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The seat 
Of mlgbtiest empire, from the destined walla 
Of Cambala, seat of Cathaian khan, 
And Saraarcand by Oxas, TImur's throng 
To Pekin. by Slndean kings, and thence 
To Agra and Lahore of great Mogul, 
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where 
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since 
In Hi^ahan, or where the Busslan czar 
In Moscow, or the Sultan In ByzEUice, 
Turkestan boviL-~Para4ise Lost, 


[TKe Eight of Translation is Reserved.^ 





Introduction . ... 

Russia and iier Earliest Inhattitants 

Ttie Asiatic ScytMans—Tlie Hans— Attila ... 

Ttie Igours— Avars— Bulgarians— fSlavonians—Cliazars 

The Cancasus— Georgia . 

Tlie Finns— Russians— Novogorod and KioC-Burik— Oieg— Igor— Oiga 

Europe In the Nlntli Century— Blarmaland—tlie Crimea ... 


Sviatozlaf— He subdues the Chazars— Invades the Greeit Empire— The Principalities 
—Defeat and Death of 8 viatozlaf . . ... ... 



Vladimir the Great^Tlie Riisaiana are converted to Cliristianity ■ WS 

CHAPTEK X— FeOM 1015 TO 1053. 
Svlatopolk— The Poles Invade Bnssia— Jaroslaf . . . 123 

CHAPTER Xr.— Fbom'4bOOT 800 to 1070. 

The AvaraorTurks— MahmoudofGhiznl— He invades India— The SeljuS Turks— 
Togrul Beg— Alp Arslan-Malek Shall— The Polotzl . .... 136 

CHAPTEE XII.— Feom loss TO 1078. 
Iziaslaf— The Poles invade Kussia—SviatozIafII.—Vyzevold—irovogorod . . .152 

CHAPTEE XIII.— Fkom 1078 TO 1126. 
Vyzevold Jaroslafovitz— Svlatopolk Iziaslafovitz— Vladimir Monomachns . . ,160 

CHAPTER XIV.— Feom 1125 to U57. 
The Poles invade Russia- Yonrii Dolgoronki — ^Moscow founded — Kingdom of Halich 167 

CHAPTEK XV.— Feosi 1157 TO 1214. 
Continuation of the History of Russia— Invasion of the Poles— State of Society . . 175 


Affairs of Poland— Esthonia—Llvouia-Courland— The Teutonic Knights— Lithu- 
ania— Tlie Ottoman Turks— The Origin of the Monguls 184 

BOOK n. 


CHAPTER I._FS0M 1175 TO 1227. 
ZlngisKhan— The Conqnests of the Monguls . 

CHAPTEK n.— Feom 1214 TO 1246. 

The Princes of Kiof— Batti Khan— He conquers Russia, and ravages Poland and 
Hungary-^Embassy sent by the Pope to the Grand Khan — ^Election of Couynk — 
Karacorum— Camp of BatU at Serai 214 

CHAPTER III.— Feom 1246 TO 1263. 

Yaroslaf of Novogorod— Mangou Khan— Kublai conquers China— Holagou conquers 
Persia— The Monguls Of China— Khans of Kipzak . . 233 


CHAPTEE IT.— FnOM 1240 TO 1302. 

EeienofAlexanderNCTskolinKussla—Noghai'sEebellloil— The Mongols of Persia— 
Abaga— Argun— yoyage ofthe Chinese Princess to Persia— Kazan . . 249 

CHAPTEE v.— Fedm 12n TO 1340. 
Continnation of the History of Enssla- Reigns of Taroslaf, DemeWns, and Andrea— 
Lithuania— The Genoese Colonies— Uzbek Khan— Executions of Michael, Deme- 
trius, and Alexander— Ivan L .'."". . . . . . . 264 

l-'iiaracterof the Rnssiang— The Black Death . . . .275 

CHAPTER VII,— Feom 1352 to 1392. 
Eeign of Demetrius Donskol—Klpzak—Lithnanla— Battle of the Don— Moscow 
burned— Monasteries— Literature— Poland— The Teutonic Knights . . .281 



CHAPTER L— Fkom 1336 TO 1404. 
Timnr Bek or Tamerlane— His Conquests— Toktamish . 

CHAPTER n.— rEOM 1398 To 1400. 
Tiniur invades India— The Gipsies .... 

CHAPTEE III.— Fkom 1399 TO 1403. 
Timur marches against Georgia, Syria, and the Ottomans — Captures Bajazet 

CHAPTEE IV.— Feom M08 To 1530. 
Timur returns to Samarcand — Sets out for China — His Death — Troubles in the Em- 
pire—His Successors— The Emperor Baber . . . . 




TheFifleenthCenttiry-FallofConstnntlnople-TheMonguls— Their Conquerors and 
Descendants— The Cossacks ... ... . . 357 

The Horde of Tonshi— Eelgnof Vassill,or Bazll the Blind— Manners and Customs 
of the Russians . . .368 


ThcEeignOflvanVassilovitz— His Conquests— Marriage with Sopliiaof Byzantiam 
—State of the Churoli— A new Code of laws— War -witli Kipzak— Embassies to 
Moscow . . 382 

Embassy to Vienna and Copenhagen— War with Finland . 413 

.Survey of Russia- Siberia— Its Conquest— The Crimea— Her Khan submits to the 
Tnrl£s . . . . . . 4ir 

War between Moscow and Poland— Coronation of Demetrius— Death of Ivan III.— 
Accession of Bazil IV.— Prince Ghnski— Pillage of Moscow— War with Kazan- 
Death of Bazil— Accession of Ivan the Terrible— Capture of Kazan and Astralshan- 
Extinctionof the Mongul power in Europe ... . 437 


Poems describinq the Places and Manners of the People, and the Country op 
Russia, bt Master George Turbervtu^, 1568 .471 

PcsHKiH's Lay of the Wise Oleg . . 477 





First then from henoe 
Turn to the orient sun, and pass the height 
Of these ancultored mountains ; thence descend 
To where the wandering Scythians, tradn'd to beat 
The distant wounding bow, on wheels aloft 
Eoll on their wattled cottages. 

Poitek's " Translation of Eschylus.' 




Oft o'er the trembling nations from afar, 

Has Scythia breathed the llvhig cloud of war.^GEAT. 

Cubing the century before, and that succeeding the Chris- 
tian era, the whole power, influence, and civilisation of the 
entire known world were centred in one proud and despotic 
militaiy state. Eome, by conquest and intimidation, had 
rendered herself mistress of all the explored and most 
favoui-ed parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe; heriegions held 
in obedience every nation, from the extremities of Greece to 
the British isles and the Atlantic ocean ; her eagles were 
borne and dreaded from the sands of Egypt and Arabia, to 
where the barbarous Teuton, on the shores of the Baltic, 
encountered the rough weapons of the Goth ; the wide 
wastes of Scythia alone were to her unknown and untrodden 
plains, and from Scythia her final invaders and conquerors 

This name was the vague and general appellation bestowed 
by the Greeks and the Romans upon aU the countries that 
extended from the banks of the Dnieper to the borders of the 
almost fabulous Cathay.* In those days they were divided 
by the ancients into European and Asiatic Scythia; to 
modern geographers they are known as Russia and Tartary. 

The former, as the barrier between Asia and Europe, the 
theatres of present action and civilisation, and past grandeur 
and fame, has been agitated from time to time by the revolu- 
tions with which both have been convulsed ; and over her 
has the first fury of every tempest rolled, that has so 
frequently burst forth from the centre of the greater con- 
tinent, and rushed like a whirlwind over half the earth. 

• The ancient name of China. 


From the depths of Tartary, or Asiatic Scythia, has ori- 
ginally issued every torrent of invading barbarians that 
have overrun Eastern Europe for the last nine hundred years. 
Ci-adled on the gloomy steppes of Mongolia, where the earth 
for nine mohtTia remains buned under a thick bed of siiow, 
and where the Sole vegetation consists of short grass, and a 
few scanty tufts of heath, these hordes of martial shepherds 
have periodically poured down in search of a richer country 
and more grateful soil, and, spreading over the barren plains 
of Tartary and Eussia, have formed themselves into moving 
empires, who for a few years have domineered over the sur- 
rounding trembling nations, and then vanished and melted 
away ; leaving little other trace of their existence than the 
record of destruction. Such were the monarchies of the Huns, 
the Igoura, and Avars ; the Chazars, Polotzi,, and Monguls ; 
while the Ottoman Turks, who. are also Scythian in origin 
and descent, more fortunate than their pr,edecessors, have 
maintained a position in one of the finest countries of Europe 
for the last four hundred years. 

As the most enduring, most powerful, and the most known, 
both in ancient ami modern times, of these turbulent nations 
of the north, -Russia occupies hy far th« most prominent 
part in the history of the Scythian empires ; amd I shall 
thSEefore make the. annals of that country my principal 
subject. Afteu tracing the origin of her people, I shall glance 
at the progress of the Huns, the Chazars, and the numerous 
other Tartac tribes, whosei names were only known, by their 
inroads in the middle ages, to the countries and inhabitants 
of eastern, Europe. Then, sketching, the rise of the Russian 
monarchy, I shall proceed to thei conquests of Zingis Khan 
and the Monguls, and ther wars of his descendant, and still; 
more formidable cQvuitiymaai Timur, with the short-livedi 
domination of Samaccand. 

, The: ancient patrimony of the Tartars is now included in. 
the empire* of Russia and China ; but, their conquests, which 
extended qvcb India^ China^ Russia, Siberia, and Greece, have? 
left upon the inhabitants of both, those corantries a deep 
impress- of their long and tyrannical sway ; and there is great 
resemblance in many of their customs * and laws,, their 
jealousy of foreign nations, dEess, appearance, and character, 

* AmonggC thpso mny bBmentlbned one which prevails alike In St. Petersburff, Pekin, 
and Constantinople, which calls on the Emperor or Sultan, whenever a flre breaks out 
in the capital, to assist personally iU' its extinctJoja.. 


and despotic patriarchal form of government. The same 
exclusive character, decrees forbidding emigration, rigid ad- 
herence to ancient usages, and numerous secret societies, 
political and religious, are alike remarkable in both ; and 
both empires have been frequently subdued and ruled by- 
foreign invaders and savage warlike hordes j and, exhibiting 
a vitality almost unknown to the nations of Europe, have 
risen again from their ashes, and, emancipating themselves 
from their conquerors, have flourished again with renewed 
vigour and prosperity. 

But the Chinese, who since that time have once more 
fallen under Tartar rulers, with whom and the natives a 
war has long been raging, which threatens to tear in pieces 
the whole Celestial Empire^ appear themselves to have been 
a Scythian people, and therefore only early settled and 
civilized Tartars, Their manners, says Dr. Latham, in 
many respects greatly resemble those peculiar to the' Scythian 
tribes described by Herodotus ; a German author has pointed 
out. seventeen different customs which are identical in the 
Chinese and Turks; their language has been proved to. be 
by no means so dissimilar to all other nations as has formerly 
been supposed ; and the dragon, the emblem of Scythia, is 
used alike by the Slavonians, Chinese, and Tartars.* 

About six hundred years before Christ, a horde of Scy- 
thians conquered India ; and one of their tribes, the fair- 
haired, blue-eyed Getas, returning towards the north, and esta- 
blishing themselves in the plains to the east of the Caspian, 
finally settled in Scandinavia, leaving a few who are still 
called Jits in Hindostau,f while in Europe they became 
known and celebrated by the name of Goths. 

*" EncydopdEdia BrUannica"—BT. Latham, 
f Xod's " AaaaU Had AutiquUesof Ji^astban." 


"^umuiunH ^ex rarlitst Inl^abiiants. 

Campestres melius Scythie, 
Quorum plaustras vagas rite trabant dom03, 

.V-ivuiit et rigidi- Getas, 
Immetata quibu3 Jugera liberas — Horace. 

TTntil towards the latter end of the last century, ^when 
the ambition and conquests of her sovereigns had brought 
Russia into close contact and opposition with the other more 
advanced nations of Europe, she had been considered by 
her contemporaries of the west as rather an Asiatic than a 
Eui'opean power, too barbarous and remote to contend with 
their statesmen in the cabinet, or maintain any interest or 
influence in common with their own ; and shut out by the 
stormy Poland, her severe and rigorous climate, and the 
exclusive policy of her government, from trade or intimate 
connection with the rest of the continent ; she had long been 
surelyand gradually increasing both in power and extent, 
though hardly known and unheeded except by a few far- 
sighted politicians, and the neighbouring states with whom 
she was continually at war. This isolation may be con- 
sidered to have commenced in the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries, when a career of prosperit)' and conquest, which 
might have ended in the subjugation of the then darker.and 
more ignorant nations of the west, was cut short by the per- 
petual inroads of the savage Tartar tribes 'who hovered on 
her eastern border, and the civil discords of her princes ; and 
later, by the rapid conquests of the Monguls, under whom 
she was long held in slavery. 

Neither history nor tradition has left us any positive 
information when the first colonists from Asia entered 
Europe ; but it iis generally considered that the Finns were 
the first inhabitants df Russia, and indeed ofthe whole con- 
tinent, and that ithey were from .thence driven gradually 
northwards to the extremities of Norway, Finland, and 
Lapland, where they now dwell, by the second immigration, 


which was probably that of the Celts. While the Finns 
retreated towards the north, this last people moved on to 
the west, being expelled from the Russian steppes by a fresh 
horde of invaders, the Scythians, who, scattering the in- 
habitants before them like chaff, precipitated themselves 
upon Eastern Europe. Their families and cattle encamped 
upon her extensive plains, which have successively pastured 
the flocks of the Finns, Celts, Scythians, Goths, Huns, and 
Monguls, the inhospitable climate denying to a people not 
skilled in agriculture, any other mode of supporting life than 
that of wandering shepherds or huntei-s. But since the 
power of the last of these invaders was overthrown, the 
Russian empire has continued to increase in extent and 
power, till it now embraces a sixth of the habitable portion 
of the globe, and extending from the borders of the Pacific 
Ocean to those of the Baltic Sea, and from the ice-bound 
shores of the Arctic to the sunny and fertile lands of 
Persia and Armenia, the greatest diversity is to be found 
in the inhabitants, climate, vegetation, and general aspect of 
the countiy ; the former comprising nearly a hundred diffe- 
rent nations ; for the handsome Georgian, the swarthy 
Tartar, the fair Esthoniau, the Persian of Erivan, the small 
and timid Lapp, the Gheber of Bakii, the fish-eating Samo- 
yede, and the Boyard of Moscow, all alike own the sway of 
the Czar. In the north, where gloomy forests of pine and 
fir, with deep bogs and extensive marshes, cover the face of 
the country, till they are reduced, on the shores of the White 
Sea and Frozen Ocean, to scanty woods of the dwarfish birch 
and larch, the inhabitants are drawn in their sledges by the 
reindeer, and strong and shaggy Samoyede dog ; while in 
the south, the arid steppes, overspread with grass, are 
traversed by the camel and araba, whose drivers, the few 
nomadic tribes still roaming across these sandy wastes, 
belong to the horde of Nogay Tartars, the peaceful and insig- 
nificant descendants of the last and fiercest conquerors of 
the empire. 

The only mountains of any extent that break the uni- 
formity of the level landscape in Russia, are the Urals, 
known to the ancients as the Ryphean chain, which divide 
Europe from Asia ; the hills of the Caucasus, whose lofty 
peaks, famous in Grecian fable and Persian song, rise beyond 
the steppes of the Doa and the Bla«k Sea; and further 


soatli, in tlie kingdom of Georgia, nrh&ce the ywe, malbeny, 
and orange, luxuriantly and uncultivated, gixsw, lies the 
solitary and snow-capped Mount of Ararat, celebrated as the 
resting-place of the ark. 

Her rivers, of which the Volga is the longest in Europe, 
are navigable almost to their source, and, being connected by 
canals, form a communication between the Black, Caspian, 
White, and Baltic Seas, though, from the scarcity of water 
in these parts, several attempts to unite the Don and Volga,* 
which approach to within a distance of forty miles, have 
failed, and they are rendered useless during many mouths of 
the year by the ice, which annually blocks up every harbour 
in the empire, with the exception of two or three on the 
Euxine ; thus forming a great impediment to the commerce 
of Bussia by sea, and causing her to cairy on a comparatively 
larger trade by caravans with Siberia, China, and all Central 
Asia, than with theother nations of Europe. The limits of 
no empire have so frequently changed as those of Bussia. ; 
her territories having spread, in the early period of her 
histoiy, over nearly the same extent of country in Europe 
that they at present occupy j while in the begiiuaing of the 
sixteenth century, when she finally emancipated herself from 
the Tartar rule, they had dwindled down to little more 
than Moscow, her capital, and a few surrounding provinces, 
then known as Muscovy. The kingdoHis of Poland, Georgia, 
Siberia, Kasan, Astrakhan, and the Crimea, with a part of 
Armenia and the Grand Duchy of Finland, are now included 
within her frontiers, •where, though the Slavonian is the most 
considerable and dominant race,t it has probably veiy much 
intermingled with the Tartar tribes, by whom it has been so 
frequently subdued, particularly the Monguls, its latest foreign 
masters, from whom a huadred and thirty noble Bnssian 
families are descended, besides many of the common people. 
Numerous words in the Russian language are also derived 
from the same source ; sevei-al of their names for weights, 
measures, and coins, the punishment of the knout, variwis 
legal customs, habits of life, and articles of dress ; with many 
of the forms and ceremonies at their court. J 

* They liaye been'ioined within the laet few years toy a tram railway. 

t Professor Eeteius of Stocliholm, maintains that the Slavonians themselves flo not 
belong to the Caucasian division of the human family. Dr. .I.atham Gonslders that nine- 
tenths of the modern Kusslans, and inhabitants of Knssia, are of the Tartar race: or as 
he denominates It, the Ugrlan, in which category he comprises the Huns, Finns, Kal- 
macks, and all the Tartartrlbes In the empire except the BiisblUts. 

t ArtMs "^;aitftr,^'a?euny'CyctopMdia. - ■ ■ - ' - ; , . 


The Scythians are the fii'St inhabitants of Russia of whom 
we have any knowledge. They peopled the north of Asia 
and the east of Europe, and from the most distant times 
frequently overthrew the thrones of Southern Asia, pene- 
trating on one occasion even as far as Egypt, where, before 
the days of the Pharaohs, they founded a. dynasty called the 
Hyskos, or Shepherd kings. In the fifth book of the 
Chronicles of Berosus, the Chaldean, that ancient writer 
informs us that Nimrod sent Assyrius, Medus, Moscus, and 
Magog, to found colonies in various parts of Asia and Europe, 
and that Moscus planted settlements iu both continents. 
This account has given rise to the supposition, that Moscus 
came to European Scythia, and that from him the river 
Moscowa * received ics name ; t while Assyrius was father of 
the Assyrian, Medus of the Medes, and Magog of the Eastern 
Scythians, or Tartars, Herodotus describes these people as 
inhabiting a country to the westward of "the Tanais, from 
whence they had driven the CimmeriiJ {a Celtic tribe), 
whom Niebuhr supposes retired towards the west, and emi- 
grated from Scythia into the countries on the Danube ; and, 
according to Sir Isaac Newton, both nations must iave 
spread themselves over Europe and Lesser Asia before the 
year of the flood 1220, that is, about the time of the IsraeH- 
tish judges. The Scythian hordes who came into Europe, 
had been expelled from the eastward of the Caspian by the 
Massagetse, another of their tribes,|| who had been dis- 
possessed of their own country by Ninus, king of Assyria ; 
and they appear to have carried on some commerce with the 
Greeks, as we learn from the historian that the caravans of 
Greek merchants, who traded up the Tanais or Doa, towards 
the Ural mountains, were always accompanied by seven 
interpreters, speaking as many difierent languages. In the 
annals of Persia, all the country north of the Caucasus and 
river Oxus is called Turan, or Land of Darkness, in contra- 
distinction to Iran, or the Land of the Sun ; and their 
history transmits the record of perpetual wars carried on 

* Some historians have coiijectured that this name was derived from Mesech. a son of 
Japhet, and quote the passage from Kzeklel, which descrlbos Mesech as supplying Tyre 
with staves and brazen vessels (the Tartar's, from fhe earliest ages, have been sklllulin 
■(voritinEr metalH), in support octheir argument. 

f Sir Jerome Horsey's *' Traveis in Russia." 

X Herodotus states that in his ttme there were atlU many monuments and bridges, 
erected by the Cimmerians, m Scythia. 

1 Pritchard'a "Satura Hlstorv of Man." 


between the two nations from the most remote period of 

The same manners, customs, and mode of living, appear to 
have prevailed among all the tribes of the Scythians, from 
the shores of the Euxine to where they encountered the 
empire of the Huns, on the borders of China, and closely re- 
sembled those of the modem Tartars. Their plains abounded 
in wild horses, one of which was possessed by every warrior, 
whose arms consisted of wooden spears or javelins, a bow 
and a quiver of poisoned arrows, and in passing a river + 
they made use of their saddles, consisting of leather sacks 
stuffed with straw, upon which they sat, causing their horses, 
whose tails they held, to swim before them, and thus float 
them across. When two Scythians wished to swear an eterual 
friendship, they were accustomed to make an incision in their 
bodies, and, minghng their blood in a cup, first dipped into 
the vessel the points of their swords, and then sucked the ends. 
But the geography and history of Scythia appears to have 
been very imperfectly known to the Greeks, | to whom she 
gave two philosophers, and who celebrated in their songs, in 
the days of Homer, the peace and innocence of tlie pastoral 
life as existed upon her plains, unaware of the savage manners 
of her people, and the frequency with which those verdant 
fields were stained with blood. The same custom that pre' 
vailed among the Huns, ancient Russians, Monguls, and all 
the Tartar tribes, of sacrificing horses and slaves over the 
graves of their nobles and chiefs, was also practised in 
Scythia ; and the principal wife of a sovereign, with his cook> 
cupbearer, messenger, and fifty native Scythian slaves, and 
horses, were all strangled over the tomb of their chief, who 
was usually buried with great pomp and ceremony, jewels 

•The Persian poets celebrate, In many of their songs, the glories and magnificence of 
Afrasib, an ancient iiing of tlie Turanians, the numbers of his retinue, and splendid 
court. He was the rival of their favourite hero, Eoustem, vphose fame has been recorded 
In an Iranian poem of ten thousand verses. The Turanian Itiugs, lilte the Pharaohs of 
Esypt, were all known by the name of Afrasib. 

t In 1240, whcS the Monguls besieged Klof, they crossed the Dnieper In the same 

t Artemidorus of Ephesus. a geographer, who flourished about the year 100 e.c stated 
that the country east of the Tanais was unexplored; and so late as after the expedition of 
Alexander the Great, the Caspian was believed to be a gulf of the Northern Ocean and 
Pliny informs us that his contemporaries supposed the Palus MsBotis (Sea of Azof) to be 
connected with the Arctic Sea. The Volga was unknown to the Greeks, and is first 
mentioned, under the name of Rha, by the Roman writers. It is a common opinion 
among the most eminent geologists, that till within a comparatively recent period of the 
world s history, the Caspian and Black Seas were connected, and that the ocean over- 
flowed the sandy steppes that now lie between them to the north of the Caucasus which 
are still strongly impregnated with salt and shells. Herodotus speaks of the Sea of 
Azof as being of about the same extent as the Black Sea. 


and ornaments being placed in the grave, and a fresh layer 
of earth raised every year over the sepulchre in which he 
was interred.* 

Hippocrates has left us a most accurate account of the 
Scythians and their country. He says, " The wilderness of 
the Scythians, as their land is termed, is, for the most part, a 
plain covered with grass and destitute of trees, and mode- 
rately watered with streams.! There the Scythians dwell, 
who are called nomades, because they have no houses, but 
live in waggons. The women spend most of their time in 
their waggons, but the men are accustomed to ride on horse- 
back, followed by their flocks and herds, and horses ; they 
live on boiled meat, and drink the milk of mares."J The 
Roman writers also inform us that the Scythians covered 
themselves with skins, and had no cities, but continually 

* The tumuli, which are very numerous in Southern Rassia and the Crimea, are sup- 
posed to contain the tomhs of tlie Scythian kings. Several have been opened, and 
round to enclose shields, bows, swords, and gold ornaments of very skilful workmanship, 
some of which are adorned with figures, whose dress wry much resembles that worn by 
the Russian and Polish peasantry at the present day. In one was discovered the bones 
of a man of great stature, with the remains of a mitra. or Persian cap on his- brow, round 
his neck a necklace in massive gold, upon the right arm, above the elbow, a bracelet of 
gold an inch wide, below the elbows two other bracelets oi mixed gold and silver, one 
and a half inch b^o^^d, and round the wrists a third pair, finished in Persian winged 
phinxes, the claws of which held the thick thread of gold that served to close tlie 
bracelet, which was of very fine workmanship. At the feet was a pile.of little sharp 
flints, it being the custom in Scythia to tear the face and body with such instruments, 
and place them in the tombs as a mark of grief. In another part of the sarcophagus 
was the Iron sword, the handle ofwhich was covered with leaves of gold, and ornamented 
with figures of hares and foxes, a whip adorned with a leaf of gold, and the shield in fine 
gold,- besides drinking-cups, lances, and several bundles of arrows; and in the same 
grave there appeared a second skeleton, which, from the richness ot its ornaments and 
the mitre which it wore, was supposed to be that of the queen, whom it was the custom 
in Scythia to strangle over the funeral pile of her husband,— (See H. D. Seymour's V Rus- 
sia on the Black Sea.") 

In 1856, a tumulus eighty feet in Height was opened In Southern Russia, and found to 
contain a travelling car, large quantities of horses' bones, every sort of gold ornament, 
and vessels of gold, sliver, iron, bronze, and clay. Campenhausen. in his "Travels 
through the Russian Empire," mentions that in a tumulus he caused to be opened in the 

Erovince of Ekaterinoslaf, he found the skeletons of seven men and iive horses, some 
owa and arrows, silver buckles, and clasps of harness. 

Dr. Clarke conjectured that some of the tumuli might have been antediluvian graves. 

t The modern traveller Kohl, in his description of the steppes of Southern Russia, 
which In summer are covered with long grass, in winter witli snow, observes that for 
hundreds of miles no break appears in these plains, which resemble a verdant ocean, 
'* where a calf that began to graze at the Carpathian Mountains, miyht eat its way to the 
Chinese Wall, and arrive there a full-grown ox." No trees break the monotony of the 
apparent boundlessness of the steppes, except in some few places the acacia; but flowers 
are numerous, and thistles attain so great a heisht that they appear like trees, and a 
Cossack on horseback may conceal himself among them. In summer, the atmosphere is 
of an almost Indian heat, but the winter resembles that of the Arctic regions; and, during 
the late war, several battalions tiestined to recruit the Russian army in the Crimea, were 
lost in crossing these formidable plains of snow. The grass teems wiih animal life; 
spotted earth hares (as the German colonists call them) are every where to be seen, small 
birds, pigeons, and demoiselles abound, and eagles and vultures float liigh in the air, 
Scattered over the steppes are numberless flocks of sheep and herds of half-wild horses, 
who, attended by a few shepherds or herdsmen, wander from place to place over the 
plains in search of pasture, their attendants passing almost their whole lives on horseback, 
having no houses, but shelteringintheir waggons, and enlivening their solitude by almost 
perpetual song. There are also many German colonies in the steppes, who, being allowed 
to frame their own local government, and exempted from taxes or conscription for a 
period of fifty yean, are gradually bringing tho steppes luto cultivation. 

t Pritchard's "Nat. Hist of Man." 


chaaiged their hahitaffcions to procure pastiare for their flocks 
and herda : their government was monarchical, and tlie 
deference they paid to their sovereigns was unparalleled. 
WJien the king died, his body was carried through every pro- 
vince, wliere it was received in solemn procession, and after- 
wards buried,* and the tumnli which abound in Southern 
Russia, and upon the eastern coasts of the Criasaea, are 
supposed to have been erected by these people over the 
tombs of their kings. From this account, and the description 
of their appearance by Hippocrates, whicb so greatly 
resembles that of the modern Tartars, there appears to be no 
doubt that these Scythians were the ancestors of that people ; 
and Niebuhr, in support of this argument, remarks tha.t their 
custom of burning the bodies of their d«ad, their personal 
appearance, and their mode of life -and customs, all point to 
this race of mankind. " Again," says he, " intoxication from 
the vapour of red-hot stones, and confined under close cover- 
lets, is Siberian, only Herodotus confounds them with the 
vapour baths, which the barbarians in these parts enjoyed, and 
perhaps carried to a luxurious excess ."+ A further proof, if 
any were wanting, is, that the Scythians were accustomed 
to shave their heads from infancy, with the exception of one 
long tail on the crown ; a practice that still prevails among 
the Chinese and many other tribes of Tartars. 

The Scythians, in the year B.C. 624, under their king, 
Macjyes, penetrated in vast numbers through the rocky 
defiles of the Caucasus, and devastating all the country on 
their route, overran Asia Minor, where they maintained 
themselves for twenty-eight .years, having driven out the 
Medes, its former inhabitants ; they -also attempted to 
conquer Syria, and advanced as far as Egypt, but were 
induced to return by presents from its king, Psammetichus, 
and, being subsequently driven back with great slaughter, 
the remainder of their army was forced to retrace its steps 
to their own northern regions ; though, among the border 
hills of Palestine, more than two-thirds of the invaders had 
found a grave. About the year 530 B.C., Cyrus the Great, 
king of Persia, advanced with a large army against the 
Scythian tribes who dwelt to the north of the Caspian Sea ; 

• Heroflotns. 

t For an account of the Kasslan vapour bath, and for the manner In -wlilch they are 
universally enjoyed by the people, see the Inst chapter of K<)hrs " St. Petershurg," 
Gustliie's **La Eussie en 1839,"aud many other works on JKuusia, 


■but he sustained a terrible defeat from their queen, Tomyris, 
or Zarina as she is called by Diodorus SiculuSj and was him- 
self slain in the engagement. 

In the year 522 B.C., Darius Hystaspes,* king of Persia, 
collecting an enormous army from all parts of his empire, set 
out from Susa, his capital, for an expedition against the 
Scythians, with 700,000 men. His fleet of six hundred 
ships, which he manned principally with Greeks, sailed up 
the Danube ; and, throwing a bridge of boats over the river, 
near the point where the stream divides, he marched his army 
across it, and penetrated into the wilds of Scythia. The 
inhabitants, on receiving intelligence of the invasion by which 
they were menaced, having sent their wives and children 
into the heart of the country, filled up all the wells, stopped 
the sprii^s, smd consumed the forage throughout that part 
of their territories over which the forces of Darius must pass. 
They then advanced to within sight of the enemy, not 
designing to come to an engagement with the numerous and 
well-disciplined army df the Persians, but hoping to draw 
them in pursuit away from the protection and support of 
their ships, and in a dry and sandy district, where they 
would inevitably suffer from want of provisions and water. 
Darius fell into th* snare ; &r, seeing the Scythians each day 
within a short distance of his troops, in opposition to the 
advice of the wisest of his officers, he vainly endeavoured to 
overtake them, constantly expecting to succeed in giyiug 
them battle, while they perpetually eluded his pursuit. 
Being unencumbered with baggage, and all well mounted on 
their fleet and hardy steeds, the Scythians easily escaped 
from their more heavily laden enemies, most of whom 
marched on foot, and who possessed no cluet to guide them 
through the sandy, trackless deserts. At length fatigue, and 
the scarcity of forage and provisions, having greatly reduced 
the Persian army before they had once engaged the enemy, 
Darius despatched a herald with this message to the Scythian 
prince Indathyrus.J — " Prince of the Scythians, wherefore dost 
thou fly before me 1 why dost thou not pause, either to give 
me battle if thou belifevest thyself able to encounter me, or, 

• Eollln'8 "Ancient History." Herodotus. 

t According to Herodotus, this ^expeditltm was -nnaertaken by Darlna to punish the 
Scythians for their conquest of Asia Minor, which was then a Persian province. 

I Herodotus states that the Scythian kings were descended from Scythie, a son of 


if thou thinkest ttyself too weak, to acknowledge thy master 
by presenting him with earth and water?"* The Scythian 
prince immediately returned this answer to the Persian 
monarch — " If I fly before thee, Prince of the Persians, it is 
not because I fear thee. What I do now is no more than 
what I am used to" do in time of peace. We Scythians have 
neither cities nor lands to defend ; if thou wouldst force us 
to engage thee, come and attack the tombs of our fathers, 
and then thou shalt find what manner of men we are." 
The further Darius advanced upon the barren and wasted 
plains, the greater hardships he had to encounter, while his 
army was thi-eatened with famine ; and at length the 
approach of winter rendering it probable that his troops 
would soon be reduced to the last extremity from hunger 
and fatigue, he was forced to commence an unwilling and 
melancholy retreat. At this juncture he received a second 
messenger from the chief of his enemies, who presented him 
with a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows, which were 
explained in this way by one of the Persian lords, who was 
familiar with the habits and customs of their foes — " Unless 
you fly like birds, hide in the earth like mice,- or swim the 
rivers like frogs, you shall not escape from the arrows of the 
Scythians." The retreat of Darius, whose original intention 
appears to have been to march back to Asia round by the 
Caucasus, was continually harassed by their unexpected and 
flying attacks ; and the Persians only escaped complete 
destruction from the Scythians, having been deceived by false 
intelligence as to the part of the Danube which Darius 
intended to cross. Accordingly, they assembled in large 
numbers higher up the river, in order to dispute the passage 
of his army; while, in the mean time, the Persian king led his 
followers over by another point, and regained- his ships in 
safety, vrith the shattered remains of his once overwhelming 
force. + 

This expedition of Darius presents a remarkable parallel 
to that conducted in the same empire by Napoleon in later 
days — an enterprise undertaken by one of the greatest generals 
and the finest army of modern times, but which was even 
more disastrous in its result. 

In the year b.c. 327, Alexanderthe Great took possession 

* Herodotus. 

t Bolllu'a *' Aacient History." 


of Sogdiana ; and, having made the river Jaxartes (the Sir) 
the boundary of his far-spreading dominions, he crossed that 
river with an army of Macedonians, and invaded the country 
of the Scythians, who had threatened his newly-founded 
city of Alexandria Eschate, now known as the town of 
Khojende. Some of the border tribes submitted to him ; but 
Arian and Quintus Curtius relate that the renowned dis- 
cipline and courage of his veterans had so small an effect upon 
the wild and intractable Scythians, that Alexander was 
forced to retire precipitately, and to turn his arms against a 
foe less valiant or less capable of resistance. Indeed, Curtius 
says that the Macedonians sustained so great a loss in one 
particular battle, that death was inflicted upon any person 
who made the least mention of its event, the abrupt 
manner in which the Scythians attacked, and the rapidity 
with which they retreated into impenetrable wastes, greatly 
confusing an invading army.* One of his successors, Seleucus 
Nicanor, afterwards attempted to unite the Don and Volga 
by accanal — a project which has been renewed in later times 
by both the Sultan Selim II. and Peter the Great, though 
in neither instance was it attended with success. 

In the year B.C. 250, a tribe of Scythians founded the 
kingdom of Parthia, which .existed independent and powerful 
for five hundred years. 

But though the Scythians, from whom the* country 
obtained its name, are the first people of Russia who were 
known to the ancient writers of Greece,+ the Sauromatse or 
Sarmatians, with whom they appear to have been frequently 
confounded, were in all probability the oldest inhabitants. J 
They were undoubtedly the direct ancestors of the modern 
Slavonians ; yet historians have maintained many different 
opinions with regard to their origin, some asserting that they 
were a colony of Medes|| or a. tribe of Celts, and others that 
they were a remnant of the Canaanites who were driven by 
Joshua from Palestine. Some have also supposed that they 
were ^ tiibe of the Scythians, or the descendants of the 
Scythians, and a nation of Amazons described by Hippo- 

* Goldsmith's "Hist, of Greece." 

t Herodotus observes that all the nations beyond the Euxine. except the Scythians, 
were more than all others barbarous; but these appear in the western parts to have made 
some progress, and he mentions their town of Borystheintos, which was decorated witti 
prilBns aud spiilnxes, and was destroyed by lightning in the reign of the Scythian Iting 

I Latham's "Varieties of Man." 

fl Dlodorus Slculus maintains that they\were Medes 


crates, whose women rode on horseback, and used the bo-w 
and the javelin, none being permitted to marry till she had 
killed three enemies in battle ; and Herodotus, who is the 
authority for this last theory, relates that the Scythians, 
finding themselves unable to subdue these female warriors in 
the field, intermarried with them, and thus the two nations 
became amalgamated.* 

But whether or not the Sarmatians were a tribe of the 
Celts, they appear to have been conquered about the same 
time by the Scythians, and driven to the west ; and it is 
probable that the name of Russia is derived from one of their 
tribes, the Rosolani, whom Strabo places at the north- 
eastern extremity of European Scythia, having been expelled 
to that barren region from the banks of the Danube, when, 
descending from their original home on iike plains between 
the Volga and Don, they bad invaded the border provinces 
of the Roman empire. Their manners and customs were 
very similar to those of the Scythians, perhaps having adopted 
them from their conquerors ; and they were distinguished 
from their neighbours, the fair-haired Teutons, by their dark 
complexions and hair, and loose flowing garments, the pre- 
valence of slaves among them, the light esteem in which they 
held their women, their plurality of wives, and cavalry 
composing their chief military force; whereas the Teutons 
were principally infantry, they wore clothes fitting tightly to 
their pex-sons, with them slaves were unknown, and no man 
was allowed to possess more than one wife. Gibbon says of 
the former people — " Among the different branches of the 
human race, the Sarmatians form a very remarkable shaSe^ 
as they seem to unite the manners of the Asiatic barbarians 
with the figures and complexion of the ancient inhabitants of 
Europe. According to the various accidents of peace and 
war, alliance or conquest, they were sometimes- confined to 
the banks of the Tanais, and sometimes spread themselves 
over the immense plains which lie between thfr Vistula and 
the Volga. The care of their numerous flocks: and herds, 
the pursuit of game, and the exercise of war, or rather of 
rapine, directed the vagrant motions of the SarmatiausJ't 
Like the Scythians, their moveable camps- or cities, the ordi- 
nary residence of their wives and children, consisted only of 
large wicker waggons drawn by oxen — a vehicle which is 

* Herodotus. t Gibbon's " DeoUne and Fall of the Boman Empire." 


still in common use in Southern Russia, and among most of 
the Tartar tribes, by whom it is called an araba j and in the 
Crimea and adjacent country is generally drawn by the small 
two-humped camel of those parts. Their weapons of war 
were short daggers, long lances, and a weighty bow and 
quiver of poisoned arrows ; and, on an expedition, they were 
accustomed to lead in their hands one or two spare horses,* 
cavalry composing their whole .military strength, which 
enabled them to advance and retreat with a rapidity that 
surprised the security and eluded the pursuit of a distant 
enemy. From the scarcity of iron in their country, they 
made cuirasses of horse hoofs that were capable of resisting 
a javelin or sword, and, with the exception of their chiefs, 
hurned the bodies of their dead. They possessed immense 
flocks and herds, and were divided into several tribes — the 
Eoxolani, Carpi, Jazyges, Metanastoe, and Limigantes, and 
are first mentioned by the Jiame of Slavonians about .the 
fourth and fifth centuries. 

The figure of a Sarmatian on the column of Trajan, is 
depicted in a high conical cap and full trousers, which bear 
gi-eat resemblance to the dress of the modern Russian pea- 
sant ; and Priscus, the Roman ambassador to the court of 
Attila the Hun, mentions that a Scythian, or Sarmatian 
noble, whom he saw there, wore his head shaven in a circular 
form, a fashion that prevailed in Poland so late as the begin- 
ning of the present century, "fi 

The Sarmatians worshipped the sun and moon, the air, and 
many inferior deities. They were a very depraved people, 
and are accused by their enemies and contemporaries of 
being the most licentious of the barbarians. They invaded 
the Roman empire several times duiing the third and fourth 
centuries, and Marcus Claudius sent eight thousand Jazygian 
horse to Britain. 

Besides the Scythians, under which term the ancient 
writers of Greece appear to have included only the Tartar 
nations of Scythia, and the Sarmatians or ancestors of the 
Slavonians, Herodotus mentions several other kingdoms and 
jieople as in his time existing in Seythia ; and among' many 
of whom we can trace several manners and customs by which 
we are enabled to identify them with their descendants, who 

• A practice that has often been made use of on forced marches by the KUBslan and 
Cossnck cavalry, 
t <^oxe'8.*' Travels in Russia and Poland." 


inhabited the same parts at a more recent period. Tlie 
Budini, who -were probably Finns, he describes as being 
among the oldest possessors of the soil, and inhabiting that 
part of Eussia which is now called Podolia. A Greek colony 
had established itself in their province, who tilled the 
ground, and supplied Greece with corn ; and they affirmed 
that the Budini practised magic, and were in the habit once 
a-year of changing themselves into wolves, when they prowl- 
ed about in this shape for a few days, and thMi resumed their 
human form.* The same charge of sorcery was constantly 
brought against the Finns in the .niiddle ages; the tale of the 
wehr-wolf, probably derived from them, is familiar to all, 
and even now they have many professed magicians. The 
Issedones, who appear to have been the same with the Igours, 
Herodotus informs us, were a civilized nation, dwelling ta 
the far east ; beyond them, to the north, the country was im- 
passable owing to the white featherst that were continually 
falling, and to their right was the land of the griffins, who 
guarded the country of gold. Among the Scythians them- 
selves, who were divided into many kingdoms or tribes, the 
same Greek writer particularly remarks upon the Melanchleni, 
who always clothed in black ; the Agathyrsi, whose province 
abounded in gold, and who painted themselves, their manners 
being peculiar for their effeminacy; and the Argippoei, whose 
name was derived from the wild white horses abounding ia 
their district, which was situated on the Volga and Don ; 
and he observes lof -the whole people, that " the Scythians 
have not only a great abhoi-rence of all foreign customs, but 
each province seems unalterably tenacious of its own." 
Anacharsis, the -celebrated philosopher, and the brother of 
their king, having visited Greece, wished, upon his retiTrn to 
his native land, to introduce some of her customs among his 
countrymen; but incurring their displeasure by this endea?- 
vour, he lost his life by the barbarous chief's own hand, and 
Scydes, a Scythian prince, having 'been educated by his 
mother, who was a Greek, experienced soon after his acces- 
sion a similar fate for a like offence. About this period 
there were several wise and learned Scythians, whose names 
were respected even asaong the Greeks, and of whom Ana- 
charsis, who was a contemporary of Solon and Decimus, 
appear to have been the chief ; and one of the most beautiful 

» Herodotus. 1 1' is almost needless to remarl5„that tMs was evidently snow. 


of Lucian's works derives its title from the Scythian physi- 
cian Toxaris.* 

The Scythians adored several divinities, of whom Mars 
was the chief, and the only god to whom they offered sacri- 
fices and oblations ; and, with many of the wilder tribes, he 
was their sole deity, and was generally represented among 
them \mder the semblance of a naked sword. 

* Dr. Karl Neumann, agreeing with Niebuhr, Boekh, and Grote, considers that the 
Scythians were undoubtedly Turanians, or, as he caJls them, Stongolians. He supposes 
that, coming from tiie deptlls of Asia, tht-y first settled among tlie Finns, on the Ural; 
and he has discovered in the traces remaining to us of their language, much resemblauce 
to that of the Mongolians. 


flje %miu Sigt^isns— S^e f nns— ^Uila- 

Shew me the rampart where, o'er many a hill, 
Through many a valley, stretch'd its -wide extent- 
Raised by that mighty monarch to repel 
The roving Tartar, when, with insult rude 
'Gainst Pefein's towers he bent the unerring bow. — Gltms. 

Where fhrious Frank and iiery Hun, 

Shout in their sulphurous canopy Campbell. 

The general appearance of fixe country throughout Tartarj, 
or Asiatic Scythia, greatly resembles the bleak and monoto- 
nous steppes of Russia. High ranges of rugged and almost 
impassable mountains traverse it indeed in the northern and 
western districts, which are frequently crowned with tall and 
extensive forests ; but all the central part is table-land, cover- 
ed in summer with little but grass and heath, and in the 
winter with the deep and frozen snow, the severity of the 
climate, in so comparatively temperate a latitude, being 
accounted for by its great elevation above the level of the 
sea. In the land of the Khalkas numerous rivers enliven 
the rich pastures of the plains ; but in Mongolia water is 
rarely to be seen, as the streams are lost in the salt lakes in 
the deserts, and wells are dug along the most frequented 
routes for the convenience of caravans. Scarcely a tree is 
visible throughout that province, nothing but creeping briers, 
a few scanty tufts of heath, and the short and brittle grass ; 
but the landscape is occasionally varied by deep rents in the 
earth, and rocky ravines ; immense numbers of wild ani- 
mals bound across the steppes ; eagles and vultures, pheasants, 
and a variety of singing-birds, soar in the air; and in the 
valleys of the Altai mountains lurk the tiger and the wolf, 
both remarkable in these parts for their ferocity.* 

The Tartars, or Turanians,t who have inhabited these 

* Hue's " Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China." 

t Some ethnologists have designated the Turanian nations collectively as the Turks; 
but I have generally called them either Tartars or Turanians, both as being move usually 
applied to them, and also to prevent a conrnsion with the Ottomans, who, with the 
'i'ransoxian branches of the same family (including the SeljukB, &c.), are often exclusively 
termed Turkomans, or Turks. 


rRgions from the earliest ages, derive their own origin from 
Turk and Tata, whom they affirm were two sons of Japhet. 
Okhaus Han, one of their chiefs, and apparently the Madyes 
of Herodotus, carried his arms into Syria in the early part 
of the seventh century bef)re Christ, and advanced as far 
as Egypt ; and the Persian poets celebrate the glories and 
fame of the Turanian king Afrasib, the rival and enemy 
of their hero Roustem ; and whose successors carried on 
many sanguinary wars with the Persians, and other nations 
of Southern Asia. But their early history is enveloped in 
the greatest obscurity ; what we know of them in those 
times is chiefly derived from the half-apocryphal annals of 
the Chinese ; and, though they have occasionally united in 
one great empire, and made considerable advances in refine- 
ment and civilization, they have never proceeded beyond a 
certain point, and have subsequently returned to their ancient 
habitations, and their wandering and pastoral life. 

They early sepurated into many difierent tribes, who were 
constantly engaged in war with each other and the surround- 
ing nations, and of whom the most conspicuous were the 
Huns, Igours, Turks, and Tartars, the name of the latter 
having been bestowed in the middle ages by the Europeans 
upon the whole people, merely, from their warriors having 
marched in the van of the Mongul army, when, iu 1224, the son 
of the conqueror Zingis Khan, invaded Europe. But before 
the Christian era, the Hflns,* or Hiangnus, were by far the 
first and most powerful of the Turanian race. They inhabited 
an extensive tract of country between the north side of the 
great wall of China^ and lake Baikal, in Siberia, and, according 
to the Chinese records, were governed by a sovereign whom 
they called Tanjou, or the sun of heaven, as early as 1253, 
BC, the power being hereditary in his family, which derived 
its source from the Hea dynasty, the third: who ruled China.f 

The sun was the chief object of the adoration of the Huns, 
and before it, every morning, the Tanjou and his people pro- 
strated themselves on the earth ; J and in the evening they paid 

* Creasy Bays that the Huns were closely allied in origin, language, and habits with the 

t Gibbon's " Decline anil Fail of the Eonian Empire." " Universal History." Gutslalfs 
"History of China." , , . j. 

t They originally made human sacrifices, but observljigone year that an extraordinary 
oblation was followed by an unusually severe season and deep snovT, tliey concluded tliat 
such offerings were displeasing to their deity, accordingly they were discontinued for 
ever The traces that have descended to us of tiie language and writing of tlie Hun^, 
liear strong resemblance to that of Uie Turks. The Hea dynasty reigned ft-om b o., 3207, 
to B.C. 1767 


the same honours to the moon, regarding her with almost 
equal veneration and respect. They frequently proved for- 
midable to the Chinese empire and the surrounding warlike 
nations, most of whom they subjected to their dominion ; 
among others the Igours, who were distinguished for their 
acquaintance with letters, imparted by them to the other 
Tartar tribes, with whom it is still in use. At last, in the 
year 213 B.C., after ages of hostility and warfare, the Chinese 
emperor Hoang Ti, caused the great wall to be constructed as 
a defence against their perpetual incursions, a barrier of fifteen 
hundred miles in length, which still bears witness to the 
necessity that prompted so diffictilt and stupendous a work. 
They then turned theirarms against the Youei Tchi, or Getse, 
who were established on the eastern shores of the Caspian, 
and the Hun Tanjou, Lao, slaying the enemies' chief, made 
his skull into a drinking-oip, and, wearing it suspended from 
his girdle, banded it round at the banquets with his chiefs. 
The Getse, who four hundred years before had been driven by 
the Huns from the borders of China, again abandoned their 
country after this defeat, and marched southward to the banks 
of the Indus. 'Ihey were there attacked by the Parthians, 
and after a long war established themselves in Baotria and 
Sogdiana, where they were called by the Greeks Indo- 
Scythians ;'and Strabo mentions that, instead of burning their 
dead, they kept dogs, on purpose to devour them, a custom 
that prevails at among the Tartars in' the cities of 
Thibet. " Hence it is," says the- Greek author, " that no 
tombs are visible in the suburbs of the town, while the town 
itself (speaking of the capital) is filledwith human bones.* 

But the defence of the Chinese, which had been erected 
with so much labour and skill, proved of little avail in re- 
sisting their restless and formidable foes ; and in the year 
206 B.C. the Huns again invaded China, and founded the 
dynasty of Han, which produced several of her most celebrated 
and learned monarchs. The fifth of these, Vouti, in the end, 
proved the chief cause of their ruin ; for, arming himself 
against the comrades of his ancestors, he repelled with dread- 
ful slaughter a fresh inroad of the Huns, and penetrating 
far into their country with a well-equipped and well-disci- 
jilined force, he at length reduced their Tanjou to submission, 
and compelled him to pay tribute, and own the authority of 

* Hac'9 "Travels In TartsTy," &c. 


the Chinese chief. They were further weakened by the 
division of their now humbled and impoverished tribe, one 
of their princes, either from fear of the enemies with wlaom 
they were surrounded, and who perpetually harassed them, 
since their power was no longer to be dreaded, or from love 
of independence and ambition of sovereign power, retiring 
towards the south at the head of 50,000 families, with whom 
he founded a separate state, leaving his countrymen to fight 
for every inch of their native deserts. The northern Huns con- 
tinued together for about fifty years lunger, when they were 
oppressed on every side by their enemies ; and their country 
being exhausted by famine, thfeir power was utterly destroyed 
in the first century of the Christian era, after having existed, 
as the Chinese chronicles inform us, for thirteen hundred 
years. About 200,000 men found an asylum in the empire 
of China, in whose military service they entered, and where 
they settled princi[)ally in the province of Shunchi, and 
1 00,000 men remained in their own country ; but the most 
warlike and powerful tribes, preferring a savage freedom in the 
b.irren and icy regions of the north, rather than submission 
to any foreign power, retreated beyond the Altai mountains 
to Siberia.* One division of this nation settled down in 
the plains to the east of the Caspian, where they were called 
the Nepthalite or white Huns, and, driving their old enemies 
the Getse into Europe, founded a kingdom which existed for 
several hundred years, when it was overthrown by a fresh 
torrent of Tartar invaders ; and appears at that time to have 
been considerably advanced in civilization.t They lived 
under a regular government, and were subject to one prince 
and a written code of laws. Gorgo, since called Carizme, was 
their capital, and the residence of their king, whose throne 
was enriched with emeralds, and his court maintained in the 
greatest splendour, but they xetained the simple faith of their 
ancestors till subdued by the arms of the disciples of Ma- 
homet. They dealt uprightly with one another, and with 
the neighbouring nations, and respected the faith of treaties 
in peace, and the dictates of humanity in war, seldom making 
inroads on the surrounding country except on provocation, 
when they proved on all occasions that they still retained 
their ancient valour, and extended their victorious career to 

• Humboldt supposes that the Totteks or Azteks, who colonized Mexico, were a divi- 
sion of these people. , _ „ , ,. 
t GlbUoa'i "Dociine and Fall of the BoAiaU Empire. 


the banks of the Indus and borders of Sinde. A most 
singular custom prevailed among them : each of their great 
men was in the habit of choosing twenty or more companions 
to enjoy his wealth and diversions during his life, and on 
his decease they were all buried alive in the same grave ; 
this originating with the idea that their self-sacrifice would 
enable them to attend their patron in another world, where 
they might divert themselves 'with hunting and feasting, as 
they had done before in this.* On Perezes, king of Persia 
laying an unjust claim to their country, which he entered 
and wasted with a large force, they advanced against him, 
their cavalry being supported* by two thousand elephants, 
and defeating the Pertians in a great battle, in which they 
took prisoner the enemy's king ; they released him upon his 
consenting to do homage, and prostrate himself before their 
monarch, whose feet he humbly kissed. But, on regaining 
his liberty, Perezes again invaded the territory of the 
Huns, and in this second expedition the Persian sovereign 
losing both his army and his life, with thirty of his sons and 
an immense amount of plunder, the victorious warriors 
overran all Persia, and held it in subjection for two yeai-s, 
obliging Cabades, the son and successor of Perozes, to pay 
them tribute. The other division of the Huns settled in 
the frozen deserts of Siberia, where they soon lost every trace 
of any of the rudiments of civilization which they had ever 
possessed. As late as the thirteenth century, the plains on 
the eastern banks of the Volga were still called Great Hun- 
gary, and the inhabitants, whose kingdom had endured till 
at that period it was swept away by the Monguls, still spoke 
their language. It is supposed that they were prompted to 
the invasion of Scythia by the oppression of the other 
Tartar nations on the outskirt of their territories ; and in the 
year A. d. 376 they advanced with all their flocks and herds 
beyond -the Volga, and drove out the Alani, a Slavonic 
nation, the remnants of whom took refuge in the Caucasus, 
where their descendants under the name of Ossetes still 
remain.t Several .Gothic tribes had settled down under 
Christian bishops, and for many years resided peacefully 
and securely in well-built villages as cultivatoi's of the soil 

• In the southern parts of Siberia many tombs hare been opened, containing the bones 
of meniuid horses, with armour, Jewels, ic, many of which are suunosea to be muiB 
than a thousand years old. ^ 

t Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Soman Empirci," , 


in Southern Russia. Their corn-fields and habitations -were 
burned and destroyed by the Huns, to whom it is said the 
use of fire was unknown, except for the purpose of desolating 
the countries through which they passed, and who, compelling 
the Ostrogoths to retreat to the Dniester, forced the Visigoths 
to obtain leave of the emperor Valens to settle in Thrace ; 
their savage and frightful appearance exciting almost as 
much terror in the hearts of their enemies as their dreadful 
ravages. We are informed by the historians of the time 
that they were distinguished from the rest of the human 
species by their broad shoulders, flat noses, and small black 
eyes, deeply buried in the head, and that they were almost 
entirely destitute of beards, thus strongly resembling the 
modern Tartars ; and the terrible report preceded them in 
Europe, that they were demons, or lost souls escaping from 
eternal punishment.* A naked sword fixed in the ground 
was the only object of their religious worship ; they orna- 
mented the trappings of their horses with the scalps of their 
enemies, and put an end to their own lives on the approach 
of age or disease, Jornandes says that they had no food 
but roots and raw meat, and always eat on horseback, 
scarcely ever dismounting (which in all probability induced 
the historian Zosimus to write that they could not walk), 
and had neither tents, nor houses, having such an aversion 
to them that they called them the sepulchres of the living, 
and always sleeping in the open air. 

The invasion of the Huns drove the Goths upon the 
enervated and luxurious Roman empire, which was then 
liitle calculated to resist so great a shock ; but the conquests 
of the barbarians were for a time suspended, and their public 
force incapacitated and exhausted, by the discord of their 
chieftains ; and it was not till sixty years later, when their 
troubled factions were united by the firm hand and skilful 
policy of their celebrated chief Attila, that the Huns once 
more became formidable to Western Europe. 

* This description of the Huns which the writers of that time have left ug, bears a 
stiiliiug resemblance to that given us of the Tartars, by the traveiiers and missionaries 
of the middie ages, which, says Hue, may be recognized feature tor feature in the Mon- 
gols 01 the present day. John de Fiano Carpini lias described them as being of the 
middie size, with broad flat faces, prominent cheelt- bones, short flat noses, little eyes 
placed obliquely, and separated by a great space, with tlie beard scanty, or entirely 
wanting. I'rlar Kicoid says of them—" Alter leaving Turkey we entered Tartary, where 
we met with that wonderful and horrid people the Tartars, who difl'er so much in person, 
manners, and mode ot hie, from all the nations in the world. Tliey differ in person, for 
they have great broad faces, and eyes so little and narrow that tiiey look only like 
small slits in their faces; tliey are without beards, and many of them loolt exactly hke 
upright old baboons." 


In the rfeign of Arcadius, emperor of the Eisfr, a band of 
these adventurers ravaged the provinces of Asia Minor, from 
-whence they brought away rich spoils and innumerable cap- 
tives. They crossed the sea of Azof, penetrated by a secret 
path along the shores of the Caspian sea, traversed the 
mountains of Armenia, passed the Tigris and Euphrates, and 
occupied Cilicia and the Christian town of Antioch. Egypt 
trembled at the approach of the invaders, and the monks and 
numerous pilgrims of Jerusalem, prepared to escape their 
fury by a speedy embarkation from the Holy Land.* But, 
abandoning the direct !road to Palestine, and advancing on 
the plains of Media, they were there encountered by a Persian 
army of superior discipline and strength, and, being forced to 
retire, eflfected a perilous retreat to their own country, with 
the loss of almost all their booty, but with their restless 
ambition unabated. 

Attila, or Etzel, the son of Mundzuk, who received frota 
his enemies and allies the title of the Scourge of God, and 
•who boasted that the grass never grew where his horse's 
hoof had trod, succeeded his uncle Eugilas as joint king of 
the Huns, with his brother Bleda;, whom he however, it is 
said, in imitation of the alleged murder of Eeraus by his 
brother the founder of Rome, soon deprived of his throne 
and life. His features, according to a Gothic historian, bore 
the stamp of his national origin, small, deep-seated eyes, a 
flat nose, swarthy complexion, and a few hairs in the place 
of a beard, broad shoulders, and a short, square, dispropor- 
tioned body, though of great strength. + " His haughty step 
and demeanour," says Gibbon, " expressed the consciousness 
of his superiority over the rest of mankind ; and he had a 
habit of fiercely rolling his eyes, as if he wished to enjoy the 
terror which he inspired. Yet this savage hero was not 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 
; t Herbert, In his " Attila," has thus versified this description :-i- 
" Terrific was his semblance, in no mould 
Of beautiful proportion cast, his limbs, 
Nothing exalted, but with sinews braced 
Of Ohalybajan temper, agile, lithe, 
And swifter than the roe ; his ample chest 
Was overbrow'd by a gigantic head. 

With eyes liecn, deeply sunk, and small, that eleam'd 
Strangely In wrath, as though some spirit uncleau, 
Within that corporal tenement install'd. 

Look'd from ita windows; but With temper'd firft 

Beamed mildly on the unresisting: thin 

His beard, and hoary; his fiat nostrils crown'd 

A defltrised, swart visage ; but, withal 

Tliat questionable shape, such glory wore, 

That mortals quailed betore him," 


inaccessible to pity ; his suppliant enemies might confide in 
the assurance of peace or pardon, and Attila was considered 
by his subjects as a just and indulgent master. He delighted 
in war ; but, after he had ascended the throne at a matux'e 
age, his head rather than his hand achieved the conquest of 
the north, and the fame of an adventurous soldier was use- 
fully changed for that of a prudent and successful general." 
After having vanquished his enemies in Asia, subdued the 
kingdoms of the Persians and the Medes, and i-educed to 
obedience every sovereign from the Danube to the Wall of 
China, an attempt to assassinate the king of the Huns, by 
the emissaries of the Emperor Theodosius, drew their army 
upon the empire of Constantinople. Attila ravaged the 
eastern provinces of Rome up to the suburbs of Byzantium, 
where fifty-eight towers fell before the storm of the invaders ; 
and, compelling the Csesar to make peace on most humiliat- 
ing terms, Theodosius agreed from henceforward to pay 
tribute to the Huns,* who restored their innumerable cap- 
tives for a sum that would have carried on a long and 
glorious war. Establishing his capital in a plain to the 
north of the Danube in Hungary, near the modern site of 
Tokay, the victorious prince, whom the Hungarians say 
founded Buda, encamped his court, harem, and followers 
in a village of wooden huiis, where he surrounded himself 
with poets and minstrels, and received envoys from the 
various sovereigns of Europe and Asia, assuming the title 
of Attila, the descendant of Nimrod, king of kings, and lord 
of the Huns, Goths, Danes, and Persians.t Priscus, the 
Roman ambassador, has left a detailed account of his recep- 
tion at the court of the Huns ; the icn patient gestures, though 
stern and inflexible gravity of their monarch, whose coun- 
tenance never relaxed into any appearance of cheerfulness or 
mirth, either at the songs that his musicians were singing in 
his praise, or the absurd speeches and antics of a Moorish 
and Scythian jester, who acted before him, till the entrance 
of his youngest and favourite son, Ernac, whom he tenderly 
embraced, and for whom,' predicting a fame and conquests 
superior even to his t)wn, he betrayed an affection apparently 

* Gibbon's " Decline and FalJ of the Roman Empire.*' 

t In the " NIebeluntfen Lfed," the old poet, when describing the reception of thenerdme 
Chrlmhltd by Attila (&lz€l),'siLTp, that Attlla's domlntons were so vast, that among hla 
subject warriors there were Russian. Oreek, Wallachlaii, Polish, and even Danish 
hiii;;hts. On a medat of the time, Attila is represented with a Teraphim or head ou hia 
breast— Cbeasy's *' Fifteen Decisive Battles <tf the World." 


incompatible with his usually fierce, unyielding, and rigid 
demeanour.* His own palace, which was surrounded by a 
wall and high towers, displayed some pretensions to archi- 
tecture and ornament. It was supported by carved pillai-s 
of most curious and singular woi'kmanship, and provided with 
a bath-house ; and the whole encampment presented a re- 
markable mixture of luxury, rude magnificence, and barbarism. 
The most splendid carpets from Persia lined the tents, the 
most precious stones the trappings of the Huns, their clothes 
were made of silk and embroidery, and their tables were 
covered with dishes and goblets of gold. Attila alone pre- 
served the simplicity of his ancestors, and dined like them on 
horseback off the roughest fare, presented to him on a wooden 
plate from a silver table by his courtiers, who held their 
banquets in the same hall with their chief. At the feast 
at which Prisons was present, a Gothic chief occupied the 
right, and the Roman ambassadors sat on the left hand of 
the monarch, which last, it is probable, was the place of 
honour, as among the Chinese and most of the Tartar nations 
at the present day. 

In the year a.d. 447, the Huns again emerged from their 
Hungarian retreat, and turned their arms upon the Roman 
provinces in Western Europe. Leading his followers into 
the heart of Gaul, Attila drove before him the martial 
Franks, under their king Meroveus, and advanced as far as 
Orleans, which he surrounded and closely besieged. Bub 
the Roman governor ^tius, collecting. an enormous army of 
Goths, Vandals, Franks, and almost every nation from the 
Vistula to the Atlantic, whose allegiance was claimed by 
Rome, or who forgot her oppression in their eagerness to 
join against the common enemy, Attila recrossed the Seine, 
and encountered the forces of his antagonist in the plains of 
Chalons.f Previous to commencing the engagement, the 
king of the Huns had consulted the priests and diviners 
with regard to the result, and they had predicted his defeat, 
though with the death of his principal opponent. But deter- 

« Thleny'a " Histolre des HunB." 

t " About five miles from Chalons," says Creasy, " near tlie little liamlets of Chape 
and Cupevly, the eround is indented, and heaped np in ranges of grassy mounds and 
trenches, which attest the woric of man's hand In ages past, and which, to the practised 
eye, demonstrate that this quiet spot has once been the foi-titled position of a huge mllitarv 
host. Local tradition, gives to these ancient earthworks the naine of Attlla's camn nor 
Is there any reason to question the correctness of the title, or to doubt that behind these 
very ramparts it was that, years ago, the most powerlul heathen king that ever ruled in 
Europe, mustered the lemiiants of his vast army which had striven on tlie plains auainst 
the Christlau soldiers of Thoulouse and Home." 


mined to brave fate, or overcome it through the intrepidity 
of his followers, in a military oration he endeavoured to 
rouse their unusual despondency, and, reminding them of 
their former exploits and valour — "Warriors protected by 
Heaven," he exclaimed, " are safe and invulnerable amid thu 
arrows of the foe ! I, myself, will hurl the first javelin at 
the enemy, and the vi^retch who refuses to follow his master's 
example shall be devoted to instant death."* In front of 
the central column, Attila led his followers in person on to 
the attack, but after a most desperate battle, in which one 
hundred thousand Huns were left upon the field, and sixty 
thousand of their opponents, the former were forced to 
retreat, and, gaining their encampment, they prepared to 
destroy themselves, their wives, and treasure by fire, rather 
than yield or fall into the hands of the Romans.f Yet 
.iEtius's victory had been too dearly purchased to enable him 
to pursue the fugitives or continue the war, and Attila 
finally abandoned Gaul without further molestation, and 
swept like a destructive torrent over all southern Germany 
and northern Italy. The Huns sacked and reduced to ashes 
the towns of Altinum, Concordia, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, 
and Bergamo, but spared the cities and all the inhabitants 
of Milan and Pa via, upon their submitting to :their savage 
conquerors without resistance. Finding in the royal palace 
of Milan a picture. representing one of the emperors of Eome 
on his throne, with the princes of Scythia prostrate at his 
feet, Attila commanded a painter to reverse the figures, and 
the emperors were delineated approaching in a suppliant 
attitude to empty their bags of tributary gold at the feet of 
the Scythian monarch. J 

After ravaging all the north of Italy, the Huns advanced 
towards Rome, under the pretence of releasing from imprison- 
ment Honoria, the sister of the emperor Valentinian, who, 
prompted by ambition or jealousy of her brother, had sent 
to offer Attila her hand ; and, upon her design being 
discovered by the Komans, was placed in close confinement. || 

Marching almost to the gates of the eternal city, Attila was 
preparing to encamp within a short distance of its walls 
before commencing the siege, when his progress was arrested 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 

iCieasy'a " Fitteen Decisive Battlee." 
Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Xtoman Empire." 
Creasy's "Battle of Chalons." 


by tte Pope Leo, who boldly advanced from the town, arrayed 
in his pontifical robes, and unattended but by a few unarmed 
priests. Proceeding towards the royal tent, the head and 
chief of the Christian world sternly confronted the barbarian 
monarch, and produced so powerful an effect upon the mind 
of Attila by his majestic appearance, and the courage and 
eloquence with which he courageously denounced the chief if 
he attempted to approach a step nearer, and dared to pollute 
by his atrocities the city which had been sanctified by the 
martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul, that the Hun con- 
.sented to abandon his design, and, retracing his steps with 
his army, shortly afterwards evacuated Italy, and returned 
to his wooden capital. 

Not long after this enterprise, Attila added a beautiful 
maid, called Idilco, to the already large number of his wives, 
and caused his espousals to be celebrated with great pomp in 
his palace beyond the Danube ; but, on the night after his 
marriage, his attendants were roused by the shrieks aud cries 
of his bride, and, enteting his chamber, they discovered 
that their monarch had expired through 'the breaking of a 
bloodvessel ; the effects, as some authors' relate, of poison 
administered to him in his wine-goblet at the wedding- 
banquet, at the instigation of -his young and reluctant wife ; 
but his followers always persisted in denying this assertion, not 
being able to support the idea, that their hero, whom they 
looked upon almost as a divinity, should meet with his death 
from the hand of man. His remains were enclosed in three 
coffins of gold, silver, and iron, and the Huns bewailed his 
decease, according to their savage custom, by cutting off their 
hair, and gashing their faces with wounds ; and having 
privately buried him in the night, they threw into his grave 
the most valuable portion of the plunder which he had 
wrested from prostrate cities and conquered nations ; the 
captives who had opened the ground being inhumanly 
massacred over his tomb.* The power of the Huns did U'lt 
long survive the decease of their great chief. EUac, the 
eldest son of Attila, lost his life and crown in a battle fought 
against the Goths on the banks -of the river Netad ill 
Pannonia. His brother Dengisich maintained bis grouHd 
against the oppression of those nations who had been his 

* This practice prevailed among the Tartars of Central Asia so late as the seventeenth 
century, and they now occasiOUEili; sacnfici: horses. GIBbon's "Dedlue and Fall of the 
Uomau Empire." 


father's slaves for about fifteen years longer on the banks of 
the Danube, -when, invading the Eastern empire, he fell in 
battle, and liis head, severed from the senseless corpse, was 
carried to Constantinople, and exposed in the Hippodrome to 
the idle gaze of the Greek populace. Ernac, the youngest 
and favourite son of Attila, retired subsequently with his 
own horde and his brother's followers into the heart of Lesser 
Scythia, where they were soon overwhelmed by a fresh torrent 
of invaders, the Igours, who, issuing from the icy regions of 
Siberia, finally extinguished the empire of the Huns.* 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Koman Empire." 


C^j Igours — gtbars — Bulgarians — ^lafeflnkns — C^a^ars. 

Hardly the place of such antiquity. 

Or note of those great monarchies we find, 

Only a fading verbal memory, 

And empty name in writ is left behind. — Fletcheb. 

The country of tte Igours or Ogars,* probably the Isse- 
dones of Herodotus, who, next to the Huns, were the most 
powerful nation among the Tartars of ancient Asia, com- 
prised that territory on the borders of the Altai which is 
watered by the Selinga, Toula, and Orkhan rivers. Their 
earliest religion was probably Schamanism,t but they appear 
to have adopted later the faith of Buddha, since when the 
Buddhist pilgrim, Fo-Hian, visited their country, a.d. 399, 
it was prevalent there, as lie found among them four thou- 
sand monks or lamas. J Their society was separated into 
three classes or castes, liunters, shepherds, and husbandmen, 
the two former being considered the most honourable ;|| and, 
according to Levesque, they had made great progress before 
their overthrow in the cultivation of the arts and sciences. 
" It was this people," says the French writer, " who com- 
municated them, as well as the art of writing, to the other 
nations of the *rartar race, and probably to many others. 
Perhaps it is to them we are indebted for astronomical 
observations, which, made under a more northern climate 
than that of the ancient people who transmitted them, 
cannot be the result of their researches. §, These prove that, 

* The word Ogre is derived from this name. 

t "Tills religion, the same as that of the Samnseans and Gyronosophlsts, has been 
driven, says Levesque, "by the Brahmins, from India into the northern deserts; the 
naked philosophers were compelled to wrap- themselves in ftir, but they insensibly sanlv 
into wizards and physicians. It Is formed on tlie idea of one Deity, his angels, and the 
rebellious spirits wlio oppose his government."— Gibbon. 

iPritchard's "Natural History of Jl^n."" 
Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Bmoire." 
M. Bdllly, in his " History of Ancient and Modern Astronomy," proves that the 
stellar observations collected l»y Ptolemy, Imve been made in a climate where the 
longest day was sixteen hours in duration, which would agree with the latitude of the 
southern regions of Siberia. 

"In the guiding arrow mentioned by Herodotus, which the Hyperborean magician 
Aharis carried in Ids hand, some commentators have supposed that they recognize the 
compass." — Hdmboldt. 


in very remote ages, the north contained a learned nation 
whose memory is lost to us, though we enjoy the benefit of 
its scientific intelligence."* It has been supposed that the 
third language of the arrow-headed inscriptions found in 
Assyria, is TJgrian or Igourian ; and if so, they must have 
invaded, or had some communication with that country 
many centuries before Christ. While the empire of the 
Huns was predominant in Central Asia, the Igours became 
subject to their dominion ; but on the decline of their power 
emancipated themselves from a foreign yoke, and main- 
tained for some years their independence. In the beginning 
of the sixth century, the Emperor Justin sent an embassy to 
their Khan ; and on reaching the royal encampment of 
tents and arabas, which was temporarily established near the 
source of the Irtish, the Koman envoys were forced to 
undergo purification, by passing between two fires, before 
they could obtain an audience of the Tartar prince.t After 
having driven the Huns from Siberia into Europe, the Igours 
were in their turn invaded during the fifth century by the 
Avars, another Tartar tribe ; and having sustained a long and 
fierce warfare, at length, in one decisive and tremendous 
battle, the Khan with three hundred thousand of his subjects 
was slain, the flower of his chiefs, and every prince and 
warrior of his house. Upon this reverse, about twenty thou- 
sand of the Igour warriors,^ abandoning their native country, 
settled down in the north-east of Russia, and in the territory 
on the Asiatic side of the Ural, where, in conjunction with 
the other Finnish tribes, they afterwards founded the remote 
commercial kingdom of Biarmaland, or Perm, who long kept 
up an intimate connection by their trade with Northern 
Asia and Europe. The rest of the nation, who remained in 
Tartary, partially recovered their power a few years after 
this event, and continued till 1125, when they fell beneath 
the yoke of the Karaites, then the predominating empire in 
Central Asia. 

The descendants of the followers of Attila were known in 
the sixth century by the name of Bulgarians, at which time 
they divided with the Slavonians the territories of Russia 
and Poland. II The countrjr on the Volga was called from 
them Great Bulgaria, or by the inhabitants themselves Hun- 

• Lcvesqae'8 " HIstoIro de la Eussle." t Asiatic Researches. 

f Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 
Fritchard's " Natural History of Man." 


garia ; and the ruins ©f their capital, Bplgari,* situated on 
the shores of that river, and consisting of a few arches and 
tombs, still remain. They afterwards founded a kingdom 
on the banfcs of the Danube, ^nd in the seventh; and eighth 
centuries of the Christian era frequeatly harassed and 
invaded the Eastern Empire. 

The name Sclavi appears invthe works of the Armenian 
historian, Moses of Chorene, who flourished in the fifth cen- 
tury ; but the Slavonians, now extending from the Pacific 
Ocean to the Adriatic Sea, are first described under that 
designation by the Gothic writer Jornandes^ and his con- 
temporary Procopius, the historian of Justinian's reign, who 
calls them Sclavini, The name is derived from their word 
elava, glory; and Pritchard, and other ethnologists,- consider 
that they were undoubtedlyt the descendants of the Sarma- 
tians. Gibbon says of them : — " The same race of Slavonians 
appears to have maintained iri- every age. the possession pf the 
same countries. Their numerous tribes, however distant or 
adverse, used one common language ; it was harsh and 
irregular, and were known by the resemblance of their form, 
which deviated from the swarthy Tartar, and .approached, 
without attaining, the lofty stature and fair complexion of 
the German. Four thousand six hundred villages were 
scattered over the provinces of Russia and Poland, ^nd their 
huts were hastily built of rough timber, in a country deficient 
both in stone and iron. The sheep and horned cattle were 
large and numerous, and the fields, which they sowed with 
millet and grains, afibrded a course and less nutritive food. 
They foughtion foot almost naked, and, except an unwieldy 
shield, without any defensive armour ; their weapq^iis of 
offence were a bow, a quiver of small poisoned arroijfa, and 
a long rope, which they dexterously threw from a distance, 
and entangled their enemy in a running noose."t Wke the 
ancient Scythians, they practised the rite of destroying the 
dead by fire, and widows were burned on the funeral pile of 
their husbands, with whom, if a man of wealth or considera- 
tion, a slave was buried alive, so that he might be immediately 
provided with an attendant in a future state. ■' The, Scla- 
veni," says Procopius, " worship one God, the maker of 
lightning. They regard him. as' the sole governor of the 
universe, and SEtcrifice to him oxen, and yictims of all 

» Seo chapter 22, t Gibbon's " Decline and Pall of tlie Roman ItoBlrc." 


descriptions. They likewise pay veneration to rivers and 
nympts, and some other inferior divinities ; to all of these 
they perform offerings and sacrifices, in the midst of which 
they make divinations."* They also worshipped the sun 
and moon, and the tempests, under the name of Pogoda, and 
represented the spirit of evil in their temples by the form 
of a lion sacrificing human victims, usually prisoners of war, 
in their sacred fire, which was kept perpetually burning, in 
honour of Peroun, the god of thunder, and, if the priests 
neglected it, they were punished with instant death. like 
the Sannatians, a plurality of wives was common among the 
Slavonians, and these were retained in the most abject sub- 
mission to their husbands, while all tlieir male children were 
dedicated to war ; but, if female infants were considered too 
numerous, they were allowed to be destroyed, and aged and 
helpless people, as is common to this day among the Hindoos, 
were frequently left by their children to perish for want. 
Nevertheless, the opinion of the old was generally held in 
veneration and respect, and each tribe or village existed as a 
se])arate republic, over whom the elders of the community 
presided with almost absolute power. They were hospitable 
to excess, and a law existed among them permitting a poor 
man to steal from his rich neighbour the means of entertain- 
ing a guest. Their earliest records describe them as 
practising the arts of music and poetry j and, in the sixth 
century, a deputation sent from the northern Slavonians to 
the emperor of Constantinople, informed him that their 
highest pleasures were derived from music, and that in theiz- 
journeys they seldom encumbered themselves with arms, but 
always catried lutes and harps of their own workmanship.t 
In their warlike expeditions th«y never appeared without 
music ; and Procopius informs us that they w^ere on one 
occasion, a.d. 592, so much engrossed by their amusements 
within sight of the enemy, as to have been .surprised by a 
Greek general in the night, before they could arrange any 
adequate measures of defence. Many of the war odes and 
ballads of the Slavi are still in existence, and " exhibit," 
says a modern writer, " a wild and original spirit, are replete 
with mythological allusions, and those that are of a peaceful 
cast are particularly remarkable for the quiet sweetness of 
their character, of a kind quite distinct from the elaborate 

• Tritchard's " Natural Hlatoiy of Man.' t Karamsln's " History of Kusela."^ 


and artificial felicity of tlie Greek and Roman pastorals."* + 
Jornandes distinguishes the whole Slavonic race by the 
collective name of Winidse.J After describing Dacia, 
" surrounded by lofty Alps," he adds, " that on the left side 
of these mountains, towards the source of the river Vistula, 
lies an immense region which is inhabited by the populous 
nation of the Wiuidse. Different tribes of this race had,'' 
he says, " particular epithets ; but the names by which they 
■were generally distinguished, -were those of Sclavini and 
Antes." Procopius, in describing them, observes, "their 
complexions and hair are neither white nor yellow, nor 
entirely inclined to black, but all of them are somewhat red- 
haired. They dwell in miserable cabins, erected at con- 
siderable distauces from each other, and not unfrequently 
change the place of their abode." He describes them as 
inhabiting the northern shore of the Danube, whence they 
made frequent incursions into the provinces on the right 
bank of that river ;|j but at the pre-sent day they spread over 
Russia, Bohemia, Poland, Montenegro, and Croatia, and 
for fifteen hundred years have inhabited nearly the same 
countries. The figures of the Slavonians on the historical 
pillar at Constantinople, are dressed similar to the Russian 
peasants of the pi-eseht time, who have made very little 
alteration in their habits and manner of living from those of 
their ancestors in the ninth century, and it is probable that 
the Slavonic dialect, in which the church services are per-- 
formed throughout Russia, and that commonly spoken in 
the country, vary but slightly from the one used by the 
Slavonians and Sarmatians. This language is interspersed 
with many Chaldaic, Phoenician, and old Persian words, and 
has a greater resemblance to Sanscrit, their common source, 
than any other European language, with the exception of 
■the Lithuanian, which is also a Sarmatic tongue.§ During 
the reign of the Emperor Justinian, the Slavonians and Bul- 
garians continually crossed the Danube, and invaded the 
Eastern empire ; and Procopius asserts, that in thirty-two 
years IT their annual inroads had consumed two hundred 

* According to Tooke, and other travellers in the last and present centuries, the Rua- 
siims of the present day sing more than any other people in the world. The peasants 
■ manufacture a kind of guitar, upon which they play ; they have also another musical in- 
strument, universal among the Tartar nations, asort of horn ;itis also to be found among 
the peasants of Egypt and Syria. t Bell's " History of Russia." 

t From whence Is derived the name of Wends, a Slavonic tribe, inhabiting a part of 
Germany. M Pritchard's " Natural History of Man." 

§ Art " Phil. Euc, Brit." % Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Koman Empire." 


thousand inhabitants of the Roman empire. In one invasion 
they penetrated the Balkans, and even crossed the Helles- 
pont, returning to their own coiMitry laden with the riches 
and spoils of Asia ; while another party advanced without 
opposition to the straits of Thermopyl», and the isthmus of 
Corinth, the works that the emperor had raised to oppose 
them being deserted by his soldiers on the approach of the 
enemy, or the walls scaled by the enemy. Another year, 
three thousand Slavonians passed the Danube and Hebrus, 
defeated every Roman general who marched against them, 
and plundered without opposition the cities of Illyiicum 
and Thrace, each of which had arms and numbers suifficient 
to repulse and overwhelm their rudely equipped assailants ; 
and the invaders marched back beyond the Danube with 
innumerable captive Greeks. Procopius accuses them of 
committing the most horrid cruelties on their prisoners ; but 
having been an eyewitness of the desolation and misery 
caused by their inroads upon the Byzantine empire, he was 
not likely to be lenient in his judgment of the perpetrators, 
and probably rather exaggerated their inhumanity. " For 
their mild and liberal treatment of their prisoners,'' says 
Gibbon, " we may appeal to the authority, somewhat more 
recent, of the Emperor Maurice ; but in the siege of Topirus, 
a town near Philippi, whose obstinate defence had enraged 
them, they massacred fifteen thousand men, but spared the 
women and children ; the most valuable captives were 
always reserved for labour or ransom, the servitude was not 
rigorous, and the terms of their deliverance speedy and 
moderate." * 

The inroads of the Slavonians and Bulgarians upon the 
Eastern empire were checked in the following century, on 
the invasion of their own country by the Avars and Chnzars.+ 
The former, who by the writers of the time are said to have 
been a section of the Huns, after subjugating the south of 
Russia, penetrated into Hungary and Italy ; and the latter, 
who were anciently known by the name of Akazirs, and in 
212 A.D. made an irruption into Armenia, and of whom a 
horde had originally accompanied the Huns, and established 
a monarchy in Lithuania, spread themselves over the Crimea, 
and to the north of the Caucasus, where they afterwards 

• Qibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Koman Empire." 

t Tbey were known even to. the distant Chinese Uy the name of Cosa. 


founded a kingdom at Astrakhan. Contemporary 'writers 
describe the Khazaus of Lithuania as being of small stature, 
with black eyes, and rather resembling the Huns in feature, 
while the Chaza,rs of Astrakhan, who wepe probably a very 
mixed people, were tali and hanxlsome. In 740, the sovemgn 
of the latter kingdom, Bula, "was converted to Judaism by 
the Jews, who had been recently expelled from the ByzaDtine 
empire, and he introduced a law rendering that faith impera- 
tive on all future Ohagans, or Khans (this title being home 
by the Chazarian monarchs), the Hebrew religion being also 
at that time professed by most of the nobles and ofiB.cers of 
state. Many of the -Oriental Jews appear to have visited 
this kingdom, in the hope of obtaining some assistance in 
improving the condition of their countrymen in. the East, 
though without success ; but at that time there was one 
place where the Jews were still held in consideration and 
equality, for "they formed a large and influential body at the 
court of the Moorish king of Cordova ; and in a work anciently 
written in Arabic, but subsequently translated into the 
Hebrew tongue, icalled the Cusri or Cosar, there is a curious 
letter, which the learned Jews consider to be genuine, 
addressed in the year .*60, by the Rabbi Hasdai, tlie son of 
Isaac, the son of Ezra, who retained a high oiEce at the. court 
of Abdorrahmen, the king of Cordova, designated by the 
title of Emiral Moumenin, " the chief of the faithfiil," to 
the Khan of the Chazars, in which he earnestly entreats that 
prince to send him information respecting his kingdom and 

* After a complimentary introduction he wijtcs. " that Hosdal, the son of leaac, the son 
of Ezra, of the Jewish comnmiiity, presents his most humble respects to the migli^ liing 
of the Chazars, rtgoices at his preatness, and prays for his welfare. That he feels himself 
too mean to address so glorious a monarch, but nevertheless presumes to write to 
liim, as he (the writer.) had the high honour of being near the person of the great^ 
mighty, and glorious king of Cordova; and was most aitxious to obtaiu certain iufonna- 
tioii respeciing the existence of a Jewish monarchy, wliioh would greatly tend to the com- 
fort or his brethren, and raise tliem in the public estimation The great distance between 
the two nations was doubtless the reason why so little was 4tnown in Spain respecting the 
Chazarlan monarcliy; although a report was in circulation, that some learned Spanish 
Ji;ws, particularly KnbbWuda ben MA, and Eabbi Joseph, had visited the court of the 
great Cliagan, and been the happy and admiring witnesses of liis might and splendour. 
That lie greatly desires to enjoy the same iiappiness, although he serves a king who is the 
greatest of the caliphs, and whose alliance is courted by many other kings. That tiio 
.office which he (Hasdai.) held at the Moorish court, made it his duty to receive all the 
foreign ambassadors, who delivered to hlra the presents they brought to his master, 
and received from him those whidb were sent in return to tiielr respective sovereigns. 
That he had availed himself of every opportunity to question the ambassadors from far 
distant lands respecting the Chazars, but without success; thouKh some merchants fVora 
Chorasan had given him some information on the subject, but their statement appeared 
incredible, and made (or a selfish purpose. The ambassadors of the emperor of t^onstaii- 
tlnople, however, had assured him tliat a Jewisli monarchy actuallv did exist in Ohazaria, 
and added, that though by land many nations intervened between their country and tlie 
Greek empire, a near connection subsisted between both by sea ; that an active trade was 
carried ou-between the Chazars and Constantinople, and that their present Chagan was 


The khan of tlie Ohazars waa assisted in: his governmeht 
by a council of nine, to which Jews, Christians, Mahometans, 
and Pagans were equally admissible. The highest veneration 
was paid to- him ;, he rarely quitted his palace, and seldom 
received visiters, and an audience was only to be obtained on 
matters of tlie greatest importance; All who entered his 
presence were obliged to fall prostrate before him, and remain 
in that posture till they were commanded by their sovereign 
to rise ; and the great officers of state, when> condemned to 
death, were granted the privilege of self-destruction, and so 
spare themselves the ignominy of dying' by the hand of an 
executioner.* No one ever passed a royal torab on. horseback, 
but always dismounted, bowed to the grave, and continued 
on foot till it was out of sight. Their principal towns were 
Belanshir, now Astrakhan, the seat of government, which 
was also called Itel or Nihirize ; Sermend, or Serai Bauv, the 
palace of the lady, now Tarku ;. and old Chazar and Saakel, 
which lay on the route to Archangel, with which, port and 
Novogorod they carried on an, extensive trade by caravans, 
till the Mongols subdued the plains of Kipzak, and numerous 
other fortified cities attest their advanced state of society, 
their wealth, and prosperous condition. They were particu- 
larly celebrated for their manufacture of carpets, and extend- 
ed their dominions over all the south of Russia ; the Caspian 
Sea being known in the middle ages as the lake or sea of the 
Chazai-s. But in the tenth century their power began to 
decline; they were deprived of a. part of their dominions by 
the Russians, under their grand prince Sviatozlaf ; and the 
conqueror destroyed their capital, which, had been fortified 
by Greek engineei-s, and subverted, the dynasty of Jewish 

named Joseph." Hasdal goes on to state that he had despatched letters by a trusty Jew 
before, to the king of tneCliazars; but that, after an absence of.SU months, the messenger 
had returned from Constanthiople without reaclllng the place of his destination, because 
the sea was only navigable at certain seasons, and impassable at ail other times of the 
year, through the great storms which prevailed, and that it was equally imiiossible to 
proceed by land, on account of the disturbed state of^ the intervening tribes. He had ftelt 
lireatly grieved at this misibrtune, but had requested some i'alcstlne Jews to take charge 
of hie letters, who would for^vard the same by way of Nlslbis and Armenia, when the 
ambassadors of the kmg of bad arrived, there being in his train two Jewish rabbis, 
wlio had faithfully sworn to Ibrward the present letter to its destination. Hasdai also 
prays the king to answer his letter through his secretary, and In give him every Informa- 
tion respecting certain legends of an emigration of Jews, acolony.of whom are said to have 
settled in a far distant country, which he believes was (Jhazaria, and requests him to 
furnish him with every inteillgence regarding his territories, tlie history of his nation, 
their lanijuage, and the wars he and his Jewish predecessors had cai'ried on. He re- 
gretted that all his endeavours t» find a certain lilar Amrann who about six years before 
had arrived in Spain, had been well court, and whonvhe had since heard was d 
native Ohazar, had failed^ and that therefbre he and his brethren had no other hopo'oi 
Dbtalning Information respecting the khigdom of tlie Ghazars. except his toyal condescen- 
sion would deign to answer this letter. — Hebrew Bevievj^ VoLIl. No, 86. 
« The same custom prevaiis-at the present day in Japam 


kings, tliougt the Jews themselves remained very ritimerous 
about Astrakhan till a much later time.* Their forces had 
previously been greatly weakened by the incursions of the > 
Petchenegans and other Tartar tribes ; and in 1016 they 
were again invaded by the Russians, who took their khan 
George Tzuda prisoner, a race of Christian sovereigns,+ 
having succeeded the Jewish line. In 1140 they were again 
governed by a Jew,' their chagan Gosro having been converted 
to Judaism by the Eabbi Isorah, a noted professor of that 
faith ; but, shortly after, the monarchy of the Chazars sauk 
under the successive attacks of the Polotzi and other wander- 
ing tribes, and was finally swept away by the Mongols under 
Ghengiz or Ziogis Khan. 

After the conversion of the Bulgarians on the Danube to 
Christianity, that nation settled down under a more regular 
and peaceable government, and, ceasing their invasions of 
Greece, they generally joined with the empire in their wars 
with the Slavonians,' though they had long before adopted the 
language and manners of the latter- people. They renounced 
their pagan faith about the middle of the ninth century; 
for, during a war they were carrying on against the Byzan- 
tine emperor Michaellll., the sister of their king Bogaris 
was taken, prisoner, and being a royal gaptive, she was con- 
ducted to Constantinople, and treated with great honour and 
courtesy, being also, at her own request, instructed in the 
doctrines of the Christian religion. Of the truth of this faith 
she became so convinced, that she desired to be baptized ; and 
when, in 845, the Byzantine empire concluded a peace with 
Bulgaria, and she returned to her own country, being 
anxious for the conversion of her brother and his people, she 
wrote to Constantinople requesting that instructors might be 
sent to aid her in her endeavours to propagate Christianity .tf 
Two distinguished bishops of the Greek Church, -Cyrillus 
and Methodius, were accordingly despatched to Bulgaria ; but 
for a long time the king refused even to listen to their argu- 
ments, and firmly adhered to idolatry. He, however, so 

. * Among the tribes of the Volga^ particularly the Tchawashes, many Jewisii customs 

"Benjamin of Tudela, In 1175, was informed In Persia, that on the high plains of Nishar, 
twenty-eight days' journey ft-nm Samarkand, in a territory covered with castles and towns, 
there dwelt an independent Jewish people, of the tribes of Dan, Zebuion, Asher, anii 
Naphthali, under a prince- Joseph Amarca, a Levite.*' — Haaithauaen, quoting iiitter, 
..t The.Emperor'Constautiiie-lV. of Constautiuople married a daughter of one of the 
Chazarian khans. >. . . 
^. tTlie"Worksof JamesMontgomery/', rinlaj's ".Byzantine Emiilre.". ., 


esteemed Methodius, for whom he formed a strong attachment,- 
that he retained him as a friend and counsellor at his court; 
though he refused to become his proselyte, and, finding that 
he was a skilful painter, desired him to compose a picture 
which should exhibit, collected together, the most horrible de- 
vices his imagination could conceive. Methodius executed so 
terrific a representation of the day of judgment, and explained 
its scenes to the king so forcibly, that Bogaris was overpowered 
by his reasoning, and consented to receive baptism. To 
Cyrillus is attributed the translation of the Scriptures, which 
has remained in use for eight hundred years without altera- 
tion among those Slavonic nations, the Eussians, Servians, 
and Montenegrins, who still adhere to the Greek church. It 
was first printed at Prague in 1519, and is probably the most 
ancient version of the Bible in a living tongue. 

Bulgaria was at this period the most advanced and com- 
mercial kingdom- of the north, and formed the chief medium 
for supplying Germany and Scandinavia with the manufac- 
tures, gold, and jewels, of Constantinople and Asia. Many 
treaties for regulating the trade, and fixing the amount of 
duty to be paid upon the Grecian frontier, had been con- 
cluded from time to time between the two powers, and their 
traffic was greatly augmented during the long peace that 
prevailed after the secession of Bogaris (who had taken the 
name of Michael on his baptism) and his people to the 
Eastern Church. This prince sent his second son Simeon to 
be educated at Constantinople, and in the year 885 resigned 
his throne to the heir-apparent, Vladimir, and retired into a 
monastery. But the misconduct of the new king, and the 
disorders into which he consequently plunged the state, com- 
pelled Bogaris, three years after, to emerge again from 
obscnrity ; and, consigning Vladimir to a cloister, having 
previously caused his eyes to be put out, the royal monk 
gave the crown to Simeon, and returned to his cell, where 
he expired in the year 907.* 

At this time, though Constantinople was called the em- 
pire of the Greeks, the Greeks themselves occupied a veiy 
subordinate position in the state. The peasants and hus- 
bandmen in the pro-vinces were chiefly Slavonians and 
foreign colonists ; and the merchants and superior classes, 
Romans, and members of the Latin Church. The political 

* FInlay's '* Byzantine Empire." 


administration was cliiefly in the hands of Asiatics, and for a 
centtiry and a half the Eaapress Irene was the only sovereign 
on the imperial throne whose origin was purely Greek. The 
emperors, who had generally been court favourites, successful 
generals, or mere adventurers, were seldom succeeded by 
more than two or three generations of their descendants, 
and most of these were Armenians, or other Asiatics, and 
one, Basil I., rose from a Slalvonian groom. Greek, indeed, 
was the language of the government, yet even by the popu- 
lace it was looked upon as a term of reproach. 


f ^e €vLmmm — feorgia. 

Te icefalls ; yet tliat from the mountain's brow, 
Adown enormous ravines slope amain, 
Torrents methinks, that heard a miRhty voice, 
And stopp'd at once, amid their maddest pluntje, 
MoiionleBS torrents! silent cataracts. 

Ye living flowers, that skirt the eternal frost, 
Ye wild goats, sporting; round the eagle's nest^ 
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm. 

Thou, too, hoar mount, with thy sky-pointing peaks, 
Oft from whose feet, the avalanche unheard, 
Shoots downwards. . , . Coleridge. 

The Hvrcanian cliflfs 
Of Caucasus, aud dark Iberlau dales.— Milton. 

The Caucasian* mountains, whose rugged rocks and 
narrow valleys form a botmdary between Europe and Asia of 
seven hundred and fifty miles in length, are peopled by 
nearly seventy different tribes, and were considered by the 
ancients to mark the extreme limits of the civilized world, 
beyond which dwelt the unknown and barbarous nations of 
the north, whose country, according to the old religion of 
Persia, was the abode of all the followers of Ahriman, or the 
principle of evil, and clothed in perpetual night. The same 
traditions also relate, that after perpetual wars had been 
carried on between these inhabitants of Turan, or the Land 
of Darkness, and the nations of Iran, or Land of the Sun, a 
king called Dulkamein ascended the throne of Persia, and 
having defeated and driven back the Turanians, he built a 
wall along the Caucasus, extending from the Black Sea to 
the Caspian, to repel and shut out those savage and wan- 
dering tribes, whose dreary land, according to Herodotus, 
was guarded by dragons, and contained mines of gold.t So 

* " The word Caucasus, according to Pllny,. ls< derived from> the Scythian words 
'Grauka Sus,'or white from snow; others imagine It Is from KokKaf,,or Cusp, which 
Bignifles white mountains. The Persians call It Elburz, a Persian word, which signlfles 
ee mountains*'*— Dr. Wagner's " CaucaBus.*'— Haxthausen's "Tribes ot the Cnucasus." 

t (irltHns or dragons are tlie symbolsof all the Slavonic tribes. Many of the Siberian 
gold mines had- apparently been worked by the turmer lubabltants, when the. liusalaus 
conquered the country. 


late as tte eighteenth century, the traveller Eeineggs found 
here the remains of a -wall nearly ninety miles long, and in 
parts a hundred and twenty feet high,* and the ruins to this 
day may be traced at intervals, extending along the whole 
Caucasian frontier in one place for more than five miles, in 
tolerable preservation. The precise date of its erection is 
veiled in obscurity ; but many writers are of opinion that it 
was constructed after the Scythians had penetrated through 
the mountains, in the seventh century before Christ, and 
subjugated Asia Minor, in order to secure the passes as 
closely as possible from all future invasions of the barbarous 
warriors from the north. The Caucasian ridge is formed by 
two ranges of hills, running parallel from east to west, of 
which the northern slopes, called the White Mountains, ex- 
posed to the harsh and rude blasts of Siberia, are rugged 
and barren, rising every where from 10,000 to 15,000 feet 
above the level of the sesi — ^the most elevated, the Elburz, 
attaining the height of 18,000 feet. The southern range, 
or Black Mountains, do not rise to the limit of the snow-line ; 
but all travellers unite in extolling the exti'eme beauty of the 
landscape and fertility of the soil, which produces sponta- 
neously magnificent vines, mulberries, and fig-trees, inter- 
spersed with the southern laurel and northern birch, and on 
the mountains the most luxuriant pasture for cattle. The 
greatest diversity is also to be found among the aiiimal king- 
dom, these rocks forming the most northerly limits of the 
jackal, and the extreme- south em boundary of the reindeer; 
every variety of climate and temperature prevailing, and, 
while one district is scorched with heat, another is frozen 
in snow. The winter in the territory inhabited by the 
Suaves, round the foot of Mount Elburz, extends for nearly 
nine months in the year.+ 

The many tribes who, at the present day, inhabit the fertile 
valleys of -the Caucasus, and who all speak a different lan- 
guage, appear in some instances to have resided there from 
the most remote times ; in others, to have been compelled to 
seek a refuge among these mountains from the hostility of 
foreign nations, by whom they have been expelled from their 

♦ Relnegg's "Researches In the Caucasus." 
; t "The eye, soaring over the hills and mountain capes, penetrates to the distant giants 
of the Caucasus. One sees their wonderftil forms, peaks, stems, sunk in table-lands, cleft 
cupolas, &C., now right, now left, now forwards, now backwards. Grapes smiled upon us 
and figs in plenty ; and the country is enchanting and luxuriant."— Madame Pfelffcr's 
/•'(Jeorgla. and the Caucasus," in her " Voyage _ round, the World."— Haxihausen'a 
" Caucasus." 


original, and in some instances distant, sites. Klaproth has 
discovered a great affinity in the languages of some of the 
Caucasians, particularly those spoken by the sixteen Cir- 
cassian tribes, to the Finnish and Samoiede dialects of 
Northern Russia ; the Ossetes are generally considered to be 
descendants of the Alans, a branch of the Slavonic race ; and 
the posterity of the Avars, once so formidable to Europe, are 
supposed to exist in the inhabitants of Daghestan, on the 
eastern side of the Caucasus, who, fanatic Mahometans, are 
now the fiercest opponents of the Russian power, urged and 
commanded by Schamyl, their prophet. Among the Tchete- 
cheuzes, the many pieces of old European armour, swords, 
and other warlike equipments, adorned with Latin inscrip- 
tions that have been found, besides many of the habits and 
customs of the people, which bear more resemblance to those 
of "Western Europe than to the slaveholding surrounding 
nations of Asia, appear to warrant the supposition, that a 
few of the vanquished crusaders may have taken refuge 
among these mountains, when escaping from the swords or 
dungeons of the Saracens, and settled down peaceably among 
the inhabitants. When the followers of Mahomet rendered 
themselves masters of Persia, the G-hebers or Fire-wor- 
shippers,* the ancient possessors of that kingdom, flying 
from their own land, scattered themselves over many countries 
of the east, and a colony joining their fellow religionists, of 
whom there were mauy in Georgia, established themselves in 
the Caucasus, where, about twelve miles from Bakii, they 
still preserve their sacred fire, in a temple dedicated to the 
glory, and consecrated to the worship, of the sun.t 

Mingrelia, the ancient Colchis, was the scene of the almost 
fabulous expedition of the companions of the Greek Jason 
in search of the Golden Fleece, and, with the adjacent district 
of Abchasia, formed a province of the kingdom of Mithri- 
dates, the powerful and long-successful opponent of the 
Roman power in the east. Tigranes, king of Armenia, the 
ally of that ill-fated monarch, being vanquished by Pompey 
sixty-five years before the Christian era, fled to the Caucasus, 
and Athalus, the viceroy of Colchis, was carried prisoner to 

♦ " They suppose the throne of the Almighty Is seated In the sun, and hence their 
worship of that luminary i^'—Hanway's " Travels." 

t The Are worship was exterminated in Georgia by'Timur; but after his death a few of 
its votaries returned ft-om the mountains of Hinduitan and Persia, where they had fled I o 
escape the fury of the Mahometans, to their old haunts at Bakii. The Giiebers have also 
erected 'a temple at Astrakhan, but their number Is fast diminishing. .... ", 


Eome, where ia ctains he adorned the haughty conqueror's 
triumph. The Abchasians were supposed by Herodotus fa> 
be descendants of the Egyptians of Sraostiis, who carried hia 
conquests over the peaks of the Caucasus, across the steppes 
of Southern Scythia, and to the shores of the Don, because 
in his time they had black complexions and woolly hair ; 
and tradition affirms that the Egyptian king planted here a 
learned and polite colony, who manufactured linen, built 
navies, and invented geographical maps. They are among 
the most ancient inhabitants of the Caucasus, and some of 
their number served in the host of Xerxes, armed with 
daggers, wooden casques,, and leathern bucklers ;* and it 
was in this province, probably on th« site of the little harbour 
of Souchum Kale, that the celebrated town of Dioscurias was 
situated ; where, according to Strabo, the representatives of 
seventy different nations met to traffic, and which was long 
resorted to by the merchant navies- of Tyre, Carthage,, and 
Greece. In Pliny's time, before the country was laid waste 
by the Romans, that writer affirms that a hundred and thirty 
languages were spoken, in the market, for which as many 
interpreters were constantly employed ; so extensive a trade 
and communication was carried on by the kingdom of 
Mithridates with all the rest of Asia Minor, and Georgia^ 
India, Bactria, Egypt, Italy, and Greece. 

The beautiful and fertile kingdom of Georgia,+ stretching 
from the foot of the Caucasus to the borders of Armenia and 
Persia, is supposed to have been first peopled shortly after 
the deluge, probably by a branch of the Medes and Persians, 
of which empire it at one period formed a province ; but the 
Georgians, who call themselves Kartli, according to their 
national traditions derive their origin from Kartles, a 
patriarch who flourished at the time of the confusion of 
tongues, and founded the town of Mtschekka, which was 
the seat of the Georgian government till a.b. 469. Before 
this, the earliest inhabitants had lived in caves and holes in 
the ground, of which traces are still to be seen in some of the 
southern districts. Several Chinese colonies appear to have 
early settled in Georgia, as well as in the countries on the 
eastern shore of the Caspian Sea ; their existence is men- 
tioned by Herodotus, and Xenophon speaks of Gymnias on 

* Glbbon'3 " Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 

t This name, by which It was not known Mil the time of the Crusades, Is said by Gib- 
bon to hare been bestowedon.this country In honour of St. George of Cappadocla. 


the Araxes as an eastern colony, four hundred years before 
the Christian era. Aneient historians describe the Chinese 
colonists as a peaceable and civilized people, and skilful 
agriculturists, who constructed canals, and principally engaged 
in trading pursuits ; and they appear to have been held in 
respect and esteem by the natives, the Caucasian tribes 
readily assisting them against the arms of Pompey when he 
invaded their land; where he set fire to their forests and 
villages, and laid waste all the country through which he 

Georgia, which was known to the ancients by the name of 
Iberia (probably a nati*-e word, as it is still called Iveria by 
the inhabitants), was subdued by Alexander of Macedon on 
his passage to India, though at Mtschekka he met with an 
obstinate and heroic resistance. He levelled the fortifications 
to the ground, and treated the inhabitants with great rigour, 
leaving one of his officers, Ason, in command of the province ; 
but this viceroy was subsequently expelled by the people 
under Phamaces, or Pharnaz, a native chief, who, being a 
descendant of their ancient kings, was placed upon the 
throne B.C. 300.t One of his successors built the fortress of 
Dariel, but in the following centuiy, B.C. 100, the Alans 
broke through the Caucasus and overran the country, which 
afterwards became tributary to Mithridates ; but, upon his 
overthrow, it again emancipated itself from foreign dominion, 
and remained for many years independent. In the time of 
Strabo, the people are described by him as being divided into 
four distinct castes, besides the slaves ; the princes, of whom 
the oldest member became king, soldiers, priests, and tillers 
of the ground, and a community of goods prevailed in families, 
under the stewardship of the eldest (who was always supreme) 
in a household. $ 

Four narrow passes penetrate the mountains of the Caii- 
casus, and Strabo describes the central one Pylse Caucasise, 
or the Caucasian Gate, sometimes called the pass of Dariel, 
as being in his time closed by walla and gates, which Pliny 

* The Chinese colonists were almost entirely extirpated by Tamerlane. 

t Wagner's "Caucasus." 

i " Charming hills, embracing cheerful valleys, while on the peaks of m»ny a mountain 
Stood the ruins of towns and fortrusaes. Hero also there were times, as in the old Germim 
empire, when one nobleman waged leud witii.the other, and no man was sure of his life 
and property. Gentlemen lived in forufled castles on hills and mountains, went armed 
and harnessed liite knights, and in case of impending hostilities the subjects fled to the 
castles. Tiiere are said yet to be people who, -under or over their dresses, wear skirls ol 
iron^uitted wire,4ind helmets instead of caps, but I saw none of these."— PFElFFElt. 


speaks of as a miracle of nature, and Ptolemy mentions by; 
the name of the Sarmatian Gate ; Procopius also describes it 
minutely, and observes that all the other passes of the 
Caucasus could only be crossed by pedestrians, but that this 
was passable by horsemen and carriages.* It was a frequent 
subject of dispute between Persia and the Byzantine empire, 
and in the sixth century this defile, together -with the Cau- 
casian provinces and Georgia, falling into the possession of 
the Persian Shah Cabades, he commenced the restoration of 
the entire wall of the Caucasus. But this vast undertaking 
was not completed till the reign of his son and successor, 
Chosroes Nushirvan, who erected iron gates and towers to 
strengthen the barrier and defend the passes,+ and who, on 
concluding a peace with the emperor Justinian in 563, 
agreed that they should remain open to the eastern and 
western nations, both powers uniting to protect them from 
the incursions and depredations of the tribes of the north. 
Chosroes also founded the city of Derbend, or narrow gate, 
on the eastern or Caspian pass, where the Caucasian wall 
extends for some distance into the sea, adding, to this a 
second rampart to protect the harbour against storms and 
hostile attacks, and constructing them with stones of such 
an enormous size that it required fifty men to move one. 
Derbend stands on a rock, and is guarded with two towers 
and seven iron gates, which, with a mosque, were erected 
during the Saracen sway by the caliph Haroun al Raschid, 
who made it a royal residence, and placed over each gate 
two lions or sphinxes, supposed to possess a magical power 
in alarming and frustrating the efibrts of the infidels, that 
were constantly striving, as the Arabs affirmed, to. undermine 
the walls, and penetrate into the country of the faithful 
followers of the prophet. According to Ritter, a prophecy 
still finds credit among the Mahometans of western Asia, 
that the empire of the faithful shall not meet with destruc- 
tion till a nation of infidel enemies with yellow faces have 
forced their way through these walls ; and this idea still 
arms the fanaticism of the Mussulman tribes of the Caucasus 
to resist to the last extremity every effort of the Russians J 

* Haxthfluaen's "Tribes of the Caucasus." 

t Eilrissi. in U51, states tiiat tlie entire Caucasian wait liad three hundred gates and 
toivers, but this is probably exaggerated, though lie mentions the names ot'a great many 
01' them Haxthauaen's " Tribes of the Caucasus." 

