Mosul was described by Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217) “The city is a large and ancient one, fortified and imposing, and prepared against the strokes of adversity.”
After centuries it was also described as ancient and large one.
In 1799 a British traveller called John Jackson ?-1807 visited Mosul coming from India and east, he had seen different cities in the eastward which makes his discerption a strong one as he was comparing between cities and its inhabitants.
And it is against what the British consular H. E. Wilkie Young wrote about the city in his published paper ‘Mosul 1909″ where he tried to draw a gloomy picture of Mosul as a city of only one educated man, a dirty and small one. Britain, from that time wanted to prepare Mosul for the decision yet to make to detach the city from its historical and cultural environment by minimizing its identity and role.
Here is a paragraph from John Jackson’s visit to Mosul 1799:
“Mosul, which is said by some of the inhabitants to be the ancient Nineveh, is pleasantly situated on a declivity upon the right banks of the Tigris. What it may formerly have been I cannot say, but it is now a very large town, and contains many handsome buildings, exclusive of the hummums (Hammams), mosques, and minarets, which are built of hewn stone.”
“Here is not so much reserve of manners as in the cities to the eastward, women of all descriptions being nearly as much exposed as in Europe. the town is very populous and comprises men of various religions.”