Moxul or Mosul, is a province containing many sorts of people; some are called Arahi, who are Mahometans; others are Christians of various sects, as Nestorians, Jacobites, and Armenians; and they have a patriarch stiled Jacolet, who ordains archbishops, bishops, and abbots, whom he sends all over India, and to Cairo, and Bagdat, and wherever there are Christians, in the same manner as is done by the pope of Rome.
While at Aleppo, I hired two Nazarenes, one of whom has been twice in India, and speaks the language well; but he is a very lewd fellow, wherefore I will not take him with me. From Bagdat this 20th July 1583. No. 4. Letter from, John Newbery to Messrs John Eldred and William Scales at Basora. Time will not permit to give you an account of my voyage after my departure from you.
According to him, the productions of the East came to the Venetians in two different ways. Cloves, nutmegs, pearls, gems, and other articles of great value, and small bulk, were conveyed up the Persian Gulf and the Tigris to Bassora, and thence to Bagdat; from which they were carried to some port in the Mediterranean.
This whale-oil sells for a great deal of money; and the bones of the whale are sold by the druggists of Bagdat and Bassora. The pearl oyster is at first a small thin tender substance, resembling the leaves of the plant called Anjedana, and swims on the surface of the sea, where it sticks to the sides of ships under water.
All the pearls in Christendom are brought from Bagdat. The merchants from India bring spices, pearls, precious stones, &c. to Ormus: the vessels of this port are described as very stoutly built, with one mast, one deck, and one sail. Among the most remarkable cities of China, he particularly notices Cambalu, or Pekin, Nankin, and Quinsai.
When there is plenty of water in the Tigris, the boats may go down from Bagdat to Basora in eight or nine days; but when the water is low it requires a longer time. In times past, Basora belonged to the Arabs, but is now subject to the Turks.
These were most princely letters-patent; equal in weight to 400 guineas, perhaps equal in efficacious value to 4000 in our times. Description of Armenia the Lesser, of the country of the Turks of Greater Armenia, Zorzania, the kingdom of Mosul, of the cities of Bagdat and Tauris, and account of a strange Miracle . There are two Armenias, the Greater and the Lesser.
'On the fifth Day of the Moon, which according to the Custom of my Forefathers I always keep holy, after having washed my self, and offered up my Morning Devotions, I ascended the high Hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the Day in Meditation and Prayer.
He is likewise minister of the great king, who resides in the palace of Zoan, a city in Egypt, where Ali, the son of Abitaleb, was once commander of the faithful, and whose subjects are considered as rebels by the other Arabs, because they refuse obedience to the Abassidian khaliff of Bagdat. The royal city is surrounded with walls, but Misraim is entirely open, having the river Nile on one side.
It is probably the flat country of Assyria, between the Tigris and Euphrates, below Bagdat, which he may have mistaken for an island; or it may refer to the Delta of the Tigris and Ahwas. The extent mentioned in the text does not say whether it is to be understood as the length or circumference of the island. This must be at or near Bahrein, in the Persian Gulf, famous for its pearl-fishery.