X When the Caucasus in modern times was subject to the caliph of Uamascus, a 
governor was placed there with the title of Viceroy of the Caliph, as a defence against 

THE CAUCi^US^GEOlieiA. ' 5^ 

to establish their dominion over their mountainous retreats. 
Chosroes, to protect the passes from the northern nations, 
established several feudal principalities among the Caucasian 
districts, over which he placed viceroys, whom he intrusted 
with the defence of the gates. The chief of the territory of 
Serir, the principal of these states, and which lay to the 
north of Derbend, bore the title of "lord of the golden 
throne ; " and the Arab traveller Abi Hawbal, describes 
the inhabitants in the year 960 as being entirely Christian, 
though they lived in close alliance with the Jewish kingdom 
of Chazaria, and the surrounding Mahometan tribes ; but 
histoiy is silent as to whether the Gheber chiefs who had 
been placed on the throne by Chosroes, who established the 
religion of Zoroaster throughout Georgia, had been converted 
to Christianity, or whether the crown had been usurped by 
a dynasty of princes from Byzantium.* This kingdom existed 
till the thirteenth century, when it was overthrown by 
Ziagis Khan y and previously, in the middle of the tenth 
century, the Russians, under their grand prince Sviatozlaf, 
took possession of the western provinces of the Caucasus ; t 
though a hundred and fifty years later they were expelled 
by the Polotzi, who were in their turn annihilated by the 
terrible invasion of the Monguls. 

About two centuries after Christ, King Aspagur of Georgia 
passed a law, prohibiting the practice of sacrificing children 
to idols, which were finally abolished during the reign of his 
successor Micaus (who occupied the throne from 265 to 318), 
through the medium of a Christian, slave, whom the Armenian 
chronicles call Nina, and who, having by her skill recovered 
the queen from a dangerous illness, succeeded in inducing her 
royal patrons to embrace Christianity. Tiflis, the modern 
capital, was built in 455, by king Vakhtang Gurgalatu, upon 
the site of an ancient village, called Iphilissi or Iphiiiskalaki, 
or warm town, on accouot of the hot springs in its neighbour- 
hood, to which he removed the seat of government from 
Mtschehka, fourteen years after its foundation in 469. In 
the coui-se of the sixth century, the Persian Shah Cabades 
conquered Georgia and the Caucasus after a long war ; and 
they remained subject to his empire till the throne of the 
Gaznevides, and the Gheber worship was overturned towards 
the latter end of the seventh century by the victorious arms 

* Hiixthausen's " Caucasus." t Waguer's " Caucasus." 


of the Saracens, who bad already embraced tlie faith and 
enthusiasm of JVtahomet. These cruel and fanatical invaders 
having subdued Persia, sent an army into Georgia, under 
the command of Murhuireh, the brother of their caliph 
Valid, vho took Derbend after a furious battle, in -vrhich the 
Saracen hero Kri Har was killed ; he was buried near that 
fortress, and to this day the Lesghians, •who. follow the doc- 
trines of Islam, make pilgrimages to his tomb. Prom this 
time till the end of the ninth century,* the Arabs continually 
overran and wasted Georgia, compelling those provinces 
which they conquered to profess the Mahometan religion, 
and mercilessly destroying with fire and sword all the towns, 
houses, and villages, where the inhabitants refused to submit 
to this decree. In 861 they seized upon the capital Tiflis, 
but shortly after, on the decline of their power in Asia, were 
finally expelled from Georgia, though they have left many 
traces of their dominion in their colonies, which still exist 
in the Caucasus. This deliverance from the male of the 
Saracens was chiefly effected by the valour and military skill 
of the celebrated family of the Orpelians, who are said to 
have been the remnant of the royal family of China, or one 
of the counties bordering on Eastern Tartary, and who, 
having been driven from the throne by a great revolution in 
their native land, entered Georgia through the pass of Dariel, 
and offered their services to the dispirited and tributary 
king, to assist him in freeing his throne and country from 
the tyranny and oppression of the Mahometans. I'or their 
success in this undertaking, they received from the grateful 
monarch, the fortified castle of Orpetii, and have ever since 
proved the firmest supporters of the throne and kingdom of 
Georgia, and the bravest defenders of its people and govern- 
ment, to whom they have frequently rendered signal service.t 
In A.D. 1049, during the reign of David I., the Seljuk Turks 
under Togrul Beg, their celebrated monarch, invaded and 
devastated Georgia, forcing the king with bis court and 
treasures, and the principal families of the nobility, to fly 
to the mountains, and destroying the fields and villages, and 
-wasting the country every where on their route ; but Libarid 
'Orpelian, the sbalassar or constable of the kingdom, assembled 

* The Jewish family of Baffratlon ascendod the throne of Georgia In the eighth centurv, 
and tlieir descendants reii^ed till the Russian conquest; the present representative of 
the family being au offlqer in the Russian service. 

t Tlie oldest member of Die Oi'polian or Orbelian family is hei-editary crown fleU- 
jnarshal of tbe kiuj^doin. 


a small band of devoted and valiant followers, and advancing 
against the enemy, whose force numbered twenty times more 
than his own few and brave adherents, encountered and 
engaged their whole army in the field, which he completely 
routed with great slaughter, carrying off all the standards 
and flags of the foe. But the victorious general met with a 
base return from his ungrateful though much indebted 
countrymen ; for this success, and the popularity and in- 
fluence he acquired in the government, excited against him 
the jealousy and animosity of the nobility, who caused him 
to be basely assassinated ; and, depriving his son Ivane of his 
paternal estates, obliged him to flee for his life. But the 
death of Libarid "was amply revenged by a second invasion 
of the Seljuks, imder their fierce and merciless leader, the 
victorious Alp, who defeated and cut to pieces the entire 
force that the Georgians could muster against them, and, 
besieging Tiflis, they took the capital and reduced the whole 
country to their sway. Their dominion was, however, of 
short deration, for they were driven out in the succeeding 
reign by the valour and policy of David II., who, recalling 
Ivane Orpelian from exile, restored to him his father's 
domains, and also granted the reinstated chief the castle of 
Lorki, as some compensation for the unmerited severity with 
which his family had been treated and punished.* In 1160, 
on the death of David III., who had ruled with justice and 
moderation, and whose prudence had done much to repair 
the calamities caused by the Seljuk invasion, Hs only son 
Temna succeeded to the vacant throne ; but the young prince 
being a minor, the king in his will had appointed his brother 
George regent of the kingdom, though he had intrusted the 
education and guardianship of his son to Ivane Orpelian III. 
When the prince attained his majority, the regent refused 
to give up the reins of government, but himself assumed 
the style and title of king ; while his oppression and merci- 
less exactions alienated the affection and esteem of the 
people, and rendered him odious to the nobles ; and Ivane, 
having recourse to arms, was joined by numerous maleoontents, 
and closely besieged the usurper and his adherents in Tiflis. 
But the army of Orpelian was repulsed from the walls of 
the capital, and forced to abandon the attack ; and retreating 
with Temna to his fortress of Lorki, the king, George, marched 

• Article " Georgia," Sncychpceclia Brilanniea, 


against and besieged him in bis own castle among the moim^ 
tains, where the garrison was soon reduced to the last ex- 
tremity from famine. In the hope of obtaining mercy for 
himself and his soldiers, the young prince advanced frpm the 
gate, and, throwing himself at the feet of his uncle, implored 
his pity ; but he was imprisoned and blinded by the hard- 
hearted and inhuman monarch, who, on Ivane surrendering 
his castle, when unable any longer to resist the arrows and 
swords of the enemy, and the slower and more cruel ravages 
of famine, caused this noble to undergo the same rigorous 
fate. Although Orpelian had only yielded on the condition 
of being permitted to depart, with his few remaining followers, 
freely and unmolested to another land, George caused them 
all to be treacherously seized and imprisoned, and having 
commanded the execution of every other member of the 
vanquished house (with the exception of the brother and two 
sons of the .unfortunate chief, who fled into Persia), and 
caused Ivane to be blinded in his dungeon, in order to 
obliterate all recollection of their deeds and name, he decreed 
that it should be effaced from the inscriptions on their tombs, 
and even struct off the pages of the histories and chronicles 
of Georgia. But on the death of George, who was succeeded 
by his only daughter Thamar, this princess, whose reign, is 
the most glorious in the history of Georgia, recalled to her 
dominions the remaining members of the house of Orpelian, 
and, as, Ivane had expired in prison, restored to them hia 
forfeited estates.* She expelled -the Persians who invaded 
her territories, and, extending the limits of her kingdom from 
the Black, to the Caspian Sea, reduced several neighbouring 
princes to her sway. The arms of her son George IV., who 
made Ivane Orpelian lY.the commander of his forces, were 
also triumphant over the tribes lying to the south and west 
of Georgia, whom he compelled to embrace Christianity ; but 
in 1220 his reign was marked by the dreadful ravages of the 
Mongul Tartars, who, entering the kingdom through the 
pass of Derbend, traversed it on their route to Persia, though 
in this, their first inroad, they gained no very decisive 
advantage over the inhabitants, t Two years after, on the 
death of George, who had intrusted the regency of the king- 
dom and the guardianship of her brother to the care of his 

• Article " Georgia," Enq/clopiedia Srilannica, 
t Hue's " Clirlstionity In Cbina, Tartnry," &c 


daughter Ehouzoudan, his son and successor, David, not 
being of age, they again invaded Greorgia, and, presenting 
themselves as fellow-Ohristians and allies, prepared to assist 
the young queen against her enemies the Tartars. To carry 
out the deception, they placed in front of their army some 
priests whom they had taken prisoners, and carried before 
them the cross as a standard. The deceived Georgians were 
surprised and attacked unawares, losing si-x thousand men ; 
but, discovering their fatal mistaike, they rallied their forces, 
and, encountering the enemy, killed twenty thousand, besides 
capturing many prisoners, and putting their whole army to 
flight. The queen Rhouzoudan sent an ambassador to 
Honorius III. to warn him of the danger by which Europe 
was menaced if the Monguls were allowed to continue their 
victorious progress unopposed ; and in 'her letter she states 
that she had been unable to send the assistance she had 
promised against the Saracens, because she had need of all 
her armies to resist a sudden invasion of barbarians. The 
death of Zingis Elan, which -took place in 1227, for a 
moment arrested the arms of the Monguls, who hastened 
back to the imperial camp to assist in the election of a new 
chief; but, this accomplished, they again overran Georgia, 
and the queen, having in vain appealed for assistance to the 
Christian countries of Europe, saw her throne and people 
laid prostrate at the feet of the Tartar khan, under whose 
sway they remained till the year 1500..* She herself became 
a Mahometan, and the royal family, who have reigned since 
the eighth century, and assert that they are descended from 
Solomon, still retained their title and authority, though only 
at the pleasure of the Mongul chief, and so long as they 
obeyed his dictates and paid a sufficient tribute. 

From the revolutions and almost continual wars with 
which Georgia has been distracted for so many hundreds of 
years, she has naturally made but little progress in literature, 
or in any abstruse science or art ; but the Bible was trans- 
lated by St. Euthymius into the native tongue as early as the 
eighth century, and there are some poetical romances still 
extant composed in the middle ages — particularly the poem 
of Tariel, by General Rusteval, a courtier of Queen Thamar, 
and another by the same author, recording her reign and 
exploits. The Georgians have also several other heroic songs, 

• Hue's " Christianity In Jartnry, Thibet," &o. 


parfcictilarly the Baramiani and the Rostomiani, and told in 
high, estimation Yisramiani and Dareganiani, two prose 
works by Serg of Thmogir, and Moses of Khoni ; but these, 
■with a collection of hymns by the patriarch Antoni, the 
Code of Vakhtang, by Vakhtang VI. in 1703, 'and the 
Chronicles of the same prince, make np almost the whole 
amount of the native writings of Georgia.* 

Many traces of Christianity are still to be met with 
among the wild tribes of the Caucasus, and the ruins of 
churches and crosses are frequently seen in the mountains, 
which, according to some, are the relics of the attempt of 
Queen Thamar of Georgia to convert the natives to the 
Christian faith ; according to others, they were planted there 
by the Genoese, who, in the thirteenth and fotu-teenth cen- 
turies, cari'ied on an extensive trade with Georgia and 
Mingrelia, and formed many colonies in those countries,, of 
which there are at the present day but few remains.t 

• Article " Georgia," in the Encyclopcedia Britanmca. 
t Wagner'a"C!iuc88U8i" 


Igflr— ®lga. 

Fair spring supplies the favouring gale. 
The naval plmmerer spreads his sail; 
And, ploughing wide the watery way, 
Explores witli anxious eyes bia prey. 

John Scoxt. 
• Equipp'd for deeds alilse on land or sea. 


The Firms, or Tscliiides (that is, barbarians, or nations 
alien to the Slavonic race), as they are called in Kussia, 
formerly occupied all that part of the country which lies to 
the north of the Valdai HiUs, between the Vistula and Ural 
Mountains,* and are commonly considered to have been the 
aboriginal inhabitants of Scandinavia, from whence they were 
expelled by the Goths. The Budini, described by Herodotus, 
appear to have been a Finnish tribe,+ and Ptolemy in the 
second centviry mentions the Phinni, together with the 
Gythones and Venedse, as nations of small extent and power, 
in the neighbourhood of the Vistula ; while in the time of 
Pliny, the southern coast of the Baltic, to the eastward of 
that river, was vaguely termed Finningia. Pritchard and 
Latham are of opinion that the Finlanders, Laplanders, and 
most of the Siberian tribes belong to the same race, which 
appears to have borne a close affinity to the Huns and 
Igours, with whom they are by some writers identified, and 
collectively termed Ugrian. As the Slavonians became more 
powerful, they gradually reduced all the aboriginal hordes, 
and drove them further northward ; for as we learn from 
Nestor, the ancient chronicler of Russia, the Finns in his 
time occupied aU the territory from Lake Peipus eastward, J 
and traces of them are to be met with at the present day, 
more or less interspersed with the Slavonians, over all the 
northern part of Russia, particularly in the hilly district of 
Valdai and in the government of St. Petersburg, besides 

• Pritchard's "Nat. Hist, of Man." t Herodotus. X Chronicles of Nestor. 


several tribes on the Volga, and tlie inhabitants of the 
province of Finland, by whom it is called Suonemma, or the 
country of lakes. The Magyars of Hungary also belong to 
the same race, which is remarkable for its love of music and 
poetry, and possesses many songs and heroic ballads, with 
long romances and legends in verse.* They worshipped the 
sun, moon, and stars, amongst which the constellation of the 
Great Bear received particular honours, besides the winds, 
lakes, rivers, fountains, and cataracts, and several goddesses ; 
their principal deity was called Yomala,t and they believed 
in a future state. They were early acquainted with the art 
of smelting iron; Einnish swords are renowned in the 
Icelandic sagas, J and tradition ascribes to Finns the dis- 
covery of various mines in Sweden.- They were also 
particularly attached to agriculture, and appear to have been 
well versed in all the implements of husbandry, || though, 
from the rigour of the climate, they were principally 
dependent for their subsistence upon the produce of their 
numerous lakes. The province of Finland was partly subject 
to Russia in the early period of her history; but in the 
twelfth century it was conquered by Sweden, who long 
endeavoured by force and tyranny to convert the natives to 
Christianity. An English priest called Henry, who had 
accompanied Eric, the Swedish general, in this expedition, 
was appointed bishop of the country, and zealously com- 
menced the propagation of the Christian faith ; but the 
violent measures which he used to compel the Finns to 
renounce their idols, produced an insurrection against the 
invaders, and Henry, falling a victim to the animosity of the 
inhabitants, was assassinated in a tumult, and, being after- 

» One of the longest of their poems Is the Kalevala, a composition half Christian, half 
heathen, relating the history of a mother (evidently intendea for the Virgin) and her 
child, and of which the peculiar Tersiflcation probably gave rise to Longfellow's poem of 
Hiawatha. The following, translated by Alexander Castren, from the Finnish into 
liussian, and by Herr Schrlefen into English, is a specimen :— 
" Wisely' then the sun made answer, 
Well I know thy cliild beloved. 
It was he alone who made me — 
Lets me rush in gold through heaven, 
Lets me beam in silver splendour. 
All the lovely days of summer — 
Tea 1 saw thy son beloved. 
Him thy babe, O thou unhappy I 
In the marsh, up to the girdle. 
To his arms within the heather." 
t The name for the Deity is Yuma with the tribes on the Volga, 
j In the saga of St. Olaf, while relating the battle of Stiklestadt, the bard says— " 
" The king himself now proved the power 
Of Flnn-foli£'8 cralt In magic hour." 
II Fritcliara'8 "Nat. Hist of Man," 


■w^ards canonized, has since been made the patron saint of 
Finland. Both before and after his death, great cruelties 
were inflicted upon the unfortunate people ; all who refused 
baptism being mercilessly put to death by fire and sword j 
and, though they were ultimately compelled by persecution to 
profess the Christian faith, they still remain very supersti- 
tious.* In the middle ages, the word Finn was synonymous 
with that of sorcerer, and it was generally believed that this 
people had a particular intercourse with the devil ; "f and at 
all times they have been celebrated for their conjurers, who 
act precisely in the same manner as the Angehoks in Green- 
land, and the Shamans among the northern Tartars of 
Siberia.^ Abo, the capital of Finland till 1827, when its 
destruction by fire caused the seat of government to be 
removed to the modern port of Helsingfors, a well-built city 
guarded by the strong fortress of Sveaborg, was founded about 
the twelfth century, and during the middle ages suflfered 
severely five times from fire, besides in 1509 being sacked and 
almost totally destroyed by the Danes. It is built upon a 
promontory between the gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, and, 
before they were transferred to its rival, contained a univer- 
sity, museum, and library, besides several other public edifices; 
The greater part of Finland remained in the possession of 
Sweden till 1809, when she was finally subdued by Russia ; 
and her loss was a serious blow to the former power, to 
whom she had always proved a valuable ally. Her soldiers 
distinguished themselves under the banners' of Gustavus 
Adolphus in the Thirty Years' War ; in the days of Tacitus 
she was celebrated for her archers ; and a Finnish regiment 
fought valiantly in the army of William the Third at the 

The name of Russians § is first mentioned in history inr 

» Mllner's " Shores of the Baltic" 

t See " Paradise Lost," where these lines occur — 

•' Follow the iilght-has when, caU'd 
In secret, riding' through the air she comes. 
Lured with the smell of infant blood ; to dunce 
With Lapland witches, while the lab'rlng moon 
Eclipses at their charms."— Milton. 
The Korweeian peasant even now thinks the Lapp and Finn can assume at pleasure 
the shape of animals. 

JPrltchard's "Natural History of Man." 
Lord Macaulay's " History of England."— .Mllner's *' Shores of the Baltic." 
Herbertstein, In 1549, says that the people of Moscow assert that the ancient appella- 
tion of Russia was Rossela, which in Russian means a dispersion. 

Nestor, In his chronicles says, "This name of Russian was given: us hy the Varangians,. 
and betbre that time we were known under tile name of Slaves ; and the Folanlans, who 
were also among the Slaves, had no other language. The name of Polanlans was given 
them ft-om the fields they cultivated, and because they Inhabited thoplalni but they wers 
of Slave origin, and had no other language than ttie Slavon," 


the year 839, when a few who had yisited Constantinople 
with their sovereign, whom the Byzantine chronicles call 
Chacanus (which was probably his title chagcm or kham), ac- 
companied the embassy sent by Theophilus, Emperor of the 
East, to Louis le Debonnaire, King of Trance, the son and 
successor of Charlemagne, in the train and under the protec- 
tion of the pompous ambassador of the Greeks. Some 
historians suppose tiem to have been the descendants of the 
Roxolani, who invaded Moesia a.d. 70, and defeated two 
Roman cohorts when Adrian made peace with their Mng, 
but who were subsequently driven to the north, where the 
geographer of Ravenna, a.d. 886, places them in the vicinity 
of Novogorod (the Russians having founded a kingdom 
there before that period), and consider them to have been a 
Slavonic or Sarmatic tribe ; but the Russians are mentioned 
by Constantine Porphyrogenitus* as being a distinct people 
from the Slavonians, and in his time speaking a different 
language.t According to Levesque they are descended from 
the Huns,t but assumed the name and language of their 
Slavonic conquerors, who were undoubtedly the descendants 
of the Sai-matians ; and the traditions of Sweden maintain, 
that the Huns anciently formed a powerful monarchy in 
Russia, which they relate was then very densely peopled, 
far more so than at the present day. It is certain that after 
^;he death of Attila, when his followers were driven back upon 
the plains of Scythia, the Slavonians were also expelled by 
the Goths from the shores of the Danube, having been forced 
by the Huns to the extreme north and south-west of Rus- 
sia, and spreading over Sarmatia, or Western Scythia, they 
were scattered -and divided into many tribes and nations, the 
principal of whom were the Poles, under their chief, Lech, 
from whose name they were anciently called Lechi ; the 
Drevlians, who derived their appellation from the woods and 
forests among which they dwelt in Volhynia, and the 
Krivitches, who founded the city and fortress of Smolensko. 
According to some authors, the Russians were so designated 

' * In his map, lie gives the Russian and Slavonic names for the cataracts on the Dnieper 
t Some authors suppose that the Slavonians possessed a written language in these 
ancient times, prior to tliat now in use among them, hut there appears to be very little 
uround for sucn an idea. In tlie year 1781, several manuscripts were lound at Novogorod 
■in a very perfect state; but although they were communicated to several academies, 
they have never been explained. They were written in the same characters as an 
inscription on a clock In the convent of St. Saba, at Svenigorod, near Moscow— Cam- 


t Lovesqnft's " Hletoire de la Kussle." 


from Eosseia, ■which in their language signifies a dispersion, 
or scattered people ; others, among whom are Herberstein, 
and the Tartar historian, Aboulgasi Baiadonr, Prince of 
Carizme, state from Russus, a brother of the Polish hero 
Lech, while it is also asserted that they received their name 
from the colour of their hair ; and, according to Levesqne, 
the common Oriental traditions afiirm that they were at all 
times a distinct people, having a different origin from any 
otter, and that from time immemorial their habits, manners, 
and language, bore no afiinity to those of any race in 

Towards the early part of the fifth century, that portion 
of the Russian territory that was peopled by the Slavonians, 
became divided into several separate states, of which the 
largest and most important were Novogorod, Smolensko, 
Polotzk, and Kiof. The traditions of the latter city relate, 
that in the middle of the third century, three Sarmatian or 
Slavonian brothers, Kivi, Scieko, and Choranus, came from 
the east, with their sister Libeda, and divided all the south 
of Russia t among them, giving their names to their own 
states. Kivi founded the city of Kiof, and, heading an inroad 
of the Sarmatians upon the eastern empire, penetrated with 
his followers as far as Constantinople, and forced the Em- 
peror Probus to cede a large treasure to the Barbarians, and 
propose terms of peace ; but subsequently, leading another 
expedition into Bulgaria, he was killed in battle, and his 
kingdom, with those of his brothers, destroyed in the fol- 
lowing century by the overwhelming and terrific invasion of 
the Huns. Some idea may be formed. of what this invasion, 
of which we have comparatively so slight record, must have 
been, by the accounts which have descended to us of the 
more recent conquests of the Monguls, and how every vestige 
of civiliization — had there been any to destroy — must have 
been annihilated, and utterly swept away, in their terrific 
and destructive course. They appear to have spread even as 
far as the marshy shores of the north ; but about fifty years 
later, upon their descent into Hungary, and abandonment of 
the wasted steppes of Scythia, the Sarmatians or Slavonians 
wandered back to their old haunts, and a successor of Kivi, 

* The Bussians are mentioned twice In the Koran, and the Greek word 'p«ic, used to 
designate the Bussians, occurs twice In the Septuaglnt, though not In our translatioa— 
Flnlay's " Byzantine Empire."— Lovesque'a " Hfstolre de la BuBsle." 

t Herberstein'B "Kerum Muscovitarum," 


of the same name, rebuilt tie city of Kiof, a.d. 430. It was 
subsequently conquered by Oleg, a warlike and victorious 
prince of Novogorod, in whose possession it remained till his 
death, after which the Chazars subdued the city and state, 
and ruled nearly all the south of Eussia for more than two 
hundred years. 

According to Nestor, the old historian and " Tenerable 
Bede " of Eussia, Novogorod was founded about the same 
time by the Slavonians as the second erection of Kiof. 
Advantageously situated near the confluence of the Volkliof 
with Lake Ilmen, and possessing by Lake Ladoga and the 
Neva a direct communication with the Baltic Sea, some 
writers have supposed that a large Finnish city existed on 
its present site, which idea appears rather to be supported 
by its name Novo Gordo, or New City, pi-evious to the 
irruption of the Slavonians upon the north of Eussia ; and 
some ancient ruins, which till lately were to be seen in the 
neighbourhood of Novogorod, are considered to have been the 
remains of this old and unchronicled capital of the Finns, or 
what possibly may have been a city of the Huns. 

The government was republican, under a chief magistrate 
chosen from among the boyards, and it early attained so 
much power and opulence, from the extensive trade carried 
on by its merchants and nobles, by means of caravans, among 
the Permians, Chazars, and Bulgarians of the Volga, and 
through them with Persia and India, that " who can resist 
the gods, and the great Novogorod ? " was a common proverb 
among the surrounding nations,* and four hundred thousand 
inhabitants are said to have resided within its walls. But 
her territories were encircled by enemies, the adjoining Fin- 
nish or Tchudish tribes, and the Permians, continually in- 
vading the commonwealth, and the treasure which their 
temples were reputed to contain excited the avarice of the 
Scandinavian sea-kings — or Varangian corsairs as they are 
called in the Russian chronicles — who frequently devastated 
their coasts ; and, possessing themselves of the provinces of 
Eevel and Livonia, carried on for many years a perpetual 
war with the neighbouring Slavonic and Finnish nations. 
These pirates hired themselves as mercenary soldiers to the 
highest bidder, and their assistance was often purchased by 

* Levesque's "HlBtoire de la Eussie," 


the Novogorodians against the plundering incursions of their 
other foes, who at length, strengthening themselves by union, 
so imperilled the existence of the republic, whose power had 
been weakened by constant warfare, that Gostromisla, the 
last male descendant of a long line of princes, advised his 
fellow-citizens on his deathbed to nominate his grandson 
Eurik, the prince of the Varangians, his successor as 
chief magistrate of Novogorod, and thus secure the al- 
liance and protection of the Varangians. Eurik, who 
was the son of the Swedish monarch Ludbrat, and his 
queen Oumila, the daughter of Gostromisla, was born at 
TJpsal, A.D. 830;* and in the year 861, responding to the 
invitation of the boyards of Novogorod, accompanied by his 
two brothers Truva and Sineus, and a motley crew of Finnish, 
Slavonic, and Norman adventurers, he sailed with a few ships 
up the Volkhof, and endeavoured to establish himself in the 
city. His claim was disputed, however, by a large majority 
of the inhabitants, who objected to the rule of a foreigner 
and a Varangian, whose followers they considered as mere 
uncivilized depredators, and, refusing them access into their 
town, they closed the gates against him. But, instead of 
returning to his ships, he resorted to arms, and building the 
town of Ladoga,f as head-quarters for his troops, he fortified 
it with a rampart of earth, his brothers also establishing 
themselves within a short distance of the city. The Novo- 
gorodians, assembling in large force, advanced from the town 
under their most able general Vadime, to expel the invaders 
from their inti'euohments ; but being defeated in a desperate 
engagement, their army completely destroyed, and their 
leader slain, Eurik, immediately quitting his stronghold, 
marched upon Novogorod, where the citizens, being without 
a general, and totally disorganized by their defeat, submitted 
to him without further resistance, and placed their govern- 
ment in his hands, A.D. 862. He appointed Sineus to the 
sovereignty of Bielo-Ozero, and Truva to that of Izborsk, 
chief towns in tributary territories, which, on their both 
dying without heirs, he again incorporated with his own 
dominions, and, abolishing the republican form of govern- 
ment, he took the title of Veliki Knez, or Grand Prince. 

• OustrelofTs "History of Russia." 

t The ruins of this castle still exist hi the nelKhbourhooa of Novogorod. The name is 
derived from the Slavonian word lacier, a place of repose Uaupenbauseh. 


He pacified and strengthened his dominions,* and appears to 
have ruled with justice and moderation, reconciling the 
people to his government by adopting the Slavonic language 
and manners, his folio-Wei's taking wives from among that 
nation, and he himself espousing a descendant of the ancient 
ruling family of Novogorod, in order to procure an additional 
claim to the throne ; and, at his death in 878, he was suc- 
ceeded by his son Igor, who being only a year old, Oleg, the 
brother-in-law of Eurik, took upon himself the oflSce of regent. 
The Varangians were not long content with this northern 
extremity of the Slavonic dominions, and the territory of 
Kiof, whose capital is situated, like Rome and Constantinople, 
upon seven hills, with their summits overlooking the broad 
and rapid stream of the Dnieper, was too productive, thickly 
populated, and fertile, to be long overlooked by such daring 
and rapacious freebooters, ever in search of adventure and 
plunder; and who, though accustomed to the frozen and 
tideless waters of the Baltic, and its marshy and inhospitable 
shores, have, wherever the opportunity was afforded by the 
weakness, civil discords, or pusillanimity of those nations 
with whom they have come in contact, established themselves 
in the more favoured and genial atmosphere of the south, 
and in England, France, and the most sunny and fertile pro- 
vinces of Italy, have made their power respected, and their 
vengeance feared, erecting kingdoms and noble houses whose 
descendants are now proud to trace their origin from the rude_ 
and warlike followers of the Varangian sea-kings. Shortly 
after they had occupied Novogbrod, they turned their arms 
towards the rich and grassy plaips upon which Kiof stands, 
and imder the command of Oskold, the stepson of Eurik, and 
Dir, one of his chiefs, drove out the Chazars, who many years 
before had extended their sway over this city and province ; 
and, having firmly established their power over the whole 
territory of Kiof, in 866 made the first warlike descent of 
the Russians upon Constantinople. Taking advantage of 
the temporary absence of the Emperor Michael from the city, 
they sailed with a naval armament of two hundred vessels 
through the Bosphorus, and even occupied the port of Byzan- 
tium, returning to their own country laden with the spoils 

* According to Storch, the empire of Kurik extended over those territories now com- 

Srehendlng the governments ot Revel, Riga, Polotzh, Pskof, Vyborg, St. Petersburg, 
rovogorod, Olonitz, Smolensfco, Archangel, Vladimir, Jaroslaf, Kostremn. and Vologda: 
but Archangel certainly at that period belonged to the Permiana, and Bmolenslto and 
Polotzk were Independent states till subdued by Oleg and Vladimir. 


of the Grecian cities ; thougt a violent storm — according to 
the Greek legends, occasioned by tte intercession of the Virgin 
Mary, a part of whose cloak was preserved by the Byzantines 
as a sacred relic, and carried oiit in procession, at the command 
of their emperor, on his hasty return — compelled them to eva- 
cuate prematurely the harbour and waters of Constantinople.* 
About this time a regular communication was established 
between the Grecian empire and the coasts of the Baltic Sea, 
by the commercial enterprise of the merchants of Novogorod 
and Kiof. A lake and river in summer, and the ice in 
■winter, connecting the former city with the Baltic, she re- 
ceived in her stores all the produce of the north, and trans- 
ported it by canoes to Kiof, where it was accumulated in 
vast magazines till the annual departure of a fleet to Con- 
stantinople, -which usually took place in June. The ships 
sailed down the Dnieper + as far as the thirteen cataracts, J 
whose rocks and rapid falls break the smooth and even 
course of that river, some of which they were enabled to 
cross by simply lightening the cargo, but avoiding the more 
precipitate and formidable by dragging the vessels past 
them overland ; and then, resting on an island below the last 
fall, they held a festival in celebration of their escape from 
the perils of the river, and the attacks of the hostile tribes 
who roamed along its fir-lined shores, before proceeding to 
encounter the more formidable winds and breakers of the 
sea. But, preparatory to crossing the Euxine, the damages 
which their frail barks had sustained in their rough passage 
over land and water, were repaired on a second island near 
the mouth of the river, and with a fair wind a few favour- 
able days would moor them in the harbour of Constantinople. 
The Russian canoes, which consisted of a single tree hollowed 
out, and this narrow foundation raised and extended on every 
side by planks, till it had attained the desired height and 
length, were laden with slaves of every age (the Eitssians 

» Adclallcil account of the attnck upon Constantinople by Oskold and Dir, is plven by 
the Greelc hLstorians, Zonaras, Ccdrenus, Constantine, Porphyrogenitua, and tlie patri- 
archs Photius and Ignatius, the two latter being eyewitnesses. Piiotius says, ^'Not 
only have the Bulgarians come over to the Christian faith, but also the nation of tlie 
Russians, who, proud of their success lately, even exalted tixemselves atfainst the Greelt 
empire, but are beginning to exchange the impurities of heatlienism for the pure and 
orthodox doctrines of Christianity." The Bussian chronicles also mention tiiat the em- 
peror, under whose reign the expedition was undertaiten, persuaded them, after the 
conclusion of peace, to become Christians. — Biaclimore's " Noles to Mouravieffs Church 
of Russia." Gibbon's "Decline and Fail of the Koman Empire." 

t The Dnieper was anciently called Borysthenes, from the Scythian or Slavonic words 
6or, a pine forest, and stena, a wall: the shores of that river being lined with vast forests 
of fir. — Levesque's " Histolre do la Russle." 

t Thirteen are marlied in the map of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, of which he glve^ 
the Slavonic and Kusslan names. 


being in great demand as soldiers at Constantinople), hides, 
furs, amber from tbe Baltic shores, honey and bees' wax ; and 
they returned at stated seasons with a rich cargo of com, oil, 
■wine, the manufactures of Greece, the embroidery of Persia, 
and the spices and ebony of the Indian Isles. A company 
of Eussian merchants settled at Constantinople, and in the 
principal provincial cities and towns of the Greek Empire, 
for trading purposes, and the treaties formed between the 
two nations protected their persons, effects, and privileges. 
But the marvellous accounts which themerchants and sailors 
who accompanied the fleets in these commercial enterprises, 
carried home, of the wealth and magnificence of Constan- 
tinople, excited the desire of their countrymen for a larger 
supply than their comparatively scanty trade afforded, and, 
in the space of a hundred and ninety years, four naval ex- 
peditions were undertaken by the Russians to plunder the 
treasures of the Greek capital.* 

The Christian religion appears to have been first trans- 
ported to Kief in the expedition .of Oskold, who with many 
of his followers, on his return from his hostile enterprise 
against Constantinople, embraced Christianity ; and Con- 
stantine Porphyrogenitus and other Greek historians relate, 
that during the lifetime of ^that prince a bishop was sent by 
the Emperor Basil the Macedonian, and St. Ignatius the 
patriarch of Byzantium, to Kiof, who made many converts, 
chiefly in consequence of the miraculous preservation of a 
volume of the Gospels, which remained unconsumed when 
thrown into the midst of flames by the unbelievers, and the 
Metropolitan of Russia appears in the catalogue of prelates 
subject to the Byzantine patriarchs as early as the year 
891.t In the reign of Igor, a church of the prophet Blias 

♦ Gibbon's " Decline and Fall of the Boman Empire." 

t Tbe Russians have a tradition that St. Andrew preached in their country. Herber- 
stein, in his " Rerum Muscoviticarum Commentarii," saj's : — "The Russians openly boast 
in their annals, that before tbe times of Viadimir and Oleg, the land of Russia was bap- 
tized and blessed by Andrew, the apostle Of Christ, who came, as they assert, tlrora 
Greece to the moutii of the Dnieper, and sailed up the river against the stream, as far as 
the mountains where Kiof now stands, and there blessed and baptized all tlie country ; 
that lie planted his cross there, and preached the great grace of God, foretelling that the 
churches of the Christians would be numerous; that then he went to the sources of the 
Dnieper, to tiie great luko Vololt, and descended by the river Lovat to lalte limen, and 
thence passed by the river Votcher, which flows out of the same iaite to Novogorod ; 
thence by the same river to lake Ladoga, and by the river Neva to the sea, whlch'they call 
Varetsgkai, but which we call the German Sea (the Baltic), between Finland and Livonia, 
and so sailed to Rome. Finally, that ho was crucffied for Christ's sake in the Pelopeu- 
nessus by Antipater." 

Mouravieff, in his " History of the Russian Church," quotes the old chronicler, Kestor, 
wlio says— St. Andrew, penetrating up the Dnieper into the deserts of Scythia, planted 
the first cross on the hills of Kiof, and said to his followers, "See you these hills? On 
tliese hiils shall shine tbe light of divine grace. There shall be here a great city, aud 
God shall have in it many cliurehea to his name."— Mmiravlefi's " Church of Hussia." 


is mentioned as existing at Kiof, wtere the Christian Varan- 
gians swore to the observance of the treaty, formed by the 
Eussian prince and his people, with the ambassadors of Con- 
stantinople, and the catacombs and caves of the Pechersky 
monastery at Kiof are supposed to have been excavated by 

In 879, the year following the death of Eurik, Oleg, the 
regent of Novogorod, assembling a large army from among 
all the numerous tribes who peopled his dominions, and 
accompanied by the infant prince Igor, marched against 
Smolensko, the capital of the Krivitohes, a Slavonic tribe 
by whom it had been founded about the same time as Novo- 
gorod, having overrun and swept away all the smaller towns 
and villages that studded the plains between the two cities. 
He subjected Smolensko to his sway, and embarking his 
followers in a fl«et of the small and precarious vessels used 
in the commerce of Novogorod, which he had compelled her 
merchants to supply, and caused to be transported with his 
army overland till he reached the shores of the Dnieper, a 
little to the north of Smolensko, he sailed down the river 
and arrived before Kiof. There, leaving his ships, he dis- 
guised himself as a Novogorod merchant, and, entering the 
town, professed to have arrived with a fleet of trading vessels, 
paying a .visit alone and on foot to the pa;lace of the grand 
prince, whom he induced -to accompany him, with merely a 
few courtiers and attendants, to inspect his fleet and goods. 
As soon as the deluded Oskold had arrived on the banks of 
the river, the Novogorodians leaping from their barks seized 
upon the unfortunate prince, whom they instantly murdered, 
and Oleg, forcing his way into the city at their head, took 
possession of the whole province, and removed the seat of his 
government to Kiof, its nearer proximity to Constantinople, 
and the superiority of its climate and soil, with its central 
position, giving it a great advantage over his own capital. 
He subdued or won over to his authority many of the 
Slavonic and Lithuanian tribes, whose allegiance had hitherto 
been exacted by the Chazars, and commanded the Severians 
and Raditnitsches, two Caucasian nations,* to desist from 
paying their customary tribute to that people, and reconciled 
the Kiovians to his government by relaxing the severity of 
the laws, and reducing the taxes. After reigning some years 

• Wagner's" Caucasus." 


ia Kiof, he resigned tlie government to Igor till liis return, 
and, fitting out an expedition for the invasion of Constan- 
tinople, in the year 904 he sailed to the entrance of the 
Bosphorus, where the Greeks, who were prepared to resist 
him, had raised a strong barrier of arms and fortifications to 
defend the passage ; but, avoiding this, he caused his ships 
to be dragged across the land, and arrived before Constan- 
tinople, where, hanging his shield as a trophy over the gates, 
he marched with his warriors into the capital. Completely 
taken by surprise, the Greeks, astonished and alarmed at the 
unexpected manner in which the savage chieftain had over- 
come the formidable obstruction they had erected to oppose 
him, fondly supposing that it would prove insurmountable 
to barbarians, with whom the art of engineering, as practised 
by them, was unknown, proposed to negotiate with the in- 
vaders, and concluded an immediate truce. While the 
strangers remained in the city, the Emperor Leo gave a 
banquet to the Russian prince and his soldiers, at which he 
attempted to rid himself of his troublesome enemies through 
the cowardly medium of poison ; but the attempt failing, the 
Byzantine monarch was obliged to accept an ignominious 
peace, and ransom the city from destruction. The terms of 
the treaty bound Leo to pay a tribute to every vessel belong- 
ing to Oleg, and to remit all taxes and duties upon Russian 
merchants trading in the Greek empire. The grand prince 
returned with his fleet adorned with silken sails to Barf, and 
after a few years formed a new treaty with Constantinople, 
for the security of the lives and fortunes of the Russian 
traders, in which it was agreed that the goods of a Russian 
dying without testament, in the dominions of the emperor 
of Constantinople, should be transmitted to his heirs in 
Russia, and, if bequeathed by will, should be forwarded to 
the legatees ; that, if a Russian killed a Greek, or a Greek a 
Russian, the assassin should be put to death on the spot where 
the crime was committed ; or, if the murderer had effected his 
escape, his fortune was to be adjudged to the nearest heir of 
the murdered, a provision being made for the wife of the 
criminal. It was also provided that, for striking another 
with a sword or any other weapon, a fine of three litres of 
gold should be exacted from the offender ; and that a thief, 
Greek or Russian, caught in the fact, might be put to death 
with impunity ; but, if he should be seized, the stolen goods 


were to be restored, and the criminal condemned to pay 
thrice their value.* 

Although Oleg was only regent of the empire, yet he 
governed in his own person for thirty-four years, and Igor 
did not succeed to his father's throne till the death of his 
guardian, which took place in 913, from the eflfeots of a 
serpent's bite, the reptile, according to the chronicles of 
Nestor, having crept into the skull of a favourite horse, 
which diviners had predicted, five years before, would be the 
cause of its master's death. On hearing that the animal was 
dead, which, since the fatal prophecy he had ceased to mount, 
Oleg visited the body, and placing his foot on the head, 
exclaimed, " So this is the dreaded animal ! " when the ser- 
pent suddenly darting out, inflicted upon his foot a mortal 

Igor, who was at this time thirty-eight years of age, spent 
the greater part of his reign in g^uelling the disturbances 
that arose in various parts of his dominions. He defeated 
and drove back the Petchenegans, a Tartar nation whose 
tei-ritory lay on the north of the Caspian sea, and who 
advanced against Kiof in great force ; and subdued the 
Drevlians, who peopled the modern province of Volhynia, 
and were the last of the Slavonic tribes to abandon their 
wandering mode of life, having then but recently settled 
down in towns and villages. After encountering an ob- 
stinate resistance of three years, he also reduced to submission 
the Uglitches ; a nation whose territory lay on the shores of 
the Dnieper, and had asserted its independence, and passed 
the first twenty-eight years of his reign in almost constant 
warfere. But having succeeded in restoring tranquillity to 
his states, the grand prince was urgently importuned by his 
chiefs and soldiers to follow the example of his predecessor, 
and endeavour to reimburse his country for the losses it had 
sustained in these civil wars, by plundering the riches and trea- 
sures of the wealthy Grecian cities. This advice agreed too well 
with his own ambition and avarice to be rejected or disregard- 
ed; and in 941 he equipped a fleet for the invasion of Con- 
stantinople, with which he advanced into the Black Sea, while 
the naval powers of the empire were employed in a war with 
the Saracens ; and after devastating the provinces of Pontus, 
Paphlagonia, and Bithynia, entered the Bosphorus. But 

»Karamsln'3 History of Russia." , t Chronicles of Nestor. 



-the Greeks, who were now aware of the real strength and 
pertinacity of their northern adversary, prepared energetically 
to resist this sudden inroad, and fitting out every remaining 
vessel and galley that was not employed on foreign service 
with an unusually abundant supply of the tenible fire,* that 
they always used in their warlike operations, and whose 
flames no water would allay, poured it from every side of 
their ships upon the enemy, sinking and destroying two- 
thirds of his canoes.j Many thousands of Russians, to avoid 
being burned, sprang into the sea, where the greater number 
perished in the waves ; others, who were captured, were 
beheaded by order of the emperor, and the rest were in- 
humanly murdered by the Thracian peasants as they 
attempted to gain the shore. The remaining vessels escaping 
into shallow water, Igor returned with them to Kiof, where, 
recruiting his forces by alliance with the Petchenegans, his 
foi-mer foes, he prepared another expedition for the following 
spring, with which he hoped to retrieve his losses and accom- 
plish his revenge. But the Greeks, anxious to avert the 
calamities of another Russian invasion, and not willing to 
encounter the chance of defeat from an infuriated and vin- 
dictive adversary, offered to revive the treaty that the Greek 
■emperor had been forced by Oleg to accept, and pay to Igor 
the tribute which his more successful predecessor had exacted 
for each of his vessels ; terms that, after some hesitation, were 
accepted by the Russian prince. J " In these naval hos- 

♦ The composition of tlie Greek lire, wliicli was so extensively used in tiie wars ot 
Byzantium, being ttie most formidable implement of defence possessed by the Greelts, 
and occasionally lent by tiieir emperors to tlieir allies, was considered as a state secret ot 
the utmost importance, and for nearly four centuries it was unlinown to the Mahometans, 
but, being discovered by the Saracens, they used it in repelling the Crusaders and over- 
powering the Greeiss. One of its urincipal ingredients is supposed to have been naphtha, 
or the bitumen wliicli is collected on tne shores of the Dead Sea, and when Ignited it 
was scarcely possible to quench it, wat«r having no efTect. In sieges it was poured from 
the ramparts, or launched like onr bombs in redhot balls of stone or iron, or was darted 

-In flax tw^ted roraid arrows and javelins. It produced a thick smoke and loud explosion, 
and is thus described by the crusader Joinville—" It came flying tlirough the air like a 
winged dragon, about the thickness of a hogshead, witli the reoort of thunder and the 
speed of lightning, and the darkness of the night was dispelled by this horrible illumina- 
tion."— Couni Robert of Paris. 
+ Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 
J In this treaty, according to Nestor, It was stipulated that " the Russian princes are 

. not in future to have any troops in the country of Kherson (the peninsula of Uherson in 
the Crimea), or in any of the towns that are dependent on it, still less to make war with 

. this country, and to endeavour to conquer it. But ifthe Russian prince requires aid, we, 
■the Caesar, promise to ftirnish it, to replace under his authority those of tlie sun-ounding 
countries wliich have thrown it off. And if the Russians meet at the mouth of the 
Dnieper Khersonian fishermen, they shall not injure them, and they shall not have the 
right to winter at the mouth of the Dnieper, nor at Bielo B^ie (Berlslat). but at the 
approach of autumn they shall retvirn to their own country, into Russia. If the Black 
Bulgarians attack the country of Kherson, we recommend the Russian prince to drive 
them back, and not to allow them to disturb the peace."— H. D. Seymour's " Russia on 

■ the Black Sea," &C. 

This treaty proves that the Russians had been troublesome to the Greek towns of the 
Crimea, even at tbat early period. 


till ties," says Gibbon, " every disadvantage was on tlie side 
of tLie Greeks ; tlieir savage enemy afforded no mercy, his 
poverty promised no spoil ; his impenetrable retreat de- 
prived the conquerors of the hopes of revenge ; and the pride 
or weakness of empire, indulged an opinion that no honour 
could be gained or lost in the intercourse with barbarians. 
At first their demands were high and inadmissible, three 
pounds of gold for each soldier or mariner of the fleet ; the 
Russian youth adhered to the design of conquest, but the 
counsels of moderation were recommended by the hoary sages. 
" Be content," they said, " with the liberal offers of Csesar ; 
is it not far better to obtain, without a, combat, the possession 
of gold, silver, silks, and all the objects of our desires ? Are 
we sure of victory ? Can we conclude a treaty with the sea ? 
We do not tread on the land ; we float on the abyss of 
water, and a common death hangs over our heads." The 
memory of these arctic fleets that seemed to descend from the 
Polar circle left a deep impression of terror on the imperial 
city. By the vulgar of every rank it was asserted and 
believed, that an equestrian statue in the square of Taurus 
was secretly inscribed with a prophecy, how the Russians 
in the last days should become masters of Constantinople."* 
Four years after his return to Kiof, Igor set out on a 
journey among the Drevlians, to enforce the payment of their 
tribute. He had already loaded them with heavy exactions, 
and provoked them at length to resistance by demanding 
double the ordinary amount. At a council they held among 
themselves, they decided no longer to submit to his tyranny 
and oppression. " This prince," said they, " is a mere wolf, 
who will steal the sheep one by one till he has destroyed the 
whole flock ; he must be assassinated."f They stationed an 
ambuscade in a wood, through which he and his retinue 
would probably pass, near a town called Korosten, on the 
river TJscha, and there waylaid and murdered him. His 
death took place in 945, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, 
and he was buried near the spot where he fell ; a kurgam or 
tumulus, according to the ancient Scythian and Slavonian 
custom, being raised over his tomb. J He married Olga, or 
Precasna as she is called in the Russian chronicles, which 

• Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Koman Empire." 

t Karamsin's " History of Russia." , ^ 

t Tatischeffsays, that In 1710 he himself saw the knrgam, or sepulchre of the grana 
prince, Igor.— Flnkerton's "Kussla." 


signifies very beaiifciful, and by whom he bad one son, Syiatoz- 
laf. She was born in a village called Sibout, about eight miles 
from Pleskof, and was originally the daughter of a ferryman, 
or, as some historians relate, of a" reduced boyard, and de- 
scended from the ancient Chagans of Russia. Igor met her 
first accidentally in a wood while hunting, and, being struck 
with her great beauty, elevated her to share his throne ; and 
in the year 603 their marriage was celebrated with great 
ceremony and feasting in the temple of Peroun at Pleskof.* 
On receiving the news of her husband's "murder she assumed 
the reins of government in Kiof, and, i-esolving to avenge 
tenfold the assassination of the ^and prince, an opportunity 
was not long in presenting itself.; for, shortly after her 
accession, Male or Maldittus, the prince of the Drevlians, 
sent an embassy to her conrt to solicit her hand in maixiage. 
She barbarously caused all the deputation to be buried alive, 
despatching messengers of her own to their country, saying, 
if the inhabitants wished her to be their princess and mis- 
tress, they must send her a larger number of wooers ; and 
then, ordering the new envoys to be scalded to death, imme- 
diately set out, accompanied by a large retinue, to the land of 
the Drevlians, before intelligence of the cruel fate of their 
countrymen c&uld by any means have reached their province. 
Arrived there, she professed to ^comply with the proposals of 
the prince, whom she invited to a banquet with his principal 
nobles and chiefs ; and in the midst of theirepast,twhen they 
•were nearly all intoxicated with .wine, they were suddenly 
massacred by the armed Russian attendantsof Olga, who had 
..previously given her servants instructions to that eflFect ; and 
her army pillaged and ravaged the country, reducing the 
:town of Korosten,! the scene of the murder of Igor, to ashes, 
and, finally, subjugating the province and annexing it to her 
•own kingdom. 

On her return to .Kiof, Olga -devoted her energies and 
resources to the.improvement of Russia, and the promotion 
of the welfare-and prosperity of its people : she made a tour 
round her dominions, and, during her progress, caused bridges 
to be built, and roads to be constructed, encouraging com- 
mercial enterprise, and attempting to increase and facilitate 
the internal communication of the country. She founded 

* PlnUerton's " Eussla." 

■t Korosteu oocuplea the site of llie moaern.ftborosk, in Volhj-nla. 

THE rnraa, nussLUfs, etc. 77 

many towns and villages,, and appears to liave been deservedly 
loved by the nation, whom she governed with justice and 
moderation, and by whom she was long held in esteem and 
respect. In the year 955, during a period of profound peace 
in her dominions, she abdicated the throne ; and, accompanied 
by numerous attendants, sailed from Kiof to visit the 
•Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus at Constantinople,, 
where she was received by the Byzantine sovereign with the 
greatest magnificence, and the polished and learned CiBsar- 
himself appears to have been much impressed by the unusual 
intelligence and information possessed by his singular guest.. 
The object of her journey appears to have been to obtain a 
more complete knowledge of the" practice and doctrines of the 
Christian religion, whose votaries she had always protected ^ 
in Kiof; for, shortly after her arrival in the Grecian capital, 
she embraced Christianity, and was baptized by the patriarch 
Polyceutes in the cathedral of St. Sophia in Constantinople — 
her example being followed by her uncle, thirty-four ladies, 
and twenty-two officers of her suite, two interpi'eters, and 
thirty-four Russian merchants, who composed her retinue, 
the emperor himself standing as her sponsor, and presenting 
her with many valuable and splendid gifts.* After her 
return to Kiof she firmly persi-sted in her new religion, and 
laboured assiduously to propagate it in her dominions, tra- 
velling to her native village of Sibout, and to Pleskof, for 
the purpose of instructing the inhabitants ; but her exertions 
did not meet with much success, both her family and nation 
obstinately adheringto their ancient faith. She built several 
churches, and many Greek missionaries settled in the empire, 
no attempt being made by the people to destroy the Christian- 
religion by persecution, it rather being treated with ridicule 
and contempt ; but her example appears to have made somO' 
impression upon them, and many of the Russian traders fioms 
Constantinople, who bad been struck with the magnificent 
churches of the Greeks, the splendour of their ceremonies, 
and the solemnity of their services, compared it, on their 
return home, with the idol worship and cruel religious rites 
of their own country, and in many instances professed the 
Christian faith. This was more ■ especially the case in the 
city and province of Novogorod ; where tradition asserts that, 

* Some authors say that the Greek emperor made the Grand Trlncess an, ofiCer ot. 
naarriage„ but there aiipears to be no fauu(Ution,for this story^ 


even during the life of Olga, tie hermits Sergius and Ger- 
manus lived upon the desolate island of Balaam in Lake 
Ladoga, and that from thence St. Abramins went to preach 
to the wild and barbarous inhabitants of Rostoff.* 

Olga, who ranks as a saint in the Russian calendar, and 
whom their chronicles compare to the sixn, "for as the sun 
illuminates the world, so she illuminated Russia with the 
faith of Christ," died fourteen years after her conversion, in 
967, at the advanced age of eighty-five ; she had been suc- 
ceeded, on her abdication, by h'er son Sviatozlaf, whom all her 
endeavours had failed to instruct in either the Christian 
religion or her own enlightened views of legislation and 
government. After her death she was buried in a spot 
which she had herself chosen, by a Greek priest named 
Gregory, who had accompanied her from Constantinople, 
though her bones were afterwards removed by her great 
grandson Jaroslaf, and interred in the Church of the Tithes 
at Kiof J and, in fulfilment of her last request, none of the 
pagan games and other ceremonies called Trezni, usually 
performed in Russia over the graves of persons of distinction, 
were permitted to be celebrated over her tomb.t 

It is uncertain at what period coined money was first 
generally used in Russia, but some pieces which were cast 
about this period are still preserved in Novogorod, bearing 
the impression of a man on horseback.| The coin called 
grivna is mentioned for the first time in the Russian annals 
in 971, when, during a famine, a horse's head was sold for 
half a grivna ; and the name appears to have been applied not 
only to the coin, which was worth a pound's weight of silver, 
but to the pound weight itself, and to the sum of fifty cunes, 
the latter being a coin of stamped skin or leather, of which 
the current value was a marten's skin, the taxes being usually 
paid in furs. 

At this 'time, while the sovereigns principally resided at 
Kiof, Novogorod, their northern capital, was increasing, and 

■* Moura-vieff's "^Church of Russia." + jbid. 

t According to Sir Jerome Horsey, this stamp had Its origin In an event which appears 
to be the same as thirt related by Herodotus with regard to the Scythian slaves " The 
masters," says lie, "were the only soldiers, as the discipline of those countries is • and in 
ancient times, having gone to fight against the Tartars, their slaves took possession of their 
houses, lands, and wealth. On their return, they perceived the self-emancipated bonds- 
men all assembled in battle array befoi-e the city walls: and, considering it beneath their 
dignity to use weapons of war in opposing so Ignoble offenders, each raised his whip In a 
menacing attitude, and by thus recalling to their recollection their former servitude so 
alarmed the slaves that they precipitately fled, and fioin that time. In remembrance of 
thl3 easy victory, the cohi of Novogorod bore a man on horseback raising his whip " 


had again become an immense and important city. It was 
divided into five distinct towns, each of which was sur- 
rounded by a stone wall, defended by towers and ramparts, 
where a large body of archers and spearmen were continually 
mounted for its defence. The population amounted to about 
half a million of inhabitants. 


(garopj rtt t^c ^iivtl^ Ciretnrg— f iarmala«ir— i^j Crinua. 

A bundred realms appear, 
Xakes, forests, cities, plains, extending wide, 
Tlie pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride. 


The graves 
Of empires beave, but like some passmg waves. 


The period of the ninth century forms an important era 
in the historical annals of Europe ;* for it 'witnessed the 
foundation of a settled monarchy and regular government in 
most of her kingdoms and states, and the popes firit began 
to acquire that great ascendency which tliey afterwards 
exercised, not only as spiritual advisers, but as political 
arbiters of the continent. The Roman empire, weakened as 
it had become by the licentiousness and corruption of its 
rulers, the luxury and riches of its higher classes,- and the 
absolute slavery of the lower, had been tmable to repel the 
barbarian hordes who successively ravaged its territories and 
conquered its far-spread and unprotected provinces, and had 



840. Charles the B.nld. 

834. Kenneth IL 

802. NlcephorusI, 

877. Louis 11., le B^gue. 

8.14. Donald V. 

8U. Michael I. 

879. Garloman. 

859. Constantiue IL 

8i3. Leo V. the Armenian. 

884. (Jhailes II. the Fat. 

674. Ethus. 

820. Michael II. 

888. Eudes 

876. Gregory. 

829. Theopfiilus Logothetes. 

898. Charles IIL the Simple. 

894. Donald VX 

842. Michael III. 

867. Bazill.theMacedouian. 



886. Leo VL 

800. Charlemagne. 

825. Eegnar LodbrOG:. 

814.' Louis le Debonnaire. 

lieigDS uncertain. 


840. Lothairp. 

827. Egbert. 

85,5. Louis II. 


837. Etheln-oir. 

875. Charles the Bald. 

824 Harab?e2 L 

857. Ethelbald. 

878. Louis lU. 

SaO. Ordogno. 

8150. Ethelbert. 

879. Charles 111 

862. Alfonso IIL 

865. Ethelred. 

887. Arnold. 

872. Alfred the Great. 

899. Louis IV. 


816. Stephen V. 



817. Pascal L 

801. Godefried. 

842. Plast,acountry peasant. 

824. EugeniusIL 

809. OlatL 

861. Zemevltu?. 

827. Valenlinns, 

811. Hemming. 

892. Lescus IV. 

828 Gregory if. 

812. .Siw.arU. 

844. Sergius IL 

811. Harold. 


847. Leo IV. 

819. Slwardir. 


85.5. Benedict IIL 

856. Eric I. 

862. Eurlk. 

858. Nicholas 1. tlie Great. 

86H. Eric II. 

878. Oleg. 

872. John VIIL Pope Joan. 

878. Oanute L 

832. Martin IL 


884. Adrian IIL 


819. Congallus IIL 

8S.5. Stoplien VL 


824. Dougal. 

891. Fermasus. 

814. Louis I.,loDeboDiia!ie. 

SSL Alpine. 

896. Boniface YL 


feeeu forced to recall its legions from the colonies ■which they' 
held in subjection, to assist in defending the very walls of 
their own capital ; so that, released from the thraldom of the 
Roman soldiers, the tributary nations one by one rendered 
themselves independent of the debased and degenerate Rome, 
who in 4.76 became the vassal, where once she had been the 
mistress, of the Greek empire, and remained for many years 
beneath her yoke. In 726 she released herself from the 
dominion of the Byzantine emperors, and became entirely 
subject to her Papal rulers, under whom for a time her 
ancient glory again revived ; when kings trembled at the 
thunders of the Vatican, and princes and nobles made pil- 
grimages to her shrines. 

In England, the stormy Heptarchy ceased to exist in 827, 
when the seven crowns were united on the head of Egbert ; 
and the century was concluded by the memorable reign of 
Alfred, the greatest of its Saxon monarchs, who, delivering 
his country from its foreign oppressors, devoted his energies 
to the encouragement of learning, the promotion of com- 
mercial enterprise, and the formation of just and equitable 
laws ; and whose grateful countrymen may reasonably 
consider as the founder of their nation's greatness, by the 
exertions which he made to establish that bulwark and chief 
strength of the British power, the navy ; and, by turning their 
attention to discoveries on the ocean, first gave an impulse to 
that spirit which has since gained for them the empire of 
the sea.- 

The fair and long-haired Franks, who, issuing from the 
dense forests of Germany, crossed the Rhine under their 
leader Pharamond, giving to France its modern appellation, 
and, according to thfeir historical traditions, the race of 
Merovingian kings, can hardly be said to have established 
that kingdom, or a settled government, till the reign of 
Charlemagne in 7G7, her sovereigns having, in the first 
instance, been mere military chiefs or leaders, whose power 
spread over a very small portion of the present country, and 
whose names were unknown beyond the narrow confines of 
their own domains. These were succeeded by a dynasty of 
rois faineants, whose mayors of the palace, the virtual rulers 
of the kingdom, first gained for it by their victories extent 
and fame, and extinguished for ever the hopes and endea- 
vours of its Saracen invaders to establish their dominion and 


faitt in iiorth--westem Europe, by the signal defeat inflicted 
upon the infidels by the most celebrated of the maires du 
pcdais, Charles Martel, who, assisted by his gallant army of 
Franks, gained the decisive and sanguinary field of Tours. 

Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, furnished in their sea- 
kings that dreaded race of pirates, who, coveting the superior 
wealth of their more peaceful and settled neighbours, and 
preferring the adventurous lives of corsairs to the cultivation 
of the laborious arts of peace in their own inhospitable lands, 
harassed all the surrounding coasts by continual invasion in 
search of plunder ; and who, under the name of Varangians, 
in 864, have been mentioned as overthrowing the republic, 
and founding the kingdom of Novogorod. A band of these 
warriors, leaving Russia, afterwards became the bulwark and 
most trusted guard of the later Byzantine Caesars ; while 
their Scandinavian kinsmen, in 905, wrested from France 
the extensive and fertile province of Normandy, and placed 
their chiefs upon the throne of England ; and, in 1080, a 
colony of these Northmen took possession of Sicily and the 
southern part of Italy, establishing the kingdom of Naples, 
under their leader, Roger I. 

Prussia, which was peopled by a branch of the Lithuanian 
race, who, following the course of the Visttila, had settled 
round its month on the borders of the Baltic, maintained till 
several centuries later its savage independence, idolatry, and 
primitive manners, though several attempts had been made 
to convert the inhabitants by the neighbouring states of 
Germany and Poland. It was conquered in 1230 by the 
Teutonic knights, who at length compelled them by force to 
embrace Christianity. 

The German empire dates its commencement from the 
victorious Charlemagne, who, having annexed it to France 
in the year 800, caused himself to be crowned Emperor of the 
West at Rome, and added a second head to the eagle which 
represented the imperial power, to denote that the empires 
of Rome and Germany were united in him ; but his suc- 
cessors inherited neither his political prudence nor military 
and legislative skill ; his dominions v,-ere divided by his 
descendants ; and, in 912, the princes and nobles of Germany 
asserting their independence, their country became separated 
from that of France under the first native emperor Conrad, 
whose successors were henceforth elected to fill the throne 


by a grand confederation of the princes, barons, and knights 
of the German empire. 

The republic of Venice was founded in 803, the city having 
been built in tbs fifth century on seventy-two islands in the 
Adriatic Sea, by a colony of Italians, who, flying from the 
town of Aquila on the approach of the barbarous hosts of 
Attila, took refuge on those barren and desert rocks ; where 
their industry and talent erected a rich and beautiful town, 
and their extensive and enterprising trade, subsequently 
established the greatest commercial state of the Middle Ages. 
The history of Poland, which was peopled by the Sarma- 
tian or Slavonic race, may be included in that of Eussia, 
from the earliest ages to the fourth or fifth century of the 
Christian era, when it continues very obscure till the con- 
version of its duke, Mieczyslav I., in 965, on the occasion of 
his marriage with the daughter of the king of Hungary, a 
Christian prince ; and at that time her sovereigns ac- 
knowledged — at least for a part of their lands — the suzerainty 
of the German empire, and took a part in its wars and diets. 
A daughter of Mieczyslav married Sweyn, king of Denmark, 
and was mother of Canute, the Danish conqueror of England ; 
and his successor, Boleslaf, after a long war with the emperor, 
Henry II. of Germany, for the possession of Bohemia, added 
Silesia and Moravia to his kingdom, and absolved himself 
from his feudal obligations to the empire. He assumed the 
title of king of Poland, and died in 1025."* 

At this period the Greek empire, though already a decay- 
ing power, was the chief seat of learning and science in 
Europe, and there the cultivation of the polite arts and 
literature was sustained, during a period that may well be 
termed the dark ages in the other nations of the continent ; 
and " it should appear," says Gibbon, " that Russia might 
have derived an early and rapid improvement from her pecu- 
liar connection with the church and state of Constantinople, 
which in that age so justly despised the ignorance of the 
Latins. But the Byzantine empire was servile, solitary, and 
verging to a hasty decline ; after the fall of Kiof, the naviga- 
tion of the Borysthenes, was forgotten ; the great princes of 
Vladimir and Moscow were separated from the sea, and 
Christendom and the divided monarchy was oppressed by the 
ignorance and blindness of Tartar servitude."t 

* Krasinskl's "History of Poland." tGlbbon's "Deollne and Fall of tlio Roman Empire"! 


The kingdom of Biarmaland, so celebrated in the sagaSj 
and in all the traditions of the north, during the early middle 
agfes of European history,, comprehended the modern pro- 
vinces of Permia and Archangel, from the banks of the 
Onega and Dana, to the borders of the gloomy peaks of the 
Ural chain. This was the country of the Biarmi, visited and 
described by Ottar, the old Danish captain, to King Alfred, 
and who, ia his voyage along the coast of Scandinavia, 
examined the distant shores of the White Sea, and found 
there a peaceful and civilized people, living in well-built 
villages and cities, and cultivating theground with industry 
and success. They appeared to him to speak the same lan- 
guage as the Finns,* who inhabited the north of Sweden, and 
were a very savage and primitive tribe. At that time, there 
existed on the Dwina a large commercial town called Sigtem 
or Birca,t frequented during the summer by traders from 
Scandinavia, where the Biarmi sold to the northmen, not 
only peltry, salt, and iron, the produce of their country, but 
likewise Indian wares, which came to them by caravans 
through the medium of the Chazars and Bulgarians, and 
across the Caspian Sea in the barks of the Persians. Tzordyn, 
or Great Perm, was, according to Strahlenberg, a great mart 
at that early period, and appears to have been frequented by 
merchants from Asia and all parts of Eastern Europe. In 
that region numerous ruins of fortresses and tombs still 
remain ; " and," says Pritchard, " an unquestionable voucher 
for the real existence of an ancient trade with the east, are 
the great numbers of eastern coins which have been discovered 
in tombs, and in other places through the whole extent of 
this country, from the lakes Ladoga and Onega to the Dwina. 
These coins, which have been carefully examined by many 
antiquarians in Germany and in Eussia, are pieces of silver 
money belonging to chaliffs and other eastern princes, who 
reigned before the year 1000 of the Christian era, and many 
of them are silver Persian coins of the kind used by the 
Arabs before the year 695, when the Arabian or Saracen 
money was first cast. Prom these facts, M. Frahn and other 
learned men have inferred that a great traffic was carried on 
during the middle ages through the eastern parts of Europe, 

• The Lapps. 

t Ad quain statlonem (Blrcam oppianm Gothorum in medio Sveoniaa posltum), quffl 
tutlssima est in mariti'mis Sveortiie feglonlbus, solent Uanoniin. Slavomm, atque Sem- 
brorum norves aliique Scytliiaj poi)aU i>ro dlvcrsis commerciorutu necessitatibus taolleuiter 
conrenlre.— Adam ub Bimui^. 


between the northern coast, then inhabited by Scandinavian 
and Finnish races, and the countries near the Eiixine and the 
Caspian, which the arts and the refinement of Southern Asia 
had recently penetrated."* 

The Arab writers also speak of a far distant kingdom to 
the west of the Upper Volga, and three months' journey fi'om 
the land of the Bulgarians ; where the summer had no night 
and the winter no day, and where the frost was so bitter, that 
those who came from that country brought with them, even 
in the summer, a cold severe enough to kill all trees and 
plants ; " for which reason," an old historian observes, " many 
nations forbid them to enter their territovies."+ 

The celebrated annual fair of Nisni Novogorod J is sup- 
posed to have been held at Makarief, in the neighbourhood 
of that town, from whence it has been removed only within 
the last few years from the most remote times ; and it 
appears probable that merchants from every country of Asia, 
and even traders from Western .Europe, occasionally resorted 
to barter their wares in its markets ; coins of the Saxon kings 
of England have been found between lake Ladoga and Per- 
mia, and many fragments of English pottery have been 
excavated in the district and government of Orenburg. 

In the Scandinavian saga of St. Olaf, there is an account of 
an expedition undertaken by two sea-kings, Karl and Gun- 
stein, round the North 'Cape to Biarmaland, on the coast of 
the White Sea, where, after trading for skins at the mouth of 
the Dwina, in the town of Birca, near where Archangel now 
stands, they proceeded after the fair to plunder the temple 
and idol of Yomala,|| the principal deity of all the Finnish 
tribes ; they took a cup of silver coins that rested on his knee, 
a gold ornament from round his neck, and then robbed the 
graves of the chiefs who were interred there of the treasures 
and jewels which their tombs contained ; and, bearing away 
every article of value, they retired to the protection of their 
own ships. § Many similar attempts appear to have been 
made by the avaricious Northmen to pillage the wealth and 

• Pritchard's " Natnrnl History of Man." 

+ Strlnnham'8 '* Wlkingszligu Staatsverfasaung und Sillen des nlten Scandlnavler." 

X For an account of this fair, sec Hill's " Siberia," Oliphant's " Sliorcs ol the Black Sea, " 
Cuatlne's " HIstoIre de la lluBsi^" and many other works on Russia. 

II According to the annals of the Norsemen, the Idol was so studded with, jewels that It 
cast a radiance all around ; upon Its head was a golden crown set with twelve precious 
stones, and round its neck a collar which In value amounted to three huiidred marics In 
gold, and a dress which outweighed the lading of three of the richest slilps that ever 
navigated the Grecian seas. 

§ Laing's" Sca-fcingsof Norway." 


merchandise that the trade and industry of the Biarmi had 
accumulated in their towns ; and, about the ninth century, 
the sea-kings formed a settlement on Kolmogri, an island 
near the mouth of the Dwina, where a monasteiy was after- 
wards erected in the thirteenth or fourteenth century by 
the Novogorodians, when under their general, Stephen, who 
was subsequently flayed alive by the inhabitants, they con- 
quered and converted the flourishing kingdom of Biarmaland. 
In the tenth century Eric, the son of Harald Harfaager, king 
of Norway, sailed with a fleet into the White Sea, and land- 
ing on its shores, as the sagas relate, fought many a battle 
and won many a victory. His son, Harald Greyskin, several 
years later, also penetrated into the country, burning and 
destroying all the cultivated fields and villages that lay near 
his route ; and totally defeating the Biarmi, with terrible 
slaughter, in a great battle on the banks of the Dwina, he 
withdrew from their land, after spreading waste and desola- 
tion far and wide.* A Scandinavian skald of the time, Glurn 
Giwsen, celebrates this foray in the following song : — 

'* I saw the liero Harald cliase, 
With bloody sword, Binrme'3 race; 
They fly before him, throufth the night, 
All by their burning city's light, 
On Dwina's banks, at Harald's word, 
Across the storm of spear and sword. 
In such a wild war-cruise as this. 
Great would he be who could bring peace." f 

According to evidence collected by MuUer, the province of 
Permia was conquered in the twelfth century by the before- 
mentioned St. Stephen Fermeki, a Russian of Novogorod, 
who invented the Permian alphabet, and founded a monastery 
at the mouth of the river Wym. The people of Permia are 
described by Everard Ysbrandt Ides,J in the account of his 
journey through Siberia in the year 1692^ when he observes 
that they " speak a language resembling that of the Livo- 
nians|| near Germany, for some of his retinue, who understood 
that tongue, could comprehend a great part of what these 
people said." He mentions their capital as being a very 
great city, inhabited by merchants and artificers in silver, 
copper, and bone, and surrounded by salt-pits ; but remarks 
that the natives of the province do not live in towns, but 
mostly in small villages built in the. woods, and adds tha^ 
the country terminates in a forest. " The stature and habits 

♦Laing's "Sea-kings of Norway." flbid 

J He was a Dane, sent by Peter the Great as ambassador to China. 

11 The Licfl or Finns, who inhabit the province of Livouia. 


of these people," says he, " are not different from those of the 
Eussian peasantry. They all live by agriculture, except 
those employed in the manufacture of fiirs. They pay tribute 
to his czarish majesty, but are under no waywode, choosing 
judges among themselves. They are all Christians of the 
Greek Churcla."* 

The most ancient inhabitants of the Crimea of whom we 
have any record, were the Cimmerians, a Celtic tribe, who, 
being driven from thence by the Scythians, retired to the 
Danube ; and the latter having been expelled from the north 
of Persia by Mnus, king of Assyria, took possession of all 
the country which bears, their name. A remnant of the 
Cimmerians, taking refuge in the mountainous regions of the 
Crimea, they were afterwards known by the name of Tauri, 
and to these people are attributed the excavation of the 
numerous caverns in the rock at Inkerman.t About seven- 
teen hundred years before the Christian era, an Amazonian 
queen led her warriors beyond the Don, and established in 
Taurida th« worship of Mars and Diana, at whose altars the 
savage Tauri sacrificed every stranger who landed on their 
shores, or fell into their hands ; f and where Iphigenia had 
been appoiated a priestess, when rescued by Orestes and 
Pylades.!!" In the sixth century before Christ, the- Greeks 
formed a colony in the Crimea,§ and built there Panticapoeum 
or Bosphorus, where Kertch now stands, and Theodosia or 
Kafia ; and the Heracleots of the Euxine, with a colony from 
Asia Minor, about the same period founded Chereon, the 
name of the Heracleotic Chersonese, given by the Greeks to 
the peninsula on which that town was situated, being derived 
from them. The commerce of the Greek settlers soon 
became very flourishing ; they built cities and temples, and 

* Pritchard's "'Natural History of Man." 

t This name Is derived from Iriy and' kerman, a castle Keuilly's "Travels In the 


t H. D. Seymour, In hia "Russia on the Black Sea," Ac., considers that the Euxine and 
tile Crimea were the scene of tlie adventures of Ulysses In the Odyssey,.froin wliich lie 
quotes a passage, which he supposes to be a description of the harbour of Bulaklava, it 
beuig, as he states, a most exact picture : — 

"■ Within a long recess, a bay there lies 
Edged round with cliffs, high pointed to the skies. 
The jutting shores, that swell on either side, 
Contract its mouth, and break the rusiiing tide. 

From thence we cllmb'd a point, whose airy brow 
Commands the prospect of the plains tieiow." 

Pope's " Homer's Odyssey," 6. 10, v. 101. 

I) See story of "Iphigenia," in the History of Greece. 

§The famousMiltiades, the hero of Marathon, was for some time governor of the Greek 
colonics in the Crimea, or " Tauric Chersonese." 


introduced to the Crimea the arts and dvilization of Greece ; 
and at one time, as Demosthenes informs us in his oration 
against Leptines, Athens annually imported from the Crimea 
between thi-ee hundred thousand and four hundred thousand 
mediums or bushels of grain. In the year 480 B.C., the 
Thracians, driving the Scythians from the peninsula of 
Kertch, established at Bosphorus a monarchical state,* but 
three hundred years later, a tribe of Sarmatians or Saurematse, 
originally of Media, overran the Crimea, and, in conjunction 
with the Tauri of the mountains, invaded Bosphorus and 
Chetson, levying enormous contributions upon the linhabi- 
tanta. From that time they continually harassed and 
ravaged these provinces till the year ;8i B.C., when the 
■whole of the Crimea was subdued by the arms of the king of 
Pontus, Mithridates the Great, who established at Pantica- 
pceum the capital of his kingdom, and drove the Saurematas 
into Soythia.f About sixteen years after, Mithridates having 
been defeated by Pompey, after a long war with the Eomans, 
his son Phamaces rebelled against him, and incited the army 
to revolt against their sovereign ; and the king, finding him- 
self besieged in his capital, put an -end to his own 'life "by 
poison ; | while the Eomans ceded his territory to Phamaces, 
except the town of Fanagoria, which tthey erected into a 
republic, as a reward to the citizens for having been the first 
to desert their unfortunate monarchi|| 

About the year a.d. 62, the Alans, a Sarmatic tribe, -pene- 
trated into the Crimea, and forced the kings. of the Bosphorus 
to pay them tribute. Their dominion 'lasted nearly a hundred 
and fifty years, when they in their turn were supplanted 'by 
the Goths, and it was under the rule of the latter people, 

* The series ofGreekklnsrs of Hie Bosphorus, from rc.(480 toB.o. 304, wereArchiCiii- 
actidffi, 480; Spartacus I., "^SS ; Seleucus, 431; a reign ot twenty years, but the name of 
the king unknown,; Satyrus I., )407; Leucon, 393; SpartacusII., 353; Parysades, 348; 
Satyrus II., 310; Enmaius, 309; Spartacus III., 804. They were styled Archaantidse 
from the founder of their dynasty, and- claimed descentrfrom Neoptolemas, who, on the 
death of his father Achilles In the Ti-ojan war, is said to have emigrated to these coasts. 
Demosthenes, in one of his orations, alludes to Theodosia as being then one of the most 
famous cities In the world ; and Leucon, during a scarcity lu Greece, sent a hundred 
thousand mediums of corn as a present to the Athenians. 

t Reuiliy's " Crimea." 

i A curious tradition prevails in .Sweden, to the effect that Mithridates, Instead of com- 
mitting suicide, as the Roman historians relate, took refuge with his followers In Scan- 
dinavia, where, under the name of Odin, his exploits and valour procured for him the 
adoration of the primitive and savage people among whom he resided; and where, having 
been long regarded as the chief deity of their mythology, his fame has descended to pos- 
terity as their most ancient national hero. 

II The ruins and tumuli of the Crimen, afford an ample Bold for the researches and 
speculations of the antiquarian, and several of the artificial mounds that abound in the 
vicinity of Kertch have been excavated by the Russian government, and have been found 
to contain the bodies, ornaments, and trappings, of what are supposed to have been tho 
Scythian and Bosphorean kings, and some appear to have heen constructed several hun- 
dred years before the Christian' era. 


during the reigns of Dioolesian and Constantine, that Chris- 
tianity "was introduced into the country, of which they 
remained in possession longer than any other people ; and it 
retained its name of Gothia for more than a thoxisand years, 
almost to the end of the sixteenth century.* Several 
bishoprics were erected at Cherson, Bosphorus, and among 
the Goths on the borders of the Black Sea, whose Scythian 
shores were now crowned with neat and populous villages, 
surrounded with fertile and well-cultivated fields ; but in the 
year 357, the peaceful and industrious Goths were forced to 
submit to the overwhelming hordes of the Huns, who burned 
and destroyed all their corn-fields, orchards, and habitations, 
and finally drove the whole nation from the steppes of Scythia. 
They, however, still held their dwellings among the mountains 
in the Crimea, and in the peninsula of Kertch, together with 
the remnants of the Alans and Tauri, where they maintained 
their dynasty of Christian kings ; and, being again threatened 
by the Huns on the death of Attila, they implored the assis- 
tance of the Greek emperor, who built walls to protect their 
country against the nomades of the steppes, and two fortresses 
at Alouchta and Orsouf, on the southern coast. But in the 
early part of the fifth century, the kingdom of Bosphorus 
was entirely abolished, though the mountain Goths retained 
the fortress of Mangoup Kale for another thousand years ; 
and in 464 the Crimea was invaded by the Bulgarians, who 
remained masters of the countiy till 6T9, when they were 
conquered by the Avars and Chazars, who also subdued the 
Goths of Mangoup Kal6, the Tauri, and the well-fortified 
and defended Gireek towns. The Chazars or Kazars, who 
were driven by the Huns to the north of the Caucasus, are 
first described by the Greek writers in 626, when one of 
their hordes transported their tents from the shores of the 
Volga to the mountains of Georgia, on the invitation of the 
Greek emperor Heraclius, to assist him in the war he was 
carrying on against Persia.t Their territory was frequently 

* H. D. Seymour's "Ros^h on the Black Sea," Ac. 

t *^ Bcraclius received them In the neighbourhood ofTlfll'', and the khan and his nobles 
dismounted Irora their horses, if we may credit the Greeks, to adore the purple of the 
Cassar. Such voluntary homape and important aid were entitled to the warmest 
acknowledgments; and the emperor, taking oiT his own diadem, placed it on the heiid of 
the Turkish prince, whom he saluted with a tender embrace, and tlie appellation of son. 
After a sumptuous banquet he presented Tiebel with the plate and ornaments, the gold, 
the g;em9, and the silk, which hud been used at the imperial table, and with his own Iiand 
distributed rich jewels and earrings to ills new allies. In a secret interview, lie produced 
the portrait of ids daughter Eudocla, condescended to flatter the barbarian with tlie 
promise of a fair and august bride, obtained an immediate succour of forty thousand horse, 
and negotiated a strong diversion of the Turkish arms on tlie side of the Oxus. 

"Eudocla was afterwards sent to her Turkish husband, but the news of his death 
stopped her journey."— Gibbon's " Decline and I'all of the Roman Empire." 



invaded by the Patzinaks or Petchenegans, another Tartar 
nation, who, towards the latter end of the ninth century, 
invaded the Crimea, and afterwards settled down near the 
mouth of the Dnieper ; they carried on an extensive trade 
and correspondence with Constantinople, and their empire 
lasted about a hundred and fifty years, when they were at- 
tacjced and vanquished by the Comans or Polotzi, another 
Tartar tribe, who took possession of the Crimea, made Soudak 
(Soldaya) their capital, and forced the Petchenegans to retire 
to their ancient homes, in the Asiatic deserts. In the 
southern and mountainous districts of the Crimea, upon an 
elevated limestone rock, with walls resting on the very edge 
of the precipice, and overlooking the rich and beautiful 
valley of Jehosaphat, stands the town or rather fortress of 
Tchoufut Kal6,* the central position and principal settle- 
ment of the Karaite sect of the Jews,+ and which is probably 
the only town in the world which that people can call 
exclusively their own, and which is ruled and governed by 
their own municipal laws.J According to their own tradi- 
tions, they entered the Crimea before the Christian era ; and, 
coming from Assyria, where they had been carried in the 
captivity, all being descended, as they assert, from the tribe 
of Judah, they selected for their residence the summit of 
these steep and lofty crags, on account, so their legends 
aiSrm, of the resemblance of its situation to that of Jeru- 
salem. They differ from the rest of their nation, by whom 
they are regarded as heretics and schismatics, in not receiving 
the doctiines of the Talmud, which was probably composed 
since their departure from Judsea ; and their synagogue at 
Tchoufut Kal6 is supposed to be at least a thousand years 
old, one of their tombs outside the town bearing the inscrip- 
tion A.D. 640. A few of the same sect still linger around 
the broken walls of Jerusalem, where they assemble every 
Friday, to mourn together the departed glory of the ancient 
city ; and a considerable number are scattered among the 
towns and villages of Eussia and Poland, having emigrated 
to the latter country when the Mongoils invaded Taurida, 

* Ollplianf's "Russia and the Black Sea." 

i The name is said, Dy Elcliter, to l)o derived i'rom .Kara and rt«, werds signifying in 
Arabic, blaclt dog — ^Olipliant's "Russian Siiores ol the Biaclt.Sea." 

t "Tiioy enjoyed considerable priviieges under the I'artar rule, and were exempted 
ftom some contributions that were imposed on the Greeiis and Armenians, which, they 
assert, was on account of services formerly rendered to the Tartar lilians; but, according 
to Peysonnei, a Jewish doctor obtained them for his countrymen as a reward, for curing 
a princess of tire royal I'amiiy/— H. D. Seymour's " Russia on the Black Sea," Ac. 


and deprived them for a time of their rocky and mountainous 
retreat j but all in every land look to the Crimea, where 
they are respected even by their Eussian masters for their 
extreme probity and upright dealing, as their proper home, 
and to the rabbi of Tchoufut Kal6 as the highest ecclesiastical 
authority of their church ; and all desire that their remains 
may lie with those of their forefathers, in the cemetery 
spreading over the valley beneath its hoary walls.* 

In 840, the Emperor Theophilus of Constantinople erected 
the Crimea into a province under the name of Cherson, and 
united with it the Greek towns on the Kuban ; and in the 
middle of the tenth century it still remained a part of the 
Greek empire, and was used as a place of banishment for the 
political offenders of the state. lu the year 842 he built a 
fortress, and established a trading colony at Sarkel,t on the 
shores of the Don, J which brought Byzantium into connec- 
tion with the Petchenegans and the kingdom of the Khazars, 
though the latter had already given an empress to the im- 
perial throne. 

* "All devout Karaites, scattered through the Crimea, when Increasing infirmities warn 
them of approaching dissolution, are brought hither to die."— Olipliant'a " itusslau Shores 
of the Black Sea." 

+ Now Bielaveja, near Tcherkask, the capital of the Don Cossacks. 

t Finlay's **Bj'zautiQe Empire." 


To us 'tia equal, nil we ask is -war 
While yet we tailc, or but an instant shun 
Tlie fight, our glorious work remains undone, 
£et every Greek who sees my spear coufound. 

roll on the Greeks, they drive in flrin array.— Pope's "Homer's Iliad," 

In the year 955, before feommencing her journey to Con- 
stantinople, the Grand Princess Olga formally resigned her 
throne and government iato the hands of her son, S'viatozlaf 
Igorovitz,* ■who was at that time about thirty-five years old. 

Upon her return to Kioj^ after having received baptism at 
the hands of the Greek patriarch in the cathedral of St.. 
Sophia at Constantinople, she endeavoured by argument and 
entreaty, assisted by the persuasive eloquence of the Greek 
priests who accompanied her, to induce her son to follow her 
example, and renounce the errors of the pagan faith ; but 
though he forbore to persecute all the professors of Chris- 
tianity, wh&m, throughout his reign, he aiUowed freely to 
practise all the rites and ceremonies of their religion, and 
confided to his mother the care and education of his children 
during his numerous military campaigns, all her efforts for 
his conversion were unavailing ; for he remained a firm be- 
liever in the idolatry and cruel worship of his country, con- 
sidering that the Christian religion, which he identified with 
the splendour and luxury of the Greeks, caused nations and 
men to become degenerate, cowardly, and efieminate. Con- 
temning and despising all the arts of civilization, and even 
the common comforts of life, he discouraged and discon- 
tinued all the improvements of his mother, and attempted to 
revive in Russia the savage customs, primitive manners, and 
wandering, roving habits of his ancestors, the barbarovis 

* Ovitz or ovitclt is the Basslan for "son," and it is the custom in Russia for a son 
always to talie his father's name added to liis own ; ovna or evjia is " daughter," and la 
added to her father's name by a daughter, as Anna IvanoTua, Anna the dautsbter of John. 


and unsettled Slavonians. Sliortly after his Recession hp 
abandoned his palace at Kiof, and dismissing his body-guard 
and personal attendants, formed a large standing army, 
recruited from among the most savage tribes in his dominions, 
•with whom he encamped upon an open plain outside the 
capital ; and, abolishing all the distiactions of convenience, 
recognised no other rank than that afforded by superior 
military skill and valour. Neither huts, npr tents, nor any- 
other covering than the open air, was permitted among his 
soldiers, who were devotedly attached to their prince, and 
whose privations and danger he equally shared ; at night, 
wrapped in a bear-skin, with his head resting on his saddle, 
he always slept upon the bare ground, and never allowed his 
frugal meals to consist of any other food than a scanty supply 
of meat, which was often horseflesh broiled or roasted upon 
the coals, and the coarsest roots or grain. The simple and 
hardy life, and few requirements to which he acpustomed his 
army, with the strict discipline which he maintained, enabled 
him to lead his troops to distant countries, and engage with 
an enemy in the field whose battalions were far more 
numerous, and whose arms and equipments were far superior 
to the wooden javelins, bows, and slings, wjiich formed the 
sole implements of war in use among the Eussians ; and, 
unencumbered by baggage, his marches and impetuous attacks 
surprised the fancied security of his foes before they were 
aware of the neighbourhood of his troops, op bad time to 
prepare any adequate means of defence. 

The nation against which he first turned his arms was 
the kingdom of the Chazars, on the southern shores of the 
"Volga, who had been lately compelled to relinquish their 
territory to the north of the Crijnea, and at the mouth of 
the Dnieper, to the restless and unsettled Petchenegan tribes, 
and whose power was now very inferior to that which it had 
been when they subjugated Kiof, and threatened the inde- 
pendence of the Greek empire. About the year 9fa^, 
Sviatozlaf penetrated into their provinces, and, advancing on 
the plains extending to the north of the Caucasian mountains, 
he defeated the Chaznr armies in a pitched battle, marched 
upon their capital Belansher, which he took by storm, to- 
gether with the fort of Belaia Vess, whose defences had 
been constructed by Greek engineers to form a protection to 
the wealthy and populous city ; and, having besieged and 


carried Tamartargas, a Ghazar town in the modem peninsula 
of Taman, on the Crimean Bosphorus, which he called Trun- 
toracan, he ultimately compelled the whole kingdom to sub- 
mit to his arms and acknowledge his authority. He then 
invaded the Caucasian province of Suania, and took possession 
of the western Caucasus, which the Eussians retained from 
that time for a hundred and fifty years. 

In the year 966, the European provinces of the Byzantine 
empire being threatened by an invasion of the Hungarians, 
Nicephorus, the Greek emperor, sent to solicit the assistance 
of Peter, king of Bulgaria, to prevent their passage of the 
Danube. Upon the refusal of this prince to agree with the 
demand, as he had himself lately concluded an alliance with 
Hungary, Nicephorus sent Kalohyres, the son of the governor 
of Cherson, as ambassador to Kiof, to propose to Sviatozlaf 
that the Riissians should invade Bulgaria, and, at the same 
time, the Greek envoy presented the Grand Prince with 
fifteen hundred pounds of gold to defray the expenses of the 
expedition. " The high position," says Finlay, in his Byzan- 
tine empire, " occupied by the court of Kiof in the tenth 
century, is attested by the style with which it was addressed 
by the court of Constantinople. The golden bulls of the 
Bioman emperor of the East, addressed to the Prince of Rus- 
sia, were ornamented with a pendant seal equal in size to a 
double solidus, like those addressed to the kings of France." 

But Kalohyres, on his arrival at Kiof, turned traitor to his 
sovereign, and, proclaiming himself emperor, negotiated for 
the support of the Russians in obtaining his own elevation 
to the throne of Byzantium. Sviatozlaf eagerly accepted the 
proposal, and, promptly availing himself of the opportunity 
thus offered of approaching a step nearer to Constantinople, 
the ultimate object of his ambition, led an army across the 
flat and marshy fields of Wallachia to the banks of the 
Danube, whose pestilential shores, nearly nine hundred years 
later, proved so fatal to the invading forces of Russia. He 
crossed the river in 968, and defeated the Biilgarians in a 
furious engagement ; and the king dying shortly after, he 
possessed himseK of Presthlava, the capital, and ultimately 
rendered himself master of the whole kingdom. But he was 
soon forced to abandon his new conquest, by the receipt of 
alarming intelligence from Kiof. The Petchenegans, taking 
advantage of the absence of the Grand Prince with neai-ly the 


whole army, to revenge themselves on the Russians for the 
losses they had formerly sustained from them, had advanced 
upon Kiof in great force after desolating the surrounding 
country ; and, laying siege to the capital where the Grand 
Princess Olga and the sons of Sviatozlaf were residing, it was 
soon involved in all the miseries of famine. But their 
triumph was not of long duration ; for Pritich, a Russian 
general, collecting a brave, though small and undisciplined 
band of his scattered countrymen, marched speedily to the 
succour of the city, and, arriving on the opposite bank of the 
Dnieper, crossed the river in the night. He then instructed 
his soldiers to fill the air with their shouts, and the sound of 
their trumpets ; on hearing which the enemy was seized with 
alarm, and a rumour circulating in their camp, that Sviatozlat 
with his victorious army had approached from the Danube, 
the invaders all fled precipitately from before the town, which 
was entered and relieved by Pritich. He shortly afterwards 
had an interview with Kour, the prince of the Petchenegans, 
when a mutual exchange of courtesies ensued ; and, as proofs 
of their future peace and friendship, the Russian general 
presented the prince with a shield, cuirass, and sword, and 
received from him in retui'n a horse, sabre, and a quiver of 
arrows ; but the Petchenegans had hardly effected their 
retreat from the province of Kiof, before the arrival of 
Sviatozlaf with his whole army, who, on receiving intelli- 
gence of the dangers by which his capital was threatened, 
had immediately evacuated Bulgaria, and hastened to its 
relief. He followed the Petchenegans, and attacked and 
routed their army ; after which he made a treaty with the 
remainder, and allowed them to return in safety to their own 

On the restoration of peace, Sviatozlaf remained for some 
time at Kiof His mother urgently entreated him to abandon 
the Bulgarian war, and he consented to remain in his own 
empire during the rest of her life. " See," said he, " the 
extent of my power and dominions. This is my capital, to 
which from Hungary I bring iron and horses, from Constan- 
tinople silk and gold, from Asia swords and jewels, and from 
Russia honey and slaves. What more can I require?" 
" Then," said she, " I am content to die, bury me wherever 
thou wiltj" and, three days after, she expired. In the 

• Earamsln's " History of Russia." 


meanwhile; tlie Emperor Mcepliorus had coneluded ^n 
alliance with Bulgaria, and assisted Boris and Romanus, the 
sons of Peter, to recover their father's throne ; but a few 
months later he was himself assassinated in his palace at 
Constantinople, by his nephew and general, John Zimisces, 
who immediately assumed the imperial crown.* The second, 
and most formidable invasion of Sviatozlaf took place soon 
after the accession of this prince. He divided his domi- 
nions between his three sons, Yaropolk, Oleg, and Vla- 
dimir,-]- and again marched southwards with an army of 
Eussians, Chazars, and Croats, in all amounting to forty 
thousand men, and, entering Bulgaria about the year 970, 
advanced upon the city of Presthlava or Marcianopolis. He 
took it after a desperate siege, having been several times 
repulsed from its walls by the inhabitants, both sides engag- 
ing with the most reckless courage, and made the king of 
Bulgaria and his family prisoners, though Boris shortly after 
died in captivity. 

Moldavia, Wallachia, and Bulgaria, " the principalities," 
of diplomatic language, have formed for ages the battle-field 
and theatre of contention for all the nations who have alter- 
nately ruled in Constantinople, and the restless and warlike 
tribes of the north. The Scythians and Macedonians, the 
Sarmatians and Romans, the Slavonians and Greeks, the 
Russians and Turks, have all at different times crossed the 
waters of the Danube, and fought for an empire upon its 
shores ; for the rich city of the Bosphonis has formed the 
.splendid goal to the ambition and victories of every con- 
queror in Western Asia during the last thousand years, and 
their inroads upon her ^territories and incessant wars, greatly 
contributed to the fall of the eastern throne of the Osesars, 
when she succumbed at length before the persevering and 
untiring efforts of the OttDman sultan, Mahomet. These 
provinces, which were known as Dacia to the Romans, 
and where they planted a colony, and jealously banished 
some of their most learned and virtuous men, originally 
formed a part of the kingdom of Macedonia, and coins have 
been excavated of as early a period as the reigns of the pre- 

* Finlay's "Byzantine Empire." 

t III Itussian ttiis name is commenced by a letter resembling our &, and taking the third 
place in their alpliabet; but wliicli is pronounced like our v, or the German m. The 
same occurs in.Azov, Moacow, Oczabov, Rostov, words which In Enjiiish are frequently 
but erroneously spelt with a w.— See Major's note to "Herbersteln's^^erMm Jf«BCO- 


<Iecessors of Alexander the Great. Very little is known 
respecting Dacia till the time of its conquest by the Eomana, 
whose invasion, according to Strabo, was opposed by the 
inhabitants with an army of two hundred thousand men. 
They at length yielded to the generals of Tiberius and Tra- 
jan ; and constructed a stone bridge of more than five hun- 
dred fathoms over the Danube, though, on account of an 
inroad of the Sarmatians, it was destroyed by his successor, 
Hadrian. On the decline of the Eoman power, Dacia was 
overrun by the Slavonians and Black Bulgarians, or Huns ; 
and while the latter formed the kingdom to the south of the 
Danube, known by their name, and preserved till the Turkish 
conquest in the fifteenth century a nominal independence ; 
Moldavia and Wallachia became united to Hungary, whose 
princes long took the title of Kings of Hungary, Wallachia, 
and Cumania, the latter name having been applied to Mol- 
davia from the Polotzi or Cumans, who took refuge in this 
province when driven from Russia by the arms of the Mon- 
gul Zingis. These provinces at length solicited the assistance 
of the Ottoman Turks, who, expelling the Hungarians, have 
ever since ruled the country, though the inhabitants retained, 
till the beginning of the eighteenth century, the privilege of 
electing their own hospodars or chiefs. On being then 
deprived of this right, the office was held out for sale to the 
highest bidder, and has generally been filled by Greeks ; and, 
during eighty years, from the middle of the last to the com- 
mencement of the present century, sixty of these princes 
have been deposed, and twenty-five sufiered death by order 
of the * Porte. Such a government was not calculated to 
form either a great or civilized nation ; and in consequence, 
while their country abounds in mineral wealth, and its soil 
produces in abundance, corn, fruits, and timber, with pasture, 
feeding thousands of cattle ; these provinces have long been 
plunged in the lowest depths of degradation, the oppression 
of the foreign rulers and invaders upon the nobles has been 
leciprocated by the latter upon the unfortunate peasantry, 
who, holding their lives, liberties, and possessions at the 
mercy of an enslaved nobility, or of fierce and cruel intruders, 
have been long sunk in miserable poverty and the grossest 
ignorance and apathy. Contenting themselves with wretched 
underground hovels, rags, and almost the spontaneous produce 

♦ Campenhaus.en's "Travels in Moldavia, Wallachia," &c. 


of their fields, which they scarcely scratch with the same rude 
wooden plough that served their predecessors, the ancient 
Dacians ; they care neither to plant nor labour merely to en- 
rich their masters, or feed foreign soldiers ; yet .they still 
proudly claim their descent from the Roman colonists, and 
their uncultivated dialect still recalls the classic language of 
ancient Rome. 

At the time of the invasion of Sviatozlaf, the new em- 
peror, John Zimisces, was engaged in quelling some internal 
disturbances in the eastern provinces of his empire, and the 
Russians crossed the Balkan with little opposition, and be- 
sieged and captured Philopolis. There they received an 
embassy from Zimisces, offering terms of peace, and demanding 
their evacuation of Roumania ; but the Grand Prince sent 
word in reply, that Constantinople might soon expect the 
presence of an enemy and a master. " We will never," said 
he, " quit so fine a country till you have ransomed your towns 
and your prisoners that are now in our power, Greeks ! if 
you refuse these terms and will not pay, leave Europe and 
retire into Asia : you are women, we are men of blood."* 
At the same time he obtained the admiration of his enemies, 
by refusing all the gold, silver, and other gifts which were 
offered him by the nobles of the empire on his progress, who 
desired to conciliate the barbarians ; and they declared that 
this was the kind of king they should wish to serve — one 
who preferred arms to gold, as he accepted no other present 
or ransom than arms or weapons of war, which, constructed 
of well-wrought iron by the skilful Greeks, were far more 
formidable than the wooden shafts and javelins, which, with 
a shirt of hemp chain, arrows, and leathern shields, were the 
sole equipments of his own soldiers and Asiatic allies. 

On receiving the menace of the Russian chief, the emperor, 
in the following spring, 971, took the field at the head of an 
army of fifteen thousand infantry, and thirteen thousand 
cavalry, besides a body guard of chosen troops, called the 
Immortals, and a powerful battery of field and siege engines. 
He also despatched a fleet of three hundred galleys, with 
many smaller vessels, up the Danube, to cut off the commu- 
nication of the Russians with their own country, and, march- 
ing from Adrianople, crossed the Balkan or Heemus. In the 
meanwhile the Russian army had advanced to Arcadiepolis, 

' Babbe'a " History of Russia." 


where one of theii" divisions, being surprised and defeated by 
the Greek general, Bardas Slileros, the remainder again 
returned to Bulgaria, and, on tlie approach of the emperor, 
those troops who were stationed at Presthlava left the city, 
and encountered his forces in the open plain.* After a 
vigorous resistance, the Russians were completely defeated 
by Zimisces, and left eight thousand five hundred of their 
men among the dead ; and a battalion which was intrenched 
in the neighbourhood of Silistria, perceiving that they were 
surrounded and hemmed in by the enemy's cavalry, slew 
themselves with their own swords rather than fall by the 
hands of their foes. " They believe," says Leo the deacon, 
" that he who is slain in battle will in the next world be the 
slave of the man who kills him ; therefore they stab themselves 
when they have no hope of flight or victory, and die persuaded 
that they will at least preserve their freedom in a future 
state." t Two days after, Presthlava was stormed and taken 
by the Greeks, who, setting fire to the royal palace, which 
was fortified as a citadel, eight thousand Russians who de- 
fended it perished in the flames, and the remainder of the 
garrison, consisting of five hundred soldiers, were all put to 
the sword. The traitor, Kalohyres, had succeeded in escaping 
to Dorystolar, or Drissa, where Sviatozlaf had intrenched 
himself with the other half of his troops, and Zimisces, after 
celebrating Easter in Presthlava, and restoring the sons of 
Boris to the Bulgarian throne, followed the Grand Prince, 
and blockaded Drissa both by laud and water, fortifying his 
own encampment with a strong rampart and ditch. Several 
desperate sallies were attempted by the gaiTison, headed by 
Sviatozlaf in person : their suflerings became extreme from 
famine, and at length, after a siege of sixty-five days, the 
Russian chief made one more attempt to cut a passage for 
himself and his soldiers through the enemy's troops. But 
his infantry, greatly reduced by privation, was no match for 
the steel armour-clad cavalry of the Greeks, who were greatly 
assisted by the numerous archers and slingers they had sta- 
tioned under cover in every part of the camp, and who picked 
off the Russians whenever a missile could be discharged 
without danger to their own side. Nevertheless, the battle 
continued all the day, and the Russians fought so valiantly that 
contemporaries ascribe the victory of the emperor's army to 

• Flnlay'a " Byzantine Empire." tRabbo'a "History of Russia." 


tl^e pergonal- sssbtance of St. Theodore, who they affirm led 
the famous charge of the Greeks, that at length broke the 
Eussian phalanx, and proved the superiority of the Christian 
soldiers over the forces of pagan barbarians.'" 
' The morning after this defeat, Sviatozlaf sent an ambassftr 
dor tp the Grecian camp offering terms of peace. Th? 
liberal conditions that he obtained, prove that Zimisces 
considered it imprudent to drive him to extremity or despair, 
and was aware that, if he insisted upon the Evissians laying 
down their arms, it would only lead to their destructipn erf 
Drissa, or a protracted siege arid fresh bloodshed. The em- 
peror was contented with the resignation of all their plunder, 
slaves, and prisoners, and the Hiost sqlemn assurances on the 
part of the Grand Prince to relinquish for ever all hostile de- 
signs against the Grecian empire, or its cplpnies in Georgia and 
Oherson ; and }ie agreed to allow the Russians to descend the 
Danube in their boats, renewing the treaty previpusly fprmed, 
for the regulation of the trade and naval communication be- 
tween their respective empires.t At the same time he distri- 
buted a measure of corn to each of the Russian soldiers, \yhom 
the disasters of the campaign had reduced to less t!i£|,n one half 
of their original force; and %\a peace being concluded in 
July, 971, it was arranged that the following day an inters 
view shoiild take place bet^feen the two opponents.^ 
4-ttended by a large body of guards on horseback, th^ 
emperor rode down to tJie banks of the Danube, clothed 
in glittering armour and on a splendid hoi-se, and meeting 
Sviatozlaf, who arrived by water in a bo^t which h^ 
steered himself with an oar, they conversed for some time, 
while Zimisces remained BQounted on the beach, and the 
Grand Prince, who had approached the shore, continued sitting 
in the stern of his bark. The Greeks all crowded round to 
view the Russian chief, and he is described by Leo the dea,- 
con, who was acquainted with many of those who were 
present, as being of the middle stature, well formed, with a 
broad chest. HLs eyes were small, and almost eclipsed by 
his thick and shaggy brows, his nose flat, and he had no 
beard, but long and thick mustaphes. His hair was cut 
close to his head except two long locks in front ; in his ears 
he wore gold ear-rings, ornamented with a ruby between tvo 

, * Finlay's "Byzantine Empire." 

+ Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 
I rinlay's "Byzautiae Empire.'' 


pearls, and his expression, says the imperial historian, -nfas 
haughty, stem, and fierce.* 

Immediately after this intervie-w, the Grand Prince of 
Russia quitted Drissa with his diminished army, and JZimisees 
placed a strong garrison in the city, and idtimately reduced 
the whole of Bulgaria, which had revolted against the Greeks. 

The Russians embarked upon their fragile barks, and set 
sail towards the mouth of the Dnieper ; but, disappointed and 
frustrated of their once brilliant hopes of conquest, few 
among them were destined to see again the steppes of their 
native land. The weather was stormy, and the wind un- 
favourable to their progress ; their vessels were tossed on the 
rough waves of the Euxine, and a passage which was usually 
made in a few days, now occupied many weeks. At length, 
after a long and perilous Voyage, Sviatozlaf reached the mouth 
of the Dnieper with the remnant of his army ; but the winter 
had set in with unusual rigour, and they were forced to pass 
several dreary months upon the ice. Their provisions being 
exhausted, they suffered the greatest misery from famine, 
and a considerable number of the Russians perished before 
they were enabled to proceed on their journey. But their 
misfortunes were not yet concluded ; for, on the return of 
spring, the Grand Prince having embarked with his remain- 
ing followers upon the river, the Petchenegans with the 
neighbouring tribes, who maintained a constant correspon- 
dence with the Greeks, and by whom they were probably 
instigated to cut off his retreat, and prevent his return to 
Kiof, assembled in great numbers near the cataracts of the 
liver, to dispute the progress of the Russians. The numbers 
and ferocious appearance of their assailants, for the first 
moment struck terror into the hearts of the dispirited and 
half-starved followers of Sviatozlaf; and their prince, seeing 
the panic which was ."spreading through his troops, mounted 
the prow of his vessel and thus addressed his little fleet, as 
their eyes wandered in vain along the banks, in search of 
some more secure spot to disembark : — " Since, O Russians ! 
I see no place in which we can retreat with safety, and as at 
the same time it has never entered into my thoughts to sur- 
render the soil of Russia to our enemies, I am resolved either 
to die or win renown, by fighting bravely against them ; for, 
if we die fighting bravely, our names will be immortal, 

* Finlay's *' B^-zantinc Empire." 


wtereas, if we flee, we shall carry with us eternal disgrace. 
And since it is not possible for one who is surrounded by a 
host of enemies to escape, it is my intention to stand firmly, 
and at all risks to expose myself in the foremost rank for the 
sake of my country." The Eussians, re-animated by the 
determination of their leader, replied to this speech — 
" Wherever thou leadest we will follow," and accompanying 
Sviatozlaf, as he leaped upon the shore, rushed with a furious 
onslaught through the ranks of the enemy; but, in an attempt 
to cut a passage for his army, the Grand Prince was struck 
down by a blow on the head with a javelin, and instantly 
killed, his body being seized and borne off in triumph by the 
foe. At the fall of their once dreaded and formidable oppo- 
nent, all the Petchenegans uttered loud shouts of joy ; and 
their prince caused the skull of the Russian chief to be formed 
into a drinking-cup, and encircled with gold, an inscription 
being placed upon it to this effect — " In the attempt to seize 
the property of others th'ou didst lose thine own." 


