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coast lie also a chain of islands, called Sporades, from their dispersed situation. The latter, with Samos and Chio, more properly belong to Asia, than to Europe.
VENICE. 607. Venice. This city, which has formerly constituted a republic of no inconsiderable power and distinction, was founded about the year 452, upon a number of small islands, at the head of the Adriatic, by men who fled from the destructive sword of Attila, when conquering and ravaging Italy. It gradually rose to a high rank, and in the 12th century was able to oppose the emperor of Germany. For some centuries before the discovery of a passage to the East by the Cape of Good Hope, a great commerce between Europe and Asia was carried on by the Venetians. But that discovery diverted the East India trade from Venice, which, with her continual wars, reduced her power, and she became an inferior state. During the late invasion of Italy by the French, Venice was taken by them, and ceded by treaty to the emperor of Austria. But since the invasion of Austria, and the battle of Austerlitz, Venice has been annexed to the kingdom of Italy.
608. Description of Venice Venice being situated on about 70 low islands, surrounded by water, appears like a Hoating town. The shallow water around the city serves for a defense against an enemy; yet by the arms and the stratagems of the French, it has been subdued, and its independence annihilated. The streets are paved with white stone, and clean, but narrow and crooked, and no wheel carriage is used in the city. The city is intersected by canals, over which are bridges of white stone, the principal of which, called the Realto, is of marble, having an arch of 90 feet, and costing 250,000 ducats. On these canals ply innumerable gondolas, some of them elegantly built and decorated. The city contains many springs of water, but some of them are not good, and many persons preserve water in cisterns. The city contains many magnificent buildings, as the ducal palace, the mint, library, arsenal, the square and church of St. Mark, with immense collections of books, paintings and status . ary. The inhabitants of Venice are about 150,000, and their commerce and manufactures are considerable. Their principal manufactures are silks, velvet, gold and silver stuffs, brocades, paper, and particularly most beautiful glass.
609. Territories and Islands of Venice. Formerly Venice possessed, upon the continent, Istria, Dalmatia, and several large islands in the Adriatic, as Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, and others. But Istria and Dalmatia have been erected into duchies, and annexed to the kingdom of Italy ; and the large islands were, a few years ago, formed into a republic under the protection of Russia. Corfu, the ancient Corcyra, contains 50,000 souls, mostly Greeks, and is fruitful in all the productions of Greece. Cephalonia, 80 miles long and 40 broad, is fruitful and well peopled. Zante, the ancient Zacynthus, is 24 miles long and 12 broad, and produces all the fruits of Greece, especially currants. The inhabitants are about 40,000, one half of which belong to the capital of the same name,
POLAND. 610. History of PolandPoland was formerly a kingdom of large extent and power, between Russia, Austria and Prussia, being nearly 700 miles square, including Lithuania, Red Russia, Podolia, Volhinia, and other provinces, and containing 14 millions of inhabitants. But the crown was elective, and this was so great a prize, as to excite intrigues in favor of the candidates over all Europe, and the elections produced violent factions, bare. faced corruption and bribery, and were sometimes terminated by force. At length, a coalition was formed by the courts of Russia, Austria and Prussia to dismember Poland, and in 1772 the scheme was effected, each power took a part, and Poland was stripped of five millions of its inhabitants. In 1793 a second partition took place, and the nation making some effort to vindicate its rights, the troops of Russia entered the country, took Warsaw, the capital, and the king of Poland formally resigned his crown in 1795. Poland, therefore, as a state, is blotted from the map of Europe.
ASIA. 611. Situation and Extent. That great quarter of the earth called Asia, extends from the 26th degree of east longitude to the 190th, or 164 degrees, which makes the length east and west about 7500 miles. In bredth, it extends from near the equator to the 77th degree of north latitude, or about 5400 miles. It is bounded on the west by Europe and Africa ; on the north by the Arctic ocean ; on the east and south by the Pacific and Indian oceans.
612. General View of the Mountains of Asia. In Asia Minor, now Turkey in Asia, commences an irregular chain of mountains, and extends nearly to the Euphrates, about 600 miles. This is called the Taurian chain, from Taurus, the name given anciently to some of its principal elevations. In the language of the country, it is called Kurun. Another range of mountains runs north and south in Syria, about 30 or 40 miles from the Mediterranean. The principal of this chain is called Libanus or Lebanon, and is often mentioned in scripture. Between the Euxine and Caspian Seas, runs the chain of Caucasus. To the east of the Caspian runs the vast Altaic chain, to the eastern limits of Asia, south of which are the Alak and Hindookoh chains. From these great chains run smaller ranges and spurs, which have various names, and are not sufficiently known to be descrie bed.
