Asia. The first part being an accurate description of Persia, and the several provinces thereof : the vast empire of the Great Mogol, and other parts of India, and their several kingdoms and regions : with the denominations and descriptions of the cities, towns, and places of remark therein contain'd : the various customs, habits, religion, and languages of the inhabitants : their political governments, and way of commerce : also the plants and animals peculiar to each country
Ogilby, John, 1600-1676.
Page  [unnumbered]

THE General Description OF ASIA.

ASIA, by some call'd Semia, from Sem the eldest Son of Noah, to whose Lot it fell; and now by Naviga∣tors, The Levant, from the Italian Word Levante, i. e. The East, from its Easterly Situa∣tion; hath been generally accounted, by Ancient Writers, the biggest of the Three formerly Known Divisions of the WORLD, and by some estimated equal to the other Two, EUROPE and AFRI∣CA; and is moreover Ennobled with several grand Prerogatives above the rest: For here that Glorious Work of Creation first manifested it self, and terminated in that greatest of God's Handy-works, the Formation of Man: Here flourish'd the Terrestrial Paradise, or Garden of Eden, which our first Parents Inhabited, Culti∣vated, and in the end, by their Disobedience, lost. And as the Creation, so also the Redem∣ption of Man-kind was here wrought, by our Blessed Saviour's Incarnation, Nativity, Preach∣ing, Miracles, and lastly, Suffering upon the Cross, and Resurrection: And here the Divine Monument of his Passion, the Holy Sepulchre, is yet preserv'd, by God's Providence, even un∣der the Guardianship of Infidels themselves. From hence, as from the Fountain of Plantation, and first Inhabited Part of the World, Colonies were sent forth into all Parts, and the whole Globe of Earth was supply'd with People. Here was the first Foundation of Cities, Institution of Laws and Government, Civilising of Manners, Ori∣ginal of Arts and Sciences, and the Communica∣tion of all Literature, both Divine and Humane, to the rest of the World. And as the two first Great and Famous Empires of the World, the Assyrian and Persian, were here Founded, and suc∣ceeded each other, continuing for the space of 1368 Years, namely, from the Year of the World 2000, to the Year 3368; so at this day the greatest Empires of the Universe are con∣tain'd in this Part thereof; as namely, the Turkish Empire, which though it extend it self into Europe, yet the greatest part of it is contain'd within the Verge of Asia; that of the Sophi of Persia; that of the Emperor of China; that of the Great Cham of Tartary; which two last Em∣pires are now by Conquest united under one Head, viz. the Great Chan: and that of the Great Mogol.

Of the Seven Wonders of the World, Four were in Asia, namely, The Temple of Diana, at Ephesus; The Mausoleum, or Sepulchre of Mauso∣lus, at Halicarnassus; The Walls of Babylon; and the Colossus, or Statue of the Sun, at Rhodes. Of the other three, one is in Europe, viz. The Statue of Olympick Jupiter; the other two are in Africa, viz. The Pharos or Watch-Tower, and the Aegy∣ptian Pyramids.

Lastly, Of the Fruitfulness and Pleasantness of this Part, this may serve for a great Argument, That here was chosen out by God himself that Land of Promise, for his Chosen People to dwell in, which the Scripture it self sets forth by the Commendation of A Land flowing with Milk and Honey: And Cicero represents it no less advantage∣ously, in one of his Orations to the People of Rome, in these Words; Caeterarum Provinciarum, Vectigalia, Quirites, tanta sunt ut iis, ad ipsas Pro∣vincias tutandas vix contenti esse pssumus, Asia verotam opima est & fertilis, ut & ubertate agrorum & varietate fructuum, & magnitudine Pastionis, & multitudine earum rerum quae exportent facile omnibus terries antecellat: The Tributes and Taxes, RenownedPage  [unnumbered]Romans, gather'd from other Provinces, are scarce sufficient for the Maintenance and Defence of the Pro∣vinces themselves; but Asia is so fertile, that in the plentiful Production of its Corn-fields, the variety of its Fruits, the richness of its Pastures, and the mul∣titude of those things which for their Rarity are Ex∣ported into other Parts, it far excells all the Earth beside. And thus far Cicero's Commendation of Asia agrees with the common Suffrage of other Writers, namely, That Asia in general, for Fruit∣fulness, Delight, and being well Peopled, is far superior to Africa; and for costly Traffick, and its abundance of high-valu'd Commodities, which hereafter shall be particulariz'd, exceeds Europe also, and may well stand in competition with the new-found World America, with all its Mines of Gold.

Of the Denomination of Asia.

COncerning the Denomination of Asia, there is some variety of conjecture, as upon all such Occasions happens; but the most generally receiv'd is (and that by the Authority of Herodotus) That it is deriv'd from the Nymph Asia, who is reckon'd by Hesiod among the Forty Daughters of Oceanus and Thetys, in this Verse:

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
Crisia, and Asia, and Calypso fair.