"A mighty kInK 
Of ancient days." — Bkadstreet. 

A FEW of the followers of Sviatozlaf, under Svenald, an 
old and higbly esteemed chief in the Grand Prince's army, 
escaping from, the swords of the Petchenegans, made their 
way to Kiof, and entered into the service of Yarapolk, the 
eldest son of Sviatozlaf, who, at the time of his father's 
death, in 972, was twenty-seven years of age. 

This preference, and the influence which he allowed his 
boyards,t and especially Svenald, to exercise over him, 
excited the jealousy and animosity of his brother Oleg, the 
second son of Sviatozlaf, and prince of the Drevlians ; and 
this chief meeting Lutas, the son of Svenald, while engaged 
in hunting, suddenly attacked, and, without any further pro- 
vocation, assassinated him. The indignant father, desiring 
to revenge himself upon the murderer, appealed for justice 
to Yarapolk, and entreated him to declare war against his 
brother and invade his territories ; and the prince, yielding 





976. Bazil 1 L and Constan- 


Ramlri) III. 

tlne IX. 

999. Bolesluf L 

982. Varemund II. 

102fi. Constantlne alone. 


«i)9. Alpiiouse V. 


997. Stephen. 


973. Otho II. VII. 

98.1. Otho III. 


984. Johii XIV. 

1002. Henry IL 

994. Olaf. 

985, John XV. 
9S6. John XVt. 



096. Gregory V. 

974. Edward the Martyr. 

980. Swevn. 

999. Sllyusterir. 

979. Ethelred the Unready. 

1014. Canute the Great 

100:l. John XVII. 
1004. John XVIII. 



inoo. Serglua VI. 

Lothalre III. 

Kennetli III. 

1012. Benedict VIII. 

986. LouU de Faineant. 

994. Constantlne IV. 

987. Hugh Capet. 

906. Grimus. 

996. Roliert 

1004. Malcolm II. 

tBoyard Is an old Slavonic word, still used wlien sneaking of the Eusalan noblllly; 
It la mentioned in tUc Byzantine auuals as early as a.d, 764. 


to the demand of his favourite, immediately marched an 
army from Kiof. Oleg advanced in person to meet the 
enemy; but, after a fierce battle, his forces were compelled to 
fly in confusion, and a bridge, across which he and his fugi- 
tive troops were retreating, breaking down, he was drowned 
in the river, borne under by the multitude of horses and 
soldiers who shared his fate. Yarapolk was overwhelmed 
with remorse upon hearing of this catastrophe, and, finding 
the body of his brother among the slain, gazed upon the 
ghastly countenance, exclaiming, " Svenald, behold the 
accomplishment of thy desire ! " and then with his own 
hands buried him. After the death of their prince, the 
whole of the province submitted to the army of Kiof without 
resistance ; and shortly after, by the advice of his chiefs a;nd 
courtiers, who completely ruled him, Yarapolk was induced . 
to seize upon Novogorod, the possession of his youngest 
brother, Vladimir, and, during his temporaiy absence in 
Scandinavia, dividing the province among the boyards who 
had assisted him with their arms and followers. 

As soon as he had assembled a small band of Varangians* 
to assist him in the recapture of his territories, Vladimir i 
returned to Russia, and, entering Novogorod with his little i 
army, was received with the greatest joy by the people, and ; 
immediately re-established by them upon his throne, wit"hout 
striking a blow. The usurping chiefs, having been surprised 
in their palaces before they were prepared with any resist^.- 
ance, were dismissed by the prince with a message to Yara- 
polk, informing him that, as he had crossed the frontiers of- 
their dominions for hostile purposes, he might expect a visit, 
iu return from the troops of Novogorod. A fresh- cause for, 
contention soon arose between them ; for Vladimir, demand- 
ing in marriage Eogueda, the da,ughter of the Prince of 
Polotzk, a small state on the Dwina, his brother at the same 
time became a suitor for the hand of the princess. Her 
father, Eogvoloda, fearfiil of giving offence to either of the 
two princes, desired his daughter to decide which of the two 
she wotild accept for a husband. She made choice of Yara- 
polk, objecting to Vladimir on account of his mother having 
been a slave, which so enraged him that he invaded Polotzk, 
defeated Rogvoloda in battle, and, taking him and his two 
sons prisoners, put them to death with his own hands, and 

* Swedes or Northmen. * 


forced the princess to become his wife ; then, turning his 
arms against Kiof, with a large force he marched against his 
brother's capital. In this emergency, Yarapolt appealed for 
advice and assistance to one of his chiefs, called Blnde, in 
whose judgment and fidelity he placed great reliance, and 
on whom he had bestowed the highest honours ; but this 
man, being secretly in alliance and correspondence with 
Vladimir, from whom he had received large bribes to bind 
him to his interests, advised his master to &y irom the city, 
instead of attempting to hold it against the enemy, which 
its strong fortifications might have enabled him to do ; and 
then sent information to Yladimir of the various places of 
refuge in which Yarapolk had vainly endeavoured to find a 
shelter. The miserable prince wandered from place to place, 
being continually traced and followed by his vindictive foe, till 
at length starvation, and the inclemency of the weather, induc- 
ed him to determine to throw himself on his brother's mercy; 
but, as he was advancing with that intention, he was encoun- 
tered at the entrance of Kiof by some of the Varangians who 
had been searching for him, with strict orders from Vladimir to 
allow him neither escape nor pardon ; and these slew him with 
their battle-axes in the very sight of his brother, as he looked 
down upon the scene from a tower over the gate. 

Vladimir Sviatozlafovitz was born in Kiof, a.d, 948, and, 
on the partition of his father's domains, received for his share, 
at the request of the inhabitants (bis mother, Malusha, one 
of the ladies of Olga, having been a Novogorodian), the city 
and principality of Novogorod. According to one of the 
Russian chronicles, after having obtained possession of the 
whole empire by the murder of his brother, he took the title 
of Czar,* though it appears to have been not generally 

• According to Knramsin, the title of Czar was used in Itusflia as early as tlie reign of 
Iziasiafll. and Dmitri Donsicoi, (1363—1369.) "Tiiis word," says he, *'ls not ft corrup- 
tion of the Latin Csesar, as some have supposed, but is an Eastern word which the 
Busstans acquired through the Slavonic translation of the Bible, and was bestowed by 
them, first on the fSreeit emperors, and afterwards on the Tartar khans. In Persia it 
signifies 'a throne,' 'supreme authority,' and we find it in the termination of the names 
of the kings of Assyria and Babylon, as in Phalassar, Nabonassar, &c Ivan III. (1462 — 
1472.) was the first grand prince who took the title of Czar, in writing to foreign powers, 
and In his public acts ; he gave to his empire tlie name of White Russia, that is to say, 
preat, or ancient, according to the acceptation of this word in Oriental languages."— 
Kaeamsin, vi. 438. 

Von Hammer, in one of his notes, says, " The title Czar, or Tzar, is an ancient title of 
Asiatic sovereigns. We find an instance of it in the title ' the Schar ' of Gurdistan, and 
in that of Tzarina of the Scythians." . Some authors think it is the same as chagan, or 
khan, from which they also derive the word hieg, or kniag, the Russian for prince, and 
tliat the ancient Scythian kings and the early grand dukes of Russia, were itnown by 
that title. , , 

" Sic uiius (yladimir) rerum Russia! potitus auxlt se tltnlo Tzarls ct magnl duels atqao 
autocratorls Russorum, sedemque ducatQs ^ovognrdiGnsisKioviam transtulit. 

JUS. quoted in the Nates to French translation of Nestor. 



assumed by his successors till the fifteenth century, and 
having adopted the infant son of Yarapolk, who was born 
after the death of his father, as his own child, he compelled 
his brother's widow to become his wife. She had belonged to 
a noble Grecian family in the Eastern empire, and, though 
celebrated equally for her beauty and accomplishments, had 
been early devoted to the cloister ; but her convent having 
been desecrated and plundered by the army of Sviatozlaf, 
she was taken prisoner by that prince, and sent to Kiof, 
where she afterwards became the wife of his eldest son, for 
whom she now exchanged the fierce and cruel Vladimir. 
He shortly afterwards caused Elude, the noble who had 
acted so treacherously towards Yarapolk, to be put to death, 
after entertaining him for three days at his palace, and 
treating him with the greatest honour and magnificence, as a 
reward for his services to himself; though, as a judge, he 
affirmed that he was bound to punish the betrayer and 
deceiver of his prince. 

Although, before the conversion of the Russians to Christi- 
anity, a plurality of wives was common among them, yet the 
second marriage of Vladimir roused the jealousy and indigna- 
tion of Rogueda, the princess of Polotzk, more than even the 
murder of her father and two brothers appears to have done ; 
and she so strongly expressed her resentment, that he expel- 
led her from the palace, and obliged her to reside in a soli- 
tary dwelling, near the capital, where he occasionally visited 

Here she brooded over her wrongs, till she came to the 
determination to revenge them, whenever a favourable 
opportunity should occur, by taking away her husband's life ; 
and, entering his chamber one night while he was sleeping^ 
she seized a dagger from his side, and was about to plunge it 
into his heart, when, suddenly awakening, he arrested her 
arm, and would have put her to instant death had not their 
child rushed in between them, and entreated Yladimir to 
spare his mother's life. His intercession was sxiccessful, for 
the prince, embracing his child, left the house, and afterwards 
bestowed upon Rogueda the principality over which her 
father had formerly ruled.* 

The Varangians, who had assisted Vladimir in recovering 

. 'Karamsin's "History of Eussla." 


his throne and deposing his brother, and who now formed 
his guard and personal retinue, became clamorous in their 
demands for a large and sufficient recompense for the valu- 
able services they had performed. They requested that the 
whole of the province of Kiof might be divided among them ; 
and yiadimir, finding that his, riches were quite insufficient 
to satisfy their avarice and silence their importunity, and 
being anxious to rid himself of these troublesome and over- 
bearing allies, advised them to seek, not a more grateful, but 
a more wealthy master, and transfer their services to the 
emperor of Constantinople, where, instead of furs and skins, 
silk and gold would be the reward of their fidelity. "At the 
same time," says Gibbon, " the Russian prince admonished 
his Byzantine ally to disperse and employ, to recompense 
and restrain, these impetuous children of the north. Con- 
temporary writers have recorded the introduction, name, and 
character of the Varangians ; each day they rose in confi- 
dence and esteem ; the whole body was assembled at Con- 
stantinople to perform the duty of guards, and they preserved 
till the last age of the empire the character of spotless loyalty, 
and the use of the Danish or English tongue. With their 
broad and double-edged battle-axes on their shoulders, they 
attended the Greek emperors to the temple, the senate, and 
the hippodrome ; he slept and feasted under their trusty 
guard ; and the keys of the palace, the treasury, and the 
capital, were held by the firm and faithful hands of the 
Varangians; their strength being recruited by a numerous 
band of their countrymen from England and the Scandina- 
vian countries."* 

During the early part of the reign of Vladimir, Eric, the son 
of Harald, king of Norway, fitted out a fleet and army, and, 
sailing up the Baltic and the Gulf of Finland, landed near 
the spot where St. Petersburg now stands, and advancing on 
the town of Aldeigiaburg,"!- on lake Ladoga, laid waste all 
the country on his route, plundering and slaying the inhabi- 
tants and burning their dwellings. He besieged and captured 
the town, which he destroyed with its castle by fire, spreading 
desolation over all the country round ; and occupying 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 

t This town la supposed to be the same as Notaburg, now Schusaelbarg, wblch Is on an 
island formed by the Keva and the lake* 


altogether five years in tHs foray, -v^hich is thus mentioned 
in the Norwegian Bamda dra/pa* 

" The generous Earl, brave and bold, 
Who scatters his bright shining gold, 
Eric, with fire-scattering hand, 
"Wasted the Eussian monarch's land. 
"With arrow shower, and storm of war. 
Wasted the land ofTValdemar; 
Aldeigia hums, and Eric's might 
Scours, through all Russia by its light." 

In 982, the Bulgariatis from the Volga invaded Eussia, 
but were defeated, and forced to retreat ; and, the following 
year, having also subdued the Yatvagers, a Finnish tribe, 
who up to this period had remained unconquered and inde- 
pendent of Russia, the Grand Prince upon his return to Kidf 
proclaimed a religious festival in honour of the gods, to show 
his gratitude for his various successes j and, according to the 
prevailing customs upon such occasions, lots were cast among 
the people for the choice of a human victim, to be offered up 
as a sacrifice to Peroun, the god of thunder, in the sacred 
fire that was kept perpetually burning before his decorated 
shrine. -f- The proclamation was received with enthusiasm 
by the people, and great preparations were made for the 
ceremony ; but the lot falling upon a young Christian named 
Ivan, whose father Fedor had come from Constantinople and 
settled in Kiof, and the latter refusing to deliver up his son 
as the victim to their mistaken zeal, the people assembled in 
crowds round his house, which they attacked and destroyed, 
the two Varangians perishing amidst the ruins.J These, 
however, according to the Russian historians, were the only 
Christians who suffered persecution for their faith during the 
reign of Vladimir, though at this period he was zealous in 
erecting statues and altars to the pagan deities of his country, 
and exhausted the riches of his palace, and those which he 
had acquired in his foreign wars, by multiplying and adorning 
their temples and images. Rumours of his treasures and mu- 
nificence, the strength of his army, the number of his guards, 
and his military exploits, spread among other nations beyond 
the borders of Russia ; and several European and Asiatic 
sovereigns sent ambassadors to his court to obtain the security 

' * Lalng's " Sea-klnss of Norway." 

t reroun's body was of wood, hi.s head of silver, and cars and mustaches of gold, his 
leps of iron, and in Iiis hand he grasped a thunderbolt adorned with jaspers. 
J Ma. of the late Baton Koseultnmpf, quoted by Bluckmore. 


and assistance of liis alliance and ftiendship. But, about 
this time, misgivings began to fill the mind of Vladimir 
concerning the truth of the pagan worship of his country ; 
and, on his making inquiries of the foreign envoys respect- 
ing the various religious creeds which they professed, the 
surrounding states became ambitious of the honour of con- 
verting so celebrated and powerful a heathen ; and, anxious 
to propagate that religion which they considered the truth in 
the extensive empire of the Czar, they accordingly sent their 
most learned doctors to point out to Vladimir the excellence 
and superiority of their faith. The first ambassadors were from 
Great Bulgaria on the Volga, whose people had been lately 
converted to Mahometanism, but their arguments were with- 
out success ; and he also rejected the Latin Church) which 
was represented by a deputation from Germany, as he did 
not choose to own the domiaation of the Roman pontifi". 
After listening to the reasoning of some Chazarian Jews, he 
inquired from them where their country lay, when the chief 
of the embassy replied — "At Jerusalem, but God in his 
anger has dispersed us through the earth," "What," said 
Vladimir, " do you, who axe the cursed of God; pretend to 
teach others 1 away, we have no wish to be without a country, 
as you are." At length a Greek philosopher presented him- 
self before the Czar, and endeavoured to explain the Old and 
New Testament, relating to him the principal events which 
they contain, and drawing a forcible picture of the last 
judgment, in which he attempted to represent, in glowing 
colours and striking language, the subsequent happiness of 
the blessed, and the punishment and extreme wretchedness of 
the wicked. Impressed with this description, the prince ex- 
claimed — " What bliss for the good, and misery for the 
wicked ! " " Be baptized," replied the Greek, " and heaven 
will be your inheritance." Vladimir dismissed him with 
valuable gifts, but he still hesitated before he made his final 
choice, and sent emissaries to Bulgaria, Germany, and By- 
zantium, to make observations on each religion, on the spot 
where it was professed. The wretched mosques of Bulgaria, 
and the rough and unadorned wooden churches of Germany, 
with their ignorant and unpoUshed people, appeared an un- 
favourable contrast to the splendour and magnificence of the 
Greeks,* whose lofty and decorated temples, and brilliant 

*Karamsin'8 "History of Kussla." 


services, performed by richly clothed priests, and accompanied 
by the beautiful music of the choristers, dazzled and enchanted 
the commissioners from the north ; and, on their return to 
their own land, they made their report before the assembly 
of boyards and elders at Kiof The assistance of this council 
had been required by Vladimir, to aid him in so important a 
selection, and they declared to the Czar, that "if the Greek 
religion had been a bad one, the Princess Olga, who was 
the wisest of mortals, would not have embraced it." This 
argument, and the reports and description which the Russian 
envoys brought him of Constantinople, entirely satisfied him, 
and he resolved that henceforward the faith of Byzantium 
shoiild be the religion of his empire ; * but, too proud to 
receive baptism from the humble priests already established 
at Kiof, or any other than one of the highest dignitaries of 
the Christian Church, and not willing to solicit from the 
Greek emperors the favour of bishops or missionaries to con- 
vert his people ; in order to obtain a sufficient number of 
priests to spread over the whole country, in 987 he led an 
army into the Crimea, and laid siege to the wealthy and 
populous city of Cherson, on the small peninsula known to 
the Greeks as the Heracleotic Chersonesus, not far from the 
present site of Sebastopol. The territory upon which Cher- 
son stood, was divided off from the rest of the Crimea by a 
wall five miles long, extending from the T.chernaya Retchka 
to Balaklava, and the whole of this enclosure was occupied 
by the gardens and villas of the inhabitants of the town, 
whose security was provided for on the land side by a wall 
nearly two miles in length, built of limestone, five or six feet 
thick, its massive strength being further increased by three 
towers, of which the largest, with a guard-house belonging 
to it, defended the principal gate.t The city was blockaded 
for twelve months by the Russian prince, who failed in several 
attempts to take it by storm, when a treacherous Greek, 
named Athanasius, shot an arrow into his camp with an 
inscription upon it bearing this advice : — " Thou canst stop 
or turn aside the source of the springs which are behind thee 
towards the east ; it is thence that the waters of the town 
are brought to us." He immediately took advantage of this 

* Karamsin's " History of Russia." 

t H. D. Seymour's " Russia ou tho Black Sea," Ac. 


information, and, by cutting off the aqueduct which supplied 
the town with water, in a few daya compelled the citizens to 
surrender, and open their gates to his army.* He theli pro- 
posed to treat of peace with the emperors Basil and Constau- 
tine, who reigued jointly at Oonstantiaople, and offered to 
restore the town of Cherson, and also to assist the Greek 
monarchs in quelling a rebellion in their dominions, on the 
condition of receiving from the Byzantine princes the hand 
of their sister Anna in marriage ; but threatening to carry his 
arms against the very walls of the Greek capital, if his terms 
were not immediately complied with. At the same time he 
caused the brazen gates and city bell of Cherson to be trans- 
ported to NoYogorod as a trophy of his victory, and erected 
before the first Christian church in that city, where the for- 
mer, in the edifice of St. Sophia, still remain ;t though, 
according to some authors, the original brass was afterwards 
carried by Boleslaf II. of Poland to Grodno, and placed in 
that cathedral. It was not the first time that a Byzantine 
Caesar had purchased a disgraceful peace by giving a sister or 
a daughter in marriage to a victorious chief, whom they dis- 
dainfully regarded as a mere ignorant barbarian ; and, after 
some hesitation on the part of the Greek emperor, their fear 
of the vengeance of Vladimir prevailed over the prayers and 
entreaties of their sister, who was only induced to consent to 
become the wife of the Russian prince, through the influence 
of the artful and politic priests, who persuaded her that, by 
thus devoting herself to her country and religion, she would 
undoubtedly ensure the eternal salvation of her soul. Ac- 
cordingly, the court of Byzantium agreed to the proposals of 
the Czar, and condemned the unhappy Anna to pass the 
remainder of her life in the rigorous climate of the north, far 
from the arts and refinements of her own gay and frivolous 
land ; and the princess, bidding a mournful farewell to the 
pleasures and palaces of Constantinople, quitted for ever her 
native city, and, accompanied by a body of ecclesiastics, sailed 
to Cherson. In the cathedral of this place, on the same day 
that Vladimir was baptized, receiving the name of Bazil, 
with his twelve sons, and all the generals and boyards in his 
army, his marriage with the proud daughter of Constantinople 

• " Chronicles of Nestor." 

t Herbertstelu'8 " llerum Muecovltorum." 


was celebrated by tBe Arcbbisbop of Clierson,'^ and before the 
ceremony he formally repudiated the six wives and eight hun- 
dred concubines t hfe had till then possessed. He then returned 
to Kiof, having previously erected a church to St. Bazil J in 
Cherson, in honour of his patron saint, and in remembrance 
of his conversion ; bringing with him his wife, and all the 
priests of Cherson, including the archbishop of that city, and 
a priest called Michael, a Syrian by birth, whom, some authors 
relate, was the bishop of Kiof in the time of Oskold, and 
whom he had appointed metropolitan of Russia ; and the six 
prelates who had accompanied the Greek princess from Con- 
stantinople. He caused also to be conveyed to his own 
capital the relics of St. Clement and St. Phira, with many 
images of saints, and books of religion that he had captured 
in the Crimea, || two. images of brass, and four iron horses; 
and commanded the wooden statue of Peroun to be dragged 
by twelve soldiers through the streets of Kiof, and, after 
being battered by clubs, to be cast into the Dnieper ; at the 
same time proclaiming, that all who should refuse to receive 
the rite of baptism should be treated as the enemies of G^d 
and their princei,§ 

It was unnecessary to compel the Russians to obedience by 
any more rigorous measures; for, supposing that that religion 

* There remained till within the last few years extensive ruins of this city, but many' 
of Its stones were employed to construct the modern Sebastopol, and it suffered still fur-, 
ther devastation In the late war, when the French converted them, with the fVagments of 
a church, into batteries. They discovered the remains of a tower among the rubbish, 
upon which was an inscription, stating it to have been restored about the year a.i>. 491. 
The traces of the ancient roads and gardens that covered the little territory of the colony, 
and the principal street, which was about twenty feet wide, with the great market- 
place, are still distinctly traceable, and the remains of a large palace stand on one side 
of a small street leading to the market-place. Lieutenant Kruse was commissioned by 
the Russian government to make excavations among the ruins, and be uncovered the 
ancient cathedral of Cherson where Vladimir was baptized, in which a few columns of a 
fine white ciy stalline marble, striped with blue, were still uninjured ; and a second church, 
which was larger than the cathedral, built iiv the form of a Greek cross, and tifty feet- 
each way. The semicircular seats for the clergy were found entire, and a coarse mosaic 
fltill existed as the pavement. It appear^ to have been a Greek temple transformed into 
a Christian Church, and was perhaps the ancient Parthenon of Cherson, dediciited to tho 
famous divinity of the Taurl.— H. X>i Seymour's ** Russia on the Black Sea and Sea 
of Azof." 

t Herbertstein says that he kept three hundred In a high tower In Kiof; three hundred 
in Blelograd, and two hundred at Berestof and Selvl. 

J This church was also excavated by Lieutenant Kruse. Nestor, in his chronicles 
says, "that the Princess Anne was received by the Khersonians into their port," and 
that they conducted her to the palace. " The baptism of Vladimir took place in the 
church of the Holy Mother of God at Cherson, situated in the midst of the town, on the 
market-place. It is here near this church that Is to be seen to this day, the palace of 
Vladimir, and that of the princess. Immediately after the baptism, the bishop con- 
ducted the princess for another ceremony, that of marriage. Vladimir ordered to be built 
a church in Kherson, which church may still be seen in our days."— Nestor's "French 
Translation," vlll. 183. 

11 Mouravleff's " Church of Kussia." 

§ Clarke says that he obtained somo copper coins of Vladimir, in the Chersonese, with 
a V upon them, probably marking the era of his baptism.— IL D. Seymour's " Russia on 
the Black Sea," &q., x. 159. 


must be right which had been embraced by their Czar and 
his boyards, they sprang by hundreds into the Dnieper, and 
bathed in its waters while the priests read the prayers from 
the shores ; and the bones of Yaropolk and Oleg, the brothers 
of Vladimir, were taken from the grave that they might be 
sanctified by baptism, after which they were again consigned 
to the tomb. A mount adjoining the palace of Kiof, that 
had formerly been sacred to Peroun,_ was now surmounted 
by a Christian church, and a decree having been issued by 
the Czar, ordaining that every idol throughout the empire 
should be destroyed in the same manner as those of the 
capital, the metropolitan and bishops travelled through the 
whole of Russia to baptize and instruct the people, erect 
churches and schoolsj and appoint priests and bishops over 
the various provinces. In Novogorod,* where Dobrina, the 
uncle of Vladimir, had long ruled, and the Christian religion 
had already made some progress, no opposition was raised to 
the establishment of the new faith, and the destruction of 
the national idols, by the newly-appointed bishop Joachim, 
the former archbishop of Cherson, with the authority of the 
governor of the city ; but in Eostoff the five tribes who still 
retained their idols, notwithstanding the efibrts of Abramius, 
obstinately resisted, and drove out of their province the first 
two prelates, Fedor and Hilarion, who were sent amongst 
them^ though the zealous endeavours of their successors, 
Leontius and Isaiah, were at length crowned with success. -J- 
At first, five dioceses were formed in Russia, under the 
metropolitan ; namely, Novogorod, Rostofi', TchernigoS", 
Belgorod, and Vladimir ; the latter city having been founded 
on the Kliazma by the Czar, in 991, when he visited the 
province of Suzdal, |. accompanied by Stephen, a native 
Russian, whom he appointed bishop over his newly-founded 
town, and where he built a church dedicated to the Virgin 
Mother, which still remains. Stephen, assisted by another 
prelate, at the same time baptized all the inhabitants of that 
extensive territory. Among the many churches and mouas- 

• A tradition that Peroun, after having been precipitated into the river at Novogorod, 
had risen out of the water and made a partlnpr address to the people, was long comme- 
morated by the citizens; who, on the anniversary of the event, were accustomed to arm 
themselves with sticks, and, running about the town, attempt to strike each other 

t The practice of wearing crosses round the neck, originated In Kussla at this time, for 
the bishops ordered all Christians to wear crosses asa distinguishing, mark — Mouravleft 8 
"Church of Russia." 

t Suzdal extended over the modem governmenta. of Taroslaf, Kostroma, Vladimir, 
Moscow, Tver, 27ijnl Novogorod, Tula, oiul Kaluga. 


teries whicli Vladimir caused to be erected throughout his 
empire, was the Cathedral of the Tithes at Kiof) so called 
from a vow the prince made to endow it with the tenth part 
of his revenues, and which was constructed by Greek archi- 
tects, brought for the purpose from Constantinople, who also 
founded stone buildings in the capital for the national 
assembly and halls of justice. Many of the Greek books of 
religion were translated: into the Slavonic language by order 
of the Czar who introduced that version of the Bible into 
Russia which had been translated about a century before by 
Cyrillus ; and he sent missionaries to preach to the Bulgarians 
on the Volga, who, however, did not meet with many con- 
verts.* But their representations induced four of the princes 
of that province to visit Kiof, where they all subsequently 
embraced the Christian faith. The Mahometan prince of the 
Petchenegans, who, with a large retinue, made a friendly 
journey to the Russian capital, was the most eminent proselyte 
of the Czar ; for while he remained the guest of Vladimir, he 
carefully observed the rites and ceremonies of the Greek 
religion, and, obtaining a thorough knowledge of its doc- 
trines, caused himself to be baptized, and, taking up his 
residence in the city, remained there till his death ; and in 
the year 991 the Czar received an embassy from Rome, sent 
by the pope to assure him of his esteem and regard. The 
aversion with which his boyards regarded his innovations, 
and his efforts to spread the arts and scholastic learning of 
Byzantium among them, caused Vladimir to make a law 
obliging them to allow their sons to attend the schools he had 
founded ; and he established a payment of tithes for the 
relief of the poor, aged, sick, strangers, and prisoners, as 
well as to provide for the funerals of those who died without 
leaving sufficient to defray the expenses of their burial. 
These tithes consisted of a fixed contribution of corn, cattle, 
and the profits of trade, besides a tax collected from every 
cause which was tried ; the right of judging causes being 
granted to the bishops and metropolitan, who administered 
justice according to the ecclesiastical laws promulgated by the 
Emperor John the Scholar of Constantinople.t 

* MouravieflTs '* Cliurcli of Russia." 

t The following is an exact and verbal copj- of the edict in question, according to the 
text of the most ancient codex of the thirteenth century :_" In the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, I, Prince Bazil, called also Vladimir, son of Svia- 
tozlaf, grandson of Igor, and of the holy Princess Olga, having received the saving rite 
of baptism, from the Tsars of Greece, and from Photius, the patriarch of Constanlinople, 
and have brouglit to Kiof the first metropolitan Leontius, -who thereupon has baptized tlie 


During the reign of Vladimir, Tryggve Olafssen, the king 
of one of the six provinces into which Norway was divided, 
and a grandson of Harald Harfager, falling a victim to the 
conspiracy of Gumilda, the wife of Eric, Harald's son, who 
wished to see her husband sole possessor of his father's king- 
dom ;* and, leaving as his successor only an infant son, his 
inheritance was seized upon by the neighbouring princes, and 
Astrid, the widow of Tryggve, was compelled to fly from the 
country with her son Olaf, attended by Thoralf, a faithful 
adherent of her husband's, to the court of Haco, king of 
Sweden, who boldly refused to deliver her up to ISTorway, 
She remained two years with this generous prince ; but, the 
usurping chiefs threatening him with signal vengeance if he 
resisted their demand, Astrid, fearing to endanger her pro- 
tector, resolved to take refuge with her brotiier Sigurd, who 
had been long in the service of Vladimir, and filled a high 
office at his court. She therefore left Sweden, with the 
intention of joining her brother in E-ussia; but, while crossing 
the Baltic, her vessel was captured by some Esthonian 

^hole country of the Russians. Some years after that, I built to the Holy Mother ot 
God, the church called the Church of the Tenths, and endowed this church as the 
cathedra], with the right of receiving tithe from the whole country of the Russians, so 
far as my dominion extends, with this proviso, that to this house of the Saviour, and of 
his holy mother, belon^sthe tenth mite (squirrel skhi) of the judicial dues in the disti-icts 
of the pnncedom, and ft-omcommerciallmposts the produce of the tenth week; moreover, 
from every house and family, from cattle, and from reaped corn, the tenth must be paid. 
And since, upon reading the Greek Nomancou, I have discovered that, according to a 
precept therein contained, there are certain matters of dispute which it does not belong 
to the prince and his boyards and judges to take cognizance of, and to decide upon, there- 
fore have I, alter due deliberation with my consort the Princess Anna, and with my chil- 
dren, resolved to concede the administration of justice in certain fixed cases to the 
church, that is, to the metropolitan and collective bishops of the Russian territory. Ac- 
cordingly, neither shall my cnildren, nor grandchildren, nor my latest descendants, either 
cite before their tribunals ecclesiastical persons, or usurp that judicial power which has 
been conceded to the church, for this exclusively belongs to her according to my grant" 
He goes on to state all the various crimes upon which the church is to pass judgment, 
adding, "It is also among the ancient Tegulations, that the bishops should have the 
supervision of the measures, weights, scales, and balances of the town and of the market. 
Over these matters must the bishops watch, neither increasing nor diminishing them, 
and on the universal day of judgment they shall answer for this, and for the salvation of 
souls. >'ow, these are the persons which belong to the church : the stewards of their 
estates, the priests (popes), deacons, and their children, the wife of a priest, and the whole 
body of clerks ; moreover, the monk, the nun, the woman who bakes the holy bread, the 
cloistered pilgrim, the physician, the man who by a holy miracle is restored to health, 
the slave whom his master releases for the good of his soul, the stranger, the blind, and 
the lame; especially the monasteries, the hospitals, and establishments for the care of 
guests and strangers. All these are the people who, for the sake of God, belong to tha 
church. Between these parties, the metropolitan or the bishop is to act as judge, and to 
arrange the offences, disputes, and contentions which take place among them, as also 
the succession of property. Notwithstanding, when any judicial matter arises between a 
person belonging to the church and another man, the tribunal appointed to judge the 
cause shall be partly civil, and partly ecclesiastical. 

*' In case that any one, either of my children or descendants, shall act contrary to 
this decree, made in conformity with the regulations of the Holy Fathers and of the first 
Tsars, or shall any lieutenant, steward, or judge, or any other person infringe these privi- 
leges of the church, may the curse light upon him, both in this and the Hie to come, 
accordlngtothejndgment of the Holy lathers, and of the seven general councils."— From 
MS. of Baron Eosenkampf, quoted In Blackmore'a "Notes to Mouravleff's Church of 
. * Lalng's "Sea-kings of Norway." 


corsairs, who, after putting some of the crew to death, divided 
the remainder among them ; and Olaf and Thoralf were 
separated from Astrid, falling to the share of a pirate called 
KlerkoQ, -who considering Thoralf too old to be of any service 
as a slave, killed him, but took Olaf to Esthonia, where he 
exchanged him for a i-am with a peasant, by whom he was 
treated with much kindness, and with whom he continued 
nearly six years. At the end of that time, when he was nine 
years old, Sigurd, the brother of Astrid, came from Novogorod 
to Esthonia, accompanied by a splendid and numerous retinue, 
to collect the taxes of Vladimir ; and, while passing through 
one of the towns, chanced to see Olaf, andj observing that he 
was a foreigner, sent for himj and inquired his name and 
country. Olaf related all his adventures, and Sigurd, dis- 
covering that he was his own nephew, bought him from the, 
peasant to whom he belonged, and took him to Noyogorod, 
though without making known his name and rank. It 
chanced that Olaf was one day in the market-place, when 
among many people assembled there, he recognised Klerkon, 
the corsair who had put Thoralf to death ; and, having a 
small axe in his hand, he struck him on the head and 
instantly killed him, and then, hastening home to his lodging, 
informed Sigurd of what he had done, A law existed in 
JTovogorod to the effect, that if any murder was committed 
in the city all the people should unite in seeking out and 
discovering the criminal, and according to the ancient Jewish 
law stone him to death in the streets ; and, fearing lest Olaf 
should suffer this summary punishment from the hands of 
the citizens, who were making a strict search for the assassin, 
Sigurd conducted him to the palace* of the Grand 
Princess,t and informing her of what had happened, en- 
treated her to protect his nephew. She was pleased with 
the appearance of the boy, whom she affirmed was far too 
handsome to be slain ; and, interceding for him with 
Vladimir, obtained a commutation of his punishment to a 
fine, which she herself immediately paid, and expressed a 
desire to receive him into her household. As it was con- 
trary to the laws of Russia for any foreign prince to reside in 
the country without the express permission of the Czar, 
Sigurd informed her of the real name and rank of Olaf, and 

* It was the custom In Novogorod for the Grnna Prince and Princess to reside In 
separate palaces, each being attended by an equally numerous retinue, 
t She ia called Allogla in the saga of Olaf Tryggvesoa, ftom wUlch this account Is taken. 


entreated her to oMain that permission for the Norwegian 
prince from her husband ; and Yladimir, pitying his mis- 
fortunes, entertained him at his court with all the honour 
due to the son of a king, and, after he had been several years 
in Russia, besto-wed upon him a high command in his army. 
But the esteem in which he was held by the prince drew 
against him the hatred and animosity of the boyards, who, 
objecting to any foreigner holding rank, or exercising so high 
a power in their country, endeavoured to prejudice the mind 
of Vladimir against the exiled prince, and raise jealous sus- 
picions in his mind ; and at length Olaf, observing that he 
was treated with increasing coldness by the Czar, and fearing 
lest his safety should be compromised if he resided longer in 
Russia, requested to be aillowed to leave Novogorod, as he 
longed to travel, and see the land where his family formerly 
reigned. Vladimir readily granted his request, and equipped 
a small fleet of ships for his escort ; and the Norwegian 
prince leaving Russia, sailed to Denmark, Ireland, and 
England, where he a few years later became a convert to 
Christianity, and subsequently repossessing himself of his 
kingdom, about the year 995 ; he closed his adventurous 
career in 1000.* 

In the latter period of his life, Vladimir is said to have 
felt great remorse for his former sins j and the tranquillity of 
his reign was much disturbed by the dissensions of his sons, 
among whom he had divided his empire, allowing each com- 
plete control in his own principality, and only exacting from 
them the payment of a small tribute. His favourite 'son, 
VassOi, died liefore him, and the rest, being discontented at 
the unequal size of the governments which their father had 
ceded to them, continually engaged in war with each other ; 
and the turbulent Petchenegans, taking advantage of the 
divided and troubled condition of the empire, again invaded 
Russia. The Czar advanced against them, and the opposing 
armies were drawn up on each side of the river Sula, when 
the prince of the Petchenegans despatched a herald to the 
Russian camp, with proposals to spare the blood of their 
subjects, by deciding the fate of the war in a single combat 
between two soldiers chosen from the hostile armies — he 
possessing among his troops a man of extraordinary size and 
agility, on whose success he fully relied. The offer had been 

• Lalns's "Sea-kings of KorTtH}-." 


accepted, when a young Eussian stepped out of the ranks, 
and, falling on his knees before his prince, he requested that 
he might till the honourable post of combatant for his nation 
in the approaching duel. He was ordered first to prove his 
valour in an encounter with an infuriated bull, and, having 
obtained a signal success, he was unanimously proclaimed 
the champion of Eussia Ijy the army and the Ozar. The 
rival forces closed round the combatants, and waited with 
breathless anxiety the issue of the struggle between the 
gigantic Petchenegan and his smaller but more agile adver- 
sary. It lasted but a few moments, and terminating with 
the defeat and death of the former, the victor was elevated 
on the spot to the rank of a boyard, and an armistice of three 
years was agreed upon — the Petchenegans retiring to their 
own land. But, upon the conclusion of the truce, they again 
invaded Eussia, and, laying siege to one of her frontier towns, 
Yladimir immediately marched to the assistance of the 
inhabitants. However, his early success had now abandoned 
him : the Russians were defeated in a fierce battle before the 
walls, their army was completely routed and dispersed, and 
the Czar only escaped death or captivity by concealing him- 
self under a bridge, while the victorious troops passed on and 
plundered and devastated his territories. 

Jaroslaf, the prince of Novogorod, taking advantage of this 
defeat of his father's army, as its almost complete annihila- 
tion would probably render it impossible for the Ozar to 
enforce obedience upon his rebellious son ; and being chiefly 
induced to take this step by the wishes of the citizens of 
Novogorod, who had always been jealous of the supremacy of 
Kiof, and desired to form an independent state, he refused 
to pay the accustomed tribute, and armed himself against his 
father. Vladimir, collecting his scanty number of followers, 
put himself at their head, and prepared to march against 
Novogorod ; but the reverses his army had sustained, and the 
ingratitude of his son, so preyed upon his mind, that he died 
before he had advanced many miles on his route, on the 15tli 
of July, 1015, at the age of seventy-seven. He left eleven 
sons, including hia adopted nephew, among whom he had 
divided his empire ; namely, Sviatopolk, prince of Tver ; 
Soudeslaff, prince of Polotzk ; Nicolas, prince of Tchernigofi'j 
Vladimir, prince of Smolensko ; Micislaf, prince of Tmura- 
catan or Taman ; Boris, Gleb, Jaroslaf, prince of Novogorod; 


Maslaf, Sviatoslaf, and Stanislaus ; and one daughter, Mary, 
who married Mieczyslav II., king of Poland. Historians 
have bestowed upon Vladimir the title of Great j and he and 
his wife, the Greek princess Anna, who died before him in 
1011, are enrolled among the saints of Russia. His remains 
were interred in a marble coflan, and buried in the Church of 
the Tithes, to which he had caused the relics of the Grand 
Princess Olga to be removed, and which was afterwards 
burned and destroyed by the Tartars when they gained 
possession of Russia; but, in 1636, Peter Mogila, arch- 
bishop of Kiof, discovered under its ruins the coffins of the 
Czar and the Greek princess, and, having removed the head of 
Vladimir to the Pechersky monastery, he left the remaining 
bones undisturbed.* 

The introduction of Christianity forms a grand epoch in 
the history of every nation, from the complete revolution it 
produced in their manners and customs, by its creating a 
bond of union between them, which prevented their former 
perpetual and desiiltory wars. Prom that time they gradually 
settled to more peaceful and industrious occupations, living 
by agriculture or manual skill rather than by plundering 
their more wealthy or weaker neighbours, or following the 
restless and primitive pursuit of hunting ; a precarious mode 
of life, which has ever allowed little scope for the moral and 
intellectual development of those nations whose harsh climate, 
or unproductive soil, have compelled them to adopt the chase 
as their only means of subsistence. It was hardly to be 
expected that in Russia, from the manner in which Christi- 
anity was forced upon the people, it should make as much 
alteration in their condition and habits as if their conversion 
had proceeded more slowly, and from conviction, and not 
merely from obedience to their sovereign's will and command. 
The figure of their household god, with which every Russian 
was accustomed to adorn the walls of his hut, was replaced 
by a picture of his patron saint, and the enthusiasm with 
which they performed the rites of their pagan creed, was 
transferred to the services of the Christian faith ; but they 
assimilated these to many of their barbarous ceremonies, and 
retained many of their ancient superstitions, still regarding 
with awe and reverence the rivers and groves that they had 
formerly held as sacred to their gods, and keeping as holidays 
those days and seasons of the year which they had been 

* MouraYleB's "ChurcU of Kusala." 


accustomed to set apart for tieir heathen festivals.* To 
this day, in the more remote villages and provinces of Russia, 
manyof their anniversary celebrations and customs rather 
resemble the idolatrous practices of their ancestors than those 
of a people who profess the Christian religion.t Little altera- 
tion appeal's to have been made in the clothing and manner of 
living of the peasantry ; and even the form, of their dwellings, 
from the days of Sviatozlaf and Vladimir to the present 
time ; for the Russians have always been remarkable for the 
tenacity with which they have adhered to their habits and 
customs, and for their aversion to any change or innovation; 
and the same love of music and poetry, attachment to their 
place of birth, indolence, and respect to age, appears to have 
characterized their peasantry then, as it does now. The 
practice which still prevails among the latter, of forming 
themselves into village communities, and holding their 
lands in common, eilecting a chief from among themselves 
every three years, appears to have been in force from the 
period when they first abandoned their nomadic habits, and 
much resembles the ancient system of Hindostan. As in both 
Russia and China, at the present day, a father was supreme 
in his household, his authority being absolute over his wife 
and children, as that of masters over slaves, and on his death 
the eldest son succeeded to his position as arbiter and supe- 
rior of the family.:}: Their women appear from the earliest 

* The Russian peasantry at the present day, almost nniversally celehrate their marriages 
at the season of the year formerly dedicated to the Slavonic gods of love and marriage, a 
practice which prevailed amongst the heathen Slavonians.— Dr. Pinkerton's ''Russia." 

t " On Midsummer's eve a custom still exists in Russia, among the lower classes, that 
can only he derived from a very remote antiquity, and is perhaps a remnant of the wor- 
ship of Baal. A party of peasant women and girls assemble in some retired and unfre- 
quented spot, and light a large Are, over which they leap In succession. If by chance anv 
one of the other sex should he tound near the place, or should have seen them in the act 
of performing the heathenish rite, it is at the imminent risk of his life; for the women 
would not scruple to sacrifice him for his temerity. I was assured that such instances had 
often been known." — "The Englishwoman in Russia." 

For an aecouiitof the same ceremony, in which the men also joined, see Dr. Pinker- 
ton's "Russia." 

A feast resembling the heathen Saturnalia was celebrated as late as the present cen- 
tury, in the very streets of the capital, by the peasantry of Uussia. 

t Haxthausen mentions in his work, one or two instances of the extent to which even 
now the patriarchal system is carried in Russia. "It is the custom in Moscow for all 
the daughters, whether married or single, to pass the whole of their evenings in the 
apartments of their mother, which greatly deranges the domestic life of the husband. 

'The Princess G was mentioned to me as the type of the wife of a boyard of ancient 

Russia : every evening till her death she was surrounded by her daughters. On one 

occasion, one of the daughters, tlie Princess A , vpho lifild a high position at court, 

was prevented by her duty ITom visiting her mother, who, on the following morning, 
overwhelmed lier with the bitterest reproaches. Her daughter excused herself by 
pleading her obligations to the etiquette of the palace; but the sole answerwas, 'Every 
evening of a daugliter belongs to the mother, thiit is the usage of Russia.' Her son, who 
had commanded a corpi d'a7*m^e as gcneral-in-chief, and who had been successively an 
ambassador, a governor-general, and had fliled other high offices, was obliged, when at 
St. Petersburg, to wait on his mother every morning. He ventured one day to make a 
slight change in the stables of his mother, by substituting a good horse lor one that ha 
deemed bad ; his mother resented this boldness, lor the following morning she inflicted 
on him several severe blows, which he received with submission." 


ages to have been retained in the seclusion common amongst 
the Asiatic nations ; and, though this custom was somewhat 
relaxed during the short period that the Eussians communi- 
cated so constantly and familiarly with the Greeks, it was 
renewed in full force when the Tartars conquered Russia. Till 
the time of Peter the Great, the wives of the nobility were sel- 
dom permitted to cross the threshold of their houses, and then 
always closely veiled; they were even forbidden to appear in 
church ; and a custom existed in Russia, during the early years 
of her history, allowing no woman to put an animal to death, 
not even those that they required for food.* Although the 
nobles of this empire never encroached upon the prerogative 
of the crown, to the same extent as those in the other nations 
of Europe during the middle ages, yet they possessed some 
influence in the government of the state ; and in the chronicles 
of Nestor he mentions the public assemblies which the Grand 
Princes occasionally convened to decide upon important aifairs, 
and at which the clergy and even the simple citizens had a 
right to attend ; the boyards were obliged to follow their 
sovereign to battle, with their guards and retinues ready 
furnished with horses, accoutrements, and provisions, recom- 
pensing themselves with the spoil and prisoners whom they 
captured. Though they possessed slaves, these were generally 
prisoners of war or their descendants, for the peasants were 
not at that period, as in the rest of Europe, feudal serfs bound 
to the soil; this regulation having only been introduced into 
Russia in the sixteenth century, but were termed kabalnie, 
because they hired themselves out in a written contract, 
which was called kabala, for a specified term of years, or till 
the death of their employer, who was bound to receive with 
them a character from the chief of their village, otherwise he 
could not punish the vassal who robbed or deserted him.t 
The succession to the throne, as in most other Slavonic natious 
at that time, and according to the custom that now prevails 
among the Mahometan nations of the East, devolved not upon 
the son of the former monarch, but upon the oldest member 
of his family, and it would have been well if this practice had 
always been adhered to ; for the impolitic measure pursued 

« Till the reign of Peter the Great, a husband could nut his wife or children to death 
with Impunity, and it was the custom, in thn time of Vladimir, for a wife to taite oil her 
husband's boots on tlie day of her marriage, to show her complete subjection to iiini; and, 
till witliin the last few years, a bride always presented her husband on his wcddtng-day 
with a whip of her own construction, 

t JJubbe's " Ulstory of Russia." 



by Sviatozlaf and Yladimir, of dividing tlie empire among 
their sons, produced great dissension in the state, and perpetual 
civil -wars. Her strength and political importance being 
diminished, she thus became a prey to her foreign enemies, 
opening by her internal troubles a way for the entrance of 
the fierce and restless tribes of Asia, who, wandering in search 
of forage for their horses, and pasture for their herds, upon 
her borders, were ever ready to profit by her divisions or 
calamities to make inroads upon her territories; and their 
continual invasions retarded for years the advancement of 
commerce and letters, and the social progress of Russia ; and 
ultimately, breaking off all communication with Constanti- 
nople and the West, replunged her people into the ignorance 
and barbarism from which, in the reigns of Olga and Vladimir, 
they appeared to be beginning to emerge. 

From the introduction of Christianity into Russia till the 
time of Peter the Great, the Russians, like the Greeks, dated 
the current year, which began in September, though by an 
erroneous calculation, from the creation of the world. Thus, 
the year of Vladimir's death, a. d. 1015, was called with 
them A. M. 6523. 


^Ijiaiopolfi — f ^e ^oks xnfeah ^itssra — |aroslEf. 

"In the delight of moral prudence school'd. 
How feelingly at home the sovereign ruled, 
Lo ! he harangues his cohorts — ^there the storm 
Of battle meets him in authentic form. 

Yet high or low, 
None bleed, and none lie prostrate but the foe." — Wordsworth. 

From A-D. 1015 to 1053; or, according to the Russian dates, from a-m. 6523 to C5S1. 

SviATOPOLK, the son of Yaropolk, the elder brother of 
Vladimir, having been born after the death .of his father, 
had been adopted by the Czar as his own son, and had re- 
ceived the government of Tver as his share when that prince 
divided the empire among his sods ; but the succession to 
the throne of Kiof had long been the object of his ambition, 
and he had chiefly resided there during the declining years 
of Vladimir, with the intention of seizing upon this impor- 
tant city of the empire, as soon as the grave should have 
closed upon the Czar. But a formidable rival existed in the 
person of Boris, another sou of Vladimir, who was employed 
with the army against the Petchenegans at the time of his 
father's death, and who had "rendered himself extremely 
popular with his soldiers and the nation at large. The 
former unanimously proposed to assist him in gaining the 
vacant throne, but he rejected their offer, declaring that it 
devolved rightfully upon the elder brother ; this, however, 
did not preserve him from the cruelty of Sviatopolk, who, 
fearing that he might oppose his ambitious schemes, had 
already despatched assassins with orders to murder him. 
They entered his tent in the night, where he and his brother 
Gleb were engaged in prayer, and, having first struck down 
the sentinel who guarded it, put an end to their lives ; and 
these two young princes, who possessed many virtues, and 
were much beloved by the people, whose sympathy they 
especially procured, from their falling victims to the ambi- 


tion and cruelty of their brother while at their devo- 
tions, were, a few years after their death, canonized by the 
Eussian Church, and their tomb is still shown in the ancient 
cathedral at Tchernigoff. Another brother, who attempted 
to fly into Hungary, was seized upon and brought back to- 
Eof, where he was put to death, and Sviatopolk, supposing 
that the remaining sons of Vladimir were established at too 
great a distance to give him any cause for fear, assumed the 
government of Kiof ; but Jaroslaf, the prince of Novogorod, 
indignant at these cruelties, and resolved to avenge the 
murder of his brotherSj advanced -upon Kiof with an army, 
and, driving Sviatopolk from the capital, forced him to take 
refuge with his father-in-law, Boleslaf, king of Poland, whose 
assistance the deposed prince solicited for the recovery of his 
dominions. The Polish monarch with a powerful army 
entered Russia in the year 1018, and, having defeated the 
army of Jaroslaf, he compelled the city of Kiof to capitulate 
after a brave defence, and replaced Sviatopolk upon the 
throne ; and Jaroslaf having formed a scheme to surprise 
and carry off the latter fi'om his capital, and his design 
failing in the execution, retired to Novogorod, to which city 
he was pursued by the implacable Boleslaf, who defeated and 
destroyed his whole array at its veiy gates. Discouraged by 
his disasters, ashamed of his defeat, and fearing that his con- 
tinued ill-sUccess might alienate from him the affection of 
his people, Jaroslaf made preparations to cross tlie Baltic, 
and pass the remainder of his life as an adventurer in foreign 
lands, but, upon the entreaty of his subjects, he was induced 
to alter his determination and remain among them ; they 
also levied contributions upon their own city to enable him 
to procure mercenary troops to assist him iia the recovery of 

Meanwhile Boleslaf, with the Polish anny, having re-estab' 
lished Sviatopolk in his dominions, though at the same time 
exacting from him a yearly tribute, refused to withdraw from 
Kiof, which was at that time the most wealthy and luxurious 
city of the north, till at length her citizens and soldiers, 
wearied by the oppressions and exactions of the Poles, formed 
a conspiracy against them, designing to destroy their whole 
army by a sudden massacre, or by the more secret and insi- 
dious means of poison. But Boleslaf, having discovered their 
intentions on the eve of its fulfilment, assembled all his 


followers who were ia tlie town and surrounding country, 
and, after sacking and destroying the greater part of the 
capital, abandoned it with his subjects, every man loaded 
with the spoil and plunder of Kiof This city had been so 
much increased and eni-iched by Vladimir, tliafc, at the time 
of its occupation by the Poles, it contained three hundred 
churches and eight markets, and it had received from its 
people the boastful appellation of " the rival of Constan- 
tinople." Indeed, the historians of the time describe the 
splendid dresses worn by the inhabitants, their hot baths, 
and rich and sumptuous feasts, which their commerce with 
Greece provided with the wines of the Mediterranean, silver 
plate, and even the productions of the Indies j and they 
appear to have been entirely given up to luxury, dissipation, 
and idleness. Upon the retreat of Boleslaf, Sviatopolk 
immediately pursued him, but, encountering his army near 
the river Bog, was totally defeated, and forced to retire upon 
Kiof. At the same time, the Grand Prince received intelli- 
gence that Jaroslaf was advancing against him with the 
soldiers of Novogorod, their valour having been encouraged 
and revived by a successful campaign they had lately under- 
taken against the Chazars, who, during the latter years of the 
reign of Vladimir, had emancipated themselves from the yoke 
of the Russians, and whose khan, George Tzuda, Jaroslaf had 
taken prisoner ; and in this distress Sviatopolk was forced 
to accept the assistance of the Petchenegans, who, tempted 
by the hope of plunder, flocked eagerly to his standard. The 
armies met near the spot where Boris and Gleb had formerly 
been assassinated ; and Jaroslaf, before engaging with the 
enemy, harangued his troops, pointing out to them this 
circumstance, calling upon their valour to revenge the act, 
and concluding with a prayer to the Almighty to grant them 
success in the battle.* At the earliest dawn of day he 
attacked the foe, and continued in a fierce and desperate 
conflict tUl sunset, when the forces of Sviatopolk, though 
greatly superior in number to those of his adversary, having 
been routed with great slaughter, their leader was forced to 
quit the field, and, after being reduced to great misery, died 
upon the road, having wandered about from place to place after 
his defeat, which had dispersed his followers, disdaining to ask 
for mercy from his cousin, who, on/ the event of the battle^. 

• Bell's "History of Russia." 


had taken possession of Kiof. But the King of Poland, un- 
■wUling to surrender entirely this principality into the hands 
of his former enemy, and elated by the victories he had 
lately gained over the Prussians, whose country he had 
invaded to avenge the murder of St. Adalbert,* again 
marched upon Kiof, and, surprising the army of Jaroslaf on 
the banks of the Bnieper, attacked the Russians before they 
had time to form, and, being seized with a panic, they fled in 
confusion, hurrying away their prince, who was almost 
trampled to death in their flight ; so that Boleslaf once more 
became master of the capital. It was not lUl after his death 
in 1025, that Jaroslaf succeeded in expelling his son and 
successor, Mieczyslaf II., and the Polish army, entirely from 
Russia, when a peace being concluded between them, it was 
confirmed by the marriage of the Polish king with Mary, 
the sister of Jaroslaf and daughter of Vladimir, and con- 
■tinued throughout the whole reign of Jaroslaf. As soon as 
this prince had re-established himself on the throne of Kiof, 
he invaded the principality of Polotzk, the territory of his 
elder brother Soudeslaff, who had taken part against him in 
the late wars, and, defeating and capturing the unfortunate 
chief, he threw him into prison, where he detained him in 
close confinement throughout the whole of his reign, though, 
on the death of Jaroslaf, Soudeslaff was released by his nephew 
Iziaslaf, the son and successor of the Grand Prince, and, em- 
bracing a monastic life, assumed the cowl in the cloisters of 
Pechersky at Kiof. 

One of the sons of A^ladimir, who had received the town 
and government of Smolensko from his father, appears to 
have taken no part in the wars of his brothers, but trans- 
mitted his principality to his descendants, which thus, for a 
time, became separated from the Russian empire.t The 
foundation of this city is supposed to have been coeval with 
that of Novogorod ; it was a flourishing town and state 
before the time of Rurik, and was annexed by Oleg to his 
dominions on his march to the conquest of Kiof. 

On hearing of the successful result of the long war between 
the Poles and Russia, Mioislaf, the seventh son of Vladimir, 
and prince of Tmutaracau, a town which had been captured 

•St. Adalbert went to Prussia in 1010, to preach Christianity to the heathens of that 
conntry. According to Dr. Clarlte, he preached in the tenth century in liussla, the 
Grand Princess Olga having requested the Emperor Otho to send misslouaries to convert 


by Sviatozlaf from the Khazars, in the modem peninsula of 
Taman, on the sea of Azof, sent a letter to Jaroslaf, re- 
questing from him the cession of a small portion of their 
father's vast dominions, of which the Grand Prince was now 
almost the sole possessor. Micislaf had proved himself a 
brave and successful general in many wars with the restless 
mountain tribes of the Caucasus, by whom his little kingdom 
had been frequently menaced ; and, having terminated a 
hostility that had lasted for many years, by defeating in 
single combat the chief of the Circassians, he built the 
church of Taman in remembrance of his success ; a memorial 
which exists at the present day. He also assisted the Greek 
Emperor in an expedition against the Khazars of the Crimea ; 
but on receiving from Jaroslaf, in compliance to his demand, 
a small territory, which was insufficient to satisfy his ambi- 
tion, he marched with an army into Russia, and, after carry- 
ing on for some time a successful war in his brother's 
dominions, agreed to conclude a peace. After this it was 
finally arranged that the two brothers should reign jointly 
and with equal power over the whole empire ; and they 
continued to govern amicably together till the death of 
Micislaf, which took place seven years after the conclusion 
of the truce. By order of this prince, the cathedral of the 
Saviour at Tchernigoff was built.* 

In 1030 the province of Esthonia revolted against Russia, 
and proclaimed itself an' independent state. Jaroslaf marched 
against it, and, after re-establishing his authority, founded 
the town of Dorpat, called by the Russians Jourief,t where 
he placed a garrison to collect the tribute. Dorpat remained 
in the possession of the Russians till the year 1210, when it 
was captured by Volgum, Grand Master of the Knights of 
the Sword. To show his gratitude for the fidelity of Novo- 
gorod, and for its valuable assistance in his time of need, 
Jaroslaf granted to its citizens many privileges, and gave 
them a form of government which laid the foundation of the 

* Monravieflrs "Church of Russia." 

t Youri, or George, was the Christian name of Jaroslaf. Blaclcmore, In his notes to 
Mouravieff 's " Church of llussla," quotes a short extract from a paper presented to tlie 
Society of Russian History and Antiquities, In wliich, with regard to the doubie names 
of these princes, he says, "The ancient Siavonians' had only one name, to which was 
added their patronymic The Rusao-Slavoniana had uaualiy three names; one given by 
the father at their birth, another at their baptism, and the third, their patronymic, as for 
instance, Sviatopollc Michael Isyaslavich. The Christian names of many of the princes 
are not known, and it is imagined that they were purposely kept secret, that the bearers 
of them might not be subject to sorcery or Incantatlou, which It was supposed could not 
effect unless doue in the right name." 


ittdependence and prosperity they enjoyed during the middle 
ages. The governor of the province, who was always to be 
a prince of the royal family, on his installation was bound 
upon oath to observe the laws, and took no part in the 
deliberations of the people. The first magistrate in the city 
was the posadnich, or mayor, who was elected for a limited 
time, and under him was the senate, composed of the boyards, 
which was elective, and the tisatsM* or tribune, one of whose 
members was chosen by every hundred freemen, that class 
consisting of all who were neither nobles or slaves. The 
citizens sat in judgment upon their own order ; none but 
Novogorodian magistrates could be appointed by the sove- 
reign in the province, and those were to be approved of by 
the posadnick ; and no citizen of Novogorod could be arrest- 
ed for debt. They had also the right of imposing their own 
taxes, and framing their own commercial Iaws.t 

Jaroslaf also promiilgated a legislative code, called Gramota 
Soudebuaict, for the government of the whole empire, and 
they appear to have been the first written laws used in 
Russia. The judges travelled from place to place, and were 
supported and paid by the inhabitants of the district where 
they administered justice. The punishment of death was 
abolished ; formerly, when a murder had been committed, 
the father, brother, son, or nephew, might avenge it, but no 
other ; unless it had been inflicted upon a citizen of Novo- 
gorod, in which case the inhabitants of the town were bound 
to avenge him by stoning the offender to death ; but this 
custom was no longer permitted, instead of it a fine being 
fixed as the penalty of the crime. For the assassination of 
a boyard eighty grivnas was exacted, a grivna being worth 
about a pound's weight of silver, for that of a free Russian 
forty grivnas, and for every woman half that sum ; but for 
the murder of a female slave a larger fine was adjudged than 
for that of a man. For a blow with the fist, or the sheath 
or handle of a sword, for knocking out a tooth, or pidling a 
man by the beard, the fine was twelve grivnas ; for a blow 
with a club three grivnas, and the punishment for stealing a. 
horse was imprisonment for life. The only absolute slaves 
were prisoners of war, men or women bought of foreigners 
and their descendants ; but a debtor who could not acquit 
himself of his obligations was sold to his creditors, whose 

* Karamslu's " History of Russia." t IbM. 


servant he remained till lie had ransomed himself by labour. 
A man could not put his slave to death, and freemen occasion- 
ally sold themselves to a boyard, some to obtain protection, 
others to procure subsistence ; but they could only sell them- 
selves or their children for a limited term of years. It was 
allowable to kill a robber, if caught in tbe fact, during the 
night, but if he were detained till morning, it was compulsory 
to bring him before the judge ; and if proved by witnesses 
that he had been put to death when bound, and incapable 
of doing harm, it was considered as a murder, and punished 
accordingly. Usury was at that time so exorbitant, that a 
regulation was made permitting no lender to claim a higher 
rate of interest than fifty per cent, a year.* 

The revenue of the sovereign consisted of the produce of 
his personal estates, voluntary contributions, and the fines 
that were exacted from criminals. Jaroslaf founded a college 
at Novogorod, where he maintained at his own cost three 
hundred noble youths ; procuring for them instructors from 
Constantiuople, and causing translations to be made of the 
works of the Greek fathers into the Slavonic tongue, in 
which labour he personally assisted the priests, he formed 
them into a small library, established by himself, at Kiof. In 
this reign psalms and hymns were first sung in the churches, 
the mode of choral singing, now prevalent in Russia, being 
introduced into the empire by three Greek singers, who were 
brought from Constantinople, with their families, for the 
purpose ; and the Grand Prince engaged in his service the 
most skilful ai-tists from Greece, who erected in Kiof the 
cathedral of St. Sophia, after the model of that of Byzantium, 
besides the monastery of St. George and the convent of St. 
Irene, in the same city. Novogorod Sieverski, and many 
other towns, owe also their foundation to Jaroslaf, who in 
1044 built the Kremlin at Novogorod ; and his court was 
the resort of exiled and unfortunate princes, his family 
having formed alliances with most of the royal houses of 

About the year 1019, Jaroslaf sent an embassy to Olaf 
the Saint, king of Norway, demanding of him the hand of 
his daughter Ingigerd in marriage, who agreed to his pro- 
posals on the condition of receiving from her husband the 
town and principality of Ladoga; at the same time, she 

* Karnmsla's " Histoiy of Kussla." 


stipulated, that iblie should be accompanied to Novogorod by a 
Swede, who should hold the same rank in Kussia* that he did 
in his own country ; and, on her request being granted, she 
chose her brother-in-law, the Earl Eognvald, to conduct her 
there, bestowing upon him the government of Ladoga. Not 
long after the marriage of his daughter, Olafwas driven from 
his kingdom by Earl Hakon, a rebellious and turbulent vas- 
sal, and with his wife and son took refuge in Russia, where 
he was presented by Jaroslaf with a tract of land sufficient 
for the support of his followers ; the Grand Prince, likewise, 
offering bim the sovereignty of a province on the Volga, which 
he refused, as he purposed undertaking a pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem. But the death of Hakon taking place in 1030, 
and Olaf dreaming one night that an angel commanded him 
to return to Norway, he repaired to his own kingdom, leaving 
his son Magnus to receive his education at Novogorod, and 
endeavoured by force of arms to re-establish himself on his 
throne. The expedition, however, proved unfortunate, for 
the Norwegian king was defeated and killed in the fatal 
battle of Stiklestadt,-]- fought on the 29th of July of that 
year ; and his half-brother, the celebrated Harald Hardrada, J 
having been severely wounded in the same engagement, 
escaped to Russia, where he was most hospitably and honour- 
ably received by the Grand Prince, who made him one of his 
generals. In the poem of " Bolverk the Skald," his residence 
in that country is thus mentioned : — 

" The king's sharp sword lies clean and bright, 
Prepared in foreign lands to fight; 
Our ravens croak to have their fill. 
The wolf howls fi'om the distant hilL 
Our brave king is to Russia gone, 
Braver than he on earth there's none; 
His sharp sword will carve many a feast, 
For woll and raven in the eastH 

After remaining several years in Russia, in 1034 he, with 
many of his followers, joined the Varangian guard, which 
was principally composed of his countrymen, at Constanti- 
nople j and accompanying the Greeks in many warlike expe- 
ditions to Sicily, and against the Saracens, both in Palestine 

• Lalng's " Sea-kings of Norway." " Saga of Olaf the Snint." 

t Olaf was worshipped as a saint, and churches dedicated to his memoTv in Sweden, 
Norway, Denmarli, England, Kussia, and even in Constautinoiile, and his sbrine was 
long resorted to by pilgrims. 

± The Stern. . 

11 .Saga of " Harald Hardrada. 


and Africa, he gradually amassed great ■wealth and treasure, 
both in gold and jewels. From -time to time he sent this by 
Russian merchants to Novogorod, to be intrusted to the care 
of Jaroslaf until his return to his native land.* 

During his residence at the Grand Prince's court, he had 
formed an attachment to Jellisaveta (Elizabeth), or EUisof, 
as she is called in the Norwegian annals, the daughter of 
Jaroslaf; and while sailing across the Black Sea, on his return 
to her father's dominions, he composed sixteen songs in her 
praise, all ending in the same words, of wliich the following 
is a specimen : — 

" Past Sicily's wide plains we flew, 
A dauntless, never-wearied crew ; 
Our viking steed rusli'd til rough tbe sea. 
As vilting-lilte fast, last sail'd we. 
Never, 1 tiling, along tliis sliore 
Bid Norseman ever sail before ; 
Yet to tlie Eussian queen, I fear, 
My gold adoru'd, I am not dear." 

On his return to Novogorod, in 1045, he took all the gold, 
silk, jewels, and precious stones, which he had accumulated 
while in the service of tbe Greek emperor into his own 
jjossession ; and the Norwegian sagas relate that " they 
altogether made so vast a treasure, that no man in the nor- 
thern land,s had ever seen the like before belonging to one 
man ; " for he had assisted the Greeks in the capture of eighty 
strongholds, and had been three times through the emperor's 
treasury, the soldiers and officers of the Varangian guard 
having the privilege of passing through the imperial treasury 
on the death of the emperor, and keeping whatever they 
could seize upon while marching across. The winter after 
Harald's return to Russia, he married the princess Jellisa- 
veta, who had refused the hand of several princes during his 
absence, and the event is thus related by an ancient Norwe- 
gian bard. Stuff the Blind : — 

■"Agder's chief now gainM the queen. 
Who long his secret love had been ; 
•Of gold, no doubt a mighty store. 
The princess to her husbaud bore."t 

Having remained two years longer in Russia, he embarked 

« According to some author.*, the princess Zoe, of Constantinople, wished to marry 
him, and on Ills refusal tiirew him into prison, from whence he escaped and returned to 

tliBlng's "Sea-kings of Norway." Sagaof "HaraldHardrada.' 


for Norway, on the invitation of his nephew Magnus,* who. 
had lived several years after the death of Olaf at the court of 
Novogorod, and only quitted it at the pressing solicitations 
of his subjects, with a small fleet of ships, for his native land. 
The voyage of Harald to Norway is commemorated in the 
verses of the Norse bard, Valgard of Valli :^- 

*' The fairest cargo ahipe'er bore 
From Russians distant eastern stiorei 
Tlie gallant Harald iiomeward brings, 
Gold, and a fame that Skald still sings." 

He reigned jointly with Magnus till the death of the 
latter in 1047, when Harald became sole possessor of the 
kingdom ; and subsequently assisting Tostig, Earl of Nor- 
thumberland, the brother of Harold, king of England, in his 
invasion of that prince's dominions, they were both defeated 
and killed in a battle fought near York, on the 2oth of 
September, 1066, and the Norwegian monarch was suc- 
ceeded on his throne by his sons Olaf and Magnus.t 

About the year 1040, Jaroslaf bestowed the government 
of Novogorod upon his eldest son, Vladimir, who "was at that 
time twenty years of age; and had scarcely established 
himself on his throne before he again revived the project of 
a naval invasion of Constantinople — an expedition which 
had not been undertaken for hostile purposes since the unfor- 
tunate attempt of Igor, and which in this instance was not 
destined to meet with greater success. Under the pretence 
of obtaining satisfaction for the murder of a Russian in the 
Byzantine empire, he sailed to the entrance of the Bosphorus; 
but his fleet was repulsed in the attempt to force a passage 
by the Grecian ships, armed with their destructive artificial 
fire, and 15,000 men fell victims to the flames. But the 
fleet of Constantinople becoming dispersed in the pursuit, the 

* Magnus reigned from about 1035 to 1047; after the defeat and death of his father, 
St, Olaf, he remained for several years in Kussia. Sigvat the Skald says— 

•' I ask the merchant oft, who drives 
His trade to Kussia, 'How he thrives. 
Our noble prince? How lives he there?' 
And still good news, his praise I hear." 

And Arwer, another bard, shortly before his return to Norway, says— 

" It is no loose report that he 
Who will command o'er land and sea. 
This- generous youth who scatters gold, 
Norway's brave son, but ten years old, 
r« rigging siiips in Buasia's lake 
ISIis crown, with friends' support, to take." 

ITe was joined in Novogorod by many of his fathei-'s followers, wjiom lie accompanied 
to Sweden, where they ultimately regained possession of Norway, 
t Lalng's " Sea-kings of Norway." 


Vftnguard was surrounded by Russian ships, and their pro- 
vision of fire being exhausted, twenty-four of their galleys 
■were either captured or destroyed by the remaining vessels 
of Bussia ;* and the Emperor Constantino Monomachus, to 
revenge this partisxl defeat, caused the eyes to be put out of 
all those Russian prisoners who had fallen into the hands of 
the Greeks. Jaroslaf was very indignant at this cruelty to his 
subjects, and on the death of the metropolitan of Kiof, Theo- 
pemptus, after the conclusion of the war, he called together 
the Russian bishops, to elect a new primate from among them- 
selves, without any reference or communication with the 
Byzantine patriarch.-}- A priest, Hilarion, was elected by 
the conclave ; but not being satisfied at the irregular manner 
in which he had been chosen, and this infringement of the 
ecclesiastical rule, the new metropolitan sought, and obtained, 
from the patriarch, Michael Cerularius of Constantinople, a 
benedictory letter, and an order confirming him in his office. 

In 1051, an embassy of bishops was sent by Henry I., 
king of France, to the court of Jaroslaf at Kiof, to ask the 
hand of his daughter Anna in marriage. She accompanied 
the ambassadors back to France, with many rich gifts from 
her father to her husband,^ and the same year the death of 
Vladimir, Grand Prince of Novogorod, took place. He was 
succeeded in his government by his brother Sviatozlaf, and 
buried in the cathedral of St. Sophia at Novogorod, which 
had just been completed under his directions, and whose 
walls he had caused to be decorated by Greek artists, with 
paintings copied from those in the churches of Constantinople ; 
it also contains the tombs of his wife Alexandra, his uncle 
Micislaf, the brother of Jaroslaf, and his mother Irene, the 
daughter of Olaf, king of Noi'way. |{ 

The death of Jaroslaf occurred in 1053, about two years 
after that of his son. A short time before, he had divided 
his empire§ among his five surviving sons, making the 
younger ones tributary to the eldest, Iziaslaf, the prince of 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Tall of the Roman Empire." 
t MouravielTs "Church of Russia." 

I Anna Jaroslafovna was the mother of PhiUp I, king of France. She founaed » 
convent hi that country, and after her death was enrolled among tlie French saints. 

II Coxe's " Travels in Poland, Russia," &c 

§ It is the custom at the present day In Russia for a father to leave his estate to be 
divided equally among his sous, so thatalarye property seldom descends to mure than 
two or three scnerations; and, as In the case of Vladimir and Jaroslaf, it is not unusual, 
when a nobleman is srowiiig old, for him to divide his property in his lifetime among his 
children, reserving to himsell only a small portion, BUffloieiit for his own maintenauce, 
or residing with one of them till his death. 


Kiof, and empowering the latter to put down any insubordi- 
nation on the part of his brothers by force of arms ; and on 
his deathbed, remembering the calamitous -wars which had 
followed the decease of Sviatozlaf and Vladimir, and the dis- 
sensions which the partitioning of the empire had always 
occasioned, he entreated his sons to live at peace with one 
another, and not peril the safety and welfare of their country 
for their own selfish ambition. He was buried in the 
cathedral at Kiof, which he had founded, and whose walls 
have survived the storm of the Mongol invasion, and every 
fire, sack, and siege to which the unfortunate city has been 
since subjected ; and the marble monument still stands that 
was erected over his tomb, and, being almost the only sarco- 
phagus of the kind in Russia, it has been supposed that it 
was brought originally from Constantinople.* 

For the period in which he lived, Jaroslaf was a learned 
and accomplished prince, and a diligeat student at a time 
when reading was chiefly confirmed to the priests. He had 
restored to his empire the inestimable blessings of peace, 
which he generally preserved throughout his life, and his 
memory was long held in well-merited gratitude and esteem, 
for the justice and moderation with which lie ruled, and the 
wisdom and equity of his laws ; but the disastrous practice of 
the period to which he conformed, of dividing his dominions 
among his sons, produced at his death a repetition of the 
dissensions and revolutions which had ushered in the com- 
mencement of the former reigns ; and the imperial princes, 
disregarding the dying injunctions of their fathei-, and for- 
getting every other consideration in ambition for their own 
personal aggrandisement and desire for independent sovereign 
power, replunged Russia into all the horrors of a disastrous 
and desolating civil war. 

In appearance, Jaroslaf was slightly made, with black eyes 
and hair, and rather below the middle stature. He married 
the princess Ingigerd of Norway, who, according to a custom 
that still prevails at the court of Russia, -{■ took the name of 
Irene on embracing the Greek faith, and by whom he had 
six sons and four daughters ; namely, Vladimir, who died 
before him ; Iziaslaf, who married a daughter of the Emperor 

* Plnkerton'a "Russia." 

t Every foreign princess, wlio ratirries a prince of the imperial famiiv of Russia, is 
obliged to adopt the Greelt rellKlon, at tlie same time ciiangius iier name. and talung tliat 
of a saint in the Russian calendar. 


Henry III. of Germany, and succeeded to the throne of Eaof ; 
Sviatozlaf, prince of Novogorod, -who married the sister of 
Casimir, king of Poland ; Vizislaf, prince of Polotzk ; Vyze- 
vold, who married a princess of the Greek empire, the 
daughter of Constantine Monomachus, and Halte the Bold ; 
Jellisaveta, the wife of Harald Hardrada, king of Norway ; 
Anna, the queen of Henry I., king of France ; and two 
other daughters, of whom one became the wife of Boleslaf II., 
king of Poland, and the other espoused the king of Hungary. 
The invasion of Constantinople by Yladimir Jaroslafovitz, 
was the last hostile attempt of the Russians upon the empire 
of the Greeks. From this time their friendly intercourse 
remained undisturbed for many years ; but the civil wars that 
prevailed in Kiof during the reigns of the sons of Jaroslaf, 
greatly diminished their trade and commerce and as the 
Tartar tribes in Russia grew more powerful from the weak- 
ness of Kiof, their merchant vessels, unless strongly armed 
and attended, were frequently plundered in the Dnieper by 
these depredators, long before they had reached the shores of 
the Euxine Sea. But the Russians remained firmly attached 
to the religious faith of the Greeks, and were the only nation 
who responded with any assistance to the last appeal of the 
Byzantine emperor for support against the final invasion of 
the Turks ; and as Constantinople became more deeply 
imbued with ecclesiastical prejudices, and more hostile to the 
Latin nations, " the Eastern Church," says Finlay, " be- 
came in their eyes the symbol of their nationality, and the 
bigoted attachment of the Russians to the same religious 
formalities, obtained for them from the Byzantine Greeks the 
appellation of the most Christian nation."* 

* Finlay's " Byzantine Empire."" 


Sljj guitars— f^£ gCitrKs— llal^moab jof iljijni— fe in&ahs 

" 'Tis he of Gazna— fierce in wratU 
He comes, anrt India's diadems 
Lie scattered in his ruinous path, 
His blood-hounds he adorns with gems. 

Priests in the veiy fane he slaughters. 

And chokes up with the glittering wrecks 
Of golden sliriues, the sacred waters." — Moors. 

Having seen, the Russians settle down under a regular 
government, with a just and equal code of laws, and begin- 
ning to spread among themselves the polite arts and man- 
ners of the Greeks ; before proceeding to the division of 
their provinces, and the decline of their power, which from 
this time gradually diminished till they had reached the com- 
paratively insignificant position that they maintained in the 
middle ages, it is necessary to examine into the then existing 
condition of the Turanian or Tartar nations of Central Asia, 
by whom this change in their prospects was chiefly influenced, 
and their subsequent misfortunes introduced. 

I have already mentioned the most powerful and anciently 
civilized of their race, the Huns or Hiongnus, their empire, 
their decline, their invasion of Europe, and ultimate fall. A 
few years after they had sunk into obscurity, the Avars first 
appeared on the confines of Europe ; and, coming from Tran- 
soxiana, encamped near the foot of the Caucasus, entered into 
an alliance with the Slavonic tribe of the Alans, and, traver- 
sing the east of Russia, invaded Georgia, and besieged and 
captured the town of Bosphorus in the Crimea. They are 
stated, and it appears with probability, by the writers of the 
time, to have been a section of the Huns, whom they strongly 
resembled both in appearance and manners, with the excep- 
tion that they wore their hair long ; and Zeuss has observed, 


that one tribe among that people had formerly been distin- 
guished in the works of a Byzantine writer, by their name. 

In the reign of Justinian, the emperor of Constantinople, 
some ambassadors accompanied an Alan prince in a political 
mission he had undertaken to the capital of the Greeks. On 
obtaining an audience of the sovereign, Candish, the chief of 
the envoys, thus addressed him in the name of his own 
chagan or prince* — " You see before you, O mighty prince ! the 
I'epresentatives of the strongest and most populous of nations, 
the invincible and irresistible Avars. We are -willing to 
devote ourselves to your service ; we are able to vanquish all 
the enemies who now disturb your repose ; but we expect, as 
the price of alliance and reward of our valovir, a yeai'ly 
subsidy of that gold and those treasures with which you 
superfluously abound, and a rich and fruitful possession for 
our numerous people." But the emperor feared that these 
•wild allies might prove as dangerous to their friends as to 
their foes ; and, anxious to keep them at a safe distance from 
his own dominions, he recommended to their energies the 
subjection of the Slavonians and Bulgarians, who at this time 
perpetually harassed with their plundering inroads the border 
provinces of the Roman empire. Loaded with presents, the 
ambassadors returned to the encampment of their horde in 
Southern Russia, and informed their chiefs of the emperor's 
advice ; and, precipitating th(;mselves upon Poland and Ger- 
many, the Avars in ten years had obliterated every trace of 
many Bulgarian and Slavonic nations,-]- rendered the others 
tributary ; and, though they sustained a signal defeat from 
the armies of the Austrasian prince, Sigebert, ended by 
founding a Eurojiean kingdom, later known as that of the 
Magyars, in Hungary. The second in importance and extent 
to the Huns, among the Tartars, were the Turks, known to 
the Chinese as the Thu-kiu ; and, according to Klaproth and 
Remusat, were themselves a tribe of -those Hiong-nus who 
had entered the military service of China ; and later, being 
driven from the province of Schensi by the dynasty of the 
Wei, had taken refuge under their leader Assena near the 
■precipitous mountains of Altai. Here, dwelling under the' 
foot of a helmet-shaped peak, termed from the circumstance 
by the Chinese Thu-kun, and from whence they derived their 
name, they became celebrated under their leader Thurnen, 

•Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Kom an Empire." t Kid. 



who lived about a.d. 545 ; and a few years after, tteir khan, 
Dizabulus, was visited by ambassadors from Constantinople, 
whom he received with barbaric splendour and profusion, 
seated on a couch supported by two wheels.* Like the other 
Tartar nations, they supported large flocks, and lived in tents ; 
a golden wolf on the top of a speai-, formed the ensign of their 
tribe, and for years they carried on a desultory war with 
China, whom a Turkish prince once proposed that his people 
should rival and imitate, by founding cities and temples for 
themselves in their native deserts. But this advice was 
defeated by a stronger argument from another of the chiefs.t 
"The Turks," said he, "are not equal in number to one 
hundredth of the inhabitants of China. If we balance their 
power, and elude their armies, it is because we wander with- 
out any fixed habitation. When we are strong, we advance 
and conquer ; and when weak, retire and are concealed. 
Should the Turks confine themselves within the walls of 
cities, the loss of a battle would be the destruction of their 
empire. The Bonzes of China preach only patience and 
humility. Such, king ! is not the religion of heroes." 

The Turks, till they had invaded and adopted the faith 
of the various southern Asiatic states, believed in one 
Supreme Being, to whom alone they made sacrifices, though 
they had many religious songs in honour of the power and 
beneficence of the spirits of the elements j and, like all the 
Turanian nations, were es;trem.ely superstitious, consulting 
soothsayers, magicians, and witchcraft. Their laws were 
rigid and impartial as those of Sparta ; the most serious 
crimes wei-e punished with death ; a robber was compelled 
to make restitution to the amount of ten times the value of 
the theft ; and no punishment could be too horrible, or con- 
tempt and ignominy too severe, for any appearance of 
cowardice.^ At the time of their emigration to the south, 
one of their tribes, separating from the rest of the horde, 
advanced northwards, and settled upon the barren and 
frozen plains of the Lena, where, under the name of Yak- 
hutes, they still lead a wandering life, and speak a language 
which even now bears some resemblance to that of their 
more polished and luxurious brethren of Europe. 

The Turks first became conspicuous about the middle of 

♦ Pritchard*s " Natural Htstory of Man." 

t Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of tlie Boman Empire." 

t Ibid. 


the sixth century, whea they had ah-eady more than once 
invaded Persia and the districts of Mavarnalhar ; and a few 
years later they possessed themselves of Khorassan, from 
whence they were shortly after expelled by the invasion of 
the Saracens, who had rendered themselves masters of Persia, 
and founded Bagdad. In the ninth century, the whole 
nation issued forth from the Mongolian steppes, and, follow- 
ing the path trodden by the more adventurous of their tribe, 
crossed the Jaxartes, and encamped in the plains of Trans- 
oxiana; then, turning towards the west, conquered and 
overran the kingdom of the White Huns at Carizme, who 
had maintained their existence on the eastern shores of the 
Caspian for several hundreds of years ; and among whom, 
through the influence of Timothy the patriarch of the Nes- 
torians,* who had sent thither several monks of his sect, 
Christianity was beginning to make some progress, though 
opposed by the votaries of the Mahometan faith. The latter 
had already made a considerable number of converts, and 
founded many mosques. The empire of the Turks, which 
now extended from the shores of the Caspian to the deserts 
around Cashgar and Samarcand, and from the banks of the 
Irtish and Permia to the borders of Iran or Persia, con- 
tinued united in Asia till about the middle of the tenth 
century, when it fell to pieces and became separated into 
several states ; and two of their hordes, again invading the 
northern unprotected provinces of Persia, wrested Khorassan 
and Ghizni, or Gazna, from the dominions of the caliphs. 
The position of this people with regard to Bagdad at that 
period, was very similar to the relations of the Slavonians 
and Bulgarians in respect to the city of Constantinople. 
Like her western neighbour, the wealthy Persian capital was 
looked upon with greedy eyes by all the wild and warlike 
tribes of the north. They continually invaded and plundered 
the frontier cities, and harassed her fertile territories ; her 
gold was sufficient to attract their horsemen thousands of 
miles across sands and rocks ; the science cultivated by the 
Saracens at Bagdad, has enlightened the whole civilized 
world ; her merchants traversed Asia with their stores, and 
brought back fruits and tidings from the remotest East, yet 
she was unable to drive these warriors from her provinces, 
and often hardly prevented them from entering her own 

• He was patriarch from A.D. 777 to 820. 


■well-guarded gates. Rising high on the banks of the 
mighty Tigris, on a plain where scarcely a hill intervenes 
betweea the Persian gulf and Mediterranean sea, and near 
the site of the ancient Nineveh and Babylon, she had been 
founded in ad. 762 by Almanzor, the caliph of the Mahc- 
metan Arabians or Saracens, whose people about a century 
before, and in obedience to the decrees of Mahomet, had 
invaded simultaneously both the east and the west, and, con- 
quering and overrunning Persia with fire and sword, had 
replaced the ancient creed of the fire-worshippers for the 
doctrines and faith of the Mecca prophet. Almanzor estab- 
lished the throne of the Saracen caliphs at Bagdad, which 
from this time rose inpow«r an<J magnificence, till she became 
the most splendid and learned city of the east, and the virtues 
and wisdom of her sovereign, Haroun al Raschid, were acknow- 
ledged and respected throughout Europe. He sent ambas- 
sadors and presents to Charlermagne, who then swayed the 
sceptre of France, and at that period claimed the proud title 
of the Emperor of the West; but the' subjects of the latter 
prince were, for the most part, still plunged in th-e savage 
ignorance which they shared with the rude Saxons of Britain 
and nearly all the other nations of the north, and exhibited a 
strong contrast to the polished and learned Saracens of the 
East, with whom later they were destined to come into so 
frequent and fierce a collision in the long and sanguinary 
wars of the Crusaders. 

During the reigns of the second dynasty of the Mnssulmen 
in Persia, the Sassanidse, who sat on the throne of the caliphs 
for a hundred and twenty-five years,* the Turks subdued the 
province of Khorassan, from whiob they were expelled a few 
years after by a Saracen force. But in a.d. 964 they again 
advanced, and while a tribe under Seljuk established them- 
selves in Khorassan, and, adopting the name of their leader, 
founded the kingdom of the Seljuk Turks, another division 
under Sebectagi, one of their chiefs, who, from a slave or 
common soldier, had raised himself to the sovereignty of 
Bactria, took possession of Ghiziii, and embraoed the faith of 
Mahomet. The humanity and probity of this prince is 
attested by many of the writers of the East, who, among other 
proofs, relate that, himting one day in a forest, he Captured a 
'fawn, but, after tying it across his saddle, he chanced to look 

* Thls-famlly reigned over Persia from 874 to 909 a. u. 


back, and saw tlie motlier following apparently in great 
distress ; kis heart was melted at this sight, and he imme- 
diately released his prey. On another occasion, he rebuked 
his son Mahmoud, who had greatly interested himself in the 
erection of a splendid palace, informing him that he ought to 
study the welfare of the people and a good name, which 
would last for ever, rather than a perishable object for 
merely his own gratification.* Under Sebectagi, the Turks 
made two expeditions across the Indus, and invaded Moultan 
and Lahore, annexing Peshawur to their dominions; and this 
example was followed by the far-famed Mahmoud of Ghizni, 
the son and successor of Sebectagi, who, in no less than 
twelve hostile invasions, made the loud and fearful warcries 
of the Tartars resound on the plains of Hindoostan,^ 

This chief commenced his reign in 997, after deposing and 
condemning to perpetual imprisonment his brother Ismael, 
who had usurped their father's throne.. His first campaign 
was against the ancient sovereign of his race, the emperor of 
Bokhara, who attacked his dominions, and whose family, the 
Samani, had maintained for a hundred years the chief 
authority in the regions of Mavar-ul-Nahar or Transoxiana, J 
and ruled all those provinces and Turkestan^ After a long 
war, in which the Turks were repulsed in every engagement, 
Mahmoud utterly extirpated the whole family of their 
monarchs, and added all the provinces of Bokhara to his own 
empire ; then, turning his arms to the East, in the year a.d. 
1000, he ravaged the north of India. The unfortunate 
Jeipal, king of Lahore, opposed his progress with the united 
forces of fifteen other chiefs; but, being all defeated and taken 
prisoners, the splendid jewels with which their necks were 
encircled were formed by order of the conqueror into collars 
for his bloodhounds ; and the captive monarch, to expiate the 
disgrace of his defeat, after the custom of his coimtry ordered 
a funeral pile to be prepared, and threw himself into the 
flames. But his degenerate son, Annindpai, consented to 
acknowledge the supremacy of Ghizni, and received the 
crown from Mahmoud, though he' only held it on condition 
of paying a' heavy annual tribute. This expedition into 
Hindoostan was followed by three more on the part of the 

♦Murray's "History of British India." 

t His lilstorv is written In the celebrated book called the " Yemlni by Aboiinalr Otbl, 
who relates the numerous wars imdertalsen l)y Mahmoud and Sebectoel la Hlndoostau. 
i Literally translated, "Land bej'ond ttio river." 


Tartars, of comparative insignificance, as they were merely 
to exact the punctual payment of the tax; but another 
campaign, which took place in 1 009, and was provoked by 
the daring inroad of Annindpal, whose valour had been at 
length aroused by oppression, upon Affghanistan, carried 
desolation and bloodshed into the heart of India. The king 
of Lahore, having formed an alliance with the most powerful 
of the neighbouring monarchs, assembled under his banner 
the forces of Delhi, Carouge, Gwalior, Callinger, and Ajmere, 
and with an enormous army, passed the Indus, and entered 
the rocky districts of Caubul. But a most terrible defeat 
awaited him on. the borders of Peshawur Twenty thousand 
Hindoo soldiers were slain in the pursuit ; and the conqueror, 
marching direct upon the fortress of Bheemgur, which had 
been considered as impregnable, and whei-e an enormous 
amount of treasure had been deposited, chiefly the offerings 
of the idolaters and the wealth of the priests ; he burst open 
the gates without opposition — the defenders, half dead with 
terror, falling flat on their faces at his approach — and, de- 
voting eveiy living thing to destruction, distributed the 
money and jewels it contained among his soldiers, his der- 
vishes, and his poorer and aged subjects.* 

The imprudent and unfortunate campaign of the Hindoos, 
having once revealed their weakness and riches to the eyes 
of the Turks, their country from henceforward, till the death 
of Mahmoud, was seldom free for above the short space of 
two years from his repeated and devastating attacks. Like 
an eagle, from his impregnable fortresses beyond the dark 
and stupendous peaks of the Indian Caucasus, or Hindoo 
Kosh, he perpetually and unexpectedly descended upon his 
prey; and, sweeping across the plains with his desolating 
force, returned to his own kingdom laden with plunder and 
spoil. At this time Oarnouge was the chief and most mag- 
nificent of the capitals of Hindoostan j and the Eastern writers 
proudly boast of the sixty thousand musicians who formed 
but an insignificant portion of the populace ; the thirty thou- 
sand shops for the sale of betel and opium ; the pagodas with 
their towers rivalling the hills in elevation ; the palaces of 
her princes, and her hundred idols of gold. Yet Carnouge 
yielded without a struggle to the first arrow of the archers 
of the north, and was rewarded by being exempted from de- 

• Murray's " History of British India;" 


struction, while the Turks passed on, and ravaged all the 
districts to the south as far as Malwa and Guzerat ; then 
returning, pillaged Delhi and Lahore. But upon their retreat 
the prince of Carnouge was attacked and defeated, and his city- 
laid waste by the angry king of Callinger, who was indignant 
at the terms -that the Indian monarch had concluded with 
the savage invader ; when Mahmoud returning, engaged with 
his undaunted enemy, and forced him to fly before him, at the 
same time again besieging and capturing Lahore. Though 
in his early youth the conqueror of Ghizni had been chiefly 
inclined to scepticism, yet after his victories he became, or 
professed to be, a rigid follower and supporter of Mahomet ; 
and, in his campaigns in India, his cruelties and destruction 
were chiefly perpetrated and directed against the Hindoo 
temples and pagodas, the idols and the Brahmins, and every 
order and rank among the priests. His last expedition was 
undertaken in the year 1024, when, for the first time, he saw 
himself threatened on the plains of Guzerat, with the probable 
chances of defeat. The native army was strong, and prepared 
to make a desperate resistance ; his men wavered ; he pro- 
strated himself on the ground, imploring the aid of Heaven, 
then appealed to the religious zeal of his troops, and, placing 
himself in front of their ranks, besought them to obtain, if 
not the glory of conquerors, at least the no less honourable 
fiime of martyrdom. His eiforts were at length crowned 
with success ; the Tartars charged repeatedly, and, after a 
fierce battle, drove back the armed elephants of the foe. 
Somnaut, the capital of Guzerat, opened her gates, and was 
entered by the victors in triumph ; and advancing to the idol 
temple, which was supported by fifty-six columns, all of 
splendid workmanship, Mahmoud ordered the enormous 
figure of their chief deity, which was formed entirely of gold, 
to be immediately reduced to fragments. The Brahmins 
sank on their knees, and ofiered an enormous sum for its. 
ransom ; the Mussulman warrior was immoveable, and 
reiterated his commands, and the first tremendous blow was 
instantly given by the weighty sabre of an attendant Turk. 
This disclosed to the astonished view of the invaders in- 
numerable diamonds, and other precious stones, of which the 
value is said to have exceeded all the rest of the booty that 
had been captured throughout India in any former campaign j 
and Mahmoud, who had contemplated at one time removing. 


his seat of government to that province, resolved at least to 
imite it to his own empire, and on his departure placed over 
it, as viceroy, a native Brahmin, though after his death the 
people again became subject to the family of their former 

At length, abandoning India, the Turks slowly returned 
towards the north, and Mahmoud received from his vassal 
or intimidated ally, the trembling caliph of Bagdad, the 
epithet of " Guardian of the faith and fortune of Mahomet," 
for his zeal in the propagation of the religion of the prophet. 
His capital of Ghizni, which had hitherto been little more 
than a rough military encampment, or horde of shepherds' 
huts, was enriched on his return with every decoration and 
ornament that his Indian expeditions could furnish, or Tartar 
ingenuity invent ; many mosques and palaces were erected, 
and public institutions founded, and the city became cele- 
brated throughout Asia by the name of the " Celestial Bride." 
He also invited several poets and philosophers to his court, 
who in their writings have applauded his government and 
recorded his fame ; among others, the celebrated astronomer, 
Abdurrahman Sufi,-}- and they aflSrm that he caused justice 
to be so rigidly maintained, that in his reign, as they express 
it, " the wolf might drink with the lamb." On one occasion 
a woman, from a remote and lately conquered Persian pro- 
vince, appeared before him in the divan, and complained that 
she had been deprived of her son and property by a band of 
robbers. "It is impossible," said the monarch, " to preserve 
perfect order in so distant and inaccessible a district." 
" Why, then," exclaimed the woman, " do you conquer king- 
doms which you cannot protect, and for which one day you 
will be called upon to answer at the last judgment 1 " Mah- 
moud saw the force of her argument, and issued prompt 
commands for the stricter enforcement of the laws in these 
parts. Another time, having contemplated the reduction of 
a neighbouring state — of which, the chief having lately died, 
his wife acted as regent during the minority of their infant 
son — he was induced to desist from his project by a message 

•Murray's "mstory of British India." Gibbon's "Decline and Fail of tlieKoman 

t A native Kai, In Irait, Persia. He observed and gave a name to tlio larger of tlie 
Magellanic clouds, whicli he calls tile Wliite Ox. 

In ills " Introduction to tlie Knowledge of tiie Starry Heavens," he says, " that below 
the feet of the Sultel, there is a white spot which is invisible both in Irak and in the more 
northern mountainous part of Arabia, but may be seen in the southern Tehama, between 
Mecca and the extremity of Yemen, along the coast of the Bed Sea."— Humboldt's 


from tlie -widowed queen, entreating him to wait till hev 
child was of an age to oppose him. " During the life of my 
husband," said she, " I was ever apprehensive of your am- 
bition ; he was a prince and a soldier worthy of your arms. 
He is now no more ; his sceptre has passed to a woman and 
a child, and you dare not attack their infancy and weakness. 
How inglorious would be your conquest, how shameful your 
defeat ! and yet the event of war is in the hand of the 

But her kingdom was shortly after extinguished, and her 
family, the Bowides, utterly destroyed, by the vigorous and 
rising power of the Seljuk Tartars or Turks, who, towards 
the latter years of the reign of Mahmoud, harassed and in- 
vaded his territories, and began rapidly to extend their 
dominions and influence over the more luxurious provinces 
in the south. From the mercenary soldiers of the caliph, they 
quickly became the masters of Bagdad j and after the death 
of Seljuk their leader, who, on being outlawed from Turkestan, 
had brought his followers into Khorassan, and founded this 
state, the Tartar generals held a council for the election of 
a new chief, at which it was agreed that the nomination 
should be decided by drawing lots, taken from a bundle of 
arrows held in the hand of a child. The prize was obtained 
by Togrul, the grandson of Seljuk ; the latter, who lived to 
extreme old age, and long survived his son Michael, the 
father of Togrul, having adopted and educated the young 
prince, upon whom he had bestowed, some time back, the 
title and government of Neishabour, and who was forty-five 
years old when by chance he obtained the crown, which he 
was destined hereafter to embellish by new and more distant 
conquests. The old warrior of Ghizni saw their progress 
with uneasiness and mistrust. In the year 1030 he led an 
army into Khorassan, but the campaign was not accompanied 
with his former success ; it was barren of any favourable or 
lasting result. The Seljuks retreated from before him, and 
then turned and routed the rearguard of his force ; and, 
bewailing the instability of all human fortune and greatness, 
he died soon after his return at the age of sixty-three, a 
remorseful and broken-hearted old man. Avarice, which had 
always been a leading feature in his character, had greatly 
increased with advancing age, and his latter moments present 

* Gibbon's "History oftbe Decline and Fall of the Soman Empire," 


a melancholy picture of a struggle for the possession of earthly- 
riches and power with approaching and inevitable death. 
A few days before this he caused all his jewels, ornaments, 
and riches, to be spread before him, and then enclosed in 
their former stronghold, determined to preserve them un- 
diminished to the last ; and commanding his whole army, 
which consisted of one hundred thousand foot, fifty-five thou- 
sand horse, and 'thirteen hundred elephants, to parade within 
his sight, he wept to think how soon his own possessions 
must pass from within his grasp, and how, like those of India, 
they might too soon become the prey and treasure of a foreign 
and hostile tyrant.* 

His mournful predictions were speedily fulfilled ; a few 
years after, the son of Mahmoud was driven by Togrul to the 
territory bordering on the Indus, where his descendants, con- 
fined to Ghizni and the stronghold of Caubul, reigned for 
above two hundred years, and until driven forth by the 
Monguls under Zingis. 

In the mean time, Togrul had invaded and captured Bag- 
dad ; and, espousing the daughter of the Saracen prince, who 
united a sacred dignity with the duties of his regal office, 
assumed the title of Guardian of the Faith, and Protector of 
the throne of the Caliph. He also threatened the Asiatic 
provinces of the Byzantine empire, and burned Arzen, a large 
commercial city of Armenia, containing three hundred thou- 
sand inhabitants, and eight hundred churches, defeated the 
united armies of Georgia and Constantinople in Asia Minor, 
and laid siege to Manzikert. The Greeks who manned the 
walls showered fire, boiling pitch, arrows, and stones, upon 
the assailants, who were subsequently compelled to relinquish 
the attack, and return to Persia. But in 1052 the Turks 
again invaded the empire, though they retired without 
hazarding a battle, and Togrul their leader died in A.D. 1071, 
and, leaving no children, was succeeded by his nephew. Alp 
Arslan, or the valiant lion ; while his cousin Koultumish, a 
grandson of Seljuk, founded the dynasty of Sultans in Eoum 
or Iconium, in Lesser Asia.t The great grandson of Koul- 
tumish became later so celebrated in history as the valiant 
and generous Saladin. 

As soon as their formidable opponent was dead, the Greeks, 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Boman Empire." 
t Fialoy's " Byzantine Empire." 


unaware that he had bequeathed his dominions to a still 
fiercer and more terrible warrior, prepared to invade the 
territories of the Turks, but were defeated with immense 
slaughter, and their Emperor Romanus taken prisoner. The 
unhappy prince was forced to kiss the ground before the bar- 
barian monarch, and pay a ransom of two hundred thousand 
pieces of gold for his deliverance,* while Alp subdued Georgia 
and Armenia, and forced the inhabitants of these kingdoms 
to profess the Mussulman faith j though, after his death, 
Georgia emancipated herself from the hated yoke of the 
Turks, and, through many ages of disasters and oppression, 
has firmly adhered to the Christian worship, retaining through 
every invasion of the Mahometans the succession of her 
native princes and bishops. 

But Alp Arslan, preferring the conquest of Turkestan, the 
original seat of the house of Seljuk, to pursuing the fugitive 
Greeks, or continuing the Byzantine war, led an army so 
great across the Oxus, that it required twenty days to pass, 
and laid siege to the frontier fortress of Berzem, where he 
captured the governor, a Carizmian named Joseph. The 
conqueror reproached this officer with his folly, when brought 
before him, for having attempted to withstand his irresistible 
force j the prisoner replied angrily to the charge, and the 
barbarous Turk commanded that Joseph should die by the 
most painful and lingering death. On hearing this, the de- 
sperate captive drew a poniard concealed in his clothes, and 
plunged it into the victor's breast ; he was immediately cut 
to pieces by the guards and attendants, but the event proved 
that he had inflicted a mortal wound, and Alp expired, after 
giving utterance to this dying reflection : — " In my youth," 
said he, " I was advised by a sage to humble myself before 
God, to distrust my own strength, and never to despise the 
most contemptible foe. I have neglected these lessons, and 
my neglect has been deservedly punished. Yesterday, as 
from an eminence, I beheld the numbers, the spirit, and the 
discipline of my armies ; the earth seemed to tremble tmder 
my feet, and I said in my heart. Surely tho\i art the king of 
the world, the greatest and most invincible of warriors. 
These armies are no longer mine, and, in the confidence of 
my personal strength, I now fall by the hand of an assassin."t 

• Gibbon's "Decline and FnU of the Boman Empire." Universal History, 
t Ibid. 


He desired that tlie inscription, " Ye who have seen the 
glory of Alp Arslan exalted to the heavens, come to Mai-u,* 
and see it buried under the dust," should be engraven upon 
his tomb.t 

In the year 1080, and in the reign of Malek Shah, the son 
and successor of Alp, the Seljuk Turks consummated what 
may be considered as the most important of their conquests, 
as it was the one which first roused against them the anger 
and indignation of all Europe. This was the subjection of 
Jerusalem, where the most terrible outrages were committed 
by the infidels upon the defenceless pilgrims, who had resorted 
from every province throughout the Christian East, and the 
civilized nations of this continent, to worship on the steps of. 
her sacred shrines. The Greek patriarch was dragged by the 
hair along the pavement, and thrown into a dungeon for the 
purpose of exacting a heavy ransom from his followers ; and 
the priests of every sect were insulted and abused, wherever 
they ventured to appear in the streets. Many also who had 
passed through innumerable toils and dangers, to obtain 
pardon for their sins, and salvation for their souls, by offering 
up their prayers, or casting their wealth on the stones of the 
Holy Sepulchre, when they arrived at Jerusalem were not 
even permitted to enter her gates. But a zealous champion 
of their cause appeared, in an obscure hermit of Picardy, who 
heard and saw their ■wrongs with kindling eye ; and, return- 
ing to Europe, he threw himself at the feet of the Pope, and 
conjured him to urge every Christian monarch to unite in 
expelling from Palestine the Mahometan Saracens and 
Turkg.l The appeal spread like wild-fire through every 
country on the continent, and was responded to with equal 
enthusiasm by every prince and knight ; and thus was com- 
menced the first Crusade or Holy War, for the rescue of the 
Sepulchre and Palestine, by the- followers and defenders of 
the Cross. 

But, to return to the original hordes of the Turks or Avars 
who remained in Turkestan. Their subjection, which had 
been begun by Alp, was continued and completed by his son ; 
Carizme, Bokhara, and Cashgar, received laws from Bagdad, 
and the name of her princes was inserted upon the coin as 

• He was burled at Mara, 1079 A.D., In the forty-ninth year of Us age, and tenth of 
nis reign, 
+ Murray's "British India," 
I miiboo'a "Decline and Fall of the Soman Empire." 


far north as Siberia and Biarmaland. At this time the 
Polotzi first appeared ia Europe, a people whose name sig- 
nifies hunters, or people of the plain ; and it is probable that 
they were a tribe of the Avars, driven out of Transoxiana, 
where the modem inhabitants, the Kirghiz Tartars, appear 
to belong to the same race. Driving the Petoheuegans 
from the barren sands between the Don and the Ural, 
known at that time as the country of Kipzak, they afterwards 
followed and expelled them from the eastern districts of the 
Crimea, obliging them to retreat into Bulgaria, where, from 
the enemies, they subsequently became the valuable allies of 
the declining empire of Greece. The kingdom of the Polotzi 
or Cumans, continued on the Don for more than a hundred 
and fifty years, and the first settlements of the Genoese in the 
Crimea were held in dependence upon them. They were an 
extremely fierce and barbarous people, and when the exten- 
sive empire of Jaroslaf had become weakened by division, and 
exhausted by its long and frequent wars, carried their plun- 
dering incursions into the heart of Russia ; they respecte^ 
no treaties, and brought entire destruction and desolation on 
whichever side they turned their arms ; and their invasions 
only ceased when the Monguls poured like a flood over their 
plains, and, having driven them out of Russia, forced them 
to take refuge in Moldavia, which was then a Hungarian 
province. There the king of that country, Bela IV., gave 
them lands and allowed them to settle, from which time 
they became quiet and peaceable subjects, and, amalgamating 
with the natives, their names have long ceased to be con- 
spicuous, and were indeed ultimately blotted out from the 
political history of Europe. 

The empire of the Keraites, or Kara-hitai, had succeeded 
to the power of the Turks on their descent from northern 
Asia. They quickly extended their dominions from the 
great wall of China to the Hindoo Koosh ; and in the first 
year of the eleventh century, their prince, according to the 
Nestorian missionaries, was converted to Christianity through 
a miracle, and, with two hundred thousand of his subjects, 
consented to receive baptism. The ardent and adventurous 
missionaries of this church had traversed unknown districts 
from Bagdad to China, and braving every danger, and facing 
countless perils, had planted their doctrines and faith in the 
heart of the Chinese empire.* There, through hundreds of 

* Hue's " Christianity In Tnrtary, Thibet, and China." 


years, and innumerable revolutions and civil wars, the seeds 
which, they sowed have survived, and they still maintain 
temples and convents iu many districts ; and the perverted 
germs of Christianity, now professed by the native rebels of 
China, who have long firmly opposed the influence and throne 
of the Mantchous, appear only to be the scattered remnants 
of the creed so earnestly propagated by these zealous priests. 
The royal convert of Kara-hitai erected a church on a plain 
to the north of the Gobi desert, which he dedicated to the 
martyr St. Sergius, and where he erected an altar and a cross. 
His successors, according to the usual custom in eastern 
nations, united in their person both a regal and priestly 
character, and a Keraite khan in the twelfth century invad- 
ing Persia, mining Eobatana,and advancing to the Tigris, made 
his name known and celebrated in western Europe, and gave 
foundation for the story circulated in the middle ages, of the 
marvellous empire of Prester or Priest John, the word khan 
being mistaken for John. As this was his title, and of 
course borne by every monarch, the Europeans supposed that 
this Tartar prince was gifted with the virtue of immortality, 
or immense length of life, when travellers from time to time, 
returning from a journey into Asia, still brought tidings and 
reports of what they had seen or heard of the magnificent 
court of Prester John. 

