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9*2

BALKH — BALL

and the Greco-Turkish war of that year was followed by recognize the Nan Vihara of the Chinese traveller liven the cession to Turkey of a few strategical points on the Thsung. There are the remains of many other topes (or stupas) in the neighbourhood. The mounds of ruins on Thessalian frontier. The liberation of the Balkan nationalities has in most the road to Mazar probably represent the site of a city yet cases been effected by the aid of one or more of the Great older than those on which stands the modern Balkh. The Powers, but their growth and independent de- town is garrisoned by a few hundred kasidars, the troops of Afghan Turkestan being cantoned at confedera- velopment has, on the other hand, been retarded regular tion. by the international jealousies arising from the Takht-i-Pul, near Mazar. The gardens to the north-east Eastern Question. The possibility of the young states contain a caravanserai, which is fairly well kept and comentering into a combination which would enable them to fortable. It forms one side of a courtyard, which is shaded (t. h. h.*) offer a united resistance to foreign interference while simul- by a group of magnificent chenar trees. taneously effecting a compromise in regard to their national Balkhash (Kirghiz, Ah-or Ala-Denghiz), a great lake aims, has at various times occupied the attention of Balkan of Russia, in the Kirghiz Steppes, between the provinces of politicians. Among the earliest advocates of this idea was Semipalatinsk and Semiryechensk, in 45° to 47° N. and Ristitch, the Servian statesman. During the reaction 74° to 78° E., about 550 miles to the east of Lake Aral. against Russia which followed the war of 1877 informal It is fourth in size in Eurasia, and has an area of 8610 square discussions were conducted with this object, and it was even miles, and an altitude of 900 feet. It has the shape of a suggested that a reformed or constitutional Turkey might broad crescent, about 280 miles long from W.S.W. to E.N.E., find a place in the confederation. The movement was having its concave side turned southwards, its width is favourably regarded by King Charles of Rumania and 55 miles in the west, narrowing to 10 miles eastward. Its Prince Alexander of Bulgaria. But the revolt of Eastern north-western shore is occupied by a dreary plateau, known Rumelia, followed by the Servo-Bulgarian war and the as the Famine Steppe (Bekpak-dala) in its southern portion. coercion of Greece by the Powers, embittered^ the rivalry The south-east shore is, on the contrary, low, and bears of the various races, and the project was laid aside. _ It was traces of a former much greater extension of the lake in revived in a somewhat modified form in 1891 by Tricoupis, that direction. Its desiccation proceeds rapidly, a lowerwho suggested an offensive alliance of the Balkan states, ing of the level of three feet having been noticed in the directed against Turkey and aiming at a partition of the course of fourteen or fifteen years. The chief tributaiy Sultan’s possessions in Europe. The scheme, which found of the lake is the Hi, which rises in the high Khanfavour in Servia, was frustrated by the opposition of tengri group of the Tian Shan. The Karatal, the Aksu, Stambuloff, who denounced it to the Porte. In 189/ and the Lepsa also enter the lake from the south-east, and a Bulgarian proposal for joint pacific action with a the Ayaguz from the north-east. In their lower courses view to obtaining reforms in Macedonia was rejected by the first three rivers make their way with difficulty through the sands and rushes, wdiich at a quite recent time weie Greece. See Ami-BouiL La Turquie d'Europe. Paris, 1840.—Lejean. covered by the lake 5 while it also undoubtedly extended Ethnographic dc la Turquie d’Europe. Gotha, 1861.—Mackenzie farther east so as to include the group of lakes Sasyk-kul and Irby. Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey. London, and Ala-kul. The water of the lake is salter along its lgg6_ Buffer. Die Balkanhalbinselund ihre Volker. Bautzen, north-western than along its south-eastern shores. It -jg0Q_ Emile de Laveleye. La Peninsule des Balkans. Pans, Iggg _Hertzlet. The Map of Europe by Treaty (especially VoL freezes for four and a half months every year. Its greatest iv.) London, 1891.—Mourchier. “A Balkan Confederation. depth, 135 feet, is also along the north-west shore. The fauna Fortnightly Review. London, September 1891.—Miller. The of the lake and of its tributaries—explored by Nikolsky— Balkans. London, 1896.—Lamouche. La Peninsule Balkamque. is more akin to the fauna of the rivers of the Tarim basin Paris, 1899. (J- V. B.) than to that of the Aral; it also does not contain the Balkh, a city of Afghanistan, about 100 miles E. of common frog. It seems, therefore, probable that Lake Andkhoi and some 46 miles S. of the Oxus, in 3 / Balkhash stood formerly in communication—through the N. lat. and 67° E. long. It comprises about 500 houses lakes Ebi-nor, Ayar, Ac., with the lake that formerly filled of Afghan settlers, a colony of Jews, and a small bazaar, the Lukchun depression, but researches show that a conset in the midst of a waste of ruins and many acres of nexion with Lake Aral—at least, at a recent time was debris. Entering by the west (or Akcha) gate, one passes improbable. under three arches, which are probably the remnants of a Ball, John (1818-1889), Irish politician, naturalist, former Jama Masjid. The outer walls (mostly in utter disrepair) are about 6b to 7 miles in perimeter, and on the and Alpine traveller, son of an Irish judge, was born at south-eastern borders are set high on a mound, or rampart, Dublin, 20th August 1818. He was educated at Oscott indicating a Mongol origin. The fort and citadel to the and Christ’s College, Cambridge. He showed in early north-east are built well above the town on a barren mound, years a taste for natural science, particularly botany; and and are walled and moated. There is, however, little left after leaving Cambridge he travelled in Switzeiland and but the remains of a few pillars. The Masjid Sabz, with its elsevdiere in Europe, studying his favourite pursuits, and green-tiled dome, is said to be the tomb of a Khwaja, Abul contributing papers on botany and the Swiss glaciers to Narsi Parsar. Nothing but the arched entrance remains scientific periodicals. In 1846 he was made an assistant of the Madrasa, which is traditionally not very old. The poor-law commissioner, but resigned in 1847, and stood earlier Buddhist constructions have proved more durable unsuccessfully7 as a parliamentary candidate for Sligo. than the Mahommedan buildings. The Top-i-Rustam is 50 In 1849 he v as appointed second poor-law commissioner, yards in diameter at the base and 30 yards at the top, circular, but resigned in 1852 and successfully contested the county Carlow in the Liberal interest. In the House of and about 50 feet high. Four circular vaults are sunk in of the interior, and four passages have been pierced below Commons he attracted Lord Palmerston’s attention by his from the outside, which probably lead to them. The base abilities, and was made under-secretary for the colonies, post which he held for two years. At the Colonial of the building is constructed of sun-dried bricks about 2 aOffice he had great influence in furthering the cause of feet scpiare and 4 or 5 inches thick. The Takht-i-Rustam natural science, particularly in connexion with the equipis wedge-shaped in plan, with uneven sides. It is appar- ment of the Palliser expedition in Canada, and with Sir ently built of pise mud (i.e., mud mixed with straw and puddled). It is possible that in these ruins we may V. Hooker’s efforts to obtain a systematic knowledge of