Slike stranica

was steady, it was so slow thut an observer might huvo forecast its result as an eventual division between the two ruces, a repetition of the old division between Greeks and Phænicians. But history did not repeat itself thus. The Greek states in the days of Gelon and of Dionysios were of different metal from the provincials who were under the protection of the Eastern Emperors. The Arabs were to do what the Phoenicians had failed to do, and make the whole island a portion of Asia in Europe.

The record, which has come down to iis, of the incidents of the warfare chronicles the gradual reduction of town after town, fort after fort, but is so meagre that it offers little instruction or interest We may note the most important singos in tho conquest and observe the efforts made by the Imperial government to drive out the invaders, The forces which had been sent by the Emperor Michael to the relief of Syracuse were commanded by Theodotos, a patrician who wils not without military talent." He followed the enemy to! Castrogiovanni, where he was defeated ? and driven to take refuge in the fortress, which the Arabs, after the death of Euphemios continued to besiege. But Theodotos soon had' his revenge.

Sallying forth and gaining a victory, he surrounded and besieged the camp of the besiegers. They tried to escape at night, but the Greek general, foresceing such an attempt, had secretly abandoned his own camp, and laid an ambush. Those who escaped from his trap made their way to Mineo, where he blockaded them so effectively that they were reduced to eating the flesh of dogs.

The Arab garrison in Agrigentum, seeing that the tide had turned, withdrew to Mazara ; and in the summer of

; A.D. 829 only Mazara and Mineo, far distant from each other, were held by the invaders. At this moment a powerful armament from Constantinople might have been decisive. But no reinforcements were sent. The successes of Theodotos

"A seal of Theodotos (douTÁTW πατρικίω βασιλικό πρωτοσπαθαρία DLOUKITÍ Sukelias) is preserved, and as it may be referred to the ninth century probably belongs to this Theodotos. Schlumberger, Sig. 215.

2 Nuwairi (175) says that ninety "patricians" wero taken prisoners.

“ Patrician" is used very loosely by Arabic writers, and here can mean no more than officer. Vasil'ev seenis to take it literally (74).

3. During the siege Mohammad died and the army elected Zuhair to the cominand.

were probably taken to show that he would be able to complete his task alone, and then the death of Michael'intervened. But if the government reckoned thus, it reckoned without Africa and Spain. Two hostile fleets sailed to the Sicilian shores. Ziadat Allah sent a new armament', and a Spanish syquadron came to join in the warfare, for the sake of plunder, not of conquest, under Asbay ibn Wakil.” The African Moslems, hard pressed at Mineo, proposed common action to the Spanish adventurers, and the Spaniards agreed on con., dition that Asbay should be the commander-in-chief and that the Africans should provide horses. But the confederates carried on their operations separately. Asbag and his men marched first to Mineo, which, still blockaded by Thcodotos, must have been suffering the last distresses of hunger. They deteated the besiegers and Theodotos fell in the battles Asbily burned Mineo, but his career was almost iminediately cut short. A pestilence broke out among his troops while he wa3 besieging another stronghold,' and, like Asad, he fell a victim to the infection. His followers returned to Spain.

Meanwhile the Africans had laid siege to l'anormos. This city held out for a year, but it seems to have been an easier place to besiege than Syracuse or Castrogiovanni. In the autumn of A.D. 831 the commander of the garrison surrendered, having bargained for the safety of himself, his family, and his property. The inhabitants were treated as prisoners of war. The bishop of Panolinos escaped to Constantinople, bearing the news of the calamity.? The anxiety of the Emperor Theophilus to come to terms with the

i Ibn al-Athir, 94 (A.D. 829). Ho • The siege began Aug. 830 udely "the general number of ships (Nuwairi, ib.): tho date of the capitu. reached 300." Amari, Storia, i. 288. lation was Sopt. 831. Sco 1. Ion

? The Arabic writers are not clear al-Athir, 94, in the month corre. about the date. They montion the

sponding to Aug. 14.Sept. 12, 831 ; irrival of the Andalusians under A.ll. and 2. Cambridye Chronicle, 24, A. M. 211 = A.D. 829 March-830 Feb. (Ibn 6340, ind. 10, which began 'Supt. 1, dari, 146, Ibn al-Athir, ib.), but from 831. Theso notices together fix tho Ibu Alari's narrative we may probably date between the 1st and 12th of Sept. date it (with Amari and Vasil'ev) to Cp. Vasil'ev, 107. A. ll. 215. On the other land, there

o Seo Joann. Neap. 430 ; De S. no reason for not accepting

Philarelo (who was put to death) in A.D. 829 as the date of the sending

A.S.S. April 8, t. i. 753. of the reinforcements from Africa. 3 July-August: Nuwairi, 175.

