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The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

Part 9 out of 23

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whilst the females are women. Oddly, too, Pere Barbe tells us that a
tradition of the Nicobar people themselves represent them as of canine
descent, but on the female side! The like tale in early Portuguese days
was told of the Peguans, viz. that they sprang from a dog and a Chinese
woman. It is mentioned by Camoens (X. 122). Note, however, that in Colonel
Man's notice of the wilder part of the Nicobar people the projecting
canine teeth are spoken of.

Abraham Roger tells us that the Coromandel Brahmans used to say that the
_Rakshasas_ or Demons had their abode "on the Island of Andaman lying on
the route from Pulicat to Pegu," and also that they were man-eaters. This
would be very curious if it were a genuine old Brahmanical _Saga;_ but I
fear it may have been gathered from the Arab seamen. Still it is
remarkable that a strange weird-looking island, a steep and regular
volcanic cone, which rises covered with forest to a height of 2150 feet,
straight out of the deep sea to the eastward of the Andaman group, bears
the name _Narkandam_, in which one cannot but recognise [Script], _Narak_,
"Hell"; perhaps _Naraka-kundam_, "a pit of hell." Can it be that in old
times, but still contemporary with Hindu navigation, this volcano was
active, and that some Brahman St. Brandon recognised in it the mouth of
Hell, congenial to the Rakshasas of the adjacent group?

"Si est de saint Brandon le matere furnie;
Qui fu si pres d'enfer, a nef et a galie,
Que deable d'enfer issirent, par maistrie,
Getans brandons de feu, pour lui faire hasquie."
--_Bauduin de Seboure_, I. 123.

(_Ramusio_, III. 391; _Ham._ II. 65; _Navarrete_ (Fr. Ed.), II. 101;
_Cathay_, 467; _Bullet. de la Soc. de Geog._ ser. IV. tom iii. 36-37;
_J.A.S.B._ u.s.; _Reinaud's Abulfeda_, I. 315; _J. Ind. Arch._, N.S.,
III. I. 105; _La Porte Ouverte_, p. 188.) [I shall refer to my edition of
_Odoric_, 206-217, for a long notice on dog-headed barbarians; I
reproduce here two of the cuts.--H.C.]



When you leave the Island of Angamanain and sail about a thousand miles in
a direction a little south of west, you come to the Island of SEILAN,
[NOTE 1] which is in good sooth the best Island of its size in the world.
You must know that it has a compass of 2400 miles, but in old times it was
greater still, for it then had a circuit of about 3600 miles, as you find
in the charts of the mariners of those seas. But the north wind there
blows with such strength that it has caused the sea to submerge a large
part of the Island; and that is the reason why it is not so big now as it
used to be. For you must know that, on the side where the north wind
strikes, the Island is very low and flat, insomuch that in approaching on
board ship from the high seas you do not see the land till you are right
upon it.[NOTE 2] Now I will tell you all about this Island.

[Illustration: MAP to Illustrate POLO'S Chapters on India
MAP to Illustrate POLO's Chapters on the Malay Countries]

They have a king there whom they call SENDEMAIN, and are tributary to
nobody.[NOTE 3] The people are Idolaters, and go quite naked except that
they cover the middle. They have no wheat, but have rice, and sesamum of
which they make their oil. They live on flesh and milk, and have tree-wine
such as I have told you of. And they have brazil-wood, much the best in
the world.[NOTE 4]

Now I will quit these particulars, and tell you of the most precious
article that exists in the world. You must know that rubies are found in
this Island and in no other country in the world but this. They find there
also sapphires and topazes and amethysts, and many other stones of price.
And the King of this Island possesses a ruby which is the finest and
biggest in the world; I will tell you what it is like. It is about a palm
in length, and as thick as a man's arm; to look at, it is the most
resplendent object upon earth; it is quite free from flaw and as red as
fire. Its value is so great that a price for it in money could hardly be
named at all. You must know that the Great Kaan sent an embassy and begged
the King as a favour greatly desired by him to sell him this ruby,
offering to give for it the ransom of a city, or in fact what the King
would. But the King replied that on no account whatever would he sell it,
for it had come to him from his ancestors.[NOTE 5]

The people of Seilan are no soldiers, but poor cowardly creatures. And
when they have need of soldiers they get Saracen troops from foreign

[NOTE 1.--Mr. Geo. Phillips gives (_Seaports of India_, p. 216 et seqq.)
the Star Chart used by Chinese Navigators on their return voyage from
Ceylon to _Su-men-ta-la_.--H.C.]

NOTE 2.--Valentyn appears to be repeating a native tradition when he says:
"In old times the island had, as they loosely say, a good 400 miles
(i.e. Dutch, say 1600 miles) of compass, but at the north end the sea
has from time to time carried away a large part of it." (_Ceylon_, in vol.
v., p. 18.) Curious particulars touching the exaggerated ideas of the
ancients, inherited by the Arabs, as to the dimensions of Ceylon, will be
found in _Tennent's Ceylon_, ch. i. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang has
the same tale. According to him, the circuit was 7000 _li_, or 1400 miles.
We see from Marco's curious notice of the old charts (G.T. "_selonc qe se
treuve en la mapemondi des mariner de cel mer_") that travellers had begun
to find that the dimensions _were_ exaggerated. The real circuit is under
700 miles!

On the ground that all the derivations of the name SAILAN or CEYLON from
the old _Sinhala_, _Serendib_, and what not, seem forced, Van der Tuuk has
suggested that the name may have been originally Javanese, being formed
(he says) according to the rules of that language from _Sela_, "a precious
stone," so that _Pulo Selan_ would be the "Island of Gems." [Professor
Schlegel says (_Geog. Notes_, I. p. 19, note) that "it seems better to
think of the Sanskrit _sila_, 'a stone or rock,' or _saila_, 'a mountain,'
which agree with the Chinese interpretation."--H.C.] The Island was really
called anciently _Ratnadvipa_, "the Island of Gems" (_Mem. de H.Y._, II.
125, and _Harivansa_, I. 403); and it is termed by an Arab Historian of
the 9th century _Jazirat al Yakut_, "The Isle of Rubies." [The (Chinese)
characters _ya-ku-pao-shih_ are in some accounts of Ceylon used to express
_Yakut_. (_Ma-Huan, transl. by Phillips_, p. 213.)--H.C.] As a matter of
fact, we derive originally from the Malays nearly all the forms we have
adopted for names of countries reached by sea to the _east_ of the Bay of
Bengal, e.g. _Awa_, _Barma_, _Paigu_, _Siyam_, _China_, _Japun_, _Kochi_
(Cochin China), _Champa_, _Kamboja_, _Maluka_ (properly a place in the
Island of Ceram), _Suluk_, _Burnei_, _Tanasari_, _Martavan_, etc. That
accidents in the history of marine affairs in those seas should have led
to the adoption of the Malay and Javanese names in the case of Ceylon also
is at least conceivable. But Dr. Caldwell has pointed out to me that the
Pali form of Sinhala was _Sihalan_, and that this must have been
colloquially shortened to Silan, for it appears in old Tamul inscriptions
as Ilam.[1] Hence there is nothing really strained in the derivation of
_Sailan_ from Sinhala. Tennent (_Ceylon_, I. 549) and Crawford (_Malay
Dict._ p. 171) ascribe the name Selan, Zeilan, to the Portuguese, but this
is quite unfounded, as our author sufficiently testifies. The name
_Sailan_ also occurs in Rashiduddin, in Hayton, and in Jordanus (see next
note). (See _Van der Tuuk_, work quoted above (p. 287), p. 118; _J. As._
ser. IV., tom. viii. 145; _J. Ind. Arch._ IV. 187; _Elliot_, I. 70.)
[_Sinhala_ or _Sihala_, "lions' abode," with the addition of "Island,"
_Sihala-dvipa_, comes down to us in Cosmas [Greek: Sielediba]

NOTE 3.--The native king at this time was Pandita Prakrama Bahu III., who
reigned from 1267 to 1301 at Dambadenia, about 40 miles north-north-east
of Columbo. But the Tamuls of the continent had recently been in
possession of the whole northern half of the island. The Singhalese
Chronicle represents Prakrama to have recovered it from them, but they are
so soon again found in full force that the completeness of this recovery
may be doubted. There were also two invasions of Malays (_Javaku_) during
this reign, under the lead of a chief called _Chandra Banu_. On the second
occasion this invader was joined by a large Tamul reinforcement. Sir E.
Tennent suggests that this Chandra Banu may be Polo's _Sende-main_ or
_Sendernaz_, as Ramusio has it. Or he may have been the Tamul chief in the
north; the first part of the name may have been either _Chandra_ or

NOTE 4.--Kazwini names the brazil, or sapan-wood of Ceylon. Ibn Batuta
speaks of its abundance (IV. 166); and Ribeyro does the like (ed. of
Columbo, 1847, p. 16); see also _Ritter_, VI. 39, 122; and _Trans. R.A.S._
I. 539.

Sir E. Tennent has observed that Ibn Batuta is the first to speak of the
Ceylon cinnamon. It is, however, mentioned by Kazwini (circa A.D. 1275),
and in a letter written from Mabar by John of Montecorvino about the very
time that Marco was in these seas. (See _Ethe's Kazwini_, 229, and
_Cathay_, 213.)

[Mr. G. Phillips, in the _Jour. China B.R.A.Soc._, XX. 1885, pp. 209-226;
XXI. 1886, pp. 30-42, has given, under the title of _The Seaports of India
and Ceylon_, a translation of some parts of the _Ying-yai-sheng-lan_, a
work of a Chinese Mahomedan, Ma-Huan, who was attached to the suite of
Ch'eng-Ho, an envoy of the Emperor Yong-Lo (A.D. 1403-1425) to foreign
countries. Mr. Phillips's translation is a continuation of the _Notes_ of
Mr. W.P. Groeneveldt, who leaves us at Lambri, on the coast of Sumatra.
Ma-Huan takes us to the _Ts'ui-lan_ Islands (Nicobars) and to _Hsi-lan-kuo_
(Ceylon), whose "people," he says (p. 214), "are abundantly supplied with
all the necessaries of life. They go about naked, except that they wear a
green handkerchief round their loins, fastened with a waist-band. Their
bodies are clean-shaven, and only the hair of their heads is left.... They
take no meal without butter and milk, if they have none and wish to eat,
they do so unobserved and in private. The betel-nut is never out of their
mouths. They have no wheat, but have rice, sesamum, and peas. The
cocoa-nut, which they have in abundance, supplies them with oil, wine,
sugar, and food." Ma-Huan arrived at Ceylon at Pieh-lo-li, on the 6th of
the 11th moon (seventh year, Suean Teh, end of 1432). Cf. _Sylvain Levi,
Ceylan et la Chine, J. As._, Mai-juin, 1900, p. 411 seqq.

Odoric and the Adjaib do not mention cinnamon among the products of
Ceylon; this omission was one of the arguments of Dr. Schumann (_Ergaenz._
No. 73 zu _Petermann's Mitt._, 1883, p. 46) against the authenticity of
the Adjaib. These arguments have been refuted in the _Livre des Merveilles
de l'Inde_, p. 265 seqq.

Nicolo Conti, speaking of the "very noble island called Zeilan," says (p.
7): "Here also cinnamon grows in great abundance. It is a tree which very
much resembles our thick willows, excepting that the branches do not grow
upwards, but are spread out horizontally: the leaves are very like those
of the laurel, but are somewhat larger. The bark of the branches is the
thinnest and best, that of the trunk of the tree is thicker and inferior
in flavour. The fruit resembles the berries of the laurel; an odoriferous
oil is extracted from it adapted for ointments, which are much used by the
Indians. When the bark is stripped off, the wood is used for fuel."--H.C.]

NOTE 5.--There seems to have been always afloat among Indian travellers,
at least from the time of Cosmas (6th century), some wonderful story about
the ruby or rubies of the king of Ceylon. With Cosmas, and with the
Chinese Hiuen Tsang, in the following century, this precious object is
fixed on the top of a pagoda, "a hyacinth, they say, of great size and
brilliant ruddy colour, as big as a great pine-cone; and when 'tis seen
from a distance flashing, especially if the sun's rays strike upon it,
'tis a glorious and incomparable spectacle." Our author's contemporary,
Hayton, had heard of the great ruby: "The king of that Island of Celan
hath the largest and finest ruby in existence. When his coronation takes
place this ruby is placed in his hand, and he goes round the city on
horseback holding it in his hand, and thenceforth all recognise and obey
him as their king." Odoric too speaks of the great ruby and the Kaan's
endeavours to get it, though by some error the circumstance is referred to
Nicoveran instead of Ceylon. Ibn Batuta saw in the possession of Arya
Chakravarti, a Tamul chief ruling at Patlam, a ruby bowl as big as the
palm of one's hand. Friar Jordanus speaks of two great rubies belonging to
the king of SYLEN, each so large that when grasped in the hand it
projected a finger's breadth at either side. The fame, at least, of these
survived to the 16th century, for Andrea Corsali (1515) says: "They tell
that the king of this island possesses two rubies of colour so brilliant
and vivid that they look like a flame of fire."

Sir E. Tennent, on this subject, quotes from a Chinese work a statement
that early in the 14th century the Emperor sent an officer to Ceylon to
purchase a carbuncle of unusual lustre. This was fitted as a ball to the
Emperor's cap; it was upwards of an ounce in weight and cost 100,000
strings of cash. Every time a grand levee was held at night the red lustre
filled the palace, and hence it was designated "The Red
Palace-Illuminator." (_I.B._ IV. 174-175; _Cathay_, p. clxxvii.; _Hayton_,
ch. vi.; _Jord._ p. 30; _Ramus._ I. 180; _Ceylon_, I. 568).

