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his encomiasts may assert, he was no legislator. He had marched into Tartary, into Hindustan, into Mesopotamia, into Syria and Asia Minor, and had subdued a great portion of all these countries; but in the course of a very few years, his native country of Maweralnaher, with Persia and Kabul, alone remained in his family, and Persia also very soon after escaped from their grasp, and was over-run by the Turkomans.
In his lifetime, he had given the immediate government of different quarters of his extensive dominions to his sons and their descendants, who, at the period of his death, were very numerous; and the Turki and Moghul tribes, like other Asiaties, having no fixed rules of succession to the throne, various princes of his family set up for themselves in different provinces. The nobles who were about his person at the time of his ^1jj,8!10! death, proclaimed his grandson Khalil, an amiable prince of refined genius and warm markand by affections, but better fitted to adorn the walks of private life, than to compose the dis- K^ 1412. sensions of a distracted kingdom, or to check the ambitious designs of a turbulent nobility. He reigned for some years, with little power, at Samarkand, his grandfather's capital; but was finally dethroned by his ambitious nobles.* His uncle Shahrokb, Shahrokh
*. • Alirzii seizes
the youngest son of Taimur Beg, a prince of solid talents and great firmness of cha- Mawerairacter, on hearing of this event, marched from Khorasan, which was the seat of Ids naher- .. dominions, took possession of Samarkand, and reduced all the rest of Maweralnaher under his obedience. He governed his extensive dominions with a steady hand till His death. death, which happened in 1446.f AD"
On his death, his sons, according to the fashion of their country and age, seized the Is succeeddifferent provinces which they had held as governors, each asserting his own hide- kand by pendence, and aiming at the subjugation of the others. He was succeeded in Samar- V?-ugh Beg kand by his eldest son Ulugh Beg, a prince illustrious by his love of science, and who has secured an honest fame, and the gratitude of posterity, by the valuable astronomical tables^ constructed by his directions, in an observatory which he built at Samarkand for that purpose. Ulugh Beg, who had long held the government of Samarkand in his father's lifetime, soon after his accession, led an army from that city against his *n Khorasan nephew, Ala-ed-doulet, the son of his brother Baiesanghar, who was the third son of doulet, who is Shahrokh. Ala-ed-doulet, who had occupied the kingdom of Khorasan, being defeated utaSh'lJc^5' by his uncle Ulugh Beg, on the river of Murghab, fled to his brother, the elder Baber Mirza. That prince had taken possession of Jorjau, or Korkan, on the south-east of Jn 5°uk4n the Caspian, the government of which he had held in the lifetime of his grandfather, Mirza, who Shahrokh, and now asserted his independence. Baber led the forces of his principality rotorc his towards Herat, to restore his brother Ala-ed-doulet; but being defeated, and hard b«"her: pushed by Ulugh Beg, was forced to abandon even his capital, Asterabad, and to take refuge in company with Ala-ed-doulet, in Irak, which was then held by another of *?1 i*dd^1" their brothers, Muhammed Mirza. Ulugh Beg having soon afterwards returned across to Irak, the Amu to Bokhara, Baber Mirza again entered Khorasan, and took possession of f-onq'uers Herat; while Ulugh Beg's own son, Abdal-latif, revolted and seized upon Balkh. || Khorasan.
* See De Guignes's Hist. Gen. des Huns, vol. V. p. 75. t De Guignes, vol. V. p. 82,
£ See the learned Hyde's Syntagma Dissert, vol. I. and Hudson's Geograph. Min. Graec. vol. III. || There is some contusion regarding the succession in Fare. Ibrahim, the second son of Shahrokh, Mirza, had held it in his father's lifetime, and was succeeded by his son, Abilalla Mirza.
