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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

And reject the supplications of Chosroes


various treasures of gold, silver, gems, silks, and aromatics, were deposited in a hundred subterraneous vaults and the chamber Badaverd denoted the accidental gift of the winds which had wafted the spoils of Heraclius into one of the Syrian harbors of his rival. The vice of flattery, and perhaps of fiction, is not ashamed to compute the thirty thousand rich hangings that adorned the walls; the forty thousand columns of silver, or more probably of marble, and plated wood, that supported the roof; and the thousand globes of gold suspended in the dome, to imitate the motions of the planets and the constellations of the zodiac. [67] While the Persian monarch contemplated the wonders of his art and power, he received an epistle from an obscure citizen of Mecca, inviting him to acknowledge Mahomet as the apostle of God. He rejected the invitation, and tore the epistle. "It is thus," exclaimed the Arabian prophet, "that God will tear the kingdom, and reject the supplications of Chosroes." [68] [] Placed on the verge of the two great empires of the East, Mahomet observed with secret joy the progress of their mutual destruction; and in the midst of the Persian triumphs, he ventured to foretell, that before many years should elapse, victory should again return to the banners of the Romans. [69]

[Footnote 63: The genuine acts of St. Anastasius are published in those of the with general council, from whence Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 614, 626, 627) and

Butler (Lives of the Saints, vol. i. p. 242--248) have taken their accounts. The holy martyr deserted from the Persian to the Roman army, became a monk at Jerusalem, and insulted the worship of the Magi, which was then established at Caesarea in Palestine.]

[Footnote 64: Abulpharagius, Dynast. p. 99. Elmacin, Hist. Saracen. p. 14.]

[Footnote 65: D'Anville, Mem. de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xxxii. p. 568--571.]

[Footnote 66: The difference between the two races consists in one or two humps; the dromedary has only one; the size of the proper camel is larger; the country he comes from, Turkistan or Bactriana; the dromedary is confined to Arabia and Africa. Buffon, Hist. Naturelle, tom. xi. p. 211, &c. Aristot. Hist. Animal. tom. i. l. ii. c. 1, tom. ii. p. 185.]

[Footnote 6611: The ruins of these scenes of Khoosroo's magnificence have been visited by Sir R. K. Porter. At the ruins of Tokht i Bostan, he saw a gorgeous picture of a hunt, singularly illustrative of this passage. Travels, vol. ii. p. 204. Kisra Shirene, which he afterwards examined, appears to have been the palace of Dastagerd. Vol. ii. p. 173--175.--M.]

[Footnote 67: Theophanes, Chronograph. p. 268. D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 997. The Greeks describe the decay, the Persians the splendor, of Dastagerd; but the former speak from the modest witness of the eye, the latter from the vague report of the ear.]

[Footnote 68: The historians of Mahomet, Abulfeda (in Vit. Mohammed, p. 92, 93) and Gagnier, (Vie de Mahomet, tom. ii. p. 247,) date this embassy in the viith year of the Hegira, which commences A.D. 628, May 11. Their chronology is erroneous, since Chosroes died in the month of February of the same year, (Pagi, Critica, tom. ii. p. 779.) The count de Boulainvilliers (Vie de Mahomed, p. 327, 328) places this embassy about A.D. 615, soon after the conquest of Palestine. Yet Mahomet would scarcely have ventured so soon on so bold a step.]

[Footnote 6811: Khoosroo Purveez was encamped on the banks of the Karasoo River when he received the letter of Mahomed. He tore the letter and threw it into the Karasoo. For this action, the moderate author of the Zeenut-ul-Tuarikh calls him a wretch, and rejoices in all his subsequent misfortunes. These impressions still exist. I remarked to a Persian, when encamped near the Karasoo, in 1800, that the banks were very high, which must make it difficult to apply its waters to irrigation. "It once fertilized the whole country," said the zealous Mahomedan, "but its channel sunk with honor from its banks, when that madman, Khoosroo, threw our holy Prophet's letter into its stream; which has ever since been accursed and useless." Malcolm's Persia, vol. i. p. 126--M.]

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