We learn from the following journal, that Cesar Frederick began his peregrination in 1563; and, as he informs us in his preface, that he was continually employed in coasting and travelling for eighteen years, he could not have returned to Venice before the year 1581. In the publication of this journal in the Collection of Hakluyt, it is very irregularly divided into fragments, upon no apparent principles of regular distribution; but on the present occasion it has been arranged in sections, so as to suit the general plan of the present work.—E.
Cesar Frederick to the Reader.
Having for the space of eighteen years continually coasted and travelled over almost all the East Indies, and many other countries beyond the Indies, both with good and bad success; and having seen and learned many things worthy of notice, which have never been before communicated to the world; I have thought it right, since the Almighty hath graciously been pleased to return me to my native country, the noble city of Venice, to write and publish this account of the perils I have encountered during my long and arduous peregrinations by sea and land, together with the many wonderful things I have seen in the Indies; the mighty princes that govern these countries; the religion or faith in which they live; their rites and customs; the various successes I experienced; and which of these countries abound in drugs and jewels: All of which may be profitable to such as desire to make a similar voyage: Therefore, that the world may be benefited by my experience, I have caused my voyages and travels to be printed, which I now present to you, gentle and loving readers, in hopes that the variety of things contained in this book may give you delight.
Voyage from Venice to Bir in Asia Minor.
In the year 1563, while residing at Venice, being desirous to see the eastern parts of the world, I embarked in a ship called the Gradaige of Venice, commanded by Jacomo Vatica, bound for Cyprus, taking with me certain merchandise. On arriving at Cyprus, I left that ship, and went in a lesser to Tripoli in Syria, where I made a short stay. I then travelled by land to Aleppo, where I became acquainted with some Armenian and Moorish merchants, and agreed to accompany them to Ormuz. We accordingly departed together from Aleppo, and came to the city of Bir in two days journey and a-half.
Bir is a small city in which provisions are very scarce, situated in Asia Minor, [in lat. 37 deg. 5’ N. long. 38 deg. E. from Greenwich], the river Euphrates running near its walls. In this city, the merchants who intend to descend the Euphrates form themselves into companies or associations, according to the quantities of merchandise they possess, and either build or buy a boat to carry themselves and their goods down the Euphrates to Babylon, under the care of a master and mariners hired to conduct