A Plaster Cast Of A Mussulman Funereal Stone, Found
Near Foggia, Will Attract Your Eye; Contrasted With The Fulsome Epitaphs
Of Contemporary Christianity, It Breathes A Spirit Of Noble Resignation:
"In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. May God show
kindness to Mahomet and his kinsfolk, fostering them by his favours!
This is the tomb of the captain Jacchia Albosasso. God be merciful to
him. He passed away towards noon on Saturday in the five days of the
month Moharram of the year 745 (5th April, 1348). May Allah likewise
show mercy to him who reads."
One cannot be at Lucera without thinking of that colony of twenty
thousand Saracens, the escort of Frederick and his son, who lived here
for nearly eighty years, and sheltered Manfred in his hour of danger.
The chronicler Spinelli [Footnote: These journals are now admitted to
have been manufactured in the sixteenth century by the historian
Costanze for certain genealogical purposes of his own. Professor
Bernhard! doubted their authenticity in 1869, and his doubts have been
confirmed by Capasse.] has preserved an anecdote which shows Manfred's
infatuation for these loyal aliens. In the year 1252 and in the
sovereign's presence, a Saracen official gave a blow to a Neapolitan
knight - a blow which was immediately returned; there was a tumult, and
the upshot of it was that the Italian was condemned to lose his hand;
all that the Neapolitan nobles could obtain from Manfred was that his
left hand should be amputated instead of his right; the Arab, the cause
of all, was merely relieved of his office.
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