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0279 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 279 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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a life of Odoric in 1639. Asquini, another biographer in the last century, quotes as authority for it " Osuald. Ravenn.,"1 a reference respecting the age or value of which I have no knowledge. Judging, however, from the effigies of Odoric on his tomb at Udine, I should have guessed the date of his birth to stand a dozen years earlier than that mentioned.

The authorities for the circumstances of Odoric's life, exclusive of such as can be gathered from the story of his travels, are the annalists or hagiologists of his order. Whether the man whom they describe after the regular saint-model of the middle ages answers in any degree to the author of the travels, as he indicates his own likeness however faintly, appears to me most questionable. The contemporary notices of him, except the local records of the miracles which were said to have followed his death, are very brief.

It is alleged that Odoric is treated of in a catalogue of Franciscan saints, written only five years after his death ;2 but I find no quotation from this work, and the earliest notice of him that I can discover (apart from the exceptions just specified) is in the chronicle of his German contemporary, John of Winterthur, who seems to have written about 1348-50, and whose reference shows that he was already acquainted with the Itinerary.3 His travels, alleged missionary work, and miracles are also briefly spoken of by Bartholomew Albizzi, of Pisa, in-his treatise concerning the Conformity of the Life e of St. Frdncis to the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, from which the passages are quoted in the Acta Sanctorum.4 This work was written, according to

1 Vita e Viaggi del B. Odorico, etc., Udine, 1737.

2 Sbaralea, Supp. et Castigatio ad Scriptores Trium Ordinum S. Francisci, etc. Rome, 1806, p. 443.

3 After giving a notice of the martyrdom at Tana, and some other circumstances related by our author, the chronicler adds : Hcec testatur Sanctus Odoricus de Padua oriundus, qui peragratis cunctis regionibus orientalibus et incolumis ad terram nativam reversus, hcec et alia mira et stupenda illic visa et audita ab eo, rogatus et compulsas a suis confratribus minoribus in scripturam redegit; opusculum valde solatiosum et delectabile, de hujusmodi raris et a seculo quasi inauditis, relinquens." (Joan. Vitodurani Chron. in Eccard Corp. Historicum, i, 1894).

4 De Conformitate, etc., bk. i, pa. 2, conf. 8.