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Пресвитер Иоанн - родоначальник калмыцких ханов


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#1 calmouk

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Отправлено 24 January 2007 - 04:41 PM

Из летописи "Шар Тууҗи"

|173| Торгуты — потомки кэрэитского Онг-хана. Его сын Бадзар, его сын Магачи Манхи, его сын Буйга, его сын Дзолцохай Орлук, его сын Гоа Орлук, его сын Шихур Дайчин, его сын Пунцуг, его сын Аюши.


Из Рубрука

...У этого Иоанна был брат, также могущественный пастух, по имени Унк; он жил за горами Каракатаев, на три недели пути от своего брата, и был властелином некоего городка, по имени Каракарум; под его властью находился народ, именовавшийся Крит и Меркит и принадлежавший к христианам-несторианам. А сам властелин их, оставив почитание Христа, следовал идолам, имея при себе идольских жрецов, которые все принадлежат к вызывателям демонов и к колдунам. За его пастбищами, в расстоянии на 10 или 15 дневных переходов, были пастбища Моалов; это были очень бедные люди, без главы и без закона, за исключением веры в колдовство и прорицания, чему преданы все в тех странах. И рядом с Моалами были другие бедняки, по имени Тартары (Тarcar). Король Иоанн умер без наследника, и брат его Унк обогатился и приказывал именовать себя ханом; крупные и мелкие стада его ходили до пределов Моалов. В то время в народе Моалов был некий ремесленник Чингис; он воровал, что мог, из животных Унк-хана, так что пастухи Унка пожаловались своему господину. Тогда тот собрал войско и поехал в землю Моалов, ища самого Чингиса, а тот убежал к Татарам и там спрятался. Тогда Унк, взяв добычу от Моалов и от Татар, вернулся. Тогда Чингис обратился к Татарам и Моалам со следующими словами: "Так как у нас нет вождя, наши соседи теснят нас". И Татары, и Моалы сделали его вождем и главою. Тогда, собрав тайком войско, он ринулся на самого Унка и победил его; тот убежал в Катайю. Там попала в плен его дочь, которую Чингис отдал в жены одному из своих сыновей; от него зачала она ныне царствующего Мангу. Затем Чингис повсюду посылал вперед Татар, и отсюда распространилось их имя, так как везде кричали: "Вот идут Татары". Но в недавних частых войнах почти все они были перебиты. Отсюда упомянутые Моалы ныне хотят уничтожить это название и возвысить свое. Та земля, в которой они были сперва и где находится еще двор Чингис-хана, называется Онанкеруле. {117} Но так как Каракарум есть местность, вокруг которой было их первое приобретение, то они считают этот город за царственный и поблизости его выбирают своего хана...


Douglas Morton Dunlop (1909 - 1987) "The Karaits of East Asia." wrote

What we learn of Tughru Tigin, Ung Khan, from the Persian sources makes clear that he had been "man of war from his youth". Nothing is said of religious activities of his of any kind. Yet he is regurded by writers as the original Prester John. This view is based partly on Marco Polo's identification of the two names, partly on another passage in the Syriac Chronicle, where Abu'l-Faraj speaks of "Ung Khan, that is, John king of the Christians, reigning over a certain nations of Hun barbarians who were called Krit"...


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#2 batrun

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Отправлено 24 January 2007 - 04:53 PM

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"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

#3 Guest_Stoic_*

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Отправлено 25 January 2007 - 02:40 AM

Выдержки из Л.Н. Гумилева, "Поиски вымышленного царства":

В 1009 г. приняли крещение от несторианских проповедников кераиты [*83]. Это был самый крупный и самый культурный из монголоязычных народов Центральной Азии, обитавший на берегах Орхона, Толы и Онгина, на том самом месте, где некогда утверждали свои державы хунны, тюрки и уйгуры. Численность взрослых кераитов определена для начала XI в. в 200 тыс. человек, которые, согласно легенде, приняли христианство [+109]. Следовательно, с учетом детей и стариков их было вдвое больше. Согласно легенде, обращение кераитов произошло вследствие того, что кераитскому хану, заблудившемуся в пустыне, явился св. Сергий и указал путь домой. Хан крестился со всем своим народом и получил имя Маргуз (Марк). Об этом событии был немедленно уведомлен мервский митрополит, к которому поступил запрос: как соблюдать посты кочевникам, не имеющим растительной пищи вообще. Митрополит запросил об этом важном каноническом казусе несторианского патриарха в Багдаде- Иоанна VI (умер в 1011 г.) и переслал кераитам разъяснение, что в пост надо воздерживаться только от мяса, а молочные продукты можно употреблять в пищу.
Мы проследили историю кочевого объединения цзубу, или татар, не зря. Ведь это было именно то зерно, из которого выросла легенда о царе-первосвященнике Иоанне. Все совпадает- и ничто не похоже: вместо могучей империи, грозной для всех врагов христианской веры, - кучка кочевников, героически отстаивающая свободу и свой образ жизни; вместо изобилия даров природы - окраина пустыни; и самое главное: никому из европейцев от таких единоверцев никакого проку. Вот ответ на вопрос: почему до середины XII в. в Европе, как католической, так и православной, не возникло никакого интереса к Дальнему Востоку? А ведь получить исчерпывающие сведения было нетрудно. Караваны из Китая до Багдада и оттуда до Константинополя ходили регулярно. Мусульманские купцы добирались до Сибири, несторианские - держали в своих руках торговлю Средней Азии с Китаем. Обмен сведениями был возможен, но интереса к ним у практичных и сметливых европейцев не возникало. Им хватало по горло собственных неурядиц.

Прежде чем вести дальнейшее изложение хода событий, уместно остановиться и задать себе несколько недоуменных вопросов. Как мы отметили выше, Елюй Даши привел в Джунгарию около 10 тыс. всадников и удвоил это число за счет киданей, ранее его убежавших на запад. Значит, у него было около 20 тыс., пусть даже до 30 тыс. воинов. Покорением Кашгара и Хотана он сразу восстановил против себя весь мусульманский мир, а подчинением канглов - и Великую кипчакскую степь. Иными словами, положение на западной окраине кара-китайского (как оно теперь стало называться) ханства было весьма напряженным, тем более что за спиной мелких мусульманских князей стоял сельджук Санджар [*90], командующий самой сильной армией, из тех, что действовали на Ближнем Востоке. Спрашивается, откуда же гурхан мог выделить 70 тыс. воинов для восточного похода? Ведь это в три раза больше всех его сил, даже если бы он полностью оголил западную окраину своих владений! Очевидно, что с 1130 по 1135 г. силы Елюя Даши возросли до какой-то огромной цифры, но за счет чего и кого?

Территория, захваченная и освоенная основателем кара-киданьской державы, к моменту его смерти охватывала три больших района. Под непосредственным управлением гурхана находились Западная Джунгария от реки Имиля на севере и Семиречье до реки Чу на юге [+163]. Эта территория, весьма удобная для кочевников и полукочевников, благодаря разнообразию горных и степных пастбищных угодий, кормила 84500 шатров (хозяйств), включая местное тюркское население. Соответственно небольшой была армия: 10 тыс. непосредственно в распоряжении гурхана и 30-50 тыс. при полной мобилизации [+164].

Столица - вернее, ставка - Баласагун - лежала в верховьях реки Чу, недалеко от Иссык-Куля. Другой город, Имиль, находился недалеко от восточной оконечности Балхаша. Эта небольшая, живописная, бедная область и была пресловутым "царством пресвитера Иоанна" [+165].

Посреди "царства" лежит "песочное озеро, да николи же не стоит на одном месте: отколе ветр потянет, ино пойдет вал, и восходят же валы на брег за 300 верст". Это вполне точное описание песчаной пустыни с барханами, и неясно только: какую пустыню имел в виду автор - Такла-Макан или Центральную Джунгарию. Поэтому посмотрим текст дальше! "Посторонь того моря за 3 дни (пути. - Л.Г.) суть горы высокие, от них же течет река каменная, валится камение великое и малое по себе 3 дни. Идет же то камение в нашу землю в то же море песочное, и покрывают валове моря того, и близ тоя рекы едино днище (на расстоянии одного дня пути) есть горы пусты высоки, их же верха человеку не мощно дозрети, и с тех пор течет река под землею не велика".

Добавим к сведениям мусульманского автора слова христианского монаха-минорита Вильгельма Рубрука, ездившего послом к монголам: "Именно в то время, когда франки взяли Антиохию (в июне 1098 г.), единовластие в северных странах принадлежало одному лицу, по имени Кон-хам (спутаны два слова: "хан" и "кам", т.е. прорицатель. - Л.Г.). Этот Кон был каракатай. (В 1098 г. еще не было деления на собственно катаев // киданей и кара-катаев. Автор XIII в. допускает модернизацию.) Эти катай (кара-кидани) жили на неких горах, через которые я переправлялся (он шел одним из трех проходов между западной и внутренней частями Срединной Азии, расположенными между хребтами Алтая и Тянь-Шаня [+169]), а на одной равнине между этих гор жил некий несторианин пастух (pastor), человек могущественный и владычествующий над народом, именуемым Найман и принадлежавшим к христианам-несторианам (описана Западная Джунгария - область кара-киданьского гурхана Елюя Даши. - Л.Г.). По смерти Кон-хама (императора династии Ляо. - Л.Г.) этот несторианец превознес себя в короли, и несториане называли его королем Иоанном, говоря о нем вдесятеро больше, чем было согласно с истиной. Именно так поступают несториане, прибывающие из тех стран: из ничего создают большие разговоры" [+170].

