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place being only 200 feet. wide. Here is generally stationed a flotilla of Turkish gallies. Hydra is a small island, only 10 miles long and 2 broad, lying near the east coast of the Morea. It is rocky and little cultivated but very populous and commercial. The number of vessels belonging to Hydra amounts to 200, carrying from 100 to 400 tons each. They trade not only to the ports of the Archipelago and Mediterranean, but to France, Spain, Italy and other countries. The Hydriot sailors are considered the most intrepid navigators in the Archipelago, and several of the merchants are very wealthy. Population about 20,000. The Cyclades is the name given by the ancients to a large group of islands lying S. E. of Negropont. Andros is the most northerly, and Santorin the most southerly; the others of note are Tino, Zeu, Myconi, Naria, Paros, slntiparos, Milo, Vio, Ainorga, and Stanpulia. Of these Paros is celebrated for its marble, and Antiparos for its subterraneous cavern or grotto. Skyro lies east of the island of Negropont, Scopelo near the mouth of the gulf of Salonica, and Lemnos nearly east of Mount Athos. The other considerable islands in the Archipelago will be more properly described under Turkey in Asia,
Situation and Ectent.] Asia is bounded on the N. by the Arctic or Frozen ocean; b. by the Pacific ocean ; S. by the Indian ocean; and W. by Africa, the Mediterranean sea and Europe. It extends from 2° to 77° N. lat. and from 26° to 190° E. lon. The area is estimated by Hassel at 16,728,000 square miles.
Divisions.) Asia will be most conveniently described under the following divisions. 1. Turkey in Asia. 2. Russia in Asia. 3. Arabia. 4. Persia. 5. Cabul, including Beloochistan. 6. Hindoostan or Hither India. 7. Farther India. 8. Chinese empire. 9. Japan. 10. Asiatic islands.
Seus, Bays and Gulfs.] Along the southern coast are the Red sea or .lrabian gulf, 1,400 miles long, lying between Asia and Africa; the Persian gulf, between Arabia and Persia; and the bay of Bengal, between Hindoostan and Farther India; all these communicate with the Indian ocean. On the eastern coast there are four seas; the China sea in the south, the Yellow sea and the sea of Japan in the middle, and (he sea of Okhotsk in the north. AH these communicate with the Pacific ocean. The gulfofSiam and the gulf of Tonquin are arms of the "China sea. The tea of Kara and the sea of Oby, in the north-west, communicate-with the Arctic ocean. The sea of Azoph, the Black sea, the sea of Marmora, and the Grecian Archipelago lie on the boundary between Asia and Europe. The Mediterranean washes the western coast of Asiatic Turkey.
Straits and Isthmus.] The strait of Bahelmandel connects the Red sea with the Indian ocean. The strait of Ormus connects the Persian gulf with the Indian ocean. The straits of Malacca separate the island of Sumatra from the peninsula of Malaya, at the southern extremity of Farther India. The strait of Jenikale connects the sea of Azoph with the Black sea. The Bosphorus connects the Black sea with the sea of Marmora. The strait of the Dardanelles connects the sea of Marmora with the Archipelago The isthmus of Suez is the narrow neck of land which connects Asia and Africa, and separates the Ited sea from the Mediterranean.
Lakes.] The Caspian sea is a large salt water lake, bounded N. by Russia; E. by Independent Tartary; S. and W. by Persia; and N. W. by Russia. It is 646 miles long from north to south and 266 in its greatest breadth, and though it receives several large rivers, particularly the Volga, the longest river in Earope, it has Bo outlet. In several places it is of great depth, but in •then shallows are so frequent as to render the navigation dangerous. The sea of Aral, lying east of the Caspian, in Independent Tartary, is also a salt water lake about 150 miles long. Like the Caspian it receives several large streams, particularly the Oxu«, but has no outlet.
Mountain*.] The Ural or Oural chain of mountains is supposed to commence on the shores of the ' Arctic ocean, opposite the southern point of the island of Nova Zembla, and in the first part of its course forms the boundary between Asia and Europe, but afterwards continuing in a southerly direction it lies wholly in Asia, till it terminates between the Caspian sea and the sea of Aral.
