The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

Part 2 out of 4

lineage of Troy, made Jerusalem again and the temple in the same
manner as Solomon made it. And he would not suffer no Jews to
dwell there, but only Christian men. For although it were so that
he was not christened, yet he loved Christian men more than any
other nation save his own. This emperor let enclose the church of
Saint Sepulchre, and walled it within the city; that, before, was
without the city, long time before. And he would have changed the
name of Jerusalem, and have clept it Aelia; but that name lasted
not long.

Also, ye shall understand, that the Saracens do much reverence to
that temple, and they say, that that place is right holy. And when
they go in they go bare-foot, and kneel many times. And when my
fellows and I saw that, when we came in we did off our shoes and
came in bare-foot, and thought that we should do as much worship
and reverence thereto, as any of the misbelieving men should, and
as great compunction in heart to have.

This temple is sixty-four cubits of wideness, and as many in
length; and of height it is six score cubits. And it is within,
all about, made with pillars of marble. And in the middle place of
the temple be many high stages, of fourteen degrees of height, made
with good pillars all about: and this place the Jews call SANCTA
SANCTORUM; that is to say, 'Holy of Hallows.' And, in that place,
cometh no man save only their prelate, that maketh their sacrifice.
And the folk stand all about, in diverse stages, after they be of
dignity or of worship, so that they all may see the sacrifice. And
in that temple be four entries, and the gates be of cypress, well
made and curiously dight: and within the east gate our Lord said,
'Here is Jerusalem.' And in the north side of that temple, within
the gate, there is a well, but it runneth nought, of the which holy
writ speaketh of and saith, VIDI AQUAM EGREDIENTEM DE TEMPLO; that
is to say, 'I saw water come out of the temple.'

And on that other side of the temple there is a rock that men clepe
Moriach, but after it was clept Bethel, where the ark of God with
relics of Jews were wont to be put. That ark or hutch with the
relics Titus led with him to Rome, when he had discomfited all the
Jews. In that ark were the Ten Commandments, and of Aaron's yard,
and Moses' yard with the which he made the Red Sea depart, as it
had been a wall, on the right side and on the left side, whiles
that the people of Israel passed the sea dry-foot: and with that
yard he smote the rock, and the water came out of it: and with
that yard he did many wonders. And therein was a vessel of gold
full of manna, and clothing and ornaments and the tabernacle of
Aaron, and a tabernacle square of gold with twelve precious stones,
and a box of jasper green with four figures and eight names of our
Lord, and seven candlesticks of gold, and twelve pots of gold, and
four censers of gold, and an altar of gold, and four lions of gold
upon the which they bare cherubin of gold twelve spans long, and
the circle of swans of heaven with a tabernacle of gold and a table
of silver, and two trumps of silver, and seven barley loaves and
all the other relics that were before the birth of our Lord Jesu

And upon that rock was Jacob sleeping when he saw the angels go up
and down by a ladder, and he said, VERE LOCUS ISTE SANCTUS EST, ET
EGO IGNORABAM; that is to say, 'Forsooth this place is holy, and I
wist it nought.' And there an angel held Jacob still, and turned
his name, and clept him Israel. And in that same place David saw
the angel that smote the folk with a sword, and put it up bloody in
the sheath. And in that same rock was Saint Simeon when he
received our Lord into the temple. And in this rock he set him
when the Jews would have stoned him; and a star came down and gave
him light. And upon that rock preached our Lord often-time to the
people. And out that said temple our Lord drove out the buyers and
the sellers. And upon that rock our Lord set him when the Jews
would have stoned him; and the rock clave in two, and in that
cleaving was our Lord hid, and there came down a star and gave
light and served him with clarity. And upon that rock sat our
Lady, and learned her psalter. And there our Lord forgave the
woman her sins, that was found in avowtry. And there was our Lord
circumcised. And there the angels shewed tidings to Zacharias of
the birth of Saint Baptist his son. And there offered first
Melchisadech bread and wine to our Lord, in token of the sacrament
that was to come. And there fell David praying to our Lord and to
the angel that smote the people, that he would have mercy on him
and on the people: and our Lord heard his prayer, and therefore
would he make the temple in that place, but our Lord forbade him by
an angel; for he had done treason when he let slay Uriah the worthy
knight, for to have Bathsheba his wife. And therefore, all the
purveyance that he had ordained to make the temple with he took it
Solomon his son, and he made it. And he prayed our Lord, that all
those that prayed to him in that place with good heart - that he
would hear their prayer and grant it them if they asked it
rightfully: and our Lord granted it him, and therefore Solomon
clept that temple the Temple of Counsel and of Help of God.

And without the gate of that temple is an altar where Jews were in
wont to offer doves and turtles. And between the temple and that
altar was Zacharias slain. And upon the pinnacle of that temple
was our Lord brought for to be tempted of the enemy, the fiend.
And on the height of that pinnacle the Jews set Saint James, and
cast him down to the earth, that first was Bishop of Jerusalem.
And at the entry of that temple, toward the west, is the gate that
is clept PORTA SPECIOSA. And nigh beside that temple, upon the
right side, is a church, covered with lead, that is clept Solomon's

And from that temple towards the south, right nigh, is the temple
of Solomon, that is right fair and well polished. And in that
temple dwell the Knights of the Temple that were wont to be clept
Templars; and that was the foundation of their order, so that there
dwelled knights and in TEMPLO DOMINI canons regulars.

From that temple toward the east, a six score paces, in the corner
of the city, is the bath of our Lord; and in that bath was wont to
come water from Paradise, and yet it droppeth. And there beside is
our Lady's bed. And fast by is the temple of Saint Simeon, and
without the cloister of the temple, toward the north, is a full
fair church of Saint Anne, our Lady's mother; and there was our
Lady conceived; and before that church is a great tree that began
to grow the same night. And under that church, in going down by
twenty-two degrees, lieth Joachim, our Lady's father, in a fair
tomb of stone; and there beside lay some-time Saint Anne, his wife;
but Saint Helen let translate her to Constantinople. And in that
church is a well, in manner of a cistern, that is clept PROBATICA
PISCINA, that hath five entries. Into that well angels were wont
to come from heaven and bathe them within. And what man, that
first bathed him after the moving of the water, was made whole of
what manner of sickness that he had. And there our Lord healed a
man of the palsy that lay thirty-eight year, and our Lord said to
him, TOLLE GRABATUM TUUM ET AMBULA, that is to say, 'Take thy bed
and go.' And there beside was Pilate's house.

And fast by is King Herod's house, that let slay the innocents.
This Herod was over-much cursed and cruel. For first he let slay
his wife that he loved right well; and for the passing love that he
had to her when he saw her dead, he fell in a rage and out of his
wit a great while; and sithen he came again to his wit. And after
he let slay his two sons that he had of that wife. And after that
he let slay another of his wives, and a son that he had with her.
And after that he let slay his own mother; and he would have slain
his brother also, but he died suddenly. And after that he did all
the harm that he could or might. And after he fell into sickness;
and when he felt that he should die, he sent after his sister and
after all the lords of his land; and when they were come he let
command them to prison. And then he said to his sister, he wist
well that men of the country would make no sorrow for his death;
and therefore he made his sister swear that she should let smite
off all the heads of the lords when he were dead; and then should
all the land make sorrow for his death, and else, nought; and thus
he made his testament. But his sister fulfilled not his will.
For, as soon as he was dead, she delivered all the lords out of
prison and let them go, each lord to his own, and told them all the
purpose of her brother's ordinance. And so was this cursed king
never made sorrow for, as he supposed for to have been. And ye
shall understand, that in that time there were three Herods, of
great name and fame for their cruelty. This Herod, of which I have
spoken of was Herod Ascalonite; and he that let behead Saint John
the Baptist was Herod Antipas; and he that let smite off Saint
James's head was Herod Agrippa, and he put Saint Peter in prison.

Also, furthermore, in the city is the church of Saint Saviour; and
there is the left arm of John Chrisostome, and the more part of the
head of Saint Stephen. And on that other side in the street,
toward the south as men go to Mount Sion, is a church of Saint
James, where he was beheaded.

And from that church, a six score paces, is the Mount Sion. And
there is a fair church of our Lady, where she dwelled; and there
she died. And there was wont to be an abbot of canons regulars.
And from thence was she borne of the apostles unto the vale of
Jehosaphat. And there is the stone that the angel brought to our
Lord from the mount of Sinai, and it is of that colour that the
rock is of Saint Catherine. And there beside is the gate where
through our Lady went, when she was with child, when she went to
Bethlehem. Also at the entry of the Mount Sion is a chapel. And
in that chapel is the stone, great and large, with the which the
sepulchre was covered with, when Joseph of Arimathea had put our
Lord therein; the which stone the three Marys saw turn upward when
they came to the sepulchre the day of his resurrection, and there
found an angel that told them of our Lord's uprising from death to
life. And there also is a stone in the wall, beside the gate, of
the pillar that our Lord was scourged at. And there was Annas's
house, that was bishop of the Jews in that time. And there was our
Lord examined in the night, and scourged and smitten and villainous
entreated. And that same place Saint Peter forsook our Lord thrice
or the cock crew. And there is a part of the table that he made
his supper on, when he made his maundy with his disciples, when he
gave them his flesh and his blood in form of bread and wine.

And under that chapel, thirty-two degrees, is the place where our
Lord washed his disciples' feet, and yet is the vessel where the
water was. And there beside that same vessel was Saint Stephen
buried. And there is the altar where our Lady heard the angels
sing mass. And there appeared first our Lord to his disciples
after his resurrection, the gates enclosed, and said to them, PAX
VOBIS! that is to say, 'Peace to you!' And on that mount appeared
Christ to Saint Thomas the apostle and bade him assay his wounds;
and then believed he first, and said, DOMINUS MEUS ET DEUS MEUS!
that is to say 'My Lord and my God!' In the same church, beside
the altar, were all the apostles on Whitsunday, when the Holy Ghost
descended on them in likeness of fire. And there made our Lord his
pasque with his disciples. And there slept Saint John the
evangelist upon the breast of our Lord Jesu Christ, and saw
sleeping many heavenly privities.

Mount Sion is within the city, and it is a little higher than the
other side of the city; and the city is stronger on that side than
on that other side. For at the foot of the Mount Sion is a fair
castle and a strong that the soldan let make. In the Mount Sion
were buried King David and King Solomon, and many other kings, Jews
of Jerusalem. And there is the place where the Jews would have
cast up the body of our Lady when the apostles bare the body to be
buried in the vale of Jehosaphat. And there is the place where
Saint Peter wept full tenderly after that he had forsaken our Lord.
And a stone's cast from that chapel is another chapel, where our
Lord was judged, for that time was there Caiaphas's house. From
that chapel, to go toward the east, at seven score paces, is a deep
cave under the rock, that is clept the Galilee of our Lord, where
Saint Peter hid him when he had forsaken our Lord. ITEM, between
the Mount Sion and the Temple of Solomon is the place where our
Lord raised the maiden in her father's house.

Under the Mount Sion, toward the vale of Jehosaphat, is a well that
is clept NATATORIUM SILOE. And there was our Lord washed after his
baptism; and there made our Lord the blind man to see. And there
was y-buried Isaiah the prophet. Also, straight from NATATORIUM
SILOE, is an image, of stone and of old ancient work, that Absalom
let make, and because thereof men clepe it the hand of Absalom.
And fast by is yet the tree of elder that Judas hanged himself
upon, for despair that he had, when he sold and betrayed our Lord.
And there beside was the synagogue, where the bishops of Jews and
the Pharisees came together and held their council; and there cast
Judas the thirty pence before them, and said that he had sinned
betraying our Lord. And there nigh was the house of the apostles
Philip and Jacob Alphei. And on that other side of Mount Sion,
toward the south, beyond the vale a stone's cast, is Aceldama; that
is to say, the field of blood, that was bought for the thirty
pence, that our Lord was sold for. And in that field be many tombs
of Christian men, for there be many pilgrims graven. And there be
many oratories, chapels and hermitages, where hermits were wont to
dwell. And toward the east, an hundred paces, is the charnel of
the hospital of Saint John, where men were wont to put the bones of
dead men.

