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Title: The Bondage and Travels of Johann Schiltberger, a Native of Bavaria, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, 1396-1427
Author: Schiltberger, Johann
Language: English
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  Notes and their anchors are shown by numbers surrounded by
  parantheses while numbers for footnotes and their anchors
  are surrounded by square brackets.


  The Hakluyt Society.


  No. LVIII.












  F.S.A., F.R.G.S.

  With Notes by





  Ne respice ad eum qui dixit, sed respice ad id quod dixit.—SCALIGER,
  _Proverb. Arab._













                          IOANNES BVCHAN TELFER.




                                           } VICE-PRESIDENTS.
  REV. DR. G. P. BADGER, D.C.L., F.R.G.S.
  E. A. BOND, ESQ.
  R. H. MAJOR, ESQ., F.S.A.



  “An editor, or a translator, collects the merits
  of different writers, and, forming all into a wreath,
  bestows it on his author’s tomb.”—SHENSTONE.

The world is indebted to the late Professor Karl Friedrich Neumann, for
having rendered the perusal of Johann Schiltberger’s travels generally
accessible. Until his edition of the Heidelberg MS. appeared, in
1859, there had been no publication of the interesting work, in its
integrity, since the year 1700, the supposed date of an edition, _sine
anno, sine loco_; so that, as a fact, the work had become scarce, and
could be consulted in a few libraries only, or in private collections
of rare books. In 1813, and again in 1814, was published Abraham Jacob
Penzel’s edition of what was known as the Nuremberg MS.; but its sole
merit consisted in the insertion of Proper and Geographical names in
their original orthography, the work being otherwise vitiated by its
modern and paraphrased style, and by the introduction of passages, of
which Schiltberger never could have been the author.

Scheiger[1] condemns this book as being written in a very extraordinary
and uncommonly empty style, in which the narrative of the honest old
Bavarian drags itself along very uncouthly. Tobler[2] stigmatises it as
being an unhappy translation into modern German, with no Introduction;
and Neumann,[3] a still severer critic, says:—“This edition, in its
modern garb, does honour to nobody. The additions to the original text
are absurd, and testify to the editor’s ignorance of Schiltberger’s
character, and of the times in which he lived. Take, for instance, the
following sentence, with which Penzel concludes the author’s address
to the reader:—‘Just as the doctor smears with honey the glass of
physic prepared for a sick child, so have I also, as an agreeable
pastime, introduced here and there some wonderful stories which, I
flatter myself, will prove agreeable and instructive reading.’” Neumann
might have added, that Penzel was not even the originator of the idea
conveyed in this passage, evidently borrowed from Tasso!

  “Sai, che là corre il mondo, ove più versi
  Di sue dolcezze il lusinghier Parnaso,
  E che ’l vero condito in molli versi
  I più schivi allettando ha persuaso.
  Così all’ egro fanciul porgiamo aspersi
  Di soave licor gli orli del vaso:
  Succhi amari ingannato intanto ei beve,
  E dall’ inganno suo vita riceve.”

  _La Gerusalemme Liberata_, Can. I, iii.

In 1823 these travels were again published, in 8vo., at Munich; but
this is a copy of which it would seem that very little is known.

Judging by the numerous editions of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, each issue being an almost exact transcript of the copy that
preceded it, Schiltberger must have been a popular author during that
period. One long blank occurs from 1557 to 1606, after which the book
of travels was not again reprinted until 1700.

The version now offered is a literal translation of Neumann’s edition
in mittelhoch Deutsch, an exact transcript of the Heidelberg MS.,
with the exception of a few errors that have been rectified, and
slight alterations in the headings of some chapters. Neumann believes
his book to be the first printed edition that faithfully represents
what Schiltberger wrote, the wording in all previous editions having
been changed to suit the language of the times. He has added an
Introduction and Notes by himself, and Notes by Fallmerayer and
Hammer-Purgstall; such of those Notes as are referred to in the new
Notes at the end of this volume, appear in their proper places at foot
in the text, each bearing the initial of the writer.

Koehler[4] finds fault very unsparingly with Neumann, whom he
reproaches with neglect in not correcting and elucidating the wording
of the text. Tobler, on the contrary, considers Neumann’s work more
acceptable than Penzel’s unfortunate translation into modern German,
because there is an Introduction, and the Oriental names employed by
the author are explained.

The travels of Johann Schiltberger had never been translated into any
tongue until Professor Bruun’s edition, in Russian, appeared at Odessa
in 1866; although a somewhat free interpretation of the original, it
has been of no small assistance to me where passages in the old German
seemed obscure, as also in the identification of names. I am under a
deep sense of gratitude to that learned gentleman, for having enriched
my translation with a large number of most valuable and interesting
Notes. They were supplied to me in French, and to ensure their faithful
reproduction, my MS. in the first instance, and the proofs afterwards,
were sent to Odessa, for the Professor’s corrections or alterations,
and approval.

I have to express my thanks to Aly Bey Riza, Cadri Bey, and Rassek Bey
of Alexandria, for their kind aid in simplifying the Turkish and Arabic
sentences that occur in various chapters; to Mr. Mnatzakan Hakhoumoff,
of Shousha, for making clear to me the several phrases in Armenian; and
to Dr. Niccolo Quartano de Calogheras, of Corfu, for his explanation
of customs and rites as they are now observed in the Greek Church.
I am also desirous of acknowledging the courtesy of those gentlemen
who have been good enough to reply to my enquiries, for information
that would assist me in compiling a Bibliography of existing editions
of Schiltberger’s travels; and it gives me much pleasure to name the
Rev. Leo Alishan, Venice; Dr. K. A. Barack, Strasburg; the Rev. A.
Baumgarten, at the Kremsmünster near Wels; Mr. A. Bytschkoff, St.
Petersburg; Mr. E. Förstemann, Dresden; Mr. A. Gutenæker, Munich; M.
Edouard Hesse, Paris; Professor Heyd, Stuttgard; Dr. M. Isler, Hamburg;
Mr. J. Kraenzler, Augsburg; Professor Lepsius, Berlin; Dr. J. E. A.
Martin, Jena; Dr. Noack, Giessen; Dr. Joh. Priem, Nuremberg; Dr. E.
Ritter von Birk, Vienna; Dr. G. T. Thomas, Munich; and Professor Karl
Zangemeister, Heidelberg; also the Principal Librarian of the public
library at Frankfort, and of the Bibliotheca Medicea-Laurentiana at
Florence. I have likewise to express my obligations to Colonel Yule,
for some useful and timely hints, so readily given.

Many of the Proper and Geographical names that occur in the Notes,
and they are very numerous, are spelled as they ordinarily appear in
English works, the orthography of the rest being in accordance with
their pronunciation by a Persian and an Armenian gentleman, who did me
the favour to settle my doubts. It being impossible to produce certain
sounds with vowels that are so variously pronounced in the English
language, I have had recourse to giving a phonetic value to various
letters, in some instances accentuating the word for the sake of
stress, with the acute or grave accent as in the Greek. The apostrophe
’ denotes an independent but rather soft breathing of a letter.

  _a_, as in hart.
  _e_, as in met.
  _g_, usually hard.
  _o_, as in ozone.
  _ou_, as in routine.
  _u_, as in sum.
  _y_, like _e_ in English, and sometimes _y_.
  _tch_, like _ch_ in church.

  _July_ 18_th_, 1879.

  [1] _Taschenbuch für die vaterländische Geschichte.
  Herausgegeben durch die Freyherren von Hormayr und von
  Mednyansky._ Wien, 1827, p. 161.

  [2] _Bibliographia Geographica Palæstinæ_, etc. Leipzig,

  [3] In the Introduction to his edition of Schiltberger’s
  Travels, 1859.

  [4] _Germania_, etc., _herausgegeben von F. Pfeifer_,
  viii. Wien, 1862, p. 371–380.



1. A MS. of Schiltberger’s travels, undoubtedly of the fifteenth
century, preserved in the University Library at Heidelberg and known
as the Heidelberg MS., consists of ninety-six carefully and neatly
written sheets of paper, in good style, and evidently the work of a
professional scribe. It is about eight inches long by six inches broad,
bound in leather, with bronze corner plates and clasps, and bears on
the upper board a portrait in gold of the Elector, with the initials
O. H.—P. C., Otto Heinrich—Palatinus Comes, and the date 1558. Another
date, 1443, probably the year in which the MS. was written, appears
inside the binding, which is beautifully ornamented with illustrations
from the Old and New Testaments. This volume was included in the
Palatine Library that was carried off by Tilly in 1621, and presented
by Maximilian, duke of Bavaria, to Gregory XV. as a trophy of the
Catholic cause. After the general peace of 1815, Pius VII. restored the
collection to Heidelberg, at the instance of the King of Prussia.

2. The ducal library at Donaueschingen possesses a MS. on paper, of
the fifteenth century, consisting of 134 leaves in sheepskin boards,
with brass corner plates and clasps. The work is contemporary with the
Heidelberg MS., or at all events not of a later period.

  _First page._—ICh Johanns schiltperger zoch vsz von
  miner haymat mit namen vs der Statt Múnchen gelegen
  in Bayern in der czit als kúnig Sygmund zu vngern in
  die haydenschafft zoch Das was als man zalt von Crists
  gebúrt drwczehenhundert vnd in dem vier vnd núnczigisten
  Järe mit ainem hern genant lienhart Richartinger vnd
  kam vs der haydenschafft wider zu land Als man zalt von
  Cristi gepúrt vierczehenhundert vnd in dem Súben vnd
  zwainczigosten Jär, etc.

At the last page is the Pater Noster in the Armenian and Tatar

3. Another MS. of Schiltberger’s travels, of the end of the fifteenth
or of the early part of the sixteenth century, in the public library at
Nuremberg, is entitled:[2]

  Hanns Schiltperger von München ist auszgezogen da man
  zalt 1394—wiedergekommen 1427.

  _First page._—Ich Hanns Schiltperger pin von meine
  Heymatt auszgezogen von der statt genandt Munchen die da
  leyt zu päyren da man zalt von cristgepüret MCCCLXXXXIIII
  und das ist gescheen da konig Sigmundt zu ungern in
  die Haydenschafft zoch[2] und da zoch ich auss der
  obgenannten stat gerennes weyss mit und bin wider zu land
  chomen da ma zalt von crist gepurt M.CCCC.XXVII auss der
  Haydenschafft und das ich In der zeitt erfaren han In der
  Haydenschafft dat stet hernach geschreibenn Ich mag es
  aber nicht alles vorschreyben das ich erfaren han Wann
  ich es alles nicht Indechtig bin u. s. w.[3]

Concluding paragraph at the end.

  Gott dem sey gedanckt das mir der macht und Krafft
  gegeben hat und mich behüett vnd beschirmet hatt zwai
  vnd dreyssig Jare die ich Hansz Schiltperger jnn der
  Haidenschafft gewesen pin vnd alles das vorgeschreiben
  stet erfaren vnd gesehen han.[4]

This MS. was formerly the property of Adamnanus Rudolph Solger,
protestant pastor of the church of St. Laurence in Nuremberg, whose
library was sold in 1766, for the sum of 15,000 florins, to the
municipality of the free town of Nuremberg, and now forms part of the
public library in that city. The MS. is bound in the same volume with
others, and is thus described in Solger’s Catalogue.[5]

  66. Ein starker Foliant von unterschiedlichen
  Reissbeschreibungen: 1) Marcho Polo von Venedig ein Edler
  Wandrer und Ritter ist ausgezogen A. 1230.[6] 2) Der
  Heil. Vatter und Abt S. Brandon und mit seinen Brüdern
  und mehr fahrt. 3) Der Edle Ritter und allervornehmste
  Landfahrer Johannis de Monttafilla ist von Engelland
  ausgezogen 1322, und wiederkommen 1330. 4) Der Heil.
  Bruder Ulrich Friaul der minder Brüder Baarfüsser Orden
  ein Mönch, ist ausgezogen und wiederkommen 1330. 5) Hanss
  Schildberger ein wahrhaftig frommer Edelmann der ein
  Diener ist gewesen des Durchlauchtigen Fürsten Albrecht
  Pfalzgraf bey Rhein, ist von München ausgezogen 1394.

4. In 1488, a MS. of Schiltberger’s travels was in the possession of
a Receiver of Revenue, named Matthias Bratzl, who caused it to be
bound in one volume, with MSS. of Marco Polo, St. Brandon, Sir John
Mandevile, and Ulrich of Frioul, and then wrote on the fly-leaf a note
to the following effect:—“Having acquired the herein-named books, I
have had them bound together, and have added a valuable and accurate
map. Should the reader of these writings not know where the countries
are, whose customs and habits are described, they are to look into the
map. The map will also serve to complete what may be wanting in the
books, and indicate the roads by which the travellers went. The map and
the books quite agree. Whoever inherits this volume after my death,
is to leave the different books together, and the map with them.”
When Gottlieb von Murr, the distinguished bibliographer and antiquary
(1733-1811), saw the volume, the map was missing.

This MS. was originally at Munich, but being sent to Nuremberg for
the purpose of being published, was there kept in the city library.
Schlichtegroll, the biographer, sanctioned the loan of it to Penzel,
who turned its contents into modern German, producing the editions of
1813 and 1814. Penzel died at Jena in 1819, leaving his body to the
anatomical theatre, his books to the public library, and all his debts
to the grand-duke of Weimar. He had not returned the MS., and it was
never afterwards recovered. Neumann thinks that it may have been in the
author’s own handwriting.

  [1] _Die Handschriften der Fürstlich-Fürstenbergischen
  Hofbibliothek zu Donaueschingen. Geordnet and beschreiben
  von_ Dr. K. A. Barack, Vorstand der Hofbibliothek.
  Tübingen, 1865, p. 326.

  [2] Communicated by Dr. Joh. Priem of Nuremberg.

  [3] Completed from Panzer, _Annalen der älteren deutschen
  Litteratur_ etc., 1788–1805, i, 41.

  [4] Communicated by Dr. Joh. Priem of Nuremberg.

  [5] _Bibliotheca sive supellex Librorum impressorum in
  omni genere scientiarum maximam partem rarissimorum et
  Codicum Manuscriptorum_ etc. Nuremberg.

  [6] Printed by Anton Sorg, Augsburg, 1481.


(1.) _s.a._ _s.l._ fol. with woodcuts; 37 lines (?) in each page.

Printed, probably, by Günther Zainer, Ulm. 1473?

  _Title._—Hie vahet an d Schildberger der vil wunders
  erfaren hatt in der heydenschafft und in d türckey.

A copy of this edition is in the public library at Augsburg; another is
at Munich, but in a very defective state.

This edition, believed to be the earliest, is mentioned by Panzer,
Ebert, Kobolt, Brunet, Hain, Ternaux-Compans, and Grässe.

(2.) _s.a. s.l._ fol. with 15 woodcuts.

Forty-six leaves without pagination, register or catch-words; 33, 34,
35, or 36 lines in each page.

Printed, probably, by A. Sorg, Augsburg. 1475?

  Ich Schildtberger zoche auss von meiner heimet mit Namen
  auss der stat münchen gelegen in bayern in der zeyt als
  künig Sigmund zu vngern in die heydenschafft zoch das was
  als man zalt von christi geburt dreizechenhundert und an
  dem vier und neüntzigesten Jar etc.

A copy at the British Museum is bound in one volume with duke Ernest of
Bavaria; S. Brandon, abbot; and Ludolphus de Suchem. Another copy is in
the public library, Munich.

(3.) _s.a. s.l._ Fifty-seven leaves.

  Hyē vahet an der Schildtberger der vil wunders erfaren
  hat in der heydenschafft vnd in d Türckey.

A copy at the public library, Munich, is bound in one volume with duke
Ernest, and S. Brandon. A duplicate is defective. The imperial and
royal library at Vienna also possesses a copy.

(4.) 1494. Frankfort. 4^o.

Mentioned by Tobler who quotes Grässe.

(5.) 1513.

Tobler mentions an edition of this date, being a reprint of Zainer’s
edition, 1473?

(6.) _s.a._ J. v. Berg and U. Newber, Nuremberg. 4^o. with woodcuts. No
pagination, but with catch-words.

  _Title._—Ein wunderbarliche vnnd kürtzweylige Histori
  wie Schildtberger einer auss der Stat München in Bayern
  von den Türcken gefangen in die Heydenschafft gefüret
  vnnd wider heymkommen Item was sich für krieg vnnd
  wunderbarlicher thaten diervyl er inn der Heydenschafft
  gewesen zugetragen gantz kürtzweylig zu lesen Nürmberg
  durch Johann vom Berg Vnd Ulrich Newber.

Copies of this edition are in the royal library, Dresden, and the
public library, Munich.

Mentioned by Ebert and Tobler.

(7.) 1549. Herman Gülfferich, Frankfort. 4^o. with 37 woodcuts. Seventy
leaves; 32 lines in each page. No pagination, but with catch-words. Has
a preface.

  _Title._—Ein wunderbarliche vnd kurtzweilige History wie
  Schildtberger einer auss der Stad München inn Beyern von
  den Türcken gefangen inn die Heydenschafft gefüret vnnd
  widder heimkommen ist sehr lüstig zu lesen. M.D.XLIX.

  _Colophon._—Gedruckt zu Franckfurdt am Mayn durch Herman
  Gülfferichen inn der Schnurgassen zu dem Krug.

Copies of this edition are in the British Museum, in the public
library, Munich, and imperial public library, St. Petersburg.

Mentioned by Panzer, Ebert, Kobolt, Ternaux-Compans, Grasse, and Tobler.

(8.) 1549? Nuremberg. 4^o.

  _Title._—Similar to that printed at Frankfort in 1549.

Mentioned by Panzer who quotes Meusel.

(9.) _s.a. s.l._ small 4^o.

Scheiger saw at Wels, in Austria, a copy which was supposed to be of
the year 1551, and published at Munich. It was stated in a MS. marginal
note, that Schiltberger was born at mid-day, on the 8th day of May.

(10.) _s.a._ Weygandt Han, Frankfort. 4^o. with 37 woodcuts, similar to
those in the edition of 1549. Seventy leaves; 32 lines in each page. No
pagination, but with catch-words. Has a preface.

  _Title._—Ein wunderbarliche unnd kurtzweilige History Wie
  Schildtberger einer auss der Stadt München in Beyern von
  den Türcken gefangen in die Heydenschafft gefüret vnd
  wider heimkommen ist sehr lüstig zu lesen.

  _Colophon._—Gedruckt zu Franckfurdt am Mayn durch
  Weygandt Han in der Schnurgassen zum Krug.

Copies of this edition are in the British Museum, where it is
catalogued, 1554? In the royal library, Dresden; public library,
Frankfort; public library, Hamburg; imperial public library, St.

Mentioned by Panzer, Ebert, and Tobler who says that the above Title,
and the Title of the edition printed at Nuremberg by J. v. Berg and U.
Newber (see 6), are identical!

(11.) 1557. Frankfort. 4^o.

  _Title._—Gefangenschaft in der Türckey. (According to

(12.) 1606. J. Francke, Magdeburg. 4^o., with woodcuts.

  _Title._—Eine wunderbarliche vnd kurtzweilige History,
  Wie Schildtberger, einer aus der Stadt München in Bayern,
  von den Türcken gefangen, in die Heydenschafft geführet,
  vnd wider heymkommen ist, sehr lustig zu lesen.

A copy of this edition is in the library of the imperial university,

Mentioned by Freytag, Ebert, Kobolt, Tobler who quotes Grässe, and
Ternaux-Compans from whom we learn of another edition—

(13.) 1606. Frankfort. 8vo.

  _Title._—Reise in die Heydenschaft.

(14.) _s.a. s.l._

Supposed by Tobler to be of the year 1700.

(15.) 1813. Edited by A. J. Penzel. Munich, small 8vo.

  _Title._—Schiltberger’s aus München von den Türken in der
  Schlacht von Nicopolis 1395 gefangen, in das Heidenthum
  geführt, und 1427 wieder heimgekommen. Reise in den
  Orient und wunderbare Begebenheiten von ihm selbst
  geschrieben. Aus einer alten Handschrift übersetzt und
  herausgegeben von A. J. Penzel.

(16.) 1814. Edited by A. J. Penzel. Munich, small 8vo.

A copy of the last edition, with similar title-page.

(17.) 1823. Munich. 8vo.

  _Title._—Sch. a. München v. d. Türken in d. Schlacht v.
  Nicopolis 1395 in d. Heidenthum geführet u. 1417 (sic)
  wieder heimgekommen, Reise in den Orient u. wunderb. Beg.
  v. ihm. s. geschr.

Thus quoted by Grässe.

(18.) 1859. Edited by Prof. K. F. Neumann. Munich, small 8vo.

With Introduction and Notes by the editor, and Notes by Fallmerayer and

  _Title._—Reisen des Johannes Schiltberger aus München, in
  Europa, Asia, und Afrika, von 1394 bis 1427. Zum ersten
  Mal nach der gleichzeitigen Heidelberger Handschrift
  herausgegeben und erläutert von Karl Friedrich Neumann.

In the copy of this edition at the Institut, Paris, are several loose
sheets containing a resumé of the Travels, in MS., by D’Avezac.

(19.) 1866. Edited by Professor Philip Bruun. Odessa. 8vo.

  _Title._—Pouteshestvy’ye Ivana Schiltbergera pa Yevrope,
  Asii y Afrike, s. 1394 po 1427 god.

Published in the Records of the Imperial University of New Russia, vol.

This attempt at a Bibliography of the Travels of Johann Schiltberger
is no doubt far from being complete; but I believe it to be the first
of its sort. The details given by Bibliographers are not, in many
cases, very explicit, and no little difficulty has been experienced in
collecting desirable information, replies to enquiries not being always
readily obtained.

According to Tobler, for instance, the university at Berlin possesses
copies of six different editions; but my requests for particulars have
not been successful—and so in other quarters.

  Feci quod potui, faciant meliora potentes.


  “was ich die zit in dem land der haidenschafft strites
  und wunders herfaren Und och was ich hoptstett und
  wassers gesehen und gemercken mügen hab Davon vindent ir
  hienach geschriben villicht nicht gar volkomenlich Dorumb
  das ich ein gefangener man vnd nicht min selbs was Aber
  sovil ich des hon begriffen vnd mercken mocht So hon
  ich die land vnd die stett genant nach den sprachen der

IF any reliance is to be placed in a MS. marginal note that appears on
a page of an old edition of the Travels of Schiltberger, presumed to be
of the year 1551, and preserved at Wels in Austria,[1] then the author
of the work before us was born at mid-day on the 9th day of May—in
the year 1381, according to his own showing, because he states in the
opening of his narrative, that he had not yet attained his sixteenth
year when at the battle of Nicopolis (Sept. 28, 1396). So completely
does Schiltberger eschew all reference to himself, that he leaves us
quite in the dark even with regard to the place of his birth; for, in
addressing the Reader, he states that his home was near the city of
Munich; but upon his return to Bavaria, he proceeds to Frisingen, near
which town he was born. Nothing whatever is known of his parentage
or childhood; and that he has not remained entirely neglected and
forgotten is owed to Thurnmaier, better known as Aventinus, who states,
that upon his return from bondage, Schiltberger was taken in hand by
the duke Albrecht III., and nominated his Chamberlain, an appointment
that was probably made, in Neumann’s opinion, before the duke’s reign
began, in 1438. This is all the Bavarian annalist has to say of his
interesting countryman.

In the Introduction to his edition, Neumann offers a few particulars on
the Schiltberge family, as they were communicated to him by Cölestin
von Schiltberg, Manager of the Royal Salt Mines at Reichenhall.

The origin of the ancient name of Schiltberger, or Schiltberge, is not
known, but it is, in all probability, composite, from Schild—a coat
of arms—and Berg, the mount on which the arms were raised. A certain
Berchtholdus Marescalcus de Schiltberg is mentioned in a document
of the year 1190, and others of the name appear at later dates as
burghers, and marshals to the dukes of Bavaria.[2]

The Schiltberges of to-day trace their pedigree to our author, who is
styled Chamberlain and Commander of the Body-guard to Albrecht III.
Several of their ancestors, during the 18th century, were Counsellors
in the Bavarian Electorate, and two Schiltberges, Johann Peter and
Franz Joseph, were Professors of Law at the University of Ingolstadt.
An Imperial decree, dated March 27, 1786, raising three brothers of
the “ancient and noble lineage of Schiltberg” to the dignity of nobles
of the State, having been confirmed by the Bavarian Electorate, the
Schiltberges have ever since been included in the peerage of Bavaria.

Neumann’s complaint that our author has never been fully appreciated
by his countrymen, appears to be only too true; but the same cannot
be said of aliens. Leunclavius has availed himself largely, in his
_Pandects_,[3] of the information supplied by an eye-witness, for
the purpose of illustrating the history of the Turks; and in later
times, such men as J. R. Forster, M. C. Sprengel, J. Chr. von Engel,
Hugh Murray, Hammer, Scheiger, Aschbach, Vivien de Saint-Martin,
Fallmerayer, D’Avezac, Bruun, and Yule, have borne witness to the worth
of what Schiltberger has left behind. If he is charged by Karamsin
with making confused and senseless statements, the historian at least
believes him to be truthful, and to have really been at all the places
he claims to have visited.

Johann Schiltberger left his home in the year 1394, as he himself
informs us, with his master, Leonard Richartinger. That was two years
before the battle of Nicopolis was fought, ten months of which time be
spent in Hungary, where his lord was in all probability serving in
the auxiliary forces under Sigismund, king of that country. He must
therefore have been launched into the world when in his fourteenth
year only, and whatever the state of his education at that early
age, certainly no opportunities could have been afforded him for
improving it, during his long term of servitude. The composition of
his work, throughout, and the diversified and undetermined mode of
spelling Proper and Geographical names, show that the scribe was not
a careful one, and tends to prove Schiltberger’s inability to read
what was written, and correct the mistakes that were made; it is thus
fairly conclusive, I venture to say, that his book, like so many other
narratives of the Middle Ages, was written under dictation, a fact
exhibiting marvellous retention of memory, when it is considered that
the incidents extend over the space of about thirty-three years. That
no journal was kept, is apparent from errors in computation of time.
Of this there are two striking instances; the first, in the estimate
of length of service under Bajazet, from September 1396 to July 1402,
which is calculated at twelve years; and the author’s statement that he
was six years with Timour, when, as a matter of fact, the actual period
extended from July 1402 to February 1405.

Schiltberger no doubt dictated his adventures soon after his return to
his native country, because in the concluding chapter he explains “how
and through what countries I have come away”. The various incidents of
his career in the East are recorded without method, and were evidently
related just as the recollection of them occurred to him, so that the
attempt to follow in his footsteps, with any precision, becomes a
hopeless task; and irregularly interspersed with his narrative, are
descriptions of places and events, that he learnt from hearsay only,
not having been either a spectator or participator. This inconsistent
and incongruous style, again, betokens the man wanting in instruction;
but every page affords evidence of the intelligence, veracity, modesty,
and high principles of the honest-minded Bavarian; indeed the whole,
so straightforward, truthful, and certainly useful, will compare
favourably with the most trustworthy of mediæval writers, not excepting
even Marco Polo. “Notwithstanding a few historical and geographical
errors,” says Hammer, “this book of Travels remains a precious monument
of the history and topography of the middle ages, of which Bavarians
may be as justly proud as Venice is of her Marco Polo.”[4] There is
nothing to show that Schiltberger was a reading man, or that he availed
himself of the writings of others, except in one instance, in which
it can scarcely be doubted that he had recourse to some authority
when giving the dimensions of the walls of Babylon, which coincide so
exactly with what is found recorded in Herodotus. How otherwise could
the poor slave have traced and verified such measurements?

Schiltberger has wisely distinguished what he heard from what he
himself saw, and therefore does not hesitate to indulge in the recital
of the marvellous and ridiculous, without, however, the least touch of
humour or criticism. A battle was fought between serpents and vipers,
near Samsoun on the Black Sea coast; not whilst he was in the city, but
“during the time I was with Bajazet”. Entering with childlike pleasure
into the fullest particulars on the Castle of the Sparrow-hawk, he
takes care to say, that when one of his companions wanted to visit
it and see the virgin who resided there, nobody could be found to
show the way, because the castle was hidden by trees, and the Greek
priests also forbade approach to it. Then there is the story of the
destruction of the mirror at Alexandria, related in the most perfect
simplicity, and, as is his custom, without a word of comment; but that
the Pope’s conduct was iniquitous in the sight of good Schiltberger
is very certain, for he seeks to excuse his lesson of dissimulation
to the priest, on the plea that all was done “for the sake of the
Christian faith”. _Vera sunt vera et falsa sunt falsa; sed si ecclesia
dicit vera esse falsa et falsa esse vera, falsa sunt vera et vera sunt
falsa._ If Bellarmine was really the first to pen these lines, verily
it was no new precept that he was promulgating. Another instance of
Schiltberger’s appreciation of the truth is to be found in his relation
of the tale of the saintly man in Khorasan, who had attained his three
hundred and fiftieth year. “So the Infidels said,” are the words added.
Such is the manner in which Schiltberger treats these and all the
other absurd inventions to which he listened in his leisure hours.

When the text is largely illustrated with Notes—in the present work
they form the greater part of the volume—little room is left for
introductory remarks; nor is it necessary to recapitulate the substance
of the text. It will therefore suffice to give a rapid outline of the
author’s movements during his lengthened captivity.

The battle of Nicopolis is the most important episode in the busy and
eventful career of Schiltberger, whose circumstantial account of the
action fully agrees with what we learn from other sources. He escaped
the general massacre of prisoners, upon the defeat and flight of
Sigismund, through the timely intervention of Souleiman, the eldest son
of Bajazet. Thurnmaier says that Schiltberger was spared on account
of his good looks, and at once appointed page to the Sultan;[5] but
this is probably a fancy of the Bavarian annalist, because it is very
distinctly asserted in the text that none under twenty were executed,
and the youthful captive was barely sixteen years of age. He suffered
considerably from the effects of three wounds, a circumstance to which
he casually and most modestly refers in a subsequent chapter. Whilst
in the service of Bajazet, he was employed as one of his personal
attendants in the quality of runner; he possibly took part in the siege
of Constantinople; was in an expedition sent to Egypt for the relief of
the sultan Faradj, when he probably embarked at some port in Cilicia;
and in various expeditions in Asia Minor.

Upon the fall of Bajazet at the battle of Angora, July 20th, 1402, our
runner became the prisoner of Timour, with whom he remained in Asia
Minor; the Sultan himself being a captive in the camp. The fable of the
iron cage is scarcely worth recalling to mind; but had there been a
shadow of truth in it, Schiltberger would not have failed to notice the
circumstance of the powerful monarch he had served so long being thus
ignominiously treated.

Schiltberger’s first acquaintance with Armenia and Georgia was made
upon the occasion of Timour’s invasion of those countries after his
conquests in Asia Minor. Then followed the expedition to Abhase, the
period of rest in the plain of Karabagh, and the return to Samarkand
across the Araxes and through the kingdoms of Persia.

As the victories of the invincible Timour in India, Azerbaijan, and
Syria, were related to him by his new comrades, so has Schiltberger
recorded them, with some fresh details on the horrible atrocities

Upon the death of Timour, at Otrar, in 1405, our author passed into the
hands of his son, Shah Rokh, probably taking part in the expeditions of
that monarch into Mazanderan and the Armenian provinces, Samarkand, and
the territories about the Oxus, spending his winters in the plain of
Karabagh, where good pasturage was to be found; but after the defeat of
Kara Youssouf, Chief of the Turkomans of the Black Sheep, he remained
in the contingent left by Shah Rokh, at the disposal of his brother,
Miran Shah. This amir was afterwards himself overthrown by Kara
Youssouf, and Schiltberger became subject to Aboubekr, a son of Shah
Rokh, under whom he served for some time, first at Kars[6] and then
at Erivan, where he had frequent opportunities for again enjoying the
society of his friends and co-religionists, the Armeno-Catholics, and
perfecting himself in their language.

From Erivan, Schiltberger was dispatched with four other Christians
as part escort to the Tatar prince, Tchekre, recalled to assume the
supreme power in the Golden Horde. Traversing the provinces on the
western shore of the Caspian Sea, and passing through Derbent into
Great Tatary, they reached a place that we find named “Origens”, and
which Professor Bruun is at some pains to prove was no other than
Anjak, at one time a port on the Caspian, near Astrahan. Some curious
details are given on the succession to the Khanate of the Golden Horde,
which serve to authenticate historical accounts, as will be found
on reference to the Notes thereon; and we also read of the warlike
qualities of the Tatars of the Horde, of their hardy mode of living,
eating meat raw and drinking the blood of their horses, a custom of war
mentioned by Marco Polo.

We now come to what may be considered to be about the most interesting
portion of the travels before us, viz.: the expedition to Siberia
for the purpose of conquest. The customs, religion, food, mode of
travelling, and clothing of its inhabitants, are so circumstantially
laid before the reader, that it cannot be doubted Schiltberger saw with
his own eyes all he recounts; he would never otherwise have observed
that there were many wild beasts in the country, the names of which
he could not tell, because they did not exist in Germany; nor would
he have concluded the chapter in which he speaks of these things, by
saying: “All this I have seen, and was there with the above-named
king’s son, Zeggra.”

In alluding to the sledge-dogs of Great Tatary and Siberia, Rubruquis,
Marco Polo, and Ibn Batouta, dwell upon their large size. It is not a
little remarkable that Marco Polo, who never saw those animals, should
have heard that they were as big as donkeys; the very simile employed
by Schiltberger. They now are certainly much inferior in size.

The conquest of Siberia by Ydegou, was followed by that of Great
Bolgara; after which, Tchekre returned into Great Tatary, and in due
course became ruler of the Horde. Upon his death, the author fell into
the hands of one of his counsellors, named “Manstzusch”, who, being
forced to flee, traversed the kingdom of Kiptchak, and arrived at Kaffa
in the Crimea. It was when upon this journey that Schiltberger saw the
river Don; the city of Tana, Solkhat the capital of Kiptchak, and the
cities of Kyrkyer and Sary Kerman.

In Chapter 37, the author says that he was present at the marriage
festivities of a daughter of the sultan, Boursbaï, a monarch who
ascended the throne in 1422; and as he did not lose his lord, Tchekre,
until about the year 1424 or 1425, it follows that he must have gone
to Egypt, at least for the second time, subsequently to the latter
date, but by what route and for what purpose there are no means of
determining; although this was probably the occasion of his passing
the island of Imbros, and touching at the port of Salonica. During his
sojourn in Egypt, the author was afforded the opportunity of witnessing
the reception of foreign ambassadors at the Court of the Mamelouk
monarch, some portion of the ceremonial observed upon those occasions
reminding us of the brilliant doings in the palace of the Greek
Emperors, amongst whose earliest predecessors those magnificent state
formalities were introduced by the Romans, who had themselves adopted
them from the Kings of Persia, after their conquests in the far East.

From Egypt, Schiltberger was sent into Palestine, when he visited
several of the holy places, and to Arabia, where it may be taken for
granted that he assisted at one of the customary Mahomedan pilgrimages.
Being too devotedly attached to his own Church to entertain the least
sympathy for Islamism, our traveller is careful to avoid saying
anything that might be construed into a semblance of his having
renounced his religion, under whatsoever circumstances; but that he
must have done so, inevitably, may be accepted as an unquestionable
fact, for where is the page in the history of Bajazet, of Timour,
and of his successors, that tells of a Christian having been spared
persecution, followed by torture and death? Nor is it credible that
the presence of a slave, professing Christianity, would have been at
all tolerated in the camps of those barbarous and fanatic rulers.
Schiltberger has taken delight in supplying all the information he was
able to obtain on the forms and solemnities of the Armenian and Greek
Churches, showing at the same time the respect in which he held Saints
in general, by never failing to relate the miracles attributed to them,

  “Our superstitions with our life begin;”

but he has equally proved his proficiency in Mahomedanism, in devoting
no less than eleven chapters to an exposition of its history,
doctrines, and legends.

Whether or not Schiltberger traversed the Hyjaz of Arabia, will
possibly remain a controverted point; the probability is that he did do
so, not from the shores of the Red Sea, but from Syria and Palestine.
We find him describing from personal observation, first, the pelican,
a bird which, according to Buffon, frequents the borders of Palestine
and Arabia, and even the arid wastes of Arabia and Persia; then the
“giant’s shin-bone”, that spanned a ravine between two mountains
and served as a bridge; an indication that leads Professor Bruun to
the neighbourhood of Kerak and Shaubek, on the beaten track to the
Hyjaz. More than this, mention is made of the tomb of the prophet at a
place called “Madina”, its situation and ornamentations being clearly
explained; accuracy that is quite exceptional, as nearly all mediæval
notices of the tomb of Mahomet place it at Mecca. If our author did
indeed travel into Arabia from Palestine, he would have been the
predecessor of Varthema (1503) by that route, and he is also the first
European known to have visited the holy places of Islam.

Quitting Egypt, Schiltberger returned to the Crimea, afterwards
accompanying his lord, “Manstzusch”, to the Caucasus, where he found
the slave trade in full swing, a traffic he vigorously condemns by
saying of the people, who sold even their own children, that they were
“bös lüt”. Whilst in Circassia, at that time tributary to the Golden
Horde, the Great Khan required of its ruler that “Manstzusch” should
be expelled his territory. That prince being thus forced to change his
residence, proceeded to Mingrelia, through Abhase and Soukhoum its
chief town. An unhealthy country, says our author, when describing the
peculiar customs, dress, and religion of the people.

It is singular that, although Schiltberger notices the existence of
Christians at Samsoun, Joulad, in Georgia, the Crimea, and other
places, he makes no mention of the large European community at
Savastopoli, as Soukhoum was called by the Genoese, who, especially,
were very numerous, and had had a consul at that port from the year
1354. That there were many Roman Catholics at Savastopoli is very
certain, for the place was constituted a bishop’s see, a condition not
at all gratifying to the native population which belonged to the Greek
Church, as would appear from the following circumstance:—

In 1330, Peter, bishop of Senascopoli (sic) or Savastopoli, addressed
a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops of England,
collectively, in which he complains of the oppression practised on
Christians in the East, who were carried off into slavery; an infamous
traffic he was unable to suppress because the local authorities, who
belonged to the schismatic Greek religion, were inimical to him. He
entreats the bishops of England to present the bearer of the letter,
one Joachim of Cremona, to the warriors of England, who fight for God
and aspire to power! That letter is preserved in the public library at
Ratisbon, and can scarcely be supposed to have reached its destination
at any time.

Being in Mingrelia, Schiltberger was in a Christian country temptingly
situated on the borders of the Black Sea. It is most likely that he
received sufficient encouragement from the people to induce him to
attempt to regain his liberty, and, at a favourable moment, he and four
of his Christian comrades made their escape and succeeded in reaching
the coast at Poti,[7] where they had hoped to find some friendly vessel
that would receive them. Failing in this, they rode along the shore
to the hills in Lazistan, and one evening, after dark, had the good
fortune to communicate, by means of signal fires, with a European ship
off the land. Our traveller and his companions were obliged to prove
their identity by repeating the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and Credo,
before the boat’s crew could be prevailed upon to take them off to
the ship; and after a tedious voyage of many weeks, during which the
vessel was chased by pirates and detained by contrary gales, and the
crew had suffered from want of provisions, Constantinople was reached.
There the runaways were kindly received and cared for by the emperor
(John VIII. Palæologos), who placed them in charge of the patriarch,
in whose house they lived. Schiltberger is full of admiration for the
great palaces, the church of St. Sophia, and the magnificent walls of
the imperial city; but not being free to move about as he pleased,
during his long stay in it, the account of Constantinople and of its
marvels is exceedingly meagre, when compared with the descriptions
left by other visitors. Indeed, what little Schiltberger was able to
do in the way of sight-seeing was effected surreptitiously, with the
connivance of the patriarch’s servants, whom he accompanied on their
errands as opportunities offered.

At the expiration of three months, our author and his comrades were
sent to Kilia at the estuary of the Danube. Hence Johann Schiltberger
easily found his way to his native country, where he arrived some time
in the year 1427, offering thanks to Almighty God for his escape “from
the Infidel people and their wicked religion”, and for having preserved
him from “the risk of perdition of body and soul”.

  [1] I regret that two applications to the library at
  Wels for the fullest particulars with reference to this
  marginal note, have been unsuccessful.

  [2] For notices on the Schiltberger family, see
  _Monumenta Boica_, iii, 170; vi, 532, 538; vii, 137;
  viii, 150, 504; ix, 93, 577; and many other records in
  this collection. Also Hund’s _Bayrischen Stammbuche_, i,
  332, ii, 108, 478; Meichelbeck’s _Historia Fris._, ii,
  43, etc.

  [3] _Neuwe Chronica Türckischer nation von Türcken selbs
  beschreiben_ etc., Franckfurt am Mayn, 1590, iii, 207.

  [4] _Berichtigung der orientalischen Namen
  Schiltberger’s_, in _Denkschriften der Königlichen
  Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München, für Jahre 1823
  und 1824_. Band ix.

  [5] “Joannes Schildtperger tum puer, Monachi oppido
  Bojariæ ortus, captus, ob elegantiam formæ a filio
  Basaitis servatus, in aula Turcarum educatus et victo
  Basaite a Tamerlano rege Persarum, arma victoris secutus
  est, et tandem mortuo Tamerlane in patriam postliminio
  reversus a Cubiculo Alberto avo Principum nostrorum fuit.
  etc.”—_Annalib. p. m._, 805.

  [6] Gouria, according to Professor Bruun.

  [7] Batoum, according to Professor Bruun.


  SCHILTBERGER TO THE READER                                          1

  1. Of the first combat between King Sigmund and the Turks           1

  2. How the Turkish king treated the prisoners                       4

  3. How Wyasit subjugated an entire country                          6

  4. How Wyasit made war on his brother-in-law, and killed him        7

  5. How Weyasit drives away the king of Sebast                      10

  6. What sixty of us Christians had agreed upon                     10

  7. How Wyasit took the city of Samson                              12

  8. Of serpents and vipers                                          12

  9. How the Infidels remain in the fields with their cattle, in
       winter and summer                                             14

  10. How Weyasit took a country that belonged to the Sultan         18

  11. Of the King-Sultan                                             19

  12. How Temerlin conquered the kingdom of Sebast                   20

  13. Weyasit conquers Lesser Armenia                                20

  14. How Tämerlin goes to war with the King-Sultan                  22

  15. How Tämerlin conquered Babiloni                                24

  16. How Tämerlin conquered Lesser India                            24

  17. How a vassal carried off riches that belonged to Tämerlin      26

  18. How Tämerlin caused MMM children to be killed                  27

  19. Tämerlin wants to go to war with the Great Chan                28

  20. Of Tämerlin’s death                                            29

  21. Of the sons of Tämerlin                                        30

  22. How Joseph caused Mirenschach to be beheaded, and took
        possession of all his territory                              31

  23. How Joseph vanquished a king and beheaded him                  32

  24. How Schiltberger came to Aububachir                            33

  25. Of a king’s son                                                33

  26. How one lord succeeds another lord                             36

  27. Of an Infidel woman, who had four thousand maidens             37

  28. In what countries I have been                                  38

  29. In which countries I have been, that lay between the Tonow
        and the sea                                                  39

  30. Of the castle of the sparrow-hawk, and how it is guarded       41

  31. How a poor fellow watched the sparrow-hawk                     42

  32. More about the castle of the sparrow-hawk                      42

  33. In which countries silk is grown, and of Persia and of other
        kingdoms                                                     44

  34. Of the tower of Babilony that is of such great height          46

  35. Of great Tartaria                                              48

  36. The countries in which I have been, that belong to Tartary     49

  37. How many kings-sultan there were, whilst I was amongst the
        Infidels                                                     51

  38. Of the mountain of St. Catherine                               54

  39. Of the withered tree                                           56

  40. Of Jherusalem and of the Holy Sepulchre                        57

  41. Of the spring in Paradise, with IIII rivers                    61

  42. How pepper grows in India                                      61

  43. Of Allexandria                                                 62

  44. Of a great giant                                               64

  45. Of the many religions the Infidels have                        65

  46. How Machmet and his religion appeared                          65

  47. Of the Infidels’ Easter-day                                    70

  48. Of the other Easter-day                                        71

  49. Of the law of the Infidels                                     71

  50. Why Machmet has forbidden wine to Infidels                     72

  51. Of a fellowship the Infidels have among themselves             73

  52. How a Christian becomes an Infidel                             74

  53. What the Infidels believe of Christ                            75

  54. What the Infidels say of Christians                            76

  55. How Christians are said not to hold to their religion          77

  56. How long ago it is, since Machmet lived                        78

  57. Of Constantinoppel                                             79

  58. Of the Greeks                                                  80

  59. Of the Greek religion                                          81

  60. How the city of Constantinoppel was built                      83

  61. How the Jassen have their marriages                            85

  62. Of Armenia                                                     86

  63. Of the religion of the Armenians                               87

  64. Of a Saint Gregory                                             89

  65. Of a dragon and a unicorn                                      90

  66. Why the Greeks and Armani are enemies                          96

  67. Through which countries I have come away                       99

  The Armenian Pater Noster                                         102

  The Tartar Pater Noster                                           102


I, JOHANNS SCHILTBERGER, left my home near the city of Munich, situated
in Payren, at the time that King Sigmund of Hungary left for the
land of the Infidels. This was, counting from Christ’s birth, in the
thirteen hundred and ninety-fourth year,[1] with a lord named Leinhart
Richartingen. And I came back again from the land of the Infidels,
counting from Christ’s birth, fourteen hundred and twenty seven.
All that I saw in the land of the Infidels, of wars, and that was
wonderful, also what chief towns and seas I have seen and visited, you
will find described hereafter, perhaps not quite completely, but I was
a prisoner and not independent. But so far as I was able to understand
and to note, so have I [noted] the countries and cities as they are
called in those countries, and I here make known and publish many
interesting and strange adventures, which are worth listening to.

  [1] Neumann states in a note that this date, through the
  transcriber’s error, appears as 1344 in the Heidelberg MS.

1.—Of the first combat between King Sigmund and the Turks.

From the first, King Sigmund appealed in the above-named year, thirteen
hundred and ninety-four, to Christendom for assistance, at the time
that the Infidels were doing great injury to Hungern. There came many
people from all countries to help him;(1) then he took the people and
led them to the Iron Gate, which separates Ungern from Pulgery and
Walachy, and he crossed the Tunow into Pulgary, and made for a city
called Pudem.(2) It is the capital of Pulgery. Then came the ruler of
the country and of the city, and gave himself up to the king; then the
king took possession of the city with three hundred men, good horse and
foot soldiers, and then went to another city where were many Turks.
There he remained five days, but the Turks would not give up the city;
but the fighting men expelled them by force, and delivered the city to
the king. Many Turks were killed and others made prisoners. The king
took possession of this city also, with two hundred men, and continued
his march towards another city called Schiltaw, but called in the
Infidel tongue, Nicopoly.(3) He besieged it by water and by land for
XVI days, then came the Turkish king, called Wyasit, with two hundred
thousand men, to the relief of the city. When the king, Sigmund, heard
this, he went one mile to meet him with his people, the number of whom
were reckoned at sixteen thousand men. Then came the Duke of Walachy,
called Werterwaywod,[1](4) who asked the king to allow him to look at
the winds.[2] This the king allowed, and he took with him one thousand
men for the purpose of looking at the winds, and returned to the king
and told him that he had looked at the winds, and had seen twenty
banners, and that there were ten thousand men under each banner, and
each banner was separate from the other. When the king heard this, he
wanted to arrange the order of battle. The Duke of Walachy asked that
he might be the first to attack, to which the king would willingly have
consented. When the Duke of Burguny heard this, he refused to cede
this honour to any other person, for the just reason that he had come
a great distance with six thousand men,(5) and had expended much money
in the expedition, and he begged the king that he should be the first
to attack. The king asked him to allow the Ungern to begin, as they had
already fought with the Turks, and knew better than others how they
were armed. This he would not allow to the Ungern, and assembled his
men, attacked the enemy, and fought his way through two corps; and when
he came to the third, he turned and would have retreated, but found
himself surrounded, and more than half his horsemen were unhorsed, for
the Turks aimed at the horses only, so that he could not get away,
and was taken prisoner. When the king heard that the Duke of Burgony
was forced to surrender, he took the rest of the people and defeated
a body of twelve thousand foot soldiers that had been sent to oppose
him. They were all trampled upon and destroyed, and in this engagement
a shot killed the horse of my lord Lienhart Richartinger; and I, Hanns
Schiltberger his runner, when I saw this, rode up to him in the crowd
and assisted him to mount my own horse, and then I mounted another
which belonged to the Turks, and rode back to the other runners. And
when all the [Turkish] foot-soldiers were killed, the king advanced
upon another corps which was of horse. When the Turkish king saw the
king advancing, he was about to fly, but the Duke of Iriseh, known
as the despot,(6) seeing this, went to the assistance of the Turkish
king with fifteen thousand chosen men and many other bannerets, and
the despot threw himself with his people on the king’s banner and
overturned it; and when the king saw that the banner was overturned
and that he could not remain, he took to flight.[3] Then came he of
Cily,[4] and Hanns, Burgrave of Nuremberg, who took the king and
conducted him to a galley on board of which he went to Constantinoppel.
When the horse and foot soldiers saw that the king had fled, many
escaped to the Tünow and went on board the shipping; but the vessels
were so full that they could not all remain, and when they tried to
get on board they struck them on the hands, so that they were drowned
in the river; many were killed on the mountain as they were going to
the Tunow. My lord Lienhart Richartinger, Wernher Pentznawer, Ulrich
Kuchler, and little Stainer, all bannerets, were killed in the fight,
also many other brave knights and soldiers. Of those who could not
cross the water and reach the vessels, a portion were killed; but the
larger number were made prisoners. Among the prisoners were the Duke of
Burgony(7) and Hanns Putzokardo,[5] and a lord named Centumaranto.[6]
These were two lords of France, and the Great Count of Hungern. And
other mighty lords, horsemen, and foot-soldiers, were made prisoners,
and I also was made a prisoner.

  [1] This name appears as Martin in edition of 1814;
  Merter Waywod in edition of 1475; and Merte Weydwod in
  that of 1549.

  [2] To reconnoitre. In the edition of 1814 the term
  employed is “zu recognosciren”.

  [3] The battle of Nicopolis was fought September 28th,

  [4] Herman of Cily. _N._

  [5] Boucicault, who has described the battle in his
  _Memoirs_. _H._

  [6] Saint Omer. _F._

2.—How the Turkish king treated the prisoners.

And now when the King Weyasat had had the battle, he went near the city
where King Sigmund had encamped with his army, and then went to the
battle-field and looked upon his people that were killed; and when he
saw that so many of his people were killed, he was torn by great grief,
and swore he would not leave their blood unavenged, and ordered his
people to bring every prisoner before him the next day, by fair means
or foul. So they came the next day, each with as many prisoners as he
had made, bound with a cord. I was one of three bound with the same
cord, and was taken by him who had captured us. When the prisoners
were brought before the king, he took the Duke of Burgony that he might
see his vengeance because of his people that had been killed. When
the Duke of Burgony saw his anger, he asked him to spare the lives of
several he would name; this was granted by the king. Then he selected
twelve lords, his own countrymen, also Stephen Synüher and the lord
Hannsen of Bodem.(1) Then each was ordered to kill his own prisoners,
and for those who did not wish to do so the king appointed others in
their place. Then they took my companions and cut off their heads,
and when it came to my turn, the king’s son saw me and ordered that I
should be left alive, and I was taken to the other boys, because none
under XX years of age were killed, and I was scarcely sixteen years
old. Then I saw the lord Hannsen Greiff, who was a noble of Payern, and
four others, bound with the same cord. When he saw the great revenge
that was taking place, he cried with a loud voice and consoled the
horse- and foot-soldiers who were standing there to die. “Stand firm”,
he said, “when our blood this day is spilt for the Christian faith, and
we by God’s help shall become the children of heaven.” When he said
this he knelt, and was beheaded together with his companions. Blood was
spilled from morning until vespers, and when the king’s counsellors
saw that so much blood was spilled and that still it did not stop,
they rose and fell upon their knees before the king, and entreated
him for the sake of God that he would forget his rage, that he might
not draw down upon himself the vengeance of God, as enough blood was
already spilled. He consented, and ordered that they should stop, and
that the rest of the people should be brought together, and from them
he took his share and left the rest to his people who had made them
prisoners. I was amongst those the king took for his share, and the
people that were killed on that day were reckoned at ten thousand men.
The prisoners of the king were then sent to Greece to a chief city
called Andranopoli, where we remained prisoners for fifteen days. Then
we were taken by sea to a city called Kalipoli;(2) it is the city where
the Turks cross the sea, and there three hundred of us remained for two
months confined in a tower. The Duke of Burgony also was there in the
upper part of the tower with those prisoners he had saved; and whilst
we were there, the King Sigmund passed us on his way to Windischy
land.(3) When the Turks heard this, they took us out of the tower and
led us to the sea, and one after the other they abused the king and
mocked him, and called to him to come out of the boat and deliver his
people; and this they did to make fun of him, and skirmished a long
time with each other on the sea. But they did not do him any harm, and
so he went away.

3.—How Wyasit subjugated an entire country.

On the third day after the Turkish king had killed the people and
sent us prisoners to the above named city, he marched upon Ungern and
crossed the river called the Saw, at a city called Mittrotz, and took
it and all the country around; and then he went into the Duchy of
Petaw, and took with him from the said country sixteen thousand men
with their wives and children and all their property, and took the city
of the above name and burnt it; and the people he took away and some he
left in Greece.[1](1) And after he passed the river called the Saw, he
sent orders to Karipoli that we were to be taken across the sea; and
when we were taken across the sea, we were taken to the king’s capital
called Wursa, where we remained until he himself came. And when he
arrived in the city he took the Duke of Burgony and those the duke had
saved, and lodged them in a house near to his palace. The king then
sent a lord named Hoder of Ungern, with sixty boys, as a mark of honour
to the king-sultan;(2) and he would have sent me to the king-sultan,
but I was severely wounded, having three wounds, so for fear I might
die on the way I was left with the Turkish king. Other prisoners
were sent as an offering to the king of Babilony(3) and the king of
Persia,(4) also into White Tartary,[2](5) into Greater Armenia,(6) and
also into other countries. I was taken to the palace of the Turkish
king; there for six years I was obliged to run on my feet with the
others, wherever he went, it being the custom that the lords have
people to run before them. After six years I deserved to be allowed to
ride, and I rode six years with him, so that I was twelve years with
him; and it is to be noted what the said Turkish king did during these
twelve years, all of which is written down piece by piece.

  [1] Styrian historians have overlooked this statement of
  Schiltberger. _N._

  [2] White Tartars, _i.e._, Free Tartars. White signifies
  free in the Tartar and Russian tongues; black, on the
  contrary, signifies subject-races or those that are
  tributary. _N._

4.—How Wyasit made war on his brother-in-law, and killed him.

From the first he was at war with his brother-in-law, who was called
Caraman, and this name he had because of his country. The capital of
the country is called Karanda,(1) and because he would not be subject
to him, he marched upon him with one hundred and fifty thousand men.
When he knew that King Weyasit had advanced, he went to meet him with
seventy thousand men, the best he had in the land, and with whom he
intended to resist the king. They met each other on the plain in front
of the city called Konia, which belonged to the said lord, Caraman.
Here they attacked each other and began to fight, and had on the same
day two encounters by which one tried to overcome the other, and both
sides had rest at night, that one might not do harm to the other. That
same night Karaman made merry with trumpets, with drums, and with
his guards, with the object of causing alarm to Weyasit; but Weyasit
arranged with his people that they should not make a fire except for
cooking, and should immediately again put it out. At night he sent
thirty thousand men to the rear of the enemy, and said to them that
when he should attack in the morning they should also attack. When the
day broke, Weyasit went against the enemy, and the thirty thousand
men attacked in the rear as they were ordered, and when Karaman saw
that the enemy was attacking him in front and behind, he fled into
his city of Konia, and remained in it to defend himself. Weyasit lay
siege to the city for XI days without being able to take it; then the
citizens sent word to Weyasit that they would surrender the city if
he would secure to them their lives and property. To this he agreed.
Then they sent word to say that they would retire from the walls when
he came to storm, and thus he might take the city. And this occurred.
And when Karaman saw that Weyasit was entering the city, he attacked
him with his warriors, and fought with him in the town, and if he had
received the least assistance from the inhabitants he would have forced
Weyasit out of the city; but when he saw that he had no assistance,
he fled, but was taken before Weyasit, who said to him: “Why wilt
thou not be subject to me?” Karaman answered, “Because I am as great
a lord as thyself.” Weyasit became angry, and asked three times if
there was anybody who would rid him of Karaman. At the third time
came one who took him aside and cut off his head and went back with
it to Weyasit, who asked what he had done with him? He answered, “I
have beheaded him.” Then he shed tears and ordered that another man
should do to him what he did to Karaman, and he was taken to the place
where he beheaded Karaman and he was also beheaded. This was done
because Weyasit thought that nobody should have killed so mighty a
lord, but should have waited until his lord’s anger had passed away.
He then ordered that the head of Karaman should be fixed on a lance
and carried about the country, so that other cities might submit to
him on hearing that their lord was killed. After this he occupied the
city of Konia with his people and marched upon the city of Karanda,
and called upon them to surrender as he was their lord, and if they
would not do so he would compel them with the sword. Then the citizens
sent out to him four of their most eminent [fellow citizens], to beg
that he would ensure to them their lives and their property, and
begged, as their lord Karaman was dead, and they had two of his sons
in the city, that he would appoint one of them to be their lord; and
should he do so, they would surrender to him the city. He replied
that he should spare their lives and property, but when he would have
possession of the city, he should know what lord to appoint, whether
the son of Karaman or one of his own sons. And so they parted. When
the citizens heard Weyasit’s answer they would not give up the city,
and said that although their lord was dead he had left two sons, under
whom they will recover or die. And so they defended themselves against
the king until the fifth day. And as Weyasit saw that they continued to
resist, he sent for more people and ordered arquebuses to be brought,
and platforms to be constructed. When Karaman’s sons and their mother
saw this, they sent for the chief citizens and said to them: “You see
plainly that we cannot resist Weyasit, who is too powerful for us; we
should be sorry if you died for our sakes, and we have agreed with our
mother that we will trust to his mercy.” The citizens were pleased at
this, and the sons of Karaman and their mother, and the chief citizens
of the city, opened the gates and went out. And as they were advancing,
the mother took a son in each hand and went up to Weyasit, who, when
he saw his sister with her sons, went out of his tent towards her, and
when they were near him they threw themselves at his feet, kissed them,
and begged for mercy, and they gave the keys of the gates and of the
city. When the king saw this, he ordered his lords who were near him
to raise them. When this was done he took possession of the city, and
appointed one of his lords to be governor, and he sent his sister and
her two sons to his capital called Wurssa.

5.—-How Weyasit drives away the king of Sebast.(1)

There was a vassal named Mirachamad who resided in a city called
Marsüany; it was on the border of Karaman’s country. When Mirachamad
heard that King Weyasit had conquered Karaman’s country, he sent to
him to ask him to drive away also the king of Sebast, who was called
Wurthanadin, who had seized upon his territory because he could not
himself expel him, and he should give him the territory in exchange
for one in his own country. Weyasit sent to his assistance his son
Machamet with thirty thousand men, and they forcibly expelled the king
called Wurthanadin out of the country.[1] Then Mirachamad bestowed
upon Machamet[2] the capital and all the territory, because his first
engagement had been in its behalf. Then Weyasit took Mirachamad with
him to his own country, and gave him another territory for his own.

  [1] 1394.

  [2] Mouhammed, a younger son of Bajazet.

6.—What sixty of us Christians had agreed upon.

And when Weyasit came to his capital, there were sixty of us Christians
agreed that we should escape, and made a bond between ourselves and
swore to each other that we should die or succeed together; and each
of us took time to get ready, and at the time we met together, and
chose two leaders from amongst ourselves by lot, and whatever they
ordered we were to obey. Then we rose after midnight and rode to a
mountain and came to it by daybreak. And when we came to the mountain
we dismounted, and let our horses rest until sunrise, when we remounted
and rode the same day and night. And when Weyasit heard that we had
taken to flight, he sent five hundred horse with orders that we were
to be found, that we were to be caught, and brought to him. They
overtook us near a defile, and called to us to give ourselves up.
This we would not do, and we dismounted from our horses and defended
ourselves against them as well as we could. When their commander saw
that we defended ourselves, he came forward and asked for peace for
one hour. We consented. He came to us and asked us to give ourselves
up as prisoners; he would answer for the safety of our lives. We said
we would consult, and did consult, and gave him this answer: We knew
that so soon as we were made prisoners, we should die so soon as we
came before the king, and it would be better that we should die here,
with arms in our hands, for the Christian faith. When the commander saw
that we were determined, he again asked that we should give ourselves
as prisoners, and promised on his oath that he would ensure our lives,
and if the king was so angry as to want to kill us, he would let them
kill him first. He promised this on his oath, and therefore we gave
ourselves up as prisoners. He took us before the king, who ordered that
we should be killed immediately; the commander went and knelt before
the king, and said that he had trusted in his mercy and had promised us
our lives, and asked him also that he should spare us because he had
even sworn that such would be the case. The king then asked him if we
had done any harm? He said: No. Then he ordered that we should be put
into prison; there we remained for nine months as prisoners, during
which time twelve of us died. And when it was the Easter-day of the
Infidels, his eldest son Wirmirsiana,[1](1) begged for us, then he set
us free, and ordered that we should be brought to him; then we were
obliged to promise him that we should never try to escape again, and he
gave us back our horses and increased our pay.

  [1] The Amir Souleiman. The other sons of Bajazet were
  Mouhammed and Mousa.

7.—How Wyasit took the city of Samson.(1)

Afterwards, in the summer, Wyasit took eighty thousand men into a
country called Genyck, and lay siege to a capital called Samson. This
city was built by the strong man Samson, from whom it has its name. The
lord of the country was of the same name as the country, Zymayd, and
the king expelled the lord out of the land; and when it was heard in
the city that their lord was driven away, the people gave themselves up
to Weyasit, who occupied the city and all the country with his people.

8.—Of serpents and vipers.

A great miracle is to be noted which took place near the said city of
Samson, during the time that I was with Weyasit. There came around the
city such a lot of vipers and serpents, that they took up the space of
a mile all round. There is a country called Tcyenick which belongs to
Sampson; it is a wooded country in which are many forests. One part of
the vipers came from the said forests, and one part came out of the
sea. The vipers remained for XI days, and then they fought with each
other, and nobody dared to leave the city on account of the vipers,
although they did no harm either to men or to cattle. Then the lord of
the city and of the country gave orders that likewise no harm should be
done to these reptiles, and said it was a sign and a manifestation from
Almighty God. And now on the tenth day, the serpents and vipers fought
with each other from morning until the going down of the sun, and when
the lord and the people of the city saw what was done, the lord caused
the gate to be opened, and rode out with a few people out of the city,
and looked where the vipers were fighting, and saw that the vipers from
the sea had to succumb to those of the forests. And the next morning
early, the lord again rode out of the city to see if the reptiles were
still there; he found none but dead vipers, which he ordered to be
collected and counted. There were eight thousand. He then ordered a pit
to be made, and ordered all to be thrown in and covered with earth, and
he sent to Weyasit, who at that time was lord in Turkey, to tell him of
the marvel. He took it for a piece of luck, as he had only just taken
the city and country of Samson, and almost rejoiced that the forest
adders had succumbed to the sea adders, and said it was a manifestation
from Almighty God, and he hoped that as he was a powerful lord and king
of the sea-board, so he would also, by the help of God the Almighty,
become the powerful lord and king of the sea. Samson consists of
two cities opposite to each other, and their walls are distant, one
from the other, an arrow’s flight. In one of these cities there are
Christians, and at that time the Italians of Genoa(1) possessed it. In
the other are Infidels to whom the country belongs. At that time the
lord of the city and country was a duke called Schuffmanes, son of [the
duke of] Middle Pulgrey, the chief city of which country is Ternowa,(2)
and who at that time had three hundred fortified towns, cities, and
castles. This country was conquered by Weyasit who took the duke and
his son. The father died in prison, and the son became converted to
the faith of the Infidels, so that his life might be spared. Weyasit
conquered Samson and the country, and conquered Zyenick; and the city
and the country he gave to him for his lifetime, in place of his

9.—How the Infidels remain in the fields with their cattle, in winter
and summer.