This Nymph, the Wife of Japetus, and Mother of Prometheus, is said to have been a Queen of great Power and Authority, extending her Domi∣nions through a great part of Asia, and thereby to have given Denomination to the whole. How∣ever, others derive it from Asius the Son of Cocy∣tus; others, from Asius the Son of Manaeus the Lydian; others, from another Asius, an ancient Philosopher, who gave the Palladium to the Tro∣jans. But the Learned Bochart, as in all his Ety∣mologies he goes a more critical way to work, so also in this, deriving it from the Word Asi, which in the Punick Tongue signifies A Middle, because it lies in thea middle between Africa and Europe; or perhaps because the Mountain Taurus runs through the middle of it, from East to West, as Strabo ob∣serves, thereby dividing it into two Parts, Asia Interior, and Exterior; that Part to the North being call'd Asia within Taurus; that to the South, Asia without Taurus. The Extension of this Mountain Taurus, from Pamphylia Eastward, through the midst of Asia, as far as the Indies, is elegantly describ'd by Dionysius Afer, in his Po∣em de Situ Orbis.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
A Mountain from Pamphylia extends
It self through Asia, and at India ends.

The Form and Bounds of Asia.

THE Form of Asia is observ'd by Lau∣rentius Corvinus, out of Anthoninus Ve∣ronensis, to be Conical; that is, be∣ginning from the West with a more ample Extent, and falling sharper and sharper towards the East, and ending, according to the Account of the Ancients, at a Place which being call'd Dionysii Columnae, or The Pillars of Bacchus, was once thought to be the utmost part of India.

The Partition between Asia and Europe was generally by old Geographers agreed to be the Ri∣ver Tanais, now Don.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (saith Scylax Cariandensis in his Periplus) 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. From the River Tanais begins Asia. This he saith, as having just before finish'd his Course through Europe. To the same effect Stra∣bo; To Europe, Asia is continuous, joyn'd to it at the River Tanais. And Pliny, though he deter∣mine not the Bound between Europe and Asia, yet when of two distinct Portions of the Earth he makes Europe one, he continues thus; In duas par∣tes ab amne Tanai ad Gaditanum Fretum Universo Orbe diviso: The whole World being divided into two Parts, by a Line from the River Tanais to the Bay of Cadis, which is now the Streights Mouth. Moreover, Strabo makes mention of a Peninsula made by the River Tanais, the Lake Maeotis, and the Euxine and Caspian Seas (with which, that Dor∣sum of Ptolomy, between the Lake Maeotis and the Sarmatick Ocean, above the River Tanais, which he makes the Bound between Europe and Asia, seems to have some correspondence) the Entrance into which Peninsula is that Isthmus with which the Poet Dionysius parts Europe from Asia, and de∣scribes to be between the Euxine and the Caspian Seas, in these Verses.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
Between the Caspian and the Euxine Strands,
An Isthmus shooting, as a Limit stands
'Tween Asia's Rich, and Europe's Fertile Lands.

This Tanais which parts Asia from Europe, being the Western Bound of Asia; It is plain from Pli∣ny and Pomponius Mela, that the ancient Bounds on the other three Sides were, Eastward, the Eastern Ocean; Southward, the Indian Sea; and Northward, the Scythian.

