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0264 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 264 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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248   143. CIAGANNOR

a fairly accurate solution in regard to the Cayân-nôr referred to in Polo's text. Chinese sources

often speak of it as   Q, Ch'a-han-nao-êrh, sometimes /   014   Ch'a-han-nao-êrh   1

(cf. WANG Hui-tsu2, 49, 6 a), or, translating the name, as   Pai-hai, « White Sea » (i. e. White
Lake; cf. YS, 160, 7 a; 166, 5 a). A « temporary palace » (N g hsing-kung, sometimes T7Nt

hsing-tien, or   hsing-ying), with clay walls, had been erected there in 1280 under the super-

vision of   Ts'ai Chên (YS, 11, 2 a; 12, 3 b; 166, 5 a). The Ti-ming to tz'ü-tien is evidently

mistaken when it takes the erection of the palace of 1280 to refer to the Cayàn-nôr of Tangut.

   Different identifications have been proposed for Polo's 4ayàn-n6r. I leave out of account   1
the one which is given by BENEDETTO (B', 441) as being due to PENZER and which would locate Cayàn-nôr at lat. 480 10 , long. 99° 45'. As I said above, this is the identification adopted by PENZER for the other Cayàn-nôr, and, although it is wrong, PENZER is not responsible for a bad blunder which would carry Polo, while on his way from Ning-hsia to Shang-tu, to the other end of Mongolia (cf. moreover Pe, 194). CORDIER'S assertion (L'Extrême-Orient dans l' Atlas Catalan, 20) that the ruins of Polo's Cayàn-nôr are at Cayàn-koto, «near Kökö-Hoto or Kuei-hua-ch'êng » (i. e. near Sui-yüan, just beyond the north-eastern angle of the great bend of the Huang-ho), is also a glaring error. Neither can Ricci-Ross's suggestion of an unknown « Hsin-hua » (RR, 416), whether it be a slip for «Hsüan-hua» or for « Hsing-ho », be retained. DEVÉRIA tentatively identified with Polo's Cayân-nôr the Gayàn-tsang where the Emperor Jên-tsung (Buyantu-khan) signed an edict in the seventh month of 1314 (JA, 1896, II, 398) and this has been repeated by CHAVANNES (TP, 1904, 426). It is true that Jên-tsung, who had left Peking for Shang-tu (see «Ciandu ») in the second month of 1314, only returned to Peking in the eighth month ( YS, 25, 1 a, 2 a), and he may well have gone in the course of the seventh month from Shang-tu to Cayàn-nôr for hunting purposes. But DEVÉRIA'S hypothesis merely rests on the fact that there is a common element &iyân, «white », in both Cayan-nor, « White Lake », and Cayân-tsang, « White Granary ». This is not enough to etablish a real connection between the two names.

A long-accepted theory, partly based on the opinion of Chinese geographers of the 18th cent., located Polo's Cayan-nor immediately east of the «Anguii-nôr » of our maps, at a place called « Tsagan balgassu » (=Cayàn-baiyasun, « White City»). This is still the view maintained by YULE (Y, I, 297) and by PENZER (Pe, 194). If YULE had lived long enough himself to prepare for the press the third edition of his Marco Polo, I have no doubt that he would have changed his opinion in view of the information given by BRETSCHNEIDER in Recherches archéol. et histor. sur Pékin, 91, 93, 129-131.

One point must be made clear : «Anguii-nor», though the form is corrupt, represents the very name under which this lake was known in Mongol and even Chin times. In the Chin

shih (24, 7 a), mention is made of it as ni â   Ang-chi-po, « Ang-chi Lake » (BRETSCHNEIDER'S

«Ang-chi- [ ]ii » is the result of some oversight), also called   Yüan-yang-po, « Brahminy-

duck Lake ». As BREITSCHNEIDER says, the second name is the translation of the first. Angchi, then pronounced Ang-ki, is the transcription of the Altaic name of the brahminy duck, Casarca rutila, and it is sometimes also applied to the cognate species « mandarin duck », which is properly the yüan yang of the Chinese. The oldest Turkish form is angst in Kâsyari (BROCKELMANN, 9, where it is left unidentified); in Mongolian, we find anggir in the Secret