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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1695 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2009, 11:27:53 pm »

p. 148

CHAPTER X
.

Death of Jellal-ed-deen--Character of Ala-ed-deen, his successor--The Sheikh Jemal-ed-deen--The Astronomer Na-sir- ed-deen--The Vizir Sheref-al-Moolk--Death of Ala-ed-deen--Succession of Rukn-ed-deen, the last Sheikh-al-Jebal.

THE reign of Jellal-ed-deen, which, unfortunately for the society, lasted but twelve years, was unstained by blood; and we see no reason to doubt the judgment of the oriental historians, who consider his faith in Islam as being sincere and pure. It was probably his virtue that caused his death, for his life, it was suspected, was terminated by poison administered by his own kindred. His son Ala-ed-deen * (Eminence of Religion), who succeeded him, was but nine years old; but as, according to the maxims of the Ismaïlites, the visible representative of the imam was, to a certain extent, exempted from the ordinary imperfections of humanity, and his commands were to be regarded as those of him whose authority he bore, the young Ala-ed-deen was obeyed as implicitly as any of his predecessors. At his mandate the blood was shed of all among his relatives who were suspected of having participated in the murder of his father.

Ala-ed-deen proved to be a weak, inefficient ruler. His delight was in the breeding and tending of sheep, and he spent his days in the cotes among the herdsmen, while the affairs of the society were allowed to run into disorder. All the restraints imposed by his father were removed, and every one was left to do


p. 149

what was right in his own eyes. The weakness of this prince's intellect is ascribed to his having, in the fifth year of his reign, had himself most copiously bled without the knowledge of his physician, the consequence of which was an extreme degree of debility and a deep melancholy, which never afterwards left him. From that time no one could venture to offer him advice respecting either his health or the state of the affairs of the society, without being rewarded for it by the rack or by instant death. Everything was therefore kept concealed from him, and he had neither friend nor adviser.

Yet Ala-ed-deen was not without some estimable qualities. He had a respect and esteem for learning and learned men. For the sheikh Jemal-ed-deen Ghili, who dwelt at Casveen, he testified on all occasions the utmost reverence, and sent him annually 500 dinars to defray the expenses of his household. When the people of Casveen reproached the learned sheikh with living on the bounty of the Impious, he made answer, "The imams pronounce it lawful to execute the Ismaïlites, and to confiscate their goods; how much more lawful is it for a man to make use of their property and their money when they give them voluntarily!" Ala-ed-deen, who probably heard of the reproaches directed against his friend, sent to assure the people of Casveen that it was solely on account of the sheikh that he spared them, or else he would put the earth of Casveen into bags, hang the bags about the necks of the inhabitants, and bring them to Alamoot. The following instance of his respect for the sheikh is also related. A messenger coming with a letter to him from the sheikh was so imprudent as to deliver it to him when he was drunk. Ala-ed-deen ordered him to have a hundred blows of the bastinade, at the same time crying out to him, "O foolish and thoughtless man, to give me

p. 150

a letter from the sheikh at the time when I was drunk! Thou shouldest have waited till I was come out of the bath, and was come to my senses."

The celebrated astronomer Nasir-ed-deen (Victory of Religion) had also gained the consideration of Ala-ed-deen, who was anxious to enjoy the pleasure of his society. But the philosopher, who resided at Bokhara, testified little inclination to accept of the favour intended him. Ala-ed-deen therefore sent orders to the Dai-al-Kebir of Kuhistan to convey the uncourteous sage to Alamoot. As Nasir-ed-deen was one day recreating himself in the gardens about Bokhara, he found himself suddenly surrounded by some men, who, showing him a horse, directed him to mount, telling him he had nothing to fear if he conducted himself quietly. It was in vain that he argued and remonstrated; he was far on the road to Kuhistan, which was 600 miles distant, before his friends knew he was gone. The governor made every apology for what he had been obliged to do. The philosopher was sent on to Alamoot to be the companion of Ala-ed-deen, and it was while he was there that he wrote his great work called the Morals of Nasir (Akhlaak-Nasiree). *

It was during the administration of Ala-ed-deen that the following event, so strongly illustrative of the modes of procedure of the Assassins, took place. The sultan Jellal-ed-deen, the last ruler of Khaurism, so well known for his heroic resistance to Chingis

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