THE ISSUE OF CONQUEST

Battle of Somah (1836)

A British-Indian force attacks the Ghazni fort during the First Afghan War, 1839

After 1840, the Islamic world split in two: one came under direct European domination, while the other was subject to indirect control exerted through the state apparatus and the protection systems.

European military superiority was assured, thanks to increasingly efficient armaments and improved modes of organization. Yet things were no easier. The Muslim societies being conquered resisted with a desperate energy, which turned the colonial wars into wars of terror. The final phase of the conquest of Algeria, which French painters illustrated with fiery canvases, was therefore a war of destruction. To destroy Abd al-Qadir’s emerging state, the French army ruthlessly ravaged the Algerian countryside, destroying villages, setting fire to crops and granaries, and making multiple exactions, which were denounced in vain by European, especially British, philanthropists. The French authorities denied these accusations while acknowledging sotto voce that it was not possible to be both a conqueror and a philanthropist. The human cost of the conquest was particularly high, confirming the enduring difference between European wars—which became civilized by adopting customary laws seeking to limit the toll of violence to combatants—and colonial wars, which no longer had any limits because the enemy was defined as uncivilized by nature and hence unprotected by the mechanisms limiting the effects of violence. The native peoples became the guilty party in the violence perpetrated against them, since their resistance required that they be treated in a regrettable manner.

The same was true for the Russian penetration into the Caucasus, where the Russian armies met with the fierce resistance of the Muslim mountain dwellers, assembled into Sufi brotherhoods. The Muslims acquired a brilliant war chief, Imam Shamil, who led the fight for several decades. Russian military losses were terribly high, while in many of the episodes Russian violence veered toward extermination pure and simple. Nineteenth-century Russian literature, from Pushkin to Tolstoy, bears witness to these Caucasian Wars. Muslim Caucasians by the thousands found refuge in the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, the Russian advance into Siberia made the tsarist empire the close neighbor of the central Asian khanates. Encroachments immediately turned into conquests. But the Asians fought off the Russians in 1840 during their attempts to seize Khiva.

In India, the British, grown confident by the easy conquest of the majority of the subcontinent, underestimated the force of resistance of the mountain-dwelling Muslim populations in the northwest. Obsessed with the Russian threat that had materialized in central Asia, they decided to fend it off by taking control of Afghanistan. In 1838, a naval demonstration in the Gulf forced Persia to abandon any attempt at conquering (or recovering) the province of Herat. Great Britain sent in an invasion force in 1839 and seized Kabul without great difficulty, installing a sovereign under the British protectorate. It quickly became apparent that the British garrison of Kabul was isolated in a hostile region, which sank into rebellion in autumn 1840. In November 1841, the insurrection reached the capital, where the garrison became trapped. After futile and complicated negotiations, the British army evacuated the city under the worst possible conditions in early January 1842. The retreat turned into a rout, leading to thousands of dead among the British and Indian soldiers, and among the civilians accompanying them. After that disaster, the other British forces of Afghanistan engaged in terrible reprisals on the Afghan population before retreating to India.

The disaster of the first Anglo-Afghan war was partly offset in the following years by the conquest of Punjab and Sind. The last independent Indian states had managed to establish military discipline equivalent to that of the Europeans, but the British now possessed the technology for greatly superior armaments. As a result, the notorious northwestern border was established, with practically independent tribal territories and the policing operations of the Indian army. The Russian threat remained a permanent concern and influenced Afghanistan’s fate. Again in 1856, the British prevented the Persians from seizing the region of Herat.

The tsarist armies, in possession of superior means, continued their advance into central Asia. The conquest took another quarter century, but Tashkent fell on June 7, 1865. Planning to create a vassal state of Russia, the tsar decided to annex the region in 1866. The following year, it became the government-general of Turkestan. The khanate of Bukhara became a vassal state in 1868, Khiva in 1873, and the khanate of Kokand was annexed in 1876, becoming the province of Fergana. Turkmenistan was the next milestone, and the conquest was completed in 1884.

Unlike those of the Caucasus, the wars in central Asia were not very bloody. The Muslim states, weakened by internal conflicts, did not have significant military means, and the Russians had the intelligence to respect local mores and customs. At least initially, they did not seek to interfere in the internal affairs of the population.

In addition to the difficulties encountered by the conquest when it faced an unyielding population, there was the permanent risk of revolt, the most representative of these being the revolt of the sepoys of 1857, the “Great Rebellion.” The immediate pretext was the introduction of modern weapons that required their users to come in contact with fats considered to be of impure origin (beef fat for the Hindus, pork fat for the Muslims). The movement was a vast protest against the impact of colonialism, experienced as a threat to their religion and mode of life, especially since the colonial government had entered a phase of technocratic reforms. The European presence was seen primarily as a form of pollution. The movement, which began in Bengal, extended to northern India and sought to rally behind it the traditional authorities, including the last representative of the Mogul dynasty. It did not manage to find true leaders or a centralized leadership. Muslims and Hindus participated equally in the insurrection. A large part of the urban and rural world joined in. The rebels systematically massacred Europeans, including women and children. The repression was terrible. In addition to engaging in battles in which they took no prisoners, the British columns systematically burned villages and massacred the male population, to instill lasting fear. The British army made rape a regular practice. (For the rebels, rape was a sin for the one committing it and not for the victim.) The human losses counted in the hundreds of thousands. The use of terror followed the logic of deterrence, revenge, and a sense of racial superiority to be reestablished.

The British victory can be attributed first and foremost to tools emerging from the industrial revolution: steam-powered riverboats, the electric telegraph, the beginnings of a railroad network. The central years of the nineteenth century (1840–1860) witnessed the establishment of European domination, now founded on the technological progress under way and no longer merely on the capacity to mobilize resources, as in the late eighteenth century. Without that transformation, it is likely that the British would have been expelled from India.

From that time on, they isolated themselves even more from Indian society. All-white troops were maintained permanently, with a monopoly on artillery. The British preserved the princely Indian states to earn their goodwill. The East India Company was abolished in 1857, along with the fiction of continuity with the Mogul Empire.

Beyond their impact on literature and art, the violence that characterized the wars in Algeria, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan would leave lasting marks. A century and a half later, these fractures and wounds can still be found in relations between the Muslim world and Europe.

The combined role of archaic social structures (tribes, brotherhoods)—which the social transformations under way in the great Muslim states did not destroy—the bellicose traditions of peoples who refused to be subjected to a tax-imposing and oppressive state, and the terrain and climate, inhospitable to the European invaders, allows us to better understand the scope of that resistance. It took the form of a local jihad conducted by war chiefs, who emerged during the first battles. The modern Muslim state seemed much more vulnerable and yet, in bowing to indirect control, it managed to endure by learning to change. The resistance of the archaic societies facilitated that task, since, by virtue of its costs, that resistance tended to deter adventures of conquest.

War favored the acquisition of knowledge. The military needed interpreters, the first mediators with the conquered population, but these intermediaries sometimes proved inadequate. In the Algeria of the conquest, “Arab bureaus” were established, instruments for administering and learning about the indigenous society, whose structures had to be identified and the legal rules governing it defined. A culture of officers and administrators of “native affairs” was thus set in place. Orientalists were called on to assist in translating the classics of Muslim law or the discourse that Muslim societies elaborated about themselves. Ibn Khaldn was therefore translated into the European languages, since he provided an explanation for the tribal and clan system and its role in history.

The constitution of a colonial science followed. It had practical and concrete aims but tended to archaize the societies, both by referring to bodies of law several centuries old, which were once again applied, and by projecting a European medieval image on the conquered peoples. In the imaginations of the conquerors, tribal and brotherhood chiefs from Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and the Maghreb were the counterparts of the feudal grandees of Europe between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries. Until the end of colonization, the colonials paradoxically aspired to be the bearers of civilization and progress, yet at the same time they were resistant to that progress, rediscovering with pleasure, in the conquered East, the world that no longer existed in Europe.

Even as European society became more democratic, increasingly leveling social conditions and continuously expanding political participation, the colonizers’ values became more regressive. In the colonial world as in the vanishing Old Regimes, everyone had to know his place: the colonial master had to be just and the native loyal, touchstone values that were no longer current in the Europe of the industrial revolution. Victorian England, where the medieval frame of reference became omnipresent precisely because that society had become urban and industrial, moved the furthest in that direction. France, more bourgeois and more rural, identified to a greater extent with Rome. The ideologues of the French Revolution had had the Germanic invasions in mind, whereas those of the conquest of Algeria saw it as a new Gaul, which French civilization would Romanize.

By the 1850s, the medieval frame of reference proposing ethnic separation had become dominant in English policy, with a vindication of the archaic rebels’ premodern authenticity. The French, by contrast, were oriented toward a notion of Romanization, that is, of assimilation. But they did not have the capacity to realize their program fully, creating instead the monstrosity that was colonial Algeria, both a part of the metropolis and a realm where the laws of conquest were applied with extraordinary severity. With the formation of a European settlement colony and the concerted repression of the native population, the old schema of the struggle between the races, beloved of European historiography in the previous centuries, found its most absolute realization, just as the British presence in India perfectly expressed the concept of military despotism.

The fate of the Muslim Mediterranean was thus clearly defined in the mid-nineteenth century. It consisted, first, of a Balkan peninsula, where the nationality principle took root to the benefit of the Christian populations; second, of North Africa, destined to fall completely under the yoke of direct colonial domination; and third, of a central Arab-Anatolian entity that would preserve its nominal independence but that it would be imperative to reform.

