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By: Daniel T. Potts



Jask_Island_in_the_Persian_Gulf.PNG (657136 bytes)

  Jask Island

(Click to enlarge)

Jâsk also written Jâšk (Jasques in English sources), a small Iranian port in Hormozgan province, on the Makrân coast with palm gardens.


Dean William Vincent is credited (Mockler, 1879, p. 141) with having been the first to identify Jâsk with the toponym Badis mentioned in Arrian's account (Indica 32.5) of the voyage of Nearchus (Vincent, 1797; cf. Wilson, 1928, p. 40; Tarn, 1951, p. 481), but this identification is disputed (e.g. d'Anville, 1764, pp. 140, identified Jâsk with Claudius Ptolemy's promontory of Carpella; Forbiger, 1844, p. 532, identified Jâsk with Dagasira; Weissbach, 1890, p. 41, and 1896, col. 2727 identified Badis with Kuh-e Mobârak or Tujek near Al-Sir; Berthelot, 1935, p. 22, identified Jâsk with Omana of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, sec. 36). Be that as it may, Jâsk is certainly located in the area inhabited by the Ichthyophagi ("fish-eaters") encountered along the Persian coast by Nearchus (Longo, 1987).

The island of Jâsak mentioned by Yâqut and Qazwini is thought to have been Lârak (Lockhart, 1965, p. 486) and not Jâsk. Ahmad b. Majid al-Najdi, better known as Ebn Majid, the 15th century writer on navigation, gives the alternative name al-Karâri and the plural Jawâšek for Jâšk, noting that the overland journey from Sind to Jâsk took six weeks (Tibbetts, 1971, pp. 212, 448-49).

In December 1616, Edward Connock landed the James at Jâsk with a cargo from Surat, thereby inaugurating English trade with Persia (Wilson, 1928, p. 138). In July, 1617, Connock was received by Shah 'Abbâs himself and successfully negotiated a trade agreement (Steensgaard, 1973, p. 308), coming away with a royal edict, firman, granting, inter alia, the right to construct churches; hold religious services; found a cemetery; imprison and repatriate English outlaws; and exercise criminal jurisdiction in mixed Anglo-Persian cases (Steensgaard, 1973, pp. 329-30). A charge for highway policing (râhdâri) was to be paid by the English, although their goods, both imports to and exports from Jâsk, were exempt from any customs charges (Steensgaard, 1973, p. 330). In 1618, however, Connock's successor, Thomas Barker, was refused permission from Iranians to build a fort at Jâsk (Steensgaard, 1973, p. 333). By this time the Portuguese were taking active steps to pursue and intercept English Company vessels attempting to reach Jâsk from Surat, leading to the Battle of Jâsk in 1620, in which the English captain lost his life, but the Portuguese fleet was defeated (Curzon, 1892, pp. 427-28; Sykes, 1915, pp. 275-77; Wilson, 1928, p. 142; Steensgaard, 1973, pp. 337-41).

In 1809 Jâsk was tributary to the Imam of Muscat (Grant, 1839, p. 336). In 1869 it became the site of an Indo-European Telegraph station (Preece, 1885, p. 429; Lorimer, Gazetteer, p. 917) at which the overland line from Bušehr (q.v.) and Lenga met the submarine cables coming from Karachi (via Gwadar) and Aden (Holdich, 1896, p. 387-88; Oppenheim, 1900, p. 322). A post office, barracks for 100 sepoys to protect the telegraph line (withdrawn from Qešm in 1879; Curzon, 1892, p. 428), and an office of the British India Company were also located at Jâsk, as was a small fort with a Persian governor and about 20 Kurdish soldiers (Oppenheim, 1900, p. 323).



B. d'Anville, "Recherches ge‚ographiques sur le Golfe Persique et sur les bouches de l'Euphrate et du Tigre," Me‚moires de litte‚rature, tire‚s des registres de l'Acade‚mie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 30, 1764, pp. 132-97. 

A. Berthelot, "La côte me‚ridionale de l'Iran d'apreàs les ge‚ogreaphes grecs," Me‚langes offerts aà M. Octave Navarre par ses e‚leàves et ses amis, Toulouse, 1935, pp. 11-24. 

G. N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, 2 vols., London, 1892. 

Captain N.P. Grant, "Journal of a route through the western parts of Makran," JRAS 5, 1839, pp. 328-42. 

Colonel T.H. Holdich, "Notes on ancient and mediœval Makran," The Geographical Journal 7, 1896, pp. 387-405. 

L. Lockhart, "Djâsak," EI2, II, p. 486. O. Longo, "A trip among fish eaters," Newsletter of Baluchistan Studies 4, 1987, pp. 11-18. 

J. G. Lorimer, Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, 'Oman, and Central Arabia, 2 vols., Calcutta, 1908-15; repr., Westmead, U.K., 2 vols. in 6, IIA, pp. 914-31. 

Major E. Mockler, "On the identification of places on the Makran coast mentioned by Arrian, Ptolemy, and Marcian," JRAS 11, 1879, pp. 129-54. 

M. Freiherr von Oppenheim, Vom Mittelmeer zum Persischen Golf, vol. 2, Berlin, 1900. J. R. Preece, "Journey from Shiraz to Jashk, via Darab, Forg, and Minab," JRGS 1885, 403-35. 

H. 'A. Razmârâ, ed. Farhang-e joghrâfiâ÷i-e Irân. AÚbâdihâ, vol. 8, Tehran, 1953, p. 94. 

P. M. Sykes, A History of Persia, 2 vols., 3rd ed. with suppl. essays, London, 1930. 

W. W. Tarn, The Greeks in Bactria and India, Cambridge, 1951. 

G. R. Tibbetts, Arab navigation in the Indian Ocean before the coming of the Portuguese, London, 1971. 

W. Tomaschek, Topographische Erläuterung der Küstenfahrt Nearchs vom Indus bis zum Euphrat, Vienna, 1890. Idem, "Badis," Pauly-Wissowa, col. 2727. 

W. Vincent, The voyage of Nearchus from the Indus to the Euphrates, London, 1797. 

A.T. Wilson, The Persian Gulf, Oxford, 1928.





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Source/Extracted From: Encyclopaedia Iranica


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