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A description of the yeerely voyage or pilgrimage of the Mahumitans, Turkes and Moores unto Mecca in Arabia .

ALEXANDRIA the most ancient citie in Africa situated by the seaside containeth seven miles in circuite, and is environed with two walles one neere to the other with high towers, but the walles within be farre higher then those without, with a great ditch round about the same: yet is not this Citie very strong by reason of the great antiquitie, being almost halfe destroyed and ruinated. The greatnesse of this Citie is such, that if it were of double habitation, as it is compassed with a double wall, it might be truely said, that there were two Alexandrias one builded upon another, because under the foundations of the saide City are great habitations, and incredible huge pillers. True it is, that this part underneath remaineth at this day inhabitable, because of the corrupt aire, as also for that by time, which consumeth all things, it is greatly ruinated. It might well be sayd, that the founder hereof, as he was worthy in all his enterprises, so likewise in building hereof he did a worke worthy of himselfe, naming it after his owne name. This Citie hath one defect, for it is subject to an evill ayre, which onely proceedeth of that hollownesse underneath, out of the which issueth infinite moisture: and that this is true the ayre without doth evidently testifie, which is more subtile and holesome then that beneath. The waters hereof be salt, by reason that the soile of it selfe is likewise so. And therefore the inhabitants, at such time as the river Nilus floweth, are accustomed to open a great ditch, the head wherof extendeth into the said river, and from thence they conveigh the same within halfe a mile of Alexandria, and so consequently by meanes of conduct-pipes the water commeth unto the cesternes of Alexandria, which being full serve the citie from one inundation to another. Within the citie is a Pyramide mentioned of in Histories, but not of great importance. Without the citie is La colonna di Pompeio, or the pillar of Pompey, being of such height and thicknesse, that it is supposed there is not the like in the whole world besides. Within the citie there is nothing of importance save a litle castle which is guarded with 60 Janizaries. Alexandria hath three portes, one towardes Rossetto, another to the land ward, & the third to the sea ward, which is called Babelbar, without which appeareth a broad Iland called. Ghesira in the Moores tongue, which is not wholy an Iland, because a litle point or corner thereof toucheth the firme lande, and therefore may be called Peninsula, that is to say, almost an Iland. Hereupon are builded many houses of the Jewes, in respect of the aire This Peninsula is situate betweene two very good ports, one of them being much more safe then the other, called The old port, into the which only the vessels of Barbarie, and the sixe Gallies of the Grand Signior deputeth for the guard of Alexandria doe enter. And this port hath upon the right hand at the mouth or enterance thereof a castle of small importance, and guarded but with fifteene men or thereabouts. On the other side of this Iland is the other called The new port, which name is not unfitly given unto it, for that in all mens judgement in times past there hath not beene water there, because in the midst of this port, where the water is very deepe, there are discovered and found great sepulchres and other buildings, out of the which are dayly digged with engines Jaspar and Porphyrie stones of great value, of the which great store are sent to Constantinople for the ornament of the Mesquitas or Turkish Temples, and of other buildings of the Grand Signior. Into this port enter all such vessels as traffique to this place. This port hath on ech side a castle, whereof that upon the Peninsula is called Faraone, upon the toppe whereof every night there is a light set in a great lanterne for direction of the ships, and for the guard thereof are appointed 200 Janizaries: the other on the other side is but a litle castle kept by 18 men. It is certaine, that this haven of Alexandria is one of the chiefest havens in the world: for hither come to traffique people of every Nation, and all sorts of vessels which goe round about the citie. It is more inhabited by strangers, marchants, and Christians, then by men of the countrey which are but a few in number. Within the citie are five Fontechi, that is to say, one of the Frenchmen, where the Consul is resident, & this is the fairest and most commodious of all the rest. Of the other foure, two belong to the Venetians, one to the Raguseans, and the fourth to the Genoueses. And all strangers which come to traffique there, except the Venetians, are under the French Consull. It is also to be understood, that all the Christians dwell within their Fontechi, and every evening at the going downe of the sunne, they which are appointed for that office goe about and shut all the gates of the saide Fontechi outward, and the Christians shut the same within: and so likewise they doe on the Friday (which is the Moores and the Turkes Sabboth) till their devotions be expired. And by this meanes all parties are secure and voide of feare: for in so doing the Christians may sleepe quietly and not feare robbing, and the Moores neede not doubt whiles they sleepe or pray, that the Christians should make any tumult, as in times past hath happened.

Of the Coast of Alexandria.

ON the side towardes Barbarie along the sea-coast for a great space there is founde neither hold, nor any thing worthy of mention : but on the other side towards Syria 13 miles from Alexandria standeth a litle castle called Bichier kept by fiftie Turkes, which castle is very olde and weake, and hath a port which in times past was good, but at this present is utterly decayed and full of sand, so that the vessels which come thither dare not come neere the shoare, but ride far off into the sea. Fortie miles further is Rossetto, which is a litle towne without walles, and is situate upon the banke of Nilus three miles from the sea, at which place many times they build ships and other vessels, for governement whereof is appointed a Sanjacbey, without any other guard: it is a place of traffique, and the inhabitants are very rich, but naughtie varlets and traytours. Further downe along the sea-side and the river banke is another litle castle like unto the abovesayde, and because the Moores beleeve, that Mecca will in short time be conquered by the Christians, they holde opinion, that the same being lost shall be renued in this place of Rossetto, namely, that all their prayers, vowes, and pilgrimages shall be transported to Rossetto, as the religious order of Saint John of the Rhodes is translated thence to Malta . Further forwarde thirtie miles standes another castle of small importance called Brulles, kept continually by fourtie Turkes, which hath a good and secure port, in forme like to a very great lake or ponde, wherein is taken great quantitie of fish, which they salt, and the marchants of Candie and Cyprus come thither to lade the same, and it is greatly esteemed, especially of the Candiots, who having great abundance of wine adventure abroad to seeke meate fitte for the taste of the savd wine. Distant from Brulles five and thirtie miles there is another castle like unto the abovesayd kept by an Aga with fourtie men or thereabout. More within the lande by the rivers side is Damiata an auncient citie environed with walles contayning five miles in circuit, and but of small strength. For the governement of this place is a Sanjaco with all his housholde and no other companie. This citie is very large, delightfull, and pleasant, abounding with gardens and faire fountaines. Other fortie miles further is Latma, a castle of very small importance, and kept as other with fortie Turkes under an Aga. In this place is no port, but a roade very daungerous, and without other habitation. Passing this place we enter Judea . But because our intent is to reason simply of the voyage to Mecca , we will proceede no further this way, but returning to our first way, let it suffice to say, that from Alexandria to Cairo are two hundred miles, in which way I finde nothing woorthie of memorie.

Of the mightie Citie of Cairo.

