The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Chapter iv.

Of Georgiania and the Kings Thereof.

In GEORGIANIA there is a King called David Melic, which is as much as to say “David King”; he is subject to the Tartar.1 In old times all the kings were born with the figure of an eagle upon the right shoulder. The people are very handsome, capital archers, and most valiant soldiers. They are Christians of the Greek Rite, and have a fashion of wearing their hair cropped, like Churchmen.2

This is the country beyond which Alexander could not pass when he wished to penetrate to the region of the Ponent, because that the defile was so narrow and perilous, the sea lying on the one hand, and on the other lofty mountains impassable to horsemen. The strait extends like this for four leagues, and a handful of people might hold it against all the world. Alexander caused a very strong tower to be built there, to prevent the people beyond from passing to attack him, and this got the name of the IRON GATE. This is the place that the Book of Alexander speaks of, when it tells us how he shut up the Tartars between two mountains; not that they were really Tartars, however, for there were no Tartars in those days, but they consisted of a race of people called COMANIANS and many besides.3

Illustration: Mediaeval Georgian Fortress, from a drawing dated 1634. “La provence est tonte plene de grant montagne et d’estroit pas et de fort”

[In this province all the forests are of box-wood.4] There are numerous towns and villages, and silk is produced in great abundance. They also weave cloths of gold, and all kinds of very fine silk stuffs. The country produces the best goshawks in the world [which are called Avigi].5 It has indeed no lack of anything, and the people live by trade and handicrafts. ’Tis a very mountainous region, and full of strait defiles and of fortresses, insomuch that the Tartars have never been able to subdue it out and out.

There is in this country a certain Convent of Nuns called St. Leonard’s, about which I have to tell you a very wonderful circumstance. Near the church in question there is a great lake at the foot of a mountain, and in this lake are found no fish, great or small, throughout the year till Lent come. On the first day of Lent they find in it the finest fish in the world, and great store too thereof; and these continue to be found till Easter Eve. After that they are found no more till Lent come round again; and so ’tis every year. ’Tis really a passing great miracle!6

That sea whereof I spoke as coming so near the mountains is called the Sea of GHEL or GHELAN, and extends about 700 miles.7 It is twelve days’ journey distant from any other sea, and into it flows the great River Euphrates and many others, whilst it is surrounded by mountains. Of late the merchants of Genoa have begun to navigate this sea, carrying ships across and launching them thereon. It is from the country on this sea also that the silk called Ghellé is brought.8 [The said sea produces quantities of fish, especially sturgeon, at the river-mouths salmon, and other big kinds of fish.]9

NOTE 1. — Ramusio has: “One part of the said province is subject to the Tartar, and the other part, owing to its fortresses, remains subject to the King David.” We give an illustration of one of these mediaeval Georgian fortresses, from a curious collection of MS. notices and drawings of Georgian subjects in the Municipal Library at Palermo, executed by a certain P. Cristoforo di Castelli of that city, who was a Theatine missionary in Georgia, in the first half of the 17th century.

The G. T. says the King was always called David. The Georgian Kings of the family of Bagratidae claimed descent from King David through a prince Shampath, said to have been sent north by Nebuchadnezzar; a descent which was usually asserted in their public documents. Timur in his Institutes mentions a suit of armour given him by the King of Georgia as forged by the hand of the Psalmist King. David is a very frequent name in their royal lists. [The dynasty of the Bagratidae, which was founded in 786 by Ashod, and lasted until the annexation of Georgia by Russia on the 18th January, 1801, had nine reigning princes named David. During the second half of the 12th century the princes were: Dawith (David) IV. Narin (1247–1259), Dawith V. (1243–1272), Dimitri II. Thawdadebuli (1272–1289), Wakhtang II. (1289–1292), Dawith VI. (1292–1308). — H. C.] There were two princes of that name, David, who shared Georgia between them under the decision of the Great Kaan in 1246, and one of them, who survived to 1269, is probably meant here. The name of David was borne by the last titular King of Georgia, who ceded his rights to Russia in 1801. It is probable, however, as Marsden has suggested, that the statement about the King always being called David arose in part out of some confusion with the title of Dadian, which, according to Chardin (and also to P. di Castelli), was always assumed by the Princes of Mingrelia, or Colchis as the latter calls it. Chardin refers this title to the Persian Dád, “equity.” To a portrait of “Alexander, King of Iberia,” or Georgia Proper, Castelli attaches the following inscription, giving apparently his official style: “With the sceptre of David, Crowned by Heaven, First King of the Orient and of the World, King of Israel,” adding, “They say that he has on his shoulder a small mark of a cross, ‘Factus est principatus super humerum ejus,’ and they add that he has all his ribs in one piece, and not divided.” In another place he notes that when attending the King in illness his curiosity moved him strongly to ask if these things were true, but he thought better of it! (Khanikoff; Jour. As. IX. 370, XI. 291, etc.; Tim. Instit. p. 143; Castelli MSS.)

