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0453 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 453 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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tribe of Nestorians in his place, but also the probable original of the stories of the conquering lord, brought to Europe by the Bishop of Gabala not many years after the first Gur-Khan had overrun Turkestan to the borders of Persia. This Gur-Khan was indeed a Buddhist, and not a Christian ; but we shall have occasion to note hereafter the constant confusions of rumour between the two religions as they existed in Eastern Asia. The source of the other part of Rubruquis's story, and that which in the latter part of the thirteenth century had superseded the memory of the Gur-Khan in connexion with the legends of Prester John, requires the recapitulation of a different history.

The Nestorians, in the centuries succeeding the condemnation of their doctrine in the Roman empire, had sought to penetrate eastward. Their success may be gathered from their old establishment in India and in China, and from the long list of their metropolitan sees in the middle of the thirteenth century, embracing the regions from Armenia and the Persian Gulf in the west to Tangut and Cambalec in the east.'

It is related by the Christian historian, Gregory Abulfaragius, that between 1001 and 1012 the patriarch of Baghdad received a letter from the metropolitan of Merw, in Khorasan, which related the miraculous conversion of the King of KERITH, a sovereign living far to the north-east, in the interior of the land of the Turks, who had sent to Merw to demand a Christian priest, and 200,000 of whose subjects were ready to follow him to

1 These Metropolitan sees were as follow. 1. Of Elamitis or of Jandishapur (Khuzistan). 2. Nisibis. 3. Perath Mesenæ (Basrah). 4. Assyria and Adiabene (Mosul and Arbela). 5. Beth Garma or Beth Seleucia and Carcha in Assyria. 5. Halavan or Halaha (Zohab on confines of Assyria and Media) 7. Persia or of Urumiah, Salmasa and Van. 8. Marw, or Khorasan. 9. Hara or Heriunitis, i.e. Herat. 10. Razichitis, or Arabia and Cotroba (said to be an island in the Sea of Oman). 11. Of the Sinœ (China). 12. Of India. 13. Of Armenia. 14. Of Syria or Damascus. 15. Adherbijan. 16. Of Rai and Tabaristan. (Rai, an ancient city of which vast traces exist near Tehran). 17. Dailam, south of the Caspian. 18. Samarkand. 19. Cashgar. 20. Balkh. 21. Segestan (Seistdn). 22. Hamadan. 23. Khanbaleg (Peking). 24. Tanchet (Tangut or N. W. China). 25. Chasemgarah and Nuachet. (These seem to be Indian names, Hassan- or Kasimghar and Nyakot ? but I do not know where.) See Assemanni, p. 630, and the list as given by Layard in his Nineveh, 1, 257.

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