Basrah, Bassora, Balsora, or Bassoraii (Arab. Frontier), a town in the pashalic of Bagdad, Turkey in Asia, on the west bank of the Shat-el-Arab, 70 miles from its mouth, was founded by the Caliph Omar in 636, and taken by the Turks in 1668. Its walls of sun-dried brick enclose within their circumference of 8 or 9 miles gardens, groves, and rice fields, irrigated by canals, as well as the bazaars and dwellings, several mosques, the Governor's palace, and the English factory. Though ill-built and dirty, the place is a wealthy centre of trade by ship and caravan with the whole of the East. Piece goods, muslins, silks, drugs, spices, indigo, coffee, dates, metals, pearls, horses, and every conceivable product pass through its marts. Arabs and Persians enter largely into the population.