The Seven Seas, and the Circumambient Ocean. The ebb and flow of the Tide. First, the Sea of China. Wāqwāq Islands (Japan). Java and the neighbouring islands. Rāmnī (Sumatra). Marvels and wonders. The Whirlpools. Second, the Sea of India, or the Green Sea. Ceylon. Kallah (Quedah) and Sarbuzah. Other Islands with diverse wonders. The Persian Gulf: its islands. Pearl diving and the two Reefs. The Red Sea. The whirlpool of Jabalāt. The Sea of Ḥimyar. Third, the Sea of Zang (Zanzi- bar). The island of Wāghlah, and others. Fourth, the Western Sea. The Confluence of the Two Seas, and the Straits of Gibraltar. Andalusia. Sicily, Crete and other islands. The Fortunate Isles. Fifth, the Sea of the Franks. Alexander’s Cut (the Hellespont) and the Passage of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar). Tinnīs. The island of Khāliṣah. Sixth, the Ghālāṭiqūn, or Sea of Varāng. Seventh, the Eastern Sea. The Caspian. Lakes. Bakh- tigān and other lakes of Fārs. The Lakes of Urmīyah and Vān. Minor Lakes. The Lake of Zarah in Sīstān. The Sea of Aral. Tinnīs Lake in Egypt

SECTION 5. Concerning Seas and Lakes.

As has been already stated (in the earlier part of this work) the waters which surround the habitable world are known to the Arabs as the Circumambient Sea (Baḥr-i-Muḥīṭ), while the Persians name these the Great Sea and the Greeks call them the Ocean (Baḥr-i-Uqiyānūs). Now these waters are divided into seven bays, by reason of the high and low lands which stretch out from the continent, and the same are known as the Seven Seas. Each is a mighty Sea, with numerous Islands, and in books of cosmogony it is stated that in the Seven Seas there are altogether more than 12,000 islands, inhabited and under cultivation, being well provided with fresh water; [<Arabic>] besides those other islands which are desert and unproductive. On the inhabited islands are lakes and mountains, with various kinds of animals, also trees without number, and innumerable wonders; so that God—be He exalted —alone knows their limit and extent. In the Circumambient Ocean, however, since the water is extremely deep there is no question of the appearance of islands. In the (Seven) Seas during each day and night there is the ebb and flow of the tide: the cause of which is the moon being near by or afar off. For when the moon rises, the tide comes in and it is high water and the tide flows up the rivers; but when the moon sets, the ebb begins and the water then flows out to sea. Further the rise and fall of the water, at ebb and flow of the tide, is in proportion to the light of the moon; when the moon is increasing to full-moon the water is rising, but is falling when on the contrary the moon is waning. On the other hand, the ebb and flow in the Circum- ambient Ocean occurs but once a year, and it depends on the sun. For when the altitude of the sun is at its greatest, the water flows to the eastward; and when the altitude of the sun is at its lowest, the water flows to the westward; and then finally comes to complete stillness so that no pulsation can be seen therein:—and praise be to God who adorns all that He creates, for He is omnipotent over all things.

In the matter of the Seas I shall now set down, summarily and abridging details, what I have read in books of cosmogony, or heard by the report of men worthy of confidence, in order that this present work may contain all needful information, and I begin with the east and then go towards the south.

The First Sea. This is the Sea of Greater and Lesser China (Chīn wa Māchīn), it is the largest of all the seas, and towards China there is a great gulf; further in this sea there are counted 3700 islands.

Wāqwāq Islands*. The most famous thereof are these, and they consist of above a hundred isles. Here there are trees with leaves, which the wind as it blows causes to strike one against the other, and give forth the sound Wāqwāq; whence these islands have taken their name. The king of this country is known by the name of Kashmīr. Ibn Khurdādbih states that pure gold is there so plentiful that they make the collars for their dogs, and the tripods for their pots of it; while iron is so rare that they use it for ornaments and in jewelry. This account, however, is hardly credible, though indeed it was always ad- vantageous to carry away gold thence to all other countries; for this was manifestly the most profitable commodity for export; [<Arabic>] and gold in immense amount must have been brought from that country to India to be laid up in treasure. But recently Sulṭān Muḥammad Shāh of Delhi has abolished the rule, and in place of hoarding treasure, has been spending all the gold he possessed, and consequently no one now thinks of bringing gold into India from these islands; but rather would carry away gold and treasure thence to Īrān, for it is now the most profitable commodity to export from India.

