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0092 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 92 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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  1. Returning to earlier days, we find that in the time of the Mongol emperors an. am,le trade by sea existed between China

and the ports of Male:* To this Polo, Odoric, Marignolli, and Ibn Batuta bear witnessr:. The rise of this trade, so far as we know about it, will be more conveniently related under the head of Chinese intercourse with the Arabs. Ibn Batuta alludes to the Chinese merchants residing at Kaulam,1 and such residents are also alluded to in ancient Malabar documents.2 I have already suggested that Marignolli's mention of " Tartars" in connexion with the tomb of St. Thomas at Mailap it (p. 376 infra) may indicate that Chinese traded, perhaps were settled, also on the Coromandel Coast. But Ritter's idea that CHINAPATAM, one of the native names of the town of Madras, is a trace of ancient Chinese colonisation here, is not well founded. That naine, pro-

M sperly Chennapatam or Chennapapatam, was bestowed on the site granted to the British in 1639 by the Naik of Chingleput, in honour of that chief's own father-in-law, Chennapa by name.3 It is curious, however, in connexion with such a suggestion, that Gasparo Balbi in the sixteenth century, speaking of certain Pagodas seen in making Negapatam after rounding Ceylon (apparently the monolithic temples at Mahabalipuram, commonly known still as the Seven Pagodas) observes that they were called the Sette Pagodi de' Chini, and were attributed to ancient Chinese mariners.'

  1. We hear from Marco Polo of some part of the intercourse which Kublai Khan endeavoured to establish with western countries of Asia, and his endeavours are also specially mentioned in the Chinese annals. Unfortunately he and his officers seem to have entertained the Chinese notion that all intercourse with his empire should take the form of homage, and his attempts that way in Java and Japan had no very satisfactory result. But he is said to have been more fortunate in 1286 with the kingdoms of MAPAEUL, SUMUNTALA, SUMENNA, SENGKILI, MA-

1 iv, p. 103.   2 See Madras Journal for 1844, p. 121.

3 Ritter, v, 518, 620; Madras in the Olden Time, by J. T. Wheeler, Madras 1861, i, p. 25.

4 It is worth noting that the Catalan Map of 1375 has in this position a place called Setemelti; qu., an error for Sette templi ?