Also from Jerusalem, toward the west, is a fair church, where the
tree of the cross grew. And two mile from thence is a fair church,
where our Lady met with Elizabeth, when they were both with child;
and Saint John stirred in his mother's womb, and made reverence to
his Creator that he saw not. And under the altar of that church is
the place where Saint John was born. And from that church is a
mile to the castle of Emmaus: and there also our Lord shewed him
to two of his disciples after his resurrection. Also on that other
side, 200 paces from Jerusalem, is a church, where was wont to be
the cave of the lion. And under that church, at thirty degrees of
deepness, were interred 12,000 martyrs, in the time of King Cosdroe
that the lion met with, all in a night, by the will of God.

Also from Jerusalem, two mile, is the Mount Joy, a full fair place
and a delicious; and there lieth Samuel the prophet in a fair tomb.
And men clepe it Mount Joy, for it giveth joy to pilgrims' hearts,
because that there men see first Jerusalem.

Also between Jerusalem and the mount of Olivet is the vale of
Jehosaphat, under the walls of the city, as I have said before.
And in the midst of the vale is a little river that men clepe
TORRENS CEDRON, and above it, overthwart, lay a tree (that the
cross was made of) that men yede over on. And fast by it is a
little pit in the earth, where the foot of the pillar is yet
interred; and there was our Lord first scourged, for he was
scourged and villainously entreated in many places. Also in the
middle place of the vale of Jehosaphat is the church of our Lady:
and it is of forty-three degrees under the earth unto the sepulchre
of our Lady. And our Lady was of age, when she died, seventy-two
year. And beside the sepulchre of our Lady is an altar, where our
Lord forgave Saint Peter all his sins. And from thence, toward the
west, under an altar, is a well that cometh out of the river of
Paradise. And wit well, that that church is full low in the earth,
and some is all within the earth. But I suppose well, that it was
not so founded. But for because that Jerusalem hath often-time
been destroyed and the walls abated and beten down and tumbled into
the vale, and that they have been so filled again and the ground
enhanced; and for that skill is the church so low within the earth.
And, natheles, men say there commonly, that the earth hath so been
cloven sith the time that our Lady was there buried; and yet men
say there, that it waxeth and groweth every day, without doubt. In
that church were wont to be monks black, that had their abbot.

And beside that church is a chapel, beside the rock that hight
Gethsemane. And there was our Lord kissed of Judas; and there was
he taken of the Jews. And there left our Lord his disciples, when
he went to pray before his passion, when he prayed and said, PATER,
if it may be, do let this chalice go from me': and, when he came
again to his disciples, he found them sleeping. And in the rock
within the chapel yet appear the fingers of our Lord's hand, when
he put them in the rock, when the Jews would have taken him.

And from thence, a stone's cast towards the south, is another
chapel, where our Lord sweat drops of blood. And there, right
nigh, is the tomb of King Jehosaphat, of whom the vale beareth the
name. This Jehosaphat was king of that country, and was converted
by an hermit, that was a worthy man and did much good. And from
thence, a bow draught towards the south, is the church, where Saint
James and Zachariah the prophet were buried.

And above the vale is the mount of Olivet; and it is clept so for
the plenty of olives that grow there. That mount is more high than
the city of Jerusalem is; and, therefore, may men upon that mount
see many of the streets of the city. And between that mount and
the city is not but the vale of Jehosaphat that is not full large.
And from that mount styed our Lord Jesu Christ to heaven upon
Ascension Day; and yet there sheweth the shape of his left foot in
the stone. And there is a church where was wont to be an abbot and
canons regulars. And a little thence, twenty-eight paces, is a
chapel; and therein is the stone on the which our Lord sat, when he
preached the eight blessings and said thus: BEAU PAUPERES SPIRITU:
and there he taught his disciples the PATER NOSTER; and wrote with
his finger in a stone. And there nigh is a church of Saint Mary
Egyptian, and there she lieth in a tomb. And from thence toward
the east, a three bow shot, is Bethphage, to the which our Lord
sent Saint Peter and Saint James for to seek the ass upon Palm-
Sunday, and rode upon that ass to Jerusalem.

And in coming down from the mount of Olivet, toward the east, is a
castle that is clept Bethany. And there dwelt Simon leprous, and
there harboured our Lord: and after he was baptised of the
apostles and was clept Julian, and was made bishop; and this is the
same Julian that men clepe to for good harbourage, for our Lord
harboured with him in his house. And in that house our Lord
forgave Mary Magdalene her sins: there she washed his feet with
her tears, and wiped them with her hair. And there served Saint
Martha our Lord. There our Lord raised Lazarus from death to life,
that was dead four days and stank, that was brother to Mary
Magdalene and to Martha. And there dwelt also Mary Cleophas. That
castle is well a mile long from Jerusalem. Also in coming down
from the mount of Olivet is the place where our Lord wept upon
Jerusalem. And there beside is the place where our Lady appeared
to Saint Thomas the apostle after her assumption, and gave him her
girdle. And right nigh is the stone where our Lord often-time sat
upon when he preached; and upon that same he shall sit at the day
of doom, right as himself said.

Also after the mount of Olivet is the mount of Galilee. There
assembled the apostles when Mary Magdalene came and told them of
Christ's uprising. And there, between the Mount Olivet and the
Mount Galilee, is a church, where the angel said to our Lady of her

Also from Bethany to Jericho was sometime a little city, but it is
now all destroyed, and now is there but a little village. That
city took Joshua by miracle of God and commandment of the angel,
and destroyed it, and cursed it and all them that bigged it again.
Of that city was Zaccheus the dwarf that clomb up into the sycamore
tree for to see our Lord, because he was so little he might not see
him for the people. And of that city was Rahab the common woman
that escaped alone with them of her lineage: and she often-time
refreshed and fed the messengers of Israel, and kept them from many
great perils of death; and, therefore, she had good reward, as holy
PROPHETAE ACCIPIET; that is to say, 'He that taketh a prophet in my
name, he shall take meed of the prophet.' And so had she. For she
prophesied to the messengers, saying, NOVI QUOD DOMINUS TRADET
VOBIS TERRAM HANC; that is to say, 'I wot well, that our Lord shall
betake you this land': and so he did. And after, Salomon,
Naasson's son, wedded her, and from that time was she a worthy
woman, and served God well.

Also from Bethany go men to flom Jordan by a mountain and through
desert. And it is nigh a day journey from Bethany, toward the
east, to a great hill, where our Lord fasted forty days. Upon that
hill the enemy of hell bare our Lord and tempted him, and said, DIC
UT LAPIDES ISTI PANES FIANT; that is to say, 'Say, that these
stones be made loaves.' In that place, upon the hill, was wont to
be a fair church; but it is all destroyed, so that there is now but
an hermitage, that a manner of Christian men hold, that be clept
Georgians, for Saint George converted them. Upon that hill dwelt
Abraham a great while, and therefore men clepe it Abraham's Garden.
And between the hill and this garden runneth a little brook of
water that was wont to be bitter; but, by the blessing of Elisha
the prophet, it became sweet and good to drink. And at the foot of
this hill, toward the plain, is a great well, that entereth into
from Jordan.

From that hill to Jericho, that I spake of before, is but a mile in
going toward flom Jordan. Also as men go to Jericho sat the blind
man crying, JESU, FILI DAVID, MISERERE MEI; that is to say, 'Jesu,
David's Son, have mercy on me.' And anon he had his sight. Also,
two mile from Jericho, is flome Jordan. And, an half mile more
nigh, is a fair church of Saint John the Baptist, where he baptised
our Lord. And there beside is the house of Jeremiah the prophet.



AND from Jericho, a three mile, is the Dead Sea. About that sea
groweth much alum and of alkatran. Between Jericho and that sea is
the land of Engeddi. And there was wont to grow the balm; but men
make draw the branches thereof and bear them to be grafted at
Babylon; and yet men clepe them vines of Geddi. At a coast of that
sea, as men go from Arabia, is the mount of the Moabites, where
there is a cave, that men clepe Karua. Upon that hill led Balak,
the son of Beor, Balaam the priest for to curse the people of

That Dead Sea parteth the land of Ind and of Arabia, and that sea
lasteth from Soara unto Arabia. The water of that sea is full
bitter and salt, and, if the earth were made moist and wet with
that water, it would never bear fruit. And the earth and the land
changeth often his colour. And it casteth out of the water a thing
that men clepe asphalt, also great pieces, as the greatness of an
horse, every day and on all sides. And from Jerusalem to that sea
is 200 furlongs. That sea is in length five hundred and four score
furlongs, and in breadth an hundred and fifty furlongs; and it is
clept the Dead Sea, for it runneth nought, but is ever unmovable.
And neither man, ne beast, ne nothing that beareth life in him ne
may not die in that sea. And that hath been proved many times, by
men that have deserved to be dead that have been cast therein and
left therein three days or four, and they ne might never die
therein; for it receiveth no thing within him that beareth life.
And no man may drink of the water for bitterness. And if a man
cast iron therein, it will float above. And if men cast a feather
therein, it will sink to the bottom, and these be things against

And also, the cities there were lost because of sin. And there
beside grow trees that bear full fair apples, and fair of colour to
behold; but whoso breaketh them or cutteth them in two, he shall
find within them coals and cinders, in token that by wrath of God
the cities and the land were burnt and sunken into hell. Some men
clepe that sea the lake Dalfetidee; some, the flome of Devils; and
some the flome that is ever stinking. And into that sea sunk the
five cities by wrath of God; that is to say, Sodom, Gomorrah,
Aldama, Zeboim, and Zoar, for the abominable sin of sodomy that
reigned in them. But Zoar, by the prayer of Lot, was saved and
kept a great while, for it was set upon a hill; and yet sheweth
thereof some part above the water, and men may see the walls when
it is fair weather and clear. In that city Lot dwelt a little
while; and there was he made drunk of his daughters, and lay with
them, and engendered of them Moab and Ammon. And the cause why his
daughters made him drunk and for to lie by him was this: because
they saw no man about them, but only their father, and therefore
they trowed that God had destroyed all the world as he had done the
cities, as he had done before by Noah's flood. And therefore they
would lie by with their father for to have issue, and for to
replenish the world again with people to restore the world again by
them; for they trowed that there had been no more men in all the
world; and if their father had not been drunk, he had not lain with

And the hill above Zoar men cleped it then Edom and after men
cleped it Seir, and after Idumea. Also at the right side of that
Dead Sea, dwelleth yet the wife of Lot in likeness of a salt stone;
for that she looked behind her when the cities sunk into hell.
This Lot was Haran's son, that was brother to Abraham; and Sarah,
Abraham's wife, and Milcah, Nahor's wife, were sisters to the said
Lot. And the same Sarah was of eld four score and ten year when
Isaac her son was gotten on her. And Abraham had another son
Ishmael that he gat upon Hagar his chamberer. And when Isaac his
son was eight days old, Abraham his father let him be circumcised,
and Ishmael with him that was fourteen year old: wherefore the
Jews that come of Isaac's line be circumcised the eighth day, and
the Saracens that come of Ishmael's line be circumcised when they
be fourteen year of age.