? He was accompanied by Simeon, "G. I-wali (Ibn Addari, ib.) Perhaps a spatharios (it has been conjectured Cilioniana Caltanisetta (Vasil'ev, that he was the governor, cp. Varil'ov, 106).

107). Joann. Neaj. 430.


Caliph Mamun, points to his desire to concentrate the forces of the Empire on the defence of Sicily. But though he failed to secure peace in the East, we should expect to find that he inade some extraordinary effort on the news of the fall of Panormos. There is, however, no record of the despatch of any new armament or relief to the western island at this time.

· The winning of such an important basis and naval station marks the completion of the first stage in the Moslem conquest. If the operations hitherto had been somewhat of the nature of an experiment, the African Emir was now confirmed in his ambitious policy of annexing Sicily, and Panormos was the nucleus of a new province over which he appointed Abu Fihr as governor. It is probable that during the next few years progress was made in reducing the western districts of the island, but for nine years no capture of an important town or fortress marked the advance of the invaders. Abu Fihr and his successors? won some battles, and directed their arms against Castrogiovanni, which on one occasion almost fell into their hands. Kephaloedion, on the north coast, now called Cefalù, was attacked in A.D. 838, but timely help arriving from Constantinople forced the enemy to raise the siege. It is probable that the success of

. the Greeks in stemming the tide of conquest was due to the ability of the Caesar Alexios Musele, who was entrusted with the command of the Sicilian forces. He returned to Constantinople (perhaps in A.1). 839) accused of ambitious designs against the throne, and after his departure the enemy made a notable advance by reducing the fortresses of Corleone, Platini, and Caltabellotta—the ancient Sican fortress of Kumikos (A.D. 840). Two or three years later, Al-Fal]]

" Suo abovo


Simcon (Cont. Geory. 794) otparn. ? Fuld ibu Yukub and Abu 'l.Aglılab

λάτης και δούκα της Σικελίας. Tho Ibrahim (A. D. 836).

appointment seoms to have followed

soon after the marriage with Maria A.D. 837. Vasil'ov, 113. Some

(c. A.D. 836, see Appendix VI.). Ace. fortresses were taken (apparently on to Cont. Th. 108, Alexios was sent to the north coast) in A.D. 836, 837. -"Longobardin. Ibn al-Athir, 95; Ibn Adari, 147

• Kurlun, Iblatanu, Hisni al-Ballut (whoso M-d-nar is taken by Amari to

(Ibn al-Athir, ib.). He adds Marw, represent Tyndaris ; Amari ad loc, ind

while Nuwairi (175) adds M.r.d. and Storia, i. 305-306)." The Arabs also

H.rha. The last is supposed to be operated in the region of Etna in A. D. Gerace. M.r.a or Marw las been con. 836, Ibn al-Athir, ib.

jectured to be Marinco, or Calatamauro. * Ibn al-Athir, ib. “large maritimo 5.0 Vasil'ev, 149. Amari, Storia, forces of the Grecks arrived in Sicily." i. 310.


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achieved the second great step in the conquest, the capture 2 of

of Messina, Aided by Naples, which had allied itself to the Tiew power in Sicily, he besieged the town by land and sea,

and after all his assaults had been repelled, took it by an artifice. Secretly sending a part of his forces into the mountains which rise behind the city, he opened a vigorous attack from the sea-side. When all the efforts of the Harrison were concentrato in repulling it, the conconlod

' 1100px doscondeil from the hills and Munched the luxurioul walls on the lundward sido. The town WilA compelled to capitulate,

The invaders had now establishod themselves in two of the most important sites in Sicily; they were clominunt in the west and they held the principal city in the north-cilst. In a few years the captures of Motyke ? and its neighbour Ragusa gave them a footing for the conquest of the southcast. An army which the Empress Theodora sent to the island, where a temporary respite from the hostilities of the Eastern Saracens had been secured, was defeated with great loss; 4 and soon afterwards the warrior who had subdued Messina captured Leontini. When Al-Fald laid siege to it, the Greek stratégos marched to its relief, having aranged with the garrison to light a beacon on a neighbouring hill to prepare them for his approach. Al-Fald discovered that this signal had been concerted, and immediately lit a fire on three successive days. On the fourth day, when the relieving arıny ought to have appeared, the besieged issued from the gates, confident of victory. The eneiny, by a feigned flight, led them into an ambush, and the city, meanwhile, was almost undefended and fell an easy prey.'

