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Gold, silver, marble, were some of the precious mineral productions of this country; but the present occupiers pay little attention to such subjects : neither have travellers been able to afford much information respecting them, from the extreme difficulties experienced in visiting even the most civilized districts.
The gulf, separating Greece from Turkey in Asia, called the Archipelago, (an absurd corruption of the Italian terms Egio Pelago, that is, the Ægæan Sea,) is studded with isles of various sizes, but renowned in ancient fable and history : and on the western shores of Greece lie Zante, formerly Zacynthus, Cefalonia, formerly Cephalenia, and Corfu, the ancient Corcyra, producing excellent wine, oil, and fruits ; and from Zante we draw the small grapes we call curiants.
These three islands, with some others of less note, once belonging to Venice, were, on the fall of that state, erected by French influence into a separate republic.
On the eastern shore of the Adriatic is seated the active port of Ragusa, the head of a small independent territory inclosed by Turkey: the inhabitants are Christians, and the language and manners those of their opposite neighbours in
That part of Dalmatia subject to Venice, was lately transferred to Austria : the principal towns are Zara, anciently Jader, a fortress and sea-port, and Spalatro, remarkable for the vast remains of the magnificent palace, erected by Dioclesian, in the beginning of the fourth century ; displayed to the world by the personal researches, and the splendid publication of the late eminent architect Robert Adam,
The Turks are strenuous professors of the religion of Mabomet : but of their European subjects it has been computed that two-thirds are Christians of the Greek church, with a portion of Armenians and Jews. The Emperor, Sultan or Grand Signoris, agreeably to the
import of the Arabic term Sultan, an absolute and despotic prince, and limited in his government only by the doctrines and laws of Mahomet, from whom he claims his originał descent.
This grand portion of theold continent is situated between the meridian of the mouth of the Hellespont on the Archipelago, in east longitude 26°, and that of the east cape on the strait separating Asia from America, in east longitude 190° or west longitude 170°. The most southerly point is the promontory of Malacca, in about north fatitude 2°, and the most northerly is cape Taimura or Vostochnoi, in north latitude 77o. This wide extended quarter of the globe, therefore, comprehends every degree of temperature, and every varicty of production, animal, vegetable, and mineral.
TURKEY IN ASIA. This part of the Turkish empire is situated on the south of the Euxine, on the east of the Archipelago on the north and east of the Mediterranean, and on the west of Persia. The extent is computed to be about 470,000 square miles; but from the number of sandy and mountainous deserts within its bounds, the supposed population of ten millions will give only 22 persons
for each mile.
The most remarkable places in these countries are Aleppo, containing 250,000 inhabitants; Damascus, on the borders of the Great Desert, about 160,000; Smyrna, a noted port on the Archipelago, 120,000; Bassora or Basra, on the united river formed by the Euphrates and the Tigris, contains 50,000 ; and Jerusalem, once so justly venerable on many accounts, is now become a place of little consideration, subsisting chiefly by the interesting remains of its former importance.
The greater part of this country is covered with mountains, but the climate is genial, and the soil in general not unfruitful: so different however are the effects of the present and the former systems of government, that it is difficult to reconcile the history of its ancient with that of its present situation.
The lofty range of mountains, extending from the Euxine to the Caspian Sea, known to the ancients by the name of Caucasus; Mount Taurus, stretching from west to east the whole length of the country; and the chains of Lebanon or Libanus, and Antilibanus, running from north to south parallel to the shores of the Mediterranean, are the most remarkable eminences. The great rivers Euphrates and Tigris wash the eastern borders; and the celebrated Jordan, bounding Judæa on the east, is lost in the singular lake Asphaltites or the Dead Sea.
In the Archipelago and the Mediterranean, are many islands belonging to Asiatic Turkey, of which the chief are Mytilene, formerly Lesbos, Scio or Chios, noted for its wine, and Rhodes, once a powerful commercial republic. The great island of Crete, now called Candia, from the old capital, ought from its situation to be considered as belonging to Europe ; it is in length 180 miles, but the general breadth is small : a chain of lofty mountains, the ancient Ida, where Jupiter was educated, occupies the centre of the island, but the sloping shores are fertile, and, under proper management, would be richly productive. Cyprus, lying on the Syrian coast, and in extent 160 miles by 70 where wi. dest, enjoys a fruitful soil and delicious climate : such however is the state to which, by a tyrannical government it is now reduced, that the population is not estimated to exceed 50,000 souls; and although Cyprus wine still maintain its reputation at Venice, and in other parts bordering on the Mediterranean, the other productions, and even the air