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THE SACRED BOOKS AND EARLY LITERATURE OF THE EAST

WITH HISTORICAL SURVEYS OF THE CHIEF WRITINGS OF EACH NATION

VOLUME VI
MEDIEVAL ARABIC, MOORISH, AND TURKISH

In Translations by
E. J. W. GIBB of the Royal Asiatic Society; STANLEY LANE-POOLE,
Litt.D., Professor of Arabic, Trinity College, Dublin; ARMINIUS VAMBERY,
LL.D., Professor of Oriental Languages, University of Budapest;
THOMAS CHENERY, M.A., Former Professor of Arabic at Oxford
University; ERNEST RENAN, Former Professor of Hebrew, College of

France; CLAUD FIELD, M.A.; and other authorities.

With Briqf Bibliographies by
PROF. CHARLES C. TORREY, LL.D., and PROF. EDWARD H. JOHNS, Ph.D.

With an Historical Survey and Descriptions by
PROF. CHARLES F. HORNE, PH.D.

PARKE, AUSTIN, AND LIPSCOMB, INC.
NEW YORK LONDON

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MEDIEVAL ARABIC, MOORISH, AND TURKISH
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ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOLUME VI
The Slave Girl of Abu Zayd . .... . Frontispiece
The Death of Abu Mustem  42
The Song of Abu Al Salam 210
The Queen of Night ...... . -. ... 264
The Ancient Church of St. Sophia . . 320

SACKED BOOKS AND EAELY LITERATURE
OF
THE MEDIEVAL ARABS, MOORS, AND TURKS

Introduction
HOW THE TEACHING OP MOHAMMED SPREAD INTO MANY
LANDS AND CREATED MANY LITERATURES

THE wide-spread Arabic empire and religion originated A with Mohammed and was founded on his book, the Koran. That tremendously important work, with the primitive Arabic literature of even earlier date, formed the theme of our preceding volume. We have now to trace the Arabic literature and thought which, with the expanding of the Mohammedan empire, spread over a large part of the Eastern world. Geographically that empire reached from its Arabian center eastward through Babylonia and Persia into India, westward through all North Africa into Spain, southward through Egypt into the wilds of Central Africa, and northward through Asia Minor to all the Turkish possessions.

Through much of this vast region, Arabic became the common speech, and books were written in its tongue. Even in our own day, Arabic continues as the language of a considerable
part of Turkey in Asia, of Egypt, and of all North Africa.

We can scarcely, however, regard as a unit all the varying Mohammedan literatures of these many lands. The Persians, for example, retained their own language and wrote in it a literature of Mohammedan religious spirit, so important that we shall devote to it a later separate volume. Our present task, therefore, will confine itself to tracing through the Middle Ages the more strictly Arabian development
This includes first, the spread of literature and thought among the Arabs themselves, or among those people who completely adopted the Arabic faith and speech. Second, it includes the literature of the Moors, or semi-Arabic peoples, of North Africa and Spain. And third, it leads us to
the Turks, the last Mohammedan conquerors, who took up and carried on Arabic tradition, though in a language and spirit more Tartar than Arabian.

For the purely Arabic development, that is for the literature and thought that sprang directly from Mohammed'steaching, we turn first to the " Sunan," or traditions about Mohammed. After the prophet's death in A.D. 632, and while his followers were spreading his teachings by force of arms, they talked much of the doings and sayings of their adored master. Then, long after his own writings had been
gathered in the official form of the Koran, a similar collection was made of what might be termed his unofficial teaching, that is of all his remembered words, the ideas which he had not proclaimed as inspired by God, but had given forth in ordinary conversation between man and man. The details
of his life were also treasured. Thus sprang up the " Sunan," from which we may learn as much of Mohammed the man, and of the daily life and thought of his people, as
from the Koran we learn of Mohammed the poet and of the poetic spirit of Arabia.

For a long time the Arabs developed no other religious literature than this. Of the third leader of their new faith, the Caliph Omar, there is a well-known legend which may be untrue in fact but is intensely true to the fanatic spirit of the Caliph and his followers. It says that when Omar's armies
conquered Egypt the scholars of Alexandria entreated him to protect the books of their great library, the largest in the world. Instead, Omar ordered the thousands of manuscripts
to be used to feed the fires of the public baths ; and he based
the destruction upon this verdict :
" If these books disagree with the Koran they are evil ; if they agree they are unnecessary."
The Arabic literary spirit was thus compelled to cling to
its old pre-Mohammedan form. That is, it expressed itself only in brief personal poems, in skilfully phrased epigrams, satiric couplets, or " rubaiyat," called forth by a sudden occasion.

A collection of the best known of these poems, gathered from successive ages of gay and dashing singers, is given at the close of our Arabic section. Gradually, however, a change came over the victorious Arab race. The warriors lost their intense religious inspiration.

They fought among themselves for place and power.
The enormous wealth which they had conquered, with its
resulting temptations to luxury and ease and empty vanity,
weakened them, lured them from both the high moral strength
which they had really attained, and from the fanatic frenzy
of faith which had been their pride. They removed the
capital of their empire from the holy cities of Arabia, first
to Damascus and then to Bagdad, the wonderful dream-city
of splendor which they built upon the banks of the ancient Tigris river.

Under these gorgeous Caliphs of Bagdad, such as Haroun
al Raschid of " Arabian Nights' "fame, a civilization developed
which Mohammed would never have recognized as
his own, which he would indeed have been the first to repudiate.
Unrestrained power bred a callous indifference to
the sufferings of its victims, and even a barbarous delight in
inflicting torture. The tyranny of the ruling classes bred a
corresponding falsity in their helpless but supple servitors.