Центральную часть Монголии населяли кераиты, принявшие несторианство еще в 1007-1008 гг. История их до XII в. совершенно не освещена источниками. Первого зафиксированного историей хана - Маркуза (Марк), носившего титул - Буюрук-хан [+6], легендарная генеалогия выводит из потомства праматери монголов - Алан-гоа [+7]. Не будем отвлекаться, проверяя, насколько соответствует легенда истории, для нас важно лишь то, что кераиты считали себя близкими родственниками монголов. После смерти монгольского Хабул-хана, прадеда Чингисхана [+8], Маркуз возглавил кочевников для борьбы с чжурчжэнями, но судьба обошлась с ним предельно жестоко. Его захватили в плен татары и выдали чжурчжэням. Маркуз погиб, будучи прибит гвоздями к "деревянному ослу". Датируется это событие началом 50-х годов XII в. [+9].

У Маркуза было два сына: Хурчахус-Буюрук-хан, видимо, возглавил собственно кераитов, а второй, носивший титул "гурхана" [+10], - союз кераитов с монголами, потому что с этого времени у монголов появился собственный государь - Хутула-хаган. Хурчахус умер около 1171 г. [+11], а его наследник, Тогрул (Тоорил), ознаменовал вступление на ханский престол тем, что казнил своих дядей. Это вызвало возмущение в народе, и "гурхан" сверг своего племянника, который обратился за помощью к монголам. Есугэй-баатур, отец Чингиса, возглавлявший в то время объединение монгольских племен, пришел на помощь к изгнанному принцу и восстановил его на престоле. Гурхан бежал на южную окраину Гоби, к тангутам [+12], и там получил от тангутского правительства место для поселения своих сторонников.

Враги Тогрула получили точку опоры. С позиций понимания морали и долга, самоочевидных в XII в., никто не мог упрекнуть кераитских вельмож за сочувствие христианскому хану, врагу ненавистных чжурчжэней. В среде кераитов возникла оппозиция Тогрулу, и Инанч использовал ситуацию в своих политических целях: заключил союз с сильными северными племенами: ойратами, жившими на склонах Западных Саян, и меркитами, обитавшими на южных берегах Байкала. По-видимому, ему удалось привлечь в коалицию даже татар, успевших поссориться с чжурчжэнями и завести дипломатические отношения с онгутами, или "белыми татарами", потомками храбрых шато, кочевавших у китайской стены, между Ордосом и Хинганом.

Так кончилось самое сильное и древнее христианское ханство Центральной Азии, пав жертвой язычников, но любопытно, что эта сторона дела в источниках совершенно не отражена [*98]. Рашид ад-дин только в предварительном описании отмечает: "До них дошел призыв Иисуса, - мир ему! - и они вступили в его веру" [+49], - не делая из этого никаких выводов. В "Тайной истории" приведена только кераитская молитва - "абай-бабай", т.е. "авва - отче...", и то между делом [+50]. Из этого вытекает только то, что сами монголы не придавали значения разнице в вере [+51].

И с этой точки зрения весьма важно, что того же мнения держались сами кераиты. О падении их царства сохранилась крайне искаженная версия в сибирских летописях. Деформирована она настолько, что ни одному исследователю не пришло в голову отнести эту запись к событиям XIII в. Вот текст [+52]: "Был царь магометова закона именем Он" (так - в Есиповской летописи), Иван (в Строгановской летописи) или же Он-Сом-хан (в Ремизовской летописи). Против него "восста его же державы от простых людей именем Чинги и шед на него яко разбойник... и уби Она и [вступи на] царство сам Чинги".

Тут многое перепутано. Вместо забытого несторианства поставлено магометанство; Чингисхан назван простым разбойником, но для нас важно то, что сведение, прошедшее через десятки рук, сохранило свой смысл - социальный. Вождь "людей длинной воли" своим противникам и должен был представляться разбойничьим атаманом. Этого основного содержания источник не утерял. Но мы, чтобы найти жемчужное зерно истины в шелухе наслоений, должны хорошо выучить фактическую историю, ибо только этим способом у исследователя расширяется до нужных пределов система ассоциации.

#4 calmouk

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Отправлено 26 January 2007 - 05:41 PM

Выдержки из Л.Н. Гумилева, "Поиски вымышленного царства":


Гораздо интересней ссылки на работы использованные Гумилевым.
Это в основном Паллас и Груссе, столь обильно цитируемый Акскл-ом :rolleyes:

Где же первоисточники?

Т.е. работа Гумилева - это художественная литература, наподобие романов Пикуля.
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#5 calmouk

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Отправлено 16 October 2007 - 06:59 PM

Здесь описывается город Каракорон

Город Каракорон в округе три мили, им первым овладели татары, когда вышли из своей страны. Расскажу вам об их делах, о том, как они стали властвовать и распространились по свету. Татары, нужно знать, жили на севере, в Чиорчие ; в той стране большие равнины и нет там жилья, ни городов, ни замков, но славные там пастбища, большие реки и воды там вдоволь. Не было у них князей, платили они великому царю и звали его по своему Унекан , а по французски это значит «Пресвитер Иоанн»; это тот самый Пресвитер Иоанн, о чьем великом могуществе говорит весь свет. Татары платили ему дань, из десяти скотов одну скотину.
Случилось, что татары сильно размножились; увидел Пресвитер Иоанн, что много их, и стал он думать, не наделали бы они ему зла; решил он расселить их по разным странам и послал воевод своих исполнить то дело. Как услышали татары, что Пресвитер Иоанн замышляет, опечалились они, да все вместе пустились на север в степь, чтобы Пресвитер Иоанн не мог им вредить. Возмутились против него и перестали ему дань платить. Так они прожили некоторое время.

ГЛАВА LXV

Как Чингис стал первым ханом татар

Случилось, что в 1187 г . татары выбрали себе царя, и звался он по ихнему Чингисхан, был человек храбрый, умный и удалой; когда, скажу вам, выбрали его в цари, татары со всего света, что были рассеяны по чужим странам, пришли к нему и признали его своим государем. Страною этот Чингисхан правил хорошо. Что же вам еще сказать? Удивительно даже, какое тут множество татар набралось.
Увидел Чингисхан, что много у него народу, вооружил его луками и иным ихним оружием и пошел воевать чужие страны. Покорили они восемь областей; народу зла не делали, ничего у него не отнимали, а только уводили его с собою покорять других людей так то, как вы слышали, завоевали они множество народу. А Народ видит, что правление хорошее, царь милостив, и шел за ним охотно. Набрал Чингисхан такое множество народу, что по всему свету бродят, да решил завоевать побольше земли. Вот послал он своих послов к Пресвитеру Иоанну, и было то в 1200 г . по Р. X. , наказывал он ему, что хочет взять себе в жены его дочь. Услышал Пресвитер Иоанн, что Чингисхан сватает его дочь, и разгневался.
«Каково бесстыдство Чингисхана! — стал он говорить. — Дочь мою сватает! Иль не знает, что он мой челядинец и раб?! Идите к нему назад и скажите, сожгу дочь, да не выдам за него; скажите ему от меня, что следовало бы его как предателя и изменника своему государю смертью казнить!»
Говорил он потом послам, чтобы они уходили и никогда не возвращались. Выслушали это послы и тотчас же ушли. Пришли к своему государю и рассказывают ему по порядку все, что наказывал Пресвитер Иоанн.

ГЛАВА LXVI

Как Чингисхан снаряжает свой народ к походу на Пресвитера Иоанна

Услышал Чингисхан срамную брань, что Пресвитер Иоанн ему наказывал, надулось у него сердце и чуть не лопнуло в животе; был он, скажу вам, человек властный. Напоследок заговорил, да так громко, что все кругом услышали; говорил он, что и царствовать не захочет, коли Пресвитер Иоанн за свою брань, что ему наказывал, не заплатит дорого, дороже, нежели когда либо кто платил за брань, говорил, что нужно вскорости показать, раб ли он Пресвитера Иоанна. Созвал он свой народ и зачал делать приготовления, каких и не было видано, и не слышано было. Дал он знать Пресвитеру Иоанну, чтобькгот защищался как мог, идет де Чингисхан на него со всею своею силою; а Пресвитер Иоанн услышал, что идет на него Чингисхан, посмеивается и внимания не обращает. Не военные они люди, говорил он, а про себя решил все сделать, чтобы, когда Чингисхан придет, захватить его и казнить. Созвал он своих отовсюду и из чужих стран и вооружил их; да так он постарался, что о такой большой рати никогда не рассказывали.
Вот так то, как вы слышали, снаряжались тот и другой. И не говоря лишних слов, знайте по правде, Чингисхан со всем своим народом пришел на большую, славную равнину Пресвитера Иоанна, Тандук, тут он стал станом; и было их там много, никто, скажу вам, и счету им не знал. Пришла весть, что идет сюда Пресвитер Иоанн; обрадовался Чингисхан; равнина была большая, было где сразиться, поджидал он его сюда, хотелось ему сразиться с ним.
Но довольно о Чингисхане и о его народе, вернемся к Пресвитеру Иоанну и его людям.

