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The Tigris
Tigris
(/ˈtaɪɡrɪs/; Sumerian: 𒁇𒄘𒃼 Idigna or Idigina; Akkadian: 𒁇𒄘𒃼 Idiqlat; Arabic: دجلة‎ Dijlah [didʒlah]; Syriac: ܕܹܩܠܵܬ‎ Deqlaṯ; Armenian: Տիգրիս Tigris; Դգլաթ Dglatʿ; Hebrew: Ḥîddeqel חידקל‎, biblical Hiddekel; Turkish: Dicle; Kurdish: Dîcle, Dîjla دیجلە‎) is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey
Turkey
through Iraq
Iraq
and empties itself into the Persian Gulf.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Navigation 3 Etymology 4 Management and water quality 5 Religion and mythology 6 See also 7 Notes 8 External links

Geography[edit] The Tigris
Tigris
is 1,750 km long, rising in the Taurus Mountains
Taurus Mountains
of eastern Turkey
Turkey
about 25 km southeast of the city of Elazig
Elazig
and about 30 km from the headwaters of the Euphrates. The river then flows for 400 km through Turkish territory before becoming the border between Syria
Syria
and Turkey. This stretch of 44 km is the only part of the river that is located in Syria.[1] Close to its confluence with the Euphrates, the Tigris
Tigris
splits into several channels. First, the artificial Shatt al-Hayy
Shatt al-Hayy
branches off, to join the Euphrates
Euphrates
near Nasiriyah. Second, the Shatt al-Muminah and Majar al-Kabir branch off to feed the Central Marshes. Further downstream, two other distributary channels branch off (the Al-Musharrah and Al-Kahla), which feed the Hawizeh Marshes. The main channel continues southwards and is joined by the Al-Kassarah, which drains the Hawizeh Marshes. Finally, the Tigris
Tigris
joins the Euphrates near al-Qurnah to form the Shatt-al-Arab. According to Pliny and other ancient historians, the Euphrates
Euphrates
originally had its outlet into the sea separate from that of the Tigris.[3] Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, stands on the banks of the Tigris. The port city of Basra
Basra
straddles the Shatt al-Arab. In ancient times, many of the great cities of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
stood on or near the Tigris, drawing water from it to irrigate the civilization of the Sumerians. Notable Tigris-side cities included Nineveh, Ctesiphon, and Seleucia, while the city of Lagash
Lagash
was irrigated by the Tigris
Tigris
via a canal dug around 2900 B.C. Navigation[edit] The Tigris
Tigris
has long been an important transport route in a largely desert country. Shallow-draft vessels can go as far as Baghdad, but rafts are needed for transport upstream to Mosul. General Francis Rawdon Chesney
Francis Rawdon Chesney
hauled two steamers overland through Syria
Syria
in 1836 to explore the possibility of an overland and river route to India. One steamer, the Tigris, was wrecked in a storm which sank and killed twenty. Chesney proved the river navigable to powered craft. Later, the Euphrates
Euphrates
and Tigris
Tigris
Steam Navigation Company was established in 1861 by the Lynch Brothers trading company. They had 2 steamers in service. By 1908 ten steamers were on the river. Tourists boarded steam yachts to venture inland as this was the first age of archaeological tourism, and the sites of Ur and Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
became popular to European travellers. In the First World War, during the British conquest of Ottoman Mesopotamia, Indian and Thames River
River
paddlers were used to supply General Townsend's Army. See Siege of Kut
Siege of Kut
and the Fall of Baghdad (1917).[4] The Tigris
Tigris
Flotilla included vessels Clio, Espiegle, Lawrence, Odin, armed tug Comet, armed launches Lewis Pelly, Miner, Shaitan, Sumana, and stern wheelers Muzaffari/Mozaffir. These were joined by Royal Navy Fly-class gunboats Butterfly, Cranefly, Dragonfly, Mayfly, Sawfly, Snakefly, and Mantis, Moth, and Tarantula. After the war, river trade declined in importance during the 20th century as the Basra-Baghdad- Mosul
Mosul
railway, an unfinished portion of the Baghdad
Baghdad
Railway, was completed and roads took over much of the freight traffic. Etymology[edit]