Truth, the chief virtue in Mohammed's teaching, became unknown
in human intercourse, except as a poetic ideal. From
their priest-king down, through all the ranks of society, men
talked much of the virtues, while surrendering themselves
almost wholly to the passions. One might of course speak
cynically of mankind's having found this somewhat true in
every age, but seldom has the tragic contrast between the
ideal and the actual been brought into such sharp and visible
form as in the medieval world of Bagdad.

From this fertile though unhealthy soil a new literature
sprang up, typical of the time and place. Here were cen
tered the wealth and leisure and most of what survived of
the culture of ancient Asia and Africa. So wit and learning
journeyed there as well. At first the new literature found
voice mainly as history or biography, or as a rather crude
form of these collections of anecdotes purporting to give the
virtues and chief events in the lives of former caliphs.

Among the writers of these semi-biographic tales, by far the
most noted and most noteworthy is Masoudi (died A.D. 957).
His huge work, the " Golden Meadows," fills many volumes,
from which we give the most attractive anecdotes. While
such tales must not be taken as genuine history, they teach us
very clearly the spirit of their age.

After these loose histories, a more careful science developed.
The real learning of the Arab scholars of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries far outranked that of their
European and Christian contemporaries. As yet the various
fields of science were scarcely differentiated ; the student took
all knowledge for his province. The earliest Arab writer,
who may perhaps be regarded as a genuine historian, in contrast
to the previous romancers, was Al Biruni (973-1048),
whose "Chronology" our volume quotes. But Al Bimni
was far more than an historian ; he was a leading scientist of
his day and also a geographer, his work on " India " being almost as celebrated as his
"Chronology." Of even greater
fame in science than Al Biruni was Avicenna (980-1037),
a sort of universal genius, known first as a physician. To
his works on medicine he afterward added religious tracts,
poems, works on philosophy, on logic, on physics, on mathematics,
and on astronomy. He was also a statesman and a
soldier, and he is said to have died of debauchery. He is
famed as the most versatile and brilliant member of a versatile and brilliant race.

With the increasing freedom of scientific thought and
speech which Avicenna typifies, there sprang up among the
Eastern Mohammedans a new religious impulse. They
began to examine more carefully the faith which they had
before accepted blindly. To this age therefore we owe the
writings of Al Ghazali (1049-1111), whom some of his own
countrymen have regarded as second only to Mohammed as a
teacher of their religion. Indeed, it was a common saying of his day that
" If there were still prophets in the world Al Ghazali would be one."
Western scholars have, some of them, gone still further in
their admiration of Al Ghazali, declaring him to have heen
one of the world's greatest thinkers, whom his Mohammedan
contemporaries never sufficiently appreciated, and to whose
high moral stature the Mohammedan world has not even yet
grown up. Among his writings the most interesting and
useful to modern readers is his
" Rescuer from Error," a
sort of spiritual autobiography, his account of his own growth
in religious faith. This striking book our volume gives in full.

From Al Ghazali, or even from before his time, dates
the great flow of commentaries on the Koran. These halfphilosophical,
half-fanatical discussions would have seemed irreligious to the earliest Mohammedan age. 
The Koran had been originally accepted as perfect, and therefore as
completely clear. But now the analytic spirit of the Semite
reasserted itself; and even as the Hebrews in their Biblical
commentaries weighed every " and " and " but " and every
carelessly made letter in their Holy Book, so now the Mohammedan " mullahs," or priests, began to draw deductions from their law, to interpret and so develop it. Among
these commentators two are chiefly celebrated. Zamakhshari
(1074-1143) was perhaps the most learned and the shrewdest,
but his ideas have seemed to his coreligionists a little too
radical, too independent of Mohammed, daring almost to
question the divine inspiration of the prophet. Therefore
the work of Zamakhshari's more submissive successor of a
century later, Al Baidawi, has gradually superseded the older
book as the favorite exposition of the Koran. The Western
reader, however, will distinctly prefer the independence of Zamakhshari.

Into the lighter literature of the medieval Arabs we need
not look too far. They had their wholly unreligious and fantastic
romances such as the " Arabian Nights." This famous
work, however, draws largely upon Persian sources. Indeed,
as our later Persian volume will emphasize, most of the pure
romance of later Arab literature is of Persian origin, and
may best be studied in the Persian books. There is, however,
an intermediate class of tale peculiarly Arabian. This
is the mingling of romance with poetry and moral teachings,
just as the earlier historians had mingled it with history.
Most celebrated in this peculiar class of semi-religious, semipoetic
romances is the work presented in this volume, the
" Assemblies " of Al Hariri (1054-1122). Just as Masoudi
stands to his race for history, Al Biruni for geography,
Avicenna for science, Al Ghazali for philosophy, and Zamakhshari
and Al Baidawi for religious study, so does Al Hariri
stand for literary skill, for brilliancy and humor. His
" Assemblies "
is the Arabs' chief purely literary achievement.

