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0294 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 294 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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278   156. CINCHIM

I, 151; II, 177), HALLBERG (p. 335) and Ricci-Ross (RR, 426), that a confusion took place in the East between «Manzi » and «Mâcin », nor to believe with BENEDETTO (B 1, 441) that in some works « Cin » is rather the designation of « Indo-China, the Malay Peninsula and Insulind ». But it may be that « Cin », without ever specifically referring to Indo-China, was sometimes used in a vague and loose manner when speaking of products that came to the West from « further India » and the Far East. This would account for the « diamonds » of Cin mentioned by Hethum, if any weight can be attached to this information. It may perhaps also explain the Persian name of the cinnamon, dar-cini (> Ar. dar-sini), « Chinese-wood », although South China is not excluded in this connection (cf. FERRAND, in JA, 1920, II, 37; LAUFER, Sino-Iranica, 541; Mi, 125, 375).

Fra Mauro's Map calls for one more remark. It mentions «Cin » several times; « Cin over India terça», «provincia Çouça in ei Cin», « provincia Mihen in ei Cin», « provincia Tebet nel Cin». The names of the « provinces » seem to be due to Polo, but Polo does not then speak of « Cin ». It would be curious if we had here a superposition of notions taken from Polo with information given by Conti. Moreover, the different «Macin» in the three Indies are puzzling too.

When, towards 1500, the Portuguese came to hear of China, they correctly transcribed as « China », in Portuguese spelling, the form « Cina » used by the Malays. This Portuguese spelling has been retained in English and in German, but pronounced in ways that are no longer true to the original.

Since the 17th cent., « China » has also become in English another name for « porcelain » (see « Porcelain »). Something similar occurred in Persian, where the adjectival form cini means not only « Chinese », but « porcelain » (cf. also Hobson-Jobson 2, 198). A similar use of cin and cini exists in Osm. Turkish, although the Osmanli also uses a form farfuru (.1 Russ. farfor) altered from fay fûri, the Persian adjectival form of fayfur, «the Son of Heaven » (see « Facfur »). In the paragraph on China of the Libellus de notitia orbis, a transcript of which of I owe to the kindness of Father R. LOENERTZ, we are told of porcelain vases that in illy lingua persica dicutur chim (read dicuntur chini).


chimchim P chinchim, chinchin VA chinchis VL chingin FA

chinguy FB cinchin F cinghi TA 3 cinghy TA

cingis R gyngym LT zinchin V

1   Chên-chin, lit. «True Gold », which c. 1300 was still pronounced *Cin-kim, was the

second son of Qubilai. Later Mongol tradition continued to refer to him as Cinggim (cf. SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 119). Rasidu-'d-Din (Bl, II, 354-355, 582) writes e?- Jim-kim (or Jim-