Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Josue Jair Palomo rated it liked it Aug 27, Andrea Madriz marked it as to-read Feb 12, Ben-Ain added it Nov 12, Patricio marked it as to-read Oct 17, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. At the end of this gallery there are two balconies covered over head opposite one to the other where their music, which consists in timbrels, hawboys [? They have this kind of music in all the cities of Persia which are governed by a khan and they say Tamerlane first introduced that custom which hath been observed ever since.
Nicholas Hem, a Hollander who traveled into Persia in the years and , says that these pieces were brought thither from Ormus, and that they secure the avenues of the place; but as I said before it is impossible they should be discharged. Nay, the palace itself hath no fortifications and is compassed only by a high wall.
These last are all persons of quality and sons of khans of whom some stand sentry, and the rest walk the round, and they all lie upon the ground in the open air. This guard hath its kischiktzi , or particular captain, who every night delivers the king a list of their names who are upon the guard, that he may know whom he may confide in and by what persons he is served.
Over the first gate there is a great square structure which hath large windows on all sides, and we were told that within it was carved all over and gilt. The other principal apartments of this great palace are the tab chane , which is a spacious hall where the king treats all the great lords of his court and entertains them at dinner upon the day of their Naurus , which is the first day of their year; the divan chane  which is the ordinary place where all appeals are tried and where the king commonly gives audience to the ambassadors of foreign princes, as we said elsewhere, which is done, partly upon this accompt, that this edifice having a great court adjoining to it, into which it looks, the king may have the convenience of showing the ambassadors some of his best horses and his other pieces of magnificence as he did at our first audience.
All these halls have belonging to them several chambers, closets, galleries, and other necessary apartments for the lodging and divertissement of so powerful a prince and so great a number of ladies who are all with him within the same palace, wherein there is not any considerable apartment but hath its particular garden. Murderers and assassins participate of the same privilege; but the Persians have so great an aversion for theft, as accounting it a base and infamous crime, as it really is, that they permit not thieves, if they do come in, to stay there many days.
It serves for a citadel, which is the signification of the word kale , and it is fortified with a rampier and several bastions of earth, which being very sharp above, Nicholas Hem whom I have found in all things else the most exact of any that have written of the city of Isfahan took them for towers. The king does not live in it, but there is a governor who hath the command of it, and a strong garrison within it which is kept there for the security of the treasure, the arms, and ammunition of war, that are within it, though all the artillery consists only in some field-pieces.
Into this sanctuary there got a great number of the inhabitants of Isfahan when Tamerlane punished the rebellion of this city. For though he had no great sentiments of piety, yet did he discover a certain respect for the places he accounted sacred; and accordingly he spared all those who took refuge in the mosque, but ordered all the rest to be cut up in pieces and commanded the walls of the court belonging to it to be pulled down. But Shah Ishmael had them built up again, and made the place a sanctuary. Towards the south part of the Maydan stands that rich and magnificent mosque which Shah Abbas began and was almost finished when he died: but Shah Safi had the work carried on at the time of our being there, causing the walls to be done over with marble.
It is dedicated to Mededi, who is the twelfth Imam, or saint, of the posterity of Ali, for whom Shah Abbas had so particular a devotion that he was pleased to build several other mosques after the same model though much less at Tauris and other places, in honor of the same saint, wherein he made use of the marble which he had brought from Eruan, which is as white as chalk, and smoother than any looking glass.
But the marble which was spent in the building of the great meschid at Isfahan, is brought from the mountain of Elwend. Whence this mosque is called Metzid Mehedi Sahebeseman. To go from the Maydan to this mosque, a man must pass through a great court paved with free-stone at the end where there is, under a tree, a fair cistern wherein those who go to do their devotions in the mosque wash and purify themselves. Behind this tree there is a pair of stairs by which you go up to the square place, which is much less than the fore-said court, and thence there is it is but a little further to the mosque.
John de Laet  , taking it from Nicholas Hem, affirms that there is a pair of stairs of thirteen steps to get up to the mosque and that those stairs are cut out of one pierce of marble; but there is no such thing. The portal is of white marble, and at least as high as that of the Meschaick Chodabende in Sulthania.