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BURGUNDIANS IN THE 100-YEARS’ WAR

Burgundian archers and handgunner, Hundred Years War.

Jean de Vergy, Marshal of Burgundy at the Siege of Vellexon, Hundred Years War.

One of the political factions that fought the FRENCH CIVIL WAR, the Burgundian party comprised adherents of the dukes of BURGUNDY, particularly those supporting the political supremacy of JOHN THE FEARLESS between 1404 and 1419. The Burgundians were opposed by the ARMAGNACS, a faction derived from supporters of LOUIS, DUKE OF ORLEANS, chief rival of the dukes of Burgundy for paramount influence within the royal government. After 1420, the ANGLO-BURGUNDIAN ALLIANCE created by the Treaty of TROYES fostered development of an independent Burgundy and maintained Lancastrian rule in NORMANDY and northern France for two decades.

PHILIP THE BOLD, first VALOIS duke of Burgundy, became a dominant figure in the royal government in 1380, when his nephew CHARLES VI ascended the throne. Following the onset of the king’s schizophrenia in 1392, the duke filled the royal administration with men devoted to his interests. Although Burgundy’s position was increasingly challenged by LOUIS, DUKE OF ORLEANS, Charles’s younger brother, the dukes’ rivalry did not become violent until after Burgundy’s death in 1404. Because John, the new duke of Burgundy, lacked his father’s experience and authority, Orléans, in alliance with Queen ISABEAU, was able to frustrate many of his rival’s plans and ambitions. In consequence, Burgundy arranged Orleans’s murder in November 1407. In early 1408, Burgundy, taking advantage of the king’s mental instability, returned to court, where he issued the JUSTIFICATION OF THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, a document that, by way of condoning Burgundy’s action, brazenly detailed the many alleged crimes and enormities of Orleans. When public opinion largely accepted the Justification, Burgundy quickly established his dominance over the court, and, by 1409, the Burgundians enjoyed a near monopoly of power.

Civil war began in 1410, as the Armagnacs-the name given to supporters of CHARLES, DUKE OF ORLEANS, and his father-in-law, BERNARD, COUNT OF ARMAGNAC-besieged the capital. Because he controlled the royal person, Burgundy was able to portray himself as the king’s lieutenant and his opponents as rebels and traitors. In 1411-12, both Burgundy and the Armagnacs sought military assistance from HENRY IV of England. Although an expedition led by THOMAS, DUKE OF CLARENCE, landed in 1412 in accordance with the Anglo-Armagnac Treaty of BOURGES, Burgundy used his control of the government to raise an army under royal authority and force the Armagnacs to repudiate the agreement. In 1413, the dauphin, LOUIS, DUKE OF GUIENNE, attempted to form a royalist party capable of reconciling the factions, while members of the ESTATES-GENERAL leveled charges of corruption against the Burgundian administration. In response, Burgundy, who was popular in PARIS, instigated a riot by his supporters in the city. Led by a member of the butchers’ guild named Simon Caboche, the rioters, who thus became known as CABOCHIENS, rampaged through Paris on 28 April, seizing or killing the dauphin’s officers. Moving quickly beyond the duke’s control, the Cabochien uprising became a reign of terror that alienated many Parisians, who turned to the dauphin and the Armagnacs for deliverance. In August, Burgundy fled the capital, leaving the king and the government to his rivals.

Excluded from power, Burgundy withdrew to his domains until 1418, taking no part in the interval in negotiations with HENRY V, in the AGINCOURT campaign, or in the defense of Normandy and ROUEN. Anxious only to regain power in Paris, Burgundy supported the queen when she fled the capital in 1417 after quarreling with her surviving son Charles, who was now dauphin and nominal leader of the Armagnacs. In May 1418, an uprising in Paris overthrew the Armagnac regime, forcing the dauphin to flee and allowing Burgundy and his adherents to resume control of both king and government. Believing he could dominate the dauphin, who was young and inexperienced, Burgundy sought some accommodation whereby he could eliminate the Armagnacs, unite the kingdom, and expel the English. However, when the two parties met at MONTEREAU in September 1419, old servants of Orléans in the dauphin’s entourage avenged their late master by murdering Burgundy.

Since no accommodation was possible with his father’s killer, PHILIP THE GOOD, the new duke of Burgundy, allied himself with Henry V in 1420. By accepting the Treaty of Troyes, Philip recognized Henry as regent and heir to the French throne. Although the royal administration remained largely in Burgundian hands, the Crown itself was pledged to the House of LANCASTER. After the deaths of Henry V and Charles VI in 1422, Burgundy took little direct part in English efforts to defend HENRY VI’s rights against the dauphin and his party, which was now essentially an amalgam of Armagnacs and others who supported the continuance of Valois rule. Rather than pursue his father’s dream of ruling in Paris, Burgundy concentrated on consolidating his holdings in France and on expanding his territory in the Low Countries, efforts that made the state of Burgundy a power in northwestern Europe and turned the one-time Burgundian faction into the administration of an independent principality. In 1435, the duke abandoned the Anglo-Burgundian alliance at the Congress of ARRAS, thus allowing the dauphin, now CHARLES VII, to enter Paris in 1436 and finally end the factional divisions of the civil war.

BURGUNDY

In the fourteenth century, the term “Burgundy” referred both to a duchy of eastern France owning homage to the French king and to a county across the Saône owing homage to the German emperor. In 1363, the duchy of Burgundy became a VALOIS APPANAGE, which, in the fifteenth century, became the center of an autonomous principality that also encompassed the county of Burgundy, other lordships in northern and eastern France, and most of the Low Countries. This accumulation of territory allowed the fifteenth-century dukes of Burgundy to play a central role in both the FRENCH CIVIL WAR and the HUNDRED YEARS WAR.

Until 1361, the duchy of Burgundy was ruled by a cadet branch of the House of CAPET. Upon the death in that year of Philip de Rouvre, the last Capetian duke, the duchy passed to JOHN II, who granted it to his youngest son, PHILIP THE BOLD, in 1363. CHARLES V enabled his brother to expand his holdings by arranging for Philip to marry MARGUERITE DE FLANDERS, the only child of LOUIS DE MALE, count of FLANDERS. Besides her father’s provinces of Flanders, Nevers, and Rethel, which she inherited in 1384, Marguerite was her grandmother’s heir to Artois and to the county of Burgundy (the Franche-Comté), which she inherited in 1382. Through her mother, Marguerite also had a claim to Brabant, although this duchy did not come to the dukes of Burgundy until 1430. Ruling both his own and his wife’s territories, Philip, thanks to the mental illness of his nephew, CHARLES VI, also dominated the French government after 1392. Following Philip’s death in 1404 and Marguerite’s in 1405, their eldest son, JOHN THE FEARLESS, inherited his parents’ lands and his father’s political rivalry with LOUIS, DUKE OF ORLEANS, the king’s brother. Descending to violence, this rivalry led in 1407 to the murder of Orléans by assassins hired by Burgundy and to the development of the BURGUNDIAN and ARMAGNAC (Orléanist) factions, whose struggle for political dominance in PARIS led after 1410 to eruption of the French civil war.

Expelled from Paris in 1413, Burgundy did not fight at AGINCOURT in 1415 and took no part in defending NORMANDY against HENRY V, preferring to concentrate on overthrowing the Armagnac regime in Paris, which he did in 1418. On 10 September 1419, partisans of the dauphin, who was nominal head of the Armagnacs, murdered Burgundy during a peace conference on the bridge at MONTEREAU. Rejecting any agreement with his father’s murderers, the new duke, PHILIP THE GOOD, allied himself with Henry V, whom, through acceptance of the Treaty of TROYES, he recognized as heir to the French throne. Establishment of an Anglo-Burgundian government in Paris allowed Philip to consolidate his holdings in France and to enlarge his territories in the Low Countries. By 1440, Namur, Brabant, Luxembourg, Holland, Zeeland, and Hainault had all been incorporated into the Burgundian state, which, thanks to the weakness of the French monarchy, was now effectively independent.

However, despite the ANGLO-BURGUNDIAN ALLIANCE, Philip provided little military assistance to the English, and in 1435 abandoned his allies at the Congress of ARRAS, where the dauphin, now CHARLES VII, agreed to exempt the duke from paying homage for his French fiefs and to send a courtier to apologize on the king’s behalf for the murder at Montereau. Although Burgundy remained a culturally influential state, particularly in terms of music, art, and literature, the reconciliation effectively ended Burgundian involvement in the Hundred Years War or in royal administration. The expulsion of the English from France in 1453 and the subsequent revival of French royal authority gradually reduced the ability of the dukes to thwart French designs on Burgundy. After Philip’s son, Charles the Bold, died without male heirs in 1477, the duchy of Burgundy was eventually reincorporated into the kingdom of France.

ANGLO-BURGUNDIAN ALLIANCE (1420-1435)

Made possible by the murder of JOHN THE FEARLESS, duke of BURGUNDY, in 1419, and formalized by the Treaty of TROYES in 1420, the Anglo-Burgundian alliance established a joint administration in PARIS, recognized Lancastrian succession to the French throne, permitted the growth and maintenance of a Lancastrian state in northern France, and fostered the development of an independent polity in territories controlled by PHILIP THE GOOD, duke of Burgundy. Created by HENRY V’s claim to rule France and by Burgundy’s desire to avenge his father’s murder, the alliance was maintained after Henry’s death by the personal relationship of Burgundy and JOHN, DUKE OF BEDFORD, who were linked by the latter’s marriage to the former’s sister, ANNE OF BURGUNDY, duchess of Bedford. The alliance ended in 1435, when Burgundy realized that his desire to exercise paramount influence in the French government was better served by recognizing a VALOIS rather than a Lancastrian monarch.

