EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST

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Norway, Lapland & Northeast Passage

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Italy

[202] ‘Americae Retectio’: 1594
Below the globe is shown the north-east coast of Italy and the city of Florence to the right. Above it is revealed is the Western Hemisphere, with Flora for Florence on one side and Janus for Genoa on the other, with the medallion portraits of both Columbus and Vespucci, who, at the time, were believed to be the founding fathers of the discovery of America. (This engraving is based on one issued nine years earlier by Stradanus and Collaert.): £165

[203] Portrait of the great Genoese explorer : 1595
‘ Gentle reader …’ wrote de Bry: ‘the king and queen of Spain commissioned a leading artist of the day to paint a portrait of Columbus so there would be some memory of him if he failed to return. I recently obtained the original of this portrait and, so that you could see it, I have had it etched in bronze by my son and offer it to you now.’ (There still exist about 80 early portraits of Columbus but all these are thought to have been painted posthumously. If, therefore, de Bry’s claim is true, this engraving, beautifully decorated within a flora and fauna, perhaps resembled the great explorer more closely than any other): £415

Spain

[204] Columbus’s Egg: 1594
Columbus is seen here in the centre, seated among his Spanish companions. He asked who could make an egg stand on end so, after they all had tried and agreed it was impossible, he proceed to flatten the end by lightly tapping it on his plate before standing it upright. This simple trick originally may have been attributed to Brunelleschi who, by the same token, was believed to have used it to demonstrate that the great dome of Florence Cathedral, which he himself designed, was not a physical impossibility: £75

[205] Columbus departs on his first voyage: 1594
On August 3, 1492 Columbus set sail from Huelva in southern Spain, in search of a route to the Indies by sailing west. By sunrise his three heavily laden little ships had already crossed the harbour bar and were on their way to changing the course of history. (Although Columbus is seen here waving good-by to Ferdinand and Isabella, the king and queen of Spain, they were not actually present at his departure.): £225

[206] Pizarro is granted permission to conquer Peru: 1596-7
Pizarro returned to Spain in 1528 and appealed to the king to grant him permission to conquer Peru. With him, he brought gold and silver as evidence of its potential wealth. On 26 July 1529, a royal agreement was signed in which Pizarro was made governor of all the territory, up to 200 leagues south of Guayaquil. Almagro was made commander of Tumbes, while the priest, de Luque, was made Bishop of Tumbez. This engraving shows Pizarro, appealing to the dignitaries in the royal court and symbolically, in the background, the gold that was plundered, is shown being loaded aboard ship: £45

[207]
Departure from Sanlúcar: 1594
This illustrates the departure for the New World of Girolamo Benzoni in 1541, from the port of Sanlúcar in southern Spain. He spent fourteen years travelling in the West Indies, Central and South America and, after his return in 1565, he published his experiences in ‘La Historia del Mondo Nuevo’. The crude woodcut descriptions, together with the text in that book formed the basis for several of de Bry’s copperplate illustrations. The harbour scene here may not be accurate but represents Benzoni’s departure, which was typical of many Europeans’ departures for the New World in the sixteenth century: $75

Portugal

[208] Departure of Hans Staden from Lisbon: 1592-3
This harbour scene illustrates the departure of Hans Staden from Lisbon in 1547 when he set sail aboard a ship bound for Brazil, under the command of Captain Pintado. After strange adventures in Amazonia, he miraculously escaped death and returned to Europe where, in 1557 he published his horrifying experiences among the Tupinamba Indians, under the title ‘Warhaftig historia …’. (De Bry used his descriptions to illustrate Staden’s experiences in Brazil.): £45

France

[209] John Smith was caught by the French: 1619 (rare)
In 1615, during one of John Smith’s voyages across the Atlantic, he was caught by some French pirates. While at sea in captivity he was forced to suffer great hardships but, one night during a storm in the Bay of Biscay when the crew were forced below deck, he managed to escape in a rowing boat. All night he was tossed about by the waves with only a pike to help him steer. The small boat was eventually driven ashore on the island of Charante where some bird-catchers found him almost dead from cold and hunger. He gave them the boat in exchange for help in eventually reaching La Rochelle: £155

