The formation of rain, hail and snow. Formation of springs, and rivers, which flow into seas. Greater Rivers. Sayḥān and Jayḥān. The Euphrates. The Nile. The Itil (Volga). Aras (Araxes). Būy (Zarafshān). Baradān (Cyd- nus). Jayḥūn (Oxus). Jurjān river. Dijlah (Tigris). Dujayl (Kārūn). Dizfūl river. The Murghāb or Razīq. Zindah Rūd of Iṣfahān. Zakān river. The Safīd Rūd. Sayḥūn (Jaxartes). The Shāhrūd. `Āṣī (Orontes). Farah river. Qārā Murān. Karkhah. River Kur (Cyrus) of Arrān: and of Fārs. Ganges and Indus. Nahrawān. The Herāt river. The Hirmand

SECTION 4. Describing Rivers and their Origin, also how Springs and Rivers are formed.

In the First Part of this work it has been explained how the vapours are drawn up from off the mountains, and how they rise by the power of heat, for the power thereof is by its nature irresistible. Then by the weight of the watery particles the vapour next descends, and if the air be temperate this will reach the ground in the form of rain, but if the air be cold then these vapours will coalesce together, and the drops that are formed will congeal, and hail will ensure. Further again if the air be very cold, and no occasion be given that the falling drops should coalesce, then each in its minuteness freezes on itself, and thus snow is formed.

Now when the rain has fallen on the ground, and penetrated through its interstices, and the nature of the dry soil prevents its escape, then it will collect in the bowels of the earth, and as soon as much is collected will begin to force a way upwards. Where the ground is very hard it will be unable to make a passage for its exit, and then will turn sideways; but where it finds the ground soft it will break forth and form a spring. [<Arabic>] Now when on all sides the ground is saturated with moisture, then water will continue to flow unceasingly from the spring; but if it be only partially saturated then, when the hot season comes, the moisture in the outlying parts will fail, and in consequence the spring will go dry. When many springs join their waters, so that they flow together, then a river is formed; but the chief source of all rivers is the rain water, or the melting of the snows and hail, and this finding its way back into the bowels of the earth appears again as running water.

The water of rivers that has collected together in a hollow place is called a Sea (Daryā), and the same word is used to describe any great stream or stagnant body of water that it is impossible to ford, and that forces a man to swim (who would cross it). The vapours therefore, even as the water in the revolution of a water- wheel, continually are drawn up and ascend into the sky, whence they descend again in the form of rain to flow over the surface of the ground. That part which sinks into the bowels of the earth, and there collects its waters, reappears in the form of springs, which, flowing to form rivers, are finally gathered together in the great seas, and also, but to a less degree, in lakes. This, therefore, is the visible and patent way in which rivers, taking their rise from springs in the mountains, run their courses to the seas and the lakes and the swamps: and praise be to Him who suffereth no one, unless He so will it, to comprehend these minute matters in that which He hath ordained and created. Lastly as to those vapours which have not the power to be drawn up by reason of their more exiguous condition, these of necessity must sink below the surface of the ground before they can, by condensing, form the sources of water-channels and wells.

Qazvīnī states that there are in the habitable world 240 and odd great rivers, the least length of any one of which is 50 leagues, while the longest thereof reaches a length of 1000 leagues. In two sub-sections following a brief description will be given of the diverse rivers and springs and streams which are found in the kingdom of Īrān; and also of those in the neighbouring lands which are celebrated throughout Īrān: and this description we have divided into two parts, namely that of the Greater and that of the Lesser Rivers.