Revolt of To complete Ulugh Beg's misfortunes, Abusaid Mirza, who was the son of Muham* Mim. mea" Mirza, the grandson of Taimnr Beg, by that conqueror's second son Miranshab, but who is better known by his own conquests, and as the grandfather of the great Baber, also appeared in arms against him. Abusaid had been educated under the eye of Ulugh Beg. When his father, Muhammed Mirza, was on his death-bed, Ulugh Beg had come to visit him. The dying man took Abusaid's hand, and putting it into Ulugh Beg's, recommended his son to his protection. Ulugh Beg was not unworthy of this confidence, and treated the young prince with great kindness and affection. One of Ulugh Beg's friends having remarked to him, that his young cousin seemed to be attached and active in his service, " It is not my service in which he is now employed," said the generous Sultan; "he is busy acquiring the rudiments of the arts of government and of policy, which will one day be of use to him."* Abusaid, during the disorders that followed the death of Shahrokh, had for some time held the province of Fars ; but, being stripped of that possession by Muhammed Mirza, (the brother of Alaed-doulet and of Baber Mirza,) had again taken refuge at the court of Ulugh Beg, who had given him one of his daughters in marriage. Believing, probably, according to the maxims of his age and country, that the pursuit of a throne dissolved all the obligations of nature or of gratitude, he now availed himself of the prevailing confusions, and of the absence of Ulugh Beg, who had marched against Abdal-latif, his reDeath of bellious son, to seize on Samarkand. Ulugh Beg, on hearing of this new revolt, had turned back to defend his capital, but was followed from Balkh by Abdal-latif, who 1449. defeated and slew him, after a short reign of three years.
Abdal-latif Abdal-latif, after the murder of his father, continued his march, defeated Abusaid Samarkand. Mirza, took him prisoner, and recovered Samarkand. But Abusaid, who was destined to act an important part in the history of Asia, was fortunate enough to effect his escape, and found shelter and concealment in Bokhara. While in this retreat, he heard that Abdal-latif had been murdered by a mutiny in his army, and had been sucIs weeeed- ceeded by his cousin Abdalla, f who was the son of Ibrahim, the second son of Shahdalla. "rokh, and consequently a nephew of Ulugh Beg. The ambitious hopes of Abusaid Mirza were revived by this event. He succeeded in forming a party, seized upon Bokhara, and marched against Samarkand, but was defeated and forced to take shelter in Turkestan,:); beyond the Sirr. Next year, however, having engaged the Uzbeks of the Abusaid desert to assist him, he returned towards Samarkand, defeated Abdalla in a great battle, defeats Ab- an^ occupied all Maweralnaher. His new allies appear to have indulged in great exdalia, and cesses, and were with difficulty prevailed upon to retire from the fertile plains and rich Samarkand, pillage of the valley of the Soghd. ||
Baber Meanwhile Baber Mirza had not remained long in possession of Herat, having been
driven from driven from it by Yar-Ali, a Turkoman chief. Baber, however, retired slowly, and Herat by with reluctance; and returning soon after by forced marches, came upon him by surprise in that capital, took him prisoner, beheaded him in the public market-place, and
* Tarikh Khafi Khan, vol. III. MS.
t It does not appear how this Abdalla had lost Fars, or even if he was the same prince who had held it.
+ This is the Turkestan below Tashkend, and north-west from that country.
|| D'Herbelot in voce Abousaid. De Guignes, vol. V. p. 84.
succeeded in occupying all Khorasan. But repose was not an enjoyment of those un- Recovers all quiet times. Before he could establish himself in his new conquest, he was attacked and defeated by his two elder brothers, Ala-ed-doulet and Muhammed Mirza, the Kings of Dri"n Fare and Irak. He retired for some'time to the strong fortress of Omad, whence he hit brothers. took the field and defeated the governor, whom Muhammed Mirza had left in charge of Asterabad; but having been closely followed by that prince, and overtaken before he could gain the town, he found himself once more compelled to seek safety in flight, and was fortunate enough to escape back to his fastness. Muhammed Mirza did not long remain in Khorasan. Disgusted with some circumstances in the conduct of his brother, Ala-ed-doulet, he withdrew to his own territories; whereupon Baber once Again remore issued from his retreat, drove Ala-ed-doulet out of Khorasan, following him to covere"' Balkb, which he took, as well as all the low country up to Badakhshan, where the fugi- AU-edtive prince sought refuge. He then returned back to Herat. Ala-ed-doulet soon after ° *V fell into his hands.
