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0127 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 127 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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respecting it that does not also appear in the Relations, chiefly in that part of it of which Abu Zaid is the professed author. M. Reinaud has treated of these coincidences, but has not I think quite satisfactorily accounted for them.1

84. In the course of the tenth century we have another Arab traveller who professes to have visited China. This is Abu Dulif Misar Ibn Mohalhal who being, according to his own account, at the Court of Nasri Bin Ahmed Bin Ismail of the Samanidæ at Bokhara when ambassadors arrived from " the King of China Kalatin-bin-ul-Shakhir,"2 to negotiate a marriage between his own daughter and Noah. the son of Nasri (who afterwards succeeded to the throne of Bokhara), took advantage of the opportunity of accompanying the ambassadors on their return, about the year 941. The whole narrative of this traveller is not extant, but much of it has been preserved in citations by Yakuti (A.u. 617, A.D. 1220), and Kazwini (A.H. 067, A.D. 1268-69), and a German editor has collected these passages into a tolerably continuous narrative, and translated them into Latin.3

It is very difficult to say whether the narrative is genuine or not, or to guess how much it may have suffered from the manner in which it has been thus coopered out of loose fragments. If the author really accompanied Chinese ambassadors from Bokhara back to their native country, it is not easy to understand why they should have made a grand tour of all the Turk and Tartar nations from the shores of the Black Sea to the banks of the Amur. The name which he attributes to the capital of China is SINDABIL, which is more like an Indian than a Chinese name, or rather like the Arabic perversion of an Indian name (compare Kanddbil, Sancldb(o). The nearest Chinese name is that of CHINGTUFU, or as Marco Polo calls it SINDIFU, the chief city of the province of Szechuen, and which was during parts of the tenth century the capital of the kingdom of SHU.4 Neither would it

Discours Preliminaire to Relations, etc., pp. viii and xviii segq.

2. Or Kalin bin-Shahhbar.

s Abu Dolif lllisaris Bin Mohalhal de Itinere Asiatico—Studio Kurd de Schloezer, Berolini, 1845.

4 The first Shu dynasty at Chingtufu lasted only from 891 to 925; the second from 925 to 965. The naines of the kirigs as given in Dcgitigne: