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0444 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 444 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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    VA VA this province of Abasce are many very good men of arms and very fine horsemen z enough, and they also have horses enough. And this is quite necessary to them for Fil TA you may know that they always have great war with the sultan of Aden and with R those of Nubie and with other people enough who are on their borders. Through their

continual exercise they are counted the best nien of war of all the provinces of Indie. Moreover TA I will tell you a fine story about it which happened to the king of Abasce when he wished to go on pilgrimage in the 1288 year from the incarnation of Christ. It was true that z P this king who is lord of the whole province of Abasce,' who is Christian, said to VB VA his barons that he wished to go on pilgrimage to worship the holy sepulchre of our R Lord Master Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, for infinite numbers of the said people go there every

TA year for this devotion. • Now he was obliged to pass through the province of Aden who were his v z V enemies. • Then the nobles and barons dissuaded him and told him that it would be of P VB too great danger if he were to go there in person, • being obliged to pass through so long

a journey & through so many places and countries of the Saracens the bitter enemies of Christians;

v & this was not only a very special danger to his person, but also to the whole province; •and that he would never come back if he went, and advise him to send a bishop there or some FB VA VB other great prelate in his place, •& to send what offering he pleased. The king, seeing that all the other lords objected to this his going, agrees to that which the barons advise him. Z R TA Then he sends for the bishop who was reckoned a man of very holy and good life and told him that he wishes him to go in his place as far as to Jerusalem to worship VB L the holy sepulchre of our Lord Jesus Christ & to offer gifts. He tells him that he will do his commandment as[thatlof his liege lord. The king tells him to prepare himself and to go as soon as he can. And what shall I tell [93c] you of it ? The z bishop sets out and took leave of the king and then prepares himself and sets himself TA on the road in the manner of a pilgrim with a very fair company with much honour LT VB as befitted a bishop. And he went with no little labour both by sea and by land until he

Dec. "in multas provincias profectus est . . . Parthis, Medis, Persis, Hyrcanis, et Bactris ... Postremo ad Indos ..." The Syrian Breviary (3 July) does indeed say "By S. Thomas the Chinese also with the Ethiopians have turned to the truth." (cf. Christians in China, p. II), but it is doubtful whether Ethiopia (which is also assigned to S. Matthew) means Abyssinia (op. cit. p. 181). See PN (Abasce, Nubie).

t qui est sire clou rauec la prouence de abasce V: questo it qualle signorizaua tuta la prouinzja de abasce it qual era christian cf. Z (p. c), VA. Guided by these texts B. very ingeniously shows how dou rauec (which he read dou ranee) can easily be made into souran de—"sovereign lord of the province". The minute differences between ranee and rauec are negligible for this purpose, and B.'s emendation is perhaps to be accepted. L: Rex de Rauce 6- tocius prouincie L': rex de tocius prouincie VB: el re segnor de la prouinzia