Page images


518. Justinus I. 527. Justinian. The Monophysites separated from the

Melkites, or “Royalists,” and chose their own patriarch; they were afterwards called Copts, bül.* In this reign Narses was sent to Philæ to put an end to the pagan rites and worship which were celebrated there. He imprisoned the priests, and carried off the statues of the gods from

the temple of Philæ to Constantinople. 565. Justinus II. 569 (or 570, or 571). Birth of Muḥammad, the

Prophet. 578. Tiberius II. 582. Mauricius. 602. Phocas. 610. Heraclius. The Persians under Chosroes took

Egypt, and held the country for ten years; they
were expelled by Heraclius A.D. 629.
the Arabs captured Pelusium, and marched
against Heliopolis and defeated the Romans
there; they then occupied the country south of
Memphis and besieged the fortress of Babylon.
This fortress was built by Turbo in 116, and was
captured by 'Amr ibn al-'Âşì in 640.

In 639


622. With this year the Muḥammadans begin the Era of

the Hijra, i.e., the “Era of the Flight.”

The name given to the native Christians of Egypt by the Arabs, from KYNT&IOC for AYUTTLOS.

A.D. 62 2.


The Flight” referred to is that of Muhammad the Prophet, who fled from Mecca to Madina to escape from the cabals which were made against him in that city. He left Mecca on the fourth day of the month Rabi al-Awwal, and arrived at Madína eight days later. The fourth day of Rabi al-Awwal is, according to

Caussin de Perceval, the true equivalent of June 19-20, the Muhammadans beginning their day at sunset; Muḥammadans, however, prefer to declare that the Flight took place on Friday, July 16th,

1822. The years of the Hijra are Lunar years, each of

which has nearly 11 days less than the solar year. The Hijra's course is divided into cycles of 30 years, of which 19 are common years, each one being composed of 354 days, and it intercalary years, which have 355 days each. The ist, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and with months of the Lunar year have each 30 days, and the other six months of the year have 29 days each, except in an intercalary year, when the twelfth month has a thirtieth day. The eleven intercalary years are the 2nd, 5th, 7th, ioth, 13th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 26th, and 29th of each cycle of 30 years. The average length of a year is taken at 354;; days, the twelfth part of which is 2958), thus approaching nearly to the true lunation, there being (as is asserted) a difference of but 3 seconds of time, which will not amount to a day in less than 2, 260 years. The months of this era, like ours, consist of weeks, each day of which begins in the evening after sunset, and is termed by the Catholic Church ferial ; thus our Sunday is the first feria of the Muḥammadan week, and our Saturday the seventh feria,


632. The Khalifa Abû Bakr. The death of

Muḥammad the Prophet took place on 8th

June, A.D. 632. 634. The Khalifa 'Omar. 640. 'Amr ibn al-'Âși conquers Egypt. 'Amr began his

expedition against Egypt with about 4,000 men,
but the Khalifa Omar sent him reinforcements,
and by the time the famous general arrived at
‘Arish his army numbered 16,000 men. Having
vanquished the garrison at Pelusium, he marched
along the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, and passed
by way of Bubastis to Heliopolis. A truce of four
days was obtained for George, the Muķawķis,
the governor of Upper Egypt, by the Coptic
Patriarch Benjamin, and it seems that the Egyp-
tian official, who was a Jacobite Copt, and a hater
of the ruling class in Egypt, greatly aided the
Arab general. The Arabs moved on towards
Memphis, and soon after, under Zubêr, 'Amr's
colleague, made a general assault upon the fortress
of Babylon, scaled the walls, and so became masters
of the capital of Upper Egypt. George, the
Muķawķis, arranged the details of the capitulation,
and a capitation tax of two dînârs for every male
adult, besides other payments. 'Amr then marched
on Alexandria, and as the Greeks took to their
ships and fled, George, the Muķawķis, who had
gone to Alexandria after the fall of Babylon, offered
to capitulate on the same terms as he had made
for that city. 'Amr returned to Memphis, and
made the head-quarters of the army at Fustat,
near which the modern town of Cairo has grown
'Amr refused to possess

himself of any land, and he was not even given a site whereon to build a house. One of his most useful works was to re

A.D. open the old canal which ran from Belbês through 640. the Wâdi Tůmilât to the Bitter Lakes, and thence

to the Red Sea ; by this means it was possible to convey corn which had been loaded into ships at Memphis from that city into Yenbô, the port of Madina in Arabia, without transhipment. This canal was in use for about eighty years, when it became silted up. After the second siege of Alexandria (A.D. 664) the Arabs made Fusțâț the capital of Egypt. Mr. Butler has proved that AlMuķawķis is no other than Cyrus, who was appointed Patriarch and Governor of Alexandria by Heraclius after the recovery of Egypt from the

Persians. 644. 'Othmân. The governor of Egypt was 'Abd-Allâh

ibn Sa'ad. 656. 'Ali.


Who lived at Al-Fusțâț.
661. Mu'awiya.
680. Yazid I.
683. Marwan I.
685. 'Abd al-Malik.
705. Al-Walid I.
715. Sulêmân.
717. 'Omar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz,
720. Yazid II.
724. Hisham.
742. Al-Walid II.
744. Yazid III.

Marwân II., the last of the 'Ummayyad dynasty,

was put to death in Egypt.


II. THE 'ABBÂSID KHALIFAS (Who lived at Hamra al-ķușwâ near al-Fusțâț). 750. As-Saffâh. 754. Al-Manşûr. 775. Al-Mahdi. 785. Al-Hâdi. 786. Hârûn ar-Rashid. 809. Al-Amin. 813. Al-Ma'mûn. He visited Egypt and opened the

Great Pyramid. 833. Al-Mu'tasim. 842. Al-Wathiķ 847. Al-Mutawakkil. 861. Al-Muntașir. 862. Al-Mustaʻin. 866. Al-Mu'tazz.

III. TÜLÛNID KHALIFAS. (This Dynasty lasted 37 years and 4 months.) 868. Ahmad ibn Tûlûn was born in 835, and came to

Egypt in 868; he died in 884. He was a man of considerable learning, and was renowned for his knowledge of Arabic grammar and literature; his power of work was great, and he was just as well as generous. He arrived in Egypt a poor man, and when he died he left behind him a sum of money equal to £2,500,000, and yet he never increased the taxes

He crushed three rebellions in Egypt, conquered Mesopotamia, and made Egypt

on the people.

« PreviousContinue »