Britain

[210] L’Hermite’s fleet moors in the Solent for repairs 1630-4 (rare)
In March 1623, a heavily armed fleet of 11 ships, under the command of Jacob l’Hermite, sailed from Holland with the ambitious hope of ‘destroying the Spanish in America’. By the time they reached the English Channel, one of the ships began leaking. Here, the admiral is seen coming ashore for repairs, at Cowes on the Isle of Wight and being greeted by the governor of the castle there. Soon after setting sail again though, they were becalmed and had to anchor for a while off the Needles: £110

Please note: the following items below ([211] to [214]) where given to de Bry by John White, who said the ancient inhabitants of Britain were not unlike the ones he had painted of the inhabitants of Virginia and which de Bry also illustrated (see [335 ]to [355] under: Virginia).

[211] An accurate picture of a woman Pict: 1590
The women let their hair grow long and loose, so it blew about. On their shoulders they painted griffon heads, on their breasts crescent-moons and stars, and on their stomach a sun with radiating sunbeams. The remainder of their bodies were painted with flowers and whatever else they fancied. About their neck they wore a ring, like the men did and around their waist they had a girdle, from which a sword hung. In one hand they carried a pick or lance and in the other two spears: £155

[212] An accurate picture of a daughter of a Pict: 1590
The young daughters of the picts also let their hair grow long and loose and painted their bodies all over with flowers so beautifully that they were worthy of great admiration. They also carried weapons just as the other women did: £155

[213] An accurate picture of a male neighbour of a Pict: 1590
The male neighbours of the Picts wore cloth cassocks or jerkins. They grew their hair and moustaches long but shaved their chins. Around their waists they had girdles from which hung shields and in their hands they carried picks or lances which had a ball at one end: £155

[214] An accurate picture of a female neighbour of the Picts: 1590
These women wore a loose skirt and bodice laced beneath their breasts. They armed themselves with the same weapons as the men did and were also able to fight just as well as them: £155

Netherlands

[215] Medallion Portrait of Jan Huygehen van Linschoten: 1598-9
From Holland, Jan van Linschoten sailed to Goa in India in 1583 and went on to explore the Malabar and Coromandel coastal regions, eventually returning home by way of Terceira in the Azores, where he stayed for three years. Throughout this period he collected much data from other Dutch sailors and gunners who had served with the Portuguese in the East: £45

[216] Second title page to parts of Oriental India: 1598-9
The Dutchman, Jan van Linschoten who, within the space of thirteen years, travelled to and learnt about the inhabitants living eastwards of Africa, covering the countries of India, China and adjacent islands. One his return, he described their customs, clothing, religions and other ways of living, together with some Portuguerse who settled among these folk. Having experienced all these things personally, he wrote about them in his journal, which was translated into German and Latin and, before being published in 1596, was decorated with beautiful copper engravings by Theodore’s two sons: Hans Dieterich and Hans Israel de Bry: £95

[217] Third Title Page to voyages to Java and Sumatra : 1599-1601
This describes other voyages of the Dutchman, Jan Huygens van Linschoten, who was one of the first to sail to these parts and record the customs, lives and superstitions of the indigenous peoples. It also tells of the three Dutch voyages of Wilem Barentz, via the ‘Midnight’, or ‘Polar Sea’, in search of a North-east passage to the East: £110 (Repeat of [225] below.)

