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.

The Plains of Mocan, or Mogan.

*NOrthward from Kilan, near the Sea, lies a Champain Countrey, water'd by se∣veral narrow, but deep Rivulets, the chiefest whereof are Uskeru and Butaru, which have Bridges over them towards the Sea. The whole Tract: of Land ere you come to the Moun∣tains, is very full of Villages, Garrison'd with the King's Soldiers, each under a peculiar Cap∣tain, to resist: the Invasions of the Turks; to which purpose those Villages are assign'd for their Main∣tenance, and the Rusticks not onely pay a certain Tribute to them, but they have Lands also set out, which they must Till for the Soldiers.

This Champain contains sixty Leagues in length, and twenty in breadth, bordering in the South at Kilan, and in the West verging the Pro∣vince and Mountains of Betziruan.

On this Plain (which the Turks call Mindua∣luck, that is, A thousand Chimneys, and the Persians, Mogan or Mocan) dwell several sorts of People, which in the Reign of Hossein making an Insurre∣ction under one Jesid, being vanquish'd, were condemn'd thither, and not permitted to live in any other Towns or Villages; they are by one ge∣neral Name call'd Sumeck Rajeti,* that is, The Kings Villains, because from Generation to Generation they are the King's Slaves, and have small Allow∣ances, according to that most inferior Qualifica∣tion.

Their chief Support is gain'd by keeping of Cattel, which they drive in the Summer to the Mountains, where they ••nd good Pasturage and wholsom Air; but in the Winter they return to the Plains.

Their Children go stark naked in Summer, but the aged People wear Cotton Coats. They are taken to be a kind of Salvages, divided into seve∣ral Tribes.

The Habitations on this Plain, are little Cot∣tages, and very mean, according to the Nature of the Persians, by the Tartars call'd Olack, built of Straw and Bushes, and within furnish'd with as bad Implements.

Five Leagues from the Entrance upon the Plain, from the South towards the North, stands a Chappel, wherein lies bury'd Bairam Tecle Obasi, who in the time of Schach Abbas, when the Turks, under the Command of the Bashaw Tzacal Ogli fell into Persia, was a famous Robber, and having under his Command a great company of the like Shifters, turn'd his Praedatory Practise upon the Enemy; for which the King not onely pardon'd his former Crimes, but made him General of an Army of twelve thousand Men, with which he did the Enemy more mischief, than the King with all the rest of his Persian Forces, and withal rais'd him to the Dignity of a Prince, and gave him many Villages hereabouts.

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On this Plain breed also a sort of wild Beasts, not seen any where else in Persia, which keep to∣gether in great Herds, and are by the Turks call'd Tzeiran, and by the Persians, Ahu; they are very swist-footed, and shap'd like a Roe-Buck.

In most places of Mocan grows abundance of Liquorice, to the thickness of a Man's Arm; the Juice boyl'd out of the same is much better than our English, or that which grows in Germany.

Ten Leagues up into the Plain from the River Cur, flows a Brook call'd Baharu, where many* Tortoises are found, which lay their Eggs on the high Banks, and in the Fields in Holes made in the Sand against the Hills, but always towards the South, that so they may be the sooner hatch'd by the heat of the Sun.

*Through Mogan or Mocan runs a River, now call'd Aras, and by the Ancients, Araxis; but not the Araxis in Persia, by the Inhabitants call'd Cur, and by some miscall'd Beademir. The Anci∣ents have perhaps given the Stream Araxis that Denomination from the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is. To break off, or Rent asunder, because by the violence of its Course it often takes away pie∣ces of the Land, leaving the Banks steep and jut∣ting. It springs from the Mountain Ararat in A∣menia, and carries the Water of many Streams along with it, the chiefest whereof are Carasu, Senki, Kerni, and Arpa, and at last sinks into the Ground near Carasu; afterwards appearing again, not far from Ordabath, falls with great noise and violence, which may be heard into the Province of Mocan, for Mocan, in respect of Armenia and Schirwan, lies very low; through Mocan it runs very slow towards the Caspian Sea, and unites about a quarter of a League beyond the Village Tzawat, six Leagues from the Sea, in 39 Degrees and 40 Minutes Northern Latitude, with the Stream Cyrus, now call'd Cur, which comes out of the North from Georgia or Gurstan.

Both these Rivers are very large, each being a hundred and forty Paces broad; the Water thereof smooth, deep, and brown-colour'd, runs between two high Banks.

The conjoyn'd Streams of Aras and Cur, are by the Inhabitants call'd Causchan.

*The Village Tzawat hath receiv'd that Deno∣mination from the Arabick word Tzawas, which signifies a Passage or Through-fare, because at the same place there also lies a Bridge cross the River, over which none are permitted to come in∣to Persia without a Pass. Every Spring, in March, when the Water rises, they have an Art to re∣move this Bridge, left it should be broken, for then the River overflows its Banks and the adja∣cent Plain above a League; so that none can tra∣vel during that time.