Travels In Northern Syria. Description Of Seleucia, Antioch, Aleppo, Etc -- By: William M. Thomson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 005:19 (Aug 1848)
Article: Travels In Northern Syria. Description Of Seleucia, Antioch, Aleppo, Etc
Author: William M. Thomson


Travels In Northern Syria. Description Of
Seleucia, Antioch, Aleppo, Etc

William M. Thomson

[In the Numbers of this work for February and May last, we published Mr. Thomson’s narrative of his Tour from Beirût to Bahlulîah, where he was taken ill and obliged to abandon at that time the further prosecution of his object. Subsequently, he visited Aleppo and returned to his home on Mount Lebanon by a very interesting route, through Jeble el-Aala, Apamia, Ribla, etc. The narrative of this tour we shall insert hereafter. We now present to our readers Mr. Thomson’s account of the continuation and completion of his journey to Aleppo. A few notices gathered from earlier tours are incorporated. Northern Syria is a most interesting region both to the biblical and classical scholar. Large portions of it remain unexplored, and valuable discoveries will doubtless be made as men of science shall be attracted thither. We are surprised that a field so tempting as Palestine and Syria must be to the geologist and to students in other branches of natural science, is permitted to lie so long fallow.—E.]

Aug. 6th, 1846. It was two by the clock, when, with a prayer, a blessing, and a silent adieu to loved ones asleep, I left Abeih, and by the soft, calm moonlight of a Syrian morning descended to Beirut. A boat, called the Express, I chartered forthwith, purchased

provisions, got passports, health bills, letters to friends, and of that “which answereth all things” enough for the way; and at half past three o’clock we lifted our anchor and sailed for Swadea. The wind was fair and firm, our boat was light and lively, “just as one likes it,” and over the sea she flew, as a young gazelle bounds across the desert. We passed Jebeil, and we passed Batrûn, and, when the sun sank to rest, we were gazing upon the bold, bald head of Theuprosopon. The breeze freshened, and the jolly little Express responded most handsomely to its vehement urgency. Through the gray twilight, the “Nose” of Enfeh cut the shadowy profile of its low promontory on the dusky horizon. As the moon climbed over the summit of Lebanon, we were sailing amongst the islets of Tripoli, which lay on the heaving bosom of the deep like a flock of great gulls asleep. Arvad we found at midnight, sitting solitary upon the sea, with the weeds of her long widowhood around her. Through the battlements of Tortosa, and Paltos, and Jebilee, all ragged and rotten, the wild wind wailed a melancholy dirge over the “desolations of many generations” as we passed by in haste. And when the sun rose bright and warm, on the dark Ansairiyeh hills, we had swept round the long low Ras, Ibn Hâny, just north of Ladakîa, into the shallow bay between this and the ...

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