This Prince grew up till he reached man's estate and was twenty years old, and Allah subjected His servants to him, by reason of his great might and prowess in battle. Now his father, King Omar, had four wives legally married, but Allah had vouchsafed him no son by them, save Sharrkan, whom he had begotten upon one of them, and the rest were barren.
Moreover he had three hundred and sixty concubines, after the number of days in the Coptic year, who were of all nations; and he had furnished for each and every a private chamber within his own palace. For he had built twelve pavilions, after the number of the months, each containing thirty private chambers, which thus numbered three hundred and three score, wherein he lodged his handmaids: and he appointed according to law for each one her night, when he lay with her and came not again to her for a full year; [FN ] and on this wise he abode for a length of time. Meanwhile his son Sharrkan was making himself renowned in all quarters of the world and his father was proud of him and his might waxed and grew mightier; so that he passed all bounds and bore himself masterfully and took by storm castles and cities.
Presently, by decree of the Decreer, a handmaid among the handmaids of Omar bin Nu'uman became pregnant; and, her pregnancy being announced to the Harim, the King was informed thereof; whereupon he rejoiced with exceeding joy and said, "Haply it will be a son, and so all my offspring will be males! But when the tidings came to Sharrkan, he was troubled and the matter seemed to him a sore one and a grievous; and he said, "Verily one cometh who shall dispute with me the sovereignty:" so quoth he to himself, "If this concubine bear a male child I will kill it:" but he kept that intention hidden in his heart.
Such was the case with Sharrkan; but what happened in the matter of the damsel was as follows. Now she had served the King on the night of his sleeping with her, saying to him, "O King! I desire of the God of the Heavens that he bless thee this night with a male child by me, so I may bring him up with the best of rearing, and enable him to reach man's estate perfect in intelligence, good manners and prudent bearing" [FN ]--a speech which much pleased the King. During her pregnancy she was instant in prayer, fervently supplicating the Lord to bless her with a goodly male child and make his birth easy to her; and Allah heard her petition so that after her months were accomplished she sat safely upon the birth stool.
In due time Sophia was delivered of a child, which the midwives examined and found to be a girl with a face sheenier than the moon. So they announced this to all present in the room, whereupon the King's messenger carried the news to him; and Sharrkan's eunuch did the like with his master who rejoiced with exceeding joy. But, after the two had departed, quoth Sophia to the midwives, "Wait with me awhile, for I feel as if there were still somewhat in my womb. The wise women looked at it and found it a boy like the full moon, with forehead flower white, and cheek ruddy bright with rosy light; whereupon the mother rejoiced, as did the eunuchs and attendants and all the company; and Sophia was delivered of the after birth whilst all in the palace sent forth the trill of joy.
Moreover the people of Baghdad, hearing that Allah had blessed their King with issue, decorated the city and made proclamation of the glad tidings with drum and tom tom; and the Emirs and Wazirs and high dignitaries came to the palace and wished King Omar bin al-Nu'uman joy of his son, Zau al-Makan, and of his daughter Nuzhat al-Zaman, wherefore he thanked them and bestowed on them dresses of honour and further favoured them with gifts, and dealt largesse to all, gentle and simple, who were present.
After this fashion he did for four days full told, and he lavished upon Sophia raiment and ornaments and great store of wealth; and, every few days he would send a messenger to ask after her and the new-borns. And when four years had gone by, he provided her with the wherewithal to rear the two children carefully and educate them with the best of instructions.
All this while his son Sharrkan knew not that a male child had been born to his father, Omar son of Al-Nu'uman, having news only that he had been blessed with the birth of Nuzhat al-Zaman; and they hid the intelligence from him, until days and years had sped by, whilst he was busied in battling with the brave and fighting single handed against the knights. One day, as King Omar was sitting in his palace, his Chamberlains came in to him and, kissing the ground before him, said, "O King there be come Ambassadors from the King of Roum, Lord of Constantinople the Great, and they desire admission to thee and submission to thy decree: if the King commend us to introduce them we will so do; and, if not, there is no disputing his behest.
They kissed the ground before him and said, "O King glorious and strong! O lord of the arm that is long!
'Asunder' poems - Hello Poetry
One of the Kings of the Arabs in past time, during certain of his conquests, chanced upon a hoard of the time of Alexander, [FN ] whence he removed wealth past compute; and, amongst other things, three round jewels, big as ostrich eggs, from a mine of pure white gems whose like was never seen by man. Upon each were graven characts in Ionian characters, and they have many virtues and properties, amongst the rest that if one of these jewels be hung round the neck of a new-born child, no evil shall befal him and he shall neither wail, nor shall fever ail him as long as the jewel remain without fail.
The two ships set out and voyaged till they drew near our city, when there sallied out on them certain corsairs from that country and amongst them troops from the Prince of Caesarea, who took all the treasures and rarities in the ships, together with the three jewels, and slew the crews. When our King heard of this, he sent an army against them, but they routed it; then he marched a second and a stronger but they put this also to flight,--whereupon the King waxed wroth and swore that he would not go forth [FN ] against them save in his own person at the head of his whole army; nor would he turn back from them till he had left Caesarea, of Armenia [FN ] in ruins and had laid waste all the lands and cities over which her Prince held sway.
So he sent us to the Lord of the age and the time, Sultan Omar bin al-Nu'uman, King of Baghdad and of Khorasan, desiring that he aid us with an army, so may honour and glory accrue to him; and he hath also forwarded by us somewhat of various kinds of presents, and of the King's grace he beggeth their acceptance and the friendly boon of furtherance. She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that, after the Ambassadors and retinue from the Constantinopolitan King had kissed the ground before Omar and had delivered their embassage, they brought out the presents, which were fifty damsels of the choicest from Graecia-land, and fifty Mamelukes in tunics of brocade, belted with girdles of gold and silver, each wearing in his ears hoops of gold with pendants of fine pearls costing a thousand ducats every one.
The girls were adorned in like fashion and were clad in stuffs worth a treasury of money. When the King saw them, he rejoiced in them and accepted them; then he bade the Ambassadors be honourably entreated and, summoning his Wazirs, took counsel with them of what he should do. Herewith rose up among them a Wazir, an ancient man, Dandan [FN ] highs, who kissed the ground before Omar and said, "O King, there is nothing better to do in this matter than equip an army valiant and victorious, and set over it thy son Sharrkan with us as his lieutenants; and this rede commendeth itself to me on two counts; first, because the King of Roum hath invoked thine assistance and hath sent thee gifts which thou hast accepted; and, secondly, because while no enemy dareth attack our country, thine army may go forth safely and, should it succour the King of Graecia-land and defeat his foe, the glory will be thine.