Although uncomfortable with an English king of France, Burgundy could not acknowledge the dauphin as such after the dauphin’s servants treacherously slew Burgundy’s father during a peace conference at MONTEREAU in September 1419. The duke thus became party to the Troyes agreement, whereby he recognized Henry V as heir to the French throne and regent of France for the remainder of CHARLES VI’s reign. Henry agreed to exercise his authority in consultation with the duke, and Burgundian officials, who had controlled the royal administration since 1418, were retained in office. Henry also promised not to interfere in those French provinces ruled directly by the duke, including FLANDERS, Artois, Rethel, Nevers, Charolais, Boulogne, and the duchy of Burgundy. By thus transforming one party in the FRENCH CIVIL WAR from a potential foe into an active ally, Henry was able to win power and territory in a divided France. Although, in practice, the duke took little direct part in the ongoing war between the English and the dauphinists, his alliance with the House of LANCASTER denied the dauphin access to Paris and to the allegiance, wealth, and manpower of a significant part of France. The alliance thus became vital to the maintenance of Lancastrian rule, especially after 1422 when the infant HENRY VI succeeded his father and grandfather on the English and French thrones.

Upon his brother’s death, Bedford became regent of France when Burgundy, still unwilling to be too closely associated with a Lancastrian regime, refused the office. In 1423, Bedford fortified the Anglo-Burgundian alliance by concluding the Treaty of AMIENS, a tripartite defensive agreement whereby Bedford, Burgundy, and JOHN V, duke of BRITTANY, recognized Henry VI as king of France and pledged to aid one another against the dauphin. The treaty also arranged Bedford’s marriage to Burgundy’s sister, whose influence over both men became vital to the maintenance of good relations. Anne’s mediation was particularly important in the mid-1420s, when HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, Bedford’s brother, made an impolitic attempt to enforce his wife’s rights in Holland, Zeeland, and Hainault, thus threatening Burgundy’s ambitions in the Low Countries. In 1432, Anne’s death snapped the personal link between the dukes, and Bedford’s remarriage to Jacquetta of Luxembourg five months later offended Burgundy, whose interests were, in any event, beginning to diverge from those of his ally.

By 1433, Burgundy, whose contacts with the dauphin (now crowned as CHARLES VII) were never completely broken, began exploring the possibility of a Franco-Burgundian reconciliation. While the Lancastrians, particularly since the advent of JOAN OF ARC in 1429, were becoming increasingly dependent on the Burgundian alliance, Burgundy was becoming increasingly disillusioned by his inability to dominate the French administration and fearful that continuance of the war would diminish his popularity in Paris. Believing that Charles was weak and controllable, the duke sought honorable means to end the English alliance. Such means were provided by Nicholas Rolin, the Burgundian chancellor, who argued that since Henry V had predeceased Charles VI and had thus not actually assumed the French Crown, Henry VI could not inherit something his father had never held. With Charles eager for reconciliation, Burgundy agreed to the convening of the Congress of ARRAS, an all-party peace conference from which the English withdrew when they realized that its true purpose was the conclusion of a Franco-Burgundian accord. Under the Treaty of Arras, signed on 20 September 1435, one week after Bedford’s death, Charles recognized all grants of territory made to Burgundy by the English, exempted Burgundy from paying homage for his French lands during Charles’s lifetime, and humbly apologized for the murder of Burgundy’s father. With this agreement, the Anglo-Burgundian alliance was terminated chancellor, who argued that since Henry V had predeceased Charles VI and had thus not actually assumed the French Crown, Henry VI could not inherit something his father had never held. With Charles eager for reconciliation, Burgundy agreed to the convening of the Congress of ARRAS, an all-party peace conference from which the English withdrew when they realized that its true purpose was the conclusion of a Franco-Burgundian accord. Under the Treaty of Arras, signed on 20 September 1435, one week after Bedford’s death, Charles recognized all grants of territory made to Burgundy by the English, exempted Burgundy from paying homage for his French lands during Charles’s lifetime, and humbly apologized for the murder of Burgundy’s father. With this agreement, the Anglo-Burgundian alliance was terminated

Further Reading: Perroy, Edouard. The Hundred Years War. Trans. W. B. Wells. New York: Capricorn Books, 1965; Vaughan, Richard. John the Fearless. London: Longman, 1979; Vaughan, Richard. Philip the Good: The Apogee of Burgundy. Woodbridge, England: Boydell Press, 2002. Vaughan, Richard. Philip the Bold: The Formation of the Burgundian State. Woodbridge, England: Boydell Press, 2002; Vaughan, Richard. Valois Burgundy. London: Archon, 1975. Williams, E. Carleton. My Lord of Bedford, 1389-1435. London: Longmans, 1963.

Palestinians

The fighting that ended in 1949 erased Palestine from the map and destroyed Palestinian society. Over 700,000 Palestinians became refugees. Barred from returning to their villages, most of which were soon bulldozed by Israel, Palestinian refugees were dispersed among surrounding Arab countries, with a high proportion going to the West Bank and Gaza. However, new form was given to Palestinian nationalist identity by their common insistence on their right to return. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) played an important role in providing services, especially in education. Set up in 1949 to provide relief services, UNRWA gradually took on more responsibility in the fields of education and health. But the fact that the refugees’ livelihood was basically dependent upon the goodwill of distinct host states resulted also in Palestinian political and social fragmentation. For example, in Lebanon—where some 150,000 Palestinian refugees threatened to upset the delicate population balance on which the governmental system of proportional communal representation was based—more Palestinian Christians were absorbed into Lebanese society than Palestinian Muslims. Proportionately, the Gaza Strip admitted the largest number of refugees: its 80,000 inhabitants, who in 1948 came under Egypt’s military administration, absorbed 200,000 refugees. Only Jordan conferred citizenship upon the refugees: for King Abdullah, gaining control over the important Muslim shrines of Jerusalem’s Old City and bolstering his regional importance fully justified the annexation of the newly carved-out West Bank, refugee camps and all. West Bank resources and manpower tended to promote the development of the East Bank.

In 1964, the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) gave Palestinians a new focus of political identity. Its charter called for a Palestinian Arab state on all the whole of mandate Palestine, describing it as an ‘indivisible territorial unit’ and declaring the establishment of Israel ‘illegal and null and void’. When the PLO was formed at the first Arab summit, many prominent Palestinians participated but they became highly suspicious of the organization’s evident subordination to Egyptian President Nasser. The organization’s effectiveness as a national institution was further curtailed by the opposition of Jordan’s King Husayn, who viewed it as a threat to his claim of sovereignty over the West Bank and its inhabitants. Meanwhile, other Palestinian groups were also organizing themselves with the aim of taking control of their own struggle against Israel. The most important of these groups was Fatah (Arabic for ‘conquest’), founded in Kuwait in 1959 and led by Yasir Arafat.

Arafat’s ability to move the PLO beyond the tutelage of Arab states and take control of the organization as a whole came as a direct result of their defeat in June 1967. The war seriously weakened the hold of Arab states on Palestinian activity, and hurt the legitimacy of the previous PLO leadership. In March 1968, Fatah launched guerrilla operations against the West Bank from bases in Jordanian villages. After an Israeli reprisal attack on the village of Karamah met fierce resistance by the guerrillas, who were supported by the Jordanian army, the battle of Karamah (the name means ‘honour’ or ‘dignity’ in Arabic) became a symbol of heroic resistance. Fatah’s popularity then soared, inspiring a rapid influx of volunteers, donations, and armaments. Wearing his black-and-white chequered keffiyeh (head cloth), Arafat became the public face of the Palestinian guerrilla movement. In 1969 he was elected chairman of the PLO (a position he held until his death in 2004). In 1974, at the Arab summit held in Rabat, the PLO received recognition as the sole representative of the Palestinians. And later that year, Arafat addressed the UN general assembly and the PLO was granted observer status.

Adopting the tone of contemporary radical anti-colonial movements, the 1968 Palestine Charter placed special emphasis on armed struggle as a strategy and not just a tactic and thus as the only way to bring about the liberation of Palestine. It rejected Zionism’s claims on any part of Palestine, acknowledging Judaism only as a religion, not a nationality. The organization’s embrace of armed struggle contributed to mobilizing Palestinians and attracted international attention to their plight. But the PLO was an umbrella organization and Fatah’s role, though dominant, was not uncontested. Given Palestinian dispersal, Arafat preferred to try to bring all factions, some of which had very different agendas, under a big tent rather than place a premium on discipline and obedience. His persistent failure to oppose the more violent approaches embraced by smaller militant groups (such as the terrorist operation against Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the 1985 hijacking of an Italian passenger ship, the Achille Lauro, during which a Jewish American tourist was murdered) tended to undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian movement and solidify the image of Palestinians as terrorists on the world stage. It also brought the organization into conflict with neighbouring host countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. The relationship between Arab governments and Palestinian nationalism was an ever-shifting one: generally, the regimes’ rhetoric espousing the liberation of Palestine was backed up by limited support or a desire to control the movement for their own purposes.