CAIRO containeth in circuit eighteene miles, being so inhabited and replenished with people, that almost it cannot receive more; and therefore they have begunne to builde newe houses without the citie and about the walles. In Cairo are people of all Nations, as Christians, Armenians, Abexins, Turkes, Moores, Jewes, Indians, Medians, Persians, Arabians, and other sortes of people, which resort thither by reason of the great traffique. This citie is governed by a Basha, which ministreth justice, together with the Cadie throughout the whole kingdome. Also there are two and twentie Sanjackes, whose office is onely to oversee and guarde the kingdome for every good respect. There are also seven thousand Turkes in pay, to wit, three thousand Janizaries, and foure thousand horsemen: The rest of the people in Cairo are for the most part marchants which goe and come, and the remnant are Moores and other base people. About two miles from Cairo there is another little Cairo called The olde Cairo , which containeth in circuit litle more then tenne miles, and the better halfe is not inhabited, but destroyed, whereof I neede not make any other mention. The new Cairo answereth every yeere in tribute to the grand Signior, 600000 ducates of golde, neat and free of all charges growing on the same, which money is sent to Constantinople, about the fine of September, by the way of Aleppo, alwayes by lande, under the custodie of three hundred horsemen and two hundred Janizaries footmen. The citie of Cairo is adorned with many faire Mesquitas rich, great, and of goodly and gorgeous building, among which are five principall. The first is called Morastano, that is to say, The hospitall, which hath of rent five hundred ducats of golde every day left unto it by a king of Damasco from auncient times; which king having conquered Cairo , for the space of five dayes continually put the people thereof to the sword, and in the end repenting him of so great manslaughter, caused this cruelty to cease, and to obtaine remission for his sinne committed, caused this hospitall to be built, enriching it as is abovesaid. The second famous monument of Cairo is called Neffisa, of one Neffisa buried there, who was a Dame of honour, and mooved by lust, yeelded her body voluntarily without rewarde, to any that required the same, and sayde she bestowed this almes for the love of her Prophet Mahomet, and therefore at this day they adore her, reverence her, and finally have canonized her for a Saint, affirming that shee did many miracles. The third is called Zavia della Innachari, who was one of the foure Doctors in the law. The fourth is called Imamsciafii, where is buried Sciafii the second Doctor of this law. Of the other two Doctors one is buried in Damasco , the other in Aleppo. The fift & last famous monument is Giamalazar, that is, the house of Lazarus: and this is the generall University of the whole kingdome of Egypt . In this place Anno 1566 in the moneth of January by misfortune of fire were burned nine thousand bookes of great value, as well for that they were written by hand, as also wrought so richly with golde, that they were worth 300 and 400 ducats a piece, one with another. And because it could never be knowen yet how this fire beganne, they have and doe holde the same for a most sinister augurie, and an. evident and manifest signe of their utter ruine. The houses of Cairo without are very faire, & within the greater number richly adorned with hangings wrought with golde. Every person which resorteth to this place for traffiques sake, is bound to pay halfe a duckat, except the gentlemen Venetians, Siotes, and Rhaguseans, because they are tributarie to the Grand Signior. Cairo is distant from the river Nilus a mile and more, being situate on a plaine, save that on the one side if hath a faire little hill, on the toppe whereof stands a faire castle, but not strong, for that it may be battered on every side, but very rich & large, compassed about with faire gardens into the which they conveigh water for their necessitie out of Nilus, with certaine wheeles & other like engines. This magnificent citie is adorned with very fruitfull gardens both pleasant and commodious, with great plenty of pondes to water the same. Notwithstanding the great pleasures of Cairo are in the moneth of August, when by meanes of the great raine in Ethiopia the river Nilus overfloweth and watereth all the countrey, and then they open the mouth of a great ditch, which extendeth into the river, and passeth through the midst of the citie, and entring there are innumerable barkes rowing too and fro laden with gallant girles and beautifull dames, which with singing, eating, drinking and feasting, take their solace. The women of this country are most beautifull, and goe in rich attire bedecked with gold, pretious stones, and jewels of great value, but chiefely perfumed with odours, and are very libidinous, and the men likewise, but foule and hard favoured. The soile is very fertile and abundant, the flesh fat which they sell without bones, their candles they make of the marowe of cattell, because the Moores eate the tallow. They use also certaine litle furnaces made of purpose, under the which they make fire, putting into the furnace foure or five hundred egges, and the said fire they nourish by litle and litle, untill the chickens be hatched, which after they be hatched, and become somewhat bigger, they sell them by measure in such sort, as we sell and measure nuts and chestnuts and such like.

Of certaine notable monuments without the citie of Cairo .

WITHOUT the Citie, sixe miles higher into the land, are to be seene neere unto the river diverse Piramides, among which are three marvellous great, and very artificially wrought. Out of one of these are dayly digged the bodies of auncient men, not rotten but all whole, the cause whereof is the qualitie of the Egyptian soile, which will not consume the flesh of man, but rather dry and harden the same, and so alwayes conserveth it. And these dead bodies are the Mummie which the Phisitians and Apothecaries doe against our willes make us to swallow. Also by digging in these Pyramides oftentimes are found certaine Idoles or Images of golde, silver, and other mettall, but under the other piramides the bodies are not taken up so whole as in this, but there are found legges and armes comparable to the limmes of giants. Neare to these piramides appeareth out of the sand a great head of stone somewhat like marble, which is discovered so farre as the necke joyneth with the shoulders, being all whole, saving that it wanteth a little tippe of the nose. The necke of this head contayneth in circuit about sixe and thirty foot, so that it may be according to the necke considered, what greatnesse the head is of. The river Nilus is a mile broad, wherein are very many great Croccodiles from Cairo upward, but lower then Cairo passeth no such creature: and this, they say, is by reason of an inchantment made long since which hindereth their passage for comming any lower then Cairo . Moreover of these creatures there are sometimes found some of an incredible bignesse, that is to say, of fourtie foot about. The males have their members like to a man, and the females like to a woman. These monsters oftentimes issue out of the water to feede, and finding any small beasts, as sheepe, lambes, goates, or other like, doe great harme. And whiles they are foorth of the water, if they happen at unwares upon any man, woman or childe, whom they can overcome, they spare not their lives. In the yeere of our Lorde one thousand five hundred and sixtie it happened, that certaine poore Christians travelling by Cairo towardes the countrey of Prete Janni to rescue certaine slaves, were guided by a Chaus, and journeyed alongst the banke of the said river. The Chaus remained lingering alone behinde to make his prayers (as their custome is) at a place called Tana, whom being busie in his double devotion one of these Crocodiles ceazed by the shoulders, and drew him under water, so that he was never after seene. And for this cause they have made in sundry places certaine hedges as bankes within the water, so that betwixt the hedge and banke of the river there remaineth so much water, that the women washing may take water without danger at their pleasure. This countrey is so fruitfull, that it causeth the women as also other creatures to bring foorth one, two, and oft-times three at a birth. Five miles southwarde of Cairo is a place called Matarea, where the balme is refined : and therefore some will say, that the trees which beare the balme growe in the said place, wherein they are deceived: for the sayde trees growe two dayes journey from Mecca , in a place called Bedrihone, which yeeldeth balme in great plenty, but salvage, wilde, and without vertue, and therefore the Moores carying the same within litle chests from Bedrihone to Matarea, where the trees being replanted (be it by vertue of the soyle, or the water, aire, or any other thing whatsoever) it sufficeth that here they beare the true balme and licour so much in these dayes esteemed of. In this place of Matarea there are certaine little houses, with most goodly gardens, and a chappell of antiquity, where the very Moores themselves affirme, that the mother of the blessed Christ fleeing from the fury of wicked Herode there saved her selfe with the childe, wherein that saying of the Prophet was fulfilled, Ex Ægypto vocavi filium meum. The which Chappell in the yeare of our Lorde one thousand five hundred and foure, the Magnifico Daniel Barbaro first Consull of that place went to visite, and caused it to be renued and reedified, so that in these dayes there resort thither many Christians, who oftentimes bring with them a Priest, to say masse there. Also about an Harquebuz-shotte from Matarea is a spire of great height like to that at Rome, and more beautifull to beholde. Neere unto the olde Cairo are yet twelve storehouses of great antiquitie, but now very much decayed, and these till late dayes served to keepe come for behoofe of the kingdome, concerning which many are of opinion, that the founder hereof was Joseph the sonne of Jacob, for consideration of the seven deare yeeres. Also passing higher up by the banke of Nilus, there is to bee seene a fayre Citie overflowed with water, the which at such time as Nilus floweth lyeth under water, but when the water returneth to the marke, there plainely appeare princely palaces, and stately pillars, being of some called Thebes , where they say that Pharao was resident. Moreover three dayes journey higher up are two great images of speckled marble, all whole, and somewhat sunke into the earth, being things wonderfull to consider of, for the nose of either is two spannes and an halfe long, and the space from one eare to the other conteineth tenne spannes, the bodies being correspondent to their heads, and graven in excellent proportion, so that they are shapes of marvellous hugenesse, and these they call The wife, and The daughter of Pharao.