Th e Altay chain may be regarded as a continuation of the Ural mountains. It commences a litile north of the sea of Aral, and under various names passes in an easterly direction through the whole breadth of Asia, forming during the greater part of its course the boundary between the Russian and Chinese empires. It afterwards turns to the north and runs parallel to the eastern shore of the continent till it terminates at Behring's straits. It is the longest chain of mountains on the globe except the great American range, and throughout its whole extent it is eminently distinguished for the production of metals.
The Himmaleh mountains, the highest on the globe, form the boundary between Hindoostan and Tibet. The central and loftiest part of this astonishing chain is that which gives rise on one side to the Ganges aod its mighty tributaries, and on the «th«r to the Indus, the Burrampooter, and the Setledge, many of the peaks retelling here an elevation .>f 20,000 feet, and one of them, the Dholager or Dhawalagiri, rising to the height of 27,550 feet above the level of the ocean. As the chain proceeds eastward from this central point, although the peaks occasionally rise into the region of perpetual snow, the openings become wider, and the general character of the barrier less formidable. Farther east, although high and rugged, it is no longer characterized as snowy. After leaving I limloostan, it is said to continue its progress under various names in an easterly direction through the southern provinces of China, and to approach the shore of the Pacific ocean in about lat. 25° N. opposite the island of Formosa, alter which it turns towards the north and runs for some distance parallel with the coast. From the central point, near the source of the Ganges, the chain proceeds in a northwesterly direction still preserving the name of the Himmaleh till it reaches the northern extremity of Hindoostan, where it is pierced by the Indus. Beyond that river it turns to the we«t, and is called at first Hindoo Coosh or Indiau Caucasus and afterwards the Parapomisan mountains, and under these names it separates Caubul from Independent Tartary, after which it passes through the northern provinces of Persia towards the Caspian sea. From the Hindoo Coosh a branch called the Belur Tag, proceeds in a northerly direction, forming a part of the boundary between Independent Tartary and the Chinese empire, and connecting the Himmaleh with the Altay chain. From the central point of the Himmaleh another branch called the Moos Tag, proceeds in a N. VV. direction along the eastern and northern boundaries of Little Tibet, and connects itself with the Belur Tag, thus encircling Little Tibet on all sides with a mountain barrier.
The Caucasian mountains are a vast chain between the Black sea and the Caspian, more than 400 miles long and from 60 to 200 broad, and covered in some of its most elevated parts with perpetual snow. It commences on the shore of the Black sea near the strait of Jenikale and the mouth of the Kuban, and stretehes in a S. C. direction to Derbend on the Caspian. A branch of these mountains winds along the western and southern shores of the Caspian and it is supposed connects itself with the Parapomisan mountains, and through them with the Himmaleh chain, but the country through which it passes has hitherto been but imperfectly explored.
The Mount Taurus chain commences m the northeastern part of Turkey in Asia near the sources of the Euphraies and the Tigris, where the Ararat rises into the reign of perpetual snow. It runs in a westerly direction along the southern shore of Asia Minor towards the Archipelago and terminates at cape Kelidoni near lat. 30° E. after sending off a branch to the south, which runs along the coast of the Mediterranean through Syria, and divides into the parallel chains of Lilianus and Antilibanus. The Zagros, called by the Turks Tag-Aiagha. is a branch of the Mount Taurus chain, which leaves it soon after its departure from Mount Ararat, a little west of lake Van, and running in a S. E. direction, parallel with the Tigris, passes through the southwestern provinces of Persia, and parallel with the coast of the Persian gulf till it terminates near the straits ot Ormus.
The Bogdo is a chain of mountains whose loftiest summit? rise near the centre of Asia to the height of more than 20,000 feet above the level of the ocean. It is said to send forth branches in all directions, towards the Allay mountains, the Moos Tag, the Belur Tag and the mountains of China, but all this part of Asia is as yet very imperfectly known.