[A descendant of these Princes was in St. Petersburg about 1870. He wore the Russian uniform, and bore the title of Prince Bagration–Mukransky.]

NOTE 2. — This fashion of tonsure is mentioned by Barbaro and Chardin. The latter speaks strongly of the beauty of both sexes, as does Della Valle, and most modern travellers concur.

NOTE 3. — This refers to the Pass of Derbend, apparently the Sarmatic Gates of Ptolemy, and Claustra Caspiorum of Tacitus, known to the Arab geographers as the “Gate of Gates” (Báb-ul-abwáb), but which is still called in Turkish Demír-Kápi, or the Iron Gate, and to the ancient Wall that runs from the Castle of Derbend along the ridges of Caucasus, called in the East Sadd-i-Iskandar, the Rampart of Alexander. Bayer thinks the wall was probably built originally by one of the Antiochi, and renewed by the Sassanian Kobad or his son Naoshirwan. It is ascribed to the latter by Abulfeda; and according to Klaproth’s extracts from the Derbend Námah, Naoshirwan completed the fortress of Derbend in A.D. 542, whilst he and his father together had erected 360 towers upon the Caucasian Wall which extended to the Gate of the Alans (i.e. the Pass of Dariel). Mas’údi says that the wall extended for 40 parasangs over the steepest summits and deepest gorges. The Russians must have gained some knowledge as to the actual existence and extent of the remains of this great work, but I have not been able to meet with any modern information of a very precise kind. According to a quotation from Reinegg’s Kaukasus (I. 120, a work which I have not been able to consult), the remains of defences can be traced for many miles, and are in some places as much as 120 feet high. M. Moynet indeed, in the Tour du Monde (I. 122), states that he traced the wall to a distance of 27 versts (18 miles) from Derbend, but unfortunately, instead of describing remains of such high interest from his own observation, he cites a description written by Alex. Dumas, which he says is quite accurate.

[“To the west of Narin–Kaleh, a fortress which from the top of a promontory rises above the city, the wall, strengthened from distance to distance by large towers, follows the ridge of the mountains, descends into the ravines, and ascends the slopes to take root on some remote peak. If the natives were to be believed, this wall, which, however, no longer has any strategetical importance, had formerly its towers bristling upon the Caucasus chain from one sea to another; at least, this rampart did protect all the plains at the foot of the eastern Caucasus, since vestiges were found up to 30 kilometres from Derbend.” (Reclus, Asie russe, p. 160.) It has belonged to Russia since 1813. The first European traveller who mentions it is Benjamin of Tudela.

Bretschneider (II. p. 117) observes: “Yule complains that he was not able to find any modern information regarding the famous Caucasian Wall which begins at Derbend. I may therefore observe that interesting details on the subject are found in Legkobytov’s Survey of the Russian Dominions beyond the Caucasus (in Russian), 1836, vol. iv. pp. 158–161, and in Dubois de Montpéreux’s Voyage autour du Caucase, 1840, vol. iv. pp. 291–298, from which I shall give here an abstract.”

(He then proceeds to give an abstract, of which the following is a part:)

“The famous Dagh bary (mountain wall) now begins at the village of Djelgan 4 versts south-west of Derbend, but we know that as late as the beginning of the last century it could be traced down to the southern gate of the city. This ancient wall then stretches westward to the high mountains of Tabasseran (it seems the Tabarestan of Mas’údi). . . . Dubois de Montpéreux enumerates the following sites of remains of the wall:— In the famous defile of Dariel, north-east of Kazbek. In the valley of the Assai river, near Wapila, about 35 versts north-east of Dariel. In the valley of the Kizil river, about 15 versts north-west of Kazbek. Farther west, in the valley of the Fiag or Pog river, between Lacz and Khilak. From this place farther west about 25 versts, in the valley of the Arredon river, in the district of Valaghir. Finally, the westernmost section of the Caucasian Wall has been preserved, which was evidently intended to shut up the maritime defile of Gagry, on the Black Sea.”— H. C.]