It is the custom among the Infidels for some lords to lead a wandering
life with their cattle, and when they come to a country that has good
pasturage, they rent it of the lord of the country for a time. There
was a Turkish lord called Otman, who wandered about with his cattle,
and in the summer came to a country called Tamast, and the capital of
the country is also so called. He asked the king of Tamast, who was
called Wurchanadin,(1) that he would lend him a pasturage where he
and his cattle might feed during the summer. The king lent him such
a pasturage, to which he went with his dependants and cattle, and
remained there the summer; and in autumn he broke up and returned to
his country, without the king’s permission and knowledge; and when the
king heard of this he became very angry, and took one thousand men with
him and went to the pasturage that Otman had occupied, and encamped
there, and sent four thousand horsemen after Otman, and ordered that
they should bring back Otman alive, with all his belongings. And when
Otman heard that the king had sent after him, he hid himself in a
mountain, so that those who rode after him could not find him; and they
encamped on a meadow in front of the mountain where Otman was with his
people, and remained there that night without troubling themselves
about him. And when the day dawned, Otman took one thousand of his best
horsemen to look at the winds, and when he saw that they were not on
their guard, and were without care, he rode towards them and suddenly
took them by surprise, so that they could not defend themselves, and
many of them were killed; the others took to flight. The king was told
how Otman had annihilated his expedition, but he would not believe it,
and thought that fun was being made of him, until some of them came
running to him. Even then he would not believe it, and sent one hundred
horsemen to see if such was the case; and when the hundred horsemen
went to see about it, Otman was on his way with his people to attack
the king; and when he saw the hundred horsemen he overtook them, and
came with them into the camp. And when the king and his people saw
that they were overtaken, and that they could not defend themselves
any more, they took to flight. The king himself had scarcely time to
mount his horse, and took to flight to a mountain; but one of Otman’s
servants saw him, and hastened after him on the mountain; then the king
could fly no farther, and the soldier called upon him to surrender;
but he would not give himself up. Then he took his bow and would have
shot him, when the king made himself known and asked him to let him
go, promising to give him a fine castle, and he wanted to give him the
ring he had on his hand as a pledge. The soldier would not do so, and
made him a prisoner and brought him to his lord. And Otman pursued the
people all day until the evening, and killed many of them, and encamped
where the king had stayed, and sent for the people and cattle that he
had left to run about the mountains. And when the people came with the
cattle, he took the king, and went to the capital called Tamastk, where
he encamped with all his people, and sent word into the city that he
had captured the king, and that if they would deliver to him the city,
he would give peace and security. The city made this answer: If he
had their king, they had his son, and they had lords enough, as he was
too weak to be a lord. He then said to the king, that if he wanted his
life to be spared, he should speak to the citizens that they give up
the city. So they took him before the city, and he asked the citizens
that they should deliver him from death, and give up the city to Otman.
They replied: We will not give up the city to Otman, because he is
too feeble a lord for us; and if thou shouldst no longer care to be
our lord, we have thy son, whom we will have for our lord. When Otman
heard this, he was angry, and seeing his anger, the king begged him
to spare his life, promising to give him the city of Gaissaria, with
all its dependancies. This Otman would not do, and he ordered the king
to be beheaded in sight of the people of the city, and ordered that
afterwards he should be quartered, each part being fixed on a stake
stuck in the ground in sight of the city, and the head on the point
of a lance, together with the four quarters. And whilst the king lay
before the city, the king’s son sent to his father-in-law, the powerful
ruler of White Tartary, that he should come to his assistance, because
Otman had killed his father and many others, and that he was before the
city. And so soon as his father-in-law heard this, he took with him all
his people, with their wives, children, and all their cattle, as is the
custom of the country, because he intended going to Tamast to deliver
the country from Otman, and his people were numbered at forty thousand
men, without including women and children. When Otman heard that the
Tartar king was approaching, he went with his people to the mountains,
where he encamped. The Tartar king encamped before the city, and so
soon as Otman heard of it, he took fifteen hundred men and divided them
into two parts, and when night came he marched upon them on both sides
with loud cries. When the Tartar king heard of this, he thought they
wanted to betray him, and fled into the city, which, when his people
heard, they also took to flight. Otman pursued them and killed a great
many, and captured much booty. They returned to their country, and
Otman took with him to the mountain where he had left his cattle, the
cattle and the booty that he had taken from them. Before it was day,
the Tartar king rode after his people to make them turn back; this they
would not do, so he turned back again. Then Otman again lay siege to
the city, and invited them to give him the city, and he would do as he
had promised. This they would not do, and sent to beg Weyasit to come
and drive Otman out of the country, and they would surrender the city
to him. Weyasit sent his eldest son, with twenty thousand horsemen and
four thousand foot-soldiers, to the help of the town; and I also was in
this expedition. And when he heard that the son of Weyasit was coming,
he sent his property and cattle to the mountain where he had been, and
he himself remained in the plain with one thousand horsemen. Then the
king’s son sent two thousand horsemen to see if they could find Otman;
and when they saw Otman, they attacked each other. And when they saw
that they could not overcome him, they sent for assistance. Then came
Weyasit’s son, with all his people. But when Otman saw him, he rode
against him, and would quickly have put him to flight, for the people
were not close together. The king’s son cried to his people, and they
began to fight, and they fought for three hours consecutively. And
when they were fighting with each other, four thousand foot-soldiers
attacked the tent of Otman, and when he heard this, he sent four
hundred horsemen, who, with the assistance of those who kept the goods
and cattle, expelled the foot-soldiers out of the tent. Otman went with
a force into the mountain, where his property was, and sent it away,
and remained during that time before the mountain. Then the king’s
son appeared before the city, and the citizens opened the gates of
Damastchk, and rode out and asked him to take the city. This he would
not do, and sent to his father, that he should come and take the city
and territory. He came with one hundred and fifty thousand men, took
the city and country, and gave them to his son Machmet, and not to him
who had expelled Otman from being king of the city and country.(2)

10.—How Weyasit took a country that belonged to the Sultan.

After Weyasit had installed his son in the kingdom, he sent to the
king-sultan in respect to a city called Malathea,(1) and the country
that belonged to the city, because the city and the country belonged
to the above-named kingdom which was in the possession of the
king-sultan, and therefore required that he should surrender the city
of Malathea and the territory, because he had conquered the kingdom.
The king-sultan sent word to him that he had won the kingdom by the
sword, and he who wished to have it must also win it by the sword.
When Weyasit received this answer, he went into the country with two
hundred thousand men, and lay siege to the city for two months; and
when he found that it would not surrender, he filled up the ditches and
surrounded the city with his people, and began to storm. When they saw
this they asked for mercy, and gave themselves up. Then he took the
city and the country, and occupied it.

At about the same time, the White Tartars besieged the city called
Angarus, which belonged to Weyasit; and when he heard of this, he sent
to its assistance his eldest son with thirty-two thousand men. He
fought a battle, but he was obliged to return to Wyasit, who ordered
more men, and sent him back again. But he fought with him, and took
the Tartar lord and two vassals, and brought them as prisoners to
Weyasit, and thus the White Tartars gave themselves up to Weyasit. He
put another lord over them, took the three lords to his capital, and
then marched against another city called Adalia,[1] which belonged to
the sultan, and the city is not far from Zypern; and in the country to
which the city belongs, there are no other cattle but camels. After
Weyasit took the city and the country, the country made him a present
of ten thousand camels; and after he occupied the city and the country,
he took the camels into his own country.

  [1] Adalia or Satalia, on the sea-shore. William of Tyre
  so called the chief city of Pamphylia. The town lies, as
  correctly stated, opposite to Cyprus. _N._

11.—Of the King-Sultan.

About this time died the king-sultan, named Warchhoch, and his son
named Joseph became king; but one of his father’s dependants went to
war with him for the kingdom. Then Joseph sent to Weyasit, and became
reconciled with him, and asked him that he should come to help him.
So he sent twenty thousand men to help him, in which expedition I was
also. Thus Joseph expelled his rival, and became a powerful king.(1)
After this it was told him, that five hundred of his dependants were
against him, and were in favour of his rival. He ordered that they
should be taken to a plain, where they were all cut into two parts.
Afterwards, we again returned to our lord, Weyasit.

12.—How Temerlin conquered the kingdom of Sebast.

When Weyasit had expelled Otman from Tamast, as has already been
stated, he went to his lord named Tämerlin, to whom he was subject,
and complained of Weyasit, how he had driven him away from the kingdom
of Tamask, which he had conquered, and at the same time asked him to
help him to reconquer his kingdom. Tämerlin said that he would send to
Weyasit, to restore the country. This he did, but Weyasit sent word
that he would not give it up, for as he had won it by the sword, it
might as well be his as another’s. So soon as Tämerlin heard this, he
assembled ten hundred thousand men, and conducted them into the kingdom
of Sebast, and lay siege to the capital, before which he remained
XXI days, and he undermined the walls of the city in several places,
and took the city by force, although there were in it five thousand
horsemen sent by Weyasit.(1) They were all buried alive in this way.
When Tämerlin took the city, the governor begged that he would not shed
their blood. To this he consented, and so they were buried alive. Then
he levelled the city, and carried away the inhabitants into captivity
in his own country. There were also nine thousand virgins taken into
captivity by Tämerlin to his own country.(2) Before he took the city,
he had at least three thousand men killed. Then he returned to his own

13.—Weyasit conquers Lesser Armenia.

Scarcely had Tämerlin returned to his own country,(1) than Weyasit
assembled three hundred thousand men, and went into Lesser Ermenia and
took it from Tämerlin, and took the capital called Ersingen, together
with its lord who was named Tarathan,(2) and then went back to his
own country. So soon as Tämerlin heard that Weyasit had conquered the
said country, he went to meet him with sixteen hundred thousand men;
and when Weyasit heard this, he went to meet him with fourteen hundred
thousand men. They met near a city called Augury, where they fought
desperately. Weyasit had quite thirty thousand men of White Tartary,
whom he placed in the van at the battle. They went over to Tämerlin;
then they had two encounters, but neither could overcome the other. Now
Tämerlin had thirty-two trained elephants at the battle, and ordered,
after mid-day, that they should be brought into the battle. This was
done, and they attacked each other; but Weyasit took to flight, and
went with at least one thousand horsemen to a mountain. Tämerlin
surrounded the mountain so that he could not move, and took him.[1]
Then he remained eight months in the country, conquered more territory
and occupied it, and then went to Weyasit’s capital and took him
with him, and took his treasure, and silver and gold, as much as one
thousand camels could carry; and he would have taken him into his own
country, but he died[2] on the way[3](3). And so I became Tämerlin’s
prisoner, and was taken by him to his country. After this I rode after
him. What I have described took place during the time that I was with

  [1] July 20th, 1402.

  [2] March 8th, 1403, at Aksheher.

  [3] Schiltberger’s accounts agree perfectly with the
  statements made by Byzantine and Eastern historians.
  We are forced to conclude, after Hammer’s searching
  enquiries, that there is no truth whatever in the story
  of Bajasid having been confined by Timur in an iron cage.

14.—How Tämerlin goes to war with the King-Sultan.

After Tämerlin had overcome Weyasit and returned to his own country, he
went to war with the king-sultan, who is the chief king among Infidels.
He took with him XII hundred thousand men, went into his territory,
and lay siege to a city called Hallapp, which contains four hundred
thousand houses. Then the lord and governor of the city took with him
eighty thousand men, and went out and fought with Tämerlin, but he
could not overcome him, and fled again into the city, and many people
were killed in his flight. He continued to defend himself, but Tämerlin
took a suburb on the fourth day, and the people he found in it he threw
into the moat of the city, put timber and mire upon them, and filled
the moat in four places. The moat was twelve fathom deep, and [cut]
in the solid rock. Then he stormed the city, and took it by assault
and captured the governor, and fully occupied the city, and then went
to another city called Hrumkula, which surrendered. Then he went to
another city called Anthap. There he lay siege for VIIII days, and took
it on the tenth day by assault, and pillaged it, and went to another
city called Wehessum. There he lay siege for XV days. After that they
gave themselves up and he occupied it. The cities I have named are
chief cities in Syria.(1) Then he went to another city called Damaschk;
it is the principal capital in the country. When the king-sultan heard
that he was laying siege to Tamasch, he sent and begged that he would
not injure the city, and spare the temple. To this he consented, and
went further on. The temple in the city of Tamasch is so large, that
it has externally forty gates. Inside the temple hang twelve thousand
lamps, of which number IX thousand are lit daily. But every week, on
Friday, all of them are lit. Amongst these lamps are many in gold and
silver, made by the order of kings and great lords. So soon as Tämerlin
had gone out from the city, the king-sultan left his capital Alchei
Terchei, with thirty thousand men, hoping to arrive before Tämerlin
took it, and he sent twelve thousand men to Tamaschen. When Tämerlin
heard this, he marched towards him, and the king-sultan returned again
to his capital. Tämerlin pursued him, and where the king-sultan passed
the night, there in the morning he caused the water and the grass to
be poisoned; and wherever Tämerlin came, he suffered great losses
amongst his people and cattle, and could not overtake him. Then he
turned again against Tamaschen and besieged it for III months, but
could not take it. During those three months they fought every day, and
when the twelve M men saw that they had no assistance from their lord,
they asked Tämerlin to be allowed to pass. He consented, and they left
the city at night and returned to their lord. Then Tämerlin stormed
the city and took it by assault. And now, soon after he had taken
the city, came to him the Geit, that is as much as to say a bishop,
and fell at his feet, and begged mercy for himself and his priests.
Tämerlin ordered that he should go with his priests into the temple;
so the priests took their wives, their children and many others, into
the temple for protection, until there were thirty thousand young
and old. Now Tämerlin gave orders that when the temple was full, the
people inside should be shut up in it. This was done. Then wood was
placed around the temple, and he ordered it to be ignited, and they all
perished in the temple. Then he ordered that each one of his [soldiers]
should bring to him the head of a man. This was done, and it took three
days; then with these heads were constructed three towers, and the
city was pillaged.(2) After this he went into another country called
Scherch,(3) a country where no cattle are bred, and this country gave
itself up. He ordered them to bring food for his people who were
famished, although they had been before a city so rich in spices. Then
he returned to his country, having left that country and occupied the

15.—How Tämerlin conquered Babiloni.

Now when he returned from the land of the king-sultan, he took ten
hundred thousand men with him and marched upon Babiloni. When the
king[1] heard this, he left a garrison in the city and went out of it.
Tämerlin besieged it for a whole month, during which time he undermined
the walls, took the city and burnt it. Then he had the earth ploughed
and barley planted there, because he had sworn that he would destroy
the city, so that nobody should know whether there had been houses or
no. Then he went to a fortress; it stood in a river, and the king kept
his treasure there.(1) He could not take this fortress, across the
water, so he turned away the water, and found under the water three
leaden chests full of gold and silver; each chest was two fathoms long,
and one fathom broad. The king sank them here, so that if the fortress
was taken, the gold would remain. The chests he removed, and he took
the fortress and found fifteen men in it. They were hanged. They also
found in the fortress four chests full of silver and gold, which he
also took away, and then conquered three cities. Then summer began, so
that on account of the heat he could not remain in the country.

  [1] Sultan Achmed, of the last Ilchans.—See Deguignes,
  Germ. Trans., iii, 313. _N._

16.—How Tämerlin conquered Lesser India.(1)

When Tämerlin returned home from Babiloni, he sent word to all in his
land that they were to be ready in four months, as he wanted to go
into Lesser India, distant from his capital a four months’ journey.
When the time came, he went into Lesser India with four hundred
thousand men, and crossed a desert of twenty days’ journey; there, is
a great want of water, and then he got to a mountain which it took
him eight days, before he came out of it. On this mountain there is a
path, where camels and horses must be bound to planks and lowered. Then
he came to a valley where it is so dark, that people cannot see each
other by the light of day, and it is of half a day’s journey.(2) Then
he came to a high mountainous country, in which he travelled for three
days and three nights, and then got to a beautiful plain, where lies
the capital of the country. He stopped with his people in the plain,
near the wooded mountain, and sent word to the king of the country:
Mirttemirgilden, that is as much as to say, Give up thyself, the lord
Tämerlin is come.(3) When the king received the message, he sent word
to tell him that he would settle with him with the sword. Then he
marched against Tämerlin with four hundred thousand men, and with four
hundred elephants trained for war; upon each elephant was a turret,
in each of which were at least ten armed men. When Tämerlin heard of
this, he advanced with his people to meet him; in the mean time the
king placed the elephants in the front, and when they engaged, Tämerlin
might easily have conquered; but he could not overcome the king,
because his horses were afraid of the elephants and would not advance.
This went on from morning until mid-day, so that Tämerlin retired and
had his counsellors to consult, how the king and his elephants were to
be overcome? One named Suleymanschach advised, that camels should be
taken and wood fastened on them, and when the elephants advanced, the
wood should be ignited, and the camels driven up against the elephants;
thus would they be subdued by the fire and the cries of the camels,
because the elephants are afraid of fire. Then Tämerlin took twenty
thousand camels and prepared them as above described, and the king
came with his elephants in front. Tämerlin went to meet him, and drove
the camels up against the elephants, the wood on them being on fire.
The camels cried out, and when the elephants saw the fire and heard
the great cries, they took to flight, so that none could hold them.
When Tämerlin saw this, he pursued them with all his force, and of the
elephants many were killed.(4) When the king saw this, he went back
into his capital. Tämerlin followed him up and besieged the city for
ten days. In the mean time the king agreed with him, to give him two
zentner of gold of India, which is better than the gold of Arabia, and
he also gave him many precious stones, and promised to lend him thirty
thousand men whenever he might want them; and so they were reconciled
with each other. The king remained in his kingdom, and Tämerlin
returned to his country, and took with him one hundred elephants and
the riches the king had given him.

17.—How a vassal carried off riches that belonged to Tämerlin.

When Tämerlin returned from Lesser India, he sent one of his vassals
named Chebakh, with ten thousand men, to the city of Soltania,[1](1)
to bring to him the five-yearly tribute of Persia and Ermenia which
was kept in that city. He came, and took the tribute, and loaded
one thousand waggons, and then he wrote to a lord in the country of
Massander, who was his friend. He came with fifty thousand men,
they made an alliance with each other, and the treasure was taken to
Massenderam. When Tämerlin heard of this, he sent a great many people
to conquer the above-named country, and bring to him the two lords as
prisoners. When the people got to the country, they could not do any
harm because of the large forests which surround it, and they sent to
Tämerlin for more people. He sent other seventy thousand men to clear
the woods and make a road. They did so for ten miles, but could not
conquer the territory. They sent to tell Tämerlin, and he ordered them
to go home, which they did, without having done anything.

[1] Sultania, to the north of Kaswin. The construction of this city
was begun by Ilchan, or by Argun the Persian viceroy, and completed
by Chasan. These powerful despots of Persia wanted to acquire, as is
not rarely the case with other despots, immortal fame for themselves,
by extorting from their subjects for the purpose of constructing
magnificent buildings. Their wishes have not been realised. _N._

18.—How Tämerlin caused MMM children to be killed.

Then he went into a kingdom called Hisspahan and made for the capital,
Hisspahan, and required it to surrender. They gave themselves up, and
went to him with their wives and children. He received them graciously,
occupied the city with six thousand of his people, and took away with
him the lord of the city, whose name was Schachister. And so soon as
the city heard that Tämerlin was gone out of the country, they closed
all the gates and killed the six thousand men. When Tämerlin knew this,
he returned to the city and besieged it for XV days, but he could not
take it, and made peace with them on condition that they should lend
him the archers that were in the city, for an expedition; after that,
he should send them back. They sent to him twelve thousand archers;
he cut off all their thumbs, and forced them back into the city and
himself entered it. He assembled all the citizens, and ordered all
those over fourteen years to be beheaded, and the boys under XIIII
years he ordered to be spared, and with the heads was constructed a
tower in the centre of the city; then he ordered the women and children
to be taken to a plain outside the city, and ordered the children under
seven years of age to be placed apart, and ordered his people to ride
over these same children. When his counsellors and the mothers of the
children saw this, they fell at his feet, and begged that he would not
kill them. He would not listen, and ordered that they should be ridden
over; but none would be the first to do so. He got angry, and rode
himself [amongst them] and said: “Now I should like to see who will not
ride after me?” Then they were all obliged to ride over the children,
and they were all trampled upon.(1) There were seven thousand. Then he
set fire to the city, and took the other women and children into his
own city; and then went to his capital called Semerchant, where he had
not been for twelve years.

19.—Tämerlin wants to go to war with the Great Chan.

At about this time, the great Chan, king of Chetey, sent an ambassador
with four hundred horsemen, to demand of him the tribute which he
had forgotten, and kept for five years. Tämerlin took the ambassador
with him, until he came to his above-named capital, and sent him
from there to tell his lord, that he would neither pay tribute nor
be subject to him, and that he should himself pay him a visit. Then
he sent messengers all over his country that they should prepare, as
he wished to advance on Cetey, and taking eighteen hundred thousand
men, he marched for a whole month. He then came to a desert that was
seventy days journey across; there he travelled ten days, and lost many
people there for want of water. Great harm also befel his horses and
other cattle, because it was very cold in that country;(1) and when he
perceived his great losses amongst his people and cattle, he turned and
went back to his capital and fell ill.

20.—-Of Tämerlin’s death.

It is to be noted, that three causes made Tämerlin fret, so that he
became ill, and died of that same illness. The first cause was grief
that his vassal had escaped with the tribute; the other it is to be
noted was, that Tämerlin had three wives, and that the youngest, whom
he loved very much, had been intimate with one of his vassals whilst
he was away. When Tämerlin came home, his eldest wife told him that
his youngest wife had cared for one of his vassals, and had broken her
vow. He would not believe it. She came to him and said: “Come to her
and order her to open her trunk: you will find a ring with a precious
stone, and a letter which he has sent to her.” Tämerlin sent to tell
her that he would pass the night with her, and when he came into her
room, he told her to open her trunk. This was done, and he found the
ring and the letter. He sat down near her, and asked whence the ring
and letter had come to her? She fell at his feet, and begged he would
not be angry, because one of his vassals had sent them to her without
any right.[1] After this he went out of the room, and ordered that
she should be immediately beheaded. This was done. He then sent five
thousand horsemen after this same vassal, that they might bring him as
a prisoner; but he was warned by the commander who was sent after him,
and the vassal took with him five hundred men, his wife and children,
and fled to the country of Wassandaran. There Tämerlin could not get at
him. It fretted him so much that he had killed his wife, and that the
vassal had escaped, that he died, and was buried in the country with
great magnificence. Be it also known that, after he was buried, the
priests that belong to the temple, heard him howl every night during
a whole year. His friends gave large alms, that he should cease his
howlings. But this was of no use. They asked advice of their priests,
and went to his son and begged that he would set free the prisoners
taken by his father in other countries, and especially those that were
in his capital, who were all craftsmen he had brought to his capital,
where they had to work. He let them go, and so soon as they were free,
Tämerlin did not howl any more. All that is written above, happened
during the six years that I was with Tämerlin,[2] and I also was

  [1] “One alle Geüard.”—See chap. 65, note 3.

  [2] This is an error in dates, as regards his period of
  service under Bajasid. Schiltberger was with Timur from
  July 20th, 1402, only. _N._

21.—-Of the sons of Tämerlin.

You should know that Tämerlin left two sons. The eldest was named
Scharoch, who had a son to whom Tämerlin gave his capital and the
country that belonged to it, and to each of his two sons, Scharoch and
Miraschach, he gave a kingdom in Persia, and other large territories
that belonged to them. After the death of Tämerlin, I came to his son
named Scharoch, who had the kingdom of Horossen, the capital of which
is called Herren. Here Schiltberger remained with Miraschach, the son
of Tämerlin.

The younger son of Tämerlin had in Persia a kingdom called Thaures,
and after his father’s death came a vassal named Joseph, who expelled
Miraschach from his kingdom. He sent to his brother Scharoch, and asked
him to help him to recover his kingdom. His brother came with eighty
thousand men, and sent thirty thousand men to his brother, that he
might expel the vassal, and kept to himself forty-two thousand men.
With these he marched against Joseph, who, on learning this, went to
meet him with sixty thousand men, and they fought a whole day, without
either the one or the other being overcome. Then Mirenschach asked his
brother, Scharoch, to come with the rest of his people, He came. Then
he fought with Joseph and drove him away, and Mirenschach returned to
his kingdom. There were also two countries that were subdued by Joseph;
the one was called Churten,[1] the other was Lesser Armeny. Scharoch
went into these countries and conquered them, and bestowed them on
his brother, and then returned into his own country, leaving, for the
assistance of his brother, twenty thousand men from amongst his people,
with whom I also remained.(1)

22.—How Joseph caused Mirenschach to be beheaded, and took possession
of all his territory.

After Mirenschach had remained in peace for one year, Joseph entered
his country with a large number of people, which, when he perceived, he
went to meet him with fully four hundred thousand men. They met each
other at a plain called Scharabach,[2](1) and fought together for two
days. Mirenschach was overcome and made a prisoner.

Soon afterwards, Joseph ordered he should be beheaded. It is to be
noted why Joseph killed Mirenschach. Joseph had a brother named Miseri,
who killed a brother of Mirenschach, called Zychanger. When they met
in a battle, Mirenshach took Miseri and killed him in prison, so that
Mirenschach also was put to death;(2) and Joseph had Mirenschach’s
head stuck on a spear, and taken to the city called Thaures after the
kingdom, and showed it there, that they might give themselves up the
sooner. When they saw that their lord was dead, they gave themselves
up; and then he took the city and the whole kingdom with all its

  [1] Kourdistan.

  [2] Karabagh, to the West of the Caspian Sea. Karabagh,
  “Black Garden”, is the name given by the Persians and
  Turks to the entire district extending from Shirwan, on
  the west, to that point where the Kur and Araxes unite.
  In ancient times the Armenians called this region Arzach.
  The city of Karabagh is the birth-place of the Armenian
  historian, Thomas Medzopezi. Indschidschean is unable to
  state on good grounds, why this district and place are so
  called. He holds, on the contrary, that Karabagh is the
  same as that called Chachchach by Agathangelos and older
  Armenian chroniclers. _N._

23.—How Joseph vanquished a king and beheaded him.

And now when Joseph had taken the kingdom, the king of Babilonie sent
to him that he should give up the kingdom, as it belonged to his own
kingdom, and his residence was in it; and because it was not right
that he should keep the kingdom, as he was not noble and would be a
bad vassal. Joseph sent back word that there must be a ruler in the
kingdom, and that he should confirm it to him, and sent to say that he
would mint in his name, and observe all that was due to him. The king
would not do so, because he had a son to whom he wished to give the
kingdom; and he attacked Joseph with fifty thousand men. Joseph went to
meet him with sixty thousand men, and they fought with each other at
a plain called Achtum.[1](1) The king fled to a city near the plain.
Joseph followed, and took the king and beheaded him, and occupied the
kingdom as before.

  [1] In all probability Nachdschowan, or Nachidschewan,
  the Naxuana of Ptolemy. The plain and the town are of the
  same name. _N._

24.—How Schiltberger came to Aububachir.

And after that Miraschach, Tämerlin’s son, was taken in battle and
beheaded, I came to his son Aububachir, with whom I remained four
years. And after the king of Babiloni was also killed by Joseph, as
is already written, Abubachir took a country called Kray; it belonged
to the kingdom of Babiloni. Aububachir had also a brother called
Mansur,(1) who had a country called Erban. He sent [word] that he
should come to him. This, Mansur would not do; so he went and took him,
put him into prison and strangled him, and took his country. It is
also to be noted, that Abubachir was so strong, that he shot through a
ploughshare with an Infidel bow; the iron went through, and the shaft
remained in the ploughshare. This ploughshare was sent as a marvel to
Tämerlin’s capital, called Samerchant, and fixed to the gate. When the
king-sultan heard of his strength, he sent to him a sword that weighed
twelve pounds. It was worth one thousand guldens. And when the sword
was brought to him, he ordered that an ox, three years old, should be
brought to him, as he wished to try the sword. When the ox came, he cut
it into two parts at one blow. This happened during Tämerlin’s lifetime.

25.—Of a king’s son.

With Abubachar, was the son of a king of Great Tartary. To him came
messengers, wanting him to go home, that he might be responsible for
the kingdom. He asked Abubachir to allow him to go; this he did,
and so he went home with six hundred horsemen; I was one of five
[Christians?] who went with him into Great Tartary. You must notice
through which countries he passed. First, through the country called
Strana, where silk grows; then through a country called Gursey, where
there are Christians, and they believe in the Christian faith, and
Saint Jörig is patron there. After that, he passed through a country
called Lochinschan; there, also, silk grows; then through another
called Schurban, where silk grows of which the good stuffs are made at
Tamasch and at Kaffer, and also at Wursa, the capital of the Infidels,
situated in Turkey; this silk is also taken to Venice and to Lickcha,
where good velvet is worked; but it is an unhealthy country. Afterwards
he passed through a country called Samabram;(1) then through one
called in the Tartar tongue, Temurtapit,[1](2) which is as much as to
say, the Iron Gate. This divides Persia and Tartary. Then he passed
through a city called Origens; it is powerful, and lies in the middle
of a river called Edil.(3) Then he travelled through a mountainous
country called Setzulet, where there are many Christians who have a
bishop there; their priests belong to the Order of the Shoeless, who
do not know Latin, and they sing and read their prayers in the Tartar
tongue. It is found that thus the laity become stronger in the faith,
and also many Infidels are confirmed in the Christian faith, because
they understand the words that the priests sing and read. After that,
he went into Great Tartaria, and came to the lord named Edigi, who had
written and sent messengers to him, as he wanted him to come and rule
the kingdom. And when he arrived, Edigi was waiting, having prepared
to go into a country called Ibissibur.[2] It is to be noted, that it
is the custom for the king, in Great Tartary, to have a Chief to rule
over him, who can elect or depose a king, and has also power over
vassals. Now at that time Edigi was the Chief. The vassals in Tartary
wander about in winter and summer, with their wives and children,
and their cattle, and when the king encamps, there must be erected
one hundred thousand huts. Now when the son of the above-named king
of Tartary, and who was named Zegre,(4) had come to Edigi, he went
with him into the above-named country, Ibissibur, and they travelled
two months before they arrived there. There is a mountain in that
country, which is thirty-two days’ journey in extent. The people there,
themselves say, that at the extremity of the mountain is a desert, and
that the said desert is the end of the earth; and in this same desert
nobody can have an habitation, because of snakes and wild beasts. On
the same mountain there are savages, who are not like other people,
and they live there. They are covered all over the body with hair,
except the hands and face, and run about like other wild beasts in the
mountain, and also eat leaves and grass, and any thing they can find.
The lord of the country sent to Edigi, a man and a woman from among
these savages, that had been taken in the mountain.(5) The horses are
of the same size as donkeys, and there are many wild beasts that are
not in Germany, and of which I do not know the names. There are also in
the above-named country, dogs, that go in carts and in sledges; they
are also made to carry luggage, and are as large as donkeys. Dogs are
eaten in this country. It is also to be noted, that the people in this
country believe in Jesus Christ like the III kings who came and brought
offerings to Christ at Bethlaem, and saw him lying in the manger; and
they have a picture, which is a representation of our Lord in a manger,
as the three holy kings saw him, when they brought offerings to him.
They have this also in their temples, and say their prayers before it;
and the people who are of this faith are called Ugine.(6) In Tartaria
there are many people of this religion. It is also the custom in the
country, that when a young man, who has not had a wife, dies, he is
dressed in his best clothes, and players carry him, and he is laid on a
bier, and a canopy is placed over him. And all the young people, also
dressed in their best clothes, go before, and the players with them.
The father and mother, and friends, also follow the bier, and it is
taken to the grave by the young people and by the players, with singing
and much merry-making. But the father and mother and friends, go near
the bier and weep; and when they have buried him, they bring their
food and drink, and the young people and the players sit down, and eat
and drink by the grave with much rejoicing. The father and mother and
friends, sit on one side, and lament, and when they have done, they
take the father and mother to the place where they live, and there they
lament; and so they end the ceremony which was as if they had had a
wedding, because he had no wife. In this country they have nothing but
millet, and they do not eat bread. All this I have seen, and was there
with the above-named king’s son, Zeggra.

  [1] Derbend, _i.e._, the closed gate or barricade, called
  by the Turks Timurcapi, or the Iron Gate. _N._

  [2] This, undoubtedly, is Siberia, here mentioned
  for the first time. It so happens that the name of
  Siberia appears in the Russian annals of about the
  same period, 1450.—See Lehrberg’s _Zur Erläuterung
  der älteren Geschichte von Russland_, St. Petersburg,
  1816. Schiltberger probably looks upon the Buddhists as
  Christians, as has frequently been the case. _N._

26.—How one lord succeeds another lord.

And after that Edigi and Zeggra had subdued the country Ibissibur, they
went into the country Walher, and conquered it also, and afterwards
they went back to their country. At that time, there was a king in
Great Tartaria who was called Sedichbechan, and kan is as much as to
say a king, in the Tartar tongue. When he heard that Edigi had come
into his country, he took to flight. Edigi sent after him, that he
should be brought as a prisoner, but he was killed in a battle.(1) Then
Edigi elected a king named Polet, who reigned one year and a half.(2)
Then there was one named Segelalladin, who expelled Polet; and after
this, Polet’s brother was king, and he reigned fourteen months. Then
came his brother, named Thebachk, who fought with him for the kingdom,
and killed him,(3) and then there was no king. But he had a brother
called Kerumberdin, who became king, and reigned five months. Then came
his brother Theback, and he expelled Kerimberdin and became king. Then
came Edigi and my lord Zeggra, and they drove away the king, and Edigi
made my lord the king as he had promised. He was king for nine months.
Then came one named Machmet, and he fought with Zeggra and with Edigi.
Zeggra fled to a country called Distihipschach, and Machmet became
king. Then came one named Waroch; he expelled Machmet and became king.
After that, Machmet recovered, and he drove away Waroch and was again
king. Then came one named Doblabardi, who drove away Machmet and became
king, and was king for three days only. Then came the same Warach, who
expelled Doblabardi, and again became king. Then came my lord Machmet,
and he overcame Waroch and again became king. After that, came my lord
Zeggra, and he fought with Machmet and was killed.(4)

27.—Of an Infidel woman, who had four thousand maidens.

During the time that I was with Zeggra, there came to Edigi, and also
to Zeggra, a Tartar woman named Sadurmelickh,(1) with four thousand
maidens and women. She was powerful, and her husband had been killed by
a Tartar king. She wanted to be revenged, and therefore came to Edigi,
so that he should assist her to expel the king. And you must also know,
that she and her women rode to battle and fought with the bow, as
well as men; and when the women rode to battle, they had on one side a
sword, and on the other a bow. In a battle she had with a king, there
was the king’s cousin who had killed the husband of this woman, and he
was made a prisoner. He was brought before the woman; she ordered him
to kneel, and drew her sword, and cut off his head at one blow, and
said: “Now am I revenged.” I was present there, and I also saw this.

28.—In what countries I have been.

Now I have described the battles and the fights which took place,
during the time that I was with the Infidels. Now I will also write
and name the countries that I have been in, since I left Bavaria. At
first I went into Ungeren, before the great expedition against the
Infidels. There I remained ten months, and after that we went amongst
the Infidels as is described. I have also been in Wallachy and in its
two chief cities; one is called Agrich,[1] the other Türckisch; also in
a city called Übereil, situated on the Tunow. There were the kocken(1)
and the galleys, in which merchants bring their goods from the land of
the Infidels. It is also to be noted, that the people in Little and
in Great Walachy hold to the Christian faith, and they also speak a
particular language; they also allow their hair and beard to grow, and
never cut it. I have also been in Little Walachy, and in Sybenbürgen
which is a German country; the capital of this country is called
Hermenstat. Also in Zwürtzenland; the capital is called Bassaw.[2](2)
These are the countries on this side of the Tonow, in which I have

  [1] Agrisch, now better known as Ardschisch in Walachia.
  For Türckisch we should read Bukurescht. _F._

  [2] Brasowa or Burzelland in Siebenbürgen. Wurzerland
  was also written Burzerland and Burzelland. It is to the
  south-east of Siebenbürgen, its capital being Cronstadt,
  Brasowa in Slav, called Bassaw by Schiltberger. _F._

29.—In which countries I have been, that lay between the Tonow and the

Now will be noted the countries that are between the Tunow and the sea,
in which I have been. First, I have been in three countries, which
three countries are all called Pulgrey. The first Pulgrey is where
people cross from Hungern to the Iron Gate; the capital is called
Pudem. The other Pulgrey above lies opposite to Walachy; the capital
is called Ternau. The third Pulgery lies where the Tunow flows into
the sea; the capital is called Kallacercka.[1](1) I have also been
in Greece; the capital is Adranapoli, which city has fifty thousand
houses. There is also a large city by the White Sea in Greece, and
it is called Salonikch;(2) and in this city lies Saint Sanctiniter,
from whose grave oil flows.[2](3) In the middle of the church there
is a well, and on his day the well is full of water, but it is dry on
every other day in the year. I have been in this city. There is also a
mighty city in Greece, called Seres; and all the territory that lies
between the Tünow and the sea, belongs to the Turkish[3] king. There is
a city and a fortress called Chalipoli; there the high sea is crossed.
I myself crossed there, over to Turkey. This same sea is crossed to go
to Constantinoppel. I was three months in the said city where people
go over into Great Turkey. The capital of Turkey is called Wursa.
The city contains two hundred thousand houses, and eight hospitals
where poor people are received, whether they be Christians, Infidels,
or Jews. Three hundred castles are dependant on this city, without
excepting the chief towns which are hereafter described. The first is
called Asia,[4](4) in which is the grave of St. John the Evangelist;
it is in a fertile country called Edein in the Infidel tongue; but the
natives call it Hohes. The other city and country that belongs to it,
is called Ismira, and Saint Nicholas was bishop there.(5) There is also
a city and a country called Maganasa,(6) which is a fertile country.
There is also a city called Donguslu;(7) the country that belongs to
it is called Serochon, and there the trees bear fruit twice yearly.
There is a city called Kachey, situated high up a mountain, and has
a fertile country called Kennan. There is also a city called Anguri;
it has a fertile country also called Siguri.[5] In this city are many
Christians who hold to the Ermenian faith; and they have a cross in
their church that shines day and night; even Infidels go to the church,
and they call the cross the bright stone. The Infidels also wanted to
carry it off and put it in their temple, but whoever touches it, his
hands become distorted. There is also a city called Wegureisari,(8)
and the country is called by the same name. There is also a country
called Karaman, the chief city being called Laranda. There is also in
this country a city called Könia, in which lies the saint, Schenisis,
who was first an Infidel priest, and was secretly baptised; and when
his end approached, received from an Armenian priest, the body of
God in an apple. He has worked great miracles. There is also a city
called Gassaria, and the country is of the same name. In this country
Saint Basil was bishop.(9) I have also been in Sebast, which was once
a kingdom. There is a city on the Black Sea called Samson; it is in a
fertile country called Zegnikch. The above-named countries and cities
all belong to Turkey, and I have been in them all. Item, there is a
country called Zepun; it is on the Black Sea. In this country they sow
millet only, and they make their bread of this millet. There is the
kingdom of Tarbesanda; it is a small and well protected country, and
fruitful in vineyards, and is on the Black Sea, not far from a city
called Kureson(10) in the Greek tongue.

  [1] Kallacercka is the old Bulgarian port Callat,
  Callatis, or Callantra, to the north of Varna, which has
  taken the place of Callat. _F._

  [2] The miracle of the exudation of oil from the body
  of Demetrius, is related by Nicetas, i, 7, 193, Edit.,
  Paris. The similarity in the statements made by the
  Bavarian and by Nicetas, leave no room whatever for
  doubting that this is the correct name of the Saint, and
  not that of Theodora, as given by a transcriber’s error
  in the Anagnosta, _De excidio Thessalonicensi_. _H._

  [3] “Tütschen”, in the text.

  [4] Asia is a mistake for Ephesus. To this belongs the
  passage, “hie zeland heiszet es Hoches”. The Turkish
  Aisulugh, _i.e._, Ἅγιος-Θεολόγος, as the Byzantines
  called St. John. _F._ and _H._

  [5] Printed editions give Sigmei, which is nearer to
  the true reading, Sultan Öni or Ögi. Anguri or Ancyra,
  belongs to the province of Sultan Ögi or Öni. _F._

30.—Of the castle of the sparrow-hawk, and how it is guarded.

There is on a mountain a castle, called that of the sparrow-hawk.
Within, is a beautiful virgin, and a sparrow-hawk on a perch. Whoever
goes there and does not sleep but watches for three days and three
nights, whatever he asks of the virgin, that is chaste, that she will
grant to him. And when he finishes the watch, he goes into the castle
and comes to a fine palace, where he sees a sparrow-hawk standing on
a perch; and when the sparrow-hawk sees the man, he screams, and the
virgin comes out of her chamber, welcomes him and says: “Thou hast
served me and watched for three days and three nights, and whatever
thou now askest of me that is pure, that will I grant unto thee.” And
she does so. But if anybody asks for something that exhibits pride,
impudence, or avarice, she curses him and his offspring, so that he can
no longer attain an honourable position.

31.—How a poor fellow watched the sparrow-hawk.

There was also once a good poor fellow, who watched for three days
and three nights before the castle; and when he had watched, he went
into the palace, and when the sparrow-hawk saw him, he screamed. The
virgin came out of her room and welcomed him, and said: “What dost
thou require of me. Whatever is of this world and that is honourable,
I will grant unto thee.” He asked her for nothing more than that he
and his family might live with honour; this was granted. There also
came the son of a king of Armenia, who also watched for three days
and three nights. After that, he went into the palace where stood the
sparrow-hawk. The sparrow-hawk screamed, the virgin came out, welcomed
him and asked: “What dost thou want that is of this world and that is
honourable.” He asked for nothing, and said he was the son of a mighty
king of Armenia, and had silver and gold enough, and also precious
stones, but he had no wife, and he asked her to be his wife. She
answered him and said: “Thy proud spirit that thou hast, must be broken
in thee and in all thy power”; and she cursed him and all his kindred.
There also went a lord of the Order of St. John, who also watched and
went into the palace. The virgin came out, and asked him also what he
desired. He asked her for a purse that would never be empty, which was
granted. But after this, she cursed him and said: “The avarice thou
hast shewn, brings great evil to thee. Therefore I curse thee, so that
thy order may diminish and not increase.” Then he left her.(1)

32.—More about the castle of the sparrow-hawk.

During the time that I and my companions were there, we asked a man
to take us to the castle, and gave him money; and when we got to the
place, one of my companions wanted to remain and keep watch. He who
brought us advised him against it, and said that if he did not carry
out the watch, he would be lost, and nobody would know where he went;
the castle is also hidden by trees, so that nobody knows the way to
it. It is also forbidden by the Greek priests, and they say that the
devil has to do with it, and not God. So we went on to a city called
Kereson. There is also a country that belongs to the above-named
kingdom, called Lasia,(1) and it is fertile in vineyards. Greeks are
in that country. I have also been in Lesser Armenia; the capital is
Ersinggan. There is also a city called Kayburt,[1](2) and it has a
fertile country. Also a city called Kamach,(3) situated on a high
mountain, and below the mountain flows a river called the Eufrates; it
is one of the rivers that flows out of Paradise. This river also flows
through Lesser Armenia, and then courses through a desert ten days’
journey across; then it is lost in a marsh, so that nobody knows where
it goes.(4) It courses also through Persia. There is also a country
called Karasser; it is fertile in vineyards.(5) There is also a country
called Black Turkey; the capital is called Hamunt, and the people are
warlike.(6) There is also a country called Churt, the capital of which
is Bestan.(7) Item, a kingdom called Kursi, where the people hold
to the Christian faith, have a distinct language and are a warlike
people. There is a country called Abkas, its capital Zuchtun;(8) it
is an unhealthy country, and men and women wear flat caps on their
heads, which they do because the place is unhealthy. There is also a
small country called Megral, the capital is Kathon,[2](9) and in which
country they hold to the Greek faith. Also a country called Merdin;(10)
this is a kingdom where there are Infidels. I have been in all the
above-named countries, and have learnt their peculiarities.

  [1] Baiburt. _N._ Byburt, in edition of 1814.

  [2] Possibly Gori in Mingrelia. _N._

33.—In which countries silk is grown, and of Persia and of other

The chief city of all the kingdoms of Persia is called Thaures.(1) The
king of Persia has a larger revenue from the city of Thaures, than has
the most powerful king in Christendom, because a great many merchants
come to it. There is also a kingdom in Persia, the capital of which
is called Soltania. There is also a city called Rei,(2) in a large
country where they do not believe in Machmet as do other Infidels. They
believe in a certain Aly who is a great persecutor of the Christian
faith; and those of this doctrine are called Raphak.[1](3) There is
also a city called Nachson;(4) it lays near the mountain where the
ark stood in which was Noah, and the country is fertile. In it are
also three cities, one called Maragara,(5) the other Gelat,(6) and the
third Kirna.(7) All three are in a fertile country. There is also, on
a mountain, a city called Meya; it is a bishop’s see where they hold
to the Roman religion; the priests are of the Order of Preachers, and
sing in the Armenian tongue.(8) There is a rich country called Gilan,
where rice and cotton only is grown, and the people wear knitted shoes.
There is a large city called Ress,(9) in a good country where good silk
kerchiefs are made. Also a city called Strawba,(10) in a good country.
Another called Antioch;(11) the city wall is stained with the blood
of Christians, so that it is red. And a city called Aluitze.[2](12)
Tämerlin besieged it for sixteen years before he took it. There is also
a country called Massandaran, which is so wooded, that nobody can go
into it. There is a city called Scheckhy; it is in a fertile country
near the White Sea.[3](13) In this country also is silk grown. Item,
a country called Schuruan, and the capital is called Schomachy; it is
a hot and unhealthy country, but the best silk is grown there. There
is also a city called Hispahan, which is in a good country. There
is also in Persia the kingdom Horoson,[4] and its capital is called
Hore,[5](14) which has three hundred thousand houses. In this same
country and kingdom, during the time that I was amongst the Infidels,
there was a man three hundred and fifty years old. So the Infidels
said. The nails on his hands were one inch in length, his eyebrows hung
down from his eyes over his cheeks. He was without teeth, which had
fallen out twice, and for the third time two grew, but they were weak
and not as strong as they should be, and he could not masticate nor eat
with them; they had to feed him. The hair in his ears went down to his
jaw; the beard reached to his knees. He had no hair on his head, and
could not speak, but he made himself understood with signs. They were
obliged to carry him as he could not walk. This man was held to be a
saint by the Infidels, and they went to him on a pilgrimage as people
do to a saint, and said that Almighty God had chosen him, because for
a thousand years no man had lived so long as this man; and who honours
him, honours Almighty God, who had wrought such miracles and signs in
him. This man was called Phiradamschyech.(15) There is a city called
Schiras; it is large and in a good country, where no Christian is
allowed to trade, especially in the city. A city called Kerman(16) in a
good country, and a city called Keschon which lies near the sea; there
pearls grow, and it is a good country. Item, a city called Hognus; it
is large and lies near the sea where one goes to Great India, and great
merchandise comes there from India. It is a good country, wherein
are found many precious stones which are peculiar to it. There, also,
is the city called Kaff,(17) also a good country, where all kinds of
spices are found, and whence also one goes to Great India. There is a
country called Walaschoen; it has a high mountain where many precious
stones are found; but nobody can take them because of the serpents and
wild beasts. When it rains, it is the torrent that brings them down,
then come the experts who know them, and pick them out of the mud.
There are also unicorns in those mountains.(18)

  [1] Raschedi. _N._

  [2] This is the castle of Alandschik, mentioned by
  Scherifeddin.—_Hist. de Timurbec_, ii, 391. _H._

  [3] By White Sea is here understood (in contradistinction
  to the Black) the Caspian, and Scherki is intended to
  indicate its western coast. _H._

  [4] Chorasan. _N._

  [5] Herat. _N._

34.—Of the tower of Babilony that is of such great height.

I have also been in the kingdom of Babilonien. Babilonien is called
Waydat in the Infidel tongue. The great Babilonie was surrounded by
a wall, twenty-five leagues broad, and one league is three Italian
miles; the wall was two hundred cubits high and fifty cubits thick,
and the river Euffrates courses through the middle of the city; but it
is now all in ruins, and there is no longer any habitation in it. The
tower of Babilonien is distant fifty four stadia, and four stadia is
an Italian mile, and in several places it is X leagues in length and
in breadth. The tower is in the desert of Arabia, on the road when one
goes into the kingdom of Kalda; but none can get there because of the
dragons and serpents, and other hurtful reptiles, of which there are
many in the said desert. The tower was built by a king who is called
in the Infidel tongue, Marburtirudt.(1) It is also to be noted, that
a league is three Lombard miles, and four stadia is one Italian mile.
One Italian mile should have one thousand full paces, and one pace
should have V feet,[1] and one foot should have nine inches, and one
inch is the first member of the thumb.(2) Now I will also take note
of New Babilonien. New Babilonien is separated from Great Babilony by
a river called Schatt;(3) it is a large river, and in it are many sea
monsters that come from the Indian sea. Near the river grows a fruit
tree called the date, but the Infidels call it kinna,(4) and nobody can
pick the fruit until the storks come and drive away the serpents, which
live under the tree and on it; for this reason nobody can get the fruit
which grows twice during the year. It is also to be noted, that in the
city of Babilony two languages are spoken, the Arabic and Persian.
There is also a garden in Babilony, in which are all kinds of beasts;
this garden is ten miles long and enclosed by a wall, so that none can
get out. In this garden, the lions have a place to themselves in which
they can move about. I have also seen the garden. In this kingdom the
people are not warlike.(5) Item, I have also been in Lesser India,
which is a fine kingdom. The capital is called Dily. In this country
are many elephants, and animals called surnasa, which is like a stag,
but it is a tall animal, and has a long neck four fathoms in length or
longer. It has long fore legs, and the hinder are short.(6) There are
many animals in Lesser India. There are also many parrots, ostriches,
and lions. There are also many other animals and birds, of which I
cannot give the names. There is also a country called Zekatay;(7) the
capital is called Samerchant, and it is a large and mighty city. In
this country the language is distinct; it is half Turkish and half
Persian, and the people are warlike. In this country they do not eat
bread. It is also to be noted, that an Infidel lord named Tämerlin had
conquered all the country during the time that I was with him. I have
been in all those countries; but he conquered many other countries in
which I have not been.

  [1] “schuch”, in text.

35.—Of Great Tartaria.(1)

I have also been in Great Tartaria, and of the custom of the country
it is to be noted, first, that nothing besides millet is sown. They do
not eat bread, and they do not drink wine, but they drink the milk of
mares and of camels, and they also eat camel and horse flesh. It is
also to be noted, that the king of these countries and his vassals pass
winter and summer in the fields, with their wives and children, with
cattle and all that belongs to them; and they go from one pasturage to
the other, because it is a flat country. It is also to be noted, that
when they choose a king, they take him and seat him on white felt, and
raise him in it three times.(2) Then they lift him up and carry him
round the tent, and seat him on a throne, and put a golden sword in his
hand. Then he must be sworn as is the custom. It is also to be noted,
that when they eat or drink, they sit on the ground, as all Infidels
do. There is not a more warlike people among the Infidels than the
Great[1] Tartars, who can fight and perform journeys as they do. I
myself have seen them bleed [their horses] and drink the blood after
they have cooked it. This they do when they are in want of food. I have
also seen when they are long on a journey, that they take a piece of
flesh, cut it into slices, place it under the saddle, and ride on it,
and eat it when they were hungry; but they salt it first and think that
it will not spoil, because it becomes dry from the warmth of the horse,
and becomes tender under the saddle from riding, after the juice has
gone out of it. This they do when they have no time to prepare their
food. It is also the custom, that when the king rises in the morning,
they bring to him some mare’s milk in a golden goblet, which he drinks

  [1] The word is “roten” in the text, doubtlessly for

36.—The countries in which I have been, that belong to Tartary.

Here is to be noted in which countries I have been, that belong to
Great Tartary. A country called Horosaman;[1] the name of the capital
is Orden, and it lies in a river called Edil, which is a great
river.(1) There is also a country called Bestan; its capital is Zulat,
and it is a mountainous country. Item, a city called Haitzicherchen,
which is a large city,(2) and in a good country. Another city called
Sarei; there, is the residence of the kings of the Tartars. There is
also a city called Bolar, in which are different kinds of beasts.(3)
Also a city called Ibissibur,(4) and a city Asach, which the Christians
call Alathena.(5) It has a river, called Tena, and much cattle. They
send large kocken and galleys full of fish from this country, and
they go to Venice, Genoa, and the islands that are in the sea. Item,
there is a country called Ephepstzach; its capital is Vulchat.[2](6)
In this country every kind of corn is cultivated. A city called Kaffa,
which lies by the Black Sea, and is surrounded by two walls. Within
one wall are six thousand houses, in which are Italians, Greeks, and
Armenians; it is a chief city on the Black Sea, and has within the
outer walls, XI thousand houses, in which are many Christians; Romans,
Greeks, Armenians, and Syrians. There are also three bishops; a Roman,
a Greek, and an Armenian. There are also many Infidels who have their
particular temple. The city has four towns subject to it; they are by
the sea. There are also two kinds of Jews in the city, and they have
two synagogues, and four thousand houses are in the suburbs.(7) Item,
a city called Karckeri,(8) in a good country called Sudi; but the
Infidels call it That;(9) there are Christians of the Greek faith in
it, and there are good vineyards. It lies near the Black Sea, and in
this country Saint Clement was thrown into the sea. Close by, is a
city, called in the Infidel tongue, Serucherman.(10) Item, a country
called Starchas, which also lies by the Black Sea, where the people
are of the Greek faith; but they are a wicked people, because they
sell their own children to the Infidels, and steal the children of
other people and sell them; they are also highway robbers, and have a
peculiar language. It is also their custom, that when one is killed by
lightning, they lay him in a box and put it on a high tree. Then all
the people in the neighbourhood come, and bring their food and drink
under the tree; they dance and enjoy themselves under it; they kill
oxen and lambs, and give them away for the sake of God. This they do
for three successive days, and at the end of a year they come to where
the dead man lies, near the tree, and again do what they did before,
until the body putrefies. This they do, because they suppose that a
man struck by lightning is a saint.(11) Item, the kingdom of Rewschen,
which is tributary to the Tartar king. It is to be noted, that there
are three tribes amongst the Great[3] Tartars. One is called Kayat,[4]
the other Inbu,[5] the third Mugal.(12) It is also to be noted, that
Tartary is a three months journey in extent, in which no wood or stones
are to be found, only grass and shrubs. The countries described all
belong to Great Tartary, in all of which I have been. I have also
been in Arabia; there the capital is called in the Infidel tongue,
Missir.[6] The city in this kingdom has twelve thousand streets, and
each street has twelve thousand houses. In the city, is the residence
of the king sultan, who is king over all Infidel kings, and lord of
all Infidels. He is a mighty lord in silver and gold, and in precious
stones, and has daily twenty thousand men at his court.(13) It is also
to be noted, that no person can be made king-sultan unless he has been

  [1] Chowaresm, whence we have Chiwa, its capital being
  Orgens or Urgendsch. _N._

  [2] Selgath or Sorgathi, which Abulfeda calls Crimea or
  the Fortress, whence the entire Tauric peninsula has
  received its name. Schiltberger is wrong in saying that
  it was the capital of Kiptschak. _N._

  [3] The word “roten” is here repeated. See p. 48.

  [4] Kajat, Kerait. _N._

  [5] Uighur. _N._

  [6] Missir, Miser, we are informed in chap. 40 and
  chap. 44, was called Cair by the Christians; we should
  therefore here read Egypt for Arabia.

37.—How many kings-sultan there were, whilst I was amongst the Infidels.

You should know, and take note, how many kings-sultan there were during
the time that I was there. The first king-sultan was named Marochloch;
then there was one named Mathas, king; he was made a prisoner, and
placed between two planks and sawn in two parts, lengthways. After
him, was a king named Jusuphda, with whom I was for eight months; he
was made a prisoner and beheaded. After him was one named Zechem; then
one called Schyachin, who was fixed on an iron spike; for it is the
custom in this kingdom, that when two fight for that kingdom, whichever
overcomes the other and brings him to prison, takes him when convenient
and dresses him like a king, and leads him to a house made for the
purpose, in which there are iron spikes, and he is put on one of those
spikes, so that it comes through at the neck, and on the spike he must
rot.(1) There was a certain king named Malleckchafcharff; this king
invited to a marriage, [those] in Rom, in all Christendom, and also in
all lands. Now you must note what is his title and superscription.(2)
We, Balmander,[1] the all-powerful of Carthago,(3) Sultan of the
noble Saracens, Lord of Zuspillen, Lord of the highest God[2] in
Jherusalem,(4) in Capadocie,(5) the Lord of Jordan, the Lord of the
East whence flows the boiling sea; the Lord of Bethlahen where your
Lady our niece was born, and her son our nephew[3] of Nazareth.(6)
The Lord of Synay, of Talapharum, and of the valley of Josaphat.
The Lord of Germoni, around which mountain are seventy-two towers
all embellished with marble.(7) The Lord of the great forest, four
hundred miles in length, and inhabited by seventy-two languages.(8)
The Lord of Paradise and of the rivers that flow from there, situated
in our country of Capadocie; the guardian of the caves,(9) the mighty
emperor of Constantinoppel, Amorach of Kaylamer, the mighty emperor of
Galgarien, the Lord of the withered tree, the Lord where the sun and
the moon rise and set, from first to last; the lord [of the places]
where Enoch and Helyas are buried. Item, the protector of the first
Prester John, in enclosed Rumany, and guardian of Wadach. Guardian
of Alexander, Founder of the fortified city of Babilonie, where the
seventy-two languages were invented. Emperor king of all kings. The
Lord of Christians, Jews, and Infidels. Destructor of the Gods.(10)
Thus did he write to Rom when he wanted to have his daughter’s
marriage, at which marriage I also was present. It is also to be noted,
that it is the custom in the country of the king-sultan, that during
the week of their feast, married women are at liberty to be wanton
with men if it be their desire, without their husbands or anybody else
having anything to say, because it is the custom. It is also the custom
for the king-sultan, when he rides into a city, or when people from
strange countries come to him, to cover his face that none may see it;
and if it be a great guest, he must first kneel three times[4] and
kiss the ground, then stand up and go near him. If he is an Infidel,
he kisses his bare hand, but if he is a Christian, he draws his hand
into his sleeve, and puts out the sleeve which he must kiss. When
the king-sultan sends a messenger, he has at the several stations on
the road, horses ready with all that is needed. His messenger, whom
he sends, has a bell at his girdle; he covers it with a cloth until
he gets near a station, then he removes it and lets it ring. When it
is heard at the station, a horse is prepared for him, and he finds
it ready. He rides to another station, and there he again finds one
ready. This he goes on doing, until he gets to the place to which he
was sent. This is done on all the roads of the king-sultan.(11) It is
also to be noted, that the king-sultan also sends letters by pigeons,
because he has many enemies, and is afraid that they might stop his
messengers. They are sent mostly from Archey to Tamasgen, between which
places is a great desert. It is also to be noted, how the pigeons are
sent to any city to which the king-sultan wishes to have them sent.
Two pigeons must be put together, and sugar must be put into their
food, and they are not allowed to fly; and when they know each other
well, the hen-pigeon is taken to the king, and he keeps it, and marks
the cock-pigeon that it may be known from which city it is; it is
then put into a separate place that is prepared, and the hen-pigeon
is no longer allowed inside. They no longer give him so much to eat,
and no more sugar as he used to have; this is done that he may wish
to return as soon as possible to the place where he was before, and
where he was trained. When they wish to despatch him, the letter is
tied under a wing, and he flies away straight for the house where he
was trained. There he is caught and the letter taken from him, and
they send it to whomsoever it belongs.(12) When a guest comes to the
king-sultan, whether he be a lord or a merchant, they give him a pass;
and when the letter is shewn in his country, they kneel when it is
read, and they kiss it, and shew the guest great honour and attention,
and they take him over the country from one place to the other. It is
also to be noted, that when the ambassador of a king, or of some other
lord of a foreign country, comes, it is the custom among the Infidels
to attach to him a chief with three or four hundred, or with six
hundred horsemen; and when the king-sultan becomes aware of him, he is
seated on his throne in attire ornamented with precious stones, and
having seven curtains before him. And when the lord who is sent on the
embassage wants to enter, one curtain is withdrawn after the other, and
each time he must bow and kiss the ground. When the last is withdrawn,
he kneels before the king, who holds out to him his hand; he kisses
it and then delivers his message. There is a bird in Arabia called
sacka,(13) which is larger than a crane, and has a long neck, and a
broad and long beak. It is black and has large feet, which are much
like the feet of a goose in the lower parts; its feet are also very
black; its colour is the same as that of a crane; it has a large crop
in front of its neck, in which it has quite a quart of water. It is the
habit of this bird, to fly to a river and fill its crop with water;
then it flies away to the desert where there is no water, and pours it
out of its crop into a hole in the rock. Then come the little birds of
the desert to drink, when he attacks those birds for his food. This is
the same desert that people cross, who go to the tomb of Machmet where
he is buried.

  [1] This letter and all these titles are inventions,
  related to Schiltberger in all probability by the
  Armenian. _N._

  [2] “ain herr des obristen gots.”

  [3] “neff.”

  [4] “stunt.”

38.—Of the mountain of St. Catherine.

The Red Sea is two hundred and forty Italian miles broad; it is called
the Red Sea, but it is not red, but the land around is in some parts
red. It is the same as other seas, and is near Arabia, and is crossed
to go to Saint Catherine, and by whoever wishes [to go] to Mount Sinay,
where I have not been; but I have heard about it from Christians
and Infidels, because Infidels also go there. The Infidels call the
mountain Muntagi,[1](1) which is the same as calling it the mountain
of the apparition, because God appeared before Moysi on this mountain,
in a flame of fire, when he spoke to him. On the mountain there is a
monastery, in which are Greeks who form a large brotherhood; they do
not drink wine, and live like recluses; they do not eat meat, and are a
religious people, and fast always. Within, are many burning lamps, and
of the oil for burning and eating, they have enough sent to them by a
miracle from God, which happens in this way. When the olives are ripe,
all the birds that are in the country come together, and each bird
brings a branch in its beak to the mount of Saint Catherine, and they
bring so many, that they have enough for the lamps and for food. In
the church, behind the altar, is the place where God appeared to Moysi
in the burning bush; when the monks go near it they are bare-footed,
because it is a holy place; because our Lord commanded Moysi to take
off his shoes because the place is holy, and the place is called the
place of God. Three steps higher up, is the high altar where lay the
bones of Saint Catherine; the abbot shews this sanctuary to pilgrims,
and he has a silver thing with which he touches the sanctuary and the
bones. In this way he obtains an exudation of oil, which is neither
like oil nor balsam; this he gives to the pilgrims, and shews there the
head of Saint Catherine and many other sacred things. A great miracle
takes place in this monastery, where there are as many lamps that are
always burning, as there are monks. When a monk is about to die, his
lamp becomes dim, and when it goes out, he dies. When the abbot dies,
he who sings the mass finds on the altar a letter, in which is written
the name of the man who is to be the abbot, and his lamp re-lights
itself. In the same abbey is the spring where Moysi caused the water
to flow, when he struck the rock with his staff. Not far from the said
abbey, is the church built in honour of our Lady, where she appeared
to the monks; higher up, is the chapel of Moysi, to which he fled when
he saw our Lord face to face. There is also on the mount, the chapel
of the prophet Helyas; the mount is called Oreb; close to the chapel
of Moysi is the site where our Lord delivered to him the tables with
the ten commandments, and on this same mountain is the cave in which
Moysi remained, when he fasted forty days. From this valley one gets to
a larger valley, and gets to the mountain to which Saint Catherine was
carried by angels. In the same valley is a church, built in honour of
the forty martyrs, in which the monks often sing the mass. The valley
is cold, and the place on Saint Catherine’s mount where she was carried
by the angels, is nothing but a heap of stones; but there has been a
chapel which is destroyed. There are also two mounts called Sinay,
which are near each other, except for the valley which is between them.

