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0188 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 188 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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island, and a multitude of Christians.' We sailed past the island, but did not land. I met, however, with people from it who were on their way to Ethiopia, and they spoke Greek. And so likewise among the Bactrians and Huns and Persians and the rest of the Indians, and among the Persarmenians and Greeks and Elamites, and throughout the whole land of Persia, there is an infinite number of churches with bishops, and a vast multitude of Christian people, and they have many martyrs and recluses leading a monastic life. So also in Ethiopia, and in Axum, and in all the country round about, among the Happy Arabians, who are now-a-days called Homerit, and all through Arabia and Palestine, Phoenicia, and all Syria, and Antioch and Mesopotamia; also among the Nubians arid the Garatnantes, in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, and so through Africa and Mauritania as far as Southern Gades,2 in a very great number of places are found churches of Christians with bishops, martyrs, monks, and recluses, wherever in fact the Gospel of Christ hath been proclaimed. So likewise again in Cilicia, Asia, Cappadocia, Lazice, and Pontus, and in the Northern Regions of the Scythians, Hyrcanians, Heruli, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Illyrians, Dalmatians, Goths, Spaniards, Romans, Franks, and other nations till you get to Ocean Gades" (book iii, p. 178).

  1. He says the place in the Red Sea where the Egyptians perished is " in Klysma,3 as they call it, to the right of people travelling to the Mount (Sinai); and there also are to be seen the tracks of chariot-wheels over a long tract extending to the sea. These have been preserved to this day, as a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers" (book v, p. 194).

  2. " — Elim, now called Raithu, where there were twelve springs, which are still preserved..4 ... Raphidin, now called Plaaran, whence Moses went with the elders to Mount Choreb, i.e. in Sinai, which is about six miles from Pharan," ib., pp. 195, 196.

  3. "And when they (the Israelites) had received the written Law from God, they then and there first learned letters. For God made use of the

1 See On the Christianity of Socotra, p. 168 infra, where this passage of Cosmas should have been referred to. Some further particulars on the subject, apparently taken from the letters of Francis Xavier, are given in Jarric (Thesaurus Rerum Indicarum, i, p. 108-9). On the use of the

Greek language in Abyssinia and Nubia, see Letronne in Mem. de l'Acad. (New), ix, 170 seqq.

2 " &OS I'aSE(pWV, irpôs v6TOV," an odd construction, which, however, seems intended to be distinctive from " raSeipwv Tuv d2rcEavoi)" mentioned a few lines further on, and to indicate some place in Africa, perhaps Tingis, or Cape Spartel, called by Strabo KcÛYELs. I do not know if this Southern Gades is mentioned by any other author, but something analogous will be found in the passage quoted from Mandeville at p. 345 infra, where Gades is used for the World's End, eastern as well as western.

3 At or near Suez, whence the Koizum of the Arabs, and the name Bahr-Kolzum given to the Red Sea.

4 Raithu was the seat of a monastery, as is mentioned by Cosmas himself' (at p. 141).