Islands of Jābah and Zābij*. These lie on the Indian frontier, and their king is named Maharāj. Ibn Khurdādbih states* that he is lord of so many and such populous isles that every day the royal revenue amounts to 200 Mann-weight of gold. In the Island of Jābah is a mountain on the summit of which is a place, measuring a hundred ells square, which is all luminous with fire. By night the fire is visible rising up to a height of two spear-lengths and a hundred ells across, while by day it shows as smoke, and it never becomes extinguished. On this island there are winged men who can fly.

Salāmī Isles*. The air here is better than that of any other island; hence any person who goes thither from our countries, by reason of the excellence of the climate here, and the abundance of good things, never can find it in his heart to leave that place again.

Island of Niyās*. A long and broad island, densely in- habited by wild people, who are, however, very handsome in face. By reason of their good looks our folk often catch the women here and keep them in bonds, begetting children from them; but when occasion befalls most of these women, having no true affection for their offspring, escape and flee away.

Island of Dam. Here there are men of powerful build but hideous in face; and they are cannibals who live by eating human flesh.

Island of Rāmnī*. It is very populous, the men being short of stature so as to be only four spans in height. They climb trees with their hands only, not using their feet. In this island is the great Camphor tree.

Island of Aṭūr*. Here live the Dog-headed men.

There are many more islands in this Sea, but to name them all would be tedious. Upon them too live numerous strange beasts, such as the Great Frog, the Civet Cat, the Musk Rat, the White Ape, the Great Serpent which can carry off an elephant; [<Arabic>] the Talking Parrot, the Magpie that whistles so well, Pea- cocks and Hawks that are white, also Falcons, the Rhinoceros, and the (giant bird called) the Rukh. Further of trees are the great Camphor tree, so immense that it can shade more than one thousand men, the Baqam (Brazil-wood) tree, the Bamboo, the Carob which tastes like the wild gourd, and the Sandal wood. There are also flowers of all colours, except those of variegated tints, of which there are none such in this land. They are of diverse uses; but shoots from them cannot be transplanted from these islands to our country, for they wither completely, and even when kept moist will not live when carried away. Further in this sea there are whirlpools, known as Lions’ Mouths, also they are called Durdūr. If a ship gets into one of these, unless by the special providence of God, it cannot be saved; and seafaring men know well these places, and they are diligently to be avoided by those who would sail in safety.

The Second Sea. This is the Indian Sea, otherwise called the Green Sea; and here there are reckoned to be near to 2300 islands, also many marvels. This sea has three arms, each of which forms a great sea; the first arm is the Sea of `Omān and Fārs, also called the Sea of Baṣrah; the second arm is the Red Sea, and the third is the Sea of Ḥimyar. In each of these arms are many islands, which will be noticed in due course. The span of the Indian Sea, counting from where it leaves the Circum- ambient Ocean to where its three arms branch from it, is said to measure 500 leagues. Of its most notable islands are the follow- ing, beginning at its point of origin.

Island of Saylān (Ceylon). This is 80 leagues both long and across, and the mountain of Sarandīb* on which Adam—peace be upon him—was cast forth out of Paradise is in this island. Also near by is the passage of the sea, where Adam walked afoot, but it now takes a ship two or three days here to cross over. In this mountain, and around it, are mines of various coloured Corundums (Sapphires and Rubies); also of the Diamond and Smyris (emery) and rock crystal. Further aloes-wood is found here, with other aromatics, and both the Musk Deer and the Civet Cat are met with in great numbers, while in the sea round this island they dive for pearls.

Islands of Kallah and Sarbuzah*. Here there are numerous tin mines. [<Arabic>]

Island of Grapes. Here there are elephants of such huge size that some attain a height of ten ells.

Island of Barṭāyil. Qazvīnī states that every night a sound of woe is heard coming from here, as though one were calling for redress. They say there are men here, whom by day no one can see, but who come out at night; and these play on musical instruments. In this island grow many aromatics, for obtaining which merchants come thither, and each merchant sets down his goods separately, leaving them, and by night the people of the island come and over against each bale they set a quantity of aromatics. If the amount satisfies the merchant he takes it, otherwise he leaves it till more be added*. But should any merchant feloniously carry away both the bales, then the sea rises and shuts off his road for departing.

Island of Rāmnī*. Here is found the nest of (that great bird) the Sīmurgh.