The Great Rivers. Of the larger streams which flow through Īrān, and through the neighbouring lands being held famous throughout this kingdom, there are in all thirty-five rivers. Now some of these, it is true, do not traverse the country of Īrān, or even its neighbouring lands—and the chief object of this work is indeed limited to setting forth matters pertaining especially to Īrān. But according to Qazvīnī mention occurs of some of these rivers in the Traditions of the Prophets—upon whom be peace— as for example where he said The Sayḥān and the Jayḥān, the Euphrates [<Arabic>] and the Nile, are all of them of the Rivers of Paradise, and of these the Nile does not in its course reach the land of Īrān, though it is one of the most celebrated of all the rivers. Hence, and because of its having been thus alluded to in the speech of the blessed Prophet, it will be incumbent to notice this river as well as those others, and describe them—since he has mentioned them—from source to outflow: after which, if it please God, we will return to the alphabetical order of the names.

Sayḥān and Jayḥān (Sarus and Pyramus). These are two rivers of Asia Minor. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm, and by Ibn Khurdādbih, it is reported that the Sayḥān rises in those far lands, and passing many provinces where other streams join it, it finally flows out to the Mediterranean. The Jayḥān rises above Maṣṣīṣah, and flowing through the Constantinople province and other districts of Asia Minor, joins the Bustān (Albistān) stream, and then passes the Valley of Wind*, whence it falls out to the Mediterranean Sea. The learned for the most part agree that these are the two rivers which are alluded to in the Tradition aforesaid of the Prophet—on whom be peace—but some assert contrariwise that the Tradition refers to the Sayḥūn and Jayḥūn (the Jaxartes and Oxus). The first attribution, however, is the more reliable, by reason of the greater appropriateness (in situation of the Sayḥān and Jayḥān): but God alone knows the real truth.

Furāt (the Euphrates). This river is most celebrated, and the Persians pronounce the name Fālād. It is called Furāt by reason of the excellence and wholesomeness of its water, for every stream whose water is limpid and sweet and wholesome they call Furāt: as is said in the Qurān (ch. XXXV. v. 13) The one (stream) fresh, sweet (furāt) pleasant for drink, and the other (stream is) salt and bitter. This river passes along the western boundary of Īrān, flowing from north to south. It takes its rise in the mountains of Armenia, and of Qālīqalā, and of Arzan-ar- Rūm. At its source there is a great pool that measures 250 ells in circuit, and so great is the stream of water flowing out of this that a horse can hardly ford it. Below various other springs and streams join it, and it becomes a mighty river. It traverses the province of Rūm (Asia Minor), and flowing at the distance of a league by Arzanjān passes out of the province of Rūm in the neighbourhood of Malaṭiyah and comes to Sumaysāṭ (on the borders of) Syria. In this quarter it is joined by the streams from Sanjah, Kaysūm, Di`ān* and other such places, and flowing on passes Raqqah, Raḥbah, Ānah, and Hīt. Then in the Sawād district, which at the present day is known as the Ghāzānī domain, [<Arabic>] numerous canals are taken from the Euphrates; such are the `Īsā Canal, the Ṣarṣar, and the Nahr Malik, also the Nahr Nāḥiyah (the District Canal) on which lies the city of Kūfah with its dependencies; then follow the Sūrā Canal, the Kūthā, the Nars, the Ṣarāt and the Old Furāt Canal. After this, in the Wāsiṭ province, the Euphrates falls into the Swamps. It leaves these again below the Maṭārah village; and there it joins the river Tigris, the united streams becoming the Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab, which after passing Baṣrah flows out into the Persian Gulf. The length of the Euphrates is 400 leagues.

There are many Traditions and Sayings (of the Prophet) in its honour. Thus Yāqūt reports on the authority of `Abd-al- Malik ibn `Umayr that the Prophet—upon whom be peace— said; Verily the Euphrates is one of the rivers of Paradise; and were it not for the pollution which contaminates it, no sick man would physic himself therewith, but God would give him healing: verily too there is here an angel by whom all sickness is banished. Also, according to Qazvīnī, it is reported that the Caliph `Alī said, O people of Kūfah, verily into this your river there flow two Canals from Paradise. And from the Imām Ja`far-aṣ-Ṣādiq it is related that he drank of the water of the Euphrates, and twice or thrice he drank again, praising and belauding the same, and said, How great is the blessing thereof; did but the people know what a blessing there is in its waters, they would build on its banks two cupolas, and but for the sinners who enter the same, he who bathed there, being sick, would of a certainty become healed*.

