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The commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean online

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lemy. The name of Ibrahim, wliich the liv^r iww bears, is
evidently a pei'sonal derivative, and most probably from the
sepulchre of some Mahometan saint in the neighbouriiood ; but
the ancient appellation is preserved under a variety of forms, in
almost every author wlio has treated of this country.

I insist upon tliese circumstanGea, because if Mina ^as
formerly the principal place of the district, as it now is, it points
out the reason wJiy Nearchus pitched tipon this station in pr-e-
ference to any otlier for a camp. lie had here a comrarunica*
tion with an inland town of eminence, from which he might
hope to derive some intelligence of the position of the army,
and open some means of connnunication with the king: and as
the conmiuniciition was actually effected afterAvards from this
very point, it is irardly imputing too much to the intelligence
which we may reasonably su])pose he obtained upon the coast

He informs us himself, that he found the natives . hospitably
disposed, and the country abounding in every kind of supply,
but oil. The disembarkation here is expressed in terms of joy,
that intimate the previous confinement of the people on board

3» Gambron, Nicbuhr, Combru, Pietro dclla ^ Tlwre is in Marcian a Tiiaote, Mndercd
Valle, Gambroon, 'Gfiineroon, Gomcroon^ Sec. Addanius by Hudson, .which be supposes mar
^' From forty to-fifty miles. be the Anamis.



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K A R M A N I A- 3^7

for many days : a grievance almost intolerable, considering the
constrnction" of a Creek vessel, and a deliverance from Avhich
was the greatest of all refreshments. A naval camp Avas esta-
blished here immediately, by drawing a line from the river to
the beach, and fortified by a double rampart with a mound of
earth, and a deep ditch, which seems to have been filled \nth
water from the riven Wrtliin this inclosure, the vessels were
h^^uled on shore, and all the proper measures adopted both for
their security and repair. It Avas the intention of the com-
mander to leave his people in this canip, under the command
of proper officers, while he tried himself to obtain an interview
with the fcingt but before we accompany him in this attempt,
it wUl be necessary to consider the country around him with thai
\vhick he was to penetrate, and the probable site of the Mace-
doman camp at the time.

It is easy to recognise the name of Omiuz in* the Ilarmozeia
of Arrian i but we ate not therefore to suppose, that the local
circumstances of both are exactly the same; The present
Ormuz is an island known to the moderns by the title of Gerun.
It^ appeHation, derived from the neighbouring tract on the con-
tinent, i» agreeable to an usage prevalent in the gulph of
Persia, which we shall have occasion to notice as we proceed ;
and the flight of the inhabitants from the continent to the
islands, in cases of oppressioa or invasion, is to this day a

« UlysfiW, in all his wandennga, ficrcr ap- tjic sttrn, but pcrhipg the aftcr-part of thci

pears to have slept, Vitpi «rpv/iiWMc nof, in the vessel likewise ; w,hcther, when they slept on

after-part of the ship, when he could find an- board, vra^a. w^^ww,^ they slept on the

other bed. In Homer's gallies there was an "Ixfwy [deck], or underwit, does not clearly

aftcr^eck called 'Upu», on which the steers- appcii^ Either was bad lodging. Odyt, N>

nitn was elevated above the rowers in the I. 74. Ulfsses sleeps vpon the deck.
waist, m^i^^wot, are properly the cables at



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3^8



GULPH OF PERSIA.