Moreover, the news of it will be noised abroad in all cities and countries and especially, when the tidings shall reach the Islands of the Ocean and the Kings of Mauritania shall hear it, they will send thee offerings of rarities and pay thee tribute of money. Accordingly, Sharrkan arose on the instant, and chose out a myriad of horsemen, after which he entered his palace and mustered his host and distributed largesse to them, saying, "Ye have delay of three days.
When the appointed three days were ended, the army drew out to the suburbs of Baghdad city; [FN ] and King Omar came forth to take leave of his son who kissed the ground before him and received from the King seven parcels of money. After this, the King returned to his city and Sharrkan ordered the officers to muster their troops in battle array.
So they mustered them and their number was ten thousand horsemen, besides footmen and camp followers. Then they loaded their baggage on their beasts and the war drums beat and the trumpets blared and the bannerols and standards were unfurled, whilst Sharrkan mounted horse, with the Wazir Dandan by his side, and the colours fluttering over their heads.
So the host fared forth and stinted not faring, with the ambassadors preceding them, till day departed and night drew nigh, when they alighted and encamped for the night. And as soon as Allah caused the morn tomorrow, they mounted and tried on, guided by the Ambassadors, for a space of twenty days; and by the night of the twenty first they came to a fine and spacious Wady well grown with trees and shrubbery. Here Sharrkan ordered them to alight and commanded a three days' halt, so they dismounted and pitched their tents, spreading their camp over the right and the left slopes of the extensive valley, whilst the Wazir Dandan and the Ambassadors of King Afridun pitched in the sole of the Wady.
So he rode out alone after ordering his armed slaves and his body guard to camp near the Wazir Dandan, and he fared on along the side of the valley till a fourth part of the night was passed, when he felt tired and drowsiness overcame him, so that he could no longer urge horse with heel. Now he was accustomed to take rest on horseback; so when slumber overpowered him, he slept and the steed ceased not going on with him till half the night was spent and entered one of the thickets [FN ] which was dense with growth; but Sharrkan awoke not until his horse stumbled over wooded ground.
Then he started from sleep and found himself among the trees, and the moon arose and shone brightly over the two horizons, Eastern and Western. He was startled when he found himself alone in this place and said the say which ne'er yet shamed its sayer, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! So King Sharrkan alighted and, tying his steed to one of the trees, went over a little way till he came upon a stream and heard a woman talking in Arabic and saying, "Now by the crush of the Messiah, this is not well of you! And as Sharrkan considered the place, he saw in it a Christian Monastery within whose enceinte a castle towered high in air catching the light of the moon.
Sharrkan gazed upon the ten girls and saw in their midst a lady like the moon at fullest, with ringleted hair and forehead sheeny white, and eyes wondrous wide and black and bright, and temple locks like the scorpion's tail; and she was perfect in essence and attributes, as the poet said of her in these couplets,.
Then Sharrkan heard her say to the handmaids, "Come ye on, that I may wrestle with you and gravel you, ere the moon set and the dawn break! Then there turned to her an old woman who was before her, and the beldam said as in wrath, "O strumpet, cost thou glory in grounding these girls? Behold I am an old woman, yet have I thrown them forty times!
So what hast thou to boast of? But if thou have the strength to wrestle with me, stand up that I may grip thee and set thy head between thy heels! She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the young lady asked Zat al-Dawahi, "By the truth of the Messiah, wilt wrestle with me or dost jest? With this she inclined towards the damsel and said, "Do thou as I have done.
So the damsel leisurely rose and, taking a sash of Yamani stuff, passed it twice round her waist, then she tucked up her trousers and displayed two calves of alabaster carrying a mound of crystal, smooth and rounded, and a stomach which exhaled musk from its dimples, as it were a bed of Nu'uman's anemones; and breasts like double pomegranates.
Then the old woman leant towards her, and the two laid hold either of each, while Sharrkan raised his head Heavenwards and prayed Allah that the belle might beat the beldam. Presently the young woman get beneath the old woman; and, gripping her waist cloth with the left and circling her neck with the right hand, hoisted her off the ground with both; whereupon the old woman strove to free herself and, in so doing fell on her back arsiversy, with her legs high in air and her hairy bush between them showed manifest in the moonshine; furthermore she let fly two great farts [FN ] one of which blew up the dust from the earth's face and the other steamed up to the gate of Heaven.
Sharrkan laughed till he fell back upon the ground. Then he arose and, baring his brand looked right and left, but he saw no one save the old woman sprawling on her back, and said to himself, "He lied not who named thee Lady of Calamities! Verily thou knewest her prowess by her performance upon the others. Then the young lady went up to the old one and, throwing a wrapper of thin silk upon her nakedness, helped her to don her clothes and made excuses saying, "O my lady Zat al-Dawahi, I intended only to throw thee and not all this, but thou triedst to twist out of my hands; so laud to Allah for safety!
Quoth Sharrkan to himself, "Every luck hath its cause. Sleep did not fall upon me nor the war horse bear me hither save for my good fortune; for doubtless this maid and what is with her shall become booty to me. Whence camest thou and whither art thou going? Speak sooth, for truth will stand thee in good stead, and lie not, for lies come of villein breed Doubtless thou hast wandered this night from thy way, that thou chancedst upon this place whence escape were the greatest of mercies; for thou art now in an open plain and, did we shout but a single shout, would come to our rescue four thousand knights.
Have I not told thee that to lie is villein vile? So, if thou seek booty, I require of thee that thou alight from thy steed and swear to me, by thy faith, that thou wilt not advance against me aught like arms in hand, and we will wrestle, I and thou. If thou throw me, set me on thy steed and take all of us to thy booty; but if I throw thee, thou shalt become under my command.
Swear this to me, for I fear thy treachery: indeed it hath become a common saw, 'Where Perfidy is innate there Trust is a weakly mate. I too am content on the other part! Then she called out to him, "O Moslem, come on and let us wrestle ere the break of morning," and tucked up her sleeves from a forearm like fresh curd, which illumined the whole place with its whiteness; and Sharrkan was dazzled by it. Then he bent forwards and clapped his palms by way of challenge, she doing the like, and caught hold of her, and the two grappled and gripped and interlocked hands and arms.