ГЛАВА LXVII

Как Пресвитер Иоанн со своим народом пошел навстречу Чингисхану

Говорится в сказаниях, как узнал Пресвитер Иоанн, что Чингисхан со всем своим народом идет на него, выступил и он со своими против него; и все шел, пока не дошел до той самой равнины Тандук, и тут, в двадцати милях от Чингисхана, стал станом; отдыхали здесь обе стороны, чтобы ко дню схватки быть посвежее да пободрее. Так то, как вы слышали, сошлись на той равнине Тандук две величайшие рати.
Вот раз призвал Чингисхан своих звездочетов, христиан и сарацин, и приказывает им угадать, кто победит в сражении — он или Пресвитер Иоанн. Колдовством своим знали то звездочеты. Сарацины не сумели рассказать ему правды, а христиане объяснили все толком; взяли они палку и разломали ее пополам; одну половинку положили в одну сторону, а другую — в другую, и никто их не трогал; навязали они потом на одну половинку палки Чингисханово имя, а на другую — Пресвитера Иоанна.
«Царь, — сказали они потом Чингисхану, — посмотри на эти палки; на одной твое имя, а на другой Пресвитера Иоанна; вот кончили мы волхвование, и, чья палка пойдет на другую, тот и победит».
Захотелось Чингисхану посмотреть на то, и приказывал он звездочетам показать ему это поскорее. Взяли звездочеты христиане Псалтырь, прочли какие то псалмы и стали колдовать, и вот та самая палка, что с именем была Чингисхана, никем не тронутая, пошла к палке Пресвитера Иоанна и влезла на нее; и случилось это на виду у всех, кто там был.
Увидел то Чингисхан и очень обрадовался; а так как христиане ему правду сказали, то и уважал он их завсегда, и почитал за людей нелживых, правдивых.

ГЛАВА LXVIII

Здесь описывается большая битва между попом Иваном и Чингисханом

Вооружились через два дня обе стороны и жестоко бились; злее той схватки и не видано было; много было бед для той и другой стороны, а напоследок победил таки Чингисхан. И был тут Пресвитер Иоанн убит.
С того дня пошел Чингисхан покорять свет. Процарствовал он, скажу вам, еще шесть лет от той битвы и много крепостей и стран покорил; а по исходе шести лет пошел на крепость Канги , и попала ему тут стрела в коленку; от той раны он и умер. Жалко это, был он человек удалой и умный.
Описал вам, как у татар был первым государем Чингисхан, рассказал вам еще, как вначале они победили Пресвитера Иоанна, теперь расскажу об их нравах и обычаях.

ГЛАВА LXIX

Здесь говорится о ханах, что царствовали после Чингисхана

После Чингисхана государем был Куи хан, третьим ханом — Бакуи хан, четвертым — Алтон хан, пятым — Монгу хан, шестым — Кублай хан, самый большой и самый сильный из всех; у всех пяти вместе не было столько сил, сколько у этого Кублая; да скажу вам еще, что у всех императоров вместе и у всех христианских и сарацинских царей нет той силы и не могут они сделать того, что этот Кублай, великий хан, может сделать . Все это доподлинно расскажу в нашей книге.
Всех великих государей, потомков Чингисхана, знайте, хоронят в большой горе Алтай; и, где бы ни помер великий государь татар, хотя бы за сто дней пути от той горы, его привозят туда хоронить. И вот еще какая диковина: когда тела великих ханов несут к той горе, всякого, кого повстречают, дней за сорок, побольше или поменьше, убивают мечом провожатые при теле да приговаривают:
«Иди на тот свет служить нашему государю!» Они воистину верят, что убитый пойдет на тот свет служить их государю. С конями они делают то же самое. Когда государь умирает, всех его лучших лошадей они убивают на тот конец, чтобы были они у него на том свете. Когда умер Монгу хан, так знайте, более двадцати тысяч человек, встреченных по дороге, где несли его тело хоронить, было побито. Начал о татарах, так порасскажу вам и еще кое что.
Зимою татары живут в равнинах, в теплых местах, где есть трава, пастбища для скота, а летом — в местах прохладных, в горах да равнинах, где вода, рощи и есть пастбища. Дома у них деревянные, и покрывают они их веревками; они круглы; всюду с собою их переносят; переносить их легко, перевязаны они прутьями хорошо и крепко, а когда дома расставляют и устанавливают, вход завсегда приходится на юг.
Телеги у них покрыты черным войлоком, да так хорошо, что, хоть бы целый день шел дождь, вода ничего не подмочит в телеге; впрягают в них волов и верблюдов и перевозят жен и детей. Жены, скажу вам, и продают, и покупают все, что мужу нужно, и по домашнему хозяйству исполняют. Мужья ни о чем не заботятся; воюют да с соколами охотятся на зверя и птицу.
Едят они мясо, молоко и дичь; едят они фараоновых крыс : много их по равнине и повсюду. Едят они лошадиное мясо и собачье и пьют кобылье молоко. Всякое мясо они едят.
С чужою женою ни за что не лягут и считают это за дело нехорошее и подлое. Жены у них славные, мужьям верны, домашним хозяйством занимаются хорошо. А женятся они вот как: всякий берет столько жен, сколько пожелает, хотя бы сотню, коли сможет их содержать. Приданое отдается матери жены, а жена мужу ничего не приносит. Первую жену они, знайте, почитают за старшую и самую милую; а жен у них, как я говорил, много. Женятся они на двоюродных сестрах; умрет отец, старший сын женится на отцовой жене, коли она ему не мать; по смерти брата — на его жене. На свадьбах пир бывает большой.


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#6 calmouk

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Отправлено 04 November 2007 - 03:20 PM

Интересно получается, потомки кереитского Пресвитера Иоанна - ханы торгудского дома, были у власти до 1771 года, чингизиды же сошли на нет многие столетия до этого.

Так кто же победил?

:)
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#7 calmouk

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Отправлено 29 January 2008 - 02:55 PM

Процарствовал он, скажу вам, еще шесть лет от той битвы и много крепостей и стран покорил; а по исходе шести лет пошел на крепость Канги , и попала ему тут стрела в коленку; от той раны он и умер.


Чингис-хан пережил Ван-хана всегo лишь на 6 лет?
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

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Отправлено 12 March 2008 - 05:11 PM

The Kingdom of Prester John



Prester John wrote in his letter to the kings of Europe that his dominion extended over the "Three Indias."

As mentioned in the previous section, at the time of this letter the Three Indias referred to India Major, from Malabar through the East Indies, India Minor, from Malabar to Sind, and India Tertia, the east coast of Africa.

This tripartite division comforms to the contemporary Muslim concept of Hind, Sind and Zanj with the last India referring specifically to the area around present-day coastal Tanzania.

Wolfram von Eschenbach, in the epic poem Parzival, which was written about half a century after Prester John's letter, confirms the location of Prester John in the Indies. He links the ruler with a kingdom known as Tribalibot in India 'near the Ganges.'



Hoax or history?

While it is popular today to claim that the correspondence of the Pope and European kings with Prester John was an elaborate hoax, substanial scholarship in the area suggests something quite different.

Prester John's intial letter addressed to Manuel of Byzantinum, Frederick Barbarossa and others did not just simply suddenly appear in circulation throughout Europe. It was brought to the courts of the Byzantine and Holy Roman emperors by actual ambassadors from the court of Prester John himself in 11651!

Later in 1177, Philippus the physician of Pope Alexander III brought another letter addressed to the Pope from Prester John after meeting with representatives of the king2. There is some dispute over whether Philippus actually claimed to have visited Prester John's court.

The letter to the Pope contained requests to build a church in Rome, an altar in Jerusalem and to receive instructions regarding the Catholic religion.

Alexander III responded by sending Philippus back with his reply to the kingdom of Prester John. No information is available as to whether Philippus succeeded in his mission.

So not only was there correspondence between Prester John and the emperors and Pope, but representatives of the King of the Indies appeared in Europe. Also, Philippus himself may have visited Prester John's court. Knowing these facts, it is hard to come to any conclusion other than one giving the kingdom involved in this correspondence an historical basis.



Indian empires of the 12th century

Was there any historical empire of the 12th century that indeed extended over the Three Indias?

There was one maritime empire that could possibly fit if one only sees the dominion extending to parts of the Three Indias. It was known in Chinese texts as Sanfotsi and among the Muslims as Zabag.

Sanfotsi/Zabag could fit the bill if one accepts the historical texts at their word, which not all modern scholars are willing to do.

