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0271 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 271 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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çamba Z

chaiabia TA3

chimban TA'

ciaban VL, S

ciamba FAt, TA', V (cor.)

ciambam TAI, LT

cianba F, Ft, TA3, LT

cianban F, L, VA

cinaba Fr

çinba F

cyam Pr

cyamba FA, FB, P

cyambu G

zaban, zanba VB

ziamba, ziambi R

zianban V

zinba VA

[accambale R

azambale, azamballe, aziam-

balle VB]

I retain this spelling, although the initial ç- of Z, z- of VB and R, would suggest «Giamba» or the like. In any case, Polo's transcription must be interpreted phonetically as *Jamba rather than *Camba. The country meant is the middle and lower Annam of the present day, the port of call, in Polo's time, being the modern Quinhon (cf. BEFEO, iv, 205). The Skr. form of the name is Campà and the native name of the people is Cam, the usual transcriptions being, conventionally, Champa and Cham. The Chinese transcriptions of the Mongol period, 6 A Chan-pa and tiA A Chan-pa (cf. BEFEO, iv, 243, and suppress the doubt in note 9), presuppose a pronunciation *)amba, identical with that heard by Polo. We may, for the initial consonant at least, say the same of Odoric's « Zampa » (var. « Çampa »; this double spelling reappearing in Fra Mauro, but « Zampa » is there on the island of « Taprobane ») and for « Janpa » of the Catalan Map. The pronunciation tampa (not Campà) is represented by the early Arabic transcription

Sanf (cf. Fe, 695; Mi, 240), probably by Jourdain Cathala's « Champa » (and « Chapa »; read Chàpa), which seems to apply to the Indo-Chinese Champa, and by Conti's « Ciampa » (cf. HALL-BERG, 173-175).

Our knowledge of Champa has greatly increased in the last thirty years, and much of YULE'S commentary in Y, II, 268-272, calls for important changes. I cannot enter into details here, and must refer readers to Georges MASPERO's Le royaume de Champa (repr. from TP), 1914, 8vo. (new edition in 1928).

One detail must, however, be pointed out : the king « Accambale », whose name has been used in connection with Polo's visit to Champa and who is still mentioned in YULE'S edition (Y, II, 267, 270-271) and in G. MASPERO's work, p. 233, is a misreading due to VB and copied by RAMUSIO. Such a person never existed in fact, and the name has been duly suppressed in RR and W. The date of Polo's visit to Champa varies in the different texts. Z gives none, and judging from it alone, we might think that Polo speaks of his visit to Champa when his ship touched there on the homeward journey. RR and B' adopt « 1285 » on the authority of F; but FA gives « 1280 », LT « 1288 ». YULE has decided in favour of 1288 because it is the nearest to Polo's final departure from China, and we know from the Prologue that he was then just back from a mission to the Indies. In principle, I agree with YULE, although even u 1288 » seems rather early, and one might suggest u 1290 D.