["This mountain [Adam's Peak] abounds with rubies of all kinds and other
precious stones. These gems are being continually washed out of the ground
by heavy rains, and are sought for and found in the sand carried down the
hill by the torrents. It is currently reported among the people, that
these precious stones are the congealed tears of Buddha." (_Ma-Huan,
transl. by Phillips_, p. 213.)

In the Chinese work _Cho keng lu_, containing notes on different matters
referring to the time of the Mongol Dynasty, in ch. vii. entitled _Hwui
hwui shi t'ou_ ("Precious Stones of the Mohammedans") among the four kinds
of red stones is mentioned the _si-la-ni_ of a dark red colour;
_si-la-ni_, as Dr. Bretschneider observes (_Med. Res._ I. p. 174), means
probably "from Ceylon." The name for ruby in China is now-a-days _hung pao
shi_, "red precious stone." (Ibid. p. 173.)--H.C.]

[1] The old Tamul alphabet has no sibilant.



Furthermore you must know that in the Island of Seilan there is an
exceeding high mountain; it rises right up so steep and precipitous that
no one could ascend it, were it not that they have taken and fixed to it
several great and massive iron chains, so disposed that by help of these
men are able to mount to the top. And I tell you they say that on this
mountain is the sepulchre of Adam our first parent; at least that is what
the Saracens say. But the Idolaters say that it is the sepulchre of
SAGAMONI BORCAN, before whose time there were no idols. They hold him to
have been the best of men, a great saint in fact, according to their
fashion, and the first in whose name idols were made.[NOTE 1]

He was the son, as their story goes, of a great and wealthy king. And he
was of such an holy temper that he would never listen to any worldly talk,
nor would he consent to be king. And when the father saw that his son
would not be king, nor yet take any part in affairs, he took it sorely to
heart. And first he tried to tempt him with great promises, offering to
crown him king, and to surrender all authority into his hands. The son,
however, would none of his offers; so the father was in great trouble, and
all the more that he had no other son but him, to whom he might bequeath
the kingdom at his own death. So, after taking thought on the matter, the
King caused a great palace to be built, and placed his son therein, and
caused him to be waited on there by a number of maidens, the most
beautiful that could anywhere be found. And he ordered them to divert
themselves with the prince, night and day, and to sing and dance before
him, so as to draw his heart towards worldly enjoyments. But 'twas all of
no avail, for none of those maidens could ever tempt the king's son to any
wantonness, and he only abode the firmer in his chastity, leading a most
holy life, after their manner thereof. And I assure you he was so staid a
youth that he had never gone out of the palace, and thus he had never seen
a dead man, nor any one who was not hale and sound; for the father never
allowed any man that was aged or infirm to come into his presence. It came
to pass however one day that the young gentleman took a ride, and by the
roadside he beheld a dead man. The sight dismayed him greatly, as he never
had seen such a sight before. Incontinently he demanded of those who were
with him what thing that was? and then they told him it was a dead man.
"How, then," quoth the king's son, "do all men die?" "Yea, forsooth," said
they. Whereupon the young gentleman said never a word, but rode on right
pensively. And after he had ridden a good way he fell in with a very aged
man who could no longer walk, and had not a tooth in his head, having lost
all because of his great age. And when the king's son beheld this old man
he asked what that might mean, and wherefore the man could not walk? Those
who were with him replied that it was through old age the man could walk
no longer, and had lost all his teeth. And so when the king's son had thus
learned about the dead man and about the aged man, he turned back to his
palace and said to himself that he would abide no longer in this evil
world, but would go in search of Him Who dieth not, and Who had created
him.[NOTE 2]

So what did he one night but take his departure from the palace privily,
and betake himself to certain lofty and pathless mountains. And there he
did abide, leading a life of great hardship and sanctity, and keeping
great abstinence, just as if he had been a Christian. Indeed, an he had
but been so, he would have been a great saint of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so
good and pure was the life he led.[NOTE 3] And when he died they found
his body and brought it to his father. And when the father saw dead before
him that son whom he loved better than himself, he was near going
distraught with sorrow. And he caused an image in the similitude of his
son to be wrought in gold and precious stones, and caused all his people
to adore it. And they all declared him to be a god; and so they still say.
[NOTE 4]

They tell moreover that he hath died fourscore and four times. The first
time he died as a man, and came to life again as an ox; and then he died
as an ox and came to life again as a horse, and so on until he had died
fourscore and four times; and every time he became some kind of animal.
But when he died the eighty-fourth time they say he became a god. And they
do hold him for the greatest of all their gods. And they tell that the
aforesaid image of him was the first idol that the Idolaters ever had; and
from that have originated all the other idols. And this befel in the
Island of Seilan in India.

The Idolaters come thither on pilgrimage from very long distances and with
great devotion, just as Christians go to the shrine of Messer Saint James
in Gallicia. And they maintain that the monument on the mountain is that
of the king's son, according to the story I have been telling you; and
that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish that are there were those of
the same king's son, whose name was Sagamoni Borcan, or Sagamoni the
Saint. But the Saracens also come thither on pilgrimage in great numbers,
and _they_ say that it is the sepulchre of Adam our first father, and
that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish were those of Adam.[NOTE 5]

Whose they were in truth, God knoweth; howbeit, according to the Holy
Scripture of our Church, the sepulchre of Adam is not in that part of the

Now it befel that the Great Kaan heard how on that mountain there was the
sepulchre of our first father Adam, and that some of his hair and of his
teeth, and the dish from which he used to eat, were still preserved there.
So he thought he would get hold of them somehow or another, and despatched
a great embassy for the purpose, in the year of Christ, 1284. The
ambassadors, with a great company, travelled on by sea and by land until
they arrived at the island of Seilan, and presented themselves before the
king. And they were so urgent with him that they succeeded in getting two
of the grinder teeth, which were passing great and thick; and they also
got some of the hair, and the dish from which that personage used to eat,
which is of a very beautiful green porphyry. And when the Great Kaan's
ambassadors had attained the object for which they had come they were
greatly rejoiced, and returned to their lord. And when they drew near to
the great city of Cambaluc, where the Great Kaan was staying, they sent
him word that they had brought back that for which he had sent them. On
learning this the Great Kaan was passing glad, and ordered all the
ecclesiastics and others to go forth to meet these reliques, which he was
led to believe were those of Adam.

And why should I make a long story of it? In sooth, the whole population
of Cambaluc went forth to meet those reliques, and the ecclesiastics took
them over and carried them to the Great Kaan, who received them with great
joy and reverence.[NOTE 6] And they find it written in their Scriptures
that the virtue of that dish is such that if food for one man be put
therein it shall become enough for five men: and the Great Kaan averred
that he had proved the thing and found that it was really true.[NOTE 7]

So now you have heard how the Great Kaan came by those reliques; and a
mighty great treasure it did cost him! The reliques being, according to
the Idolaters, those of that king's son.

NOTE 1.--_Sagamoni Borcan_ is, as Marsden points out, SAKYA-MUNI, or
Gautama-Buddha, with the affix BURKHAN, or "Divinity," which is used by
the Mongols as the synonym of _Buddha_.

"The Dewa of Samantakuta (Adam's Peak), Samana, having heard of the
arrival of Budha (in Lanka or Ceylon) ... presented a request that he
would leave an impression of his foot upon the mountain of which he was
guardian.... In the midst of the assembled Dewas, Budha, looking towards
the East, made the impression of his foot, in length three inches less
than the cubit of the carpenter; and the impression remained as a seal to
show that Lanka is the inheritance of Budha, and that his religion will
here flourish." (_Hardy's Manual_, p. 212.)

[Ma-Huan says (p. 212): "On landing (at Ceylon), there is to be seen on
the shining rock at the base of the cliff, an impress of a foot two or
more feet in length. The legend attached to it is, that it is the imprint
of Shakyamuni's foot, made when he landed at this place, coming from the
Ts'ui-lan (Nicobar) Islands. There is a little water in the hollow of the
imprint of this foot, which never evaporates. People dip their hands in it
and wash their faces, and rub their eyes with it, saying: 'This is
Buddha's water, which will make us pure and clean.'"--H.C.]

[Illustration: Adam's Peak.

"Or est voir qe en ceste ysle a une montagne mont haut et si degrot de les
rocches qe nul hi puent monter sus se ne en ceste mainere qe je voz

"The veneration with which this majestic mountain has been regarded for
ages, took its rise in all probability amongst the aborigines of
Ceylon.... In a later age, ... the hollow in the lofty rock that crowns
the summit was said by the Brahmans to be the footstep of Siva, by the
Buddhists of Buddha, ... by the Gnostics of Ieu, by the Mahometans of
Adam, whilst the Portuguese authorities were divided between the
conflicting claims of St. Thomas and the eunuch of Candace, Queen of
Ethiopia." (_Tennent_, II. 133.)

["Near to the King's residence there is a lofty mountain reaching to the
skies. On the top of this mountain there is the impress of a man's foot,
which is sunk two feet deep in the rock, and is some eight or more feet
long. This is said to be the impress of the foot of the ancestor of
mankind, a Holy man called _A-tan_, otherwise P'an-Ku." (_Ma-Huan_, p.

Polo, however, says nothing of the _foot_; he speaks only of the
_sepulchre_ of Adam, or of Sakya-muni. I have been unable to find any
modern indication of the monument that was shown by the Mahomedans as the
tomb, and sometimes as the house, of Adam; but such a structure there
certainly was, perhaps an ancient _Kist-vaen_, or the like. John
Marignolli, who was there about 1349, has an interesting passage on the
subject: "That exceeding high mountain hath a pinnacle of surpassing
height, which on account of the clouds can rarely be seen. [The summit is
lost in the clouds. (_Ibn Khordadhbeh_, p. 43.)--H.C.] But God, pitying
our tears, lighted it up one morning just before the sun rose, so that we
beheld it glowing with the brightest flame. [They say that a flame bursts
constantly, like a lightning, from the Summit of the mountain.--(_Ibn
Khordadhbeh_, p. 44.)--H.C.] In the way down from this mountain there is
a fine level spot, still at a great height, and there you find in order:
first, the mark of Adam's foot; secondly, a certain statue of a sitting
figure, with the left hand resting on the knee, and the right hand raised
and extended towards the west; lastly, there is the house (of Adam), which
he made with his own hands. It is of an oblong quadrangular shape like a
sepulchre, with a door in the middle, and is formed of great tabular slabs
of marble, not cemented, but merely laid one upon another. (_Cathay_,
358.) A Chinese account, translated in _Amyot's Memoires_, says that at
the foot of the mountain is a Monastery of Bonzes, in which is seen the
veritable body of Fo, in the attitude of a man lying on his side" (XIV.
25). [Ma-Huan says (p. 212): "Buddhist temples abound there. In one of
them there is to be seen a full length recumbent figure of Shakyamuni,
still in a very good state of preservation. The dais on which the figure
reposes is inlaid with all kinds of precious stones. It is made of
sandalwood and is very handsome. The temple contains a Buddha's tooth and
other relics. This must certainly be the place where Shakyamuni entered
Nirvana."--H.C.] Osorio, also, in his history of Emanuel of Portugal,
says: "Not far from it (the Peak) people go to see a small temple in which
are two sepulchres, which are the objects of an extraordinary degree of
superstitious devotion. For they believe that in these were buried the
bodies of the first man and his wife" (f. 120 _v_.). A German traveller
(_Daniel Parthey_, Nurnberg, 1698) also speaks of the tomb of Adam and his
sons on the mountain. (See _Fabricius, Cod. Pseudep. Vet. Test._ II. 31;
also _Ouseley's Travels_, I. 59.)

It is a perplexing circumstance that there is a double set of indications
about the footmark. The Ceylon traditions, quoted above from Hardy, call
its length 3 inches less than a carpenter's cubit. Modern observers
estimate it at 5 feet or 5-1/2 feet. Hardy accounts for this by supposing
that the original footmark was destroyed in the end of the sixteenth
century. But Ibn Batuta, in the 14th, states it at 11 spans, or _more_
than the modern report. [Ibn Khordadhbeh at 70 cubits.--H.C.] Marignolli,
on the other hand, says that he measured it and found it to be 2-1/2
palms, or about half a Prague ell, which corresponds in a general way with
Hardy's tradition. Valentyn calls it 1-1/2 ell in length; Knox says 2
feet; Herman Bree (De Bry ?), quoted by Fabricius, 8-1/2 spans; a Chinese
account, quoted below, 8 feet. These discrepancies remind one of the
ancient Buddhist belief regarding such footmarks, that they seemed greater
or smaller in proportion to the faith of the visitor! (See _Koeppen_, I.
529, and _Beal's Fah-hian_, p. 27.)

The chains, of which Ibn Batuta gives a particular account, exist still.
The highest was called (he says) the chain of the _Shahadat_, or Credo,
because the fearful abyss below made pilgrims recite the profession of
belief. Ashraf, a Persian poet of the 15th century, author of an
Alexandriad, ascribes these chains to the great conqueror, who devised
them, with the assistance of the philosopher _Bolinas_,[1] in order to
scale the mountain, and reach _the sepulchre of Adam_. (See _Ouseley_, I.
54 seqq.) There are inscriptions on some of the chains, but I find no
account of them. (_Skeen's Adam's Peak_, Ceylon, 1870, p. 226.)

NOTE 2.--The general correctness with which Marco has here related the
legendary history of Sakya's devotion to an ascetic life, as the
preliminary to his becoming the Buddha or Divinely Perfect Being, shows
what a strong impression the tale had made upon him. He is, of course,
wrong in placing the scene of the history in Ceylon, though probably it
was so told him, as the vulgar in all Buddhist countries do seem to
localise the legends in regions known to them.