  [1] Muntagi should be called Huschan-Daghi, Mountain of
  the Apparition. _F._

39.—Of the withered tree.

Not far from Ebron is the village of Mambertal,(1) where is the
withered tree which the Infidels call kurruthereck; it is also called
carpe,[1] and has been since the time of Abraham, and was always green
until our Lord died on the cross; since His death it has withered.
It is found in prophecy, that a prince will come from the Occident
towards the sun, and will with the Christians take possession of the
holy sepulchre, and will cause the celebration of the mass under the
withered tree; then will the tree become green and bear fruit. The
Infidels hold it in great honour, and take good care of it. It has
also the virtue, that when anybody suffers from epilepsy, and he
passes by it, he falls no more; and it possesses many other virtues,
so that it is well taken care of.(2) Item, it is two full days journey
from Jherusalem to Nazereth where our Lord was brought up, which was
formerly a considerable city; but now it is a small village, the houses
are far from each other, and mountains are around it. There was a
church where our Lady received the salutation of the archangel Gabryel,
but now there is only a pillar.(3) The Infidels guard it well, because
of the offerings which the Christians bring there; these they take
away because they are enemies, but they dare not do anything to them,
because it is forbidden by the sultan.

  [1] Selvy is the Turkish for cypress tree. This word
  appears as Sirpe in edition of 1814.

40.—Of Jherusalem and of the Holy Sepulchre.

When I was at Jherusalem, I was there during a great war, and our
thirty thousand [men] were encamped near the Jordan on a beautiful
meadow; this is the reason why I could not see all the holy places
well; but I will relate some things. I went twice to Jherusalem with a
koldigen(1) named Joseph. Jherusalem lies between two mounts, and there
is great want of water. The Infidels call Jherusalem, Kurtzitalil.(2)
The church in which is the holy sepulchre is a fine church, high and
circular; it is covered all over with lead, and is outside the city. In
the middle of the church, in the chapel on the right hand, is the holy
sepulchre, wherein nobody can enter, unless he is a great lord; but a
stone of the holy sepulchre is let into the wall of the tabernacle,
and the pilgrims can kiss and touch it.(3) There is a lamp that burns
all the year until Good Friday, then it goes out, and re-lights itself
on Easter day. There is also on Easter eve a brightness above the
holy sepulchre, that is like fire;(4) many people come there from
Ermenia, from Siria, and from the country of Prester John, to see this
brightness in the church; On the right hand is Mount Calvarie where
is _an altar_ (?);[1] there, is the pillar to which our Lord was bound
whilst he was scourged. Near the said altar, are forty-two steps
under ground; there, were found the holy cross and those of the two
thieves. In front of the gate of the church, are eighteen steps; there,
our Lord on the cross said to his mother: “Woman, behold, that is thy
child”; and he said to Saint Johannsen: “Behold, that is thy mother.”
He went up those very steps when he carried the cross; and on the same
side, but a little higher, is the chapel in which are the priests from
the country of Prester John.(5) In front of the city is the church
of Saint Steffan, where he was stoned;(6) and against the valley of
Josophat, is the golden gate before the church where is the holy
sepulchre. Not far from there is the great hospital of Saint Johanns,
in which they receive sick people. The hospital has one hundred and
thirty-four columns; there is another hospital that rests on fifty-four
marble columns.(7) Below the hospital is a fine church, called that
of our great Lady, and between them is another church called that of
our Lady, where Mary Magdalen and Mary Cleophas tore out their hair
when they saw God on the cross. In front of the church where is the
holy sepulchre, is the temple of our Lord; it is very fine, high, and
circular; it is also wide and covered with tin; there is also a fine
open space with houses around, and it is paved with white marble; the
Infidels do not allow either Christians or Jews to enter it.(8) Near to
the great temple is a church covered with lead, and called the throne
of Salomon;(9) and on the left hand is a palace, called the temple of
Salomon. A church there, is in honour of Saint Annen, in which is a
well; whoever bathes in it is healed, whatever be his disease. It was
there our Lord healed the bed-ridden man.(10) Not far from this is the
house of Pilate, and close by, is the house of Herod(11) who ordered
the children to be killed. A little further, there is a church called
that of Saint Annen, in which is an arm of Saint Johannes Crisostimus,
and the greater portion of the head of Saint Stephen.(12) There is
a street which leads to Mount Syon, where is the church of Saint
James. Not far from the mount, is the church of our Lady, where she
lived and also where she died. When one is on Mount Syon, there is a
chapel in which is the stone that was over the holy sepulchre; there
is also a pillar to which our Lord was bound, when the Jews scourged
him. In the same place was the house of Annas, who was the Jewish
bishop. At the top of thirty-two steps, is the place where our Lord
washed the feet of his disciples; near the same place, Saint Stephen
was buried. This is also the place where our Lady heard the angels
sing the mass; in the same chapel, near the high altar sat the twelve
holy apostles on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came upon
them. At this same place, our Lord celebrated the Passover with his
disciples. Mount Syon is in the city of Jherusalem, and stands higher
than the city.(13) Below the mount is a beautiful castle which was
built by the king-sultan.(14) On the mount are buried King Soldan(15)
and King David, and many other kings. Between Mount Syon and Salomon’s
temple, is the house where our Lord raised the maiden from death; it
is also the place where Isayas the prophet was buried. In front of the
city of Jherusalem, lies buried the prophet Dayel. Between the mount
of Oliueli and Jherusalem, is the valley of Josophat which reaches
to the city. There is a brook in the valley of Josophat where is the
sepulchre of our Lady, XL steps below ground.(16) Not far off is a
church where Jacob and Zacharias the prophets are buried.[2] Above the
valley is the mount of Olives, and close to the mount, is the mount of
Galilee.(17) From Jherusalem _two hundred stadia are counted_ to the
Dead Sea, _which is one hundred and fifty stadia wide_,(18) _and into
which flows the river Jordan, at the source of which_,[3] and at no
distance, is the church of Saint Johannes; and a little higher up,
Christians usually bathe in the Jordan,(19) which is neither broad nor
deep, but there are good fish in it; its source is from two springs on
the same mountain, one spring is called the Jor, the other, Don, and
from these it has its name;(20) it flows through a lake, then under a
mountain, and comes up on a beautiful plain, where the Infidels often
have a fair during the year.(21) In this same plain is the grave of
Saint James, and on this same plain we encamped with our young king,
with thirty thousand men sent to him by the Turkish king. There are
many Christians on the Jordan, and they have many churches there. It is
to be noted, that the Infidels took possession of the holy sepulchre,
twelve hundred and eighty years from Christ.(22) Ebron lies seven
leagues from Jherusalem, and is the chief city of the Philistines;
on Ebron are the graves of the patriarchs, Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, and of their wives Eva, Sara, Rebecca, and Lia. There is a fine
church which the Infidels take great care of, and hold in great honour,
because the holy fathers lie there; they do not allow either Christians
or Jews to enter, unless they have the permission of the king-sultan,
and they say, we are not worthy to enter so holy a place. In front of
the city of Miser, which the Christians call Cair, there is a garden
where balsam grows; it grows there only, and in India. The king-sultan
enjoys a large income from this balsam. The Infidels often adulterate
it, and merchants and druggists also mix it, and this they do that they
may make more profit.(23) Genuine balsam is pure and clear, and has a
pleasant taste, and is yellow; but when it is thick and red, it is not
genuine. Take a drop of balsam in the hand, and expose it to the sun;
if it is good, you cannot keep it long in the sun, because you feel the
great heat. Take a drop of balsam on a knife, and put it near a glowing
fire; if the balsam burns, it is genuine. Take a silver cup or goblet
full of goat’s milk, stir it quickly and put a drop of balsam into it;
if it is good, the milk will immediately curdle, and so the balsam is

  [1] The word _altar_ is omitted in the edition of 1859.
  Neumann states that several editions give different
  substitutes for this word. In those of 1475 (?) and 1549,
  the word “altar” is inserted.

  [2] “da sint begraben Jacob und Zacharyas, die propheten.”

  [3] The words in italics are wanting in the edition
  of 1859, and are substituted from that of 1814, a
  reproduction of the passage in the editions of 1475 (?)
  and 1549.

41.—Of the spring in Paradise, with IIII rivers.

In the middle of Paradise there is a spring, from which flow four
rivers that course through different countries. The first is called
Rison and flows through India; in this river are found many precious
stones and gold. The other is called Nilus: it flows through the
country of the Moors and through Egypt. The third is called Tigris,
and flows through Asia and Great Armenia. The fourth is called the
Eufrates, which flows through Persia and Lesser Armenia. Of these four
rivers I have seen three.(1) One is called Nilus, the other Tigris, the
third, Eufrates. I have been many years in the countries through which
these rivers flow, and have there experienced many things that are good
and bad, of which a great deal more might be said.

42.—How pepper grows in India.

I have not been in Great India where the pepper grows, but I have heard
in the Infidel country from those who have seen it, where and how it
grows. In the first place, I have understood and heard, that it grows
near the city of Lambe, in a forest called Lambor;(1) this forest is
quite XIIII days journey in length. In this forest are II cities and
many villages in which are Christians; it is very hot where the pepper
grows. The pepper grows on trees which are like the wild vine, and is
something like the sloe when it is green; and they bind them to poles
as they do the vine, and the trees bear a great deal. When it is green
it is ripe, then they cut it as they do grapes, and expose it to the
sun until it is dry. Three kinds of pepper grow; the long and black
grows with the leaves. There is the white, which is the best, and they
keep it in the country; but not so much of this grows as of the other.
There are also many serpents there, produced by the heat. Some people
say, that when the pepper is to be gathered, fires are made in the
forest to drive away the serpents, therefore the pepper becomes black;
but this is not the case, because if they made a fire, the trees would
wither and bear no more fruit; but the truth is, that they wash their
hands with the juice of an apple which they call liuon,(2) or of some
other plant; the serpents escape from the smell, and then they gather
the pepper without trouble. In the same country they also grow good
ginger, and many spices and aromatics.

43.—Of Allexandria.

Alexandria is quite seven Italian miles long, and three broad, and is
a fine and pretty city, and the river Nilus flows past the city into
the sea; and the city has no other drinking water, and it is conducted
into the city by means of cisterns. Many merchants come there from over
the sea, from Italian countries, from Venice and from Genoa. Those
from Genoa have their own counting-houses at Alexandria, and those
from Venice likewise.(1) It is the custom at Alexandria, that at the
hour of vespers, all the Italians must be in their counting-houses,
and no longer without, about the city, which is strictly forbidden.
Then an Infidel comes and locks up the counting-house, and takes away
the key until the morning, when he comes and opens it again. Thus
they take care that the Italians shall not take their city, because
they were once conquered by the king of Zipern.(2) Near the port of
Alexandria there is a fine high tower, on which there was not long ago
a mirror, in which one could see from Alexandria toward Cipern those
who were on the sea; and whatever they were doing, all could be seen
in this mirror at Allexandria, so that at the time that the king of
Zipern went to war with Allexandria, he could do them no harm. Then
came a priest to the king of Ziperen, and asked what he would give him
if he broke the mirror. The king replied, that if he would break the
mirror, he would give him whichever bishopric he might choose to have
in his country. The priest then went to Rome to the Pope, and said:
That he would break the mirror at Allexandria, if he would allow him
to abjure the Christian faith. He gave him permission that he might
do so in words, and not in deeds nor with the heart. Now he did this
for the sake of the Christian faith, because the Christians at sea
suffered many injuries from the Infidels, through this mirror. The
priest returned from Rome to Alexandria, and was converted to the
faith of the Infidels, and learnt their writing, and became an Infidel
priest and their preacher, and taught them the Infidel faith against
the Christian faith, and they held him in great honour, and wondered,
because he had been a Christian priest, and they trusted in him very
much. They asked him which temple in the city he wished for, as they
would give it to him for his life time. There was also a temple in the
middle of the tower where the mirror was; this temple he asked for,
for his life time; they gave it to him together with the keys of the
mirror. There he remained nine years, and then one day he sent to the
king of Zypperen that he should come with his galleys, and he would
break the mirror which was in his power, and he thought, that, after
breaking the mirror, if the galleys were there, he would go on board.
One morning many galleys came, he struck the mirror three blows with a
hammer before it broke, and from the noise all the people in the city
were frightened, and ran to the tower and fell on him, so that he could
not get away; then he jumped out of a window of the tower, into the
sea, and was killed. Soon afterwards, the king of Zyperen came with a
large force, and took Allexandria, and remained in it three days.(3)
Then came the king-sultan, and he marched upon him so that he could not
remain; and he burnt the city, and took away with him many people with
their wives and children, and much booty.

44.—Of a great giant.

It is to be noted, that in Egypt there was a giant, who was called in
the Infidel tongue, Allenklaisser. In this country is the city called
Missir, but the Christians call it Kayr, and it is the capital of the
king-sultan. In this same city are twelve thousand baking ovens. Now
the said giant was so strong, that one day he brought into the city
a bundle of wood to heat all the ovens, and one bundle was enough;
each baker gave him a loaf, which makes twelve thousand loaves. All
these he ate in one day. The shin-bone of this giant is in Arabia, in
a valley between two mountains. There is a deep valley between the
rocks, where flows a river at such a depth that no person can see it,
one only hears its rush. It is in this same valley that the shin-bone
of the giant serves as a bridge; and whoever comes there, whether they
are riding or on foot, must pass over this shin-bone. It is also on a
road where traders pass, coming and going, because the defile is so
narrow, that people cannot pass by any other way; and the Infidels say
that this bone is one frysen[1] in length, which is equal to an arrow’s
flight, or more. There, a toll is taken from traders; with the same,
they buy oil to anoint the bone that it may not rot. It is not a long
time since a king-sultan had a bridge built near the bone; it is about
two hundred years [ago], according to an inscription on the bridge.
When a lord comes there with many people, he passes over the bridge,
and does not pass over the bone; but whoever wishes to pass over this
wonder, may do so, that he may say of it that in this country there is
an incredible thing, and which is nevertheless surely true. And if it
were not true, or had I not seen it, I would not have spoken or written
about it.(1)

  [1] Farsang or fursak = 3 m. 787-1/2 yds.

45.—Of the many religions the Infidels have.

It is to be noted, that the Infidels have five religions. First,
some believe in a giant called Aly, who was a great persecutor of
Christians. Others believe in one who was called Molwa,(1) who was an
Infidel priest. The third believe, as the three kings believed, before
they were baptised. The fourth believe in fire, because they say that
Abel, the son of Adam, brought his offering to Almighty God, and the
flames of the fire were the offering; therefore they believe in this
offering. Among the fifth, some believe, and the largest number among
the Infidels believe, in one who is called Machmet.

46.—How Machmet and his religion appeared.

It is here to be noted of Machmet, how he came and how he brought
his religion. Item, his father and mother were poor people, and he
is a native of Arabia. When he was thirteen years old he went away
from home, went to [some] merchants who wanted to go to Egypt, and
asked them to take him with them. They took him, agreeing that he
must look after the camels and horses, and wherever Machmet went, or
stood, there stood always a cloud over him, which was black; and when
they came to Egypt, they encamped near a village. Now at that time
there were Christians in Egypt; the pastor of the village came to the
merchants, and invited them to dine with him. They did so, and told
Machmet that he must look after the horses and camels. This he did.
And now when they came into the pastor’s house, the pastor asked them
if they were all there? The merchants said: “We are all here, except a
boy who is guarding our camels and horses.” Now this priest had read
in a prophecy, how one, born of two persons, would spread a doctrine
against that of Christianity, and that as a sign who the man was to
be, a black cloud would stand over him. The pastor went out, and saw
a black cloud over the little boy, who was Machmet. When he had now
seen him, he asked the merchants that they should bring the boy;
they brought him. The pastor asked him his name. He said, “Machmet”.
This, the priest also found in prophecy, and more [than this], that
he would be a mighty lord and man, and that he would greatly trouble
Christianity; but that his doctrine would not last one thousand years,
and then it would decrease. When the pastor knew that he was named
Machmet, and saw the black cloud stand over him, he understood that he
was the man who would introduce this doctrine, and he placed him at
his table above the merchants, and showed him great honour. After the
meal, the pastor asked the merchants if they knew the boy. They said;
“No, but he came to us, and asked us to take him with us into Egypt.”
Then the pastor told them how he had read in a prophecy, how this boy
would introduce a doctrine against Christians, through which they would
suffer much, and for a sign [of this], a black cloud would be always
over him; and showed them the cloud and said, that when he was in the
galley, the cloud was there also. He said to the boy: “Thou shalt be a
great teacher, and shalt introduce a particular doctrine amongst the
Infidels, and thou shalt overpower the Christians by thy might, and thy
descendants will also acquire great power.(1) Now I pray thee that thou
wilt leave my race, the Armeny, in peace.” This he promised him, and
then went with the merchants to Babiloni, and became a great scholar in
Infidel writings, and preached to the Infidels that they should believe
in God who had created heaven and earth, and not in the idols that were
the creatures of men; they have ears and hear not; they have eyes and
see not; they have a mouth and speak not; they have feet and walk not;
nor can they save either the body or soul; and he converted the king of
Babilony and many people with him. Then the king took him, and gave him
power over the land; this he exercised; and when the king died, he took
the king’s wife, and became a mighty Calpha, which is as much as to
say, a Pope. He had four men with him who were well learned in Infidel
writings, and to each he gave an office. To the first, he gave charge
of ecclesiastical jurisdiction; to the other, lay jurisdiction; the
first, was named Omar, the other, Otman; the third was named Abubach,
to whom he gave charge of weights and manufactures, so that he was over
them, and each one should be faithful in his work. The fourth was named
Aly; he made him chief over all his people, and sent him into Arabia
that he should convert Christians, because Christians were there at the
time; but if any would not be converted, then he should compel them
by the sword. We read in the Infidel book, Alkoray, that in one day
ninety thousand men were killed for [the sake of] Machmet’s doctrine,
and the whole of Arabia was converted. Machmet gave them a law, how
they were to conduct themselves before God, who had created heaven and
earth. And the law of the Infidels begins in this way. First, when
a boy was born, when he comes to be thirteen years old, he must be
circumcised, and he has instituted five daily prayers, which must be
daily repeated. The first prayer is when the day breaks; another, in
the middle of the day; the third, at the time of vespers; the fourth,
before the sun goes down; the fifth, when day and night part. With
the first four, they praise God, who has made heaven and earth; with
the fifth, they pray to Machmet, that he will intercede for them with
God. And they must go into the temple at certain times of the day; and
when they want to go into the temple, they must wash the mouth, then
the hands, feet, ears, and eyes. And when any one has sinned with his
wife, he cannot go into the temple, until he has washed his whole body;
this they do in the same belief as we Christians who confess; and the
Infidels believe that, after they have washed, they are as pure as
Christians, who, with full penitence, have confessed to the priest. And
when they want to enter the temple, they take off their shoes and go
in bare footed; they cannot take in any arms, or weapons that cut, and
they do not allow any woman in the temple, so long as they are inside;
and when they go into the temple, they stand near each other, with
their hands close to each other; and they bend and kiss the ground,
and their priest sits on a seat before them, and begins a prayer which
they repeat after him. It is also to be noted, that in the temple
no one speaks to another, nor looks at another, until the prayer is
ended. In the temple they do not put one foot far from the other, but
keep them close together; they do not go to and fro, nor look here and
there, but they stand still in one place, and keep their hands together
until they have quite finished their prayer; and when they have quite
finished, they bow to each other, and only then go out of the temple.
It is also to be noted, that no door of the temple is left open. They
have no painting and no picture inside, only their writings, plants,
roses, and flowers. They do not willingly allow Christians to enter,
and more than this, it is to be noted, that Infidels must not spit,
cough, or do anything of the sort in their temple; but if some one does
so inside, he must go out and wash himself, and, added to this, must
suffer much reproach from the Infidels; and when one coughs, sneezes,
or ..., he must go out of the temple and wash himself after it. It is
also to be noted, that they keep Friday as we keep Sunday, and whoever
does not go to the temple on their holy-day, is taken and tied to a
ladder, and carried about the town from one street to the other, and
tied in front of the temple until their prayer is finished; and then
they beat him twenty-five times with a rod on the naked body, whether
he is rich or poor. Item, all the young dropped by their cattle on the
Friday, are given to the hospital. Their priests also say, that when
prayer is finished on a holy-day, people may work, because work is
holy, and that man commits more sin by being idle than with work, and
therefore they allow their people to work on holy days after they have
finished their prayer. And when they finish their prayers on holy-days,
they raise their hands towards God, and all pray with common voice for
vengeance on Christendom, and say: “Almighty God, we pray thee not to
suffer Christians to be united,” and say, that if Christians are united
and have peace amongst themselves, they must succumb. It is also to
be noted, that they have three kinds of temples; one, to which they
all go, is Sam, a parish church; the other, into which priests go, is
a monastery, and in which they also go through their probation; the
third, is where their kings and mighty vassals have their burial, and
in it poor people are received for the love of God, whether they be
Christians, Infidels, or Jews, and the temple is like a hospital. The
first temple is also called Mesgit, the other Medrassa, the third,
Amarat.(2) It is also to be noted, that they do not bury their dead
either in the temples, or around them; they bury in the fields and on
the high roads; this they do that those who pass by, may pray to God
for them. And when one is about to die, they stand around him, and
tell him that he must think of God, and call to God to have mercy upon
him; and when he dies, they wash him, and then their priests carry
him, singing, to the grave, and bury him. It is also to be noted, that
the Infidels fast one month in the year, and this fast changes every
year to another month, and they fast one whole day without eating or
drinking, until they see the stars in the sky. Then the priest goes up
the tower, and calls the people to prayer, and they go into the temple
and say their prayers, and only when they have finished their prayer,
they go home and eat all night until the morning, meat, or whatever
they may have. Also, they do not lay with their wives during their
fast; and when a woman is pregnant or in child-bed, she may eat during
the day, and the sick may do the same. They do not take payment during
fast, either for houses or for any thing that pays interest.

47.—Of the Infidels’ Easter-day.(1)

It is also to be noted of the Infidels’ Easter day, that, after they
have fasted four weeks, they have Easter for three days following, and
on the morning of Easter day they go to the temple, and finish their
prayer as is their custom; and when they have done, the common people
put on their arms, and then come to the high priest’s house, with the
chiefs of the town and the soldiers, and then take out of the priest’s
house, the tabernacle, and ornament it with cloth of gold and velvet,
and the chiefs and the principal [people] carry it in front of their
temple, and in front of the tabernacle they carry their banners, and
all the musicians they can find also go before it; and when they bring
it to the temple, they put it down, and the chief priest goes into the
tabernacle and preaches inside it. When he has preached, they put a
sword in his hand; he draws it and speaks to the people, and calls upon
God that he should give us might and strength against all the enemies
of Machmet’s faith, so that we may overcome them with the sword. Then
they all put out their hands, and pray to our Lord that it may so
happen, and after this, the mighty lords go into the temple and pray,
and during that time, the people must guard the tabernacle and the
lords. When their prayer is finished, they take the tabernacle with the
priest inside, and carry him back to his house, with the musicians and
banners. Afterwards, they go to their houses and have great rejoicings
for three days.

48.—Of the other Easter-day.

And then, after a month, they have another Easter day in honour of
Abraham. On this [day] they kill lambs and oxen, and give to the poor,
by the will of God, [and] to the honour of Abraham, because he was
obedient, and wanted to sacrifice his son to God. At this time, the
Infidels go to the grave of Machmet, and to the temple which Abraham
built and which lies in front of the city, and Machmet has his grave in
it, and it is called Madina. On Easter day the king-sultan covers the
temple of Abraham with velvet, which is black, and then their priest
cuts off a small piece for each Infidel pilgrim that comes, that he may
take it away as a sign that he has been there.

49.—Of the law of the Infidels.

It is also here to be noted, what Machmet has forbidden in the laws he
has given to the Infidels. First, he has forbidden the Infidels that
they should dare to cut the beard, because it would be against the
will of God when he created Adam, the first man, in his Divine image;
and the Infidels also say, that he who would have a face different to
that he received from God, does it against God’s command, whether he
be young or old. They also say that whoever cuts his beard, he does
it from vanity and pride, and to please the world, and scorns the
creation of God; it is particularly the Christians who do this to
please their women, and this is a great misfortune for them, because,
for the sake of vanity, they disfigure the image in which God created
them. Then Machmet forbade that any one should lift his hat or uncover
his head to another, whether he be king, emperor, noble or plebeian,
which they also observe; but when they go before a mighty man, they
bow and kneel before him. They say, when one’s father, and mother, or
another friend dies, they should uncover the head before him. This they
also do. When they lament for one, they take off their hat, and lift it
high and throw it on the ground, and then they lament. This also has
Machmet allowed, that a man may take as many wives as he can support.
It is also their law, that when a woman is pregnant, they do not go
near her until the child is born, nor for fourteen days after; but they
may have a concubine. The Infidels also say that after the last day
they will have wives, with whom they will lie; but they will always
remain virgins. They also say that God has established marriage only
for those who die in the faith of Machmet. He has also ordered that
they must not eat any animal, or bird, unless they cut its throat and
let the blood flow, which they observe. They do not eat pig’s flesh,
because Machmet has also forbidden it.

50.—Why Machmet has forbidden wine to Infidels.

It is also to be noted, that Machmet has forbidden wine to Infidels,
because as the Infidels say: One day he was passing, with his servants,
a public-house, in which were many people making merry. He asked why
those people were so merry; one of his servants told him it was caused
by wine. Machmet said: “Is it such a drink that people become so
merry from it!” Now in the evening Machmet went out again, and there
was a great noise because a man and his wife were fighting, and two
persons were killed. He spoke and asked what was the matter? One of
his servants said that the people who were merry have now lost their
senses, because they have taken too much wine, and they knew not what
they did. Then Machmet forbade wine to all, under a heavy penalty,
whether ecclesiastic or lay, emperor, king, dukes, barons, counts,
knight and varlet, servants, and all those who were of his faith, and
that they should no longer drink wine, whether they be well or ill,
and this is why he has forbidden wine to them, as the Infidels have
told me. He has also ordered that the Christians and all those who
are against his faith, should be persecuted day and night, except the
Armeny who are to be free amongst them; and where there are Armeny
amongst them, then they should not take from them a monthly tax greater
than two pfennings, because Machmet had promised the Armenian priest,
as has been stated. He has also ordered, that when they overcome
Christians, they should not kill them; but they should pervert them,
and should thus spread and strengthen their own faith.

51.—Of a fellowship the Infidels have among themselves.

It is also to be noted, that during the time he was on earth, Machmet
had forty disciples. They have a special fellowship and have made an
alliance against Christendom, and this is their law. Whoever wants to
be of their fellowship, must swear that if he meets a Christian, he
will not let him live nor take him a prisoner, whether from favour or
for the sake of profit; and if it should happen that in a battle which
Infidels [might] have with Christians, he cannot succeed to take one,
he must buy a Christian and kill him. Those who are in this fellowship
are called They;[1](1) there are many of them in Turkey, and they
always go against the Christians because it is their law.

  [1] To those who are unfamiliar with the name, the title
  of Ghasi would scarcely be recognised in that of They.

52.—How a Christian becomes an Infidel.

It is also to be noted how a Christian, from the beginning, becomes an
Infidel. When a Christian wants to become an Infidel, he must before
all men raise a finger, and say the words: “La il lach illallach;”
Machmet is his true messenger.(1) And when he says this, they take him
to the high priest; then he must repeat the above written words before
the priest, and must deny the Christian faith, and when he has done
that, they put on him a new dress, and the priest binds a new kerchief
on his head; and this they do that it may be seen he is an Infidel,
because Christians wear blue kerchiefs, and the Jews, yellow kerchiefs,
on the head. Then the priest asks all the people to put on their
armour, and who has to ride, rides; also all the priests who are in the
neighbourhood. And when the people come, they put him on a horse, and
then the common people must ride before him, and the priests go behind
him, with trumpets, cymbals and fifes, and two priests ride near him;
and so they lead him about in the town; and the Infidels cry with a
loud voice and praise Machmet, and the two priests say to him these
words: “Thary wirdur, Messe chulidur, Maria cara baschidur, Machmet
kassuldur”: which is as much as to say; There is one God, and the
Messiah his servant, Mary his maid, and Machmet his chief messenger.(2)
After they have led him everywhere in the city, from one street to
another, then they lead him into the temple and circumcise him. If he
is poor, they make a large collection and give it to him, and the great
lords shew particular honour to him, and make him rich; this they do,
that Christians may be more willing to be converted to their faith. _If
it is a woman who wants to change her religion_,[1] she is also taken
to the high priest, and must say the above words. The priest then takes
the woman’s girdle, cuts it in two, and makes of it a cross; on this,
the woman must stamp three times,[2] deny the Christian faith, and must
say the other words above written. The Infidels have a good custom
among their merchants, when one wants to buy from another, whatever
be the merchandise. The buyer says to the seller, that he should make
a just profit on what he buys, so that he also might live; so that he
takes no more profit than one pfenning in forty pfennings, which is
equal to one gulden in forty guldens, and no more; this they call a
right purchase and profit, and this Machmet has also commanded them,
so that the poor, like the rich, might live. The priests also always
say in their sermons, that they should help each other and be subject
to their superiors, and the rich are to be humble before the poor, and
when they do this, God Almighty gives them strength and might against
their enemies; and whatever their priest says to them about spiritual
things, they are obedient and submissive to it. This is the faith of
Machmet which he has given to the Infidels as his law, such as it is,
as I then heard it from them.

  [1] The words in italics are wanting in Heidelberg
  MS. Penzel has it—“Ist die übertüten wollenden ein
  Frauenzimmer.” In edition of 1549, we find—“ist aber ein

  [2] “stunt.”

53.—What the Infidels believe of Christ.

It is also to be noted, that the Infidels believe that Jesus was born
of a virgin, and that after the birth, she remained a virgin. They also
believe that when Jesus was born, he spoke to his mother and comforted
her, and they believe that Jesus is the highest prophet of God amongst
all prophets, and that he has never committed sin; and they do not
believe that Jesus was crucified, but that it was another who was like
him; therefore Christians have a wicked faith, because they say that
Jesus was crucified, who was the highest friend of God, and has never
committed any sin, therefore God would not have been a just judge if
Jesus was crucified and innocent. And when one converses with them
of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, they say that they are three
persons, and not one God, because their book Alkaron says nothing of
the Trinity. When anybody says that Jesus is the word of God, they say,
this we do know, that the word of God has spoken, otherwise he would
not be God; and when one says that wisdom is the Son of God who was
born of the Virgin Mary, from a word which the angels announced to her,
and on account of which word we must all rise and come to judgment;
they say it is true that no one can go against the word of God. They
also say that the strength of the word of God cannot be conceived by
any one, and therefore their book Alkoran says, and gives them a sign,
by the word which the angel spoke to Mary, that Jesus was born of
the word of God. They say that Abraham was the friend of God, Moyses
the prophet of God, Jesus the word of God, so was Machmet the true
messenger of God. They also say, that Jesus, of the four, was the most
worthy, and was the highest with God, and it will be he also who will
judge the last judgment of God over all men.

54.—What the Infidels say of the Christians.

The Infidels also say that whatever territory they possess of the
Christians, they do not owe it to their power, nor to their wisdom,
nor to their holiness, but they have it because of the injustice,
perversity, and arrogance which Christians have against them;
therefore Almighty God has decreed, that they should take the land
from Christians, because they do not conduct their affairs, whether
spiritual or temporal, with justice, because they look to wealth and
favour, and the rich treat the poor with haughtiness, and do not help
them either with gifts or with justice, and do not hold to the doctrine
which the Messiah has given them. They also say, that they find it and
read it in their prophecies, that the Christians will yet expel them
out of the country, and will again possess the country; but so long as
Christians are such, and are perverse, and their spiritual and temporal
lords live such a disordered life, we are not afraid that they will
expel us out of our country; because we fear God, and do always what is
right and just, and worthy, according to our faith, for the love of God
and in honour of our prophet Machmet, who is the highest messenger of
God, who has given us the right doctrine by his teaching; to him we are
obedient, and always willingly follow his commandments which are in the
book called the Alkoran, which has been touched upon often before.

55.—How Christians are said not to hold to their religion.

The Infidels also say that Christians do not hold to the commandment,
nor to the doctrine of the Messiah, which the Messiah has commanded
them, and they also do not observe the law of the book Inzil, which is
called Ewangely, nor the rules which stand in that book. They hold to
particular laws, spiritual and temporal, which are against the laws of
the book Inzil, and the commandments and laws contained therein are
all holy and just; but the law and belief which they have set up and
invented, are all false and unjust, because the laws which they have
made are for profit and favour, which is all against God and his dear
prophets; and whatever misfortunes and troubles they have, are all
decreed to them by God for their unrighteousness.

56.—How long ago it is since Machmet lived.

Item, it is to be noted, that the time Machmet was born counts from
Christ’s birth, six hundred and nine years, and the Infidels say,
that on the day he was born, one thousand and one churches fell of
themselves, and that happened as a sign of the injury he would do to
Christianity in his time. It is also here to be noted, how many tongues
there are in the Greek faith. The first is the Greek tongue, in which
their books are written; the Turks call them Vrrum. The other is the
Rivssen tongue, which the Infidels call Orrust. The third, Pulgery,
which the Infidels call Wulgar. The fourth, the Winden tongue, which
they call Arnaw.(1) The fifth, the Walachy tongue, which the Infidels
call Vfflach. The sixth, the Yassen tongue, which the Infidels call
Afs.(2) The seventh, the Kuthia tongue, which the Infidels call
Thatt.[1] The eighth, the Sygun, which the Infidels call Ischerkas.
The ninth, Abukasen, and the Infidels call them Appkas. The tenth
tongue, Gorchillas, and the Infidels call them Kurtzi. The eleventh,
the Megrellen tongue, also so called by the Infidels. Item, between
the Zurian and Greek faith, there is but one difference, therefore
they say the Schurian tongue is also of their faith; but the Schurians
are of Jacob, and have the faith of Saint Jacob, and have it that each
must make the wafer with his own hands, into which God’s body will be
changed. And when he has made the paste, he takes a hair from his beard
and puts it in the wafer, and changes it into God’s body. And there is
a great difference between what the Greek and what the Schurian priest
reads, or sings, in the church, because it is the Schurian and not the
Greek tongue.(3)

  [1] For this name, see chap. 36, note 9.

57.—Of Constantinoppel.

Constantinoppel is a fine large city and well built, and is quite
ten Italian miles in extent at its walls, about which it has fifteen
hundred towers. The city is triangular, having the sea on two sides.
The Greeks call Constantinoppel, Istimboli, but the Turks call it
Stampol; and opposite to the city, is a city called Pera, which the
Greeks call Kalathan, and the Infidels call it the same.(1) Between
the two cities is an arm of the sea, quite three Italian miles in
length, and half or more in breadth; and the arm is crossed from each
side, because the distance by land is far. The said city belongs
to Genaw. The great Alexander cut through high rocks and mountains
fifteen Italian miles in length, and caused two seas to flow into each
other;(2) and that which flows is called and is the Great Sea, and
it is also called the Black Sea, and the Tunow and many other great
rivers flow into it. In the said sea one goes to Caffa, to Alathena,
to Trabessanda, and to Samson, and to many other cities and countries
that lay around. The arm of the sea [at] Constantinoppel is called
Hellespant by the Greeks, and the Infidels call it Poges. The Turks
also have a shore across the sea, opposite to Constantinople, which
they call Skuter; there, the Turks cross the sea. Also not far from
Constantinoppel by the sea, was Troya, on a fine plain, and one can
still see where the city stood.(3) The emperor of Constantinoppel has
two palaces in the city; one is very beautiful, and is much decorated
inside with gold, lapis-lazuli, and marbles. In front of the palace is
a fine square for tilting, and for all [kinds of] pastime that might
be desired in front of the palace.(4) In front of the palace is the
statue of the emperor Justian on a horse; it is placed upon a high
piece of marble, which is a pillar. I asked a burgher of the city of
what this statue was made; he told me it was of bronze, and that both
the horse and the man was entirely of one casting. Some people of the
country say that it is of leather, and yet it must have stood there
quite a thousand years; had it been leather, it would not have stood so
long, it would have rotted. At one time the statue had a golden apple
in the hand, and that meant that he had been a mighty emperor over
Christians and Infidels; but now he has no longer that power, so the
apple has disappeared.(5)

58.—Of the Greeks.

Not far from Constantinoppel there is an island called Lemprie; in
it is a mountain that is so high, it reaches to the clouds.(1) At
Constantinoppel is the most beautiful church, so that nothing like it
can be found in India; it is called Sancta Sophya, and is covered all
over with lead, and one can see one’s self on the walls inside the
church as if in a mirror, because the marble and lapis-lazuli on the
wall is clear and clean. In this same church is their patriarch with
his priests, and the Greeks and all those who are under the patriarch
go in pilgrimage, as we, for our sins, go to Rome. When Constantine
had finished the churches, he placed as an improvement in the church,
high up in the middle of the dome, five golden discs, and each disc
is as wide, large, and thick as a mill-stone;(2) but the emperor took
down two during the great war which the Turkish king Wyasit had with
him, when he besieged Constantinoppel for seven years. I myself was
at that same time with the king in Turkey,(3) and I have also seen
the three discs [left] in the church. The church of Sancta Sophia has
three hundred gates, which are all of brass. I was III months at
Constantinoppel in the house of the patriarch, but I and my comrades
were not allowed to walk about the city, because they were afraid that
the Infidels would recognise us, and would take us before the emperor.
I would gladly have seen it (the city), but it could not be, because
the emperor had forbidden it, but even then we sometimes went out with
the patriarch’s servants.

59.—Of the Greek religion.

It is to be noted, that the Greeks do not believe in the Holy Trinity;
they do not believe in the Chair at Rome, nor in the Pope. They say
that their patriarchs have as much power as the Pope at Rome. The
sacrament they make of leavened bread, and take it with wine and warm
water; and when the priest changes the body of God, they all fall down
on their faces and say: “No man is worthy to look at God.” And when
the priest has finished the Mass, he takes the bread that remains, of
which he had prepared the sacrament, and cuts it into small pieces
on a dish, and then men and women sit down. Then the priest or his
assistant takes the bread round, and so every one takes a piece and
eats it, and this bread they call prossura. This bread is not baked
by any man or woman, only by a virgin or a nun. They also give the
sacrament to young children, but they do not give the sacred oil to
any body; and they also say that nobody is wise, and that no one goes
into heaven or hell before the day of judgment; then each man will go
into heaven or into hell as he has deserved. They have no Mass, unless
it is asked for. They say that only one Mass is to be celebrated at
the same altar in the day, and they do not let Mass be said at their
altars in Latin, and Mass must not be said in any language but in the
Greek language, because the Greek language is of their faith. They say
also that their faith is the true Christian faith, and the others are
not true. They also have the Mass on feast days only, and not on week
days, because all their priests are craftsmen and must work, and all
have wives and children, and their priests take one wife only; and when
she dies he cannot take any more, either in marriage or otherwise. If
he has anything to do with a woman, and the bishop becomes aware of it,
he takes away from him his priestly charge, so that he cannot say the
Mass any more. And when a bishop consecrates a priest, he girds him
with a girdle, and when the priest does anything against his priestly
order, the bishop takes away the girdle, so that he cannot say Mass any
more, and is fallen from his office. The best and the richest marry the
priests, and when they are in a house, the priests’ wives sit at the
upper [end] of the table, and when women walk together, the priests’
wives go first. Their churches are not independent. When a man builds
a church and dies, his heirs inherit the church like other property,
and sell it as any other house. They say, it is not a sin to have to
do with unmarried women, because it is not a deadly sin, as it is
natural. They also say, that when one takes a monthly profit of two
pfennings for one hundred pfennings, it is goodly gain, and not usury.
On Wednesdays, they do not eat meat; and so, on Friday, they eat fish
and oil only, and say that Saturday is not a fast-day, and one may well
eat meat on that day. In the churches, the women stand separately, and
neither men nor women dare to go near the altar. And when they make
[the sign of] a cross, they do it with the left hand. And when one
is about to die, they baptise him again, and there are many who are
baptised every year. They have no font in their churches; and when
their bishop stands in the choir, he stands in the middle of the church
and in the choir, and the priests stand around him. Their bishop eats
no meat throughout the year, and during the fasts he eats no fish nor
anything that has blood, and all their clergy do the same. When they
baptise a child, they have X or more godfathers; men and women bring
to the child a christening shirt or a candle. They also say, that our
priests sin if they have a Mass every day, because they cannot always
be worthy. They also say, that our priests commit mortal sin when they
shave their beard, because it is not godly, because it happens from
unchastity, and to please the women. And when one dies, and prayers for
the dead are sung for him, boiled wheat to eat is given to the priests
and to the people, after an old usage, and this same wheat they call
coleba. They wash their dead before they bury them. Their priests sell
and buy like other merchants. They fast during Lent for fifty days;
and the priests and the laity also fast forty days in Advent, and for
the twelve holy apostles they fast thirty days; they also fast fifteen
days for our Lady’s Assumption; they have only three days in the year
for our Lady, because they do not keep Candlemas. Item, the Greeks do
not keep the resurrection of Jhesus xpi at the same time with us; they
keep it on the next Friday after Easter. Then they sing Xristos anesti,
which is as much as to say, Xristus is risen.(1)

60.—How the city of Constantinoppel was built.

It is also to be noted, that the emperor of Constantinoppel himself
creates the patriarchs, and also gives all God’s gifts to the church,
and is lord of spiritual and temporal matters as far as his territory
reaches. I have heard much and often from their learned men, that Saint
Constantine came from Rome with many kocken and galleys to Greece, to
the place where Constantinoppel lies, and then there appeared to him
an angel from God, who said to him: “Here must thy dwelling be; now
sit on the horse, and do not look back, and ride to the place from
which thou hast begun to ride.” He mounted, and rode quite half a day;
and when at night he arrived at the same place where he had mounted,
he looked back, and saw a wall of the height of a man spring up from
the ground; and from the place where he had looked back, to the place
from which he had begun to ride, which is quite twenty paces or more,
there was no wall; it has been much tried to build a wall, but it
will not stand; but it goes towards the sea, so that they can defend
themselves better than if it had been towards the land. I have seen it,
because in the same place there is a breakwater,[1](1) therefore the
Greeks say that the said wall was built by angels; and that the crown
with which their emperor is crowned, and which was brought to Saint
Constantine by an angel from heaven, is a heavenly crown; and therefore
there is no worthier nor more highly born emperor than the emperor of
Constantinoppel. And when a priest dies, they put on him everything
that belongs to a priest at the altar, and they put him on a seat in
the grave, and cover him with earth. The chant, Ayos otheos, which they
sing once a year only, they sing upon all other holy occasions; and
during Lent they sing the Alleluia every day, when they are in church.
They sing Kirieleyson only, in their Mass, and not Xreleyson. They say,
there is but one Godhead and no difference, that it is God the Father
and God the Son, and therefore it would not be right to sing Christ.
They also bow very humbly before their priests. When a layman meets a
priest, he takes off his hat, and bows humbly, and says: “Esloy mena
tespotha”; which is as much as to say: Bless me, Lord. Then the priest
lays his hand on the layman’s head and says: “Otheos efflon essenam”;
and that means, God bless thee; and this they do always, men and women,
when they meet a priest. When a priest takes a wife, he takes her
before he becomes a priest; the reason is, because if he does not beget
a child, he cannot be a priest, but so soon as he has got a child, he
is consecrated to be a priest. Laymen pray only with the Pater Noster,
and do not know the Belief nor the Ave Maria. Many priests wear white
garments at Mass.(2)

  [1] “wann es an der selben stat ein getüll hat.”

61.—How the Jassen have their marriages.

Inter illas gentes, Gargetter et Jassen, nuptiæ explentur hac
conditione, videlicet mater puellam suam intactam esse asserit, sed ni
reapse sit virgo, conjugium non conficitur. Quando igitur de nuptiis
agitur, cantibus comitantur puellam ante thalamum, et ibi se ponere
jubent; succedit inde sponsus cum adolescentulis, et gladio stricto
percutit thalamum, et prope illum se se ponit una cum adolescentulis,
et comedunt et bibunt, et se oblectant inter choreas et cantus. Et
quum ita solatia cesserint, sponsum denudant usque ad subuculam suam,
et egredientes relinquunt cum sponsa. Postea venit sponsi frater, et
nonnullus ex amicis intimis, et ante ostium excubat stricto ense;
et quum sponsus sponsam virginem non invenit, hoc matri ejus palam
facit. Deinde mater sponsi cum amicis suis ante thalamum adstat,
observant panniculos, et si nullum virginitatis signum inveniunt, omnes
incipiunt se contristare; quum vero pater et mater sponsi cum amicis
suis mane adveniunt, ut festa conjugalia concelebrent, mater sponsi
manu regit poculum in una parte perforatum, et implet vino claudens
foramen digito, et inde matrem sponsæ invitat ut libat amovens digitum
e foramine, et sic vinum extra fluit; tum mater sponsi dicit matri
sponsæ: Ita evenit de filia tua. Hoc summo dedecori est parentibus
sponsæ, quam tradunt eis ut secum ducant, dicentes, se velle nubere
filis intactam puellam, sed non ita evenisse de eorum filia. Then come
their priests and the chief [persons] that are there, and invite the
bridegroom’s father and mother, and then they go to their son the
bridegroom, and ask him whether or no he will have her? If he says,
“Yes”, she is given to him by the priests, and the other persons who
have interceded for her. But if he says, “No”, then they are in all
things separated; and whatever he has brought to her, she gives the
whole back to him; and whatever clothes he has given her, she must give
back to him; after which, he can take another wife, and she another
husband.(1) There are many people in Ermenia, who have this custom. The
Infidels call the Gorgiten, Kurtzi; and the Jassen they call Affs.

62.—Of Armenia.

I have also been a great deal in Armenia. After Tämerlin died, I came
to his son, who has two kingdoms in Armenia. He was named Scharoch; he
liked to be in Armenia, because there is a very beautiful plain. He
remained there in the winter with his people, because there was good
pasturage. A great river runs through the plain; it is called the Chur,
and it is also called the Tygris; and near this river, in this same
country, is the best silk. The Infidels call the plain, in the Infidel
tongue, Karawag.(1) The Infidels possess it all, and yet it stands in
Ermenia. There are also Armenians in the villages, but they must pay
tribute to the Infidels. I always lived with the Armenians, because
they are very friendly to the Germans, and because I was a German they
treated me very kindly; and they also taught me their Pater Noster and
their language, and they call the Germans, Nymitsch.(2) In Armenia are
three kingdoms; one is called Tiffliss, the other is called Syos, the
third is called Ersingen; the Armenians call it Isingkan, and that is
Lesser Armenia. They also possessed Babylon for a long time; but they
now have it no longer. The son of Tämerlin had Tyfflis and Ersing at
the time that I was there. Sifs belonged to the king-sultan, and was
won, counting from Christ’s birth, twelve hundred and seventy-seven
years; then did the sultan of Alkenier conquer it.(3)

63.—Of the religion of the Armenians.

The Armenians believe in the Holy Trinity. I have also often heard
their priests preach in their churches, when I had gone to Mass, and
been in their churches, that Saint Bartlome and Saint Thaten of the
twelve holy apostles, converted them to the Christian faith, but that
they have often been perverted again. There was a holy man named
Gregory, and the king of Armenia was his cousin, and he lived in the
time when Saint Silvester was Pope at Rome.(1) The king of Armenia
died, and he was a good Christian, and his son was king, and he was
named Derthatt; he was very strong, because he had the strength of
forty oxen; what they could drag and lift, that he could lift alone.
It was this same king who built the large church at Bethleen, as has
been already stated.[1](2) And when he became king after his father,
he turned Infidel, and persecuted the Christians, and took hold of
his cousin Gregory, and told him he must worship his idol. This the
blessed man would not do, so he put him into a pit where there were
adders and serpents and many other hurtful reptiles, that they might
eat him. But they did nothing to him. He lay there twelve years. About
the same time, several saintly maidens came to Ermenia from Italy, and
preached the Christian religion instead of the Ermenen religion. The
king heard this, and ordered that they should be brought to him. There
was one amongst them who was named Susanna, who was very beautiful; she
was taken to his room, when he wished to urge her to unchastity, but
strong as he was, he could do nothing with the young woman, nor win
her with all his power, for God was with her. This was told to him in
the prison, and he said: “Oh, the wicked pig!” At the same time, the
king fell from his throne, became a pig, and ran away to the woods.
Then there was great disorder in the land, but the vassals of the
country consulted, and took Gregory out of the pit, and asked him if
he could help the king. He answered them and said, that he would not
help him, unless they and he became Christians. The vassals promised
him this, also for the king. Then said Gregory: “Ride into the wood,
look for him, and bring him.” They rode into the wood, and brought him
to Gregory; and as soon as he saw Gregory, he ran to him, and kissed
his feet. Gregory knelt on his knees, and prayed to Almighty God that
he would have mercy on the man, and make him whole. The king again
became a man, and was, with all his people, again a Christian,(3) and
went against Babiloni and the Infidels, and conquered Babilonia and
the whole country, three kingdoms, and converted them to Christianity,
and appointed Gregory over the clergy and all ecclesiastical orders.
In this way, their religion was established by the King Derthat and
the man Gregory.(4) They also took much territory that belonged to the
Infidels, and forced them to Christianity by means of the sword; but
now they have lost all their kingdoms, although they are a fighting
people. It is not long since they lost a kingdom, and a good capital
called Siss; it was taken by the king-sultan. It is also their
patriarch’s seat, but he must pay great tribute to the sultan. The king
of Zypern has many nobles of Armenia at his court, because it is near.
Then was Gregory told of the great miracle which Pope Silvester had
performed on Constantine, during the time that he was emperor at Rome,
because he had made him clean of an eruption, and that he had saved
from death the children that had been brought together to be killed,
because the doctors informed the emperor that he should wash in the
blood of children, so that he might get well of his eruptions.

  [1] No such previous statement appears either in the
  Heidelberg MS. or in Penzel.

64.—Of a Saint Gregory.

Gregory thought over it, and said to the king: “The power that thou has
conferred upon me, has no influence, unless I have it from the holy
father Silvester”; and he told the king of the great miracle performed
by the holy father on the emperor Constantine. The king said that he
would willingly see him, and would go with him, and prepared and made
arrangements for [the government of] his kingdom. He took with him
forty thousand men, good horsemen and foot-soldiers; he also took with
him many valuables and many precious stones, with which to do honour
to the holy father, Saint Silvester.(1) Gregory took with him the most
learned men that he had under him, and went from Babiloni through
Persia, through Greater Armenia, and through many other countries,
and went through the Iron Gates which lie between two seas, and reach
into Great Tartary towards Ruwschea; through Walchi, Pulgeri, through
Ungeren, Frigaul, through Lamparten, through Duschkan, and so they came
dry-footed to Rome, as they had not passed over the sea. And when they
were near Rome, Silvester sent to them all the blind, lame, and sick,
that Gregory might heal them, as he wished to test his sanctity. When
the king, Derthat, saw the people, he was angry, and thought the Pope
was making fun of him. Gregory, without being angry, said: “I know well
what he means”; and ordered that water should be brought to him; and
he knelt on his knees, and prayed to Almighty God that those who will
be sprinkled with the water, will become sound. He then took a sponge
on a stick, and sprinkled the people with it; and he who was touched
by it, was healed. The blind received sight. The Pope, Silvester,
heard of this, and went with all his clergy, and with the whole city
of Rome, to meet him, and shewed him deference and honour. They were
a whole year going by land, from Babilony to Rome. Gregory asked the
Pope Silvester to give him power to free his clergy and his people
from the jurisdiction of Rome, because he was so far that he could not
always go to the Chair; then he gave him the power of a patriarch,
and whoever wished to have this power, could not obtain it elsewhere
than at Rome, and would have to send an embassy to Rome every three
years. This he vowed to him, and arranged that all those who were of
his faith, ecclesiastical or lay, should be subject to the Chair at
Rome, and whoever would not be so, should be under the ban of the Pope,
be he bishop, lord, or menial, rich or poor, in his land, and this
oath the king and all his knights also took. This lasted three hundred
years after the time of Gregory, that they were subject to the Chair,
after which they no longer went to the Chair, and themselves chose a
patriarch. Their patriarch they call Kathagnes, and a king they call

65.—Of a dragon and a unicorn.

There was also at that same time on a mountain near Rome, a dragon and
a unicorn, that did much harm to the people in the streets, so that
none could pass. Then the holy father, Saint Silvester, asked the king
of Armenia, as he was a powerful man, whether he would not try, with
God’s will, to kill the dragon and also the unicorn; the king went
alone, and saw where they were, and when he got there, he saw them
biting each other, and he looked at them until the dragon escaped,
and the unicorn chased him to a hole in the rock; the dragon turned
himself in the hole, and defended himself against the unicorn. The
unicorn struck at the dragon with his tongue, and tried to draw him
outside. The dragon seized the unicorn, and they struggled together,
until the unicorn pulled the dragon out as far as his neck, and the
one would not let the other go. At that moment, the king ran up and
cut the dragon’s neck, and with the tugging that the unicorn gave it,
the head rolled down the rock; the king then sprang up and killed the
unicorn also. He then returned to Rome, and ordered that the heads
should be brought; now the waggon had enough to do to carry the head
of the dragon; and so the King Derthat delivered the Romans of the
reptiles, for which the city, and especially the holy father, shewed
him great honour. Then Gregory went to the Pope, and asked him for
the articles which belonged to the faith, which he gave him, and then
they returned to their own country, and Gregory taught the Christian
faith as he received it from the Pope, which they do not hold any more,
as is above stated.(1) Now, they themselves elect their patriarch,
and when they wish to make one, twelve bishops and four archbishops
must be present, and he is elected. Many of the articles that Gregory
brought from Rome, have been changed, and they are now separated from
the church of Rome. Their priests make the sacrament with unleavened
bread, and nobody else prepares the bread, but the priest who is to
celebrate the Mass, and he prepares one only. Whilst he is making it,
other priests must read the psalter right through, and if there are
no priests, then he must say it himself, right through.(2) They say
that it is a great sin that a man or woman should make the bread for
the Holy Sacrament; they also say that it is not right to sell this
bread like other bread. They communicate the Holy Sacrament with wine,
and not with water. When they want to have the Mass, they all stand
together, and none communicate until he who is at the high altar has
communicated, so that they all communicate together. They also read the
gospel [looking] towards the rising of the sun, and whichever priest
celebrates the Mass, does not dare to sleep that day after midnight;
and for three nights previously, and one night after, he must separate
himself from his wife. They do not allow any deacon or any of a lower
grade to be at the altar, only the priest; and no man or woman can
attend the Mass unless they have confessed; and no woman can go into
the church whilst she is unwell. Whoever has hatred or enmity towards
another, must stand before the church, and is not allowed to go in
until he has become reconciled. Woman and man sing the Pater Noster and
the Belief, with the priest, when he celebrates the Mass. They give the
Sacrament also to young children. The priests do not shave their hair
nor their beard. Instead of consecrated oil, they have balm, and the
patriarch gives the sultan a large price for the balm, which he sends
to his bishopric. When one wants to be a priest, he must be forty days
and nights in the church; and when the XL days are passed, he sings his
first Mass, and he is led out with singing, dressed for the Mass. Then
come his wife and child, and they kneel before him, and he gives them
his blessing; then come the priest’s friends and those of his wife,
and they bring their offerings; also those who are invited; and there
is great rejoicing in his honour, more even than when he was married,
but he cannot be with his wife until he has said the Mass for forty
days in succession. When they baptise a child, a man receives it, not
a woman, because they say that our Lord had only a man to baptise him,
and not a woman. It is also a great sin to take a woman to a baptism.
They hold baptism in great honour, and whoever comes into the presence
of his godfather, must kneel on the ground before him. They hold, that
in sponsorship, marriage is forbidden to the fourth generation. They
place much confidence in our religion;(3) they also willingly go to
Mass in our churches, which the Greeks do not. They say, that between
their religion and ours, there is only a hair’s breadth, but that there
is a great division between the Greek and their religion. During the
week, they fast on Wednesday and on Friday. They do not fast in Advent,
and may eat oil, but on those days they eat as often as they like after
mid-day. They fast one week for Saint Gregory. They have a saint named
Aurencius,(4) who was a doctor, for whom they also fast one week. They
fast also on the day of the Holy Cross, which is in September; they
fast also one week for Saint James the Great;(5) and they fast XV days
in August, for our dear Lady. They fast one week for the three holy
kings. They have a saint who was a knight; his name is Zerlichis;(6)
they call upon him loudly when they are at war or in other necessity;
they fast one week for him. There are many knights and nobles who fast
for him for three days in January, so that they do not eat or drink,
because he is a great helper in need. Their saints’ days they keep on
Saturday. On Easter eve, they celebrate the Mass after vespers, because
that is about the time when the light shines on the holy sepulchre at
Jherusalem. They also celebrate Easter, Trinity, and Ascension day
with us; the other holy days they keep separately. Christmas and the
Epiphany they keep at one and the same time, and on that evening, after
vespers, they have the Mass. They say, that God was born on that day,
and was baptised thirty years after, on that same day, and therefore
they keep Christ’s birth and his baptism on the same day, and that is
the sixth of January. They fast one week for the twelve holy apostles,
and keep their feast-day one day only, and that is Saturday. They pray
with the Ave Maria once a year only, and this they do upon our Lady’s
day in Lent, which they do not hold as we do.(7) When two married
persons quarrel with each other, and the one will not have the other,
they are separated at bed and board; but, if neither wishes to have
the other, they are separated so that each can take another spouse. If
they have any children, they are given to the father. Their churches
are all free, as no one can inherit or sell them. When a priest wants
to build a church with his own money, he must give it to the parish,
so that after his death no one may dispose of it, or he is not allowed
to build it; and the same if a lord or layman builds one, so that
nobody shall interfere, because it has been the custom amongst them.
When a priest or layman founded a church, his heirs inherited it as
they did his other property, and let it out on usury, or sold it like
other property. This they have changed, and will not allow it any more,
and say that every house of God should be free. Their priests go to
matins every night,[1] which the Greek priests do not. They allow the
prayers for the dead to be said for their rich people during their
lifetime, and say that it is better to light a candle with one’s own
hand, than to let another person light it, by which they mean that he
who does not care for his soul in his lifetime, will scarcely be cared
for by his friends afterwards, because the friends get the money and
do not care for the soul. They say, that when a man himself does good
to his own soul, it is agreeable to God. When a poor man dies without
confessing or without [having received] the body of God, a place in the
churchyard is obtained for him by his advocate, and they lay him in
the churchyard, and place a large stone on the grave, and write on it
the name of God and the name of the dead man who lies there, and this
they do for a sign that he is dead. And when a bishop or priest dies,
they dress him as he stands before the altar, and the priests make his
grave, then carry him out of the church, and put him on a seat in the
grave. The first day they bury him up to his girdle, and go every day
to the grave, and sing and read the psalter over him, and each priest
throws a spadeful of earth over him, and this they do every day until
the eighth day, and then they bury him altogether.(8) When a young
man or a virgin dies, [they put on] silk and velvet clothes, and gold
rings on the ears and fingers, and so they bury young people who have
not been married. And when one marries a young woman who should be a
virgin, and [he] finds that she is not a virgin, he sends her back to
her father, and will not take her unless more fortune is given to her,
than was arranged at the contract. They have only one cross in their
churches, and not more, and say, it is a sin to crucify our Lord more
than once in a church. They have no paintings on their altars, and
their patriarchs and bishops grant no indulgence in their churches,
and say, that pardon and remission belong to the living God, and if
a man goes into the church with repentance and devotion, God, in his
compassion, will grant him pardon and remission of his sins. When the
priest finishes the Mass, he does not give the blessing; he descends
from the altar, and men and women go up to him, and he touches one
after the other on the head, and says: “Asswatz thogu thu miechk”;
which means: God forgive thee thy sins.(9) They read low Mass aloud,
that everybody may hear, and they pray for those who are entrusted
to them, and for everything for which they ought to pray; for the
ecclesiastical and lay authorities over all Christendom, and they
pray for the Roman emperor, and all kings, dukes, barons, counts, and
knights, who are subject to him;(10) and while he thus prays, all the
people kneel, and raise their hands to God, and say: “Ogornicka”; which
means: Lord have mercy upon us. And whilst the priest prays, these
words are continually repeated by the women and men. They behave with
much devotion in their churches; they do not look here and there, and
do not speak, especially while they are at Mass. They decorate their
churches beautifully, and have fine vestments of velvet and of silk of
all sorts of colours. None of their laity dare to read the gospel as
our own learned laity do, who, when they come across a book, read what
they find in it; no one dares to do so, for, should he read the gospel,
he would be under the ban of the patriarch, because they say that no
one is to read the gospel but a priest. They incense their houses every
Saturday, and on the eve of every feast-day, and no one has any other
incense than the white incense which grows in Arabia and in India.
Priests and laymen eat like the Infidels, sitting on the ground. They
have not many preachers amongst their priests, because everyone is
not allowed to preach. Their preacher must be well read in the Holy
Scriptures, and must have power from the patriarch to preach, and when
he has the power, he may punish a bishop. Such a preacher they call
Varthabiet, which is the same as being a legate; and there are more
than one, and they move from one city to the other and preach. When a
priest or bishop does wrong, they punish him for it, and say, that if a
priest teaches the Word of God, but does not understand and attend to
it, he commits a sin.(11)

  [1] “Und es gond ir priester och all nächt ze mettin.”

66.—Why the Greeks and Armeni are enemies.

The Greeks and Armeni are always enemies, and I will tell you why it is
so, because I have heard it from the Armenians. The Tartars came into
Greece with forty thousand men, and did much harm to the country, and
then lay siege to Constantinoppel. Then the emperor of Constantinoppel
sent to the king of Armenia for forty knights, the best he had in the
land, and asked him to help him. The king asked how many there were
[of the enemy]; the ambassador replied to him, that there were forty
thousand. Then the king of Armenia selected forty knights, the best he
had in his land: “I will send forty knights to the emperor, who will,
with God’s help, exterminate the Infidels, and drive them by force
out of the country.” When the knights came near Constantinoppel to the
emperor, then the ambassador told him what he was ordered to say. The
emperor thought that the king of Armenia wanted to make fun of him; and
on the third day, the knights went before the emperor, and asked to be
allowed to go at the enemy. The emperor asked them if they meant to
overcome forty thousand men? They asked to be allowed to go out, and
that the gate should be shut after them, for they should have Almighty
God on their side, and would fight with Him for the Christian faith,
to do which they had come, or else they would die. He gave them leave,
and they went out amongst the enemy, and killed eleven hundred of
them, besides the prisoners they brought to the gate; but the emperor
would not let them come in, unless they also killed the prisoners, so
they killed them all in front of the gate. The emperor was frightened
at this, and took great care of them, and treated them very well, and
they fought with the enemy every day, and every day did them much harm
in the fight, and in a short time expelled the enemy from the city,
and drove them out of the country. And when the devoted knights had
driven away the Tartars, they went to the emperor, and wanted leave to
return to their king; but the emperor took council how he was to put
them to death, and invited them to stay with him three days longer; he
would shew them great honour and consideration, and called out aloud:
“Whoever wishes to eat and drink and live well at the emperor’s court
for three days, let him come.” He sent a pure virgin to each knight at
his separate lodging, and this he did that the virgins might be got
with child by the knights, and that they should leave their seed there;
because the emperor told his lords that he wanted to take the fruit
from the trees and fell the trees, thinking, that after he had killed
the knights, the king of Ermenia would become subject to him. On the
third night, he ordered that all the knights should be killed in their
lodgings, which was done, with the exception of one who had been warned
by the young woman he had with him. He returned and complained to the
king that all his companions had been killed by [order of] the emperor.
The king was terrified, and grieved much for his devoted knights, and
wrote to the emperor that he had sent to him forty men who were worth
forty thousand; and he must know that I will come to him, and for
each of my forty knights will kill forty thousand men. Then the king
of Ermenia sent to the Kaliphat of Babilony to ask his aid to march
against the Greek emperor. The Kalipha himself came to help him with a
great many people, and then they advanced together against the emperor
with four hundred thousand men. This the emperor of Constantinoppel
heard of, and went out to meet them with a great many people, and
fought with them, but it was not long before he fled into the city
of Constantinoppel. They followed him as far as the sea opposite to
Constantinopoli, and encamped there. Then the king asked the Calypha
to give him all the men he had made prisoners, and he would give him
all the booty he had taken from the Greek. This was done. The king
took the prisoners opposite to the city, and killed forty-times forty
thousand men; and he made the arm of the sea red with blood, because he
had sworn that he would give to the sea the colour of blood; and after
all this was done, he still had so many prisoners, that thirty Greeks
were given for an onion; this was done to insult the emperor, that
it might be said that thirty Greeks were given for an onion.(1) The
Armenians are a brave people, those that live amongst the Christians,
[as well as] those that live amongst the Infidels. They are also clever
at work, because all the clever work the Infidels can do, in gold,
purple, silver, and velvet, the Armenians can also do, and they also
make good scarlet. I have described and named the countries, cities,
and religions, that I have been in amongst the Infidels. I have also
written about the fights in which I have been, and of the religion of
the Infidels of which I have experience, and with many other marvels
which are already touched upon. Now you will hear and understand how
and through which countries I have come away.

