FRIAR ODORIC. 71
under my head. And as I thus slept the house was suddenly set fire to by the Saracens, that they might bring about my death by acclamation of the people. For this is the emperor's command, that any whose house is burnt shall suffer death.' The house then being on fire my comrade and the servant made their escape from it, leaving me in it with those bones. And I took the bones of the brethren, and seeking help from God I crouched into a corner of the burning house. And three corners thereof were consumed, and that one only was left, in which I was abiding. And as I sat there the fire was over my head, doing me no harm and not burning the corner of the house. And as long as I continued there with the bones, the fire never came lower but hung over me like an atmosphere. But as soon as I quitted the house it was entirely destroyed and many others adjoining besides. And so I escaped scatheless.
14. The same Continued.
Another such thing happened to me also on that journey. For as I went by sea with those bones, towards a certain city called Polumbum (where groweth the pepper in great store) the wind failed us utterly.2 Then the idolaters came
This passage is very obscure in all the copies that have it.
2 This is undoubtedly the Columbum of Jordanus and John de' Marignolli, Kulam, or the modern Quilon, though it is not easy to see how the P got into all, or nearly all, the MSS. of Odoric, unless the error occurred in the first transcription.
In the preface to the translation of Jordanus, the high authority of Professor H. H. Wilson was quoted for the fact that Kulam dated only from the ninth century. But the era there alluded to may have been that of a re-foundation, an event often prominent in eastern annals, and which is found in the adjoining state of Cochin furnishing an era called the " New Foundation" (corresponding to A.D. 1341). For there seems reason to believe the city of Kulam to be more ancient than the time named. There is in Assemanni (p. 437), a letter from one Jesujabus of Adiabene, who died in 660, addressed to Simon Metropolitan of Persia, which complains of his grievous neglect of duty, and alleges that in consequence not only is India, "which extends from the coast of the kingdom of