Sakya Sinha, Sakya Muni, or Gautama, originally called Siddharta, was the
son of Suddhodhana, the Kshatriya prince of Kapilavastu, a small state
north of the Ganges, near the borders of Oudh. His high destiny had been
foretold, as well as the objects that would move him to adopt the ascetic
life. To keep these from his knowledge, his father caused three palaces to
be built, within the limits of which the prince should pass the three
seasons of the year, whilst guards were posted to bar the approach of the
dreaded objects. But these precautions were defeated by inevitable destiny
and the power of the Devas.

When the prince was sixteen he was married to the beautiful Yasodhara,
daughter of the King of Koli, and 40,000 other princesses also became the
inmates of his harem.

"Whilst living in the midst of the full enjoyment of every kind of
pleasure, Siddharta one day commanded his principal charioteer to prepare
his festive chariot; and in obedience to his commands four lily-white
horses were yoked. The prince leaped into the chariot, and proceeded
towards a garden at a little distance from the palace, attended by a great
retinue. On his way he saw a decrepit old man, with broken teeth, grey
locks, and a form bending towards the ground, his trembling steps
supported by a staff (a Deva had taken this form).... The prince enquired
what strange figure it was that he saw; and he was informed that it was an
old man. He then asked if the man was born so, and the charioteer answered
that he was not, as he was once young like themselves. 'Are there,' said
the prince, 'many such beings in the world?' 'Your highness,' said the
charioteer, 'there are many.' The prince again enquired, 'Shall I become
thus old and decrepit?' and he was told that it was a state at which all
beings must arrive."

The prince returns home and informs his father of his intention to become
an ascetic, seeing how undesirable is life tending to such decay. His
father conjures him to put away such thoughts, and to enjoy himself with
his princesses, and he strengthens the guards about the palaces. Four
months later like circumstances recur, and the prince sees a leper, and
after the same interval a dead body in corruption. Lastly, he sees a
religious recluse, radiant with peace and tranquillity, and resolves to
delay no longer. He leaves his palace at night, after a look at his wife
Yasodhara and the boy just born to him, and betakes himself to the forests
of Magadha, where he passes seven years in extreme asceticism. At the end
of that time he attains the Buddhahood. (See _Hardy's Manual_ p. 151
seqq.) The latter part of the story told by Marco, about the body of the
prince being brought to his father, etc., is erroneous. Sakya was 80 years
of age when he died under the sal trees in Kusinara.

The strange parallel between Buddhistic ritual, discipline, and costume,
and those which especially claim the name of CATHOLIC in the Christian
Church, has been often noticed; and though the parallel has never been
elaborated as it might be, some of the more salient facts are familiar to
most readers. Still many may be unaware that Buddha himself, Siddharta the
son of Suddodhana, has found his way into the Roman martyrology as a Saint
of the Church.

In the first edition a mere allusion was made to this singular story, for
it had recently been treated by Professor Max Mueller, with characteristic
learning and grace. (See _Contemporary Review_ for July, 1870, p. 588.)
But the matter is so curious and still so little familiar that I now
venture to give it at some length.

The religious romance called the History of BARLAAM and JOSAPHAT was for
several centuries one of the most popular works in Christendom. It was
translated into all the chief European languages, including Scandinavian
and Sclavonic tongues. An Icelandic version dates from the year 1204; one
in the Tagal language of the Philippines was printed at Manilla in 1712.[2]
The episodes and apologues with which the story abounds have furnished
materials to poets and story-tellers in various ages and of very diverse
characters; e.g. to Giovanni Boccaccio, John Gower, and to the compiler of
the _Gesta Romanorum_, to Shakspere, and to the late W. Adams, author of
the _Kings Messengers_. The basis of this romance is the story of

The story of Barlaam and Josaphat first appears among the works (in Greek)
of St. John of Damascus, a theologian of the early part of the 8th
century, who, before he devoted himself to divinity had held high office
at the Court of the Khalif Abu Jafar Almansur. The outline of the story is
as follows:--

St. Thomas had converted the people of India to the truth; and after the
eremitic life originated in Egypt many in India adopted it. But a potent
pagan King arose, by name ABENNER, who persecuted the Christians and
especially the ascetics. After this King had long been childless, a son,
greatly desired, is born to him, a boy of matchless beauty. The King
greatly rejoices, gives the child the name of JOSAPHAT, and summons the
astrologers to predict his destiny. They foretell for the prince glory and
prosperity beyond all his predecessors in the kingdom. One sage, most
learned of all, assents to this, but declares that the scene of these
glories will not be the paternal realm, and that the child will adopt the
faith that his father persecutes.

This prediction greatly troubled King Abenner. In a secluded city he
caused a splendid palace to be erected, within which his son was to abide,
attended only by tutors and servants in the flower of youth and health. No
one from without was to have access to the prince; and he was to witness
none of the afflictions of humanity, poverty, disease, old age, or death,
but only what was pleasant, so that he should have no inducement to think
of the future life; nor was he ever to hear a word of CHRIST or His
religion. And, hearing that some monks still survived in India, the King
in his wrath ordered that any such, who should be found after three days,
should be burnt alive.

The Prince grows up in seclusion, acquires all manner of learning, and
exhibits singular endowments of wisdom and acuteness. At last he urges his
father to allow him to pass the limits of the palace, and this the King
reluctantly permits, after taking all precautions to arrange diverting
spectacles, and to keep all painful objects at a distance. Or let us
proceed in the Old English of the Golden Legend.[3] "Whan his fader
herde this he was full of sorowe, and anone he let do make redy horses and
joyfull felawshyp to accompany him, in suche wyse that nothynge dyshonest
sholde happen to hym. And on a tyme thus as the Kynges sone wente he mette
a mesell and a blynde man, and wha he sawe them he was abasshed and
enquyred what them eyled. And his seruautes sayd: These ben passions that
comen to men. And he demaunded yf the passyons came to all men. And they
sayd nay. Tha sayd he, ben they knowen whiche men shall suffre.... And
they answered, Who is he that may knowe ye aduentures of men. And he began
to be moche anguysshous for ye incustomable thynge hereof. And another
tyme he found a man moche aged, whiche had his chere frouced, his tethe
fallen, and he was all croked for age.... And tha he demaunded what
sholde be ye ende. And they sayd deth.... And this yonge man remembered
ofte in his herte these thynges, and was in grete dyscoforte, but he
shewed hy moche glad tofore his fader, and he desyred moche to be enformed
and taught in these thyges." [Fol. ccc. lii.]

At this time BARLAAM, a monk of great sanctity and knowledge in divine
things, who dwelt in the wilderness of Sennaritis, having received a
divine warning, travels to India in the disguise of a merchant, and gains
access to Prince Josaphat, to whom he unfolds the Christian doctrine and
the blessedness of the monastic life. Suspicion is raised against Barlaam,
and he departs. But all efforts to shake the Prince's convictions are
vain. As a last resource the King sends for a magician called Theudas, who
removes the Prince's attendants and substitutes seductive girls, but all
their blandishments are resisted through prayer. The King abandons these
attempts and associates his son with himself in the government. The Prince
uses his power to promote religion, and everything prospers in his hand.
Finally King Abenner is drawn to the truth, and after some years of
penitence dies. Josaphat then surrenders the kingdom to a friend called
Barachias, and proceeds into the wilderness, where he wanders for two
years seeking Barlaam, and much buffeted by the demons. "And whan Balaam
had accomplysshed his dayes, he rested in peas about ye yere of Our Lorde.
cccc. &. Ixxx. Josaphat lefte his realme the xxv. yere of his age, and
ledde the lyfe of an heremyte xxxv. yere, and than rested in peas full of
vertues, and was buryed by the body of Balaam." [Fol. ccc. lvi.] The King
Barachias afterwards arrives and transfers the bodies solemnly to India.

This is but the skeleton of the story, but the episodes and apologues
which round its dimensions, and give it its mediaeval popularity, do not
concern our subject. In this skeleton the story of Siddharta, _mutatis
mutandis_ is obvious.

The story was first popular in the Greek Church, and was embodied in the
lives of the saints, as recooked by Simeon the Metaphrast, an author whose
period is disputed, but was in any case not later than 1150. A Cretan monk
called Agapios made selections from the work of Simeon which were
published in Romaic at Venice in 1541 under the name of the _Paradise_,
and in which the first section consists of the story of Barlaam and
Josaphat. This has been frequently reprinted as a popular book of
devotion. A copy before me is printed at Venice in 1865.[4]

From the Greek Church the history of the two saints passed to the Latin,
and they found a place in the Roman martyrology under the 27th November.
When this first happened I have not been able to ascertain. Their history
occupies a large space in the _Speculum Historiale_ of Vincent of
Beauvais, written in the 13th century, and is set forth, as we have seen,
in the Golden Legend of nearly the same age. They are recognised by
Baronius, and are to be found at p. 348 of "The Roman Martyrology set
forth by command of Pope Gregory XIII., and revised by the authority of
Pope Urban VIII., translated out of Latin into English by G.K. of the
Society of Jesus.... and now re-edited ... by W.N. Skelly, Esq. London,
T. Richardson & Son." (Printed at Derby, 1847.) Here in Palermo is a
church bearing the dedication _Divo Iosaphat_.

Professor Mueller attributes the first recognition of the identity of the
two stories to M. Laboulaye in 1859. But in fact I find that the historian
de Couto had made the discovery long before.[5] He says, speaking of
_Budao_ (Buddha), and after relating his history:

"To this name the Gentiles throughout all India have dedicated great and
superb pagodas. With reference to this story we have been diligent in
enquiring if the ancient Gentiles of those parts had in their writings any
knowledge of St. Josaphat who was converted by Barlam, who in his Legend
is represented as the son of a great King of India, and who had just the
same up-bringing, with all the same particulars, that we have recounted of
the life of the Budao.... And as a thing seems much to the purpose, which
was told us by a very old man of the Salsette territory in Bacaim, about
Josaphat, I think it well to cite it: As I was travelling in the Isle of
Salsette, and went to see that rare and admirable Pagoda (which we call
the Canara Pagoda[6]) made in a mountain, with many halls cut out of one
solid rock ... and enquiring from this old man about the work, and what he
thought as to who had made it, he told us that without doubt the work was
made by order of the father of St. Josaphat to bring him up therein in
seclusion, as the story tells. And as it informs us that he was the son of
a great King in India, it may well be, as we have just said, that _he_ was
the Budao, of whom they relate such marvels." (Dec. V. liv. vi. cap. 2.)

Dominie Valentyn, not being well read in the Golden Legend, remarks on the
subject of Buddha: "There be some who hold this Budhum for a fugitive
Syrian Jew, or for an Israelite, others who hold him for a Disciple of the
Apostle Thomas; but how in that case he could have been born 622 years
before Christ I leave them to explain. Diego de Couto stands by the belief
that he was certainly _Joshua_, which is still more absurd!" (V. deel, p.

[Since the days of Couto, who considered the Buddhist legend but an
imitation of the Christian legend, the identity of the stories was
recognised (as mentioned supra) by M. Edouard Laboulaye, in the _Journal
des Debats_ of the 26th of July, 1859. About the same time, Professor F.
Liebrecht of Liege, in _Ebert's Jahrbuch fuer Romanische und Englische
Literatur_, II. p. 314 seqq., comparing the Book of Barlaam and Joasaph
with the work of Barthelemy St. Hilaire on Buddha, arrived at the same

In 1880, Professor T.W. Rhys Davids has devoted some pages (xxxvi.-xli.)
in his _Buddhist Birth Stories; or, Jataka Tales_, to _The Barlaam and
Josaphat Literature_, and we note from them that: "Pope Sixtus the Fifth
(1585-1590) authorised a particular Martyrologium, drawn up by Cardinal
Baronius, to be used throughout the Western Church.". In that work are
included not only the saints first canonised at Rome, but all those who,
having been already canonised elsewhere, were then acknowledged by the
Pope and the College of Rites to be saints of the Catholic Church of
Christ. Among such, under the date of the 27th of November, are included
"The holy Saints Barlaam and Josaphat, of India, on the borders of Persia,
whose wonderful acts Saint John of Damascus has described. Where and when
they were first canonised, I have been unable, in spite of much
investigation, to ascertain. Petrus de Natalibus, who was Bishop of
Equilium, the modern Jesolo, near Venice, from 1370 to 1400, wrote a
Martyrology called _Catalogus Sanctorum_; and in it, among the 'Saints,'
he inserts both Barlaam and Josaphat, giving also a short account of them
derived from the old Latin translation of St. John of Damascus. It is from
this work that Baronius, the compiler of the authorised Martyrology now in
use, took over the names of these two saints, Barlaam and Josaphat. But,
so far as I have been able to ascertain, they do not occur in any
martyrologies or lists of saints of the Western Church older than that of
Petrus de Natalibus. In the corresponding manual of worship still used in
the Greek Church, however, we find, under 26th August, the name 'of the
holy Iosaph, son of Abener, King of India.' Barlaam is not mentioned, and
is not therefore recognised as a saint in the Greek Church. No history is
added to the simple statement I have quoted; and I do not know on what
authority it rests. But there is no doubt that it is in the East, and
probably among the records of the ancient church of Syria, that a final
solution of this question should be sought. Some of the more learned of
the numerous writers who translated or composed new works on the basis of
the story of Josaphat, have pointed out in their notes that he had been
canonised; and the hero of the romance is usually called St. Josaphat in
the titles of these works, as will be seen from the Table of the Josaphat
literature below. But Professor Liebrecht, when identifying Josaphat with
the Buddha, took no notice of this; and it was Professor Max Mueller, who
has done so much to infuse the glow of life into the dry bones of Oriental
scholarship, who first pointed out the strange fact--almost incredible,
were it not for the completeness of the proof--that Gotama the Buddha,
under the name of St. Josaphat, is now officially recognised and honoured
and worshipped throughout the whole of Catholic Christendom as a Christian
saint!" Professor T.W. Rhys Davids gives further a Bibliography, pp.

