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0099 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 99 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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61. BARSCOL   83


baiscol TA' barscol F; R barsoel P bascholulan V

bascol FB bascor VL bastol LT bayschol TA3

braschel VA brascol FA uarscon VB

B', 438, has supposed that «Barscoi» and «Bargu» might be one and the same name, diversely altered by copyists; but « Bargu » (q. v.) is certain and well known, and « Barscol », given in this form by F and R, is too strict a transcription of the Turkish Bars-köl, « Tiger Lake », or of the Mong. Bars-yol, « Tiger River», to be doubted. The identification, however, is not clear.

PALLADIUS (Kommentarii, 33) has said that a geographical name «Barhüi », close to

« Barscol », occurred in the Mongol text of the Secret History, but was unidentified, and that he did not know exactly where to locate it : there the modern Bar) u (Baryut) are now, or towards the Barguzin. There is some mistake. I know the Secret History well, and there is no such name, geographical or other, in it. PALLADIUS'S hesitation shows that he thought of the Bargu, and he must have misread the name « Barqun » (Baryun), which represents Baryu and not Bars-köl. The other solutions put forward by PALLADIUS, which have been quoted in Y, I, 345

(« P'u-yü-lu» and «Pu-lo-ho »), are phonetically impossible, not to speak of other considerations (Polo, for instance, never transcribes the title lu of a district, etc.).

Parker (in Y, I, 345) has said that «Barscoi may be Pa-la-ssû or Bars Koto [in Tsetsen] ».

I do not know if Pa-la-ssû comes from the Chinese translation of «Sanang Setsen »; but it is true that, according to the Mongol chronicler, the last Mongol Emperor, Toyon-tämür, when expelled from China in 1368, retired to the Kerulen, on the banks of which he founded a town Bars-bota (Bars-boto), «Tiger City »; he died in 1370 (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 139). SCHMIDT adds in a note (p. 403) that Bars-hoto still appears on the maps of the Jesuits and is

without any doubt the It   j Ying-ch'ang-fu of the Chinese.

Ying-ch'ang-fu is not mentioned in the geographical section of YS, where there is only the

bare name, Ying-ch'ang-lu, in a list of districts about which the compilers say all information is lacking (YS, 58, 5 a). But one of the biographies (YS, 118, 3 a) says that the request to the Emperor for the foundation of Ying-ch'ang-fu was presented in 1270, and that the name was changed to Ying-ch'ang-lu in 1285 (cf. Popov, Mên-gu-yu-mu-czi, 29, 257, 278 [where «1286» is wrong for «1285 »] ; POZDNtEV, Mongoliya i Mongoly, II, 334). According to later Chinese texts, Toyon-tämür actually settled in 1368 at Ying-ch'ang-lu, on the bank of the Pu-yü-êrh-hai (Popov, ibid., 278). An inscription written by Ch'êng Chü-fu in 1311, the text of which is

preserved in his Hsüeh-lou chi, 5, 8-9, commemorates the completion of the temple Pao-ên-ssü

begun at Ying-ch'ang-lu in 1309, and, in the course of the narrative, relates the past history of the city, founded in 1271 (it may be that the actual foundation took place in the year following the request). The site is well known. POZDNÉEV, who describes it, has reproduced an inscription of 1325 found on the spot, on which the name of Ying-ch'ang-lu still appears. The tablet