excavation 
and prepared the way for the more 
scientific work of to-day. 

Meanwhile the ancient cultures of 
Assyria and Babylonia were also being 
brought to light. The Frenchman Botta 
and the Englishman Layard revealed to 
an astonished world the palaces of Sargon 
and Sennacherib and other Assyrian kings 
whose names were new to history. Other 
expeditions followed ; the sites of the 
forgotten cities of Babylonia were ex- 
plored, and the libraries of clay books 
contained in them were sent to Europe 
and America. Year by year the wonder 
has grown ; year by year, whether it be 
Egypt or Babylonia, fresh discoveries are 
being made, each more startling and un- 
expected than its predecessor, and bring- 
ing us into ever closer contact with the 
culture of the past. 

Hand in hand with the work of the 
excavator has gone the work of the 
decijiherer. From excavation alone we 
could have learnt only the more material 
side of ancient Oriental civilisation. The 
decipherer has given us its history and 
spiritual side. This is especially the 
case with Assyria and Babylonia, where 
so large a proportion of the objects dis- 
covered consists of inscribed tablets of clay. 
. . One result of the'discovery and 

n 'a«i y decipherment of these records 

of the Art of 

of the past has been to prove 
the great antiquity of the art 
of writing. The art of writing was 
coeval in the ancient East with the rise 
of civilisation. It formed an integral 
part of early Oriental culture, with which 
it continued to be closely entwined. It 
was used for literary purposes ages before 
Aiiraham was born in " Ur of the 
Chaldees," and libraries and archive- 


chambers were established on the banks 
alike of the Euphrates and the Nile. 

One of the earlier fragments of Egyp- 
tian literature that have come down to 
us is a treatise on ethics which was 
composed in the time of the third dynasty, 
and some of the epics of Babylonia go 
back beyond the time of Hammurabi, 
the contemporary of Abraham. In the 
age of the eighteenth dynasty the his- 
torical novel was already flourishing in 
Egypt, and Babylonian scientists had 
written upon astronomy and mathe- 
matics before Sargon of Akkad founded 
the first Semitic empire at the begin- 
ning of the third millennium B.C. A 
postal service had been organised along 
the roads that intersected Western Asia, 
and some of the clay seals which took 
the place of stamps, and bore the name 
of Sargon's son, are now in the Museum 
of the Louvre. Many of the original 
letters of Hammurabi and his im- 
mediate successors are preserved in the 
museums of Eu-rope, and testify to the 
minute care with which the king attended 
to the affairs of an empire that extended 

n . • c • from Elam on the east to 
Postal Service T) , .■ ,, .ah 

g J Palestine on the west. All 

3000 B C classes and both sexes took 
part in a correspondence 
which went on increasing in activity as the 
centuries passed, until in the age of the Tell 
el-Amarna tablets, about a century before 
the Exodus, it included not only Babylonia 
and Assyria, Egypt and Canaan, but 
Asia Minor as well. 

The script and language of the corre- 
spondence were those of Bab^'lonia, wliich 
had become the literary and dii)lomatic 
script and language of the day. The 
Egyptian Government itself had to use 
them when corresponding with its own 
offtcials in Palestine. Even at Boghaz 
Koi, the capital of the Hittites in distant 
Cappadocia, the foreign characters were 
employed, though the language they were 
called upon to express was the native 
language of the country whenever home 
affairs were discussed. But even among 
the Hittites all subjects of an inter- 
national nature were written in Assyro- 
Babylonian. The fact bears witness to 
the long continuance and profound in- 
fluence of the Babylonian empire in the 
West in days which until recently we had 
been taught to consider "prehistoric." 

The culture of Babylonia grew up 
under similar conditions to that of Egypt. 


Both alike developed on the banks of great 
rivers, whose annual overflow was regu- 
lated and directed by engineering science. 
Both alike rested on the agriculture which 
was thus made possible, as well as upon a 
climate with regular seasons and sufficient 
warmth to allow of social intercourse 
out-of-doors. The farmer thus knew 
beforehand what weather to expect, while 
the people were not 
separated one from 
another in i-;olate(l 
households or small 
communities. In the 
great plain of Baby- 
lonia or the Egyptian 
delta, there were not 
e V e n m o u n t a i n 
chains to keep them 
apart. As soon as 
the rivers had been 
embanked, and their 
waters directed over 
the helds, or diverted 
into canals, the 
struggle of man with 
Nature practically 
ceased ; thenceforth 
he could settle down 
to a life of orderly 
method and leisure. 
But the regulation of 
the rivers implied 
organisation and a 
directing brain; here, 
therefore, as in later 
days in China, organ- 
ised states first arose, 
at the head of which 
was the king. 

It is difficult to 
believe that the 
engineering science 
which transformed 
the trackless swamp 
into the cultivated 
field could have 
grown up inde})en- 
d e n 1 1 y in t w o 
different parts of the 
ancient world. And 
since the prolilem that faced the engineers 
of Babylonia, where the annual inundation 
occurred after, and not before, the period 
of sowing, was more complicated than 
that with which the irrigation engineers 
of Egypt had to deal, it is natural to 
suppose that Egypt would have derived 
its engineering knowledge from Babylonia. 

A group of the most notable archaeologists, to whose 
labours so much of our knowledge of the ancient empires 
IS due. ], Professor A. H. Sayce ; 2, Professor W. M. 
Flinders Petrie ; 3, Professor Lepsius ; 4, Sir A. H. 
Layard ; .'). Horniuzd Rassam, the chief assistant and 
successor to Sir A. H. Layard ; 0, Sir Gardner Wilkinson. 

riKitos by lilliotl & Fry and M.ujll & Vt x 

That there was a close connection between 
the culture of Babylonia and that of 
primitive Egypt is now known. The 
Egyjitians of the early " dynastic " era 
m.ade use of the Babylonian seal-cylinder 
and impressed the characters engraved 
upon it on soft clay ; in a land of stone they 
imitated the Babylonians in constructing 
their buildings of brick ; they reckoned 
time in the Baby- 
lonian fashion, and 
carved ves.t;els of hard 
stone of Babylonian 
shape. Even the 
strange composite 
monsters of Baby- 
lonian invention were 
reproduced by the 
artists of Egypt. The 
Egyptian language 
itself bears testi- 
mony to its Asiatic 
origin ; it belongs 
fundamentally to the 
Semitic family of 
speech, though it has 
been subjected to a 
strong African influ- 
ence. This African 
influence must be 
due to the fact that 
the "dynastic" 
Egyptians — the 
Egyptians, that is to 
say, who drained the 
marshes, established 
organised states, and 
founded what we 
nican by Egyptian 
culture — found a 
population of African 
origin already 
existing in the valley 
of the Nile. Recent 
excavations have 
brought the remains 
of this early })opu- 
lation to light, and 
have allowed us to 
reconstruct their 

mode of life. In three 
essential respects they differed from the 
Egyptians of history. They were un- 
acquainted with the use of metals, their 
tools and wea})ons being of stone ; they did 
not i)ractise the art of writing ; and they 
were herdsmen of the desert rather than 
agriculturists. But they had attained to a 
considerable amount of ci\'ilisation of their 



own. Some of their flint implements are 
exquisite works of art, their vases of hard 
stone are well made and of artistic shape, 
and their pottery was of a high order. 

There had been a stone age in Babylonia, 
as in Egypt ; but at this early period 
the greater part of the Babylonian plain 
was still under water, what settlements 
. there were being on the rocky 

. . j:)lateaus to the east and west 
j^ . . of the Tigris and Euphrates. 
The plain, called Edina, or the 
land of Eden, by its inhabitants, was 
formed by the silt brought by the rivers 
from the mountains of the north, and it 
was while it was in course of formation 
that the discovery of the use of copper was 
made, and a picture writing was intro- 
duced. The copper was imported from 
abroad, thus carrying back the com- 
mercial relations of Babylonia to the very 
dawn of history, while a running hand 
or cursive script developed out of the 
pictorial hieroglyphs. Wood and stone 
were alike scarce ; clay was plentiful, 
and it was accordingly employed as a 
writing material. The written characters 
were impressed upon it by means of a 
reed pen or metal stylus, the result being 
that they assumed a wedge-like shape, 
and became what is known as cuneiform. 

The stone age had been of very long 
duration. At Susa, in Elam, the strata 
representing it are of great depth, and the 
pottery that characterises it had time to 
make its way westward to the Mediter- 
ranean, and even to the shores of Spain. 
But, as in Egypt, so, too, in Babylonia, it 
is prehistoric ; history begins in each 
country with the use of metals and the 
art of writing. 

In each country, also, history begins 

with a number of independent states. In 

Egypt these gradually coalesced into two 

kingdoms, those of the north and south. 

The capital of the southern kingdom was 

at Hieraconpolis, north of Edfu ; its 

_ .„ ^. kings regarded themselves as 
Deification ,i ° i • 

J . the successors and vicegerents 

Monarchs °^ "o''^'^' ^^e hawk-god, and 
divme honours were paid to 
them. In Babylonia, also, the king was 
a god. How far back fhis deification of 
the Babylonian monarch may go, how- 
ever, it is at present impossible to say. 
The first kings of whom we have evidence 
that they were worshipped during their 
lifetime were Sargon of Akkad and 
his son. It has, therefore, been thought 


that the belief and custom originated 
among the Semites, and that the deifica- 
tion needed the sanction of the priests 
of the great sanctuary of Nippur. 

Ntppur and Eridu were the two sacred 
cities of primeval Babylonia. Nippur, 
now Niffer, stood in the northern part 
of the Babylonian plain, to the south-west 
of the later Babylon. The city grew up 
round the temple of Enlil, the " lord," 
or Bel, of earth. Here American ex- 
cavators have been patiently digging 
year after year. They have made their 
way through the vast mounds of ruin in 
which the past history of the temple is 
recordbd down to the virgin soil. But 
everywhere there is the same tale to tell. 
Even the lowest strata contain written 
monuments which show that the primeval 
hieroglyphs had already passed into the 
cursive or cuneiform stage. Babylonia 
was already a land of culture ; it pos- 
sessed organised states under kings or 
high-priests, and had already reached a 
comparatively high level of art. Hard 
stones were cut into seals in the form 
of cylinders and covered with delicate 

. . . ^ ,» engravings, and at Tello 
Art and Culture ?, • i. t u 

. _ ... — the ancient Lagash — 

in Earliest <- ,1 t-> 1 1 • 

„ . , . in Southern Babylonia, 

Babylonia „ , , -^ , ' 

t rench explorers have 
brought to light a large vase of silver, 
dedicated in early days by the priest-king 
Entemena and richly chased with figures of 
two-headed eagles, heifers, and lions [see 
tenth illustration on page 1587]. 

The primitive inhabitants of the Baby- 
lonian plain belonged to a beardless, round- 
headed race, usually termed Sumerian [see 
pages 266 and 1504J. They spoke an agglu- 
tinative language, like that, for instance, 
of the modern Turks or Finns, which is 
called in the native inscriptions " the 
language of Sumer," or Southern Baby- 
lonia. To them were due all the elements 
of Babylonian civilisation. It was they 
who had drained the marshes, had built the 
great cities of the country, and invented 
the cuneiform system of writing. Later 
ages believed that their culture had come 
to them from the Persian Gulf. Tradition 
told how Ea, the culture-god of Eridu, 
once the seaport of Babylonia, had 
risen morning by morning from the waters 
of the sea, bringing with him a knowledge 
of all the arts and industries of life. The 
tradition points to intercourse with the 
incense-bearing lands of Southern Arabia, 
and the culture that follows in the track 


of maritime trade. For just as Nippur 
in the north was the cradle of agriculture 
and the reclamation of the Babylonian 
plain, so Eridu was the birthplace of 
Babylonian navigation. In the days when 
it was founded — some seven or eight 
thousand years ago — it was on an inlet 
of the Persian Gulf ; now the growth of 
„ . the land through the silt 

a y onian annually deposited by the 
Account of T,. . "^ J T- i_ i I- 

Good and Evil T^g7^,^"d Euphrates has 
made it more than a hundred 
miles distant from the shore. Even in the 
historical age of Babylonia it had ceased 
to be a seaport [see map on page 260]. 

But its religious influence continued 
to the last. It was the home of the 
spells and incantations to which the 
Babylonians trusted for protection against 
the demons who were believed to surround 
them on all sides. While the darker 
side of Babylonian religion was represented 
by Nippur, its brighter side was reflected 
in Eridu. Enlil of Nippur was lord of 
the demons, whose habitation was in the 
dark places of the earth, whence they 
issued to terrify and plague mankind : 
it was the office of Ea of Eridu and his son 
" Asari, the good being," to discover how 
to counteract their malice and communi- 
cate the knowledge to man. At Babylon, 
which seems to have been originally a 
colony from Eridu, Asari passed into 
Marduk, the Sun-god who, when his city 
became the capital of Babylonia, super- 
seded and abolished the older gods of the 
country, including Ea and Enlil themselves. 

But long before this happened a new 
race had entered the land. Semitic 
nomads and settlers poured ih from the 
Arabian side of the Euphrates, and 
established themselves securely in Akkad, 
the northern half of Babylonia. Thence 
they made their way northward into the 
later Assyria, and even into the mountains 
of Elam to the east. They soon adopted 
the higher culture of the Sumerians, and 
gave it a fresh development 

Origin of 



and a new impulse. Out of 
the fusion of the Semite 

and the Sumerian arose the 
culture and civilisation known to us as 
Babylonian, which made so profound 
an impression upon Western Asia, and 
through Western Asia upon the world. 
In Akkad the culture, like the language, 
became predominantly Semitic ; in Sumer, 
on the other hand, the older population 
succeeded better in holding its own and 

in retaining its language down to com- 
paratively modern times. 

For a while it seemed as if the Semitic 
race were to be the ruling power from 
the shores of the Mediterranean to the 
deserts of Persia. Like the Arabs in the 
early days of Islam, they spread in a 
resistless stream from east to west. 
Recent excavations in Palestine have 
shown that at least as early as the third 
millennium before our era they had 
dispossessed the older Neolithic people of 
their territory and were filling Syria 
with cities surrounded by massive walls. 
The older people had not been acquainted 
with the use of metals ; they were a long- 
headed race who lived in caverns, and 
buried their dead. The Semites brought 
with them a knowledge of copper, which 
had long been employed in Babylonia, 
and it was doubtless the superiority of 
their weapons of war which enabled them 
to conquer and hold their new possessions 
in the west. They burned their dead 
instead of burying them, and the caverns 
of the earlier race were replaced by 
houses of brick and cities built in imitation 
Th F* ^^ those of the Babylonian 

c .^. plain. To the Babylonians 

Semitic ^ •' 


these Semites of Palestine 

and Syria were known as 
Amorites, and, as trade developed along 
the high-roads that ran between the 
Euphrates and the Mediterranean, Amorite 
merchants passed to and fro between 
Canaan and Babylonia, and Amorite 
traders settled in the Babylonian towns. 
The time was ripe for the rise of a Semitic 
empire in Western Asia, and this came 
with the conquest of Sargon of Akkad. 
The date of Sargon is given as the 
beginning of the third millennium B.C. 
by Nabonidus, who was an antiquarian 
as well as a Babylonian monarch, and had 
at his disposal innumerable records which 
have now perished. Sargon's capital was 
at Akkad, a suburb of Sippar, north 
of Babylon, which is mentioned for the 
first time in the annals of his reign. His 
first work was to unify Babylonia itself ; 
next he led his victorious army across 
mountains and deserts, subduing Elam 
on the one side and the provinces of Syria 
on the other. His campaigns in " the land 
of the Amorites " occupied him for three 
years ; then, we are told, he formed his 
widespread dominions into " a single 
empire," and assumed the proud title of 
" King of the Four Zones." Nearly the 



Semitic Power 

at its 

Greatest Height 

whole of the known world acknowledged 
hK rule. His policy and conquests were 
continued b}^ his son and successor 
Naram-Sin, who marched as far as Magan, 
or Western Arabia, and there wrenched 
the copper mines of Sinai from Egyptian 
hands. The empire was knit together 
by a system of roads and posts ; at 
home, literature was en- 
couraged, and libraries of 
clay books were collected 
together. The cuneiform 
script was modified and perfected, and the 
gem-cutter's art attained a degree of 
excellence which it never reached again 
in later ages. Sculpture also made 
similar progress, and a broken bas-relief 
of the king found in Mesopotamia is one 
of the finest examples that have come 
down to us of the sculptor's art in 

But the empire of Sargon and his son 
represents the apogee of Semitic power in 
Western Asia. The wave of Semitic pro- 
gress had already begun to ebb, and it 
never overpassed the bounds to which it 
had already attained. In Elam Semitic 
governors were replaced by native kings, 
and the language of its capital, Susa, 
ceased to be Semitic Babylonian and 
became agglutinative. The provinces of 
the west regained their independence, 
though the memory of the empire of 
Sargon was never lost, and was again and 
again invoked in later times to enforce the 
claims of Babylonian supremacy. In 
Babylonia itself, at all events in the 
southern part of the country, Sumerian 
princes once more held rule, and the 
brilliant epoch which had witnessed the 
union of Semite and Sumerian was 
succeeded, as is generally the case in the 
East, by a long period of stagnation. 

Meanwhile, EgyjH also had been passing 
through a period of high attainment in 
culture, to be followed by stagnation and 
decay. Here, too, there had been a 
fusion of two races. But 

from Asia 

whereas in Babylonia it had 
been the non-Semitic race from 

which the civilising impulse was 
derived, in Egypt it was the invaders from 
Asia who had brought with them the ele- 
ments of a higher civilisation. Later 
tradition ascribed their conquest of the 
Nile valley — without doubt, justly — to 
their jiossession of metal weapons, and 
traced tlieir gradual progress from south 
to north. Near Edfu they had first 


reached the Nile after their passage across 
the eastern desert, and thence they made 
their way northward, erecting a sanctuary 
at each spot where they had been vic- 
torious over their foes. 

For several centuries Egypt was divided 
into two kingdoms. It was during this 
period that the so-called " dynastic " 
civilisation was matured ; the land was 
drained and canalised, cities were built, 
the hieroglyphic script was evolved, and 
the government organised. Eventually, 
Menes, the hereditary king of This, in 
the neighbourhood of the modern Girga, 
succeeded in uniting " the two lands " of 
the south and north, and founding the 
first dynasty of the united monarchy. 
His own tomb has been discovered at 
Negada, north of Thebes ; those of his 
successors close to the reputed sepulchre 
of the god Osiris at Abydos, the sanctuary 
of This. The objects disinterred from the 
tombs prove to how high a level Egyptian 
culture had already advanced. There 
was trade with the Red Sea on the one side, 
and with the /Egean on the other, the 
obsidian of Melos being worked into 
Ti. Di exquisitely shaped vases ; the 

The Bloom ^^,^ ^^ ^^^ goldsmith and 

°^. ^f/^^l^ jeweller had attained to high 

Civilisation ^ r ■• 11 i 1 1 r ■ 

perfection, and household turni- 
ture was wrought into artistic forms. A 
cursive hand had been evolved from the 
hieroglyphic signs, and massive blocks 
of granite were hewn out of the quarries 
of Assuan and floated on rafts down the 
river to This, there to be shaped for archi- 
tectural purposes. In the age of Menes 
Egy})tian civilisation was already nearing 
its bloom. 

It was in the schools and workshops of 
INIemphis, however, the capital of the 
united monarchy, that this bloom dis- 
played itself in all its fulness. Memjihis 
had been built on an embankment won 
by Menes from the Nile, whose original 
course he had diverted into a new channel 
some seventy miles in length. Egyptian 
history thus begins with a stupendous 
work of engineering, the reality of which 
has been verified by modern English 
engineers. It was no wonder, therefore, 
that under the fourth dynasty, .some 
four thousand years before our era, the 
development, of mechanical science went 
hand in hand with that of art. The huge 
granite blocks used in the construction of 
the great pyramid of Gizeh were cut with 
tubular drills fitted with points of a stone 


hard as the diamond — an instrument 
wiiich was rediscovered only when the 
Mont Cenis tunnel was half completed. 
The hardest of hard stones were carved 
into statuary instinct with life and por- 
traiture ; indeed, one of the finest statues 
in the world is that of Khafra, the builder 
of the second pyramid at Gizeh, which is 
of a greenish diorite. The king is seated on 
his throne with the imperial hawk behind 
his head, and the face — speaking likeness 
though it clearly is — wears the divine 
calm of an omnipotent god. So far as the 
sculptor's art was concerned, its history 
in Egypt after the age of the fourth 
dynasty was that of a continuous decline. 

A hawk's head of gold, with obsidian 
eyes, found at Hieraconpolis, shows that 
the goldsmith's art was equally advanced. 
A statue of King Pepi of the sixth dynasty, 
more than life-size, and made of hammered 
copper, which was found at the same place, 
l:)ears similar testimony as regards work 
in other metals. 

But with the sixth dynasty the Old 
Empire of Egypt comes suddenly to an 
end. Memphis became the scene of 
P revolution and struggles for 

. ^y^ power; the political organisa- 

F a 1 St tion of the country, which had 
rested on the divinely-derived 
autocracy of the king, was broken up, and 
Egypt passed into its feudal stage. The 
great landowners became a feudal nobility, 
who acknowledged the authority of the 
Pharaoh in name, but ignored it in fact, 
and even the old line of kings ceased to 
exist. The ninth and tenth dynasties 
belonged to the provincial city of Hera- 
cleopolis ; but they possessed neither the 
power nor the prestige of their predecessors, 
and after carrying on war for several 
^generations with the rival princes of 
Thebes, they too passed away. Hence- 
forward, Thebes, which had grown up 
around the ancient sanctuary of Amon 
at Karnak, became the leading city in the 
valley of the Nile. 

In the strong and capable hands of the 
three Theban dynasties which constituted 
" the Middle Empire," Egypt again took 
its place in the front rank of history and 
civilisation. The artistic impulse which 
in the time of the Old Empire had found 
expression in statuary, now turned to archi- 
tecture ; stately temples of stone arose all 
over the country, adorned with sculj^ture 
and painting, the execution of which, if 
we may judge from the recently excavated 

eleventh dynasty temple of Mentu-hotei> 
at Thebes, was exceptionally fine. Great 
engineering works were undertaken for 
regulating and distributing the waters of 
the inundation and for improving the 
system of irrigation which the ])oliticaI 
disturbances of the last few centuries had 
allowed to fall into decay. The Fayyum 
TK F* t "^^^ reclaimed and a large 
_ y additional acreage of cultivable 
gyp lan \^^([ given to the Egyptian 
agriculturists. But the control 
of the river necessitated the control also 
of the regions in the south through which 
it flowed. Egypt consequently became, 
for the first time, a conquering power ; the 
Sudan was added to the dominions of the 
Pharaoh, and the cataracts were guarded 
by strongly built fortresses. The armies 
which had been trained in war with the 
negroes of the south, were used for service 
in the north also. The desert, which had 
hitherto separated Egypt from Asia, was 
crossed, and the Amorites of Southern 
Palestine were forced to send tribute to 

Scarabs and stone vases of the twelfth 
dynasty have been met with in the 
excavations at Gezer, west of Jerusalem. 
Here, too, the tombstone of an Egyptian 
of the same age has been discovered in 
the " high-place " of the city— a line of 
nine great monoliths, surrounded with a 
platform of stone, under the pavement of 
which have been found the bones of 
infants who had been burnt or otherwise 
sacrificed to the gods of Canaan. The 
high-place was that of the second city 
built by the Semitic settlers on the site, 
the huge stone wall of which was inter- 
sected with towers. Objects of bronze 
occur among the ruins of this secgnd town 
in harmony with the fact that the earliest 
bronze of Egypt belongs to the epoch of 
the twelfth dynasty. A knowledge of the 
metal, it is probable, had come alike to 
Egypt and to Canaan from Asia Minor, 
to which the first use of it has 

Arts from 
Asia Minor 

been traced. Was it from 
Britain that the tin was 

brought with which the alloy 
was made ? The gold of Asia Minor had 
already been transported to Egypt in the 
age of the sixth dynasty. 

The pottery of Asia Minor followed in 
the wake of the metal trade. Before the 
second Amorite city at Gezer came to an 
end, the polychrome pottery of the 
Hittites, north of the Halys, had not only 


The centres of civilisation in the third millennium li.c, and the Babylonian Empire of Sargon of Akkad, Hammurabi 
and his successors, until the eve of the Kassite and Hittite domination in the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries li.C. 

In this map we see the territories of the different empires that developed out of the first Babylonian Empire 
between B.C. lollU and litOU, showing the balance of power between the twelfth and tenth centuries B.C. 



The development of the Assyrian Empire and of the peoples and towns absorbed by its growth, from the tenth 
century B.C. to the time of its greatest expansion in the seventh century, is illustrated in the above map. 

The empires that rose on the fall of Assyria, and its division between the Median and New Babylonian Empires, the 
whole constituting the Persian Empire until the rise of Alexander, covering the sixth, fifth, and fourth centuries B.C. 




made its way to Palestine, but had to a 
large extent superseded the native ])ot- 
tery of the country. It is possible that 
it had also influenced the arts of the 
islands in the Greek seas. At all events, 
excavation in Crete has brought to light 
vases of egg-shell faience, exquisitely 
decorated in various colours with flowers 
„..-,, and other conventionalised 
High Culture g^blems. The faience is 

p , ^ ^ generally known as " Kamares 
Early Crete ^ ,, / , , r ,, 

ware, from the name of the 

place where it was first found, and it 

characterises the period called by Dr. 

Evans, " Middle Minoan II." 

The discovery of the highly developed 
culture of early Crete is one of the most 
striking revelations of archaeological 
science. There, as elsewhere in the Levant, 
a neolithic age of long duration was 
succeeded by one in which copper took 
the place of stone. The copper was in 
great measure derived from the mines of 
Cyprus. How early the latter were 
worked is shown by the fact that innumer- 
able seals of C3'linder shape, made in 
imitation of those of Babylonia, have been 
found in Cyprian graves of the early 
copper age, and that these seals go back 
to the period of Sargon of Akkad. One 
of the commonest symbols engraved upon 
them is the picture of a copper ingot, 
often accompanied by a bull's head, which 
in Crete represented a weight. We may 
thus see in them the signets of the Cyprian 
exjx>rters of the metal. 

The conquest of Sargon of Akkad 
liad carried a knowledge of Babylonian 
culture to the shores of the Mediterranean. 
Of this culture, the use of the seal-cylinder 
and of clay as a writing material formed 
an integral part, and wherever they are 
found their presence is a sure witness of 
Baliylonian influence. Tlic Cretan tab- 
lets of clay, which have been discovered 
in such abundance in the ancient palaces 
of the island, thus point unmistakably 
„ , . . towards Babvlonia. They make 

Babylonian ,i • i- 1. ' 

. their earliest appearance in 

■ C what Dr. Evans has termed the 

first stage in the Middle 
Minoan period, though the strange hiero- 
glyphs incised upon them go back to 
the third and last stage of an earlier epoch. 
This epoch, which followed the neolithic 
age, is itself divided into three stages, 
to the last of which belong the seals of 
button shaj^e, whose original home was in 
.\sia Minor, and which in the time of the 


sixth dynasty replaced the older seal- 
cylinder in Egy})t. To the same stage 
belong also the geometric designs which 
distinguish the early ^gean pottery, 
and which, thanks to recent discoveries, 
can now be traced back through Asia 
Minor to Elam on the east of Babylonia. 
Here, M. De Morgan has found abundance 
of pottery of exactly the same character 
which was manufactured in the neolithic 
ages long before the epoch of Sargon. 

