The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

Part 1 out of 4

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
Scanned and proofed by David Price



FOR as much as the land beyond the sea, that is to say the Holy
Land, that men call the Land of Promission or of Behest, passing
all other lands, is the most worthy land, most excellent, and lady
and sovereign of all other lands, and is blessed and hallowed of
the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesu Christ; in the which
land it liked him to take flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, to
environ that holy land with his blessed feet; and there he would of
his blessedness enombre him in the said blessed and glorious Virgin
Mary, and become man, and work many miracles, and preach and teach
the faith and the law of Christian men unto his children; and there
it liked him to suffer many reprovings and scorns for us; and he
that was king of heaven, of air, of earth, of sea and of all things
that be contained in them, would all only be clept king of that
land, when he said, REX SUM JUDEORUM, that is to say, 'I am King of
Jews'; and that land he chose before all other lands, as the best
and most worthy land, and the most virtuous land of all the world:
for it is the heart and the midst of all the world, witnessing the
philosopher, that saith thus, VIRTUS RERUM IN MEDIO CONSISTIT, that
is to say, 'The virtue of things is in the midst'; and in that land
he would lead his life, and suffer passion and death of Jews, for
us, to buy and to deliver us from pains of hell, and from death
without end; the which was ordained for us, for the sin of our
forme-father Adam, and for our own sins also; for as for himself,
he had no evil deserved: for he thought never evil ne did evil:
and he that was king of glory and of joy, might best in that place
suffer death; because he chose in that land rather than in any
other, there to suffer his passion and his death. For he that will
publish anything to make it openly known, he will make it to be
cried and pronounced in the middle place of a town; so that the
thing that is proclaimed and pronounced, may evenly stretch to all
parts: right so, he that was former of all the world, would suffer
for us at Jerusalem, that is the midst of the world; to that end
and intent, that his passion and his death, that was published
there, might be known evenly to all parts of the world.

See now, how dear he bought man, that he made after his own image,
and how dear he again-bought us, for the great love that he had to
us, and we never deserved it to him. For more precious chattel ne
greater ransom ne might he put for us, than his blessed body, his
precious blood, and his holy life, that he thralled for us; and all
he offered for us that never did sin.

Ah dear God! What love had he to us his subjects, when he that
never trespassed, would for trespassers suffer death! Right well
ought us for to love and worship, to dread and serve such a Lord;
and to worship and praise such an holy land, that brought forth
such fruit, through the which every man is saved, but it be his own
default. Well may that land be called delectable and a fructuous
land, that was be-bled and moisted with the precious blood of our
Lord Jesu Christ; the which is the same land that our Lord behight
us in heritage. And in that land he would die, as seised, to leave
it to us, his children.

Wherefore every good Christian man, that is of power, and hath
whereof, should pain him with all his strength for to conquer our
right heritage, and chase out all the misbelieving men. For we be
clept Christian men, after Christ our Father. And if we be right
children of Christ, we ought for to challenge the heritage, that
our Father left us, and do it out of heathen men's hands. But now
pride, covetise, and envy have so inflamed the hearts of lords of
the world, that they are more busy for to dis-herit their
neighbours, more than for to challenge or to conquer their right
heritage before-said. And the common people, that would put their
bodies and their chattels, to conquer our heritage, they may not do
it without the lords. For a sembly of people without a chieftain,
or a chief lord, is as a flock of sheep without a shepherd; the
which departeth and disperpleth and wit never whither to go. But
would God, that the temporal lords and all worldly lords were at
good accord, and with the common people would take this holy voyage
over the sea! Then I trow well, that within a little time, our
right heritage before-said should be reconciled and put in the
hands of the right heirs of Jesu Christ.

And, for as much as it is long time passed, that there was no
general passage ne voyage over the sea; and many men desire for to
hear speak of the Holy Land, and have thereof great solace and
comfort; I, John Mandeville, Knight, albeit I be not worthy, that
was born in England, in the town of St. Albans, and passed the sea
in the year of our Lord Jesu Christ, 1322, in the day of St.
Michael; and hitherto been long time over the sea, and have seen
and gone through many diverse lands, and many provinces and
kingdoms and isles and have passed throughout Turkey, Armenia the
little and the great; through Tartary, Persia, Syria, Arabia, Egypt
the high and the low; through Lybia, Chaldea, and a great part of
Ethiopia; through Amazonia, Ind the less and the more, a great
part; and throughout many other Isles, that be about Ind; where
dwell many diverse folks, and of diverse manners and laws, and of
diverse shapes of men. Of which lands and isles I shall speak more
plainly hereafter; and I shall devise you of some part of things
that there be, when time shall be, after it may best come to my
mind; and specially for them, that will and are in purpose for to
visit the Holy City of Jerusalem and the holy places that are
thereabout. And I shall tell the way that they shall hold thither.
For I have often times passed and ridden that way, with good
company of many lords. God be thanked!

And ye shall understand, that I have put this book out of Latin
into French, and translated it again out of French into English,
that every man of my nation may understand it. But lords and
knights and other noble and worthy men that con Latin but little,
and have been beyond the sea, know and understand, if I say truth
or no, and if I err in devising, for forgetting or else, that they
may redress it and amend it. For things passed out of long time
from a man's mind or from his sight, turn soon into forgetting;
because that mind of man ne may not be comprehended ne withholden,
for the frailty of mankind.



IN the name of God, Glorious and Almighty!

He that will pass over the sea and come to land [to go to the city
of Jerusalem, he may wend many ways, both on sea and land], after
the country that he cometh from; [for] many of them come to one
end. But troweth not that I will tell you all the towns, and
cities and castles that men shall go by; for then should I make too
long a tale; but all only some countries and most principal steads
that men shall go through to go the right way.

First, if a man come from the west side of the world, as England,
Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or Norway, he may, if that he will, go
through Almayne and through the kingdom of Hungary, that marcheth
to the land of Polayne, and to the land of Pannonia, and so to

And the King of Hungary is a great lord and a mighty, and holdeth
great lordships and much land in his hand. For he holdeth the
kingdom of Hungary, Sclavonia, and of Comania a great part, and of
Bulgaria that men call the land of Bougiers, and of the realm of
Russia a great part, whereof he hath made a duchy, that lasteth
unto the land of Nyfland, and marcheth to Prussia. And men go
through the land of this lord, through a city that is clept Cypron,
and by the castle of Neasburghe, and by the evil town, that sit
toward the end of Hungary. And there pass men the river of Danube.
This river of Danube is a full great river, and it goeth into
Almayne, under the hills of Lombardy, and it receiveth into him
forty other rivers, and it runneth through Hungary and through
Greece and through Thrace, and it entereth into the sea, toward the
east so rudely and so sharply, that the water of the sea is fresh
and holdeth his sweetness twenty mile within the sea.

And after, go men to Belgrade, and enter into the land of Bougiers;
and there pass men a bridge of stone that is upon the river of
Marrok. And men pass through the land of Pyncemartz and come to
Greece to the city of Nye, and to the city of Fynepape, and after
to the city of Dandrenoble, and after to Constantinople, that was
wont to be clept Bezanzon. And there dwelleth commonly the Emperor
of Greece. And there is the most fair church and the most noble of
all the world; and it is of Saint Sophie. And before that church
is the image of Justinian the emperor, covered with gold, and he
sitteth upon an horse y-crowned. And he was wont to hold a round
apple of gold in his hand: but it is fallen out thereof. And men
say there, that it is a token that the emperor hath lost a great
part of his lands and of his lordships; for he was wont to be
Emperor of Roumania and of Greece, of all Asia the less, and of the
land of Syria, of the land of Judea in the which is Jerusalem, and
of the land of Egypt, of Persia, and of Arabia. But he hath lost
all but Greece; and that land he holds all only. And men would
many times put the apple into the image's hand again, but it will
not hold it. This apple betokeneth the lordship that he had over
all the world, that is round. And the tother hand he lifteth up
against the East, in token to menace the misdoers. This image
stands upon a pillar of marble at Constantinople.



AT Constantinople is the cross of our Lord Jesu Christ, and his
coat without seams, that is clept TUNICA INCONSUTILIS, and the
sponge, and the reed, of the which the Jews gave our Lord eysell
and gall, in the cross. And there is one of the nails, that Christ
was nailed with on the cross.

And some men trow that half the cross, that Christ was done on, be
in Cyprus, in an abbey of monks, that men call the Hill of the Holy
Cross; but it is not so. For that cross that is in Cyprus, is the
cross, in the which Dismas the good thief was hanged on. But all
men know not that; and that is evil y-done. For for profit of the
offering, they say that it is the cross of our Lord Jesu Christ.

And ye shall understand that the cross of our Lord was made of four
manner of trees, as it is contained in this verse, - IN CRUCE FIT
PALMA, CEDRUS, CYPRESSUS, OLIVA. For that piece that went upright
from the earth to the head was of cypress; and the piece that went
overthwart, to the which his hands were nailed, was of palm; and
the stock, that stood within the earth, in the which was made the
mortise, was of cedar; and the table above his head, that was a
foot and an half long, on the which the title was written in
Hebrew, Greek and Latin, that was of olive.

And the Jews made the cross of these four manner of trees; for they
trowed that our Lord Jesu Christ should have hanged on the cross,
as long as the cross might last. And therefore made they the foot
of the cross of cedar; for cedar may not, in earth nor water, rot,
and therefore they would that it should have lasted long. For they
trowed that the body of Christ should have stunken, they made that
piece, that went from the earth upwards of cypress, for it is well-
smelling, so that the smell of his body should not grieve men that
went forby. And the overthwart piece was of palm, for in the Old
Testament it was ordained, that when one was overcome he should be
crowned with palm; and for they trowed that they had the victory of
Christ Jesus, therefore made they the overthwart piece of palm.
And the table of the title they made of olive; for olive betokeneth
peace, as the story of Noe witnesseth; when that the culver brought
the branch of olive, that betokened peace made between God and man.
And so trowed the Jews for to have peace, when Christ was dead; for
they said that he made discord and strife amongst them. And ye
shall understand that our Lord was y-nailed on the cross lying, and
therefore he suffered the more pain.

And the Christian men, that dwell beyond the sea, in Greece, say
that the tree of the cross, that we call cypress, was of that tree
that Adam ate the apple off; and that find they written. And they
say also, that their scripture saith, that Adam was sick, and said
to his son Seth, that he should go to the angel that kept Paradise,
that he would send him oil of mercy, for to anoint with his
members, that he might have health. And Seth went. But the angel
would not let him come in; but said to him, that he might not have
of the oil of mercy. But he took him three grains of the same
tree, that his father ate the apple off; and bade him, as soon as
his father was dead, that he should put these three grains under
his tongue, and grave him so: and so he did. And of these three
grains sprang a tree, as the angel said that it should, and bare a
fruit, through the which fruit Adam should be saved. And when Seth
came again, he found his father near dead. And when he was dead,
he did with the grains as the angel bade him; of the which sprung
three trees, of the which the cross was made, that bare good fruit
and blessed, our Lord Jesu Christ; through whom, Adam and all that
come of him, should be saved and delivered from dread of death
without end, but it be their own default.

