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0299 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 299 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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them. In a note below I give examples of what is meant under each of the characteristics that have been named.'

The greatest difficulty in the whole of Odoric's narrative lies in his account of the Islands of Nicoverra and Dondin, and the manner in which these are introduced in the longer versions of his story.

In the minor version of Ramusio no mention is, made of Malabar or Maabar, though many particulars regarding the continent of India, which in the longer versions are connected with those two countries, are in the shorter embraced in the account of Tana.

Moreover the Minor Ramusian mentions intermediately between India and China only the islands of Nicoverra and Dondin, whereas the longer versions speak in detail of Sumatra, Java, Thalamasin (certainly a part of the Archipelago), and Champa. After Champa China should naturally follow ; but here come in quite anomalously Nicoverra and Dondin; and between them Ceylon, which does not appear at all in the Minor Ramusian.

The only probable suggestion I can offer in explanation of this

1 I. Statements and peculiarities in the MINOR RATLIUS .N Version of Odoric that have a look of genuine character, whether true or not. 1. The

assertion that Odoric commenced his travels in 1318. 2. The repeated

oaths (per to vero Iddio) to the truth of the statements. 3. The story of a convent of loose women at Erzrum. 4. The Description of the Sandy

Sea. 5. Description of a Marriage at Baghdad, and of another at Tana in India. 6. Comparison of the crowds in China to those in Venice on Ascension Day, etc.

  1. Statements of true or probable circumstances, not found in the Latin copies. 1. Says nothing of going abroad for love of souls, but merely that he

went with leave of his superiors. 2. Mentions mines of copper [and silver]

near Trebizond. 3. Mentions that snow covers two-thirds of Ararat and renders it inaccessible. 4. Mentions Minorite convent at Tauris. 5.

[Mentions crossing Fiume Rosso (Araxes) before reaching Tauris.] 6. Locates the Wise Men of the East at Sabba instead of at Kashan, as the other copies do. 7. [The Sumpit or Blow-pipe in the Eastern Archipelago], etc.

  1. Instances of ignorant alteration or interpolation. 1. Emperor of Constantinople substituted for Emperor of Trebizond, near the beginning. 2. Raisins of Yezd called very big, instead of very little, as in the other copies. 3. Houses in China said to be eight or ten stories high. 4. Assertion that he saw the plant called the Tartar Lamb, etc.

The references in brackets are to the copy in the Palatine Library at Florence.