In the year 1046 the Keraites, who now ruled all central 
Asia, forty- five years after their conversion completed the 
subjugation of Cashgar. They are minutely described in a 
letter from the metropolitan of Samarcand to his superior the 
Nestorian patriarch, at Bagdad: — "A people," says he, 
" innumei-able as grasshoppers, has opened for itself a passage 
across the mountains which separate Thibet from China, 
where, according to ancient historians, are to be found the 
gates constructed by Alexander the Great. Thence they have 
penetrated to Kaschgar. There are seven kings, each of 
whom is at the head of seven hundred thousand horsemen. 
The first of these is named Nazareth, that is to say, ' Chief, 
by order of God.' They have brown complexions like 
Indians. They do not wash their faces, nor cut their hair, 
but plait it, and tie it together at the top of their heads, in 
the form of a tiara, which serves them instead of a helmet. 
They are excellent archers. Their food is simple, and not 


very abundant. They practise, above all things, justice and 

In 1 ] 25 the Keraites conquered the Igours or Kalmucks, 
in the southern districts of Siberia, and they appeared to have 
continued Christians till they fell, in the thirteenth century, 
before the power of Zingis Khan. 

• Hue's " Christianity to Tartary, Thibet, and China.'" 


Ijiaslaf— i^e folts infeak glussia— Sttaio^Iaf II.— %t6oll>— 
llofcogorob— Itiataskg pofan juf t^^ €\mt^. 

*' The fairest cities of tlie land 
Are fired by an invader's hand ; 
And famine fuilows in the car 
Of the Ml demon, civil war."— Anon. 

From A.D. 1053 to 1078, or from A.M. 6581 to 6606. 

The peace and prosperity wMch Russia enjoyed during 
the latter years of Jaroslaf, continued but a few years after 
his death. The army of Kiof having been very much re- 
duced by its separation from those detachments who had 
accompanied the imperial princes as guards and retinues 
to their various sovereignties, Yizislaf, the prince of Polotzk, 
taking advantage of the diminished strength of the capital, 
to endeavour to throw ojff his allegiance to Iziaslaf, and in- 
crease his own dominions, marched an army into the 
territories of his brother, by whom he was defeated, and 
forced to retire upon Polotzk. To this town he was pursued 
by Iziaslaf, who, capturing him and his two sons, loaded 
them with chains and threw them into prison, threatening 
them with immediate death unless they renounced all claim 
to the principality, and acknowledged him as the lawful 
sovereign of Polotzk and Kiof. But the inhabitants, in- 
censed at this treatment of their prince, rose up in arms 
against the usurper, and assisted by Sviatozlaf, the prince of 
Novogorod, and his brother Vyzevold, drove him from his 
kingdom, and compelled him to seek refuge in Poland, whose 
sovereign, Boleslaf II., was his cousin and brother-in-law, 
and in 1067 he was formally deposed from his throne by the 
National Assembly of Kiof. Upon this, Iziaslaf endeavoured 
to rouse the king of Poland in his behalf, who, urged by the 
hope of establishing for himself a claim to the empire, in 
right of his mother and wife, who were both Russian 


princesses, advanced witli a numerous army into Russia, and 
was encountered by tlie forces of Vizislaf within a few miles 
of Kiof. When "Vizislaf perceived the Polish troops drawn up 
in order of battle, though in former wars he had shown him- 
self by no means deficient in courage and intrepidity, he was 
seized with a fear and irresolution, which he vainly endea- 
voured to overcome. He escaped from his tent and fled 
from the field, and then ashamed of this pusillanimity, and 
attempting to recover his self-possession, returned ; but at the 
sight of the enemy was again overcome with a panic, which 
all his efforts failed to conquer, and rendered him totally 
incapable of commanding his troops, till, finally abandoning 
the army, his soldiers, deprived of their chief, dispersed 
without engaging the enemy. The inhabitants of Kiof, 
finding themselves left to the mercy of the Poles, who were 
marching upon the city without opposition, solicited the 
assistance of Sviatozlaf and Vyzevold, who procuring a re- 
conciliation between the citizens and their deposed monarch, 
Iziaslaf again ascended the throne. They also recovered for 
him the towns and provinces of which they had formerly 
deprived him. Polotzk and Minsk were the only cities that 
attempted to stand a siege ; but the former was soon forced 
to capitulate, and in the latter, whose resistance had been 
more obstinate and protracted, all the men were cruelly 
massacred by the victors, and the women and children dis- 
tributed for slaves among their warriors.* Vizislaf having 
escaped from his dominions, shortly afterwards died in ob- 
scurity, and the Polish king being recalled to Poland with 
his army by the prospect of a war with Hungary, Kiof was 
once more freed from foreign invaders. 

But dissensions were continually arising among the princes, 
who perpetually encroached upon each others' territories. 
George, the metropolitan of Kiof, was so alarmed at these 
disturbances, that he abandoned his see and returned to 
Constantinople, his native place ; and in 1072 Sviatozlaf again 
took up arms against his brother, and expelled him from his 
throne and country. Iziaslaf having vainly applied for the as- 
sistance of the emperor Henry IV. of Germany, accompanying 
his solicitations by rich and splendid presents, which dazzled 
and astonished the simple and unrefined court of the- German 
kaiser, who, howevei', only remonstrated fruitlessly by an. 

» Pinlicrton'8"IiHasia." 


ambassador with tbe usurper, sent his son to E-ome to intreat 
the interference of the Pope in his behalf; -while Sviatozlaf 
remained alike deaf to the bold reproof of Theodosius, a 
hermit, who dwelt in a cave near Kiof, where he founded a 
monastery, remarkable for the asceticism and severity of its 
rules, and the holy lives of its priests.* Gregory VII., the 
ambitious and zealous Hildebrand, who extended the power 
of the Church of Rome to a hitherto unknown extent, then 
filled the chair of St. Peter ; and eagerly embracing the oppor- 
tunity which appeared to present itself of including Russia 
within the bounds of the Papal see, and in the expectation 
that Iziaslaf would, on the recovery of his dominions, re- 
nounce, the supremacy of the schismatical patriarchate of 
Constantinople, and acknowledge the authority of the tiara 
of Rome, he commanded the king of Poland to assist the Rus- 
sian prince in regaining his throne, and addressed a long letter 
to Iziaslaf. -j- In this document he states, that, at the request 
of the son of the deposed monarch, he had administered to 
him the oath of fealty to St. Peter J and his successors, not 
doubting that it would be approved by the king of Russia, 
and all the lords of his kingdom, since the apostle would 
henceforward regard their country as his own, and defend it 
accordingly. At the command of the Pope, Boleslaf once 
more entered Russia with a powerful army; and having 
ravaged the border provinces, and sacked and utterly de- 
stroyed the large town of Wolyn, he transported the plunder 

* MouravlelTs "Church of Russia." 

t Blackmore in his notes to Mouravleffs " Russian Church," gives the letter as printed 
in Baronius's Annals, torn. xi. 472.— 

"Gveccrius semis servorum Del Demetrlo." (this was Iziaslaf s baptismal name) 
"reglEussorumetreginsB, Apostolicambenedictionem. Filiusvesterhmina Apostolorum 
vlsitaiis ad nos venit, et quod regnum illud doiio Sanctl Petri per inanus nostras vellet 
obtinere, eidem beato Petro Apostolorum Principl debita fidelitate exhibita, devotis pre- 
cibus postulavlt, indubitaiiter asseverans illara suam petitionera vestro consensu ratam 
fore ac stabilem, st Apostolicaj auctoritatls gratia ac niunimine donaretur. Cuius votis 
et petitionlbus, quia justa videbantur turn ex consensu vestro turn ex devotione poscentis, 
tandem assensum prffibulmus, et rognl yestri gubcrnacula sibi ex parte bcatl Petri tradidi- 
mus, ea videlicet Intentlono atque deslderio carltatis, ut beatus Petru.? vos et regnum 
■Oestrum omniaque vestra bona sua apud l)eum iutercessione custodiat, et cum omni pace, 
honore quoque et glorift, Idem regnum usque in flnem vitaa vestraj tenere vos faciat, et 
liujus milltlie finite cursu, inipetret vobla apud supernum regem gloriam senipiternara 
Quinetlamnos parr.tlssimos esse noverit vestrte nobllltatis serenitas. ut ad quascumque 
justa negotia hujus Sedis auctoritatem pro sua necessitate petierit, proculdubio contlnuo 
petitionum suarum oonsequatur efTectum. Prseterea ut haac, et aliamulta quae lltterisnoii 
contliientur, cordibus vestris arctius Inflgantur, misimus hos nuutios nostros, quorum 
unus vester notus est et fldus amicus ; qui et ea, quaj in litteria sunt, diligenter vobis ex- 
ponent, et quaa minus sunt viva voce explebunt. Qujbus, pro reverentia beat! »^etri. 
cujus legati sunt, vos mites et affabiles praebeatis ; et quicquid vobis dixerint et parte 
nostra patienter audiatis, atque indubitanter credatis : et qujB ibi ex auctoritate Aposlo- 
licfe scdld negotia tractare voluerint, et statuere, nullorum male ingenio turban permittatis, 
scdpotiuseossinceracaritatefovendojuvetis. OmnipoteusDensmentesvestrasiiluminet 
atque per temporalia bona faciat vos transire ad gloriam sempiternam 1 Data Homfc SV'. 
KfllendasMaii, Indictione decimatertia ; hoc est anno 1075." 

t Stephen's "Ecclesiastical Biographies." 


whicli lie liad seized from the enemy's cities into Poland, and 
advanced upon Kiof. He was encountered near tlie city by 
Sviatozlaf, whom he defeated after a furious battle, in which 
the Grand Prince was killed ; but the loss of the Poles was 
so great, that their monarch was forced to retire for a time, 
in order to recruit his forces, though the following spi-ing he 
returned to Kiof and commenced the siege of that place. 
He remained for a long time before the walls, having failed 
in several desperate attacks to penetrate beyond, till the gar- 
rison was so weakened by famine and the plague, which broke 
out among them, that they were forced to capitulate, and 
Boleslaf entered the city, but treated it with a generosity 
too seldom practised in those days. He not only commended 
the valour of the citizens, but distributed an ample supply of 
provisions among them, and prohibited his ti'oops from insult- 
ing them, or pillaging and destroying their houses. However, 
when Iziaslaf had been reinstated on his throne, the Polish 
soldiere, like their predecessors in the reign of Sviatopolk, 
refused to leave the country, which they fpund so much more 
opulent and luxurious than their own; and Boleslaf estab- 
lished himself as virtual sovereign, the Russian prince being 
little more than his vassal and dependant. Kiof, during the 
prosperous reign of Jaroslaf, had acquired riches and magni- 
licence. Greek artists had been employed by him to build 
and decorate the churches, monasteries, and palaces ; it had 
risen again from the desolation caused by the Polish army in 
the preceding reign with renewed lustre, and its extensive 
commerce had introduced the wealth and luxury of Byzan- 
tium ; so that an ancient Polish historian remarks, " that 
Boleslaf, king of Poland, having remained during several 
years with his army in Russia, brought back his troops to 
their native country enervated by the seeds of corruption. 
That opulent country," says he, " steeped in pleasures, relaxed 
in energy, and destroyed by its commerce with the Greeks, 
proved no less fatal to the Polish army than did the voluptuous 
Capua to the soldiers of Hannibal."* Thus the Polish army 
with their monarch, who had become too indolent even to 
ride out on horseback, but passed his days engrossed in 
amusements and trifling pursuits in the interior of his palace, 
remained at Kiof, and appeared to have entirely forgotten 
their own country, till the reports of the serious disorders 
• " Hietolre do In Kusslo," par A. Kabbe, 


tliafc prevailed there at length obliged them to return, accom- 
panied by an auxiliary Russian force to put down the insur- 
rections that had broken ont. But Boleslaf, though he had 
triumphed over all his foreign enemies at the time -when he 
enjoyed the respect and confidence of his subjects, now having 
by his misconduct entirely lost their esteem, was unable to 
re-establish himself over his own people ; and, being finally 
compelled to abandon his kingdom, he, according to most 
writers, ended his days in th« humble capacity of a cook, 
in a monastery in Carinthia.* 

No sooner had Russia been released from the oppression 
of the Poles than the Hungarians invaded her western pro- 
vinces ; and the two remaining years of the reign of Iziaslaf 
were continually disturbed by the invasions of the neigh- 
bouring Tartar tribes, particularly the Polotzi, who a few- 
years before had driven the Petchenegans out of Kipzak,t and 
now extended their inroads and plundering excursions to all 
the countries round. 

In 1078 they first extended their ravages into Russia, 
where they were met by the Grand Prince, with the Russian 
army, near the banks of the river Alta. He had previously 
visited with his suite the cave of a celebrated hermit, named 
Anthony, who, after visiting Greece and the Holy Land, had 
returned to bis native country, where he lived in a secluded 
cell, excavated by his own hands, among th-e forests that 
surrounded Kiof, and who, it is said, foretold to Iziaslaf the 
disastrous result of the approaching battle.^ On the 3rd of 
December, 1078, the Russians engaged with the enemy, but 
their arany was completely defeated, in a furious engagement, 
by the overwhelming force of the Polotzi, and their Grand. 
Prince was among the slain. His death took pla<ce in the 
fifty-fifth year of his age ; and he was suoceeded on the 
throne, according to the custom of Russia, by his brother 
Yyzevold, to the exclusion of his own sons. 

From the death of Jaroslaf, Novogorod had become sepa- 
rated from Kiof, and continued so for about a hundred years ; 
and, after the restoration of Iziaslaf, it joined but little in 
the wars, dissensions, and revolutioixs that at various times 
distracted the neighbouring states.' Though itself a wealthy 

• Article, Volmi—Encydopcedia BrHmmica. 

t Kipzak, or 'Klpslmk, sigtitfios the PIollow Tree; and these plains were known as 
Desliti Klpsliafc, or tlie Steppe of the Hollow Tree, It Is the same wora as Kamschatka. 
t Mouraylefl's "ChurehofHussla." 


city, yet isolated as it was amidst the frozen and iahospitable 
marshes of the north, the country by which it was surrounded 
presented too barren an aspect to render it inviting to an 
invading army ; and it was therefore comparatively free from 
the invasions of the unsettled and warlike tribes who sur- 
rounded Russia on every side, and who so frequently burned 
and plundered the less fortunate city of Kiof A tumult 
was raised in the city in the year 1071, in the reign of 
Sviatozlaf, by an impostor who proclaimed himself a prophet, 
and instigated the people to rise up in arms, and endeavour 
to seize and murder their bishop, Fedor. The prelate made 
no attempt to conceal himself, but, takiiig the cross in his 
hand, he advanced in his pontifical robes, and called upon all 
true believers to resist the fury of the impostor, and the 
prince Gleb, the nephew of Sviatozlaf, having entered the 
street on hearing of the uproar, commanded the false prophet 
to appear before him. The wretched mtm, not daring to 
resist the summons, presented himself before the prince, who, 
jsroducing an axe which he had previously concealed among 
his clothes, stnick the impostor upon the head, and put an 
end to his life. The power and prosperity of Novogorod 
was increasing, while the other principalities of Kussia were 
overrun and plundered by the neighbouring nations ; and 
they extended their commerce far and wide, firmly resisting 
all the encroachments of their princes upon their liberty and 
privileges, and addressing remonstrances which, if not heeded, 
were speedily followed by deposition to those whom they 
deemed incapable of ruling them, or whose ambition of 
personal power appeared likely to endanger their freedom 
and privileges, so that a succession of no less than thirty- 
four princes alternately swayed the sceptre during the space 
of a hundred years.* 

In 1071 a great famine occurred in Russia, and the idea 
arising that the women caused it by magic, great numbers 
fell victims to this absurd accusation ; and, in 11 29, Novo- 
gorod again suffered from the same calamity, the ci'ops 
having been washed away in the spring by several furious 
storms ; the people were reduced to the necessity of eating 
the bark off the trees in the place of bread ; and the streets, 
being choked with the bodies of those who had fallen victims 
to starvation, a pestilence was induced, which destroyed 

* Bell's "History of Kassliiv" 


thousands more of the inhabitants. This terrible scourge 
appears to have been very frequent in Russia during the 
early period of her history, and is even now of by no means 
an uncommon occurrence from the still undeveloped state of 
commerce, and the short summer season, and difficulty of 
internal communication ; so that, if the harvest fails in a 
remote province, the inhabitants may be unable to repair 
their loss before the winter sets in, or if the winter happens 
to be of an unusual length, and their ordinary provision 
exhausted, though the other parts of the empire may be 
plentifully supplied, the obstructed state of the rivers and 
roads, during the breaking up of the ice, and the scattered 
and scanty population, has often precluded the arrival of any 
material assistance or relief before many have been carried off 
by this dreadful visitation.* 

From the time when Christianity was first introduced into 
Eussia, the priests had been gradually acquiring extensive 
power in the state, and over the minds of the rulers and 
people. Their revenues were continually increased by the 
gifts of the nobles and princes, who endowed churches with 
whole villages and forests; so that, when Peter the -Great 
ascended the throne, one-third of the lands in Russia was the 
property of the Church. Vyzevold erected a chapel to St. 
Demetrius, on which he bestowed a grant of houses, woods, 
lakes, and rivers. It was the custom for the Grand Princes, 
when on their death-bed, to assume the habit and take the 
vows of a monk ; and, if they unexpectedly recovered, the act 
was still binding upon them, and they retired into a monas- 
tery, to end their days in the devotions and seclusion of the 
cloister. The metropolitans of Kiof were always consecrated 
by the patriarch of Constantinople till the year 1147, when 
the Russians elected a monk of their own nation, named 
Clement, to the office, alleging, as a justification for this act 
of independence, that the patriarchal see was at that time 
vacant ; but the nomination of this prelate, who was their 
fourteenth metropolitan, was nevertheless contested by Con- 
stantinople, and caused a division with that church which 
lasted several years. At this period, when literature was 
almost unknown in Scandinavia, . Poland, and even Iceland, 
the Athens of the north in the middle ages, Russia px-oduced 
an historian in the person of Nestor, a monk in the Pechersky 

* See " Englisjiwomau In Bussla," and other Travels. 


monastery at Kiof. He was born at Bielozero in 1046, and 
entered the cloister at the early age of eighteen, where he 
composed his celebrated Chronicles, which form a history of 
Russia, extending from the year 858 to 1115, with an iatro- 
duction containing a short history of the world ; and this 
work was continued after his death, by the abbot Sylvester, 
till 1123, and by two other monks till 1203. He was 
acquainted witb Greek, and many of the Byzantine authors, 
from whose writings he has inserted several passages in his 
history : and he was assisted in its compilation by the narra- 
tive of a fellow-monk, named Ivane, who, dying in 1106 at 
the age of ninety-one, had been born only a year after the 
death, of Vladimir, and must have known many persons who 
■were eye-witnesses of the establishment of Christianity in 
Russia. Nestor also wrote a geograpbioal description • of 
Russia, and a history of the Slavonians, and died about the 
year 1115.* 

A curious monument of this period has been recently dis- 
covered on tlie Asiatic shore of the Straits of Kertch, in a 
marble slab, which appears to have been placed there in the 
year 1068, by one of the princes of Russia, and bears the 
following inscription : — " In the year (a.m.) 6576, Prince 
Gleb, the son of Vladimir, measured the Cimmerian Bos- 
phorus on the ice, and found the distance from Tmutaracan 
to Kertch to be 30,053 fathoms."! 

* Coxe's "Travels in Ituasia, Poland," Ac. 

t Spencer's Travels in Circusia, Krim Tartary, «tc. 

FROM A.M. 6606 TO 6633, oe A.D. 1098 TO 1125. 

*' The villain Arab, as he prowls for prey, 
Oft marks with blood, and wasting flames the way; 
Yet none so cruel as the Tartar foe, 
To deatii enured, and nursed in scenes of woe." — Collins. 

The reign of tlie Grand Prince Vyzevold Andrew is 
ctiefly marked by the Continual invasions of the surrounding 
tribes, particularly the Hungarians and Polotzi, or Cumans, 
■who carried on a constant desultory wai-fare with the princi- 
palities of Russia J the contentions between his son and 
nephew ; a dreadful plague that ravaged Russia ; and the 
assistance he rendered to the emperor, Michael Ducas of 
Constantinople, that prince having requested his aid in sup- 
pressing the rebellion of the Chersonites, who had risen 
against the Greek Empire at a time when its forces were 
engaged in a war with the Bulgarians. Vyzevold sent a 
small detachment to the Crimea, under the command of his 
sons, Vladimir and Gleb, where the former received the sur- 
name of Monomachus,* or the Duellist, from his defeating in 
single combat, at the siege of Kafi'a, the general who com- 
manded the rebel town. Having unhorsed the Greek chief- 
tain, Vladimir spared his life, but deprived him of his cap, 
enriched with diamonds, the gold chain he wore round his 
neck, and his girdle, as proofs of his victory. The Russians 
also compelled the citizens of Cherson to restore some of 
their merchant vessels that they had seized, and pay the 
expenses of the war, which was brought to a rapid conclusion 
by the death of the Emperor of Constantinople. 

Vladimir also distinguished himself in numerous campaigns 
against the Polotzi, and caused his name to be dreaded by all 

• Some writers suppose that he derived this surname from his maternal grandfather. 


tlie Tai-tar tribes, wliom he defeated in upwards of sixty 
battles and many petty skirmishes, and at length compelled 
them to respect ^ose treaties for which his arms had forced 
them to entreat. Among other victories he made a successful 
expedition against Novogorod, and took the prince prisoner, 
■whom he obliged to cede his possessions to his own son 
Harald, and content himself with a very small portion of his 
former territory. Monomachus had formerly received from 
his uncle, Sviatozlaf, the town and pi-incipality of Smolensko, 
as a reward for his services in the war between that prince 
and Iziaslaf ; and his possessions were further augmented by 
Vyzevold, when he ascended the throne, who bestowed upon 
him the fertile province of Tchernigoff. This state lawfully 
belonged to Oleg, the son of Sviatozlaf, it having been be- 
queathed him by his cousin, the son and successor of Nicholas 
Vladimii-ovitz,* who, resigning his throne and embracing a 
monastic life, ended his days in the cloisters of Pechersky, 
and gave over his patrimony to this prince, who had already 
been deprived of his paternal rights. Oleg took up arms 
for the recoveiy of his domains, and, entering into alliance 
with the Polotzi, one of their tribes marched imder his com- 
mand against their former enemy; but a dispute arising 
between the prince and his barbarous allies, the latter, after 
murdering the unfortunate brother of Oleg, treacherously 
delivered their leader into the hands of Vladimir, who, sparing 
his life, subsequently jjermitted him to retire to Constan- 
tinople, where he remained during the life of Vyzevold, and 
from whence he only returned to raise another rebellion in 
the succeeding reign. 

Vyzevold was born in Kiof, a.d. 1030, and married a 
daughter of the Emperor Constantine Monomachus of Byzan- 
tiurn. He left two sons, Vladimir and Gleb, prince of 
Volhynia, and two daughters, Anna and Eupraxia, the 
former of whom had made a journey to Constantinople, and 
founded a school and convent at Kiof; and both took the 
veil before their father's death, which took place on the 13th 
of April, 1094. He was buried in the cathedral of St. 
Sophia, in the capital, and on his deathl)ed declared his son 
Vladimir his successor, to the exclusion of his nephew, 
Sviatopolk, prince of Tver, the son of Iziaslaf, who, being the 
eldest member of the family, was the rightful heii- to the 

• A son of ■nadWilr the Great 


throne. But, upon being proclaimed as their sovereign by 
the people, Vladimir refused to accept the office, not wishing 
to violate the established order of succession which conferred 
the empire upon Sviatopolk. " His father," said he, " was 
my father's senior. I wish to preserve Russia from the 
horrors of a civil war." And, during the early part of the 
reign of Sviatopolk, he was the principal support and defence 
of his chief, whose guard, consisting of only eight hundred 
men, was inferior to the retinues of many of those princes 
■who were nominally his vassals and tributaries, and with 
whom he "was continually at enmity or engaged in a civil 
■war.* At last, Oleg, taking advantage of the disturbed 
state of the empire to renew his claims, returned from Con- 
stantinople with his brother David, and, assisted by the 
neighbouring princes, regained Tchemigoff and Smolensko. 
In 1097, a congress, formed of all the chiefs who were 
descended from Vladimir the Great, was assembled at Kiof, 
over -which Monomaohus presided, and in which he is related 
to have displayed great diplomatic skill and sagacity, for the 
purpose of determining the limits of the territories, and 
satisfying the claims of the insurgent princes. The arbiters 
met in a tent pitched on the banks of the Dnieper, and after 
some deliberation it was agreed that Oleg and David should 
retain possession of the two provinces, and confirm their 
allegiance to Sviatopolk by an oath sworn on the cross. But 
the peace did not continue long ; for David, having taken 
Yolhynia, the territory of Basilko, the nephew of Monoma- 
ohus, put out the eyes of its unhappy sovereign, whom he 
retained captive with the consent and support of Sviatopolk ; 
and, indignant at this injustice and cruelty, Vladimir and the 
other chiefs of the empire immediately rose in arms against 
the two confederates. They marched against Kiof, and 
planted themselves before its walls, when there suddenly 
appeared as a peace-maker in their camp the metropolitan 
Nicholas, who, advancing towards Vladimir, exclaimed, " We 
beseech thee, O prince, be not so unnatural as to ruin your 
own country of Bussia ; for know that, if ye begin to fight 
among yourselves, the imbelievers will rejoice, and will take 
away from us our land, which your fathers won by great toil 
and valour, in all their wars in Russia ; they sought even to 
conquer other countries, but ye now go about to ruin your 

• Bell's " History of Russia." 


own."* The soldiers all knelt as the venerable old man 
passed through their ranks, and a compromise was effected 
by his mediation, when the princes again assembling to con- 
sult on the restoration of peace and order in the emj^ire, held 
their meeting as before, armed, and on horseback, in a tent 
near the capital, and summoning David to appear before 
them, deprived him of his title and dignity, and the province 
he had so savagely acquired ; but in consideration of his 
near relationship to themselves, they presented him with the 
sum of four hundred grivnas before expelling him from their 
community, and agreed to allow him the tribute of four 
towns for his support. The death of Oleg, who retained 
possession of Smolensko and Tchernigoff, took place shortly 
after, and his descendants perseveringly contested for the 
throne with those of Monomaohus, for a hundred and forty 
years, when Kussia was crushed beneath the iron rule of her 
Mongul conquerors, and her princes only reigned, and were 
deposed or elected to the throne, by the will and caprice of 
the Tartar khans. 

The weak and profligate Sviatopolk, whose name was also 
Michael, was born at Kiof 1051, and married Barbara, a 
daughter of the Greek emperoi-. He died on the 16th of 
April, 1113, and was buried with his wife in the church of 
the archangel Michael, at Kiof, which he had built and 
dedicated to his patron saint. A rumour having spread in the 
capital that he had been poisoned through the machinations 
of the Jews, a conspiracy was formed to massacre that un- 
fortunate people, who at that period comprised a numerous 
body in Kiof, and a tumuU arising, it was quelled, and the 
plot frustrated by the prompt interference of Yladimir, who 
also proposed to the boyards to nominate Yyzevold, the son 
of Oleg, to the vacant throne. But they, in conjunction with 
the people, unanimously elected Vladimir to the dignity of 
Grand Prince, being convinced that he was the only member 
of his family who had sufficient wisdom and influence over 
the other chiefs to preserve the empire from the anarchy and 
troubles with which they were threatened on every side ; and 
he accordingly ascended the throne at the advanced age of 
sixty years. He so far yielded to the desire of his subjects 
as to publish an edict expelling the Jews from Russia ; but 
he protected them from violence or ill-treatment during their 

• MouravlolTs " Church of liusslo." 


emigration from the country, and allowed them to carry their 
property and wealth to another land. He received on his 
accession an embassy, with congratulations from the Emperor 
Alexius Comnenus, whom he had formerly aided in quelling 
an insurrection in Thrace, and who sent by his envoys pre- 
sents, consisting of a golden sceptre, orb and imperial tiara, 
surmounted with a cross, and studded with precious stones. 
They were of the form employed in those of the Caesars of 
Byzantium, and at the present day are preserved, with the 
imperial crowns and regalia, in the treasury of the KremUn 
at Moscow, where they are still always used at the coronation 
of the Russian emperors. According to the poet and histo- 
rian Lomousoff, Vladimir assumed at this ceremony the appel- 
lation of Czar, a title only given in those times to the most 
powerful or most victorious among the princes of Kiof. His 
reign was a period of almost profound peace in Kussia, and 
he greatly improved and modified the laws, at the same time 
enforcing their observance ; for they had fallen much into 
disuse during the invasions and civil disturbances that bad 
so long afflicted the empire, which, under his rule, enjoyed 
more prosperity than it had felt for many years. He built 
new towns, and improved those that had been burned and 
destroyed during the long and destructive wars ; and his 
death was universally regretted by the nation, his reign 
having only extended over the short space of twelve years. 

He was bom in 1053, receiving at his baptism the Chris- 
tian name of Fedor, and made his first campaign with 
Boleslaf, the king of Poland, in the expedition undertaken 
by that monarch against Bohemia. In 1070 he visited Den- 
mark, where he mari-ied Gyda, the daughter of the unfortu- 
nate Harald, king of England, who, after her father's death 
in the fatal battle of Hastings, accompanied her grandmother, 
the Countess of Godwin, in her wanderings to Iceland and 
Norway, and at length took refuge with the other members 
of her family at the court of her kinsman, Svend, the Danish 
monarch. After engagiag in all the wars between Iziaslaf 
and Sviatozlaf, Vladimir fought bravely under his father's 
standard in the battle in which that chief, with Sviatozlaf, 
was defeated, by Boleslaf and the Polish army, under the 
very walls of Kiof. By his first wife he had one son, 
Harald, whom he placed upon the throne of Novogorod, and 
who married Christina, the daughter of King Ingo Steinr 


helssen of Sweden, and, dying before his father, left two 
daughters, Malfrid and Ingeborg. The former married King 
Eric Egmund of Denmark, and the latter his brother, Duke 
Canute Lavard, and their son afterwards reigned as Walde- 
mar the Great of Denmark. By a second marriage Yladimir 
left four sons, Micislaf, who married his cousin Eudosia, the 
daughter of Sviatopolk, Yarapolk, Viatcheslaff, and Yourii, 
who all reigned in succession, and to whom he bequeathed a 
■svritteu will or admonition, the oldest extant in Eussia.* 

His death took place on the 19th of May, 1125, in the 
seventy-third year of his age, and he was buried by the 
metropolitan Nicetas, in the cathedral of St. Sophia at Kiof 

During this reign literature appears to have made some 
progress in Russia ; and Yladimir established libraries in 

* "My children, praise God, ancl lore men, for it Is neither fasting, nor solitude, nor 
monastic vows that can give you eternal life ; It is beneficence alone. Be fathers to the 
orphans; be yourselves judges for the widow; put to deatli neither the innocent nor the 
guilty, for nothing is more sacred than the life and soul of a Christian. Keep not the 
priests at a distance ft-om you ; do good to them, that they may offer up prayers to God 
for you. Violate not the oath which you have sworn on the cross. My brothers said to 
me—' Assist us to expel the sons of Kotislaff. and seize upon their provmces, or renounce 
our alliance.' But I answered— 'I cannot forget that I have kissed the cross.' Bear in 
mind that a man ought always to be employed. Look carefully into your domestic 
affairs, and fly flom drunkenness. Love your wives, hut do not suffer them to have 
any power over you. Endeavour constantly to obtain knowledge. Without having 
quitted this palace, my father spoke five languages, a thing which wins lor us the admi- 
ration ol foreigners.f In war be vigilant ; be an example to your boyards. Never retire 
to rest until you have posted your guards; never take o It your arms while you are in 
reach of the enemv; ami, to avoid being surprised, always be early on horseback. When 
yoQ travel through your provinces, do not allow your attendants to do tlie least injury to 
tlie inhabitants. Entertain always, at your own expense, the master of the house where 
you take up your abode. If you find yourself afflicted by any illness, make three prostra- 
tions to the ground before the Lord ; and never let tlie sun find you in bed. AC the 
dfiwn of day, my father, and the virtuous men by whom he wjia surrounded, did thus; 
thev glorified the Lord. They then seated themselves to deliberate or to administer 
justice to the people, or they went to the chase ; and in the middle of the day they slept, 
whiuh God permits to man as well as to the beasts and birds.! As to me, I accustomed 
myself to do every thing that 1 miglit have ordered my servants to da Night and day, 
winter and summer, I was perpetually moving about I wished to see every thing wiin 
my own eyes. Never did I abandon the poor or the widow to the oppression of the 
powerful. I made it my duty to Inspect the churches, and the sacred ceremonies of 
religion, as well as the management of my property, my stables, and the vultures and 
hasvks with which I hunted. I liave made eighty-three campaigns and many expeditions. 
I concluded nineteen treaties with the Polutzi; I took cantive one hundred of tlieir 
princes, whom 1 set (rec again ; and I put two hundred of them to deatli, by throwiiiK 
them into rivers, ito one has ever travelled more rapidly than I have done. Setting out 
in the morning from Tcherulgott; I have arrived at Kiof before the hour of vespers. In 
my youth what falls from my horse did I not experience! wounding my feet and my 
hands, and breaking my liead against trees; but tlie Lord watched over me. In hunting, 
amidst the thickest forests, how many times have I myself cauglit wild horses and bound 
them together! How many times have I been thrown down by wild oxen, wounded by 
the antlers of stau---, and troddi-n under the feet of elks! A furious wild boar rent my 
sword from my haldrick ^ my saddle was torn to pieces by a bear. This terrible beast 
rushed upon aiy courser, whom he threw do^vn upon me. iSut tlie Lord protected me. 
C>, my children: fear neither death nor wild beasts. Trust in Providence; it far surpasses 
all human precautions."— See Karamsin's "History of liussia."—Lalng'8 "Sea-kings of 

t The Russians and Poles are still celebrated for the number of languages they are 
usually acquainted with. 

t It'is a common thing in Russia, and almost universal among the peasantry, to take a 
siesta in the middle of the day. 


many of the monasteries, in which he collected numerous 
Greek and Latin manuscripts ; and several theological works 
of this period still exist. Of these the most remarkable are 
the two epistles of Nicephorus, the metropolitan of Kiof, a 
Greek who had accompanied the princess Arma, the daughter 
of Vyzevold, from Constantinople ; and there is also a de- 
scription by a Russian abbot, named Daniel, of a journey 
undertaken to Jerusalem a few years after its conquest by 
the first Crusaders. 


(Tljf |)olcs iiibak %nssm — gourii goIgoraH— lliDsab iamhb 
— IlingltDin uf Palix^. 

Treason and slavery, rapine, fear."— Shkixe¥. 

From the death of Vladimir Monomachus commences the 
most gloomy and disastrous period of Russian history ; a 
period which is buried in darkness and obscurity, and of 
which few writings or authentic records remain. While 
the internal government of the country was given up to 
misrule and anarchy, the inhabitants suffered continually 
from the desolating inroads of the Tartars, who annually 
reduced many of the frontier towns to ashes, and carried off 
hundreds of the people to slavery or death. Riding their 
swift horses with the speed of the wind across the barren 
and trackless steppes between Asia and Europe, the wretched 
peasantry fled to the forests on their approach ; while the 
invaders penetrated into the heart of the empire, sacked and 
pillaged the fields and villages to the very walls of the capital, 
and returned laden with spoil and plunder to their tents in 
the deserts, before the citizens had recovered from their con- 
sternation, or united for an attempt at self-defence. Micislaf 
or Peter, the eldest son of Vladimir, who, at the age of forty- 
nine, succeeded his father on the thx-one, had, before his acces- 
sion, gained considerable renown in the numerous campaigns 
in which he had formerly engaged under the standard and 
command of Monomachus ; but though his right to the 
crown was upheld by the citizens of Kiof, it was disputed 
by the sons of Oleg, and a fierce war ensued, which was 
carried on between the rival princes for many years. "While 
his own character shines promiscuously in this age of lawless- 
ness and vice, his reign was one long scene of terror ; and, 
in the midst of the miseries that these dissensions produced, 
a terrible fire accidentally broke out in the capital, which 


destroyed, according to the Russian ctronicles,* no less than 
four hundred chapels and churches, besides numerous houses. 
Micislaf was assassinated in 1 132, when his brother Yaropolk 
succeeded in possessing himself of the throne, though vio- 
lently opposed by the sons of Oleg, and Iziaslaf, the son of 
the deceased prince. At length, the latter finding himself 
■without followers, succeeded in making his escape to Poland, 
■where, appealing to the generosity of her king, Boleslaf III., 
he entreated that sovereign to lend him some assistance ; 
■which Boleslaf, rejoiced to find a pretext for humbling his 
ancient enemy, readily promised to do, and the foUo'wing year 
the confederate princes marched ■with a large army into 
Russia. The Poles committed the most frightful ravages, 
and almost surpassed the Tartars in their ■waste with fire and 
sword; but the injured peasantry rose up at every step to 
oppose them. They united in ba<nds, lay in ambush, or set 
fire to the woods through "which the invaders advanced, and 
at length, defeating them in a furious battle, the scattered 
remnant of the Polish forces "was compelled to make a hasty 
retreat ; and their monarch, who, during a stormy reign of 
thirty-seven years, had preserved the fame and repute of a 
■wise and ever-victorious prince, died broken-hearted at 
Craco^w, a few months after his ignominious return. But, as 
soon as peace was restored, divisions again prevailed among 
the princes of Kiof. Yarapolk died at Tournoif ■]- in the 
eighty-first year of his age, and was succeeded by his brother 
Viatcheslaif, and this prince only maintained his throne for 
twelve troubled days, being deposed f by his cousin, Vyzevold 
of TchemigofiF, the son of Oleg ; though, after the death of 
the latter chief, and that of his brother Igor, he again 
reigned, but was forced "to accept as a colleague his turbulent 
nephew, Iziaslaf He died in 1155, and in the short space 
of thirty-two years eleven princes swayed the sceptre of 
Kiof One successively deposed the other, and in his turn 
sufiered imprisonment or death ; and, throughout the whole 
extent of Russia, the possession of influence, property, or 
wealth, was as uncertain and precarious as human life. Igor, 
the son of Oleg, was deprived of his throne by his cousin 
Iziaslaf, after a fortnight's exercise of sovereign power ; and 
having been compelled by his rival to assume the habit and 

•The "CIiTonicles of Nestor" gay seven hundred; MouravleflF puts four hundred, and 
TatlBCliefTouly thirty, 
t ni U39. t March 2nd, 1139. 


take tlie vows of a monk, in 1148 ventured to emerge from 
his obscurity, and renew his claim to the princely crown ; 
but, notwithstanding his priestly character, which it might 
have been supposed would have protected him from violence, 
was barbarously torn to pieces by the populace in the streets, 
during a riot which ensued on the deposition of Iziaslaf, by 
Greorge Dolgoruki,* or the long-armed, the youngest son of 
Monomachus. This prince was bom in 1091, and was one 
of the ablest and most powerful princes of the time, either 
in Russia or the other countries throughout Europe. He 
had reigned for many years in Suzdal, an extensive though 
thinly-peopled territory, bequeathed to him by his father, 
which he had greatly improved and strengthened, and where 
he had given lands to many foreign settlers, and planted 
several colonies of both Slavonians and Einns, successfully 
repelling three formidable invasions of the Novogorodians. 
A year before the event of his succession at Kiof, while 
hunting over the dense forests in the centre of his dominions, 
he passed through the demesne of Stephen Kutchko, a rich 
and powerful boyard, who possessed a large village on the 
confluence of the rivers Moskowa and Neglina, and concern- 
ing whom all his dependants spoke with extravagant rap- 
tures of the marvellous beauty of Eudosia his wife. Being 
desirous to see her, of whom fame reported so highly, the 
Grand Prince sent an order to Kutchko, desiring them, both 
to come out to meet him, and present him with the honours 
due to a visitor and their prince ; but the jealous and 
haughty nobleman suspecting treachery, refused to comply, 
for which he was soon punished by a dreadful fate. The 
fierce and imperious Dolgoruki, unaccustomed to disobe- 
dience or opposition, immediately commanded his followers 
to attack the castle of his uncourteous vassal : they fired it, 
and, as it was constructed of wood, it rapidly blazed to the 
ground ; and, while its unfortunate master perished in the 
flames, Eudosia was rescued by her lover in person, who 
elevated her to share his throne. Admiring the situation of 
his victim's estate, crossed by two sparkling streams, and in 
an opening between thickly-planted woods, George established 
a royal residence on this spot, and so laid the foundations of 
the future city of Moscow, in this act of fraud and violence. 

• "Dolgorakl," that Is, "tlio long-armed." This appellation descended to another 
branch of the (hmily, by whom It Is still borna as a refulor surname — Blackmoro's 
"ifotes to MouravlctTs Church of Kussla." 


According to tradition, the picture of the Virgin of Ephesusi, 
which the Russians consider the palladium of their city, and, 
their legends assert, was painted by St. John in Asia Minor, 
and from theuoe transported to Constantinople, was brought 
from the Byzantine capital by George, having been presented 
by the emperor Manuel Comnenus to his wife, the grand 
princess. It now adorns the Spassnaia Vorotu, or Holy 
Gate of the Kremlin at Moscow, under which, to this day, 
no faithful Muscovite passes with covered head ; though from 
Moscow it was originally transferred in 1 154 to Vladimir on 
the Kliazma, where a cathedral was built to receive it, and 
not restored to its old place in the capital till the year 1400, 
when Moscow saw herself threatened with, destruction from 
the Tartar army of Tamerlane.* 

In 1146 George entered Kiof with a small force, and after 
• a brief struggle possessed himself of the throne j but, even 
he, was not able to retain long control over the restless and 
turbulent princes, and was twice expelled by his brother and 
nephew, though at last, bearing down all opposition, he re- 
.sumed the government in 1 155, and retained it till his death. 
It was during his reign that an illustrious stranger was 
received at the Russian court in the person of the Byzantine 
prince, Andronicus Comnenus ; who, escaping from a dungeon 
in Constantinople, which his treason against the emperor 
Manuel his cousin had well merited, had proceeded as far as 
Halich, when he was intercepted by the emissaries of the 
emperor, and immediately placed under arrest. They were 
preparing to reconduct him to Constantinople, and had 
encamped near a wood to pass the night on their journey 
home, when, utder cover of the darkness, he contrived to 
escape the vigilance of his captors, and freeing himself from 
his bonds fled to Kiof He was there honourably received 
by the Dolgoruki, and soon rose high in the favour of the 
prince and his people, by the ardour with which he pursued 
falconry and hunting, and their other favourite sports ; and 
he remained with a princely retinue and establishment at 
this court, till Manuel, having engaged in a war with Hun- 
gaiy, sent to offer his rebellious subject a pardon, on condi- 
tion that he would procure the alliance of Russia against 
their enemies. George acceded to the request, and sent a 
idetaichfgeBt of Russian archers ' on horseback, under the 
conjjDgpd of Asdronious, to the shores of the Danube ; and 


at the assault of Zemlin, which they stormed and captured 
with great slaughter, the assistance and personal valour of 
the exiled prince fully reinstated him in the favour and con- 
fidence of the emperor.* George or Yourii DolgoruH died 
in 1157, and a struggle immediately commenced for the 
possession of the capital. The chief disputants were Iziaslaf, 
the son of Igor, who, undeterred by the remembrance of his 
father's horrible mui-der, clamorously preferred his claim to the 
throne, and Eotislaf the son of Micislaf, who had already 
once reigned, having been expelled by the predecessor of 
George ; and, during this tumultuous period, many of the 
citizens abandoned the capital, and, retreating into distant 
parts of the empire, sought in other towns the peace and 
security to which they had long been strangers in their own. 
Meantime, all the contending princes, having each for a few 
months prevailed over his rival, and successively assumed 
the crown, were in their turn displaced, and succeeded by 
Micislaf, the son of Iziaslaf II., who in 1159 established him- 
self in Kiof 

About this time, another large and powerful sovereignty 
began to rise in the western provinces of the empire, which 
comprehended a vast territory that has since formed a con- 
siderable part of Poland, being conquered by that monai'chy 
in 1340. This was the kingdom of Halich ; and spreading 
over the Ukraine, Podolia, and several of the surrounding 
states to the frontiers of Hungary, it was the most fertile and 
productive of all the numerous principalities of Russia, where 
il; was commenced with the inheritance of Gleb, the brother 
of Vladimir Monomachus. His son Rotislaf, to whom he 
left Volhynia, the province of the ancient Drevlians, was 
succeeded by Volodar and Vladimirko, the latter of whom 
engaged in a long war with Poland ; but, having received 
the Polish count Vlosezoviez at his court, who entreated his 
protection, pretending to have incurred the anger of his king, 
the treacherous refugee caused him to be seized while hunt- 
ing in a wood, and carried through byroads into Poland, 
where he was put to death. His son Jaroslaf, to avenge his 
father, marched on Willisca, a town in the government of 
Cracow, and, having bribed the governor to surrender it, 
destroyed the place, and loaded the inhabitants with chains. 
A few months after, a Polish army which had invaded 

• Gibbon's "Decline ancl Fall of the BoDian Empire." 


Halicli was cut to pieces by the Russians, -who had concealed 
themselves in ambush, and rushed out unexpectedly upon the 
foe ; and Jaroslaf, during a long reign : of thirty -five years, 
' improved and extended his dominions, and, having concluded 
a favourable peace ■with Poland, was succeeded by his 
son Vladimir in the year 1188. After a, reign of a few 
months, this prince was deposed andi murdered by his cousin 
Roman, the son of Micislaf, prince of Novogorod, who ob- 
tained many victories over his surrounding enemies, twice 
■sacked and burned Kiof,' compelling his father-in-law, the 
Grand Prince Rurik II., to retire into a monastery, and con- 
siderably extended the frontiers of his dominions, which in 
his reign attained some political importance and strength. 
He was a valuable ally to Alexins Comnenus of Constan- 
tinople in many sanguinary wars, but was subsequently 
defeated and killed' in 'a battle fought with the Poles in the 
year 1200, when his country became' a wretched i prey to all 
the horrors and misery of civil war. As he had left only 
two infant sons as his successors, whose mother was unable 
to maintain them on the throne against the opposition of 
their ambitious kinsmen and the surrounding hostile states, 
Andrew II., king of Hungary, embraced this favourable 
opportunity to invade Halich, and, having subdued the 
principal cities and villages, proclaimed his son Koloman 
their king. The young prince made a triumphal entrance 
into his new kingdom, where he was crowned with much 
state by a Hungarian bishop ; but their attempt to establish 
' the Roman Catholic religion • in '■ the country irritated the 
people, who firmly adhered to the national faith, the Greek 
Church, and, rising up in arms against the invaders, the 
Russians of Halich, with the assistance of one of their princes, 
Micislaf the Brave, drove the ■ foreign usurpers from their 
land in 1216, and Daniel, the son of Roman, succeeded: to 
the throne. It was ' upon this temporary occupation of 
Halich, in defiance of any other right than that of conquest, 
that the Austrians asserted a claimy as lords of Hungary, to 
the province of Galicia, before the first disiuemberment of 
Poland in 1772.* Peace was concluded upon the departure 
of the Hungarians, and continued for some years;' till in 
1224, the Monguls poured like I locusts into Kipzak, and 
Daniel and Micislaf united their arms with those of the 
• Kraslnskl's " History o< Poland." 


other princes of Eussia, in a fruitless attempt to airest the 
progress of their rapid and advancing conquests. The com- 
bined forces of the empire marched as far as the river Kalka, 
near the sea of Azof, but sustained a dreadful defeat on its 
banks ; three of their princes were slain in the engagement, 
and the flying soldiers scattered and dispersed ; and on their 
return to Halich, Micislaf buried his head in a monastery, 
and Daniel was compelled to pay homage for his throne to 
the Tartar conqueror, Batu Khan, who ravaged and laid 
waste the whole province on his passage to Hungary and 
Poland. At length, in the hope of emancipating himself 
from their merciless and intolerable oppression, Daniel 
appealed to the Pope for assistance ; and, having consented 
to acknowledge him as his superior, and the true successor of 
St. Peter and vicar of Christ, he received a promise of aid 
and support from the Roman pontiiF, and the title of Rex 
Russise, or king of Russia. He was solemnly crowned with 
this appellation by the Abb6 de Messina^ the Papal legate, 
who came to officiate at the ceremony as proxy for the pope ; 
but, finding that Innocent was totally unable to render him 
any assistance, or even to secure his more ancient and nearer 
tributaries, Hungary and Poland, from ruiuj Daniel soon 
broke off all connection with the see of Rome, and by his 
own efforts succeeded in ridding his country of her oppres- 
sors ; while his energy and wise administration greatly con- 
tributed to raise her from her utter desolation and misery. 
His brother, VassiLko, who succeeded him in 1276, had 
already received from the pope the title of Rex Laudemariae, 
or king of Vladimir, or Lodomeria, a district of Galicia ; and 
on his death, in the year 1290, his nephew, Luo Danielovitz, 
ascended the throne, and established his capital at Luoff in 
Galicia, which he built, and -which, under its modern name 
of Leopol, or Lemberg, now forms the chief town of that 
province. His decease created serious dissensions in the 
state, as the possession of Halich was long contended for by 
a prince of the royal house of Suzdal^ and Bela, king of Hun- 
gary ; but neither of the opponents being able to found any 
just claim, George, the son of Luo,. succeeded in asserting his 
ri^ht, and established himself on the throne in 1301. On 
his death, fifteen years later, his two sons, Andrew and Luo, 
reigned jointly; and, on their successor George II. dying 
without heirs in 1336, his nephew, Boleslaf, Duke of Mazovia, 


took possession of the throne, but only lived to enjoy the 
dignity four years. As he left no sons, Cassimir the Great, 
king of Poland, under the pretext of relationship with the 
last sovereign, annexed it to his own kingdom, of which, 
from henceforward, it formed a considerable and important 
part ; though the inhabitants long resisted the Polish domi- 
nation, and appealed to the other Russian states for assis- 
tance, which the latter, who were themselves at that time 
suffering under the grievous oppression of their Mongol con- 
querors, were entirely unable to bestow. 

It was during the early part of the reign of George Dol- 
goruki, that St. Anthony, a celebrated hermit, lived at N"ovo- 
gorod. He founded a convent on the river Yolkhof, about 
a mile and a half below the city, in which his tomb is still 
shown, and where he died in 1147. 


Coirtimtaiimt of t^t f istorg irf ^wm—inbamn of i^t |oles- 
SMe of ^orietg in '^asmu. 

" The wretched owner sees afar 
His all become the prey of war ; 

Thy swains are famish'd on the rocks. 
Where once they fed their wanton flocks. 

Tet, when the rage of battle ceased. 
The victor's soul was not appeased ; 
The naked and forlorn must feel 
Devouring flames and murd'rlng steel." 

While the other nations of Europe were composing 
their civil discords, that they might unite the more strongly 
and efficiently in their wars with the infidels, and acquirino- 
refinement and knowledge by their increased iutercourse 
with foreign states, and by the science and improvements 
they brought from the East, the princes of Russia were 
exhausting their talents and strength in savage and unnatu- 
ral discords with each other, so that their contemporaries of 
the west were fast forgetting their existence and name ; and, 
despairing of eifectually protectiug their frontiers from the 
Tartars, the inhabitants deserted the country districts, and 
flocked to the towns, where the walls formed some shelter 
from the enemy, thotigh the streets of the capital continually 
afforded a disgraceful scene of combat. Andrew, the son 
and successor of George Dolgoruki, wisely withdrew for a 
time from the struggle for the possession of Kaof ; which 
was ultimately besieged by Miceslaf, a prince of the house of 
Tchernigoff, and making Vladimir on the river Kliazma his 
capital, he built the cathedral of the Assumption, for the 
reception of the picture of the Virgin of Ephesus, and cau.ied 
it to be brought there from Moscow. In this church, his 
armour and princely vestments, comprising the purple 
mantle, helmet, and coat-of-mail, and his quiver, bow, and 
arrows, are still preserved. The position of the city of Via- 


(iimir was fav preferable at that time to the site of the old 
metropolis ; for though the climate of Kiof was so superior 
to the harsh air of her northern rival, and the land more 
productive and fertile, she so nearly approached the frontiers 
of Hungary and Poland, and the barbarous roving Tartars on 
the southern steppes, that she was always peculiarly exposed 
to the perils of a sudden invasion, and indeed her history from 
this time, during nearly five hundred years, is a mere dull re- 
cord of civil wars and bloodshed. Andrew also enlarged and 
improved the still unknown and insignificant foundations of 
Moscow, where he occasionally resided for a few months, 
though chiefly for the amusement of hunting ; and fearing 
lest Novogorod (which a century later was admitted into the 
Hanseatio * League, and had already formed commercial alli- 
ances with the principal mercantile towns of Germany and the 
Baltic provinces, as well as the extensive trade she had always 
carried on with the East) might prove a dangerous rival to 
the prosperity and traffic of his new capital, he marched 
against her at the head of his army, but was repulsed by the 
citizens from under her walls, and ignominiously forced to 
retreat. His pride refused to return to his own dominions, 
with, instead of the fame and trophies he had anticipated, a 
considerable loss of many of the bravest of his men, and the 
contumely that usually accompanies an aggressor's defeat ; 
besides, his boyards clamoured for a higher recompence than 
his scanty funds could produce, or to be led to an easier 
victory, where they could repay themselves with the enemy's 
spoil. Accordingly he marched, with eleven princes of the 
royal family, against the unfortunate city of Kiof, which, 
having been deserted by the greater number of her inhabi- 
tants, and long abandoned to strife and anarchy, fell a ready 
prey to his ai-ms j and, after an obstinate engagement outside 
the gates, he attacked and carried the town by storm, and, 
according to the Russian custom of a victor, hung his banner 
and ensign over the principal entrance. After condemning 
Micislaf to lose his eyesight, and to perpetual imprisonment 
in a monastic cell, Andrew carried the crown, with all the 
insignia of royalty, to Vladimir,'and, reducing the ancient 

* The Hanseatio League was a union of the principal towns in nolthern Europe, to 
defend their commerce and traders from the depredations of the Kussian and ticandlna- 
vian corsairs of the Baltic It was commenced In 1241, hy the citizens of Lubcck, who 
connectedthemselves with Cologne, Brunswick, Dantzlc, London, Bergen, Novogorod , 
and Burges, in the north; Augsburg and Nuremburg in central Germany, and the Italian 
republics lu the south. 


seat of government to a tributary province, intrusted the 
command to liis brother Gleb, and returned to Suzdal. The 
following year he prepared another army for the subjugation 
of Novogorod, and placed it under the command of his son, 
Vyzevold, accompanied by seventy-one princes of the royal 
family, all of whom were descendants of Vladimir the Great ; 
and many were the sovereigns of small principalities whom 
Andrew had compelled to renew their former allegiance and 
dependence on himself as Grand Prince, following him to 
battle, according to the ancient and established law of 
Kussia. But his army was again repulsed by the valour of the 
citizens, and a long and desultory war ensued, till at length 
the Novogorodians, in the hope of securing for their country 
some prospect of peace, agreed to enter into negotiations 
with the ambitious monarch ; and a truce was concluded, in 
which it was decided that, for mutual interest and defence, 
they should unite their city and its dominions to Suzdal, and 
acknowledge the supremacy of the Grand Prince, though 
retaining their former privileges, and their own code of laws, 
and mode of government. 

But the order and tranquillity which Andrew had restored 
to the empire with an iron and heavy hand, was not of long 
continuance, for great discontent prevailed in his family, and 
among all the tributary princes of Russia ; who returned to 
their private estates after the campaign against Novogorod, 
where they had obtained little honour or booty, and found 
themselves once more lords and masters among their own 
adherents and dependants. With these ranged beneath their 
banners they fancied themselves, with a fatal self-confidence, 
to be invincible ; and, feeling no inclination to submit to the 
arbitrary wiU and pleasure of the Grand Prince, their exagge- 
rated ideas of their own strength and influence induced them 
one by one to revolt against his authority. He sent bands 
of his guards and archers into their temtories, burned their 
castles, and ravaged their lands, punishing all the offenders 
who fell into his hands with a cruel and vindictive severity. 
Many others, among whom were three of his brothers, 
accompanied by their mother, intimidated by the fate of 
those who had been captured, fled from Kussia and took 
refuge in Constantinople ; and they remained there till the 
year 1 174, when Andrew was assassinated in his own palace, 
by a conspiracy of his guards and attendants, formed at the 


instigation of the exiled princes ; and his subjects universally 
I'BJoiced at his premature death. His brothers received a 
pardon from Yladimir, his eldest son and successor, and 
shortly after returned to their native land ; but the time they 
had passed as outlaws was not unattended with benefit, for 
the education which their children had received in the learn- 
ed schools of Constantinople, proved of great advantage to 
their country, when later they rose to rank and influence in 
the state. On ascending the throne of Suzdal, the young 
prince Vladimir gave up the province of Kiof to his brother 
Michael, and by this act again divided the empire, whose 
scattered provinces had been united by their father at the 
expense of so much war and bloodshed. He also founded the 
town of Tver, where in 1182 he built a fortress to protect his 
dominions from the incursions of the Novogorodians, who 
had emancipated themselves from the yoke of the Grand 
Prince, and endeavoured by the subjection of their oppressor 
to ensure their own independence. About this time, two 
other republics * also arose in the empire : Viatka, which 
had been founded by colonists from Novogorod, and Pskof, 
formerly a dependency of the same city; and in 1217 the 
Novogorodians completed the subjugation of the whole king- 
dom of Biarmaland, or Permia, the marshy regions about 
the Onega and Ladoga lakes having been conquered as early 
as 1079, by the Russian prince Gleb, of Novogorod. The 
district on the shores of the White Sea had been subdued 
towards the end of the twelfth century by St. Stephen 
Permeki, who commanded the army of !Novogorod, and 
founded a monastery at the mouth of the river Wym, or 
Dwina, invented the Permian alphabet, and endeavoured to 
convert the inhabitants to Christianity ; and at this period 
all the north of Russia was under the dominion of Novogorod, 
whose throne was again occupied, in the early part of the 
thirteenth century, by Micislaf, a prince of the royal house of 
Suzdal, or Vladimir. Michael Androvitz of Kiof was suc- 
ceeded in 1174 by his cousin Rurik II., who, after having 
been twice expeUed from the throne, was forced by his son- 
in-law, Romanus of Halich, who twice besieged and sacked 
Kiof, to resign his crown, and, taking the vows of a monk, 

• These republics, lite those of Novogorod, were not presided over by an elected presi- 
dent, but the throne was occupied bya prince in whose family the office was hereditary, 
though his power was but nominal, the real governraent being vested in the elected 
magistrates and the assemblies of boyards and citizens. 


retire to a cloister ; but after the death of his enemy, he was 
enabled, by the troubles that succeeded in Halich, to expel 
the emissaries of his conqueror from Kiof, and, throwing off 
the cowl, again ascended the throne. He lived to be deposed 
for the fourth time by Vyzevold, the son of Sviatozlaf III., 
a former Grand Prince of the House of Tchernigoff, who 
had dethroned, and in his turn been expelled, by Michael 
Androvitz, and Eurik shortly afterwards died miserably 
in poverty and obscurity, unpitied and unaided by his sub- 
jects, whose religious feelings had been more shocked by 
his abnegation of his priestly office, than by the barbarities 
that had been committed by the rival chief About this 
time, the Poles having driven their monarch, Mieczyslaf III., 
who had exasperated his subjects by his tyranny and op- 
pression, from his kingdom, and established his brother, 
Casimir the Just, upon the vacant throne, the deposed 
monarch took refuge in Russia, where his death taking place 
suddenly, Casimir accused the Russians of having poisoned 
his brother, and entered Russia with an army, under the 
pretext of revenging his death. The Poles besieged and 
captured Kiof, which they held for several years ; when 
Vyzevold, who had been driven out of his capital, having 
succeeded in collecting a small force from among his scattered 
subjects, expelled the invaders, and reinstated himself upon 
his throne, from which he was once more deposed in 1214, 
by Micislaf, a prince of the House of Monomachus. It was 
during the reign of the latter prince that the cloud which 
had long been gathering ia Asia burst over the devoted 
country, and the terrible invasion of the Monguls threatened 
to efface every vestige of humanity or civilisation, and root 
out the very name of Christianity from Europe. 

Since the death of Vladimir II., a space of less than a 
hundred years, no less than eighteen princes had successively 
worn the crown of Kiof. During that period the unhappy 
city had been twice captured and held for a few years by 
foreign invaders, several times consumed by fire, and fre- 
quently besieged, stormed, and given up to plunder. At the 
same time, the country around had been continually reduced 
to the greatest misery by the inroads and ravages of the 
Polotzi and other neighbouring tribes, who, as has been 
mentioned, often penetrated into the very heart of the 
empire, laying waste all the country on their route, and 


dragging off the prisoners, unless they saved themselves by 
suicide, into a captivity worse than death. The peasant 
sowed his field with the gloomy foreboding that his land 
might be trampled and destroyed by a hostile army before 
the wheat was in the ear ; he piled Tip the log walls of his 
wooden cabin, from which he and his family might too soon 
be forced to flee, with no other refuge than the snow, or the 
smoking ashes of a neighbouring monastery or church ; and 
the boyard stored his barn, with' the prayer that its produce 
might not support the forces of his enemies, or himself be 
compelled to witness their revelling, while their horses were 
stabled, and themselves encamped in the rooms of his own 
palace. Driven from the innermost recesses of their forests, 
by the fires kindled by the Tartars on their forays, which 
often consumed in one vast funeral pile miles of grass and 
wood, the people flocked to the towns, in the hope that they 
might find safety in numbers, and to escape from the flames 
of their villages, and burning steppes ; though, even there, 
they could not always find shelter from 'the invadei-s, but 
saw their churches and houses destroyed before their eyes, 
and their children with their wives, upon whom none before 
had been permitted to gaze, carried away into hopeless 
slavery. In the mean time, the perpetual contentions of 
their princes greatly increased the misery of the unhappy 
land ; the accession of every monarch was the signal for a 
civil war, and, while some of these were expelled three or 
four times from the throne, others were blinded to incapaci- 
tate them for the regal dignity, or were forcibly constrained 
to adopt a monastic life ; and one sovereign of Kiof, Roman' 
Eotislafovitz, voluntarily abdicated in despair, at the disputes 
and dissensions he was unable to subdue, and a devastating 
expedition of the Tartars, which he had vainly endeavoured 
to repel. Few indeed of the Eussian chiefs at this period 
descended by a natural death to the grave, or died in peace- 
ful possession of the kingly power ; and the efforts of those 
among them who endeavoured to introduce order and justice, 
a regular govei'nment, and a more general observance of the 
lawSj were only partially successful ; and their death plunged 
the state, where the uncertainty of life and fortune had 
given rise among all classes to the utmost recklessness and 
apathy, into its former troubles and anarchy. The metropo- 
litans and priests occasionally endeavoured to mediate be- 


bween the princes ; several of the former, when newly elected 
by the patriarch of Constantinople, \ipon their first arrival ■ 
in the Russian capital, terrified at the disorders and cala- 
mities that prevailed, returned in haste to their native city, 
or retreated to other provinces of the empire ; and on one 
of these occasions the Grand Prince, in displeasure at the con- 
duct of the prelate, appointed a native Russian to the office 
of metropolitan, without any reference to the patriarch, 
■which created a division with the church of Constantinople 
that lasted several years. The laws and general customs at 
this period appear to have deviated very little from those 
which were in use in the days when Vladimir the Great 
and Jaroslaf sat upon the throne ; but it is very improbable 
that in these turbulent times the former were much enforced 
or obeyed. The indolence of the Russians appears to have 
exceeded that of almost any other nation. They passed their 
lives in lounging about the public squares, or in their favourite 
amusements of music and dancing, and carousing in the 
wineshops ; and a chronicle of the time bitterly laments over 
the luxury and indifiference to religion, the empty churches, 
and general depravity and corruption of morals, that pre- 
vailed in those days among his countrymen.. The houses 
of the lowest classes of the peasantry, who on St. George's 
day were annually accustomed to assemble and hire out their 
services for the year, were, as now in some parts of Russia, 
built, for the convenience of warmth, half under ground ; 
while those of a higher rank were generally constructed with 
the same object in two stories, of which the upper, which 
was ascended by stairs outside, was alone inhabited, and 
round each apartment, benches or divans were fastened 
to the wall, serving in summer the purpose of seats and beds, 
in winter a couch of skins being spread upon the floor. The 
rooms near the entrance were occupied by the men ; the 
interior, which was inaccessible to strangers, being set apart 
for the women, who were retained there in the closest 
imprisonment, never appearing in the churches or other 
public places, and seldom crossing the thresholds of their 
houses, where they had no authority or control ; and the 
highest proof of confidence or esteem that a Russian could 
show to a friend was, to permit him to view his wife. A 
husband never saw his wife before she became his bride, and 
marriages were usually contracted by persons whose sole pro- 


fession consisted in providing young men or women with 
wives or liusbands. At their entertainments the nobles were 
accustomed to oblige their slaves to dance before them for 
the amusement of themselves and their guests, considering 
it derogatory to their rank and dignity to engage in such 
an occupation themselves ; and music, performed with bag- 
pipes and lutes, appears to have furnished them with an un- 
failing resource, especially the warlike songs which Kussia 
always possessed. Of these some were of considerable length, 
but the most ancient have all unfortunately been lost, with 
the exception of the " Expedition of Igor," a poem of the 
twelfth century,* which celebrates the battle and captivity 

* The Expedition ofIgok, a Prince op Novogoeod Seveeskl 

"Icor, Prince of Novogorod Severskl, is ambitious of glory; he beseeches his guard to 

march with him against the Polovtses. * I will break ray lance f n distant deserts ; there 

my ashes shall remain, if I cannot dip my helmet in the Don, and quench my thirst with 

its waters.'" 

The author goes on to relate that many warriors assemble; the nelghinpr *of horses is 
heard beyond the Sula; the voice of glory resounds in Kiof; the blast of tlie trumpet 
rouses Novogorod, and at Pontlule the standards float in the wind. Igor is waiting for 
his beloved brother, Vyzevold, who soon arrives at the head of his troops, " like wolves 
eager for the carnage." Igor places his foot In the golden stirrup; he perceives the thick 
darkness before him ; the heavens portend terrible storms; the wild beasts howl in their 
caverns; birds of prey soar above the soldiers, whose ruin is presaged by the eagles' cry; 
and the foxes raise their shrill voice on seeing the shining shields of the Kussians. The 
battle commences; the barbarian legions are routed, their virgins now belong to the 
warriors of Igor, who acquire immense booty in gold and costly stuffs; the clothes and 
ornaments ot the Polovtses till up the marshes, and serve as a bridge to the victorious 
army. Igor is satisfied with a banner taken from the enemy. But a new army soon 
arrives from the south, and Igor again meets them in battle. It continues for two days, 
and on the third morning the Russian standards are lowered to the enemy, " because no 
blood remains to be shed." All is consternation when Igor is dragged away captiye. 
" On the borders of the Blue Sea are heard the songs of the virgins (Polovtses). who strike 
together the pieces of gold taken from the Russians." The author then addresses the 
various Russian princes, whom he urges "to speedy vengeance on the Polovtses." To 
Vyzevold III., he says: "Thou canst dry up tlie Volga by the oars of thy numerous 
boats; or drain the Don with the helmets of thy warriors." To Eurik and David, 
" Your shining helmets have often been dyed with blood ; your heroes are flirious as wild 
bulls when wounded by red-hot iron." ToYaroslaf, whom he terms the wise: "From 
thy golden throne thou.defendest the Krapack mountains by thine iron-clad legions; 
thou canst close the pates of the Danube, open the way of Kiot, and send thy arrows Into 
the remotest reffions." The poet then laments the death of a prince of Polotzk, who had 
been killed by the Lithuanians. *' O prince, birds of prey have covered thy soldiers with 
their wings, and savage beasts drunk the blood of thy warriors. As for thee, thou hast 
suffered thy jewel, soul, to escape through thy golden collar from thy manly body." He 
then refers to the civil wars, and to the battle between Jaroslaf and the Prince of Polotzk: 
"The banks of the Meinen are covered with heads, as numerous as sheaves in autumn ; 
and, like the descending flails, the swords separate warriors' souls from their mortal 
. covering. O mourntUl times I why could not tlie great Vladimir remain on the mountains 
ot Kiof ? (that is. why was he not immortal ?) " Meanwhile, the wife of Igor mourns her 
absent lord. From the ramparts of Pontivle, she casts her eyes over the plain and ex- 
claims, " Cruel winds, why have you borne on your wings the light arrows ot the Khan 
against the warriors of my love? Had ye not enough to do in swelling the waves of the 
Blue Sea to bear along the Russian ships ? Great Dnieper ! thou ha«t removed huge rocks 
to open thyself a passage into the country of the Polovtses; thou hast borne the vessels 
of Svlatozlaftothcctirapof Kobiali; bear back to me also the beloved of my heart, so 
that I may not every morning compel thy waters to carry him the tribute ol my tears. 
Bright sun! thou favourest mortals with thy light and heat; but why have thy burning 
rays consumed in the wilderness the legions of my beloved? " But l^or is at liberty, ha 
has eluded his guards, and on a- flying courser he la approaching his coantrv. For his 
subsistence he kills swans and geese. His horse at length falls down from fatigue; lie 
embarks on the river Donotz, to which the poet gives speech : " Great Igor, what must 
now be the fury of KhnnKoritschah, and the rejoicingof thy dear comrades'." "Donetz," 
replies the pritice, "how proud thou must be to bear Igor on thy waters, and to prepare 
for him a grassy couch on thy silver banks! Thou surroundest me with thy refreshing 
vapours, when I repose under the shade of the trees on thy banks. The wild-fowl that 
swim on thy surface, are my protffctors and guards." Igor .soon rejoins hid disconsolule 
wile — Extracts of the Poem of Igor, from Karamsin's " History of Russia." 


of Igor, a prince of Novogorod Severski, with the Polotzi ; 
and in which the author mentions a still earlier poet, Bojane, 
none of whose works, however, are now extant. 

In some instances, the boyards and people appear to have 
taken Kttle or no part in the elevation and deposition of 
their princes, which were either entirely consummated among 
their own family or nearest relations, and by their courtiers 
or personal attendants, or occasioned no disturbance or feud 
beyond the palace walls. The law of succession, which de- 
volved the crown upon the eldest member of the family, 
instead of the son of the preceding monarch, occasioned each 
prince to endeavour to provide for his sons, or protect them 
from the probable hostility of his successor, by portioning 
them in his lifetime with an independent principality from 
his own dominions, whose power might possibly be directed 
against the inheritance of his children, and which he there- 
fore felt no great disinclination to weaken ; thus Vyzevold, 
the son of Gteorge Dolgoruki, founded the province of Eiazan, 
and a grandson of Andrew the sovereignty of Tver ; while 
Polotzk and Smolensko had again become separated from 
Russia, which, in the middle of the thirteenth century, con- 
sisted of numerous small and unimportant states. These 
hardly owned a nominal allegiance to the Grand Prince, 
whose authority was then vested in the house of Suzdal or 
Vladimir, and scarcely able to resist the incursions of their 
neighbours, carried on neither communication nor trade with 
other countries, to whose progress, interests, and policy they 
were indifferent and unknown, though they still received 
their metropolitan from Constantinople, and professed the 
greatest devotion to the Greek Church. Their common 
religion was indeed their only bond of union'; for, with the 
rivalry that has usually existed between states of the same 
race and nation, they seldom united for the purpose of mutual 
defence, and thus greatly facilitated and encouraged their 
sudden and complete overthrow by the approaching invasion 
of the Monguls. 


g,ffairs flf ^olanb- — isi^fOttia — l^ritoKxa — Crariattb — S^^t 
fmtonk ^nig^ts — pll^aama— fiy^j ®ttoraatr furks — fljt 
@rigin 0f tl^f ^ongnls. 

*' Their limbs all iron, and tlieir souls all flame, 
A countless host the red-cross warriors came ; 
E'en hoary priests the sacred combat wage, 
And clothe in st,eei the palsied arm of age ; 
While beardless youth, and tender maids assume 
The weighty morion, and the glancing plume."-— H£lieb- 

" The Turcoman hath left his herd, 
The sabre on his loins to gird.' — Btbon. 

While the power of the princes of Russia declined, and 
their people became a prey to foreign hostility and civil 
anarchy, those provinces which, as now, had formerly made a 
part of this empire, gradually released themselves from her 
authority, or were incorporated into the dominions of the 
surrounding states. Of these Poland was fast rising to the 
chief place both in power and extent, though the same prac- 
tice that had proved so fatal to Russia, of dividing the king- 
dom among the sons of the monarch, had prevailed there 
also in the early period of her history, and had been attended 
with the same disastrous results^internal dissensions, and 
almost perpetual civil war. 

Vladislaf, the son of Boleslaf III., having been expelled 
from his duohy by his brothers in 1155, solicited the assis- 
tance of the German emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, and, 
aided by him, obtained possession of SUesia, which had 
1 formed a part of his confiscated principality; and his descen- 
dants, entirely separating themselves from Poland, and closely 
connecting their throne by family alliances with Germany, 
fell entirely under the influence of that country, of which 
Silesia has long been considered to form a part, though it 
was originally peopled by the same race as Poland, and the 
greater number of its inhabitants still speak that language.* 

• Krasinski's " History of Poland." 


Oumilo, his daughter, 

8i}% Burik. Sinon 
912. IgBr m. Olga. 
955. Svlatozlaf. 

973. Taropolfc. 

1012. Sviatopolk, 

m. sister to 
the k. of Poland. 



Vladimir the Great 


^ondeslaff, Vla^mir, Nicolas, 
pr. of Polotuk. pr. of pr. of Tchop- 
8molensko. mgoff. 
1072. 107t 

m. Alexaudra. 

Gleb— 1074, pr. of 

m. a daughter 
E. Henry IIL 
of Germany. 


Sviatoslaf n., 
771. the Bister of 

Caeimir, k. 

of Poland. 

I 1094. 
Sviatopolk, and others, Olei 

m, Barbara, 

a princess of Con- i 

stantinople. Vyzevold II. 

1139. I 

Sviatozlaf UI., 1174. Iziaslaf HI,, 1157. 

Vlzislaf, Vyze^ 

prince of m. the d. of C 

Polotsk. Monomachi 


I 1112. 

David. Vladimir Monomachns IL, 

of Harald IL, k. 

J I By a second i 

Igor II., 1146. Harald m. 

Christina, d. of 



1206. Vyzevold III. Constautine. 

1219. MicUlaf, | i 

pr. of Tcher- Michael, Fedor, 

nigoff, killed princes 

at Kalka, 1224. of Uiazaii. 

Micislafll., 1168. 

I Vladim ir III., 1172. 


Malf rid, m. 
Eric, k. of 



St. Micisla 



the Great, of Denmark, 


A daughter 



Grand Duke 


Veshoelez, 1290. 

m. ('Anute 
^vajd. Boman. M 
^1 pr, of Halich. 

Daniel, 1200. Vaa^ 

Luo, 1290. 
Youzii, 1301. 

Youri IL, 1336. 



Ghedemin, 1320. 

Olgherd m. a. pr. of Tver. 


Jagiello, 1380, m- Hcdurge, 

q. of Poland, thus uniting 

Lithuania to Poland; she 

died 1388; m. secondly, 

bophia, d. of Audrey, pr. 

of Kiof . 




Keystot. Vassili 

1 died young. 


a daughter, m. 
Yassdi, II., 

Demetrius L Audrey in. 


Demetrius IV. 

1320. Yom-a IIL IvanL, 132 


House of Moscow. 

Simon, 1340. 
Donskoi, 1S62. 

{To be imerted opposite 
p. 184.] 

PRINCES, FROM 862 TO 1388. 

at, a Swedish princo. 


Gleb, Micislaf, Jaroslaf, Stanielaiis. Maiy, Svintozlaf, Iziazlaf. 

' order of pr. of m. Irene, d.of St. m. Mieczslav II., 

opolk, TmutaTttcan. Olaf, k. of Norway. k. ofPolaod. 

HnJte, Jelliaaveta, 

sumamed m. Harald, 
tiie Sold. king of 


Anna, Irene, Mary, 

ffl. Henry I., m, Boleslaf, m. the k. of 

king of Idngr of Uung^ary. 

Prance. Poland. 

yda, dau^ter 



took the veil. 

Bafijlko, pr. of Volhynia. 

I I 

.polk, U32, Viaoheslaff, H39. Touri Dolfforuki. I 

I Volodar. 



Eotislaf. U56. 


n, 1173. Eurik, II,, 1179. 

JicislafllL, Vladimir IV. 
12U,ldUed 1224. 

t Killks, 1224, 

Vladimii-ko. , 

1 11 I 

Audrey, 1168. Gleb. Vyze- Jaroslaf, 1153. ( 
1168. T ol^ Yladimir, I1 8S.J 

1176. Conatantine. Youri 

of HoQse 


Oleg. Fedor. 

j killed by 

Vyzevold. Tartars, 






Vyzevold, killed at Kolka, 1224. 

Yoorii II., 

of Suzdal, killed 

by Tartars. 






Kiof, 1239. 

Fedor 1240. Alexander. 

died young. , 1 

112 52 NevakoL 

Machael III. 


Audrey U., 


trius II., 

II., 1321 

• Ivan of 


.chaeL Jaroelaf. 

luse of 

I I 

Fedor. Michael. 


1359. Demetrius III. 

From Demetrius was de- 
scended the usurper Vaa- 
sili ChuiskL 

1360. Boris, 
From Boris in female lino, dGScended Bomanoffs. 

nth the exception tif those of the princes of Halich and Suzdal, marli thote who reigned a 
Grand Princes in Kiqf^ and rtfer to the year cf their accession. 


Literature was first introduced among the Poles by Christian 
missionaries and Benedictine monks ; and their earliest 
chronicles are by Martinus Gallus, who flourished in 1110 
and 1115, and is supposed to have been a Frenchman settled 
in Poland. Their language, being a branch of the Slavonian, 
differs less from the Russian than many of the provincial 
dialects of England do to one another ; and at first they 
made use of the Slavonic alphabet* of Cyrillus, in common 
"with the other nations of their race ; but towards the end of 
the tenth century the Poles were obliged, by Pope John XIII., 
with the Bohemians and Latins of Moldavia, to adopt the 
Latin chai-acters, which they henceforth employed. So late 
as the thirteenth centiiry the same custom was still retained 
in Poland that prevailed among the ancient Slavonians, of 
putting to death all children who were born imperfect, and 
old men when incapacitated by age. 

It has been previously stated that Esthonia, which is 
inhabited by a part of the Finnish race, imder the early 
Grand Princes of Russia, formed a province of that empire ; 
but, during the troubles and civil wars that ensued on the 
death of Jaroslaf, the Danish king, Eric, took possession of 
its northern coast. In 1093 he built a monastery on the 
Finnish gulf, dedicated to St. Michael, which was afterwards 
transformed into a convent of Cistercian nuns, of which the 
ruins still remain ; and a fortress called Lindarnisse, or 
Danish town, the foundation of the modern Revel. The 
Russians shortly after this expelled the Danes from the 
country ; though, towards the end of the twelfth century, the 
latter again took possession of the province under their king, 
Canute, who founded a settlement upon its shores, brought 
over a large body of priests to convert the inhabitants, and 
built several churches. Livonia, the adjoining province to 
Esthonia, appears also from the earliest times to have formed 
a part of Russia, and, according to Henry, the ancient Letton 
chronicler, the inhabitants had been converted by her to the 
Greek religion soon after its adoption by her own people ; 
but in 1168, some Bremen merchantsilanding near the mouth 
of the Dwina, traded with the natives, and terminated their 

♦ It was composed, by Cyrillus, of the Greek alphabet, -with the addition of certain 
other characters derived from other languages, chiefly Armenian or Hebrew, and 
originally consisted of forty letters. It is used still, with some alterations. In Itussia, 
Wallacliia, Moldavia. Bulgaria, and Servia. The characters now used in Russia for 
printing books not of an ecclesiasLlcal nature, were introduced by Peter the First, wlio 
wi.ghed to make the Slavonic character approximate in appearance to the priuting of ttie 



negotiations by building a fortress and founding a settlement 
at Eiga. Eighteen years after this first expedition, an 
Augustin monk, Meinbard of Holstein, established himseli 
in the country, and obtained permission from the Russian 
prince, Vladimir of Pskof, to whom the province was tribu- 
tary, to use his utmost endeavours to convert the inhabitants 
to Christianity.* In 1201 he instituted the order of Knights 
Sword-bearers by permission of the Pope, Innocent III., 
who gave them laws similar to those of the Knights Tem- 
plars ; and, granting to them the third part of the lands ot 
Livonia and Esthonia, Meinhard, vdth the authority of the 
King of Denmark, placed the entire government of the 
provinces in their hands. In the year 1210, their grand 
master, Volgum, took Dorpat from the Russians by storm, 
and, having reduced it to ashes, ultimately caused it to be 
rebuilt. The possession of Revel formed a subject of long 
dispute in the thirteenth century betweep Denmark, Sweden, 
the Knights, and even the Pope, who, however, relinquishing 
his claim in favour of Denmark, in 1240 that nation took 
possession of the town, and erected it into a bishopric. 
During the regency of Margharetta Sambria, the queen- 
mother of Denmark, she selected Esthonia as her own dowry, 
and granted it an independent government, the right of 
coinage, and many other privileges ; and, in 1284, Revel 
became one of the Hanseatic league, and monopolized vritli 
Novogorod the trade of the Baltic and the North. In the 
meanwhile Esthonia had fallen into the possession of the 
Margrave of Brandenburg, in right of his wife, a princess of 
Sweden, though towards the commencement of the 14th 
century she emancipated herself from his authority, and for 
a few years remained independent. But in 1347 she was 
sold, by Yaldemar III., King of Denmark, to the Grand 
Master of the Teutonic Knights,+ at Marienburg, for 18,000 
marks of standard gold, and this governor presented the 
country to his ally, the Master of the Order of Sword-bearers, 
the latter having united themselves with the German knights. 
They remained a portion of this body till 1521, when the 
Herrmeister, Plattenburg of Esthonia, separating his esta- 

* Tooke's " Russia TJuder Catherine II." 

t This order was founded in Palestine, 1190, Tvith the same object and rnles as the 
Knights of St, John. It was called the Order of the Kniglits of the Blessed Virgin, 
and was recruited from the German nation : and. being expelled from Palestine in the 
13th century hy the Saracens, they settled in Prussia, where they subjugated, and 
forcibly conyeited the uatlyes, and founded a powerful state.— Count v, KiasinsWs 



blishment from the Teutonic, was admitted by the Emperor, 
Charles V., among the princes of the German empire. But 
the oppression of the nobles of this province was so great 
upon their unfortunate serfs, that a saying still exists among 
them — " Esthonia was an Elysium for the nobility, a heaven 
for the clergy, a mine of gold for the stranger, and a hell for 
the peasants;" and in 1560 the latter rose up in great 
numbei-s against their masters, attacked castles and monas- 
teries, slew all the nobility, knights, and merchants, who fell 
into their hands, and prepared to attack Kevel, where many 
of their lords had sought a refuge. The struggle continued 
for many months, till at length the citizens of Eevel, and the 
other towns in the provinces, finding themselves threatened 
with destruction from an exasperated peasantry, and menaced 
by an invasion of the Russians — Esthonia being engaged at the 
time in a war with her powerful neighbour — agreed to throw 
off the domination of the feeble knights, who were no longer 
able to protect them from their enemies, and calling in the 
assistance of Eric XIV., King of Sweden, they took the oath 
of allegiance to that monarch, and Esthonia became a Swedish 
province.* The town of Narva was built on the river of the 
same name, in 1224, by order of Valdemar II. of Denmark. 
In 1209, soon after the institution of the Knights Sword- 
bearers, Albert, one of the order, was made Bishop of Livonia; 
and building a monastery at Riga, in the hopes of alluring 
the heathen Livonians to embrace Christianity, he esta- 
blished a theatre in its cloisters, and caused plays, of which 
the subjects were derived from the Old and New Testaments, 
to be performed. The natives flocked to it in crowds, and 
an interpreter informed them of the history of the various 
scenes which they saw represented, and this stratagem 
appears to have been attended with great success. At that 
time Livonia was still tributary to Vladimir of Pskof ; and 
in a treaty entered into by Albert with tliis prince, tlie 
bishop gives security for the payment of the customary 
taxation and tribute. Like Esthonia, she was a frequent 
subject of dispute between the surrounding powers, but 
enjoyed for many years great prosperity under the Teutonic 
knights, who, after a long war with Russia, concluded in 
1502 a peace of fifty years with that empire, during which 
the Reformation of Luther was introduced, and ultimately 

* Lady Eastlnko's " Letters fl'om the Baltic." 


adopted by the whole province.* She was subsequently 
invaded and devastated by the Muscovite armies, under 
their Czar, Ivan the Terrible, at the expiration of the fifty 
years' truce ; and, in order to obtain protection against the 
Russians, the Livonians concluded, in 1561, a treaty with 
the Poles at Vilna, in which they submitted to the dominion 
of Poland, though retaining the free exercise of their religion, 
and their own laws and privileges. This occasioned a war 
with Russia ; and Ivan, invading Livonia, placed on its 
throne Magnus, Duke of Holstein, the brother of the King 
of Denmark, and in 1570 married him to Maria Ivanovna, 
a princess of his own family. Magnus continued for several 
years the vassal of the Czar ; and at length, having endured 
many insults and indignities at his hands, escaped with his 
wife into Poland, and Stephen Bathori, the king of that 
country, took possession of Livonia, which remained a pro- 
vince of Poland till 1660, when, at the peace of Oliva, it was 
ceded to Sweden. 

In the eleventh century the people of Courland were noted 
for their extreme cruelty, and their auguries and magical 
arts. According to Adam of Bremen, they were consulted 
by all Europe for their divinations, more especially, notwith- 
standing the remote situation of their province, and their 
barbarous manners, by the comparatively polished and re- 
fined Spaniards and Greeks, whose vessels appear to have 
occasionally penetrated on trading expeditions to the distant 
waters of the Baltic. Courland afterwards became a province 
of Poland ; and on the submission of the knights of Livonia 
to that power, the Grand Master of the Order, Gothard 
Ketler, received it as a hereditary fief of the crown of 
Poland, and it was not till the reign of Catherine II. that it 
finally became a part of the Russian empire. 

During the progress of the thirteenth century, another 
powerful, principality began to rise on the frontiers of Russia 
and Poland. This was Lithuania, who, strengthening her- 
self by the conquest of the western provinces of the former 
state, after its overthrow and subjection by the Monguls, 
and successfully resisting the aggression of the Livonian 
knights, who harassed her northern frontier under the pre- 
text of introducing among her heathen people the faith and 
doctrines of Christianity ; extended her dominions to the 

♦ Tookc's '^Kuflsian Empire." 


shores of the Black Sea, the Dnieper, and the Danube. But 
the inhabitants long and obstinately retained the pagan 
worship of their ancestors, and adored the sacred fire which 
was kept continually burning on an altar in their capital at 
Vilna; and the last consecrated grove of the Lithuanians; one 
in the province of Samogitia, was not cut down till 1430. In 
1252, their duke, Mindove, was baptized into the Latin 
Church by the legate of the Pope, who also crowned him 
with the title of king ; but a similitude of faith was insuffi- 
cient to protect him from the hostility of the German 
knights, and, on their again invading his states, he returned 
to his former idolatry, and became a most bitter enemy to 
the Latin Christians. They continued to harass his terri- 
tories as long as their power endured, and in the year 1322 
besieged and burned the town of Kovnoj in Lithuania ; three 
thousand of the inhabitants, who had bravely defended it, 
falling victims to the fury of the flames. Ghedemin, who 
succeeded to the throne in 1 320, by the murder of his master, 
"Veshoeleg, the last prince of the old dynasty, assumed the 
title of Grand Duke of Lithuania and Russia, and was one 
of the most celebrated monarchs of his country, or of the 
period in which he flourished. His suzerainete was acknow- 
ledged by the republics of Pskof, or Pleskqf, and Novogorod, 
and the Tartars of the Crimea, against whom he and his 
successor made many campaigns, and where he totally de- 
stroyed the ancient cities of Bosphorus and Cherson ; and 
during his wars with the Russian principalities, he three 
times appeared in arms before the gates of Moscow.* His 
sou, Olgherd, was baptized into the Greek Church on his 
marriage with a princess of Tver, and subdued Southern 
Russia, with the seaports of Kilia and Bialigorod. He esta- 
blished many churches and monasteries in his dominions, 
and when at Kiof always attended the services in the Chris- 
tian cathedral ; but on his death, in 1380, his body was 
burned on a fiineral pile with all the heathen rites of his 
ancestors. His Idngdom passed to his fourth sod, laghellon, 
who, upon his union with Hedwige, the queen of Poland, 
in 1386, became a convert to the Latin Church, and Lithu- 
ania from henceforth Remained in close connection with 
Poland. At this period the vast extent and alarming 
increase of the Mussulman power in Asia, and the reverses 

• Kraslnski's "History of Polnnd." 


the crusaders had sustained on the plains of Palestine, having 
obliged the Chiistian knights to abandon their oft-repeated 
attempts to rescue the Holy Sepulchre from the hands of the 
sacrilegious infidels, they looked round for another opportu- 
nity of displaying their valour and their faith ; and the forests 
of Lithuania offering a favourable field to the chivalrous 
achievements of the West, many English appear to have 
taken a part in the vrars undertaken by the Livonian knights 
against the heathens of this province.* In 1390 a band 
of English nobles, under the Earl of Derby, afterwards 
Henry IV., embarked for Prussia, and advanced, in. conjunc- 
tion with the knights, to the walls of "Vilna, but were unable 
to take the town; and on this occasion Henry killed, in 
single combat, Gleb, the Prince of Czartoriski, a direct 
ancestor of the celebrated Polish family of that distinguished 
name. Thirteen years before this the yoimg duke, Albrecht, 
son of Albrecht II. of Austria, had penetrated with many 
German lords into Samogitia, and as far as Isborsk; and 
Suchemvirtjt an officer of his court who accompanied him, 
has left a poetical description of their journey, and of the 
various exploits of several of his countrymen who joined the 
banner of the Teutonic order in the same land. 

In addition to the republics of Novogorod, Viatka, and 

* Chaucer, In his " Canterbury Tales," when describing a knight, says :— 

"At Alisandre he was, when it was won, 
Full often time he hadde the horde begonne, 
Aborren alle nations in Pruce (Prussia), 
In Lethorve (Lithuania), hadde he resyed, and in Kuce," (Russia.) 

-f- Suchemvirt relates :— 

*'De9drItten lages chom dazher 
Vroleich inein ander lant, 
Dazwaz Kussenfa geunant, 
Da sach man wuksten prennen, 
Slahen, schiezzen und rennen 
Ilaid ein, pusch ein, unverzagt." 
A-fterwards he informs us— 

" Dazher wuchst drew gantzelant 
Die ich mit nameii tue bechaunt^ 
Sameyt Rnssein aragel 
Wint regen und der hagol, 
Begraif uns da mit grozzen vrost, 
Da faultuns hamasch und die chost." 
On the return of the expedition towards Memel, making their way through a track- 
ess country, they passed through— 

*' Ein Wildung heist der granden, 
Gen westen noch gen sanden. 
So poz Kcvert ich nye gerayt, 
Daz spricli ich wolanf meyn ayt." 
They then reached Konigsberg, o( which Suchemvirt says :— 
" Tgu Chunigez perch sowaz uns each, 
Do het wir rue und gut gemach. ' 
—Von Herzo? Albrecht's "Kitterschaft von Suchemvirt," quoted in Mijor's Introduction 
to Herbersteln's "^erum Muscovitarurii.'* 


Pskof, tlie grand principalities of Vladimir or Suzdal, Kiof, 
Tchernigoff, Halich, Tver, Eiazan, Polotzk, Kozolesk, and 
Lithuania, the kingdom of the Black Bulgarians still existed 
on the Volga, and the Polot2a retained possession of the 
Crimea and of Elipzak ; and such was the position of Russia 
■when the name of the Monguls was first heard in Europe. 

Nearly a hundred and forty years had elapsed siuce the 
oppression of the Christian pilgi-ims at Jerusalem by the 
fierce and merciless followers of Mahomet, who, towards the 
middle of the eleventh century, rendered themselves masters 
of the sacred hills of Judea, had first roused the religious 
ardour of the nations of the west ; and Peter the Hermit 
called upon all Europe to arm and join in the deliverance of the 
Holy Sepulchre from the hands of the Saracens. Multitudes 
of nobles, knights, and soldiers, of every age and degree, had 
flocked to the shores of Palestine from almost every country 
in Europe ; even the remote Iceland had sent forth its 
warriors to join in the expeditions that were again and again 
fitted out by the chivalry of the "West, and destined to perish 
on the sandy plains or among the deserted hills of the Holy 
Land. But now, in the middle of the thirteenth century, 
the repeated reverses that the Crusaders had encountered 
from the swords of the Infidels, and the shipwrecks, pesti- 
lence, and other disasters that had overtaken and almost 
annihilated their armaments, before they had crossed the 
intervening seas, or engaged with a single Mussulman, had 
diminished the ardour and cooled the courage of the i-ulex'S 
and nobles of Europe ; and the religion of Mahomet was 
spreading far and wide, unopposed, except by the feeble 
efforts of those nations whose territories were overrun by 
its followers j and the Ottoman Turks had already appeared 
on the south-eastern frontiers of Europe, and wrested from 
the tottering empire of Byzantium some of its richest and 
most fertile provinces in Asia. 

This people, once so celebrated and so formidable in the 
annals of the world, derive their name from Othman, or 
Osman, one of their sultans, who began to reign in 1299, 
and is generally considered as the founder of their empire, 
whose limits he first extended from the region about jMount 
Taurus, to which country they had emigrated under his 
grandfather Solyman. The followers of this chief appear to 
have been a mixed horde from all the diflferent Tartar or 


Turkish nations who, within the last three hundred years, 
had established themselves among the provinces of Western 
Asia ; particularly by the Avars, who, overthrowing the 
kingdom of the White Huns at Carizme, and the empire of 
the Saracen caliphs at Bagdad, occupied for many years the 
thrones of Transoxiana and Persia, till they fell in their 
turn before the still more formidable power of Zingis Khan. 
When the hordes of this conqueror invaded Persia, and 
destroyed the kingdoms of the Turks or Turkomans at 
Khorassan and Ghizni, Soljrman assembled a few of the 
scattered tribes, and prepai'ed with three of his sons to lead 
them across the deserts of Mesopotamia to the more secure 
provinces of Asia Minor. But, as he was fording the 
Euphrates on horseback, his charger stumbled, and the 
sultan perished iu the waves, and his two elder sons, alarmed 
at this calamity, and dismayed at so unfortunate an omen 
at the commencement of their enterprise, abandoned their 
fugitive countrymen, and returned to their former habita- 
tions ; while the youngest, Ortogrul or Togrul, who had pre- 
viously crossed the river with his three sons, Conda, Sambani, 
and Othman, remained for some time with his followers 
encamped on the western bank. At length he obtained 
permission from Aladdin, the sultan of Iconium, to settle 
with four hundred Turks in the moiintains of Armenia, 
where he died in 1288 ; and, eleven years after, on the death 
of Sambani and Conda, the crown devolved upon Othman, 
his youngest son, under whom commenced the powerful and 
dreaded empire of the Othman or Ottoman Turks, who 
in less than two hundred years had established a firm footing 
in Europe, and subdued its most civilized people, the refined, 
though artificial and efieminate Greeks. 

But, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Mon- 
guls * first rose into power, and rendered themselves, by their 
extensive conqxiests and horrible ravages and massacres, the 
most formidable of all the Tartars or Turanian nations ; 
though, till the time of their celebrated leader, Zingis Khan, 
their name was unknown to the civilized world j and the future 
conquerors of Asia and half Europe were a few obscure tribes, 
wanderiilg with their flocks on the dreary shores of Lake 
Baikal, and the rivers Angara and Selinga, in Siberia. 

* From this time the whole race of Turkish or Turaslan people is often very improperly 
termed MonguL 


A slight notice of two tribes called Mokho and Tliatha 
occurs in the early Chinese annals ; and, from the posi- 
tion of the regions where they are said to have resided about 
the year a.d. 860, these nations appear to coincide with 
the later Monguls and Tartai-s, while all historians agree 
that they were of but comparatively recent appearance on 
the political theatre of Asia ; and, according to Sanang Set- 
seu, a prince of the tribe of Ordos, who wrote a history of 
the Mongolian people, they originally came from India., 
though this assertion has been proved to be entirely destitute 
of foundation. It is evident, however, that they derive their 
descent from the same source as the Turks, and formed one 
of that great horde of nations wlio, under the several denomi- 
nations of Huns, Avars, Chazars, Polotzi, and Scythians, had 
already preceded them in the conquest of the East ; and, accord- 
ing to their national traditions, twenty generations before the 
time of Zingis Khan, and at a period subsequent to the age 
of Mahomet, they made their escape, under their leader, 
Bourte-chino, or the Blue Wolf, from the straitly guarded 
valley of Irguene-koun, among the Altai mountains, where 
for four hundred and fifty years had been confined the 
descendants of two warriors, Tchouzan and Kayan, who had 
taken refuge there with their wives, on the general defeat 
or massacre of their tribe, of which they were the only sur- 
vivors. There they had been compelled to forge, for their 
Turkish masters and conquerors, the iron and other metals 
which the s\irrounding mountains plentifully contained, till 
the tribe, becoming too numerous to find subsistence within 
these narrow limits, they accumulated an enormous quantity 
of fuel in an iron mine, and with seventy bellows melted an 
aperture in the side of the mountain, through which the 
whole tribe issued, and, asserting their independence, pro- 
claimed Bourte-chino their chief. This prince, upon the 
refusal of the Khun, his former sovereign, to grant him his 
daughter in marriage, demanded, and obtained a higher 
honour in the hand of a Chinese imperial princess ; * and his 
successors subsequently disputing with the Mantchous the 
dominion of Mangi, or the northern provinces of China, were 
defeated, and expelled by their rivals to the frozen deserts 
and steppes of Siberia. From Bourte-chino were descended 

• Gibbon'8 "Decline ancl Fall of tUo Soman Empire." 


all the princes of the Mongolian hordes, and from Tartar and 
Mongul, the two sons of Alancova, the widow of Donynb 
Bayan, his tenth descendant, and whose birth was affirmed 
to have been occasioned by a miracle, the two nations received 
their name, and from the posterity of the eldest son of Mon- 
gul, whose name in their language signifies melancholy, the 
celebrated chieftain and conqueror Temudschin, or Zingis 
Khan. According to Easchid, Alancova must have 
flourished about the time of the dynasty of the Abasside 
caliphs in Bagdad. 

A ceremony, in commemoration of their escape from the 
valley of Irguene-koun, was annually celebrated by the Mon- 
guls, so late as the end of the thirteenth century, when the 
princes and nobles forged a bar of iron in remembrance of 
their former occupation ; and this legend is common to all 
the Turanian nations, many of the other Turkish tribes * 
also professing to derive their origin from the same source. 
Upon the irruption of the Mongul hosts into Europe, their 
brethren, the Tartars, the first tribe whom they had subdued, 
led the van ; and this was the cause of the name Tatar or 
Tartar being, bestowed by the nations of Europe upon the 
whole race, a designation which is generally retained at the 
present time, and which was then considered the more 
appropriate as it was a common opinion that they were 
demons, and had issued from the depths of Tartarus.* 

In the twelfth century, the empire of the Keraites, or 
Kara-hitai, was still the most powerful state in Central Asia. 
Their sovereign took the title of TJng Khan, or the Great 
Monarch, and appears, as before mentioned, with many of 
his subjects, to have been converted about this time to 
Christianity, by the adventurous missionaries of the Nestorian 
church, who had already acquired great influence among the 
Igours ; and who, penetrating through wide deserts and 
thick forests to spread their faith among the tents of this 
distant kingdom, carried home marvellous accounts of its 
power, magnificence, and wealth. All the historians of the 
Middle Ages unite in ascribing to the Monguls the same 
physiognomy peculiar to the Huns of Attila + and the Tartar 
nations of the present day ; and their wandering habits and 
ode of living, as described by the Franciscan monk Eulru- 

♦ Pritohanl's "Natural History of Mail." t See Chapter IL the Huns— Attila. 


quis,* who -was sent by St. Louis of France on a mission to 
the Grand Khan, when they had settled down after the con- 
quest of Eussia, were very similar to those of their descen- 
dants, who still roam over the grassy steppes of Central Asia 
and Southern Kussia.t " The Tartars," says he, " have no per- 
manent abode, and never know where they may be the next 
day, though every chief of a horde knows the bounds of his 
pasture-ground, and whereabouts he ought to be, according 
to the season of the year. When winter comes they ascend 
towards the south, and in summer go up again towards the 
cold regions of the north. The houses they inhabit are 
placed upon wheels, and constructed of a kind of wooden 
lattice-work, with an opening at the top that serves for a 
chimney. This wooden frame is generally covered with 
white felt plastered with lime or powdered bones, but some- 
times these houses are black. Before the entrance there is 
suspended a piece of felt enriched with paintings, represent- 
ing flowers, trees, birds, and fantastic animals. These dwell- 
ings are sometimes thirty feet long, and there were as 
as twenty-two oxen harnessed to one of them." The idea 
that the Monguls were demons, or at least in league with 
infernal spirits, which, it may be remembered, was formerly 
rejjorted of the Huns, was strengthened by their acquaintance 
with the composition of a kind of inflammable powder, which 
they generally discharged in the midst of their battles, and 
which exploding, raised clouds of smoke and flame, and this 
was incomprehensible to the Europeans, with whom gun- 

♦ Kalruqnls accompanied Bartholomew of Cremona on a mission iVom St Louis to tlie 
Grand Khan, and, proceeding first to Constantinople, they embarked from thence for 
Soldaya, then in the possession of tlie Genoese, and after three days' Journey first met 
with the Tartars. In the account of his journey to the king of France, he says among 
other details — ** In the tents of the Tartars, above the place of the head of the family, 
there is always a small image, a kind of doll made of telt . . . Their ordinary drink is 
kumja, a spirit made of mare's milk . . . They live chiefly on their flocks and ttie pro- 
duce of the chase . . . Tlie heginnlnK of winter is the season for the grand imperial hunts, 
which are conducted like great military expeditions . . . The cotton and silk stuffs, 
embroidered in gold or silver, whicii the wealthy Tartars wear in summer, come ftom 
China and Persia ; the costly furs that they wrap themselves in, in winter, chiefly ft-oni 
Kussia and Bulgaria. Their usual plan in winter is to wear two pelisses, the one with 
the hair inwards, the other with it tamed out . . . of sheep or goatskin for the poor, and 
of fox or wolfs skin for the rich, or sometimes the latter lino them with silk, or cotton 
wadding, or fine wool . . . The Tartar dress is in the form of a tunic, and that of tlie 
women does not differ greatly ft"om that of the men; so, when you see a company of 
these women on horseback, you might take them for men at arms, with helmet and lance 
— as they wear a lofty headdress— especially as they ride astride. They never wash their 
clothes, saying that God is angry if tney do, and sends thunder while tlioy are hanging up 
to dry. The sound of thunder terrifies them so ranch that, when they hear it, they hide 
themselves under their felt carpets, and remain buried thus till it is over . . . Their mode 
of washing their faces and hands is, by Hlllng their mouths with water, and squirting it 
out over them. They never clean any of their domestic utensils, uidess indeed when 
they are boiling meat; they then sometimes dipintothepotthebowls they eat from, wash 
them with the liquor, ana pour it back Into the caldron."— Bergeron's "Kelatioil dcs 
Voyages en Tartaric," quoted by r Abb€ Hue. 

t Bergeron's " Eelatiuu des Voyages eu Tartarie," quoted by U. V Abbd Hue. 


powder was yet unknown, and in these days of ignorance and, 
superstition was naturally considered by them as the work 
of fiendish agency or magic. They originally made war 
equally on the Mahometans and Christians, and professed 
a belief in one God ; but their descendants subsequently 
adopted the religion of the different nations whose govern- 
ment they had overthrown, and among whom they settled 
and dispersed. These hordes, with those of the other Tartar 
tribes in conjunction with whom they accomplished the 
subjugation of Asia, are still as mamerous, though scattered 
and divided, in Western Tartary, and upon the elevated and 
extensive plains of Thibet, ov Land of Grass, as it is termed 
by the Chinese ; some tribes acknowledging the Russian 
sway, others that of the Celestial empire ; as in the days 
when they united for conquest under the banners of Attila, 
Zingis Khan, and Tamerlane ; but though still connected by 
their faith in the Grand Lama of Thibet, they appear little 
likely again to prove dangerous to the liberties of Europe, 
even if there arose among them a leader or chief of sufficient 
skill, ambition, and enterprise to unite their scattered clans, 
and direct their forces ; for at present the strongly guarded 
frontiers of Russia oppose a powerful barrier to so undisci- 
plined and roughly armed a foe, and her influence and policy, 
while it seeks to overawe and conciliate them, is gradually 
inducing those families on her borders to settle down in 
villages as traders, or peaceful and indolent agriculturists ; 
though they remember with mournful regret their former 
glory and exploits, and look with longing eyes upon their 
nominal mistress, the ancient Chinese empire, which they 
once conquered, and now affirm is still theirs by right. They 
follow the roving lives and most of the customs of their ances- 
tors, and though many engage as merchants in the extensive 
commerce carried on by them with Russia and China proper, 
their principal employment is still tending their floeks and 
herds ; " and these formidable shepherds," says the Abb6 
Hue, " after having invaded and ravaged the world, have 
resumed, in the midst of their immeasurable steppes, the 
wandering lives of their forefathers."* 

* "The Mongul," says the Abb^ Hue (speaking fVom his experience of the Moniruls. 
of the present day), "passes suddeiiiy from extravagant gaiety to a state of melancholy; 
his disposition is full of gentleness and good-nature. Timid to excess In his ordinary habits, 
wlieu fanaticism or the desire of vengeance arouses him, he displays in his courage an 
impetuosity which nothing can stay; very hospitable, indolent, honest to each other, but 
given to pilfer." 



FROM A J) 1201 TO A.D. 1336 ( OR, A.M. 6709 TO A.D. 6844. 

" A boisterous race, by frosty Canrus pierced, 
Drove martial horde on horde, with dreadful sweep, 
Resistless rushing o'er the enfeebled south, 
And gave the vanquish'd earth another form.' 



On nomme ce tyran, du nom de roi dea rols, 
C'est ce fler Geiigis Khan, dont les af¥^eux exploits, 
Font UQ vaste tombeau de la aupcrbe Asle. 


Towards the end of the twelfth century, the Mogul or 
Mongul horde, was divided into thirteen tribes, all governed 
by one khan, and comprised about thirty or forty thousand 
families and tents, who pastured their flocks on the plains 
of south-eastern Siberia. But in the year 1175, Jehangir 
Bahadar, their chief, expired while his subjects were en- 
camped on the shores of the river Selinga, and more than 
two-thirds of the nations refused to acknowledge the claims 
of his son Temudschin, a boy of eleven years of age, whose 
mother was the daughter of a neighbouring prince, the khan 
of their kindred tribe, the Tartars. Violent contentions 
broke out in the horde, which were increased by an invasion 

Eastern Empibe. 1223. Louis VIIL Scotland. 

Alexius Angelus. 

1203. Isaac Angelus rest 

1204. Alexius Mourzonflens. 
1204. Baldwin of Flanders. 
1206. Henry. 

1217. Peter de Courtenai. 
1219. Robert de Courtenai. 

German Empire. 

1208. Otlio V. 
1211. Fi-ederick II. 


1211 Henry III. 


1200. Mlscislaf IV. 
1203. Vladislaf III. 
1208. Lescus V. 


1200. Ladislafll. 

1201, Andrew II. 


Suercher III. 
1211. Eric XI. 
1220. John I. 
1223. Eric XII. 


William the Hon. 
1214. Alexander IJ. 


Alfonso IX of Castille. 
1214. Henry t 

Sancho I. 
1212. Alfonso II. 

Innocent III. 
1216. Honorluslil. 
1227. Gregory IX. 

