Ormus and "Further on": 1515 Portuguese Travel Guide

Ormus and "Further on." (Source.)

Duarte Barbosa (Ramusio). 1515.


After passing this Cape of Fasalhat along the coast to the north-east, there are many towns and castles of the kingdom of Ormuz in Arabia, fifty leagues to the north-east, and then twenty-five leagues to the east, and as much again to the north-east and north, and then it makes a bay to the north-west for twelve leagues, and turns to the north-east twenty-five leagues as far as Cape Refalcate, and then it turns to the north-west, making bays until Madea, which are eighty-six leagues off, and from there it trends to the north-east by north thirty leagues until Cape Mocondon, which is at the mouth of the sea of Persia, which is twelve leagues in width, and on this sea also further on, this rule and lordship continue to extend, and there are in it many towns and forts; and islands which are in the midst of the said sea of Persia, inhabited by Moors. 

These places belonging to this kingdom are the following. In the beginning of this kingdom on the coast outside of this sea of Persia, is:—

First Calhat, a very large town of handsome houses, and[33] well situated; the inhabitants are rich nobles and merchants: it is forty-four leagues from Cape Fasalhat. Thirty-two leagues further on there is another small place called Tybi, which has good water with which the ships navigating all this coast provide themselves.

Twenty-five leagues further on is another small place called Daxnia, also a sea-port.

Thirty leagues further on is another large place which is a very good town of much trade in merchandise, which is called Curiat, in which, as well as in the others in the neighbourhood, there is plenty of meat, wheat, dates, and other fruit in abundance: there are plenty of horses, which are bred in the country, and they are very good, and the Moors of Ormuz come to buy them for exportation to India.

Leaving this town of Curiat, at twelve leagues along the coast is another place with a fortress which is called Sar, which the King of Ormuz keeps there.

Having doubled the Cape of Resalcate, the coast turns to the sea of Persia. Forty leagues further on from this cape is another town upon the coast itself called Mazquate. It is a large town, and of very honourable people, and of much trade in merchandise, and a place of great fisheries: they catch large fish there, which they export dried and salted to other parts.

Going along the coast further on to the sea of Persia there is at a distance of ten leagues another place called Sohar.

Leaving this town of Sohar, further inland from the coast, at fourteen leagues off is another fortress of the King of Ormuz called Rosach; and with these fortresses this king is better able to keep all this country in subjection.

Having passed the fortress of Rosach, there is another fortress called Nahel twelve leagues off.


Twelve leagues further on is another place they call Madeha; it is a small place, of few inhabitants, inside the mouth of the Sea of Persia, thirty leagues to the south-west.

Further on, there is a large place of many inhabitants called Corfasan, around which and the other neighbouring places are many very agreeable country houses belonging to the chief men and most honoured of the Moors of Ormuz, who come during certain months of the year there to repose, and to collect their provisions, and enjoy their fruit.

Fifteen leagues further on there is another place on the coast, called Dadena.

As much again further on to the south-west, another place called Daba. Further on, on the coast to the south-west by west, at a distance of lxxxv leagues, is another very large town called Julfar, where there are many very respectable people, and many merchants and sailors. And there they fish up many large pearls and seed pearls, which the merchants of the city of Ormuz come there to buy, to carry them to India and other parts. This place is one of much trade, and produces a great deal to the king of Ormuz.

Further along the coast of the Persian Sea, in the before-mentioned inner part, are three other places belonging to the king of Ormuz: Raçolhiman, which is a good town, at a distance of twenty-four leagues, and another beyond this, called Melquehoan, and six leagues further on there is a fortress called Calba, which the king maintains to defend his country from the Bedouins, who live in the interior of the country, and who are governed by sheikhs; and at times they go against these towns of the kingdom of Ormuz, and make war upon them, and sometimes they make them rebel against the king.

This king of Ormuz possesses, besides these places already mentioned, on the coast of Arabia, many other towns in the country of Persia, on the sea-coast, and in the midst of the Persian Sea many islands inhabited by Moors, in which he has many large towns, very rich and handsome, all of which are named separately further on, and afterwards the island and city of Ormuz and its customs are mentioned.

On this coast the king of Ormuz has a town called Baha, in which he maintains his governors.

Having passed this place, further along the coast is another place called Dexar.

Further on another place called Xahen.

Further on another place called Ygun.

Further on another place called El-guadun.

Further on another place called Nabani, from which place they carry much water to drink to Ormuz, because there is no drinkable water there; and from this and all those other places they carry to Ormuz all its supplies.

Further on is another place called Guan-meda, and from there further on there are also some other places belonging to the king of Ormuz, which are the following—Lefete, Quesebi, and from here further on the coast turns to the north-west by north as far as the mouth of the river Eufrates, and it begins here to be a wide estuary. BerohuCaljar, Xuza, MohimasimLimaGorbaz, Alguefa, Carmon. Which lasts two hundred and forty leagues, and then Bazera, a castle of Sophi

At the entrance of the river Eufrates the land turns to the sea in a southerly direction eighty leagues, and then returns as much again to the north, and after that turns again to the south, when there begin these towns—Cohomo, Barque GuexGanguan, BasidoGoxtaque, Conch, Conga, Ebrahemi, and as far as this there are one hundred and sixty-five leagues, and after that XenaseMenahao Xamile, Leytam, Bamtani, Doani, and from this point the coast trends to the east for a distance of thirty leagues as far as Lorom

Between these places there are many large towns with much trade, and very respectable inhabitants, and great merchants; and many castles, which the King of Ormuz maintains for the defence of his country, and they are all on the coast of the Persian Sea. 

They are[37] places abundantly supplied with meat and wheaten bread, barley, vines, and all other things which are found in our parts, and many dates; and the inhabitants of these towns are white, and very polite people; they dress in long clothes of silk and cotton stuffs and camelots; and this is a very rich country.


In the mouth of this sea of Persia there are the following islands belonging to the king of Ormuz. Cuyx, AndranyBaxealQuiroLarCojarTomonFirror Guolar, MeluganGory, QueximiBaharem.

These two islands of Queximi and Baharem are large; and Queximi has eight inhabited towns and has plenty of provisions. Baharem has a large town of many Moors, important and honourable personages. 

And it is distant from Lorom to the north-east xxxiv leagues, and to the island of Queximi fifty leagues of channel; and between it and the mainland from two to four leagues; and after that the coast turns between north-east and east, until the island of Ormuz for xxxv leagues, of which island mention is made lower down.

Merchants from many parts reside in this island, and it is situated in the middle of this sea, and many ships with great merchandise sail to it; and here and in the neighbourhood much seed pearl and many pearls are produced, and they fish them on the island itself, from which there is a great profit to the inhabitants; and the king draws from this[38] island and from all the others large revenues. 

The merchants of Ormuz go to this island of Baharem to buy the pearls and seed pearl for India and other parts where they find it profitable, and for the kingdom of Narsinga; and also those of Persia and Arabia go there to buy them, and in all this sea of Persia these pearls are found, but not in such quantity as in this island of Baharem.

(C) 2024 by Enrique of Malacca's Voyage. All rights reserved.