67.—Through which countries I have come away.

When Zegra was defeated, as is already related, I came over to a lord
named Manstzusch; he had been a councillor of Zegra. He was obliged to
fly, and he went to a city called Kaffa, where there are Christians; it
is a strong city in which there are [people of] six kinds of religion.
There he remained five months, and then crossed an arm of the Black
Sea, and came to a country called Zerckchas; there he remained half a
year. When the Tartar king became aware of this, he sent to the lord of
the country, and asked that he should not allow the lord Mantzuch to
remain in his territory, and he would do him a great favour. Mantzuch
went into another country called Magrill; and, as we now came into the
country of Magrill, we, five Christians, agreed, that we should go to
our native country from the land of the Infidels, as we were not more
than three days’ journey from the Black Sea; and when it appeared to
us opportune and right to get away, all five of us escaped from the
said lord, and came to the chief town of the country, which was called
Bothan, on the Black Sea shore, and begged that we should be taken
across [the sea], but it was not granted to us. Then we left the city,
and rode along the sea-shore, and got to a mountainous country. There
we rode until the fourth day, and came to a mountain from which we
saw a kocken on the sea, at about eight Italian miles from the coast.
We remained on the mountain until night, and made a fire, and when
the captain saw the fire, he sent some men in a skiff that they might
see who we were near the fire on the mountain, and when they came
towards us, we made ourselves known. They asked what sort of people
we were? We said we were Christians, and were made prisoners when the
king of Ungern was defeated at Nicopolis, and had come so far with
the help of God; therefore, might we not go over the sea, as we had
dependance and hope in God, that we should yet return to our homes
and to Christianity. They would not believe us, and asked if we could
repeat the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, and the Belief? We said, “Yes”,
and repeated them. They then asked how many of us there were? We said,
“Five”. They told us to wait on the mountain, and went to their master
and told him how we had spoken to them. He ordered that we should be
brought, and they came with the skiff, and took us to the kocken. On
the third day that we were on board the kocken, pirates came in three
galleys, and would gladly have done us harm, because they were Turks.
They chased us three days and two nights, but could do us no harm. We
got to the city of Sant Masicia;(1) there we remained until the fourth
day, then the Turks went their own way. After that, we went to sea. We
wanted to go to Constantinoppoli; but when we got out to sea, so that
we could see nothing but sky and water, there came a wind which threw
back the kocken about eight hundred Italian miles, to a city called
Synopp. There we remained eight days, and after that we went further,
and were one month and a half on the sea without being able to get
to the land; and we ran short of food, and we had no more to eat and
drink, until we got to a rock in the sea, where we found snails and
crabs, which we picked off, and upon which we lived for four days, and
were one month on the sea before we got to Constantinoppoli. And when
we got there, I and my companions remained, and the kock passed through
the strait for Italy. And as we were passing through the gate into
Constantinopel, they asked us where we came from? We replied, that we
had been prisoners amongst the Infidels, and that we had escaped, and
wanted to return to Christianity. Then they took us before the Greek
emperor, who asked us how we had escaped from the Infidels? We related
to him from the beginning to the end, and when he heard it all, he told
us not to be anxious; he would take care to send us home; and he sent
us to the patriarch, who also lives in the city, and ordered us to
wait until he sent a galley for his brother, who was with the queen of
Unger, when he would help us into Walachy. Thus we were three months
at Constantinoppel, which is surrounded by a wall eighteen Italian
miles [in extent], and the wall has fifteen hundred towers. There are
one thousand and one churches in the city, and the principal church is
called Sant Sophia, which is built, and is also paved, with polished
marble, so that when one who has not been before, goes into the temple,
he imagines that the church is full of water, the marble shines so.
It has a large dome covered with lead. It has three hundred and sixty
gates, of which one hundred are quite of brass.(2) After three months,
the Greek emperor sent us in a galley to a fortress called Gily, where
the Tunow flows into the Black Sea. At this fortress I separated from
my companions and joined some merchants, and went with them to a city
called in German the White City, situated in Walachy. Then I came
to a city called Asparseri;(3) then to a city called Sedschoff, the
capital of Little Walachy; then to a place called in German, Limburgch,
the chief city in White Reissen the Lesser.(4) There I lay ill for
three months. After that, I came to Krackow, the capital of Polan.
After that, to Neichsen in Saxony, and to the city of Bressla, which
capital is in Slesy. I then came to a city called Eger; from Eger to
Regenspurg; from Regenspurg to Lantzhut; from Lantzhut to Frisingen,
near which place I was born; and, with God’s help, I returned to my
home and to Christianity. Almighty God be thanked, and all those who
have helped me. And when I had almost despaired of coming [away] from
the Infidel people and their wicked religion, amongst whom I was
obliged to be for XXXII years, and of any longer having fellowship with
holy Christianity, God Almighty saw my great longing and anxiety after
the Christian faith and its heavenly joys, and graciously preserved me
from the risk of perdition of body and soul; therefore, I ask all who
have read or have heard this book read, that they should think kindly
of me before God, so that they should be eternally freed, there and
here, from such heavy and unchristian captivity. Amen.

This is the Armenian Pater Noster.

Har myer ut Gegnikes surpeitza annum chika archawtnichw iogacy kam thw
hy ergnick yep ecgary hatz meyr anhabas tur mies eis or yep thawg meis
perdanatz hentz minck therog nuch meinrock per danabas yep mythawg myes
ypbwertzuchm heba prigo es mies ytzscheren. Amen.

This is the Tartar Pater Noster.

Atha wysum chy chockta sen algusch ludur senung adung kel suū senung
hauluchūg belsun senung arcchung aley gier da vk achta wer wisum
gundaluch otrnak chumusen wougū kay wisum iasochni alei wis dacha
kayelle nin wisū iasoch lamasin dacha koina wisni sunanmcha ilia
garta wisni gemandan.[1](5)

The end of Schiltberger.

  [1] These prayers, from the edition of 1475 (?), are
  omitted by Neumann, who considered their insertion as
  being superfluous; nor do they appear in Penzel’s edition.








(1.) “Then came many people from all countries to help him.”—The
army of King Sigismund, made up of contingents from various states,
consisted of about 100,000 men at the siege of Nicopolis, 60,000 being
horsemen. An Eastern writer has estimated the number of fighting men at
130,000 (Aschbach, _Gesch. K. Sigmunds_, i, 101, Saad-eddin, _Bratutti
edition_). In his narrative of the action, Bonfinius (_Rer. Hung.
Decad. III._, ii, 403) repeats the proud boast of the king of Hungary,
that not only should he turn the Turks out of Europe, but were the sky
itself to fall, he was prepared to support it on the points of his

(2.) “Pudem.”—In the middle ages, this city was called Bdin or Bydinum
(Schafarik, _Slawische Alterthümer_, etc., ii, 217), transformed
by Schiltberger into Pudem, and by Marshal de Boucicault (Petitot
_Collect._, vi, 448) into Baudins. According to Mannert, quoted by
Hammer (_Hist. de l’E. O._, i, 416), Widdin was situated on the site
of the ancient Bononia, now called by the people Bodon; but he makes
no mention of the Βιδύνη of the Byzantines, which he would have found
on consulting Acropolita. Widdin, the capital of Western Bulgaria, was
inherited by J. Sracimir upon the death of his father, the King John
Alexander, in 1365; and Eastern Bulgaria was bestowed by this sovereign
on his younger son, Shishman III. The former was under the necessity of
acknowledging the suzerainty of the Porte, in the reign of Amurat I;
and there is every reason for supposing that it was he whom Boucicault
(448) designates the lord of the country, in saying, that he was a
Greek Christian, forcibly subjected to the Turks.—BRUUN.

(3.) “The king took possession of this city also.”—Hammer (328) and
Engel (_Gesch. d. U. R._, ii, 198) are of opinion, that Schiltberger
here refers to the city of Orsova; but the former allows, that the
city believed by Engel to be Orsova, was the Aristum of Bonfinius
(_Rer. Hung. Decad. III._, ii, 377), called Raco by the French Marshal
(449); it may therefore be conceded that the city in question was
Rahova, on the road taken by the Christian army, which would have been
retracing its steps, had its aim, after the capture of Widdin, been the
siege of Orsova.—BRUUN.

(3A.) “Nicopoly.”—In my _Geographische Anmerkungen zum Reisebuch von
Schiltberger (Sitzungsberichte d. Kön. Bay. Akad._, 1869, ii, 271),
I have endeavoured to shew that, in stating that the Infidels knew
the city of “Schiltaw” by the name of “Nicopoly”, Schiltberger does
not call attention to the city of Nicopolis on the Danube, near the
estuary of the Osma, but to ancient Nicopolis founded by Trajan, the
ruins of which are still to be seen near the village of Nikup, on the
Rushita, a tributary of the Yantra. I was formerly of opinion that the
battle which decided the Eastern question at that period, was fought
near the village, and this opinion, adopted by several authors of
merit, has recently been supported by M. Jirecek in his admirable work,
_Geschichte der Bulgaren_, wherein reference is made to an ancient
Servian Chronicle in which it is recorded, that the battle took place
“na rece Rositê u Nikopolju”. It would appear, however, that the author
of this notice, through some misapprehension, confounded the Rushita
with the Osma; and M. Kanitz (_Donau-Bulgarien_, ii, 58–70) having
lately, on just grounds, condemned my hypothesis, I am now persuaded
that the Christians were defeated by Bajazet in the neighbourhood of
the present town of Nicopolis, which was in existence at that time,
though from what period is not known; nor are we able to determine when
the ancient Nicopolis “ad Hæmum”, disappeared.

If Schiltberger’s contemporaries sometimes designated the one city by
the name of Great Nicopolis, they did so simply to distinguish it from
a fortress on the opposite, the left bank of the Danube, called Little
Nicopolis, that was taken by the Christians in the preceding campaign
(Jirecek, 354). It is, therefore, just possible, that the sultan,
having passed Trnov, or Ternova, when on his way to the besieged city,
had also entered Tchunkatch (see trans. of the Turkish historiographer,
Neshry, in _Zeitschr. d. D. Morgenl. Gesellsch._, xv, 346), the name
possibly given by Neshry to the castle of Tchuka, the ruins of which
are to be seen in the upper part of the city, called now as it was
then, Shvishtov, Shistov, Sistova, situated at a distance of fifteen
miles to the south-east of the field of battle. If such were indeed
the case, I would venture to suggest, until some better explanation is
offered, that our author may, by mistake or through some misconception,
have given to the besieged city the name of Shistov, corrupted by him
to “Schiltaw”.—BRUUN.

(3B.) Nicopolis, the city besieged “by water and by land for XVI days”,
must, unquestionably, have been the place of that name on the right
bank of the Danube, and not ancient Nicopolis, “ad Istrum”, as believed
by some authors, the site of which, distant nearly forty miles from
the river, has been satisfactorily determined by M. Kanitz, from an
inscription he has been fortunate enough to disinter out of a mass of
its ruins. The present Nicopolis, built on a limestone cliff, fills a
ravine formed by two heights commanding the town. Sigismund may, or may
not, have occupied those heights; but, when surprised at his dinner, at
ten o’clock in the morning on the day of the battle, by being informed
that the Turks were making their appearance (Froissart, iv, c. 52),
he advanced one mile only from his encampment outside the beleaguered
city, for the purpose of encountering Bajazet; and the French assumed
the offensive immediately after the “Duke of Walachy” had reconnoitred
the enemy’s position. If a further advance was made at all, it could
scarcely have covered much ground, seeing that the 12,000 foot-soldiers
routed by Sigismund had advanced to oppose him; and when the king
was about to follow up his victory by attacking a body of horse, the
sultan being on the point of taking to flight, the timely aid of the
latter’s ally, the despot of Servia, changed the fortunes of the day.
The battle, says Froissart, lasted three hours only, and the result,
so disastrous to the Christian army, he attributes to the impetuosity
of Philippe d’Artois, Comte d’Eu, who disregarded the instructions of
the king of Hungary. “Nous perdons hui la journée”, said the latter to
the Grand Master of Rhodes, “par l’orgueil et bobant (vanity) de ces
François; et s’ils m’eussent cru, nous avions gens assez pour combattre
nos ennemies.”

The Christian soldiers fled in disorder, and being hard pressed by
Bajazet’s troops, many were killed on the mountain, one of the heights
near Nicopolis, as they hurried to the Danube, many others being
drowned in their unsuccessful efforts to reach the shipping—probably
some of the vessels of the Venetian blockading squadron, under the
command of Giovanni Mocenigo, on board of which, Sigismund, and
Philibert de Noillac, Grand Master of the Order of St. John of
Jerusalem, were received; the latter being conveyed to Rhodes, whence
the ships sailed for Dalmatia to land the king. It seems pretty clear,
from Schiltberger’s narrative, that the battle of Nicopolis was fought
in the immediate vicinity of the city on the Danube, and therefore at a
considerable distance from the ancient Nicopolis, the city of Trajan.
Details of the action will be found in Aubert de Vertot d’Aubeuff’s
_Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de St. Jean de Jerusalem_, etc.,

There is no evidence that Schiltberger set foot in Shistova, but the
name had doubtlessly become familiar to him, both before and after his
capture, at a time that he was totally unacquainted with the language
of the people amongst whom he had fallen. If the incidents of his
eventful career were indeed dictated from memory, his statement that
the Infidels knew Nicopolis as “Schiltaw”, for Shvishtov, Shishtovo,
may be accounted for, by the accidental confusion of names.—ED.

(4.) “Werterwaywod.”—Schiltberger evidently alludes here to John Mirca
(John Mirtcha), prince or voyevoda of Walachia, called John, by Mme. de
Lusson (Engel, _Gesch. d. U. R._, iv, 160: iii, 5), and Marcus, by the
Byzantines (L. Chalco, 77). He was the son of the voyevoda, J. Radul,
and having succeeded his elder brother, J. Dan, added the Dobroudja
to his domains after the short reign of Ivanko or Iuanchus, “filius
bonæ memoriæ magnifici domini Dobrdize”, as he is styled in the treaty
concluded with the Genoese in 1387 (_Not. et Extr._, etc., xi, 65; and
_Mem. de l’Inst. de France_, vii, 292–334). There is no difficulty in
recognising the Bulgarian despot, Dobrotitch, in the person of the
father, who, after the death of Alexander, declared his independance in
the Dobroudja, whence, in all probability, its name. (Bruun, _Journ.
du Minis. de l’Instruc. Pub._, St. Petersburg, Sept. 1877.)—BRUUN.

(5.) “he had come a great distance with six thousand men.”—The force
commanded by the Comte de Nevers, son of Philip, Duke of Burgundy,
consisted of 1000 knights, 1000 soldiers, and 6000 mercenaries. The
Count was supported by the flower of the French nobility. Aschbach
(_Gesch. K. Sigmund’s_, i, 98) places the total at 10,000 men.—ED.

(6.) “Duke of Iriseh, known as the despot.”—Stephen, prince of Servia,
is here designated the despot of “Iriseh”, because Servia at that time
was also known as Rascia. Thus—“ipsum regnum Rasciæ—regno Hungariæ;
ab antiquo subjectum”, etc. (Engel, _Gesch. d. U. R._, iii, 370).
Windeck, the contemporary biographer of Sigismund (Aschbach, _Gesch.
K. Sigmund’s_, i, 234), likewise states, that the king advanced “gegen
Sirfien und Raizen, und bedingte mit dem Tischbot”, that is to say,
the despot. As the Turks are in the habit of preceding with an I,
all foreign names commencing with a consonant, so may Schiltberger’s
comrades, as Magyars, have converted Rascia into Iriseh.—BRUUN.

(7.) “Duke of Burgony.”—This Duke of Burgundy was the valiant Comte de
Nevers, aged 22 years only, afterwards surnamed Jean sans Peur; he
was uncle to Charles VI. “Hanns Putzokardo” is easily recognised as
the John Boucicault already noticed. As to the lord “Centumaranto”,
Fallmerayer believes this person to have been Saint Omer, without,
however, stating any reason for this belief; it is, therefore, more
probable that Châteaumorant should be substituted for the name given by

We read in Boucicault, that one Jean Chasteaumorant arrived in
Turkey, with the money for the ransom of the French knights. It is
very possible that a namesake, and even a near relative of this
Châteaumorant, was among them, to whom the marshal afterwards entrusted
the defence of Constantinople against the Turks, upon his own return to


(1.) “Hannsen of Bodem.”—The Marshal Boucicault (Petitot _Collect._,
465, 471) confirms Schiltberger’s statement, to the effect that Bajazet
consented to spare the lives of a certain number of great lords, hoping
“to receive from them much treasure and gold”. Henri and Philippe de
Bar, cousins-german of the king, the Constable Count d’Eu, the Count
de la Marche, and the Lord de la Trémouille, were of the number. No
clue is given to the correct name and nationality of Stephen Synüher,
but as he and the lord of Bodem (Widdin) are distinguished from the
twelve French nobles whose lives were spared, it is pretty certain that
allusion is made to Stephen Simontornya, nephew to Stephen Laszkovitz,
voyevoda of Transylvania (Hurmuzaki, _Fragm. zur Gesch. der Rum._,
225). Aschbach informs us, that the uncle and nephew, who had both
assisted at the battle of Nicopolis, were the first to take to flight;
but it is very possible, that the nephew happened to be among those who
failed to reach the river in time to enable him to embark, and was thus
made a prisoner. John of Bodem was undoubtedly John Sracimir, king of
Western Bulgaria, whose capital was Widdin.—BRUUN.

(2.) “Kalipoli.”—Gallipoli, is mentioned (Ducas., _Hist. Byz._) as
being the first town occupied by the Turks (1356) on the European
continent. By the treaty of Adrianople, 1204, upon the fall of the
Empire, Gallipoli, which had been strongly fortified by the Byzantine
emperors, fell to the Venetians; but the possession of an important
stronghold commanding the entrance to the Marmora and Black Sea, was
continually disputed by the Italians and Greeks, until the year 1307,
when the Genoese and Greeks having, as allies, vanquished the Catalans
in the Sea of Marmora, laid siege to Gallipoli, to which place those
mercenaries of the Empire had been sent, who, after destroying the town
and devastating the country around, withdrew into Attica and Bœotia.
The Turks rebuilt the fortifications, which were greatly strengthened
by Bajazet, who also constructed a port for his galleys. The Count de
Nevers and 24 of his illustrious companions in arms, were detained in
captivity at Gallipoli, and afterwards at Broussa, until ransomed for
the sum of 200,000 golden ducats. (Heyd., _Le Colonie Commer._, i, 347;
Hammer, _Hist. de l’E. O._, i, 106.)—ED.

(3.) “Windischy land.”—According to Froissart (iv, c. 52), Sigismund
embarked at Constantinople on board of a vessel that had just
discharged a cargo of provisions. It is stated in the _History of
Cyprus_, that the king arrived in Dalmatia by way of Rhodes. Thwrocz
(Schwandtnerus, _Script. Rerum Hung._, iv, 9) adds, that he afterwards
landed in Croatia, the country alluded to by Schiltberger as “Windischy
land”. See “Windische Mark”, in _Cosmographey_.—BRUUN.


(1.) “and the people he took away, and some he left in Greece.”—Baron
Hammer points out, that Styrian historians have not noticed this fact,
with which, in all probability, is connected the origin of certain
Slave settlements in Asia Minor. M. Lamansky (_O Slav. v. Mal. Asii_)
however, believes, they are of more ancient date.—BRUUN.

(2.) “king-sultan.”—Schiltberger styles the sultan of Egypt,
king-sultan, because, having the caliph at his court, he was considered
as being at the head of all Mahomedan monarchs. The sultan at the
period indicated was Barkok, the first of the dynasty of Circassian
Mamelouks, if we except Bibars II, whose reign, 1309–1310, was of the
shortest duration. Twenty years before his accession (1382), Barkok was
carried as a slave into Egypt, from the Crimea, whither he had gone
from his own native country in the Caucasus.—BRUUN.

(3.) “king of Babylony.”—This king of Babylon was Ahmed, son of Oveis,
son of the Jelarid Hassan the Great, the descendant of Abaka, the son
of Houlakou, the son of Tuly, son of Jengiz Khan. Timour drove Ahmed
from Baghdad, but he returned upon several occasions, notably in 1395,
and remained until 1402. Previously to the battle of Nicopolis, Bajazet
had written to tell him that, in his opinion, the expulsion of Timour
was of greater moment than that of the Takfour, that is to say, of the
Greek emperor (Hammer, _Hist. de l’E. O._, ii, 466, note xv).—BRUUN.

(4.) “king of Persia.”—Even before the battle of Nicopolis, nearly the
whole of Persia had been subjugated by Timour, and divided between his
sons, Omar Sheykh and Miran Shah, and other amirs. The Shah Mansour,
who had also appealed to Bajazet for succour, perished in 1393 at the
battle of Sheeraz; the other princes of the house of Mouzzafer had been
put to death, with the exception of Zein Alabin, and Shebel, the two
sons of the shah Shoudia, who ended their days at Samarkand (Weil.,
_Gesch. d. Chalifen_, ii, 40); it is, consequently, somewhat puzzling
to determine, to which sovereign of Persia the Christian captives were

(5.) “White Tartary.”—According to Neumann, Schiltberger here seeks to
distinguish the free Tatars from the Black Tatars, that is to say, the
vanquished and paying tribute. Erdmann (_Temud. d. U._, 194), on the
authority of Rashid uddin, considers that by White Tatars were meant
the Turk tribes, who were afterwards known as Mongols, the Black Tatars
being the real Mongols. He tells us, that after having subdued the
White Tatars and other Turk people, the Black resumed their ancient
name of Mongols, and extended their sway to Eastern Europe, including
under the name of Tatars even the Turks in the West, with the exception
of those by whom they were opposed in Asia Minor, and who afterwards
became known in Europe as the Ottoman Turks.

This, however, does not explain to us where the White Tatars,
repeatedly mentioned by Schiltberger, dwelt. We learn from him, first,
that a powerful lord from their country was the son-in-law of Kady
Bourhan uddin, sovereign of Sebaste, who was put to death by Kara Yelek
or Oulouk, chief of the Turkomans of the White Sheep: secondly; that,
having laid siege to the city of Angora, which belonged to Bajazet,
they were forced to yield to him; and, thirdly, that at the battle of
Angora, 30,000 of them went over to Timour, and were the cause of his
gaining the day.

Taking into consideration these several facts, is it not possible,
that the White Tatars of Schiltberger are to be identified with
those of the White Horde of Eastern writers; the Blue, as they were
sometimes alluded to by Russian annalists, perhaps because of their
encampments on the shores of the Blue Sea, the Lake Aral? This Horde,
as the patrimony of the elder branch of the house of Jujy, whose
chief town was Ssaganak, near the upper Syr Darya, was dependent to
a certain extent on the Golden Horde, ruled over by the descendants
of Batou, the second son of Jujy. But this state of dependence was
not of long duration, for towards the close of the 14th century, the
famous Toktamish, a prince of the elder branch, succeeded in annexing
the whole of the Golden Horde to his possessions, after having, with
the assistance of Timour, rid himself of his uncle Ourous Khan.
Having quarrelled with his protector, this ambitious man was under
the necessity of courting the friendship of Bajazet, who was only too
pleased to secure another ally against the threatening domination of
the ruler of Jagatai; there is, therefore, nothing surprising in the
fact of the sultan sending a certain number of Christian captives to
Toktamish, were it only to console him for the unfortunate termination
to his war with Timour in 1395. At all events, the partisans of
Toktamish, who effected their escape under the leadership of Timour
Tash, upon the defeat of the former near the banks of the Terek, were
received by the sultan with open arms. Savelieff (_Mon. Joud._, 314)
gives it as his opinion, that Timour Tash who held the Crimea under the
suzerainty of Toktamish, was himself a member of the Jujy family; in
which case the sovereign of Sebaste might well have given his daughter
in marriage to him, without contracting a misalliance, and the very
nature of this alliance, may have incited Timour Tash to treat his
benefactor with ingratitude in laying siege to Sebaste, his whole
household being in his suite, after the custom of the country. Having
necessarily become reconciled with the sultan, he might easily have
treated him with treachery at the battle of Angora, by passing over to
the ranks of his countrymen; in such a case they would have obtained a
victory, in consequence of defection amongst the Tatars in the service
of Bajazet, as we are informed by Arabian authors, and not, as Persian
and Turkish historians have imagined, through defection among “the Turk
princes of Asia Minor”.

It is, nevertheless, no easy matter to reconcile this hypothesis
with the statement made by Clavijo (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 75). After
alluding to the capture of Sebaste by Timour, the Spanish envoy
continues:—“Before he arrived there, he met with a race called the
White Tartars, who always wander over the plain; and he fought and
conquered them, and took their lord prisoner; and took away as many as
fifty thousand men and women with him. He then marched to Damascus,”
etc., etc.

In another passage, he returns to the Tartaros Blancos subdued by
Tamerlane, and says that they were encamped between Turkey (Asia
Minor) and Syria. These White Tatars were evidently identical with
the White Tatars of Schiltberger, who had nothing in common with the
Tatars of the White Horde, frequently designated as being of “Great
Tartary”. It may therefore be assumed that the White Tatars mentioned
by both travellers, were Turkomans, inhabitants of the eastern parts
of Asia Minor, whose descendants have to this day preserved the Mongol
type, and the same mode of living as the White Tatars of Schiltberger
and Clavijo (Viv. de Saint-Martin, _Desc. de l’A. M._, ii, 429).
East Cilicia was at that time actually divided between two Turkoman
dynasties, which had not been vanquished by the Ottoman arms; small
states that had existed from the year 1378, the date at which the
Lusignans, who had succeeded the Roupenian dynasty of Little Armenia in
1342, were expelled from Cilicia by the Baharite Mamelouks of Egypt.
The one reigned at Marash, the other at Adana; the latter being known
as the Ben Ramazan, the former as the Soulkadyr or Joulkadyr, the name
by which Marash was afterwards known amongst Turkish geographers. Both
dynasties were in existence until 1515, when they were subjugated by
the sultan, Selim, and their territories incorporated with the empire
(Viv. de Saint-Martin, _Desc. de l’A. M._, i, 529).

It would appear that the rulers of the White Tatars, alluded to by
Clavijo, belonged to the family of the Joulkadyr. It was, at any rate,
against that dynasty, Timour despatched a force after the capture of
Sivas, to punish it for its hostility towards himself, when besieging
that city (Weil., _Gesch. d. Chalifen_, v, 82); and the Mongols soon
afterwards carried off all the herds belonging to a prince of this
house, whose encampment was near Palmyra (_ibid._, 91). As was the case
with the White Tatars of Clavijo, those mentioned by Schiltberger drew
their rulers, at least in part, from princes of this house. It was
Bajazet’s desire, that his son should marry the daughter of Nazr uddin
Joulkadyr, who would not have been forgotten at the distribution of
prisoners taken at Nicopolis. This Nazr uddin had received his fugitive
relative, the son of Bourhan uddin, the brother-in-law, according to
Schiltberger, of the ruler of the White Tatars. It appears to me that
the seeming diversity in the statements made by various authors, with
regard to the nationality of the troops who went over to Timour at the
battle of Angora, is to be explained by admitting, that the Tatars
who betrayed the cause of Bajazet, were Turkomans who acknowledged
the authority of the Ben Ramazan and the Joulkadyr; that is to say,
that their rulers were princes holding possessions in Asia Minor. Our
author’s recital enables us to understand, why Oriental writers would
seem to be at issue as to the nationality of the “Tatar Regiments”
(Weil., _Gesch. d. I. V._, 437) which deserted their colours at the
battle of Angora.—BRUUN.

(6.) “Greater Armenia.”—Armenia proper is here called Greater, to
distinguish it from the Lesser, which was understood to be the eastern
part of Cappadocia, near the Euphrates. In the middle ages, the
denomination Lesser Armenia included the whole of Cappadocia, inasmuch
as it was inhabited by Armenians who had been expelled from their own
country by the Seljouks and Turkomans (11th and 12th centuries). At a
subsequent period, the Armenians occupied nearly the whole of Cilicia
and the west of Syria, anciently called Commagen, and afterwards known
as Euphrates. All these new acquisitions were included under the name
of Lesser Armenia.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Karanda.”—This city, on the site of ancient Laranda, is now known
as Karaman, so named after the son of a certain Sophy, upon whom it
was bestowed (1219-46) by Ala uddin, sultan of Iconium, together with
a portion of Cappadocia and of Cilicia, that is to say, of Lesser
Armenia. Mohammed, the son of Karaman, extended the limits of his
states in every direction, and even took possession of Iconium or
Konieh. His son Ali Bek, surnamed Ala uddin, was married to Nefise,
the sister of Bajazet, an alliance, however, that did not restrain him
from invading Ottoman territory, an act which resulted in war between
the brothers-in-law, and he was made a prisoner by the Turks after
the fall of Iconium, in 1392. According to Saad uddin (Zinkeisen,
_Gesch. d. O. R._, i, 350), Karaman was killed by Timour Tash, governor
of Angora, without the knowledge of Bajazet, who would have spared
his brother-in-law. Ahmed and Mohammed, the sons of Karaman, were
afterwards reinstated by Timour in their possessions, which included,
besides Laranda, evidently the “Karanda” in the text, the cities
of Alaïa, Derendeh, Sis, Veysheher, Konieh, Aksheher, Akseraï, and


(1.) “Sebast.”—Sebaste, called Sivas by the Turks, and Sepasdia,
Sevasdia, Sevasd, by the Armenians—the capital of Lesser Armenia,
after being long subject to Constantinople, was ceded, in 1021, by
the emperor Basil to Senckharim, king of Armenia, in exchange for
Vasbouragan. It was taken in 1080 by the Greeks, who lost it to the
Seljouks (J. Saint Martin, _Mem. sur l’Arménie_, i, 187).—ED.


(1.) “Wirmirsiana.”—According to Chalcocondylas, Orthobulus or
Ertoghrul, the eldest son of Bajazet, was made a captive by Timour at
Sebaste, in 1400, and shortly afterwards put to death; but no Arabian
or Persian chroniclers have asserted this, nor does Shereef uddin
allude to the circumstance. Arabshah (Weil., _Gesch. d. Chalifen_, ii,
82) says that Souleiman, the son of Bajazet, was governor of Sebaste,
which he must have quitted before its conquest by the Mongols.—BRUUN.


(1.) “city of Samson.”—This is the ancient Amisos, still called Samsoun
by the Turks. Fallmerayer (_Gesch. d. K. v. T._, 56, 289) observes,
that the Byzantines frequently added a prefix to a name, such as εἰς,
which, in time, became contracted to ες and σ, and in this way Ἄμισον
was turned into σ' Ἄμισον—Σάμσον. This city, the chief town of Janyk,
was then under the dominion of another Bajazet, surnamed the Impotent,
who perished in his struggle with Bajazet about 1392.—BRUUN.

(1A.) Fallmerayer’s explanation may be further illustrated, by quoting
the names of ancient cities in the Morea and in the island of Crete,
that have undergone change through the probable corruptions of a
prefix. Hierapytna has become Tzerapetra; Itanus is now Tzetana,
Tsitana, and even Sitana. Etea has become Setea, while Stamboul,
Istamboul, itself is a corruption of Εἰς τὴν πόλιν. The modern Greeks
would also appear to be in the habit of thus corrupting words in
ordinary use, as, for instance, ampelon, vineyard, they call tsembela;
kampos, a field, tzecampo, etc. (Spratt, _Researches in Crete_, i, 55,


(1.) “Italians of Genoa.”—It is not known when the Genoese
founded a colony at Samsoun, which they called Simisso. Heyd
(_d. Ital. Handelscolon_, etc., in the _Zeitschrift f. d. gesam.
Staatswissenschaft_., xviii, 710) justly observes, that they must
have been there previously to the year 1317, because the existence of
a Genoese consul at Simisso at that date, is proved by the records
of Gazaria. In the Regulations for Gazaria, 1449 (_Zap. Odess._, v,
p. 629), no mention whatever is made of a consul being at Simisso; I
cannot therefore agree with M. Heyd that the consulate was maintained
until 1461, when Mahomet II drove the Genoese out of Samastris
(Amastris), their principal port, and took possession of Sinope, where,
to the year 1449, those Italians still had a consul (_ibid._, 809). The
Genoese were driven out of Samsoun, in all probability in 1419, when
that quarter of the town “occupied by infidels” was taken by Mahomet
I (Hammer, ii, 180, 472, note xiv). At this period Schiltberger was
still in Asia, and he appears to have been aware that the Genoese were
obliged to quit the town. At any rate, in saying that the Italians
of Genoa were still in possession of it, in the reign of Bajazet, he
probably wished to intimate that they had quitted it at a later

(2.) “Ternowa.”—Trnovo or Ternov, the capital of Eastern Bulgaria,
was taken and destroyed by the Turks in 1393, at a moment that
Shishman happened to be absent. Turkish authors have recorded, that at
Nicopolis he surrendered at discretion, and died, according to some,
in confinement, and at an advanced age; others, however, state that he
was beheaded, which, judging by the narrative in the text, would appear
doubtful. Alexander, Shishman’s eldest son, having turned Mahomedan,
was appointed governor of Saroukhan, as we are informed by Rehm
(_Gesch. d. Mittelalt._, iv, 2, 584); and it is possible that he was
transferred to Samsoun after the conquest of the province of Janyk, in
the province-general of Trebizond. His younger brother Fruzin remained
a Christian, and died at Kronstadt in 1460.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Wurchanadin.”—It has already been noticed that Bourhan uddin
was prince of Sebaste or Sivas. The Turkish lord named Otman in this
chapter, was Kara Yelek, chief of the Turkoman Horde of the White

(2.) The death of Bourhan uddin.—Oriental writers are at issue as to
the date of the death of Bourhan uddin, and of the incorporation of
his domains with those of Bajazet. Saad uddin (Weil., _Gesch. d.
Chalifen_, ii, 60, note i) observes, that various dates are given,
from the year 794 to 799 of the Hegira = 1391–96. In his History of
the Ottoman Empire (i, 226), Hammer expresses himself in favour of the
opinion of Nishandi, an Arabian author, who fixes the date at 795 =
1392. This opinion is supported by Zinkeisen (_Gesch. d. O. R._, i,
353), who states he has no doubt that “the course of events and the
most reliable authorities testify in favour of the year 1392”, although
Weil makes it clear, that the death of Bourhan uddin could not have
taken place before the year 800 = 1398. German historians are guided by
the statements of Oriental writers, who have apparently confounded two
wars between Bajazet and the sovereign of Sebaste, the one having taken
place before, and the other after the battle of Nicopolis. Indeed we
learn from Schiltberger, that previously to the war in which he himself
was engaged (see page 17), the younger son of Bajazet had driven
Bourhan uddin out of “Marsüany”, a city which, from being situated on
the borders of Karaman, must have been identical with Marsivan (Viv.
de Saint-Martin, _Desc. de l’A. M._, ii, 448) or Merzyfoun, as it
was called by Hadjy Khalpha (_Jihan-Numa_, etc., ii, 407), and was
perhaps the village of Morivazou, the birth-place of St. Stephen of
Sougdaia (_Zap. Odess._, v, 625). In the introduction to his edition
of 1859, Neumann submits that Amasia is here intended; but he is in
error, because that place had already been taken by Bajazet, not from
Bourhan uddin, but from Bajazet the “Impotent”, together with Samsoun,
Kastamouny, and Osmandjyk (Hammer, i, 312–315).

Neumann is certainly not justified in supposing that Schiltberger
would have alluded upon two occasions to the campaign in which he took
part—first, in chap. 5, casually; again in chap. 9, wherein we have all
the details as they are related by an eye-witness; for, in reference
to this, the second campaign, we are informed that it was conducted by
the eldest son of Bajazet, and that this son was not Mouhammed; indeed,
we are previously told by Schiltberger, that Mouhammed was appointed
by the sultan to command the forces sent to “Marsüany”, it being the
first expedition of that prince, who was aged 14 in 1392, for he died
in 1421, in his 43rd year.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Malathea.”—Malatia, the ancient Melitene, on the Euphrates,
was the station of the xiith Legion. Marcus Aurelius surnamed it
“Fulminatrix”, in consequence of a miracle that was there operated
(Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_, etc., x, 860). Hammer (_Hist. de l’E. O._,
345), and Zinkeisen (_Gesch. d. O. R._, 356), assert, on the authority
of Saad uddin, that the Ottomans took this and other cities subject to
the sultans of Egypt, between the years 798 and 800 of the Mahommedan
era. Weil (_Gesch. d. Chalifen_, 70–73), however, does not think that
this occupation could have taken place earlier than 801, founding his
opinion on the authority of Arabian writers, who have recorded Turkish
aggression as having occurred after the advent to the throne, of
Faradj, who succeeded his father in 801 = 1399 (June 20). In support
of this argument, Weil quotes the testimony of one of those writers
who had himself seen the letter, in which was announced to Itmish,
the atabek of the new sultan, the capture of Malatia; but it is also
possible that the great dignitary had received this same letter in the
time of Barkok, by whom he must have been highly esteemed, for, when
on his death-bed, the sultan nominated him his executor. This view of
the case agrees with Schiltberger’s recital, whilst his observations,
towards the end of this chapter, on the taking of Adalia, will serve
to explain the strange passage that occurs in the Italian translation
of the book of Saad uddin. “Et havendo spedito al Conquisto di
Chianchria” (Kiankary the ancient Gangra) “Timurtas-Bassa” (Bajazet’s
general) “però tutto quel Paese insieme con la Città d’Atena (la qual’
è patria de’ Filosofi) col suo Distretto pervenne in poter del Rè;
il quale prese anco dalle mani de’ Turcomani la Città di Bechsenia”
(Behesna) “e di Mallatie”, etc. “There is clearly a mistake in the
text or in the translation”, says Weil (70), after showing that Hammer
and Zinkeisen are greatly in error in supposing, upon the authority
of this defective passage, that the city of Socrates could have been
taken by the Turks in the course of the same campaign as that in which
Malatia fell into their hands; but there would have been nothing
extraordinary in the fact of their attacking Angora after the fall of
this city, and then Satalia, near the ruins of the ancient Attalia
in Pamphylia, in which Neumann fancies that he recognises the Adalia
of Schiltberger, because it was situated on the sea-shore opposite
to the island of Cyprus. In support of this, the esteemed editor of
the edition of 1859 might have quoted another passage, from the _Acta
Patriarchatus Constantinopolitani_ (_Zap. Odess._, v, 966), wherein we
find it asserted, that the city of Satalia, having been occupied by the
Infidels in 1400, the bishop of that city took his departure for Aenos.
Notwithstanding these arguments, it appears to me that the Adalia of
Schiltberger could not have been Satalia, but rather Adana in Cicilia,
for the following reasons.

This city of Adana, Adena, or Adan, is nearer to the island of Cyprus
than is Satalia, although not actually on the sea-shore, a situation
not attributed to his Adalia by Schiltberger. It belonged to the
sultans of Egypt, which was not the case with Satalia, a city that
from the year 1207 had been subject to the sultans of Iconium, to the
Seljouk principality of Tekke, and to the kingdom of Cyprus, and was
already incorporated in the Ottoman Empire (Weil, i, 505; Heyd, xviii,
714). Finally, Schiltberger’s notice that the people about Adalia
were exclusively employed in the rearing of camels, is applicable
to Adana rather than to Satalia; for in those days it was one of
the chief centres of commerce in the East, and was encircled by the
superb gardens for which it is so celebrated in our own times. It may,
I think, be conceded that Saad uddin, or Bratutti his translator,
have possibly confounded Athens with Attalia or Adana, and that this
very city might have been subjugated by Timour Tash, soon after his
reduction of Behesna, Malatia, and other cities in Cilicia.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Thus Joseph expelled his rival, and became a powerful king.”—Upon
the death of the Sultan Barkok, his son Al-Melyk Al-Nazr Abou-Saadat
Faradj, aged thirteen, ascended the throne. Schiltberger pronounces
one of the names of this monarch after his own fashion, and calls him
Joseph, and elsewhere Jusuphda, evidently in place of Abou-Saadat. This
prince, soon after his accession, was under the necessity of contending
in arms with Itmish (who has already been noticed), one of his father’s
dependants, as Schiltberger represents Joseph to have done. Faradj
perished, as did Jusuphda, for he was made a prisoner and beheaded in
1412 (Weil, _Gesch. d. Chalifen_, ii, 124).

Eastern writers make no mention of the assistance rendered to Faradj by
Bajazet, upon the occasion of his struggle with his father’s vassal at
the commencement of his reign; but their silence on this point is by no
means conclusive as throwing doubt on the statement, twice repeated,
of Schiltberger, who was himself serving in the force despatched by
Bajazet to the support of the sultan, in whom he hoped to secure an
ally against Timour, whose power menaced the safety of both. Had
the two sultans been indeed of one accord, the conqueror might have
received a check. According to Aboul-Mahazin (Weil, ii, 71), Timour is
reported to have said, on hearing of the death of Barkok: “Bajazet is
an excellent general, but his troops are not worth much; the Egyptians
and Syrians, however, are good soldiers, but they are badly handled”.
It is very certain that Bajazet, in his turn, soon afterwards (1400)
appealed for assistance to the sultan of Egypt, who refused to grant
it, because the former’s venture against Malatia was not forgotten
(Weil, 81, note 42); but the necessity he was under of keeping his
troops for protection at home, was the truer cause.—BRUUN.


(1.) “took the city by force, although there were in it five thousand
horsemen sent by Weyasit.”—The walls of Sebaste, originally
constructed by Aladin Kekobady, a Seljouk king, were of extraordinary
strength, being twenty cubits in height, and ten cubits in thickness at
the base, narrowing to six cubits at the top. The place was stubbornly
defended, the besieged being well supplied with munitions of war; but
the besiegers constructed towers of greater height than the town, and
planted upon them machines for hurling huge stones, so that, at the
expiration of 18 days (the text says 21 days), the besieged sued for
quarter. Timour spared all the Mussulmans, but the Christians were
sent into slavery. The 4000 horsemen (5000 horsemen in the text) being
Armenians, were flung alive into pits and covered with earth (Petis de
la Croix, _Histoire de Timur Bec_, liv. v, 268).—ED.

(2.) “There were also nine thousand virgins taken into captivity
by Tämerlin to his own country.”—The contemporary historians,
Aboul-Mahazin and Arabshah (Weil, 81), describe in like manner the
cruelties practised on the inhabitants of Sebaste in 1400, by Timour,
whose admirer even, Shereef uddin, differs but slightly in the horrible
details (Hammer, _Hist. de l’E. O._, ii, 59).—BRUUN.


(1.) “Scarcely had Tämerlin returned to his own country.”—After the fall
of Sebaste, Timour proceeded to Syria, where he took several cities,
Damascus being of the number; and having recrossed the Euphrates, he
entered Baghdad. Bajazet had in the meantime seized upon Erzingan,
which belonged to Taharten, who had already acknowledged the supremacy
of Timour; an act on the part of the sultan which accelerated the
struggle between himself and Timour, and to which Schiltberger alludes
in this chapter. In chapters 14–19, he depicts the above-mentioned
campaigns and other expeditions of Timour, imagining that they
were conducted after the battle of Angora; but as he reports from
hearsay only, he was not in a position to form a correct idea of the
chronological order in which they occurred.—BRUUN.

(2.) “Tarathan.”—It is by the name of Tabarten that Eastern writers know
this prince, who, at that time, possessed the city of Erzingan; whilst
Clavigo, who enters into numerous details on the private affairs of the
“gran Caballero”, calls him Zaratan. The residence of this ruler was
near the Kara-sou, at that time the great western arm of the Euphrates,
at a place called by the Turks, Erznga or Eznga, a name derived from
the Armenian, Eriza, as I am informed by Bishop Aïvazoffsky of the
Armenian church at Theodosia. According to Marco Polo, who called
it Arzinga (Yule, 2nd edit., i, 47), it was the capital of Greater
Armenia, Sis being that of Lesser Armenia. The apparent contradiction
in our author’s statements arises from the fact that, in another
chapter, he represents Sis, Erzingan, and Tiflis, as being the chief
towns of the three divisions of Armenia. The first belonged to the
sultan of Egypt; the others to the Timourides, actually to Shah Rokh,
the son of Timour. In ancient times, Erzingan was celebrated for the
temple of Anaïtis (Strabo, xi, 14, 16), destroyed by St. Gregory the
Enlightener. Procopius calls the place, Aurea Comana, and tells us that
it contained a temple of Artemis, founded, according to tradition, by
Orestes and Iphigenia; a temple already transformed into a Christian
church at the time he wrote (_De Bell. Pers._, i, 177; Ritter, _Die
Erdkunde_, etc., x, 774).

In quoting, together with Arzes and Erzingan, the fortress of Chliat
and Percri, Constantine Porphyrogenitus (_De Adm. Imp._, 44, 8)
referred to Akhlat or Gelath, and the modern town of Pergri on the
Bandoumaky, and not, as supposed by Ritter, to the village of Bagaran
or Pacaran, near the ruins of Ani, the ancient capital of Armenia,
close to the river Arpa-tchaï. Erzingan was destroyed by the Mongols in
1242; in 1387, Taharten acknowledged the suzerainty of Timour, and in
1400 he was expelled by Bajazet, who, in his turn, lost the city to the
Tatars. It had not risen out of its ruins in the time of Barbaro, and
now they are scarcely to be traced. _Etiam periere ruinæ!_—BRUUN.

(3.) “but he died on the way.”—Schiltberger’s silence with regard to the
cage in which Timour confined his captive, agrees, says Neumann, with
the result of the researches of Hammer, who seeks to prove that the
tale is the invention of a sworn enemy of Timour. The Baron’s opinion
is supported by the Russian Academician Sresneffsky, in his quotation
from a Russian chronicler (Nikitin, in _Hojdenye za try Mory’a_), a
contemporary of Timour, who, in alluding to the fate of Ilderim, has
not thought it necessary to speak of the cage in which he was made
to follow his conqueror. Hammer’s argument does not appear to have
satisfied Weil (ii, 96), on the grounds that the story of the iron
cage does not emanate from Arabshah only, but also from other Arabian
chroniclers. Weil equally disputes the assertion that the term cage
was intended to signify a litter, and disagrees with Rehm (iv, 3, 151)
in his interpretation of the word _kafass_, that it implied a litter
as well as a cage, the Arabian word for the former being _handedj_,
_mahaffah_, and _kubbet_; and concludes by saying, that if Bajazet was
not really carried about in a cage, his litter must have been of most
peculiar construction.—BRUUN.


(1.) “The cities I have named are chief cities in Syria.”—These cities
in Syria fell into Timour’s hands in the year 1400, but the order
of their conquest, as given in the text, differs from the records
of Eastern writers. Aboul-Mahazin and Arabshah (Weil, _Gesch. d.
Chalifen_, ii, 82) state, that the first to surrender was Behesna,
“Wehessum”; then the tower of Aïntab, “Anthap”, whence Timour proceeded
to Haleb, “Hallapp”, now Aleppo, which was taken and dealt with as
described by Schiltberger. According to Shereef uddin, Timour Tash, the
Egyptian amir and commander of the place, met with the same fate as did
the garrison; but Arabshah says, that his life was not only spared, but
he also received a robe of honour. Finally, the conqueror seized upon
the fortress of Kalat Erroum—Fortress of the Romans—called “Hrumkula”
in the text.—BRUUN.

(1A.) Hrhomgla, for “Hrumkula”, is the Armenian, as Ourroum Kaleh is
the Turkish, name of a now miserable village, situated on the western
bank of the Euphrates, at the confluence of the river Marzeban. It
is surmounted by a castellated building on a high hill. It was a
place of some importance from 1150 to 1298, as being the residence of
the patriarchs of Armenia. Quoting from Arabshah, Petis de la Croix
(_Histoire de Timur Bec_, liv. v, 285) inserts a note to the effect
that Timour left Calat Erroum without attacking it, which he dared not
do, because the place was very strong.

Having regard to the geographical position of the places in this part
of Mesopotamia, taken by Timour in 1400, his road to conquest must have
lain thus—Behesna, Aïntab, Aleppo, Ourroum Kaleh.—ED.

(2.) “And the city was pillaged.”—The Arabian authors, Aboul-Mahazen and
Ibn Khaldoun (Rashid-eddin, _Hist. des Mongols, etc._; by Quatremère,
286), the latter being an eye-witness, are agreed that Timour himself
ordered the incendiarism of the mosque at Damascus, but they make no
mention of the cruelties imputed to him by Schiltberger; they assert,
on the contrary, that he very graciously received the deputation headed
by the kady, Taky uddin ibn Mouflyk. Other writers have recorded, that
Timour was even anxious to save the mosque from the fire which had
broken out accidentally and destroyed the entire city. The magnificence
of the great “temple” at Damascus, as shown in the text, is confirmed
on the testimony of Eastern writers (Quatremère, ii, 262) who state,
that this edifice, considered as one of the wonders of the world, had
four gates. In saying that there were as many as forty outer gates,
Schiltberger no doubt included those of the annexes which, together
with the main building, were surrounded by a wall having several
entrances; this appears conclusive on consulting an Arabian record
quoted by Quatremère (283), which represents that in front of the
mosque were many spacious porches, each of which conducted to a large
gate, etc. “The view of the buildings, of the domes, of the three
minarets, and water courses, as seen from the court, is admirable, and
a sight to startle the imagination.” There can be little doubt that the
gates were numerous, and that Schiltberger should have estimated their
number at forty is not to be wondered at, when we consider the practice
among Orientals of designating any large number by the numeral forty,
as, for instance, Kyrkyer, Kyrkeklesy, etc.—BRUUN.

(2A.) In Ibn Haukal’s time (10th century), the mosque at Damascus was
considered one of the largest and most ancient in the land of the
Mussulmans. Walid ben Abd-el-Melyk (the sixth Omniade caliph, 705–715)
had beautified it with pavements of marble, and pillars of variegated
marble the tops of which were ornamented with gold and studded with
precious stones. The ceiling was covered with gold, and so great was
the cost that the revenues of Syria were expended on the work. Porter
(_Five Years in Damascus_, ii, 62) describes the quadrangle as being
163 yards in length, 108 yards wide, and surrounded by a lofty wall of
fine masonry. The three sides of the cloister, in an adjoining court,
are supported by arches resting on pillars of limestone, marble, and
granite, and on the south side of the court is the _harem_ (sacred
place), whose interior dimensions are 431 ft. by 125 ft. Two rows of
columns, 22 ft. in height, extend the whole length of the building and
support the triple roof. A transept across the middle, is supported
by eight massive piers of solid masonry, each 12 ft. square, and a
splendid dome, nearly 50 ft. in diameter and about 120 ft. in height,
stands in the centre. The interior of the mosque has a tesselated
pavement of marble, and the walls of the transept and the piers are
coated with marble in beautiful patterns. According to Arabshah
(_Vattier edition_, v, 169), it was the Raphadites or Shyites (see
chap. xxxiii, note 3, for this sect) of Khorasan who set fire to this
noble mosque, Timour being credited by various authors, as stated in
the preceding paragraph, with having wished rather to save the edifice
from destruction. Much as records may differ, Schiltberger’s relation,
so graphic and detailed, merits the fullest consideration.—ED.

(3.) “Scherch.”—On March 19, 1400, Timour proceeded from Damascus by way
of Roha (the ancient Edessa near Orfa), Mardin, and Mosoul to Baghdad
(Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, v, 91), after having despatched flying
columns hither and thither to forage, some of his people reaching even
to the neighbourhood of Antioch. A portion of his forces must therefore
have crossed the Antilibanus, called Jabal—mountain—also Shurky, which
may have been the “Scherch” mentioned in the text.—BRUUN.


(1.) “and the king kept his treasure there.”—This, in all probability,
is the fortress of Alinjy or Alindsha, some miles to the south of
Nahitchevan. In 1394, Ahmed ben Oweis sent thither his family and
treasure, and it was not until the year 1401 that this fortress
was taken by Timour’s troops, whilst he himself was laying siege
to Baghdad with the bulk of his army. Faradj, who had been left in
command by Ahmed, was forced to surrender, after a valorous defence
of forty days. All the inhabitants were massacred, and the place was
completely destroyed with the exception of the schools, mosques, and
hospitals (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, 93). After taking Baghdad, July
9, 1401, Timour passed through Tabreez, on his way to Karabagh, where
he purposed spending the winter, occupying the cities of Roha, Mardin,
and Mosoul on his march. It would appear that it is to these places
Schiltberger refers, but he has fallen into error in saying that they
were taken after the capture of Baghdad—a mistake to be accounted for,
from his not having served in the expedition.[1]—BRUUN.

  [1] See chapter xxxiii, note 12.—ED.


(1.) “Lesser India.”—Under this name Schiltberger includes the northern
portion of the peninsula on this side of the Ganges, giving to the
southern part the designation of Greater India. Marco Polo (Yule,
ii, 416, 417) employs the same names, but in another sense. His
Lesser India included Kesmacoran (Kij-Makrau, _i.e._, Makran), to
the whole Coromandel coast inclusive. Greater India extended from
the Coromandel coast to Cochin China—Middle India being Abyssinia.
Timour’s expedition into India (1398) was conducted to the banks of
the Indus from Samarkand, by way of Inderab and Cabul. On crossing the
river near Kalabagh, he passed by way of Mooltan to Delhi, which he
occupied, conducting himself as was his custom on such occasions; but
Schiltberger makes no allusion to the cruelties he practised. Perhaps
because the details of the expedition were related to him by
the Mongols themselves, and not by their enemies, the Arabs and

(2.) “and it is of half a day’s journey.”—We are evidently given to
understand here, that the narrow defile through which Timour had to
pass, was the famous Iron Gate, at all times considered the frontier
limit of India and Turania. In the year 328 B.C., Alexander of Macedon
made his way through this passage, described by his historians in
language identical to that of Schiltberger ... “sed aditus specus
accipit lucem, interiora obscura sunt”.... (Curtius, viii, 8, 19).
Very similar is the testimony of the several Oriental writers quoted
in the _Centralasiatische Studien (Sitzungsberichte d. Kais. Akad. d.
Wissenschaften_, lxxxvii, 1, 67, 184) by M. Tomaschek, who has availed
himself of the results of the Russian expedition to Hissar (_Ysvest.
Imp. Geog. Obshtchest._, xii, 70, 1876, 349–363) to determine the exact
locality of the Iron Gate. There may have been near the Iron Gate, in
Schiltberger’s time, as there is now, a “Winterdorf” (Tomaschek, l. c.)
called Darbend or Derbent, but it is not of this “kishlak”, but rather
of the city of Derbent, in the Caucasus, that Clavijo observes, after
stating that the possessions of Timour extended from the Iron Gates
situated near Derbent, to those in the land of Samarkand:—“E Darbante
es una muy gran ciudad que se cuenta su señorio con una grande tierra,
é las primeras destas puertas, que son mas cerca de nos, se llaman las
puertas del Fierro de cerca Darbante, é las otras postrimeras se llaman
las puertas del Fierro cerca Termit, que confinan con il terreno de la
India menor.” I prefer giving this extract in the original.—BRUUN.

(3.) “the lord Tämerlin is come.” The correct rendering of this passage
is “Amir Timour gheldy.”—The Amir Timour is come.—ED.

(4.) “and of the elephants many were killed.”—This incident is
corroborated by Clavijo (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 153), who places at
fifty the number of armed elephants opposed to Timour in the battle
near Delhi. The contest being renewed on the second day, “Timour took
many camels, and loaded them with dry grass, placing them in front of
the elephants. When the battle began, he caused the grass to be set on
fire, and when the elephants saw the burning straw upon the camels,
they fled. They say that the elephants are much afraid of fire because
they have small eyes.”—ED.


(1.) “Soltania.”—Or Soultanyà—Royal city—so named by Oljaïtou, son of
Arghoun Khan, the founder (1305), once the metropolis and largest city
in the kingdom. Chardin (_Langlès edition_, ii, 377) tells us that
there were not many cities in the world where vaster ruins were to be
seen; and in Kinnear’s time (_Geog. Mem. of the Persian Emp._, 123) the
place was reduced to a few wretched hovels. Colonel Yule (Marco Polo,
ii, 478) reproduces from Fergusson an illustration of the tomb built
for himself by Oljaïtu, or as his Moslem name ran, Mahomed Khodabandah,
at Soultaniah, “the finest work of architecture that the ‘Tartars of
the Levant’ have left behind them.” Kinnear describes it as being a
large and beautiful structure ninety feet in height, built of brick,
and covered with a cupola—an edifice that would do honour to the most
scientific architect in Europe.

This tomb of Oljaïtou was still magnificent, and especially noted for
its colossal gates of damasked steel, even so late as the seventeenth
century. “The city was reoccupied by some of the Persian kings in the
sixteenth century, till Shah Abbas transferred the seat of government
to Ispahan. John XXII set up an archbishopric at Sultaniah in 1318,
in favour of Francis of Perugia, a Dominican, and the series of
archbishops is traced down to 1425.” (_Cathay, and the Way Thither,
Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 49, note 3.)—ED.


(1.) “and they were all trampled upon.”—This atrocious conduct on the
part of Timour, is not the creation of Schiltberger’s brain, but it
cannot have reference to the capture of Ispahan in 1387, although it is
possible that the evolutions of Timour’s horsemen against children, was
repeated after the fall of Ephesus in 1403; this act of cruelty being
imputed to him by several Oriental authors. His return to Samarkand
from Ephesus, actually took place after an absence of at least seven,
if not twelve years (Rehm, _Gesch. d. Mittelalt._, iv, 3, 78); and he
went there immediately after taking Ispahan in 1387. Schiltberger’s
details on the revolt of that city under the farrier, Aly Koutchava,
and on the construction of the tower of human heads by order of Timour,
agree with similar accounts from other sources.—BRUUN.


(1.) “because it was very cold in that country.”—Timour was desirous of
adding China to the rest of his conquests, and had even embarked on an
expedition, placing himself at the head of a large army; but he fell
ill of fever upon reaching Otrar, and died February 19, 1405.—BRUUN.

(1A.) Other authorities state Timour’s death to have occurred the 17
Shabran, 807 (February 17, 1405).—ED.


(1.) “with whom I also remained.”—Pir Mohammed, son of Jehangir, the
eldest son of Timour, died in 1375. Shah Rokh was the youngest of
the two sons mentioned by Schiltberger. After the death, in 1410, of
Khoulyl son of Miran Shah, the successor of Pir Mohammed who died in
1407, Shah Rokh annexed Transoxana and Samarkand to his possessions,
and reigned until 1446. After saying that he had remained with this
sovereign at Herat, Schiltberger adds that it was under Miran Shah
he served; but he afterwards tells us that he only went over to the
latter after Shah Kokh had vanquished Kara Youssouf, ruler of the
Turkomans of the Black Sheep.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Scharabach.”—According to Bishop Aïvazoffsky, this plain of
“Scharabach” is to be identified with the plain of Karabagh, near the
town of Bajazid, in Asiatic Turkey. Neumann is of a different opinion,
and points to the district of Karabagh, which extends to the east of
Shirwan, as far as the junction of the Kour with the Araxes, anciently
called Arzah by the Armenians. Whether the battle of “Scharabach”
was fought in Georgia or in Turkey, there is every probability that
Schiltberger was made a prisoner upon the occasion, as was also his
“lord”. It would never otherwise have occurred to him to say, that he
was turned over to Aboubekr after the execution of Miran Shah.—BRUUN.

(2.) “so that Mirenschach also was put to death.”—Miran Shah actually
succumbed in his struggle with Youssouf or Joseph (Dorn, _Versuch.
einer Gesch. d. Schirwan-Sch._, VI, iv, 579). His eldest brother, Miszr
Khodja (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, v, 46) had defended the city of Van
against Timour in 1394, but contemporary authors do not say whether it
was he who put Jehangir to death in 1375. Miszr Khodja may have caused
the death of another son of Timour, whom Schiltberger has confounded
with Jehangir. Perhaps that of Omar Sheykh, upon the nature of whose
death authors are not agreed; Rehm (_Tab. gen. des Timurides_, v. iv)
stating that he died in 1427 only, and Hammer (_Hist. de l’E. O._, ii,
37) alluding to his sudden death, as having taken place at about the
time of the conquest of Van, by Timour, _circa_ 1394.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Achtum.”—The author says nothing of the neighbourhood of
Nahitchevan, for which Neumann gives him credit, nor of that of
Erzeroum, which Bishop Aïvazoffsky believes to be the site of the
battle of “Achtum”, upon which occasion the Ilkhan Ahmed was defeated
by Kara Youssouf. In the plain of “Achtum” we recognise the environs
of Aktam, where Timour halted when returning from his last expedition
against Toktamish (Dorn, _Versuch. einer Gesch. d. Schirwan-Sch._, 567;
Price, _Chron. Retros._, iii, 206, who says of Acataem or Actem, that
it is a station to the eastward of Moghaun). Neumann agrees with Hammer
that Ahmed ben Oweïs was beheaded in 1410, and this is also the opinion
of Weil (_Gesch. der Chal._, v, 141); but Dorn (_ibid._, 573) has it,
that his conflict with Kara Youssouf did not take place until the year
815 = 1412.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Abubachir had also a brother called Mansur.”—Besides this Mansour,
for whose name I have searched in vain in the various works I have been
able to consult, Aboubekr had another brother named Mirza Omar, upon
whom Timour bestowed the throne of Houlakou, and who fell out with his
elder brother, the said Aboubekr, and had him confined in a fortress
(Dorn, _Versuch. einer Gesch. d. Schirwan-Sch._, 570). Aboubekr
afterwards obtained his freedom, and succeeded in ridding himself of
“Mansur”, to punish him, in all probability, for making common cause
with Omar.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Samabram.”—Ibn Haukal describes Shabran as being, in his time, a
small place, but “pleasant, and well supplied with provisions”. This
town appears as Sabran, in Castaldo’s map, 1584, and De Wit’s atlas,
1688, and is called Schabran by Olearius (_Voyages_, etc., 1038). It
has now totally disappeared, its ruins being on the Shabran-tchaï, a
small river flowing into the lake Ak-Sibir on the Caspian shore.

Schiltberger states that the prince passed through “Strana”, “Gursey”,
“Lochinschan”, “Schurban”, “Samabram”, and “Temurtapit”; but as the
king’s son was sent for, to return forthwith to his own country, it is
more probable that he selected a short route, in which case he would
have travelled, if the names are here correctly interpreted, through
Astara, Shirwan, Shabran, Georgia, Lezghistan, and the Iron Gate,
undoubtedly Derbent, which divided Persia from Tatary.