The second and third stages in the 
Middle Minoan period represent the high- 
water mark of Cretan civilisation. It 
was then that the splendid palaces of the 
Cretan kings were first built, with their 
spacious halls, their frescoed walls, their 
elaborate drainage, and their luxurious 
bath-rooms. The absence of walls or forts 
to protect them proves plainly that those 
who built them were lords of the sea, with 
no fear of the invader before their eyes. 
The beautiful " Kamares " pottery, with 
which they were filled, was imitated from 
vessels of gold and silver, while porcelain 
like that of Egypt was moulded into 
realistic figures of fish and animals and 

^ „. plants, and a linear or cursive 

Cretan Kings ■ - 1 •. t 

, scnj^t makes its appearance by 

» .t ""c* the side of the hieroglyphic 
of tLc Sea . . r, . .u ,» -'^ . 

writing. But the palaces in 

which all this magnificence and luxury had 
been displa^^ed were sacked and burned, 
and for a time Cretan culture passed under 
eclipse. It revived again at the beginning 
of the " Late Minoan " period; the palaces 
rose once more in their former splendour, 
and in the south a summer villa was erected 
whose walls were decorated with the 
choicest specimens of the painter's art. 
A change had, however, come ov^er the face 
of Cretan culture. The old hieroglyphics 
had made way for linear characters similar 
to those used in Cyprus and at Troy ; 
bronze was taking the place of copper, and 
the long sword was substituted for the 
dirk. The pottery, moreover, had assumed 
the form known as " Mycenaean," and was 
already beginning to degenerate. But 
wealth was still abundant ; at Cnossos 
the ruler sat in state on an elaborately 
fashioned throne and watched the bull- 
fights and boxing matches in the arena of 
the theatre where slav^es and captives 
made sport for their Cretan masters. A 
sword has been found with its pommel 
formed of translucent agate, and its hilt 
plated with gold and engraved with 
delicate designs, while the royal draught- 


board has been disinterred from its grave 

of centuries still brilliant with gold and 

silver, ivory and crystal, and the blue glass 

paste of which we read in the Homeric 

poems. The art displayed in some of the 

objects that have been brought to hght 

was never surpassed, even in the later 

Greek world. The ivory figure of a diver, 

^ . . , or the religious procession 

Grecian Art • m. i j r 

P exquisitely carved on a vase or 

jj . black steatite, declares in no 

uncertain tone that the art of 
classical Greece was but a renaissance. The 
lords of Minoan Crete, however, were no 
Greeks ; that is made clear by their por- 
traits on the Egyptian monuments as well 
as by the strange composite figures of their 
religious art— combinations of a man and 
bull, of an eagle and a woman, or a winged 
cherub with a lion's legs. 

The Middle IVIinoan jjeriod of Crete was 
coincident with a period of decay and 
foreign rule in both Babylonia and 
Egypt. The Semitic empire of Sargon 
and his son Naram-Sin was succeecled 
by a revival of Sumerian power and in- 
fluence. The Sumerian princes of Southern 
Babylonia made themselves independent 
or' founded dynasties which claimed rule 
over the whole valley of the Euphrates. 
When the curtain rises once more, it is, 
however, again a Semitic dynasty, which 
claims to have inherited the empire of 
Sargon. But the dynasty has its seat not 
in Northern Babylonia, but in the south, 
in " Ur of the Chaldees," on the western 
bank of the Euphrates, where bodies of 
Amorites from Canaan and Bedouins from 
Arabia had long been settled. The dynasty 
extended over five reigns and lasted for 
117 years. Numberless legal documents 
dated in the reigns of its kings have come 
down to us, and have made us well ac- 
quainted with the social life, the law and 
commerce, and religious beliefs of the time. 
The old supremacy of Babylonia inWestern 
Asia, which had once belonged to Sargon, 
„ , . . was again asserted, and Syria 

Babylonia j n • 1 j 

. : and Canaan were again laid 

gain under tribute. Gudea, the 

Triumphant ^ , • , • ^ r t 1 

Sumerian high-pnest of J^agash, 

who, vassal though he was of the king 
of Ur, nevertheless exercised an almost 
independent authority, ransacked the 
whole known world for the materials for 
his buildings. Blocks of limestone and 
alabaster were brought from Palestine and 
the Lebanon, beams of cedar from the 
Gulf of Antioch, gold-dust and acacia 

from the deserts of Northern Arabia, and 
diorite from the peninsula of Sinai, while 
other costly stones were quarried in the 
Taurus Mountains and floated down 
the Euphrates on rafts. About 2300 B.C. 
Gudea was viceroy of Dungi, the second 
king of the dynasty of Ur, who, like his 
father, the founder of the dynasty, covered 
Babylonia with his buildings and restora- 
tions. The provinces of the empire were 
carefully organised and taxed, and part of 
a cadastral survey made by Uiimelech, 
the governor of Canaan, for the purpose of 
taxation is still in existence. But the 
dynasty went down in disaster. Its last 
representative was captured in battle 
against the Elamites, and the lordship of 
Babylonia passed to the kings of Isin, 
whose dynasty lasted for 225 years. 

Then evil days fell upon Babylonia. City 
fought against city ; the Elamites raided 
it from the east, while Amorite invaders 
attacked it from the west. The Amorites 
eventually possessed themselves of the 
northern half of the country, and made 
Babylon their capital. For the first time in 
history it became the leading city in Baby- 
-,. „ Ionia, and, eventually — when 

Ct t ^ ^^^^ kingdom of the Amorite 
CivHited Asia ^y^/^^ty grew into an empire 
— the capital and holy city of 
the civilised Asiatic world. Marduk, its 
patron-god, followed the fortunes of his 
city ; he, too, became the supreme 
Bel, or " Eord," of the Babylonian deities 
in heaven, as his vicegerent and adopted 
son, the king of Babylon, was the supreme 
lord of their worshippers upon earth. 

But it needed a long struggle before the 
new dynasty succeeded in overcoming all 
rival claimants to the throne of Western 
x'\sia, and in re-establishing the empire 
of Sargon. At one time it seemed as if 
Elam were destined to take the place of 
Babylonia, and the wave of Semitic 
influence which had been rolled back from 
the Elamite mountains would retreat from 
the Babylonian plain itself. Babylon was 
taken and plundered by the Elamite 
monarch, and Esagila, the temple of 
Bel-Merodach, was burnt with fire. Its 
king, Sin-muballit, disappears from his- 
tory, and his son, Hammurabi, or Am- 
raphel, a mere boy, was set on the vacant 
throne as an Elamite tributary. At the 
same time Southern Babylonia was trans- 
formed into another dependent state and 
given to an Elamite prince, Eri-Aku — 
called Rim-Sin by his Semitic subjects 



— who fixed his capital at Larsa. Eri- 
Aku's father was appointed governor of 
Syria and Palestine, which had passed to 
Elam with the conquest of Babylonia. 

Hammurabi grew up and proved to be 
one of the ablest rulers that have ever 
lived. In the thirtieth year of his reign 
he felt himself strong enough to rise in 
rebellion against his Elamite suzerain. 
The forces of Elam were overthrown in 
a decisive battle, and Larsa forced to 
surrender. Once more Babylonia was 
united under a Semitic king, whose autho- 
rity was acknowledged as far as the shores 
of the Mediterranean. Indeed, Hammu- 
rabi seems never to have forgotten his 
Amorite descent, and on one of his 
monuments found in Northern Mesopo- 
tamia the only title he bears is that of 
" King of the land of the Amorites." 

With the restoration of peace and the 
consolidation of his power, Hammurabi 
set himself to the work of reorganising 
and administering the provinces of his 
empire. Nothing seems to have been 
either too great or too small to escape 
the notice of the king. Numerous letters 
„ . . of his, written by his own 

, . hand, have survived to us, 

. j^. and they show that he took as 
much pains to investigate a 
complaint of bribery or oppression on 
the part of a petty official as he did to 
inquire into the administration of the 
Crown lands or the discipline of the 
standing army. The compilation of the 
great code of laws, which was henceforth 
to be obeyed throughout Western Asia , was 
his work. Babylonian law, like English 
law, was " judge-made," and its codifica- 
tion was at once a desirable and a difficult 
task. One of the most remarkable points 
about the code is its purely secular 
character ; the gods may be invoked in 
the introduction and peroration, but in 
the code itself it is the civil law as laid 
down by the judges and sanctioned by 
the authority of the king that is alone 
regarded. Equally remarkable is the way 
in which the old law of blood-revenge is 
superseded in it by a system of fixed 
legal penalties, which can be inflicted only 
by the judge after full and impartial trial. 

The publication of the code was doubt- 
less suggested by the efforts Hammu- 
rabi was called upon to make for the sup- 
pression of crime, and more especially 
the acts of brigandage, to which the 
intestine troubles of Babylonia had given 


rise. But it was also part of a literary 
revival which characterises the age of 
Hammurabi as it had characterised the 
age of Sargon. The great Chaldaean Epic 
of Gilgamesh was composed, embodying 
older poems or traditions, other literary 
works were re-edited or published for 
the first time, astronomical and medical 
treatises were compiled, com- 
mentaries were written upon 

Years Ago 

the earlier literature of the 
country, and grammars, dic- 
tionaries, and reading books were drawn 
up to facilitate the study of Sumerian. 
Learned men as well as poets and lawyers 
were welcomed at the court, and the 
libraries of Babylonia were again stocked 
with books on clay. Foremost among these 
were collections of the letters which passed 
between the king and his high officials. 

The long reign of Hammurabi was 
followed by that of his son, Samsu-iluna, 
who, like his successor Abishu, made vain 
attempts to suppress a revolt which had 
broken out in the marshy lands at the head 
of the Persian Gulf, where the Aramaean 
tribe of Kalda, or Chaldaeans, afterwards 
settled. Here an independent dynasty 
established itself which, on the fall of the 
house of Hammurabi, may have succeeded 
in making itself master of the whole of 
Babylonia. This did not happen, how- 
ever, until the death of Samsu-ditana, 
the third successor of Abishua. His power 
had been weakened, if not shattered, by 
an invasion of Babylonia by the Hittites 
from Cappadocia, when it seems probable 
that Babylon itself was captured and its 
temple despoiled. 

The kings of " the sea-coast " did not long 

enjoy their possession of the disunited and 

tottering kingdom. Wild Kassite hordes 

poured down upon the Babylonian plain 

from the mountains of Elam, and 

eventually founded a dynasty at Babylon, 

which lasted for 576 years. But the 

spell of Babylonian culture soon passed 

. over the semi-barbarous con- 

Barbarians q^^g^ors ; the Kassite kings 

„ . , . became Babylonian in manners 
Babylonia , , -^ ■ ^ 

and customs, even m language 

and names. Their foreign origin, how- 
ever, was never forgotten, and in spite 
of intermarriages with the Semites of 
Assyria and of Babylonia itself, their 
right to the inheritance of Sargon of 
Akkad was never fully recognised. Like 
the Hanoverians in England, their " right 
divine " was rejected, and with the rise 


of the Kassite dynasty the deification of 
the Babylonian monarch comes practi- 
cally to an end. 

One result of the fall of the Hammu- 
rabi dynasty and the Kassite conquest 
was the loss of the Babylonian empire 
in the west. It is true that Babylon still 
claimed to be mistress of western Asia, and 
the Tell el-Amarna letters are 

, * ^ °!^ witness that even when Ca- 

Loses its 1 J 1 T- 

r . D naan had become an h,e;yp- 

Foreign Power ,. t-.ii- 

tian provmce, Babylonia was 

still ready to intrigue with its inhabitants 
against their new masters. But, politically, 
Syria and Palestine were never again to 
be Babylonian until the day came when 
Nebuchadnezzar restored the old glories 
of his fatherland and created the second 
Babylonian empire. Babylon, indeed, 
continued to be the sacred city of Asiatic 
civilisation ; it was revered as the vener- 
able fountain-head of Asiatic culture and 
theology, but its political supremacy 
was gone. Babylonian influence ceases to 
be a living principle outside the valleys of 
the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Babylo- 
nian culture of Western Asia and in the 
lands of the Mediterranean becomes 
merely the inheritance of the past. 

In Babylonia itself the Kassite conquest 
completed the work of unifying the Semitic 
and Sumerian elements in the population 
which had been begun under the Ham- 
murabi dynasty. Thenceforward there 
is only one people, the Babylonians of 
later history, outwardly Semitic, though 
inwardly Sumerian. The language is 
Semitic, but, like EngUsh, profoundly modi- 
fied by the foreign element ; the religion 
is also Semitic, but its roots lie far back 
in Sumerian animism. The spirits of the 
ancient cult pass into human deities, 
in accordance with the Semitic belief 
that man was made in the image of the 
gods, and conversely the gods revealed 
themselves in the image of man. The 
changes that thus passed over the map 
of Western Asia were reflected 
in the valley of the Nile. The 
Pharaohs of the Middle Empire 
had shown how the desert 
which separated them from Asia could 
be crossed, and the lesson was soon learnt 
by their enemies. The Semites of Canaan 
and Arabia descended upon Egypt and 
founded the three successive dynasties 
known as Hyksos, or Shepherd, which 
lasted for more than 500 years. Like the 
Kassites in Babylonia, they were rude 



warriors armed with the bow and un- 
skilled in the arts of life when they first 
poured over Egypt like a flood. Its cities 
were sacked and destroyed, and its temples 
profaned ; but, like the Kassites, they, 
too, soon passed under the spell of a 
higher civilisation. The Hyksos court 
became outwardly Egyptian, the kings 
assumed the old titles, and even gave 
themselves Egyptian names. Science and 
literature were patronised, and one of 
the Egyptian works on mathematics 
that has come down to us was written for 
a Hyksos Pharaoh ; but, as in Babylonia, 
so also in Egypt, the foreign origin of the 
new line of kings was never forgotten. 
Up to the last they were compelled to 
garrison it like a foreign country ; and 
their court was fixed in the Delta, where 
they could be in touch with their kinsmen 
in Asia. 

As long as the Hyksos rule lasted 
Egypt was an appanage of Canaan. 
The desert ceased to be a dividing line 
between the two countries, just as in 
Norman days the English Channel ceased 
to be a dividing line between Normandy 

,-,. . . and its English province. The 
Why Joseph c i F n 1 j. 

_ Semites of Canaan passed to 

. J, and fro across it, and, like 

gyp Abraham, found a welcome at 
the court of their Hyksos kinsfolk. That 
a Hebrew like Joseph should rise to be 
Vizier was no marvel ; nor was it strange 
that he should reduce the native popula- 
tion to a state of serfdom, and thereby 
strengthen the power of their Hyksos 

But through all the centuries of Hyksos 
domination the Egyptians were awaiting 
their opportunity for revolt. Tradition 
averred that the opportunity was given 
by an attack on the native religion. 
The religious passions of the people of 
Upper Egypt were aroused, and the Prince 
of Thebes headed the insurrection. For 
five generations the struggle was carried 
on ; it ended in the expulsion of the 
foreigner and the foundation of the native 
eighteenth dynasty by Ahmes I., about 
1600 B.C. 

The war which had been begun in Egypt 
was carried into Asia. Under Ahmes and 
his successors Canaan was made an 
Egyptian province, and the boundaries 
of the Egyptian empire were fixed at the 
banks of the Euphrates and the ranges 
of the Taurus. The campaigns of 
Thothmes III. brought boundless spoil 



and nnml>erless captives to Egypt, while 

the gold-mines which were opened in the 

eastern desert made it the California of 

the ancient world. Maritime trade was 

encouraged, and Cyprus and Crete paid 

tribute to the Pharaoh. Even at distant 

Mycenre, on the mainland of Greece, 

plaques of porcelain were imported from 

_ ,. Egypt to adorn the palace of 
Egypt Realises ■. ■, /-r^ r 

^ its rulers. Gifts came from 

fV ^^^^"^^ the king of Assyria which the 
Egyptian courtiers construed 
into tribute. In the south the Sudan 
was once more conquered, and Egyptian 
temples were erected on the banks of the 
Upper Nile. 

. Hut the Asiatic empire of Egypt brought 
Vvith it the destruction of the dynasty 
to which it owed its origin. The court 
became Asiatised. The Pharaohs married 
Asiatic wiv^es, and filled the high places 
of state with Asiatic officials. Eventually 
a king arose who attempted to overthrow 
the national faith of which he was the 
official guardian, and to substitute for it 
a kind of pantheistic monotheism. He 
changed his own name from that of 
Amon-hotep to Khu-n-Aten, "the bril- 
liance of the solar disc " — the visible 
symbol of the new deity — and for the 
first time in history there was persecution 
for religion's sake. But the ])riesthood of 
Thebes were too powerful for the king. 
He was forced to quit Thebes and build 
a new capital further north, at Tel lel- 
Amarna, where he gave daily lectures 
on the articles of his creed, and erected a 
temple to Aten, as well as a palace for 
himself, gorgeous with statues and 
frescoes, and glittering with gilded bronze. 

The archives of Thebes were moved at 
the same time to the foreign office of the 
new city, where their discovery in 1887 
brought about a complete revolution in 
our conceptions of ancient Oriental history. 
They consist of letters and despatches 
written in cuneiform characters and the 
_ . ,. Babylonian language on tablets 

Education r f t, " .1 ■ .1 

. . ot clay. 1 hey prove that the 

An ' nt E t ^^^'^'^^'"^ ^f Western Asia was so 
thoroughly Babylonian that 
even the Egyptian Government had to 
correspond with its own officials in the 
foreign language and scrij)t. They also 
prove how widely diffused education must 
have been. Not only were the educated 
classes of Canaan, including ladies, able 
to read and write in Babylonian cunei- 
form ; it was also the common medium 

of educated intercourse throughout the 
eastern world. Not only the kings of 
Assyria and Babj'lon, but the kings of the 
Hittites and Cappadocia, of Mesopotamia 
and the coast of Asia Minor used it as 
well. The roads must have been kept in 
good order, for the posts were constantly 
passing to and fro along them. So, too, 
were the commercial travellers, for whose 
benefit a system of international law- 
had been organised. 

Canaan was governed much as India is 
governed to-day. There were protected 
states as well as cities under Egy]> 
tian governors. From time to time 
Egyptian high commissioners traversed 
the country, which was garrisoned partly 
by native troops, partly by a small force 
of Egyptians. Bodies of Bedouins were 
in the service of the petty princes 
and governors, together with numbers 
of Hittite freelances, who sold their 
services to the highest bidder. In later 
days when the authority of the home 
Government was growing weak, these 
hired troops and their paymasters fought 
with one another, and endless were the 

_ comiilaints brouglit before the 

Canaan t- ' ,• , • , 

* P«r«ii.i Egyptian kmg ])y one governor 

. , .. against anotlier. Ihe vassal 

to India 1 9 r T 1 1 

king of Jerusalem, who seems 
to have been of Hittite origin, was especi- 
ally clamorous, and also especially urgent 
that Egyptian troops should be sent to 
his help. 

But the Egyptian Government was 
already involved in difficulties at home. 
Civil and religious war was breaking out 
in Egypt itself, and when Khu-n-Atcn died, 
leaving only daughters behind him, the 
doom of the eighteenth dynasty was 
sealed. A few short reigns followed, and 
then the nineteenth dynasty was founded 
in the person of Ramses I., about 1350 i^.c. 
It represented the national reaction against 
the Canaanite and the foreigner who had 
caj^tured Khu-n-Aten and his court. The 
Asiatic strangers were driven from the 
country or reduced to serfdom, and the 
high offices of state were again held by 
native Egyptians. The Asiatic provinces 
of Egypt had been lost, and it was neces- 
sary to reconquer them. To this task 
Seti I., the son of Ramses I., accordingly 
set himself, and when he was succeeded 
by his son, Ramses II., Canaan was once 
more a province of Egypt. North of 
Canaan, however, the Syrian province had 
fallen into the hands of the Hittites, who 


had established their southern capital at 
Kadesh, on the Orontes, and were threaten- 
ing Canaan itself. The struggle for its 
possession was long and strenuous, but at 
last, in the twenty-first year of Ramses, 
the two antagonists, weary and exhausted, 
agreed to come to terms. A treaty was 
drawn up, offensive and defensive, recog- 
nising the existing boundaries of the two 
empires, and providing for the pardon and 
return from exile of all political offenders. 
The rest of Ramses' long reign of sixty- 
seven years was mainly spent in covering 
Egypt with his buildings or in restoring 
and usurping the monuments of his pre- 
decessors. Of all his own monuments, the 
most famous is Abu-Simbel, in Nubia, 
where a temple has been carved out of a 
mountain. Among the cities built by him 
were Ramses and Pithom in the Delta, 
at which the Israelites were compelled to 

Ramses II. was succeeded by his son 
Meneptah. The death of the " Grand 
Monarque " of Egyptian history was the 
signal for attack on the part of the sur- 
rounding nations. The Libyans from the 
west overran the Delta, while 
ships filled with Achaeans and 
Lycians and other tribes of 
the eastern basin of the Medi- 
terranean invaded the coast. But in the 
fifth year of Meneptah the threatened 
destruction of Egyptian civilisation was 
averted by a decisive victory which he 
gained over the invading hordes. The 
Libyans and their allies were practically 
exterminated. It was under the cover of 
this Libyan invasion that the Israelites — 
called Israelii on a monument of the 
Pharaoh — would seem to have escaped 
from their Egyptian taskmasters ; the 
land of Goshen was deserted, and three 
years later we find its pasturage handed 
over to Edomite herdsmen. 

But neither the Egyptian monarchy nor 
the dynasty that ruled it recovered from 
the blow which the barbarians from the 
west and north had dealt it. Its Asiatic 
empire was lost for ever, and the frontier 
cities of Canaan which guarded the entrance 
to Asia fell into the hands of Philistine 
pirates from Crete. The nineteenth dynasty 
perished from decay, and after a short 
interval of anarchy was followed by the 

Once more Egypt was called upon to 
repel an attack of the northern tribes. 
But it was a more formidable confederacy 

The Grand 
of Egypt 

that Ramses III., the second king of the 
dynasty, had to face than that which had 
invaded Egypt half a century before. 
While the Libyans again entered the 
valley of the Nile from the west, the 
Philistines of Crete, the Danaans of Asia 
Minor, and other Greek and Asiatic tribes, 
forced their way through the Hittite terri- 
tory into Syria, and moved 
f t^b T' *" southward, partly on land, 

of the Exodus P^^^^y ^y s^^- ^^^^^ defeating 
the Libyans, Ramses marched 
into Canaan ; the invaders were overthrown 
in battle, and pursued northwards to the 
harbour where they had stationed their 
fleet. Here a great maritime struggle 
took place, which ended in complete 
victory for the Egyptians. The ships of 
the enemy were destroyed, and vast 
numbers of prisoners taken. On its way 
back to Egypt, various Canaanitish towns 
surrendered or were captured ; among 
them were Hebron and Jerusalem. The 
entrance of the Israelites into Canaan 
cannot have taken place long after this 

Ramses III. was the last of the native 
Egyptian conquerors. His immediate suc- 
cessors became little more than puppets in 
the hands of the high-priests of Thebes, 
and when a strong Pharaoh again ap- 
peared on the throne it was in the person 
of Sheshonk or Shishak I., the founder of 
the twenty-second dynasty and chief of 
the Libyan bodyguard. But for many 
centuries Egypt ceased to be a factor in 
international politics ; its influence did 
not extend beyond its own natural confines, 
and it needed all its strength to protect 
itself against the negro princes of the 
Sudan. One of them eventually overran 
Egypt, and plundered IVIemphis, while 
another succeeded in permanently occupy- 
ing the country, and establishing a 
dynasty of Ethiopian kings. The Ethiopian 
conquest was followed by the Assyrian 
conquest ; for a time Assyrian satraps 
collected tribute in the cities 
.^^^ of Egypt and Assyrian armies 
-"^i. ruthlessly suppressed revolts 
^ ^^^ against the foreign rule. In 662 
B.C. Thebes — the No-Amon of the Old 
Testament — was sacked and burnt, and the 
ancient capital of Egypt lived thence- 
forward upon its past fame. When Egypt 
recovered its independence under Psam- 
metichus and his successors of the twenty- 
sixth dynasty, the seat of power was 
transferred permanently to the north. 



For five centuries — from the age of 
Ramses III. to that of the Ethiopian 
Tirhakah — Egypt thus remained outside 
the sphere of international pohtics, in a 
sort of backwater of the world's history. 
Babylonia was in like condition ; the 
leadership had passed to other lands and 
younger races. At first it was the Hittites 
_. who promised to become the 

*^^ leading people in Western Asia. 
H'tft With their yellow skins, protru- 
sive jaws, and beardless faces 
they descended from Cappadocia and the 
Taurus Mountains upon the fertile plains of 
Syria, and at an early date had possessed 
themselves of Carchemish, which com- 
manded the ford over the Euphrates and the 
high-road of commerce from east to west. A 
kindred race founded a monarchy — that of 
Mitani— in Northern Mesopotamia, where 
in the age of the eighteenth Egyptian 
dynasty they became so powerful as to 
be allowed to marry into the Royal house 
of the Pharaohs. Long before this the 
Hittites had invaded Babylonia, and helped 
to overthrow the dynasty of Hammu- 
rabi, but it was not until the fifteenth 
century before our era that they founded 
an empire, which extended to the coasts of 
the Greek seas, and bid fair to make 
Canaan what the Assyrians called it, a 
" Hittite land." Under Khattu-sil I. and 
his successors the larger part of Asia Minor 
was transformed into a confederacy of 
vassal states ; Hittite soldiers poured 
southward through the passes of the 
Taurus, and the possession of Syria and 
Palestine was disputed with the Pharaohs 
of Egypt. The way had already been 
prepared by the Hittite freelances, who 
had hired their services to the Egyptian 
Government and the petty princes of 
Canaan ; as the power of Egypt declined 
the regular forces of the " great king of the 
Hittites " followed in their rear, and 
Kadesh on the Orontes was made the 
southern capital of his empire. The old 

_ . Hittite capital at Boghaz Koi, 

Dominance i-u r . u xr i u 

f H"tft north of the Halys, became one 

J, .' of the chief cities of the world ; 

strong walls of stone, wide 
in circuit, enclosed stately palaces and 
temples, which contained libraries of clay 
books inscribed in cuneiform characters, 
and written sometimes in the Assyrian 
lar _ge, sometimes in that of the Hittites 
th .selves. A knowledge of the cunei- 
form script had doubtless been communi- 
cated to the Hittite<; by the Assyrian 


colonies which had been planted in the 
heart of Cappadocia as early as the age 
of Hammurabi, the ruins of one of 
which have been found at Kara Eyuk, near 
Kaisariyeh. It was the mineral wealth of 
Asia Minor that had attracted the colonists 
and raiders of Assyria and Babylonia ; the 
gold of the sixth Egyptian dynasty was 
already derived from its mines. 

For a time the Hittites dominated the 
civilised world of the East. Their armies 
marched to Lydia, and carried their art 
and culture to Greek lands. The culture 
itself was of Babylonian origin, but had 
been modified in a peculiar fashion. Just 
as the cuneiform signs of Babylonia super- 
seded the native hieroglyphs, except for 
monumental purposes, so, too, the native 
art had to give way before the artistic 
conceptions of the Babylonians, and even 
the old fetish worship of the country was 
replaced by the anthropomorphic divini- 
ties of Babylon. The Greek centaur and 
the winged horse Pegasus came from 
Babylonia to the West through Hittite 
intermediaries. A treaty between Ram- 
ses II. and the Hittite king marks the 
extreme limit of the Hittite 
* ° . advance. It is probable that 
th H"tft ^^^ irruption of the northern 
tribes, which overthrew the 
foreign power of Egypt and sapped its 
internal forces, also broke up the Hittite 
empire. Isolated fragments of this em])ire 
alone survived ; there was never again a 
" great king " who could summon his 
vassals from the furthest bounds of Asia 
Minor, and treat on equal terms with one 
of the mightiest of the Egyptian Pharaohs. 

