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hour of one and then lit his beacon; and the watchers in the Palace, seeing the light on Mount Auxentios, knew at what hour the first fire was kindled and therefore what the signal meant. A signal made at two o'clock announced that hostilities had begun, and a three o'clock despatch signified a contlagration.'
In expeditions to Commagene and Mesopotamia, the Imperial armies generally followed the road from Arabissos (Yarpuz) which, crossing the Taurus, descends to Germanicia. The troops of the Eastern Asiatic Themes met those which came from the west at Caesarea, and a road crossing the Antitaurus range by the Kuru-Chai passo took them to Sirica and Arabissos. But at Sirica (perhaps Kemer) they had an alternative route which was sometimes adopted. coulil proceed southward by Kokusos (Geuksun) and reach Germanicia by the Ayer-Bel pass.
At the beginning of the ninth century, a great part of Cappadocia cast and south-east of the upper Halys had become a frontier land, in which the Saracens, although they did not occupy the country, had won possession of important strongholds, almost to the very gates of Caesarea. If they did not hold already, they were soon to gain the forts in the Antitaurus region which commanded the roads to Sis, and Kokusos which lay on one of the routes to Germanicia. To the north, they seem to have dominated the country as far west as ihe road from Sebastca to Arabissos. And, south of the Antitaurus range, Arabissos was the only important place of which the Empire retained possession. The fact that the
i Pseudo - Simeon 681 sq. is the the Paulicians, is another indication. authority for the ωρολόγια δύο εξ ίσου It seems probable that they had κάμνοντα.
achieved this position in Eastern Asia Ramsay, Asia Minor, 271 ; for Minor before the end of the 8th Sirica, 271.
century. Ramsay (Asia Minor, 278) 3 Anderson, Roal System (28), where exaggerates when he says that after all the routes over the Taurus are 780 “the Greek arms were probably described. There were two ways from never seen again in Eastern CappalCarsarea southward to Sis and Ana. docia till Basil's expedition in 880"; zarbos, ib. 29.
at least, the freqnent Roman expedi + The prinetration of Cappadocia by tions to Commagene passed through the Arabis before 873 can be partly south-eastern Cappadocia. inforred from the details of the cam- • Ramsay (ib. 276) infers from paigns of Basil I., who undertook to Basil's campaign in 877 that Arabissos drive them ont of the country. Cp. was then in the hands of the Saracens. Awlerson, Comparigno of Busil I. (cit. I doubt whether the inference is supra) rind Roaul System, ?4 sq. The justified ; Basil's march to Germanicia position of Amara, where they settled by the western pass seems to have
Charsian province was designated as a Kleisurarchy is a significant indication of the line of the eastern frontier, It was the business of the Chursian commander to defend the kleisurai or passes of the Antitaurus hills.
§ 4, The Wurfare in the Reigns of Harun and Mamun
(A.D. 802-833) Till the middle of the tenth century when the Emperor Nicephorus Phocas made a serious effort to drive the Moslems from Syria, the wars between the Empire and Caliphate are little more than a chronicle of reciprocal incursions which seldom penetrated very far into the enemy's country. The chief events were the capture and recapture of the fortresses in the Taurus and Antitaurus highlands; occasionally an expedition on a larger scale succeeded in destroying some important town. The record of this monotonous warfare is preserved more fully in the Arabic than in the Greek
, chronicles. It would be as useless as it were tedious to reproduce here the details of these annual campaigns. It will be enough to notice the chief vicissitudes, and the more important incidents, in a struggle whose results, when the Amorian dynasty fell, showed a balance in favour of the Saracens.
During the last few years of the reign of Irene, the warfare slumbered ;' it would seem that she purchased immunity from invasion by paying a yearly sum to the Caliph. One of the first decisions of Nicephorus was to refuse to continue this humiliating tribute, and the Arab historians quote letters which they allege to have passed between the Emperor and the Caliph on this occasion.? Nicephorus demanded back the money which had been paid through “ female weakness." The epistle, if it is authentic, was been dictated by other considerations. 9 They are given by Tabari (as well In any case, Arabissos must have been as later writers). Translations in Imperial during most of the Amorian Gibbon, chap. 52, and Weil, ii. 159. period.
