Mandeville's travels : the Egerton version
Mandevill, John, Sir, British Library. Manuscript. Egerton 1982.
Warner, George F. (George Frederic), Sir, 1845-1936.

CHAPTER XIV

[Of the cytee of Damasce; of iii. weyes to Jerusalem, on be londe and be see, another more be londe than be see, and the thridde weye to Jerusalem all be londe.]

SEN I hafe talde ȝow of many maners of men þat dwellez in cuntrez beforesaid, now will I turne agayne [folio 50] to my way and tell how men sall comme fra þase cuntreez vnto þise cuntreez agayne. Qwha so will comme fra þe land of Galile þat I spakk off before, he schall ga by Damasc, whilk es a faire citee and full of gude marchandyse. And it es three iournez fra þe see, and fra Ierusalem fyue iournes. Bot þai cary marchandyse apon camels, mules, dromedaries and hors, and oþer maner of bestez; and þase marchandisez er broght by see fra Inde, fra Persy, fra Caldee, fra Ermony, and fra many oþer regiounes. Þis citee founded Eleazar of Damasc, þat was þe son of þe steward 2. [þat was ȝoman and despenser, C.] of Abraham þe patriark, and þerfore was þe citee called Damasc after his surename; for he wend to hafe bene lord of þat cuntree after Abraham, for Abraham þat tyme had noȝt geten his son Ysaac. In þat place slew Cayn his broþer Abel. Besyde Damasc es þe mount Seyr. In Damasch er many welles, bathe within þe citee and withouten; and þer er also many faire gardyns riȝt plentifous of fruyte. Þer es nower whare swilke anoþer citee of gardynes and of fruyte. In þat citee also es wonder mykill folk, and it es wele walled aboute with a dowble wall. In þat citee also dwellez many phisicienes; and þare vsed sayn Paule sum tyme þe craft of phisic, before þat he was conuerted, and sayne Luc was his disciple toPage  61 lere phisic, and many oþer ma. For in þat citee held he scole in þat science, bot efterwardes he was a phisiciene of saules. In Damasc was he conuerted and dwelled þerin three days and three nyghtes, and nowþer ete ne [folio 50b] drank ne sawe na sight with his bodily eghen, bot in spirit he was rauischt intill heuen, whare he sawe heuenly priuetez. A litill fra Damasc es a castell þat es called Arkes; and it es a gude castell and a strang. Fra Damasc men commes by a place þat es called Nostre Dame de Sardenake, 1. [Oure Lady of Sardenak, C.] fyue myle on þis syde Damasc; and it es apon a roche. And it es a faire place and a delitable, and þer semez, as it ware, a castell, and so þare was sum tyme. And þare es a faire kirk, whare Cristen mounkes and nonnes dwellez. Vnder þe kirk also es a vowte, whare Cristen men dwellez. And þai hafe þare right gude wyne. And in þe kirke behind þe hie awter in þe wall es a table of tree, 2. [a table of blak wode, C.] on þe whilk ane ymage of oure Lady was depaynted sum tyme, þe whilk oft tymes turned into flesch; bot þat ymage nowe es bot lytill sene. Neuerþeles 3. [Three leaves beginning at this point are lost in C (after f. 53), the lacuna ending at the words "þei ete," p. 64 below. The text in the edition of 1725 is taken from Royal MS. 17 B. xliii. f.46b. The readings of this MS. are very inferior, and are seldom worth quoting.] þat table euermare droppez oel, as it ware of oliue; and þare es a vessell of marble vnder þe table to ressayue þe oel. Þaroff þai giffe to pilgrimes, for it heles of many sekeness; and men saise þat, if it be keped wele seuen ȝere, 4. [a ȝere, B. A confusion of "vn" and "vii."] efterwardes it turnes into flesch and blud.

Fra 5. [This paragraph not in B.] Sardenak men commez thurgh þe vale of Bochar, þe whilk es a faire vale and a plentifous of all maner of fruyte; and it es amanges hilles. And þer er þarin faire ryuers and grete medews and noble pasture for bestez. And men gas by þe mountes of Libane, whilk lastez fra Ermony þe mare towardes þe north vnto [folio 51] Dan, þe whilk es þe end of þe land of repromissioun toward þe north, as I said before. Þir hilles er riȝt fruytfull, and þare er many faire welles and cedres and cipressez, and many oþer treesse of diuerse kyndes. Þare er also many gude tounes toward þe heued of þir hilles, full of folk.