Chinese geographical texts like the Chu-fan-chi (1225) of Chau Ju-Kua mention that Sanfotsi ruled over numerous kingdoms within insular and mainland Southeast Asia. They further extend the rule of this kingdom to Si-lan or Ceylon.

The Muslim geography of al-Masudi confirms this latter claim when it states that Zabag, widely considered the equivalent of the Chinese Sanfotsi, ruled over Sirandib, the Arabic name for Ceylon.

Furthermore, the geography of Ma Tuan-lin (circa 1200) states that Chou-lien, was a vassal of Sanfotsi, verifying the same claim in the Sung-shih (960 - 1279). Chou-lien was the Chinese name for the Chola empire of India3. Again, the Chinese claim is verified by Arab geographers who state that Kalikut was among the dependencies of Zabag.

The Chola emperor Rajendrachola claimed to have made some conquests himself in the East Indies. However, his statements have no support from independent sources, i.e., Chinese, Muslim or other historians. Even Rajendrachola's son only claimed one of these victories -- that of Kadaram, possibly the state of Kataha in Malaysia.

The Chinese and Muslim accounts gain support from substantial evidence of royal influence from insular Southeast Asia in India at this time. Pali texts from 13th century Ceylon mention "Savaka" princes on the island.

As mentioned earlier, Sanfotsi/Zabag was known by the Indians as Suvarnadvipa:


"the eastern islands in this ocean (Sea of Champa), which are nearer to China than India, are the islands of Zabaj, called by the Hindus, Suvarnadvipa, i.e. the gold islands... because you obtain much gold as deposit if you wash only a little of the earth of that country."
(Al-Biruni, 1030 AD)

The monarchs of Suvarnadvipa were very active among the Cholas. In 1005, a Suvarnadvipa king built a Buddhist vihara in the Chola state, which the Chola king granted revenues4. In 1014-1015, gifts were sent for a Hindu temple5, and again in 1018-10196. In the 1080s, the king of Suvarnadvipa built the foundation for a Buddhist temple in South India7.

If we accept the historical claims of the Chinese and Muslim texts, then two of the three Indias would be covered so far. Or at least we can say that Sanfotsi/Zabag extended over significant parts of these two Indias. But what about the third India in East Africa?

We know that at an earlier period, Austronesian seafarers from insular Southeast Asia settled on the island of Madagascar forming the Malagasy-speaking population of the island. However, not many people are aware of the fact that during the medieval period, both regions maintained substanial contact with each other.

The Book of the Wonders of India, written by a Muslim author mentions in 945 an expeditionary raid off the East African coast by a fleet of 1000 ships from the East Indies. Centuries later in 1154, the Arab geographer Idrisi wrote in Kitab Rujjar that "the people of the isles of Zabag come to the land of Zanj on small and large ships...for they understand one another's languages." He also states: "The residents of Zabag go to the land of Sofala (near Beira, Mozambique) and export the iron from there supplying it to all the lands of India. No iron is comparable to theirs in quality and sharpness."

Idrisi, whose patron was Roger II of Sicily, also states about trade expeditions to Zanj: "The people of Komr (Khmer) and the merchants of the land of the Mihraj (ruler of Zabag) come among them (the Zanj) and are well received and trade with them."

Tanzanian traditions suggest that there was a settlement around Pemba and Zanzibar of a people they called the Debuli from “Diba” and Jawa8. They were supposed to be responsible for planting the coconut palms and mangoes along the Tanzanian coast. As we will examine in the section on the spice routes the relationship between the Tanzanian coast and the East Indies may extend back into deep antiquity. There are different theories as to where Diba and Jawa refer, but one possibility is that Diba is a form of Dabag, thought to be a Nestorian corruption of Zabag. Jawa can refer to any number of East Indian locations such as Java, Sabah, Davao, Toubok, etc. The Debuli were said to be a seafaring people whose ships had sails of coconut palm fiber.

That the kingdom of Sanfotsi/Zabag extended over a vast region that might be said to span the "Three Indias" we have this quote from Mas'udi:


"In the sea of Champa (eastern South China Sea) is the empire of Maharaja, the king of the islands, who rules over an empire without limit and has innumerable troops. Even the most rapid vessels could not complete in two years a tour round the isles which are under his possesssion. The territories of this king produce all sorts of spices and aromatics, and no other sovereign of the world gets as much wealth from the soil."
(Mas'udi, 943)



Prester John, The Christian King

The greatest obstacle to equating the kingdom of Prester John to Sanfotsi/Zabag come from that king's professed Christian religion.

However, we should note that even in Prester John's letter, he explains that there are many "Gentile" nations in his empire, and that later explorers into Asia had noted that his domains had quickly ceased to be Christian.

The problem might be solved by delving into the history of the Nestorian Christian church in Southeast Asia and also the syncretic practices that once abounded there.

In Asian tradition, it was common that if a king adopted a new religion, so did his whole domain to some extent. However, before the advent of Abrahamic faiths, a new religion did not mean necessarily discarding old beliefs. A king and his subjects could patronize many religions at once, non-exclusively.

In a similar way, we find in modern Japan, that many people may follow simultaneously the teachings and rituals of Shintoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. In fact, the same people might at the same time celebrate Christmas and opt for a Christian wedding ceremony.

In this sense, if a particular monarch decided to patronize the Nestorian church, he could rapidly implement this religion throughout his kingdom without the same kind of disheaval that would be expected if the adoption was exclusive of other faiths.

Researchers like S.H. Moffett and John England note that there is substantial textual and artifactual evidence of the presence of at least some Nestorian Christians throughout Southeast Asia prior to 1500.

As early as the 6th century, Cosmas Indicopleustes mentions Nestorians from Siam. In his work, Descriptions of Chronicles and Monasteries of Egypt and some neighbouring countries, the Persian Abu Saliah mentions during the 7th century, a Nestorian church at Fansur, the Muslim name given to a kingdom in the Malay archipelago (probably Borneo or Sumatra).

Moffett has noted the theory of a number of researchers that the rapid acceptance of Christianity in the Philippines may have been due to the previous presence of Nestorian influence9. Early Roman Catholics in the Philippines reported many findings of apparently Nestorian Christian images in the country. The Filipino scholar Pedro Paterno has done research on the evidence of Christian theology in pre-Hispanic Philippine thought and language10.

The closest notice we have from the region in the time frame we are discussing is that of John of Marignolli who mentions a "few Christians" at Sabah, a location he visited on his way to India from China11. Obviously one possibility is that he was referring to the current place called Sabah in northeast Borneo. By this time, however, the Chinese and Arab writers seem to agree that Sanfotsi/Zabag had faded away.

Therefore, our theory is that Nestorian Christianity may have taken sway for a short while in the empire of Sanfotsi/Zabag, but not in a way that excluded other religions. Furthermore, the new faith may have faded away when the patronizing monarch passed on. The supporting evidence, here, is difficult at best, but overweighted by the fact that this kingdom otherwise is the only real candidate for Prester John's historical realm.



Parallels between Sanfotsi/Zabag and Prester John's kingdom

Many European travelers who ventured to eastern Asia during the 14th century painted a picture of Prester John's kingdom that pointed to a location in the present-day East Indies12. The Behaim Globe of 1492 showed Prester John's kingdom lying along the coast and archipelagoes of Ptolemy's Sinus Magnus, the most eastern sea in the world.



Both are located in the "Indies" during the same time period

Pygmies are found in both instances13

Cannibals are present in both kingdoms14

Both kings have brahmins included among their subjects15

The use of fire-proof clothing is mentioned in both cases16

Prester John's kingdom like Shambhala is associated with a subterranean zone. There is a similar story given regarding Sanfotsi by Chau Ju-Kua:

"There is an old tradition that the ground in this country once suddenly gaped open and out of the cavern came many myriads of cattle, which rushed off in herds into the mountains, though the people all tried to get them for food. Afterwards the crevice got stopped up with bamboo and trees and disappeared."


Both kings ruled over extensive empires

Each kingdom was known for its fabulous natural wealth

Tamed elephants were found in both empires

A great bird capable of carrying away large beasts was found17. Indian tradition places the great bird Garuda on an island in the Milky Ocean southeast of India.

Prester John mentions the phoenix living in his kingdom, while a bird known as samandal capable of living in fire, was found in the land of Wak or Wakwak, which was contiguous with Zabag.

Adultery is strictly prohibited by both kings18. In contrast, adultery was often reported to be treated very liberally by European and Muslim standards in other parts of the Indies.

Prester John says that Amazons are subject to him. Von Eschenbach notes that Prester John's land was ruled by Queen Secundille. The Muslim writers mention a queen ruling the land of Wak. The Chinese texts mention Queen Sima of Toupo, which was likely the same as the Arabic Wakwak. If the land called Tawalisi by Ibn Batutta in the 14th century was included in the older Zabag, an amazonian princess and tradition is mentioned there also.