It was to the movement of the northern 
tribes that the downfall of Cretan civilisa- 
tion seems also to have been due. The 
maritime supremacy of Crete was lost ; 
pirates landed from the north and 
destroyed its palaces, and the dynasty of 
Minos passed away. The period at which 
this took place is coeval with that known 
as " Mycenaean," when a peculiar class of 
pottery was spread over the .^Egean world, 
and when artists from the Greek seas made 
goblets and vases for the Egyptian 
Pharaoh Khu-n-Aten, and painted the 
floors of his palace at Tell el-Amarna 
with naturalistic scenes. A century or two 
later half-civilised Dorians, speaking the 
Greek language, streamed southward from 
their northern homes ; Mycenae, Sparta, 
Crete, all alike were overwhelmed, and the 
old Minoan culture was lost and forgotten. 





'"THE break-up of the powers that had 
•■■ so long been supreme in the Oriental 
world was the opportunity of Canaan. 
At first it seemed as if Canaan, the battle- 
field of the nations, would itself be swal- 
lowed up in the cataclysm. The Israelites, 
fresh from their desert training, and 
moulded into a compact nationality by 
the legislation of Sinai and Kadesh, after 
an unsuccessful endeavour to invade 
Canaan from the south, overran the coun- 
try east of the Jordan, and then forced 
their way into the plains and mountains 
of the West. The Canaanites, weakened 
by intestine feuds and the long war 
between Egypt and the Hittites, were in no 
condition to resist them ; city after city 
fell into the hands of the rude desert tribes, 
and for a while became a deserted ruin. 
The native Canaanites retreated into the 
north or to the coastland of Phoenicia, 
or else made terms with the 
invaders, and, as time went on. 

a Power 

intermarried with them. The 
population of the coast had always 
been more maritime than agricultural; 
now they turned entirely to their sea 
trade. There were no longer either Cretan 
or Egyptian fleets to bar their enterprise, 
and the Greek seas soon passed into the 
possession of the Phoenician merchant- 
men. The murex was discovered with its 
purple dye, and Tyre and Sidon, with their 
companion cities, grew rich with the 
development of their trade. Phoenicia 
became the centre of the carrying trade , 
of the civilised world, the intermediary 
between East and West. The art and 
culture of Asia was carried as far as Spain 
and the Straits of Gibraltar, Phoenician 
colonies were founded on the shores of 
Africa and Europe, and a new art arose 
in which Assyrian, Egyptian, and Asiatic 
elements were mingled together, without, 
however, any attempt at originality. The 
old amber trade from the Baltic to the 

head of the Adriatic passed into Phoenician 
hands ; so, too, did the trade in British 
tin, which travelled overland to Massilia, 
the modern Marseilles. 

Tyre, secure in its insular position, took 

the lead among the Phoenician cities. 

Under Abibal and his son, 

yre, Hiram I., its temple of Mel- 

II d C't ^^^^h' it'' royal palace, and its 

fortifications, were rebuilt and 

enlarged, and the simpler Phoenician 

alphabet replaced the cumbrous cuneiform. 

Along with the change of script went a 

change in the literary language ; the native 

language of Canaan — Hebrew, as we should 

call it — was substituted for Assyrian, and 

papyrus and parchment for the clay tablet. 

The development of Israelitish power 
was synchronous with that of Phoenicia. 
An abortive attempt to establish an 
Israelitish monarchy had been made by 
Abimelech, but the tribes were not yet 
ripe for organised union. This was forced 
upon them by the Philistine conquest of 
the country ; resistance to the " un- 
circumcised " foreigner from Crete de- 
veloped first a feeling of common origin 
and worship, and then of the necessity for 
a leader in war. The destruction of the 
national sanctuary at Shiloh, with its 
priesthood and archives, removed what 
might have been a rival to the royal 
authority ; Saul, indeed, fell in the 
struggle with the enemy, but under David 
and his able general, Joab, the Philistines 
were not only driven back, but compelled 
-. . to acknowledge the supremacy 

-,*^' ' of the Hebrew king. With an 

Emperor i i • j i • j 

. J . army behmd him, composed 

partly of foreign mercenaries, 

David found himself strong enough not 

only to weld the Israelitish tribes into a 

monarchical state, but to create an empire 

which extended as far as the Euphrates. 

There was no other power in Western Asia 

to dispute his progress ; Egypt and the 



Hittites were alike effete; so were the 
Babylonians ; and the Aramaeans of Meso- 
potamia had successfully blocked the 
Assyrian advance. 

The consolidation of the kingdom, begun 
by David, was completed by his son 
Solomon. Jerusalem had already been 
made a capital ; now a new central 
sanctuary was erected in it, 
Short DrLm ^"^^^ ^^ the king and attached 
E °d d*^ *™ ^^^® ^ chapel to the royal 
palace. As in Assyria, the king 
took the place of the high-priest. Alliance 
was made with Tyre, and the Israelitish 
treasury was replenished with the wealth 
which Tyrian trade helped to pour into it. 
But the extravagance of the king knew 
no bounds. Taxation was increased until 
the freemen of Israel began to murmur, 
and the subject territories to rebel. 
Expenditure was for the most part on 
palaces and similar luxuries, which brought 
the state but little profit, and foreign 
loans were as yet unknown. When 
Solomon died, the empire was already 
breaking in pieces, and discontent was 
seething at home. Without his prestige 
and experience, his son Rehoboam failed 
to meet it ; the northern tribes burst into 
revolt, and from thenceforth a kingdom of 
Israel stood by the side of that of Judah. 
Of the empire of David all that was left 
were Edom, which was kept by Judah, 
and Moab, which went with Israel. Five 
years later, the Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak 
invaded Judah ; Jerusalem was taken, its 
palace burned and its archives destroyed. 
Its short dream of political power was 
gone for ever ; thenceforward it was in the 
world of religion, and not of politics, that 
its influence was to be felt. 

The political stage was thus cleared 
for the advent of Assyria. And for many 
centuries Assyria had been preparing 
itself for its future work. At first it had 
been merely the district surrounding 
the deified city of Assur, now Kala 
«,. Sherghat, on the western bank 

1 1 ary ^^ ^^^ Tigris.' The names of 

mpirc o ^j^^ early kings and high-priests 
^" who had founded or repaired 

the Temple of Ashur were remembered 
down to later days, and from the first it 
had been a stronghold of the Semite. 
For many centuries it had been included 
in the Babylonian empire, and a letter of 
Hammurabi refers to the troops who 
were stationed there. With the Kassite 
conquest of Babylonia, Assyria recovered 


its independence and the high-priest 
became a king. The sources of his power 
lay in the north ; there Nineveh had been 
built at the junction of the Tigris and the 
Upper Zab, and communication was kept 
up, not only with Southern Armenia, but 
even with the colonies in distant Cappa- 
docia. Bronze, of which the earliest 
known examples have been found in Asia 
Minor, was imported into Palestine and 
Egypt on the one side, and into Assyria 
on the other, and the horse followed in 
the wake of bronze. 

From the outset, the Assyrian was a 
trader rather than an agriculturist. 
Circumstances forced him to be a soldier 
as well. The need of keeping the road to 
the north open obliged Assyria to be from 
the first a military kingdom, and the 
neighbourhood of the Kurdish mountains, 
with their wild and thievish population, 
kept the Assyrian troops constantly 
employed. The power of the Assyrian 
kings, like that of the kings of the northern 
kingdom of Israel, rested on the army ; 
they were, in fact, military commanders 
who owed their authority to a successful 
revolt from Babylonia. Hence 
Assyria in Assyria the head of the state 

of BarioTia '^^^ ^^^ ^^^S' ^"^ "°*' ^ '"^ 
ay onia j^^j^yiQi^j^^ ^^^q g^^j . while the 

Babylonian monarch was subordinate to 
the priesthood, the Assyrian monarch 
was himself the high-priest. Like Jahveh 
in Israel, Ashur in Assyria was a " Lord 
of Hosts " : without wife or child, he led 
the Assyrian armies to victory, and 
destroyed those who would not acknow- 
ledge his name. 

Babylonia was long reluctant to recog- 
nise the independence of its rebellious 
vassal. Burnaburiash, the Babylonian 
king, in his letters to the Egyptian 
Pharaoh, still claims sovereignty over the 
northern kingdom. But facts were too 
strong for theories, and finally, in the 
thirteenth century before our era, Tiglath- 
In-aristi, or Tukulti-Ninib I., king of 
Assyria, took the sacred city of Babylon 
by storm and had himself crowned king 
of Babj'lonia. His father, Shalmaneser I., 
the builder of Calah near Nineveh, about 
1300 B.C., had carried on campaign after 
campaign against the Aramaeans and 
Hittites, and had brought Northern 
Mesopotamia under his rule. 

For seven years, Tiglath-In-aristi was 
lord of Babylon. Then a conspiracy was 
formed against him at home ; he was 



assassinated in his palace, and one of his 
sons seized the crown. A Babylonian 
king of the Kassite dynasty once more sat 
on the Babylonian throne. But the 
political prestige of Babylonia had de- 
parted. From thenceforth Assyria, and not 
Babylonia, was the ruling power in the 
valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. The 
sceptre had passed from the mixed people 
of Babylonia to the purer Semites of 

Under Tiglath-pileser I., in iioo B.C., 
Assyria resumed its career of foreign 
conquest. The nations of Northern Asia 
Minor were driven back from the Assyrian 
provinces which adjoined Cappadocia, 
the Armenian highlands were harassed by 
Assyrian armies, and the command of the 
high-road from Mesopotamia to Palestine 
was transferred to Assyrian hands. From 
the Phoenician coast the Assyrian king 
sailed out to sea in a ship of Arvad, and 
there he received presents from the 
Pharaoh of Egypt, which included a 
crocodile and a hippopotamus. Perhaps 
these were intended for a zoological 
garden, since the king had established 
. botanical gardens at Ashur 
The Assyrian ^^^^ Nineveh, planted with the 
trees and shrubs of foreign 
lands. An attempt to invade 
Babylonia was unsuccessful, and the imme- 
diate followers of Tiglath-pileser do not 
seem to have been gifted with high military 
qualities. At all events for several genera- 
tions the armies of Assyria remained at 
home, and by the capture of the Assyrian 
fortresses at the fords of the Euphrates 
the Aramaeans once more barred the 
way to the West. Palestine, accordingly, 
which had been threatened by the Assyrian 
advance, was allowed a respite ; oppor- 
tunity was given for the founding of 
David's empire, and the merchants of 
Nineveh were compelled to leave the 
trade of the Mediterranean in the hands 
of the Phoenicians. 

Under Ashurnasirpal , II., who ruled 
B.C. 883-85S, the Assyrian lion again 
awoke. Year after year the Assyrian 
army marched out of the gates of Nineveh, 
carrying ruin with it wherever it went. 
The campaigns were largely of the char- 
acter of raids ; their chief object was 
plunder. But they not only filled 
Nineveh with the wealth of other lands 
and made the name of Assyria one of 
terror; they also trained the Assyrian 
army itself so that it became well-nigh 



irresistible. East, west and north it 
made its way, and the ruthlessness of its 
king — the cruellest of a cruel race — 
marked its track with fire and blood. 

Ashurnasirpal's son and successor, 
Shalmaneser II., who reigned B.C. 858-823, 
maintained the military traditions of his 
father. But, unlike his father, he aimed 
_, , at something more than mere 

Shalmaneser -,■ -ru j i j 

r ♦ ki- k raidmg. Ihe conquered lands 
_ . were placed under Assyrian 

an Empire '^ , . j . -^ 

governors and required to pay 
tribute, which was also exacted from the 
vassal princes who had submitted to the 
rule of Ashur. We can thus speak 
once more of an Assyrian empire, which 
had a more permanent character than that 
of Shalmaneser I. or Tiglath-pileser I. 
And with the establishment of the empire 
was associated a commercial policy. Every 
effort was made to open and keep the 
high-road to the Mediterranean ; the 
Phoenician cities were made tributary, 
and for the first time Palestine became 
an Assyrian battle-ground. Its posses- 
sion meant the supremacy of Assyria in 
Western Asia, and therewith its com- 
mercial supremacy in the civilised world. 

In B.C. 853 Shalmaneser met at Karkar 
a confederacy of the Syrian states, which 
had been formed against him by the 
king of Hamath. Damascus was repre- 
sented in it as well as " Ahab of Israel " ; 
Arabs, Ammorites and Phoenicians had 
also sent their chariots and infantry. 
The battle ended in favour of the As- 
syrians, but Shalmaneser found himself 
too much weakened to pursue his advan- 
tage. Four years later he returned to 
the attack, and once more the Hamathites 
and their allies were defeated. The 
conquest of Syria, however, proved more 
difficult than he had anticipated, and 
even when he led 120,000 picked troops 
of Assyria against Ben'-Hadad of Da- 
mascus, in B.C. 845, the result was a 
drawn battle. But events fought for 
him in the West. Ben-Hadad 

ssyna ^^^^ murdered by Hazael, and 
c*'"^ the throne of Ahab usurped 
^^"' by Jehu. When the As- 
syrian forces again appeared, in B.C. 841, 
there was no longer the formidable 
league of a few years earlier to oppose it. 
Hazael was besieged in Damascus ; Jehu 
paid homage, and sent tribute by his 
ambassadors, whose portraits are sculp- 
tured on an obelisk of black marble 
now in the British Museum [see page 1664]. 


The other campaigns of Shalmaneser 
were directed partly against the Armenian 
highlands of the north, from which it was 
always possible for the invader to swoop 
down upon Assyria, partly against the 
Hittites on the Orontes and in Cilicia, 
who stood in the way of his schemes for 
creating an Assyrian province in Syria. But 
_^ , , before the schemes could be 

Shalmaneser s ^^^^^^^^ ^^g q]^ king grew too 
Son Revolts ,; , , , .i, ? ij t-u 

. _ . mnrm to take the held. I he 

and Reigns i r i ■ 

command of his armies was 
entrusted to a general, and intrigue and 
conspiracy began at home. First Ashur, 
the ancient capital, then Nineveh and 
the neighbouring cities, revolted under 
his son Ashur-dan-pal, and for five 
years a rival prince reigned over 
the divided monarchy. Thanks, how- 
ever, to the military abilities of another 
son, Samsi - Raman (Shamshi - Adad), 
and the veteran soldiers who followed 
him, the revolt was at last put down ; 
Nineveh was taken and the rebel king 
perished in the ruins of his palace. 
Shalmaneser died shortly afterwards, and 
Samsi-Raman IV. was proclaimed his 
successor. He reigned for thirteen years, 
the earlier of which were occupied in 
campaigns against Armenia and the 
Medes, who for the first time appear on 
the horizon of Asiatic history, while the 
later years were distinguished by a suc- 
cessful invasion of Babylonia. 

His son Adad-nirari IV. once more 
turned his attention to the West. The 
policy of Shalmaneser was resumed, and 
an Assyrian army again entered Syria. 
Damascus surrendered, and its king, Marih, 
purchased safety by submission and 

But a new power had risen out of the 
north. While the Assyrians had been 
engaged in repressing the raiding ten- 
dencies of the semi-barbarous Aryan 
Medes on the eastern side of their terri- 
tories a new dynasty had established 
itself in Armenia, on the shores 
rmenian ^^ Lake Van, full of life and 
Imitation of , . i i n 

. . energy and eager to adopt all 

the arts and habits of Assyrian 
civilisation. The cuneiform script of 
Assyria was introduced in a modified 
form ; cities and palaces were built in 
imitation of those of Assyria ; Assyrian 
art was adapted to the older art of the 
country ; above all, an army was formed 
modelled after that of the Assyrian 
kings. From their capital, on the site 

of the modern Van, the Armenian sove- 
reigns went forth to conquer and to 
establish an empire which extended from 
Lake Urumiya on the east to Cappadocia 
on the west, and robbed Assyria of its 
fairest provinces in the north. The 
descendants of Ashurnasirpal and Shal- 
maneser were in no position to resist the 
new force that had thus suddenly grown 
up beside them. They became feebler 
every year, and the revolt of Ashur in 
B.C. 763 brought matters to a crisis. The 
revolt spread to the provinces of the 
empire, and an expedition against Arpad 
in B.C. 754 was the last expiring effort of 
the old regime. Eight years later the 
army itself rebelled ; the reigning king, 
Ashur-nirari II., disappeared from the 
scene, and on the 13th of lyyar, or April, 
B.C. 745, a military adventurer, Pulu, or 
Pul, seized the crown and assumed the 
name of Tiglath-pileser IV. 

Tiglath-pilescr, the founder of the 
later Assyrian empire, was a man of 
unusual ability and military skill. His 
fin\st task was to reorganise the kingdom, 
his next to create an army which, by the 
help of superior discipline and 

' . arms, should become an irre- 
an lL>mpire • , -i i • r a • 

„ . sistibie engine of war. Assyria 

Founder ° ., ,./. 

was m a perilous condition. 

In the north it was threatened by the 
Armenians ; westward its road to the 
Mediterranean had been cut off ; to the 
south, Babylonia was restless and menac- 
ing ; while the Medes on the east took 
advantage of its weakness to recommence 
their raids. The new ruler of Assyria had 
not even the prestige of birth and descent ; 
his title had not been legitimised by the 
priesthood of Babylon, and the Assyrians 
had just tasted the pleasures of a successful 

The Aramaean nomads of Northern 
Arabia and the Median raiders were the first 
to learn that order had been restored in 
Assyria. They were driven out of the 
Assyrian territories, and an expedition 
which reached the Caspian taught the 
Medes to respect Assyrian power. Then 
Tiglath-pileser turned to the Armenians 
and their northern allies. A hard- fought 
battle, not far from Malatiya, decided 
the fate of the campaign. Sarduris, the 
Armenian king, fled from the field, where 
72,950 of his soldiers, with his state 
carriage and a vast amount of spoil fell 
into the hands of the victors. The Hittite 
and Phoenician princes hastened to pay 




homage to the conqueror, and the mer- 
chants of Nineveh found themselves once 
more able to share in the profits of the 
Mediterranean trade. 

Tiglath-pileser, however, was not con- 
tent with the almost nominal ties which 
had hitherto connected the conquered 
provinces of the Assyrian empire with the 
governing state. For the first time he 
introduced into politics the conception of 
a centralised government. Thenceforward 
the provinces of the empire were to form 
a single organism, strictly controlled by a 
bureaucracy, at the head of which was the 
king. The amount of taxation each should 
contribute was carefully defined, and the 
royal residence became an imperial city 
into which the wealth of its dependencies 
was poured. The empire was extended 
and maintained by a standing army, in the 
wake of which followed the civil function- 
aries. The army itself was provided with 
new weapons and instructed in new tactics. 
Thoroughly disciplined, and consisting as 
it did of conscripts raised partly in Assyria, 
partly in the dependent provinces, it soon 
became practical master of Western Asia. 
With this new instrument at his 

en ra ise (^jgpQg^^^ Tiglath-pileser under- 
_ ^ "^ took what he determined should 

^^^^ be a lasting conquest of the 

West. The king was as keen as his mer- 
chants to direct into the coffers of Nineveh 
the trade of the world, and for this the 
subjugation of the Phoenician cities was 
essential. But campaign after campaign 
was needed before the spirit of the Syrian 
states could be finally broken, and Tiglath- 
pileser was forced to have recourse to the 
new expedient of transporting a trouble- 
some nationality from its home. Hamath 
vainly tried to preserve its independence 
by alliance with Azariah of Judah and 
other Syrian princes ; it was taken by 
storm and reduced to the condition of an 
Assyrian satrapy. In B.C. 732 the same 
fate befell Damascus. 

Rezon, the Damascene king, and Pekah 
of Israel had endeavoured to dethrone 
the young king Ahaz of Israel, and to 
substitute for him a creature of their own 
who would join them in the defiance of 
their Assyrian suzerain. Ahaz appealed 
to Tiglath-pileser, who, nothing loth, soon 
made his appearance upon the scene. 
Samaria and its king were crushed, Rezon 
fled to his capital, where, after a siege of 
two years, he was starved out and put to 
death. Meanwhile, a pretext was found 

for exactmg a heavy fine from Tyre, and 
the expenses of the wars in Syria were paid 
for with the 150 talents of gold — about 

§2,000,000 — which the merchant princes 
of that city were compelled to provide. 

In B.C. 735 a campaign into the heart 
of Ararat had effectually put a stop to 
all immediate danger from that quarter. 
„ . The Armenian king was forced 

ynan an ^^ retreat to his capital and 
^ j^ ^ there watch helplessly the 

**" * wasting of his country by the 
Assyrian army. Leagues of fertile land 
were reduced to desert, and Tiglath-pileser 
added the insult of setting up a memorial 
of his successes just outside the gate 
of Van. 

Tiglath-pileser had thus justified in 
deed his right to be king ; it was now 
time that his title should be justified in law. 
In B.C. 731, accordingly, he marched into 
Babylonia, and two years later he was 
crowned king at Babylon, and his right to 
rule the empire of Sargon of Akkad 
acknowledged by the priests of Bel. The 
long struggle between Babylonia and its 
insurgent vassal Assyria was over ; the 
vassal had prevailed, and the Babylonians, 
though with an ill grace, had to submit to 
Assyrian supremacy 

Tiglath-pileser IV. died in December, 
B.C. 727, and was succeeded by a certain 
Ulula, who took the name of Shalmaneser 
IV. While besieging Samaria, he died or 
was murdered in December 722 B.C., and 
the throne was seized by another general, 
who assumed the name of Sargon, " the 
legitimate king," and subsequently en- 
deavoured to justify his title by claiming 
to be descended from the ancient kings of 
Assur. The army was now all-powerful ; 
frequent revolution, as in the northern 
kingdom of Israel, had destroyed among 
the people all feeling of veneration for the 
ruling monarch, and the throne conse- 
quently was the prize of the ablest or most 
influential military commander. Sargon, 
however, proved that he had 

1 1 ary^ the abihty to conquer and 
Regime in -^ ,, . ■ r, 

. . govern, as well as to mnuence 

ssyria ^^^ soldiery, and he also suc- 
ceeded in doing what his immediate 
predecessors had failed to accomplish — 
handing on his power to his descendants. 
The year after his accession saw the 
capture of Samaria. Its leading citizens, 
27,280 in number, were carried into exile, 
and the country placed under an Assyrian 
governor. In P.c. 717 came the fall of 



Carchemish, with which the history of the 
Hittites finds its end. The city became 
the seat of an Assyrian satrap, and the 
ford across the Euphrates was henceforth 
under Assyrian control. Trade had 
definitely passed into Assyrian hands. 

But the northern kingdoms made one 
last struggle for resistance. Rusas I. of 
Van placed himself at the head of a great 
confederacy which included the Minni of 
Lake Urumiya and Midas the Moschian 
in Asia Minor. Year after year the war 
lasted with varying fortunes. At last 
the time came when the Assyrians were 
victorious all along the line ; their 
armies penetrated the barrier of the 
northern mountains, and the strongest 
fortresses of the enemy fell into their 
hands. Even the Medic tribes had to 
submit to the conqueror. The power of 
Ararat was broken for ever ; the Assyrian 
king had nothing further to fear from its 

Sargon was now free to turn his face 

southward. The revolution which had 

placed him on the throne had cost Assyria 

the possession of Babylonia. Merodach- 

. baladan, the Chald?ean, had 

a y °''\* emerged from the marshes at 

wcp wi theheadof the Persian Gulf, 

Fire and Sword i ,1 i • a i ^ 

and with his Aramaean lol- 

lowers had made himself master of Babylon. 
When the fortune of war began to set 
against the nations of the north he did 
his best to prepare for the coming storm. 
Alliance was made with Elam on the east, 
and ambassadors were sent to Palestine 
in the west to stir up disaffection there 
and form a league against the common 
oppressor. All, however, was in vain. 
Before the confederates were ready, Sargon 
had struck his blow. His tartan, or 
commander-in-chief, took the Philis- 
tine town of Ashdod by storm, while 
he himself swept Babylonia with fire and 
sword. Merodach-baladan was driven 
back to his ancestral marshes and the 
Assyrian conqueror crowned king at 
Babylon B.C. 709. Five years later he 
was murdered and succeeded by his son 
Sennacherib on the 12th of Ab, or July, 
B.C. 705. Brought up in the purple, 
Sennacherib had neither the ability nor 
the tact of his father. His reign was to 
a large extent a failure. From the first, 
Babylonia was in constant revolt, and the 
vassal kings he appointed over it were 
dethroned either by their subjects or by 
the Elamites as soon as the Assyrian 


garrisons were away. Elam, after so 
many centuries of seclusion thus once 
more entered the political world of 
Western Asia. With its help Babylonia 
continued to resist the Assyrian domina- 
tion, and though Assyria was apparently 
successful its strength was drained in the 
contest and Babylonia triumphed in 

- K 'h ^^^ ^^^' ^h^t Elam was to 

Babylonia, Egypt was to Pales- 

, , tine. Ethiopian princes had 

Jerusalem jii ^^ c ^^ xti 

conquered the valley of the Nile 

and put fresh blood into the old kingdom 

of the Pharaohs. Lavish in their promises 

of help they induced the nations on either 

side of the Jordan to rise against the 

Assyrian. Hezekiah of Judah put himself 

at the head of the confederacy, secure in 

the strong walls of Jerusalem and the 

expectation of Egyptian aid. 

In B.C. 701 a huge army marched out 
of Nineveh under the command of the 
king himself. Tyre, indeed, remained 
untaken, but Sidon was captured along 
with the other towns of the Phoenician 
coast. Judah was ravaged up to the 
gates of its capital, but it was in vain that 
Sennacherib called upon the Jewish king 
to submit. At Eltekeh a drawn battle 
was fought with the Egyptian forces, and 
when pestilence soon afterwards descended 
upon the invading army, Sennacherib had 
no resource left but to return to Assyria. 
The rebellious vassal at Jerusalem re- 
mained unpunished, like Greece after the 
retreat of Xerxes. 

For the next few years Sennacherib 
had more than enough to occupy him in 
Babylonia and Elam. The great battle 
of Khalule in B.C. 68g brought matters to 
a crisis. According to the Assyrian annals 
the chariot of Sennacherib waded through 
pools of blood and rode over heaps of 
slain. Countless numbers of Babylonians 
and Elamites strewed the ground, and 
the Assyrian victory was complete. But 
the Babylonian records tell a different 
Tk e 1, story, and claim the victory for 
The Sack ggj ^^ Babylon. As a matter 
_ . , of fact, the battle would seem 

Babylon .11 j 

to have been a drawn one, 
with the advantage on the side of the 
Assj'rians. In the following year, when 
they appeared before Babylon, there was 
no force to resist them, and the holy city 
of Western Asia was taken and razed to 
the ground. Its temples and palaces were 
destroyed, and its ruins choked the canals. 
The act of sacrilege and brutality made a 


profound impression upon the civilised 
world, and more than a century afterwards 
Babylonian historians held up the name 
of Sennacherib to execration. His right 
to rule was never legitimised, for it was 
never acknowledged by the Babylonian 
priesthood. When he was murdered by 
his two sons on the 20th Tebet, or De- 
-. ^ cember, B.C. 681, his death 

Heaven-sent -, ■, .-, • , , 

,, was regarded as the righteous 

Vengeance on ° ^1 ? ii 

c . .. vengeance 01 heaven. Another 

Sennacherib °t- i 1 1 . .1 

son, h-sarhaddon, was at the 

time commanding the Assyrian army on 
the frontiers of Armenia. For forty-two 
days the conspirators held Nineveh ; 
then they fled with their followers to the 
Armenian camp, and a decisive battle 
took place in Cappadocia, on the 12th of 
lyyar or April. The Assyrian veterans 
gained the day, and at the close of it 
saluted Esarhaddon as king. At once 
he set out for Nineveh, which had no choice 
but to confirm the decision of the soldiery. 
Esarhaddon, however, proved to be 
one of the best of the Assyrian kings. 
At once he entered on a policy of con- 
ciliation. One of his first acts was to go 
in person to Babylonia and there set 
about the restoration of Babylon. The 
temple of Bel-Merodach rose again from 
its ruins, the priests were recalled from 
exile, and Esarhaddon was acknowledged 
king of Babylon as well as king of Assyria. 
Babylon became the second city of the 
empire, where the king held court during 
part of the year. 

