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0023 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 23 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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« Magnifico viro Imperatori Aethiopum », to give him notice of the departure of Jourdain Cathala, bishop of « Columbum » in India (cf. GOLUBOVICH, ibid., II, 432; III, 357-358). There was regular intercourse by sea between Abyssinia and the western coast of India, and I rather think that, by Ethiopia, Montecorvino and Jourdain Cathala really meant Abyssinia. But the location of « Ethiopia » in Jourdain's letter was misunderstood in Avignon, and this led to the strange letter of 1329. Moreover, a similar letter was addressed on September 11, 1329, to the Emperor of Cathay, who was of course still farther from Persia and India than Abyssinia (cf. A. MERCATI, Monum. Vaticana veterem diocesim Columbensem ... respicientia, Rome, 1923, 8 v0, p. 16; Mgr. MERCATI, in agreement with GoLUBOVICH, is in favour of looking for Jourdain's and John XXII's « Ethiopia » in India). Cf. also MOULE'S opinion Vol. I, 435-436.



[ acbalec mangi] L achilechimangi P acmelchamangi LT acmelec mangi F, VA


abalet magy G abel mangi VB acbalac mangi Fr, t, VA acbalec mangi F, L acbalech mangi LT acbalet manzy FB

ambalec magi TA' anbalet mangi TA3 arcamalec FB ativalet FA

acbaluch mançi Z achalec mansy FAt achalet manzi FA achbaluch mangi R achebelach mandi V

cinelech VL

cinelech mangi VLr machare emelegamin VB machase emelegamin V

alchilechimangi P ambalet mangi TA' anbalet mangi TA3 cinelech mangi VL ebeleh manzi VB

Explained in RAMusIO's text as meaning «the White City on the border (de' confini) of Mangi ». It is plainly a Persian construction, Aq-baiïq-i-Manzi, « the White City of Manzi », so called to distinguish it from the Aq-baiïq of Cathay, which is Chêng-ting-fu. I have kept the °balec of F, though I might equally well have preferred the obaluc of R and Z on the analogy of Cambaluc, where all good mss. have u; a Turkish ï is easily heard as u by foreigners (see also «Camul »). Opinions have varied about the identity of this place. It has escaped former editors that Raidu-'d-Din (Bl, II, 598) mentions, in the «kingdom» of Tangut, which was then the appanage of Mangala's son Ananda, the following places : Kinjanfu (= Hsi-an-fu), Qamju (Kan-chou), Uragaï (I read „I instead of the editor's s') \) , Halà an (see « Calacian ») and L iL j\ Aq-baiïq. BLOCHET sees here Polo's «Acbaluc Mangi », and I think he is right.

To account for the Turkish name, it is useless to look, with KLAPROTH and PAUTHIER, for a Chinese name containing the word « white »; there is no «white» in the Chinese name of the other Aq-balïq, Chêng-ting-fu. The only important place which fits Polo's indications is ff 4 Hanchung on the Han River. I have little doubt that Aq-baliq is the Turkish name of Han-chung ; YULE ( Y, II, 35) has suspected it, and I agree here for once with CHARIGNON (Ch, II, 187).