A Turk standing beside an urn with a woman in the background
From Anselmi Banduri Imperium orientale, tome II., p. 448. 2 vols. folio. Parisiis, 1711.
Ferdinand de Lesseps
View of Jerusalem
The Moslem Empire 750 AD
They came by diverse routes from France, Normandy, Flanders, England, Southern Italy, and Sicily, and the will and power of them were the Normans. They crossed the Bosphorus and captured Nicæa, which Alexius snatched away from them before they could loot it. They then went on by much the same route as Alexander the Great, through the Cilician Gates, leaving the Turks in Konia unconquered, past the battle-fields of the Issus, and so to Antioch, which they took after nearly a year’s siege. Then they defeated a great relieving army from Mosul. A large part of the Crusaders remained in Antioch, a smaller force under Godfrey of Bouillon (in Belgium) went on to Jerusalem. “After a little more than a month’s siege, the city was finally captured (July 15). The slaughter was terrible; the blood of the conquered ran down the streets, until men splashed in blood as they rode. At nightfall, ‘sobbing for excess of joy,’ the crusaders came to the Sepulchre from their treading of the wine-press, and put their blood-stained hands together in prayer. So, on that day of July, the First Crusade came to an end.”
Haroun-al-Raschid died in 809. At his death his great empire fell immediately into civil war and confusion, and the next great event of unusual importance in this region of the world comes two hundred years later when the Turks, under the chiefs of the great family of the Seljuks, poured southward out of Turkestan, and not only conquered the empire of Bagdad, but Asia Minor also. Coming from the northeast as they did, they were able to outflank the great barrier of the Taurus Mountains, which had hitherto held back the Moslems. They were still much the same people as those of whom Yuan Chwang gave us a glimpse four hundred years earlier, but now they were Moslems, and Moslems of the primitive type, men whom Abu Bekr would have welcomed to Islam. They caused a great revival of vigour in Islam, and they turned the minds of the Moslem world once more in the direction of a religious war against Christendom.
is impressed during his first days in Cairo with the spectacle of runners in front of carriages to warn people to get out of the way. These fellows have a picturesque dress and muscular legs, and their duty is to clear the way, by keeping a few yards in advance and warning people that a carriage is coming. An appendage of this sort is called a syce, and formerly it was necessary that he should be a native born Egyptian, but at present a Nubian may aspire to the position, and it is not unusual to see syces of the complexion of charcoal in front of elegant carriages.
Beyrout and the Mountains of Lebanon
A few years ago some Greek and Italian scoundrels “put up a job” to plunder one of the mosques at Constantinople. They were weeks at work, perfecting their plans, and managed to get their plunder safe on board a schooner which was waiting in the sea of Marmora, a mile or two from shore. They sailed away in triumph, but the electric telegraph, which has brought so many scoundrels to justice, caused them to be overhauled at the Dardanelles.
The schooner was captured and brought back to Constantinople; the property was returned to the mosque, and the enterprising gentlemen who removed it without authority received the polite attentions of a Turkish headsman. Not only they, but the entire crew of the schooner down to the cook and cabin boy—also a cat and two kittens—were decapitated, without fear or favor.
“Bismillah!” (in the name of God) shouted the executioner each time he swung his sword. “Inshallah!” (God is willing) responded the attendant, as he gathered up the heads one by one and stowed them away in a sack.
Moslems at Prayer
An Arab school is a curiosity. The pupils study their lessons aloud, and make the place about as noisy as a political meeting, and how they can learn, any thing is a surprise to a person from the Occident, where silence is considered desirable in a school-room.
The body consists of a wooden frame, over which a parchment is stretched. One string of white horse-hair.
The case is in the shape of a fork, and is intended to rest on the ground.
Persian Costume of 6th to 5th Century BC