Presently he shifted his hands to her slender waist, when his finger tips sank into the soft folds of her middle, breeding languishment, and he fell a trembling like the Persian reed in the roaring gale. So she lifted him up and, throwing him to the ground, sat upon his breast with hips and hinder cheeks like mounds of sand, for his soul had lost mastery over his senses.
Then she asked him, "O Moslem! I give thee thy life, for generosity is never lost upon the generous. Then each approached the adversary and he set his breast against hers, but when he felt waist touch waist, his strength failed him; and she, waxing ware of this, lifted him with her hands swiftlier than the blinding leven-flash, and threw him to the ground. He fell on his back, [FN ] and then she said to him, "Rise: I give thee thy life a second time.
I spared thee in the first count because of thy Prophet, for that he made unlawful the slaying of women; and I do so on the second count because of thy weakliness and the greenness of thine years and thy strangerhood; but I charge thee, if there be in the Moslem army sent by Omar bin al-Nu'uman to succour the King of Constantinople, a stronger than thou, send him hither and tell him of me: for in wrestling there are shifts and trips, catches and holds, such as the feint or falsing and the snap or first grip, the hug, the feet-catch, the thigh Lite, [FN ] the jostle and the leg-lock.
But now, an thou wish, thou shalt try a third fall with me while my wits are about me, and this last match is allowed me by the laws of the game which sayeth the best of three: moreover I have regained my presence of mind. However come on, an thou wilt; but know that this must be the last round. She laughed at him and said, "Art thou an eater of bran? Thou are like a Badawi's bonnet which falleth off with every touch or else the Father of Winds [FN ] that droppeth before a puff of air. Fie upon thee, O thou poor thing! Thou hast no strength to defend thee against a woman, so how couldst thou hold thine own amongst men of might and Knights?
I will grant thee thy prayer. Mount thy steed and ride along the brink of the stream over against me, for now thou art my guest. When Sharrkan looked, he saw awaiting her upon the bridge the same ten handmaids whom she had thrown in the wrestling bouts; and, as she came up to them, she said to one in the Greek tongue, "Arise and take the reins of his horse and conduct him across into the convent.
I am now under thy commandance and thy guidance; so do me one last favour by accompanying me to the lands of Al-Islam; where thou shalt look upon many a lion hearted warrior and thou shalt learn who I am. How should I do as thou sayest, when I wot that if I came to that King of yours, Omar bin al- Nu'uman, I should never get free from him? For truly he hath not the like of me or behind his city walls or within his palace halls, Lord of Baghdad and of Khorasan though he be, who hath built for himself twelve pavilions, in number as the months of the year, and in each a concubine after the number of the days; and if I come to him he would not prove shy of me, for your folk believe I am lawful to have and to hold as is said in your writ, 'Or those women whom your right hand shall possess as slaves.
As for thy saying, 'Thou shalt look upon the braves of the Moslems,' by the truth of the Messiah, thou sayest that which is not true, for I saw your army when it reached our land, these two days ago; and I did not see that your ordinance was the ordinance of Kings, but I beheld only a rabble of tribesmen gathered together. And as to thy words, 'Thou shalt know who I am,' I did not do thee kindness because of thy dignity but out of pride in myself; and the like of thee should not talk thus to the like of me, even wert thou Sharrkan, Omar bin al- Nu'uman's son, the prowess name in these days!
The Gospel According to Todd
But I have no need to vaunt my own prowess to thee, more by token as thou hast proved in thy proper person my skill and strength in wrestling; and thou hast learnt my superiority over other women. Nor, indeed, had Sharrkan himself been here this night and it were said to him, 'Clear this stream,' could he have done it; and I only long and lust that the Messiah would throw him into my hands in this very convent, that I might go forth to him in the habit of a man and drag him from his saddle seat and make him my captive and lay him in bilboes.
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Nazarene damsel said to Sharrkan and he listening impatiently enow , "Verily if Sharrkan fell into my hands, I would go forth to him in the habit of a man and drag him from his saddle seat and make him my captive and lay him in bilboes," pride and passion and knightly jealousy took possession of him and he desired to discover and declare himself and to lay on load; but her loveliness restrained him and he began repeating,.
So she went up and Sharrkan after her; and, when he saw the maiden's back and hinder cheeks that clashed against each other, like rollers in the rolling sea, he extemporised these couplets The two fared on till they reached a gate over which rose a marble archway. This she opened and ushered Sharrkan into a long vestibule, vaulted with ten connected arches, from each of which hung a crystal lamp glistening like a spark of fire.
The handmaids met her at the further end bearing wax candles of goodly perfume, and wearing on their heads golden fillets crusted with all manner bezel gems, [FN ] and went on before her Sharrkan still following , till they reached the inner convent. There the Moslem saw couches and sofas ranged all around, one opposite the other and all over hung with curtains flowered in gold.
The monastery floor was paved with every kind of vari coloured marbles and mosaic work, and in the midst stood a basin that held four and twenty jetting fountains of gold, whence the water ran like molten silver; whilst at the upper end stood a throne spread with silks fit only for Kings.
Then said the damsel, "Ascend, O my lord, this throne. Sharrkan asked of her from one of the servants who answered him, "She hath gone to her dormitory; but we will serve thee even as she ordered. Then his thoughts reverted to his army, knowing not what had befallen it in his absence and calling to mind also how he had forgotten his father's injunctions: so he was troubled about his case, repenting of what he had done till the dawn broke and the day appeared; when he lamented and sighed and became drowned in sea of sadness and repeated,.
When he ended his verse behold, there came up to him a rare show and a fair, more than twenty maidens like crescents encompassing the young lady, who shone in their midst as the full moon among the constellations guarding and girding her. She was clad in brocades befitting Kings; her breasts were like twin pomegranates, a woven zone set with all kinds of jewels tightly clasped her waist which expanded below into jutting hips; and her hinder cheeks stood out as a mound of crystal [FN ] supporting a silvern shaft. When Sharrkan looked at her his wits went nigh to fly away from him with delight; and he forgot army and Wazir as he gazed on her fair head decked and dight with a net work of pearls set off by divers sorts of gems.
Handmaids on her right and handmaids on her left bore her train, as she paced with dainty graceful gait in all the pride of seemlihead. He sprang to his feet seeing such beauty and loveliness, and cried aloud, "Beware and beware of that zone rarely fair! She gazed upon him for a long time and considered him till she was assured of him, when she came up to him and said, "In very sooth the place is honoured and illumined by thee, O Sharrkan!
