Bagdad, or Baghdad, the capital of a province of Asiatic Turkey, on the Tigris, 500 miles from its mouth. It is surrounded by a brick wall, 5 miles in circumference, and 40 feet high, but in some places broken down, and by a deep dry ditch; the river is spanned by a bridge of boats, 220 yards long, and the communication is guarded by a citadel. There are four gates, the finest of which, bearing date 1220, has remained closed since 1638. Bagdad has an extremely picturesque appearance from the outside, being encircled and interspersed with groves of date-trees, through which one may catch the gleam of domes and minarets; but it does not improve on closer inspection. The bazaars exhibit the produce of both Turkish and European markets; but commerce has greatly decreased since Persia began to trade with Europe by way of Trebizond, or of the Persian Gulf on the south. Nevertheless Bagdad still carries on a considerable traffic with Aleppo and Damascus, and has manufactures of red and yellow leather, silks, and cotton stuffs. Dates, wool, grain, and timbac (a substitute for tobacco) are exported, and a number of horses are sent into India. Of the population, estimated at 180,000, the greatest part are Turks and Arabs. In 1831 an inundation destroyed one-half of the town and several thousand lives. Cholera visits it periodically; in 1831, 4000 people perished daily for several days from its ravages. In 1870-71 Bagdad also suffered severely from famine. Since 1836, British steamers have plied on the Tigris between Bagdad and Basra; and here is one of the chief stations of the Anglo-Indian telegraph.
Bagdad in the 9th century was greatly enlarged by Haroun Al-Raschid, and under his son, Al- Mamun, it became the great seat of Arabic learning and literature. It was conquered by the sultan, Murad IV., in 1638, and ever since has been under the sway of the Porte. The province of Bagdad, comprising great part of the lower basins of the Euphrates and Tigris, falls into the vilayets of Bagdad (pop. 850,000), Mosul (350,000), and Basra (200,000).