Brooks regards them as spurious, and According to Michael Syr. 12, thinks that the story of the peace with however, there were two Saracen in- Irene (Rina), which is not mentioned vasions after the deposition of Con- by Theophanes, was an Arab invention. stantine VI.: in the first, Actius gained It is not mentioned by Michael Syr., a victory, in the second the Romans who, however, states that Nicephorus were defeated.
sent a letter to Harun (16).
simply a declaration of war. Harun was so incensed with fury that no one could look at him; he called for an inkpot and wrote his answer on the back of the Imperial letter.
Harun, Commander of the Faithful, to the Greek dog. I have read thy letter, son of an unbelieving mother. Thou shalt not only hear my answer but see it with thine eyes.
The Caliph marched immediutely to chastise the insolent Roman, but Nicephorus, who, occupied with the revolt of Bardanes, was not prepared to meet him, offered to pay tribute, if the army, which had advanced from the Cilician Gates to Heraclea, would retire. Harun, satisfied with the booty he had collected and the damage he had inflicted, agreed to the proposal; but when he had reached the Euphrates, the news arrived that the Emperor had broken the compact, and notwithstanding the severe cold, for it was already winter, he retraced his steps and raided the lands of his enemy again.
Each succeeding year during the reign of Harun, and under his successor till A.D. 813, witnessed the regular incursions of the Moslem commanders of the frontier. notice particularly an expedition led by the Caliph himself, who wore a pointed cap inscribed “ Raider and pilgrim," in tlie summer of A.!). 806. His army numbered 135,000 regular soliliers, with many volunteers, and besides capturing a number of important forts he took Heraclea and its subterranean grain stores. He seized Tyana, which lies north of Lulon on the road to Caesarea, and converted it into a permanent post of occupation, building a mosque, which the Creek chronicler designates as “the house of his blasphemy.” The Emperor, who 'seeins to have been unable to send a sufficient force to take the field against the invader, at length induced him to withdraw for the sum of 50,000 dinars.?
I In A.D. 804 Nicephorus in person Saracen period, showed hinıself so oppose the invaders and was wounded bravo and brilliant in war. In 807 (Tiabari, 8.11. 188). According to Nicephorus fought a pitched battle Michael Syr. (18), the Romans in with the Saracens and was routed this year entered Cilicia, pillaged the (Kitab al-'Uyun, Brooks, 747). regions of Mopuestin, Anazarbos, and ? For this campaign wo havo both Tarsus; sou also next note. This Theophanes and Tabari. They agree wrilor (who becomes more valuable in saying that the tributo was a sort for chronology in the reign of Theo. of ransom for Nicophorus, his son, his philus) has a curious stimato of patricians, and the other Romans. the military talent of Nicephorus : Tabari says thut four dinars were "No Roman Emperor, throughout the for Nicephorus, two for Stauracius
During the last two years of Harun's reign (A.D. 808-9) insurrections in his eastern dominions' prevented him from prosecuting the war against Romaniu with the same energy, and after his death the struggle of his sons for the throne was the signal for new rebellions, and secured the Empire for some years against any dangerous attack.” Harun had obliged his
? three 'sons to sign a document, by which the government of the realm was divided among them, but Amin succeeded to the supreme position of Caliph and Mamun was designated as next in succession. Amin was younger than Mumun, but he was the son of the Princess Zubuidah who had Mansur's blood in her veins, while Mamun's mother was a slave. Civil war broke out when Amin attempted to violate the paternal will by designating his own son as heir apparent to the throne. It was decided by the long siege of Baghdad and the execution of Amin (A.D. 813).
