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many cities and temples of their wealth, the Ghiznian general returned in triumph to Lahore, which now came to be considered as the second capital of the empire.
On the death of Shah Mussaood, in the year 1114, Arslan Shah (Arsilla) mounted the throne of his father, having imbrued his hands in the blood of the rightful heir, Sheirzaud, and imprisoned all his other brothers whom he could lay hands on. One of these, however, Behram Shah, escaped to the court of his uncle, Sultan Sanjur, who then held the government of Khorasan. By his powerful aid, the fugitive prince was thrice seated upon the throne of his father, Arslan being as often defeated and expelled ; and the third time, he was taken and put to death. During his turbulent and interrupted reign, Ghizni was partly consumed by lightning. Behram is said to have been a just and generous prince, the liberal patron of learning. Under bis auspices, the Kaleila Doomna (the Fables of Beidpâi) was first translated into Persian. * In the days of his prosperity, this Sultan twice visited India ; the first time to reduce to obedience Mahom. med Bahlim, who held the viceroyalty of Lahore on behalf of Arslan Shah, and who resisted the authority of Behram, but was defeated, and, after a short imprisonment, again entrusted with the lieutenancy. On the monarch's return to Ghizni, Bahlim proceeded to erect the fortress of Nagoor, in the moun
* A translation from the original Sarıscrit into Pehlivi, had been executed by the enlightened minister of Noorsherwan; and from the Pehlivi, it had been rendered into Arabic in the reign of Haroun-al-Rashid. The latter is supposed to have been the version used in the Persian translation executed by order of Behram Shah. And this again was rendered into more familiar and modern Persian in the reign of Sultan Hossein Mirza.-PRICE, vol. ii. p.307,
tainous district of Sewâlik, where, as in an impregnable asylum, he secured his family and most valuable effects. Then, raising a numerous force of Arabs, Persians, Khiljian Turks, and Afghans, he began to aggrandize himself by depredations in the territories of the neighbouring rajahs ; and becoming elated with his successes, he aspired at length to independent sovereignty. This revolt occasioned the second expedition of Behram Shah. The armies met near Moul. tan, and after an obstinate contest, Bahlim, with his ten sons, was put to flight. In their precipitate retreat, they plunged into a deep quagmire, and were all, together with their horses, entirely swal.
On his return to Ghizni, Behram Shah caused to be publicly executed, Mahommed, prince of Ghour, son-in-law of the rebel Bahlim. This arbitrary action led to the ruin of the family of Ghizni. The brother of the murdered prince, Seyf-ul-deen Souri, imme. diately marched at the head of a considerable force to Ghizni, which Behram evacuated at his approach, taking refuge in the fort of Kirma, in the mountains. Seyf-ul-deen entered Ghizni without resistance, and relying on the tractable temper of the citizens, ventured to send back his brother Allah-ul-deen and the greater part of his army. No sooner, however, had winter set in, and the communication through the mountains of Ghour become suspended by the snow, than Behram Shah, with whom some of the citizens had opened a secret correspondence, suddenly appeared before Ghizni at the head of a considerable force. Seyf-ul-deen, betrayed by his treacherous counsellors, ventured forth to meet him, when he was surrounded by the conspirators and delivered up to his mortal enemy. The treatment which the unhappy captive
met with, appears to have been as undeserved as it was inhuman. Mounted upon a sorry bullock, his face blackened, and turned towards the animal's tail, he was paraded through the streets of Ghizni amid the insults of the mob, and was then put to death with every circumstance of indignity and torture, his head being sent to Sultan Sanjur.
Dreadful was the retribution which this deed of wanton cruelty drew down upon the Ghiznians. Allah-ul-deen, burning with rage and indignation at the horrible treatment inflicted upon his brother, advanced with all the forces he could raise, towards the city. Behram Shah went forth to meet him with a far more numerous army, supported by elephants ; he was, nevertheless, defeated, and saved himself only by a precipitate flight. He did not, however, survive his overthrow, but died, it is supposed of grief and vexation, either at Ghizni or on his way to Lahore, immediately after the battle, A.D. 1152, having reigned over Ghizni and Lahore five-and-thirty years. He was succeeded by his son, Khosrou, who immediately withdrew, with all his court, beyond the Indus, abandoning the kingdom of Ghizni to his enemies.
