National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0292 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 292 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000042
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



Foro Julii cum, remeasset de partibus infidelium ad suerm provin-clam, Anno Domini M°CCC°XXX° temporibus Domini Joliannis Papae XXII." This is a manuscript of the fifteenth century in the Berlin library, entitled De Terra' Sancta, consisting of short chapters, containing a detailed itinerary in Palestine with the distances, etc., and is of very little interest. It ends with a chapter on " Machomet" of a short denunciatory kind. I do not believe the book to be Odoric's.l It is, of course, possible that he returned from the East through Palestine, as we are ignorant of his route from Tibet westward. But there is no hint whatever of his having visited that country, either in his own narrative, or in the biographies. And there is not the slightest likeness in the manner of the two books.

The numbers of manuscripts of Odoric's narrative that have come down to us from the fourteenth century show how speedily his work was spread abroad, and how popular it must have been. In the next century it is easy to trace the use made of his narrative in the great map of Fra Mauro at Venice.

Liruti speaks of Odoric's " love of letters and science," whilst Meinert calls him " one of the most learned of his Order"2—the

Order that had produced, in one little country only, such men as Occam, Duns Scotus, and Roger Bacon ! These statements are even

more preposterous than the very opposite view expressed by the

editors of that meritorious collection called Astley's Voyages, when they say of Odoric's narrative in the unpleasant tone of the last century, " This is a most superficial relation, and full of lies... .

In short, it seems plain from the names of places and other cir-

cumstances that he never was in those countries (China and Tartary), but imposed on the public the few informations he had

from others, mixed with the many fictions of his own." Whilst in the Index to the work he fares as ill, his name being thus entered : " Oderic, Friar, Travels of, iv, 620 a. A great Liar. Ibid." It is evident however, from the formal affidavit which Odoric

1 There is a MS. of Oderici de F. Julii Descriptio Terrce Sanctce," also in the Basle Public Library (Hcenel, Catalogi Libr. MSS., etc., p. 545.)

2 In his Essay on Marignolli; see Introduction to that Traveller's notices in this collection.