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0418 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 418 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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    FB time' that he became a man, and then he revived and became an ox, and then he died FB L another time an ox, and revived and became a horse, and thence an ass, and so they say that he died eighty-four [86b] times, and every time they say that he became an animal, either a dog or other thing, but at the eighty-fourth time they say that he died and became a god; and him the idolaters hold for the best god and for the

L FB greatest that they have. And they worship his image, for you may know that as they say FB this was the first idol which the idolaters have, and from him they say are descended TA VB all the other idols of those provinces; and it was in the isle of Seilan in Indie. Now

V you have heard how the idol first was in those parts. Moreover I tell you quite truly z that the idolaters come there on pilgrimages from very far off places out of devotion, TA VB just as the Christians go on pilgrimages to Master Saint Jaque of Galicia. • This is like the life of Saint Iosafat who was son of the king Avenir of those parts of Indie, and was

converted to the Christian faith by the means of Barlam, according as is read in the life and legend of the holy fathers.' It was told by those people as I have said above.And these idolaters z L indeed say & believe that that monument which is on that mountain is the kings

V son of whom you have heard above, and that the teeth and the hairs and the bowl R which is there, which they show with great ceremony, were likewise[those]of the son VB of the king who had Sagamoni Burcan to name, which means to say in their tongue FB Saint Sagamoni. And the Saracens who likewise come there on pilgrimage from very far in very great numbers say that it is the monument of Adam our first father and that the teeth and the hairs and the bowl was also of Adam. Now you have heard how the idolaters say that it is the son of the king who was their first idol and their first god, and the Saracens say that it is Adam our first father; but God z knows who it is and what he was. For we shall not hold' that in that place [86e] it is

1 Z: quando homo ... moritur (p. lxxxvi) and so V, L, L ending the series with: "They say therefore that he died once only instead of eighty-four times, because at the first death he was made God."

2 This is very likely, as B. says, a gloss; but it is not without interest. The story of Barlaam and Josaphat is in the Legenda aurea of 1255 (Cambridge, Univ. Lib. MS. Ff. 5. 31, 1299, fol. 169v0-172v0), and was first translated into Latin A.D. 1048. cf. P. PEETERS "La première traduction latine de `Barlaam et Joasaph' et son original grec" in Analecta Bolland. tom. xlix, 1931, pp. 276-312. (This reference is owed to the kindness of Dr. E. J. THOMAS.) The compiler of VB may have a good claim to be the earliest extant author to notice the likeness of the two stories, and he seems to show the influence of the Legenda by the use of incoruado (dorsum incuruatum).

For per lo mezo de barllam VB (in B.) reads: per lo remito barlam

3 oron perhaps auron. B. reads creon, strongly supported by Z: credimus, V: chredemo.