A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 07.
supplied with provisions, which are brought down the river Tigris on certain rafts or zattores called Vtrij, the river Tigris running past the walls of Babylon.  The blown-up hides of which these rafts are composed, are bound fast together, on which boards are laid, and on these boards the commodities are loaded.  When unladed at Babylon, the air is let out of the skins, which are then laid on the backs of camels and carried back to serve for another voyage.  The city of Babylon is properly speaking in the kingdom of Persia, but is now under the dominion of the Turks.  On the other side of the river towards Arabia, over against Babylon, there is a handsome town in which is an extensive Bazar for the merchants, with many lodging rooms, in which the greater part of the stranger merchants that go to Babylon expose their goods for sale.  The passage across the river between Babylon and this town is by a long bridge of boats chained together with great chains:  And when the river is swollen by the great rains, this bridge is opened in the middle, one half falling alongside of the walls of Babylon, and the other half along the opposite bank of the borough.  So long as the bridge remains open, the people cross from side to side in small boats with much danger, by reason of their smallness, and that they are usually overladen, so that they are very liable to be overset by the swiftness of the current, or to be carried away and wrecked on the banks.  In this manner-many people are lost and drowned, as I have often witnessed.

The tower of Nimrod, or Babel, is situated on the Arabian side of the Tigris, in a great plain, seven or eight miles from Babylon.  Being ruined on every side, it has formed a great mountain, yet a considerable part of the tower is still standing, compassed and almost covered up by these ruins.  It has been built of square bricks dried in the sun, and constructed in the following manner.  In the first place a course of bricks was laid, then a mat made of canes squared like the bricks, and daubed with earth instead of lime mortar; and these mats still remain so strong that it is wonderful considering their great antiquity.  I have gone all round it without being able to discover any place where there had been a door or entrance, and in my opinion it may be about a mile in circumference or rather less.  Contrary to all other things, which appear small at a distance and become larger the nearer they are approached, this tower appears largest when seen from afar, and seems less as you come nearer.  This may be accounted for, as the tower stands in a very large plain, and with its surrounding ruins forms the only perceptible object; so that from a distance the tower and the mountains formed of its ruins make a greater shew than it is found to be on coming near.

SECTION III.

Of Basora.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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