National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0396 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 396 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000271
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



    those of these realms worship the idols, and the most worship the ox, because they vL say that the ox is a very good thing because it ploughs the land which makes the corn VA grow. Nor would any eat anything of the flesh of the ox for anything in the world nor VL for any gold in the world would any kill it in any way. But yet I tell you that there is a race of men who are called gavi; these do indeed eat flesh of the ox; but not at L all that they dare to kill it or cause it to be killed in any way. But when any ox dies of VB VA its own death or of another death through some accident, • &' is not killed by others, then z z these gavi of whom I have told you do indeed eat it. And again I tell you that they G VL L plaster themselves and all their houses inside with the dung' of the ox, believing that they are preserved by the holiness of the ox. Moreover I tell you [bob] that they have again another custom such as I shall tell you. For you may know that the king z FB VB and the barons and all the other people great and small sit on the earth' on carpets. z v And when one asked them why they do this and why they do not sit on something more FB honourably, then those said that they do it because to sit on the earth is an honourable vs thing enough because we were sprung from earth and to the earth we must return, and therefore one could not honour the earth too much nor must any despise it. z And again I tell you that these gavi and all their race, that is all their race who eat VB the flesh of the ox when it died, say that they are those who, their ancestors, killed Master Saint Thomas the Apostle long ago. Moreover I tell you again another L thing, that miraculously all this lineage who are called gavi, none could go into the FB place' where the body of Master Saint Thomas is, which is in this province of Maabar, FB in a little town; for you may know that ten, twenty, or thirty men would not be able to hold one of these gavi where the holy body is. Nor again I tell you that twenty men or more could not put one of these gavi into the place where the body VB of Master Saint Thomas is buried, because the place does not receive them by the VB virtue of the holy body. They say that they have tried the experiment, and that one of the said gavi, dragged by_ force by many men to make him enter where the body of the said Saint Thomas is buried, could by no amount of force be moved[but remained] firm as a rock. And this very VB special miracle our Lord God showed for reverence of the most holy Apostle. No corn nor z wheat grows in this kingdom but rice alone and sesame. And again I tell you a greater FA thing which does well to tell, that for nothing in the world can any horse be bred in this VB province, for they have well proved it several times. For you may know that this province has this nature that if a great war-horse were to cover a great war-horse there is born

1 TA,P, & others misunderstand this word (osci) & say "fat" (grasso, adipem) of (dead) oxen,

or omit.   2 LT (fol. 55v°) says that the king & barons are not burned when they die but

buried in the earth. VL: mangiano in terra   3 VA,P,L,VL,&c.: "church"