1182. Canute V. 
Philip II. 1202. Waldemar II. 

t In the year 1294, by the command of Kazan, Ithnn of Persia, the grent-grandson of 
ifingis, a collection of traditions was transcribed in the Persian language, hy the vizier 
Fadiailuh, and this worlt has been the chief foundation of the history of Zhigis, by M. 
Fotit de ia Croix — Gibuon. 


of the Tartars, till at length. Temudschin and his adherents, 
being defeated in a desperate engagement, were forced to 
take refuge in the dominions of the emperor of the Keraites, 
who kindly received the fugitive prince at his court, be- 
stowed upon him a high office, and subsequently gave him 
the hand of his daughter in marriage. But a few years 
later he incurred the suspicions and distrust of the friendly 
monarch, who iaaued a decree for his immediate arrest ; and 
Temudschin collecting those Monguls who had hitherto re- 
mained steadfast in their allegiance, and escaping by night 
from Karahtai, returned to his own dominions, where he 
utterly routed his rebel subjects in a furious battle, and 
causing seventy caldrons of boiling water to be placed over 
a fire, ordered the most forward of the insurgents to be 
plunged into them alive. He then turned his arms against 
the Tartars, and vanquished and subjugated their tribe, and 
the following year, 1 202, totally defeated the army of the 
Keraites, under their emperor, who had marched in person 
against his son-in-law, and was slain in the fight; and, ac- 
cording to the barbarous custom of the Scythian conquerors, 
the victor caused the skull of the vanquished monarch to 
be encased in silver and converted into a goblet for wine. 
Alarmed at the overthrow of the powerful Keraites, the 
other kingdoms of central Asia united to ofier a resistance to 
the further progress of the victorious prince ; but, recruiting 
his forces with the warriors of the conquered tribes, he over- 
ran and subdued them in succession, and before the year 
A.D. 1205 had rendered himself master of every province in 
the north-eastern districts of Asiatic Scythia.* 

In 1206, a general assembly was held on a wide plain in 
Mongolia, near the stupendous range of the Altai, which was 
attended by the Mongul nobles and warriors, and many of 
the chiefs and princes of the dependent and tributary hordes. 
Seated on a high throne formed of bucklers, and covered with 
foxes' and wolves' skin, surmounted by a simple piece of felt, 
Temudschin presided over the meeting, which had been con- 
vened for the election of the provincial governors, and the 
promulgation of a new code of laws ; when suddenly an old 
hermit, mounted on a white horse, appeared in the midst of 

* "Hlstolre du Grand Glienghizcan," par M. Petit de la Croix, 

A report at this period gained credence in Europe, tliat tlie Hrst invasion of tlie Monguls 
iiad been occasioned by tlio preaching of one of ttieir proplicts, who foretold the near 
approach of the destruction of ail things ; wiiereupoQ tney fled to the soutii, in hopes 
of finding some laud to shelter hi that was exempt from this cui'se. 


the conclave, and addressing the spectiators, exclaimed, " My 
brethren, the Great God of Heaven has appeared to me in a 
vision, seated on a throne of fire, surrounded by celestial 
beings, and judging all the nations of the earth. I heard 
him give the empire of the world to Temudschin, and pro- 
claim him King of kings." * This extraordinary intelligence 
■was received vrith acclamations by the people, who solemnly 
and unanimously bestowed upon their sovereign the title of 
Zingis Khan, or Great Khan of the Strong, and Emperor of 
all the Monguls and Tartars, crying out with one ^'oice, " Ten 
thousand years of life to Zingis;" and thus prophecy 
strengthened Temudschin in his determination of acquiring 
the -empire of the world, and threw a divine authority round 
his most barbarous acts, in the eyes of his superstitious and 
impressible subjects. Like AttUa, and supported by the 
alleged vision of the hermit, he endeavoured to clothe him- 
self in the eyes of his followers and foes with a more than 
mortal character, and making war alike On every sect and 
faith, fought under the pretext of establishing a belief in one 
supreme God ; and to the humbled and conquered inha- 
bitants of a vanquished city, he declared himself to be the 
instrument of the divine wrath and retribution upon sinners, 
thus attempting to justify the almost unparalleled devastation, 
and atrocities, committed by the forces of the Monguls, on 
whichever side they turned their arrhs. In after days, when 
his armies had stormed and entered a city, his generals were 
accustomed to drive all the inhabitants into a square in the 
midst of their ranks ; and after drawing off the younger men 
to serve in their forces, and a certain number of the women 
and children to make use of as slaves, a few, who generally 
consisted of the aged, and those iucapable of bearing arms, 
were allowed to remain among the ruins of their homes, 
■while the remainder, with all who attempted to resist the 
former decrees, were massacred on the spot by their enemies, 
who, with pointed spears and bended bows, were ranged 
around the captive multitude, f 

But though so barbarous and unscnipulous as invaders, 
and terrible and unmerciful to their foes, yet the Monguls 
maintained justice and order most rigidly among themselves, 
and reeeived from their monarch a code of laws still used by 

• Hac's "Tartaiy, Thibet nnd China." 

t Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Boman Empire," 


every Tartar chief in Asia, wLo claims his descent from 
Temudschin, and still known there under the name of " Isa 
Gengis Khane," * or " the laws of Zingis." His immense 
hosts were divided into companies, presided over by officers 
who were responsible for the lives and liberties of their men ; 
and the punishment of death was inflicted for perjury, mur^ 
der, and the robbery of a horse or an ox. At the same 
time, in support of the idea of his divine mission, he bestowed 
upon his followers the appellation of " the Celestial people," 
which was the origin of the application of this term to the 
Chinese empire, whose sovereign, upon the successors of 
Zingis possessing themselves of the throne of Pekin, became 
the supreme head and chief over the rest of the Mongul 
race, investing every khan with his regal office, and sending 
forth his decrees to be obeyed on the borders of Poland and 
.Greece. Thus, China having adopted, still retains the proud 
name of her former conquerors, though she has long driven 
them back from her gardens and crowded cities to the soli- 
tary wastes and heaths of their desert steppes. But the 
northern provinces of China, where the Monguls first com- 
menced their conquests, had been subdued some years before 
by the Mandshus, a fierce, eastern Tartarian race, who, 
rivalling and repelling the Monguls, had broken through the 
strong barrier of 'the great wall, and, forcing the imperial 
dynasty of the Soug to retreat to the district around Canton, 
had called the half of the empire which they held Mangi, 
and established their chief and his throne in Yenking,-]- near 
the modern site of Pekin, instead of the old capital of China, 
Nankin, which was situated much further to the south. After 
subduing all the nations of Central Asia, Zingis turned his eyes 
towards the territory of the ancient enemies of his race, who, 
being firmly established in their new conquest, had laid aside 
their weapons, which had won for them an empire, and in for- 

* They Beemto have been a collection of the old usages of the Moghul (Mongul) tribes, 
comprehending some rules of state and ceremony, and some iujuncLions tor the punish- 
ment of particular crimes. The punishments were only two, death and the bastinado, 
ttie number of blows extending from seven to seven hundred, Tliere is something very 
Chinese in the whole of tlie Moghul system of punishment: even princes advanced in 
years, and in command of large armies, being 'punished by bastinado with a sticli, by 
Iheir father's orders. Whether they receive their usage in this respect from the Chinese, 
or communicated it to them, is not very certain, as tlie whole body of their laws or cus- 
toms was formed before the introduction of tire Mussulman religion, and was probably 
in many respects inconsistent with the Koran, as, for instance, in allowini; the use of the 
blood of animals, and in the extent of toleration granted to other rellKions, it gradually 
fell into decay. "—Ersiiine's "Translatiou of Memoirs of Zehir-eddin Baber, Emperor of 

t Yenliing stood a few miles from the site of Pekin, the modern capital ; its ruins are 
^till to be seeiL 


mer days been their only ornaments and pride ; and, adopting 
the luxurious habits of the native Chinese, were fast sinking 
down in sloth and apathy. The Mongul conqueror had fixed 
his capital, in a district about six hundred miles to the 
north-west of Pekin, in an old city of the Keraites, called 
Kai'acorura, or the Camp of the Golden Horde, where his 
guards and followers lived around him in their felt huts and 
tents, and from whence he issued forth his commands and 
laws, his sons, all eminent for their talents and valour, hold- 
ing under their father the principal offices of state. Toushi, 
the eldest, was his grand huntsman ; Octal the prime minister 
of his empire j Zagatai his judge ; and Touloui the commander- 
in-chief of his troops. Here an extraordinary mixture of 
simplicity and barbaric magnificence distinguished every 
ceremony at the court ; the greatest splendour and solemnity 
were observed in the receptions, halls of justice, and banquets ; 
while the latter were solely composed of roasted sheep and 
mare's milk, with a kind of spirit distilled from it, and 
Zingis distributed among his soldiers in one day five hun- 
dred wagon loads of jewels, silver, and gold. From this 
spot he pi'epared his expeditions for the conq^iest of half 
Asia and Europe, and led his forces in the year 1206 upon 
the neighbouring empire of Mangi, where the Chinese histo- 
rians have described in moviug language the dreadful deso- 
lation committed by his arms, and where the progress of the 
Monguls was marked at every step by universal slaughter, 
and perfect seas of blood. Among other atrocities, taking 
unworthy advantage of the proverbial Chinese reverence for 
age, they placed all the old men whom they had taken pri- 
soners in front of their ranks as they advanced ; so that every 
son in the native army feared to commence the attack lest 
he should inadvertently incur the guilt of parricide.* The 
unmartial Chinese, and the Mandshus, then- masters, were 
swept away like chafi' before the Tartar force, who converted 
the land in a few short months into one vast mass of ruins, 
and covered the wastes and deserted fields with unburied 
corpses and mouldering bones. Ninety-six cities, besides 
numerous villages, were pillaged and utterly destroyed ; 
throughout the whole country ten towns only escaped ; but 
the cruelty of the foe had urged the vanquished to a despe- 
rate resistance, and at the siege of Yeuking the inhabitants 
* Gibbon's " DooUne and Fall of tbe Koman Empire." Gutzlafl'9 " History of China '! 


held out aftei- famine Had reduced them to devour their 
fellow-men, and after they had been compelled, by the exhaus- 
tion of- their ammunition, to discharge from their war- 
engines their money, silver, and even gold. But, if the 
CMnese have been unable fo fight, theyhave always known 
how to die ; and they would not yield till after the Mon- 
guls had fired a mine in the centre of the palace, which 
blew up with a tremendous explosion, and, burniiig for thii-ty 
days, left the palace a heap of blackened stones. At the 
same time China was distracted by a domestic revolt, and 
the inhabitants eagerly embraced an offer of peace, which 
was bought from the victors, satiated with plunder send mur- 
der, for a heavy tribute of gold and silk, three thousand 
horses, one thousand of their children for slaves, and an 
imperial princess, destined to become the bride of Zmgis: 
The Monguls then retreated, leaving behind them one con- 
tinued scene of desolation j but a few years later they had 
spread themselves again over the land, and, after driving the 
Chinese monarch beyond the shores of the Hbang-ho, united 
the five northern provinces of China to their own empire. 
Owing to the difficulty they experienced in procuririg forage 
for the immense number of horses that accompanied them, 
and their droves of cattle; in a deliberative assembly held by 
the chiefs of the army, they actaally debated upon the expe- 
diency of exterminating «very inhabitant' throughout its 
wide and populous extent, and converting the land iatrf a 
pasture and hunting- ground ; but Yebutchouoai, a Chinese 
inandarin, adroitly averted this liorriMe proposition by ap^ 
pealing to the avarice of- the khan, and representing the 
enormous amount' of revenue, food, and manufactures, which 
Ms country was capable of producing for their conquerors 
under a just and wise government ', and, his argument avail- 
ing, the idea was abandoned, and Mangi given up to the 
legislation of native miagistrates, presided over by a Mongnl 

In 1 218, the unprovoked arrest and massacre of a caravan of 
three Mongul ambassadbrs, and a hundred merchants at Otrar, 
by command of Mahommed, the sultan of Carizme, or Turkes- 
tan, and his refusal to grant any reparation or ackoowledge his 
injustice, first drew the forces of Zingis to the regions of the 
west. The treacherous descendant of Tbgrul and Arslan^ 
ruled the> vast territory extending over Khorassan and Persia, 


and liis laws were obeyed from the mouth of the Euphrates 
and the borders of Georgia, to the frontiers of Ghizni and 
Hindostan, and the stupendous rocks of the Hindoo Kosh. 
After fasting and praying for three days and nights on a 
mountain, the Mongul emperor declared his intention of 
appealing to the judgment of Heaven and the sword ; and, 
accompanied by his four sons and seven hundred thousand 
men, marched upon the plains of Turkestan. " Our Euro- 
pean battles," says Gibbon, quoting Voltaire, " are petty 
skirmishes if compared to the numbers that have- fought and 
fallen in the plains of Asia ;" and in the first battle in which 
the Monguls encountered the Carizmians, and which wan 
only tei'minated by the darkness of night, the latter, who 
numbered four hundred thousand soldiers, left a hundred 
and sixty thousand among the slain. The Turks retreated 
to their cities, and armed each for an obstinate defence ; the 
Monguls, aided by captive Chinese engineers, sapped and 
mined the walls, and brought up their war machines against 
every fortification with irresistible force ; slowly, and after 
long and weary sieges, each town fell before them, and their 
triumphs were marked by the most awful atrocities and 
terrific massacres.* Protracted by the energy and courage 
of Jellaladin, the son of Mahommed, who several times 
inflicted upon the Monguls a signal defeat, the war continued 
for some years under the conduct of Tauloui, occasionally 
assisted by Zingis, who passed between his capital and the- 
camp ; and during this time the cities of Otrar, Cojeude, 
Bokhara, Samarcand, Carizme, Herat, Maru, Neisabour, 
Balkh, and Gandahar, were successively reduced ; while all 
Transoxiana, Khorassan, and Persia, were traversed and laid 
waste ; so that, according to Gibbon, five centuries have been 
unable to repair the ravages caused by the Monguls in four 
years of terror and conquest. As in Gluna, so then in West- 
ern Asia, and later in Hussia and the Eastern countries of 
Europe, wherever they met with the slightest opposition to 
their arms, they massacred, without mercy and without 
restraint, men, women, and children of every age and degree, 
not sparing even the bmte creation, and razing every temple 
or habitation to the ground; so that long after, travellers, wlule 
crossing the districts traversed by these savage conquerors, were 
horror-struck by encountering, in regions now totally deserted 

• Gibbon's " Decllrio and Fall of the Boman Emplro." Universal Hlatory. 


and waste, innumerable pyramids of human bones, the sole 
remains to be traced upon th^ spots where flourishing and 
wealthy cities once stood. In Maru, Neisabour, and Herat, 
the three great capitals of the province of Khorassan, the 
number of the slain, according to both the Mongul and Per- 
sian authorities, amounted to four millions, thi-ee hundred 
and forty seven thousand persons ; and at Neisabour, Touloui 
having discovered that a few had saved themselves from the 
general massacre by feigning death, commanded the heads to 
be cut off the bodies of the slain, and piled in heaps around 
the ruined city.* 

In the meanwhile Mahommed had taken refuge on a desert 
island in the Caspian, where he died dethroned and alone ; 
and the gallant Jellaladin, retreating as he fought, was driven 
gradually to the banks of the Indus by the Monguls, under 
the personal conduct of Zingis ; and, sustaining a last 
defeat on its banks, and perceiving that all was lost, he 
leaped his horse into the midst of its rapid waters, and 
sought a shelter on the plains of Hindostan. Gladly would 
the Grand Khan have followed the fugitive, and carried his 
arms among the groves and temples of Brahma,f but his 
troops clamoured for a speedy return to their native land ; 
and, loaded with half the wealth of Asia, he slowly com- 
menced his march towards the north.| While passing over 
the forlorn scenes of his sanguinary success, he appears to 
have felt a slight remorse for this useless destruction and 
prodigal waste of life, and annoimoed his intention of re- 
building the cities he had laid waste ; and beyond the Oxus 
and Jaxartes, the Monguls being joined by two generals and 
thirty thousand horse, who had made the whole circuit of 
the Caspian, subduing all the nations on their route, the 
united armies retiirned to their homes in Central Asia, and 
again prepared to issue forth on a new career of conquests. 

These two Mongul generals, Chin Nojan and Souda 

» IIuo^s " ChriatlQnity in China, Tartary," &o. 

t " As when a vulture on Imaus bred, 
Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds, 
Dislodging from a region scarce of prey, 
To gorge the liesh of Iambs, or yeanling lilds ; 
On hills where flocks are fed, flies towards the south 
01 Ganges, or Hydaspes, Indian streams, 
But in Ills way lights on the barren plains 
Of Serlcana, where the Chinese drive 
With sails and wind, tlielr cany waggons light" 

Milton's "Paradise Lost." 
J Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Boman Empire."— Sherrefeddln All's " llistory of 


Bahadar, had separated from their countrymen when en- 
gaged in Transoxiana, to accomplish the subjugation of the 
Polotzi, and the last feeble remains of the empire of the, 
Chazars. Proceeding with incessant victories, they crossed 
the Caucasus, destroyed the principality of the Golden Throne, 
and routM and dispersed the other nations who dwelt among 
the Hyrcanian cliffs ; and, having penetrated the narrow pass 
of Derbend, traversed Georgia. In the hope of deceiving the 
inhabitants with the idea that they were Christians and 
allies, thfiy placed in their van some priests whom they had 
taken prisoners, and carried the cross as their standard ; then, 
suddenly attacking the Georgians, they defeated and killed 
60,000 men. But on discovering their fatal mistake the 
Georgians rose in arms against the intruders, killed 20,000 
of the Slonguls, took many prisoners, and put their army to 
flight. The Georgian queen, Rhouzondan, in a letter which 
she sent at this time by ambassadors to Pope Honorius III., 
warning him of the danger with which Europe was menaced 
by a desolating invasion of the Tartars, states that she had 
been unable to fulfil her promise to the Eoman pontiff, of 
assisting him in a crusade against the Saracens, as she required 
the aid of her whole army to repulse a sudden invasion of 
the barbarians. But the Monguls marched straight through 
the country without pausing, except to fight, on their pro- 
gress; and, returning through the north of Persia, joined the 
army of Zingis near Tashkand.* 

Towards the close of the year 1223, Toushi, the eldest son 
of Zingis, was despatched with an army of 600,000 men for 
the invasion and conquest of Europe. On the confines of 
this continent the Polotzi and Circassians had united to 
oppose the common enemy; but each listened to the trea- 
cherous words of the ambassadors of the Mongul, who dis- 
solved their alliance by offering to each his friendship and 
support, and then attacked and defeated both nations sepa- 
rately, driving the Polotzi from Kipzak. Toushi himself died 
soon after this event, but his chiefs and generals continued 
the war ; and the expelled tribes having retreated upon 
Russia, some of the fugitives were pursued by the Tartai's as 
far as to the gates of Novogorod, while another division of 
the horde spread over the south of Russia to the Crimea. 
The rumours of the horrible devastations of the Monguls in 

' . * Hue's " Christianity In China, Tartary, nnd TUlbot." 


Asia liad filled the aeighbouring nations with, terror and 
dismay, aiid their almost uninterrupted success had com- 
pletely disheartened the inhabitants, who considered that it 
vas vain to oppose them, and believed themselves to be 
abandpn^dby Heaven, when they saw the vapid progress and 
conquests of those whom they believed to be the arch-enemies 
of God. More especially they shuddered when they thought 
of the terrible retribution that had been inflicted by the 
Monguls upon every city whose courage or self-confidence 
had urged her to stem the torrent which threatened to 
engulf every civilized nation on the earth, and attempt a 
brave though fruitless resistance. But in Novogorod the 
citizens, who were left without a leader, their prince having 
inarched against the enemy in the south, and unable to 
assemble any competent force to withstand, if they had been 
so inclined, the enormous number of their savage assailants, 
rested their hopes on the justice of their cause, and the aid of 
Heaven in support of Christianity ; and, advancing from the 
city, came to meet the invaders, each warrior bearing in his 
hand a cross, fondly trusting that their enemies would respect 
their lives when protected by the sacred emblem of their 
faith. Vain, indeed, was this hope, for they were promptly 
received by the loud and piercing war-cries of the Monguls, 
who, in the fierce battle that immediately ensued, tUled ten 
thousand men; but the march of the barbarians was arrested, 
and the nortb of Russia for a time spared by the death of 
Zingis, at the camp of the Golden Hordej and his generals, 
who commanded the Mongttt"arfSyphastened back to Asia 
with their followers to assist in the election and inauguration 
of a new Grand Khan. In the naeanwhile the other division 
of Toushi's tribe had driven the Polotzi from the Crimea, 
and capturing Soudak, or Soldaya, where the Genoese had 
formed a trading settlement tributary to these people, made 
it the capital of the peninsula, and razed the flourishing town 
of Theodosia to the ground. They had been preceded into 
Russia by their ambassadors, whom they sent to the princes 
of Halich and Kiof, declaring their peaceful intentions and 
friendly inclinations towards the Russian states ; but these 
princes remembering the deceitful manner in which they had 
acted with regard to the Polotzi and Cii'cassians, and that it 
was their usual custom to send envoys into these countries 
upon which they meditated an invasion, to survey the land, 


and observe its strength, capabilities of defence, its peculiar 
aspects, fords, rivers, and land tracts, superseded the Monguls 
in the act of treachery, and inhumanly caused the ambassa- 
dors to be put to death. They then called upon all the 
princes of Russia to lend their aid to the general defence ; 
and all justly estimating the danger responded to the appeal. 
From the northern province of "Vladimir, the grand prince 
Vyzevold brought every efficient warrior of his fur-clad 
troops, armed with hempen shirts of mail, wooden shields, 
and long spears, the soldiers of Tver and Novogorod marched 
each beneath the banner of his respective chief; the bowmen 
of Moscow, under Michael the Brave, hastened with all speed 
to the south, and with gallant detachments from Eiazan and 
Tchernigoff, joined the ranks of the gorgeously-attired horse- 
men of Halich and Kiof. The united armies, joined by the 
fugitive Polotzi, advanced as far as Mariopol, on the Sea ot 
Azof, and encountering the Tartars on the banks of the 
Kalka, were soon engaged in a fierce and long-contested 
combat. The Polotzi, who were the first attacked by the 
enemy, were unable to withstand the furious onslaught with 
which tlie Monguls always commenced an engagement, and 
fled through the battalions of Halich, commanded by its 
young prince, Daniel, and his uncle, the veteran Micislaf, 
causing disorder and confusion among the troops. Micislaf 
attempted to rally his forces, and rushed to the front, but 
was overpowered by the number of his opponents, and his 
battalions almost entirely dispersed ; and the victorious 
Tartars cut to pieces in succession the armies of the other 
Russian chiefs, who had become scattered and separated 
during the attack, while the Grand Prince, Vyzevold of 
Vladimir, and the piinces of Moscow and Kiof, were left 
upon the field among the dead. The other commanders fled ; 
and JMicislaf of Halich, on reaching his own country, unable 
to overcome the haunting sense of his disgrace and defeat, 
retired to hide his head in a monastery, a prey to melancholy 
and remorse. So ended the fatal battle of the Kalka, 
fought on the 1st of May, 1224 ; but though seldom has 
been witnessed a more sanguinary and terrific defeat, its 
event was not followed by any important result. The Mon- 
guls, indeed, two years after, having subjugated and possessed 
themselves of the Crimea, pursue'd the retreating Russians 
to the walls of Kiof, and had prepared to commence the siege 


or attack, but the same event — ^the death of their sovereign 
— that had recalled their countrymen in the north hack to 
Asia, had a like effect on the forces who surrounded the 
■walls of Kiof ; and the Monguls, abandoning Russia for a 
time, and summoning their troops from Georgia, which they 
had again invaded with a few squadrons of horse, all collected 
at Karacorum to make choice of a new chief. 

Since the close of the campaign in Transoxiana, and the 
subsequent conquest of Cashgar, which, held by a Keraite 
tribe called the Naymans, after the conquest of their coun- 
trymen, long successfully resisted the Monguls,* Zingis 
Khan, though more than sixty years of age, had undertaken, 
in the year 1225, another campaign against the kingdom of 
Tangout, whose prince had afforded shelter to two of his 
enemies, and now obstinately refused to deliver them up. 
The emperor marched against the rash potentate in person, 
and, encountering his army in the midst of a wide frozen 
lake, a tremendous battle was fought upon the ice, in which 
the Tangoutians were totally defeated, with the loss of 
300,000 men. But so many of the Monguls had also fallen 
in the fight, that they were forced to return for a time to 
Karacorum to recruit their exhausted force ; and it was not 
till the middle of the following year that Zingis again pre- 
pared to set forth. But Death had stretched out her hand 
to lay hold on the mighty monarch, and from his approach 
there was no retreat ; and while encamped for a few days on 
their march near the borders of China, the emperor expired, 
after a week's illness, on the 18th of August, 1227, in the 
sixty-seventh year of his age. While on his death -bed he 
earnestly recommended his sons to finish the conquest of the 
world. " My children," said he, " I have raised an empire 
so vast, that from the centre to one of its extremities is a 
year's journey. If you wish to preserve it, remain united." 
His body was secretly transported to Mongolia ; and, accord- 

* A carious record of this conquest by Zingis lifts been found in an inscription at 
Kertsctiiiik, near tlie borders of (Jhina, and broupht trom thence to St. Petersburg. It is 
engraven upon a grey granite block, five feet high, and more than one foot broad, In 
four perpendicular rows of Ingour characters, which, when read from left to right, has 
been translated by Schmidt into the following beginning of a formula of oath to the 
Ellyas or winged demons ;— 

"Zingis Khan, alter his return from the subjection of Rartagol, after the annihilation 
of all hatred between all tribes of Monguls to ali the 335 Ellyas." 

Sartagol is Kliara; Khitai fthe empire of the Keraites), the capital of which, Cashgar, 
held by the Nayman chief; Gusbluli khan, was conquered in the years 1219 and 1220. 
The stone is therefore a talisman against the return of the hatred of the Ellyas, to whom 
vows or offerings, it Is probable, had been made here.^rritchard's "Natural History of 


Ing to a practice generally followed at the burials of the 
khans, to prevent the intelKgence of his death from spreading, 
the troops who accompanied his coffin killed all whom they 
met on their route, at the same time exclaiming, " Go, serve 
our master iu another world." He was buried among the 
Borkan Caldoun moxmtains, though the precise locality is 
unknown ; and, according to a barbarous custom long preva- 
lent in Tartary, an immense number of horses and men were 
sacrificed over his grave.* 

Zingis Khan, who, with the exception of the fierce and 
cruel Timur, subdued more kingdoms, and occasioned the 
destruction of a greater number of human livest than any 
other conqueror of whom we have record in ancient or 
modern times, was in religion a deist, consulting soothsayers 
and magicians — in appearance broadly made, and rather 
above the middle stature, and of immense strength, with a 
large head, and loud and thundering voice. His harem con- 
tained at least five hundred wives, by the chief of whom, 
the Keraite princess, he had his four ddest sons and succes- 
sors — Toushi, who died before him, and to whose horde and 
posterity he bequeathed the region in Western Asia, extend- 
ing to the extreme north, and from the lake of Ai-al towards 
the west, as fer as, in the words of a Mongul historian, "a 
Tartar horse had trod ; " Octal, who inherited the Chinese 
empire,* and was elected to the throne after his father's 
death ; Zagatai, whose horde possessed the country of the 
Igours, all Transoxiana, Carizme, and extended to the 
borders of Hindoostan ; and Touloui, who, as the youngest 
son, retained, according to the ancient custom of the Tartars, 
the home and immediate sovereignty of his father in the 
East. All these princes were, however, only viceroys to the 
Grand Khan, to whom they referred before undertaking any 
important expedition, and joined when he requu-ed their aid 
in any distant war ; and, for several years after the death of 

■ A French mIsslonaTy of the time remarks, that the Tartars were so superstitious that 
they imagined that all the slaves who were slain at their master's tuneral immediately 
joined him as his attendants in another world. This superj^tition niipenrs to have been 
shared by the Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Slavonians, and all the Tartar tribes.— Hue's 
•' Christianity In Tartarj-, China, and Thibet." 

t It is said that on one occasion Zlnsis Khan asked one of his cenerals what was. in 
his opinion, the greatest pleasure of men. " To co hunting," was the reply, "on a spriufr 
day, mounted on a fine horse, and hoidinjr a falcon on your flst, to see him brine down 
his prey." "No," said Zingis; "the greatest enjoyment of man is to conquer his 
enemies, to drive them before him, to snatch from them all that they possess, to see the 
persons dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to mount their horses, and carry 
awav captive their daughters and their wives Hue's " Clirlstiaulty in Tartary," iSc. 

i iPritchard's "Natural Hlstorj' of Man." 


Zingis, tjiey remained at his camp in central Asia and China 
to complete these important conquests. The whole empire 
was ruled more like an army than a state, and the limits of 
the authority of each governor was defined rather by the 
localities of the families of his horde, than the natural or 
political divisions of the provinces. No Mongol could 
change his place of abode, or transfer his allegiance to 
ajiother chief, without the express permission of the Imperial 
court ; and the power of the Grand Khan extended over 
every other viceroy and ruler from the borders Of his own 
patrimony to the most remote and distant Mongul tent. 
" Since the commencement of the world," says the Chinese 
historian, Toung-kien-kammou, "no nation has been so 
powerful as the Monguls are now ; why does Heaven permit 
that i " Their conquests in Western Asia spread terror 
through all Europe, and caused the emperor, John Ducas of 
Byzantium, to reinforce all his garrison and fortify his cities j 
while the story found credence among his subjects, that the 
Tartars had the heads of dogs and eat the flesh of men ; yet 
no effort was made by the nations of the West to stem the 
coming torrent by strengtheniug the kingdom on the frontiers 
of Europe. Russia, indeed, was almost too inaccessible, shut 
out as she then was from the Euxine, to receive any efficient 
assistance; but the queen, Bhouzoudan of Georgia, appealed 
again and again for the aid of her fellow-religionists, and was 
only answered by cold refusals, or perfect indifference and 

The Polotzi, after their defeat at Kalka, and expulsion 
from Kipzak and the Crimea, had wandered for some years 
in the southern steppes of Russia, ravaging the borders of 
Halich and Kiof ; and, at length retreating into Hungary, 
the king, Bela IV., allowed several of their families, under 
their chief, to form a colony in Moldavia, then a part of his 
territory, and from that time they settled down to a peaceful 
and agricultural life. 

It was not until the spring of the year 1229, that all the 
Tartar nobles and generals had reached the distant tents of 
Karacorum, to deliberate on the choice of a new khan. 
Touloui had been invested with the office of regent till the 
election should have taken place ; and, after three days of 
feasting, the grand council was h«ld, in which many voices 

• Hue's " Christianity In China, Tsrtaiy, aaa IJiiUet" 


declared in favour of this prince, who had led them so often 
to battle and to victory. But Touloui himself proclaimed 
that Octal had been appointed his successor by the last words 
and directions of Zingis, and that the will of their father 
must be obeyed ; and, though his brother refused at first to 
accept the crown, wishing to place it on the head of Touloui, 
the latter declined the generous offer, and was the first to 
take the oath of allegiance. Then all the princes bent the 
knee nine times before Octal, and he was saluted with the 
title of Khakan or Grand Khan, and acknowledged as their 
lawful and imperial chief. 

Toushi had left three sons, Batft, Bereka, and Shebiani, 
who divided between them the command of their father's 
horde. The two former remained for a time at Karacorum, 
till they marched forth on new conquests in the west ; while 
Shebiani, taking up his abode to the north of the Aral, 
invaded Siberia with fifteen thousand families and tents, and 
with these he founded an empire, and erected a wooden 
capital near the present site of Tobolsk. Here his descen- 
dants reigned for above three hundred years, till the conquest 
of these wilds by the band of a Cossack outlaw, who pur- 
chased, by more than a third of Asia, a pardon for his political 
offences from the Gzar ; and the sultans and leaders of the 
Tartar tribes, who stiU roam in comparative independence 
over the wide Siberian steppes, wear an eagle's feather in 
their caps, as the proud mark of their descent from Zingis. 
The Monguls appear to have penetrated as far as the frozen 
shores of the Arctic Ocean ; for only fifteen years after the 
death of their great chief, we find that they were acquainted 
with the names and manners of the Samoyedes, whose ftir 
and ivory, their only riches, were not secure from the depre- 
dations of the Tartars, even in their subterranean huts on 
the borders of the Polar Sea.* 

In the year 1240, Turmechirin, th« son of Zagatai, crossed 
the Indus, and subdued the principal towns of Hindostan, 
and his descendants ruled in Transoxiana and Samarcand 
till the last khan of their race was slain in a battle with the 
Kalmucks, when the empire, after a long civil war, became 
subject to the sway of Tamerlane. 

• Gibbon's "Decline ana Fall of the Soman Empire." 


f^t ^riticcs of ^M—§utu ^f^m — '§t tonqmts '^nssm, anb 
xnbiigts '^almxh anb- Pimgarg — ^ntbassg sent bg t^t "^ap ta 
tlj£ ^ranb- ^^'att — dtktiwn of Cmtgat^ — J^aracorum — Camp: 
0f §atn at S^rai. 

" The populous cities blaclten In the sun, 
And in the general wreclCv proud palaces 
Lie undistinguish'd, save by the dun smoke 
Of recent conflagration."— H. Mobb, 

Upon the sudden and unexpected departure of the Monguls 
from before Kiof — though their country was utterly laid 
■waste, their prince Micislaf fallen at Kalka, and a severe 
famine and pestilence were already making their presence 
felt throughout the land— the Russians at Kiof gave them- 
selves up to the most extravagant joy : the sounds of war 
were exchanged for perpetual feasting and amusement, and 
the clash of swords and dust of battle for hunting and dancing, 
and other national sports. But these amusements were suc- 
ceeded too soon by other and graver cares : the scattered 
Polotzi tribes, who roved on the southern borders of the 
empire after their expulsion from Kipzak, kept up a per- 
petual desultory war with the inhabitants, and, a few years 
after the death of Micislaf took prisoner his successor, 
Vladimir lY., a prince of the house of Monomachus, and 
caused him to be cruelly put to death. Nature and man 
appeared alike to have leagued against the unhappy Kiof; 
and, during the few years that elapsed between the first and 
second invasion of the Monguls, many houses were over- 
thrown, and many persons killed or injured, by several 
shocks of earthquake that were felt throughout southern 
Russia ; while, during the whole of one summer, the country 
was enveloped in a thick fog, which, destroying the crops, was 
productive of a dreadful famine, only succeeded by a still 
more terrible plague. The depopulation and national dis- 
couragement of which these misfortunes were the cause, still 


furtlier incapacitated the Russians from offering any adequate 
resistance to the approaching storm of Tartars ; and, added 
to this, the people appeared utterly indifferent to their 
danger, and the utmost recklessness of defence and life 
every where prevailed. 

After the death of Vladimir, the princely sceptre again 
became the subject of controversy and civil wars ; it was held 
by several chiefs in succession, each of whom was compelled 
in turn to yield it to a more powerful competitor, and each 
of whom, if he escaped with life, was only destined to suffer 
loss of sight by the cruelty of a successful rival, or linger 
out a few miserable years in a dungeon or monastic cell. At 
length Mikkail, a prince of Suzdal, succeeded in establishing 
himself at Kiof; but, abandoning the city, he fled into 
Hungary on the second approach of the Tartars, leaving his 
dominions to be defended by his eldest son, Demetrius, the 
worthiest and bravest of his race. The father of Mikkail, 
the Grand Prince of Vladimir, had been succeeded by his 
sons Jaroslaf in Novogorod, and George in Vladimii-, the 
latter of whom gained considerable success and fame in his 
wars with the Bulgarians on the Volga, who had frequently 
harassed his territories, though the invasion of their kingdom 
by the Monguls shortly after, induced them to intreat the 
Russian princes for assistance ; which, being refused, Bul- 
garia was unable to contend alone against her powerful 
enemy, and her kingdom was finally swept away in 1236 by 
the overwhelming force of Batii Khan. 

In 1235, Ogotai, or Octal, the son and successor of Zingis 
Khan, having completed the subversion of all Central Asia, 
first prepared to establish his dominion over the eastern 
countries of Europe. His entire army consisted of fifteen 
hundred thousand men — for every Mongul who had attained 
to the vigour of manhood was a soldier — and the forces of 
the Khan were further increased by captives from the many 
nations whom his own and his father's conquests had reduced 
to a state of servitude. He divided these forces under 
different generals, for the subjection of India, Corea, and the 
more distant nations of the west, and intrusted 500,000 
warriors of the tributary Finnish, Turkish, and Slavonic 
nations, with 160,000 Monguls, to the command of his 
nephew, Batii Khan, the viceroy of Kipzak, who, after cele- 
brating a grand festival for forty, days at the Tartar camp at 


Karacorum, set foi'ward on this SlJupfendotis expedition, and, 
overrunning the kingdom of Bulgaria, entered Russia.** 
Well skilled in the art of forging metals, which their own 
coiintiy plentifully affijrded, the Tartars, armed with pikes 
hooked at the end, weighty bows, frohi which they let fly 
iron shafts, and' tretaendoua battering-rams, that in one day 
overthrew the fortifications of Kiof, had little difSeulty in 
contending against the wooden swords and slings of the 
Russians, and committed the most frightful ravages every 
where on their route. The tortures and barbarities which 
they inflicted on the natives, of a;U ag«s and degrees, are too 
hideous and shocking for description, and can scarcely even 
find a parallel in the horrible executions of China, or among 
the wild Indian tribes of North America. In many jiarts of 
the empire, they spared scaSrcely one out of fifty men, and 
the province of Kiof alone lost 60,000, besides women and 
children. Riazan, whose princes, Oleg and Fedor, had 
solicited and obtained the assistance of George, the Grand 
Prince, was taken and razfed to the ground--— all her chiefs, 
priests, and inhabitants, perishing in the carnage that ensued, 
and her arnly with its allies entirely destroyed ; while Periazlaf 
— though bravely defended by its youthful ■ prince — Rostoff, 
Moscow, Tver, and all the district of Suzdal, shared the 
same fate. At length the Tartar amiy marched upon 
Vladimir and closely besieged it, while the Grand Princess 
and he* sons attempted to defend the town in the ab.sence 
of Yourii, its sovereign, who was engaged in the celebration 
of a rtiarriage feast at a short distance from his capital. But 
their courage, inspired by despair, was unavailing against 
the furious onslaught of the Tartars ; who, destroying the 
walls and bastions, maasaei'ed the two princes with every 
inhabitant whom they encountered in the streets, and the 
princess, having taken refuge with her daughters and the 
ladies and officers of her court in a church, which she 
refused to open to the invaders, disregarding all their 
promises of security and ofiers of quarter, calmly received 
the sacrament from the hands of the archbishop, and perished 

« " A Russian ftigitlve/' says Gibbon,' *' carried the alarm t6 Sweden ; and, in Ilie year 
1238, the inliabitants of Gotliia (Sweden) and Frlse, were prevented, by their fear of the 
Tartars, from sending as usuai their ships to the herring fishery on tile coast of Enpland, 
and, as there was no exportation, (ortyorflfty of these fish were soid (or a shiillng.(?) It 
is whimsical enough, that the orders of a Mongul Khan, who reigned on the borders of 
China, should have lowered the price oflierrings In the EugUsli market 1"— Gibbon's 
"Decline and Fall of the Boman Empire." 


in the flames of the edifice, -which the Monguls had fired in 
order to induce her to abandon the protection of its walls.* 
The unfortunate George tore his hair and became almost 
desperate when he learned his family's fate ; and, collecting 
a small army, he marched to oppose the strongly armed hosts 
of the enemy, but was defeated and killed in a battle fought 
on the banks of the Siti, on the 4th of March, 1238, and his 
forces destroyed to a man — the wounded and prisoners, 
among whom was his nephew Vassilko, being all put to 
death with horrible tortures by their barbarous conquerors. 
To ascertain the number of dead left upon the field, the 
Monguls were accustomed after an engagement to cut off an 
ear from each of the slain ; and in the year 1239 they 
gathered 270,000 of these ghastly trophies from the desolated 
plains of Russia ; t and, after the battle of Leignitz, where 
they defeated the united forces of the Poles, SUesians, and 
the order of the Teutonic knights, they filled nine sacks with 
the right ears collected from the field. | 

Having completed the total destruction of Vladimir and 
its dependencies, Batii Khan led his forces to within a short 
distance of Novogorod, but did not pursue his conquests 
further north ; and on Taroslaf, the brother of George, and 
Prince of Novogorod, tendering to him his submission, with 
ofiers of allegiance, he granted that chief the province of 
Vladimir, with the title of Grand Prince, to be held tributary 
to the khan ; and, withdrawing his army from the north of 
Russia, marched towards the more fruitful and populous 
principalities of the south, where, sacking aU the towns and 
villages, and burning and laying waste every forest and field 
through which his forces passed, he advanced upon the old 
and so frequently captured city of Kiof. No bridge in those 
days spanned the breadth of the Dnieper, and the Monguls 
were unprovided with boats ; but they speedily surmounted 
this obstacle by crossing the river, after the fashion of the 
ancient Scythians, upon boughs of trees covered with hides, 
to which they fastened their baggage, and tying it to the 
tails of their horses, and seating themselves upon it, using 
their bows for oars, were thus conveyed safely across. 
Arrived at the other side, they established themselves before 
the town, where its prince had abandoned the defence of his 

• MonraTieffs " Church of Enssla." 

t Hue's "Chrlstinnity In China," &c 

% Ulbbon'9 " Decline and Fall of the BomoB Empire." 


own dominions to the skill and courage of his eldest son 
Demetrius, with the energetic assistance of his boyards, by 
whom the enemy was long bravely withstood. But the 
formidable storming machines of the Tartars, and the in- 
flammable powder, whose composition was a secret to the 
rest of the world, and with which they raised smoke and 
flames in the midst of their engagements, confounding and 
baffling their enemies, and inspiring them with the belief that 
they were opposed by demons rather than by mortal men,* 
soon efiected for them an entrance into the city, and, accord- 
ing to their usual custom, they destroyed the inhabitants, 
among whom was Joseph, the Greek metropolitan of Russia, 
without distinction or mercy, and fired every house. But 
the commander still refused to yield, and after every church 
and monastery, all of which had been fortified by the citizens, 
had successively fallen before the enemy, he intrenched himself 
with the rest of the people in the cathedral of St. Sophia, 
prepared to resist to the last extremity every efibrt of the 
Monguls to dislodge them from this, their last stronghold and 
retreat. But their efibrts were of no avail ; for the roof break- 
ing in, owing to the weight of the crowds who had sought 
safety and shelter in the upper rooms and every part of the 
building, many perished among the ruins, and their chief 
was taken alive and dragged a prisoner before the fierce and 
savage Batu Khan. When brought, however, into the pre- 
sence of the Mongul prince, the calmness and fearlessness of 
his demeanour inspired even the Tartar with some respect 
for his courage and misfortunes ; and, sparing his life, Batu 
allowed him to plead successfully for the protection of his 
few remaining followers, who, with a large sum of money 
that they had concealed in the ground from the avaricious 
eyes of their enemies, ransomed the cathedral of St. Sophia 
from destruction, though all the rest of the city was reduced 
to ashes; at the same time, the conqueror listened to the 
arguments of his captive, when he attempted to divert him 
from pursuing his desolating course any farther in Russia. 
Demetrius represented to Batd that his country had long 
been weakened by the dissensions of her princes, and the 
continual invasions of her foreign enemies, who had en- 
croached upon and appropriated her provinces, plundered 
her cities, and reduced her to so barren and enfeebled a con- 

• Hue's " Christianity in China," &c. 


dition, that she was totally unable to resist the arms of the 
Tartars, who, now that they had captured and destroyed 
her chief cities, and rendered barren and waste all her fields 
and cultivated lands, could obtain neither advantage nor booty 
by pursuing the war any further, but would suffer severely 
from want of forage and pi-ovisions ; and that, owing to 
the prostrate condition of Russia, the Monguls need fear 
no outbreak or reprisals, if they abandoned her to seek 
wealth and furthur fame among the more favoured nations of 
the West. Poland and Hungary, he urged, contained iron 
mines, whose pi-oduce would be valuable in renewing the 
bent and rusty weapons of the Tartars ; and they had for 
many years enjoyed the blessings of peace, during which they 
had greatly prospered, accumulated riches, and cultivated 
their land ; their fields would aflSbrd ample forage for the 
horses of the Monguls, and they were already making formid- 
able preparations to resist the arms of the invaders. Bati 
dismissed the Russian with many presents and marks of his 
esteem ; and, proceeding to act upon his advice, invaded and 
overran Halich, Silesia, and Poland, where he encountered 
the united armies of these kingdoms, who had joined the 
banners and martial array of the Teutonic knights, in a 
desperate fight at Leignitz, and were commanded by the 
Duke of Silesia and the Polish king, Henry the First. Be- 
fore the engagement, the mother of Henry, St. Hedwige, had 
abandoned the convent in which she had been long self- 
immurred, and, rushing through the ranks of the soldiers, 
urged them to fight heroically in the cause of their country 
and of Christianity. They indeed made a desperate resis- 
tance, and inflicted a sevei-e loss upon the enemy ; but the 
Crusaders, who had demanded the honour of commencing 
the battle, which was fought on the 9th of April, 1241, 
were deceived by a feint of the Mongul cavalry, who fii-st 
retreated and then charged, and, having separated from the 
main body in pursuit, the enemy rallied, and overthrew the 
divided forces in succession, leaving the king and duke among 
the countless dead. The barbarians struck oflT the head from 
the corpse of the unfortunate monarch, and mounting it on 
a pike, presented it before the town of Leignitz, calling 
upon the inhabitants to surrender ; but before the Poles had 
decided upon their answer to the imperioiis summons, the 
Monguls furiously burst open the gates, and gave up the 


town to utter destruction, with, all the ravages of fire and 
sword. Laying wafite the whole country, they drove the 
wretched captives, who were chained together, and of all 
ranks and ages, in crowds before their hosts ; and despatched 
an outlawed Englishman as their ambassador, to the neigh- 
bouring Hungarian king, demanding the submission of that 
prince. But upon his positive refusal to listen to their pro- 
posals, they devastated Huugary for three years, and retreated 
to their camp on the Yolga, having left in that kingdom * only 
three cities standing, and driven her unfortunate monarch 
to seek refuge in the dreary retreat of a solitary isle on the 
Adriatic. They had previously ravaged both shores of the 
Danube, which they crossed on the ice, and indxicing the 
fugitives, who had fled to the woods from their burning 
towns, to abandon their hiding-places, under solemn engage- 
ments of protection and pardon, they massacred them all 
without mercy,; and three hundred women, who had escaped 
from the indiscriminate carnage, and belonged to the highest 
families of the nobility, were coolly executed in the presence 

* The monk, Eojrer of Varadin, an eyewitness -of tlie Tartar Inrasion of Hungary, in a 
book, entitled "MiserabUe Carmen, thus relates his own adventures:^" Whllet the 
Tartars were sacking Varadln, I escaped by night into a fortified island, but not thinking 
myself safe tliere, I took refuge In a neighbouring forest, iln the moraiing, th« island 
was occupied by the Tartars, who kUled all the people in it; my very hair stood up on 
hearing of these massacres, and a cold sweat, as of death, burst from me, when 1 thought 
ofthat army of murderers. I continued to wander about the woods, 'but I was staiTmg 
with hunger, and wag obliged to venture at night into the island, in order to searcli 
among the bodies for movsels-of food or flour, which 1 secretly carried away. I lived 
thus for twenty days, hiding myself in caverns and ditches, and in the hollow trunks of 
trees. The Tartars then promised that they would do -no harm to the inhabitants who 
would come out of their concealment. I -did not myself depend much on this piwailae, 
and my suspicions were but too^ust; but I thought it better to go at once to their camp, 
than to await my fate in a village, and I therefore gave hiyself up to a Hungarian who 
had gone into the service of the Tartars, and who deigned, as a gi'eat favour, to place me 
amongthenumberofhis servants. I was almost naked, but myibuslness was to mind 
the waggons; and I had the fear of death continually before me, tor I. knew that in one 
night the Tartars had murdered the Inhabitants of all the surrounding villages. Never- 
theless, as the princes had received orders to return to Tartary, we began to move away 
with the herds of cattle, and horses, and waggons, laden with booty. The army retired 
slowly, and when it had quitted Hungary to enter -Coumania, it was no longer allowed 
that any cattle should be killed for the use of the captives. The Tartars gave us only the 
intestines, heads, and hoofs, of the animals they had eateni and we heard from the in- 
terpreters that it was intended to kill us very soon:" He goes on to relate, how, having 
with his servant contrived to make his escape, they hide for several days in a forest, and, 
having reached the outside, mounted a tree to look about them. " Oh, what a sorrow! , 
the country was entirely desolatod, and it was a desert that we should have to oross, 
with nothing but the steeples of the churches to direct our steps ; and happy did we think 
ourselves, if we could find now and then some peas, onions, or garlic, in the ruins of the 
villages, otherwise, we had to support ourselves on roots. In about a week after leaving 
the forest, we arrived at Alba, where we found nothing but human bones, and the walls 
of the churches and palaces still stained with Christian blood. Ten miles otf there was, 
near a wood, a country-house commonly called I^ata ; and tour miles ll-om this forest, a 
high mountain, where many individuals of both sexes had taken refuge. When we 
reached it, the fugitives -congratulated us with tears In their eyes, and questioned us 
concerning the perils wo had encountered, 'lliey ofllered us black bread, made of a 
mixture of flour with nak^bark, and we thought it the most delicious thing we had ever 
«aten."— (Quoted 'by aiuc, in his "Clirlstiauity in China," &cO 


of the Tartar cHef.* As Batu advanced with his followers 
to the borders of Austria and Bohemia, Vinceslas, the 
king of the latter country, in alarm for its safety, wrote 
to all the neighbouring princes, urging them to unite in arms 
against the comm^on enemy. In his letter to the Duke of 
Brabant, he says — " A body of ferocious savages, in countless 
numbers, are occupying our I frontiers. The misfoi'tunes pre- 
dicted for the sins of men in the Holy Scriptures, are over- 
whelming us on every side ; " and, in conclusion, he remarks, 
that " the people of both north and south, are so oppressed by 
calamity, that never since the beginning of the world were 
they so cruelly scourged. "t But in 1246» before entering 
Bohemia, the Mongnl general was suddenly recalled to Asia 
by the death of Ogotai or Octal Elhan, whose son, Couyuk 
or Gayuk, succeeded him as chief of the Golden Horde ; and 
this event probably saved Europe; whose armies had been 
defeated, and her kingdoms overthrown, wherever they had 
been opposed, on every side ; as, while it caused the Tartars 
for a time to return to Karacorum, their ambition and enter- 
prise were subsequently diverted to another quarter of che 

At the same time that Batii invaded Russia, another army 
of Tartars entered Georgia, which they burned and pillaged 
with Albania, and Great Armenia, where the princes, finding 
it impossible to oppose them effectually, submitted to the 
Mongul general Tcharmagan, and consented to serve in his 
armies, though the Georgian queen again urgently wrote for 
assistance fi-om the powers of the West ; and, in a letter 
addressed to the Pope, Gregory IX., she professes entire 
submission to the Church of Rome, and promises to unite 
Georgia to the Holy See. But she received for her only 
answer, that the pope mourned deeply the evils suffered by 
Georgia, but was unable to send her any help, since the 
Emperor Frederick II. had just raised a tempest within the 
Church ; still he greatly approved of her design of bringing 
Georgia within the pale of the Romish faith, and would send 
her some monks of the order of St. Dominic to assist her in 
the pious work. But the priests, if they ever reached her 
country, could not aid her against the enemies, who were 
pouring across her frontiers; and Rhouzoudon, finding her- 

• Gibbon's " Decline nnd Full of the Homnii Empire." 
t Hue's " ChrUtlanltj in Clilna, Tartarj-," 4<i 


self deserted by all the Christian princes, ultimately re- 
nounced Christianity altogether, and became a Mahometan.* 
All the sovereigns of Europe participated, with just cause, 
in the alarm, and felt their thrones insecure, when they 
heard of the conquests of the Tartars. The brave and vir- 
tuous Louis IX., at that time, wore the crown of . France ; 
and Matthew Paris relates, that his mother, queen Blanche, 
on receiving intelligence of Bat&'s invasion of Europe, burst 
into tears, and sending for the king, exclaimed — " My dear 
son, what fearful rumours are these ? Surely the irruption 
of these Tartars threatens our total ruin, and that of our 
Holy Church." " Let us look to Heaven for support and 
consolation, my mother," replied he ; " and, if they come, 
these Tartars, we will drive them back into Tartarus, whence 
they have ■ issued ; or, it may be, that they will send us to 
Heaven to enjoy the bliss that has been promised to the 
elect." t 

The Emperor Frederick Barbaro.'=sa, whose long feud with 
the papal see caused his enemies to accuse him of having 
favoured and encouraged the Tartar invasion, and wJiom the 
pope reproached with behaving more like an idle, pompous 
orator making speeches, than a Christian sovereign at the 
head of his troops, was invited, in the name of the Grand 
Khan, to do homage for his states, and offered in recompence 
to hold some office or dignity, like the conquered kings of 
Asia, at his court. He observed in jest, that being well 
acquainted with birds of prey, he had better take the office 
of falconer, but appears nevertheless to have been well aware 
of the danger with which his states were menaced ; and in 
a letter addressed to Edward I. of England, draws the fol- 
lowing picture of their enemies : — " A people issuing from the 
utmost confines of the world, where they had long been 
hidden iiiider a frightful climate, has suddenly and violently 
seized on the countries of the north, and multiplied there 

♦"The letters," saj's Hue, " which Gregory IX. addressed to the people, to animate 
them to tile Holy War, paint in lively colours his grief and alarm. Many affairs of grave 
importance,'" he writes, "are, at this time, incessantly occupying our thoughts; the 
melancholy state of the Holy Land, the tribulations of the Church, the deplorable con- 
dition of the Roman Empire. But we confess, we forget all these causes of affliction, 
and even what most particularly concerns us, when we thinlc of the evils caused by the 
Tartars ;■ for the bare thought that the Christian name might he destroyed by them in 
our days, is enough to break our hones," &g. 

t " Tills play upon words," says Hue, "attributed here to St. Louis, is perhaps the real 
cause of the alteration which the Westerns have made in the name of the Tartars. They 
are f^'equently designated Tartares, from the first moment of their appearance; and 
Tartan imo Tartarei, as the Emperor Frederick calls them, was an expression that fbund 
much favour," A*om the idea that the Mongtils were demons sent to chastise mankind. 


like grasshoppers. One knows not whence this savage race 
derives the name of Tartar, but it is not without a manifest 
judgment of God that they have been reserved for these 
latter times, as a chastisement for the sins of men, and per- 
haps for the destruction of Chvisteudom. This ferocious and 
barbarous nation knows nothing of the laws of humanity. 
They have, however, a chief whom they venerate, and whose 
orders they blindly obey, calling him the God of the Earth. 
These men are shoi't and thick-set, but strong, hardy, of im- 
movable firmness, and at the least sign from their chief, 
rushing with impetuous valour into the midst of perils of 
every kind. They have broad faces, eyes set obliquely, and 
they utter the most frightful cries and yells, which corres- 
pond but too well with the feelings of their hearts. They 
have no other clothing than the hides of oxen, asses, and 
horses, and vip to the present time they have had no other 
armour than rough and ill-joined plates of iron. But already 
— and one cannot utter it without a groan — they are be- 
ginning to equip themselves better from the spoils of Chris- 
tians, and soon the wrath of God will perhaps permit us to 
be shamefully massacred with our own weapons. The 
Tartars are mounted on the finest horses, and they now feed 
on the most dainty viands, and dress richly and with care. 
They are incomparable archers. They carry with them 
leathern bags, skilfully fashioned, with which they cross lakes 
and rapid rivers ; and it is said that their horses, when they 
have no other forage, will feed on the leaves, bark, and roots 
of trees ; and notwithstanding these privations, are full of 
spirit, strength, and agility."* 

Upon the first entry of the Tartars into Europe, under 
Toushi, the son of Zingis Khan, Gregory IX. published a 
crusade against the invaders and their allies, the Russians, so 
designating the lattei", from the many prisoners of their 
nation who had been forced into the service of the Grand 
Khan, and compelled to fight under his banner against their 
own countrymen and fellow-Christians ; and the same par- 
dons and indulgences were offered by the pope to all those 
who should bear arms against the Monguls, as to him who 
had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Upon the 
retreat of Batii into Asia, the successor of Gregory, Innocent 
IV,, attempted, by the more peaceful mode of negotiation, 

• Hue's "Christianity in Tartary," Sic 


to ward off the threatened invasion of the -western countries 
of Europe, and despatched an embassy to the court of the 
Grand Khan, composed of Franciscan monks, who, like the 
Roman ambassadors at the camp of the Scythian king, on 
the shores of the Irtish, were forced to walk between two 
fires, to purify themselves, before they could enter the presence 
of the Tartar chief. On leaving Poland, they entered the 
dominions of the Russian prince, Vassilko of Yladimir, or 
Lodomeria, who entertained them some time at his capital ; 
and on their departure, gave them one of his own attendants 
to conduct them safely through the country of the Lithua- 
nians, arid as far as Kiof, which was then in the hands of the 
Monguls. They were charged with letters from the Roman 
pontiff, addressed to the king and nation of Tartars, in which 
Innocent IV. exhorted that people to embrace Christianity, 
and honour him in the persons of his ambassadors, whom he 
desired the khan to respect and protect ; and having accom- 
plished their perilous mission, and obtained an audience of 
the chief, in 1247 they returned to Europe, bearing a reply* 
to the message of the pope, from the successor of Octal, the 
Emperor Couyuk, who then reigned as Grand Khan. Car- 
pin,t one of the envoys, has left us the following interesting 
account of the interview of his fellow-travellers and himself 
with the Tartars. " The first place," said he, " where I met 
the Monguls, was at a short distance from Kiof, named, ' the 
khan's bourg.' They immediately surrounded us, inquiring 

* Letter of Couyuk Kban to the Pope. 

" Couyuk, by the power of God, Khan, and Emperor of all men, to the Great Pope. 

" You, and all the Christians who inhabit the West, have sent me, by an am- 
bassador, certain authentic letters, with the design of iorming witii me a treaty of peace. 
According to the words of your envoys, and the tenor of your letters, you desire to have 
peace with us. If then you wish to hjwe peace— you, pope, and your emperors, kings, 
chiefs of towns, and governors of countries, do not delay to come to me, and settle this 
peace. You shall hear our answers and our pleasure. The tenor of these letters declares 
that we ouglit to be baptized, and to become Christians; to that we briefly reply, that 
■we do not understand why we should do any thing of the kind. 11 was said in your 
letter also, tiiat you were astonished at our slaughter of men, especially of Christians, 
and in particular of tije Hungarians, Poles, and Moravians. We reply that we do not 
understand this either. NevertheleBS, that it may not appeartiiat we pass over this point 
in silence, we have thought proper to give you this answer : It was, because they did 
not obey the command of God and of Tchlngulz Khan, and because, yielding to bad 
Counsels, they put to death our ambassadors!. In consequence of that, God has com- 
manded me to annihilate them, and has delivered them entirely into uiy hands. And if 
It were not the work ot God, what could one man do agahist another man? But you, 
inhabitants of the west, you adore God you say ; you believe that you are the only Chris-, 
tians, and you despise others. But how do you know on whom He will deign to confer 
his grace? We adore God, and it is in his strength and power tliat we siiall destroy all 
nations. If man had not the strength of God, wliat could man do?"— Hue's "Uhris- 
tlanltyln China," &c 

+ John de Piano Carpln, or Carplnl, was a native of Perouse, and had been the com- 
panion of St. Francis d'Assis, in many of his journeys. He founded convents, and 
monasteries, In Hungary, Bohemia, Norway, Dacla, LorriUue, ond;Si)ain.— Hue— Carpiu'a 


Our motives for travelling, and where we were going. I 
replied, that we were sent by the father and sovereign of all 
the Christians, who, never having offended the Tartars, had 
learned, with the greatest astonishment, that Hungary and 
Poland, inhabited by his subjects, were ravaged by the armies 
of the khan, and that desirous of peace, the pope, by his 
letter, exhorted him to embrace the Christian religion. 
The Monguls, who were contented with some presents, fur- 
nished tis with guides, to conduct us to the horde of Bati 
(Batft) Khan, the second in command, who had placed his 
camp on the banks of the Volga, with six hundred thousand 
men. We were conducted to his tent on Friday, in the 
Holy Week, when we found Bati established on his thi'one, 
with one of his wives, his brothers, his children, and several 
Tartar warriors, seated on benches, the rest of the assembly 
being on the ground, the men on the right, and the women 
on the left. This tent, made up of fine Unen, had formerly 
belonged to the king of Hungary, and no one dared to pene- 
trate into the -interior, except the family of the khan, without 
special permission. Bati read with much attention the 
pope's letters, which were translated in the Arab, Tartar, and 
Slavonic languages, and he received ns with much affability, 
though he generally inspires awe and terror. He is renowned 
for his cruelty in war, and for his cunning, deceitfulness, and 
experience ; and he ordered us to the presence of the Grand 
Khan Conyuk, where, before we could gain an audience, w^e 
were kept a whole month in front of a tumultuous camp. 
This chief was encamped in a magnificent tent,* called the 
Golden Horde, ornamented within and without with the 
richest stuffs, and the columns which sustained it were 
decorated with figures of pure gold. We were at length 
admitted to an audience, with some other ambassadors, of 
whom the secretary pronounced the names, but very few 
persons were admitted into the khan's tent. The presents 
which were made him consisted of stuffs of gold, .girdles, furs, 
saddles, camels, and mules, richly harnessed ; with an im- 
mense number of presents, ornamented with precious stones, 
and at some distance from the tents, were fifty chariots, all 
laden with these precious offerings, to the vanity and power 
of Couyuk, the Great Tartar khan. We were the only ones 
who had nothing to o^er, and found that Couyuk was deter- 

* A present fi'om the Emperor or China to ZlngU Khan. 


mined on making war. He, therefore, would not enter into 
any negotiation, and we remained at his camp nearly a month, 
idle, and overwhelmed with eJwiMt, without provisions sufficient 
to sustain us, and should have perished of want, had we not 
happily been supplied by a Russian jeweller, who, having 
made a throne of ivory for the khan, was in high favour with 
his master, and the court. "We were at length charged with 
letters from the khan, composed by his secretary in Arabic, 
which I translated into Latin, and he proposed to send a 
Mongul ambassador with us to the pope, but this I declined, 
lest they should witness the dissensions which exist among 
the Christian princes. Before our departure, we took leave 
of the emperor and his mother, who presented us with a 
pelisse of fox-skin and red cloth, and after a weary journey 
we arrived at the camp of ,Batii, who furnished us with the 
passports, by which we finally happily reached Kiof. The 
two Russian princes, Daniel and VassUi (of Halich), gave us 
a very gracious reception in their dominions. They con- 
voked the abbots, the bishops, and the most illustrious men, 
and declared publicly that they were resolved to acknowledge 
the holy father, as the head of their church." The Tartar 
khan took the title of Prince of the Universe, to which he 
added, " God reigns in heaven, and I on earth." When the 
Emperor Mangou dismissed the ambassadors of Prance from 
his court, he sent a letter to their sovereign, concluding in 
the following defying terms : — " In the name of the all-power- 
ful God, I order you, King Louis, to obey me, and to declare 
to me solemnly your choice, for a truce or war. What 
Heaven decrees shall be accomplished. When the universe 
has recognized me for her sovereign, all the earth shall enjoy 
a happy tranquillity and peace. Then the happy people will 
see what we can do for them ; whereas, if you dare to despise 
the Divine orders, and to say that your country is distant, 
that your mountains are inaccessible, that your seas are deep, 
and that you fear not my power — the Most High rendering 
easy what might appear impossible, will prove to you what 
we are in a condition to do."* 

Upon the death of Ogotai, who had been poisoned by one 
of his concubines, his widow Tourakina was invested with 
the office of regent, till the election of a new khan ; but she 
left no stone unturned to procure this dignity for her son j and 

* Carpln's "Travels." 


to assist at the ceremony of installation, all the lieutenants 
and governors of the provinces were recalled from Europe 
and Southern Asia. Among other eyewitnesses of the 
gorgeous ceremonial, were the humble Franciscan monks, 
who have left us a minute description of the deliberation, the 
election, and the imperial feasts. The Kovii-iltai, or General 
Assembly, had been convoked to meet at a spot in a district 
near Karacorum, called the Seventy Hills, and the roads 
from all parts of Asia to the centre of Tartary were covered 
with travellers and horsemen. The princes of the blood 
came attended by a numerous military escort, and among 
them were the widow of Touloui, with her cliildren ; the 
sons of Ogotai, Toushi, and Zagatai, followed by the chiefs of 
the tribes over whom they exercised sovereign power ; the 
governors of the Mougul possessions in China, Argoun, and 
Massend ; the governor-generals of Persia, Turkestan, and 
Transoxiana, with the native princes and nobles of those 
countries in their train ; the Sultan of Roum-Rok-ud-din, 
Yaroslaf, the Grand Duke of Russia, two princes named 
DavidjWho disputed between them the crown of Georgia, the 
brother of the sovereign of Aleppo, and ambassadors from the 
Caliph of Bagdad, and from the princes of Ismail, Mossoul, 
Kars, and Karman, who were all richly attired, and all 
brought magnificent gifts for the future khan.* The Tartar 
princes, with their generals, assembled in an immense tent, 
capable of containing two thousand persons, which was also 
surrounded by two thousand of a smaller size, where the 
merchants of India, China, and Persia, had flocked in immense 
numbers, with the most precious productions of the East ; 
and garments of silk and gold were daily distributed by the 
sovereign to the members of the convocation, who, after 
spending several mornioga in deliberation, and evenings in 
drinking and music, agreed to elect Couyuk, and unanimously 
gave him their votes. According to custom, he at first 
refused to accept the throne, but, after a long resistance, 
agreed to the wishes of his subjects, an<l received their oaths 
of allegiance, the immense multitude that covered the plain, 
falling prostrate on the ground before him, and afterwards 
accompanying him to another Tartar encampment, a few 
leagues distant, where the ceremony of enthronization was to 
take place. This was accomplished by the princes and nobles 

* Hue's " Cliristtanity In China," ttc. 


placing him on a golden throne, at the same time exclaiming, 
"We will, we pray, and we command, that you have power 
and dominion over us all." He replied, " If you wish that 
I should be your king, are you resolved, and disposed, each 
one of you, to do all that I command ? To come when I 
shall call you, to go where I shall send you, and to kill those 
whom I command you ? " To this they all answered, " Yes ; " 
upon which he said, " Prom henceforward my simple word 
shall serve me as a sword." Then rising from his throne, 
he seated himself on a piece of felt they laid on the ground, 
the same which had covered the imperial seat of Zingis, and 
received this exhortation from the principal nobles and chiefs : 
" Look up, and acknowledge God, and consider well the piece 
of felt upon which thou art. If thou governest thy state 
well, if thou art liberal and beneficent, if thou causest justice 
to reign, if thou honourest thy princes and officers, each 
according to his rank and dignity — thou shalt reign in all 
splendour and magnificence, and all the earth shall be sub- 
jected to thy sway ; but if thou dost the contrary of all this, 
■ thou shalt become miserable, vile, and contemptible, and 
so poor that thy possessions shall not even amount to as 
much as this piece of felt." After this speech, the chiefs 
caused the wife of Couyuk to seat herself beside him, and 
raising them both on the felt, in the air, proclaimed them 
with loud cries, emperor and empress of all the Tartars.* 
This was followed by an enormous banquet, .attended by all 
the princes, princesses, and dignitaries of the empire, and 
which consisted of nothing but meat, with a profusion of 
rice wine and kumys, their national spirit, an intoxicating 
liquor, that the Russian slaves and captives superstitiously 
believed if a Christian once tasted his soul was for ever lost. 
The guests drank long and deeply till past naidnight, to the 
sovmd of musical instruments and martial songs, and renewed 
their feast every evening for seven days in succession ; and at 
the end of this period, the emperor marched forth from his 
tent, and raising a great banner towards the west, waved it, 
threatening at the same time to carry fire and sword over 
every one of those countries that .should not, along with all 
the rest of the earth, submit to his authority and government. 
He was at that time about forty years of age, and is described 
by the missionaries as being of small figure, and very grave 

♦ Hue's " CbrlsUanlty in China," &g. 


deportment, never listening or replying to any thing, but 
through his prime minister ; and his first act was to com- 
mand the execution of the Mongul lady who had caused his 
father's death. Every one addressed him kneeling. 

The mission that was sent by Innocent IV. to the Tartar 
general, Baidjow in Persia, met with no better success than 
the embassy which set out the same year to Karacorum, but 
its members were treated with far more abuse and contempt, 
an officer even proposing to flay one of the friars alive, and 
send his skin, stufied with straw, back by his companions to 
the pope. When the monks confidently requested the Mon- 
guls to become Christians, and informed them that the pope, 
the dictator of the world, and vicegerent of heaven, was above 
all other men, Baidjou inquired, — " Who ever heard that 
the name of the pope was spread evei-y where, and respected, 
and feared by the whole earth, as that of the khan is ? " and 
sent back a letter by the priestly envoys to their master, in 
which he sa3's, — " Know, O pope, that thy messengers, have 
come, and brought us letters. They bore, amongst others, 
these words, — ' You kill many people ; you massacre, and you 
lay waste.' The immutable command of God, and the order 
of him who rules the whole earth, is this, — ' Whosoever will 
obey us, let him remain in possession of his land, his water, 
his patrimony, and let him give up his forces to the master of 
the universe. Whosoever shall resist this order and command, 
let him be annihilated and destroyed.' " t ' 

The superior wealth and luxury that the Monguls observed 
among the nations whom they conquered and overran, intro- 
duced great changes in their simple, though barbarous, mode 
of life, and the immediate successors of Zingis Khan, with 
their principal officers and lieutenants, removed from a tent 
to a house or palace, which affording all the luxuries and 
conveniences that art could furnish, was surrounded by an 
ample and well enclosed park, instead of the pathless forest 
and boundless plain, where wild animals of all kinds were 
preserved to provide the Grand Khan and princes with the 
amusement of hunting, without having to seek for game at 
considerable distances from their camp. At the beginning 
of winter, a grand imj^erial chase, conducted with the impor- 
tance and regularity of a great military expedition, was 
annually held on a convenient spot near Karacorum, when 

t Hoe's " Chilstlanltj' in Chlnn," &c 


parties of. hunters, despatched from all the tribes within a 
month's journey of the place of rendezvous, drove every wolf 
and elk they encountered into a circle of about two or three 
leagues, remaining in a close line outside the enclosure to 
prevent any from escaping the Imperial bow. The Grand 
Khan having first entered with his wives, and shot as many 
as he desired, retired to an elevated spot, from whence he 
witnessed the performances of the princes and gen.erals ; 
who in their turn made way for the officers of a lower rank, 
who were finally replaced by all the common men. The 
hunt lasted several days ; and so. late as the year 1824, when 
the practice was abolished, owing to the indolence of the 
then reigning sovereign, who could not bring himself to 
abandon his luxurious palace at Pekin, for the labour and 
fatigue of the chase, the emperors of China annually resorted 
to the wilds of Tartary, to follow the same pursuit, and 
according to the same arrangement, as the expeditions con- 
ducted under Octal and Couyuk Khan. The French 
missionary, Rubruquis, saw at -Karacorum, among other 
captive foreigners, his countryman, Guillaume Boucher, a 
goldsmith of Paris, who had been carried oif with a Norman 
bishop, and a woman of Metz, in Lorraine, from Belgrade, 
when the Tartars invaded Hungary, a Flemish cordelier, a 
singer named Robert, and numerous Russian artificers and 
mechanics. These decorated the palace of the khan with 
paintings and sculpture, and executed statues and ornaments 
for his use, in gold, silver, and precious stones ; with salvers, 
goblets, and basins, to enrich his tables and equipage, while 
his feasts were supplied with the products and luxuries of all 
Asia, the wines of southern Europe, and even the fruits and 
spices of the distant Indian isles. A silver fountain, in the 
form of a tree, supported by four massive lions, who each 
spouted forth a different liquor from its metal throat, graced 
the centre of tlie festal board of the khan, where frequently 
more than a thousand guests were entertained in one night. All 
forms and sects of religion were alike tolerated at Karacorum; a 
Nestorian church, two mosques, and twelve temples, dedicated 
to various idols, being supported and attended by the many 
foreign traders, who had been induced by commercial enter- 
prise, or compelled by the hard chances of war, to take up 
their residence in the camp of the Golden Horde. Indeed, 
till the time of Kublai, the third in descent from Zingis, who 


adopted the religion of Buddha,* and Barti, the brother of 
Batii, who succeeded him in his lieutenancy, in the kingdom 
of Kipchak, and embraced Mahometanism, the khans pro- 
fessed no other creed than the belief in one Supreme Being, 
treating with equal ridicule or condescension, every sect of 
religion and faith ; and Mangou, the successor of Couyuk, 
who frequently assembled priests of the Buddhist, Christian, 
Nestorian, Chinese, and Mahometan faith, and listened to 
their discourses respecting their different creeds, and their 
theological disputations, and controversies, said one day to 
Rubruquis, that all the men at his court who adored the one 
Eternal Deity, ought to be free to do so each in his own 
way.t To this city resorted also suppliant princes and 
captive monarchs, who only held their thrones and liberties 
at the capricious will of the Mongul chief, and came to 
solicit his favour, or pour their tribute at his feet. On the 
banks of the Volga, Batu, the viceroy of the west, established 
his camp, which, like the wooden capital of AttiJa, occupied 
as much ground as a large city, on the site of the ancient 
Serai, once a flourishing town under the Chazars, and placed 
his own log palace, whose interior was decorated with 
jewelled goblets and ornaments, and where the throne, fur- 
niture, and dresses of the attendants were loaded with gold, 
with the tents of his sixteen wives in the midst. Here he 
received the embassy of the pope, on its road to Karacorum, 
and the Franciscans who were sent by Louis IX. of France, 
when a report had spread in Europe, that Prince Sartak, the 
son of Batu, and governor of a district on the Volga, had 
renounced the eri-ors of paganism, and consented to receive 
baptism. But the monks discovered on their arrival at 
Serai, that the Tartar prince had embraced the Nestorian, 
not the Latin faith, and they looked upon this as little better 
than idolatry ; and, at an audience which Batii granted the 
friars in his tent, and at which they were compelled to kneel 
before him, their attempts to induce the khan to conform to 
Christianity, and their representations of the eternal misery 
I'eserved for the wicked and unbelievers, were received by 
the chief with smiles of derision, and by his courtiers with 

* " The enrllest Introduction of Buddhiem among the Mongolians took place in the year 
1247, when in the east at Lanptschen, in tlie Chinese provhice of Sciiensl, tlic sick Mon- 
golian prince, Godan, sent for the Gahya paradlta, a Thibotlau archbishop, in order to 
cure and convert hinn." — Humboldt's " Cosmos." 

t Hue's " ChrlBtlanlty iu China, Tartary," <fco. 


clapping of hands and ironical cheers.* From this camp, 
Batd gave laws to the Eiiasian princes, and frequently 
x'equired their personal attendance at the steps of his throne, 
as humble petitioners for their lives or sceptres ; and here, 
during the two hundred years of the Tartar power in Russia, 
two hundred and fifty of her princes prostrated themselves 
before the Mongul khan, and twelve suffered death by his 
order at different times, besides many of the boyards and 
inferior officers from the Russian court. 

The Tartar capital in Mongolia is described by travellers 
of the timet as being surrounded with an earthen rampart, 
entered by four strong iron gates, lying exactly according 
to the points of the compass, and enclosing several public 
offices and markets. It was traversed by two streets, called 
the bazaars of the Chinese and of the Saracens, and fairs were 
occasionally held there, which attracted numerous merchants 
and traders from all parts of Asia, and Russians and Bul- 
garians from Eastern Europe. 

• Hue's " Christianity in China, Tartary," &c. 
t Travels of BubroK m Hakluyt's '* Voyages.'* 


— fifllagmt tmujoers ^irsia — i>^t Poogals ai C^ixa — ^femts 
of J^ipjaL 

8ach the gay splendour, the luxurious state, 
Of caliphs old, who on the Tygris^ shore, 
In mighty Bagdad, populous and great. 
Held their bright court— Thomson. 

While the greater part of Russia ■was ravaged and 
overrim by the Monguls, who even consumed the grass on 
the steppes as they passed, and invaded by the Lithuanians, 
Poles, Swedes, and Teutonic knights, who, ail at the com- 
mand of the pope, united against her as an ally of the infidel 
Tartar khan, with his horde of those whom they believed 
to be inhuman and fiendish followers, Novogorod and Pskof, 
or Pleskof, which was justly renowned for the peaceful dis- 
position of her inhabitants, appear to have been almost the 
only towns that escaped the general destruction, which had 
plunged the whole people into misery and mourning, and 
covered the empire, from north to south, with ashes, ruin, and 
blood. The monk Carpin in his travels relates, that while 
passing through Russia he encountered, in many places, heaps 
of unburied skulls and human bones ; and thousands of the 
inhabitants, who had been driven by the Tartars into Mon- 
golia, were there made drovers and herdsmen to their masters' 
flocks, or placed in colonies on the shores of the rivers, to 
keep the bridges and fords. But the citizens of these states, 
through the prudence and caiition of Yaroslaf, their prince, 
experienced a milder fate. Upon the overthrow of Vladimir, 
and the death of her sovereign upon the field of battle, find- 
in" his own territories menaced at the same time by the 



Christians in the ■west, and the wild and undisciplined armies 
of the Mongul emperor in the east, he offered peaceable terms 
to the invader ; and, visiting in person the camp of Batu, 
tendered his allegiance to the viceroy of the khan, receiving 
as a recompense the domains of his deceased brother, George, 
to be held as a fief of the Golden Horde, and with them the 
title and authority of Grand Prince. From this period till 
the reign of Ivan the Great, when they finally emancipated 
their country from the Tartar rule, the Russian princes were 
obliged, as a mark of their degradation and complete servi- 
tude to the Grand Khan, to offer his ambassadors and 
lieutenants, whenever they received one at their courts, with 
a glass of milk, which they presented bareheaded and on 
foot, while the Mongul remained seated and on horseback ; 
and if a drop fell while the delegate of the khan was raising 
it to his lips, the Russian princes were compelled to lick it 
up, and also to feed the horse of the envoy of their tyrant 
with corn from their caps of state. At the same time the 
heavy tribute and fines that they were continually called 
upon to pay to the Monguls, ruined their overtaxed people, 
without satisfying the extortionate demands of the Tartar 
prince, who further exhausted the country by carrying off the 
young men to recruit his restless armies, and the most 
skilful artificers and mechanics to construct his newly- 
founded cities and decorate his palaces. Yaroslaf in the 
south, and Daniel of Halich in the west, by their wise 
government, and the exertions they made to collect the 
scattered people together, and rebuild the towns and villages 
that the Monguls had destroyed, greatly contributed to 
restore some order and tranquillity in their dominions, and 
encourage their disheartened and dispirited countrymen, who 
groaned under the weight of taxation and Tartar oppression ; 
for the revenues of Russia were totally exhausted, and her 
princes were even unable to maintain the court and retinue 
usually supported by their richer and more fortunate prede- 

On the death of Octal, in 1246, Yaroslaf was summoned 
to attend the election of a new emperor at Karacorum, 
and renew his. former oath of allegiance. He accordingly 
departed for Mongolia with many followers and horsemen ; 
but after witnessing the ceremony of the installation of Cou- 


yuk, and joining in the banquets and bunts, he' was unable 
for many days to obtain permission to return to Russia ; and 
the Franciscan missionary, Carpin, who was then at the 
Mongul court, and an eyewitness of the event, relates, that 
the Grand Prince, having been invited to dine with the 
empress-mother, Tourakina, and her attendants, was imme- 
diately after the ceremony seized with a sudden illness 
(which the friar affirms was the result of poison), and turn- 
ing blue from head to foot, died in a few days, on the 30th of 
September, 1246.* The common supposition, that his death 
was compassed through the machinations of his enemies, 
receives further support from the fact that his son Alexander, 
on the banks of the Volga, afterwards experienced the same 
fate, when returning from a similar expedition among the 
notoriously crafty and treacherous Tartars. Yaroslaf was in 
the fifty-fourth year of his age, and had reigned altogether 
in Novogorod and Vladimir more than twenty-two years. 
He was buried in Mongolia, near Karacorum, and left five 
sons, who all subsequently reigned — Alexander, prince of 
Novogorod, Iziaslaf, Yaroslaf, Andrea, and Vassili, and of 
whom the third, Iziaslaf, was the immediate successor to his 
father's precarious inheritance. 

In the year 1250, the grand khan, Couyuk, having been 
murdered by an emissary of the Assassins, a famous heretical 
sect of Mahometans, who, in 1 090, established themselves iu 
Persia, and possessed a large tract of land among the moun- 
tains of Lebanon, he was succeeded, by his: cousin, Mangou, 
the son of Touloni, at Karacorum ; and the new chief, shortly 
after his accession, fitted out two formidable expeditions, 
under his brothers and lieutenants, Kublai and Holagou — the 
one for the subjection of the southern provinces of China, 
which till this time had escaped the ravages of the Monguls ; 
the other, accompanied by a body of Chinese artillery, for the 
complete reduction of Persia and Mesopotamia, who, since 
the death of the Great Tartar conqueror, had been partially 
abandoned by his followers, and were gradually emancipating 
their provinces from the less vigorous grasp of his successors. 
In China, previous to its conquest by Zingis, the empire had 
been divided into two separate states, Mangi and Cathay ; 
the former, and most northerly of which, as I have said, was 
subdued and cut off from the southern district many years 
» Carpln's "Travels." 

236 THE archKk Asd The steppe. 

before by the Mantchous,* a nation of Tartars, wlio for 
ages had opposed' the arms and progress of the then weak 
and insignificant Monguls, and who now, enervated by the 
superior luxury and civilization, and mildfer cliniate of the 
Celestial empire, were in. their turn trodden under foot by 
their former foes ; while the sceptre of the southern pro- 
vinces was still held by the ancifent and native dynasty of 
the Soug, who preserved in th* neighbourhood of Canton 
their throne and authority, and, till the expedition of Kublai, 
had remained undisturbed and secure from the arjns of the 
Tartars. Upon the reduction of Mangi by the forces of 
Zingis, the Mantchou emperor Jiad been oompelted to flee 
from Yenking ; and escaping with only seven horsemen from 
KaisOng, where he had also attempted to make a stand, he 
took refuge in a ihird .city, whish was still held by his ad"- 
herents.t But finding his cause desperate, and hopeless of 
victory or succour, .he ascended' a fiineral pile, which he 
ordered hia attendants to light, and, drawing a dagger from 
his vest, put a speedy end to his life. Forty -five years later, 
Kublai, who, as an easy .mode of conveying his vessels and 
his troops, projected and completed the grand canal, which, 
passing through a district of a thousand miles, traverses 
forty-one cities on its course, and extends from Pekin to 
Nankin, the .ancient capital, marched against the still unsub- 
dued and fertile territories in the south, where the cities and 
strongholds were obstinately, though fruitlessly, defended by 
the Chinese, with not only Greek fire, but all the appliances 
of the modern artillery of the West ; for bombs and gun- 
powder J appears to have been long known to the ^skilful 

* It was first under the Hune, tben-nnder the Mandslius, or Mantchous, and lastly, wheti 
it became a permanent custom, under the I^onguls, that the Chinese were compelled to 
follow the Tartar lashion, and shave their heads, leaving Only one long locU or hair on 
-the crown. Before these invasions -they had been celebrated for their long locks, and 
were often called the hlack-haired people. Under the Mantchous, China first became 
<jlosed to commerce and Intercourse with other nations. " Accustomed," says Huo, " as 
we have been In our own time, to see the Chinese shutting themselves up jealously 
within their own empire, we have been too ready to heUeve that it was always so— that 
they have always cherished an Inveterate antipathy to foreigners, and done their utmost 
to keep them on their frontiers. This is, however, q\ilte a mistake; this jealously exclu- 
sive spirit characterizes especially the .Mantchou Tartars, and the empire has (mly been 
thus hermetically closed since their accession to pbwer.^' 

+ Gibbon's "Decline andJ^all of the Roman Empire." 

X Pfere Oailbil aflarmed ihat gunpowder had been known to the Chinese sixteen cen- 
turies. The Tartars couQuored China before they entered Europe, and it is .probable that 
they may have learned there some of the uses of gunpowder, and that the Inflammable 
-material, with which they so much alarmed the nations of -tlie West, was only a peculiar 
kind. Eoger Bacon, who first introduced it into Europe, and in 1216 wrote a ti-eatise 
upon its composition and effects, having been acquainted with two travehers (i*om Tartary, 
from whose plans and descriptions he made a map of that country, the first seen in 
England, might, it appears not unhkely, have received ftom them some information ot 
the manufacture of gunpowder, and the loTmidable purposes to which It might be applied. 


inliabitauts of China, -whose passive courage caused every 
step of their enemies to be only gained by fire and death. 
At the same time, the Monguls had brought with their army, 
from their conquered and' tributary provinces, the most 
skilful engineers and artificers of "Western Asia and Eastern 
Europe, for they well knew how to avail themselves of the 
arts and abilities of their captive enemies, to supply their 
own deficiencies in the science and knowledge belonging to 
more civilized life ; and while in China, Russians, Persians, 
Arabs, and Georgians filled the ranks of their armies ; in 
Europe they were assisted by the genius or valour of the 
inhabitants of China, Hindostan, and Tonquiuj and the 
most remote nations of the Asiatic East. But, finally driven 
from the land, the Chinese had recourse to their ships ; and 
on their fleet being surrounded by the powerful armament 
of the enemy, an officer, taking the infant emperor in his 
arms, leaped, into the sea, exclaiming that it was more 
glorious to die a prince than to live a slave ; and his example 
being followed by a hundi-ed thousand of his countrymen, 
their empire became the undisputed possession of the Mon- 
guls.* In the meanwhile, Holagou had spread the terror of 
his name, not only over all Western Asia, but also in Europe; 
where he threatened to march on Constantinople ; and so 
great was the fear he inspired, even to the borders of France 
and Western Italy, that the inhabitants added this sentence 
to their litany, " From the fury of the Tartars, good Lord, 
deliver us." After completing the conquest of Khorassan 
and Persia, he marched on the expiring hierarchy of Bagdad, 
and on the 22nd of January, 1258, appeared with his army 
before its sacred gates. Mostassim, the last and degenerate 
successor to the throne of the caliphs, who, since the fall of 
their oppressors, the Seljuk Turks, had recovered their former 
inheritance and independence, had long rendered himself 
despicable in the eyes of his subjects and enemies, by his 
absurd vanity, frivolous amusements, and puerile occupa- 
tions, which chiefly consisted in visiting his aviaiies aud 
ape-shows, watching the performances of his. conjurers, and 
listening to their anecdotes and jests. When he rode to the 
mosques, he caused the streets that be must traverse to be 
covered with magnifibent cloth of gold, andi continually wore 

+ Gibbon's " Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." " Histoiro des deux Conqndraiia 
Turtars, qui out Subjuqu^ Tarture," P«r le B. F. JPltoo JusQiJli d'Orloima. 


a veil over bis face, that it might not be defiled, as he 
affirmed, by the looks of a vile populace. All who came to 
his palace -were required to kiss its threshold before they 
entered ; and he demanded the same honour and respect for 
a piece of black velvet hung over his door, as that paid to 
the famous black stone, -wliich is -worshipped by the Moslems, 
in the temple of Mecca, and dedicated to their sacred prophet. 
After defeating the Saracen army in several engagements 
before the city, which he bad straitly blockaded with his 
troops, Holagou summoned the caliph to surrender, inform- 
ing him that, if he razed the walls of his capital, filled up the 
ditches, and presented himsalf in person to the conqueror, he 
should retain his life ; but that, if his obstinacy compelled 
the Tartars to attack and storm Bagdad, he should surely 
not escape, even were he to hide in the innermost recesses of 
the earth. " Young man, who, seduced by ten days' good 
fortune, imagine yourself master of the world," was the ca- 
liph's reply, " and dream that your commands are irresistible 
like those of fate ; what audacity is this to ask of me what 
you wiH never obtain 1 Follow, then, the way of peace and 
prudence, and return to Khorassan." The Tartar envoys who 
received this answer were assailed with stones, on their return 
to their master, by the Mussulman populace, who treated 
them with every indignity as they passed through the sti-eets, 
and would have torn them to pieces had they not been rescued 
by the vizier with a portion of the guard, who preserved 
them from outrage till they had departed in safety from the 
city gates. On their informing Holagou of this ill-treatment, 
he exclaimed, " The behaviour of the caliph is more crooked 
than a bow, but, with the aid of the Almighty, I will make 
it as straight as this arrow." And he indeed took a terrible 
revenge;* for on the 1st of February, having taken Bag- 
dad by scaling the walls with his soldiers, he delivered it up 
to pillage and slaughter, and 800,000 persons are said to 
have perished ; the caliph, as some writers statfl, having 
been killed by molten gold being poured down his throat, in 
mockery of his ostentation aad avarice; according to others, 
having been imprisoned in an iron cage, where, by the com- 
mand of the Mougul general, he received no other food than 
the gold and jewels he had so fondly prized when on the 
throne, and for the accumulation of which he had heavily 

** Hue's " Christianity in China," Ac. 


taxed his subjects, and starved and defrauded his troops. 
From Bagdad, Holagou passed on to Syria with 70,000 men, 
where he extirpated the odious sect of the Assassins, with 
their chief, the Old Man or Ancient of the Mountain, before 
whom, when on a march, one of his followers, armed with a 
hatchet, surrounded by swords and knives, would proceed, 
crying, " Back, back ; fly from before the face of him who 
holds in his hands the life and death of kings ; " and the 
Monguls laid siege to Aleppo, calling upon its sultan, Nassir, 
to surrender unconditionally to their chief But on his 
refusal, and expressed determination to resist the arras of the 
Tartar to the last extremity, Holagou commanded the city 
to be attacked ; and for five days the Monguls hurled fire 
and missiles from catapults against its walls, and captured it 
by assault on the sixth. The massacre which then commenced 
was, if any thing, still more horrible than that at Bagdad ; 
and 100,000 of the women and children, who were taken 
prisoners, were sold for slaves throughout the cities of 
Western Asia, and even in the markets of Eastern Europe. 
But owing to the circumstances of his wife, Dhozoig Katoun, 
being a Christian, Holagou treated all of that religion with 
a lenity and respect before unknown to his race ; their lives 
and churches were spared in the destruction of Aleppo and 
Bagdad ; Armenia and Georgia were untouched by his deso- 
lating course, and given over to the government of their 
native princes ; and he protected the Nestorians, and every 
denomination of Christians in the East, treating them with 
great favour, and granting them many privileges, even 
causing a chapel to be fitted up in his camp, where they all 
freely celebrated religious worship. Having advanced as far 
as Egypt, where his further progress was arrested by a 
defeat he sustained from the corps of Mamelukes, the lords 
and masters of that ancient kingdom, Holagou marched 
against Jerusalem, with the intention of extricating the city 
from the hands of the Saracens, and delivering it up to the 
care and defence of the Christians; but his purpose was 
changed by the intelligence of the death of Mangou, who had 
been killed by a bomb while conducting the siege of Hochew, 
in China, in 1259, and his own election to the dignity of 
Grand Khan ; though, owing to the great distance he was 
then from the Golden Horde — which caused him to receive 
the news a full year after the event — by the time he had 


accomplislied the journey to Karacorum, lie found that the 
Tartars had raised his brother Kublai to the throne in his 
place, and he shortly afterwards returned to Persia. During 
the transportation of the body of Mangou to the burial- 
place of the khans among the mountains, the soldiers, accord- 
ing to the savage custom followed at the funeral of Zingis> 
tilled 20,000 persons on their route.* 

Five years before this, the Franciscan priest Eubraquis 
and his companions, charged with letters from Louis IX., 
had made their way through the Crimea, Kipzak, Bulgaria, 
and Mongolia, to ask for permission at the court of the 
khan to propagate their doctrines throughout his states. 
They have accurately described the Volga, the Ural, and the 
bleak and desolate country beyond, where they encountered 
wild oxen and horses, and where, to use Rubruquis's words 
in his narrative, " the frost was so terrible that it split trees 
and stones." Dressed in clothes of sheepskin, which they had 
been forced to adopt, like the inhabitants, to protect them 
from the intense cold, they wended their dreary path across 
wide plains of snow, till at length, after six months' journey 
from the time that they departed from Serai, they saw before 
them the towers and gilded minarets of Karacorum. The 
first building they entered was an Armenian church, sui-- 
mounted, according to custom, by a cross, where they found 
a monk standing before a splendid altar engaged in medita- 
tion and prayer, and round the walls paintings were display- 
ed, representing figures of the Saviour, the Virgin, and St. 
John, embroidered in gold and jewels ; and a large silver 
cross studded with rubies and pearls. The monk informed 
the missionaries that he had long lived as a hermit in the 
Holy Land, and, guided by divine inspiration, had undertaken 
a journey into Tartary to convert the Grand Khan, whom he 
had assured that, if he embraced Christianity, the whole 
world should obey him, and even the pope and the king of 
France acknowledge his sway.t Buddhism was at this time 
gaining many converts in Mongolia, though principally 
among the common soldiers and people ; for all the Tartar 
nobles had confided the education of their children to the 
Nestorians, who, in order to obtain favour and disciples in 
the landj would ordain mere infants ' priests, so that there 

* Hue's " Clirtstlanity In China, Tarlnry," &o. 
^ "ItaYels ofJRubraiiuiB,'' Edition of Bergerou. 


were few Monguls of consideration and wealth who did not 
lay claim to the office.* Shortly after their arrival, the 
Franciscans obtained an audience of Mangou ; but, before 
entering his palace, their clothes were strictly searched, lest 
they should hare brought any poison or weapon concealed, and 
a knife carried by their interpreter was retained outside, be- 
fore they could be admitted into the presence of the Tartar 
prince. He was seated on a divan, dressed in a rich furred 
robe, in the midst of a room hung round with cloth of gold ; 
a chafing-dish, filled with burning wormwood, stood beside 
him, and he was apparantly about forty-five years of age, 
broadly made, and of the middle stature. His wife, who was 
young and handsome, was seated near him, with their daugh- 
ter Oyrina, and several little children playing around ; and he 
ordered kumys, rice wine, and mead to be set before his guests, 
whom he seemed to take a pleasure iu regaling, and after they 
had partaken, he began a conversation with their Tartar inter- 
preter. " But for my part," says the plain-spoken Rubru- 
quis, " I understood nothing from what our interpreter said, 
except that he was very drunk, and the emperor, in my 
opinion, not much better." 

The Grand Khan and his family attended equally the 
religious services and ceremonies at the Mussulman, Buddhist, 
and Christian churches ; and on one occasion, when Mangou 
was seated with the empress on a gilded divan opposite the 
altar, in the Neatorian church, he sent for Rubruquis and 
his companion, and desired them to sing him a Latin hymn, 
in the meanwhile examining their bibles and breviaries with 
much apparent interest. But .still he showed no decided 
preference for any particular faith, treating equally the pro- 
fessors of each, " and," says Rubruquis, " they all flutter 
round him like bees about flowers ; for, as the emperor gives 
to all, they each wish him all sorts of prosperity." At the 
same time he was exceedingly superstitious, consulting magi- 
cians and soothsayers ; and it is curious that one of their 
modes of invoking spirits was by rapping on a table, when 
they feigned to receive answers to their inquiries, and pro- 
claimed them as oracles, and certain truth, t On Easter-day 
he issued a proclamation, commanding that the priests of every 
sect and denomination throughout his capital, should assemble 
at a stated time at the palace, and «ach in turn deliver his 

•Hue's " Christianity In Tortary, Tlilbet, and ClJlna." t IWd. 


arguments in favour of his particular faith ; that beforehand 
they were to send him a statement in writing of the various 
articles of their creed, and that three of his secretaries, a 
Mussulman, a Buddhist, and a Christian, should act as um- 
pires in the theological contest. Before commencing the 
discussion, a minister of the khan's read an order from their 
master, forbidding any, under pain of death, to say any thing 
abusive of his adversaries ; and the assembly 'wus opened by 
a Bonze from China, who challenged the Franciscans to prove 
the existence of only one Supreme Being. A sharp contro- 
versy then ensued, in which the judges declared in favour 
of Bubruquis, and the Mahometans, refusing to enter into a 
dispute with the Nestorians, alleging that they considered 
the Christian law a true one, and believed th« gospel, the 
orators dispersed ; and the following day the emperor desired 
an interview with Rubruquis. " We Monguls," said he, when 
the missionary entered, " believe that there is one God, by 
whom we live and die, and towards whom our hearts are 
wholly turned ; but, as He has given the hand several fingers, 
so has He given men various paths to heaven. He has given 
the gospel to the Christians, but they do not obey it j he has 
given soothsayers to the Monguls, and the Monguls do what 
their soothsayers command, and therefore they live in peace." 
He then declared that the missionaries had resided long 
enough in his empire, and that it was quite time for them to 
think of returning home ; and this was the last audience that 
the missionaries were able to obtain of the Mongul prince. 
" I took my leave," says Rubruquis, " thinking that if the 
Almighty had been pleased to let me perform such miracles 
as Moses did, perhaps I should have converted him." * 

Some writers have reported that Mangou was subsequently 
baptized through the pursuasions of Hayton, a king of Arme- 
nia, who, in the year 1256, made a peaceful visit to the 
Mongul court ; but it is uncertain if he ever seriously professed 
the Christian faith, and three years after this event, accom- 
panied by the sons of Batu, he joined his army in China, 
where his brother Kublai had already entered upon his long 
career of conquest. A few months later the emperor 
received his death-wound at Hoehew ; and Holagou, being 
the elder of his brothers, was elected by a large majority 
aniong the nobles to the dignity of khau. But the great 
distancei the Persian general was then from the seat of govern- 

* "Travels of Rubruquis," Edition of Bergeron. 


ment in Mongolia, and the immediate necessity for a leader 
to continue the prosecution of the Chinese war, caused the 
oflScers and princes, after a few months had elapsed, unani- 
mously to declare in favour of Kublai for their chief, and he 
was accordingly, after the usual ceremonies, duly invested 
with the imperial crown. 

On leaving his army for Mongolia, Holagou had appointed 
one of his generals, Kitou-baga, to the chief command, and 
deputed to him the consummation of his project for the 
conquest of Palestine ;; but the sultan of Egypt, uniting his 
forces with those of the queen of Aleppo and the Christians 
at Acre, marched upon the Tartar encampment in the plains 
of Tiberias,* and, taking them by surprise, defeated their army 
in several engagements, when Kiton-baga and many thousands 
of his warriors were put to the sword, and his children taken 
prisoners. This victory created the greatest sensation all 
over the East, where the Monguls were thought to be invin- 
cible, and, as soon as it was proclaimed at Damascus, the 
Mahometans, again raising their heads, committed the most 
horrible atrocities upon all the defenceless Christians in their 
city, burning their churches and dwellings, and massacring 
those who had been unable to retreat ; and this overthrow was 
the forerunner of the decline of the Mongul power in West- 
ern Asia, which soon divided into separate states ; large and 
formidable indeed, but not so great as to make Europe and 
Asia tremble, as in the days when they were united and 
unbroken, and all bowed to one khan. This collision with 
the Mussulmen in Syria, caused the alliance of the Monguls 
to be courted by the Christians as a defence against the 
Saracens and Turks ; and on the demand of Holagou, who is 
supposed to have meditated embracing Christianity, the 
emperor Michael Paleologus granted him his daughter Maria 
in marriage, and agreed on a permanent peace. But on 
arriving at Oesarea, under the conduct of the Greek patriarch 
of Antioch, who was charged with her attendance to her 
husband in Persia, she received news of Holagou's death, 
though she nevertheless continued her joTirney ; and reaching 
the court of his son and successor, Abaga, in place of his 
father she espoused this young Tartar prince, and thus, for 
the first time, a European princess became a katoun, or queen 
of the Monguls. 

* The Grand Master ofthB order of St. John of Rhodes, with many of his knights, were 
killed in this engagement. See Major Porter's "Kuights of Malta.'' 


Holagou died in bis camp, at the age of forty-eight, in the 
year 1265, and was buried in an island in the midst of the 
lake of Ormia, his chief wife Dhozoig Katoun, a Keraite 
princess, following him a few months after to the grave.* 
His rule is celebrated for the encouragement he offered to 
literature, mechanics, and science; and he established an 
observatory and gymnasium at , Tabriz, after the manner of 
the ancient museum at Alexandria. la the meanwhile, the 
arms of Kublai were extending the career of the Mongul 
conquests in the furthest provinces of the East and the South. 
His forces, and the terror of his name, spread his sway over 
Corea, Tonquin, Cochin China, Pegu,. Thibet, and Bengal, 
and his ambition even aspired to. the subjection of the far- 
famed islands of Japan ; but the fleet t which he fitted out 
for the purpose, twice suffered shipwreck in the stormy seas 
that wash her shores, and one hundred thousand Monguls 
and Chinese fell victims in this unfortunate expedition. J 
The voyages which his navy, consisting of a thousand ships, 
undertook in the Indian Ocean, were attended with more 
success ; they traversed the equinoctial line, and filled their 
vessels with plunder and fruits from Borneo and the adjacent 
fertile and fragrant isles ; (f and the court of the khan at 
Pekin, which he founded, was maintained in the greatest mag- 
nificence and splendour, while he attached the people to his 
throne and government, by restoring their ancient constitu- 
tion and laws, which had all been subverted and destroyed 
by the usurping dynasty of the Mantchous, and respecting 
and adopting their customs and prejudices.§ He introduced 
the practice now usual with the Chinese emperors, of resorting 
once a year to pray at the tombs of their ancestors, and 
ofiered the highest honours and rewards for proficiency in 
learning or science. The first set of Chinese mathematical 
instruments were collected by his orders, and their holidays 
and anniversaries were first arranged on fixed days in the 
year ; and he caused an alphabet to be composed for the 
Monguls, 1[ who hitherto had promiscuously used those of con- 

* Hue's " Christianity In Cliina, Tartary, and Thibet." 

t Ranking, in Ilia historical researches on the conquest of Peru and Mexico, endeavours 
toprove that his fleet was driven on the shores of America; and were the invader's Icnowft 
in Peruvian liistory, as the founders of the religion and dynasty of the Incas ; and he 
asserts that the Manco Capac, of the Mexican annals, was tlie commander of this expedi- 
tion, and a son of Kubiai Khan Wiseman's "Science of Kevealedltellgion." 

1 Gibbon's " Decline and Fall of tiie Eoman Empire." 

I Ibid. " Universal History." GutzlaPs " History of China." 

J Kublai is described by Marco Polo as having rather fair lialr, and, unlike the generality 
ol^Tartars, a large prominent nose. 

IT Arl;icle China, " Mcydopcsdia Sritannica," 


quei-ed nations. His reign, -wliicli extended over a period of 
thirty-three years, is one of the most celebrated in the annals 
of China ; and on his death in 1292, leaving twenty sons, 
most of whom he had installed as governors over the various 
provinces of his empire, he was succeeded by his grandson 
Timur, whose father Zingis, the eldest son of Kublai, had 
been destined by the khan as his successor, but greatly to 
his grief, died before him. Under Timur the Monguls of 
China became almost separated from the khans of the west, 
who, after veering between Christianity, .Judaism, and Ma- 
hometanism, finally proclaimed the latter as their national 
faith ; while the rulers of China, to the dissatisfaction of their 
subjects, the followers of the philosophy of Confucius, adhered 
to the worship of the Lamas of Thibet, though they still 
occasionally issued laws and decrees to the Mougul khans, 
even as far as Russia and Kipzak.* But this branch of the 
Tartar race did not long maintain their rule over the Chinese ; 
a hundred and forty years after the d'cath of Zingis, the grand 
khan, his family, which is known in the Chinese annals as 
the dynasty of Tueu, and amidst the pleasures and riches of 
Pekin and the fertile regions of China, had lost theii* warlike 
inclinations, and, like the Mautchous, become soft, indolent, 
and eflFeminate, were expelled from the celestial empire by a 
revolt of the natives under their leader Hongou, or Chu, 
who, from a servajit in a mona^ery of Bonzes, raised himself 
and his family to the throne. Tn 1 636 the Chinese were 
again subdued by the Mantchous, their ancient enemies, who 
having recovered new vigour in the harsh air of the north, 
poured, as before, across -the great wall upon Pekin ; and the 
last emperor of the native dynasty, Whaztsong, having 
hanged Mmself on a tree in the garden of his palace, to escape 
falling into the hands of the invaders, was succeeded on the 
thi'one by Schunehi, the commander-in-chief of the enemy, 
■whose &,mily have worn since that time the imperial crown 
of China. 

But the princes of the house of Yuen, or Zingis, are the 
most renowned of any in the history of the Chinese race. It 
is still called the holy by the Chinese, and, notwithstanding 
its foreign origin, still regarded with fond remembrance and 

While his countrymen were extending their conquests and 
consolidating their power in Asia, Batu had firmly established 

• Hue's "Cairlstlnnlty In China, Tortnrj-,-" &e. 


his empire over Russia and the Crimea, where he founded 
many towns and villages, particularly New Kazau and 
Bakchi Serai (the city of Batii), now the capital, and almost 
the only town exclusively possessed by the Crimean Tartars, 
the deacenderits of his followers, and which, while Taurida 
formed an independent state; was the residence of the court 
of her khans. In 1255 he equipped a powerful force which 
he commanded in person, and prepared to maji'ch upon the 
dominions of the Greek emperor, with the intention of 
attacking the city of Constantinople itself ; but before he had 
proceeded many miles on his route, he was seized with an ill- 
ness, of which he died, near the banks of the Volga, or, as some 
writers of the time aflGlrmed, from the effects of poison, leav- 
ing many sons, of whom two, Sartak the eldest and Ullaghzi 
the youngest, successively ascended the throne. As both 
died after only a few months' reign, their uncle Bartu, or 
Bereka, deposed the second and third sons of Ms brother, 
and driving these princes from the land, in 1257 he succeeded 
to the throne of Kipzak^ 

The new khan, who was the first, of his family to adopt 
the faith of Mahomet, upon his accession commanded that 
all those among his subjects who should refuse to conform 
with the creed of the prophet, should suffer immediate death, 
and travelled through all Russia, even as far as Novogorod, 
to enforce his intolerant edict ; but the firmness of the people 
in resisting this decree, caused him at length to ameliorate 
the punishment ; and after deposing two of her princes, 
Romanus of Riazan and Michael of Tchernigoff, and com- 
manding their execution with several of their nobles, at his 
camp, he ordered a general census to be made of the lands 
and population of Russia, for the purpose of imposing a 
capitation tax ; and decreed that the amount should be 
doubled to all those of the peasantry who persevered in the 
faith of their ancestors. These were enrolled under the name 
of Christians, which, to this day, is the most common term 
by which the Russian peasant is designated ; but all the 
priests were exempted from the impost, for, in order to unite 
this powerful body to their interests, the khans were acaus- 
tomed to court their favour by granting them many privileges, 
and always supported the influence which they exercised over 
the people and state. The Tartars also introduced the 
punishment of the kuout, the postal regulations for travelling, 
which have always been commodiously and methodically 


arranged in Russia, field jaegers or couriers, and the postage 
of letters by payments according to the weight. The calcu- 
lating machine, in universal use throughout Poland and 
Russia, and which is similar to the one known in China, was 
also brought by the Monguls from Asia, where it was known 
as early as four hundred years before Christ. 