But an unexpected danger threatened 
both Assyria and the whole fabric of 
Asiatic civilisation. One of Sennacherib's 
acts of folly had been to destroy the 
kingdom of Ellip, which formed a " buffer- 
state " between Assyria and the wild 
tribes of the east. Cimmerians or Scyths 
from Southern Russia crossed the Cau- 
casus and settled in the devastated land, 
where they allied themselves with the 
Median tribes. Esarhaddon now found 
himself confronted by the 
northerners, who had overrun 
. . Armenia and attacked the bor- 

der cities of the empire. Public 
prayers were ordered to avert the danger, 
and finally a battle in Cilicia drove the 
invaders to the Greek and Lydian settle- 
ments on the coast of Asia Minor. 

The supremacy of Assyrian trade was 
the next object of Esarhaddon's concern. 
All attempts at rivalry on the part of 
Phoenicia were suppressed for the future 

by the destruction of Sidon, and the 
building of a new Sidon, which was filled 
with Assyrian colonists ; while the tran- 
quil acquiescence of Palestine in Assyrian 
rule was secured by the invasion of Egypt. 
In B.C. 674 Egypt was conquered and 
divided into twenty satrapies, each of 
which was placed under an Assyrian 
governor. Of all the kingdoms of the 
civilised Oriental world Elam alone re- 
mained independent. 

The Bedouins of Northern Arabia had 
been coerced into order by a punitive ex- 
pedition which penetrated through the 
trackless and waterless desert into the very 
heart of the peninsula. The expedition was 
an amazing one, and is a remarkable proof 
of Esarhaddon's military capacities, and 
the excellence of the Assyrian commissariat. 

The Egyptians, however, did not submit 
to Assyrian rule with equanimity. A revolt 
broke out, and while on the march to 
suppress it Esarhaddon died on the 12th 
of Marchesvan, or October, B.C. 667. 
His empire was divided between his two 
sons, Shamash-shum-ukin receiving Baby- 
Ionia, and Ashurbanipal the rest. At first 

... . „ the arrangement seemed to 
Ashurbanipal s , n xu t-> u 1 • 

, . work well, the Babylonians 

A J-?- ^ being flattered by this 

Ambitions , ^ , i , / .i • • 

acknowledgment ot their 

equality with Nineveh. But after a time 
Shamash-shum-ukin became more Baby- 
lonian than his subjects, and indulged in the 
dream of restoring the ancient empire of 
Hammurabi, while, on the other side, 
Ashurbanipal's claim to be his suzerain 
became more and more articulate. With a 
restless Elam behind Babylonia, sooner or 
later a conflict was inevitable. 

Ashurbanipal, however, was no lover 
of war. He was fond of ease and luxury ; 
his desire was to be a patron of art and 
literature, and to be known as the founder 
of the greatest library in the world. 
The copy of an old book was the most 
precious spoil that could be sent to him 
from a conquered city, and his scribes 
were busily employed in re-editing the 
ancient Hterature of the country and 
compiling works for the use of students. 
If war broke out, he sent his generals to 
fight for him while he feasted — or fasted — 
at home. 

Moreover, the earlier years of Ashurbani- 
pal's reign were fully occupied in re- 
pressing the attempts of Egypt to recover 
its freedom. Time after time the Assyrian 
garrisons were withdrawn, only to be 



immediately recalled to put down another 
revolt. Eventually, Thebes, the centre 
of disaffection, was utterly destroyed ; 
for days the Assyrian soldiers were em- 
ployed in hewing in pieces its temple- 
fortresses ; two of its obelisks were carried 
to Nineveh as trophies of victory, and 
the former capital of Egypt was reduced 
to a collection of mud-built villages. 
The city never recovered from the blow. 

The Cimmerian hordes, taught by the 
lesson they had received in Cilicia, still 
respected Assyrian territory. But Armenia 
and Lydia were each suffering at their 
hands, and each accordingly applied for 
help to " the great king." The unwonted 
sight was seen at Nineveh of ambassadors 
from the Lydian Gyges and Sarduris III. 
of Van, for whom an interpreter was diffi- 
cult to find. Assyria seemed to have 
reached the zenith of its power ; the whole 
civilised world lay at its feet, and the will 
of its monarch was as the will of a god. 

But the feet of the colossus were of 
clay. Suddenly Babylonia burst into 
revolt, with the armies of Elam behind 
it, and the other provinces of the empire 

_ in its train. For long the issue 

with Fec7* trembled in the balance. But 
^* _ *^ the disciphned veterans of 
*^ Nineveh and the wealth of its 
merchants finally prevailed. Syria and 
Palestine returned to their allegiance, 
Babylon was invested by the Assyrian 
army and at last starved into surrender. 
The Elamite forces were driven back into 
their mountains, and Shamash-shum-ukin 
burned himself amid the ruins of his 

Egypt, however, was lost for ever. 
With the mercenaries he had hired from 
Gyges of Lydia, Psarnmetichus had suc- 
ceeded in shaking off the Assyrian yoke 
and founding the twenty-sixth dynasty 
in B.C. 660. It was the St. Luke's summer 
of Egyptian history. An antiquarian 
revival dreamed of restoring both the 
art and the political power- of the past, 
and for a while the imitation seemed 
successful. The ruined temples were re- 
built, the masterpieces of ancient sculp- 
ture were closely copied, and the land once 
more enjoyed peace and prosperity. The 
later Pharaohs of the dynasty even 
grasped at the Asiatic empire of the past ; 
Necho made Palestine again the tributary 
of Egypt, and, hke Thothmes, so many 
centuries before, fixed the boundaries 
of his dominions at the Euphrates. 


But the Egyptian revival was evanes- 
cent. It was effected with the help of 
Greek mercenaries, and the wealth which 
filled the coffers of the Pharaoh was 
derived in part from the Greek traders of 
Naukratis. The European had entered 
the land, not again to quit it ; the valley of 
the Nile was ceasing to be either African 
p or Asiatic, and was about to 

. J, become European. I he declme 

\^ n^'^cuA of Assyria had allowed Egypt 

in B.C. 650 , -^ , . i^^iJ 

thus to claim once more its old 

position as a world power. The Elamite 

wars had ended in a barren victory for 

Ashurbani])al ; Susa, the Elamite capital, 

was indeed levelled with the ground, 

the tombs of its kings had been desecrated, 

and the Elamite monarchy had ceased to 

exist. But the struggle had left Assyria 

in a state of collapse. Its treasury was 

empty, and the bare mountains and 

ravaged fields of Elam were unable to 

replenish it ; while its fighting-men had 

perished in the Babylonian revolt and the 

Elamite wars, and none were left to fill 

their places. When the Scythian hordes 

once more crossed the Assyrian frontiers 

there was none to resist them. Resist- 

lessly the}' poured over the rich plains and 

cities of the empire, and penetrated as far 

south as the borders of Egypt, where they 

were bought off by a bribe. Calah, the 

suburb of Nineveh, was taken and sacked. 

Nineveh was saved only by the strength 

of its walls. When Ashurbanipal died his 

empire and with it the kingdom of Assjaia 

itself were tottering to their fall. 

The end came in B.C. 606. Sin-sar- 
iskun, the last Assyrian king, had vainly 
sought to check the growing power of 
his satrap in Babylonia, Nabopolassar. 
Cyaxares of Media led his legions against 
the doomed city ; after a protracted siege 
Nineveh was taken, its ruler slain, its 
people carried into captivity, its palaces 
and temples burnt with fire. Assyria and 
its empire had passed for ever from the 
. stage of history. Babylonia and 

ssyna Media divided the relics of its 
J p empire between them. In 
605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, the 
son of Nabopolassar, overthrew the 
Egyptian forces at Carchemish, and 
put an end to the . dream of an 
Egyptian empire in Asia. The death of 
his father shortly afterwards placed the 
Babylonian crown upon his head, and 
Babylon again became the capital of 
the Oriental world. Great architectural 


works were undertaken to make it a worthy 
successor of Nineveh , and it was surrounded 
by fortifications which made it well-nigh 
impregnable. Nebuchadnezzar showed him- 
self as able in the arts of peace as he was 
in war, a patron of architecture and learn- 
ing as well as a pious worshipper of the 
gods. When he died, after a reign of 
_ forty-three years, the sceptre 

* *^* dropped into feebler hands. The 
Persia priestly party intrigued against 
the sovereign, and eventually the 
throne was usurped by Nabonidus, who 
seems to have represented the mercantile 
class. The heart of Nabonidus was in 
antiquarian pursuits rather than in the 
government of his kingdom, and the army 
was entrusted to his son Belshazzar, while 
no heed was paid to the growing disaffection 
in the country due to his attempt to 
centralise religious worship in Babylon. 

But a new power was rising in the East. 
In the closing days of the Assyrian 
empire the Aryan clan of Persians had 
settled in deserted Elam, and had there 
revived the ancient kingdom of Ansan. 
They yielded a nominal obedience to the 
Median king, but for all practical purposes 
were independent. Their princes inter- 
married with the native Elamites, and one 
of them, Cyrus II., proved to be a military 
genius of the first order. By his overthrow 
of the Median monarchy, in 549 B.C., he 
became the master of an empire which 
rivalled that of Nabonidus. The conquest 
of the Median empire was followed by that 
of Lydia, which placed Asia Minor at his 
feet, and for the first time brought Asia 
into direct collision with Greece. 

Then, in 538 B.C., came the invasion of 
Babylonia. The Babylonian army was 
defeated near Opis, and Babylon shortly 
afterwards opened its gates to the con- 
queror. Nabonidus surrendered, and the 
death of Belshazzar removed all further 
opposition to the invaders. They had, in 
fact, been welcomed by an influential party 
in Babylonia itself. Cyrus was 
p^^J^^*^ regarded by the priests as the 
instrument of Bel - Merodach's 
vengeance on the godless Naboni- 
dus, and Cyrus was not slack in posing as 
the orthodox worshipper of the Babylonian 
god and the rightful successor of Nebu- 
chadnezzar. The exiles from Judah and 
other countries equally welcomed the con- 
queror, in whom they saw a deliverer from 
their Babylonian masters. The later years 
of C3TUS were employed in bringing the 


lands eastward of Persia under his sway. 
When he fell in battle against the 
Scythians, his son Cambyses pursued his 
father's career of conquest and added 
Egypt to the empire. The twenty-sixth 
dynasty ended in Psammetichus II., and 
Egyptian independence was no more. 

But the Nile cast a spell upon its con- 
queror. He lingered in its warmth and 
sunshine while revolt was beginning at 
home. The Magian clan seized the 
supreme power, and placed one of them- 
selves, Gomates by name, upon the deserted 
throne. On his way back from Egypt 
Cambyses died by accident or design, and 
the line of Cyrus was extinct. An avenger 
was found, however, in Darius, the son of 
Hystaspes, who, like Cyrus, claimed 
descent from the Achaemenian Teispes. 
Gomates was murdered, and Darius 
chosen king in 521 B.C. The earlier 
years of his reign were occupied in 
fighting against rivals and pretenders in 
various parts of the empire. But at last 
Darius prevailed and his rivals were over- 

Darius ascribed his victories to Ahura- 

mazda, or Ormazd, the Aryan god. And 

it was indeed the Aryans and their god 

to whom the empire of Cyrus 

Alexandria a 1 i j ta a 

had now passed. Its reconquest 

-,!'".,.'* *" ° by Darius made it the Persian 
Civilisation -^ . ., , . 

empire, the complete organisa- 
tion of which filled the latter years of his 
life. The new empire touched the borders 
of Europe, and Greek colonies sent tribute 
to Susa. At first the struggle lay between 
the Aryans in Asia and the Aryans in 
Europe, beween the Persians and the Greeks 
of Europe, who were destined to turn a 
fresh page in the history of the world. The 
struggle closed with the defeat of Asia. The 
heritage of the old civilisations, which 
Darius had united into a single whole, passed 
to Alexander the Macedonian, and Greek 
kings sat on the thrones of Hammurabi and 
the Pharaohs. The foundation of Alexan- 
dria was the mark and seal of the new order 
in human history ; East and West, Asia, 
Africa, and Europe, all alike met and 
commingled there, but the founder came 
from Europe, and though the elements of 
its culture went back to the dawn of 
Oriental antiquity, the form which they 
received, the stamp which they bore, was 
that of Europe. In Alexandria the old 
civilisations of the Euphrates and Nile 
were reborn and became European. 

Archibald H. Sayce 


Our geographical plan brings us, in this division, to the' countries of Wes.ern Asia- Persia, Arabia, Syria, 
Armenia Asia Minor, and Turkey in Asia. The inset map indicates the great ancient empires of Nearfer 
Asia, whose history is here treated of, including Babylonia, Assyria, Elara, the Hittite Empire, Phoenicia, 
Israel and Judah, ancient Armenia, ancient Asia Minor, Media, Persia, and the Graco-Bactrian Empire. 


5^ "ct;^ ^^^ ^c^ 'c;^ ^c^ ^<^' ^c<^ 'c^ ^t^ Vsy ^^^ {^ 

^.CQ^ .<<>3..cQ:>.;^>3.,c<^ ,cQx X^ /^yx r^Q^ r^<>\ f9?. 




/^F the two civilisations developed in 
^^ the two great river-basins of the 
Nile and of the Euphrates and Tigris, the 
Babylonian civilisation has unquestion- 
ably exercised the greater influence on 
the moulding of the conditions in Nearer 
Asia, though Greek civilisation, and in 
consequence thereof our own, has been 
less influenced by the latter than the 
former. It is not yet possible to discover 
all the threads that were woven indirectly 
between Babylon and Greece, and the 
paths are still unknown by which some 
of the ideas and thoughts of the earliest 
Babylonians reached the civilised nations, 
European as well as others, dwelling out- 
side the immediate sphere of Babylonian 
culture. In order to characterise the 
connection of Greece with Babylonian 
civilisation, it is enough to point to the 
one Babylonian word borrowed by the 
Greeks, nivS,, mina. As to the other 
aspect of the influence of the civilisation 
^ along the Euphrates, let us call 

"^ . attention to one of its pro- 
w ^ ^^^^^ ducts, which we still carry with 
us in our pockets — the watch, 
with its twelve divisions, corresponding 
to the ancient Babylonian division of 
the day into twelve double hours. The 
paths on which the Oriental world, lying 
apparently so far from us, established 
these connections with Europe are up to 
the present still shrouded in complete 
obscurity. Thus, to take a single example, 

it is still a matter for investigation to 
what extent and by what channels the 
laws embodied in the Code of Hammurabi 
may have influenced later systems of 
legislation. But in one striking instance 
the mythology of Babylon has survived 
in European beliefs, and the track of 
_ . this connection may be fol- 

*.^ ""^ lowed ; for it is now generally 
„... admitted that the biblical .ac- 
counts of the Creation and the 
Deluge were in great part derived from a 
Babylonian source. 

The decipherment of the cuneiform 
writing and of the Egyptian hieroglyphs 
has practically doubled the space of 
time which our historical knowledge 
covers — that is to say, the period we can 
survey by means of written documents 
in comparison with that which was 
regarded as history for the districts of 
Western civilisation. It is true that 
excavations on early Greek sites have 
yielded abundant remains of the My- 
cenaean and of pre-Mycensean cultures, 
while recent discoveries in Crete have 
included hundreds of clay tablets in- 
scribed in the writing and language of 
an early Mediterranean people. Further, 
through periods of pre-Minoan culture, 
the civilisation of the Mediterranean 
races may now be traced back to the 
Neolithic Age. But in a more restricted 
sense of the term it may be said that the 
history of Greece can be followed back 

^ 1583 


to the seventh or eighth century b.c. ; 
while the oldest written records of Babylon 
and Egypt go back to the fourth millen- 
nium B.C. The interval which divides 
their first founders from the Dorian 
migration and the beginnings of Rome is 
therefore as great as that which lies 
between our own days and those of the 
. beginnings of Hellenic history. 
Widespread ^j^^g regions influenced by 
the civihsation and history 

Influeace of 

of Babylon stretch far be- 
yond the countries watered by the two 
rivers. States which had reached so high 
a stage of civilisation as those of ancient 
Babylonia could not exist without laying 
under tribute the neighbouring countries, 
and bestowing on them in return their 
own achievements. Thus we see in remote 
antiquity that Babylonia encroached on 
Palestine, Armenia, Elam, even Arabia ; 
trading, conquering, and depositing there 
her superfluous population and the pro- 
ducts of her civilisation, but also exposed 
to the attacks of her barbarian neighbours, 
by whom she was often worsted. The 
history, therefore, of the other states and 
nations of Nearer Asia, taken all in all, is 
grouped round that of Babylonia. It is 
not mere accident that we possess few or 
no accounts of these except the Babylonian, 
in consequence of which their history 
seems to us influenced by Babylonia ; 
for all the surrounding nations looked 
and were drawn toward the seat of 
that civilisation, whether they were 
under its supremacy, or they imposed 
their own rule upon it. This is most 
clearly demonstrated by the widespread 
use of the cuneiform writing, the most 
conspicuous achievement of the Baby- 
lonian intellect, the development of 
which has already been traced and illus- 
trated on page 265 by Professor Petrie. 
It was the vehicle of intellectual 
intercourse in all Nearer Asia. Every- 
where, so far as our view at present 
extends, we meet it : in Elam, in 
Armenia, and even in the heart 

the French 
of the East 

of Asia Minor. In Palestine 
men wrote in cuneiform letters, 
and must accordingly have been ac- 
quainted with the Babylonian language 
and the Babylonian world of thought. 
Even in Egypt itself we shall find that 
the Babylonian writing and language were 
the means of intercourse with the countries 
of Western Asia. In fact, in the fifteenth 
and fourteenth centuries B.C. Babylonian 


was the language of diplomacy and 
commerce, and its employment at this 
period throughout the Nearer East re- 
sembled very nearly the use of French 
at t):ie present day. 

If a study of the development of 
Babylonia implies in itself a history of 
almost all Western Asia, the task will be 
still more comj^lex when we consider that 
the history, comprising more than 3,000 
years, of a civilised world surrounded 
by barbarians must show the most 
varied succession of nationalities. It 
is not one people that meets us in 
Babylonia as the bearer of the " Baby- 
lonian " civilisation ; it is a long series of 
most heterogeneous nations belonging 
to various races, which one after the 
other advanced into the great plain 
between the riv^ers, and lived out the rest 
of their existence under the dominion of 
that civilisation. The same holds good 
of the adjoining countries which were 
subject to its civilising influence, although, 
from want of information, we cannot 
trace the fact so clearly there. 

Just as the great civilisations of 

_ , antiquity have been developed 

Sources of ^ r ■ ,1 a \.„i 

_ . , . on great rivers, the natural 

Babylonian , ■ iT c • i- 

t . » highways 01 communication. 

Immigrants ^ / , ... , , 
so natural migrations take 

their origin in wide regions of steppes, 
which supply nomadic man with food 
for the animals by means of which he 
lives. For, owing to the vast districts 
required by a nomadic life, these extensive 
plains can contain and support com- 
paratively few inhabitants. Thus the 
overgrowth of the population, which is 
periodically felt, compels the wandering 
tribes to seek more productive lands, 
whither the simple but sturdy son of 
Nature is invited by the alluring splendours 
of civilisation, and by the prospects of 
an easy victory over more effeminate 
and civilised races. 

Three such cradles of the human race 
have to be considered in connection with 
the region of Babylonian civilisation — 
the European steppes, from which the 
peoples migrated over the Caucasus or 
round the Caspian Sea, and in the other 
direction through Asia Minor ; the Inner 
Asiatic steppes on the north-east ; and 
Arabia on the south and south-west. 
Of these, the first district may be almost 
excluded from our inquiry, since the 
approach on this side is the most difficult ; 
more important is the Inner Asiatic 

These reproductions of Babylonian tablets illustrate the development of cuneiform writing. The first shows the 
Sumerian picture writing with archaic cuneiform equivalents; the third is a memorial tablet of a governor of Lagash, 
inscribed about B.C. 4500; while the second is an inscription of Xerxes, about B.C. 470, in the most modern form. 

region. With regard to this and the 
European district, it must be noted that 
each of the waves of peoples coming 
from that quarter first beat against the 
states that were posted in front of Baby- 
lonia and were subject to her civilising 
influence — namely, those of Asia Minor, 
Armenia, Elam and Syria. Babylonia 
thus presented against invaders from 
these directions a natural bulwark of 
buffer states, and could not, therefore, 
be so easily overrun by them directly. 

On the other hand, the third district, 
Arabia, with its extensive steppes, from 
earliest times the home of robber nomads, 
immediately adjoins the territory of Baby- 
lon itself. The only natural boundary 
here is the Euphrates ; and the nomads 
could roam unhindered up to the towns 
built upon the right bank, even when a 
strong power attempted to prevent their 

^. „ ., , crossing into the pasture 

The Semites j i • j. r xl 

„ , ^ grounds lymg east of the river. 

Entrance to 9, . ^ ? . ■> r r .■ 

„ . , . it IS a long stretch of irontier, 

Babylonia v , ^, ,' 
running m places through 

wide steppes, which the Babylonian forces 

had to guard, and they were seldom able 

to defend the passage of the river against 

the nomads who pressed onward from 

Arabia. It was from this quarter that 

Babylonia was exposed to the most 

frequent and most lasting immigrations, 

and^the nations who came from that side 

took possession successively of the plain 
between the Euphrates and the Tigris. 
But Arabia, so far as our knowledge 
reaches, was the home of the nations 
which, according to a linguistic classifica- 
tion, we designate as Semites. 

The history of Babylonia itself is in great 
part Semitic ; that of the adjoining nations, 

„ . , . so far as they are subject to its 
Babylonian ■ r, ■ -^ ^ ^ i o 

_. ... ,. influence, is also largely Semi- 
Civilisation ,• i- j • ,-i 

. g ... tic, or supplied m the man- 
ner stated from the two other 
storehouses of mankind. The Semites, 
in fact, attained their highest civihsation 
in Babylonia. It is true that in its origin 
much of this civilisation was non-Semitic. 
Not only their method of writing, but much 
of their art and many of their religious 
beliefs, to say nothing of less important 
elements of culture, were derived from 
the Sumerians, who at a very early 
period occupied the whole of Southern 
Babylonia. But the Sumerian culture 
was adopted by the Semitic popula- 
tion to meet their own needs, and 
they brought to its development all 
that their natural gifts could produce. 
Even in the earliest times of which we 
have knowledge we may trace results of 
Semitic influence, and during the later 
historical periods it gradually became 
the preponderating element in Baby- 
lonian culture. 



So far back as we can survey the history 
of Babylonia, its actors were largely 
composed of Semites. Accordingly, the 
distinct Semitic character of the popula- 
tion comes out in the language, however 
much other elements of population were 
mixed with the Semites. It is, however, 
obvious that our historical knowledge 
Th L k fC^rinot reach the beginning of 
B h I **^* ° ^^^ Babylonian culture. The 
P* h"T*'''^ growth of the means to hand 
IS ory ^Q^j^ history, the introduction 
of a written language, must indeed pre- 
suppose a long course of development in 
culture. It is a long cry from the 
picture-writing of savages to the written 
reports of campaigns and of the building 
of temples, such as the earliest Babylonian 
inscriptions give us, and to the official 
records drawn up according to set forms 
belonging to the same period ; and it may 
be that the nations which reached that 
stage of development worked longer at 
perfecting their inventions than the three 
thousand or more years during which we 
know that cuneiform writing was em- 

We shall see that the oldest records 
with which we are yet acquainted come 
both from Sumerians and Semites. 
These records show very clearly the in- 
fluence of both the peoples who had 
settled in the valley of the Tigris and 
Euphrates. On the one hand, the in- 
scriptions of the earliest Sumerian rulers 
which have been recovered show linguistic- 
ally numerous traces of Semitic influence. 
On the other hand, the earliest Semitic 
rulers of whom we have knowledge 
employ not only the Sumerian method of 
writing, but also in great part the Sumerian 
language, for their inscriptions. Of a 
time when there were no Semites or no 
Sumerians in Babylonia we have as yet 
no knowledge, and it is still a matter for 
conjecture which of these two races was 
first settled in the country. All that we 

_ . can say with xertainty is that 
Sumerians c xi, o u i • ^.u 

. Southern Babylonia was the 

g .. centre of Sumerian influence, 

while it is in Northern Baby- 
lonia that the Semites were first settled. 

It has recently been suggested that the 
Semites may have been the earlier of the 
two races to inhabit the country, and that 
they succeeded in establishing themselves 
in Northern Babylonia, and possibly also 
in the south, where they lived a primitive 
and agricultural life in an undeveloped 


state of civilisation. According to this 
theory the Sumerians were the con- 
quering race, who, before their invasion 
of the country, had already attained a 
high level of culture, and brought with 
them into Babylonia not only the art of 
writing, but also the method of fighting 
in close battalions of heavily armed men ; 
and that, in virtue of their better weapons, 
they imposed their own higher civilisa- 
tion upon the Semitic peasant population, 
whom they found in possession of the 
country. Their conquest of Babylonia 
might, on this theory, be compared to the 
Dorian invasion in Greece or the Norman 
conquest in England. On the other 
hand, it is possible that the Sumerians 
preceded the Semites in their occupation 
of Babylonia, and in that case the con- 
quering race was the less civilised of the 
two. Pressing into the country in over- 
whelming numbers, they would gradually 
have gained the upper hand in the northern 
districts, and have absorbed the higher 
civilisation of the conquered race. At 
present we have not sufficient evidence 
available for deciding definitely between 
these conflicting views. The 
earliest remains that have yet 
_ . . . been recovered exhibit the 
* ^ "*' Sumerians settled chiefly in 
the south, while in the north we find a 
Semitic population preponderating, and 
borrowing for their written records both 
the script and language of their southern 

The first records which we possess are 
composed in the non-Semitic Sumerian 
language. This language is one of 
the principal characteristics of the 
creators of the Babylonian civilisa- 
tion, the inventors of the cuneiform 
characteis. It is also the most valuable 
testimony to their racial importance. 
For, long after men ceased to speak 
Sumerian ; when the most heterogeneous 
nationalities had occupied Babylonia, and 
had gone the same way as the ancient 
Sumerians themselves ; when the various 
Semitic peoples in the valley of the 
Euphrates had played their part ; when 
Persians, Macedonians, or Parthians ruled 
there, down to the age immediately 
preceding the Christian era — Sumerian 
was still used in Babylonia as a sacred 
religious language. It played, therefore, 
a similar part to Latin, which has been 
the language of the learned world and of 
the Church in the Middle Ages and modern 

- mm 


Some of these beautiful objects, found at Tello, and now in the Louvre, were executed over 6,000 years ag-o The 
earliest are the copper votive figures (5 and 7) dating from the reign of the first Babylonian king, before b (■ ■ir)()0 
Ihe beautiful vase (10) is of silver, richly chased and engraved (11 and 12), and was made in the time of' Kine 
tintemena, about li.o. 4500. Somewhat later are the copper figures of an early Chaldaan god (2) and a bull (6h 
,, o o?nn''^4?u" Ii ^ sculptured vase of Gudea (8), and two gods in terra-cotta CJ and <)). These are all about 
13.0. 2j00. Ihe other objects are a finely-sculptured woman's head from Tello (1) and a Chaldsean bull in stone (4). 



times ; only, its survival in this form 
extended over a period nearly twice as 

For considerable periods of their history 
the Sumerians speak to us in inscriptions 
of their own, and thus the past of this 
remarkable people, from the close of whose 
era the tradition of civilisation descends 
in an unbroken line to our 
^ A''^"f5/ own times, has been in some 
degree revealed. Moreover, 

that Lasted 
3,000 Years 

by the preservation of the 
language, inscriptions and religious texts 
in the Sumerian tongue are in our hands, 
extending over a period which comprises 
more than three thousand years. The 
most ancient of the native Sumerian 
records are the inscriptions of the kings of 
Lagash, and Sumerian continued to be 
used as a living language under the later 
kings of Sumer and Akkad. 