M.H. Zotenberg wrote a learned memoir (_N. et Ext._ XXVIII. Pt. I.) in
1886 to prove that the Greek Text is not a translation but the original of
the Legend. There are many MSS. of the Greek Text of the Book of Barlaam
and Joasaph in Paris, Vienna, Munich, etc., including ten MSS. kept in
various libraries at Oxford. New researches made by Professor E. Kuhn, of
Munich (_Barlaam und Joasaph. Eine Bibliographisch-literargeschichtliche
Studie_, 1893), seem to prove that during the 6th century, in that part of
the Sassanian Empire bordering on India, in fact Afghanistan, Buddhism and
Christianity were gaining ground at the expense of the Zoroastrian faith,
and that some Buddhist wrote in Pehlevi a _Book of Yudasaf_ (Bodhisatva); a
Christian, finding pleasant the legend, made an adaptation of it from his
own point of view, introducing the character of the monk Balauhar (Barlaam)
to teach his religion to Yudasaf, who could not, in his Christian disguise,
arrive at the truth by himself like a Bodhisatva. This Pehlevi version of
the newly-formed Christian legend was translated into Syriac, and from
Syriac was drawn a Georgian version, and, in the first half of the 7th
century, the Greek Text of John, a monk of the convent of St. Saba, near
Jerusalem, by some turned into St. John of Damascus, who added to the story
some long theological discussions. From this Greek, it was translated into
all the known languages of Europe, while the Pehlevi version being rendered
into Arabic, was adapted by the Mussulmans and the Jews to their own
creeds. (_H. Zotenberg, Mem. sur le texte et les versions orientales du
Livre de Barlaam et Joasaph, Not. et Ext._ XXVIII. Pt. I. pp. 1-166; _G.
Paris, Saint Josaphat_ in _Rev. de Paris_, 1'er Juin, 1895, and _Poemes et
Legendes du Moyen Age_, pp. 181-214.)

Mr. Joseph Jacobs published in London, 1896, a valuable little book,
_Barlaam and Josaphat, English Lives of Buddha_, in which he comes to this
conclusion (p. xli.): "I regard the literary history of the Barlaam
literature as completely parallel with that of the Fables of Bidpai.
Originally Buddhistic books, both lost their specifically Buddhistic
traits before they left India, and made their appeal, by their parables,
more than by their doctrines. Both were translated into Pehlevi in the
reign of Chosroes, and from that watershed floated off into the
literatures of all the great creeds. In Christianity alone,
characteristically enough, one of them, the Barlaam book, was surcharged
with dogma, and turned to polemical uses, with the curious result that
Buddha became one of the champions of the Church. To divest the
Barlaam-Buddha of this character, and see him in his original form, we must
take a further journey and seek him in his home beyond the Himalayas."

[Illustration: Sakya Muni as a Saint of the Roman Martyrology.

"Wie des Kunigs Son in dem aufscziechen am ersten sahe in dem Weg eynen
blinden und eyn aufsmoerckigen und eyen alten krummen Man."[7]]

Professor Gaston Paris, in answer to Mr. Jacobs, writes (_Poemes et Leg.
du Moyen Age_, p. 213): "Mr. Jacobs thinks that the Book of Balauhar and
Yudasaf was not originally Christian, and could have existed such as it is
now in Buddhistic India, but it is hardly likely, as Buddha did not
require the help of a teacher to find truth, and his followers would not
have invented the person of Balauhar-Barlaam; on the other hand, the
introduction of the Evangelical Parable of _The Sower_, which exists in
the original of all the versions of our Book, shows that this original was
a Christian adaptation of the Legend of Buddha. Mr. Jacobs seeks vainly to
lessen the force of this proof in showing that this Parable has parallels
in Buddhistic literature."--H.C.]

NOTE 3.--Marco is not the only eminent person who has expressed this view
of Sakyamuni's life in such words. Professor Max Mueller (_u.s._) says:
"And whatever we may think of the sanctity of saints, let those who doubt
the right of Buddha to a place among them, read the story of his life as
it is told in the Buddhistic canon. If he lived the life which is there
described, few saints have a better claim to the title than Buddha; and no
one either in the Greek or the Roman Church need be ashamed of having paid
to his memory the honour that was intended for St. Josaphat, the prince,
the hermit, and the saint."

NOTE 4.--This is curiously like a passage in the _Wisdom of Solomon_:
"Neque enim erant (idola) ab initio, neque erunt in perpetuum ... acerbo
enim luctu dolens pater cito sibi rapti filii fecit imaginem: et ilium qui
tune quasi homo mortuus fuerat nunc tamquam deum colere coepit, et
constituit inter servos suos sacra et sacrificia" (xiv. 13-15). Gower
alludes to the same story; I know not whence taken:--

"Of _Cirophanes_, seith the booke,
That he for sorow, whiche he toke
Of that he sigh his sonne dede,
Of comfort knewe none other rede,
But lete do make in remembrance
A faire image of his semblance,
And set it in the market place:
Whiche openly to fore his face
Stood euery day, to done hym ease;
And thei that than wolden please
The Fader, shuld it obeye,
Whan that thei comen thilke weye."
--_Confessio Amantis_.[8]

NOTE 5.--Adam's Peak has for ages been a place of pilgrimage to Buddhists,
Hindus, and Mahomedans, and appears still to be so. Ibn Batuta says the
Mussulman pilgrimage was instituted in the 10th century. The book on the
history of the Mussulmans in Malabar, called _Tohfat-ul-Majahidin_ (p.
48), ascribes their first settlement in that country to a party of
pilgrims returning from Adam's Peak. Marignolli, on his visit to the
mountain, mentions "another pilgrim, a Saracen of Spain; for many go on
pilgrimage to Adam."

The identification of Adam with objects of Indian worship occurs in various
forms. Tod tells how an old Rajput Chief, as they stood before a famous
temple of Mahadeo near Udipur, invited him to enter and worship "Father
Adam." Another traveller relates how Brahmans of Bagesar on the Sarju
identified Mahadeo and Parvati with Adam and Eve. A Malay MS., treating of
the _origines_ of Java, represents Brahma, Mahadeo, and Vishnu to be
descendants of Adam through Seth. And in a Malay paraphrase of the
Ramayana, _Nabi Adam_ takes the place of Vishnu. (_Tod._ I. 96; _J.A.S.B._
XVI. 233; _J.R.A.S._ N.S. II. 102; _J. Asiat._ IV. s. VII. 438.)

NOTE 6.--The _Patra_, or alms-pot, was the most valued legacy of Buddha.
It had served the three previous Buddhas of this world-period, and was
destined to serve the future one, Maitreya. The Great Asoka sent it to
Ceylon. Thence it was carried off by a Tamul chief in the 1st century,
A.D., but brought back we know not how, and is still shown in the Malagawa
Vihara at Kandy. As usual in such cases, there were rival reliques, for
Fa-hian found the alms-pot preserved at Peshawar. Hiuen Tsang says in his
time it was no longer there, but in Persia. And indeed the _Patra_ from
Peshawar, according to a remarkable note by Sir Henry Rawlinson, is still
preserved at Kandahar, under the name of _Kashkul_ (or the Begging-pot),
and retains among the Mussulman Dervishes the sanctity and miraculous
repute which it bore among the Buddhist _Bhikshus_. Sir Henry conjectures
that the deportation of this vessel, the palladium of the true _Gandhara_
(Peshawar), was accompanied by a popular emigration, and thus accounts for
the transfer of that name also to the chief city of Arachosia. (_Koeppen_,
I. 526; _Fah-hian_, p. 36; _H. Tsang_, II. 106; _J.R.A.S._ XI. 127.)

Sir E. Tennent, through Mr. Wylie (to whom this book owes so much),
obtained the following curious Chinese extract referring to Ceylon
(written 1350): "In front of the image of Buddha there is a sacred bowl,
which is neither made of jade nor copper, nor iron; it is of a purple
colour, and glossy, and when struck it sounds like glass. At the
commencement of the Yuen Dynasty (i.e. under Kublai) three separate
envoys were sent to obtain it." Sanang Setzen also corroborates Marco's
statement: "Thus did the Khaghan (Kublai) cause the sun of religion to
rise over the dark land of the Mongols; he also procured from India images
and reliques of Buddha; among others the _Patra_ of Buddha, which was
presented to him by the four kings (of the cardinal points), and also the
_chandana chu_" (a miraculous sandal-wood image). (_Tennent_, I. 622;
_Schmidt_, p. 119.)

The text also says that several _teeth_ of Buddha were preserved in
Ceylon, and that the Kaan's embassy obtained two molars. Doubtless the
envoys were imposed on; no solitary case in the amazing history of that
relique, for _the_ Dalada, or tooth relique, seems in all historic times
to have been unique. This, "the left canine tooth" of the Buddha, is
related to have been preserved for 800 years at Dantapura
("_Odontopolis_"), in Kalinga, generally supposed to be the modern Puri or
Jagannath. Here the Brahmans once captured it and carried it off to
Palibothra, where they tried in vain to destroy it. Its miraculous
resistance converted the king, who sent it back to Kalinga. About A.D. 311
the daughter of King Guhasiva fled with it to Ceylon. In the beginning of
the 14th century it was captured by the Tamuls and carried to the Pandya
country on the continent, but recovered some years later by King Parakrama
III., who went in person to treat for it. In 1560 the Portuguese got
possession of it and took it to Goa. The King of Pegu, who then reigned,
probably the most powerful and wealthy monarch who has ever ruled in
Further India, made unlimited offers in exchange for the tooth; but the
archbishop prevented the viceroy from yielding to these temptations, and
it was solemnly pounded to atoms by the prelate, then cast into a charcoal
fire, and finally its ashes thrown into the river of Goa.

The King of Pegu was, however, informed by a crafty minister of the King
of Ceylon that only a sham tooth had been destroyed by the Portuguese, and
that the real relique was still safe. This he obtained by extraordinary
presents, and the account of its reception at Pegu, as quoted by Tennent
from De Couto, is a curious parallel to Marco's narrative of the Great
Kaan's reception of the Ceylon reliques at Cambaluc. The extraordinary
object still so solemnly preserved at Kandy is another forgery, set up
about the same time. So the immediate result of the viceroy's virtue was
that two reliques were worshipped instead of one!

The possession of the tooth has always been a great object of desire to
Buddhist sovereigns. In the 11th century King Anarauhta, of Burmah, sent a
mission to Ceylon to endeavour to procure it, but he could obtain only a
"miraculous emanation" of the relique. A tower to contain the sacred tooth
was (1855), however, one of the buildings in the palace court of Amarapura.
A few years ago the King of Burma repeated the mission of his remote
predecessor, but obtained only a _model_, and this has been deposited
within the walls of the palace at Mandale, the new capital. (_Turnour_ in
_J.A.S.B._ VI. 856 seqq.; _Koeppen_, I. 521; _Tennent_, I. 388, II. 198
seqq.; _MS. Note by Sir A. Phayre; Mission to Ava_, 136.)

Of the four eye-teeth of Sakya, one, it is related, passed to the heaven
of Indra; the second to the capital of Gandhara; the third to Kalinga; the
fourth to the snake-gods. The Gandhara tooth was perhaps, like the
alms-bowl, carried off by a Sassanid invasion, and may be identical with
that tooth of Fo, which the Chinese annals state to have been brought to
China in A.D. 530 by a Persian embassy. A tooth of Buddha is now shown in a
monastery at Fu-chau; but whether this be either the Sassanian present, or
that got from Ceylon by Kublai, is unknown. Other teeth of Buddha were
shown in Hiuen Tsang's time at Balkh, at Nagarahara (or Jalalabad), in
Kashmir, and at Kanauj. (_Koeppen_, u.s.; _Fortune_, II. 108; _H. Tsang_,
II. 31, 80, 263.)

[Illustration: Teeth of Budda.

1. At Kandy, after Tennent. 2. At Fu-Chau from Fortune.]

NOTE 7.--Fa-hian writes of the alms-pot at Peshawar, that poor people
could fill it with a few flowers, whilst a rich man should not be able to
do so with 100, nay, with 1000 or 10,000 bushels of rice; a parable
doubtless originally carrying a lesson, like Our Lord's remark on the
widow's mite, but which hardened eventually into some foolish story like
that in the text.

The modern Mussulman story at Kandahar is that the alms-pot will contain
any quantity of liquor without overflowing.

This _Patra_ is the Holy Grail of Buddhism. Mystical powers of nourishment
are ascribed also to the Grail in the European legends. German scholars
have traced in the romances of the Grail remarkable indications of
Oriental origin. It is not impossible that the alms-pot of Buddha was the
prime source of them. Read the prophetic history of the _Patra_ as Fa-hian
heard it in India (p. 161); its mysterious wanderings over Asia till it is
taken up into the heaven _Tushita_ where Maitreya the Future Buddha
dwells. When it has disappeared from earth the Law gradually perishes, and
violence and wickedness more and more prevail:

--"What is it?
The phantom of a cup that comes and goes?
* * * * * If a man
Could touch or see it, he was heal'd at once,
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
Grew to such evil that the holy cup
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappear'd."
--_Tennyson's Holy Grail_

[1] _Apollonia_ (of Macedonia) is made _Bolina_; so _Bolinas_ = Apollonius

[2] In 1870 I saw in the Libary at Monte Cassino a long French poem on the
story, in a MS. of our traveller's age. This is perhaps one referred
to by Migne, as cited in _Hist. Litt. de la France_, XV. 484. [It "has
even been published in the Spanish dialect used in the Philippine
Islands!" (_Rhys Davids, Jataka Tales_, p. xxxvii.) In a MS. note, Yule
says: "Is not this a mistake?"--H.C.]

[3] Imprynted at London in Flete Strete at the sygne of the Sonne, by
Wynkyn de Worde (1527).