The Boundaries of Modern Geographers, agree∣ing in the main with those of the Ancients, are yet somewhat more exact. Cluverius bounds Asia, Nothward, Eastward, and Southward, in like manner as Mela, only to the Indian Sea he adds the Term also of the Red Sea; Westward, with the Arabian Gulph, and the Isthmus between the Arabian Gulph and the Mediterranean, then the Phoenician and Aegaean Seas, the Propontis, Pontus, Lake Maeotis, Rivers Tanais and Ob. Golnitzius his Bounds are also very near the same; onely he differs from Cluverius in this, that in stead of ma∣king Page  [unnumbered]the Indian and the Red Sea one, or on the same Side, he puts the Red Sea among the Western Bounds: He also calls the Eastern Ocean, The Sea of China. Matthias Quadus sets Asia for its We∣stern Bounds, Tanais, the Euxine Sea, part of the Mediterranean, the Isthmus which dividing Asia from Africa, separates the Red Sea from the Mediterranean, and also the Mediterranean Sea it self: Antonius Maginus, the Arabian Gulph, or Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Pontus Euxi∣nus, and the River Tanais, by all which it is bound∣ed both from Europe and Africa. Martiny, the Aegaean Sea, now the Archipelago, thebArm of St. George, or the Streight of the Dardanelli, lacMer di Marmora, thedStreight of Constantinople, theeBlack Sea (otherwise call'd Mar Maggiore, or the Greater Sea) the Streight of Caffa, the Sea call'd DellafZabache, the River Tanais, and a Line drawn from the said River as far as the Northern Ocean; also the Red Sea, and the Streight of Suez, which separate it from Africa. The Northern Bound, commonly call'd the Scythian or Tartarian Sea, he calls Mer Glaciale, or the Frozen Sea, Lu∣cas de Linda, the Arabian Gulph, the Bay between that and the great Mediterranean Sea, the Medi∣terranean Sea it self, the Phoenician and Aegaean Seas, the Propontis, Pontus, and Lake Maeotis, the Rivers Tanais and Ob. P. Bertius divides Asia from Europe by the River Tanais, now Don; the Lake Maeotis, now Mar del Zabache; the Cimmeri∣an Bosporus, now Bocca di S. Giovanni; Pontus Eux∣inus, now Mar Maggiore, or Mar Negro; the Thra∣cian Bosphorus, now Stretto di Constantinople; the Propontis, now Mar di Marmora; the Hellespont, now Bras de S. George, or Destroit des Chasteaux; the Aegaean Sea, now the Archipelago; and lastly, the Syrian Sea: From Africa, with the Isthmus, and the Arabian Gulph: And all the other Coasts of Asia, without these Bounds, he environs with the Arabian Sea, the Indian, Oriental, and Sarma∣tick Oceans. P. du Val of Abbeville separates Asia Westward from Africa by the Red Sea, and the Isthmus of Suez: From Europe he divides it with 1. The Archipelago, otherwise call'd the White Sea, anciently, the Aegaean Sea: 2. The Streight Gallipoli, or the Streight of the Dardanelli, other∣wise call'd The Arm of S. George, anciently, The Hellespont: 3. The Mer de Marmora, anciently, the Propontis: 4. The Streight of Constantinople, or the Canal of Mer Maggiore, i. e. the Great Sea, anci∣ently, the Thracian Bosphorus: 5. The Black Sea, or Mer Maggiore, anciently, Pontus Euxinus: 6. The Streight of Caffa, or Vospero, otherwise call'd The Mouth of S. John, anciently, the Cimmerian Bos∣phorus: 7. The Limen, otherwise call'd Mer Za∣baque, and Tanna; anciently, The Lake Maeotis: 8. The River of Don, or Tana, anciently, Tanais: 9. A Line drawn from the most Easterly deflecti∣on of the River Don, as far as the Septentrional or Northern Ocean, near the River Ob. Where note, That in the Northern, Eastern, and Southern Li∣mits of Asia, the Modern Geographers precisely agree with the Ancients, and among themselves; and in the VVestern Bounds, or Division from Europe, they also agree in the main, and differ little otherwise from each other, than in being more or less particular.

Of the Measure and Extent of Asia.

FRom the Mouth of Canopus to the Mouth of Pontus, Timosthenes, quoted by Pliny, accounts XXVI. XXXIX Miles. Which though according to the common Inter∣pretation of these ancient Roman Numbers, it seems to be in the vulgar way of Numbring, 26039; yet in regard of the extravagant rec∣koning, and so exceeding all bounds of Truth that would follow hereupon, the Translator of Pliny reckons the first XXVI onely so many Hundreds, and brings down the Number to 2639, as indeed in probability it can be no other; and so conse∣quently in the rest. From the Mouth of Pontus, to the Mouth of Maeotis, Eratosthenes reckons XV. XLV, or 1545 Miles, which together comes to XLI. LXXXIV, or 4184 Miles: But Artemi∣dorus, and Isidorus, reckon the Whole, with Aegypt, as far as Tanais, LXXXVIII, or 8800 Miles. Pliny himself, by whom all these Au∣thors are quoted, in more express Terms affirm'd the Length of Asia to be LXIII. DCC Miles; which to hold proportion with the former Num∣bers, can be but 7050. However here the Pli∣nian Interpreter forgetting himself, suffers it to run on to 630750, perhaps because of the DCC that comes after the LXIII: But this, as it would exceed the Proportion formerly observ'd, so it would bring back that Contradiction to common Sense and Reason, which he seem'd before to en∣deavor to avoid. The Breadth, from the Aethi∣opick Sea, to Alexandria, XVIII. LXXV, or 1875 Miles, reckoning the Miles as the manner then was, by so many thousand Paces. Strabo speak∣ing of the Mountain Taurus running through the midst of Asia, from West to East, and measuring the Length of Asia by it, affirms the Length of the Mountain to be 45000 Furlongs, which comes to 5625 Italian or English Mile. Matthias Qua∣dus, though he almost follows the Words of Stra∣bo, yet he makes a longer Mount Taurus; for he accounts the Length of it 58060 Furlongs, that is, 7257 of our Miles, and four Furlongs over; and without particularizing the Breadth, affirms it to exceed the Breadth of Europe and Asia put to∣gether. Mercator extends the Length of Asia from the most Western Meridian, passing through the 57th Degree of Longitude, to the most East∣ern, passing through the 178th Degree, including 121 Degrees, which reduc'd to Miles, comes to 7260. The Breadth he reckons from the Aequa∣tor to the 80th Degree of Northern Latitude, which amounts to 4800 Miles. Cluverius allots to Asia, between the Hellespont and Malacca, the farthest Emporium of India, the length of 1300 German Miles, which is of our Miles 5200: And for Breadth, between the Mouth of the Arabian Gulph and the Promontory Tabis, which is at the Streight of Anian, 1220 German Miles, which is of our Miles 4880. With this Measure Golniti∣us, and Lucas de Linda, exactly agree. Martiny determines the Extent of Asia from West to East, that is, from the Archipelago to the Chinese Ocean, to be 1750 Leagues; from South to North, that is, from Malacca to the Sea of Tartary, 1550 Leagues P. du Val accounts its Length from West to East, that is, from the most Western Parts of Anatolia,Page  [unnumbered]to the Eastern Parts of China, 2500 French Leagues; the Breadth (not comprehending the Isles) 72 Degrees, that is, 1700 of the same Leagues; and all under the Septentrional Tem∣perate Zone, except some Peninsula's, which are found in the Torrid Zone.

