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0186 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 186 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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170   119. CARAGIAN

These too suppose an original Qara-Jang. Like so many tribal names, Qara-Jang was also used in the Mongol period as the personal name of individuals most of whom did not belong to the Qara-Jang tribes (cf. WANG Hui-tsui, 35, 7-8; JA, 1927, II, 268).

There cannot be the slightest doubt that, in Polo's time, Qara-Jang was the Mongol equivalent of what the Chinese called Yün-nan, a « moving Grand Secretariat » created in 1273 (YS, 8, 2 b; not 1276 as in YS, 61, 1 a) and practically extending over the same area as the modern province of Yün-nan. Persian-speaking circles had adopted it from the Mongols, and Polo's nomenclature is once again the Persian one. The Persians even used it after the fall of the Mongol dynasty. In the Persian-Chinese Vocabulary of the Board of Translators of the Ming dynasty, ~‘-.?, with a

Chinese phonetic transcription   IEJ Vi; Ku-êrh-ya-ni, is given as the Persian name of Yun-
nan. The Persian form, which one would normally read *Qaryani, is certainly corrupt, and so is the Chinese transcription which would suppose *Quryani; it is clear, however, that this corrupt Persian form goes back to an original Qara-lang. KLAPROTH probably alluded to the same Vocabulary, but with an arbitrary correction, when he said (JA, i, 1828, 110; xi, 1833, 458) that « Karâyân » was the name under which Yün-nan Province was known among the Mussulmans of Central Asia. KLAPROTH'S statement has been repeated and developed by PAUTHIER (Pa, 388) and BLOCHET (Bl, ii, 375), but YULE (Y', ni, 127) rightly doubted it. YULE was equally right ( Y, ii, 74; Y', iii, 127) in denying any foundation to KLAPROTH'S and PAUTHIER'S additional statement, also repeated by BLOCHET, that the alleged name of the « Karâyân » was the same as that of the Karens of Burma.

YULE showed the same sure instinct when he was the first to say that Polo's « Iaci » (q. v.), the main city of « Caragian », could only be the capital of Yün-nan, the modern Yün-nan-fu. Rasidu-'d-Din too gives Yaci as the principal city of Qara-Jang (Bl, ii, 494). But Polo goes on to speak of the western part of « Caragian », where another capital of the kingdom existed, an that city was itself called « Caragian »; all are agreed that this western city is Ta-li. I think that here Polo is right in his statement, and that we can account for it by examining the past conditions of the country.

Yün-nan was conquered by the Mongols in 1253-1257, at first under the nominal command of Qubilai, at that time only a prince but all along under the actual leadership of Uriyangqadai. Before the arrival of the Mongols, the country formed the Ta-li kingdom, with its chief capital at Ta-li, and a second capital at Yün-nan-fu. The Mongols, who entered Yün-nan from the northwest, first took Ta-li. It was perhaps at the time of that campaign that the name « Qara-Jang », partly Mongol as will be seen below, was first used or at least won popular recognition. Although at a later date it became the Mongol name of the « moving Grand Secretariat » which had its centre at Yün-nan-fu, it was certainly at first the Mongol designation of the Ta-li kingdom, the real capital of which was at Ta-li. But it would not be surprising if the Mongols had used the name of the kingdom as a designation of its capital; this is what Polo's words amount to, and I think I can corroborate this statement from Chinese sources. When in 1273 Sayyid Ajall was sent to establish a « moving Grand Secretariat » in Yün-nan, it was « to govern the barbarians (man) of Ha-la-chang (Qara-Jang), Ya-ch'ih (Yaci), Ch'ih-k'o, Chin-ch'ih, and Ch'a-han-chang » ( YS, 8, 2 b :

IJ:   i 4 4   -    ). Ch'ih-k'o, Citkör, is the Mongol name of the