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nature of the ground. The architectural inventiveness of Mansur and his engineers was hampered by no pre-existing town; when they had cleared away a miserable hamlet and the abodes of infidel monks, they had a tabula rasa, level and unencumbered, on which they could work their will, confined only by the Isa canal and the Tigris itself. The architects used the opportunity and built a wonderful city of a new type. It was in the form of a perfect circle, four miles in circumference, surrounded by three concentric walls constructed of huge sun-dried bricks. In the centre stood the Palace of Mansur, known as the Golden Gate, and close to it the Great Mosque. The whole surrounding area, enclosed by the inmost wall, was reserved for the offices of government, the palaces of the Caliph's children, and the dwellings of his servants. No one except the Caliph himself was permitted to pass into these sacred precincts on horseback. The ring between the inner and the middle wall was occupied by houses and booths. The middle wall was the principal defence of the town, exceeding the other two in height and thickness. Through its iron gates, so heavy that a company was required to open them, a rider could enter without lowering his lance; and at each gatehouse a gangway was contrived by which a man on horseback could reach the top of the wall. From this massive fortification a vacant space divided the outmost wall, which was encompassed by a watermoat. This system of walls was pierced by four series of equidistant gates the gates of Syria (N.W.), Khurasan (N.E.), Basrah (S.E.), and Kufah (S.W.). The imposing gatehouses of the middle circle were surmounted by domes. Such was the general plan of the round city of Mansur, to which he gave the name of Madinat as-Salam, "the City of Peace." But if the name was used officially, it has been as utterly forgotten by the world as Aelia Capitolina and Theupolis, which once aspired to replace Jerusalem and Antioch.

The building of the city occupied four years (A.D. 762-766).1 Mansur also built himself another house, the Kasr-al-Khuld or Palace of Eternity, outside the walls, between the Khurasan

1 Tabari states the cost of building the two outer walls and the palace, and constructing the ditch, at a sum

which is about the equivalent of £360,000 (Le Strange, 40).

Gate and the river. It was here that Harun ar- -Rashid generally lived. South of the city stretched the great commercial suburb of Karkh,1 and the numerous canals which intersected it must have given it the appearance of a modern Dutch town. Here were the merchants and their stores, as carefully supervised by the government as the traders and dealers of Constantinople. The craftsmen and tradesmen did not live scattered promiscuously in the same street, as in our cities of to-day; every craft and every branch of commerce had its own allotted quarter. It is said that Mansur, in laying out the town of Karkh, which was not included in his original plan, was inspired by the advice of an envoy of the Roman Emperor, who was then Constantine V. When the patrician had been taken to see all the wonders of the new city, the Caliph asked him what he thought of it. I have seen splendid buildings," he replied, “but I have also seen, O Caliph, that thine enemies are with thee, within thy city." He explained this oracular saying by observing that the foreign merchants in the markets within the walls would have opportunities of acting as spies or even as traitors. Mansur reflected on the warning, and removed the market to the suburbs.

This is not the only anecdote connecting Byzantine envoys with the foundation of Baghdad. We may not give these stories credence, but they have a certain value for the history of culture, because they would not have been invented if the Saracens had not been receptive of Byzantine influences. It was said that a Greek patrician advised Mansur on the choice of his site; and a visitor who walked through the western suburb and was shown the great "water-mill of the patrician" might feel convinced that here was an undoubted proof of the alleged debt to Byzantine civilization. His guide would have told him that the name of the builder of the mills was Tarath, who had come on behalf of the Roman Emperor to congratulate the Caliph Mahdi on his accession to the throne (A.D. 775). Tarath, who was himself fifth in descent from the Emperor Maruk, offered to build a mill on one of the canals. Five hundred thousand dirhams (about £20,000)

1 The name still survives in Karchiaka, which the Turks apply to western Baghdad (Le Strange, 66).


were supplied for the cost, and the patrician guaranteed that the yearly rents would amount to this sum. When the forecast was fulfilled, Mahdi gratefully ordered that the rents should be bestowed on the patrician, and until his death the amount was transmitted to him year by year to Constantinople. The story sounds like a pleasing invention, called forth by the need of explaining the name of the mill; and it has been suggested that the name itself was originally derived, not from "Patrician," but from "Patriarch," and that the mills, older than the foundation of the city, were called after the Patriarch of the Nestorians.1 The name Tarath, however, is evidently Tarasius, while in his Imperial ancestor Maruk it is easy to recognize the Emperor Maurice; and it is to be observed that the age of the fifth generation from Maurice (who died in A.D. 602) corresponds to the reign of Mansur.

The traffic of Baghdad was not confined to Karkh n; there were extensive market-places also in the region outside the western wall, and in the north-western suburb of Harbiyah, beyond the Syrian Gate. The quarters in all these suburbs which encompassed the city were distinguished for the most part by the names of followers of Mansur, to whom he assigned them as fiefs.