Now to reduce all these several Computations to one Standard, viz. of our own Miles; there will be no great difference among the three Mo∣derns last mention'd, provided we reckon in Mar∣tiny's Account three Leagues to a Mile, and in P. du Val's, two French Leagues to a Mile; ac∣cording to which Reckoning, all the Modern Ac∣counts come short of the Ancient: which is the more strange, in regard late Discoverers have pe∣netrated into such remote Easterly Parts of Asia as were altogether unknown in Strabo's, Pliny's, or Ptolomy's time, and therefore may well be sup∣pos'd to have stretch'd it to a far greater extent. But some Mistakes may possibly arise from our not exactly enough accommodating of the Ancient Numbers or Measures to our own, as may evi∣dently appear by the vast Error that might easily have slipt from an inanimadvertency of Pliny's Numbers.

Of the Lakes or Seas of Asia.

THE greatest Lake (if it be not more properly call'd a Sea) not onely of Asia, but (generally so reputed) of the World, is the Hircanian Lake, which contains in Length 270 German Miles; in Breadth, above 100: and although there be no visible En∣trance of any other Sea into it, yet in regard its Waters are generally Salt, it is suppos'd to com∣municate with the Ocean, or some other Sea, by certain Subterraneous Passages; as undoubtedly it partakes also of several great Rivers, since in ma∣ny Places it hath Fresh Water, and abounds with some sorts of Fresh-water or River Fish. The Ancients believ'd this to be a Bay of the Scythian Ocean; but Herodotus, one of the most ancient of the Greek Writers, as also Aristotle, and Diodorus, were of a different Opinion, affirming it to be a particular Sea by it self, as being no where mix'd with the Ocean: And Ptolomy, for that Reason, would rather have it call'd a Lake than a Sea; to which Opinion of his, many other Writers have given their Suffrage. However, it hath common∣ly had in times past the Appellation of The Caspian Sea, and at present is term'd Mare di Sala, or The Sea of Sala.

The next great Asian Lake is call'd Lacus Asphaltites, or The Lake of Brimstone; the same which in Holy Writ is call'd Mare Mortuum, or The Dead Sea, in regard the Water remains fixt and immovable in so vast a Circuit. Upon this Lake stood the Cities of Sodom and Gomorra, Ad∣mah and Zeboim, the two first whereof are men∣tion'd in Sacred Scripture to have been destroy'd by Fire from Heaven; whereupon it hath been also known by the Name of The Lake of Gomorra. And if the fore-mention'd, much more this may be term'd a Lake, in regard it is but very small in respect of that. Over this Lake, like as over that of Avernus or Aornus in Campania, no Birds endure to fly, neither are any Fish able to live in it, by reason of the evil and noxious Savour and intollerable Stench of the Water, which is not mov'd or stirr'd by any Wind, because the Bitu∣minous Quality thereof resists, by condensing the Surface of the Water, which is so thick, that the heaviest Creatures are born upon it without swimming: But it is not Navigable by any Ships, both in regard of the thickness and immovable∣ness of the Water, and the noisomness of the Lake to all Passengers.

The next is the Lake or Sea in Persia call'd El-Catif.

The fourth is the Lake of Genesareth, otherwise call'd Tiberius, and by some The Sea of Galilee.

The fifth is the Lake Samochonites, between which, and that of Gennesareth, the River Jordan flows.

Of the Chief Rivers of Asia.