How sped thy night, O hero, after we went away and left thee? And as thou art pierced by the shaft of Fate, be resignation thine and abide content to wait. Have no fear for, by the truth of the Messiah, if all on earth sought to do thee hurt they should not come at thee, till life had left my body for thy sake: indeed thou art now under the charge of the Messiah and of me.
Presently she bespoke in the Grecian tongue one of her slave girls, who went away and soon came back bringing a beaker and a tray of food; but Sharrkan abstained from eating and said to himself, "Haply she hath put somewhat in this meat. Had my mind been set on slaying thee, I had slain thee ere now. She was pleased at this and both ate till they were satisfied. They washed their hands and after that she rose and ordered a handmaid to bring perfumes and herbs of sweet savour, wines of all colours and kinds and a wine-service with vessels of gold, silver and crystal. She filled a first goblet and drank it off before offering it to him, even as she had done with the food: then she crowned a second and handed it to him.
He drank and she said to him, "O Moslem, see how thou art here in all solace and delight of life! She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel ceased not to drink and ply Sharrkan with drink till he took leave of his wits, for the wine and the intoxication of love he bore her.
Presently she said to the slave girl, "O Marjanah [FN ]! The young lady took the lute and, after tuning each several string, began in gentle undersong to sing, softer than zephyr's wing and sweeter than Tasmin [FN ] spring, with heart safe and secure from everything the couplets following,. What streams of blood they shed! Thereupon each and every of the maidens rose up and taking an instrument, played and recited couplets in the Roumi tongue; then their mistress sang also and seeing Sharrkan in ecstasies asked him, "O Moslem, dost thou understand what I say?
When she ended her verse, she looked at Sharrkan and found him lost to existence, and he lay for a while stretched at full length and prone among the maidens. Then the damsel went off to her dormitory and when Sharrkan asked after her they answered, "She is gone to her sleeping chamber," whereto he rejoined, "Under Allah's ward and His good guard! Thence they passed with him into a tall and spacious hall, at the upper end of which was a wide dais carpeted with all kinds of silks, and round it open lattices commanding a view of trees and streams.
About the saloon were figures carved in human form, and fashioned on such wise that the air passed through them and set in motion musical instruments within, so that the beholder would fancy they spoke. He blessed her and the two sat talking awhile till she asked him, "Knowest thou aught touching lovers and slaves of love? I wot somewhat in verse on that matter. By Allah! When she heard this she said, "Verily Al-Kuthayyir [FN ] was conspicuous for sweet speech and chaste, and he was superlative in his praise of Azzah when he sang" and she began to recite ,.
And indeed," quoth she, "'twas said that Azzah boasted exceeding beauty and loveliness. But what would Buthaynah have done with him that he saith in his hemistich, "Thou seekst my death; naught else thy will can satisfy? Then she rose and went to her dormitory and slept, while Sharrkan slept in his place till morning dawned. As soon as he awoke, the hand maids came to him with tabrets and other instruments of mirth and merriment, as wont; and, kissing the ground between his hands, said to him, "Bismillah! Sharrkan marvelled at the art and artifice of the place and began reciting,.
When the lady saw Sharrkan, she stood up to him in honour and, taking his hand, seated him by her side and asked, "O son of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, hast thou any cunning in the game of chess?
The Dawn of Knowledge and Most Great Peace
Then she brought the chessboard and played with him; but Sharrkan, instead of looking at her moves, kept gazing at her fair mouth, and putting knight in place of elephant and elephant [FN ] instead of knight. She laughed and said to him, "If thy play be after this fashion, thou knowest naught of the game. So she turned to him and said, "Thou art beaten in everything;" and he replied, "O my lady, how should one playing with the like of thee avoid being beaten?
Presently, she took the dulcimer, for her hand was cunning in smiting it, and she began repeating to an accompaniment these couplets,. They ceased not to carouse till nightfall and this day was pleasanter even than the first. When darkness set in, the lady betook her to her dormitory, leaving him alone with the hand maids; so he threw himself on the ground and slept till dawn, when the damsels came to him with tambourines and other instruments according to custom.
Seeing them he roused him hastily and sat up; and they carried him to their mistress, who came to meet him and, taking him by the hand, seated him by her side. Then she asked him how he had passed his night, whereat he prayed that her life be prolonged; and she took the lute and sang to it these verses which she improvised,.
While they were solacing themselves after this fashion, behold, there arose a great and sudden clamour, and a confused crowd of knights and men rushed in, holding drawn swords that glittered and gleamed in their hands, and cried aloud in the Grecian tongue "Thou hast fallen into our hands, O Sharrkan, so make thee sure of death! These are the Knights with whom she threatened me; but 'tis I who have thrown myself into this strait.
This is he who rideth in the horseman's van! This is Sharrkan, son of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman! This is he that forceth fortalice and penetrateth every impregnable place! The news of him reached King Hardub, thy father, by report of the ancient dame Zat al-Dawahi; and thy sire, our sovereign, hath made sure that thou hast rendered good service to the army of the Greeks by taking captive this ominous lion.
But this is not a time for long talking, when the King is expecting our return with this Prince, the scorpion sting [FN ] of the Islamitic host, that he may kill him and drive back his men whither they came, without the bane of battling with them. So even were we assured that this be Sharrkan and were it proved to us that it is he beyond a doubt, I say it would ill befit mine honour that I should deliver into your hands one who hath entered under my protection. So make me not a traitor to my guest and a disgrace among men; but return to the King, my father, and kiss the ground before him, and inform him that the case is contrariwise to the report of the Lady Zat al-Dawahi.
Return to him with my answer, and no blame shall befal thee! Behold, here he is by my side, and I will bring him before you sword and targe in hand. This man is but one and ye are an hundred Knights: so if you would attack him come out against him, one after one, that it may appear to the King which is the valiant amongst you. She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Princess Abrizah said to the Knight, "This man is but one, and ye are an hundred: so if ye would attack him, come out against him, one after one, that it may appear to the King which is the valiant.
If he consent, 'tis well; but if he refuse, ye shall on no wise come to him, for I and my hand maids and whosoever is in the convent will be his ransom. So he again began reproaching himself and said, "How came I to adventure and play with my life by coming to the country of the Greeks? Will they not come out against me, ten by ten? Sharrkan met him like a lion and delivered a shoulder cut [FN ] which clove him to the middle, and the blade came out gleaming and glittering from his back and bowels. When the lady beheld that swashingblow, Sharrkan's might was magnified in her sight and she knew that when she overthrew him in the wrestle it was not by her strength but by her beauty and loveliness.