With the rise of Babylon under the 
Western Semitic kings of the first 
dynasty a great impetus was given to 
the increased employment of the Semitic 
tongue in the inscriptions of the period, 
and Sumerian gradually dropped out 
of general use. It can easily be imag- 
ined that in the succeeding ages the 
language, which was now only artificially 
preserved, must have gone through stages 
like those of Latin in the Middle Ages ; 
for a revival in the spirit of classicism, 
like that of Latin by the Renaissance, 
was quite foreign to the Oriental 
character. Sumerian became, there- 
fore, more and more corrupt when 
used by later ages. The texts are 
filled with Semiticisms : the later the 
period, the more the texts give the 
impression that they were composed of 
words merely adapted and declined accord- 
ing to Sumerian ; that is to say, the 
originally quite distinct syntax had been 
given up. This Sumerian exhibits the same 
features not merely as the monkish Latin, 
but even as the Macaronic burlesques; 
only, what was merely jesting 
in the latter was seriously 
intended in the former. If 
we add the fact that the 
more ancient the inscriptions are, the more 
ideographic they are — that is, each separate 
word is written with a special hieroglyph — 
we shall realise that our information as to 
the pronunciation of the old Sumerian is 
still very unsatisfactory. We know the 
meaning of the old inscriptions indeed 
from the signs which are famihar to us 





from their significance in Semitic texts, 
but we learn the Sumerian pronunciation 
of the words only from the statements of 
later centuries. 

Notwithstanding the numerous texts 
that have been recovered, we can therefore 
arrive at no certain conclusion as to many 
features of the language ; but we may 
establish enough to show roughly the 
character of Sumerian, one of the oldest 
civilised languages of the world. It is an 
agglutinative language, whose construc- 
tion is not dissimilar to that of the Turkish 
languages, and therefore completely 
different from that of the Semitic tongues. 
Let the following construction serve as an 
example : egal Ur-Engur lugai Uri galu 
e-Anna in-ru-a-ka-ta ^ palace + Ur- 
Engur + king + Ur + man + e-Anna + 
he built + genitive particle + in = in the 
palace of Ur-Engur, the king of Ur, the 
builder of the (temple) e-Anna. The 
connecting genitive, which in Semitic, as 
in English, stands between palace and 
Ur-Engur, goes to the end of the whole 
expression, which therefore composes a 
connected whole, something like a German 
_ ^. compound word. In the same 

o f°Sumeriir "^^^ ^^^^ '^^'''^ '^ ^^^ '^""^^ 
o um na important word, and therefore 

anguagc p]-|ce(;i at the beginning of our 
sentences, the designation of place " in " 
( ^ ta) comes at the end. We must notice 
also the periphrasis of a Semitic participle 
by galu. . . .in-ru-a, man. ... + he built. 
AU attempts to establish an affinity with 
any language of the ancient world, even 
with the various languages of the neigh- 
bouring nations or of those still living, 
are precarious. Phonetically, Sumerian 
had already become to some extent 
corrupt, even as exhibited in the earhest 
inscriptions that have been recovered. 
Most words show only simple syllables of 
vowel and consonant, or consonant-vowel- 
consonant, the last of which has usually 
been lost ; and a great number of originally 
distinct words are again phonetically 
assimilated. Sumerian has thus been worn 
smooth in the same way as Chinese. 

We know nothing of the history of 
Babylonia before we already find Sumer- 
ians and Semites both settled in the 
country, and both spht up into groups of 
independent city-states. One conclusion 
however, can be drawn with perfect 
certainty from the analogy of similar 
relations and of later times. The develop- 
ment of civilisation was not possible in an 


idyllic and peaceful twilight on the fertile 
banks of the Euphrates. The same rela- 
tions of hostility and friendship which we 
find later between the populations of 
different districts, and which exist between 
all civilised peoples not separated by 
insuperable difficulties of communication, 
must have existed even in the still dark 
ages of Babylonian history. Even then 
there must have been trade between the 
different places ; the kings of separate 
cities must have exchanged communica- 
tions, and have made war on one another. 
Where the dark veil is lifted by means 
of historical documents — that is, by 
inscriptions to be reckoned among the 
most ancient monuments of mankind 
which speak to us in words— Semites meet 
us as rulers of the northern districts in the 
plain of the 
Euphrates and 
Tigris. By the 
term Semites, 
we designate, 
in accordance 
with the table 
of nations 
in Genesis, 
chapter x., the 
group of races 
which spoke 
the same 
tongue as the 
Hebrews, there 
included in the 
posterity of 
Shem. It may 
be noted that 
since the intro- 
duction of this term the fact has been 
established that some of the nations there 
classed among the descendants of Shem 
did not speak Semitic ; however, the 
designation is now universally accepted. 

We may regard Arabia as the home of 
the Semites ; indeed, on geographical 
grounds, no other land can be taken into 
consideration. Arabia is, up 
to the present day, the land 
where Semites have kept their 
purity of race, and where they 
live under the same conditions and in the 
same stage of civilisation as their kinsmen 
who, in the fourth millennium before the 
Christian era, attained the object after 
which their descendants sigh ; they won 
the rich civilised lands, which were 
certainly richer and better cultivated then 
than they are now. The only roads on 

The Tide 
of Semitic 


Glazed clay coffins discovered in the ruins of Warka, the ancient Erech, 
where they were found in amazing abundance. They were covered with 
elevated ridges forming panels containing embossed and sculptured 
figures, and were finished with a thick glazing of rich green enamel. 

which nomadic nations could migrate from 
Arabia led to Syria and Palestine. On the 
other sides the country is surrounded by 
the sea, and a migration westward or 
eastward presupposes tha,t the people 
possessed ships, and had therefore passed 
from the stage of nomadism on the steppe 
to that of a settled hfe, or at least had 
taken up fishing, although this 
industry can support only a 
small people No emigration 
on a large scale took place then 
from the south of Arabia ; but when the 
kingdom of Saba and the nations in 
aUiance with it had produced a sort of 
civilisation, there was emigration to Africa 
and Abyssinia. The real tide, however, of 
Semitic migration set toward the north. 
We are in a position to determine 
roughly the 
course and the 
date of the 
later migra- 
tions, for we 
can fix their 
beginning and 
end with toler- 
able accuracy ; 
for those of the 
first we depend 
to a great ex- 
tent upon con- 
jecture. They 
result as a 
natural con- 
sequence of 
the over-popu- 
lation of the 
country, and 
state of civilisation and 
life remain similar, be 
similar interval of time, 
altogether three. 

Arabia the 
Home of the 

must, if the 
conditions of 
repeated at a 
We can distinguish 
and possibly four, great Semitic migra- 
tions toward the north. The last, to 
begin with that one which is traceable 
in the full light of history, is the Arabian. 
This culminated in the conquests of Islam. 
It begins somewhere in the seventh or 
eighth century B.C., when the advance of 
the Arabs into Syria is demonstrable. 
This is preceded by the Aramaean, and we 
can again roughly determine its begin- 
nings. From the fifteenth to the thirteenth 
centuries B.C. we find Mesopotamia already 
flooded by Aramaean nomads. The ad- 
vance of these tribes must have therefore 
begun somewhat earlier. The Canaanite- 
Hebraic migration precedes this, and, as 


This picture of ruin and the uttermost desolation, reproduced by permission from "The Struggle of the Nations" 
(S. P.C. K. ). shows tlie ruins of Babylon in the first half of the nineteenth century, before they were disturbed by excavations. 

the history of the Nearer East. It 
must be noted, however, that any 
calculation as to dates can give only 
approximate results, and that obviously 
a sharply defined division of the several 
migrations is impossible. In the migra- 
tion of races, one wave pushes another 
before it, and the last portions of a 
great group of nations may be still in 
movement when- the vanguard of the next 
is already drawing near. As an example, 
we may cite the case of the Hebrews and 
Aramaeans about the middle of the second 
millennium B.C. The immigrating Western 

Semites of the 

a result, we find that shortly before 2000 
B.C., a population, to be described as West 
Semitic, or Canaanitic, was in possession 
of Babylonia. Lastly, at the very dawn 
of Babylonian history as revealed to us 
by the remains that have been recovered, 
we find Semites settled in Northern Baby- 
lonia, and engaged in acquiring the ele- 
ments of Sumerian civilisation from their 
southern neighbours. It is not unlikely 
that the original home of these Semitic 
Babylonians was also Arabia, and that 
their settlement on the banks of the 
Eui)hrates was due to a migration similar 
to those which 
took place at 
later times. 
But, for fixing 
the date at 
which this 
earliest migra- 
tion may pos- 
sibly have 
taken place, 
the excava- 
tions in Baby- 
lonia have as 
yet furnished 
no evidence. 

These are 
the four great 
groups of Se- 
mitic peoples 
who have in 
succession pro- 
duced great 
e ff e c t s upon 


Nippur was the principal religious centre of the whole of Babylonia. 

scrond migra- 
tion found 
existing in 
Babylonia. a 
highly devel- 
oped civilisa- 
tion, which 
they adojited, 
like every bar- 
barous people 
in similar 
and its insti- 
tutions were 
valid for them. 
\\' h e r e V e r 
our . records 
speak to us, we 
find in Baby- 
lonia a number 
of towns whose 
divine cult was 


in high reputation, and whose import- 
ance as the centre of high-roads, and 
the focus of intercourse and civihsa- 
tion, was maintained throughout all 
history. We shall mention here the most 
important, following the Euphrates upward 
from the south: Eridu,or Abu Shahrain, 
the seat of the Ea cult ; Ur, or Mukayyar, 
the town devoted to moon-worship in 
Southern Babylonia ; Lagash, also called 
Shir-pur-la, with phonetic reading of the 
ideographic style of writing, marked by 
the mounds of Tello, and known to us by 
the excavations of the French consul, De 
Sarzec, and a town not far from Tello, on 

known to have l)een the principal religious 
centre of the whole of Babylonia. In 
Northern Babylonia the most important 
towns are Babylon, the city of Marduk, 
which did not assume the chief role 
until later ; Kish and Opio, in the 
neighbourhood of the later city of 
Seleucia ; and Kutha, or Tell Ibrahim, 
the city of Nergal ; and more to the 
north Sippar, or Abu-Habba, the Sun- 
town of Northern Babylonia ; and Dur- 
ilu, with the cult of Anu, probably 
marked by the mound of Der. Further to 
the north begins the steppe of Mesopo- 
tamia, and we now meet on the banks of 

Ur was an important city-state of Southern Babylonia, and, like others in the Mesopotamian valley, a town of 
the most ancient past when first it appears in history. It was the seat of the worship of Sin, the moon-god. 

the other bank of the Shaft el-Hai, whose 
name is expressed by the signs Gish-khu, 
but was probably pronounced as Umma. 
The rulers of this city waged a constant 
warfare with the early kings of Lagash, 
and their history is typical of that of the 
early Babylonian city-states. Further, 
Isin, which was later the seat of a Baby- 
lonian dynasty ; Larsa, or Senkereh, where 
the South Babylonian sun-cult had its 
seat ; Erech, Uruk, or Warka, the seat 
of Nana-Ishtar ; Nippur, or Niffer, the city 
of Enlil, which has been examined 
by American excavators, and is now 

the Tigris, going up stream, the important 
towns of Ashur, or Kala Shergat, Calah 
Kalkhi, or Nimrud, and Nineveh, at a much 
later period of the greatest importance 
as capitals of the kingdom of Assyria. 
More easterly, toward Media, lies Arbail, 
or Arbela, now Erbil, which commands 
the East Assyrian country, the district 
between the Upper and the Lower Zab. 
Here the roads to Media and the places 
on Lake Urumiya converge. Returning 
to the district between the rivers, we find 
the Sinjar range of hills, certainly once 
occupied by towns, even if nothing has 



hitherto been definitely settled on the point. 

The great steppe of Mesopotamia becomes 

again suitable for considerable settlements 

in the two valleys of the Khabur and 

Belikh. Here there are a number of 

hitherto unexplored "tells" — that is, sites 

of towns now covered by earth, and rising 

_ . , . , in the form of rounded mounds 
Babylonia s , ,, ,. , • 

jj above the surroundmg plam. 

p . .. Harran, the moon-city in the 

upper valley of the Belikh, was 

the most important, and flourished until 

a late period. 

These are by no means all the chief 
towns of the region of Babylonian civilisa- 
tion. On the contrary, we cannot picture 
to ourselves the density of the settle- 
ments with which all the districts that 
come under our notice — if we omit the 
parts of the steppe where water was 
deficient — were then covered. Babylonia, 
at the time of her prosperity, was, like 
Egypt, cultivated in a manner which 
resembles gardening more than our notions 
of agriculture, and was proportionately 
covered with settlements. The towns 
which we have named are only those 
which have played a particularly pro- 
minent role through their political and 
religious importance, or of which we have 
considerable knowledge in consequence 
of excavations on their sites. There are 
besides countless other " tells " which are 
still awaiting the spade of the excavator. 

On the assumption that the Sumerians 
first occupied the whole of Babylonia, 
their displacement by the Semites may be 

described as follows. We may suppose 
that the Semitic immigrants occupied the 
country in the same way as at a later 
period their kinsmen who followed them, 
the Chaldaeans and the Hebrews, can be 
shown historically to have taken possession 
of Babylonia and Canaan. They pressed 
into the open country, where they main- 
tained their position, half on sufferance, 
half by force, and gradually gained posses- 
sion of the towns ; and thus their supre- 
macy over the whole country was secured. 
Instead of nomads they were then settled 
townsfolk, who adopted the civilisation 
of the country unconditionally. Politically, 
an important change was thus effected in 
them. The free nomads, under the head- 
ship of a sheikh, became the subjects of a 
king ; for their leader turned the existing 
institutions to his own advantage more 
quickly than his "brothers" who fol- 
lowed him. We must, then, assume that 
there were gradually formed a series of 
separate city-states corresponding to the 
old Sumerian centres of civilisation in the 
districts which were occupied by the several 

_ . invading tribes. They had 
Sumerians ^ . ^ ■ c 

Tk- , . scarcely taken possession of 

. g .. these when their kings — just 
like the separate tribes in the 
nomadic era, so far as they were not con- 
nected by "blood relationship" — became 
natural rivals ; and the struggle between 
them necessarily began and continued until 
it ended in the subjugation of the one by 
the other, and in the gradual formation 
of one or more great empires. 

A tnbutary of the Tigris, at Arban, the site of Shadikanna, which was the capital of an Aramaean prince. 








"XA/E should naturally expect to find as 
' the earliest monuments of Babylonia 
inscriptions of kings of the various great 
towns which were at war with one another. 
This expectation has been fulfilled by the 
most recent discoveries. Small as they 
are in comparison with what may still be 
won from the soil, they are amply suffi- 
cient to give a picture of the political 
conditions of the period. 

The earliest inscriptions hitherto known 
are those of kings of Lagash in Southern 
Babylonia, of Kish, and of the city of 
Gish-khu, or Umma, whose rulers we find 
at war with each other and alternately 
gaining the upper hand. There is no 
object in following them minutely, or in 
attempting to arrange in chronological 
order all the names of rulers that have 
been recovered. But a sketch may here 
be given of the principal facts 
that have been established. 



The result of these wars is the 
development of larger king- 
doms ; for the king of the victorious town is 
reckoned the lord of the subjugated princes, 
who call themselves " Patesi," or priest- 
kings. In the earliest period we know 
that Lugal-shag-engur, patesi of Shirpurla, 
or Lagash, was the contemporary of Me- 
silim, king of Kish, for a mace-head has 
been discovered at Tello, bearing an inscrip- 
tion of the latter king, which records his 
rebuilding of the temple of Ningirsu at 
Lagash at the time Lugal-shag-engur was 
patesi of that city. We may see in this 
fact evidence that Me-silim exercised 
suzerainty over Southern Babylonia, and 
it was in consequence of his position as 
over-lord that he was called in as arbitrator 
in a dispute between the cities of Lagash 
and Gish-khu, or Umma. 

The history of the rivalry which existed 
at this period between these two neighbour- 
ing cities may be summarised, as it is 
typical of the relations existing between the 
early city-states. After a treaty of delimita- 
tion between their respective territories had 
been drawn up under the direction of Me- 
bilim, a stele was set up to commemorate 

the fixing of the boundary, and peace 
ensued between the two cities for several 
generations. But at length an ambitious 
patesi of Gish-khu, named Ush, removed 
the stele an-d invaded the plain of Lagash, 
where he succeeded in conquering and 
holding a fertile district named Gu-edin. 
But he was defeated by the men of Lagash, 
_. I and his successor, a patesi 

f ^th ""^ named Enakalli, concluded 
C't St t with Eannatum, patesi of La- 
gash, a solemn treaty concerning 
the boundary between their cities, which is 
still preserved upon the famous " Stele of 
Vultures " in the Louvre, of which an 
illustration is given on page 262 of this 
work. A deep boundary ditch was dug, 
the old stele was restored and a new 
one set up beside it, and Enakalli 
agreed to pay heavy tribute in grain 
for the supply of the great temples in 
Lagash. Again there was a period of 
peace, but on Enakalli s death, Urlumma. 
the successor of Enakalli, broke the treaty 
by destroying the frontier ditches and 
breaking the steles in pieces ; but he 
appears to have been defeated and kept 
in check by Eannatum L, the reigning 
patesi of Lagash. In the reign of Ente- 
mena, the son and successor of Eannatum, 
fresh trouble arose in consequence of raids 
on the part of the men of Gish-khu, and 
_ . . peace was restored only after 
egianings ^ pitched battle and the 
r . capture of the latter city by 

Entemena, who henceforth 
ruled Gish-khu through a governor and ad- 
ministrative officers appointed by himself. 
The history of Gish-khu and Lagash 
illustrates the independent position enjoyed 
by the separate cities of Babylonia at this 
early period, and it also enables us to 
watch the process by means of which the 
more powerful of two neighbouring cities 
in process- of time succeeded in gaining the 
ascendancy. But the temporary character 
of these political combinations is also well 
illustrated by the sequel ; for in the reign 
of Urukagina, who styled himself King 
of Lagash, Lugal-zaggisi, the patesi of 



Gish-khu, succeeded in capturing Lagash, 
which he laid waste, destroying its temples 
and putting its inhabitants to the sword. 
In consequence of this victory and of his 
successes against other cities in Southern 
Babylonia, he claimed the title of " King 
of the land." Other rulers of this early 
time, whose period cannot be exactly 
stated, are Lugal-kigub-nidudu and Lugal- 
kisalsi, kings of Erech and of Ur ; Enshag- 
kushana, a king of Southern Babylonia ; 
and Urumush and Manishtusu, who reigned 
in Kish at a time when that city was at 
the height of its power. 

The earliest empire in the proper sense 
of the term was formed 
with its capital in the city 
of Agade, under whose kings 
the Semitic inhabitants of 
Northern Babylonia for the 
first time succeeded in en- 
forcing their authority over 
the whole country. At this 
time the South Babylonian 
patesis were subject to the 
sovereignty of the North 
Babylonian kings, of whom 
Shargani-shar-ali, usually 
called Sargon, and his son 
Naram-Sin are known tons 
by a number of inscrip- 
tions. The first of the two 
styles himself King of 
Agade. in North Babylonia, 
and had therefore con- 
quered the south from 
there ; and accounts of his 
reign and that of his son 
prove that they extended 
their victorious career over 
Nearer Asia, so far as it 
ever came under the influ- 
ence of Babylonian culture. 
They ruled not merely 
Baliylonia and Mesopotamia, but Syria 
and Palestine. Sargon, indeed, is said, in 
a late copy of an inscription, to have sailed 
out into the Mediterranean, and an attempt 
has been made to prove that in Cyprus 
are to be found traces of the influence of 
Babylonia from the most ancient times. 
But, although this theory is now disproved 
by recent discoveries, it is certain that 
he extended his conquests to the Syrian 
coast. Wars with the northern barbarians 
necessarily followed, as well as expeditions 
to the south. In this way a great Semitic- 
Babylonian empire was founded, embrac- 
ing the whole of Nearer Asia. The names 


The statue of a Sumerian royal person- 
age of Lagash, an important city-state 

of Sargon and Naram-Sin mark, therefore, 
the zenith of the power attained by the 
earlier Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia. 
This is shown by purely external evidence, 
for their inscriptions are, in distinction 
from those of Southern Babylonia, com- 
posed in Semitic. 

Of the later patesis of Lagash, Gudea 
[see illustration on page 270 of this work] 
may be specially mentioned, owing to the 
number and length of his inscriptions, 
which bear witness that the dominion of 
Babylonian civilisation was as wide as all 
accounts make out. He had the materials 
for his buildings brought from distant 
countries : cedar from Ama- 
nus, stone for his statues 
from Arabia or Sinai. This 
is a proof of the extent of 
peaceable intercourse at 
that time. It is noteworthy 
that Gudea did not assume 
the title of king, so that we 
may probably regard him 
and his immediate prede- 
cessors as still acknowledg- 
ing the suzerainty of the 
northern kingdom founded 
by Sargon of Agade. The 
fame of Sargon and his 
political achievements was 
handed down to the latest 
times, even when men were 
not altogether clearly in- 
formed about him. Sargon 
of Agade became a legen- 
dary hero, and when the 
last king of Babylon, 
Xal)oni(lus, found an in- 
scnj)tion of his son Naram- 
Sin, and asked his learned 
men for information as to 
its date, they could give 
him no correct answer, 
and finally reckoned an age of 3,200 years 
before Nabonidus himself — that is, about 
3800 B.C., a figure which they considerably 
overestimated. In arriving at this very 
early date, it is probable that the scribes of 
Nabonidus reckoned as successive many of 
the early local dynasties of Babylonia which 
had ruled contemporaneously. If, as is 
now certain, we must reject this very early 
estimate of the period of Sargon's rule, 
it is difficult to ascertain his date with 
accuracy. It is probable, however, that 
no very long period separated the empire 
which he founded in Northern Babylonia 
from that of the kings of Sumer and 


Akkad ; in these circumstance.^ 
we may conclude that he did not 
hve at a period earher than 2800 
B.C. or 2700 B.C. 

Within the sphere of the Baby- 
lonian civilisation, at one time 
fighting with the rulers of Baby- 
lonia, at another submitting to 
them, as can be best realised by the 
testimony of the Assyrian era, then^ 
were then Elam, with its border 
state of Ernutbal, and the tribes 
inhabiting the mountainous dis- 
tricts extending from Media to 
Cappadocia. To the north - east 
of it lived the barbarians of the 
Umman - Manda, the Manda 
hordes, the Babylonian " Scy- 
thians," and the inhabitants of 
Gutium, or the district of the 
" Kuti." We possess an inscription 
of one of the kings of the last- 
named country, in the language 
and style of the Naram-Sin 
period, about a votive offering 
in Babylonia, probably in Sip- 
par, similar to the dedications 
of foreigners to the Greek 
oracles. Toward Asia Minor, 
beginning in Cappadocia, lies 
the district of the " Khatti " 
and " Hittites," who were soon 
to make themselves felt in 
Babylonia, and were to change 
the course of Babylonian 
history by bringing the power- 
ful dynasty of Hammurabi to 
an end. Northern Palestine 
meets us as " the western 

The divinity of the city-state 
of Lagash. From a sculp- 
tured fragment in the Louvre. 


The kings of Sumer and Akkad gained thesupremacy in Babylonia about li.c. 2500. 

This bas-relief from Tello, now in the Louvre, shows the king, about 
B.C. 15U0, perfor.ning a religious ceremony in the temple of Ningirsu. 

land," and formed an integral 
part of the empire founded by 
Sargon of Agade. Arabia may 
have been more accessible to 
ihe earlier Babylonians than 
ater to the Assyrians or even to 
us. In the south there must 
have been navigation on the 
Persian Gulf, for Dilmun, the 
island of Bahrein, was situated 
within the sphere of Babylonian 
interests, and has left monu- 
ments in cuneiform characters. 
It is also hardly imaginable 
that Gudea obtained his stone 
from Magan except by sea. 

The numerous monuments of 
this period display a high techni- 
cal perfection. The first 
^ inscriptions and monu- 
ments of the kings of 
Lagash are indeed very 
rude, but later a stage 
is reached which is com- 
parable to that of the 
old empire in Egypt. 
The inscriptions of 
Sargon and Naram-Sin, 
written in a peculiar 
ornamental script, and 
the statues of Gudea 
display great skill. 
Countless documents 
concerning the manage- 
ment of temples and 
estates dating from this 
period have been dis- 
covered on the site of 




Lagash. Such is Babylonia, its range 
and its civilisation, in the third millennium 
B.C., when it reached, perhaps, a higher 
stage in the development of art and culture 
than was attained for many centuries later. 

The last inscriptions of the patesis of 
Lagash known to us, the direct descendants 
of Gudea, partly contain dedications to 
_, J.. new kings, of whom many in- 

e ings 5(>j-jp|-iQj^g 2Lve extant from 

a Aki^d towns in Southern and Northern 
Babylonia. These rulers term 
themselves " Kings of Sumer and Akkad," 
and their inscriptions, at least the South 
Babylonian, like those of Lagash, are com- 
posed in Sumerian. . We have therefore 
to notice a great alteration since the pre- 
ceding era : North Babylonia has yielded 
the supremacy to South Babylonia. The 
kings of Ur rule Babylonia in the place of 
those of Agade ; for even the north 
belongs to them, as inscriptions found 
there prove clearly enough. 

