a page from the Wei Lue

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Yu Huan: Wei Lue (239-265AD)
(History of the Wei dynasty)

Taken from: The Peoples of the West from the Weilue by Yu Huan. English translation by John E. Hill


The king of Zesan or Ala-san (Azania) is subject to Da Qin (Rome). His seat of government is in the middle of the sea. To the north you reach Lufen. It can take half a year to cross the water, but with fast winds it takes a month. It is nearest to the city of Ar-ku in Ar-shi. South-west you go to the capital of Da Qin, we do not know the number of li. The king of Lufen is subject to Da Qin. His residence is 2000 li distant from the capital of Da Qin. Leaving from the city of Lufen you head west to go to Da Qin, crossing over the sea by an elevated bridge 230 li (96km) long; then you take the sea route southwest, travelling around the sea (coast), and then head due west (to reach Da Qin).

Note: Some authors put Lufen in the north of the Red Sea, others in the north of the Persian Gulf. In both cases it is about 3000 km north of Ras Hafun and Azania. Sailing at 150 km a day (as Idris calculates) one would make in a month 4500 km.