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or Khutlan, does not appear to be known at the present day; but it was applied in the time of Baber, and as far back as the age of Ebn Haukal,* to the country lying between the upper branch of the Amu, called Harat, or Penj, which divided it from Badakhshan on the south; the Wakhshab or Surkhrud, which separated it from Cheghanian or Hissar on the west; the hill country of Karatigin on the north; and the Belut-tagh on the east. Khutlan is broken in all quarters by hills. Its few valleys are said to be narrow, and overhung with lofty mountains. The glens of Shughnan and Derwaz, which lie near the source of the Penj, are fertile. The country of Wakhsh, which is always joined with Khutlan by the earlier geographers, probably extended between Khutlan and Karatigin, or may have included Karatigin itself. Its name is still to be found not only in the uncertain district of Wakhika, but in the country of Wakhan,-the Vochan of Marco Polo, which lies above Badakhshan, near the source of the Penj, close upon Pushtekhar. The name Wakhshab, anciently given to the river which divided Cheghanian from Khutlan, is said, by Ebn Haukal, to be derived from that of the country of Wakhsh, where it originates. It ran by Weishgird, the ancient capital of the country, and joined the Amu above Kobadian. On this river was the Pul-e-Sengin, or Stone-bridge, so often mentioned in the history of Taimur Beg. While some circumstances seem to point out the river which joins the Amu above Kobadian', opposite to Kundez, others certainly accord much better with the Surkh-ab, or the river of Karatigin, which has a course of upwards of 160 miles before it falls into the Amu. The Wakhi language still remains in many districts in the hills of Badakhshan and Khutlan; and it is not improbable, that the Wakhi or Wakhshi race were the most ancient inhabitants of this hilly region. Many of the rivers that flow into the Amu in the earlier part of its course, descend from the hill-country of Khutlan. It is said to have been the seat of a splendid dynasty, before the Musulman con
* See Ouseley's translation of Ebn Haukal's geography, pp. 232 and 239.—The geographical position of certain places seems to require a departure from the reading in the text of that work. In the description of the boundaries of Maweralnaher, we may perhaps read p. 232, "On the north, Maweralnaher is bounded by Turkestan, which, enclosing Ferghana, extends round Khotl, on the river Heriat, (Penj or Harat.) To the south, Maweralnaher begins from Badakhshan, and extends along the river Jihoon down to the sea of Kharezm."—Again, p. 238, "Advancing in one direction from the Jihoon, we have the territory of Soghd, Samarkand, Siroushteh, Chaj, and Ferghana; and, in another direction, from the borders of Samarkand, that of Kesh, Cheghanian and Khotlan; whence we have the river Jihoon from Termed, and Cobadian, down as far as Kharezm. Farab, Sinta, Tarjaz, and Ailak, are reckoned to belong to Chaj," &c. This is true of them, though not of the preceding districts specified in the text. In p. 240, "The desert extends all round Kharezm. On one side it is bounded by Ghazneh, that is, the western side; the eastern and southern sides are bounded by Khorasan and Miiweralnaher. Below Kharezm, there is no town on the Jihoon until you come to the lake." In p. 241, Ghizni is probably Ghaz or Ghaznah ; and for Kab, the sense requires Kat or Kath, the ancient capital. Debzek and Deirek, pp. 262 and 263, should be Dizak, the modern Jizzekh. "The mountains of Ashehreli" should probably bo "the mountains of Aspereh." Rud-i-Haas, p. 224, must be Rud-i-Dehas. The running title (or Surkhi) is sometimes included in the text, of which instances occur in p. 275, p. 279, &c. Having no copy of the original, these changes are merely conjectural; but they seem to be necessary for the sense, and tho alteration of a single letter, or of the points, is sufficient to produce most of them. These observations anmade solely to justify the sense in which I have read Ebn Haukal. They cannot affect the acknowleged merit of the learned translator, who followed his text.
In regard to the era of the work, as it stands, is not the mention of the palace of KharcxmShah (p. 241) rather suspicious? Perhaps, however, the palace was only of a king of Kharezm.
quest; and Abulfeda* mentions the magnificent palaces of its kings. In Baber's time it was generally subject to Hissar.
This country, which is seldom mentioned in history,f lies along the southern range of the Asfera mountains, and appears to extend, on the east, as far as those of Beluttagh; on the south, it has part of Khutlan and Wakhika, and the country of Hissar; on the west, it extends to the hill-districts of Uratippa and Yar-Ailak. It is altogether mountainous. The height of the Asfera and Belut-tagh mountains, the former covered with perpetual snow, prevents it from having much communication with the countries to the north and east.