In particular, the relationship between the PLO and Jordan, where Palestinians established bases from which to organize guerrilla armed struggle against Israel, was volatile from the outset. It ended in disaster in 1970 when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a component of the PLO which was determined to overthrow the Hashemite monarchy, staged multiple hijackings of international airline flights. King Husayn declared war on the PLO after accusing it of creating ‘a state within a state’, and killed 3,000 Palestinians in the process. Expelled from Jordan, most PLO guerrillas regrouped in Lebanon, where Arafat soon established a number of social and economic organizations and indeed relocated the entire PLO infrastructure there.

But its presence in Lebanon increasingly threatened the country’s delicate political and demographic balance. When civil war broke out in 1975, Lebanon’s Christian leaders were particularly concerned about the challenge the Palestinian ‘state within a state’ posed to their political dominance. They sought help from Israeli leaders who were equally concerned about the presence of PLO guerrillas on their northern border. In 1982, an assassination attempt on Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom provided the Israeli government with a pretext to invade Lebanon and expel the PLO from its power base in Beirut. In June, Israeli troops pushed up the coastline. They moved deep into Lebanon, occupying the south and then laying siege to the capital. As Beirut came under heavy bombardment, the PLO faced pressure from most Lebanese political parties to leave. In August thousands of Palestinian fighters were forced to evacuate, and the PLO leadership along with many fighters withdrew to Tunisia, Syria, and further afield. The following month, Lebanese Christian militiamen entered the now unarmed Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila and, with the help of the protective presence and night-time flares provided by the surrounding Israeli army, slaughtered thousands, including women and children.

The costs of the war for Lebanon were staggering, and the regional repercussions of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon were also profound. Politically, an important new force emerged in south Lebanon. The predominantly Shi’ite Muslim community had initially welcomed an end to PLO armed operations, which had made the area a dangerous place in which to live. But Shi’ite resentment of Israel intensified as an Israeli occupation in the south took root. Israel had hoped that the expansion of a ‘security zone’ stretching 5 to 25 kilometres inside Lebanon would offer Israel a protective buffer. Instead, it quickly replaced one foe with another. On Israel’s northern frontier, the fight against occupation was now led by the newly established Shi’ite militias Amal and, later, Hizbullah (Party of God). In the struggle for control over their land, Amal and Hizbullah launched violent guerrilla campaigns assisted by Syria and Iran. Israel finally withdrew fifteen years later.

Reverberations of the Lebanon war were also strongly felt in Israel’s domestic politics. The invasion left Israelis deeply divided. As news of the atrocities dominated the headlines, protests against Israel’s role in the Lebanon war mounted, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin faced increasing pressure to form a commission of inquiry to investigate the Sabra and Shatila massacre. The commission called for the dismissal of Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, while public pressure increased on Begin to resign, which he did the following year.

For Palestinians, the fallout from the Lebanon war was also profound. In exile in Tunisia, the PLO leadership now looked out upon a very different political landscape. With very little to show for eighteen years of armed struggle, the focus gradually shifted to the pursuit of diplomatic initiatives. A new strategy developed, involving recognition of the existence of the Israeli state and envisaging a redefinition of a state of Palestine based on the West Bank and Gaza, and not on the whole of the post-First World War mandate territory. However, shifts in international relations at this time, in particular the end of the Cold War, threatened to lessen dramatically the PLO’s significance as well as its cause. Confined to Tunis, the PLO’s central leadership drifted, until thrown a lifeline by the 1987 uprising against the Israeli occupation, known as the intifada.

Following the failure of diplomatic efforts in the wake of the 1982 Lebanon war, the 1987 Palestinian intifada (which means ‘shaking off’ in Arabic) carried the conflict back into the spotlight of the international arena. Television images of Palestinian youths armed with slingshots facing off against Israeli tanks upended common international perceptions of a David and Goliath conflict. The intifada also fundamentally transformed political equations on the ground. More than a venting of anger at the Israeli occupation, the intifada was a powerful expression of the depth of Palestinian nationalism.

As the intifada gathered steam in the late 1980s, the PLO and the Israeli government were both forced to devise appropriate responses. Both had been taken by surprise by the scope and nature of the intifada. The intifada forced and empowered the Arafat leadership in Tunis to develop new diplomatic strategies based on a two-state solution. Eager to capitalize on the political momentum to gain international legitimacy, the PLO in 1988 accepted Resolution 242 and recognized Israel’s right to exist. Israel too was forced to respond to the transformed landscape. Searching for ways to disengage from the direct violence of the intifada, which was increasingly spearheaded by the militant religious group, Hamas, Israel initiated direct talks in 1993 with PLO leaders. After reaching an agreement in secret talks in Oslo, Norway, Israeli and Palestinian dignitaries were invited by US President Bill Clinton to sign the new accords on the White House Lawn. At the time, the event was considered a groundbreaking moment.

PLO leaders living in exile in Tunisia worried about becoming increasingly marginalized. Inside the West Bank and Gaza, the protests comprised all strata of Palestinian society and gave birth to a new, young, and clandestine leadership known as the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU). Though composed of representatives of the main PLO factions, this local leadership encouraged grass-roots initiatives aimed at making the occupation an immoral and unaffordable burden on Israeli society. Popular committees were mobilized to coordinate acts of civil disobedience, including the boycotting of Israeli goods and services and replacing them with those produced through local networks, and to organize daily life with the eventual aim of achieving self-determination. With the political initiative lying firmly in the hands of Palestinian leaders inside the occupied territories, a certain tension emerged between the local leadership and the outside PLO. But the successful coordination of the political goals of the UNLU with those of the PLO provided salvation to its chairman, Yasir Arafat, and his fellow Fatah colleagues. Further validation of Arafat’s role came in July 1988 when King Husayn dropped Jordan’s claims to the West Bank.

However, the intifada also gave birth to a religious resistance movement that outright challenged the PLO’s authority. Best known by the acronym Hamas (Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Resistance Movement), which means ‘zeal’ in Arabic, this movement was an offshoot of the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood had long been involved in religious missionary activities. When the intifada erupted, younger, university-educated leaders in the movement feared that it would lose support if it did not get involved politically. Initially encouraged by the Israeli government as a counterweight to the PLO, Hamas built on its long record of providing social services in the occupied territories and gained widespread popularity during the intifada. It vehemently opposed the PLO’s willingness to compromise on the partition of historic Palestine. Hamas’s platform sacralized the whole of what had been mandate Palestine, calling for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a ‘state of Islam’. Crude and simplistic as its initial charter was, the movement’s popularity, and its ability to mobilize an effective network of institutions, posed a real challenge to Fatah’s authority.

For Israel, the impact of this rapidly changing political landscape was profound. Israel’s eventual success in arresting many of the UNLU leaders led to the gradual disintegration of the grass-roots networks, but not before their civil disobedience campaigns had effectively convinced many Israelis that the occupied territories could no longer be considered a secure economic or even defensive asset. The Israeli state’s initial decision to use the brutal force of an ‘iron fist’ to crush the intifada had only fuelled further rebellion while tarnishing the state’s reputation abroad as well as at home. Israelis became convinced that the status quo was both morally and practically untenable, and increasing numbers began to pressure their government to extricate itself from the occupied territories.

A further push towards some kind of political reconciliation was spurred on by Iraq’s 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait. US forces, supported by a multilateral coalition that included many Arab countries, had little difficulty dislodging Iraq’s forces from Kuwait. During the war itself, however, Iraq launched scud missiles against Israeli cities, hoping to break up the coalition. These missiles, which Israel feared were equipped with chemical warheads, exposed Israelis to new threats and vulnerabilities, against which control over the West Bank and Gaza offered little defence. Furthermore, the war against Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait generated growing calls that the United States also bring an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinians. Indeed, following its 1991 victory in the Gulf War, the United States moved quickly to convene an international peace conference in Madrid in which all the states of the region participated (without the PLO). The Gulf War had in fact greatly weakened the position of the PLO. Arafat’s decision to side with Iraq dictator Saddam Husayn left him isolated diplomatically and financially cut off from further contributions from oil-rich Gulf countries: the PLO lost subsidies that it had previously received from the Kuwaiti and Saudi governments, and over 300,000 Palestinians resident in Kuwait lost their homes and their livelihoods. Israel effectively barred PLO officials from attending the Madrid conference but negotiators from the West Bank and Gaza nonetheless participated under the PLO’s authority. They gave by far the most eloquent speeches. Not only were Palestinian demands framed in reasonable terms, they were presented face to face to Israeli leaders for the first time. The Madrid talks otherwise achieved little of substance beyond securing a commitment from all parties to support an ongoing framework of bilateral negotiations. With the exception of the Israel–Jordan talks, which led successfully in 1994 to a peace treaty, the bilateral negotiations soon became stalemated. In these post-Madrid meetings, the main sticking point was Israeli settlement policies. The Palestinian delegation led by the ‘insiders’—leaders who lived and worked in the occupied territories—insisted on a settlement freeze.

The intifada’s operations against the Israeli occupation continued after Madrid. Yet they seemed to become more fragmented, more militarized, and increasingly overshadowed by internecine fighting. Then suddenly, in late August 1993, it was disclosed that a small team of individuals representing the PLO and the Israeli government had reached an agreement, while meeting in complete secrecy in Oslo, Norway. The whole world—including Palestinian and Israeli delegates in Washington who were gearing up for yet another round of Madrid talks—was astonished.

NABOPOLASSAR AND NEBUCHADREZZAR

Babylonian Soldier.

