Persia Geography And Statistics
persian south north east west miles caspian mountains line country
PERSIA GEOGRAPHY AND STATISTICS - prior to the Christian era the satrapies of Cyrus comprehended roughly an immense range of territory, from the Mediterranean to the Indus and from the Caucasian chain and Jaxartes to the Persian Gulf and rlt abian Ocean. In the 17th and 18th centuries A.D. the conquests of 'Abbas and Nadir kept up these boundaries more or less on the east, but failed to secure them on the west, and were limited to the Caucasus and Oxus on the north. Persia of the present day is not only, in the matter of geographical definition, far from the vast empire of Sacred Writ and remote history, but it is not even the less extensive, though very expansive dominion of the Safawf kings and Nadir Shah. It may be said, however, to comprise now quite as much settled and consolidated territory as at any period of its political existence of which we can speak with the authority of intimate acquaintance.
If it has less extent of land than before its latest disastrous war with Russia, there is certainly within its recognized limits less rebellion and more allegiance. And, if the true interests of Persia, considered as a living power, were only understood by her kings and ministers, she might reasonably seek to attain a state of security which would amply compensate for the loss of precarious and profitless expanse.
Boundaries. - The region of Ararat presents a good starting-point for the definition of a western and northern boundary to the kingdom of Nasru'd-llin Shah. East of the Greater Ararat a short oblique line from the Arras to the south-west divides it from Russia. Below this begins the Perso-Turkish frontier, for the settlement of which a mixed commission was appointed in 1843. The outcome of the labours of this commission, which lasted more than twenty-five years, has been rather a careful delineation of the disputed tract than the delimitation of an exact boundary, while the cession of Kotur to Persia, though part of the general question, must, if carried out at all, be looked upon as a separate result, due only to later diplomacy. The territorial claims of Turkey and Persia bear chiefly upon Kurdistan and the respective tribes which inhabit the plains and valleys of that extensive mountain region. They are founded upon the treaty of Sultan Murad IV. with Shah Sidi in 1639, a later one of Nadir Shah with Sultan Mahmnd I. in 1736, and one more recent still between nth Shah and Mahmild II. in 1823, - the last two maintaining the status quo established by the first. But, when the Anglo-Russian commission first met, the boundary of possession fell far short of Turkish pretensions. These would have extended the pashalik of Baiyazid (Bayazid) in the province of Arzrum (Erzeroum) to a line including Maka, chief place in the district, and situated on the bank of the river of that name) Farther south, again, the sultan insisted on increasing the area of the province of Van by the forcible annexation of Kotur. Such an act, after the assembly of a commission for the demarcation of the disputed frontier, was neither justified by precedent nor could it enhance the merits of the Turkish claim, and the reason alleged, that Kotur was essential to the Ottoman Government for strategical reasons - in other words, that it gave the Turk free access into his neighbour's territory - could scarcely be taken to account in the estimation of their opponents. The question was submitted on behalf of Persia to the Berlin Conference in 1878, and a special Anglo-Russian commission appointed to consider it in July 1880. The proposed cession, if accepted, would substitute for the present curve eastwards a line more direct but with a westerly inclination, whereby the fort and station of Kotur become embodied in Persian territory. This section of frontier is overlooked on the north by the mountains Bebi Kourgui, Guerdi Berman, and Khidhr Baba, passes through Tope Avristan on the west to the Turkish road to Kotur, follows this road to the west for half a mile, and then turns due south between Mount Kevlik and the river Shiva Rosh to the sources of the latter, whence it zigzags to the eastward to rejoin the general boundary-line overlooked by the Kara HitAar, Mir 'Omar, Guere - Sourava, and Guare - Berian Mountains. Sir Henry Rawlinson saw difficulty in defining a line of frontier from Ararat to Kotur ; for the country was not only intersected by ranges running in every possible direction, but it wanted a fixed population, and was, moreover, liable to the incursions of wild Kurdish tribes, who would have no respect for boundary-marks. Below Kotur, and south-west of the important Persian town of Khoi, the old line of possession inclined considerably to the westward, but Turkey claimed a more advantageous line running nearly north and south to the passes between Snk Bulak and Rowandiz, one of which was crossed in 1873 by Thielmann, who gives an interesting account of the surrounding country. The plain of Lahijan on the Persian side - some 20 miles long and 20 miles broad - he describes to be at an elevation of 5650 feet, " watered by the two sources of the Little 'Lab, which, several miles after their junction, traverses the mountain range through a deep rent . . . and then flows towards the Tigris." On the west of this district is the "gigantic wall of the Zagros Mountains, the frontier-line between Turkey and Persia." Hence, to the latitude of Sulimaniya, or for more than 100 miles, the Turks claimed farther than the ancient limits assigned to them, and sought to include within the Ottoman territory the border-fort of Sardasht, on the left bank of the Aksu.
Continuing the line of disputed frontier to the southward, the same difficult country still presents itself to perplex the decisions of commissioners or arbitrators, but from the- warmly-contested district of ninth in the province of Karmanshah up to Dizful on the Diz river the mountains may be said generally to indicate Persian and the plains Turkish territory. Ldristan and Khnzistan (with Arabistan) are the frontier provinces of the shah, and the Hamrin Hills, with Hawizah, Muhamrah, and the east bank of the Shattu VArab, show the Persian possessions to the head of the gulf.
The want of a determined line of demarcation between the two countries for the 700 miles from Ararat to the Shatt, or outlet into the sea of the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates, may have political advantages, but is inconvenient to the geographer and most unfavourable to the cause of order and good government. Even without the evidence of open conflict, it may be assumed that there are few inhabited sections of the strip of disputed frontier (from 20 to 40 miles in breadth) where mutual ill feeling is not the rule, and where the Turkish Sunni does not abstain from friendly association with the Persian Shi`ah. More recently attempts have been made, and apparently with success, to reconcile differences by British and Russian mediation, and a renewal of the days need not be anticipated when telegraph-posts were torn up or destroyed, lands laid waste, and villages plundered, owing to the prevalence of the old spirit of hostility. A fixed boundary would, however, in a great measure facilitate settlements of dispute, because it would more clearly make known the actual transgressors.
From the already-adverted-to point on the Arras east of I the Greater Ararat the river itself supplies a northern 1 boundary to Persia up to the fortress of `Abbasabad, where fi a cession of strategical works to Russia is noted by a loop on the southern bank. Thence the line is generally marked by the bed of the Arras for a distance of about 180 miles, descending as low as 38° 50' N. lat., and rising again to 39° 30' north-east of the steppe of Moghan. An oblique line running south-east to the Bulgaru Chad makes that stream the southern boundary for 13 miles to the confluence of the Adina Bazar and Sairkamish, the former of which then limits the Persian territory on the east. From the source of the Adina Bazar the crest of the mountains towering over the more distant Russian ports on the western shores of the Caspian, and separating the Talish from the Arsha, marks the division of the two territories up to the river of Astara, the port of which name completes the demarcation on the sea-coast. Thus far the result of the treaty of Turkmanchai, dated 10  February 1828, which involved Persia in a serious loss. To the southward all is Persian, and the two large maritime provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, both laved by the waters of the Caspian, represent the northernmost parts of the shah's dominions between the 49th and 54th meridians of E. long. In the southeastern corner of the Caspian the island of Ashurada in the Bay of Astrabad was appropriated by Russia in 1842 as a convenient post for overawing the TUrkmans (Turkomans).
Eastward of the Caspian, from the Hasan Kith Gulf, / the line of Persian territory cannot be indicated with e absolute certainty, because the Russian maps do not correspond with those prepared by the war department in England ; and it need hardly be added that the former give to Russia far more land than do the others. According to Colonel Stewart, an officer for some time resident in the vicinity of the Atak, or skirt of the mountains fronting the Black Sand Desert, the line follows the Atrak (Atrek) from its mouth to Shatt, where it leaves the river and passes obliquely west of the Simbar to a point within 15 miles of Kizil Arvat,1 and then turns towards the Tekke range to Darahgaz, which district it includes in an outer curve, passing on to the Tajand at Sarakhs. The Russian official map, however, brings the line south and east of the Simbar, and otherwise impoverishes Persia to the benefit of her powerful neighbour. But the first article of the Russo-Persian treaty signed in December 1881 at Tehran (Teheran) thus describes the situation :- " From Chat (Shea?) the frontier-line follows in a north-easterly direction the ridges of the Songou Dagh and Sagirim ranges, thence extending northward to the Chandir river, reaching its bed at Chakan Kale. From this point it runs in a northerly direction to the Mountains dividing the Chandir and Simbar valleys, and extends along the ridge of these in an easterly direction, descending into the bed of the Simbar at the spot where the Ak-Agayan stream falls into it. Hence, eastward, the bed of the Similar marks the frontier as far as the ruins of Masjid Damanali, where a local road forms the boundary to the ridge of the Kopet Dagh, along which the frontier extends south-eastward, turning south among the mountain heights which divide the valley of the Simbar from the source of the Garmeb. Taking a south-easterly course across the summit of the Misino and Chubest Mountains, it then strikes the road between Garmib and Ribat at a distance of less than a mile north of the latter, and, following a high ride, proceeds in a north-easterly direction to the boundaries of Giuk Kaital. Hence, after crossing the gorge of the river Firuz6, it turns south-east till it reaches the summits of the mountain range, bounding the valley on the south, through which the road from the Russian station of Askabad to Firnze passes, and pursues its course along the crest of these mountains to the most easterly part of the range. The frontier-line now crosses over to the northernmost summit of the Aselm range, whence it seeks out the junction of the mountains called Ziri Kuh and Kizil Dagh, extending south -eastward along the summits of the former until it issues into the valley of the Baba Durmaz stream. It then takes a northerly direction and reaches the oasis at the road from Gawars to Lutfabad, leaving the fortress of Baba Durmaz to the east."
The distance from Baba Durmaz to Sarakhs is about 185 miles, and the intervening boundary is that of the ataks of Darahgaz and Kelat, both of which districts belong to Persia. The word "atak," signifying "skirt," applies to the whole hill-country separating Persia from the TUrkman desert, though these mountains and their passes and valleys are not all within the shah's present dominion. That they present a formidable barrier and remarkable geographical features may be inferred from the boast a figure varying from 5000 to 10,000 feet. In the Hazar Masjid range is one of 10,500. Adopting Rawlinson's divisions and distances, the whole Atak, or "Daman-iKuh," as the Persians call it, is divided into three districts: Gawars ; the Darahgaz Atak, 70 miles, to Abiverd ; and the Kelat Atak, 60 miles, to Mehna. Thence to Sarakhs another 70 miles may be reckoned, to accomplish which the traveller leaves the mountains on his right and the wonderful natural fortress of Kelat-i-Nadiri in his rear, to strike the Tajand at the crossing point between Mery and Mashhad (Meshed).
The subjection by Russia of the TUrkman tribes and that the marauders will be allowed by the Russian conquerors to continue the unchecked exercise of their infamous profession in Kburasan (Khorasan).
Special mention of Sarakhs, the extreme outpost of Persia in the north-east, appears to be appropriate, both on account of its geographical position and of its political importance. This place, situated on the plain of the same name,2 was fifty years ago a mere outpost of Mazduran, the frontier lull-station on the shortest of three roads (and somewhat more than midway) between Mashhad the capital of Kburasan and Sarakhs. It was visited in 1860 by M. de Blocqueville, who found there a recently-constructed Persian fort, with strong walls and protected by a ditch. Some of the towers contained as many as ten guns. He says nothing of the ruins of the old town on the east of the Tajand, though he forded the river ; but Burnes, who in 1833 put up in a ruined tomb amid the TOrkman tents or " khargahs " in that particular locality, had been equally silent regarding it. The last-named traveller speaks of the shrine of a Muhammadan saint, of a small weak fort, and of a few mud-houses only, and states that, at the third mile after leaving his encampment to enter Persia, he crossed the Tajand, - not supposing it, however, to be the Herat river. Sir Charles Macgregor was at New Sarakhs in 1879. He describes the fort as immense, - an irregular polygon, with eleven bastions, and citadel attached. It had a garrison of some 700 infantry, with a few horsemen, and eleven guns of more or less use. From its walls he reviewed the surrounding country. On the north stretched one vast plain almost unbroken by tree, hush, mound, or undulations, for the bed of the Tajand winding round to the north-west was too low to be visible. On the north-east lay the road to Mery stretched out beyond the dark tamarisk foliage of the river. To the east all was clear ; south-east were undulating rounded ridges extending towards the MArghab ; south was Mazduran ; and north of west was a confused mass of rugged hills in the direction of Kelat-i-Nadirf. Lastly, we have the testimony of Lessar, the Russian engineer, who, visiting the place in 1882, found it extensively fortified and occupied by a battalion of Persian infantry ; the armament of the fortification, however, consisted only of six old guns, which were never discharged, while the artillerymen were ignorant of their duties, and neither drilled nor exercised. Water was supplied from wells inside the walls and by canal from the Tajand.3 To define the eastern boundary of Persia, the lower course of the Hari Rid, under its name of Tajand, may be accepted generally up to Pul-i-KhatOn, whence to Tuman Agha the line is continued by the river in its own name. From this point it runs clue south across the mountain range overtopped by the conical peak of the Sang-iDukhtar, and through the edge of the Salt Desert, leaving Kuhsan and Zangi Suwar, villages near the Hari Rdd, and the more important Ghurian in Afghan territory.4 Again crossing the ranges which intersect the desert from the north-east, the line, inclining somewhat to the west of south, is continued to Milt Sagak (the "dog's well "), an elevated spot on the old caravan route between India and Persia, as far as which the Afghans have the right of pasturage. To the westward is the Persian province of Kaiyan. The surrounding country bears the significant name of Dasht-i-Na-Umaid, or "Waste of Hopelessness." For 8 miles south- east, 8 miles clue east, and 24 miles south, in all about 40 miles, the line is carried to the Siyah Kuh, or "Black Hill," on the border of the district of Nehbandan. Here begins the line of frontier determined by the Sistan arbitration of 1872. The British commissioner (Sir F. Goldsmid) decided that an oblique line drawn from the Siyah Kith to the southern limit of the reedy marsh called " Naizar," and prolonged to the main outlet of the Helmand, would fairly separate and distinguish the possessions of the two states respectively in the north of Sistan. On the east the bed of the Helmand itself would be the boundary up to Kuhak, where was the large " band " or dam which diverted the waters of the river into the more fertile lands to the west. From Kuhak a line south-west to the Kuh Malik Siyah completed the delimitation by leaving the two banks of the Helmand in the hands of the Afghans, and placing a large tract of partly desert and partly inundated country between the litigants. Subsequent surveys by Sir Charles Macgregor have thrown new light upon the large and little-populated tract to the far south of Sistan, and are suggestive of an Afghan-Baluch as well as of a Perso-Afghan frontier.