MOORISH LITERATURE
In the year 1258 Bagdad was stormed and conquered by a
Tartar general. It is true that most of the ravaging Tartars
finally adopted the religion of the conquered, and so the
region continued to obey in religious matters a Mohammedan
caliph ; but the rule of the Arabs, which had been long undermined
by Persian influences, ended definitely with the fall
of Bagdad. From the time of that disaster we must look
to other lands for the continuation of a semi-Arabic literature.
Chief of the secondary developments from the Arabian
stock was the remarkable and justly celebrated civilization
of the Moors in Spain. The fame of medieval Arabic
scholarship was carried to its climax by these first Mohammedan
invaders of Europe. In the first wild onrush of Arabian
conquest most of Spain was captured in the year A.D.712, 
captured by an army having leaders of pure Arab blood,
but with followers mainly of the semi-Arabic, or Moorish,
people of North Africa. In the year 756 this Moorish kingdom
in Spain broke completely from the Arabian Caliph and
set up a priest-king of its own, a caliph whose capital was
at Cordova in Spain, and whose connection with the older
Arab world was only one of race and religion and not of empire.

Our Hebraic volume has already spoken of the remarkable
Hebrew writers and philosophers who flourished
within the shelter of this Cordova caliphate. The Arabs
themselves were not less able than their Hebrew servitors.
Here then, under the sunny skies of Southern Spain, far,
far indeed from the first centers of Semitic civilization, was
the last brilliant blossoming of distinctively Semitic thought.
We have in our previous volumes traced the growth of Semitic
thought and of the Semitic religious progress from their
earliest home by the Euphrates river, where the Babylonian
and the desert Arab warred in unrecognized brotherhood of
race. Now we are ready to glance briefly at them in Spain,
the last strong kingdom they were to possess, and the last
literature of note which the Semites, except as scattered members
of other communities, were to give the world.

Among the Arabic writers of Spain the most noted is
the scientist and philosopher, Averroes (1126-1198). To
Mohammedans he is the religious thinker, who strove to
harmonize their faith with the advancing science of a later
day, and who opposed his practical, rational spirit to the
mysticism of Al Ghazali. To the European world he is the
celebrated commentator on that greatest of philosophers,
Aristotle. As the voice of Aristotle, Averroes thus became
the leading teacher and philosopher of his day; he is the
link which connects our present thought and science with
the first splendor of independent inquiry under the Greeks.
The name of Aristotle, the chief scientific teacher of all the
world, is thus united forever with that of the great Arab teacher, Averroes.

Moorish literature was also a shrine of poetry and romance,
though most of these lighter writings have only been
preserved to us through the Spanish tongue. Our own Washington
Irving found in these Moorish tales an inspiration
for his genius, and has turned many of them into English.
Others will be found included in our volume.

TURKISH LITERATURE
Of the Turkish literature we need speak but briefly. The
Turks were not Semites, but a Tartar or East Asiatic stock
who, after wandering into Western Asia, accepted the Mohammedan
faith about A.D. 1288. At the very moment
when the vast Mohammedan empire was crumbling to pieces,
assailed by pagan Tartar hordes and crusading Christian
armies from without, and withering from spiritual decadence
within, the Turks took up the waning faith, and with the
energy of new and younger converts carried it onward to
the military conquests which built up the Turkish Empire.

This new empire soon included geographically most of the
older Arab Empire; but the Turks brought to their new
faith only the dubious glory of victory in war. They added
little, either to its thought or to its literature. They were,
in fact, a nation still semi-barbaric, strong in the natural virtues
of faith and honesty and a rude kindliness, but wholly
lacking in the subtlety and intellectual keenness which could
have advanced Mohammedan thought.

Hence we shall find in their literature, at first, only childish
tales, echoes of the childhood of the world, magic stories
close akin to those of our own fairyland. Then comes a native
poetry, not rising to remarkable heights in any one great
poet, but full of a warm human love of romance and justice.

Later we come to more thoughtful and elaborate writings, but
these incline to deal with the practical world rather than with
that of religion and speculative thought. So that we close
our Turkish section with what is perhaps the most valuable
piece of early Turkish literature, a work of travel, the celebrated
autobiography of Sidi Ali Keis.


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CONTENTS OF VOLUME VI
Literatures Descended From The Arabic

INTRODUCTION
How the Teaching of Mohammed
Spread into Many Lands and Created Many
Literatures ............. 1
MEDIEVAL ARAB LITERATURE
I. THE SUNAN, Or Holy Traditions of Mohammed (A.D. 850-890) 9
II. EARLY HISTORY AND SCIENCE 33
Masoudi's "Golden Meadows" (A.D. 956) . . 37
Legends of the Early Caliphs. Avicenna on "Medicine" (A.D. 1020) ... 90
The Chief Work of the Arabs' Chief Scientist.
Al Biruni's "Existing Monuments" (A.D. 1040). 92
The First Effort at Scientific Study of the Past.
III. PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION 97
Al Ghazali's " Rescuer from Error" (A.D. 1106) . 102
The Spiritual Autobiography of a Great Teacher.
Zamakhshari's "Kashshaf," or "Discoverer of Truth" (A.D. 1140) 134
The Boldest Commentary on the Koran.
Zamakhshari's "Golden Necklaces" ... 138
Mohammedan Precepts of Morality.
IV. ROMANCE 141
The "Assemblies" of Al Hariri (A.D. 1122) . 145
The Most Renowned Piece of Pure Literature in Arabic.
V. THE POETS OF ARABIA .... 203

MOORISH LITERATURE
VI. SCIENCE AND HISTORY 235
Averroes' "Philosophy" (A.D. 1195) .... 239
Al Maqqari's "Breath of Perfumes" (A.D. 1628) 241
VII. LOVE POETRY OF THE SPANISH MOORS . . . 243

