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0319 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 319 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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sand partridges. For as the man went along the ground, the partridges followed him flying in the air. These partridges be was then taking to a certain castle which is called ZEGANA,' distant three days' journey from Trebizond, [where they dig copper and crystal] .2 And the way with these partridges was this, that whenever the man wanted to lie down or go to sleep, they all gathered about him like chickens about a hen. And in this manner he took them along to Trebizond, to the palace of the emperor ;3 and he, when they were thus brought before him, took as many partridges as he desired ; but the rest of them the man led back to the place whence he had first brought them.4

In this same city (of Trebizond) is deposited the body of Athanasius, over one of the gates of the city; of him, that is, that made the creed which beginneth eutcutnquc butt


Ziganah is twelve leagues from Trebizond on the road to Erzrum, and gives name to a pass called the Ziganah Dagh. Clavijo, on the third day from Trebizond encamped near a castle called Sigana, on the top of a high rock, and belonging to a Greek knight" (Curzon's Armenia, pp. 31, 173, 175 ; Brant's Map in J. R. Geog. Soc., vi ; Journ. Asiat., 1st series, ix, 228; Markham's Clavijo, HAK. Soc., p. 65). Some of the old popular Italian versions of Marco Polo have this partridge story interpolated therein.

2 PAL. has "silver and crystal". The whole of the Valley of the Karsput River south of Ziganah abounds in ores of copper and lead. There are also silver-mines, as mentioned by Polo. (Brant, u.s., p. 221.)

3 Alexius II, of the house called " Grand-Comnenus," reigned at this time (1297-1330) independently and prosperously over the long strip of coast called the empire of Trebizond. This state endured till 1461. (Finlay's H. of Greece (Medieval) and of the Emp. of Trebizond, 1851.)

4 This is one of the stories which have been accounted most absurd in Odoric's narrative. Yet the accurate Tournefort, after telling how the peasants in Scio keep tame partridges which are sent out to feed every day like flocks of sheep under the charge of a public keeper, to whose whistle they come readily, goes on to say : " I have seen a man in Provence in the neighbourhood of Grasse, who used to take whole flocks of partridges out to the fields, and made them come to his call; he would take hold of them, put them in his bosom, and then send them off again to feed with the others." Voyage du Levant (Lyon, 1727), ii, 79. Precisely the same account of the partridges at Scio is given at an earlier date in Busbequii Epist., Amsterd., 1660, p. 164.