The Nile. Its waters are wholesome and sweet, to the extent that to strangers it seems as though they had been artificially sweetened. Ibn Khurdādbih states that the Nile rises in the Mountains of the Moon, on the further side of the equator. It flows from south to north, and when it reaches this side of the equator, its streams come together to form two Lakes. Leaving these Lakes it passes beside the deserts of the Zanj, and of Abyssinia, and of Nubia, till it reaches the kingdom of Egypt, and here it is greater in size than the Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab (Euphrates and Tigris Estuary). Then it divides into seven channels: the first is that going to Alexandria, the next to Damietta, the third by Memphis, the fourth is that of Fusṭāṭ and the Fayyūm district, which same is that of the city of Cairo, the fifth goes by `Arīsh, the sixth by Sardūs, and the seventh is that of Manhā. Throughout the whole [<Arabic>] of Egypt, during the three summer months when the river is in flood, it inundates all the lands; then during the three autumn months, when the river is low, they sow their fields and have no need for irrigation. And this is what is referred to in the words of the Qurān (ch. XXXII. v. 27) where God says, See they not how we drive the rain to some parched land, and thereby bring forth corn of which their cattle and themselves do eat? Will they not then behold? Throughout all the lands of this kingdom they have set up statues to mark the boundaries: and the Caliph Mamūn built in the Nile bed a mosque, it being of black marble, and on its wall were measurements marked in ells and inches to show the height of the water. If it rose to 14 ells, then it would be a year of medium cultivation; if more, then a year of greater abundance; if less, then a year of lesser cultivation; and there was fear of famine until the height of 17 ells was reached. On this measurement the government imposts were assessed. All lands that were inundated by the water above 17 ells were free of impost, and therefore this was called ‘the Lord’s inundation*.’ If the water attained a height of 20 ells, then all the lands of Egypt were in danger of excessive flooding. During the six months of winter and spring, the water of the Nile is extremely low. Now its water is so sweet, that the trees bearing the bitter-pomegranate, which are watered by it, become sweet- pomegranates, and hence in Egypt the bitter-pomegranate is very rare and much sought after. In the Jāmi`-al-Ḥikāyāt and by Qazvīnī it is reported that in the times of Ignorance (before Islam) whenever the Nile would not rise it was customary to throw into its waters a maiden, of great beauty, arrayed in her finest clothes and with her jewels. Now in the days of the Caliph `Omar this lack of the inundation having occurred, `Amr, who was the governor of Egypt appointed by him, wrote and laid the facts of the case before `Omar. The answer came back, that they should write on a potsherd as follows—From the Servant of God `Omar son of Al-Khaṭṭāb, to the Nile of Egypt: and after this, verily if thou dost run thy course by thine own will, then refrain from running; but if it so be that God Almighty, and He only, caused thee to flow, then hereby we do pray to God that He, the Almighty, will cause thee again to run thy course. This script therefore they threw into the Nile, which forthwith began to rise in inundation and never again failed*. [<Arabic>] The length of the Nile is near to a thousand leagues; and in it live the Crocodile and the Saqanqūr (or Crocodile-newt), also diverse kinds of fish. For the space of one league above Cairo, and to one league below the same, they have laid an incantation (on the Nile stream) which is a preservative from all harm that the Crocodiles can do.

The Itil (Volga). The head streams of this river take their rise in the mountains of the Ās and Rūs (Ossetes and Russians), and in Bulghār, and in the Qīrghīz lands, and in Salangā and Kaymāk. After watering all these lands the streams come together to form one great river, so great indeed that it is said that no river is greater than this. Then some seventy and more channels branch from it, one of which is so broad that a horse cannot easily ford it, and many populous countries and plains lie on its banks. Of these diverse channels some flow out to the Sea of Ghālāṭīqūn, which same is also known as the Sea of Varāng*, and some flow to the Eastern Sea; but the main stream of the Volga pours into the Khazar (or Caspian) Sea. By reason of the exceeding strength and volume of its current, this may be perceived for more than ten leagues out in the Caspian, by the colour and movement of the water. The length of this river is 300 leagues.

