Cccxxvi.) lung sien hiang is
mentioned as a product of Bu-la-wa (Brava on the east coast of Africa),
and an-ba-rh (evidently also ambergris) amongst the products of
Dsu-fa-rh (Dsahfar, on the south coast of Arabia)." (Bretschneider,
Med. Res. I. p. 152, note.) - H.C.]
NOTE 2. - Scotra probably represented the usual pronunciation of the name
SOCOTRA, which has been hypothetically traced to a Sanskrit original,
Dvipa-Sukhadhara, "the Island Abode of Bliss," from which (contracted
Diuskadra) the Greeks made "the island of Dioscorides."
So much painful interest attaches to the history of a people once
Christian, but now degenerated almost to savagery, that some detail maybe
permitted on this subject.
The Periplus calls the island very large, but desolate; ... the
inhabitants were few, and dwelt on the north side. They were of foreign
origin, being a mixture of Arabs, Indians, and Greeks, who had come
thither in search of gain.... The island was under the king of the Incense
Country.... Traders came from Muza (near Mocha) and sometimes from
Limyrica and Barygaza (Malabar and Guzerat), bringing rice, wheat, and
Indian muslins, with female slaves, which had a ready sale. Cosmas (6th
century) says there was in the island a bishop, appointed from Persia. The
inhabitants spoke Greek, having been originally settled there by the
Ptolemies. "There are clergy there also, ordained and sent from Persia to
minister among the people of the island, and a multitude of Christians.