In 1260, Bereka assembled his forces for another invasion 
of the West, and for the second time wasting Poland with 
fire and sword; he wrote to Bela, the king of Hungary, with 
offers of alliance and peace. His ambassadors proposed to 
that prince, on behalf of the khan, the union of their famUies 
and interests, by the marriage of two of their children ; and in 
that case, the Monguls would respect the frontiers of Hungary, 
and exempt her from invasion and tribute, provided that the 
son of the king brought a company of Hungarian troops, who 
should receive in recompence a fifth portion of the booty, as 
auxiliaries of the Tartars. In case of a refusal of his terms, 
Bereka threatened Hungary with total destruction, her 
towns with flames, and her people with massacre and slavery. 
In this emergency the Hungarian monarch appealed to the 
pope, Alexander IV., for advice and assistance, reminding 
him that Gregory IX. had abandoned his kingdom to the 
mercy of the Monguls, and that the cardinals, when they 
elected a new pontiff, had engaged that he should drive the 
barbarians from the confines of Europe.* In reply, Alex- 
ander expressed astonishment that any Christian sovereign 
should entertain for a moment the idea of accepting such 
conditions as those offered to Bela by Bereka. "Turn with 
horror, my son," said he, " from the thought of clouding the 
splendour of your titles with shame, and staining with per- 
petual ignominy the beauty of your reign." But counsel 
appeared to be the only aid that the pope was able to offer 
to the distressed prince, and Bela would probably have been 
compelled to resign his throne, or submit unconditionally 
and unhesitatingly, to the terms of the arrogant Tartar, if 
Bereka had not found Bohemia a more convenient ally ; and 
after sacking Sandomir, and covering Poland with ashes and 
ruins, he was recalled with his army to Kipzak, by disastrous 
news from the East. The Monguls of Russia had been en- 
gaged for some years in a contest with Holagou, who ruled 
in Khorassan, and had lately allied himself with the Chris- 
tians of Asia and the Grecian monarch ; and in 1250, Nogai, 
• Hao'8 " ClirlBtlanlty In China and Taitaiy." 


ail able general and a near relation of Berefea, liad Been des- 
patched by his sovereign witb. an army against the Persian 
prince. The hostile forces enopuntered each other on the 
bank« of the Terekj near the foot-of the Caucasus, on the 
r9th of January, 1263; and after a furious battle, "which 
terminated at length in the total defeat of the Mongul army 
of Kipzak, the fugitives were almost entirely lost, by the 
breaking of the ice on the river, which they had crossed in 
their flight ; and the intelligence of this calamity reaching 
Bereka while engaged in pursuing his victorious career in 
the West, caused him to return in haste, and march with his 
army towards Persia, to avenge his soldiers' and generaFs 
defeat ; and for this reason he a,bandoned for the time his 
design of conquering and desolating Europe,* 

* The Greek and Russian Cntnica. 
The Greek andRoman. Cliureliea finally separated, after ages of hatred aTid controversy, in 
1055, during the pontificate ol Leo IX. The patriarch of Constantinoplehad been only nomi- 
nally subservient to the pope, since the time of Photius in the liinth century ; and the synod 
of Constantinople, held in the year 869, is the last recognised by the Cliurch of the West. 
The Greeks boasted of the superiority of their knowledge both secular and religious, and 
that the decrees of the seven general councils had been proraul^ted by them, and they 
refused to admit the innovations continually introduced by the Xatins, condemning the 
alteration of the Nicene creed by the synods of France and Spain as heresy, and pro- 
stration before the images of the saints as idolatry. Among other innumerable points ot 
dispute, was the use of leavened or unleavened bread in the Sacrament, the administra- 
tion ot tooth kinds to the laity, which was permitted among the Greeks, the marriage of 
priests, and the too lax observance of Lent by the Latins, who allowed the use of cheeso 
and milk, and exempted those enfeebled by age or disease. Ttie Greeks, also, like the 
Jews, abstained from things strangled and Irora blood, a practice not followed in the 
Romish Church. At length the legates sent hy Xeo IX., to remonstrate with the Greek 
patriarch. Michael Cerularius, pronounced against him tlie sentence of excommunication, 
and laying tjielr anathema on the altar of Ht Sophia, condemning the whole people and 
their priests to eternal punishment, they shook the dust of tlie city from their feet, and 
departed for Rome. The patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, though they 
condemned the creed of the Latins, at the same time attempted to separate from the 
Greeks; but the latter obtained the cordial supportof the Russians and Bulgarians, their 
proselytes, and the Bohemians also, for some years, adhered to the Eastern ffdih. The 
Russian Church, therefore, closely following the doctrines of Constantinople, divide their 
clergy into two orders, the Black or Monastic, and the Secular or White. The latter are 
allowed to marry once, though it must be to a virgin, and previous to ordination. They 
compose the parish papas or priests, whilethe bishops and higher dignitaries of the eccle- 
siastics are universally chosen fVom among the monks. The office of priest was hereditary 
till within the last few years; butestabhshed usage now generally follows what formerly a 
law enforced, and hermits, whose devotion isnowcondaiinedby theLatlnChurch, are still 
often to be met with in the remote districts of Russia. There are many dissenters from 
the Greek Church, some of which allow polygamy, and follow many of the precepts of 
Moses and Mahomet The Greek Church does not admit purgatory, but believes that the 
soul may occasionally haunt its former abodes on earth, and therefore allows the efHcacy 
ot prayers for the dead. Her adherents practise auricular confession, adopt the Athana- 
slan creed, and conform to the established liturgy of St Bazil ; but, though they condemn 
images, sacred pictures are extensively used in their worship. Their churches, which are 
gorgeously decorated, are built with the sanctuary turned towards the east and in the 
midst stands the high altar, separated from the congregation by a screen, and called the 
"Holy of Holies." Tliey have neither side-chapels nor side-aisles, and those who are 
destined for priests never cut their hair or beard from birth. They observe four great 
fasts in the year, besides every Wednesday and Friday, during which they abstain from 
every species of animal food— even sugar was prohibited, on account of its refinement hy 
bullocks' blood, till the introduction of that extracted ftom the beet-root Xhey have also 
numerous festivals, of which the Carnival and Easter are the chief; and with them 

Sredestinatton is as universally recognized a dogma as among the disciples of Mahomet, 
lonastic establishments of all kinds are very numerous in Russia, belonging to both the 
established church and the schismatical sects; and many of the latter practise the most 
rigorous penances, frequently even suicide by starvation or fire, supporting their doctrines 
by the verse In the Gospel— "He ""' "-'■-"- ^■-- •^'■- ■--■' >- - -- __,....., — ,. 
his life for iny sake, shall find it" 


P-Oitguls of ^srsia — gji.ljaga — gjgmt — fogag^ a{ tlje €\imst 
PimciEss to ^srsia — j^a^ait. 

They flght for freedom who wore never free Bybon. 

On the death of Yaroslaf of Russia, all his sons were com- 
manded by Coujuk, the Grand Khan, to appear within a year 
at his court in the Gold«n Horde, that the Tartar monarch might 
select from among them a successor to their father's throne. 
The young princes immediately repaired to Karacorum, with 
the most splendid retinues that the exhausted treasury of 
Russia could command, and each loaded with presents to 
jiropitiate the khan in his favour, except Alexander, the 
eldest son of Yaroslaf, who had reigned for some years in 
Novogorod, and was hardly even a nominal vassal of the 
Tartars. After an interregnum of nearly two years, caused 
partly by the length of time they occupied with their.journey 
to Mongolia, and partly by the delay of the emperor in 
making his choice, Iziaslaf, the third son of Yaroslaf, was 
appointed to the thrOne of Vladimir, with the title of Grand 
Prince of Russia, he being at that time nineteen years of 
age ; but lais reign was speedily terminated at the end of a 
few short months, by his death on the field of battle, while 
engaged with the Lithuanians, who had invaded and plun- 
dered his dominions. Previous to this event, Bati Khan, 
jealous of the independent position of Novogorod, had caused 
this message to be conveyed to Alexander: — "Prince of 
Novogorod, is it not known to thee that God has subjected 
to me a multitude of nations ? Shalt thou alone be indepen- 
dent 1 If thou wishest to remain in peace, repair instantly to 
my tent, and there thou shalfc see the power and glory of 
the Monguls ;" and Alexander, complying with the imperious 


demand, set off ■with his ■ brother Andrea to Serai. There, 
receiving intelligence of the defeat and death of Iziaslaf, they 
both proceeded to Karacorum, where the khan greeted them 
most honourably and courteously, and declared to the Prince 
of Novogorod, that though " he had heard a great deal in his 
praise, rumour had fallen, far short of the truth," at the same 
time bestowing upon him the additional and important pro- 
vince of Kiof, and conferring on Andrea the princedom of 
Suzdal ^nd dignity of Grand Prince. They both returned to 
their respective dominions ; but in 1215, Andrea impatient 
of his own servitude, and that of his country and people, rose 
up in arms against their Tartar masters, and attempted to 
expel them from the empire. A fierce and sanguinary battle 
ensued, which was lost by the Eussians ; and their prince, 
being refused by his brother an asylum at !N"ovogorod, fled 
to Sweden, where he died in the year 1276, at the age of 
fifty-four ; and Alexander, having made a second journey to 
Karacorum in 1252, received from the tkhan a formal appoint" 
ment in writing to the throne of Russia. 

This prince was born in Novogorod, May 30, 1221, and, 
on the death of his elder brother Fedor, in 1232, became 
heir-apparent to the throne. Upon the invasion of Russia 
by Batii Khan, and after the plunder and destruction of 
Yladimir, his father Yaroslaf, resigning the government of 
the principality into the hands of his son, appeared at the 
camp of Batii, furnished with large bribes and magnificent 
presents, as a ransom for his life and throne, and presenting 
them to the Tartar chief, with promises of submission and 
fealty, received in exchange for his freedom, as before stated, 
the province of Vladimir as a Tartar fief. But all Europe 
had been called to arms by the declarations and admonitions 
of the Pope Gregory IX. ; and while the Monguls in the 
south were ravaging Kiof and Poland with fire and sword, 
the Teutonic knights, who were established in Esthonia and 
Livonia, under their Grand Master Hermann von Balk, 
marched upon Pskof, almost the only city in the empire that 
had been spared by the Tartars, and, after a brief siege, took 
the place by storm. At the same time Eric XII., king of 
Sweden, had despatched a lai^ge fleet manned by Swedes, 
Norwegians, and Finlanders, to the mouth of the Neva, 
where, on the 15th of July, 1240, among the marshes upon 
which St. Petersburgh now stands, but where then roamed, 


unmolested and undistiu'bed, tlie bear and the wolf, their sole 
inhabitants, it was attacked, and totally defeated by Alex- 
ander, who obtained from this victory the title of Nevskoi, 
or of the Neva,* and immediately repaired to the relief of 
Pskof He succeeded in driving the Teutonic knights from 
the town, but during the winter was forced to disperse his 
army, on account of the difficulty of procuring forage, and 
the bad state of the roads, which prevented him from bring- 
ing provisions from any distance ; and in the spring the 
enemy again appeai-ed in the field, with their forces renewed 
and invigorated, and marched to within twenty miles of 
Novogorod. Hastily assembling a small body of troops, the 
prince led them against the foe, whom he encountered while 
crossing Lake Peipus, and completely defeated them, in a 
battle fought upon the ice, on the 5th of April, 1241, when 
four hundred of the knights were slain, and fifty taken pri- 
soners. He pardoned all the Germans captured in the engage- 
ment ; but considering the natives of Esthonia, which was 
tributary to Novogorod, as his subjects, and therefore rebels, 
he caused all who belonged to that country, whether knights 
or private soldiers, to be hanged, and built several forts on 
the Neva, to repel any future attacks of the Swedes. But 
his rule was too arbitrary and despotic to please the indepen- 
dent citizens of Novogorod, who, rising up against him, 
drove him from the throne, and forced him to retire to 
Vladimir, where he endeavoured to procure from his father 
a guard suflicient to control his rebellious subjects. But 
Yaroslaf, refusing to comply with his request, conferred upon 
him the inferior province of Periazlaf, and sending his second 
son Andrea to rule over the discontented people of No- 
vogorod, they for a time submitted to his milder yoke. 
They were, however, shortly after, harrassed by another in- 
vasion of the Danes, whom their new prince was quite unable 
to repel ; and at length driven to despair, they sent an em- 
bassy to Alexander, humbly and earnestly requesting his 
return. But haughtily reminding them of the ungrateful 
manner in which he had been treated, he indignantly re- 
fused ; and the distressed citizens, having no efficient general 
to lead them against the enemy, sent another deputation, 
with the archbishop at its head, entreating him to alter his 

• An nooount of tills vlctorj', professing to bo by an eyewitness, Is Inserted In several 
of tbo Russian clu'unielcs. 


determination, and come to their assistance. The remon- 
strances of the archbishop, and his account of the dangerous 
state of the province, had their effect ; and returning, Alexan- 
der placed himself at the head of the army of Novogorod, 
with which he entered Livonia, and defeated the combined 
armies of the knights, Danes, and Lithuanians, compelling 
them to sue for peace. In 1247, by the order of the khan, 
he visited the Golden Horde at Karacorum ; but on his 
brother being appointed to the dignity of Grand Prince, he 
returned to Novogorod, where he received at his court the 
embassy of cardinals, who in the Russian chronicles are 
called Gald and Gemout, and were sent by Innocent IV. 
with a letter dated January 23, 124S, exhorting Alexander 
to unite the Church of Kussia to the Eoman Catholicism of 
the "West. If he consented to this proposal, the. message went 
on to state, and' would acknowledge the supremacy of the 
See of Rome, he would be permitted to unite his forces with 
those of the otlier nations of Europe, in the general and holy 
crusade against the Tartars. At this time the patriarchs of 
Constantinople were in exile at Nice, and the office of metro- 
politan of Russia had not been filled since the destruction 
of Kiof; but, nevertheless, Alexander refused to comply 
with the demands of the pope, and the envoys who had pre- 
viously visited the princes of Halich and Lodomeria, on the 
same errand, departed from Novogorod for Lithuania, where 
the Grand Duke of Mindove was induced, by their represen- 
tations, to discard his idols and embrace the Christian Faith. 
He consented to this in the hope of obtaining the Christians' 
assistance ; but finding ultimately that a unity of creed was 
not sufficient to protect him against the hostility and incur- 
sions of the Teutonic knights, he finally abandoned his new 
religion, and became a most bitter enemy to Christianity. 

Shortly after these ambassadors had left his court, Alex- 
ander invaded Finland, and, having defeated the Swedes in 
several engagements, laid the country under tribute. The 
war-cry in this and every other battle fought by the warriors 
of Novogorod, Kiof, or Polotzk, was " St. Sophia," the cathe- 
drals in those cities being all dedicated to that saint ; while 
the troops of Vladimir, Rostoff, Smolensko, and Moscow, 
fought in the name of the Virgin, or " for the House of the 
Most Holy Trinity." The ancient princes of Russia, after 
their conversion to the Greek religion, took for their arms 


three circles in a triangle, in one of which was an inscription 
upon the Trinity, in the second the name of the reigning 
prince, and in the third their titles and appellations.* 

The acknowledgment by Daniel of Halich of the pope's 
supremacy, was only a temporary expedient ; for, finding 
that Innocent was totally unable to assist him against the 
Monguls, while, under pretence of expelling these invaders, 
his dominions were continually wasted and overrun by the 
Poles, Hungarians, and Bohemians, whose depredations were 
little better than those of the Tartars, he determined to be- 
come reconciled to the Church of Constantinople and the 
other princes of Kussia ; and sending Cyril, a native priest, 
to the exiled patriarch at Nice, requested him to nominate 
his envoy the metropolitan of the empire at Kiof. The 
patriarch gladly received his rene-wed allegiance ; and, acced- 
ing to his wish, Cyril returned to Eussia, and travelled all 
over the empire, rebuilding the ruined churches, and appoint- 
ing bishops to the many sees which had for so long been 
vacant, t One of his nominees, Theognostes, whom he created 
bishop of Serai, was afterwards sent upon a secret embassy to 
Rome, by Mangou Timnr, the successor of Bereka. 

In 1253, on the return of Alexander from his second visit 
to Karacorum, he was met, at a short distance from his new 
territory of Vladimir, by a procession of priests and citizens, 
with Cyril at their head, to congratulate the prince upon his 
recent elevation ; and, removing his throne to that capital, he 
appointed his son Vassili, the governor of Novogorod. But 
upon all Russia being taxed by Bereka, the Monguls of China, 
that same year, having laid a similar impost upon the Celes- 
tial empire, the people of Novogorod rose up in arms against 
their merciless oppressors, and having driven out all the tax- 
gatherers and garrison soldiers of the khan, Alexander 
marched against them in person with an army from Vladimir, 
and put down the revolt. His son fled to Sweden, and the 
Grand Prince, fearing lest he should compromise his own 
character for loyalty, by mercy to the insurgents, caused all 
the rebellious citizens to be punished with the greatest 
severity, the principal among them having their eyes put out 
and their noses cut off; and by his cruelty and subsei-vience 
reinstated his family in the favour of the khan, who, if 

* n. D. Seymouv's " Russl.-i on the Black Sen," Ac. 
t ^louriiviell's " Chui'Cli of Kuasla." 


Alexander had appeared for a moment to waver in his 
allegiance, was prepared to invade Russia with his hordes, 
and again render it a forlorn and barren waste. At the same 
time, Mangou issued a decree that every Russian who could 
not pay the heavy taxes he had . enforced, should be sold 
for a slave. As this regulation was rigorously carried out, it 
caused the greatest misery throughout the empire ; and in 
1260 another rebellion against the Tartar authority broke 
out, in which the Russians massacred almost every Mongul 
collector of tribute. The insurrection was again quelled by 
the Grand Prince ; but it had so much irritated the Mongul 
emperor, that, in order to clear himself from any suspicion of 
having connived at or encouraged these repeated revolts of 
his disaffected subjects, Alexander again visited the Golden 
Horde, and took a fresh oath of allegiance to Kublai, who 
had lately succeeded his brother, the emperor Mangou, upon 
the throne. But, as he was returning, he 'was seized with an 
illness, like his father, supposed to be the result of poison, 
and, according to a frequent practice of the time in Russia, 
while on his deathbed caused his head to be shaved, and 
received the habit and took the vows of a monk. He had 
married a daughter of Wratislau, the prince of Polotzk, by 
whom he had four sons — Yassili or Bazil, who died before 
him, Demetrius, Andrea, and Danilo ; and his death took 
place on the 10th of November, 1263, his remains being in- 
terred in the monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin at 
Vladimir, where, after his canonization, several years later, 
many pilgrims annually resorted to worship at his tomb. 
Nearly four hundred aiid fifty years after his decease, Peter 
the Great, in order to reconcile the Russians to his newly- 
founded capital of St. Petersburgh, caused the bones of 
Alexander to be transferred from the shores of the Kliazma 
to those of the Neva, and enclosed in a magnificent sepulchre, 
in the monastery of St. Alexander Nevskoi, where they still 
remain, and also created an order of knighthood in his hon- 
our. Alexander was succeeded by his brother, Yaroslaf III., 
the Prince of Tver. 

Owing to the mischief which was caused to the trade and 
prosperity of Novogorod, by the law condemning all her 
citizens who could not pay their taxes into slavery or death, 
a deputation was sent to Mangou Timur, who, in 1266, suc- 
ceeded Bereka in Kipzak, by the German merchants of 


Liibeck and the other Hanseatic towns, who had long been 
allied with Novogorod for the purposes of commerce. They 
reached the Mongul camp in 1269 ; but their representations 
appear to have been attended with little result, and Mangou 
Timur dying in 1283, was succeeded by Tuday Menghu, who, 
after reigning a few months, was deposed by Talakowka, and 
this prince, following the example of Batii and Bereka, again 
invaded Europe. Ravaging Hungary and Poland, he 
threatened Germany with the terror of his arms, but kept up 
friendly diplomatic relations with France ; and upon his death, 
about the year 1290, Toktai was raised to the throne of 
Kipzak, through the influence of his cousin, the general 
Noghai, and married a daughter of the emperor Andi'onicus 
of Constantinople. For a time Noghai completely ruled the 
kingdom, and the khan was a mere tool in his hands ; till 
at length a dispute arising among his sons, who all filled high 
and important offices in the state, it created a complete revo- 
lution in Kipzak, and Noghai, abandoning the capital of his 
ungrateful prince, and accompanied by several tribes of Mon- 
guls, whose descendants still perpetuate in their name the 
appellation of their leader, formed an empire of tents and en- 
campments, extending from the Don to the Danube, in the 
steppes to the north of the Crimea, and there, in these sandy 
wastes, enjoyed the independent authority of a sovereign 
despot. The rule of Toktai was more tolerant and beneficent 
than that of his predecessors, and he introduced into Russia 
the circulation of paper-money, an old invention, which was 
afterwards revived by the Mongul s in Persia many years 
before it was known or used in Europe. Abandoning the 
Mahomedan religion, he adopted the ancient worship of fire, 
and adored the sun and stars, but granted toleration and 
freedom of thought to all ; and on his death, in 1313, he was 
universally regretted by his subjects, as a good and wise 
prince. His son and successor, Uzbek, being only thirteen 
years of age, for a time had some difficulty in establishing his 
authority ; the Russian princes refusing to take the oath of 
obedience, till, by some terrible instances of oeverity, he had 
enforced a due submission to his rule. In the meanwhile, 
Noghai had expired, in 1295, from a wound received in a lost 
engagement with the forces of Kipzak. Subsequent to his 
rebellion he had invaded the Greek empire, where, surrounding 
with an army of twenty thousand Tartars a Thracian castle, 


in which the emperoi- himself was located, with but few 
guards and attendants, he obtained as the price of a peace 
the deliverance from captivity of his ally, the Turkish prince, 
Azzadin, then a prisoner in the territories of Constantinople, 
a large amount of treasure, and an imperial princess for a 
wife; and from henceforth he became a valuable friend and 
defender of the Byzantine States.* The simultaneous attack 
by the Sultan of Egypt upon the King of Armenia, a vassal 
of the Monguls of Persia, and upon Antioch, the most power- 
ful principality of the crusaders in the East, united in a com- 
mon war with the Mahometans, Abaga, the Tartar khan of 
Persia, and the Christians of Europe ; while the sovereigns of 
Kipzak allied themselves with the Mamelukes, against their 
own brethren and countrymen, and sent a body of three 
hundred thousand horse through the gates of Derbend to their 
assistance. Concluding a treaty with the Egyptian prince, 
they bound themselves to invade the dominions of Abaga 
every time that he should trespass upon the territories of 
Egypt. But the unfortunate expedition of Louis of France, 
in 1270, and his death, with the flower of his army, from the 
plague which broke out in his camp, upon the sandy shores 
of Tunis, had deprived the crusaders, whose enthusiasm had 
long been dissolving, of their most ardent and powerful 
leader ; and the return of Edward, the eldest son of the King 
of England, to his native land, whose throne he shortly after 
ascended, broke up the coalition of the Monguls and princes 
of Europe, which had never existed but in theory; though 
Abaga made one more attempt to induce the latter to enter 
into a confederation, to root out the followers of Mahomet 
from the face of the earth. With this design, he, in concert 
with his father-in-law, the Greek emperor Michael Paleolo- 
gus, sent Tartar ambassadors to Clement X., Valentia lago, 
King of Arragon, Thibant, King of Navarre, the King of 
Castile, Philip III., King of France, and Edward I. of Eng- 
land; but though all advised him by every means to destroy the 
power, religion, and even the name of the Saracens, assuring 
him that it would be a work well pleasing to Heaven, and 
obtain for him eternal salvation, + yet each refused to join in 
the expedition, or risk any more ships or men in the caxise 
of the Holy Land. So terminated the last of the crusades, 

* r.lbbon'8 "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 
tHuc'fl "Tartary." 


a national fever that had prevailed in Europe for more than 
two hundred years. 

In 1282, as Abaga was preparing to commence another 
war with the Saracens, he perished by poison, administered 
to him at a hanquet by a Mahometan, and was succeeded by 
his brother Tagoudar, who had become a Christian a few 
years before, and received the name of Nicholas. On his 
first accession he built many churches throughout Assyria 
and Mesopotamia, and exempted all bishops, priests, and 
monasteries from taxation or tribute ; but subsequently adopt- 
ing the faith of Islam, he took the name of Ahmed, and com- 
menced a violent persecution of the Christians, punishing all 
who refused to renounce their belief with exile, tortures, or 
death, and, destroying all their sacred edifices, threatened to 
extirpate their very name. Abandoning the alliance with 
Constantinople, he endeavoured to form one with the Sultan 
of Egypt j but the latter, mistrusting his sincerity, repelled his 
advances ; the Kings of Georgia and Armenia threw off their 
allegiance to Persia ; the Grand Khan menaced him with his 
displeasure for acceding to the religion of their most bitter 
enemies ; and Argoun, his nephew, the son of Abaga, rebel- 
ling against his authority, defeated him in a fierce battle, in 
which Ahmed was taken prisonei-, and, causing him to be 
beheaded in front of his army, in 1284 ascended the vacant 
throne. The forces of Argoun had been principally composed 
of Christians, who were then very numerous in the armies of 
the Monguls ; and it is related that he decorated his standards 
and arms with the sign of the cross, and caused a coin to be 
struck in remembrance of his victory, upon one side of which 
was represented the Holy Sepulchre, and upon the other this 
inscription, " in the name of the Holy Trinity." On his ac- 
cession he issued a manifesto, stating that the princes of the 
blood had expelled Ahmed for abandoning the ancient laws 
of the Monguls, and adopting the faith of the Arabs, a faith 
unknown to their forefathers ; and, having demanded justice 
from the Grand Khan upon the guilty monarch, Kublai had 
permitted his deposition, and allowed the princes to place 
him (Argoun) on the throne, to govern the countries between 
Dijihoun and the land of the Franks. Shortly after this event, 
having extended the power of the Persian Monguls over 
Armenia, and over King David of Georgia, who married a 
sister of Argoun's, and both of whom had rendered themselves 


independent of his predecessor, the young prince attempted 
to renew diplomatic negotiations -with the pope and other 
sovereigns of Europe.* Not discouraged by the vague and 
uncertain replies he received to his proposals of alliance with 
the Christians, in 1 288 he sent a fresh envoy in the person 
of Barsuma, an Igour Tartar monk, to Nicholas IV., who 
informed the Koman pontiff that Touhtan, the wife of Ar- 
goun, was a Christian, and that the latter only waited to 
become one, till, in conjunction with the armies of the Franks, 
he should enter the city of Jerusalem in triumph. The letter 
of Argoun was written in the Mongul language and IgoTU- 
characters, and sealed witli a similar inscription to that on the 
imperial seal of China. It was sent by the pope to the French 
king, Philip the Fair, and has since been found, where it 
still remains, in the historical archives of France.t But the 
khan was unable to induce any of the European princes, who 
were at that time engaged in war with each other, to join in 
another crusade ; and being of an undecisive and irresolute 
disposition, and standing much in awe of the numerous 
Mussulmans who thronged his court and dominions, he never 
made an open profession of Christianity, though, like his 
father, he practised and joined in many of its forms and cere- 
monies ; and his two principal wives, Touhtan and Eruh- 
khatoune, with one of his sons, Kharbendl or Nicholas, and 
many of the Tartar princesses and nobles at his capital, 
Tauris, were baptized by the Keraite Tartar and Franciscan 
monks. J 

Upon the death of Touhtan and Eruhkhatoune, Argoun 
sent an embassy to Pekin, to demand in marriage one of the 

* Hue's " Christianity in Ciiina, Tartary," &c. 

t This carious letter lias been translated by M. Schmirtt, a learned Oriental scholar, of 
St. Petersburgli, who has also preserved the original Mongul manner in which it was 
Inscribed, the words of (jod and Khakan, whenever they occur, being placed in a lUie 

above "Letter of Argoun to the Pope. 'Thou has sent to me. When the troops of 

the Khakan shall march against Egypt, we will set out from here to Join him. Having 
received this message on tliy part, I tell thee that we purpose, trusting in God, to set otf 
in the last month of tlie winter of the year of the Panther (1291), and to encamp before 
Damascus towards the 15th of tlie first month of spring. If you keep your word, and 
send your troops at the appointed moment, and it God should prosper us, when we have 
taken Jerusalem from that nation we will give it to you. But to fail us at the 
rendezvous, Avould be causing the troops to march In vain. Ought it to be so? and If 
afterwards we know not what to do, of what use is it ? I shall send Mouskeria, who will 
tell you, that if you send us ambassadors who can speak several languages, and who 
bring us presents, rarities, coloured pictures of the country ot the Franks, we shall 
thank you, by the power of God, and the fortune of the Kliakan. Our letter is written 
at Coundoulen, on the sixth day of the first month of summer, in the year of the Ox.* " 
The Monguls divided their time into cycles of twelve years, to each of which thpy gave the 
following names x—The Mmtse, the Ox, the Leopard, tlie-Iiare, the Crocodile, the Serpent, 
thp Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Hen, tlie Dog, and t/ie Hog. 

t Hue's *' Chriatianity Id (Jhiua, Tartary,'' Ac. 


numerous princesses of China ; and Kublai Klian, -who was 
great uncle to the Persian monarch, assenting to his proposals, 
selected one of his grand-daughters, a beautiful girl of seven- 
teen, who set out with the ambassadors and a splendid 
retinue for Persia. But owing to a fierce war having broken 
out between two of the intervening countries, she was after 
a few months compelled to return to Pekin, when the cele- 
brated Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, who held the com- 
mand of the Chinese fleet, with which he had just returned 
from a voyage in the Indian Ocean, proposed to the emperor 
that the princess should proceed to Persia by sea.* This 
advice was urgently seconded by the envoys of Argoun, who 
had now been three years on their mission, and were anxious 
to return to their native land ; and their representations being 
acceded to by Kublai, he caused a squadron to be fitted out 
to accompany them of fourteen magnificently furnished ships, 
each with four mastst and nine sails, and each manned with 
between two and three hundred men, appointing the two 
Venetian merchants, Niccolo and Matteo, with Marco the 
son of the former, to the command of the whole expedition. 
The emperor furnished the admirals with a golden tablet or 
royal passport, permitting them to proceed freely and safely 
throughout his dominions, which extended over a larger por- 
tion of the globe than those of any other potentate of ancient 
or modern times ; and procuring for them, from any of his 
officers or lieutenants, the supplies necessary for their men. 
The fleet set sail from the mouth of the Peiho, the river of 
Pekin, in the year 1291, and after a voyage of three months 
reached a small and remote port on the northex'n shores of 
Sumatra, where it was forced to remain for another five months, 
till the monsoon had set in which was to carry it across the 
passive Bay of Bengal. Having erected fortifications round 
the harbour to protect their lives and properties, from the, at 
first, hostile attacks of the natives, a race of most fierce and 
cruel savages ; before their departure they had so far con- 
ciliated them as to procure regular supplies of water, fruits, 
and provisions, which were daily brought to the Chinese 
encampment ; and Marco Polo made a tour round the island, 
visiting six of the eight provinces into which it was divided, 
and over which eight independent sovereigns reigned. On 

♦ Travels of Marco Polo. 

t According to Mr. Borrow, in his *' Travels lu China," tliis Is still tlie usual number of 
iuusts on tlie Cliinese ve:isel& 


the fleet sailing from Sumatra it proceeded to the Andamans, 
from whence the travellers steered to the rich and fragrant 
isle of Ceylon, and also visited the neighbouring shores of 
India, where they heard of the diamond mines of Golconda; 
for the timid Chinese and Mongul sailors appear to have 
seldom ventured out of sight of land, and to have entered 
every port that they passed, and their commander has left us 
a minute and accurate* account of the natives and produc- 
tions of these islands and countries where they landed, or at 
which they touched on their route. From the coast of Coro- 
mandel they diverged towards the south, and visiting Mada- 
gascar and the African shores of Zaazibar and Adel, finally 
reached Ormuz in the Persian Gulf, the place of their destina- 
tion, after navigating the Indian seas for eighteen months. 
From the day that they had departed from the Chinese 
capital, they had lost by death six hundred of the crews and 
passengers, two of the Persian ambassadors, and one lady of 
the suite of the princess. But on landing, the first intelli- 
gence that they heard was, that Argoun himself had long 
since been dead, having expired before the fleet set sail from 
Pekin, and that the reins of government were held by his 
brother Kiahato, who, lite Ahmed, the predecessor of Argoun, 
was a professed Mussulman ; while Kazan, the son of the late 
monarch, was engaged with an army of 60,000 men at the 
pass of Derbend or the Caspian Gates, in repelling an inroad 
of the forces of his relative, Toktai, the khan of Kipzak.t 
To this prince whom she espoused on her arrival at his camp, 
the Chinese princess was conveyed by the surviving ambas- 
sador and her conductors,^ the three Venetians, who had 
intended to proceed to China by this route ; but as they heard 
there of the death of their patron, Kublai, they resolved in- 

*H6 describes the persons of the inhabitants of Andamnn and their customs, as the 
same which the accounts of modern travellers verify; the fisheries of Ceylon, the mines 
of Golconda, the camelopard, and other animals on the coast of Africa; though at 
Madagascar he draws a little on his own imagination, and the fabulous stories of the 
East, introducinff the ponderous roc, celebrated in the "Tales in the Arabian Nights." 

t '• Tnivi Is of Marco Polo." 

i Marco Polo carried back with him great wealth fVom China, and in the chapter of his 
work, denominated "Delia Provincia di Russia," he says, "La Provincia df Kussia fe 
praudlsslma, et divlsa in molte parti, et guarda verso la parte di Tramontana, dove si 
dice essere la regione delle tenebre. Li popoli di quella sono Clirlstiani, et osservano I'u- 
sanza de' Grcci neir ofbclo della chiesa. Sono bcllssimi huomini, bianchi et grandi, et sim- 
ilmente le lore femine blanche et gi-andi, con 11 capelli biondi et lunghl et rendono tribute 
al li6 dl Tartarl detti di Ponente, con 11 qual conflnano nella parte di loro regione che 
guarda il Levante. In questa provincia si trovano abondanza grande dl pelli dl Armelinl, 
Ascoliui, Tebellini, Vari, Volpi, et eera molta; vi sono anchora molte mineie dove si 
cava argento in gran quantita. La Russia fe region molto fredda et mi fU atfermato cho 
la si estende fino sopra 11 Mare Oceano, nel qual (come abbiamo detto di sopra) si pren- 
dono dl Girifalchl Falconi pelleirrlnl in gran copia che vengono portati da di verse regioni 
et provincie."— Marco Polo's " Voyages," collected by Rauiusls. 


stead to revisit their native city, wliioli tliey reached in the 
year 1295, after an absence of more than twenty years. The 
same year Kiahato, the reigning khan of Persia, after a dis- 
graceful reign of five years, stained by every vice and infamy, 
■was assassinated by some of the nobles of his palace, and suc- 
ceeded by his brother Baidou, a humane and ■well-intentioned, 
though impolitic and imprudent, prince. By forbidding the 
preaching of the Mahometan religion to the Tartars, and re- 
building the churches and monasteries, he raised against him- 
self the enmity of the Miissulmans, ■who expelled him after a 
reign of a fe^w months, and elevated his nephew Kazan to the 
throne, ■with the condition that he would adhere to their faith ; 
a condition ■with which he readily complied, and, renouncing 
the Christianity that he had formerly professed, a fierce per- 
secution of the Christians immediately ensued. Their houses 
and churches were given up to destruction and pillage, and 
their enemies, the Mahometans, -with ■whom, since the Tartars 
first obtained possession of Persia, owing to the indifference 
and religious vacillation of the khans, they had vied in 
monopolizing the conversion of the Monguls and chief ofiices 
of state, now ruled supreme, and the Christians wei-e insulted 
or massacred, by order of their rivals, wherever they dared 
to appear in the public places. The bodies of their priests 
and patriarchs were taken out of the cemeteries and bui-ying- 
grounds in which they had been interred, and thrown into 
the streets ; and, from 1296 to 1298, dreadful atrocities were 
committed against them throughout all Persia, especially in 
the cities of Arbela, Tauris, Mosoul, and Bagdad, when the 
persecution was suddenly stopped by the second apostasy and 
conversion of the khan. This has generally been attributed 
to the influence of one of his wives, the daughter of the king 
of Annenia, the only province in the Persian dominions where 
the Christians were allowed to remain in peace ; and who, 
being distinguished by great piety and extraordinary beauty, 
is said to have induced her husband to again profess her own 
religion, though the ecclesiastical chronicles of the time'* 
allege that her representations were assisted by an extra- 
ordinary miracle, the transformation by baptism of one of his 
sons from a hideous infant to a most beautiful child. + An 
alliance was now formed by Kazan with his father-in-liuv, tho 

• The Chronicles of Saint nenls. 

t Hue's " Ckrlstluiilty lu China, Tartar}'," iSc. 


king of Armenia, against Malek-Nassir, the sultan of Egypt, 
and having checked, and for the present subdued, the fast 
rising power of the Ottoman Turks, he marched against 
Damascus, -which his forces took after a short siege by storm 
and sack, and, ravaging all Syria, attacked the united armies 
of the Mamelukes and Saracens in the sandy plains of Judea'; 
where, according to a contemporary historian, 100,000 Sara- 
cens were left dead upon the field. This victory of the 
Persian khan placed Jerusalem itself at the mercy of the 
Tartars, who entered it in conjunction with the Christian 
king of Armenia, and for the first time for many years the 
feast of Easter was openly celebrated by the Christians in the 
Holy City. The war continued for some years longer be- 
tween the Monguls and Mahometans, and his success caused 
Kazan to renew the proposal of a universal crusade with the 
nobles and princes of Europe ; but before the ambassadors, 
whom he had despatched to Edward of England and Philip 
of Prance, had returned to his court with any reply, his 
armies had been overtaken by defeat and loss ; and a victory 
gained by the Mussulmans, which forced his troops to retreat 
beyond the Euphrates, so preyed upon his mind as to bring 
on the illness which caused his death in 1302. His successor 
attempted with some success to restrain the encroachments 
of the Turks in Bithynia, but the descendants of Zingis 
K.han became extinct in Persia in 1335 ; and the empire was 
divided among numerous Mahometan chiefs, who maintained 
their sway for only a few years, all being ultimately con- 
quered and dethroned by the victorious armies of Tamerlane. 
The Mongul emperors and khans sent twenty ambassa- 
dors altogether, at difierent times, to France, England, Ger- 
many, Italy, and Spain, to attempt to rouse the flagging zeal 
of their princes in the cause of the expiring crusades, and 
urge them to join their forces with the armies of the Tartars, 
in expelling the Mussulmans from Palestine. But all were 
without efiect, though the communication thus carried on 
between them was not altogether bare of fruit ; for it occa- 
sioned a more intimate acquaintance of the east with the 
west, and .caused several arts and inventions, then only 
known to the nations of Asia, to be introduced by the Mongul 
envoys into Europe. Among these may be mentioned wood- 
engraving and playing cards, which had originally been in- 


veutecl in China, and a Tartar artisan was employed as a 
lielmet-maker in tte armies of Philip the Fair. 

In the year 1294, by command of the Khan Kazan, all the 
existing histories and traditions, respecting his great-grand- 
tather Zingis, were collected by several Mongul and Persian 
writers, and ti-anscribed by the Vizier Fadlallah into the 
Pei-sian tongue.* 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of tlie Koman Empire." 


(KoittiimatJ0it ai tlje pistag ai %ximn — feigns ai garaslaf, ^e- 
mdxhxB, anir g-ateg — Itit^nania — gCl^t §emiisz €alanits — 
Wiihk ^Ijan — ^uctttxims ai pitljsel, Jftnstrbs, anb gik^- 
aivlltr — |tsiv |. 

What mighty shocks 
TTnve buffeted mankind, whole nations razed, 
Cities made desolate, the polish'd sunk 
Tu barbarism, and once barbaric states 
Swaying the wand of science and of art Kirke White. 

A FEW years after the death, of Alexander, fresh dissensions 
arose between the people of Novogorod and their prince ; 
and, refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of his brother, 
Yaroslaf, a man of a harsh disposition, and very unpopular 
with his subjects, the citizens obliged him to fly from their 
city, and he long remained in exile. At length a reconcilia- 
tion was obtained through the persevering efforts of the 
metropolitan Cyril, who threatened Novogorod with an 
interdict, and her people with excommunication from the 
church, unless they received back their sovereign. Cyril was 
the last primate of Russia who was interred amid the cloisters 
of the old capital Kiof, which had now for some time been 
annexed to the kingdom of Halich. 

Yaroslaf died shortly after his restoration in 1271, leaving 
two sons, Michael, prince of Tver, and Vladimir, who sub- 
sequently competed with the grandsons of Daniel for the 
crown of Halich ; and his youngest brother Vassili, or Basil, 
was appointed to succeed him by the Khan. The reign of 
this prince lasted but a few years, and was unmarked by any 
iiiiportant event ; but at his death those scenes ensued, so 
often repeated here, of which the details only weary and dis- 
gust j when princes, caring for nothing else than their own 
selfish dignity and elevation, recklessly bring upon their 
country and people the scourge of a civil war. Vassili was 


sticceeded in 1276 by his nephew Dmitri, or Demetrius, the 
son of Alexander, who was thirteen years old at the time 
of his father's death ; and a savage feud immediately com- 
menced between the new sovereign and his brother Andrea, 
by whom he was twice expelled from his dominions, and who 
called to his assistance a large army of Monguls. Upon this, 
the Poles, Hungarians, and the forces of the princes of Halich, 
all entered Russia to oppose their inroad, and ensure the 
safety and tranquillity of their own states, which would 
greatly have been endangered by another Tartar inroad upon 
Muscovy, and reinstated Demetrius in his principality. But 
in 1294 tlie unfortunate chief was again deposed by his 
brother, and died the same year in Volokampsk, at the age 
of forty-four, and Andrea retained undisputed possession of 
the throne till 1304 ; when, feeling the approach of death, 
he assumed the habit and took the vows of a monk, and 
died a few days after in the monastery to which he had 
caused himself to be borne, and where he had previously en- 
rolled himself as a piiest. He was succeeded by his brother 
Danilo, the prince of Moscow. At this period, owing to the 
privileges granted to the monks by the Tartars, and the pro- 
tection which the monasteries afforded from the oppression 
and discord that reigned throughout the empire, numbers of 
the weak, timid, or helpless among the boyards, citizens, and 
women, of all ages and degrees, annually entered the cloister, 
and assumed the veil ; for the priests, and religious com- 
munities, usually received peculiar favour from the Monguls ; 
and in 1313 the khan, when on a tour through Russia, not 
only treated the metropolitan with the greatest respect, but 
even solicited his prayers. 

Mindove, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, who, in the 
expectation of assistance from the pope against the Tartars, 
and immunity from the incursions of the Livonian knights, 
had embraced Christianity, and married a daughter of Danilo, 
the prince of Halich, and finding his hopes disappointed, had 
resumed his formei- idolatry, was succeeded by his son 
Voesheleg, who after a short reign retired into a monastery, 
and bequeathed his dominions to his cousin Yourii, or George, 
the prince of Halich. But Ghedemin, a Lithuanian chief- 
tain, established himself in Vilna in the early part of the 
thirteenth century, and wresting Kiof, and the surrounding 
provinces from the hands of Andrew and Lvo, the sons of 


Yourii, established his sway as far as the -western district, of 
the Crimea, where he razed Cherson to the ground, and de- 
stroyed in that peninsula the last possessions of the Greeks ; 
while in 1340, the king of Poland also seized upon the western 
provinces of Halich, and, annexing it to his own states, the 
Greek Church was gradually replaced among the inhabitants 
by the Roman Catholic, the national faith of Poland. The 
Lithuanians remained heathens for some years longer ; they 
worshipped fire, the sun, moon, stars, and serpents, and their 
last sacred grove was not cut down in Samogitia till the 
year 1430. 

While the khan of Kipzak, from his capital Serai, ruled 
all Russia by his emissaries, and caused her to be governed 
by his laws, in the northern part of the empire, owing to the 
severity of the climate and thicker population, the Monguls 
had settled down in no great numbers or strength ; but in 
the south, where the steppes and grassy plains resembled 
their native deserts in Central Asia, they overspread the 
whole face of the country, and, overrunning the Crimea, dis- 
puted, on the shores of the Euxine, with the adventurous 
merchants of Genoa, for the possession of the seaport towns. 
These tracers, during the middle ages, and till, their wars 
with the powerful queen of the Adriatic having materially 
weakened the strength of both republics, they were eclipsed 
by the superior science and enterprise of the sailors of Por- 
tugal and Spain, had long contended with Yenice for the 
empire of the sea, and the monopoly of the commerce of the 
world ; and, befoi'e the ipvasion of Europe by the Monguls, 
possessed the harbour of Soldaya, for which they paid tribute 
to the Polotzi. The suburb Galatea of Constantinople had 
been given up to them by the Greeks as an emporium for 
their commerce, and formed a communication between the 
mother country and this remote port, with several on the 
coast of Circassia, from whence they traded with Russia and 
Persia, and even to the distant Indies and remoter countries 
of the East. Upon the invasion of the Tartars in 1226, 
when they forced the Polotzi to retreat into Moldavia, the 
Genoese were expelled from the Crimea; but, in 1280, they 
attacked and captured Kaffa or Theodosia, where they 
planted a colony, and ultimately recovered Soldaya, the 
peninsula of Kertch being held at the same time by the 
■jCii'oassians. The produce of the same corn-fields of Taurida, 


that had stored the granaries of Athens in the days of Mil- 
tiades and Solon, was now distributed over the Mediter- 
ranean by a fleet of four hundred mercantile vessels, and 
supplied the cities of Greece, the republics of Italy and 
Tunis, and a regular communication with caravans was 
carried on by the Genoese colonists with Carizme, from 
whence they obtained overland from China, and by way of 
the Oxus and Caspian, from India gold and the diamonds of 
Golconda, ivory and spices from Ceylon, with the silk, cam- 
phor, and rice, of the Celestial empire. Their commerce in 
Russian and Circassian captives supplied the sultanis of Egypt 
with the formidable corps of Mamelukes, and, a few years 
later, the Egyptian sovereign Bibaus, who had been himself 
a Tartar slave, obtained from the successors of Zingis per- 
mission to build a splendid mosque in Bakchi-serai, the 
capital of the Crimea.* 

The Tartars finding Kaffa a commodious market for the 
innumerable slaves they had procured in Poland and Russia, 
left Genoa in peaceful possession of this port, and by a treaty 
of August 7, 1333, the first formed for mercantile interests 
between any of the Mongul nations with those of Europe, 
considerable commercial advantages were gi-anted by Usbeg 
or Bek, the khan of Kipzak, to the Venetians, who had 
founded a small settlement in the peninsula of Taman and 
Azof More than a hundred years after this, when Russia 
had long emancipated herself from Kipzak, the khan of the 
Crimea made a sudden inroad upon Moscow, which he sacked 
and burned ; and, carrying oS' three hundred thousand Rus- 
sian prisoners, he sold them all for slaves at Kafia to the 

At this time Lithuania was one of the most powerfiil 
Russian states ; Poland was also increasing her infliience in 
the west ; Novogorod and Pskof had again emancipated 
themselves from the sway of the Grand Dukes of Vladimir, 
but were compelled by the arms of Ghedemin to acknow- 
ledge the supremacy of Lithuania t during his lifetime ; and 
the capital of the Grand Dukes of Russia was removed by 
Danilo Alexandrovitz from Vladimir to his original patri- 
mony Moscow, which from henceforward became the capital 
of his estates, at this time beginning to be known as the king- 


•Olbhon's "Decllno and Fnll of tlieltomau Empire." 
tlCrasiiisU's "IJlatwyofPolaiiil." • - 


dom, or grand principality of Moscow or Muscovy. He 
built tte Kremlin, and surrounded the whole city with 
wooden fortifications, and also erected the monastery of St. 
Daniel,* which, in 1307, he entered himself as a monk, and 
died shortly after, being succeeded by hia son George, or 
Yourii, who was at that time twenty-six years of age. 

Mahmoud Uzbek, who had succeeded his father Toktai 
upon the viceregal throne of Kipzak, shortly after his acces- 
sion abandoned the Gheber faith of the late khan, and, 
adopting the Mahometan religion, it became from henceforth 
the established faith of all the Tartar and Mongul tribes in 
Western and Southern Asia, as it had already previously, 
under Bereka and Mengu Timur, been that of Kipzak. His 
reign forms a brilliant epoch in the annals of his horde ; the 
success he obtained in a war with the Greek empire, obliged 
the emperor to conclude a humiliating peace, and cede to 
him his daughter for a bride ; and, on the event of these 
victories, he assumed the additional title of " Conqueror of 
the enemies of God, the inhabitants of Constantinople the 
Great." Persevering and indefatigable in conducting the 
business of his empire, he was at the same time remarkable 
for his splendour and the magnificence of his court, and is 
called by the Mahometan writers of the time, one of the 
seven great sovereigns of the earth. The Moorish traveller, 
Ibu Batutah, who visited his capital Astrakhan, has de- 
scribed that city as being of great wealth and extent j it was 
called by the Tartars Haj Tarkham, from a devout pilgrim, 
or Haj, by whom it was founded, and the Khan made it his 
residence during the summer, and till the Yolga became 
covered with ice, when he repaired to Serai in sledges with 
his family and court. His four wives, who, with his daugh- 
ters, were permitted to remain unveiled, travelled from 
place to place in state waggons, surmounted with domes of 
silver, and drawn by horses attired with gold and silk equip- 
ments ; and in both Serai and Astrakhan, each khatoun 
was accommodated with a separate palace, and several hun- 
dreds of Greek, Turkish, and Nubian slaves, a band of musi- 
cians and dancers, jugglers and magicians, besides numerous 
other attendants."!" For the sake of procuring companions 
on his return, Ibu Batutah accompanied the escort of the 
Christian khatoun, or Greek wife of the Khan, on a visit 
• Mouraviefl's " Church of Russia." t Travels of "Ibu Batutah." 

CO^'TI^TUATION of THK history of RUSSIA, ETC. 2G9 

which she paid to her father, Andronicus the Third, at Con- 
Btantinople. Her retinue was guarded to the Grecian 
frontiers by a corps of five thousand Mongul soldiers, when 
she was met by her brother with a battalion of Greeks, 
who conducted her from the shores of the Danube to the 
imperial palace at Byzantium. But on finding herself once 
more with her family and home in a Christian land, and 
among civilized people, she refused to return to her Tartar 
husband, but, sending back her Mongul attendants to Astra- 
khan, passed the x-emainder of her days at her father's court. 

The same Arab traveller also describes KafTa, which was 
then possessed by the Genoese, and where, never before having 
seen a Christian town, he heard with surprise the bells of 
their churches, but saw with satisfaction that the Maho- 
metans were allowed to support a mosque. He traversed 
the fiat and desolate plains of Kipzak, in the same wicker 
waggons, drawn by camels and oxen, formerly used by the 
Scythians, and to this day by the modern Tartars of the 
steppes. At every stage, and when halting by their watch- 
fires for the night, he was lulled to sleep by the martial songs 
of the Mongols who, he observes, eat no bread, nor any other 
solid food, but lived on a kind of porridge made of millet, 
in which they boiled pieces of meat j a mode of preparation 
which was customary with their predecessors in those parts, 
the Scythians, Sarniatians, and Slavonians. He was desirous 
of visiting the Land of Darkness (Siberia), where his guides 
informed him that the natives were drawn by dogs, whom 
their masters prized so highly that they fed them before 
themselves, and where the trade of the country consisted of 
fur, chiefly ermine, which was exported to all parts of Asia, 
even India and Persia ; but he was discouraged from attempt- 
ing the journey, by the reported distance and difficulties of 
the route. He also observes that the laws of the Tartars 
were very severe against theft ; the criminal was forced to 
restore goods or money to the value of nine times the worth 
of what he had stolen, and, if unable to pay this fine, his 
children were seized and condemned to slavery, while, in case 
he had no children, he sufiered death.* 

One of the daughters of Uzbek married the Sultan Kusum 
of Egypt, who had himself been a Mameluke, and originally a 
Tartar slave from Kipzak. 

* Travels of " Iba Batutali." 


The revolt of the Tartar chief, Noghai, and the wars which 
his successors henceforth carried on with the khans, increased 
the miseries by which nnhappy Russia w^as now almost over- 
whelmed. Each empire claimed her fealty and allegiance, 
each regarded her princes and people as their lawful prey, 
and her territories became the battle-field for their armies, 
her sovereigns usually allying themselves with the strongest, 
or her whose forces were nearest, or who was most prompt to 
revenge their defalcation upon their unhappy subjects with 
slavery and death. George the prince of Moscow, the ambi- 
tious son of Danilo, allied himself with the khan of Kipzak, 
and obtained his protection by espousing the daughter of 
Uzbek. In a revolt against his cousin Michael, who, in 
virtue of his seniority, had been raised to the throne of 
Eussia in 1305 by the nomination of the khan, he procured 
the assistance of a Mongul army from his father-in-law, 
under the command of a Tartar general, Kavadgi ; but was 
repulsed from the walls of Tver with great slaughter, and his 
wife taken prisoner. The Tartar princess soon pined and 
died in captivity; and, without any evideiice to justify the 
suspicion which the previously virtuous life of Michael would 
appear to refute, he was accused by George of having basely 
caused the death of his bride by poison, and was summoned by 
Uzbek to appear at the Golden Horde. His sons earnestly 
entreated the Grand Prince to allow them to undertake the 
journey in his place, and answer the foul accusation ; but 
aware of the peril, and fearful for their safety, and knowing 
the miseries that disobedience to the command of the khan 
would entail on his country, he refused to comply with their 
request, and resolved to obey the summons. After making 
his will, and delivering his last charges to his children, he set 
off to Serai, and there, confronting his accusers, the princes of 
Moscow and Eavadgi, in presence of the khan, earnestly 
protested his innocence. A judicial tribunal was assembled, 
before which Michael was formally heard and condemned, 
and after twenty-five days' close imprisonment, during which 
he was so loaded with chains that he was unable to move 
either his head or arms, his head was struck off by a Tartar 
executioner in the year 1319, in the forty-eighth year of his 
age. He had been permitted to see his sons before his death, 
and his confessor, the metropolitan Peter, who had accom- 
panied him to the horde ; and it was after an interview of this 


priest-with. the khan, that the latter issued the folio-wing curious 
manifesto : * — " Let no man injure the Church, the metropoli- 
tan Peter, the archimandrites, or the popes in Eussia ; let 
their lands be free from all tax and tribute ; for all this be- 
longs to God, and these people by their prayers preserve 
us ; let them be under the sole jurisdiction of Peter, the 
metropolitan, agreeably to their ancient laws ; let the metro- 
politan lead his life in quiet and meekness, and let him pray 
with a true heart, and without fear, for us and for our 
children ; whosoever shall take any thing from the clergy, 
let him restore it threefold ; whosoever shall dare to speak 
evil of the Russian faith ; whosoever shall inj ure any church, 
monastery, or chapel, let him be put to death." 

The satisfaction which George expressed upon the death 
of Michael, excited the reprobation even of his ally Kavadgi 
the Tartar, who, upon entering the tent where the execution 
had taken place, and beholding the body of Michael, turned 
to the Grand Prince, who had accompanied him, exclaiming, 
" How canst thou gaze so unfeelingly upon the corpse of thy 
injured kinsman ! " Immediately dissembling his pleasure, 
George professed to lament the deed, and ordered the remains 
of Michael to be conveyed in state to Eussia, and interred 
with the customaiy honours in his capital ; but this hypo- 
crisy only increased the indignation felt against him by the 
sons of the murdered prince, and Demetrius the eldest never 
rested from that day till he had revenged upon the head of the 
perpetrator his father's untimely death. In 1322, he pro- 
cured by various accusations the deposition of George from 
the throne of Suzdal, which he had ascended after the execu- 
tion of Michael, and was himself raised to the dignity of 
Grand Prince in his cousin's place ; and upon being sum- 
moned to appear at the Golden Horde, where George had 
urged the khan to allow him to make his defence, no sooner 
had Demetrius found himself face to face with the destroyer 
of his father, than, regardless of the presence of Uzbek, he 
ran his enemy through the heart with his sword, and was in 
his turn immediately condemned to death by the khan for 
the offence. He was executed in the year 1326, and was 
succeeded by his brother Alexander as Grand Prince. 

A few months after Alexander's accession, a conspiracy 
was formed by the Tartar garrison of Tver, with Shefkhal, 

* JIouraviefTs " Church of Rassla," 


a near relative of tte khan, at their head, to assassinate the' 
Grand Prince, and compel the Eussians, by pe;:auasion or 
force, to embrace the Mussulman faith ; but their design 
was frustrated by a general revolt of the Russian inhabi- 
tants, led on by Alexander, who surprised and cut to pieces 
every Tartar soldier in the city, and asserted their indepen- 
dence. But no sooner had the intelligence of this short 
triumph reached the horde, than Russia was invaded by a 
Mongul army, commanded by Uzbek in person, who caused 
the inhabitants to be massacred without mercy or distinc- 
tion, and, defeating Alexander in battle, obliged him to take 
refuge with his family in the forests and remote provinces of 
the empire. There the unhappy prince wandered about for 
years in disguise, and in the greatest misery and destitution, 
while the khan caused Ivaa of Riazan, the cousin and ally of 
the 'Grand Prince, and who had been taken prisoner, to be 
beheaded, and placed Ivan I., the prince of Moscow, upon the 
throne, March 26, 1327, at the same time directing him to 
pursue and capture Alexander, and deliver him up to the 
Tartars for punishment. For nine years the outlawed chief 
eluded the vigilance of his enemies, till in 1336 he was in- 
duced by the offer of pardon to abandon his hiding-place, 
and was reinstated in his kingdom by the caprice or mercy 
of the khan; but two years later, through the intrigues of 
Ivan of Moscow, his inveterate enemy, he was summoned to 
appear at the horde ; and the old accusation of having insti- 
gated the murder of Shefkhal being revived against him, 
he was executed there, with his two youthful sons, Fedor and 
Michael, in 1338. 

The title of Grand Prince of Russia, with authority over 
all the Other princes of Russia, was at length definitely settled 
by the khan upon the family of Ivan of Moscow and his 
heirs for ever, upon the payment by this prince of a large 
sum of money to the sovereign of Kipzak. Ivan I., the son 
of Danilo, and brother of George, was born in 1300, and re- 
ceived the surname of Kalita or purse, from the wealth he 
had amassed, and from his causing himself to be constantly 
accompanied by an attendant bearing his purse, out of which 
he continually distributed alms to the poor. By his protec- 
tion and encouragement of trade, he greatly increased the 
revenues and prosperity of Russia ; the ancient fairs and 
markets, that were annually celebrated before the Tartar 


invasion, were now revived, and the old chronicler Kamene- 
vitch informs us, that at Makarief on the Volga, the traders 
of Europe and Asia met every year in the seventy inns of the 
suburb that the Russians inhabited, and the duties the prince 
received from their wares amounted to seven thousand two 
hundred pounds' weight of silver, as Ivan had imposed a heavy 
tax upon all articles of sale. The dissensions of the princes 
of the Golden Horde also gave the empire some relief from 
the thraldom under which she had hitherto groaned, and 
allowed her time to arouse her prostrate energies, and develop 
her resources and strength. TJzbek had died in 1340, and 
his descendants, being driven from their kingdom to the east 
of the Caspian, became chiefs of the wandering tribes in 
Tiircomania, of Uzbek Tartars, who ultimately expelled 
the descendants of Timur from the throne of Samarcand. 
His successor, Khanibeg, was deposed and murdered in his 
old age, by his ferocious and unnatural son Berdibeg, who, 
clearing for himself a path to the throne by strangling his 
twelve brothers, assumed the title, on his accession in 1359, 
of " king of the just, the sublime support of the world and 
of religion." But, endeavouring to conciliate the Russian 
princes, he interfered little with their government, and con- 
firmed them in many privileges which they had formerly 
received from Khanibeg, on the recovery of his wife, Taidoula 
Khatoun, from a dangerous illness, through the medical assis- 
tance of the Russian ambassador at Serai, who had made use 
of the gratitude and favour he had thus obtained fr-om the 
monarch, in ameliorating the condition of his country, and 
furthering her interests. Novogorod, also, during the reign 
of Ivan, was again brought under the rule of the Grand 
Prince, who received an embassy from Magnus the king of 
Sweden, requesting the archbishop of Novogorod to hold a 
conference with his envoys, being desirous to convert the 
people of that city to the Latin faith ; and on the conquest 
of the last provinces of Halich, by Ghedemin, the prince of 
Lithuania, and the flight of the metropolitan from Kiof, 
notwithstanding the liberal offers of this chief, in whose ter- 
ritory the old capital was now included, and who wished to 
retain in his own hands one whose influence was so great in 
the empire, Ivan induced the fugitive prelate to establish his 
see at Moscow, which from henceforward became the princi- 
pal city for the ecclesiastical as well as the secular afiairs of 


Russia. He also impressed upon his sons the necessity for 
living at peace, if they wished to secure the prosperity of 
their country ; and on his death, which took place on the 
31st of March, 1340, after having assumed the habit of a 
monk, they both took an oath upon the sepulchre of their 
ancestors to live in harmony, and make an equal partition 
of their inheritance. Simeon the eldest, surnamed the Proud, 
took the title of Grand Prince with one half of the revenues 
of their dominions, and reigned in Moscow; while his brother 
Ivan, with the other half, ruled over some of the inferior pro- 
vinces of the empire ; and Russia enjoyed a period of greater 
tranquillity than she had experienced for several hundreds of 

In the year 1293, during the civil war between the princes 
of Novogorod, Demetrius and Andrew, the sons of Alexan- 
der, the Swedes wrested the Finnish provinces of Oarelia and 
Kexholm from the Russians ; and, though a part was restored 
to its ancient masters in 1338, yet the greater portion 
remained in the possession of Sweden till the reign of 
Peter the Great.* 

* The traveller, Eiinan, in his " Travels through Russia and Siberia in 1848," remarks 
of the French invasion in 1812, that it "has left but a faint impression upon the popular 
mind in Bussia, even in Moscow itself, which suffered so much at their hands " (though 
Napoleon declared, and perhaps truly, that the empire could not recover it for fifty years). 
*' Conflagrations," says he, "have been common occurrences in that city, and the inha- 
bitants are accustomed to be burned out. We read of seven such events trom the thir- 
teenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century, in ail of which the destruction was 
complete, or very nearly so. The flre of 1812 spared many of the stone churehes," (which 
from religious scruples were not Hghted by the Susslans) " and on whose towers the 
Mahometan crescent rises above the cross, a monument of earlier revolutions. The yoke 
of the Tartars was so lasting and oppressive, that later events of a similar kind seem 
comparatively unimportant; and even the French invasion is here thoughtltttle of, being 
usually compared with the irruDtion of the Pechenegues and that of the Poles iu later 
times, but never set on a level with the Tartar domiuatiou." 


' C^amto of llje gassians.— SCIj* ^lacfe Jrall^. 

The demon of the plague had cast, 

From his hot wln^. a deadlier hiast, 

More mortal far, than ever came, 

From the red desert's sands of flame. — ^Mooke. 

The effects of tlie devastation created by the invasion of 
tlie Monguls was beginning, towards the middle of the four- 
teenth century, to disappear from the external face of 
Russia. The wasted lands were in most places again brought 
into cultivation, the towns were rebuilt, though it was long 
before the principal cities regained their former magnitude, 
and now, under the sway of Simeon, comparative peace ap- 
peared to reign at last. But the people, though they 
remained in dress and mannef^f life the same as in the days 
of Rurik and Vladimir, were altered in character and in many 
of their laws. In place of the enlightened code of Yaroslaf, 
tEey^aHTeen compelled to adopt the stern edicts and mili- 
tary regulations of the Monguls; their princes and nobles, 
though they despised and abhorred, still followed the Tar- 
tar chieftain's mode of life, and so many of the Russians 
had been carried into slavery, their conquerors leaving Mon- 
guls to fill their places throughout the land, that the very 
population, especially among the peasantry, was changed. 
Their national historian, Karamsin, in lamenting the ill 
effects that the invasion of the Monguls produced upon the 
character of his countrymen, observes, that " national pride 
being extinguished among them, they had recourse to those 
artifices which supply the want of strength, among men con- 
demned to a servile obedience. Skilful," says he, " in deceiv- 
ing the Tartars, they became adepts in the art of deceiving 
one another. Buying from the barbarians their personal 
safety, they became more greedy of money, and less sensible 
to insult or to shame, exposed, as they were, incessantly to 


the insolence of foreign tyrants. Force took the place of law ; 
pillage, authorized by impunity, was exercised by the Russians 
as well as by the Tartars. There was no safety on the roads 
nor within the houses ; till after the time of stupor, when the 
law awoke from its dream, it was necessary to have recourse 
to a severity unknown to ancient Russia." And the social 
condition of Russia remained in this wretched state till the 
memorable accession of Ivan the Third. But during the tem- 
porary calm, maintained by Simeon with a strong hand 
throughout his territories, that terrible scourge, known in the 
middle ages as the Black Death, appeared in Russia, and 
carried off more than a fourth part of the whole population 
of the empire. The nobles, wealthy citizens, and merchants, 
endeavoured to propitiate the wrath of Heaven, and atone for 
their sins, on account of which they supposed this calamity 
had befallen them, by erecting churches, and giving their 
villages, estates, and treasures, for the benefit of the clergy 
and monasteries ; and the priests carried relics in procession, 
and made pilgrimages to the shrines of celebrated saints, to 
ask their intercession in allaying the fury of the plague. The 
sick were deserted in the hour of death by their friends and 
nearest relatives, or abandoned to the care of any attendant 
whom money or compulsion could procure ; the streets of the 
capital were blocked up by the dead and dying ; and the 
plains of Kipzak, where it especially raged, were strewn with 
the bodies of those Taiiai-s who had fallen victims to its 
ravages, the wretched survivors being scarcely enough to 
bury them. Yet many noble instances of self-devotion are 
on record, and few, as in other countries, abandoned their 
native towns, in the forlorn hope of escaping, when distant 
from the abode of man, the scourge that was spreading deso- 
lation around. Every rank and age fell victims alike to the 
ttniversal contagion that pervaded the tainted air ; in April, 
1352, it proved fatal to the Grand Prince, his wife, and every 
member of his family, and shca-tly after to the metropolitan 
Theognostes, the Archbishop Bazil of Novogorod, and multi- 
tudes of the priests and monks, who, in obedience to their 
vows, had been throughout the whole course of the pestilence 
the assiduous attendants of the dying, from whom all the 
rest of humanity had fled, and by them the dead were borne 
in haste and silence to the grave, tmaocompanied by mourners 
or the customary funeral ceremonies and feasts. 


Simeon the Proud, from the commencement had used his 
utmost exertions to prevent the spread of the infection, to 
reanimate the courage of his people, and provide all who 
were attacked or left desolate with proper means of relief 
Charms and incantations were indeed the chief means resorted 
to by the superstitious populace, and celebrated magicians 
were brought from all parts of the empire to invoke and ex- 
orcise the evil spirits, whom they supposed had possessed 
those "who were seized, and had originally occasioned the Black 
Death. When dying, the Grand Prince at first steadfastly 
refused to adopt the shaven crown and monastic gown of the 
cloister ; but his confessor, and the priests who surrounded 
him, by their earnest entreaties succeeded in inducing him 
to conform to this practice of his fathers, by which they had 
been accustomed, when dying, to manifest their repentance 
and humility, and a few moments after he expired, and was 
buried the same day with his children in the cathedral of 
the Kremlin, at Moscow. But Russia was not alone in her 
suiFerings from this awful visitation, for it attacked every 
other nation on the globe of whom our records ascend to 
those times ; and commencing in China, in 1347, it was pre- 
ceded, according to the writers of that period, by the most 
singular appearances in the heavens, and the most terrible 
convulsions of the earth.* Floods and draughts, famine and 
heavy mists, volcanic eruptions, and winds of poisonous odour, 
were alternately experienced throughout Africa, Asia, and 
Europe, and the pestilence appears to have quitted each 
country through which it had spread, before it proceeded on 
to the next. Prom Central Asia it was brought by caravans 
to the camps of the Turks in Asia Minor, and the Genoese 
colonies in the East ; and, depopulating the Tartar tribes on 
the northern shores of the Euxine, it advanced to the city of 
Constantinople, where, amongst thousands of the inhabitants, 
a son of the Emperor perished ; while, in Caramania and 
Cesarea, none who remained in their homes were left alive, 
and entering Egypt, having already been introduced into 
Persia and India by caravans and traders from Thibet, it de- 
stroyed daily in Cairo, during the height of its rage, from ten 
to fifteen thousand persons. In these countries, and through- 
out the continent and islands of Europe, frightful earthqiiakes 
had preceded its appearance, rendering the fruitful Cyprus 

• Hecker'B " Epidemics of tile Mladic Ages." 


a desert, and ruining thirty villages in Carinthia alone, from 
whose remains were excavated moi-e than a thousand corpses. 
The ships of Genoa communicated the Black Death to the 
shores of Italy and France ; even animals were not free from 
its effects. Vessels wandered unguided along the Mediter- 
ranean, all on board having perished ; and in Spain, where 
it prevailed till 1350, it carried off the King Alfonso XI., 
and in Prance the Queen Consort and the Queen of Navaixe, 
while the churchyards, no longer being able to contain the 
heaps of dead, the Pope, at Avignon, found it necessary to 
consecrate the waters of the Rhone, that the bodies might be 
thrown into the river without delay. A solitary bark floated 
into the port of Bergen with no sign or appearance of life ; it 
was boarded by some hardy Norwegians, who discovered that 
its crew consisted only of corpses ; and these communicated 
the plague to the whole of Scandinavia, where, in Norway, a 
third of the people perished, so that many ancient towns 
being left desolate, were allowed to fall into decay, till their 
names have disappeared from the records of history, and their 
very sites are now hardly known. In Sweden^ the Princes 
Hako and Knute, two brothers of the king, died, and in the 
province of Westgothland alone, 466 priests. The snows of 
Iceland and Greenland, and their distance from the continent, 
were no protection against the fury of the Black Death ; and 
in the latter country it so decimated the Norwegian colo- 
nists on the western coast, that in many of the settlements 
none survived ; and as the ships of Norway were no longer able, 
for want of men, to supply the rest during many years with 
the usual provisions and assistance, they were unable to de- 
fend themselves from the attacks of the American Esquimaux, 
by whom, it is supposed, the few who had lived, were either 
captured or prematurely cut off.* The huge blocks of ice 
that shortly after accumulated round that part of the coast, 
long prevented any vessel of Europe from ascertaining their 
too probable fate. In 1349, Poland was first visited by the 
universal pestilence; while in Russia, contrary to the usual 
course of these visitations, it did not appear till the end of 
1351, after it had died out in all the rest of Europe. A ter- 
rible cry against the Jews, as the authors of these misfortunes, 
in 1348 rang throughout all the western nations of the con- 

* Hecker's " Epidemics of the Middle Ages,'' 


tinent ; and while, in Hungary, the order of Flagellants * 

* The ancieut song of the Flagellants —(Translated from maimscrlpt by MaesoiL) 
1 Whoe'er to save his soul is fain, 

Must pay and render back agahi, 

His safety so shall be consult : 

Help us good Lord to this result ! 
5 Ye that repent your sins draw nigh ; 

From tlie Duniing hell we fly, 

From Satan's wiclied company : 
Whom he leads, 
With pitch he feeds. 
10 If we be wise, we this shall flee, 

jNfaria! Queen! we trust in tliee, 

To move thy son for sympatliy : 

Jesus Christ was captive led 

And to the cross was riveted. 
15 The cross wns redden'd with his gore, 

And we bis martyrdom deplore ; 

Sinner, canst thou to me atone? 

Three pointed nails, a thorny crown, 

The holy cross, q spear, a wound. 
20 We through tliy death to thee have sued. 

For God in heaven, we shed our bloud; 

This for our sins will worit for good. 

Blessed Maria, mother, queen, 

Through thy loved Son's redeeming mean. 
23 Be all our wants to thee poi tray'd ; 

Aid us mother, spotless maid ! 

Tremble the earth, the rocks are rent, 

Fond heart of mine, thou must relent, 

Tears from our soiTOwing eyes we weep. 
35 Therefore so firm our faith we heap, 

With all our hearts, with all our senses, 

Christ bore his pangs for our offences : 

Vly well the scourge for Jesus' sake, 

And God, through Christ, your sins shall take. 
40 For love of God abandon sin, 

To mend your vicious lives begin, 

So shall we his mercy win. 

Direftil was Maria's pain, 

When she beheld her dear One slain. 
45 Pierced was lier soul as with a dart, 

Sinner, let this affect your heart ! 

The time draws near. 

When God in anger shall appear, 

Jesus was refresh'd with gall. 
50 rrostrate crosswise let us fall, 

Then with uplifted arms arise. 

Tliat God may with us sympathize ! 

Jesus, by thy titles free, 

From our bondage set us free. 
55 By this warning man abide, 

God shall surely punish pride. 

Christ in heaven, wliere he commands, 

Thusaddress'd his angel hands: 

Christendom dishonours me, 
60 Therefore her ruin I decree. 

Then Mary thus implored her son, 

I'ennnce to Thee, loved Child, be done, 

That she repent, be mine the care. 

Stay then tny wrath, and liear mj' pravor. 
Co Woe, usurer] though thy wealth abound, 

For every ounce tliou makest, a pound 
Shall sink thee to the heil profound. 

Yc murderers, and ye robbers all. 

The wrath of God on you shall tall ; 
70 Mercy ye ne'er to others show, 

Jlone shall ye find, but endless wne! 
Had it not been for our contrition. 
All Christendom had met perdition. 
Satan liath bound her in his chain, 
75 Mary hath loosed lier bonds apain. 
Benignant Michael, blessed saint. 
Guardian of souls, receive our plaint. 
Through thy Almighty Maker's death, 
Preserve us from the hell beneath. 

— (Ueckcr's "Epidemics of the Middle Ages.") 


arose, professing to take upon themselves the sins of the people, 
■which they endeavoured to expiate, and to appease the wrath 
of the Almighty by processions, self-scourging, and abase- 
ment ; the unhappy Israelites were accused of poisoning the 
springs, and tainting by their spells and sorcery the heavy and 
foggy air ; and in Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and 
France, they were dragged, with any Christian who might 
have harboured them, before ignorant and bigoted tribunals, 
and condemned, without mercy or discrimination, to imprison- 
ment, exile, tortures, and the stake. The only countries in 
which they could safely seek a refuge were Poland, whose 
enlightened monarch, Boleslaf V. had, in 1278, granted them 
liberty of conscience, and where now the king, Casimir the 
Great, allowed them to shelter their heads; Eussia; the duchy 
of Lithuania, under its heathen prince, Olgherd, where they 
are still more numerous than in any other part of Europe ; 
and in the tottering empire of the East. 

The plague had raged less fiercely in Germany than in any 
other counbry on the continent ; but in Italy * it made fright- 
ful ravages, and it is supposed to have carried off 25,000,000 
of the inhabitants of Europe, a fourth part of the whole peo- 
ple. In the south and west of Asia, according to the report 
made to Pope Clement, at Avignon, it destroyed 23,000,000 
inhabitants, in China 14,000,000 ; besides multitudes, whose 
exact numbers are unknown, throughout Mongolia and the 
north of the continent, and the more remote and less visited 
provinces in India, and the extremities of the East.t 

♦ During this terrible visitation, "the hearts of all the inhabitants," says Boccaccio, 
speai£ing of Florence, "were closed to feelings of hnraanity. They fled from the sickand 
all that belonged to them, hoping by these means to save themselves. Others shut them- 
selves up in their houses, with their wives, their children, and households, living on the 
most costly food, but carefully avoiding ail excess. None were allowed access to them ; 
no intelligence of death or sickness was permitted to reach their ears; and they spent 
their time in singing and music, and other pastimes. Others carried their precaution still 
further, and thought the surest way to escape death was by flight. One citizen fled from 
another, a neighbour from his neighbours, a relation from his relations ; and in the end, 
so completely had terror extinguished every kindlier feeling, that the brother forsook the 
brother, the sister the sister, the wife her husband, and at last even the parent his own 
offspring, and abandoned them unvtsited and unsoothed to their fate. Many breathed 
their last without a friend to soothe their dying pillow; instead of sorrow and mourning 
appeared indiiference, frivolity, and mirth, this being considered, especially by the 
females, as conducive to health." The Pope Clement VI., though he caused great relief 
to be afforded to the sick, shut himself up while the plague lasted at Avignon, and for- 
bade all who had been in reach ofthe contagion to approach him. In Germany, the mer- 
chants and other rich inhabitants of her cities gave their treasures to churches and 
monasteries, though It was fi-eauently reftised by the monks, who feared leat they should 
receive the dreaded infection with the gold ; but, on tlieir closing their gates against these 
penitents, it was often cast to them over the convent waUs.^See Keeker's "Epidemics of 
the Middle Ages." 

t Hecker's "Epidemics ofthe Middle Ages." 


^ctgn of gltTOtrias gnnskai— ^ip^ak— l^'itljuania— ^aflk of 
tijt ^Qojt— Postofij Iranix5>— PoiTSsterus— Itiljeratari;— ^olatiit 
— 9lp Stxitonk ^nigljts. 

As when the Tartar from his Eussian foe, 
By Astmcaii, over the snowy plaius 
Kiitives. — Milton's '• Paradise Lost." 

On the death of Simeon the Proud, bis brother Ivan, sur- 
named the Handsome, succeeded him ia Moscow, while the 
princes of Tver, Suzdal or Vladimir, and Riazan, each 
assumed the style and title of Grand Prince ; though Ivan 
alone had received it from their common chief, the Mongul 
khan. During bis short and feeble reign, in which the 
affairs of the state were entirely conducted by the metropolitan 
Alexis, the empire again became the prey of internal dissen- 
sions and civil war ; and on bis death, in 1358, Demetrius 
Constantinovitz of Vladimir received from TJrus, the Khan 
of Kipzak, the supreme authority, and Alexis became regent 
of Moscow, and guardian of its young prince, Demetrius 
Ivanovitz. His throne was assailed by the Lithuanians in 
the west, and the princes of Tver in the north, between 
whom and their uncle a fierce war was long waged, until 
the latter, by the marriage of his daughter with Olgherd ot 
Lithuania, obtained the support of this powerful ally ; and, 
by Lis assistance, not only possessed himself of the crown of 
Tver, but three times, in 1368, in 1370, and in 1373, 
appeared in arms with his son-iu-Iaw, and their united forces, 
before the gates of Moscow. The walls of this city were now 
separated by only a very few miles from the territories of 
the Lithuanian chief, who had lately extended his frontiers 
as far as the border town of Mojaisk. But the small and 
endangered provinces of Muscovy were ably defended during 
the troubled minority of Demetrius, by Alexis, who resisted 
all the solicitations of the Grand Prince to remove his epis- 


copal see again to Vladimir ; and while he assiduously 
laboured by his policy and arms to reduce the other princes 
of Eussia under the sway of Moscow, was frequently called 
upon to act as mediator between these same princes and 
their domestic adversaries ; particularly in the case of Con- 
stantine, the brother of Demetrius of Yladimir, who, 
rebelling against his sovereign, had seized upon Nijni Novo- 
gorod. This city was laid under an interdict by Alexis ; but 
shortly after, Demetrius, having rebelled against the khan, 
and released from a long captivity among the Tartars, a 
prince of the house of Tver, whom the regent of Moscow 
subsequently seized, and retained as a hostage, to ensure the 
peace of his father's principality, the Grand Prince was 
defeated, and deposed by the Tartar monarch ; and in 1362, 
the young prince Dmitri, or Demetrius, having secured by 
his conquests and treaties the fealty of all the other Russian 
dukes, took upou himself the title of Grand Prince without 
any appointment from the Tartar sovereign. This was the 
first time that a Russian chief had ascended the throne, 
independently of the interference of the Monguls, since 
the conquest of the empire by the armies of Batvl Khan. 

But the power of Kipzak was now declining, and her 
princes were too much occupied in preserving their own 
crowns, to interest themselves, as they had hitherto done, in 
the succession and civil wars of the Russian chiefs. Rival 
claimants of the sceptre divided the land, and the people, and 
the kingdom had long been a prey to their fierce contentions 
and endless feuds. In 1361, the Khan Berdibeg was 
assassinated in Serai, by a conspiracy of his nobles and 
courtiers, and Naurus, or Urus, a scion of the house of 
Zingis, ascended the throne ; and from this time till the 
extinction of the descendants of the great Mongul conqueror 
in Kipzak, by the arms of the still more formidable and 
victorious Tamerlane, their empire was rent asunder by 
domestic feuds, and distracted by civil war. The reigns of 
the succeeding princes were short and bloody, and unmarked 
by any political occurrence or event of any interest beyond 
the borders of their own sandy plains, and for a few years 
their territories were divided into several khanates ; the 
most powerful of which were Kazan, Astrakhan, the Crimea, 
and Yaik, or the district on the TJral, until they were all 
again united by Mamai, a powerful Tartar chief. Some years 


before the accession of this prince, Demetrius had refused to 
pay the customary tribute to Kipzak, and a barbarous desul- 
tory war was carried on for nearly twenty years between the 
Tartar and Russian states. 

In 1380, Olgherd of Lithuania died, and though, since his 
marriage with a princess of Tver, he had professed the Greek 
religion, and caused his sons to be baptized and educated in 
that faith, himself attending the service in the Christian 
churches when residing at Kiof, or the other cities which he 
had wrested from the Russian empire ; he had still been 
accustomed, when in his native provinces, to sacrifice to the 
national idols, and his body was burned on a funeral pile, 
with all the ceremonies and pagan rites of his ancestors.* He 
left several sons, of whom the fourth, Jagellio, who had 
relapsed into idolatry, succeeded him as Grand Duke, and 
immediately allied himself with Mamai against the Russian 
states. These had all united their armies to the black flag of 
Demetrius of Moscow, whom fchey had appointed commander- 
in-chief; and, receiving intelligence of the intended junction 
of the forces of the Tartar khan with those of his new ally, 
preparatory to overwhelming the intervening provinces, with 
the idea of totally extirpating the Christian religion, and 
rendering the country a barren desert ; they antioij^ated this 
manoeuvre, by marching to intercept the Monguls before 
they should have crossed the Don. On his route, Demetrius 
was joined by every Russian capable of bearing arms ; boys 
and aged men seized the javelin or bow, and hastened to join 
the gallant army, which they fondly hoped was destined to 
free their country for ever from the odious yoke of the Tar- 
tars ; while the women bore their armour, and urged them 
to maintain their ground to the last ; nor rest till the 
CIn-istian banners floated over those of the Moslem, that had 
so long waved supreme throughout the land ; and four hun- 
dred thousand Russians assembled on the banks of the Don, 
anxiously watching for some sign or appearance of the enemy. 
But after a few days had passed without obtaining any intelli- 
gence of the foe, Demetrius gave his soldiers the option of 
remaining where they were, and awaiting the probable attack 
of the Tartars, or advancing at once, crossing the river, and 
encountering them first on their own fields. Not a man 
dissented from the general wish to adopt the latter alternative ; 

* Krasinskrs " Toland." 


and, having received a blessing and absolution fro in tbe 
priests and metropolitans who had accompanied thetn, and 
■who promised the crown of martyrdom to all who should faU 
in the war — a war which they affirmed was sacred, as it had 
been undertaken in the cause of their country and faith — ^the 
whole army passed over a bridge of boats to the opposite 
shores of Kipzak, and immediately after, their prince caused 
the bridge to be destroyed, to cut off all hope of escape in 
case of defeat. On the 8th of September, 1380, the Russians 
met Mamai, with an army of seven hundred thousand Tar- 
tars, upon the plains of Koulitoff, and both sides immediately 
engaged with the utmost fury ; the fight commencing early 
in the morning, and continuing far into the night. Fresh 
battalions came on, and relieved those exhausted in the front ; 
now the advantage appeared to be with the Russians, now 
with the Tartars. Wherever the arrows flew thickest, or the 
contest appeared to be ui-ged most despeiutely, there was 
Demetrius leading on his men, and inspiring them with con- 
fidence by his own courage, self-possession, and commands. 
At length, when the overwhelming number of the Tartars 
appeared to have almost broken the Russian force, of whom 
few, and those scattered and at distances, were left alive upon 
the field, Demetrius, who was severely wounded, heading a 
detachment, consisting principally of aged and enfeebled 
men, whom he had left hitherto in charge of the baggage, and 
to guard his army from an attabk in the rear, fell upon the 
Tartars at an unexpected moment, when they considered 
their triumph almost complete j and, causing them to waver, 
the other battalions rallied, and united in making one grand 
charge, which drove the enemy in haste from the field, and 
gave the Russians a decided victory. More than two hun- 
dred thousand Tartars were left dead upon the plain, and the 
rest of their army dispersing over the country, Mamai escaped 
almost alone, and under cover of the darkness of night. He 
subsequently again rallied his forces, but was attacked and 
sustained a dreadful defeat near Mariopol, from an army of 
Tartars commanded by an exiled Toushi prince. Flying 
to Kaffa, he perished a few months later by an assassin's 
hand, and was succeeded on the throne of Kipzak by the 
young Toktamish, the rightful heir to the kingdom, who 
was a son of the deposed and assassinated Khan Urus, and 
only reigned to complete his oouutry's fall. So enormous 


was the loss of the Russians in the battle of the Don, that it 
took the survivors eight days to bury the dead ; but the 
Tartars who fell never received the rites of sepulture, their 
bodies being left to decay upon the field, as a prey to the 
vultiire and the wolf. As soon as the news of this victory 
had spread throughout the empire, the whole people indulged 
in the most extravagant joy. The retribution of Kalka ; it 
was the first time that they had ever signally defeated their 
tyrants in an engagement of any note ; and they celebrated 
it as the commencement of their independence, and the fall 
of the Mongul power, giving the Prince of Moscow the title 
of Donskoi, or of the Don, in commemoration of his victory, 
a name by which he is always distinguished in history. 

But in 1382, the khanates of the Volga and Don having 
again united under Toktamish, they once more prepared to 
invade the territories of Russia ; and whilst Demetrius was 
absent from his capital, which he had left under the command 
of his nephew, and was endeavouring to assemble a sufficient 
force to oppose them in the field, as his army had been 
almost completely destroyed at Koulikofii the Tartars made 
a sudden and unexpected descent upon the frontier provinces 
of the empire, and proceeded as far as Moscow, which had 
been strongly fortified with ramparts and iron gates. But 
the absence of their prince, and the terrific accounts which 
they received of the massacres and devastation perpetrated by 
the foe on their route, so discouraged and alarmed the inha- 
bitants, that many of them, with the metropolitan Cyprian, 
abandoned their native city ; and the small garrison that 
remained having been induced by their faithless enemies to 
capitulate under solemn assurances of pardon, had no sooner 
opened their gates and admitted the Tartars, than every 
house was delivered up by Toktamish to the flames, and 
every living person whom they encountered was murdei'ed by 
his followers in the streets, few having been able to effect a 
hasty escape. After this destruction of Moscow, the khan 
obtained from the Grand Prince the repayment of the tribute, 
from which Demetrius had exonerated his country at the ex- 
pense of so much blood ; and he also exacted a ransom for the 
bodies of those Russians who had fallen, that their friends might 
bestow upon them Christian bui-ial. Toktamish returned 
to Kipzak, and the impoverished boyards and citizens 
commenced rebuilding Moscow ; but they received many 


important privileges from Demetrius, as a recompence for tli6 
loss they had sustained from the enemy, and as some acknow- 
ledgment for their patriotic endeavours to avert and sustain 
the war. It was a part of the policy of this prince to create 
a powerful nobility, to counteract the influence of the mer- 
chants and commoners in the state ; so that on his deathbed, 
when addressing them, and requesting their services and 
support for his young and inexperienced son, he observed — 
" IJnder my reign you were not subjects and boyards, but 
really Russian princes." He also abolished the office of 
mayor or tysiatsky of Moscow — a dignitary elected by the 
common people — upon some dispute that arose between him 
and the boyards, and placed the municipal government of 
the city entirely in the hands of the nobles and priests. The 
metropolitan Alexis being dead, and his successor Cyprian 
having abandoned Moscow on the approach of the Tartars, 
for the court of the allies of the invaders, and the deadly 
enemies of Demetrius, the treacherous princes of Tvex-, the 
Grand Prince appointed another priest to fiU his place, and 
in consequence various disputes arose amongst the highest 
dignitaries of the Russian Church. Three priests at one 
time assumed the title of primate, and, though they all 
pleaded their rights at Constantinople before the Byzantine 
patriarch, the matter was not peaceably arranged till one 
of the claimants having died, and another being detained a 
prisoner by Vladimir the son of Olgherd, and Prince of Kiof ; 
the thii-d, who was Cyprian, remained undisputed possessor 
of the office, and in 1390 was honourably received upon 
his entrance into Moscow by its Grand Prince. But Deme- 
trius himself had been unable to overcome the disasters and 
humiliation with which he had seen his country and throne 
overwhelmed during the last few years of his reign ; and, a 
prey to melancholy and despair, he expired on the 19th of 
May, 1388, at the age of thirty-eight, and was buried in the 
Church of the Archangel in Moscow. He was succeeded by 
his son Vassili or Bazil, who was subsequently confirmed on 
his throne by a decree of the khau Toktamish, and assumed 
on his coronation the title of Czar ; and to whom, on his 
deathbed, Demetrius gave many injunctions to govern with 
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In 1392 Eoris, the son of Demetrius' III., and the last 
prince of Vladimir or Suzdal, gave up his kiugdom toEazil,upou 
the urgent representations of his nobles, who wished to unite 
all the Eussian states in one firm and powerful empire, and 
entered a monastery where he ended his days in peace. 
Ahout the same time his example was followed by Oleg, 
Prince of Eiazan, who, after the invasion of Toktamish, had 
become reconciled to Demetrius, arid had for some years lived 
in close alliance with Moscow. Michael, Prince of Tver, so 
long the rival and deadly foe of Demetrius, also died a few 
months after in a monastery ; and with him closed the power 
of his province, though it retained for some years longer a 
nominal independence. 

During the reigns of Demetrius and Bazil. many celebrated 
monasteries were erected throughout the north of the empire, 
and under the direction of the primate ; and several missions 
were undertaken by the zealous priests and monks, for con- 
verting the Laplanders and more remote tribes of Russia. 
The cloisters of Solovetskoi were erected by St. Zosimus on 
an island, near the mouth of the Dwina, in the White Sea ; 
those of the Assumption by a monk, Lazarus, on the shores 
of the Onega Lake; while in Moscow, Eudocia, the widow of 
Demetrius, founded the convent of the Ascension in the 
Kremlin, and became its first abbess. In 3398,* the Greek 
emperor, Manuel, sent to request some assistance from the 
Eussian princes, either in forces or treasure, against the 
invasion of the Turks, who had long threatened the empire, 
and even the very city of Constantinople. Twenty thousand 
roubles, (£l7,000)-i- were collected by the priests from the 
monasteries and ecclesiastical revenues, and forwarded to 
Byzantium, to whom they owed all the support they could 
furnish, as from her Eussia first received the Christian 
faith. It was accepted with gratitude, and acknowledged by 
a present in return, from the emperor, of many miraculous 
images, ecclesiastical books, and sacred bones and other relics 
of saints. During the Mongul domination, literature appears 
to have been but little pursued, and to have made small pro- 
gress in Russia, though many heroic songs and poems of 
that period now exist ; for the people solaced themselves under 
their- slavery and oppression, with recounting the ancient 
deeds of their heroes in more favourable times, and the ex- 

* MouravlefT's " Clmrcli of Russia." f riaton. 


ploits of Vladimir and other national wariiors always form- 
ed a fertile topic for their poets.* The deacon Ignatius, who in 
1389 had accompanied Pimen, one of the claimants for the 
dignity of primate, on his journey to Constantinople to plead 
his cause before the patriarch, has left a detailed description 
of his visit ; and Sophronius, a priest of Riazan, towards the 
end of the fourteenth century wrote a poetical history of the 
invasion and defeat of the Tartara at the battle of the Don ; 
but these appear to be the only works of any note that were 
written during the course of the fourteentli century. In the 
meanwhile, Poland, under its able and successful monarch, 
Casimir the Great, had been rapidly increasing in power and 
political importance. According to the expression of an old 
Polish chronicle, he found his kingdom, at his accession, built 
of wood, and left it converted into stone. He attracted 
settlers from abroad, particularly the oppressed and perse- 
cuted Jew^s, and greatly increased by this means the popu- 
lation of Poland ; and, by promoting industry and commerce, 
left his finances in so flourishing a state, that he and his 
successor were justly considered the most wealthy and 
opulent monarchs of their time. At the marriage of his 
granddaughter, Elizabeth of Pomeranio, with the emperor 
Charles IV. at Cracow, he entertained the thi-ee foreign 
potentates of Hungai-y, Denmark, , and Cyprus, with the 
greatest wealth and magnificence ; 'and in 1347 proclaimed a 
code of laws, of which the chief object was the protection of 
the peasantry against the gi'owing oppression of the nobles, 
who bestowed upon him, among themselves, for that reason, 
the contemptuous appellation of the peasants' king.t Leaving 
no sons, he had secured the succession of the throne, before 
his death in 1370, to his nephew, Louis of Hungary ; but 
this choice proved disastrous to Poland, as the new king was 
entirely occupied with the afiiiirs of Hungary and Naples, 

* "At the present dfty,"8ay8 a modern writer, "Knssian sonss are Innumerable. 
It i9 said that In one Kovemment alone^ as many as eight thousand have been 
collected. The deacons of the Russian cliurch are said to be ttie chief popuiareditors, 
Russian songs are either rhymed or unrhymed, or, in what seems to me the most com- 
mon form, with riiyines introduced here and there. Generaliy the metres are trochaic ; 
and, though the subjects are various, love and melancholy seem to be the prevaiiing 
teatnres. A song on one of KutusolT's battles begins: — 'It is by no hailstorm, or shower, 
tliat the harvest hath been laid low on tile broad plain ; there hath been acuttingdown, 
tliere hath been a grapple with sharp awords, with the points of daggers.' There are 
camp songs sung about the fi ren, or songs of sentries on watch, or those wiiich celebrate 
bnttfe'4, the storm of towns, and death on the field ot honour : ' Go, my horse, my trusty 
Fteed," is the first line of one of them ; and some are stories ft-om the old times of Russia. 
Generaliy I have been struck, in the lyrics of so devout a people, by the absence of allusions 
to religion. "—Uussla by a recent Traveller. 

t Krasinslti's " History' of roland." 


where his younger brother, Andrew, had been married to its 
celebrated queen, Joanna, and was afterwards murdered at 
her instigation ; and he only visited Poland twice during a 
reign of twelve years. But on his death, in 1382, he left 
the crov/n of the latter kingdom to his youngest daughter 
Hedwige, or ladwiga; who in 1386 married Jagiello, prince 
of Lithuania, and thus united this powerful duchy to Poland. 
Casimir was the last of the dynasty of the Piast and absolute 
kings of Poland, which had sat on the throne since 882, 
when ■ the Poles had elected a Piast, or common peasant, 
for their prince ; but under Hedwige, the government 
assumed a more constitutional form, and the crown was 
rendered entirely dependent for its supplies upon an assembly 
of nobles convoked for this purpose, who now first began to 
acquire that unbalanced power which in later times became 
the principal cause of the final destruction of the state. At 
the time of his marriage, Jagiello adopted the Roman Catho- 
lic faith, which from henceforth gradually replaced the Greek 
church and mode of worship throughout Lithuania ; and the 
united kingdoms were still further strengthened by the 
destruction of the power and influence of their warlike and 
inveterate enemies, the Teutonic knights, who never recover- 
ed from the serious defeats they sustained at the hands of this 
prince. They had long been more dangerous and hostile to 
their Christian neighbours than to the idolaters among 
whom they had settled, with the intention to convert them 
to their own religion, or to exterminate all who resisted from 
the face of the earth ; but in 1331 they had suffered a ter- 
rible loss in the battle of Polowce, gained over them by 
Vladislaf Lokietck, or the Short, king of Poland, and since 
that time had been only supported by the continual re- 
inforcements of adventurous warriors, fitted out and com- 
manded by the chivalrous nobles of Western Europe. These, in 
1348, penetrated into White Russia, and stormed and cap- 
tured the strong town of Isborosk ; and in 1377 the knights, 
accompanied by Duke Albert of Austria, laid waste the 
provinces of Aragellen and Grodno, and returned after a 
successfvil foray to their capital, Konigsberg. Again, in the 
year 1390, the Earl of Derby, afterwards Henry IV., with a 
band of English nobles, attacked Vilna, but was repulsed 
with great slaughter from before the town ; and in 1410 the 
Teutonic order received a death-blow to its power and influ- 


ence ia the Polish territories on the field of Grunwald, from 
the forces of Lithuania and Poland, their grand master, Uric 
von Jungingen, being left among the slain, with the flower 
of his nobility and knights.* After this defeat they retired 
into Prussia, and sank into political insignificance, being 
deprived of all their fortresses and possessions in the Russian 
and Polish dominions by the treaty of Thorn, in 1466 ; and 
in 1524, when the Reformation spread over the north of 
Prussia, the form of their establishment became changed from 
an ecclesiastical proselyting order, to a Protestant temporal 
state. They had been separated since the treaty of Thorn 
from their brethren, the Livonian Knights of the Sword, who 
still ruled the Baltic provinces, and these remained, till their 
extinction in the same century, a separate community and 

* Krasinski's " History of Poland." 

t The following la an oUe to Kiof, or KiefF, by the Russian poet, Ivan Kozlaff, (translated 
byT. B. Shaw, B.A.)— 

" O Kieff ! where religion ever seemeth 

To light existence in our native land, 
Where, o'er Petcherskoi's dome, the bright cross pleamcth 

Like soKie fair star that still in heaven doth stand; 
Where, like a golden sheet around thee streameth 

Thy plain and meads, that far away expand; 
And ny thy hoary wall, with ceaseless motion. 
Old Dnieper's foaming swell sweeps on to ocean. 

How oft to thee in spirit have I panted, 

O, holy city ! country of my heart; 
How oft In visions have I gazed enchanted 

On thy fair towers — a sainted thing thou art; 
By Lavra's walls, or Dnieper's waves, nor wanted 

A spell to draw me fVom the life apart. 
In thee mycountry I behold victorious. 
Holy and beautiful, and great and glorious. 

The moon her soft ray on Petcherskol poureth, 

its domes are shinlnff iu the river's wave, 
The soul the spirit of the pastadoreth. 

Where sleeps beneath thee many a holy grave. 
Vladimir's shade above thee calmly soareth. 

Thy towers speak of the sainted and the brave ; 
Afar I gaze, and all In dreamy splendour. 
Breathes of the past a spell sublime and tender. 

There fought the warriors in the field of glory. 

Strong in the faith, against their country's foe ; 
And many a royal flower, yon palace hoary, 

In virgin loveliness hath seen to blow. 
And Bayan sang to them the story. 

And secret rapture in their breast did glow. 
Hark! midnight sounds; that brazen voice is dying, 
A day to meet the vanish'd days is Qylng ; 

Where are the valiant, the resistless lances. 

The bands, that were as lightning when they waved 
Where are the beautiflil, whose sunny glances 

Our fathers with such potency enslaved? 
Where is the bard whoso song no more entrances ? 

Ah! that deep bell hath answer'il what I crived; 
And thou alone by these cravo walls. O river! 
Munnurest the Dnieper still, and flows for over. 



From A.D. 1336 xo A.D. 1530.— A.Sf. 6844 TO A.M. 7038.— A.H. 755 To A.H. 965. 

Chiefs of the Uzbek race, 
'\^''aving their heron crests with martial grace, 
Turkomans countless as their flocks led forth, 
AVild warriors of the purple hills, and those 
Who dwell beyond tlie everlasting snows 
Of Hindoo Kosh, in stormy freedom bred, 
Their fort the rock, their camp the torrent's bed. 



*(iiinutr §£k or f smerlaree — pis ronqnests — f olitamisl^ — Bitolli 
— ^ttlgaria — p:nsM% 

By one mairs crime ; by one man's lust of power, 
Unpeopled : naked plains and ravaged fields 
Succeed to smiling cities, and the fruits 
Of peaceful olive, luscious fig, and vine.— More. 

So great an ignorance prevailed in England, Germany, 
and France, during the middle ages -with regard to the 
Eastern nations of Europe, that a canon of Bremen, writing 
in the year 1010, describes Sweden and Norway as being 
two vast realms unknown to the civilized world, and gravely 
asserts that in Russia the natives possessed only one eye and 
one leg ! Towards the end of the fourteenth century, his 
countrymen appear to have made comparatively but little 
advance in their knowledaje of the latter empire ; and, while 
the tribes of the Toushi Monguls, who had settled in Kipzak, 



1370. Louis of Huneary. 


:.?41. Joiin Cautacuzene. 

1383. HedwlBeandJaghellon. 1S40. 

Wnldemar IIL 

3355. Jolin l^aleologus. 

1382. Jaghellon. 



1301. Manuel Faioulogus. 



Margaret L 


1340. Simon the Proud. 


1327. Edward III. 

1353. Ivan It 


Clement VI. 

1377. Eicliard II. 

13(12. Demetrius Don.altoi. 


Innocent VL 

131)3. Heniy IV. 

1380. VassUl Dmitrovltz. 


Urban V. 


tJroRory XL 




Urban Vl. 

1328. Philip le Bel of Valois. 

1341. David IL rest 


Boniface IX. 

1350. John. 

1371. Robert 11. 

1364. Charles V. 

1390. Kobert IlL 


1380. UharleaVI. 







1360. Pedro tlic Cruel. 



1347. Charles IV. 

1368. Henry Trastaniare. 



1378. Wenzel of Bohemia. 

1379. John I. 



1399. FrederickofBrunswic* 

. 1390. Henry lU. 


Timur Oscha. 

1400. Bobert, PalatiDO of tlie 







1357. Pedro the Ciuel. 




1307. Ferdinand L 



1342. Louis I. 

1385. John L 


Toktamish restored. 

1383. Mary. 


Timur Cotluc or Mellk. 

1389. Mary and Sigismund. 



Toktamish restored. 

1318. Magnus III. 

1308. Tlniur Cotluc restored. 


1365. Albert. 


Schatlbeg, or Boulet. 

1333. Oasimir the Great. 

13B7. Margaret 


were chiefly prevented from oyerwlielming tlie whole conti- 
nent of Europe by the rigour of the Muscovite climate, and 
the extent of her snowy and barren wastes which they must 
have crossed, as well as by the defensive strength of Poland, 
and the constant resistance of that warlike and restless state, 
the plains beyond the Vistula were tracts utterly unknown 
to the geographers and statesmen of the west. Shut out 
by the Tartars of the Ukraine and the Crimea, as Kiof and 
ISTovogorod were then, from their former trade and commu- 
nication with Greece, that erupire appears to have remained 
totally indifferent to the unhappy Russia's fortunes and fate ; 
besides, Constantinople was herself now distracted by bar- 
barous invaders from Asia and civil war, and the last 
successors of Caesar were too much occupied in preserving 
their own throne from the Turks,, to heed the policy or revo- 
lutions of a nation which they considered too insignificant 
and remote to possess at any time either influence or interest 
in the events of Southern Europe. 

But, towards the middle of the fourteenth century, a 
terrible shock and revolution was preparing in the East — one 
of those mighty conquerors that at various times have 
appeared in Asia, and before whose tremendous exploits the 
victories of Csesar, of Charlemagne, and of Napoleon, sink 
into comparative insignificance and obscurity, was about to 
enter upon the scene and play an important part in the 
world's history. An obscure scion of the imperial house of 
Zingis Khan, triumphing over the machinations of his 
enemies, the faithlessness of his friends, and the jealousy and 
treachery of his competitors and allies, and profiting by the 
anarchy which then prevailed among the thrones of Western 
Asia, from the son of a petty chieftain became the arbiter 
of that great continent ; and carried his arms over regions 
more extensive than any other general or prince who has 
yet appeared upon the earth* — the area of his empire 
exceeding even that of his celebrated predecessor Zingis. 
This was Timur Bek,t or Tamerlane, as he is usually desig- 
nated : the ingratitude of Toktamish, the khan of Kipzak, 
who, by the influence and forces of Timur had been reseated 
upon his father's throne, brought him first into Europe ; and, 
by his victories over Bajazet and the Ottoman Turks in Asia 

• Creasy'a " Ottoman Turks." 

t neg, ui'Bek, Is Ltie Tartui- fur iii^ince, aud Timur means Iron. 


Minor, he probably, says Gibbon, retarded the impending 
fall of Constantinople for at least fifty years.* 

The throne ■which Zagatai, the son of Zingis, had founded 
in Transoxiana, where he ruled over part of Southern 
Siberia, including the country of the Igours, to Cashgar and 
Balkh, on the borders of Persia and Thibet, had become 
vacant in 13-1:6, through the death of the last of his de- 
scendants, the khan Kazan.t on the field of battle, while 
warring against Mir Oazagan, the sultan of a Turcomanian 
horde ; and the latter after crowning and deposing in suc- 
cession several native chiefs, was himself assassinated in 1357. 
The troubles that arose in the kingdom, through the mis- 
government of his son Abdallah, and the contentions that 
prevailed among the numerous princes, and tomans,:}: who 
boasted a relationship or connection, however distant, with 
the imperial dynasty of the Monguls, afibrded occasion and 
space, for want of which in another country, or at another 
time, his name might for ever have remained in obscurity, 
to the elevation of Timur, who at the age of twenty-four, 
came forward as the deliverer of his country, when threat- 
ened with destruction by the invasion of the khan of a 
powerful tribe of Kalmucks, and endeavoured to restore 
peace and unity among his distracted countrymen. || 

The fourth ancestor of Zingis, and ninth of Tamerlane, 
were brothers ; and, according to a tradition of the Tartars, 
it had been agreed between them, that while the descendants 
of the elder should always fill the oflSce of khan, those of the 
younger shouldbe their ministers and generals ; and one of 
these, Carashar Nevian, had been the first vizier of Zagatai, 
whose posterity being now extinct, the country was reduced 
to subjection by the khans of Turcomania, a former depen- 
dency of Zagatai ; and these opposed in their turn by their 
rivals, the Greta or Kalmucks in the northern districts, both 
nations cruelly taxed and oppressed their new subjects. § 

Timur was bom on the 9th of April, 1336, in the village 
of Sebzuar, about forty miles south of Samarcand, and where 
his father, the Emir Tragai, was the hereditary chief, and 

» Gibbon's "Decline and Fail of the Bontan Emnlre." 

t Tills Kazan must not be contounded witii tlie Mongal khan Kazan of Persia. 

I Tomans were ciiiefs of small districts, wiiich they wore bound to yoveni accordinu 
to the laws of Zingis, and furnish tlielr sovereign, when requlrc'd, with a troop of 10,000 

II De La Croix's Transintlon of Shorefeddin All's " Hist of Timur Bolt." 
§ Gibbon's '• Uecliue aud Fall of the Roman Empire." 


commanded a regiment of horse.* At twelve years old lie 
sensed as a soldier in many desperate engagements, and suli- 
sequently passed nine years as a traveller in foreign lands, 
where he minutely observed the character and laws, and 
various modes of government, obtaining all the information 
and instruction within his reach ; and at every period of his 
life he was a diligent reader of history, poeti-y, philosophy, 
and works on science and art. Educated as a Mahometan, 
he lr)ecame ultimately an intolerant and fanatical supporter 
of the doctrines of the prophet ; but his disposition appears 
to have been originally neither unfeeling nor cruel, till it was 
hardened by a military life, long engagement in a barbarous 
warfare, and the most unrestrained and unscrupulous ambi- 
tion. According to the historian Arabshah,t at the middle 
time of life, in appearance he was tall and rather corpulent, 
with long legs, a large head, high forehead, and great strength : 
his eyes full of fire, his complexion fair, with an agreeable 
countenance, and his voice loud and piercing. He had lost 
the use of his right hand from a severe wound he had 
received as early as 1360, in a skirmish with the Turco- 
manian troops ; or, according to some authors, by a fall 
from a battery upon which he had headed an assault, and 
this causing an attack of paralysis, rendered him lame, all hi.s 
life in his right leg ; and, as one of his historians has informed 
us, blind on the same side, which procured him from his 
enemies the nickname of Timur Lenc, or the Lame Timur, 
since corrupted by the Europeans into Tamerlane.f He was 
passionately fond of chess, which he played with unusual 
skill II — of a grave and rigid deportment, he permitted neither 
jesters nor fools to appear before him, and no crime enraged 
him so much as deception, insincerity, or the least appearance 
of an untruth. After he had obtained the imperial crown, 
his signet-ring bore merely this inscription — " Safety consists 
in fair dealing," and his palace was known by the lofty 
appellation of the abode of science and virtue. 

