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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1722 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2009, 11:32:25 pm »

When Hoolagoo, after the conclusion of his campaign against Roodbar, retired to Hamadan, where he had left his children, he took with him Rukn-ed-deen, whom he continued to treat with kindness. Here the Assassin prince became enamoured of a Mongol maiden of the very lowest class. He asked permission of Hoolagoo to espouse her, and, by the directions of that prince, the wedding was celebrated with great solemnity. He next craved to be sent to the court of Mangoo Khan. Hoolagoo, though surprised at this request, acceded to it also, and gave him a corps of Mongols as an escort. He at the same time directed him to order on his way the garrison of Kirdkoh, who still held out, to surrender, and demolish the fortress. Rukn-ed-deen, as he passed by Kirdkoh, did as directed, but sent at the same time a private message to the governor to hold out as long as possible. Arrived at Kara-Kooroom, the residence of the khan, he was not admitted to an audience, but the following message was delivered to him:--"Thus saith Mangoo: Since thou affectest to be obedient to us, wherefore has not the castle of Kirdkoh been delivered up? Go back, and demolish all the castles which remain; then mayest thou be partaker of the honour of viewing our imperial countenance." Rukn-ed-deen was obliged to return, and, soon after he had crossed the Oxus, his escort, making him dismount under pretext of an entertainment, ran him through with their swords.

Mangoo Khan was determined to exterminate the whole race of the Ismaïlites, and orders to that effect

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had already reached Hoolagoo, who was only waiting to execute them till Kirdkoh should have surrendered. As the garrison of that place continued obstinate, he no longer ventured to delay. Orders for indiscriminate massacre were issued, and 12,000 Ismaïlites soon fell as victims. The process was short; wherever a member of the society was met he was, without any trial, ordered to kneel down, and his head instantly rolled on the ground. Hoolagoo sent one of his vizirs to Casveen, where the family of Rukn-ed-deen were residing, and the whole of them were put to death, except two (females it is said), who were reserved to glut the vengeance of the princess Boolghan Khaloon, whose father Jagatai had perished by the daggers of the Assassins

The siege of Kirdkoh was committed by Hoolagoo (who was now on his march to Bagdad to put an end to the empire of the khalifs) to the princes of Mazenderân and Ruyan. The castle held out for three years, and the siege was rendered remarkable by the following curious occurrence:--It was in the beginning of the spring when a poet named Koorbee of Ruyan came to the camp. He began to sing, in the dialect of Taberistan, a celebrated popular song of the spring, beginning with these lines:--


When the sun from the fish to the ram doth return,
Spring's banner waves high on the breeze of the morn. *


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[paragraph continues] The song awoke in the minds of princes and soldiers the recollection of the vernal delights they had left behind them; an invincible longing after them seized the whole army; and, without reflecting on the consequences, they broke up the siege, and set forth to enjoy the season of flowers in the fragrant gardens of Mazenderân. Hoolagoo was greatly incensed when he heard of their conduct, and sent a body of troops against them, but forgave them on their making due apologies and submissions.

The Ismaïlite power in Persia was now completely at an end; the khalifat, whose destruction had been its great object, was also involved in its ruin, and the power of the Mongols established over the whole of Irân. The Mongol troops failed in their attempts on the Ismaïlite castles in Syria; but, at the end of fourteen years, what they could not effect was achieved by the great Beibars, the Circassian Mamlook sultan of Egypt, who reduced all the strongholds of the Assassins in the Syrian mountains, and extinguished their power in that region.

The last intercourse of the Assassins with the western Christians which we read of was that with St. Louis. William of Nangis relates--but the tale is evidently apocryphal--that in the year 1250 two of the Arsacidæ were sent to France to murder that prince, who was then only twenty-two years of age. The Senex de Monte however repented, and sent others to warn the French monarch. These arriving in time, the former were discovered, on which the

p. 165

king loaded them all with presents, and dismissed them with rich gifts for their master.

Rejecting this idle legend, we may safely credit the account of Joinville, that in 1250, when St. Louis was residing at Acre, after his captivity in Egypt, he was waited on by an embassy from the Old Man of the Mountain, the object of which was to procure, through his means, a remission of the tribute which he paid to the Templars and the Hospitaliers. As if to obviate the answer which might naturally be made, the ambassador said that his master considered that it would be quite useless to sacrifice the lives of his people by murdering the masters of these orders, as men as good as they would be immediately appointed to succeed them. It being then morning, the king desired them to return in the evening. When they appeared again, he had with him the masters of the Temple and the Hospital, who, on the propositions being repeated, declared them to be most extravagant, and assured the ambassadors that, were it not for the sacredness of their character, and their regard for the word of the king, they would fling them into the sea. They were directed to go back, and to bring within fifteen days a satisfactory letter to the king. They departed, and, returning at the appointed time, said to the king that their chief, as the highest mark of friendship, had sent him his own shirt and his gold ring. 'They also brought him draught and chess-boards, adorned with amber, an elephant and a giraffe (orafle) of crystal. The king, not to be outdone in generosity, sent an embassy to Massyat with presents of scarlet robes, gold cups, and silver vases, for the Ismaïlite chief.

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