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0164 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 164 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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more than the half on the distance as calculated from a journey of four months and fourteen days, for it was not to be supposed that travelling should have gone on without intermission all that time. And as regards this seven months' journey the same consideration will apply even more forcibly than on the route from the Garamantes. For in the latter case the business was carried out by the king of the country, and as we may suppose with more than ordinary forethought, and they had fine weather all along. But on the journey from the Stone Tower to Sera bad weather was to be looked for, seeing that it ran (according to Marinus's own hypothesis) in the latitudes of Hellespont and Byzantium. And on this account there must have been many halts on the journey. Moreover it must be remembered that it was on a trading expedition that the information about this road was acquired.

"For he tells us that the distances were taken down by one Maës called also Titianus, a Macedonian, and a merchant like his father before him ; not that he made the journey himself, but he had sent agents to the Seres. Now Marinus himself (on other occasions) has shown little faith in traders' stories, as (for example) when he refuses to believe the statement of Philemon (founded on the talk of some traders), that the Island of Iuvernia was twenty days' journey in length from east to west. For such people, he observes, don't take any trouble to search into the truth of things, being constantly taken up with their business and often exaggerating distances through a spirit of brag. Just so, as there seems to have been nothing else that they thought worth remembering or telling about this seven months' journey, they made a wonder about the length of time it had occupied.


" For these reasons, and because the journey was not really upon one parallel (the Stone Tower being in the latitude of Byzantium, whilst Sera is further south than Hellespont) it might have seemed advisable to reduce the distance of 36,200 stadia ascribed to this seven months' journey by more, rather than by less, than a half. But let us keep the reduction within the half, so as to calculate the distance on a round estimate at 22,625 stadia or 45f° ... And the first distance (I speak of that from Euphrates to the Stone Tower) should be reduced from 876 schoeni to 800 only, i.e. 24,000 stadia, on account of deviations from the straight line.... For the road from the ferry of the Euphrates at Hierapolis through Mesopotamia to the Tigris, and thence through the territory of the Garamæans of Assyria,' and Media, to Ecbatana and the Caspian Gates,' and through Parthia to Hecatonpylos,3 is assumed to lie in the parallel of Rhodes, for Marinus himself draws that parallel through

' In the country S.E. of Mosul; see the Beth-Garma of the list at p. 179

infra.   2 Pass in the Elburz, east of Demawenci.

3 Somewhere near Damghan.