THERE are many Rivers of Principal note in Asia, as Euphrates, Tigris, Jor∣dan, Indus, Ganges, Ob, &c.

Euphrates riseth in Great Armenia, and is call'd by the Inhabitants generally Phrat: But in its Progress through several Countries, it changeth its Name; for, some space from its first rising it is call'd Pyxirates; towards its entrance into the Mountain Taurus, Omira; again, coming forth from out of the said Mountain, it takes the Name of Euphrates; afterwards it toucheth upon Mesopotamia on the Left Hand, and Syria, Arabia, and Babylonia on the Right, and then divides it self into several Arms, one whereof takes its Course to Seleucia, and falls into the River Tigris; ano∣ther runs through Babylon, and loseth it self in cer∣tain Lakes of Chaldaea, but afterwards shoots it self forth again, and from thenceforth anciently it ran directly towards the Sea, where it disem∣bogu'd it self with a great Mouth; but since, ha∣ving that Course stopt by the People thereabout, for the fertilising of the Ground, it was forc'd to take its way through the Tigris again. This Ri∣ver swelling like Nilus in some places, useth to overflow the Fields of Mesopotamia, and make them very Fruitful.

The River Tigris, by the Inhabitants call'd Tigil, in like manner hath its Source in Great Ar∣menia, in a plain Champaign place. There where this River runs with a slow gentle Stream, it is call'd Diglito; where it carried with a swift pre∣cipitous Course, Tigris, which in the Median Lan∣guage signifies A Dart. It breaks through the Lake Arethusa, and a little after, the Mountain Taurus hindring its Course, makes it self a hidden way under Ground, and rises on the other side of the Mountain; then having pierc'd through ano∣ther Lake nam'd Thospites, sinks again under Ground, and with another Subterranean Course measures six German Miles. After it hath ta∣ken in other Rivers in Assyria and Armenia, it se∣parates Assyria from Mesopotamia, and at Seleucia is Page  [unnumbered]divided into two Branches, one whereof glides to Seleucia, and the other to Ctesiphon, and so makes, as it were, an Island, though of no great Magni∣tude: As soon as its Streams conjoyn into one again, it is call'd Pasitygris. At length it insinu∣ates it self into a Lake of Chaldaea, out of which having broken forth with great violence, it di∣rectly tends to the Persian Gulph, in which it ter∣minates with two Out-lets.

The River Jordan springs from two Fountains, though not far distant frnm each other, the one of them nam'd Jor, the other Dan, of the contex∣ture of which two Words is fram'd the Name of Jordan. This River is extremely pleasant and beautiful in its Prospect: About twelve Miles from its Source it runs into the Lake Samochonites, thence into the Lake Genesara, or Tiberias; after which it waters Judaea and Samaria; and lastly, is immerst into the Lake Asphaltites, or Dead Sea, in the way making several Turnings and Wind∣ings, as if loth to lose it self and its sweet Wa∣ters in such a noisom Sea.

In India are two most Noble Rivers, Indus and Ganges. Indus, vulgarly Hiind, or Inder, rising from the Mountain Parapomisus, takes in nine∣teen Rivers, whereof the Chief are Hydaspis and Hypasus. The greatest Breadth of this River is fifty Furlongs, and the Depth of it fifteen Paces: With seven Mouths it empties it self into the Sea.

Ganges (now Guengam) ariseth out of the Scy∣thian Mountains, affords in many places very rich Pearl, and plenty of Gold-dust. The least Breadth of this River is said to be two German Miles, and its least Depth 100 Foot.

The grand Rivers of Tartaria Asiatica are Ob, and Parapomisus, now Orchardus; both which fall into the Northern Ocean: Rha, now Volga; Jax∣artes, now Chesel; and the River Edel, which disgorge into the Hircanian Sea. Of Persia, Oxus, now Abia, or Abiamu; Arbis, now Ilment; and Samydaces. Not to omit in Media the Rivers Cy∣rus, Cambyses, Amardus, Strato, and Corindas: Of China, Cantao

Of the Chief Mountains of Asia.

