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0381 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 381 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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160. CINGSAN   365

place called Hai-chou in the Yung-lo to-tien. Of course, this Hai-chou has nothing to do with the Hai-chou (now Tung-hai-hsien) in Northern Chiang-su, and can only be Hai-mên, on the coast east of T'ung-chou, and a great centre of salt production at least since Sung times. The difficulty is that the name of Hai-chou has not been registered for Hai-mên in the YS, nor in the Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chih, nor is it given for this place in the Ti-ming to-tz'û tien. With changes of locality corresponding to those of the sea-line, the place has only since the 11th cent. been officially registered as the hsien (and the t'ing under the Ch'ing) of Hai-mên. But we know of a number of cases when the data of official histories have to be supplemented by information from other sources. And the express mention of Hai-chou in the Yung-lo to-tien, coupled with Polo's « Cingiu » < * Caigiu, obliges us to conclude that Hai-chou was one of the names given to Hai-mên during the Yüan dynasty, and probably the one which was popularly current.

From Polo's acquaintance with the local conditions at Hai-chou Hai-mên, it seems evident that he had been there; he personally knew also the gabelle works at Ch'ang-lu (see « Cianglu »), and was acquainted with those of I-chêng (see « Singiu »). In the introduction to my notes, I state what conclusions we may be entitled to draw from these facts.


Used by Polo in « Baian cingsan », q. v. This is the Chinese irc . fi ch'êng-hsiang, « Minister ». F writes «cinq san » (not « cingsan » as in B, 134, followed by RR, 412, and B', 438), but Polo's original form can only be « cingsan », and we find « Bajam Cingsan » in Pipino's chronicle published by MURATORI, Script. ix, b. iii, ch. 47; « cinq san » is perhaps a copyist's error due to the French word « cinq ».

Ch'êng-hsiang has passed into Mongolian under the form cingsang (cf. SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 121, 123) ; it is written cvinksan in Armenian (with the Armenian hardening of -g into -k; cf. PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov, I, 52, 89-90). Raidu-'d-Din writes regularly

    cingsang (cf. QUATREMÉRE, Hist. des Mongols, 76-78, where we find also the spelling
cingsang from Wassâf; Bl, n, 470, 472). But the « Chyansam » of Y, II, 150, must be excluded; this is a personal name, Hsiang-shan (cf. Mo, 264).

The Mongol emperors of Peking sometimes awarded the title of ch'êng-hsiang to high officials of the ilkhan in Persia, as in the case of Buya (see « Boga ») in 1286 (cf. Ha', I, 422). BLOCHET (BI, I, 235-236) says that the ambassador from Peking who arrived in Persia in 1326 conferred on the emir Cuban a high Chinese title which he believes to be ch'êng-hsiang, although he adds that the YS, dealing only with China, is silent on this event. But BLOCHET is mistaken. The mission which arrived in Persia in 1326 was dispatched from China in 1324; it is duly recorded in YS, 29, 7 b, with the mention of the Chinese titles which were conferred on Cuban; but the title of ch'êng-hsiang is not one of them.