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0052 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 52 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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in the year 985 a journey into the remote countries of the west, and to have brought back with him skilled artizans and various natural


Indeed China is often mentioned in the ancient legends of Persia, but as these seem to be chiefly known through the poetry of Ferdusi, probably little stress can be laid upon such allusions. Thus however Jamshid is pursued through India and China .by the agents of Zohak ; Feridun bestows upon his second son, Fur, Tartary and part of China ; Siawush, the son of Kaikobad, marrying the daughter of Afrasiab, receives in dowry China and Khotan ; Kaikhusru (Cyrus) is sent in his youth by Afrasiab beyond the sea of China, and Jiv seeks him all through that country amid wonderful adventures; in the wars of Kaikhusru and Rustuni with Afrasiab Rustum captures the Emperor of China on his white elephant ; Lohrasp, the successor of Kaikhusru, exacts homage from the sovereigns of Tartary and China ; Gushtasp (Darius Hystaspes) makes war on Arjash, King of China, pursues him to his capital and slays him there.'

5: Under the third year of Chingwang (B.c. 1113) there is a curious and obscure tradition of the arrival at the court of men from the kingdom of Nili, who had come by sea, and in whom Pauthier again suggests that we have visitors from the banks of the Nile.3 This notion might have derived some corroboration from the Chinese porcelain phials alleged to have been found in Egyptian tombs as old as the eighteenth dynasty ; but I understand that Dr. Birch has demolished their claims to antiquity.

  1. Some at least of the circumstances which have been collected in the preceding paragraphs may render it the less improbable that the SINIM of the Prophet Isaiah, a name used, as the context shows, to indicate some nation of the extreme east or south, should be truly interpreted as indicating the Chinese.'

  2. The name of China in this form was late in reaching the

1 Ib., pp. 14-15, and Chine Ancienne, p. 94 segq.

2 Malcolm's H. of Persia. I am obliged to quote from the French Trans., i, 26-89.

3 Chine Ancienne, p. 85.

4 " Behold these shall come from far; and to these from the north and

from the we st ; and these from the land of SINIM" (xlix, ver. 12). See article Sinim, in Smith's Diet. of the Bible.