Although Baghdad was to live for ever, the Round City of the founder was destined soon to disappear. The Palace of the Golden Gate was little used after the death of Mansur himself, and four generations later the rest of the court and government was permanently established on the other side of the Tigris. At the very beginning, three important suburbs grew up on the opposite bank of the river, which was spanned by three bridges of boats. This region has aptly been described as a fan-shaped area, the point of radiation being the extremity of the Main Bridge, which led to the gate of Khurasan, and the curve of the fan sweeping round from the Upper Bridge to the Lower Bridge.2 But these quarters of Rusafah, Shammasiyah, and Mukharrim were not destined to be the later

1 Le Strange, 145. Batrîk=παTρÍKIOS should differ in the final guttural from batrik=Tатрιáρxηs (ib. note). 2 Le Strange, 169.

3 In the region of Shammasiyah—an

Aramaic word, meaning "deaconry" and pointing to Christian origin-was the Christian quarter, known as the Dâr ar-Rûm or House of the Romans. Here were churches of the Jacobites

city of the Abbasids; their interest is entirely connected with the events of the earlier period. Mansur built a palace in Rusafah for his son Mahdi, in whose reign this quarter, inhabited by himself and his courtiers, became the most fashionable part of the capital. More famous was the palace of Ja'far the Barmecide in the quarter of Mukharrim.1 It was given by its builder as a free gift to prince Mamun, who enlarged it, built a hippodrome, and laid out a wild beast park. When Mamun came to the throne, he generally lived here, whenever he was in Baghdad, and from this time we may date the upward rise of Eastern Baghdad. For the decline and destruction of the Round City of Mansur had been initiated in the. struggle between Mamun and his brother Amin, when its walls and houses were ruined in a siege which lasted for a year. Mamun rebuilt it, but neither he nor his successors cared to live in it, and the neglect of the Caliphs led to its ultimate ruin and decay. For a time indeed it seemed that Baghdad itself might permanently be abandoned for a new residence. The Caliph Mutasim, who had built himself a new palace in Mukharrim, was forced by the mutinies of the Turkish Guards to leave Baghdad, and Samarra, higher up the river, was the seat of the court and government of the Commander of the Faithful for about sixty years (A.D. 836-94). Once indeed, during this period, a caliph took up his quarters for a year in Baghdad. It was Mustain, who fled from Samarra, unable to endure his subjection to the Turkish praetorians (A.D. 865). But he came not to the city of Mansur, but to the quarter of Rusafah, which he surrounded with a wall to stand the siege of the rival whom the Turks had set up. This siege was as fatal to the old quarters of Eastern Baghdad as the earlier siege was to the Round City and its suburbs. When the Court finally returned from Samarra, thirty years later, new palaces and a new Eastern Baghdad arose farther to the south, on ground which was wholly beyond the limits of the suburbs of Mansur's city.


and of the more influential Nestorians, both of whom lived unmolested under the rule of the Abbasids. Nestorian church is said to have been large, solid, and beautiful; the

Catholicus of the Nestorians lived in the adjacent monastery, the Dayr arRûm (ib. 208).

1 Ib. 243 sqq.

3. The Frontier Defences of the Empire and the Caliphate

The sway of the Caliph extended from the northern shores of Africa to the frontiers of India, but after the year 800 his lordship over northern Africa was merely nominal, and the western limits of his realm were virtually marked by Cyprus and Egypt. For Ibrahim, son of Aghlab, who was appointed governor of Tunis, announced to the Caliph Harun that he was prepared to pay a yearly tribute but was determined to keep the province as a perpetual fief for himself and his descendants. Harun, who was at the moment beset by war and revolts elsewhere, was compelled to acquiesce, and the Aghlabid dynasty was thus founded in Africa. The whole Caliphate was divided into some fifteen administrative provinces, and the Asiatic provinces alone formed a far larger realm than the contemporary Roman Empire.

The circumscriptions of Syria and Armenia were separated from Roman territory by frontier districts, which were occupied by forts and standing camps. The standing camp, or fustát, was an institution which had been developed under the Omayyads, and was continued under the early Abbasids. The ancient towns of Tarsus, Adana, and Mopsuestia were little more than military establishments of this kind. If we survey the line of defences along the Taurus range from the Euphrates to the frontier of Cilicia, our eye falls first on Melitene (Malatia) which lies at the meeting of the great highroads leading from Sebastea (Sivas) and Caesarea to Armenia and northern Mesopotamia, not far from the loop which the river describes below the point at which its parent streams1 unite their waters. The road from Melitene to Germanicia, across the Taurus, was marked by the fastnesses of Zapetra (at Viranshahr) and Hadath or Adata,2 both of which were frequently attacked by the Romans. Germanicia and Anazarbos were

strongly fortified by the Caliph Harun, and between these

1 The Euphrates (Kara-su) and Arsanias (Murad-su).

2 For a demonstration of the site of Zapetra (the ancient Sozopetra), and for the position of Hadath (near Inekli) see Anderson, Campaign of Basil I., in Classical Review, x. 138-9 (April 1896). In his Map of Asia

Minor he equates Hadath with Pavrali, north of Inekli. The roads across Commagene to Samosata, from Zapetra and from Germanicia, were defended respectively by the forts of Hisn Mansur or Perrhe and Bahasnā (for which cp. Anderson's Map).

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