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tricts, each quarter of Babylon itself being provided with water in that manner. The numerous dry beds still to be seen in all directions, prove the extent to which the system was carried.

Nearly twenty-two miles below the point of derivation of the Kutha canal, as we are told by the same geographer, the Frat divided itself into two streams, the more southern of which passes beyond Cufa into the marshes of Roomyah. The other and larger branch flows opposite the Kasr ibn Hobeirah, and bears the name of the Nahr Soora.*

The former branch of the Euphrates here spoken of is, we believe, the same that now forms the lake called the Sea of Nejeff, and which sweeps round till it joins the marshes of Roomyah.

It is probable that hence was derived the great canal of Pallacopas, which appears to have been executed in the very early days of the Babylonian monarchy, and intended, perhaps, as much to promote agriculture by means of irrigation, as to drain a mass of waters injurious to health and improvement.

We learn from Arrian that much expense was incurred by the governors of Babylon in restraining an over-abundant flow through the Pallacopas into the fenny districts; and that, therefore, Alexander, willing to do the Assyrians a benefit, resolved to dam up that entrance from the Euphrates. He proposed that a cut should be made about thirty furlongs from the mouth of the canal, where the soil was rocky, being satisfied that much water would be there by saved, and its distribution better regulated.t

From the first part of this account we should be led to think that the ancient canal had its commencement, at least, in what Abulfeda terms the southern branch of the Euphrates, as through this the water reached the marshes. From the second it would appear as if Alexander had pursued his intention of effectually damming up the overflow of the river in the old bed of the canal, and made a fresh

Mr. Ainsworth (Researches, p. 171, 172) calls it Nahr Surah or Sares, and from thence deduces its identity with the Nahr Sares of Ptolemy; but we believe it was called Nahr Soora from the name of a town in its vicinity.

+ Arriani Historia, curâ Gronovii, Lugd. Bat., 1704, folio, lib. vii., p. 302.

opening at the distance of thirty furlongs in firmer ground. The circumstance of his sailing down the Euphrates to the mouth of the Pallacopas, and through that canal to the place where he built the town now called Meshed Ali, would lead to the supposition that the new cut must have been about the parallel of Cufa or Dewannieh. That the Pallacopas was continued to the sea, into which it emptied itself somewhere about Teredon, is certain, although its channel is now nearly obliterated; for both Colonel Chesney and Lieutenant Ormsby, in journeying westward from Bussora, found its bed between Zobeir and the Jibel Sanam, which is the site of ancient Teredon. The last named of these gentlemen found that it was sixty paces broad; and his guide told him that, in travelling along its channel all the way from Khor Abdullah (the supposed ancient mouth of the Euphrates) to Hillah, mounds, with the usual vestiges of old buildings, are frequently met with on its banks. In the days of Abulfeda, however, the Pallacopas was no longer in operation, and the waters seem to have escaped by their old vent into the marshes, the work of Alexander having probably given way. Of late, the higher portion of the Babylonian fens received a great augmentation from the damage done to the embankments of the river in the memorable inundation of 1830. For many years previous to that time, the Montefic Arabs had farmed the whole western side of the Euphrates from the Pacha of Bagdad at a certain sum, and upon condition of maintaining in good order the huds which prevented it from overflowing the country from Sook el Shiook to Hit. In that year these embankments were swept away, and have not since been replaced, so that the river, when in flood, has a free passage into the Bahr e Nejeff.

These were the principal canals derived from the Euphrates in this quarter. No doubt there were many others in the level districts of Mesopotamia, but they are less known; and it is highly probable that the alluvial territory between the Hye, the Tigris, and the Euphrates, was equally well supplied with such means of irrigation. In like manner, the districts about Bussora bear marks of having been anciently supplied with conduits, though most of the names are now lost.

The waters of the Tigris have also been made subservient to the purposes of agriculture by means of various ca

nals; and two of these merit especial mention. The first was the Nahrawan, the most magnificent, indeed, of all similar works achieved by the ancient kings of Babylon. Its sources were threefold. The first, issuing from the river at the point where it cuts the Hamrine hills, ran distant from the parent stream about six or seven miles towards the ancient town of Samarra, where it was joined by the second conduit. This last, leaving the Tigris at a place called Guntree Rissassee, fell into the other, which then received the name or Nahrawan, and the united current ran nearly south-southeast towards the Athem, absorbing first the superfluous waters of the Nahr But, then the Athem itself, next the Nahr Raathan, and, finally, a third cut from the river at Gaim. Hence it proceeded generally at the distance of from six to twelve miles from the course of the Tigris, as it flowed in those days, but approaching it at Bagdad; a little after which it crossed the Diala, exhausting its contents, which were raised to a proper level by a bund.