The twenty years of Mamun's reign were marked by internal rebellions and disa!ection so grave that all the military forces which he commanded were required to cope with these domestic dumgers. The governors of Egypt were already aspiring to an independence which they were afterwards to achieve, and Babek, an unconqueralıle leader, who belonged to the communistic sect of the Hurramites, defied the Caliph's power in Adarbiyan and Armenia. of Mumun was annihilated by this rebel in A.D. 829-30, and the task of subduing him was bequeathed to the Caliph's
These circumstances explain the virtual cessation ! of war between the Empire and the Caliphate for a space of sixteen years (A.D. 814-829). There was no truce or treaty :) the two powers remained at war; there were some hostilities ; (Brooks, Byzantines anul Arabs, i. that a Roman embassy came to Mamu 746); Theophanes says three for him. in A.H. 210 = April 825-April 820, to self, threw for his son. Michael Syr.
negotiate a peace, that Alamun de. places the capture of Heraclea in A.1). clined and ordered the commanders on 804 (16).
the frontiers to invade tho Empire, 1 Weil, ii. 163.
and that they were
Vasil'ev, Viz. i Ar. 30, accepts the Perfunctory raids are recorded by
statement that Zapetra was taken in Ibu Wadlih onch year till a.ll. 197 Michael's roign, on the ground that ( = Soptomber 12, 812-August 31, 813). Baladhuri was a contemporary:
lle Brooks, op. cil. 747.
diei iu 892-:1, and my huvo been a Notubly on thu occasion of the child in Michael's reign ; but I think l'evolt of Thomas. Baladhuri (4), wo inay tako it that he has misplaced however, records that the Romans de. an ovent which belongs to the first stroyed Zapotra, Mamun restored it, year of Theophilus. Soo below.
but the Saracens seem to have desisted from their yearly invasions, and the Emperors Leo and Michael were less eager to take advantage of Mamun's difficulties by aggressions on their side than glad to enjoy a respite from the eastern war." This long suspension of the Holy War was chequered, indeed, by Mamun's actions during the rebellion of Thomas, which showed that he cherished designs upon the Empire which only necessity held in abeyance. We saw how the Saracens took advantage of that crisis, first invading the Empire, and then supporting Thomas the Slavonian. The Caliph, whether he had made secret conditions with the pretender or not, undoubtedly hoped to augment his territory in Asia Minor.
If the Caliph had espoused the cause of Thomas, the Emperor had an opportunity of retaliating by supporting the rebel Babek. And as a matter of fact, the renewal of the war seems to have been caused by the opening of negotiations between Babek and the Emperor Theophilus. It must have been immediately after Theophilus ascended the throne that i considerable number of Hurramite insurgents passed into Roman territory and offered to serve in the Roman armies.” It is probable that the negotiations with Babek were arranged with the help of a notable oflicer, of Persian origin, who had been brought up at Constantinople and bore a Greek nameTheophobos. Theophilus appointed him coinmander of the
1 The silence of the Greek and that the fugitivos woro Christians Arabic chroniclors proves at lonst who feared Mamun and Babok alike. that the war was very languidly It should be borne in mind that thieso prosecutell in the reign of L.co." Buit so-called Ilépo at must have been mainly there seem to have been hostilitics, Persarmenians. for we have a record of an eastern 3 The difficulties' connectod with campaign of that Emperor. See Theo. Theophobos have not been fully dori Stud. Ep. 213 (Cozza-L.), pp. cleared up, or
oven realised, by 180.1 μετά το εκστρατεύσαι τον βασιλέα, modern historians. He is mentioned referring to A.D. 817. Moreover, in only the Grock sources: Gen. 52-57; A.D. 816 a campaign was contem. Cont. Th. 110-112 ; Simcol. (Add. plated: see Anon. A. l'ila Theophanis, Geory. 793). While it is amitted 2010 ; Anon. B. l'ilu Thcophants, 396. that the stories told of his descont Cp. Pargoiro, St. Theophane, 73-81. from the l'orsian kings, and of his
“? Soo Michael Syr. 50 and 73 (who carly lifo, are suspicious from their describes them as Khordanaye, i.e. goneral nature and the fact that thero Hurramites), and Groek sources citrol uru coutlicting versions-their logend. in next note, Simoon gives the ury character is established by their number of the “Persian" refugees as inconsistency with chronology and 14,000 ; accoriling to Con. Th. they other crror's (Hirsch, 139)—it has been had increased to 30,000 in A.1). 837. generally assumed that Theophobos That there was an influx in the inter. and his father were followers of Babek vening years is borne ont lay Tabari, 28 and came to Sinope with the other (sub A. b). 833). Finlay (ii. 153) thinxs fugitives (so c.g. Finlay and Vasil'ev).