In whatever light it be regarded, the line of Persian frontier from the Kuh Malik Siyah to the sea rather concerns Baluchistan than Afghanistan ; but, though roughly delineated by St John and Macgregor, it cannot be described with scientific accuracy until it reaches the district of Jalk, or after a south-easterly passage of 170 miles through the deserts of Pir Kaisar and the Mashkel or Mashkid, - names used as the more likely to identify the region traversed. From Jalk the Perso-Kelat boundary begins, as determined by Major-General Goldsmid, the British commissioner in 1871, and verified in the subsequent year by Captain (now Sir Oliver) St John, R.E. The state of Kelat (Khelat), it should be explained, is now that of western Baluchistan, the western half of that country having become annexed to Persia by a process of gradual encroachment. It was this action of Persia, and the disquiet and mischief which it occasioned in Makran and other parts of Baluch and Brahui territory, that brought about the British mediation.
From Jalk to the sea is about 1.50 miles as the crow flies. By the line laid down it is very much farther, as the nature of the country and of the claims of the contending parties did not admit of other than a tortuous course. The small district of Kuhak, lying south-east of Jalk, should, in a geographical sense, have been included among the lands on the Persian side, but the evidence of right and possession was insufficient to warrant its separation from Kelat, and, whatever may have been its subsequent fate, it was not made over to the shah's governors by the original decision, which was expressed in the following terms : - " The territory of Kelat is bounded to the west by the large Persian district of Dizak, composed of many delis or minor districts, those on the frontier being Jalk and Kalagzin. Below these two last-named is Kuhak, including Kunarbasta and 'standar. This small district belongs to the Naushirwitnis, and, as its chief pays no tribute, cannot be included among the conquests of Persia. It therefore remains as a tract of country within the Kelat frontier. Adjoining Kuhak to the east is the district of Panjgilr, with Partin and other dependencies, which are in the possession of Kelat ; while on the Persian side Bampusht is the frontier possession. Below Panjgdr the frontier possessions of Kelat to the sea are Bulaida, including Zam•im and other dependencies, bland, and Dasht. Within the Persian line of frontier are the villages or tracts belonging to Sarbaz and Balm Dasairi. The boundary of Dasht is marked by a line drawn through the Drabol hill, situated between the rivers Balm and Dasht, to the sea, in the bay of Gwatar."
The boundaries of the frontier districts or village-lands named are well known, and may be distinguished by mountains, hills, hillocks, rivers, streams, or cultivation. In some places desert tracts occur which can offer no inducement for encroachment on either side, but through which a line may at any time be declared, if necessary, both by geographical computation and the erection of pillars.
The frontiers of Persia on the west, north, and east have now been described. The southern, or more strictly the south-western merging into the southern boundary, is the coast-line of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Ocean. This extends from the Khor Abdullah west to the port of Gwatar east, and may be held to be comprised between the meridians 49° and 61° 30' E. long. It will be observed that the Caspian Sea boundary, on the immediate north of Persia, is only two-fifths of this extent. On the Persian shores of the gulf are the ports of Bushahr (Bushire), Lingah, and Bandar-`Abbtis, with the islands of Karag, Shaikh Sh`ab, Hindarabi, Kais, Kishm, Hangam, Hormuz (Ormus), and Larak, of which the last four are habitually held in lease by the imam of Maskat (Muscat). On the Perso-Baluch coast are the telegraph stations of Jask and the-quasi-ports of Charbar (or Chahbar) and Gwatar. In some parts of the generally dry and barren coast are ranges of rugged mountains, sometimes rising to a very considerable height.
Physical Geography. - Major (now Sir Oliver) St John, R.E., is perhaps the latest recognized authority on the physical characteristics of the large extent of country comprised within the boundaries just described. Re has himself surveyed or travelled over no insignificant portion, and has carefully studied the labours of his colleagues and predecessors in a similar field. In the following adaptation of that officer's account of its orography and hydrography attention has been given to the results of independent observation, as well as to those theories put forward by other travellers which seem to merit acceptance.
Persia - that is, modern Persia - occupies the western and larger half of the great Iranian plateau which, rising to a height of from 4000 to 8000 feet between the valleys of the Indus and Tigris, covers in round numbers more than a million square miles. Taking the Buren Dagh and Kopet Dagh to form the northern scarp of this plateau east of the Caspian, we find a prolongation of it in the highlands north of the political frontier on the Arras, and even in the Caucasus itself. In St John's own words : - " The Caucasian provinces of Russia are but an excrescence of the great elevated mass to the south-east ; differing from• it only in characteristics produced by the more bounteous rainfall which has scooped out the valleys to a greater depth." On the north-west Persia is united by the highlands of Armenia to the mountains of Asia Minor ; on the north-east the Paropanisus and Hindu Kush connect it with the Himalayas of ancient India. The lines of boundary on the western and eastern faces are to be traced amid high ranges of mountains broken here and there by deserts and valleys. These ranges lie for the most part northwest and south-east, as do those in the interior, with a marked exception between Tehran (Teheran) and BUjnArd, and in the more recently acquired territory of Baluchistan, where they lie rather north-east and south-west, or, in the latter case, sometimes east and west. The real lowlands are the tracts near the sea-coast belonging to the forest-clad provinces of the Caspian in the north and the shores of the Persian Gulf below Basrah and elsewhere.
With regard to the elevation of the Persian mountains, the Russian Caspian survey gives to the highest, Damavand, 18,600 feet, and to Mount Savalan in Adarbaijan (Azerbijan) 14,000. St John estimates the Rub Hazar and summits of the Jamal Bariz in the province of Barman (Kirwan) at a greater figure than the last, but he believes the chain of the Kuh Dinar - snow-clad mountains in Fars, visible from the sea at a distance of 130 miles, and over ranges known to be 10,000 feet high - to present the highest continuous range in Persia. To the KUrn range, between Ispahan and Kashan, he gives an elevation of above 11,000 feet, and notes the absence of prominent spurs in all ranges except the Alburz (Elburz), and to a lesser extent in the Khurasan The Klulzistan delta is cited as the only plain of extent and importance at sea-level. In the north-west, that part of the Moghan steppe which belongs to Persia and the delta of the Safid had are large and fertile tracts. St John writes :- " Inland the long and narrow plains between the ridges rise gradually from 1000 feet to eight times that height in the valleys between the ridges on the east side of the western water-parting, and 4, 5, and 6000 farther south and east. The plains of Isfahan, Shiraz, and Persepolis are about 5000 feet ; that of Barman somewhat higher. The valleys of Adarbaijdn present alluvial slopes furrowed by torrents, and the only extensive tableland in Persia, that of Sultaniah.
"As they recede from the east and north, the intervals between the ridges are wider, and the rainfall smaller, till grassy valleys are replaced by gravelly deserts, which culminate in wastes of shifting sand. The valley between Abadah and Yazd, a prolongation of the Zaindarnd valley, contains the first of these sandy wastes, which, under the influence of the strong south-easterly winds, occasionally invade the neighbouring cultivated tracts. The original city of Rhages, south-east of Tehran, is said to have been abandoned on this account."
Estimating the extent of Persia proper at 610,000 square miles, St John thus distributes the drainage : - (1) into the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf, 130,.000; (2) into the Caspian and Aral Seas, 100,000 ; (3) into the Sistan Lake, 40,000 ; (4) into the large lake of Urmiya or (7rumfyah, 20,000 ; (5) interior drainage, 320,000. No. (1) comprises t-he south-west provinces and the whole of the coast-region up to the small port of Gwatar in Baluchistan ; (2) relates to the tracts south, south-west, and south-east of the Caspian ; (3) is the tract adjudicated to Persia, including the Hainal, and part of the Helmand basin ; (4) is a comparatively small area on the western frontier containing the basin of Lake Urmiya, shut off from the rest of the inland draining of Persia ; (5) takes in Ispahan, Barman, and the province of Khurasan, with the Dasht-i-Kavir, or "Great Salt Desert." He points out that the area draining into the ocean consists of a long strip nearly parallel to the Tigris and sea-coast without a single protrusion inland, but is uncertain whether an outlet exists from the Bampdr plain in Persian Baluchistan to the sea. A later traveller, Floyer, mentions the names of two rivers debouching on the coast, namely the Sadaich and Gabrig, which might represent such outlets, but their courses have not been traced with sufficient completeness to supply a solution to the problem. If the native evidence taken by Major Goldsmid at Falwell in 1866 can be relied on, the river entering the pass of that name from the highlands of Barupdr, after undergoing two or three changes of nomenclature, passes out into the ocean as the Kalig.
According to St John, a narrow strip of land, not more than 30 to 50 miles wide, along the southern coast of the Caspian, drains into that sea. On the west it suddenly widens out to a depth of 250 miles, meeting the watershed of the Tigris on the one side and that of the Euphrates and Lake Van on the other, and embracing between the two the basin of Lake Urmiya, which forms with the basin of Lake Van what may be termed the supplementary plateau of Armenia, differing only from the Persian and Helmand basins in its superior altitude and smaller area. On the east the watershed of the Caspian gradually increases in breadth, the foot of the scarp extending considerably to the north of the south-east angle of that sea, three degrees east of which it turns to the south-east, parallel to the axis of the Buren and Kopet ranges, which, as before stated, are a prolongation of the Caucasus. A little short of Herat the Caspian water-parting turns eastward, separating the valleys of the Hari Pad and Harnt rivers. West of Herat the desert plateau of Khaf divides the Caspian from the Helmand basin.
The three rivers belonging essentially to Persia, in reference to the Caspian watershed, are the Iiizil Uzain or Safid itnd on the south-west and the Atrak and Gurgan at the south-eastern corner of that inland sea. The first is stated by St John to drain about 25,000 square miles of country east and south of the Urmiya basin. According to Colonel Stewart, the Atrak has its source in the Hazar Masjid range of mountains, a distance, probably, of 250 miles as the crow flies, from the river mouth. The Gurgan rises to the west of it and passes to the sea south of the Atrak. Observing that the Tajand, taking a sweep round Sarakhs, forms a swamp in the Atak about the 58th meridian, the same authority explains that as far south as 30° N. lat. - " the eastern slopes of the ranges which shut off the valley of the Helmand from the deserts of eastern Persia drain directly towards the Sistan Lake. South of that parallel the surplus water flows by several channels in a south-easterly direction, or away from the lake. About latitude 29°, the water-parting of the Balfichistan mountain-system, running east and west, changes the direction of these streams, and collects them into a single channel, which, under the name of the Alashkid river, bursts through the northern scarp of the Bahia hills into the Kharan desert. Here it takes a northwesterly course, thus reversing the original direction of its waters, which are lost in the desert not far from their most northern sources. It is very probable that these, finding a subterranean channel some distance farther to the north, aid to fill the Zirreh swamp, the southern of the three depressions which, united by flood-waters, forum the Hamlin or Sistan Lake."
The great central area of Persia, included in the watersheds he has described, "forms a figure nearly triangular, with a base running south-west about 1000 miles long, and nearly equal sides north and east of 700 miles."
St John observes that the streams draining southern S and western Persia into the sea diminish regularly in ium-el from north-west to south-east. He notes the:: Diyalah and Karkhah flowing into the Tigris from the mountains of Kurdistan ; the Diz and Karim, which unite below Slinstar (Shuster), and reach the Shattu VArab at 114uhamrah ; and the Jarahi and Tab, which with the Karim form "the delta of Persian Arabistan, the most extensive and fertile plain in Persia." After these he lays stress upon the fact that not a single stream unfordable at all seasons bars the passage of the traveller along the coast till he reaches the Indus. Those rising amid the high mountains north of Bushahr and Bandar-`Abbas are, with the exception of the Mira, which debouches at 60 miles below Bushahr, nameless in the most trustworthy maps ; and in Persian Baluchistan we have the Jagin, Gabrig, Sadaich, Iiabij, Kair, and Kaju.
The Karim merits especial notice as a navigable river for small steamers up to within a mile or two of Shnstar, though not favourable to the establishment of a regular service, owing to the existence of rapids at Ahwaz. By land there are perhaps somewhat more than 100 miles from Muhamrah to Shnstar ; and Colonel C'hampain, an excellent authority, states that from Shnstar to Ispahan the distance is as nearly as possible the same as from Shiraz to Ispahan, the high road for ordinary travellers passing to and fro between Tehran and the sea-coast. Little need be said on the streams having no outlet to the sea, the water of which is utilized by cultivators both before they reach the alluvial plain between the ranges and afterwards in irrigating the banks. Beferring to these St John notes the constant affluents which prevent the rapid exhaustion of water, and the salt swamps or lakes formed by the rivers at points far removed from their source. Six of these inland streams he mentions by name, viz., the Aji Chai and Jaghatu, flowing into time salt-lake of Ermiya ; the Hamadan lInd or Kara SA and the Shnrab, flowing eastwards to the Salt Desert ; the Zainda hid, a river of Ispahan, lost in an unexplored swamp ; and the Bur or Bandamir, which forms the salt-lake of ~'iris. He sees cause for believing the lakes of Shlrdz and Kazrdn to be fed mainly by springs.
St John writes further : - " It will be readily believed that the rainfall on the Oceanic and Caspian watersheds is far in excess of that on the interior. Wherever the water-parting is formed, as it is in most parts, by a lofty mountain ridge, it intercepts the moisture-hearing clouds from the sea which are discharged from its outer slopes. The Albtirz chain, which shuts off the plateau from the Caspian, may be taken as the typical instance of this. Its northern face is furrowed into deep valleys by the constant and heavy showers which have clothed them in forests of almost tropical luxuriance, while the southern generally presents a single abrupt scarp, rising above long gravel slopes, unchannelled by anything worthy the name of a river, and bare of any vegetation rising to the dignity of a tree. At the most moderate estimate the rainfall of Gilan and Mazandaran may be taken as five times that of the adjoining districts across the ridges to the south.