We have in this kingdom of " Sumer 
and Akkad " to distinguish generally 
between three dynasties. The first, of 
which the kings Ur-Engur and his son 
Dungi are best known to us, was 
termed the Dynasty of Ur, after the title 
and seat of government. The numerous 
inscriptions of the two kings tell us only 
about the erection of temples in all the 
important towns of Babylonia, but do not 
contain information as to their political 
activity and power. It follows, however, 
from the dispossession of the Semitic 
sovereigns of Northern Babylonia that 
they must have largely encroached upon 
their territory, and a recently-discovered 
chronicle definitely proves that such was 
indeed the case. We learn from this docu- 
ment that Dungi, who succeeded his father, 
Ur-Engur, the founder of the dynasty, 
undertook active operations against the 
north and finally broke the power of the 
Semitic rulers, who had inherited the 
empire built up by Sargon of Agade and 
his son, Naram-Sin. We learn 

ynas y o ^^^^ ^^ Succeeded in captur- 

CK Id " ^^S ^^^ sacking the city of 
Babylon, and he is recorded 
to have laid hands upon the treasures 
which had been accumulated in Esagila, 
the temple of Marduk, the city-god of 
Babylon. Moreover, it is related that Dungi 
cared greatly for the city of Eridu, which 
is described in the chronicle as having still 
stood at this period " upon the shore of 
the sea " — that is to say, upon the Persian 


Gulf, whose waters had not yet receded 
owing to the detritus carried down by the 
Euphrates and deposited at its mouth. 

In Dungi's care for Eridu to the detri- 
ment of Babylon, we may see evidence of 
the Sumerian reaction inaugurated by the 
dynasty of Ur in Southern Babylonia 
against the Semitic supremacy of the north. 
This new record proves that Esagila, 
the temple of Babylon, had already begun 
to rival the more ancient shrine of Nippur, 
the seat of Enlil, as the most sacred temple 
of Babylonia. The Semitic rulers of Sar- 
gon's dynasty had doubtless lavished their 
offerings at the shrine of Marduk, which 
had consequently gained in prestige and 
importance, and had acquired the sanctity 
and influence of a national shrine. The 
blow which Dungi struck at its very 
existence was thus the outcome of a con- 
sistent policy, for, by sacking Babylon, 
and carrying off the treasures of its temple, 
he demolished the existing symbol and 
sanction of northern rule. The revolution 
which Ur-Engur and Dungi carried out was 
thus not only political, but was also based 
upon a racial and religious movement. 

Moreover, Dungi did not confine him- 
self to a destructive policy, for he at once 
set about the task of substituting a 
. p. national shrine, which should 
furnish a counterweight to the 

„ . , former influence of Babylon, 
Babylon ^ ^ ■. . a 

and by ]ts position and asso- 
ciations should assist the transference 
of power to the Sumerian districts of the 
south. For this purpose he selected 
Eridu, the oldest and most sacred shrine 
of the Sumerians, which was situated in 
the extreme south of Babylonia. Here 
we may conjecture he deposited the 
temple treasures from Esagila, and, by 
reviving the splendour of the ancient 
Temple of Enki, he furnished Southern 
Babylonia with a shrine which he hoped 
would rival the fame previously enjoyed 
by that at Babylon. 

The building inscriptions of Ur-Engur 
and of Dungi which have been recovered 
are evidence of the extent of the empire 
founded by these two earliest kings of 
Sumer and Akkad, for they prove that 
their influence was not confined to 
Southern and Northern Babylonia, but 
extended also to Elam. ' Moreover, the 
date-formulae which have been recovered 
upon tablets and date-lists of the period 
prove that Dungi undertook other mili- 
tary expeditions, after his subjugation 


of Northern Babylonia, in the effort to 
extend the boundaries of his kingdom. 
The fragment of a dynastic chronicle, 
which has recently been identified among 
the tablets from 5sippur, proves that the 
dynasty of Ur lasted for 117 years, and, 
in addition to Ur-Engur and Dungi, 
comprised the reigns of Bur-Sin, Gimil- 
Sin, and Ibi-Sin, these five rulers follow- 
ing one another in direct succession. 

The dynasty of Ur was directly suc- 
ceeded by that of Isin, which took its 
name from the city forming its capital. 
The new dynastic 
chronicle states con- 
cisely that " the supre- 
macy of Ur was over- 
thrown, and that Isin 
took its kingdom." We 
may therefore infer that 
Isin obtained the hege- 
mony among the Baby- 
lonian cities as ttie 
result of a war with 
Ur. in which Ibi-Sin 
was overthrown by 
Ishbi-Ura, who founded 
the dynasty of Isin, 
and reigned for thirty- 
two years. He was 
followed in direct suc- 
cession by Gimil-ilishu, 
Idin - Dagan, Ishme- 
Dagan, and Libit- 
Ishtar. We possess 
short inscriptions of the 
two last kings named 
in the above list, but 
they throw no light 
upon the history of the 
period. From the fact 
that Libit- Ishtar was 
succeeded by Ur-Ninib, 

who is not stated in gudea, the priest-king 

the chronicle to have Gudea was the most famous patesi of Lagash, and magir and his 

been his son or brother, ""der his rule early Babylonian art reached its zenith, jy^^^y^ . ^jg^U, 

we may possibly infer that the latter 
usurped the throne. About this period 
we know that another son of Ishnie- 
Dagan, named Eannatum, held the 
office of high-priest in the temple of the 
moon-god at Ur, which was then under 
the protection of a certain Gungunu, 
king of Ur, who also claimed the titles 
of "King of Larsa " and "King of 
Sumer and Akkad." It has therefore 
been suggested that at the end of Libit- 
Ishtar's reign an invasion of Babylonia 
took place, possibly from Elam, which 

102 1597 

overthrew the direct line of Isin. Eanna- 
tum, who would naturally have succeeded 
his brother in the event of the latter 
dying without issue, may have sought 
refuge with Gungunu, who had taken 
advantage of the political disturbance 
to set up an independent kingdom in 
Ur and Larsa. However this may be, 
it is clear from the chronicle that Ur- 
Ninib occupied the throne of Isin, and 
after a reign of twenty-eight years was 
succeeded by his son Bur-Sin II., and 
his grandsons, Iter-Kasha, and a brother 
whose name has not 
been recovered. Of the 
five succeeding rulers. 
the name of one only, 
l^nlil-bani, is known 
with certainty, and 
since none of these 
rulers are recorded in 
the chronicle to have 
l)een related, it is pos- 
sible that each was a 
usurper, and that a 
period of trouble and 
unrest followed the 
reign of Ur-Ninib's last 

Enlil-bani reigned for 
twenty-four years, but 
his predecessor ruled 
only for six months ; 
and the reigns of his 
three successors lasted 
altogether for only 
twelve years, facts 
which may be cited in 
favour of the view that 
It was a period marked 
by palace revolutions 
and political unrest. 
The last two kings of 
the dynasty were Sin- 
reigned for eleven and twenty - three 
years respectively. In an inscription of 
the former, which has been recovered, 
the king claims dominion over the whole 
of Babylonia, so that we may conclude 
that he succeeded in establishing his 
throne upon a firm basis. Thus the 
dynasty of Isin endured for 225 years 
and six months, and comprised no fewer 
than sixteen kings. During this period 
it is probable that the hegemony of Isin 
was disputed by other great cities of 
Babylonia. We have already noted the 


appearance of Gungunu, an independent 

ruler of Ur, soon after the reign of Ishme- 

Dagan, and we may probably assign to 

the same period another king of Ur, 

Sumu-ilu, whose name has been found 

upon a votive model of a dog which was 

offered to the goddess Nin-Isin, " the 

Lady of Isin," on behalf of Sumu-ilu, by 

_,^ , , a high official of Lagash. Two 
The Last i ° r t- u i c- 

„. - rulers of trech, named bin- 

"*^ ° gashid and Sin-gamil, are also 
to be set m this period, or 
in that of the dynasty of Larsa, the 
city which probably succeeded Isin in 
obtaining the lead among the great cities 
of the land. 

We thus come to the third and last 
independent dynasty of the kings of 
Sumer and Akkad, which had its seat in 
Larsa, the town of the Sun-god Shamash. 
From the times of these kings— up to the 
present are known Nur-Adad, Sin-idin- 
nam, Arad-Sin and Rim-Sin, who pro- 
bably followed each other — as of their 
predecessors, we have a great number of 
records of business life, the dates of which 
are mostly fixed by great events, and 
thus supply us with much information 
as to wars and other important under- 
takings. There are absolutely no royal 
inscriptions with historical announce- 
ments ; only the usual inscriptions as to 
buildings and dedications. The last two 
kings of the dynasty, Arad-Sin and 
Rim-Sin, were not Babylonians, but 
Elamites. They expressly style them- 
selves in their inscriptions sons of the 
Elamite Kudur-Mabuk, who seems to 
have conquered a considerable portion of 
Southern Babylonia, and established his 
son Arad-Sin in the cities of Larsa and Ur. 
We learn from the accounts of the earlier 
times that Elam was the mightiest 
opponent of Babylonia. A vigorous blow 
must at this time have 1)een struck which 
made Southern Babylonia a dependency 
of Elam for a time. Arad-Sin was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Rim-Sin, 
who was the last of the " Kings 

D K I • of Sumer and Akkad." The 
Babylonia i_- i_ i • j 

wars which he carried on 

with Hammurabi, the most famous king 

of the first dynasty of Babylon, and his 

final defeat and death at the hands of 

Samsu-iluna, Hammurabi's son, will best 

be narrated when we have described 

the rise of Babylon to power under the 

West-Semitic kings of its first dynasty. 

Coincidentally with the South Baby- 



Ionian kings of Larsa, and partly with their 
predecessors, the dynasty of Isin, there 
reigned in Northern Babylonia, in the 
city of Babylon, a succession of princes 
which, in accordance with the lists of 
Babylonian kings, we designate the First 
Dynasty of Babylon. We have seen that 
after the days of Sargon and Naram-Sin, 
when the north had the supreme power, 
kings were again ruling in the south, in 
the dynasty of Ur, who styled themselves 
kings of Northern Babylonia. But now 
in the numerous business documents of 
that time and region the rulers of Northern 
Babylonia, up to the subjection of the 
south, which we shall soon mention, are 
not called " kings," although in point of 
fact they conducted the government. The 
conclusion may be drawn that we have 
to deal with the vassal kings of those 
South Babylonians. The South Baby- 
lonian kings of Isin accordingly had vassal 
kings in Babylon who exercised indepen- 
dent government within their own district. 
The same conditions continued under the 
several kings of the house of Larsa. The 
last king of this dynasty, Rim-Sin, the 
Elamite, was signally defeated by the 
fifth of these kings, after the relation of 
vassal had long been merely formal, and 
his power was finally broken 
"^ by his successor. It has hither- 

ynas y o ^^ been assumed that when 
once the Elamites were driven 
from the cities of Southern Babylonia 
the independence of the south was ended 
for ever. We shall see, however, that a 
new foe was to arise, who succeeded in 
forming another independent kingdom 
in the south. But, in spite of the rise 
of this new kingdom on the shores of 
the Persian Gulf, it may truly be said 
that Babylonian history from this time 
becomes really a history of Babylon. 

The dynasty under which the sove- 
reignty was for ever transferred to the 
city, and which, in consequence, gave the 
name to the country, and thus to the whole 
civilisation, wasnot "Babylonian-Semitic," 
but West Semitic or Canaanite, for mean- 
while the second of the great Semitic migra- 
tions mentioned above had been completed. 
This migration flooded Babylonia also. 
The advancing nomads forced their way 
from the open country into the towns, 
and Babylonia received another ruling 
population in place of that which had 
lived its day, and this in turn assimilated 
the Babylonian civilisation. 







nPHE founder of the First Dynasty of 
■*■ Babylon, named Su-abu or Sumu-abu, 
came to the throne shortly before 2000 B.C., 
and a recently-discovered chronicle proves 
that he waged war, not with Southern 
Babylonia as we might expect, but with 
Assyria, whose existence as a kingdom 
is thus proved to have been far older than 
has hitherto be^n supposed. Su-abu' s 
opponent in Assyria was Ilu-shuma, one 
of the earliest priest-kings of Ashur 
whose names have been recovered, and it is 
not unlikely that he seized the opportunity 
of a change of dynasty at Babylon to make 
a bid for his country's independence. 
Of the result of this early conflict between 
Babylon and Assyria we know nothing, 
and our information is equally scanty with 
regard to the foreign relations of Babylon 
under Su-abu's four successors, Sumu-la-ilu, 
Zabum, Apil-Sin, and Sin-muballit, for 
the date-formulai of the period record 
building operations and the like, and do 
not reflect the history of the period. 
Under Sin-muballit's son, Hammurabi 
[see illustration on page 266 of this work], 
a change took place, for by signally 
defeating Rim-Sin, he expelled the Elamites 
from Babylonia, and extended the autho- 
rity of Babylon over the southern portion 
of the country. He thus succeeded in 

Hammurabi's ^^^^.^"^ •iT^^'^^ Z^^^^ 
„ . empn-e With its capital at Baby- 

y, ... Ion. It is true that Rim-Sin 

was not finally defeated until 
the first years of the reign of Samsu-iluna, 
Hammurabi's son. But it was Ham- 
murabi who practically put an end to the 
empire of the southern kings of Sumer and 
Akkad, and raised Babylon to the position 
of the principal city in the land. So far as 
her external influence was concerned, we 
may conclude that Babylonia kept at this 
period also the supremacy over the West. 
The Nearer East is still Babylonian, and 
the conception that we have to form of the 
importance of Babylonia for the rest of 
Western Asia at that time corresponds in 

all main points with the earlier period. 
The East, which was in the possession of 
the " Canaanites," reseinbles on the whole 
that of the " Semitic Babylonians." 

Upon the social condition of Babylonia 
during the period of the first dynasty of 
Babylon considerable light has been thrown 
by the discovery of Hammurabi's famous 
Code of Laws. This invaluable inscrip- 
tion is engraved upon a huge block of 
black diorite, which was discovered by De 
Morgan during excavations carried out in 
the "tell," or mound, of the acropolis at 

„ ... Susa in the winter of 1001-2. 

Hammurabi s ^, , , ^, -.i ., 

Q . 1 he laws, together with intro- 

. , ductory and concluding texts, 

were engraved upon the 
monolith in forty-nine long columns of 
writing, of which forty- four are still pre- 
served ; and at the head of the stone is a 
sculptured representation of Hammurabi 
receiving the laws from Shamash, the 

It would be out of place in the present 
work to attempt any discussion of the 
question as to how far the laws of Baby- 
lonia, as embodied in this document, have 
influenced other ancient legal codes, and 
in particular the Mosaic legislation. We 
are here concerned only with Hammurabi's 
code, as an important and recently dis- 
covered source of information concerning 
early Babylonian life and custom. It was 
drawn up and published by the king for 
the guidance of his people, and it regulates 
their duties and their relations to one 
another in all the pursuits and occupations 
of their daily life. It defines the respon- 
sibilities and privileges of the various 
classes of the population, and, since it 
formed an exhaustive set of regulations, 
it enables us to construct a fairly complete 
picture of Babylonian society during this 
early period. 

The numerous contracts and letters of the 
time of the first dynasty of Babylon which 
have come down to us, and in particular the 
series of royal despatches of Hammurabi 



himself, which are preserved in the British 
Museum, abundantly prove that the code 
was no dead letter, but was actively en- 
forced under the personal supervision of 
the king. It may thus be employed as a 
trustworthy and accurate witness to the 
conditions which existed in Babylonia dur- 
ing the period at which it was drawn up. 

From the code we learn that the popu- 
lation of Babylonia was composed of three 

_ , , . principal classes, each of which 
Babylonian ^ ■ , i. j n 

g . . occupied a separate and well- 

B C^2000 *^^fi^6d position in the social 
community. The lowest of these 
three classes were the slaves, who must 
have formed a considerable proportion of 
the population. The class next above 
them in the social scale consisted of free 
men, who were possessed of some property 
of their own, but were poor and humble 
people, as was implied in the name they 
bore — mushkenu. The highest, or upper 
class in the community, comprised the 
owners of large estates and landed pro- 
perty, the higher officials and servants of 
the State, and all the officers and ministers 
of the Court. The privileges and respon- 
sibilities which the two classes of free men 
in the Bab3donian community respectively 
enjoyed are well illustrated in the code by 
the scale of payments as compensation for 
injury which they were obliged to make 
or were entitled to receive. 

The penalties enforced upon a member of 
the upper class were far heavier than those 
his humbler free neighbour had to pay, but 
the latter's privileges in this respect were 
counter-balanced by a corresponding di- 
minution of the value at which his injuries 
were assessed. Slaves could be owned by 
both classes of free men, though they were 
naturally more numerous in the house- 
holds and on the estates of members of the 
upper class. The slave was the absolute 
property of his owner, and could be bought 
p. . and sold, and deposited as 
1^ ^ security for a debt ; but on the 

Q, whole his life was not a hard 

olaves r 1 '1 

one, for he was- a recognised 

member of his master's household, and was 
a valuable piece of property, which it was 
to the owner's advantage to keep in good 
condition. Moreover, the slave had rights 
and privileges of his own which the code 
explicitly sets forth. Thus, under certain 
conditions, it was possible for a slave to 
acquire pro])erty of his own, and by so 
doing he was entitled, if he obtained his 
master's consent, to purchase his own 


freedom. Marriage between a male slave 
and a free woman was also possible, and 
the children of such a union were free, and 
did not become the property of the slave's 
master ; while if the owner of a female 
slave had begotten children by her he 
could not use her in payment for a debt. 
Thus it will be seen that the law afforded 
protection even to the humblest members 
of the community. 

The code also supplies considerable in- 
formation concerning the family life of 
the early Babylonians. We here have 
detailed regulations concerning marriage 
and divorce, the giving of marriage por- 
tions, the rights of widows, the laws of 
inheritance, and those which regulated the 
adoption and maintenance of children. It 
is unnecessary to describe or discuss these 
regulations in detail, but one striking fact 
vv^hich they emphasise may here be pointed 
out — the recognised status occupied by 
the wife in the Babylonian household. 
Evidence of the extremely independent 
position enjoyed by women at the time 
of the first dynasty of Babylon may also 
be seen in the existence of a special class 

, . , of women, who followed the 
Independence r ■ r i- - ^ - 

J proiessionot religious votaries, 

y, though their duties were not 

strictly sacerdotal. Most 
women of this class, who are mentioned in 
the contract-tablets of the period, were 
attached to the temple of the sun-god at 
Sippar or to that of Marduk at Babylon, 
but it may be inferred that all the impor- 
tant temples in the country had similar 
classes of female votaries in their service. 
The duties of these women do not appear 
to have resembled in any way those of the 
sacred prostitutes in the service of the 
goddess Ishtar, at Erech. On the con- 
trary, they occupied a position of con- 
siderable influence and independence. 
While they generally lived together in a 
special building, or convent, attached to 
the temple, they were free to leave it and 
to contract marriage. Their vows, how- 
ever, entailed the obligation to remain 
virgins, and though a married votary was 
thus precluded from bearing children 
herself, she could provide her husband 
with a concubine for this purpose, while 
she stih retained her position as the per- 
manent head of the household. 

Even when unmarried, however, the 
votary enjoyed the status of a married 
woman, and was protected from slander by 
special regulations. In return for these 


privileges, she was obliged, under severe 
penalties, to maintain a high standard of 
moral conduct and was precluded from any 
occupation or act which was derogatory 
to her high position. She could possess 
property of her own, and on taking vows 
was provided with a portion by her father 
which, on her death, did not pass to the 
temple, but returned to 
her own family, unless 
her father had assigned 
her the privilege of be- 
queathing it. The social 
prestige enjoyed by the 
votaries is attested by the 
fact that they included 
within their body many 
women of good family, 
and even members of the 
royal house ; while the 
rules of the order and the 
high repute which it en- 
joyed may be taken to 
indicate a very enlight- 
ened conception of the 
position of women at this 
early period. 

The large body of regu- 
lations which deal with 
the duties of debtors and 
creditors are evidence of 
the extent to which the 
early Babylonians en- 
gaged in commercial pur- 
suits and undertakings, 
and we learn that an 
active interchange of com- 
modities was carried on 
between distant cities. 
Thus, a wealthy merchant 
would extend his business 
and obtain large profits 
by trading with other 
towns, and for this pur- 
pose he would employ 
agents, who may thus be 
regarded as the fore- 
runners of the modern 
commercial traveller. The 
agent received from the 
merchant the money, 
grain,wool, oil, or whatever 
sort of goods he had to deal in, and he 
gave to his employer a properly attested 
receipt for the same. So far as his 
trading was concerned, he acted inde- 
pendently, and on his return he would pay 
to the merchant a fixed share of his profits, 
retaining the remainder as payment for 

Hammurabi, n.c. i 

of the world's rulers. He drew up the Code of 
Laws engraved on the block of diorite illustrated 
above, which is now in the Louvre. The king 

his own services and the dangers he had 

In the event of the caravan with 
which the agent travelled being attacked 
by robbers or by enemies in a foreign 
country, the loss of the goods was borne 
by the merchant at home ; the code, 
however, regulates the procedure to be 
followed in such circum- 
stances, while at the same 
time it attempts to pro- 
tect the agent from any 
risk of being defrauded 
by his employer. Im- 
mense profits were ob- 
tained by merchants and 
agents who engaged in 
this foreign commerce, 
and we may conclude 
that at the period of the 
first dynasty, and for 
many centuries earlier, 
the great trade routes of 
the East were even more 
crowded with caravans 
than they are at the 
present day. 

Water-transport was, 
however, usually em- 
ployed for the carriage of 
grain, wood, and other 
bulky or heavy materials, 
wherever it was avail- 
able, and the code con- 
tains detailed directions 
concerning the fees to be 
paid to boatmen engaged 
in the carrying trade 
upon the rivers and large 
canals of Babylonia. 
Other regulations sought 
to ensure good work on 
the part of boat-builders 
by fixing on them the 
responsibility for faulty 
or unsound work, while 
the boatmen were respon- 
sible for the loss or 


oo,_was one of the^abiest damage incurred through 
their own carelessness 
to goods entrusted to 

is shown receiving the laws from the Sun-god, 

their charge. A still more 
important function of the rivers and canals 
in Babylonia was the irrigation of the 
cultivated lands, and the code contains 
detailed regulations for the repair of the 
channels and dykes and the right to the use 
of the water. A large body of legislation 
deals, in fact, with the agricultural life 



of the early Babylonians, and regulates 
all case? of dispute which were likely to 
arise between owners of land and their 
farming tenants, owners and hirers of 
cattle and asses, or between shepherds 
and herdsmen and their employers ; while 
fines were levied in cases of damage or 
injury arising through carelessness in 
looking after cattle. 

It is of interest to note that Ham- 
murabi's code attempted to protect the 
p public from carelessness on the 

, _ . part of two important classes 
for Careless ^r ,1 ^ j i j 

U of the community — doctors and 

builders, and it was singularly 

just that death or injury arising from bad 

work on the part of either was held to 

merit punishment in kind. Thus, if a 

doctor through unskilful treatment caused 

the death of a member of the upper class, 

or inflicted a serious injury upon him, such 

as the loss of an eye, the doctor was liable 

to have both his hands amputated — a 

drastic, but certainly an effective method 

of preventing other unsuccessful operations 

on his part. Similarly, if his unfortunate 

patient had been the slave of a member of 

the middle class— of poor free men — and 

had died under his hands, he had to give 

the owner a new slave, or, in the event of 

his patient merely losing an eye, he had 

to pay the owner half the slave's value. 

The penalties attaching to jerry-building 
were even more severe. For if a builder 
built a house for a man, and his work was 
so unsound that the house fell and killed 
the owner, the builder himself was put to 
death ; and if the owner's son was killed 
by the fall of the house, the builder's sen 
was put to death. If one or more of the 
owner's slaves were killed, the builder had 
to restore him slave for slave, and besides 
compensating the owner for any damage 
to his goods, he had to rebuild the house 
_ . anew, or such part of it as 

* had fallen. These interesting 

J b 'Id survivalsof thelawof aneyefor 
an eye and a tooth for a tooth 
prove that in the medical profession and 
the building trade, as practised by the 
early Babylonians, the payment of com- 
pensation alone had not been a sufficiently 
strong deterrent to prevent bad work. 

From the brief discussion that has been 
attempted of some of the most striking 
enactments of Hammurabi's code, an idea 
will have been formed of the extent to 
\yhich the administration of law and 
justice had been developed in Babylonia 


at the time of the first dynasty of 
Babylon. The laws, however, were not 
the invention of Hammurabi himself, who 
merely codified them. They were based 
upon centuries of tradition, and were the 
result of innumerable judgments drawn 
up upon tablets and carefully preserved 
in the legal archives of the State. In 
discussing the enactments of the code 
therefore, we have not been dealing with 
a temporary phase in the life of ancient 
Babylonia. On the contrary, its enact- 
ments reflect the spirit in which justice 
had been administered in Babylonia for a 
long period anterior to the rise of Babylon 
under her West-Semitic kings, and we 
may conclude that it continued to influence 
the administration of the country during 
its subsequent domination by successive 
dynasties of foreign origin. 

In the native list of kings the first Baby- 
lonian dynasty is followed by a second, 
consisting also of eleven kings. Their 
Sumerian names, many of which are in- 
geniously interpreted, and the lengths of 
their reigns are preserved for us by the 
lists. Until quite recently we knew nothing 
more, since other information 
econ about this period was strangely 

ynas y o (^gf^^ient. Its total duration 
^ was 368 years, according to the 

list, but of the events which took place at 
this time we knew absolutely nothing. 
It seemed strange that so long a period of 
Babylonian history should have left no 
trace behind it on the sites of the ancient 
Babylonian cities which had been already 
excavated. If a dynasty of kings had 
occupied the throne of Babylon during 
this protracted period, how did it happen 
that among the many thousands of con- 
tract tablets which had been recovered, 
none had been found dated in the reigns 
of these eleven kings ? 

The answer to this question has 
recently been supplied by a newly- 
discovered chronicle which is preserved 
in the British Museum. From this 
invaluable document we now learn that 
the second dynasty of the list of the kings 
never in reality occupied the Baby- 
lonian throne. In fact, the eleven kings 
of which the dynasty was composed ruled 
only in a district of limited extent in the 
extreme south of Babylonia on the shores 
of the Persian Gulf. This district was 
known as the tnat tamti, or " Country of 
the Sea," taking its name from its position 
on the littoral of the gulf, to which the 


Babylonians gave the name of " The Sea 
in the East," or the Eastern Sea. From 
the newly-discovered chronicle we learn 
that the territor}^ of the eleven kings, 
who formed the so-called " Second 
Dynasty," was confined to this strip of 
coast, and was nev^er extended so as to 
include the northern and central districts 
of Babylonia proper. We further learn 
from the chronicle that the rulers of this 
little state did not live in the period between 
the first dynasty of Babylon and the 
Kassites, as has hitherto been assumed 
on the evidence of the kings list ; but 
that their reigns were contemporaneous 
with those of the later kings of the first 
dynasty of Babylon, and of the earlier 
Kassite rulers. 