The door is covered all over with plates of silver which are gilt in several places. As you pass through the door you enter into a great court round about which there is a vaulted gallery and in the middle of it a great cistern of free-store built eight square and full of water. Above this gallery there is another, not so high as this, which upper gallery hath, towards the h ejat , or court, a row of marble pillars, which in some places are gilt. A man must cross this court to go into the mosque wherein are the mederab and the c athib , that is, the altar and the pulpit, according to their way.
As you come in you pass under a vault of extraordinary height, done over with glittering stones some blue, some gilt. It is a vast structure having many niches and chapels which are all upheld by marble pillars. The meherab, or the alter, is all of one piece of marble having on each side a pillar of the same stone, which is also all of one piece.
Besides this mosque, which is the chiefest in all the city and the most sumptuous of any in the whole kingdom, there are in Isfahan many others, but they are much less and there is a too great a number of them for us to undertake to give here a more particular description thereof. In the midst of the Maydan there stands a high pole, much after the manner of those that are set up in several cities of Europe, to shoot at the parrot, but, instead of a bird, they set on top of it a little melon, an arpus , or an apple, or haply a trencher with money upon it; and they always shoot at it on horseback and that riding in full speed.
The king himself is sometimes pleased to make one, among the inhabitants, when they are at that sport, or sends some of his chiefest lords to do it; and commonly there are very considerable sums laid. They play there also at a certain game, which the Persians call Kuitskaukan , which is a kind of mall or cricket; but they play at this also on horse-back and strike the bowl to the end riding in full speed.
They also often exercise themselves at the tzirid , or javelin; there we have described elsewhere. And in regard the Persians hath the best horses in the world, and that the Persians are very curious about them, they many times lay wagers on their swiftness, and ride them between the two pillars which are at both ends of the Maydan. When the king is only a spectator of the sport, he sits in a little wooden lodge, called scanescin , which is at one of the Maydan, set on four wheels, for the more convenient removal of it from one place to the other.
On the other side of the Maydan, over against the great mosque, are the wine taverns and other drinking-houses whereof we spoke before. There are several kinds of them. They are only persons of good repute who drink of this, and frequent these houses, where in the intervals of their drinking they spend the time at a certain game somewhat like our Tick-Tack, but they commonly play at chess, at which they are excellent and go beyond the Muscovites, whom I dare affirm to be the best gamesters at chess of any in Europe.
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The Persians call this game Sedrentz , that is, Hundred-cares, in regard those who play at it are to apply all their thoughts thereto; and they are great lovers of it, inasmuch as from the word Shah, whence it hath its name, they would have it believed it is of their invention. Some years since, there was published in Germany, a great volume, upon the game of chess, wherein the author, too easily crediting Olaus Magnus  , would have it believed that the ancient Goths and Swedes put those to play at chess who were suitors to their daughters, that by their management of that game, which hath no dependence on fortune, they might discover the judgement and disposition of their pretend sons in law.
But these are only fables as is also what is related of one Elamaradab, King of Babylon. The governor of this prince was so tyrannical, as the story at least would have it, that no body thinking it false, to represent to him the dangers whereto his cruelties exposed the state and his own person, one of the lords of his council, named Philomester, invented the game of chess, which instead of openly opposing the sentiments of the tyrant, discovered to him the duty of a prince towards his family and subjects, by showing him the removals of the several pieces, by the representation of two kings, encamped one against the other, with their queens, their officers and soldiers; and that this wrought a greater impression on the king than all the other remonstrance that could have been made to him.
Their poets and historians are great frequenters of these places and contribute much to the divertisement of the company. These are seated in a high chair in the midst of the hall, whence they entertain their auditors with speeches and tell them satirical stories, playing in the mean time with a little stick with the same gestures and after the same manner as those on who show tricks of legerdemain among us. Near these taverns of drinking-houses are the shops of surgeons and barbers, between which trades there is a great difference in Persia, as there is within these few years in France.
