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0185 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 185 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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119. CARAGIAN   169

to Qara-qorum. In 1412 or 1413, the great Mongol leader Aruqtai received from the Ming Emperor the title of « prince of Honing» (Br, II, 164); Ho-ning, as we have seen, had been the administrative name of Qara-qorum since 1312. Later Mongol history is practically silent on Qara-qorum. « Sanang Setsen », in connection with Aruqtai, but with the impossible date of 1415, relates a sentence referring to the projected rebuilding of « the cities of Qorumqan » (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 145-146, 404). Qara-qorum seems here to be meant, but the form is unexplained. As many Mongol names of mountains popularly end in -gar', -ban, « lord », « sovereign », it may be that Qorumqan should be equivalent to «the cities of the [Qara-]Qorum mountains », « cities » in the plural being a plural majestatis. The same Mongol chronicle mentions twice Honing for the years 1552 and 1576 (SCHMIDT, loc. cit. 211, 226). So the last two mentions of Chinghiz-khan's and Ögödäi's capital in Mongol texts call it by its Chinese name; that of Qaraqorum had by then sunk into oblivion.

But, if the name was forgotten, the site remained. As is well known, the great Buddhist monastery Erdeni-ju, founded in 1585, was erected on the very ruins of Qara-gorum (Br, I, 123).

PENZER (Pe, XXXII, xLV, XLVII) still thinks that Polo may have visited Qara-qorum. The little that Polo relates of the city seems, on the contrary, to establish that for him it was only a name.



caracham LT

caraian F, FA, FB, L

carayam P


caiaran, carassan, charayan VB

caraam G

caracham LT

caraçan Z

caragian F

caraiam F, FAt, LT, Pr, VA, Z

carayan Z carazan L; R charagian TA'

caraian F, Fr, t, FA, FB, L, Z;


carayam P

carazan R

charagia TAIr, VL

charaiam VA charayan VB

chataian, chiarenza V

charagian TA', V charaiam, charaian VA charangia TA3 charauian, chataian, chataio V charian VL, VLr

The name is certain and represents the Mong. Qara-fang. Fra Mauro follows the mistaken distinction made in some mss. when he gives on his map two places, « Charazan » and « Charaian » (HALLBERG, 114). On the contamination between « Caragian » and « Calacian » in the Catalan Map, see « Calacian ». Ragidu-'d-Din writes a)l>.IS Qara-Jang (BLOCHET's edition always gives QaraCang, but Ragid's mss., here as usual, do not distinguish between ` Î and c, and simply give J, which in the present case is the only correct form). The ordinary Chinese transcription is â *IJ

Ha-la-chang (YS, 11, 2 a; 123, 4 b, 8 a; 125, 1 b, etc.), but other forms occur : Â *IJ * Hala-chang (YS, 8, 2 b; 14, 1 b; 121, 3 a), js7 *IJ * A-la-chang (YS, 14, 2 b), and up *1] 4K Ha-lachang (YS, 134, 9 a; Yüan tien-chang, 3, 2 b [in a document of 1312 in spoken Chinese]).