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0382 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 382 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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366   161. CIORCIA


cicorcia LT   facirocia VA

ciorcia F, FA, FB, L, TA', VL (?) fuciorcia P

ciorza R   furciorcia VL

(c. 160)   giorgia LT, TA3

çorça Z   zorza R

sargia VB siorcia FB trociorcia L zorzania, zorzie V

This name is written Zorça on Fra Mauro's Map (not « Zorza » as in ZURLA, 36, and HALL BERG, 572 [who apparently did not suspect that it was identical with his « Ciorcia » of p. 150]). It has long been recognized that it represented the name of the tribe of south-eastern Manchuria which founded the Chin or « Golden » dynasty (see « Roi Dor ») in northern China and which we generally call « Jaen »; the « Juden », or more correctly *Jurêen or Nü-chên, were Tungus, and near kin of the later Manchus.

In principle, Polo's « Ciorcia » represents *Cörcä; some of the readings may point to an original *Giorcia = *Jörêä, though this seems to be less probable.

The form used by Polo is, as usual, the one then current in Persian-speaking circles.

Rasidu-'d-Din mentions more than once the   (cf. BI, II, 446, 485, 498, and several times in
Rasid's History of China; also QUATREMÈRE, Hist. des Mongols, xc, XCII). BLOCHET, without comment, always writes it ~;y- Thrcäh (= Thrcä), but this is arbitrary; the mss. do not distinguish between e' and y. As a matter of fact, Rasid's spelling gives no clue to enable us to deter-

mine whether we should transcribe it Jiircä or Tilrcä. The form   Jürjät (or Cürcät) of the
Nuzhab al Qulab (LE STRANGE, Pers. text, 25712; transi., 250), although stated by the author himself to be based on Rasid, is a misreading in which the vowel of the first syllable has been omitted and the final . developed into ; =" t (this error, aggravated by a misplacing of dots,

occurs sporadically in Rasid's mss., hence the   «   » or «Tiircäb» in QUATREMÈRE, xcii) ; it has
nothing to do with the plural in -t which I shall discuss farther on. Whatever the explanation of the form *Jiircä or *Giircä with a final -a may be, the form is confirmed by Polo's « Ciorcia ». Moreover, even in the Ming period, the Persian form, though slightly different, was without a -t; it is given as 2.-)f and phonetically transcribed Jorji (or Jörji) in the Sino-Persian Vocabulary of the Board of Translators (13 b; this ms. does not distinguish between 5 and Ï in Arabic writing). For the vocalic ending in Persian the probabilities are that it is due to a form ending with a quiescent -n as in the Chinese transcriptions. If the name came to the Persians direct from the *Jurcen or through a Mongol channel, Rasid's form must be transcribed *Jürcä, and Polo's « Ciorcia » would stand for *Giorcia = *Jörcä. On the other hand, if the Persians received the I name from the Uighurs, *t✓arcä in Raid and « Ciorcia » (= *Cörcä) in Polo might be correct. BARTHOLD (12 Vorlesungen, 121) says that the Mussulman form of the name was Jurji; but find Jurji (or Jorji) only in the Sino-Persian Vocabulary of the Ming period, the authority of which is of course vez y small for earlier times in comparison with Rasidu-'d-Din.

In Uighur, the name occurs in the legend of Oyuz-khan as 1urêät. In TP, 1930, 336,