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0281 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 281 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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Persian Gulf, and at Hormuz embarked for Tana in Salsette. Here, or from Surat, where Jordanus had deposited them, he gathered the bones of the four brethren who had suffered there in 1321, and carried them with him on his voyage eastward. He went on to Malabar, touching at Pandarani, Cranganor, and Kulam, and proceeded thence to Ceylon and the shrine of St. Thomas at MV1ailapoor, the modern Madras. From this he sailed tediously to Sumatra, visiting various parts of the coast of that island, Java, probably Southern or Eastern Borneo, Champa, and Canton. Hence he travelled to the great ports of Fokien, and from Fucheu across the mountains to Hangcheufu and Nanking. Embarking on the Great Canal at Yangcheufu, he proceeded by it to Cambalec or Peking, and there remained for three years, attached, it may be presumed, to one of the churches founded by Archbishop John of Montecorvino, now in extreme old age. Turning westward at length through Tenduc (the Ortu country of our maps), and Shensi, to Tibet and its capital Lhassa, we there lose all indication of his further route, and can only conjecture on very slight hints, added to general probabilities, that his homeward journey led him by Kabul, Khorasan, and the south of the Caspian, to Tabriz, and thence to Venice by the way he had followed thirteen or fourteen years before, when outward bound.

The companion of Odoric on a part, at least, of these long journeys was Friar James, an Irishman, as appears from a record in the public books of Udine, showing that on the 5th April after Odoric's death a present of two marks was paid to the Irish friar " Socio Beati Fratris Oclorici, amore Dei et Odorici."1

The assertion of Wadding and the other biographers that Odoric had sowed everywhere the seed of the Gospel, and had baptised more than 20,000 Saracens, would appear to rest on a basis of pure imagination only. No hint of such a thing appears in his travels, nor indeed any indication of his having acted as a Missionary at all ; though probably in the years he spent at Cambalec, and perhaps also in Armenia, he may have taken part in the missionary duties of his brethren. In his contemporary

1 Venni, p. 27.