These travels are not given in any regular order, nor is any itinerary mentioned. It would appear that he resided for some time at Tanna, now Asof, making several journeys into the Crimea, and among the nations which inhabit between the Don and the Wolga, the Black Sea and the Caspian; and that he returned home by way of Moscow, Novogorod, Warsaw, and Francfort on the Oder, and through Germany into Italy.
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Josaphat Barbaro began his journey to Tanna in 1436, and explored that country with great assiduity, and a spirit of inquiry that does him much honour, partly by land and partly by water, for sixteen years. The plain of Tartary is bounded on the east by the great river Ledil, Edil, or Wolga; on the west by Poland; on the north by Russia; on the south by the Great or Black Sea, Alania, Kumania or Comania, and Gazaria, all of which border on the sea of Tebache. Alania has its name from the people called Alani, who call themselves As in their own language. These people were Christians, and their country had been ravaged and laid waste by the Tartars or Mongals. The province of Alania contains many mountains, rivers, and plains, and in the latter there are many hills made by the hand of man, serving for sepulchral monuments, on the top of each of which there is a flat stone with a hole in it, in which a stone cross is fixed. About 110 years before the journey of Barbaro, or in 1326, the religion of Mahomet was adopted by the Tartars or Mongals; though, indeed, before that period there were some Mahometans in the country, but every one was permitted to follow what religion he chose. In consequence of this, some worshipped wooden images, which they carried about with them on their carts or moveable huts: But the compulsatory establishment of the Mahometan religion takes its date from the time of Hedighi, Edigi, or Jedighei, who was a general under the Tartarian emperor Sidahameth khan. This Hedighi was the father of Naurus, in whose days Ulu-Mohameth, or Mahomet the great, was khan of the Tartars.
A misunderstanding happened between the Naurus and the khan Ulu-Mohameth, in consequence of which Naurus retired to the river Ledil or Wolga, attended by the Tartar tribes who adhered to him personally, and joined himself to Khezi-Mohamet, or little Mahomed, who was a relation to the khan or emperor. Naurus and Khezi resolved to make war against Ulu, and accordingly marched with their combined forces by way of Giterchan or Astrakan, and through the plains of Tumen, or the great step or desert, which extends from the Wolga to the Don, and quite down the mountains of Caucasus. On this march westwards they kept southwards close to Circassia, and turned off towards the Don and the sea of Asof, both of which were frozen over. In order to find food for their cattle and horses, they marched in separate parties, at so great a distance from each other, that some crossed the river Don at