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near Damascus and Antioch, falls into the Mediterranean. The Jordan, or river Dan, rises in a mountain called Paneum, and passing the lake of Tiberias, runs into the Dead Sea, or Asphaltites. It is about 30 yards wide.
620. Lakes, and the Dead Sea. The principal lake is the Van, in Kurdistan, which is 80 miles in length and 40 in bredth. Near the center of Asia Minor is the Tatta, a salt lake 70 miles long, but very narrow. The Rackama, near the site of the ancient Babylon, is about 30 miles in length, and flows into the Euphrates. The Asphaltites, or Dead Sea, in Syria, is about 70 miles in length and 18 in bredth. It receives the waters of the Jordan, and several small streams, but has no out let. The water is so strongly tinctured with salt and bitumen, that no fish will live in it, nor is it fit for any use. This is supposed to have been the site of Sodom and Gomorrah.
621. Climate, Soil, Agriculture. That part of Turkey which was formerly Asia Minor and Syria, enjoys a temperate and delightful climate. The territory between the Euxine and Caucasus is colder, and the tops of the mountains are usually covered with snow. The country is diversified with mountains, hills and plains. The soil of Asia Minor is mostly a deep clay, and the produce is wheat and barley, with olives and grapes. · Syria abounds with dates and other fruits. But the people are said to be in a wretched condition, oppressed by the Turks, and without ambition, so that agriculture is in a low state.
622. Animals. The best horses of Asiatic Turkey are of Arabian breed. Mules, asses and camels are in common use. The cattle are not of superior excellence, but the sheep are good, and the goats remarkably fine. The hair of the Angora goat is the material of a most valuable manufacture. The lion is an inhabitant of the eastern part of this country, and other voracious animals of the feline genus, as tigers and catamounts, roam upon the mountains. The gazell is found in Asia Minor, with nuinerous deer and hares. The patridges are of the red legged species, and larger than in Europe. The cities swarm with dogs, which are kept for defence.
623. Minerals and Curiosities. The Turks never cultivate natural history, and to them mineralogy is entirely unknown. Nor have travellers supplied the defect of knowledge of the mineral kingdom in Turkey. But Natolia abounds with mineral waters, the most noted of which is in Prusa, at the foot of Olympus, where are splendid baths, paved with marble. The water is so hot as to scald the flesh, and requires to be tempered with cold water from other springs. Near Hierapolis, now Pambouk, is a remarkable cliff formed by hot pet. rifying waters, which appears as if the waters of a cascade had been froze, or suddenly converted to stone.
624. Population. The inhabitants of Turkey in Asia are estimated at about 10 millions. They are composed of various nations, and denominations of religion. In the eastern part of this country, the Kurds lead a pastoral life, removing with their herds from place to place for the purpose of finding pasture. The Armenians, ncar the eastern shore of the Euxine, are a sensible, polite people, and profess the christian religion, but in a corrupt form. They are remarkable for commercial enterprize, and are found in every part of the Levant, in Africa and India. The Druzes, in the mountains of Syria, are a sort of monks, with the exterior of mahometans, but they have a singular character, as they practice neither prayer nor fasting, nor regard the prohibitions of the koran. The Maronites are christians of the Romish church, but have many peculiar rites ; and near Antioch is a sect of pagans.
625. Sale of Females. The beauty of the Circassian women has introduced the custom of making sale of them to the Turks. Girls intended for market are educated for the purpose, and much pains is taken to preserve and increase their beauty. Among other practices, a wide lethern belt is fastened round the waist of young females to keep it slender. Great numbers of beautiful girls are sent annually to Constantinople, and sold at a price according to their beauty, from a hun dred to four hundred dollars.