The former, whom they call t zerrach , only dress wounds and hurts; and the others, named dellak , only trim unless they sometimes are employed about circumcision. These barbers are much taken up, for there is not a man but is shaved, as soon as any hair begins to appear; but there is not, on the other side, any who carries not this razor about him, for fear of getting the pox, which they are extremely afraid of, because it is very common among them and very contagious.
As you go to the Maydan, on the same side and turning on the right hand, you come to the bazaar, or true market-place, and in the midst of the market-place [there is] the kaiserie , or kind of open cloister where are sold all the richest stuffs and commodities that the kingdom affords. Over the gate of the structure, there is a striking clock made by an Englishman named Fesly, in the time of Shah Abbas: and in regard, that then there were few lords that had watches the Persians looked on the motions of that work as a thing miraculous and supernatural.
This English clock-maker had met with the same fate as Rodolf Stadler, and had been cut into pieces by the friends of a Persian, whom he had killed and the clock had been out of order ever since his death. This market-place consists of several streets, covered over head, and is so full of shops, and those shops so full of all sorts of merchandises, that there is nothing, though ever so rare in the world, which is not to be had here and at a very reasonable rate. For indeed there is nothing dear at Isfahan but wood and provisions inasmuch as there is no forest near it nor meadows for the feeding of cattle.
Of all the shops I saw at Isfahan, I was not pleased so much with any as that of a druggist who lived in the Maydan on the left hand as you go to the Metzid, by reason of the abundance of the rarest herbs, seeds, roots and minerals it was furnished with. There is not any nation in all Asia, not indeed almost of Europe, who sends not its merchants of Isfahan, whereof some sell by wholesale and other by retail by the pound and the ell . There are ordinarily about twelve thousand Indians in the city, who have most of them their shops near those of the Persians in the Maydan, and their merchandises in the caravansaries, where they have their habitations and their store-houses.
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Their stuffs are incomparably fairer and their commodities of greater value than those of Persia; inasmuch as, besides the musk and amber grease, they bring thither great quantities of pearls and diamonds. But of these, a particular account will be given in the travels of Mandelslo into the Indies.
The city is supplied with provisions out of the other provinces of the kingdom. Wood and charcoal are sold here by the pound, the wood near half a penny, and the charcoal a penny a pound, in regard they are forced to bring it from Mazandaran and Jeilak-Perjan. The great trade of the city of Isfahan hath obliged the king to build there a great number of caravansaries. These are spacious store-houses, built four-square and enclosed of all sides with a high wall for the security of foreign merchants who have their lodgings in them, as also for that of the commodities they bring thither.
They are two or three stories high and have within, many conveniences, courts, chambers, halls, and galleries. Among other public structures, we may well take notice of the two monasteries of Italian and Spanish monks which are in the most northernly quarters of the city and about a thousand paces distant one from the other. One is the convent of the Augustine monks whereof we have spoken before; but the other is inhabited by certain Carmelites, who are Italians, and though they were but ten in all, yet one may boldly affirm that those of this order have not another convent in any part of Europe.
Tinas, and he was, at our being there, very ancient, a good man, and of free disposition, as were also the other monks, who live among the infidels much more orderly than they do elsewhere. We are obliged to acknowledge their civilities, especially those among us who having the advantage of the Latin tongue could converse with them.
We never visited them but they treated us with a collation and dismissed us extremely obliged to them for their kindness, as in other things, so particularly, in the instructions they gave us how we ought to behave ourselves during our abode in Persia. They presented M. Hierome Imhof a senator of Nuremberg, and one of the chief gentlemen belonging to the embassy, who is now in Germany, in a court much different from that of Shah Safi with a very fair Italian and Persian lexicon which he promises to publish with the Latin, since by him added to the other two languages.
They did me, in particular, the favor, to afford me refuge in their convent, to protect me against the persecutions of the Ambassador Brugman, and to get my letters conveyed into Germany, with much safety and speed. At the time of our being there they were also beginning to build a convent for certain French Caupcins, who had bought a place for that end within a quarter of a league of the monastery of the Augustines.