Nabopolassar (Nabu-apal-usur, i.e. “Nabu protect the heir”), according to the Ptolemaic canon, reigned from 625 b.c. (the date of his accession thus being 626) until 605b.c., in which year he died, shortly before the victory won by his son Nebuchadrezzar over the Egyptians at Carchemish, having been in ill health before Nebuchadrezzar started for Syria. We have seen how immediately upon his accession to the throne of the Pharaohs, Neku II profited by the impotence of the Assyrian kingdom, which was enfeebled to the last degree by long years of Scythian incursions, to penetrate into the Hamath district.

[He encountered the army of Judah at Meggido—the same historical locality where, a thousand years before, Tehutimes III had vanquished the combined forces of Syria and Phœnicia. The king of Jerusalem was slain on the field, and his army, retreating in terror to the capital, made his young son, Jehoahaz, king, ignoring the claims of Eliakim, the eldest, probably because he was in favour of submitting to Neku. Pharaoh now proceeded, unmolested, to Riblah in Cœle-Syria, where he made his headquarters, and confident in his mastery over Judah, ordered Jehoahaz to appear before him. When the new king arrived he was thrown into chains and Eliakim put in his place under the name of Jehoiakim.]

Neku’s ambition was next directed to the conquest of the whole of northern Syria; a project which he actually accomplished to a great extent during the years 608 to 606, whilst the Babylonians, with their Median allies, were besieging Nineveh. He must certainly have advanced as far as Carchemish, since that was the spot where the Egyptian and Babylonian forces met in 605. The fate of Syria was sealed thereby; it became a province of Babylonia even as it had once been a province of Assyria, and Judah became a vassal kingdom to Babylonia.

Thus Nabopolassar, who died in 605, while his son was on the march for Syria, only just missed the satisfaction of seeing the new kingdom of Babylonia which he had founded enter upon the heritage of the Assyrian Empire, out of which the western province could least of all be spared. He did not see it: instead the news of his father’s death reached the young Nebuchadrezzar (Nabu-kudur-usur, i.e. “Nabu protect the crown”) shortly after the victory of the Egyptians, which decided the fate of Syria for the time being; and leaving his generals to follow up the victory, he had to return to Babylon in hot haste to assume the royal dignity that awaited him. There he received the crown at the hands of the great nobles without encountering any obstacles, and for the long period of his glorious reign, which lasted forty-two years (604-562) he guided the destinies of his country, extended and strengthened its borders, and thus made Babylonia a great power, and Babylon one of the most splendid and illustrious cities of ancient times. If we further take into consideration that it was he who likewise conquered Syria for Babylonia, we cannot but acknowledge his claim to be counted the first ruler who entered upon the full possession of Assyria and consolidated it.

Amid all the many and sometimes detailed inscriptions of Nebuchadrezzar which have been found in the ruins of Babylon and other cities, not one contains any account of his campaigns; but from a passage in the preamble of the great inscription of the kingdom, we see that in spite of his preference for building and other peaceful labours he was a mighty warrior. It runs: “Under his mighty protection (i.e. that of the god Marduk) I have passed through far countries, distant mountains, from the upper sea even to the lower sea (i.e. probably from the Gulf of Issus to the mouth of the Nile) far-reaching ways, closed paths where my step was stayed and my foot could not stand, a road of hardships, a way of thirst; the disobedient I subdued and took the adversaries captive, the land I guided aright, the people I caused to be seized; I carried away the bad and the good among them, silver and gold and precious stones, copper, palm wood and cedar wood, whatsoever was costly, in gorgeous abundance; the products of the mountains and that which the sea yielded, brought I as a gift of great weight, as a rich tribute into my city of Babylon before his (the god’s) face.” And although the different campaigns of which we know are distributed over almost the whole of his long reign, we find mention of only one short war against Aahmes of Egypt in the thirty-seventh year of it.

With regard to these wars, most of them aimed at completing the work begun at the battle of Carchemish, and more particularly at preventing further interference on the part of Egypt, and at banishing her influence completely from Babylonian territory, which had now been extended to her very frontier. It was probably in the third year after Nebuchadrezzar’s battle (therefore in 602b.c.) that Syria was completely incorporated into the Babylonian kingdom, leaving him free to think of displaying his power in the eyes of Jehoiakim, whom Neku had set up as king in Jerusalem, by advancing against him with an army. The desired result promptly followed, and from 601 to 599 Jehoiakim became tributary to the king of the Chaldeans. In the fourth year, 598, the king of Judah withheld the tribute, probably at the instigation of Egypt. When the Babylonians invaded Judah (probably at the beginning of 587) Jehoiakim was just dead; his son Jehoiachin (known also as Jeconiah) was besieged at Jerusalem and, seeing further resistance useless, surrendered to Nebuchadrezzar. He was carried away captive to Babylon with his family and nearly all the princes, warriors, masons, and smiths; but, once there, their lot was no hard one, for they were permitted to settle without molestation and to exercise their own religion. A great number of them lived thus at Tel-Abib (i.e. “heap of ruins”) on the canal Chebar [a canal found near Nippur and now called Kabaru] as we know from the chronicles of Ezekiel, who was one of them. Jerusalem was not destroyed, but Jehoiachin’s kinsman, Mattaniah (another son of Josiah), was set over the few inhabitants that remained there as a vassal of Babylonia, under the new name of Zedekiah (595-587). The newly installed sovereign was a weak man, who by his own good will would have been a loyal vassal; but ultimately in spite of the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah, who fully realised the true state of affairs, he threw in his lot with the war party, who relied on the help of Egypt, and rebelled against Babylonia.

In 589 Psamthek II (Neku’s successor) himself was succeeded by the young and warlike Uah-ab-Ra (the Hophra of the Bible and the Apries of the Greeks), who sent a fleet to the assistance of the Phœnicians in an attempt they made to revolt. Thereupon Nebuchadrezzar marched his troops into Syria and set up his headquarters at Riblah, the old headquarters of Neku, so as to operate from thence against Zedekiah, Tyre, and Pharaoh. How Jerusalem was besieged (589-587) and destroyed, how in the meantime Uah-ab-Ra’s army was vanquished, and how Tyre was then invested (the siege lasting thirteen years) and forced to pay tribute, if no more—all these events are likewise known to us only from other sources than cuneiform inscriptions, and the detailed description of them, at least in so far as they relate to the downfall of the kingdom of Judah, and thus form a part of (not the opening era of) Jewish history, lies ready to every reader’s hand in the books of the Bible of which we have given a brief outline. As for Tyre (after the siege) she remained under the rule of her own kings, though as a vassal to Babylonia. All the worse was the fate which, in 587, overtook Judah, whose hopes had been so cruelly deceived, for not only was the city utterly destroyed (see the moving laments in the so-called Book of Lamentations), and the king, blinded and fettered, carried away into captivity after seeing his sons slain before his face; but with the exception of the poor, the day labourers absolutely necessary for the cultivation of the soil and vineyards, all who had escaped the previous deportation were carried away by the Babylonian king to the “waters of Babylon” (Psalm 137).

[While his soldiers were keeping their long and weary station under the walls of Tyre, Nebuchadrezzar turned his attention to another important matter. Because the people of Judah and Tyre had looked to Egypt for assistance, they had given the Babylonian king much trouble. Egypt, therefore, must suffer for this; so that she would not feel inclined to repeat her action of sending an army to Zedekiah’s aid. A new Egyptian campaign was planned.]

A fragment at the beginning of which a prayer (“Thou destroyest my enemies and makest my heart to rejoice”) was set down, assigns the above-mentioned campaign in Egypt to the year 568 (i.e.the thirty-seventh year of the reign). The passage which refers to it,—“Year 37 of Nebuchadrezzar, king of (Babylonia to the land of) Misir, (i.e. Egypt) to give a battle, he marched and (his troops A-ma)-a-su, the king of Misir assembled and …” leaves no doubt that Aahmes or Amasu is the king here meant, for only the year before, in 569, Aahmes had revolted against Uah-ab-Ra and forced him to recognise him (Aahmes) as co-regent. He soon afterward became sole ruler in Egypt; and, as such, he died in the year 528, shortly before the conquest of Egypt by the Persians. Nebuchadrezzar meanwhile contented himself with humbling the pride of Egypt, and refrained from conquering the country, which even had it been successfully done would but have raised difficulties for the Babylonian kingdom to cope with. His chief aim, to keep Syria and Palestine clear of Egyptian influence, was attained by the campaign.

Of Nebuchadrezzar’s other military expeditions, the one mentioned (Jeremiah xlix. 28-33) against the Bedouins of Kedar and the Arab tribes, which had settled to the east of Palestine, leads us again to the borders of the Occident. The town of Teredon, at the mouth of the Euphrates, was founded at this time as a bulwark against the Bedouins, and by reason of its situation became, like Gerrha, on the Persian Gulf, and Thapsacus, Tiphsah, on the middle Euphrates, a mercantile station of some importance. Not until the time of the New Kingdom of Babylonia did a flourishing trade develop along the Euphrates, with Armenia and the east coast of Arabia for its extreme poles; and from the reign of Nebuchadrezzar dates the part played by Babylon, his capital, as the greatest emporium of the ancient world, and the proverbial meaning which the name of Babylon has retained down to our times, to signify the worst aspects (luxury and license) of a capital city.

From Babylon and the mention of her trade it would be a natural transition to the buildings erected by Nebuchadrezzar, if we were not first bound to mention the northwest and east, which are of extreme importance from an historical point of view, and in which Nebuchadrezzar took the part of a mediator, if no more, between the Medes and the Lydians.

To return to the buildings erected by Nebuchadrezzar, which, up to this time form the subject of nearly all the inscriptions discovered, the latter all show his character in a favourable light. In all we find evidence of the paternal care of a prince zealous for the welfare of his dominions, and of a sincere and heartfelt piety which by no means leaves the impression that it is a mere form of speech. We can listen to his own words prefixed to his account of the buildings he erected and revealing something of his heart.

