The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Viii Ambassadors Return

Persian history

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On Saturday, the 21st of February, they left Sultanieh, and slept in a city called Sanga {Zenjan}, which they had passed through in coming; and on Sunday they slept in a great building near the road. On Tuesday they passed the night at a village called Miana, and on Wednesday they came to a village called Tunglar. On Saturday, the last day of February, they arrived at the city of Tabriz {Tabriz}, where they were lodged in the houses of Armenian Christians, and supplied with much food. On the 3rd of March, the ambassadors were presented with horses, and were told that Omar Meerza was at Karabagh, where he had wintered with his host. Karabagh consists of flat plains, with much pasture; and it is a very hot country, and if the snow ever falls it melts directly, and for this reason the lord of Persia goes every year to winter there. On Thursday, the 5th of March, the ambassadors departed from the city of Tabriz, in company with the ambassadors from the Sultan of Babylon and from Turkey, to visit Omar Meerza on the plains of Karabagh. They were attended by the guide who had brought them from Samarkand, and had supplied them with all that they required, and they call these guides, Xagave. The ambassadors were accompanied by a few men, but they left the rest of their retinue at Tabriz, as they were going to return thither. When they were two days journey from Tabriz, they met a messenger from Omar Meerza, who said that the lord desired they would return to Tabriz, and remain there until he should send for them. They therefore returned, and remained in that city until the 18th of March. On Thursday, the 19th of March, they departed from Tabriz, and, passing a high hill near the city, entered a well-peopled valley, full of villages, gardens, and vineyards. The country was very hot, and very beautiful, and abounded in fruit; and a great river flowed through the centre of this valley. They travelled through this valley, amongst gardens and villages, for four days, at the end of which time they reached a great plain, also covered with villages, and on this plain much rice and millet was sown; and this country supplies many other lands with rice. They do not raise any wheat or barley, but there is so much rice, that they give it to the horses. On this plain many tribes were encamped, with their tents and flocks, which belonged to the host of the lord.