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0242 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 242 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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The Oxus flows into the Caspian in the latitude of Urganj after passing that city (ORGANCI). There is no indication of the Aral.'

Notwithstanding these and many other errors the map is a remarkable production for the age. The general form of Asia is fairly conceived ; the Peninsula of India is shown I believe for the first time with some correctness of form and direction. In these respects the map is greatly superior to the more ambitious work of Fra Mauro in the following century. The Catalan geographer was probably more of a practical man, and did not perplex himself and distort his geography with theories about the circular form of the inhabited earth. Unluckily, however, he seems to have allowed his topography towards the north and south to be compressed, by no theories indeed, but by the limits of his parchment !

The following is an orderly list of the names shown on our reduction of the map in some of its most interesting portions, with as many identifications as I have been able to suggest.2


Countries North of the Black Sea.


R. Tiulo .   . The Dniester ; ancient Tyras j3 Turlûc of the
I lahomedans.

R. Lussom   . The Dnieper. Sharifuddin calls the Dnieper Uzi,4
which is perhaps the name here (L' Uzi).

R. Tanay .   . The Don (Tanais).

Torachi   Torshok N.W. of Twer.

Rostaor .   Rostov)

Tifer   Twer

Peruin   Novgorod ? where there was a great idol called


Baltachinta   Poltawa ? Timur returning from the sack of
Moscow took guides to travel across the steppes by way of Balchimkin (P. de la Croix, ii, 365). That translator gives as explanation of the name " les Palus Meo tides ;" but this is probably one of his random shots.

I In the map of Marino Sanudo dating from the beginning of the fourteenth century, besides the Caspian, which he calls M. Yrcanuro, we have a smaller sea in the position of the Aral called M. Caspium, and then yet another and still smaller into which the Gyon flows.

2 A few of these identifications only are given by the French editors. M. Elie de la Primaudaie, in his Etudes sur le Commerce au Moyen Age,

has identified nearly all the names on the Black Sea and Caspian Coasts. These I have not repeated here.

3 "Nub tardior amne Tyras" (Ovid., Epist. ex Pont., iv, 10). For Turlu, see Not. et Extraits, xiii, 274.

4 Petis de la Croix, ii, 360.

Gwagnini, Sarmatia Europ. descripta, Moscovia, f, 8-9.