SYNOPSIS OF KRUMP'S JOURNEY FROM ASSIUT TO ESNA, UPPER EGYPT
On 30 October 1700 Krump arrived at Assiut from the north by boat. "This
town," he wrote, "is especially renowned
because all caravans that come to Egypt from Upper Egypt, all of Nubia,
Borno, Fezzan, al-Gharb, the Funj kingdom and
other Moorish [Islamic] lands, or who wish to go from here to the above-mentioned
places, direct their journey to this spot.
Here they form [into caravans] or deposit their goods. These latter
can be carried very cheaply by water along the river Nile to
Cairo, and the transaction thus be completed." [p. 179] Upon disembarking,
the travelers did not enter the town, but went
to "the camp where the jallabs (that is, the merchants) of the Ethiopian
caravan along with their Barabra [Nubian-speaking
servants; singular, Barbarin] stay. This place is directly adjoining the town, and resembles
a great, wide courtyard." [p. 170] Because the
missionaries were on exceptionally good terms with the local Turkish
governor their party was given a private
courtyard nearby in which to pitch their tents and secure their supplies.
On 1 November 1700 Krump observed that "today a great yearly fair was
held here, to which people brought, among other
things, a great number of camels and donkeys for the caravan." [p.
171] The missionaries began to purchase the necessary
supplies for the impending desert journey. On 15 November 1700 they
were introduced to "the commander and guide of
our caravan," whose name was `Abdin. "He was the foremost of the merchants,"
Krump explained, "not only because he was
an old, highly experienced man, but also because he had been sent by
the king of Sinnar to Egypt to purchase things for him
and necessities for the kingdom." [p. 179]
The Pasha of Manfalut told
the assembling caravan that the customary route
by way of al-Wah ("the oasis," probably meaning Kharga) was presently
impassible due to the occupation of the oasis
by hostile "Arabs." The royal merchants of Sinnar led by `Abdin advised
patience, for though they were accompanied
by a squadron of Funj cavalry, they wished to avoid combat. "The poorer
Barabra," Krump noted, "could not wait for us,
for they had already consumed a great deal and did not possess the
means to maintain their camels for so long." [p. 178]
At Assiut, Krump was joined by Father Carlo da Cilento, age thirty-two.
He had been a member of the Franciscan
mission at Achmim for two years; fluent in Arabic and theology, he
was also familiar with medicine and surgery. There
arrived also the superior of the mission, who had been delayed in Cairo
by a fever. Father Francisco Maria da Salemi
was sixty-six and pale, but well-preserved for his age and very zealous.
The final member of the Franciscan party was
Father Joseph of Jerusalem, whom Krump found to be "experienced in
all matters." [p. 186] The Franciscans were joined
by two Jesuit Fathers, Antoine Granier and Antonio Paoletti. These
were of French nationality, and had been greatly
assisted by the French consul in Cairo. Krump and his colleagues suspected
them of serving French political interests
toward Ethiopia, but the men of both orders remained on friendly terms.
The caravan left Assiut on 25 November 1700. After a feint toward Kharga
to confuse their enemies, they directed
their march parallel to the Nile toward Esna.
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