“Since the Lord, Marduk, created me, and made fair preparation for my birth from the womb, from that time forward, when I was born and created, I have visited the holy places of God, and walked in the ways of God. To Marduk, my Lord, I prayed; I took up my parable in prayer to him, the speech of my heart came (before him) to him I spoke: ‘Eternal, Holy, Lord of all things, for the king, whom thou lovest, whose name thou callest according to thy good pleasure, guide his name well, lead (or guard) him in a straight path. I, the prince, who obeyeth thee, am the work of thy hands, thou didst create me, thou didst commit unto me the royal dominion over the whole people, according to thy grace, O Lord which thou sendest forth upon all. Teach me to love thy august sovereignty, let the fear of thy divinity be in my heart, bestow (upon me) that which is pleasing unto thee, thou who preparest my life.’ Thereupon the Highest, the Glorious, the first among the gods, the august Marduk, heard my supplication and accepted my prayers, he caused his great majesty to rule favourably, he caused the fear of God to abide in my heart, I fear his majesty.” And the conclusion runs: “Babylon, the capital of the land, I established with the hills of the forest. To Marduk, my lord, I prayed and lifted up my hand: ‘Marduk, lord, the first of gods, thou mighty prince, thou hast created me, thou hast committed to me royal dominion over the multitude of the people, I love the majesty of thy courts as my precious life. Save thy city of Babylon. I have made me no other capital out of all inhabited places. As I love the fear of thy divinity and seek thy majesty, so incline graciously to my supplication (literally, to the raising of my hands), hear my prayers. I am the King, the Restorer, who delights thy heart, the zealous ruler, the restorer of all thy cities. At thy command, O merciful Marduk, may the house which I have built endure to all eternity, may I satisfy myself in its abundance. May I come to old age therein, may I satisfy myself with my glory, may I receive the weighty tribute therein from the kings of all regions of the world and from all mankind. From the horizon of the heavens unto the meridian and at (?) the rising sun may I have no enemies nor possess any adversaries (lit. them that put me in fear). May my posterity bear rule therein over the black-headed people to all eternity.’”

Nebuchadrezzar, himself, attached the greatest importance to the restoration of the temples of E-sagila and E-zida, as being the most ancient sanctuaries of Babylon, and in his briefest inscriptions, the stamp-marks on bricks, whether used for the building of these two temples or any other edifice, always had added to his title of king, that of restorer of the temples of E-sagila and E-zida. Of greater interest to us, however, since we can still admire the ruins of it, is a temple which is only briefly referred to in a few words in the long inscription, but of which we have a detailed account in another, shorter inscription, namely, the Temple of the Seven Spheres of Heaven and Earth, which was built in seven stories near (or as a ziggurat of) E-zida at Borsippa.

Babylon the Mighty. Original artwork for cover of Look and Learn no. 1039 (6 February 1982)

But although Nebuchadrezzar devoted most thought to his beloved Babylon (and to Borsippa) he in nowise neglected other seats of worship of the country. The temple of the Sun, at Sippar, the temple of a god as yet unidentified, in the city of Baz (Paszitu), the temple of Idi-Anu (the Eye of Anu), at Dilbat, the temple of Lugal-Amarda (Marad), E-Anna, the temple of Ishtar, at Erech, the temple of the Sun, at Larsa, and the temple of the Moon, at Erech, are enumerated one after another as having been rebuilt by Nebuchadrezzar. With better right than his father he calls himself on one of the Abu-Habba cylinders “the ruler of Sumer and Accad, who laid the foundation of the land” (or as Winckler translates it, “made fast the foundations of the land”), for in truth his new creations extended over the whole territory that had been Sumer and Accad as we are familiar with it in ancient Babylonian history, from the reigns of Ur-Ba’u of Ur onward. Under him, after a long sleep (lasting in places for a thousand years) among her ruins, the whole of Babylonia kept the festival of her resurrection, and joyous sacrificial hymns resounded through the length and breadth of the land during Nebuchadrezzar’s long and prosperous reign, as in the days of her distant prime.

To complete the picture of Nebuchadrezzar’s capital, we must in conclusion cast a glance at the vast fortifications with which this king girdled the city he had created, and so insured it against the most formidable assault. Nebuchadrezzar did not rest satisfied with completely restoring and enlarging these fortifications (a work that his father had begun, since they had again been impaired); he included a strip of arable land some four thousand cubits (about two to three kilometres) in breadth, on the farther side of the rampart Nimitti-Bel, within another “mountain high” wall, and made it a part of the outworks, thus casting a gigantic threefold girdle of ramparts (or walls) and moats about the city. Nor was that enough: “To quell the countenance of the enemy that he should not harass the (threefold) encompassment of Babylon, I surrounded the land with mighty streams, comparable unto the waters of the sea; to cross them was as it were to cross the ocean. To render an inundation from their midst (the midst of these artificial courses) impossible, I heaped up masses of earth, I set up brick dams round about them.”

Ukraine and Russia

Military Mobilizations: Ukraine and Russia March 2014

September 25, 2018 — As the standoff between Ukraine and Russia intensifies, a military build-up by both countries is threatening to spread the conflict from ground battles in eastern Ukraine into the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine has deployed two armoured artillery boats to the Sea of Azov as part of plans to set up new naval base before the end of the year.

For its part, Russia has reportedly redeployed at least 10 warships and up to 40 patrol boats to the Sea of Azov in recent months.

The military buildups have been triggered by Moscow’s construction of a bridge between Crimea and mainland Russia.

Moscow’s building of the Kerch Strait Bridge in 2015 has cut cargo shipments to the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk by 27% and 47% respectively, costing Kiev between $20 million and $40 million every year.

Around 80% of Ukraine’s exports pass through the Kerch Strait.

On September 15, U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker said that Washington would consider providing more armaments to Kiev.

Volker said the U.S. is concerned about the expansion of Russian naval operations in the Sea of Azov, which borders Ukraine, Russia and the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

The separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine have long threatened the Azov port of Mariupol; taking the city would be a key step toward their establishing a land corridor between Crimea and Russia.

LAST YEARS AND FALL OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE (626-609 b.c.)

In all probability, Asshurbanapal lived until 626, and during the whole of his reign he remained firmly established in possession of the Assyrian throne and also of the kingdom of Babylon. Elam had been rendered powerless, Babylon had been conquered, and the desert dwellers of the west were too much weakened and impoverished by the severe lesson taught them, as well as by hunger and disease, to be dangerous. Media was only in her youth, and Assyria was still strong enough to resist the first onrush of this new, conquering state. Besides her northeastern and northern neighbours, the states of Asia Minor and the inhabitants of the Mediterranean coast had enough to do to defend themselves against the barbarians who were pressing upon them from the north and east. Egypt was indeed independent, but could not seriously think of conquests in Asia. The condition of the Assyrian Empire resembled the calm before the storm.

In his latter years the king doubtless devoted himself by preference to the works of peace. He had already erected many buildings, even during the period of his great wars. He had continued and completed the work on the temples of Assyria and Babylonia, which Esarhaddon had begun. Unfortunately the inscription which enumerates the principal structures belonging to the first half of his reign only occasionally mentions the places in which the temples he erected stood. In the later years of the king’s reign the walls of Nineveh demanded his attention. They were loosened by annual rains and the violent showers of Adad, and had sunk. Asshurbanapal restored them and made them stronger than before. When he had seen his great campaigns crowned with victory, he at last undertook an important work in Nineveh, the town of Bel and Ishtar. Bit-Riduti, the great palace, which Sennacherib had built and established as a royal dwelling, had fallen to ruins. This king did nothing without the gods. It was now again a dream which made known to him their will that he should repair the damage to the palace. This was done. The forced labour of Assyrian subjects brought the stone in carts from the spoil of Elam; and the captive Arabian kings, decked out with appropriate marks of distinction, shared in the labour as workmen. When the palace was completed to the pinnacles and enlarged, it was surrounded with noble grounds; and when the victims were slaughtered at the consecration, the king made his entry carried in a gorgeous palanquin and with festive rejoicings.

Of all the objects assembled in this palace the king set the highest value on the library which he had founded and which has now for the most part been unearthed and brought to Europe. Asshurbanapal was, without any doubt, an admirer and patron of learning and a prince who loved art. He did not allow the libraries of Babylonia to be plundered, but he had the literary treasures which were buried there, including whole works on philosophical, mythological, and poetic subjects, copied in Assyrian characters and added to the historical records of his own predecessors. He even seems to have studied them diligently himself, and to have encouraged their perusal. The fruit of this study is shown in his own memorials. In fact these have some literary value, which cannot be said of the dry chronicles of former kings. He was not, however, the first to found a library. Not only had the ancient Babylonian kings—it is said even Sargon I of Agade—preceded him in this respect, but the Assyrian kings had also set him an example. This was certainly true of Sennacherib, in whose palace at Nineveh, according to the calculation made by George Smith, probably twenty thousand fragments are now awaiting the investigator who can find the time and means to dig them out and make them accessible to western learning. But it cannot be denied that Asshurbanapal earned the gratitude of scholars by rendering so many treasures of the Babylonian libraries accessible to his compatriots, and also by founding libraries in other places; as, for example, in Babylon, and that he devoted more attention to these things than any of his predecessors.