They were but three in all, who seemed to be very good people and had attained some learning. They had finished the chapel and were then upon the dormitory, which had adjoining to it a kitchen-garden and a vineyard, with much likelihood they would not give over building with that. They say that Shah Tamasp I [r. The parts adjacent to the city, are not unsuitable to the sumptuousness of its structures, and the greatest of so famous a metropolis.
It is above half a league in a perfect square and the river Zayanda-rud, which hath spacious walks on both sides of it, divides it into a cross, so as that it seems to make four gardens of it. At one of its extremities towards the south there is a little mountain divided into several alleys which have on both sides steep precipices, in regard that the river, which they have brought up to the top of the mountain, does thence continually fall down by channels into basins which are cut within the rock.
The channels were about three foot broad and were cut upon every side so as that the water falling directly down, and with a great noise into the basin, extremely delighted both the ear and the eyes. No basin but the water fell into it and upon every alley there was a basin of white marble which forced the water into diverse figures. All the water about the garden fell at last into a pond which in the midst of it cast up water forty foot high.
This pond had at the four corners of it so many larger pavilions whereof the apartments were gilt within and done with foliage, there being a passage from one to another by walks, planted with tzinnar trees, whereof there being millions, they made the place the most pleasant and delightful of any in the world. The fruit trees are not to be numbered, and there are of all sorts which Shah Abbas, who began this garden, had sent for not only out of all the provinces of the kingdom, but also out of Turkey and the Indies.
Here you have all sorts of apples, pears, almonds, apricots, peaches, pomegranates, citrons, oranges, chestnuts, walnuts, filberts, gooseberries, etc. This garden is kept by ten master-gardeners who have each of them ten men to work under them; and there is this further convenience in it, that when the fruits are fit to eat, they permit any that have a mind to go into it and to eat what they please of the fruits, paying four kasbeki, or two pence a piece; but they are forbidden to carry any away. The city hath, on all sides, very large suburbs, which they call abath , whereof the fairest and most considerable is that which is called Julfa, wherein there are twelve churches and above three-thousand houses, equal in point of building to the best in the city.
The inhabitants of this quarter are Armenians, Christians, and most of them merchants and rich men, whom Shah Abbas brought out of great Armenia, and planted in this place. On the other side of the river Zayanda-rud, lies the suburbs of Tabrisabath, where live those who were translated thither out of the province of Tauristhan by Shah Abbas; upon which accompt, it is sometimes called Abbasabath. The suburbs of Hasenabath is the ordinary habitation of the Tzurtzi, that is to say the Georgians, who are also Christians, and most of them merchants and wealthy men, as the Armenians, as well by reason of the trade they drive within the kingdom, as in all other places abroad.
They delight much in making voyages, especially to the Indies and into Europe, insomuch that most of the merchants who come to Venice, Holland, and other places, and who are there called Armenians, are of this nation. Not that the Christians, whether Armenians, Georgians, or others, are not permitted to live within the city; but their living in there remote quarters proceeds from the desire they have to settle themselves in a place where they might live quietly and enjoy the freedom of their conscience.
For the Persians do not only suffer them to inhabit any where, since they have a particular quarter assigned them within the city of Isfahan behind the Metzit Mehedi, in a place which they call Nessera; but they have also an affection for them, as well upon accompt of the advantage they make by trading with them and consequently the cultivation of vineyards. But the Persians, who are so given to wine, that it were impossible they should forbear it, imagine they commit no great sin in the drinking of wine, though it be done even to excess, provided their vineyards are dressed by Christian.
The Armenians are expert enough at all things requisite to the ordering of the vines, but they understand nothing of the making or preserving of wine. They are no lovers of white wine, insomuch that when it hath not stood long enough in the vat, or is not high colored enough to their fancy, they pour into it a little brazil-wood or saffron to heighten its color. They do not keep it in buts or tuns, but either in great earthen pots or fill therewith the whole cellar without using any vessel at all. There is yet a noble part of the suburbs towards the west-side of the city, named Kebrabath, deriving its name from a certain people called Kebber, that is to say, infidels, from the Turkish work kiaphir , which signifies a renegat [renegade?