Prester John ruled as priest and king. The Tibetan texts record that the great guru Serlingpa was 'Lord of Suvarnadvipa," and at another instance state that he is of princely descent.
Gog and Magog, the nations of the Anti-Christ are located within the domain of Prester John. Muslim traditions locate Bratayil the island of Dajjal, the Islamic Anti-Christ, among the possessions of Zabag19.

The Muslim writers mention an island at the eastern reaches of Zabag where a volcano continously erupted. Some think that Prester John's letter refers to volcanoes as mountains that issue rivers of stones:

"Three days' journey from this sea are mountains from which rolls down a stony, waterless river, which opens into the sandy sea. As soon as the stream reaches the sea, its stones vanish in it, and are never seen again."
The description of a "sandy sea" associated with this river matches descriptions of the seas in insular Southeast Asia after volcanic eruptions (i.e., Krakatoa and Pinatubo) which become clotted with lahar and debris:


"In our territory is a certain waterless sea consisting of tumbling billows of sand never at rest. None have crossed this sea -- it lacks water all together, yet fish of various kinds are cast up upon the beach, very tasty, and the like are nowhere else to be seen."

Prester John claimed to have descended from the "race of the Three Magi." The Muslim writers describe the inhabitants of Zabag and Wakwak as majus "fire-worshippers."
At this point we should also look at the parallels between Sanfotsi/Zabag and Shambhala:



Parallels between Sanfotsi/Zabag and Shambhala


The Kalki kings of Shambhala held sway over matters both temporal and sacerdotal. The description of Serlingpa of Suvarnadvipa is very similar. Also, we might note that one Shambhala king, Sripala, is said to come from the Southern Ocean, which usually means the South China Sea. There are those who think that Sripala and Serlingpa are the same person.

Both kings were known as founts of great knowledge. The Muslims considered the Mihraj of Zabag as the most knowledgeable of kings in the world. The Shambhala kings were known as Rigden "knowledge holders."
Tibetan texts state that the Kalachakra Tantra was important in each kingdom (Shambhala and Suvarnadvipa) from at least the 10th to 14th centuries.

Both kings are said to have ruled over empires of many kingdoms during about the same period.

Sanfotsi/Zabag and Shambhala were both known for their great natural wealth and abundance.

In both kingdoms, succession to the throne was not determined by primogeniture. However, the test for the heir was different. In Shambhala the heir to the throne was said to be determined by a 'rain of flowers' at birth20. In Sanfotsi, the heir was chosen among the son who was best able to bear the tall and heavy golden crown with 'hundreds of jewels.'21 The letter of Prester John states "our crown is the greatest in the world, for it is richer than silver and gold and precious stones and pearls."

The name Gser-Ling "Golden Country is associated with Shambhala. Suvarnadvipa means literally "the Golden Islands," and Shambhala is also said at times to be an island. Gold was apparently abundant in both places. The palace of the Shambhala king was made partly of gold. The empire of Zabag was described as an El Dorado.

Both regions were known for their tamed elephants.

Subterranean zones were found in each kingdom (see list above).


Footnotes

1 Chronicle of Albericus Trium Fontium. 1241.

2 J. Brampton. Criticas Historico-Chronologica, in Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici, iv, 650. Chron. Joh. Bromption ap R. Twyaden, Hist. Angl. Scriptores X, London, 1652.

3 The Chola empire encompassed most of South India and extended as far as present-day Orissa on the east and Goa on the west. See Ma, Tuan-lin, Ethnographie des peuples étrangers ŕ la Chine : ouvrage composé au XIIIe sičcle de notre čre / par Ma-Touan-Lin ; traduit pour la premičre fois du Chinois avec un commentaire perpétuel par le marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys. Paris, 1876-83.

4 K. Aiyangar and R. Sewell, Historical Inscriptions of Southern India. Madras, 1932, pp. 57-58; Epigraphia Indica 22, no. 34.

5 Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy 1956-57: 15. nos. 161 and 164.

6 Annual Report of Indian Epigraphy 1956-57: 15, no. 166.

7 Nilakanta Sastri, The Colas. pp. 271-72; Epigraphia Indica 22: no. 35.

8 John Gray, “The Wadebuli and the Wadiba,” Tanzania Notes and Records, XXXVI, 1968, 22-41; W.H. Ingrams. Zanzibar, Its History and Its Peoples, 2nd ed. London, 1967, 125; Godfrey Dale. The Peoples of Zanzibar. New York, 1920, 13 and 25.

9 Samuel H. Moffett. A history of Christianity in Asia. San Francisco, 1992, 461.

10 Pedro A. Paterno, El Cristianismo en la antigua civilization tagalog; contestacion al M.R.P. Fr. R. Martinez Virgil de la Orden de predicadored obispo de Oviedo. Madrid, 1892.

11 Sir Henry Yule. Cathay and the way thither, being a collection of medieval notices of China, translated and edited by Sir Henry Yule. Lichenstein, 1967.

12 Friedrich Zarncke. Der Priester Johannes. Leipzig, 1883.

13 See the Letter of Prester John and the voyages of Sindbad in the Thousand and One Nights, also Buzurg ibn Shahriyar. The book of the wonders of India : mainland, sea, and islands, edited and translated by G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville. London, 1981.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 In his letter, Prester John describes "silk" spun by salamanders that live in fire. The clothing from this cloth is fire-proof and are cleaned with fire. The Chinese had similar tales regarding fire-proof clothing and the salamander, see Berthold Laufer, "Asbestos and Salamander." T'oung Pao magazine, 1915, pp. 299-373. Fire-proof clothing is mentioned coming from the "Fire Mountain" near the home of the king of Zabag and in other areas of insular Southeast Asia.

17 The bird was called Ruk by the Muslims and was located in both Zabag and Wakwak.


18 Prester John's letter and: Chau Ju-Kua. Chau Ju-Kua: his work on the Chinese and Arab trade in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, entitled Chu-fan-chď, tr. from the Chinese and annotated by Friedrich Hirth and W. W. Rockhill. St. Petersburg, 1911, 61.

19 This tradition is mentioned in the One Thousand and One Nights and also by Buzurg Shahriyar, Wasif-Sah and Ibn Khordabzbeh.

20 John R Newman."A Brief History of the Kalachakra" in The Wheel of Time. The Kalachakra in Context. Madison, 1985.

21 Chau Ju-Kua, 61.


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#9 calmouk

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Отправлено 07 July 2008 - 06:32 PM

Набрал Чингисхан такое множество народу, что по всему свету бродят, да решил завоевать побольше земли. Вот послал он своих послов к Пресвитеру Иоанну, и было то в 1200 г . по Р. X. , наказывал он ему, что хочет взять себе в жены его дочь. Услышал Пресвитер Иоанн, что Чингисхан сватает его дочь, и разгневался.
«Каково бесстыдство Чингисхана! — стал он говорить. — Дочь мою сватает! Иль не знает, что он мой челядинец и раб?! Идите к нему назад и скажите, сожгу дочь, да не выдам за него; скажите ему от меня, что следовало бы его как предателя и изменника своему государю смертью казнить!»


Сватoвствo к признанoму Хану сo стoрoны "выбраннoгo" Чингис-хана этo несoмненый признак пoискoв путей легитимизации.
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#10 calmouk

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Отправлено 16 November 2008 - 06:15 PM

The Letter of Prester John (Abridged)

Sent to Emanuel of Constantinople in 1165

John, priest by the almighty power of God and the might of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to his friend Emanuel, prince of Constantinople, greeting, wishing him health, prosperity, and the continuance of divine favor.

Our Majesty has been informed that you hold our Excellency in love and that the report of our greatness has reached you. Moreover, we have heard through our treasurer that you have been pleased to send to us some objects of art and interest that our Exaltedness might be gratified thereby. Being human, I have received it in good part, and we have ordered our treasurer to send you some of our articles in return ...

Should you desire to learn the greatness and excellency of our Exaltedness and of the land subject to our sceptre, then hear and believe: I, Presbyter Johannes, the Lord of Lords, surpass all under heaven in virtue, in riches, and in power; seventy-two kings pay us tribute ... In the three Indies our Magnificence rules, and our land extends beyond India, where rests the body of the holy apostle Thomas [Judas the Twin]; it reaches towards the sunrise over the wastes, and it trends toward deserted Babylon near the Tower of Babel. Seventy-two provinces, of which only a few are Christian, serve us. Each has its own king, but all are tributary to us.

Our land is the home of elephants, dromedaries, camels, crocodiles, meta-collinarum, cametennus, tensevetes, wild asses, white and red lions, white bears, white merules, crickets, griffins, tigers, lamias, hyenas, wild horses, wild oxen, and wild men -- men with horns, one-eyed men, men with eyes before and behind, centaurs, fauns, satyrs, pygmies, forty-ell high giants, cyclopses, and similar women. It is the home, too, of the phoenix and of nearly all living animals.

