- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
241

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THE VOLGA
0, 241
was on his ship, which was drawn ashore, seated
on a bench spread with coverings of Grecian gold
cloth and pillows of the same cloths. His weapons
were laid at his side, and intoxicating drink, fruit,
bread, meat, and so on. A dog was cut up and
thrown into the ship, as also two horses, two oxen,
a cock, and a hen. They drank heavily, and
"often one of them would die, beaker in hand".
The girl who had agreed to follow the dead man,
after much drink and debauchery, especially with
six of his men, was killed on the ship by the death
angel, an old woman. At the end the dead man’s
nearest kindred walked backwards and naked up
to the ship, and set fire to the wooden props under
neath it. Everything was soon alight, and the chief
with the girl took the longjourney to the other world.
The Bulgar kingdom on the Volga was shaken
to its foundations by the Mongol storm in the I3th
century ; it still kept its own nominal rulers, but was
definitely destroyed by Tamerlane at the end of the
i4th century. A little later its place was tåken by the
Tatar kingdom at Kazan, founded in 1437, which
was in the end conquered by Ivan the Terrible in
1552. The way was now open for the Russians down
the Volga, and in a few years they took the land to
the south as far as Astrakhan and the Caspian Sea.
Thursday, the i4th of July. Steadily wc went
north along this mighty waterway, winding through
the endless flat-land. On the low, swampy expanse
to the east there was hardly a house or a village to
see, but along the western bank there were many.
The heat was grilling, and even by night it was
sultry in our berths. But what was worse was the

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