The two sources together drain the region south as the Euphrates drains the region north of the Taurus mountains.
Water traffic on the Euphrates and canals was early very considerable.
The course of the Tigris is much shorter than that of the Euphrates, about 1150 m.
To the west of Lake Van, and close to the headwaters of the Murad Su, the eastern branch of the Euphrates, while the most easterly point is situated in a region about 42° 50' E., southward of the same lake.
1200, however, the Arabian geographers mention a tributary, the Tharthar, navigable in flood time, which flowed from the Jaghigagh branch of the Khabur, a tributary of the Euphrates, to the Tigris.
At the point of entering the alluvial plain the bed of the Tigris seems to be lower than that of the Euphrates, so that the canals run from the latter to the former stream.
Indeed, the lower course of the Tigris, even more than that of the Euphrates, has always been subject to change.
The length of the Frat is about 275 m.; of the Murad, 415 m.; and of the Euphrates from the junction to Samsat, 115 m.
Only from the channel of the Euphrates, which here forms a peninsula by a great bend (38° 10' N., approximately 39° 20' E.).
For some five or six centuries before1908-1909the junction with the Euphrates was at Korna, some 30 m.
At Bagdad the Tigris and Euphrates are less than 35 m.
On the west side, however, there are the remains of several canals or channels, some still carrying water, one of which, the Shattel-Hai, leaving the Tigris at Kut-el-Amara, and emptying into the Euphrates at Nasrieh, is still navigable.
While the Tigris never played the same role historically as the Euphrates, numerous remains of antiquity are to be seen along its course.
A little south of Samarra are found remains of the Median Wall, which stretched south-west towards the Euphrates near Sahlawych, marking the edge of the Babylonian alluvial plain.
Chesney, Expedition to the Euphrates and Tigris (1850); W.
Ainsworth, The Euphrates Expedition (1888); Guy Le Strange, "Description of Mesopotamia and Bagdad" (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1895); E.
At an early age he entered the cloister; and in 423 he became bishop of Cyrrhus, a small city in a wild district between Antioch and the Euphrates, where, except for a short period of exile, he spent the remainder of his life.
In 63, with a strong army, he crossed the Euphrates, but Tiridates declined to give battle and concluded peace.
Near Tokat copper pyrites, with iron and manganese, kaolin and coal are found; but most of the copper worked here comes from the mines of Keban Maden and Arghana Maden, on the upper Euphrates and Tigris.
Along with this mountainous district went a fertile low tract of country on the western side, which also included the marshes at the mouths of the Euphrates and Tigris and the north-eastern coast land of the Gulf.
By the victory he gained at Bassora in 1605 he extended his empire beyond the Euphrates; sultan Ahmed I.
The upper Euphrates consists of two arms, which, rising on the Armenian plateau, and flowing west in long shallow valleys parallel to Mount Taurus, eventually unite and force their way southward through that range to the level of Mesopotamia.
Nahr el-Furat or Frat), well known to occidentalists as the Euphrates, from its having been the boundary of the Roman empire, is regarded also by Orientals as the main stream.
Below the junction of the two arms the Euphrates flows south-west past the lead mines of Keban Maden, where it is 120 yds.
In this part of its course the Euphrates runs through an open, treeless and sparsely peopled country, in a valley a few miles wide, which it has eroded in the rocky surface.
Anciently the country on both sides of the Euphrates was habitable as far as the river Khabur; at the present time it is all desert from Birejik downward, the camping ground of Bedouin Arabs, the great tribe of Anazeh occupying esh-Sham, the right bank, and the Shammar the left bank, Mesopotamia of the Romans, now called elJezireh or the island.
In early times the Euphrates was important as a boundary.
It-ryas), which enters the Euphrates on the west.
24), the most important passage of the middle Euphrates, where both Cyrus, on his expedition against his brother, and Alexander the Great crossed that river, and the ancient port of Syria.
Here the Belikh (Bilechas) joins the Euphrates, flowing southward through the biblical Aram Naharaim from Urfa (Edessa) and Harran (Carrhae); and from this point to el-IKaim four days' below Deir, the course of the river is south-easterly.
Two days' journey beyond Rakka, where the Euphrates breaks through the basalt dike of el-IIamme, are two admirably preserved ruins, built of gypsum and basalt, that on the Mesopotamian side called Zelebiya (Chanuga), and that on the Syrian, much the finer of the two, Halebiya or Zenobiya, the ancient Zenobia.
Here the roads from Damascus, by way of Palmyra, and from Mosul, by way of the Khabur, reach the Euphrates, and here there must always have been a town of considerable commercial and strategic importance.