This holy cross had the Jews hid in the earth, under a rock of the
mount of Calvary; and it lay there two hundred year and more, into
the time that St. Helen, that was mother to Constantine the Emperor
of Rome. And she was daughter of King Coel, born in Colchester,
that was King of England, that was clept then Britain the more; the
which the Emperor Constance wedded to his wife, for her beauty, and
gat upon her Constantine, that was after Emperor of Rome, and King
of England.

And ye shall understand, that the cross of our Lord was eight
cubits long, and the overthwart piece was of length three cubits
and a half. And one part of the crown of our Lord, wherewith he
was crowned, and one of the nails, and the spear head, and many
other relics be in France, in the king's chapel. And the crown
lieth in a vessel of crystal richly dight. For a king of France
bought these relics some time of the Jews, to whom the emperor had
laid them in wed for a great sum of silver.

And if all it be so, that men say, that this crown is of thorns, ye
shall understand, that it was of jonkes of the sea, that is to say,
rushes of the sea, that prick as sharply as thorns. For I have
seen and beholden many times that of Paris and that of
Constantinople; for they were both one, made of rushes of the sea.
But men have departed them in two parts: of the which, one part is
at Paris, and the other part is at Constantinople. And I have one
of those precious thorns, that seemeth like a white thorn; and that
was given to me for great specially. For there are many of them
broken and fallen into the vessel that the crown lieth in; for they
break for dryness when men move them to show them to great lords
that come thither.

And ye shall understand, that our Lord Jesu, in that night that he
was taken, he was led into a garden; and there he was first
examined right sharply; and there the Jews scorned him, and made
him a crown of the branches of albespine, that is white thorn, that
grew in that same garden, and set it on his head, so fast and so
sore, that the blood ran down by many places of his visage, and of
his neck, and of his shoulders. And therefore hath the white thorn
many virtues, for he that beareth a branch on him thereof, no
thunder ne no manner of tempest may dere him; nor in the house,
that it is in, may no evil ghost enter nor come unto the place that
it is in. And in that same garden, Saint Peter denied our Lord

Afterward was our Lord led forth before the bishops and the masters
of the law, into another garden of Annas; and there also he was
examined, reproved, and scorned, and crowned eft with a sweet
thorn, that men clepeth barbarines, that grew in that garden, and
that hath also many virtues.

And afterward he was led into a garden of Caiphas, and there he was
crowned with eglantine.

And after he was led into the chamber of Pilate, and there he was
examined and crowned. And the Jews set him in a chair, and clad
him in a mantle; and there made they the crown of jonkes of the
sea; and there they kneeled to him, and scorned him, saying, AVE,
REX JUDEORUM! that is to say, 'Hail, King of Jews!' And of this
crown, half is at Paris, and the other half at Constantinople. And
this crown had Christ on his head, when he was done upon the cross;
and therefore ought men to worship it and hold it more worthy than
any of the others.

And the spear shaft hath the Emperor of Almayne; but the head is at
Paris. And natheles the Emperor of Constantinople saith that he
hath the spear head; and I have often time seen it, but it is
greater than that at Paris.



AT Constantinople lieth Saint Anne, our Lady's mother, whom Saint
Helen let bring from Jerusalem. And there lieth also the body of
John Chrisostome, that was Archbishop of Constantinople. And there
lieth also Saint Luke the Evangelist: for his bones were brought
from Bethany, where he was buried. And many other relics be there.
And there is the vessel of stone, as it were of marble, that men
clepe enydros, that evermore droppeth water, and filleth himself
every year, till that it go over above, without that that men take
from within.

Constantinople is a full fair city, and a good, and well walled;
and it is three-cornered. And there is an arm of the sea
Hellespont: and some men call it the Mouth of Constantinople; and
some men call it the Brace of Saint George: and that arm closeth
the two parts of the city. And upward to the sea, upon the water,
was wont to be the great city of Troy, in a full fair plain: but
that city was destroyed by them of Greece, and little appeareth
thereof, because it is so long sith it was destroyed.

About Greece there be many isles, as Calliste, Calcas, Oertige,
Tesbria, Mynia, Flaxon, Melo, Carpate, and Lemnos. And in this
isle is the mount Athos, that passeth the clouds. And there be
many diverse languages and many countries, that be obedient to the
emperor; that is to say, Turcople, Pyncynard, Comange, and many
other, as Thrace and Macedonia, of the which Alexander was king.
In this country was Aristotle born, in a city that men clepe
Stagyra, a little from the city of Thrace. And at Stagyra lieth
Aristotle; and there is an altar upon his tomb. And there make men
great feasts for him every year, as though he were a saint. And at
his altar they holden their great councils and their assemblies,
and they hope, that through inspiration of God and of him, they
shall have the better council.

In this country be right high hills, toward the end of Macedonia.
And there is a great hill, that men clepe Olympus, that departeth
Macedonia and Thrace. And it is so high, that it passeth the
clouds. And there is another hill, that is clept Athos, that is so
high, that the shadow of him reacheth to Lemne, that is an isle;
and it is seventy-six mile between. And above at the cop of the
hill is the air so clear, that men may find no wind there, and
therefore may no beast live there, so is the air dry.

And men say in these countries, that philosophers some time went
upon these hills, and held to their nose a sponge moisted with
water, for to have air; for the air above was so dry. And above,
in the dust and in the powder of those hills, they wrote letters
and figures with their fingers. And at the year's end they came
again, and found the same letters and figures, the which they had
written the year before, without any default. And therefore it
seemeth well, that these hills pass the clouds and join to the pure

At Constantinople is the palace of the emperor, right fair and
well-dight: and therein is a fair place for joustings, or for
other plays and desports. And it is made with stages, and hath
degrees about, that every man may well see, and none grieve other.
And under these stages be stables well vaulted for the emperor's
horses; and all the pillars be of marble.

And within the Church of Saint Sophia, an emperor sometime would
have buried the body of his father, when he was dead. And, as they
made the grave, they found a body in the earth, and upon the body
lay a fine plate of gold; and thereon was written, in Hebrew,
Greek, and Latin, letters that said thus; JESU CHRISTUS NASCETUR DE
VIRGINE MARIA, ET EGO CREDO IN EUM; that is to say, 'Jesu Christ
shall be born of the Virgin Mary, and I trow in him.' And the date
when it was laid in the earth, was two thousand year before our
Lord was born. And yet is the plate of gold in the treasury of the
church. And men say, that it was Hermogenes the wise man.

And if all it so be, that men of Greece be Christian yet they vary
from our faith. For they say, that the Holy Ghost may not come of
the Son; but all only of the Father. And they are not obedient to
the Church of Rome, ne to the Pope. And they say that their
Patriarch hath as much power over the sea, as the Pope hath on this
side the sea. And therefore Pope John xxii. sent letters to them,
how Christian faith should be all one; and that they should be
obedient to the Pope, that is God's Vicar on earth, to whom God
gave his plein power for to bind and to assoil, and therefore they
should be obedient to him.

And they sent again diverse answers; and among others they said
NOBISCUM EST. That is to say: 'We trow well, that thy power is
great upon thy subjects. We may not suffer thine high pride. We
be not in purpose to fulfil thy great covetise. Lord be with thee;
for our Lord is with us. Farewell.' And other answer might he not
have of them.

And also they make their sacrament of the altar of Therf bread, for
our Lord made it of such bread, when he made his Maundy. And on
the Shere-Thursday make they their Therf bread, in token of the
Maundy, and dry it at the sun, and keep it all the year, and give
it to sick men, instead of God's body. And they make but one
unction, when they christen children. And they anoint not the sick
men. And they say that there is no Purgatory, and that souls shall
not have neither joy ne pain till the day of doom. And they say
that fornication is no sin deadly, but a thing that is kindly, and
that men and women should not wed but once, and whoso weddeth
oftener than once, their children be bastards and gotten in sin.
And their priests also be wedded.

And they say also that usury is no deadly sin. And they sell
benefices of Holy Church. And so do men in other places: God
amend it when his will is! And that is great sclaundre, for now is
simony king crowned in Holy Church: God amend it for his mercy!

And they say, that in Lent, men shall not fast, ne sing Mass, but
on the Saturday and on the Sunday. And they fast not on the
Saturday, no time of the year, but it be Christmas Even or Easter
Even. And they suffer not the Latins to sing at their altars; and
if they do, by any adventure, anon they wash the altar with holy
water. And they say that there should be but one Mass said at one
altar upon one day.

And they say also that our Lord ne ate never meat; but he made
token of eating. And also they say, that we sin deadly in shaving
our beards, for the beard is token of a man, and gift of our Lord.
And they say that we sin deadly in eating of beasts that were
forbidden in the Old Testament, and of the old Law, as swine, hares
and other beasts, that chew not their cud. And they say that we
sin, when we eat flesh on the days before Ash Wednesday, and of
that that we eat flesh the Wednesday, and eggs and cheese upon the
Fridays. And they accurse all those that abstain them to eat flesh
the Saturday.

Also the Emperor of Constantinople maketh the patriarch, the
archbishops and the bishops; and giveth the dignities and the
benefices of churches and depriveth them that be unworthy, when he
findeth any cause. And so is he lord both temporal and spiritual
in his country.

And if ye will wit of their A.B.C. what letters they be, here ye
may see them, with the names that they clepe them there amongst
them: Alpha, Betha, Gama, Deltha, e longe, e brevis, Epilmon,
Thetha, Iota, Kapda, Lapda, Mi, Ni, Xi, o brevis, Pi, Coph, Ro,
Summa, Tau, Vi, Fy, Chi, Psi, Othomega, Diacosyn.

And all be it that these things touch not to one way, nevertheless
they touch to that, that I have hight you, to shew you a part of
customs and manners, and diversities of countries. And for this is
the first country that is discordant in faith and in belief, and
varieth from our faith, on this half the sea, therefore I have set
it here, that ye may know the diversity that is between our faith
and theirs. For many men have great liking, to hear speak of
strange things of diverse countries.


[Of the Way from Constantinople to Jerusalem.] Of Saint John the
Evangelist. And of the Ypocras Daughter, transformed from a Woman
to a Dragon

NOW return I again, for to teach you the way from Constantinople to
Jerusalem. He that will through Turkey, he goeth toward the city
of Nyke, and passeth through the gate of Chienetout, and always men
see before them the hill of Chienetout, that is right high; and it
is a mile and an half from Nyke.

And whoso will go by water, by the brace of St. George, and by the
sea where St. Nicholas lieth, and toward many other places - first
men go to an isle that is clept Sylo. In that isle groweth mastick
on small trees, and out of them cometh gum as it were of plum-trees
or of cherry-trees.

And after go men through the isle of Patmos; and there wrote St.
John the Evangelist the Apocalypse. And ye shall understand, that
St. John was of age thirty-two year, when our Lord suffered his
passion; and after his passion, he lived sixty-seven year, and in
the hundredth year of his age he died.

From Patmos men go unto Ephesus, a fair city and nigh to the sea.
And there died St. John, and was buried behind the high altar in a
tomb. And there is a fair church; for Christian men were wont to
holden that place always. And in the tomb of St. John is nought
but manna, that is clept angels' meat; for his body was translated
into Paradise. And Turks hold now all that place, and the city and
the church; and all Asia the less is y-clept Turkey. And ye shall
understand, that St. John let make his grave there in his life, and
laid himself therein all quick; and therefore some men say, that he
died not, but that he resteth there till the day of doom. And,
forsooth, there is a great marvel; for men may see there the earth
of the tomb apertly many times stir and move, as there were quick
things under.

