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.

[3] Madagascar has no pretensions to riches or trade, and never had; so
    that Marco must have been imposed upon by some Saracen or Arab
    mariner.  Its size, climate, and soil certainly fit it for becoming a
    place of vast riches and population; but it is one almost continued
    forest, inhabited by numerous independent and hostile tribes of
    barbarians.  Of this island, a minute account will appear in an after
    part of this work.—­E.

[4] There are no elephants in Madagascar, yet these teeth might have been
    procured from southern Africa.—­E.

[5] By India Minor he obviously means what is usually called farther India,
    or India beyond the Ganges, from the frontiers of China to Moabar, or
    the north part of the Coromandel coast, including the islands.—­E.

[6] Abyssinia, here taken in the most extended sense, including all the
    western coast of the Red Sea, and Eastern Africa.—­E.

[7] This paragraph obviously alludes to the Tartar kingdom of Siberia.—­E.

[8] The summer in this northern country of the Samojeds is extremely short;
    but the expression here used, must allude to the long-continued summer
    day, when, for several months, the sun never sets.—­E.

CHAP.  XII.

Travels of Oderic of Portenau, into China and the East, in 1318[1].

INTRODUCTION.

Oderic of Portenau, a minorite friar, travelled into the eastern countries in the year 1318, accompanied by several other monks, and penetrated as far as China.  After his return, he dictated, in 1330, the account of what he had seen during his journey to friar William de Solona, or Solangna, at Padua, but without order or arrangement, just as it occurred to his memory.  This traveller has been named by different editors, Oderic, Oderisius, and Oldericus de Foro Julii, de Udina, Utinensis, or de Porto Vahonis, or rather Nahonis.  Porto-Nahonis, or Portenau, is the Mutatio ad nonum, a station or stage which is mentioned in the Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum, or description of the various routes to Jerusalem, a work compiled for the use of pilgrims; and its name is apparently derived from the Kymerian language, apparently a Celtic dialect, in which port signifies a stage, station, or resting-place, and nav or naou signifies nine; Port-nav, Latinized into Portus naonis, and Frenchified into Portenau, implies, therefore, the ninth station, and is at present named Pordanone in the Friul.  The account of his travels, together with his life, are to be found:  in Bolandi Actis Sanctorum, 14to Januarii; in which he is honoured with the title of Saint.  Oderic died at Udina in 1331.  In 1737, Basilio Asquini, an Italian Barnabite of Udina, published La Vita e Viaggi del Beato Qderico da Udihe, probably an Italian translation from

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