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flat. Its mountains run mostly north and south, parallel to the Mediterranean. Both Libanus and Anti-Libanus give out numerous lateral spurs; some of the former extending so as to project, like Mount Carmel, in bold headlands from the coast. Palestine consists principally of rugged hills and narrow valleys. Among the principal islands of Asiatic Turkey are Cyprus, Rhodes, Samos, and Mytilini (the ancient Lesbos). The principal rivers are the Euphrates, Tigris, Jordan, and Orontes. The Euphrates and

Tigris rise in Armenia; flow generally parallel to each other in a south-easterly direction; and finally unite into a single stream, called the River of Arabia, which discharges itself into the Persian Gulph. The Jordan rises on the western slope of the AntiLibanus or ancient Mount Hermon. After flowing through the fenny Lake Merom, it enters the Lake of Gennesareth. Emerging hence, it flows in a winding southerly direction for about 90 miles (its entire length being about 150 miles), until it falls into the Dead Sea. The Aazi or Orontes falls into the Mediterranean. The chief lakes are the Lake of Van, in Armenia; the Salt Lake of Koch-Hisar, in the centre of Asia Minor; the Dead Sea, in the south of Palestine; and the Lake of Gennesareth (called also the Sea of Cinnereth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Lake of Tiberias), about 70 miles north of the Dead Sea. The climate of Asiatic Turkey is almost as variable as that of European Turkey. Syria enjoys a fine variety of climates. The Arabian poets have said of Mount Lebanon that it bears winter upon its head, spring upon its shoulders, and autumn in its bosom, while summer lies sleeping at its feet.


261. Produce, Manufactures, and Commerce.-The agriculture of Ottoman Asia is very backward. Manufactures flourish in some of the larger towns. Among these we may mention the silk stuffs of Aleppo and Bagdad; the cotton stuffs of Mosul and other towns; the camlets and shawls of Angora; the carpets of Brusa, Aleppo, and Damascus; leather, tobacco, opium, cutlery, and glass. Commerce active: the internal commerce is carried on by caravans; the maritime is chiefly in the hands of Europeans.

262. Political Divisions and Chief Towns.-Asiatic Turkey is divided into 20 governments, called eyalets. The chief towns in Asia Minor and Armenia are Smyrna, the general emporium of the Levant; Brusa, formerly the capital of the kings of Bithynia; Trebizond, on the southern coast of the Black Sea; and Erzroum, the chief town of Armenia. The chief towns in Syria and Palestine are Aleppo, the emporium of Northern Syria; Tripoli; Acre, famous in the history of the Crusades; Beyrout, the port of Central Syria; Damascus, a place of the highest antiquity; and Jerusalem. The chief towns of Mesopotamia are Diarbekr, Bagdad, and Bussrah. A few shapeless mounds are all that remain of ancient Babylon, once "the glory of the Chaldees' excellency."

263. Jerusalem.-The celebrity of Jerusalem in sacred history requires us to notice this city at some length. It is supposed to be identical with the Salem of which Melchizedek was king in the time of Abraham. When the Israelites entered the Holy Land, 500 years afterwards, this city was held by the Jebusites, descendants of Canaan. It was taken by Joshua; but the Jebusites retained the citadel on Mount Zion, until dislodged by David. In the years 1012-1004 B.C. Solomon erected the Temple. Palestine was afterwards successively invaded by the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians; the last of whom, under Nebuchadnezzar (B.c. 588), destroyed Jerusalem, and carried away the people captive to Babylon. Seventy years after, the Jews were restored by Cyrus. Judea was subsequently invaded by monarchs of the Macedonian Empire, who were successfully opposed by the Maccabees. But the all-absorbing power of Rome afterwards extinguished the independence of the Jews; and Syria was reduced by Pompey to a proconsular province. Jerusalem

retained, however, a certain sovereignty until after the Birth of CHRIST; when it became the residence of a procurator. The Crucifixion of CHRIST brought down upon it the Divine curse, and in A.D. 70 it was taken by Titus. The emperor Adrian afterwards razed it to the ground. When Christianity, in the reign of Constantine, became the religion of the Roman Empire, no efforts were spared to raise Jerusalem into the metropolis of Christendom; but its brief prosperity was terminated in A.D. 636 by its capture by Omar. After being more than 400 years subject to the Arabian caliphs, Jerusalem fell under the yet more oppressive rule of the Turks. The indignation of Christendom was at length aroused, and the Crusades ensued. A temporary success attended these brilliant wars; but, after several vicissitudes of fortune, Jerusalem again fell, in 1519, into the power of the Turks, who have maintained their dominion ever since. Thus have the predictions of the prophets and of our LORD been fulfilled.



