HASAN. AN. HEJ. 40, 41. A.D. 660, 661

Dissensions in the caliphate-Hasan proffers the throne to Moa-

wiyah-Resignation of Hasan-Poisoned An. Hej. 49-His birth
and character.


AN. HEJ. 41-132. A.D. 661-750.

1. MOAWIYAH I. AN. HEJ. 41—60. a.d. 661—679

Birth and descent of Moawiyah-Death of Amrou-Ziyad, the

Caliph's brother-Story of-Character and anecdotes of-Execution
of Hejer-Siege of Constantinople-Kairwan built-Makes Damas-
cus his capital-Death of Ziyad-Makes the caliphate hereditary-
Death of Ayesha-Death of Moawiyah-His patronage of letters
-Anecdotes of-His character-The first Caliph who formed a


2. YEZID I. AN. HEJ. 60-64. a.d. 679-683.

Hosein endeavours to obtain the caliphate-Disaffection at Cufah

-Destruction of Hosein's party and his melancholy death-His
family-Traditions concerning his head-Anecdotes of-Revolt of
Abdallah, the son of Zobeir-Rebellion at Mecca-Abdallah be-
sieged in Mecca--Death of Yezid-His character.

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4. MERWAN I. AN. HEJ. 64, 65. a.d. 683, 684

Proclaimed in Syria--Defeats Abdallah-Marries Yezid's widow

--Proceedings at Cufah to revenge Hosein's death-The Cufians
march towards Syria--Cut to pieces by Obeidollah Ziyad--Death of
Merwan by poison-His character.

5. ABDALMELIK. AN. HEJ. 65-86. A.D. 684--705


Insurrection of Al Moktar--Death of Obeidollah--Death of Al

Moktar-Murder of Amrou, son of Saïd-Musab assumes the go-
vernment of Cufah-Expedition against him-His death-Hejaj be-
sieges Mecca-Death of Abdallah, the son of Zobeir-Abdalmelik
acknowledged Caliph throughout Arabia-Cruelty of Hejaj-Insur-
rection of Shebib and Salehh at Mosule-Arabian money first
coined-Death of Shebib--Anecdotes of Hejaj-His death-Death
of Abdalmelik-Stories of-His conquests.

End of Ockley's History.


Ar a time when Oriental studies were at their infancy in this country, Simon Ockley, animated by the illustrious example of Pocock, and the laborious diligence of Prideaux, devoted his life and his fortune to those novel researches, which necessarily involved both. With that enthusiasm which the ancient votary experienced, and with that patient suffering the modern martyr has endured, he pursued, till he accomplished, the useful object of his labours. He perhaps was the first who exhibited to us other heroes than those of Greece and Rome; sages as contemplative, and a people more magnificent even than the iron masters of the world.*

Simon Ockley was born at Exeter in 1678, and was descended from a good family of Great Ellingham, in Norfolk, where his father usually resided. After a proper foundation laid in school-learning, he was sent, in 1693, to Queen's College in Cambridge, where he soon distinguished himself by great quickness of parts as well as intense application to literature; to the oriental languages more particularly, for his uncommon skill in which he afterwards became famous. He took, at the usual time, the degrees in arts, and that of bachelor in divinity. Having taken orders also, he was, in 1705, through the interest of Simon Patrick, bishop of Ely, presented by Jesus College, in Cambridge, to the vicarage of Swavesey, in that county; and, in 1711, chosen Arabic professor of the university. These preferments he held to the day of his death, which happened at Swavesey, Aug. 9, 1720, immaturely to himself, but more so to his family.

Ockley had the culture of Oriental learning very much at heart, and the several publications which he made were intended solely to promote it. In 1706, he printed, at Cam bridge, a useful little book, entitled, "Introductio ad Linguas Orientales." Prefixed is a dedication to his friend the bishop

• D'Israeli's Calamities of Authors.

of Ely, and a preface, addressed to the Juventus Academica, whom he labours to excite by various arguments to the pursuit of oriental learning; assuring them in general, that no man ever was, or ever will be, truly great in divinity, without at least some portion of skill in it. There is a chapter in this work, relating to the celebrated controversy between Buxtorf and Capellus, upon the antiquity of the Hebrew points, where Ockley professes to think with Buxtorf, who contended for it: but he afterwards changed his opinion, and went over to Capellus, although he had not any opportunity of publicly declaring it. And indeed it is plain, from his manner of closing that chapter upon the points, that he was then far enough from having any settled persuasion about them.


