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0395 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 395 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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whereof have a circuit of forty miles. And in it there be some three hundred and sixty stone bridges, es, finer than the whole world can show. In this city was the first residence of the king of Manzi, where he used to dwell. It is very well peopled, and there is such an amount of craft thereat as is right marvellous to behold. The city is planted passing well, and bath great store of all good things.

And quitting this city, I came to a certain great river which is called TALAY,1 and this is the greatest river that exists in the world. For where it is narrowest it is some seven miles in width. And this river passeth through the land of the Pygmies, or Biduini, whose city is called CATHAN,

Mongols. With regard to the name which our traveller gives the city, it must be noted that Nanking signifies merely Southern Court"; the name of the city being Kianningfu. Kinlingfu is also given by Demailla as one of the ancient names of Nankin, and it would appear from Pauthier (Chine Moderne, p. 60) that this name, signifying the " Golden Hill", is still in occasional use. But perhaps the Chelinfu of Odoric is merely a provincial pronunciation of Kianningfu, putting l for n, as we find that the Portuguese in later days called Nankin Lankly, and Ningpo Liampo, after what was, as we are told, the Fokien pronunciation. Indeed, in Hakluyt's " Early Reports of China learned through the Portugals," this province of Kiangnan or Nankin, the fift shire of China", as he quaintly calls it, is termed Chelim, the very name that we have here. (See Martini in Thevenot, p. 120 ; Mendez Pinto passim ; and Hakluyt, 1. c.)

It is true that Marco Polo mentions a city of the same name, Quelinfu, also noted for fine stone bridges. But this is Kienningfu in the interior of Fokien, a region which Odoric has now left far behind. Here, however, we see exactly the same change of letters that we have supposed.

1 This name in some versions reads Tanay, which is a confusion with the better known Tanais or Don (called Tanay in the Catalan map), and in others Doltalay and the like, a mistake of the kind spoken of in note at page 58. The great river is of course the Takiang or Yangtse, and the name given by Odoric (which seems to be mentioned by no other traveller of his time) is the Mongol Dalai or Talai, "the sea," which lends a figurative title to the great Lama. That this word was applied as a name to the Kiang by the Mongols, I learn by an incidental quotation (from Fischer de Origine Tartarorum, p. 76, cited by J. G. Meinert in his Essay on Marignolli's Travels ; see Introd. to Marignolli infra). The use of the word Dalai in this way seems, therefore, to be quite parallel to that of Bahr as applied by the Arabs to the Nile. So also the Tibetans apply the term Samancirang (Sanaudra, " the Ocean") to the Indus and Sutlej (J.R.G.S, xsiii, 34).