[218] The introduction to Schouten van Hoorn’s voyage: 1619-20

This shows the honoured place Schouten was given next to Magellan, among the other navigators to South America. These include Drake, Noort, Cavendish and Spilbergen, who are also shown. Schouten’s medallion portrait, seen here next to Magellan’s, is for his pioneering discovery of a way to the East round Cape Horn, named after the little town of Hoorn, from which he came. The double-hemisphere world map marks his round-the-world track, from Holland with le Maire in 1615. (His discovery was kept secret, by prohibiting the publication of his voyage until mid 1618. This, therefore, must be one of the earliest maps ever to show his important discovery.): £415

[219] Introduction to Oliver van Noort’s voyage: 1602
Noort was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the globe. He left Rotterdam in Holland on 13th September 1598 (de Bry says July) in command of his four ships, following the coast of Africa southwards, he then crossed the Atlantic to Brazil, at the equator. From there, the fleet followed the coast south, reaching the Magellan straits in November. By February of the following year they had passed into the Pacific and were eastbound for Indonesia, arriving home again on 26th August 1601. To the left of the medallion portrait of van Noort is a native of Capul and to the right, a native of the Magellan Straits: £45

[220] Spilbergen’s voyage round the world: 1620
This introduces Spilbergen’s voyage. On 8th August 1614, he set out from Holland in command of six ships for their memorable round-the-world voyage. Neptune is shown here supporting Spilbergen’s ship and in the background is a sea battle between the Dutch and the Spanish, possibly off Lima (see [498] under Peru) but typical of many they engaged in during their three-year voyage: £65

[221] An introduction to the Dutch voyage of 1598: 1601-2
This title page shows the five ships, under the command of Simon de Cordes that set off from Rotterdam in June 1598, with the aim of finding a new route to the Moluccas. They entered the Straits of Magellan in April of the following year but the ships became separated in a storm and after four months they returned home: £45

[222] Appendix to the eighth part of the India Voyages: 1606 (rare)
This introduces the four-year voyage of Cornelis Nicolas, under Admiral Jacob van Neck, also the two-year voyage of Cornelis van der Ven and the three-year voyage of Admiral Stephani van der Hagen. There is also a short report of several attacks against the Portuguese ships and the recent conquest and occupation of the Portuguese fortress at Annabon and Tidor: £155

[223] Spilbergen fleet departs from Vere in Zealand: 1605-6
This is a true likeness of the town of Vere in Zealand. The port and harbour of ships belonged to Prince Maurice of Nassau, who referred to himself as Margrave. The three ships shown here were loaded with provisions by Simon Pardvin, the retired major of the town of Mittelburg and treasurer of Zealand, also by tradesmen, Balthasas Moucheron and Peter van Hecken. The three ships were called the ‘Sheep’, the ‘Ram’ and the ‘Lamb’ and their admiral was named Jörg van Spilbergen, who made several voyages from this place: £95

Norway, Lapland and Northeast Passage

[225] Third Title Page to de Bry’s ‘Petits Voyages’ 1599-1601
This describes the voyages of the Dutchman, Jan van Linschoten, who sailed with the Portuguese to Java and Sumatra and records the customs, lives and superstitions of the indigenous peoples. It also tells of the three Dutch voyages of Wilem Barentz, via the ‘Midnight’, or ‘Polar Sea’, in search of a Northeast Passage to India: £110 (Repeat of [217] above.)

[226] A Map of ‘Nova Zembla’: 1599-1601
This highly decorative little map shows Barents’ track in search of a Northeast Passage - from Lapland to the north of Novaya Zemblya, where his ship was trapped in the ice and his crew had to survive the winter. The following engravings: [227] to [248], illustrate some of the difficulties encountered on this pioneering journey. The sea area is decorated with two ornate compass roses, sailing ships and many creatures, such as seals, sea lions and whales. The title appears at top left and scalebar, with dividers at lower right, both of which are contained within ornate strap work cartouches. This map appears to derive much of its data from one engraved by Gerad Veer, published in Amsterdam the previous year: £475

