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0076 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 76 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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stantinople is found in a notice which they give of a somewhat

obscure passage in the Byzantine History :-

  1. " The Tashi (or Mahomedan Arabs), after having overrun

and forcibly taken possession of kingdom after kingdom, at last sent their general-in-chief, Moi, to lay siege to the capital city of

Fulin. YENYO, who was the negociator of the peace which followed, made it one of the conditions that the Tashi should every year pay a tribute, consisting of gold and silk-stuffs."1

In this passage is commemorated the remarkable fact that the Khalif Moawiyah, after having (A.D. 671-678) for seven successive summers renewed the endeavour to take Constantinople, at length felt himself under the necessity of sending envoys to sue for peace from the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus. The latter agreed, and sent the patrician Ioannes Petzigaudius (the Yenyo of the Chinese) to Damascus to conduct the negociation with the Arabs. The result was that the latter pledged themselves to a thirty years' peace, and to pay to the empire every year 3,000 pieces of gold, fifty slaves, and fifty horses.'

  1. In a later work, called the History of the Barbarous Nations, some of the particulars ascribed to Tathsin appear to belong to Syria under the Ayubite sultans, but with these also are mixed up circumstances, both old and new, which really point to the Roman empire. Thus it is said, with that confusion of Christianity with Buddhism of which we have elsewhere quoted various

Pauth. de l'Auth., p. 49.

2 See Niceph. Patriarch. Breviarium Historic., in the 1st volume of the Corpus Byzant. Histor., p. 21-22; also, Theophanis Chronographia, in the same coll., p. 295, and Gibbon, eh. lii. Pauthier seems to think that the circumstances are passed over entirely by Gibbon and other modern historians ; but this a mistake. Gibbon does not name the Greek envoy ; but he mentions his going to Damascus, and the result. He also relates how the tribute was greatly augmented a few years afterwards, when the Khalifate was in difficulties ; but finally repudiated by the Khalif Abdulmalik in the time of Justinian II. The circumstances, with the name of the Patrician, are also detailed in St. Martin's edition of Lebeau (Hist. du Bas Empire, xi, 428.) Silk-stuffs are not mentioned here as part of the tribute ; but " gold and silk-stuffs" do frequently appear as the constituents of tribute exacted in the early Saracen wars. See

Gibbon, eh. li, passim. I believe no Hahomedan writer records this transaction.