So she turned to the Knights and said, "Take wreak for your chief! Then cried the Princess, "O ye servants of the Messiah, avenge your comrade! And Allah cast a panic into the hearts of the survivors, so that they held back and dared not meet him in the duello, but fell upon him in a body; and he laid on load with heart firmer than a rock, and smote them and trod them down like straw under the threshing sled, [FN ] till he had driven sense and soul out of them.
Then the Princess called aloud to her damsels, saying, "Who is left in the convent? Now there remained a few of the Knights hiding from him in the cells of the monastery, and when the Princess saw this she rose from Sharrkan's side and left him for a while, but presently came back clad in closely meshed coat of ring mail and holding in her hand a fine Indian scymitar.
And she said, "Now by the truth of the Messiah, I will not be a niggard of myself for my guest; nor will I abandon him though for this I abide a reproach and a by word in the land of the Greeks. The Cavaliers may well glory in the like of thee. When he ended his verse, the Princess came up to him with smiles and kissed his hand; then she doffed her hauberk and he said to her, "O lady mine, wherefore didst thou don that coat of mail and bare thy brand?
Then she summoned the gate keepers and asked them, "How came ye to admit the King's Knights into my dwelling without leave of me? He did so and she cried to the rest of her servants, "Of a truth, they deserved even more than that! Know, then, that I am the daughter of King Hardub of Roum; my name is Abrizah and the ancient dame, yclept Zat al-Dawahi, is my grandmother by the sword side. She it certainly is who told my father of thee, and as surely she will compass a sleight to slay me, more by token as thou hast slain my father's chivalry and it is noised abroad that I have separated myself from the Nazarenes and have become no better than I should be with the Moslems.
Wherefore it were wiser that I leave this dwelling while Zat al-Dawahi is on my track; but I require of thee the like kindness and courtesy I have shown thee, for enmity will presently befal between me and my father on thine account. So do not thou neglect to do aught that I shall say to thee, remembering all this betided me not save by reason of thee. But hast thou patience to bear parting from thy parents and thy people? Then said she, "Now is my heart at ease; but there remaineth one other condition for thee. Know that we have a yearly festival, highs the Convent Feast, whereat Kings from all quarters and the noblest women are wont to congregate; thither also come merchants and traders with their wives and families, and the visitors abide there seven days.
I was wont to be one of them; but, when there befel enmity between us, my father forbade me to be present at the festival for the space of seven years. One year, it chanced that amongst the daughters of the great who resorted to the patron, as was their custom, came a daughter of the King of Constantinople, a beautiful girl called Sophia. They tarried at the monastery six days and on the seventh the folk went their ways; [FN ] but Sophia said, 'I will not return to Constantinople save by water. When they sighted the sails of the ship, wherein Sophia and her women were, they gave chase in all haste and in less than an hour they came up with her, then they laid the grappling irons aboard her and captured her.
Then taking her in tow they made all sail for their own island and were but a little distant from it when the wind veered round and, splitting their sails, drove them on to a shoal which lies off our coast. Thereupon we sallied forth and, looking on them as spoil driven to us by Fate, [FN ] boarded and took them; and, slaying the men, made prize of the wreck, wherein we found the treasures and rarities in question and forty maidens, amongst whom was the King's daughter, Sophia. After the capture we carried the Princess and her women to my father, not knowing her to be a daughter of King Afridun of Constantinople; and he chose out for himself ten including her; and divided the rest among his dependents.
Presently he set apart five damsels, amongst whom was the King s daughter, and sent them to thy father, King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, together with other gifts, such as broadcloth [FN ] and woollen stuffs and Grecian silks. Thy father accepted them and chose out from amongst the five girls Sophia, daughter of King Afridun; nor did we hear more of her till the beginning of this year, when her father wrote to my father in words unfitting for me to repeat, rebuking him with menaces and saying to him: Two years ago, you plundered a ship of ours which had been seized by a band of Frankish pirates in which was my daughter, Sophia, attended by her maidens numbering some threescore.
Yet ye informed me not thereof by messenger or otherwise; nor could I make the matter public, lest reproach befal me amongst the Kings, by reason of my daughter's honour. So I concealed my case till this year, when I wrote to certain Frankish corsairs and sought news of my daughter from the Kings of the Isles. They replied, 'By Allah we carried her not forth of thy realm; but we have heard that King Hardub rescued her from certain pirates. And they told me the whole tale.
But if you slight my letter and disobey my commandment, I will assuredly make you full return for your foul dealing and the baseness of your practices. So when we pondered that truth, we knew that this letter was none other than a grievous calamity; and my father found nothing for it but to write an answer to King Afridun, making his excuses and swearing to him by strong oaths that he knew not his daughter to be among the bevy of damsels in the ship and setting forth how he had sent her to King Omar bin al Nu'uman, who had gotten the blessing of issue by her.
When my father's reply reached King Afridun he rose up and sat down, [FN ] and roared and foamed at the mouth crying'What! By the Messiah and the true Faith,' said he, 'I will not desist till I have taken my blood vengeance for this and have wiped out my shame; and indeed I will do a deed which the chroniclers shall chronicle after me! As for the three jewels whereof he told thy father when asking his aid, there was not one soothfast word in that matter, for they were with Sophia, his daughter; and my father took them from her, when he got possession of her and of her maidens, and gave them to me in free gift, and they are now with me.
So go thou to thy host and turn them back ere they be led deep into, and shut in by, the land of the bevy of damsels in the ship and setting forth the Franks and the country of the Greeks; for as soon as you have come far enough into their interior, they will stop the roads upon you and there will be no escape for you till the Day of retribution and retaliation.
I know that thy troops are still halting where thou leftest them, because thou didst order a three days' rest; withal they have missed thee all this time and they wot not what to do. But 'tis grievous to me to part from thee and I know not what will become of thee after my departure. If the envoys be still with them, lay hands on them and keep them, that the case may be made manifest to you; and, after three days, I will be with you all and we will enter Baghdad together.
Then Sharrkan left her and walked down from the convent. They brought his steed, so he mounted and rode down stream to the drawbridge which he crossed and presently threaded the woodland paths and passed into the open meadow. As soon as he was clear of the trees he was aware of horsemen which made him stand on the alert, and he bared his brand and rode cautiously, but as they drew near and exchanged curious looks he recognized them and behold, it was the Wazir Dandan and two of his Emirs.