Betwene þe citee of Arkez and þe citee of Raphane es a riuer, þat es called Sabatory; for on þe Seterday it rynnez fast, and all þe weke elles it standes still and rynnez noȝt, or elles bot fairely. Betwene þe forsaid hilles also es anoþer water þat on nyghtes fresez hard and on days es na frost sene þeron. And, as men commez agayne fra þase hilles, es a hill hier þan any of þe oþer, and þai call it þare þe Hegh Hill. Þare es a grete citee and a faire, þe whilk es called Tryple, 6. [Tripoli.] in þe whilk er many gude Cristen men, ȝemaund þe same rytes and custommes þat we vsen. Fra þeine men commez by a citee þat es called Beruch, 7. [Beyrout.] whare sayne George slew þe dragoun; and it es a gude toune, and a faire castell þerin, and it es iii. iournez fra þe forsaid citee of Sardenak.Page  62 At þe ta syde of Beruch xvi. myle, to comme hiderward, es þe citee of Sydon. At Beruch entres pilgrimes in to þe see þat will comme to Cipre, and þai aryfe at þe porte of Surry or of Tyer, and so þai comme to Cipre in a lytill space. Or men may comme fra þe porte of Tyre and comme noȝt at Cipre and aryfe at sum hauen of Grece, and so comme to þise partyse, as I said before.

[folio 51b]

I hafe talde ȝow now of þe waye by whilk men gase ferrest and langest to Ierusalem, as by Babilon and mount Synay and many oþer placez whilk ȝe herd me tell off, and also by whilk ways men schall turne agayne to þe Land of Repromission. Now will I tell ȝow þe rightest way and þe schortest to Ierusalem. For sum men will noȝt ga þe toþer; sum for þai hafe noȝt spending ynogh, sum for þai hafe na gude cumpany, and sum for þai may noȝt endure þe lang trauail, sum for þai drede þam of many perils of desertes, sum for þai will haste þam hameward, desirand to see þare wifes and þare childer, or for sum oþer resonable cause þat þai hafe to turne sone hame. And þerfore I will schew how men may passe tittest, and in schortest tyme make þaire pilgrimage to Ierusalem. A man þat commes fra þe landes of þe west, he gas thurgh Fraunce, Burgoyne, and Lumbardy, and so to Venice or Geen, or sum oþer hauen, and schippes þare and wendez by see to þe ile of Greff, þe whilk pertenez to þe Ianuenes. And seyne he aryuez in Grece at Porte Mirrok, or at Valoun, or at Duras, or at sum oþer hauen of þat cuntree, and ristez him þare and byez him vitailes and schippez agayne and sailez to Cipre and aryuez þare at Famagost and commez noȝt at þe ile of Rodes. Famagost es þe chieff hauen of Cipre; and þare he refreschez him and puruays him of vitailes, and þan he gase to schippe and commez na mare on land, if he [folio 52] will, before he comme at Porte Iaffe, þat es þe next hauen to Ierusalem, for it es bot a day iournee and a half fra Ierusalem, þat es to say xxxvi. myle. Fra þe porte Iaffe men gase to þe citee of Rames, þe whilk es bot a lytill þeine; and it es a faire citee and a gude and mykill folk þerin. And withouten þat citee toward þe south es a kirk of oure Lady, whare oure Lord schewed him till her in three cloudes, þe whilk betakned þe Trinitee. And a lytill þeine es ane oþer citee, þat men calles Dispolis, bot it hight sum tyme Lidda, a faire citee and a wele inhabited; þare es a kirk of sayne George, whare he was heuedid. Fra þeine men gase to þe castell of Emaus, and so to þe Mount Ioy; þare may pilgrimes first see to Ierusalem. At Mount Ioy liggez Samuel þe prophete. Fra þeine men gase to Ierusalem. Beside þir ways es þe citee of Ramatha and þe mount Modyn;Page  63 and þeroff was Matathias, Iudas Machabeus fader, and þare er þe graues of þe Machabeez. Beȝond Ramatha es þe towne of Techue, wharoff Amos þe prophete was; and þare es his grafe.