Bedouin crossing the river Tigris
Tigris
with plunder (c.1860)

The Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
form Tigris
Tigris
(Τίγρις) meaning "tiger", if treated as Greek) was adapted from Old Persian
Old Persian
Tigrā, itself from Elamite Tigra, itself from Sumerian Idigna. The original Sumerian Idigna or Idigina was probably from *id (i)gina "running water",[5] which can be interpreted as "the swift river", contrasted to its neighbour, the Euphrates, whose leisurely pace caused it to deposit more silt and build up a higher bed than the Tigris. The Sumerian form was borrowed into Akkadian
Akkadian
as Idiqlat, and from there into the other Semitic languages
Semitic languages
(cf. Hebrew Ḥîddeqel, Syriac Deqlaṯ, Arabic
Arabic
Dijlah). Another name for the Tigris
Tigris
used in Middle Persian
Middle Persian
was Arvand Rud, literally "swift river". Today, however, Arvand Rud (New Persian: اروند رود) refers to the confluence of the Euphrates
Euphrates
and Tigris
Tigris
rivers (known in Arabic
Arabic
as the Shatt al-Arab). In Kurdish, it is also known as Ava Mezin, "the Great Water". The name of the Tigris
Tigris
in languages that have been important in the region:

Outside of Mosul, Iraq

Language Name for Tigris

Akkadian 𒁇𒄘𒃼, Idiqlat

Arabic دجلة, Dijlah; حداقل, Ḥudaqil

Aramaic ܕܝܓܠܐܬ, Diglath

Armenian Տիգրիս, Tigris, Դգլաթ, Dglatʿ

Greek ἡ Τίγρης, -ητος, hē Tígrēs, -ētos; ἡ, ὁ Τίγρις, -ιδος, hē, ho Tígris, -idos

Hebrew חידקל ‬, Ḥîddeqel biblical Hiddekel[6]

Hurrian Aranzah[7]

Kurdish Dîcle, Dîjla دیجلە

Persian Old Persian: 𐎫𐎡𐎥𐎼𐎠 Tigrā; Middle Persian: Tigr; Modern Persian:دجله Dejle

Sumerian 𒁇𒄘𒃼 Idigna/Idigina

Syriac ܕܹܩܠܵܬ Deqlaṯ

Turkish Dicle

Baghdad

Management and water quality[edit]

Mosul, Iraq

The Tigris
Tigris
is heavily dammed in Iraq
Iraq
and Turkey
Turkey
to provide water for irrigating the arid and semi-desert regions bordering the river valley. Damming has also been important for averting floods in Iraq, to which the Tigris
Tigris
has historically been notoriously prone following April melting of snow in the Turkish mountains. Recent Turkish damming of the river has been the subject of some controversy, for both its environmental effects within Turkey
Turkey
and its potential to reduce the flow of water downstream. Mosul
Mosul
Dam is the largest dam in Iraq. Water from both rivers is used as a means of pressure during conflicts.[8] In 2014 a major breakthrough in developing consensus between multiple stakeholder representatives of Iraq
Iraq
and Turkey
Turkey
on a Plan of Action for promoting exchange and calibration of data and standards pertaining to Tigris
Tigris
river flows was achieved. The consensus which is referred to as the " Geneva
Geneva
Consensus On Tigris
Tigris
River" was reached at a meeting organized in Geneva
Geneva
by the think tank Strategic Foresight Group.[9] In February 2016, the United States Embassy in Iraq
Iraq
as well as the Prime Minister of Iraq
Iraq
Haider al-Abadi
Haider al-Abadi
issued warnings that Mosul
Mosul
Dam could collapse.[10] The United States warned people to evacuate the floodplain of the Tigris
Tigris
because between 500,000 and 1.5 million people were at risk of drowning due to flash flood if the dam collapses, and that the major Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit, Samarra, and Baghdad
Baghdad
were at risk.[11] Religion and mythology[edit] In Sumerian mythology, the Tigris
Tigris
was created by the god Enki, who filled the river with flowing water.[12] In Hittite and Hurrian
Hurrian
mythology, Aranzah (or Aranzahas in the Hittite nominative form) is the Hurrian
Hurrian
name of the Tigris
Tigris
River, which was divinized. He was the son of Kumarbi and the brother of Teshub
Teshub
and Tašmišu, one of the three gods spat out of Kumarbi's mouth onto Mount Kanzuras. Later he colluded with Anu
Anu
and the Teshub
Teshub
to destroy Kumarbi (The Kumarbi Cycle). The Tigris
Tigris
appears twice in the Old Testament. First, in the Book of Genesis, it is the third of the four rivers branching off the river issuing out of the Garden of Eden.[6] The second mention is in the Book of Daniel, wherein the prophet states he received one of his visions "when I was by that great river the Tigris".[13] The Tigris
Tigris
River
River
is also mentioned in Islam. The tomb of Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal and Syed Abdul Razzaq Jilani is in Baghdad
Baghdad
and the flow of Tigris
Tigris
restricts the number of visitors.

