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0250 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 250 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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assigned to the northern Vokhan of the maps is due I believe to an entry in the Chinese tables. But it seems to be very doubtful if the Jesuit observers in person actually crossed the mountains.' This Northern Wakhan, if not a mere displacement, I suspect to represent Wakhsh, or the Wakhshjird of the old Arab geographers.

The existence of a place called Bolor stands on better evidence ; at least there is or has been a State so called, the chief inhabited place of which would appropriate the name in the talk of foreigners, according to a well-known Asiatic practice, whether rightly or not. It appears to be mentioned as a kingdom by Hiwen Thsang (Polo1o); it is spoken of by Polo as the name of a province ; it appears as a geographical position in the tables of Nasiruddin, and reappears in the Chinese tables of the last century with exactly the same latitude. It is also mentioned in the Târikh Rashidi of the sixteenth century ;2 and its prince appears as a tributary to China in the Chinese annals of some seventy years back.3

But is there a great Wakhsh branch of the Oxus coming from those regions, and if so where does it join the Panja or river of the Sirikul ? To the first question I would answer in the affirmative. The very name Wakhsh appears to be that from which the classical and Chinese names of the combined stream (Oxus, and Potsu or Fatsü) are derived. It is also spoken of both by Hiwen Thsang and by Edrisi, and by the latter is described as a very great river, though he evidently regards the Panja of Wood as the chief source.

Hiwen Thsang on the other hand appears to have regarded the Wakhsh branch as the main Potsu or Oxus. For after describing the Lake of Pamir, apparently the Sirikul of Wood, he says : " This lake discharges to the westward ; for a river issues from it which runs west to the eastern frontier of the kingdom of Tamositieti, and then joins the River Potsu; their waters flow westward and are discharged into the sea."4

The following extracts show what Edrisi says on the subject :

" The Jihun takes its rise in the country of WAKHAN5 on the frontier

Wood's journey, gives Darw iz, Shagnan, Wakhan, exactly in Wood's order. Burnes, a few years before Wood, does the same. (Edrisi, i, 472 ; Not. et Extraits, xiv, 491.)

1 Father Felix d'Arocha, President of the Mathematical Board at Peking, followed the Chinese armies in 1759 to Kashgar and Yarkand (Ritter, vii, 432).

2 Malaur is a country with few level spots. It has a circuit of four months' march. The eastern frontier borders on Kashgar and Yarkand; it has Badakhshan to the north, Kabul to the west, and Kashmir to the south," etc. (Not. et Extraits, xiv, 492).

3 See Pauthier's Polo, p. 133.

4 Vie de H. T., p. 272.

5 Jaubert has Ujccn, or rather (as his transcription of the Arabic shows) Wajccn, an obvious misreading for Wakhccn. I regret that I cannot show these corrections (without which it is useless to quote the French Edrisi) in Arabic letters, which would carry conviction of their fairness,