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The Caliph's Last Heritage

Nature volume 96, pages 707708 (24 February 1916) | Download Citation



THIS book, of such manifold attractiveness and merit, has an unfortunate sub-title. For, though half the space is given to historical summaries (pp. 1–294), tne really valuable part is mainly concerned with the author's travels in Asiatic Turkey in 1906–1913. The History begins with Cyrus the Great, and does not bring us to the Ottoman Turks until chapter xxv., p. 278. It is, therefore, really an historical survey of the lands now comprising the Turkish Empire in Asia for eighteen centuries before the appearance of the Ottomans, and during the first two centuries of Ottoman advance (to the death of Selim the Inflexible). Nearly all this survey is given to the times before the earliest Turkish attack upon our western world—before the advent of the Saljuks and their onslaught upon the Eastern Roman Empire in the eleventh century A.D. Some of the historic maps are well done, and the frontispiece (Restoration of the Round City of Mansur at Baghdad) makes a pleasing and suggestive picture, giving the real features of the Tigris capital. of the Abhasids. But few, indeed, of these plans of past time have any reference to the Ottoman Turks.

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