The Ghourian prince now entered without opposition the forsaken and devoted city, which was given up to the accumulated horrors of rapine, slaughter, and conflagration. For seven days, the work of ven. geance was carried on, during which every structure of this once noble city that had belonged to the hated race of Sebektegein, was burned or razed to the ground. When the barbarous conqueror at length withdrew towards his native country, he carried captive a num. ber of the seyuds or chief citizens to Ferouzkoh, each having a bag of clay suspended to his neck, which, with an oriental refinement of cruelty, was afterwards mixed with the blood of the bearer, and used as mortar, to construct the towers of a castle at that place.
Ghizni, thus ruined, was subsequently taken possession of by the Turkoman tribe of Ghuz, who, about this time, overran the whole of Khorasan, and took prisoner Sultan Sanjur.* They held it for two (some authorities say ten) years, when it was wrested from them by the Ghourians. During this interval, the son of Behram Shah terminated at Lahore, an inglorious but undisturbed reign of seven years over the Indian provinces of the now contracted empire. The throne of Lahore was, on his death, ascended by his son Khosrou II., the last of his race. In his reign, the Ghourian general, having previously reduced Peishawer, Afghanistan, Moultan, and Sind, appeared under the walls of Lahore. The strength of that city baffled his attempt to take it by attack; and he was twice induced to raise the siege, accepting a tribute and hostages from Khosrou as the price of this respite. In his third expedition, A.D. 1186, the invader, proceeding by a circuitous route, took the city by surprise ; and the honours of the house of Sebektegein were finally transferred, without a blow, to the princes of Ghour, after that dynasty had subsisted two hundred and eleven years. The unfortunate Khosrou was, with all his family, shortly after put to death.
Mahommed Ghouri, the conqueror of Lahore, acted in these transactions as the general and lieutenant of his elder brother, Yeas-ul-deen, who held the nominal sovereignty of the Ghourian dominions. He did not long remain at Lahore, but, confiding the government of that city to the viceroy of Moultan, returned to
* See Mod. TRAV., Persia, vol. i. p. 147. Mr. Maurice calls this tribe Gazan Turks; Major Price, the Ghozzians ; Dow, the Turks of Ghiza,
Ghizni, which appears to have regained the honours of a capital. Thence, in the year 1191, he proceeded to invade Ajmeer ; but, on the banks of the Sursutty (Saraswati), he encountered a powerful Hindoo army, headed by the confederate rajahs of Ajmeer and Delhi, from whom he sustained a complete overthrow. The enemy pursued the routed Moslems forty miles, and Mahommed escaped, with the wreck of his army, to Ghour. In a few months, however, he was in a condition to invade India a second time, at the head of a hundred thousand cavalry, Turks, Persians, and Afghans. He was met by the confederates with an army three times as numerous ; but his superior manæuvring obtained him this time a complete victory. The king of Delhi was, with many other princes, slain in the field, and the rajah of Ajmeer was taken and put to death. The forts of Sursutty, Samana, Koram, and Hassi, surrendered to the conqueror; and Ajmeer was taken by storm, all the inhabitants being barbarously massacred or led into captivity. Delhi saved itself for the time by a prompt submission and large tribute.
Mahommed returned to Ghizni, laden with immense spoil, leaving his favourite mamlouk general, Kuttub, in the town of Koram, with a considerable detachment, as his viceroy.*
* By this fortunate slave, the city of Delhi was taken shortly after (A.D. 1193), and made the seat of his viceroyalty. In the following year, he crossed the Jumna, took by assault the fort of Kole, and thence advanced to join his forces to those of
* No such place as Koram is mentioned in the Gazetteer, and its situation is doubtful, as is that of some of the other forts mentioned by Ferishta. In Gladwin's Ayeen Akbery, Mahommed, who is styled Sultan Moozeddeen, is said to have left his viceroy, Mul. lick Kotebeddeen, at Gehram.