settled practice, as we are .assured by Niebuhr^. D'xinville
finds two periods, .when the Harmozeiiins .on the main might
l]a\ e fled to Ceruu, and .carried their iname with them to their
new al)ode. One iu Ihe beginmng of the thirteenth century,
when Bahud-din, a native chief on the coast, fled from an in-
road of the Atabek Turcomans, .who about tliart time estafbiished
themselves in Pharsistau and Kerman^'; and another in the
year one thousand two hundred and seventy-three, when the
descendants of Gengis-Khan were masters of the Persian em-
pire^'. To these two periods I must add ja thirds in the year
ime thousand four hundred and seven *^, .when Mahomet the son
of Timour was sent down from Schiraz by his father to this coast;^
in order to subdue Mahomet Shah, the «)vereign of Onnua,
Ormuz wa5 at that time e\ddently on the continent'*', for the
son of Timour took seven fortresses which "were the defence of
the Shall s kingdom, and compelled him to fly to Geroum **
exacting even tlitere from him a tribute of^'^six hundred thousand
dinars. This tr-aiisaction proves, that the inland was not yet
(ailed Ormuz in one thousand foui' hundred and seven ; while it
is almost evident that Gerun was the place of ^retreat for the
inhabitants of the continent on these three different occasions ;
and, according to the observation >af Niebujir jiwt jnentioned^
this is the custom of llie coast. Tlie fluctuation x>f this word in
European orthogiaphy justifies much greater ^berties in regard



^* Sec Nicbuhr under the head Abu-
Schxbr.

^^ Persw aifd Caraiaiiia.

^' Chcrcf-eddin, vol. li. p. 4.18. French
edition.

^^ Really one thousand three hundred and
ninety -seven ; for there is an error of ten year*
,U) the chrooology of Cberc'f-eddia»



^ Ormuz «cem8 to ht on the main previoMt
to Timour'^ age. Ebn Haukel, p. 145.

♦' Geroum is called by Pctis de la Croix
in the margin, Gomeroon; but it «hould rather
be the island : not but that Geroum and Go-
meroon may be mutually connected, like Or-
muZ| on the main, and Ormuz the isle.



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K A R M A N I A. J^

to names, than any which occur in this work ^. Ormus, ()r-
mnZy Onnutz, Hormus, Hormoz, Honnuzd, Harmo^eia*\ Af-
mozusa, Armoxusa, Annuza, are aD applied either to the island
or the neighbouring continent, and I conclude have all a de-
rivation common also to Hormisdas, which is Oromasdes or
Hormudsch, the good principle in the superstition of the Parsees ;
a name assumed by several princes of the fourth dynasty,
and some of a later date. Mr. d'Anville ^ has observed that
there are four districts, two on the gulph and two inland, that
take their titles from different Persian monarchs, Cbbad^,
Sabur, Darab^, and Ardeshir, that is, from Artaxerxes as he
is styled in Greek, Cobad, Sapor, and Darab ; but, perhaps, if
we should judge these rather to have a derivation in common
with the name of those kings, than to take a name from them,
Armosa may be added as a fifth ^, and related to Hormisdas or
Oromasdes^by the same connexion. All this is, however, a
speculation rather (curious than necessary, and our concern is
with the tract called Harmozeia by Arrian, Armooza by Pto-
lemy ^, and with his Cape Arm6zon, which Strabo ^"^ has marked

^' See Herbelot in Honnoux. tbotogy ^nd all the learning of the Parseer

^ It is worthy of notice, that Alfragani discovered by Anquedl du Perron may be re*

writes Hammi with Ptolemy and Arrian. ferred.

Gol. ad Alfrag. p. ii2. ^ llius Darab-chierd is Dario-cerU. Pietro

^ Mem. p. 156, della Vall^, torn. vi. p. v^o.

D'Anvifle derivet these ditisions from Go- 47 It ought, however, to be noticed, that

lius ad Alfraganum ; but Niebuhr says, no Armoz^ia is in Karmania, not in Persia,

knowledge of such a division now remains. ^ Sec Schkard's Tarick Regum Pcrsiae

See Gol. Not. ad Alfra. p* 115. Niebuhr, p. 115. He says, Hormos and Baharem were

vol. if. p. 166. French edition. Mr. Jones brbthcrs of the race of Sassanidcs. Hormos

asserts the continuance of three of these hame^ gave name to Ormus, and Baharem to Bah-

at least. rein.— ^Bat qustrff for Bahr-cin signifies two.

^' These names seem all to arise from the seas,

fourth dynasty of Persian race. Hcylin Cown. *'* Ptol. p. 157.

lib. iii. To this dyna^y, perhaps, alt the my- *• Strab. p. 76J.