The popular tradition of the downfall of the Assyrian Empire, which took shape in later years and came from the Persians to the Greeks, represents Sardanapalus (by whom none other than Asshurbanapal can be meant) as the type of a luxurious, effeminate, oriental despot, who forgets his kingly duties in the enjoyments of his harem, abandons his empire to the enemies rising against him on all sides, and finally, shut up in his capital, delivers himself in despair to the flames with his wives and all his treasures. We now know how little this picture agrees with the truth, but from what is historically credible we can gather how it arose. Asshurbanapal did indeed take pleasure in filling his women’s palace with the daughters of all the princes subdued by him, and with those of their nearest relatives; and these princes knew well what was pleasing to the supreme king. It is true that this proceeded as much from love of display as from an inclination to voluptuousness; it is true that policy also had a share in it, because by this means his supremacy was confirmed and a pledge given for further submissiveness; it is true that the custom was a usual one with oriental monarchs; but a king who pursued it to such an extent must have been easily transformed into a voluptuary in the minds of his people.

There was also some reason for regarding him as weak and effeminate. The great Assyrian monarchs, at least during the years of their youth and vigorous manhood, had themselves frequently led their armies to victory. It was seldom, if ever, that Asshurbanapal joined in the fight. His official historians do, indeed, ascribe to him the honour of all the victories during his reign, but they have not succeeded in hiding the fact that his generals fought the battles. Yet he was by no means a weakling. That he was an eager hunter is testified by a number of hunting inscriptions, some of them accompanied by reliefs. In any case, a prince who could find pleasure in so manly a pastime was no effeminate voluptuary, little warlike though he may have shown himself to be.

The king’s tragic end in the flames of his own palace, of which the legend speaks, may have been shifted on to him from his brother, Shamash-shum-ukin, or, still more probably, from the last Ninevite king. That he, the last great king of Assyria, should have been supposed to continue reigning until the end of the empire, while the insignificant kings who really followed him were forgotten, is natural enough. In short, Asshurbanapal was not a hero who strove to reap the laurels of the battle-field through difficulty and privations on distant campaigns. He preferred to linger in his luxurious palace, and to alternate the delights of the harem and the pursuit of learning with the royal lion-hunting. He was very pious, and did nothing without consulting the oracles of his gods or the dreams of his seers. If he thought the dignity of his empire, and with it the honour of his gods, insulted by an obstinate rebellion, he would avenge them as his predecessors had done by punishments of ingenious cruelty, inflicted both on individuals and on whole countries. The fearful suffering which the war on Asshur’s enemies wrought in its train, the pestilence which filled the streets with corpses, the famine which drove parents to destroy their own children, filled him with transports of joy. His ruling idea was the unity and vastness of his empire. If he left the sword in its sheath, the love of pleasure did not make him neglect his duties as a ruler. He took care that his armies should always be ready to take the field, which would not have been possible without good organisation; and they triumphed over almost all his enemies, maintained his sway against a powerful coalition, crushed the formidable Elam so severely that she never recovered from the blows she had received, and, if not during his reign, at least shortly after it, repelled the advancing Medes. He regularly transmitted his orders to all the governors in his empire, and was by them kept carefully informed of anything of importance which happened in their provinces. No one of his victorious military leaders ever ventured to turn his arms against him. All, including the governors, recognised him and honoured him as their king. Such he was in the fullest sense of the word. In his palace at Nineveh, during two-and-forty years, he held the reigns of government with a strong hand. And this is all the more creditable to the influence of his personality, since the empire was internally weakened by his own political mistakes, in particular by the removal of the centre of government from Babylon, which Esarhaddon had made its seat, to Nineveh, and by other causes, so that it went to pieces a few years after his death.

After him at least two kings ruled over Assyria, who were probably brothers, for one of them, Bel-zakir-ishkun, was the son of a king of Assyria, and grandson of a king of Sumer and Accad, and though their names are missing from the inscriptions, they can have been none other than Asshurbanapal and Esarhaddon; and the other, Asshur-etil-ili [who is sometimes known by a lengthened form of his name, Asshur-etil-ili-ukinni] is expressly called the son and grandson of these rulers. Probably Bel-zakir-ishkun reigned first, and then the other. No historical records have been preserved, dealing either with the fortunes and achievements of these kings or with the fall of Assyria. Certain texts have led some to conclude that a third king, a namesake of Esarhaddon, may have swayed the sceptre at this period, but this has been shown to be extremely questionable.

Immediately after Asshurbanapal’s death, or perhaps even in the last year of his reign, Babylon broke away from the Assyrian rule, and this time the separation was permanent. The empire was much weakened by it. The north and northwest, Urartu and the states of Asia Minor, gradually fell into the power of the ever-advancing Medes. The Assyrian lordship over the countries on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea now existed in name only, so that King Josiah of Judah was able to effect his reform unhindered, and to act as master in the territory of the ancient kingdom of Israel, which for years had been an Assyrian province. And in the year 608 Neku II, king of Egypt, was able to think of extending his empire to the Euphrates, as in days long past, and to take arms against Assyria with the idea of wresting from her all her western provinces. The foundation of the new Babylonian Empire and the invasion of the Egyptians, who could no longer be repelled by the Assyrians, but were only to give way before the Babylonian arms, are described elsewhere. Here we only mention them as among the causes which brought about the fall of the Assyrian Empire. That empire no longer had any real existence, at least as a ruling power. Thrust back to its old frontiers, the ancient Assyrian state slowly languished and only awaited the death-blow.

That blow was to come from the Medes in alliance with the Babylonians, and was partly hastened, partly stayed, by the great migratory streams of the Cimmerians and Scythians.

Though Professor Tiele’s admirable history is recent, much new information concerning the last days of the Assyrian rule at Nineveh has come to light, and historians are now able to place the conquest of the city by the Manda in the reign of Sin-shar-ishkun. Without overlooking a certain Sin-shum-lishir, who is mentioned in several places as an Assyrian king, and must have ruled about this time, but whose personality has not yet been unwrapped from the historic gloom, it is safe to say that this Sin-shar-ishkun was Asshur-etil-ili’s successor. From contract tablets found at Sippar and Erech we know that he occupied the Assyrian throne in 612 b.c., and that his dominion included a part of Babylonia as well. Later records would show him to be of much stronger character than the man he succeeded. In 610 or 609 he attempted to wrest more of the Babylonian provinces from Nabopolassar, and the harassed king took the fatal step of appealing to that people from the north, who for the most part had formed part of the great Indo-European migration into western Asia. Already these Scythian hordes, the Manda, had their eye on the rich Mesopotamian Valley, and therefore Nabopolassar’s appeal did not fall upon unwilling ears. Sin-shar-ishkun was indeed driven back, but when that happened the Manda were in the coveted land. The reader will observe that we have just spoken of the Manda and not the Medes as the assailants of Nineveh. This is because of the recent clearing up of a historical error that was our heritage from the Greek historians. They simply confused the Manda, the nomadic tribes that lived northeast of Assyria towards the Caspian Sea and were the classical Scythians, with the Mada, or true Medes. As Professor Sayce says: “It was not until the discovery of the monuments of Nabonidus and Cyrus that the truth at last came to light and it was found that the history we had so long believed was founded upon a philological mistake.” This matter will be more fully explained in the account of Persia.

Like his father, Cyaxares perceived that it would not be possible for the Medes to extend and maintain their conquests westward so long as he had to dread the rivalry of the Assyrian Empire, so lately the mistress of those regions. Consequently he put into practice the lesson which his father had received from the Assyrians. The as yet untrained hordes of Medians were evidently no match for the better military organisation of the Assyrians and the military skill of the Assyrian generals. Cyaxares, therefore, began as became a warlike prince with the remodelling of his army, dividing his troops, after the pattern of the Assyrians, into the various arms—spearmen, bowmen, and horsemen—and fortifying his citadel, Ecbatana. Then he again ventured to attack Assyria, this time with better success. The Assyrian army was beaten in Nineveh at last, and was surrounded. But an unexpected event came to the assistance of the hard-pressed Ninevites—the Scythians invaded Media.

Their invasion compelled Cyaxares to evacuate Assyria, and for a time Nineveh breathed again. But only for a short time. Cyaxares succeeded in putting an end to the Scythian domination in his kingdom in the course of a few years.

About 609 the Median army under the command of Cyaxares appeared for the second time at the gates of Nineveh. According to Berosus, the Babylonian king, whose son Nebuchadrezzar had married the Median king’s daughter, also took part in this siege. It is easy to understand how it was that Herodotus knew nothing of this, for the Persians were his authorities. But he is certainly right in assigning the chief rôle to the Medes, of whom Abydenus says nothing, for from this time forward they kept possession of Assyria itself; and he is also right in placing the taking of Nineveh during the period of Cyaxares’ government, and not, like Berosus and the authors who follow him, in the time of Astyages, since the latter did not ascend the throne of Media before 584 b.c. It is sufficient that Nineveh fell, and Assyria passed to the power of the Medes, who at the same time acquired the dominion over the North and the countries of Asia Minor as far as the Halys. All other provinces of the fallen empire as far as the Mediterranean Sea, including probably that part of ancient Assyria whose capital was the city of Asshur, and also Kharran and Carchemish, fell to Babylonia.