"in other parts, however, we find the water-parting considerably below the level of the summits farther inland ; and here the interior has a more plenteous rainfall than the coast. This is particularly the case in south-eastern Persia, where the Khurastin, Sarhad, and Dizak hills, far exceeding in altitude the ranges to the south, attract to themselves the major portion of the scanty supply of moisture borne inland from the sea. Again the rainfall differs very much in different parts of the country, under apparently similar conditions as regards mountains and distance from the sea ; the east and south being far drier than the north and west, while the dampest parts of the Tigris valley have not half the rainfall of the southern and south-eastern shores of the Caspian.
"Two palpable causes unite to produce the prevailing winds throughout Persia and the Persian Gulf. These are, with an extraordinary uniformity, north- west or south -east. The first cause is the position of the Black Sea and Mediterranean on the north-west, and of the Arabian Sea on the south-east. The second is the bearing of the axes of the great mountain chains, which lie mainly in the same direction, and thus tend to guide the currents of air in a uniform course. The south-west, moreover, is riot felt, except as moderating the temperature of the .Slakran coast inside a line from Ras-al-Hadd, south of Maskat, to Karachi.
"The effect of the sun on the great Iranian plateau is to produce a heated stratum of air, which, when it rises, is succeeded by a current from the colder atmospheres above the seas to the southeast or north-west. Naturally the latter is the colder, and therefore, as might be expected, north-west winds are most prevalent. But in southern Persia and the gulf it often occurs that the two currents meet, and that a north-westerly gale is raging at Bushahr while a south-easter is blowing at Bandar-Abbas. This latter wind is the rain-bearer throughout tire greater part of Persia, the exception being the north-west, where occasional rain-clouds from the Black Sea and the Caspian find their way across the Ktirdish mountains or the AlbUrz. It is true that it often rains even on the gulf during a north-wester, but only when this has followed a succession of south-easterly gales, the moisture borne by which is returned from the opposite quarter."
There are no sufficient statistics available accurately to estimate the rainfall in Persia, but St John, himself a resident of some years in the country, was of opinion that in no part of it excepting the watersheds of the Caspian and Persian Gulf (north of 28° lat.) and their immediate reverse slopes, with perhaps the lJrmIya basin, is there an average of 10 inches, taking mountain and hill together. He believed that throughout the greater part of central and south-eastern Persia and Baluchistan the annual raintenths of the country would be the arid desert which one-half was found to be when he wrote (1876). Cultivation is carried on mainly by artificial irrigation, the most approved arrangement being an underground tunnel called "kanat," whereby wells are connected and supplies of water ensured.
One remarkable feature in the plains of Persia which insufficient to form a lake. In winter they are covered with brine, and in summer with a thick crust of salt. The principal kavir is that in Khurasan, and marked in the maps as the Great Salt Desert. St John describes other north of and near Hamadan. These are drained by rivers named respectively the ShUrab and the Kara Su, which, with another considerable affluent from Turshiz, on the east, unite to form the great kavir." He was unable to determine the altitude of this extensive swamp further than that it might be below the level of the sea, but could not be much above it.
Other kavlrs he finds in the Sarjan or Sayidabad plain west of Karman and in the neighbouring valley of Ktitrn. Among ordinary kavirs, which are "innumerable," he considers the largest to be on the south of Khaf, and the best known that north of Kum.
It is clear, from the description given, that the range of these particular salt-swamps or kavirs is confined to the actual depression which has been directly affected by the passage of water, and that tire term is not intended to apply to the surrounding wastes. But it seems to have been otherwise understood by tire generality of travellers, and the better-known writers on Persia have seldom made the actual distinction here implied. Malcolm in 1800 crossed a "salt-desert" between Pul-i-Dallak and Hauz-i-Sultan, which, he says, was called Dariya-i-Kabir, or "the great sea." Morier, nine years later, calls the place tire "swamp of kaveer, . . . part of the great desert which reaches unto Khurasan, the soil of which is composed of a mixture (at least equal) of salt and earth." Colonel Johnson, passing over precisely the same road in 1817, describes it as leading "over a saline plain, leaving here and there hollows of considerable magnitude, white with salt ; . . . eastward it stretches as far as the eye can see, and is said to reach to Mausila, distant 40 miles." The writer would probably have been surprised to learn that it extended for at least ten times the distance named. He does not, however, use the word "kavir," which, while duly recorded as a Persian word in the dictionary, meaning salsuginons ground, is strangely like the Arabic adjective " kabir," which Malcolm, as just mentioned, has coupled with " dariya " in his Sketches of Persia. St John states that in the south the salt-swamps are called " kafeh."
The last writer asserts that but one European, Dr Biihse, a Russian, had seen the true kavir, having crossed it in about 34° lat., when going from Damghan to Yazd. Sir Charles Macgregor must have been close upon this traveller's track in 1875, for in the district of Biabanak (the "little desert "), which he visited, one of the eight villages, Jandak, is marked in St John's map as an oasis just above tire parallel mentioned. Biabanak is, according to Macgregor, situated "south of the kareer," but it is joined to Semuan (on the Tehran-Mashhad highway) by a "regular road " which "crosses a bit of kaveer of about 80 miles without water."
The drier deserts of Karman and Bamprir cannot be included in the category of swamps ; and the term "hit," made use of by the Russian geographer Khanikoff in reference to the former, whatever its original derivation, must simply be accepted as the common local expression, in eastern Persia and western Baluchistan, for a waste waterless tract.
Geology. - Mr W. T. 131anford has given us an interesting sketch of the geology of Persia. He found that by far the greater number of those who had treated the same subject before him had restricted their inquiries to the north-western provinces, and that few had penetrated east of Damavand or south of Tehran. Mr Loftus had imparted a fair knowledge of western Persia, and Russian and German explorers had made students tolerably acquainted with Adarbaijan, Gilan, and Mazandaran. Khurasan and eastern Persia generally were, however, in a geological sense unknown, and the south was almost equally a terra incognita, unless exception were made for certain stray observations on the shores of tire Persian Gulf. The following passages are extracted from his paper.
"The most striking circumstance noticed during a journey in Persia is the great prevalence of formations, such as gravel, sand, and clay, of apparently recent origin ; the whole of the great plains, covering at least one-half the surface of the country, consist either of a fine, pale-coloured alluvial loam, which covers the lowest portion of the surface, or of gravel, fine or coarse, which usually forms a long gentle slope from the surrounding hills to the alluvial flat, and fills up with long slopes the broad valleys opening into the larger plains. All these deposits arc more conspicuous than they are in most countries in consequence of the paucity of vegetation and the absence of cultivation throughout the greater part of the surface. Nor is this prevalence of recent or sub-recent detrital accumulations confined to the plains, for the slopes of the hills up to a considerable elevation are in some cases composed of similar unconsolidated formations, from which only occasional peaks of solid rock emerge. This, however, is by no means universally the case, many ranges consisting entirely of rock. Again, the descent in Balnehistan from the plateau to the sea-coast is over broad te•race-like flats of gravel and sand, separated from each other by ranges of hills running parallel to the coast-line.
"'fire mountains and hill-ranges of Persia comprise a considerable variety of geological formations, a few of which, however, prevail over large areas of country. So far as our knowledge at present extends, the great mass of the Zagros chain (the term being used in the widest sense for the whole mountain-range from Mount Ararat to Shiraz, together with the numerous parallel minor ranges north-east of the main chain) consists of cretaceous (hippuritic) and tertiary formations, the former constituting the north-east half of the range and its slope towards the central plain of Persia, whilst the nummulitic and later formations prevail almost exclusively on the south-west watershed overlooking the Tigris valley. Older rocks occur, but they are of subordinate importance, and it appeared probable, both to Mr Loftus and myself, that part at least of the altered rocks which form no inconsiderable portion of the range to the north-east is very probably of cretaceous origin. Old granite rocks, however, form a great band, extending from Lake Until-dal] to a point nearly due west of Isfahan, and the same crystalline masses appear in the ranges between Isfahan and Kashan."
The general direction of the Persian mountains north-west to south-east has already been noticed. Speaking of these, Blanford says that, so far as they have been examined, "they have the same geological features as the Zagros, and consist similarly in the main of cretaceous and nummulitic rocks, the former prevailing to the north-east towards the desert, the latter to the south-west near the sea. Here, again, metamorphic rocks occur, some of them granite, others but little altered, and closely resembling in facies the cretaceous beds in their neighbourhood. Volcanic formations also occupy an extensive area, and whilst sonic appear of very late origin, others are possibly contemporaneous with the cretaceous epoch."
Of the southern border-land of the Persian plateau he writes" Where crossed by Major St John and myself, between Gwadar and Jalk, it consisted of low ranges running east and west, and, except near the sea, was almost entirely composed of unfossiliferous sandstones and shales, associated with a few beds of nummulitic limestone. So far as could be ascertained, these ranges appear to belong entirely to the older tertiary epoch. Here and there a few isolated masses of basaltic igneous rock have been introduced through the strata, but their occurrence is exceptional. Along the sea-coast, however, from the frontier of Sind to the Persian Gulf, and probably throughout a large portion of the north-east shores of the gulf, a newer series of rocks rests upon the nummulities. This newer series is easily recognized by the presence of thick beds of hardened clay or marl ; it is of great thickness, and abounds in fossils, a few of which appear to be living forms, whilst others are extinct. The exact age has not been ascertained ; the mineral character is very different from that described by Loftus as characteristic of the gypseous series, and it is therefore premature to class these beds of the Persian coast, for which I have proposed the name of Makran group, more definitely than as newer tertiaries. It is highly probable that they represent a portion at least orthe gypseons series. Along the coast itself arc a few mud-volcanoes."
Remarking that hippuritic limestone had not been noticed on the eastern frontier,1 he turns to north-western Persia, a region " widely explored by various Russian and German travellers."
"'l'here would appear, both in Adarbaijan and the Alburz range, to be a greater development of older Mesozoic and Palaeozoic formations than ill-any other parts of western or in southern Persia. From the very brief visits I was enabled to pay to the Alburz and the small area examined, I can form but an imperfect conception of the range as a whole, but the impression produced by my visits is that the geological composition of this mountain-chain presents a striking contrast to that of all other parts of Persia which I had previously seen. It appears probable that a very considerable portion of this range consists of carboniferous and Devonian beds, and that Jurassic or Ijassic rocks are also extensively developed. The same formations extend to Adarbaijan, but here, as well as in the eastern parts of the Alburz, cretaceous and numinulitic rocks arc also found. Iletamorphies (granite, kc.) exist in several places, It has since been found extensively in southern Afghanistan and around Kwatta.
whilst volcanic outbursts occupy a considerable area, and the highest mountain in Persia, Damivand, in the Alburs chain, about 60 miles east-north-east of Tehran, is a volcano which, although dormant in the historical period, is of recent formation, and still gives vent to heated gases. The volcanic masses of Ararat, Salim], south of Tabriz, and Savalan are also, in great part at least, of geologically recent origin."
Minerals, ,f.c. - of the value and extent of minerals in Persia 14 much still remains a matter of surmise. Iron and lead are to be found, copper and coal also, but gold and silver have not yet become substantial results, and the turquoise is perhaps the only product of high price and estimation. This gem, however, is not readily procurable at Nishapnr, its birthplace, but should rather be sought for at Tehran or lspahan, where it comes into the market with other exotics. The mines are situated at the base of the hill of Sulaimaniyah, lying north of Zamanabad, a village on the highroad from Mashhad to Tehran. When the Sistan mission was at Nishaptir in 1972 they were farmed by the Government for 8000 " tumans" per annum, or about £3200 in English money.
In Malcolm's days, though coining was held to be a choice privilege of royalty, foreign piastros and ducats were in considerable vogue. Accounts are kept in " tunnins," "kraus," and "shahis," of which the value of the first has deteriorated to 8s., the second is barely the French franc, and the third is about a halfpenny. Less than the last is called "pul-siyah," or black money. The "shahi" and the "panahat," a silver coin worth about Eid., have for long been in common circulation. In late years the manufacture of false money and forging the royal seals had become such common practices that the old rough hammer-struck coinage was called in, and medals in gold and silver with milled edges were substituted. But these also were counterfeited, and a head of police was called in from Austria to endeavour to check the evil.
The Yazd marble has a watered appearance with yellowish A handsome specimen is to be seen in the tomb of ilafii at Shiraz. There is a quarry on the road from Yazd to Kaman. The petrifactions called Tabriz or Maragha marble are found on the road between those two places.
Eastwick describes the coal obtained from the pits at Hit, in the hill-country west of Tehran, as light, brittle, glittering, and with occasional red stains. There were no large blocks visible.
Though petroleum and naphtha appear indigenous to Persia, and Floyer visited an oil-spring in Bashakard, the produce of which was burnt in lamps at Minab near Bandar2Abbas, the produce of the oil-wells at Bake has found its way to Mashhad, and meets there with a ready sale. In connexion with this circumstance, Lovett states that a great number of lamps of the most trumpery German manufacture are imported into Khurasan and sold at large profits.
Dr Bellew, referring to the twelve divisions of the district of Nishapnr, and to its 1200 villages and hamlets, mentions the report that it possesses also twelve different mines, yielding turquoise, salt, lead, copper, antimony, iron, together with marble and soap-stone. The statement needs, however, verification.
Ch. mate. - The climate of Persia varies much according to locality. In the Caspian provinces, where rain is frequent, it is hot, humid, and unhealthy for the greater part of the year. In the tablelands it is intensely cold in winter, and, though it is hot in summer, its dry clear heat is temperate in comparison with that of Sind and the Punjab. The spring and autumn are the best seasons. In the south and south-west, towards the Persian Gulf and in Baluchistan, the heat is intense throughout the summer and often in the spring and autumn. The three regions of Nearchus and the old travellers - illustrated by parching heat, sand, and barrenness in the south, a temperate climate, pastures, and cultivation in the centre, and severe cold with bare or snow-clad mountains in the north - may still be accepted as conveying a fairly accurate description of the tracts lying generally between Bushahr and Tehran ; but of course there are seasons and seasons, and it may be very hot as well as very cold in the north as elsewhere. In June the traveller, starting from the former place en, route to the capital (Tehran), will for more than 50 miles, or up to the bridge of Dalaki, experience a fierce heat during the day, and not always find relief in a cool night. Reaching the plateau of Kundr Takhtah, 12 miles farther, at an elevation of 1800 feet, he will not then necessarily have escaped the influence of hot winds and a thermometer ranging to 100°. Some 50 miles farther he will have. felt a most agreeable change at an altitude of 7000 feet ; and in another 24 miles, at Khan-i-Zanian, he will have had every cause to be grateful for a delightful temperature. Shiraz, though some 4750 feet above sea-level, and in respect of climate so belauded by the native poets, can be hot enough in the summer, and is subject to drought, scarcity, and other contingencies of Persia.
