The Garden Guide

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

Erzurum to Ecmiadzin

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On Thursday, the 22nd of May, they departed from this place, and passed the night in a town called Patir Juan, in the territory of a very strong city called Auniqui; and the lord of this land was a Chatagai knight, named Toladaybeque. On Friday they arrived at a town called Ischu, and they remained there until Sunday. In this town there were many Armenians. On Sunday they slept in a town called Delularquente, which means 'the town of the mad men;' and the town was inhabited by Moorish hermits, called Caxixes; and many people came to them on pilgrimage, and they healed many diseases. Among them there was a chief whom they treat with great respect, and say that he is a saint, and that when Timur Beg passed by, he went to visit this Caxic. These hermits received many alms from the people, and their chief was lord of the town. Those who desire to be thought religious, shave their beards, and their heads, and take off their clothes, and go through the streets in heat and cold, dressed in the most tattered clothes they can find. They go about singing, day and night, with timbrels. On the top of the gate of their hermitage there was a pennon of black woollen threads, with a moon figured above them; and at the foot of the pennon were fixed many horns of deer, goats, and rams; and this is the custom of these Caxixes, to have these horns on the tops of their houses, and they carry them in their hands, when they walk in the streets. On Monday, the 26th of May, the ambassadors departed, and passed the night in a plain, near a great river called Corras {Kur, or Cyrus}, which traverses the whole of Armenia; and the road passed over snowy mountains, whence descended many streams. On Tuesday they passed the night in a town called Naujua; and the road, on that day, was along the banks of this river, being very rugged, and dangerous to pass. In this place there was a Caxic for governor, who received the ambassadors very well; and there were many Armenians. On Wednesday they passed the night in a town, which had a high castle on the top of a rock; which rock was of salt, and anyone may take this salt, who wants it.