When they saw him and knew him, they dismounted and saluting him, asked the reason of his absence; whereupon he told them all that had passed between him and Princess Abrizah from first to last. The Wazir returned thanks to Almighty Allah for his safety and said, [FN ] "Let us at once leave these lands; for the envoys who came with us are gone to inform the King of our approach, and haply he will hasten to fall on us and take us prisoners. The Ambassadors meanwhile had reported Sharrkan's approach to their King, who forthright equipped a host to lay hold of him and those with him.
But Sharrkan, escorted by the Wazir Dandan and the two Emirs, had no sooner sighted the army, than he raised the cry "March! Then they again set out and stayed not riding for five and twenty days which placed them on the frontiers of their own country. Here, deeming themselves safe, they halted to rest; and the country people came out to them with guest gifts for the men and provender and forage for the beasts. They tarried there two days after which, as all would be making for their homes, Sharrkan put the Wazir Dandan in command, bidding him lead the host back to Baghdad.
But he himself remained behind with an hundred riders, till the rest of the army had made one day's march: then he called "To horse! They rode on two parasangs' [FN ] space till they arrived at a gorge between two mountains and lo! So they checked their steeds awhile till the dust opened and lifted, discovering beneath it an hundred cavaliers, lion faced and in mail coats cased. As soon as they drew within earshot of Sharrkan and his meiny they cried out to them, saying, "By the virtue of John and Mary, we have won to our wish!
We have been following you by forced marches, night and day, till we forewent you to this place. So dismount and lay down your arms and yield yourselves, that we may grant you your lives. Nazarene dogs, ye dare enter our country and overmatch our land? And doth not this suffice you, but ye must adventure yourselves and address us in such unseemly speech? Do you think to escape out of our hands and return to your country? Then they drew apart and Sharrkan mustered his men and found none wounded save four only, who showed hurts but not death hurts. Said he to them, "By Allah, my life long have I waded in the clashing sea of fight and I have met many a gallant sprite, but none so unfrightened of the sword that smites and the shock of men that affrights like these valiant Knights!
By Allah, had he willed he had killed us all. Thereupon King Sharrkan and his hundred riders took horse and rode forth to the plain, where they found the Franks ranged in line of battle; and Sharrkan said to his followers, "Our foes have determined like ourselves to do their devoir; so up and at them and lay on load. Let no dastard engage me this day nor niderling! He urged his charger on to the midst of the battle plain and the two fell to derring do of cut and thrust, but it was not long before the Frank foined the Moslem with the lance point; and, toppling him from his steed, took him prisoner and led him off crestfallen.
His folk rejoiced in their comrade and, forbidding him to go out again to the field, sent forth another, to whom sallied out another Moslem, brother to the captive, and offered him battle. The two fell to, either against other, and fought for a little while, till the Frank bore down upon the Moslem and, falsing him with a feint, tumbled him by a thrust of the lance heel from his destrier and took him prisoner. After this fashion the Moslems ceased not dashing forwards, one after one, and the Franks to unhorse them and take them captive, till day departed and the night with darkness upstarted.
Now they had captured of the Moslems twenty cavaliers, and when Sharrken saw this, it was grievous to him and he mustered his men and said to them, "What is this thing that hath befallen us? To- morrow, I myself will go forth to the field and offer singular combat to their chief and learn what is the cause of his entering our land and warn him against doing battle with our band. If he persist, we will punish him with death, and if he prove peaceable we will make peace with him.
Sharrken looked at that horseman and lo!
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He was clad in a surcoat of blue satin and a close ringed mail shirt; his face was as the moon when it rises and no hair was upon his cheeks. He hent in hand an Indian scymitar and he rode a sable steed with a white blaze on brow, like a dirham; and he smote the horse with heel till he stood almost in the midst of the field when, signing to the Moslems, he cried out in fluent Arab speech "Ho, Sharrkan! Ho, son of Omar bin al- Nu'uman! Ho, thou who forcest fortalice and overthrowest cities and countries!
Thou art Prince of thy people and I am Prince of mine; and whoso overcometh his adversary, him let the other's men obey and come under his sway. Then they fell to foining and hewing, and they stinted not of onset and offset, and give and take, as they were two mountains clashing together or two seas together dashing; nor did they cease fighting until day darkened and night starkened. Then they drew apart and each returned to his own party; but as soon as Sharrkan foregathered with his comrades, he said, "Never looked I on the like of this cavalier: he hath one quality I have not yet seen in any and this it is that, when his foemen uncovereth a place for the death blow, he reverseth his weapon and smiteth with the lance-heel!
In very deed I know not what will be the issue 'twixt him and me; but 'tis my wish that we had in our host his like and the like of his men. Then the twain drew asunder and returned each to his own camp, where both related to their comrades what had befallen them in the duello; and at last the Frank said to his men, "Tomorrow shall decide the matter! Then the Frank bethought him of a ruse; first urging his steed with heel and then checking him with the rein, so that he stumbled and fell with his rider; thereupon Sharrkan threw himself on the foe, and would have smitten him with the sword fearing lest the strife be prolonged, when the Frank cried out to him, "O Sharrkan, champions are not wont to do thus!
This is the act of a man accustomed to be beaten by a woman. These that are with me are my handmaids, and they are all clean maids; yet they have vanquished thy horsemen in fair press and stress of plain; and had not my steed stumbled with me, thou shouldst have seen my might and prowess in combat. They did as she bade and came and kissed the earth before her and Sharrkan who said to them, "It is the like of you that Kings keep in store for the need hour.
After this, the whole two hundred took horse, and fared on night and day for six days' space, till they drew near to Baghdad, when they halted and Sharrkan bade Abrizah and her handmaids doff the Frankish garb that was on them,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sharrkan bade Princess Abrizah and her damsels doff the garb that was on them and don the garments of daughters of Greece; and thus did they. Then he despatched a company of his companions to Baghdad to acquaint his father Omar bin al-Nu'uman, with his arrival and report that he was accompanied by Princess Abrizah, daughter of King Hardub, Lord of Graecia-land.
They halted forthright in the place they had reached, and Sharrkan also halted and all righted there; and when Almighty Allah made morning dawn, Sharrkan and his company and Abrizah and her company took horse and fared on towards the city; when lo! When the two drew near, they turned towards them and kissed ground before them; then they mounted again and escorted them into the city and went up with them to the palace. Sharrkan walked in to his father, who rose and embraced him and questioned him of his case.