And ye shall understand, that within the Dead Sea, runneth the flom
Jordan, and there it dieth, for it runneth no further more, and
that is a place that is a mile from the church of Saint John the
Baptist toward the west, a little beneath the place where that
Christian men bathe them commonly. And a mile from flom Jordan is
the river of Jabbok, the which Jacob passed over when he came from
Mesopotamia. This flom Jordan is no great river, but it is
plenteous of good fish; and it cometh out of the hill of Lebanon by
two wells that be clept Jor and Dan, and of the two wells hath it
the name. And it passeth by a lake that is clept Maron. And after
it passeth by the sea of Tiberias, and passeth under the hills of
Gilboa; and there is a full fair vale, both on that one side and on
that other of the same river. And men go [on] the hills of
Lebanon, all in length unto the desert of Pharan; and those hills
part the kingdom of Syria and the country of Phoenicia; and upon
those hills grow trees of cedar that be full high, and they bear
long apples, and as great as a man's head.

And also this flom Jordan departeth the land of Galilee and the
land of Idumea and the land of Betron, and that runneth under earth
a great way unto a fair plain and a great that is clept Meldan in
Sarmois; that is to say, Fair or market in their language, because
that there is often fairs in that plain. And there becometh the
water great and large. In that plain is the tomb of Job.

And in that flom Jordan above-said was our Lord baptised of Saint
John, and the voice of God the Father was heard saying: HIC EST
FILIUS MEUS DILECTUS, ETC.; that is to say, 'This is my beloved
Son, in the which I am well pleased; hear him!' and the Holy Ghost
alighted upon him in likeness of a culver; and so at his baptising
was all the whole Trinity.

And through that flome passed the children of Israel, all dry feet;
and they put stones there in the middle place, in token of the
miracle that the water withdrew him so. Also in that flome Jordan
Naaman of Syria bathed him, that was full rich, but he was mesell;
and there anon he took his health.

About the flome Jordan be many churches where that many Christian
men dwelled. And nigh thereto is the city of Ai that Joshua
assailed and took. Also beyond the flome Jordan is the vale of
Mamre, and that is a full fair vale. Also upon the hill that I
spake of before, where our Lord fasted forty days, a two mile long
from Galilee, is a fair hill and an high, where the enemy the fiend
bare our Lord the third time to tempt him, and shewed him all the
regions of the world and said, HEC OMNIA TIBI DABO, SI CADENS
ADORAVERIS ME; that is to say, 'All this shall I give thee, if thou
fall and worship me.'

Also from the Dead Sea to go eastward, out of the marches of the
Holy Land that is clept the Land of Promission, is a strong castle
and a fair, in an hill that is clept Carak in Sarmois; that is to
say, Royally. That castle let make King Baldwin, that was King of
France, when he had conquered that land, and put it into Christian
men's hands for to keep that country; and for that cause was it
clept the Mount Royal. And under it there is a town that hight
Sobach, and there, all about, dwell Christian men, under tribute.

From thence go men to Nazareth, of the which our Lord beareth the
surname. And from thence there is three journeys to Jerusalem:
and men go by the province of Galilee by Ramath, by Sothim and by
the high hill of Ephraim, where Elkanah and Hannah the mother of
Samuel the prophet dwelled. There was born this prophet; and,
after his death, he was buried at Mount Joy, as I have said you

And then go men to Shiloh, where the Ark of God with the relics
were kept long time under Eli the prophet. There made the people
of Hebron sacrifice to our Lord, and they yielded up their vows.
And there spake God first to Samuel, and shewed him the mutation of
Order of Priesthood, and the mystery of the Sacrament. And right
nigh, on the left side, is Gibeon and Ramah and Benjamin, of the
which holy writ speaketh of.

And after men go to Sichem, some-time clept Sichar; and that is in
the province of Samaritans. And there is a full fair vale and a
fructuous; and there is a fair city and a good that men clepe
Neople. And from thence is a journey to Jerusalem. And there is
the well, where our Lord spake to the woman of Samaritan. And
there was wont to be a church, but it is beaten down. Beside that
well King Rehoboam let make two calves of gold and made them to be
worshipped, and put that one at Dan and that other at Bethel. And
a mile from Sichar is the city of Luz; and in that city dwelt
Abraham a certain time. Sichem is a ten mile from Jerusalem, and
it is clept Neople; that is for to say, the New City. And nigh
beside is the tomb of Joseph the son of Jacob that governed Egypt:
for the Jews bare his bones from Egypt and buried them there, and
thither go the Jews often-time in pilgrimage with great devotion.
In that city was Dinah, Jacob's daughter, ravished, for whom her
brethren slew many persons and did many harms to the city. And
there beside is the hill of Gerizim, where the Samaritans make
their sacrifice: in that hill would Abraham have sacrificed his
son Isaac. And there beside is the vale of Dotaim, and there is
the cistern, where Joseph, was cast in of his brethren, which they
sold; and that is two mile from Sichar.

From thence go men to Samaria that men clepe now Sebast; and that
is the chief city of that country, and it sits between the hill of
Aygnes as Jerusalem doth. In that city was the sittings of the
twelve tribes of Israel; but the city is not now so great as it was
wont to be. There was buried Saint John the Baptist between two
prophets, Elisha and Abdon; but he was beheaded in the castle of
Macharim beside the Dead Sea, and after he was translated of his
disciples, and buried at Samaria. And there let Julianus Apostata
dig him up and let burn his bones (for he was at that time emperor)
and let winnow the ashes in the wind. But the finger that shewed
our Lord, saying, ECCE AGNUS DEI; that is to say, 'Lo! the Lamb of
God,' that would never burn, but is all whole; - that finger let
Saint Thecla, the holy virgin, be born into the hill of Sebast; and
there make men great feast.

In that place was wont to be a fair church; and many other there
were; but they be all beaten down. There was wont to be the head
of Saint John Baptist, enclosed in the wall. But the Emperor
Theodosius let draw it out, and found it wrapped in a little cloth,
all bloody; and so he let it to be born to Constantinople. And yet
at Constantinople is the hinder part of the head, and the fore part
of the head, till under the chin, is at Rome under the church of
Saint Silvester, where be nuns of an hundred orders: and it is yet
all broilly, as though it were half-burnt, for the Emperor Julianus
above-said, of his cursedness and malice, let burn that part with
the other bones, and yet it sheweth; and this thing hath been
proved both by popes and by emperors. And the jaws beneath, that
hold to the chin, and a part of the ashes and the platter that the
head was laid in, when it was smitten off, is at Genoa; and the
Genoese make of it great feast, and so do the Saracens also. And
some men say that the head of Saint John is at Amiens in Picardy;
and other men say that it is the head of Saint John the Bishop. I
wot never, but God knoweth; but in what wise that men worship it,
the blessed Saint John holds him a-paid.

From this city of Sebast unto Jerusalem is twelve mile. And
between the hills of that country there is a well that four sithes
in the year changeth his colour, sometime green, sometime red,
sometime clear and sometime trouble; and men clepe that well, Job.
And the folk of that country, that men clepe Samaritans, were
converted and baptized by the apostles; but they hold not well
their doctrine, and always they hold laws by themselves, varying
from Christian men, from Saracens, Jews and Paynims. And the
Samaritans lieve well in one God, and they say well that there is
but only one God, that all formed, and all shall doom; and they
hold the Bible after the letter, and they use the Psalter as the
Jews do. And they say that they be the right sons of God. And
among all other folk, they say that they be best beloved of God,
and that to them belongeth the heritage that God behight to his
beloved children. And they have also diverse clothing and shape to
look on than other folk have; for they wrap their heads in red
linen cloth, in difference from others. And the Saracens wrap
their heads in white linen cloth; and the Christian men, that dwell
in the country, wrap them in blue of Ind; and the Jews in yellow
cloth. In that country dwell many of the Jews, paying tribute as
Christian men do. And if ye will know the letters that the Jews
use they be such, and the names be as they clepe them written
above, in manner of their A. B. C.

Aleph Beth Gymel Deleth He Vau Zay

Heth Thet Joht Kapho Lampd Mem Num

Sameth Ey Fhee Sade Coph Resch Son Tau



FROM this country of the Samaritans that I have spoken of before go
men to the plains of Galilee, and men leave the hills on that one

And Galilee is one of the provinces of the Holy Land, and in that
province is the city of Nain - and Capernaum, and Chorazin and
Bethsaida. In this Bethsaida was Saint Peter and Saint Andrew
born. And thence, a four mile, is Chorazin. And five mile from
Chorazin is the city of Kedar whereof the Psalter speaketh: ET
HABITAVI CUM HABITANTIBUS KEDAR; that is for to say, 'And I have
dwelled with the dwelling men in Kedar.' In Chorazin shall
Antichrist be born, as some men say. And other men say he shall be
born in Babylon; for the prophet saith: DE BABILONIA COLUBER
EXEST, QUI TOTUM MUNDUM DEVORABIT; that is to say 'Out of Babylon
shall come a worm that shall devour all the world.' This
Antichrist shall be nourished in Bethsaida, and he shall reign in
Capernaum: and therefore saith holy writ; VAE TIBI, CHORAZIN! VAE
TIBI, BETHSAIDA! VAE TIBI, CAPERNAUM! that is to say, 'Woe be to
thee, Chorazin! Woe to thee, Bethsaida! Woe to thee, Capernaum.'
And all these towns be in the land of Galilee. And also the Cana
of Galilee is four mile from Nazareth: of that city was Simon
Chananeus and his wife Canee, of the which the holy evangelist
speaketh of. There did our Lord the first miracle at the wedding,
when he turned water into wine.

And in the end of Galilee, at the hills, was the Ark of God taken;
and on that other side is the Mount Endor or Hermon. And,
thereabout, goeth the Brook of Torrens Kishon; and there beside,
Barak, that was Abimelech's son with Deborah the prophetess
overcame the host of Idumea, when Sisera the king was slain of Jael
the wife of Heber, and chased beyond the flome Jordan, by strength
of sword, Zeeb and Zebah and Zalmunna, and there he slew them.
Also a five mile from Nain is the city of Jezreel that sometime was
clept Zarim, of the which city Jezabel, the cursed queen, was lady
and queen, that took away the vine of Naboth by her strength. Fast
by that city is the field Megiddo, in the which the King Joram was
slain of the King of Samaria and after was translated and buried in
the Mount Sion.

And a mile from Jezreel be the hills of Gilboa, where Saul and
Jonathan, that were so fair, died; wherefore David cursed them, as
holy writ saith: MONTES GILBOAE, NEC ROS NEC PLUVIA, ETC.; that is
to say, 'Ye hills of Gilboa, neither dew ne rain come upon you.'
And a mile from the hills of Gilboa toward the east is the city of
Cyropolis, that was clept before Bethshan; and upon the walls of
that city was the head of Saul hanged.

After go men by the hill beside the plains of Galilee unto
Nazareth, where was wont to be a great city and a fair; but now
there is not but a little village, and houses abroad here and
there. And it is not walled. And it sits in a little valley, and
there be hills all about. There was our Lady born, but she was
gotten at Jerusalem. And because that our Lady was born at
Nazareth, therefore bare our Lord his surname of that town. There
took Joseph our Lady to wife, when she was fourteen year of age.
And there Gabriel greeted our Lady, saying, AVE GRATIA PLENA,
DOMINUS TECUM! that is to say, 'Hail, full of grace, our Lord is
with thee!' And this salutation was done in a place of a great
altar of a fair church that was wont to be sometime, but it is now
all down, and men have made a little receipt, beside a pillar of
that church, to receive the offerings of pilgrims. And the
Saracens keep that place full dearly, for the profit that they have
thereof. And they be full wicked Saracens and cruel, and more
despiteful than in any other place, and have destroyed all the
churches. There nigh is Gabriel's Well, where our Lord was wont to
bathe him, when he was young, and from that well bare he water
often-time to his mother. And in that well she washed often-time
the clouts of her Son Jesu Christ. And from Jerusalem unto thither
is three journeys. At Nazareth was our Lord nourished. Nazareth
is as much to say as, 'Flower of the garden'; and by good skill may
it be clept flower, for there was nourished the flower of life that
was Christ Jesu.