This success of Baber Mirza recalled his brother Muhammed into Khorasan, in an Defeats and evil hour. He met with a fatal discomfiture, was taken prisoner, and put to death by §eath°his
the command of Baber; who, at the same time, to free himself from all apprehensions 5TM1.ner»
from his surviving brother, ordered the fire-pencil to be applied to the eyes of Ala-ed- med.
doulet. The operation, however, from accident, or the mercy of the operator, was im- Orders perfectly performed, and Ala-ed-doulet did not lose his sight. Baber Mirza, for the doulet to be purpose of improving his victory to the utmost extent, now marched against Muham- bUndedmed Mirza's kingdom of Fars.* He had made some progress in the conquest of it, when he was recalled into Khorasan by the alarming intelligence that Ala-ed-doulet had escaped from custody, and was at the head of a numerous and increasing army. On his return to Khorasan, he found the revolt suppressed, and Ala-ed-doulet expelled from his territories; but Jehan-Shah, the powerful chief of the Turkomans of the Blacksheep, now descended from Tabriz, and after occupying Persian Irak, pursued his conquests, and in a few years subdued Fars and the remaining territories of Muhammed Mirza. To regain these provinces, Baber Mirza led a formidable army into Persian Irak and Azerbaejan; but had scarcely set his foot in the country, when he learned that Abusaid Mirza had entered his dominions from the north. "Enraged at this insult, he measured back his steps, followed Abusaid across the Amu, and laid siege to Samarkand; but after lying before it forty days, he concluded a peace, which left the Amu or Oxus the boundary between the two countries. Baber then returned to Khorasan, and enjoyed several years of comparative peace. He was carried off in the 1457. year 1457, by a disease originating in his habitual excesses in wine.* Baber
His death was the signal for Abusaid Mirza again to attempt the conquest of Kho- Mi«a. rasan. From this enterprize he was, how«ver, recalled towards Balkh, by a revolt of Abusaid the sons of Abdal-latif Mirza, one of whom he slew, while the other, Muhammed Juki, Khora«5n took refuge in the deserts of Tartary, with Abdal-Khair, one of the Khans of the Uzbek principality of Tura, a part of the empire of Kipchak that lies to the east of the
* D'Herbelot, in voce Abusaid; de Guignes, vol. V. p. 88.
Ural mountains, and who dwelt in summer towards the banks of the river Jaik, and in winter on the Sirr.* Abusaid soon after returned into Khorasan, a great part of which he overran, and repressed the commotions excited by the restless Ala-ed-doulet. But he was glad to retire before the formidable irruption of Jehan-Shah, the Turkoman chief, who entered Herat, which was cruelly plundered by his troops. When the first fury of the invasion was over, the Turkomans began to divide their forces. Abusaid, watching the opportunity, fell furiously on Jehan-Shah's son, near Murghub, 1438. defeated the detachment under his command, and compelled his father to sue for a
quets the peace, and retreat from Khorasan. A treaty was concluded, by which it was agreed country. tnat tne town of Semnan, which lies between Khorasan and Persian Irak, should be
the boundary between the territories of these two princes. Sultan In these times of confusion, Sultan Hussain Mirza, a prince of great talents, and
Mirza in. wno is often mentioned in the Memoirs of Baber, had fixed himself in the possession rades Kho- of Asterabad and Mazenderan. He was descended from Taimur Beg f by his son Omersheikh Mirza. Not contented with the peaceable enjoyment of the rich provinces which he held, he had pushed on his plundering parties into Khorasan as far as Sebzewar. Abusaid having disengaged himself of the Turkomans, and defeated Alaed-doulet, who had once more invaded his territories on the side of Meshed, now U5'J. marched to chastise Sultan Hussain Mirza. The contending armies met, Abusaid was
Driven from victorious, and, pursuing his advantage, entered his enemy's capital, Asterabad, in Asteribid. wnjch ne left one of his sonsi Sultan Mahmud Mirza.
Miiium- But Abusaid was not yet destined to enjoy repose. Muhammed Juki, the son of
med Juki Abdal-latif, and grandson of Ulugh Beg Mirza, who, after his defeat, had fled, as has .Samarkand, been mentioned, to Abdal-khair, the Khan of the Uzbeks,:): had meanwhile returned, accompanied by his new allies, and was ravaging Abusaid's territories beyond the Amu. 14C0. Abusaid once more hastened to Samarkand, and the predatory bands of his enemies,
tore'Abu- on n1s approach, retired beyond the Sirr. From the prosecution of this war, Abusaid -aid Mirza. was recalled by the unwelcome intelligence of the defeat of his son, Mahmud Mirza, sultan whom Sultan Hussain Mirza had driven from Asterabad. Not contented with this Hussam success, Sultan Hussain had advanced into the very heart of Khorasan, and had even recovers laid siege to the capital, Herat. The return of Abusaid speedily raised the siege. He Again dis- drove the Sultan out of his territories, and, following him into his own, stripped him possessed of all that he held in Jorjan and Mazenderan.