626. Manners and Customs of the Circassians. Among the Circassians, it is remarkable that princes cannot possess land, and the nobles are chosen by the princes from their vassals. Public measures are proposed by the prince, but debated by the nobles and deputies of the people, so that they enjoy a sort of freedom under Turkish dominion. Before marriage, the youth of both sexes see each other at their festivals. Before a dance, the young men exhibit feats of activity and military skill, in. presence of the ladies, and the best performers have the privilege of chusing their partners. Females, when married, wear a vail ; they pride themselves in the bravery of their husbands, and polish their arms. Vid. ows tear their hair, and disfigure themselves with scars, at the death of their husbands. The husband and wife have each a separate hut for a dwelling, but they eat at the same table, so that the number of families is reckoned according to the number of kettles. ..627. Chiif Towns. Aleppo. The principal town in this division of Turkey is Aleppo, or IIaleb, containing 250,000 inhabitants, but some accounts state the number not higher than 100,000. It is situated on a small stream seventy miles cast of Scandaroon, or the shore of the Mediterranean. North latitude 36, 12-east longitude 37, 40. The streets are well paved, and the houses large and commodious, with sky-lights and terraces, and being of nearly equal highth, they afford pleasant walks upon the top from house to house. The mosks are numerous and magnificent, and their minarets, intermingled with tall cypress trees, give the city a picturesk appear. ance. The caravanseras are spacious squares, with rooms on the ground floor for warehouses or stables, and in the second story is a colonade or gallery, from which doors lead to apartments in which merchants transact their business. · 623. Trade of Aleppo. Aleppo is the residence of the Pasha of Syria, and the center of the commerce, not only of Syria, but of Armenia and Diarbckar. By means of caravans, it interchanges commodities with Bagdad and Bassora, with Egypt and Mecca; and by Scanderoon it communicates with Europe. It exports raw or spun cottons, coarse cloths, silk stuffs and shawls, goats hair, gall-nuts and India goods. It receives from Europe cloths, cochineal, indigo, sugar, and other groceries. The inhabitants are composed of Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Jews and Syrians. The common language is the vulgar Arabic, but the higher ranks speak the Turkish ; and the Armenian, Syriac and Hebrew, are spoke by other classes of people. The people are esteemed polite and affable.
629. Damascus. To the southward of Aleppo, at the distance of 210 miles, lies Damascus, in a fertile, well watered country, 50 miles from the sea. It is one of the most ancient cities in the world, being built, as is supposed, by U2, the grandson of Shem, and it is called by the Arabs, El Shem. It contains about 180,000 inhabitants, but some authors estimate them at no more than 80,000. Most of these are Arabs and Turks. The houses are built with brick, and many of them have gates and doors adorned with marble portals, carved and inlaid with great beauty. Within these are large square courts ornamented with fragrant trees and marble fountains, encompassed with splendid apartments, The ceilings are richly painted and gilt, and on the sides are low seats spread with carpets, and furnished with cushions and bolsters, on which the Turks eat, sleep, and say their prayers.
630. Manufactures and Trade of Damascus. Damascus is the emporium of the south part of Syria, as Alerpo is of the north. Formerly Damascus was celebrated for the manufacture of the best sabers in the world, which were made of alternate thin layers of iron and steel, so. as to bend to the hilt without breaking, but the art is lost. When Timur subdued Syria in the 15th century, he ordered all the artisans in steel to remove to Persia. The manufactures consist now of silk and cotton, and excellent soap made of olive oil, with kali and chalk.From this city the silk cloth called damask takes its name, as also the species of plum called damson, which is a contraction of Damascene. This city sends caravans to Cairo, as in the times of the patriarchs, and carries on commerce with Persia and Europe. It is also the ren
dezvous of the pilgrims who go from the northern provinces to visit the tomb of Mahomet at Mecca. These amount to 30, 40 or 50,000 in a ycar, and during their Stay they enliven the trade of Damascus.
631. Smyrna. Smyrna, now called Is nir, lies at the head of a bay, on the coast of Natolia, the ancient Ionia, in the 39th degree of north latitude, about 180 miles southward of Constantinople. The town is situated on a declivity, in front of a bay, which is a fine capacious harbor ; and next to the water runs an elegant street, inhabited only by Franks or European merchants. The town is of a triangular form, about four miles in circumference, and contains about 100,000 souls, Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Franks. It is very subject to vi-alent earthquakes, and has frequently been nearly ruined, - but rebuilt on account of its excellent harbor. It is also frequently infested with the plague. But the trade of Smyrna is extensive, and groves of orange and lemon trees, with hills covered with vines and olives, render it a delightful situation.
632. Prusa and Angora. Prusa, at the bottom of Olympus, is a beautiful city, in a romantic situation, enlivened by numerous rivulets which descend from the mountain. It contains about 60,000 inhabitants, and is celebrated for its hot baths. Angora, which is supposed to contain 80,000 inhabitants, is distinguished for breeding the finest goats in the world, and for stuffs made of the hair, which is white, and fine as silk. The cats of this place are also of a peculiar species. This city, formerly called Ancyra, is full of antiquities of great magnificence, among which are pillars of jasper and porphyry, some cylindrical, others with spiral channels, and some oval with plate bands from the top to the bottom of the pedestal. · 633. Tokat and Bassora. Tokat is a city containing about 60,000 inhabitants, 280 miles north of Aleppo,. near the foot of the Taurian chain of niountains. It is situated among ragged rocks of marble, with paved streets, and an abundant supply of water from springs. Its manufactures are silk, lether, and copper utensils, such as kettles, cups and candlesticks, Bassora, on an