Tigris: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arabic: نهر دجلة‎, Nahr Dijlah, Turkish: Dicle Nehri
About 100 km from its source, the Tigris enables rich agriculture outside Diyarbakır, Turkey
Countries  Turkey,  Syria,  Iraq
Basin area Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran
 - left Batman, Khabur, Greater Zab, Lesser Zab, 'Adhaim, Diyala
 - right Wadi Tharthar
Cities Diyarbakır, Mosul, Baghdad
Source Lake Hazar
 - elevation 1,150 m (3,773 ft)
 - coordinates 38°29′0″N 39°25′0″E / 38.483333°N 39.416667°E / 38.483333; 39.416667
Mouth Shatt al-Arab
 - location Al-Qurnah, Basra Governorate, Iraq
Length 1,862 km (1,157 mi)
Basin 375,000 km2 (144,788 sq mi)
Discharge for Baghdad
 - average 666 m3/s (23,520 cu ft/s)
 - max 1,825 m3/s (64,449 cu ft/s)
 - min 155 m3/s (5,474 cu ft/s)
Map of the Tigris-Euphrates basin area

The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, along with the Euphrates. The river flows from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.



The Tigris is 1862 km long, rising in the Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey about 25 km southeast of the city of Elazig and circa 30 km from the headwaters of the Euphrates River. The river then flows for 400 km through Turkish territory, before becoming the border between Syria and Iraq. This stretch of 44 km is the only part of the river that is located in Syria. The remaining 1418 km are entirely within the Iraqi borders.[1]

The Tigris unites with the Euphrates near Basra, and from this junction to the Persian Gulf the mass of moving water is known as the Shatt-al-Arab. According to Pliny and other ancient historians, the 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 straddles the Shatt al-Arab. In ancient times, many of the great cities of 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 was irrigated by the Tigris via a canal dug around 2400 BC. Saddam Hussein's hometown, Tikrit, is also located on the river and derives its name from it.

The Tigris has long been an important transport route in a largely desert country. It is navigable as far as Baghdad by shallow-draft vessels, but rafts are needed for transport upstream to Mosul. River trade declined in importance during the 20th century as the Basra-Baghdad-Mosul railway and roads took over much of the freight traffic.


The original Sumerian name was Idigna or Idigina, probably from *id (i)gina "running water",[4] which can be interpreted as "the swift river", contrasted to its neighbor, the Euphrates, whose leisurely pace caused it to deposit more silt and build up a higher bed than the Tigris. This form was borrowed and gave rise to Akkadian Idiqlat. From Old Persian Tigrā, the word was adopted into Greek as Tigris ("Τίγρις" which is also Greek for "tiger"). In the Hebrew Bible, the river was called Ḥiddẹqel[5] (חִדֶּקֶל).

Pahlavi tigr means "arrow", in the same family as Old Persian tigra- "pointed" (compare tigra-xauda), Modern Persian têz "sharp". However, it does not appear that this was the original name of the river, but that it (like the Semitic forms of the name) was coined as an imitation of the indigenous Sumerian name. This is similar to the Persian name of the Euphrates, Ufratu, which does have a meaning in Persian, but is still modeled after the Akkadian name Purattu.

Another name for the Tigris, used from the time of the Persian Empire, is Arvand Rud, literally Arvand River. Today the name Arvand Rud is the Persian name for the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers which in Arabic is called Shatt al-Arab.

The name of the Tigris in languages that have been important to the region:

Tigris River Outside of Mosul, Iraq.
Language Name for Tigris
Akkadian Idiqlat
Arabic دجلة, Dijla
Aramaic דיגלת , Diglath
Armenian Տիգրիս, Tigris
Greek ἡ Τίγρης, -ητος, hē Tígrēs, -ētos;

ἡ, ὁ Τίγρις, -ιδος, hē, ho Tígris, -idos

Hebrew חידקל , Ḥîddeqel
Hurrian Aranzah[6]
Kurdish Dîcle
Persian Old Persian:Tigrā; Middle Persian:Tigr; Modern Persian:دجله Dijle
Sumerian Idigna/Idigina IDIGNA (Borger 2003 nr. 124) 𒈦𒄘𒃼
Syriac ܕܩܠܬ Deqlaṯ
Turkish Dicle
Urdu دجلہ, Dajla
Tigris river in Baghdad

Management and water quality

Tigris River in Mosul, Iraq.

The Tigris is heavily dammed in Iraq and 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 has historically been notoriously prone following melting of snow in the Turkish mountains around April. Recent Turkish damming of the river has been the subject of some controversy, for both its environmental effects within Turkey and its potential to reduce the flow of water downstream. Mosul Dam, located on the Tigris, is the largest dam in Iraq. Some problems with the Tigris water quality include the number of dead bodies being dumped into it.[citation needed] The bodies are mainly from explosions of cargo ships carrying ammunition. This dumping affects the economy because people are not eating some fish that come from the Tigris, for fear that the fish may have fed on human bodies.

Religion and mythology

The Tigris appears twice in the Bible. In the Book of Genesis, the Tigris is the third of the four rivers branching off the river issuing out of the Garden of Eden.[7] Daniel received one of his visions "when I was by that great river the Tigris".[8]

In Sumerian mythology, the Tigris was created by the god Enki, who ejaculated and filled the river with flowing water.[9]

In Hittite and Hurrian mythology, Aranzah (or Aranzahas in the Hittite nominative form) is the Hurrian name of the Tigris River, which was divinized. He was the son of Kumarbi and the brother of Teshub and Tašmišu, one of the three gods spat out of Kumarbi's mouth onto Mount Kanzuras. Later he colluded with Anu and the Teshub to destroy Kumarbi (The Kumarbi Cycle).