So he told him all that Abrizah had told him, and what had passed between them and said, "She hath parted from her sire and departed from her reign and hath chosen to take part with us and make her abode with us; and indeed," he said to his father, "the King of Constantinople hath plotted to do us a mischief, because of his daughter Sophia, for that the King of Greece had made known to him her story and the cause of her being given to thee; and he the Grecian King not knowing her to be daughter of King Afridun, Lord of Constantinople; and, had he known that, he would not have bestowed her upon thee, but he would have restored her to her parent.
And of a verity," he continued, "we were saved from these perils only by the Lady Abrizah, and never saw we a more valiant than she. When King Omar heard the story of Sharrkan, Abrizah was exalted in his eyes, and he longed to see her and question her. Thereupon Sharrkan went out to her and said, "The King calleth for thee;" she replied, "I hear and I obey;" and he took her and brought her in to his father, who was seated on his throne and who, having dismissed his high officers, was attended only by his eunuchs.
The Princess entered and kissing the ground between his hands, saluted him in choice terms. He was amazed at her eloquent speech and thanked her for her dealing with his son Sharrkan and bade her be seated. So she sat down and unveiled her face; [FN ] and, when the King saw her beauty, his reason fled his head and he made her draw near and showed her favour, appointing her an especial palace for herself and her damsels, and assigning them solde and allowances.
Then began he to ask her of the three jewels aforesaid, and she answered, "Here be they with me, O King of the age! She opened the casket and taking out those three jewels, kissed them and gave them to the King. Then she went away bearing his heart with her. After her going the King sent for his son Sharrkan and gave him one jewel of the three, and when he enquired of the other two replied, "O my son! I mean to give one to thy brother Zau al-Makan, and the other to thy sister Nuzhat al- Zaman.
This news was grievous to Sharrkan, but he kept his secret and said, "The bless- ing of Allah Most High be upon them! Quoth the King, "How do I see thee change thy manner when hearing of this, considering that after me thou becomes" heir of the kingdom. Of a truth the troops have sworn to thee and the Emirs and Grandees have taken the oath of succession to thee; and this one of the three jewels is thine.
As he approached she stood up to meet him and thanked him for what he had done and prayed for blessings on him and his sire. Then she sat down and seated him by her side; but when he had taken his place she saw rage in his face and questioned him, whereupon he told her that Allah had blessed his father with two children by Sophia, a boy and a girl, and that he had named the boy Zau al-Makan and the girl Nuzhat al-Zaman; adding, "He hath kept the other two jewels for them and hath given me one of thine, so I left it behind; I knew naught of Zau al-Makan's birth till this day, and the twain are now six years old.
So when I learnt this, wrath possessed me; and I tell thee the reason of my rage and hide nothing from thee. But now I fear lest my father take thee to wife, for he loveth thee and I saw in him signs of desire for thee: so what wilt thou say, if he wish this? As for the three jewels, it was not my intent that he should give any of them to either of his children and I had no thought but that he would lay them up in his treasury with his things of price; but now I desire of thy favour that thou make me a present of the jewel which he gave thee, if thou have accepted it.
Then said she, "Fear nothing," and talked with him awhile and continued, "I fear lest my father hear that I am with you and sit not patiently under my loss, but do his endeavours to find me; and to that end he may ally himself with King Afridun, on account of his daughter Sophia, and both come on thee with armies and so there befal great turmoil. Such was his case; but regarding the affairs of his father, Omar bin al-Nu'uman, after dismissing his son Sharrkan he arose and, taking the other two jewels, betook himself to the Lady Sophia, who stood up when she saw him and remained standing till he was seated.
Presently, his two children, Zau al-Makan and Nuzhat al-Zaman, came to him and he kissed them and hung a jewel round each one's neck, at which they rejoiced and kissed his hands.
Then went they to their mother, who joyed in their joy and wished the King long life; so he asked her, "Why hast thou not informed me all this time that thou art the daughter of King Afridun, Lord of Constantinople, that I might have honoured thee still more and enlarged thee in dignity and raised thy rank? And, furthermore, Allah hath blessed me with two children by thee, a son and a daughter.
Moreover, he appointed for them eunuchs and attendants and doctors of law and doctors of philosophy and astrologers and physicians and surgeons to do them service; and in every way he redoubled his favour and entreated them with the best of treatment. And presently he returned to the palace of his dominion and to his Court where he distributed justice among the lieges.
And when he had been so disembowelled that he had no parts left to torture, calling on Heaven for justice and smiling sardonically, he remained unshaken, with stout heart, neither deigning to according to himself nor anyone else; and at last, without having admitted his guilt or been convicted, he was condemned to death along with his abject associate.
And he was led off to execution unafraid, railing at the wickedness of the time and imitating the ancient stoic Zeno, who, after being tortured for a long time, to induce him to give false witness, tore his tongue from its roots and hurled it with its blood and spittle into the eyes of the king of Cyprus, who was putting him to the question.
But although finally Maras also was tortured within an inch of his life, he could not be forced to make any confession. When this man gave a true account of what Gallus and his wife had done, the emperor, grieving over the past disasters and made anxious by fear of those to come, concealed the distress that he felt as long as he could. Then an abundant supply of food arrived and the camp was moved on the appointed day. There a great force of the Alamanni opposed them, and hurling weapons from all sides like hail, by their superior numbers prevented the Romans from making a bridge by joining boats together.
And when that was obviously impossible, the emperor was consumed with anxious thought and in doubt what course to take. The commander, on the other hand, has manifold duties, since he aims at fairness to all; and being the guardian of others' safety, he realises that the interests of the people look to him wholly for protection and that therefore he ought eagerly to seize upon all remedies which the condition of affairs allows, as though offered to him by the favour of Heaven.
First, to avoid the doubtful issue of war; then, that we may gain friends in place of enemies, as they promise; again, that without bloodshed we may tame their haughty fierceness, which is often destructive to the provinces; finally, bearing in mind this thought, that not only is the enemy vanquished who falls in battle, borne down by weight of arms and strength, but much more safely he who, while the trumpet is silent, of his own accord passes under the yoke and learns by experience that Romans lack neither courage against rebels nor mildness towards suppliants.
For, believe me, such righteous conduct will be attributed, not to lack of spirit, but to discretion and humanity. They were influenced especially by the conviction, which they had formed from frequent campaigns, that his fortune watched over him only in civil troubles, but that when foreign wars were undertaken, they had often ended disastrously. After this a treaty was struck in accordance with the rites of the Alamanni, and when the ceremony had been concluded, the emperor withdrew to Mediolanum for his winter quarters. And as he deliberated with his closest friends, in secret conference and by night, by what force or by what devices that might be done before the Caesar's assurance should be more obstinately set upon throwing everything into disorder, it seemed best that Gallus should be summoned by courteous letters, under pretence of very urgent public business, to the end that, being deprived of support, he might be put to death without hindrance.
