44 THE TRAVELS OF
Christ, I sojourned in those parts of the world. And now being at Padua, I have here compiled this little work at the request of the reverend Friar Guidotto, the minister of the province of Saint Anthony. If, then, the studious reader shall find anything good in it, let him ascribe that to the divine bounty and not to my poor skill. And if he find anything too hard for belief, and wherein he judgeth me to stray from truth, let him remark thereon with a student's charity, and not with insolent bitterness and spiteful snarling.]
First, then, [going with the galleys from Venice] 2 I crossed over the Greater Sea,3 and so passed to TREBIZOND, which was of old called Pontus. This city is situated passing well, and is a haven4 for the Persians, Nledes, and all the people on the further side of the sea. And in this country I saw a very pretty sight [which I am the more bold to tell, because many persons with whom I have spoken in 11 enice assure me that they have seen the like] .5 I beheld a certain man taking about with him more than four thou-
MIN. RAM., which also specifies April 1318 as the time of h_s departure. Giov. da Uzzano in the next century says the galleys for Romania and Trebizond used to leave Venice between the 8th and 20th of July. (Della Decima, iv, 104.)
3 Mare Majus, as the Euxine was usually called by the Franks in Odoric's time and long after. It is so called (M. Maggiore) by Marco Polo in the preceding century, by Haiton the Armenian, by Barbaro in the following century, and even (Mer Majour) by Vincent Le Blanc at the beginning of the seventeenth. Carpini and Ricold Montecroce have Mare Magnum ; Rubruquis, " the Sea of Pentus, commonly called Mare Majus," the former name also being given by Edrisi in the shape of Buntus.
The title Greater was no doubt given at Constantinople with reference to the Propontis, as several have suggested. Marsden aptly quotes the like title given by the Hebrews to the Mediterranean.
Mandeville, like Jordanus, uses Mare Maurum; µavpos having in Byzantine and modern Greek the sense of Black; and this we find already in plain Latin used by Paschal of Vittoria, and indeed by Jordanus himself (Mare Nigrum).
4 Scala, which appears still to be the technical word for a trading port in those seas, as well as in Italy.
5 MIN. RAM.