OF MISSIONARY FRIARS.
dangerous, involving two sea-voyages ; the first of which is about as long as that from Acre to the province of Provence, whilst the second is as long as from Acre to England. And it is possible that it might take more than two years to accomplish the journey that way.1 But, on the other hand, the first-mentioned route has not been open for a considerable time, on account of wars that have been going on.°
It is twelve years since I have had any news of the Papal court, or of our order, or of the state of affairs generally in the west. Two years ago indeed there came hither a certain Lombard leech and chirurgeon, who spread abroad in these parts the most incredible blasphemies about the court of Rome and our Order and the state of things in the west, and on this account I exceedingly desire to obtain true intelligence. I pray the brethren whom this letter may reach to do their possible to bring its contents to the knowledge of our lord the Pope, and the Cardinals, and the agents of the Order at the court of Rome.
I beg the Minister General of our Order to supply me with an Antiphonarium,3 with the Legends of the Saints, a
at all. Their numerals are Germanic up to 100, but 100 itself and 1000 are Persian (Sada and Hazar). (Busbequii Opera Omnia, Amst., 1660, p. 321-326.) The Goths of the Crimea are also mentioned by the comrade of Plano Carpini, Benedict the Pole (776), who calls them Saxons ; by Nicephorus Gregorias (Hist. Byzant., i, 5) ; by Laonicus Chalcondylas (iii, p. 68), and probably by many others.
1 This alternative route is that which John himself had followed to Cathay. The first sea voyage alluded to is that from Hormuz to Malabar, and the second that from Malabar, or from St. Thomas's (Madras) to China. The distances do fairly correspond with the voyages from Acre
which he adduces in illustration.
2 The wars carried on, since thirty years, against the Grand Khan by Kaidu ; or perhaps rather the wars of succession in Turkestan after his
death (see D'Ohsson, ii, 451, 512, etc.)
3 The Antiphonce now are short anthems from the Psalms and similar parts of Scripture, which are chanted in whole or in part before the appointed Psalms, and in whole after these. The Antiphonee, or part of one, before the Psalms, determines the pitch for the intonation of these. It would seem that the etymological meaning of the term has been