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0500 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 500 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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Friar Jordanus of the Order of Preachers, the least of all, after saluting them and kissing their feet humbly, commends himself with tears.1

All your venerable company of fathers is aware that I am left alone a poor pilgrim in India, where for my sins I have been allowed to survive after the passion of those blessed martyrs, Thomas the holy, James the glorious, Peter, and Demetrius. Nevertheless blessed over all be God who disposeth all things according to his will !

After their blessed martyrdom, which occurred on the Thursday before Palm Sunday in Thana of India,2 I baptised about ninety persons in a certain city called PARocco,3 ten days' journey distant therefrom, and I have since baptised more than twenty, besides thirty-five who were baptised

1 It is needful to remark on this and the following letter, the former of

which is taken from Quétif and the latter from Wadding, though both are

understood to be derived from the same MS., that both begin in the same

manner, an identity which continues down to all our books." My im-
pression is, however, that these paragraphs belong properly to this first

letter, and have been transferred to the other by some mistake. There

is an intense despondency about the second letter of which there is no
trace in these paragraphs. Nor is it easy to see how he could talk of

leaving his things (robbam) and those of the deceased friars, and all the books, after he had been stripped to the shirt, as he represents himself in the second letter.

I have taken the names of the places partly from the version in Quétif, and partly from that in Wadding. In Wadding they run Tauris, Dia-

gorgan, and Merga." In Quétif, "Tauris, Tongan, and Maroga." When

publishing the Mirabilia of Jordanus I supposed Tongan to stand for
Daumghan in Northern Persia, not knowing the grounds on which the

French editor suggested Djagorgan." There is no doubt, however,

that Diagorgan is the proper reading. This is Dekergan (properly Dehi-
Kherkân or Dehi-Kheijân), a city of some antiquity, and still the capital

of a district, between Tabriz and Maragha. The name of Diacregan

appears several times in Wadding's Annals in connexion with the Pope's
correspondence with the Armenian clergy. A Catholic bishop, Bernard

of Gardiola, was appointed to the see of Diagorgan in 1329. There were also Latin bishops of Maraga. At least one, Bartholomew, is named in 1320. (See F. Jordanus, HAK. Soc., pref.; Journ. R. G. S., x, 3, 4; Lequien, iii, p. 1378-1394.)

2 See note to Odoric on the date of the event, p. 68.

3 Baruch or Broach, originally Barukachha.