“Strana” I take to be intended for Astara, for the following reasons.
It is stated in the last chapter, that Aboubekr took a country called
“Kray”; probably Kars, which had been occupied by Timour in 1393, after
laying siege to the fortress of Alindsha. Aboubekr than proceeded
to “Erban”, Erivan, where he seized upon his brother “Mansur”, and
strangled him. “Zegra”, being with Aboubekr, was therefore apparently
in Armenia, and must have travelled northwards by keeping close to the
Caspian, instead of traversing the heart of the Christian kingdom of

(2.) “Temurtapit.”—According to Sprengel (_Gesch. der wichtigsten Geog.
Entd._, etc., 362, 99), the Iron Gate through which the author passed
when on his way from Persia into Tatary, was not the Iron Gate at
Derbent, in the Caucasus, but the Caspian Gate in Khorasan. Malte Brun
(_Précis de la Géog. Univ._, i, 188) and Sreznevsky (_Hojdenye za try
mory’a_, etc., 241) are of similar opinion, while Neumann has no doubt
that the Gate of Derbent, called Demyr kapou, Iron Gate, by the Turks,
is the “ysen tor” of the text, which, had it been other than that at
Derbent, would hardly have been described as being near Georgia and

(3.) “a river called Edil.”—Neumann attempts, but in vain, to identify
the city of “Origens”, described as being in the middle of the river
“Edil”, with Astrahan, although it is clear that the author was not
ignorant of the real name of the latter place, Hadjy-tarkhan being
included among the cities he visited in Tatary (“Haitzicherchen”, see
Chapter 36). It is not even necessary to conclude that “Origens”,
like Astrahan, was bathed by the waters of the Volga, though the Turk
name of that river is actually Etel, or Edil, a designation that
may have been applied to some other river, because Schiltberger
states elsewhere (Chap. 36) that “Orden”, Ourjenj, the chief town of
“Horosaman”, Khwarezm, was situated near the “Edil”, and it cannot be
doubted that he there alludes to the Jyhoun, or Oxus, and not to the

The first large river the author got to after leaving Derbent, was
the Terek; we are, therefore, at liberty to suppose that “Origens”
was in the delta of that river. Güldenstadt (_Reisen durch Russl._,
i, 166) informs us that the vestiges of the ancient cities of Terki
and Kopaï-Kala—now known as Guen-kala, the Burnt Fortress, were close
to that locality, and that near the mouth of the river were other
ruins, which he took to be those of the cities of Tumen and Bortchala,
or “the town of the three walls”. It is certain that in these parts
must have been the residence of the Khozar kings, called Semender, or
Saraï-Banou—the lady’s palace—Hammer, (_Gesch. d. G. H._, 8) distant
a four days’ journey only from Derbent, but a seven days’ journey
from the Itil (Dorn, _Géog. Cauc._ in _Mém. de l’Ac. de St. P._, vi,
ser. vii, 527), which is equal to the twenty farsangs that separated
this city from the great river Varshan, or Orshan, alluded to in
the celebrated letter of the king of the Khozars to the minister of
Abdor-Rahmen III. (D’Ohsson, _Des Peup. du Cauc._, Par. 828, p. 208.)
In these same parts, also, should be placed the residence of the
Tchamkal, known to the natives by a name that it was found impossible
to pronounce. This name, so difficult of pronunciation, may have
been transformed by Schiltberger into “Origens”, seeing that Russian
annalists have construed it into Ornatch or Arnatch, evidently to be
identified with Tenex or Ornacia (Ornatia, Oruntia, Cornax, Tornax).
The monk Alberic (_Rel. de Jean du Plan de Carpin_, 114) tells us
that this city was taken by the Mongols in 1221, upon the occasion
of their irruption into the territory of the Comans and Russians, a
city apparently identical with Ornas, “civitas Ornarum”, inhabited by
Russians, Alans, and other Christians, but belonging to the Saracens.
It was completely destroyed by the hordes of Batou, before their
invasion of the country of the Russians and Turks (Turcorum, Taycorum,
and Tortorum), as we learn from Giovanni dal Piano di Carpine and his
travelling companion.

It is to be regretted that, whilst admitting the identity of this city
under its various denominations, authors are unable to agree as to
its site. Karamsin, D’Avezac, and Kunik are in support of Thunmann’s
theory, that it was Tana, the modern Azoff. Others, Leontief (Propilei,
iv), for instance, are in favour of Frachn’s (Ibn Foszlan, 162) opinion
that the Oruntia of Alberic, the Ornas of Giovanni dal Piano di
Carpine, and the Arnatch of the Russian chroniclers, were all identical
with the Ourjenj of Khorasan. I did at one time support these views,
but have since sought to prove (_Sitzungsberichte d. Kön. Bay. Akad._,
1869, ii, 276 _et seq._) that the city in question was equidistant
from Azoff and Ourjenj, or, in other words, that it coincided with
“Origens”, situated, as we read in the text, on the “Edil”, a great
river, viz., the Terek. It is pretty clear that “Origens”, and Ornatch
or Arnatch of the Russians, are corruptions of Anjadz or Anjak, which,
according to Khanikoff (_Mémoire sur Khâcâni_, vi, v) was a port in the
Caspian Sea near Astrahan, of which the people of the eastern provinces
near the Caspian might have availed themselves for the purpose of
penetrating into Southern Russia.

There can scarcely, however, be a doubt that the city of “Origens”
must be looked for near the Caucasus, seeing that Schiltberger quitted
it just before entering the mountains of “Setzulet”, manifestly the
“Zulat”, which we are told in Chapter 36 was the chief city of the
mountainous country of “Bestan”. We cannot fail to recognise in this
“Setzulet”, or “Zulat”, the city of Joulad, where Timour, in 1395,
gained a signal victory over Toktamish, after having annihilated
a body of Kaitaks near Terky or Tarkou. Little enough is left to
attest to the ancient splendour of Joulad, situated on the Terek, at
no great distance from Yekaterynograd; but Güldenstadt found in its
neighbourhood numerous remains, including Christian monuments, chiefly
at a place called Tatar Toup—Hill of Tatars. Klaproth (_Voy. au Caucase
et en Géorgie_, ii, 161) saw three minarets standing, that greatly
resembled others at Joulad; also the ruins of two churches, which he
attributes, as does Güldenstadt, to the 16th century, and to the Greek
faith, whilst admitting the assertion of the Circassians, that those
edifices were constructed by Franks, that is to say, by Europeans
from the West, who had taken up their residence among the Tatars. This
is confirmed by Barbaro (_Ramusio edition_, 109). “Caitacchi i quali
sono circa il monte Caspio ... parlano idioma separate da gli altri.
sono christiani molti di loro: dei quali parte fanno alla Greca, parte
all’Armena, et alcuni alla Catholica.” In the face of such evidence,
it is not strange that Schiltberger should have met, to the north of
the great range of the Caucasus, a Christian bishop and Carmelites
who worshipped in the Tatar tongue, although the Carmelites, an order
of friars originated at Mount Carmel, were not introduced into Europe
by St. Louis until the year 1328; and in alluding to the mountainous
country of “Bestan”, in which was the city of Joulad, the Bishtag—Five
mountains—where Ibn Batouta (_Lee edition_, 76) met the Khan Uzbek,
Schiltberger must have had in view the environs of Yekaterynograd,
still called Beshtamak, because the country is watered by five
tributaries to the Terek (Klaproth, i, 327).—BRUUN.

(4.) “Zegre.”—This “Zegre” or “Zeggra”, was in all probability Tchekre,
coins of whose reign, struck in 1414–1416, at casual encampments—at
Bolgar, Astrahan, and Saraï, are preserved (Savelieff, _Mon. Joud._,
ii, 337).—BRUUN.

(5.) “savages, that had been taken in the mountain.”—This couple may
have been brought from northern Siberia, where the rigorous nature
of the climate compelled the natives to wear, by night and by day,
as they do now, clothing made of the skins of animals. Schiltberger
somewhat assimilates them to monkeys, which reminds us of Herodotus,
who described the Neurians as being transformed into wolves, during six
months of the year, because they were in all probability clothed in
wolf-skins, so long as winter lasted.—BRUUN.

(6.) “Ugine.”—One is liable at first sight to identify the “Ugine” with
the Ung of Marco Polo (Yule, i, 276), whom he distinguishes from the
Mongols proper; “two races of people that existed in that province
(Tenduc) before the migration of the Tartars. _Ung_ was the title of
the people of the country, and _Mungul_ a name sometimes applied to the
Tartars.” Pauthier (Marco Polo, i, 218) explains, that by Ung are meant
the Keraits, or subjects of Prester John, so named because, like them,
he was a Nestorian. A descendant of this Prester John, named George,
mentioned by Marco Polo, was converted to Catholicism by Giovanni di
Montecorvino, who had numerous partisans in China during the stay
in that country of Giovanni de Marignolli (_Reis. in das Morgenl._,
41); Pauthier is therefore of opinion that, in Schiltberger’s time,
there were Christian Ung in Northern Asia, who, if not Catholics, were
perhaps Nestorians. There could scarcely, however, have been anything
in common between the Ung and the “Ugine”, for the author says that,
although they worshipped the infant Jesus, they were not Christians;
and this he makes more explicit in Chap. 45, where he includes them
among the five classes of infidels known to him, being those who
confessed the three kings before receiving baptism. None of the three
kings became the founder of any religion whatsoever. Neumann’s views
may, therefore, be accepted, viz., that Schiltberger alludes to
Buddhism, introduced among the Mongols by Jengiz from Thibet. I should
consequently prefer to associate the “Ugine”, not with the Keraits, but
with the great Turk tribe, the Ung-kut, in whom Colonel Yule (Marco
Polo, i, 285) recognises the real Ung of Marco Polo.—BRUUN.


(1.) “but he was killed in a battle.”—Tchadibek Khan was raised to the
throne by Ydegou or Edekou in 1399, upon the death of his brother,
Timour Koutlouh. The coins struck during his reign and Russian
chronicles show, that his rule lasted until 1407, in the early part
of which year Toktamish died near Tioumen, in Siberia, whither he had
retired after his defeat by Ydegou and Timour Koutlouh in 1399. Clavijo
says that he had effected a reconciliation with Timour, who desired
to oppose him to Ydegou, the latter having refused to acknowledge his
suzerainty. Upon his return from Siberia, Ydegou quarrelled with
Tchadibek, who did not lose his life, but fled to the Caucasus, never
again to return to the Horde—a statement which, though at variance
with Schiltberger’s narrative, is based on a coin of the reign of
Tchadibek, struck at Shemahà. Of this coin, Savelieff (_Mon. Joud._,
ii, 225) says, “It certifies that although Tchadibek’s influence in
the Horde was lost to him, he contrived to enjoy an appanage in the
Caucasus.” But this unique coin might have been struck when Tchadibek
was still at Saraï, for we learn from Dorn (_Versuch. einer Gesch. d.
Schirwan-Sch._, 572) that prayers were offered at Shirwan in the name
of Tchadibek, and in the presence of Ydegou so late as the year 1406,
and nothing can force us to admit that the same honours would have been
paid to the khan after his expulsion by that same amir, or that an
appanage would have been bestowed upon him in the Caucasus.—BRUUN.

(2.) “Polet, who reigned one year and a half.”—Schiltberger may have
slightly shortened the duration of the reign of this khan, who was
the son of Timour Koutlouh, and was placed on the throne by Ydegou,
as successor to Tchadibek. His coins, struck at Saraï, Bolgar, and
Astrahan, prove that he must have reigned in Kiptchak from 1407 to
1410, when he was expelled by Jalal uddin, the “Segelalladin” of the
text, who was the son of Toktamish.—BRUUN.

(3.) “Thebachk, who fought with him for the kingdom and killed him.”—It
is stated in Penzel’s Edition (1814) of Schiltberger, that Tamir,
the brother of Polet, reigned fourteen months and was then expelled
by Jalal uddin, who occupied the throne for a like period, fourteen
months, and was then deposed by his brother, “Thebachk”. Coins and
annals establish the fact of the existence of a brother of Poulad,
named Timour, who, having ruled in the Crimea in 1407, forcibly seized
upon the throne of the Golden Horde in 1411, and was dethroned the
following year by Jalal uddin, the Zelenii Soultann of the Russian
annalists (Savelieff, _Mon. Joud._, ii, 329), who would not be entitled
to reproach Schiltberger for the free and easy manner in which he
deals with the names of the suzerain lords. The brother and murderer
of Jalal uddin, named “Thebachk” in the text, was probably no other
than Kepak, some of whose coins, struck at Bolgar and Astrahan, are
preserved, but the year is unfortunately wanting. Chroniclers make no
mention of this prince, attributing the death of Jalal uddin to another
brother, Kerym byrdy, who, according to our author, must in his turn
have been expelled by “Thebachk”; yet Russian annalists have asserted
that Kerym byrdy was killed by another brother, whose name was Yerym
ferdyn or Yarym ferden. From the resemblance of the name Jebbar or
Tchebbar, by which he was known to Mussulman authors, to that of his
elder brother Kepek, Schiltberger may have mistaken the former for the
latter, calling him also “Thebachk”.—BRUUN.

(4.) “and he fought with Machmet and was killed.”—It is not determined
when and where Tchekre’s career terminated, because Eastern and other
authors are silent on the disastrous attempt made by this prince to
recover the throne from which he had been overthrown by Oulou Mohammed,
the great Mohammed, whose origin is uncertain. The author informs
us that the death of Tchekre occurred subsequently to the struggle
Mohammed had to sustain, first, in his conflict with “Waroch”, and
afterwards with “Doblabardi”. It is evident that in the latter name we
have Devlett byrdy, son of Timour Tash, and grandson of Oulou Mohammed,
whilst “Waroch” stands for Borrak, son of Ourous Khan, who fled to
Oulouk Bek, the son of Shah Rokh in 1424, the same year in which he
expelled Oulou Mohammed, that is to say about three years before
Schiltberger’s return to his own country. It is certain that all the
author relates, having reference to the Golden Horde, took place during
his captivity, so that the proof of Tchekre’s death having taken place
between the years 1424 and 1427 is unquestionable; and it is not in
the last, but in one of the two preceding years that Devlett byrdy’s
reign of three days should be determined, notwithstanding that coins
of this prince, struck in 1427, have been recovered, for there is
little enough likelihood of the opportunity having been afforded him
for issuing a fresh coinage during a three days’ reign, especially as
anarchy pervaded the Horde. There would have been nothing extraordinary
in his again dethroning his grandfather after the death of Tchekre, and
retaining the sovereignty for a longer period.

The author’s relation of his own lot, after Tchekre’s first defeat by
Oulou Mohammed, is by no means clear, for it is not easy to determine
whether he accompanied Tchekre on his flight, or followed the fortunes
of Ydegou, upon his being made a prisoner. As to the ultimate fate
of this king-maker, opinions are divided. Hammer (_Gesch. d. G. H._,
382) writes that in 1423 he was still the sovereign of an independent
state on the shores of the Black Sea, and must have perished either
in the war with Kadyr byrdy, son of Toktamish, or he may have been
drowned in the Jaxartes. According to another source (Berezin, _Yarlik
Toktamysha_, 61), he was killed by a Tatar of the Barin tribe, from
whom his head was stolen by a friend, who, having presented it to Oulou
Mohammed, received in recompense that prince’s daughter in marriage.

That Schiltberger and Ydegou both actually fell into the hands of Oulou
Mohammed, seems more probable, because the author speaks of the latter
as his master, “min herr Machmet”; but it is not easy to understand why
he should have stated in another place (chap. 67), that after Tchekre’s
escape he had for his master one of the old councillors of that prince,
a certain “Manstzusch”, whose name at least reminds us of one of the
chief princes of the Golden Horde (Hammer, _Gesch. d. G. H._, 391), the
Manshuk killed in 1440 by Koutchouk Mohammed, Mohammed the Less, the
vanquisher of Mohammed the Great.

When, at a later period, Tchekre again sought to dispute the throne
with Mohammed, he probably entered into negotiations with this
ex-councillor, who would have quitted the country for the express
purpose upon the fall of the Pretender. In any case “Manstzusch” left
Kiptchak a short time only before Schiltberger’s escape, because the
latter was never separated from his master until after his return
from Egypt, where he had assisted at the marriage of the daughter of
Sultan Boursbaï—a sovereign who ascended the throne in 1422 only.
If, as I have endeavoured to show, Schiltberger was at that time in
“Manstzusch’s” service, it is very possible that the latter took him
to Egypt, whither he may have been sent by Oulou Mohammed, perhaps to
congratulate Boursbaï upon his accession, or for some other


(1.) “Sadurmelickh.”—Sadra, in Arabic, is the feminine of Sadyr—first,
foremost. Melyka is queen, and here we have Sadra Melyka, the first
of queens; the queen who is prudent above all others. But Sadry is a
woman’s name in Persia, and amongst Tatars, and malachya signifies
literally, in Persian, an angel, so that the heroine in question may
have been one distinguished for her exceptional qualities—Sadry, the


(1.) “kocken.”—The koggen was a vessel with rounded bow and stern,
perhaps similar to the γαῦλος alluded to by Epicharmus and Herodotus.
The kind of vessel actually in question is mentioned in a statute of
Genoa, dated 15th February 1340, entitled _De securitatibus super
factis naviganti_. “Et de navibus, Cochis, galeis et aliis lignis
navigabilibusque vendentur in callegam accipiunt, tot asperos qui
valeant perperos tres auri ad sagium Constantinopolim....” Cogge,
the Anglo-Saxon word for cock-boat, is a name that occurs in _Morte

  “Then he covers his cogge, and caches one ankere.”

In the time of Richard II, a coggo was a vessel employed in the
transport of troops, and coggle is a name still given to small
fishing-boats on the coast of Yorkshire and in the rivers Muse and
Humber (Campe, _Wörterbuch_; Jal., _Gloss. Naut._; Smyth, _Sailor’s

(2.) “Bassaw.”—This is the Slave name for the city of Kronstadt in
Transylvania, the chief city in Burzelland. It is situated near the
river Burtzel or Burzel, a name given, according to some geographers
(Vosgien, _Dict. Géog._, i, 157), to the territory through which
it flows. This name may, however, owe its origin to Bortz, a Coman
chief, who is mentioned in a Brief of Pope Gregory IX., dated 1227,
addressed to the archbishop of Gran: “Nuper siquidem per litteras
tuas nobis transmissas accepimus quod I. Ch. d. ac d. n. super gentem
Cumanorum clementer respiciens, eis salvationis ostium aperuit his
diebus. Aliqui enim nobiles gentis illius cum omnibus suis per te ad
baptismi gratiam pervenerunt, et quidem princeps Bortz nomine de terra
illorum cum omnibus sibi subditis per ministerium tuum fidem desiderat
suspicere Christianam.” (Theiner, _Vet. Mon. Hist. Hung._, i, 86.)
This prince did certainly seek a refuge in Transylvania, as did many
of his countrymen, upon the irruption of the Mongols into Kiptchak. We
have it upon the authority of Mussulman writers, that among the eleven
Coman tribes settled in this country, were the Bourtch-oglon; evidently
subject to the princes Bourtchevitch mentioned in Russian annals
(Berezin, _Nashestvye Mongolov_, ix, 240).—BRUUN.


(1.) “Kallacercka.”—The author does not here allude either to Galata,
as Jirecek (_Gesch. d. Bulgaren_, 324) supposes, or to Callatis, as
believed by Fallmerayer, but rather to the castle of Kaliakra, the
ruins of which are still visible on the headland of that name. It is
the Τιριστρία ἄκρα of the ancients, marked Caliacra in the charts
of the 14th century, and known as Γαλιάγρα in the _Acta Patriarch.
Constant._, i, 52, 272. Evliya Effendi (_Travels_, etc., 70–72) having
been shipwrecked near the coast of Kilghra, when on his voyage from
Balaklava to Constantinople, in 1643, was hospitably entertained by
the dervishes of the monastery, near the castle which was then in
existence. In 1406, this territory belonged to Mirtcha (Jirecek, 346);
but ten years later he ceded his possessions south of the Danube to his
suzerain lord, the Sultan Mahomet I.—BRUUN.

(2.) “Salonikch.”—Schiltberger may have touched at Salonica when upon
his voyage to Egypt, referred to in chap, xxvi, note 4—performed, in
all probability, on board of an Italian vessel from Caffa, upon which
occasion he passed the island of Imbros, described in chap. 58. There
is no evidence whatever that he went to Salonica after his return from
Asia to Constantinople, nor is it at all probable that he stopped there
when being carried away into slavery after the battle of Nicopolis,
notwithstanding that the town belonged to the Turks and not to the
Greeks (Zinkeisen, _Gesch. d. O. R._, i, 287). Bajazet would scarcely
have selected so circuitous a route for sending captives to Broussa.

There are good reasons for surmising that the voyage was performed in
a Venetian vessel which touched at Salonica. This town, given up in
1403 by Souleiman, son of Bajazet, to the Greeks, was by them sold, in
1423, to the Venetians, who would undoubtedly have taken all necessary
measures for putting it into a state of defence and supplying it with
provisions, including salted fish from the Sea of Azoff. Another reason
for the supposition that Schiltberger’s journey into Egypt could not
have taken place earlier than 1423, is to be found in the fact that,
from Egypt he passed over into Arabia, on a pilgrimage to the holy
places of the Mahomedans, having, as it would seem, turned Mussulman
through compulsion; and if he has avoided all reference to the journey,
it was out of a natural desire not to be reminded of the painful
circumstance of his apostacy.—BRUUN.

(3.) “from whose grave oil flows.”—Hammer observes that Schiltberger
confirms the story told of St. Demetrius, and not of St. Theodora,
as erroneously related in Anagnosta’s _De Thessalonicensi excidio
narratio_, the fact being, that the tomb of St. Theodora was close
to that of St. Demetrius, from whose foot flowed the oil which was
collected annually, and distributed to all believers (_Pout. Rouss.
loud._, 47). Professor Grigorovitch tells us that the well is still
shewn beneath the floor of the church, but he was unable to certify
that the miracle continued to be operated!—BRUUN.

(4.) “Asia.”—Fallmerayer and Hammer maintain that Schiltberger was
mistaken in saying that the city in which was the tomb of St. John,
was called Asia, the correct name being Ephesus, known to the Turks
as Aisulugh, and as Ἅγιος Θεολόγος to the Byzantines, who
thus styled St. John. The author’s learned countrymen might, however,
have admitted in his justification the evidence of Codinus (_Urb. nom.
imm._, 316), to the effect that the ancient name of the eparchiate of
Ephesus was Ἀσία ἡ Ἔφεσος. Schiltberger may have learnt the
ancient name from the monks, who would have employed it in those

(4A.) The church at Ephesus, erected over the tomb of St. John the
Evangelist, was enlarged by Justinian, and afterwards turned into a
mosque (Ibn Batouta). Here, also, as at the grave of St. Demetrius at
Salonica, the mortal remains were invested with miraculous powders,
for a peculiar kind of dust, in substance like flour, and compared by
St. George of Tours to manna, worked its way out of the sepulchre, and
being taken about, effected many marvellous cures (Baillet, _Vie des
Saints_, viii, 624).—ED.

(5.) “Saint Nicholas was bishop there.”—St. Nicholas, the patron of
Russia, was bishop of Myra in Lycia, which the author confounds with
Ismir, the Turkish name for Smyrna. De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._, 4)
commits a similar error in quoting Lisemiere, together with Feule la
vielle for Fogliavecchia, and Porspic for porto di Spiga.

Smyrna, a possession of the knights of Rhodes, was taken by Timour
towards the close of the year 1402 (Hammer, _Hist. de l’E. O._, ii,
116), upon which occasion Schiltberger must have visited it, without,
however, having been afforded the opportunity of seeing the picturesque
valley where Fellows, in 1838 (_Travels and Researches in Asia Minor_,
etc.), discovered the imposing ruins of Myra, or Demir, so called by
the Turks. It is recorded that in 1087, the relics of St. Nicholas
were removed to Bari, and the church in which they were originally
laid having fallen to ruins, a small chapel was erected on the site.
The restoration of the sacred edifice, completed in 1874 at a cost of
10,000 roubles, was commenced on the initiative of M. Mouravieff.—BRUUN.

(6.) “Maganasa”.—Magnesia was styled “ad Sipylum”, to distinguish it
from Magnesia “ad Mæandrum”, the remains of which have been discovered
near a village called Aïneh-bazar, distant sixteen miles from Ephesus.
The former, the Manissa of the Turks, near the Hermus at the foot of
Mount Sipylus, has ever been a city noted for its extent, commerce, and

(7.) “Donguslu”.—Denizly, a densely populated town in the time of Hadjy
Khalpha, was no longer included in the district of Saroukhan, but was
added to that of Koutahieh. Near this place, pleasantly situated in
a rich and well-watered plain, are the ruins of Laodicea, one of the
Seven Churches to which St. John addressed his Revelations.—BRUUN.

(8.) “Wegureisari.”—This town, which occupies the site of the ancient
Gangra, is the principal in the district. In the days of Hadjy Khalpha,
it contained a fortress and an imperial residence, which must have been
in existence in Schiltberger’s time, and accounts for his addition of
the word saraï—palace—to Kiankary, and thus converting the name to

(9.) “In this country Saint Basil was bishop.”—It was generally
believed that the remains of St. Basil, interred at Cæsarea, were
never disturbed; the Abbey of St. Philibert at Tournes in Burgundy,
the cities of Bruges, St. Armand in Flanders, and Rome, each claim the
possession, but how they came by them is not satisfactorily explained
(Baillet, _Vie des Saints_, iv, 710).—ED.

(10.) “Kureson.”—Near this city, commonly called Kerasous, Keresoun,
situated between Samsoun and Trebizond, are still to be seen the ruins
of ancient Κερασοῦς or Parthenium. There was at one time, on the coast
near Trebizond, another even more ancient Kerasous, that of Xenophon,
of which a lovely valley still retains the name, being known as
Kerasoun-derè; but of the city itself, there are no traces.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Then he left her.”—Virgin’s towers are by no means uncommon
in the East. Rich (_Residence in Kourdistan_, i, 172) mentions a
Kiz-Kalesi—girl’s castle—as being on a hill above the Kizzeljee in
Kourdistan. Hear a place called Ak-boulak, about twenty-five miles
to north-east of Shousha in Transcaucasia, are the ruins of Kiz
Kaleh—Virgin’s castle—situated on a hill in a perfectly impregnable
position. Another Virgin’s castle in that part of Asia, is at Bakou; an
inscription on its walls, in Cufic characters, deciphered by Khanikoff
(_Ysvest. Geog. Obshtchest._, ix), records its construction by Masoudi,
the son of Daud, one of the “Samiardi fratres” mentioned in the history
of Otto, bishop of Freising. Again, there is a tower, erected on the
highest pinnacle of the rocky mount upon which stand the fortifications
of Soldaya, now Soudagh, in the Crimea, called Kiz-Koula by the Tatars
(_The Crimea and Transc._, ii, 158). The ruins of another fortress,
Kaleh Dokhter, are described by Abbott (_Southern Cities of Persia_,
MS.) as crowning the height above the city of Kirman; and visitors
to Constantinople are familiar with the construction on the rock off
Scutari, unaccountably called by Europeans the Tower of Leander, but
known, more legitimately, as the Maiden’s Tower, ever since it became
the burial-place of Damalis, wife of the Athenian general Chares, who
was sent to the assistance of the Byzantines against Philip of Macedon.

The author says, that on quitting the neighbourhood of the mysterious
castle, he proceeded to Kerasoun; it is, therefore, just possible that
the legend of the sparrow-hawk was attached to an ancient Kiz-Kalesi
seen by Ainsworth (_Travels in Asia Minor_, etc., i, 87) near Tash
Kupri, close to the road that leads from Kastamuni to Boiabad, both to
the south-west of Sinope. I am unable to discover why the name was so
frequently given in the East, to such peculiarly situated strongholds,
and would suggest that it was owing to their unassailable position.—ED.


(1.) “Lasia.”—The territory of the Lazi was part of Colchis, and lay
between the Phasis and Armenia. The mountainous country belonged at
that time to the empire of Trebizond.—BRUUN.

(2.) “Kayburt.”—Neumann is persuaded that Schiltberger alludes to
Baïbourt (or Païpourt), a very ancient fortress to the north-west
of Erzeroum, that was restored by Justinian I. Procopius (_De Bell.
Pers._, iii, 253) calls it Baerberdon. Bishop Aïvazoffsky is of
opinion that “Kayburt” stands for Kaïpourt, called Kharpert by the
natives, situated in a far more fertile country than is Baïbourt. In
Marco Polo’s time, Paipurth was a castle on the road from Trebizond
to Tabrecz; and we learn from Barbaro that the fortress of Carpurth,
distant a five days’ journey from Erzingan, was the residence of
Despina Caton, a princess of Trebizond, the consort of Hassan

(2A.) “Kayburt”, in a fertile country, is doubtlessly Kharput,
distant seventy miles, in a direct line, from Erzingan. The Special
Correspondent of _The Times_ (January 20th, 1879), has lately described
this place as being situated on the edge of a cliff at the top of a
mountain in a very picturesque situation; but very difficult to get
at, for it takes an hour to ride from the level of the plain to the
town. The plain of Kharput is twenty miles long and twelve miles wide,
presenting 153,600 acres of splendid land, well irrigated, and in a
high state of cultivation.—ED.

(3.) “Kamach.”—Kemakh is on the site of the ancient city of Ani,
thirty miles from Erzingan and close to the Euphrates, and not to be
confounded with the Ani referred to in Chapter xiii, note 2. Near
Kemakh was the temple of Jupiter, constructed by Tigranes, and the city
afterwards became the principal seat of the worship of Hormuzd; it was
also a state prison, and the burial-place of the Arsacidæ (Ritter, _Die
Erdkunde_ etc., x, 782–789). Constantine Porphyrogenitus called this
stronghold of the Byzantines, Κάμαχα. Kemakh was celebrated among
the Turks for its fine linen, as Erzingan was noted for its good
breed of sheep, and Baïbourt for the beauty of its women. “Kamahoum
besy—Erdshenshan kousy—Baibourdin kysy.”—BRUUN.

(4.) “nobody knows where it goes.”—This observation on the peculiarities
of the Upper Euphrates, is confirmed by other authors (Procopius, _De
Bell. Pers._, i, 17; and Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., x, 736). On
emerging from a narrow valley, the river completely disappears amongst
reeds, which, though annually taken and burnt, again grow very fast,
and so thickly, that carts might be driven over them to cross the

(4A.) The recent survey of the Euphrates shows that the river really
disappears in the Lamloun marshes, its width diminishing to 120 yards
towards the town of Lamloun. It again widens at Karayem, where the
Serayah branch on the western side, and the Nahr Lamloun branch on the
eastern side, reunite with the main stream. Colonel Chesney makes no
allusion whatever to an overgrowth of reeds, and adds (_Exped. to the
Euphr. and Tigris_, i, 58, 59): “Being thus reunited to its former
waters, and at the same time free from those marshes in which it had
been supposed to be lost, the Euphrates suddenly reappears on its
former scale, enclosed between high banks covered with jungle.”—ED.

(5.) “Karasser; it is fertile in vineyards.”—Several travellers and
authors, such as Aboulfeda, Tavernier, Otter, Golius, Ritter, etc.,
have represented, that the best wines of the country were to be
obtained at Amadia, fifteen miles from Kohrasar—“Karasser”—which Hammer
(_Denkschr. d. Kön. Akad. d. Wissensch._, ix) fancifully transfers to
Kara-hissar in Armenia. Kohrasar is quite uninhabited and deserted,
but the ruins of what were at one time magnificent churches and other
edifices, excited the admiration of Tavernier (_Six Voy. en Turquie_,
etc., en 1642) and Ainsworth (_Trav. in Asia Minor_, etc., 1842). They
indicate the site of the ancient city of Constantine. It is to be
deplored that those travellers could not afford the time to explore the

(6.) “the people are warlike”.—The warlike inhabitants of Black Turkey
were the Turkomans of the White Sheep, who, under Kara Yelek, their
chief, seized upon Amid (Amed, Hamith, Karamid), the capital of
Dyarbekr, in Mesopotamia, after the death of Timour; it is now known
by the same name as the province, but was called Kara Amid—Amid the
black—from the colour of its walls. Many traces of its grandeur are
left. The academician, Baïer (_De numo Amid._, 545), shows that it was
constructed by Severus Alexander, and fortified by Justinian.—BRUUN.

(7.) “Bestan.”—This name is probably intended for Bistan, near the
eastern frontier of the pashalik of Soulimanieh. It is now a village of
no importance, but near it are the ruins of an ancient castle, also the
tumuli known as the Roustan tepe and Shah tepe, in which many objects
of antiquity have been found. Judging by its style of architecture,
the castle, constructed of bricks, is believed to be of the Sassanian
period; but it may have been occupied at a later date, even to the time
of Schiltberger, when it was, perhaps, the capital of Kourdistan. The
pasha’s residence at Soulimanieh is a modern edifice, having been built
towards the end of the 18th century (Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., xi,

(8.) “Zuchtun.”—The noxious nature of the climate on the eastern
sea-board of the Black Sea, has been fully proved by Russian garrisons
to their cost, and especially at “Zuchtun” or Soukhoum Kaleh. Near this
place stood the ancient Dioscurias, subsequently called Sevastopolis,
after an old Roman fortress in the neighbourhood. It was of great
strategic importance to the Empire in the reign of Justinian (_Novell.
constit._, 28; and Procopius, _De Bell. Goth._, iv, 4), and became
a prosperous commercial port after the Black Sea was opened to the
Italians. The Genoese established a consulate at Savastopoli, which was
maintained until the year 1449 (_Zap. Odess. Obstschest._, v,

(8A.) “Zuchtun”, intended, as shown above, for Soukhoum, and named
Soukhoum Kaleh in the year 1578, when Amurat III., as suzerain of
Abhase, Mingrelia, Imeritia, and Gouria, arrogated to himself the
right to fortify and occupy it as one of two points on the coast (Poti
being the other), is the chief town of Abhase, and distant about sixty
miles to the north of Poti. The yearly mortality, according to late
official returns (1874), was reported as being at the rate of 3 per

The small, square, flat cap seen by Schiltberger, is now in great
measure substituted in Abhase by the g’h’tapt or bashlyk, a pointed
head-covering of great antiquity, adopted in winter by the troops in
Russia, and in fashion among the ladies in that country; but it is
still extensively worn by the Imeritians and Mingrelians, who call
it papanaky, and consider it sufficient covering for their heads of
bushy hair, of which they are very proud, and which they periodically
shave to improve the growth. The flat cap, or papanaky, is a small
lozenge-shaped piece of leather, cloth, or silk, laid over the fore
part of the head, and fastened with strings under the chin. When worn
by nobles, the papanaky of velvet is made very ornamental, with gold
and silver embroidery. Their Mussulman conquerors used to call the
Imeritians, bashashyk—bare-heads (_The Crimea and Transc._, i, 120; ii,
35, 135).—ED.

(9.) “Kathon.”—There can be little doubt that Batoum is here intended,
a place which appears as Vati or Lovati, in the charts of the 14th

(9A.) In the present chapter, the capital of Mingrelia is called
“Kathon”; in chapter 67, it is named “Bothan”. Neumann suggests that
for “Kathon” we should read Gori; Professor Bruun is of opinion
that Batoum is intended, and Hammer (_Denkschr. d. Kön. Akad. d.
Wissensch._, ix) thinks that “Kathon” should be Kargwel or Karduel, and
“Bothan”, Cotaïs; but it may fairly be inferred from Schiltberger’s
account, that this “Kathon” or “Bothan”, as it also appears in the
editions of 1475 (?), 1549, and 1814, stands for Poti. In both chapters,
the author speaks of the chief town of “Megral”, “Magrill”—Mingrelia—as
being situated on the Black Sea, and says that on leaving it, he rode
along the sea-shore until he reached a mountainous country. Poti, the
ancient Phasis, a place of importance from the most remote times,
lays in an unexceptionably flat country, from which it would have been
necessary for Schiltberger, who was effecting his escape and must
therefore have been travelling south, to ride fully ten miles by the
sea-side, before he could have reached a highland. Gori and Koutaïs,
being inland towns, are quite out of the question, and had the author
got to Batoum, he would already have been in a mountainous country, and
need not have described his ride before attaining it. I cannot find any
record that Batoum, situated in Lazistan, formerly included in Colchis,
ever formed part of the principality of Mingrelia.—ED.

(10.) “Merdin”.—With the exception of the citadel, which remained in
the hands of a prince of the Ortok dynasty, this place, formerly a
chief town of Mesopotamia, had to submit, with many others, to the
yoke of Timour. Upon the death of the conqueror, his heir, afterwards
assassinated by Kara Yelek, called to his assistance Kara Youssouf,
chief of the Turkomans of the Black Sheep, and gave to him Mardin, in
exchange for Mosoul, where he was poisoned. His son transferred the
royal residence to Sindjar, and died of the plague in the year 814 of
the Hegira. These were the last members of the Ortok dynasty, which
reigned three hundred years.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Thaures.”—Tabreez, founded by Zobeide the wife of
Haroun-al-Rashid, was long distinguished for the extent of its
commercial relations, in which the Genoese and Venetians took part.
Although frequently pillaged at the hands of enemies, notably by
Janibek in 1357, and by Toktamish in 1387, Tabreez soon recovered
from its misfortunes. This capital even became the principal depôt
for merchandise from India and China, after the destruction of the
cities of Ourjenj and Astrahan by Timour, who established a commodious
route between Tabreez and Samarkand by way of Kashin and Soultanyà.
Schiltberger’s statement as to the custom’s revenue at Tabreez,
will not seem exaggerated in presence of the fact, that in 1460 it
amounted to 60,000 ducats. Ramusio observes that Tabreez, the great
depôt, rivalled Paris in its magnificence, and in the number of its

(1A.) Writing in 1868, Abbott (_Persian Azerbaijan_, MS.) says that
Tabreez was the principal seat of commerce in all Persia, and the mart
from which nearly all the northern and midland countries were supplied
with the produce and manufactures of Europe, conveyed to it chiefly by
land transport from the Black Sea; the yearly value was estimated at
£1,750,000, the value of goods imported from England being probably
three-fourths of that sum. The city contained about 3100 shops of all
descriptions; thirty karavansaraïs, occupied by merchants and traders;
and about forty others devoted to the accommodation of muleteers and
their cattle. Abbott adds, that the commerce of Tabreez had made great
advances since 1830, having increased eight-fold in 1860.—ED.

(2.) “Rei.”—After passing Teheran, upon the occasion of his journey
from Soultanyà to Samarkand, Clavijo perceived, at a distance of two
leagues, a great city in ruins ... “but there appeared towers and
mosques, and the name of the place was Xahariprey”—Shehri-Rei, the
city of Rei, “at one time the largest city in all the land”, says
Khanikoff, “though it is now uninhabited”. But Rey did not remain long
thus unpeopled, because the Russian merchant Nikitin (who visited India
thirty years before Vasco de Gama), though leaving Teheran unnoticed,
as does Schiltberger, speaks of his stay at Rey, where he witnessed the
celebration of the famous Persian festival, instituted in commemoration
of the death of Hussein, the son of Ali and grandson of the prophet.
(_Poln. Sobr._, etc., vi, 332.)—BRUUN.

(2A.) To the above might be added the evidence of Ibn Haukal, that there
was not in the eastern regions any city more flourishing. Rey was
celebrated for its gates, for its many remarkable quarters and streets,
its numerous bazaars, karavansaraïs, and market-places. The fine
linen, camelot, and cotton manufactured at Rey, was sent to all parts
of the world. Late travellers have found its site marked by hollows
and mounds; mouldering towers, tombs, and wells, constructed of burnt
and sun-dried materials (Ker Porter, _Travels in Georgia, Persia_,
etc., 1822; Mounsey, _Journey through the Caucasus_, etc., 1872).
In the 3rd century of Mahomedanism, Rey was specially noted for its
wealth, and was styled, The First of Cities—The Spouse of the World—The
Market of the Universe. (Chardin, _Langlès edition_, ii, 411.)—ED.

(3.) “Raphak.”—If Schiltberger’s companions, when on his journey to Rey
or Rhe, were Sunnites, they probably looked upon the people of that
city as apostates from the faith; for “Raphak”, therefore, we should
read Raphadzhy—abjurer—a term applied to renegades. These disciples
admit themselves to be Shey—partisans—whence the term Shyites, and in
the present instance they were evidently called by the opprobrious name
of Raphadzy, as being apostates, by those of a different sect. Ibn
Batouta met at Kotaïf (Katiff of Benjamin of Tudela), on the Persian
Gulf, some Arabs of the Rafiza sect, who were most enthusiastic,
publishing their sentiments everywhere, and fearing no one.

There are Shyite Tatars in Transcaucasia, chiefly in the valley of the
Araxes, also in the richly cultivated province of Ouroumyeh, the seat
of the Christian Nestorians, where they people eight villages. These
Shyites call themselves Ali Allahy—Worshippers of Ali—and are not
averse to drinking wine.—ED.

(4.) “Nachson.”—Clavijo (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 80) sojourned for a time
in a city which he calls Calmarin, and attributes its foundation to a
son of Noah. This place was probably Sourmalou on the Araxes, taken
by Timour in 1385. Tutan, the Turkoman who resided here, might have
been the “Tetani, Emperor of Tartary”, who, according to Clavijo,
had conquered the place, though only a viceroy. There was a Titanus,
Vicarius Canlucorum, of the Genoese, in 1449; the Tautaun, Taudoun,
of the Avares and Khozars. Two days before reaching Calmarin, Clavijo
passed the night in a town called Naujua, where there were many
Armenians, which must have been the “Nachson” of Schiltberger, now
known as Nahitchevan.—BRUUN.

(5.) “Maragara.”—There are numerous remains of ancient fortifications on
the heights around Meragha. In a westerly direction, at a distance of
thirteen miles to the south-west of Tabreez, are the foundations of a
round tower, believed to have been the celebrated observatory of Khodja
Nazr uddin—defensor fidei—the friend of Houlakon, who transferred his
residence to Meragha after the capture of Baghdad in 1258. To this day
is shown his tomb,[1] and that of his wife Dogous or Dokouz Khatoun,
the protectress of Christians, but especially of Nestorians, in whose
doctrines she had great faith (Hammer, _Gesch. der Ilchane_, etc.,
i, 82). Shortly after her death, the patriarch, Iabellasa, agreed to
recognise the supremacy of the Pope, the act having been presented
to Benedict II. by a Dominican friar named Jacob. Mosheim (_Hist.
Tartarorum Eccles._, 92) pronounces against the authenticity of this
document, an opinion shared by Heyd (_Die Colon. der Römisch. Kirche_,
etc., 322), on the grounds that it was signed at Meragha. It may,
however, be contended that the patriarch might have resided for a time
at Meragha, after the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols, considering
that his successors had no fixed residence to 1559, in which year
the patriarch Elias definitively established the seat at Mosoul; and
that a tradition is preserved amongst the Nestorians or Chaldæans
of Kourdistan, to the effect that their ancestors, who had resisted
Timour, were domiciled between the lakes Van and Ouroumyeh.

In the early part of the 14th century, another brother preacher,
Jordanus Catalani, recorded in his _Mirabilia_ (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._,
9), that those schismatics had adopted the Catholic faith in several
cities of Persia, to wit, at Tabreez, Soultanyà, and at “Ur of the
Chaldees, where Abraham was born, which is a very opulent city, distant
about two days from Tabriz”. Heyd says that this Ur cannot be Orfa,
a town in central Mesopotamia, which has been identified with the
Ur-Khasdim of the Arabians (Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., x, 333); but
is more probably the ancient city of Maranda, not far from the lake
Ouroumyeh and fifty miles only from Tabreez. But Meragha was, in like
manner, at no great distance from the said lake, and only twenty-four
miles, or, according to Hadjy Khalpha, seven farsangs from Tabreez; we
are, therefore, justified in concluding, that it was this place the
friar designated as Ur of the Chaldees, especially as it was a large
city and a bishop’s see in 1320 (Galanus, _Concil. Eccl. Arm. cum
Rom._, i, 508; quoted by Heyd, 324). The same cannot be said of Maranda.

Bartholomew of Bologna has given evidence of his zeal, in the fact that
many of the Armenian clergy went over to the Church of Rome, and with
the view of cementing this union, a new Order, “Fratres prædicatores
Uniti”, was founded and affiliated to the Dominicans, whose head-centre
was at Meragha. But the theory propounded by Bishop Aïvazoffsky is
worthy of consideration, viz., that Ur is no other than Urmi or Ormi, a
town of some size, hitherto largely inhabited by Nestorian Chaldæans,
and that has given its name to the lake Ourmiah, Ormi, or Ouroumyeh.
It is believed to be the birth-place of Zoroaster, who might have been
mistaken for Abraham as easily as he has been for Moses.—BRUUN.

  [1] Abbott says (_Persian Azerbaijan_, MS.) that the tomb
  of Houlakou, or its reputed site, is pointed out near the
  town of Meragha.—ED.

(6.) “Gelat.”—Khelat was taken in 1229 by the sultan, Jalaluddin, after
a three days’ siege. Aboulfeda quotes Abou Said, who says that it
rivalled Damascus. Bakui (_Not. et Extr._, ii, 513) extols Khelat for
its good water, fruit, and the fish taken from the lake, especially the
tamrin, possibly the dorakine found in the Kour, as related by Ystachry
(_Mordtmann edition_, 1845). The numerous ruins in the neighbourhood
are of the time when Akhlat was the residence of the Shahy Armen—kings
of Armenia; they include those of a superb palace, of gorgeous tombs,
artificial grottoes, and of a fortress on the shore of Lake Van. Khelat
is now a miserable hamlet occupied by Kurds.—BRUUN.

(6A.) Khelat, Ghelath, Ashlath, was long the residence of a suffragan
bishop of the Armenian Church.—ED.

(7.) “Kirna.”—On the Gharny-tchaï, a tributary of the Zenga, east of
Erivan, is Gharny or Bash Gharny, now an insignificant village, but
at one time a place of considerable importance. According to the
old Armenian chroniclers, Kharny was founded 2000 B.C. by a prince
Keghamè, who named it after himself; but the name was afterwards
changed by Kharnig, the grandson of Keghamè, to Kharny. It was here
that Tiridates, 286–314, constructed for his favourite sister a superb
residence, to which Moses Chorensis (_Whiston edition_, 1736), the
Armenian chronicler of the 5th century, thus refers: “Per id tempus
Tiridates castelli Garnii ædificationem absolvit, quod quadratis et
cæsis lapidibus, ferro et plumbo coagmentatis construxit, atque ibi
umbraculum statuit et monumentum mirifica arte cælatum, pro sorore
sua Chosroiduchta, in eoque memoriam sui græcis literis inscripsit.”
This remarkable edifice is alluded to by Kiracos of Gantzac, also an
Armenian chronicler, of the 13th century, as “the marvellous throne
of Tiridates”, in front of the cemetery of Kharny (_Hist. d’Arménie_
trans. by M. Brosset, St. Petersburg, 1870). It is now a heap of ruins,
known to the natives as Takht Dertad—Throne of Tiridates.

At a short distance above Gharny, also on the Gharny-tchaï in the
Goktcha valley, is the venerable monastery of Aïrits vank, Ghergarr or
Keghart, noted for its memorial inscriptions of the 12th, 13th, and
14th centuries (_The Crimea and Transc._, i, 211, 221).—ED.

(8.) “the priests are of the Order of Preachers, and sing in the
Armenian tongue.”—What Schiltberger says with regard to “Meya”—Magou—is
confirmed by Clavijo (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 83). “On Sunday, the first
of June, at the hour of vespers, they came to a castle called Maca,
belonging to a Catholic Christian called Noradin, and the people who
lived in it were Catholic Christians, though they were by birth and
language Armenians, and they also knew the Tartar and Persian tongues.
In this place there was a monastery of Dominican friars. The castle was
in a valley, at the foot of a very high rock, and there was a village
on a hill above, and on the top of the hill there was a wall of stone
and mortar, with towers, and against the wall there were houses. There
was also another wall with towers, and the entrance to it was by a
great tower, built to guard it, along steps cut in the rocks. Near the
second wall there were houses cut in the rock, and in the centre were
some towers and houses, where the lord lived, and here all the people
in the village kept their provisions. The rock was very high, and rose
above the walls and houses; and from the rocks an overhanging part
stretched out, which covers the castle, walls, and houses, like the
heaven that is above them.”—BRUUN.

(8A.) Tradition asserts that Makou, Makouyeh, in the Armenian province
of Artazo-Tasht, to the east of Ararat and south of the Araxes, is
built over the place where St. Thaddeus suffered martyrdom. The
fortress is situated in a gorge above the village (J. Saint Martin,
_Mém. sur l’Arménie_, i, 135).—ED.

(9.) “Ress.”—Resht, the chief town of Ghilan, a place of great
commercial importance in Schiltberger’s time, is distant six miles from
the Caspian Sea. The Genoese and Venetians secured the rich produce of
this province, especially the silken stuffs made there or imported from
Yezd and Kashan. Marco Polo (Yule, i, 54) speaks of silk called Ghellè,
after the name of the country on the Sea of Ghel or Ghelan—the

(10.) “Strawba.”—Schiltberger changes Astrabad to “Strawba”, just as
his Italian contemporaries have called the place Strava, Strevi, and
Istarba. Its commerce was not considerable, but Astrabad was of some
importance as being the depôt for merchandise in transit across the
Caspian, from India and Bokhara.—BRUUN.

(11.) “Antioch.”—Several cities of Asia were in ancient times called
Antiochia. Stephen of Byzantium knew of eight, two of which, Edessa
and Nisibis, were in Migdonia; and as each, in its turn, had become
the foremost bulwark of Christianity, their possession was frequently
disputed by the Infidels. Allusion is made in the text to Nisibis, with
its ramparts of brick, rather than to Edessa, which was encircled by
whitewashed walls.—BRUUN.

(12.) “Aluitza.”—If the author here alludes to the same fortress
(Alindsha?) as is mentioned in chapter 16, of which there can scarcely
be a doubt, that is to say, the fortress in which Ahmed ben Oweis kept
his treasure; then the story of its siege by Timour for the space of
sixteen years, was a gross exaggeration on the part of his informants,
because we know from contemporary authors that the siege of Alindsha
lasted eight years only.—BRUUN.

(13.) “There is a city called Scheckhy; it is in a fertile country near
the White Sea.”—It will be generally admitted that this White Sea is
no other than the Caspian. Hammer (note, p. 45) says it was so called
to distinguish it from the Black Sea; but Wahl (_Allg. Beschr. d.
persischen Reichs_, ii, 679) attributes the distinctive name to the
petrified shells, white and gray sand, with which the bed of the sea is
overspread. It is pretty certain that White Sea is not a name invented
by the author, but that he supplies us with the literal translation
of the Georgian words—Tetrysea and Sywa, which have a similar
signification, and are even now employed to designate the Caspian Sea.
Hammer is mistaken in saying that Schiltberger called the eastern shore
of the Caspian by the name of Scherky, as the word appears in Penzel,
and which is simply a corruption of “Scheckhy”, now known as Sheky,
on the left bank of the river Kour, between Georgia, the districts of
Gandja, Shirwan and Daghestan. It is said that this part of the country
was occupied as early as the 10th century by the Shekis or Shekines, a
Christian people given to commerce and industrial pursuits (D’Ohsson,
_Des Peup. du Cauc._ 18, and note xiv).—BRUUN.

(14.) “the kingdom Horoson, and its capital is called Hore.”—As stated
by Neumann, these places are intended for Khorasan and Herat. According
to Masoudi (Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., x. 65), there existed at the
time of the conquest of Hira near the Euphrates, _circa_ A.D. 637,
the negotiator Abd-el-Mesy, a man greatly revered by the Arabs in
consequence of his wisdom and great age. He had attained his 350th
year, and enjoyed the distinction of being considered, if not a saint,
at least a servant of God, that is to say, an Ibadite or Jacobite

Ibn Haukal states that the city of Hira, which was still in existence
in the time of Edrisi (_Recueil des Voy. et des Mém._, iii, 366),
was distant one farsang from Koufa, which with Basra was called
Basraten—dualis of Basra—or the two Basras, the metropolis of the
Nestorians at Basra being known as Euphrates Pherat Mesene or Perat
Meissan, a name it had borne since A.D. 310. We are informed by
Eastern writers, that at Konfa was the tomb of the saint, Adam
(Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., x, 179–184), a name that reminds us of
“Phiradamschyech”, whose age coincided with that of Abd-el-Mesy.

Schiltberger may perhaps have applied to Herat, which he visited, the
legend of Hira, a Shyite place of pilgrimage.—BRUUN.

(15.) “Phiradamschyech.”—This is one of the few names in Schiltberger’s
narrative that appears somewhat difficult to determine. Pir, in
Persian, signifies an old, a venerable man; also, a chief. Sheykh has
a similar meaning in Arabic. Adam is the Persian, Turkish, and Arabic
for man; so that “Phiradamschyech” consists of three substantives, and
being interpreted, reads thus: A chief—a man—a chief.

A very similar story is related by Ibn Batouta, Schiltberger’s
predecessor by about fifty years. After passing the Hindu Kush, he got
to a mountain called Bashai where he saw in a cell an old man named Ata
Evlia—Father of the Saints—said to be 350 years old, but who appeared
to be about fifty. Every hundred years he had a new growth of teeth and
hair. There is no doubt whatever of Ibn Batouta’s own incredulity as
to the reputed history of this man, to whom he put several questions,
which, being unsatisfactorily answered, caused him to apprehend that
there was no truth in the wonderful statements made about him.—ED.

(16.) “Schiras.”—“Kerman.”—Sheeraz, the birth place of Saadi and Hafiz,
two of the most celebrated and popular poets of Persia, was so called,
says a rare Persian manuscript, after a word in the old Persick
language signifying—Lion’s paunch—because all the wealth of every town
in the same region was transported thither not to return elsewhere
(Ouseley, _Travels_, etc., ii, 23). Edrisi’s definition (_Jaubert
edition_, 392) is somewhat clearer, for he says that the name was given
because the place consumed without producing anything. This city is
said to have been founded in the earliest years of Islam; the walls,
which measured 12,500 paces in circumference, being constructed in the
10th century. Kazvini (quoted by Ouseley) observed nine gates, and in
1811 Ouseley saw six only. Ibn Haukal (_Ouseley edition_, 101) wrote of
Sheeraz as being a modern city.

In 1627, Sir Thomas Herbert (_Travels into Divers Parts_, etc., 127)
found some of the old walls of “the pleasantest of Asiatick cities”
still standing, but in Chardin’s time (_Langlès edition_, viii, 414)
they had disappeared. The present fortifications, erected by Kerim
Khan in the middle of the 18th century, were ruined by Aga Mohammed
Shah after the struggle between the Zund and Kujjar families. They are
of the extent of about three and a half miles, and were originally of
such massive construction, that it was said three horsemen might have
ridden abreast on them. The population in 1850 was estimated at 35,000
to 40,000; but the general want of employment begat amongst the people
that disposition for mischief, brawls and insurrections, for which the
place was remarkable beyond any other town in Persia (Abbott, _Southern
Cities of Persia_, MS.).

Kirman, also visited by Abbott, is encircled by walls of two and a half
miles to three miles in circumference, and had a population (1850)
not exceeding 25,000. The appearance of this town and the scenery
around, are extremely unpromising and dreary, from the scarcity of
trees, the little cultivation, and the few villages about. A vastly
different condition to the “good country” noted by Schiltberger, and
the statement of Marco Polo (Yule, i, 92), that on quitting the city of
Kerman “you ride on for seven days, always finding towns, villages, and
handsome dwelling-houses, so that it is very pleasant travelling”.

Abbott says further, that Kirman was not of much commercial importance,
being so far removed from the direct lines of communication between
other chief places, and being adjacent to vast and unproductive regions.

It is by no means clear that Schiltberger was ever at Kirman; but if
his account of that town and of the islands in the Persian Gulf is
given from personal observation, which is very doubtful, it is possible
that he followed the same route as traced by Colonel Yule in Marco
Polo’s _Itineraries_, No. ii.—ED.

(17.) “Keschon”, “Hognus”, “Kaff”.—Kishm, Hormuz, and Kais, are three
islands in the Persian Gulf, which, however, Schiltberger does not
particularise as such. Kishm, the largest of the three, is called by
the Persians, Draz Jazyra—Long Island—the more familiar name being
Harkh. An excellent harbour is formed on the south side by the island
of Angar. Kishm was occupied in 1622 by an English force, which
destroyed a fort the Portuguese had erected the previous year, one of
the few Englishmen killed upon the occasion being William Baffin who in
1616 sailed round Baffin’s Bay.

Colonel Yule (Marco Polo, i, 113) has clearly established the site of
ancient Hormuz on the main land, a city that was abandoned for the
island of Zarun, afterwards Hormuz, in 1315 (Ouseley, _Travels_, etc.,
i, 157), as a protection, says Aboulfeda, from the repeated incursions
of the Tatars. Already, in the days of Ibn Batouta, who mentions both
Old and New Hormuz (_Lee edition_, 63), was Harauna, the new city and
residence of the king, a large and beautiful place; and Friar Oderic,
his contemporary, remarks on the efficient fortifications of Ormes, and
its great store of merchandise and treasure; so that its reputation
as a great commercial depôt was well established in Schiltberger’s
time. Of the many travellers who have described the island, Varthema,
1503-1508 (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 94), reported, that as many as three
hundred vessels belonging to different countries were sometimes
assembled at the noble city of Ormus, which was extremely beautiful;
and some years later, 1563, Cesare Federici (Hakluyt _Voyages_, ii,
342) noticed a great trade there in all sorts of spice, drugs, silk,
cloth of silk, brocardo, and other merchandise. Hormuz, like Kishm, was
also recovered from the Portuguese by the English for Shah Abbas in
1623, until which period it was a stately and rich place, of which the
inhabitants made the boast that “if the world were a ring, Ormus must
be considered as the diamond”.

The city has now completely disappeared, and over the space of
about one square mile of its site may be seen, here and there, the
foundations of houses, those near the sea being the most visible. In
the neighbourhood are several hundred reservoirs, and many Mussulman
tombs, some of which are enclosed within domed buildings that had some
pretensions to architecture (_Persian Gulf Pilot_, 1870, 148).

Kais is mentioned by many authors as being a place of considerable
importance. It was the ancient Καταία (_Nearchi Paraplus ex Arriano_,
31; _Hudson edition_, i), is called Keis by the Arabs, is named Ken
by Kinnear (_Memoirs of the Persian Empire_, 17), and appears in the
Admiralty chart as Kais or Gais, inhabited by pearl fishers. Yagout
(Barbier de Meynard, _Dict. Géog._, etc., 499) in the 13th century says
of Kisch, that it was the residence of the sovereigns of Oman, whose
authority extended over all the sea, on which they were very powerful;
it was the place of call for vessels trading between Fars and India,
and a celebrated pearl fishery. Kazvini (_Kosmographie_, 235) speaks of
Kis as the resort of merchants who went there to trade; and Benjamin of
Tudela, a century earlier, describes it as being a port of transit.

The ancient town of Harira is now represented by tottering masses of
masonry; a portion of a minaret of well cut stone, and many fallen
pillars of the mosque to which the minaret belonged, being the only
architectural remains. Great quantities of broken pottery, some of fine
quality, lie scattered among the _débris_. At a distance of a quarter
of a mile are large reservoirs for water, all faced with masonry, but
in a sad state of decay; some measure 120 ft. in length, by 24 ft., and
are 24 ft. in depth.

Admitting the authority of a Persian manuscript, says Ouseley (_l. c._,
i, 170), the name of the island may be assigned to the 10th century,
when one Keis, the son of a poor widow in Siraf, embarked for India
with his sole property, a cat. There he arrived at a fortunate time,
for the king’s palace was infested with mice. Keis produced his cat,
the noxious animals disappeared, and the adventurer of Siraf was
magnificently rewarded. He returned to his home, but afterwards settled
with his mother and brothers on the island, which was named Keis, or,
according to the Persians, Keish. Modern attempts to rationalise
Whittington may surely be given up, observes Colonel Yule with
reference to this story related by Wassaf.—ED.

(18.) “Walaschoen.”—This name, employed also by Orientals, is now
Badakshan, called Badashan by Marco Polo, who says that rubies were
found in the province. Ibn Haukal was also aware that Badakshan yielded
rubies and lapis-lazuli, and Ibn Batouta asserts that the rubies
(balas rubies) from the mountains of Badakshan were commonly called Ak
Balaksh. A river flowed from these mountains, the water of which was
as white as that of the sea. He adds that Jengiz, king of the Tatars,
ruined the country, so that it never flourished afterwards. Judging,
however, from Schiltberger’s account, it is probable that its condition
had improved.

The unicorns may have been horses of a good breed, as alluded to
by Marco Polo (Yule, i, 166), who states that, “not long ago they
possessed in that province a breed of horses from the strain of
Alexander’s horse, Bucephalus, all of which had from their birth
a particular mark on the forehead”. If we consider that in the
time of Timour, the nationality of the inhabitants, the military
administration, and the breed of horses in this country, were the same
as in the days of Kublai, the ruler had, no doubt, ever been a “None”,
Nono, which Marco Polo (_idem_, i, 183) gives as the equivalent for
Count. Whatever the origin and primitive significations of this term, I
may, perhaps, not be far out in asserting, that in the present instance
it designated a noyon or myriarch, such as was Jebe, the vanquisher of
the Russians at the battle of the Kalka in 1223 (Berezin, _Nashestvye
Mongolov_, 226), and Noë, Duke of Sousdal, who, at about the same
period, gave to Julian the missionary, letters of recommendation to
Bela IV., King of Hungary (Kunik, _Outch. Zap._, etc., iii, 739), and
Tolak Timour the cruel governor of Soudak (_Zap. Odess. Obstschest._,
v, 507).—BRUUN.

(18A.) When Captain Wood was in Badakshan, he was told that the valley
of Meshid was extremely populous in former times, and a legend was
current to the effect that it used to be greatly infested with
scorpions (_Journey to the Source of the River Oxus_, 1872). Colonel
Yule thinks, that if the existence of unicorns was not a mere fable,
the animal referred to was probably the rhinoceros, at that time common
in the country near Peshawur—not very far from Badakshan.—ED.


(1.) “Marburtirudt.”—These measurements agree so exactly with the
dimensions to be found in Herodotus, who gives the height of the walls
of Babylon at 200 cubits and their thickness at 50 cubits, that the
extent of the city, 480 stadia, was probably obtained from the same
source. But four stadia do not make one Italian mile. The Italian
mile is equal to eight stadia, 480 stadia are, therefore, 60 Italian,
or 55-1/5 English miles, no great difference from the 75 miles or 25
leagues noted in the text as being the extent of the wall of Babylon.

The Tower of Babel, represented as being 54 stadia from the city,
must have been distant 6.75 Italian, or 6.21 English miles, precisely
the position of Birs Nimroud—Prison of Nimrod—called “Marburtirudt”,
for Marbout Nimroud. It was to these ruins that Benjamin of Tudela
(Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., x, 263) referred when describing the
tower constructed before the dispersion of the people, situated on the
right bank of the Euphrates, and one and a half hour’s journey from
Hillah; it measured 240 yards in diameter, and was about 100 canna
in height; a gallery conducted to the summit, whence the view around
extended over the plain to a distance of eight leagues. Schiltberger
expresses himself to the same effect when he says, “in several places
it is x leagues in length and in breadth”. In adding that the tower
stood on the Chaldæan side of the Arabian desert, he has no intention
of directing us to Arabia proper, but to Irak Araby, the country of the
ancient Chaldæans.—BRUUN.

(2.) “And one inch is the first member of the thumb.”—Schiltberger fails
to distinguish the Italian from the Lombard mile; we are therefore at
liberty to conclude that he here alludes to the ancient Roman mile,
.75 of a degree, which consists of 59,800 untz or zoll, the zoll being
equal to the English inch. In saying that the Italian or Lombard mile
consists of 45,000 inches only, Schiltberger gives us to understand
that the “schuch” was one-fourth shorter than the foot; in other words,
he refers to the palma, an Italian measure of his day. It follows,
therefore, that the pace of five palmas must have measured 3 ft. 9

(3.) “Schatt.”—The Tigris is still known as the Schat (Ritter,
_Die Erdkunde_ etc., xi, 4), not only from its junction with the
Euphrates, but also along the whole of its upper course (Rachid-Eddin
by Quatremère, xxix), which justified Barbaro in having said that
Hassanchiph was near the Set.—BRUUN.

