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0190 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 190 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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once in Ethiopia, but I kept at a good distance from him. And I have seen one dead, skinned and stuffed with straw, standing in the king's palace, so that I have been able to draw him accurately.

" Taurelaphus.

"This creature, the Taurelaphus (or Bull-stag), is found both in India and Ethiopia. Those in India are tame, and they make them carry loads of pepper and other such articles in sacks ; they also milk them and made butter from their milk. We also eat their flesh, Christians cutting their throats and Greeks felling them. Those of Ethiopia again are wild beasts, and have not been domesticated.'


" The Cameleopard is found only in Ethiopia. These also are wild beasts, and have not been domesticated. But in the palace [at Axum] they have one or two which they have tamed by the king's command by catching them when young, in order to keep them for a show. When milk or water to drink is given to these creatures in a dish, as is done in the king's presence, they cannot reach the vessel on the ground so as to drink, except by straddling with their fore-legs, owing to the great length of their legs and height of the chest and neck above the ground. It stands to reason therefore that they must widen out their fore-legs in order to drink. This also I have drawn (or described) from personal


The Wild Ox.

"This Wild Ox is a great beast of India, and from it is got the thing called Tupha, with which officers in the field adorn their horses and pennons. They tell of this beast that if his tail catches in a tree he will not budge, but stands stock-still, being horribly vexed at losing a single hair of his tail ; so the natives come and cut his tail off, and then when he has lost it altogether he makes his escape ! Such is the nature of the


" `f'he Musk Animal.

"This little animal is the Musk. The natives call it in their own tongue Kasturi.3 When they hunt it they shoot it with arrows, and

guage spoken at the court of Axum was the Gheez" (Ludolf, i, 10, 78; Salt as above).

Hhars means " ploughing" in Arabic, which may illustrate the etymology of Cosmas.

This appears to be the buffalo. Everything applies accurately except

the name, which does not seem a very appropriate one. The picture is that of a lanky ox with long tusks.

2 This is evidently the Yak, which Cosmas could only have known by distant hearsay. Tupha is probably Pugh or Tau, which according to Rémusat is the Turkish name of the horse-tail standard, applied also by the Chinese to the Yak-tail, which respectively with those nations mark

the supreme military command (Rech. sur les langues Tartares, 303; also D' Ohsson, i, 40).

3 Kastzc•ri is a real Sankrit name for the perfume mvsl, (see Lassen, i,