Of the patriarke of Greece .

IN Cairo are two Patriarkes, one of the Greekes, and another of the Jacobites. The Greeke Patriarke called Gioechni, being about the age of one hundred and thirteene yeeres, was a very good and holy man. They say, that when Soldan Gauri of Egypt reigned, there was done this miracle following: this good patriarke being envied at by the Jewes of the country, for none other cause, but for his good workes, and holy life, it happened (I say) that being in disputation with certaine of the Hebrewes in presence of the Sultan, and reasoning of their lawe and faith, it was sayd unto him by one of these Miscreants : sith thou beleevest in the faith of Christ, take and drinke this potion which I will give thee; and if thy Christ be true Messias and true God, he will (sayd he) deliver thee from daunger. To whom the auncient patriarke answered, that he was content: whereupon that cursed Jewe brought him a cuppe of the most venemous and deadly poyson that could be found, which the holy Patriarke having perceived, said: In the name of the father, of the sonne, and of the holy Ghost: and having so sayde he dranke it quite up; which done, he tooke a droppe of pure water, putting it into that very cup, and gave it unto the Jewe, saying unto him, I in the name of my Christ have drunke thy poyson, and therefore in the name of thy expected Messias, drinke this water of mine within thine owne cuppe. Whereupon the Jewe tooke the cup out of the hand of the Patriarke, and having drunke the water, within halfe an houre burst a sunder. And the Patriarke had none other hurt, save that he became somewhat pale in sight, and so remained ever after. And this miracle (which meriteth to be called no lesse) was done to the great commendation of the holy Patriarke in the presence of a thousand persons, and namely of the Soldan of Egypt: who seeing the despight of the Jewes, unto their owne cost and confusion compelled them to make the conduct, which with so many engines commeth into the castle from Nilus above mentioned. And this triumphant Patriarke not long since was alive, and in perfect health, which God continue long time.

Of the preparation of the Carovan to goe to Mecca .

As touching the Carovan which goeth to Mecca , it is to be understoode, that the Mahumetans observe a kinde of lent continuing one whole moone, and being a moveable ceremonie, which sometimes falleth high, sometimes lowe in the yeere called in their tongue Ramazan, and their feast is called Bairam. During this time of lent all they which intende to goe unto Mecca resort unto Cairo , because that twentie dayes after the feast the Carovan is readie to depart on the voyage: and thither resort a great multitude of people from Asia, Grecia , and Barbaria to goe on this voyage, some mooved by devotion, and some for traffiques sake, and some to passe away the time. Nowe within fewe dayes after the feast they which goe on the voyage depart out of the citie two leagues unto a place called Birca, where they expect the Captaine of the Carovan. This place hath a great pond caused by the inundation of Nilus, and so made, that the camels and other beastes may drinke therein: whereof, namely, of Mules, Camels, and Dromedaries there are at least fortie thousand, and the persons which followe the Carovan everie yeere are about fiftie thousand, fewe more or lesse, according to the times. Moreover every three yeeres they renue the Captaine of the Carovan, called in the Arabian tongue Amarilla Haggi, that is, the Captaine of the Pilgrimes, to whom the Grand Signior giveth every voiage eighteene purses, conteyning each of them sixe hundred twentie and five ducates of golde, and these be for the behoofe of the Carovan, and also to doe almes unto the needfull pilgrimes. This Captaine, besides other servingmen which follow him, hath also foure Chausi to serve him. Likewise he hath with him for the securitie of the Carovan foure hundred souldiers, to wit, two hundred Spachi or horsemen mounted on Dromedaries, and two hundred Janizaries riding upon Camels. The Chausi and the Spachi are at the charge of the Captaine, but the Janizaries not so, for their provision is made them from Cairo . The Spachi weare caps or bonnets like to the caps of Sergeants, but the Janizaries after another sort, with a lappe falling downe behinde like a Frenchhoode, and having before a great piece of wrought silver on their heads. The charge of these is to cause the Carovan to march in good array when neede requireth; these are not at the commaundement of any but of the Captaine of the Carovan. Moreover the Captaine hath for his guide eight pilots, the office of whom is alwayes stable and firme from heire to heire, and these goe before guiding the Carovan, and shewing the way, as being well experienced in the place, and in the night they governe them as the mariners, by the starre. These also use to sende before foure or five men carrying pieces of dry wood which give light, because they should not goe out of the way, and if at any time through their ill hap they wander astray out of the way, they are cast downe and beaten with so many bastonadoes upon the soles of their feete, as serve them for a perpetuall remembrance. The Captaine of the Carovan hath his Lieutenant accompanied continually with fifteene Spachi, and he hath the charge to set the Carovan in order, and to cause them to depart on their journey when neede requireth: and during the voyage their office is some whiles to goe before with the forewarde, sometimes to come behinde with the rereward, sometimes to march on the one side, and sometimes on the other, to spy, that the coast be cleare. The Carovan carrieth with it sixe pieces of ordinance drawen by 12 camels, which serve to terrifie the Arabians, as also to make triumph at Mecca , and other places. The marchants which followe the Carovan, some carry for marchandise cloth of silke, some Corall, some tinne, others wheat, rise, and all sorts of graine. Some sell by the way, some at Mecca , so that every one bringeth something to gaine by, because all marchandise that goeth by land payeth no custome, but that which goeth by sea is bound to pay tenne in the hundred.

The beginning of the voyage.

