cities and towns, and I came to a certain city called IAMZAI,1 at which our minor friars have a house. And here also be three churches of the Nestorians. This is a noble city, and hath good forty-eight to fifty-eight tumans of fire-places, every tuman being ten thousand. In this city are to be had in great abundance all kinds of things on which Christian people live. And the lord of this city bath from salt alone a revenue of five hundred tumans of bau s ; and a balis being worth a florin and a half, thus a tuman maketh fifteen thousand florins. But as a grace to this people the said lord made a remission to them of two hundred tumans, lest distress should be created.
There is a custom in this city that if any one desire to give a great dinner or entertainment to his friends he goes
1 This great city of Yamzai, which he approaches from Nanking by the Kiang, is, I think, undoubtedly Yangchufu, the first great city on the canal north of the Kiang, and only a short distance from that river. It is the Yangui of Marco Polo, who was governor there for three years. At an earlier period the province under Yangchu had comprehended all Kiangnan and part of Honan and Kiangsi. But it has always continued a place of great trade and population, insomuch that P. Bouvet and his party estimated the latter at two millions !
Martini specifies that the emperor had in this city a revenue office which drew very large sums, chiefly from the distribution of salt, there being many salt works to the east of the city.
The city appears as Iangio in the Catalan map, almost always surpassing in accuracy of knowledge; whilst in travellers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries we find Iamceu (Trigautius), Tangs& (Nieuhof), Yarns (Montanus), forms close to that of Odoric. It is probably also the Yaneku or Janku of Arab writers.
Marco Polo does not mention the Nestorian churches, and the Franciscan establishments were all subsequent to his time. (Duhalde, i, 69 ; Martini in Thèvenot, p. 129, etc.)
2 The numbers in this paragraph seem corrupt in all the MSS. For some state the revenue at fifty tumans of Balish, others at fifty thousand tumans, whilst all state the remission at two hundred tumans. As this would exceed the whole amount in the first reading, and be a too insignificant fraction of the second, I have thought that five hundred tumans must have been the true reading of the amount of revenue. At Odoric's estimate of the balish this would be equal to about £3,400,000. According to a statement quoted by Pauthier the Chinese revenue from salt in 1753 was equivalent to about £1,779,372 (Chine Moderne, p. 195).