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0285 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 285 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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4   king of it, who is a very great king and rich and powerful. He keeps his domain VA
and land well in great justice, for he is wise and much experienced. One goes by z sunsetting, when he is parted from the river of which I have told you above, five' days journeys, finding cities and villages enough where very good horses, the best vB

!11   in those parts, are bred. They all live on flocks and on the profit which they get from VB
the land. They have a language for themselves and it is very hard to understand. At end of these five days journeys then one finds the capital city and that which is

é   head of the kingdom of Iaci,2 which is called Iaci, which is very great and noble. v

ti   There are in it merchants and artizans enough. The people are of several sorts, for z FB

there are very many people who worship Mahomet, and idolaters, and few Christians, z

Turks, who are Nestorians, but the chief are worshippers of idols. There is land fertile z z z

in wheat and rice enough, but it is a very unhealthy district. Therefore they eat no TA

wheat bread because it is unwholesome in that province as they say. But they eat L

rice, and make a drink of rice with spices which is very good and clear and white vB

and delicious to drink and, when taken, too quickly makes a man become drunken just as z

our wine does. They have money in such a way [53b] as I shall tell you, for they TA

spend white cowries for money, those which are found in the sea and which are z

also worn on the neck for ornament and put on the necks of dogs, & of which they make VB TA'

vessels; and the eighty cowries are worth one saggio of silver which are of the value z

of two of our gold Venetian groats of Venese, which is twenty-four pounds. And you may v FB

know that the eight' saggi of fine silver are worth one saggio of fine gold. They

have many salt wells also from which they make much salt in this city, and all those TA Z TA VA

of the country live by this salt; and I tell you that the king has great revenue and z

profit from it, from this salt. Moreover I tell you that they of this kingdom •have this z VB

custom among them, they care nothing if the one touch the wife of the other, when it

is the wish of the woman,4 nor is it reckoned a disgrace. • Otherwise it would be reckoned a L VB

great injury. Now we have told you of this kingdom, and we will tell you of the

kingdom of Caragian. But first I will tell you a thing which I had forgotten. I tell

you that in this region they have a lake which is quite a hundred miles round, in VA

which is found a very great quantity of fish of the best in the world. They are VB

very large and of all very fine kinds. And again I tell you that the people of this country, FB FB FB

they eat the raw flesh of fowls and of sheep and of oxen and of buffalo and all other FB

1 TA: sei

2 V: vita z tale maistra laqualle e chauo del reame del iaKo

3 The MSS. have some small variations here. For 8o TA',V have 8, VB 30; for 8 VB has iiij.

4 V: del marido