This letter is dated 16th September 1502; and
by it P. Pascquali
appears to have gone from Portugal into Spain:—E.
Of the Weights and Money of Calicut, and of the places whence they procure their Spices.
Having already treated concerning the articles of commerce of all kinds in the Indies, it is proper to give some account of the prices and weights of these. In the city of Calicut a bahar of nutmegs is sold for 450 favi. A bahar consists of four quintals, of 100 pounds each, and twenty favis are equal to a ducat. A bahar of cinnamon costs 390 favi. A faracula, or the twentieth part of a bahar of dried ginger, is six favi. A faracula of candied ginger is twenty-eight favi. A bahar of tamarinds thirty favi. A bahar of the best pepper 400 favi. A bahar of zerombeci forty favi. A bahar of myrabolans 560 favi. A bahar of zedoary thirty favi. A bahar of red sanders eighty favi. A bahar of lac 260 favi. A bahar of sanasius 160. A bahar of mastic 430 favi. A faracula of camphor 160. A bahar of pepper 360. A faracula of frankincense five favi. A faracula of benzoin six favi. A faracula of aloes wood 400 favi. A faracula of cassia eleven favi. A faracula of rhubarb 400 favi. A bahar of cloves 600 fevi. A faracula of opium 400 favi. A bahar of white sanders 700 favi. A mitrical of ambergris, or six ounces and a quarter. A bahar contains twenty faraculas. A faracula fourteen aratollae and a third; as twenty-three Venetian aratollae are equal to twenty-two Portuguese pounds. A golden ducat is equal to twenty favi.
As to those things which are carried from Europe for sale at Calicut, a faracula of brass sells for forty-five favi. A faracula of white coral for 1000. A faracula of silver for twenty favi. A faracula of spurious coral for 300. A faracula of alum twenty. An almenum of saffron sells for eighty favi: the almenum exceeds the Portuguese pound two aratollae and a half, and is therefore equal to about three Venetian pounds.
It appears proper to mention the regions from whence the various spices are brought to Calicut. Pepper is brought from a certain tower near the coast, about fifty leagues beyond Calicut. Cinnamon comes from a country called Zolon, Ceylon, 260 leagues beyond Calicut, and from no other place. Cloves come from the district of Meluza, which is twelve Portuguese leagues from Calicut, and is in the country of Cananore. Nutmegs and mastic come from Meluza, which is 740 leagues from Calicut. Castor, which is musk, comes from a certain region called Pegu, 500 leagues from Calicut. Fine pearls come from the coast of Armuzi, 700 leagues from Calicut. Spikenard and myrabolans from the province of Columbaia, 600 leagues from Calicut. Cassia in twigs is procured in the territory of Calicut. Frankincense