We have no historical account of the details connected with the fall of Nineveh. The story of the last Assyrian king, Asshur-etil-ili, or, as some authorities call him, Saracus, which represents him in his despair burning himself with his palace and his treasures, is a popular tale which is not indeed impossible, but probably arose by confusion with Shamash-shum-ukin’s end. Nineveh was so completely desolated that when Xenophon passed with the Ten Thousand in the year 401 b.c. he took the ruins for the remains of Median towns destroyed by the Persians. Subsequently a fortress, Ninus, seems to have been built there by the Parthians. Calah also once more rose from its rubbish heaps after lying desolate for a long time. Arbela remained untouched, and it is therefore probable that it fell unresisting into the hands of the conquerors. But the Assyrian monarchy was gone forever.

The Assyrian monarchy was gone, but not the empire at whose head the kings of Asshur had stood. It has been matter of astonishment that so powerful an empire, to which through a series of centuries the whole of western Asia had been subdued, could have been so suddenly overturned by the fall of the capital. But this surprise proceeds from an incorrect conception of history. Events had long prepared the fall of Nineveh. The keen eye of Esarhaddon had already perceived that it would be safer to remove the centre of the empire to Babylon. His son Asshurbanapal, a less acute statesman than he, but a great king and a strong administrator, had once more attempted to secure the hegemony for Assyria. In this he had succeeded, being supported by favourable circumstances and the influence of his own personality. But when the sceptre fell from his strong hand, little more was needed to put an end to the Assyrian dominion, and that end was only a question of time. However, the empire survived for a few years longer, though not in its full vigour. The hegemony now passed again to Babylon; but not unimpaired, for, since Media had conquered Nineveh, the lion’s share of Assyria itself fell to the Median kingdom, together with those northern and northwestern provinces which had been lost long before. But the Assyrian survived in the new Babylonian Empire, which continued its policy of conquest, and the Greeks, who not long afterwards called the Babylonians themselves Assyrians, were in this not so very far from the truth. But the days of the Semitic dominion were hastening to their end. Even the new monarchy under Babylon’s hegemony could only be propped up by the force of Nebuchadrezzar’s personality. His feeble successors were in no condition to prevent the spread of the Median power nor the rise of the Persian monarchy, which had grown to such proportions by the conquest of Elam, until the genius of Cyrus founded a dominion which soon embraced the four ancient empires—the Median, the Elamite, the Assyrio-Babylonian, and the Egyptian—and gave the sceptre of western Asia to the Aryans.

The sense of relief which fell on the oppressed nations at the downfall of the scourge of Asia can be gathered from the rejoicing accents of the Jewish prophets. What an Isaiah, a Micah, had not dared to hope, Nahum and Zephaniah saw approach and actually happen. Nahum is convinced that the fate of Thebes will soon overtake Nineveh. Her merchants, multiplied as the stars of heaven, her crowned, her captains, her whole people, they shall be scattered like flying grasshoppers, and no man shall gather them. “All that hear the bruit of thee shall clap their hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?” (Nahum iii. 19.) And Zephaniah (ii. 13-15), his contemporary, sees with satisfaction the desolation of the proud city, who thought herself so safe and boasted herself to be the first and the only one, but now had become desolate and a place for beasts, in whose ruins the bittern and the screech-owl lodge.

The Napoleon of Hawaii, Kamehameha I

Kamehameha I of Hawaii fought his way to supremacy in the Hawaiian archipelago in the 1790s in part thanks to his use of European arms, rather than spears, clubs, daggers and slingshots. His power was based on the west coast of the island of Hawaii, a coast frequented by European ships, and he employed Europeans as gunners.

The Napoleon of Hawaii, Kamehameha I, fought his way to supremacy over the archipelago in the 1790s, using muskets and cannon and winning victories such as Nuuanu (1795). The so-called unification of the Hawaiian islands was far from predetermined, however. Kamehameha won dominance of his home island of Hawaii in 1791 and of the islands of Maui and Oahu in 1795. In 1810 Kaumualii, the ruler of the islands of Kauai and Niihau, agreed to serve as a client king to Kamehameha.

Hawaiian Wars (1782-1810)

The three decades from about 1780 to 1810 that saw the Hawaiian Islands brought together into a unified kingdom for the first time by King Kamehameha “the Great” (c. 1752-1819). As in other parts of the world, this consolidation was made possible in the Hawaiian Islands in great part through the introduction of firearms.

When Captain James Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1778 by armed warriors of that island’s primary chief, Kalaniopuu, the islands of Hawaii were far from a unified polity. Political power and control varied from island to island, with even the Big Island divided among rival chieftains. Yet within a generation the armaments and technology that Cook and other Western traders and explorers introduced would become decisive in that archipelago’s unification. Soon after Chief Kalaniopuu’s death in 1782 a rivalry ensued between Kalaniopuu’s relations, including his sons Kiwalao and Keoua and his nephew Kamehameha, for control of the Big Island. But the rival chieftains and their bands of warriors were of relatively equal strength, and as a result their struggle persisted throughout the 1780s without conclusive results.

In 1790 an American trading vessel, the Fair American, along with its guns and two English crewmen, fell into the hands of Kamehameha after it was attacked and seized as retaliation for losses suffered in an encounter with an earlier Western ship. Such trading vessels had begun to appear with increasing frequency in the islands, a convenient watering hole between China and the West Coast of the Americas. Kamehameha would use the two foreigners to manufacture Western handguns and train his men in Western fighting tactics.

Even before establishing his power on the Big Island, Kamehameha decided to attack the neighboring island of Maui, then under the control of the most powerful chief in the islands, Kahekili. In the narrow valley of Iao on Maui, Kamehameha, employing his two Englishmen and newly acquired guns, inflicted a decisive defeat upon an army led by Kahekili’s son. Despite this victory Kamehameha returned to the Big Island, where fighting had erupted again in his absence. The renewed struggle on the Big Island was again indecisive until Kamehameha ambushed and killed his chief rival, Keoua, along with his retinue of warriors, after inviting him to meet at a newly constructed heiau (temple), dedicated tellingly to the god of war. With this death Kamehameha established himself as master of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Soon thereafter Kahekili sent a fleet of native canoes and special bands of warriors, along with his own Western vessel, to harass Kamehameha on his own turf. A sea battle was fought off the Big Island between the two rival chieftains’ vessels, which proved sanguinary but indecisive. Kahekili died on his home island of Oahu soon afterward, his domains, like those of Kalaniopuu previously, falling into dispute between his various heirs. Only in late 1794 did Kahekili’s son Kalanikupule emerge as victor, following the defeat on Oahu of his half-brother, and primary foe, with the help of guns supplied by an English merchant. In January 1795 the victorious Kalanikupule decided to take his campaigns to the Big Island of Hawaii, hoping to defeat his father’s rival Kamehameha. Now equipped with a plentiful supply of firearms and several Western vessels, his hopes of bringing the Big Island under his control were not farfetched. His luck did not hold, however, and the foreign crews of his ships, pressed into his service, mutinied and succeeded in driving Kalanikupule and his warriors overboard and back to Oahu in humiliation.

Kamehameha meanwhile had been colluding with the English. In 1794 he agreed to “cede” the Big Island of Hawaii to Great Britain and in return received English help in building a fighting ship. Eyeing his strategic opportunity, Kamehameha decided to move and in early 1795 seized Maui and the narrow island of Molokai, which lay just to its north. Despite the defection of one of his primary chiefs to Kalanikupule, Kamehameha proceeded with plans to attack Oahu and landed on that island’s southern coast near modern Waikiki. Kamehameha scattered his foe, driving many over the high cliffs of the pass, and with his victory, and the death of Kalanikupule, secured his control over Oahu.

The only island remaining outside Kamehameha’s control was the far western island of Kauai. On Oahu Kamehameha received further British help in building a 40-ton ship with which to attack Kauai. Kamehameha and his forces set sail for Kauai in summer 1796, only to have his plans postponed at the last moment by an uprising on the Big Island. Perhaps the delay was fortunate. The uprising was soon subdued but plans for the invasion of Kauai were put on hold. The interval allowed Kamehameha time to consolidate his newly won domains and to set up efficient means of administration and communication. He set up governors on each of the islands, and like resourceful rulers before him, such as France’s Louis XIV or Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Japan, he invited potential rivals to dwell with him in his capital. He also set about building a stronger navy, switching to innovative twin-hulled canoes rather than the traditional and less stable single-hulled ones. From the foreigners arriving in increasing numbers and with increasing frequency in the islands Kamehameha procured yet more armaments and foreign vessels.

In 1802 Kamehameha finally sailed again for Kauai, then ruled by the chief Kaumualii, with a fleet of nearly 800 vessels and an armed force of thousands. Kamehameha and his fleet tarried for some time on Maui, hoping unsuccessfully to threaten Kaumualii into submission, before continuing westward to Oahu. On Oahu in 1804 Kamehameha’s efforts were struck an almost fatal blow, in the form of an epidemic that wiped out many of his troops, though it spared him. For several more years Kamehameha stayed on in Oahu, which was yearly growing in population and prosperity. At this point Kamehameha let it be known that he would be satisfied with the outward submission of his rival on Kauai, and gaining it would allow him to rule on there as his governor. The two rival chieftains were finally brought together in Honolulu in early 1810. The result was the formal inclusion of Kauai as a tributary island to Kamehameha with Kaumualii as its leader. It was a diplomatic terminus to almost two decades of conflict, and with it Kamehameha secured his control over all of Hawaii and effected the first unification of the islands in their history.

References and further reading: Cahill, Emmett. The Life and Times of John Young: Confidant and Advisor to Kamehameha the Great. Honolulu: Island Heritage Publishers, 1999. Daws, Gavan. Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1968. Kuykendall, Ralph S. The Hawaiian Kingdom. 3 vols. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1967.