Before proceeding to make any remarks on this district, it is necessary to point out, in a few words, the course taken by the branches of the Asfera mountains, when they diverge, somewhat to the east of the longitude of Khojend, as has been already mentioned. All along the south of Ferghana, their summits are everywhere covered with perpetual snow. As they approach Uratippa, they appear suddenly to lose their height, and to divide into three or perhaps four branches. One of these, running south by Derbend or Kohlugha (the Iron Gate), under the name of Kara-tagh, or the Black mountains, divides the country of Hissar from that of Kesh. The northern part of this range, as described by Baber, is lofty and precipitous in the extreme; but it evidently declines in height as it approaches the desert along the Amu, where it probably altogether disappears. The second branch, running south-west from Karatigin, extends to the south of Samarkand and Bokhara, though much inferior in height tcfthe former, and seems, like it, to die away in the desert towards the Amu. This may be called the Kesh branch, and the country between it and the Kara-tagh, forms the territories of Kesh and Karshi. The hill between Samarkand and Kesh is, by Sherifeddin, called the hill of Kesh. Ebn Haukal tells us,% that the mountain of Zarkah, as he calls the same range, runs from Bokhara, between Samarkand and Kesh, joins the border of Ferghana, and goes on toward the border of Chin. The Arabian geographer, therefore, evidently considered the range south of Samarkand, as connected with the Asfera, and probably with the Muz-tagh ranges. The third range, called the Ak-tagh, or Ak-kaya, the white mountains, and by the Arabian geographers,§ Botom, or Al-Botom, extending to the westward, runs to the north of Samarkand and Bokhara, and declines down to the desert. Where it leaves the Asfera mountains, it forms with the Kara-tagh and Kesh hills, the country of Yar-ailak, and, lower down, one boundary of the celebrated valley of Soghd. This branch is lofty, and bears snow in its hollows all the year. The
* Geog. p. 77.—Ebn Haukal, p. 239.
t It is called Cair Tekin in Petis de la Croix's Hist, de Timur Bee, vol. I. pp. 174 and 184.
i Ouseley's Ebn Haukal, p. 250. § Abulfeda, p. 33, and Ebn Haukal.
fourth branch is that which appears to run, but very ruggedly and uncertainly, to the north-west, through the country of Uratippa. It slopes down towards the sea of Aral, and a portion either of this, or of the last branch, crosses the Amu below the cultivated country of Khwarizm, before that river works its way into the sea of Aral. This may be called the Uratippa branch, as that country lies chiefly among its offsets, and towards the Ak-tagh hills. The Uratippa hills approach very closely to the Sirr, or Jaxartes.
The country of Hissar, which was often traversed by Baber, and which, for some years in the middle period of his life, formed his head-quarters, is by the Arabian geographers denominated Saghanian, while the Persians called it Cheghanian and Jeghanian, from the city of that name which lies on the Cheghan-rud, more frequently, however, called the river of Cheghanian. This country received, in later times, the name of Hissar (or the Castle), from the fort of Hissar-Shadman, which was long the seat of government of all the neighbouring regions. At the present day, this country is known by the name of Deh-nou (or New-Town), from a town of that name, where the Chief resides; and in general, it may be remarked, that all over the East, where the governments are fluctuating, there is a disposition to designate the government rather by the name of the city where the King or Governor resides, than by a general name taken from the whole country which he governs. And, in like manner, as to rivers, and ranges of mountains, it is seldom, except in books, that they have any geueral name; the former are usually described by the name of the nearest large town, the latter by that of some remarkable summit, and consequently change their denomination many times in their course. Frequent instances of this kind will be found in the Memoirs of Baber.
Hissar, on the south, was bounded by the river Amu or Oxus, on the east by the hill country of Wakhsh and Khutlan, from which it was divided by the Surkhriid or Karatigin river, formerly called the Wakhshab; on the north by Karatigin, and on the west by the Kara-tagh mountains. It is hilly, but not mountainous, in its chief extent. The soil is in general sandy, and inclining to degenerate into desert; but, being on the whole well watered, is capable of high cultivation. The river Weish or Wakhshab, which proceeds from the north-west, joins the Oxus considerably to the east of Kobadian. The river of Cheghanian, and that of Hissar or Kafernihan, are the other streams of chief note in this district. In the days of Baber, the most important places in this division were Hissar, Cheghanian, Kobadian and Termiz. The city of Termiz or Termed has always been famous as covering the best passage over the Amu; but somewhat higher up is the passage of Ubaj, lying between Cheghanian and Khulni, which is several times mentioned, both in Baber's Memoirs and in the History of Taimur. The country towards Weishgird, where the natives were protected by the sudden rise of the hills, was the scene of many bloody battles between the ancient inhabitants and the Arabs, during their conquest of Maweralnaher. The inhabitants of the hill countries were never fully subdued. Baber gives a very particular account of his passage up one of the long valleys of this country, called the valley of Kamriid, which he ascended in his flight from Hissar to Yar-ailak, after his defeat near Samarkand. The valley of Kamrud leads up to the summit of the Kara-tagh range.
This division has already been described as bounded on the east by the Kara-tagh mountains dividing it from Hissar; on the south by the Amu or Oxus; and on the north and west by the Kesh hills, which divide it from Yar-ailak and the valley of Soghd.
