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0119 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 119 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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twice, as well as once or twice again in subsequent pages of the book, passages occur in the first person. It may be observed, however, that none of these passages, if my examination may be trusted, refer to China. They relate to India, Ceylon, and the seas between those countries and Arabia. My conclusion would rather be that the book is a compilation of notes made by the author from his own experiences in a voyage to India, and from what he had collected from others who had visited China, Suleiman among them. The remainder of this first part of the book is in fact a medley of notes about India and China, including a detail of some of the chief kingdoms of the Indies of which the author had heard. It is clear from the vagueness of these accounts that the author's knowledge of India was slight and inaccurate, and that he had no distinct conception of its magnitude. An abstract of them will be found in the notes to this essay, with some remarks that it seems desirable to offer regarding this part of the subject, over which I venture to think that M. Reinaud with all his great learning has spread confusion

rather than shed light.1   •

79. The names of seas and places described by this writer as encountered on the voyage to China have given rise to curious controversy. The views taken by M. Reinaud about many of them are very untenable, and the most consistent and probable interpretatien yet published appears to be that of M. Alfred 1Vlaury.2

According to this view, with trifling modifications, the seas and places passéd are as follows :—The SEA OF PERSIA; the SEA OF LAR, (that which washes Gujarat and Malabar) ;3 the SEA OF HARKAND (the Indian Ocean from the DIBAJAT or Maldives, and SEREN-DIB or Ceylon to AL RAMM or Sumatra) ;5 the LANJABALUS or

I See Note XI.

2 Des Anciens Rapports de l'Asie Occidentale, etc., published in the Bulletin de la Société de Géographie 1846, and republished some three years ago in a collection of essays by M. Maury.

:; These first two are missing with the opening pages of the work, and are derived by Reinaud from a parallel passage in Masudi.

{ Compare the ab usque Divis et Serendivis of Ammianus Marcellinus. See Odoric infra p. 84, note 2.