And from Ephesus men go through many isles in the sea, unto the
city of Patera, where St. Nicholas was born, and so to Martha,
where he was chosen to be bishop; and there groweth right good wine
and strong, and that men call wine of Martha. And from thence go
men to the isle of Crete, that the emperor gave sometime to [the]

And then pass men through the isles of Colcos and of Lango, of the
which isles Ypocras was lord of. And some men say, that in the
isle of Lango is yet the daughter of Ypocras, in form and likeness
of a great dragon, that is a hundred fathom of length, as men say,
for I have not seen her. And they of the isles call her Lady of
the Land. And she lieth in an old castle, in a cave, and sheweth
twice or thrice in the year, and she doth no harm to no man, but if
men do her harm. And she was thus changed and transformed, from a
fair damosel, into likeness of a dragon, by a goddess that was
clept Diana. And men say, that she shall so endure in that form of
a dragon, unto [the] time that a knight come, that is so hardy,
that dare come to her and kiss her on the mouth; and then shall she
turn again to her own kind, and be a woman again, but after that
she shall not live long.

And it is not long sithen, that a knight of Rhodes, that was hardy
and doughty in arms, said that he would kiss her. And when he was
upon his courser, and went to the castle, and entered into the
cave, the dragon lift up her head against him. And when the knight
saw her in that form so hideous and so horrible he fled away. And
the dragon bare the knight upon a rock, maugre his head; and from
that rock, she cast him into the sea. And so was lost both horse
and man.

And also a young man, that wist not of the dragon, went out of a
ship, and went through the isle till that he came to the castle,
and came into the cave, and went so long, till that he found a
chamber; and there he saw a damosel that combed her head and looked
in a mirror; and she had much treasure about her. And he trowed
that she had been a common woman, that dwelled there to receive men
to folly. And he abode, till the damosel saw the shadow of him in
the mirror. And she turned her toward him, and asked him what he
would? And he said, he would be her leman or paramour. And she
asked him, if that he were a knight? And he said, nay. And then
she said, that he might not be her leman; but she bade him go again
unto his fellows, and make him knight, and come again upon the
morrow, and she should come out of the cave before him, and then
come and kiss her on the mouth and have no dread, - for I shall do
thee no manner of harm, albeit that thou see me in likeness of a
dragon; for though thou see me hideous and horrible to look on, I
do thee to wit that it is made by enchantment; for without doubt, I
am none other than thou seest now, a woman, and therefore dread
thee nought. And if thou kiss me, thou shalt have all this
treasure, and be my lord, and lord also of all the isle.

And he departed from her and went to his fellows to ship, and let
make him knight and came again upon the morrow for to kiss this
damosel. And when he saw her come out of the cave in form of a
dragon, so hideous and so horrible, he had so great dread, that he
fled again to the ship, and she followed him. And when she saw
that he turned not again, she began to cry, as a thing that had
much sorrow; and then she turned again into her cave. And anon the
knight died. And sithen hitherward might no knight see her, but
that he died anon. But when a knight cometh, that is so hardy to
kiss her, he shall not die; but he shall turn the damosel into her
right form and kindly shape, and he shall be lord of all the
countries and isles abovesaid.

And from thence men come to the isle of Rhodes, the which isle
Hospitallers holden and govern; and that took they some-time from
the emperor. And it was wont to be clept Collos; and so call it
the Turks yet. And Saint Paul in his epistle writeth to them of
that isle AD COLOSSENSES. This isle is nigh eight hundred mile
long from Constantinople.


[Of diversities in Cyprus; of the Road from Cyprus to Jerusalem,
and of the Marvel of a Fosse full of Sand]

AND from this isle of Rhodes men go to Cyprus, where be many vines,
that first be red and after one year they become white; and those
wines that be most white, be most clear and best of smell.

And men pass by that way, by a place that was wont to be a great
city, and a great land; and the city was clept Cathailye, the which
city and land was lost through folly of a young man. For he had a
fair damosel, that he loved well to his paramour; and she died
suddenly, and was done in a tomb of marble. And for the great lust
that he had to her, he went in the night unto her tomb and opened
it, and went in and lay by her, and went his way. And when it came
to the end of nine months, there came a voice to him and said, Go
to the tomb of that woman, and open it and behold what thou hast
begotten on her; and if thou let to go, thou shalt have a great
harm. And he yede and opened the tomb, and there flew out an adder
right hideous to see; the which as swithe flew about the city and
the country, and soon after the city sank down. And there be many
perilous passages without fail.

From Rhodes to Cyprus be five hundred mile and more. But men may
go to Cyprus, and come not at Rhodes. Cyprus is right a good isle,
and a fair and a great, and it hath four principal cities within
him. And there is an Archbishop at Nicosea, and four other bishops
in that land. And at Famagost is one of the principal havens of
the sea that is in the world; and there arrive Christian men and
Saracens and men of all nations. In Cyprus is the Hill of the Holy
Cross; and there is an abbey of monks black and there is the cross
of Dismas the good thief, as I have said before. And some men
trow, that there is half the cross of our Lord; but it is not so,
and they do evil that make men to believe so.

In Cyprus lieth Saint Zenonimus, of whom men of that country make
great solemnity. And in the castle of Amours lieth the body of
Saint-Hilarion, and men keep it right worshipfully. And beside
Famagost was Saint Barnabas the apostle born.

In Cyprus men hunt with papyonns, that be like leopards, and they
take wild beasts right well, and they be somewhat more than lions;
and they take more sharply the beasts, and more deliver than do

In Cyprus is the manner of lords and all other men all to eat on
the earth. For they make ditches in the earth all about in the
hall, deep to the knee, and they do pave them; and when they will
eat, they go therein and sit there. And the skill is for they may
be the more fresh; for that land is much more hotter than it is
here. And at great feasts, and for strangers, they set forms and
tables, as men do in this country, but they had lever sit in the

From Cyprus, men go to the land of Jerusalem by the sea: and in a
day and in a night, he that hath good wind may come to the haven of
Tyre, that is now clept Surrye. There was some-time a great city
and a good of Christian men, but Saracens have destroyed it a great
part; and they keep that haven right well, for dread of Christian
men. Men might go more right to that haven, and come not in
Cyprus, but they go gladly to Cyprus to rest them on the land, or
else to buy things, that they have need to their living. On the
sea-side men may find many rubies. And there is the well of the
which holy writ speaketh of, and saith, FONS ORTORUM, ET PUTEUS
AQUARUM VIVENTIUM: that is to say, 'the well of gardens, and the
ditch of living waters.'

In this city of Tyre, said the woman to our Lord, BEATUS VENTER QUI
TE PORTAVIT, ET UBERA QUE SUCCISTI: that is to say, 'Blessed be
the body that thee bare, and the paps that thou suckedst.' And
there our Lord forgave the woman of Canaan her sins. And before
Tyre was wont to be the stone, on the which our Lord sat and
preached, and on that stone was founded the Church of Saint

And eight mile from Tyre, toward the east, upon the sea, is the
city of Sarphen, in Sarepta of Sidonians. And there was wont for
to dwell Elijah the prophet; and there raised he Jonas, the widow's
son, from death to life. And five mile from Sarphen is the city of
Sidon; of the which city, Dido was lady, that was Aeneas' wife,
after the destruction of Troy, and that founded the city of
Carthage in Africa, and now is clept Sidonsayete. And in the city
of Tyre, reigned Agenor, the father of Dido. And sixteen mile from
Sidon is Beirout. And from Beirout to Sardenare is three journeys
and from Sardenare is five mile to Damascus.

And whoso will go long time on the sea, and come nearer to
Jerusalem, he shall go from Cyprus by sea to Port Jaffa. For that
is the next haven to Jerusalem; for from that haven is not but one
day journey and a half to Jerusalem. And the town is called Jaffa;
for one of the sons of Noah that hight Japhet founded it, and now
it is clept Joppa. And ye shall understand, that it is one of the
oldest towns of the world, for it was founded before Noah's flood.
And yet there sheweth in the rock, there as the iron chains were
fastened, that Andromeda, a great giant, was bounden with, and put
in prison before Noah's flood, of the which giant, is a rib of his
side that is forty foot long.

And whoso will arrive at the port of Tyre or of Surrye, that I have
spoken of before, may go by land, if he will, to Jerusalem. And
men go from Surrye unto the city of Akon in a day. And it was
clept some-time Ptolemais. And it was some-time a city of
Christian men, full fair, but it is now destroyed; and it stands
upon the sea. And from Venice to Akon, by sea, is two thousand and
four score miles of Lombardy; and from Calabria, or from Sicily to
Akon, by sea, is a 1300 miles of Lombardy; and the isle of Crete is
right in the midway.

And beside the city of Akon, toward the sea, six score furlongs on
the right side, toward the south, is the Hill of Carmel, where
Elijah the prophet dwelled, and there was first the Order of Friars
Carmelites founded. This hill is not right great, nor full high.
And at the foot of this hill was some-time a good city of Christian
men, that men clept Caiffa, for Caiaphas first founded it; but it
is now all wasted. And on the left side of the Hill of Carmel is a
town, that men clepe Saffre, and that is set on another hill.
There Saint James and Saint John were born; and, in worship of them
there is a fair church. And from Ptolemais, that men clepe now
Akon, unto a great hill, that is clept Scale of Tyre, is one
hundred furlongs. And beside the city of Akon runneth a little
river, that is clept Belon.

And there nigh is the Foss of Mennon that is all round; and it is
one hundred cubits of largeness, and it is all full of gravel,
shining bright, of the which men make fair verres and clear. And
men come from far, by water in ships, and by land with carts, for
to fetch of that gravel. And though there be never so much taken
away thereof in the day, at morrow it is as full again as ever it
was; and that is a great marvel. And there is evermore great wind
in that foss, that stirreth evermore the gravel, and maketh it
trouble. And if any man do therein any manner metal, it turneth
anon to glass. And the glass, that is made of that gravel, if it
be done again into the gravel, it turneth anon into gravel as it
was first. And therefore some men say, that it is a swallow of the
gravelly sea.

Also from Akon, above-said, go men forth four journeys to the city
of Palestine, that was of the Philistines, that now is clept Gaza,
that is a gay city and a rich; and it is right fair and full of
folk, and it is a little from the sea. And from this city brought
Samson the strong the gates upon an high land, when he was taken in
that city, and there he slew in a palace the king and himself, and
great number of the best of the Philistines, the which had put out
his eyen and shaved his head, and imprisoned him by treason of
Dalida his paramour. And therefore he made fall upon them a great
hall, when they were at meat.

And from thence go men to the city of Cesarea, and so to the Castle
of Pilgrims, and so to Ascalon; and then to Jaffa, and so to

And whoso will go by land through the land of Babylon, where the
soldan dwelleth commonly, he must get grace of him and leave to go
more siker through those lands and countries.