These, while performing duties of an intimate nature, by secret whispers supplied fuel for false accusations.
They overwhelmed that most gallant man with the weight of a grave suspicion, muttering that his sons, who were now grown up, were beginning to have imperial hopes, being popular because of their youth and their handsome persons and through their knowledge of many kinds of weapons, and bodily activity gained amidst daily army exercises, besides being known to be of sound judgment; that Gallus, while naturally savage, had been incited to deeds of cruelty by persons attached to his person, to the end that, when he had incurred the merited detestation of all classes, the emblems of empire might be transferred to the children of the master of the horse.
First, in the most complimentary terms he directed Ursicinus to come to him, under pretence that, because of the urgent condition of affairs at the time, they might consult together and decide what increase of forces was necessary in order to crush the attacks of the Parthian tribes, which were threatening war. And although she hesitated, through fear of her brother's habitual cruelty, yet she set forth, hoping that, since he was her own brother, she might be able to pacify him.
But after she had entered Bithynia, at the station called Caeni Gallicani, she was carried off by a sudden attack of fever. After her death the Caesar, considering that the support on which he thought he could rely had failed him, hesitated in anxious deliberation what to do. He alone of all, by means of flattering words mingled with false oaths, succeeded in persuading Gallus to set out, constantly repeating with hypocritical expression that his cousin would ardently wish to see him, that being a mild and merciful prince he would overlap anything that was done through inadvertence; that he would make him a sharer in his rank, to be a partner also in the labours which the northern provinces, for a long time wearied, demanded.
Others, however, visited him by the emperor's orders, under pretext of various matters of business, but really to take care that he should not be able to make any move or indulge in any secret enterprise; among these was Leontius, then quaestor and later prefect of the city, Lucillianus, as count commander of the household troops, and a tribune of the targeteers called Bainobaudes. Haemus, formerly called Uscudama, and for twelve days was recovering his strength, exhausted by his exertions.
There he learned that certain Theban legions that were passing the winter in near-by towns had sent some of their comrades to encourage him by faithful and sure promises to remain there, since they were full of confidence in their strength and were posted in large numbers in neighbouring encampments; but owing to the watchful care of those about him, he could not steal an opportunity of seeing them or hearing the message that they brought.
And entering when the light was now dim and removing the Caesar's royal robes, he put upon him a tunic and an ordinary soldier's cloak, assuring him with frequent oaths, as if by the emperor's command, that he would suffer no further harm. Then he said to him: "Get up at once," and having unexpectedly placed him in a private carriage, he took him to Histria, near the town of Pola, where in former times, as we are informed, Constantine's son Crispus was killed.
Accordingly his hands were bound, after the fashion of some guilty robber, and he was beheaded. Then his face and head were mutilated, and the man who a little while before had been a terror to cities and provinces was left a disfigured corpse. Of these Scudilo, because of an abscess of the liver, 98 vomited up his lungs and so died; Barbatio, who for a long time had invented false accusations against Gallus, charged by the whispers of certain men of aiming higher than the mastership of the infantry, was found guilty and by an unwept end made atonement to the shades of the Caesar, whom he had treacherously done to death.
The ancient theologians, regarding her as the daughter of Justice, say that from an unknown eternity she looks down upon all the creatures of earth. She too, binding the vainly swelling pride of mortals with the indissoluble bond of fate, and tilting changeably, as she knows how to do, the balance of gain and loss, now bends and weakens the uplifted necks of the proud, and now, raising the good from the lowest estate, lifts them to a happy life.
Moreover, the storied past has given her wings in order that she might be thought to come to all with swift speed; and it has given her a helm to hold and has put a wheel beneath her feet, in order that none may fail to know that she runs through all the elements and rules the universe. He had soft golden hair, and although his beard was just appearing in the form of tender down, yet he was conspicuous for the dignity of greater maturity.
But he differed as much from the disciplined character of his brother Julian as did Domitian, son of Vespasian, from his brother Titus. How many Romans of illustrious birth at the nod of that same arbiter of events embraced the knees of a Viriathus or a Spartacus! The Loeb Editor's Notes: 1 These summaries, which are not the work of Ammianus but of some early editor, are put for convenience at the beginning of each chapter.
Usually the summaries of each book are put all together at the beginning of that book or e. His followers then abandoned him and he committed suicide. See Index. Caesar was the title next in rank and was conferred by the emperor on one or more of the imperial family; see Introd. They gradually became his advisers, and later they were appointed to various duties as his deputies. They differed in rank; the Comes Orientis was of the second grade spectabilis , see Introd.
According to Livy, XXV. At a later time these prophetic writings were preserved on the Capitol at Rome with the Sibylline books. The brilliant lighting of the city is mentioned also by Libanius and Hieronymus. On praesens , see Introd. In this case the court of Gallus is referred to, and there would also be a praefectus praetorio praesens at the court of Constantius. He not only robbed travellers who came that way, but forced them to wash his feet, and while they were obeying kicked them off into the sea.
See note, p3. This was sometimes handed to the emperor by a judge, cf. Cornelius Scipio, who wrote from Spain in the second Punic war, asking to be recalled, that he might provide a dowry for his daughter; see Valerius Maximus, IV. Here it means merely the wall of the city. Thayer's Note: This is an approximation, a great simplification of a subject which in every particular, carefully examined, dissolves into uncertainty.
Those interested in the details should start with the article Pomoerium in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, then follow the links to Platner, George Dennis, and the various journal articles. Thayer's Note: Why this town, the modern Spoleto, occurred to Ammian is the interesting question. Catulus primus spectantium consessum velorum umbraculis texit. The protectores , guards, were a body of troops with the rank of officers, also called domestici.
The scutarii targeteers took their name from their equipment. Fabrica is applied to Vulcan's forge in Cic. At this time a very important official; see Introd. It was worn by the knights on public occasions and by the early kings and consuls. In the classical period it was, in that form, the distinctive garb of the equites see Tac.
One form, wholly of purple, was worn by the kings and later emperors; another, of purple and saffron, by the augurs. Plutarch, Aem. Thayer's Notes: a Americans of a certain age may think of this as the upper balcony in a movie theater; we've gone way past that now. Images with borders lead to more information. The thicker the border, the more information.