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0224 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 224 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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208   123. CASCAR

the revenue to be derived from it, to a prince of the collateral branches. An error of Polo is also possible.

From the middle of the 14th cent. down to 1514, Kâsyar was ruled by the Duylat family; a new dynasty then began, and maintained itself until the second half of the 17th cent. I cannot enter here into the details of the modern intercourse and the conflicts of Kâsyar with the Kalmuks and the Chinese. The main source for the history of Kâsyar in the 14th-16th cents. is Mirza Haidar's Ta'rih-i Raidi (transi. by N. ELIAS and D. Ross, A History of the Mongols of Central Asia, 1895) ; cf. also BELLEW, History of Kashgar; Br, II, 245-246.

The local rulers of Kàsyar exchanged embassies with the Ming dynasty.   In its paragraph

on 1   if   Ha-shih-ha-êrh, Qasyar (the « Mongol » form of the name), the Ming shih (332,
9 a) mentions diplomatic intercourse in 1408, 1413, 1426-1435 and 1463 (cf. Br, II, 245). In the Ming itinerary preserved (already corrupt) in the Pien chêng k'ao of 1547 (Peiping National

Library ed. 8, 8 a), a city t 'ik   ■R; jj Lien-shih-lien-li is mentioned, and 50 li to the west of it a

city   pû jj Shih-ha-li.   There is no doubt that Lien-shih-lien-li is corrupt for inn * I;; jJ Ha-
shih-ha-li, Qasyar, and the correct form is given in the independent, though later copy of the same itinerary translated by BRETSCHNEIDER in China Review, v, 235. Although the next name, Shihha-li, is given in both texts and may be correct, I do not entirely dismiss the idea that it may also be altered from Ha-shih-ha-li, and represent a wrong duplication of Kâsyar.

From the end of the 17th cent. onwards, the Chinese name of the city has been i f-f- PA 144 K'o-shih-ko-êrh, which is no longer based on the Mongol « Q5.-"gar », but renders the Turkish Kâsyar. Nevertheless, while retaining the transcription K'o-shih-ko-êrh, the Hsi-yü t'ung-wên chin (3, 13-15) gives the following forms in the different languages : Mong. Qasigar, Kalm. Qaiyar, Tib. Kha-si-kar, Turki Qasqar. As a matter of fact, the modern pronunciation is Kâsyar in Russian Turkestan, but the name is generally spelt Kâsgar in Chinese Turkestan, and I have heard a « Sart » master say at Tashkend that the proper form should be Qâsgar, i. e. with the Mongol pronunciation, a survival of the Kalmuk rule (cf. also SHAW, Vocabulary, 154). « Qaiqar » is given in KOWALEWSKI's dictionary, drawing perhaps from Sino-Mongolian dictionaries. In Tibetan, the earliest mention I know of the modern name occurs in the chronicle translated by SCHLAGINTWEIT, Die Könige von Tibet (Abh. d. Bay. Ak. d. 117, x [1866], No. 3, 847), which speaks of « 0-don-kas-dkar », i. e. « Odon (Khotan) and Qasqar (Kâsyar) ».

According to Polo, there were in Kâsyar some Nestorian Christians, with a church (or with churches according to Z, which may be correct) ; the « many » Christians of Y, I, 182, based only on FB, is a variant which should not be retained. V's addition that these Nestorians observed « the Greek rule » is certainly arbitrary. As is usual in its text, Z says that these Nestorians were Turks; this detail may be original, as it falls in with Oriental texts which have a tendency to speak of the Nestorians of Central Asia as being Turks. Ricci-Ross (RR, 63) and BENEDETTO (B', 63) have translated « Among the Turks in this land ... ». This rendering is probably due to the idea that, all the inhabitants of Kâsyar being Turks, it would be absurd to give the impression that there were only in Kâsyar a few Turks, the Nestorians. But, if the many mentions of « Turks who are Nestorian Christians » in Z actually go back to Polo, we must consider that Polo does not speak of the Mussulmans of Central Asia as « Turks »; for him, the « Turks » of Central Asia seem