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dopi near lon. 30° E. while the northern branch proceeds under various names along the coast of the Black sea. They are connected together in several places by spurs or short ridges proceeding from one to the other.
Mount Libanus, the ancient Lebanon, so celebrated in scripture poetry, runs parallel with the coast of Syria, at the distance of 30 or 40 miles, between 330 and 34° 30' N. lat. Its highest summit is 10,200 feet above the level of the sea and is covered with perpetual snow. To the east of Libanus and separated from it by a fertile valley, is the parallel chain of Antilibanus. They are both connected with the Mount Taurus chain on the north.
Mount Hermon is one of the summits of Antilibanu“, which rises near lat. 33° N. to the height of 8,949 feet above the level of the sea. The celebrated Mount Carmel is a fertile and woody mountain extending for several miles along the shore of the Mediterranean, immediately south of Acre, and rising in some places to the height of 2,000 feet.
Lakes.] The largest lake is the Dead sea or Asphaliites lake io the southern part of Palestine, between 31° and 32° N. lat. It is 60 or 70 miles long from north to soitin, by 10 or 15 broad, and though it receives the Jordan and several smaller streams it has no outlet. The waters of the lake are srongly impregnated with various saline substances, and their specific gravity is greater than any hitherto discovered. Great quantities of asphaltom or mineral pitch are always seen floating on the surface of the lake, and on the south side there is a mountain 9 miles long composed entirely of sal gem. Five cities including Sodom and Gomorrah, situated on this spot, were all swallowed up, accordiog to Scripture, to satisfy divine vengeance for their unparalleled iniquity. Many absurd fables were formerly circulated respecting the Dead sea. It was affirmed that iron swims on its surface while light substances sink to the bottom; that the pestiferous vapors which issue from it are fatal to the birds attempting to Ay across, and that a kind of fruit called the apple of Sodomi grows on its banks, which is of a beautiful external appearance, but never ripens, and when opened discloses nothing but ashes. Modern travellers pronounce all these stories fabulous.
The lake of Genesareth, called also the sea of Tiberias and the sea of Galilee, lies about 60 miles north of the Dead sea. It is 15 miles long and 5 broad, and abounds with fish. The river Jordan passes through it. Lake Van, about 60 miles S. W. of mount Ararat, is a body of salt water 50 miles long and 30 broad.
Rivers.] 1. The Euphrates is formed by two streams, both of which rise in the mountains of Armenia, one near Erzerum, and the other between mountArarat and lake Van. After their union the river pursues a southerly direction till it pierces the chain of Mount Taurus, where it turns to the S. E. and flowing majestically through a broad valley discharges itself into the Persian gulf about 50 miles below Bassora. After its junction with the Tigris it is called Shat ul Arab. 2. The Tigris is form
ed by several branches which usite in the mountains of Armenia; and running a little east of south, passes by Mosul and Bagdad, and joins the Euphrates at Korna near lat. 31. N. after a course of 800 miles. 3. The Kizil Irmac, the ancient Halys, the principal river in Asia Minor, discharges itself into the Black sea in lon. 36° 17' E. ` 4. The Jordan rises in the northern part of Palestine near mount Hermon, and proceeding in a southerly direction passes through the lake of Genesareth and discharges itself into the Dead sea.
Face of the Country.] Armenia is mountainous, and Asia Minor is also intersected in almost every direction by mountain ranges. The western part of Syria, lying along the shore of the Mediterranean, and extending 50 or 60 miles inland, is traversed by the Libanus and Antilibanus and various short branches proceeding from them. The rest of the country, extending from these monntains to the Persian border, and including the tracis watered by the Euphrates and Tigris in the lower part of their course is almost wholly a level country; and the part between the Euphrates and the Syrian mountains is a sandy desert, which extends south into Arabia, and is sometimes called the Syrian, and sometimes the Arabian desert.
Soil and Productions.] In Armenia, owing to its mountainous and elevated situation, the cilmate is colder than might be expected from its latitude, but the general appearance of the country is described as delightful, and the lower parts especially are diversified with extensive plains and beautiful vallies of great fertility. Asia Minor is naturally a very fertile country, but its fine plains and vallies in many parts lie uncultivated, or are merely used for pasture, but districts, formerly the loveliest and most healthy, are now covered with swamps, which corrupt the air, and where in ancient times there was a crowded population, you may now travel for miles without meeting a human being; yet wherever it is attempted the soil still produces luxuriantly the vine, the olive, the mulberry, cotlon, tubacco and various delicious fruits. The same description applies to the western part of Syria, particularly to Palestine, which according to the best informed travellers displays a truly luxuriant fertility, and corresponds entirely to the description of the promised land. In Mesopotamia, or the country included between the Euphrates and the Tigris, the lands immediately on the lanks of the Euphrates and along the moụntains which skirt its northern border, are fertile, but the whole interior is a barren waste.
