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0039 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 39 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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13. ALAINS   23

(Wy, 137) and Rubrouck (Wy, 191-192, 199), and before Marignolli (Wy, 526). No sound objection can be based on the significance of the term « Green-eyed Hui-hui », used in the second half of the 14th cent. in reference to the Asut by the author of the Kêng-shên wai-shih

(cf. supra).   Although « Hui-hui », technically speaking, means «Mussulman », it has often been
used in a loose manner; the Jews are called «Shu-hu Hui-hui » (= Juhut Hui-hui; cf. G. KUUN, Codex Cumanicus, 161; > Jufud in BLOCHET, Moufazzal, 701; Osm. Jufut) in ch. 30 of the Yüan tien chang, alongside of the « Mu-su-man Hui-hui » (= Musulman Hui-hui), who are the Mussulmans; in modern times, the Jews are sometimes called « Lan-mao Hui-tzii » (« Blue-cap

Mussulmans »; cf. WYLIE, Chinese Researches, Historical, 7).   In a passage cf. YS, 8, 1 a, the

Nestorian Syrian Ai-hsieh (Isa) is simply called a « Hui-hui » (cf. Mo, 230).   Towards 1600,

Matteo Ricci found « Hui-hui » used as a common designation for Mussulmans, Jews and Christians (cf. TACCHI-VENTURI, Opere storiche del P. M. Ricci, I, 87, 470).

Rubrouck adds that the Alans followed the rites of the Greek Church, used Greek texts and had Greek priests; he is of course speaking of the Alans of Southern Russia, the only ones he

could have met.   In Etudes, t. 124 [1910], 19-20, J. BRUCKER has explained by the former
adherence of the Alans to the Greek Church the surprising fact that, according to WADDING'S edition, in his Annales Minorum, of the letters of Montecorvino, the future Archbishop of Khanbalïq taught the forty young boys he had bought over to read not only Latin, but also Greek (litteris Latinis, & Graecis). I am afraid this ingenious argument cannot be maintained. Although GoLusovlcH, in his collation of the Chigi ms. with Wadding's edition, says nothing of it (Bibl. bio-bibliogr., II, 131-134), the words « et Graecis » are not given in the Chigi ms., which GOLUBOVICH believes to be the one used by Wadding, nor do they appear in the Paris ms. (cf. MOULE, in JRAS, 1914, 547; 1921, 86) ; but one can only wonder why they should have been added by Wadding.

Whatever the case may be, and although Montecorvino, who speaks at length of the conversion of the Nestorian Prince George (see « Giorge »), does not even name the Mans in his letters of 1305 and 1306, we have to admit that the Alans in China, cut off from their native country and left without a clergy, converted themselves later to the Roman creed which Montecorvino preached in Peking. The decisive proof is provided by the letter sent from Peking to the Pope in 1336, signed by certain Alan princes whose names really appear as such in Chinese history, and in which the Alans beg the Pope to send a new Archbishop, since the death of Montecorvino had already left them for some years without a pastor (cf. Mo, 252-254, 261-264). I may add that the Andrew the Frank who carried the letter of the Alans, and who is left unidentified in Mo, 252, is certainly Andalô di Savignone, as has already been said in 1878 by DESIMONI, followed by HEYD (Hist. du commerce, II, 218) and by GOLUBOVICH (Bibl. bio-bibliogr., Iv, 255).

The question of possible mentions of the Asut or Alans in native Chinese texts after the Mongol period is not solved. The Ming shih (332, 10 a) has a notice on the kingdom of A-su (the name is written with the characters used in Mongol times for the Asut); it has been translated by BRETSCHNEIDER in China Review, y, 179, but without any attempt at identification. The kingdom of A-su is said there to be «near Samarkand and Mecca »; it is a vast country; its capital