Between Salahiya and Deir, on an old canal, known in Arabic times as Said, leaving the Euphrates a little below Deir and rejoining it above Salahiya, stand the almost more picturesque ruins of the once important Arabic fortress of Rahba.
As far as the Khabur Mesopotamia seems to have been a wellinhabited country from at least the 15th century B.C., when it constituted the Hittite kingdom of Mitanni, down to about the 12th century A.D., and the same is true of the country on the Syrian side of the Euphrates as far as the eastern limit of the Palmyrene.
On the Mesopotamian side there would seem, from the accounts of Xenophon and Ptolemy, to have been an affluent which joined the Euphrates between Deir and `Ana, called Araxes by the former, Saocoras by the latter; but no trace of such a stream has been found by modern explorers and the country in general has always been uninhabited.
Half a day's journey beyond, at a point where two great wadis enter the Euphrates, on the Syrian side, stands Jabriya, an unidentified ruined town of Babylonian type, with walls of unbaked brick, instead of the stone heretofore encountered.
The middle Euphrates, from Samsat to Hit, is to-day an avenue of ruins, of which only the more conspicuous or important have been indicated here.
At Feluja, in the latitude of Bagdad, the Euphrates and Tigris closely approach each other, and then, widening out, enclose the plain of Babylonia (Arab.
The next important canal, the Dujayl (Dojail), left the Euphrates on the left, about a league above Ramadiya (Ar-Rabb), and flowed into the Tigris between Ukbara and Bagdad.
The `Isa, which is largely identical with the modern Sakhlawiya, left the Euphrates a little below Anbar (Perisabora) and joined the Tigris at Bagdad.
Sarsar, the modern Abu-Ghurayb, leaves the Euphrates three leagues lower down and enters the Tigris between Bagdad and Ctesiphon.
The Nahr Malk or royal river, modern Radhwaniya, leaves the Euphrates five leagues below this and joins the Tigris three leagues below Ctesiphon; while the Kutha, modern Habl-Ibrahim, leaving the Euphrates three leagues below the Malk joins the Tigris ten leagues below Ctesiphon.
Under the Arabs the old designation again prevailed and the Euphrates is always described by the Arabian geographers as the river which flows direct to Kufa, while the present stream, passing along the ruins of Babylon to Hillah and Diwanieh, has been universally known as the Nahr Sura.
Occidental geographers, however, have followed the Greek use, and so to-day we call the river of Babylon or Nahr Sura the Euphrates and the older westerly channel the Hindieh canal.
Below the bifurcation the river of Babylon was again divided into several streams, and indeed the most famous of all the ancient canals was the Arakhat (Archous of the Greeks and Serrat and Nil of the Arabs), which left that river just above Babylon and ran due east to the Tigris, irrigating all the central part of the Jezireh, and sending down a branch through Nippur and Erech to rejoin the Euphrates a little above the modern Nasrieh.
Down to this point, the bed of the Euphrates being higher than that of the Tigris, the canals run from the former to the latter, but below this the situation is reversed.
From Garmat Ali, where the Tigris and Euphrates at present unite,' under the title of Shattel-Arab, the river sweeps on to Basra, Ex p o yds.
This ancient system of canalization was inherited from the Persians (who, in turn, inherited it from their predecessors), by the Arabs, who long maintained it in working order, and the astonishing fertility and consequent prosperity of the country watered by the Euphrates, its tributaries and its canals, is noticed by all ancient writers.
Willcocks discovered (1909) that from Suk-eshSheiukh the Euphrates had formed a new channel through the marshes.
The length of the Euphrates from its source at Diadin to the sea is about 1800 m., and its fall during the last 1 zoo m.
During the Napoleonic wars, indeed, and up to the time when the introduction of steam navigation rendered the Red Sea accessible at all seasons of the year, the political correspondence of the home and Indian governments usually passed by the Euphrates route.
The mud brought down by it, calculated at 7150 lb an hour at Bagdad, is not deposited in marshes to form alluvium, as in the case of the Euphrates, but although in flood time the river becomes at places an inland sea, rendering navigation extremely difficult and uncertain, the bulk of the mud is deposited in banks, shoals and islands in the bed of the river, and is finally carried out into the Persian Gulf.
It lay on the ancient trade route from Sinope to the Euphrates, on the Persian "Royal Road" from Sardis to Susa, and on the great Roman highway from Ephesus to the East.
21) enters the Euphrates from the Syrian side, on which, about 8 m.
The Mongol invasion, in the latter part of that century, wrought their ruin, however, and from that time to the present there has been a steady decline in the commercial importance of the Euphrates route, and consequently also of the towns along its course, until at the present time it is only an avenue of ruins.