I The siege began in 843 or end of that the Greek arny was largely 812 (in A. ll. 228 which begun Oct. 10, composed of troops of the Charsian 812, Ibn al-Athir, 95). In the same year province. The army would have been M.s.kan was taken: Amari (Storia, sent soon after tho exchange of i. 314) identities it withi Alimena, captives in A.D), 845 (sce above, p. 276), north-west of Castrogiovanni.

and the battle may have boon fought ? Modica,

Cambrilyc early in 846 (Vasil'ov). It is probably Chron. 20, ind. 8 éiridoing av tà to be identified with the battle which καστέλλια της τουρακιναίας και ο άγιος

Ibn al-Athir (96) records in A.1). 'Aravias tñs Moutinas. Jan Turakinaia 813-814, for he says that more than conceal Trinakia ?

10,000 Greeks fell, and acc. to the Cum.

brilye Chron. 9000 were slain. Ibn A.D. 818. Ragusa ('Poyol) secms to be the anoient llybla.

al. Athir mentions the place of the

battle as Sh-r-t; Amari (ad luc.) Cambridge Chron. ind. 9 (Sept. would identify it with Butera north of 845-Aug. 816) εγένετο ο πόλεμος του Gela. The Saracen general'was Xapšaviti, which Amari and Vasil'ev Abu 'l-Aghilab al-Abbas, afterwards oxplain with probability by supposing governor.



The irregularity in the rate of progress of the conquest may probably be explained, at least in part, by the fact that the Moslems were engnged at the same time in operations in Southern Italy, which will presently claim our attention, Por more than ten yours after the fall of Leontini, the onorky of the invulor's appears to buvo Ingged or expended itsell

' on millor enterprimus;' and then it now period of nctive HUOCONA begins with the surronder of Kepluloddion (A.1). 857-858)." A your or so luter, the mighty fortress of the Sicels' and now the great bulwark of the Greeks in the centre of the island, Castrogiovanni, was at last subilued. The capture of this impregnublu citudel wils, ils we might expect, compressed with the aid of a traitor.

A Greek prisoner purchased his life froin the Arab governor, Abbas, by undertaking to lead him into the stronghold by a secret way. With two thousand horsemen Abbas proceeded to Castrogiovanni, and on a dark night some of them penetrated into the place through a watercourse which their guide pointed out. The garrison had no suspicion that they were about to be attacked; the gate was thrown open, and the citadel was viken (Jan. 24, A.D. 859). It was a success which ranked in

) importance with the captures of Panormos and Messina, and the victors marked their satisfaction by sending some of the captives as a gift to the Caliph Mutawakkil.

The fall of Castroyiovanni excited the Imperial government to a new effort. A fleet of three hundred warships

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1 Date : betwoen Aug. 846 and Aug. In the following year the Arabic 817: Ibn al-Athir, ilia, Cumbriaye writers chroniclo depredrtions and Chron, 26.

the captures of unnamed forts. 851

Caltavuturo (in the A.H. 213 = April 857-April 858. mountains south of Cefali) was taken. • The Cambrilye Chronicle calls it In the same year tho governor Abu by its old name : "Evve (28). 'l. Aghlab Ibrahim died and Abu 6 The stratégos of Sicily had ro. 'l-Aghilab Abbas was elected in his moved his headquarters from Syracuse

tead. A.1). 854 was marked by the to Castrogiovanni, as a safer place, siege of Butera (Bobnp): the Cambriilye Ibn al-Athir, 97. Chronicle, 28, states that it was taken a In A.1). 858 a naval battle was then, but Ibn al-Athir (103) that fought, in which the Greeks were after 1 siege of tive or six months victorious. The Greek vessels, forty the inhabitants bought themselves in mumber, were commanded by “the off. So Ibu Adari (147 and in Cretan” (Nuwairi 175) whom Vasil'ev Vasil'ev, Pril. 114), who adds that proposes to identify with Joannes Sukh (or m)-r-16 was taken. Anari Creticus, stratégos of Peloponnesus conjoctures Kamarina (Sloriu, i. 324). under Basil I. (Cont. Th. 303). The

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