And for to go to the Mount of Sinai, before that men go to
Jerusalem, they shall go from Gaza to the Castle of Daire. And
after that, men come out of Syria, and enter into wilderness, and
there the way is full sandy; and that wilderness and desert lasteth
eight journeys, but always men find good inns, and all that they
need of victuals. And men clepe that wilderness Achelleke. And
when a man cometh out of that desert, he entereth into Egypt, that
men clepe Egypt-Canopac, and after other language, men clepe it
Morsyn. And there first men find a good town, that is clept
Belethe; and it is at the end of the kingdom of Aleppo. And from
thence men go to Babylon and to Cairo.



AT Babylon there is a fair church of our Lady, where she dwelled
seven year, when she fled out of the land of Judea for dread of
King Herod. And there lieth the body of Saint Barbara the virgin
and martyr. And there dwelled Joseph, when he was sold of his
brethren. And there made Nebuchadnezzar the king put three
children into the furnace of fire, for they were in the right truth
of belief, the which children men clept Anania, Azariah, Mishael,
as the Psalm of BENEDICITE saith: but Nebuchadnezzar clept them
otherwise, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that is to say, God
glorious, God victorious, and God over all things and realms: and
that was for the miracle, that he saw God's Son go with the
children through the fire, as he said.

There dwelleth the soldan in his Calahelyke (for there is commonly
his seat) in a fair castle, strong and great, and well set upon a
rock. In that castle dwell alway, to keep it and to serve the
soldan, more then 6000 persons, that take all their necessaries off
the soldan's court. I ought right well to know it; for I dwelled
with him as soldier in his wars a great while against the Bedouins.
And he would have married me full highly to a great prince's
daughter, if I would have forsaken my law and my belief; but I
thank God, I had no will to do it, for nothing that he behight me.

And ye shall understand that the soldan is lord of five kingdoms,
that he hath conquered and appropred to him by strength. And these
be the names: the kingdom of Canapac, that is Egypt; and the
kingdom of Jerusalem, where that David and Solomon were kings; and
the kingdom of Syria, of the which the city of Damascus was chief;
and the kingdom of Aleppo in the land of Mathe; and the kingdom
Arabia, that was to one of the three kings, that made offering to
our Lord, when he was born. And many other lands he holdeth in his
hand. And therewithal he holdeth caliphs, that is a full great
thing in their language, and it is as much to say as king.

And there were wont to be five soldans; but now there is no more
but he of Egypt. And the first soldan was Zarocon, that was of
Media, as was father to Saladin that took the Caliph of Egypt and
slew him, and was made soldan by strength. After that was Soldan
Saladin, in whose time the King of England, Richard the First, with
many other, kept the passage, that Saladin ne might not pass.
After Saladin reigned his son Boradin, and after him his nephew.
After that, the Comanians that were in servage in Egypt, felt
themselves that they were of great power, they chose them a soldan
amongst them, the which made him to be clept Melechsalan. And in
his time entered into the country of the kings of France Saint
Louis, and fought with him; and [the soldan] took him and
imprisoned him; and this [soldan] was slain by his own servants.
And after, they chose another to be soldan, that they clept
Tympieman; and he let deliver Saint Louis out of prison for a
certain ransom. And after, one of these Comanians reigned, that
hight Cachas, and slew Tympieman, for to be soldan; and made him be
clept Melechmenes. And after another that had to name Bendochdare,
that slew Melechmenes, for to be sultan, and clept himself
Melechdare. In his time entered the good King Edward of England
into Syria, and did great harm to the Saracens. And after, was
this soldan empoisoned at Damascus, and his son thought to reign
after him by heritage, and made him to be clept Melechsache; but
another that had to name Elphy, chased him out of the country and
made him soldan. This man took the city of Tripoli and destroyed
many of the Christian men, the year of grace 1289, and after was he
imprisoned of another that would be soldan, but he was anon slain.
After that was the son of Elphy chosen to be soldan, and clept him
Melechasseraff, and he took the city of Akon and chased out the
Christian men; and this was also empoisoned, and then was his
brother made soldan, and was clept Melechnasser. And after, one
that was clept Guytoga took him and put him in prison in the castle
of Mountroyal, and made him soldan by strength, and clept him
Melechadel; and he was of Tartary. But the Comanians chased him
out of the country, and did him much sorrow, and made one of
themself soldan, that had to name Lachin. And he made him to be
clept Melechmanser, the which on a day played at the chess, and his
sword lay beside him; and so befell, that one wrathed him, and with
his own proper sword he was slain. And after that, they were at
great discord, for to make a soldan; and finally they accorded to
Melechnasser, that Guytoga had put in prison at Mountroyal. And
this reigned long and governed so that his eldest son was chosen
after him, Melechmader, the which his brother let slay privily for
to have the lordship, and made him to be clept Melechmadabron, and
he soldan when I departed from those countries.

And wit ye well that the soldan may lead out of Egypt more than
20,000 men of arms, and out of Syria, and out of Turkey and out of
other countries that he holds, he may arrere more than 50,000. And
all those be at his wages, and they be always at him, without the
folk of his country, that is without number. And every each of
them hath by year the mountance of six score florins; but it
behoveth, that every of them hold three horses and a camel. And by
the cities and by towns be admirals, that have the governance of
the people; one hath to govern four, and another hath to govern
five, another more, and another well more. And as many taketh the
admiral by him alone, as all the other soldiers have under him; and
therefore, when the soldan will advance any worthy knight, he
maketh him an admiral. And when it is any dearth, the knights be
right poor, and then they sell both their horse and their harness.

And the soldan hath four wives, one Christian and three Saracens,
of the which one dwelleth at Jerusalem, and another at Damascus,
and another at Ascalon; and when them list, they remove to other
cities, and when the soldan will he may go to visit them. And he
hath as many paramours as him liketh. For he maketh to come before
him the fairest and the noblest of birth, and the gentlest damosels
of his country, and he maketh them to be kept and served full
honourably. And when he will have one to lie with him, he maketh
them all to come before him, and he beholdeth in all, which of them
is most to his pleasure, and to her anon he sendeth or casteth a
ring from his finger. And then anon she shall be bathed and richly
attired, and anointed with delicate things of sweet smell, and then
led to the soldan's chamber; and thus he doth as often as him list,
when he will have any of them.

And before the soldan cometh no stranger, but if he be clothed in
cloth of gold, or of Tartary or of Camaka, in the Saracens' guise,
and as the Saracens use. And it behoveth, that anon at the first
sight that men see the soldan, be it in window or in what place
else, that men kneel to him and kiss the earth, for that is the
manner to do reverence to the soldan of them that speak with him.
And when that messengers of strange countries come before him, the
meinie of the soldan, when the strangers speak to him, they be
about the soldan with swords drawn and gisarmes and axes, their
arms lifted up in high with those weapons for to smite upon them,
if they say any word that is displeasance to the soldan. And also,
no stranger cometh before him, but that he maketh him some promise
and grant of that the [stranger] asketh reasonably; by so it be not
against his law. And so do other princes beyond, for they say that
no man shall come before no prince, but that [he be] better, and
shall be more gladder in departing from his presence than he was at
the coming before him.

And understandeth, that that Babylon that I have spoken of, where
that the sultan dwelleth, is not that great Babylon where the
diversity of languages was first made for vengeance by the miracle
of God, when the great Tower of Babel was begun to be made; of the
which the walls were sixty-four furlongs of height; that is in the
great desert of Arabia, upon the way as men go toward the kingdom
of Chaldea. But it is full long since that any man durst nigh to
the tower; for it is all desert and full of dragons and great
serpents, and full of diverse venomous beasts all about. That
tower, with the city, was of twenty-five mile in circuit of the
walls, as they of the country say, and as men may deem by
estimation, after that men tell of the country.

And though it be clept the Tower of Babylon, yet nevertheless,
there were ordained within many mansions and many great dwelling-
places, in length and breadth. And that tower contained great
country in circuit, for the tower alone contained ten mile square.
That tower founded King Nimrod that was king of that country; and
he was the first king of the world. And he let make an image in
the likeness of his father, and constrained all his subjects for to
worship it; and anon began other lords to do the same, and so began
the idols and the simulacres first.

The town and the city were full well set in a fair country and a
plain that men clepe the country of Samar, of the which the walls
of the city were two hundred cubits in height, and fifty cubits of
deepness; and the river of Euphrates ran throughout the city and
about the tower also. But Cyrus the King of Persia took from them
the river, and destroyed all the city and the tower also; for he
departed that river in 360 small rivers, because that he had sworn,
that he should put the river in such point, that a woman might well
pass there, without casting off of her clothes, forasmuch as he had
lost many worthy men that trowed to pass that river by swimming.

And from Babylon where the soldan dwelleth, to go right between the
Orient and the Septentrion toward the great Babylon, is forty
journeys to pass by desert. But it is not the great Babylon in the
land and in the power of the said soldan, but it is in the power
and the lordship of Persia, but he holdeth it of the great Chan,
that is the greatest emperor and the most sovereign lord of all the
parts beyond, and he is lord of the isles of Cathay and of many
other isles and of a great part of Ind, and his land marcheth unto
Prester John's Land, and he holdeth so much land, that he knoweth
not the end: and he is more mighty and greater lord without
comparison than is the soldan: of his royal estate and of his
might I shall speak more plenerly, when I shall speak of the land
and of the country of Ind.

Also the city of Mecca where Mohammet lieth is of the great deserts
of Arabia; and there lieth [the] body of him full honourably in
their temple, that the Saracens clepen Musketh. And it is from
Babylon the less, where the soldan dwelleth, unto Mecca above-said,
into a thirty-two journeys.

And wit well, that the realm of Arabia is a full great country, but
therein is over-much desert. And no man may dwell there in that
desert for default of water, for that land is all gravelly and full
of sand. And it is dry and no thing fruitful, because that it hath
no moisture; and therefore is there so much desert. And if it had
rivers and wells, and the land also were as it is in other parts,
it should be as full of people and as full inhabited with folk as
in other places; for there is full great multitude of people,
whereas the land is inhabited. Arabia dureth from the ends of the
realm of Chaldea unto the last end of Africa, and marcheth to the
land of Idumea toward the end of Botron. And in Chaldea the chief
city is Bagdad. And of Africa the chief city is Carthage, that
Dido, that was Eneas's wife, founded; the which Eneas was of the
city of Troy, and after was King of Italy.

Mesopotamia stretcheth also unto the deserts of Arabia, and it is a
great country. In this country is the city of Haran, where
Abraham's father dwelled, and from whence Abraham departed by
commandment of the angel. And of that city was Ephraim, that was a
great clerk and a great doctor. And Theophilus was of that city
also, that our lady saved from our enemy. And Mesopotamia dureth
from the river of Euphrates, unto the river of Tigris, for it is
between those two rivers.

And beyond the river of Tigris is Chaldea, that is a full great
kingdom. In that realm, at Bagdad above-said, was wont to dwell
the caliph, that was wont to be both as Emperor and Pope of the
Arabians, so that he was lord spiritual and temporal; and he was
successor to Mahommet, and of his generation. That city of Bagdad
was wont to be clept Sutis, and Nebuchadnezzar founded it; and
there dwelled the holy prophet Daniel, and there he saw visions of
heaven, and there he made the exposition of dreams.