[227]
The Dutch encounter a bear in the Polar Sea: 1599-1601
In 1596, while Willem Barents was searching for a Northeast Passage, some of his crew saw and shot a polar bear near Bernfort, to the north of Novaya Zemblya. Then they gave chase but it took to the water and tried to get into their rowing boat instead. It was only the noose of a rope thrown over its neck, which had caught on the rudder that prevented the beast from getting into their boat and attacking them: £65

[228] A life-like illustration of the fabled walruses: 1599-1601

While anchored off Orange Island to the north of Novaya Zemblya, they saw about two-hundred walruses sunning themselves on the beach. They were miraculous, seal-like creatures with rough hair, bigger than horses, and two teeth, half a yard long, protruding from their mouths. They used them to take revenge on anything that annoyed them. The sailors tried to harvest some of their tusks but found them impossible to kill: £65

[229] A map of the Straits of Nassau: 1599-1601
This map shows the sea-route or passage, with anchorages and soundings, south of Novaya Zemblya, into the Kara Sea. Here, as shown, about fifty-four men disembarked at Traen Bay, in the hope of meeting others but all they found were foot-prints and several sledges, loaded with furs of foxes, reindeer, bears and other animals. There was also fish-lard and other goods but not a person in sight, so they eventually returned to their ships: £85

[230] How a monster bear attacked two of their company: 1599-1601
After landing on an island in the Kara Sea, which they called ‘Ständen’, as shown in the previous illustration, they discovered there, certain small stones not unlike diamonds. While searching for these stones, one of the men was attacked from behind by a bear. Twenty of the others immediately ran to help him but it was too late, so they killed the bear and peeled off its skin, which they eventually took back with them to Amsterdam: £65

[231] The wonderful vision they saw in the sky: 1599-1601
During their third sea-voyage to the north, they noticed a miraculous sky. As shown in the illustration, this heavenly vision consisted of three suns and various rainbows. Some time later they came across a monstrous bear on the ice-flows so, intending to catch it, they took to their boats in pursuit and threw a rope around its neck. Although they attacked it with axes, one of which became embedded in its back, it turned on them, broke their oars and struck the boat so hard it nearly capsized: £75

[232] An exact depiction of wild Eskimos: 1599-1601
They discovered some people called Samvites, at a place known as Waygat to the south of Novaya Zemblya. At first they thought these people must be Savages but when they spoke with them, they turned out to be worthy folk of a friendly disposition. They were small in build, with wide, flat faces and small eyes. Also their knees were more prominent than usual. They grew their hair long and tied it at the back in plaits. They were dressed from head to foot in furs and used pairs of reindeer to draw their sledges, which proved to be faster than horses: £75

[233] How their ship became trapped in the ice: 1599-1601
While sailing through those northern seas, they were confronted by so much ice that they considered returning to Holland. But soon they were trapped and could not move either backwards or forwards. So the men climbed down to try to hack away the ice but it split in two and three of them were nearly drowned. The ice-flow that they were on eventually drifted back to the ship and with help from the others they were able to scramble aboard: £65

[234] An encounter with two bears: 1599-1601

No sooner had they placed a barrel of salted meat on the ice beside the ship, intending to water it down, two bears arrived to help themselves. They shot one through the head and it fell to the ground but the other - seeing that its mate was dead, hesitated a little and then ran off. Soon it returned however and came right up to the ship where they confronted it with halberds and muskets. It reared itself up to its full height and, although it was shot, it simply turned and fled: £65

[235] How our ship became ice-bound: 1599-1601
They desperately hoped the ice that held their ship would eventually break apart and leave an open passage to let them through, but the longer they waited the more they became entrapped. Then, with great power and much noise, the ice began to lift their ship four or five feet above the water. With increasing dismay they saw that the ice would destroy it before their very eyes, so they hoisted their flags as a danger signal to their companions who had gone ahead. Having filled their boats with many barrels of provisions they took to the ice themselves in the hope that their provisions would keep them from starvation: £65

