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.
the Latin of Bolandi.  The account of these travels in the collection of Hakluyt, is called “The Journal of Friar Odericus, concerning the strange things which he sawe among the Tartars of the East;” and was probably transcribed and translated from Bolandi, in which these travels are entitled De mirabilibus Mundi, or the Wonders of the World.  They have very much the air of an ignorant compilation, fabricated in the name of Oderic, perhaps upon some slight foundation, and stuffed with ill-assorted stories and descriptions from Marco Polo, and other, writers, interspersed with a few ridiculous miracles, for the honour or disgrace of the minorite order.  Mr Pinkerton asserts, that Oderic was not canonized until 1753.  But the Acts of the Saints is a publication of considerable antiquity, and he is called Beatus in the work of Asquini, already mentioned as having been published in 1787.

[1] Hakluyt, II. 142, for the Latin; II. 158, for the old English
    translation.—­Forst.  Voy. and Disc. 147.


The Commencement of the Travels of Oderic.

Many things are related by various authors, concerning the customs, fashions, and conditions of this world:  Yet, as I, friar Oderic of Portenau in the Friul, have travelled among the remote nations of the unbelievers, where I saw and heard many great and wonderful things, I have thought fit to relate all these things truly.  Having crossed over the great sea[1] from Pera, close by Constantinople, I came to Trebizond, in the country called Pontus by the ancients.  This land is commodiously situated as a medium of intercourse for the Persians and Medes, and other nations beyond the Great Sea, with Constantinople, and the countries of the west.  In this island I beheld a strange spectacle with great delight; a man, who led about with him more than 4000 partridges.  This person walked on the ground, while his partridges flew about him in the air, and they followed him wherever he went; and they were so tame, that when he lay down to rest, they all came flocking about him, like so many chickens.  From a certain castle called Zauena, three days journey from Trebizond, he led his partridges in this manner to the palace of the emperor in that city.  And when the servants of the emperor had taken such a number of the partridges as they thought proper, he led back the rest in the same manner, to the place from whence he came.

From this city of Trebizond, where the body of St Athanasius is preserved over one of the gates, I journeyed into the Greater Armenia, to a city named Azaron, which was rich and flourishing in former times, but the Tartars have nearly laid it entirely waste; yet it still has abundance of bread and flesh, and victuals of all sorts, excepting wine and fruits.  This city is remarkably cold, and is said to be situated on a higher elevation that any other city of the world. 

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