And two mile from Nazareth is the city of Sephor, by the way that
goeth from Nazareth to Akon. And an half mile from Nazareth is the
Leap of our Lord. For the Jews led him upon an high rock for to
make him leap down, and have slain him; but Jesu passed amongst
them, and leapt upon another rock, and yet be the steps of his feet
seen in the rock, where he alighted. And therefore say some men,
when they dread them of thieves in any way, or of enemies; JESUS
forsooth, passing by the midst of them, he went': in token and
mind, that our Lord passed through, out the Jews' cruelty, and
scaped safely from them, so surely may men pass the peril of
thieves'. And then say men two verses of the Psalter three sithes:
and then may men pass without peril.

And ye shall understand, that our Lady had child when she was
fifteen year old. And she was conversant with her son thirty-three
year and three months. And after the passion of our Lord she lived
twenty-four year.

Also from Nazareth men go to the Mount Tabor; and that is a four
mile. And it is a full fair hill and well high, where was wont to
be a town and many churches; but they be all destroyed. But yet
there is a place that men clepe the school of God, where he was
wont to teach his disciples, and told them the privities of heaven.
And, at the foot of that hill, Melchisedech that was King of Salem,
in the turning of that hill met Abraham in coming again from the
battle, when he had slain Abimelech. And this Melchisedech was
both king and priest of Salem that now is clept Jerusalem. In that
hill Tabor our Lord transfigured him before Saint Peter, Saint John
and Saint Jame; and there they saw, ghostly, Moses and Elias the
prophets beside them. And therefore said Saint Peter; DOMINE,
say, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here; make we here three
dwelling-places.' And there heard they a voice of the Father that
our Lord defended them that they should not tell that avision till
that he were risen from death to life.

In that hill and in that same place, at the day of doom, four
angels with four trumpets shall blow and raise all men that had
suffered death, sith that the world was formed, from death to life;
and shall come in body and soul in judgment, before the face of our
Lord in the Vale of Jehosaphat. And the doom shall be on Easter
Day, such time as our Lord arose. And the doom shall begin, such
hour as our Lord descended to hell and despoiled it. For at such
hour shall he despoil the world and lead his chosen to bliss; and
the other shall he condemn to perpetual pains. And then shall
every man have after his desert, either good or evil, but if the
mercy of God pass his righteousness.

Also a mile from Mount Tabor is the Mount Hermon; and there was the
city of Nain. Before the gate of that city raised our Lord the
widow's son, that had no more children. Also three miles from
Nazareth is the Castle Safra, of the which the sons of Zebedee and
the sons of Alpheus were. Also a seven mile from Nazareth is the
Mount Cain, and under that is a well; and beside that well Lamech,
Noah's father, slew Cain with an arrow. For this Cain went through
briars and bushes as a wild beast; and he had lived from the time
of Adam his father unto the time of Noah, and so he lived nigh to
2000 year. And this Lamech was all blind for eld.

From Safra men go to the sea of Galilee and to the city of
Tiberias, that sits upon the same sea. And albeit that men clepe
it a sea, yet is it neither sea ne arm of the sea. For it is but a
stank of fresh water that is in length one hundred furlongs, and of
breadth forty furlongs, and hath within him great plenty of good
fish, and runneth into flom Jordan. The city is not full great,
but it hath good baths within him.

And there, as the flome Jordan parteth from the sea of Galilee, is
a great bridge, where men pass from the Land of Promission to the
land of King Bashan and the land of Gennesaret, that be about the
flom Jordan and the beginning of the sea of Tiberias. And from
thence may men go to Damascus, in three days, by the kingdom of
Traconitis, the which kingdom lasteth from Mount Hermon to the sea
of Galilee, or to the sea of Tiberias, or to the sea of Gennesaret;
and all is one sea, and this the tank that I have told you, but it
changeth thus the name for the names of the cities that sit beside

Upon that sea went our Lord dry feet; and there he took up Saint
Peter, when he began to drench within the sea, and said to him,
MODICE FIDEI, QUARE DUBITASTI? And after his resurrection our Lord
appeared on that sea to his disciples and bade them fish, and
filled all the net full of great fishes. In that sea rowed our
Lord often-time; and there he called to him Saint Peter, Saint
Andrew, Saint James and Saint John, the sons of Zebedee.

In that city of Tiberias is the table upon the which our Lord ate
upon with his disciples after his resurrection; and they knew him
in breaking of bread, as the gospel saith: ET COGNOVERUNT EUM IN
FRACTIONE PANIS. And nigh that city of Tiberias is the hill, where
our Lord fed 5000 persons with five barley loaves and two fishes.

In that city a man cast a burning dart in wrath after our Lord.
And the head smote into the earth and waxed green; and it growed to
a great tree. And yet it groweth and the bark thereof is all like

Also in the head of that sea of Galilee, toward the septentrion is
a strong castle and an high that hight Saphor. And fast beside it
is Capernaum. Within the Land of Promission is not so strong a
castle. And there is a good town beneath that is clept also
Saphor. In that castle Saint Anne our Lady's mother was born. And
there beneath, was Centurio's house. That country is clept the
Galilee of Folk that were taken to tribute of Zebulon and Napthali.

And in again coming from that castle, a thirty mile, is the city of
Dan, that sometime was clept Belinas or Cesarea Philippi; that sits
at the foot of the Mount of Lebanon, where the flome Jordan
beginneth. There beginneth the Land of Promission and dureth unto
Beersheba in length, in going toward the north into the south, and
it containeth well a nine score miles; and of breadth, that is to
say, from Jericho unto Jaffa, and that containeth a forty mile of
Lombardy, or of our country, that be also little miles; these be
not miles of Gascony ne of the Province of Almayne, where be great
miles. And wit ye well, that the Land of Promission is in Syria.
For the realm of Syria dureth from the deserts of Arabia unto
Cilicia, and that is Armenia the great; that is to say, from the
south to the north. And, from the east to the west, it dureth from
the great deserts of Arabia unto the West Sea. But in that realm
of Syria is the kingdom of Judea and many other provinces, as
Palestine, Galilee, Little Cilicia, and many other.

In that country and other countries beyond they have a custom, when
they shall use war, and when men hold siege about city or castle,
and they within dare not send out messengers with letters from lord
to lord for to ask succour, they make their letters and bind them
to the neck of a culver, and let the culver flee. And the culvers
be so taught, that they flee with those letters to the very place
that men would send them to. For the culvers be nourished in those
places where they be sent to, and they send them thus, for to bear
their letters. And the culvers return again whereas they be
nourished; and so they do commonly.

And ye shall understand that amongst the Saracens, one part and
other, dwell many Christian men of many manners and diverse names.
And all be baptized and have diverse laws and diverse customs. But
all believe in God the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost; but
always fail they in some articles of our faith. Some of these be
clept Jacobites, for Saint James converted them and Saint John
baptized them. They say that a man shall make his confession only
to God, and not to a man; for only to him should man yield him
guilty of all that he hath misdone. Ne God ordained not, ne never
devised, ne the prophet neither, that a man should shrive him to
another (as they say), but only to God. As Moses writeth in the
Bible, and as David saith in the Psalter Book; CONFITEBOR TIBI,
HOMINIS CONFITEBITUR TIBI, etc. For they know all the Bible and
the Psalter. And therefore allege they so the letter. But they
allege not the authorities thus in Latin, but in their language
full apertly, and say well, that David and other prophets say it.

Natheles, Saint Augustine and Saint Gregory say thus:- Augustinus:
CORDIS NATA FUERIT COMPUNCTIO. And for such authorities they say,
that only to God shall a man knowledge his defaults, yielding
himself guilty and crying him mercy, and behoting to him to amend
himself. And therefore, when they will shrive them, they take fire
and set it beside them, and cast therein powder of frankincense;
and in the smoke thereof they shrive them to God, and cry him
mercy. But sooth it is, that this confession was first and kindly.
But Saint Peter the apostle, and they that came after him, have
ordained to make their confession to man, and by good reason; for
they perceived well that no sickness was curable, [ne] good
medicine to lay thereto, but if men knew the nature of the malady;
and also no man may give convenable medicine, but if he know the
quality of the deed. For one sin may be greater in one man than in
another, and in one place and in one time than in another; and
therefore it behoveth him that he know the kind of the deed, and
thereupon to give him penance.

There be other, that be clept Syrians; and they hold the belief
amongst us, and of them of Greece. And they use all beards, as men
of Greece do. And they make the sacrament of therf bread. And in
their language they use letters of Saracens. But after the mystery
of Holy Church they use letters of Greece. And they make their
confession, right as the Jacobites do.

There be other, that men clepe Georgians, that Saint George
converted; and him they worship more than any other saint, and to
him they cry for help. And they came out of the realm of Georgia.
These folk use crowns shaven. The clerks have round crowns, and
the lewd men have crowns all square. And they hold Christian law,
as do they of Greece; of whom I have spoken of before.

Other there be that men clepe Christian men of Girding, for they be
all girt above. And there be other that men clept Nestorians. And
some Arians, some Nubians, some of Greece, some of Ind, and some of
Prester John's Land. And all these have many articles of our
faith, and to other they be variant. And of their variance were
too long to tell, and so I will leave, as for the time, without
more speaking of them.



NOW after that I have told you some part of folk in the countries
before, now will I turn again to my way, for to turn again on this
half. Then whoso will go from the land of Galilee, of that that I
have spoke for, to come again on this half, men come again by
Damascus, that is a full fair city and full noble, and full of all
merchandises, and a three journeys long from the sea, and a five
journeys from Jerusalem. But upon camels, mules, horses,
dromedaries and other beasts, men carry their merchandise thither.
And thither come the merchants with merchandise by sea from India,
Persia, Chaldea, Armenia, and of many other kingdoms.

This city founded Eliezer Damascus, that was yeoman and dispenser
of Abraham before that Isaac was born. For he thought for to have
been Abraham's heir, and he named the town after his surname
Damascus. And in that place, where Damascus was founded, Cain slew
Abel his brother. And beside Damascus is the Mount Seir. In that
city of Damascus there is great plenty of wells. And within the
city and without be many fair gardens and of diverse fruits. None
other city is not like in comparison to it of fair gardens, and of
fair disports. The city is great and full of people, and well
walled with double walls. And there be many physicians. And Saint
Paul himself was there a physician for to keep men's bodies in
health, before he was converted. And after that he was physician
of souls. And Saint Luke the evangelist was disciple of Saint Paul
for to learn physic, and many other; for Saint Paul held then
school of physic. And near beside Damascus was he converted. And
after his conversion ne dwelt in that city three days, without
sight and without meat or drink; and in those three days he was
ravished to heaven, and there he saw many privities of our Lord.

And fast beside Damascus is the castle of Arkes that is both fair
and strong.

From Damascus men come again by our Lady of Sardenak, that is a
five mile on this half Damascus. And it sitteth upon a rock, and
it is a full fair place; and it seemeth a castle, for there was
wont to be a castle, but it is now a full fair church. And there
within be monks and nuns Christian. And there is a vault under the
church, where that Christian men dwell also. And they have many
good vines. And in the church, behind the high altar, in the wall,
is a table of black wood, on the which sometime was depainted an
image of our Lady that turneth into flesh: but now the image
sheweth but little, but alway, by the grace of God, that table
evermore drops oil, as it were of olive; and there is a vessel of
marble under the table to receive the oil. Thereof they give to
pilgrims, for it heals of many sicknesses; and men say that, if it
be kept well seven year, afterwards it turns into flesh and blood.
From Sardenak men come through the vale of Bochar, the which is a
fair vale and a plenteous of all manner of fruit; and it is amongst
hills. And there are therein fair rivers and great meadows and
noble pasture for beasts. And men go by the mounts of Libanus,
which lasts from Armenia the more towards the north unto Dan, the
which is the end of the Land of Repromission toward the north, as I
said before. Their hills are right fruitful, and there are many
fair wells and cedars and cypresses, and many other trees of divers
kinds. There are also many good towns toward the head of their
hills, full of folk.

