§ 44. Discourse on the Rūs Country and its Towns
East of this country are the mountains of the Pechenegs; south of it,
the river Rūtā
( ?); west of it,
north of it, the Uninhabited Lands of the North. This is a vast country,
and the inhabitants are evil-tempered (badh ṭab'),
intractable (badh-rag va nā-sāzanda),
and warlike (ḥarb-kun).
They war with all the infidels (kāfir)
who live round them, and come out victorious (bihtar āyand).
The king is called Rūs-khāqān.
It is a country extremely favoured by nature with regard to all the necessaries
(of life). One group (gurūh)
of them practise chivalry (muruvvat). They hold the physicians in
rā buzurg dārand).
They annually pay the tithe on their booty and commercial profits (ghanīmat
to the government (sulṭān).
Among them lives a group of Slavs who serve them. Out of 100 cubits (gaz)
of cotton fabric (karbās),
more or less, they sew trousers which they put on (andar pūshand),
tucking them up above the knee (bar sar-i zānū
gird karda dārand).
They wear woollen bonnets (ba sar bar nihādha
tails let down behind their necks (dum az pas-i qafā
They bury the dead with all their belongings (bā
har chi bā khwīshtan
| clothes, and ornaments (pīrāya). They (also) place in the grave, with the dead, food and drinks (ṭa'ām va sharāb).
1. KŪYĀBA (? Kūbāba, &c.) is the town [land ?] of the Rūs lying nearest to the Islamic lands. It is a pleasant place and is the seat of the king. It produces various furs (mūy) and valuable swords.
2. Ṣ.LĀBA (? ), a pleasant town from which, whenever peace reigns, they go for trade (? bā bāzurgānīāyand) to the districts of Bulghār.
3. URTĀB (? ),
a town where strangers are killed whenever they visit it. It produces very
valuable blades and swords which can be bent in two (ū
rā du tāh
but as soon as the hand is removed they return to their former state.
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