Rivers.] The following are the principal rivers which discharge themselves into the Arctic ocean. 1. The Oby, which rises in the Chinese dominions in the centre of Asia and after piercing the Altay mountains, pursues a direction en the whole west of north, through the whole breadth of the Russian empire and discharges itself into the sea of Oby, after a course of more than 2,000 miles. Its principal tributary-is the Irtish, which rises also in the centre of Asia near Mount Bogdo, and after flowing through the lake Nor Zaizan enters the Russian territory and joins the Oby in lat. 61° N. 2. The Enicei or Jeniscy, which rises also on the south side of the Allay mountains near lat. 49° N. Ion. 100' E. runs in a direction a little west of north and discharges itself into the Arctic ocean in Ion. 80° E. after a course of more than 2,000 miles. 3 The Lena, which rises in the mountains west of lake Baikal in Ion. 107° E. lat. 52° 30' N. and running at first ~in a northeasterly and afterwards in a northerly direction discharges itself into the Arctic ocean after a course of nearly 2,000 miles.
The principal rivers which fall into the Pacific ocean are, 1. The Amur or Saghalien Oiila, which rises in 49° N. lat. and 109° E. Ion. and flowing on the whole in a direction N. of E. falls into a bay of the sea of Okhotsk opposite the northern part of the island of Saghalien in lat. 53° N. 2. The Hoang-ho or Yello-x river, which rises in the unknown regions of central Asia, ami pursuing at first an easterly course enters China proper near its N. W. corner, where it turns and runs in a noriherly direction for 600 miles, and then making a complete bend proceeds towards tho south for about the same distance, after which it resumes ils original direction and falls into the sea near lat. 34° N. sifter a course of nearly 2,000 miles. 3. The Yung-tse-Kiang rises also in the unknown regions of central A*ia, and after entering China pursues a direction N. of E. through the middle of the kingdom and falls into the sea about a hundred miles from the Hoang-ho. 4. The Cambodia (called also by many other names,) is a large river which discharges itself into the China sea near lat. 10° N. Ion. 106° E. It is supposed thai it rises in the mountains of Tibet, but the countries which it traverses are almost wholly unknown. The principal rivers which fall into the Indian ocean are, 1- The Ganges, which rises on (he south side of the central and loftiest part of the Himmaleh mountains between 31° and 32° N lat. and 78° and 79° E. Ion. and running on the whole in a S. E. direction discharges itself into the bay of Bengal through many mouths after a course of 1,500 miles, during which it receives numerous tributaries. The Burrampooter or Brahmaputra, its principal tributary, rises on the north side of the Himmaleh mountains not far from the sources of the Ganges, and after flowing for more than half its course in an easterly direction, breaks through the mountains, and turning to the west and afterwards to the south joins the Ganges near its mould. 2. The Indus is formed by two streams, both of which rise in Little Tibet between the Himmaleh and Moos Tag mountains. After their union the river takes a southwesterly direction and breaking through the mountains, runs along the western boundary of Hindoostan, and discharges itself through many mouths into the sea after a course of 1,300 miles. 3. The Euphrates is formed by two streams, which rise in the mountains of Armenia, and unite near lat. 39° N. and Ion. 39° E. After their union the river runs on the whole in n southeasterly direction and falls into the head of the Persian gulf Its whole length is more than 1,500 miles, and its principal tributary is the Tigris, which joins it 130 miles from its mouth.
The principal rivers which fall into the Caspian sea and the sea of Aral are, 1. The Volga, which discharges itself into the northern part of the Caspian through 70 mouths. 2. The Oxus or Amu, which rises in the southeastern part of Independent Tartary on the western declivity of the Belur Tag mountains, and receiving the waters from the northern face of the Hindoo Coosh chain, flows in a N. W. direction and discharges itself into the sea of Aral on its southern side, after a course of more than 1,200 miles. 3. The Sir or Sihon, which rises also on the western declivity of the Belur Tag mountains, and after a N. W. course of nearly COO miles falls into the sea of Aral on its eastern side.
Face of the Country.] Next to the great mountain chains which traverse this continent, the most remarkable feature in the face of the country is the high table land which occupies nearly the whole of central Asia, and is supposed to be the most elevated and extensive tract of table land on the globe. It commences on the northern side of the Himmaleh chain, and is said to extend to the Altay mountains on the north and beyond China proper on the N. E. The western part is traversed by ranges of lofty mountains; but the eastern is occupied bv the desert uf Cobi or Shamo, which is an immense plain, extending from 08° to 112° E. Ion. nearly 2,000 miles long and 500 broad, and covering an area of about 1,000,000 square milts. It contains numerous salt lakes, and is destitute of vegetation, except on the scattered oases or fertile spots, where a few wandering savages oh; tain a scanty subsistence.