Alp Arslan Or Axan
sultan peace emperor
ALP ARSLAN or AXAN, MOHAMMED BEN DAOUD, tho second sultan of the dynasty of Seljuk, in Persia, and greatgrandson of Seljuk, the founder of the dynasty. He was born in the year 1029 A.D., 421 of the Hegira. He assumed the name of Mohammed when he embraced the Mussulman faith; and on account of his military prowess he obtained the surname Alp Arslan, which signifies " a valiant lion." He succeeded his father Daoud as ruler of Khorassan in 1059, and his uncle Togrul Bey as sultan of Oran in 1063, and thus became sole monarch of Persia, from the river Oxus to the Tigris. In consolidating his empire and subduing contending factions he was ably assisted by Nizamal-Mulk, his vizier, one of the most eminent statesmen in early Ma.hometan history. Peace and security being established in his dominions, he convoked an assembly of the states, and declared his son Malik Shah his heir and successor. With the hope of acquiring immense booty in the rich temple of St Basil in Ciesarea, the capital of Cappadocia, he placed himself at the head of the Turkish cavalry, crossed the Euphrates, and entered and plundered that city. He then marched into Armenia and Georgia, which, in the year 1064, he finally subdued. To punish the Georgians for tlie brave defence which they had made, and as a badge of their humiliating condition, the conqueror obliged them to wear at their ears horse-shoes of iron. In the year 1068 Alp Arslan invaded the Roman empire, the seat of which was then at Constantinople. The Emperor Romanus Diogenes, assuming the command in person, met the invaders in Cilicia. In three several campaigns his arms were victorious, and the Turks were forced to retreat beyond the Euphrates. In the fourth he advanced with an army of 100,000 men into the Armenian territory, for the relief of that country. Here he was met by Alp Arslan; and the sultan having proposed terms of peace, which were insultingly rejected by the emperor, a bloody and decisive 'engagement took place near Malazkurd, in which the Greeks, after a terrible slaughter, were totally routed. Romanus was taken prisoner and conducted into the presence of Alp Arslan, who treated him with a noble generosity. A ransom of a million and an annual tribute of 3000 pieces of gold, an intermarriage between the families, and the deliverance of all the captive Mussulmans in the power of the Greeks, having been agreed to as the terms of peace and the liberty of the emperor, Romanus was dismissed, loaded with presents and respectfully attended by a military guard. He was unable, however, to fulfil the terms of the treaty, and the war was accordingly renewed. At this time the dominion of Alp Arslan extended over the fairest part of Asia: 1200 princes or sons of princes surrounded his throne, and 200,000 soldiers were ready to execute his commands. He now declared his purpose of attempting the conquest of Turkestan, the original seat of his ancestors. After great preparations for the expedition, he marched with a powerful army, and arrived at the banks of the Oxus. Before he could pass the river with safety, it was necessary to gain possession of some fortresses in its vicinity, one of which was for several days vigorously defended by the governor, Yussuf Kothual, a Kharizmian. He was, however, obliged to surrender, and was carried a prisoner before the sultan. Being condemned to suffer a cruel death, Yussuf became incensed, rushed upon the sultan, and stabbed him in the breast. The wound proved mortal, and Alp Arslan expired a few hours after he received it, on the 15th Dec. 1072.