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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

[8] Cherson or Kersona, called likewise Scherson, Schursi, and Gurzi.—­E.

[9] These castles of the Goths, first mentioned by Rubruquis, were
    afterwards noticed by Josaphat Barbaro, a Venetian, in 1436; and
    Busbeck conversed with some of these Goths from the Crimea at
    Constantinople in 1562, and gives a vocabulary of their language.  From
    the authority of Rubruquis misunderstood, some ancient map makers have
    inserted the Castella Judeorum instead of Gothorum in the Crimea, and
    even Danville placed them in his maps under the name of Chateaux des
    Juifs, castles of the Jews.—­Forst.

SECTION II.

Of the Tartars and their Houses.

They have no permanent city, and they are ignorant of the future.  They divide all Scythia among them; and each leader, according to the number of his followers, knows the boundaries of his pastures, and where he ought to feed his flocks in winter and summer, and in spring and autumn.  In winter they descend into the warmer regions of the south, and in summer they travel towards the colder countries of the north.  Such pastures as have no water, are reserved for winter use, when there is snow on the ground, as the snow there serves instead of water.

The houses in which they sleep are founded on a round structure of wattled rods, and the roof is formed of wickers, meeting above in a small roundel, from which arises a neck like a chimney, all of which they cover with white felt; and they often cover over the felt with lime, or white earth and powdered bones to make it bright:  sometimes their houses are black; and the felt about the neck of the dome is decorated with a variety of pictures.  Before the door, likewise, they hang a felt, ornamented with painting; and they employ much coloured felt, painted with vines, trees, birds, and beasts, for decorating their dwellings.  Some of these houses are so large as to measure thirty feet in breadth.  I once measured the distance between the wheel ruts of one of their waggons to be twenty feet, and when the house was upon the waggon, it spread beyond the wheels at least five feet on each side.  I have counted twenty-two bullocks dragging one waggon, surmounted by a house; eleven in one row, according to the breadth or the waggon, and other eleven before these.  The axle of this waggon was very large, like the mast of a ship; and one man stood in the door of the house, upon the waggon, urging on the oxen.  They likewise make quadrangular structures of small split wicker, like large chests, and frame for them an arched lid or cover of similar twigs, having a small door at the front end; and they cover this chest or small house with black felt, smeared over with suet or sheeps’ milk[1], to prevent the rain from penetrating; and these are likewise decorated with paintings or feathers.  In these they put all their household goods and treasure;

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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