Between the city of Arkez and the city of Raphane is a river, that
is called Sabatory; for on the Saturday it runs fast, and all the
week else it stand still and runs not, or else but fairly. Between
the foresaid hills also is another water that on nights freezes
hard and on days is no frost seen thereon. And, as men come again
from those hills, is a hill higher than any of the other, and they
call it there the High Hill. There is a great city and a fair, the
which is called Tripoli, in the which are many good Christian men,
yemand the same rites and customs that we use. From thence men
come by a city that is called Beyrout, where Saint George slew the
dragon; and it is a good town, and a fair castle therein, and it is
three journeys from the foresaid city of Sardenak. At the one side
of Beyrout sixteen mile, to come hitherward, is the city of Sydon.
At Beyrout enters pilgrims into the sea that will come to Cyprus,
and they arrive at the port of Surry or of Tyre, and so they come
to Cyprus in a little space. Or men may come from the port of Tyre
and come not at Cyprus, and arrive at some haven of Greece, and so
come to these parts, as I said before.

I have told you now of the way by which men go farrest and longest
to Jerusalem, as by Babylon and Mount Sinai and many other places
which ye heard me tell of; and also by which ways men shall turn
again to the Land of Repromission. Now will I tell you the
rightest way and the shortest to Jerusalem. For some men will not
go the other; some for they have not spending enough, some for they
have no good company, and some for they may not endure the long
travel, some for they dread them of many perils of deserts, some
for they will haste them homeward, desiring to see their wives and
their children, or for some other reasonable cause that they have
to turn soon home. And therefore I will shew how men may pass
tittest and in shortest time make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. A
man that comes from the lands of the west, he goes through France,
Burgoyne, and Lumbardy. And so to Venice or Genoa, or some other
haven, and ships there and wends by sea to the isle of Greff, the
which pertains to the Genoans.

And syne he arrives in Greece at Port Mirrok, or at Valoun, or at
Duras, or at some other haven of that country, and rests him there
and buys him victuals and ships again and sails to Cyprus and
arrives there at Famagost and comes not at the isle of Rhodes.
Famagost is the chief haven of Cyprus; and there he refreshes him
and purveys him of victuals, and then he goes to ship and comes no
more on land, if he will, before he comes at Port Jaffa, that is
the next haven to Jerusalem, for it is but a day journey and a half
from Jerusalem, that is to say thirty-six mile. From the Port
Jaffa men go to the city of Rames, the which is but a little
thence; and it is a fair city and a good and mickle folk therein.
And without that city toward the south is a kirk of our Lady, where
our Lord shewed him to her in three clouds, the which betokened the
Trinity. And a little thence is another city, that men call
Dispolis, but it hight some time Lidda, a fair city and a well
inhabited: there is a kirk of Saint George, where he was headed.
From thence men go to the castle of Emmaus, and so to the Mount
Joy; there may pilgrims first see Jerusalem. At Mount Joy lies
Samuel the prophet. From thence men go to Jerusalem. Beside their
ways is the city of Ramatha and the Mount Modyn; and thereof was
Matathias, Judas Machabeus father, and there are the graves of the
Machabees. Beyond Ramatha is the town of Tekoa, whereof Amos the
prophet was; and there is his grave.

I have told you before of the holy places that are at Jerusalem and
about it, and therefore I will speak no more of them at this time.
But I will turn again and shew you other ways a man may pass more
by land, and namely for them that may not suffer the savour of the
sea, but is liefer to go by land, if all it be the more pain. From
a man be entered into the sea he shall pass till one of the havens
of Lumbardy, for there is the best making of purveyance of
victuals; or he may pass to Genoa or Venice or some other. And he
shall pass by sea in to Greece to the Port Mirrok, or to Valoun or
to Duras, or some other haven of that country. And from thence he
shall go by land to Constantinople, and he shall pass the water
that is called Brace Saint George, the which is one arm of the sea.
And from thence he shall by land go to Ruffynell, where a good
castle is and a strong; and from therein he shall go to Puluual,
and syne to the castle of Sinope, and from thence to Cappadocia,
that is a great country, where are many great hills. And he shall
go though Turkey to the port of Chiutok and to the city of Nicaea,
which is but seven miles thence. That city won the Turks from the
Emperor of Constantinople; and it is a fair city and well walled on
the one side, and on the other side is a great lake and a great
river, the which is called Lay. From thence men go by the hills of
Nairmount and by the vales of Mailbrins and strait fells and by the
town of Ormanx or by the towns that are on Riclay and Stancon, the
which are great rivers and noble, and so to Antioch the less, which
is set on the river of Riclay. And there abouts are many good
hills and fair, and many fair woods and great plenty of wild beasts
for to hunt at.

And he that will go another way, he shall go by the plains of
Romany coasting the Roman Sea. On that coast is a fair castle that
men call Florach, and it is right a strong place. And uppermore
amongst the mountains is a fair city, that is called Tarsus, and
the city of Longemaath, and the city of Assere, and the city of
Marmistre. And when a man is passed those mountains and those
fells, he goes by the city of Marioch and by Artoise, where is a
great bridge upon the river of Ferne, that is called Farfar, and it
is a great river bearing ships and it runs right fast out of the
mountains to the city of Damascus. And beside the city of Damascus
is another great river that comes from the hills of Liban, which
men call Abbana. At the passing of this river Saint Eustace, that
some-time was called Placidas, lost his wife and his two children.
This river runs through the plain of Archades, and so to the Red
Sea. From thence men go to the city of Phenice, where are hot
wells and hot baths. And then men go to the city of Ferne; and
between Phenice and Ferne are ten mile. And there are many fair
woods. And then men come to Antioch, which is ten mile thence.
And it is a fair city and well walled about with many fair towers;
and it is a great city, but it was some-time greater than it is
now. For it was some-time two mile on length and on breadth other
half mile. And through the midst of that city ran the water of
Farphar and a great bridge over it; and there was some-time in the
walls about this city three hundred and fifty towers, and at each
pillar of the bridge was a stone. This is the chief city of the
kingdom of Syria. And ten mile from this city is the port of Saint
Symeon; and there goes the water of Farphar into the sea. From
Antioch men go to a city that is called Lacuth, and then to Gebel,
and then to Tortouse. And there near is the land of Channel; and
there is a strong castle that is called Maubek. From Tortouse pass
men to Tripoli by sea, or else by land through the straits of
mountains and fells. And there is a city that is called Gibilet.
From Tripoli go men to Acres; and from thence are two ways to
Jerusalem, the one on the left half and the other on the right
half. By the left way men go by Damascus and by the flum Jordan.
By the right way men go by Maryn and by the land of Flagramy and
near the mountains into the city of Cayphas, that some men call the
castle of Pilgrims. And from thence to Jerusalem are three day
journey, in the which men shall go through Caesarea Philippi, and
so to Jaffa and Rames and the castle of Emmaus, and so to

Now have I told you some ways by land and by water that men may go
by to the Holy Land after the countries that they come from.
Nevertheless they come all to one end. Yet is there another way to
Jerusalem all by land, and pass not the sea, from France or
Flanders; but that way is full long and perilous and of great
travel, and therefore few go that way. He that shall go that way,
he shall go through Almayne and Prussia and so to Tartary. This
Tartary is holden of the great Caan of Cathay, of whom I think to
speak afterward. This is a full ill land and sandy and little
fruit bearing. For there grows no corn, ne wine, ne beans, ne
peas, ne none other fruit convenable to man for to live with. But
there are beasts in great plenty: and therefore they eat but flesh
without bread and sup the broth and they drink milk of all manner
of beasts. They eat hounds, cats, ratons, and all other wild
beasts. And they have no wood, or else little; and therefore they
warm and seethe their meat with horse-dung and cow-dung and of
other beasts, dried against the sun. And princes and other eat not
but once in the day, and that but little. And they be right foul
folk and of evil kind. And in summer, by all the countries, fall
many tempests and many hideous thunders and leits and slay much
people and beasts also full often-time. And suddenly is there
passing heat, and suddenly also passing cold; and it is the foulest
country and the most cursed and the poorest that men know. And
their prince, that governeth that country, that they clepe Batho,
dwelleth at the city of Orda. And truly no good man should not
dwell in that country, for the land and the country is not worthy
hounds to dwell in. It were a good country to sow in thistle and
briars and broom and thorns and briars; and for no other thing is
it not good. Natheles, there is good land in some place, but it is
pure little, as men say.

I have not been in that country, nor by those ways. But I have
been at other lands that march to those countries, as in the land
of Russia, as in the land of Nyflan, and in the realm of Cracow and
of Letto, and in the realm of Daristan, and in many other places
that march to the coasts. But I went never by that way to
Jerusalem, wherefore I may not well tell you the manner.

But, if this matter please to any worthy man that hath gone by that
way, he may tell it if him like, to that intent, that those, that
will go by that way and make their voyage by those coasts, may know
what way is there. For no man may pass by that way goodly, but in
time of winter, for the perilous waters and wicked mareys, that be
in those countries, that no man may pass but if it be strong frost
and snow above. For if the snow ne were not, men might not go upon
the ice, ne horse ne car neither.

And it is well a three journeys of such way to pass from Prussia to
the land of Saracens habitable. And it behoveth to the Christian
men, that shall war against them every year, to bear their victuals
with them; for they shall find there no good. And then must they
let carry their victual upon the ice with cars that have no wheels,
that they clepe sleighs. And as long as their victuals last they
may abide there, but no longer; for there shall they find no wight
that will sell them any victual or anything. And when the spies
see any Christian men come upon them, they run to the towns, and
cry with a loud voice; KERRA, KERRA, KERRA. And then anon they arm
them and assemble them together.

And ye shall understand that it freezeth more strongly in those
countries than on this half. And therefore hath every man stews in
his house, and in those stews they eat and do their occupations all
that they may. For that is at the north parts that men clepe the
Septentrional where it is all only cold. For the sun is but little
or none toward those countries. And therefore in the Septentrion,
that is very north, is the land so cold, that no man may dwell
there. And, in the contrary, toward the south it is so hot, that
no man ne may dwell there, because that the sun, when he is upon
the south, casteth his beams all straight upon that part.



NOW, because that I have spoken of Saracens and of their country -
now, if ye will know a part of their law and of their belief, I
shall tell you after that their book that is clept ALKARON telleth.
And some men clepe that book MESHAF. And some men clepe it HARME,
after the diverse languages of the country. The which book
Mohammet took them. In the which book, among other things, is
written, as I have often-time seen and read, that the good shall go
to paradise, and the evil to hell; and that believe all Saracens.
And if a man ask them what paradise they mean, they say, to
paradise that is a place of delights where men shall find all
manner of fruits in all seasons, and rivers running of milk and
honey, and of wine and of sweet water; and that they shall have
fair houses and noble, every man after his desert, made of precious
stones and of gold and of silver; and that every man shall have
four score wives all maidens, and he shall have ado every day with
them, and yet he shall find them always maidens.

Also they believe and speak gladly of the Virgin Mary and of the
Incarnation. And they say that Mary was taught of the angel; and
that Gabriel said to her, that she was for-chosen from the
beginning of the world and that he shewed to her the Incarnation of
Jesu Christ and that she conceived and bare child maiden; and that
witnesseth their book.

And they say also, that Jesu Christ spake as soon as he was born;
and that he was an holy prophet and a true in word and deed, and
meek and piteous and rightful and without any vice.

