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.
cosmos, and we presented them in return with a basket of fruits and biscuit; and they gave us eight oxen and a goat, and a vast number of bladders full of milk, to serve as provision during our long journey.  But by changing our oxen, we were enabled in ten days to attain the next station, and through the whole way we only found water in some ditches, dug on purpose, in the vallies, and in two small rivers.  From leaving the province of Casaria, we traveled directly eastwards, having the sea of Azoph on our right hand, and a vast desert on the north, which, in some places, is twenty days journey in breadth, without mountain, tree, or even stone; but it is all excellent pasture.  In this waste the Comani, called Capchat[2], used to feed their cattle.  The Germans called these people Valani, and the province Valania; but Isidore terms the whole country, from the Tanais, along the Paulus Maeotis, Alania.  This great extent would require a journey of two months, from one end to the other, even if a man were to travel post as fast as the Tartars usually ride, and was entirely inhabited by the Capchat Comanians; who likewise possessed the country between the Tanais, which divides Europe from Asia, and the river Edil or Volga, which is a long ten days journey.  To the north of this province of Comania Russia is situate, which is all over full of wood, and reaches from the north of Poland and Hungary, all the way to the Tanais or Don.  This country has been all wasted by the Tartars, and is even yet often plundered by them.

The Tartars prefer the Saracens to the Russians, because the latter are Christians:  and when the Russians are unable to satisfy their demands for gold and silver, they drive them and their children in multitudes into the desert, where they constrain them to tend their flocks and herds.  Beyond Russia is the country of Prussia, which the Teutonic knights have lately subdued, and they might easily win Russia likewise, if they so inclined; for if the Tartars were to learn that the sovereign Pontiff had proclaimed a crusade against them, they would all flee into their solitudes.

[1] From this circumstance it is obvious, that the journey had been
    hitherto confined to Casaria, or the Crimea, and that he had now
    reached the lines or isthmus of Precop.—­E.

[2] In the English translation of Hakluyt, this word is changed to Capthak,
    and in the collection of Harris to Capthai; it is probably the
    Kiptschak of the Russians.—­E.

SECTION XV.

Of our Distresses, and of the Comanian funerals.

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