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.
but learn all arts and sciences with great facility, and have a particular manner of writing, which is adopted by all the neighbouring nations.  To the east, this country is bounded by Kathay, to the west by Turkestan, to the north by an extensive desert, and to the south by a very rich province, named Sym or Peim, in which diamonds are found, and which, is situated between Kathay and India.  It appears, that Haitho here describes the country of the Uigurs in conjunction with that of the Gete:  but how it came to receive the name of Tarsae I know not—­Forst.

Sec. 3. Turkestan is bounded on the east by the empire of Tarsae, to the west by Khorasmin or Khuaresm, and to the south it extends to the desert which forms the northern frontier of India.  In this country there are few good towns; but many extensive plains, which afford excellent pasturage to cattle, and the inhabitants are almost universally shepherds and tenders of cattle.  They dwell mostly in tents, and in huts which can be transported from place to place.  They cultivate only a small quantity of corn, and have no wine.  Their drink is beer and milk, and they subsist upon meat with rice and millet.  The people are known by the name of Turks, and are of the Mahometan religion.  Such of them as live in towns use the Arabian letters.  Ocerra or Otrar is the capital of this country.

Sec. 4. Khorasmin or Khuaresm, is a populous, pleasant, and fertile country, containing many good and strong towns, the capital being Khorasme.  The country produces abundance of corn, and very little wine.  This empire borders on a desert of an hundred days journey in extent.  To the west is the Caspian sea, to the north Kumania, and to the east Turkestan.  The inhabitants are heathens, without letters or laws.  The Soldini are the most intrepid of warriors; have a particular language of their own, for which they employ the Greek characters in writing; and they follow the usages and rites of the Greek church, being subject in spirituals to the Patriarch of Antioch.

According to Ulug-Beg, who was himself prince of this country, the capital of Khuaresm is the city of Korkang, and no author except Haitho has ever mentioned a place called Khorasme.  The Soldini, whom he mentions as Christians of the Greek church, are unknown; perhaps they may have been the Sogdians.—­Forst.

Sec. 5. Kumania is of vast extent; but, owing to the inclemency of its climate, is very thinly inhabited.  In some parts, the cold is so intense in winter, that neither man nor beast can remain in them; and in other parts the heat is so extreme, and they are so infested with swarms of flies, as to be quite intolerable.  The whole country is flat and level, and without woods, except some orchards near the towns.  The inhabitants live in tents, and use the dung of their cattle as fuel.  It is bounded on the east by a desert towards Khorasmia; to the west is the great sea, or Euxine,

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