Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On the Turks, and Why they are So Called
By Alfonso X of Castile (1221–1284)
 
From ‘La Gran Conquista de Ultramar,’ Chapter xiii

THE ANCIENT histories which describe the early inhabitants of the East and their various languages show the origin of each tribe or nation, or whence they came, and for what reason they waged war, and how they were enabled to conquer the former lords of the land. Now in these histories it is told that the Turks, and also the allied race called Turcomans, were all of one land originally, and that these names were taken from two rivers which flow through the territory whence these people came, which lies in the direction of the rising of the sun, a little toward the north; and that one of these rivers bore the name of Turco, and the other Mani: and finally that for this reason the two tribes which dwelt on the banks of these two rivers came to be commonly known as Turcomanos or Turcomans. On the other hand, there are those who assert that because a portion of the Turks lived among the Comanos (Comans) they accordingly, in course of time, received the name of Turcomanos; but the majority adhere to the reason already given. However this may be, the Turks and the Turcomans belong both to the same family, and follow no other life than that of wandering over the country, driving their herds from one good pasture to another, and taking with them their wives and their children and all their property, including money as well as flocks.  1
  The Turks did not dwell then in houses, but in tents made of skins, as do in these days the Comanos and Tartars; and when they had to move from one place to another, they divided themselves into companies according to their different dialects, and chose a cabdillo (judge), who settled their disputes, and rendered justice to those who deserved it. And this nomadic race cultivated no fields, nor vineyards, nor orchards, nor arable lands of any kind; neither did they buy or sell for money: but traded their flocks among one another, and also their milk and cheese, and pitched their tents in the places where they found the best pasturage; and when the grass was exhausted, they sought fresh herbage elsewhere. And whenever they reached the border of a strange land, they sent before them special envoys, the most worthy and honorable of their men, to the kings or lords of such countries, to ask of them the privilege of pasturage on their lands for a space; for which they were willing to pay such rent or tax as might be agreed upon. After this manner they lived among each nation in whose territory they happened to be.  2
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.