In like manner, this gigantic aqueduct stretched onward till, entering Kuzistan, it absorbed all the streams from the Lour and Buckharee Mountains, and at length joined the Kerkha, or, as some say, was lost in the marshes of that part of Susiana.

In its long course of nearly 400 miles, this canal, which equalled the Tigris in size, being from 250 to 400 feet broad, fertilized a vast district of country, sending off numerous branches on both sides, and one, in particular, to Jarjarya, not far from Koote ul Amara.

On its margin are found ruins of various buildings, and on either bank the sites of towns and cities, which once derived wealth from the commerce or agriculture it encouraged, and which, with it, have sunk into ruin. Much of the marsh now existing in the line of its course has been formed by the waters it formerly directed to useful purposes; and those of the Diala, in particular, have forced a passage to the Tigris below Bagdad, converting much land, once carefully cultivated, into a swampy waste.

Second to the Nahrawan, but also of great importance, is the Dijeil Canal, which issued from the right bank of the Tigris some miles below Samarra. It flows parallel to that river to within twenty-five miles of Bagdad, and even now fertilizes a large extent of territory, which, however, is at present in the hands of the Jerbah Arabs.

The following canals are still in operation, and exhibit a melancholy contrast with the magnificent catalogue of antiquity:

1. The Boogharaib, deriving its waters from the Euphrates below Felugia, joins the marshes of Bagdad.

2. The Massoodee, drawn from a swamp fed from the Euphrates, and falls into the Tigris two hours below the former.

3. The Daoodee (cut by Daood Pacha), which connects the two just mentioned.

4. The Rithwannieh issues from the Euphrates southwest from Bagdad, and joins the Tigris below the Massoo dee.

5. The Mahmoodee, which has its supplies from the Euphrates, flows towards Seleucia, but is exhausted in the process of irrigation.

There are a few smaller cuts between these last and the town of Hillah, but they water comparatively little ground. 6. The Khalis (on the Assyrian side of the Tigris), supplied by the Diala, runs nearly seventy miles with a winding course towards the southwest, that brings it to within twenty miles of Bagdad.

7. The Khoraisan, which flows from the opposite side of the same river, has nearly an equal course in a southeasterly direction.

With the exception of the last two, these canals are works of very inferior extent and importance to the ancient ones.

8. The Dijeil, already described, is ancient, but now almost entirely filled up.

Besides these, there are several near Bussora, such as the Nahr Kerbela leading to that place, and the Nejeff constructed by Nadir Shah, of the present state of which we are ignorant. Mr. Ainsworth mentions a system of irrigating ducts near Gerah, as the Mejilah, the Jemilah, the Antar, the Jamidah, and others; and there are similar works opposite Semava, including the extensive line of the Shatrah Canal, which gives numerous offsets to the Euphrates, and unites with the Hye near its mouth. With the exception of the irrigation accomplished by means of the water-wheel on the banks of the rivers, it is from the

* Researches, p. 127.

operation of these cuts that the whole agricultural produce of the present Babylonia is still raised, the food of the inhabitants provided, and the revenue furnished.

The Marshes of that district must here also claim a few words. The first to be noticed is the great tract already alluded to which lies near Hillah, and is seen stretching out like a vast sea.

These swamps are fed by the Euphrates at the season of its great rise, the embankments which restrained its waters having been destroyed. They communicate with the Roomyah and Lemlum Marshes, through which the river winds, but probably also send a considerable portion of their fluid down the ancient Pallacopas, and to an unknown distance into the Arabian desert.

The Lemlum themselves are the next in succession southward, though connected with the former, and constituting part of the Paludes Babylonia, in which many of the galleys of Alexander lost their way when they accompanied him on his voyage. These marshes, according to Colonel Chesney, occupy a space of sixty miles in breadth, and rather more in length. A considerable portion of them, however, is cultivated by Khezail Arabs.

Mr. Ainsworth says that there is but a narrow band of soil between them and the Tigris; but in this he is mistaken, as actual observation has proved that they extend rather towards the Hye than to that river.

The next fenny tract is the one that surrounds the ruins of Workha, considered by Mr. Ainsworth and Colonel Taylor to be the district of Chaldea proper; and which, doubtless, is connected with the marshes of Lemlum. Of its extent there exists no accurate information, as the nature of the country renders travelling there extremely difficult.

Communicating with this watery land by creeks or ditches, if not by a continuity of swampy ground, is the valley of the Boo je Heirat and Shut el Hye. This valley appears once to have been the bed of the Tigris itself, for Abulfeda distinctly says that Waasut was intersected by the Digleh, which was spanned by a bridge of boats. This city, the ancient Cascara, and the seat of one of the bishops of early Christianity, was once populous, rich, well cultivated, and flourishing. The industry of the inhabitants restrained within proper embankments the over

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