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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.
days at this place, waiting for one of Baatu’s scribes, who was to assist our guide in the management of certain affairs at the court of Mangu.  This country used to be called Organum[6], and the people Organa, as I was told, because the people were excellent performers on the organ[7] or lute; and they had a distinct language and peculiar manner of writing.  It was now entirely inhabited by the Contomanni, whose language and writing are used by the Nestorians of these parts.  I here first saw idolaters, of whom there are many sects in the east.

[1] The person here alluded to was a monk named Andrew Luciumel, who had
    been sent ambassador, by the pope, to the emperor of the Mongals, in
    1247 or 1248, with the same views as in the missions of Carpini and
    Asceline at the same period; but of his journey we have no account
    remaining.—­E

[2] It is exceedingly difficult, or rather impossible, to trace the steps
    of the travels of Rubruquis, for want of latitudes, longitudes, and
    distances, and names of places.  After passing the Volga and Ural or
    Jaik, he seems to have travelled east in the country of the Kirguses,
    somewhere about the latitude of 50 deg..  N. to between the longitudes of
    65 deg.. and 70 deg..  E. then to have struck to the south across the Kisik-tag
    into Western Turkestan, in which the cultivated vale may have been on
    the Tshui or the Talas rivers.—­E

[3] Probably near the north side of the Arguin or Alak mountains.—­E.

[4] This position of Rubruquis is sufficiently distinct:  Having ferried
    over the river Tshui, and crossed the Jimbai mountains, the route now
    lay between the Alak mountain on his right, or to the south, and the
    lake of Balkash or Palkati Nor, to the left or north.—­E.

[5] The Kisik-tag, which he had before passed in descending into Western
    Turkestan.—­E.

[6] This absurd derivation of the name of the country and people, is
    unworthy of credit.  Organum was probably the country called Irgonekan
    or Irganakon by Abulgari; and the word signifies a valley surrounded
    by steep mountains, exactly correspondent with the description in the
    text.—­Forst.

[7] The Contomanni or Kontomanians, were probably a Mongal tribe,
    originally inhabiting the banks of the Konta or Khonda, who had
    afterwards settled on the banks of the river Ili and lake of Balkash. 
    —­Forst.

SECTION XXVI.

How the Nestorians and Mahometans are mixed with Idolaters.

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