There is another wall claiming the title of Sadd-i-Iskandar at the S.E. angle of the Caspian. This has been particularly spoken of by Vámbéry, who followed its traces from S.W. to N.E. for upwards of 40 miles. (See his Travels in C. Asia, 54 seqq., and Julius Braun in the Ausland, No. 22, of 1869.)

Yule (II. pp. 537–538) says, “To the same friendly correspondent [Professor Braun] I owe the following additional particulars on this interesting subject, extracted from Eichwald, Periplus des Kasp. M. I. 128.

“‘At the point on the mountain, at the extremity of the fortress (of Derbend), where the double wall terminates, there begins a single wall constructed in the same style, only this no longer runs in a straight line, but accommodates itself to the contour of the hill, turning now to the north and now to the south. At first it is quite destroyed, and showed the most scanty vestiges, a few small heaps of stones or traces of towers, but all extending in a general bearing from east to west. . . . It is not till you get 4 versts from Derbend, in traversing the mountains, that you come upon a continuous wall. Thenceforward you can follow it over the successive ridges . . . and through several villages chiefly occupied by the Tartar hill-people. The wall . . . makes many windings, and every 3/4 verst it exhibits substantial towers like those of the city-wall, crested with loop-holes. Some of these are still in tolerably good condition; others have fallen, and with the wall itself have left but slight vestiges.’

“Eichwald altogether followed it up about 18 versts (12 miles) not venturing to proceed further. In later days this cannot have been difficult, but my kind correspondent had not been able to lay his hand on information.

Illustration: View of Derbend

“Alexandre ne poit paser quand il vost aler au Ponent . . . car de l’un les est la mer, et de l’autre est gran montagne que ne se poent cavaucher. La vre est mout estroit entre la montagne et la mer.”

“A letter from Mr. Eugene Schuyler communicates some notes regarding inscriptions that have been found at and near Derbend, embracing Cufic of A.D. 465, Pehlvi, and even Cuneiform. Alluding to the fact that the other Iron-gate, south of Shahrsabz, was called also Kalugah, or Kohlugah he adds: ‘I don’t know what that means, nor do I know if the Russian Kaluga, south-west of Moscow, has anything to do with it, but I am told there is a Russian popular song, of which two lines run:

‘“Ah Derbend, Derbend Kaluga,

Derbend my little Treasure!”’

“I may observe that I have seen it lately pointed out that Koluga is a Mongol word signifying a barrier; and I see that Timkowski (I. 288) gives the same explanation of Kalgan, the name applied by Mongols and Russians to the gate in the Great Wall, called Chang-kia-Kau by the Chinese, leading to Kiakhta.”

The story alluded to by Polo is found in the mediaeval romances of Alexander, and in the Pseudo–Callisthenes on which they are founded. The hero chases a number of impure cannibal nations within a mountain barrier, and prays that they may be shut up therein. The mountains draw together within a few cubits, and Alexander then builds up the gorge and closes it with gates of brass or iron. There were in all twenty-two nations with their kings, and the names of the nations were Goth, Magoth, Anugi, Eges, Exenach, etc. Godfrey of Viterbo speaks of them in his rhyming verses:—

    “Finibus Indorum species fuit una virorum;

Goth erat atque Magoth dictum cognomen eorum

* * * * *

Narrat Esias, Isidorus et Apocalypsis,

Tangit et in titulis Magna Sibylla suis.

Patribus ipsorum tumulus fuit venter eorum,” etc.

