A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.
priest, to guide me on the road to Shamaki.  This country is greatly more beautiful and more fertile than the dominions of Uzun-Hassan, and is ruled over by Sivanse, king of Media[2].  Of this country Shamaki is the capital, at which place I arrived on the 1st November 1474.  This city is not so large as Tauris, but, as far as I could judge, surpasses that place in the goodness and abundance of every thing, especially in excellent cattle.  It produces great quantities of excellent silk, of which they manufacture various kinds of very slight stuffs.  While here, I had the good fortune to be rejoined by Marcus Ruffus, the Muscovite ambassador, who had parted from me at Phasis, as formerly related.  Immediately on learning that I was in the city, he came to visit me, and we embraced with cordiality.  I now earnestly entreated him to receive me and my domestics into his society for the remainder of the journey, to which he very readily agreed.

We left Shamaki on the 6th of November, for the city of Derbent, which is called, in the language of the country, the Caucassian Gates, or the Iron Gates.  This city is under the dominion of Sivanse, and stands on the frontiers of Tartary.  On our journey we travelled sometimes over plains and sometimes on mountains, and were tolerably well treated by the Turkish inhabitants, with whom we lodged by the way.  About mid-way between these two cities we came to a large village, where we found great abundance of excellent fruits, particularly admirable apples.  We arrived on the 12th of November at Derbent, and were advised to pass the winter in that place; as it was necessary, in our way to Russia, to cross the desert of Tartary, which is much easier in the spring of the year, and likewise because it was proper for us to cross over the Caspian to the Tartar city of Citracan.  The city of Derbent is situated on the shore of the Caspian, which the Mardians call the sea of Bachaan or Bacou.  This city is said to have been built by Alexander the Great, and is called the Iron Gate, because it entirely closes up the only passage from Tartary into Media and Persia, by means of a deep valley reaching from Circassia.  Derbent is fortified with a thick well built wall, reaching from the castle at the foot of the mountain all the way to the sea; but not above a sixth part of the space within the walls is inhabited, all that end nearest the sea being in ruins, among which are several tombs.  The country about this city produces abundance of all kinds of fruits, among which are plenty of grapes, from which the inhabitants make wine.

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