613. General View of the large Rivers of Asia. In the chain of Taurus, the river Euphrates has its sources. This river unites with the Tigris, 20 leagues from its mouth, and enters the Persian Gulf. On the Caucasian chain originates the Kur, or Cyrus of antiquity, which pours its waters into the Caspian. On the Altaic chain originate the Ob, or Oby, the Jenesee, and Lena, some of the largest rivers on the globe, which running northerly courses, pour their waters into the Arctic sea. On the south side of this chain originates the Amur, a vast river which enters the sea of Okosk, a branch of the great Pacific Ocean. In Tartary spring the great Hoan-ho, or Yellow River, and the Kian-ku, the two prin.
cipal rivers in China, which exceed 2000 miles in length, and discharge their waters into the Pacific. In the mountains of Tibet originate the celebrated Ganges, and the Burrampooter, two vast streams which unite and discharge their waters into the bay of Bengal. In the same chain originates the Sind, or Indus, which enters the Indian Ocean.
614. First Peopling of Asia. Asia, the largest and most populous quarter of the eastern continent, was the first part of the globe peopled by rational beings. It is generally supposed that the first pair, Adam and Eve, resided in the mild and genial climate of Persia, or in some of the neighboring regions bordering on the Euphrates; tho respectable writers have assigned to paradise a more eastern position. It is, however, certain that Asia was first peopled. The oriental Asiatics are supposed to be mostly descendants of Shem; the Africans, descendants of Ham; and the Europeans, the chit. dren of Japhet. :
TURKEY IN ASIA. · 615. Situation and Extent. That part of the Turkish dominions which lies in Asia, extends from the Hellespont to Persia, in the 46th degree of east longitude ; and from the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates, in the 31st degree of north latitude, to the chain of Caucasus, and the river Cuban, in the 46th degree. Its utmost length therefore must be about 1100 miles, and its bredth about 1000. It is bounded north by the Euxine and the Cuban, east by Persia, south by Arabia and the Mediterranean, and west by the Egean Sea or Archipelago, and the strait between that sea and the Euxine.
616. Divisions. The principal divisions of this extensive territory are Natolia, Karaman and Roum, which comprize what was formerly called Asia Minor, or Lesser Asia, between the Mediterranean and Euxine Seas. On the east are Armenia, Guria, Mingrelia and Abkhas, countries which lie between the Euxine and the Caucasian mountains, and include the ancient Georgia and Circassia. Armenia is also called Turcomania. To the south of these provinces are Kurdistan and Irak Arabi, the ancient Assyria and a part of ancient Persia ; and Diarbeck, the ancient Mesopotamia, between the Euphrates and Tigris. On the south is Syria, along the eastern border of the Mediterranean, including Palestine and Judea.
617. Mountains. The chain of Taurus runs through a great part of Asiatic Turkey, and detached mountains and smaller ranges in various directions give this coulltry a mountainous aspect. Among the detached mountains are Ida, near the site of ancient Troy, and Olympus, which is so high as to be covered with perpetual snow. Libanus is a chain which extends north and south through a considerable part of Syria, and is often covered with snow. Anti-Libanus is a smaller chain to the east of Libanus. On the north east is the chain of Caucasus, of great elevation.
618. Rivers. The principal river of Asiatic Turkey is the Euphrates, which is often mentioned in scripture. Its sources are in the mountains of Armenia, a continuation of the Taurian chain, and being joined by the Morad, which is really the largest branch, it winds from a south west to a south east course, and uniting with the Tigris, it enters the Persian gulf by two channels. Its length is about 1400 miles. The Tigris originates about 150 miles south of the head of the Euphrates, and runs nearly a direct course of about 800 miles to the Euphrates. They are both navigable rivers, and both are celebrated in antiquity. The Euphrates was the seat of Babylon, and the Tigris the seat of Nineveh.
619. Smaller Rivers. The Halys of antiquity, now called by the Turks Kizil Irmak, proceeds from mount Taurus, and runs northerly to the Euxine, a course of about 250 miles. The Sacaria, a smaller stream, l'uns a like course to the same sea, about 70 miles east of Constantinople. The Minder, anciently Meander, runs westerly a course of 200 miles to the Archipelago, or Egean Sea. Its classical celebrity and remarkably winding course, have introduced into our language the ap. plication of its name to express the winding of rivers. The Sarabat, the ancient Hermus, enters the same sea, after a like westerly course. The Orontes, or Oron,