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0493 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 493 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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the territory of these chiefs extended at least as far north as St. Thomas's. The brothers were constantly at strife, and Marco expresses his opinion that as soon as their mother, who tried hard to keep peace among them, should die, they would infallibly quarrel and destroy each other. He tells us also that the treasure accumulated by the sovereigns of this kingdom was immense : and that as no horses (or at least only ponies with crooked legs) were reared in the country, large revenues were expended in procuring them. " The merchants of Curmos (Hormuz), of Quisci (Kishm), of Dufar, of Soer (Shahar), and of Aden, whose provinces contain many steeds of fine quality, purchase, embark, and bring them to the king and his four princely brothers, selling them for 500 saggi of gold, worth more than 100 marks of silver. I assure you," he says, " this monarch buys annually more than 2000," etc. (Polo, iii, 19-24.)

Now read what Rashideddin says on the same subject : Maabar extends from Kulam to Silâwar (this should be Nilcwar, i.e. Nellore, as we shall see presently) 300 farsangs along the shore,... The king is called DEWAR, which means in the Maabar tongue the " lord of Wealth." Large ships called junks bring merchandize thither from Chin and Machin ...Maabar is as it were the key of India. Within the last few years SINDAR LEDI" (csj„ J Ledi, misread for t5 "BANDI), who with his three brothers obtained power in different directions, and Malik Taki-ullah bin Abdarrahman bin Muhammed Et-Tibi, brother of Shaikh Jamaluddin, was his minister and adviser, to whom he assigned the government of FATAN, MALIFATAN" (the Molephatam of Jordanus, see p. 184), " and BAWAL" (probably a misreading for Kdvil or Kail). "And because there are no horses in Maabar, or rather those which are there areweak, it was agreed that every year Jamaluddin Ibrahim should send to the Dewar 1400 Arab horses obtained from the islands of Kais, and 10,000 (1000?) from all the islands of Fars, such as Katif, L'Ahsa, Bahrein, Hormuz, Malkat (Maskat ?), etc. Each horse is reckoned worth 220 dinars of red current gold. In the year 692 H. (A.D. 1292) the Dewar died, and Sheikh Jamaluddin who succeeded him obtained, it is said, an accession of 7000 bullock loads of jewels and gold, and Takiuddin, according to previous agreement, became his lieutenant. Notwithstanding his immense wealth he established a rule that he should have the first option of purchasing all imports," etc. (In Sir H. M. Elliott, Historians of ilhuharn. India, p. 44).

The statements of Wassaf are more diffuse, and have been confused either by the scribe or by Von Hammer in quoting them. The latter seems content, as we have seen, to accept the confusion of Sind with the peninsula, and proceeds on his own authority to confound Maabar with Malabar. An abstract of Wassaf's statements, as well as I can understand Von Hammer's extracts, may be given as follows : " Maabar is the coast which stretches from the Persian Sea through a length of 300 far-sangs to NILAWAR. Its princes are called DIwAR or lord. Three princes at this time shared the dominion of the country, of whom the most powerful was Taki-uddin Abdarrahman bin Muhamuied Et-Thaibi, who had a contract for the supply of horses with Jamaludcin, the Malik-ul-