(3A.) This is confirmed by Colonel Chesney (_Exped. to the Euphr.
and Tigris_, i, 60), who writes that Shatt, or more correctly
Shatt-el-Arab, is the name given to the rivers Euphrates and Tigris
after their junction at the walled town of Kournah; but that the
designation belongs properly to the Tigris. This river is clearly
called Schot by Olearius.—ED.

(4.) “Kinna.”—This fruit, called “kurnia” in Penzel’s edition, is
probably the khourmà, date-plum—Diospyros lotus—an ebanaceous tree
growing plentifully in Persia and Transcaucasia, and perhaps the
kheilan of Ibn Batouta. The berry is largely imported into Russia, and
a favourite spirit distilled from it. It is totally distinct from the
date-palm—Phœnix dactylifera—called in the East, taltal. Marco Polo
(Yule, i, 110) speaks of a very good wine made from dates, mixed with

(5.) “In this kingdom the people are not warlike.”—It is not surprising
that Schiltberger should have been struck by the pacific disposition
of the people of Baghdad, a city that owed its opulence to industry
and commerce. Baghdad was reconstructed by Ahmen ben Oweis after
its destruction by Timour (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, v, 98). The
inhabitants were Arabs and Persians, as they are now. That a large park
and menagerie should have existed is in the highest degree probable,
for we read in Zosimus (_Hist. Rom._, iii, 23), that the troops of the
emperor Julian discovered a royal garden in Mesopotamia, in which wild
beasts were kept: εἰς περίβολον ὃν Βασιλέως θήραν ἐκάλον. The Greeks
of Heraclius’s expedition, A.D. 627, found a large park close to the
residence of Chosroes (Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., ix, 503), in which
were many ostriches, wild boar, peacocks, pheasants, lions, tigers,
etc. Another instance was the residence, near Baghdad, of the caliph
El-Harim, which stood within grounds wherein were wild beasts of every
description (_ibid._, x, 258).—BRUUN.

(6.) “It has long fore-legs, and the hinder are short.”—Soon after the
battle of Angora, the sultan Faradj sent two ambassadors with rich
presents to Timour, one being a giraffe (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, v,
97), which Clavijo, who met the Egyptian envoys at Khoi, designated
a gornufa. Schiltberger must have originally written surnofa, rather
than “surnasa”. The giraffe he saw in Timour’s possession was probably
one of the finest of its species, so that allowance should be made for
his ascribing to its neck a length of four fathoms; indeed, we learn
from Clavijo that this very animal was able to extend its neck so as to
reach herbage at a height of 30 feet to 36 feet.

Schiltberger was under the impression, as was his contemporary De
Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._, 88), that the Nile traversed India before
entering Egypt,[1] which accounts for his supposition that the giraffe
was indigenous to the former country.—BRUUN.

  [1] That Ethiopia was called India, and thus confounded
  with real India, is fully set forth by Colonel Yule in a
  note to Marco Polo, ii, 426.—ED.

(6A.) Zerypha—yellow-coloured—is the Persian for giraffe, from
zerd—yellow—and fam—colour; a name corrupted by the Turks and Arabs
to zerafè, whence “surnasa”. The giraffe at the British Museum could
have reached food at a height of at least twenty feet, as Dr. Günther,
Keeper of Zoology, has been good enough to inform me. The finest
specimen at the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, at Paris, is even inferior
in size, according to the measurements kindly supplied by Professor
Milne-Edward of that institution. Schiltberger must have greatly
miscalculated the proportions of the animal he saw, allowing even for
probable degeneration; large giraffes having now become very scarce.

(7.) “Zekatay.”—Jagatai owes its name to the second son of Jengiz Khan,
who received in appanage the countries to the east and south-east
of the Oulons of Jujy, that is to say, from the limits of Khorasan
(until taken from the Jujy by Timour) on both sides of the Amu-Darya,
to Turkestan. All those territories were included under the name
of Jagatai, as were also the dialects of the inhabitants. The last
princes of the house, and in whose name Timour ruled, were Suurgatmysh
and Mahmoud; their coinage was struck at Bokhara, Samarkand, Termed,
Kesh, Badakshan, and Otrar; but their residence was at Besh balyk—Five
Cities—until transferred by Timour to Samarkand, which the despot
sought to place at the head of all cities in Asia, by means of the
vigorous measures to which Clavijo bears witness.


(1.) “Great Tartaria.”—The details entered into by Schiltberger
in this chapter, demonstrate that he includes in Great Tatary the
possessions of the three branches of the Jujy. First, the Ordou Itchen
or the White Horde, who were the successors of the eldest son of
Jujy. Secondly, those of the Golden Horde, the successors of Batou,
the second son; and, Thirdly, those of Shaïban, the fifth son, who,
in recompense for his brilliant services during Batou’s campaign in
Russia, received from the Ordou Itchen some territories near the
Ural for his summer encampment; and for his winter use, those near
the Syr Darya, that is to say, the actual steppe of the Kirghis, so
that the domains of the Shaïbani separated the Golden Horde from the
White Horde. Their dominions afterwards extended northwards, when they
nominated khans to Siberia.

(1A.) “Tartaria” and “Tartaren”, as the names are spelled throughout
the text, are substituted in these Notes by Tatary and Tatars, it is
hoped on fair grounds. Professor Nève asserts (_Exposé des Guerres de
Tamerlan_, etc.: _d’après la Chronique Arménienne inédite de_ Thomas de
Medzoph, 24) that Tatar is the term employed by Armenian chroniclers,
and he names no exceptions; and is not her ancient literature one
of the several excellencies of which Armenia may be justly proud?
A note by Dr. Smith in Gibbon (_Rise and Fall_, etc., iii, 294)
shows how the Tatars became accidentally named Tartars, through an
exclamation of St. Louis of France, although it must be admitted that
according to other authors, the use of the word Tartar, in Western
Europe, is of earlier date; and Genebrard states (_Lib. Heb. Chro.
Bib._, i, 158) that Tatar, which in the Hebrew and Syriac signifies
abandoned, deserted, should more correctly be written without an r.
The Russians, whose pronunciation of these words is, for obvious
reasons, entitled to every consideration, speak of Tatáry’ya-Tatary—and
Tatáry—Tatars—unquestionably the sound uttered by the various people
themselves, claiming the distinctive appellation, whether on the
banks of the Volga, in South Russia, the Crimea, or in the steppes
and lowlands of Transcaucasia, as the writer of this note is prepared
to testify. The Russian word Tatarui, or Tatars, says Ralston (_Early
Russian History_, 198, wherein is cited F. Porter Smith’s _Vocab._,
etc., 52), modified in Western Europe by a reference to Tartarus into
Tartars, is now generally applied by Russian writers to what used
to be the Turkish subjects of the Mongol Empire. It is said to be a
corruption of Tah-tan, the name under which the Mongols were anciently
known to the Chinese. Morrison writes Tătă as Chinese for Tartars.

Colonel Yule (Marco Polo, i, 12) calls attention to an article in the
_Journal Asiatique_, ser. v, tom. xi, 203, to show that the name Tartar
is of Armenian rather than of European origin, whilst admitting that
Tatar was used by Oriental writers of Polo’s age, exactly as Tartar was
then, and is still, used in Western Europe as a generic title for the
Turanian hosts who followed Chingis and his successors; but he believes
that the name in this sense was not known in Western Europe before the
time of Chingis.

In Howorth’s _History of the Mongols_, 1877 (the one volume as yet
published), a ponderous book of 743 pages, replete with the most
erudite information, but unhappily unprovided with any guide to its
contents, will be found at page 700, a long note, in which admission is
made that the word Tartar has given rise to much discussion; and whilst
the Russian and Byzantine authors, the Bohemian chronicler Dalemil, Ivo
of Narbonne, and Thomas of Spalatro, are cited in favour of the use of
Tatar, other authorities are quoted to establish a respectable pedigree
for Tartar.—ED.

(2.) “Seat him on white felt, and raise him in it three times.”—The
raising to the White Felt is similarly described by Giovanni dal Piano
di Carpine (_Recueil de Voy. et de Mém._, etc.). Vambery (_Trav. in
Central Asia_, 356) says that the being raised to the White Felt is
still the exclusive privilege of the gray-beards of the tribe of
Jagatai, and that the custom is kept up at the investiture of the khans
of Khokand.—ED.


(1.) “Edil, which is a great river.”—The large river here called “Edil”,
the Turkish for river, could have been no other than the Oxus or
Amu-Darya. Orden cannot in any manner be identified with “Origens”,
mentioned in chapter 25, where the author stayed when on his journey
from Derbent to Joulad. That city of “Origens”, however, was also at an
“Edil”, so that Schiltberger may possibly have confounded its name of
Ornas, Arnatch, or Andjaz, with Ourjenj, equally situated on an “Edil”
(in this instance not the Terek but the Oxus); the possessions of his
iron lord extending from the neighbourhood of one river to that of the

(2.) “A city called Haitzicherchen, which is a large
city.”—Hadjy-tarkhan was situated on the right bank of the Volga, a few
miles above the modern Astrahan, and near Itil, capital of the kingdom
of the Khozars, an ancient city that had already disappeared in the
time of Rubruquis, 1253, when Hadjy-tarkhan itself, it would appear,
had scarcely begun to exist. Ibn Batouta (1331) notes having sojourned
at the last-named place upon the occasion of his journey from Soudagh
to Saraï; and Pegolotti says that travellers tarried there when on
their way to China. The name appears as Azitarcan in the Catalan atlas,
1375, in which work, and in the splendid map of the brothers Pizzigani,
we also find “Civitat de ssara”, or “Civitas Regio d’Sara”, the city
of New Sarai, destroyed by Timour, and mentioned by Schiltberger. Its
ruins are still to be seen near the town of Tzaref on the Akhtouba,
an arm of the Volga. There was, however, the other Saraï, spoken of
by Aboulfeda, Ibn Batouta, and Pegolotti, the remains of which are
visible, also on the Akhtouba, but at a distance of two hundred miles
to the south of Tzaref, and near Seliterny-gorodok, where numerous
coins of the khan Uzbek have lately been found by a professor of the
University of Kazan. No such coins have ever been picked up at Tzaref,
which is not surprising, seeing that it was Janibek, the son of Uzbek,
who transferred his residence from Saraï to the new city of that name,
as Colonel Yule has already shown in one of his notes to Marco Polo
(i, 6), and as I have since sought to prove in an article that was
published at Kieff in 1876 (_Troudy 3go. Archeo. Syezda_).

Although old Saraï was depopulated by the plague in 1347–48, and
new Saraï was destroyed by Timour, both cities recovered from those
calamities, and in the later map of the world, by Fra Mauro, they
appear near a tributary on the left bank of the Volga, but at a
considerable distance from each other. The northernmost is known to the
Russians as Great Saraï.

Previously to selecting old Saraï for his residence, the khan Barka
was at Bolgar, the ancient capital of the kingdom of the Bolgars
on the Volga, which had been subdued in 1236 by his brother and
predecessor Batou, the “terrible Batou” of the Russians, surnamed
by the Tatars, Saïn—The Good. An indigent Russian village stands
on the site of the city, in the midst of ruins which impress the
traveller by their extent; an impression I received when engaged
in the Fourth Archæological Congress (1877), the members of which
started upon their excursion from Kazan, and descending the river to
Spassky-zaton, visited the locality distant seven miles in a direct
line from the river. Considering the importance of these ruins, the
large extent of ground they cover, the prodigious quantity of ancient
oriental coins and other antiquities that are being continually
recovered; considering, also, the testimony of Arabian authors and
travellers on the commercial relations of the ancient Bolgars of the
Volga, the question has frequently arisen—Why should that people
have preferred to establish themselves at so great a distance from
the river, after the manner of the inhabitants of the “city of the
blind”, instead of selecting a more advantageous site? The enigma has
been solved by Professor Golovkinsky (_Sur la formation permienne
du bassin Kama-Volgien_, etc., in the _Mém. de la Soc. Minér. de
St. Pétersbourg_, tom. i; and _Anciens débris de l’homme au Gouv^t.
de Cazan_, in the _Travaux de la réunion des Natur. de Russie_, St.
Pétersbourg, 1868), formerly of the University of Kazan, now Rector of
that at Odessa. The distinguished geologist shows, that the Volga and
the Kama have been subjected to great changes in their course above
their junction; that to a comparatively recent period, the eastern
bank of the bed where the two rivers united, was close to the height
upon which is the village of Bolgar, and that this ancient bed is to
be traced to an arm of the Kazanka called the Boulak, and to the lake
Kaban, both of which flow through the city of Kazan, and through a
partly dried up marsh near the said village.—BRUUN.

(3.) “a city called Bolar, in which are different kinds of
beasts.”—These were probably furred animals, furs having been
from all time the staple of commerce at Bolgar (whose locality is
now established), at Saraï and Astrahan. Schiltberger leads us to
the supposition that those cities had recovered from the state of
desolation in which they were left by Timour.—BRUUN.

(4.) “Ibissibur.”—In chapter 25, Schiltberger describes a country called
“Ibissibur”. That there was a city of the name is clearly established
by the Catalan atlas and Pizzigani map, in which we find Sebur, near
a chain of mountains called “los montes de Sebur”, evidently the South
Ural, styled Sibirsky kamian in a Russian work on ancient hydrography
(_Knyga bolshem. Tchertejou_, 151, St. P., 1838).

The Sibir of the Russians, known also as Isker, was situated on the
Irtysh, ten miles from Tobolsk; it was the residence of the Shaïbani
khans, and was taken in 1581 by a handful of Cossacks under their
ataman Yermak, who, in his turn, was besieged by the Tatars, and lost
his life in the river during a sortie (1584). His countrymen have
erected a monument at Tobolsk in honour of this Russian Cortez.—BRUUN.

(5.) “Alathena.”—Alla Tana for Tana, which stood where is now Azoff,
was a place of great importance in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was
completely destroyed by Timour in 1395, but the Venetians returned soon
afterwards, as would appear by the statement of Clavijo, that “six
Venetian galleys arrived at the great city of Constantinople to meet
the ships which were coming from Tana”. They maintained commercial
intercourse with Tana even after its destruction by the Tatars in 1410,
by the Turks in 1415, and later again by the Tatars; and there is
the evidence of De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._, 43) that in 1421, four
Venetian vessels arrived at Caffa from that port. Schiltberger, who
visited Tana at this period or shortly afterwards, proves that it had
recovered its commercial prosperity, at all events so far as regards
the fisheries, a fact supported by Barbaro.—BRUUN.

(6.) “Vulchat.”—In saying that “Vulchat”, intended for Solkhat, was the
capital of “Ephepstzach” or Kiptchak, Schiltberger may not have been
aware that this latter name included the whole of South Russia and the
Crimea, of which, Solkhat, afterwards Esky Crim, actually became the
chief town. Neumann believes the author to have made a mistake, which
may have arisen from the fact that in his time there were many princes,
as has already been shown, who disputed the sovereignty; and a large
portion of Kiptchak may have recognised the authority of one or the
other of those princes who had taken up his residence at Solkhat, as
for instance, the “viel empereur” to whom De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._,
42) was accredited as the ambassador of Vithold in 1421, and who died
at an unfortunate moment, because the knight leaves us in ignorance
of his name. I believe that ruler to have been Ydegou, in the absence
of any proof of Hammer’s statement (_Gesch. d. G. H._, 352), that
Vithold’s old ally was the chief of an independent state on the shores
of the Black Sea so late as the year 1423.—BRUUN.

(7.) “Four thousand houses are in the suburbs.”—The importance attached
to Caffa and the description of that city, is confirmed from other
sources, except with regard to the estimated number of houses within
the walls, and in the suburbs. That there were “two kinds of Jews”
(the Talmudists and the Karaïms) is a well-authenticated fact. The
four towns at the sea-side, dependant on Caffa, must have been Lusce,
Gorzuni, Partenice, and Ialita, now known as Aloushta, Gourzouff,
Partenite, and Yalta, all on the south coast of the peninsula, and the
only places, besides Caffa, at which Genoese consuls were

(8.) “Karckeri.”—Kyrkyer, now Tchyfout Kaleh—Jew’s Fortress—at one time
the residence of the Crimean khans, is at present occupied by three
or four Karaïm families only. It is situated in the hilly part of the
Crimea, which was called Gothia in the 15th century, a name carelessly
transcribed in the text as “Sudi”, where the people were derisively
called by the Tatars “That” or “Tatt”, a Turkish designation for a
conquered race.—BRUUN.

(9.) “That.”—Mourtadd is the Turkish for renegade. Pallas (_Voy. d.
les gouv. méridionaux de l’emp. de Russie_, ii, 150) found that the
Crimean Tatars applied the contemptuous term of Tadd to the Tatars on
the south coast, because they did not consider them of pure descent, in
consequence of the intercourse of their ancestors with the Greeks and
Genoese during the occupation by those Christian people of that part of
the peninsula.—ED.

(10.) “Serucherman.”—The author was well informed in saying that the
martyrdom of St. Clement took place here, the Saroukerman of Aboulfeda
who had never been in those parts; the “Kersona civitas Clementis” of
Rubruquis (_Recueil de Voy. et de Mém._, etc., iv) and which had been
constituted a bishop’s see in 1333.—BRUUN.

(10A.) Sary kerman—Yellow Castle—was the name by which Cherson, near
modern Sevastópol, was known to Eastern writers. Pope Clement I. was
exiled by the Emperor Trajan to that part of the Tauric Chersonesus,
and suffered martyrdom by being thrown into the sea. According to
the legend, the sea receded upon every anniversary of the saint’s
death, leaving the body exposed on the shore during the space of seven
days, until in the 9th century, Cyril and Methodius the Apostles of
the Slaves (the originators of the Slave alphabet), caused it to be
interred at Cherson, whence the remains were subsequently removed to
Kieff by the grand-prince Vladimir upon his conversion to Christianity.

The Church of Rome gives a different version of this legend, and
maintains that the relics of the pontiff are preserved in the church of
St. Clement on the Esquiline (_The Crimea and Transc._, i, 22, 98).—ED.

(11.) “they suppose that a man struck by lightning is a saint.”—The
“Starchas” or Tcherkess—Circassians—were known to Giovanni dal Piano
di Carpine, Aboulfeda, Barbaro and others, and were more generally
called Zikhes and Cossacks, two branches of that people. The proof of
the identity of the Zikhes with the Cossacks or Tcherkess is to be
found in Interiano (_Ramusio edition_, 196), who visited the country
in 1502: “Zychi in lingua vulgare, greca et latina cosi chiamati, et
da Tartari et Turchi dimandati Ciarcassi”. Their identity, however, is
established in the present work, and therefore before the Italian’s
travels; it being stated in chapter 56 that the Turks designate the
“Sygun”—Zikhes—by the name of “Ischerkas”—Tcherkess. In the days of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus (_De Adm. Imp._, c. 42), their territory
extended along the Black Sea shore over a distance of three hundred
miles, from the river Oukroukh (Kouban), which separated them from
Tamatarcha (Taman), to the river Nicopsis at the frontier of Abhase, a
country that reached to Soteriopolis situated in all probability where
is now Pytzounda the ancient Pityus, to the north west of Soukhoum
Kaleh, for it is stated by Codinus (_Hieroclis Synecdemus_, etc., 315)
that Pityus was at one time called Soteropolis.

The Abhases and the Tcherkess speak different dialects of the same
tongue (Güldenstädt, _Reisen durch Russl._, i, 463). The former
were converted to Christianity through the exertions of the emperor
Justinian, about A.D. 550; but Christianity was spread among the Zikhes
previously to this, and if many adopted the Mahomedan faith, proofs are
not wanting that they did so from political motives and to please the
Turks (Marigny, _Voy. dans le pays des Tcherkesses_, in Potocki, ii,
308). Their conversion to Christianity has never kept them from a love
of pillage and the sale of their own children, as is reported of them
by Schiltberger and confirmed by Marigny, who is unable to conceive
how a people to whom freedom is the greatest boon could think of thus
disposing of their own offspring.

Marigny also confirms the statement that thunder was held in great
veneration by the Tcherkess. “They have no god of lightning”, says
this author, “but we should deceive ourselves in supposing that they
never had one. They hold thunder in great veneration, for they say it
is an angel who strikes the elect of God. The remains of one killed by
lightning are buried with the greatest solemnity, and whilst mourning
his loss, relatives congratulate each other upon the distinction by
which their family has been visited. When the angel is on his aerial
flight, these people hurry out of their dwellings at the noise he
makes; and should he not be heard for any length of time, they pray
aloud entreating him to come to them.”—BRUUN.

(11A.) The Tcherkess, which include the Natouhaïtz, Shapsoughy,
Abadzehy, Abhase and other tribes, were known to Strabo and Procopius
as persistent slave dealers and pirates, occupations which, according
to the records of every age, they pursued unceasingly until the
complete subjugation and annexation of their country by Russia in
1863. Dubois de Montpéreux (_Voy. autour du Caucase_, etc., i, 258)
says, writing in 1839, that even under the suzerainty of Russia the
Abhases would not give up the nefarious traffic which embraced, under
certain circumstances, the sale of a son or daughter or sister; and so
lately as 1856, Oliphant (_Trans.-Cauc. Campaign_, 125) found that the
Abhases indulged chiefly in the plunder of human beings. “Seizing the
handsomest boys and the prettiest girls, they would tear them shrieking
from their agonised parents, and swinging them on their saddle-bow,
gallop away with them through the forest, followed by the cries and
execrations of the whole population.”

The custom of placing the dead upon trees is practised at the present
time in Abhase, where they are suspended in coffins to the branches,
which creak as they are swayed by the wind, and produce melancholy
noises (_The Crimea and Transc._, ii, 136).—ED.

(12.) “One is called Kayat, the other Inbu, the third
Mugal.”—Considering the little care taken by Schiltberger and his
transcribers to hand down to us proper and geographical names with
sufficient exactness to enable us to prove their identity, it is no
easy task to determine what were the “Kayat” and “Inbu” who, with the
Mongols, formed the population of Great Tatary. Whatever the correct
names, they were probably communicated to Schiltberger by the natives
or their Mongol chiefs. The latter were able to distinguish from their
own people, those who had retained for a longer period than others
their hereditary chiefs under the suzerainty of the descendants of
Jengiz Khan. The principal tribes were undoubtedly the Keraït and
Uïgour, whose rulers, named Edekout, a name reminding us of the
celebrated “Edigi” whom Schiltberger accompanied to Siberia, preserved
their independence until the year 1328 (Erdmann, _Temud. d. U. R._,
245). Neumann asserts that two of the tribes named were the Kajat or
Kerait, and the Uighur, a statement he leaves unsupported; we are
therefore justified in assuming that reference is made rather to the
Kaïtak and Jambolouk, two tribes the author must have had frequent
opportunities of meeting.

In Masoudi’s time, the Kaïtak or Kaïdak inhabited the northern slopes
of the Caucasus towards the Caspian Sea. There, also, Aboulfeda placed
them, and there they are to this day. We have seen how futile were
their endeavours to oppose Timour upon his last expedition against
Toktamish, and that Romanists and Christians of other denominations
soon afterwards introduced themselves amongst them; but that they
had not discontinued their evil practices is proved by the bitter
experience of the Russian merchant Nikitin, who was plundered when
shipwrecked on their coast in 1468. It was in vain that he sought
to recover his property, even though he appealed to Shirvan Shah,
brother-in-law to Ali Bek their prince (Dorn, _Versuch einer Gesch. der
Schirwan-Sch._, 582). The Kaïtak were a people of sufficient importance
to have attracted the notice of Schiltberger, when he passed through
their territory on his way from Persia to Great Tatary.

Whilst in those parts, the author must have spent some time amongst the
Nogaï of the tribes of Jambolouk or Yembolouk, as they are designated
by Thunmann (Büsching, _Gr. Erdbeschr._, iv, 387), and who were so
named because their earliest settlements were near the Jem or Yemba
which flows into the Caspian. It was only towards the close of the 18th
century that they moved to the western shores of the Sea of Azoff,
where they met with other Nogaï, at a time that the territory was being
annexed to the Russian empire. The wandering life of these Tatars,
and their frequent internecine divisions, justify us in assuming that
in Schiltberger’s time the greater number, if not the whole of the
Jambolouks, had moved their encampments in a westerly direction, and
this explains why the Tatar duke met by De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._,
40) in 1421, who lived on the ground with all his people, was named
Jambo. It was in the power of the descendants of that duke to remove
to any other more convenient site; it is, therefore, very possible,
that the fortress and town of Yabou, ceded in 1517 by the Crimean Khan
to Sigismund of Poland, together with other places on the Dnieper,
may have belonged to him (_Sbornyk_ by Prince Obolensky, i, 88). I
feel that we are at liberty to infer from these several facts that the
“Inbu” were Tatars of the Jambolouk Horde.—BRUUN.

(13.) “and has daily twenty thousand men at his court.”—In writing after
his own fashion the native name of Fostat as “Missir”, erroneously
called Old Cairo by Europeans (Abd-Allatif, _S. de Sacy edition_, 424),
Schiltberger imagined that the name was equally applicable to Cairo,
because at that period the two towns had largely extended towards
each other, so as to form one city. De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._, 80)
distinguishes Cairo from Fostat or Misr, which he calls Babylon, a name
it had received in consequence of the settlement there of a Babylonian
colony in the reign of Cambyses (Noroff, _Pout. po Yeghyptou_, i, 154).
Even now the Copts include a part of Cairo and of Fostat under the
name of Boblien—Little Babylon—the new Babylon of the writers of the
middle ages, who took it upon themselves to bestow on the sovereigns
of Egypt the title of Sultan of Babylon, and some of whom, Arnold of
Lubeck for instance (_Geschichtschr. der Deutsch. Vorzeit._, etc., xiii
_Jahrhund._ iii, 283), have even confounded the Euphrates with the
Nile. De Lannoy assists us in a measure to discern the error into which
Schiltberger has fallen ... “est à-sçavoir que le Kaire, Babillonne et
Boulacq furent jadis chascune ville à par lui, mais à présent s’est
tellement édiffiée, que ce n’est que une mesme chose, et y a aucune
manière de fossez entre deux plas sans eaue, combien qu’il y a moult
de maisons et chemins entre deux, et peut avoir du Kaire à Babillonne
trois milles et de Boulacq au Kaire trois mille.” Noroff considered
Boulak to be the Egyptian Manchester, because of the manufactories
established there by Mehemet Ali. The population of the three towns
was quite in proportion to their extent, and certainly so continued
until about twenty years before De Lannoy’s arrival, when it decreased;
indeed it is stated by Aboul-Mahazin, that Egypt and Syria had fallen
preys to every sort of calamity during the reign of Faradj, 1399–1412.
Apart from the Mongol invasion and incessant civil war, those countries
were assailed by the European maritime powers, and visited by plague
and famine, so that the population was reduced by one-third.

There was a time when it was generally believed that the people in
Cairo could not be numbered, because it was considered the most
populous city in the world, with more inhabitants than all Italy
contained, the vagabonds it sheltered sufficing to fill Venice! In
saying this, Breidenbach (Webb, _A Survey of Egypt and Syria_, etc.)
does not fail to observe: “Audita refero—neque enim ipse numeravi.”
Schiltberger may have thought the same, when he computed the streets in
“Missir” to be as numerous as were the houses in Caffa; and this he did
that his readers might be the better able to judge of the difference
between the two cities.

That the sultan’s suite consisted of twenty thousand men is most
probable, allusion being made to the dwellers in the citadel. Thus, De
Lanuoy:—“est ledit chastel moult grant comme une ville fermée, et y
habite dedens avecq le soudan grant quantité de gens, en espécial bien
le nombre de deux mille esclaves de cheval qu’il paye à ses souldées
comme ses meilleurs gens d’armes à garder son corps, femmes et enffans,
et autres gens grant nombre.”

In 1778, thirty thousand people lived in the citadel, one half of that
number being troops (Parsons, _Travels in Asia and Africa_, etc.,

(14.) “no person can be made king-sultan unless he has been sold.”—The
Mamelouk militia, formed, as the name indicates, of old slaves,
arrogated to themselves the right of elevating to the throne one
of their own number, upon the death of the sultan. See De Lannoy


(1.) “and on the spike he must rot.”—Among those who had reigned or
assumed the supreme power in Egypt, appear the names of “Marochloch”
and “Jusuphda”, intended for Barkok and Faradj; also “Mathas”,
whose reign intervened between that of “Marochloch” and “Jusuphda”.
The successors of the latter were “Zechem”, “Schyachin”, and
“Malleckchafcharff” also known as “Balmander”, who was no other than
Boursbaï, 1422–1438; he assumed upon his accession, according to
custom, the title of Ak Melyk, and the distinctive prefix of Alashraf
Seif uddin Aboul-Nazr—The most Noble Sword of the Faith, and Father of
Victory (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, v, 167). “Mathas” was Mintash or
Mantash, governor of Malatia, who, after having for a time replaced
Barkok, perished in 1393 by being broken on the wheel. It is possible,
however, that Arabian authors have otherwise described the mode of
Mantash’s execution, through misapprehension, because the sawing in two
parts was a punishment of antiquity, practised in eastern countries
other than Egypt. Dion Cassius (lxviii, 32) relates that the Jews in
Cyrene and Egypt, under Trajan, having revolted, sawed in two the
Romans and Greeks who fell into their hands, staining their faces with
the blood of their victims, and adorning themselves with the skin. In
one of the admirable notes to his translation of Makrizi, Quatremère
(i, 72, note 103) cites numerous instances of this kind of punishment
in Schiltberger’s day, not in Egypt only, but also in Persia and among
the Mongols. The Russian princes captured after the battle of the
Kalka, in 1223, were thus tortured (Karamsin, _Hist. de Russie_, iii,

“Zechem” is to be identified with Jakam, governor of Syria, who
revolted against Faradj. He was acknowledged as sultan in Syria, but
succumbed in a war with Kara Yelek in 1405–06.

“Schyachin” is a name that slightly recalls to mind Sheykh Mahmoud,
sultan in 1421; he was successor to the caliph Abbas al-mustein Billahy
who reigned for a few months after the death of Faradj in 1412; but
Sheykh Mahmoud died a natural death at an advanced age, and could not
therefore have been the ruler whose execution Schiltberger describes
so minutely, that he must have been a witness to his torments. None of
Boursbaï’s predecessors—Ahmed, the eldest son of Mahmoud—Tater, an old
Mamelouk—or Mohammed, the youngest son of Mahmoud, deposed by Boursbaï,
met with the fate of “Schyachin”, a name intended perhaps for Azahiri,
governor of Safad, who raised the standard of revolt at the very
commencement of Boursbaï’s reign. He was deserted by his followers,
and having surrendered was put to torture, 1422, perhaps enduring the
sufferings to which “Schyachin” was subjected.—BRUUN.

(2.) “his title and superscription.”—Neumann believes that this letter,
with the titles it confers on the sultan, was the invention of the
Armenians who communicated it to the author; but there is nothing
very extraordinary or improbable in the statement, that Boursbaï had
sent letters to various Christian potentates upon the occasion of his
daughter’s marriage, because that sovereign entertained diplomatic and
commercial relations with the maritime republics of Italy, with the
kings of Aragon and Cyprus, and the emperor of Byzantium, to each of
whom, and not to the Pope, was addressed the letter to “Rom”, a word
allowably substituted for Roum, a name which included Greece and the
Turkish possessions in Europe.—BRUUN.

(3.) “the all-powerful of Carthago.”—Boursbaï certainly committed an
anachronism in styling himself the autocrat of Carthage, for he could
only have possessed the ruins of that city. As the successor of the
Fatimites, or protector of the Abbasside caliphate, the sultan may have
claimed Tunis, built partly at his own expense, near the remains of
Rome’s ancient rival, whose renown in Africa must have survived, and
whose name may therefore have been preferred to that of Tunis. But I am
more inclined to substitute for Carthage that noted sanctuary of Islam,
Kairvan, called by Aboulfeda, Cayroan, and which was considered the
most beautiful city in Magreb.—BRUUN.

(4.) “Lord of Zuspillen, Lord of the highest God in
Jherusalem.”—“Zuspillen” is applicable either to Sicily, which at one
time belonged to the Aghlabites, or still more so to Seville, called
Ishbilia by the Persians.

In a letter to Shah Rokh the son of Timour, in 833 of the Hegira, the
sultan Boursbaï styles himself Lord of Jerusalem; possibly the sense of
the passage turned by Schiltberger into “ain herr des obristen gots,”
which, being an imitation of the Hebrew, was Hebrew to him.—BRUUN.

(5.) “Capadocie.”—It is doubtful whether Boursbaï, or the inventor of
his titles, would have mentioned any one place for the second time,
yet the name “Capadocie” appears twice. In his letter to Shah Rokh,
Boursbaï entitles Jerusalem, the Venerable; so that this “Capadocie”
may have been similarly intended for an appellation, since the region
of that name would be quite out of place between Jerusalem and the
Jordan. It is possible, however, that for “Capadocie” we should read
Capernaum, now known as Tell-Hum, where are many ruins which comprise
those of an edifice surpassing in grandeur and magnificence anything
Robinson (_Biblical Researches_, etc.) saw in Palestine.—BRUUN.

(6.) “her son our nephew of Nazareth.”—It may fairly be doubted whether
this passage was really included amongst the sultan’s titles, its
appearance in the MS. being due to some misconception on the part
of the author, from his being but indifferently initiated in the
mysteries of Mahomedanism; how, otherwise, could he have supposed
that his protector had entitled Jesus his “neff”—nephew. With regard
to Bethlehem and Nazareth, names conceivably included in the list,
Schiltberger may have been informed that Mahomedans revere our Saviour
as being one of their own Neby or chief prophets; or he may have been
told that Christ was designated Neffs, Neps—spirit, soul. Jesus is also
called Rouh—the Spirit of God.

Through some similar misconception, Boursbaï is made to boast of
his relationship to the Virgin Mary, which could not have been
the case either, seeing that she, in like manner, is venerated by

(7.) “seventy-two towers all embellished with marble.”—That the number
seventy-two was employed by Asiatics to designate a large number,
is demonstrated by numerous examples, other than the following.
Seventy-two was the number of tribes in Syria; of the Mahomedan sects;
of the disciples of our Saviour; of the Persian Mushids; of the towers
of Jeziret-ibn-Omer, etc., etc. As to the seventy-two towers of
“Germoni”, Robinson (_Biblical Researches_, etc.) has noted that Hermon
is surrounded as if by a belt of temples.

“Talapharum” is the well-known Tell-el-Faras at the termination of
Jabal-el-Heis, a spur of Jabal-el-Sheykh or Hermon.—BRUUN.

(8.) “inhabited by seventy-two languages.”—This “great forest” is the
Caucasus, the extent of the great mountain range in a direct line from
sea to sea, agreeing exactly with the length given. The seventy-two
languages are the seventy-two nationalities (Dorn, _Geog. Cauc._, 221),
each of which spoke a different tongue; they were the seventy-two
nations confined by Alexander beyond the Caspian Gates.

There exists a tradition, that when upon his death-bed Mahomet
recommended to the faithful the conquest of the Caucasus, a country he
had ever held in special veneration, so that several Shyite sects place
it, in point of sanctity, above the cities of Arabia (D’Ohsson, _Des
Peup. du Cauc._, ii, 182). It is therefore not at all strange that the
sovereignty over a region so specially blessed and in which the sultan
himself was born, should have been included amongst his dignities,
since he was entitled, in a measure, to consider the power of the
founder of Alexandria to be his heritage.

Claiming the monarchy, as he did, over the forests of the Caucasus,
the sultan naturally added thereunto his possession of Cappadocia, a
portion of which did indeed belong to him, and wherein he had every
right to situate Paradise. Mahomedans believe, as do Christians and
Jews, that the Garden was in a beautiful land called Adn, watered by a
marvellous river which was the source of the Euphrates, of the Tigris,
the Jihoun (Pyramus of the ancients) and the Syhoun (Sarus), all in
Cappadocia or in its immediate neighbourhood. Really, Boursbaï was
no farther out in his calculations, than were those learned men who
recognised the two last-named rivers in the Oxus and Jaxartes (Hammer),
in the Araxes and Phasis (Brugsch), and even in the Volga and Indus

(9.) “the guardian of the caves.”—The disappearance, A.D. 873, at the
age of twelve, of Mohammed the descendant of Ali and the twelfth and
last Imam, in a cave near Sermen Rey, distant thirty-two miles from
Baghdad, gave rise to numerous conjectures, all of equal absurdity.
The Shyites believe that this Mehdy, or celestial judge, is still in
the unknown cave, and they await his return as impatiently as do the
Jews that of the Messiah. The Sunnites are satisfied that when the
world comes to an end, he will make his appearance accompanied by three
hundred and sixty celestial spirits, and prevail upon the people of the
earth to embrace Islamism (D’Ohsson, _Tableau. général de l’E. O._, i,

The sultan of Egypt is said to have styled himself “the guardian of the
caves” (ein vogt der hellen), perhaps because the cavern was under his
protection; but it is also possible that for “hellen” we should read
Helle or Halle, the German for Hillah, on the site of ancient Babylon,
and celebrated for such holy places in its neighbourhood as Kerbela and
Mesjyd Ali, the Campo Santo to which the Shyites perform pilgrimages
(Ritter, _Die Erdkunde_ etc., ix, 842, 869, 955).—BRUUN.

(10.) “Destructor of the Gods.”—It is impossible to agree with Penzel,
that Schiltberger entertained the strange notion of having seen a
protector of hell in that Boursbaï, whom Penzel himself admits had
glorified himself as being the friend of all gods (aller Götter
Freund), because the last title on the list is “Destructor of the
Gods” (Ain mäg der götter). But here Penzel is again at fault in his
interpretation of Schiltberger’s meaning, because the monarch who
claimed to be the Light of the true Faith (S. de Sacy, _Chrestom.
Arabe_, 322), rather than boast of his friendship for the gods,
would have declared himself to be, in keeping with the tenets of his
religion, the implacable enemy to idolatry, a destructor of gods, a
Mahhy, transformed in the text into “mäg”.

There is some difficulty in accounting for the sultan’s usurpation of
the title of “the mighty emperor of Constantinoppel”. In his letter to
Shah Rokh, alluded to in note 4, page 184, he wrote as follows: “The
kings of the earth have come from all parts as the bearers of their
homage. The King of Hormuz, the Sultan of Hisn, the son of Karaman;
these princes, sovereigns of their countries, the Sultan of the revered
city of Mecca, the Sultans of Yemen, of Magreb, and of Tekrour, the
King of Cyprus, since dead, all have presented themselves at my Court”.
This king of Cyprus, who was named John and died in 1432, was captured
by the Egyptians on their expedition to the island in 1426, and being
forced to acknowledge the suzerainty of the sultan, agreed to pay
annual tribute to the amount of twenty thousand dinars, to enable him
to obtain his freedom (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, v, 177). John II.,
emperor of Byzantium, sought, but in vain, to intercede for the king by
entering into negociations with the sultan (_ibid._, 173), upon which
occasion he may possibly have stooped to pay homage as others did, for
he was not ashamed at another time to prostrate himself and kiss the
Pope’s slipper. It is likely enough that he presented himself under the
name of Tekrour, a country Silvester de Sacy is at a loss to determine.
Tekrour, however, need not have been the name of a country at all, but
a corruption of Takfour, a designation in the East for the emperor of

The homage of the ruling powers on earth, did not suffice to satisfy
the despot Boursbaï, for his ambition wafted him to the skies (“the
lord [of the places] where Enoch and Helyas are buried”), the place of
sepulture, say the Mahomedans, of their prophets Enoch, and Elias the
protector of travellers, and who is believed by the Jews to have been
borne away to heaven (D’Ohsson, _l. c._, i, 51, 111).

Another title, though less bombastic, is still more puzzling, unless
“Kaylamer” is to be identified with the fortress of Kalamil visited
in 1221 by Willbrand of Oldenburg (Viv. de Saint-Martin, _Desc. de
l’A. M._, i, 488), after leaving Mamistra (Mopsvesta of the ancients,
Mimistra of the Byzantines, the actual Missis). When upon this
journey, Willbrand left on his right hand a place called the King’s
Black Castle, an indication that conducts us with Saint-Martin to the
defile known to the ancients as the Pylæ Armeniæ or Pylæ Ciliciæ,
now called Demyr Kapou by the Turks; evidently the same locality
as that noticed by Marino Sanudo (_Liber Secret. Fidel._, etc.,
221—Pauthier, Marco Polo, cxxxii, 1). “Tartari autem sequenti anno
(1260) violenter irrumpentes, ceperunt Alapiam, Harem, Hamam, Calamelam
et Damascum.” The fortress of Calamela being included among the
chief cities in Syria, it is to be inferred that its strategical and
commercial importance had greatly increased during the half century
that transpired after Willbrand’s visit. Nor does Calamila seem to
have escaped the notice of Italian navigators, for the name, slightly
varied, appears in the hydrographic charts of the 14th century. In the
Catalan atlas, 1375, for instance, Caramila is evidently the same as
the Cramela spoken of by the author of _Liber Secretorum Fidelium_,
etc., who observes that it stood on the site of ancient Issus, the gulf
of this city being marked on the chart, “golfo de Cramela”. At that
time, Cramela divided the possessions of the sultan of Egypt from those
of the king of Armenia; and considering its importance, the sultan may
not have disdained to style himself amir of Calamila, transformed by
Schiltberger into “Amorach of Kaylamer”.

The next name, “Galgarien”, is undoubtedly intended for Khozary or
Gazary, described by Marino Sanudo (Kunstmann, _Stud. über M. S._
105) as Galgaria, a dependancy of the Tatars, inhabited by “Gothi et
aliqui Alani”. It was a Genoese possession in the Crimea, whence was
carried on a large export trade, chiefly in slaves to Alexandria,
where many afterwards became men of note; but Khozary was a dependancy
of Kiptchak, a name that signifies—hollow tree—the distinctive title
immediately following that of “the mighty emperor of Galgarien” as
“the Lord of the withered tree”. The rulers of Kiptchak, or khans of
the Golden Horde, were long bound by the strictest ties of friendship
to the sultans of Egypt, and as zealous followers of Mahomet, were
not likely to question their right to hold the first place among the
monarchs of Islam.

That the high position attained by those sultans did not influence them
against according their protection to Christian potentates, is evident
from the intimate relations that existed between themselves and the
kings or emperors of Abyssinia, among whom should certainly be included
“Prester John, in enclosed Rumany”.

It is now generally admitted that Marco Polo, with his usual good
faith, stated the precise truth in affirming that in his time, one
George, a descendent of Prester John, became the governor of a province
as a vassal of China. This prince professed the Roman Catholic faith,
instead of Nestorianism as did his grandfather Ovang Khan, chief
of the Keraits, and not, as Oppert has sought to prove (_Der Presb.
Johannes in Sage und Gesch._, etc., Berlin, 1864) of the Gour Khan
of the Karakhitaians mentioned by Rubruquis. In either case it is
pretty certain that so soon as European intercourse with the interior
of Asia decreased, the existence of a Christian state on the Nile,
to the south of Egypt, became more generally known; a state to which
Haythoun, the Armenian historian, had already directed the Pope’s
attention (_De Tartaria_, c. 57, apud Webb, _A Survey of Egypt and
Syria_, etc., 394), and it thereafter became the custom to metamorphose
the Christian monarch of the Nubians and Abyssinians into Prester John.
Like Schiltberger, De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._, 93) knew of no other
Prester John, and far from admitting his dependance on the sultan, a
condition to be inferred by the title of protector attributed to the
latter by Schiltberger, the knight implies that it was rather the
sultan who was in a state of dependance on Prester John, in whose power
it lay to “destourber le cruschon” of the Nile, which he certainly
would have done, but for the fear of victimising the many Christians in

In another chapter, De Lannoy terms these Christians “Christians of
the girdle”, a name that was applied, says his commentator (Webb), in
consequence of a law promulgated A.D. 856 by the caliph Motonakek,
which prescribed that Jews and Christians should wear a broad leathern
girdle. It appears, however, that in course of time the Nestorians and
Jacobites also became subject to the same law, and this accounts for
the expression, “Prester John, in enclosed Rumany”, which, if intended
for Abyssinia, a country mistaken by Marco Polo and De Lannoy for that
of the Brahmins, would indicate that the former was inhabited by the
Christians of the girdle. (De Lannoy styles the primate of the Copts,
the primate of India.) That they were believed to be in Abyssinia is
proved in the following lines from Juan de la Encina’s narrative of his
journey to Jerusalem in the year 1500.

 “Hay muchas naciones alli de Christianos,
  De Griegos, Latinos, y de Jacobitas,
  Y de los Armenios, y mas Maronistas
  Y de la cintura, que son Gorgianos:

  Y de estos parecen los mas Indianos,
  De habito y gesto mas feo, que pulcro:
  Mas quanto al gozar del Santo Sepulcro
  Son prógimos todos en Christo y hermanos.”

This author evidently confounds the Georgians with the Abhases and the
latter with the Abyssinians, as had frequently been done before him.
In quoting from documents preserved among the archives at Königsberg,
a letter from Conrad of Jungingen, Grand-Master of the Teutonic
Order, dated January 20, 1407, and addressed to Prester John, “regi
Abassiæ”, Karamsin (_Hist. de Russie_, iii, 388), observes, that
the superscription applies to the king of Abhase in the region of
the Caucasus, and not to the king of Abyssinia. We read, likewise,
in the chronicle of Alberic (_Rel. de Jean du Plan de Carpin_, 161)
that the legate Pelagius “misit nuntios suos in Abyssiniam terram et
Georgianorum, qui sunt viri catholici”.

The friendship that existed between the “negus christianissimus” and
the sultan was certainly but rarely interrupted, probably because
they sympathised in each other’s apprehensions; but the sentiments
entertained by Boursbaï towards the caliph, must have been of a
different nature, so that he may have taken upon himself to borrow the
title of “guardian of Wadach”, or Baghdad.—BRUUN.

(11.) “This is done on all the roads of the king-sultan.”—It would
appear that during the author’s stay in Egypt, the ladies of that
country exceeded all bounds in the abuse of the freedom they were
permitted to enjoy during the Baïram festivities, judging by the severe
measures adopted by the sultan, to their prejudice, in 1432 (Weil,
_Gesch. der Chal._, v, 208). It was forbidden to every woman, and there
were no exceptions, to leave her house, so that the unmarried even
incurred the risk of dying of starvation. This law was subsequently
modified in favour of coloured slaves and old women, and the young
were only permitted to leave their home for the bath, on the express
understanding that they returned immediately afterwards.

By another decree, promulgated in the early part of his reign, the
sultan Boursbaï abolished the ancient custom which required that the
ground should be kissed by all who were admitted to his presence; and
it was thenceforth ordained, that according to the rank of the person
introduced, so his hand or the hem of his garment should be kissed. But
he was soon persuaded to resort to the old usage, except that instead
of kissing the ground with the mouth, those presented were to touch the
ground with the hand, which was then to be kissed. Schiltberger could
not have been in Egypt before the abolition of the above ridiculous
and barbarous custom, in the first year of Boursbaï’s reign; but there
were no doubt numerous instances in his day of obsequious courtiers and
other parasites who did actually kiss the ground. The ceremonial and
etiquette observed at the presentation and reception of ambassadors,
was in accordance with the customs of the Turks and Tatars upon such

The little bell for post-horses was introduced by the Mongols into
Russia, and having been in use on post-roads ever since the time of
their domination, has substituted the horn of the French and German

(12.) “and they send it to whosoever it belongs.”—Pigeons were employed
in Asia as earners, in very remote times. It was pigeon service of
which the daughter of the governor of Atra, Hatra, or al Hadr, availed
herself, that enabled Sapor, king of Persia, 240–271, to capture the
city which the emperor Severus had failed to take. It is recorded by
numerous European and Eastern writers, that the pigeon-post was in
general use in Syria and Egypt during the Crusades. In his story of the
Crusade under Henry VI., in 1196, Arnold, bishop of Lubeck, describes
the training of pigeons, which was similar to what we read in the
text, and observes that “the Infidels are more highly gifted than the
children of light”, the training of pigeons being the invention of the
Infidels, whose practice was imitated by their enemies. After the fall
of Baïrouth in 1197, Boemund, prince of Antioch, announced the good
tidings to his subjects by despatching a pigeon.

Khalil Daheri (Quatremère, i, 55, note 77), an Arabian writer of the
15th century, reports that Belbeis, Salehieh, Katia, and Varradeh or
Barideh, were the pigeon-post stations on the road to Syria. According
to Makrizi (_ibid._, 56), Varradeh was distant eighteen miles from
Alarih. Query? Fort Arich or el-Arich in Lower Egypt, where the French
capitulation was signed in 1800. Aboul-Mahazin declares that Bir
al-Kady—The Kady’s well—must have marked the limits of Syria and Egypt.

Another Arabian writer (Abd-Allatif, _S. de Sacy edition_, 43) calls
Alarich, Alaris—changed by the bishop of Lubeck, as his German editors
believe, into Ahir, a name almost to be identified with “Archey”, one
of the principal pigeon stations.—BRUUN.

(13.) “sacka.”—Literally, in Turkish, a water-carrier. A pelican is sákà


(1.) “The Infidels call the mountain Muntagi.”—Hushan dagh, the correct
name given by the Arabs, is here handed down to us as “Muntagi”, which
differs so widely from the native appellation of Sinaï, that it may
have been derived from the word Montagna, possibly the generic name by
which the mount was known to pilgrims. In such a case, Schiltberger’s
companions would have been Italians, who, on the supposition that
they were mariners, supplied him with the details he gives on the Red
Sea—its breadth, which is represented at double its actual extent—and
the information that it had to be crossed to attain Sinai; although
we know from De Lannoy that the journey from Egypt was performed “en
costiant la mer”. The knight makes no mention of the wonderful supply
of oil at the monastery of St. Catherine, nor of the other miracles
performed by the saint; but he explains why the Infidels went to Sinai.
At the foot of the mount was a church of St. Catherine, “à manière d’un
chastel, forte et quarrée, où les trois lois de Jhésu-Crist, de Moyse
et de Mahommet sont en trois églises représentées”.—BRUUN.

(1A.) This somewhat confused description of St. Catherine’s mount and
of Mount Sinaï, is to be accounted for by Schiltberger’s statement
that he had not ascended the latter, and that he described the sites
from hearsay only. He distinguishes, however, St. Catherine from what
he calls “Muntagi, the mountain of the apparition”, upon which, as he
was informed, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush; where flows
the spring from the rock that Moses struck with his staff; the site
where our Lord delivered to him the tables with the ten Commandments,
etc., etc. “Muntagi” may therefore have been intended for Musa dagh,
the Turkish, as Jabal Musa is the Arabic for Mountain of Moses, about
which, in the words of Dean Stanley (_Sinai and Palestine_, 39) the
traditions of Israel have lingered, certainly since the 6th century,
and perhaps from a still earlier date. Mount Sinaï is called Tur Sina
by Ibn Haukal, and Jabal Tur and Et Tur by Edrisi and Aboulfeda.—ED.


(1.) “the village of Mambertal.”—“Mambertal” for Mamre, by which name
Hebron also was known (Gen. xii, 18; xxxv, 27), and was probably so
called after Mamre the Amorite, the friend of Abraham (Gen. xiv,
13). Sir John Mandevile’s tradition of the Dry Tree (_Voyages and
Travels_, etc.) as it was related to him, agrees almost word for word
with the tale in the text, except that Sir John saw an oak, whereas
Schiltberger’s tree was called by the Infidels “carpe” (Sir John writes
Dirpe), and selvy is the Turkish for cypress. Commentators on the Holy
Scriptures have said that plains of Mamre (Gen. xiii, 18; xviii, 1) is
a mis-translation for oaks of Mamre, but the Turkish for oak is meyshe.
The great tree seen by Robinson in 1838 (_Biblical Researches_, etc.,
ii, 81) was an oak; it measured 22-1/2 feet in circumference in the
lower part, the branches extending over a diameter of 89 feet. It stood
solitarily near a well in the midst of a field, and was sound and in a
thriving state. A long and comprehensive note on the Arbre Sec or Arbre
Sol, will be found in Yule’s Marco Polo, i, 132.—ED.

(2.) “it is well taken care of.”—The distance from Hebron to Jerusalem,
as given in chapter 40, is correct (Raumer, _Palæstina_, etc., 201); so
is the statement that Hebron was the chief city of the Philistines, for
Josephus (_Wars_, etc., xii, 10) says that it was a royal city of the

“Carpe” may have indicated the caroub or locust tree (_Die charube von
Kufin_; see Rosen, _Die Patriarchengruft zu Hebron_, in _Zeitschrift
f. allg. Erdk._, neue Folge, xiv, 426), or the turpentine tree,
which Josephus and others have stated grew in those parts, where
a small and sterile valley still bears the significant name of
Sallet-el-Boutmeh—Place of the Turpentine tree. In course of time,
the turpentine tree of Josephus became confounded with Abraham’s
oak, mentioned in the Bible, which the Russian pilgrim Daniel
(Noroff, _Péler. en T. S._, 77) says he found in leaf, and might
have been a huge tree of the sort noticed by Robinson. The tree
seen by Schiltberger must have been of another kind, because it was
withered; he could not otherwise have transmitted to us the prophecy
so encouraging to our own desires, and in accordance with the
presentiments of the Infidels themselves, that the day will come when
they shall be expelled from the holy places.

No person is allowed to enter the mosque wherein the holy patriarchs
lie (see page 60), as was the case in the 15th century, unless
provided with the sultan’s firman. We are told by Novairi and other
authors (Makrizi by Quatremère, ii, 249), that when the sultan Bibars,
1260-1264, visited Khalil (Hebron), and learnt that Christians and Jews
were permitted to enter upon payment of a fee, he at once put a stop
to the practice. Hammer (_Gesch. der Ilchane_, etc., 129) states that
Mussulmans have held Hebron in great estimation since the reign of the
caliph Mostershid (stabbed to death by an assassin in 1120), when the
remains of several bodies found in the caves, were passed off as being
those of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, although, according to Moses, they
were interred at Hebron, where their places of sepulture are pointed
out by Christians.

The author of Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum (Parthey et Pinder, _Itiner.
Ant. Aug._, etc., 283) thus writes with reference to the beautiful
church constructed by Constantine the Great near the turpentine tree of
Abraham: “Inde Terebinth Cebron mil. ii, ubi est memoria per quadrum
ex lapidibus miræ pulchritudinis, in qua positi sunt Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, Sarra, Rebecca et Lea.”

About the year 600, there was already a cathedral in the quadrum, and
twelve months later Bishop Arnulphus found the monolith cenotaphs
of the three patriarchs, one being that of Adam; other smaller ones
were assigned to their wives. At that period Hebron belonged to the
Arabs, who gloried in their descent from Abraham, which accounts for
the erection by them of a mosque over the remains of their ancestor.
It was only after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders that the
place was made over to the Christians for religious purposes; this we
learn from Sœwulf (_Recueil de Voy. et de Mém._, etc., 817–854) who
went to Palestine in 1102, and the Russian pilgrim Daniel (Noroff,
_Péler. en T. S._, 95), who in 1115 saw a superb edifice at Hebron,
in the crypt of which was the sepulchre of the patriarch within a
chapel of circular form. Rosen says that the presence of Jews within
this sanctuary was tolerated by the Crusaders, a privilege, however,
for which they had to pay, according to the evidence of Benjamin of
Tudela, and of his co-religionist Petachy of Ratisbon, who travelled
in Palestine twelve years later. Hebron passed into the hands of
the Mussulmans long before the fall of Acre, after which event the
Christians in their turn were taxed for the liberty of entering.

Among those of Schiltberger’s predecessors who have left an account of
what they saw and learnt during their sojourn in Palestine, are the
German monk, Brocardus, towards the close of the 13th century—Sir John
Mandevile, 1372—and the German pilgrim, Ludolph von Suchem, whose work,
_Libellus de Itinere ad T. S._, is considered the best itinerary for
the Holy Land in the 14th century.

De Lannoy was in Palestine at about the same time as the author, but
does not report having been at Hebron; he however supplies a list of
the holy places, that was compiled, as he states, by Pope Sylvester
at the request of the emperor Constantine and of “Sainte Helaine”,
his mother. Three cities of “Ebron” are included: “La neufve et la
moienne, de laquelle est l’esglise où sont ensepvelis Adam, Abraham,
Isaac et Jacob et leurs femmes”.... “_Item_, Ebron, la vielle, en
laquelle David regna sept ans et six mois.” It is desirable that these
two passages should be quoted, because in the works I have cited, such
as Noroff’s, Raumer’s, Rosen’s, and in others which dwell largely on
Hebron, one city only of the name is mentioned.—BRUUN.

(3.) “but now there is only a pillar.”—If tradition is to be relied
on, it was the mother of Constantine who built the Church of the
Annunciation, which had already ceased to exist in Schiltberger’s
time. In 1620 a handsome church was erected on the same site (Raumer,
_Palæstina_, etc., 136), and a column at the foot of seventeen steps
indicated the spot where the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin; it
was possibly the pillar referred to in the text. The pilgrim Daniel
describes the earliest church, situated in the centre of the city, as
being large and handsome, and enclosing three altars. It was destroyed
by the sultan Bibars in 1263 (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, iv, 46; Makrizi
by Quatremère, I, i, 200).—BRUUN.


(1.) “I went twice to Jherusalem with a koldigen.”—Schiltberger’s
commentators have not been able to identify the word “koldigen”, to
which Koehler (_Germania_, vii, 371–380) puts a mark of interrogation,
observing that it is written in precisely the same manner in two early
editions. Frescobaldi in 1384 (_Viaggi in Terra Santa_) speaks of
the monks at the monastery on Sinaï as Calores, instead of Καλογέροι.
If Joseph, Schiltberger’s companion, was a Christian, he might very
possibly have been a Kalogeros, a title turned into “Koldigen”.—BRUUN.

(1A.) Another suggestion! Khodja is a corruption of the Persian word
Khaja, a term that in the East generally denotes a merchant (Garcin
de Tassy, _Les Noms Propres et les Titres Musulm._, 68). Or an
interpretation of “Koldigen” is perhaps to be found in Koul, the
Turkish for a detachment or small body of men, and jy, a termination
significative of office, profession, or trade, as for instance,
arabajy, one who drives; kayikjy, a boatman; ghemijy, a sailor, and
similarly, Kouljy, one who leads a body of men. In European Turkey,
however, Kouljy means also a coast-guard-man, and in other parts of
that empire the term is applied to a keeper or custodian. In his
Russian edition, Professor Bruun submits the word Koljy derived from
Koll, the title of those of the second class of the Monastic Order of
Kalender, the founder of which Order, singularly enough, was one named
Joseph. With the reader must remain the privilege of deciding upon
Joseph’s calling, whether monk, merchant, coast-guard-man, or

(2.) “The Infidels call Jherusalem, Kurtzitalil.”—Jerusalem is called
by the Turks, Kouds Shereef, with the first part of which name might
be associated the first syllable “Kurtz”; but Shereef could scarcely
have been corrupted to “italil”, which reminds me of Halil, a term
pre-eminently applied to Abraham the friend of God, and given to the
gate of the city that leads to Hebron, known as the Bab-el-Halil
(Raumer, _Palæstina_, etc., 201).—BRUUN.

(3.) “the pilgrims can kiss and touch it.”—The Russian pilgrim Daniel
observed three openings in the marble slab, through which the sacred
stone could be seen and kissed; but the indiscreet zeal of pilgrims,
says Noroff, who contrived to chip off fragments, necessitated its
protection from further mutilation.—BRUUN.

(4.) “a brightness above the holy sepulchre, that is like fire.”—Some
people believed that this miracle was performed through the
intervention of a dove, while others attributed it to lightning. The
Russian pilgrim Daniel explains to his readers that it is only those
who have not attended during the celebration in church that could
be sceptic as to the appearance of this light from heaven, and he
trusts that the truly faithful and of good repute will believe in all
the miracles that take place within the sanctuary! He concludes his
observations by quoting Luke xvi, 10.—BRUUN.

(4A.) Of the lamp that burned in front of the Holy Sepulchre, Sir John
Mandevile has also recorded that “it went out of itself, on Good
Friday, and again lit itself at the hour that our Lord rose from the
dead.” This lamp Schiltberger may have seen, but it appears doubtful
whether he witnessed the performance of the miracle of the Holy Fire,
“the brightness above the Holy Sepulchre, that is like fire”, or he
surely would have described the supernatural occurrence.

This Easter miracle at the Holy Sepulchre has been the theme of most
travellers who have witnessed it ever since the days of Charlemagne.
Henry Maundrell (_Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem_, etc., 96) was
present at the Easter festival (1697) during the ceremony kept up
by the Greeks and Armenians, upon the persuasion that every Easter
a miraculous flame descends from heaven into the Holy Sepulchre. He
describes the fearful tumult and clamour made by the people in their
wild excitement in anticipation of the miraculous appearance of the
Holy Fire at the sepulchre, produced, as he exposes, by the two
miracle-mongers, the Greek and Armenian bishops, who had entered the
sepulchre alone for the purpose. When they issued with two blazing
torches in their hands, all the people rushed with candles that
they might obtain the purest fire sent down from heaven, which they
instantly applied to their beards, faces, and bosoms, pretending that
it would not burn like an earthly flame; but Maundrell says he saw
plainly that none could endure the experiment long enough to make good
that pretension.

Dean Stanley, who was at Jerusalem in 1853 (_Sinaï and Palestine_,
467), states that Maundrell’s account is an almost exact transcript of
what was still to be seen. Captain Warren also witnessed the strange
doings in 1867–70 (_Underground Jerusalem_, 429–437); and in _The
Graphic_, Sept. 21, 1878, was published an interesting illustration of
the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during the performance
of the miracle, together with a short account of the proceedings.
“After a procession of bishops and priests thrice round the building,
the Patriarch enters the Sepulchre. Now the noise becomes greater and
greater ... making the place more like an Inferno than the Church of
Christ.... The Holy Fire now issues from the holes in the walls, and
hundreds of hands are stretched out as they frantically try to light
their candles at the flame.... By this time one candle has ignited
the other, and the crowd below is one mass of moving flame.” There is
no abatement, in this the 19th century, in the huge sham, with its
attendant blind superstition and noisy demonstrations.—ED.

(5.) “the priests from the country of Prester John.”—Upon descending
the steps on the east side of Calvary (Raumer, _Palæstina_, etc.,
301), another flight of twenty-four steps is reached, at the foot of
which is the Chapel of St. Helena, whence another flight of eleven
steps conducts to the place where the cross of Christ and those of
the two thieves were found. Here is an altar of the Latin church. The
chapel of the Jacobites must have been higher up, near the Chapel of
St. John which enclosed the tomb of the Baron of the Holy Sepulchre
and of his brother, the first king of Jerusalem; interesting monuments
that have been destroyed, not by the Turks but by the Greeks (Richter,
_Wallfahrten in Morgenlande_, 22).—BRUUN.

(6.) “the church of Saint Steffan, where he was stoned.”—It is asserted
on tradition (Noroff, _Péler. en T. S._, 19) that St. Stephen was
stoned in front of the sepulchre of the Holy Virgin, on the road that
leads from the Gate of St. Stephen, called also the Gate of Gethsemane.
But there was another gate on the north side of the city, that was
named by the Crusaders after the first Christian martyr, because it was
believed that he was stoned in front of it; this gate is now the Gate
of Damascus.

