National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0508 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 508 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000042
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



vessel with some Armenians, I departed thence by the river called Tygris,l and then along the shore of the sea which is called VATUK,2 till I came in twelve days' travel to SARACHIK.3 From that place I got on a cart drawn by camels (for to ride those animals is something terrible), and on the fiftieth day reached Urganth, which is a city at the extremity of the empire of the Tartars and the Persians. The city is otherwise called Hus, and the body of the blessed Job is there.4

Thence I again mounted a camel-cart, and travelled with a party of accursed Hagarenes and followers of Mahomet, I being the only Christian among them, with a certain servant called Zinguo, until by God's grace we reached the empire of the Medes.5 What my sufferings have been there, how

probably Bolar or Bolgar on the Wolga, and S. Joannes, the Monastery of Stephen above-named. The last may be identical with one of those already named.

1 The Wolga ; but why does he call it Tigris ? Polo also calls the Wolga by this name, as Pauthier shows (p. 8) ; whilst Josafat Barbaro gives the same name to the Araxes (Ram., ii, 98). These errors -look as if they arose from some double entendre, but I cannot suggest what. Tigris is said to be derived from a word signifying arrow, connected, I suppose, with the Persian Tir.

2 Vatuk, for Bacuk or Bkû; the Caspian, see note, p. 50.

3 Saraichik, " The Little Palace," on the river Jaic or Ural, at a day's journey from the Caspian, in a low bad situation, was the head-quarters of the Nogai Horde. Jenkinson mentions it as a place existing in 1558. Pallas found the fortifications still to be seen with a circuit of four or five versts (two and two-thirds to three and one-third miles). Ruins were traceable, with tiles of great size and many tombs.

4 So Ibn Batuta says that between Sarai and Urghanj is a journey of thirty or forty days, in which you do not travel with horses, for lack of forage, but in carts drawn by camels. Water is found at intervals of two or three days (ii, 451, and iii, 2-3). Pegolotti makes the distance twenty days in camel-waggon. Jenkinson's companion, Richard Johnson, allows fifteen days only, but all his times appear too short.

I can find nowhere else any story connecting Urghanj with Job or Hus. It looks like some misapprehension. There is a tomb of Job in Oudh ! This title, given by the writer to the Tartar Khanate of Chagatai or Transoxiana, is a curious misnomer, originating no doubt in a blunder easily explained. This empire, lying as it did intermediate between Cathay and Persia, was called "The Middle Empire", Imperium Medium, as we actually find in a letter of Pope Benedict. XII addressed to its