saiu, This success enabled Abusaid to turn his undivided force to complete the destruc
V ho J"j- tion of Muhammed Juki. He besieged that prince in Shahrokhia, a strong and popurokhla.and lous city on the Sirr, and, after a siege of one year,§ took the place and his rival. hammed11* Being finally disengaged of this enemy, he now returned across the Amu, where SulJuki. tan Hussain Mirza had availed himself of his absence to enter Khorasan. That active
* Abulghazi Khan's Gen. History of the Turks, &c. vol. I. p. 289, Lond. 1730, 8vo. t He was the son of Mansur, the son of Baikar, the son of Orner Sheikh, the son of Taimur Beg. See D'Herbelot, art. Taimur.
% Abdal-khair's wife was sister of Muhammed Juki's father. Gen. History of Turks, vol. I. p. 812. § Abulgazi Khan says of four months. Vol. I. p. 215.
prince was once more compelled to fly, and sought shelter in Khwarizm. Abusaid, H63. being now delivered from all his enemies, gave his attention, for some time, to the extension of his territories on the side of Sistan and India, by means of his generals, and to the settling of his extensive dominions. He soon after went to Merv, where he gave a splendid feast, which lasted five months, to celebrate the circumeision of the HCo. princes his sons. It was on this occasion that his son, Omersheikh Mirza, Baber's father, received the government of Ferghana, as is mentioned in the Memoirs.
While Abusaid was yet at Merv, Hassan Ali, the son of Jehan Shah, the prince of i*6«. the Turkomans of the Black Sheep, arrived from Irak, where, by one of those reverses solicits the so frequent in the East, his father had been defeated and slain by the celebrated Uzun assistance of Hassan, the Beg of the Turkomans of the White Sheep. Hassan Ali now solicited the protection and assistance of Abusaid, who gladly undertook to restore him to his paternal dominions. The expedition which followed is famous in eastern history, and is often alluded to by Baber, under the name of " the disaster of Irak." Abusaid 14GJMirza advanced into Azerbaejan with a powerful army, subduing the country in his marches in. course. He sent two detachments to take possession the one of the Persian Irak, the j?n zer ac" other of Fars. As he pushed on towards Aderbil and Tabriz, among the hills of Azerbaejan, Uzun Hassan, alarmed at his progress, sent repeated embassies to sue for peace; but in vain, as Abusaid, to all his offers, annexed the condition that the Turkoman should appear in his presence, and humble himself before the descendant of Taimur Beg. To this Uzun Hassan refused to submit, and, reduced to despair, betook himself to the hills and fastnesses in which the country abounds, and employed himself indefatigably in harassing and cutting off the supplies of the enemy, whom he prudently avoided meeting in the field. What the sword could not achieve was completed by famine. The large but tumultuary army of Abusaid began to suffer from the pressure of want, and no sooner suffered than it began to fall away. The various chieftains and The disastribes of which it was composed gradually withdrew each to his own country. The army fell to pieces. Abusaid was compelled to seek safety in flight, was pursued, taken prisoner, and soon after beheaded. Of his mighty army few returned to their 1468. . homes. The greater part were taken prisoners, or slaughtered in the course of their headed. long retreat.*
The dominions of Abusaid, who was by far the most powerful prince of his time, His »°H8extended, at the period of his death, from Azerbaejan to the borders of India, and from Mekran to the deserts of Tartary. Of his sons, Sultan Ahmed Mirza, who was the Sultan Ah
. . . » « « i • i . mediifirza.
eldest, retained possession of Samarkand and Bokhara, the government of which he king of Sahad held in the lifetime of his father. Another of them, Sultan Mahmud Mirza, held ""Bokhi. the government of Asterabad, from whence, after the " disaster of Irak," he marched «• to take possession of Herat; but the inhabitants preferring the government of Sultan mu(i ,\iirHussain Mirza, called him in; and Sultan Mahmud Mirza, expelled from Khorasan, ??: k.in8 ol and forced to cross the Amu, took refuge in Samarkand, with his brother, Sultan Kundez,
and Badakbshin. * See De Guignes, Hist, des Huns, vol. V. p. 93, Tarikh-e-Khafi Khan, Baber's Memoirs, and D'Herbelot, Art. Abusaid.