Mounsey considers May the finest month, when the plains are fresh and green, the gardens filled with roses and nightingales, the cherries ripe, and the green almonds in vogue. Binning, writing from Ispahan on the 1st of July, had not seen the thermometer higher than 87° in his room ; in the morning at sunrise it was generally 70°. Sleeping, as others, on the roof of his house, he described the air • to be very dry, and the nights clear and bright, the little dew which fell being so pure as to be innocuous. He expected hotter weather towards the close of the month, but a long autumn would make amends for a little heat. Many years before Binning, Mr Jukes had recorded that, from the average of 27 days, including the end of May and beginning of June, the thermometer at Ispahan at sunrise was 56', at 2 r.m. 87°, and at 9 P.m. 67°. Sir John Malcolm remarked that this city appeared to be placed "in the happiest temperature " that Persia could boast. Lady Shell, whose experiences were chiefly gained in Tehran, limits the "glorious weather of Persia" from the "Nan-ruz " or New Year (21st .M arch) to the middle of May ; but most persons would perhaps prefer the autumn in the highlands of the north, as in many other parts of the country. September and October are beautiful months. The blue sky, with its tempering haze, as it were a veil of reflected snow gathered from the higher peaks and ridges of continuous mountain chains, is too exquisite a sight to be readily forgotten ; and the enjoyment is all the more complete when the temperature is that of October. To those who come from India direct, or to whom an Indian heat is habitual, the change to Persia is most grateful. In the late spring, fashion moves out a few miles from Tehran to the "yalaks of Shamiran," or cooler residences near the hills, and summer rendezvous of the various foreign legations, returning in the late autumn to the precincts of the capital, which, it may be noted, have been considerably extended of late years, and are designed for yet further extension. On the 5th of June 1871 the thermometer in Tehran was at 1 A.M. at 62° and at 2 P.M. at 75°. On the two following days it was at 6 A.M. at 62° and at 2 P.M. at 80°. In February the traveller across the plains of Sulimaniya, or approaching the capital from Tabriz, will sometimes experience the most bitter cold.
Bushahr and the Caspian provinces have already been mentioned, but the heat of the former place is fairly shared by other ports on the seaboard to the south, - among them, Ling* Bandar:Abbas, and Charbar. When the Sistan mission was at Bandar-`Abbas in December 1871, malarions fevers were prevalent, and enlarged spleen was a common complaint. The average maximum temperature was then only 72° and the minimum 52° ; but the summer and winter heats are in this locality extreme. More than a month later the officers of the mission slept out on the desert plains south of Sfstan, and woke in the morning to find their beds and bedding covered with frost and icicles. With reference to the Caspian provinces the consular report to the English Foreign Office for 1881 is available. Major Lovett, remarking that the "minimum isotherms passing through the north of continental Europe are deflected considerably to the south on approaching the longitude of the Caspian," calls attention to the fact that, while during the winter the northern part of that large inland sea is frozen over, farther south, at only 10° distance, the climate of Astrabad (if there be no wind from the north and the sun shine) is like that of Madeira at the same time of the year. Though the preceding cold season had been unusually severe, and heavy snow had fallen at Bala and lower down, the lowest reading of the thermometer was 25° Fahr., and the maximum during the months of December, January, and February was 62' in the shade.
The following extract from the report is interesting, as it bears on the products as well as the climate of the north of Persia.
"It must be remembered, in connexion with the influence the Caspian Sea has on the climate of its shores, that its surface is 84 feet below the level of the ocean ; and, consequently, the superincumbent strata of air being denser than, casterig paribus, elsewhere, it is also more capable of absorbing solar heat and moisture than the air at ocean-level. This partly accounts for the mildness as well as for the dampness of the climate. I cannot give the amount of rainfall, having no gauge ; but it rained, during the 245 days of recorded observations, forty-five times, and the sky was overcast seventy times besides. This tolerable proportion of rain and cloud is doubtless due to the action of cold northerly blasts impinging on the warm and moisture-laden air shrouding the slopes of the Elburz, and hemmed in, as it were, between them and the icy northern wind. Currents thereupon are set up from the central region of the southern shores of the Caspian that blow to the east and to the west. The central region is a zone of much greater rainfall than the districts more remote. The westerly current, passing over this province, has its fertilizing influence expended on reaching the Goklan hills, 100 miles from the sea. The breadth and intensity of this moisture-bearing current is well marked by the gradually proportionate denseness of the vegetation extending from the sands of the Atrak steppe to the mountain summits. The action of these damp winds is distinctly traceable on all portions of the mountain-range exposed to the sea-breeze, even by the channels afforded by the valleys of the rivers that debouch on to the Caspian. Such are densely clothed with forest of a type similar to that found in southerly temperate climates. The flora is distinctly not tropical. In addition to the trees already mentioned, I should add that wild hops and plums are to be found. In the spring the hillsides are covered with thick excellent pasture. In the gardens and orchards of Astrabad are to be found vines, fig trees, orange trees, pomegranate, and lemon trees, and the vegetables chiefly cultivated are melons, pumpkins, marrows, lettuce, aubergines, Ice., that form at their seasons food-staples for the people. Tobacco, used for manufacturing cigarettes, is also grown here on a small scale.
"The Turkman steppe lying north of Astrabad is, as far as the Atrak, a prairie of exceeding fertility. Wheat reproduces itself more than a hundredfold without artificial irrigation or any trouble beyond sowing."
Soil and Products. - Where there is irrigation the productiveness of the soil in Persia is remarkable, but unfortunately there is too much truth in the notion that two-thirds of the tablelands of the country are sterile from want of water. The desert is the rule, fertility the exception, and generally in the form of an oasis. Yet wheat, barley, and other cereals are grown in great perfection ; there are the sugar-cane and rice also, especially in Mazandaran, where the soil is favourable and water procurable ; opium, tobacco, and cotton, madder roots, henna, and other dyes, are as well-known exports as the woollen goods of Persia ; and the first may become of importance in its bearing upon the Indian market.' In Man, famous for its mulberry plantations, silk has been one of the most valuable of products. Yazd and Mazandaran contribute also the same material, but of late years the worm has comparatively failed to do its office, and disease has destroyed crop after crop. According to Mr Secretary Dickson's report of August 1882 the peasants of Gilan had turned their attention to the cultivation of rice, and, though a marked improvement was perceptible in the silk produce, they were not disposed to revert to this branch of culture on the former large scale. "Silk, once the staple produce of Persia, upon which it mainly depended for repaying the cost of its imports, is not likely," he fears, "to resume its former importance. In its flourishing clays about 20,000 bales, or 1,400,000 lb, representing a value of £700,000, were annually exported. Now not more than a fourth of that quantity can be obtained." Rice was found to suit the cultivators better ; it gave them less trouble and provided them with an article of daily food. The production of silk, on the other hand, profited the richer landed proprietors, and subjected the cultivators to oppression.
Consul Bercsford Lovett, in his report before quoted, says that at Astrabad the soil is so productive, and subsistence is practicable on so small a piece of land and with so little labour and expense, that ninny very poor emigrants conic there to settle from distant parts of Persia, Afghanistan, and the Indian border. "Rice," he writes, "is husked under tilt-hammers worked by a water-wheel apparatus, a rude and clumsy contrivance, but strong, simple, and cheap. Corn and barley are ground by water-mills of primitive construction ; the best wheat-flour produced is inferior to English middlings.' They are careless as to the use of rusty corn ; the effect of eating bread made with flour containing any of the noxious element is to render those unused to it very giddy."
Sir John Malcolm considered the shores of the Persian Gulf to be sandy and unproductive in comparison with the rich clayey soil on those of the Caspian. Yet at Bushahr, and elsewhere on the lowlands of the southern border, patches of luxuriant vegetation may be found and a soil producing wheat and barley.
Vines are abundant, and the Persian grapes are not only of a good flavour and kind, but the wines made from them by the Jews and Armenians have more than a mere local reputation. That of Shiraz is the most universally known and celebrated ; but a description of port manufactured at Ispahan is equally palatable and less astringent. It might not, however, bear the vicissitudes of export. A light wine made at Hamadan, diluted with water, is found very drinkable by European visitors and residents. Other cities in Persia could be cited where the juice of the grape is turned to similar account. Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, who explored the southern shores of the 'Caspian in 1771, observed that the wines of Gilan and Mazandaran were all made from the wild grape only.
Flora. - Eastwick refers to the trees in the low country of Gilan as " part of that great forest which extends some 400 miles from Astarabad to Talish." No longer do the sparse olive and occasional plantation of fruit-trees here meet the eye of the traveller descending from the Persian plateau, but his path will be through dense thickets of " jangal," amid which the birch and the box and many familiar friends are recognized. There is an oak-forest in the vicinity of Shiraz, but no part of the country is so thickly wooded as the tract south of the Caspian. For the greater part of the province of Astrabad, Lovett surmises that nine-tenths of the surface is covered with forest. He excepts the pasture-lands of Shah Kuh, a high mountain-range between Shah End and the sea. The trees are mostly deciduous. He had counted forty different kinds, including shrubs, but was unable to identify all. There were the oak, beech, elm, walnut, plane, sycamore, ash, yew, box, and juniper, but no pine, fir, or cedar, - though these last were said to exist in the dense forests of Finderisk, and on the slopes of the Goklan Hills to the eastward. He applies to the oak, beech, and elm used in building the native names of " mazn," " nUs," and "azad."
Fruits and flowers are abundant, and are fully appreciated in Persia. Poets sing of them, and prince and peasant delight in them. Of fruits the variety is great, and the quality, though not always the best, is in some cases unrivalled. There is perhaps no melon in the world superior to that of Nusrabad, a village between Kashan and Kum. It were easier to name the few English fruits - such as i14e gooseberry, strawberry, raspberry, currant, and medlar - that are seldom, if at all seen, than the many that are commonly enjoyed by Persians. Apples and pears, filberts and walnuts, musk-melons and watermelons, grapes, peaches, plums, nectarines, - all these are to be had in profusion and so cheap as to be within reach of the poorest inhabitant.
Among the flowers are roses of many kinds, the marigold, chrysanthemum, hollyhock, narcissus, tulip, tuberose, convolvulus, aster, wallflower, dahlia, white lily (much valued), hyacinth, violet, larkspur, pink, and many ornaments of the European parterre. Of the roses, Lady Sheil observes that they are so profuse during the spring at Tehran that some are cultivated in fields as an object of trade to make rosewater. The double-coloured orange rose at Nishaptir is exceptionally attractive and fragrant.
As with fruits and flowers, so also with vegetables for N the table. If the parsnip be excepted, which is probably not found because not wanted, all those commonly used in England are to be had in Persia.
Fauna. - Mr W. T. Blanford has described with great care and minuteness the zoology of Persia. In company with Major St John, RE., he made a large collection of the vertebrate fauna in a journey from Gwatar to Tehran in 1872. Havinc, added to this a previous collection made by the same officer with the assistance of a native from Calcutta, he had before him the principal materials for his work. Before commencing his analysis he adverted to his predecessors in the same field, i.e., Gmelin (whose travels were published in 1774-84), Olivier (1807), Pallas (1811), Menetries (1832), Belanger (1834), Eichwald (1834-41), Ancher Eloy (1851), Loftus, Count Keyserling, Kokschy, Chesney, the Hon. C. Murray, De Filippi (1865), Hume (1873), and Professor Strauch of St Petersburg. All of these had, more or less, contributed something to the knowledge of the subject, whether as writers or as collectors, or in both capacities, and to all the due meed of credit was assigned. Blanford divided Persia into five zoological provinces : (I) the Persian plateau, or from 2 the Kopet Dagh southwards to nearly 28° N. lat., including all Khurasan to the Perso-Afghan border, its western limit being indicated by a long line to the north-west from near Shiraz, taking in the whole upper country to the Russian frontier and the Alburz ; (2) the provinces south and south-west of the Caspian ; (3) a narrow strip of wooded country south-west of the Zagros range, from the Diyah river in Turkish Arabia to Shiraz ; (4) the Persian side of the Shattu VArab, and Khflzistan, east of the Tigris ; and (5) the shores of the Persian Gulf and Baluchistan. The fauna of the Persian plateau he described as " Palwarctic, with a great prevalence of desert forms ; or, perhaps more correctly, as being of the desert type with Pakearctic species in the more fertile regions." In the Caspian provinces he found the fauna, on the whole, Palmearctic also, "most of the animals being identical with those of southeastern Europe." But some were essentially indigenous, and he observed "a singular character given to the fauna by the presence of certain Eastern forms, unknown in other parts of Persia, such as the tiger, a remarkable deer of the Indo-Malayan group, allied to Germs axis, and a pit viper (Hays)." Including the oak-forests of Shiraz with the wooded slopes of the Zagros, he found in his third division that, however little known was the tract, it appeared to contain, like the second, "a Paharctic fauna with a few peculiar species." As to Persian Mesopotamia, he considered its fauna to belong to the same Pahearctic region as Syria, but could scarcely speak with confidence on its characteristic forms. The fifth and last division, Baluchistan and the shores of the Persian Gulf, presented, however, in the animals common to the Persian highlands "for the most part desert types, whilst the characteristic Palwarctic species almost entirely disappear, their place being taken by Indian or Indo-African forms." Elan-ford adds : "Just as the fauna of the Persian plateau has been briefly characterized as of the desert type with a large admixture of Pakearctic forms, that of Baluchistan and the shores of the Persian Gulf may be described as being desert with a small admixture of Indian species." Irrespective of scientific classification and detail, it may be D stated that among the tame animals of Persia the horse, al mule, and camel occupy an important position, and, jointly' perhaps with oxen (used for tilling purposes), are first and foremost in usefulness to man. The Persian-Gulf Arab, though not equal to the pure Arabian, is a very serviceable animal, and has always a value in the Indian market. Among others, the Kashgais, or those wandering semi-Turkish tribes brought down from Turkestan to the neighbourhood of Shiraz, have the credit of possessing good steeds. The Tiirkman horse of Khurasan and the Atak is a large, bony, and clumsy-looking quadruped, with marvellous power and endurance. Colonel C. E. Stewart speaks of a "splendid breed of camels" in the northeastern district, of which Radkan, a small town of 4000 inhabitants with a deputy-governor, is the capital. He also states that the KhurAsan camel is celebrated for its size and strength, that it has very long hair, and bears cold and exposure far better than the ordinary Arabian or Persian camel, and that, while the ordinary Persian camel only carries a load of some 320 lb and an Indian camel one of some 400 lb, the KhurAsan camel will carry from 600 to 700 lb. The best animals, he notes, are a cross between the Bactrian or two-humped and the Arabian or one-humped camel. Sheep, goats, dogs, and cats are good of their kind ; but not all the last are the beautiful creatures which, bearing the name of the country, have arrived at such distinction in Europe. Nor are these to be obtained, as supposed, at Angora in Asia Minor. Lake Van or Ispahan is a more likely habitat. The cat at the first place, called by the Turks " Van kedisi," has a certain local reputation.