Among the questions that the Jews are said to have put, in order to test Mahommed’s prophetic character, was one series: “Who are Gog and Magog? Where do they dwell? What sort of rampart did Zu’lkarnain build between them and men?” And in the Koran we find (ch. xviii. The Cavern): “They will question thee, O Mahommed, regarding Zu’lkarnain. Reply: I will tell you his history”— and then follows the story of the erection of the Rampart of Yájúj and Májúj. In ch. xxi. again there is an allusion to their expected issue at the latter day. This last expectation was one of very old date. Thus the Cosmography of Aethicus, a work long believed (though erroneously) to have been abridged by St. Jerome, and therefore to be as old at least as the 4th century, says that the Turks of the race of Gog and Magog, a polluted nation, eating human flesh and feeding on all abominations, never washing, and never using wine, salt, nor wheat, shall come forth in the Day of Antichrist from where they lie shut up behind the Caspian Gates, and make horrid devastation. No wonder that the irruption of the Tartars into Europe, heard of at first with almost as much astonishment as such an event would produce now, was connected with this prophetic legend!1 The Emperor Frederic II., writing to Henry III. of England, says of the Tartars: “’Tis said they are descended from the Ten Tribes who abandoned the Law of Moses, and worshipped the Golden Calf. They are the people whom Alexander Magnus shut up in the Caspian Mountains.”

[See the chapter Gog et Magog dans le roman en alexandrins, in Paul Meyer’s Alexandre le Grand dans la Littérature française. Paris, 1886, II. pp. 386–389. — H. C.]:

“Gos et Margos i vienent de la tiere des Turs

Et. cccc. m. hommes amenerent u plus,

Il en jurent la mer dont sire est Neptunus

Et le porte d’infier que garde Cerberus

Que l’orguel d’Alixandre torneront a reüs

Por çou les enclot puis es estres desus.

Dusc’ al tans Antecrist n’en istera mais nus.”

According to some chroniclers, the Emperor Heraclius had already let loose the Shut-up Nations to aid him against the Persians, but it brought him no good, for he was beaten in spite of their aid, and died of grief.

The theory that the Tartars were Gog and Magog led to the Rampart of Alexander being confounded with the Wall of China (see infra, Bk. I. ch. lix.), or being relegated to the extreme N.E. of Asia, as we find it in the Carta Catalana.

These legends are referred to by Rabbi Benjamin, Hayton, Rubruquis, Ricold, Matthew Paris, and many more. Josephus indeed speaks of the Pass which Alexander fortified with gates of steel. But his saying that the King of Hyrcania was Lord of this Pass points to the Hyrcanian Gates of Northern Persia, or perhaps to the Wall of Gomushtapah, described by Vámbéry.

Ricold of Montecroce allows two arguments to connect the Tartars with the Jews who were shut up by Alexander; one that the Tartars hated the very name of Alexander, and could not bear to hear it; the other, that their manner of writing was very like the Chaldean, meaning apparently the Syriac (anté, p. 29). But he points out that they had no resemblance to Jews, and no knowledge of the law.

Edrisi relates how the Khalif Wathek sent one Salem the Dragoman to explore the Rampart of Gog and Magog. His route lay by Tiflis, the Alan country, and that of the Bashkirds, to the far north or north-east, and back by Samarkand. But the report of what he saw is pure fable.

In 1857, Dr. Bellew seems to have found the ancient belief in the legend still held by Afghan gentlemen at Kandahar.

At Gelath in Imeretia there still exists one valve of a large iron gate, traditionally said to be the relic of a pair brought as a trophy from Derbend by David, King of Georgia, called the Restorer (1089–1130). M. Brosset, however, has shown it to be the gate of Ganja, carried off in 1139.

(Bayer in Comment. Petropol. I. 401 seqq.; Pseudo–Callisth. by Müller, p. 138; Gott. Viterb. in Pistorii Nidani Script. Germ. II. 228; Alexandriade, pp. 310–311; Pereg. IV. p. 118; Acad. des Insc. Divers Savans, II. 483; Edrisi, II. 416–420, etc.)

NOTE 4. — The box-wood of the Abkhasian forests was so abundant, and formed so important an article of Genoese trade, as to give the name of Chao de Bux (Cavo di Bussi) to the bay of Bambor, N.W. of Sukum Kala’, where the traffic was carried on. (See Elie de Laprim. 243.) Abulfeda also speaks of the Forest of Box (Shará’ ul-buks) on the shores of the Black Sea, from which box-wood was exported to all parts of the world; but his indication of the exact locality is confused. (Reinaud’s Abulf. I. 289.)

At the present time “Boxwood abounds on the southern coast of the Caspian, and large quantities are exported from near Resht to England and Russia. It is sent up the Volga to Tsaritzin, from thence by rail to the Don, and down that river to the Black Sea, from whence it is shipped to England.” (MS. Note, H. Y.)

[Cf. V. Helm’s Cultivated Plants, edited by J. S. Stallybrass, Lond., 1891, The Box Tree, pp. 176–179. — H. C.]