THE feast before the Carovan setteth forth, the Captaine with all his retinue and officers resort unto the castle of Cairo before the Basha, which giveth unto every man a garment, and that of the Captaine is wrought with golde, and the others are served according to their degree. Moreover he delivereth unto him ye Chisva Talnabi, which signifieth in the Arabian tongue, The garment of the Prophet: this vesture is of silke, wrought in the midst with letters of gold, which signifie: La illa ill' alla Mahumet Resullala: that is to say, There are no gods but God, and his ambassadour Mahumet. This garment is made of purpose to cover from top to botome a litle house in Mecca standing in the midst of the Mesquita, the which house (they say) was builded by Abraham or by his sonne Ismael. After this he delivereth to him a gate made of purpose for the foresaid house of Abraham wrought all with fine golde, and being of excellent workmanship, and it is a thing of great value. Besides, he delivereth unto him a covering of greene velvet made in maner of a pyramis, about nine palmes high, and artificially wrought with most fine golde, and this is to cover the tombe of their prophet within Medina, which tombe is built in manner of a pyramis : and besides that covering there are brought many others of golde and silke, for the ornament of the sayde tombe. Which things being consigned, the Basha departeth not from his place; but the Captaine of the Carovan taketh his leave with all his officers and souldiers, and departeth accompanied with all the people of Cairo orderly in manner of a procession, with singing, shouting and a thousand other ceremonies too long to recite. From the castle they goe to a gate of the citie called Bab-Nassera, without the which standes a Mosquita, and therein they lay up the sayd vestures very well kept and guarded. And of this ceremony they make so great account, that the world commeth to see this sight, yea the women great with childe, and others with children in their armes, neither is it lawfull for any man to forbid his wife the going to this feast, for that in so doing the wife may separate her selfe from her husband, and may lie with any other man, in regard of so great a trespasse. Now this procession proceeding from the castle towardes the Mosquita, the Camels which bring the vestures are all adorned with cloth of golde, with many little belles, and passing along the streete you may see the multitude casting upon the said vestures thousands of beautifull flowers of divers colours, & sweete water, others bringing towels & fine cloth touch the same, which ever after they keepe as reliques with great reverence. Afterward having left the vesture in the Mosquita, as is aforesaid, they returne againe into the citie, where they remaine the space of 200 dayes, and then the captaine departeth with his company, and taking the vestures out of the Mosquita, carieth the same to the foresaid place of Birca, where the Captaine having pitched his tent with the standard of the grand Signior over the gate, & the other principall tents standing about his, stayeth there some tenne dayes and no more: in which time all those resort thither that meane to follow the Carovan in this voyage to Mecca . Where you shall see certaine women which intend to goe on this voiage accompanied with their parents and friends mounted upon Camels, adorned with so many tryfles, tassels, and knots, that in beholding the same a man cannot refraine from laughter. The last night before their departure they make great feasting and triumph within the Carovan, with castles and other infinite devises of fireworke, the Janizaries alwayes standing round about the tent of the Captaine with such shouting and joy, that on every side the earth resoundeth, and this night they discharge all their ordinance, foure or sixe times, and after at the breake of the day upon the sound of a trumpet they march forward on their way.

What times the Carovan travelleth, and when it resteth.

IT is to be noted, that from Cairo to Mecca they make 40 dayes journey or thereabout, & the same great dayes journeies. For the custome of the Carovan is to travell much and rest little, and ordinarily they journey in this maner: They travell from two a clocke in the morning untill the sunne rising, then having rested till noone, they set forward, and so continue till night, & then also rest againe, as is abovesaid, till two of the clocke: and this order they observe untill the end of the voiage, never changing the same, except in some places, whereof we will hereafter speake, where for respect of water they rest sometimes a day and an halfe, and this they observe to refresh themselves, otherwise both man and beast would die.

In what order the Carovan travelleth.

THE maner and order which the Carovan observeth in marching is this. It goeth divided into three parts, to wit, the foreward, the maine battell, and the rereward. In the foreward go the 8 Pilots before with a Chaus, which hath foure knaves, & ech knave carrieth a sinew of a bul, to the end that if occasion requireth, ye bastonado may be given to such as deserve the same. These knaves cast offendours downe, turning up the soles of their feete made fast to a staffe, giving them a perpetuall remembrance for them & the beholders. This Chaus is as the Captaine of the foreward, which commandeth lights to be carried before when they travell in the night. Also there go in this foreward 6 Santones with red turbants upon their heads, & these eat and ride at the cost of the Captaine of the Carovan. These Santones when the Carovan arriveth at any good lodging, suddenly after they have escried the place, cry with an horrible voyce saying, good cheare, good cheare, we are neere to the wished lodging. For which good newes the chiefe of the company bestow their benevolence upon them. In this foreward goeth very neere the third part of the people of the Carovan, behind whom go alwayes 25 Spachi armed with swords, bowes & arrowes to defend them from thieves. Next unto the foreward, within a quarter of a mile, followeth the maine battell, and before the same are drawen the sayd sixe pieces of ordinance, with their gunners, and fifteene Spachi Archers. And next unto these commeth the chiefe physicion, who is an olde man of authoritie, having with him many medicines, oyntments, salves, and other like refreshings for the sicke, having also camels with him for the sicke to ride on, which have no horse nor beast. Next unto him goeth one Camell alone, the fairest that can be found: for with great industrie is sought the greatest and fairest which may be found within the dominions of the Grand Signior. This camell also is decked with cloth of golde and silke, and carieth a litle chest made of pure Legmame made in likenesse of the arke of the olde Testament: but, as is abovesayd, made of pure Legmame, without golde or any other thing of cost. Within this chest is the Alcoran all written with great letters of golde, bound betweene two tables of massie golde, and the chest during their voyage is covered with Silke, but at their entring into Mecca it is all covered with cloth of golde, adorned with jewels, and the like at the enterance into Medina. The Camell aforesayd which carrieth the chest, is compassed about with many Arabian singers and musicians, alwayes singing and playing upon instruments. After this folow fifteene other most faire Camels, every one carying one of the abovesayd vestures, being covered from toppe to toe with silke. Behind these goe twentie other Camels which carrie the money, apparell, and provision of the Amir el Cheggi captaine of the Carovan. After foloweth the royall Standard of the grand Signior, accompanied continually with the musicians of the captaine, and five and twentie Spachi archers, with a Chaus before them, and about these marvellous things goe all the people and Camels which follow the Carovan. Behind these, lesse then a mile, foloweth the rereward, whereof the greater part are pilgrimes: the occasion whereof is, for that the merchants seeke alwayes to be in the foreward for the securitie of their goods, but the pilgrimes which have litle to loose care not though they come behind. Behind these alwayes goe five and twentie other Spachi well armed with another Chaus their captaine, and fortie Arabians all Archers for guard of the rereward. And because the Carovan goeth alwayes along the red sea banke, which in going forth they have on their right hand, therfore the two hundred Janissaries parted into three companies goe upon their left hand well armed and mounted upon Camels bound one to another, for upon that side is all the danger of thieves, and on the other no danger at all, the captaine of the Carovan alwayes going about his people, sometimes on the one side, and sometimes on the other, never keeping any firme place, being continually accompanied with a Chaus and 25. Spachi, armed and mounted upon Dromedaries, and 8. musicians with violes in their handes, which cease not sounding till the captaine take his rest, upon whom they attend, till such time as he entreth his pavillion, and then licencing all his attendants and folowers to depart, they goe each man to their lodging.

Of things notable which are seene in this voyage by the way.

