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0181 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 181 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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"And whilst Zemarchus and his party continued there, Dizabulus thought proper that Zemarchus with twenty of his servants and followers should accompany him on a campaign against the Persians, sending the rest of the Romans back to the land of the CHOLIATAE1 to await the return of Zemarchus. These last Dizabulus dismissed with presents and friendly treatment ; and at the same time he honoured Zemarchus with the gift of a handmaiden, one of those called Kherkhis, who was the captive of his spear.' And so Zemarchus went with Dizabulus to fight the Persians. Whilst they were on this expedition, as they were pitched at a place called TALAS, an ambassador from the Persians came to meet Dizabulus, who invited him to dinner as well as the ambassador of the Romans.3 When the party had met, Dizabulus accorded to the Roman much the more honourable treatment, and made him occupy the more honourable place at table. Moreover he heaped great reproaches on the Persians, telling the injuries he had received at their hands, and how he was coming on that account to attack them.{ So as the abuse of Dizabulus waxed more and more violent, the Persian envoy, casting off all regard for that etiquette of theirs which imposes silence at feasts, began to speak with heat, and in the most spirited manner to refute the charges of Dizabulus ; insomuch that all the company wondered at the way in which he gave rein to his wrath. For, contrary to all rule, he used all sorts of intemperate expressions.

"And in this state of things the party broke up and Dizabulus pro-

1 Or Chliatce. The Kallats are mentioned with the Kanklis, Kipchaks, and Kharliks as four Turkish tribes descended from the Patriarch Oguz Khan (Deguignes ii, 9).

Were these the four divisions of the Turks of whom Maniach spoke to the Emperor ?

Deguignes, however, identifies the Chliatæ with the Kangli who lay north of the country between the Caspian and Aral (ii, 388). And St. Martin in his notes on Lebeau's History says that in the tenth and eleventh centuries the Russians called the Turk and Fin nations near the Caspian Khwalis, and knew that sea as the Sea of Khwalis (Hist. du Bas Empire, 1828, x, 61).

2 This girl might be either Kirghiz or Circassian. St. Martin thinks the latter (Ib.)

3 Near Talas about sixty years later the Chinese pilgrim, Hiwen Thsang, on his way to India fell in with the Great Khan of the Turks, a successor of Dizabulus, whom the Chinese traveller calls Shehu. His account is very like that of Zemarchus. The Khan " occupied a great tent adorned with gold flowers of dazzling richness. The officers of the court sat in two long rows on mats before the Khan, brilliantly attired in embroidered silk ; the Khan's guard standing behind them. Although here was but a barbarian prince under a tent of felt, one could not look on him without respect and admiration" (H. de la Vie de H. T., p. 55-56).

.1 A curious parallel to the scene at Samarkand, related by Clavijo (supra, p. cxxxv), where Tiinur takes the place of Dizabulus, the Castilian envoy that of Zemarchus, and the Chinese ambassador that of the Persian.