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0125 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 125 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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83. BUCARA   109

S : la P'u-hua-lo in Chau Ju-kua (HR, 117; in a documented list which he reproduces and

which came by sea, not through Central Asia); yS   P'u-hua in Yeh-iü Ch'u-ts'ai's account of

1229 (cf. Br, I, 22) ; « Buqar » in the Secret History in Mongolian (§§ 257, 259, 263) ; « Bulaar » in

Kalmuk epic legends (cf. VLADIMIRCOV in Doklady Ak. Nauk, 1929, 171); F Pi; Q, Pu-ha-êrh

(= Buqar) in YS, I, 8 b, s. a. 1221; ~1.. t a .1 Po-ha-li in YS, 120, 1 a; 7; x *1j Pu-hua-la (= Buhärä) in the map of c. 1330 (of Mussulman origin) and in the corresponding list of YS,

63, 15 b; I. r.6 Q, Pu-hua-êrh in Ch'ên Ch'êng's Hsi yü fan-kouo chin (Peiping National Library ed., 20 b), and in Ming shih, 332, 4 b, with special reference to the embassies of Ch'ên Ch'êng in 1414 and of Li Ta in 1432 (cf. Br, II, 147); f. â *IJ Pu-ha-la in Ming shih, 332, 12 b (cf. Br, H, 271). T'u Chi (160, 4 a) adds the A x Q, Pa-wa-êrh of YS, 123, 3 a, but this transcription seems to refer to some other unidentified place, perhaps in Chinese Turkestan. The Chinese forms supposing « Buqar » have Western counterparts in « Bocar » of the Catalan Map (here independent of Polo), « Bochar » of the Medici Map and « Boyar » (read « Bojar », with Spanish j = h) of Clavijo (HALLBERG, 80, 82; SREZNEVSKIY, Clavijo, 422).

The form « Buqar » of the Secret History, of Yüan and Ming transcriptions, and « Bocar », «Bochar », « Boyar » of some Western sources leave no doubt that, in the Middle Ages, the Uighur-Mongolian form of the name was « Buqar », not Bubärä. The transcriptions in the Hsin T'ang shu, and still more the one used by such an accurate phonetician as Hsüan-tsang, tend to show that « Buqar » was already a current form of the name early in the 7th cent.; the « Bugaraq » of the Orkhon inscriptions stands to « Buqar » in the same relation as their Soydaq does to Soyd. It is true that Käsyari, in 1076, wrote BulArä (BROCKELMANN, 242); but it is only natural that a Turkish author who was a Mussulman, when writing in Arabic, should use the Arabic spelling; the very use of -h- is in itself an indication that he is not giving an actual Turkish form. Moreover, the title of the Buhâr-budät Lords of Bubärä ») who ruled at Bokhara prior to the arrival of the Arabs, also shows a form of the name without a final vowel. And, right or wrong, the explanation of the name by buqar, vihâra, which goes back at least to the 13th cent. (in Juwaini), supposes the form « Buqar » or *«Buhär». This form survives to-day in l;.y BO*, the name of Bokhara in the Turkish dialect of Kazan (RArLov, Iv, 1707).

In the West, the form with a final -a occurs in Fra Mauro's « Bochara », which may be dependent on Polo, and in Hethum's « Boccara » (Hist. des Crois., Arm., n, 126, 266). In what appears to be the earliest Western text to mention Bokhara, i. e. the document of 1221 studied by ZARNCKE, the name occurs in the first version as « Bachara », with an occasional reading « Bochar », as « Bocara » in the second version, and « Bocharâ » in the third (ZARNCKE, Der Priester Johannes, 49, 50, 57, 58). As the document is a translation from the Arabic, the true form was certainly « Bocara » (or « Bochara ») everywhere. These Western transcriptions, as well as those without a final -a, show an -o- in the first syllable. I have decided for -u- in Polo's text, because it is given by Z and V, and because it also occurs in F; but both letters interchange so often in manuscripts that I am not positive as to the form which Polo actually used. That Polo should use « Bucara » and not a Turkish or Mongolian form without a final -a is in agreement with the general Persian character of his nomenclature.

When the elder Polos reached Bokhara, the city belonged to Hülägü (see « Barac »).