[4] The first Life is thus entitled: [Greek: Bios kai Politeia tou Hosiou
Patros haemon kai Isapostolon Ioasaph tou Basileos taes Indias].
Professor Mueller says all the Greek copies have _Ioasaph_. I have
access to no copy in the ancient Greek.

[5] Also _Migne's Dict. Legendes_, quoting a letter of C.L. Struve,
Director of Koenigsberg Gymnasium, to the _Journal General de l'Inst.
Publ._, says that "an earlier story is entirely reproduced in the
Barlaam," but without saying what story.

[6] The well-known Kanhari Caves. (See _Handbook for India_, p. 306.)

[7] The quotation and the cut are from an old German version of Barlaam and
Josaphat printed by Zainer at Augsburg, circa 1477. (B.M., Grenv. Lib.,
No. 11,766.)

[8] Ed. 1554, fol. xci. _v_. So also I find in _A. Tostati Hisp. Comment.
in primam ptem. Exodi_, Ven. 1695, pp. 295-296: "Idola autem sculpta in
Aegypto primo inventa sunt per _Syrophenem_ primum Idolotrarum; ante
hoc enim pura elementa ut dii colebantur." I cannot trace the tale.



When you leave the Island of Seilan and sail westward about 60 miles, you
come to the great province of MAABAR which is styled INDIA THE GREATER; it
is best of all the Indies and is on the mainland.

You must know that in this province there are five kings, who are own
brothers. I will tell you about each in turn. The Province is the finest
and noblest in the world.

At this end of the Province reigns one of those five Royal Brothers, who
is a crowned King, and his name is SONDER BANDI DAVAR. In his kingdom they
find very fine and great pearls; and I will tell you how they are
got.[NOTE 1]

You must know that the sea here forms a gulf between the Island of Seilan
and the mainland. And all round this gulf the water has a depth of no more
than 10 or 12 fathoms, and in some places no more than two fathoms. The
pearl-fishers take their vessels, great and small, and proceed into this
gulf, where they stop from the beginning of April till the middle of May.
They go first to a place called BETTELAR, and (then) go 60 miles into the
gulf. Here they cast anchor and shift from their large vessels into small
boats. You must know that the many merchants who go divide into various
companies, and each of these must engage a number of men on wages, hiring
them for April and half of May. Of all the produce they have first to pay
the King, as his royalty, the tenth part. And they must also pay those men
who charm the great fishes, to prevent them from injuring the divers
whilst engaged in seeking pearls under water, one twentieth part of all
that they take. These fish-charmers are termed _Abraiaman_; and their
charm holds good for that day only, for at night they dissolve the charm
so that the fishes can work mischief at their will. These Abraiaman know
also how to charm beasts and birds and every living thing. When the men
have got into the small boats they jump into the water and dive to the
bottom, which may be at a depth of from 4 to 12 fathoms, and there they
remain as long as they are able. And there they find the shells that
contain the pearls [and these they put into a net bag tied round the
waist, and mount up to the surface with them, and then dive anew. When
they can't hold their breath any longer they come up again, and after a
little down they go once more, and so they go on all day].[NOTE 2] The
shells are in fashion like oysters or sea-hoods. And in these shells are
found pearls, great and small, of every kind, sticking in the flesh of the

In this manner pearls are fished in great quantities, for thence in fact
come the pearls which are spread all over the world. And I can tell you
the King of that State hath a very great receipt and treasure from his
dues upon those pearls.

As soon as the middle of May is past, no more of those pearl-shells are
found there. It is true, however, that a long way from that spot, some 300
miles distant, they are also found; but that is in September and the first
half of October.

NOTE 1.--MAABAR (_Ma'bar_) was the name given by the Mahomedans at this
time (13th and 14th centuries) to a tract corresponding in a general way
to what we call the Coromandel Coast. The word in Arabic signifies the
Passage or Ferry, and may have referred either to the communication with
Ceylon, or, as is more probable, to its being in that age the coast most
frequented by travellers from Arabia and the Gulf.[1] The name does not
appear in Edrisi, nor, I believe, in any of the older geographers, and the
earliest use of it that I am aware of is in Abdallatif's account of Egypt,
a work written about 1203-1204. (_De Sacy, Rel. de l'Egypte_, p. 31.)
Abulfeda distinctly names Cape Comorin as the point where Malabar ended
and Ma'bar began, and other authority to be quoted presently informs us
that it extended to _Nilawar_, i.e. Nellore.

There are difficulties as to the particular locality of the port or city
which Polo visited in the territory of the Prince whom he calls Sondar
Bandi Davar; and there are like doubts as to the identification, from the
dark and scanty Tamul records, of the Prince himself, and the family to
which he belonged; though he is mentioned by more than one foreign writer
besides Polo.

Thus Wassaf: "Ma'bar extends in length from Kaulam to Nilawar, nearly 300
parasangs along the sea-coast; and in the language of that country the
king is called Devar, which signifies, 'the Lord of Empire.' The
curiosities of Chin and Machin, and the beautiful products of Hind and
Sind, laden on large ships which they call _Junks_, sailing like mountains
with the wings of the wind on the surface of the water, are always
arriving there. The wealth of the Isles of the Persian Gulf in particular,
and in part the beauty and adornment of other countries, from 'Irak and
Khurasan as far as Rum and Europe, are derived from Ma'bar, which is so
situated as to be the key of Hind.

"A few years since the DEVAR was SUNDAR PANDI, who had three brothers,
each of whom established himself in independence in some different
country. The eminent prince, the Margrave (_Marzban_) of Hind, Taki-uddin
Abdu-r Rahman, a son of Muhammad-ut-Tibi, whose virtues and
accomplishments have for a long time been the theme of praise and
admiration among the chief inhabitants of that beautiful country, was the
Devar's deputy, minister, and adviser, and was a man of sound judgment.
Fattan, Malifattan, and Kail[2] were made over to his possession.... In
the months of the year 692 H. (A.D. 1293) the above-mentioned Devar, the
ruler of Ma'bar, died and left behind him much wealth and treasure. It is
related by Malik-ul-Islam Jamaluddin, that out of that treasure 7000 oxen
laden with precious stones and pure gold and silver fell to the share of
the brother who succeeded him. Malik-i 'Azam Taki-uddin continued prime
minister as before, and in fact ruler of that kingdom, and his glory and
magnificence were raised a thousand times higher."[3]

Seventeen years later (1310) Wassaf introduces another king of Ma'bar
called _Kalesa Devar_, who had ruled for forty years in prosperity, and
had accumulated in the treasury of Shahr-Mandi (i.e., as Dr. Caldwell
informs me MADURA, entitled by the Mahomedan invaders Shahr-Pandi, and
still occasionally mispronounced _Shahr-Mandi_) 1200 crores (!) in gold.
He had two sons, SUNDAR BANDI by a lawful wife, and Pirabandi (Vira
Pandi?) illegitimate. He designated the latter as his successor. Sundar
Bandi, enraged at this, slew his father and took forcible possession of
Shahr-Mandi and its treasures. Pirabandi succeeded in driving him out;
Sundar Bandi went to Alauddin, Sultan of Delhi, and sought help. The
Sultan eventually sent his general Hazardinari (_alias_ Malik Kafur) to
conquer Ma'bar.

In the third volume of Elliot we find some of the same main facts, with
some differences and greater detail, as recounted by Amir Khusru. Bir
Pandiya and Sundara Pandiya are the _Rais_ of Ma'bar, and are at war with
one another, when the army of Alauddin, after reducing Bilal Deo of Dwara
Samudra, descends upon Ma'bar in the beginning of 1311 (p. 87 seqq.).

We see here two rulers in Ma'bar, within less than twenty years, bearing
the name of Sundara Pandi. And, strange to say, more than a century
before, during the continental wars of Parakrama Bahu I., the most martial
of Singhalese kings (A.D. 1153-1186), we find _another Kulasaikera_ (=
_Kalesa_ of Wassaf), King of Madura, with _another Vira Pandi_ for son,
and _another Sundara Pandi_ Raja, figuring in the history of the
_Pandionis Regio_. But let no one rashly imagine that there is a confusion
in the chronology here. The Hindu Chronology of the continental states is
dark and confused enough, but not that of Ceylon, which in this, as in
sundry other respects, comes under Indo-Chinese rather than Indian
analogies. (See _Turnour's Ceylonese Epitome_, pp. 41-43; and _J.A.S.B._
XLI. Pt. I. p. 197 seqq.)

In a note with which Dr. Caldwell favoured me some time before the first
publication of this work, he considers that the Sundar Bandi of Polo and
the Persian Historians is undoubtedly to be identified with that Sundara
Pandi Devar, who is in the Tamul Catalogues the last king of the ancient
Pandya line, and who was (says Dr. Caldwell,) "succeeded by Mahomedans, by
a new line of Pandyas, by the Nayak Kings, by the Nabobs of Arcot, and
finally by the English. He became for a time a Jaina, but was reconverted
to the worship of Siva, when his name was changed from _Kun_ or _Kubja_,
'Crook-backed,' to _Sundara_, 'Beautiful,' in accordance with a change
which then took place, the Saivas say, in his personal appearance.
Probably his name, from the beginning, was Sundara.... In the inscriptions
belonging to the period of his reign he is invariably represented, not as
a joint king or viceroy, but as an absolute monarch ruling over an
extensive tract of country, including the Chola country or Tanjore, and
Conjeveram, and as the only possessor for the time being of the title
_Pandi Devar_. It is clear from the agreement of Rashiduddin with Marco
Polo that Sundara Pandi's power was shared in some way with his brothers,
but it seems certain also from the inscription that there was a sense in
which he alone was king."

I do not give the whole of Dr. Caldwell's remarks on this subject,
because, the 3rd volume of Elliot not being then published, he had not
before him the whole of the information from the Mussulman historians,
which shows so clearly that _two_ princes bearing the name of Sundara
Pandi are mentioned by them, and because I cannot see my way to adopt his
view, great as is the weight due to his opinion on any such question.

Extraordinary darkness hangs over the chronology of the South Indian
kingdoms, as we may judge from the fact that Dr. Caldwell would have thus
placed at the end of the 13th century, on the evidence of Polo and
Rashiduddin, the reign of the last of the genuine Pandya kings, whom other
calculations place earlier even by centuries. Thus, to omit views more
extravagant, Mr. Nelson, the learned official historian of Madura,
supposes it on the whole most probable that Kun Pandya _alias_ Sundara,
reigned in the latter half of the 11th century. "The Sri Tala Book, which
appears to have been written about 60 years ago, and was probably compiled
from brief Tamil chronicles then in existence, states that the Pandya race
became extinct upon the death of Kun Pandya; and the children of
concubines and of younger brothers who (had) lived in former ages, fought
against one another, split up the country into factions, and got
themselves crowned, and ruled one in one place, another in another. But
none of these families succeeded in getting possession of Madura, the
capital, which consequently fell into decay. And further on it tells us,
rather inconsistently, that up to A.D. 1324 the kings 'who ruled the
Madura country, were part of the time Pandyas, at other times
foreigners.'" And a variety of traditions referred to by Mr. Nelson
appears to interpose such a period of unsettlement and shifting and
divided sovereignty, extending over a considerable time, between the end
of the genuine Pandya Dynasty and the Mahomedan invasion; whilst lists of
numerous princes who reigned in this period have been handed down. Now we
have just seen that the Mahomedan invasion took place in 1311, and we must
throw aside the traditions and the lists altogether if we suppose that the
Sundara Pandi of 1292 was the last prince of the Old Line. Indeed, though
the indication is faint, the manner in which Wassaf speaks of Polo's
Sundara and his brothers as having established themselves in different
territories, and as in constant war with each other, is suggestive of the
state of unsettlement which the Sri Tala and the traditions describe.

There is a difficulty in co-ordinating these four or five brothers at
constant war, whom Polo found in possession of different provinces of
Ma'bar about 1290, with the Devar Kalesa, of whom Wassaf speaks as slain
in 1310 after a prosperous reign of forty years. Possibly the brothers
were adventurers who had divided the coast districts, whilst Kalesa still
reigned with a more legitimate claim at Shahr-Mandi or Madura. And it is
worthy of notice that the Ceylon Annals call the Pandi king whose army
carried off the sacred tooth in 1303 _Kulasaikera_, a name which we may
easily believe to represent Wassaf's Kalesa. (_Nelson's Madura_, 55, 67,
71-74; _Turnour's Epitome_, p. 47.)

As regards the position of the port of Ma'bar visited, but not named, by
Marco Polo, and at or near which his Sundara Pandi seems to have resided,
I am inclined to look for it rather in Tanjore than on the Gulf of Manar,
south of the Rameshwaram shallows. The difficulties in this view are the
indication of its being "60 miles west of Ceylon," and the special mention
of the Pearl Fishery in connection with it. We cannot, however, lay much
stress upon Polo's orientation. When his general direction is from east to
west, every new place reached is for him _west_ of that last visited;
whilst the Kaveri Delta is as near the north point of Ceylon as Ramnad is
to Aripo. The pearl difficulty may be solved by the probability that the
dominion of Sonder Bandi _extended_ to the coast of the Gulf of Manar.

On the other hand Polo, below (ch. xx.), calls the province of Sundara
Pandi _Soli_, which we can scarcely doubt to be _Chola_ or _Soladesam_,
i.e. Tanjore. He calls it also "the best and noblest Province of India,"
a description which even with his limited knowledge of India he would
scarcely apply to the coast of Ramnad, but which might be justifiably
applied to the well-watered plains of Tanjore, even when as yet Arthur
Cotton was not. Let it be noticed too that Polo in speaking (ch. xix.) of
Mutfili (or Telingana) specifies its distance from Ma'bar as if he had
made the run by sea from one to the other; but afterwards when he proceeds
to speak of _Cail_, which stands on the Gulf of Manar, he does not specify
its position or distance in regard to Sundara Pandi's territory; an
omission which he would not have been likely to make had _both_ lain on
the Gulf of Manar.

