Page:Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions.djvu/46
At the Spanish Court he had an opportunity of meeting Don Garcia de Silva Figueroa, who was subsequently to visit Persia as Ambassador, and to interest him in the ruins of Chehel Minar. In view of his projected journey, Don Garcia made a special study of the antiquities of the country in the original authorities, and in such modern books as were then available. He was a Castilian of high rank, and about fifty-seven years of age at the time he left on his mission, in 1614. He had an extremely difficult part to play, and one little suited to his haughty and irascible temper. The Portuguese authorities were greatly incensed at the appointment of a Spaniard, and they threw every obstacle in his way. The Viceroy detained him at Goa on one pretext or another from November 1614 to March 1617, when at length the Ambassador hazarded the voyage to Ormuz in a small vessel of two hundred tons. On his arrival he found the Portuguese governor of the island nearly as intractable as the Viceroy, and it was not till October that he was able to continue his journey. He passed that winter at Shiraz, which he said was certainly the Cyropolis of the ancients and the place of burial of Cyrus, its founder. He found his sojourn intolerably dull: he complains
second time at his Court. He left Goa in February 1608, and arrived at Ispahan in June; but it was with difficulty he could obtain an interview with the Shah. On his return to Portugal he was raised to the bishopric of Cyrene. He wrote his book in 1609, before he left Goa, and he evidently brought it with him to Lisbon, where it was published in 1611.
- Ambassade de Don Garcia de Silva Figueroa en Perse, traduit par de Wicqfort (Paris, 1667), p. 5. The Spanish original does not appear in the Catalogue of the British Museum, where, however, may be found the tract De Rebus Persarum, Antwerp, 1620.