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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 4684 times)
Trena Alloway
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Posts: 2386

« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 10:59:59 pm »

The East has been at all times prolific of crime; human life is not there held to be of the value at which it is estimated in Europe; and the dagger and poison are freely employed to remove objects of apprehension, to put obstacles out of the way of ambition, or to satiate the thirst of vengeance. We are not, therefore, lightly to give credit to every charge made against the Assassins, and to believe them guilty of murders from which they had no advantage to derive. Thus, when at this time the Fatimite Khalit Amir bi-ahkami-llah (Commander of the observance of the laws of God) fell by the hands of murderers, the probability is that he was not a victim to the vengeance of the Ismaïlite society, whom he had never injured, but rather to that of the family of the powerful vizir Afdal, who had been assassinated some time before by the khalif's order, as we have every reason to suppose.

With a greater show of reason may the murder or Mostarshed, the Khalif of Bagdad, be imputed to the policy of the mountain chief. The Seljookian princes, the predecessors of Massood, had been satisfied to exercise all real power in the empire which had once obeyed the house of Abbas, leaving to that feeble Shadow of God upon Earth the unsubstantial privilege of having the coin of the realm struck and prayers offered on Friday in the mosk in his name. But Massood arrogated even these rights to himself. and the helpless successor of the Prophet was obliged to submit to the indignity which he could not pre vent. At length some discontented military chiefs passed with their troops over to the khalif, and persuaded

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him that by one bold effort he might overthrow the might of the Turkish sultan, and recover all his rights. The khalif listened to their arguments, and, placing himself at the head of an army, marched against Sultan Massood. But fortune proved adverse to him. At the first shock the greater part of the troops of Bagdad abandoned him, and he remained a captive in the hands of the sultan, who brought him with him a prisoner to Maragha. Here a treaty was concluded between them, and the khalif bound himself not to go any more outside of the walls of Bagdad, and annually to pay a sum of money. This treaty appears to have been displeasing to the Assassins; and, watching their opportunity, when Massood was gone to meet the ambassadors of Sultan Sanjar, a party of them fell upon and massacred the khalif and his train. The lifeless body of the Commander of the Faithful was mangled by them in the most scandalous manner.

After a blood-stained reign of fourteen years and three days Keäh Buzoorg Oomeid died. Departing from the maxims of Hassan Sabah, who it is probable wished to imitate the conduct of the Prophet, and leave the supreme dignity elective, he appointed his own son, Keäh Mohammed, to be his successor, induced either by paternal partiality, or believing him to be the person best qualified for the office.


88:* The number slain was 6,000.

89:* It was the month of December.

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