Island of Ants and Gnats. Here every ant is the size of a dog, and every gnat like a sparrow, and they sting hurting abominably; so that in this island no other living thing exists.

Island of Salāqaṭ. On this isle are many buildings, and there is a spring where the waters burst forth as in a fountain, and the overflow petrifies; one day this is white in colour but the second day it is black.

Castle Island. Qazvīnī reports that in this island is a moun- tain, upon which is a white rock like a kiosk (or castle); and the island takes its name therefrom. Anyone who makes his way on to that rock is almost overcome by sleep, and if he gives way to sleep he slumbers on till he dies; but even if he rouses himself so as to get down the mountain again, for some days after he is as one silly.

Islands of Mālān and of the Dog-heads. These are several isles, where there are many tribes (of the Dog-headed men) who wage war continuously with the men of the other Islands.

Islands of Diversity. These are three isles; in one it continually lightens, in another it always rains, while in the third the wind blows perpetually. These conditions never vary and no one island ever experiences the conditions of the others.

Island of the Dragon. This is very long and broad, [<Arabic>] having many habitations upon it, also a high mountain. In the time of Alexander the Great there lived here a mighty dragon, and the people of the place were troubled thereby. Daily they would bind some of their cows, throwing them on the passage of the dragon for him to feed upon, and so not cause harm to men. Alexander however ordered that some cows should now be killed for his eating, but that they should fill the bellies of these beasts with arsenic, quicklime and sulphur, fixing therein swords also. Then no sooner had the dragon carried off that bait, which had been thus prepared to appease his unholy appetite, when to eat of the same, and to die, was but a single act. This island there- for was called after this dragon.

Island of Kaykālūs. Here the people have no clothes, and their food consists of bananas, cocoa-nuts, Indian nuts and fish. They cover their nakedness with the leaves of trees.

Karāram Isles. Here there is much ambergris.

Now in regard to the description of other islands which have not been included in this book, such will be found fully detailed in works on cosmogony. In these seas are men innumerable of all sorts and kinds. In some of the islands they have white skins and faces like Turks, being very handsome; also their young beardless lads go with their faces veiled like women, until such time as the beard grows. There are found in these isles all sorts of perfumes, drugs and aromatics; also mines of precious stones, and men dive for pearls. In these parts too are mountains of magnetic ore, for which reason in their boats they make no use of iron. Further there is great abundance of camphor-trees, sandal-wood, Baqam (or Brazil-wood) and ebony throughout the islands of these seas.

The Sea of Fārs and `Omān and of Baṣrah; (otherwise called the Persian Gulf). This is an arm of the Indian Sea, its eastern side is bounded by the province of Fārs as far as Dayr (the Convent*); on the western side lies Arabia with the provinces of Yaman, `Omān and the Desert; to the north are the provinces of `Irāq and Khūzistān; while to the south is the Indian Sea. The breadth across (the Persian Gulf), near where it reaches the Indian Sea, is set down as 170 leagues, and its depth where boats cross is said to be from 70 to 80 fathoms. From the time when the sun first enters the Sign of Virgo, and during a period of six months, the Persian Gulf is very stormy: but after this it becomes calm. The ebb and flow of the tide from the sea goes up the Tigris Estuary (Shaṭṭ-al-`Arab) to Dih Maṭārah, which is a village lying 20 leagues from the coast. [<Arabic>] Baṣrah obtains its irriga- tion from this estuary; and at flood tide you can travel by water from Baṣrah to the sea, for the water rises sufficiently high, though at low-water the boats ground on the mud. In the Persian Gulf are many islands, and of those which are inhabited and celebrated as belonging to the Kingdom of Īrān are these following: Hur- muz, Qays (or Qaysh), Baḥrayn, Khārik, Khāsik, Kand, Anāshāk, Lāvar, Armūs and Abarkāfān; with some others. Between Hurmuz and Baḥrayn the pearl diving takes place, and large pearls are found in this Gulf such as come from no other sea. The best diving ground lies between Qays and Khārik. In the neighbourhood of Aden too they dive for pearls. In regard to other islands here, but which are counted as of India and Yaman, mention will be found in books of cosmogony. In the Persian Gulf, on the course between Baḥrayn and Qays, are two hidden reefs known as `Uways and Kusayr. Ships go in great terror therefrom, but the place is known to the seafaring folk, and they use every caution to avoid them. There is much ambergris found in this sea, the fish eat it and perish by its effects; further the ambergris which they take from the belly of a fish has already lost much of its perfume and colour. There are also near this sea numerous mines of various kinds of corundums, carnelians and emery stone; also mines of gold, silver, iron, brass and magnetic ore. Lastly there is in the Persian Gulf a whirl- pool, escape from which is only possible by the special providence of God.

