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0194 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 194 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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of each place. These again are passed on from Sielediba to the marts on this side, such as Malè, where the pepper is grown, and Kalliana, whence are exported brass, and sisam logs,' and other wares, such as cloths (for that also is a great place of business) ; also to SINDU, where you get the musk or castorin, and androstachyn ;2 also to Persia, Home-rite, and Adule. And the island receives imports again from all those marts that I have been mentioning, and passes them on to the remoter ports, whilst at the same time it exports its own produce in both


" SINDII is where India begins. Now, the Indus, i. e., Phison, the

mouths of which discharge into the Persian Gulf, is the boundary between Persia and India. And the most notable places of trade are these : SINDU, ORRHOTHA, KALLIANA, SIBOR,3 and then the five marts of Malè, from which pepper is exported, to wit, PARTI, MANGARIITH, SALOPATANA, NALOPATANA, PUDOPATANA.4 Then there is SIELEDIBA; i.e., Taprobane, which lies hither ward about five days and nights' sail from the Continent ; and then again on the Continent, and further back is MARALLO, which exports conch shells ;5 KABER, which exports alabandinum ;6 and then again further off is the Clove Country ; and then TZINISTA, which produces the silk. Beyond this there is no other country, for the ocean encompasses it on the east.

I The Periplus mentions among exports from Barygaza (Baroch) brass, sandal-wood, beams, horns, and planks of sasanz and ebony. I suppose the suggestion has been made before, though I cannot find it, that these sisam logs or sasam planks were the wood of the sissu or shisham, one of the most valuable Indian timbers. I believe the blackwood of Western India, much used for carved furniture, is a species of sissu. The brass was probably manufactured in pots and vessels ; still so prominent a business in Indian towns.

2 Sindu, doubtless a port at the mouth of the Sinthus or Indus, probably Diul or Daibul, which we have seen to be a port known to the Chinese soon after this (supra, p. lxxix). Androstachyn is probably, as Lassen suggests, an error for Nardostachys or spikenard, the chief sources of which seem to have been the countries on the tributaries of the Upper Indus (see Lassen, iii, 41, 42 ; also i, 288-9) .

3 Sibor, probably the Supera of Jordanus and Suppara of Ptolemy (infra, p. 227). Orrhatha is supposed by Lassen to be Ptolemy's Soratha on the Pen. of Gujarat, identified with the Surata of Hiwen Thsang, not to be confounded with modern Surat(Reinaud, Mem. sur l'Inde in Acad., p.155).

4 Of these five ports of Malabar, Mangaruth is no doubt Mangalore, Pudopatana the port which bore the same name till a recent century (see infra, pp. 448, 453) ; the others I cannot identify.

5 In position and perhaps in name identical with Marava or Marawar opposite Ceylon. The fishing of chunk shells hereabouts was till recently I believe a government monopoly like the pearl-fishery. Walckenaer says Marallo is Morilloum, opposite Ceylon". Is there such a place ?

6 Kabér, from the name and position, may be the Cbaberis of Ptolemy (Kaveripatam), but I can get no light on the alabandinum. Pliny speaks of alabandic carbuncles and of an alabandic black marble, both called from a city of Caria. The French apply the name alrandine or albandine to a species of ruby (Pliny, xxxvii, 25 ; xxxvi, 13 ; Dict. de Trcvoux). If rubies be meant it is just possible that Pew' may be in question.