Noroff states further, that in ancient times there was upon the same
side a church of St. Stephen, which was demolished by the Christians
in consequence of its proximity to the walls, and because it presented
an obstacle to their defence. Daniel the Russian pilgrim, saw that
church intact, and asserts that St. Stephen there met his death and was
buried. Schiltberger, no doubt, found it in ruins. De Lannoy, without
mentioning the church, was of opinion that the martyr suffered death
close to the gate which bore his name, the spot being near Kedron and
the sepulchre of the Holy Virgin. The old chronicler Adamnanus (Raumer,
_Palæstina_, etc., 312, note 92), in describing the basilica of Zion
with its cœnaculum, says: “Hic petra monstratur supra quam Stephanus
lapidatus extra civitatem obdormitavit.” According to Daniel, Zion was
not within the city.—BRUUN.

(7.) “Another hospital that rests on fifty-four marble columns.”—The
ruins of this, the palace of the Hospitallers or Knights of the Order
of St. John of Jerusalem, are still to be seen to the south of, and
at no great distance from the Church of the Resurrection. A church
and monastery dedicated to the Holy Virgin were erected on this spot
in 1048; and shortly afterwards were constructed near these edifices,
another church, a monastery, and hospital, dedicated to St. John the
Baptist. Gerard, almoner of this hospital, instituted in 1118 the
celebrated Order of Hospitallers.—BRUUN.

(7A.) Benjamin of Tudela knew of two hospitals at Jerusalem which
supported four hundred knights, and afforded shelter to the sick. The
four hundred knights were ever ready to wage war together with those
who came from the country of the Franks. One hospital was called that
of Salmon, having been originally the palace built by Solomon.—ED.

(8.) “Infidels do not allow either Christians or Jews to enter it.”—This
must be the place where Omar about the year 640 constructed the great
mosque, afterwards converted into a Christian church that was named
Τὰ Ἅγια τῶν Ἁγίων. The Crusaders called it Templum Domini, by which
designation it was known to Schiltberger, although it was in the hands
of the Mahomedans.—BRUUN.

(9.) “called the throne of Salomon.”—This has reference to the site of
the mosque of Aksa, previously the Church of the Presentation of the
Virgin, built by Justinian in 530. The Russian pilgrim, Daniel, saw
it in the wrecked state to which it had been reduced at the conquest
of Jerusalem by the Franks, who there met with the most determined
resistance on the part of the Mussulmans.—BRUUN.

(10.) “there our Lord healed the bed-ridden man.”—It was generally
supposed that the pool and the palace of the templars occupied the
site of the temple of Solomon, close to the mosque of Aksa (Raumer,
_Palæstina_, etc., 297). Daniel knew of the residence of Solomon only,
because the palace was not constructed until the Order of Hospitallers
was established in 1119, that is to say, four or five years after his
stay in the Holy Land. The church, and the dwellings of the templars,
were destroyed in 1187 by Saladin, so that there was nothing for
Schiltberger to see but their remains.—BRUUN.

(11.) “the house of Herod.”—At no great distance from the pool, stood
a house said to have been that of Pilate; the modern edifice on the
south side of the Sakhara or mosque constructed by Omar in 637, is the
residence of the pasha. It is supposed that the palace of Herod was
farther away to the east, and to the right of the Via Dolorosa.—BRUUN.

(12.) “A church, called that of Saint Annen,” is noticed by De Lannoy,
who adds that this was the birth-place of St. Anne, the mother of the
Virgin Mary; but he makes no allusion to the head of St. Stephen, or
the arm of St. John Chrysostom, relics which, through some mistake
of the author, or of a scribe, have usurped the place of those of
St. Joachim the spouse of St. Anne. Daniel asserts that a church
consecrated to the latter existed in his day; it stood over their
dwelling and place of burial.—BRUUN.

(13.) “Mount Syon ... stands higher than the city.”—The wall constructed
by Souleiman, the Magnificent, 1536–1539, traverses the ridge of the
hills. Within it, near an Armenian chapel, is pointed out the house
of Annas, and at a short distance is the principal church of the
Armenians, dedicated to St. James the Elder who was there beheaded.
Within the wall stood the house of Caiphas the high priest, now the
Church of the Holy Saviour also belonging to the Armenians, and in
which is preserved the slab that closed the Saviour’s tomb. This is
probably the same church as described by Schiltberger; called that of
the Holy Saviour by De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._, 54), who says that
it was in the occupation of Catholics, or perhaps of Armenians who
recognised the supremacy of the Pope, but not of the Gregorians. This
church could not have existed in the time of Daniel, because he simply
mentions the house of Caiphas.

Close at hand was the cœnaculum, in which the Last Supper took
place—where the Holy Ghost fell on the apostles—where the Holy Virgin
expired, and where Jesus Christ washed the apostles’ feet. The Church
of Zion or of the Virgin Mary, that stood here and is described by
Daniel and others, was afterwards occupied by the Franciscan friars,
and eventually became a mosque. William of Tyre (Raumer, _Palæstina_,
etc., 312), Schiltberger and his contemporaries, Zosimus (_Pout. Rouss.
loud._, ii, 50) and De Lannoy, all agree that here was the tomb of St.
Stephen; De Lannoy, however, adds that it was the second place of his

(14.) “A beautiful castle which was built by the king-sultan.”—This
citadel on the western side of the mount was constructed during the
Crusades by the Pisans, the tower of David which formed a part of
it being of more ancient date. Daniel and others considered it a
formidable fortification.—BRUUN.

(15.) “King Soldan.”—The tomb of Solomon, described by several pilgrims,
adjoined that of David. De Lannoy calls it the burial place of twelve
other kings.—BRUUN.

(16.) “A brook in the valley of Josophat.”—On the banks of this stream,
the Kedron, and at no great distance from the garden of Gethsemane,
is a large rectangular edifice that was constructed by the Empress
Helena. Tobler (_Die Siloahquelle_, 149), who has taken the trouble
to record the number of steps counted by thirty-eight travellers, his
predecessors, without however including Schiltberger, places the tomb
of the Virgin at the foot of forty-seven steps. Near the above edifice
are four sepulchral monuments that have been differently described,
as their origin is unknown. Their style is partly Greek and partly
Egyptian, and they somewhat resemble the monuments at Petra. They are
fully described by Robinson, _Biblical Researches_, etc., and Kraft,
_Die Topographie Jerusalems_, Berlin, 1846.—BRUUN.

(17.) “the mount of Galilee.”—This is intended to designate the
northern summit of the Mount of Olives, on which was the tower Viri
Galilei, so called because two men in white stood there at the moment
of the Ascension (Raumer, _Palæstina_, etc., 310). De Lannoy refers to
this spot when describing pilgrimages to the Mount of Olives: “_Item_,
le lieu de Galilée, où Jhésu-Crist s’apparut à ses onze appostres”;
only he has confounded the place where the two stood with that of the

(18.) “Dead Sea, which is one hundred and fifty stadia wide.”—Josephus
(_Wars_, etc., iv, 8, 3) wrote that the Dead Sea was 580 stadia in
length, and 150 stadia wide. Seetzen (_Reiseberichte in Monatliche
Correspondenz_, Berlin, 1854, xviii, 440), gives the width at 13-1/2
English miles, which Robinson reduces to 11-1/4 miles, at the same
time observing that the water level rose from 10 feet to 15 feet; and
that when he happened to be there in the month of May, the water had
sufficiently risen to inundate, over the space of one mile, a salt lake
on its southern shore. The indications of Josephus and of Schiltberger
may have reference to the same season of the year.—BRUUN.

(18A.) Captain Warren (_Underground Jerusalem_, 175) gives much new
and valuable information on the Jordan and the valley of that river,
and explains that the rise and fall in the level of the Dead Sea is
caused by the fluctuations in the rush of water, the time of greater
evaporations not coinciding with that of the freshets. This rise
and fall might possibly be greater, were there no other regulating
arrangement than evaporation; but at the southern end there is a vast
tract of land, only submerged by a few feet (here is Robinson’s salt
lake), and when this is covered the evaporation is great; and should
the waters be unduly extracted, this becomes dry land. The Jordan
overflows its banks at harvest time, which is simply owing to the
harvest being early in that semi-tropical district, when the waters of
the river are swollen by the waters of Hermon. The disparity in the
dimensions of the Dead Sea, as noted by different authors, is here
accounted for and explained. See Duc de Luynes’ _Voy. d’Exploration à
la Mer Morte_, etc., Paris, 1874.—ED.

(19.) “Christians usually bathe in the Jordan.”—Pilgrims, even in the
days of Josephus and of Jerome, looked for salvation through baptism in
the Jordan, and still may thousands be seen on Easter Monday, wending
their way from Jerusalem to Jericho, performing the distance in five
hours; two other hours bring them to the Jordan, and they assemble at
the ruins of a church and monastery that were dedicated to St. John
the Baptist. The church was equally a ruin in Daniel’s time, but the
monastery and vaulted chapel near Hermon were in existence. It is clear
that this mount could not have been either the great Hermon of the
Lebanon, or the lesser Hermon which is situated in the middle of the
plain of Jezreel to the south of Mount Tabor.

The monastery of St. John the Baptist (De Lannoy) was perhaps identical
with that constructed, according to Adamnanus (Raumer, _Palæstina_,
etc., 60), by St. Helena, at the place where Christ was baptised.
Pocock (_Desc. of the East_, etc., ii, 49) makes it distant one mile
from the Jordan, and says that Greeks and Latins, who are at issue as
to the exact locality, are mistaken in seeking it on the western bank
of the river, John having baptised at Bethany beyond the Jordan. Noroff
(_Péler. en T. S._, 49) points out that Pocock himself is in error, and
that the Greeks and Latins were quite right in keeping to the western
bank, in front of Bethabara and not of Bethany.—BRUUN.

(20.) “from these it has its name.”—Many authors, from Josephus
to Burkhardt, have derived the name of the river Jordan from the
two springs, Jor and Dan, although the sources are in reality the
Banias, Dan, and Hasbeny; so that every allowance should be made if
Schiltberger has failed to give the correct etymology of the name,
which signifies in Hebrew “that which flows downwards”.—BRUUN.

(21.) “where the Infidels often have a fair during the year.”—This
beautiful plain was in all probability the valley of Jericho, watered
by the Jordan after it leaves the lake of Tiberias or Gennesareth, and
traverses two calcareous hills, described by Justin in words similar to
those of Schiltberger,—“Est namque vallis quæ continuis montibus velut
muro quodam clauditur.”

The valley of Jericho, compared by Josephus to a paradise, θεῶν
χωρίον, tractum divinum, is far from meriting such encomium, even
though we cannot but agree with Ritter that, considering the profusion
and utility of the vegetation still growing wildly in this fertile
valley, and the scattered remains of old aqueducts, it must have been
one of the most beautiful gardens in Palestine whilst in a state of
cultivation during the Crusades.

That the sepulchre of St. James was in this valley is a very puzzling
statement, because it is asserted on tradition that the Apostle of that
name, surnamed the Elder, was beheaded on Mount Zion, on the spot where
stands the church that bears his name; it is alluded to by Schiltberger
and De Lannoy, and is actually in the custody of the Armenians, who
state that the head of the saint was carried off to Spain, Quaresimus
(_Elucidatio Terræ Sanctæ_, ii, 77) asserting that the body, as well
as the head, is at Campostella. According to Daniel and De Lannoy, the
tomb of St. James the Less was in the valley of Josaphat, near that of
the prophet Zacharias, close to which, says Schiltberger, reposed the
remains of the prophet Jacob, a name substituted for that of James, or
rather James the Less, who, it is said, concealed himself in a tomb
near to that of Zacharias, upon the day that our Lord was betrayed.—BRUUN.

(22.) “twelve hundred and eighty years from Christ.”—The holy places had
been frequently won and lost during the Crusades, but they were never
again recovered from the Egyptians, after the expulsion of the Mongols
from Syria by the sultan Koutouz and his amir Beïbars in 1260, the
year 658 of the Hegira. Schiltberger’s error in computation, of twenty
years, probably arose from his having added the years of this date,
658 instead of 638 to the 622 years that had elapsed from the birth of
Christ to the commencement of the Mahomedan era. These dates amount
together to 1280, which he must have thought corresponded to 658 of the
Hegira, the period indicated to him as that at which Mussulman rule was
established in Syria and Palestine, and Christians lost their

(23.) “and this they do that they may make more profit.”—Many travellers
in Egypt, whether previous to, during, or since the Crusades, have
noticed that balsam was to be obtained only from the Matarea garden
near Cairo. To his translation of Abd-Allatif’s description of Egypt,
Silvester de Sacy adds several passages on the cultivation of balsam in
that country, being extracts from the reports of European and Eastern
writers; but he omits Arnold of Lubeck and De Lannoy. Whilst at Cairo,
the latter was presented by the patriarch of India with a “fyole de fin
balme de la vigne, où il croist, dont il est en partie seigneur”; and
he repeats the tradition related by Brocardus (_Terræ Sanctæ Descr._,
311), that the vine of the balsam had been brought to Babylon, meaning
Cairo, by Cleopatra.

Schiltberger was in Syria and Egypt at about the same time as De
Lannoy, and may have heard this tradition, also the legend that was
related to the Bishop of Lubeck, to the effect that the balsam tree did
not put forth in the garden of Matarea until the Virgin, in passing by
when on her flight from the persecutions of Herod, had washed her son’s
clothes in the stream that irrigated the garden. Makrizi associates
this very fable with the well at Matarea, adding, that the balm-tree
had quite disappeared from the country about the Jordan where it was
formerly exclusively obtained. Strabo (XVI, ii, 41) and Pliny (XII, v,
4) both say that this plant was cultivated in the royal gardens at
Jericho, of which it was the chief ornament (Josephus, _Wars_, etc.,
iv, 8); but it is doubtful whether it disappeared entirely from Judæa
after the days of Cleopatra and Augustus, because some was purchased at
Jerusalem in 705 by St. Guillebaud (cited by S. de Sacy, Abd-Allatif,
91); and Burkhardt learnt that balm-oil was to be obtained at Tiberias,
extracted from a fruit that greatly resembled the cucumber, and grew on
a stem very like the balsam tree at Mecca.

Now-a-days, a sort of oil, produced from the myrobalsamum and prepared
at Jerusalem, is sold to superstitious pilgrims for genuine balsam or
extract of opobalsamum, although it does not possess its qualities.
Deception was also practised in Schiltberger’s time, but he has shewn
himself not to have been so great a simpleton as the many who are being
continually duped.

That the sale of balsam was a great source of revenue to the sultan
(the patriarch of Armenia paid a high price for it, see page 92), is
confirmed by others. Makrizi considered it a most useful commodity.
Christian sovereigns vied with each other in securing a supply, and it
was greatly esteemed by Christians in general, because baptism was not
considered efficacious unless oil of balsam was dropped into the water
prepared for the purpose.—BRUUN.

(23A.) A plant called the balsam, from which oil was extracted, and
not to be found in any other part of the world, grew in the vicinity
of Fostat the chief city of Egypt, situated on the river Nile to the
north. So wrote Ibn Haukal in the 10th century. It was near Fostat that
Cairo was founded in 968. Jacques de Vitry, a bishop in Palestine in
the 13th century (afterwards bishop of Tusculum, the modern Frascati)
alludes to the produce of balsam in Egypt, which previously was to be
obtained in the Holy Land only (_Gesta Dei per Francos_, etc., Hanoviæ,
MDCXI, _Bongars edition_). According to De Lannoy, it grew by the shore
near the city of Cairo, and De Maillet, Consul for France at that city
in the early part of the last century, specially describes the plant,
which, however, he could not have seen, as it had disappeared two
hundred years before his time.

The last of the plants that grew in the garden of Matarea, says this
author, were not more than two or three cubits in height, the stem
being about one inch in thickness; the leaves of a beautiful green, on
slender branches, resembled those of the rue. The stem had a double
bark, the outer of a reddish colour, the inner, the thinnest, being
perfectly green. The smell of the two barks was not unlike that of
the turpentine tree, but when bruised between the fingers emitted
an odour similar to that of cardamom. Like the vine, this plant was
primed annually, and De Maillet supposes that then was extracted the
valuable balsam so greatly esteemed by all Christians, especially those
of the Coptic church, the efficacy of baptism without its application
being generally doubted (_Descr. de l’Egypte_, edited by the Abbé Le
Mascrier, à la Haye, 1740). De Maillet distinguishes the balsam of
Cairo from that of Mecca, which Ali Bey (_Travels_, etc.) informs us
was not made there, but, on the contrary, was very scarce, as it could
only be obtained when brought by the Bedouins. Ali Bey was told that
it came from Medina. According to some authors, the last of the balsam
plants growing in Egypt were destroyed in 1615 by an inundation of the


(1.) “Of these four rivers I have seen three.”—Well versed as
Schiltberger was in the Holy Scriptures, he could not but have been
aware that the Euphrates and Tigris were included among the four rivers
that had their source in Paradise; but he substitutes the Nile and
Rison for the Gihon and Pison.

It is noticed elsewhere, that in the time of the Crusades the Nile and
Euphrates were mistaken for each other, in consequence of the name
by which a part of Cairo was known. When, after a time, the error
was discovered, the Indus was substituted for the Euphrates, partly,
perhaps, because Koush—Ethiopia—was confounded with the country of the
Cossæi, peopled, according to the classic authors, by Ethiopians; and
also because it had formerly been mistaken for Κύσσια χώρα of the
ancients, known to the Hebrews as Eriz Koush, situated to the east
of Babylon (Fürst, _Gesch. des Karäerth._, 102). Thus was it that
Giovanni de’ Marignolli (_Reis. in das Morgenl._, 18) who passed
through China and India soon after Marco Polo, mistook the Gihon of the
Bible for the Indus and the Nile. Even De Lannoy (_Voy. et Ambass._,
88) does not venture to refute the opinion as to the continuity of
these two rivers. Being under the impression that the Nile was a
continuation of the Indus, Schiltberger calls the two rivers, which
he believed were united, the Nile, imagining that they were identical
with the Gihon or Sihon, a name that greatly resembles the Hebrew
denomination of the Nile.

“Rison” could scarcely have been other than the Pison of the Bible,
spelled Phison in the Nuremberg MS. (_Penzel edition_, 123); this
accounts for the statement that gold and precious stones were found in
it, produce for which the territory of Khivila, watered by the Phison,
was celebrated. Schiltberger adds, that the “Rison” traversed India,
whilst he identifies the Indus with the Nile; his fourth river must
therefore have been the Ganges, the Phison of Moses of Chorene, who
states that the river was at the limits of the two peninsulas of India,
although Haythoun, his countryman, believed the Phison to be the Oxus
because it divided Persia into two parts: one containing Samarkand and
Bokhara; the other, the southern cities of Nishapur, Ispahan, etc. Not
satisfied with having reconciled the contradictory opinions of his
predecessors, in identifying the Phison with the Ganges, Giovanni de’
Marignolli unites to these two rivers the Hoang-Ho and even the Volga
(Raumer, _Palæstina_, etc., Appendix, vii), and he represents that,
after irrigating Evilach in India, the Phison passes, not only into
China, where it is called the Karamora (Kara-mouran—Black River—was
the name given by the Mongols to the Yellow River of the Chinese), but
after disappearing in the sands behind Caffa, again shews itself and
forms the Sea of Bakou—Caspian—behind Chana—Tana, now Azoff. We are
bound to admit that Schiltberger is nearer the truth in saying that he
had never seen the “Rison” at all, than was the bishop of Bisignano who
recognised it in too many rivers at one and the same time.—BRUUN.


(1.) “the city of Lambe, in a forest called Lambor.”—Pepper was
cultivated in Malabar, the country indicated by these two names, long
before Schiltberger’s time. Kazvini, who died in 1283, Aboulfeda and
Ibn Batouta, all mention its produce, and Giovanni de’ Marignolli,
who visited Malabar in 1348, describes the cultivation of pepper in
pretty much the same terms as does our author, equally refuting the
story that the black colour was owing to smoke employed to drive away
serpents. We are informed by this author of the existence of many
Christians of St. Thomas in the country, and that there was a Latin
church dedicated to St. George in the town of Columbus, doubtlessly the
Kollam of the Arabs (Peschel, _Gesch. d. Erdkunde_, 162, note 3), the
Kuilon of the Chinese, called Coilum by Marco Polo, Chulam by Benjamin
of Tudela, Kaalan by Haythoun, Palombo, Alembo, Polumbrum by Oderic
and Mandevile, and Koulem by the natives. These names have nothing in
common with Koulouri, where the Russian merchant Nikitin spent five
months, but they somewhat assimilate that of Colanum taken in 1503
by the Portuguese, who stated that this town on the coast of Malabar
was reputed to be the most ancient and the richest in India (Maffei,
_Hist. Ind._, i, 52, xii, 289). Colanum may have been one of the places
mentioned by Schiltberger, the other being Calicut, touched at by Vasco
de Gama in 1498.

The colonisation of the Christian communities seen by the Portuguese
at the south-west extremity of the Deccan, dates from the earliest
centuries of our era. Neander says (_Allg. Gesch. d. christlichen
Relig. und Kirche_, I, i, 114) that the Syriac-Persian community on the
coast of Malabar owes its origin to St. Thomas, although its existence,
according to Cosmas “Indicopleustes”, cannot be traced earlier than the
6th century. Gregory of Nazianzus asserts (_Orat._, 25) that the Gospel
was preached in India by the apostle St. Thomas, who was murdered at
a place near Madras called Mailapur, on the Coromandel Coast, the
Maabar of Marco Polo, and identical with Mirapolis, where Giovanni de’
Marignolli tells us the apostle was buried. We are scarcely encouraged
to look for the forest of “Lambor” in the province of Maabar, because
there happened to be indications of Christian churches, rather than on
the coast of Melibar or Malabar, where the produce of pepper in ancient
times is fully established.—BRUUN.

(1A.) Friar Jordanus, 1333 (_Hakluyt Soc. Publ._, 27), indignantly
denies that fire was placed under the pepper trees, and is satisfied
that the fruit turns black simply upon coming to maturity. Oderic
(Hakluyt _Voyages_, ii, 160), also a predecessor of Schiltberger,
repeats the statement that in the kingdom of Minibar where pepper
grows, fires are made with the object of burning up the serpents, that
the people might gather at the harvest without injury to themselves.
Oderic estimated the circuit of the forest at an eighteen days’
journey, and the two cities in it, not named by our author, he calls
Flandrina and Cyncilim. At the south end of the forest stood a city
called Polumbrum, noticed in the foregoing note, and at a distance of
ten days’ journey was the kingdom of Mobar, where lay interred the body
of St. Thomas.

“It is seventeen hundred and forty years ago”, said the papa or
priest at Cacador to Buchanan in 1800, “since a certain saint named
Thomas introduced the Nazareens; he landed at Meliapura, and took
up his residence on a hill near Madras, now called after his name”
(_Journey from Madras_, London, 1807). There he performed a miracle
annually, says another authority, until English heretics came into
the neighbourhood. St. Thomas afterwards made a voyage to Cochin, and
near that place established a church which became the metropolitan; he
returned to Meliapura and there died, or, according to others, was put
to death. It appears that a bishop of India was present at the Council
of Nice, A.D. 325, and in the following century the Christians on the
coast of Malabar received the accession of a bishop of Antioch, who was
accompanied by a small party of Syrians. That Christians in Malabar
were numerous at the time Schiltberger obtained his information is most
probable, because Portuguese historians relate that in the year 1503
they possessed upwards of one hundred churches, those in the interior
refusing to conform to Rome (Assemanus, _Bibliot. Orient._, iv, 391
_et seq._; M. Geddes, _The Hist. of the Church of Malabar_, 1694;
Gardner, _Faiths of the World_, etc., ii, 900; see also G. B. Howard,
_Christians of St. Thomas and their Liturgies_, 1864; Yule’s _Marco
Polo_, ii, 341 _et seq._).—ED.

(2.) “the juice of an apple which they call liuon.”—There can scarcely
be a doubt that this was the lemon, called nimbouka in Sanscrit;
neemon, leemon in Hindostani, and lemonn by the Arabs, a fruit with
which Schiltberger could scarcely have been familiar in his own
country, or in those parts of Asia Minor, Central Asia, and even
Egypt, through which he travelled. The lemon, brought from India by
the Arabs about A.D. 912, was first planted at Oman; then at Basra in
Irak; afterwards in Syria, where the plant became common, whence it
was introduced into Palestine and Egypt. Jacques de Vitry includes
the lemon tree with others he saw for the first time when in the Holy
Land in the 13th century: “sunt ibi speciales arbores tam fructiferæ
quam steriles” (_Gesta Dei per Francos_, etc., lxxxvi); from which it
might almost be inferred that the Crusaders, who are supposed to have
introduced this plant into Europe, did not do so until after Jacques de
Vitry wrote. The genus, however, could not have been entirely unknown
in the West, it being recorded in _Chronica Montis Cassiniensis, Pertz
Scr._, 7, 652, that when the prince of Salerno in the year 1000 (1016?)
was besieged by the Arabs, forty Norman knights who passed that way on
their homeward journey from the Holy Land, delivered him. Upon taking
their leave, the knights were accompanied by ambassadors from the
prince, who were bearers of presents of the “poma cedrina (citrina?),
amigdalas quoque et deauratas nuces”, and a message to the Norman
people, inviting them to come to so beautiful a country and help him
to defend it (Abd-Allatif, S. de Sacy edition, 115–117; Makrizi in
Quatremère; _Journ. Horticultural Society_, ix, 1855; Risso et Poiteau,
_Hist. et Culture des Orangers_, Paris, 1872; Hehn, _Kulturpflanzen und
Hausthiere in ihrem Uebergang aus Asien nach Griechenl. und Ital._,
Berlin, 1877).

Lemon-juice was employed at Ceylon as protection against the numberless
land-leeches that seized upon the bare legs of the natives in the
lowlands (Ibn Batouta, _Lee edition_, 188; Knox, _Hist. of Ceylon_,
etc., I, iv, 49), precisely the sort of country where the vine
pepper—Piper nigrum—grows to best advantage, viz., on level ground
along the banks of rivers and rivulets (Simmonds, _Tropl. Agriculture_,
476). In his notice on “Sylan”, Friar Oderic says that the people who
dive into a lake infested with horse-leeches, for the purpose of
recovering precious stones, “take lemons, which they peel, anointing
themselves thoroughly with the juice thereof, that so they may dive
naked under the water, the horse-leeches not being able to hurt them”
(Hakluyt _Voyages_, ii, 160). Sir Emerson Tennent quotes Oderic, and
distinguishes the land- from the cattle-leech. The former, so inimical
to man, never visits ponds or streams, but is found in the lower ranges
of hill country kept damp by frequent showers; it attains a length of
two inches (_Natural History of Ceylon_, Chap. xiii). There is strange
confusion, in associating the use to which the lemon is put, in Ceylon,
with the pepper-growing country of Malabar by no means famous for


(1.) “those from Venice likewise.”—In his admirable treatise on the
establishment of Italian commercial depôts in Egypt, Heyd (_d.
Ital. Handelscolon._, etc., in the _Zeitschrift f. d. gesammte
Staatswissenschaft_, xx, 54–138) confirms the statement that of the
several Italian Powers, the Venetians and Genoese were at that time
the most interested in trade with Alexandria. Their predecessors the
Pisans, who had taken an active part in the eastern trade, were forced
at the commencement of the 15th century to abandon their interests in
favour of the Florentines, and in great measure also of the Anconitans,
Neapolitans, and citizens of Gaeta; but the Catalans, equally with the
Italians, kept up extensive commercial relations with Egypt.—BRUUN.

(2.) “the king of Zipern.”—Allusion is made to the taking of Alexandria,
Oct. 10th, 1365, by Peter of Lusignan, king of Cyprus, and his allies
the Genoese, Venetians, and knights of Rhodes. De Lannoy (_Voy. et
Ambass._, 70) records that the allied forces landed near the old port,
the entrance to which was ever afterwards closed against all vessels
of Christian nationalities. Upon the approach of the Egyptians on the
above occasion, the Franks re-embarked after having pillaged the city
and carried off five thousand captives (Weil, _Gesch. der Chal._, iv,
512). This expedition, in which twenty-four Venetian, two Genoese,
ten Rhodian, five French, and several Cyprian vessels took part, was
completed in the space of a week, so that allowing the requisite time
for landing and re-embarking, the occupation of the city would most
probably have lasted three days, the period indicated by

(3.) “took Alexandria, and remained in it three days.”—This tower
must have been either the pharos of Alexandria, or some tower on the
islet that had become united to the mainland by the sands of the
Nile; otherwise, De Lannoy, to whom we are indebted for a detailed
description of the port of Alexandria under a strategic point of view,
would not have failed to notice it. He simply mentions a long spit,
one mile wide, between the old and new ports which both reached to the
walls of the city. This islet is now occupied by one of its finest

Makrizi describes the pharos at Alexandria (S. de Sacy, _Chrestom.
Arabe_, ii, 189) as having at the top a large mirror, around which
criers were seated. Upon perceiving the approach of an enemy through
the agency of this reflector, they gave warning to those in the
immediate neighbourhood by loud cries, and flags were displayed to
apprise others at a distance, so that people in all parts of the city
were immediately on the alert.

De Sacy (Abd-Allatif, 239) is of opinion that the large circles
employed in astronomical observations and which were placed on the
highest part of such lofty buildings as the pharos, may have led
Arabian writers, who usually delighted in the relation of all that was
marvellous, to represent that the mirror at the top of the Alexandria
lighthouse was placed there for better observing the departure of Greek
vessels from their ports. The tower described in the text was no doubt
designed for this purpose, because Ijas an Arabian author (Weil.
_l. c._, v, 358) relates, that in 1472 the sultan Kaïtbaï caused a new
lighthouse to be constructed near the old one; it communicated with the
city by means of a dyke, and was provided with a chapel, a mill, and a
bakehouse; also a platform from which strange vessels could be seen at
the distance of a day’s sail, so that time was afforded for preparing
the guns with which the tower was supplied, to resist their approach.
Schiltberger was right in saying that there was a temple in the tower,
because Abd-Allatif speaks of a mosque as being at the top of the
pharos at Alexandria.

Apart from the possibility of there having been a traitor amongst them
who ministered in that temple, the Egyptians may have invented the
tale narrated in this chapter, in extenuation of their negligence in
suffering themselves to be taken by surprise by the Crusaders.—BRUUN.


(1.) “had I not seen it, I would not have spoken or written about
it.”—I do not think I can be far out in attributing this gigantic bone
to Alexander of Macedon, not only because “Allenklaisser” is so like
the Arabic name Al Iskender, but also because the remembrance of the
rapidity with which the founder of Alexandria had carried his conquests
in the East, could not have been obliterated in the city which was
indebted to him, for having become the central depot of the commerce of
the world during upwards of one thousand years. There can be no manner
of doubt that, in the course of ages, other ancient traditions became
mixed up with legends of Alexander, especially as regards the Jews, who
were treated by the great conqueror with the urbanity that some rulers
of the earth, of our own times, would do well to imitate.

We read in Abd-el-Hakam’s history of the conquest of Egypt (Makrizi
by Quatremère, I, i, 218), that the body of a giant killed by Moses
fell across the Nile and served as a bridge. With this legend may be
associated Schiltberger’s tale, and his credulity need not be wondered
at when we consider, that in the 13th century the story was thought
worthy of being related; and some there were even bold enough to tell
it to the powerful ruler of the Golden Horde, Bereke Khan, who enquired
of the ambassadors sent to him in 1263 by the sultan Bibars, whether
it was true that the bone of a giant, laid across the Nile, was being
used as a bridge! The ambassadors, who had been probably selected from
among the most enlightened of the sultan’s ministers, replied that they
had never seen it, an answer that may have been elicited by the nature
of the question, because the strange bridge seen by Schiltberger must
have been in Arabia and not in Egypt. It united two rocks separated by
a profound ravine in the depths of which coursed a torrent, and as it
afforded the only practicable means for crossing the ravine on the high
road, travellers were obliged to pass over it.

I cannot believe that these topographic details were invented by
Schiltberger, and am therefore inclined to think that he alludes to
the neighbourhood of the fortresses of Kerak and Shaubek, places that
acquired considerable importance during the Crusades in consequence of
their admirable situations. They are easily identified with “Crach” and
“Sebach” mentioned by De Lannoy, after he refers to the “montaignes
d’Arrabicq” for the purpose of observing, that in the former was “la
pierre du desert”, and in the latter the sepulchre of Aaron, and that
the road thence conducted through a desert to St. Catherine and to
Mecca. Quatremère says (Makrizi, II, i, 249) that Karac was the key to
the road across the desert. Caravans to and from Damascus and Mecca,
merchants, and troops despatched from the capital of Syria to that
of Egypt, were obliged to pass close under its walls or at no great
distance from them.

Shaubek, the “Mons regalis” of the Crusaders, thirty-six miles from
Kerak, was also a strong place. Burckhardt tells us that a ravine,
three hundred feet in depth, encircles the citadel, which is in a
better state of preservation than the one at Kerak or Krak, called also
Petra deserti from its proximity to the ancient city of that name, and
to which a part of Arabia owes the name of Arabia Petrea; its situation
is characteristically described by Pliny: “oppidum circumdatum
montibus inaccessis, amne interfluente”. The valley in which this
ancient city was situated, the “vallis Moysi” of the Crusaders, now
Wady Mousa (Raumer, _Palæstina_, etc., 271–277), five hundred feet in
depth, is watered by a stream and surrounded by steep rocks (Laborde,
_Voy. dans l’Arabie pétrée_, 55).

According to an Arabian author quoted by Quatremère (_l. c._ II, i,
245), the road near these two cities was so peculiar that it could have
been held by one man against a hundred horsemen. Another reason for the
supposition that the bridge seen by Schiltberger was in one of these
passages, lies in the fact that the same writer includes the tomb of
Iskender among the holy places of pilgrimage in this ancient country;
but he does not determine the individuality of that Iskender.

On the hypothesis that “Allenklaisser’s” limb was near the tomb of
Iskender, I should be inclined to look in the same locality for the
bridge that was constructed, according to the inscription it bore, two
hundred years before Schiltberger saw it. Judging from other passages
in his work, the author was in Egypt probably about the year 1423, the
date of the construction of the bridge being therefore 1223; this,
however, can scarcely have been the case, because the feuds between
Saladin’s successors, which commenced soon after his death in 1193, had
not ceased, and the Ayoubites were continually in conflict with the
Crusaders. It should be borne in mind that although Schiltberger knew
that the year 825 of the Hegira corresponded to A.D. 1423, he may not
have been aware that the Mahomedan is shorter than the Christian year,
whereby 200 Mahomedan years are equal to 193 solar years only; and thus
he calculated that the construction of the bridge took place in 1223
instead of 1230. This was the time when Al-Kamyl the nephew of Saladin,
having become reconciled with the emperor Frederick II., was recognised
by the princes of his house as their suzerain lord, and he thereafter,
until his death in 1238, held Syria and Egypt, with the exception of
the fortresses of Kerak and Shaubek which he had to cede in 1229 to
his nephew Daud or David. This circumstance, no doubt, induced the
“king-sultan” to order the construction of a bridge for keeping up
communication between two parts of his kingdom, the new bridge being
near the old one that was kept smeared with oil, a condition that had
the effect of persuading the guileless Bavarian that it was indeed a
gigantic bone.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Others believe in one who was called Molwa.”—If, as Neumann
supposes, a Molla or Mussulman priest is here implied, I would venture
to suggest that allusion is made to Hassan, founder of the sect of
Assassins or Mulahidah. The partisans of “the Old Man of the Mountain”
had not been entirely exterminated by the Mongols, for not only were
they in Asia after Marco Polo, but they reappeared in India at a later
period, where the Bohras, another Ismailis sect, existed, and with whom
they have been frequently confounded. “The nature of their doctrine
indeed”, says Colonel Yule (Marco Polo, i, 154), “seems to be very much
alike, and the Bohras like the Ismailis attach a divine character to
their _Mullah_ or chief pontiff, and make a pilgrimage to his presence
once in life”.—BRUUN.


(1.) “thy descendants will also acquire great power.”—It is stated in
chapter 56 that Mahomet was born in the year of our Lord 609, so that
his journey into Egypt took place in 622, the year of the prophet’s
flight from Mecca to Medina. Schiltberger evidently confuses that
memorable event with a journey undertaken by Mahomet when in his
thirteenth year, if not into Egypt, at least into Chaldæa, where
his great destiny was foretold to him by a Nestorian priest. It is
most probable, however, that the author was not quite familiar with
Mahomedan traditions, which assert that it was in the year 609, that
is to say, thirteen years before the date of the Hegira, that Mahomet
was informed of his lofty calling by an angel, and that the archangel
Gabriel quickly taught him to read; it is therefore the existence of
the prophet, not the birth of the man, that dates from this year.
The error is very pardonable, because several miracles attributed to
the prophet by Mussulmans, were supposed to have been performed in
his youth. They believe, for instance, that from his infancy he was
enclosed within an aureola, and could therefore stand in the light of
the sun without casting a shadow, which would also have been the case
had a black cloud floated over his head as related by Schiltberger,
who remained too firmly attached to Christianity not to attribute the
phenomenon to the wiles of the Prince of Darkness, rather than to the
effect of celestial light.—BRUUN.

(1A.) What appears to be the more generally accepted story of Mahomet’s
first journey from home, is related by Syer Ameer Ali, in _A Critical
examination of the Life and Teachings of Mohammed_; London, 1873. When
Abu Taleb (the prophet’s uncle, for he was an orphan) determined upon
making a journey to Syria, leaving Mohammed with his own children,
and was on the point of mounting his camel, the boy clasped his knees
and cried: Oh! my uncle, take me with thee! The heart of Abu Taleb
melted within him, and the little orphan nephew joined the commercial
expedition of his uncle. They travelled together into Syria. During one
of the halts they met an Arab monk, who, struck by the signs of future
greatness, and intellectual and moral qualities of the highest type in
the countenance of the orphan child of Abdullah, recognised in him the
liberator and saviour of his country and people.—ED.

(2.) “The first temple is also called Mesgit, the other Medrassa, the
third, Amarat.”—The designations of these several edifices and their
uses are correct. The jamy, called “Sam”, is the largest of mosques;
“Mesgit”, or rather mesjyd, being an ordinary and smaller mosque.
“Medrassa”, for medressè, is a college usually attached to a mosque,
and to be distinguished from the mehteb or boy’s school; and “Amarat”,
for which we should read imaret, is an imperial place of burial, and a
name applied also to a hospital, almshouse, etc.—ED.


(1.) “Of the Infidel’s Easter-day.”—This is the first of the two
Baïrams, the only religious festivals of the Mahomedans. The first,
called Id Fitr—feast of the termination of the fast—falls on the
first day of the month of Chewal, immediately after the feast of
Ramadan. The second, called Id Addha, or Kourban Baïram—feast of
sacrifice—is celebrated seventy days later, on the tenth day of the
month of Zilhidshek. Id indicates the anniversary of these periodical
feasts, which take place in their turn every season during the space
of thirty-three years, according to the lunar months of the Mahomedan
calendar. The first festival is of one day’s duration only, but it is
usually observed for three days. The second, instituted in remembrance
of Abraham’s sacrifice, is continued for four days. Mussulmans
celebrate it by proceeding on a pilgrimage to Mecca, where is the Kaaba
or sanctuary, constructed, it is said, by Abraham and his son Ishmael,
in the form of the tent or tabernacle that was placed there by angels
the day the world was created.

The ancient custom of covering the Kaaba, at this festival, with a
black cloth, is still observed, the old cloth being cut up and sold to
pilgrims, who preserve the pieces as the most precious of relics.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Those who are in this fellowship are called They.”—To those
who are unfamiliar with the name, says Neumann, the title of Ghasi
would scarcely be recognised in that of They. Neumann misunderstands
Schiltberger, who does not at all allude to the Ghasi, but to those of
the Malahidah sect called Day (Missionaries), and whom he designates
They, just as his own countrymen at times employ the word Teutsche for
Deutsche. There certainly were Malahidahs in Asia Minor, or Turkey, as
the author called that territory.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Machmet is his true messenger.”—This invocation in Arabic, in
general use among Mussulmans, reads thus: La Illaha illa Allah!—No
Gods, but God!—Illaha being the plural of Allah—God—and La, the simple
negative, No, in opposition to Yes.—ED.

(2.) “Machmet his chief messenger.”—The correct rendering of this
passage would be: T’hary byr dour, Messyh kyoull dour, Meryam kara bash
dour, M’hammed ressouly dour—God is one, the Messiah is his slave,
Mary is a blackhead, Mahomet is his apostle. Mary is here termed a
blackhead to signify a slave, because coloured females were employed as
slaves, white women being reserved for other purposes. This formula,
though no longer obligatory, would still be employed in the Mahomedan
provinces of the Caucasus and in Persia, were a Christian to embrace
Mahomedanism. The words imply a renunciation of Christianity, as also a
recognition that God is One and Mahomet is his apostle.—ED.


(1.) “the Winden tongue, which they call Arnaw.”—Schiltberger was not
wrong in saying that the Venede tongue was known to the Turks as the
Arnaut; at least it appears in Pianzola (_Grammatica_, _Dizionario_,
etc.) that the country called by the Italians, Illirice, was identical
with the Slavonia of the Greeks and the Arnaut of the Turks. This is no
place for solving the question, why the Turks should have designated
two people of different origin by the same name; but the circumstance
serves to support the opinion of several authors (Köppen, _Krymsky
Sbornyk_, 1837, 226) that the Turks were not in the habit of calling
people of any distinct nationality by the name of Arnaut, but rather
all those who, being the subjects or brothers-in-arms of the Arianite
family, had distinguished themselves in their struggles with them;
such, for instance, as the Slaves and Albanians or Skipetars, among
whom was George Castriota of Slave descent (Jirecek, _Gesch. d.
Bulgaren_, 268). His biographer (Barletius, _Vita Scanderbegi_, etc.,
apud Zinkeisen, _Gesch. d. O. R._, i, 776) thus expresses himself in
allusion to Topia, the compatriot of the Scanderbeg of the Turks. “Hic
est ille Arianites qui apud Macedones (Slaves) et Epirotas (Albanians)
cognomento Magnus et dictus et habitus est”, ... etc.—BRUUN.

(2.) “the Yassen tongue, which the Infidels call Afs.”—The As,
Yasses—the Alains, Alans of antiquity, are the Ossets of to-day, a
people inhabiting a strip of territory in the middle of the great
mountain range of the Caucasus, and who are believed to be the only
connecting link between the Indo-Persian branch and the European branch
of the great Indo-Germanic race. The population in 1873 was estimated
at 65,000, of which number, it was supposed, 50,000 were Christians;
the remainder being Mahomedans and Pagans, or a mingling of the three
(_The Crimea and Transc._, i, 296, ii, 2).

An unpretending sketch of this interesting people, twice alluded to by
the author (in chapter 61 he speaks of them as the Jassen and Affs), is
here submitted.

The earliest mention of the Alans is made by Josephus (_Wars_, VII,
vii, 4), and again by Procopius (_De Bell. Goth._, iv, 3, 4), from
whom we learn that they dwelt on the shores of the Lake Mæotis and
to the North of the Caucasus, whence they overran the country of
the Medes and of Armenia, until defeated by Artaces who forced them
to withdraw beyond the Cyrus; similar predatory incursions into
Tauric-Scythia and the West, being arrested by the Goths, who in
their turn were overpowered by the Huns. The invasion of Asia Minor
by the Alans gave cause of uneasiness to the Roman Empire, but it was
successfully resisted by Arrian, prefect of Cappadocia (Forbiger,
_Handbuch der Alt. Geogr._, i, 424), and they were also defeated by
Vakhtang “Gourgasal”—Wolf Lion—the sovereign of Georgia, 466–499,
upon their venturing to invade that kingdom (Brosset, _Hist. de la
Géorgie_, I, 153). In 966, the Yasses were subdued by the Russians
under Sviatoslaff, after his conquest of Tmoutorakan (Taman); and
in 1276 they lost Dediakoff, their capital, to the Mongols, whose
progress, having the Kiptchaks for their allies, they attempted to
oppose (Karamsin, _Hist. de Russie_, i, 214; ii, 191). After this we
find the Yasses in the West, for when Tchaga, the son of Nogaï, led an
expedition sent by the Khan Toula Boga, 1287–1291, to the Danube, he
halted for a while in the country of the Ass, now Moldavia, the capital
of which bears their name to this day—Yassy (D’Ohsson, _Hist. des
Mongols_, iv, note p. 750). After the death of Nogaï, 1299, at Kaganlik
(now Kouïalnyk near Odessa), some 16,000 Ass or Alains, more than one
half of which number were fighting men, crossed the river, 1301, and
offered their services to the Byzantine Emperor by whom they were
accepted (Pachymeres, _Migne edition_, tom. 144, p. 337).

Alains were met in Khozary (Crimea) by the ambassadors of Bibars I.,
sultan of Egypt, 1260–1270 (Makrizi by Quatremère, I, i, 213, 218); a
statement confirmed by Aboulfeda who says they occupied Kyrkyer, now
Tchyfout Kaleh—Jew’s Fortress (see note 8, p. 176, for this name),
close to which is Baghtchasaraï the modern Tatar capital in the
peninsula; also by Marino Sanudo the Venetian traveller, who wrote,
1333, that there still were in the country “Gothi et aliqui Alani”
(Kunstmann, _Stud. über M. S._, 105).

The Alains should be included amongst those populations in the East
that were converted to Christianity through the exertions of Justinian;
but they relapsed to paganism until a priesthood was settled in their
country by Thamar, the great queen of Georgia, 1174–1201, who caused
numerous churches to be constructed for their use; and that they
belonged to the Greek Church, as stated by Schiltberger, is shewn by
Rubruquis the Gray Friar, for he met at Scacatay some Alans or Aas, “as
they were called by the Tartars”, who professed the Greek faith, and
with whom he offered up prayers for the dead (_Recueil de Voy. et de
Mém._, iv, 243, 246, _et seq._)—ED.

(3.) “it is the Schurian and not the Greek tongue”.—This Jacob, surnamed
Baradæus, or Zanzalus, died as bishop of Edessa in 588, leaving his
sect in the most flourishing condition; it forms the Syrian church in
Syria, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, and other parts.
His followers, known as Jacobites, believe that in the Saviour of the
World, both natures are united in one, and herein lies the principal
difference from the Greek Church. Although their vernacular is the
Arabic, the Syrian Christians employ the Syrian language in public
worship (Mosheim, _Ecclesiastical History_, etc., i, 154; Gardner, _The
Faiths of the World_, etc., ii, 194).—ED.


(1.) “Pera, which the Greeks call Kalathan, and the Infidels call it
the same.”—The Genoese were already established at Constantinople when
Manuel I. ascended the throne (1143). Besides the emporium of Copario
in the city of Constantinople, they possessed Orcu in the suburb
of Galata (Heyd, _Le Colonie Commer._, etc., i, 330; Desimone, _I
Genovesi_, etc., 217 _et seq._), which they occupied during the reign
of the Angelos dynasty, remaining there so long as the Latin Empire
lasted, but without ever successfully rivalling the Venetians. After
the restoration of the Greek Empire at Constantinople by Michel VIII.
in 1261, their fortunes changed in consequence of the great privileges
that were accorded to them by the emperor, which included the cession
of the suburb of Galata, soon to become the central depôt of all their
settlements in Greece, on the shores of the Black Sea and of the Sea of
Azoff, a transfer which probably accounts for the appearance of “Mæotis
palus, nunc Galatia”, in the list of new names supplied by Codinus
(_Hieroclis Synecdemus_, etc., 313).

Notwithstanding the rivalry of the Venetians, who in 1296 even seized
upon Galata, or Pera as the colony was usually called by the Latins,
and their frequent quarrels with the Greeks, the commercial prosperity
of the Genoese settlement went on increasing until about the middle of
the 14th century, when the Customs dues amounted to 200,000 hyperperes,
those at Constantinople scarcely reaching the sum of 30,000 hyperperes
(_Niceph. Greg._, ii, 842). This “State within a State”, no doubt
excited the cupidity of the Turks after their assumption of power in
Europe, and the removal of the sultan’s residence to Adrianople; but
the Genoese succeeded for a time in averting the threatening danger
by making numerous concessions, as appears by the treaty of commerce
concluded by them in 1387 with Murad I., whose successor, Bajazet, lay
siege to Constantinople. This monarch, however, was constrained to turn
his arms against Timour, and the capital was spared the horrors of a
longer siege. The battle of Angora, so fatal to the Ottoman power,
delayed for a few decades only the fall of the Greek Empire and the
disappearance of the Genoese.—BRUUN.

(2.) “caused two seas to flow into each other.”—“La formation et
l’origine du Bosphore de Thrace,” says Vivien de Saint-Martin (_Desc.
de l’A. M._, ii, 469), “ont donné lieu, chez les anciens comme chez
les modernes, aux hypothèses les plus aventureuses, jeux hardis de
l’imagination basés sur de vieilles traditions de convulsions et de
cataclysmes; les observations de la géologie moderne sont venues
anéantir ces systèmes d’époques moins rigoureuses, en démontrant que
les terrains de nature différente qui constituent les deux côtés du
détroit, n’ont jamais pu être produit par un déchirement, et qu’il
existe de toute nécessité depuis l’origine même des choses.” Other
authors, including some philologists (Menn, in _Jahresbericht über d.
Gymn. u. d. Realschule zu Neuss_, 1854, 18), think otherwise, so that
we need not be surprised if the sages at Constantinople also differed
in opinion, or that the people there should have included the cutting
of the strait among the exploits of Alexander.—BRUUN.

(3.) “Troya, on a fine plain, and one can still see where the city
stood.”—The ruins of the city of Priam did not exist in Schiltberger’s
time any more than they do now; but in the absence of the material
vestiges that Lechevalier and other travellers, his successors,
believed they found beneath the surface of the earth, there is Homer’s
admirable description, precise as that of the most accurate geographer,
and which restores to us the primitive map of the Trojan plain. I am
here under the necessity of quoting at some length, a passage from
Vivien de Saint-Martin’s _Description de l’Asie Mineur_, 489:—“Dès que
l’on accepte le plateau de Bounar-Bachi” (a name, says this author,
derived from two sources of the Scamander) “comme l’emplacement de la
Troie homérique, les indications circonstanciées et si nombreuses que
fournit le Poète sur les localités environnantes, viennent s’adapter
d’elles-mêmes an terrain actuel.”

“Une ville de fondation éolienne qui usurpe le nom d’Ilion, et qui par
la suite des temps et d’obscurité des traditions, prétendit occuper
l’emplacement même de la cité de Priam, s’était élevée sur une autre
éminence éloignée d’une lieue vers le Nord, et située non plus sur la
gauche, mais sur la rive droite du Simoïs. Cette ville est l’Ilium
des siècles postérieurs, l’Ilium Recens; et lorsque les poètes ou les
historiens de l’époque romaine parlent du berceau de leur race, c’est
toujours à cette Ilium éolienne qu’il faut rapporter leurs allusions
et leurs descriptions, car le site réel de l’Ilium primitive était
dès lors oublié. La nouvelle Ilium est maintenant ruinée, comme
l’Ilium homérique; près de l’éminence isolée qu’elle occupa, on trouve
aujourd’hui le village Turc de Tchiblak.”

The ruins near the sea and at no great distance from Constantinople,
believed by Schiltberger to have been those of the royal city, must
have been the remains of Alexandria Troas opposite the island of
Tenedos. It was there that the Russian pilgrim Daniel, and the author’s
contemporaries, the archdeacon Zosimus and Clavijo, thought they saw
the ruins of Troy, as was the case one hundred years later, 1547, with
the French traveller Belon, who landed that he might examine them
with the greater facility. At the base of a small hillock, but within
the circuit of the walls of the city, were some ancient arches and
the remains of two palaces in marble (_Obs. de plusieurs singularités
trouvées en Grèce, en Asie_, etc.; in Saint-Martin, ii, 8). Belon
passes lightly over the difficulty he experienced in not finding near
this, the supposed site of the Homeric city, the two rivers Simoïs and

The honorary president of the Geographical Society at Paris has
lately sought to prove, that the city of Priam should be looked for
where Lechevalier conceived it to be, that is to say, at Bunarbashí,
whence Dr. Schliemann believes he is justified in removing it to the
neighbourhood of Ilium Recens or Hissarlik, as the result of the
successful explorations conducted by himself with the assistance of his
wife. Although some English and most German authorities applaud the
zeal with which his work was performed, and the great importance of his
discoveries to students of archæology, all are not so readily persuaded
that the question of the position of Ilium is solved, seeing that the
topographical details, as we receive them from Homer, are drawn from
the imagination of the poet, rather than after the reality.—BRUUN.

(4.) “for all [kinds of] pastime that might be desired in front of
the palace.”—The games, chiefly of Eastern origin, that were held in
the open space in front of the imperial residence, are mentioned by
various authors. It will here suffice to quote from the writings of a
predecessor of Schiltberger, and of one who followed after him.

When Edrisi visited Constantinople, circa 1161, sports were held in the
hippodrome, which he considered the most marvellous in the universe.
It had to be passed before reaching the palace, an edifice unequalled
in its proportions and in the beauty of its construction (_Jaubert
edition_, 297). Bertrandon de la Brocquière, 1432 (_Early Travels in
Palestine_, Bohn edition, 1848), thus describes one of the sports he
witnessed in the large and handsome square in front of St. Sophia:
“I saw the brother of the emperor, the despot of the Morea, exercise
himself with a score of other horsemen. Each had a bow, and they
gallopped along the enclosure throwing their hats before them, which,
when they had passed, they shot at; and he who with his arrow pierced
the hat or was nearest to it, was esteemed the most expert.”—ED.

(5.) “he has no longer that power, so the apple has
disappeared.”—Stephen of Novgorod (_Pout. Rouss. loud._, ii, 14), a
pilgrim passing through Constantinople about the year 1350, certifies
that the emperor held in his hand a kind of golden apple surmounted by
a cross. Clavijo says the “pella redonda dorada” was in its place, and
so, we may conclude, was the cross; because in 1420, Zosimus (_Pout.
Rouss. loud._, ii, 38) saw the cross on the apple that was in the
emperor’s hand; it is probable, therefore, that these insignias were
removed between the years 1420–1427, at which latter date Schiltberger
spent some months at Constantinople after his escape from bondage.

A short time before the author’s arrival in the city of the Cæsars,
the aged Manuel died (1425), and John, his son and successor, was
forced to sign a treaty of peace with the Turks, the conditions being
of the most onerous nature; for he was deprived of all his possessions
with the exception of the capital, the appanages in the Morea of
the Greek princes, and a few fortresses on the shores of the Black
Sea (Zinkeisen, _Gesch. d. O. R._, i, 533); he also covenanted to
pay the sultan an annual tribute of 300,000 aspres, and to make him
numerous presents of great value as a mark of personal regard. In
such circumstances the unfortunate monarch must have been under the
necessity of laying hands upon all the gold he could come across, and
Schiltberger’s _bon mot_ on the disappearance of the apple together
with the emperor’s power, might be taken literally.

Zosimus relates that the statue which held the apple was distant an
arrow’s flight from the hippodrome, doubtlessly the “fine square for
tilting”, now known as the Meïdan. The magnificent palace wherein
receptions were held, and that excited the admiration of Schiltberger,
must have been the Boukoleon and Daphna which adjoined the hippodrome
(Dethier, _Der Bosphor und Constantinopel_, Wien, 1873, 22). This
edifice was greatly neglected during the reigns of the last of the
Palæologi, and after his conquest of Constantinople, Mahomet II.
ordered its complete destruction.

The other palace noticed was the Blackernes, in which Clavijo (_Hakluyt
Soc. Publ._ 29) was received by the emperor Manuel. Near it, Bertrandon
de la Brocquière found a “fausse braie d’un bon et haut mur en avant du
fossé, qui était en glacis excepté dans un espace de deux cents pas à
l’une de ses extrémités près du palais”. This must have been the place
where Schiltberger saw a “getüll.”[1]—BRUUN.

  [1] See page 84.

(5A.) The statement that the statue was placed on a pillar is
corroborated by Cedrenus in his Chronicles, and in the Annals of
Zonaras, in which works we find it stated that the great pillar
Augusteon was erected in the fifteenth year of the reign of Justinian,
the statue being placed on it two years later. When Bertrandon de la
Brocquière saw the equestrian statue, which he inadvertently calls that
of Constantine, it grasped a sceptre in the left hand. Pierre Gilles,
the naturalist and author, sent to the Levant by Francis I. of France,
found portions of this statue in the melting house where ordnance were
cast, it having been overturned and destroyed in 1523 (_Antiquities of
Constantinople_, London, 1729); or in 1525, according to the anonymous
author of the Constantiniade. The proportions were colossal, for the
leg exceeded the height of a man, and the nose was nine inches in
length, as were also the hoofs of the horse. Gilles represents that the
statue, which was made of brass, faced the East, as if the emperor was
marching against the Persians; the right arm was stretched out, and in
the left hand was a globe to signify universal power over the whole
world, all success in war being attributed to the cross fixed on the
top. He was dressed like Achilles, in a coat of mail and shining helmet.

It is certain that the globe and cross disappeared fully one hundred
years before the arrival at Constantinople of Gilles, whose detailed
description of the statue must have reference to its original


(1.) “Lemprie; in it is a mountain that is so high, it reaches to the
clouds.”—French and Italian names commencing with a vowel, commonly
became transformed by the addition of the article which preceded them,
and in this way, Imbro was altered during the Latin empire to Lembro,
the name ordinarily given to the island, whence “Lemprie”, and Nembro
of Clavijo. During a part of the 15th century, Imbros belonged to the
Gattilusio, a Genoese family, and in 1430 became subject to the Greek
emperor. The island is overspread with the ruins of many castles, the
walls of which are covered with inscriptions and armorial bearings
(Heyd, _Le Colonie Commer._, i, 416).—BRUUN.

(1A.) The author’s statement may be taken as being the reverse of the
fact, and that the clouds had descended to the mountain, for the
highest point of land on the island of Imbros is only 1959 feet, an
altitude altogether insignificant when compared to the mountains he
must have seen in his journeys; they include the great range of the
Caucasus, shewing summits at upwards of 18,000 feet, and the noble
Ararat, rising nearly 15,000 feet above the plains of the Araxes. Had
his course lay further to the west, Samothraky, at 5248 feet above the
sea, would have excited his imagination still more.—ED.

(2.) “wide, large, and thick as a mill-stone.”—The “golden discs” may
have been simply of golden glass or mosion, with which the interior of
the dome of St. Sophia was covered, as we are informed by Theophanes
and Cedrenus, whose description refers to the present dome constructed
soon after 559, the thirty-second year of the reign of Justinian.—ED.

(3.) “I myself was at that same time with the king in Turkey.” After
the battle of Nicopolis, Bajazet renewed the siege of Constantinople,
the city being succoured by a force of 1200 men sent by Charles VI. of
France, and bodies of troops from Genoa, Venice, Rhodes, and Lesbos.
Marshal Boucicault withstood the siege with his little army, and on
quitting the capital in 1399, the command devolved upon Chateaumorant,
the emperor Manuel being absent in France, whither he had gone to
ask for assistance. It was fortunate for the Greeks that Bajazet was
obliged to muster the whole of his forces to enable him to encounter
Timour’s legions.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Christus is risen.”—The ordinances of the Greek Church have
undergone but little change since Schiltberger wrote.

Warm water, τὸ ζέον (ὕδωρ being understood), is always mixed with wine.

Leavened bread for the celebration of the Eucharist, is now ordinarily
made and sold by bakers. It is called προσφορὰ, “prossura” in the text,
and is administered to the people in turn by the priest, who stands at
the altar. It is also administered to young children after baptism.

Wednesday and Friday continue to be the ordinary fast days.

Women are required to stand apart from the men, so that all churches
are built with a γυναικέτης, or place for women; but this rule is not

The so-called “coleba”, more correctly κολάβα, are still given to the
priests at the μνημόσυνον, or service for the dead. This custom is very
strictly observed.

Fasts are kept at all the periods indicated, except on the day of the
Assumption, when there is no fast. The fast for the Apostles commences
on the fifty-ninth day after Easter Day.

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη—Christ is risen—is sung daily from Easter Day
to the Day of the Assumption.—ED.


(1.) “because in the same place there is a breakwater.”—“Wann es an
der selben stat ein getüll hat.” The identical word “getüll” appears
in the editions of 1475 (?) and 1549, but is altogether omitted by
Penzel, and remains unexplained by Neumann. Professor Bruun (Russian
edition) interprets it as palisade; I prefer, however, to translate it
as breakwater, believing that I recognise in the locality described
by Schiltberger that part of the city on the Sea of Marmora, between
the Eptapyrgyon—Seven Towers—and the Acropolis, abreast of which huge
stones were placed to resist the force of the waves (Cantacuzene,
_Hist. de l’Empire d’Orient_). An earlier author (Glycas, _Annales_)
states that they were conveyed thither for the construction of the
fortifications. At any rate it is a fact, that the Admiralty chart
shows what appears to be a submerged reef close inshore in one fathom
and a half of water, about one half mile to the westward of Seraglio
point, and not quite two miles from the Seven Towers.—ED.

(2.) “Many priests wear white garments at Mass.”—Every member of the
Greek clergy is buried in complete ecclesiastical attire, but the
ancient custom of interring in a sitting posture, was and is still
observed in the case of a bishop only.

In a recent account of the obsequies at Constantinople of a bishop of
the Greek Church (_The Times_, August 29, 1878), the Correspondent
writes: “I was ushered into a small densely crowded church, and on
walking forward a few steps, found myself confronted by an aged and
venerable prelate, seated on a throne in full canonicals, richly
decorated with gold and jewels. He sat perfectly motionless, with his
eyes closed, and holding in his right hand a jewelled rod resembling
a sceptre. Two or three people advanced and devoutly kissed his hand,
but he did not return the customary benediction, and gave no sign of
consciousness. ‘Is he asleep?’ I whispered inquiringly to my friend.
‘No, he is dead; that is the late patriarch’.”

Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός is called the Τρισάγιον, as being emblematic of the Holy
Trinity. It is not sung in the Greek Church. Κύριε ἐλέησον is the
response of the people to a prayer repeated by the priest during the
service; and it is quite true that Χριστὲ ἐλέησον is never said in
Greek churches.

It is still the custom to kiss the priest’s right hand, at the same
time saying, Εὐλόγησον, Δέσποτα!—Thy blessing, Your reverence.
The priest places his left hand on the person’s head and replies,
Εὐλογία!—A blessing on thee.

A man must certainly be married before he enters the priesthood,
and even before he can obtain the degree of deacon; but it is quite
immaterial whether he be a father previous to or after ordination.—ED.


(1.) “after which, he can take another wife, and she another
husband.”—The obscene and demoralising customs attributed to the
Jassen or Yasses are fully and minutely described by the Abbé Chappe
d’Auteroche, who witnessed precisely like ceremonies at Tobolsk, where
marriages amongst the natives were thus celebrated (_Voyage en Sibérie
en 1761_, etc., Paris, 1768, i, 163, _et seq._). Olearius notices
somewhat similar, but certainly milder, doings at Moscow in his time
(_Voyages_, etc., 243); and Pitt (_A True and Faithful Account of the
Religion and Manners of the Mahommetans_, etc., Exon., 1704) recounts
something of the sort as occurring among the Algerines.

It would appear, from a report recently made by the Ethnological
Section of the Imperial Geographical Society of St. Petersburg, that
similar practices, but in a greatly modified form, are in vogue amongst
the peasantry in some parts of Little Russia.—ED.


(1.) “Karawag.”—This must have been the plain of Karabagh, between the
rivers Kour and Araxes, where Shah Rokh spent the winter of 1420,
being accompanied by his vassals; Khalyl Oullah, the shah of Shirwan,
and Minutcher, his own valorous brother, being among his guests
(Dorn, _Versuch einer Gesch. d. Schirwan-Sch._, vi, 4, 549). Like
Schiltberger, Barbaro and Contarini have called the Kour, Tigris, and
the Tigris, Shat or Set.—BRUUN.

(2.) “they call the Germans, Nymitsch.”—This term is borrowed from the
Slaves, who have applied it to the Germans from the earliest times,
either because the latter spoke an incomprehensible, a dumb language,
or, as Schafarik explains (_Slawische Alterthümer_, i, 442), because
they followed the example of the Celts, who called certain German
tribes settled in Gaul, Nemetes.[1]—BRUUN.