Abulfeda tells us that the capital of the Prince of Ma'bar, who was the
great horse-importer, was called _Biyardawal_,[4] a name which now
appears in the extracts from Amir Khusru (_Elliot_, III. 90-91) as
_Birdhul_, the capital of Bir Pandi mentioned above, whilst Madura was the
residence of his brother, the later Sundara Pandi. And from the
indications in those extracts it can be gathered, I think, that Birdhul
was not far from the Kaveri (called Kanobari), not far from the sea, and
five or six days' march from Madura. These indications point to Tanjore,
Kombakonam, or some other city in or near the Kaveri Delta.[5] I should
suppose that this Birdhul was the capital of Polo's Sundara Pandi, and
that the port visited was Kaveripattanam. This was a great sea-port at one
of the mouths of the Kaveri, which is said to have been destroyed by an
inundation about the year 1300. According to Mr. Burnell it was the
"_Pattanam_ 'par excellence' of the Coromandel Coast, and the great port
of the Chola kingdom."[6]

[Illustration: Chinese Pagoda (so called) at Negapatam. (From a sketch
taken in 1846 by Sir Walter Elliot.)]

Some corroboration of the supposition that the Tanjore ports were those
frequented by Chinese trade may be found in the fact that a remarkable
Pagoda of uncemented brickwork, about a mile to the north-west of
Negapatam, popularly bears (or bore) the name of _the Chinese Pagoda_. I
do not mean to imply that the building was Chinese, but that the
application of that name to a ruin of strange character pointed to some
tradition of Chinese visitors.[7] Sir Walter Elliot, to whom I am
indebted for the sketch of it given here, states that this building
differed essentially from any type of Hindu architecture with which he was
acquainted, but being without inscription or sculpture it was impossible
to assign to it any authentic origin. Negapatam was, however, celebrated
as a seat of _Buddhist_ worship, and this may have been a remnant of their
work. In 1846 it consisted of three stories divided by cornices of stepped
brickwork. The interior was open to the top, and showed the marks of a
floor about 20 feet from the ground. Its general appearance is shown by
the cut. This interesting building was reported in 1859 to be in too
dilapidated a state for repair, and now exists no longer. Sir W. Elliot
also tells me that collectors employed by him picked up in the sand, at
several stations on this coast, numerous Byzantine and _Chinese_ as well
as Hindu coins.[8] The brickwork of the pagoda, as described by him, very
fine and closely fitted but without cement, corresponds to that of the
Burmese and Ceylonese mediaeval Buddhist buildings. The _architecture_ has
a slight resemblance to that of Pollanarua in Ceylon (see _Fergusson_, II.
p. 512). (_Abulf._ in _Gildemeister_, p. 185; _Nelson_, Pt. II. p. 27
seqq.; _Taylor's Catalogue Raisonne_, III. 386-389.)

Ma'bar is mentioned (_Ma-pa-'rh_) in the Chinese Annals as one of the
foreign kingdoms which sent tribute to Kublai in 1286 (supra, p. 296);
and Pauthier has given some very curious and novel extracts from Chinese
sources regarding the diplomatic intercourse with Ma'bar in 1280 and the
following years. Among other points these mention the "five brothers who
were Sultans" (_Suantan_), an envoy _Chamalating_ (Jumaluddin) who had
been sent from Ma'bar to the Mongol Court, etc. (See pp. 603 seqq.)

NOTE 2.--Marco's account of the pearl-fishery is still substantially
correct. _Bettelar_, the rendezvous of the fishery, was, I imagine, PATLAM
on the coast of Ceylon, called by Ibn Batuta _Batthala_. Though the centre
of the pearl-fishery is now at Aripo and Kondachi further north, its site
has varied sometimes as low as Chilaw, the name of which is a corruption
of that given by the Tamuls, _Salabham_, which means "the Diving," i.e.
the Pearl-fishery. Tennent gives the meaning erroneously as "the Sea of
Gain." I owe the correction to Dr. Caldwell. (_Ceylon_, I. 440; _Pridham_,
409; _Ibn Bat._ IV. 166; _Ribeyro_, ed. Columbo, 1847, App. p. 196.)

[Ma Huan (_J. North China B.R.A.S._ XX. p. 213) says that "the King (of
Ceylon) has had an [artificial] pearl pond dug, into which every two or
three years he orders pearl oysters to be thrown, and he appoints men to
keep watch over it. Those who fish for these oysters, and take them to the
authorities for the King's use, sometimes steal and fraudulently sell

The shark-charmers do not now seem to have any claim to be called
Abraiaman or Brahmans, but they may have been so in former days. At the
diamond mines of the northern Circars Brahmans are employed in the
analogous office of propitiating the tutelary genii. The shark-charmers
are called in Tamul _Kadal-Katti_, "Sea-binders," and in Hindustani
_Hai-banda_ or "Shark-binders." At Aripo they belong to one family,
supposed to have the monopoly of the charm. The chief operator is (or was,
not many years ago) paid by Government, and he also received ten oysters
from each boat daily during the fishery. Tennent, on his visit, found the
incumbent of the office to be a Roman Catholic Christian, but that did not
seem to affect the exercise or the validity of his functions. It is
remarkable that when Tennent wrote, not more than one authenticated
accident from sharks had taken place, during the whole period of the
British occupation.

The time of the fishery is a little earlier than Marco mentions, viz. in
March and April, just between the cessation of the north-east and
commencement of the south-west monsoon. His statement of the depth is
quite correct; the diving is carried on in water of 4 to 10 fathoms deep,
and never in a greater depth than 13.

I do not know the site of the other fishery to which he alludes as
practised in September and October; but the time implies shelter from the
south-west Monsoon, and it was probably on the east side of the island,
where in 1750 there was a fishery, at Trincomalee. (_Stewart_ in _Trans.
R.A.S._ III. 456 seqq.; _Pridham._, u.s.; _Tennent_, II. 564-565;
_Ribeyro_, as above, App. p. 196.)

[1] So the Barbary coast from Tunis westward was called by the Arabs
_Bar-ul-'Adwah_, "Terra Transitus," because thence they used to
pass into Spain. (_J. As._ for Jan. 1846, p. 228.)

[2] Wassaf has _Fitan, Mali Fitan, Kabil_ and meant the names so, as
he shows by silly puns. For my justification in presuming to correct
the names, I must refer to an article, in the _J. R. As. Soc._,
N.S. IV. p. 347, on Rashiduddin's Geography.

[3] The same information is given in almost the same terms by Rashiduddin.
(See _Elliot_, I. 69.) But he (at least in Elliot's translation)
makes _Shaikh Jumaluddin_ the successor of the Devar, instead of
merely the narrator of the circumstances. This is evidently a mistake,
probably of transcription, and Wassaf gives us the true version.

The members of the Arab family bearing the surname of At-Thaibi (or
Thibi) appear to have been powerful on the coasts of the Indian Sea at
this time, (1) The Malik-ul-Islam Jamaluddin Ibrahim At Thaibi was
Farmer-General of Fars, besides being quasi-independent Prince of Kais
and other Islands in the Persian Gulf, and at the time of his death
(1306) governor of Shiraz. He had the horse trade with India greatly
in his hands, as is mentioned in a note (7) on next chapter. (2) The
son of Jamaluddin, Fakhruddin Ahmed, goes ambassador to the Great Kaan
in 1297, and dies near the coast of Ma'bar on his way back in 1305. A
Fakhruddin Ahmed _Ben Ibrahim_ at-Thaibi also appears in Hammer's
extracts as ruler of Hormuz about the time of Polo's return. (See
_ante_, vol. i. p. 121); and though he is there represented as
opposed by Shaikh Jumaluddin (perhaps through one of Hammer's too
frequent confusions), one should suppose that he must be the son just
mentioned. (3) Takiuddin Abdurrahman, the Wazir and Marzban in Ma'bar;
followed successively in that position by his son Surajuddin, and his
grandson Nizamuddin. (_Ilchan._ II. 49-50, 197-198, 205-206;
_Elliot_, III. 32, 34-35, 45-47.)

[4] [Arabic]

[5] My learned friend Mr. A. Burnell suggests that Birdhul must have been
Vriddachalam, _Virdachellam_ of the maps, which is in South Arcot,
about 50 miles north of Tanjore. There are old and well-known temples
there, and relics of fortifications. It is a rather famous place of

[6] It was also perhaps the Fattan of the Mahomedan writers; but in that
case its destruction must have been after Ibn Batuta's time (say
middle of 14th century).

[7] I leave this passage as it stood in the first edition. It is a
mistake, but this mistake led to the engraving of Sir W. Elliot's
sketch (perhaps unique) of a very interesting building which has
disappeared. Dr. Caldwell writes: "The native name was 'the _Jaina
Tower_,' turned by the English into _China_ and _Chinese_. This I was
told in Negapatam 30 years ago, but to make sure of the matter I have
now written to Negapatam, and obtained from the Munsiff of the place
confirmation of what I had heard long ago. It bore also the name of
the Tower of the _Malla_.' The Chalukya Malla kings were at one time
Jainas. The 'Seven Pagodas' near Madras bear their name, Ma-_Mallei_
puram, and their power may at one time have extended as far south as
Negapatam." I have no doubt Dr. Caldwell is right in substance, but
the name _China Pagoda_ at Negapatam is at least as old as Baldaeus
(1672, p. 149), and the ascription to the Chinese is in Valentyn
(1726, tom. v. p. 6). It is, I find, in the Atlas of India, "Jayne

[8] Colonel Mackenzie also mentions Chinese coins as found on this coast.
(_J.R.A.S._ I. 352-353.)



You must know that in all this Province of Maabar there is never a Tailor
to cut a coat or stitch it, seeing that everybody goes naked! For decency
only do they wear a scrap of cloth; and so 'tis with men and women, with
rich and poor, aye, and with the King himself, except what I am going to
mention.[NOTE 1]

It is a fact that the King goes as bare as the rest, only round his loins
he has a piece of fine cloth, and round his neck he has a necklace
entirely of precious stones,--rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and the like,
insomuch that this collar is of great value.[NOTE 2] He wears also hanging
in front of his chest from the neck downwards, a fine silk thread strung
with 104 large pearls and rubies of great price. The reason why he wears
this cord with the 104 great pearls and rubies, is (according to what they
tell) that every day, morning and evening, he has to say 104 prayers to
his idols. Such is their religion and their custom. And thus did all the
Kings his ancestors before him, and they bequeathed the string of pearls
to him that he should do the like. [The prayer that they say daily
consists of these words, _Pacauta! Pacauta! Pacauta_! And this they
repeat 104 times.[NOTE 3]]

The King aforesaid also wears on his arms three golden bracelets thickly
set with pearls of great value, and anklets also of like kind he wears on
his legs, and rings on his toes likewise. So let me tell you what this
King wears, between gold and gems and pearls, is worth more than a city's
ransom. And 'tis no wonder; for he hath great store of such gear; and
besides they are found in his kingdom. Moreover nobody is permitted to
take out of the kingdom a pearl weighing more than half a _saggio_,
unless he manages to do it secretly.[NOTE 4] This order has been given
because the King desires to reserve all such to himself; and so in fact
the quantity he has is something almost incredible. Moreover several times
every year he sends his proclamation through the realm that if any one who
possesses a pearl or stone of great value will bring it to him, he will
pay for it twice as much as it cost. Everybody is glad to do this, and
thus the King gets all into his own hands, giving every man his price.

Furthermore, this King hath some five hundred wives, for whenever he hears
of a beautiful damsel he takes her to wife. Indeed he did a very sorry
deed as I shall tell you. For seeing that his brother had a handsome wife,
he took her by force and kept her for himself. His brother, being a
discreet man, took the thing quietly and made no noise about it. The King
hath many children.

And there are about the King a number of Barons in attendance upon him.
These ride with him, and keep always near him, and have great authority in
the kingdom; they are called the King's Trusty Lieges. And you must know
that when the King dies, and they put him on the fire to burn him, these
Lieges cast themselves into the fire round about his body, and suffer
themselves to be burnt along with him. For they say they have been his
comrades in this world, and that they ought also to keep him company in
the other world.[NOTE 5]

When the King dies none of his children dares to touch his treasure. For
they say, "as our father did gather together all this treasure, so we
ought to accumulate as much in our turn." And in this way it comes to pass
that there is an immensity of treasure accumulated in this kingdom.[NOTE 6]

Here are no horses bred; and thus a great part of the wealth of the
country is wasted in purchasing horses; I will tell you how. You must know
that the merchants of KIS and HORMES, DOFAR and SOER and ADEN collect
great numbers of destriers and other horses, and these they bring to the
territories of this King and of his four brothers, who are kings likewise
as I told you. For a horse will fetch among them 500 _saggi_ of gold,
worth more than 100 marks of silver, and vast numbers are sold there every
year. Indeed this King wants to buy more than 2000 horses every year, and
so do his four brothers who are kings likewise. The reason why they want
so many horses every year is that by the end of the year there shall not
be one hundred of them remaining, for they all die off. And this arises
from mismanagement, for those people do not know in the least how to treat
a horse; and besides they have no farriers. The horse-merchants not only
never bring any farriers with them, but also prevent any farrier from
going thither, lest that should in any degree baulk the sale of horses,
which brings them in every year such vast gains. They bring these horses
by sea aboard ship.[NOTE 7]

They have in this country the custom which I am going to relate. When a
man is doomed to die for any crime, he may declare that he will put
himself to death in honour of such or such an idol; and the government
then grants him permission to do so. His kinsfolk and friends then set him
up on a cart, and provide him with twelve knives, and proceed to conduct
him all about the city, proclaiming aloud: "This valiant man is going to
slay himself for the love of (such an idol)." And when they be come to the
place of execution he takes a knife and sticks it through his arm, and
cries: "I slay myself for the love of (such a god)!" Then he takes another
knife and sticks it through his other arm, and takes a third knife and
runs it into his belly, and so on until he kills himself outright. And
when he is dead his kinsfolk take the body and burn it with a joyful
celebration.[NOTE 8] Many of the women also, when their husbands die and
are placed on the pile to be burnt, do burn themselves along with the
bodies. And such women as do this have great praise from all.[NOTE 9]

The people are Idolaters, and many of them worship the ox, because (say
they) it is a creature of such excellence. They would not eat beef for
anything in the world, nor would they on any account kill an ox. But there
is another class of people who are called _Govy_, and these are very
glad to eat beef, though they dare not kill the animal. Howbeit if an ox
dies, naturally or otherwise, then they eat him.[NOTE 10]

And let me tell you, the people of this country have a custom of rubbing
their houses all over with cow-dung.[NOTE 11] Moreover all of them, great
and small, King and Barons included, do sit upon the ground only, and the
reason they give is that this is the most honourable way to sit, because
we all spring from the Earth and to the Earth we must return; so no one
can pay the Earth too much honour, and no one ought to despise it.

