National Geographic : 1917 Oct
(Noah) arrived when it escaped the universal deluge. This mountain is of salt stone as white as crystal. Know that it is one of the highest mountains in the world. No man has been able to ascend it, though attempts have been made many times. These mountains are in the Empire of Persia. All round the country is inhabited by Armenian Christians, who are the guards of the emperor, and he places much trust in them. "I departed from Armenia and came to the great city of Toris (Tabriz), which is the capi tal of the Empire of the Persians. It is one of the grandest cities in the world, well supplied, rich, and in a good climate. For this reason the Persians are wise and very well versed in all the sciences. They have learned men with a profound knowledge of the stars. The Em peror of Persia has for his device a yellow flag with a red square in the middle (1105). "I went over a great part of Persia, going thence to the Kingdom of Saldania and its rich and noble city (Sultanieh?). Its king has for a device a yellow flag with a red square (sim ilar to Persia's-Io5). "I departed from Saldania and went with some merchants a long distance until I came to the city of Ayras (Shiraz), called by the Tartars Sarax, where the Empire of Persia ends. It is a well supplied city, rich and very ancient. They say that in this city was first discovered the astronomy or law of the stars, for this city is in the line of the center of er Persia. The cities I have visited in Persia are Casar (Kazan), Serrans, Thesi, Spaor (Ispa han), Jorjaman (Georgia), Spalonero (Raze lain), Saldania (Sultanieh), and Toris (Ta briz). "In this last town is where Besnacayt, the Emperor of Persia, was crowned. His empire extends from the Sea of Sara (Caspian) to the Persian Gulf, where is the city of Hor mixio (Ormuz), and from the Mare Mayor (Black Sea) to Aquisio, also on the Persian Gulf. Its length is 125 days' journey and its width from the river Cur to the city of Siras (Sari?) loo days' journey. Benascayt, Em peror of Persia, assembled a very great host and went to fight with Uxbeco, Emperor of Sara (the Caspian). "There arrived more than a million and a half of cavalry. Then Benascayt promised some Armenian monks, whom he consulted, that if he won the battle he would become a Christian. The Armenian Christians who came with him marched with a cross before them, and, God helping, he conquered. Uxbeco was defeated and his cavalry pillaged and their women captured. The conqueror advanced far into the enemy's country. "After this I left Persia with some mer chants who came from Catavo (China). Thence we traveled for a great distance with out coming to any city, for all the inhabitants lived in the country. "I came to a city called Tripul of Suria (Syria), which is on the shore of the 'Medi terranean (not the Tripoli of North Africa, previously mentioned). There I embarked in a ship of Christians and went to Chipre (Cy prus), thence to the Morea, and thence to Creta, Negropont (Eubcea), and a kingdom of Greeks which they call Salonica, bordering on Macedonia, where the great Alexander reigned. The King of Salonica has for his device a red flag with a yellow cross and four chain links (IIo6). GALIJPOLI IN AN EARLY CAMPAIGN "Thence I went to a city called Galipoli, which is on the shore of the gulf between the Mediterranean and the greater sea. By this way the French passed when they conquered Suria. Thence I went along the seacoast to a city they call Recrea (Heraclea), and thence to the city of Constantinople, a rich city, the cap ital of the empire, where they crown the kings. Here there is a church of God called Santa Sofia, which is very wide, lofty, and beautiful. "Before it there is a tower of stone which has not been ascended. On the summit of this tower there is placed a knight with his horse of metal. It is very large, and he has on his head an episcopal cap (probably a nimbus or crown). It is in honor of the Emperor Con stantine. His right hand is extended toward Turquia, which was formerly called Asia Minor, on the other side of this gulf of the sea. The Emperor of Constantinople has for his device a flag quarterly, first and fourth argent a cross gules, second and third gules a cross, or (gold) between four chain links or (1107 and iio8). "I left Constantinople and entered the Mare Mayor (Black Sea), proceeding along the coast on the left hand to a great city called Vecina (Vidin). Here nine rivers unite and fall into the Mare Mayor. These nine rivers make a great commotion before this city of Vecina, which is the capital of the kingdom. It has a white flag with four red squares (11o9). . . "I proceeded along the shores of the eastern side of the Mare Mayor (Black Sea) for a very long distance and arrived in the Kingdom of Sant Estropoli (Sebastopol), which is in habited by Comanes Christians. Here there are many people who have Jewish descent, but all perform the works of Christians in the sac rifices, more after the Greek than the Latin Church. The king has for his flag-gules a hand argent (IIIo). "I left Sant Estropoli and went to Gorgania (Georgia), which isbetween the Mare Mayor (Black Sea) and the Mar de Sara (Caspian), a very extensive land of the Empire of Uxleto (Uzbeg). I then went along the shore to the city of Trapesonda (Trebizond), where I re mained for some time. This empire borders on Turquia, but the people are Greek Chris tians. The Emperor of Trapesonda has for his device a red flag with a golden two-headed eagle. "I departed from Trapesonda and arrived at the Kingdom of Semiso (Samsun), a large and populous territory bordering on Turquia and the Mare Mayor. The king has for his device a white flag with a sign like this (1112). "I came to Feradelfia (Philadelphia) and found a rich and well supplied city. It is in Turquia, anciently called Asia Minor. The king has for his device a flag parted per pale, argent and azure and on a field argent a cross gules (1113).