NOTE 5. — Jerome Cardan notices that “the best and biggest goshawks come from Armenia,” a term often including Georgia and Caucasus. The name of the bird is perhaps the same as ’Afçi, “Falco montanus.” (See Casiri, I. 320.) Major St. John tells me that the Terlán, or goshawk, much used in Persia, is still generally brought from Caucasus. (Cardan, de Rer. Varietate, VII. 35.)

NOTE 6. — A letter of Warren Hastings, written shortly before his death, and after reading Marsden’s Marco Polo, tells how a fish-breeder of Banbury warned him against putting pike into his fish-pond, saying, “If you should leave them where they are till Shrove Tuesday they will be sure to spawn, and then you will never get any other fish to breed in it.” (Romance of Travel, I. 255.) Edward Webbe in his Travels (1590, reprinted 1868) tells us that in the “Land of Siria there is a River having great store of fish like unto Salmon-trouts, but no Jew can catch them, though either Christian and Turk shall catch them in abundance with great ease.” The circumstance of fish being got only for a limited time in spring is noticed with reference to Lake Van both by Tavernier and Mr. Brant.

But the exact legend here reported is related (as M. Pauthier has already noticed) by Wilibrand of Oldenburg of a stream under the Castle of Adamodana, belonging to the Hospitallers, near Naversa (the ancient Anazarbus), in Cilicia under Taurus. And Khanikoff was told the same story of a lake in the district of Akhaltziké in Western Georgia, in regard to which he explains the substance of the phenomenon as a result of the rise of the lake’s level by the melting of the snows, which often coincides with Lent. I may add that Moorcroft was told respecting a sacred pond near Sir-i-Chashma, on the road from Kabul to Bamian, that the fish in the pond were not allowed to be touched, but that they were accustomed to desert it for the rivulet that ran through the valley regularly every year on the day of the vernal equinox, and it was then lawful to catch them.

Like circumstances would produce the same effect in a variety of lakes, and I have not been able to identify the convent of St. Leonard’s. Indeed Leonard (Sant Lienard, G. T.) seems no likely name for an Armenian Saint; and the patroness of the convent (as she is of many others in that country) was perhaps Saint Nina, an eminent personage in the Armenian Church, whose tomb is still a place of pilgrimage; or possibly St. Helena, for I see that the Russian maps show a place called Elenovka on the shores of Lake Sevan, N.E. of Erivan. Ramusio’s text, moreover, says that the lake was four days in compass, and this description will apply, I believe, to none but the lake just named. This is, according to Monteith, 47 miles in length and 21 miles in breadth, and as far as I can make out he travelled round it in three very long marches. Convents and churches on its shores are numerous, and a very ancient one occupies an island on the lake. The lake is noted for its fish, especially magnificent trout.

(Tavern. Bk. III. ch. iii.; J. R. G. S. X. 897; Pereg. Quat. p. 179; Khanikoff, 15; Moorcroft, II. 382; J. R. G. S. III. 40 seqq.)

Ramusio has: “In this province there is a fine city called TIFLIS, and round about it are many castles and walled villages. It is inhabited by Christians, Armenians, Georgians, and some Saracens and Jews, but not many.”

NOTE 7. — The name assigned by Marco to the Caspian, “Mer de Gheluchelan” or “Ghelachelan,” has puzzled commentators. I have no doubt that the interpretation adopted above is the correct one. I suppose that Marco said that the sea was called “La Mer de Ghel ou (de) Ghelan,” a name taken from the districts of the ancient Gelae on its south-western shores, called indifferently Gíl or Gílán, just as many other regions of Asia have like duplicate titles (singular and plural), arising, I suppose, from the change of a gentile into a local name. Such are Lár, Lárán, Khutl, Khutlán, etc., a class to which Badakhshán, Wakhán, Shaghnán, Mungán, Chág-hanián, possibly Bámián, and many others have formerly belonged, as the adjectives in some cases surviving, Badakhshi, Shaghni, Wákhi, etc., show2 The change exemplified in the induration of these gentile plurals into local singulars is everywhere traced in the passage from earlier to later geography. The old Indian geographical lists, such as are preserved in the Puránas, and in Pliny’s extracts from Megasthenes, are, in the main, lists of peoples, not of provinces, and even where the real name seems to be local a gentile form is often given. So also Tochari and Sogdi are replaced by Tokháristán and Sughd; the Veneti and Taurini by Venice and Turin; the Remi and the Parisii, by Rheims and Paris; East–Saxons and South–Saxons by Essex and Sussex; not to mention the countless -ings that mark the tribal settlement of the Saxons in Britain.

