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0050 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
中国および中国への道 : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / 50 ページ(白黒高解像度画像)

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PRELIMINARY ESSAY.

style of the dynasty of THSIN, which a little more than two centuries before our era enjoyed a brief but very vigorous existence, uniting all the Chinese provinces under its authority, and extending its conquests far beyond those limits to the south and the west.

There are reasons however for believing that the name of CHINA must have been bestowed at a much earlier date, for it occurs in the laws of Manu, which assert the Chinas to have been degenerate Kshatriyas, and in the Mahabharat, compositions many centuries older than the imperial dynasty of Thsin.' The indications of the geographical position of the nation so called are indeed far from precise, but in the absence of positive evidence to the contrary it seems reasonable to believe that the name China meant to the Hindus then what it means still ; whilst there is also in a part of the astronomical systems of the two nations the strongest implication of very ancient communication between them, so ancient as to have been forgotten even in the far-reaching annals of China.2

Whether the Chinese were known at all to the Hindus in remote antiquity, and whether they were known by the name of Chinese, are of course two different questions. But if it be established that they must have known one another, the probability becomes strong that the name China in the writings of the one people indicated the other. And this name may have yet possibly been connected with the Thsin, or some monarchy of like dynastic title ; for that dynasty had reigned locally in Shensi from the ninth century before our era ; and when, at a still earlier date, the empire was partitioned into many small kingdoms, we find among them the dynasties of the Tçin and the Ching.3

J.Lassen, i, 857-8 ; Pauthier, M. Polo, p. 550. The latter author says :

I shall take another occasion to establish that the statement in the Laws of Manu is partially true, and that people from India passed into Shensi, the westernmost province of China, more than one thousand years before our era, and at that time formed a state named Thsin, the same word as

China." It is remarkable that, as the same scholar notices, the name of China is used in the Japanese maps (Ib., 449).

2 See Lassen, i, 742 segq.

3 The Tçin reigning at Fungcheu in Shansi, endured from B.C. 1107 to

677 and longer under other titles; the Ching, in Honan, from B.C. 1122

to B.C. 477, (See Deguignes, i, 88, 102, 105; also Lassen, i, 857; St. Martin, Mem. sur l'Arménie, ii, 51).

 
   

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