V V



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330 GULPH OF PERSIA.

precisely as lying at the very point where the strait is nar-
nowest^ At this promontory 1 suppose the district of Arrian to
commence ; how far it extended towards the north,, or whether
it comprehended Gomeroon (Bender-Abbassi) within its limits,
cannot now be determined ; but there is sufficient ground ta
conjecture, that it terminated within the Hmits of the modern
Moghostan at the river called Rud-siur by Pietro della Vall6,
and extended inland to the foot of the mountains. Every where
along this coast a range runs in a line at no great distance from
the sea, inclosing the Kermesir, a narrow strip of level country
rendered hot beyond measure, and unhealthy, from the want
of circulation. As Harmoz6ia was a district of Karmania, in
the same manner Laristan*' and Moghostan are, in raoden>
estimation, so distinct from Kerman, that the province can
hardly be said to commence till you are past the mountains^
Moghostan, or the land of dates, by its name implies the means
of support, and though the air is unwholesome, according to
modem accounts, the soil does not appear to be barren. Tlie
whole district was flourishing while the Portuguese maintained
their commerce at Ormuz ; and Pietro della ValI6, in his time,
found an English factory ** established at Mina ^ for the pur-
chase of silk. The whole of this coast is desolated at present by
the distracted state of Persia ; and, according to Niebuhr, sub-
ject to Arab Schieiks, who have taken advantage of those

>' LarisUn, from Lar, a town much to the '* Or at least merchants,

westward of Gomeroon, in the tract below the " Sec Purchas, vol. iiL p. 1794:.

moantains. Pietro della Valle retired to Lar» The merchants at Mina signed the treaty

after A severe illness, which ensued upon the with the Persians for the siege of Ormuz ;

-death of his wife, and had the good fortune to upon the signing of which they got leave to

find there a Persian well skilled in physic. His move their goods» and came down to the coast

route, if we were concerned with the interior of to G>sUck, a place in sight of Ormuz, the

the country, is well worth pursuing. See infra. Kuhestek of Pietro dt Ih Valici



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!L A R M A N I A.



33»



troubles to pass from the opposite coast, and establish petty
governments from Ormuz to Busheer.

The bare mention of Ormuz is sufficient to attract our notice
to tlie celebrated emporium of that name established in the isle
of Gerun, which flourished to 5uch a degree in the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries, as to excite the envy and jealousy of all
the Arabian tribes on one side Uie gulph, and the king of Persia
on the othen The trade with India, and perhaps with China,
had in more ancient times been fixed at Maskat and Sohar on
the Arabian side, and afterwards at ShirafF and Keish on the
coast of Persia ; but Gerun, the most barren island in the gulph,
derived, from the advantage of its situation, a preference to all
the other marts which had partaken of this commerce. This
desolate spot is a rock, evidently formed by a volcano, the
vestiges of which still remain on a mountain that divides almost
the whole island in its greatest length. The soil is a white salt,
hard enough to be used for building : the fort and the houses
were constructed of no other materials. There is no sprino* or
water but such as is saved from rain, and rain falls seldom ; no
plant or vegetable, but a few at the king's K palace set in earth,
brought from the continent ; and the Portuguese, to secure a
supply of water, were constrained to maintain a fort on Kismis.
The heat is intolerable : in summer, the inhabitants lie plunged
in water for many hours ; in winter, they sleep on the terraces
of their houses. Yet even here could commerce fix her seat;
^x\A the Portuguese, who took it under Albuquerque in the

^ The king*» palace and garden^ called was likewise an bietorian, and hit hiatory was
Tarun-bagh from Turun Shah, was on ihe translated by Trxrira, part of which we have
toutU-west side of the island. Turun Shah in Knglinh by Captain Stevens.

