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sole dominion like the God of this world,’ which to ignorant people must be his most glorious and natural type, will of course have attracted the earliest adoration, and where revelation was withheld, will almost necessarily have been the primary fount of idolatry and superstition. The investigators of ancient mythology accordingly trace to this prolific source, wherein they are melted and lost, almost every other mythological personage; who, like his own light, diverge and radiate from his most glorious centre.”
Postscript on the image of Buddha from Kaibul.
The Bauddha image represented in figure 1 of Plate XXVI. is described in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society, of the 6th August last, page 363.
It was discovered by Doctor German in the course of some excavations made by him in the ruins of an ancient town about two miles south-east of Kabul, and near a modern village called Bém’ hissdr.
According to the description given by Moan: LXL, the image was not found in an insulated tope, but in a mass of bricks and rubbish, which more resembled the ordinary ruins of a desolated town. After penetrating through amound of such debris, a chamber of masonry was by accident found in entire preservation, the walls of which were ornamented with coloured stones and gilding; and here the statue was discovered. It was evidently the ruin of some Bauddha temple, or oratory in a private dwelling, that had been deserted on the demolition of the town. The irfiage itself has been partially mutilated, as if in a. hurried manner, by striking of the heads of the figures with a hammer; one only has escaped : the principal figure has lost the upper part of the head. This mode of desecration points to an irruption of Muhammedans in their first zeal for the destruction of graven idols. The faces at Bami./in are described by Lieut. Buamrs to have been inutilated in a similar way, while the rest of the figures remain tolerably perfect. The town was probably plundered and destroyed; such of the Buddhist inhabitants as escaped, taking refuge in the neighbouring hills, or in Tibet, where the religion of Buddha continued to flourish. The age of the image, if this conjecture be well founded, will be about ten centuries, falling far short of the antiquity of the topes themselves, and having no immediate connection with them, unless as proving the continued prevalence of the Bauddha doctrines in Kabul to the latter period, a fact well known from other sources.
The lambent flame on the shoulders is a peculiarity not observed in any image or drawing of Buddha that I have seen. It seems to denote a Mithriac tinge in the local faith. The solar disc or glory behind the
figure is a common appendage to sacred persons in every creed; and the angels above, as well as the groupes on either side, are of frequent
IV.—Journal of a Tour through Georgia, Persia, and Mesopotamia. By Capt. R. MIGNAN, Bombay Eur. Roy. F. L. S. and M. R. A. S.
[Continued from p. 339.]
It was a fine morning when we quitted our encampment en grande tenue to descend to the shores of the Araxes. On reaching its banks, we found its width about three hundred and fifty feet, and we crossed it by a stone bridge of fifteen arches in a very dilapidated state. The vestiges of a second stood a short way up the river, and in its ruined condition presented one of the most deserted scenes that could be imagined. A little to the eastward lies the extensive plain of Mogaum, which during summer is rendered nearly impassable from the innumerable heaps of snakes which cover its surface. I saw several of their cast skins, which resembled the Cobra di capello. This sufiiciently establishes the account given by Plutarch of POMPEY the Great, who after having overcome the Albanians wished to follow the enemy to the shores of the Caspian, but was reluctantly obliged to abandon his design in consequence of the snakes which occupied the intervening plain. Grsnorr doubts the account of the existence of venomous reptiles in this country as related by PLINY.—-(G!BBON’S Roman Empire, vol. iv. chap. 46, note 5).
On leaving the Araxes, or according to the present appellation, the Arras, the country assumes a wild aspect. It consists generally of high mountains, divided by narrow valleys, or plains environed by elevated hills, accessible only by narrow passes and defiles. Hence, it is one of the strongest countries in the world, and its inhabitants have always preserved a partial independence. They have been often defeated, but never subdued; and although tributary to Annns Mmza, the Governor of Azerbijém, are in general free. In fact the country is almost im~ practicable, and of very easy defence. Having traversed a narrow plain on the river's border of about three miles in extent, we arrived at the foot of a steep bank, which we ascended, and travelled on a farsang, or four miles further in a direction S. S. E, when we gladly saw the village of Khomorlu, situated upon a deep ravine, between steep calcareous and barren mountains. The inhabitants, who dwell
‘in wretched hovels scooped in the ground, are notorious plunderers
and assassins; but excuse their own depredations from a conviction that the whole world are their enemies. These villagers appeared the poorest I had yet seen. Both sexes were clad in rags, and the children‘ to the age of seven or eight were invariably naked. They appeared to me to possess neither food nor furniture beyond the milk of a few sheep and goats, and a scanty supply of grapes, which in the summer season grow on vines that spring up between the clefts of the rocks. I ascended a lofty eminence behind the village, which commanded an admirable view of the Araxes. No outlet for the stream appeared in any one direction, the curves of the river’s banks enclosing the opposite points gave it the appearance of a lake completely ‘ land-locked ;’ while detached rocks rising at a distance in a pyramidal form gave an increased magnificence to the scene.
