154 THE TRAVELS OF
that region he had built a wall, and this he carried right round one of the mountains. And inside this wall were the most delightful fountains of water, and beside them were set the most charming virgins on the face of the earth, as well as splendid horses and everything else that could be thought of for the gratification of man's senses. Wine and milk also were made to flow there by certain conduits ; and the place had the name of Paradise. And when he found any youth of promise he caused him to be admitted to his Paradise.
recognised as his father's successor in opposition to the mass of the Shiyas. Their doctrine took the form of a sort of gnosticism, giving a non-natural sense to all revelation, from which they had the name also of Bathenians, from a word signifying " esoteric". Hassan Sabah, son of an Arab at Rai, one of their converts in Persia, put himself at the head of the sect in that country, and about 1090 made himself master of the mountainous part of Irak Ajami immediately south of the Caspian. This region included many strong castles, and at one time the power of his successors extended to the gates of Ispahan. From its character the country was called by the Arabs Ballad-ul-Jibal, " the Hill Country", and hence the chief's title. This was also applied to the head of a branch society which had its seat in Syria and became well known to the Crusaders. The name of Assassin is now, I believe, generally allowed to be derived from hashish, the drug under the influence of which the emissaries of the society acted. (D'Ohsson, book iv, eh. iv.)
The Old Man of the Mountain seems to have made his way into respectable political society, for it is mentioned that the Emperor Frederic II took occasion on the Saracen Easter" (i.e., the termination of their fast) to give a grand dinner to the ambassadors of the Sultan and of the Petulus de Montanis, at which many bishops and lords were present. Probably this, however, was the Syrian Old Man. (Hist. Diplom. Frid. II, iv, 370.)
The Chinese author quoted by Klaproth calls the country of the Shaikh Mulahi ; Rubruquis, Polo, Benjamin of Tudela, and the Armenians call it Mulhet or Mulehet. These terms are from (Arab.) Mttici.hidah, atheists or impious persons", one of the names applied to the sect by the orthodox. The name given by Odoric, Melistorte, evidently contains the same element. If the termination do not arise from some error, it may represent some such form as Malhadistccn, "The Land of the Heretics". Wadding indeed mentions, after Bartholomew of Pisa, that the Franciscans had several houses " in Great Tartary near Millescorte", which might be quoted to show that there was a region so called. But, in fact, Bartholomew is here only building on Odoric's own narrative and misunderstanding it. (Wadding, vii, 258.)