The Sea of Qulzum*. Also called the Red Sea, and it is an arm of the Indian Sea. Its eastern side is bounded by the lands of Yaman and of the Arabs; on its western side is Barbar and Abyssinia; to the north lie Qulzum, Yathrib (Medina) and the Tihāmah province, while to the south is the Indian Sea. In its length this sea goes along the full length and breadth of the habitable quarter of the world, and from Qulzum to Yaman it measures 460 leagues; while its breadth is after the fashion of a river, or rather of a lake, so that from Qulzum for some leagues down the sea one side is always visible from the other side. This part is known as the Tongue of the Sea (Lisān-al-Baḥr). Its breadth at the beginning is six leagues, but as it goes beyond it gets broader, until where finally, as aforesaid, it joins the Indian Sea, it is 60 leagues across; and at some places in between it is even broader than this, being about equal to 100 leagues across. [<Arabic>] In this sea there are numerous reefs, one beside the other, hidden beneath the water, and ships are in great danger there- from. In this sea also is a whirlpool near the Island of Kūtāwān, which ships only escape by careful navigation; it lies between two adjacent reefs, which the ships here are bound to pass. The place is known as Jabalāt; the wind always blows here, and causes ships to founder. This dangerous place is two leagues in length, and it is where of old Pharaoh was drowned. There are in this sea many islands: the best known of them is the Island of Tārān, which is also called Sūb*, and it lies just beyond where Pharaoh was swallowed up. There is also the Island of Jasāsah where there are many hills of magnetic iron ore: and of other islands in this sea mention will be found in books on cosmogony.

The Sea of Ḥimyar. This is an arm of the Indian Sea, and it is also known as the Sea of Barbar. Its eastern side is closed by the Indian Sea, to the west lie the lands of Ḥimyar, on the north are the provinces of Barbar and to the south the Mountains of the Moon. This sea is smaller than the two other arms already described of the Indian Sea. Its length going northwards is 160 leagues, and its breadth from east to west is 33 leagues. It contains many islands.

The Third Sea. This is the Sea of Zang*, and in form it is like the Indian Sea, but without arms; and it is very stormy, its waves being more huge even than those of the Indian Sea, and these waves are known as the mad waves. Its waters are very dark in colour. Qazvīnī states that from many of the islands here the north pole cannot be seen, which is to be accounted for by their lying south of the equator. In books on cosmogony again, it is stated that, in one of the many islands here, both the poles are visible at once, and hence this island must lie exactly upon the equator. Now in this sea there are 1300 and odd islands. The best known of these is the Island of Wāghlah, and Qazvīnī reports that in this island once every thirty years a star [<Arabic>] is seen to rise, and if this attains to the zenith, then everything that is in the island burns. The people here therefore, as soon as it becomes apparent that this is going to happen, take their de- parture from the island, for such time as the calamity may last. Afterwards they return and set to work to remedy the loss sus- tained.

The Isle of Tumult (Jazīrah-aḍ-Ḍawḍā). There are here many districts, and in one is a city all of white stone which shines by night. The island takes its name from this, that great serpents took possession of that city, and the population departed utterly; hence it is now a ruin, but the climate here is the best in all those parts.

Island of Alaq. Here there are men of short stature who are only one ell in height.

Islands of the Dog-heads. These are diverse islands where dog-headed men innumerable live who are cannibals.

In this sea too there are many other wonders, and in its waters ambergris in great pieces is found, some of which exceed a thousand (drachms in weight). The sailors break off pieces of this ambergris with pincers and draw them forth. Also in these islands there may be seen ebony trees, and sandal-wood and teak. The other islands in this sea will be found mentioned in books on cosmogony.

