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0167 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 167 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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110. CAMPÇIO   151

so sober and sound. As to the facts, ERDMANN'S reading is arbitrary and certainly wrong; and the text of Pegolotti is too corrupt to give any solid clue. There can be little doubt as to the name having been read in two syllables, and the p is really superfluous; perhaps this p (in spite of isolated cases like « tirampnus », or Marignolli's « Campsay » [see « Quinsai », and « Campsay » in one ms. of Odoric]) helped mainly to prevent a reading in n of a contracted form in in (« Câciou» could be read «Canciou» or « Camciou », but « Câpciou », even if developed into « Canpciou », would sound » Camciou ») ; the cases of « ianb » for jam (yam) and, above all, of « Campigiu », are analogous (see « ianb» and « Campigiu »). I explain in the same way the « Nemptai» (= Nemtai or rather *Namtai) of Nicolo Conti (see « Namghin »), and the transcription of Pers. ,.1 lams as « lambs » in KUUN, Codex Cumanicus, 58. One might be tempted to revive the idea of a pronunciation in three syllables when finding the name written Kammicù in a Khotanese document of the 10th cent. (cf. H. W. BAILEY, in BSOS, VIII, 884, and ix, 522, who quotes from other Khotanese mss. the forms Kamacn and Kammacù). But a glance at the lists published by F. W. THOMAS, in ZDMG, vol. 91, 33-48, is enough to show that these countless -j endings of syllables in Brahmi script are a purely orthographical Khotanese device, and do not affect the pronunciation.

In Polo's text, chou is generally rendered by forms like Ogiu, Ocju (F), Oguj [read °giu] or ozu (R), çu (Z); but, just as we have a final °ion [read Ojou] in F and R, and 0jo in Z, for «Campciou », the third chou Polo passed through on entering Western China, we find for the first one, Sha-chou, a final Ojon [read °jou] in F and R, and Ojo in Z. The parallelism of the two cases is striking (Z has Ojo also for « Succiu »), although I am at a loss to say why Polo or Rustichello transcribes chou differently for Western Kan-su and for the rest of China. For other examples of u written ou, see «Oucaca», « Oulatai ».

The recension in Court French says that Maffeo and Marco Polo spent one year at Kan-chou on an official errand (« en légation »), and that is the version followed by PAUTHIER, YULE and CHARIGNON. But F and R agree that the three Polos were there together, for some business of their own. I do not think that any commentator has seriously discussed this point. It is practically certain that we have to accept the version of F and R. But when were the three Polos likely to have been together a whole year in Kan-chou? YULE ( Y, I, Introd. 22) seems to take it for granted that it was at some undetermined moment after they had entered Qubilai's service; but that may be because he accepted « en légation » in his text. It seems to me much more natural to suppose that the three Polos, who are said to have spent three years and a half on their journey from Acre to Shang-tu, had stopped a whole year in Kan-chou. There is little chance of their having been there together at a later date. I do not even exclude the possibility that it was from Kan-chou that their arrival was reported to Qubilai; the messengers Qubilai sent on a forty day's journey to meet the three Latins must have travelled post-haste, and may have covered in that period of time the distance from Khan-baliq or from Shang-tu to Kan-chou.

The region of Kan-chou, after forming part of the territory of the Yüeh-chih, passed to the

Hsiung-nu, and it was conquered by the Han who created there the chün of h   Chang-yeh in

111 B. c. The name of Kan-chou was first adopted, for a short time, in 553, and revived in 619. The place acquired a greater importance when a Vice-Commissioner (fu chieh-tu-shih) of Ho-hsi (for this term see « Caidu » and « Tangut ») was installed there in 710. In 766, Kan-chou fell into