River Atrak. This river rises in Khurāsān, in the mountains of Abīvard and Nisā. Passing Khabūshān, it comes to the Dihistān frontier, and then falls into the Caspian. Its length is 120 leagues: it is a very deep river and hardly anywhere is it possible to ford it. On its banks, for the most part, (the traveller) is never free from fear of highwaymen.

Aras River (Araxes). This flows from south to north, and takes its rise in the mountains of Qālīqalā and Arzan-ar-Rūm (Erzerum). It passes by the provinces of Armenia, Ādharbāyjān and Arrān. Then it joins the waters of the Kur (Cyrus river), and the Qarā Sū, and finally in the Gushtāsfī country flows out into the Caspian. In all those countries which lie along its banks there is found much cultivation, and the length of its course is 150 leagues. Qazvīnī states that whosoever passes across this river in such a manner that only the lower half of his body be wetted by the water, if he then place his foot on the back of a woman who is in labour of child-bearing, then her bringing forth will become easy. And in certain other books it is said that anyone who suffers from the disease of the Rishtah (guinea-worm), and passes through this river, no sooner has his foot touched its waters than, by God’s command, his complaint will leave him.

Īlāq River. This is of Turkistān, and in the Karshāsf Nāmah it is said that it extends far back into China. [<Arabic>]

River Būy (Zarafshān). In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is said that this rises in the Buttam mountains, and in Ṣaghāniyān. It there forms a Lake, and after passing out of this many fine water channels are taken from it, such as the canals of Barash, Bārmash, Bashmīn, Qayy and Būzmājin. Numerous well-cultivated districts occur along these canals, and every one of these channels is so broad that it cannot easily be forded. The main stream of the river then passes down through the province of Sughd, going by Samarqand and Bukhārā: and the fertility of those districts depends on that river. Its stagnant waters drain off towards Nasaf: and finally in the Bukhārā district, it joins the Oxus, by which its waters ultimately reach the Caspian. The length of this river is not known.

Baradān River (Cydnus). This rises in Asia Minor, and flows out to the Mediterranean Sea.

Tājah (Tagus). In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is said that the Tagus is the river which takes its rise in the mountains of Andalusia by Toledo and Silves. It is almost as great a river as the Tigris. After passing through Spain it flows out to the Ocean, its length being 100 leagues.

River Jayḥūn (Oxus). This is also known as the Āmūyah, and its (head waters) are formed by the junction of six streams. It is a very famous river, and it forms the eastern boundary of Īrān, flowing from south to north. One of its head streams comes down from the mountains of Tibet, another is from the hills of Badakhshān, a third from the Ṣaghāniyān frontiers, and a fourth is from the limits of Khutlān. Each one of these, prior to its junction with the main river, receives many minor streams, and certain of these have their courses through the lands of Balkh and Tirmid. After all these streams have come together, the Oxus passes through the Narrows, which are known as the Defile of the Lion’s Mouth. This is near the village of Būqshah, which is a dependency of Hazārasp. This defile runs between two mountains, which approach so near one to the other that the space in between is barely 100 ells across. The water rushes through with a mighty roar, and then is lost underground in the sands. Here for the space of a league it is no longer visible: and there is no possibility of crossing the sands above. (When the stream has come again to view) many great canals are led off from the Oxus, beside which stand mighty towns and many cultivated lands. Of such are the Canal of Gāv Khuwārah, the Hazārasp Stream, that of Kardurān Khās, the Karīh Canal, the Khīvah Canal and others, and in each of them boats can with ease pass along. Some of these canals have their outflow [<Arabic>] to the Khwārazm Lake (the Aral), but the main stream of the Oxus after passing the city of Khwārazm, flows down the Ḥalam gorge, which in Turkī is called Kūrlādī*. Here at a league’s distance, or even three leagues away, you may hear the rushing of the waters. Finally the Oxus flows out to the Sea of Khazar (the Caspian), at a place called Khalkhāl, which is a fishing- station; and from the city of Khwārazm to its mouth in the Caspian is a distance of six days’ march. The whole length of the Oxus is 500 leagues. In winter time the water is so fast frozen that, in many places, caravans can cross on the surface of the ice. The wells there descend to a depth of several ells, in order to get to water.

