A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.
strength of his subjects, and the Naymani, united with the Cara-Cathayans, gathered a mighty army in a certain narrow valley to oppose him, in which a great battle was fought, and the Mongals obtained the victory, the confederates being mostly slain, and those who escaped were reduced to subjection.  Zingis established his son Occoday, Ug dai, or Octai-Khan, in the land of the Kara-Kitayans, where he built a town called Omyl or Chamyl[1]; near which, and to the south, there is a vast desert, in which there are said to be certain wild men, who do not speak, and have no joints in their legs, yet have sufficient art to make felt of camels wool for garments, to protect them from the weather.

[1] Called Chamil or Hami in the maps, in lat. 43 deg.  N. and long.
    92 deg.  E It stands in a province of the same name, on the north side of
    the great desert of Cobi, and to the N.E. of the land of the Kalmuks,
    or little Bucharia.—­E.


Of the Mutual Victories of the Mongals and Cathayans.

After their return from conquering the Naymani and Cara-Cathayans, the Mongals prepared to go to war with the Kythaos, or Cathayans[1]; but the Mongals were defeated in a great battle, and all their nobles were slain except seven.  Zingis and the rest who had escaped from this defeat, soon afterwards attacked and conquered the people called Huyri[2], who were Nestorian Christians, from whom they learned the art of writing.  After this they conquered the land of Sarugur, and the country of the Karanites, and the land of Hudirat, and returning into their own country, took a short respite from war.  Again assembling a great army, they invaded Cathay, and after a long struggle, they conquered the greater part of that country, and besieged the emperor in his greatest city.  The siege lasted so long, that the army of the Mongals came to be in want of provisions, and Zingis is said to have commanded that every tenth man of his own army should be slain as food for the rest.  At length, by great exertions, the Mongals dug a mine underneath the walls of the city, through which a party entered and opened the gates for the rest of the army, so that the city was carried, and the emperor and many of the citizens put to the sword.  Having appointed deputies to rule over his conquests, Zingis returned into Mongalia with immense quantities of gold and silver and other precious spoil.  But the southern parts of this empire, as it lies within the sea, has not been conquered by the Mongals to this day[3].

The people of Cathay are Pagans, having a peculiar kind of writing of their own, in which they are reported to possess the scriptures of the Old and New Testament.  They have also lives of the fathers, and houses in which they pray at stated times, built like churches; they are even said to have saints, to worship one God, to venerate the Lord Jesus Christ, and to believe eternal life; but they are not baptised[4].  They have no beards, and they partly resemble the Mongals in their features.  Their country is exceeding fruitful in corn, and abounds in gold and silver, wine and silk, and all manner of rich commodities, and the whole world has not more expert artificers in all kinds of works and manufactures.

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