And about that race of _Govis_, I should tell you that nothing on
earth would induce them to enter the place where Messer St. Thomas is--I
mean where his body lies, which is in a certain city of the province of
Maabar. Indeed, were even 20 or 30 men to lay hold of one of these
_Govis_ and to try to hold him in the place where the Body of the
Blessed Apostle of Jesus Christ lies buried, they could not do it! Such is
the influence of the Saint; for it was by people of this generation that
he was slain, as you shall presently hear.[NOTE 12]

No wheat grows in this province, but rice only.

And another strange thing to be told is that there is no possibility of
breeding horses in this country, as hath often been proved by trial. For
even when a great blood-mare here has been covered by a great blood-horse,
the produce is nothing but a wretched wry-legged weed, not fit to ride.
[NOTE 13]

The people of the country go to battle all naked, with only a lance and a
shield; and they are most wretched soldiers. They will kill neither beast
nor bird, nor anything that hath life; and for such animal food as they
eat, they make the Saracens, or others who are not of their own religion,
play the butcher.

It is their practice that every one, male and female, do wash the whole
body twice every day; and those who do not wash are looked on much as we
look on the Patarins. [You must know also that in eating they use the
right hand only, and would on no account touch their food with the left
hand. All cleanly and becoming uses are ministered to by the right hand,
whilst the left is reserved for uncleanly and disagreeable necessities,
such as cleansing the secret parts of the body and the like. So also they
drink only from drinking vessels, and every man hath his own; nor will any
one drink from another's vessel. And when they drink they do not put the
vessel to the lips, but hold it aloft and let the drink spout into the
mouth. No one would on any account touch the vessel with his mouth, nor
give a stranger drink with it. But if the stranger have no vessel of his
own they will pour the drink into his hands and he may thus drink from his
hands as from a cup.]

They are very strict in executing justice upon criminals, and as strict in
abstaining from wine. Indeed they have made a rule that wine-drinkers and
seafaring men are never to be accepted as sureties. For they say that to
be a seafaring man is all the same as to be an utter desperado, and that
his testimony is good for nothing.[1] Howbeit they look on lechery as no

[They have the following rule about debts. If a debtor shall have been
several times asked by his creditor for payment, and shall have put him
off from day to day with promises, then if the creditor can once meet the
debtor and succeed in drawing a circle round him, the latter must not pass
out of this circle until he shall have satisfied the claim, or given
security for its discharge. If he in any other case presume to pass the
circle he is punished with death as a transgressor against right and
justice. And the said Messer Marco, when in this kingdom on his return
home, did himself witness a case of this. It was the King, who owed a
foreign merchant a certain sum of money, and though the claim had often
been presented, he always put it off with promises. Now, one day when the
King was riding through the city, the merchant found his opportunity, and
drew a circle round both King and horse. The King, on seeing this, halted,
and would ride no further; nor did he stir from the spot until the
merchant was satisfied. And when the bystanders saw this they marvelled
greatly, saying that the King was a most just King indeed, having thus
submitted to justice.[NOTE 14]]

You must know that the heat here is sometimes so great that 'tis something
wonderful. And rain falls only for three months in the year, viz. in June,
July, and August. Indeed but for the rain that falls in these three
months, refreshing the earth and cooling the air, the drought would be so
great that no one could exist.[NOTE 15]

They have many experts in an art which they call Physiognomy, by which
they discern a man's character and qualities at once. They also know the
import of meeting with any particular bird or beast; for such omens are
regarded by them more than by any people in the world. Thus if a man is
going along the road and hears some one sneeze, if he deems it (say) a
good token for himself he goes on, but if otherwise he stops a bit, or
peradventure turns back altogether from his journey.[NOTE 16]

As soon as a child is born they write down his nativity, that is to say
the day and hour, the month, and the moon's age. This custom they observe
because every single thing they do is done with reference to astrology,
and by advice of diviners skilled in Sorcery and Magic and Geomancy, and
such like diabolical arts; and some of them are also acquainted with

[All parents who have male children, as soon as these have attained the
age of 13, dismiss them from their home, and do not allow them further
maintenance in the family. For they say that the boys are then of an age
to get their living by trade; so off they pack them with some twenty or
four-and-twenty groats, or at least with money equivalent to that. And
these urchins are running about all day from pillar to post, buying and
selling. At the time of the pearl-fishery they run to the beach and
purchase, from the fishers or others, five or six pearls, according to
their ability, and take these to the merchants, who are keeping indoors
for fear of the sun, and say to them: "These cost me such a price; now
give me what profit you please on them." So the merchant gives something
over the cost price for their profit. They do in the same way with many
other articles, so that they become trained to be very dexterous and keen
traders. And every day they take their food to their mothers to be cooked
and served, but do not eat a scrap at the expense of their fathers.]

In this kingdom and all over India the birds and beasts are entirely
different from ours, all but one bird which is exactly like ours, and that
is the Quail. But everything else is totally different. For example they
have bats,--I mean those birds that fly by night and have no feathers of
any kind; well, their birds of this kind are as big as a goshawk! Their
goshawks again are as black as crows, a good deal bigger than ours, and
very swift and sure.

Another strange thing is that they feed their horses with boiled rice and
boiled meat, and various other kinds of cooked food. That is the reason
why all the horses die off.[NOTE 17]

They have certain abbeys in which are gods and goddesses to whom many
young girls are consecrated; their fathers and mothers presenting them to
that idol for which they entertain the greatest devotion. And when the
[monks] of a convent[2] desire to make a feast to their god, they send
for all those consecrated damsels and make them sing and dance before the
idol with great festivity. They also bring meats to feed their idol
withal; that is to say, the damsels prepare dishes of meat and other good
things and put the food before the idol, and leave it there a good while,
and then the damsels all go to their dancing and singing and festivity for
about as long as a great Baron might require to eat his dinner. By that
time they say the spirit of the idols has consumed the substance of the
food, so they remove the viands to be eaten by themselves with great
jollity. This is performed by these damsels several times every year until
they are married.[NOTE 18]

[The reason assigned for summoning the damsels to these feasts is, as the
monks say, that the god is vexed and angry with the goddess, and will hold
no communication with her; and they say that if peace be not established
between them things will go from bad to worse, and they never will bestow
their grace and benediction. So they make those girls come in the way
described, to dance and sing, all but naked, before the god and the
goddess. And those people believe that the god often solaces himself with
the society of the goddess.

The men of this country have their beds made of very light canework, so
arranged that, when they have got in and are going to sleep, they are
drawn up by cords nearly to the ceiling and fixed there for the night.
This is done to get out of the way of tarantulas which give terrible
bites, as well as of fleas and such vermin, and at the same time to get as
much air as possible in the great heat which prevails in that region. Not
that everybody does this, but only the nobles and great folks, for the
others sleep on the streets.[NOTE 19]]

Now I have told you about this kingdom of the province of Maabar, and I
must pass on to the other kingdoms of the same province, for I have much
to tell of their peculiarities.

NOTE 1.--The non-existence of tailors is not a mere figure of speech.
Sundry learned pundits have been of opinion that the ancient Hindu knew no
needle-made clothing, and Colonel Meadows Taylor has alleged that they had
not even a word for the tailor's craft in their language. These opinions
have been patriotically refuted by Babu Rajendralal Mitra. (_Proc. Ass.
Soc. B._ 1871, p. 100.)

Ibn Batuta describes the King of Calicut, the great "Zamorin," coming down
to the beach to see the wreck of certain Junks;--"his clothing consisted
of a great piece of white stuff rolled about him from the navel to the
knees, and a little scrap of a turban on his head; his feet were bare, and
a young slave carried an umbrella over him." (IV. 97.)

NOTE 2.--The necklace taken from the neck of the Hindu King Jaipal,
captured by Mahmud in A.D. 1001, was composed of large pearls, rubies,
etc., and was valued at 200,000 _dinars_, or a good deal more than
100,000_l._ (_Elliot_, II. 26.) Compare Correa's account of the King of
Calicut, in _Stanley's V. da Gama_, 194.

NOTE 3.--The word is printed in Ramusio _Pacauca_, but no doubt _Pacauta_
is the true reading. Dr. Caldwell has favoured me with a note on this:
"The word ... was probably _Bagava_ or _Pagava_, the Tamil form of the
vocative of _Bhagavata_, 'Lord,' pronounced in the Tamil manner. This word
is frequently repeated by Hindus of all sects in the utterance of their
sacred formulae, especially by Vaishnava devotees, some of whom go about
repeating this one word alone. When I mentioned Marco Polo's word to two
learned Hindus at different times, they said, 'No doubt he meant
_Bagava_.'[3] The Saiva Rosary contains 32 beads; the doubled form of the
same, sometimes used, contains 64; the Vaishnava Rosary contains 108.
Possibly the latter may have been meant by Marco." [Captain Gill (_River
of Golden Sand_, II. p. 341) at Yung-Ch'ang, speaking of the beads of a
necklace, writes: "One hundred and eight is the regulation number, no one
venturing to wear a necklace, with one bead more or less."]

Ward says: "The Hindus believe the repetition of the name of God is an act
of adoration.... _Japa_ (as this act is called) makes an essential part of
the daily worship.... The worshipper, taking a string of beads, repeats
the name of his guardian deity, or that of any other god, counting by his
beads 10, 28, 108, 208, adding to every 108 not less than 100 more."
(Madras ed. 1863, pp. 217-218.)

No doubt the number in the text should have been 108, which is apparently
a mystic number among both Brahmans and Buddhists. Thus at Gautama's birth
108 Brahmans were summoned to foretell his destiny; round the great White
Pagoda at Peking are 108 pillars for illumination; 108 is the number of
volumes constituting the Tibetan scripture called _Kahgyur_; the merit of
copying this work is enhanced by the quality of the ink used, thus a copy
in red is 108 times more meritorious than one in black, one in silver
108^2 times, one in gold, 108^3 times; according to the Malabar Chronicle
Parasurama established in that country 108 Iswars, 108 places of worship,
and 108 Durga images; there are said to be 108 shrines of especial
sanctity in India; there are 108 _Upanishads_ (a certain class of mystical
Brahmanical sacred literature); 108 rupees is frequently a sum devoted to
alms; the rules of the Chinese Triad Society assign 108 blows as the
punishment for certain offences;--108, according to Athenaeus, were the
suitors of Penelope! I find a Tibetan tract quoted (by _Koeppen_, II. 284)
as entitled, "The Entire Victor over all the 104 Devils," and this is the
only example I have met with of 104 as a mystic number.

NOTE 4.--The _Saggio_, here as elsewhere, probably stands for the

NOTE 5.--This is stated also by Abu Zaid, in the beginning of the 10th
century. And Reinaud in his note refers to Mas'udi, who has a like passage
in which he gives a name to these companions exactly corresponding to
Polo's _Feoilz_ or Trusty Lieges: "When a King in India dies, many persons
voluntarily burn themselves with him. These are called _Balanjariyah_
(sing. _Balanjar_), as if you should say 'Faithful Friends' of the
deceased, whose life was life to them, and whose death was death to them."
(_Anc. Rel._ I. 121 and note; _Mas._ II. 85.)

On the murder of Ajit Singh of Marwar, by two of his sons, there were 84
_satis_, and "so much was he beloved," says Tod, "that even men devoted
themselves on his pyre" (I. 744). The same thing occurred at the death of
the Sikh Guru Hargovind in 1645. (_H. of Sikhs_, p. 62.)