And they say also, that when the angel shewed the Incarnation of
Christ unto Mary, she was young and had great dread. For there was
then an enchanter in the country that dealt with witchcraft, that
men clept Taknia, that by his enchantments could make him in
likeness of an angel, and went often-times and lay with maidens.
And therefore Mary dreaded lest it had been Taknia, that came for
to deceive the maidens. And therefore she conjured the angel, that
he should tell her if it were he or no. And the angel answered and
said that she should have no dread of him, for he was very
messenger of Jesu Christ. Also their book saith, that when that
she had childed under a palm tree she had great shame, that she had
a child; and she greet and said that she would that she had been
dead. And anon the child spake to her and comforted her, and said,
"Mother, ne dismay thee nought, for God hath hid in thee his
privities for the salvation of the world." And in other many
places saith their ALKARON, that Jesu Christ spake as soon as he
was born. And that book saith also that Jesu was sent from God
Almighty for to be mirror and example and token to all men.

And the ALKARON saith also of the day of doom how God shall come to
doom all manner of folk. And the good he shall draw on his side
and put them into bliss, and the wicked he shall condemn to the
pains of hell. And among all prophets Jesu was the most excellent
and the most worthy next God, and that he made the gospels in the
which is good doctrine and healthful, full of clarity and
soothfastness and true preaching to them that believe in God. And
that he was a very prophet and more than a prophet, and lived
without sin, and gave sight to the blind, and healed the lepers,
and raised dead men, and styed to heaven.

And when they may hold the Book of the Gospels of our Lord written
and namely MISSUS EST ANGELUS GABRIEL, that gospel they say, those
that be lettered, often-times in their orisons, and they kiss it
and worship it with great devotion.

They fast an whole month in the year and eat nought but by night.
And they keep them from their wives all that month. But the sick
men be not constrained to that fast.

Also this book speaketh of Jews and saith that they be cursed; for
they would not believe that Jesu Christ was come of God. And that
they lied falsely on Mary and on her son Jesu Christ, saying that
they had crucified Jesu the son of Mary; for he was never
crucified, as they say, but that God made him to sty up to him
without death and without annoy. But he transfigured his likeness
into Judas Iscariot, and him crucified the Jews, and weened that it
had been Jesus. But Jesus styed to heavens all quick. And
therefore they say, that the Christian men err and have no good
knowledge of this, and that they believe folily and falsely that
Jesu Christ was crucified. And they say yet, that and he had been
crucified, that God had done against his righteousness for to
suffer Jesu Christ, that was innocent, to be put upon the cross
without guilt. And in this article they say that we fail and that
the great righteousness of God might not suffer so great a wrong:
and in this faileth their faith. For they knowledge well, that the
works of Jesu Christ be good, and his words and his deeds and his
doctrine by his gospels were true, and his miracles also true; and
the blessed Virgin Mary is good, and holy maiden before and after
the birth of Jesu Christ; and that all those that believe perfectly
in God shall be saved. And because that they go so nigh our faith,
they be lightly converted to Christian law when men preach them and
shew them distinctly the law of Jesu Christ, and when they tell
them of the prophecies.

And also they say, that they know well by the prophecies that the
law of Mahomet shall fail, as the law of the Jews did; and that the
law of Christian people shall last to the day of doom. And if any
man ask them what is their belief, they answer thus, and in this
form: "We believe God, former of heaven and of earth, and of all
other things that he made. And without him is nothing made. And
we believe of the day of doom, and that every man shall have his
merit, after he hath deserved. And, we believe it for sooth, all
that God hath said by the mouths of his prophets."

Also Mahomet commanded in his ALKARON, that every man should have
two wives, or three or four; but now they take unto nine, and of
lemans as many as he may sustain. And if any of their wives mis-
bear them against their husband, he may cast her out of his house,
and depart from her and take another; but he shall depart with her
his goods.

Also, when men speak to them of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Ghost, they say, that they be three persons, but not one
God; for their ALKARON speaketh not of the Trinity. But they say
well, that God hath speech, and else were he dumb. And God hath
also a spirit they know well, for else they say, he were not alive.
And when men speak to them of the Incarnation how that by the word
of the angel God sent his wisdom in to earth and enombred him in
the Virgin Mary, and by the word of God shall the dead be raised at
the day of doom, they say, that it is sooth and that the word of
God hath great strength. And they say that whoso knew not the word
of God he should not know God. And they say also that Jesu Christ
is the word of God: and so saith their ALKARON, where it saith
that the angel spake to Mary and said: "Mary, God shall preach
thee the gospel by the word of his mouth and his name shall be
clept Jesu Christ."

And they say also, that Abraham was friend to God, and that Moses
was familiar speaker with God, and Jesu Christ was the word and the
spirit of God, and that Mohammet was right messenger of God. And
they say, that of these four, Jesu was the most worthy and the most
excellent and the most great. So that they have many good articles
of our faith, albeit that they have no perfect law and faith as
Christian men have; and therefore be they lightly converted, and
namely those that understand the scriptures and the prophecies.
For they have the gospels and the prophecies and the Bible written
in their language; wherefore they ken much of holy writ, but they
understand it not but after the letter. And so do the Jews, for
they understand not the letter ghostly, but bodily; and therefore
be they reproved of the wise, that ghostly understand it. And
therefore saith Saint Paul: LITERA OCCIDIT; SPIRITUS AUTEM
VIVIFICAT. Also the Saracens say, that the Jews be cursed; for
they have befouled the law that God sent them by Moses: and the
Christian be cursed also, as they say; for they keep not the
commandments and the precepts of the gospel that Jesu Christ taught

And, therefore, I shall tell you what the soldan told me upon a day
in his chamber. He let void out of his chamber all manner of men,
lords and others, for he would speak with me in counsel. And there
he asked me how the Christian men governed them in our country.
And I said him, "Right well, thanked be God!"

And he said me, "Truly nay! For ye Christian men reck right
nought, how untruly to serve God! Ye should give ensample to the
lewd people for to do well, and ye give them ensample to do evil.
For the commons, upon festival days, when they should go to church
to serve God, then go they to taverns, and be there in gluttony all
the day and all night, and eat and drink as beasts that have no
reason, and wit not when they have enough. And also the Christian
men enforce themselves in all manners that they may, for to fight
and for to deceive that one that other. And therewithal they be so
proud, that they know not how to be clothed; now long, now short,
now strait, now large, now sworded, now daggered, and in all manner
guises. They should be simple, meek and true, and full of alms-
deeds, as Jesu was, in whom they trow; but they be all the
contrary, and ever inclined to the evil, and to do evil. And they
be so covetous, that, for a little silver, they sell their
daughters, their sisters and their own wives to put them to
lechery. And one withdraweth the wife of another, and none of them
holdeth faith to another; but they defoul their law that Jesu
Christ betook them to keep for their salvation. And thus, for
their sins, have they lost all this land that we hold. For, for
their sins, their God hath taken them into our hands, not only by
strength of ourself, but for their sins. For we know well, in very
sooth, that when ye serve God, God will help you; and when he is
with you, no man may be against you. And that know we well by our
prophecies, that Christian men shall win again this land out of our
hands, when they serve God more devoutly; but as long as they be of
foul and of unclean living (as they be now) we have no dread of
them in no kind, for their God will not help them in no wise."

And then I asked him, how he knew the state of Christian men. And
he answered me, that he knew all the state of all courts of
Christian kings and princes and the state of the commons also by
his messengers that he sent to all lands, in manner as they were
merchants of precious stones, of cloths of gold and of other
things, for to know the manner of every country amongst Christian
men. And then he let clepe in all the lords that he made void
first out of his chamber, and there he shewed me four that were
great lords in the country, that told me of my country and of many
other Christian countries, as well as they had been of the same
country; and they spake French right well, and the soldan also;
whereof I had great marvel.

Alas! that it is great slander to our faith and to our law, when
folk that be without law shall reprove us and undernim us of our
sins, and they that should be converted to Christ and to the law of
Jesu by our good ensamples and by our acceptable life to God, and
so converted to the law of Jesu Christ, be, through our wickedness
and evil living, far from us and strangers from the holy and very
belief, shall thus appeal us and hold us for wicked livers and
cursed. And truly they say sooth, for the Saracens be good and
faithful; for they keep entirely the commandment of the holy book
ALKARON that God sent them by his messenger Mahomet, to the which,
as they say, Saint Gabriel the angel oftentime told the will of

And ye shall understand, that Mahomet was born in Arabia, that was
first a poor knave that kept camels, that went with merchants for
merchandise. And so befell, that he went with the merchants into
Egypt; and they were then Christian in those parts. And at the
deserts of Arabia, he went into a chapel where a hermit dwelt. And
when he entered into the chapel that was but a little and a low
thing and had but a little door and a low, then the entry began to
wax so great, and so large and so high as though it had been of a
great minster or the gate of a palace. And this was the first
miracle, the Saracens say, that Mahomet did in his youth.

After began he for to wax wise and rich. And he was a great
astronomer. And after, he was governor and prince of the land of
Cozrodane; and he governed it full wisely, in such manner, that
when the prince was dead, he took the lady to wife that hight
Gadrige. And Mahomet fell often in the great sickness that men
call the falling evil; wherefore the lady was full sorry that ever
she took him to husband. But Mahomet made her to believe, that all
times, when he fell so, Gabriel the angel came for to speak with
him, and for the great light and brightness of the angel he might
not sustain him from falling; and therefore the Saracens say, that
Gabriel came often to speak with him.

This Mahomet reigned in Arabia, the year of our Lord Jesu Christ
610, and was of the generation of Ishmael that was Abraham's son,
that he gat upon Hagar his chamberer. And therefore there be
Saracens that be clept Ishmaelites; and some Hagarenes, of Hagar.
And the other properly be clept Saracens, of Sarah. And some be
clept Moabites and some Ammonites, for the two sons of Lot, Moab
and Ammon, that he begat on his daughters that were afterward great
earthly princes.

And also Mahomet loved well a good hermit that dwelled in the
deserts a mile from Mount Sinai, in the way that men go from Arabia
toward Chaldea and toward Ind, one day's journey from the sea,
where the merchants of Venice come often for merchandise. And so
often went Mahomet to this hermit, that all his men were wroth; for
he would gladly hear this hermit preach and make his men wake all
night. And therefore his men thought to put the hermit to death.
And so it befell upon a night, that Mahomet was drunken of good
wine, and he fell on sleep. And his men took Mahomet's sword out
of his sheath, whiles he slept, and therewith they slew this
hermit, and put his sword all bloody in his sheath again. And at
morrow, when he found the hermit dead, he was full sorry and wroth,
and would have done his men to death. But they all, with one
accord, said that he himself had slain him, when he was drunken,
and shewed him his sword all bloody. And he trowed that they had
said sooth. And then he cursed the wine and all those that drink
it. And therefore Saracens that be devout drink never no wine.
But some drink it privily; for if they drunk it openly, they should
be reproved. But they drink good beverage and sweet and nourishing
that is made of gallamelle and that is that men make sugar of, that
is of right good savour, and it is good for the breast.

Also it befalleth some-time, that Christian men become Saracens,
either for poverty or for simpleness, or else for their own
wickedness. And therefore the archflamen or the flamen, as our
archbishop or bishop, when he receiveth them saith thus: LA ELLEC
OLLA SILA, MACHOMETE RORES ALLA; that is to say, 'There is no God
but one, and Mahomet his messenger.'

Now I have told you a part of their law and of their customs, I
shall say you of their letters that they have, with their names and
the manner of their figures what they be: Almoy, Bethath, Cathi,
Ephoti, Delphoi, Fothi, Garothi, Hechum, Iotty, Kaythi, Lothum,
Malach, Nabaloth, Orthi, Chesiri, 30ch, Ruth, Holath, Routhi,
Salathi, Thatimus, Yrthom, A3a30th, Arrocchi, 30tipyn, Ichetus.
And these be the names of their a. b. c. Now shall ye know the
figures. . . . And four letters they have more than other for
diversity of their language and speech, forasmuch as they speak in
their throats; and we in England have in our language and speech
two letters more than they have in their a. b. c.; and that is
[character which cannot be reproduced] and [character which cannot
be reproduced], which be clept thorn and 30gh.