I know not whether I may affirm they are originally Persians since they have nothing common with them but the language. They are distinguished from the other Persians by their beards which they wear very big as also by their habit which is absolutely different from that of the others. They wear over their waste-coats a cassock, or coat, which falls down to half the leg and is open at the neck and shoulders, where they tie it together with ribbons.
Their women cover not their faces, as those of the other Persians do, and they are seen in the streets and elsewhere, contrary to the custom of those who pretend to live civilly; yet have they a great reputation of being very chaste. I made it my business to inquire what religion these Kebbers are of, but all the accompt I could have of them was that they are a sort of pagan who have neither circumcision, nor baptism, nor priests, nor churches, nor any books of devotion or morality among them.
Some authors affirm that they have a certain veneration for the fire, as the ancient Persians had; but there is no such thing. They believe indeed the immorality of the soul, and somewhat consonant to what the ancient Pagans writ of Hell and the Elysian fields. For when any one of them dies they let a cock out of the house of the party deceased and follow him into the fields without the city, and if a fox take him by the way, they make no doubt but that his soul is saved; but if this experiment take not, they use another which in their opinion is more certain and infallible, which is this.
They put about the deceased person his best clothes, hang several gold chains and jewels about his neck, and rings, and whatsoever else he had of most value of that kind upon his fingers and in his hands, and so dressed he is brought to the churchyard, where they set him standing against the wall and keep him up in that posture by putting a fork under his chin. There are near and about Isfahan fourteen-hundred and sixty villages, the inhabitants where are all in a manner employed in the making of stuffs and tapestry, of wool, cotton, silk, and brocado.
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The fields about the city lie very low, and it seems nature was willing in that to show an effect of her providence, inasmuch as were it not for that convenience the country would not be habitable by reason of the excessive heats which reign there. For the convenience they derive from this situation is this, that they can make the river Zayanda-rud overflow, when the summer heats have melted the snow on the neighboring mountains and draw it all over the fields.
Johannes de Persia says indeed that the river, falling again into its channel, leaves a slime behind which corrupts the air; but he is mistaken. For it is certain that some provinces only excepted, which lie upon the Caspian sea, there is not any place in all Persia where the air is more healthy that at Isfahan.
Persian Coins Source: Tavernier The ordinary money of Persia is of silver and brass, very little of gold. The Abbas, the garem-Abbas, or half-Abbas which they commonly call Chodabende , the scahi , and bistri , are of silver. The former were so called from Shah Abbas, by whose command they were first made, being in value about the third part of a rixdollar ; so that they are about 18d. Shah Chodabende gave his name to the half-Abbas. The scahi are worth about the fourth part of an Abbas, and two bistri and a half make a scahi.
Shah Ismail had coined in his time a kind of money which was called Lari , and it was made after the manner of a thick Latin wire, flatted in the middle, to receive the impression of the characters, which showed the value of the piece. The Persians call all sorts of copper or brass money, pul , but there is one particular kind thereof, which they call kasbeki , where of forty make an Abbas. Not that there is any piece of money amounting to that sum, but the term is only used for the convenience of accounting, as in Muscovy they account by rubles and in Flanders by thousands of livers.
They will receive from foreigners no other money than rixdollars, or Spanish ryals, which they immediately convert to Abbas, and gain a fourth part by the money. The king of Persia farms out the mint to private persons, who gain most by it, and share stakes with the money-changers, whom the call xeraffi , who have their shops, or offices, in the Maydan, and are obliged to bring all foreign money to the public mint, which they call Serab-Chane.
There is this remarkable as to the brass money, that every city hath its particular money and mark, which is changed every year, and that such money goes only in the place where it was made. The ordinary mark of it is a stag, a deer, a goat, a satyr, a fish, a serpent, or some such thing. At the time of our travels, the kasbeki were marked at Isfahan with a lion, at Scamachie with a devil, at Kaschan with a cock, and in Gilan with a fish. True indeed it is, that the heats there are very great, especially in June and July, but the inhabitants are not much incommodated hereby.
