PRELIMINARY ESSAY. XCVii
The capital of China at this time, according to the monk, was a city called Taiuna or ThajAye, in which Pauthier discovers a corruption of the name Chao or Chiao fit, by which Singanfu was called under the Sung dynasty. In any case it was probably the same as that intended by the Tdjah which Edrisi and Abulfeda speak of as the capital of China. The form is more suggestive of Thaiyuan fu in the province of Shensi, the Taianfu of M. Polo, which had been for a time the capital of the Thang in the eighth century.'
To the early tide of Christianity in China which here reached its ebb, probably belong those curious relics of the ancient ecclesiastical connexion which Layard found in the valley of Jelu in the mountains of Kurdistan. Here, in visiting a very old Nestorian church, he saw among many other motley curiosities, a number of China bowls, black with the dust of ages, suspended from the roof. These, he was assured, had been brought from the distant empire of Cathay by those early missionaries of the Chaldean church, who bore the tidings of the Gospel to the shores of the Yellow Sea.2
No more is known, so far as I am aware, of christianity in China till the influx of European travellers in the days of Mongol supremacy. We then again find a considerable number of Nestorian Christians in the country. It is probable that a new wave of conversion had entered during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, consequent on the christianisation of large numbers among the Turkish and Mongolian tribes, of which we have many indications, and on the influence exercised by those tribes upon Northern China, both in the time of Chinghiz and his successors, and in the revolutions which preceded the rise of that dynasty. Already in the time of the patriarch Timothy (778-820) we hear of active and successful missions in the countries adjoining the
viously been referred to by Golius, but it was not known whence he had derived it, till it was rediscovered by M. Reinaud in a work in the Bibl. Impériale.
1 See Pauthier's Polo, p. 353. It must have been difficult to say what was the capital of China in the tenth century, when it was divided into five monarchies. That of the Sung, who acquired a predominance in 960, was first at Changan or Singanfu, and afterwards at Kai! ngIU.
Nineveh and 13abyiioa, p. 433.
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