A Little Way Beyond Toro, On The Borders Of The Sea, A
Mountain Begins To Rise By Little And Little; And Thrusting Out A Large
High Cape Or Promontory, Seems To Those In The Town Like Three Great And
Mighty Separate Mountains.
This town of Tor is small but well situated,
all its inhabitants being Christians who speak Arabic.
It has a
monastery of friars of the order of Monserrat, in which is the oracle
or image of Santa Catalina of Mount Sinai or St Catharine. These
friars are all Greeks. The harbour of Toro is not large, but very
secure, having opposite to the shore a long stony bank, between which
and the shore is the harbour. At this place both the coasts of the gulf
are only about three leagues distant.
Being desirous to learn some particulars concerning this country, I made
myself acquainted with the friars, from whom I had the following
information. They told me that Mount Sinai was thirteen small days
journey into the land, or about 18 leagues. The mountain is very
high, the country around being plain and open, having on its borders a
great town inhabited by Christians, into which no Mahometan can enter
except he who gathers the rents and duties belonging to the Turks. On
the top of the mountain is a monastery having many friars, where the
body of the blessed Virgin St Catharine lay buried. According to Anthony
bishop of Florence, the body of this Holy Virgin was carried away by the
angels from the city of Alexandria and buried on Mount Sinai.
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