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0193 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 193 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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119. CARAGLAN   177

the Ta-li kingdom. On the whole, MÜLLER'S hypothesis finds, up to the present at least, no real support in the historical texts or in the vocabularies.

Rasidu-'d-Din speaks of the province of Qara-Jang which is called in Chinese ,t1,51.) Dai-Iiu, meaning « Great Realm »; the Indians and Cashmirians call it ).1,;f Kändär, which has the same meaning, and the Mussulmans ~,,x;; Qandahâr (cf. QUATREMÉRE, Hist. des Mongols, lxxxix, xciv; KLAPROTH, in JA, I [1828], 112-116; Oh, II, 317; Y, II, 72; Y', III, 127). QUATREMÉRE and YULE felt that « Dai-liu » must have some connection with Ta-li. BLOCHET (Bl, II, 376), on the faith of Rasid's explanation « Great Kingdom », corrected Dai-Iiu to 1I, Dai-kiu, which he interpreted as

Ta-kuo, « Great Kingdom ». I do not favour this solution. In Rasid's nomenclature the Chinese kuo, « kingdom », occurs as -gu in Jimingu, « Japan », and as -guh (? or guiih) in Käf)iguh (or Kaf figuäh), Chiao-chih-kuo, Tonking, so that, even with BLOCHET'S correction, the -i- of kiu in the would-be Dai-kiu is not accounted for. Moreover, Ta-kuo cannot be the specific name of any country in Chinese. I rather incline to see in Dai-liu a weakened pronunciation of *Dai-li-gu


Ta-li-kuo, « Kingdom of Ta-li ». Ra"sid's explanation is true only so far as the to of Ta-li means « great » in Chinese.

The « Indian » (hindi) name of Qara-Jang is written « Kandar » and « Qandar » by Rapid. It is certainly wrong to correct those forms to « Kandn » and « Qandu », as was done by BLOCHET (Bl, II, 365, 376). BLOCHET saw in « Kandû » Polo's « Gaindu » and, through an impossible jumble of Thai and Burmese forms, tried to explain « Gaindu » as also meaning « Great Kingdom ». But the latter meaning, given in QUATREMÉRE'S translation, does not occur in BLOCHET'S own text (Bl, II, 376, n. a) and seems to be a wrong reduplication of the gloss on Dai-liu. What Raid really refers to is Kandar (or Gandar), the Indian form regularly derived from Gandhâra, and this is confirmed by what follows when he says that « we » (i. e. the Moslems) call it Qandahâr. The name Qandahâr has three main meanings (cf. YULE, Hobson-Jobson2, 154; HALLBERG, 109; Mi, 502) : (1) the port of Ghandhâr in the gulf of Cambay; (2) Gandhâra, the well-known region of the upper Indus; (3) Candahar in western Afghanistan (in Fra Mauro's map, two at least of these « Candar » or « Chandaar » appear, one being « Chandaar mazor » and the other « Candar menor »; but owing to repetitions by a later [?] hand there are in fact five mentions of the name). A fourth must be added, which Raid occasionally mixed up with the real Gandhâra, and that is the Ta-li kingdom (cf. YULE, in JRAS, NS, iv [1870], 354-356). In BEFEO, Iv, 157-169, I have shown that not only the name of Gandhàra, but also many other names and legends had been carried from India to the Ta-li kingdom in the early Middle Ages and found pious, though fictitious, identifications in that region of south-western China. The Ta-li kingdom was a Buddhist kingdom, but it owed its Buddhism as much to direct propaganda from India and Burma as to the influence of Chinese Buddhism.

Under such circumstance, it is not surprising that the king of Ta-li should have borne an Indian title. Curiously enough, we do not find it, at least beyond question, in the documents referring to the history of the ancient Nan-chao kingdom, nor to that of the Ta-Ii kingdom before the Mongol conquest of 1253-1254. (For a possible mention under the rule of the Mêng family, cf. BEFEO, iv, 164; TP, 1904, 470; CHAVANNES'S objections are weakened by the fact that the complete form mo-ho-to-ts'o, and not only mo-ho-ts'o, is given in the 1880 edition of