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.

Marcolini extracted this relation from the original letters of the two Zenos, who were of one of the most considerable families in Venice; a family which could not be supposed to have boldly forged a story of this kind.  The truth could easily have been detected, whether these brothers existed or not, and whether they ever made voyages to the north.  Besides this, the map, actually constructed by Antonio, and hung up in his house at Venice, existed in the time of Marcolini, as a sure and incontestable proof of the fidelity of the narrative.  How then is it possible to harbour any doubts?  In this case, there must be an end of all faith in history.

I once held, that the countries described by the Zenos had been swallowed up by an earthquake; but, reflecting that so great a revolution in nature must have left some historical vestiges, or traditions, I examined the matter over again, and found that the countries described, bore a strong resemblance to the Orkneys, Shetland, Faro, and Western Islands, &c.  The Zenos having represented Porland as composed of a cluster of small islands, I suspected the other names might likewise refer to collective groups.  Thus Estland appeared to resemble in name the Shetland, Zetland, or Hitland Islands; and on comparing the names of Tolas, Broas, Iscant, Trans, Mimant, Dambre, and Bres, with those of Yell, Zeal or Teal, Burray or Bura, of which name there are two places, West Bura, and East Bura, and when taken collectively the Buras, Unst, Tronda, Main-land, Hamer, which is the name of a place in the mainland of Orkney, and Brassa, or Bressa, the resemblance seemed so obvious, that I no longer harboured any doubt.  The land of Sorani, which lay over against Scotland, naturally suggested the Suderoe, or southern islands of the Norwegians, now called the Western Islands or Hebrides. Ledovo and Ilofe, are the Lewis and Islay. Sanestol, the cluster of islands named Schants-oer.  Bondendon, Pondon, or Pondon-towny in Sky. Frisland, is Faira or Fera, also called Faras-land. Grisland seems Grims-ay, an island to the North of Iceland:  though I would prefer Enkhuysan to the eastwards of Iceland, but as that was probably nothing more than an island of ice, we are compelled to assume Grims-ay, Engroneland is obviously Greenland. Estoitland must have been Winland, the Newfoundland of the moderns; and the Latin books may have been carried there by bishop Eric of Greenland, who went to Winland in 1121. Drogio lay much farther south, and the people of Florida, when first discovered, had cities and temples, and possessed gold and silver.

Icaria with its king Icarus, could be no other than Ireland[2] and perhaps the name took its origin from Kerry; and as Icarus was chosen for the name of its first king and lawgiver, his father must of course be Dedalus who, in all probability, was some Scottish prince, having a name of a similar sound. Neome I take to be Strom-oe, one of the Faro isles, Porland probably meant the Far-oer, or Faro islands; as Far-oe, or Far-land, is easily transmuted into Porland.

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