In 1359, his uncle Hadgi Berlas, who had succeeded to the 
emirship of Sebzuar or Kech, the paternal inheritance of 

• Sherefeddin All's "Hist, of Timur Belt" 

+ Arabslmli'a " lilst. of Timur." 

i Kczarlbn. 

II He invented a new system, multiplying the pieces from thirty-one to flflv-slx, and 
thfi squares from a hundred and ten to a hundred and thirty; " but, except in his own 
court, the old game has been considered sufficiently elaborate."— Gibbon's '^Decline and 
fall of the Boman Empire." 


Timiir, on hearing of the approach of the army of the khan 
of the Kalmucks, who threatened his defenceless little dis- 
trict with total desolation, had determined to abandon his 
native province; and, with the few warriors who still rallied 
round him, to take refuge in the country of Khorassan, under 
the ])rotection and in the dominions of the Persian khan. 
With this intent he had proceeded with his nephew and their 
troops as far as the river Gihon ; but the heart of young 
Timur smote him for leaving their unhappy subjects to the 
merciless fury of their enemies, and, perceiviug that his 
country was beset, and overrun on all sides by foes from 
without, torn to pieces by contending factions within, and 
menaced with almost inevitable destruction and slavery, he 
resolved to attempt its rescue by himself joining the forces 
of one of the hostile tribes, and by their assistance succeed 
in emancipating the nation from the rest, for he considered 
that it would be better to submit to one powerful master 
than to be trampled under foot by a thousand minor chiefs. 
While encamped on the banks of the Gihon and preparing 
to cross, Timur entered his uncle's tent, and, communicating 
to him his design, informed him that he should yield to the 
khan of the Kalmucks, and join his troops. "As a kingdom 
without a leader," said he, " resembles a body without a soul, 
I think it right, since you intend to go into Khorassan, that 
I should return to Kech, and, after encouraging the inhabitants 
of that country, go from thence to throw myself at the feet of 
the grand khan and offer him my service ; I will gain ac- 
quaintance with the princes and lords of his court, and strive 
in every way to avert the tempest with which our country is 
threatened, and save from ruin the unfortunate people whom 
God hath put under our care, and of wliom one day he will 
assuredly require of us a strict account." His idea being 
approved by Hadgi Berlas, who, says the Persian historian, 
believed his nephew to be inspired, and predestined to some 
glorious work, Timiu' immediately departed for the Kalmuck 
camp, and being subsequently confirmed by the khan in his 
title of Prince of Kech, lie served for some time with 
their array, and cleared Transoxiana and Turkestan of every 
other hostile force.* Meanwhile, another chief had succeeded 
to his ally among the Kalmucks, and Timur, taking advan- 
tuge of a dispute that arose between himself and the new 
• Slieicfeaaiu Mi's " riislovy orTimiir Bek." ' 


potentate, to break off all connection with tis troops, joined 
a confederacy of native princes, whom he had urged to unite 
in a general walr for independence, and placed himself at their 
head. Frequently reduced to the gi-eatest state of distress, 
he was at one time attacked in the desert by the enemy 
when accompanied by only three horsemen, the r'est, who 
were Carizmians, having deserted their leader ; and, conceal- 
ing his wife in a cave, rushed alone and unsupported upon 
the foe. On another occasion he was taken prisoner with 
his constant companion and brother-in-law, the Emir Hussein, 
by Ali Bey, a treacherous and jealous ally, and confined for 
sixty-one days in a loathsome dungeon ; and again he was 
forced to swim for his life across the Gihon, and wander for 
months as a fugitive in the wilds of the desert. But, persevering 
in the pursuit of his design, he allowed no danger or wounds 
to deter him, and, reassembling his scattered followers, re- 
animated them by his own example and courage, and finally 
succeeded in expelling the Kalmucks from the provinces 
around Samarcand, and driving them back to their own 
barren districts. But finding that the poorest chief who had 
assisted him, now that their country was freed fiom enemies, 
expected to become an independent sovereign, and reign alone 
and supreme in his own village and state ; and well aware 
that such a system would only provoke a renewal of the civil 
war, and another torrent of invaders, the victorious young 
general called a congress of princes and nobles, and proposed 
to elect Kabulshah Aglen, a dervish of the family of Zingis, 
to the dignity of khan. At the coronation of the new 
emperor, Timur received the title of " Saheb Caran,'' the 
Hero of the Age, and released from confinement all the 
princes and officers of the enemy who had been taken 
prisoners in the war. 

But Transoxiana was not destined to remain long in peace ; 
the Kalmucks again invaded the land ; again Timur came 
forward with his faithful bands and defeated them, yet was 
afterwards compelled with his lieutenant, Hussein, to retreat; 
the enemy besieged Samarcand, but he drove them with 
frightful slaughter from before its walls, and ultimately ex- 
pelled their whole army from the province. But when these 
foes had been reduced to take refuge in flight, a still more 
formidable opponent appeared in the field, in the person of 
Hussein, the hitherto constant companion of his dangers aud 


triumphs, -wlio, jealous of tlie increasing power and fame of 
his brother-in-law, took up arms against Timur, and induced 
many to join in the revolt. A coolness had been long grow- 
ing between the two chiefs, but they had remained at peace 
with each other till the death of Olajai Turcan Aga, Timur's 
vnSe, who, combining the most fearless disposition with 
gentleness and amiability, had accompanied her husband and 
brother in most of their expeditions, and was the only bond 
of union that for some time had connected them, as by the 
former she had been tenderly loved. Hussein possessing 
himself of the province of Balkh, with several strongly forti- 
fied cities and fortresses, appointed an insurgent chief to the 
dignity of khan, and marched towards Samarcaud with a 
formidable and well-disciplined force. He was encountered 
half-way by Timur, who, before engaging with the enemy, 
assembled his army and delivered to them the following 
short and singular speech : — " This day, brave soldiers, is a 
(lay of dancing for warriors, the dancing-room of heroes is 
the field of battle, the cries of war are the songs sung and 
danced, and the wine that is drunk is the blood of the 
enemy." They then attacked and completely routed the fol- 
lowers of Hussein, compelling them to flee to the deserts; 
but, nevertheless, a few months afier the insurgent chief had 
so efficiently reinforced his scattered troops as to renew the 
contest, and the war was continued on each side with re- 
doubled rage and violence. At length, having been defeated 
in many battles, his fortresses besieged, and his forces totally 
dispersed, Hussein was taken prisoner, and led trembling 
before his injured conqueror ; but Timur r'eceived his cap- 
tive most courteously, granting him his release on condition 
that he should proceed on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and reply- 
ing to a neighbouring sheik, whose brother Hussein had slain, 
and who sent to request Timur to avenge the murder by tak- 
ing his captive's life :—^" Leave him who hath ofiended you 
in the hands of time, for time and fortune will avenge you." * 
According to his Persian historian, Timur shed tears after 
the interview, in which he had parted from his formerly 
dearest friend ; and the sheik, fearing that the remembrance 
of their ancient affection had overcome his prudence and 
anger, and that he had suffered the wretched man to escape 
only to raise another revolt, caused Hussein to be waylaid 

* A quotation from a Persian poet. 


and assassinated in a lonely spot, before lie had proceeded 
many miles on his route. But though the conqueror had 
dealt so leniently with the emir, yet he punished the other 
insurgents with the greatest severity ; two of Hussein's sons 
who had fallen into his hands were burned, and their ashes 
east into the air ; two more fled to India, where they perished ; 
the rebel khan was put to death ; his palace, with that of 
the emir, razed to the ground, and every recollection of the 
rebellion and its chief obliterated and crushed. 

In. 1369, immediately after the suppression of the revolt, 
Timur was unanimously elected to the imperial throne of 
Samarcand by his ofiicers and chiefs; he being at that time 
thirty-three years of age. 

From this period his life, as it had indeed been before, was 
one continued scene of war iand bloodshed. It would require 
too much space to enumerate all the events of the thirty -five 
campaigns in which he swept through Asia in his desolating 
course ; of these, written it is believed from his dictation by 
the hand of his secretary, he has left us a full account in the 
"commentaries of his life" and the "institutions of his 
government." Here, though he manifests some correct ideas 
of the duties of a sovereign, which he tries to prove that he 
had signally fulfilled, he numbers among them the enforce- 
ment and propagation by arms of the Mussulman faith, and 
extensive conquests ; and approves the axiom, that when a 
prince has issued a command, though he becomes sensible it is 
wrong, he ought nevertheless to require its execution, lest 
his authority should be compromised or disregarded. He 
studied in his empire to promote justice and the prosperity 
of his subjects, and nominally employed a council in his 
government, which he conducted, according to the code of 
laws bequeathed by Zingis Khan, in tradition, not writing, to 
his descendants ; and he established officers independent of 
each other, and subject to his will alone, over the various 
provinces of his empire, in the same manner that has usually 
been pursued by powerful sovereigns in the East, and after 
the same system that Napoleon attempted, in later times, to 
introduce into Europe. Though he generally permitted 
criminals to stand a fair trial, his anger occasionally overcame 
his sense of justice, and he would cause those who had offended 
him, abused their trust, or ruled tyrannically, to be beheaded 
without a moment's delay : less guilty political offenders 


•were punished by exile to the deserts of Mongolia, near the 
mountains of Altai, or by degradation from their rank • and 
he never permitted the interest of any private individuals to 
interfere with a public work. Most of the eastern writers, 
dazzled by his victories and fame, and regarding him as the 
champion of their faith, and the zealous follower and defender 
of the precepts and creed of the prophet, extol the liberality 
with which he distributed among bis followers the treasures 
and spoil he had acquired in war, the hospitals and charitable 
institutions that were built by his command, the piety with 
which he rigidly performed all the penances and offices of his 
religion, the lenity of his rule over those of his subjects, who 
peacefully submitted to the rule of his sway, his virtues as a 
relation and friend, and his unfailing and indomitable cour- 
age ; but the historians of the time in Europe shuddered at 
his very name, and reproach him with every infamy and vice, 
from the basest cowardice * and pusillanimity, to the most 
savage and wanton cruelty. Indeed the destruction he created, 
and the horrible massacres committed by his order upon the 
defenceless prisoners whom the fate of war had thrown into 
his power, though his eulogists have attempted to excuse 
them, by alleging political necessity and self-preservation, his 
most bitter enemy could hardly exaggerate ; and if the story, 
so often repeated and believed, of his condemning liis captive 
Bajazet to the confinement of an iron cage, where the un- 
happy prince, by dashing out his brains against the bars, 
shortly terminated his miserable life, has been long since 
exploded and proved to be a mere fable ; yet in Persia, India, 
Georgia, and Kipzak, the atrocities of Timur have been, 
seldom equalled in history, and, considering that the Monguls 
then possessed a comparative degree of civilization, certainly 
never surpassed. 

While Zingis fought ostensibly to establish the doctrine 
of one God, and to root alike from the earth every nation of 
Mahometans, Jews, Christians, and idolaters, and all who 
attempted to exalt any prophet, saint, or lawgiver, to an 
equality or approximation to the one Supreme Being, Timur 
professed to make war alone for the glory and propagation 
of the Mussulman faith, and to spread to the uttermost parts 
of the earth the creed and doctrines of the prophet. His 

* Arabshah accuses him of concpalln? himself in women's clothes, during the engage- 
ment before Fars, though Shereleddin All gives a verj' liiffcrent account. 


army "was governed by the same regulations that had kept' 
in unity and discipline the enormous forces of the first Mon- 
gul conqueror, whose laws and military difrections had been 
rigidly obeyed by his successors, and from whom there is 
not a Tartar chief, between Russia and the walls of Pekin,- 
who does not claim his authority and descent. Every officer 
and soldier was made responsible, under pain of death, for the' 
life and honour of his companions ; courtesy, honesty, and 
justice was required in their intercourse with each other, and; 
capital punishment was inflicted for murder, perjury, and 
the robbery of an ox or a horse. It had also been enjoined 
by Zingis Khan to his successors and descendants, that,; 
when once having undertaken a war, the Monguls should" 
neither give quarter nor peace unless at the humble and 
earnest prayer of a conquered and suppliant enemy; but 
Timur, on his first accession to the imperial throne, showed' 
neither selfish nor immoderate ambition, and only undertook 
liis first foreign war when urged by the necessity of self- 

About the year 1370, the troubles that arose in Kip- 
zak, which had rent that kingdom into several independent 
sovereignties, which each owned a separate khan, compelled 
Toktamish, a prince of the royal house, and the son of the 
assassinated Urus, to yield his father's throne to another 
TJrus, and fly from his country ; and, entreating the protec- 
tion of Timur, he was received by the emperor with the 
greatest kindness, and obtained the command of a province.* 
No sooner was he established in Otrar and Sabran,-j- his 
new government, which, bordering on the shores of the Aral,| 
approached the confines of Kipzak, than Cotluc Bouga, a son 
of the khan of Yaik, or Astrakhan, from which place the exiled 
prince had fled, brought a large army against him ; but 
though he defeated Toktamish, who was left stripped and 
wounded upon the field, he was himself killed in the fight. His 
brother, Touka Kaya, made a vow to revenge his death ; and 
his father sent ambassadors to Timur with a letter, of which 
the following was the purport : — " Toktamish has killed my 
son, and has fled for refuge to you ; you ought to deliver up 

1 » Sherefeddin All's " History of TImnr Bek," 
t Otrar alid Sabran are two cities on th6 Giiion. 

t It is generally supposed that the Aral Sea formed a bay of tlie Caspian : for it is not 
mentioned by any geographer or historian, either of ancient or modern times, till a very 
recent period, aud the isthmus between them is now a mere sandy marsh, Intersected 
with lakes. 


tliis prince, who is my enemy ; if you refuse, I deoLare war 
against you, and there remains nothing more for us to do 
than to meet in the field of battle." To this demand the 
emperor replied — " Toktamish has put himself under my 
protection, and I will defend him. Keturn to Urus Khan 
and inform him, that I not only accept his challeuge, but 
that my preparations are already begun, and my valiant 
soldiers have no other duty than the trade of war. T.hey 
ai-e lions, who, instead of living in forests, have their residence 
in camps and armies." 

The ambassadors of Astrakhan having returned to their 
master, Timur marched to encounter the troops of Kipzak ; 
but the two armies were overtaken by the winter in the 
barren steppes between the Caspian and Samarcand, and re- 
mained for several months within a few leagues of each 
other's quarters, both incapacitated for action by the deep 
snow and excessive cold. But on the approach of spi-ing the 
emperor advanced ; and, having inflicted a signal defeat on 
the enemy's troops, forced him to retire across his borders ; 
after which, Timur, placing his vanguard under the command 
of Toktamish, who acted as a guide, led his forces into Kipzak. 
He captured and pillaged several towns on the frontieiis, and 
slew all the inhabitants ; when, the death of Urus taking 
place, and his eldest son, Touka Kaya, a few months after 
following him to the grave, Toktamish was placed on the 
throne with little opposition, and the emperor returned to 
Samarcand. Again the restored prince was forced to fly 
before the arms of Timur Melik, another son of TJrus ; but, 
owing to the depravity and misconduct of this chief, when 
he had recovered his crown, was again reinstated by the 
Zagataians, and the following year Mamai, the khan of Serai, 
having sustained the terrible defeat at Koulikoff, from 
Demetrius of Moscow, on the shores of the Don, where, after 
the battle, thirteen miles were strewn with the bodies of the 
slain, Toktamish marched an army along its banks and pos- 
sessed himself of the capital, and so again united in one 
empire the divided tribe of Toushi in Kipzak. It was a year 
after this event that he invaded Russia, and burned and 
sacked Moscow, which was defended by a prince of the royal 
family; and, having demanded from the Muscovites a rouble 
fur every eighty of their slaughtered countrymen, upon whom 
they wished to bestow the last solemn funeral rites, the 


boyards ransomed with a sum of three thousand silver roubles 
two hundred and forty thousand of their dead.* 

Persia which, since the death of Abou Said, the last succes- 
sor of Holagon, had been, a prey to dissension and misrule, 
and divided among various minor chiefs, by the unprovoked 
inroad of one of her princes upon Bokhara, and a short and 
fruitless siege of Samarcand, drew upon herself a fearful 
retribution from the Monguls, and Timur descended upon 
her plains with an overwhelming force. Instead of uniting 
for the purpose of mutual defence, each province rashly at- 
tempted to oppose him separately and alone, and the army of 
each was swept like dust from before his troops on their 
advance. Shah Mansour, prince of Fars, whose character is 
stained with the grossest cruelty, and who had caused t the eyes 
of several Persian princes to be put out when, flying from 
before the invaders, they had taken refuge in his state, though 
one of the least powerful, was almost the sole Iranian chief 
who opposed the Monguls vnth ability and energy, and firmly 
resisted their progress. Before Shiraz, with only three or 
four thousand soldiers, he penetrated a battalion of thirty 
thousand Mongul horse, and, bearing down all before him, 
advanced to within a yard of the emperor, who fought in the 
midst. Fourteen guards alone remained around Timur's 
standard, but he fought with the courage of a common 
soldier, and kept his ground with a desperation worthy of a 
struggle for life. Two blows of a scymitar from the hand of 
Mansour fell upon his helmet, but he remained firm as a 
rock ; his followers, reanimated, closed around him, and in a 
few seconds the head of the Shah fell before the stroke of 
Charoc, a youth of seventeen, the youngest son of Timur, who 
presented it on his knees at his father's feet. Every prince 
among the MuzafTers, the family of Mansour, was sentenced 
by the emperor to sufier death, though all the imprisoned 
chiefs whom he found in the dungeons of Fars he treated 
with great kindness ; and after reinstating those in their 
dignity who had been blinded or otherwise maltreated by the 
Shah, he garnished the city of Ispahan with towers of seventy 
thousand human heads. J Then, marching to the shores of the 
Persian Gulf, he threatened the rich island of Ormuz with 

* Hcrberstein " Rerum Muscovltorum." 

t Sherefeddin All's " History of Timur Bek." 

X SliereCeddln All says that many of the MoTipul soldiers, objectinR to slaiishter Mussul- 
nuiiia III cold blood, biou^jht heads from other executioners, and carried them about as it 
Ihey themselves bad assisted in the savage butchery. 


destruction, but spared it upon its immediate submission, and 
the asseut of tbe peaceful inhabitants to an annual tribute of 
six hundred thousand dinars of gold.* While he was engaged 
in this campaign, the inhabitants of Sebzuar were incited by 
their chief, who had been lately appointed by the emperor, to 
raise the standard of revolt. Timur marched against them, 
and, having crushed the rebellion, caused two thousand of the 
unhappy people who had been taken prisoners to be piled 
alive, one upon the other, and built up within a lofty brick 
wall, where they were all left to perish.-}- 

In 1388 Timur invaded Georgia, which, since its conquest 
by the Monguls under Zingis, had suffered every indignity 
and degradation ; and, though it still nominally owned the 
sway of the Tartars, it had incurred their displeasui-e by re- 
fusing to embrace the Mussulman faith, and its people had 
already prepared for a bold and energetic resistance. The 
emperor, according to his custom before entering a new 
country with his army, had. previously sent spies to survey 
the land, who had brought him a faithful report of the strengtli 
of its towns and their garrisons, the fords across its rivers, 
the passes through its mountains, and the roads and tracks 
over its plains. He almost utterly extirpated the peaceful 
Chinese colonists in its northern districts, replacing them by 
Monguls, and drove out the Grenoese, who had planted many 
trading settlements on its coasts, and worked several of the 
mines in Mingrelia, slaying every inhabitant who refused to 
declare himself a Mahometan. It was professedly a holy 
war, and solely for the glory and propagation of the faith of 
the prophet ; and, surrounding Tiflis with their forces, each 
soldier shouting " Allah Akbar," " God is great," the Monguls 
took the city after a firrious assault, and led its prince, Isocrates, 
bound in chains, before their monarch, who granted the captive 
king his life and freedom upon his consenting to renounce his 
religion, and afterwards bestowed upon him a high office ac 
his court. The coat of armour which the Georgian had worn 
during the engagement, and which on his submission he 
presented to the conqueror, was believed by his credulous 
people to have belonged to the Jewish king, David, and to 
have been forged by him in a blacksmith's shop in Judea, 
and was accordingly held in great reverence both by Chi'is- 

* Gibbon'd " Pecline nnd fall of tho Emnnn Empire." 
t SbyrefedJiu All's "Uisiory of Timur iiijlt." 


tians and Mtissulmans, the former of -wlioin bitterly regretted 
its loss. The prince of Shirvan, to propitiate Timur, brought 
him presents to the amount of nine times nine, a sacred 
number among the Tartars ; and, having entirely subdued the 
whole country, the emperor held a grand hunt with his 
princes and nobles among^ the hills not fa* from Tiflis. But 
many of the inhabitants who had fled for refuge to the wilds 
of the Caucasus, were pursued even there by the relentless 
foe, and, having concealed themselves in caves in the most 
secret recesses in the rocks, were discovered, and expelled from 
their hiding-places by soldiers let down with ropes from the 
summits of the crags, who either put them to instant death, 
or drove them chained together from the mountains, and 
afterwards sold them for slaves. The province of Daghestan 
was invaded by an emir of Samarcand, all the natives who 
were Christians slain, and tha worship of the prophet rigor- 
ously enforced throughout that district, where it still prevails, 
the churches and castles of the nobility, and the fortresses and 
villages of the Caucasus, being all pillaged and sacked. The na- 
tions of the Caucasus had long been considered by the Toushi 
khans as a part of the kingdom of Kipzak, though they had 
latterly paid her no tribute, and were virtually free and inde- 
pendent ; and the invasion of that country gave the pretext to 
Toktamish which he had long earnestly desired, to throw off 
his obligations to Timur, and, greatly against the advice and 
entreaties of his wisest counsellors, to declare war with the 
Mongul prince. An emir was sent with a large force against 
him, but sustained a total defeat near Derbend ; and the 
troops of the emperor being required in Persia, where an 
insurrection had broken out.Timur shortly afterwards quitted 
Georgia, and desisted for a time from revenging this repulse 
upon Kipzak. But Toktamish seemied bent upon hastening 
his own ruin ; and, accusing his benefactor of being a base 
usurper, unlawfully wearing a crown that only belonged as a 
sacred and indefeasible right to the direct descendants of the 
emperor Zingis, he penetrated the pass of the Caspian with 
a force of ninety thousand horse, tra'versed the desolated 
Georgia, and advanced on the plains of Persia. While 
Timur was occupied in quelling a revolt in that kingdom, 
and not a prince of the imperial house remained in Transox-r 
iana, Toktamish passed the Gihon, and marched towards 
Samarcand with an army of Russians, Black Bulgarians, and 


Tartar and Cossack troops ; altogether so uumerous, says the 
Persian historian,* " that poets have compared it to the 
leaves on the thickest trees, or the drops of rain in the most 
violent storms." He burned the splendid palace at Zendgi 
Serai, built by the khan Kazan of Zagatai, and pillaged many 
towns on his route; and at this moment the death of a 
favourite daughter of Timur, plunged the emperor into so 
deep a grief that he appeared totally incapable of action, and 
indifferent to his throne and empire's fate. But the entrea- 
ties and representations of his family and officers at length 
roused him to exertion, and induced him to make head 
against the enemy ; and, encoxmtering Toktamish in the 
midst of the wide wastes beyond Bokliara, where the snow 
was so deep that it reached the horses' girths, he inflicted 
upon the army of the rebel a fearful and decisive defeat. 
Passing on, the khan of Kipzak again rallied his force and 
besieged Sabran, but on the approach of the emperor with 
the Zagataians, fled, anid returned to his own dominions 
across the Ural or Yaik. 

Again Timur for a short period desisted in his pursuit of 
the fugitive prince, and despatched an army into Mongolia 
against the Kalmucks, whom his generals followed to their 
most northern and frozen deserts. The campaign was con- 
ducted for five months in the southern regions of Siberia : 
the Monguls passed over barren plains, and found the rafts 
and the bridges that the enemy had used in crossing on the 
dreary shores of the Irtish, and engraved their name and the 
object of their enterprise upon the trees that sheltered its 
banks, but no trace of a human being appeared ; animal and 
vegetable life alike faded from before them, and the army 
subsisted on roots, or the scanty productions of a daily chase. 
At length, having justified the relinquishment of the pursuit 
by having reached, as they averred, the dwelling of the sable 
and the ermine, the land of perpetual daylight, where no 
true Mahometan could dwell, as he would be forced to dis- 
pense with the sunset and midnight prayer enjoined by the 
laws of the prophet, they retraced their steps and returned 
to Samarcand, and Timur set out the same year in person, to 

• Timur's historian, Sliereftddin All, a native of Yezd, was a contemporary. Before 
hia work was translated lato French, by ftL Petit de Croix, the Eastern traveller, very 
erroneous ideas regarding the origin and descent of Timur were prevalent In Europe. 
He was generally represented as an obscure adventurer of mean birth, and one story re- 
lated that his tather was a sort of robber or bandit, and that his lameness was caused 
bv an arrow slidt after him by a shepherd, one of whose flock he was attempting to carry 
otf. But Arabshab, tils bUterenemy, aclinowledges that he was related to the lamlly of 


revenge tlie ingratitude of Toktamish. His enoi mous force" 
stretched over an area of thirteen miles in breadth, and he 
was accompanied by several exiled princes of the tribe of 
Tousbi, from Kipzak. At a short distance from his capital, 
tbe emperor received ambassadors from Toktamish, wh.o 
brought a submissive and repentant letter* from their master, 
entreating his pardon and forgiveness ; but he refused all 
the offers of the khan, and marcbed on. 

For six months the Zagataians trod tbe formidable steppes 
that extend towards the nortk to Kipzak, till they reached, 
says the Persian historian, " a country so near the pole, that 
in the evening, before the sun had finally disappeared in the 
west, the first brilliant rays of the morning were beginning 
to shine in the east." They halted at the foot of the Ura- 
lian mountains, denominated by the Muscovites the Girdle of 
the Earth, near where the troops of Toktamish were encamp- 
ed ; daily skirmishes took place between the scouts and 
foragers of either army, and each side anxiously awaited the 
combat. All the sons of the emperor commanded detach- 
ments of his forces, which, when ranged in order of battle, 

* toktamlsh's letter to Tnitm. 
"Your Majesty has always perfonned the part of af;iiherto me; you have nlways 
treated me as your son, and tlie tavours I have received from you are iimumerable. If 
my wicked proceedings, and the war I have carried on by the instieation of malicious ppr- 
soii-s, who are the autliors of my evil, of wliich I repent and am ashamed, can once more 
lind pardon from the clemency of my lord, this will be an addition to the obligations I 
owe to him; this goodness will make me think of what I am, and hereafter, far from 
acting aRainst your majesty, I will only consult your pleasure in token of my respect and 


"When your master Toktamish was wounded and ill-used by his enemies, and came 
for rei'iige 'to us, every one knows that I ranked him among my children, and treating 
him with kindness, looking upon his interest as my own, i made war on Urus Khau, and 
marched my troops against him ; in which march I lost great part of my cavalry, with an 
infinite number of riches and equipments through the cold, which that winter was ex- 
tremely violent. Notwithstanding this misfortune, I endeavoured to maintain and defend 
him against everyone. X separated his country and subjects from those of Urus Khan 
and put them into his hands ; at length I rendered him so powerful that he was crowned 
emperor of Kipzak, and ascended the throne of Toushl. I confess, Indeed, that this good 
fortune came from God; but, at the same time, I know that I have been the instrument of 
it, and the friendship I felt for him induced me to call him son, while he called me father. 
When he saw himself powerful, and fortune had become favourable to him, he forgot tlie 
obligations he owed to me, and, without thinking in what manner a son ought to beliave 
towards a father, took the opportunity, while I had marched into Persia, and was subdu- 
ing the Jand of the Medes and Persians, to betrayme, and eommitacts of hostility against 
me. He had sent his troops to ruin the borders of my kingdom ; I did not notice it that 
he might consider with himself, be ashamed, and tor the future abstain from such extrava- 
gance. Bat, too drunk with ambition to distinguish good from evil, he has sent another 
army to invade my dominions. It is true that, as soon as we began to march against the 
vanguard, they fled before they could perceive the dust Our horses made ; and now Tok- 
tamish asks for pardon, because no other way appears able to save him from his well- 
merited punishment. But.since he has so frequently violated his oaths and treaties, it would 
be imprudent to rely on his promises. We will execute, with the assistance of God, the 
resolution we have taken, that all the world may see that God punishes ingratitude. Yec 
whatever reason we have for making war and exterminating him, if he will but tell the 
truth, and sincerely desire peace, he must send Ali Bey (his first minister) to meet us, 
and to negotiate with our emirs, and we will do whatever is consistent with our dignity 
and the present conjuncture."— Sherefeddin AJi'a " Histoiy of Timur Bck." 


were divided into seven parts, seven being a sacred number 
with the Tartars ; while the army of Toktamish, whose 
generals and captains were all princes of the royal house, were 
placed in the form of a crescent. Before engaging with the 
enemy, every Zagataian soldier knelt in prayer, and the 
dervishes paraded their ranks reciting passages and texts 
from the Alcoran, accompanied by the beating of kettle-drums 
and music ; and the soothsayers, throwing dust in the direc- 
tion of the foe, exclaimed with loud piercing shouts, " Your 
faces shall be blackened with the shame of your defeat ! " On 
the 6th of July, 1391, the two armies commenced the attack, 
and even their enemies have recorded how well that day the 
followers of Toktamish fought. They drove back and 
defeated the whole horde of Selduz, and for a moment caused 
the enemy to waver ; then Timur in person routed their 
main body, but his rival again brought up the flank ; and 
the fate of the day was at length only decided by the trea- 
chery of a standard-bearer, who, reversing the flag of his 
countrymen, raised that of Zagatai in the midst of the squad- 
rons of Kipzak, causing their general to suppose that the 
enemy had penetrated his ranks. This producing a confusion, 
it was increased by a cavalry shock, and, to use Timur's own 
words in his " Institutions," " Toktamish gave the horde of 
Toushi to the wind of desolation." He fled, his whole army 
was tumtiltuously dispersed, and for the space of eighty mile^, 
where they were pursued by the enemy, nothing was to be 
seen but broken bows, scattered standards, the plains strewn 
with the bodies of the dead, and lakes and pools of blood. Im- 
mediately after the battle, Tiuiur dismounted from his horse, 
and, according to his usual custom, kneeling down on the 
field, first returned thanks to the Almighty for his success, and 
then deputed seven out of every ten horsemen in Lis army to go 
in pui-suit of the fugitives. But few of the unfortunate tribe 
of Toushi succeeded in making their escape ; before them 
was the Volga, behind them enemies on every side ; all their 
women, children, and baggage, became the prey of the con- 
querors, who returned loaded with plunder and slaves to 
Samarcand, and the emperor chose Coudge Aglen of the 
royal family of Zingis to ascend the throne of Kipzak.* 

Yet even this terrible defeat could not utterly destroy the 
fortunes and influence of the Toushi prince, and within less 

• SliercfcdiUii Alis " History cfTiaiiirBtk." 


thaa five years after the battle, Toktamish had not only re- 
established himself on his throne, and driven out the new khan 
from Serai, but had invaded the territories of Timur, to retrie v e 
the losses of his chiefs, who persuaded him to undertake this 
campaign, and repair his own disgrace. The emperor received 
this intelligence while engaged in quieting a disturbance in 
Georgia, and immediately marching towards Kipzak, encoun- 
tered the army of Toktamish on the 18th of June, 1395, on 
the banks of the Terek in the Caucasus, and after a long and 
fur some time doubtful combat, put the enemy's forces to 
flight. The cousin of Jaghellon, the Grand Duke Vitold, 
then ruled Lithuania, and he gave the fugitive Toktamish 
shelter at his court ; while his followers, being scattered over 
the steppes, Timur pursued his victoi'ious career with four 
hundred thousand men into Europe. He burned and pillaged 
every Russian village and town on his route, and advanced 
as far as Kolomna, on the Oka, within a short distance of 
Moscow; where the inhabitants, on hearing of his approach, 
had sent to Vladimir for their famous image of the virgin of 
Ephesus, and, advancing from the capital, carried it before 
their ranks. The retreat which Timur made towards Serai 
they attributed to her influence, which, they say, caused him 
to be visited with a troubled dream ; and, placing the image 
over a gate at Moscow, where it still remains,* the Russians 
have ever considered it as the palladium of that. city, and its 
most powerful guardian and defence ; but " the Muscovites," 
says the Persian historian, " never saw their empire in so 
terrible a state as this ; for while their fields were covered 
with the slain, the army loaded themselves with the most 
precious spoil of their cities, and every soldier obtained so 
large a share of gold ingots, silver blades, Antioch flax, 
armed skins of Condoz, cloth woven in Russia with great 
skill, black sables, and ermines, furs unknown to the Zaga- 
taians, and horses, and young unshod colts, that it was suffi- 
cient to furnish both himself and his children to the end of 
their lives. Prom Little Russia or the Ukraine they also 
took enormous droves of cattle, and multitudes of women and 
girls of all ages, of wonderful shape and beauty." 

At Riazan, Timur took the prince captive amidst the ashes 
of his capital, and, diverging towards the south, swept the 
banks of the Don, and, encamping on its shores, received a 

♦,It was left untouched by the French, when they sacked Moscow. 


terrified deputation from the consuls and merchants of Egypt, 
Venice, Genoa, Catalonia, and Biscay, -who -were established 
at the rich and extensive trading city of Azof ; and brought 
him presents to propitiate his avarice, entreating him to 
spare and protect their warehouses and ships.* He received 
them graciously, and despatched an emir to inspect their 
harbour and magazines; but the undefended wealth they dis- 
played, was too great to be resisted by his soldiers or their 
chief, and the inhabitants mourned among the ruins of their 
citadel, the credulity that had made them trust for a moment 
to the mercy or forbearance of a Mongul conqueror. The 
Mahometans of Azof were merely pillaged and then dismissed ; 
but every Christian who had not fled to the vessels outside 
the port, was condemned either to death or slavery ; and 
even the Noghai Tartars of the desert wei-e compelled by the 
victors to fly to the extremity of their inhospitable steppes. 
Ravaging the countiy of the Cossacks to the north of the 
Caucasus, the Zagataians put all whom they had captured to 
the sword ; and crossing the ice, which was three feet in 
thickness, robbed even the huts of the humble fishermen who 
lived on the islands in the Don, carrying all the inhabitants 
away for slaves to the imperial camp. Serai, the capital of 
Kipzak, was razed to the ground, and suspecting Mahmoudi, 
the governor of Astrakhan, of treason, Tiraur sent an emir to 
that city to reduce it. It was in the middle of the winter, 
which was that year unusually severe, and at this season the 
inhabitants were accustomed to build a wall of ice round 
their town to defend it, through which they placed an arch- 
way and a gate.t The Mongul general besieged it, but 
without succeeding in obtaining an entrance tUl the arrival 
of the emperor in person, when the inhabitants tendered 
their submission, and were permitted to remove their cattle 
and goods from Astrakhan. Immediately afterwards, Timur 
caused the city to be razed to the ground, and the governor 
Mahmoudi to be drowned in the Volga ; and he was accordingly 
thrust under the ice. All the plunder that had been seized 
throughout Kipzak was then divided among the Mongul 
soldiers and chiefs, to reward them for the sufferings they had 
undergone from the excessive cold : multitudes of both 

* Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Koman Empire." 

t Sherefeddin All says, "and as the river la frozen In the winter, they usually bnlld a 
wnll of Ice as strong as one of brick, upon which they fling water In the night that the 
■vvUolo may conseal and become one piece, to which wall they make a gate." 



horses and men had perished, and famine was at one time so 
great in their camp, that a pound of millet sold for seventy 
dinars, a sheep's head for a hundred, and that of an ox for 
three hundred and fifty. They then slowly abandoned the 
country, after ravaging the southern provinces of Russia to 
the borders of Lithuania and Hungary, and returned with 
their emperor to Georgia, where he carried his arms to the 
most remote valleys and recesses of the Caucasus.* 

While Timur was overrunning Russia in the east, Vitold 
of Lithuania had attacked her in the west ; and courteously 
receiving the unfortunate Toktamish at his court, he agreed 
to assist that prince in the recovery of his dominions, on 
condition that he would relinquish to Lithuania all claim and 
suzerainety over the Russian states. This proposal being 
accepted, the dauntless Tartar once more found himself the 
commander of a numerous military force, and with Vitold he 
assembled at Kiof a powerful army, composed of Lithuanian s,t 
Russians, Poles, and Wallachians, a small body of his own 
followers, and five hundred well-equipped and armed horse- 
men, sent to his assistance by the grand master of the order 
of Teutonic knights. They mai-ched to the river Vorskla, 
on whose shores, in later times, Charles of Sweden met his 
first and most fatal defeat at Pultowa ; and their armament 
appeared so formidable to Timur Cotluc, the new khan of 
itipzak, that he proposed terms of peace, and even ofiered to 
pay an annual tribute. But this compromise was refused by 
the allied princes, whom nothing less would satisfy than his 
kingdom and crown ; and he was fearfully awaiting their 
attack, when the arrival of Edigee, a general of Timur's, 
with a large reinforcement, at his camp, revived the courage 
and hopes of his soldiers, and decided the fate of the war. 
On the 12th of August, 1899, the rival forces met, and a 
fiercely contested battle took place ; the victory was long 
fought for and undecided, but finally Vitold and Toktam- 
ish were driven from the field, leaving more than two- 
thirds of their army among the dead, with seventy-five 
Lithuanian and Russian princes, and many nobles and knights. 
The Grand Prince Vitold returned to Lithuania, where the 
Tartars pursued him as far as Volhynia ; while Toktamish 
took refuge in Great Bulgaria, on the Volga, and a few years 

* Slierefeddin Ali's " History of Timur Bek." 
t Krastnshi's ** History of Poluiid." 


after closed liis checkered career among the pine forests aud 
marshes of the north. His unfortunate Mongul followers, on 
being deserted by their prince, had accompanied the rest of 
the army in its retreat to Lithuania ; and, too few to attempt 
to penetrate through the intermediate hostile states to their 
own native steppes, they wandered about as vagrants and 
outlaws, supporting themselves by hunting in the forests, till 
Vitold granted them permission to settle on the waste lands 
in Lithuania, where they founded a colony ; and their officers 
and mirzas were enrolled among the Polish nobility, adopt- 
ing Polish coats-of-arms and crests. There, the descendants 
of these fugitives still adhere to the creed of the Koran, 
and in Grodno, Minsk, Vilna, and several other towns, erected 
mosques, where they still worship the prophet ; and, repaying 
their adopted country for the protection she affijrded them 
by an unshaken fidelity to her interests, have ably supported 
her in all her troubles and wars, even those against their co- 
religionists the Turks ; and aU classes of this community are 
proverbial among the natives of Poland for their peaceful 
industry, integrity, and honesty, in every branch or trans- 
action of life.* 

Immediately after the defeat of Toktaraish, and while 
Timur was engaged in a distant Indian campaign, the khan 
of Kipzak renounced his allegiance to the throne of Samar- 
cand, and attempted to drive from the country the Zagatai 
generals who had so successfully assisted him in the war. 
He died in the beginning of the year 1400, and his successor, 
Boulet Sultan, succeeded in expelling the emirs from the 
district about Serai, one of whom, Kostlogh, established a 
kingdom at Kazan ; and another proclaimed himself lord of 
Astrakhan and of all the contiguous districts on the Yaik. 
At the same time, the Muscovites possessed themselves of 
Great Bulgaria, which for years had been much harassed by 
the armies of the republic of Novogorod ; and driving out the 
khan, who had made himself independent of Kipzak, and 
forcing him to fly to Kazan, they utterly ruined the town of 
Bulgari,t where the wall, an archway, and a few other curious 
monuments, are the sole vestiges now to be seen of this 

* Krnslnski's " History of Poland." 

t "The site of Bulgarl is slxtv miles from Kazfln. It stood in a rich and fertile plain, 
jind still boasts some Interesting monuments of antiquity. Tlie wall whicli encompassed 
the city is still traceable, and Is four miles in circumference. At present, a small village 
and church occupv a part of the site, tlie gardens being actually spread over a bed uf 
human bones."— Cochraue'a " Journfy to Siberia." '' 


capital of the last remaining proviiice of tte enormous empire 
of the on<:e powerful and viotdrious Huns.* 

In the year 13&9, the Grand Prince of Lithuania made 
peace with Basil, or Vassili of Muscoyy, and a treaty of 
alliance being formed between them, it Tpas fui-ther cemented 
by the marriage of Basil with Anastasia, the daughter of 
Vitold, -who took the name of Sophia, when, according to 
custom, she embraced the Greek faith. The reign of Basil is 
one of the most disastrous that occurs in the annals of Russia, 
and for a third time 'within twenty years, Moscow was fated 
to tremble before the armies of an invader. Boulet Sultan, 
wishing to establish himself more firmly than his predecessors 
on the throne, and g£tin the esteem and affection of his sulgects, 
by leading them to ■victory and plunder, under the pretext of 
espousing the cause of several malecontents among the native 
iRussian princes and chiefs, marched against their capital, 
from which Vassili fled ; and, burning and sacking the city, 
inflicted the most horrible cruelties upon the unhappy people, 
returning laden with the spoil of the whole province to his 
camp on the shores of the Don. As this foray took place in 
the winter, and thousands in the surrounding districts and 
villages had been rendered houseless and destitute by the 
invaders, multitudes perished from want and cold; the fol- 
lowing year many more were swept aiway by famine ; an 
earthquake destroyed two-thirds of the houses in Novogorod ; 
and the plague, which had been introduced by the Tartars, 
raged violently for many months throughout the land. The 
assembly of the citizens in Moscow had been aibolished in 
the preceding reign, and the indolence of the Grand ;Prince 
threw all the government of the empire into the hands of his 
boyards, who rendered his name odious to his subjects by 
their exactions and oppression ; they oilly had access to his 
person, and through their intervention was obtained every 
audience, privilege, ol- pardon from the Czar. The forms 
and ceremonies in vogue at this period at the Muscovite 
court, presented an almost exaggerated reflection of the ser- 
vile prostrations before the Emperot Timnr at Samarcand, 
and in the.palaces of the other sovereigns of the East. The 
prince reclined nearly all the day on a divan, with his cour- 
tiers and favourites ranged on cushions around, whUe a 

* BDljruq»ls..who passea throusrh Bulgaria on his way to Karaoorvun, mentions that it 
■was still called Hungarj' by the lilliabitunts. 


juggler entei-tained ttem with Wa feats ; Polish, Greek, or 
Wallachian slaves danced before them, or the musicians sang 
their songs in praise of Vladimir and the ancient heroes of 
Russia, or played on their bagpipes and lutes. The place of 
honour was on the left hand side of the monarch,* as being 
nearest the heart, and was Tisually occupied by the fool or 
jester, retained at every palace of the princes or of the 
nobility, to banish melancholy or despondency with his jests, 
anecdotes, and wit. A hunt occasionally relieved the 
monotony of existence at the court; for the sports of falconry, 
hawking, and chase, were followed with the greatest ardour 
by both Russians and Tartars of every rank. But the whole 
empire groaned under the heavy taxation which was exacted 
by the prince, to enable him to pay the annual tribute to the 
Monguls, and support his own retinue and numerous depen- 
dants; and though the Tartar garrisons had long been removed 
from many of the towns, as they had been recalled by the 
troubles in Kipzak ; yet levies of recruits for their armies 
were constantly drawn by the khans, and the silver coin in 
Russia, which was first cast in Moscow and Tver at the end 
of the fourteenth century, bore an inscription in the language 
of the Monguls. About this time, in the year 1404, the first 
striking clock seen in Russia was erected in the capital by a 
Servian of the name of Lazarus, and many other improve- 
ments in manufactures and arts appear to have taken place. 
The ancient arms of Moscow, when it was an independent 
principality, had been the figure of St. George mounted on a 
white horse, on a red field ; and when this city became the 
capital of the empire, its banner was adopted by the Grand 
Princes, instead of the three triangles, which had formerly 
been borne by the sovereigns of Kiof In 1380, after the 
victory over the Tartars at KouUkoff, a slight change was 
effected by Demetrius Donskoi, who added the vanquished 
dragon to St. George, a dragon being symbolical of the Tartar 
nations as well as those of the Slavonic race. Upon the flag 
of Novogorod was represented two bears, supporting an altar 
on the ice ; with, over it, two crucifixes crossed before a picture 
of the Virgin, and a candelabrum with a triple lustre, em- 
blematical of the Trinity, t 

* This Is stm the case amonf? the Chinese and Tartar nations, 
t Clarke's " Travels in Kussla." 


In 1388, upon the death of Hedwige the queen of Poland, 
without children, her hushand, Jagiello, still retained pos- 
session of the Polish crown; and shortly after espousing 
Sophia, the daughter of his subject, the Prince Andrea 
Ivanovitz of Kiof, he had bj' her two sons, both of whom 
ultimately succeeded him as kings of Poland-* 

* Sir Jerome Horsey'B " Travels in EussiiL" 


S'lmnx ivdiKbts |nbia — ®1jj (llipsbs. 

Land of the Sun! what foot invades 
Thy pagods and thy pillar'd shades ? 
Thy cavern shrines and idol stones, 
Thy mouarchs and their tliousand thrones? 

Moore's " Laliah Rookh.* 

While Toktamisli was encountering his last overthrow on 
the banks of the Vorskla in Russia, Timur had contemplated 
and undertaken a still more hazardous and stupendous expe- 
dition than any which his ambition had yet formed, or his 
generals even conceived. This was the subjugation of India ; 
and when he first proposed it in his council to the emirs,* 
he was responded to with murmurs of disapprobation and 
discontent, and exaggerated reports of the real and fabulous 
dangers that lurked among its distant woods and rocks. 
They predicted that, beneath its sultry sky, the children of 
Zingis would degenerate into effeminate Hindoos ; and the 
mighty rivers, the unknown beasts, armed elephants, and 
steel-clad troops, presented a fiightful picture to their 
imaginations, and struck terror into their hearts. But the 
euiperor's determination was immoveable, and his commands 
were more potent than their fears, and, in 1398, the army 
and its sovereign set forth. 

Since its conquest, nearly four centuries before, by the 
Seljuk Tartars, under Mahmoud of Ghizni, India had been 
ruled by sevei'al successive dynasties, all of princes of the 
Mahometan faith. They had twice repulsed the descendants 

* He proposed it in these words—*' Fortune, my children, furnishes us with such happy 
opportunities, that it appears as if she olTered lierself to us, and called upon us to pront 
by them. For, as we have already seen the empires of Iran and Turan, and almost all 
Asia under our command, she now shows us India, through the disorders of the princes 
who govern her, opening her gates to receive us. My name Iiae spread terror through- 
out the universe, and the least movement I make is capable ot shaking the earth. It is 
therefore time to invade Hlndoostan, where, having overcome what opposes our designs, 
we shall oblige this kingdom to acknowledge no other sovereign but me. What thhik 
ye, my chlUlrcn— companions ot my victories— of this great and glorious undertaking? 
Boeak all, and each one alone, and let me know your opinion ot this proposal, widen 
Appears to me reasonable, since fortune has not yet withdrawn her protection l^oia us. 


of Zingis in Transoxiaua, called by the Hindoos Mavar-ul- 
ISTahar, who had poured with a mighty force upon their 
plains; in the first instance, defeating the Monguls from 
before the strongly fortified city of Lahore, and the second 
time driving back their army when they had advanced as far 
as Delhi with two hundred thousand men. But the country 
had been debased and degraded by the tyranny and atrocities 
of her princes ; and now in the days of Timur, and since the 
death of its sultan Firouz in 1389, while far before the nor- 
thern nations in the arts, sciences, and learning of refined 
and civilized life, it had been a prey to civil war, misrule, 
and a barbarous and destructive anarchy. Mahmoud, the 
nominal sultan of Delhi, was a mere boy and of inferior 
capacity, and the administration of public afiairs was in the 
hands of his uncles, one of whom ruled at Moultan, the other 
at the capital ; while the crown being disputed by Nuserit, 
the grandson of Firouz, the aoubahs of the provinces had 
raised the standard of revolt, and all the cities of northern 
India were asserting and fighting for their independence. 

Pir Mahomet, the grandson of Timur, had been invested by 
the emperor with the government of Cabul and Candahar, 
and, availing himself of the disturbed state of Hindoostan, the 
Mongul khan sent directions to this prince to proceed across 
the Indus into the Punjab, and besiege the city of Moultan ; 
while he himself, after appointing his grandson Omar Sheik 
as regent, marched with ninety-two squadrons, each con- 
sisting of a thousand horse, from Samarcand. Crossing the 
Oxus by a bridge of boats, which his army consti'ucted of reeds 
in two days, Timur advanced to the foot of that extensive 
branch of the Himalayas known as the Hindoo Kosh, and 
exterminating several tribes of mountain robbers, who dwelt 
in its valleys and defiles, and among whom were the Sia- 
pouches, who increased the terror which their depredations 
inspired among the surrounding people, by always clothing 
in black ; he caused his army, which consisted entirely of 
cavalry, to be transported with ropes and pulleys over the 
more stupendous rocks, he himself being carried down five 
precipices on a platform, each of which required cords of one 
hundred and fifty cubits in length. But his ingenuity was 
unable to triumph over the rigorous atmosphere of so lofty 
an elevation, and multitudes of men and horses perished 
from the cold, or were smothered and lost in the snow. 


He then encamped on fclie plains of Cabul, where he spent 
some time in regulating the affairs of this lately conquered 
province, and caused an aqueduct of five miles long to be con- 
structed in a district where water had formerly been very 
scai-ce. He also received ambassadors here from various parts 
of Asia, and his Uevitenant, the Emir Noureddin from Persia, 
who brought so immense a treasure of jewels, birds, rare ani- 
mals, silk, and velvet from Ispahan, that' the secretaries and 
comptrollers of the divan were employed three days in merely 
numbering the amount. The emperor distributed them 
among his generals and principal officers, and sent back the 
foreign envoys with magnificent presents to the sovereigns 
of their respective courts. * 

After putting down several insurrections that had broken 
out in various parts of Cabul, and having repaired the strong 
fortress of Jellabad, where an attempt was treacherously 
made upon his life, Timur marched towards the frontiers of 
Hindoostan a£tsT giving audience to a fresh embassy from 
Mecca and Medina, who, in the name of all the princes and 
sherifife of Arabia, prayed the conqueror to favour them some 
day with a visit, and take them under his mighty protection, 
at the same time offering him the title of caliph, though it 
was then held by the Ottoman sultan Bajazet. Timur 
thanked the envoys, and dismissed them with presents, and 
crossing the Indus at Attok, near the point to which Zingis 
Khan with his wild hordes had advanced, entered upon the 
desert of Jerow or Tchal Jelali, so called from the brave 
Jellaladdin of Oarizme, who had forded the river and pene- 
trated these wilds at this, spot, when escaping from the fury 
and sword of the first ruthless and merciless Mongul khan. 
Following the footsteps of the hero of Macedon, who, more 
than seventeen hundred years before, had pursued that same 
route, Timur, after subduing the princes of Lahore and the 
chief of the isle of Chenaub, united his forces with those of his 
grandson on the plains of the Punjab, or Seven Rivers, and 
proceeded to the fortress of Batnir, where all the fugitives 
from the armies he had already defeated had fled. It was 
reported to be impregnable, yet he led only ten thousand of his 
warriors against its walls ; and the garrison, who were princi- 
pally Ghebers, encouraged by so apparently insignificant a 
foe, adopted the fatal determination of descending from the 

• Shorefeddln xUi'a "History of Timur Bck." 


protection of their ramparts, and offering iiim battle in tlie 
field, At the first tremendous shock of the Monguls the 
Hindoo troops were entirely dispersed, and the Zagataians 
soon rendered themselves masters of the whole place except 
the citadel, which was still held for many hours by the inha- 
bitants with the courage and frenzy of despair.* But the 
barbarous massacre of all their countrymen who had been 
captured in the engagement by Timur's army, and which 
they witnessed from their retreat, extinguishing their last 
hope of succour, they killed their wives and children, set fire 
to the fort, and rushing from the flames, waving their sabres, 
fell fighting to a man among the foe. Thousands of the 
Monguls perished, and this loss, joined to that which they 
had sustained in the mountains, and from the attacks of the 
Kalmucks and other hostile tribes on his route, greatly re- 
duced the strength of his squadrons before Timur had reached 
Delhi, a distance of six hundred miles from Attok. This 
city was then divided into three distinctly fortified towns, 
entered altogether by thirty gates, and here the sultan with 
his uncles had intrenched themselves with forty thousand 
foot and ten thousand horse, and might probably, as they 
were well furnished with provisions, have protracted the 
siege for many months ; while Timur encamped at Geha- 
numai, a splendid palace, formerly erected by Firouz Shah, 
and denominated from its beauty " The Mirror of the Uni- 
verse." But, deceived with a false idea of the enemy's 
strength, Mahmoud, after a stormy council with his ministers, 
resolved to meet the Monguls in the field without awaiting 
their attack, and advanced from the walls with his vizier 
and whole army, supported by a hundred and twenty 
elephants, whose sides and trunks bristled with a formidable 
array of arrows, poisoned daggers, and darts. Before meet- 
ing them, the astrologers and soothsayers in the Tartar 
army consulted the disposition of the heavens ; and, imagin- 
ing that their aspect was unfavourable to the success of 
the Monguls, endeavoured to dissuade their master from 
hazarding an engagement, as they were persuaded that dur- 
ing this month it would be assuredly lost. But the emperor 
told them, that neither joy nor sorrow, adversity nor pros- 
perity, depended upon the planets, but upon the will of the 
Almighty Creator, the maker of the stars themselves, of the 

• Murray's " History of British India." 


Universe, and of man. "I confide," said Timnr, "in the 
assistance of God, who has never abandoned me ; what avail 
the conjunctions or movements of the stars ! I will never 
for a moment delay the execution of my projects, when I 
have taken sufficient measures and precautions to bring 
them to perfection ! " The next morning, in presence of all 
his forces, the emperor raised a public prayer, and ordering 
a Koran to be brought to him, from whence he might judge 
of his enterprise, he opened the book at what he imagined 
was a favourable answer to his prayer, as it was a passage 
describing the destruction of a people by the wonderful 
effect of an Almighty providence. He explained the event 
in his own favour, and thus re-animated the courage of his 
men, who, on first sight of the elephants, had been seized 
with a panic, from the prevalent idea that their skins were 
invulnerable to either fire or steel; but hearing that the 
Hindoo prisoners in his camp, who amounted to the enor- 
mous number of a hundred thousand, besides women and 
children, had been seen to smile, when they heard of their 
countrymen's approach, Timur feared lest the slaves should 
turn upon their captors in the event of a defeat, and there- 
fore issued the horrible order that every male prisoner should 
be put to death by his owner before the fight commenced. 
Such a decree as this appears even to have produced con- 
sternation in the iron hearts of the Monguls, so that the 
emperor was obliged to threaten every warrior with death 
who refused instantly to carry his order into efi'ect ; and he 
desired, at the same time, that one soldier out of every ten 
should be appointed to keep watch over the Hindoo women 
and children who were left in the tents. He also caused 
a rampart of bucklers to be placed before his camp, and 
strengthened it with a ditch filled with buffaloes tied fast to 
the sides ; and, brambles being attached to their heads, he 
commanded that these should be lighted, and the animals let 
loose, in order to frighten the elephants if the battle went 
hard with his men. But they afterwards found that there 
was no occasion to bring this contrivance into use.* 

On the 3rd of January, 1401, the Mongul and Hindoo 
armies first met, and the emperor proceeding to the summit 
of a neighbouring hill, from whence he could view the com- 
bat, spent the whole of the time that 'it lasted in reciting 

• Shcrefeddln All's " History of Tlmur Bci." 


passages from the Koran and in prayar. " This battle," says 
Sherefeddin AU, " was the hottest in which the Monguls had 
ever yet encountered the foe ;" and, -upoa the totai defeat of 
the Hindoos, the sultan and his vizier fled to Delhi, and, as 
soon as they themselves had passed into the city, ordered all 
the gates to be shut- As their unfortunate followers were now 
deprived of their only hope of escape, they were easily made 
prisonei's by the enemy, and every elephant fell into the hands 
of Timur, who sent them as presents to his mirzas in Persia 
and Samarcand ; one being led into, the camp by his grandson 
Calil, a boy of fifteen, who, after slaying its bearer in single 
combat, brought it fastened by a bridle, like a horse, to the 
tents. That night the Indian sultan with his uncle, the 
Prince of Moultan, and a few other officers and attendants, 
secretly abandoned Delhi and fled to Guzerat, an,d, the intelli- 
gence, reaching the emperor in the morning, he sent a flying 
troop in their pursuit, who succeeded in , capturing all their 
baggage, several officers, and a son of the prince ; and the 
same day, the 4th of January, the flag of Zagatai waved over 
the towers of the capital, and Timur entered the city in 
triumph. Admiring the magnificent buildings, and profusely 
decorated temples and palaces, the empeiror commanded that 
they should all be spared by his soldiers, and the masons and 
architects transported to Samarcand, to adorn his own capital 
in the same manner, and render it equal in beauty to the ex- 
tensive and far-famed Delhi, upon which had been lavished 
every erection and ornament that could be achieved by 
Hindoo art. Then, entering the palace of the Hindoo sultans, 
he seated himself upon their gilded throne, and gave an 
audience to the cadis and principal inhabitants, to whom he 
promised his protection upon the payment of a ransom, which 
he desired the council of his divan to appoint. The banner of 
the Monguls, a horse's tail and two kettle-drums, were fastened 
over the principal gate, and the musical band of their army 
performed the tune Rihavi, an air of triumph only played 
after the greatest achievements. 

But, though the emperor had commanded that only a select 
body of his troops should be permitted to remain in the city, 
a large crowd followed in the train of the sultanas, the wives 
of his grandsons Pir Mahomet and Hussein, who had accom- 
panied their husbands during the campaign, and never rested 
till they had been allowed to visit the interior of this famous 


capital with their numerous court j and particularly the 
celebrated palace of a thousand columns, built by an ancient 
king of Hindoostan. Accordingly, the followiDg night a 
tumult arose between these intruders and the Gheber inhabi- 
tants, and several Mongul soldiers being killed, their comrades 
revenged them on the citizens, a serious affray commenced, 
and Delhi was sacked and pillaged by the Tartar army, almost 
unrestrained by their chief, who left it with a portion of his 
forces on the 18th of January, and proceeded to exterminate 
the settlements of the Ghebers* or fire-worshippers, on the 
Ganges. After fighting many battles, both by land and 
water, he completely destroyed all the Indian votaries of that 
fidth, causing their chief to be thrown, when dead, into the 
fire he adored, and his followers barbarously flayed alive ; and 
penetratiug into the valleys of the Himalayas, where he 
extirpated many ancient tribes, and drove others to seek 
shelter in distant lands, he proceeded to the banks of the 
Indus, which on the 28th of March he crossed; his conquests 
in Hindoostan, from the time tliat he quitted Samarcand, 
having only occupied the short period of nine months.t 

On his return, the emperor caused a large hospital to be 
built for his fatigued and wounded men in the chief town of 
Cabul, and joined here the empress, and the princes his sons, 
who had departed from Transoxiana to meet him, and congra- 
tulate him upon his glorious campaign. But, as he was taken 
seriously ill on his march homeward, the result of over-anxiety 
and fatigue, he was forced to descend from horseback and 
proceed in a litter, in which, after a little more than a year's 
absence, he finally arrived in Samarcand. J 

After the emperor's depai*ture from Hindoostan, his officers 
and successors exercised very little authority over the regions 
to the east of the Indus; money indeed was coined in his 
name, and its princes owned his rule and authority, but each 
province assumed a temporary independence, till, in the year 
1413, the viceroy of Moultain seized the throne of Delhi as 
the representative of the Mongul khan, and during his reign, 
which was conducted with ability and vigour, the empire 
began to recover its former union and strength. Upon his 

* The Ghebers had fled to this spot from Persia and Georgia, when they were overrun 
by the conquering Saracens, and, afccr the destruction of their settlement on the Ganges, 
many returned to Baktl. 

+ Sherefeddin All's " History of Timur Bet." 

I Murray's " Hlstorj- of British India." 


death, the three sultans who successively governed Hindoo- 
sban gradually released themselves from their nominal allegi- 
ance to Samarcand ; the last of these, Bheloli, ruling with 
firmness and energy for a period of thirty-eight years, and 
leaving his crown to his son, Secunder I. But in the year 
1526, and during the reign of Ibrahim, the son of Secunder, 
the throne was again seized by a Tartar prince ; and the khan 
Baber of Kokan, a great-grandson of Timur,* with an army 
of 13,000 horsemen, establishing the dynasty of the Monguls 
or Moguls, his posterity ruled India till they fell before the 
British power; and the only children of the great Emperor 
of Zagatai, who still retained a kingly crown and state, 
became from henceforward her imperial pensioners, and 
humiliated though still haughty dependants. 

A remarkable and yet lingering result of the conquest of 
India by Timnr, was the emigration of the gipsies into 
Europe, where they first appeared on the borders of Bohemia, 
in the year 1414. This singular people, who, like the Jews 
of old, have for more than four centuries so tenaciously re- 
tained their identity among foreign nations, and the customs, 
language, and laws, that they brought from their homes in 
the East, were long generally supposed to have been Egyptians 
(hence the word gipsy in England, and gitano in Spain), 
from the circumstance that many families travelled first to 
the banks of the Nile before entering Europe. But it is a 
strong proof of the fallacy of this belief, that those who are 
now found there, where, as in other lands, they lead a wander- 
ing life, are looked upon as aliens by the inhabitants, and 
their manners and dialect are perfectly different to those of 
either the Saracens or Oopts. Others have affirmed them to 
be of Mongul origin, and descendants of the conquered fol- 
lowers of Toktamish, and they are still called Tartars by the 
Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes ; while to the Germans they 
are only known as Zigeuner or wanderers, and to the Russians 
and Turks as Zigani and Zingarri, words supposed to be 
derived from Zincali, the name by which they are sometimes 
self-designated, and which signifies the " Black Men of Zend 
or Ind."+ But from the latest researches there appears to be 
little doubt that they originally belonged to one of the 

* He was a granclsoii of tlie MIrza Mlran Shah, and has left commentaries, written by 
himself, ofhis life, which was moat eventAll and romantic, 
t Porthon. 



inferior tribes in Hindoostan,* from whence it is conjectured 
that they were expelled by the terrible irruption of the Moa- 
guls, and this supposition is strengthened by the resemblance, 
in their appearance and language, to the Sudra or lowest 
Hindoo caste, and to the Bazegues, who like themselves ai-e 
a wandering race. It is remarkable that, while they are 
known in India by a name which means thieves, the same 
word, with the same sigaification, is applied to them by the 
Finns. ] 

The gipsies extend to the number of about 800,000, 
throughout almost every country in Europe, and are found in 
the Russian empire as far north as Tobolsk.t They first ap- 
peared in Paris in the year 1427, and are mentioned by the 
chronicles of the time as all riding on horseback, with silver 
ornaments in their ears, and with hair and complexions per- 
fectly black ; and the same propensity to fortune-telling and 
thieving appears to have characterized them then as it does 
at the present day. 

* The following table shows the resemblance ot the gipsy dialects throughout Europe 
to the Hindoostanee : — 






































































t Qullmln. 


Kimar mart^ts agaittst (isurgia, ^giia, anb; tijt ©tiamatvs. — 
Cagtefs ^aja^jct. 

Ecbatana Is thine ; tlie Euphrates, Persia, 

And glorious Epypt, with the Indian shores. 

Shall fall heneatu thy yoke— Voltaike's " tes Scythes." 

Though Timur was now more than sixty years of age, and 
Lis hair, we are informed by Lis contemporaries, was as white 
as snow. Lis ambition Lad remained nncooled, and Lis vigi- 
lance and energy unabated, and every fresL conquest Le Lad 
acLieved appeared only to increase his insatiable love of war. 
It was Lis favourite saying, that " as there was only one God 
in heaven, so should there be only one monarcL upon earth ; " 
and, as soon as he had returned to Samaroand, he began to 
prepare troops and resources for another and a seven years' 
campaign. His presence indeed was immediately required 
by the troubles in Georgia and Persia, where the Mirza 
Miran Shah had become insane, owing to a blow he had re- 
ceived in a fall from his horse. The Mirza Pir Mehemed, who 
was skilled in chemistry and medicines, had been accused of 
attempting to poison his brother, and affairs were in the 
utmost confusion, the government having been left entirely 
in the hands of officers and court dependants, who wasted and 
exhausted the revenues of the state in banquets and f^tes, 
while the princes increased the expenditure by enormous pre- 
sents to their unworthy favourites ; yet Timur already con- 
templated a more distant enterprise when he should have 
quelled the disturbances in the provinces. He had long seen 
with impatience the rapid growth of the Ottoman empire, 
which now approached his own borders, and the progress she 
had made, under her sultan Bajazet I., began to make him 
fear that, now he was growing old, a rival would supplant his 
family in the dominion of the world, and the vicinity of this 
powerful nation filled his mind with misgivings and mistrust. 


Having employed the architects -wliom he had transported 
from Delhi in building a palace at Samarcand, and deputed 
to the most famous of his emirs the conduct of a military ex- 
pedition in the northern districts of Asia ; the emperor left 
his capital on the 11th of October, 1399, and proceeded first 
to Persia, where he condemned his grandson Mirza Mehemed 
to the bastinado, caused his son to be placed in confinemeat, 
and punished his attendants and the officers of his household, 
who, avaiKng themselves of the insanity of the shah, had en- 
couraged his extravagance, and turned it to their own advan- 
tage and profit. Prom Persia he entered Georgia, where a 
more serious difficulty awaited him. Her prince, Isocrates 
Bagration, whom he had formerly taken prisoner, and induced, 
by the fear of a cruel death, to become a Mahometan, after 
residing for some years in Transoxiana, had requested to be 
allowed to return to his native land, to convert to Islamism, 
as he affirmed, his Christian subjects. Timur feU into the 
snare, and, advising the deposed king to employ compulsion, 
granted him the assistance of a body of Mongul cavalry for 
that purpose ; but no sooner had Bagration arrived in hiS' 
own dominions, and the emperor engaged in a distant war 
in Hindoostan, than the prince threw off his assumed creed, 
and exhorted his subjects to assist him in recovering their 
independence. But his treachery, which cost him his life, 
was terribly revenged upon his devoted people : wherever the 
Monguls had passed the most total desolation and misery re- 
mained, the villages and corn-fields were sacked and burned 
by the enemy, the fruit-trees and. vines were uprooted, and 
every living creature fied from before the fanatical Mahometan 
troops, who, fired with an intolerant religion, and as they 
deemed patriotic revenge, massacred or enslaved every Chris- 
tian whom they encountered on their route. In the first 
battle in which the Georgians ventured to oppose the Mon- 
guls in the open field, and in which the former sustained a 
dreadful defeat, Isocrates was' left dead upon the plain, his 
son George fled to the mountains, where he; was pursued by 
the army of the emperor, and the war was carried on for 
many months amongst the hills and rocks. The barren and 
frozen district of Suania was pillaged for the protection it had 
afforded to the fugitive prince ; Abohasia and Imeritia wer« 
trodden down by the squadrons of the foe, till at lengthy iu 
1404, having rendered Georgia a desert, and ruined and deci^ 


mated the inhabitants, Timur finally abandoned the country, 
•where he had destroyed seven hundred Yillages, and all the 
monasteries, gardens, and cultivated land ; and its prince, 
George, descending from his hiding-place in the Caucasus, 
having previously tendered his submission to Timur, reigned 
for several years over his prostrate and exhausted dominions 
in comparative rest and peace. 

While the army of the emperor -was still encamped upon 
the Georgian plains, ambassadors were received from the 
court of Manuel Paleologus of Constantinople, who humbly 
requested the assistance of Timur for their master, to aid 
him in opposing the increasing power and conquests of the 
Ottoman Turks. As early as 1321, a body of these warriors 
had crossed the Euxine, and harassed the defenceless shores 
of Macedonia and Thrace ; and Urkhan, the first of their 
sultans who set foot on the opposite shores of the Hellespont, 
obtained permanent possession of Gallipoli, and established 
the celebrated corps of Janissaries, recruited from among his 
Christian slaves, whose blood-red* flag in later years was so 
dreaded and well known by their enemies, from the shores of 
the Danube |to the sands of Egypt, and from the banks of the 
Tigris and Euphrates to the heart of the Numidian deserts. 
Since then, province after province had been gradually 
wrested from the feeble and dismembered successor of the 
Roman empire : Wallachia and Servia now owned the 
Mahometan sway — Amurath the conqueror had established 
his capital at Adrianople, and Bajazet his son, surnamed 
Ildurum or the Thunderer, had laid a seven years' siege to 
Byzantium, defeated the united armies of France, Hungary, 
Bavaria, and Constantinople, in a tremendous engagement 
at Nikopoli,t and conquered, laid waste, and overrun the 
whole peninsula of Greece. He now threatened the pos- 
sessions of the Christians and Greeks in Palestine, and 
demanded tribute from Taharten, the prince of Eastern 
Anatolia, a province which had long been under the protec- 
tion of the Mongul emperor, whom he stigmatized and 

* They carried a blood-red flag: before them in all their military expeditions. 

t In this battle, a German knight born at Munich named Schildberger, was taken 
prisoner -while fighting on the side of Sigismund of Hungary, and by order of Bajazet 
sent to Asia. There, on the last and total defeat of the Ottoman army by Timur, he fell 
into the hands of the Mongul emperor, whom he accompanied in all his expeditions, till 
bis death in 1405. He ultimately returned to Munich in 1427, by way of Constantmople, 
Lembercr, and Cracow, after an absence of thirty-seven years, and dictated an account ot 
l)ia travels from memory to a transcriber, from whom they have descended to the present 


proclfdmed as the thief and rebel of the desert. On receiving 
intelligence of this encroachment upon his authority, Timur 
despatched a letter* to Bajazet, in which he informed him 
that hitherto he had permitted no insult or offence to be 
offered to any town or province subject to the Turcomanian 
empire, from the consideration that for so long she had waged 
a successful war with the infidels, and might be looked upon 
as the bulwark of the Mussulman faith ;t but that, while 
the greater part of Asia was ruled by his (Timur's) oflScers, 
and his armies extended from sea to sea, he advised the 
Ottoman prince not to stir up hostilities between them, nor 
peril the safety of his own domains by incurring the anger of 
the Monguls, for none had ever prospered who ventured to 
oppose them, and fate protected their empire. " The dove," 
said he, *^ which rises up against the eagle, only seeks its own 
destruction." To this admonition, the sultan returned the 
following haughty reply — '* It is long since we have desired 
to make war upon you. Thanks be to God and the prophet, 
our desire is about to be fulfilled, for we have resolved to 
march against you at the head of a formidable force. If you 

» Lettek of TiMim's to Bajazet. 

"To the Emperor of Roum, Bnjazet the Thunderer. 

" After the usual greetings, we inform you tliat by the infinite grace of God, the greatest 
part of Asia lias been conquered by our power and tlie terror of our arras, and is now 
snbject to the authority of our officers. Know also, that the most mighty sultana of tlie 
earth obey our mandates, and that fate protects our empire; our armies extend from one 
sea to the otiier, and our guard is composed of sovereign princes, wlio form a liedge before 
our gate. Where is the monarch who dares resist us ? who is the potentate that does not 
glory in forming one of our courtiers? But as for thee, whose true origin commences in 
a Turcoman sailor, it would be well, since the vessel of thy unfathomable ambition has 
suffered shipwreclt in the whirlpool of self-love, if thou wouldst lower tbe sails of thy 
rashness, and cast the anchor of repentance In the port of sincerity, the only haven of 
satetv and security; lest, by the tempest of our vengeance thou shouldst perish in the 
sea of our well-founded chastisement. But as we have learned that in obedience to the 
precepts-of the Koran, which commands us to wage war with tlie enemies of the Mus- 
sulman faith, you have undertaken a vigorous war with the Europeans, we have refrained 
from insulting any nation or province subject to you ; and, reflecting that your country is 
the bulwark of the Mahometans, we have allowed it to remain prosperous and unharmed, 
for fear an Invasion frova. our empire sliould raise a division among the inhabitants, and 
cause the faitbful to be disquieted, and tbe Infidels to rejoice. Therefore be on your 
guard, and seek by your good conduct to preserve the dominions of your ancestors, nor 
suffer for the future your ambitious feet to wander beyond tbe limits of your power, 
which is but small. Cease your proud extravagance, lest the cold wind of hatred should 
extinguish the torch of peace. Remember the command of Jlahomet, to let the Turks 
(Tartars) remain In peace while they are tranquil. Seek not to make war on us, for none 
has ever prospered who opposed us. The evil one inspires you to compass your own 
ruin- You have gained considerable battles In the woods of Natolla, and many advan- 
tages over the Europeans ; but tliese are not to be attributed to your own valour so much 
as to the will of the Most High, and the prayers and intercession of the prophet. You 
indeed are but a pismire, and seek to fight against elephants, who will crush you beneath 
their feet. Tlie dove which rises up against the eagle only accomplishes its own destruc- 
tion. Shall an insignificant prince like you contend with us? But your boasting la not 
extraordinary, for a Turcoman never spake with judgment. If you lollow not our 
counsels, you will assuredly repent. This Is the advice we have to give. Act as you 
think fit.' — Sherefeddih All's " History of Timur Befc." 

Timur calls the Ottomans, Turcomans; and the Monguls, Turks. 
■ t Sherefeddln AU's "HIat. of Timur Bek." 


refuse to march against us, we shall seek you and pursue 
you as far as Tauris and Sultana. Thert shall we see in 
whose favour Heaven will declare, and -who shall be exalted 
by victory, and who abased by a shameful defeat." 

War was immediately declared between the two empires ; 
but, during the first year of combat, the Ottoman sultan 
never appeared in the field, and Timur having captured the 
strongly fortified city of Sebaste, where he spared only the 
lowest of the inhabitants, causing four thousand of the 
garrison, who were Armenian Christians, to be buried alive 
in a manner so as to aggravate their sufiierings by a prolonged 
death from starvation, commanded the Mahometans of high 
rank, among whom was Ortogrul, the favourite son of 
Bajazet, to be put to death. He then turned aside from the 
prosecution of the Turcomanian campaign, to revenge him- 
self on the dynasty of the Egyptian Mamelukes, whose 
sultan, Barkok, while Timur was engaged in Kipzak, had 
occasioned two Mongul ambassadors, sent to him from the 
emperor, to be assassinated upon their arrival at his court. 
A Circassian by birth, this prince, commencing with the 
murder of an indulgent master, had raised himself from a 
slave and a prisoner to the perilous throne of Cairo. He 
had died, but his son Farradge, who succeeded him, had still 
further exasperated Timur, by causing one of his officers to 
be Seized, wheh in command of a fortress on the frontiers of 
Syria, and closely confined, where he still remained in chains, 
in a dungeon in Egypt. The terrible defeat of the sultan's 
emirs with an enormous army of Syrians before Aleppo, was 
the retribution for this treachery inflicted by the emperor's 
troops ; and a few Monguls, forcing their way with the 
flying soldiers in a mingled mass into the city, raised a panic, 
and caused the fortress to be surrendered, and a ransom was 
exacted, by the barbarous order of Timur, of several hundreds 
of pyramids of human heads. He released the cadis and 
learned men, of whom there were many in Aleppo, a-nd even 
entered into a dispute with them upon many controversial 
points; and, inquiring the age of one, the Syrian replied, 
"Fifty years." "Fifty years," said the emperor,' "would 
have been the age of my eldest son : you see me here a poor, 
lame, decrepit mortal, yet by my arm has the Almighty been 
pleased to subdue the kingdoms of Iran, Turan, and the 
Indies. I am not a man of blood ; and God is my witness, 


that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, and that 
my enemies have always been the authors of their own 
calamity."* On this occasion he caused several of his own 
soldiers to be put to death, for having, after the publication 
of quarter, contiaued to plunder the inhabitants. 

It was Timur's ordinary custom, on the first day of a 
siege, to hoist a white flag over his pavilion, to signify that, 
if the place surrendered immediately, the lives of aU the 
garrison should be spared : on the second day it was 
replaced by one of red, to show that the governor and 
leading iuhabitants would be executed, but the rest receive 
quarter ; and on the third day, if the city had not yielded, a 
black ensign surmounted the imperial tent, which all his 
enemies were aware was a proof that every soldier and citizen 
had nothing to expect but death.t 

From Aleppo the emperor marched to Damascus, where 
he met with a considerable repulse from the Egyptian troops. 
The Mirza Sultan Hussein, his grandson, deserted after a 
banquet in his pavilion, and went over to the enemy j but 
Timur, subsequently obtaining entrance into the city under 
cover of a truce, basely violated the treaty, and exacted a 
heavy tribute from the inhabitants, who were afterwards 
compelled to see their houses reduced to ashes by his army 
at the instigation of their leader, who in an animated dis- 
course excited them to revenge, as he alleged, the crime of 
the ancestors of the Damascenes, for permitting, in the 
precincts of their capital, the murder of a grandson of the 
prophet. Towards the borders of Egypt, and beyond the 
walls of Jerusalem, Timur extended his triumphant march ; 
and in that city, where the Holy Sepulchre was hired to the 
Christians by the Mamelukes, and the entire place reduced 
to a most desolate and ruinous state, he treated the inha- 
bitants with an indulgence and lenity equally unusual either 
from him or to them ; and, distributing many presents 
among the pi-iests and devotees of the different sects, freed 
the citizens from all subsidies and taxes, and the presence of 
any garrison or troops. After quitting Jerusalem, the 
Monguls abandoned Palestine, and crossed the Euphrates 
under their chief; and after the capture of Bagdad, where 
the emperor commanded that not a building should be spared 

• Ribbon's "Decline and Fall of the Komnu Empire." 
t Tortei-'s "KnlglltB of Malta." 


with the exception of the colleges, hospitals, and mosques, he 
caused the ruins to be crowned with the ghastly and.horrible 
trophy of a pyramid of ninety thousand heads. A hunt in 
Mesopotamia terminated this successful campaign, and money 
was coined and circulated in Palestine in his name till many 
years after his death ; and, finally returning to Samarcand 
by way of Georgia, he immediately prepared for a renewal 
of the Ottoman war. The Sultan Bajazet for two years had 
been collecting and increasing his strength, and his army 
amounted to 400,000 men, while that of Timur has been 
computed at not less than 800,000 ; and, having distributed 
their arrears of pay for the last seven years, the emperor 
marched upon Asia Minor with this enormous force. 

And now the two great Mahometan empires of the east 
and of the west were about to encounter each other in 
moi-tal combat. Superiority in numbers was indeed greatly 
upon the side of the Monguls, who had drawn soldiers and 
slaves from all Asia to assist in swelling their tremendous 
host; but the Ottomans had measured swords with, and 
proved victorious over, the most valiant knights and warriors 
of the chivalrous nations of Europe ; and the sultan's squad- 
rons were increased by fugitives from the vanquished hordes 
of Toktamish, who had settled near Adrianople, upon being 
driven by Timur out of Kipzak. Yet the difierence either 
in force or discipline was not so great in the armies as in the 
habits and conduct of their chiefs ; and while Bajazet for a 
long period had abandoned himself to indolence and excess, 
the sixty-six years that had passed over Timur's head ap- 
peared only to have increased his activity, and strengthened 
his arm. While the sultan was idly awaiting his rival in 
his camp, near the ruins of Suvas in Anatolia, Timur passed 
him in a rapid march from the Araxes, and surrounded 
Angora, to which place he was pursued by his antagonist, and 
each army, equally eager to meet the other in the field, drew 
up their forces in battle array upon the memorable plains 
outside the town.* A line of elephants from Hindoostan 
was arranged, to intimidate the enemy, in front of the Mon- 
gul ranks, whose main body was commanded by the eldest 
grandson of Timur, the Mirza Mehemed j and their right and 
left wings by the Mirzas Miran Shah and Oharoc, while 
before them was borne the military banner of the Tartars, 

• Slierefeddln Alls "History of Timur Bek." 


a red liorse-tail, surmounted by a crescent. A Servian, the 
brotlier-in-law of Bajazeb, led the right wing of the Ottomans, 
their other battalions being commanded by his five sons, and 
both Monguls and Turkomans made use of the artificial 
fire of the Greeks ; but, on the eve of battle, the sultan's 
forces were thrown into confusion and dismay, by a mutiny, 
provoked by his avarice, breaking out among their ranks, and 
his Tartar allies deserted to the enemy, having been tempted 
by the secret emissaries of the emperor, with the hope of 
their re-establishment in Kipzak, and shamed by the reproach 
that they were about to serve against their brethren on the 
side of their forefathers' slaves.* Their defection was a 
serious loss to the Ottomans, who, so unequally matched, en- 
gaged their opponents on the 1st of July, 1402 ; and, though 
Bajazet himself fought and commanded with his accustomed 
valour and ability, his son Solyman prematurely abandoned 
the field, and, carrying ofi' the baggage and treasury, crossed 
the Hellespont t and took refuge in Europe. After a vain 
attempt to rally the scattered Turkomans, and make head 
against the foe, the sultan was himself compelled to fly, but 
was pursued and captured by the Monguls, and while one of 
their detachments, under the Mirza Mehemed, proceeded to 
Brusa, and burned and pillaged the Ottoman metropolis, he 
was led a prisoner before the stern and haughty conqueror. 
Yet Timur appears to have received the unfortunate prince 
with much consideration and kindness ; having assured him 
that neither he nor his friends should receive any injury 
at their captor's hands — " All misfortunes," said he, " occur 
through the will of the Most High ; and no man, however 
powerful he may be, can conduct them as he may wish." 
But the victor went on to represent to the captive monarch, 
" that he owed his calamities entirely to his own obstinacy and 
ambition, and that if he would only have consented to 
remain at peace, and restore the emperor's subjects whom he 
had imprisoned, and the fortresses that ho had seized upon in 
the Mongul territories, to Timur ; that he (the emperor) had 
contemplated uniting his forces with the Ottomans, and car- 
rying on the war for their religion with greater vigour, not 
resting tiU they had totally exterminated the enemies of 

• Gibbon's "DecIIneandralloftheEoman Empire." 

t At this time the straits of the Bosphorus were In the hands of the Greets, ana those 
01 tlie llellespoat iu tlie possession of the Turiis. 


Mahomet."* He also observed that he was not ignorant of 
the fate that Bajazet had reserved, in the event of success, for 
himself and his troops ; but that he scorned to retaliate, and 
■would show his gratitude to the Almighty by clemency to 
man. The sultan's chief concern was with regard to the fate 
of his two youngest sons, whom he had missed in the flight ; 
but one of them being subsequently brought to the emperor's 
camp, he was honourably treated by Timur, who caused a 
handsome pavilion to be prepared for the residence of father 
and son adjoining his own, but insisted upon the Christian 
brother-in-law of Bajazet embracing the faith of Mahomet. 
He also commanded that the sultaness should be restored 
with her daughters to her husband ; but an attempt to escape 
upon the part of the royal prisoners, by digging a mine 
beneath their tent, appears to have provoked from the victor 
a harsher treatment, and the ex-monarch, during the frequent 
marches of the Monguls, was carried in a litter upon the back 
of a camel or in a waggon, which probably gave rise to the 
story circulated by Arabshah, that Timur confined his illus- 
trious victim within an iron cage, a punishment that the 
latter had formerly designed for himself. Bajazet expired of 
apoplexy on the 23rd of March, 1403, and his body was con- 
veyed with regal magnificence to his capital, and interred in 
the mausoleum that he had erected at Brusa, and the emperor 
conferred the government of Anatolia upon his son Mousa, 
while his sultana with the rest of his family were released 
from captivity. 

After the battle of Angora, Timur repaired with his army 
to Smyrna, which was strongly fortified, and defended by a 
garrison from Rhodes of the Knights of the Order of St. 
John, and had held out seven years against Bajazet with a 
strong Ottoman force. Burning naphtha, boiling oil, Greek 
fire, and stones, were poured by the Christians from the walls 
upon their assailants with unwearying perseverance, and all 
the resources which their desperate condition could prompt ; 
while the rain poured down every day in ceaseless torrents, 
so as greatly to incommode the besiegers, whose arms were 
rusted and blunted, by the moisture, which, from their camp 
being completely under water, penetrated all their tents. The 
blockade continued for three weeks, imtil the Monguls forced 
the breaches in the ramparts, and stormed and carried the 

• Sherefedain All's "History of Timur Bek." 


place, when the emperor caused, every knight and soldier to 
be put to death. In the mean time, the Grand Master of 
Rhodes had despatched reinforcements and supplies, to assist 
his comrades in Smyrna to maintain their heroic resistance, 
as he considered the possession of this city by the Christians 
of the utmost importance, for, so long as they retained it, 
Smyrna formed for them a gate into Asia, through which 
they easily passed to the Holy Land. The vessels carrying 
this relief appeared off the coast a few days after the Monguls 
had entered the place, and Timur commanded that the fate 
of their countrymen should be made known to them, by 
casting the heads of the knights from his machines upon 
their decks. Upon receiving this horrible confirmation of 
the fears that they had entertained for the safety of their 
countrymen, from the moment they had appeared within 
sight of the ruined fortress, the ships of Rhodes weighed 
anchor, and returned with their cargoes to the island, from 
whence they spread the intelligence of the Mongul conquests 
in Anatolia throughout all Europe.* 

The fear in which Bajazet had been held by the nations of 
the West was replaced, on his defeat, by a dread lest Timur 
should extend his conquests across the sea to the Christian 
shores of the Grecian Hellespont ; and an ambassador was 
sent from even the distant kingdom of Castille, to negotiate 
a treaty and alliance with the Eastern monarch, to whom he 
brought from his master, Henry III., several pieces of 
Spanish tapestry, and other splendid gifts.t At the same 
time, there appears to have been some correspondence between 
the Mongul emperor and the court of Charles VI. of France ; 
and the Byzantine Caesar, Manuel, consented to pay the same 
tribute to Timur that had formerly been wrested from his 
coffers by the arms of the victorious Ottomans. Solyman, 
the son of Bajazet, accepted from his father's conqueror the 
investiture of the kingdom of Eoumania, which was already 
virtually his own, and the Sultan of Egypt averted a second 
invasion of his dominions by proposing terms of peace, and 
sending an envoy, with a present of nine ostriches and a 
giraffe to Samarcand, he agreed that in future all the Egyp- 
tian money and coin should bear the inscription and name 
of the Zagataian khans. But though the Ottoman empire 

* Sherefeddin All.— Porter's "Knights of Malta." 
t (jibbon's "Decline anti Fall ot the Koinau Empire." 


was compelled for a few years to bow before the horsemen of 
Transoxiaaa and the archers of the north, she was doomed 
subsequently to arise in replenished lustre and glory, far out- 
stripping her then declining rival in the race of conquest 
and fame ; and in less than haK a century after the death of 
Timur, while his dominions were divided and in confusion, 
and fast separating from beneath the sway of his successors, 
the grandson of Bajazefc had captured and subdued the most 
ancient and polished sovereignty of Europe ; and, driving her 
princes into exile, had seen the last of the Caesars perish in 
the storm of his capital, and had led the fierce soldiers of 
Asia to victory, in the centre of the Christian continent.* 

* When Timm* undertook a distant campaign, he was accustomed to sow seeds along 
liis line of march, that the crops might supply his army on its return. " When I clothed 
myself in the bed of empire," says Ue, in Uis lustitutious, "I cast from myself the down 
of safety and repose," 


JLiiraii: Kfuras ta ^amsxtm'h — 3ds nut for €^hxn — ^is hst^ — 
Crmblcs in t^t dm^u — ^is saxassors — SC^t fmpanr 

Weigh 'd in the balance, hero dust 
Is vile as vulgar clay; 
Tliy scales, Mortality, arc just 
To all that pass away. — Loud BruoN. 

At length, having laid at his feet all Syria, Mesopotamia, 
and Asia Minor, and after an absence of nearly five years, 
the Emperor Timur, towards the middle of the year 1403, 
began to retrace his steps towards his native land. Pausing 
on his route to complete the reduction of Georgia, and the 
turbulent provinces of the Caucasus, he occupied himself 
entirely, upon his arrival at his capital in Transoxiana, in 
the administration of justice, and the reform of abuses in the 
government. His return to Samarcand was haUed with a 
clamorous joy by all ranks among the people, and for many 
weeks the court and city was one long scene of riotous feast- 
ing and mirth ; the Zagataians abandoned themselves to 
amusement and revelling, and the marriages of six of the 
grandsons of Timur were celebrated in one day in the royal 
palace. After this ceremony, the emperor gave a banquet to 
his family and subjects, at which the Spanish ambassadors 
from CastUle were permitted to be present ; " for the smallest 
fish," says the haughty Persian historian, " has its place in 
the ocean ; " and he subsequently gave a reception to the 
envoys of Egypt, Arabia, and Hindoostan, and several princes 
of the family of Toktamish, the exiled khan of Kipzak. To 
these he pledged his word to assist, at some future time, 
their unfortunate sovereign in the recovery of his forfeited 
dominions ; but at present the Mongul armies would have 
BufBcient occupation in the project that he was about to 
undertake, which was no less an enterprise than the conquest 
and conversion to Islamism of the whole Celestial empire. 


He appears at this time to have felt some remorse for the 
terrible slaughter that he had caused ia his mimerous cam- 
paigns ; and, in a proclamation to his soldiers, he justified 
this war by conjuring these veterans to cleanse their swords 
from the blood of their fellow Mussulmen, the Ottomans, by 
washing them in that of the infidels and rebels of Chiaa. 
" As our vast conquests," said he, " have not been accomplished 
without great violence, and the destruction of many creatures 
of the Almighty,* I have resolved to perform some good 
action, which" may atone for the sins of my past life ; and by 
what better means can we obtain the pardon of our offences, 
than in demolishing the temples of the idols in this holy war, 
and erecting on their sites mosques and buildings for the 
worship of the prophet." f 

Nearly forty years before this period, a native chief of that 
empire had risen against the imperial and degenerate Mongul 
who occupied the throne of Pekin ; and after a long and fierce 
warfare, and the mutual slaughter of a million of the people, 
had succeeded in expelling the last Chinese emperor of the 
family of Zingis beyond the walls of China, to' the Tartar 
deserts. To revenge this insult to the Mongul race, who had 
accompanied their deposed chief to Mongoliar— to drive the 
successor of Hong-vu,J the usurper, from China, and increase 
the followers of Mahomet — was the ostensible cause for which 
Timur undertook this campaign j and on the 8th of January, 
1405, be departed from Samarcand to join his army and 
emirs, who had already preceded him on their route. Not- 
withstanding his age, and the , severity of the season, he 
marched three hundred miles on horseback, crossed the frozen 
Sihon, and arrived at the Mongul camp near Otrar, where 
his troops, the conquerors of Syria, had assembled to the 
number of two hundred thousand, with five hundred large 
waggons of baggage and provision, and multitudes of loaded 
horses and camels. But a mightier conqueror than himself 
was awaiting the emperor ; and on the 25 th of March he was 
seized with a violent fever, and believed that he heard the 
houris calling, and saying to him, " Repent, for thou must 
appear before God ! " He then ordered his family and officers 
to assemble round him, and having requested them to make 

* It Is computed that Tlmur, dai-lng his career, caused the death of 18,000,000 human 
+ Sherefeddin AH's " History of Tlmur Bek." 
I Cliu assumed the name of Hong-vu on attaining the imperial power. 


no useless lamentation upon Ms decease, but to pray for his 
soul, he observed — That since he had been so highly faroured 
as to be enabled to give laws to the earth, so that throughout 
all Iran and Turan no man dare encroach upon his neighbour, 
nor during his reign had any poor suffered from the oppres- 
sion of the rich, he hoped that his sins might be forgiven 
him, though they were so many and so great. " I have 
cleansed this empire," said he, " from the enemies and dis- 
turbers of its people ; but if you, my sons, allow discord to 
enter among you, misfortune will attend aU that you attempt, 
irreparable mischief will arise both in the government and 
in religion, and be assured that, at the day of judgment, a 
strict account will be required from those to whom I have 
intrusted this nation's safety and peace." He then named 
his grandson, Pir Mehemed Gehamgir, as his successor, that 
prince being the oldest member of the family* of the emperor, 
whose two elder sons had been long dead, and commanded all 
the emirs and generals to obey him, " that the world might 
rest in equity and tranquillity, and that the fruit of so many 
years of labour and bloodshed might not be lost." A few 
days after, Timur expired in his military tent, on the night 
of the 31st of March, 1405, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, 
and thirty-sixth of his eventful reign; and his body was 
transported to a mausoleum he had erected at Canicah in 
Samarcand, being laid beside that of his distinguished grand- 
son, the Mirza Mehemed, and the coffin of a renowned Mus- 
sulman prophet. He left thirty-six sons and grandsons, of 


" When the divine Timur dwelt within our tents, the Mongul nation was formidable 
and warlike. Its least movement made tlie earth Ijeud. Its mere look froze with fear 
the ten thousand tribes upon whom the earth shines. 

O, divine Timur ! will thy pjeat sonl soon revive? 
Return, return, we await thee, O Timur 1 
" We live in our vast plains, tranquil and peaceful as sheep ; yet our hearts are fervent 
and lull of life. The memory of the glorious age of Timur is ever present to our minds. 
Where is the cliief who is to place himself at our head, and make us ouco more great 
■warriors ? 

O, divine Timur! will thy preat soul soon revive? 
Return, return, we await' thee, O Timurl 
" The young Mongul has arms wherewith to quell the wild horse ; eyes wherewith he 
sees, afar off in the deseit, the traces of the last camel. Alas! his arms can no longer 
bend the bow of his ancestors, his eye cannot see the wiles of the enemy. 
O, divine Timur! will thy great soul soon revive? 
Return, return, we await thee, O Timur ! 
*' We have burned the sweet-smelling wood at the feet of the divine Timur; our fore- 
heads bend to the earth : we liave offered him the green leaf of tea, and the milk of our 
herds. We are ready; the Monguls are on foot, O Timor! And do thou, Lama ! send 
down good fortuue upon our arrows and our lances. 

O, divine Timur! will thy great soul soon revive! 
Return, return, we await thee, Timur." 

—Hue's "Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China." 
• See Descendants of Timur, next page. 











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6. 1879. 

av Chcik 
. 1398. 




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and five 





whom the most famous were his third son, the Mirza Miran, 
Shah of Persia, and his son Calil, who was elected emperor 
by a faction among the princes, in opposition to the Mirza 
Pir Mehemed ; Charoc, his youngest and favourite child, 
who, renowned alike for his courage and humanity, subse- 
quently united for a few years under his sway the contending 
factions that were consumiag his father's empire ; and Hussein, 
the son of Ahia, a daughter of the emperor, who in Syria 
had deserted to the Egyptians, and by opposing the council 
of generals after his grandfather's death, and disbanding his 
division of the troops, caused the Mongul army to return to 
their homes, and abandon the Chinese war.* The eldest 
son of Timur, the Mirza Gehangir had died shortly after 
his father had ascended the Transoxianian throne, and his 
son Mehemed, who was bastinadoed for misgoverument in 
Persia, and subsequently made generalissimo under the 
emperor in Asia Minor, where he greatly distinguished him- 
self in the Ottoman campaign, had been seized with a severe 
illness when returning in 1403 from the borders of the 
Turkish empire in Anatolia, and expired at the age of 
twenty-nine, before he had accomplished the march to 
Samarcand. The Mirza Pir Mehemed was the next brother 
of this prince ; but though chosen by Timur as his successor, 
he was soon forced to relinquish his pretensions to the dis- 
puted throne, which was seized and held for a few years by 
Calil, during whose reign the whole empire was a prey to 
civil war. He had been elected by several of the emirs 
immediately after the emperor's death, who had met together 
to decide upon the expediency of carrying out or abandoning 
the projected expedition into China, and had finally decided 
that it should be continued under his command, as he had 
been a brave and able officer in his grandfather's army, and 
was considered the most capable among the princes of con- 
ducting it to a glorious termination, and he was finally and 
unanimously chosen by the soldiers to fill the imperial 
throne. But his right was disputed by many of the officers 
and mirzas, and the nearest relations of the deceased monarch, 
who supported the claims of Mehemed, as having been nomi- 
nated his heir by Timur himself At the same time 
Hussein raised a revolt among the forces, and disbanded his 
own squadrons upon their refusal to acknowledge him as 

• SherefodiUn All's "Hl3t. of Timur Bck." 


chief; and with a smaH body of foUo-wers inarching upon 
Samarcandj he was intercepted by the partisans of , Calil, 
and forced to retire into Persia, while Mehemed, who until 
then had held the capital, abandoned it with the empresses 
and viziers, and established himself at Bokhara, where he 
was proclaimed khan. The rebellion of Hussein threw the 
army into confusion, and caused Calil to assemble his ad- 
herents and repair with them to Samarcand, where he was 
crowned emperor ; and the ice .on the Sihon giving way 
while the waggons and baggage-camels were crossing,, 
several were lost in the river, being heavily loaded with gold. . 
Thus the campaign was entirely abandoned, and the empire 
of Zagatai given up to dissension and misrule, when Calil, 
having reigned for several years, and squandered all the 
treasures that had been accumulated by his grandfather in 
so many wars, while Syria, Georgia, and Asia Minor had 
been reclaimed by their ancient masters, was deposed in 
1411 by his subjects, and Charoc mounted the throne. 

But the empire of the Monguls was setting, and after 
Timur's death began surely and rapidly to decline. On 
being driven out of China, and expelled into the deserts by 
the arms of Hong-vu, all the principal cities and fortresses 
throughout Mongolia had been burned or razed by the 
Chinese to the ground, and these, having never been rebuilt 
by the inhabitants, their ruins still lie scattered over the 
steppes. The people returned to their former patriarchal 
mode of life, and again dwelt in tents and among their 
flocks. In Persia the conquering race shortly met with the 
same fate. After the death of Charoc, his descendants were 
massacred or carried into slavery by the Turkomans, and 
the land becoming divided among numerous local chiefs, the 
natives alternately groaned under their tyranny, or were 
oppressed by the inroads of surrounding invaders. At 
length these provinces were re-united in the year 1510 by 
the powerful arm of a Persian nobleman, the Shah Ismael 
Sail, and his family continueid to rule over the kingdom till 
1716, when they were forced to give way to the Afghans, 
whose dynasty was shortly, after overthrown in turn 
by the conquests of the celebrated Nadir Shah. But the 
Emperor Charoc preserved peace and prosperity in his 
dominions during his own life, and, cementing with a firm, 
hand the scattered khanates of the empire, ruled over 


Transoxiana and Persia, Kandahar, Khorassan and a part 
of India. He is celebrated for Lis accomplishments and the 
equity of his government, and less honourably for his 
avarice, which accumulated vast stores of riches ; and in 1419 
he sent a friendly embassy to Pekin, and formed an offensive 
and defensive alliance with the ancient enemy of his race, 
the Celestial empire. His eldest son Ulugh, who has 
acquired lasting renown by the astronomical tables composed 
from his directions, succeeded him in 142S, while the second, 
Ibrahim, swayed the sceptre of Farsistan in Persia ; but 
Ulugh was assassinated in 1448 by his own son AbdoUatif,* 
who six months later was put to death by the soldiers, after 
inflicting the same fate upon his brother ; upon which his 
cousin Abdollah, the son of Ibrahim, seized the perilous 
crown. After a year of contention and misgovernment, this 
prince, the last descendant of Charoc, was expelled by the 
Mirza Abusaid, the Prince of Ferghana, and a grandson of 
Miran Shah. The new emperor kept his throne till 1468, 
when he was taken prisoner and put to death by his rebel 
subject Hassan Bey ; and his son Zehireddin Muhammed or 
Baber, who succeeded him, being driven out by the Uzbek 
Tartars from Samarcand, retired to Ghizni, from whence he 
subsequently issued forth as a conqueror, and rendered him- 
self master of the rich and extensive empire of Hindoostan. 

This prince, who was an excellent poet and accomplished 
scholar, notwithstanding his chequered career, and the 
coimtless military expeditions in which he took a prominent 
part, was bora in 1482, when his father's dominions had 
been reduced to the insignificant province of Kokan, or 
Ferghana, and the magnificent city of Samarcand. He was 
early deprived of his capital by his northern enemies, and at 
one time was nominal sovereign of a large though turbulent 
empire, at another period owned scarcely a tent, for he was 

* " At the period of the Monpiil supremacy, when, in the fifteenth century, nstronomy 
floUT-islied at Samarcand under Ulugh Bcr, iihotometrlc determinations wore facilitated 
Ijy the subdivision of each of the six classes of nipparchus, and Ptolemy, Into three 
subordinate groups, distinctions for example being drawn between the smalU interme- 
diate, and large stars of the second magnitude, an attempt which reminds us of the 
decimal gradations of Struve and Argelander. This advance in photometry by a more 
exact determination of degrees of hitensity, is ascribed in UlUBh Beg's tables to Abdur- 
raham Sufi, who wrote a worlc 'on the Itnowled^'e of the fixed stars,' and was the first 
who mentions one of the Mageilanic clouds under the uauio of the White Ox."— Hum- 

"The name, Abdurrahman Sufi, was contracted by Ulugh Beg from Abdurrahman 
Ebii Omar, Ebn Mahommed, Ebn Sahl, Abroll Hassan el Sufl et Bagl. Uluch Beg who, 
lllto Nasslreddin, amended the Ptolemaic star positions from his own observations (14a7j, 
admits that he borrowed from Sutl's work the position of twenty-seven southern stats 
not visible at Samarcand."— JWd. 



defeated almost as frequently as tie was victorious, and ap- 
pears, till he had attained a mature age and experience, to 
have been deficient in the talents of a great miHtaay com- 
mander, though his valour -was undaunted, and his energy 
and daring unsurpassed. Like his great ancestor Timur, he 
has left most interesting commentaries* of the extraordinary 
events of his varied and romantic life ; and in these he has given 
descriptions of the aspect and productions of those countries 
which he traversed, with a truth and exactitude that all 
modem travellers can vouch. In speaking of the state of 
Transoxiana at this period, his translator, Mr. Erskine, ob- 
serves — " It is evident that, in consequence of the protection 
which had been afforded to the people of Maveralnahar by 
their regular governments, a considerable degree of comfort, 
and perhaps still more of elegance and civility, prevailed in 
the towns. The whole age of Baber, however, was one of 
great confusion. Nothing contributed so much to produce 
the constant wars, and eventual devastation of the country, 
as the want of some fixed rule of succession to the throne ; 
for the ideas of regal descent, according to primogeniture, 
were very indistinct, as is the case in all Oriental, and in 
general all despotic kingdoms. The death of the ablest 
sovereign was only the signal for a general war. The 
different parties at court or in the harem of the prince, 
espoused the cause of different competitors ; and every neigh- 
bouring potentate believed himself to be perfectly justified 
in marching to seize his portion of the spoil. The grandees 
of the court, while they took their place by the side of the 
candidate of their choice, do not appear to have believed 
that fidelity to him was any necessary virtue ; and the 
nobility, unable to predict the events of one twelvemonth, 
degenerated into a set of selfish, calculating, though perhaps 
brave, partisans. Rank, and wealth, and present enjoyment 
became their idols ; and the prince felt the influence of the 
general want of stability, and was himself educated in the 
loose principles of an adventurer." Such was the state of 
Transoxiana at the time when the descendants of Timur 
were driven beyond the waters of the Oxus ; and Baber, 
chased even from Kokan by his adversaries, and his followers 
reduced to only two hundred and forty inen, formed the bold 

' These have been most aMy translated and annotated by Dr. Lcyden and Mr. Ersliinc. 


resolution of attacking tlie strongly defended Samarcand, 
whicli was then held by a large army of Uzbeks, headed by 
Sheibani their khan. Aided by his friends within the walls, 
he stormed and entered the place, and the hostile sovereign 
fled ; but a short time after, it was again surrounded and 
besieged by the enemy, when Baber finding himself without 
hope of succour, and his brave little force suffering severely 
from famine, evacuated the stronghold by night, and retreated 
to Cabul,* where, after encountering considerable opposition, 
and challenging and slaying successively five chiefs in single 
combat, he established himself at Ghizni, from whence in 
the year 1526, to quote his own words, " placing his footstep 
in the stirrup of resolution," he marched forth from his rocky 
kingdom beyond the Indus, for the conquest and subjection 
of Hindoostan. He thus describes in his commentaries the 
blockade by the Uzbeks of Samarcand. 

" During the continuance of the siege, the rounds of the 
rampai-t were regularly gone once every night, sometimes by 
Kasim Beg, and sometimes by the other Begs and captains. 
From the Firozeh gate to that of Sheikh Zadeh we were 
able to go along the ramparts on horseback, every where else 
we were obliged to go on foot. Setting out in the beginning 
of the night, it was morning before we had completed our 

" One day Sheib^ Khan made an attack between the iron 
gate and that of the Sheikh Zadeh. As I was with the 
reserve, I immediately led them to the quarter that was 
attacked, without attending to the Washing-green gate, or 

• Baber thas describes Cabul in liis commentaries : — 

'* Tills country lies between Hindoostan and Khorassan. It is an excellent and profitable 
market tor commodities. Wero the merchants to curry their goods as far as Khita 
(Northern China) or Rum (Turkey), they would scarcely get the same profit on them. 
Every year seven, eight, or ten thousand horses arrive in Cabul. From Hindoostan 
every year fifteen or twenty thousand pieces of cloth are brought by caravans, with 
slaves, white cloths, and sugar candy. The productions of Khorassan, Rum, Irak, and 
Chiro, may all be found in Cabul, which is the very emporium of Hindustan. Its warm 
and cold districts are close by each other. From Cabul you may in a single day go to a 
place where snow never falls, and in two hours you may reach a spot where snow lies 
always, except now and then when the summer happens to be peculiarly hot In the 
districts dependent on Cabul there is great abundance of the fruits both of hot and cold 
climates, and they are found in its immediate vicinity. Grapes, pomegranates, apricot& 
peaches, pears, apples, quinces, jujubes, damsons, almonds, walnuts, orange, and citron, 
grow in abundance there, and 1 caused the sugar-cane, and sour cherry to be trans- 
planted here, which continue thriving. Cabul is not fertile in grain, a return of four or 
live to one is considered favourable; the melons too are not good, but the climate is 
extremely delightful, there is no such place in the known world. In the nights of 
summer, you cannot sleep without a lambskin cloak. Though the snow falls very deeii 
in the winter, yet the cold is never excessively intense. Samarkand and Tabriz are 
celebrated for their fine chmates, but the cold there is extreme beyond measure. (Ho 
then describes a garden he caused to be made near the Cabul river.) Apes are foutiil 
near the mountains, towards Hindustan. The inhabitants used formerly' to keep hogs, 
but iu my time tliey have renounced the practice." 


the Needlemakers' gate. That same day, from the top of the 
Sheikh Zadeh's gateway I struck a white horse, an excellent 
shot, with my crossbow ; it fell dead the moment my arrow 
touched it ; but, in the meanwhile, they had made such a 
vigorous attack near the Camel's-neck, that they effected a 
lodgment close under the rampart. Being hotly engaged in 
repelling the enemy where I was, I had entertained no 
apprehension of danger on the other side, where they had 
prepared, and brought with them five or six and twenty 
scaling-ladders, each of which was so broad that two or three 
men could mount abreast. He had placed in ambush, 
opposite to the city wall, seven or eight hundred chosen men, 
with these ladders, between the Ironsmiths' and Needle- 
makers' gates, while he himself moved to the other side, and 
made a false attack. Our attention was entirely drawn off 
to this attack ; and the men in ambush no sooner saw the 
works opposite to them empty of defenders, by the watch 
having left them, than they rose from the place where they 
had been in ambush, advanced with extreme speed, and 
applied their scaling-ladders all at once between the two 
gates that have been mentioned, exactly opposite to Muham- 
med Mazid Terphan's house. The Begs who were on guard 
had only two or three of their servants and attendants about 
them. Nevertheless Kuch Beg, Muhammed Kuli Kochin 
Shah Sufi, and another brave cavalier, boldly assailed them and 
displayed signal heroism. Some of the enemy had already 
mounted on the wall, and several others were in the act of 
scaling it, when these four arrived on the spot, fell upon them 
sword in hand, and drove the assailants back over the ram- 
parts, putting them all to flight. 