Barbosa briefly notices an institution like that described by Polo, in
reference to the King of Narsinga, i.e. Vijayanagar. (_Ram._ I. f. 302.)
Another form of the same bond seems to be that mentioned by other
travellers as prevalent in Malabar, where certain of the Nairs bore the
name of _Amuki_, and were bound not only to defend the King's life with
their own, but, if he fell, to sacrifice themselves by dashing among the
enemy and slaying until slain. Even Christian churches in Malabar had such
hereditary _Amuki_. (See _P. Vinc. Maria_, Bk. IV. ch. vii., and _Cesare
Federici_ in _Ram._ III. 390, also _Faria y Sousa_, by Stevens, I. 348.)
There can be little doubt that this is the Malay _Amuk_, which would
therefore appear to be of Indian origin, both in name and practice. I see
that De Gubernatis, without noticing the Malay phrase, traces the term
applied to the Malabar champions to the Sanskrit _Amokhya_,
"indissoluble," and _Amukta_, "not free, bound." (_Picc. Encic. Ind._ I,
88.) The same practice, by which the followers of a defeated prince devote
themselves in _amuk_ (_vulgo_ running _a-muck_),[4] is called in the
island of Bali _Bela_, a term applied also to one kind of female Sati,
probably from S. _Bali_, "a sacrifice." (See _Friedrich in Batavian
Trans._ XXIII.) In the first syllable of the _Balanjar_ of Mas'udi we have
probably the same word. A similar institution is mentioned by Caesar among
the Sotiates, a tribe of Aquitania. The _Feoilz_ of the chief were 600 in
number and were called _Soldurii_; they shared all his good things in
life, and were bound to share with him in death also. Such also was a
custom among the Spanish Iberians, and the name of these _Amuki_ signified
"sprinkled for sacrifice." Other generals, says Plutarch, might find a few
such among their personal staff and dependents, but Sertorius was followed
by many myriads who had thus devoted themselves. Procopius relates of the
White Huns that the richer among them used to entertain a circle of
friends, some score or more, as perpetual guests and partners of their
wealth. But, when the chief died, the whole company were expected to go
down alive into the tomb with him. The King of the Russians, in the tenth
century, according to Ibn Fozlan, was attended by 400 followers bound by
like vows. And according to some writers the same practice was common in
Japan, where the friends and vassals who were under the vow committed
_hara kiri_ at the death of their patron. The _Likamankwas_ of the
Abyssinian kings, who in battle wear the same dress with their master to
mislead the enemy--"Six Richmonds in the field"--form apparently a kindred
institution. (_Bell. Gall._ iii. c. 22; _Plutarch, in Vit. Sertorii;
Procop. De B. Pers._ I. 3: _Ibn Fozlan_ by _Fraehn_, p. 22; _Sonnerat_, I.

NOTE 6.--However frequent may have been wars between adjoining states, the
south of the peninsula appears to have been for ages free from foreign
invasion until the Delhi expeditions, which occurred a few years later
than our traveller's visit; and there are many testimonies to the enormous
accumulations of treasure. Gold, according to the _Masalak-al-Absar_, had
been flowing into India for 3000 years, and had never been exported.
Firishta speaks of the enormous spoils carried off by Malik Kafur, every
soldier's share amounting to 25 Lbs. of gold! Some years later Mahomed
Tughlak loads 200 elephants and several thousand bullocks with the
precious spoil of a single temple. We have quoted a like statement from
Wassaf as to the wealth found in the treasury of this very Sundara Pandi
Dewar, but the same author goes far beyond this when he tells that Kales
Dewar, Raja of Ma'bar about 1309, had accumulated 1200 crores of gold,
i.e. 12,000 millions of dinars, enough to girdle the earth with a
four-fold belt of bezants! (_N. and E._ XIII. 218, 220-221, _Brigg's
Firishta_, I. 373-374; _Hammer's Ilkhans_, II. 205.)

NOTE 7.--Of the ports mentioned as exporting horses to India we have
already made acquaintance with KAIS and HORMUZ; of DOFAR and ADEN we
shall hear further on; _Soer_ is SOHAR the former capital of Oman, and
still a place of some little trade. Edrisi calls it "one of the oldest
cities of Oman, and of the richest. Anciently it was frequented by
merchants from all parts of the world; and voyages to China used to be
made from it." (I. 152.)

Rashiduddin and Wassaf have identical statements about the horse trade,
and so similar to Polo's in this chapter that one almost suspects that he
must have been their authority. Wassaf says: "It was a matter of agreement
that Malik-ul-Islam Jamaluddin and the merchants should embark every year
from the island of KAIS and land at MA'BAR 1400 horses of his own
breed.... It was also agreed that he should embark as many as he could
procure from all the isles of Persia, such as Katif, Lahsa, Bahrein,
Hurmuz, and Kalhatu. The price of each horse was fixed from of old at 220
dinars of red gold, on this condition, that if any horses should happen to
die, the value of them should be paid from the royal treasury. It is
related by authentic writers that in the reign of Atabek Abu Bakr of
(Fars), 10,000 horses were annually exported from these places to Ma'bar,
Kambayat, and other ports in their neighbourhood, and the sum total of
their value amounted to 2,200,000 dinars.... They bind them for 40 days in
a stable with ropes and pegs, in order that they may get fat; and
afterwards, without taking measures for training, and without stirrups and
other appurtenances of riding, the Indian soldiers ride upon them like
demons.... In a short time, the most strong, swift, fresh, and active
horses become weak, slow, useless, and stupid. In short, they all become
wretched and good for nothing.... There is, therefore, a constant
necessity of getting new horses annually." Amir Khusru mentions among
Malik Kafur's plunder in Ma'bar, 5000 Arab and Syrian horses. (_Elliot_,
III. 34, 93.)

The price mentioned by Polo appears to be intended for 500 dinars, which
in the then existing relations of the precious metals in Asia would be
worth just about 100 marks of silver. Wassaf's price, 220 dinars of red
gold, seems very inconsistent with this, but is not so materially, for it
would appear that the _dinar of red gold_ (so called) was worth _two

I noted an early use of the term _Arab chargers_ in the famous Bodleian
copy of the Alexander Romance (1338):

"Alexand' descent du destrier Arrabis."

NOTE 8.--I have not found other mention of a condemned criminal being
allowed thus to sacrifice himself; but such suicides in performance of
religious vows have occurred in almost all parts of India in all ages.
Friar Jordanus, after giving a similar account to that in the text of the
parade of the victim, represents him as _cutting off his own head_ before
the idol, with a peculiar two-handled knife "like those used in currying
leather." And strange as this sounds it is undoubtedly true. Ibn Batuta
witnessed the suicidal feat at the Court of the Pagan King of Mul-Java
(somewhere on the const of the Gulf of Siam), and Mr. Ward, without any
knowledge of these authorities, had heard that an instrument for this
purpose was formerly preserved at Kshira, a village of Bengal near Nadiya.
The thing was called _Karavat_; it was a crescent-shaped knife, with
chains attached to it forming stirrups, so adjusted that when the fanatic
placed the edge to the back of his neck and his feet in the stirrups, by
giving the latter a violent jerk his head was cut off. Padre Tieffentaller
mentions a like instrument at Prag (or Allahabad). Durgavati, a famous
Queen on the Nerbada, who fell in battle with the troops of Akbar, is
asserted in a family inscription to have "severed her own head with a
scimitar she held in her hand." According to a wild legend told at Ujjain,
the great king Vikramajit was in the habit of cutting off his own head
_daily_, as an offering to Devi. On the last performance the head failed
to re-attach itself as usual; and it is now preserved, petrified, in the
temple of Harsuddi at that place.

I never heard of anybody in Europe performing this extraordinary feat
except Sir Jonah Barrington's Irish mower, who made a dig at a salmon with
the butt of his scythe-handle and dropt his own head in the pool! (_Jord._
33; _I.B._ IV. 246; _Ward_, Madras ed. 249-250; _J.A.S.B._ XVII. 833;
_Ras Mala_, II. 387.)

NOTE 9.--Satis were very numerous in parts of S. India. In 1815 there were
one hundred in Tanjore alone. (_Ritter_, VI. 303; _J. Cathay_, p. 80.)

NOTE 10.--"The people in this part of the country (Southern Mysore)
consider the ox as a living god, who gives them bread; and in every
village there are one or two bulls to whom weekly or monthly worship is
performed." (_F. Buchanan_, II. 174.) "The low-caste Hindus, called _Gavi_
by Marco Polo, were probably the caste now called _Paraiyar_ (by the
English, _Pariahs_). The people of this caste do not venture to kill the
cow, but when they find the carcase of a cow which has died from disease,
or any other cause, they cook and eat it. The name _Paraiyar_, which means
'Drummers,' does not appear to be ancient."[6] (_Note by the Rev. Dr.

In the history of Sind called _Chach Namah_, the Hindus revile the
Mahomedan invaders as _Chandals_ and cow-eaters. (_Elliot_, I. 172, 193).
The low castes are often styled from their unrestricted diet, e.g.
_Halal-Khor_ (P. "to whom all food is lawful"), _Sab-khawa_ (H.

Babu Rajendralal Mitra has published a learned article on _Beef in ancient
India_, showing that the ancient Brahmans were far from entertaining the
modern horror of cow-killing. We may cite two of his numerous
illustrations. _Goghna_, "a guest," signifies literally "a cow-killer,"
i.e. he for whom a cow is killed. And one of the sacrifices prescribed
in the _Sutras_ bears the name of _Sula-gava_ "spit-cow," i.e.
roast-beef. (_J.A.S.B._ XLI. Pt. I. p. 174 seqq.)

NOTE 11.--The word in the G.T. is _losci dou buef_, which Pauthier's text
has converted into _suif de buef_--in reference to Hindus, a preposterous
statement. Yet the very old Latin of the Soc. Geog. also has
_pinguedinem_, and in a parallel passage about the Jogis (infra, ch.
xx.), Ramusio's text describes them as daubing themselves with powder of
ox-_bones_ (_l'ossa_). Apparently _l'osci_ was not understood (It.

NOTE 12.--Later travellers describe the descendants of St. Thomas's
murderers as marked by having one leg of immense size, i.e. by
_elephantiasis_. The disease was therefore called by the Portuguese _Pejo
de Santo Toma_.

NOTE 13.--Mr. Nelson says of the Madura country: "The horse is a
miserable, weedy, and vicious pony; having but one good quality,
endurance. The breed is not indigenous, but the result of constant
importations and a very limited amount of breeding." (_The Madura
Country_, Pt. II. p. 94.) The ill success in breeding horses was
exaggerated to impossibility, and made to extend to all India. Thus a
Persian historian, speaking of an elephant that was born in the stables of
Khosru Parviz, observes that "never till then had a she-elephant borne
young in Iran, any more than a lioness in Rum, a tabby cat in China (!),
or _a mare in India_." (_J.A.S._ ser. III. tom. iii. p. 127.)

[Major-General Crawford T. Chamberlain, C.S.I., in a report on Stud
Matters in India, 27th June 1874, writes: "I ask how it is possible that
horses could be bred at a moderate cost in the Central Division, when
everything was against success. I account for the narrow-chested,
congenitally unfit and malformed stock, also for the creaking joints,
knuckle over futtocks, elbows in, toes out, seedy toe, bad action, weedy
frames, and other degeneracy: 1st, to a damp climate, altogether inimical
to horses; 2nd, to the operations being intrusted to a race of people
inhabiting a country where horses are not indigenous, and who therefore
have no taste for them...; 5th, treatment of mares. To the impure air in
confined, non-ventilated hovels, etc.; 6th, improper food; 7th, to a
chronic system of tall rearing and forcing." (_MS. Note_.--H.Y.)]

NOTE 14.--This custom is described in much the same way by the
Arabo-Persian Zakariah Kazwini, by Ludovico Varthema, and by Alexander
Hamilton. Kazwini ascribes it to Ceylon. "If a debtor does not pay, the
King sends to him a person who draws a line round him, wheresoever he
chance to be; and beyond that circle he dares not to move until he shall
have paid what he owes, or come to an agreement with his creditor. For if
he should pass the circle the King fines him three times the amount of his
debt; one-third of this fine goes to the creditor and two-thirds to the
King." Pere Bouchet describes the strict regard paid to the arrest, but
does not notice the symbolic circle. (_Gildem._ 197; _Varthema_, 147;
_Ham._ I. 318; _Lett. Edif._ XIV. 370.)

"The custom undoubtedly prevailed in this part of India at a former time.
It is said that it still survives amongst the poorer classes in
out-of-the-way parts of the country, but it is kept up by schoolboys in a
serio-comic spirit as vigorously as ever. Marco does not mention a very
essential part of the ceremony. The person who draws a circle round another
imprecates upon him the name of a particular divinity, whose curse is to
fall upon him if he breaks through the circle without satisfying the
claim." (_MS. Note by the Rev. Dr. Caldwell_.)

NOTE 15.--The statement about the only rains falling in June, July, and
August is perplexing. "It is entirely inapplicable to every part of the
Coromandel coast, to which alone the name Ma'bar seems to have been given,
but it is quite true of the _western_ coast generally." (_Rev. Dr. C._)
One can only suppose that Polo inadvertently applied to Maabar that which
he knew to be true of the regions both west of it and east of it. The
Coromandel coast derives its chief supply of rain from the north-east
monsoon, beginning in October, whereas both eastern and western India have
theirs from the south-west monsoon, between June and September.

NOTE 16.--Abraham Roger says of the Hindus of the Coromandel coast: "They
judge of lucky hours and moments also by trivial accidents, to which they
pay great heed. Thus 'tis held to be a good omen to everybody when the
bird _Garuda_ (which is a red hawk with a white ring round its neck) or
the bird _Pala_ flies across the road in front of the person from right to
left; but as regards other birds they have just the opposite notion.... If
they are in a house anywhere, and have moved to go, and then any one
should sneeze, they will go in again, regarding it as an ill omen," etc.
(_Abr. Roger_, pp. 75-76.)

NOTE 17.--Quoth Wassaf: "It is a strange thing that when these horses
arrive there, instead of giving them raw barley, they give them roasted
barley and grain dressed with butter, and boiled cow's milk to drink:--

"Who gives sugar to an owl or a crow?
Or who feeds a parrot with a carcase?
A crow should be fed with carrion,
And a parrot with candy and sugar.
Who loads jewels on the back of an ass?
Or who would approve of giving dressed almonds to a cow?"
--_Elliot_, III. 33.

"Horses," says Athanasius Nikitin, "are fed on peas; also on _Kicheri_,
boiled with sugar and oil; early in the morning they get _shishenivo_."
This last word is a mystery. (_India in the XVth Century_, p. 10.)

"Rice is frequently given by natives to their horses to fatten them, and a
sheep's head occasionally to strengthen them." (_Note by Dr. Caldwell_.)

The sheep's head is peculiar to the Deccan, but _ghee_ (boiled butter) is
given by natives to their horses, I believe, all over India. Even in the

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