« AnteriorContinuar »
It is also worthy to be known, that from this territory came those three kings who offered to our Lord Jesus Christ three precious gifts, namely, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Their names were as follow : Jesphar, Pabtrar,55 and Melchior; of whom one was king of Salef, which is called the 'Island,' another the king of Malnustre, and the third was the king of Terzol, that is to say, Tarsis, as to which it is said in the Psalms, 56 “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents.” It is also worthy to be known, that these three rivers, Salef, Curk, and Thil, rise in Turkia, which is the name of the land of the Turks, who are subjects of the sultan of Iconium ; these divide the land of the Turks from the land of Rupin de la Montaigne, and fall into the sea near the gulf of Satalia. The river also, which is called Salef, is opposite to the island of Cyprus, and is not distant from it more than fifty miles, according to the calculations of mariners, as people can easily see from one shore to the other. 57
When the king of France had left this river Salef, he passed near some very high mountains, which are called Cathimerdes. He next passed before a castle, the name of which is Nessekim, and then came to a fine city called Stamere, in which there is a noble abbey of the Griffons. He next passed a deserted castle, which is called the castle of Rote, and then came to a river, which is called Scalendros: this river divides the territories of the Armenians from those of the emperor of Constantinople. Here, on one side of this river, in the territory of the emperor of Constantinople, is a castle, which is called Antiochet,58 while on the other side of the same river, in Armenia, there is a castle, the name of which is Isanci. When the king of France arrived at the castle of Antiochet, Constantine, the lord of the castle, received him with marks of joy, and supplied him and his people with all necessaries. The king of France made a stay there of eight days, and dubbed the eldest son of the said Constantine a knight. It is also worthy to be known, that the whole land which extends froin the river Scalendros towards the north as far as the sea is the territory of the emperor of Constantinople, which is called Romania, that is to say, Græcia.
55 V.r. Pabtizar, or Paptizar ; evidently a corruption for Balthazar, The first name stands for Gaspar, or Jasper.
56 Psalm lxxi. 10. 57 He must here allude to mountains on either side. 59 V, r. Annechet.
After taking his departure thence, he immediately entered the gulf of Satalia. It is called a gulf, when water extends inward between two lands, and forms a bay. Satalia is a very fine castle, and from it the gulf takes its name. Upon this gulf are two castles and cities, both of which are called Satalia ; but one of these is deserted, and is called Old Satalia, while the other is called New Satalia, and was founded by Manuel, emperor of Constantinople. Crossing the gulf of Satalia, the king of France passed a mountain, which is called Siredune, at the end of the gulf of Satalia. He then passed a very high mountain, the name of which is called Resut. He next came to a river, which is called Winke, 59 upon which there is a deserted castle, which is in like manner called Resut. This river Winke is also called the Port of the Pisans, because the Pisan pirates often frequent the harbour. When the king of France came thither, he found there four galleys belonging to the pirates, which he took; but the pirates, leaving the galleys, fled to the mountainous parts, and so escaped from his hands.
He next came to the city of Mirrhea, of which Saint Nicholas held the bishopric, and which the Greeks call Stamira; after which he arrived at a good harbour, and one secure from all winds and tempests, the name of which is Karkois; on both sides of which harbour there were in ancient times fine and populous cities, the names of which were Cake; there are also vast ruins there of walls to the present day, but no one lives there, through fear of the pirates. They next passed the Isles of Yse, in one of which there is a castle which is called the castle of Ruge.
Here formerly dwelt a damsel, whose name was Yse, and from whose name these islands were so called. The natives tell the story that a certain knight loved this damsel, but she declined to assent to his wishes so long as she lived. However, on her death, the knight came and lay with her, saying, “What I could not do with her when alive, I have done with her when dead;" on which Satan immediately entered into her, and said, “Behold, thou hast begotten by me a son, and when he is born I will bring him to ee.” After nine months, when the time of travail came, she brought forth a still-born son, and brought him to the knight, and said, “Behold thy
59 There can be no doubt that most of these names are in a most cor. rupt state.
first-born son, whom thou didst beget; cut off his head and keep it in thy possession. And whensoever thou shalt wish to vanquish thine enemy, or to lay waste his lands, let the features of the head so cut off be disclosed, and let them look upon thy enemy or his lands, and immediately they shall be destroyed; and when thou shalt wish to cease so to do, let the features be covered up again, and tribulation will cease;" which was accordingly done. Now, a considerable time after this, the knight married a wife, who often made enquiry of him, by what art or device he thus destroyed his enemies without arms and without an army; however, he was unwilling to tell her, but rebuked her, and made her hold her peace. But it so happened, that one day, when the knight was away from home, she approached a chest, in which she hoped to find this secret of her lord, by means of which he wrought such mischiefs, and accordingly found in the chest this abominable head; on which she immediately ran away, and threw it into the gulf of Satalia. The mariners have a story that whenever this head lies with the face upwards, the gulf is in such a state of commotion that no ship can possibly cross it; but when the head lies with the face downwards, then a ship can
“Let the Jew Apella believe this, I will not.” 60 There is also another wonderful thing that takes place once a month in every year. It seems as though a black dragon of vast size comes in the clouds of heaven, and plunges his head into the gulf of Satalia, and sucks up the water, drawing it up with such violence, that if any ship should chance to be there, even though it should be laden, it is drawn up and carried aloft. It is therefore necessary for those who wish to avoid this peril, as soon as they have seen the monster, immediately to make a great tumult and raise loud cries, beating pieces of wood together, in order that on hearing the noise the dragon may be driven away from them. We, however, affirm that this is not a dragon, but the heat of the sun, that attracts to itself the waters of the sea.