TURKISH LITERATURE
VIII. LEGENDS AND POETRY 257
The Queen of Night, an Old Folk-lore Tale . 262
The Earliest Turkish Poem (A.D. 1332) ... 272
Book of Alexander the Great (A.D. 1412) . . 273
The Loves of Shirin (A.D. 1426) 275
The Book of Mohammed (A.D. 1449) . . . 277
Poems by Turkish Sultans .280
Turkish Poetesses 290
The Great Turkish Poets 292
IX. THE TRAVELS OF SIDI ALI REIS 327
The "Mirror of Countries" (A.D. 1556) ... 332
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ARABIC LITERATURE 397

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THE SACRED BOOKS AND EARLY LITERATURE OF THE EAST

WITH HISTORICAL SURVEYS OF THE CHIEF WRITINGS OF EACH NATION

VOLUME XII

M E D I E V A L C H I N A

In Translations by
MAJOR-GENERAL G. G. ALEXANDER, C.B.; HERBERT A. GILES,
LL.D., Professor of Chinese at Cambridge University; JAMES LEGGE,
LL.D., former Professor of Chinese at Cambridge University; SIR
JOHN F. DAVIS, former British Plenipotentiary in China; REV. A.
WYLIE of the London Mission at Shanghai; and other noted Chinese scholars.

With a Brief Bibliography by
FRIEDRICH HIRTH, LL.D.,.
Professor of Chinese at Columbia University

With an Historical Survey and Descriptions by
PROF. CHARLES F. HORNE, PH.D.

PARKE, AUSTIN, AND LIPSCOMB, INC.
NEW YORK LONDON

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MEDIEVAL CHINA. ( English Translated )
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ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOLUME XII
The Temple of Five Hundred Gods        Frontispiece
The Shrine of the Dead Emperors  78
The Sages of China   226
A Chinese Priest   382


Introduction
TAOISM, THE MOST POPULAR AMONG A THOUSAND
RELIGIONS

CHINA, being the most tolerant of all lands, has sheltered
so many different faiths that it has been called
the land of a thousand religions. Among these thousand
ways of worship, three are far more prominent than others,
both in the number of their adherents and in the honor
done them by the Government. Two of them, Confucianism
and Buddhism, have been already depicted in our previous
volumes. There remains for the present volume Taoism,
the wide-spread "popular" religion of China to-day. To
this our volume adds a brief glance at the later development
of Confucianism and other faiths. In Chinese literature,
as we have already seen, Confucianism is synonymous with
the ancient classics. The works which Confucius wrote about
500 B.C., combined with the still older books which he honored
and preserved, form the " ancient treasure " of Chinese scholarship.

Yet when we turn to Taoism, we find that this too has
a literature of its own a most remarkable literature, and
a most remarkable history. As the faith of the common
people, Taoism has developed along lines of profoundly
human interest. In Confucianism we found everything
carefully recorded, mathematically arranged ; for it was from
the first a religion of "ceremonies." What Confucianism
chiefly insisted upon was decorum, conservatism, a doing of
everything in accordance with carefully established formulas.

This should be kept in mind in reading the present volume ;
for Taoism finds itself at every point in protest against the
logical, organizing spirit of the Confucians.

There is difficulty even in saying precisely what Taoism is.
1 It has no desire to formulate itself or to explain its
doctrines. It has even been called by modern critics the
"religion of anarchy" ; and certainly its central, or at least
its earliest, teachings somewhat justify the title. Its most
ancient books are already in revolt against civilization.

They declare that all the organization of society is mistaken,
that mankind primevally were simply and naturally good,
and that civilization has made them selfish and grasping,
and therewith has taught them subtlety and sin. If, however,
the philosopher begins to build up from this idea any
of its logical consequences, as voiced in modern anarchism
or kindred doctrines, Taoism will scornfully set those theories
aside. It has no use for philosophers, nor for their deductions.

Even the question of the age and origin of Taoism is as
tantalizingly vague as everything else about it. Apparently
the faith is far older than Confucianism. Indeed it claims
to be the original religion of China and of mankind. To
be sure, it bases itself to-day on the book which opens this
volume, the Tao-Teh King of the " Old Philosopher,"

Lao-Tze. But Lao-Tze is like Confucius at one point; he
declares himself a mere transmitter of earlier knowledge.

He asserts that all his teachings are really those of Hwang-Ti,
the legendary civilizer of China, who is supposed to have
ruled the land in 2697 B.C. Other Taoists would take us
yet further back, telling us that Hwang-Ti was instructed
in his faith by an ancient sage, Kwang Chang-Tze, who by
applying the teachings of Taoism to his own existence had
lived twelve hundred years. There even exists among the
Taoists a curious little book, the Yin Fu King, which they
declare is the actual book of the Emperor Hwang-Ti, his
record of the teaching of the long-lived Kwang. They thus
claim for the Yin Fu an antiquity of almost five thousand
years, offering it as a voice from the very cradle of Chinese
civilization. This tiny book is given in our volume ; but as
Western criticism has been a unit in regarding it as a work
of very much later date, it is here classed with the more modern Taoist texts.

THE TAOTEH KING
On the Tao-Teh King, therefore, Taoism rests for its
literary foundation; yet even around the Tao-Teh there has
arisen so much of doubt and controversy that Western
scholars are still in widest disagreement as to its meaning,
its value, its age, and even its authorship. Lao-Tze was a
scholar and philosopher of the generation immediately preceding
Confucius. Of that there is no doubt whatever ; and
some of our leading scholars have asserted that his authorship
of the Tao-Teh is as fully established as is the authorship
of any ancient book in the world. When, however, we
turn to consider the meaning and value of this foundationstone
of Taoism we are on more puzzling ground.

