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feveral centuries, after the use of it be- mode of approaching it, with great came common, any certain knowledge, minuteness and accuracy. Its fituaeither of the countries to which they tion corresponds entirely with that were indebted for this favourite arti, of Baroach, on the great river Nerbud. cle of elegance, or of the manner in dah, down the stream of which, or by which it was produced. By fome, land-carriage, from the great city of filk was supposed to be a fine down, Tagara acrafs high mountains, all the adhering to the leaves of certain irees productions of the interior country or Powers; others imagined it to be a were conveyed to it. The articles of delicate species of wool or cotton ; and importation and exportation in this even those who had learned that it great mart were extensive and variuus. was the work of an infect, shew, by Besides these already mentioned, our their defcriptiens, that they had no author enumerates, among the former, distinct idea of the manner in which Italian, Greek, and Arabian wines, it was formed. It was in consequence brass, tin, lead, girdles, or falhes of of an event that happened in the fixth curious texture, melilot, white gla's, century of the Christian æra, of which red arsenic, black lead, gold and (il. I shall hereafier take notice, that the ver coin. Among the exports he menreal nature of silk became known ia
tions the onyx, and other gems, ivory, Europe.
myrrh, various fabrics of cotton, both The other commodities usually im- plain and ornamented with flowers, ported from India, will be mentioned and long pepper. At Mafiris, the in the accoubt which I now proceed next emporium of note on that coaft, to give, of the cargo es sent out and the articles imported were much the brought home in the ships employed fame as ar Barygaza ; but as it lay in that trade. For this we are indebt nearer to the eastern parts of India, and ed to the circumnavigation of the feenis to have had much communica. Erythræan sea, ascribed to Arrian, a tion with them, the commodities ex. curious though short treatise, less ported from it were more numerous known than it deserves to be, and are more valuable. He specifies parwhich enters into some details con ticularly pearls in great abundance 'cerning cornmerce, to which there is and of extraordinary beauty, a variety nothing Similar in any ancient writer. of filk ituffs, rich perfumes, tortoiseThe first place in India, in which the hell, different kinds of transparent fhips from Egypt, while they followed gems, especially diamonds, and repthe ancient course of navigation, per in large quantities, and of the were accustomed to trade, was Pa. best quality. tala in the river Indus, They impore The juftness of the account given ed into it woollen cloth of a fighe fa- by this author of the articles imported bric, linen in chequer work, some pre- from India, is confirmed by a Roinan law cious stones, and some aromatics un. in which the Indian commodities subkdown in India, coral, ftorax, glass ject to the payment of duties are en uveffels of different kinds, fome wrought meratel. By comparing these two filver, money, and wine.
accounts, we may forin an idea, toltfor these, they received spices of va: rably exact, of the nature and extent rious kinds, sapphires, and other gems, of the trade with India in ancientuimes. silk stuffs, folk chreart, cotton cloths, As the state of society and manners and black pepper. But a far more among the natives of Tedia, in the considerable einporiuin on the fame carliest period in which hey are coast was Barygaza, and on that ac known, nearly resembled what we count the author, whom I follow oblerve
their descendants in the here, describes its situation, and the prosent age, thelr wants and demands
were of course much the same. The far as I have observed, we have no ingenuity of their own artists was so authority that will justify us in stating able to supply there, that they stood the ancient importation of these to be little in need of foreign manufactures in any degree confiderable. or productions, except fome of the In modern times, though it contiuseful metals, which their own coun nues still to be chiefly a commerce of try did not furnish in fufficient quan- luxury that is carried on with India, tity; and then, as now, it was mostly yet, together with the articles that with gold and silver that the luxuries minister to it, we import, to a confi. of the East were purchased. In two derable extent, various commodities, particulars, however, our importations which are to be considered merely as from India differ greatly from those of the materials of our domestic manufacthe ancients. The dress, both of the tures. Such are the cotton-wool of Greeks and Romans, was almost en- Indostan, the silk of China, and the tirely woollen, which, by their fre- falt-petre of Bengal. But in the acquent use of the warm bath, was ren- counts of ancient importations from dered abundantly comfortable. Their India, raw filk and filk-thread exceptconsump:ion of linen and cotton cloths ed, I find nothing mentioned that was mach inferior to that of modern could serve as the materials of any times, when these are worn by persons home-manufacture. The navigation in every rank of life. Accordingly, of the ancients never having extended a great branch of modern importation to China, che quantity of unwrought from that part of India with which filk with which they were fupplied, the ancients were acquainted, is in by means of the Indian traders, ap. piece-goods; comprehending, under pears to have been so scanty, that the that mercantile term, the immense va- manufacture of it could not make an riety of fabrics, which Indian ingenui. addition of any moment to their ty has formed of cotton. But, as domestic industry.