Abulfeda, speaking of this territory, uses exactly Polo’s phrase, saying that the districts in question are properly called Kíl-o-Kílán, but by the Arabs Jíl-o-Jílán. Teixeira gives the Persian name of the sea as Darya Ghiláni. (See Abulf. in Büsching, v. 329.)

[The province of Gíl (Gílán), which is situated between the mountains and the Caspian Sea, and between the provinces of Azerbaíján and Mazandéran (H. C.)], gave name to the silk for which it was and is still famous, mentioned as Ghelle (Gílí) at the end of this chapter. This Seta Ghella is mentioned also by Pegolotti (pp. 212, 238, 301), and by Uzzano, with an odd transposition, as Seta Leggi, along with Seta Masandroni, i.e. from the adjoining province of Mazanderán (p. 192). May not the Spanish Geliz, “a silk-dealer,” which seems to have been a puzzle to etymologists, be connected with this? (See Dosy and Engelmann, 2nd ed. p. 275.) [Prof. F. de Filippi (Viaggo in Persia nel 1862, . . . Milan, 1865, 8vo) speaks of the silk industry of Ghílán (pp. 295–296) as the principal product of the entire province. — H. C]

The dimensions assigned to the Caspian in the text would be very correct if length were meant, but the Geog. Text with the same figure specifies circuit (zire). Ramusio again has “a circuit of 2800 miles.” Possibly the original reading was 2700; but this would be in excess.

NOTE 8. — The Caspian is termed by Vincent of Beauvais Mare Seruanicum, the Sea of Shirwan, another of its numerous Oriental names, rendered by Marino Sanuto as Mare Salvanicum. (III. xi. ch. ix.) But it was generally known to the Franks in the Middle Ages as the SEA OF BACU. Thus Berni:—

“Fuor del deserto la diritta strada

Lungo il Mar di Bacu miglior pareva.”

        (Orl. Innam. xvii. 60.)

And in the Sfera of Lionardo Dati (circa 1390):—

“Da Tramontana di quest’ Asia Grande

Tartari son sotto la fredda Zona,

Gente bestial di bestie e vivande,

Fin dove l’Onda di Baccù risuona,” etc. (p. 10.)

This name is introduced in Ramusio, but probably by interpolation, as well as the correction of the statement regarding Euphrates, which is perhaps a branch of the notion alluded to in Prologue, ch. ii. note 5. In a later chapter Marco calls it the Sea of Sarai, a title also given in the Carta Catalana. [Odorico calls it Sea of Bacuc (Cathay) and Sea of Bascon (Cordier). The latter name is a corruption of Abeskun, a small town and island in the S.E. corner of the Caspian Sea, not far from Ashurada. — H. C.]

We have little information as to the Genoese navigation of the Caspian, but the great number of names exhibited along its shores in the map just named (1375) shows how familiar such navigation had become by that date. See also Cathay, p. 50, where an account is given of a remarkable enterprise by Genoese buccaneers on the Caspian about that time. Mas’údi relates an earlier history of how about the beginning of the 9th century a fleet of 500 Russian vessels came out of the Volga, and ravaged all the populous southern and western shores of the Caspian. The unhappy population was struck with astonishment and horror at this unlooked-for visitation from a sea that had hitherto been only frequented by peaceful traders or fishermen. (II. 18–24.)

NOTE 9. —[The enormous quantity of fish found in the Caspian Sea is ascribed to the mass of vegetable food to be found in the shallower waters of the North and the mouth of the Volga. According to Reclus, the Caspian fisheries bring in fish to the annual value of between three and four millions sterling. — H. C.]

1 See Letter of Frederic to the Roman Senate, of 20th June, 1241, in Bréholles. Mahommedan writers, contemporary with the Mongol invasions, regarded these as a manifest sign of the approaching end of the world. (See Elliot’s Historians, II. p. 265.)

2 When the first edition was published, I was not aware of remarks to like effect regarding names of this character by Sir H. Rawlinson in the J. R. As. Soc. vol. xi. pp. 64 and 103.

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