The chief cities now, and they are the same that existed in the time of Baber, are Kesh, also called Sheher-Sebz (or the Green City), and to the south Karshi, also called Nakhsheb, and by the Arabs Nesef. Khozar also has always been a place of consequence, and lies south-east of Karshi, in a desert tract. The country round Kesh is uncommonly fertile, full of streams, and rather marshy, but degenerates as it approaches the Amu, and becomes a perfect desert, insomuch that the rivers of this district disappear before reaching that great river. The famous Pass of Kohlugha (the Iron Gate), or Derbend, lies in the hills between Kesh and Hissar. Fadlallah* pretends that it was cut in the rock, which only proves that it was narrow and difficult, and perhaps improved by art. Near Kesh, the native town of the great Taimur, is the plain of Akiar, where, close by the river Koshka, were held the Kurultais or annual reviews of his armies, andwhat have been called the diets of his states. It was celebrated for its beautiful verdure, and the rich profusion of its flowers.
5. Samarkand And Bokhara.
The country which composes the territory of these famous cities, has always been deemed one of the most fertile and beautiful in the world. It lies between the Kesh hills on the south, the Desert of Khwarizm on the west, and the Uratippa, and Ak-tagh mountains dividing it from Uratippa, on the north. On the east, it has the hill country of Karatigin and the Kara-tagh mountains. It is traversed, in nearly its whole extent, by the Kohik or Zirefshanf river, which, coming from the north-east angle of the hills that rise out of Karatigin, flows down by Yar-ailak to Samarkand and the vale of Soghd, passing to the north and west of Bokhara, considerably below which the small part of it that is not swallowed up in the sand, runs iuto the Ainu. The country near the sources of the Kohik is hilly and barren, and in the time of Baber was full of petty forts, especially along the skirts of the hills. This is the district so often mentioned under the name of Yar-ailak or Bar-ailak. It seems to comprise the countries at the present day called Karatippa and Urgul. Uratippu extends over the opposite side of the hills, to the north-west, except only the district culled the Ailaks of Uratippa, which is higher up on the same side of the hills, and not far distant from Yar-ailak. The
* Hist, of Ghenigiscan, p. 257; and Hist, de Timur Bee, vol. I. p. 33, 63, &c.
vale of Soghd, which commences lower down* than the Ailaks, is an extensive plain? a great part of which is admirably watered and cultivated, by means of cuts from the river. Baber has given so correct and detailed an account of this whole country in his Memoirs, that little need be added regarding it. This tract of plain is the Sogdiana of the ancients, so called from the river Soghd, the ancient name of the Kohik. Samarkand was a city of note, at least as far back as the time of Alexander the Great, when it was known under the name of Marakanda, a name which may lead us to suspect that even then the country had been overrun by Turkif tribes. The country beyond the Amu, called by the Arabs Maweralnaher, (i. e. beyond the river,) was conquered by them as early as the years 87, 88, and 89 of the Hejira; and their geographers present us with the most dazzling picture of its prosperity at an early period. Ebn llaukal, who is supposed to have lived in the tenth century, speaks of the province as one of the most flourishing and productive in the world.J The hospitality of the inhabitants he describes, from his personal observation, as corresponding to the abundance that prevailed. The fortunate situation of the country, and the protection which it enjoyed under the Arabian Khalifs, produced their ordinary effects, and the arts of civilization, the civilities of social life, and the study of literature, all made a distinguished progress. We are told that the inhabitants were fond of applying their wealth to the erection of caravanseras or inns, to the building of bridges and similar works, and that there was no town or stage in Maweralnaher without a convenient inn or stagehouse § for the purpose of accommodating travellers with every necessary. One of the Governors of Maweralnaher, which included all the Arabian conquests north of the Amu, boasted, probably with considerable exaggeration, that he could send to war three hundred thousand horse, and the same number of foot, whose absence would not be felt in the country. The Vale of Soghd was reckoned one of the three paradises of the world, the Rnd-Abileh and the Ghuteh of Damascus || being the other two; over both of which, however, Ebn Haukal assigns it the decided preference, both as to beauty and salubrity. The glowing description which he gives of it in the tenth century is confirmed by Abulfeda in the beginning of the fourteenth; and early in the sixteenth, Baber informs us, that there was no more delightful country in the world. The beauty and wealth of these cities had rendered the names of Samarkand and Bokhara proverbial among the poets of Persia. Several streams from the hills, on both sides, join the Kohik in its. course. As you recede from the Soghd river or approach the Amu, the soil becomes sandy and desert.
The chief cities in the days of Baber, as at the present time, were Samarkand and Bokhara. The former lies on the south of the Kohik on a rising ground, and has always been very extensive, the fortifications having varied, by different accounts, from eight to five miles in circumference ;f but a great part of this space was occupied by
* Abulfeda tells us that it commences twenty farsangs (about eighty miles) higher up than Samarkand, p. 33. + Kend is the Turki for a town, as in Tashkent!, Uzkend, &c. &c.
J Geography of Ebn Haukal, p. 233. § Ibid. p. 235.
|| Abulfeda ap. Geog. Grecc. Min. vol. III. p. 32, in Chorasmiic Descript. adds the Shaab-Bhowan in Persia. The name of the second of these paradises is sometimes erroneously read Hud Aileh.
IT Ebn Haukal, p. 253.