THE Principal Mountains of Asia are in Colchis, under the Turkish Empire, Corax: Not to speak of Caucasus, which is accounted part of the Moun∣tain Taurus; as likewise Imaus in Scythia; in Me∣dia, Coronus, Jasonius, Orontes, Zagrus, and Choa∣tras: In Galatia, Olgasis, Didymus, and that call'd The Tomb of the Celaeni: In Bithynia, Orminius: In Phrygia, the greater Cadmus: In Mysia, the lesser Mount Ida: In Lydia, Sipylus, Tmolus, Mesogys, and Mimas; In Caria, Phaenix, Mycale, and Lar∣mus: In Phoenicia, Mount Libanus, Antilibanus, and Carmelius: In Antiochia, Casius and Pieria: In Mesopotamia, Masius and Singaras: In Arabla Petraea, Sinai and Horeb: In the Isle of Cyprur, Mount Olympus: In Palaestine, Mount Gilead. But the Mountain Taurus, which extends from the Coast of Pamphylia, over against that of the Isle of Rhodes, through the whole length of Asia, as already specified, is certainly the biggest Moun∣tain not onely of Asia, but of the whole World, if it be not rather a Conjuncture of several Moun∣tains into one; for so it seems to be, by taking se∣veral Names, as it passeth through several Pla∣ces; as, Imaus, Emodus, Parapomisus, Circius, Chambades, Pharphariades, Croates, Oreges, Oroan∣des, Niphates, Caucasus, Sarpedon, Coracesius, Cra∣gus, and at last Taurus again. Those Gaps where the Mountain divides, and affords Passage through, are call'd Pylae, i. e. Gates; as, the Pylae Armeniae, Pylae Caucasiae, Pylae Ciliciae, which last is famous for that grand Overthrow given by Alexander the Great to Darius Codomannus King of Persia.

Of the Productions of Asia.

NO wonder the Luxury of the Persian Empire still overcame those that were Conquerors by the Sword, as being anciently the Chiefest, and still one of the Principal Kingdoms of that Quarter of the World; which besides its fruitfulness of all things necessary for Humane Sustenance, produ∣ces also all those richest of Commodities that have in all Ages been sought for from other the remotest Parts of the Earth; and which, especi∣ally at this day, now that much more of Asia is discover'd than was formerly known, render the Levantine Trade the richest and most flourishing of all others.

The Ancients were not silent of the great Riches of Asia; but seem'd not to have that parti∣cular knowledge thereof, that the late Voyages, and the Relations of those who Traffick thither, give us. Pliny writes of great Quantities of Crystal found in several Parts of Asia, particularly at Ala∣banda and Orthosia; and Xenocrates of Ephesus is quo∣ted by him to affirm, That in the Isle of Cyprus, and divers Parts of Asia, great Pieces of Crystal have been thrown up in the Plowing of Lands. The same Pliny makes mention of the Stones Alabastrites and Coralliticus, the first to be found about Damas∣cus in Syria, the other in some other Parts of Asia.

Solinus having describ'd those two rich Gums of Arabia, Frankincence and Myrrh, and those two rare Birds, the Phoenix and Cinnamolgus, comes to speak of the Gems or Precious Stones of this Country, and in particular of that famous Sardo∣nix Stone which from the Coast of Arabia was presented to Polycrates King of Samus. The other Stones he mentions, are the Molochites, something resembling in Colour a Smaragdus or Emerald, onely of a deeper Green; the Iris, so call'd be∣cause held in the Sun, it represents all the Co∣lours of the Rain-bow; the Androdamas, so call'd as partaking something of the Nature of the Adamant, or else because it abates the force of Anger and Passion; and the Paederotes, a very beautiful Stone, and by some thought to be the same with the Opal. Neither forgets he the Bal∣som of Judaea, which indeed is generally account∣ed the richest of all other Balsoms (not that of Peru it self excepted:) nor in India the Pepper and Eben-wood which are produc'd about Mount Page  [unnumbered]Caucasus; nor in other Places, the Adamant, Mag∣•••, and Lychnites Stones: Neither omits he to describe the manner of the Conception of Pearl in those sorts of Shell-fish which ingendred them; of which in those days great Traffick was made by the Natives that were expert in diving for them.

But at present, as there is much more of India, and other Parts of Asia, discover'd, than was for∣merly; so we have a more perfect and certain Account of all the Chief Places of Trade, and what the peculiar Productions and Exportations are of the several Provinces and Emporiums of Persia, India, &c.* For the Province of Chilan in Persia abounds with Silk, Oyl, Wine, Rice, To∣bacco, Lemons, Oranges, Pomegranates, and other the most delicious sorts of Fruit. The Pro∣vinces of Iruan, Nachtxuan, Kerabath, Aderbeit∣zan, and Chorasan, bring forth in very great plen∣ty Cotton, which the Persians call Pambeh. The Trade of Pearl-fishing is most especially eminent in three Places, near the Isle of Baharem in the Persian Sea, near the Isle of Manar upon the Coast of India, and near that of Ainan towards China.

Near the City Saha, in the Province of Erac, grows abundance of Cotton and Rice, in which the Inhabitants drive a great Trade.