264. Situation and Boundaries.-Arabia lies between 12° and 36° N. lat., and 32° and 60° E. long. Its greatest length is 1690 miles; its greatest breadth 1400 miles; its area about 1,100,000 square miles. It is bounded on the south-west by the Red Sea; on the east and south-east, by the Arabian Sea, on the north-east, by Persia and the Euphrates; on the north-west, by Syria and Palestine, but this boundary is not precisely defined.

265. General Description.-Arabia is a large peninsula, having the greater part of its boundaries washed by the sea and the Euphrates. It occupies the south-western corner of Asia. It appears to be

an immense pile of naked mountains and table-lands, encircled by a belt of flat, dry, sandy ground along the seacoasts. The north-western portions are mountainous. The triangular peninsula formed by the fork of the Red Sea is very rugged. A continuation of the ridge of Anti-Libanus runs along the coast parallel to the Red Sea, increasing in elevation as it extends southward. The Red Sea is a great inlet of the Indian Ocean; its northern portion is divided into the Gulph of Suez and the Gulph of Akaba: it communicates with the ocean by the Straits of Babelmandeb. Beyond the more western of these Straits is the Gulph of Arabia, or Gulph of Aden. The Gulph of Oman, or Gulph of Ormus, lies between Arabia and Persia; meeting at its eastern extremity the Persian Gulph. A great pearl bank extends along the Arabian shore. The capes of Arabia are unimportant. No part of this country contains any rivers or large streams. The only island of any considerable extent is that of Bahrein, on the southern shore of the Persian Gulph. The climate of Arabia varies in its three natural divisions; namely, Arabia Petræa (the stony), to the northwest; Arabia Deserta (the desert), in the centre and south-east; and Arabia Felix (the happy), to the south. In this last, the air is mild, with regular rainy seasons: but in the vast plains of the desert, the temperature is excessively hot, and the soil is proverbially dry and barren.

266. Produce and Commerce.-We have already noticed the great pearl fishery of Bahrein. Ambergris and coral are found in the seas adjoining Socotra. Arabia yields numerous fruit-trees and aromatic shrubs. The grain is superior. The horses and camels of Arabia are justly celebrated. Of the

former there are two distinct breeds; one for draught, the other for riding. The Arabian camels are one-humped; and those which, being lighter, are trained for riding, are called dromedaries, a name signifying racers. The exports consist chiefly of spices, perfumes, coffee, Socotrine aloes, ivory, gold, frankincense, myrrh, and gum-arabic.


267. Government and Religion.-The Arabs are divided into petty tribes, under the government of Sheikhs or Emirs. They are either" townsmen," including villagers; or Bedouins," that is, "men of the desert." Those of the northwest and along the coasts of the Red Sea have been subjected to the vigorous rule of the Pasha of Egypt; those in Mesopotamia and Syria are nominally subject to the Sultan: but most of the tribes retain their original independence, under their patriarchal chiefs. Few of the modern Arabs, if any, are descendants of Ishmael, as is vulgarly supposed. As regards religion, they are Mohammedans of the Soonee sect, excepting perhaps a few remaining Wahabees.

268. Chief Towns.-Mecca is celebrated as the birthplace of the false prophet Mohammed or Mahomet. Medina contains the prophet's tomb. Muscat is a large town in Oman, and the capital of a state whose sultan is commonly called the Iman of Muskat.



269. Situation and Boundaries.-Persia is situated between 26° and 39° N. lat., and between 44° and 62° E. long. Its length, from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulph, is 720 miles; and its breadth, from the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris to the borders of Affghanistan, 620 miles. Area, 500,000 square miles. The population is conjectured to be about 8 millions. It is bounded on the north by Russia, the Caspian Sea, and Tar

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