As to its meaning, on which its value must depend, we have
already in our previous volume pointed out the difficulty of
turning the vagueness of Chinese literature into the definiteness
of English thought. Language at its best can never be
more than a very imperfect method of transmitting to the
brains of others the imperfect visions of our own loosely
working minds. But the Chinese written language, and
especially in its ancient books, seems the loosest of all civilized
word-forms. Not only does each character stand for
several differing things, but each may do duty as a noun, a
verb, or a modifying adjectival form. Hence several meanings
can be read from any ancient Chinese sentence.

Chinese scholars tell us that we must approach the author
with sympathy, must get into touch with his spirit and purpose,
and that then we will easily discriminate as to which
idea he is expressing. But this method of interpreting the
Tao-Teh has led to such widely differing versions of its
meaning and its worth, that we have felt it necessary to
invite the reader into the vortex for himself, by offering him
two translations of the opening chapters of the unquestionably
remarkable book.

The chief controversy rages about the word " Tao "
itself. Who or what is the " Tao " ? Some of our scholars would translate
" Tao " as meaning Nature or the course of Nature,
that is the great sweeping onward from eternity to
eternity, which Carlyle has visioned for us. And in this
view-point the commonest translation of
" Tao " is " the Way "
or path, the road along which all men are traveling,
and along which all the universe is traveling with us. Yet
the Tao is not simply the trodden path ; it is rather the impelling
force which sweeps us on, the rushing wind of existence,
the creative force ; and in this sense the Tao comes
very near to meaning what we mean by God. Only if we
conceive the Tao thus, it must be as a wholly impersonal
God, standing apart not only from human form but from
every quality of humanity which we are prone to attribute to His infinity.

The Tao, then, is the unknown Power which the great
Lao-Tze makes no pretense of understanding. He only
humbly interprets such of its movings and its meanings as
creation shadows forth for men. He knows neither its limits
nor its purposes ; he sees only that it is right and is omnipotent,
and that it moves forever onward. It is the Tao, the
Way of the universe. The reader may, if he will, reject
even this interpretation as too definite, after he has read
the Tao-Teh; but he will at least appreciate the meaning
of the endless controversy about the book. He will also turn
with interest to the following section of our volume, the
writings of Chuang-Tze.

THE " DIVINE CLASSIC " OF CHUANG-TZE
Chuang-Tze is the most celebrated follower of Lao-Tze.
Indeed, he has been sometimes suspected of inventing the
entire religion himself, and then attributing it to Lao-Tze
and to the earlier ages. In brief, Chuang-Tze was one of
the greatest romancers who ever lived, always ready with
tales invented at the moment, to illustrate whatever point he
wished; and while there seems quite sufficient proof that
Taoism existed before his time, we can not doubt that, if it
had not, he both could and would have been ready to invent
it, complete. The possessor of this lively fantasy was a
definite historical figure. lie lived and wrote about a
century and a half after Confucius. In those days the teachings
of Confucius were not yet established as a State religion.
There were many other philosophers whose followers
sometimes rivaled in numbers the following of
Confucius. Chuang-Tze attacked them all. He was a
clever satirist, a vigorous arguer, a brilliant optimist. He
adopted the views of the long dead Lao-Tze and maintained
them against all others. He wrote some thirty-three books
to uphold his views ; and by these and by his teachings spread
Taoism over all China. If Hwang-Ti really invented Taoism,
and if Lao-Tze formulated and preserved it, yet to
Chuang-Tze belongs the fame of having established it as the
popular religion of his countrymen. The most important
of his books, and especially the Nei, or Inner Circle, of seven
books, which are regarded as the core of his teaching, are
given here. Their popularity in China has never waned.

LATER TAOIST TEXTS
The Taoism of later ages we may dismiss more briefly.
Since Lao-Tze opposed the social organization of men in
governed bodies, and advocated doing nothing, it followed
that Taoism itself had no priesthood, no established leaders,
to preserve the form of its doctrines. It rapidly degenerated
into a mass of superstitions. It came to include
alchemy and astrology, magic and divination. Men might
seek to know the Tao by what means they would. Later
ages even made Lao-Tze a god. Many of the doctrines of
Buddhism crept into the faith; and at length Lao-Tze became
a sort of Taoist Buddha who had been reincarnated
again and again, as Hwang-Ti, as himself, and as others, to
preserve for men the knowledge of the " Way." Taoist
shrines and orders of monks sprang up like those of the
Buddhists, and in Taoist temples also a trinity of godhood
was worshiped. The trinity became Lao-Tze, the Tao, and
a third even vaguer figure, perhaps the Ti or God of Heaven
of Confucianism, perhaps primeval Chaos itself. At a still
later date (A.D. 1116) a new deity entered the Taoist pantheon.

This was Yu Hwang Ti, a head-priest of the faith,
who had become renowned as a miracle-worker and who was
declared to have been appointed the judge in heaven to weigh
the deeds of men. Because of this direct control of human
fate, Yu Hwang Ti has become the most worshiped of the Taoist gods.

