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.

This seems to be the same history with that of Irganekon, which is also related by Abulgasi.  The mountain Belgian must be looked for in the environs of lake Balehas, in the country of Organum or Irganekon.  According to the Nighiaristan, a collection of oriental history, the Turkomanni likewise came from a place called Belgian or Bilkhan.—­Forst.

[1] Faucon Pelerin, the Pilgrim Falcon,—­Forst.

[2] Esmerliones, or Merlins.—­Forst.

[3] The Bondree and Sacre, or the Honey-buzzard and Sacre.—­Forst.

CHAP.  XI.

Travels of Marco Polo, through Tartary, China, the Islands of India, and most of Asia, from A. D. 1260 to 1295 [1].

Nicolo Polo, the father of this intelligent early traveller, and Maffei Polo his uncle, were Venetian gentlemen engaged in commerce; and appear to have gone into the east, in the prosecution of their trade, in the year 1260.  They resided far some time at the court of Kublai-khan, the great emperor of the Mongals or Tartars; and, returning to Venice in 1269, they found that the wife of Nicolo had died during their absence, leaving a son Marco, the author of the following travels, of whom she was pregnant at the time of their departure.  These circumstances are detailed in the first section of this chapter, but the date which has been usually assigned for the commencement of this first journey, 1250, is evidently corrupted, as will appear from the following considerations, derived from a comparison of the chronology of the kings and princes, who are mentioned in the travels as reigning at the time.  The high probability is, that the obvious mistake, of assuming the year 1250 as the era of the first journey, arose from a careless substitution of the figure 5 for 6 in transcription.

Assuming the corrected date of 1260 as the commencement of the first journey of Nicolo and Maffei Polo, this will appear to be consonant with the chronology of the princes with whose reigns their travels were connected; while the date of 1250, adopted by Ramusio and Muller, is totally irreconcilable with the truth of history.  They remained one year at the leskar or camp of Bereke-khan, whence they travelled into Bochara, where they tarried three years.  From thence they spent one year on their journey to the court of Kublai-khan, and were three years on their journey back to Venice.  But as they remained some time at the residence of Kublai-khan, one year may be allowed for that circumstance; and this first journey may therefore be allowed to have occupied nine years in all.

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