Jurjān River. This rises in the Asand mountains of Māzan- darān, from the valley of Shahrak-Naw; and passing the Maydān (plain) of Sulṭān Darīn comes to Jurjān city; after which it flows out to the Caspian. But little of the water of this river is used for irrigation, and most of it runs to waste. Its stream is very deep, its banks are steep, and for this reason it is very dangerous to ford, so that no day passes without someone being drowned in its waters. The length of this river is 50 leagues.

Dijlah (Tigris). Of Baghdād. This rises in the mountains (to the north) of Āmid, in the chain forming the frontier of Ḥiṣn Dhū-l-Qarnayn (the Castle of Alexander). Many streams join its current as it passes through the districts of Rūm (Asia Minor) and Armenia to Mayyāfāriqīn, whence it comes to Ḥiṣn (Kayfā). Then before reaching the province of Arabian `Irāq, the streams coming from Armenia flow in; while below Baghdād the Nahrawān Canal joins it. Below Wāsiṭ five considerable canals are taken from its stream, namely, the Daqlā Canal, the I`rāf Canal, with the Ja`far, the Maysān, and the Sāsī Canals; until in consequence so little water remains in its main channel that boats can no longer pass down. Below the village of Maṭārah* (after leaving the Swamps) the remaining waters of the Tigris are joined by the Euphrates stream coming (also) from the Swamps; then further down it is joined by the rivers that flow down from Khūzistān, and all these go to form the Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab (the Tigris Estuary) which below Baṣrah finally flows out into the Persian Gulf. The length of the Tigris is 300 leagues. In Persian it is known [<Arabic>] as the Arvand River: and in the Shāh Nāmah* Firdawsī has these verses:

Now when Farīdūn had overpassed the Arvand River
He bade goodbye to his royal fortune.

Dujayl (the Little Tigris or Kārūn river) of Tustar. This rises in the Zardah Kūh (Yellow Mountain) of the range in Great Lur, and after flowing some 30 odd leagues it reaches the city of Tustar. Now the distance hither is so short that its waters are still quite cold, and they greatly aid digestion; whereby the country folk in these hot lands relying on their digestive properties are enabled to eat great quantities of rich food. Below Tustar king Sapor II built the Weir (Shādravān) across the river, and divided the stream into three parts, (two of which) he caused to flow round and about Tustar. One of these, called the Chahār Dānik (Four-sixths), in its upper channel flowed to the west of the city; while the other, namely the Dū Dānik (Two-sixths) canal, in a newly dug channel flowed to the east of the town. Both channels came together again near Lashkar, and here they were joined by the Dizfūl and Karkhah rivers, after which the united streams flowed out to the Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab (Tigris Estuary). The length of the Tustar river is 80 leagues.

Dizfūl River. This is also known as the Junday Shāpūr river. It rises in the mountains of Greater Lur, and passing by (the towns of) Jundī Shāpūr and Dizfūl it joins the Tustar river in the Masruqān country, and flows out to the Tigris Estuary. Its total length is 60 leagues.

The Two Zābs. These take their name from Zāb who was son of king Tahmāsp the Pīshdādian. One of the two rivers is called the Greater Zāb, and it rises in the mountains of Armenia. It flows down through the Diyār Bakr province, and joins the Tigris near Ḥadīthah. Its length is 80 leagues. The other river is called the Mad Zāb, because its current is extremely swift. It too rises in the Armenian mountains, flowing down through Armenia into the Diyār Bakr province where, near the Hill of Sinn, it joins the Tigris. Its length is 30 leagues. The poet Ibn Mufarrigh has said, alluding to this same river:

Verily (Ibn Zubayr) who, when living, was ever faithless to his word,
Has died like a slave, slain by God, on the banks of the Zāb river.

