The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Vii. The City of Samarkand

Toktamish the Tartar - Tokhtamysh

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Fifteen days journey from the city of Samarkand, in the direction of China, there is a land inhabited by Amazons, and to this day they continue the custom of having no men with them, except at one time of the year; when they are permitted, by their leaders, to go with their daughters to the nearest settlements, and have communication with men, each taking the one who pleases her most, with whom they live, and eat, and drink, after which they return to their own land. If they bring forth daughters afterwards, they keep them; but they send the sons to their fathers. These women are subject to Timur Beg; they used to be under the emperor of China, and they are Christians of the Greek Church. They are of the lineage of the Amazons who were at Troy, when it was destroyed by the Greeks. The city of Samarkand is supplied with judges, and justice is maintained; for the people do not use force against each other, but refer their quarrels to the decision of the lord. Timur Beg always has judges with him, who administer justice in the following manner:-some of them judge the great quarrels which occur amongst these people, whilst others look after questions connected with the revenue of the lord. Three tents are pitched, at the court, where they hear the cases that are brought before them, and afterwards report them to the lord. When they order any letter to be written, their scribes presently write it in few words, and enter it in their registers, which they keep by them. They then deliver it to the judge, who puts four silver seals on it, with another seal of the lord in the middle, bearing an inscription which means 'the truth'; and having three marks upon it, like this,-ï¾°ï¾°. Thus each judge has his clerk, and his register. When a letter bearing this seal reaches a Meerza, the orders it contains are complied with on that day, and that hour.