THE ARABS IN SIND. in advanced into Sind, to claim damages for an Arab ship which had teen seized at an Indian port. After a brilliant campaign, he settled himself in the Indus valley ; but the further advance of the Musalmans depended on the personal daring of their leader, and was arrested by his death in 714 a. d. The despair- ing valour of the Hindus struck the invaders with wonder. One Rajput garrison preferred utter extermination to submission. They raised a huge funeral pile, upon which the women and children first threw themselves. The men having bathed, took a solemn farewell of each other, and, throwing open the gates, rushed upon the weapons of the besiegers, and perished to a man. In 750, the Rajputs are said to have expelled the Muhammadan governor from Sind; but it was not till 828 a.d. that the Hindus regained possession of that province. India on the Eve of the Muhammadan Conquest. — The armies of Islam had carried the crescent throughout Asia west of the Hindu Kush,and through Africa and Southern Europe, to distant Spain and France, before they obtained a foothold in the Punjab. This long delay was due not only to the daring of the Indian tribes, such as the Sind Rajputs just mentioned, but to the military organization of the Hindu kingdoms. To the north of the Vindhyas, three separate groups of Hindu princes governed ' the great river-valleys. The Rajputs ruled in the north-west, throughout the Indus plains, and along the upper waters of the Jumna. The ancient Middle Land of Sanskrit times (Madhya- desa) in the valley of the Ganges, was divided among powerful Hindu kingdoms, under the over-lordship of Kanauj. The lower Gangetic valley, from Behar downwards, was still in part governed by Pal or Buddhist dynasties, whose names are found from Benares to jungle-buried hamlets deep in the Bengal Delta. The Vindhya ranges stretched their wall of forest and mountain between the northern and southern halves of India. Their eastern and central regions were peopled by fierce hill tribes. At their western extremity, towards the Bombay coast, lay the Hindu kingdom of Malwa, with its brilliant literary traditions of Vikramaditya, and a vast feudal array of fighting men. India to the south of the Vindhyas was occupied by a number of war- like princes, chiefly of non-Aryan descent, but loosely grouped
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