chapter  6
3 Pages

Brief Account of the Dominions of Ussuncassan.

The extensive country of Ussuncassan is bounded by the Ottoman empire and by Caramania. Turcomania, bis first province, joins the dominions of the Soldan towards the district of Aleppo. Persia, which Ussuncassan wrested, more by good fortune than superior power, from Iausa, whom he caused to be put to death, has Tauris for its capital and seat of government. At the distance of twenty-four days’ journey from this city, in an east-south-easterly direction is Siras, the last town in Persia. The Persian empire is also bounded by the country of the Zagatai, who were the children of the Tartar Sultan Busech with whom there is frequently war, and who still cause some anxiety. It is also bounded by Media, belonging to Sivanza, the Lord of Sumachi, who pays an annual tribute to Ussuncassan; by Giorgiania, belonging to King Pancrati; and by Gorgora, beyond the plain of Arsigan. 1 It is said that Ussuncassan also possesses some territory on the other side of the Euphrates towards the Ottoman empire. The whole of Persia, as far as Spama, 2 its capital, where I have been, at a six days’ journey from Siras, is a most arid country; there is scarcely a tree to be seen, and the water is for the most part bad. The country is, nevertheless, tolerably well supplied with all kinds of provisions and fruits, which are grown by artificial irrigation. Ussuncassan appeared to me to be about seventy years of age. He was tall, thin, and handsome, but did not appear prosperous. His eldest son, by the Curd lady, was named 173Gurlumameth; he was very famous, and it was with him that his father was at war. By another wife he had three sons. The eldest, called Sultan Chali, was said to be about thirty-five years of age. It was to him that Ussuncassan had given his city of Siras. The second, named Lacubei, might have been about fifteen years old. The name of the third, a boy of about seven, I do not remember. By another wife he had a son called Masubei, who had made war against him, his father, whom I saw every day, and whom he kept in chains for having conspired with Gurlumameth, and finally had put to death. I was desirous of learning from different persons the extent of Ussuncassan’s resources. Those who give the highest estimate say that he has fifty thousand horsemen, though these are not all of the best. I also wished to know how many men were brought into the field during the war with the Ottoman, and was told that there might have been upwards of forty thousand. This I heard from persons, most of whom had served in that war. But they were of opinion that this army was not intended to fight against the Ottoman, but only to restore Pirameth, the Lord of Caramania, to his country, which was in the possession of the Ottoman. Nor did Ussuncassan exert himself for any other purpose. Those who hold a different opinion are considered by most people to be wrong. I have had the opportunity of hearing and understanding everything, and only state what I have seen and heard. I will refrain from mentioning many other things,—which are, however, not very important,—that I may not make my narrative too long.

end of the travels in persia of m. ambrosio contarini.