I U ^



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33^ GULPH OF PERSIA.

year 1507^ kept possession of it till 1622, when it was agaie
reduced under the power of Persia by Abbas the Great, with
the assistance of the English fleet. It bad become in the hands
of the Portuguese an emporium second to none bat Goa ; and
it is remarkable that they preserved the race of native kings,
from the same policy which has made the English support
nominal sovereigns in Bengal and the peninsula. When the
place was taken, the last king was conveyed as a prisoner up to
Ispahan through Lar at the time Pietro della Valle was resident
in that city. He had the generosity to communicate his kind
wishes to the unfortunate prince ; and, visiting Ormuz himself
a few months afterwards, bears testimony to the bravery of the
Portuguese in its defence. Abbas intended to annihilate the
city and transplant the commerce to Gomeroon, which he
thenceforth styled Bender Abbassi, the port of Abbas ; but he
broke his faith with the Enghsh, who were to have had half the
produce of the duties for their assistance, and Bender Abbassi
soon became deserted from the usual oppression of a despotic
government. While Ormuz was the seat of commerce, it in-
vigorated the Persian provinces which border on the gulph ; and
however its fall impaired the power of the Portuguese, its con-
querors gained nothing by their success. The English com-
merce .declined till they abandoned it from disgust, and the
neighbouring coast of Persia sunk under its natural aridity. A
few vessels still continue to frequent the gulph from the settle-
ments in India, but the trade is of no great importance. In
tlie rain of Persia since the death of Nadir, an Arab with me
title of Muli Ali Shah is master of Ormuz, as Niebuhr informs

us; but his residence seems to be at Gomeroon, as. I collect

6



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K A R M A N I A. 333

from the journal of the Houghton '* East Indiaman, which men-
tions a similar name at that cit3\ This is the last account of
this once celebrated mart ; and in this situation it is likely to
continue unless the Persian empire should revive, of which there
seems no immediate prospect.

Ormuz ** has two safe ports, one on the east and another on the
western side ; it is three leagues from the coast of Persia, and
near four in circuit; according to Mr. Dalrymple, it lies ia
latitude 27' 4' 22"^ north.

After this digression we must return again to Nearchus, who
was at the A'namis in the neighbourhood ; and here, in conse*
qucnce of the measures he had taken for inquiry, he had the
satisfaction to find that the araiy had arrived in safety, and was
not at a greater distance than five days' journey from the coast.
A day's journey is still an Oriental measure, and may vary in
its utmost difference from twenty to thirty miles. Taken at a
medium, therefore, Alexander was now an hundred and twenty-
five miles from the coast ; out of this sum, if we be allowed to
conduct Nearchus to Mina ", we have two days' journey to
subtract from our uncertainty, and only seventy-five miles inland
from Mina, upon which a doubt would remain. My reason for
conducting Nearchus to Mina is not wholly conjectural ; for, in
the first place, it is the capital of the district, which would na-

*» The date of thig journal is 1755 : Nic- Voyages, i. p. 71.
\>}ihr was at Gomeroon nine or ten years later. " Niebuhr says Mina is only six leagues

If it be the same man» he had a long reign, from the sea : but I depend upon Pietro della

connderiog the time He lived in. He was in Vall^, who resided there some time, and had

some measure dependent on Nauzir Khan of frequent occasion to dispatch messengers to the

Zar, but possessed Gomeroon, Ormus, coast : but N. B. Six leagues is the expression

X^'Arek, and Kismis. See Ives. p. 202. of the translator. Niebuhr himself says, some

*• 'there is a draft of the island, with the leagues. Sec French edition, vol. ii. p. 165.
fortresai town, and king's palace, in Astley's ^



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534



GULPH OF PERSIA.



turally attract him ; and, in the next, we actually hear that the
commander of the district, upon the arrival of the fleet, flew up
to the camp to anticipate the intelligence of its arrival. ITie
seat of empire is subject to the caprice of the monarch in the
east, and has frequently been changed ; but in the provinces^*,
or subdivision of provinces, the principal town having generally
risen from local convenience, is not so much exposed to fluctua-f
tion : this induces me to think, that a place like Mina was the
ancient capital, as well as the modem. We are, then, to look
for Alexa^nder in Karnmnia, at some convenient spot three
day s^ journey from this town.

