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inland projection of this province, reaching to 30° n. latitude. This northern district has the desert of Beloochistaun on the east, that of Keruran on the
west, and the sandy waste of Bunpoor on the south-west
. This seems to be the only sandy waste in Gedrosia, but it is of considerable extent. It is of an oval form, and is 155 miles long by eighty in its greatest breadth. The mountainous district of Bushkurd, to the east
. of Laristaun, is also of an oval form, being 110 miles long by eighty-five in its greatest breadth. There does not appear to be any rivers of note in Gedrosia: there are some torrents, deep and rapid in the rainy season, but almost all dry in summer. Gedrosia
be divided into the coast and the interior the former being a narrow tract, varying in breadth, and running the whole way to Cape lask, in a wavering direction, but never receding further inland than 100 miles. This province is represented as very barren. Ptolemy places here a celebrated emporium, called, “ The Haven of Women," which Arrian says was so called because it was first governed by a woman.
He also mentions two islands dependent on this province, Astea and Codane.
Carmania, now Kerman, occupies the south-eastern part of Persia, extending along the Persian Gulf, from Cape Task to a place opposite the island of Kishm, and thence northward to the borders of the desert, of which the adjacent southern part is considered as included in this province, and is denominated Kerman, or Carmania the Desert. This part of the province is sandy, and impregnated with salt, being occasionally intersected by short ridges. The remainder of this province, extending more than 200 miles from south to north, but less from east to west, is nearly unknown, except the tract along the shores of the Gulf, and another tract in the interior, between 29 and 30° n. latitude. That part of the coast east of 57° E. longitude, which lies along the narrow entrance of the Gulf, is extremely mountainous, and the rocks approach the sea, where they form a lofty coast. The valleys among these mountains are well watered, and afford fine pasturage for the flocks. They contain also fine plantations of date and other fruit trees. This is more especially the case where the coast runs south and north, between the modern towns of Sereek and Minab, or Minaw. Between
these two places, the mountains recede from the shores, and thus a plain is formed, which, for its fertility, is termed by the natives the Paradise of Persia. The mountains then run northward, and form as it were a large gulf, receding above fifty miles from the sea, and then returning to it to the north of Bunder Abassi, or Gombroon. The plain thus formed resembles the sandy tracts called Gurmsir, being sterile, and producing nothing except dates. That portion of the interior of Kerman which
has been visited by modern travellers comprehends the Nurmanshur, a district about ninety miles in length, and from twenty to thirty miles wide, in which are extensive cultivated grounds, and comparatively small sterile tracts. Two mountain ranges errelose this district on the south and the north, the former of which is of considerable elevation, and covered with snow during the greater part of the year. Between the Nurmanshur and the town of Ker man is a desert, with a few oases of moderate extent : about the town itself there is a large tract of fertile country. West of the town, reaching to the boundary of Farsistan, there are numerous rocky ridges with difficult passes, but they are surrounded with much cultivated ground. In the unknown country, between Kerman and the harbour of Gombroon, and on the road connecting these two towns, there is said to be a large place called Sultan-abad. In the more cultivated parts of Kerman there are several rivers, particularly the Andanis, mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy. According to the accounts of the ancients, its mountains have mines of copper and iron. Pomponius Mela said that the province of Carminia did not sustain any cattle ; at the present day, however, it is remarkable for producing sheep which bear some of the finest wool in the world.
Dependent on this province is the small, but famous island of Ormez, which lies at the entrance of the Persian Gulf, near 27° n. latitude, and 56° 30 E. longitude. The form of this island is nearly circular, and its appearance from the sea is broken and rugged. The whole is a mere barren rock, without the slightest trace of vegetation. The surface exhibits the singular stratification of the island; and the conical shape and isolated position of the various small hills of which the island consists would convey the idea that it owes its origin to volcanic agency.
The hills along the eastern shores of the island are covered from their base upward with an incrustation of salt, in some places transparent as ice. In other places, the surface is covered with a thin layer of dusky red
coloured earth, which owes its colour to the oxide of iron with which the entire surface of the island is impregnated. The very
sand on the sea-shore is composed of the finest particles of iron pulverized by the waves. The island contains no fresh water springs, to remedy which, the inhabitants use tanks to collect the rain water as it distils from the clouds. Tavernier says that the air in summer was so sultry that the inhabitants were forced to live in grots and lie in water. Anciently, it seems only to have served as a place of retreat to the inhabitants of the adjacent shores in times of invasion or civil commotion. At the present day, there is a fortress garrisoned by 100 men, under the direction of the imam of Muskat, who farms the island from the king of Persia. His revenues are derived from the salt, which he exports in large quantities. The fortress is situated about 300 yards from the shore, on a projecting point of land, separate from the island by a moat.
