Chapter 35-37

Egypt (Wussili) -- Chau Ju Kua's Works Simplified

January 13, 2022
Activity Method
Trade ?
Farming Mass farming + Irrigation + Granaries

35. Cairo (Mulanpi)

Cario is west of Arabia which is separated by the Red Sea which has many countries.

The biggest Arab ships go to Cairo.

This is reached from Topanti in Arabia after sailing for 100 days. A big ship has several thousand men. On board are stores of wine and provisions and weaving looms.

Its exports are extraordinary:

  • wheat grains 3 inches long
  • melons six feet round, enough for a meal for 20-30 men.
  • pomegranates weigh 5 catties
  • peaches weight 2 catties
  • citrons that weight over twenty cattles and have leaves 3-4 feet long

Rice and wheat are kept in silos for tens of years without spoiling.

Its local products are foreign sheep several feet high and have as big as a fan. In the spring-time they slit open their bellies and take out tens of catties of fat. They sew them up again, and the sheep live on. If the fat were not removed, the animal would swell up and die.

It can be reached from Aden Mulanpi by land in 200 days. During such time, humans and beasts must drink a lot to avoid dying of thirst.

Egypt is under Parthia. The king is fair and wears a turban, a jacket and black boots.

He goes to public on horseback. Before him go 300 horses with

is and ornamented with gold and jewels. There go also ten saddles and bridles ornamented with gold and jewels.

There are also 10 tigers held with iron chains. 100 men watch them. 50 men hold the chains.

There are also an hundred club-bearers and thirty hawk-bearers.

1,000 horsemen surround and guard him and 300 body-slaves bear bucklers and swords.

Two men carry the king’s weapons before him. 100 kettle-drummers follow him on horseback.

The whole pageant is very grand.

The people live on on cakes and meat. They eat no rice.

The weather is dry.

The government extends over 16 provinces with a circumference of over 60 stages.

When rain falls, the people’s farming is washed out and destroyed.

Its river is very clear and has sweet water. Its source is unknown.

If there is a year of drought, the rivers of all other countries get low, and this river alone remains with the abundance of water for farming.

This happens each year. Old men of 70-80 years cannot remember when it last rained.

An old tradition says that third generation of P’u-lo-hung when Shi-su a descendant in the seized the government, he was afraid that the land would suffer from drought on account of there being no rain.

So he chose a tract of land near the river he established 360 villages to grow wheat. In this way, the whole country would have food everyday. Each of these villages supplied it for one day so that these villages supplied food for a year.

Furthermore, it has a city called Kieye on the bank of this river.

Every 2-3 years, an old man comes out of this river. His hair is black and short, his beard is hoary.

He sits on a rock in the water so that only half his body is visible. If he is thus seen taking up water in his hands, washing his face and cutting his nails, the strange being is recognized, and they go near him, kneel before him and say: the present year bring the people happiness or misfortune?». The man 5 says nothing, but if he laughs, then the year will be a plenteous one and sickness ((Will and plagues will not visit the people. If he frowns, then one may be sure that either in the present year, or in the next, they will suffer from famine or The .old man remains a long time seated before he dives down again.

This river has water-camels and water-horses who come up on the bank to eat the herbs. But they go back into the water as soon as they see a man.

37. Alexandria (Okonto)

This belongs to Egypt

According to tradition, in olden times, a stranger named Tsukoni built a great tower by the shore under which the earth was dug out and two rooms were made, well connected and very well secreted.

In one vault was grain, in the other were arms.

The tower was 200 chang high. Four horses abreast could ascend to 2/3 of its height. In the centre of the building was a great well connecting with the big river'.

To protect it from surprise, all of Alexandria guarded this tower. In its upper and lower parts, 20,000 men could defend it or sally out to fight.

Its peak had a wondrous great mirror. It could detect foreign warships which made sudden attacks and warn the troops in time.

In recent years, a foreigner asked to be given work in the guard-house of the tower to sprinkle and sweep.

For years, no one suspected him. Suddenly, he stole the mirror one day and threw it into the sea and then fled.

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