The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Viii Ambassadors Return

River Oxus

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Now that I have related the transactions which you have heard, I will write an account of the return of the ambassadors, and of what befell them on the road. They were accompanied by the ambassador from the Sultan of Babylon, and another knight who was brother to a great lord of Turkey, named Alaman Oglan, another from Sebaste, another from the city of Altologo, and another from the city which is called Palatia, and they all departed in company. On Friday, which was the 21st of November, the ambassadors departed from Samarkand, and travelled along a level road, through a well peopled country, for six days, and they were supplied with all they required, as well lodging as food. On Thursday, the 27th of November, they arrived at a great city called Boyar, which is in a great plain, and is surrounded by a wall of earth, at one end of which there is a castle, also built of earth, for in that land there are no stones for building a wall; and a river flowed close by the castle. In this city there was a quarter in which there were great edifices, and the place is well supplied with bread, meat, and wine, and there is much trade. The ambassadors were well supplied with horses, and all that they required. I will not write at any length respecting the events of this journey, because I have already written at large on the subject. They remained seven days in this city, and much snow fell, while they were there. On Friday, the 5th of December, the ambassadors departed, and travelled for three days over plains covered with many populous villages, when they reached the great river of Biamo {Amou or River Oxus. He calls it Viadme in another place}, which I have already described. At a village near the banks they collected provisions of meat and barley, as they had to cross a desert which would take six days; and they remained in this village for two days.