And in old time there were wont to be three caliphs, he of Arabia
and of Chaldea dwelt in the city of Bagdad above-said; and at Cairo
beside Babylon dwelt the Caliph of Egypt; and at Morocco, upon the
West Sea, dwelt the Caliph of the people of Barbary and of
Africans. And now is there none of the caliphs, nor nought have
been since the time of the Soldan Saladin; for from that time
hither the soldan clepeth himself caliph, and so have the caliphs
lost their name.

Also witeth well, that Babylon the less, where the soldan dwelleth,
and at the city of Cairo that is nigh beside it, be great huge
cities many and fair; and that one sitteth nigh that other.
Babylon sitteth upon the river of Gyson, sometimes clept Nile, that
cometh out of Paradise terrestrial.

That river of Nile, all the year, when the sun entereth into the
sign of Cancer, it beginneth to wax, and it waxeth always as long
as the sun is in Cancer and in the sign of the Lion; and it waxeth
in such manner, that it is sometimes so great, that it is twenty
cubits or more of deepness, and then it doth great harm to the
goods that be upon the land. For then may no man travail to plough
the lands for the great moisture, and therefore is there dear time
in that country. And also, when it waxeth little, it is dear time
in that country, for default of moisture. And when the sun is in
the sign of Virgo, then beginneth the river for to wane and to
decrease little and little, so that when the sun is entered into
the sign of Libra, then they enter between these rivers. This
river cometh, running from Paradise terrestrial, between the
deserts of Ind, and after it smiteth unto land, and runneth long
time many great countries under earth. And after it goeth out
under an high hill, that men clepe Alothe, that is between Ind and
Ethiopia the mountance of five months' journeys from the entry of
Ethiopia; and after it environeth all Ethiopia and Mauritania, and
goeth all along from the land of Egypt unto the city of Alexandria
to the end of Egypt, and there it falleth into the sea. About this
river be many birds and fowls, as sikonies, that they clepen ibes.



EGYPT is a long country, but it is straight, that is to say narrow,
for they may not enlarge it toward the desert for default of water.
And the country is set along upon the river of Nile, by as much as
that river may serve by floods or otherwise, that when it floweth
it may spread abroad through the country; so is the country large
of length. For there it raineth not but little in that country,
and for that cause they have no water, but if it be of that flood
of that river. And forasmuch as it ne raineth not in that country,
but the air is alway pure and clear, therefore in that country be
the good astronomers, for they find there no clouds to letten them.
Also the city of Cairo is right great and more huge than that of
Babylon the less, and it sitteth above toward the desert of Syria,
a little above the river above-said.

In Egypt there be two parts: the height, that is toward Ethiopia,
and the lower, that is toward Arabia. In Egypt is the land of
Rameses and the land of Goshen. Egypt is a strong country, for it
hath many shrewd havens because of the great rocks that be strong
and dangerous to pass by. And at Egypt, toward the east, is the
Red Sea, that dureth unto the city of Coston; and toward the west
is the country of Lybia, that is a full dry land and little of
fruit, for it is overmuch plenty of heat, and that land is clept
Fusthe. And toward the part meridional is Ethiopia. And toward
the north is the desert, that dureth unto Syria, and so is the
country strong on all sides. And it is well a fifteen journeys of
length, and more than two so much of desert, and it is but two
journeys in largeness. And between Egypt and Nubia it hath well a
twelve journeys of desert. And men of Nubia be Christian, but they
be black as the Moors for great heat of the sun.

In Egypt there be five provinces: that one is Sahythe; that other
Demeseer; another Resith, that is an isle in the Nile; another
Alexandria; and another the land of Damietta. That city was wont
to be right strong, but it was twice won of the Christian men, and
therefore after that the Saracens beat down the walls; and with the
walls the tower thereof, the Saracens made another city more far
from the sea, and clept it the new Damietta; so that now no man
dwelleth at the rather town of Damietta. At that city of Damietta
is one of the havens of Egypt; and at Alexandria is that other.
That is a full strong city, but there is no water to drink, but if
it come by conduit from Nile, that entereth into their cisterns;
and whoso stopped that water from them, they might not endure
there. In Egypt there be but few forcelets or castles, because
that the country is so strong of himself.

At the deserts of Egypt was a worthy man, that was an holy hermit,
and there met with him a monster (that is to say, a monster is a
thing deformed against kind both of man or of beast or of anything
else, and that is clept a monster). And this monster, that met
with this holy hermit, was as it had been a man, that had two horns
trenchant on his forehead; and he had a body like a man unto the
navel, and beneath he had the body like a goat. And the hermit
asked him what he was. And the monster answered him, and said he
was a deadly creature, such as God had formed, and dwelt in those
deserts in purchasing his sustenance. And [he] besought the
hermit, that he would pray God for him, the which that came from
heaven for to save all mankind, and was born of a maiden and
suffered passion and death (as we well know) and by whom we live
and be. And yet is the head with the two horns of that monster at
Alexandria for a marvel.

In Egypt is the city of Heliopolis, that is to say, the city of the
Sun. In that city there is a temple, made round after the shape of
the Temple of Jerusalem. The priests of that temple have all their
writings, under the date of the fowl that is clept phoenix; and
there is none but one in all the world. And he cometh to burn
himself upon the altar of that temple at the end of five hundred
year; for so long he liveth. And at the five hundred years' end,
the priests array their altar honestly, and put thereupon spices
and sulphur vif and other things that will burn lightly; and then
the bird phoenix cometh and burneth himself to ashes. And the
first day next after, men find in the ashes a worm; and the second
day next after, men find a bird quick and perfect; and the third
day next after, he flieth his way. And so there is no more birds
of that kind in all the world, but it alone, and truly that is a
great miracle of God. And men may well liken that bird unto God,
because that there ne is no God but one; and also, that our Lord
arose from death to life the third day. This bird men see often-
time fly in those countries; and he is not mickle more than an
eagle. And he hath a crest of feathers upon his head more great
than the peacock hath; and is neck his yellow after colour of an
oriel that is a stone well shining, and his beak is coloured blue
as ind; and his wings be of purple colour, and his tail is barred
overthwart with green and yellow and red. And he is a full fair
bird to look upon, against the sun, for he shineth full gloriously
and nobly.

Also in Egypt be gardens, that have trees and herbs, the which bear
fruits seven times in the year. And in that land men find many
fair emeralds and enough; and therefore they be greater cheap.
Also when it raineth once in the summer in the land of Egypt, then
is all the country full of great mires. Also at Cairo, that I
spake of before, sell men commonly both men and women of other laws
as we do here beasts in the market. And there is a common house in
that city that is all full of small furnaces, and thither bring
women of the town their eyren of hens, of geese, and or ducks for
to be put into those furnaces. And they that keep that house cover
them with heat of horse dung, without hen, goose or duck or any
other fowl. And at the end of three weeks or of a month they come
again and take their chickens and flourish them and bring them
forth, so that all the country is full of them. And so men do
there both winter and summer.

Also in that country and in others also, men find long apples to
sell, in their season, and men clepe them apples of Paradise; and
they be right sweet and of good savour. And though ye cut them in
never so many gobbets or parts, overthwart or endlong, evermore ye
shall find in the midst the figure of the Holy Cross of our Lord
Jesu. But they will rot within eight days, and for that cause men
may not carry of those apples to no far countries; of them men find
the mountance of a hundred in a basket, and they have great leaves
of a foot and a half of length, and they be convenably large. And
men find there also the apple tree of Adam, that have a bite at one
of the sides; and there be also fig trees that bear no leaves, but
figs upon the small branches; and men clepe them figs of Pharaoh.

Also beside Cairo, without that city, is the field where balm
groweth; and it cometh out on small trees, that be none higher than
to a man's breeks' girdle, and they seem as wood that is of the
wild vine. And in that field be seven wells, that our Lord Jesu
Christ made with one of his feet, when he went to play with other
children. That field is not so well closed, but that men may enter
at their own list; but in that season that the balm is growing, men
put thereto good keeping, that no man dare be hardy to enter.

This balm groweth in no place, but only there. And though that men
bring of the plants, for to plant in other countries, they grow
well and fair; but they bring forth no fructuous thing, and the
leaves of balm fall not. And men cut the branches with a sharp
flintstone, or with a sharp bone, when men will go to cut them; for
whoso cut them with iron, it would destroy his virtue and his

And the Saracens crepe the wood ENONCH-BALSE, and the fruit, the
which is as cubebs, they clepe ABEBISSAM, and the liquor that
droppeth from the branches they clepe GUYBALSE. And men make
always that balm to be tilled of the Christian men, or else it
would not fructify; as the Saracens say themselves, for it hath
been often-time proved. Men say also, that the balm groweth in Ind
the more, in that desert where Alexander spake to the trees of the
sun and of the moon, but I have not seen it; for I have not been so
far above upward, because that there be too many perilous passages.

And wit ye well, that a man ought to take good keep for to buy
balm, but if he con know it right well, for he may right lightly be
deceived. For men sell a gum, that men clepe turpentine, instead
of balm, and they put thereto a little balm for to give good odour.
And some put wax in oil of the wood of the fruit of balm, and say
that it is balm. And some distil cloves of gilofre and of
spikenard of Spain and of other spices, that be well smelling; and
the liquor that goeth out thereof they clepe it balm, and they
think that they have balm, and they have none. For the Saracens
counterfeit it by subtlety of craft for to deceive the Christian
men, as I have seen full many a time; and after them the merchants
and the apothecaries counterfeit it eft sones, and then it is less
worth, and a great deal worse.

But if it like you, I shall shew how ye shall know and prove, to
the end that ye shall not be deceived. First ye shall well know,
that the natural balm is full clear, and of citron colour and
strongly smelling; and if it be thick, or red or black, it is
sophisticate, that is to say, counterfeited and made like it for
deceit. And understand, that if ye will put a little balm in the
palm of your hand against the sun, if it be fine and good, ye ne
shall not suffer your hand against the heat of the sun. Also take
a little balm with the point of a knife, and touch it to the fire,
and if it burn it is a good sign. After take also a drop of balm,
and put it into a dish, or in a cup with milk of a goat, and if it
be natural balm anon it will take and beclippe the milk. Or put a
drop of balm in clear water in a cup of silver or in a clear basin,
stir it well with the clear water; and if the balm be fine and of
his own kind, the water shall never trouble; and if the balm be
sophisticate, that is to say counterfeited, the water shall become
anon trouble; and also if the balm be fine it shall fall to the
bottom of the vessel, as though it were quicksilver, for the fine
balm is more heavy twice than is the balm that is sophisticate and
counterfeited. Now I have spoken of balm.

And now also I shall speak of another thing that is beyond Babylon,
above the flood of the Nile, toward the desert between Africa and
Egypt; that is to say, of the garners of Joseph, that he let make
for to keep the grains for the peril of the dear years. And they
be made of stone, full well made of masons' craft; of the which two
be marvellously great and high, and the tother ne be not so great.
And every garner hath a gate for to enter within, a little high
from the earth; for the land is wasted and fallen since the garners
were made. And within they be all full of serpents. And above the
garners without be many scriptures of diverse languages. And some
men say, that they be sepultures of great lords, that were
sometime, but that is not true, for all the common rumour and
speech is of all the people there, both far and near, that they be
the garners of Joseph; and so find they in their scriptures, and in
their chronicles. On the other part, if they were sepultures, they
should not be void within, ne they should have no gates for to
enter within; for ye may well know, that tombs and sepultures be
not made of such greatness, nor of such highness; wherefore it is
not to believe, that they be tombs or sepultures.

