chapter  5
65 Pages

The Travels of the Magnificent M. Ambrosio Contarini.

I, Ambrosio Contarini, the son of Messer Benedetto, having been chosen ambassador to the Illustrious Lord Ussuncassan, King of Persia, by our Illustrious Signory in the Council of Pregadi,—notwithstanding that such a mission appeared to me arduous on account of the long and perilous journey,—I resolved, in deference to the earnest wishes of our Illustrious Signory, and for the universal good of Christianity, and the honour that would accrue to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Glorious Mother, to put aside all fear of peril and go cheerfully and willingly for the service of our Signory and Christianity; and deeming that an account of a journey of such importance and length might be interesting and useful to our descendants, I intend, with as much brevity as possible, to relate what occurred to me from my departure from Venice, on the 23rd of February, 1473 (the first day of Lent), until my return, on the 10th of April, 1477, and describe the towns, and provinces through which I passed, as well as the manners and customs of their inhabitants.