We have some people subject to us who feed on the flesh of men and of prematurely born animals, and who never fear death. When any of these people die, their friends and relations eat him ravenously, for they regard it as a main duty to munch human flesh. Their names are Gog, Magog, Anie, Agit, Azenach, Fommeperi, Befari, Conei-Samante, Agrimandri, Vintefolei, Casbei, and Alanei. Theses and similar nations were shut in behind lofty mountains by Alexander the Great, towards the north. We lead them at our pleasure against our foes, and neither man nor beast is left undevoured, if our Majesty gives the requisite permission. And when all our foes are eaten, then we return with our hosts home again.

These accursed fifteen [twelve?] nations will burst forth from the four quarters of the earth at the end of the world, in the times of the Antichrist, and overrun all the abodes of the saints as well as the great city Rome, which, by the way, we are prepared to give to our son who will be born, alon with all Italy, Germany, the two Gauls, Britain, and Scotland. We shall also give him Spain and all of the land as far as the icy sea.

The nations to which I have alluded, according to the words of the prophet, shall not stand in the judgement on account of their offensive practices, but will be consumed to ashes by a fire which will fall on them from heaven.

Our land streams with honey and is overflowing with milk. In one region grows no poisonous herd, nor does a querulous frog ever quack in it; no scorpion exists, nor does the serpent glide amongst the grass, not can any poisonous animals exist in it or injure anyone.

Among the heathen flows, through a certain province, the River Indus. Encircling Paradise, it spreads its arms in manifold windings through the entire province. Here are found the emeralds, sapphires, carbuncles, topazes, chrsolites, onyxes, beryls, sardius, and other costly stones. Here grows the plant Assidos which, when worn by anyone, protects him from the evil spirit, forcing it to state its business and name -- consequently the foul spirits keep out of the way there. In a certain land subject to us all kinds of pepper is gathered and is exchanged for corn and bread, leather and cloth ...

At the foot of Mount Olympus bubbles up a spring which changes its flavor hour by hour, night and day, and the spring is scarcely three days' journey from Paradise, out of which Adam was driven. If anyone has tasted thrice of the fountain, from that day he will feel no fatigue, but will, as long as he lives, be as a man of thirty years. Here are found the small stones called Nudiosi which, if borne about the body, prevent the sight from waxing feeble and restore it where it is lost. The more the stone is looked at, the keener becomes the sight.

In our territory is a certain waterless sea consisting of tumbling billows of sand never at rest. None have crossed this sea -- it lacks water all together, yet fish of various kinds are cast up upon the beach, very tasty, and the like are nowhere else to be seen.

Three days' journey from this sea are mountains from which rolls down a stony, waterless river which opens into the sandy sea. As soon as the stream reaches the sea, its stones vanish in it and are never seen again. As long as the river is in motion, it cannout be crossed; only four days a week is it possible to traverse it.

Between the sandy sea and the said mountians, in a certain plain, is a fountain of singular virtue which purges Christians and would-be Christians from all transgressions. The water stands four inches high in a hollow stone shaped like a mussel-shell. Two saintly old men watch by it and ask the comers whether they are Christians or are about to become Christians, then whether they desire healing with all their hearts. If they have answered well, they are bidden to lay aside their clothes and to step into the mussel. If what they said be true, then the water begins to rise and gush over their heads. Thrice does the water thus lift itself, and everyone who has entered the mussel leaves it cured of every complaint.

Near the wilderness trickles between barren mountians a subterranean rill which can only by chance be reached, for only occassionally the earth gapes, and he who would descend must do it with precipitation, ere the earth closes again. All that is gathered under the ground there is gem and precious stone. The brook pours into another river and the inhabitants of the neighborhood obtain thence abundance of precious stones. Yet they never venture to sell them without having first offered them to us for our private use. Should we decline them, they are at liberty to dispose of them to strangers. Boys there are trained to remain three of four days under the water, diving after the stones.

Beyond the stone river are the ten tribes of Israel which, though subject to their own kings, are, for all that, tributary to our Majesty.

In one of our lands, hight Zone, are worms called salamanders. These worms can only live in fire, and they build cocoons like silk-worms which are unwound by the ladies of our palace and spun into cloth and dresses which are worn by our Exaltedness. These dresses, in order to be cleaned and washed, are cast into flames ...

When we go to war, we have fourteen golden and bejewelled crosses borne before us instead of banners. Each of these crosses is followed by ten thousand horsemen and one hundred thousand foot soldiers, fully armed, without reckoning those in charge of the luggage and provision.

When we ride abroad plainly we have a wooden, unadorned cross without gold or gems about it, borne before us in order that we meditate on the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ; also a golden bowl filled with earth to remind us of that whence we sprung and that to which we must return; but besides these there is borne a sliver bowl full of gold as a token to all that we are the Lord of Lords.

All riches, such as are upon the world, our Magnificence possesses in superabundance. With us, no one lies, for he who speaks a lie is thenceforth regarded as dead -- he is no more thought of or honored by us. No vice is tolerated by us. Every year we undertake a pilgrimage, with retinue of war, to the body of the holy prophet Daniel which is near the desolated site of Babylon. In out realm fishes are caught, the blood of which dyes purple. The Amazons and the Brahmins are subject to us.

The palace in which our Superemincency resides is built after the pattern of the castle built by the apostle Thomas [Judas the Twin] for the Indian king Gundoforus. Celings joists, and architrave are of Sethym wood, the roof ebony, which can never catch fire. Over the gable of the palace are, at the extremities, two golden apples, in each of which are two carbuncles, so that the gold may shine by day and the carbuncles by night. The greater gates of the palace are of sardius with the horn of the horned snake inwrought so that no one can bring poison within. The other portals are of ebony; the windows are of crystal; the tables are partly of gold, partly of amethyst; the columns supporting the tables are partly of ivory, partly of amethyst. The court in which we watch the jousting is floored with onyx in order to increase the courage of the combatants. In the palace at night, nothing is burned for light, but wicks supplied with balsam ...

Before our palace stands a mirror, the ascent to which consists of five and twenty steps of porpyry and serpintine ... This mirror is guarded day and night by three thousand men. We look therein and behold all that is taking place in every province and region subject to our sceptre.

Seven kings wait upon us monthly, in turn, with sixty-two dukes, two hundred and fifty-six counts and marquises. Twelve archbishops sit at table with us on our right and twenty bishops on the left, besides the patriarch of St. Thomas, the Sarmatian Protopope, and the Archpope of Susa ...

Our high lord stewart is a primate and king, our cup-bearer is an archbishop and king, our chamberlain a bishop and king, and our marshal a king and abbot.

[The letter reportedly ends with a description of Prester John's church, the stones of which it is built, and the virtues of those stones.]


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#11 calmouk

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Отправлено 16 November 2008 - 06:20 PM

Otto of Freising:
The Legend of Prester John


We also saw there at that time [Dec 1145] the aforesaid Bishop of Jabala in Syria.... He said, indeed, that not many years since, one John, a king and priest living in the Far East, beyond Persia and Armenia, and who, with his people, is a Christian, but a Nestorian, had warred upon the so called Samiards, the brother kings of the Medes and Persians. John also attacked Ebactanus . I . the capital of their kingdom. When the aforesaid kings advanced against him with a force of Persians, Medes, and Assyrians, a three day struggle ensued, since both sides were willing to die rather than to flee. At length, Prester John so he is usually called put the Persians to flight and emerged from the dreadful slaughter as victor. The Bishop said that the aforesaid John moved his army to aid the church of Jerusalem, but that when he came to the Tigris and was unable to take his army across it by any means, be turned aside to the north, where he had been informed that the stream was frozen solid during the winter. There he awaited the ice for several years, but saw none because of the temperate weather. His army lost many men on account of the weather to which they were unaccustomed and he was compelled to return home. He is said to be a descendant of the Magi of old, who are mentioned in the Gospel.31 He governs the same people as they did and is said to enjoy such glory and such plenty that be uses no scepter save one of emerald. Fired by the example of his forefathers, who came to adore Christ in the manger, he proposed to go to Jerusalem, but he was, they say, turned back for the aforementioned reason.

Source:

Otto of Freising, Chronicon, ed. G.H. Pertz, MGH SSRG (Hanover: Hahn, 1867), VII, 33, (pp. 334-35), translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1962)
Copyright note: Professor Brundage informed the Medieval Sourcebook that copyright was not renewed on this work. Moreover he gave permission for use of his translations.


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#12 calmouk

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Отправлено 16 November 2008 - 06:22 PM

Mandeville on Prester John

This text, attribuuted to "Sir John Mandeville" was written circa 1366, and presents a series of picturesque fables about the east. These stories fascinated Western Europeans, as did the more reliable [slightly!] stories of Marco Polo. One way of understanding Western interest in the rest of the world is to see the process by which interest became research, research became knowledge, and knowledge became power. By the time Europe was able to expand in the 16th century and later, it was far better equipped to understand, and if necessary undermine, other cultures than other cultures were to understand Europe.

Chapter XXX

Of the Royal Estate of Prester John. And of a rich man that made a marvellous castle and cleped it Paradise and of his subtlety.
This emperor, Prester John, holds full great land, and hath many full noble cities and good towns in his realm and many great diverse isles and large. For all the country of Ind is devised in isles for the great floods that come from Paradise, that depart all the land in many parts. And also in the sea he hath full many isles. And the best city in the Isle of Pentexoire is Nyse, that is a full royal city and a noble, and full rich.