In 1707, he published in 12mo. from the Italian of Leo Modena, a Venetian rabbi, "The History of the present Jews throughout the World; being an ample, though succinct, account of their customs, ceremonies, and manner of living at this time:" to which is subjoined a Supplement concerning the Carraites and Samaritans, from the French of Father Simon." In 1708, a little curious book, entitled "The Improvement of Human Reason, exhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn Yokdhan, written above 500 years ago, by Abu Jaafar Ebn Tophail:" translated from the Arabic, and illustrated with figures, 8vo. The design of the author, who was a Mohammedan philosopher, is to show, how human reason may, by observation and experience, arrive at the knowledge of natural things, and thence to supernatural, and particularly the knowledge of God and a future state: the design of the translator, to give those who might be unacquainted with it, a specimen of the genius of the Arabian philosophers, and to excite young scholars to the reading of eastern authors. This was the point our rabbi had constantly in view; and, therefore, in his "Oratio Inauguralis," for the professorship, it was with no small pleasure, as we imagine, that he insisted upon the beauty, copiousness, and antiquity, of the Arabic tongue in particular, and upon the use of oriental learning in general; and that he dwelt upon the praises of Erpenius, Golius, Pocock, Herbelot, and who had in any way contributed to promote the study of it. In 1713, his name appeared to a little book, with this title "An Account of South-West Barbary, containing what is most remarkable in the territories.

of the king of Fez and Morocco; written by a person who had been a slave there a considerable time, and published from his authentic manuscript: to which are added, two Letters; one from the present king of Morocco to Colonel Kirk; the other to Sir Cloudesly Shovell, with Sir Cloudesly's answer," &c., 8vo. While we are enumerating these small publications of the professor, it will be but proper to mention two sermons: one," Upon the Dignity and Authority of the Christian Priesthood," preached at Ormond Chapel, London, in 1710; another, "Upon the Necessity of Instructing Children in the Scriptures," at St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire, 1713. To these we must add a new translation of the second "Apocryphal Book of Esdras," from the Arabic version of it, as that which we have in our common Bibles is from the vulgar Latin, 1716. Mr. Whiston, we are told, was the person who employed him in this translation, upon a strong suspicion, that it must needs make for the Arian cause he was then reviving; and he, accordingly, published it in one of his volumes of "Primitive Christianity Revived." Ockley, however, was firmly of opinion, that it could serve nothing at all to his purpose; as appears from a printed letter of his to Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Thirlby, in which are the following words: "You shall have my Esdras' in a little time; two hundred of which I reserved, when Mr. Whiston reprinted his, purely upon this account, because I was loath that anything with my name to it should be extant only in his heretical volumes. I only stay, till the learned author of the History of Montanism' has finished a dissertation which he has promised me to prefix to that book."* A learned letter of Ockley's to Mr. W. Wotton is printed among the "Miscellaneous Tracts of Mr. Bowyer, 1784."



But the most considerable by far of all the professor's performances is, "The History of the Saracens ;" begun from the death of Mohammed, the founder of the Saracenic empire, which happened in 632, and carried down through a succession of caliphs, to 705. This "History," which illustrates the religion, rites, customs, and manner of living of that warlike people, is very curious and entertaining; and Ockley was at vast pains in collecting materials from the most authentic

This letter, dated Oct. the 15th, 1712, is entitled, "An Account of the authority of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, controverted between Dr. Grabe and Mr. Whiston." 1712. 8vo.

Arabic authors, especially manuscripts, not hitherto published in any European language; and for that purpose resided & long time at Oxford, to be near the Bodleian library, where those manuscripts were reposited. It is in 2 vols. 8vo.; the first of which was published in 1708; the second, in 1718: and both were soon after republished. A third edition was printed, in the same size, at Cambridge, in 1757; to which is prefixed," An Account of the Arabians or Saracens, of the Life of Mohammed, and the Mohammedan Religion, by a learned hand:" that is, by the learned Dr. Long, master of Pembroke hall, in Cambridge.

While at Oxford, preparing this work, he sent a letter to his daughter, part of which is worth transcribing, as characteristic both of him and his labours. "My condition here is this one of the most useful and necessary authors I have is written in such a wretched hand, that the very reading of it is perfect deciphering. I am forced sometimes to take three or four lines together, and then pull them all to pieces to find where the words begin and end; for oftentimes it is so written, that a word is divided as if the former part of it was the end of the foregoing word, and the latter part the beginning of another; besides innumerable other difficulties known only to those that understand the language. Add to this the pains of abridging, comparing authors, selecting proper materials, and the like, which in a remote and copious language, abounding with difficulties sometimes insuperable, make it equivalent at least to the performing of six times so much in Greek and Latin. So that if I continue in the same course in which I am engaged at present, that is, from the time I rise in the morning till I can see no longer at night, I cannot pretend once to entertain the least thought of seeing home till Michaelmas. Were it not that there is some satisfaction in answering the end of my profession, some 'n making new discoveries, and some in the hopes of obliging my country with the history of the greatest empire the world ever yet saw, I would sooner do almost anything than submit to the drudgery.

"People imagine, that it is only understanding Arabic, and then translating a book out of it, and there is an end of the story: but if ever learning revives among us, posterity will judge better. This work of mine (in another way) is almost of as different a nature from translating out of the Greek or

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