All other ways being lost, by reason of the wars of the Turks, the spiceries of the Indian Islands, particularly of Java, Sumatra, and the city of Malacca, were carried up the river Ganges, in Bengal, to the city of Agra; thence they were carried by land to another city near the Indus, named Boghar, where they were discharged, because the city of Cabor, or Laor, the principal city of the Mogores, stands too far within the land. From thence they were carried to the great city of Samarcand in Bactria, in which the merchants of India, Persia, and Turkey met together with their several commodities, as cloth of gold, velvets, camblets, scarlet and woollen cloths, which were carried to Cathay and the great kingdom of China; whence they brought back gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, silk, musk, rhubarb, and many other things of great value.
In after times these merchandizes, drugs, and spiceries, were carried in ships from India to the Straits of Ormus, and the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and were unladen at the city of Basora; from whence they were carried overland to Aleppo, Damascus, and Barutti; and there the Venetian galliasses, which transported pilgrims to the Holy Land, came and received the goods.
In the year 1153, in the time of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, it is said there came to the city of Lubeck, in Germany, a canoe like a long barge, with certain Indians, who were supposed to have come from the coast of Baccalaos, which is in the same latitude with Lubeck. The Germans greatly wondered to see such a boat and strange people, not knowing whence they came, nor being able to understand their language, especially as there was then no knowledge of their country. Although the boat was small in comparison with the seas it had to cross, it is yet possible that it might have been conveyed by the winds and waves; for in our days the almadias of the negroes, which are very small boats, venture to navigate from Quiloa, Mosambique, and Sofala, around the Cape of Good Hope, even to the island of St Helena, a very small spot in the ocean, at a great distance from land.
In the year 1300 after Christ, the great soldan of Cairo restored the trade of spiceries, drugs, and merchandize from India, by the Red Sea; at which time they unloaded the goods at the port of Judea, and carried them to Mecca; whence they were distributed by the Mahometan pilgrims, so that each prince endeavoured to increase the honour and profit of his own country. The soldans translated this trade to their own city of Cairo; whence the goods were carried to the countries of Egypt, Lybia, Africa, Tunis, Tremessen, Fez, Morocco, and Suz; and some of them were carried beyond the mountains of Atlas, to the city of Tombuto, and the kingdom of the Jalophos; till afterwards the Portuguese brought the Indian trade round the Cape of Good Hope to Lisbon, as we propose to shew more at large in a convenient place.