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0358 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 358 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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    day, making themselves at home with them and asking about their business, that they found that they held the Christian religion. For they had books, and these Masters Mafeu and Marc reading in them began to interpret the writing and to translate from word to word and from tongue to tongue, so that they found it to be the words of the Psalter. Then they asked them whence they had that religion and rule. And they answered and said, From our ancestors. And thus they had in a certain temple of theirs three figures painted, who had been three apostles of the seventy who had gone preaching through the world; and th'y said that those had taught their ancestors in that religion long ago, and that that faith had already been preserved among them for seven hundred years; but for a long time they had been without teaching and so were ignorant of the chief things. Yet we hold this from our predecessors, namely that according to our books we celebrate and do reverence to these three, namely the apostles. Then Masters Mafeu and Marc said, You are Christians and we are likewise Christians. We advise you to send to the great Kaan and explain to him your state, that he may come to know you and you may be able freely to keep your religion and rule. For because of the idolaters they did not well dare to express or to hold their religion openly. And so they sent two of them to the great Kaan; Masters Mafeu and Marc instructed them that they should present themselves first to a certain man who was head of the Christians at the court of the great Kaan, that he might declare their case in the presence of the lord. And the messengers did so. But what? He who was head of the Christians was before the great Kaan declaring that these were Christians and that they ought to be coy irnied in his dominion as Christians. And he who was head of the worshippers of idols, perceiving this, raised a question on the opposite side, saying that this ought not to be, for the aforesaid were idolaters and have always been and were reckoned as idolaters. And thus there was a great argument over this in the presence of the lord. Finally the lord being angry, making all go away, ordered the messengers to come to him, asking them whether they wished to be Christians or idolaters; who answered that if it should please him and were not contrary to his majesty they wished to be Christians as their predecessors had been. Then the great Kaan ordered privileges to be made for them, how they must be addressed as Christians and may be able[to keep]the law of Christianity, all who are included under this rule. For it was found that through the province of Mangi, here and there, were more than seven hundred thousand Fey families who were following this rule. • There is no other thing which does to tell, and so we will not tell you more of it but will go forward and will tell you of other things. 7. Having spoken of the city of Fugiu we now wish to speak and tell of the city and port of Çaiton.

I 5 7 •   ERE HE TELLS [70d] OF THE CITY OF Ç'AITON. NOW you may know that

when one leaves Fugiu he crosses the above-said river and goes five' days journeys by the sirocco, always finding lands and cities and villages



1 Z,V: "six" 350