Among the wild animals are the lion, tiger, leopard, lynx, wolf, jackal, fox, hare, wild ass, wild sheep, wild cat, mountain-goat, gazelle, and deer. The tiger is peculiar to the Caspian provinces. Lovett says they are plentiful in Astrabad ; "they do not attack men, but hardly a ;week passes but some cow belonging to this town is reported to have fallen a victim to the tiger's rapacity." He measured two specimens, one 10 feet 8 inches, the other 8 feet 10 inches from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Lynxes and bears were to be found in the same vicinity, and the wild pig was both numerous and destructive.
Poultry is good and plentiful, and the game birds, if not of many varieties, have admirable representatives in the " durraj " (black partridge) and the three kinds of partridge called respectively the "kabk," "kabk darah," and " tihu." The " hubara," a kind of bustard, is well known to the sportsman in northern India.
Commerce, ,f,e. - The most direct and accurate information obtainable in England on the trade of Persia must be looked for in the reports of the secretary of 1I. M. Legation at Tehran, the resident at Bushahr (Bushire), and the consul-general at Tabriz.
Mr Secretary Dickson's report of the 30th August 1882 is hopeful as to the general prospects of trade and improvement of the condition of the people. There had been a good harvest ; but money was scarce at the capital, cash sales were difficult operations, and considerable failures had occurred to render the native bankers cautious. Manchester goods, however, still sold well at Ispahan and elsewhere.
The comparative failure of silk hail given an impetus to the cultivation of opium, the greater part of which, when prepared for the market, was shipped. to China. Carpets had found new favour in Europe, and the value of those exported was estimated at ten times the amount of former days. But a fear was expre,ssed that the introduction of European designs and dimensions, and deterioration iu quality of the articles supplied, would eventually prove prejudicial to the trade.
The larger traffic in opium effected both in 1880 and immediately preceding years is remarkable, and will be seen in the following tableCarriageable roads were still a desideratum, and the want of these obstructed the development of trade. On the other hand, it was remarked that a fair road had been constructed between Kazvin and Tehran, a supply of carriages and carts had been obtained from Russia, and postal stations had been built at regular distances of 12 miles from each other. In the capital also the streets had been put into repair, and the palace, square, and main streets lit with gas ; and there was a greater number of private carriages. A concession had been granted for a railway from Rasht to Tehran ; Mr Dickson, while approving of this line as a step in the right direction, was very strongly in favour of another to join Tehran to Baghdad. A branch from Karmanshah or Hamadan to Shfistar or Dizful, whence goods could be exported by the Karlin, would, he argued, give Persia an independent outlet for her commerce ; but he doubted whether Baghdad, with its prestige and advantages of climate, would not be accepted as the main commercial entrepSt. The navigability of the Karlin river has been already noticed.
The Bushahr reports on the trade of the Persian Gulf for 1880I show that, as regards southern Persia, the year was unfavourable from a commercial point of view. Large imports from India served e to avert famine ; but the seed so provided for 1881 was not at hand in time to allow full advantage being taken of an unusually good rainfall in autumn and winter. Increased imports in sugar from France and Java, the introduction of tea from Japan, and a decrease in exports of cotton and other ordinary produce owing to drought were all noticed.
The table showing the total estimated value of imports into Bushahr during the year 1882 gives a total of 10,188,980 rupees, - say something less than £1,000,000. Of this about four-ninths are from England and more than a third. is from India. Of the exports, amountino. to 6,566,220 rupees, - say £650,000 - more than two-fifths are for China, not a fifth is for England, and more than a fifth is for India. The most valuable items of import are the piece-goods and brass, - the last from England and India only ; and of export, opium, of which just three-fourths go to China, and wheat, of which more than two-thirds go to England.
As regards the trade of Lingah' the year 1882 showed a decrease. The total value of imports was 6,922,000 rupees, of which pearls formed the largest portion. These were brought chiefly from Bahrain and the Arab coast, but some from the Persian Gulf and Makran and Aden. Rice, almost wholly from India, was the next most valuable item. The total value of exports was 5,999,945 rupees. In this also pearls formed by far the largest item. Next in value mother-of-pearl shells exemplified a traffic almost entirely carried on with England.
From Gez on the Caspian, Consul Lovett gives to the exports of 1881 a value of £86,280. These consisted of silk, cotton, wools, furs and skins, dried fruits, rice, corn, and miscellaneous articles. Silk represented nearly the half, and furs and skins nearly a quarter of the total figure. The imports he valued at £287,610, of which the amount for piece goods was entered at £256,000. The remaining articles specified were sugar, tea, iron, copper, steel, crockery, hardware, and brass utensils.
Hanufactwres (C.c. - The handbook on Persian art published by Colonel Murdoch Smith, R.E., in 1876, with reference to the collection f purchased and sent home by him for the South Kensington Museum, has an instructive account of the more common manufacturos of the country. They are classified under the respective heads of "porcelain and earthenware," "tiles," "arms and armour," "textile fabrics," " needlework and embroidery," " metal-work," " wood carving and mosaic-painting," " manuscripts," "enamel," "jewelry," and "musical instruments." Specimens of the greater number are not only to be procured in England, but are almost familiar to the ordinary Londoner. It need scarcely be said that the tiles have rather increased in value than deteriorated in the eyes of the connoisseur, that the ornamentation of metal-work, wood carving and inlaying, gen] and seal engraving, are exquisite of their kind, and that the carpets manufactured by the " ustzitls" or skilled workmen of local repute, when left to themselves and their native patterns, are to a great extent unrivalled. One shown to Colonel Goldsmid at Barman, under preparation for the tomb of Shah Niy'amat Ullah, situated at the neighbouring village of Mahon, would have been greatly prized ill Europe. Inn company with Murdoch Smith that officer visited the carpet manufactories of the city in 1S65. Of this interesting branch of Persian art Smith writes : - " Carpets are now made in many parts of Persia, but chiefly in Kurdistan, K hurasan, Feraghan (in Irak), and Kaufman; each of these districts producing a distinctive kind both in texture and style. The finest are unquestionably those of Kurdistan, of which. good specimens exist in the museum. The pattern does not represent flowers, bouquets, or other objects thrown up in relief from a uniform ground, like so many of the inappropriate designs of Europe, but looks more like a layer of flowers strewn on the ground, or a field of wild flowers in spring ; a much more suitable style of ornament for a fabric meant to his under foot. The borders are always well marked and usually of brighter colours than the centre. Besides the ordinary kali,' or pile carpet, others, called `do-rut,' very- thin and smooth and alike on both sides, are made in Kurdistan, of which there is a specimen in the museum. These 'do-rut,' from their portability, are much used in travelling for spreading by the roadside during the halts for pipes and tea. The carpets of Feraghan resemble those of Kurdistan in style, although the texture is looser and the pattern simpler. They are consequently much cheaper and in more general rise. . . . The Khorasan carpets are somewhat superior in texture to those of Feraghan, but the patterns are generally more realistic ; the flowers, &c., being represented as standing out of the ground. There is a fine Khorasan carpet in the museum made by the Kurdish settlers on the Turkman frontier. Karman carpets are the next in value to those of Kurdistan, but the designs are usually still more realistic than those of Khorasan. Besides flowers, figures of men and animals are not uncommon." Referring to the TOrkman carpet he says : " The texture is very good and the pile is peculiarly velvety to the touch. The design, however, is crude, and the colours although rich arc few in number. Still it is astonishing to think that, such as they are, these carpets are woven hi the tents of a wild nomadic race like the Turkmans. Of late years there has been unfortunately a slight importation from Europe into Persia both of colours and designs which are far from being an improvement. The carpets of every description are made without even the simplest machinery, the loom being simply a frame on which the warp is stretched. The woof consists of short threads woven into the warp with the fingers without a shuttle. When a row of the woof is thus completed, a sort of comb is inserted into the warp and pressed or hammered against the loose row of woof until it is sufficiently tightened to the rest of the web. The pile is formed by merely clipping the ends of the woof until an even surface is obtained. The weaver sits with the reverse side of the web towards him, so that he depends solely on his memory for the formation of the pattern. . .
"Felts or nomads are made inn many parts of Persia, but chiefly at Ispahan and Yazd. Time material consists of all kinds of wool mixed together, that of the camel predominating. The colour is generally brown, but the surface on one side, and sometimes on both, is ornamented with geometric and other designs in different colours which are inlaid (so to speak) in the monad, and not simply stamped on the surface.
"The shawls of Karman are not much inferior to those of Kashmir. They arc woven by hand similarly to the carpets. The material called knrk ' of which the shawls are made is the under wool of a particular kind of white goat : numerous flocks of this animal are in the neighbourhood of Xarman. Like the merino sheep in Spain, these flocks migrate annually according to the season, in which respect they are like almost all the flocks and herds of Persia. I therefore made enquiries at Karman why the kOrk '-producing goats were only to be found in that neighbourhood, and was informed that in that district the rapid descent from the high plateau of l'ersia to the plains near the sea afforded the means of keeping the flocks throughout the year in an almost 0'01 temperature diul. in abundant pastures, with a much shorter distance between the summer and winter quarters than in other parts of Persia, and that such an even climate without long distances to traverse in the course of migration was necessary to the delicate constitution of the animal, or rather to the softness of its wool. The whole of the ktirk ' is not made use of in the looms of Kalman, a large quantity being annually exported to Amritsar in tipper India, where it is manufactured into false Kashmir shawls. Besides the ordinary long shawls of which men's and women's tunics are made, others of a single colour are made at Barman, which are afterwards richly ornamented with needlework. Of these there are in the museum several slleeinmens, in which the softness of the shawl and the richness of the embroidery are both to be admired. Shawls of a coarser kind are also made at Yazd, of which a specimen may lie seen in the museum in a pair of door curtains."
Pol itical Divisions. - Aecording to the latest information obtained, or up to 1684, the 36th year of the reign of Nasru 'd-Din Shah, Persia is found to be portioned out into four large divisions and six smaller governments, of which governors-general or governors are appointed by the king. The four divisions are : - (l ) Adarbaijan (Azerbijan) in the west ; (2) the North Central Districts ; (3) Khurasan in the east, including Sistan ; (4) Southern Persia, or from the Shattu '1 'Arab to the Mashkid. The minor governments are : - (5) Astrabad, (6) Mazandaran, (7) °flan, (t) Khaimah with Zanjan, (9) Kazein, (10) Germs.
Adarbaijan, the ancient Atropatene, is under the " wali-'alid," or heir-apparent, it]n?alfaru'd-Diu Mirza, second son of the shah, who 1: resides at Tabriz, and appoints governors to the several districts within his range. Among the more important of these are Ardabil, Sarah, and Khalkha] towards the Caspian, Make, Khoi, and trumiva in the west, Manigha in the centre, and Solduz, SaujImbik, and Sain Kalah in the south. Adarbaijan is about 250 miles in length from the Little Ararat to Sa•dasht, and the same distance in breadth from Kotur to the Talish. It is separated from Armenia in the north by the Arras, which rises in the mountains to the westward, and from 'Irak in the south by the liizil lizain, which, after a long winding course from Kurdistan, and union with other streams, empties itself into the Caspian under the name of Safid ibid. On the west it is enclosed by the Kurdish mountains, and to a great extent on the east by those overlooking the Caspian shores., It is a land of mountains, ravines, plains, and plateaus.
U Lake Urnmiya, about 75 miles in length by an average breadth of 30, is one of its most remarkable geographical features. In parts it is fertile, and produces wheat, barley, and maize, also cotton and tobacco. Markham says that its villages "are embosomed in orchards and gardens, which yield delicious fruits," and that its most picturesque and flourishing portion is around the towns of Frumiya (west of the lake) and Khoi. Tabriz, the capital, has long been the most populous city of Persia. The other chief towns of the province are Ardabil, ernmiya, Khoi, and Marligha.
The North Central Districts is a name given to the country under the immediate supervision of the naibu 's-sultanah, or "deputy of the kingdom," the sloih's third son, who appoints governors to I Tehran and Firnzkulf in the north, to Zarand, Sawah, NAM), Kashan, and Natanz, south of Tehran, and to III aluilat, Sultanabad in 'Irak, Nahawand, Hamadan, and Tnsirkan, west of Enin and Eastman. The places named will serve to indicate the range of this division, one of some 150 miles in length, but of very irregular breadth. There are included in it remarkable centres of population, besides Tehran. Kiln is held in high repute as a sacred city, second in importance to Mashhad only. It contains the tomb of Fatima, the sister, or, as some affirm, the daughter of the imam Riza, and the bones of thousands of 111 uha inmadans, bequeathed to its honoured soil by the affection or superstition of sorrowing friends and relatives. It is a large, straggling, ill-kept, semi-ruined, uninviting place, relieved by patches of a new and well-built bazaar. The. many domes of Krim recall it readily to memory, but they are more characteristic than striking. Kashan has not much more attraction as a residence, but is held in good estimation for its silks, and is deservedly famous, above all towns in Persia, for its tiles and potteries.
