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0257 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 257 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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139. CHESCEMIR   241

present city of that name, cf. Y, I, 91-92; LS, 299-321; Mi, 373-376. From misreadings in Polian mss., the name has become « Creman » on the Catalan Map, « Chreman », « Chremania » and « Charmania » in Fra Mauro (cf. HALLBERG, 119-120).

Hethum mentions in « Media » the two towns of « Seras » (= Siraz) and of « Queremen » (Hiss. des Crois., Arm., II, 127, 267); the last name has been adopted by Fra Mauro (HALLBERG, 423). Hethum's editors say that « Queremen » is the mediaeval Kirmansahàn, now called Kirmànsah (on this city in Chinese texts, cf. Br, II, 126-127). But Kirmansah is far in the north-west of Persia, and the limits given by Hethum, as also its mention alongside of Siraz, make me think that « Queremen » is simply Kerman, thus appearing twice, with different spellings, on Fra Mauro's map. Since Hethum knew Kerman already as the name of the city, we can understand why Polo does not name the city; he knew it under the same name as the province (cf. also LS, 303).

Two parallel Chinese texts name z,    Ch'i-li-wan (read Ch'i-li-[Mman?), Kirmàn, and

its great city of IAN.Pa-li-ssû (Bardsir; on this city, cf. LS, 303; Mi, 375; the Chinese

transcription represents a form Bardsir, not Bardasir or Bardasir; the text stops short after that

name), when speaking of Hülägü's campaign (cf. Br II, 147). A mediaeval list of precious stones mentions the turquoises called ch'i-li-ma-ni, kirmdni (cf. Br, II, 176), the same stones that

are praised by Polo. It is more doubtful whether the country Ch'i-li-ma-êrh, which sent envoys to China in the beginning of the 15th cent., is Kirmàn (cf. Br, II, 290); the final -r cannot be accounted for.

Polo must have passed through « Cherman » twice, during the outward journey in 1272, and while escorting the princess « Cocacin » in 1293. The rulers of Kerman, under the suzerainty of the Mongol ilkhan, were then the descendants of the Qara-Hitai Qutluy-ban (cf. on them EI, notice « Kutlugh-Khan », by MINORSKY).


casimur, chasimur, chisuamor, quesmun V

ceschamur, chesemir VB chesciemur, chesinmur F chesiemar FB

chesimior G

chesimu, chesimun TAl

(c. 36)

a a nom chesiemar FB aanonaarion chesiemar FB'

chesimur FA, FB, P, VA chesmir Z; R chesmur Fr; R chessimum, chessimun TAg chiesiema FA kesimui L

a non Ariora chiesiema FA arionichisor ennor VA

kesimur F, Ft quechimur FAt quesimur FA, FB quesmur F, L, VB thasimur VL thesimur LT

ariora chiesiemar FA'

I had first adopted « Chesmir » which is given in Z (hence « Chesmir » in R and on Fra Mauro's map) and which is a fairly correct representation of Kasmir, Kashmir; but I now think it