The exact date at which Iluma-ilu, the 
founder of this kingdom on the shores of 
the Persian Gulf, declared his independence 

Under the reigns of Ammi-ditana and 
Ammi-zaduga, the successors of Abeshu 
uj)on the Babylonian throne, we know 
little of the foreign policy of Babylon, 
with the exception of the fact that Ammi- 
zaduga inflicted a defeat upon the Elamites. 
It may be inferred, however, that Babylon 
had trouble upon her eastern border from 
the Kassites, who already in Samsu-iluna's 
reign had begun to make raids on Baby- 
lonian territory, and from the kings of 
the Country of the Sea in the south. 
When, therefore, under Samsu-ditana, the 
last king of the dynasty, Hittite tribes 
from Cappadocia and Northern Syria 
descended the Euphrates and attacked 
Northern Babylonia, the capital fell an 
easy prey to their onslaught. The great 
temple of Marduk, the city god, was 
destroyed, and the statue of the god 
himself was carried back by the Hittite 


A reproduction of an early Babylonian seal, showing the River-god, Sun-god, Ishtar, and other deities. Impressions 
of the seal were obtained by passing the cylinder, seen on the left, over soft clay, which was then baked. 

is not certain, but we know that he waged 
successful wars with Samsu-iluna, the son 
of Hammurabi, and Abeshu, his grand- 
son, who succeeded Samsu-ihma upon the 
Babylonian throne. From the narrative 
of the new chronicle it would seem that 
Samsu-iluna took the initiative in Baby- 
lon's struggle with the Country of the Sea. 
In his first expedition he succeeded in 
reaching the Persian Gulf, but he was 
defeated, and in a second campaign he met 
with no better success. His son Abeshu, 
after his accession to the throne, again 
attempted to conquer or curb the state 
upon his southern borders, but Iluma-ilu 
succeeded in eluding him. In fact, from 
this time forward the southern portion of 
Babylonia passed into the possession of 
the kings of the Country of the Sea. 

invaders in triumph to their own country. 
In this manner we now know that the 
powerful dynasty of Hammurabi came to 
an end. How long a period elapsed be- 
tween the Hittite conquest and the occu- 
pation of Babylon by the Kassites we can- 
not at present determine, but it is unlikely 
that they would have long delayed their 
descent upon the city when once its 
defences had been reduced and it lay at 
the mercy of an invader. 

The Kassites, who now occupied Baby- 
lon as the dominant race, and whose rulers 
are reckoned as the third dynasty upon the 
hst of kings, at first occupied only Northern 
Babylonia. They formed, in fact, the van- 
guard of an advancing tide, and they left 
many of their own tribes behind them in 
the mountains of Elam. Even in later times, 



under Sennacherib, traces of them are to 
be found in the Zagros Mountains. We 
are compelled to account for their appear- 
ance by a great racial movement which 
poured itself from the east and north- 
east over the civilised countries, just as 
the Turks and Mongols did some thousands 
of years later. We know very httle about 
the past of that tide of nations 
Appearance ^^-^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^ Babylonia. 

° t. Later discoveries will, per- 

Kassites , i , • '^ 

haps, some day explam more 

clearly the form of its connection with 
Elam and the other neighbouring coun- 
tries. The migration of these barbarians 
assumed in any case great dimensions. 
The mixture of races in Babylonia thus 
received a new component, and in the 
Babel-hke confusion of tongues we hear 
the sound of Kassite, which is known to us 
only by a list of words and proper names. 
The scheme of the dynasties of Babylon 
reckons as Kassite its third house of 
thirty-six kings, a period of 576 years, 
extending from about 1700 to the eleventh 
century. We know most of these kings 
by name, and have information as to the 
events of that time from inscriptions, 
royal and otherwise, although there are 
here also considerable gaps in the tradition. 
An insight into the order of things at 
the beginning of this period is afforded us 
by the inscription of one of the early 
princes in this dynasty, the seventh, by 
name, Agum II. He styles himself " King 
of the Kashshu and Akkadians, King of the 
wide dominion of Babylon, who settled 
with numerous inhabitants the land of 
Umhash, the border land to Elam, King of 
Padan and Alman — frontier territories to 
Media — King of Gutium, the king who rules 
the four countries of the world." The 
whole enumeration of titles, different from 
that of the Babylonian monarchs, and the 
precedence given to the Kassites, show that 
the Babylonians did not quickly absorb 
their new conquerors ; a later king, 

„ , . Karaindash, bears the usual 



Babylonian titles, and only 
adds at the end " King of the 

Kashshu," which his successors 
actually omit. These barbarians thus only 
gradually adapted themselves to civilisa- 
tion, and became Babylonians. It is 
interesting to note that the inscription of 
Agum II., from which his titles above 
enumerated are taken, commemorates the 
recovery from Khani in Northern Syria of 
ihe statue of Marduk, which had been 


carried off by the Hittites on their capture 
of Babylon in Samsu-ditana's reign. 
Thence Agum brought it back to Babylon. 

A fact of considerable importance with 
regard to the Kassite occupation of Baby- 
lonia has recently been demonstrated, to 
the effect that their conquest of the whole 
country did not take place at one time. 
There were, in fact, two Kassite conquests. 
The first occurred shortly after the Hittite 
invasion, and was confined to Northern 
Babylonia, to which the empire of the 
earlier Kassite kings was limited. During 
this period the kingdom of the Country of 
the Sea continued its independent exist- 
ence on the shores of the Persian Gulf. 
But we may infer that the Kassites, who 
had remained behind in the mountains 
of Elam, continued to harass Southern 
Babylonia, and it was probably to put an 
end to trouble from this quarter that 
Ea-gamil, the last king of the dynasty 
founded by Iluma-ilu, invaded Elam. 

But his temerity was the signal for a 
fresh advance of the Kassite hordes, who, 
under the leadership of one of their 
chieftains named Ulam-Buriash, drove him 
-^ . from the country, and, following 

assies j^j^ -^^^ Southern Babylonia, 
Conquer the ,, jr.jr- j 

„ . Signally defeated him, and 

brought his dynasty to an end. 
The chronicle from which we learn these 
facts states that Ulam-Buriash exercised 
dominion over the Country of the Sea, 
and that fresh conquests were made there 
by his nephew Agum. It is therefore pro- 
bable that from this time forward the 
Kassites occupied the whole of Babylonia, 
but it is not clear whether the two 
halves of the country were at once united 
under one administration with its centre at 
Babylon. It is probable that the uni- 
fication of the kingdom was only gradually 
achieved, and that during the process the 
country underwent more than one con- 
vulsion. The result of these several 
invasions and the racial conflicts which 
ensued was naturally to exhaust the 
resources of the land, and render its 
rulers incapable of adopting an aggressive 
foreign policy. 

The feebleness of Babylonia and the 
exhaustion of the population are clearly 
visible in two further occurrences of this 
time. The third Semitic migration, the 
Aram?ean, makes its mark in the age of 
the Kassites (1700-1100 B.C.), and the 
dominion of Babylonia over the west is 
disputed and finally destroyed by a new 


power, which now develops itself from a 
"town kingship" and seeks aggrandise- 
ment — namely, Assyria. The future belongs 
to these two. The Kassites, the temporary 
lords of Babylonia, shared the fate of their 
kingdom, which was forced to resign its 
suzerainty. As the sovereignty had 
moved up stream from the south to Baby- 
lon, so it moved further to Assyria. The 
history of Nearer Asia after the encroach- 
ment of Assyria, which begins at this 
period (about the sixteenth century B.C.), 
is changed essentially by this fact. 

The struggle between Assyria and 
Babylonia for supremacy began under the 
Kassite dynasty, and, owing to the 
abundant sources of information now 
open to us, we can follow its vicissitudes 
more accurately than the events of the 
earlier age. This struggle and its result 
constitute the most important subject 
for subsequent political history. The 
history of Babylon and that of Assyria 
concern us, therefore, in the first place, 
in so far as they touch each other and are 
interconnected. Thus we are confronted 
by two streams of development flowing 
. . side by side, the course of which 

Assyria -^ . ^ ■ j- j. 

_ we can best mdicate m a com- 

p bined account. On the other 

hand, Babylon almost always 
asserted her independence, and after she 
had been for a time subdued, she emerged 
at the end once more the conqueror. At 
the beginning of this war Babylon was 
the predominant power, and never ceased, 
even when under the influence of Assyria, 
to have a separate history and develop- 
ment. If, therefore, we wish to do more 
than merely chronicle the wars between 
Ashur and Babylon, if we wish to do - 
justice to the importance of Babylon as 
the principal seat of the ancient civilisa- 
tion, which even Assyria acknowledged, 
we must follow up separately the history 
of this independent state. 

We have seen, in the first place, what 
districts were claimed by Agum II., the 
ruler of Babylonia ; his power no longer 
extended to Mesopotamia and the west. 
The next known inscription, the one 
already mentioned of King Karaindash, 
claimed only the sovereignty over Baby- 
lonia. We shall see that attempts to 
recover Mesopotamia were not made until 
the power of Assyria, which had its seat 
there, was expelled. The dominion of 
Babylonia in Palestine had been replaced 
by that of Egypt. It seems as if Karain- 

dash may have been the head of a new 
family within the Kassite dynasty ; his 
successors, at least, sj^jcak of him in their 
letters in a way which suggests this idea. 
We must place him about 1500. All 
that we know of him, besides the above- 
mentioned inscription, is that he con- 
cluded a treaty with Assyria and engaged 
. in a correspondence with the 

-J ""^ f . king of Egypt. This last fact 
Nearer Asia • j ^-^ ^ • 1 

, r * IS proved to us m a document 
to Egypt , ^ , , , . 

which one of his successors, 

Burnaburiash, sent some fifty to seventy 
years later to Amenophis IV., and for 
the knowledge of which we are indebted 
certainly to one of the most surprising 
of all the discoveries made in the soil of 
the ancient East. In the winter of 1887- 
1888, at Tell el-Amarna, in Middle Egypt, 
which marks the place of residence of 
Amenophis IV., over three hundred clay 
tablets inscribed in the cuneiform charac- 
ter were discovered. One of these tablets 
is reproduced by photography on page 274 
of this History. They represent a 
small part of the State archives, and 
contain the letters which kings of Nearer 
Asia and vassal kings from Syria and 
Palestine addressed to Amenophis III. 
and IV. There are in the first group 
letters of the kings of Babylon, Ashur, 
Mitani, or Mesopotamia, the king of the 
Khatti, and of others. It is obvious that 
these letters give most valuable informa- 
tion as to the history of the Nearer East, 
and we shall therefore frequently have to 
refer to them in what follows. The Baby- 
lonian letters, which concern us first, tell 
us little of Babylon's greatness and 
power ; but the existence of the collec- 
tion is in itself evidence of the extent of 
Babylonian influence. The letters are 
written in cuneiform characters, and, 
with few exceptions, in Babylonian 
Semitic. And, what is still more signifi- 
cant, there are two letters among them 
of the Pharaoh, the one to the 
king of Babylon, the other 
gyp lan ^^ ^ vassal of Northern 
Letters in y-, , ,- 11 i 

-, ., Palestine, which are also 

Cuneiform , xi ^ 1 

composed in that language. 

Cuneiform writing and Babylonian lan- 
guage were, therefore, the means of inter- 
communication throughout the whole of 
the Nearer East. A knowledge of Baby- 
lonian literature was the necessary pre- 
liminary to mastering them. This is 
evident from tablets found there con- 
taining a Babylonian myth, written in 



Babylon and apparently used in Egypt 
for teaching purposes. 

The two kings, from whom we have 
recovered eleven letters addressed to the 
two Pharaohs, were called Kadashman- 
Bel and Burnaburiash. The former wrote 
in the last years of Amenophis III., the 
latter to his successor. The letters 
generally mention no great State events. 
They deal principally with marriages 
1 etween the two royal houses. The 
Pharaohs received Babylonian princesses 
into their harem, but were not so liberal 
with their own flesh and blood to their 
Babylonian friends — these did not at 
least receive princesses. What Pharaoh 
sends in gifts is generally stated to be 

A flat-roofed tomb constructed of baked brick from Ur. 

too little ; the money is carefully confided 
to the purifying agency of the furnace 
and found unduly alloyed, and better 
metal and more of it is always de- 

More important for history are the 
relations between these two regions of 
civilisation, exhibited in the fact that 
Babylonia and Mitani send as presents 
productions of their industries, among 
them the much-admired lapis lazuli, skil- 
fully worked in Babylon. 

f * ^°^^ Egypt, on the contrary, sends 
^' primarily gold. It almost 

^^^ appears as if diplomatic nego- 

tiations were left to verbal intercourse and 
to the cleverness of corrupt court officials, 
for political questions are seldom discussed. 
One letter vividly pictures the manners 
of the age. Some Babylonian m.erchants, 
travelling for the king — the kings engaged 
in business, and enjoyed, it would appear, 
immunity from taxation — were arrested 
in Akko, where they apparently wished 


in Egypt 

to take ship for Egypt, by a prince of 
Palestine, and were in some way badly 
used, although no reasons are assigned 
for this treatment. The Babylonian now. 
demands from Pharaoh the release of the 
prisoners and compensation, since Akko 
was subject to his suzerainty. A political 
controversy is only once dis- 
cussed. The Assyrian king, 
Ashur-uballit, had found en- 
couragement at the Egyptian 
court in his schemes of aggrandisement 
at the cost of Babylonia. Burnaburiash 
pointed out the inadmissibility of such 
action, since Assyria was his vassal state, 
and no direct negotiations could therefore 
be carried on with it. He referred also to 
the correct attitude of his father, Kuri- 
galzu, who, when once asked to join cause 
with the Canaanites, the subjects of 
Egypt, had refused to countenance such 
an act of treachery towards Egypt. That 
such loyalty was not so free from suspicion 
as these assurances of friendship would 
make it appear, and that in Egypt no 
very implicit confidence was placed in the 
warm friend of Egyptian gold, is proved 
by the fact that when one of the Phoenician 
princes wishes to blacken the character 
of another at court, he accuses him of 
being a secret adherent of the king of 
Mitani, of the Khatti, or of Kash — that 
is, of the Kassites of Babylon. 

Interior of the Ur grave. Jars and dishes containing: 
daily fare for the dead man were left with the body. 

We can, indeed, assign to a somewhat 
later date an attempt of Babylonia to win 
back the West, when disorders broke out 
in Egypt after the death of Amenophis IV. 
Burnaburiash, notwithstanding the 
anxiety displayed in his letter to Ameno- 
phis IV. about the encroachments of 
Assyria, and although wars between him 
and the Assyrians are proved to have 
taken place, had given his son Kara- 
khardash a daughter of the energetic 


Ashur-uballit as his chief wife ; and her 
son, Kadashman-kharbe, became the suc- 
cessor to the throne — a sign of the Assyrian 
influence. We are acquainted with the 
attempt, just mentioned, made by this 
Babylonian king to regain a firm footing 
in the west. 

Assyria, indeed, was at this time 
encroaching on Mesopotamia, and Baby- 
lonia had nothing left but the road 
diagonally through the Syrian desert. 
Kadashman-kharbe tried to secure this 
road by punishing the nomads, the Suti, 
who roamed those parts, and by digging 
wells and building fortresses and towns, 

which he settled with 

Babylonians. By this 
means he hoped to trans- 
form it into a commercial 
highway, which should 
facilitate communication 
with the coast and make 
the detour by Mesopotamia 
unnecessary. It is possible 
that his plan was suggested 
by a route already in 
existence ; but in any case 
he had recognised that it 
was better policy to satisfy 
his rival with districts 
which had first to be con- 
quered, and meanwhile to 
deprive those districts of 
their greatest value by 
diverting from them the 
traffic so important for 
Babylonia. That would, 
indeed, have been a solu- 
tion of the dispute, then 
urgent, as to the possession 
of Mesopotamia. Perhaps 
Kadashman-kharbe ar- 
rived at a peaceful arrange- 
ment with Assyria about 
this plan. If he had carried 
it out he would, at any rate, have shown 
himself to be a man who could support 
his power by more effective means than 
arms, especially when Babylon, an indus- 
trial state, was confronted by the military 
power of Assyria. 

Kadashman-kharbe cannot have reigned 
long. He was murdered, and in fact fell 
the victim of an insurrection stirred up 
by the Kassites. We are not told what 
the immediate incentive to the deed was. 
We may perhaps trace the reason to the 
fact that the kings and the ruling classes 
of the Kassites had meanwhile, after 1400, 

become " Babylonised " — that is, that they 
felt, and affected to feel themselves, 
Babylonians. Those of the Kassites who 
had gone away empty-handed at the 
division of the spoil, or had lost their share, 
as often happens in the commercial life of 
communities engaged in industries and 
trade, may have formed a party of mal- 
contents, who longed for the good old 
times when the Kassite was lord and the 
Babylonian the spoiled. The insurgents 
therefore raised to the throne a man of 
low birth, whom the two chronicles which 
record the fact call Shuzigash and Nazibu- 
gash — a " son of nobody." This was a 


From a stele in the Louvre, showing- how the Sutnerian and Chaldaean dead 
were piled up after battle. The priests are heaping up earth to form a mound. 

welcome opportunity for the grandfather, 
Ashur-uballit, who was still living and had 
been restlessly active in extending his 
kingdom, to secure the supremacy for 
Assyria. He appeared in Babylon as the 
avenger of his grandson and the restorer 
of order, suppressed the revolt, and had 
Kurigalzu, the infant son of his murdered 
grandson, crowned as king. 

But the force of circumstances is stronger 
than blood relationships and gratitude 
for benefits of doubtful intention. So long 
as Ashur-uballit lived, and under his son, 
Assyria was occupied with the conquest 



of Mesopotamia. But when Adad-nirari I. 
drove the Mitani thence, Babylon, having 
no doubt lost the route which Kadashman- 
kharbe had attempted to open up, had no 
other course but to secure Mesopotamia 
for herself, and with it the communications 
with the west. Since, however, Assyria 
possessed this country, war ensued be- 
^ tween it and Babylon. Under 

, Kurigalzu and Adad-nirari I. 

j^ . . the contest for Mesopotamia 

** began between the two states. 
We have an interesting account of a 
war of the Babylonian king, Kurigalzu. 
against Khurbatila, king of Elam, in which 
he defeated him and took him prisoner on 
Babylonian soil — that is, in one of the 
attacks of Elam on Babylon. He must 
have followed up his victory, for on the 
back of an inscription which a dependent 
of King Dungi, of the old dynasty of Ur, 
had consecrated to the goddess Nana of 
Uruk stands the words, " Kurigalzu, king 
of Karduniash [the designation of the 
Kassite kings of Babylonia] hath captured 
the palace of the town Shasha [Susa, 
formerly Shushan] in Elam, and hath 
presented this tablet to Ninlil of Nif)pur in 
gratitude for the preservation of his life." 
The tablet was, therefore, carried 
off from Uruk in a former raid of the 
Elamites, was then discovered, on a 
victorious campaign of Kurigalzu's against 
Elam, in a temple — if in Susa, then 
probably in the temple of the goddess 
Shushinak, mentioned in the case of 
Ashurbanipal — and was deposited by the 
king in the temple of Nippur more than 
nine hundred years after its completion. 
Finally, rediscovered during the American 
excavations, it has been brought to 
Constantinople. Not only have books 
their destinies ! These wars prove to us 
that the conditions were then present 
_ . , which we find continually dur- 

Conquests of ,, ,- -^ ■ , 

. . mg the succeedmg period. 

j^ri* Babylonia lay as a coveted 

and Elam ■ • i . -^ a ^ 

prize between Assyria and 

Elam. For a time it was able to face the 
two on equal terms, and, even if occasion- 
ally vanquished, it regained the superiority. 
The struggle fills up the succeeding cen- 
turies until the end of the Assyrian 
empire. In the last period we shall then 
find Babylonia as a vassal of one of 
two states. 

Even now the same ebb and flow of 
events is noticeable. Soon after Kuri- 
galzu, as we shall see in dealing v\ith 
Assyrian history. Babylonia and Babylon 
came into the power of Tukulti-Ninib I. 
of Assyria. Shortly after, under Bel- 
nadin-shun, who reigned for only one 
year and a half, Kidin-khutrutash, king 
of Elam, invaded Babylonia, pillaged 
Dur-ilu, and conquered Nippur, the 
favourite resort of the Kassite kings, 
where they often held their court. Other 
expeditions, with similar incidents, were 
made by the Elamites in the reign of 
Kadashman-kharbe II. and Adad-shum- 
iddina, when the city of Isin especially 
suffered. Several songs of lamentation 
have come down to us, which bewail, in 
the form of penitential psalms, the devas- 
tation of the country, and especially of 
the city named. In the many centuries 
of Babylonian history similar circumstances 
often recurred, but these psalms suit this 
period admirably, and, even if they did 
not originate in it, they may have been 
adapted from similar songs of an earlier 
time, and sung at this period 
in the temples of Babylonia. 
We shall see under " Elam " 
that Babylonia, for the rest of 
this dynasty, was probably subject to 
Elamite supremacy. 

It will be seen that we are once more at 
the end of a period. The Kassites had 
long succumbed to Babylonian influence 
and had played out their part, and the 
Kassite dynasty is drawing to a close. It 
can reckon but four kings more ; among 
them Mardnk-aplu-iddina. Merodach-bala- 
dan I. alone seems to have offered success- 
ful resistance to Assyria and to have 
retained Mesopotamia. The change of 
dynasties presents, as always, a period of 
disturbance and weakness, and brings a 
line of kings to the throne whose task was 
to resist Assyria and to renew the struggle 
for Mesopotamia. We shall see that there 
is good reason to believe that the earlier 
rulers of this new dynasty succeeded in 
establishing themselves as independent 
kings in Isin during the rule of the later 
kings of the Kassite dynasty in Babylon, 
and that the rule of the latter was brought 
to an end by the powerful king Nebuchad- 
nezzar I., who also freed the country from 
the yoke of Elam. 

End of 











HTHE new dynasty is called in the list of 
•*■ kings the dynasty of Isin, from the 
Babylonian city of this name. It thus 
forms the second dynasty of Isin. It is 
probable that the first two or three kings 
of the dynasty were contemporaneous with 
the last rulers of the Kassite dynasty upon 
the throne of Babylon, because a boundary- 
stone has recently been discovered at 
Nippur inscribed with a text of the reign 
of Nebuchadnezzar I., the third or fourth 
king of the dynasty of Isin, which would 
make it appear that this monarch was the 
first of his dynasty to secure control over 
the whole of Babylonia. In this new 
inscription, which is dated in the sixteenth 
year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, it is stated 
that Enlil "broke the weapon of his [i.e., 
Nebuchadnezzar's] enemy, and placed the 
sceptre of his enemy in his own hand, that 
he might pasture Sumer and Akkad, and 
rebuild the sanctuaries of the City of Man- 
kind, and regulate the tithes of Ekur and 
_ Nippur." It is not clear from 

ynas y ^^^ context of this passage who 
1^. " the enemy " is whose wea- 

pon was broken by the god 
Enlil, and it might be urged that the pass- 
age refers to a defeat of the Elamites, 
from whose supremacy Nebuchadnezzar 
certainly freed his country. But upon 
another inscription of his reign Nebuchad- 
nezzar bears the title of " plunderer of the 
Kassites," so that we may infer that it 
was the Kassites he defeated, and, further, 
that it was the sceptre of the Kassite kings 
of Babylon which Enlil placed within his 
hand. We may conclude, therefore, with 
some probability, that Nebuchadnezzar's 
immediate predecessors were merely kings 
of the city of Isin at a time when the last 
Kassite kings were still in possession of 
the throne of Babylon. 

In addition to his achievements against 
the Kassites, Nebuchadnezzar I. comes 
before us as conqueror in wars with Elam, 
and lord of Mesopotamia and also of the 
" western land " ; he therefore, for the 
last time indeed, extended the suzerainty 

of Babylon right down to the Mediterra- 
nean. His wars with Elam prove that, 
under his predecessors, the misery which 
the invasions of Kidin-khutrutash had 
already caused had become still more 
acute. Babylon itself had been captured, 
_ . and the statue of Marduk car- 

C* \ °^d ^^^^ away to Elam. Such a rape 
. £. of the god signified the loss of 
national independence and a 
degradation of the country to a state of 
vassaldom. Just as Marduk served in 
the temple of the stranger god, so the 
ruler of Babylon was no king, but a servant 
of the Elamite. So long as the image of 
the god was not in Babylon, Nebuchad- 
nezzar did not style himself king, but 
governor, of Babylon. He did not as- 
sume the title of " king of Babylon " until 
he had brought back the statue of Marduk, 
which he could only do after a decisive 
victory over Elam. Songs have been pre- 
served to us which bewail the absence of 
Marduk from Babylon and commemorate 
his return. By Nebuchadnezzar's suc- 
cesses some limit appears to have been 
set to the advance of the Elamite, for a 
time at least. We shall see, when we come 
to describe the history of Assyria, that the 
victories of Nebuchadnezzar had great 
subsequent effects, and that a successful 
attack by Assyria, which led to the cap- 
ture of Babylon under Tiglath-pileser I., 
produced no permanent results. 

Not many facts are known of the reigns 
of the immediate successors of Nebuchad- 
nezzar I. Marduk-nadin-akhe, who suc- 
ceeded Bel-nadin-apli upon the throne, 
fought with Tiglath-pileser I. and won 
„ , back Mesopotamia from him. 

ay on s -^^ ^^^ succeeded by Marduk- 
-, • J ff shapik-zer-mati, who appears 
to have extended the borders 
of Babylonia, and to have ruled a confede- 
racy of a large number of petty kings, or 
princes, over whom he had forced his 
suzerainty by conquest. He established 
friendly relations with Ashur-bel-kala, 
king of Assyria, and on his return after 



the Land 

visiting Assyria took up his residence at 
Sippar in preference to Babylon. He was 
succeeded by a usurper, Adad-aplu-iddma, 
in whose reign a disaster overwhelmed 
the country. This was the invasion of 
the Sutu, tribes of Aramaean 
origin, who overran both Nor- 
thern and Southern Babylonia, 
and ravaged the country from 
end to end. We know that the great 
temple of the sun-god at Sippar was 
destroyed by them, and for many years 
the effect of this invasion must have been 
felt. Not even the full names of Adad- 
aplu-iddina's three successors are known, 
but we may infer that they occupied them- 
selves in rallying the resources of Babylon 
and in making good the havoc wrought 
by the hordes of the Sutu. 

The dynasty which succeeded that of 
Isin upon the Babylonian throne came 
from the " Country of the Sea," from 
which it took its name. Two of the three 
kings of which it was composed bear 
Kassite names, and were probably descen- 
dants of the Kassite rulers of Southern 
Babylonia. That the dynasty occupied 
Northern Babylonia and ruled at Babylon 
may be inferred from the fact that its 
founder, Simmash-shipak, was buried 
in the palace of Sargon. During his 
reign he partly rebuilt the tempi' ■ 
of the sun-god at Sippar, wlm li 
the Sutu had destroyed in Ada^l- 
aplu-iddina's reign. Simmash- 
shipak was succeeded by Ea- 
mukin-zer, who reigned for only a 
few months. The last king of the 
dynasty was Kashshu-nadin-akhc, 
in whose short reign of three years 
the temple at Sippar experienced 
fresh misfortunes. 

Another short dynasty of three 
kings succeeded that of the Country 
of the Sea. It is termed in the 
kings list the dynasty of Bazi, 
and in it we may probably see 
another line of foreigners who 
occupied the Babylonian throne. 
The three rulers were termed Eul- 
mash-shakin-shum, Ninib-kudurri- 
usur, and Shilanumshukamuna, 
and the total length of their reigns 
was little more than twenty years. 
They were succeeded by an Elam- 
ite, whom the native chrono- 
graphers reckon as having formed 
a dynasty by himself. His name 
has recently been recovered as 

Aa-aplu-usur, but beyond the fact that he 
ruled for six years, nothing else is known 
of his reign. 

We see, therefore, that Babylonia was 
completely powerless and the prey of 
every foreign invader, of the Elamites 
above all, if they were not dislodged by 
the Assyrians. The period of these three 
dynasties embraces about the years looo- 
960, and at its expiry we shall find Assyria, 
which had been hitherto powerless, once 
more bent on advance. 

