The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, by John Mandeville

Chapter I

To Teach You the Way Out of England to Constantinople

IN the name of God, Glorious and Almighty!

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

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

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

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

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 23:10