The large province of Khurisan is perhaps not less than 500I miles in length from the Perso-'Trkman frontier to the southern limit of Persian Sistan. In breadth it is irregular, but from Pul-iEhatnn or the Lady's Bridge on the Tajand to Pubi-Abrishm or the Bridge of Silk on the Kal Mura - a fair limitation for Khorasan proper, exclusive of Sistan - it is about 260 miles. The mountainous character of its northern frontier has been noticed in the description of the general boundaries of Persia. It is, however, worthy of remark that the supposed connexion of the Alburz range and that of the Parapanisns does not prevent an easy passage into Eclat by the valley of the Hari Rlid. The mention of rivers east and west of Khorasan must not lead to the inference that the water-supply is abundant ; one, the Tajand, has to fertilize the desert tracts of the Persian Atak ; at the other, the Kai Mora, the bridge is often useless, owing to the dryness of the river-bed. Central and southern Khurtisan are more or lees a vast desert with kavirs. Parts of Kaiyan and Sistan 011 the Afghan border are fertile, though barren mountains and desert plains abound in the former, and the second has no lack of waste, notwithstanding the proximity of the II el man d.
The principal city in Khorasan proper is Mashhad, the capital, which may be said to contain, without contradiction, the most venerated and popular shrine in the whole of Persia, that of the eighth imam, Riza. A pilgrimage to this spot has, owing to its convenient site, become a duty more essential if not more important than one to Karbala in Turkish Arabia, or even to Mecca and Medina; and the thousands who year by year win the privilege of becoming "Mashhadis" testify to the value set upon it. Mashhad, built on the pe•petind Persian idain, and admirably situated as to roads of traffic with Bnkliara (Bokhara), Khiva, Herat, and Kandahar, has little in its general exterior, except the golden dome, to distinguish it from other cities in the shah's territory ; but it can boast also the tomb of the famous Harlin al-Rashid and of Ganhar Shah Agha, the favourite wife of Shah Run ; and its canal and quays merit at least a passing remark from their rarity. It is divided into two towns, the sacred and the secular, each of which has its distinct governor - the first called the "mutawali," the second being also governor of the whole province of Khorasan, and often a prince of the blood-royal. After Mashhad, among the chief towns of Khorasan are Nisliapnr and Sabzawar on the highroad to Tehran, the first an ancient city within walls, the second notable for its surrounding cultivation ; Biljnnrd on the north, which in Burnes's time was "a rather large place standing in a spacious valley" ; Ttirbat-i-Haidari, the chief town of a populous district with ten villages, visited by Conolly in 1830, by Goldsmid in 1872, and by Stewart in 1880 ; Sultanabad, capital of the Turshiz district (in which there is no specific " Turshiz "), called by Colonel Stewart "a small and flourishing town of some 5000 inhabitants" ; Kaiyan, once capital of the district of that name, and still a town of sonic importance, much frequented by " mullas " and "saiyids "; Tnn, which Macgregor describes as " decidedly a picturesquely situated town, surrounded by a wall (of irregular outline), which goes outside all the houses, and encloses besides a space - quite equal to that occupied by the houses - taken up with cultivation and gardens. Thus it is," he adds, " that Tun may be said to be a town 4 miles in circumference, though, if only the space occupied by houses was calculated, it would dwindle to one-eighth of this. There are no buildings of any note in the place, but a few mosques and colleges are to be found, while most of the better houses, of which there is a total of about 1500, have badgirs."1 Coupled with Tim is Tabas, to which the same writer gives no importance ; then come Birjand, picturesque and clean, with a better class of mud buildings, well situated at the foot of hills, and having rather high mountains to the westward, the modern capital of the Kaiyan district ; and finally, Sikuha, the true but somewhat insignificant chief town of Sistan, here chosen in preference to Nasrabad, its military headquarters. Mr Rozario, medical attache to the mission of 1872, described Sikuha as "composed of 200 arch-roofed mud-built houses, connected with each other without any kind of woodwork about them," the land wanting hi rice and timber, but producing wheat, barley, beans, and cotton in abundance.
The fourth, Southern Persia, is a very extensive division, embracing not only the whole seaboard between 4S° and 61° 30' E. long. but a great part of the country as far north as 32° 40', the parallel of Ispahan. Nothing could better illustrate the arbitrary and uncertain mode of parcelling out a kingdom than the separation of natural and the combination of abnormal elements of union to be found in this vast territory entrusted to the charge of the " zil-i-snitan," or "shadow of the monarch," the title given to the shah's eldest son. That such an arrangement can work at all is one of many strange truths which are intelligible only to persons acquainted with the centralizing power exercised in Tehran. General Schindler, an officer of great local knowledge and experience, has guaranteed the correctness of the statement that the prince-governo• or governor-general of Southern Persia - residing himself at Shiniz (o• at Ispahan) - appoints governors to the following places : - Kurdistan, Earmanshah, LUristan, Bnrnjird, Dizful, Shnstar, Muhantrah, Behbahan, and Rant Hormuz in the west ; the tracts occupied by the Baklitiaris, Gulpaigan, Khonsar, dun, Chahar -Mahal, Yazd (with Vain, Baft, and Shahr-i-Babek) ; Fars (with Fasa, Darab, Lar, Parum, and Kizarun) in the centre ; 13ushahr and Lingah on the coast ; and Kaman (with Bain, Bampnr, Rafsinjan, Khabis, Sirjan, Jiruft, and Rudbar) to the east. Among the more prominent cities or towns within this range are : - Ispahan, a fine city, still worthy from its site, buildings, gardens, river, and surroundings to be the royal residence ; Shiraz, happily situated with pleasant neighbouring resorts and the ordinary requirements of a first-class Persian town, - possessing, moreover, a special national prestige for high and low, yet not a genial residence for strangers, who can accomplish its lions in a couple of days ; Yazd, a large and fairly populated city, with one remarkable mosque and a handsome new bazaar, but somewhat gloomy in character and drearily situated on a flat plain in an amphitheatre of hills ; Kalman, a place of pleasant recollection to those English travellers who experienced the genuine kindness and hospitality of the wakilu 1-mulk, Muhammad Ismail Khan, its governor in 1S65-66, and not wanting in material attractions of its own ; lastly, Barn and Bampiir, visited by Lieutenant Pottinger in 1810, more than half a century afterwards by Colonel Goldsmid, and later still by Majors St John and Lovett, - the one a frontier town with associations of border warfare, the other a mere Perso- Baluch cantonment with a fort and mud buildings, long the residence of Ibrahim Khan, a chief of notoriety serving the interests of Persia. Muhantrah, Bushahr, Liugah, and Bandar-`Abbas are ports, but there is no real harbour between Ftio at the mouth of the Shattu '12Arah and Karachi (Kurrachee) in British I Literally " wind-catchers," - towers erected on the roofs of houses for purposes of ventilation.
Astrabtid is a town and district near the entrance of the bay of 11 the same name on the Caspian. In 1884 it was governed by g Habib Ullah Khan, the "sa'idu '1-daulah," or "arm of the state." it Mazandaran and Gilan are the Caspian provinces, par excellence, of Persia. General Schindler makes them distinct governments, but they appear to have once formed part of the northern division under the prince-governor.
Khamsah, a district on the high road between Tabriz and Tehran, of which the chief town, Zanjan, is a place of some importance. The governor's name in 1884 was Nasr Kidi Khan, the "'amidn 1-mulk," or " prop of the kingdom."
Kazvin, a considerable town, with surrounding district, in the plains south of the Alburz, and not a 'hundred iniles from Tehran, was governed in 1884 by Mirza Rip, the "mu'ayinu 'l-sultanah," or "helper of the kingdom."
Germs is a district on the south of Khamsah.
Population. - Although the present section deals with statistics only, the following well-considered remarks of Mr Robert Grant Watson, formerly a secretary in the Persian legation, form an appropriate preface to the record of population.
" Persia is peopled by men of various races. A very great pro- I portion of the population is composed of wandering tribes, that is, of a large number of families who pass a portion of the year on the hills. It is in this sense only that they can be considered wanderers. They invariably occupy the same pasture-grounds one year after another. Their chiefs are possessed of great authority over the tribesmen, and all dealings between the Government and the tribes are carried on through the heads of these divisions. Through the chief the taxes, whether in money or in kind, are paid, and through him the regiments which his tribe may furnish are recruited. The office of chief is hereditary. The tents in which the tribesmen dwell are for the most part composed of a light framework of the shape of a beehive. This is covered with a coating of reeds, and above it is placed a thick black felt. It has but one door, and no window or chimney. This is the Turkman tent, which is used by the Shalisavand and other tribes, but the liy-tits in central Persia make use of tents of another construction, with flat or slightly-sloping roofs.
"The provinces near the Persian Gulf contain many Arabs and men of Arab extraction. Such are for the most part the inhabitants of Laristan and of the country lying to the left of the Sbattu'l-Arab and of the lower part of the Tigris. The Baklitiari mountains, between the valley of the lower Tigris and the plain of Ispahan, are the dwelling-place of tribes of another race, and of whom and their country very little is known. The mountains of Kurdistan give birth to a warlike people, who are attached to their own tribe-chiefs, and who never go far from the borders of Turkey and of Persia, sometimes proclaiming themselves subjects to the Porte, and sometimes owning allegiance to the Shah. At the foot of one part of these mountains, on the borders of the lake of Uriunia, there is a plain on which dwell many Christian families who hold the tenets of Nestorius. At Ispahan, at Tehran, at Tabriz, and in other parts of Persia, there is a more or less considerable population of Armenians. At Hamadan, at Ispahan, at Tehran, at .Mashhad, at the town of Damtivand, and elsewhere in Persia, Jews are found in considerable numbers. The province of Gilan is inhabited by a race of men peculiar to itself, the descendants of the ancient Gate. The people of Mazandaran speak, as do the Gileks, a dialect of their own. The province of Astrabad is partly inhabited by Turkmans ; and in the districts claimed by Persia, which border on Afghanistan and Baluchistan, the Afghan and Balnch elements are prominent in the population. At Kaman a few Hindns reside, and at Yazd there are about 2000 families of the original fire-worshippers of Iran.2 But the two principal races to be met with in Persia are the Turks and the Persians or Mongols. The former are, as a general rule, spread over the northern provinces; the latter over the southern. The Persians of _Mongol extraction for the most part speak only the Persian language, while those of Turkish race speak the Turkish language in preference to Persian.
"The inhabitants of Persia may be divided into two classes, - those who inhabit the towns and villages, and those who dwell exclusively in tents. The former class remain stationary during the greater part of the year, the richer orders only leaving the towns for two months during the summer heats, when it is possible to obtain cool air in the hills or upper grounds close by. The tribes who dwell in tents move from place to place with the varying seasons of the year. In the springtime they drive their flocks and herds to their accustomed pasture-grounds, and if they have a right to the pasture of mountains which are inaccessible in spring, they move up to their summer quarters as soon as the snow disappears. Winter finds them on the plains, ,prepared, in their black tents, to brave its utmost rigour. These lliyat tribes serve each a separate chief. For the Iliyats of Fars there is a hereditary chief called , the to whom they all owe allegiance ; from whom they of soldiers to the Shalt's army. Very little is known as to the mothers and the peculiarities of these nomads. The lliyat tribes of Turkish descent have an 11khani appointed by the Shah. Besides these tribes there are wanderers who are less numerous, and who occupy a less prominent position, - the gipsies common to so many countries."
It is difficult to form an estimate of the population of Persian towns or districts. In the first place, opinion is divided upon the approximate figure to be accepted for the kingdom at large. According to St John, the discrepancy is between ten and four millions ; and if the smaller one were made a basis there would be but a scanty number indeed for partition among the cities and principal centres. The famine of 1870 was, moreover, severe and fatal enough to cause a considerable diminution in the totals calculated prior to its occurrence. When returning through .Mashhad in the spring of 1872 the British commissioner for the Sistan boundary settlement was informed that no less than 100,000 persons had been carried off within the limits of the prince-governor's rule, of whom 24,000 were from the city itself, where, exclusive of passing pilgrims, reckoned by thousands, a population of 70,000 might well be supposed. In Yazd and Ispahan the losses were also very great, and must have sensibly affecte 1 the figures.
The official estimate for 1881 is recorded as follows : - inhabitants of cities, 1,963,800 ; wandering tribes, 1,909,800 ; inhabitants of villages and country, 3,780,000 ; total, 7,653,600. It is probable that 8,000,000 would be a fair estimate in round numbers ; and this should include the comparatively new accessions of territory in Sistan and western Baluchistan.
The population of certain cities may be recorded as follows. Those figures marked with an asterisk are from the official returns given in the SiateS»talCS Year Book for 1881. Tehran, *100,000 ; Astrabad (city), 8000 - in the province, 26,000 (Lovett, 1881) ; Tabriz, *120,000 ; Urmniya, *40,000 ; Hamadan, *30,000 ; Karmanshah, 25,000 ; Rasht, 20,000 ; Kazvin, 25,000 ; Zanjan or Zanjanah, 20,000 (Eastwick, 1860) ; hum, 20,000 (Evan Smith said in 1871 that out of 20,000 houses which it originally possessed only 4000 were then habitable); Ispahan, 60,000 ; Shiraz,*30,000; Bushahr, 11,000; Yazd, *40,000; Karman, 40,000 ; Birjand, 12,000 (Sistan mission, 1872) ; Ardakan (Khurasan desert), 20,000 (Colonel Stewart, 1880) ; Barn, 600C (Goldsmid, 1866-72).
With regard to three interesting places in eastern Persia visited by Macgregor in 1875, this active explorer gives no clue to the population of Tabas, beyond the fact that it is a wall-enclosed town about half a mile in length by a quarter in breadth, with an "ark " or citadel, but no bazaars ; of Tin, his 1500 "better houses" may imply about 6000 well-to-do people only ; and Bashruyah, between Tabas and Ttin, he calls a village of some 600 houses, equivalent to a population of between 3000 and 4000.