BECAUSE in the way there are not many things found woorthie memorie, for that the Carovan seldome resteth in places of habitation, of which in the way there are but fewe, yea rather the Carovan resteth altogether in the field: therefore in this our voyage wee will onely make mention of certaine Castles found in the way, which bee these, namely, Agerut, Nachel, Acba, Biritem, Muel , and Ezlem. Of which five, the two first are kept of Moores, and the other three of Turkes, and for guard they have eight men or tenne at the most in every Castle, with foure or five Smerigli, which serve to keepe the water from the Arabians, so that the Carovan comming thither, may have wherewithall to refresh it selfe. Agerut is distant from Suez a port of the red Sea eight miles, where are alwayes resident five and twentie gallies of the Grand Signior for the keeping of that Sea. Nachel is distant from the Sea a dayes journey. The walles of Acba are founded upon the red Sea banke. Biritem and Muel likewise are dashed by the waves of the Sea. Ezlem is distant from thence above a dayes journey. These five Castles abovesayd are not of force altogether to defend themselves agaynst an hundred men. The Carovan departing from Birca untill Agerut findeth no water by the way to drinke, neither from Agerut till Nachel, nor from Nachel till Acba, but betweene Acba and Biritem are found two waters, one called Agium el Cassap, and the other Magaraxiaibi, that is to say, the river of Jethro the father in lawe of Moses, for this is the place mentioned in the second chapter of Exodus, whither it is sayd that Moses fledde from the anger of Pharao, who would have killed him, because hee had slaine the Ægyptian, which fought with the Hebrew, in which place stoode the citie of Midian; and there are yet the pondes, neere unto the which Moses sate downe. And from that place forward they finde more store of water by the way, and in more places, though not so good. It is also to bee noted, that in this voiage it is needfull and an usuall thing, that the captaine put his hand to his purse, in these places, and bestow presents, garments, and turbants upon certaine of the chiefe of the Arabians, to the ende they may give him and his Carovan free passage: who also promise, that their followers likewise shall doe no damage to the Carovan, and bind themselves to accomplish the same, promising also by worde of mouth, that if the Carovan bee robbed, they will make restitution of such things as are stollen: but notwithstanding the Carovan is by them oftentimes damnified, and those which are robbed have no other restitution at the Arabians handes then the shewing of them a paire of heeles, flying into such places as it is impossible to finde them. Nowe the Carovan continuing her accustomed journeys, and having passed the abovesayd castles, and others not woorthie mention, at length commeth to a place called Jehbir, which is the beginning and confine of the state and realme of Serifo the king of Mecca : where, at their approching issueth out to meete them the governour of the land, with all his people to receive the Carovan, with such shouting and triumph, as is impossible to expresse, where they staie one whole day. This place aboundeth with fresh and cleare waters, which with streames fall downe from the high mountaines. Moreover, in this place are great store of dates, and flesh great store and good cheape, and especially laced muttons which willingly fall downe, and here the wearie pilgrimes have commoditie to refresh themselves, saying, that this wicked fact purgeth them from a multitude of sinnes, and besides increaseth devotion to prosecute the voiage. Touching the building in these places, it is to bee judged by the houses halfe ruinated, that it hath bene a magnificent citie: but because it was in times past inhabited more with thieves then true men, it was therefore altogether destroyed by Soldan Gauri king of Ægypt, who going on pilgrimage unto Mecca , and passing by this place, there was by the inhabitants hereof some injurie done unto his Carovan, which hee understanding of, dissembled till his returned from Mecca , and then caused it to bee burned and destroyed in pitifull sort for revenge of the injurie done unto the Carovan. The Carovan having rested and being refreshed as is abovesayd, the next day departeth on the way, and the first place they arrive at woorthy mention is called Bedrihonem, in which place (as is aforesayd) grow those little shrubbes whereout Balme issueth. And before the Carovan arriveth at this place, a mile from the citie is a large and great field environed about with most high and huge mountaines. And in this field, according to the Alcoran, their prophet Mahomet had a most fierce and cruell battell given by the Christians of the countrey and other people which set themselves agaynst them, and withstood his opinion, so that hee was overcome and vanquished of the Christians, and almost halfe of his people slaine in the battell. Whereupon, the prophet seeing himselfe in such extremitie, fell to his prayers, and they say, that God having compassion upon his deare friend and prophet, heard him, and sent him infinite thousands of angels, wherewith returning to the battell, they conquered and overcame the conquerour. And therefore in memorie of this victorie, the Carovan lodgeth every yeere one night in this place, making great bonefires with great mirth. And they say that as yet there is heard upon the mountaines a litle drumme, which while the Carovan passeth, never ceaseth sounding. And they say further, that the sayd drumme is sounded by the angels in signe of that great victory graunted of God to their prophet. Also the Mahumetan writings affirme, that after the ende of the sayd battell, the prophet commaunded certaine of his people to goe and burie all the Mahumetans which were dead in the fields, who going, knew not the one from the other, because as yet they used not circumcision, so they returned unto him, answering, that they had bene to doe his commaundement, but they knew not the Musulmans from the Christians. To whom the prophet answered, saying: Turne againe, and all those which you shall finde with their faces downeward, leave them, because all they are misbeleevers; and the other which you shall finde with their faces turned upward, them burie, for they are the true Musulmani, and so his commaundement was done.

The next morning by Sunne rising, the Carovan arriveth at Bedrihonem, in which place every man washeth himselfe from toppe to toe, as well men as women, and leaving off their apparell, having each one a cloth about their privities, called in their tongue Photah, and another white one upon their shoulders, all which can goe to Mecca in this habite, do so, and are thought to merite more then the other, but they which cannot doe so made a vowe to sacrifice a Ramme at the mountaine of pardons: and after they bee washed, it is not lawfull for any man or woman to kill either flea or lowse with their handes, neither yet to take them with their nailes, untill they have accomplished their vowed orations in the mountaine of pardons abovesayd : and therefore they cary with them certaine stickes made of purpose in maner of a File, called in their language Arca, Cassah Guch, with which they grate their shoulders. And so the Carovan marching, commeth within two miles of Mecca where they rest that night. In the morning at the breake of day, with all pompe possible they set forward toward Mecca , and drawing neere thereunto, the Seripho issueth foorth of the citie with his guard, accompanied with an infinite number of people, shouting, and making great triumph. And being come out of the citie a boweshoote into a faire field, where a great multitude of tents are pitched, and in the middest the pavillion of the captaine, who meeting with the Serifo, after salutations on each side, they light from their horses and enter into the pavillion, where the king of Mecca depriveth himselfe of all authoritie and power, and committeth the same to the above-named captaine, giving him full licence and authoritie to commaund, governe, and minister justice during his aboad in Mecca with his company, and on the other side the captaine to requite this liberalitie used toward him by the Serifo giveth him a garment of cloth of gold of great value, with certaine jewels and other like things. After this, sitting downe together upon carpets and hides they eate together, and rising from thence with certaine of the chiefest, and taking with them the garment and gate abovesayd, they goe directly to the Mosquita, attended on but with a fewe, and being entered, they cause the olde to be pulled downe, and put the newe coverture upon the house of Abraham, and the olde vesture is the eunuchs which serve in the sayde Mosquita, who after sell it unto the pilgrimes at foure or five serafines the pike: and happy doth that man thinke himselfe, which can get never so litle a piece thereof, to conserve ever after as a most holy relique: and they say, that putting the same under the head of a man at the houre of his death, through vertue thereof all his sinnes are forgiven. Also they take away the old doore, setting in the place the new doore, and the old by custome they give unto the Serifo. After having made their praiers with certaine ordinarie and woonted ceremonies, the Serifo remaineth in the citie, and the captaine of the pilgrimage returneth unto his pavillion.

Of the Serifo the king of Mecca .

THE Serifo is descended of the prophet Mahomet by Fatma daughter of that good prophet, and Alli husband to her, and sonne in lawe to Mahumet, who had no issue male, save this stocke of the Serifo, to the eldest sonne whereof the realme commeth by succession. This realme hath of revenues royall, every yeere halfe a million of golde, or litle more: and all such as are of the prophets kinred, or descended of that blood (which are almost innumerable) are called Emyri, that is to say, lordes. These all goe clothed in greene, or at the least have their turbant greene, to bee knowen from the other. Neither is it permitted that any of those Christians which dwell or traffique in their Countrey goe clothed in greene, neither may they have any thing of greene about them: for they say it is not lawfull for misbeleevers to weare that colour, wherein that great friend and prophet of God Mahomet was woont to be apparelled.