This Prester John hath under him many kings and many isles and many diverse folk of diverse conditions. And this land is full good and rich, but not so rich as is the land of the great Chan. For the merchants come not thither so commonly for to buy merchandises, as they do in the land of the great Chan, for it is too far to travel to. And on that other part, in the Isle of Cathay, men find all manner thing that is need to man--cloths of gold, of silk, of spicery and all manner avoirdupois. And therefore, albeit that men have greater cheap in the Isle of Prester John, natheles, men dread the long way and the great perils m the sea in those parts.

For in many places of the sea be great rocks of stones of the adamant, that of his proper nature draweth iron to him. And therefore there pass no ships that have either bonds or nails of iron within them. And if there do, anon the rocks of the adamants draw them to them, that never they may go thence. I myself have seen afar in that sea, as though it had been a great isle full of trees and buscaylle, full of thorns and briars, great plenty. And the shipmen told us, that all that was of ships that were drawn thither by the adamants, for the iron that was in them. And of the rotten-ness, and other thing that was within the ships, grew such buscaylle, and thorns and briars and green grass, and such manner of thing; and of the masts and the sail-yards; it seemed a great wood or a grove. And such rocks be in many places thereabout. And therefore dare not the merchants pass there, but if they know well the passages, or else that they have good lodes men.

And also they dread the long way. And therefore they go to Cathay, for it is more nigh. And yet it is not so nigh, but that men must be travelling by sea and land, eleven months or twelve, from Genoa or from Venice, or he come to Cathay. And yet is the land of Prester John more far by many dreadful journeys.

And the merchants pass by the kingdom of Persia, and go to a city that is clept Hermes, for Hermes the philosopher founded it. And after that they pass an arm of the sea, and then they go to another city that is clept Golbache. And there they find merchandises, and of popinjays, as great plenty as men find here of geese. And if they will pass further, they may go sikerly enough. In that country is but little wheat or barley, and therefore they eat rice and honey and milk and cheese and fruit.

This Emperor Prester John taketh always to his wife the daughter of the great Chan; and the great Chan also, in the same wise, the daughter of Prester John. For these two be the greatest lords under the firmament.

In the land of Prester John be many diverse things and many precious stones, so great and so large, that men make of them vessels, as platters, dishes, and cups. And many other marvels be there, that it were too cumbrous and too long to put it in scripture of books; but of the principal isles and of his estate and of his law, I shall tell you some part.

This Emperor Prester John is Christian, and a great part of his country also. But yet, they have not all the articles of our faith as we have. They believe well in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost. And they be full devout and right true one to another. And they set not by no barretts, ne by cautels, nor of no deceits.

And he hath under him seventy-two provinces, and in every province is a king. And these kings have kings under them, and all be tributaries to Prester John. And he hath in his lordships many great marvels.

For in his country is the sea that men clepe the Gravelly Sea, that is all gravel and sand, without any drop of water and it ebbeth and floweth in great waves as other seas do and it is never still ne in peace, in no manner season. And no man may pass that sea by navy, ne by no manner of craft, and therefore may no man know what land is beyond that sea. And albeit that it have no water, yet men find therein and on the banks full good fish of other manner of kind and shape, than men find in any other sea and they be of right good taste and delicious to man's meat.

And a three journeys long from that sea be great mountains, out of the which goeth out a great flood that cometh out of Paradise. And it is full of precious stones without any drop of water, and it runneth through the desert on that one side, so that it maketh the sea gravelly; and it beareth into that sea, and there it endeth. And that flome runneth, also, three days in the week and bringeth with him great stones and the rocks also therewith, and that great plenty. And anon, as they be entered into the Gravelly Sea, they be seen no more, but lost for evermore.

And in those three days that that river runneth, no man dare enter into it; but in the other days men dare enter well enough.

Also beyond that flome, more upward to the deserts, is a great plain all gravelly, between the mountains. And in that plain, every day at the sun-rising, begin to grow small trees, and they grow till mid-day, bearing fruit--but no man dare take of that fruit, for it is a thing of faerie. And after mid-day, they decrease and enter again into the earth, so that at the going down of the sun they appear no more. And so they do, every day. And that is a great marvel.

In that desert be many wild men, that be hideous to look on; for they be horned, and they speak nought, but they grunt, as pigs. And there is also great plenty of wild hounds. And there be many popinjays, that they clepe psittakes in their language. And they speak of their proper nature, and salute men that go through the deserts, and speak to them as apertly as though it were a man.

And they that speak well have a large tongue, and have five toes upon a foot. And there be also of another manner, that have but three toes upon a foot, and they speak not, or but little, for they can not but cry.

This Emperor Prester John when he goeth into battle against any other lord, he hath no banners borne before him; but he hath three crosses of gold, fine, great and high, full of precious stones, and every of those crosses be set in a chariot, full richly arrayed. And for to keep every cross, be ordained 10,000 men of arms and more than 100,000 men on foot, in manner as men would keep a standard in our countries, when that we be in land of war. And this number of folk is without the principal host and without wings ordained for the battle. And when he hath no war, but rideth with a privy meinie, then he hath borne before him but one cross of tree, without painting and without gold or silver or precious stones, in remembrance that Jesu Christ suffered death upon a cross of tree. And he hath borne before him also a platter of gold full of earth, in token that his noblesse and his might and his flesh shall turn to earth. And he hath borne before him also a vessel of silver, full of noble jewels of gold full rich and of precious stones, in token of his lordship and of his noblesse and of his might.

He dwelleth commonly in the city of Susa. And there is his principal palace, that is so rich and so noble, that no man will trow it by estimation, but he had seen it. And above the chief tower of the palace be two round pommels of gold, and in everych of them be two carbuncles great and large, that shine full bright upon the night. And the principal gates of his palace be of precious stone that men clepe sardonyx, and the border and the bars be of ivory. And the windows of the halls and chambers be of crystal. And the tables whereon men eat, some be of emeralds, some of amethyst, and some of gold, full of precious stones; and the pillars that bear up the tables be of the same precious stones. And the degrees to go up to his throne, where he sitteth at the meat, one is of onyx, another is of crystal, and another of jasper green, another of amethyst, another of sardine, another of cornelian, and the seventh, that he setteth on his feet, is of chrysolite. And all these degrees be bordered with fine gold, with the tother precious stones, set with great pearls orient. And the sides of the siege of his throne be of emeralds, and bordered with gold full nobly, and dubbed with other precious stones and great pearls. And all the pillars in his chamber be of fine gold with precious stones, and with many carbuncles, that give great light upon the night to all people. And albeit that the carbuncles give light right enough, natheles, at all times burneth a vessel of crystal full of balm, for to give good smell and odour to the emperor, and to void away all wicked airs and corruptions. And the form of his bed is of fine sapphires, bended with gold, for to make him sleep well and to refrain him from lechery; for he will not lie with his wives, but four sithes in the year, after the four seasons, and that is only for to engender children.

He hath also a full fair palace and a noble at the city of Nyse, where that he dwelleth, when him best liketh; but the air is not so attempre, as it is at the city of Susa.

And ye shall understand, that in all his country nor in the countries there all about, men eat not but once in the day, as they do in the court of the great Chan. And so they eat every day in his court, more than 30,000 persons, without goers and comers. But the 30,000 persons of his country, ne of the country of the great Chan, ne spend not so much good as do 12,000 of our country.

This Emperor Prester John hath evermore seven kings with him to serve him, and they depart their service by certain months. And with these kings serve always seventy-two dukes and three hundred and sixty earls. And all the days of the year, there eat in his household and in his court, twelve archbishops and twenty bishops. And the patriarch of Saint Thomas is there as is the pope here. And the archbishops and the bishops and the abbots in that country be all kings. And everych of these great lords know well enough the attendance of their service. The one is master of his household, another is his chamberlain, another serveth him of a dish, another of the cup, another is steward, another is marshal, another is prince of his arms, and thus is he full nobly and royally served. And his land dureth in very breadth four months' journeys, and in length out of measure, that is to say, all the isles under earth that we suppose to be under us.

Beside the isle of Pentexoire, that is the land of Prester John, is a great isle, long and broad, that men clepe Mistorak; and it is in the lordship of Prester John. In that isle is great plenty of goods.

There was dwelling, sometime, a rich man; and it is not long since; and men clept him Gatholonabes. And he was full of cautels and of subtle deceits. And he had a full fair castle and a strong in a mountain, so strong and so noble, that no man could devise a fairer ne stronger. And he had let mure all the mountain about with a strong wall and a fair. And within those walls he had the fairest garden that any man might behold. And therein were trees bearing all manner of fruits, that any man could devise. And therein were also all manner virtuous herbs of good smell, and all other herbs also that bear fair flowers. And he had also in that garden many fair wells; and beside those wells he had let make fair halls and fair chambers, depainted all with gold and azure; and there were in that place many diverse things, and many diverse stories: and of beasts, and of birds that sung full delectably and moved by craft, that it seemed that they were quick. And he had also in his garden all manner of fowls and of beasts that any man might think on, for to have play or sport to behold them.

