A Street in Bagdad
THE MEDITERRANEAN TO BOMBAY
BY THE EUPHRATES AND TIGRIS VALLEY
AND THE PERSIAN GULF
H. SWAINSON COWPER
LONDON: First Edition 1894
Henry Swainson Cowper (1865-1941)
Henry Swainson Cowper, author and local historian on Lancashire, was born in Harrow on June 17th, 1865 to Thomas Christopher Cowper and Catherine Anne Hall, his mother died few moths after his birth. After school, Cowper opted for Military carrier, as Lieutenant, 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Lancaster Regiment, 1883, Captain in 1887; 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, Royal Lancaster Regiment (1st Royal Lancashire Militia), 1889; retired from Army, 1890. He was married to Amy Mary Dundas (1863-1953) in 1902, had one child, Christopher Swainson Cowper.
Cowper was author of several works and was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He died on April 7th , 1941.
ORIGINAL 1894 FIRST EDITION
FASCINATING TRAVEL ACCOUNT
to SYRIA & IRAQ
An Early Book
With Photograph Illustrations
from almost 120 Years Ago
From Preface ...
THIS volume is the plain record of a solitary journey from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, by the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris, the two great rivers of Western Asia. As such it must be taken up by the reader, whom I forewarn to expect neither a narrative of scientific exploration, nor to look for the flights of fancy which embellish the book of the globe-trotting bookmaker. Therefore I humbly deprecate the criticisms of those who would fall foul of me for want of systematic observation, or absence of style.
As far as I am aware, the so-called Euphrates caravan route from Aleppo to Bagdad has been described but once in a modern book of English travels, namely, in Lady Anne Blunt's delightful "Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates." Of the great valley itself, we have of course the scientific and statistical works which were the outcome of the Euphrates Valley Expedition of 1836. But these, as the expedition was by river, do not bear upon the road, and have not, as was not indeed to be expected, had any effect in opening up the valley to the travelling Englishman ; so that to this day the Euphrates and its surroundings remain practically a terra incognita, and, with the one exception above mentioned, without any popular descriptive literature.
The reasons for this are obvious. 'The traveller wishing to make his way from the Mediterranean to Bagdad or the Persian Gulf, finds that an easier and more entertaining route lies by Urfa, Diarbekr or Mardin, and Mosul. True, these routes are not, as the Euphrates road is, except at midwinter, all sunshine, but as a set-off against this disadvantage, are the stories in circulation about the perils from marauding tribal Arabs of the Northern Arabian desert, which suffice to deter many a cautious wayfarer from the road. As a matter of fact such danger appears much exaggerated, but this is not universally known: and the supposed difficulty cannot be avoided by travelling by water, as over the greater part of the river between Meskineh and Feluja there is no navigation of any sort. Another substantial objection to the road is the scarcity of provisions, which is such, that the Euphrates road is practically a desert journey, except that it has an ample supply of water. Again, the dare-devil who snaps his fingers at "ghazus," Arab thieves, and small rations, makes the straight rush from Damascus by the old post route, or by Palmyra, and if he be " stuck up " by the Anazeh, or others on the road, he cares but little, as his baggage is scanty or nil, and the adventure, on his return to civilization none the worse, will surround him with romance, and a reputation (amongst some) of an Oriental traveller.
For these reasons I have ventured to reproduce, perhaps in rather tedious detail, that portion of my journal which relates to this part of my journey. It must be remembered that the valley has before it an important future, if not as an Indo-European railroad line, at any rate as a route of steamboat traffic.
Though well aware that, in these days of scientific travel, a book of this character cannot claim more than a certain amount of attention, I trust that some of the matter will be found of practical use to others. Such, I venture to think, will be the itineraries of the roads between Aleppo and Bagdad, and between the latter town and Babylon and Kerbela. Next to scientific geographical observations, careful itineraries, kept in hours, are of the most value for wayfarers on the old Eastern caravan roads.
H. S. Cowper
Hawkshead, October, 1893
Mosque of Zacharias, Aleppo
FROM LONDON TO SCANDERUN
My Plans—Preparations—The Levinge Bed—Cholera and Influenza—Departure on the Orient—In the Mediterranean— Cairo—The Khedive's Tomb—Moolid of Sitti Zeyneb—Leave for Syria—Yafa—Beirut—Approach Scanderun.
