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0066 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 66 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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treating of some other matters, the historian returns to the sub-

ject, and proceeds :1

25. " The ruler of the land of the Taugase is called Taissan,

which signifies, when translated, the Son of God.3 This kingdom of Taugas is never disturbed by disputed successions, for the authority is hereditary in the family of the chief. The nation practises idolatry, but they have just laws, and their life is full of temperate wisdom. There is a law binding on these people which prohibits the men from ever wearing ornaments of gold, although they derive great wealth in gold and silver from their commerce, which is both large and lucrative. The territory of Taugas, of which we are speaking, is divided in two by a river, which in time past formed the boundary between two very great nations which were at war with one another. These nations were distinguished from one another by their dress, the one wearing clothes dyed black, the other red. In our own day, however, and whilst Maurice wielded the Roman sceptre, the nation of the black-coats crossed the river to attack the red-coats, and having got the victory over them they thus became supreme over the whole empire.4

lactus is the reign of Maurice. Gibbon calls this author a vain sophist," t' an impostor," " diffuse in trifles, concise in the most interesting facts."

1 Ib., vii, 9.

2 The name of China which this probably represents will be shown below. In the Latin version in the Corpus Hist. Byz., and in the Bonn edition it is Taugast, as also in the Ecclesiastical History of Nicephorus Callistus, who copies largely from Theophylactus (Lang's Lat. Version, Franf., 1588, book xviii, eh. 30).

8 This is supposed by Klaproth to represent the Chinese Thiantsé, ' Son of Heaven.' It is curious, however, that the name of the emperor reigning in the latter years of Theophylactus, and a very celebrated sovereign in Chinese history, was Taitsung. He came to the throne in 626. The last addition known to have been made to the history of Theophylactus is an allusion to the death of Chosroes, King of Persia, which occurred in 628. Smith's Diet. of Greek and Roman Biography says that the historian is supposed to have died in the following year, but there does not seem to be any authority for this; and it is possible that at a later date the name of Taitsung might have reached him.

4 The great river is the Kiang, which divided the Empire of the Sui, whose capital was at Chhanggan or Singanfu, from that of the Chin whose Emperor resided at Nanking. The sovereign of the Sui crossed the Kiang as here related in the year 589, and therefore in the reign of