Razīq (wrongly Zarīq) River. In Khurāsān: and it is also known as the Murghāb, the origin of the name being Marv-āb (Marv river). According to some it is at the source that this river is known as Murghāb; and it is called Razīq because in the village [<Arabic>] of Razīq its waters are divided up (into irrigation channels). It rises in the Murghāb and Bādghīsh mountains, and after passing Marv-ar-Rūd (Little Marv) flows through part of Khurāsān, when it comes to (Great) Marv. The prosperity of the district of Marv depends upon its stream. King Yazdajird (the last of the Sassanians) was slain in a mill that is upon this river, an event that is alluded to by the poet Nāfi` ibn Aswad of the Tamīm in these lines:

And Yazdajird we slew with a cutting blow,
When in fear he turned to flee, seeking a refuge,
And his people we slew in battle, grinding them as a mill-stone grinds,
On the Day of Razīq, when they would have returned to the charge*.

The length of the Murghāb river is 30 leagues.

Zindah Rūd (or River) of Iṣfahān. Its waters rise in the Kūh Zardah (Yellow Mountain), and other ranges of Greater Lur, in the Jūy-i-Sard (Cold Stream) district. It passes through Luristān and the Rūdbār district, and thence comes to Fīrūzān and Iṣfahān. Below this in the Rūdasht district its waters dis- appear in the Gāv Khānī Swamp. Its total length is 70 leagues. This river has the peculiarity that when from the one source its waters fail, then (from its affluent) the Zahāb Rūd sufficient water flows to keep its stream in full flood; and it is from this reason that it is known as the Zāyandah Rūd (Living Stream). Further, because in the sowing time, none of its waters are wasted, but all are used up in irrigation channels, it is also known as the Zarīn Rūd (the Golden River). Ibn Khurdādbih and Qazvīnī both assert that 60 leagues beyond the Gāv Khānī Swamp this same river reappears in the province of Kirmān, and thence finally flows out into the Eastern Sea. It is also stated that in times past bits of reed, marked with a sign, were thrown into its waters in the Gāv Khānī Swamp, and afterwards were recovered in Kirmān. None the less this account is hardly to be credited, for in between the Gāv Khānī Swamp and Kirmān the soil is very hard, and there are high mountains, and no underground passage through them, by which so large a body of water could pass, is possible. Further the land in Kirmān is higher than the land of the Gāv Khānī Swamp. Then again from Kirmān to the Eastern Sea is in truth also a very great distance, with many countries lying in between, so that if indeed the river flowed after this fashion it would have to traverse all these countries: and yet it is nowhere visible in these parts. Lastly, in years of drought, when the ground of the Gāv [<Arabic>] Khānī Swamp dries up, it is not found that there is any such exit-passage for the waters visible in its bottom.

Zakān (Thakān) River. Of Fārs. It rises in the mountain of (the village of) Dih Khusrūyah, and waters the plains and district of Māṣaram, Kavār, Khabr, Ṣimkān, Kārzīn, Qīr, Abzar and Lāghir; also a portion of the Sīrāf district. In this latter country the streams from the hills thereof join the Zakān river, and last of all it passes the village called Zakān (Thakān), from which same the river takes its name. Finally, in between Najīram and Sīrāf it falls out into the Persian Gulf; and in all this land there is no river that is more beneficial than this. The length of its course is 50 leagues.