SCANDERUN TO ALEPPO
Scanderun—A Syrian Hotel—Bad Weather—My Carriage and Four—Beilan—Jaleel—Kara Khan—The Plain of Antioch—Syrian Ladies—El Amk—Hammam—Khan Afrin—The Greek Consul and my Bedroom Companions—A Chilly Start—Reach Aleppo.
The Azizia Hotel—An Earthquake in Bed—Jaleel—Turkish Cookery and Arak-drinking—The British Consulate—Routes to Bagdad—Servants in Aleppo —The Story of a Student—Decide on Euphrates Route—The Takht-i-rawan--Delays and Vexations—Preparations and Provisions—More Troubles—I Buy a Bishop's Coach—Teskerehs and Passports.
SOMETHING ABOUT ALEPPO
History—The English Factory—Description—Dimensions —Walls and Gates—Interior of the City—Streets and Houses—Bazaars—Mosques--The Citadel—My Visit to it—Khan al Wezir—Heraldry--Suburbs—Cemeteries—Wells—Sheikhu Bekr—Mixed Population in Aleppo—Politeness in Aleppo—Slumbering Fanaticism —Costume—Climate—The Aleppo Button—Street Life.
ON THE ROAD
Make a Start—Bakhshish—Jebrin, a Beehive Village—Cruelty to Caravan Animals—Sabbakh, a Salt Lake —Arrive at Deir Hafr—The Khan—My Zabtieh's Yarns—Fleas—My Takht-i-rawan—Order of March —My Attendants—A Ferocious Lizard—Bedawi Sheep Stealers—First Sight of the Euphrates—The Anazeh Camp--Meskineh—Balis—Skeikh Ghana—Abu Hureira and Kalah Jaber—We Meet my Men's Uncle--Turkish Police—Leben Butter and Dates.
CONTINUATION OF JOURNEY
Anazeh Arabs on the March—The Haudaj—Costume and Arms—We Sight Rakka—Arabs on Inflated Skins—A Mudir Effendi—A Howling Durwish—Unwelcome Visitors—Bathe in a Backwater of the River with bad Results—Camp in Robber Infested District—Reach Deir—The Khan—Description of the Town—Its Poverty—Its Agriculture—" Cherrids "—Arab Population—Its Political Importance—An " Englishman " Turns up—His Account of Himself, and his Peculiarities — Wood fuel Fishing — Altone again — The Terrible Desert—Visitors—Arrival of the Pasha—Haji Mohammed's " stiff Stomach "—Hardihood of Muleteers.
DEIR TO ANAH
Leave Deir—Mirage—The Castle of Rahaba—" Rehoboth on the River "—Mayedin—More Cats—Pass Salahieh —A Sand Storm—The Mules Cry—Cold Weather —Wandering Durwishes — A Bedawi Escort—Abu Kemal—An Ingenious Beetle—An Extensive Ruin—El Geim—An Anazeh Ghazu—I am Asked if I would like my Throat Cut—Danger on the Road—Fall Ill—Desert Wadys--Wild Pig—Pass Rhowa—And Reach Anah.
FROM ANAH TO BAGDAD
Anah, an Arabian Sydenham—Illness—Wady Fahmin—A Dispute— Haditha—Wady Bagdadi— A Thunderstorm —Arrive at Hit--A Dirty Town—The Bitumen Springs —Ramazan — My Men Catch Two Thieves — Kalah Ramadi — In Touch with Civilisation — Get Among Marshes—A Mule Sticks Fast—An Accident to the Takht—The Euphrates Ferrq!`Kofa Boats—Feluja —A Night March—Lose our Way—The Babylonian Canals—Akar Kuf—Sight Bagdad—More Bogs and Difficulties—Arrive at Bagdad.
Situation of the City—Advantages of the Site—Its Walls and Gates now Destroyed—Old Guns at the Barracks—The Streets—Houses—Architecture of the British Residency—Serdabs—Coffee-houses — Bazaars — Shopping in Bagdad—Money—Mosques—The Tomb of Lady Zubeidah.
MORE ABOUT BAGDAD
Kazemein—A Bagdad Tramway—The Mosque of Imam Musa el Kazem—Its Gilded Domes and Minarets—Population of Bagdad—The Plague—The Arabs—The Jews—Benjamin of Tudela's Account of the Jews--The Armenians—Christian Churches—Climate—Exports — Present Condition—Ramazan — A Bagdad Hotel—The Date Mark—Yusuf Antika—Preparations for a Journey to Babylon and Kerbela.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF BAGDAD
Foundation—The Early Caliphs—The Buyides—Degradation of the Caliphate—First appearance of the Turks —Removal of Bagdad to the East Bank of the Tigris —Ghenghis Khan—Al Mostanser—Hulagu—End of the Abbasides—Persecution of the Christians—Tamerlane—Shah Ismael—Capture of the City by Amurath.
