Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.
its Remains, 2 vols, 1849.) The author’s account of the fall of Nineveh, based on that of Diodorus Siculus, is not in accordance with the conclusions of the best modern authorities.  The destruction of the city in or about 606 B.C. was really effected some years after the death of Sardanapalus (Assur-banipal), in 625 B.C., by Nabopolassar (Nabupal-uzur), the rebel viceroy of Babylon, in alliance with Necho of Egypt, Cyaxares of Media, and the King of Armenia.  The Assyrian monarch who perished in the assault was not Sardanapalus (Assur-banipal), but his son Assur-ebel-ili, or, according to Professor Sayce, a king called Saracus, After the destruction of Nineveh, Babylon became the capital of the Mesopotamian empire, and under Nebuchadrezzar (Nebuchadnezzar), son of Nabopolassar, who came to the throne in 604 B.C., attained the height of glory and renown.  It was occupied by Cyrus in 539 B.C., and decayed gradually, but was still a place of importance in the time of Alexander the Great.  The eponymous hero, Ninus, is of course purely mythical.  The results of modern research will be found in the Encycl.  Brit., 11th ed., 1910, in the articles ‘Babylon’ (Sayce), ‘Babylonia and Assyria’ (Sayce and Jastrow), and ‘Nineveh’ (Johns).  See also, ibid., ‘Cyrus’ (Meyer).

6.  Kanauj, now in the Farrukhabad district of the United Provinces, was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in January, A.D. 1019.  The name of Mahmud’s capital may be spelled Ghaznih, Ghazni, or Ghaznin.  (Raverty, in J.A.S.B., Part I, vol. lxi (1892), p. 156, note.)

7.  ‘Pan’, the well-known Indian condiment (ante, chapter 29, note 10).  ‘Opera girls’ is a rather whimsical rendering of the more usual phrase ‘nach (nautch) girls’, or ‘dancing girls’.  The traditional numbers cited must not be accepted as historical facts.  See V. A. Smith, ‘The History of the City of Kanauj’ (J.R.A.S., 1908, pp. 767-93).

8.  This statement is too general.  Benares, Allahabad (Prayag), and many other important Hindoo cities, were never deserted, and continued to be populous through all vicissitudes.  It is true that in most places the principal temples were desecrated or destroyed, and were frequently converted into mosques.

9.  The statement is much exaggerated.  The Hindoo Rajas who paid tribute to the Sultans of Delhi often maintained considerable courts in populous towns.

10.  This proposition, which is not true of Southern India at all, applies only to secular buildings in Northern India.  The temples of Khajuraho, Mount Abu, and numberless other places, equal in magnificence the architecture of the Muhammadans, or, indeed, that of any people in the world.

11.  The anthor’s remarks seem likely to convey wrong notions.  Very few of the capitals of the Muhammadan viceroys and governors were new foundations.  Nearly all of them were ancient Hindoo towns adopted as convenient official residences, and enlarged and beautified by the new rulers, much of the old beauties being at the same time destroyed.  Fyzabad certainly was a new foundation of the Nawab Wazirs of Oudh, but it lies so close to the extremely ancient city of Ajodhya that it should rather be regarded as a Muhammadan extension of that city.  Lucknow occupies the site of a Hindoo city of great antiquity.

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