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0145 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 145 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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and heard of the nations of barbarians, and among others of the Ghotaians or Cathayans. In their country there were many idolaters who worshipped a clay image called Shakennonia. This personage had been Deity for the last 3040 years, and had still to rule the World for 35 tumans or 350,000 years, when he was to be deprived of his divinity. They had also another god (who should then reign ?) called llfaclri, of whom they had made a clay image of incredible size. In these statements we have a rough indication of Buddhism with its last Buddha or deified sage, SAKYA-MUNI, and its coming Buddha, Maitreya or MAIDARI awaiting his time in the development of the ages. The king heard, too, of a people beyond Cathay whose women had the use of reason like men, whilst the males were great hairy dogs, a story which Plano Carpini had also heard, and which Klaproth has found in the Chinese books of the period.' The information regarding Cathay and other countries of the far East, contained is the history written half a century later by the king's namesake and relative, Hayton the Younger, was also probably derived in part from the former and his companions.

101. We do not mean here to enter into any details regarding that illustrions Venetian family whose travels occupy a large space in the interval between the journeys of Rubruquis and King Hayton and the end of the thirteenth century, those travels which more than all other narratives together familiarised Europe with the name and wonders of Cathay. Indeed, all other travellers to that region are but stars of a low magnitude. beside the full orb of MARCO POLO. There was a time when he fell into discredit;2 but that is long past, and his veracity and justness of observation still shine brighter under every recovery of lost or

1 See Pl. Carpini, p. 656. The narrative of King Hetum's journey is translated by Klaproth in the Journ. dsiat., s. ii, tom. xii, pp. 273 segq. King Hayton, in his latter years, abdicated and became a monk; as did at a later date his son Hayton II, and again, their kinsman, Hayton

the historian.   •

The editors of the Histoire Générale des Voyages (I am afraid this is a translation from the English), express doubts whether Polo ever was really in China or Tartary, because he says nothing of the Great Wall, of tea, of the compressed feet of the ladies, etc. (Baldello Boni, Il Hilionc, p. lxxv).