This province, in the days of its prosperity, was one of the richest inland tracts in the whole Persian empire, being a vast hollow space, surrounded by mountains and hills; having on the east those of Arachosia; on the north, the mountains and tracts of Sebwar-probably the Mons Bagous of Ptolemy-in the ancient Aria; on the south, a district of an. cient Gedrosia, now the eastern part of Kerman, from which it is parted by a chain of lofty mountains, covered with perpetual snow, and which is denominated by Ptolemy Montes Becii; on the west, it has the great desert of Kerman. In the centre of this alluvial hollow is the celebrated lake of Durrah, which in the Persian books is sometimes called the sea of Loukh, and by the inhabitants, the sea of Zoor, or Khanjek. According to Elphinstone, this lake is 150 miles in circuit, but Rennell and other geographers make it 100 miles long, and twenty broad. In its centre stands an insulated hill, called the Cohee Zoor, which tradition declares to have been anciently a fort, and which, as it is steep and lofty, and surrounded by a ditch of great depth, is still a place of refuge for some of the inhabitants of the opposite shores.
The edges of the lake of Durrah are for a considerable breadth choked with rushes and reeds. The shores, also, are overgrown with this kind of vegetation; and being liable to inundation, they are full of miry places and pools of standing water. Immediately beyond these woods of reeds and rushes,
the country produces grass, and grain, and tamarisks. The same may be said of the narrow valley through which the Helmund flows. The rest of the country is now almost a desert, affording only forage for camels, and here and there a well for the wandering Belochees, who tend these animals. For the most part, this country is surrounded by wide and dismal deserts, whence every wind brings clouds of a light shifting sand, which destroys the fertility of the fields, and gradually overwhelms the villages. From this cause, the once rich and alluvial tract of Drangiana, which comprehended a surface double that of ancient Susiana, is reduced to a small compass; and it may be asserted that in process of time the lake will be dried up, and the whole of Drangiana be merged in the growing desert.
This province, which was denominated Drangiana by Ptolemy, Pliny, and Strabo; Drangini, and its inhabitants, Drangi, by Diodorus Siculus; was called Zarang, and its inhabitants Sarangæns, by Herodotus, in his account of the Persian Satrapies. Subsequently it was called Nimrooze, and it is now called Sigistan, a term derived from the Sacæ, as Sacastana signifies the region of the Sace, who possessed it about the time when the Scythians passed the Jaxares and the Oxus, and overthrew the Greek empire of Bactria, about 150 years B. C.
Respecting the position of this province, little is known, except that it lay to the south of Candahan, and the valley of the Urghundaub, and the Turung, or Turnuk; it is impossible, therefore, to say what were its physical or political limits. The accounts of ancient writers on this subject, and the researches of modern geographers, are alike meagre, vain, and unsatisfactory.
The Paropamisus, Parapamisus, Parapanisus, and Paropanisus of the ancients, is the Paropanis of the Sans signifying the mountain of springs, or rills, compounded of Pahar, a hill, and Panir, or Pan, water. The province took its name from these mountains, by which it was bounded.
According to Ptolemy, the province of Paropamisus extended east from Aria or Heraut, to the Indus, having Ara
chosia to the south. The ancients, indeed, generally extended Persia to the Indus, and made the provinces of Paropamisus, Arachosia, and Gedrosia extend in a meridional line along the western bank of that stream. Paropamisus was bounded north by Bactria, and on the east by the dominions of the Mogul Ancient writers relate, that when Alexander passed this country in his celebrated march, he found the country for the most part open and plain, destitute of trees, and covered with snow, from the reflection of which the Nlacedonians were exposed to great inconvenience, it grievously affecting their eyes; many of them, it is also said, perished from excessive cold, which seized those who walked slowly, or ventured to sit down to rest. This description accords with the elevated upland of Ghazna, to which Rennell in his map conducts the conqueror. Elphinstone says of this climate, “ Ascending the valley of the Turnuk from Candahar, the cold increases at every stage, and the heat of the summer diminishes in the same proportion. Even at Kelauti Ghiljee snow falls often and lies long, and the Turnuk is often frozen so as to bear a man. Now this place is in n. lat. 30° 30', and Kelautee is in the lowest part of the valley of the Turnuk. In the high tract south of that valley, the cold appears to be as great as in any part of Afghanistaun. A Kelaue Abdorrchem the snow lies four months annually, ani all that time the rivers are frozen, so as to bear a man. Ascending still higher, we at last reach the level of Guznee, or Ghazna, which is generally mentioned as the coldest part of the plain country in the Caubul dominions. The cold of Ghuznee is spoken of as excessive, even by the inhabitants of the cold countries in its vicinity.
For the greatest part of the winter, the people seldom quit their houses; and even in the city of Ghuznee the snow has been known to lie deep for some time after the vernal equinox. Tradition prevails of the city having been twice destroyed by falls of snow, in which all the people were buried.”
Hyrcania, now called Mazanderan, comprehends the largest and widest portion of the low plain along the shores of the Caspian Sea. It is one of the most fertile provinces of the Persian empire, whether the mountains or the plains are considered. Travellers passing through the forests of Mazanderan, pass through thickets of sweetbriar and honey