NOW, sith I have told you before of the Holy Land and of that
country about, and of many ways for to go to that land and to the
Mount Sinai, and of Babylon the more and the less, and to other
places that I have spoken before, now is time, if it like you, for
to tell you of the marches and isles and diverse beasts, and of
diverse folk beyond these marches.

For in those countries beyond be many diverse countries and many
great kingdoms, that be departed by the four floods that come from
paradise terrestrial. For Mesopotamia and the kingdom of Chaldea
and Arabia be between the two rivers of Tigris and of Euphrates;
and the kingdom of Media and of Persia be between the rivers of
Nile and of Tigris; and the kingdom of Syria, whereof I have spoken
before, and Palestine and Phoenicia be between Euphrates and the
sea Mediterranean, the which sea dureth in length from Morocco,
upon the sea of Spain, unto the Great Sea, so that it lasteth
beyond Constantinople 3040 miles of Lombardy.

And toward the sea Ocean in Ind is the kingdom of Scythia, that is
all closed with hills. And after, under Scythia, and from the sea
of Caspian unto the flom of Thainy, is Amazonia, that is the land
of feminye, where that no man is, but only all women. And after is
Albania, a full great realm; and it is clept Albania, because that
the folk be whiter there than in other marches there-about: and in
that country be so great hounds and so strong, that they assail
lions and slay them. And then after is Hircania, Bactria, Hiberia
and many other kingdoms.

And between the Red Sea and the sea Ocean, toward the south is the
kingdom of Ethiopia and of Lybia the higher, the which land of
Lybia (that is to say, Lybia the low) that beginneth at the sea of
Spain from thence where the pillars of Hercules be, and endureth
unto anent Egypt and toward Ethiopia. In that country of Lybia is
the sea more high than the land, and it seemeth that it would cover
the earth, and natheles yet it passeth not his marks. And men see
in that country a mountain to the which no man cometh. In this
land of Lybia whoso turneth toward the east, the shadow of himself
is on the right side; and here, in our country, the shadow is on
the left side. In that sea of Lybia is no fish; for they may not
live ne dure for the great heat of the sun, because that the water
is evermore boiling for the great heat. And many other lands there
be that it were too long to tell or to number. But of some parts I
shall speak more plainly hereafter.

Whoso will then go toward Tartary, toward Persia, toward Chaldea
and toward Ind, he must enter the sea at Genoa or at Venice or at
some other haven that I have told you before. And then pass men
the sea and arrive at Trebizond that is a good city; and it was
wont to be the haven of Pontus. There is the haven of Persians and
of Medians and of the marches there beyond. In that city lieth
Saint Athanasius that was bishop of Alexandria, that made the psalm

This Athanasius was a great doctor of divinity. And, because that
he preached and spake so deeply of divinity and of the Godhead, he
was accused to the Pope of Rome that he was an heretic. Wherefore
the Pope sent after him and put him in prison. And whiles he was
in prison he made that psalm and sent it to the Pope, and said,
that if he were an heretic, then was that heresy, for that, he
said, was his belief. And when the Pope saw it, and had examined
it that it was perfect and good, and verily our faith and our
belief, he made him to be delivered out of prison, and commanded
that psalm to be said every day at prime; and so he held Athanasius
a good man. But he would never go to his bishopric again, because
that they accused him of heresy.

Trebizond was wont to be holden of the Emperor of Constantinople;
but a great man, that he sent for to keep the country against the
Turks, usurped the land and held it to himself, and cleped him
Emperor of Trebizond.

And from thence men go through Little Armenia. And in that country
is an old castle that stands upon a rock; the which is clept the
castle of the Sparrow-hawk, that is beyond the city of Layays
beside the town of Pharsipee, that belongeth to the lordship of
Cruk, that is a rich lord and a good Christian man; where men find
a sparrow-hawk upon a perch right fair and right well made, and a
fair lady of faerie that keepeth it. And who that will watch that
sparrow-hawk seven days and seven nights, and, as some men say,
three days and three nights, without company and without sleep,
that fair lady shall give him, when he hath done, the first wish
that he will wish of earthly things; and that hath been proved

And one time befell, that a King of Armenia, that was a worthy
knight and doughty man, and a noble princes watched that hawk some
time. And at the end of seven days and seven nights the lady came
to him and bade him wish, for he had well deserved it. And he
answered that he was great lord enough, and well in peace, and had
enough of worldly riches; and therefore he would wish none other
thing, but the body of that fair lady, to have it at his will. And
she answered him, that he knew not what he asked, and said that he
was a fool to desire that he might not have; for she said that he
should not ask but earthly thing, for she was none earthly thing,
but a ghostly thing. And the king said that he ne would ask none
other thing. And the lady answered; "Sith that I may not withdraw
you from your lewd corage, I shall give you without wishing, and to
all them that shall come of you. Sir king! ye shall have war
without peace, and always to the nine degree, ye shall be in
subjection of your enemies, and ye shall be needy of all goods."
And never since, neither the King of Armenia nor the country were
never in peace; ne they had never sith plenty of goods; and they
have been sithen always under tribute of the Saracens.

Also the son of a poor man watched that hawk and wished that he
might chieve well, and to be happy to merchandise. And the lady
granted him. And he became the most rich and the most famous
merchant that might be on sea or on earth. And he became so rich
that he knew not the thousand part of that he had. And he was
wiser in wishing than was the king.

Also a knight of the Temple watched there, and wished a purse
evermore full of gold. And the lady granted him. But she said him
that he had asked the destruction of their order for the trust and
the affiance of that purse, and for the great pride that they
should have. And so it was. And therefore look he keep him well,
that shall wake. For if he sleep he is lost, that never man shall
see him more.

This is not the right way for to go to the parts that I have named
before, but for to see the marvel that I have spoken of. And
therefore whoso will go right way, men go from Trebizond toward
Armenia the Great unto a city that is clept Erzeroum, that was wont
to be a good city and a plenteous; but the Turks have greatly
wasted it. There-about groweth no wine nor fruit, but little or
else none. In this land is the earth more high than in any other,
and that maketh great cold. And there be many good waters and good
wells that come under earth from the flom of Paradise, that is
clept Euphrates, that is a journey beside that city; and that river
cometh towards Ind under earth, and resorteth into the land of
Altazar. And so pass men by this Armenia and enter the sea of

From that city of Erzeroum go men to an hill that is clept
Sabissocolle. And there beside is another hill that men clepe
Ararat, but the Jews clepe it Taneez, where Noah's ship rested, and
yet is upon that mountain. And men may see it afar in clear
weather. And that mountain is well a seven mile high. And some
men say that they have seen and touched the ship, and put their
fingers in the parts where the fiend went out, when that Noah said,
BENEDICITE. But they that say such words, say their will. For a
man may not go up the mountain, for great plenty of snow that is
always on that mountain, neither summer nor winter. So that no man
may go up there, ne never man did, since the time of Noah, save a
monk that, by the grace of God, brought one of the planks down,
that yet is in the minster at the foot of the mountain.

And beside is the city of Dain that Noah founded. And fast by is
the city of Any in the which were wont to be a thousand churches.

But upon that mountain to go up, this monk had great desire. And
so upon a day, he went up. And when he was upward the three part
of the mountain he was so weary that he might no further, and so he
rested him, and fell asleep. And when he awoke he found himself
lying at the foot of the mountain. And then he prayed devoutly to
God that he would vouchsafe to suffer him go up. And an angel came
to him, and said that he should go up. And so he did. And sith
that time never none. Wherefore men should not believe such words.

From that mountain go men to the city of Thauriso that was wont to
be clept Taxis, that is a full fair city and a great, and one of
the best that is in the world for merchandise; thither come all
merchants for to buy avoirdupois, and it is in the land of the
Emperor of Persia. And men say that the emperor taketh more good
in that city for custom of merchandise than doth the richest
Christian king of all his realm that liveth. For the toll and the
custom of his merchants is without estimation to be numbered.
Beside that city is a hill of salt, and of that salt every man
taketh what he will for to salt with, to his need. There dwell
many Christian men under tribute of Saracens. And from that city,
men pass by many towns and castles in going toward Ind unto the
city of Sadonia, that is a ten journeys from Thauriso, and it is a
full noble city and a great. And there dwelleth the Emperor of
Persia in summer; for the country is cold enough. And there be
good rivers bearing ships.

After go men the way toward Ind by many journeys, and by many
countries, unto the city that is clept Cassak, and that is a full
noble city, and a plenteous of corns and wines and of all other
goods. This is the city where the three kings met together when
they went to seek our Lord in Bethlehem to worship him and to
present him with gold, incense, and myrrh. And it is from that
city to Bethlehem fifty-three journeys. From that city men go to
another city that is clept Gethe, that is a journey from the sea
that men clepe the Gravelly Sea. That is the best city that the
Emperor of Persia hath in all his land. And they clepe flesh there
Dabago and the wine Vapa. And the Paynims say that no Christian
man may not long dwell ne endure with the life in that city, but
die within short time; and no man knoweth not the cause.

After go men by many cities and towns and great countries that it
were too long to tell unto the city of Cornaa that was wont to be
so great that the walls about hold twenty-five mile about. The
walls shew yet, but it is not all inhabited. From Cornaa go men by
many lands and many cities and towns unto the land of Job. And
there endeth the land of the Emperor of Persia. And if ye will
know the letters of Persians and what names they have, they be such
as I last devised you, but not in sounding of their words.



AFTER the departing from Cornaa, men enter into the land of Job
that is a full fair country and a plenteous of all goods. And men
clepe that land the Land of Susiana. In that land is the city of

Job was a paynim, and he was Aram of Gosre, his son, and held that
land as prince of that country. And he was so rich that he knew
not the hundred part of his goods. And although he were a paynim,
nevertheless he served well God after his law. And our Lord took
his service to his pleasane. And when he fell in poverty he was
seventy-eight year of age. And after, when God had proved his
patience and that it was so great, he brought him again to riches
and to higher estate than he was before. And after that he was
King of Idumea after King Esau, and when he was king he was clept
Jobab. And in that kingdom he lived after 170 year. And so he was
of age, when he died, 248 year.

In that land of Job there ne is no default of no thing that is
needful to man's body. There be hills, where men get great plenty
of manna in greater abundance than in any other country. This
manna is clept bread of angels. And it is a white thing that is
full sweet and right delicious, and more sweet than honey or sugar.
And it cometh of the dew of heaven that falleth upon the herbs in
that country. And it congealeth and becometh all white and sweet.
And men put it in medicines for rich men to make the womb lax, and
to purge evil blood. For it cleanseth the blood and putteth out
melancholy. This land of Job marcheth to the kingdom of Chaldea.

This land of Chaldea is full great. And the language of that
country is more great in sounding than it is in other parts of the
sea. Men pass to go beyond by the Tower of Babylon the Great, of
the which I have told you before, where that all the languages were
first changed. And that is a four journeys from Chaldea. In that
realm be fair men, and they go full nobly arrayed in clothes of
gold, orfrayed and apparelled with great pearls and precious
stone's full nobly. And the women be right foul and evil arrayed.
And they go all bare-foot and clothed in evil garments large and
wide, but they be short to the knees, and long sleeves down to the
feet like a monk's frock, and their sleeves be hanging about their
shoulders. And they be black women foul and hideous, and truly as
foul as they be, as evil they be.