It was as this hodge-podge of many faiths, with childish
rites and superstitions, with charms against evil spirits and
prayers to many idols, that Taoism was first known and
despised by Europeans. Only by slow degrees have we penetrated
to its original writings and its more consistent central
form. These are still partly preserved for modern times,
not only by the books of Lao-Tze and Chuang-Tze, but also
by many later works. The most noted of these our volume
gives, including the already mentioned little book of the Yin
Fu King, and also a poetic inscription preserved in the birthtemple
of Lao-Tze, the formula of the ceremonial which made
him a god. We also give the Thai-Shang, which is the
"popular gospel" of Taoism as read by the Chinese of to-day.
Chinamen who find the great Taoist doctrines of old are too
abstruse can at least grasp the simple Taoism of the Thai-Shang.

THE WOBKS OF MENCIUS
After this brief tracing of the development of Taoism and
its literature, we must survey the growth of other religions
in China. Confucianism, as we have just seen, was not
immediately adopted in the days of its great teacher Confucius
or Kung. It remained but one among many philosophies,
until it was taken up by Mencius. The real name of
this celebrated sage was Mang, but we have Latinized it
into Mencius, just as we Latinized Kung Fu-tze into Confucius.

Mang was a younger contemporary of our great
Taoist teacher Chuang-Tze. There is, in fact, a striking
parallel between the Taoist masters Lao-Tze and Chuang-Tze,
and the Confucians Kung and Mang. Mang added much
to the faith he had learned from the writings of Confucius.
While humbly attributing all his doctrines to his master, he
really revised and popularized them and then brought his
country to accept this revised faith as its chief religion. The
Confucianism taught to-day in China is the specific form developed
by Mencius. His seven books therefore occupy a
section of our volume.

THE NESTOBIAN TABLET
Christianity found also an early welcome in China. We
know now that somewhere along in the seventh century of our
Christian era monks of the Nestorian sect journeyed as missionaries
over most of Asia. When they reached China they
were listened to as thoughtfully, as respectfully, as were the
Buddhist teachers from India. Christianity was given equal
chance with Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism to be
ranked among the "State religions" of the Empire. For a
while it prospered. At one time there must have been many
thousands of Nestorian Christians in China. Then, for some
cause that we may never learn, the faith dwindled and finally
died out. It left behind just one remarkable monument.
In the days of its success a tablet had been erected telling of
its history. In the days after its disappearance this tablet
was preserved with honor in a temple among tablets erected
to other lost religions. And there more recent Europeans
have rediscovered it. It is called the Nestorian tablet, and
is given here, as the one surviving record of early Christianity in China.

THE LESSER LITEBATTJBE OF CHINA
Outside of religious works, the medieval literature of
China would have little interest to Western readers. There
is an enormous mass of it. In fact, even before our era a
Chinese emperor concluded that the vast number of books
was become a burden to his people and ordered all books destroyed,
except for a few selected forms, such as philosophic
works. The result was an enormous burning of books, which
is still regretfully referred to by Chinamen as
"the GreatBurning" (213 B.C.). Many scholars sacrificed their lives
in the effort to preserve their literary treasures; and there
has always been some doubt as to just how much of the actual
writings even of Confucius and Lao-Tze were then preserved,
and how much was afterward rewritten from the memory of their disciples.

Even the " Great Burning," however, could not permanently
check Chinese literature. The massing up of books
immediately began again, chiefly in commentary and explanation
of the religious works, but also in other forms.

The oldest Chinese history now known is that of Sze-ma
Chien, which was written about 100 B.C. Some stories from
it are quoted in the present volume, those being selected
which describe the Taoist teachers. Sze-me Chien's work is
really a mere collection of not wholly reliable anecdotes;
yet it has served as the model history for all later generations.
Confucian conservatism has in similar fashion checked Chinese
development in every line. Poetry is still modeled on
the ancient classic poetry preserved by Confucius in the
Shih King. As for the drama, since there was no such art
preserved among the Confucian classics, Medieval China
never developed drama very far. A single well-known example
of a Chinese play is, however, presented here to complete
our survey of the literature.

Fiction too, though its existence is inevitably interwoven
with that of humanity, was regarded by Chinese scholars as
undignified and was only tolerated when, as with Chuang-
Tze, it enforced philosophy. Yet there is one work of Chinese
fiction so artistically written that even Chinese philosophers
admire it. They tolerate its theme for the sake of its
masterly style, which they hold up as the perfection of their
language. This is the Liao Chai, or "Strange Stories of Pu Sung-ling."


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CONTENTS OF VOLUME XII
Medieval China

INTRODUCTION 
Taoism, the Most Popular among a Thousand Religions 1

TAOISM
I. TAO-TEH KING, or Book of the Virtues of the Tao (520 B.C.?) 11
Lao-Tze's Profound and Puzzling Gospel
II. THE "DIVINE CLASSIC" OF CHUANG-TZE, 
the popularize! of Taoism (330 B.C.) 75
The Nei or Inner Circle of Teaching ... 79
The Floods of Autumn 148
Knowledge Rambling in the North .... 162
The History of Taoism 175
Anecdotes 189
The Disputed Books of Chuang-Tze ... 197

LATER TAOIST TEXTS
III. YIN Pu KING (A.D. 800?) 227
Reputed the First Book of the Primeval Chinese
IV. THE IMPERIAL MANDATE RAISING LAO-TZE TO GODHOOD (A.D. 666) 231
V. THAI-SHANG (A.D. 1000) 235
The most popular Taoist Book

