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0303 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 303 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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then and will tell you of a province which is called Bangala as you shall be able below FB to hear.

towards midday which in the 1290 year from the birth of Jesus Christ, TA when I Marc Pol was first at the court of the great Kaan, he still had not z z conquered. But nevertheless the army and his people were gone there to conquer it, • FB FB

and it was conquered by hint and put under his rule while I was at the court; and his army VB

stayed a long time at the siege of it, because it is a strong country. But I tell you that these

provinces have kings for rulers and a language for themselves. They are very bad VB

idols—understand this idolaters.' They are on the borders of Indie . There are many

eunuchs' who are castrated; and all the barons and all the lords who are about that z FB

province have many of them from there, whom they keep to guard their ladies. The oxen z z

also there • are tall as elephants but not so stout. They of the province all live for the z FB P vB

more part on flesh and on milk and on rice, of which they have great quantity. They have VB

cotton enough, in which they do great trade; and they are very great merchants, for they FB L

have spikenard and galingale in great quantity • and pepper' and ginger and sugar in VB L VB

great abundance, & many other dear spices of many other kinds. The Indians comes FB

there and buy there of the eunuchs of which I have told you and slaves, who are z

found there in very great numbers; for all the men who are captured by those people are im-

mediately castrated and afterwards sold. And they buy slave-girls also there in plenty.

For you may know that the merchants buy these slaves and eunuchs and slave-girls z

enough in this province which they have from other provinces and sell them to the Indians FB FB

and to the other merchants who then take them to sell in many [58b] other places about FB

the world. •And the women of this[province]wear trousers. Now in this province there is y


1 cite corrected in the margin to gran prouence

2 pesimes ydres ce entendes ydules ydres very generally means idolaters, but just below (see n. 5) it has taken the place of "Indians" (FB: yndyens Z: Indi), as ydules also has in c. 128 (p.297)(FB: yndiens Z:Jndis;. If it is not a mere matter of scribe's error in all three cases, it seems to be just possible that ydres or ydules had become almost a synonym for Indians; but in any case this present phrase is very difficult and, as far as I know, is not repeated by any of the old versions.

3 escuiles The old mistranslations of this word range from "lions" (V: lioni) to "schools" (VB: scuolle). VB (followed and improved by R) says: "They have craftsmen and keep schools and they teach their incantations and idolatries, and this teaching is very widespread to all; they speak even among the lords and barons."

4 piper is in L (at Ferrara) but not in L' (at Venice).

5 ii hi uiuent les ydres But FB: Les yndyens y viennent possibly represents the true text, supported as it is by FA,TA, LT, VB, V, L,Z, R. For ydres see n. 2 above.