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0024 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 24 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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Yet there is a difficulty. Aq-baiïq is mentioned by Rasidu-'d-Din among the cities of Tangut, that is to say of Shàn-hsi and Kansu, which is no part of Manzi. It might be suggested that Aqbalïq being the Turkish form the Mongolian equivalent of which is Cagan-balyasun, Rasid's

Aq-balïq may perhaps be the ayan-balyasun of it   41j Kan-su-chou named in the Mongol
period by the jA 7C , a a Ta-Yuan ma-chêng chi, 8 a. I do not believe that the obscure Cayan-balyasun of Kan-su-chou can be taken into account here. Han-chung ( then named flit(

Hsing-yüan) was, under the Mongol dynasty, in Shàn-hsi (consequently in Tangut) just as it is now (cf. YS, 60, 2 b), and this must be Rasid's Aq-balïq, thus identical with Polo's ; neither of them is in Manzi (see «Mangi »). But here intervenes RAMUSIO's explanation of the name, no doubt going back to Polo himself (the crucial words « de les confin dou Mangi » are already in F, and have equivalents in VA, L, V, VB) : in spite of the literal value of the name, it is said to mean «the White City on the border of Mangi ». In other words, Polo does not make it a city of Manzi, but to distinguish it from the other Aq-balïq in Cathay, Persian-speaking people called Han-chung «the Agbalïq of Manzi» because it was contiguous to Manzi. We must only admit that Polo expressed himself in a loose way when he also said of «Sindufu », i. e. Chêng-tu in Ssû-ch'uan, that it was «de le confin dou Mangi». Did Polo use « confin » with the double value of Arab. I./adz-id, or of Chin. 511. chieh, «boundary» and ((territory))?

It is remarkable that Rasidu-'d-Din, who uses the Mongol form Cayan-balyasun when speaking of Chêng-ting-fu, gives the Turkish form Aq-baliq when he refers to Han-Chung. In my opinion , the reason is that the accounts of the campaigns of Chinghiz-khan and Tului, which are at the basis of all mentions of Chêng-ting-fu in Rasid, have been translated by him from the chronicle in Mongolian which, translated into Chinese, still exists under the title of Shêng-wu ch'in-chêng lu. And this is also the reason why, in his accounts of these campaigns, Raid uses scholarly transcriptions of Chinese names, while in other parts of his book he uses the popular forms then current among Persians (see «Pianfu», «Taianfu», «Saianfu»).

I attach no value to the difference in F and other mss. between «Acbalec Mangi », name of the province, and «Acmelec mangi », name of the capital ; Polo must have used one and the same form in both cases. The same alternation , equally valueless, occurs betwen « melic » and « belie » ( see «Melic »).

5. ACHBALUCH achbaluch R

This paragraph appears only in RAMUSIO , but its authenticity is beyond doubt. YULE ( Y, II,

14) has already given some good reasons for identifying « Achbaluch » with j   jf Chêng-ting-fu

(not «Ch'êng-ting fu » as in Pe, 343, 350, and B', 437), called under the Mongols   t) Chên-

ting-fu. CHARIGNON's objections (Ch, II, 163, 187) are a marvel of false reasoning, and it is to