In Egypt also there be diverse languages and diverse letters, and
of other manner and condition than there be in other parts. As I
shall devise you, such as they be, and the names how they clepe
them, to such intent, that ye may know the difference of them and
of others, - Athoimis, Bimchi, Chinok, Duram, Eni, Fin, Gomor,
Heket, Janny, Karacta, Luzanin, Miche, Naryn, Oldach, Pilon, Qyn,
Yron, Sichen, Thola, Urmron, Yph and Zarm, Thoit.



NOW will I return again, ere I proceed any further, for to declare
to you the other ways, that draw toward Babylon, where the sultan
himself dwelleth, that is at the entry of Egypt; for as much as
many folk go thither first and after that to the Mount Sinai, and
after return to Jerusalem, as I have said you here before. For
they fulfil first the more long pilgrimage, and after return again
by the next ways, because that the more nigh way is the more
worthy, and that is Jerusalem; for no other pilgrimage is not like
in comparison to it. But for to fulfil their pilgrimages more
easily and more sikerly, men go first the longer way rather than
the nearer way.

But whoso will go to Babylon by another way, more short from the
countries of the west that I have rehearsed before, or from other
countries next to them - then men go by France, by Burgundy and by
Lombardy. It needeth not to tell you the names of the cities, nor
of the towns that be in that way, for the way is common, and it is
known of many nations. And there be many havens [where] men take
the sea. Some men take the sea at Genoa, some at Venice, and pass
by the sea Adriatic, that is clept the Gulf of Venice, that
departeth Italy and Greece on that side; and some go to Naples,
some to Rome, and from Rome to Brindisi and there they take the
sea, and in many other places where that havens be. And men go by
Tuscany, by Campania, by Calabria, by Apulia, and by the hills of
Italy, by Corsica, by Sardinia, and by Sicily, that is a great isle
and a good.

In that isle of Sicily there is a manner of a garden, in the which
be many diverse fruits; and the garden is always green and
flourishing, all the seasons of the year as well in winter as in
summer. That isle holds in compass about 350 French miles. And
between Sicily and Italy there is not but a little arm of the sea,
that men clepe the Farde of Messina. And Sicily is between the sea
Adriatic and the sea of Lombardy. And from Sicily into Calabria is
but eight miles of Lombardy.

And in Sicily there is a manner of serpent, by the which men assay
and prove, whether their children be bastards or no, or of lawful
marriage: for if they be born in right marriage, the serpents go
about them, and do them no harm, and if they be born in avoutry,
the serpents bite them and envenom them. And thus many wedded men
prove if the children be their own.

Also in that isle is the Mount Etna, that men clepe Mount Gybelle,
and the volcanoes that be evermore burning. And there be seven
places that burn and that cast out diverse flames and diverse
colour: and by the changing of those flames, men of that country
know when it shall be dearth or good time, or cold or hot or moist
or dry, or in all other manners how the time shall be governed.
And from Italy unto the volcanoes ne is but twenty-five mile. And
men say, that the volcanoes be ways of hell.

And whoso goeth by Pisa, if that men list to go that way, there is
an arm of the sea, where that men go to other havens in those
marches. And then men pass by the isle of Greaf that is at Genoa.
And after arrive men in Greece at the haven of the city of Myrok,
or at the haven of Valone, or at the city of Duras; and there is a
Duke at Duras, or at other havens in those marches; and so men go
to Constantinople. And after go men by water to the isle of Crete
and to the isle of Rhodes, and so to Cyprus, and so to Athens, and
from thence to Constantinople. To hold the more right way by sea,
it is well a thousand eight hundred and four score mile of
Lombardy. And after from Cyprus men go by sea, and leave Jerusalem
and all the country on the left hand, unto Egypt, and arrive at the
city of Damietta, that was wont to be full strong, and it sits at
the entry of Egypt. And from Damietta go men to the city of
Alexandria, that sits also upon the sea. In that city was Saint
Catherine beheaded: and there was Saint Mark the evangelist
martyred and buried, but the Emperor Leo made his bones to be
brought to Venice.

And yet there is at Alexandria a fair church, all white without
paintures; and so be all the other churches that were of the
Christian men, all white within, for the Paynims and the Saracens
made them white for to fordo the images of saints that were painted
on the walls. That city of Alexandria is well thirty furlongs in
length, but it is but ten on largeness; and it is a full noble city
and a fair. At that city entereth the river of Nile into the sea,
as I to you have said before. In that river men find many precious
stones, and much also of lignum aloes; and it is a manner of wood,
that cometh out of Paradise terrestrial, the which is good for many
diverse medicines, and it is right dear-worth. And from Alexandria
men go to Babylon, where the sultan dwelleth; that sits also upon
the river of Nile: and this way is the most short, for to go
straight unto Babylon.

Now shall I say you also the way, that goeth from Babylon to the
Mount of Sinai, where Saint Catherine lieth. He must pass by the
deserts of Arabia, by the which deserts Moses led the people of
Israel. And then pass men by the well that Moses made with his
hand in the deserts, when the people grucched; for they found
nothing to drink. And then pass men by the Well of Marah, of the
which the water was first bitter; but the children of Israel put
therein a tree, and anon the water was sweet and good for to drink.
And then go men by desert unto the vale of Elim, in the which vale
be twelve wells; and there be seventy-two trees of palm, that bear
the dates the which Moses found with the children of Israel. And
from that valley is but a good journey to the Mount of Sinai.

And whoso will go by another way from Babylon, then men go by the
Red Sea, that is an arm of the sea Ocean. And there passed Moses
with the children of Israel, over-thwart the sea all dry, when
Pharaoh the King of Egypt chased them. And that sea is well a six
mile of largeness in length; and in that sea was Pharaoh drowned
and all his host that he led. That sea is not more red than
another sea; but in some place thereof is the gravel red, and
therefore men clepen it the Red Sea. That sea runneth to the ends
of Arabia and of Palestine.

That sea lasteth more than a four journeys, and then go men by
desert unto the Vale of Elim, and from thence to the Mount of
Sinai. And ye may well understand, that by this desert no man may
go on horseback, because that there ne is neither meat for horse ne
water to drink; and for that cause men pass that desert with
camels. For the camel finds alway meat in trees and on bushes,
that he feedeth him with: and he may well fast from drink two days
or three. And that may no horse do.

And wit well that from Babylon to the Mount Sinai is well a twelve
good journeys, and some men make them more. And some men hasten
them and pain them, and therefore they make them less. And always
men find latiners to go with them in the countries, and further
beyond, into time that men con the language: and it behoveth men
to bear victuals with them, that shall dure them in those deserts,
and other necessaries for to live by.

And the Mount of Sinai is clept the Desert of Sin, that is for to
say, the bush burning; because there Moses saw our Lord God many
times in the form of fire burning upon that hill, and also in a
bush burning, and spake to him. And that was at the foot of the
hill. There is an abbey of monks, well builded and well closed
with gates of iron for dread of the wild beasts; and the monks be
Arabians or men of Greece. And there [is] a great convent, and all
they be as hermits, and they drink no wine, but if it be on
principal feasts; and they be full devout men, and live poorly and
simply with joutes and with dates, and they do great abstinence and

There is the Church of Saint Catherine, in the which be many lamps
burning; for they have of oil of olives enough, both for to burn in
their lamps and to eat also. And that plenty have they by the
miracle of God; for the ravens and the crows and the choughs and
other fowls of the country assemble them there every year once, and
fly thither as in pilgrimage; and everych of them bringeth a branch
of the bays or of olive in their beaks instead of offering, and
leave them there; of the which the monks make great plenty of oil.
And this is a great marvel. And sith that fowls that have no
kindly wit or reason go thither to seek that glorious Virgin, well
more ought men then to seek her, and to worship her.

Also behind the altar of that church is the place where Moses saw
our Lord God in a burning bush. And when the monks enter into that
place, they do off both hosen and shoon or boots always, because
that our Lord said to Moses, Do off thy hosen and thy shoon, for
the place that thou standest on is land holy and blessed. And the
monks clepe that place Dozoleel, that is to say, the shadow of God.
And beside the high altar, three degrees of height is the fertre of
alabaster, where the bones of Saint Catherine lie. And the prelate
of the monks sheweth the relics to the pilgrims, and with an
instrument of silver he froteth the bones; and then there goeth out
a little oil, as though it were a manner sweating, that is neither
like to oil ne to balm, but it is full sweet of smell; and of that
they give a little to the pilgrims, for there goeth out but little
quantity of the liquor. And after that they shew the head of Saint
Catherine, and the cloth that she was wrapped in, that is yet all
bloody; and in that same cloth so wrapped, the angels bare her body
to the Mount Sinai, and there they buried her with it. And then
they shew the bush, that burned and wasted nought, in the which our
Lord spake to Moses, and other relics enough.

Also, when the prelate of the abbey is dead, I have understood, by
information, that his lamp quencheth. And when they choose another
prelate, if he be a good man and worthy to be prelate, his lamp
shall light with the grace of God without touching of any man. For
everych of them hath a lamp by himself, and by their lamps they
know well when any of them shall die. For when any shall die, the
light beginneth to change and to wax dim; and if he be chosen to be
prelate, and is not worthy, his lamp quencheth anon. And other men
have told me, that he that singeth the mass for the prelate that is
dead - he shall find upon the altar the name written of him that
shall be prelate chosen. And so upon a day, I asked of the monks,
both one and other, how this befell. But they would not tell me
nothing, into the time that I said that they should not hide the
grace that God did them, but that they should publish it to make
the people have the more devotion, and that they did sin to hide
God's miracle, as me seemed. For the miracles that God hath done
and yet doth every day, be the witness of his might and of his
marvels, as David saith in the Psalter: MIRABILIA TESTIMONIA TUA,
DOMINE, that is to say, 'Lord thy marvels be thy witness.' And
then they told me, both one and other, how it befell full many a
time, but more I might not have of them.

In that abbey ne entereth not no fly, ne toads ne newts, ne such
foul venomous beasts, ne lice ne fleas, by the miracle of God, and
of our Lady. For there were wont to be so many such manner of
filths, that the monks were in will to leave the place and the
abbey, and were from thence upon the mountain above to eschew that
place; and our Lady came to them and bade them turn again, and from
thence forwards never entered such filth in that place amongst
them, ne never shall enter hereafter. Also, before the gate is the
well, where Moses smote the stone, of the which the water came out

From that abbey men go up the mountain of Moses, by many degrees.
And there men find first a church of our Lady, where that she met
the monks, when they fled away for the vermin above-said. And more
high upon that mountain is the chapel of Elijah the prophet; and
that place they clepe Horeb, whereof holy writ speaketh, ET
to say, 'And he went in strength of that meat unto the hill of God,
Horeb.' And there nigh is the vine that Saint John the Evangelist
planted that men clepe raisins of Staphis. And a little above is
the chapel of Moses, and the rock where Moses fled to for dread
when he saw our Lord face to face. And in that rock is printed the
form of his body, for he smote so strongly and so hard himself in
that rock, that all his body was dolven within through the miracle
of God. And there beside is the place where our Lord took to Moses
the Ten Commandments of the Law. And there is the cave under the
rock where Moses dwelt, when he fasted forty days and forty nights.
But he died in the Land of Promission, and no man knoweth where he
was buried. And from that mountain men pass a great valley for to
go to another mountain, where Saint Catherine was buried of the
angels of the Lord. And in that valley is a church of forty
martyrs, and there sing the monks of the abbey, often-time: and
that valley is right cold. And after men go up the mountain of
Saint Catherine, that is more high than the mount of Moses; and
there, where Saint Catherine was buried, is neither church nor
chapel, nor other dwelling place, but there is an heap of stones
about the place, where body of her, was put of the angels. There
was wont to be a chapel, but it was cast down, and yet lie the
stones there. And albeit that the Collect of Saint Catherine says,
that it is the place where our Lord betaught the Ten Commandments
to Moses, and there, where the blessed Virgin Saint Catherine was
buried, that is to understand in one country, or in one place
bearing one name; for both that one and that other is clept the
mount of Sinai. But it is a great way from that one to that other,
and a great deep valley between them.