[236] How we constructed our home for the winter: 1599-1601
Realising there was no way of escaping the ice until the following summer they set about finding a suitable place on an island to build a house. God had been good to them, for they eventually found a place where whole trees had been washed up onto the shore, and these gave them enough timber, not only to construct their dwelling for the winter, but they also provided firewood to keep them warm. However, it became so bitterly cold that they could hardly work at all and if they held a nail in their mouths for a moment, the skin from their lips would come away when they tried to remove it: £65

[237]
While collecting supplies from the ship: 1599-1601
Having almost finished building their house for the winter, some of the men took sledges to to collect supplies from their ship that had been stranded on the ice. On the way they were confronted by three bears, so they quickly abandoned the sledge and sought refuge in the ship. On the way, one of the men fell through a hole in the ice but luckily the bears chased the others to the ship, where they were driven away with clubs and halberds: £65

[238] How they spent the winter indoors: 1599-1601
The house in which they were obliged to spend the winter had a fire in the centre of the room. Directly above it, in the centre of the ceiling, was an opening in the form of a chimney. Their beds were formed from wooden benches, partitioned off, running along the sides of the walls. To one side of the room stood a large barrel-like container that served as a sauna in which they took baths whenever they wanted them. Not far from this stood a clock, which failed to chime because of the bitter cold. Instead, they had to use an hourglass. The sand ran through it once every twelve hours but they had to watch it carefully as there was no natural light. They hardly knew day from night, so they had a bright lamp burning perpetually and they kept themselves occupied with singing, reading and other activities: £95

[239] Hunting during the winter: 1599-1601

During the winter they sometimes went out to check the traps left around the house in order to catch foxes. Once, while freeing a trap from the ice, they spied a large bear creeping towards them. One of the men fired at the bear and the shot passed straight through its heart. It staggered back thirty paces before falling to the ground. Then it was shot twice more before they set about skinning it. Its skin measured nine paces in length and seven across and they obtained one hundred pounds of lard from the bear, which proved to be very useful fuel for burning: £65

[240]
After the winter was over: 1599-1601

During the winter it was not possible to venture out far. In the month of May they went to see if the ice around the coast of their miserable island had melted. They found their boats were no longer sea-worthy, so they were advised to repair and renovate them. While busy working on them they were constantly pestered by bears and the only way to get rid of them was by musket-fire: £65

[241] How they dragged boats and equipment to the sea: 1599-1601

On completing the repairs of their boats they began to drag them towards the seashore. The ground on the way was so uneven with the snow and ice that they had built up during the winter that they had to cut it smooth with their pickaxes and shovels. This work, which was extremely exhausting, was made all the harder by interference from bears: £65

[242] They begin their return voyage: 1599-1601
After many difficulties they eventually cut a smooth pathway to the sea. Thus, they were able to drag their provisions and their two boats down to the water’s edge, for launching. Now being the right time of the year and, under the good leadership of Willem Barents and Nichol Andreassen, the men finally departed that desolate and inhospitable island. They thanked Almighty God that at last they could begin their long voyage back to their native land: £65

[243]
How they nearly perished in the ice flow: 1599-1601
They had travelled for only three days when the ice became such a hazard for their boats that they were obliged to jump out onto the ice themselves. By jumping from ice-flow to ice-flow they were able to drag their boats through with ropes, until they eventually found solid ice. Two of their crew were injured and their boats became too damaged, so they laid them out on the ice while they repaired them. With God’s grace, they were eventually able to set off again: £65

[244] Further dangers on the ice with bears: : 1599-1601
After being compelled to land on solid ice once more, they placed the sails over the boats in a tent-like fashion. Then, while one man stood guard, while the others rested. At about midnight three bears appeared and as soon as they heard the guard’s warning, the others were ready with their muskets. They shot one bear down and the other two fled, but soon returned to feed off their dead companion-bear. Again they fired to drive the bears off: £65

