Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/170

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140
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Morocco.
 

usually called Djibbel Telj, or snowy mountains, or takes the name of the province or district, as Djibbel Tedla; Djibbel Misfywa. The word Atlas is not known: whence is it derived? May it not be a Greek corruption of the Libyan or Berebber word, Adrar, or Athraer, signifying mountain?—Many of these heights were measured trigonometrically, on a base of seventeen miles, the highest of which, named by the Moors

Miltsin, stands in the district called Misfywa, in latitude 31° 12’ N., 27 miles S., 20° E. of Marocco, and was found to be eleven thousand four hundred feet above the level of the sea. This is below the limit of perpetual snow assigned by Humboldt (Personal Narr., vol. i., p. 261); yet but once in twenty years had these summits been seen free from snow.

It is more than probable that these are not the highest summits of the Atlas range, which will possibly be found in the province of Tedla, about the source of the two great rivers Oom-erbegh and Mulwia, which, from the best information, appear to spring from opposite sides of the same mountain; but this is conjecture. Till measured in 1830, the height of no snowy peak of Atlas was ever ascertained—at least none such is on record—but there is on record a conjecture hazarded, as to their height, by Mr. Jackson, and proved, by quotations from Asiatic Transactions, &c., to be correct. Jackson's statement is—'that these mountains, which lie south-east of Marocco, are seen at sea twenty miles to the westward of Mogadore, and therefore at a distance of two hundred and forty-five miles, and consequently must have an elevation of twenty-nine thousand six hundred and ten feet[1].' That these peaks might be visible from Mogadore, from which they bear east by south a hundred and twenty miles, is very possible; but it so happens that the highest peak visible from Mogadore bears south-east (true), and consequently must be part of the range clearly in sight to the south-west of Marocco, and distant only seventy miles from that place, and certainly-inferior in height to those peaks south-east of this city. Thus does a distance of two hundred and forty-five miles dwindle to seventy, and the unassuming but actual height of eleven thousand four hundred feet must take the place of the astounding elevation of twenty-nine thousand six hundred and ten feet[2]!

On reference to the Astronomical Journal, there appear upwards of one hundred sights for determining the longitude of the city. Distances between moon and sun; moon, and stars east

 


  1. Jackson's Shabeeny, pp. 92, 3, and 4. London, 1820.
  2. This is noticed to correct mistakes, not from a desire of criticising Mr. Jackson's work, which is unquestionably the most useful on this country. He spoke the Occidental Arabic, or Mo'greb, fluently, and without which no intimate knowledge can be gained, independently of the marked contempt evinced by the Moors and Arabs for those who do not speak their language.