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0231 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 231 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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and a person of most agreeable manners, whose accomplishments have now obtained him the position of Turkish interpreter to this illustrious Signory. First he told us that he had been at SUccui ' and CAMPION,2 cities of the province of TANGATII, at the commencement of the states of the Great Can, whose name he said was Daimir Can,3 and by whom rulers were sent to govern the said cities, the same that M. Marco speaks of in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of his first book. They are the first cities of idolaters that are met with in going from the Musulman territories ; and he went thither with the caravan that goes with merchandise from Persia and the countries about the Caspian to the regions of CATHAY. And this caravan is not allowed to enter further into the country than Succuir and Campion ; nor may any merchant belonging to it, unless he go as an ambassador to the Great Cana

" This city of Succuir is large and extremely populous, with very handsome houses built of brick after the Italian manner ; and in it there are many great temples with idols carved in stone. It is situated in a plain, through which run an infinite number of streamlets, and abounds in all sorts of necessaries. They grow silk there in very great quantities, using the black-mulberry tree for the purpose. They have no wine grown there, but for their drink they make a kind of beer with honey. As regards fruit, the country is a cold one, so they have none but pears, apples, apricots, and peaches, melons, and grapes. Then he told us that the rhubarb grows over all that province, but much the best is got in a certain neighbouring range of lofty and rocky mountains, where there are many springs, with woods of sundry kinds of trees growing to a great height, and soil of a red colour, which, owing to the frequent rains and the springs which run in all directions, is almost always in a sloppy state. As regards the appearance of the root and its leaves it so chanced that the said merchant had brought a little picture with him from the country which appeared to be drawn with great care and skill, so he took it from his pocket and showed it us, saying that here we had the true and natural representation of the rhubarb... . He said moreover ... that in the Lands of Cathay they never used the rhubarb for medicine as we do, but pounded it up and compounded it

Succuir, or rather Succiur (i.e. Sukeh ir) as Polo seems to have written it, is according to Pauthier a Mongol pronunciation of Suh-cheulu, the Circuit of Suhcheu (Polo, p. 164). On Suhcheu or Sucheu see supra, p. ccii, and references there.

2 Campicion in most copies of Polo ; well identified with Kaneheu, though the form of the name has not been satisfactorily explained.

3 Daiming Khan is the name by which the Emperor of China is called in Abdurrazzak's History introducing the narrative abstracted in the preceding note. It is, in fact, the name of the native Dynasty (Ta-Ming, " Great Light") usually called the Ming, which reigned from 1369 to 1616 (see Chine Ancienne, p. 389 ; Atlas Sinensis in Blaeu, p. 1 ; Notices et Extraits, xiv, pt. i, p. 213 seq.; Schmidt, pp. 153, 211, 289.

4 See the narrative of Goes passim.