Government. - The shah is regarded as vicegerent of the Prophet, and, as such, claims implicit obedience so long as his commands do not go against the Koran and the sacred law. The executive government is carried on by a ministry of which the personnel is subject to constant change, and the distribution of duties depends much upon the standing in royal favour of individual ministers. It may lie said, as a rule, that those who fill the more important functions and do the most real work are better known by their family names than the official titles accorded thorn. The somewhat common prefix " mirza" is usually taken by high functionaries of state, - a word which invariably denotes a member of the royal house when used as an affix.' The division of the country for administrative purposes has been mentioned above, p. 626. Provinces are further subdivided into districts under " Mikity's," or chiefs, who collect the revenue as well as exercise a general superintendence. In villages the " katkhuda," or magistrate, administers justice.
Of the Armenians under Persian rule there are said to he 43,000, chiefly in Julfa near Ispahan, and of Nestorians and Challeans 23,000, chiefly in Oruntiya and Salmas. There are probably 70,000 Christians of every denomination. The number of Jews given is 19,000, and of Gabars (Guebres) or Parsis 8000. Perhaps the Nestorians have been under-estimated ; but the l'arsfs have greatly diminished in recent years. However tolerant the declared principles of the Government towards aliens in religion, there is no doubt that much could yet lie done to improve the condition of the shah's non-Moslem subjects in respect of taxation, civil and social rights, and general treatment by local authorities. Efforts on behalf of the Nestorians have from time to time been made in late years, with the support of the British, Government, and special agents have been deputed to ertuniya to report upon supposed grievances good wishes, hut can hardly be said to have attained the desired end. It is just possible that the desire awakened in England in the second half of the 19th century to know more of the Eastern churches may result in the exercise of a beneficial influence over the fortunes of a people who have suffered various forms of oppression for five centuries or more. See NESTOR IANS, vol. xvii. p. 357 sq., where statistics, &c., are given.
Army. - Military service is not popular, and could not be provided for at all but by compulsory enrolment. Pay is always kept in arrears, generally for two or three years ; and, when issued, it is reduced from its legitimate amount by the exactions of distributing officers, from the " sarhang," or lieutenant-colonel, downwards. The native officers are, as a rule, incapable and ignorant of military affairs; and the European drill-instructors, whatever their local rank, have no actual command in the native army. The common "sarbaz," or Persian infantry soldier, might with good officers and good training be made very efficient. ln the performances of his long marches-24 or even 40 'idles a day - he has very often a companion, his donkey, without which adjunct no picture of a Persian infantry soldier would be complete. Setting such aid aside, the marching and endurance of the sarbaz are wonderful, and, though better food might in some respects improve his physique, his frugality is such as to account in some measure for his bodily strength. If wanting in the discipline that is considered in England essential to the well-being of the service, the fault is that of his superiors, by whom he is ill-commanded, ill-taught, and ever accursed with an evil example. In fact, the moral valise of the soldier deteriorates as the social grade rises. It is much the same in Turkey, where the state of things is perhaps Oriental rather than national. The post of " wakil," or non-commissioned officer, becomes thns the first step to demoralization. Above this person is the " naib," or lieutenant, corresponding to the Turkish " mulazim" ; then comes the "sultan," or captain, the Turkish "yuzbashi "; " yawar," or major, the Turkish " binbashi" ; " sarhang," or lieutenant-colonel, the Turkish " kaim-makam" ; and the " sartip," or colonel, the Turkish " "; such are roughly the respective grades which represent the conunissioned ranks.
The most business-like cavalry the present writer can recall in the shah's dominions were the stray horsemen met with in the Karman province. Their dress, brown from top to toe, with the itypikoia of Herodotus and the carbine slung over the back, appeared simple and soldier-like; and nothing hut hereditary aptitude could make the horseman so fitted to the horse. Both in 1866 and in 1871 the governor of Bampnr, in Baluchistan, had good stuff to discipline into irregular cavalry in his mounted Baluchis as well as Persians ; and the same remark applies to the Persian governor of Sistan in 1872. The "istikbal," or motley troop of cavaliers, sent out to meet the writer by either chief, presented a singular specimen of rough, but sufficiently formidable-looking satellites - men who had, clearly, fighting propensities, and might be moulded, without much effort, into very serviceable soldiers. Colonel (now Sir Charles) Macgregor found the few irregular cavalry incidentally brought under his observation in Khurasan very fairly mounted in a working sense. Over the saddle and behind it they seemed to carry all that belonged to them. With less than £2 a year in pay, over and above a grain allowance, he says truly of these cavaliers, that, "if not the best light horsemen in the world, they are the very cheapest." At Mashhad he saw- several Persian regiments encamped outside the city. They were composed of men generally of fine physique, hardy and muscular ; but their small pay of seven " tumans " (not £2, 16s.) per annum was seldom realized up to half the amount, and they had to subsist chiefly on their rations. Their uniform consisted of a black lamb's-wool busby, with a lion and sun in brass on the front, a dark-blue tunic, on the European model, with white bands across the breast, blue trousers with red stripe, and shoes (if they like to wear them). They had "clumsy percussion, smooth -bore muskets and bayonets, with locks of French manufacture"; but they did not clean them, and it was probable that more than half were unfit for actual use. The artillery he states to be probably the most efficient branch of the service, not smart, but rough and ready.
Although there were no English officers employed in training the Persian troops during any of the present writer's visits to Tehran, there were two Englishmen connected with the arsenal to whom the local Government was indebted for useful service. The chief control of the arsenal, however, and indeed the direction of the whole Persian artillery, was in the hands of an Armenian ; the two principal drill-instructors were Italians, a Florentine and a Neapolitan ; while that vital part of the public works department comprising roads and bridges was under an Austrian officer holding the rank of general. There were, besides, two or three other Europeans holding quasi-military posts.
Sir henry Rawlinson, who was for five years in the shah's army, believes that, "if the Persian material were placed at the disposal of a European power who would encourage and take care of the men, and develop their military instincts, a fine working army, very superior to anything that Turkey could produce, might be obtained in a very short period of time."
It is difficult to rely on statistics in the present case, but the following are found in the latest and most trustworthy records.' The Persian army, according to official returns of the minister of war, numbers 105,500 men, of whom 5000 form the artillery,' 53,900 the infantry, 31,000 the cavalry, regular and irregular, and 7200 militia. Of these troops, however, only one-third are employed in active service, the standing army of Persia consisting, On the peace footing, of a total of 30,000 men. By a decree of the Shah, issued in July 1875, it was ordered that the army should • for the future be raised by conscription, instead of by irregular levies, and that a term of service of twelve years should be substituted for the old system, under which the mass of the soldiers were retained for life ; but the decree has not been enforced to any extent. The organization of the army is by provinces, tribes, and districts. A province furnishes several regiments ; a tribe gives one, and sometimes two, and a district contributes one battalion to the army. The commanding officers are almost invariably selected from the chiefs of the tribe or district from which the regiment is raised. The Christians, Jews, and Guebres in Persia are exempt from all military service. In recent years the army has been under the training and organization of European officers."
Rercnue. - According to the Statesman's Year Book for 1884 the revenue and expenditure of the Government are known only from estimates. if we accept these as based on consular reports, the total receipts of the Government amounted, on the average of the years 1872 to 1S75, to £1,900,000 per annum, while the expenditure during the same period was at the rate of £1,756,000 per annum. The receipts of the year 1882 amounted to £1,600,000 in money, besides £280,000 in kind, consisting of barley, wheat, rice, and silk, making the total revenue equal to £1,880,000 ; and of this sum £1,520,000 came from direct taxes and £353,600 from customs. The expenditure amounted to £1,800,000, of which £760,000 was for the army ; £360,000 for the regal court ; the priesthood, ke., £240,000; foreign affairs, £2S,000; other departments, £60,000; education, £12,000. The surplus is paid into the shah's treasury. About one-fourth of the receipts are constituted by payments in kind, mostly reserved for the use of the army and the shah's our household. The whole revenue is raised by assessments upon towns, villages, and districts, each of which has to contribute a fixed sum, the amount of which is changed from time to time by tax-assessors appointed by the Government. Almost the entire burthen of taxation falls upon the labouring classes, and among these upon the Muhammadan subjects of the shah. The amount of revenue collected from the Christian population, the Jews, and the Gabars is reported to be very small. The Government has no public debt. The Almanach de Gotha adds to the above items of expenditure in 1882 the sum of £80,000 for the priesthood, tee.
jird, £24,000 ; Gulp'airran, £24,000; Kurdistan, £20,000; Hamadan, £12,000 ; Astrabad, £10,000 ; Krim, £6000 ; total, £1,502,000. The customs were £214,664, and the value of income received in kind was £220,336, - making a total revenue of £1,937,000, or something less than two millions.
A prince-royal appointed to a province is often little more than a nominal ruler. On the other hand, some governors, such as Muhammad Khan, the late wakilu '1-mulk of Barman, attend to even the minute details of administration, and pay especial attention to the collection of revenue. It is not always an easy matter to pay into the royal treasury the sum insisted on, or even voluntarily offered for the government of a province.
National Character. - Maleolm's Sketches and !dories Hajfi Baba are still, after more than half a century, nnsuperseded as standard records of accurate information on the manners and customs of an Oriental people. A clever volnme2 published in 1883, which is also worth quoting, contains, among many other faithful delineations, the following.
"The character of the Persian is that of an easy-going man with a wish to make things pleasant generally. He is hospitable, obliging, and specially well disposed to the foreigner. His home virtues are many : lie is very kind and indulgent to his children, and, as a son, his respect for both parents is excessive, developed in a greater degree to his father, in whose presence he will rarely sit, and whom he is in the habit of addressing and speaking of as `master.' The full stream of his love and reverence is reserved for his mother ; lie never leaves her to starve, and her wishes are laws to him. The mother is always the most important member of the household, and the grandmother is treated with veneration. The presence of the mother-in-law is coveted by their sons-in-law, who look on them as the guardians of the virtue of their wives. The paternal uncle is a much nearer tie than with us ; while men look on their first cousins on the father's side as their most natural wives.
"Black slaves and men-nurses or lallaks ' are much respected ; the dyah ' or wet nurse is looked on as a second mother and usually provided for for life. Persians arc very kind to their servants ; a master will often lie addressed by his servant as his father, and the servant will protect his master's property as he would his own. A servant is invariably spoken to as • bacha ' (child). The servants expect that their master will never allow them to be wronged. The slaves in l'ersia have a good time ; well fed, well clothed, treated as spoiled children, given the lightest work, and often given in marriage to a favourite son or taken as segah ' or Concubine by the master himself, slaves have the certainty of a wellcared-for old age. They are looked on as confidential servants, are entrusted with large sums of money, and the conduct of the most important affairs ; and seldom abuse their trust. The greatest punishment to an untrustworthy slave is to give him his liberty and let him earn his living. They -wary in colour and value : the liabshi' or Abyssinian is the most valued ; the Suhali or Somali, next in blackness, is next in pries ; the Bombassi, or coal-black negro of the interior, being of much less price, and usually only used as a cook. The prices of slaves in Shiraz are, a good liabsid girl of twelve to fourteen £40, a good Somali same age, half as much ; while a Bombassi is to be got for £14, being chosen merely for physical strength. They are never sold, save on importation, though at times they are given away. . . . I have never seen a Persian -unkind to his own horse or his slave, and when overtaken by poverty he will first sell his shirt, then his slave.
" In commercial morality, a Persian merchant will compare not unfavourably with the European generally. . . . To the poor, Persians are unostentatiously generous ; most of the rich have regular pensioners, old servants, or poor relations who live on their-bounty ; and though there are no workhouses, there are in ordinary times no deaths from starvation ; and charity, though not organized, is general. . . . Procrastination is the attribute of all Persians, tomorrow' being ever the answer to any proposition, and the ' to-morrow' means indefinite delay. A great dislike is shown generally to a written contract binding the parties to a fixed date ; and, as a rule, on breaking it the Persian always appeals for and expects delay and indefinite days of grace. . . .
"Persians are clean in their persons, washing themselves and their garments frequently-. The Persian always makes the best of his appearance ; lie is very neat in his dress, and is particular as to the sit of his hat and the cut of his coat. All Persians are fond of animals, and do not treat them badly when their own property.
" Cruelty is not a Persian vice ; torture and punishments of an unusual and painful nature being part of their judicial system. There are no vindictive punishments, such as a solitary confinement, penal servitude for long terms of years, &c. Seldom, indeed, is a man imprisoned more than twelve months, the rule being that there is a general jail delivery at the New Year. Royal clemency is frequently shown, often, perhaps, with want of judgment."
The close adherence to ceremony and etiquette, the ready adaptation to foreign habits, together with the capacity for using and love of receiving the grossest forms of flattery - which in the days of Herodotus were found to be notable features of the national character - are still to be seen in the 19th century.
Mo•ier, in his Second Journey through Persia, relates how on arrival at Bombay his fellow-traveller, the Persian ambassador, returning from a mission to the court of St James's, would not call at Government House until the governor had visited him, on the plea that, when in London, the chairman and deputy-chairman, whom lie styled the father and grandfather, of the East India Company, as well as the "viziers " and "grand vizier" himself (Mr Spencer Perceval), had made the first call upon moreover, in the very dress they had worn before their own sovereign ! The present writer, when discussing the necessary conduct of British diplomatists accredited to Persia, said:3 "In some courts . . . there is a meaning in ridiculous minutia?, the comprehension of which is of vital importance to the envoy and the cause lie advocates. . . . A chair pushed one inch or two forward or backward, so as to transgress the bonier of a particular carpet marked for its limit, may cause serious offence ; a cup of tea, or a tobacco pipe missing from the conventional number offered to a guest, may awake hostile feelings, there may lie hidden mischief in a misapplied word of welcome or farewell, in a clumsy gesture, in a new-fashioned article of wearing apparel. Trifles could hardly go further in the way of puerility ; but it is a part of common-sense diplomacy to acknowledge with gravity things which are to all seeming the most opposed to common-sense."
Forms of compliment and adulation are in such constant requisition with him that a Persian is never at fault to find occasion for their use. If the following exami Is he too characteristic to be admitted, be it understood that it indicates a grosser kind of procedure than that which, at the present day, is known to the higher classes. It is a common custom on the arrival at the gate of a town of a distinguished traveller for sonic duly appointed official to strike off the head of a sheep, and roll it, with the blood drippiag, across the path of the new-coiner. Morier gives a revolting illustration of the length to which this ceremony was carried on the arrival of the shah at the halting-place of Morchikar. The head man of the village went so far as to strip his own son naked from the waist upwards, and, having tied the lad's hands behind his back, to lift his knife as though to cut the victim's throat. The conclusion of the story is not told ; but it is to be hoped that the shah exercised his prerogative of preventing any evil results.