After the king of France had left the Isles of Yse, he passed near a great mountain, on the summit of which is situate the city of Patara, upon which Saint Nicholas was born, and where he lived for a long time. He next passed near a very lofty mountain, Turkia by name, which divides the territory
60 From Juvenal. 61 Hle evidently alludes to waterspouts, and the method of breaking them by means of sound
of the emperor of Constantinople from that of the sultan of Iconium. After this begins Romania, which is also called Græcia. The whole of Romania is land on the continent, and under the dominion of the emperor; in the sea there are also many islands, which are called the Isles of Romania. The capital of Romania is the city of Constantinople. Romania is joined to Sclavonia, Hungaria, Istria, and Aquileia.
The names of some of the principal islands which are in the Grecian sea are as follow: The island of Sicily, which belongs to the king of Sicily; the island of Crete, which is large and fertile, and in the middle of which is a large mountain, called the Mountain of the Camel; the island of Rhodes; the island of Cyprus; the island of Biscopia ; the island of Ischia, in which island grows abundance of the substance called mastic; the island of Ysania; the island of Ynexea; the island of Stuple; the island of Mil; the island of Quales; the island of Cuuerfu ; 62 the island of Serfent; the island of Sasent; the island called Falede-Campan; the island of Andros, and the island called Tine. Many however, of these, are deserted, through fear of the pirates, and in many of them pirates dwell. There are also some other islands, of which we have previously made mention, and many besides which are not mentioned in this book.
When the king of France had passed the Cape of Turkia, he came to the isle of Rhodes, and remained there some days at the city called Rhodes, which was built by Herod, who caused the head of Saint John the Baptist to be cut off, and given to the dancing damsel in a charger. Between the isle of Rhodes and Romania there is a broad expanse of sea, twenty miles wide, according to the mariners. It is also worth knowing, that when the isle of Rhodes has been reached, one third of the voyage has been accomplished between Acre and Brin. disi. Between Acre and Brindisi the distance is computed at one thousand eight hundred miles ; and between Marseilles and Sicily it is computed at one thousand six hundred miles; and between Sicily and Acre the distance is computed at one thousand six hundred miles. In the middle of the passage between Marseilles and Sicily lies the island of Sardinia ; and in the middle of the passage betwen Sicily and Acre is the island of Crete. It is also worthy to be known, that, if they have a fair wind who are desirous to proceed from Marseilles
69 Here we can recognize a name known to us, Corfu.
to Acre, they will leave the island of Sardinia, the island of Sicily, and the island of Crete at a great distance on the left side of the ship; and, if they keep straight on in their course,
63 will not see land until they see the land of Sulia. This way also is the shorter and safer one; but they must take care not to steer their course too much to the right hand side of the ship, on account of Barbary and many other islands in which the pagans
live under the rule of the emperor of Africa. But galleys cannot go by that route, or even attempt it; for, if a storm. overtakes them, they will quickly founder; for which reason they are obliged always to coast along the shore. The person, too, who wishes to pass along the coast of Romania, from the Cape of Turkia, will have to pass a very lofty mountain, which is called Serfent, near which mountain begins the Arm of Saint George, through which you pass to the city of Constantinople.
Next, on the coast of Romania, is Maluaise, a large mountain. Then comes the gulf of Witun, at the head of which gulf is a fine and well-fortified castle, which is called Maine. At the head of this gulf also is a fine large episcopal city, which is called Curun, where grow such large quantities of olives, that it is said that in the whole world there is no place where there is made such vast quantities of olive oil. At the mouth of the said gulf of Witun is the deserted city of Muscun, which was destroyed by Roger, king of Sicily; and, before the entrance of this city are two islands: one of which is called Sapientia, and the other the Isle of Vultures. After passing this, not more than about twenty miles from the land there is a crag of round form, and very dangerous, being nearly sunk in the waves, the name of which is Tiffat. Between this crag and Muscun, the distance is computed to be fifty miles. It is necessary for those who pass this way not to take their ships out to too great a distance from the shore, until they have passed this dangerous spot.
Beyond this, about a hundred miles from this perilous spot, is an island out at sea called Serfent: this, and two other islands, one of which is called Cephalenia, and the other Jagert, are islands belonging to Margarite. Next comes port Guiscard. It deserves to be known that Robert Guiscard was born in Normandy, and, being made a knight, was long one of the
63 He has already said this, in giving an account of the voyage of king Richard.