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249. Situation and Limits.-Asia lies between 1° 20′ and 78° N. lat., and between 26° and 190° E. long. Its greatest length, from N. to S., exceeds 5300 miles; its greatest breadth, from W. to E., is about 5600 miles. Its area is four times that of Europe. It is bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean; south, by the Indian Ocean; east, by the Pacific Ocean; west, by the eastern boundaries of Europe, and by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, which separate it from Africa.

250. Seas and Gulphs.-The Pacific Ocean no where immediately washes the eastern coasts of the continent, but is separated from them by several chains of islands, which, with the coast, form a number of smaller sea-basins. The most northerly of these is the Sea of Kamtchatka, formed by the Aleutian Islands. The Kurilian Islands form the Sea of Tarakai. The next is the Sea of Japan. Then follows the open sea, called by the Chinese Tongo Hai (Eastern Sea), with its extensive northern gulph, the Wang Hai (Yellow Sea). From the Island of Formosa to the equator extends the Han Hai

the Chinese Sea.

(Southern Sea) of the Chinese, called by Europeans The south coast of Asia is quite open to the Indian Ocean, except where it borders on the Chinese Sea. Here we find the Bay of Bengal, the Sea of Arabia, the Persian Gulph, the Gulph of Ajan, and the Red Sea. The north coast of Asia is indented by numerous deep bays; but these are rendered nearly inaccessible all the year round by ice.

251. Straits.-The principal straits of Asia are the Straits of Babelmandeb, between Arabia and Africa; the Straits of Ormus, at the entrance of the Persian Gulph; Palk's Strait, between Hindoostan and Ceylon; the Straits of Malacca, between the Eastern Peninsula and Sumatra; and Behring's Straits, between Asia and North America.

252. Islands.-Cyprus, in the Levant; Ceylon, south of Hindoostan; and many of those in the immense archipelagos on the south and south-east. These consist of many thousands of large and small islands, which belong partly to Asia and partly to Australia; the division being an arbitrary one. Japan, Formosa, the Philippines, the Moluccas, and that long chain of islands which, in the east begins with Timorlaut, and on the west terminates with Java, are considered to belong to Asia; while the numerous islands dispersed between the Moluccas and New Guinea are included in Australia.

253. Continental Outline.-Three great peninsulas project from the eastern coast of Asia; namely those of the Tshuktshes, of Kamtchatka, and of Corea. The gulphs on the southern coast form the peninsulas of India without the Ganges, India within the Ganges, and Arabia. On the western side we find the large

peninsula of Asia Minor. The principal capes are Cape Severo, north of Siberia; East Cape, at Behring's Straits; Cape Lopatka, south of Kamtchatka; Capes Cambodia and Romania, in the Eastern Peninsula; and Cape Comorin, south of Hindostan.

254. Continental Surface. The surface of this large continent is very diversified. The northern portion of it forms a plain rising gradually from the shores of the Arctic Ocean, intersected by a number of very large rivers, and exposed without shelter to the piercing blasts of the north. The southern portion, which stretches along the Indian Ocean, is composed likewise of comparatively level regions, but exposed to the burning heat of the tropical sun. The central region consists of a series of elevated plains and mountains, from which rivers flow in every direction into the neighbouring seas. This central region is not, as was till recently supposed, a uniform table-land of great elevation, supported on all sides by lofty mountains; but appears, on the contrary, to be occupied by long ranges of mountains, with intervening plains and valleys, some of the latter of which have no great elevation.

255. Mountains.—Among the numerous mountains which intersect the surface of Asia, four great chains or systems may be distinguished, stretching nearly parallel to each other, in the direction of east and west; the Altai, the Teean-shan, the Kwan-hun, and the Himalaya. The Oural Mountains belong equally to Europe and Asia; they run, north and south, from the Arctic Ocean to the Sea of Aral.

256. Rivers.-Asia contains some of the largest rivers in the world. The following flow into the

Arctic Ocean: the Jenisei, with its affluents the three Tonguskas; the Obi, with its affluents the Irtish, the Ischim, and the Tobol; the Olenets; the Lena; the Indigirka; the Kolima. The Rioni and the Kizit Irmak fall into the Black Sea. The Sarabat and the Meinder, into the Archipelago. The Aazi or Orontes, into the Levant. The Euphrates and Tigris, the Ganges, the Indus, the Brahmapootra, the Irawady, and the Saluen, into the Indian Ocean. The Meinam and the Maykûang, into the Chinese Sea. The Yang-tse-kiang, Whang-ho, and the Amour or Saghalien, into the Pacific. The Oural, into the Caspian. The Sihon and the Oxus, into the Sea of Aral.

257. Lakes.-The Caspian Sea, on the north of Persia, and the Sea of Aral, in Independent Tartary, are salt-water lakes. Of fresh-water lakes, the Lake of Baikal, in the south of Siberia, is one of the principal; while the Lake of Tiberias or Sea of Galilee (also called the Lake of Gennesaret), in Palestine or Modern Syria, is the most celebrated, from its having been frequented by our Blessed LORD.

258. Countries.-These we shall consider in the following order: Turkey in Asia, Arabia, Persia, India, South-Eastern Peninsula, China, Turkestan, Russia in Asia, and Japan.



259. Situation and Boundaries.-Turkey in Asia lies between 30° and 42° N. lat., and 26° and 49°

E. long. Its greatest length, from Constantinople to the mouth of the Euphrates, is 1400 miles; and from the southern border of Palestine to the northeastern extremity of Turkish Armenia, about 1100. But the outline is so much indented that the area is only about 500,000 square English miles. Population, 12,000,000. Asiatic Turkey is bounded on the north by the Black Sea and Russia; west, by the Archipelago and Mediterranean; south, by Arabia; and east, by Persia.

260. General Description.—This extensive country embraces three regions, which are geographically distinct: Asia Minor and Armenia; Mesopotamia, Assyria, and the low countries watered by the Euphrates and Tigris; and Syria, including Palestine. Asia Minor and Armenia consist chiefly of extensive and elevated table-lands, intersected by ranges of mountains several thousand feet higher. One mountain chain, the ancient Taurus, proceeds westward from Armenia into Asia Minor, running parallel to the shore of the Mediterranean, and then dividing into numerous branches. Anti-Taurus is another chain, extending into the interior of the peninsula of Asia Minor in a south-westerly direction. The country watered by the Euphrates and the Tigris is bounded on the north by the table-land of Armenia and the lofty ridges of Taurus; on the east, by a long line of mountains dividing it from the table-land of Iran; on the west and south-west, by Syria and the deserts of Arabia; and on the south-east it barely touches the Persian Gulph. Syria includes the ancient Phoenicia. Its coast is mountainous; but the more inland portion, east of the Orontes, is generally

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