  1. ^ a b Isaev, V.A.; Mikhailova, M.V. (2009). "The hydrology, evolution, and hydrological regime of the mouth area of the Shatt al-Arab River". Water Resources 36 (4): 380-395. doi:10.1134/S0097807809040022. 
  2. ^ Kolars, J.F.; Mitchell, W.A. (1991). The Euphrates River and the Southeast Anatolia Development Project. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 6-8. ISBN 0809315726. 
  3. ^ Pliny: Natural History, VI, XXVI, 128-131
  4. ^ F. Delitzsch, Sumerisches Glossar, Leipzig (1914), IV, 6, 21.
  5. ^ KJV Hiddekel)
  6. ^ E. Laroche, Glossaire de la langue Hourrite, Paris (1980), p. 55.
  7. ^ Genesis 2:14
  8. ^ Daniel 10:4
  9. ^ Jeremy A. Black, The Literature of Ancient Sumer, Oxford University Press 2004, ISBN 0199263116 p. 220-221

See also

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:


See also tigris




From Ancient Greek Τίγρις (Tigris), from Old Persian Tigrā, from Akkadian idiqlat, from Sumerian idigna, literally 'fast as an arrow', because the Tigris is rough and fast flowing.

Proper noun


  1. A river in Southwest Asia flowing 1,150 miles east-southeast from Turkey through Iraq. It forms the eastern edge of classical Mesopotamia. It unites with the Euphrates River to form the Shatt-al-Arab before flowing into the Persian Gulf.


See also


Proper noun

Tigris m.

  1. Tigris


Proper noun

Tigris m.

  1. Tigris



From Ancient Greek Τίγρις (Tigris).


Proper noun

Tigris (genitive Tigridis); m, third declension

  1. Tigris (river)


nominative Tigris
genitive Tigridis
dative Tigridī
accusative Tigridem
ablative Tigride
vocative Tigris
locative Tigride

See also


Proper noun

Tigris m.

  1. Tigris

See also


Proper noun

Tigris m., Tigrisy pl.
Tigris stem
Tigrisu gen sg
declension pattern dub
  1. the river Tigris

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

One of the four streams mentioned in Gen 2:14 as watering the Garden of Eden, and described, from the standpoint of Palestine, as flowing "in front of Assyria" (R. V.). The Tigris has its source in several springs in Mount Ararat, not far from the head-waters of the Euphrates. Near one of these springs the figures of Sardanapalus and Tiglath-pileser III. are found carved in the rock. After flowing a short distance the river receives the waters of several mountain brooks from the east; and at Diarbekr it is already a fairly large stream. South of Mosul it is navigable for rafts, and at Bagdad it carries boats, while at Korna it unites with the Euphrates to form the Shaṭṭ al-'Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf. Its chief period of rise occurs, opposite Mosul, at the time of the melting of the snow (Ecclus. [Sirach] xxiv. 25), when it devastates the surrounding country. Hence, even in antiquity it was necessary to dig transverse canals in various places to carry off the superfluous water, which is whitish in color and is famed for its potability among those who live in the vicinity and who are accustomed to it. The river contains great numbers of fish. The Tigris is referred to in only one other place in the Bible, namely, Dan 10:4, where in the English version the name is transliterated simply "Hiddekel."

The Targum and the Talmud term it the Diglat, the earlier form of the name. In answer to the question why this river was called also Hiddekel, R. Ashi replied that it was on account of its sharpness and swiftness, the word (missing hebrew text) being etymologized as a compound of (missing hebrew text) ("sharp," "swift") and (missing hebrew text) ("light," "quick"; Ber. 59a). Neubauer proposed to separate the name into (missing hebrew text) or (missing hebrew text) and (missing hebrew text) ("the swiftly running Diklah"). In the Talmud the water of the river is considered to be both quickening for the mind and healthful for the body on account of its lightness (ib.). It was also held to be one of the oldest rivers; and when a Jew saw its waters from the bridge Bostane he was enjoined to recite the blessing "Blessed be He who hath made the work of Creation (ib.; Yeb. 121a).

From Bagdad to Apameia the river formed the boundary of Babylon (Ḳid. 71b).

Bibliography: McClintock and Strong, Cyc. iv. 232, x. 403; Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc. xv. 662; Nöldeke, in Schenkel, Bibellexicon, v. 536 et seq.; Friedrich Delitzsch, Wo Lag das Paradies? Index, Leipsic, 1881; Neubauer, G. T. pp. 334-337, Paris, 1868; S. Löwisohn, Meḥḳere Ereẓ pp. 136-137, Vienna, 1819.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|The river Tigris, near Diyarbakir, in Turkey]]

File:Tigris river
The river, in Mosul, in Iraq

The Tigris is a river in the Middle East. It is one of two rivers that define Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia literally means (the land) between the rivers. The other river is called Euphrates. The source of the river is in the Taurus mountains in Turkey. From there, it flows through various countries, most notably Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The river is 1,900 kilometres long. It comes together with the Euprates in the Shatt-al-Arab(which is called Arvand Rud in Persian). The Shatt-al-Arab flows into the Persian Gulf.

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