Remarks on the Mode in which the Ancients conducted their Discoveries, and the
Confidence their Accounts of them are entitled to t.
hibiting either the figure of the the relative fruation of the different whole earth, as far as it had been ex- places mentioned by the ancient geoplored, or that of particular countries, graphers, unless when it is precisely was known to the ancients; and with ascertained by measurement. As foun, out the use of them to asist the imagi. however, as the mode of marking the nation, it was impossible to have form- fituation of each place, by specifying ed a distinct idea either of the one or its longitude and latitude, was introof the other. Some of these maps duced, and came to be generally aare mentioned by Herodotus, and dopted, every position could be deother early Greek writers. But no fcribed in compendious and scientific maps prior to those which were form- terms. But still the accuracy of this ed, in order to illustrate the geogra- new method, and the improvement phy of Ptolemy, have reached our which geography derived from it, detime's, in consequence of which it is peads upon the made in which the an
cients + From the same,
cients estimated the latitude and lon- of the operations which I have mengitude of places.
tioned, could determine the position Though the ancients précceded in of places with a considerable degree determining the latitude and longitude of accuracy at land, it is very uncerof places upon the fame principles tain whether or not they had any prowith the moderns, yet it was by means per mode of determining this ai fea. of instruments very inferior in their The navigators of antiquity feem rarely construction to those now use, and to have had recourse to astronomical without the fame minute attention to observation. They had no inttruments every circumstance that may affect the suited to a moveable and unsteady obaccuracy of an observa'ion, an arren- fervatory; and though, by their pracI'on of which long experience only tice of landing frequen:ly, they might, can demonstrate the neceility. In or- 'in some nessure, have lupulied that der to ascertain the latitude of any def-et, yet no ancient auhr, as far, place, tre ancients observed the me as I know, has given an account of ridiaa altitude of the fan, either by any aftronomical oli tvution made by means of the th:dow of a perpendicu- them during the course of their voya jar gnomon, or by means of an actio. ages. It seems to be evident from Jabe, fruin wh ch it was easy to con- Ptolemy, who employs some chipturs pute how nrany degrees and minutes in sħewing how geogr.phý may be inthe place of obfervation was dilant proved, and its errors may be rectilied, from the Equator. When either of from the reports of navigators, that all these methois could be employed, their calculations were joundei lolely they inferred ibe latitude of any place upon reckoning, and were not the refrom the buit acc nuts which they fult of observation. Even after all the could procure of the length of its improvements which the moderns hare forgeit diy.
nade in the science of navigation, this With respect to determining the mode of computing by reckoning is longitude of any place, they were known to be fo loole and uncerrain, much m ce ai a luis, as there was craquthai, from it alone, fio congiulion Card ly one fit of celeftial phenomena to be deluced with any great degree of which they could have recuulle. precilion. Among the anciebts, this
These were the ecliples of the rindc'tiracy merit have been greatly (for those of the fun were not so well angmered, as they were accuitemei understood as to bi ohiervient 0.1e in their voyag:s, instead of iteering a purposes of geography :) the direct course which might have been rence between the ume i Vici : wore cabiy mea ured, io a circuitous eclipfe was obf rved to begin soen naviy tion along the coast; and were at two different places, live one un acquainted with the comparing or diately the diference between eind aa. i nchier instrument by which i's ridians of those places. But there in ...gs might have been ascertained. ficulty of making wife oblesväriors We ind accordingly the polition with accuracy, and the impofiziniury of many places which we may supioie of repea ing til oftenl, reodului Loave been determined at lea, fixco them of io jittie uie in ge graptry', titan wich licle exactne!s. Wheo, in conthe ancients in detei 9.nox longitudes iequence of an active tride, the ports were obliged, for the swir part, iu of any cuotry were much frequented, have recourse to actual surveys, or to the reckonings of different navigators tie vagne information which was to be may hava ferved in fume meaiu e jo ostained from the reckonings of lando correct each other, and may have ena613, or the itineraries of travellers.
