Sir John Mandeville

Start Free Trial

Summarize chapter 17 of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Chapter 17 of Sir John Mandeville's Travels begins in the land of Job. The author relates the biblical story of Job's trials, restoration to prosperity, reign as King of Idumea, and death at the age of 248. He says that a very sweet substance, which he identifies as the "manna" mentioned in the Bible, is to be found in the hills and is used in medicine which "cleanseth the blood and putteth out melancholy."

The author then travels on to Chaldea, where the men are fair and dressed in gold and pearls, while the women are poorly attired as well as being "foul and hideous." He briefly mentions the cities of Ur and Nineveh as well as the biblical story of Lot. Beside Chaldea is the land of Amazonia, the inhabitants of which are all women. The women are strong and warlike, electing the best warrior among them as their queen.

To the South of Chaldea is Ethiopia, a land of many wonders, including a well in which the water is too cold to drink during the day and too hot to touch during the night. There are also people who have only one foot, which is so large that they can rest in its shade when they lie down. The children in Ethiopia are yellow, but they turn black when they reach adulthood.

From Ethiopia, people can travel on to Ind, where the best diamonds are to be found. The author discusses the beauty and magical properties of diamonds, which keep their owners safe from evil as well as give them strength. However, he warns, it often happens "that the good diamond loseth his virtue by sin, and for incontinence of him that beareth it."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial