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0324 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 324 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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other. If in the first case, we have some readings giving « fourth » of ramadan, it must be either because in Persian « fourth » and « fourteenth » differ only by one letter, or because some « intelligent » copyist was influenced by its equivalence to the « fourth » of ramadan given for the date of Chinghiz-khan's death in Juwaini. Lastly, we may thus account, to a certain extent, for our first quotation, in which Rand speaks of the « middle » month of autumn. If the Uighurs placed their

intercalary month after the seventh month of 1227 and not after the fifth, their seventh month, in other words their autumn of that year, began one month earlier than the autumn of the Chinese calendar, and their intercalary month was the second month of the autumn. This may be the reason why, in the first passage, Rand, avoiding the uncouth foreign term sün ai, spoke of the intercalary month as being the « middle » month of the autumn, although, including the intercalary month, that autumn actually had four months (the opinions of L 44 =7 Prj KITAMURA Saburô and

off : NJ   , SAKUMA Nobugasu, quoted in T'u Chi, 3, 31 b, are both worthless, because they
combine dates given in different calendars).

So we are confronted with three different dates : the fourth of ramadan, August 18, 1227,

and the day chi-ch'ou of the seventh month, August 25, 1227, expressly given as the date of the death of Chinghiz-khan by Juwaini and by the Dian shih, respectively; and the fourteenth of ramadan, August 28, 1227, which is, according to Rasidu-'d-Din, the date on which Chinghizkhan's coffin reached his ordo and on which the news of his death was announced. But are we to believe that the third date is fundamentally independent of the other two ? A difference of three days (August 25 and August 28) is the utmost possible limit of divergence between the Uighur and the Chinese calendars, the months of both being based on the phases of the moon; but there are similar cases for other dates expressed in the Uighur calendar and given by Rand with the equivalence in the Mussulman calendar, sometimes with the indication of the day of the week which provides an additional means of ascertaining the intended day. Let us take the case of a date originally given in the Uighur calendar, or in the Chinese calendar, as being such a day of such a month. When translating it from one language into the other, the translator might quite possibly retain the date of the month as it was given in the original, so that, if there were a divergence of one, two or three days between the two calendars, the date, though expressed with the same numbers, would actually differ by one, two or three days. This may at first seem to account for the difference between August 25, 1227, given by the Chinese and August 28, 1227, given by Rasidu-'d-Din. I am afraid, however, that such a hypothesis can hardly be accepted in the present case, since, as we have seen, the fifteenth of the Uighur [seventh] intercalary month of 1227 corresponds to the fifteenth day of the seventh Chinese month of the same year; that is to say, there is here no divergence between the two calendars in the numbering of the days of the month. I see no solution if the two dates, August 25, 1227, of the Chinese and August 28, 1227, of Rand, refer to the same event. As to Juwaini's date, August 18, 1227, it is irreconcilable with either. But the suspicion naturally arises whether the « fourth » of ramadan, in Juwaini, though read as

such by Bar Hebraeus as early as the end of the 13th cent., may not have been a mistake for « fourteenth », be it a slip of the author or the misreading of a very early copyist, of the same order as that which occurred later in some of Rasid's manuscripts.

If on the other hand we accept that Juwaini and the Yüan shih give for Chinghiz-khan's