[245] Further dangers from walruses: : 1599-1601
On passing Admiralty Island, on the west coast of Novaya Zemblya, they came across an ice pack with about two hundred walruses resting on it. They sailed closer in a most foolhardy manner and the walruses turned on them and tried to attack the boat with their great tusks. With a terrific snorting and roaring, they acted as though they wanted to swallow the men whole. With the help of a brisk wind and God’s mercy, they were able to escape with their lives and continue on their way: £65

[246] They encounter two Russian vessels: 1599-1601
After a long time at sea they spied two boats moored by the shore and took a chance to investigate. On landing nearby they became fearful when they spied about thirty Russians. As the visitors approached, however, the Russians received them kindly. Then they indicated to the Russians that they were suffering from scurvy by pointing to their mouths, but the Russians thought they must be hungry instead and gave them a dried fowl and a large loaf, weighing about eight pounds. After thanking the Russians heartily, they gave them some of their ship’s biscuits and bread in return. The next day they bade them farewell and left: £65

[247] How their two boats became separated: 1599-1601
While sailing south they encountered a storm in the middle of the night and were forced to lower their sail to half-mast. At first light they realised they had become separated from their companions, who had few provisions in the other boat, and were worried that they might perish in the storm. Later they met a ship with Russians aboard, from whom they were able to buy much needed provisions. Moreover, they were greatly relieved to learn from the Russians that their companions in the other boat had also bought provisions from them: £65

[248] How they crossed the Polar Sea to Lapland: 1599-1601
After crossing the Polar Sea, they arrived in Lapland, where they encountered heavy rains. Being so unexpected, they entered a river and sheltered behind a cliff but encountered there a great Russian ship and several small houses. There were thirteen Russian men living there in poverty, who went out fishing every day. They lived off fish and bread made from dried fishmeal and kept three women with children and two Laplanders, who they treated badly by feeding them only on fish-heads and tails. This picture illustrates the clothing they all wore and how they carried their children. The story ends happily though because it was here that they again met up with their lost companions: £110

[249] A short voyage in search of a Northeast passage: 1613 (rare)
This describes, among other voyages, the countries of the ‘Samoeds’ and ‘Tingoes’ in the land of the Tartars during the crossing at Weigates, recently discovered by the Moscovites. The central title panel is surrounded by engravings, of Eskimos, a full-length portrait of Henry Hudson, a sledge, drawn by reindeer, a polar bear, a walrus, along with other Arctic scenes: £110

[250]* A map of the island of ‘Wardhusium’ in Lapland: 1613 (rare)

Here, the settlement on this island is shown with individual buildings, including a church and nearby, a fort. There are sailing ships and boats in the sea area and a compass rose, showing north to the left. (13cm x 27cm): £225

[251]* An island in Lapland called ‘Rilduin’: 1613 (rare)

This shows the layout of the island of Rilduin, along with its important town and harbour in Lapland. It was discovered by the Dutch, under the guidance of Jan van Linschoten in 1594. ‘A’ is the east side of the island, ‘B’ the west side, ‘C’ is a canal, two miles long and half a mile wide, and ‘D’ is the harbour in latitude 69° 40' north and its depth is 14 to 15 fathoms. The plate includes two bird’s-eye views of the island showing the layout of an Eskimo village, complete with igloos, kayaks, Eskimos and so on. The Dutch fleet is shown here moored in the harbour. (20cm x 18cm): £275

[252] A sledge journey to the Samojed Gods: 1613 (rare)
The ‘Samojed’ people are a primitive folk, living on the Obi River. Having neither bread, nor corn, they sustain themselves on wild animals. They shoot very well, making their bows and arrows out of tough pliable wood. Their arrows are tipped with fish-bone and sharpened by flint stones. They also use fishbone for needles and make their clothing from animal skins, wearing the fur outside the skin in the summer but turning it inwards for the winter and they cover their houses with deerskin. When these people travel, they use a special kind of sledge, pulled by reindeer that look like our stags. They worship strange gods, made of wood placed in the ground, some of which are decorated with several faces. Sometimes there are deer antlers placed in the ground nearby and they pray or make strange offering to them: £175

