Page 1296

1296 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-TEE MODERN WORLD.

silver with eighteen spreading branches. On

these were placed a variety of artificial songbirds, which were made to twitter their native notes.

Though less gorgeous in their displays

than the Abbasside monarchs, the Caliphs

of Cordova displayed with not a little pomp

the regal glories of Ommiyah. Abderrahman III built near the capital the splendid palace and gardens of Zebra. Twenty-five years was the magnificent structure a building, and three millions of pounds

were consumed in the work. The most

skillful sculptors and architects of the

age were brought to Cordova to the

end that the palace might want nothing

in splendor. Within the hall of audience

was encrusted with gold and pearls, and the

great basin in the center was surrounded with

life-like effigies of birds and beasts.

Not less was .the magnificence displayed in

the famous residence of the Moorish kings at

Granada. This celebrated structure, known

as the Alhambra, has (though partly in ruins)

remained to our day

one of the wonders

of the modern world.

In its structure nothing that could contribute to the security

and gratification of

man or woman seems

to have been omitted.

The grandest apartment was known as the

Hall of Lions, for in the

midst was a great marble and alabaster fountain supported by lions

and ornamented with

arabesques. In the

Hall of Abencerrages

the ceiling was of cedar

inlaid with mother-of-pearl, ivory, and silver.

The coloring was exquisite and beautiful,

and even at the present

day, after the lapse

of more than five hundred years, the brilliant

tints flash down upon

the beholder as though

they were the work

of the highest art of

yesterday.

In other parts of the

Caliphate the glories of

Mohammedan civilization were displayed in

almost equal splendor. For more than five

centuries the city of Seville revealed in her

progress and adornments the energies and

genius of Islaifl. The population rose to three

hundred thousand souls. Perhaps no tower in

all the Moslem empires surpassed in grandeur

the Giralda of Seville, from whose summit the

muezzin was wont to call to prayer the followers of the Prophet. This noble structure