PAGE
OTHER RELIGIONS
VI. THE WORKS OF MENCIUS (300 B.C.) .... 243
The founder of Confucianism as the State Religion
VII. THE NESTORIAN TABLET (A.D. 781) .... 379
The sole relic of Chinese Christianity

HISTORY AND DRAMA
VIII. SZE-MA CHIEN, the first historian (100 B.C.) . 396
IX. AUTUMN OF THE PALACE OF HAN, an historical drama 399
BIBLIOGRAPHY 415

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THE SACRED BOOKS AND EARLY LITERATURE OF THE EAST

VOLUME IV

M E D I E V A L H E B R E W
THE MIDRASH
THE KABBALAH

In Translations by
DR. W. WYNN WESTCOTT, D.P.H., Magus of the Roskrucian Society;
S. L. MATHERS, M.A.; VERY REV. HERMAN ADLER, LL.D., President
of Jews' College; ADOLF NEUBAUER, Ph.D., Reader of Rabbinical
Literature, Oxford University; REV. SAMUEL RAPAPORT,
Rabbi of Cape Colony; DR. MICHAEL FRIEDLANDER, Ph.D.; and
other authorities on Hebraic and Kabbalistic lore.

With a Brief Bibliography by
ADOLPH S. OKO, Librarian of Hebrew Union College.
With an Historical Survey and Descriptions by
PROF. CHARLES F. HORNE, PH.D.

PARKE, AUSTIN, AND LIPSCOMB, INC.
NEW YORK LONDON

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MEDIEVAL HEBREW ( English Translated )
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MEDIEVAL HEBREW ( Sacred Book ) ISBN



" Wisdom is granted by God to him who already possesses
knowledge, not to the ignorant" MIDBASH TANHUMA.
"The Bible, or written law, contains unexplained passages
and hidden sentences, which can not be fully understood without
the help of the oral law." MIDEASH TANHUMA.


Introduction
HOW FROM RELIGION THE HEBREW THOUGHT BRED
JMYSTERY, PHILOSOPHY, AND POETRY
THE Hebrew writings after the fifth century of our present
era include no such transcendently important religious
works as the Bible and the Talmud. Yet the Hebraic
race had lost neither their wonderful genius for religious
thought, nor their strong instinct for formalism, for the
embodiment of religion in a mass of minute rules. Hebrew
tradition was still to give to the world two remarkable works
bearing upon religion. Neither of these is a single book;
each, like the Bible itself, is a collection of many works, brief
books carrying the complete thought of many generations.
One of these collections is commonly called the
"Midrash," and the other the " Kabbalah."
To appreciate these two earnest and strange and mystic
labors of medieval thinkers, we must realize that from the
time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (A.D. 70)
there was no longer a Hebrew nation living in its own land.

There was only a mournful race, wide-scattered over all the
world. At first the chief remaining center of Hebrew
thought and teaching was in Babylon, the foster-home from
which sprang the main bulk of the Talmud. But after the
fifth century A.D. the lands of Babylonia were plunged also
into destruction ; and more than ever the Jews became hapless
wanderers. They were welcomed, indeed, in some lands,
because their habits of peace and industrv and obedience
made them profitable servitors ; but more often they were met
with savage persecution. Hence to the medieval Jew the
usual conditions of life were strangely reversed. The people
among whom he dwelt were not his
"neighbors," but werestrangers and enemies ; while his true
"neighbors," those who would feel with him and help and value him, dwelt in all
the widest distances of the world.

Because of this scattered life of the medieval Jews, their
literary men were much more apt to write in the language of
the land wherein they dwelt than in the very ancient Hebrew,
which was known only to their very learned brethren, or in
the common Jewish speech, or Aramaic, which had long supplanted
the older Hebrew, even in Jerusalem itself. From
the time of Jerusalem's fall, when Josephus, that wise and
crafty Hebrew general, wrote his
" Wars of the Jews "
not in his native tongue but in Latin, so that the Roman conquerors
could read it, down to the day when the poet
Heine penned his passionate Jewish laments in German,
writers of Hebrew birth and spirit have enriched the literature
of every language in the world. Only when the
thinker had something to say directly to other Jews, something
personal or dealing with their religion, would he probably
write in Hebrew or Aramaic. Hence the later Hebraic
books are almost wholly religious, or, to employ the usual
word, " rabbinical."

THE MIDEASH
To this class belongs the medieval Midrash. The word
" Midrash " means " explanation," and so in a sense all
Hebraic religious works since the Bible are included in the
Midrash. But the name is generally limited to the commentaries,
which always remained mere human "explanations,"
and were never accepted, as was the Talmud, as being inspired,
and hence as forming part of the official and unalterable
religion. The medieval Midrash thus includes a
considerable bulk of writings, some of which may be as old
as the fifth century A.D., but the fullest and best of which
date from the ninth to the thirteenth century. They furnish
us, like the Talmud, with a further mass of homely or poetic
details about all the older Biblical characters, and of subtle
analysis of Bible doctrines. Some of the statements are
undoubtedly based on very ancient tradition. Many
Hebrews look upon the Midrash as the mere putting into
writing of facts always known to their race, and they hence
accept its teachings as equally valuable with those of the Talmud.

THE KABBALAH
With the Kabbalah we turn to another field, to what is
perhaps the latest, and certainly the most mysterious, product
of Hebrew religious thought. When the chief books of the
Kabbalah were presented to the European world in the fourteenth
century they created so profound an interest that their
appearance may well be noted as forming one of the most
important events of the Renaissance. They were said to
be as holy as the Bible, and as old, or even older ; and many
learned men accepted them at this valuation. A leading
Italian scholar, Pico di Mirandola, urged upon Pope Sixtus
(A.D. 1490) that the doctrines of the Kabbalah should be
accepted as part of the Christian doctrine. Indeed, many
Jews found in these so-called sacred Hebrew books such a
similarity to Christian teaching that they became converted
to the Christian faith.