  [1] Nyemoï is the Russian adjective for dumb. ED.

(3.) “then did the sultan of Alkenier conquer it.”—Sis became finally
subject to the Egyptians in 1374–75, having fallen into their hands
upon several previous occasions, to wit, in 1266, 1275, and 1298 (Weil,
_Gesch. der Chal._, iv, 55, 78, 213, 233). They had frequently appeared
in force in its neighbourhood, notably in 1278 (Makrizi by Quatremère,
I, i, 166), a date which nearly corresponds with the year in which the
city was taken; a statement that would have been communicated to the
author by his friends the Armenians, the most interested in the fate of
their capital. It need not in this case be supposed that Schiltberger
confounded the Mahomedan with the Christian year, and that he conceived
655 of the Hegira to correspond to 1277. In 655 or A.D. 1257, Egypt was
in too disturbed a state for the sultan to trouble himself about the
conquest of Sis.—BRUUN.


(1.) “when Saint Silvester was Pope at Rome.”—The Armenian Church
teaches that St. Thaddeus, one of the seventy-two disciples of our
Lord, and St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, were the first
to preach the gospel in Armenia; but the actual conversion of the
Armenians to Christianity was not effected until the reign of Tiridates
in the 4th century, by St. Gregory, thenceforth named Lousarovitch—the
Enlightener. He was the son of a prince of Parthia, the assassin of
Chosroes, king of Armenia, who, though not a kinsman of Gregory,
belonged to the race of the Arsacidæ of Parthian origin; St. Gregory’s
own ancestors, the Surenians, being also a branch of the same royal
race. St. Gregory was, therefore, indeed a kinsman of Tiridates, who
was the son of Chosroes.

[2] “this same king who built the large church at Bethleen, as has been
already stated.”—It is singular that Bethlehem is not mentioned at all
in the chapter devoted to a description of the holy places, so that it
is just possible the Nuremberg MS. is a copy of the MS. at Heidelberg,
in which that city is not named. Opinions are greatly divided upon
this statement of Schiltberger. In a communication from Bishop
Aïvazoffsky, I am assured that no church whatever was constructed prior
to the king’s conversion; but it is stated in an apocryphal writing,
that Tiridates caused a church to be built at Jerusalem after his
conversion. On the other hand, Vaillant de Florival (_Dictionnaire
Historique_, sub vocem, Dertad) inserts that, after his conversion, the
king ordered the construction of many churches, one being at Bethlehem,
and dedicated to the nativity of Christ.—BRUUN.

(3.) “The king again became a man, and was, with all his people, again
a Christian.”—This tradition in regard to Tiridates and St. Gregory
is told with considerable accuracy. Armenian chroniclers relate that
Gregory, having refused to worship the idol set up by the king, was by
his orders taken to the fortress in the town of Ardashat, and there
thrown into a stinking pit, to be consumed, as we read in the text,
by serpents and other reptiles, but where he nevertheless remained
miraculously preserved from all harm during the space of fourteen, or,
according to others, fifteen years. The place situated in the valley of
the Araxes, is now called Khorvyrab—Dry well—the site of a monastery in
which is shown the saint’s dungeon.

Rhipsime, not Susanna, was the name of the beautiful maiden the
king sought to corrupt. She was a devout woman who had fled the
importunities of Diocletian, and with Guiane and many other saintly
persons of her sex, was put to a cruel death by Tiridates. The story
goes on to say that, for these persecutions of Christians, Tiridates
was smitten by the Lord, thereby losing his reason and becoming like
a wild beast; but his favourite sister, Khosroivitouhdt, having had a
vision, caused Gregory to be summoned out of the pit. That holy man
restored reason to the king, who thereupon, with all his subjects,
became converted to Christianity (_The Crimea and Transc._, i, 236,

(4.) “the King Derthat and the man Gregory.”—Tiridates was never
at Babylon, nor was any Infidel people ever converted by him to
Christianity (Bishop Aïvazoffsky); but it should be borne in mind that
although the Chaldæans and Nestorians of Kourdistan have nothing in
common with the Armenians, they hold St. Gregory in great veneration,
as he was sent by Tiridates to Cæsarea in Cappadocia to receive
consecration at the hands of St. Leontius, the metropolitan of that
country. Schiltberger would have done better to express himself to this
effect, instead of saying that St. Gregory was placed at the head of
the church by the king.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Saint Silvester.”—Agathange, secretary to Tiridates, and Zenobius,
a disciple of Gregory, speak of a journey to Rome that was undertaken
by those two personages circa 318–19, for the purpose of seeing the
Emperor Constantine and Pope Silvester, and concluding with them a
treaty of peace and friendship. They remained at Rome one month,
and returned to Armenia charged with honours. Moses of Chorene, the
catholicos John, Stephen Assolic, and other Armenian historians prior
to the 11th century, are united in support of this record of Agathange
and Zenobius. Later, during the First and Second Crusades, exaggerated
and absurd details, such as those related by Schiltberger, were
fabricated; and a monstrous document purporting to be the treaty of
peace between Constantine and Tiridates—Sylvester and Gregory, called
Tought-tashantz—The Convention—was invented and published after the
manner of the false Decretales.

It is in consequence of this controverted document that
Armeno-Catholics and other Armenians have enunciated principles and
details, such as we read in part in the text (Bishop Aïvazoffsky).

Whilst admitting the fairness of the bishop’s observation, I would
point out that Schiltberger was simply a ready listener to what the
natives, who did not even belong to the Church of Rome, believed to
be true; and to what were maintained as incontrovertible facts by the
Armeno-Catholics, who in his time were by far the more numerous.—BRUUN.

(2.) “a king they call Takchauer.”—Cantemir believes that Tekiour is a
corruption of τοῦ Κυρίου, and he adds that previous to the
conquest of Constantinople, the emperors were called by the Turks,
Stamboul Tekioury or Takfoury—Masters of the City. Takavor is the
Armenian for king.—BRUUN.


(1.) “Gregory taught the Christian faith ... as is above stated.”—The
Armenians believe, and are prepared to prove, that none of the dogmas
of their faith, as they were received from St. Gregory, have undergone
any change, and this is why they distinguish themselves as being
Gregorians in opposition to Armeno-Catholics.—BRUUN.

(2.) “then he must say it himself, right through.”—The priest prepares
several small loaves, but consecrates one only, and alone recites the
prayers and psalms during the preparation. He celebrates the Mass
unassisted, other priests performing the functions of deacons in
their absence. The practice of Low Mass among the Armenians serves to
prove, that the greater number of that people met by Schiltberger were

(3.) “They place much confidence in our religion.”—This passage in
Neumann’s edition stands thus: “Sie machent vil geuartiezi unsers
geloubes.” The word “geuartiezi” does not appear in the editions
of 1475 (?), 1549 and 1814; Neumann does not explain it; Koehler
(_Germania_, etc., _herausgegeben von_ F. Pfeifer; Wien, vii, 1862),
who undertook to correct the errors of Neumann, asks “Was ist
geuartiezi?” and Professor Bruun (Russian edition) believes it to be
untranslatable, although he thinks the author meant to imply that the
Armenian had borrowed largely from the Roman Catholic Church, or at all
events that the one assimilated the other in its types and ceremonies.

The word “geuärd” occurs in chapter 20, and is possibly intended for
gewähr; I have rendered it as “right”, or justification from a sense of
confidence. Timour’s youngest wife (see page 29) was anxious to satisfy
her lord, that the letter and ring had been sent to her by one of his
vassals without any assurance, any confidence on her part, to warrant
him in so doing. It appears to me, considering the careless manner in
which the transcriber has performed his work in other places, that a
similar interpretation is to be applied to “geuartiezi” as to “geuärd”;
the words that immediately follow implying prepossession on the part of
the Armenians in favour of the Church of Rome—“they also willingly go
to Mass in our churches, which the Greeks do not”; apparently because
“They place much confidence (have much faith) in our religion”.—ED.

(4.) “a saint named Aurencius.”—St. Auxentius, priest-martyr, is fêted
in the Armeno-Catholic Church on December 25th, and in the Greek Church
on December 13th, N. S.—BRUUN.

(5.) “Saint James the Great.”—St. James the Apostle is confounded with
St. James bishop of Nisibis, a near relative and contemporary of St.
Gregory “the Enlightener”.—BRUUN.

(6.) “his name is Zerlichis.”—Sarghis, St. Sergius, was a martyr.
The Armenians celebrate his festival fifteen days before Lent. The
Armeno-Catholics keep the day on February 24th, and the Greek Church on
January 2nd (Bishop Aïvazoffsky).—BRUUN.

(7.) “our Lady’s day in Lent, which they do not hold as we do.”—The
Armenians do not fast in the name of the Twelve Apostles, and the Ave
Maria occurs only in the services of the Armeno-Catholics. On the day
of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, a hymn is chanted, in which are
introduced the words that were spoken to Mary by the Angel.—BRUUN.

(8.) “then they bury him altogether.”—It is quite true that prayers are
daily repeated over a grave for the space of a week, and each person
attending throws a handful of earth on it as prescribed by the rubric;
but the gradual interment is an invention.—BRUUN.

(9.) “God forgive thee thy sins.”—Asstwadz toghoukhyoùn ta mekhytt, is
here intended for the words of absolution pronounced by the priest; but
it would be more correct to say—Asstwadz toghoukhuyoùn schnorhestzè—May
God grant you absolution. For “Ogoruicka” we should read Ogormya or
Ogormyha, the modern phrase being: Ter voghormyà yndz—Lord have mercy
upon us; but Meghà Asdoutzò—I have sinned before God—is more commonly
said by the people.—ED.

(10.) “counts, and knights, who are subject to him.”—The
Armeno-Catholics adopted Low Mass at the commencement of the 14th
century. In ancient times prayers were offered for the sovereign and
all Christian kings and princes; but never specially for the Roman

(11.) “if a priest teaches the Word of God, but does not understand
and attend to it, he commits a sin.”—There is more to confirm than to
reject in the information contained in this chapter.

The patriarch must be elected by the unanimous voice of the dignitaries
of the Church, who assemble at the patriarchal seat from all parts for
the purpose. This has ever been the custom; but since the annexation of
Etchmiadzin to Russia, the choice is subject to the emperor’s approval.

The preparation of the wafer by women is quite out of the question,
and it is also forbidden to laymen by the 22nd Canon of the pontiff
Leon; this duty is performed by deacons as well as priests, who first
communicate and then administer to the people. In reading the Gospel,
the priest faces the congregation, thereby turning his back to the
altar, so that the people necessarily look towards the East.

That a priest should separate himself from his wife for three days
before and one day after he celebrates the Mass, is strictly in
accordance with the Canons of St. Thaddeus; but the observance has
become even more stringent in modern times, the priest being required
to leave his home and retire to his church during the space of eight
days before officiating.

A Canon addressed by Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, to the pontiff
Vertanes, circa 340, requires that the altar shall be furnished with
a curtain; a curtain shall likewise fall in front of the sanctuary,
within which only the minister celebrating the Mass may enter, other
ministers present taking their seats outside according to precedence.
This rule has become relaxed in modern times, for deacons as well as
priests may now stand at the altar.

As in the Greek Church, no female quæ sit menstrua, may enter a sacred

It is always the godfather who carries an infant into church for
baptism. If the child to be baptised is out of its infancy, it is
conducted by a servant of the Church.

Divorce is not to be obtained in the Armenian Church, except in cases
of adultery, impotence, and a permanently foul breath.

There is no ykonostass or altar screen as in the Russo-Greek church;
but an image, that is to say a painting on canvas or panel, graven
images not being tolerated, is always over the altar in the middle of
the pem, a raised course in the centre aisle, that is kept covered with
carpets, silk, cloth of silver or gold, on which are laid candlesticks,
the censer, and a Bible resting on a piece of silk, for the priest does
not touch the book with his hands.

The clergy do not pretend to having the power of absolving the
penitent; absolution is pronounced in the name of the Almighty.

“Very gorgeous and majestic”, says Dr. Issaverdens, “are the garments
which the Armenians make use of in their religious ceremonies.”

Whatever the restriction in Schiltberger’s time, it is certain that all
are now free to read the Gospel. That the contrary was ever the case is

The “varthabiet”—Vartabied—is a doctor of divinity possessing knowledge
of all holy science, and of all that concerns the study of the Holy
Scriptures, of the Fathers, the Councils, and of dogmatical, moral,
and disputed theology. The Vartabieds are the first to be consulted
in all controversies on religion, its rites, and all ecclesiastical
discipline (Issaverdens, _Armenia and the Armenians_, ii, 413, 486;
Bishop Meyerditch Kherimian, _communicated_; _The Crimea and Transc._,
i, 207).—ED.


(1.) “that it might be said that thirty Greeks were given for an
onion.”—This battle between the Armenians and Greeks has reference
in all probability to the triumph of Thoros II., or Theodore of the
Roupenian dynasty, over Andronicus, who entered Cilicia at the head
of an invading army, with instructions from the emperor to seize the
king and bind him in chains. Finlay (_Hist. of the Byzantine and Greek
Empires_, ii, 242) characterises the two reverses met with by that
general in Cilicia, as shameful defeats. Armenian historiographers
(Chamich, _Hist. of Armenia_, ii, 195; Issaverdens, _Armenia and the
Armenians_, i, 300) enter more largely into details, and describe the
great slaughter of Greeks and the multitude of prisoners made, among
whom were many chiefs, Andronicus himself effecting his escape with the
greatest difficulty.

The emperor being greatly concerned upon learning that a large number
of his men remained in the victor’s hands, sent ambassadors to treat
for their ransom. “If these people were of any use to me,” said Thoros,
“I would not part with them, but as they are not, take them for what
you choose.” The reply to this taunt was the dispatch of a large sum
of money to the king, for the emperor wished to shew that his men were
indeed of great value; but upon seeing the treasure, the king exclaimed
with affected astonishment: “What! are my captives truly worth so
much?” and ordered that the whole of the money should be distributed
among his troops. The ambassadors stood amazed at this munificence, and
Thoros merely observed to them: “I reward my soldiers that they may
again take your chiefs;” which they did do upon the second invasion
by Andronicus, again receiving large sums of money in exchange for the
prisoners they made. Chamich sets these events as occurring in the year
1146, and Issaverdens in 1144; but, according to Dr. Leo Alishan of the
Mechitaristic Society at Venice, author of _Nerses the Graceful, and
his Times_, and other historical works, Thoros II. fought and won about
the year 1152. This appears to be the only episode in the history of
the Byzantine Empire and of the kingdom of Armenia, that in any degree
assimilates the absurdly exaggerated tale of victory invented by those
Armenian friends to whom Schiltberger, upon more occasions than this,
was too ready to listen.

A curious incident at the close of the late Russo-Turkish war is
worth relating, with reference to Schiltberger’s version of the value
set upon the Greek prisoners. The Porte having entertained the idea
of raising the taxation, the Armenians determined upon opposing the
measure with vigour, and they accordingly destroyed the house of the
Turkish Mudjir; after which, the Armenian women planted onions and
garlic over the ruins—an act that is looked upon as a sign of the
greatest contempt.—(_The Times_, September 26th, 1878.)


(1.) “Sant Masicia.”—This is the ancient Amastris, now called Amasserah.
The architecture of its walls of defence bears witness to Genoese
occupation, the earliest date of which is not known. In 1346, Amastris
was included in the empire of the Palæologi, after having belonged to
Nicæa, but it is certain that the Genoese were in possession previous
to 1398 (Heyd, _d. Ital. Handelscolon_, etc., in the _Zeitschrift f.
d. gesammte Staatswissenschaft_, xviii, 712), at which date they had a
consul there. Clavijo calls Amastris, visited by him a few years later,
a Genoese town, where he saw many remains of ancient splendour.

After being for a long time a dependency of the Central Administration
at Caffa, Samastris, by a decree of 1449, became subject to that
of Pera to which it had previously belonged, but had been detached
“propter inopiam et imbecilitatem loci ipsius Pere” (_Zap. Odess.
Obstschest._, v, 810). Under these circumstances it is very probable
that the Genoese were at Samastris at a still earlier period than that
indicated by Heyd. According to Hammer (_Hist. de l’E. O._, iii, 69),
this city fell into the hands of the Turks in the campaign of 1461,
together with Sinope and Trebizond.—BRUUN.

(2.) “one hundred are quite of brass.”—Schiltberger is scarcely to be
charged with exaggeration, if we consider what Manuel Chrysoloras has
said of these walls. “I cannot conceive the walls of Constantinople, in
regard to their extent and circuit, to have been inferior to those of
Babylon. The towers are without number; the proportions and height of
any one tower sufficed to astonish the beholder, and their construction
and the large flights of steps excited universal admiration.”

In stating that there were one thousand churches, the author intended
to convey the idea that they were very numerous; indeed Clavijo
estimated the number at three thousand. Schiltberger appears to have
been too much dazzled by the magnificence of the church of St. Sophia,
to think of entering more largely upon a description of it as others
have done.—BRUUN.

(3.) “A city called Asparseri.”—This is Ak-kerman, a name which is the
equivalent for Byelgorod, the Slave for White-Town, a place mentioned
in the Russian and Polish chronicles of the middle ages—called Tchetate
Alba by the Moldavians, and by the Maghyars, Feierwar, not Feriena as
it appears through a printer’s error in Dlugocz (_Hist. Poloniæ_ etc.,
xi, 324).

The Greeks of the Lower Empire changed the name from White-Town to
Mavrocastron, turned by the Italians into Mocastro and Moncastro, as we
find it in De Lannoy, Barbaro, and others.

There are good grounds for the supposition that the name White was
given originally by the Greeks, because the Aspron mentioned by
Constantine Porphyrogenitus (_De Adm. Imp._, 167) should be looked for
in this locality, notwithstanding that the emperor situates it on the
Dnieper, a scribe’s error for Dniester. I know of no author who speaks
of a White-Town on the Lower Dnieper, and the emperor himself describes
the place to which he alludes, as being situated on the bank of the
river nearest to Bulgaria.

It would appear that the ancient name was not forgotten by the Greeks
after they had changed it to Mavrocastron, because some authors of
the latter part of the middle ages have alluded to the place as
Leucopolichnion or Asprocastron; in all probability identical with
“Asparseri”, and certainly to be distinguished from White-Town, but a
distinction that is to be attributed to a mistake on the part of the
transcriber. How otherwise are we to account for the appearance in the
Heidelberg MS., of the native name Asparsaraï—White-Town—and for the
statement in the Nuremberg MS. (Penzel’s edition) that Schiltberger
took his departure, not from Asparsaraï but from White-Town, direct
for Soutchava[1] at that time the chief city of Little Walachia or
Mavrovlachia as Moldavia was then called.

Grecian colonists were attracted to the neighbourhood of modern
Ak-kerman in very remote times. The Tyrites of Herodotus lived there,
probably at Ophiussa, a city known to Strabo. There, also, flourished
Tyras, to be identified perhaps with Turis, ceded by the emperor
Justinian, A.D. 547, to the Antes, a Slave tribe which may have been
the first to give the name of Byelgorod to the place which Edrisi
certainly had in his mind, when he wrote about the Coman city distant
one day’s journey from the mouth of the Danube, called Akliba; a name
composed of two Turkish words, Ak and liva—White District—and therefore
possibly the Coman designation for the “White City” of Schiltberger,
the Ak-kerman of Aboulfeda.

  [1] ... ich zu einer Wallachischen Stadt kam, die unter
  dem Nahmen der weissen Stadt bekannt ist. Von da kam ich
  nach Sedhof; welches die Hauptstadt der kleinen Wallachey
  ist.—Page 205.—BRUUN.

(4.) “Linburgch, the chief city in White Reissen the Lesser.”—This White
Russia was the eastern part of Galicia, alluded to by Marino Sanudo
in his letter to the king of France. “Russia minor quæ confinat ab
occidente cum Polonia....” (Kunstmann, _Stud. über_ M. S., 105).

In distinguishing White Russia from the kingdom of Russia (see page
50), Schiltberger refers to the grand-duchy of Lithuania, and not only
to the White Russia of our own times, which then formed part of the

(5.) “gemandan.”—I am indebted to Mr. Mnatzakan Hakhoumoff of Shousha,
for the Lord’s Prayer in modern Armenia, and in the tongue spoken by
the Tatars west of the Caspian Sea.—ED.

_The Lord’s Prayer in Modern Armenian._

Haïr mer vor hersince es sourp egwitzy anoun kho egwesouè
arkhaïouthyoum kho egwitzy kamkh kho vorpess hergwince ev hergry zhatz
mer hanapazort tour mez aïsor, evthogmez zpardys mer vorpess, ev mekh
thogoumkh meroz pardabanatz, ev my tanyr zmez y tcharè, zy kho è
arkhaïouthyoum zorouthyoun ev pharkh havidians. Ammen.

_The Lord’s Prayer in the Tatar tongue._

Byzum athamuz ky ghyogdasan pyr olsun sanun adun ghyalsun sanun
padshalygun olsun sanun stadygun nedja ky geogda eïla da dïunyada ver
byza gyounluk georagymuz va bagushla byzum tahsurlarumuz nedja ky byz
baghishlüruh byzum tahsurlulara goïma byzy gedah sheïtan ïoluna amma
pakh ela byzy pyslugden tchounky sanunkidr padshalus ihtiar va hiurmat
ta diunianun ahruna.


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_The Names in parenthesis are those employed by Schiltberger._

  Abel’s offering, 65

  Abhase (Abkas), an unhealthy country, 43, 178

  Abhases, the, are of the Greek Church, 78;
      dress and customs, 43, 178

  Aboubekr (Abubach), the caliph, 67

  ———— (Aububachir), son of Miran Shah, 33, 134, 135

  Abraham, 56, 60, 71, 76, 194, 195

  Adam’s grave, 60, 65;
      created in God’s image, 71

  Adana (Adalia) taken by Bajazet, 19, 123

  Adrianople (Adranopoli), a city in Greece, 6, 39

  Ahmed (Mirachamat), the amir, 10

  ———— ben Oweis (king of Babylon), 7, 113;
            quits Babylon, 24, 130;
            is beheaded, 32, 135, 160

  Aidin (Edein), 40

  Aintab (Anthap), 22;
      pillaged by Timour, 127–128

  Akhlat, 126

  Ak-kerman (Asparseri), 101, 244–245

  Aksheher, 21, 118

  Aktam (Achtum), 32, 134

  Aleppo (Hallapp), taken by Timour, 22, 127, 128

  Alexander the Great, legends of, 79, 226, 216

  Alexandria, described, 62;
      Italians at, 62;
      mirror of, 63, 215;
      taken by king of Cyprus and his allies, 62, 64, 214

  (Allenklaisser), a great giant, 64, 216

   Ali (Aly), the caliph, a persecutor of Christians, 44;
      and giant, 65;
      chief over all Mahomedans, 67

  Ali Koutchava’s revolt at Ispahan, 27, 133

  Alindsha (Aluitze), 24, 130, 44, 160, 136

  Amasserah, Amastris (Sant Masicia), 100, 243

  Anconitans, in Egypt, 214

  Angora (Angarus, Augury), besieged by White Tatars, 18;
      battle of, 21, 117;
      a city of Turkey, 40

  Ani, the ancient capital of Armenia, 126

  Anjak (Origens), 34, 136–138

  Ann’s, St., well, 58

  Annas the high priest, house of, 59, 203

  (Antioch) Nisibis, 44, 160

  Arabia, gold of, 26, 46, 64, 67

  Ararat, 44, 231

  Arjish (Agrich), 38

  Armenia (Ermenia), 26, 86

  ———— Greater, 7, 117, 61, 89

  ———— Lesser, 20, 31, 43, 61, 86, 117

  Armenian Church, 87, 90, 91–96, 238, 242

  Armenians, at Angora, 40;
      at Caffa, 49;
      are favoured by Mahomedans, 73;
      friendly to Germans, 86, 234;
      their conversion to Christianity, 87, 235;
      in Cyprus, 88;
      enemies of the Greeks, 96;
      are brave and clever, 98;
      in Cilicia and Syria, 117

  Arnauts (Arnaw), are of the Greek church, 78, 222

  Astara (Strana), 34, 136

  Astrabad (Strawba), 44, 160

  Astrahan, Hadjy-tarkhan (Haitzicherchen), 49, 172, 136, 139, 141, 142,

  Babel, tower of (Marburtirudt), 46, 167

  Babylon, 24, 33, 46, 52, 86, 88, 89, 187

  ———— New, 47

  Badakshan (Walaschoen), 46, 166–167

  Baghdad (Wadach, Waydat), 46, 167, 52, 191, 157, 168;
      _see_ Babylon

  Baïram, the, 70, 221

  Bajazet (Weyasat, Weyasit), at Nicopolis, 2, 3, 108, 109;
      slaughter and distribution of prisoners, 4, 7, 112, 113, 115, 116;
      invades duchy of Pettau, 6;
      besieges Konieh, 8;
      occupies Karaman, 10;
      takes Samsoun, 12, 14;
      occupies Sebaste, 18;
      takes Malatia, 18;
      Adana, 19;
      succours Faradj, 19, 124;
      conquers Lesser Armenia, 20, 125;
      capture at Angora, and death, 21, 126;
      besieges Constantinople, 80, 231

  Balsam in Egypt, 60, 61, 207–208, 92

  Baptism in Greek Church, 82, 83;
      in Armenian Church, 92;
      in river Jordan, 205;
      place of the Saviour’s, 205

  Barkok (Warchloch, Marochloch), 19, 124, 51, 182, 113

  Barley planted over Babylon, 24

  Batou, 137, 173

  Batoum, 153

  Battle, of Nicopolis, 2, 4, 107–112;
      Konieh, 7, 8;
      Angora, 21;
      Delhi, 25, 130, 132;
      Karabagh, 31, 134;
      Aktam, 32, 134

  Bavaria (Payren), 1, 38

  Beard, never cut by Walachians, 38;
      forbidden to Mahomedans to cut the, 71;
      not shaven by Greek priests, 83;
      not shaven by Armenian priests, 92

  Beasts, wild, in Siberia, 35;
      Badakshan, 46;
      Babylon, 47, 168;
      Bolgar, 49, 174

  Behesna (Wehessum), 22, 127–128, 123

  Beshtamak (Bestan), 49, 138–139

  Bethlehem (Bethlaem, Bethlahen), 35, 51, 185, 87, 236

  Bishop’s see, at Joulad, 34, 139;
      Makou, 44, 159;
      Caffa, 49;
      Sary Kerman or Cherson, 177

  Bistan (Bestan, capital of Kourdistan), 43, 152

  Blood of horses, as food, 48

  Bolgar (Bolar), a city, 49, 174, 139, 141, 142, 173

  Bolgara (Walher), a country, 36

  Borrak (Waroch), 37, 142

  Bosphorus, the, 79, 226

  Boucicault, Marshal (Hanns Putzokardo), 4, 107, 111, 112, 231

  Bourhan uddin (Wurthanadin) defeated by a son of Bajazet, 10;
      is executed by Kara Yelek, 16, 121, 114, 120

  Boursbai (Malleckchafcharff, Balmander), 51, 182–191;
      his letter to Shah Rokh, 184, 187

  Bread, not eaten in Siberia, 36;
      made of millet, 41;
      not eaten in Jagataï, 47;
      nor in Great Tatary, 48

  Breslau (Bressla), 102

  Broussa (Wursa, Wurssa), 6, 10, 34, 40

  Buddhism, 140

  Bulgaria (Pulgrey), 2, 39, 78, 89

  ———— Eastern, 107, 120

  ———— Western, 107

  ———— Central, 13

  Bulgarians, are of the Greek Church, 78

  Burgundy (Burguny), Duke of; _see_ Comte de Nevers.

  Burial or disposal of the dead, in Siberia, 36;
      Circassia, 50;
      by Mahomedans, 69;
      Greeks, 83;
      Greek priests, 84, 233;
      Armenians, 94, 95;
      Armenian priests, 94, 240

  Burzelland (Zwürtzenland), 38, 144

  Caffa, 49, 176, 79, 99

  Caiphas, house of, 203

  Cairo (Miser, Alkenier, Kayr), 23, 50, 181–182, 60, 64, 87

  Caliph (Calypha), the, 98

  Calvary, Mount (Calvarie), 57

  Camels, at Adana, 19, 123;
      India, 25, 132;
      milk and flesh as food, 48

  (Capadocie), 51, 52, 184, 186

  Capernaum, 185

  (Carthago) Kairvan?, 51, 184

  Caspian Sea (White Sea), 45;
      sea of Ghel, 160

  Castle of the Sparrow-hawk, 41–43, 149

  Catalans, in Egypt, 214

  Caucasus, forest of the, 52, 186

  Chaldæa (Kalda), 46, 167

  Chateaumorant (Centumaranto), a prisoner at Nicopolis, 4, 111;
      defends Constantinople, 231

  (Chebakh) Kepek?, a vassal of Timour, 26

  China (Chetey, Cetey), 28, 133

  Christians, at Samsoun, 13;
      Joulad, 34, 138;
      Caffa, 49, 176, 99;
      on the Jordan, 60;
      in Malabar, 61, 211–212;
      conversion of, to Mahomedanism, 74, 222;
      on the Nile, 190;
      in Egypt, 190;
      of St. Thomas, 211–212

  “Christians of the girdle”, 190

  Christmas in the Armenian Church, 93

  Church, of the Holy Sepulchre, 57, 198, 60;
      of St. Sophia, 80, 231, 101

  Churches at Jerusalem, 58–60, 196, 197–203

  Churches in Armenia, building of, 94

  Circassia (Starchas, Zerckchas), 50, 99

  Circassians (Ischerkas), slave dealers, 50, 178, 179;
      are of the Greek Church, 78;
      Tcherkess and Zikhes, 177

  Citadel on Mount Sion, 59, 203

  Coins, of the Golden Horde, 139, 141, 142;
      of Jagataï, 170;
      of the khan Uzbek, 173;
      of the Bolgars, 174

  Constantine, the emperor, 80, 83, 84, 89

  Constantine, ancient city of, 151

  Constantinople (Stampol, Istimboli), 4, 39, 52, 79, 80, 83, 84, 96,
    100, 101, 119, 231

  Conversion of Christians to Mahomedanism, 74, 222

  Corn in Kiptchak (Ephepstzach), 49

  Cotton grown in Ghilan, 44

  Couriers in Egypt, 52–53;
      in Russia, 192

  Court ceremonials in Egypt, 52, 54, 192

  Cracow (Krackow), 101

  Croatia (Windischy land), 6, 113

  Cross, shining, at Angora, 40

  Cyprus I. (Zypern, Zyperen), 19, 62, 64, 88;
      John, king of, captured by the Egyptians, 187

  Damascus (Damaschk, Tamaschen), siege of, 22;
      destruction of the great mosque, 23, 128–129

  Daniel the prophet, where buried, 59

  Danube R. (Tunaw), 2, 4, 38, 39, 79, 101

  Dardanelles (Hellespant and Poges for Boghaz), 79

  Darial pass, the, 89

  D’Artois, Philippe, Comte d’Eu, 109

  Date-plum, the, 47, 168

  David, King, where buried, 59

  Day (They), the, 74, 221

  Dead, prayers for the, in Armenian Church, 94

  Death, by cutting in two parts, 19;
      burial alive, 20, 125, 22;
      hanging, 24;
      trampling under the hoofs of horses, 28, 133;
      strangulation, 33;
      sawing in two parts, 51, 183;
      impalement, 51;
      poisoning, 154;
      breaking on the wheel, 183

  Delhi (Dily), besieged by Timour, 26, 131;
      capital of Lesser India, 47

  Denisly (Donguslu), 40, 148

  De Noillac, Philibert, grand-master of Rhodes, 109, 110

  Derbent, 34, 136

  Desert, at the end of the earth, 35;
      of Arabia, 46, 54

  Despot of Servia, 3, 111

  —— of the Morea, 228

  Devlett byrdy (Doblabardi), 37, 142

  Divorce in Armenia, 94, 241

  Dobroudja, the, 110

  Dogs, in Siberia, 35;
      where they are eaten, 35

  Dokouz Khatoum, protectress of Christians, 157

  Don R. (Tena), 49

  Dragons, in the desert of Arabia, 46;
      at Rome, 90–91

  Dyarbekr (Hamunt, capital of Black Turkey), 43, 152

  (Edigi); _see_ Ydegou

  Eger, 102

  Egypt, 50, 61

  Elephants, at battle of Angora, 21;
      in India, routed by camels, 25, 132;
      in Lesser India, 47

  Elias, his burial-place, 52;
      chapel on Horeb, 55;
      a prophet of the Mahomedans, 188

  Emperor, the Greek, 101

  ———— the Roman, 95, 240

  Enoch, his burial-place, 52;
      a prophet of the Mahomedans, 188

  Ephesus (Asia), 40, 146

  Epiphany, the, in the Armenian Church, 93

  Erivan (Erban), 33, 136

  Ersingan (Ersinggan), taken by Bajazet, 21;
      capital of Lesser Armenia, 43;
      a kingdom of Armenia, 86

  Esaias, the prophet, 59

  Ethiopia, 209

  Eucharist, the, in Syrian Church, 78;
      in Greek Church, 81, 232;
      in Armenian Church, 91–92, 238, 240

  Euphrates R., 43, 151, 46, 61, 209, 117, 168, 186

  Eve, the grave of, 60

  Faradj (Joseph, Jusuphda), 19, 124, 51, 122

  Fasting, among Mahomedans, 70;
      in the Greek Church, 82, 83, 232;
      in the Armenian Church, 93, 239

  Felt, raising to the White, 48, 172

  Female, warriors in Great Tatary, 37;
      debauchery in Egypt, 52, 191

  Fictions, battle of serpents and vipers, 12;
      Timour lies uneasy in his grave, 30;
      castle of the sparrow-hawk, 41–42;
      (Phiradamschyech), a tercentenarian, 45, 162;
      destruction of mirror at Alexandria, 63, 215;
      the giant’s shin-bone, 64, 216;
      the Bosphorus, a cutting by Alexander the Great, 79, 226;
      the emperor Constantine, 83;
      Tiridates is turned into a pig, 88, 236;
      Tiridates, the dragon and unicorn, 90;
      the forty Armenian knights, 96–98

  Fire worship, 65

  Fish, exported from Tana, 49, 175;
      in the R. Jordan, 60

  Florentines, in Egypt, 214

  Fortress, of Alindsha, 24, 44;
      Gallipoli, 39;
      Kilia, 101. See these names

  Frioul (Frigaul), 89

  Frisingen, 102

  Furs, articles of commerce, at Bolgar, 174;
      Saraï, 174;
      Astrahan, 174

  Gabriel the archangel, 57

  Gaetans, in Egypt, 214

  Galata (Kalathan), 79, 225

  (Galgarien); _see_ Khozary

  Galilee, Mt., 59, 204

  Galleys, in Danube, 4, 38;
      sea of Azoff, 49;
      of Cyprus, 63

  Gallipoli (Karipoli, Chalipoli), 6, 112, 39

  Ganges, R. (Rison), 61, 210

  Genoa, 49, 79

  Genoese, at Samsoun, 13, 119;
      Alexandria, 62, 214;
      Galata, 79;
      relations with Persia, 154;
      secure the silk of Ghilan, 160;
      in Crimea, 189;
      at defence of Constantinople, 231

  Georgia (Gursey, Kursi), a kingdom, 34, 43

  Georgians (Gorchillas, Kurtzi), are Christians and warlike, 43;
      are of the Greek Church, 78

  Gharny (Kirna), 44, 158

  Ghilan, 44, 160

  Giant, story of a, 64, 216–219

  Ginger, in Malabar, 62

  Giraffe (surnasa), in Lesser India, 47, 169

  Gold, of India, 26;
      Arabia, 26;
      in river Ganges, 61, 210

  Golden Horde; _see_ Great Tatary

  Gori, 43, 153

  Gospel, the (Evangely), 77;
      not read in Armenia, 96, 241

  Gothia (Sudi), 50

  Goths (Kuthia) are of the Greek Church, 78

  Grass poisoned, 23

  Greece, 6, 39, 96

  Greek Church, 78, 81–85, 231–232, 233

  Greeks, in Lazistan, 43;
      Caffa, 49;
      Gothia, 50

  (Greiff, Hannsen), executed after Nicopolis, 5

  Hair, never cut by Walachians, 38;
      not cut by Armenian priests, 92

  (Hamunt) Kara Amid; _see_ Dyarbekr

  (Hanns, burgrave of Nuremberg), 3

  Hebron (Ebron), 56, 195–196, 60

  Herat (Herren, Hore), 30, 45, 161

  Herman (of Cily), 3

  Hermanstadt (Hermenstat), 38

  Hermon (Germoni), 52, 185

  Herod, house of, 58, 202

  Hillah, 187

  Hippodrome at Constantinople, 79, 228

  (Hoder of Hungary), 7

  Holy Fire, the, 57, 198–200

  Holy Places, the, 57–60, 198–206;
      when possessed by the Mahomedans, 60, 207

  Holy Sepulchre, the, 57–60, 198–200

  Holy Trinity, the, rejected by the Greeks, 81;
      accepted by the Armenians, 87

  Horeb (Oreb), 55

  Hormuz I (Hognus) 45, 164

  Hormuzd, worship of, 150

  Horse flesh, the food of Tatars, 48

  Horses, in Siberia, 35

  Hospitals, at Broussa, 40;
      at Jerusalem, 58, 201

  Houlakou’s tomb at Meragha, 157

  Houses, in Adrianople, 39;
      Broussa, 40;
      Herat, 45;
      Caffa, 49;
      Cairo, 50, 182

  Hungarians, the, 3

  Hungary (Ungern, Ungeren), 1–2, 6, 38, 39, 89

  Ibraila (Ubereil), 38

  Imbros I (Lempric), 80, 230

  Impalement in Egypt, 51

  Incense, employed in Armenia, 96;
      of Arabia and India, 96

  India, Greater, 45, 46

  ———— Lesser, 24–26, 130, 47

  (Indian Sea), 47

  Indus, R., 209

  Iron cage, the, 126

  Iron gate (Temurtapit), on the Danube, 2, 39;
      Darial pass, 89;
      Derbent, 34, 136;
      Khorasan, 25, 131, 136

  Isaac, 60, 195

  Ispahan (Hisspahan), occupied by Timour, and Ali Koutchava’s revolt,
    27, 133, 45

  Italy, 87, 101

  Italians, at Samsoun, 13;
      Caffa, 49;
      Alexandria, 62

  Jacob, grave of, 60, 195

  Jacobites, in Syria, 78, 190;
      their chapel at Jerusalem, 200, 225

  Jagataï (Zakatay), 47, 170

  Jakam (Zechem), 51, 183

  Jalal uddin (Segelalladin), 37, 141, 158

  Janibek, 154, 173

  Janyk (Genyck, Tcyenick, Zegnikch), province of, 12, 41

  Jambolouk (Inbu) Tatars, the, 50, 180

  Jehangir (Zychanger), 32, 134

  Jengiz Khan, 113, 166

  Jericho, valley of, 60, 206

  Jerusalem (Kurtzitalil), 51, 56, 57–60, 198, 93

  Jews, at Caffa, 49, 176;
      Jerusalem, 60

  Jihoun, R., 186

  Jordan, R., 51, 57, 59, 60, 205, 206

  Josophat, valley of, 52

  Joulad (Setzulet, Zulat), 34, 138, 49

  Justinian, statue of, at Constantinople, 80, 228–230

  Kaffa; _see_ Caffa

  Kais or Keis I (Kaff), 46, 165

  Kaisarieh (Gaissaria), 16, 41

  Kaïtak (Kayat) Tatars, the, 50, 179

  Kaliakra (Kallacercka), 39, 145

  Karabagh (Scharabach, Karawag), 31, 134, 86, 234

  Karaman, at war with Bajazet, 7;
      his capture and execution, 8, 118

  ———— conquest of, by Bajazet, 7–10;
       a country in Great Turkey, 40

  ———— (Laranda), the capital of Karaman, 7, 118, 40

  Karamora, Black River, 210

  Kara Yelek (Otman), 14–18, 120, 20, 114, 154

  Kara Youssouf (Joseph), 30, 32, 33, 134, 154

  Kars (Kray), 33, 136

  Kashan (Kaffer), 34

  (Kaylamer) Kalamila?, 52, 188

  Kedron, R., 59, 203

  Keghart monastery, 159

  Kemakh (Kamach), 43, 150

  (Kennan) Kermian?, 40

  Kepek (Tchebackh), a ruler of the Golden Horde, 37, 141

  Kerak, in Arabia, 217

  Kerasous (Kureson), 41, 148, 43

  Kerym byrdy (Kerumberdin), 37, 142

  Khan, the, of White Tatary, 16;
      of Chetey, 28

  Kharput (Kayburt), 43, 150

  Khelat (Gelat), 44, 158

  Khorasan (Horossen), a kingdom of Persia, 30, 45, 161

  Khozary (Galgarien), 52, 189

  Khwarezm (Horosaman), 49, 172

  Kiankary (Wegureisari), 40, 148

  Kilia (Gily), 101

  (King-sultan); _see_ Mamelouk sultan

  (Kings of Great Tartaria), 36–37, 140–143

  Kiptchak (Distihipschach, Ephepstzach), 37, 49, 189

  Kirman (Kerman), 45, 163

  Kishm I (Keschon), 45, 164

  Knitted shoes, worn in Ghilan, 44

  (Kocken), in Danube, 38, 144;
      at Tana, 49;
      Black Sea, 100

  Kohrasar (Karasser), 43, 151

  (Koldigen), 57, 197

  Konieh (Konia), 7–9, 40

  Koran (Alkoray, Alkoran), the, 67, 76

  Kour, R. (Chur, Tygris), 86, 234

  Kourdistan (Churten, Churt), 31, 43, 152

  Koutahieh (Kachey), 40

  Kronstadt or Cronstadt; Brassova (Bassaw), 38, 144

  (Kuchler, Ulrich), killed at Nicopolis, 4

  Kyrkyer (Karckeri), 49, 176, 224

  (Lambe), Quilon?, 61, 212

  Landshut (Landzhut), 102

  Lapis lazuli, in the church of St. Sophia, 80

  Lazistan (Lasia), 43, 150

  League, a, defined by the author, 46, 167

  Leah (Lia), the grave of, 60

  Lemburg (Limburgch), 101

  Lemon (liuon), the, employed in Malabar against serpents, 62;
      history of, 213;
      employed in Ceylon against leeches, 213–214

  Lezghistan (Lochinschan), 34, 136

  Lightning, death by, courted in Circassia, 50, 178

  Lions, in Babylon, 47;
      Lesser India, 47

  Lombardy (Lamparten), 89

  Lord’s prayer, in Armenian, 102;
      Tatar, 102

  Lucca (Lickcha), 34

  Magnesia (Maganasa), 40, 147

  (Mäg), Mahhy? destructor of gods, a title of Boursbaï, 52, 187

  Mahomedans, their sects, 65, 73–74, 221;
      at prayer, 67–68;
      neglect of prayer, how punished, 69;
      places for worship, 69, 220;
      burial of the dead, 69;
      fasting, 70;
      call to prayer, 70;
      festivals, 70–71, 221;
      grief for the dead, 72;
      wine forbidden and the reason why, 72;
      good custom in trade, 73;
      estimate of the Saviour, 75–76;
      of Christianity, 76–78

  Mahomet, 44;
      his tomb, 54, 71;
      birth and appearance of, 65, 219–220, 78;
      becomes Caliph, 67;
      doctrine and laws, 67–75;
      held the Caucasus in veneration, 186

  Makou (Meya), 44, 159

  Malabar (Lambor), where pepper grows, 61, 211

  Malahidah sect, the; _see_ the Day

  Malatia (Malathea), 18, 122–123

  Mamelouk sultans, captives sent to, by Bajazet, 7, 113;
      their succession, 51, 182;
      court ceremonials, 52, 54, 192;
      couriers, 52, 192;
      pigeon service, 53, 192

  Mamre (Mambertal), 56, 194

  (Manstzusch), 99, 143

  (Mansur), a brother of Aboubekr, 33, 135

  Mardin (Merdin), 43, 154

  Mare’s milk drank fasting, 48

  Marriage customs, of the Yasses and Georgians, 85, 234;
      Armenians, 95

  Mary Magdalen, 58

  ———— Cleophas, 58

  Massanderan, 26, 29, 44

  Meat, raw, eaten by Tatars, 48

  Medina (Madina), 71

  Mehdy, the, or celestial judge, Shyite belief of him, 186;
      Sunnite belief, 187

  Meisen (Neichsen), 102

  Menagerie at Babylon, 47, 168

  Meragha (Maragara), 44, 157

  Mile, an Italian, defined by the author, 46, 167

  Milk of mares and camels for food, 48

  Millet, in Siberia, 36;
      Sinope, 41;
      Great Tatary, 48

  Mingrelia (Magrill, Megrellen), 43, 153, 99

  Mingrelians, are of the Greek Church, 43, 78

  Mintash or Mantash (Mathas), 51, 183

  Miracle, at Samsoun, 12;
      by St. Demetrius, 39, 146;
      at Angora, 40;
      Sinaï, 55, 193;
      the Withered tree, 56;
      Holy Sepulchre, 57, 199;
      St. Ann’s well, 58, 202;
      walls of Constantinople, 84;
      by St. Gregory, 88–90;
      St. Silvester, 88;
      St. John the Evangelist, 147

  Miran Shah (Mirenschach), 30, 32, 133, 134, 114

  Mirror at Alexandria, 62–63, 215

  Mirtcha, John (Werterwaywod), voyevoda of Wallachia, 2, 110, 145

  Miszr Khodja (Miseri), 32, 134

  Mitrovitz (Mittrotz), 6

  Mocenigo, Giovanni, 110

  Mohammed, the descendant of Ali, 186

  (Molwa), an infidel priest, 65, 219

  Mongols, the (Mugal), 50, 179, 114, 126

  Moses, 54–56, 76

  Mosque at Damascus, described, 22, 128;
      destroyed, 23, 129

  Mouhammed, son of Bajazet, defeats Bourhan uddin, 10;
      is ruler of Sebaste, 18, 121

  Mouravieff, M. Andréy, 147

  Nahitchevan (Nachson), 44, 156

  Nazareth, 52, 56, 185

  Neapolitans, in Egypt, 214

  Nestorians, 140, 157, 158, 162, 190

  Nevers, Comte de (Duke of Burguny), at Nicopolis, 3, 111;
      a prisoner, 4, 111, 113;
      intercedes for several nobles, 5, 112;
      at Gallipoli and Broussa, 6–7, 112

  Nicopolis, siege and battle of, 2–4, 107–112, 100

  Nile, R. (Nilus), 61, 62, 169

  Nisibis (Antioch), 44, 160

  Noah, 44

  “None”, Nono, ruler in Badakshan, 166

  Olives, Mt. of, 59

  Oljaïtou, tomb of, 132

  Omar, the caliph, 67

  (Origens); _see_ Anjak

  Orsova, 107

  Ossets, Alans (Yassen, Aff), are of the Greek Church, 78;
      marriage customs, 85, 234;
      history, 223–224

  Ostriches, in Lesser India, 47

  Othman, the caliph, 67

  Oulou Mohammed (Machmet), 37, 142

  Ourjenj (Orden), 49, 172, 154

  Ormi, the Ur of Jordanus Catalani, 157–158

  Ourroum Kaleh (Hrumkula), 22, 127–128

  Oxus, R. (Edil), 49, 172

  Palaces at Constantinople, 79, 228

  Paradise, 43, 61, 209, 186

  Parrots, in Lesser India, 47

  Pearls, at Kishm I, 45

  Pelicans, in Arabia, 54, 193

  (Pentznawer, Wernher), killed at Nicopolis, 4

  Pera, 79, 225

  Pergri, 126

  Persia, 26, 30, 34, 43, 44, 45, 61, 89

  ———— King of, 7, 114

  Pepper, cultivation of, at Malabar, 61, 62

  Pettau (Petaw), Duchy of, 6

  (Phiradamschyech), a tercentenarian, 45, 161–162

  Pigeons, carrier, in Egypt, and their training, 53, 192

  Pilate, house of, 58, 202

  Pirates in Black Sea, 100

  Pisans, in Egypt, 214

  Poland (Polan), 102

  Pope, the, 63, 81

  Poti (Kathon, Bothan), 43, 153, 99

  Poulad (Polet), 37, 141

  Prayers for the dead, in the Armenian Church, 94

  Preachers, Order of, 44, 159

  Precious stones, at Hormuz, 46;
      Badakshan, 46, 166;
      in the Ganges, 61, 210

  Prester John, 52, 189, 57, 58, 140, 191

  Quilon? (Lambe), 61, 212

  Rahova, 2, 108

  Raw meat as food, 48

  Rebecca’s grave, 60

  Regensburg, 102

  Relics, of St. Catherine, 55;
      St. John Chrysostom, 58, 202;
      St. Stephen, 58, 202;
      St. Nicholas, 147;
      St. Clement, 177;
      St. Joachim, 202

  Resht (Ress), 44, 160

  Rey (Rei), 44, 155

  Rhinosceros? in Badakshan, 167

  Rhodes, knights of, Smyrna their possession, 147;
      at taking of Alexandria, 214;
      at defence of Constantinople, 231

  Rice, grown in Ghilan, 44

  Richartinger, Leonard (Lienhart), the author’s master, 1;
      unhorsed at Nicopolis, 3;
      killed in that battle, 4

  Rivers that flow out of Paradise, 61, 209–210

  Robbers, in Circassia, 50, 178

  Roman Catholics, at Makou, 44;
      Caffa, 49

  (Rom) Asia Minor, 51, 52

  Rome, 63, 81, 89, 91

  (Rumany) Abyssinia?, 52, 190

  Russia (Rewschen), 50, 89

  Russia (Reissen), White, the Lesser, 101, 245

  Russians (Rivssen), are of the Greek Church, 78, 137

  (Sadurmelickh), 37, 144

  St. Ann, 58

  St. Auxentius (Aurencius), 93, 239

  St. Basil, 41, 148

  St. Bartholomew (Bartlome), 87, 235

  St. Catherine, 54–56, 193–194

  St. Clement, 50, 177

  St. Constantine, 83

  St. Demetrius (Sanctiniter), 39, 146

  St. George (Jörig), patron saint of Georgia, 34

  St. Gregory, the “Illuminator”, 87–93, 235–238

  St. Helena, 197

  St. James the Less, 59, 206

  ———— the Greater, 93, 239

  St. Joachim, 202

  St. John the Baptist, 58, 201, 205

  St. John the Evangelist, 40, 147, 58

  St. John Chrysostom, 58, 202

  St. Nicholas, 40, 147

  St. Rhipsime (Susanna), 87, 236

  St. Sergius (Zerlichis), 93, 239

  St. Silvester, 87–90, 237

  St. Stephen (Steffan), 58, 200, 59, 202, 203

  St. Thaddeus (Thaten), 87, 235, 160

  St. Thomas, 211–212

  Salonica (Salonikch), 39, 145

  Samarkand (Semerchant), 28, 33, 47, 154

  Samsoun (Samson), 12, 119, 14, 41, 79

  Saracens, 51, 137

  Sarah, the grave of, 60

  Saraï (Sarei), 49, 173, 139, 141

  Saraï, New, 173

  Saraï-Banou, 137

  Saros (Seres), 39

  Saroukhan (Serochon), 40

  Sary Kerman (Serucherman), 50, 176–177

  Savages, in Siberia, 35, 139

  Save, R. (Saw), 6

  Saviour, the, 35, 52, 185, 56, 75–78, 83, 84

  Saxony, 102

  (Schenisis) Shems uddin?, 40

  Schiltberger, Johann, addresses the reader, 1;
      at battle of Nicopolis, is made a prisoner and bound with a cord,
      his life is spared, 5;
      suffers from wounds, 7;
      his duty as runner to Bajazet, 7;
      attempts to escape, 10–12;
      sent to the relief of Sebaste, 17;
      sent to Egypt, 19;
      becomes Timour’s prisoner, 21;
      is subject to Shah Rokh and Miran Shah, 30–31;
      passes into the hands of Aboubekr, 33;
      sent into Great Tatary, 33;
      enumerates the countries he visited, 38–50;
      is three months at Gallipoli, 39;
      at the siege of Constantinople, 80;
      spends three months at Constantinople, 81;
      is in the service of “Manstzusch”, 99;
      effects his escape, 99;
      voyage to Constantinople, 100;
      enters that city, and is taken before the Emperor, 101;
      returns to his home, 101–102

  Schliemann, Dr., 228

  (Schyackin), 51, 183

  Scorpions, in Badakshan, 167

  Scutari (Skuter), 79

  Sea, the Black, 13, 41, 49, 50, 79, 99, 101

  ———— (the Dead), 59, 204

  ———— (the Great) or Black, 79

  ———— (the Indian), 47

  ———— (the Red), 54, 193

  ———— (the White), or Caspian, 45, 161

  ———— (the White), 39

  Sea monsters, in the Tigris, 47

  Sects, Mahomedan, 65, 73–74

  Serpents, at Samsoun, 12;
      Badakshan, 46;
      Desert of Arabia, 46;
      near the Tigris, 47;
      in Malabar, 62

  Servia (Iriseh), Stephen, prince of, 3, 111, 109

  Shabran, (Samabram), 34, 135

  Shabran-tchaï, 135

  Shahinshah (Schachister), 27

  Shah Rokh (Scharock), 30–31, 86, 234, 126

  Shaubek, in Arabia, 217

  Sheeraz (Schiras), 45, 162–163

  Shekis, the, 161

  Sheky (Scheckhy), 44, 161

  Shemahà (Schomachy), 45

  Schirwan (Schuruan), 34, 45

  Shishman (Schuffmanes), 13, 120, 107

  Shoeless, Order of the, 34, 139

  Shurky (Scherch), 23, 129

  Shvishtov (Schiltaw), 2, 108–110

  Shyites (Raphak), at Rey, 44, 156;
      destructors of mosque at Damascus, 129;
      their place of pilgrimage, 187

  Siberia (Ibissibur), a country, described, 34–36, 139

  Sibir or Isker (Ibissibur), a city, 49, 174;
      residence of the Shaïbani Khans, 174

  Siege, of Nicopolis, 2, 107–109;
      Konieh, 8–9;
      Samsoun, 12;
      Sebaste, by Kara Yelek, 15;
      Malatia, 18;
      Sebaste by Timour, 20, 125;
      Aleppo, 22;
      Ain-tab, 22;
      Behesna, 22;
      Damascus, 22;
      Babylon, 24;
      Delhi, 26;
      Ispahan, 27;
      Alindsha, 44, 160, 130;
      Constantinople, 80, 231, 226

  Sigismund, King of Hungary; appeals to Christendom, and invades
    Bulgaria, 1–2;
      occupies Widdin, 2;
      Rahova, 2;
      besieges Nicopolis, 2;
      at battle of Nicopolis, 2–4, 107, 109;
      flight, 3–4, 110, 113;
      passes the Dardanelles, 6

  Silesia (Slesy), 102

  Silk, at Astara, 34;
      Lezghistan, 34;
      Shirwan, 34, 45;
      Resht, 44;
      Sheky, 44

  Silvester, Pope, 87–91

  Simontornya (Synüher), Stephen, 5, 112

  Sinaï (Muntagi), 52, 54–56, 193–194

  Sindjar, 154

  Sinope (Zepun, Synopp), 41, 100, 120

  Sion, Mount, 59, 202–203

  Sis (Syos, Siss), a kingdom of Armenia, 86;
      taken by Egypt, 87, 235, 126

  Sivas, or Siwas (Sebast, Tamastk, Damastchk), 10, 118, 15–18, 20,
    124–125, 41

  Sledges, in Siberia, 35

  Smyrna (Ismira), 40, 147

  Snakes, in Siberia, 35

  Solkhat (Vulchat), capital of Kiptchak, 49, 175

  Solomon, temple of, 58, 59

  ———— tomb of, 59, 203

  Soukhoum Kaleh (Zuchtun), 43, 152–153

  Souleiman, son of Bajazet; spares the author’s life, 5;
      intercedes for re-captured prisoners, 12;
      goes to the relief of Sebaste, 17, 121;
      defeats the (White Tartars), 19

  Souleiman Shah (Suleymanschach), a counsellor of Timour, 25

  Soultanyà (Soltania), 26, 132, 44

  Soutchava (Sedschoff), 101

  Spices, at Damascus, 24;
      Kais I, 46;
      Malabar, 62

  Sracimir, John (Hannsen of Bodem), 5, 112, 107

  (Stainer, little), killed at Nicopolis, 4

  Storks, near the Tigris, 47

  Strength, feats of, by Aboubekr, 33;
      (Sadurmelickh), 37

  (Sygun), or Zikhes; _see_ Circassians

  Syhoun, R., 186

  Syria, 22, 57

  Syrians, at Caffa, 49;
      are Jacobites, 78, 224

  Tabreez (Thaures), a kingdom of Persia, 30, 32;
      chief city of all Persia, 44, 154

  Taharten (Tarathan), 21, 125, 126

  Takavor (Takchauer), the Armenian for king, 90, 238

  Takfour, title of Greek emperor, 188, 238

  Tamerlane; _see_ Timour

  Tana (Alathena), now Azoff, 49, 175, 79, 138

  Tartars or Tatars?, 171–172

  Tatars, White, besiege Angora, 18;
      vanquished by Souleiman, 19;
      desert Bajazet at Angora, 21, 117

  Tatary, Great, 33, 48, 170;
      khans of, 36–37, 140–143;
      customs in, 48, 172;
      steppes of, 50

  Tatary, White, 7, 114–116

  Tchadibek khan (Sedichbechan), 36, 140

  Tchekre (Zeggra), 33–37, 139, 99, 142

  Tell el-faras (Talapharum), 52, 185

  Terek R. (Edil), 34, 137

  Ternovo (Ternau), 13, 120, 39, 108

  (That) Mourtadd? Crimean Goths so called, 50, 176

  Tiflis (Tiffliss), a kingdom of Armenia, 86, 126

  Tigris R. (Schatt), 47, 168, 61, 209, 186

  Timour, at Sebaste, 20, 125;
      at Angora, 21;
      Broussa, 21;
      campaign in Syria, 22, 125, 127;
      besieges Damascus, 23, 128–129;
      destroys “Babylon”, 24;
      invades Lesser India, 24–26, 130–131;
      expedition to Masanderan, 27;
      besieges Ispahan, and his treachery there, 27, 133;
      expedition to China, 28, 133;
      illness and death, 29, 133;
      lies uneasy in his grave, 30;
      his sons, 30, 133;
      his capital, 33;
      cruelties, at Sebaste, 20, 125;
      Aleppo, 22, 127;
      Damascus, 23, 128;
      Ispahan, 27–28, 133

  Timour Tash, 118, 123

  Tirgovisht (Türckisch), 38

  Tiridates (Derthatt), king of Armenia, 87–91, 236–237, 159

  ———— throne of, 159

  Toktamish, 115, 138, 140, 154

  Towers of human heads, at Damascus, 23;
      Ispahan, 27

  Transylvania (Sybenbürgen), 38

  Trebizond (Trabessanda), a kingdom, 41, 79, 150

  Troy (Troya), its ruins, 79, 226–228

  Turkey, Black, 43

  Turkey, Great, 40

  Turkomans of the White Sheep, 152

  Turks, Ottoman, 114

  Tuscany (Duschkan), 89

  Tzaref, 173

  (Ugine), the, Ung Kut? 36, 139–140

  Unicorns, in Badakshan, 46, 166–167;
      at Rome, 90–91

  Velvet, made at Venice, 34;
      Lucca, 34

  Venetians, in Egypt, 62, 214;
      at Gallipoli, 112;
      at Salonica, 146;
      relations with Persia, 154;
      secure the silk of Ghilan, 160;
      at Tana, 175;
      Galata, 225;
      defence of Constantinople, 231

  Vineyards, at Trebizond, 41;
      Lazistan, 43;
      Kohrasar, 43, 151;
      Crimea (Gothia), 50

  Venice, 34, 49

  Vipers, at Samsoun, 12;
      from the Black Sea, 13

  Virgin, in the Castle of the Sparrow-hawk, 41–43;
      9000 carried away captives by Timour, 20

  Virgin’s castles or towers, 149

  Virgin Mary, 52, 185, 57, 58, 75, 76, 93

  Volga R., 136, 173

  Walachia (Walachy, Walchi), 2, 38, 89, 101

  ———— Greater, 38;

  ———— Lesser, 38, 101

  Walachians, are Christians, 38;
      never cut their hair or beard, 38;
      are of the Greek Church, 78

  Walls of Constantinople, 84, 232, 101, 244

  Warlike people, in (Black Turkey), 43;
      Georgia, 43;
      Jagataï, 47;
      Great Tatary, 48

  Water poisoned, 23

  Widdin or Widin (Bodem), 2, 107, 39

  Wine, not drunk in Great Tatary, 48;
      why forbidden to Mahomedans, 72

  Withered Tree, Lord of the, 52, 189;
      virtue of the, 56, 194–195

  Ydegou, (Edigi), 34–37, 140–141, 143, 176

  Zacharias, 59, 206

  (Zuspillen) Sicily?, 51, 184


[Illustration: MAP

  Illustrative of the Travels of
  Commander J. Buchan Telfer. R N.

_Names between hooks are not employed by Schiltberger._]

The Hakluyt Society.


The Council of the Hakluyt Society have pleasure in being able to
report to the Members that their numbers are increasing, and that the
funds are in a satisfactory state. The number of effective Members of
the Society is now 240.

The attention of the Council has been given to an arrangement which
will facilitate the completion of sets of volumes by old Members, and
the acquisition of back volumes which they may desire to possess by new
Members who may not wish to purchase complete sets. The whole series
can now be purchased at the rate of 8s. 6d. a volume; namely, for £24
4s. 6d., the price increasing at the rate of 8s. 6d. as each new volume
is added. The same rule applies when a Member requires any portion of
the series equal to, or exceeding, a quarter of the whole number of
volumes. When a Member requires a single back volume, or any number
less than a quarter of the whole series, he may, with the consent of
the Council, be supplied at the rate of 10s. each volume.

Since the last Report the following volume has been issued to Members:—

AND JAMES I. Edited, with an Introduction, by Clements R. Markham,
C.B., F.R.S.

And the following volume is nearly ready for issue:—

1427. Translated and edited by Commander Buchan Telfer, R.N.

Three volumes are in the hands of the printer, namely:—

and edited by Walter de Gray Birch, Esq.

Captain A. H. Markham, R.N.

Edited by Clements R. Markham, C.B., F.R.S.

Besides the above volumes, which will meet the just demands of the
Fellows up to the end of the present year, several other works have
been undertaken by editors.

These are:—

Graves, Esq.

VOYAGES OF MENDAÑA. Translated and edited by W. A. Tyssen Amherst, Esq.

FRANCISCO ALVAREZ. Translated and edited by Lord Stanley of Alderley.

Edited by Lieutenant-General Sir J. Henry Lefroy, K.C.M.G., C.B.

Arthur Burnell, Esq., Phil.D.

the original Manuscript. To be translated and edited by C. E. D. Black,

The following six Members retire from the Council:—

  E. A. BOND, ESQ.
  W. E. FRERE, ESQ., C.M.G.

Of these the three first are recommended for re-election, and the names
of the following are proposed for election:—


_Statement of the Accounts of the Society from May 1877, to June 1879._

                            £  s. d.│                                £  s. d.
  Balance left at the               │ Mr. Richards for printing     337 10  6
    Bankers (May 1877)     654 15 0 │ Messrs. Wyman                  15 19  0
  Received by Bankers, May          │ Mr. Quaritch for a copy of
    1877, to June 1879     620  2 6 │   Acosta                        5  0  0
                                    │ Signor de Gubernatis for the
                                    │   manuscript of Desideri       40  0  0
                                    │ Mr. Coote for transcriptions   10  4  7
                                    │ Mr. Muller for the Barents map 10  0  0
                                    │ Petty cash                     10  0  0
                                    │ Cheque books                    0  4  6
                                    │                               —————————
                                    │                               428 18  7
                                    │ Balance at the Bankers        851 18 11
                          ————————— │                               —————————
                         £1280 17 6 │                             £1280 17  6
                          ————————— +                               —————————

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