To do this, they make choice of a commodious place, that is cool, and towards the north, paved with free-stone or marble, but between, and with little descent, upon which they pour the water and as soon as that is congealed, they pour on more, and by this means in one night they make an ice a foot thick, which in the daytime they cover, that the sun may not shine upon it: and so continuing the exercise for two or three nights together, they provide ice enough to serve them all summer.
Having made as much as they desire, they break it in pieces and put it up into snow-houses, whereof there are so many at Isfahan that for two of three kasbekis, a man may have as much as will suffice him all summer. Mount Taurus divides it in the middle, almost as the Apennine does Italy, thrusting forth its branches here and there into several provinces, where they are called by other particular names. The provinces, which have this mountain between them and the north, are very hot; but the others, which have it between them and the south, have a milder and more temperate air.
The kings of Persia heretofore took this convenience, to change the places of the habitations according to the seasons, passing away the summer at Ecbatane, which is not called Tabriz, having the mountain between it and the south-west, and by that means not so much exposed to the great heats; and the winter at Sufe, in the province which from that name is now called Sufistan, where the mountain not only keeps off the north wind from annoying the inhabitants, it also sends them heat by the reflection of the sun beams at noon and makes the place so delightful that is hath thence the name Sufe, that is, lily.
In spring and autumn they lived at Persepolis, or at Babylon. The modern kings do still use the same convenience. We had but too much experience of this change and the inconveniences ensuing thereupon, and found that the heats of the day and the cold of the nights of which Jacob made his complaints to Laban his father-in-law, are there equally insupportable. For being forced to travel in the night and that during the hottest season of the year, we felt there a cold which deprived us of the use of our limbs and made us many times unable to get off our horses, especially when there was an east or north wind: whereas, on the contrary, the south wind sent us sometimes such hot blasts as were ready to choke us.
From what we have now said, it may be deduced that all the provinces of Persia are not equally healthy, and that there are some where diseases are much more common than in others.
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Nay, on the contrary they say that those who are troubled therewith may find their remedy in that place, even without taking any physic. The pox, which is called Sehemet Kaschi , that is, the Disease of Kaschan, in regard it is more common there than elsewhere, or that there notice was first taken of it, as it is called in France, the Neapolitan Disease, and in England and other places, the French, inasmuch as instead of going to Naples for it, where the French were infected in the time of Charles VIII [r.
The dropsy is not very rare in the province of Gilan; but there are very few troubled with the stone in any part of the kingdom; and for the gout, it is a disease not yet known among them. The inhabitants are long lived, it being an ordinary thing to see persons of a hundred years of age. I knew a judge in the province of Serab, between Mokan and Ardebil, who was a hundred and thirty years of age; and the father of Hacwerdy, who went along with us into Holstein, was above six score. Their temperance and sobriety contributes much to the good condition of the body, the continuance of their health, and length of their lives.
As to the soil of Persia, the province of Gilan excepted, which is very fertile, it is sandy and barren in the plains, every where in a manner of checkered with little red stones and not bringing forth ought but thistles and reeds, which they use for firing in their kitchen instead of wood, where there is not any. The province of Gilan only hath nothing of this drought.
But in the uneven parts of the country, where the mountains make several valleys, the ground is very good. Accordingly in these places it is that most of their villages are seated, inasmuch as they are very ingenious in conveying the water, which rises out of the mountains, by channels of about four foot in breadth which they use in their gardens and many times in tilled lands, to those places where it seldom rains.
To give the earth that moisture which Heaven hath denied it, they raise up the ends of their lands, which are about fifteen or twenty fathom square, a foot higher than any other part, into which they let in the water out of their channels over night and the next morning let it out again: so that the earth, which hath been thus moistened, receiving the sun beams almost perpendicularly, brings forth all sorts of fruits in great abundance.
In the cultivation of their ground, they make use of ploughs, which are so big in those places, where the soil is strong and fat, as it is in Iruan and Armenia, that many times twenty or four and twenty buffaloes, or wild oxen, are hardly able to draw them and they require six men to drive them.