Of the citie of Mecca.

THE Citie of Mecca in the Arabian tongue is called Macca, that is to say, an habitation. This citie is invironed about with exceeding high and barren mountaines, and in the plaine betweene the sayde mountaines and the citie are many pleasaunt gardens, where groweth great abundaunce of figges, grapes, apples, and melons. There is also great abundance of good water and fleshe, but not of bread. This citie hath no walles about it, and containeth in circuite five miles. The houses are very handsome and commodious, and are built like to the houses in Italie . The palace of the Serifo is sumptuous and gorgeously adorned. The women of the place are courteous, jocund, and lovely, faire, with alluring eyes, being hote and libidinous, and the most of them naughtie packes. The men of this place are given to that abhominable, cursed, and opprobrious vice, whereof both men and women make but small account by reason of the pond Zun Zun, wherein having washed themselves, their opinion is, that although like the dog they returne to their vomite, yet they are clensed from all sinne whatsoever, of which sin we will hereafter more largely discourse. In the midst of the city is ye great Mosquita, with the house of Abraham standing in the very middest thereof, which Mosquita was built in the time when their prophet lived. It is foure square, and so great, that it containeth two miles in circuit, that is to say, halfe a mile each side. Also it is made in maner of a cloister, for that in the midst thereof separate from the rest, is the abovesayd house of Abraham, also the galleries round about are in maner of 4. streetes, and the partitions which divide the one street from the other are pillars, whereof some are of marble, and others of lime and stone. This famous and sumptuous Mosquita hath 99. gates, and 5. steeples, from whence the Talismani call the people to the Mosquita. And the pilgrimes which are not provided of tents, resort hither, and for more devotion the men and women lie together aloft and beneath, one upon another, so that their house of praier becommeth worse sometimes then a den of thieves.

Of the house of Abraham.

THE house of Abraham is also foure square, and made of speckled stone, 20. paces high, and 40 in circuit. And upon one side of this house within the wall, there is a stone of a span long, and halfe a span broad, which stone (as they say) before this house was builded, fell downe from heaven, at the fall whereof was heard a voyce, that wheresoever this stone fell, there should be built the house of God, wherein God will heare sinners. Moreover, they say that when this stone fell from heaven, it was not blacke as now, but as white as the whitest snow, and by reason it hath bene so oft kissed by sinners, it is therewith become blacke: for all the pilgrimes are bound to kisse this stone, otherwise they cary their sinnes home with them again. The entrance into this house is very small, made in maner of a window, and as high from the ground as a man can reach, so that it is painful to enter. This house hath without 31. pillars of brasse, set upon cubike or square stones being red and greene, the which pillars sustaine not ought els save a threed of copper, which reacheth from one to another, whereunto are fastened many burning lampes. These pillars of brasse were caused to be made by Sultan Soliman grandfather to Sultan Amurath now, Emperor. After this, having entred with the difficultie abovesayd, there stand at the entrance two pillars of marble, to wit, on each side one. In the midst there are three of Aloes-wood not very thicke, and covered with tiles of India of 1000. colours which serve to underproppe the Terratza. It is so darke, that they can hardly see within for want of light, not without an evill smell. Without the gate five pases is the abovesayd pond Zun Zun, which is that blessed pond that the angell of the lord shewed unto Agar whiles she went seeking water for her sonne Ismael to drinke.

Of the ceremonies of the pilgrimes.

IN the beginning we have sayd how the Mahumetans have two feasts in the yeere. The one they call Pascha di Ramazaco, that is to say, The feast of fasting, and this feast of fasting is holden thirtie dayes after the feast, wherein the Carovan travelleth to Mecca . The other is called the feast of the Ramme, wherein all they which are of abilitie are bound to sacrifice a Ramme, and this they call Bine Bairam, that is to say, The great feast. And as the Carovan departeth from Cairo thirtie dayes after the little feast, so likewise they come hither five or sixe dayes before the great feast, to the ende the pilgrimes may have time before the feast to finish their rites and ceremonies, which are these. Departing from the Carovan, and being guided by such as are experienced in the way, they goe unto the citie twentie or thirtie in a com pany as they thinke good, walking through a streete which ascendeth by litle and litle till they come unto a certaine gate, whereupon is written on each side in marble stone, Babel Salema, which in the Arabian tongue signifieth, the gate of health. And from this place is descried the great Mosquita, which environeth the house of Abraham, which being descried, they reverently salute twise, saying, Salem Alech Jara sul Alla, that is to say, Peace to thee, ambassadour of God. This salutation being ended, proceeding on the way, they finde an arche upon their right hand, whereon they ascend five steps, upon the which is a great voyd place made of stone: after, descending other five steps, and proceeding the space of a flight-shoot, they finde another arche like unto the first, and this way from the one arche to the other they go and come 7. times, saying alwaies some of their prayers, which (they say) the afflicted Agar sayd, whiles she sought and found not water for her sonne Ismael to drinke. This ceremonie being ended, the pilgrimes enter into the Mosquita, and drawing neere unto the house of Abraham, they goe round about it other seven times, alwayes saying: This is the house of God, and of his servant Abraham; This done, they goe to kisse that blacke stone abovesayd. After they go unto the pond Zun Zun, and in their apparell as they be, they wash themselves from head to foote, saying, Tobah Allah, Tobah Allah, that is to say, Pardon lord, Pardon lord, drinking also of that water, which is both muddie, filthie, and of an ill savour, and in this wise washed and watered, every one returneth to his place of abode, and these ceremonies every one is bound to doe once at the least. But those which have a mind to overgoe their fellowes, and to go into paradise before the rest, doe the same once a day while the Carovan remaineth there.

What the Carovan doeth after having rested at Mecca .

THE Carovan having abode within the citie of Mecca five dayes, the night before the evening of their feast, the captaine with all his company setteth forward towards the mountaine of pardons, which they call in the Arabian tongue, Jabel Arafata. This mountaine is distant from Mecca 15. miles, and in the mid way thereto is a place called Mina , that is to say, The haven, and a litle from thence are 4. great pillars, of which hereafter we will speake. Now first touching the mountaine of Pardons, which is rather to be called a litle hill, then a mountain, for that it is low, litle, delightful and pleasant, containing in circuit two miles, and environed round about with the goodliest plaine that ever with mans eie could be seen, and the plaine likewise compassed with exceeding high mountains, in such sort, that this is one of the goodliest situations in the world: and it seemeth verily, that nature hath therein shewed all her cunning, in making this place under the mountaine of pardons so broad and pleasant. Upon the side towards Mecca there are many pipes of water cleare, faire, and fresh, and above all most wholesome, falling down into certaine vessels made of purpose, where the people refresh and wash themselves, and water their cattel. And when Adam and Evah were cast out of paradise by the angel of the Lord, the Mahumetans say, they came to inhabite this litle mountaine of pardons. Also they say, that they had lost one another, and were seperated for the space of 40. yeeres, and in the end met at this place with great joy & gladnesse, and builded a litle house upon the top of this mountaine, the which at this day they call Beyt Adam, that is to say, the house of Adam.

Of the three Carovans.