And he had also, in that place, the fairest damsels that might be found, under the age of fifteen years, and the fairest young striplings that men might get, of that same age. And all they were clothed in cloths of gold, full richly. And he said that those were angels.

And he had also let make three wells, fair and noble and all environed with stone of jasper, of crystal, diapered with gold, and set with precious stones and great orient pearls. And he had made a conduit under earth, so that the three wells, at his list, one should run milk another wine and another honey. And that place he clept paradise.

And when that any good knight, that was hardy and noble, came to see this royalty, he would lead him into his paradise, and show him these wonderful things to his disport, and the marvellous and delicious song of diverse birds, and the fair damsels, and the fair wells of milk, of wine, and of honey, plenteously running. And he would let make divers instruments of music to sound in an high tower, so merrily, that it was joy for to hear; and no man should see the craft thereof. And those, he said, were angels of God, and that place was paradise, that God had behight to his friends, saying, Dabo vobis terram fluentem lacte et melle. And then would he make them to drink of certain drink, whereof anon they should be drunk. And then would them think greater delight than they had before. And then would he say to them that if they would die for him and for his love, that after their death they should come to his paradise; and they should be of the age of those damosels, and they should play with them, and yet be maidens. And after that yet should he put them in a fairer paradise, where that they should see God of nature visibly, in his majesty and in his bliss And then would he shew them his intent, and say them; that if they would go slay such a lord, or such a man that was his enemy or contrarious to his list, that they should not dread to do it and for to be slain therefore themselves. For after their death, he would put them into another paradise, that was an hundred-fold fairer than any of the tother; and there should they dwell with the most fairest damosels that might be, and play with them ever-more.

And thus went many diverse lusty bachelors for to slay great lords in diverse countries, that were his enemies, and made themselves to be slain, in hope to have that paradise. And thus, often-time, he was revenged of his enemies by his subtle deceits and false cautels.

And when the worthy men of the country had perceived this subtle falsehood of this Gatholonabes, they assembled them with force, and assailed his castle, and slew him, and destroyed all the fair places and all the nobilities of that paradise. The place of the wells and of the walls and of many other things be yet apertly seen, but the riches is voided clean. And it is not long gone, since that place was destroyed. .

This text is widely available on the Internet, with no reference to its printed origins. Please contact me, if you have reference information.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

©Paul Halsall Mar 1996
halsall@murray.fordham.edu


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#13 Хальмг

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Отправлено 09 December 2008 - 01:03 PM

А как же элёты, хошуды, дербеты?

#14 torchek

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Отправлено 26 December 2008 - 02:32 PM

Koroche interesno vse,
no pomoemu lazha polneyshaya,
ya tut dofiga chego nakopal
pro Prester John,
eto vaashe legenda pohodu,
dazhe v catholic encyclopedia zalez
tam vaashe neskol`ko versiy daetsa
odna iz versiy chto Presbyter as King of Armenia
ya lish nachnetsa noviy den`
hozhu otbrasivayu ten`
s licom nahala
nachnetsa vecher ya opyat`
otpravlus` spat` chtob zavtra vstat`
i vse snachala

#15 calmouk

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Отправлено 26 December 2008 - 06:56 PM

Koroche interesno vse,
no pomoemu lazha polneyshaya,
ya tut dofiga chego nakopal
pro Prester John,
eto vaashe legenda pohodu,
dazhe v catholic encyclopedia zalez
tam vaashe neskol`ko versiy daetsa
odna iz versiy chto Presbyter as King of Armenia


Надо отделять зерна от плевел. В данном случае, идти к первым источникам, а не к позднейшим комментаторам.

Первые упоминания о Пресвитере Иоанне относятся к 11, 12, 13 векам. Там однозначно называется правителем народов Крит и Меркит, например в хронике 11 века на языке Сириак (не путать с сирийским), которую цитирует Данлоп, статья которого прикреплена выше: "В этом году (1007 году от РХ), тюркский народ, живущий на Востоке, называемый Крит, обратился в христианство и был крещен из за чуда, совершенного их правителем"
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#16 torchek

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Отправлено 27 December 2008 - 11:20 AM

Надо отделять зерна от плевел. В данном случае, идти к первым источникам, а не к позднейшим комментаторам.

Первые упоминания о Пресвитере Иоанне относятся к 11, 12, 13 векам. Там однозначно называется правителем народов Крит и Меркит, например в хронике 11 века на языке Сириак (не путать с сирийским), которую цитирует Данлоп, статья которого прикреплена выше: "В этом году (1007 году от РХ), тюркский народ, живущий на Востоке, называемый Крит, обратился в христианство и был крещен из за чуда, совершенного их правителем"



a nu togda mnogoe stanovitsa yasnee,
vot tol`ko naschet perveyshego i pozdneyshego nepoymu ( mnogo putayu i chasto)
esli pokopatsa to pervie upominaniya o ,nu naprimer o forme zemli,nu ili eshe o chem nibud`
roznyatsa s pozdneyshimi , nu eto ya tak k slovu
ya lish nachnetsa noviy den`
hozhu otbrasivayu ten`
s licom nahala
nachnetsa vecher ya opyat`
otpravlus` spat` chtob zavtra vstat`
i vse snachala

#17 torchek

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Отправлено 27 December 2008 - 11:41 AM

wherever the truth lies Persian sourses state that the Karaits were Mongols belongin to the Durlukin nu i tak dalee
eto vot doslovno iz truda Dunlopa ,zdes` stanovitsa yasno chto on eto vidvigaet kak versiyu,a
neutverzhdaet
ya lish nachnetsa noviy den`
hozhu otbrasivayu ten`
s licom nahala
nachnetsa vecher ya opyat`
otpravlus` spat` chtob zavtra vstat`
i vse snachala

#18 calmouk

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Отправлено 27 December 2008 - 04:31 PM

The story of the conversion of the people of Turkestan by the Nestorians early in the XIth century is thus told by Bar Hebraeus (Chron. Eccles., ii, col. 280): "At that time 'Abhd-Isho', Metropolitan of Merv, one of the cities of Khorasan, sent and informed the Catholicus (Mar John II) saying, ' When the king of the people who are called Khyreth, that is to say the inner Tirkayd, who live in the north-east, was hunting in one of the high mountains in his country, he fell into a region of deep snow, and he lost the path and wandered about distractedly. And when he had lost all hope of saving his life, one of the saints appeared to him in a revelation and said unto him, If thou wilt believe in Christ I will be thy guide so that thou shalt not die here "; and when the king had promised him that he would be a sheep in the fold of Christ, the saint guided him and brought him out into the open ground. When the king returned to his camp, he summoned to him certain Christian merchants who had business there, and he enquired of them concerning the Faith, and they said unto him, "A man cannot be perfect except through baptism." And he took from them a Gospel, and behold he bows down before it every day. And now he hath sent and asked me to go to him, or send to him a priest to baptize him. And he asked me questions about fasting, saying, "With the exception of flesh and milk we have no food at all; how then can we fast? "And he also said, that the number of those who believed with him amounted to two thousand. "Then the Catholicus sent to the Metropolitan and told him that he must send two persons, elders and deacons, and with them the equipment of an altar, and that they must go and baptize those who have believed, and must teach them Christian customs, and that during the Lord's Fast (i.e. Lent) they must abstain from flesh food. But they were to permit them to drink milk only, provided that foods which were suitable for seasons of fasting were not, as they said, found in their country."


В данном случае Khyreth почти что Керяд
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#19 calmouk

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Отправлено 27 December 2008 - 04:35 PM

wherever the truth lies Persian sourses state that the Karaits were Mongols belongin to the Durlukin nu i tak dalee
eto vot doslovno iz truda Dunlopa ,zdes` stanovitsa yasno chto on eto vidvigaet kak versiyu,a
neutverzhdaet


Само собой, Данлоп лишь позднейший интерпретатор. Его труд интересен тем, что он приводит ссылки на источники, на основе которых он делает свои версии.
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)

#20 calmouk

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Отправлено 27 December 2008 - 04:48 PM

a nu togda mnogoe stanovitsa yasnee,
vot tol`ko naschet perveyshego i pozdneyshego nepoymu ( mnogo putayu i chasto)
esli pokopatsa to pervie upominaniya o ,nu naprimer o forme zemli,nu ili eshe o chem nibud`
roznyatsa s pozdneyshimi , nu eto ya tak k slovu


Версия плоской Земли была сделана на основе неправильной аппроксимации наблюдений. Но неправильность общей "теории плоской Земли" не отменяет правильности локальной "теории плоской Земли". Локально Земля может считаться плоской и считается таковой для упрощения многих практических вычислений, например, в строительстве.

Возврашаясь к первым источникам. Наибольшую ценность представляют наблюдения очевидцев. История, видимо, наиболее политизированная гуманитарная дисциплина. Историк не может быть беспристрастным.
Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!
(Author: unknown, Paris, 1968)




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