We left him at Poora in Gadr6^a, which d^Anville *• considers
justly as the Pureg or Phoreg of the Nubian CJeographer, and
Arrian calls the capital of the province. The modern capital,
according to Cheref-eddin, is Kidge**, and d'Anville has an-
other Pobrag*', or Forg, on the westem side of Karmania,
in which also he is justified by Al Edrissi, if I understand



^ In HindotUn, Palibotbra, Canouge,
Agra» and Debli^ have been the seats of em-
pire in different ages: but Labor bas con-
tinned uncbangeably the bead of a province.
Ecbatana, Persepolis* and Susa, have all
ceded in Persia to Ispahan ; but, Candahar,
Herat, Balk, Lar, &c« are still principal
fjlaces.

^ Geog. Ancienne, vol. ii. p. 283. written
Fabrag, Fobreg, Pohreg, Puhreg, Purcgh,
pureb. In all Persian words, p and r are in-
tercbangei<blc. Fars is Pcrsis. G, gh, and
H, are all final aspirates, and hardly distin-
guishable. See Nub. Geog. p. 129.

^ Vol. -iL p. 417.

Kidge becomes Kudj ; from whence per-
haps the Kutch of Europeans, and the Kutch
.Mekran of the Ayeen Akbari *, and is some-
.times confounded witb Tidge, which Ikon the



coast. Petis de la Croix, from the historians
of Gingis Khan, mentions that the army of
that prince of ravagers almost perished in thia
province. Pet. de la Croix's Hist, of Gingis,
P- 337* "^iz is a place on the coast in the
bay of Churbar, and possibly Petis de la Croix
has confounded the two.

Otter says, Kie or Guie, vol. i. p. 408.

*^ Called Purg or Furg by Pietro de la
Vallc, vol. V. p. 3')i, Less difference would
appear in all these names if they were written
with the PH instead of the f, which letter, in
other Oriental tongues as well as the Hebrew,
is the same, £} or g, with no other dis-
tinction but the point. Phorg, Pnoorg,
Phooreg, Phooreh, pass easily into Poora, the
Greek pronunciation of Uhfet by this method
of writing.



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K A R M A N I A. 335

him right, and by Pietro delia Vall6, who was himself in Mo-
gosthan. At Poora he was joined by Stasdnor and Phrata-
pheraes from the upper provinces, who, divining the difficulties
he must have encountered, hastened to his relief with provisions,
and a convoy of camels and other beasts ; the whole was dis-
tributed among the officers and their different troops as far as
the supply would extend, and the army proceeded to Karmania
as soon as it was recovered from its fatigues. The march was
probably a procession of joy and triumph, for the array was not
only crowned with victory, but delivered from famine ; but that
it was a pomp of licence, revelry, and voluptuousness, as '
painted by Plutarch and Q. Curtius, is a fiction, as Arrian
assures us, not supported by Ptolemy, Aristobfilus, or any
other historian of authority. They both mention the exhibition
of games and a solemn sacrifice in gratitude for the deliverance
experienced. These were easily magnified into a Bacchanalian
procession, by a fertile imagination, and exaggerated on the
side of exultation, as much as the distresses in Gadr6sia had
been amplified by terror. That their sufferings were less than
they are reported to be, appears from their future transactions ;
for there is no evidence of extraordinary weakness or diminutioB'
the expeditions. proceed as usual, and the future plans daily in-
crease in the magnitude of their object.

If now, therefore, we cast an eye to the map, and consider
the situation of Mina**and the Gadr6sian Fohregh, we can
hardly be mistaken in drawing a line through Giroft % a town
of Karmania, which will stand as a point of union between the
fleet.and the army- My reason for fixing upon Giroft, or some

*' MtBa liet in 2^6^ 35' north latitude^ ac- It has two castles,
cordbg to Pi€tro della Vallc, vol ▼. p. 397- ' ? ^i^^^^f^ ^^ 0"«'» yoL i. p. 31K



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33^



GULPH OF PERSIA.



