JĀS

JĀSK, also written Jāšk (‘Jasques’ in English East India Company sources), a small Baluchi port on the Makrān coast with palm gardens. Dean William Vincent is credited (Mockler, 1879, p. 141) with having been the first to identify Jāsk with the toponym Badis mentioned in Arrian’s account (Indica 32.5) of the voyage of Nearchus (Vincent, 1797; cf. Wilson, p. 40; Tarn, p. 481), but this identification is disputed (e.g., d’Anville, pp. 140, identified Jāsk with Claudius Ptolemy’s promontory of Carpella; Forbiger, 1844, p. 532, identified Jāsk with Dagasira; Tomaschek, 1890, p. 41; idem, 1970, identifying Badis with Kuh-e Mobārak or Tujek; Berthelot, p. 22, identified Jāsk with Omana of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, sec. 36, see Vincent, 1800-1805). Be that as it may, Jāsk is certainly located in the area inhabited by the ichthyophagi (fish-eaters) encountered along the Persian coast by Nearchus (Longo, 1987).

The island of Jāsak mentioned by Yāqut Ḥamawi and Zakariyāʾ Qazvini is thought to have been Lārak (Lockhart, p. 486) and not Jāsk. Aḥmad b. Majid Najdi, better known as Ebn Majid, the 15th-century writer on navigation, gives the alternative name al-Karāri and the plural Jawāšek for Jāšk, noting that the overland journey from Sind to Jāsk took six weeks (Ebn Majid, tr., pp. 212, 448-49).

In December 1616, the English East India Company sent Edward Connock on the British vessel, James, to Jāsk with a cargo from Surat, thereby inaugurating English trade with Persia (Curzon, II, p. 427; Sykes, II, p. 189; Wilson, p. 138). In July, 1617, Connock was received by Shah ʿAbbās I (q.v.) himself and successfully negotiated a trade agreement (Steensgaard, p. 308), coming away with a royal edict (farmān, q.v.), 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, pp. 329-30). A charge for highway policing (rāhdāri) was to be paid by the English, although their goods, both imports to and exports from Jāsk, were exempt from any customs charges. In 1618, however, Connock’s successor, Thomas Barker, was refused permission to build a fort at Jāsk (Steensgaard, pp. 330, 333). By this time, the Portuguese were taking active steps to pursue and intercept English Company vessels attempting to reach Jāsk from Surat, leading to the Battle of Jāsk in 1620 in which the English captain lost his life, but the Portuguese fleet was defeated (Curzon, II, pp. 427-28; Sykes, II, pp. 190-91; Wilson, p. 142; Steensgaard, pp. 337-41).

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

Bibliography:

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Idem, “Badis,” in George Wissowa, Wilhelm Kroll, and Karl Mittlehaus, eds., Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classicschen Altertumswissenschaft II/2, Stuttgart, 1970, col. 2727.

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

Idem, Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 2 vols., London, 1800-1805.

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

(Daniel T. Potts)

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