We do not know who overthrew the 
Elamites, or what other causes brought a 
new dynasty into power. The list of 
kings from this point is mutilated, and we 
have until about 750 practically no 
accounts except the Assyrian. From these 
latter we can learn quite clearly what was 
the distinctive feature of this period, even 
if we cannot give an account of the 
separate reigns. Babylonia, 
the prize for which the two 
great states of Assyria and 
Elam were disputing, was at 
this time flooded by a migration simi- 
lar to those of the Semites, who had 
settled there, and had thoroughly 
adopted Babylonian customs. From this 




After every invasion the Assyrians, or Elamites, carried away 
the Babylonian gods, thereby reducing the country to vassaldom. 



migration we can picture to ourselves the 
constant ebb and flow of such a method 
of occupation ; a similar instance is 
afforded by the circumstances attending 
the seizure of Palestine by the Hebrews. 
The Chaldaeans thenceforth pressed into 
Babylonia, inhabited the 
open country, and tried to 
gain possession of the towns. 
However prominent the 
Chaldaeans may be in the 
subsequent history, and how- 
ever many details we have 
recovered of their relations 
to Babylonia, we cannot yet 
form for ourselves any 
satisfactory pictvu"e of their 
national characteristics. All 
the Chaldaeans, indeed, who 
are mentioned bear 
thoroughly Babylonian 
names. No new element in 
the language can be ascer- 
tained to have been intro- 
duced by their invasion of 
Babylonia, so that we can 
obtain no clue to their 
original race. Since they 
evidently advanced from 
the south and first occupied 
the districts on the Persian 
Gulf, they may possibly be 
regarded as Semites, who 
immigrated from Eastern 
Arabia, while the previous 
migrations, starting more 
from the west, went first 
toward Mesopotamia and 
Northern Babylonia. Accord- 
ing to this theory, the Chaldaian migra- 
tion would have taken place between 
the Aramtean and the Arabian, and 
the Chaldaeans would have their nearest 
kinsmen in these two groups of nations, 
or would be identified with 
one of them. If they were 

■• Striiijijle ol the Nations," S.P C.K. 

This successor of Nebuchadnezzar 
regained Mesopotamia from Assyria. 


Who were 

-,. ,. -Semites, then rapid assimila- 
tion of the conditions existing 
in Babylonia is explained, for other 
stocks akin to them in language were 
already settled there, and Aramaean tribes 
had, as we shall see, already spread over 
Babylonia. The scanty facts that we can 
collect at present for a characterisation of 
the Chaldaeans accord well with this view. 
The designation of Ur, the City of the 
Moon, as Kamarine is traced to Berossus. 
That may be explained from Arabic, in 
which qamar signifies the moon. The 

chieftains of the Chaldaeans are termed 
ra'sani : that is the Arabic pronunciation 
of the word for chieftain (Hebrew, r'>'sli). 
The only god whose cult may perhaps be 
reckoned to have been introduced by the 
Chaldaeans is the war god — designated as, 
or identified with, Girra, 
whom Nabopolassar, Nebu- 
chadnezzar, and Neriglissar 
bring into prominence. 

Thus we find henceforth 
by the side of a series ol 
Aramaean tribes of Bab}'- 
lonia a number of ChakUean 
principalities or stocks, which 
are designated by Baby- 
lonians and Assyrians as a 
" house," or tribe, of their 
])rincely family. For ex- 
ample, Bit-Iakin, a district 
in the " Country of the Sea," 
from which these rulers had 
shortly before this time 
occupied the throne ot 
Babylon, Bit-Sa'alli, Bit- 
Shilani, Bit-Amukkani, Bit- 
Adini. Bit-Dakuri, in the 
iriimediate vicinity of Baby- 
lon and Borsippa, and others. 
The one aim of each of theii 
princes naturally was to gain 
possession of the adjacent 
large towns, and, as a cul- 
minating triumph, to become 
king of Babylon. The Chal- 
daean was the third candidate 
for the royal throne of Baby- 
lon who appeared at this time 
by the side of Ashur and 
Elam, and the Babylonian po]-)ulation 
was less and less able to assert its 
independence. With such a state of 
affairs no continuity of development 
was possible. On the whole, the Chal- 
daeans and Elamites joined cause, 
while the Assyrian kings endeavoured to 
appear as the protectors of the national 
independence, or what they chose to 
regard as such. The course of the struggle 
displays a continual fluctuation, until 
the Chaldaeans attained their 
object with the fall of Assyria, 
and Babylon, under a Chaldaean 
dynasty, once more assumed 
a place among the great powers. The 
facts we can collect from the period 
when Assyria had not as yet regained 
the supremacy in Babylonia are very 
few, and hardly go beyond accounts 


Rule in 


Nabu-aplu-iddina reigned 
at least thirty-one years, 
and died in 854. He was 
an opponent of Ashur- 
nasirpal and Shalmaneser, 
and during the reign of the 
former tried to force his 
way along the Euphrates 
into MesDpotamia. In the 

_ f S^VmJY i;^l^=^Ti^m'^^>'r- ^^-in fh" prmce'o'f SukhT^nThe 

Babylonian influence, 
against Assyria ; but 

Sukhi, one of the chief Aramaean Euphrates states, was under Baby- 
lonian influence, but was subjugated by Ashurnasirpal, king of Assyria. 

of wars with Assyria. The first king of 
the dynasty, who was probably Nabu- 
mukin-apli, reigned for thirty-six years. 
It seems as if in a record dating from his 
time the dominion over Mesopotamia was 
still ascribed to him, about 960 B.C. He 
must have been the last Babylonian king 
who could pride himself on the possession 
of that dis- 
trict ; for about 
this very time 
the Assyrian 
kings also bear, 
without fur- 
ther interrup- 
tion, the title 
in question. 
The list of 
kings assigns 
to his succes- 
sor, whose 
name is broken 

Ashurnasirpal defeated the Babylonian 
forces. The manner in which he speaks of 
this victory suggests that Nabu-aplu-iddina 
was a Chaldaean ; and this is borne out 
by the eagerness with which, in an in- 
scription of his own, commemorating the 
restoration of the temple of Sippar, he 
represents himself as a good Babylonian. 

Under his reign 
Assyria did not 
\'enture to 
encroach o n 
Babylon it- 
self ; Ashur- 
nasirpal con- 
tented himself 
with Mesopo- 
t amia, and 
seems later to 
have extended 
his power to- 
ward Northern 

off, a reign of a bas-relief from Nineveh, showing an Assyrian king placing his foot on the Babylonia. 

„„,..r ......1 J .i„.u„... .„ „...i.„u *uu..,„„,- Nabu-aplu- 

neck of a captive king, and apparently about to strike him with his spear. 

iddina's death, in 854 B.C., was, as 
usually happens in the East, the signal 
for disputes about the succession be- 
tween his two sons Marduk-shum- 
iddina and Marduk-bel-usati. In accord- 
ance with the directions of the deceased 
monarch, they had divided Babylonia 

eight months 

after that there is a great gap until 
Nabonassar, who came to the throne in 
747 B.C. 

Some of the names of the kings in 
this period we cannot determine con- 
clusively. We know Shamash-mudam- 
miq from his jvar with Assyria under 
Adad-nirari III. He died 
during this war, and Nabu- 
shum-ishkun became king- 
with Assyrian help. He 
was, therefore, certainly 
a Babylonian ; his pre- 
decessor, a Chaldaean. 
This is in accordance with 
the fact that a successor, 
who showed hostility to 
Assyria, was apparently 
in turn a Chaldiean. Then 
follows, possibly, an un- 
known king. After this, tribute of ivory and wood from sukhi to Assyria 



-, L 


During the days of Babylonia's weakness the Assyrians repeatedly invaded the country, besieging and sacking the 
cities. This bas-relief shows the king himself in the fight, and also illustrates the use of the battering-ram. 

between them, so that the former received 
Northern Babylonia with Babylon, the 
latter Southern Babylonia, and with it 
the original home of the Chaldaeans. 
The war between the Chaldaean prince 
and the Babylonian king naturally broke 
out at once, and the Chaldaean forces 
displayed their invariable superiority to 
the Babylonian. The Babylonian Mar- 
duk-shum-iddina summoned the Assyrian 
king, Shalmaneser II., to his aid, and in 
return he consented to hold his crown 
from him as a vassal ; the Assyrian king 
did not neglect such a favourable oppor- 
tunity of realising the object of Assyrian 
policy, the practical sovereignty of Baby- 
lonia. The " Chaldaean peasants " of Mar- 
duk-bel-usati fled before his veteran troops 
back into their swamps. Shalmaneser 
marched into the towns of Babylonia, 
offered the sacrifices as supreme lord of the 
country, and recci\"('d th<' homage of the 

Chaldaean princes, while Marduk-shum- 
iddina reigned under Assyrian protection. 
Shalmaneser naturally possessed from the 
first the north of Babylonia, which, from 
the time of Ashurnasirpal was under the 
immediate government of Assyria. It 
seems, indeed, that at the close of his 
reign, when the revolt of his son Ashur- 
danin-apli drove him out of Assyria, he 
relied on this part of his kingdom, and 
that his son Shamshi-Adad made it and 
Mesopotamia the base of his operations 
for the subjugation of Assyria. 

The impossibility of interfering effec- 
tively in Babylonia at this time could not 
fail to present to the ever watchful 
Chaldaeans another welcome opportunity 
of attack. So soon, therefore, as Shamshi- 
Adad was free from some of his most 
pressing enemies he turned his attention 
to Babylon, where, after the death — or 
the expulsion — of J\Iarduk-shum-iddina, in 


A spirited Assyrian bas-relief from Nineveh. Note the emblem of Ashur, the Assyrian god, in the top left- 
hand corner, assisting the besiegers by shooting an arrow. This bas-relief is now in the British Museum. 


823 B.C., we now find Marduk-balatsu-iqbi 
as king, a Chaldaean prince, who was 
supported by the Kaldi, Babylonian- 
Aramaean tribes, and Elam. He was 
thus another of the Chaldaean chiefs who 
by Elamite aid — standing thus in the 
same relation to Elam as Marduk-shum- 
iddina to Assyria — mounted the throne 
of Babylon. We see, therefore, for the 
first time, a condition of things which 
we shall find repeatedly— Ashur or Elam 
as the suzerain of the reigning king in 

No early success of Shamshi-Adad 
against the Babylonians is mentioned in 
his inscription ; on the other hand, 
campaigns against Chaldaea and Babylon 
in 813 and 812 are recorded. The first 
presu]:)poses a defeat of the Chaldaean 
king by Assyria, and with it the establish- 
ment of the Assyrian supremacy. The 
second coincides with the year of the 
accession of Adad-nirari IV. Perhaps the 
Chaldajans, who were not thoroughly 
subdued, on the accession of the new 
king, returned to the attack. Ba'u-akhi- 
iddina seems at this time to have been 
king of Babylon. He was conquered and 
captured by the Assyrians ; and Adad- 
nirari, just as Shalmaneser previously, 
now sacrificed in the towns as supreme 
sovereign. It is not certain whether all 
this happened in 812, or only on the expe- 
ditions of 7q6 and 795 against Northern 
Babylonia, and of 791 against Chaldaea, 
about which we know nothing. This 
much is certain in any case, that this age 
is marked by attempts of the Chaldaean 
princes to gain the Babylonian throne 
under Elamite protection and supremacy, 
varied by periods during which Assyria 
asserted her supremacy, as long as other 
claims were not made on her. On every 
change of monarch, or when Assyria is 
otherwise engaged, fresh attempts are made 
to shake off her yoke. The same spectacle 
we find elsewhere, and to it the prophets 
testify most clearly in the case of Judah 
and Israel — namely, two great parties 
in the country, who rely on two different 
great powers, with a continual shifting 
and changing from one to the other. 

We are not told whom Adad-nirari set 
up as king in Babylon, and we possess 
little information about the ensuing period, 
since after Adad-nirari the Assyrian power 
once more diminished and its influence 
over Bal)ylonia waned. But Assyria did 
not abandon her supremacy without a 



struggle, for many expeditions against 
Chaldaea are recorded. Thus, there was 
one immediately on the new monarch's 
accession in 783 and 782 under Shalmaneser 
III., and under the same king in 777 ; 
also, under his successor, Ashur-dan III., 
immediately on his accession in 771, 
there was an expedition to Northern 
Babylonia, and in 769 one to Chaldrea. 
The explanation is afforded by the former 
condition of things, and we can imagine 
the course of events from the expeditions 
of Shalmaneser and Adad- 
nirari. Since we possess no 
inscriptions of the Assyrian 
kings recording these events, 
and have only the brief 
notices in the chronicles con- 
cerning them, we do not 
know the names of the 
kings against 
expeditions were 

whom the 

have been 

influence must 

completely des- 

the succeeding 
revolts between 763 and 746, 
and Babylonia was thus left 
at the mercy of the Chal- 
dasans. The first fact we 
learn is the name — from the 
Babylonian list of kings — of 
King Nabu-shum-ishkun II., 
who reigned until 748. We 
possess a record concerning 
him, from which we may 
picture the condition of Baby- 
lonia at this time. Nabu- 
shum-imbi, the governor of 
Borsippa, the sister town of 
Babylon, makes a report 
concerning certain building 
operations in the temple of 
Nebo, and says : " Then in 
Borsippa, the town of law 
and order, there arose sedi- 
tion, havoc, uproar, and 
revolution ; under the rule of the 
Nabu-shum-ishkun, of Bit-Dakuri, the 
Babylonians, men of Borsippa and 
Dushulti from the bank of the Euphrates, 
all Chaldseans, Aramaeans, Dilbateans, 
turned for a long season their arms 
against each other, and defeated each 
other, and waged war with the men 
of Borsippa about their boundary. And 
Nabu-shum-iddina (a high official of 
the temple of Nebo), instigated on 
his own responsibility a revolt against 

Nabu-shum-imbi, the governor of Bor- 
sippa, In the night, like a thief, he 
collected foes and bandits, and led 

them into the temple of Nebo 

They raised an uproar. But the men of 
Borsippa and others, who came to the 
rescue, surrounded the house of the 
governor and protected it with bows and 
with arrows." Thus we find what we should 
expect : the king of Babylon is a Chald;ean 
of the stock of Dakuri, and the Chaldseans 
and Aramaeans take possession of the 
territory of the towns which 
are divided by internal feuds. 
It is not surprising that under 
such conditions the wealthy 
classes hailed the appearance 
of an Assyi"ian king as their 
salvation, and the same phe- 
nomenon will meet us again 
in the subsequent history. 
The Chaldaean dominion signi- 
fied anarchy for Babylonia ; 
for a strong Chaldaan prince 
and a stable government were 
hardly compatible with the 
want of cohesion among the 
Chaldaeans themselves, and 
with the natural opposition 
between the greedy invaders 
and the wealthy, timid popula- 
tion of the towns. 

The next king is Nabu- 
nasir, or, in the form under 
which the Ptolemaic canon 
has preserved the name, 
Nabonassar ; he reigned from 
747 to 734 B.C. The circum- 
stances just mentioned con- 
tinued under his rule, and 
disturbances in Borsippa such 
as those described by Nabu- 
shum-imbi led to an attempt 
on the part of that city to 
shake off his yoke, which the 
king took strong measures to 
There are scarcely 
any actions of Nabonassar himself to 
relate. Berossus, the historian of Baby- 
under the Seleucids, states that he 
some enactments — it is not yet 

THE GOD NEBO ^ '■■■ H 
In whose temple at Borsippa there 

revolt against the Chaldseans gnnnreSS 



certain what their nature was — relative to 
establishing an era. As a matter of fact, 
the Ptolemaic canon, which has brought 
Nabonassar's name into prominence, 
as well as a Babylonian chronicle, which 
was written under Darius, begin with 
reference to his reign in the year 747. 
In the third year of Nabonassar, 745 B.C., 




was inaugurated a new era for Assyria 
with the accession of Tiglath-pileser IV. ; 
and Babylonia was immediately aware 
of the changed order of things. The 
object of the first expedition of the new 
king was Babylonia, where he chastised 
the Aramaeans and the most northerly 
Chaldaean tribes, and placed Nabonassar 
under his protection. We may conclude 
from this that he was not a Chaldaean, 
but a Babylonian. Tiglath-pileser, who 
henceforth styled himself king of Sumer 
and Akkad and king of the 
four quarters of the world, 
came on his expedition as 
far'as Nippur. Presumably 
the Chaldaeans submitted. 
and he could not pursue 
his object further, owing to 
disturbances threatening 
from Armenia and Syria. 
Nabonassar, therefore, 

reigned under Assyrian 
protection. If a revolt 
at Borsippa shows thai 
his power did not extend 
beyond the city boundaries 
of Babylon, it was not, on 
the one hand, to the interest 
of Assyria to spare Nabo- 
nassar his little difficulties : 
on the other hand, Tiglath- 
pileser was really for the 
moment too much occupied 
to trouble himself more 
about Babylon than was 
urgently necessary. It says, 
however, much for Nabo- 
nassar's reputation that for 
fourteen years no Chaldaan 
made an effort to make 
himself master of Babylon. 
Nabonassar died in the 
year 734 B.C., and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Nabu- 
nadin-zer, abbreviated to 


Nadinu, so that the name This day prism is inscribed with accounts then during these 
appears as Nadios in the of eight campaigns of Sennacherib, years, 729 and 728, 
Ptolemaic canon. He reigned two years, 
734 and 733, when one of the rebellions, 
which might be expected, broke out. 
The king was deposed by a governor of 
a province, Nabu-shum-ukin, a Baby- 
lonian therefore, and consequently a 
leader of the anti-Assyrian party. The 
latter enjoyed less than two months of 
royal sovereignty, when he had to give 
way to the Chaldaean Ukin-zir, or Chinzer 
in the Ptolemaic canon, the prince of 

Bit-Amukani from 732 to 730. Assyria 
was thus forced again to interfere ; for 
a Chaldaean on the throne of Babylon 
could have no other object than to win 
for himself the whole of Babylonia, 
which Tiglath-pileser had until then pos- 
sessed. So soon, therefore, as the latter 
had arranged affairs in Syria, and had 
captured Damascus, where the siege alone 
had secured three years of uninterrupted 
rule to Ukin-zir, he turned against Baby- 
lonia, occupied Bit-Amukani, the home 
of Ukin-zir, as well as other 
Chaldaean provinces, and 

_ „ ^ took Ukin-zir himself 

rr'^^^Ii^'^jt.- prisoner. In order to put 
■^*^-^sr' -' an end to the endless dis- 
^ orders, he resolved, in 
X spite of the troublesome 
character of the obligation, 
to be present annually at 
the New Year's festival in 
Babylon, to reside there as 
much as possible, and to 
assume in person the crown 
of the kingdom of Bel ; and 
for the remaining two years 
of his life he commanded 
that he should be pro- 
claimed as king of Babylon. 
Further, the rights of the 
Babylonians were to be 
guaranteed. He, like other 
Assyrian kings who adopted 
a similar policy, bore as 
king of Babylon another 
name : thus Shalmane.ser 
IV. was known in Babylon 
as Ululai, and Ashurbanipal 
as Kandalanu. Tiglath- 
pileser is entered in the 
Babylonian lists as Pulu, 
a name by which he is 
._ mentioned in the Old 
" Testament. 

Tranquillity prevailed 
during the reign of his successor, Shalman- 
eser, who from 727 to 722 also had himself 
crowned king of Babylon. So soon, how- 
ever, as the great revolution in Assyria 
began, which, on his death, brought Sar- 
gon to the throne, a .Chaldaean prince, 
Marduk-aplu-iddina II., or, as we usually 
call him with the pronunciation given in 
the text of the Old Testament, Merodach- 
baladan, king of the " Country of the 
Sea," used the opportunity to wrest to 


himself the Babylonian crown, having come 
to an agreement with Khumbanigash of 
Elam. Sargon, it is true, quickly tried 
to expel him, but his Elamite protector 
was also on the spot* A battle was fought 
near Dur-ilu, in which Sargon claimed 
the victory for himself, and the Baby- 
lonians for Khumbanigash. In any case, 
Sargon was compelled to relinquish the 
attempt to expel Merodach-baladan from 
Babylon. He had, however, retained a 
portion of Northern Babylonia, and with 
it Dur-ilu. Merodach-baladan calls him- 
self king of Babylon, king of Sumer and 
Akkad. He reigned as Merodach-baladan 
II. under Elamite protection from 721 to 
710, so long as Sargon, precisely hke Tig- 
lath-pileser IV., was distracted by the 
affairs of Syria, Palestine and Armenia. 

Sargon, after ending his wars in these 
countries, turned his attention to Babylon, 
and drove out Merodach-baladan, who, 
after the loss of his capital in the sea 
country, Dur-Iakin, sought refuge in the 
court of Susa. Sargon was received in 
Babylon by his own party, and, above 
all, by the priests, as the saviour of the 
city and the restorer of order. He a;^- 
sumed the title of " Governor of Babylon " 
— that is, he represented a king, though no 
one reigned as such by name. From 709 
to 705 he held Babylon and the whole of 

Man sell 

Tiglath-pileser IV., an Assyrian king-, ruled in Babylon as Piilu after 
besieging and taking the principal Chaldaean cities ^-" 


A Chaldaean king who was twice driven from his 
throne, by Sargon and Sennacherib of Assyria. The 
sculptor, following the custom, makes the king appear 
taller th in the vassal whom he is investing with a fief. 

Babylonia on these peculiar 
terms until his death. 

Under the rule of Senna- 
cherib, Babylon enjoyed tran- 
quillity for two years more ; 
then a revolt broke out, which 
brought a Babylonian, Marduk- 
zakir-shum, to the throne for a 
month. Merodach-baladan then 
seized the opportunity to occupy 
Babylon once more, with the 
help of Elam. His sovereignty 
did not, however, last long this 
time, for Sennacherib was not 
so taken up by other wars as 
Sargon had been during his pre- 
vious occupation of the throne, 
and he appeared before Baby- 
lon nine months after Mero- 
dach-baladan's return. The 
latter was defeated at Kish, 
together with his Elamite 
auxiliaries, and fled, to Elam 
probably, where he awaited a 
fresh opportunity to make a 
descent upon Babylon. Senna- 
bas-reiieY cherib treated Babylon merci- 



fully, for it was not the Babylonians who 
had revolted, and only the property of 
Merodach-baladan and his followers was 
confiscated. The Chaldaeans were again 
driven back to their country, and the 
districts occupied by them were restored 
to the towns. Even the Aramaean tribes 
were again kept within their own borders. 
Sennacherib installed as king in Babylon 
Bel-ibni, probably a Babylonian prince, 
who had been brought up at the court 
of Nineveh (702 to 700). In the following 
year, 702, two other provinces were 
secured on the frontier toward Elam. Bel- 
ibni may have had the best intentions 
of remaining loyal to Assyria, but circum- 
stances were too strong for him. Perhaps 
Sennacherib's ambition to make Nineveh 

An expedition sent by Sennacherib to disperse the Chaldaeans, who constituted 
a danger which continually menaced Babylonia. From an Assyrian bas-relief. 


the first city of the East was already recog- 
nised. In any case, Bel-ibni was forced, 
while Sennacherib was occupied with 
Palestine, to break off with him, and — 
he can hardly have acted voluntarily — to 
enter into an alliance with Merodach- 
baladan, that is to say, with his own rival, 
with another prince of the Chaldaeans, 
Mushezib-Marduk, and with Elam. In 
Sennacherib's absence he submitted. But 
iust as the people of Palestine had taken 
up arms too late, so a miscalculation was 
made in Babylonia and Elam on the pre- 
sent occasion. Sennacherib raised the 
siege of Jerusalem, after he had already 
occupied the whole country, and, turning 
against his more formidable opponents, 
quickly broke up the alhance. Merodach- 
baladan fled from the 
sea-country to Elam, 
taking his gods with 
him ; the Chaldaean 
M u s h e z i b-M a r d u k 
withdrew into his 
swamps ; and Bel- 
ibni was forced to 
return witK his fol- 
lowers to the place 
whence he had come 
— namely, to the court 
of Nineveh. We see 
from this treatment 
of him that he had 
joined Elam and the 
Chaldaeans only under 
compulsion, otherwise 
assuredly a severer 
penalty would have 
been meted out to 
him. At Babylon, 
Assur-nadin-shum, a 
son of Sennacherib, 
was installed as king, 
and reigned from 699 
to 694 B.C. 

Merodach-b a 1 a d a n 
must have died soon 
afterwards, for he is 
never mentioned again. 
Disturbances occurred 
in Elam, and thus 
Babylonia enjoyed 
quiet for five years. 
In the year 694 Senna- 
cherib made an ex- 
pedition in. order to 
drive out that part of 
the population of the 
sea-country which had 



fled at one time with Merodach- 
baladan to Elam, and had settled 
in some towns on the coast, and 
thus to do away with a danger 
which continually menaced Baby- 
lonia. He describes in detail how 
he built ships for the purpose, 
which were brought on the Tigris 
up to Opis, thence to the Eu- 
phrates, and so down to the 
Persian Gulf. He himself cau- 
tiously kept far away from tht 
dangerous element, but ordered his 
army to be transported by sea to 
Elam. His forces marched some 
way up the Karun, devastated the 
provinces on the coast of Elam, 
and dispersed or captured the 
Chaldaeans who were settled there. 
While the Assyrian army was 
stationed in Elam, Khalludush, 
king of Elam, did not remain idle. 
He entered Babylonia near Dur- 
ilu on the ordinary military road, 
captured Sippar, took Assur-nadin- 
shum prisoner, and carried him 
back with him to Elam. He 
appointed Nergal-ushezib, a Baby- 
lonian, king in Babylon. Senna- 
cherib tells us only of the heroic courage 
with which he had faced the raging sea 
and of his success in Elam. We hear 
of the Elamite counter-move from the 
Babylonian chronicles alone. Nothing 
more transpires as to Assur-nadin-shum, 
the deposed son of Sennacherib. 

The new king possessed at first only 
the north of Babylonia ; he tried now 
to drive the Assyrians out of 
the south also, and captured 
Nippur. But Uruk, which seems 
to have joined his side, was 
recaptured by the Assyrians, and soon 
afterwards the latter appeared in front of 
Nippur. Nergal-ushezib met them in the 
open field, but was defeated and taken 
prisoner. He had reigned only a year and 
a half — 694 to 693 B.C. While Sennacherib 
in this same year undertook a punitive 
expedition against Elam, the above- 
mentioned Chaldaean, Mushezib-^Iarduk, 
seized the opportunity to establish him- 
self firmly in Babylon, and reigned from 
692 to 698. He allied himself closely with 
Elam, and actually sacrificed the temple 
treasures of Marduk in order to pay to 
the Elamite, Umman-menanu, his " pre- 
sents," or what was, in reality, his tribute. 
This shows that once more the sacerdotal 

An Elamite 
King in 


An Assyrian representation of a skirmish in Sennacherib's cam- 
paign against Merodach-baladan and his Elamite auxiliaries. 

party supported Assyria. It was not so 
easy a task this time for Sennacherib to 
drive out Elam — for that was the real 
issue at stake. In the year 691 a battle 
was fought at Khalule, in Northern 
Babylonia, with Umman-menanu, his 
vassal, Mushezib-Marduk, the son of 
Merodach-baladan, and the other Chal- 
daeans. Sennacherib gives a very magnifi- 
cent account of the battle, in which he 
naturally claims the victory. The Babylo- 
nian chronicle makes Umman-menanu 
the victor, and is correct in so far as 
Sennacherib gained no success, for Babylon 
remained under Elamite protection. In 
the year 689 Umman-menanu was struck 
down by apoplexy. 

In the same year Babylon fell into 
Sennacherib's hands, and Mushezib- 
Marduk was carried prisoner to Assyria. 
We must assume that in this revolt there 
was no strong pro-Assyrian party in 
_ . Babylon, for it is clear that 

a y on Sennacherib's policy aimed at 
Destroyed by , c S u ^ tu 


the ruin of