Safīd Rūd. The Turks call this river Hūlān Mūrān*, and it rises in the mountains of Panj Angusht, which in Turkish are called Besh Parmāq, (signifying in either case ‘the Five Fingers’;) which are in Kurdistān. Then it is joined by the Zanjān river, by the Hasht Rūd, the Miyānij river, also by the streams flowing down from the mountains of Ṭālish and the Two Ṭārums. In the district of Barah, which is of the Two Ṭārums, it is joined by the Shāhrūd river, and then flows out to the Caspian near Kawtam in Gīlān. Its length is 100 leagues, and of its waters hardly any is used for irrigation, except for that little which waters the lands lying immediately along its bed, and most of it is wasted.

River Sayḥūn (Jaxartes). This is of Mā-warā-n-Nahr (Trans- oxiana), and this province is named Mā-warā-n-Nahr (What is beyond the River) because to the west of it flows the Oxus, while to the east of it flows the Jaxartes, and thus from either side it is regarded as the Land beyond the River. The people of the country called the Jaxartes by the name Gul Zaryūn*. It rises among the snows, then its stream passes Khujand and Fanākat, and finally reaches the Khwārazm Lake (Aral). This river too, like the Oxus, freezes so hard in winter that at many places caravans cross on the ice. The length of this river is 80 leagues.

Shāsh River*. Of Transoxiana; it rises in the mountains of Jidghil, and after being joined by the Khūshāb river, also by the streams from Ūsh, it passes through Farghānah by Ūzkand and Marghanān. After watering many districts it finally flows out to the Aral Sea, and its length is 40 leagues.

Shāhrūd River. In the Rūdbār district of Qazvīn are two torrents, one coming down from the Ṭāliqān hills of Qazvīn, the other from the Nasr (Vulture) and Takhmas* [<Arabic>] mountains. In the Rūdbār district the Shāhrūd passes Alamūt, and then in the district of Barah, which is of the Two Ṭārums, it flows into the Safīd Rūd, and thus its waters finally reach the Caspian at Kawtam in Gīlān. The length of the Shāhrūd, to its junction with the Safīd Rūd, is 35 leagues, and to the Caspian in all 50 leagues: also like the Safīd Rūd this river for the most part runs to waste, and is not used in irrigating the fields upon its banks, except to a very small degree.

The River `Āṣī (Orontes). In Syria. Its source is in the Ba`albak mountain, after which it passes the districts of Ḥimṣ and Ḥamāh and other Syrian towns. Then penetrating into the lands of (the Greek Emperor) Nicephorus, and to Sīs which is of Little Armenia, it finally flows out to the Mediterranean. Now this river is called `Āṣī (‘the Rebel’) for the reason that while most of the great rivers flow from the Infidel lands into the Moslem country, this contrariwise flows away from the Moslems to the Infidels.

The Farah River. This rises in the mountain of the Ghūr country; and after passing many districts, which it irrigates, such of its waters as are left flow out into the Zarah Lake of Sīstān. It is not known how many leagues in length it is.

River Qārā Murān*. This is a great stream of the province of Khitāy (China): and so broad that it can only be passed by boat.

Qīrghīz River*. This flows to the eastward of Turkistān, and is a great river.

Karkhah River. This is also known as the River of Sūs. It rises in the Alvand mountain near Hamadān, and it is joined by the streams from Dīnavar; also by the rivers Kūlkū and Sīlākhūr, the Khurramābād river and the Kazhkī. It next passes down to the Ḥawīzah district, where it joins the streams from Tustar and Dizfūl, flowing out finally to the Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab (Tigris Estuary). The length of the Karkhah to its junction with the Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab is 120 leagues.

River Kur (Cyrus) of Arrān. This rises in the mountains of Qālīqalā, and when it comes to the province of Gurjistān (Georgia) passes through the city of Tiflīs, and then reaches the province of Arrān. Here one branch of the river flows off into the Shamkūr Lake (or swamp); while the branch of the main stream at Yūrt Bāzār Anbārjī after being joined by the river Aras with the Qarā Sū, finally, in the Gushtāsfī country, flows out to the Caspian. The length of the Kur is 200 leagues.