I hafe talde ȝow before of þe haly placez þat er at Ierusalem and aboute it, and þerfore I will speke na mare of þam at þis tyme. Bot I will turne agayne and schewe ȝow oþer ways a man may passe mare by land, and namely for þaim þat may noȝt suffer þe sauour of þe see, bot es leuer to ga by land, if all it be þe mare payne. Fra a man be entred in to þe see he schall passe till ane of þe hauenes of Lumbardy, for þare es þe best making [folio 52b] of purueaunce of vitailes; or he may passe to Ieen or Venice or sum oþer. And he sall passe by see in to Grece to þe porte Mirrok, or to Valoun, or to Duras, or sum oþer hauen of þat cuntree. And fra þeine he sall ga by land to Constantinople, and he sall passe þe water þat es called Brace Sayne George, þe whilk es ane arme of þe see. And fra þeine he sall by land ga to Ruffynell, whare a gude castell es and a strang; and fra þeine he sall ga to Pulueral, and seyne to þe castell of Synople, and fra þeine to Capadoce, þat es a grete cuntree, whare er many grete hilles. And he sall ga thurgh Turky to þe porte of Chiutok and to þe citee of Nyke, whilk es bot vii. myle þeine. Þat citee wanne þe Turkes fra þe emperour of Constantinople; and it es a faire citee and wele walled on þe ta syde, and on þe toþer syde es a grete lake and a grete riuer, þe whilk es called Lay. Fra þeine men gase by þe hilles of Nairmount and by þe vales of Mailbrins and straite felles and by þe toune of Ormanx or by þe tounes þat er on Riclay and Stancon, þe whilk er grete waters and noble, and so to Antioche þe lesse, whilk es sett on þe ryuer of Riclay. And þare aboutes er many gude hilles and faire, and many faire wodes and grete plentee of wylde bestes for to hunt at.

And he þat will ga anoþer way, he schall ga by þe playnes of Romany costayand þe Romayn See. On þat coste es a faire castell þat men callez Florach, and it es right a strang place. And vppermare amanges þe [folio 53] mountaynes es a faire citee, þat es called Toursout, and þe citee of Longemaath, and þe citee of Assere, and þe cite of Marmistre. And, when a man es passed þase mountaynes and þase felles, he gase by þe citee of Marioch and by Artoise, whare es a grete brigg apon þe riuer of Ferne, þat es called Farfar, and it es a grete riuer berand schippes and it rynnes riȝt fast oute of þe mountaines to þe cite of Damasc. And besyde þe citee of Damasc es anoþer grete riuer þat commes fra þe hilles of Liban, whilk men callez Abbana. At þe passing of þis riuer saynt Eustace, þat sum tyme was called Placidas, lost his wyf and his twa childer. Þis riuer rynnesPage  64 thurgh þe playne of Archades, and so to þe Reed See. Fra þeine men gase to þe cite of Phenice, whare er hate welles and hate bathez. And þan men gase to þe cite of Ferne; and betwene Phenice and Ferne er x. myle. And þare er many faire woddes. And þan men commez til Anthioche, whilk es x. myle þeine. And it es a faire citee and wele walled aboute with many faire toures; and it es a grete cite, bot it was sum tyme gretter þan it es nowe. For it was sum tyme twa myle on lenth and on brede oþer half myle. And thurgh þe myddes of þat citee ranne þe water of Farphar and a grete brigg ower it; and þare ware sum tyme in þe walles aboute þis citee ccc. and fyfty toures, and at ilk a piler of þe brigg was a toure. Þis es þe cheeffe cite of þe kyngdom of Surry. And ten myle fra þis cite es þe porte of Saynt Symeon; and þare gase þe water off Farphar in to þe see. Fra Antioche men gase to a cite þat es called Lacuth, and þan to Gebel, and þan to Tortouse. And þare nere [folio 53b] es þe land of Channel; and þare es a strang castell þat es called Maubek. Fra Tortouse passez men to Tryple by see, or elles by land thurgh þe straytes of mountaynes and felles. And þare es a citee þat es called Gibilet. Fra Triple gase men til Acres; and fra þeine er twa ways to Ierusalem, þe tane on þe left half and þe toþer on þe riȝt half. By þe left way men gase by Damasc and by þe flum Iordan. By þe riȝt way men gase by Maryn and by þe land of Flagramy and nere þe mountaynes vnto þe cite of Cayphas, þat sum men callez þe Castell of Pilgrimes. And fra þeine to Ierusalem er iii. day iournez, in þe whilk men schall ga thurgh Cesaria Philippi, and so to Iaffe and Rames and þe castell of Emaus, and so to Ierusalem.