Soon, however, eager scholars began to search the books of
the Kabbalah for what these could tell of magic, rather than
of religion. Doubts were cast upon the genuineness of their
proclaimed antiquity; and their teachings were relegated
to that borderland of fantasy and mystery which pervades
their highly spiritual religious ideal. To some critics of
to-day, the books of the Kabbalah are merely mechanical
riddles and mathematical word-games, to others they are
dark and brooding pits of evil ; to some they are petty frauds,
to others they are still the most ancient, deep, and holy books
of all the world. To every one of us they must have some
living interest as the subtlest and most mysterious product
of a subtle and mysterious age.

The Midrash reviews the past, the Kabbalah explores eternity.
The present volume, therefore, is given first to the
most noted books of the Midrash, with their harvest of added
details for the Bible story, and then to those of the Kabbalah,
with their searching of unknown deeps.
THE SPANISH HEBEEWS
Beyond these come the Hebrew writings held less sacred,
though only perhaps because they are less ancient, or at least
have never been invested with a claim or pretense to remote
antiquity. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries of our
era the gorgeous Arabic, or Moorish, civilization of Spain
was the center of the world's intellectual activity ; and as the
Moors were tolerant toward the Jews, we find among them
great Hebrew philosophers who wrote in Arabic. We find
also some who used the ancient Hebrew, or whose Arabic
works were by their admiring brethren translated promptly
into Hebrew. The more worldly or Arabian of these writers
we must look for in our Arab volume ; but we give here the
most noted works of the distinctly Hebraic style. First
among these in point of time comes the religious poetry.
There is a considerable bulk of medieval Hebraic verse of
this sort, much of it rising to a high level of poetic vision
and an even higher level of philosophical thought. We
begin here with the hymns of Avicebron, who was a noted
Arabic teacher arid philosopher of the eleventh century, but
had not forgotten his Jewish faith and people. Our book
then turns to Jehudah hal-Levi, commonly called Judah
Halevi, the most renowned of Hebrew religious poets. His
" Ode to Zion "
is usually accounted the high-water mark of
such poetry ; and his proudly boastful prose work,
" The Book Cusari," is equally typical of his day and of his people.

From the poets we turn to the prose philosophers. Chief
of these, from the Hebraic viewpoint, were Ibn Ezra of the
twelfth century and Maimonides of the thirteenth. Ibn
Ezra has been made known to English readers by Browning's
great poem, which takes him for its philosophic interpreter
of the worth of life. Maimonides, more accurately to be
called Moses ben Maimon, was so famed among his own people
for his work in codifying and expounding their faith, that
even to-day they speak of their religious teaching as extending
"from Moses to Moses." That is, the teaching began
with Moses of the Bible and receiving the Law upon Mount
Sinai, and it was finally fixed, closed, and established beyond
any further change, by Moses ben Maimon.

Having thus traced the whole outline of Jewish religious
development, our book closes with the most notable Hebrew
medieval work not touching on religion that is, so far as
anything Hebraic could reach outside of the tremendous allpervading
religious faith. This is the book of the travels of
Benjamin of Tudela, the most noted of Jewish travelers.
Doubtless other Jews in other ages have seen even more of
the world than he, but from no other have we preserved so
full and thoughtful a record of what he saw. Even Benjamin
of Tudela is more Jew than traveler. He notes chiefly how
many Jews he finds in each new place, how many
"neighbors,"
that is, for him, and how they stand with regard to
upholding the ancient faith. His work is thus well fitted to
form the closing picture of medieval Hebrew literature and life.


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CONTENTS OF VOLUME IV
MEDIEVAL HEBREW

INTRODUCTION 
The Breadth and Persistency of Hebrew Learning
I. THE MIDRASH, or Preserved Tradition .... 7
The Tanhuma Midrash (about A.D. 500) ... 12
Bereshith Rabba 42
Exodus Rabba 69
Leviticus Rabba 90
Numbers Rabba . 105
Deuteronomy Rabba 121
Ashmedai, the King of Demons 133
II. THE KABBALAH, 
or Secret Tradition (from unknown date to A.D. 1305) 145
The Book of Creation, or Sepher Yetzirah . . 164
The Book of Concealed Mystery, or Sepher Dtzenioutha 181
The Greater Holy Assembly 236
III. RELIGIOUS POETRY 331
The Poems of Avicebron or Ibn Gabirol (died A.D. 1058) 334
The Poems of Judah Halevi (A.D. 1080-1150) . 337
Later Poets 352
IV. THE BOOK CUSARI, The Story of a Lost Race . 359
V. THE GREAT HEBREW PHILOSOPHERS .... 367
Commentaries of Rabbi Ben Ezra (A.D. 1092-1167) .371
Advice of Maimonides (1135-1204) .... 375
VI. THE TRAVELS OF BENJAMIN OF TUDELA (A.D. 1160-1173) 381
BIBLIOGRAPHY . 429
_______________

ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOLUME IV
The Tomb of Hiram    Frontispiece
The Mosque of Abraham 64
Kabbajistic Diagram of the Soul 160
An Ancient Synagogue in Palestine  384

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