Middle East

[253] A Portuguese armada is destroyed by the Turks: 1599
When the viceroy of Goa sent a Portuguese armada to attack some Turkish pirates, his fleet was defeated and the ships scattered on the high seas. Another armada was subsequently sent out to take revenge on the Turks. After sailing into the Red Sea, the Portuguese anchored near a place called Nicolu and went ashore but they were ambushed by the Turks, who attacked them on horseback and killed about five hundred of them. Only about fifty Portuguese managed to escape the slaughter and get back to their ships alive: £65

[254] Hans Staden reaches Morocco: 1592-3

This stylised engraving shows Captain Pintado’s ship, which had Hans Staden aboard, landed at Cape de Gel (Asilah) on the north coast of Africa. There they attacked and captured a cargo ship, whose crew escaped in small boats. They loaded its booty of sugar, almonds, dates and rubber aboard and sailed off to Madeira where news of the captured cargo was conveyed to the king of Lisbon: £45

[255] The Siagga tribe, who live on the first lake of the Nile: 1597-8
The natives who live round the shores of this lake are cannibalistic; they go completely naked and fill one with horror. They are very tall and black and have the reputation of being the most murderous robbers. Their weapons are clubs, arrows, daggers or spears and they carry large shields, behind which they are able to protect themselves. They slit open their cheeks and lips; roll their eyes and make themselves as fearsome as possible in order to terrify their enemies: £65

[256] About Arabs and those from the Prester John Kingdom: 1598-9
These people are, in fact, often found in India; many being sent out as bondsmen and others settling by choice, to work as servants on merchants’ ships, sailing from Goa to China, Japan, Bengal, Mallaca, Ormus and other places. The Arabs are Moslems, whereas the others are partly Christian as they come from the kingdom of Prester John. They each have four brand-marks, cut cross-wise on their faces, like an initiation, and are very obedient and lead hard lives on board ship. With them, they always have their wives, who wear trousers like the Arabs, and are accompanied with their children: £110

[257] How the inhabitants of the island of Hormuz live: 1598-9
After the king of the island of Hormuz was elected to rule, he orders the eyes of all his relatives to be stabbed out. He then ensures that they were well cared for throughout the remainder of their lives. Because of the intense heat on the island, there was no vegetation, only mountains of salt and rocky cliffs to be seen everywhere. The inhabitants built their homes out of the salt rock, with large holes in the flat roofs for ventilation. To escape the heat, people slept in coffin-like baths, filled with water. Tape-worms caused problems on this island as they infected the inhabitants’ legs and grew to two or three fathoms in length: £95

[258] Persian merchants who travel from Aleppo to Hormus: 1598-9
Every year, in April and September, five or six thousand merchants gather at Aleppo, a town in Syria near the Mediterranean Sea, along with a chief and several hundred Janizares. From there they travelled to Basra and on to Hormouz by sailing ships. These merchants travel with camels, dromedaries, asses and horses. Some men ride in pairs on one camel, others alone with their wares, with the Janizaries riding alongside. The chief leads the company, with more Janizaries on foot. All the provisions required for the journey follow behind: £65

[259] How the tribes of the Euphrates water their fields: 1605-6

The people that live on the Euphrates, especially those from Caragoul, need to irrigate their land, as they have no rain all summer. They build a type of mill-wheel in the river, with several containers made from animal skins attached. The wheel is driven by an ox and hauls the water up into a box. From there it runs out into the fields by means of canals. A remarkable way of sending letters is now described. The merchants of Babel and Balsara have several pigeons, which they bring, from one place to another. The birds are kept imprisoned until an important message, to do with trade, is sent. The pigeons that fly to the destination carry the correspondence, written in a letter. In this way merchants receive the information as quickly as possible: £165

See also [124] under Sumatra and [134] under Jave

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