The Fourth Sea. This is the Western Sea, near by which is the Land of Maghrib (the West), also the country of `Abd-al- Mūmin (the Almohad) with Tangiers and other places, all of which are upon this sea. To the north lie twenty islands (form- ing a peninsula) known as Majma`-al-Baḥrayn (the Confluence of the Two Seas), and here is an arm of the Western Sea in propinquity to (this peninsula) which is known as the Straits (of Gibraltar), and so close here is the land on either hand that indeed it is but three leagues across. The length of these Straits is 25 leagues, and on this coast the ebb and flow of the tides from both seas come together. The water of the Western Sea is black, but in the Straits it is clear, and twice a day there is an ebb, and then again a flood tide from each of the two Seas. It is because of this that the land here is called the Confluence of the Two Seas. In the Western Sea and in the Straits (of Gibraltar) are near to a thousand islands (and peninsulas).

Andalusia. This peninsula is the most famous of them all, with (the cities of) Toledo and Seville. It is a long and broad country, resembling in form the Arabian Peninsula, and on one side it is continuous with the continent (of Europe).

Island of Sicily. [<Arabic>] This is 75 leagues in circumference.

Island of Crete. This too is of about the like circumference.

Island of Cyprus. Its circumference is 80 and odd leagues.

Island of Gold*. This is a large place, and the Greek slaves came from here.

Islands of Eternity (the Fortunate Isles). These lie beyond the islands and peninsulas that have already been mentioned, but beyond them again there are no inhabited or cultivated islands. The longitude of countries is generally reckoned from these islands, but sometimes longitude is counted as from the coast-line of Maghrib, then for the distance from the Fortunate Isles to this coast a deduction has to be made on the former count of one degree. Other islands of this sea will be found described in books on cosmogony: and in these parts are many other wonders, but to detail them all would be too long.

The Fifth Sea. This is the Sea of the Greeks and Franks*. It is surrounded by inhabited lands; and they also name it the Sea of Constantinople. The ancient Greeks called it Pontus and in shape it has the figure as of a bird with a long neck. Its length, from the Straits (of Gibraltar) which adjoin the Western Sea and the Ocean, to Faljah Iskandar (or Alexander’s Cut*) is said to be 1300 leagues; and its greatest breadth is between Alexandria and the Frank Lands, where it measures 260 leagues. The line of Alexander’s Cut, which was in part of the ancient Greek lands, is on that side of this sea which is cut off for the head (of the figure) of the bird: for the waters of the Frank Sea form a sea round the land of ancient Greece. In length this Cut of Alexander stretches for a distance of 102 leagues, going from the Sea of the Franks to the borders of the Sea of the Khazars (the Caspian); while in its greatest breadth it has a width of 20 leagues. The width of Alexander’s Cut in the neighbourhood of the Frank Sea aforesaid is but 200 ells, so that from one side to the other the voice can be heard. Here for the passage of people across they have set a bridge of boats; and the length of this part of the Cut of Alexander is 80 leagues. The Straits (of Gibraltar) which connect the Frank Sea with the Circumambient Ocean in the confines of the land of Toledo (Spain) are in the immediate neighbourhood of the Passage of Hercules*. This is a narrow place measuring 20 leagues across. Some authorities call this Passage of Hercules the Cut of Alexander, and name the whole Frank Sea the Cut of Alexander; but in this they are at fault, and the more exact version is what we have given. In the Sea of the Franks there are likewise 600 islands and of the best known are the following:

Isle of Tinnīs*. Its circumference is 95 leagues and they gather good harvests here. The people also weave fine brocades, and the Greek brocades are mostly from Tinnīs. [<Arabic>] The population live on milk and fish.

Island of Khāliṣah*. In the History of Maghrib it is said that in this island are wild sheep as numerous as ants and locusts, these are very fat and not excessively shy of men, hence they are hunted down easily—praise be to Him who of His kindness giveth countless good things to His servants according to their deserts. This island lies on the ship’s course from Greece (Rūm) to Alexandria. Other islands of the Frank Sea are de- scribed in books of cosmogony. In this sea the waves are less high, and terrors not so many, as in the other seas, and there are many wonders here also, (which it were too long to describe).

The Sixth Sea. The Sea of Ghālāṭiqūn, which is also called the Varāng Sea*. On its eastern shore are the countries of Ba- land, Badrīyah and Būdah, with parts of the Qirghīz and Varāng lands; to the south lies the Khazar Desert, which is also called the Qipchāq Desert; to the west come the provinces of the Franks, with Qulzum* and Constantinople, also other places; while to the north is the Circumambient Ocean. In the Varāng Sea are near to 2000 islands, and during the short days (of winter) these islands lie in darkness, for which reason this is also called the Sea of Darkness. The detail of its islands will be found in books of cosmogony, and here are many wondrous things.

