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0053 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 53 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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Greeks and Romans, and to them it probably came through people of Arabian speech, as the Arabs, being without the sound of ch, made the China of the Hindus and Malays into Sin, and perhaps sometimes into Thin. Hence the Thin of the author of the Periplus of the Erythrœan Sea, who appears to be the first extant author to employ the name in this form ;1 hence also the Since and Thin of Ptolemy, who doubtless derived them from his predecessor Marinus of Tyre, the loss of whose work, with the details into which it seems to have entered to a much greater extent than Ptolemy's, is so much to be regretted.2

8. Since the reaction from the sentiment of those days succeeding the revival of literature which ascribed all knowledge to the Greeks, it has often been doubted and denied that the Since of Ptolemy indeed represented the Chinese. But compare the statement of Marcianus of Heraclea (who is in this as in most other parts of his work, merely condensing and popularising the results of Ptolemy's definitions), when he tells us that the "nations of the Sine lie at the extremity of the habitable world, and adjoin the eastern Terra Incognita," with that of Cosmas a century or two later in speaking of Tzinista, a name which no one has

That is if Mailer's view be right in ascribing the work to the first century.

Though the latest scholars have abandoned that reading of Strabo which ascribed the use of the naine Thince to Eratosthenes (the passages which speak of the parallel passing through Thince—Sta ®tv@v—being shown to read correctly St' AB,vwv ; see Mailer's Edition, p. 945 and the various passages referred to there) ; it is rather singular that the name should not have been known before the end of the first century, supposing such to be the fact. For Shi-Hoangti the great Emperor of the Thsin is said to have sent an army of three hundred thousand men into Tartary, whist Ptolemy Euergetes about the same time carried his conquests to Bactria. The expedition of the latter may probably, however, have preceded that of the Chinese prince. Ptolemy reigned B.C. 247222, Shihoangti from 246 as king of Thsin, but only from 221 as sovereign of the whole empire. M. Reinaud, in his Relations Politiques et Commerciales de l'Empire Romain avec l'Asie Orientale, a book which contains some ingenious suggestions and useful references to which I am indebted, but which is in the main an example of building pyramids on the apex,. says that Ptolemy used the term Since "pour se donner un air d'érudition ;" but why he should say so it is hard to perceive, even if it be an error to date the Periplus before Ptolemy.