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0115 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 115 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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All Polo mss. have a final -a, the origin of which is not clear; the Catalan Map writes «Borgar» without -a (HALLBERG, 80-81; but we should expect either «Bolgar» or the metathetic Borgal »). Besides Buiyâr, which is the ancient form, a secondary form «Busar» or «Bolar»

P      occurs in Mongolian in the Secret History (§§ 262, 270) ; it is that form which is represented by
Plan Carpine's «Bileri» (plural form; cf. Wy, 73, 138); in the first half of the 14th cent , Abii-'lFidâ writes «Boiar» or « Bular» (REINAUD, Géogr. d'Aboulféda, II, 81, 284, 323-325); Schiltberger also mentions «Bolar ». I explain in the same way Fra Mauro's «Boler », misunderstood as

114   « Bolor », q. v., in HALLBERG, 74. On the Chinese map of c. 1330 and in the corresponding list

of YS, 63, 16 a, we find the somewhat abnormal spelling   Pu-ii-a-êrh (cf. Br, II, 81.

i~   84), which seems to represent a *Bull'ar, intermediary between Buiyâr and Bular or Bolar. The

a gilt Po-la quoted from the Hsin T'ang shu (cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 140, 353) by T'u Chi, 160, 19 b, can have nothing to do with the name «Buiyâr»; it is an ancient *Puâ-lâp, hitherto unidentified.

The place mentioned by Polo is the city of Buiyâr, the capital of the Volga Bulgars of the

tit!      Middle Ages; its ruins, at Uspenskoe or Bolgarskoe, lie four miles east of the Volga and some
90 miles south of Kazan.

From the name of the Volga Bulgars, or rather of their capital, the people of the Middle Ages derived the name of what we call Russian leather, to wit s lil, bulyàri. It is the word which

d1:   is written «bourgal» or «borgai» in FA, FB. But the metathesis is not of Western origin, since

rt:   Ibn Battiitah writes boryâli (or buryâli). Cf. Y, I, 395-396; YULE, Hobson-Jobson2, 125;

,s   VULLERS, I, 258; RADLOV, Iv, 1850, « bulyar» and «buiyari»; see also here under «Gamut ». An

E:   identical metathesis occurs in Osm. Turkish for the name of the « semolina » which is both buryul

and bulgur.

a: r•


(nomine) andonch bondoc dairec   bandorquedar FA   bondoc daire F

L, L1   bendocquedar FB   bonduch daire LT

bandoc daire TA 3   benhochdare R

Zahir Ruknu-'d-Din Bâibars al-Bundugdâri, the fourth of the Mamluk Sultans, reigned from 1260 to 1277 (not 1259-1276 as in Y, I, 24, and B', 439). On this remarkable man, originally a Turk brought from Qipcaq as a slave, cf. Y, I, 23-24; EI, s.v. «Baibars I », by SOBERNHEIM (the Armenians have a different tradition about him; cf. BROSSET, Hist. de la Géorgie, I, Add., 459-460) .

There is no doubt that Bundugdàri, al-Bundugdâri, is an epithet of appurtenance, due to the fact that Baibar's first master was a bundugdâr (cf. similar names in QUATREMÉRE, Hist. des Sultans Mamloulcs, I, I, 107; I, II, 44; BLOCHET, Moufazzal, 142, 150, 315, 414, 685, 703), and