River Kur (Cyrus) of Fārs*. This rises in the Kallār district in Fārs; and it is joined by the streams from Shi`b Bavvān, and from Māyin, and by other small rivers of these parts. [<Arabic>] The Cyrus river is niggardly, and, till dams have been thrown across it, irrigates no lands. Now of the dams that have been built on it, the first is the Band-i-Rāmjird, which dates from ancient days and in the times of the Saljūqs fell to ruin: whereupon the Atabeg Fakhr-ad-Dawlah Chāulī caused it to be restored, and after him it was named the Fakhristān Dam. Another dam is the Band-i-`Aḍudī, the like of which cannot be matched in all the world for strength and excellence of construction. It serves to send water into the district of Upper Kirbāl. Then there is the Band-i-Qaṣṣār (the Fuller’s Dam), which serves the cultivated lands of the Lower Kirbāl district; this too had fallen to decay and it was restored by the above named Atabeg Chāulī. After the Kur river has passed these dams it finally falls out into Lake Bakhtigān, and its total length is 113 leagues.

Gang (Ganges). The river of India. This rises in the mountains that lie between China and India: and the people of India hold this river to be most blessed, even as the Moslems do the (Sayḥān and Jayḥān) rivers of Asia Minor, affirming that its source is from Paradise. They will carry away its water, even for a distance of 200 leagues, on account of the sanctity thereof. Their great people and holy men, when they come to die, are washed with its waters, and they bring their winding sheets to dip them in the same; further, they lave their temples therewith. The length of the Ganges is 300 leagues.

Mihrān River (Indus). It is also called the Sind River, and it further is known as the Jīlum (Jhelam). It rises in the mountains between Sīstān and Badakhshān: and here, while the Indus flows away from the southern slope, the Oxus has its sources upon the northern slope of these same mountains. The river Indus, after passing Samandūr and Manṣūrah, skirts Makrān and the Daybul districts, and at a distance of two leagues from Daybul flows out into the Indian Sea. Its length is 180 leagues, and it is twice as broad as the Tigris; further, like the Nile, its waters inundate the land on its banks, and thus these are fertilized for cultivation.

Nahrawān River. In Arabian `Irāq. It has two head streams, both of which rise in the Kurdistān mountains. One stream is from the Shīrvān district, and there it is called the Shīrvān river: when this reaches Tāmarrah it is known as the Tāmarrah river, and when finally it comes to join the other branch, it then takes the name of Nahrawān. The other head stream rises in the district of Gīl and Gīlān, in the pass called Girīvah- i-Ṭāq-i-Girrā (namely of the White Marble Arch): and its source is at a great spring, that would be sufficient to turn ten water- mills. It then passes Ḥulwān, and Qaṣr-i-Shīrīn and Khāniqīn [<Arabic>], and beyond this joins the first mentioned stream, when it comes to Ba`qūbā and Nahrawān town. Finally below Baghdād (the combined streams) flow out into the Tigris. The total length is 50 leagues, and it irrigates many lands.

River Harī Rūd (Herāt river). This rises in the mountains of Ghūr, near the Guard-house called Rubāṭ Kardān. Many affluents join it, and then nine canals are drawn from it. The first of these is called the Naw Jūy (New Canal), the second is the Adhrījān, the third the Lashkargān, the fourth the Karāgh canal, the fifth is that of Ghūsmān, the sixth of Kanak, the seventh of Safghar, the eighth is the Anjīr (Fig) canal which waters Herāt city, and the ninth is the Bārasht. On (the lower reach of) the Harī Rūd lie many fertile districts, such as those of Fūshanj and others, and after this river has passed Herāt it comes to Sarakhs, (beyond which it flows into the swamps). Its total length is 83 leagues.

River Hirmand (Helmand). This is also known as the Zarah river, and it rises in the mountains of Ghūr. After it has passed Bust, some canals are taken from it, each so great that a horse can with difficulty ford the same, and on these canals lie many fertile districts. The Hirmand river next enters the Sīstān province, which it serves to irrigate, and then its remaining waters flow out to the Zarah Lake. The total length of this river is 135 leagues.