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.
and the sea of Tenue, Tanna, or Azof; to the north, is the empire of Kaffia or Kiow; and to the south it extends to the great river Etile or Wolga, which passes the capital.  This river is frozen over every year, and men and beasts walk upon the ice as on dry land; along the banks of the river are many small trees; and on the other side of the river, the country is inhabited by a people, who, though not Kumanians, are subject to the Khan.  Some live towards the high mountains of Cocas or Caucasus, in which there are white kites.  This range of mountains extends between the Black Sea or Euxine on the west, and the Caspian on the east; this latter has no connection with the ocean, but is a vast lake called a sea, on account of its extent, being the largest lake in the world, and contains a great quantity of excellent fish.  It divides Asia into two parts; that to the east being called Lower Asia, and that to the west Greater Asia.  In the Caspian mountains, abundance of buffalos and many other wild beasts are found.  In this sea there are many islands, to which numerous birds resort to breed; particularly the falcons called Pegrim[1], Esmetliones[2], and Bousacei[3], and many other birds not to be found elsewhere.  The largest town of Kumania is Sara or Saray, which was large and of great renown, but has been ravaged, and almost entirely destroyed by the Tartars, who took it by storm.

It is obvious, that Haitho here describes that part of the empire of the Mongals which was subject to Baatu-khan.  The Euxine or Black Sea, he calls the Great Sea.  The sea of Tenue is that of Tanna or Azof, the town at the mouth of the Tanais or Don having been known by both of these names, the former evidently derived from the ancient name of the river, or the river from the town, and of which the modern name Don is a mere corruption.  The empire of Kaffia is obviously that of Kiow, Kiovia, or Kiavia, long the capital of the Russian empire, and the residence of the czars or great dukes.—­Forst.

Sec. 6.  Beyond the great mountain of Belgian or Bilkhan, the Tartars lived formerly without religion, or the knowledge of letters, being chiefly employed in tending their flocks; and were so far from warlike, that they readily submitted to pay tribute to any neighbouring prince who made the demand.  All the tribes of the Tartars were known by the name of Mogles, Moguls or Mongals; and in process of time they increased so much, as to form seven populous independent nations.  The first was called Tartar, after a province of that name, which was their original habitation; the second Tangot, Tangut, or Tongusians; the third Kunat; the fourth Jalair or Thalair; the fifth Sonich; the sixth Monghi; and the seventh Tabeth.  Prompted by a vision and a command from God, the chiefs of these nations chose Changi or Zinghis to be their sovereign ruler or Great Khan; and we are told that when he came down from the mountains of Belgian, the sea withdrew nine feet, and made a way for him where there was none before.

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