The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Iv Trebizond and The Journey Through Armenia

Cabasica to Erzincan

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On Saturday, the 3rd of May, they set out again, and reached a town where they were treated well, and given food and fresh horses; and at night they came to another town, where they were given plenty of food and horses, and everything they required. The custom of the country was that, at each town where they arrived, small carpets were brought from each house, for them to sit upon, and afterwards they placed a piece of printed leather in front, on which they had their meals. The bread of these towns was very bad, and was made in this way:-they knead a little flour, and make very thin cakes, which they put on a pan, over the fire, and when they are hot, they take them out; and this is the bread which they bring on these pieces of leather. They also bring out plenty of meat, and milk, and cream, and eggs, and honey. This is the best food they have, and they bring it from each house; and if the ambassadors had to remain, the people brought them plenty of meat, and all that they required. When the ambassadors came to any place, an officer went on before, and the ambassador from Timur Beg ordered food, and horses, and men for them; and if they did not come, the people received such a number of blows with sticks and whips, that it was quite wonderful. Thus the people of these towns were so severely punished that they fled, when they saw a Chatagai coming. A Chatagai is a man in the host of Timur Beg, of noble lineage {The Chatagais took their name from the son of Genghis Khan; just as the Uzbegs derived their name from another famous descendant of the great Mongol conqueror}. In these towns, some Armenian Christians resided. On Sunday, the 4th of May, they arrived at the city of Erzingan at the hour of vespers; and the road they had traversed that day was very rugged, and passed over high ridges of mountains; and near the city they found much snow in the road. Many people came out from the city, to receive and to see the ambassadors, and they were conducted to the lodgings which had been prepared for them. That night the lord of the city sent them boiled and dressed meat, and much fruit, and bread, and wine.