Chief Towns.] Damascus is situated on the east side of the mountains of Syria, in a fertile plain, amidst extensive and beag. tiful gardens watered by the branches of the river Barrady, which soon after terminates its course in a morass on the S. E. side of the city. It has extensive manufactures of silks and cotton goods, and was formerly celebrated for the best swords and sabres in the world, which were made of steel and iron of so fine a quality that they would bend to the bilt without breaking, but the art is now lost. The silk cloth called damask takes
its name from this city, as also the species of plumb called damson, which is a contraction of Damascene. The city has 200,000 inhabitants, and a very extensive commerce by means of caravans.
Aleppo is situated 234 miles N. of Damascus, in a fertile and beautiful country. It has flourishing manufactures of silk and cotton goods. and carries on an extensive commerce with Europe, Asia and Africa. Caravans loaded with goods travel between this place and Bagdad, Bassora, Mocha on the Red sea, Constantinople and various places in Persia and India. Some of the principal European nations have consuls here, and no where in the Ottoman empire are European merchants treated with greater respect. The population is variously estimated from 150,000 to 250,000.
Bagdad, once the seat of the caliphs, and one of the most populous and splendid cities in the world, is on the Tigris in lat. 33° 20' N. Though it retains little of its ancient splendor, it is still a city of great trade, and a noted emporium for the products Arabia, lodia and Persia, which from this place are carried to Syria, Asia Minor and Constantinople. The population is estimated at 80,000.
Smyrna is a large commercial city of Asia Minor, situated at the head of a long and winding gulf of the Grecian Archipelago. It was one of the most celebrated of the ancient cities of Asia, and in modern times has been particularly distinguished for its trade, it being considered the emporium of the Levant, a term applied commonly to all the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, particularly those of Syria and Asia Minor. Consuls from all the commercial countries in Europe reside here. The population is estimated at more than 100,000. The city is visited almost every year with the plague.
Diarbekir, in a fine fertile plain on the Tigris, in lat. 37° 55' N. has extensive manufactures and 100,000 inhabitants. Mosul, on the west bank of the Tigris, in lat. 30° 21' N. was formerly celebrated for the manufacture of the fine cotton gools, which from the name of the town are called muslins. It contains at present 35,000 inhabitants. On the opposite side of the river a little distance to the north, is a village which is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Nineveh. Bassora is situated on the western bank of the Shat-ul-Arab, about 70 miles from the mouth of that stream, which is navigable hither by vessels of 500 tons burden. The commerce is extensive, all the Indian produce which is sent into the Turkish empire passing through the city. The population is estimated at 50,000 and is composed of a great variety of nations, such as Arabs, Turks, Armenians, Persians and some Europeans.
Angora, in Asia Minor, situated in lon 32° 18' E. lat. 40° N. is celebrated for the goats reared in its vicinity. Their fine long hair is of a silken texture, the shawls made of it rivalling those of Cashmere. The population is 50,000. Scutari, a large city on the Bosphorus immediately opposite Constantinople, and sometimes considered as one of its suburbs, has 30,000 inhabitant:
Tocat, 260 miles E. of Constantinople, has extensive trade and manufactures and 50,000 inhabitants. Bursa, 75 miles S. S. W, of Constantinople, has considerable trade and 60,000 inbabitants. Erzerun, the capital of Armenia, is situated in a fertile plain at the foot of a lofty chain of mountains and contains 25,000 inhabitants.
Antioch, 67 miles W. of Aleppo, on the river Orontes, which discharges itself into the Mediterranean about 20 miles below, was formerly celebrated as one of the first cities of the east. At present it contains 18,000 inhabitants. Acre is a strougly fortified town on a bay of the Mediterranean near the foot of Mount Carmel, in lat. 32° 55' N. In 1799 it wa: besieged by Bonaparte with an army of 12,000 men for two months without success. The population is 15,000.