BAGDAD TO BABYLON AND HILLAH
Leave Bagdad—Khan Ez Zad—K han Mahınudieh—Pilgrim Caravan—The Kajaweh—Khan Birunus—Reach Khan Haswa—Architecture of Persian Khans—Sleep in a Coffee-house and are Worried by Fleas—Leave Khan Haswa—Sight the Ruins of Babylon—Meet Two Americans—Reach the Ruins--Babel—The Mujelibe and Kasr—Amran ibn Ali—Leave for Hillah—Knock Down an Old Woman.
HILLAH AND BIRRIS NIMRUD
Arrive at Hillah—Sayyid Hassan—Hillah—Start for Birris Nimrud—Remarkable Appearance—We meet Russian Travellers—The Birris—Description of the Ruin—View from the Top—Benjamin of Tudela's Account—Theories about its Origin—Borsippa—Nebbi Ibrahim and Arab Traditions—Disappearance of my Umbrella —The Power of the British Name—Return to Hillah —Visitors—Yusuf's Horse Makes some Pressed Beef --Road to Musseyib—Owlad Muslim—Arrive at Musset' ib.
THE PILGRIM ROAD
Musseyib—The Pilgrim Traffic—A Storm in the Night—Meshed Husein—Kerbela Stones—Fanaticism—The Martyrdom of Husein—Corpse Caravans —Kerbela —We Visit a Nawab—Martyrdom from Mosquitos —An Awkward Incident—We part with our Host—Leave Kerbela—Musseyib again—A Hot Ride—Khan Iscanderieh—Reach Bagdad—Rumours of an Arab Revolt on the Tigris—The Barber of Bagdad—The Hunchback of El Busrah—Go on Board a Tigris Steamer.
BAGDAD TO BUSRAH
Steam Traffic on the Tigris—A River Steamer—Chaldàean Sailors — Itinerary — Leave Bagdad — Ctesiphoı _- Arab Tribes—Paucity of Traffic—Flooded-out Arabs —Amara—Sabæans-Deck Scenes—The Revolt of Sheikh Saud ibn Munshid—Ezra's Tomb—A ScareKornah—The Shat el Arab—The Port of Busrah—Visit the Town—Escape of Prisoners—Historical Notes—Health of Busrah.
THE PERSIAN GULF
Mohammerah — Native Craft — Fisheries — Shusteris—History—Fow—Crossing the Bar—The Persian Gulf —Piracy—Climate—Winds—Health — Bushire — A Persian Whiteley—Description of the Town—" Killi " —Reach Bahrein—Submarine Fresh Water—The Pearl Fishery.
THE PERSIAN GULF
Mountains round Lingah—Lingah—Water Supply—The Straits of Hormuz—Situation of Bunder Abbas—The Town—Tremendous Heat—The Island of Hormuz—Its History—Old Accounts—Beautiful Scenery Flying-fish and Sea-snakes—Turtles and Black-fish—Bombay—Leave for England—Wild Weather in the Red Sea.
Itinerary of the road between Scanderun and Bagdad.
Khans on the pilgrim road to Kerbela, and on the road to Hillah, with the distances from Bagdad in hours.
Abu Nawas, the jester of Harun al Rashid.
An Astrolabe purchased at Bagdad.
Chaotic weights and measures.
Balbi's journey from Bagdad to Busrah.
Hamilton's account of Busrah.
Romance of the Persian Gulf.
Bagdad and the Bridge of Boats, from the West Bank
Itinerant Musicians on road to Aleppo
Palms and Pyramids
Anazeh Camels at Meskineh
Anazeh Arabs on the March
Khan at Deir
Nahura at Anah
Mosque of Zacharias, Aleppo
Gateway of Citadel, Aleppo
Bagdad and the Bridge of Boats, from the West Bank
Khan Ez Zacl
On the Waters of Babylon
Persian Pilgrims at Musseyib
My Host and his Son
A Street in Bagdad
A Ballum of Busrah
A Tower of Silence, Bombay
Gateway of Citadel,
Corners and edges rubbed, small white paint on fore edge, book never read, pages still unopened. This copy comes without frontispiece and maps found in some copies as issued. In very good condition.