NOW, after that men have visited those holy places, then will they
turn toward Jerusalem. And then will they take leave of the monks,
and recommend themselves to their prayers. And then they give the
pilgrims of their victuals for to pass with the deserts toward
Syria. And those deserts dure well a thirteen journeys.

In that desert dwell many of Arabians, that men clepe Bedouins and
Ascopards, and they be folk full of all evil conditions. And they
have none houses, but tents, that they make of skins of beasts, as
of camels and of other beasts that they eat; and there beneath
these they couch them and dwell in place where they may find water,
as on the Red Sea or elsewhere: for in that desert is full great
default of water, and often-time it falleth that where men find
water at one time in a place it faileth another time; and for that
skill they make none habitations there. These folk that I speak
of, they till not the land, and they labour nought; for they eat no
bread, but if it be any that dwell nigh a good town, that go
thither and eat bread sometime. And they roast their flesh and
their fish upon the hot stones against the sun. And they be strong
men and well-fighting; and there so is much multitude of that folk,
that they be without number. And they ne reck of nothing, ne do
not but chase after beasts to eat them. And they reck nothing of
their life, and therefore they fear not the sultan, ne no other
prince; but they dare well war with them, if they do anything that
is grievance to them. And they have often-times war with the
sultan, and, namely, that time that I was with him. And they bear
but one shield and one spear, without other arms; and they wrap
their heads and their necks with a great quantity of white linen
cloth; and they be right felonous and foul, and of cursed kind.

And when men pass this desert, in coming toward Jerusalem, they
come to Bersabe (Beersheba), that was wont to be a full fair town
and a delectable of Christian men; and yet there be some of their
churches. In that town dwelled Abraham the patriarch, a long time.
That town of Bersabe founded Bersabe (Bathsheba), the wife of Sir
Uriah the Knight, on the which King David gat Solomen the Wise,
that was king after David upon the twelve kindreds of Jerusalem and
reigned forty year.

And from thence go men to the city of Hebron, that is the mountance
of twelve good mile. And it was clept sometime the Vale of Mamre,
and some-time it was clept the Vale of Tears, because that Adam
wept there an hundred year for the death of Abel his son, that Cain
slew. Hebron was wont to be the principal city of the Philistines,
and there dwelled some time the giants. And that city was also
sacerdotal, that is to say, sanctuary of the tribe of Judah; and it
was so free, that men received there all manner of fugitives of
other places for their evil deeds. In Hebron Joshua, Caleb and
their company came first to aspy, how they might win the land of
Behest. In Hebron reigned first king David seven year and a half;
and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three year and a half.

And in Hebron be all the sepultures of the patriarchs, Adam,
Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob; and of their wives, Eve, Sarah and
Rebecca, and of Leah; the which sepultures the Saracens keep full
curiously, and have the place in great reverence for the holy
fathers, the patriarchs that lie there. And they suffer no
Christian man to enter into that place, but if it be of special
grace of the sultan; for they hold Christian men and Jews as dogs,
and they say, that they should not enter into so holy place. And
men clepe that place, where they lie, Double Spelunk, or Double
Cave, or Double Ditch, forasmuch as that one lieth above that
other. And the Saracens clepe that place in their language,
KARICARBA, that is to say, 'The Place of Patriarchs.' And the Jews
clepe that place ARBOTH. And in that same place was Abraham's
house, and there he sat and saw three persons, and worshipped but
one; as holy writ saith, TRES VIDIT ET UNUM ADORAVIT, that is to
say, 'He saw three and worshipped one': and of those same received
Abraham the angels into his house.

And right fast by that place is a cave in the rock, where Adam and
Eve dwelled when they were put out of Paradise; and there got they
their children. And in that same place was Adam formed and made,
after that some men say: (for men were wont for to clepe that
place the field of Damascus, because that it was in the lordship of
Damascus), and from thence was he translated into Paradise of
delights, as they say; and after that he was driven out of Paradise
he was there left. And the same day that he was put in Paradise,
the same day he was put out, for anon he sinned. There beginneth
the Vale of Hebron, that dureth nigh to Jerusalem. There the angel
commanded Adam that he should dwell with his wife Eve, of the which
he gat Seth; of which tribe, that is to say kindred, Jesu Christ
was born.

In that valley is a field, where men draw out of the earth a thing
that men clepe cambile, and they eat it instead of spices, and they
bear it to sell. And men may not make the hole or the cave, where
it is taken out of the earth, so deep or so wide, but that it is,
at the year's end, full again up to the sides, through the grace of

And two mile from Hebron is the grave of Lot, that was Abraham's

And a little from Hebron is the mount of Mamre, of the which the
valley taketh his name. And there is a tree of oak, that the
Saracens clepe DIRPE, that is of Abraham's time: the which men
clepe the Dry Tree. And they say that it hath been there since the
beginning of the world, and was some-time green and bare leaves,
unto the time that our Lord died on the cross, and then it dried:
and so did all the trees that were then in the world. And some
say, by their prophecies, that a lord, a prince of the west side of
the world, shall win the Land of Promission that is the Holy Land
with help of Christian men, and he shall do sing a mass under that
dry tree; and then the tree shall wax green and bear both fruit and
leaves, and through that miracle many Saracens and Jews shall be
turned to Christian faith: and, therefore, they do great worship
thereto, and keep it full busily. And, albeit so, that it be dry,
natheles yet he beareth great virtue, for certainly he that hath a
little thereof upon him, it healeth him of the falling evil, and
his horse shall not be a-foundered: and many other virtues it
hath; wherefore men hold it full precious.

From Hebron men go to Bethlehem in half a day, for it is but five
mile; and it is full fair way, by plains and woods full delectable.
Bethlehem is a little city, long and narrow and well walled, and in
each side enclosed with good ditches: and it was wont to be clept
Ephrata, as holy writ saith, ECCE, AUDIVIMUS EUM IN EPHRATA, that
is to say, 'Lo, we heard him in Ephrata.' And toward the east end
of the city is a full fair church and a gracious, and it hath many
towers, pinacles and corners, full strong and curiously made; and
within that church be forty-four pillars of marble, great and fair.

And between the city and the church is the field FLORIDUS, that is
to say, the 'field flourished.' For as much as a fair maiden was
blamed with wrong, and slandered that she had done fornication; for
which cause she was demned to death, and to be burnt in that place,
to the which she was led. And, as the fire began to burn about
her, she made her prayers to our Lord, that as wisely as she was
not guilty of that sin, that he would help her and make it to be
known to all men, of his merciful grace. And when she had thus
said, she entered into the fire, and anon was the fire quenched and
out; and the brands that were burning became red rose-trees, and
the brands that were not kindled became white rose-trees, full of
roses. And these were the first rose-trees and roses, both white
and red, that ever any man saw; and thus was this maiden saved by
the grace of God. And therefore is that field clept the field of
God flourished, for it was full of roses.

Also beside the choir of the church, at the right side, as men come
downward sixteen degrees, is the place where our Lord was born,
that is full well dight of marble, and full richly painted with
gold, silver, azure and other colours. And three paces beside is
the crib of the ox and the ass. And beside that is the place where
the star fell, that led the three kings, Jaspar, Melchior and
Balthazar: but men of Greece clepe them thus, GALGALATH,
MALGALATH, and SERAPHIE, and the Jews clepe them, in this manner,
in Hebrew, APPELIUS, AMERRIUS, and DAMASUS. These three kings
offered to our Lord, gold, incense and myrrh, and they met together
through miracle of God; for they met together in a city in Ind,
that men clepe Cassak, that is a fifty-three journeys from
Bethlehem; and they were at Bethlehem the thirteenth day; and that
was the fourth day after that they had seen the star, when they met
in that city, and thus they were in nine days from that city at
Bethlehem, and that was great miracle.

Also, under the cloister of the church, by eighteen degrees at the
right side, is the charnel of the Innocents, where their bones lie.
And before the place where our Lord was born is the tomb of Saint
Jerome, that was a priest and a cardinal, that translated the Bible
and the Psalter from Hebrew into Latin: and without the minster is
the chair that he sat in when he translated it. And fast beside
that church, a sixty fathom, is a church of Saint Nicholas, where
our Lady rested her after she was lighted of our Lord; and
forasmuch as she had too much milk in her paps, that grieved her,
she milked them on the red stones of marble, so that the traces may
yet be seen, in the stones, all white.

And ye shall understand, that all that dwell in Bethlehem be
Christian men.

And there be fair vines about the city, and great plenty of wine,
that the Christian men have do let make. But the Saracens ne till
not no vines, ne they drink no wine: for their books of their law,
that Mahomet betoke them, which they clepe their AL KORAN, and some
crepe it MESAPH, and in another language it is clept HARME, and the
same book forbiddeth them to drink wine. For in that book, Mahomet
cursed all those that drink wine and all them that sell it: for
some men say, that he slew once an hermit in his drunkenness, that
he loved full well; and therefore he cursed wine and them that
drink it. But his curse be turned on to his own head, as holy writ
to say, 'His wickedness shall turn and fall in his own head.'

And also the Saracens bring forth no pigs, nor they eat no swine's
flesh, for they say it is brother to man, and it was forbidden by
the old law; and they hold him all accursed that eat thereof. Also
in the land of Palestine and in the land of Egypt, they eat but
little or none of flesh of veal or of beef, but if be so old, that
he may no more travel for old; for it is forbidden, and for because
they have but few of them; therefore they nourish them for to ere
their lands.

In this city of Bethlehem was David the king born; and he had sixty
wives, and the first wife was called Michal; and also he had three
hundred lemans.

And from Bethlehem unto Jerusalem is but two mile; and in the way
to Jerusalem half a mile from Bethlehem is a church, where the
angel said to the shepherds of the birth of Christ. And in that
way is the tomb of Rachel, that was Joseph's mother, the patriarch;
and she died anon after that she was delivered of her son Benjamin.
And there she was buried of Jacob her husband, and he let set
twelve great stones on her, in token that she had born twelve
children. In the same way, half mile from Jerusalem, appeared the
star to the three kings. In that way also be many churches of
Christian men, by the which men go towards the city of Jerusalem.