Jerusalem, the capital of the ancient Judæa, is situated 116 miles S. S. W. of Damascus in lat. 31°47' N. Under the domin. ion of the Turks it has been in a state of gradual decline, having been exposed both to the oppression of the Pachas and the inroads of the Arabs. It still bears some marks, however, of its ancient grandeur. From a distance it appears like a stately metropolis, presenting a magnificent assemblage of domes, towers, palaces, churches and monasteries. The most splendid edifice is the mosque erected by the caliph Omar on the site of Solomon's temple. The building, however, which excites the greatest interest among the pilgrims who resort hither, is the church of the holy sepulchre, which is 300 feet long and nearly 200 broad, and professes to comprehend within these limits the scene of all the great events of the crucifixion, entombment and resurrection of the Messiah. Jerusalem has long been the abode of numerous monks of various nations and professions, particularly Latins, Greeks, and Armenians. The manufactures of the city are almost exclusively beads, cros-es, shells, and other articles supposed to derive sanctity from their local origin. The population is estimated at 20 or 30,000. Bethlehem, remarkable as the birth-place of our Saviour, is a village 6 miles S. of Jerusalem, and contains a monastery and about 2,000 inhabitants. Nazareth is a village 50 miles N. of Jerusalem, celebrated as the residence of our Saviour and his family, during the first 30 years of his life. Here also is a monastery, and the monks pretend to show the kitchen and fire-place of the Virgin Mary, the work shop of Joseph, and the precipice where Christ saved himself from the fury of the multitude. Tyre, whose merchants were once princes, is now a small village called Sur or Sour. It is about 20 miles N. N. E. of Acre, on a peninsula which projects from the shore in the form of a mallet with an oval head. A few remains are still to be seen of the old walls, and of a strongly fortified harbor. Sidon, now Saide, is on the coast, about 20 miles N. N. E. of Tyre, and has 7,000 inhabitants and considerable trade, it being the port of Damascus, from which it is 55 miles distant. Jaffa, the ancient Joppa, is on the coast of the Mediterranean, 40 miles W. of Jerusalem, and is the port at which the
pilgrims to the Holy land usually first arrive. The population is aborit 7,000. Ephesus, anciently one of the most splendid cities of Asia Minor, is now a miserable village, called Aiasoluk, on a bay of the Archipelago 50 miles S. of Smyrna. Considerable remains of some of the public buildings are still to be seen, but the temple of Diana, the pride of Ephesus and of Asia, has not left the slightest trace of its existence. A few wretched Greeks now seek shelter here in the vaults and sepulchres.
Ruins.] Babylon, the great city, with its walls 60 miles in cir. cumference, 87 feet broadl, and 350 feet high, and its 100 gates of solid brass, stood on the Euphrates about 60 iniles S. S. W. of Bagdad and in the immediate vicinity of Hillah. The place of this proud capital of the ancient world is marked only by four or five masses or rather mountains of bricks, earth, and rubbish piled over each other. Balbec, the ancient Heliopolis, celebrated particularly for its magnificent temple dedicated to the sun, is now a small village of Syria, situated in a fertile valley at the foot of Antilibanus, 40 miles N. N. W. of Damasucs. The euormous size of the stones composing the walls of the temple have excited astonishment, nor could any of the mechanical expedients with which the moderns are acquainted, have put them in their present position. The stones forming the second layer are from 28 to 35 feet long and 9 deep. Palmyra, or Tadmor in the Wilderness, is situated in the heart of the Syrian desert 130 miles N. E. of Damascus. Its ruins exhibit the art of Greece and the opulence of Asia united, and antiquity has left nothing to be compared with them in magnificence. The principal and most entire ruin is that of the temple of the sun. This once splendid city is now inhabited by about 30 Arab families, who have built their huts in the court of the great temple.
Population, Religion and Language.) The population is estimated by Hassel at 12,000,000, of which number one half are Turks, and the rest Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Jews, Curds, Druses, &c. The religions are more various than in European Turkey; the Turks, Arabs and Curds are Mahometans, the Greeks and Armenians are Christians ; but both Mahometans and Christians are subdivided into several distinct sects. The languages are numerous, but the Turkish and Arabic are almost universally understood.
Armenians.] The Armenians are a distinct race of people inhabiting the N. E. part of Turkey in Asia and the adjacent districts in Persia. They seldom intermarry with other tribes, and profess a peculiar religion, the basis of which is Christianity. In their habits of industry, and in their disposition to migrate to foreign countries, they are not unlike the Jews. They form the chief class of traders in the Persian empire, and they are found scattered in almost all the principal cities of Asia, engaged in the most extensive commercial undertakings, and bearing a high character for integrity in their dealings.
Druses.] The Druses are a warlike race of people in Syria inhabiting the mountains of Libanus and Antilibanuš and all the