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, 1928, p. 40; Tarn, 1951, p. 481), but this identification is disputed (e.g. d’Anville, 1764, pp. 140, identified Jāsk with Claudius Ptolemy’s promontory of Carpella; Forbiger, 1844, p. 532, identified Jāsk with Dagasira; Weissbach, 1890, p. 41, and 1896, col. 2727 identified Badis with Kuh-e Mobārak or Tujek near Al-Sir; Berthelot, 1935, p. 22, identified Jāsk with Omana of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, sec. 36). 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 and Qazwini is thought to have been Lārak (Lockhart, 1965, p. 486) and not Jāsk. Aḥmad b. Majid al-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 (Tibbetts, 1971, pp. 212, 448-49).

In December 1616, Edward Connock landed the James at Jāsk with a cargo from Surat, thereby inaugurating English trade with Persia (Wilson, 1928, p. 138). In July, 1617, Connock was received by Shah ʿAbbās 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 (rāhdāri) was to be paid by the English, although their goods, both imports to and exports from Jāsk, were exempt from any customs charges (Steensgaard, 1973, p. 330). In 1618, however, Connock’s successor, Thomas Barker, was refused permission to build a fort at Jāsk (Steensgaard, 1973, p. 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, 1892, pp. 427-28; Sykes, 1915, pp. 275-77; Wilson, 1928, p. 142; Steensgaard, 1973, pp. 337-41).

In 1809 Jāsk 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 Jāsk, as was a small fort with a Persian governor and about 20 Kurdish soldiers (Oppenheim, 1900, p. 323).



B. d’Anville, “Recherches géographiques sur le Golfe Persique et sur les bouches de l’Euphrate et du Tigre,” Mémoires de littérature, tirés des registres de l’Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 30, 1764, pp. 132-97.

A. Berthelot, “La côte méridionale de l’Iran d’après les géogreaphes grecs,” Mélanges offerts à M. Octave Navarre par ses élèves 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 medišval Makran,” The Geographical Journal 7, 1896, pp. 387-405.

L. Lockhart, “Djāsak,” 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, ʿOman, 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.

Ḥ. ʿA. Razmārā, ed. Farhang-e joḡrāfiāʾi-e Irān. Ābādihā, 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.

(Daniel T. Potts)

Originally Published: December 15, 2008

Last Updated: April 13, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIV, Fasc. 6, pp. 588-589