bled geographers to form their conBui mujh the indienis, by means clusiuu's with a nearer approxim:tion
to truth. But in remote countries, porium only, which plainly indicates which have neither been the seat of the intercourse with this region of Inmilitary operations, nor explored by dia to have been very inconsiderable. caravans travelling frequently through Had voyages from the Arabian Gulf them, every thing is more vagile and to those countries of India been as undefined, and the resemblance be- frequent as to have eotitled Ptolemy iween the ancient descriptions of them, to fpecify fo mioutely the longitude and their actual figure, is often so faint and latitude of the great number of that it can hardly be traced. The, la- ' places which he mentions, he must, in titude of places too, as might be ex- consequence of this, have acquired pected, was in general much more ac- such information as would have precurately known by the ancients than vented féveral great errors into which their longitude. The observations by hè Þas fallen." Had it been usual to which the former was determined are double Cape Comorin, and to fail up fimple, made with ease, and are not the Bay of Bengal to the mouth of liable to much error. The other can. the Ganges, fome of the ancienr geonot be ascertained precisely, without graphers would not have been so usmore complex operat ons, and the use certain, and others so widely mistaof instruments much more perfect than ken, with respect to the fituation and any that the ancients fuem to have magnitáde of the island of Ceylon. posteffed. Among the vaft number if the merchants of Alexandria had of places, the polition of which is fixed often visited the ports of the Golden by Ptolemy, I know nor if he ap- Chersonesus, and of the Great Bay, proaches as near to truth in the longi. Ptolemy's descriptions of them must tude of any one, as he baš done in fix- have been rendered it.ote correspondinque latitude of the three cities whichi ent to their realfurin, nor could he I formerly mentioned as a itrıking, tho' have believed several places to lie ben not fingular, instance of his exactness*. yond the libe, which are in truth some
Thele obfervations inducé me to 'degrees on this fie'of it. adhere to an opinion, which I propo. But though the navigation of the fed in another place, that the Greeks ancients may not have extended to the and Romans, in their commercial in-' farther India, we are certain that vatercourse with India, were feldom led, rious commodities of that country were eiiher by curioộry or the love of gain, imported into Egypt, and thence were to visit the more eastern parts of it. conveyed to Rome, and to other parts À variety of particul:rs occur to cons of the empire: From circumitances. tira this opinion. Though Ptole my whic! I have already enumerated, we bestows the appellation of Emporia on are warranted in concluding, that these feveral places tituated on the coast, wore brought in velf-Is of the country which itretches from the eastern mouth to Eufiris, and to the other ports on of the Ganges to the extremity of the the Malabar coast, which were, at that Golden Cherfonefus, it is uncertain, "period," "the staples 'of trade, with as I formerly observed, whether, front Egypt. 'In a country
of such extent bis having given them this name, we as- India, where the natural produc- } are to contider them as harbouts tre- 'tions are various, and greatly diversi. queoted by firips from Egypt, or' fied by art and industry, an active domerely by veffels of the country: Be. 'meftic commerce, both by fea and by yond the Golden Cherfonesus, it is land, must have early taken place semarkable that he mentions ont Em among its different provinces. Of this
Nagara, (the moderni Attack) Taracanda, (Samarcand) and Sera Metropolis, (Kant
we have fome hints in ancient au the Eaft by sea, or the progress which thors; and where the sources of infor. was made in the discovery of its remation are so few and so scanty, we mote regions. Under Justinian, Cofmust rest satisfied with hints. Among mas, an Egyptian merchant, in the the different classes, or casts, into course of his traffic, made some
voywhich the people of India were divid- ages to India, whence he acquired ed, merchants are mentioned as one,
the firname of Indicopleustes; but from which we may conclude trade afterwards, by a transition 'not uncomto have been one of the established mon in that superstitious age, he reoccupations of men in that country. nounced all the concerns of this life, From the Author of the Circumnavi. and affumed the monastic character. gation of the Erythræar Sea, we learn. In the solitude and leisure of a cell, he that the inhabitants of the Coroman- composed several works, one of which, del coast traded in vessels of their own dignified by him with the name of with those of Malabar; that the inte. Christian Topography, has reached us. rior trade of Barygaza was considera- The main delign of it is to combat ble; and that there was, at all seasons, the opinion of those philosophers, who a number of country fhips to be found assert the earth to be of a spherical figure, in the harbour of Musiris. By Strabo and to prove that it is an oblong we are informed, that the most valua- piane, of twelve thousand miles, in He productions of Taprobane were car- length from east to west, and of six ried to different Emporia of India. In thousand miles in breadth from norththis way the traders from Egypt to fouth, surrounded by high walls, might be supplidd with them, and thus covered by the firmament as with a could finish their voyages within the canopy or vault: that the vicissitude year, which mult have been protract- of day and night was occasioned by a ted much longer if they had extended mountain of prodigious height, situaas far towards the east as is generally ed in the extremities of the north, supposed.
round which the fun moved, that From all this it appears to be proba. when it appeared on one side of this ble, that Ptoleny derived the informa- mountain, the earth was illuminated; tion concerning the eastern parts of when concealed on the other side, India, upon which he founas his cal- the carth was left involved in darkness. culations, not so much front any di. But amidf those wild reveries, more Ted and regular intercourse between fuited to the credulity of his new proEgypt and these countries, as from feffon, than to the sound sense characthe reports of a few adventarers, teristic of that in which he was forwhom an enterprising spirit, or the merly engaged, Cosmas, seems to relove of gain, prompted to proceed Jate what he himnself had observed in beyond the usual limits of navigår his travels, or what he had learned tion.
from others, with great fimplicity and Though, from the age of Prolemy, regard fur truth the trade with India continued to be ; He appears to have been well accarried on in its former channel, and quainted with the west coast of the Inbuth Rome, the ancient capital of the di n peninsula, and names several places empire, and Constantinople, the new fuanied upon it.; he describes it as seat of government, were supplied with the chief feat of the pepper trade, and the precious commodities of that coun mertions Male, in particular, as one try by the merchants of Alexandria, . of the most frequented poris on that yet, until the reign of the emperor acccuin. From Male, it is probable Justinian, we have no new informa. that this lide of the Continent bas de. tion concerning the intercourse rich rived its modern name of Malabar