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0154 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 154 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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110. The information brought home by Nicolo was eagerly caught at by the cosmographers of the period, and much of it is embodied both in the Cosmoçraphia in the Palatine Library at Florence,' and in the more important map of FRA MAURO, now in the Ducal Palace at Venice. The latter map indeed embraces

so much more than is noticed in Poggio's narrative, especially

in the valleys of the Ganges and the Irawadi, that there can be

little doubt that Conti, when at Venice, was subjected to a more

effectual cross-examination by the cosmographic friar.2

11]. Poggio helps us to another very ill-focussed glimpse of Cathay in the notices which he adds at the end of Conti's narrative. Here he states that whilst he was preparing that story for publication a person had arrived " from Upper India towards the north", who had been deputed to visit the Pope and to collect

1 This map is described by Zurla (Dissert., ii, 397) as of 1417, and, if I am not mistaken, it is so entered in the Palatine Catalogue. But the coincidences with Conti, e.g., his Java Major and Minor, bis islands of Sandal and Bandan, his lake in Ceylon, etc., are too many and too minute to admit question of their origin. The third figure of the date is half obliterated, and can just as well be read 4 as 1. The date is certainly 1447 at the earliest.

I had noted these remarks from examination of the original before I became aware, from a passage in Professor Kunstmann's Die Kenntniss Indiens im 15ten Jahrhunderte (p. 33), that Neigebauer, an author whom I do not know, had already made the correction.

2 Thus in Burmah we have not only, as in the narrative by Poggio, AVA and PAIGU (Pegu, transmuted by Poggio into Pauconia, and printed Panconla), but also CHESMI (Cosmin, the port representing the modern Bassein till the beginning of last century, but the exact site of which seems lost), MARTABAN ; and up the river PERRÉ (Prome, in the true Burmese form Pré), POCHANG (Pagan, the ancient capital), CAPELANG (the Ruby country north of Ava, a name preserved to a much later date, but not now traceable), MOQUAN (Mogoung). And near the head of the Irawadi; i.e., at Bham6, is the rubric, Here goods are transferred from river to river, and so go on into Cathay." In Bengal, again, we have ORIÇA, BENGALLA (see p. 465 infra), SONARGAUAM (ibid.), SATGAUAM (Satganw, or perhaps Chittagong), and in the interior SCIERNO (Cernoue in Poggio ; i.e., Gaur under the name of Shahr-i-nau, see ibid.), ZUANAPUR (Jaunpur), CHANDAR (Chunar ?). But there are enormous fundamental confusions in Fra Mauro's ideas of the rivers of India. Thus, the Indus takes in a great measure the place of the Ganges, whilst the Ganges is confounded with the Kiang. And some of the towns of Bengal named are placed on the Indus and some are transported eastward.