The Seventh Sea. This is the Eastern Sea*. To the east thereof lie the lands of Salangā, with the districts of Gog and Magog; to the south are the plains of Kaymāk and the Qirghīz; to the west are the districts of Sanūrīyah and Ansūr with the Land of Darkness; while to the north thereof lie the Islands of Darkness.

Now in the matter of the Circumambient Ocean and the Seven Seas which have just been described, verily they are situated in the way that is set out in the accompanying map: but God alone knows the truth*.

Sea of Khazar (the Caspian). This forms part of none of the Seven Seas, nor of the Circumambient Ocean (described above). It takes its name from the city of Khazar which lies on the bank of the river Itil (Volga), and Ptolemy calls it the Sea of Arqāniyā (Arcania). You may travel all round it without having [<Arabic>] to cross any other water, except only the rivers which flow into it, for this Sea (as already said) is in communication with no other sea. Some call it the Sea of Jurjān, others the Sea of Jīlān. The common folk name it the Sea of Qulzum*, but this is a vulgar error, and the Sea of Qulzum (the Red Sea) has already been described. To the east of the Caspian lie Khwārazm, Saq- sīn and Bulghār; to the north is the Khazar Desert; to the west are the Alān and Lagzī* mountains with (the province of) Arrān; while to the south are Jīlān and Māzandarān. The bottom of the Caspian is formed of mud, for which reason its waters are dark and turbid, not clear, as are the waters of most other seas, which same have a sandy bottom that is visible from the upper surface. In the Caspian too no pearls or gems are found, as is the case in many other seas, but it has some 200 islands of which the most famous is Ābaskūn (or Ābashkūn), which, at the present day, has disappeared beneath the waters. And the reason is this: —that formerly the Oxus flowed out into the Eastern Lake (the Aral) which lies over against the lands of Gog and Magog, but since the time of the irruption of the Mongols it has changed its course, and now passes to the Caspian*; hence this sea, by reason that it has no outlet to any other sea, at first began to overflow the dry land on its shores, but now at last the inflow and decrease (by evaporation) have come to equal one another (and so the level is stationary). Other islands here are that of the Serpents, which same are venomless, and the Isle of the Jinn with the Island of the Black Mountain; also the Islands of Rūy and of the Wild- sheep. Of all these, in former times, only Ābaskūn and the Island of the Wild-sheep were inhabited, but the last is now also void of inhabitants. In the neighbourhood of the Black Moun- tain Island ships go in peril by reason of the exceeding violence of the wind. The Island of Allāh Akbar, which lies off Bākū, is now inhabited, and it has become the chief harbour of the Caspian. The other islands of this sea will be found described in books of cosmogony. Many great rivers flow into the Caspian, such as the Itil (Volga), the Jayḥūn (Oxus), the Kur and the Aras, the Shāhrūd, the Safīd-Rūd and others. The length of the Caspian is 260 leagues, and its breadth 200 leagues, the circumference amounting to near a thousand leagues. In this sea the waves run very high and are more dangerous than in any other; but there is no ebb or flow of the tide. The Cut of Alexander* be- ginning at the Frank Sea and coming to near the [<Arabic>] Lagzī Mountains reaches to within two or three leagues of the Caspian, for the space between the two seas is occupied only by these mountains. In the Caspian is a great whirlpool, which, from afar, draws ships to itself, causing them to founder. According to Ibn Khurdādbih* it is reported by the people here that this place is in truth a channel from the Caspian to the Frank Sea; but this is an unreliable statement, for the Cut of Alexander (as is well known) has been dug within historic times, and most of the country in between (the two seas aforesaid) is solid ground and well populated. Hence if this report found in Ibn Khur- dādbih were true it would follow that the land here would so to speak adjoin the Sea (of the Franks and the Caspian). A more minute examination of these two Seas, with their various islands, will be found duly set forth in books on cosmogony; for here we have only discussed the matter to a limited extent and in few words. Lastly it is to be noted that, of these Seas above de- scribed, the Persian Gulf, the Caspian, and the Frank Sea all lie adjacent to the land of Irān.

We now pass on to describe the Lakes which occur in Irān, and in the most known of the neighbouring lands:—this by the favour of God most high.