Costunze. - The costume 1 of the Persians may be shortly described as fitted to their active habits. The men invariably wear an unstarched shirt of cotton, sewn with white silk, often, particularly in the south of Persia, elaborately embroidered about the neck. It fastens in front by a flap, having two small buttons or knots at the left shoulder, and seldom comes below the hips. It has no collar, and the sleeves are loose. The lower orders often have it dyed blue ; but the servant and upper classes always prefer a white shirt. Silk shirts are now seldom seen on men. Among the very religious during the mourning month (" Muharram ") the shirt is at times dyed black. The " zir -jainah," or trousers, are of cloth among the higher classes, particularly those of the military order, who affect a garment of a tightness approaching that worn by Europeans. The ordinary " zir-jamah " are of white, blue, or red cotton, very loose, and ate exactly similar to the "pai-kimahs " worn by Europeans in India. They are held up by a thin cord of red or green silk or cotton round the waist, and the labouring classes, when engaged in heavy or dirty work, or when running, generally tuck the end of these garments under the cord, which leaves their logs bare and free to the middle of the thigh. The amplitude of this part of his attire enables the Persian to sit without discomfort on his heels ; chairs arc only used by the rich, great, or Europeanized. Over the shirt and " zir-jamah" comes the "arkbalik," generally of quilted chintz or print, a closely-fitting garment, collarless, with tight sleeves to the elbow, whence, to the wrist, are a number of little metal buttons, fastened in winter, but not in summer. Above this is the "kamarchin," a tunic of coloured calico, cloth, Kashmir or Kerman shawl, silk, satin, or velvet (gold embroidered, or otherwise), according to the time of year and the purse and position of the wearer. This, like the "arkhalik," is open in front, and shows the shirt. It sometimes has a small standing collar, and is double-breasted. It has a pocket-hole on either side, giving access to the pockets which are always in the "arkhalik," where also is the breast-pocket in which watch, money, jewels, and seals are kept. The length of the "kamarchin " denotes the class of the wearer. The military and official classes and the various servants wear it short, to the knee, while fops and sharpers wear it even shorter. Priests, merchants, villagers, especially about Shiraz, townsmen, shopkeepers, doctors, and lawyers wear it very long, often nearly to the heels. Over the " kamarchin " is worn the " kulajah," or coat. This is, as a rule, cast off in summer, save on formal occasions, and is often borne by a servant, or carried over the shoulder by the owner. It is of cloth, shawl, or camel-hair cloth and is lined with silk or cloth, flannel or fur. It has, like the Turkish frockcoat, a very loose sleeve, with many plaits behind. It has lapels, as with us, and is trimmed with gold lace, shawl, or fur, or is worn quite plain. It has a roll collar and false pockets.
Besides these garments there are others : the long "jubba," or cloth cloak, worn by "mirzas " (secretaries;), Government employes of high rank, as ministers, farmers of taxes, courtiers, physicians, priests ; the "abba," or camel-hair cloak of the Arab, worn by travellers, priests, and horsemen ; the "pustin," or Afghan skin-cloak, used by travellers and the sick or aged ; the "nimtan," or common sheepskin jacket, with short sleeves, used by shopkeepers and the lower class of servants, grooms, kc., in winter ; the "yapanjah," or woollen Knrdish cloak, a kind of felt, having a shaggy side, of immense thickness, worn generally by shepherds, who use it as greatcoat, bed, and bedding. There is also the felt coat of the villager, very warm and inexpensive, the cost being from 5 to 15 krans (a kran =Md.). The " kamarband," or girdle, is also characteristic of class. It is made of muslin, shawl, or cotton cloth among the priests, merchants, bazaar people, the secretary class, and the more aged Government employes. in it are carried, by literati and merchants, the pet-case and a roll of paper ; its voluminous folds are used as pockets ; by the bazaar people and villagers, porters and merchants' servants, a small sheath knife is stuck in it ; while by " farrashes," the carpet -spreader class, a large "khanjar," or curved dagger, with a heavy ivory handle, is carried. The headgear is very distinctive. The turban worn by priests is generally white, consisting of many yards of muslin. When the wearers are " saiyid " of the Prophet, a gro?;t turban is worn, also a "kainarband" of green muslin, or shawl or cotton cloth. Merchants generally wear a turban of muslin embroidered in colours, or of a yellow pattern on strawcoloured muslin, or of calico, or shawl. The distinctive mark of the courtier, military, and upper servant class is the belt, generally of black varnished leather with a brass clasp ; princes and courtiers often replace this clasp by a huge round ornament of cut stones. The " kulah," or hat, is of cloth or sheepskin on a frame of pasteboard. The fashions in hats change yearly. The Ispahan merchant and the Armenian at times wear the hat very tall. (The waist of the Persian is generally small, and he is very proud of his line figure and broad shoulders.) The hair is generally shaved at the crown, or the entire head is shaved, a " kfikul," or long thin lock, being sometimes left, often 2 feet long, from the middle of the crown. This is to enable the prophet Muhammad to draw up the believer into paradise. The lower orders generally have the hair over the temporal bone long, and brought in two long locks turning backwards behind the ear, termed " znlf" ; the beaux and youths are constantly twisting and combing these. The rest of the head is shaven. Long hair, however, is going out of fashion in Persia, and the more civilized affect the cropped hair worn by Europeans, and even have a parting in it. The chin is never shaved, save by "beauty men," or " kashangs," though often clipped, while the moustache is usually left long. At forty a man generally lets his beard grow its full length, and cherishes it much ; part of a Persian's religious exercises is the combing of his beard. Socks, knitted principally at Ispahan, are worn ; they are only about 2 inches long in the leg. The rich, however, wear them longer. They are of white cotton in summer and coloured worsted in winter. Villagers only wear socks on state occasions. Shoes are of many patterns. The "iirfissi," or Russian shoe, is the most common ; next, the " kafsh " or slipper of various kinds. The heel is folded down and remains so. The priests wear a peculiar heavy shoe, with an ivory or wooden lining at the heel. Green shoes of shagreen are common at Ispahan. Blacking is unknown to Persians generally. Boots are only used by horsemen, and are then worn much too large for ease. Those worn by couriers often come up the thigh. With boots are worn " shalwars," or baggy riding breeches, very loose, and tied by a string at the ankle ; a sort of kilt is worn by couriers. Pocket-handkerchiefs are seldom used, save by the rich or the Tebranis. Most Persians wear a " shab kulah," or night hat, a loose baggy cap of shawl or quilted material, often embroidered by the ladies.
Arms are usually carried only by tribesmen. The natives of the south of Persia and servants carry a " kammah," or dirk. The soldiery, on or off duty, always carry one of these or their sidearms, sometimes both. They hack but never thrust with them On the road the carrying of weapons is necessary.
The costume of the women has undergone considerable change in the last century. It is now, when carried to the extreme of fashion, highly indecent and must be very uncomfortable. The garment doing duty as a chemise is called a "pirahan"; it is, with the lower orders, of white or blue calico, and collies down to the middle of the thigh, leaving the leg nude. Among the ripper classes it is frequently of silk. At Shiraz it is often of fine cotton, and elaborately ornamented with black embroidery. With the rich it is often of gauze, and much embroidered with gold thread, pearls, Pc. The head is usually covered with a " cheir-kadd," or large square of embroidered silk or cotton, folded so as to display the corners, and fastened tinder the chin by a brooch. It is often of considerable value, being of Kashmir shawl, embroidered gauze, kc. A "jika," a jewelled feather-like ornament, is often worn at the side of the head, while the front hair, cut to a level with the mouth, is brought up in love-locks on either cheek. Beneath the " charkadd " is generally a small kerchief of dark material, only the edge of which is visible. The ends of the "char-kadd " cover the shoulders, but the gauze "pirahan " is quite transparent. A profusion of jewellery is worn of the most solid description, none hollow ; silver is wore only by the very poor, coral only by regresses. Necklaces and bracelets are much affected, and chains with scent-caskets attached, while the arms are covered with clanking glass bangles called " alangti," some twenty even of these being on one arm. Jewelled " bazilbands," containing talismans, are often worn on the upper arm, while among the lower orders and south Persian or Arab women nose-rings are not uncommon, and bangles or anklets of heads.
The face on important occasions is usually much painted, save by young ladies in the heyday of beauty. The colour is very freely applied, the cheeks being as much riddled as a clown's, and the neck smeared with white, while the eyelashes are marked round with " This is supposed to be beneficial to the eyes, and almost every woman uses it. The eyebrows are widened and painted till they appear to meet, while sham moles or stars are painted on the chin and cheek ; even spangles are stuck at times on the chin and forehead. Tattooing is common among the poor and in villages, and is seen among the upper classes. The hair, though generally hidden by the "char-kadd," is at times exposed and plaited into innumerable little tails of great length, while a coquettish little skull-eap of embroidery, or shawl, or coloured silk is worn. False hair is common. The Persian ladies' hair is very luxuriant, and never cut ; it is nearly always dyed red with henna., or with indigo to a blue-black tinge ; it is naturally a glossy black. Fair hair is not esteemod. Blue eyes are not uncommon, but brown ones are the rule. A full-moon face is much admired, and a dark corn. plexion termed " namak " (salt) is the highest native idea of beauty. Most Persian women are small, with tiny feet and hands. The figure is always lost after maternity, and no support of any kind is worn.
A very short jacket, of gay colour, quite open in front, having tight sleeves with many metal buttons, is usually worn in summer, and a lined outer coat in cold weather. In winter a pair of very short white cotton socks are used, and tiny slippers with a high heel ; in summer in the house ladies go often barefoot. The rest of the costume is composed of the " tilmbsin " or "shalwar," short skirts of great width, held by a running string, - the outer one being usually of silk, velvet, or Kashmir shawl, often trimmed with gold lace, or, among the poor, of loud-patterned chintz or print. Beneath are innumerable other garments of the same shape, varying in texture from silk and satin to print. The whole is very short, among the women of fashion extending only to the thigh. In winter an over -mantle like the " kulajah," or coat of the man, with short sleeves, lined and trimmed with furs, is worn. Leg-coverings are now being introduced. In ancient days the Persian ladies always wore them, as may be seen by the pictures in the South Kensington Museum. Then the two embroidered legs, now so fashionable as Persian embroideries (" nakoh "), occupied a girl from childhood to marriage in snaking ; they are all sewing in elaborate patterns of great beauty, worked on muslin in silk. The outdoor costume of the Persian women is quite another thing. Ens-eloped in a huge blue sheet, with a yard of linen as a veil perforated for two inches square with minute holes, the feet thrust into two huge bags of coloured stuff, a wife is perfectly unrecognizable, even by her husband, when out of doors. The dress of all is the same ; and, save in quality or costliness, the effect is similar.
As for the children, they are always when infants swaddled ; when they can walk they are dressed as little men and women, and with the dress they generally ape the manners. It is a strange custom with the Persian ladies to dress little girls as boys, and little boys as girls, till they reach the age of seven or eight years ; this is often done for fun, or on account of some row, - oftener, to avert the evil eye.
A summary of personal impressions of Persia may serve to convey a tolerably correct idea of the country, without the necessity of serious study or the aid of science and statistics. The reader is asked to suppose a tableland dropping to the Caspian Sea for nearly one-third of its northern frontier, and to the Persian Gulf for its southern limit. The lowlands, naturally, are the coast-tracts. In the north these are covered with forest, and the climate there is damp, feverish, relaxing ; in the south they are dry and barren, and the winds are hot and violent, yet a relief to the scorching summer atmosphere. In the central highlands (that is, Persia generally) there are few rivers, and the country is either composed of parallel mountain-ranges and broad intervening plains, or of irregular mountain-masses with fertile valleys, basins, and ravines. One plain on the last is of exceptionally large extent, and is called the Salt Desert of Khurasan. The theory that this was once a sea is supported by the circumstance that at one of its extreme edges is the village of Yunsi, so called because the prophet Jonah (Ynnas) is locally believed to have been cast up there by the whale. For irrigation the plains and valleys depend on the mountains, and at the base of these are "kanats," or underground canals, with watercourses on the surface. Yet where rain and snow fail during the year there is scarcity of water, and where both are wanting there is always distress and sometimes famine. The valleys and ravines are more fertile than the plains, affording often bright, picturesque, and grateful prospects, while the latter are for the most part barren and sandy wastes, scored or streaked, as it were, rather than ornamented with patches of green oases. Forests are rare and, except in Gilan, not dense ; numerous gardens are commonly found in the neighbourhood of large towns, not cared for as in Europe, yet pleasant in their wildness ; and there are many beautiful trees usually also near the centres of population. Persian cities are not like cities in Europe. The passing stranger sees no street or house in any of them at all comparable to a respectable street or building, as England, France, or Germany rate structural respectability. Blank mud-walls and narrow ill-paved thoroughfares are the rule ; the windowed or terraced front of a Persian house is for the inner court or inner precincts of the abode, and not for the world without. Some mosques are handsome, some caravansards solid, some bazaars highly creditable to the designer and builder ; but everything is irregular, nothing is permanent, and architectural ruin blends with architectural revival in the midst of dirt, discomfort, and a total disregard of municipal method. Even Constantinople and Cairo cannot bear the ordeal of close inspection. Beautiful and attractive as they may be from without - and the first has a charm beyond description, while the second is always interesting in spite of her barbarous boulevard - they are palpably deficient in completeness within ; and yet Tehran, Baghdad, Ispahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Shiraz are far behind them in civilized construction and order.
Sources. - Independently of original sources, information has been obtained from official and parliamentary records, to which access was kindly facilitated under authority ; from Eastern Persia, 2 vols. (1876) ; and various books of travel by authors already named. The writer has also to express his thanks to General Schindler, in the service of the shah, to Al irza ljasan All Khan, attache to the Russo-Afghan boundary commission ; to Colonel Bateman -Champain, R.E., Mr W. T. Blanford, Mr Andrews (of the Indo-European telegraph), and others, who have more or less favoured him with special information, written or oral.