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land. Its banks, like those of the Euphrates, are thickly sprinkled with heaps and mounds, the vestiges of former habitations, with Arab tents or huts, and some considerable villages, among which the chief is Koote ul Amara, giving its name to the river as far as Korna. At this latter place the two great streams unite, forming, as has been seen, the Shut el Arab, though Abulfeda calls it still the Digleh or Tigris all the way to the sea.

Among the rivers of importance which have their rise in Mesopotamia are the Khabour (ancient Chaboras), and the Hermas or Huali, which unite before they fall into the Euphrates at Karkisia. Of these, the first has its source partly in the springs of Ras ul Ain, and partly at a greater distance in the northwest; the second originates in Mount Masius, and flows by Nisibin and Sinjar to lose itself in the other.

The greater Zab is formed of many streams which flow from the Kurdish Mountains. It is joined about twentyfive miles from its confluence with the Tigris by the Gomel, the ancient Bumadus, which has its rise north of Accra. The lesser Zab, too, derives its waters from various sources. One large branch from Lahijan in Kurdistan, called the Ak-su, runs by Sardasht, and, joined by another stream from the vicinity of Banna, unites with that which passes through the Keuy Sanjiak valley, above Altun Kupri. The rest, though considerable, are less known.

The Diala issues from the Koh Saugur, between Hamadan and Kermanshah, from whence, bursting through a pass of the Shahu Mountains, and receiving many tributaries in its course, it forces its way through the remarkable defile of Darnah, where there are still the ruins of a town and castle. From thence, receiving an accession at Gundar, it enters the singular plain of Semiram by a tremendous gorge, and assumes a southwesterly course until it unites with the Hulwan River near Khanekin. Previous to this it is called the Shirwan, from an ancient city of that name, past the ruins of which it flows; but after its junction it assumes the appellation of the Diala, which it retains till it falls into the Tigris a little below Bagdad.

Having thus described the principal rivers of these countries, it will be proper also to give some idea of the system of artificial irrigation which was so essential to the prosperity of the alluvial districts.

The fertility of Babylonia has been the theme of all ancient writers. Herodotus remarks that this province and the rest of Assyria were by Darius constituted the ninth satrapy of his empire, and that it contributed a full third part of the revenues of the state. This great productiveness did not arise from the soil in its natural state, for at this day it produces little besides a scanty sprinkling of tamarisks, thorns, or salsugineous plants. It was effected by the wisdom of a judicious monarch, who, aiding the efforts of an industrious people, supplied the means of irrigation from the periodical floods of the Euphrates and Tigris. The same historian, Diodorus, and others, inform us of great hydraulic operations being conducted by several sovereigns of Babylon; and of these the magnificent system of canals by which the flat surface of the land was divided into sections, all within reach of the water, was, no doubt, the most important. The traveller, in passing over the face of the country, now almost a desert, meets everywhere with vestiges which prove how completely traversed it once was by such arteries of fructification. It is remarkable, too, that all these canals, instead of having been sunk in the earth, like those of the present day, were entirely constructed on the surface; a fact which proves not only the superior skill of the engineers of antiquity, but the infinitely greater attention to agriculture paid in those times by farmers or peasantry. By what means the water was raised to fill these conduits, does not in every case appear; whether by dikes thrown across the river, or by depressing its bed at the point of derivation. The former expedient was certainly adopted in many instances on the Athem, on the Diala, on the Tigris above Samarra, and on the Euphrates near Hit. But it must be recollected that the country contiguous to both rivers, and the Euphrates in particular, was protected by embankments from the periodical rise of their streams, a measure which, by confining the water, raised it so as to fill these canals. In this manner they served the double purpose of vents for drawing off the dangerous superabundance of the fluid, and collecting it for the beneficial purpose of irrigation.

The principal canals mentioned by ancient geographers are the Nahr-raga, the Nahr Sares, the Fluvius Regius, the Kutha, and the Pallacopas. The first of these, which, according to Pliny, has its origin at Sippara or Hippara,

appears to occupy the place of the Nahr Isa, which, derived from the Euphrates at Dehmah near Anbar, joined the Tigris in the western part of that city.

The Nahr Sares of Ptolemy is by D'Anville considered as identical with the Nahr Sarsar of Abulfeda, who describes it as rising below the former, as passing through the level country between Bagdad and Cufa, and joining the Tigris between Bagdad and Madayn. Mr. Ainsworth says "this corresponds to the present Zimberaniyah," and remarks that Ammianus Marcellinus notices a canal between Macepracta and Perisabor on the Nahr Malikah, which must be the Sarsar.*

The Fluvius Regius of Ptolemy is undoubtedly the Nahr Malikah of the Arabian geographers, which, according to Ammianus, was drawn from Perisaboras on the Euphrates, and is said by Abulfeda to have joined the Tigris below Madayn. It was one of the most ancient, as well as most important of these works in Babylonia, being attributed by tradition to Cush, and to Nimrod king of Babel; while Abydenus, with more probability, attributes it to Nebuchadnezzar.

We are told that, about seven miles below the Nahr Malikah, a second canal was derived from the Euphrates, which traversed the country nearly parallel with the others, and, like them, emptied itself into the Tigris. In its course it passed the old city of Kutha, supposed to have derived its name from Cush, the father of Nimrod, whose posterity possessed the land.t

These are the four canals supposed to have been passed by the army of Cyrus the younger, after the battle of Cunaxa, on their way to Sittace; and, from the position of these works, a good idea may be obtained of the method of irrigation in those days. The country was intersected by them at intervals of six or eight miles, and could thus be watered throughout its whole extent by smaller ones derived from the principal conduits.

But, besides these larger channels, there were many of inferior size, constructed to supply particular towns and dis

* Researches in Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldea, by William Ainsworth, F.G.S., &c., 8vo, London, 1838, p. 163-165.

Mr. Ainsworth (Researches, p. 166) thinks that this town of Kutha may be represented by the ruins and mounds of the Towebah, which by some are considered as the northern quarter of ancient Babylon.

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