In the City Katschan is a great Trade driven of Silk Stuffs, and Gold and Silver Brocados. At Caswin, the Chief City of Erac, are bought Tur∣queses, which the Natives call Firuse (and which are found near Nisabur and Firusku) as also Rubies and Granats, very cheap. At Scamachie, the Principal City of Media Atropatia, the Chief Commerce lies in Stuffs of Silk and Cotton, as also Gold and Silver Brocadoes, and rich Scymi∣tars. The Provinces of Kilan and Sahetzan are noted for Silks. Near Baku are several Sources of Nefie. From the Salt-pits of Kutb, Urum, Kemre, Hemedan, Bisethun, Suldus, and Kilissim, there is drawn out great quantity of Salt as clear as Cry∣stal.

The Country of the Malabars in India,*i. e. from the City of Goa as far as the Cape of Comory, is very fertile of Spices, but particularly of the best Pepper of the Indies. The principal Commerce of the City of Cochim is in Pepper, Ginger, and Cinnamon.

The Isle of Ceilon produces Cinnamon, all sorts of Precious Stones except Diamonds, Pearls somewhat-inferior to those of Baharam; but the best Ivory of the World. It abounds also in all sorts of rich Fruits, as Ananas, Bananas, Cocos, Jacques, Mangas, Citrons; and hath whole Fo∣rests of Oranges and Lemons, and also Mines of Brass and Iron, and, it is thought, of Gold and Silver, especially in the Kingdom of Candy. The Soil also is very Productive of Corn, Wine, Oyl, Cotton, several Roots for Dyers, Ginger, Nutmegs, Cardamoms, Mirobalans, Corcoma, and divers other Medicinal Drugs.

In the City of India, the Chief City of the Province Odya, the principal Commerce consists in Stuffs brought from Suratta and the Coast of Coromandel, all sorts of China Commodities, Pre∣cious Stones, Gold, Benzoin, Wax, Copper, Lead, Indico, Calamba Wood, Brasil Wood, Cotton, Saphires, Rubies: Likewise great quan∣tities of Rice are hence transported to the neigh∣boring Islands, and Deer-skins to the Japoneses.

The Isle call'd Java Major is term'd by Julius Scaliger, in his Exercitations against Cardanus, The Compendium of the World, because there is not that Animal, Plant, Fruit, Metal, nor Drug, which is not here in greater plenty than in any other part of the Universe beside: Particularly, the costly Drugs of Java are Wild Cinnamon, Carcapuli, Costus Indicus, Zorumbet, Galanga, Ben∣zoin, Sandale, Ginger, Anacardium, call'd by the Portuguese Java di Malacca, the Wood call'd Pala di Cuebra, Lignum Aloes, call'd Palo d' Agui∣la, and by the Indians, Calamba; the Drug Pody, the Root Carumba, the Wood Conjuapi, the Root Samparentam, the Fruit Gatogamber, with innume∣rable others.

At Bantam they vend great store of Gum Lacca, of which they make Spanish Wax, and the curious Varnish wherewith the Cabinets, and other choice Pieces of Art of China and Japan, are overlaid; also Anil, or Indico, Sandal-wood, Nut∣megs, Cloves, Tortoise-shell, whereof they make Cabinets; and Ivory, which the Mandorins, who have their Chairs made of it, prefer before Silver.

The Island of Sumatra is rich in Diamonds, and other Precious Stones, Silk, Spices, Wax, Honey, Camphire, Cassia, White Sandal in great abundance, and Cotton: There is said to be also in this Island a Fountain of Balsom, incessantly running. It likewise contains rich Mines of Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Brass; and abounds with Rice, Millet, and the most delicate of Fruits, as Oranges, Lemons, Bananas, Tamarinds, Batalas, and that rare Tree call'd in the Malayan Tongue Singadi; by the Persians and Turks, Gul; and by the Portuguese, Arbor triste di Dia; of which we shall speak more particularly in its proper place, having already spoke sufficiently concerning the Riches of Asia in general.

Of the several Religions profest in Asia.

OF the four Religions profest in this Quarter of the World, viz. The Jewish, the Mahumetan, the Pagan, and the Christian, the last is here of the smallest extent, and the Mahumetan of the greatest: But here it was that they were all first planted, Idolatry, or the Pagan Religion, was first broach'd among the Syrians: Judaism, among the Hebrews: Christianity began in Palestine, or the Holy Land: Mahumetanism in Arabia.

Several Missions have been appointed by Chri∣stian Princes for the Propagating of the Christian Religion: that is to say; Those of Turkie, under the Protection of France; Those of India, under the Protection of Portugal; Those of the Philip∣pines, under the Protection of Castile. In the East-Indies are four Archbishopricks, and seven Bishopricks: There also the Jesuits have three Provinces; that of Goa, that of Malabar, and that of Japan. From France the Bishops of He∣liopolis, Metellopolis, Beritus, and Coesarea were sent to propagate the Christian Religion in China.

Mahumetanism hath been receiv'd by the four Principal Nations of Asia, Turks, Arabians, Per∣sians,Page  [unnumbered]and Tartars: The Turks are the most free, the Arabians the most superstitious, the Persians the most rational, and the Tartars the most sim∣ple.

