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0421 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 421 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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one hundredth part is true of what is told of him as if it were undeniable. His principal city is called TOZAN, and chief city though it is, Vicenza would be reckoned its superior. He has, however, many other cities under him, and by a standing compact always receives to wife the Great

6   Khan's daughter.'

Travelling thence for many days I came unto a certain

sources of illustration have been opened, the more accurate Marco's nomenclature (with which such liberties used to be deemed lawful) has proved to be. And it would be hard to believe that he could find no nearer approximation to the sound Tathung than that of Tenduc. The original of the last mayhave been some Tartar appellation not yet discovered. But it is at least conceivable that the old name of Thiante-Kiun, though it had disappeared three centuries before from Chinese official statistics, might have been retained among the Tartars, from whom rather than from the Chinese Marco takes his names of men and places ; the city of Thiante when it still stood, having been, according to an authority quoted by Pauthier himself, the military post of Tathung". And the very passage cited by Klaproth from a Chinese author of the Mongol era, describes the Hoang Ho as passing through the territory of the ancient Chinese city of Thianti,. I may add that Klaproth was quite aware of the denomination Tathung, for a map representing the geography of the Mongol time in his Tableau Historique de l'Asie, indicates Tathung as the name of a district covering a part of the Ortu country, and extending beyond the Yellow River to the north and north-east.

But neither Klaproth nor Pauthier have noticed Odoric, who here in TOZAN names this identical Tathung as the seat of the Presbytero-Joannides ! Tathung, according to Pauthier, is still a department of the Province of Shansi. Indeed, it appears in Stanford's new map of Asia.

The fifty days assigned by Odoric to his journey from Cambalu is too long if meant as a measure of the distance. This would be some 400 or 450 miles (152 leagues, according to the Imperial Geography cited by Pauthier), and is more fitly put by John Montecorvino at twenty days. The position thus assigned to Prester John's country entirely suits the next step in Odoric's itinerary. Both Gerbillon and Huc note numerous ruined cities in this region, and the Imperial Geography mentions the remains of .forty such. (Klaproth in Jour. As., i, ser. iv, 299-306 ; Ritter, ii, 248 ; Polo, i, 61, ii, 50 ; Astley, iv, 729, 737 ; Huc and Gabet ; Pauthier, Le Pays de Tanduc, etc., Paris, 1862, pp. 13-23.)

1 Polo says the Khans often gave their female relations in marriage to the kings of this line (ii, 50). And other intermarriages were frequent. E.g., the Christian mother of Gayuk Khan, and Dokuzkhatun the Christian queen of Hulagu, were both princesses of the Kerait royal family, i.e., apparently of Prester John's. The mother of Hulagu was of the same family, and Chingiz, as well as several of his sons, took wives from it.