Now hafe I talde ȝow sum ways by land and by water þat men may ga by to þe Haly Land after þe cuntreez þat þai comme fra. Neuerþeles þai comme all til ane ende. Ȝit es þare anoþer way to Ierusalem all by land, and passe noȝt þe see, fra Fraunce or Flaundres; bot þat way es full lang and perlious and of grete trauaile, and þerfore few gase þat way. He þat schall ga þat way, he schall ga thurgh Almayne and Pruyss and so to Tartary. Þis Tartary es halden of þe Grete Caan of Cathay, of wham I think to speke efterward. Þis es a full ill land and sandy and lytill fruyt berand. For þare growes na corne, ne wyne, ne beenes, ne peese, ne nan oþer fruyt couable to man for to liffe with. Bot þare er bestez in grete plentee; and þerfore þai ete bot flesch withouten [folio 54] breed and soupez þe broo, and þai drink mylke of all maner of bestez. Þai ete 1. [The lacuna in C ends here.] cattes and hundes, ratouns and myesse, and all oþer maner of bestez; and, for þai hafe lytill wode, þai dight 2. [warmen and sethen, C.] þaire mete with dung of bestez dried at þe sonne. Þai ete bot anes on þe day, nowþer prince nor oþer; and ȝit þat anes þai ete bot riȝt lytill. Þai er riȝt foule folk and fell and full of malice. Þat cuntree es selden withouten grete tempestez. And inPage  65 somer es þer grete thundres and leightens, þat slaez mykill folk and many bestez. And riȝt sodaynely es þare chaungeyng of þe aer, nowe grete calde and now grete hete; and so þare es euill dwelling. Þe prince þat gouernes þat land es called Baco, and he dwellez in a citee þat men callez Orda. Sothely þare will na gude manne dwell in þat land; for it es gude to sawe in humbloks and nettles and swilk oþer wedes, and oþer gude nane, 1. [For the lond and the contree is not worthi houndes to duell inne. It were a gode contree to sowen inne thristell and breres and broom and thornes and breres, and for non oþer þing is it not good, C.] as I hafe herd say, for I hafe noȝt bene þare. Bot I hafe bene in oþer landes þat marchez þeron, as þe land of Russy and Nyfland and þe kingdom of Crakow and Lettow and in þe kingdom of Graften and many oþer placez. Bot I went neuer by þat way to Ierusalem, and þerfore I may noȝt wele tell it. 2. [But, ȝif this matiere plese to ony worthi man þat hath gon be þat weye, he may telle it, ȝif him lyke, to þat entent þat þo þat wolen go by þat weye and maken here viage be þo costes mowen knowen what weye is þere, adds C.] For, as I hafe vnderstanden, men may noȝt wele ga þat way bot in wynter for waters and maracez þat er þare, whilk a man may noȝt passe, bot if he hafe riȝt hard frost and þat it be wele snawen abouen. For warne þe snawe ware, þare schuld na man passe ower þe ysz. Of swilk way schall a man ga iii. day iournez fra Pruyss are [folio 54b] he comme to þe land of Sarezens habitable, whare Sarzenes dwellez. And, if all it be so þat Cristen men ilk a ȝere passe þare, þai cary þaire vitailes with þam apon þe ysz with sleddes and carres withouten wheles 3. [carres þat haue no wheles, þat þei clepen scleyes, C.]; for þare schall þai fynd nane bot þat þai bring with þam. And, als lang as þaire witailes lastes may þai habyde þare and langer noȝt. And, when spyes of þe cuntree seez Cristen men com to werray apon þam, þai rynne to þe tounes and criez riȝt lowd "Kera, Kera, Kera"; and alssone þai aray þam for to kepe þam. And ȝe schall vnderstand þat þe frost and þe ysz es mykill harder þare þan here; and þerfore ilk a man þare hase a stewe in his hous, þare he etez and drinkes. For þare es owtrage calde, by cause it es at þe north syde of þe werld, whare comounly es mare intense calde þan in oþer placez, for þe sonne schynez bot lytill þare. And on þe south syde of þe werld es it in sum place so hate þat na man may dwell þare for þe owtrage hete.