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0176 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 176 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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clx   FR Mini] NA RY ESSAY.

The same as told by THEOPHANES of Byzantium.
(End of sixth century).

" Now in the reign of Justinian a certain Persian exhibited in Byzantium the mode in which (silk) worms are hatched, a thing which the Romans had never known before. This Persian on coming away from the country of the Seres had taken with him the eggs of these worms (concealed) in a walking-stick, and succeeded in bringing them safely to Byzantium. In the beginning of spring he put out the eggs upon the mulberry leaves which form their food ; and the worms feeding upon those leaves developed into winged insects and performed their other operations. Afterwards when the Emperor Justinian showed the Turks the manner in which the worms were hatched, and the silk which they produced, he astonished them greatly. For at that time the Turks were in possession of the marts and ports frequented by the Seres, which had been formerly in the possession of the Persians. For when Epthalanus King of the Ephthalites (from whom indeed the race derived that name) conquered Perozes and the Persians, these latter were deprived of those places, and the Ephthalites became possessed of them.' But somewhat later the Turks again conquered the Ephthalites and took the places from them in turn." In _Miller's Fragmenta I-listor. Greet. iv, 270.



From the Fragments of MENANDER PROTECTOR.
(End of sixth century.)

" In the beginning of the fourth year of the Emperor Justin [568] an embassy from the Turks arrived at Byzantium ; and it came about thus. The power of the Turks had now grown to a. great pitch, and the people of Sogdia who had formerly been subject to the Ephthalites but were now under the Turks, besought the king to send an embassy to the Persians, in order to obtain permission for them to carry silk for sale into Persia. Dizabulus2 consented to send an embassy of Sogdians, and

Perozes (Firoz) reigned 458-484. The circumstances as gathered from other Greek writers are set forth in Lassen ii, 773.

The mention here of the "ports frequented by the Seres" is remarkable, and I believe the only indication of the Seres (under that name) as a seafaring people. If the. expression can be .depended on, the ports in question

must have been in Sind. We have seen that a record of the Chinese trade to Sind at a date somewhat later exists (supra, p. lxxix). This

passage then becomes a final link of identification between Seres and Chinese.

2 The Great Khan of the Turks at this time, according to the Chinese