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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

The basis of Mount Caf is an emerald


Huns, a polite and warlike

people, who possessed the commercial cities of Bochara and Samarcand, who had vanquished the Persian monarch, and carried their victorious arms along the banks, and perhaps to the mouth, of the Indus. On the side of the West, the Turkish cavalry advanced to the Lake Maeotis. They passed that lake on the ice. The khan who dwelt at the foot of Mount Altai issued his commands for the siege of Bosphorus, [28] a city the voluntary subject of Rome, and whose princes had formerly been the friends of Athens. [29] To the east, the Turks invaded China, as often as the vigor of the government was relaxed: and I am taught to read in the history of the times, that they mowed down their patient enemies like hemp or grass; and that the mandarins applauded the wisdom of an emperor who repulsed these Barbarians with golden lances. This extent of savage empire compelled the Turkish monarch to establish three subordinate princes of his own blood, who soon forgot their gratitude and allegiance. The conquerors were enervated by luxury, which is always fatal except to an industrious people; the policy of China solicited the vanquished nations to resume their independence and the power of the Turks was limited to a period of two hundred years. The revival of their name and dominion in the southern countries of Asia are the events of a later age; and the dynasties, which succeeded to their native realms, may sleep in oblivion; since their history bears no relation to the decline and fall of the Roman
empire. [30]

[Footnote 2211: It must be remembered that the name of Turks is extended to a whole family of the Asiatic races, and not confined to the Assena, or Turks of the Altai.--M.]

[Footnote 2212: Assena (the wolf) was the name of this chief. Klaproth, Tabl. Hist. de l'Asie p. 114.--M.]

[Footnote 23: From Caf to Caf; which a more rational geography would interpret, from Imaus, perhaps, to Mount Atlas. According to the religious philosophy of the Mahometans, the basis of Mount Caf is an emerald, whose reflection produces the azure of the sky. The mountain is endowed with a sensitive action in its roots or nerves; and their vibration, at the command of God, is the cause of earthquakes. (D'Herbelot, p. 230, 231.)]

[Footnote 2311: Altai, i. e. Altun Tagh, the Golden Mountain. Von Hammer Osman Geschichte, vol. i. p. 2.--M.]

[Footnote 24: The Siberian iron is the best and most plentiful in the world; and in the southern parts, above sixty mines are now worked by the industry of the Russians, (Strahlenberg, Hist. of Siberia, p. 342, 387. Voyage en Siberie, par l'Abbe Chappe d'Auteroche, p. 603--608, edit in 12mo. Amsterdam. 1770.) The Turks offered iron for sale; yet the Roman ambassadors, with strange obstinacy, persisted in believing that it was all a trick, and that their country produced none, (Menander in Excerpt. Leg. p. 152.)]

[Footnote 25: Of Irgana-kon, (Abulghazi Khan, Hist. Genealogique des Tatars, P ii. c. 5, p. 71--77, c. 15, p. 155.) The tradition of the Moguls, of the 450 years which they passed in the mountains, agrees with the Chinese periods of the history of the Huns and Turks, (De Guignes, tom. i. part ii. p. 376,) and the twenty generations, from their restoration to Zingis.]


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