Of the Mahumetans there have been reckon'd sixty two Sects, which nevertheless are reduc'd to two Principal ones; that of the Turks, which follows the Doctrine of Homar; and that of the Persians, following the Doctrine of Ali. The Persians have their Patriarch at Ispahan, the Turks theirs at Bagdat.

The Christians of these Parts are principally those of the Greek Church, who have also their two Patriarchs, the one at Antioch, the other at Jerusalem. The other Chief Sects are, the Ja∣cobites, who have a Patriarch at Caramit; the Nestorians, the Cophites, the Georgians, the Siri∣ans, so call'd from Sirus their first Teacher, not from the Country of Syria; the Armenians, who have their two Patriarchs, the one at Massivan in Media, the other at Ciz in Cilicia; and lastly, the Maronites, who have theirs at Canobin in Mount Libanus.

Of the Ancient and Modern Division of Asia.

THE Ancients divided the whole Con∣tinent of Asia into Asia the Less, or Asia properly so call'd, and Asia the Greater, which is also subdivided into the more Westerly Part, and the more Easterly part. The more Westerly Part, into India the Less, and In∣dia within the Ganges; the more Easterly Part, in∣to India the Greater, and India without the Ganges.

Ptolomy, in his fifth, sixth, and seventh Books reduceth the Provinces of Asia, which he makes to be forty eight, into twelve Tables. In his fifth Book are comprehended these Provinces; Pontus and Bithynia, properly call'd Asia, Phrygia, Magna Lycia, Galatia, Paphlagonia, Pamphylia, Cappadocia, Armenia Minor, Cilicia, Sarmatia Asiatica, Col∣chis, Iberia, Albania, Armenia Major, the Island Cyprus, Coelosyria, Phoenicia, Palestina, Judaea, Arabia Petraea, Mesopotamia, Arabia Deserta, Baby∣lonia. In his sixth Book, Assyria, Susiana, Media, Persis, Parthia, Carmania Deserta, Carmania altera, Arabia Faelix, Hircania, Margiana, Bactriana, Sogdiana, the Sacians, Scythia within the Mountain Imaus, Serica, Aria, Parapomisus, Dranchiana, Arachosia, and Gedrosia. In the seventh, India within the River Ganges, India without the River Ganges, China, which is by him call'd Sinarum Regio, and the Island Taprobane.

The Modern Division of Asia is generally in∣to those five Great Kingdoms already mention'd, viz. The Turkish Empire in Asia, The Kingdom of Persia, or the Territory of the Great Sophi; The Tartarian Empire, or the Territory of the Great Chan; the Empire of China, which is now in the Possession of the Tartar; and the Empire of the Great Mogol.

But to be more particular: Our first Part of Asia we shall divide as followeth; viz. into

  • 1. The Kingdom of Persia, containing the Pro∣vinces Schirwan, anciently Media Atropatia; Erak, anciently Parthia; Aderbeitzan, anciently Media Major, or Satrapeni; Iran, or Carabach; Sagistam, anciently Drangiana; the Country of Nixabur; Kilan, or Gilan; Mazanderan, Chusistan, anciently Susiana; Kirman, or Caramania; Circan, ancient∣ly Gedrosia; Moghostan, Lorestan, Chorasan, Siston, Aria, or Ery; Dagestan, or Tagestan; the Kingdom of Amadan.
  • 2. The Country of Georgia, anciently Colchis and Iberia, &c. containing the Provinces of Ime∣reti, or Basciaciuk; Cacheti, and Cardel, or Carduel; Guriel, Mengrelia, anciently Colchis; with that of Avogastes, or Avogasie.
  • 3. The Province of Circassia, with Albania and Curdistan.
  • 4. India, and particularly the Empire of the Great Mogol, containing these following Kingdoms and Territories, viz. Parapomisa, or Candahor; Sablestan and Balassy, the Kingdom of Cabul, Ter∣ritory of Multan, the Kingdom of Ballochi, or Hangichan; the Province of Buckor, the Kingdom of Send, or Sind; the Provinces of Sorit, Jessel∣meer, and Attack; the Province of Penjab, the Kingdom of Caximir, the Territories of Banchosh, Jangapore, and Jenba; the Kingdom of Dely, the Kingdom of Mando, the Territories of Sanga and Utrad, the Kingdom of Zurratte, or Cambaya, the Kingdom of Candish, or Sanda; the Provinces of Berar and Narvar, the Province of Gualiar, the Kingdoms of Agra or Indostan, Decan, Ballagate, Cuncan, or Visiapour; the Country of Bulloits; the Provinces of Hindows, Nagracat, Siba, Ka∣kares, Gor, Pitan, Canduana, and Patna.