AFTER, for to speak of Jerusalem the holy city: ye shall
understand, that it stands full fair between hills, and there be no
rivers ne wells, but water cometh by conduit from Hebron. And ye
shall understand, that Jerusalem of old time, unto the time of
Melchisadech, was clept Jebus; and after it was clept Salem, unto
the time of King David, that put these two names together, and
clept it Jebusalem; and after that, King Solomon clept it
Jerosolomye; and after that, men clept it Jerusalem, and so it is
clept yet.

And about Jerusalem is the kingdom of Syria. And there beside is
the land of Palestine, and beside it is Ascalon, and beside that is
the land of Maritaine. But Jerusalem is in the land of Judea, and
it is clept Judea, for that Judas Maccabeus was king of that
country; and it marcheth eastward to the kingdom of Arabia; on the
south side to the land of Egypt; and on the west side to the Great
Sea; on the north side, towards the kingdom of Syria and to the sea
of Cyprus. In Jerusalem was wont to be a patriarch; and
archbishops and bishops about in the country. About Jerusalem be
these cities: Hebron, at seven mile; Jericho, at six mile;
Beersheba, at eight mile; Ascalon, at seventeen mile; Jaffa, at
sixteen mile; Ramath, at three mile; and Bethlehem, at two mile.
And a two mile from Bethlehem, toward the south, is the Church of
St. Karitot, that was abbot there, for whom they made much dole
amongst the monks when he should die; and yet they be in mourning
in the wise that they made their lamentation for him the first
time; and it is full great pity to behold.

This country and land of Jerusalem hath been in many divers
nations' hands, and often, therefore, hath the country suffered
much tribulation for the sin of the people that dwell there. For
that country hath been in the hands of all nations; that is to say,
of Jews, of Canaanites, Assyrians, Persians, Medes, Macedonians, of
Greeks, Romans, of Christian men, of Saracens, Barbarians, Turks,
Tartars, and of many other divers nations; for God will not that it
be long in the hands of traitors ne of sinners, be they Christian
or other. And now have the heathen men held that land in their
hands forty year and more; but they shall not hold it long, if God

And ye shall understand, that when men come to Jerusalem, their
first pilgrimage is to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where our
Lord was buried, that is without the city on the north side; but it
is now enclosed in with the town wall. And there is a full fair
church, all round, and open above, and covered with lead; and on
the west side is a fair tower and an high for bells, strongly made.

And in the midst of the church is a tabernacle, as it were a little
house, made with a low little door, and that tabernacle is made in
manner of half a compass, right curiously and richly made of gold
and azure and other rich colours full nobly made. And in the right
side of that tabernacle is the sepulchre of our Lord; and the
tabernacle is eight foot long, and five foot wide, and eleven foot
in height. And it is not long sith the sepulchre was all open,
that men might kiss it and touch it; but for pilgrims that came
thither pained them to break the stone in pieces or in powder,
therefore the soldan hath do make a wall about the sepulchre that
no man may touch it: but in the left side of the wall of the
tabernacle is, well the height of a man, a great stone to the
quantity of a man's head, that was of the holy sepulchre; and that
stone kiss the pilgrims that come thither. In that tabernacle be
no windows, but it is all made light with lamps that hang before
the sepulchre. And there is a lamp that hangeth before the
sepulchre, that burneth light; and on the Good Friday it goeth out
by himself, [and lighteth again by him self] at that hour that our
Lord rose from death to life.

Also within the church, at the right side, beside the choir of the
church, is the mount of Calvary, where our Lord was put on the
cross; and it is a rock of white colour and a little medled with
red. And the cross was set in a mortise in the same rock. And on
that rock dropped the wounds of our Lord when he was pined on the
cross. And that is clept Golgotha.

And men go up to that Golgotha by degrees; and in the place of that
mortise was Adam's head found after Noah's flood, in token that the
sins of Adam should be bought in that same place. And upon that
rock made Abraham sacrifice to our Lord. And there is an altar;
and before that altar lie Godefray de Bouillon and Baldwin, and
other Christian kings of Jerusalem.

And there, nigh where our Lord was crucified, is this written in

[Greek text which cannot be reproduced]

that is to say, in Latin, -


that is to say, -


And also on that rock, where the cross was set, is written within
the rock these words:

[Greek text which cannot be reproduced]

that is to say, in Latin, -


that is to say, -


And ye shall understand, that when our Lord was done upon the
cross, he was thirty-three year and three months of old. And the
prophecy of David saith thus: QUADRAGINTA ANNIS PROXIMUS FUI
GENERATIONI HUIC; that is to say, 'Forty year was I neighbour to
this kindred.' And thus should it seem that the prophecies were
not true. But they be both true; for in old time men made a year
of ten months, of the which March was the first and December was
the last. But Gaius, that was Emperor of Rome, put these two
months thereto, January and February, and ordained the year of
twelve months; that is to say, 365 days, without leap year, after
the proper course of the sun. And therefore after counting of ten
months of the year, he died in the fortieth year, as the prophet
said. And after the year of twelve months, he was of age thirty-
three year and three months.

Also, within the mount of Calvary, on the right side, is an altar,
where the pillar lieth that our Lord Jesu was bounden to when he
was scourged. And there beside be four pillars of stone, that
always drop water; and some men say that they weep for our Lord's
death. And nigh that altar is a place under earth forty-two
degrees of deepness, where the holy cross was found, by the wit of
Saint Helen, under a rock where the Jews had hid it. And that was
the very cross assayed; for they found three crosses, one of our
Lord, and two of the two thieves; and Saint Helen proved them by a
dead body that arose from death to life, when that it was laid on
it, that our Lord died on. And thereby in the wall is the place
where the four nails of our Lord were hid: for he had two in his
hands and two in his feet. And, of one of these, the Emperor of
Constantinople made a bridle to his horse to bear him in battle;
and, through virtue thereof, he overcame his enemies, and won all
the land of Asia the less, that is to say, Turkey, Armenia the less
and the more, and from Syria to Jerusalem, from Arabia to Persia,
from Mesopotamia to the kingdom of Aleppo, from Egypt the high and
the low and all the other kingdoms unto the depth of Ethiopia, and
into Ind the less that then was Christian.

And there were in that time many good holy men and holy hermits, of
whom the book of Father's lives speaketh, and they be now in
Paynims' and Saracens' hands: but when God Almighty will, right as
the lands ere lost through sin of Christian men, so shall they be
won again by Christian men through help of God.

And in midst of that church is a compass, in the which Joseph of
Arimathea laid the body of our Lord when he had taken him down off
the cross; and there he washed the wounds of our Lord. And that
compass, say men, is the midst of the world.

And in the church of the sepulchre, on the north side, is the place
where our Lord was put in prison (for he was in prison in many
places); and there is a part of the chain that he was bounden with;
and there he appeared first to Mary Magdalene when he was risen,
and she wend that he had been a gardener.

In the church of Saint Sepulchre was wont to be canons of the order
of Saint Augustine, and had a prior, but the patriarch was their

And without the doors of the church, on the right side as men go
upward eighteen grees, said our Lord to his mother, MULIER, ECCE
FILIUS TUUS; that is to say, Woman, lo! thy Son! And after that he
said to John, his disciple, ECCE MATER TUA; that is to say, Lo!
behold thy mother! And these words he said on the cross. And on
these grees went our Lord when he bare the cross on his shoulder.
And under these grees is a chapel, and in that chapel sing priests,
Indians, that is to say, priests of Ind, not after our law, but
after theirs; and alway they make their sacrament of the altar,
saying, PATER NOSTER and other prayers therewith; with the which
prayers they say the words that the sacrament is made of, for they
ne know not the additions that many popes have made; but they sing
with good devotion. And there near, is the place where that our
Lord rested him when he was weary for bearing of the cross.

And ye shall understand that before the church of the sepulchre is
the city more feeble than in any other part, for the great plain
that is between the church and the city. And toward the east side,
without the walls of the city, is the vale of Jehosaphat that
toucheth to the walls as though it were a large ditch. And above
that vale of Jehosaphat, out of the city, is the church of Saint
Stephen where he was stoned to death. And there beside, is the
Golden Gate, that may not be opened, by the which gate our Lord
entered on Palm-Sunday upon an ass: and the gate opened against
him when he would go unto the temple; and yet appear the steps of
the ass's feet in three places of the degrees that be of full hard

And before the church of Saint Sepulchre, toward the south, at 200
paces, is the great hospital of Saint John, of which the
hospitallers had their foundation. And within the palace of the
sick men of that hospital be 124 pillars of stone. And in the
walls of the house, without the number above-said, there be fifty-
four pillars that bear up the house. And from that hospital to go
toward the east is a full fair church, that is clept NOTRE DAME LA
GRANDE. And then is there another church right nigh, that is clept
NOTRE DAME DE LATINE. And there were Mary Cleophas and Mary
Magdalene, and tore their hair when our Lord was pained in the



AND from the church of the sepulchre, toward the east, at eight
score paces, is TEMPLUM DOMINI. It is right a fair house, and it
is all round and high, and covered with lead. And it is well paved
with white marble. But the Saracens will not suffer no Christian
man ne Jews to come therein, for they say that none so foul sinful
men should not come in so holy place: but I came in there and in
other places there I would, for I had letters of the soldan with
his great seal, and commonly other men have but his signet. In the
which letters he commanded, of his special grace, to all his
subjects, to let me see all the places, and to inform me pleinly
all the mysteries of every place, and to conduct me from city to
city, if it were need, and buxomly to receive me and my company,
and for to obey to all my requests reasonable if they were not
greatly against the royal power and dignity of the soldan or of his
law. And to others, that ask him grace, such as have served him,
he ne giveth not but his signet, the which they make to be borne
before them hanging on a spear. And the folk of the country do
great worship and reverence to his signet or seal, and kneel
thereto as lowly as we do to CORPUS DOMINI. And yet men do full
greater reverence to his letters; for the admiral and all other
lords that they be shewed to, before or they receive them, they
kneel down; and then they take them and put them on their heads;
and after, they kiss them and then they read them, kneeling with
great reverence; and then they offer them to do all that the bearer

And in this TEMPLUM DOMINI were some-time canons regulars, and they
had an abbot to whom they were obedient; and in this temple was
Charlemagne when that the angel brought him the prepuce of our Lord
Jesus Christ of his circumcision; and after, King Charles let bring
it to Paris into his chapel, and after that he let bring it to
Peyteres, and after that to Chartres.

And ye shall understand, that this is not the temple that Solomon
made, for that temple dured not but 1102 year. For Titus,
Vespasian's son, Emperor of Rome, had laid siege about Jerusalem
for to discomfit the Jews; for they put our Lord to death, without
leave of the emperor. And, when he had won the city, he burnt the
temple and beat it down, and all the city, and took the Jews and
did them to death - 1,100,000; and the others he put in prison and
sold them to servage, - thirty for one penny; for they said they
bought Jesu for thirty pennies, and he made of them better cheap
when he gave thirty for one penny.

And after that time, Julian Apostate, that was emperor, gave leave
to the Jews to make the temple of Jerusalem, for he hated Christian
men. And yet he was christened, but he forsook his law, and became
a renegade. And when the Jews had made the temple, came an
earthquaking, and cast it down (as God would) and destroyed all
that they had made.

And after that, Adrian, that was Emperor of Rome, and of the


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