place in its neighbourhood lying on the same line, is, because
of its agreement with the distance of an hundred and twenty-
five miles almost to a fraction*^, if d'Anviile's map is correct.
There is no town in Karfnania, either upon this route or near it,
except Valase-gerd •* or Valase-cherd, which possibly has a
better title to antiquity, if we may judge by its termination,
for its final syllable is the same, though differently written, with
that of Tigrano-certa and Pasa-garda **, both ancient cities;
the objection to Valase-cherd is, its too great proximity to the
coast. Nowy it is remarkable, that Arrian, Strabo, Plutarch,
and Curtius, none of them assign any name to the town where
the interview took place, but Diod6ras Siculus fixes it at Sal-^
miis, and adds, that Nearchus arriving when the king was in
the theatre and exhibiting games to the army, he was intro-
duced upon the stage, and requested to relate the account of .
his voyage to the assembly. SalmCte is a name so void of any
collateral support, that the learned conmaentator*' of Diod6rus
abandons it in despair, and I have searched every authority
in my possession without finding a similarity of name to ascertaid
its position. In a case of despair, I offer the following conjee*
tiire as a mere speculation (without building in the ieast upon it)
for the amusemcint, I hope, not for the contempt of the reader :



^ It measures almoftt, at exactly at the
opening of the compattet will give^ one bun*
^red and twentj-five niilet R^maD, of seventy*
five to a degree s and this, compared with the
road disance* would amount to one hundred
and twenty^fite miles British, as near as pre-
cision itself could demand*

^ Written both ways by the Nubnn Oeo^
grapher; where obscnre^ -gerd preserves the
relation with Pasa-garda, and -cheiti with
Tigrano-oeita. TVt tMninalto^ signifies



Fott, Town, or City, likr tht modem terms
•abad, «-patam, «-poor, ftc. Fat-abad> Jehann-
abad, Melia-poor, Masuli-patsili, Kc.

^ Pasa, written Pfaeta and Besa, which sig-
nifies the noith-east wind ; because it b cooled
by that wind m a hot climate. GoL ad Aifira^
gan, T14.

^ Wesscling. ad Diodor. lib. xvii. p. 245I
ZaXfAru Uibis nomen quam in CamM^nia
Msse ex Arriaoo tenficks, kb« fi^ 2%. Ab
aUis ncgligiibiw



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KARMANIA. 337

The Nubian Geographer •" mentions Maaun**, a small city,
but much frequented by merchants, at one station, or five and
twenty miles, distance from Valase-cherd ; and it is, I con-
clude, the same as d'Anville's De-Maum which stands between
that town and Giroft. Is it, then, too much to say, that, in
the Sal-moun-ti of Diodorus, we discover Maaun ? I know
not the origin of d'Anville's De- more than the Sal- of Dio-
dorus; but Sal in Hebrew, and, if I am rightly informed, in
Arabic or Persic, has two significations ; by one it imports the
shelter of a tent '^ or house ; by the other, a rampart. Would
it not then, in either sense, apply ? as first, the camp at Maaun,
and secondly. Fort Maaun ; or, if it should be said I take ad-
vantage of a Greek " inflexion to obtain Moun-, I must
observe, that words of this fomi, though they have not the
letter n in their first appearance, always assume it by inflexion,
and have it constantly implied. I give this merely as a specu-
lation, without pretension to Oriental learning ; but I am per*
suaded that an Orientalist who would pursue inquiries of this
sort would find his curiosity amply repaid. I shall dmw no
consequence from it, though I prefer Maaun on this account,
but fix the interview at Giroft^ in which I adhere to the cor-
responding distance, and the opinion of d^Anville. If it should
hereafter appear that Diod6rus has, under such a disguise, pre-
served the name of this place, he has one offence the less iu his

^ P, 130. Canat-Alsciam, hinc ad Maaun ^Jf, 5al Tzal, to ehadc or shelter, as a house

urbem.parvam 8cd commcrciis minimc infre- or tent. Tarkhurst in voce,



Online LibraryWilliam VincentThe commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean → online text (page 29 of 49)