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0072 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 72 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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under the name of LIKAN or LIKIEN, a name which Pauthier with some probability refers to the empire of the Seleucidee of Syria, whose conquests at one period extended to the regions of the


The name Ta-thsin, (Great China), we are told, was applied to

those western lands on account of the analogy of its people to those of the middle kingdom. Some even alleged that they had sprung originally from China. But this was probably a puerile perversion, and we may suppose that the name was given from some perception that those Greek and Roman countries bore to the west the same relation that China and its civilisation bore to

Eastern Asia.

From this we gather, among other things, that the Chinese in the time of Panchao recognised the term Thsin as a name by which they were known, at. least to foreigners. Indeed Fahian the Buddhist traveller (early in the fifth century) repeatedly speaks of his native land under this name,2 though perhaps with a restricted reference to the ancient territory of the Thsin which was the province of his birth.

31. Tathsin, according to the earlier of these notices, is otherwise called the kingdom of the Western Sea. It is reached from the country of the Tiaochi (Tajiks, or Persians, according to Pauthier and others), by traversing the sea obliquely for a distance of 2000 miles, and is about 8000 miles distant from Changgan or Singanfu. The name of the capital is ANTU.3 The Ansi, and people of India, drive a great and profitable trade with this empire by the way of the Great Salt Sea, and merchants sailing thither are obliged to provide themselves with necessaries for three years. Hence there are few who succeed in reaching so remote a region.4 The extent of the empire is 2000 miles from east to west, and as much from north to south,5 and it has 400

Pauthier de l'Authent., pp. 34, 55 segq.; Klap., o. e., p. 70.

2 E•g., pp. 7, 333.

3 Antioch, prcbably, as Pauthier supposes ; and, if so, it shows that the information came from a date earlier than the time of Panchao.

4 So, conversely, the author of the Periplus says, " It is not easy to get to this Thin, and few and far between are those who come from it." The extract at p. 36 of Pauthier (De l'Authent.) has 1000 li (200