THE same day that the Carovan of Cairo commeth to this place, hither come 2. Carovans also, one of Damasco , the other of Arabia , and in like maner all the inhabitants for ten dayes journey round about, so that at one time there is to be seen above 200000. persons, and more then 300000. cattell. Now all this company meeting together in this place the night before the feast, the three hostes cast themselves into a triangle, setting the mountaine in the midst of them: and all that night there is nothing to be heard nor scene, but gunshot and fireworkes of sundry sortes, with such singing, sounding, shouting, halowing, rumors, feasting, and triumphing, as is wonderfull. After this, the day of the feast being come, they are all at rest and silence, and that day they attend on no other thing, then to sacrifice oblations and prayers unto God, and in the evening all they which have horses mount thereon, and approch as nigh unto the mountaine as they can, and those which have no horses make the best shift they can on foote, giving ever unto the captaine of Cairo the chiefe place, the second to the captaine of Damasco , and the third to the captaine of Arabia , & being all approched as is abovesayd, there commeth a square squire, one of the Santones, mounted on a camell well furnished, who at the other side of the mountain ascendeth five steps into a pulpit made for that purpose, and all being silent, turning his face towards the people, he maketh a short sermon of the tenour folowing.

The summe of the Santones sermon.

THE summe of this double doctors sermon is thus much in briefe. He sheweth them how many and how great benefits God hath given to the Mahumetan people by the hand of his beloved friend and prophet Mahomet, having delivered them from the servitude of sinne & from idolatry, in which before time they were drowned, and how he gave unto them the house of Abraham wherein they should be heard, and likewise the mountaine of pardons, by meanes whereof they might obtaine grace and remission of their sinnes : adding, that the mercifull God, who is a liberall giver of all good things, commaunded his secretarie Abraham to build him an house in Mecca , where his successours might make their prayers unto him and bee heard, at which time all the mountains in the world came together thither with sufficiencie of stones for building hereof, except that litle and low hill, which for povertie could not go to discharge this debt, for the which it became sorrowfull, weeping beyond all measure for the space of thirtie yeeres, at the ende whereof the eternall God having pitie and compassion upon this poore Mountaine, saide unto it: Weepe no more (my daughter) for thy bitter plaints have ascended up into mine eares, therefore comfort thy selfe : for I will cause all those that shall goe to visite the house of my friend Abraham, that they shall not be absolved from their sinnes, unlesse they first come to doe thee reverence, and to keepe in this place their holiest feast. And this I have commanded unto my people by the mouth of my friend and prophet Mahumet. This said, he exhorteth them unto the love of God, and to prayer and almes. The sermon being done at the Sunne-setting they make 3. prayers, namely, the first for the Serifo, the second for the Grand Signior with his hoste, and the third for all the people: to which prayers all with one voyce cry saying; Amni Ja Alla, Amni Ja Alla, that is to say, Be it so Lord, be it so Lord. Thus having had the Santones blessing and saluted the Mountaine of pardons, they returne the way they came unto Mina , whereof wee have made mention. In returning at the end of the plaine are the abovesaid 4. pillers, to wit, two on ech side of the way, through the midst whereof they say it is needfull that every one passe, saying, that who so passeth without looseth all that merit which in his pilgrimage he had gotten. Also from the mountaine of pardons until they be passed the said pillers none dare looke backward, for feare least the sinnes which he hath left in the mountains returne to him againe. Being past these pillers every one lighteth downe, seeking in this sandy field 50. or 60. litle stones, which being gathered, and bound in an handkerchiffe they carry to the abovesaid place of Mina , where they stay 5. dayes, because at that time there is a faire free and franke of al custome. And in this place are other 3. pillers, not together, but set in divers places, where (as their prophet saith) were the three apparitions which the divel made unto Abraham, and to Ismael his sonne; for amongst them they make no mention of Isaac, as if he had never bene borne. So they say, that the blessed God having commanded Abraham his faithfull servant to sacrifice his first begotten Ismael, the old Abraham went to do according to Gods wil, and met with the infernal enemie in the shape of a man, and being of him demanded whither he went, he answered, that he went to sacrifice his sonne Ismael, as God had commanded him. Against whom the divel exclaiming said: Oh doting old man, sith God in thine old age hath marveilously given thee this son (in whom all nations shalbe blessed) wherefore giving credite unto vaine dreames, wilt thou kill him whom so much thou hast desired, and so intirely loved. But Abraham shaking him off proceeded on his way, whereupon the divel seeing his words could not prevaile with the father attempted the sonne, saying; Ismael, have regard unto thy selfe betimes in this thing which is so dangerous. Wherefore? answered ye childe. Because (saith the divel) thy doting father seeketh to take away thy life. For what occasion, said Ismael? Because (saith the enemie) he saith, that God hath commanded him. Which Ismael hearing hee tooke up stones and threw at him, saying, Auzu billahi minal scia itanil ragini, which is to say, I defend me with God from the divel the offender, as who would say, wee ought to obey the commandement of God and resist the divel with al our force. But to returne to our purpose, the pilgrimes during their aboad there goe to visite these three pillers, throwing away the little stones which before they gathered, whiles they repeat the same words which they say, that Ismael said to the divell, when hee withstoode him. From hence halfe a mile is a mountaine, whither Abraham went to sacrifice his sonne, as is abovesaid. In this mountaine is a great den whither the pilgrims resort to make their prayers, and there is a great stone naturally separated in the midst; and they say, that Ismael, while his father Abraham was busie about the sacrifice, tooke the knife in hand to proove how it would cut, and making triall divided the stone into two parts. The five dayes being expired, the captaine ariseth with all the Carovan, and returneth againe to Mecca , where they remaine other five dayes. And while these rest, we will treat of the city and port of Grida upon the Red Sea.

Of Grida.

THEREFORE wee say that from Mecca to Grida they make two small dayes journey: and because in those places it is ill travelling in the day-time by reason of the great heat of the Sunne, therefore they depart in the evening from Mecca , and in the morning before Sunne-rising they are arrived halfe way, where there are certaine habitations well furnished, and good Innes to lodge in, but especially women ynough which voluntarily bestowe their almes upon the poore pilgrims: likewise departing the next evening, the morning after, they come unto Grida. This citie is founded upon the Red Sea banke, environed with wals & towers to the land-ward, but through continuance of time almost consumed and wasted: on the side to sea-ward it stands unwalled. Grida hath three gates, one on eche side, and the thirde in the midst towarde the land, which is called, The port of Mecca , neere unto which are 6. or 7. Turks upon the old towers for guard thereof with foure faulcons upon one of the corners of the city to the land-ward. Also to sea-ward where the wall joyneth with the water, there is lately made a fort like unto a bulwarke, where they have planted 25 pieces of the best ordinance that might be had, which are very well kept and guarded. More outward towards the sea upon the farthest olde tower are other five good pieces with 30 men to guard them. On the other side of the city at the end of the wall there is lately builded a bulwarke strong and well guarded by a Sanjaccho with 150 Turks wel provided with ordinance and all other necessaries and munition, and all these fortifyings are for none other cause then for feare and suspition of the Portugals. And if the port were good all this were in vaine : but the port cannot be worse nor more dangerous, being all full of rocks and sands, in such wise, that the ships cannot come neere, but perforce ride at the least two miles off. At this port arrive every yeere forty or fifty great shippes laden with spices and other rich marchandize which yeeld in custome 150000 ducats, the halfe whereof goeth unto the Grand Signior, and the other halfe to the Serifo. And because there is none other thing worthy mention in Grida we wil returne to our Carovan which hath almost rested enough.

Of their going to Medina.