" It was now the season of the ripening of the grain, and 
none had ventured to bring in any new corn. As the siege 
had been greatly protracted, the inhabitants were reduced to 
extreme distress, and our affairs oame to such a pass, that 
the poor and meaner sort were forced to feed on dogs' and 
asses' flesh. Grain for the horses becoming scarce, they were 
obliged to eat the leaves of trees ; and it was ascertained 
from experience that the foliage of the mulberry and black- 
wood answered best. Many used the shavings of wood, 
which they soaked in water, and gave to their steeds ; and 
for three or four months Sheibani Khan did not approach 


the fortress, but blockaded it at some distance on all sides, 
changing bis ground from time to time. I looked for aid 
and assistance from the princes my neighbours ; but each of 
them had his attention fixed on some other object ; as, for 
example, the Sultan Hiissain Mirza, who was undoubtedly 
a brave and experienced monarch, but neither did he give 
me succour, or even send an ambassador to encourage me." 

At length, having abandoned Samarcand with his 
followers, Baber describes how they lost their way among 
the many streams of the district ; but at length, regaining 
the desired road, their spirits rose with the brightness of the 
morning, and they urged their horses to a race, which had 
nearly cost the emperor his life. His saddle turned, and he 
fell on his head to the ground. " I did not recover full pos- 
session of my senses," says he, "tiU the evening, and the 
world, and all that occurred round me, passed before my eyes 
and understanding like a fantasy or dream. At dawn the 
following day, we arrived at the friendly town of Dizah, 
where we found abundance of bread, melons, and grapes ; 
thus passing from the extremity of famine to plenty, and 
from an estate of danger and calamity to ease and peace." 
At a spring, near which they halted on their route, Baber 
inscribed these words in Persian upon a stone — 

"Many a man like us has rested by this fountain, 
And disappeared in the twinlcllng of an eye ; 
Should we conquer tlie whole world by our manhood and strength, 
Yet could we not carry it with us to the gi'ave. " 

The adventurers subsequently united their arms to those 
of a friendly chief, who assisted the emperor in his campaign 
against Cabul, where he established himself about the year 
1506, and from whence, twenty years later, he mai'ched 
against the Sultan Ibrahim of Delhi. The Mongul army 
amounted to only thirteen thousand horse, and were opposed 
by a hundi'ed thousand cavalry and a thousand elephants ; 
but the brave and hardy archers of Ghizni, notwithstanding 
the disparity of numbers, were invincible to the eflfeminate 
Hindoo, whose forces were swept away or fled in legions, 
leaving the two chiefs to decide the battle by an almost 
single combat. This was terminated by the death of 
Ibrahim after displaying signal courage ; and the few remain- 
ing followers, who still rallied round him, immediately took 


to fligM, SO that Baber in the year 1526 proclaimed himself 
Emperor of Delhi.* 

But the war was still sustained in the western provinces 
of Hindoostan by the energy and valour of the deceased 
sultan's brother, Mahmoud, who, refusing to acknowledge the 
usurper, mustered an army of one hundred thousand men to 
support his own rights. A panic seized the Mongul horse- 
men, who tried to induce their prince to return to Cabul. 
" Never ! " exclaimed he ; " for since death is inevitable, it is 
glorious to meet him with courage, face to face, rather than 
to shrink back, to gain a few years of a miserable and igno- 
minious existence, since we inherit but fame beyond the 
grave." He then appealed to the religious zeal of his terror- 
stricken troops, from whom he exacted an oath on the Koran, 
that they would either conquer or die j and having himself 
made a vow to the prophet, to renounce for ever the use of 
wine, in which hitherto he had too freely indulged, he caused 
all his golden goblets and other drinking-vessels to be broken 
up and distributed among the poor. He then advanced 
with his small army against the tremendous force of 
Mahmoud, over whom, however, he possessed a great advan- 
tage in the superiority and number of his musketeers and 
artillery, a mode of warfare then almost unknown in Hindoo- 
stan ; and after a long and sanguinary engagement, in which 
the greater part of the adverse princes and officers were left 
dead upon the field, he compelled the entire forces of the 
enemy to take refuge in flight, and became master of the 
Indian throne, though his possession was long disputed by 
insuri'ections both round Delhi and in Oabul. But in less 

* He thus speaks of Hindoostan—" Hindoostan is a remarkably fine country, but its 
hills, rivers, forests, and plains, animals, plants, inhabitants, and languages, its winds, 
and rains, are all entirely difTerent to ours. This disparity commences immediately yea 
cross the river Sind, where we came upon several countries in the range of the northern 
mountains, such as PekheU and Shemeng, most of which, though formerly included in 
the territories of Kashmir, are now independent. About these hills are other tribes of 
men. All the towns and lands of Hindoostan have a uniform loolt, its gardens have no 
walls, and the greater part is a level plain, which in many places is covered by a ttiorny 
brushwood, to such a degree that the people of the Pergamas, relying on these forests, take 
shelter in them, ahd trusting to their inaccessible situation, often continue in a state of 
revolt, refusing to pay the taxes. In Hindoostan, if you except the rivers, there is little 
running water; all the cities are supplied by wells or tanks, in which it is collected during 
the rainy season. Here the populousness, and decay or total destruction of villages, nay, 
of cities, is almost instantaneous. Large cities that have been inhabited for a series of 
years (If on an alarm the Inhabitants take to flight), in a single day, or a day and a 
half, are so completely abandoned, that you can scarcely discover a trace or mark of 
population. This is a country that has few pleasures to recommend it. The people are 
not handsome. They have no idea of the charm of fl*iendly society, of frankly mixing 
together, or of friendly intercourse. They have no genius, no comprehension of mind, 
no politeness of manner, no fellow feeling, no good horses, no good flesh, no grapes or 
musk-melons, no good fruits, no ice or cold water, no good food or bread in their bazaars, 
no baths or colleges, no candles, no torches, not a candlestick. The chief excellence of 
Hindoostan, is its abundance of gold and silver," 


than five years he was overtaken by death, in 1530, and 
in the forty-ninth year of his age, when he bequeathed a name 
which, though occasionally stained by great cruelty to his 
enemies, was, on the whole, of singular clemency and mercy 
for an Asiatic conqueror : through his greatest troubles, he 
was always a gay and cheerful companion, in some instances 
a generous warrior, and ever a sincere and faithful friend. 
Intemperance appears to have been the chief blot upon his 
character, and indeed eventually shortened his life ; and in his 
commentaries he frequently mourns this propensity, which 
he acquired during a visit he paid in 1506 to the court of 
the Sultan of Khorassan. " Till that time," says he, " I had 
never been guilty of drinking wine, and was ignorant of the 
sensations it produced ; yet I had a strong longing to wander 
in this desert, and my heart was much disposed to pass the 
stream. I was a guest at Mezeffer Mirza's house, who had 
placed me above himself, and, having filled up a glass of 
welcome, the cupbearers in waiting began to supply all who 
were of the party with pure wine, which they quafied as if 
it had been the water of life. They tried to make me drink 
too, and bring me into the same circle with themselves ; and 
it came into my head that, as they urged me so much, and as 
besides I had come into a refined city like Herat, in which 
every means of heightening pleasure and gaiety was possessed 
in perfection, I might never have another opportunity of 
gratifying the desire with which my youthful imagination 
had possessed me, if I did not seize the present." After this 
first relapse he appears to have given perpetual banquets, 
though he never allowed them to interfere with the aflFairs of 
state ; but one of these being attended by the tragical conse- 
quence of the death of a friend from a fall over a precipice — 
for whom the emperor wept ten whole days — he made a reso- 
lution to give up wine when he should have attained the age 
of forty ; and in one part of his memoirs he informs us that, 
as he only wanted one year of that period, he now drank 
copiously. However, in the year 1527, when threatened by 
the arms of Mahmoud, he made a vow of temperance, which 
he appears to have kept, and issuing a firman, announcing 
his reformation, he advised all his subjects to imitate it. 
"But," says he, "I had much difficulty in reconciling myself 
to the desert of penitence ; my desire and longing for wine 
and social parties was at one time so great, that I have found 


myself shedding tears from vexation and disappointinent } 
tliotigli now, thanks be to God, these* troiibles are over, and 
I ascribe it chiefly to the occnpation aflforded to my inind 
by a poetical translation on which I have employed myself. 
Last year I wrote to Abdallah, 

' I am distress'd since I renounced wine, 
I am confounded, and unlit for business; 
Regret leads me to penitence, 
Penitence leads me to regret.'" 

Muhammed Baber* left, as his successor to his troubled 
throne, his eldest son Humaioon ; whose son, the celebrated 
Akbar, in a long reign of fifty-one years firmly established 
his family in the imperial power ; and Hindoostan, merely 
exchanging one race of foreign despots for another, reluctantly 
accepted the dynasty of the MoDguls.t 

* His tomb is still to be seen on the top of a hill overhanging the town of Cabul. 

t The historian Ahmed ben Arabshah, malces the spirit of winter thus address Timur 
onhia death-bed— " Stop thy career, thou unjust tyrant! How long dost thou mean to 
carry flames over an uniiappy world ? If thou art a spirit of hell, so am I. We are both 
old, and our occupation is the same, that of subjugating slaves. But proceed to extirpate 
mankind, and make the earth cold, yet thou wilt find at last that my blasts are colder. 
If thou canst boast of countless bands, who faithful to thy orders, harass, and destroy, 
know that my wintry days are, with God's aid, destroyers also; and, by the Almighty 
that liveth, I will abate thee nothing! Thou shalt be overwhelmed with my vengeance, 
and all thy fire shall not save thee from the cold death of the icy tempest." 





FEOM A.D. 1404 TO A.D. 1506; OR, A.M. 6912 TO A.M. 7014. 

So perish all 
Who wonld man by man enthral. — Bieon. 


®Ij« Jiftmtt^ Cjnteg* — J^allof €ansturdho^h — Cl^j P^onguls 
— f ^iir CunqnirDre anb- J^sartirants — ®^« Cossacks. 

Raised oft and long their wild hurrah, 
The children of the Don Scott. 

The fourteenth century had passed away, and the career of 
the fifteenth had commenced ; that century so important and 
■ so celebrated in the history of the world. Besides innumer- 
able minor events, it added a new hemisphere to the known 
regions of our earth ; it gave to Europe a Luther and a Coper- 
nicus, whose doctrines were destined to be dispersed far and 
wide by its prior discovery of lithography and printing ; it 








Vaasill Dmitrovitz. . Henry III. 

Vassill Vassllovltz. 1406. John II. 
Ivan Vassiiovitz the 1454. Henry IV. 
Great 1474. Ferdinand and 


Manuei Paieologng. 
John Paleolopus II. 1413. 
Constantlne Paleologua. 1422. 


Isa Beli9. 
Mahomet I. 
Amurath IT. 
Mahomet U. 



Henry IV. 
Henry V. 
Henry VI. 
Edward IV. 
Edward V. 
Richard lit. 
Henry VII. 

Caslmir IV. 
John Albert. 


Robert, Rhenish Pala- 

SiRismund of Hungary. 

Albert of Austria. 

Fredericlc III. of Aus- 

Maximilian L 


Charles VI. 
Charles VII. 
Louis XI. 
Charles VIII. 
Louis XII. 


1411. Eric XIII. 
1441. chrlatopiier. 
1448 Charles VIIL 
1458. Christian L 
1407. JohnIL 

. Robert IIL 
1406. James I. 
1437. James II. 
1460, James III. 
1488, James IV. 


. Mary. 

1437. Albert. 
1440, Ladislaf IV. 

Isabella, 1444. Ladislaf V. 
1458. Mathias L 
1490. LadislafVI. 


1433, Edward. 

1438. Alphonso V. 
1481, John IL 
1495. Emanuel. 


1404. Innocent VIL 
1406. iix gory XIL 

1409. Alexandpr V. 

1410. John-XXIIL 
1417. Martin V. 
1431. Eugenius IV. 
1447. Nicholas V. 
1455. CallxtusVL 
1458 Pius IL 
1464. Paul II. 
1476. SIxtus IV. 
1484. Innocent VriL 
1492, Alexander VI. 


, Coudge Aglen. 
1401. Boulet. 
1420, Onion Mahomet. 

. Wars and Divisions in 
the Khanate, 
1466. Achmet 


witnessed the final division of the Mongul empire of Timur 
in Asia; and it saw the sun set for ever upon the throne of the 
Csesars in Constantinople.* 

All the enthusiasm that had once been excited by the 
Crusades had now long since expired ; but, notwithstanding 
the disasters of famine, shipwreck, and plague, that had so 
scattered and decimated the Christian armies on the Syrian 
and African shores ; nor the anarchy and misrule to which 
their people became a prey, while the sovereigns were engaged 
in a distant and fruitless campaign — these wars for the rescue 
of Palestine had not entirely been unproductive of benefit to 
the nations and countries of 'Europe. Instead of shutting 
themselves up in their castles, and spending their days and the 
lives of their vassals in fierce conflicts with each other, or 
rebellion against their monarchs, till strangers dare only 
travel strongly guarded, or through by-ways, and beyond the 
gates of the walled cities — no man's property or life was 
secure from the robber baron's or marauding soldier's hand ; 
the minds of the nobles were raised to a higher and more 
worthy aim. If their object had been mistaken, and their 
zeal spent on empty air, the motives of the first warriors, 
who abandoned their former pleasures to meet unknown toils 
and dangers on a barren and far off shore, though perhaps 
tinged with a love of adventure, had in many instances 
been disinterested and pure, and they were thus brought into 
contact with other nations, and with the science and litera- 
ture of the East. 

If the spirit which had then actuated every soldier and 
knight, to respond so readily and eagerly to the call of 
the hermit who first roused their ardour in the cause of 
the Holy Land, had existed at this time among the princes 
and people of the West ; the Greek empire, in spite of 
their jealousy of her creed, might perhaps have been saved 
from her impending fate, and rescued from the sword of the 
common enemy, the barbarous and infidel Turk. But, 
though many French and English adventurers were enrolled 
beneath the flag of Constantino, who was still guarded by 
the weighty axes of the Varangians, the emperors appealed 
in vain to their fellow-Christian monarchs for assistance, 
and the other nations of Europe looked coldly and in- 

* Invention of Printing, 1452— Copernicus born, 1473— -Lutlier born, 1483— Constantinople 
talcen, 1463— Disooveiy of America, 1492— Mongula driven from Samarcand, 1408. 


differently upon her fall. Surely and steadily had the Turks 
been long gaining upon her frontiers, and had gradually 
wrested city after city from her feeble and expiring gi'asp ; 
yet though the Greeks were divided into hostile factions, 
servile, profligate, and degraded, and dependent on their once 
formidable fire bombs and catapults, which the artillery and 
mining skill of their enemies now far surpassed ; though the 
Mahometans, elated by their conquests, and the dazzling 
prospect of her wealth, and urged to victory by the precepts 
and commands of the prophet, had long meditated and pre- 
pared her destruction, the Christian empire still maintained 
a protracted and heroic resistance ; and the death and 
defence of the last Constantiue was worthy of the greatness 
of the first. 

It was now many years since the sultans had placed their 
throne in Adrianople, and erected castles and fortifications 
within the ve;:y sight of Byzantium, on the opposite shove of 
the Bosphorus ; but the glory of the conquest of the capital 
was reserved for the skill and valour of the second Mahomet, 
before whom — after a siege of forty -five days, in which, follow- 
ing the precedent of the Russian Oleg, he caused his ships to 
be transported overland, and a most obstinate defence on 
the part of the desperate Greeks — it fell on the 29th of May, 
1453, after a tremendous bombardment and terrific assault ; 
the young emperor, Constantine Paleologus, falling fighting 
to the last in the sack, and being scarcely distinguished 
amidst the ruins, where he lay under heaps of dead. But 
the same event which extinguished the progress of civiliza- 
tion in Eastern Europe, had a most beneficial efliect on the 
advance and refinement of the West : the capture of Con- 
stantinople drove the fugitive Greeks to all parts of the 
western countries of Europe, where they spread the taste 
for letters and the arts to a hitherto unknown extent. A 
more regular government throughout the continent, untram- 
melled by a turbulent nobility, and enslaved people, gave a 
peace and security that allowed scope for the encouragement 
of learning, in a manner that had never been afforded before ; 
and the brilliant names that, a few years after, grace the 
historic page — of authors, poets, painters, astronomers, navi- 
gators, musicians, and sculptors — are a proof that its advan- 
tages were not lost. 

But far different has been the progress of Asia, the ancient 


continent ; Asia, the first peopled and once most civilized 
quarter of the globe, yet whose heroes, sages, and philo- 
sophers, are now all of the past. Whilst the rest of the world 
was enveloped in a savage darkness and barbarism, she shone 
clearly and vividly in the earlier ages of mankind ; but her 
nations, as they advanced in power and knowledge, have sunk 
between despotism and slavery ; and while in Europe the 
march of progress, and refinement of manners, has been 
marked by relaxing the bonds of serfdom, and extending 
liberal institutions among the people, in Asia a settled govern- 
ment and civilization has only given to tyranny a more iron 
hold ; there liberty has ever been unknown : with the 
harshest despotism of Europe she would have been compara- 
tively free. Eor many centuries, also, the minds of the 
Asiatics of the south and west have been confined to the 
narrow and unyielding doctrines of the Koran, which limits 
all the researches of its votaries to its own long-exploded 
ideas of the order of the universe and of man ; and content 
to reflect on their former conquests, and the stupendous monu- 
ments that still exist of their ancient grandeur and fame, 
they appear generally to have sunk into indifference, and to 
a hopeless state of indolence and apathy j and, while all their 
princes are despots and oppressors, the people are the most 
absolute slaves. 

I have already related how the successor of Hong-vu drove 
the Monguls from China, and destroyed the castles and cities 
that they had erected on their deserts and steppes, and how 
these conquerors resumed their former pastoral and nomade 
life, and again lived among their flocks and in tents. From 
this time their country formed a nominal dependence upon 
Pekin, and long paid her a humiliating tribute ; but towards 
the middle of the seventeenth century, one of their tribes, 
the Kalmucks, rose to considerable power and influence in 
the south, and in a few years had made themselves masters 
of all central Tartary and Thibet. This supremacy was, 
however, of very short duration ; they were attacked and 
defeated by the other Mongids, united with the Chinese ; and 
while some settled in the country around the Lake Kokonor, 
many thousands crossed the Ural and the sandy steppes of 
Astrakhan, and took refuge beyond the Volga, where a few 
tribes of the horde of Toushi still remained, after the ex- 
tinction of the kingdom of Kipzak in Europe. The emperors 


of Ohma now pay a tax to tlie Mongul chiefs in their domi- 
nions, to restrain them from plundering the wealthier pro- 
vLaces of their empire ; and though, if a horde hecomes too 
powerful, it is checked by an army of Chinese, they frequently 
propitiate these unruly subjects with the hand of an imperial 
princess. The Kalmucks, including those of both Russia and 
China, are at the present day probably the most numerous of 
this race. Their favourite food is still horse-flesh and kumys, 
and in religion, like all the Monguls, they are Buddhists ; 
and, leading a careless and idle life in their felt huts and 
tents, spend their lives in hunting and dancing, or the more 
sedentary pursuits of chess* and music. They have a 
literature of their own, and ornament their walls with gro- 
tesque figures and paintings, and are often clothed in the 
most filthy rags, while their feet and arms are adorned with 
jewelled bracelets of gold. As early as towards the end of the 
fifteenth century, the Monguls in Russia appear to have 
been commonly known by this name of Kalmuck, which 
they obtained from the custom of wearing the hair long ; 
while all the other Tartar tribes and Muscovites at that 
period wore the head shaven, or left merely one look on the 
crown, like the Chinese. 

The first in power, and the second in number and extent, 
of the descendants of the former masters of Asia, are pro- 
bably the Uzbeks, another of their hordes, who are stated 
by the historian Abulghazi to have been originally a tribe 
of Toushi from Kipzak. During the troubles that ensued 
after the defeat of Toktamish in that distracted khanate, they 
fled from Russia into the regions of Eastern Tartary, from 
whence, towards the end of the fifteenth century, they de- 
scended upon Mavamalhar or Turkestan, and, driving the 
descendants of Timur from Samarcand to the province 
of Grhizni and Hindostan, the white heron -plumed chiefs f 
now govern all the district of Transoxiana, whose chief king- 
doms at the present day are Bokhara and Kokan. The 
former city, which covers a great extent of ground, contains 
one hundred and twenty thousand houses and eighty colleges, 
handsomely built of stone, each attended by from forty to 

* It l3 curious that there is scarcely a trihe throughout' Tartary or Siberia who are not 
acquainted with chess ; and this fact would appear to lend some support to the theory, 
that it was Invented by the ancient Scythians, 
t The Uzbek chiefs wear a white heron's plume in their turbans. 
" Chiefs of the Uzbeit race. 
Waving their heron plume with martial grace."— Mookb. 


three hundred students ; and about two hundred miles to 
the east of its site lies the once famous city of Samarcand, 
known formerly to its people as the " Glory of Asia, and the 
flo-wer and star of the earth ;" but which now is little better 
than a mass of ruins, and falling rapidly still further into 
decay. The observatory of TJlugh still stands, and the tomb 
of Timur, pared with green stone and jewels, is still watched 
by a few dervishes, long supported by his descendants at Delhi ; 
but, since the overthrow of the empire of the Monguls in Hin- 
dostan, these protectors of the mausoleum of their great prince 
have been deprived of their former liberal emolument, and 
have sunk into a state of great poverty. Khiva stands on the 
place of the ancient kingdom of Carizme, and is separated 
by a vast desert from Bokhara ; her capital is the great slave 
mart of Central Asia, and is inhabited by a low and brutalized 
people ; and the few travellers who have visited her in the 
present century, have estimated that, within the space of a 
very few years, she has supplied Turcomania and Bokhara 
with fifteen thousand Russian captives, and from one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand to two hundred thousand Persians for 

On the steppes extending from the north of Khiva and 
the Sea of Aral,* or the Lake of Eagles, to the swamps and 
marshy regions of Western Siberia, and where in summer 
the long waving grass, as it is undulated by the wind, re- 
sembles the green waters of a troubled sea, the Kirghiz 
Tartars, justly called the robbers of the deserts, feed their 
flocks and half-wild cattle, and rob the loaded caravans of 
the Russian merchants, that are despatched at certain periods 
of the year from the frontier city and fortress of Orenburg 
to trade with Khiva and Bokhara. They are generally con- 
sidered to be the descendants of a division of the Polotzi, 
called the Kazaks,t whom Constantine Porphyrogenitus 
describes as inhabiting the district to the north of the 
Caucasus, and from whom the modern Cossacks probably 
derive their name. The Kirghiz Tartars, and the wandering 
tribes of Turcomania, chiefly supply by their prisoners the 
markets of Khiva with slaves. 

The Cossacks, who form so considerable and important a 
portion of the Russian forces, and were called the eye of his 
army by General Suvaroff, are divided into two distinct 

• Aral is a Tartar word, meaning island. Tho lake is so called from the number of 
Islands in it. 
t Kazak is a Tartar or Turkish word for a light-armed horseman or robber. 


communities, the Zaporaghians, or Cossacks of the Ukraine,* 
and those cf the Don. The Ukraine is the general name for 
the fruitful provinces of Kio^ Pultowa, and Tchernigoff; its 
fields are well watered, and its soil unsurpassed in fertility, 
producing abundance of fruit and grain, and feeding large 
droves of cattle ; it in former years supplied the storehouses of 
Athens and Macedonia, and now distributes its corn over 
half Eui'Ope. The inhabitants, who were long subject to 
Poland, are among the finest and most intellectual in the 
Russian empire, which has derived many of her greatest men 
from this district, and are generally considered fco be the most 
unmixed descendants of the ancient Slavonians of Novogorod 
and Kiof, though their principal nobility derive their origin 
from their conquerors, the Fetchenegan Tartars. + Their 
dress is a mixture of the Polish and Tartar costumes, particu- 
larly that of the rich ; and the cottages of the peasantry, 
according to a modern traveller, J stiongly resemble the 
Swiss chalets in their structure and exterior, and the Welsh 
in the well-kept garden with which they are generally sur- 
rounded. Their language is replete with songs || and ballads, 

• From the Russian wordTTkrayn, ''frontier." t CampenhuuseD's "Travels in the 

Ukraine." t Dr. Clarke's "Travels iu Little Tartary." 

|[ The following is an extract from a Coss"ck ballad, translated by Bodenstedt in his 
"Poetische Ukraine," and quoted by Count Krnsinski in his "History ol Poland." 

It begins with the description of a storm raying iu the Black Sea, and then says—" The 
fleet of the Cossacks is separated into three parts; one of them isstraiided on the distant 
coasts of Anatolia, the second wrecked near the Danube, but the third still floats above 
the waters. AJas! where can it sieer? Will it founder in the Black Sea? On that fleet 
is the Lord Zbororwshl, the valiant attaman of the Zaporaghues. He walks along his 
vessel iu sadness, bat calm, and speaks these words to the Cossacks :— * The waves rise so 
high, the wind roars so loud, becauae a crime must have been committed by one of us. 
Come all together, and confess your shis before the merciful God, the Black Sea, and 
me your chief, and let the guilty die in the foaming waves. The wliole fleet of the Cos- 
sacks must not perish because one has committed a crime.' And the Cossacks sioud 
wondering in silence, and none knew who was the guilty man. 

" Then stepped forward Alexis, the son of the priest of Piriatine, and said to his com- 
panions — 'Take and sacrifice me, O brothers! for youi" safety. Bhid a red bandbefoie 
my eyes, tie a white stone round my neck, and throw me into the dashing waters, and 
the fleet of the Cossacks shall not perish for my sin,' And the Cossacks wondered when 
they heard it, and said, *0 Alexis! we are no better than thou; thou canst read the 
sacred writings, and thy exompie has oft kept us from evil. How, then, cun a grievous 
sin weigh upon thy soul?' 

" 'It IS true, my brothers, that I am more learned than you; I read and explain the holy 
wTitincs; I counsel you to reject evil, and seek the paths of rigliteousness, and yet u. 
grievous sin presses upon my soul. 

" 'I left my home at Piriatine, and asked not the blessing of my father; I parted in 
anger from my brother; I took from my neighbour his last morsel of bread; 1 proudly 
rode about the streets, and insulted the women and little children ; I passed the churches 
without uncovering my head or making the sign of the cross. I ought now, O ray brothers! 
to perish, and my name be extinguished for ever ou the earth. Behold the sea, how it 
niges and foams; it awaits and expects its prey.' 

" But Alexis, the son of the priest, had hardly finished his confession when the storm 
abated, and the surface of the waves became calm; and the fleet, thus saved by 
tlie Almighty's hand, safely landed on the island of Tentro. M'ot a vessel of their fluet 
foundered, and the Black Sea had not enguUed a man. And Alexis, the priest's son, 
abandoned the vessel, and passed the rest ot his lile in reading the scriptmes, and ex- 
pounding them to the Cossacks, who attentively listened round. To these he spoke wordsof 
wisdom— 'Walk righteously, O my brothers! before the Lord. Those who follow his 
commands, shall not perish by the hand of the assassin ; the prayers of their father shall 
safely lead them through every danper; it will keep their soula clean trom every mortal 
sin, and be their protection on land and sea.' "—The original Is in verso, 



of wMcli many, with tteir musical accompaniments, have 
been composed by the unlettered serfs ; * and they have 
always been impatient of their servitude, from which they 
have frequently attempted to release themselves, though 
hitherto their efforts for independence have not been attended 
with success. 

In the year 1240, these provinces were overrun and de- 
populated by the army of the conqueror Batu Khan ; but at 
the beginning of the fourteenth century the greater part of 
the Tartar garrison was recalled from Kiof, and in the year 
1320, after the city had been captured, and its Russian gover- 
nor, the Grand Prince Stanislaus, defeated by the Lithuanians 
under Ghedemin, a body of Russians, flying from, the cruelty of 
the savage conqueror, took refuge among the marshes near the 
mouth of the Borysthenes, which had been deserted and laid 
waste since the prior invasion of the Monguls. In the year 
1415, the Tartars once more sacked and pillaged Kiof, and 
many of the citizens sought a shelter among the tents of the 
Cossacks, who began to build houses and villages, in which 
they resided during the severity of the winter, while in the 
summer they carried on plundering excursions in the territories 
of the Tartars and Turks. In their rough unstable vessels, 
sailing down the Dnieper, they frequently, like their ancestors, 
braved the storms of the Black Sea, and, entering the Golden 
Horn, menaced the city of Constantinople. Their standard 
of a horse's tail, as it waved from the mast's head of their 
barks, was well known and dreaded by all the Turkish towns 
near the sea-coasts; and an Ottoman sultan bitterly lamented, 
that while his name was known and feared by all Europe, 
" his rest was disturbed by the perpetual inroads of a few 
insignificant Cossacks." They extended their colony from 
the shores of the Black Sea to the banks of the Bog and 
Dniester, and formed too powerful a bulwark to Poland to be 
unnoticed or unprotected by her ; and Sigismuud, in the year 
1566, on the occasion of a signal service that their community 
had rendered to his arms in a war with the Muscovites, in- 
duced them to unite with him for mutual defence against the 
Tartars, and, taking them into his pay and service, appointed 
them a prince, who took the title of Hetman of the Cossacks. 
But from these had arisen the singular community called the 
Zaporaghues, or people " behind the cataracts,'' a name which 

* Krasinski's " Poland." 


they obtained from the settlement they formed on the unin- 
habited islands that lie below the falls of the Dnieper, and to 
which they had retreated before their countrymen had united 
themselves with Poland. Their organization was entirely re- 
publican, and they were divided into kurens or hearths, each 
of which contained a certain number of warriors who lived 
together, holding their wealth and goods in common, and 
were presided over by a chief elected from among themselves ; 
yet all wex'e ruled alike by the " koshovy attaman " or com- 
mander of the camp, who in war had absolute control over 
every Cossack, but at home could not decide upon any affair 
of importance without the consent of a select body of officers, 
comprising the sudia or judge, the pisar or secretary, the 
assaul or adjutant, the pushkar or chief of the artillery, and 
the debosh or drummer, who convoked the assembly by beat- 
ing a drum through the camp.* 

Celibacy was as strictly enforced as in the most rigid mon- 
astic establishment; no woman was allowed to appear in the 
settlement, and the Zaporaghues augmented their number by 
kidnapping children from the neighbouring states, though 
they were constantly increased by fugitives from Polish op- 
pression, or captives escaping from the neighbouring Tartars, 
and all firmly adhered to the Greek Church. Their general 
assembly was held on the 1st of January, when they elected 
their hetman, who at the end of the year became a simple 
Cossack, and they could often bring as many as 400,000 
fighting men into the field. Perfect equality was preserved 
among them, and justice rigidly maintained ; a murder in 
their camp was punished by the assassin being interred alivt> 
with the corpse; and a thief, after being exposed for three 
days in a pillory, was beaten to death. No stranger could be 
enrolled among the Zaporaghians tiU he had submitted to 
the severest ordeal, and proved his skill in riding and hunt- 
ing; and a long and rigorous penance was required from all 
who aspired to the dignity of chief This colony had been 
formed originally during a war between the Cossacks and 
Poles, in which several of the former had fortified themselves 
on the Dnieper, and, building forts to the north of Oczakof 
and Kilburn, had declared themselves independent of Poland, 
and united for the purpose of opposing the infidel Turks. 
They wore their hair long, and fought on land with bows and 

♦ KraslnskVs " Poland." 


long spears ; and they continued in their island settlement 
till the reign of Peter the First, who caused their camp to be 
destroyed after the battle of Pultowa, as a punishmient for 
their rebellion under their attaman Mazeppa, a Polish fugi- 
tive, who had united his followers with the Swedish forces 
under Charles XII. The Zaporaghues then joined the Tar- 
tars in the Crimea, with whom they remained till the Russian 
conquest ; and, by a ukase of the 30th of June, 1792, the 
Empress Catharine transferred them to the peninsula of 
Tanian, and to the territory at the north of the Caucasus, 
where their community received a district of about a thousand 
square miles, between the Black and Caspian Seas, and where 
they are now known as the Tchenomerskii, or Black Sea 
Cossacks. In the year 1664, the oppression of the Poles 
drove the Cossacks of the Ukraine to throw off their allegi- 
ance to Poland, and under their hetman, Bogdan Kelminikski, 
to seek the protection of Russia. Kiof, and all the towns on 
the eastern bank of the Dnieper, which they almost exclu- 
sively inhabited, followed their example, and acknowledged 
the sway of the Czar;* and thus, after a separation of 334 
years, her ancient capital again formed part of the Russian 

A Frenchman, t who, during the seventeenth century, 
served long in the service of Poland, has left an accurate 
description of the camp and habits of the Cossacks, whom he 
relates were often extremely rich; and, when they visited the 
towns in the Uki-aine, would perambulate the streets, enter- 
taining every passenger whom they met at the houses of 
amusement or the beer-shops. Those of the Ukraine fre- 
quently joined the Zaporaghues in their expeditions to the 
Turkish shores of the Euxine, when they repaired to the 
islands in the Dnieper, and constructed about a hundred boats 
in the short space of three weeks. Their vessels had no keel, 
but consisted of a flat bottom of willow, about forty-five feet 
in length, with the aides built up of reeds thickly bound 
together, and the whole covered with a coating of pitch; and, 
having only one small mast, they rowed each bark with ten 
or fifteen oars, carrying a store of boiled millet and dough, 
which served them for both meat and drink. Sobriety was 
a prominent virtue with the Zaporaghues; a drunkard was 

* Alexis, fnther to Peter the Great. 

t " DescrlpDon de rutrabe, par le Slenr de Beanplan." 


expelled from their commuaity, and no Cossack was per- 
mitted to carry brandy or kurnys on a voyage. 

" Between fifty and seventy Cossacks man each vessel," 
says tte French narrative, " every man bearing a firelock 
and a scymitar ; and this flying army of the Cossacks in the 
Black Sea, are able to terrify the richest towns in Anatolia. 
The commander of the expedition leads the van, and carries 
his standard (a horse's tail) upon the mast of his ship. The 
Turks have generally obtained warning of their coming, and 
keep several galleys prepared near the mouth of the Dnieper 
to oppose them ; but the Cossacks, who are cunning, slip out 
in a dark night, having watched till the moon has set, lying 
hid among the reeds that are three or four leagues up the 
river, and where the Ottoman ships dare not ventui-e ; since 
formerly, when in pursuit of the pirates, they were assailed, 
by a concealed armament, and their retreat cut off. The 
Turks think it sufficient to wait at the entrance of the 
Dnieper till the Cossacks shall issue forth ; but they are 
always surprised, and then the alarm spreads over the whole 
country as far as Constantinople, where the sultan sends 
expresses to all his officers on the coasts of Anatolia, bidding 
them to be upon their guard, for the Cossacks are at sea. 
Bat all this is to no purpose, for the Cossacks are before them, 
and in less than forty hours land in Asia Minor, where, 
leaving only two of their men and two boys in charge of 
each boat, they advance a league up the country, pillaging 
and burning the towns ; and, immediately returning on board 
with their booty, sail away to try their fortune in some other 
port. If they meet with a Turkish vessel on the sea, they 
capture it in this manner : — Their boats are not more than 
two feet and a half above the water, so that they discover 
other ships long before they can be perceived themselves ; 
and, striking their masts, they keep within a certain distance 
of the enemy till midnight, when a signal being given, all 
simultaneously close round the Turks, who are astonished to 
be attacked by eighty or a hundred barks, which soon fill 
their vessel with men, and in a moment bear all down. The 
Cossacks, after taking all that they can bear away from the 
Ottoman ship, sink it with the whole of its crew. But when 
these pirates are encountered by the enemy's galleys in broad 
day, their boats are often scattered and dispersed ; and 
though, lashing their oars to the side with withes, they make 


a desperate resistance witli their muskets, so that they are' 
never boarded by the Turks, the cannon of the Ottomans 
makes fearful havoc among their ranks, and they seldoui 
come off with more than one-half of their men. 

" When the Turks hear that the Cossacks are returning to 
their camp loaded with Spanish dollars, Arab sequins, carpets, 
gold cloth, and silks, they double their guards at the mouth 
of the Dnieper ; but, though weak, the Cossacks laugh at 
this care, and, landing in a creek about three or four miles 
east of Oczakof, take their vessels over land to the river's 
banks. Besides this, they have another refuge ; they return 
by the mouth of the Don through a strait that lies between 
Taman and Kertch, and run up the mouth to the river Mius, 
and as far as they can navigate this river, from whence to 
Yaczavoda is but a league, and Yaczavoda falling into the 
Samara, a branch of the Dnieper, they make their way by 
this means to their river settlements. But they seldom 
return by this route on account of its length, though they 
often use it when they go out to sea and the mouth of the 
Dnieper is obstructed by a large force of Turks, or their fleet, 
as sometimes happens, consists of only about twenty boats." 
The two forts at Kilburn * and Oczakof were erected to 
defend the entrance of the river by the Turks, who supported 
a large garrison with an ample store of artillery in these 
pai'ts, and hoped by this means to protect the cities of their 
empire from the harassing and perpetual attacks of the 

The settlements of the Cossacks on the Don, arose a few 
years before the final extinction of the Tartar power in Kip- 
zak, and appears to have been principally composed of Mus- 
covite outlaws, and captives escaping from the servitude of 
their Mongul masters; but these were, from time to time, in- 
creased by fugitives from the neighbouring Tartar, Circassian, 
and Armenian nations, many of the latter having fled into 
Kussia after the destruction of their city Anni, in the pasha- 
lic of Kars, by the terrible earthquake of 1319 ; and the Cos- 
sacks of the Ural and Siberia are only colonists from this 
campi Herberstein mentions them under the name of Co- 
satski in the early part of the sixteenth century, and, a few 
years later, their courage and enterpi'ise solely completed the 

* The naiTow spit of land on which Kilburn lies, was linown to the ancient Grcelis as 
the course ot AcliUles, who was worshipped here as Lord of the Poutus. 


discovery and subjugation of Siberia. They call themselves 
Donskoi, or of the Don, considering the appellation Cossack 
as a term of reproach ; and all, when they leave their homes, 
either for battle or to perform their six years of service in 
guarding the frontiers of Russia, carry a bag of earth from 
the banks of the Don, to be buried with them if they die at 
a distance from their native land. 

The word " hurrah," the war-cry of the Cossacks, is derived 
from the Slavonian hurraj (to Paradise), and was adopted 
from the idea entertained by their warriors, that the souls of 
all who fell in battle were carried straight to the abode of 
the blest. 

Herberstein, writing at the beginning of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, describes the habits and settlement of the Cossacks of 
the Don, but confounds them with the neighbouring Circas- 
sians.* He says, " the Russians assert that they are Chris- 
tians, that they live under their own independent laws, 
conform to the Greek ceremonials and ritual, and perform 
their sacred service in the Slavonic language, which, indeed, 
they use in general. They are most audacious pirates, and 
sail down to the sea by the rivers which flow from their 
mountains, and plunder whomsoever they can, especially 
those merchants who take the route from Caffa to Constanti- 
nople."+ " Few of their number," says Beauplan, "die of 
sickness or old age, but all lie upon the bed of honour, and 
perish in war or victory." 

* He even calla the Ukraine Cossacks Circassians, tliougli he says they derive tlieir 
lorigln from the Muscovites, 
t Herbersteia's '^ Eeruni Muscovitarum." 


ffo fiork of f,ottsIji — llngtr ai i'assili or §a^il framioi, or 
ilji ^litrJit — Pijttmrs swit Cnstoras of i^z %mmvi3. 

Kew empires rising on the wreck of old. — Collins. 

Of the three great divisions of the Mongul empire, the 
horde of Toushi was the last to fall ; and her former subjects, 
the Uzbeks, whom the cruelty of Timur had caused to fly 
from Kipzak, and take up their abode in desert regions, 
nearer and more accessible to Samarcand, ha;d no sooner 
seen his dominions melting away beneath the sceptre of his 
more feeble successors, than they poured like a flood upon 
the capital he had so fondly enriched by his conquests, and 
drove his descendants to seek a throne among the wild moun- 
tain fastnesses of Ghizni. But Kipzak never recovered the 
repeated defeat of her forces under Toktamish ; her power 
from this time gradually weakened, and her dominions were 
divided and given up to anarchy and civil war. While her 
Russian tributaries were asserting their independence in the 
centre, the Muscovites were extending their eastern frontiers, 
and bringing the other principalities of the empire befieath 
their sway ; and the Grand Prince Bazil, the son and suc- 
cessor of the hero of the Don, frequently threatened and 
invaded her northern provinces, in the year 1396 caj)turing 
and utterly wasting the city of Kazan. Vassili died in 1425, 
after a long reign of thirty-six years ; but having previously 
confined his wife Anastasia, the daughter of Vitold of Lithu- 
ania, in a monastery, he refused to acknowledge their only 
son Bazil, a boy of ten years old, as his successor, and on 
his deathbed left the throne to his brother George. But the 
boyards, relying on a prophecy of a blind monk of Moscow, 
who had foretold, the day of the young prince's birth, that 
this grandson of Donskoi should become sovereign of all 
Russia, supported his claims against his uncle, and procuring 


his formal appointment from Oulou Mahomet, who had suc- 
ceeded Boulet Kipzak, placed him upon the Muscovite throne. 
George immediately took up arms against his nephew, and 
the war was carried on for some years, till at length both 
agreed to refer the matter to the decision of the Golden 
Horde. The two princes departed, each with a strong body 
of archers, to Serai, and fell down on their knees before the 
Tartar monarch ; and Oulou Mahomet, by the advice of his 
ministers, who had been previously bribed by George, de- 
clared that the succession to the throne ought to go by 
seniority, according to the ancient law of Russia ; and that, 
as the late sovereign had left the kingdom to his brother, that 
prince undoubtedly had the greatest right. " Alas ! most 
mighty khan," exclaimed the disinherited Bazil, prostrating 
himself at the feet of the Mongul chief, " permit me for one 
instant to speak. Thou hast announced thy decision upon 
lifeless words, but I trust that the living documents which I 
possess, and which distinctly express, under the authority of 
thy golden seal, thy former wish to invest me with the grand 
duchy, may be held by thee to be of far greater weight and 
importance ; " and he earnestly besought the khan to hold 
his own words in remembrance, and adhere to his former 
promise. After listening to his arguments, Oulou Mahomet 
observed — "That it would be more consistent with justice 
to keep the promises contained in living documents, than to 
admit the lawfulness of dead ones ; " and he not only decided 
the contest in favour of Bazil, but also exempted him from 
tribute, and decreed that George should hold the horse of his 
successful opponent upon his entrance into his capital. The 
elder prince was greatly enraged by the result of his appeal, 
and, raising a large army, marched against Bazil, whom he 
drove out of Moscow, and foiced to retreat to the north, 
where he intrenched himself in the town of Kostroma, and 
reigned during the remainder of his enemy's life. But when 
George was on his deathbed, and the archbishop of Moscow 
had come, according to custom, to invest him with the priestly 
garments, and perform the last offices of religion, the latter 
boldly addressed the dying prince, and told him that, before 
he could make his peace with Heaven, he must repair his 
former injustice, and acknowledge his nephew as his successor; 
and, yielding to his directions, the Grand Duke dictated a will 
in favour of the injured Bazil, excluding his own sons, Andrea 


and Demetrius, from the throne. He expired a few moments 
after, and his testament being proclaimed, gave occasion to 
another war between Bazil and the two disinherited princes, 
who considered that they had been unjustly deprived 
of their father's dominions ; but their cause was upheld by 
very few adherents, and at length, falling into the hands of 
their cousin, he com.manded them to be thrown into prison, 
where their eyes were barbarously put out. 

The city of Kazan, after being ruined by Bazil Dmitrovitz, 
had been rebuilt by its inhabitants in 1438, and had re- 
mained since the days of Toktamish independent of Kipzak. 
Its fortunes, since its first erection, had been most varied and 
unhappy ; originally a flourishing town of the Khazars, its 
caravanserais had then been the resort of Arabs, Persians, 
Georgians, Khazars, and other strangers from all Asia, even 
the distant southern Hindoo ; while, by the White Sea and 
Dwina, Norwegians, Novogorodians, and occasionally ad- 
venturous merchants of Western Europe, had come from the 
north, and met to traffic and barter the wares of three con- 
tinents in its markets. Then came the invasion of the 
Monguls, who rebuilt it after the city had been reduced 
to stones and ashes by order of Batii Khan, and it was 
united to the possessions of the horde of Toushi in Kipzak, 
but never regained its former influence and commerce. In 
the year 1363 it was captured and burned by the Novo- 
gorodians ; but these were driven back to the north in 1390 
by Toktamish, who destroyed the republic of Viatka, which, 
with Nijni-Novogorod, he wrested from the invaders, giving 
the latter to a Russian prince, Demetrius.* Simon, the prince 
of Suzdal, who claimed this province, united with Katieha, 
whom Toktamish had appointed viceroy of Kazan, in endea- 
vouring to wrest it from Demetrius, but was defeated by the 
Russians with great slaughter ; and, shortly after, the Mus- 
covites under Bazil advancing upon the town, it was stormed 
by them, and again totally destroyed. After it had only 
been rebuilt three years, Oulou Mahomet, sumamed the 
Great, iuvaded the eastern provinces of Russia, and captured 
Nijni-Novogorod. He then attacked the old and strongly 
fortified castle of Murora, but was repulsed from its walls 
by Bazil with a large army, when two of his sons, reas- 
sembling their scattered forces, marched upon Suzdal, and 

* Cochrane's " Siberia.*' 


plundered the wliole country up to Moscow, where, after 
several hard fought engagements, they stormed and sacked 
the capital, and took the Grand Prince captive. In the 
mean time, their father had besieged and pillaged Kazan, 
and executed her l^lian Ali Bey, placing one of his sons, 
Mametak, upon the throne ; and, shortly after, Mahomet 
consented to release Bazil in October 1446, upon the pay- 
ment of a moderate ransom, which, with some difficulty, was 
collected by his nobles among his oppressed subjects. They 
at length brought it and laid it at the feet of the khan, and 
conducted their prince to Moscow ; but Schemiaka, the only 
surviving son of George, had assembled many adherents, with 
promises and bribery, throughout the empire, during the 
prince's capti^-ity, and, advancing with a considerable force, 
closely besieged him in the capital. Bazil fortified himself 
in the monastery of St. Sergius ; but his enemy, having con- 
trived to effect an entrance into the city under cover of the 
night, with some of his soldiers concealed in waggons loaded 
with merchandise, he was surprised and taken prisoner in his 
stronghold, and his eyes being put out by command of his 
adversary, in revenge for his cniel treatment of the brothers 
of Schemiaka, he was subsequently sent in chains with his 
wife to Uglitz. 

But the cause of their unfortunate prince was unanimously 
espoused by the Russian boyards * and people, who, led on by 
the powerful voice of the Church, a few months after drove 
Schemiaka fi-om Moscow, and brought back the blind prince. 
Ivan, the son of the usurper, who, being an infant, had been 
left behind by his father when he fled from the palace in the 
capital, was condemned to close imprisonment for the rest of 
his life, and he remained in captivity throughout the few 
remaining years of the reign of Bazil, and during the lives of 
his son and grandson, and at length expired in his dungeon 
at a very advanced age. 

Demetrius was poisoned soon after his flight to Novogorod 
by some of his own followers, and a heavy fine was exacted 
from the republic by the Muscovites, as a penalty for har- 
bouring a rebel. The last few years of Bazil's eventful life 
passed away in comparative peace; and at his death, in 1463, 
his sceptre devolved upon his eldest son Ivan, whose long and 

* This word is derived fVom Boi, a battle, and was originally given to tne chieft who 
surrounded tile prince in tlie field. 


glorious reign obtained for Hm from posteAty the title of 
Veliki or the Great, and who may justly be considered as the 
founder of the present empire of Russia. But when he com- 
menced his reign, his territories comprised only Moscow and 
Vladimir, and the inferipr principalities that had been sub- 
dued by his great-grandfather, Demetrius ; and Novogorod 
and Pleskof were hardly even nominally dependent on Mus- 
covy, as they only paid a tribute to its princes when urged 
by fear of a hostile attack. The Grand Princes assumed the 
pompous titles of the " Great Lord Vassili, by the grace of 
God Lord of all Russia, and Grand Duke of Vladimir, Mos- 
cow, Novogorod, Smolensko, Tchernigoff, Riazan, Tver, 
Jugaria, Permia, and Bulgaria, and key-bearer and chamber- 
lain of the Most High; " yet they knelt before the Mussulman 
envoy of the Monguls, and every letter from the khan was 
read by the Tartar ambassador, seated on a carpet of the 
rarest furs, while the Muscovite sovereign and his nobles all 
remained prostrate around. Surrounded as they were by 
enemies, and debarred from all intercourse with foreign 
nations, pride, exclusive reserve, and contempt for all other 
creeds and countties, marked the character of the Russians ; 
no Jew had been permitted to reside in their territories since 
the days of Monomachus, no subject could leave them, and 
no foreigner could enter them, without the special permis- 
sion of the prince ; a member of the Church of Rome was 
esteemed as more unholy than a Pagan or Mahometan, and 
the Russians rigidly purified themselves if they touched even 
the clothes of au alien to their customs or belief ; they might 
not eat with a heretic or unbeliever, and at all times abstained 
from many species of food aS unclean, among others, hares, 
rabbits, and strangled animals, or those that had been violently 
killed by another of its kind, and they never permitted a 
pigeon or dove to be put to death, as they considered them'to 
be emblems of the Holy Ghost. No davighter of a prince or 
noble might espouse a husband of a different faith. 

The national councils, that had occasionally been convened 
by the Russian princes even in the most troubled times, be- 
fore the invasion of the Monguls, had now long since been 
discontinued, the last haviug been dissolved in Moscow by 
the great-grandfather of Ivan, Demetrius. Despotism per- 
vaded every ordinance and institution throughout the state ; 
the Tartars tyrannized over and oppressed the Grand Princes 


and all the people ; the princes, the nobles ; the nobles ana 
soldiers, the peasantry and slaves ; and the lot of these last, 
who were generally prisoners of war or their descendants, was 
scarcely more severe than that of the ^vretched free labourers, 
who were exposed to perpetual pillage from the military ma- 
rauders and outlaws ; and when they had hired themselves for a 
year to their masters, as was the custom on St. George's day, 
for the small wages of a silver coin, worth something less than 
a halfpenny a day, were usually driven regularly to their work 
by blows. The Mongul law, condemning all who could not 
pay their tribute into slavery, drove thousands of the poorer 
Russians to seek a refuge in the remote forests, and desert 
districts, and marshes of the empire ; where, some becoming 
hermits,* subsisted on roots and grass, and spent their lives 
in religious meditations, while others turned robbers and 
plunderers, and supported themselves by pillaging travellers 
or the nearest towns in the summer, and in the winter often 
perished from the cold, or were destroyed by the niimerous 
wild beasts. It was a band of outlaws such as these that 
first gave rise to the tribe of the Don Cossaclts. 

Although the law was in most respects a dead letter, yet 
the wise code and regulations of Jai-oslaf still remained ; no 
capital punishment or torture could legally be inflicted, even 
upon a slave, without an express order from the Grand Prince, 
but the authority of a husband was supreme to life, liberty, 
and death, over his wife and children ; and the poor had no 
access to their sovereign, who, except when on a militar'y 
expedition, was seldom seen by any but his ministers, the 
nobles of his court, and attendants. When he declared war, 
or was forced to take up arms in self-defence, his standartl 
was joined by all the princes and boyards, with their depen- 
dants; all who could afford it equipping themselves and fight- 
ing without pay, and, if victory attended their arms, these 
gratuitous warriors were recompensed with the enemy's spoil. 
The Muscovite forces were entirely composed of cavalry, 
who rode without spurs, and stirrups so short that they could 
seldom sustain a severe shock from a javelin or spear ; their 
saddles were constructed to turn round in any direction 
when they used their chief weapon, the bow ; and they also 
carried a long pike, a hatchet, a sabre, and a stick with a 
leather thong, from which depended an iron ball covered with 

* Aiicliorltes are stiH not uncommon In Russia — See " EngUsbwoninn in Russia." 


spikes. A long knife or poniard was suspended from the 
arm of tlie soldier, to use if driven to extremity, and lie held 
the rein on the little finger of the left hand, and the whip on 
that of the right, these completing his ordinary outfi.t. But 
many of the boyards wore coats of mail, highly ornamented 
with devices and mottoes in silver, on the breast, and a 
helmet of a peaked form, like the common fur cap j while 
others clothed themselves in silk habits stuffed with wool, to 
resist the blow of a sabre, and used a round target or shield 
like those of the Tartars. On the banner of the Grand Prince, 
which was borne, surmounted by a crescent and horse's tail, 
in token of his subjection to the Mahometans, was depicted 
a figure of Joshua at the head of the Israelites, in the act of 
commanding the sun to stand still. The Rvissian horses were 
small and unshod, but strong and swift ; and on their military 
expeditions the soldiers carried no other food but salt and 
millet-seed, and occasionally a little pork, with fuel, a hatchet, 
and copper kettle ; and, collecting the herbs that grew about 
their encampment, they lighted a, and boiled these to- 
gether while halting for the night, though, when passing over a 
barren or waste country, they would often fast for two or three 
days during a march. At these times they were forced to 
depend for subsistence on the uncertain fruits of the chase, 
or cook for their only provision, leaves, sticks, and grass ; but 
the princes and nobility, who were generally more amply fur- 
nished, would frequently invite the poorer ofScers to share 
their board, and, after they had dined, leave the rest to be 
finished by the men. The sons of the boyards were early 
exercised in those sports and amusements that would fit them 
for soldiers in after life ; hunting, running at the tilt, archery, 
and races, both on horseback and on foot, were their favourite 
occupations, and prizes were offered by the government to the 
most skilful and accomplished in these arts. But the 
Russians of all classes, from the poorest peasant to the Grand 
Prince, were most passionately addicted to games of chance, 
particularly cards and gambling with dice ; it was no un- 
common spectacle to see labourers, resting from their work, 
seated in the centre of the field, deliberating over chess or 
draughts ; and, among the higher classes, houses, lands, and 
slaves, were frequently lost or gained in a night. Usury was 
most exorbitant, as it had always been in Russia, and the. 
common interest of money was twenty per cent. In count-^ 


ing they reckoned by forties and nineties, called sorogs and 
dewenosts, instead of hundreds, and always used the calculat- 
ing machines of the Tartars. The money of Moscow was 
oblong instead of round, and, till the reign of Ivan, inscribed 
with Mongul characters ; the lowest silver coin was a dina, 
with the impression of a rose on one side and an inscription 
on the other ; and six of these made an altin, twenty a grivna, 
a hundred a poltin, and two hundred a rouble, the last having 
been introduced and first coined, in bars of silver, in the reign 
of Vladimir Monomachus. In Novogorod, the dina bore the 
figure of a prince seated on his throne, while a man was 
prostrating himself before him, and was worth twice as much 
as that of Moscow; and, in Pleskof, the head of an ox 
crowned was depicted on the coin, while all of these had in- 
scriptions on the reverse. The goldsmiths of Muscovy also 
cast money for themselves, and practised the most flagrant 
adulteration and clipping of the current coin; and every mer- 
chant bringing wares into Moscow was compelled, before 
entering the city, to exhibit them, at a fixed time and place, 
to the magistrate or officer of the gates, who placed a price 
upon them to prevent extortion, which the owner could not 
vary, and they could not be sold to a subject till they had 
been offered and displayed to the prince. Post stations had 
been established by the Monguls in all parts of the empire, 
each supplying a regular number of horses ; so that, when the 
royal couriers rode from place to place, they were furnished 
with a steed without delay. But all travellers were equally 
at liberty to avail themselves of this convenience, on payment 
of a charge of about six dinas for every ten or fifteen versts,* 
and a passport from the Grand Prince ; and, if the horse fell 
exhausted on the road, they were expected to restore it, or 
give an adequate price to the postmaster or yamstchink for 
the owner. Indeed, the regulations for travelling, and the 
caravanserais provided freely in the difierent villages on the 
way, appear to have been conducted throughout Russia, at the 
end of the fifteenth century, in a manner very similar to 
those of the present day. 

The houses of the nobility were generally large, and the 
rooms lofty, with windows glazed with thin sheets of talc t 
instead of glass, and fitted round with divans, which served 

* A verst Is equal to tliree-quftrters of an English mile. 

t It is still in almost universal use for windows throughout SH;crla. 


both for seats and beds ; and in every dvrelling was placed 
tbe image of a saint, before which each guest prostrated 
himself on entering, previous to addressing his host. The 
greatest ceremony was observed in all social intercourse ; and 
no boyard would walk on foot five yards from his door 
without causing his horse to be led in attendance. When 
he rode out he was attended by several slaves, who ran along 
by the sides of his horse, and of whom many were possessed 
by every man of consideration or wealth ; often they were 
his own countrymen, who had sold themselves to obtain 
protection and security. The dress of all the RussiaDS con- 
sisted of a long caftan with a girdle or sash, and surmounted 
by a jacket of fur ; and only differed in quality and material 
according to the rank of the wearer. The caftan was gene- 
rally worked in various coloured silks on the sleeves and 
down the front, and was ornamented among the higher 
classes by a collar set with pearls ; their caps were of black 
fur, and of a high peaked form, worn equally when in their 
houses or abroad, as they commonly shaved their heads ; and 
long hair was only displayed as a sign of mourning, or that 
the wearer had fallen into disgrace with the Grand Prince. 
Full trousers, gloves, and scarlet slippers or high boots, peaked 
at the toes, and among the peasantry a knife or hatchet 
at the girdle, completed the ordinary dress of the Russians, 
which very much resembled that of the modern Persians. 

Marriages were always arranged between the parents, for 
no husband beforehand ever saw the face of his bride ; and 
it was contrary to the laws to marry more than twice, or a 
relation within cousins of the fourth degree. Pollowing to 
the letter the precepts of the apostle, "that a priest should 
be the husband of one wife," no man could be ordained a 
parish or secular priest till he was married; the office was here- 
ditary, and, as the church revenues were generally devoted to 
the support of the monasteries, he maintained himself by the 
cultivation of a piece of land set apart in every village for the 
use of the priest ; but if he became a widower he was forbid- 
den to contract a second alliance, and was forced to enter a 
monastery, where he became one of the black clergy, or monks. 
From these last the bishops and archbishops were selected, 
whose chief, the mettopolitan, since the fall of Constanti- 
nople, had been appointed by the Russians and their prince ; 
and under his authority were the archbishoprics of Tver, 


Riazan, Permia, Suzdal, Colontia, Tchernigoff, and Serai, and 
the monasteries, which were numerous throughout the empire, 
and presided over by abbots or archimandrites. The eccle- 
siastical regulations and ordinances were remarkably severe ; 
a hundred and ninety-five ordinary fasts had been appointed 
throughout the year by the church, and perpetual abstinence 
from meat, fish, milk, and eggs, was exacted from the higher 
dignitaries, while no priest might join in any species of amuse- 
ment, or touch any kind of food on a fast-day or before perform- 
ing divine service.* Service was performed in all the churches 
three times a week, and then once in the day ; and while the 
priests chanted the prayers or read the accustomed portions 
of the Holy Scriptures, the people would accompany them 
with ejaculations of, " O Lord, have mercy upon us ! " or by 
weeping and striking their foreheads on the ground. The 
principal monastery in Moscow was that of St. Sergivis, or 
the Holy Trinity, where the bones of the saint had been 
interred, and where the monks freely entertained every visi- 
tor, from the Grand Prince to the meanest peasant, who came 
there to dine, with the contents of a large copper caldron 
kept continually filled with soup and herbs. But many 
priests and monks frequently resorted to the thick forests and 
wild districts of Russia, where they lived as hermits, in caves 
excavated by their own hands, or in narrow huts raised high 
upon a column, called a Stolpa (from which they obtained 
the name of Stolpniki), and subsisted on roots and grass ; 
while others travelled to the remote tribes of the Lapps and 
Samoyedes, on the borders of the Icy Sea, or among the other 
distant provinces of the empire, to preach against the oppres- 
sion and exaction that every where prevailed, and endeavour 
to convert and reform the people. The dress of the common 
clergy, whose office was hereditary, was very similar to the 
laity, with the addition of a large broad-brimmed hat, and 
they all cai'ried a staff to lean upon, called a possack ; but 
the archbishops and bishops wore black mitres and robes of 
silk, and their staffs were surmounted by a cross, while the 
monks were always clothed in black. They wore their hair 
shaven at the crown, which was covered with a skull-cap, 
but at the sides, with the beard, grew long and flowing, as 
among all the priests of the Greek church at the present day ; 
and for many years the Russian bishops collected tithes in 

* Searlv all these ordiDanccs are still in force In the (Jreek and Ituaslim church. 



Lithuania, till they were at length compelled to desist from 
this practice by its heathen prince, Vitold, who feared that his 
country would be impoverished only to enrich the revenue? 
of his enemies the Muscovites. 

Whea a Russian Grand Prince wished to marry, it was 
the custom to send a summons to all the nobles throughout 
the empire, commanding them to bring their daughters on a 
stated day to his palace. All who came were ushered into a 
state apartment, from which every male attendant was care- 
fully excluded, and, the doors being closed and guarded, 
the ladies were compelled to unveil while the Prince 
walked before them and selected the most beautiful for his 
bride.* No women, except the old, were permitted to walk 
in the streets, or attend the churches or public places of 
amusement ; a sort of gallery or terrace is still shown, near 
the Cathedral in the Kremlin, where the Czarina and her 
ladies remained closely screened from public view duiing the 
performance of the usual church service. They had no 
influence or authority in their household, and, among the 
higher classes, passed their days in chess-playing and music, 
or any frivolous amusement, while she who attempted to 
escape from her husband was punished by being buried alive. 
Among the lower classes the wife of a peasant usually occu- 
pied herself in lace-making, sewing, or spinning, and was 
occasionally permitted on special holidays to amuse herself 
by swinging with her daughters in a field, but was not per- 
mitted to take the life of any fowl or other animal as all 
that had been killed by her hamds was considered to be 
defiled and unclean. The dress of a Russian woman much 
resembled that of the men ; but, except when quite alone, 
she was always closely veiled. She also wore ear-rings and 
bracelets set with brilliant jewels, and painted her face red 
and white, and her teeth black. 

Such was the state of Russia and the habits of its people, 
at the time when Ivan III. ascended his father's throne. 
He had been educated in strict seclusion till the age of 
fifteen; and then presented to the boyards as their future 
sovereign, according to the custom usually pursued with 
regard to the Russian princes at . this period j but his heart 

* Vassill, the son of Ivnn the Great, chose his empresR out of fifteen hundred. 

The first time a Husslan Czarina appeared in public, was in a pilgrimage to the monas- 
tery of St, Serpius, in which tlie wife of Alexis (thefarlierof Peter the Great) accompanietl 
her husband veiled, in an open carriafic, but most of the spectators turned their laces 
from her, and looked on the ground-as she passed. 


tad long in secret revolted against tte servitude and degraded 
position of his countrymen : he saw the mischievous influence 
of this degradation on 'their character, and the lawlessness 
a.nd depravity that existed throughout the state. The clergy, 
whose power, next to the Tartars, was predominant in the 
empire, too often brought scandal upon their profession by 
their tyranny, usurious exactions, and vices j and occasionally, 
when Ijrought to justice by their infidel masters, presented 
the disgraceful spectacle of a priest receiving the just reward 
of his crimes from the hand of the common executioner. 
Many of the monasteries in the provinces distant from Mos- 
cow, and far from the supei-vision of the metropolitan, were 
little better than a den of outlaws and robbers ; and the 
monks would even venture forth in the night, and pillage 
the caravans of passing merchants or traders, and the equi- 
pages of lonely and unguarded travellers. Bands of soldiers, 
who had been hastily assembled in time of war, and then 
dispersed without money or homes over the country, pillaged 
the oppressed peasantry and villages ; and every where 
anarchy and disorder prevailed. But, with the reign of 
Ivan, a tragic page is passed in the history of Russia, and a 
new and more brUliant era commenced. Ascending the 
throne at the age of twenty-two, of a handsome person and 
almost gigantic stature, his appearance prepossessed his 
subjects in his favour, and, from the first year of his reign, 
they regarded him as destined to be their deliverer. After 
refusing to pay tribute to the khan, and freeing the nation 
from their foreign tyrants, which was, however, accomplished 
more by the valour of his subjects than his own courage or 
military skill, he turned his efforts to the re-establishment of 
justice and order, and, reviving the code of Jaroslaf, gave 
them other and new laws more suitable to th6 age and state, 
and attempted to raise the poorer classes of the people by 
putting a check upon the unbearable oppression of the 
nobUity. He abolished the temporary militias, and organized 
a standing army, which, with the assistance of the gunpowder 
and artillery he introduced, ably supported him in his nu- 
merous wars ; but his character is stained with a merciless 
and unscrupulous cruelty, which is but too commonly seen 
in the reforms and acts of victorious despotic sovereigns, 
however wise or great. "Founders of empires," says the 
Russian historian Karamsin, " are rarely distinguished for 


tlieir gentleness ; and tlie firmness requisite for great political 
actions is nearly allied to harslmeps and severity. As his- 
tory is no eulogium, but should be' entirely impartial and 
true, it is impossible to disregard many errors in the lives of 
the greatest heroes and monarchs. In regarding Ivan only 
as a man, he had not the amiable qualities of Monomaohus, 
or of Dmitri Donskoi ; but, as a sovereign, he may certainly 
be placed in the highest rank Ever guided by foresight, he 
sometimes appeared timid or indecisive ; but this irresolution 
arose always from an excessive prudence, a virtue which does 
not please us like a generous temerity, but is nevertheless 
more fitted to consolidate a new and slender foundation, 
though its progress may be slow, and at first appear incom- 
plete. How many illustrious princes and warriors have 
merely bequeathed to posterity the bare remembrance of 
their glory ! But Ivan has formed and left to us an empire of 
immense extent and strength ; powerful, indeed, from the 
number and energy of its people, but still more so from the 
policy and spirit- of its government." 

In 1430, in the early part of the reign of Bazil, his grand- 
father, the renowned Vitold of Lithuania, expired in Vilna 
at the advanced age of eighty, having been baptized some 
time before into the Greek faith, when he took the name of 
Alexander. The year preyious to his death, he had assem- 
bled a peaceful congress of sovereigns, very rare in those 
times, at the town of Ti'oki in Lithuania, where he enter- 
tained them for seven weeks with extraordinary splendour, 
and every species of hunting, feasting, and amusement ; so 
that, as the Polish chronicler informs us, there was " much 
drinking and but little work." On this occasion, there were 
present Bazil III. of Moscow, then a boy of fifteen, the 
Russian princes of Tver, Biazan, and Odoyeff, the Duke of 
Mazovia, the Grand Master of the Order of Teutonic knights, 
the Khan of the Crimea, the Prince of Wallachia, and the 
ambassador of the Greek emperor, John Paleologus.* 

No foreign merchant at this period was permitted to trade 
with Moscow ; and, though all Europeans might carry on free 
commerce at Novogorod, Turks and Tartars were compelled 
to confine their traffic to a town called Ohlopigrod, about 
twelve miles distant from the latter city, but of which neither 
trace nor stone remain at the present day. The inhabitants 

* Kr.isiuski's '* History of Poland." 


of Novogorod, ualike most of the Slavonic race, were bold 
and ready sailors, and manned many of the ships frequenting 
her port ; and, as late as the middle of the sixteenth century, 
liussian corsairs from Novogorod were known an^ dreaded 
on the shores, and among the fishing villages, of the Baltic. 

In the reign of Ivan the Great, the first watch seen in 
Russia was sent as a present from the king of Denmark to 
his eldest son ; but the Muscovites imagined that it was 
enchanted, or an evil spirit sent to work some mischief in 
their empire, and it was hastily returned to the donor, 
though with many thanks and expressions of gratitude. 


%\t Mig« ai |6aK l^'sssiMH^ — pis tmoim&ts — Parriagi fcitlj 
gop^tt of ^j^aKtinnt — 9^z tl^vac^ — ^ rata taiit ai lafas— 
Mux fcit^ ^lip^ak — Embassies to- pjosafa* 

Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow. 

By their own arms the conquest must be wrought. — Btkok. 

At the period when Ivan ascended the throne of Muscovy, 
the population of his empire amounted to six millions ; and, 
notwithstanding the great increase of his territories during 
a long reign of forty-four years, it had only augmented at his 
death to ten, owing to his numerous and sanguinary wars. 
The old writer, Eden, in the sixteenth century, observes, that 
" the Muscovites appear to be the only nation who have never 


1S88. Vassili II., son of Demetrius, m. Anastasia, d. of Vitold of Lithuania. 
I Audrey, pr. of Yourii. 
1425. Vassili 771. Sophia. Bewera. | 

1468. Ivan. Sophiam. pr. ofRiazan. Dmitri. Audrey. Scliemeka. 

Veliki, m. Ivan, Fedor. Ivan. 

I I 

1 I Fedor, Vassili. Ivan deposed by Vassili IV. 

Mary of Sophia 
Tver. Paleo- 

I l ogus. 

Ivan. I I I 1 J I I I 

I Demetrius Gabriel George, Simon, Audrey, Helena, Sophia, Feo- 

Demetrius d. took m. m, dosia, 

d. young. the Alexander, Czar m. 

in prison. name of king of Peter of to 

Vassili, reigned 1605 : Poland. Kazan. Prince 

m. first, Salome, whom he divorced; Vassili 

secondly, Helen GlinskL Cholm- 

I sky. 

Ivan the Terrihle, Jourli. 

m. Anastasia Komanoff, and 
seven other wives. 


Ivan, Fedor, 

killed succeeded l£82, 

by his last Czar of tlie male 
father. line ot Kmik. 


enjoyed the blessings of peace ; for if nature had not so 
strongly defended their territories as to render them almost 
impregaable, they had often before now been completely 
obliterated from the face of the earth." Ivan had espoused 
at an early age Mary, the daughter of Boris, Grand Prince 
of Tver ; and, upon the death of this prince, he seized upon 
the principality of his son and successor, Michael, ostensibly 
to revenge an attack upon Muscovy by the army of Tver, in 
the preceding reign. The prince fled to Lithuania, where he 
died an exile ; some years after, Ivan possessed himself with 
the same pretext of the duchy of Riazan, whose chief, Fedor, 
had married his sister Sophia ; and brought his two nephews, 
Ivan and Fedor, prisoners to Moscow. 

The introduction of gunpowder and cannon into Russia, 
by Ivan — who caused many pieces to be cast in his capital 
by an Italian, Aristotle of Bologna,* whom he sent for from 
"Venice for the purpose — greatly aided him in his numerous 
campaigns, and placed him on an equality with the Tartars, 
to whom it appears originally to have been known, though 
they strictly kept the secret of its composition, and allowed 
it latterly to fall into disuse. The same artist recast the 
coin of Muscovy, still disfigured by Tartar characters, and 
impressed upon it an inscription in Russian, and also rebuilt 
several churches in Moscow, particularly that of the Virgin, 
in the Kremlin. 

Upon his coronation Ivan assumed the title of Czar, a 
practice always followed henceforth by his successors ; and 
from this period it was generally used by the European 
sovereigns in addressing the Grand Princes of Russia ; and 
in a letter from King Philip of Castile, in the year 1504, it 
was not only applied to Ivan, but also to his eldest son. The 
word " czar," which was always used in Russia when speaking 
of the Mongul khans, was, besides, occasionally translated 
into emperor t by the foreign courts, when mentioning the 
Grand Prince ; but this was always energetically opposed by 
the Poles, who were extremely jealous of the slightest increase 
of power or consideration on the part of their hostile neigli- 
bours of Russia. But, before his death, Ivan had increased 
his titles to " Emperor and lord of all the Russias, and Grand 

* Ivan sent Dmitri Ivanovitz, and Mitrofan Kuratscharoflf, In March 1499, to Italy, for 
the purpose of engaging arcliitects, cauuou-founders, aud a few otiier worlLmeu, for 
Itussla. „,^, „ 

t licrberstein says, " All now call mm emperor. 


Prince of Vladimir, Moscow, Novogorod, Pleskof, Bulgaria, 
Viatka, Smolensko, Tver, Jugaria, Permia, Nijni Novogorod, 
and Tchernigoff; Eiazan; Yologda, Kostoffj Belaia, Ejer 
Vladimiroff, Yaroslaf, Bielozeria, TJdoria, Obdoriaj and. Con- 
dinia the White* (or Great) czar, and keybearer, and cham- 
berlain of God." In return, he used the title of king to the 
German emperor, king of Sweden, the princes of Prussia and 
Livonia, and the sviltan of Turkey, but merely conceded the 
appellation of doctor to the pope. 

No sooner had Ivan succeeded to the crown of Muscovy, 
and, defying the power of the Golden Horde, refused to take 
an oath of allegiance, than the khan, assembling anumeroui? 
force, marched into Russia to punish his rebellious vassal 
with the sword. But the Czar, foreseeing this conjuncture, 
had hastily raised a levy of soldiers from among every rank 
in the population, and succeeded in collecting a more numerous 
native army than had ever before trod, the steppes on the Don ; 
" so that the Russians shone over the plains," says the Mus- 
covite historian, " like the waves of the sea when illuminated 
by the beams of the sun." Their number and formidable 
appearance struck terror into the heart of the Tartar monarch j 
who withdrew his troops without hazarding a battle or strik- 
ing a blow ; and Ivan, to satisfy and employ his men, who 
were eager for war and plunder, sent them under the most 
experienced of his generals against Kazan, while he himself 
returned to Moscow. This kingdom was stUl held by the 
Toushi prince Mametak, the son of Oulou Mahomet, who had 
been succeeded in Kipzak by his nephew Achmet, with 
whom and Mametak had long existed a deadly strife ; and 
Ivauj availing Inmself of these divisions among the Monguls, 
concluded for the time a peace with Kipzak, who, blind to 
the certain fact that the ruin of Kazan would only herald her 
own destruction, anxiously watched and expected the sister 
kingdom's fall. In the year 1469, or 6847 of the Russian 
calendar, the Muscovites appeared before the walls of the 
fortified city, and soon effected a breach with cannon and ball. 
A few days after, it was stormed and carried by a vigorous 
assault ; and the khan falling in the attack, the Russians 
placed a garrison in the city, and appointed Alega, the son 

* All the Tartars. Calmucks, Chinese, and other Asiatica, still call the Czar, Tzapnn 
Zar, or White Czar. White was formerly the Khan of Tartary's rOyal colour, and is still 
ivorn by the Chinese Emperor when he visits Tartary. for in China he wears tiale yellow. 
'J'he Tartars called all royal residences white cities, and the crown lands are still so called 
ill Russia. 


of a former sovereign, to tlie throne. From this time, for 
many years, Kaaan was little more than a Russian dependent 
province. Ivan nominated all her khans, and upon Alega 
appearing impatient of this servitude, sent secret orders to 
the Muscovite officers who commanded the gai-rison in the 
city, to procure his immediate deposition, and cause him to 
be conveyed to Russia. In order to accomplish this, without 
the danger of a rescue or outbreak, the Russian governor 
invited the khan to a banquet, and, having spared no persua- 
sion or temptation to induce him to drink to excess, caused 
him to be placed in a carriage while in this state, under the 
pretext of conveying him back to his palace, and privately 
directed the postilion to drive over the frontier towards 
Moscow. They were met near the borders of the Muscovite 
territories by a body of armed horsemen, who, binding the 
unfortunate prince, conducted him to the capital, where, after 
a long imprisonment, he was sent a captive to Vologda, and 
remained there till released by death. His mother and two 
brothers were also removed from Kazan to the monastery of 
Bielozero ; but the former was restored to freedom upon the 
khan of the Crimea demanding her in marriage, though she 
afterwards returned to Russia, to share the captivity of her 
sons. Of these, the elder, Codaicula, consenting to receive 
baptism, went to Moscow, where he espoused Sophia, second 
daughter of Ivan, and resided during the remainder of his 
life, being known by the name of the Czar Peter ; and the 
family of the younger, Meniktair, subsequently embracing 
Christianity, ultimately settled in Muscovy. 

In the meanwhile, after the dethronement of Alega, Ivan 
had appointed, first the prince Strelecherai to the throne of 
Kazan, and upon hia death Maohnedin, the youngest bi-other 
of Alega ; but this khan, though he revolted against the 
Russians, and reigned for several years independent, rendered 
himself most unpopular with his subjects by his attempts to 
prevent their inroads upon Siberia, Kipzak, and the other 
surrounding states, and in the year 1519 he was chased 
from the kingdom by the Tartars. During the war with 
Kazan, the neighbouring republic of Viatka, a colony of 
Novogorod, at first declared hersqlf neutral between the two 
belligerents ; but the mother city, perceiving that the eyes 
of Ivan were now turned upon her, more boldly called upon 
this province to unite with Pleskof and its twelve tributary 


cities, and join lier in a general war against Muscovy, to 
forestall the designs of the ambitious prince, and accordingly 
commenced by expelling the officers of the Czar from her 
territories. The chief instrument in this movement was 
Marfa, the rich widow of a former posadnick, or chief magis- 
trate ; and who, being seized with a romantic passion for 
Alexander Yitold, the waywode of Lithuania, was desirous 
of bestowing her country as her marriage-dower upon the 
possessor of her heart. This anxiety was further strengthened 
by a prophecy of a former archbishop, Euthemius, who had 
foretold at the hirth of Ivan that he would be the author of 
their country's fall. Her unlimited hospitality and libe- 
rality had gained for her unbounded influence among all 
classes of the citizens ; her palace * was always open to the 
wayfarer of every rank ; and the great bell of ISTovogorod, 
at whose sound all the judges and deputies of the republic 
were accustomed to assemble in the Hall of Justice, and 
deliberate in solemn council upon the most important affairs 
of state, was now rung merely to summon guests to her 
sumptuous banquets. 

The Novogorodians, acceding to the proposals of Marfa, 
who argued that, in placing their countiy under the protec- 
tion of Lithuania, they would ensure for her the support of 
this powerful duchy and of Poland, proclaimed that they re- 
nounced for ever the dominion and suzerainete of the Czar ; 
and in 1470 formally submitted themselves and the republic, 
by treaty, to Alexander of Lithuania. He appointed the 
archbishop of the city to the chief direction of affairs, and 
exacted annually, as the price of his protection, the enormous 
tribute of one hundred thousand roubles, a protection which 
ultimately entirely failed them at the time of their greatest 

Upon receiving intelligence of this act of defiance, Ivan 
immediately declared war against Novogorod, and for seven 
years carried on a desultory strife with the inhabitants. Bu(;, 
during this time, his forces overran Permia and the nortli, 
where he exacted tribute from the Laplanders, as far to the 
west in Norway as Trondheim ; and, forbidding the commer- 
cial intercourse that had hitherto existed between the former 
state and Novogorod, and through her with the cities of the 
Hanseatic League, he thus cut off from the republic one of 

* ilnvfa's house id stiU shown lu Novogorod. 


the chief sources of her wealth. In 1476 he caused the city 
and fortress of Ivanogrod to be constructed in one year upon 
the river Nerva ; the river which forms the boundary between 
Novogorod and Livonia, and a year after, defeating the 
forces of the citzens in a long and sanguinary engagement 
upon the river Scholona, he obtained their submission at 
discretion, and appointed a Russian governor over the 

But this officer, in obedience to the commands of his im- 
perial master, required that the republic should receive 
within their gates the Muscovite boyards, with privileges equal 
to its own citizens ; that they should surrender ujd the palace of 
Jaroslaf for his residence, and abolish the national assemblies. 
The citizens, indignant at these demands, assembled in tumul- 
tuous crowds in the market-place, attacked the houses of 
those nobility whom they suspected of being traitors to their 
country and devoted to the Russian interest, tore the un- 
fortunate owners to pieces in the streets, and expelled the 
oppressive envoy of the Czar. But this revolt was most 
promptly and severely punished ; Ivan marched upon Novo- 
gorod, and, entering the Hall of Justice, expressed his 
determination to the magistrates to reign as supreme there 
as he did in Moscow. He caused Marfa and the' richest 
inhabitants of the city to be seized and conveyed prisoners 
to his capital, at the same time confiscating their wealth : 
ou the 15th of Januaiy, 1478, the national councils were for 
ever dissolved, and a few days after he despatched thi'ee 
hundred carriages, laden with gold, silver, and precious 
stones, besides many other wagons containing furniture and 
merchandise, with all the most powerful and influential of 
the citizens to Moscow, replacing them, that Novogorod 
might not utterly be deserted, by Muscovite artificers and 
colonists.* He imprisoned forty-nine German merchants, 
whom he found in Novogorod, and seized upon all the goods 
belonging to the Hanseatic league ; though, afterwards libera- 
ting these prisoners, they embarked in a vessel for Hamburg. 
But the ship foundering on its passage, the unhappy traders 
were almost all lost, and terminated their sorrows and mis- 
fortunes in the dark and tideless waters of the Baltic. 

Among other trophies of his victory, Ivan conveyed to 
Jluscovy the great bell of the Hall of Justice in Novogorod, 

* Herberateln's " Kerum lluscovitnruni." 


which he placed in the tower of St. Ivan in Moscow, and 
where (weighing 127,835 lbs.) its size is still only exceeded by 
that cast later by order of the Czar Alexis, which now stands 
in the centre of the Kremlin.* 

But Novogorod never recovered this terrible and decisive 
blow, though, towards the end of the sixteenth century, she 
still numbered four hundred thousand inhabitants. At this 
period, in the hopes of releasing herself from Ivan the 
Terrible's tyrannical sway, she entered into a secret treaty 
with Poland, with whom he was then at war ; and the plot 
being discovered in the year 1570, he marched against the 
devoted city, and committed some of the most horrible mas- 
sacres and atrocities, that have yet stained the pages Of 
history with a frightful and sickening record of human bar- 
barity and crime. The tribunal of blood, as it was but too 
justly called, that he erected there, executed daily in the 
presence of the sovereighj and often with horrible tortures, 
five hundred of the miserable inhabitants ; the surrounding 
country was laid waste, and sixty thousand of the dead and 
dying blocked the streets, and the ghastly scene was only 
concluded, when the waters of the Volkhof had been rendered 
so corrupt by corpses that the plague began to appear in the 
Russian camp. As might be expected, these two siteges 
completely alarmed the foreign merchants who had hitherto 
traded so largely with Novogorod, and prevented them from 
residing or carrying on any further intercourse with this 
province. Some of their commerce was transferred to Revel 
when she placed herself beneath the yoke of Sweden, and the 
foundation of St. Petersburg gave the final strokfe to the 
mercantile siiperiorityof the ancient city, which now presents 
a melancholy picture of departed grandeur, extensive ruins, 
and every appearance of dilapidation, poverty, and decay. 
Ivan the Third even deprived her of the dignity of an arch- 
bishopric, and left the see for some time vacant ; but on the 
urgent request of the citizens, several years after, appointed a 
bishop of Novogorod, though he. received a very small portion 
of the revenues and tithes that had forinerly been paid to his 
predecessors ; and which had all been confiscated and appro- 
priated by the avaricious Czar. The former archbishop, 
Theodosius, who had pleaded successfully with Ivan for the 
lives of many of the inhabitants, had been sent in 1478 to 

• The great boll of the Kremlin, the largest In the world, weighs 413,773 its. 


the nioiiaste)y of Choudoff, where he closed, in the peace antl 
calm of the cloister, a most troubled and eventful life. 

The siege and submission of Pleskof followed shortly upon 
that of Novogorod ; Viatka was also united to the dominions of 
the Czar, after her three chief magistrates had been hung over 
the gates; and, in the year 1496, the Russian troops stationed 
at Kazan liaving repelled an attack of the khan of Siberia upon 
that town, they followed the invaders across the Ural moun- 
tains to the marshy and desolate regions of Obdorski, where 
they exacted from the Samoyedes ap.d Ostiaoks an annual 
tribute of oil and fur. A few of these Polar chiefs, whom 
they brought to Moscow, were so struck with the splendour 
of the houses as compared with their own mud huts, the 
carriages and horses, and the magnificently dressed citizens 
whom they saw around, that they immediately pruffered the 
submission of their remote district to Ivan, and returned 
loaded with presents, to spread on the shores of the Obi the 
marvellous report of his empire's power and wealth. A vice- 
roy was appointed over Permia and aU the provinces of the 
north, whose residence was established first at Kholmogori, 
and afterwards at St. Nicholas, a little town on the Wliite 
Sea, now known as the port and city of Archangel. 

Poland saw with alarm the conquests of her powerful 
neighbour, and, aftei; the fall of Novogorod, formed an alli- 
ance with the Tartai's of Kipzak, and declared war with 
Russia. Ivan sent an army into Lithuania, and seized upon 
several of the frontier towns; but the Muscovites had lost the 
important fortress of Smolensko in the year 1413, and this, 
considered as the bulwark of their empire, they did not regain 
till the year 1514, when it was captui-ed by Bazil, the son of 
Ivan, and from henceforth belonged to Russia. A truce was, 
however, soon concluded with the Poles after their king, 
Casimir, had appealed in vain for th« assistance of Hungary ; 
but the Tartars and Russians still contiaued at enmity, and 
for many years carried on a frightful war. In 1490, the 
Servians, who had hitherto been imder the protection of 
Poland, took offence at an insult offered to their envoys at 
Vilna, and transferred their allegiance to the Czar of Russia.* 
At this time, though Wallachia was in the possession of the 
Turks, Moldavia was alternately claimed by Hungary and 
Poland, and the expulsion of her prince, Alexander, by a 

• " UniTersalHlatory." 


usurper called Bogdan, was the occasion of a long war witli 
the latter power, and caused the Ottomans to invade Poland 
in the year 1498, where, though they gained no decisive 
advantage, they spread the usual desolation and ruin.* 

"While the troops of Ivan were triumphant abroad, and he 
had united beneath his rule the last independent principali- 
ties of Russia, he was not indifferent to the internal affairs 
of his empire at home, which he laboured energetically to 
reform, though he crushed all abuses under an iron despotism, 
instead of investigating and eradicating their root, and thus 
they survived, only concealed, to spring up with increased 
vigour in another reign, and bear riper and more abundant 
fruit. Above all, the greatest corruption had pervaded every 
branch of the church ; their copy of the Scriptures was 
inaccurate, and read by ignorant and superstitious priests ; 
and since the fall of Constantinople, where the Greek faith 
had become very degenerate, and where the Latin had long 
been spreading, and prevailed over the greater part of the 
state ; the metropolitan and bishops of Russia had been 
generally Muscovites, and elected by a Russian synod, while 
in the church services many changes had been gradually and 
almost unconsciously introduced. A peculiar sect of dissen- 
ters, the Strigolniks, had already appeared in the empire, 
where their doctrines had extended far %,nd wide, and to this 
day maintains many monasteries in the state ; and, in the 
beginning of the reign of Ivan, a Jewish heresy, founded by 
Zacharias, a Lithuanian Hebrew, had been propagated in 
Moscow, which, denying the divinity of Christ, and establish- 
ing many extraordinary rites, had gained converts, not only 
in every rank among the people, but of several of the highest 
dignitaries of the ecclesiastics. The followers of this creed 
were punished with great severity, and among them was 
Ivan Kuritzin, a secretary of the Czar's, who in 1505 was 
publicly burned. In the reign of Vassili, the father of Ivan, 
a great commotion had been raised in Russia by the defection 
of Isidore, the metropolitan of the empire, to the doctrines 
and supremacy of the church of Rome. He had been appoint- . 
ed in 1432 by the patriarch of Constantinople to fill the 
vacant ofiice of primate ; and Russian writers have not hesi- 
tated to allege that his nomination had been effected through 
the, intrigues of the secret emissaries of the pope, who were 

* KrasiD^kl's " History of Poland." 


then engaged at Byzantium in a fruitless eudeavouv to unite, 
in a bond of union with the Latins, the schismatic and dis- 
cordant church of the East. Shortly after the elevation of 
Isidore, he was invited by the pontiff to join a conference at 
Ferrara, at which the pope, the German emperor, the car- 
dinals, and many prelates, were to be present ; and he was 
conducted in great state to the Russian frontiers by the 
archbishop of Novogorod, and a large body of Muscovite 
ecclesiastics.* Arrived in Italy, he not only declared the 
entire adhesion of Moscow to the papal see, but received the 
dignity of cardinal from the pope, and returned to Russia 
clothed in the purple gown and scarlet cowl of his new ofiice 
in the Latia church, and invested with the authority of a 
papal legate. But an unforeseen reception awaited him at 
Moscow ; he was met on his entry in the capital by a gloomy 
and ominous silence, and when he repaired to the Cathedral 
of the Annunciation to return thanks for his safe return, and 
mentioned the name of Eugene in his prayers immediately 
after that of the Czar, a furious tumult was raised around the 
church ; he was seized and with difficulty rescued from the 
angry populace, and Bazil indignantly reproaching him as " a 
traitor to his country and his faith," caused his goods to be 
confiscated, and himself strictly imprisoned in a cell of the 
monastery of Choudoff. But, through the assistance of a 
friendly priest, Isidore ultimately effected his escape, and fled 
to Rome, where he was most honourably received by thj 
pope, and afterwards sent to Constantinople to make further 
attempts to conciliate the discordant factions in the church, 
and induce her to proffer obedience to the Latin pontiff. 
These machinations, which in time might probably have suc- 
ceeded, owing to the then religious indifference and frivolity 
of the Greeks, were, however, cut short by the last invasion 
and conquest of the Turks ; and Isidore, retreating to Rome 
before the infidels, remained there for the rest of his life, 
receiving the title and dignity of patriarch of Constantinople, t 
A Russian priest named Jonah, who succeeded him as 
Muscovite primate, afterwards addressed a long letter to the 
pope, pointing out the objections of Russia to the doctrines 
of Rome, J and on his death was enrolled by his countrymen 

* MouravielTs "Church of Kusaln."— t Ibid, 

1 Letter op Jonah to the AitcnBisHop (Pope) of Rome. 

" I have loved (hv plory, O hiessed father! most worthy of thu Api)siolicaec nnd voca- 
tion, who from afar Imst looked down upon our humility and povnty, and cherlaliest ns 
with the wlniia of love, and aalutost ua as thine own lii.iijy charily, and luquhcst ape- 


among their long list of saints. During the rule of suc- 
cessor, Theodosius, who, was elected to the office in 1462, 
Joseph., the patriarch of Jerusalem, flying from the oppression 
of the sultan of Egypt, embarked from Palestine with tlie 
intention of seeking shelter iu Russia, but before he had pro- 
ceeded further than Kaffa, in the Crimea, was overtaken by 
death. His brother, however, arrived at Moscow with com- 
mendatory letters to the metropolitan, and was ordained to 
the archbishopric of Cesarea by a synod of Russian bishops; 
and this is the first instance on. record of the intervention, of 

cially concerning our true and orthodox faith, and when thou heardest, admired, for so 
the bishop related to us, of your blessedness. And since tho^ art such and so great a 
priest, I therefore in my poverty salute thee, lionouring thy head, and kissing thy hands 
and arms. Mayst thou be joyful, and protected by the supreme hand of God; and may 
He grant good order to tiiee, thy spirituals, and us ! I know not whence heresies have 
arisen respecting the true way of salvation and redemption, and I cannot sufficiently 
wonder what devil was so malignant and envious, so hostile to tlie truth, as to alienate 
our brotherly love from the whole Christian congregation by saying that we are not 
Christians ; we, for our parts, have from the beginning acknowledged that, by the grace 
of God, ye are Christians although ye do not keep the faith of Christ in all things, and 
are in many things divided— a fact which I will shew from the seven great synods, by 
which the orthodox Christian faith has been established and definitely confirmed, in 
which also the w^isdom of God has built herself a house, as it were, upon seven pillars. 
Moreover, all the popes who sat in these seven synods were held worthy of the chair of 
St. Peter because they agreed with us. In'the first synod was Pope Silvester, in the second 
Damasus, in the third Celestinus, in the fourth the most blessed Leo, in the fifth Vigil, in 
the sixth Oaphinus, a venerable man, and learned in the Holy Scriptures, In the seventh the 
holy Pope Adrian, who first sent Peter as bishop and abbot of the monastery of St. Sabas, 
"whence have subsequently arisen dissensions between us and you, whiclt have princi- 
pally prevailed in ancient Kana. Truly, there are many evil things done by you, contrary 
to the divhie laws and statutes, of which we will briefly write to thy charity. First, con- 
cerning the unlawful observance of fasting on the Sabbath, secondly, concerning the 
great fast fi-om which ye cut off a weefc^ and eat meats, and allure men to you by the 
gluttony of feasting. You reject also those priests who lawfully marry wives; ye also 
anoint a second time those who have been anointed in baptism by the presbyters, and 
say that baptisms may not be performed by simple priests, but by bishops only. So like- 
wise with respect to unwholesome, unleavened bread, which manifestly indicates Jewish 
service or worship. And, which Is the chief of all evils, ye have begun to alter and per- 
vert those things which were ratified by the Holy Synods, and say that the Holy Ghost 
proceeds Dot only ftom the Father, but fVom the Son, with many more' things, concerning 
which your Blessedness ought to refer to your spiritual brother, the patriarch of Con- 
stantinople, and to use all diligence that such errors should be removed, and that we 
should be united in spiritual harmony, as St. Paul says in his Instructive words— " I 
lieseech you therefore, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye think' 
and sneak the same thing, and that there be no division. among you, and that ye be joined 
together in the same mind and in the same judgment." We have written to you as 
much as we could of these six excesses; we will hereafter write to thy charity of other 
things also. For if it be true, as wo have heard, thou thyself wilt acknowledge with me, 
that the canons of the holy apostles are transgressed by you, as well as the institutes oi 
tlie seven great councils, at which all your iflrst patriarchs were present, and united in 
pronouncing your doctrines to be vain. And that you are manifestly wrong, I will now 
plainly prove. In the first place, with reference to fasting on the Sabbath, you see what 
the holy apostle, whose doctrines ye hold, taught respecting it, as well as the most 
blessed pope Clement, the first after the Apostle St. Peter, who thus writes concerning 
the Sabbath from the' statutes of the Apostles, as it Is given in the 04th Canon:— * If an 
ecclesiastic be found to fast qn the Lord's day, or tl>e Sabbath, 6xcept the great Sabbath, 
let him be degraded; but If a layman do so, let him be excommunicated and separated 
from the church.' Secondly, with reCerence to general fasting, which ye corrupt. It is a 
heresy pf the Jacobites and Armenians, who use sheep's milk oven on the great holy fast, 
for What true Christian dares so to do or to think ? Eeadtlie canons of the si^cth great 
synod in which your Pope Oaphinus forbids these things. We iridqed, when we learned 
that, In Armenia and some other places, they ate cheese made tVom sheep's milk at the 
great fast, ordered our people who were there to abstain ftom such food, and from every 
sacrifice to devils ; from which, if a man abstain not, he should be suspended from per- 
forming the sacred offices. Moreover, the third error and sin is very great concerning 
the marriage of priests, for ye forbid those who have wives to receive the Lord's body ; 
whereas the holy council, which was held at Gangra, writes in the fourth canon— ' He 
who despises a priest who has a wife according, to law, and says that it is not lawful to 


Kussia with, regard to the cliurcbes in the East. Five yeai-s 
after his election, Theodosius voluntarily abdicated his high 
title, and retired into the monastery of Choudoff ; where, 
bringing a poor and feeble old ruan into his cell, he waited 
npoa him as his servant, and, in humble imitation of his 
divine Master, daily tended his sores and "washed his feet. 
He "was succeeded in the dignity of metropolitan by a priest 
named Philip,* In the year 1587, nearly a century and a 
half after the fall of Constantinople, the Greek patriarch 

* ilouravlcflf's " Church of Kussia." 

receive the sacrament at his hand, let hlni bo accui'sed.' The council also sav5, 'Every 
deacon or priest putting away his own wile, sliall be deprived of hia priesthood.' Tho 
fourth sin is the anointment or confirmation. Ia it not said every where in the councils, 
*I acknowledge one baptism fur the remission of sins?* If, theretore, there is one baptism 
there will be also one anointing, and the virtue of the bishop will be the same as that of 
the priest. The tilth error is with reference to unleavened oread, which error indeed is 
the Beginning and root of all heresy, aa I will prove and, although it might be necessary 
to bring to the proof many Scriptures, yet I will do otherwise, and for tho present will 
merely say — That the Jews make unleavened bread in memory of their deliverance and 
flight from Egypt; but we are Christians, we never were in Egyptian bondage, and we 
have been commanded to omit this kind of Jewish observance with respect to the Sab- 
bath, unleavened bread, and circumcision. And, as St. Paul says, whosoever follows 
one of them, is bound to keep the whole law ; for the same apostle sa^'s, ' Brethren, I 
have received from the Lord, that which also I have delivered unto you; how that the 
Lord, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, blessed and sanctified it, broke it, and 
gave it to the holy disciples, saying. Take and eat,'.&c. Consider what Isay: He did 
not say 'unleavened bread,' but 'bread.' On that occasion no unleavened bread was 
used, and that it was not the Passover is probable from the fact, that the Jews' Passover 
was eaten standing, which was not the case at Christ's supper, as the Scripture says, 
• While they were lying down witli the twelve,' and 'the disciple lay upon His bosom at 
supper.' For when he himself says, 'With desire I have desired to eat this Passover 
with you before I suffer,' He does not mean the Jews' Passover, which he had often 
before eaten with them. Nor when He says, 'This do in remembrance of me,' did He 
impose the necessity of doing as at the Jews' Passover. Nor does he give them unleavened 
bread, but bread, when be says, ' Behold the bread which I give you ; ' and likewise to 
Judas, ' To whomsoever I shall give the bread, when I have dipped it in the salt, he shall 
betray me.' But if ye argue, 'We use unleavened bread in the sacraments because In 
divine things there is no admixture of the earthly, why then have ye forgotten divinity, 
and follow the rites of the Jews, walking in the heresy of Julian himself, of Mahomet, of 
Apollinarius and Paul the Syrian, of Samosata, and Eutychius, and Oiasterius, and others 
who were pronounced at the sixth council to be most depraved heretics, and filled with the 
spirit of the devil ? For why do you say, ' I believe in God the Father, and in the 8on, and 
in the Holy Ghost, who proceeds fi^om the Father and the Son ? ' Truly, it Is marvellous and 
horrible to speak of, that ye thus dare pervert the faith ; while from the beginning it has 
been constantly sung in all churches throughout the world, ' I believe in the Holy Ghost, 
the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who, together with the 
Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified.' Why then do you not say, as all other 
Christians do. Instead of making additions, and Introducing a new doctrme ? while on the 
other hand the Apostle declares, ' If any man preach to you more than those things which 
we have declared to you, let him be anathema.' I hope ye may not fall under that curse, 
for it is a dangerous and a fearful thing to alter and pervert the scriptures of God, com- 
posed by the saints. Do ye not perceive how veiy great is your error? For ye intro- 
duce two virtues, two principles, and two wills, with reference to tlie Holy Spirit, takhig 
away and making of small account his honour, and ye conform to the Mncudoniau heresy, 
from which God preserve us. I bow myself at thy sacred feet, and beseech thee to cease 
from errors of this kind which are amongst you, and, above all, abstain ft-om unleavened 
bread. I wished also to write something concerning strangled and unclean animals, and 
of monks eating meat, but, if it please God, I will write of these hereafter. Excuse me, of 
thy extreme charity, that I have written to thee of these things. Examine the Scriptures, 
and you will find whether the things which are done by you ought to be done. I pray thee, 
my lord, write to my Lord the Patriarch of Constantinople, and to the holy metropohtans, 
who have in themselves the word of life, and shine as lights In the world : for it may 
be that, by their means, God may Inquire concerning errors of this sort, and correct and 
settle them. Atterwards, if it shall seem good to thee, write to mo who am the least 
among all others. I, Metropolitan of Kussia, salute thee and all thy subjects, both clergy 
and laity. The holy bishops, monks, kitigs, and great men, salute ttieu also. The lovo 
of the Holy Spirit be with thee and all thine. Amen."— (llyrberstein'a "Kerum Musco- 



Jeremiali came to Russia to beg for money and assistance 
in rebuilding the desecrated churcbes of Byzantium, and, 
grateful for the honourable reception he received at Moscow, 
he conferred upon her primate the title of patriarch. But 
in 1475, during the pontificate of Paul II., another oppor- 
tunity appeared to present itself of bringing the extensive 
empire of Eussia beneath the paternal sway of the head of 
the Latin church. Upon the fall of Byzantium, Thomas 
Paleologus, the brother of the last Constantino, and despot 
of the Morea, held out in that peninsula for six years against 
the Turks ; but the Grecian cities succumbing one by one to 
the invaders, he abandoned the vain defence of his provinces, 
and removed to Rome with his daughter Sophia, the sole 
heiress of his house ; where, in their religion professing the 
Catholicism of the "West, they lived under the protection of, 
and with a pension of five thousand livres from, the pope. 
Upon the death of the Czarina Mary, leaving only one son, 
Ivan her husband sent to demand in marriage for himself the 
hand of the Greek princess, and Paul, hoping that Sophia 
might convert the Czar, eagerly recommended her father to 
accede to the proposition, and sent her to Eussia, accompa- 
nied by the Cardinal Antonia and a large and brilliant retinue. 
In order to create an impression upon an always susceptible 
populace, Antonia declared his intention of making a public 
entry into Moscow with the cross borne on high before him, 
and attended by a body of Latin ecclesiastics. But this was 
prevented by the indignant remonstrance of Philip, the 
metropolitan, with the Czar. " Whoever praises and honours 
a foreign faith," said he, " that man degrades his own. If 
the legate enters with his cross at one gate of the city, I 
shall abandon it at the other." * The hopes of the Romans 
were further doomed to disappointment by the fickle conduct 
of Sophia herself, who, far from trying to induce her husband 
to acknowledge the holy see, as soon as she had arrived in 
Moscow consented to conform to the practice required from 
the Czarinas, and professed the Russian faith. It was a 
general impression throughout the empire, that the world 
would come to an end in the year 7000 (1491), and conse- 
quently, as that time drew near, the greatest gloom prevailed 
over Russia. The boyards built churches in the hopes of 
atoning for their sins ; highway robbers delivered them- 
* ^ouravlell's "Cliurcb ofKussla." 


salves up to justice, or attempted to gaia an entrance iuto 
the monasteries ; and the country was threatened by a 
famine, from agriculture being entirely neglected, as they 
fancied that, by the time the following summer should set iu, 
there would be none living to reap the fruits of their work. 
Eobbers and banditti at this period infested evei-y corner of 
the state ; the severest laws were enacted against them, and 
a horrible torture inflicted on every thief caught in the fact, 
who was not considered worthy of death ; and Ivan caused 
the secular law to be also carried out against the priests, 
who had hitherto been only tried by their own order, so that 
on one occasion, when a magistrate caused a priest to be 
strangled for theft, and the metropolitan expostulated and 
laid the matter before the prince, he briefly observed — 
'•'According to the ancient custom of Russia, a thief who was 
not a priest was hanged," and sent the magistrate away un- 
blamed. Capital punishment was always inflicted by 
strangling or hanging ; and, if a man discovered a robber 
when committing a theft, he might slay him with impunity, 
provided that he afterwards brought the corpse to a court of 
justice, and explained how the occurrence had taken place. 
No subject dare put another to the torture, not even a slave, 
and malefactors wei'e brought to Moscow, or to one of the 
other principal cities, to be tried ; but this ceremony seldom 
took place except during the winter, as in the summer military 
expeditions generally drew off all attention from other affairs 
in the government. Ivan was accustomed to bring into the 
field a hundred and fifty thousand men, all cavalry ; as, till 
the reign of his son, infantry appears to have never formed 
a part of the Muscovite regular force. These were generally 
encamped during the fine months of summer at a short 
distance from Moscow ; and as many as twenty thousand 
were annually employed in garrisoning the numerous for- 
tresses, or guarding the unprotected shore of the Don. 

In the year 1497, or 7006, the Czar promulgated a new 
code of laws, which ordained that, when a culprit was fined 
one rouble, he should also pay two altins to the judge, and 
eight dinas to the notary ; and, if two contending parties 
came to terms before the cause was decided, they should 
nevertheless be charged to the same amount. When a cause 
had been decided according to the established rule, by a duel 
between the plaintiff and defendant, the conquered, and con* 


sequently by law the guilty man, was forced to render up 
his weapons and a poltin to the judge, besides paying the 
established fine to the state, with fifty dinas to the notary, 
and four altins to the constable. But if the injured party had 
suffered any loss by the culprit, whether from incendiarism, 
the death of a friend, plunder, or theft, he received a suit- 
able compensation procured from the property of the criminal, 
who was besides forced to pay the accustomed fine to the 
judge and constable, and was often also condemned, according 
to the magnitude of the offence, to undergo corporal punish- 
ment. Murderers of their masters, church robbers, kidnappers, 
and those who secretly introduced their goods into another 
man's house, and then pretended that they had been stolen 
from themselves, incendiaries, and traitors, were liable to 
capital punishment. He who was convicted for the first 
time of theft, was sentenced to be fined and flogged ; but 
if detected in a second crime of the same nature, was doomed 
to suffer death. And, if a convicted thief had not sufficient 
property to recompense his accuser, he was condemned before 
liis punishment to serve him for a time as a slave. The 
■provincial governors, whose authority was not sufficient to 
decide a verdict, might condemn either party to pay a small 
fine, and then send the case for judgment to the ordinary 
jxidges ; and whoever accused another of murder, plunder, 
or theft, was obliged to go to Moscow, and prooire a con- 
stable, who arrested the culprit, and brought him to the 
capital on an appointed day to meet his accuser. If the 
defendant denied the crime, even when the plaintiff was sup- 
'ported by witnesses, he was at liberty to appeal to a decision 
by single combat, in which case he would say, " I commit 
myself to the justice of God and the sword, and desire a fair 
field and a duel." Either of the disputants was at liberty 
to procure a substitute, or make use of any weapon except a 
gun or a bow, though they generally fought with a dagger 
and a lance ; and each was supported and encouraged by spec- 
tators and friends, who stood around to ensure fairness and 
equity. But bribes were given and received on all sides 
with the most shameless frequency, both by the magistrates 
and judges ; so that few poor men had any chance in maintain- 
ing a cause against the rich, more especially "as they were 
never permitted to obtain a personal interview with the 

* Hcrbersteln's "Eeram MuBCOvltarum." 


Upon, liis marriage with the princess Sophia, Ivan adopted 
the double-headed eagle, the arms of the Greek empire, for 
his bannei-, and placed in the centre upon a shield the figure 
of the di"agon and St. George, which had formerly been 
depicted on the flag of Moscow ; and this, replacing the three 
triangles, the ancient arms of the Grand Princes of Kiof, be- 
came from henceforth the established ensign of the Russian 

Since the close of his first war in 1469, Ivan had regularly 
for six years paid the tribute to Kipzak ; but when Sophia 
discovered that Mongul officers resided by agreement within 
the very palace of the Czar, where they narrowly watched his 
every action and ordinance ; when she saw her husband stand 
uncovered before these dignitaries, and heard of the degrad- 
ing ceremonies and humiliating position he was compelled to 
assume when receiving the ambassadors of the khan, who, 
shortly after her marriage, came to collect the tribute, she 
indignantly informed him that she discovered she had married 
a slave of the Tartars. Stung by this reproach, at a time 
when the empire was filled with the disaffected and malecon- 
tents, who, disappointed at the failure of