In that kingdom of Chaldea, in a city that is clept Ur, dwelled
Terah, Abraham's father. And there was Abraham born. And that was
in that time that Ninus was king of Babylon, of Arabia and of
Egypt. This Ninus made the city of Nineveh, the which that Noah
had begun before. And because that Ninus performed it, he cleped
it Nineveh after his own name. There lieth Tobit the prophet, of
whom Holy Writ speaketh of. And from that city of Ur Abraham
departed, by the commandment of God, from thence, after the death
of his father, and led with him Sarah his wife and Lot his
brother's son, because that he had no child. And they went to
dwell in the land of Canaan in a place that is clept Shechem. And
this Lot was he that was saved, when Sodom and Gomorrah and the
other cities were burnt and sunken down to hell, where that the
Dead Sea is now, as I have told you before. In that land of
Chaldea they have their proper languages and their proper letters,
such as ye may see hereafter.

Beside the land of Chaldea is the land of Amazonia, that is the
land of Feminye. And in that realm is all women and no man; not,
as some men say, that men may not live there, but for because that
the women will not suffer no men amongst them to be their

For sometime there was a king in that country. And men married, as
in other countries. And so befell that the king had war with them
of Scythia, the which king hight Colopeus, that was slain in
battle, and all the good blood of his realm. And when the queen
and all the other noble ladies saw that they were all widows, and
that all the royal blood was lost, they armed them and, as
creatures out of wit, they slew all the men of the country that
were left; for they would that all the women were widows as the
queen and they were. And from that time hitherwards they never
would suffer man to dwell amongst them longer than seven days and
seven nights; ne that no child that were male should dwell amongst
them longer than he were nourished; and then sent to his father.
And when they will have any company of man then they draw them
towards the lands marching next to them. And then they have loves
that use them; and they dwell with them an eight days or ten, and
then go home again. And if they have any knave child they keep it
a certain time, and then send it to the father when he can go alone
and eat by himself; or else they slay it. And if it be a female
they do away that one pap with an hot iron. And if it be a woman
of great lineage they do away the left pap that they may the better
bear a shield. And if it be a woman on foot they do away the right
pap, for to shoot with bow turkeys: for they shoot well with bows.

In that land they have a queen that governeth all that land, and
all they be obeissant to her. And always they make her queen by
election that is most worthy in arms; for they be right good
warriors and orped, and wise, noble and worthy. And they go
oftentime in solde to help of other kings in their wars, for gold
and silver as other soldiers do; and they maintain themselves right
vigourously. This land of Amazonia is an isle, all environed with
the sea save in two places, where be two entries. And beyond that
water dwell the men that be their paramours and their loves, where
they go to solace them when they will.

Beside Amazonia is the land of Tarmegyte that is a great country
and a full delectable. And for the goodness of the country King
Alexander let first make there the city of Alexandria, and yet he
made twelve cities of the same name; but that city is now clept

And from that other coast of Chaldea, toward the south, is
Ethiopia, a great country that stretcheth to the end of Egypt.
Ethiopia is departed in two parts principal, and that is in the
east part and in the meridional part; the which part meridional is
clept Mauritania; and the folk of that country be black enough and
more black than in the tother part, and they be clept Moors. In
that part is a well, that in the day it is so cold, that no man may
drink thereof; and in the night it is so hot, that no man may
suffer his hand therein. And beyond that part, toward the south,
to pass by the sea Ocean, is a great land and a great country; but
men may not dwell there for the fervent burning of the sun, so is
it passing hot in that country.

In Ethiopia all the rivers and all the waters be trouble, and they
be somedeal salt for the great heat that is there. And the folk of
that country be lightly drunken and have but little appetite to
meat. And they have commonly the flux of the womb. And they live
not long. In Ethiopia be many diverse folk; and Ethiope is clept
Cusis. In that country be folk that have but one foot, and they go
so blyve that it is marvel. And the foot is so large, that it
shadoweth all the body against the sun, when they will lie and rest
them. In Ethiopia, when the children be young and little, they be
all yellow; and, when that they wax of age, that yellowness turneth
to be all black. In Ethiopia is the city of Saba, and the land of
the which one of the three kings that presented our Lord in
Bethlehem, was king of.

From Ethiopia men go into Ind by many diverse countries. And men
clepe the high Ind, Emlak. And Ind is divided in three principal
parts; that is, the more that is a full hot country; and Ind the
less, that is a full attempre country, that stretcheth to the land
of Media; and the three part toward the septentrion is full cold,
so that, for pure cold and continual frost, the water becometh
crystal. And upon those rocks of crystal grow the good diamonds
that be of trouble colour. Yellow crystal draweth colour like oil.
And they be so hard, that no man may polish them. And men clepe
them diamonds in that country, and HAMESE in another country.
Other diamonds men find in Arabia that be not so good, and they be
more brown and more tender. And other diamonds also men find in
the isle of Cyprus, that be yet more tender, and them men may well
polish. And in the land of Macedonia men find diamonds also. But
the best and the most precious be in Ind.

And men find many times hard diamonds in a mass that cometh out of
gold, when men pure it and refine it out of the mine; when men
break that mass in small pieces, and sometime it happens that men
find some as great as a peas and some less, and they be as hard as
those of Ind.

And albeit that men find good diamonds in Ind, yet nevertheless men
find them more commonly upon the rocks in the sea and upon hills
where the mine of gold is. And they grow many together, one
little, another great. And there be some of the greatness of a
bean and some as great as an hazel nut. And they be square and
pointed of their own kind, both above and beneath, without working
of man's hand. And they grow together, male and female. And they
be nourished with the dew of heaven. And they engender commonly
and bring forth small children, that multiply and grow all the
year. I have often-times assayed, that if a man keep them with a
little of the rock and wet them with May-dew oft-sithes, they shall
grow every year, and the small will wax great. For right as the
fine pearl congealeth and waxeth great of the dew of heaven, right
so doth the very diamond; and right as the pearl of his own kind
taketh roundness, right so the diamond, by virtue of God, taketh
squareness. And men shall bear the diamond on his left side, for
it is of greater virtue then, than on the right side; for the
strength of their growing is toward the north, that is the left
side of the world, and the left part of man is when he turneth his
face toward the east.

And if you like to know the virtues of the diamond, (as men may
find in THE LAPIDARY that many men know not), I shall tell you, as
they beyond the sea say and affirm, of whom all science and all
philosophy cometh from. He that beareth the diamond upon him, it
giveth him hardiness and manhood, and it keepeth the limbs of his
body whole. It giveth him victory of his enemies in plea and in
war, if his cause be rightful. And it keepeth him that beareth it
in good wit. And it keepeth him from strife and riot, from evil
swevens from sorrows and from enchantments, and from fantasies and
illusions of wicked spirits. And if any cursed witch or enchanter
would bewitch him that beareth the diamond, all that sorrow and
mischance shall turn to himself through virtue of that stone. And
also no wild beast dare assail the man that beareth it on him.
Also the diamond should be given freely, without coveting and
without buying, and then it is of greater virtue. And it maketh a
man more strong and more sad against his enemies. And it healeth
him that is lunatic, and them that the fiend pursueth or
travaileth. And if venom or poison be brought in presence of the
diamond, anon it beginneth to wax moist and for to sweat.

There be also diamonds in Ind that be clept violastres, (for their
colour is like violet, or more brown than the violets), that be
full hard and full precious. But yet some men love not them so
well as the other; but, in sooth, to me, I would love them as much
as the other, for I have seen them assayed.

Also there is another manner of diamonds that be as white as
crystal, but they be a little more trouble. And they be good and
of great virtue, and all they be square and pointed of their own
kind. And some be six squared, some four squared, and some three
as nature shapeth them. And therefore when great lords and knights
go to seek worship in arms, they bear gladly the diamond upon them.

I shall speak a little more of the diamonds, although I tarry my
matter for a time, to the end, that they that know them not, be not
deceived by gabbers that go by the country, that sell them. For
whoso will buy the diamond it is needful to him that he know them.
Because that men counterfeit them often of crystal that is yellow
and of sapphires of citron colour that is yellow also, and of the
sapphire loupe and of many other stones. But I tell you these
counterfeits be not so hard; and also the points will break
lightly, and men may easily polish them. But some workmen, for
malice, will not polish them; to that intent, to make men believe
that they may not be polished. But men may assay them in this
manner. First shear with them or write with them in sapphires, in
crystal or in other precious stones. After that, men take the
adamant, that is the shipman's stone, that draweth the needle to
him, and men lay the diamond upon the adamant, and lay the needle
before the adamant; and, if the diamond be good and virtuous, the
adamant draweth not the needle to him whiles the diamond is there
present. And this is the proof that they beyond the sea make.

Natheles it befalleth often-time, that the good diamond loseth his
virtue by sin, and for incontinence of him that beareth it. And
then it is needful to make it to recover his virtue again, or else
it is of little value.



IN Ind be full many diverse countries. And it is clept Ind, for a
flom that runneth throughout the country that is clept Ind. In
that flom men find eels of thirty foot long and more. And the folk
that dwell nigh that water be of evil colour, green and yellow.

In Ind and about Ind be more than 5000 isles good and great that
men dwell in, without those that he inhabitable, and without other
small isles. In every isle is great plenty of cities, and of
towns, and of folk without number. For men of Ind have this
condition of kind, that they never go out of their own country, and
therefore is there great multitude of people. But they be not
stirring ne movable, because that they be in the first climate,
that is of Saturn; and Saturn is slow and little moving, for he
tarryeth to make his turn by the twelve signs thirty year. And the
moon passeth through the twelve signs in one month. And for
because that Saturn is of so late stirring, therefore the folk of
that country that be under his climate have of kind no will for to
move ne stir to seek strange places. And in our country is all the
contrary; for we be in the seventh climate, that is of the moon.
And the moon is of lightly moving, and the moon is planet of way;
and for that skill it giveth us will of kind for to move lightly
and for to go divers ways, and to seek strange things and other
diversities of the world; for the moon environeth the earth more
hastily than any other planet.

Also men go through Ind by many diverse countries to the great sea
Ocean. And after, men find there an isle that is clept Crues. And
thither come merchants of Venice and Genoa, and of other marches,
for to buy merchandises. But there is so great heat in those
marches, and namely in that isle, that, for the great distress of
the heat, men's ballocks hang down to their knees for the great
dissolution of the body. And men of that country, that know the
manner, let bind them up, or else might they not live, and anoint
them with ointments made therefore, to hold them up.

In that country and in Ethiopia, and in many other countries, the
folk lie all naked in rivers and waters, men and women together,
from undern of the day till it be past the noon. And they lie all
in the water, save the visage, for the great heat that there is.
And the women have no shame of the men, but lie all together, side
to side, till the heat be past. There may men see many foul figure
assembled, and namely nigh the good towns.

In that isle be ships without nails of iron or bonds, for the rocks
of the adamants, for they be all full thereabout in that sea, that
it is marvel to speak of. And if a ship passed by those marches
that had either iron bonds or iron nails, anon he should be
perished; for the adamant of his kind draweth the iron to him. And
so would it draw to him the ship because of the iron, that he
should never depart from it, ne never go thence.

From that isle men go by sea to another isle that is clept Chana,
where is great plenty of corn and wine. And it was wont to be a
great isle, and a great haven and a good; but the sea hath greatly
wasted it and overcome it. The king of that country was wont to be
so strong and so mighty that he held war against King Alexander.

The folk of that country have a diverse law. For some of them
worship the sun, some the moon, some the fire, some trees, some
serpents, or the first thing that they meet at morrow. And some
worship simulacres and some idols. But between simulacres and
idols is a great difference. For simulacres be images made after
likeness of men or of women, or of the sun, or of the moon, or of
any beast, or of any kindly thing. And idols is an image made of
lewd will of man, that man may not find among kindly things, as an
image that hath four heads, one of a man, another of an horse or of
an ox, or of some other beast, that no man hath seen after kindly


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