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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 102



chief to betake himself to instant flight. ". Tell your master," was the reply, " that in all his thirty thousand troops he cannot boast three men like these." As he spoke, he bade three of his followers to put themselves to death ; and without a murmur, one stabbed himself to the heart, another drowned himself in the M'aters of the Tigris, and a third flung himself from a precipice and was dashed to pieces. Against such savages as these, the luxurious squadrons of Baghdad could do nothing—they were ignominiously defeated ; and the Carmathians roamed whithersoever they pleased, and devastated the country with fire and sword. In 929 Mecca itself was pillaged, thirty thousand pilgrims slain, and the black stone, the special object of adoration to the true believer, was carried off. This circumstance caused another diversion in favour of Jerusalem ; the Ka'abah was again deserted, and crowds of devotees flocked from all parts of the Mohammedan world, to prostrate themselves before the Holy Bock of David. For the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem the change was an unfortunate one : Mussulman bigotry was again in the ascendant in the Holy City, and we learn that in 937 the church of Constantine was destroyed, and the churches of Calvary and the Besurrection once more ruined and despoiled. A few years later the " black stone " was restored and the Ka'abah and Mecca were once more opened for the Mohammedan pilgrims. The Carmathians themselves were suppressed, and their legions dispersed ; but the seeds of religious and political heresy were sown broadcast throughout Islam, and were destined speedily to bring forth most disastrous fruit. Since the conquests of 'Omar and his generals, no successful attempt had been made to recover the eastern provinces for the Grecian Empire ; but in the reign of the Caliph El Moti' al Illah, a movement was made, which threatened to wrest the sceptre from the hands of the Muslim princes, and restore the pristine glory of the


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