THE Carovan departeth for Medina returning the same way they came unto Bedrihonem abovesayd, where they leave their ordinance and other cariages, whereof they have no need, with the pilgrims which have seene Medina aforetime, and desire not to see it againe, but stay in that place, expecting the carovan, and resting untill the carovan go from Bedrihonem to Medina, where they alwayes finde goodly habitations, with abundance of sweet waters, and dates enough, and being within foureteene miles of Medina they come unto a great plaine called by them Jabel el salema, that is to say, the mountaine of health, from which they begin to descry the city and tombe of Mahomet, at which sight they light from their horses in token of reverence. And being ascended up the sayd mountaine with shouting which pierceth the skies they say, Sala tuua salema Alaccha Jarah sul Allah. Sala tuua Salema Alaccha Janabi Allah, Sala tuua Salema Allaccha Jahabit Allah: which words in the Arabian tongue signifie: Prayer and health be unto thee, oh prophet of God: prayer and health be upon thee, oh beloved of God. And having pronounced this salutation, they proceed on their journey, so that they lodge that night within three miles of Medina: and the next morn ing the captaine of the pilgrimage ariseth, & proceeding towards the city, and drawing neere, there commeth the governour under the Serifo, accompanied with his people to receive the Carovan, having pitched their tents in the midst of a goodly field where they lodge.

Of Medina.

MEDINA is a little city of great antiquity, containing in circuit not above two miles, having therein but one castle, which is olde and weake, guarded by an Aga with fifty pieces of artillery, but not very good. The houses thereof are faire and well situated, built of lime and stone, and in the midst of the city stands a foure-square Mosquita, not so great as that of Mecca , but more goodly, rich, and sumptuous in building. Within the same in a corner thereof is a tombe built upon foure pillers with a vault, as if it were under a pavement, which bindeth all the foure pillers together. The tombe is so high, that it farre exceedeth in heighth the Mosquita, being covered with lead, and the top all inamelled with golde, with an halfe moone upon the top: and within the pavement it is all very artificially wrought with golde. Below there are round about very great staires of yron ascending up untill the midst of the pillers, and in the very midst thereof is buried the body of Mahomet, and not in a chest of yron cleaving to the adamant, as many affirme that know not the trueth thereof. Moreover, over the body they have built a tombe of speckled stone a brace and an halfe high, and over the same another of Legmane fouresquare in maner of a pyramis. After this, round about the sepulture there hangeth a curtaine of silke, which letteth the sight of those without, that they cannot see the sepulture. Beyond this in the same Mosquita are other two sepulchres covered with greene cloth, and in the one of them is buried Fatma the daughter of Mahomet, and Alli is buried in the other, who was the husband of the sayd Fatma. The attendants upon these sepulchres are fifty eunuches white and tawny, neither is it granted to any of them to enter within the tombe, saving to three white eunuches the oldest and best of credit; unto whom it is lawfull to enter but twise in the day, to light the lamps, and to doe other services. All the other eunuchs attend without to the service of the Mosquita, and the other two sepulchres of Fatma, and Alli, where every one may go and touch at his pleasure, and take of the earth for devotion, as many do.

Of things without the City.

WITHOUT the city and on every side are most faire gardens, with many fountaines of most sweet water, infinite pondes, abundance of fruit, with much honest living, so that this place is very pleasant and delightfull. This city hath three gates, one of which is an hospitall caused to be built by Cassachi, called the Rose, who was wife to Sultan Soliman grandfather to this emperour. The sayd hospitall hath nought els woorthy mention, save that it is fairely built, and hath large revenues belonging thereunto, and nourisheth many poore people. A mile from the city are certaine houses whereof they affirme one to be the same, where Mahumet in his lifetime dwelt. This house hath on every side very many faire date trees, amongst which there are two which grow out of one stocke exceeding high, and these, they say, their Prophet grafted with his owne hand: the fruit thereof is alwayes sent to Constantinople, to be presented unto the Grand Signior, and is sayd to be that blessed fruit of the Prophet. Nere unto the date trees is a faire fountaine of cleere and sweet water, the which by a conduct pipe is brought into the city of Medina. Also there is a little Mosquita, wherein three places are counted holy, and greatly reverenced : the first they affirme, that their Prophet made his first prayer in, after he knew God: the second is that whither he went when he would see the holy house of Abraham, where when he sate downe to that intent, they say the mountaines opened from the toppe to the bottome to shew him the house, and after closed againe as before: the third holy place is in the midst of the sayd Mosquita, where is a tombe made of lime and stone fouresquare, and full of sand, wherein, they say, was buried that blessed camell which Mahumet was alwayes woont to ride upon. On the other side of the city are other tombes of holy Mahumetans, and every one of them hath a tombe built upon foure pillers, amongst which three were the companions of Mahumet, to wit, Abubacar, Ottoman, and Omar; all which are visited of the pilgrims as holy places.

The offering of the vestures unto the sepulchres.

THE Carovan being come to Medina two houres before day, and resting there till the evening, the captaine then with his company and other pilgrims setteth forward, with the greatest pompe possible: and taking with him the vesture which is made in maner of a pyramis, with many other of golde and silke, departeth, going thorow the midst of the city, untill he come to the Mosquita, where having praied, he presenteth unto the tombe of his prophet (where the eunuchs receiving hands are ready) the vesture for the sayd tombe: and certaine eunuchs entring in take away the old vesture, and lay on the new, burning the olde one, and dividing the golde thereof into equall portions. After this are presented other vestures for the ornament of the Mosquita. Also the people without deliver unto the eunuchs ech man somewhat to touch the tombe therewith, which they keepe as a relique with great devotion. This ceremony being ended, the captaine resteth in Medina two dayes, to the end the pilgrims may finish their devotion and ceremonies: and after they depart to Jambor. A good dayes journey thence is a steepe mountaine, over which is no passage, saving by one narrow path called Demir Capi, which was in times past called the yron gate. Of this gate the Mahumetans say, that Ally the companion and sonne in law of Mahumet, being here pursued by many Christians, and comming unto this mountaine, not seeing any way whereby to flee, drew out his sword, and striking the said mountaine, divided it in sunder, and passing thorow saved his life on the other side. Moreover, this Alli among the Persians is had in greater reverence then Mahumet, who affirme, that the sayd Alli hath done greater things and more miraculous then Mahumet, and therefore they esteeme him for God almighty his fellow. But to returne to our matter, the captaine with the carovan within two dayes after returneth for Cairo , and comming to Ezlem, findeth there a captaine with threescore horses come thither to bring refreshments to the said captaine of the pilgrimage, as also to sell unto the pilgrims some victuals. From thence they set forward, and comming to Birca within two leagues of Cairo , there is the master of the house of the Bassha of Cairo with all his horsemen come thither to receive him, with a sumptuous and costly banket made at the cost of the Basha for the captaine and his retinue, who after he is well refreshed departeth toward the castle of Cairo to salute the Basha, who receiving him with great joy and gladnesse in token of good wil presenteth him with a garment of cloth of golde very rich: and the captaine taking the Alcaron out of the chest presenteth it to the Basha, who having kissed it, commandeth to lay it up againe. Some there are which affirme, that being arrived at Cairo , they kill that goodly camell which carried the Alcaron, and eate him; which is nothing so: for they are so superstitious to the contrary, that to gaine all the world they would not kill him. But if by casualty he should die, in this case happy and blessed they thinke themselves, which can get a morsell to eat. And thus much concerning the voyage of the captaine of the carovan of Cairo.

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1566 AD (2)
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