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.

Temperature of the Air.

THe Air of these Countreys is for the most part very healthful and temperate, with very little Rain, especially towards the South, and in some places (as in Gamaron near the Sea-Coast) not once in three years.

By reason of the vast Extent of Persia, viz. from the twenty fifth Degree of the Equinoctial Line, to the thirty seventh Degree Northward, and likewise for the rough rocky Mountains of Taurus, which run through the middle of the Coun∣trey, and spread out with several Arms, the Air is not every where alike temper'd, but different in many Provinces. Such as dwell Southward from the Mountains feel the Heat exceedingly in the Summer, but those to the Northward have the Seasons more temperate; wherefore the Per∣sian Kings us'd formerly at Set-times in the Year, for their Pleasure and Health sake, to remove their Courts to such Provinces, where they judg'd the Weather would best agree with them: for in the Summer they kept their Courts at Ecbatane, now call'd Thus, where because of the Mountains in the South-West, it is very cool, and in the Winter at Susa, now Susistan; which City lies next to the Northern Mountains, on which the Sun-beams reflecting, make the same a warm and delightful Place, as appears by the Name, for Susa in the Persian Tongue signifies a Lilly. In September and March they remov'd to Persepolis and Babylon.

The Kings of Persia to this day make use of this convenience of the Air, for Schach Abbas in the Winter resided in the Province of Mazanderan at Ferabath; Schach Sefi (according to the Custom of the Persian Kings) often going on Progress, some∣times kept his Court in Tabris, otherwhile in Ar∣debil or Casbin: But the present Seat of the Kings being in Ispahan, is no inconvenient Place either in Winter or Summer, because it is situate on a Plain three Leagues from the Mountains, and en∣joys commonly a very temperate Air.

All Strangers in their travelling through Per∣sia are sensible of this alteration of the Air in se∣veral places, not without great prejudice to their Health, being forc'd by reason of the excessive Heat to travel in the Night, and rest in the Day, especially between the Mountains, where the Passage goes Southward. But in all parts of Per∣sia it is very cold in Winter, and sometimes tra∣velling Eastward with a Northerly Wind it is so exceeding cold, that the Travellers lighting from their Horses in the Morning, are so benumm'd that they can hardly stand.

Della Valle says, that the Heat in Persia is not very great, yet the Beams of the Sun in the Plains are much hotter than in Italy. The Inhabitants in the Summer go Cloth'd in a thin Sute of Callico, in which they walk and do all their Business. Neither is the Cold troublesom to them, partly because it is not very great, notwithstanding it Snows much there, and partly because it lasts but January and February.

*By reason of this difference in the Air, there are several Places in Persia less healthful than others, and the Inhabitants subject to all manner of Di∣stempers, and especially in Schirman and Kilan, where Fevers and Agues much afflict them. The Air at Tabris is accounted the most healthful in all Persia, for the Inhabitants thereof are never sensi∣ble of any such Diseases; nay, they affirm, that if any so troubled come thither, they immediately recover; from whence (as the Inhabitants say) the City Tabris or Tebris, after the Kilan pronuncia∣tion, hath receiv'd its Name; for a Feaver is by them call'd Teb, and Ris signifies To poure out. But besides Agues and Feavers there are many other Distempers which rage amongst them, as the Bloody-flux and Plague, though not so often and vehement as in Europe; also Morbus Gallicus, by the Inhabitants call'd Schemetcaschi, that is, The Casehanian Pox, because it is most there.

In Kilan the Dropsie is very common, yet few Page  42

[illustration]
are troubled with the Stone, and none with the Gout, which is a matter of admiration.

*The Persians generally attain to a great Age, many of them living above a hundred years; and at that time when Olearius was in Persia, the Go∣vernor was above a hundred and forty years old. They commonly suffice themselves with a little, and not too high Food, and live for the most part very temperate.