The furrows are a foot deep and two foot broad. They ordinarily sow only rice, wheat, and barley. They care not for rye, and when there chances to be any grains of it among the wheats, as this often degenerates into the other, they weed it out and cast it away. Oats is a kind of grain not known among them.
They sow also millet, lentils, peas and beans. They beat the grain thereof. To get an oil out of it, which they call schirbach , and it is sweet and pleasant, and very good to eat. The peasants also eat the grain; and mixing it with quiche and currens, they make their deserts of it. There is in a manner no province of Persia but brings forth cotton, which they call pambeb , and there are whole fields covered therewith, especially in Armenia, Iruan, Nachtzuan, Kerabath, near Arasbar, in Adirbeitzan, and in Khurasan.
It grows upon a bush, two or three foot high, having leaves like those of the vine, but much less, and shoots forth at the extremity of its branches a bud of about the bigness of a nut, which, when fully ripe, opens in several places and thrusts out the cotton through the clefts that are in the shell. Though there be abundance of it spent in all sorts of stuffs made in the country; yet do they drive a vast trade with that which is unwrought.
The province of Gilan brings forth also a kind of flax, the thread whereof is very good and fit for cloth. The domestic creatures, as well such as are used in carriage, as others, are sheep, goats, buffaloes, oxen and cows, camels, horses, mules, and asses. The ordinary forage for horses is barley mixed with chaff, or rice mixed with shredded straw.
The Persians water not their horses till an hour and a half after they have eaten, contrary to the ordinary custom of the Turks, who water theirs immediately after they have given them their allowance. There is in Persia a certain kind of herb, which they call Genscheht , which is sown much after the same manner as we sow Saint-John, once in seven years.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
It grows up three foot high and brings forth blue flowers. It is cut twice a year, and they are only persons of quality who give it to their horses. There is very little common hay, unless it be in the province of Iruan, and Armenia. In some provinces they do not make any at all, because there is grass enough all year long. Of all cattle, they have most sheep. Of these they have very great flocks and it is their most ordinary food, though it be not of so pleasant a taste to those who are not accustomed thereto. They are much of the same bulk with those of Europe, and sometimes a little bigger, but short and flat-nosed with the ears hanging down, as our spaniels.
They are but lean, in regard the tails, which weight ten, twenty, nay sometimes thirty pounds, draw all the fat out of them. The tails have the bones and joints, as our sheep have, but the fat hangs to them in great gobbets like locks of wool, which much hinders them from running or leaping. In Kurdesthan, near Diarbeker, and in Sirie, they have the invention of putting the tails of these creatures upon a kind of little cart with two wheels, which is fastened by a little stick to the necks of them.
The sheep we saw among the Tartars, upon the Caspian sea, are in all things like those of Paris; but those of the Tartars of Usbeque and Bukhar have a grayish long wool, curling at the end into little white and close knots like pearls, which makes a pretty show, whence it comes that their fleece is more esteemed than their flesh, inasmuch as this kind of fur is the most precious of any used in Persia, next to sables.
They are very tenderly kept, and for the most part in the shade, and when they are obliged to bring them abroad, they cover them as they do horses. These sheep have as little tails as our. The Persians have also great flocks of goats, and they eat the flesh of them.
Ciro El sol de Persia (Spanish Edition)
Of the suet they make candles; and it is of their skins that they make the leather which we call marroquin or Spanish leather, and is brought through Muscovy and Poland into the other provinces of Europe. They have an abundance of buffaloes, especially towards the Caspian Sea, in Forab, near Ardebil, in Eruan, and Surul where some peasants have five or six hundred of them. They are kept in moist places, and they say their milk is very cooling, as is also the butter made thereof.
They have also oxen like those in Europe; but, in the province of Gilan, they have a bunch of fat upon the neck, as those of the Indies have. I have been told, that the cows will not suffer themselves to be milked, if their calves be not brought before them so that is a calf chance to die, for they never kill any to eat they fill the skin with straw, cast a little salt upon it, and they let the cow lick it, by which means she stands quiet to be milked.
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