INTRODUCTORY NOTICES. 187
name of John. But by the permission of God, the emperor himself, on his way to a hunting match, was taken off by poison, and his four sons also were put to death. Then the empire was seized by a certain villain of a falconer,' a Saracen of the blood-royal, whose name was Alisolda. And as the brethren by their preaching had made many converts to the faith, this new emperor ordered that all the Christians should be made Saracens, and that whosoever should disobey the third order to this effect should be put to death. And so when the brethren aforesaid would not obey this order they were bound and all tied to one rope which was dragged along by the infuriated mob, who smote and spat upon them, stabbed and slashed them, cutting off their noses and ears, and otherwise mutilating them, till at length they fell by the sword and made a blessed migration to the Lord.
" But the aforesaid emperor before long was himself slain, and his house destroyed by fire. Now, these brethren suffered in the year before mentioned, about the Feast of St. John Baptist, and whilst Gerard Odo was General of the Order."2
It is impossible to reconcile the revolutions of government, as stated in this ecclesiastical story, with the chronology of the Chagatai empire as given by Deguignes.3 But the latter admits the dates of succession to be very uncertain, and there seems some ground for believing that the Franciscan statements are substantially correct.
2 There is a little discrepancy in the list of friars. Wadding omits Raymond, and adds that William of Modena, a Genoese merchant, moved by their example, also suffered with constancy. Marignolli omits Raymond, calls Lawrence of Ancona, and gives Gilott as the name of the merchant.
The appointment of a bishop to Armalec seems to have escaped the notice of the annalists, nor is any other besides this Richard named by Le Quien in Oriens Christianus. He may have been sent in 1328, when John XXII is stated to have despatched bishops of the two orders with priests to various Asiatic states, including Khorasan and Turkestan. (Wadding, vii, 88.) But it is pretty clear that Pope Benedict himself did not know anything of the bishop, for in a letter to two ministers of the Khan of Chagatai, who were Christians, he praises their beneficence "cuidam Episcopo de Ord. Frat. Min. in civitate Armalech deputato."
Il1 osheim, App., p. 177.)
3 Deguignes, i, p. 286 ; and iv, p. 311.