Quitting these poor borderers, who were ground and crushed by Prince Knosaoo like corn between the upper and nether mill-stones, we proceeded in an easterly direction, and-crossed the bed of a river, or rather mountain-torrent, in which the actual stream of water when we
passed was not above four yards in breadth, though the channel itself:
was at least forty. It falls into the Araxes about ten miles eastward of the bridge, in a direction north and south. We travelled to a village called Molaun, distant about seventeen miles from Khomorlu. The general direction of the road was south by east. The country was singularly wild ; indeed, our road lay over a succession of mountains, which stretched in continual lines as far as the view extended. No soil covered the rocks, no verdure enlivened them ; a few bushes of the melancholy wild cypress, and some stunted oaks, comprised the whole of the vegetable world at this season. The approach to the village was both difiicult and dangerous. From this the direction of our road varied from S. E. by S. to S. S. E. a distance of three farsangs, or twelve miles, to the hamlet of Ruswar, standing in a scene as desolate, and in a valley as gloomy, as can well be imagined. Not even a tree marks the course of a stream that gives water to the inhabitants. All bespeaks misery and mistrust, as the neighbouring hills are haunted by a number of predatory tribes. My host, whose poverty Was perhaps his greatest crime, had on the preceding evening lost his only daugh‘ ter. The robbers had stolen her in lieu of tribute! At this place we certainly had an opportunity of -observing the extreme misery of the peasantry, who in addition to heavy taxes, by which they were already oppressed, were subject to such perpetual depredatiori from free-booters, that those who were not already ruined by contribution and pillage, found it prudent to present an appearance of the most abject wretchedness as their only security against further exactions. ’
The road continued over an uninterrupted succession of mountains, and was almost impassable for loaded cattle. We continued ascending until mid-day, when on arriving at the summit of the highest range of hills, a most beautiful scene suddenly and unexpectedly burst upon the view. The prospect was rendered doubly interesting from our having so long traversed a barren waste. The sloping sides of the mountains were thickly studded with the stunted oak. From this point, on looking back, the eye reposed upon successive ranges of mountainous ridges, which gradually decreased in height until they marked the more level country on the banks of the Araxes. Upon the extreme and broken line of the horizon, the lofty hills of the fruitful province of Krirabfagh arose in towering grandeur ; while immense piles of rock in the foreground, appearing as if thrown up from the very bowels of the earth by some great convulsion of nature, completed the sublimity of the scene. The general direction of these ranges seemed nearly east and west, and they might extend from two hundred and fifty to three hundred miles. Their outlines in Karadagh were more even, and their summits less elevated than those of Kzirabégln as we saw no snow on the former, whereas the latter presented most extensive patches of the purest white. The northern sides of both these ranges might, however, be more thickly covered with snow, from their being less exposed to the dissolving influence of the sun. The great eastern plain of Mogaum presented an horizon like the sea, broken only by small eminences, arising like cliffs and islets out of the water.
We still continued to ascend some barren hills, and felt the weather excessively keen. The thermometer by dawn of day (February 19th) sunk to 28°. Our beards were frozen, and the nostrils of the baggage horses completely choked up with ice-balls, which made it necessary to halt frequently and rub them off. We suffered most severely from thirst and the dazzling reflection of the sun’s rays upon the snow, which tanned our faces to such a degree, that we could not wash without suffering extreme pain. It was noon when we reached a small village called Dombry, where we were served with lubbun, or curdled sour milk. The elevation of this place above the level of the sea must exceed five P thousand feet, for the boiling point on a thermometer of large dimensions varied from 207° to 203°, which, allowing five hundred feet to each degree, gives an elevation of from two thousand five hundred, to four thousand five hundred feet. In three hours from Dombry we descended the rugged mountains which bound the northern side of the plain of Ahar. These ranges appear to be a branch of Mount Caucasus, which bound the territories of Irivan and Nacjiwan, and here take an easterly direction. To the south of us, about three miles, were seen a few trees on the brow of a hill. These surrounded the town of Ahar, and were now become remarkable objects; for since leaving the shores of the Araxes, with the exception of a few hilly tracts in the hamlet of Ruswar, we had scarcely seen a tree throughout our track. This general bareness of wood gives a very forbidding and melancholy aspect to a country, however productive it may be in other respects. A lover of the picturesque would soon become tired of this monotonous appearance. We descended across the plain of Ahar for nearly an hour, and opened a full view of the Ahar river winding in its course to the westward. Still descending, and going nearly south, over deep snow, we came near the water’s edge. There was here a ruined building with a domed top, and some arches in its walls ; it was perhaps an old well, as the tombs of the Mohammedans are often enclosed. We went from hence to the westward along the northern bank of the stream, over a flat shelving land, when we came immediately opposite to Ahar, which stands on the southern side of the river. '
We found no difliculty in crossing, as the river’s greatest depth did not appear to be more than five feet. Its waters were extremely turbid, more so than those of the Kur, and much inferior to them in taste. The town of Ahar is the capital of Karadaugh, or the “ Black Mountain,” as the whole district is designated. It would appear to be the Hara of antiquity, one of the three cities mentioned in 1 Chron. ch. v. 26 ver., to which the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, were carried away by PUL, King of Assyria, and TILGATI-b PILNESER, King of Assyria. The letters in Here. exist also in Ahar, and a transposition of syllables, or letters having the same sound, is very common in the east. Its relative position with Khalcal, and Abhar would also favour the conjecture. The river runs nearly east and west, and is extremely narrow, infinitely more so than the Araxes. It undergoes a variation in its height during the year, but this is irregular, as there are no periodical rains; and if in spring these give an increase of waters to the tributary streams, the melting of the snows on Mount Savalan, in the autumn, contribute an equal portion.
Ahar contains about six hundred houses, and from five to six thousand inhabitants. It has four mosques, a public bath, a spacious caravansary, and a good bazar. Its streets are narrow, but apparently clean, and some of its houses are plastered with Persian inscriptions, bearing the date of their erection. On the southern side of the town, upon an elevated spot, stands the tomb of Sheikh SAAB-UL-DEEN, the
teacher of Sheikh Snrri, the founder of the family of Selfeviah, better