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0045 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 45 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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19. ALINAC   29

nor later than the first quarter of the 7th, so that the date we must postulate for the transmission to India is possible. We must only admit, if LEvi's theory be correct, that the popularity of the romance in India was as rapid as it was short-lived.


alesandria TA3, V, VB, Z   alexandria L, LT, P, VA, VL, allessandra TAi

alessandria VB; R   Z   allexandria L; G

alexandre F   alixandre FA, FB

Alexandria. The form « Alexandre », constant in F, is corroborated by « Alixandre » in all the French mss. of Hethum (Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 232).

On the name of Alexandria in Indian literature, cf. in the first place S. LEvi's paper of 1934, reprinted in Mémorial Sylvain Lévi (Paris, 1937, 413423). LEvi concurs with the opinion I first upheld in 1914 (JA, 1914, II, 413-417) that the Alasanda of the Questions of King Menander was the Egyptian Alexandria. Moreover, âlisarndaga, the name of a bean, and âlakandaka, a a name of the coral, must be nouns derived from Alexandria.

In Chinese Buddhist texts, the Chinese version of the Questions of King Menander gives a

form t7   it A-li-san (* •Â-ljie-sân), nearer to the Greek original for the vowel of the second
syllable than Pâli Alasanda. Lfvi (loc. cit. 418) also thought he had found the name of Alexandria in the Chinese version of Nâgàrjuna's commentary on the Prajiaâpciramitâ; but he elicited it through a correction which I hold as very doubtful.

Apart from Buddhist texts, I proposed in TP, 1915, 690-691, to identify with Alexandria of

Egypt the name   % Li-hsüan (* Liei- y En), ?   Li-kan (* Liei-kân), etc., known in China from
the end of the 2nd cent. B. c. Although others entertain different views, I still think that the equivalence is substantially correct. It remains doubtful whether, in the first half of the 3rd cent.

A. D., the name of Alexandria underlies the transcriptions   Ch'ih-san (* D"i-sân) and ,,g7

Wu-ch'ih-san (*•Uo-d"i-sân) of the Wei lio; cf. HIRTH, China and the Roman Orient, 181182 (but the equivalence has gained in probability now that we know for certain that ,g - jitt Wu-i-shan-li [*•Uo-jak-§ân-ijie, still more anciently *•0-dick-sân-ljia1, certainly renders the name of another Alexandria; cf. ZDMG, 1937, 252; TP, 1938, 148). Chao Ju-kua, writing in 1225, has a whole paragraph on A ilkp 0-ken-t'o (*•Ât-kan-d1), and describes its Pharos with the wonderful mirror (HR, 146-147; cf. LE STRANGE, Nuzhat-al-Qulûb, transi., 239-241); this last transcription is made from the Arabic form Iskandariya.


A name not given by the mss. and introduced conjecturally by BENEDETTO (cf. Bi, 437); it appears as «Alinac» in RR, 380, but «Alinek, Aiinaq» in the Index, 411. BENEDETTO may be right,