Lake of Bakhtigān. This is in the province of Fārs*; round its shores lie the districts of Khurramah, Abādah, Khayrah, and Nayrīz. It extends to Ṣāhik of the Kirmān province. The river Kur (Cyrus) flows into it, and round it lie salt pans. The length of this lake is 12 leagues and its breadth is 7 leagues, its circum- ference being nearly 35 leagues.

Dasht-i-Arzin Lake. This is in the province of Fārs, and the waters of this lake are sweet. In spring time these waters are abundant, but in summer they decrease. Most of the fish for Shīrāz comes from here. The circumference of the lake is three leagues, but in the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated to be 30 leagues round.

Lake Mūr. Of Jirrah in the province of Fārs. Its circum- ference is two leagues, and there is much fish to be caught.

Lake Māhalūyah. In the province of Fārs, lying between Shīrāz and Sarvistān. In springtime the flood waters of the Shīrāz streams flow down into it. Its circumference is 12 leagues.

Lake Darkhwīd. A small lake, and the river which flows from it is known as the Barvāt*.

Lake Bāsafhūyah*. In the Fārs province, and in the district of Iṣṭakhr. Its length is 7 leagues, [<Arabic>] by one league across. There is much fish here.

Lake of the Shīdān Meadow*. In the province of Fārs. In spring during the flood-waters a lake forms in these meadow lands, and its circumference is then about one league; but in the hot weather it dries up entirely.

Lake Chīchast*. In the province of Ādharbāyjān. It is also called the Salt Lake, and the districts of Urmīyah, Ushnūyah, Dih-Khwārqān, Ṭarūj (or Ṭasūj) and Salmās lie along its shore. In its midst is an island, where there is a hill, which is the burial place of the Mongol kings. The rivers Jaghtū, Taghtū, Ṣāfī and Sarāv-Rūd flow into it. The circumference of the lake is 44 leagues.

Lake Arjīsh*. In the province of Armenia. It is very long, but its breadth is such that from the one side the other side is visible. Here there is a fish called Ṭirrīkh, which is very good eating, and which is exported thence to surrounding districts. The circumference of the lake is 80 leagues, and the taste of its water is bitter, being also somewhat salt.

Lake Gūkchah Tangīz. This is on the confines of Ādhar- bāyjān and Armenia. Its waters are wholesome, so that the population of those parts drink the same, these waters not being bitter and salt as is the case with most lakes. Its circumference is 20 leagues.

Lake of the Green Spring (Chashmah-i-Sabz). In Khurā- sān on the Ṭūs frontier. It is one league round, and from it two great streams take their origin, which flow respectively to Nīshā- pūr and to Ṭūs. Each stream is powerful enough to turn more than twenty mills. No boatman can cross this lake, nor can any one plumb its depth. The story of the horse which came forth from this lake, and which then killed king Yazdajird I, surnamed the Bad, is well known*.

Lake of the Spring of the Golden Bough (Zar-Chūbah). This is in the neighbourhood of Ābaskūn. No arrow can be shot across it. Qazvīnī relates that Rāfi`ibn Harthamah*, wishing to know its depth, sent boatmen thither, and they reported that they had plumbed to a depth of near one thousand ells, but had found no bottom.

Lake of Zarah. In Sīstān; its length is 30 leagues, and its breadth six. The rivers Hirmand and Farah flow into it.

The Lake of Khwārazm (the Aral Sea). Although this lake is not in Īrān, and the scope of the present work is only to set forth the geography of that land, [<Arabic>] yet as some part of the water of the Oxus, which flows over against Īrān, passes into it, an allusion thereto seemed proper. The circumference of the Aral Sea is more than 100 leagues, and an arm of the Oxus river, and the Jaxartes, with the rivers of Shāsh (Tashkand) and of Farghānah and others, all flow into it; and though the water of these is quite sweet, yet the waters of the Aral are salt. Between the Aral and the Caspian near 100 leagues of dry land intervene, but the common people state that the waters of the Aral pass by an underground course, and are in connection with those of the Caspian. This report however is hardly to be credited.

Lake of Tinnīs. This is within the borders of Egypt, and although it thus lies far from Īrān, yet being a very notable lake it seemed preferable to describe it here*. The water of this lake is from the river Nile, and never becomes salt or bitter, nor does it ever get putrid; and as the season gets warmer, its waters increase and become colder. Then when its waters overflow into the salt-marshes they become brackish, and afterwards salt—but God be He exalted and glorified alone knows the truth thereof.