Tigris
Tigris
River
River
in Baghdad
Baghdad
(2016)

Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Iraq
Iraq
1932-1959 depicting the two rivers, the confluence Shatt al-Arab
Shatt al-Arab
and the date palm forest, which used to be the largest in the world

The river featured on the coat of arms of Iraq
Iraq
from 1932-1959. See also[edit]

Assyria Cradle of civilization Ilisu Dam Campaign campaign against a planned dam on Tigris
Tigris
in Turkey List of places in Iraq Wildlife of Iraq

Notes[edit]

^ a b Isaev, V.A.; Mikhailova, M.V. (2009). "The hydrology, evolution, and hydrological regime of the mouth area of the Shatt al-Arab
Shatt al-Arab
River". Water Resources. 36 (4): 380–395. doi:10.1134/S0097807809040022.  ^ Kolars, J.F.; Mitchell, W.A. (1991). The Euphrates
Euphrates
River
River
and the Southeast Anatolia Development Project. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-8093-1572-6.  ^ Pliny: Natural History, VI, XXVI, 128-131 ^ "Mesopotamia, Tigris-Euphrates, 1914-1917, despatches, killed and died, medals". naval-history.net. Retrieved 28 November 2015.  ^ F. Delitzsch, Sumerisches Glossar, Leipzig (1914), IV, 6, 21. ^ a b Genesis 2:14 ^ E. Laroche, Glossaire de la langue Hourrite, Paris (1980), p. 55. ^ Vidal, John. "Water supply key to outcome of conflicts in Iraq
Iraq
and Syria, experts warn" The Guardian, 2 July 2014. ^ "Analysis & Water Agenda". ORSAM. Retrieved 2015-11-28.  ^ Borger, Julian (29 February 2016). "Iraqi PM and US issue warnings over threat of Mosul
Mosul
dam collapse". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 February 2016.  ^ "US warns of Mosul
Mosul
dam collapse in northern Iraq". BBC
BBC
News. BBC. BBC. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.  ^ Jeremy A. Black, The Literature of Ancient Sumer, Oxford University Press 2004, ISBN 0-19-926311-6 p. 220-221 ^ Daniel 10:4

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica
(9th ed.) article Tigris.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tigris.

Livius.org: Tigris Hausleiter, A., M. Roaf, St J. Simpson, R. Wenke, P. Flensted Jensen, R. Talbert, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 912964 (Tigris/Diglitus fl.)". Pleiades. Retrieved March 9, 2012. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Managing the Tigris
Tigris
and Euphrates
Euphrates
Watershed Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law Peace Palace Library Outline of WWI Battles involving the Tigris
Tigris
River

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The Tigris

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(523 km) Syria
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Rivers of Turkey
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Coordinates: 38°26′0″N 39°46′22″E / 38.43333°N 39.77278°E / 38.43333; 39.77278

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 236538

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