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0153 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 153 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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101. CALAMANZ (INK-HORN)   137

it took longer for the Chinese to abandon « Ho-lan mountains » in favour of « Alashan », and even now both forms occur on Chinese maps. The Mêng-ku yu-mu chi, transi. PoPov, 413-415 (cf. also MOSTAERT, Textes oraux ordos, 329), distinguish the Ho-Ian mountains, in Mong. Aiasan, and

to the south-west, the fit   Lung-shou mountains (« Dragon-head mountains »), in Mong. Alaq-61a,
as if by a sort of revival of the old nomenclature; Alaq-(51a means «Motley mountains ». Perhaps both names are also to be recognized in the above-mentioned A-la-sha-a-Ian-shan (? Aiasa and Alan mountains) of YS; *alan would be a dialectical Turk. form of ala, while alaq is the purely Mong. form. An Alaq-61a (but not the «Alasan ») is mentioned in « Sanang Setsen » (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 259).

It is interesting to note that Polo found three Nestorian churches in « Calacian ». I am not aware that any relics of ancient Western creeds have as yet been discovered in those parts, but we know that foreigners had settled there early, in the 5th cent., particularly near the present hsien of Ling-wu (= Ling-chou of the Manchu dynasty), east of the Yellow river, and south-east of Ning-hsia. When Su-tsung ascended the Imperial throne at Ling-wu itself in 756, with the support of Western troops, we know from the Nestorian tablet of 781 that he re-established the Nestorian churches «in the five chün Ling-wu and others». Either « Calacian » or «Egrigaya» itself (-- Ning-hsia) must be the «city of Tangut» where, about Polo's time, Rabban Çauma and the future Mar Yahbalaha III met with a very warm reception at the hands of the local Christians (cf. Mo, 100). At a later period, there was a Jewish community at Ninghsia; members of the Jewish Chin family of Ning-hsia are mentioned several times for the years 1489 and 1512 in the Jewish inscriptions of K'ai fêng (cf. TOBAR, Les inscriptions juives, 49-50, 54, 64).


calamanç F   chalamai TA3   charamalli V

calamaria LT   chalamari TA'   pugillares Z

This is the word translated « ink-horns » in Vol. I, 368. YULE, who wrote calamanz in agreement with the 1824 edition of F, thought that the form was « more suggestive of the Persian Kalamddn than of the Italian Calamajo» (Y, I, 84; II, 272). The old Latin translation (1824 ed., 441) gives calamaria. « Calamans » is surprising, and probably corrupt for « calamars ». At any rate, the Pers. galamdân is out of the question. Just in Polo's time, the Codex Cumanicus (KuuN, 90) correctly gives calamarium, with Pers. « duet » and Turk. « duat » as equivalents (; Arab. däwât, id.). Consequently, and with the exception of «Mulecte », not one remains of the additional Oriental words which YULE thought he had discovered in Polo and which he listed in Y, I, 84.