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0392 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 392 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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376   161. CIORCIA

Finally, and without absolutely discarding the possibility of the form Lü-chên, I must say that it seems to me to be a very doubtful form and perhaps due merely to a bad blunder of the Ta-Chin kuo chih. The character a is not altogether unknown in Ch'i-tan transcrip-

tions; a place-name it   Chü-iü is mentioned in the Liao shih (116, 13 b) ; but it is of rare
occurrence. Now there is a sentence which in the Chin chih (copying the Ta-Chin kuo chih) reads : « The Ch'i• tan were afraid (Y~ k'ung) that the Nü-chên [might] make trouble » ( Tie; •k4. ; ~p Ch'i-tan k'ung Nü-chên wei huan), but, in the San-ch'ao pei-mêng hui-pien

(3, 2 a) , the original text is : « A-pao-chi was concerned (   lii) about [the fact that] the Nü-

chên [might] make trouble » (   ,fC- n , la Nü-chên wei huan), which becomes in Ma

Tuan-lin « A-pao-chi was concerned about [the fact that] they (i. e. the Nü-chên) [might] make trouble » (ra :it: ; ,gyp, lü ch'i wei huan). It looks as though it were this ra It lii ch'i which was misread ,t 4. la chên by the author of the Ta-Chin kuo chih, perhaps in some text already corrupt, and thus gave birth to his alternative name « Lü-chên » for the Nü-chên. This was then taken over by Ma Tuan-lin, who, owing to an additional mistake, specified that this name « Lü-chên » had been given to the Nü-chên by the Ch'i-tan. If, however, « Lii-chên » should unexpectedly turn out to be a genuine form, a last hypothesis might be suggested : Lü-chên could be an apheretic form of a more complete *Nü-Iii-chên < * Jurêen. Such aphereses are not unknown. I lay no stress on the names Ta-Chên = Ta [Nü-]chên and TungChên = Tung [Nü-]chên which will be mentioned in the last part of the present note, because they are half Chinese. But ancient names of the Nü-ku mu-li of the Ch'i-tan period (the present Sira-mürän; cf. infra, p. 379), like ti i41 +A Ju-lo-kuai (*Nzjwo-lâk-kuâi), which occurs also as « Lo-kuai », would provide an exact parallel to *Nii-lii-chên > Lii-chên (on the ancient names of the Sira-mürän, cf. SHIRATORI, Beiträge zur historischen Geographie der Mandschurei, Tokyo, 1914, I, 365). But, whatever the truth about « Lü-chên » may be, it must not be adduced to explain the « Longa » in Rubrouck's « Longa et Solanga », as has been suggested by ROCKHII.I. (Rubruck, 153; cf. iVy, I, 234).

The name Chu-li-chên, which occurs in the San-ch'ao pei-mêng hui-pien, the I-i mou Hsia lu, and the Ta-chin kuo chih is of course nothing but a transcription of *Jurêen; it was a bad mistake of Li Wên-t'ien, in his Commentary on the Secret History (7, 2 a), to have stated that both Chu-ii-chên and Nü-chên represented the name of the Mongol tribe Jirgin (occurring in the Secret History, § 170, 171, 185-187, 208). The opinion expressed in the San-ch'ao pei-mêng huipien that the Chu-li-chên, alias Nii-chên, were the descendants of Chu-mêng of Kao-li is also an error. Chu-mêng was the name of the traditional founder of the kingdom of Kao-li or Kao-kuli (Corea) just before the Christian era (cf. GIBERT, Dictionnaire, 429, 880). But the alleged connection between the names is fictitious, since it is based on the tacit assumption that the names are to be read *Chu Li-chên and *Chu Mêng, as though both began with the Chinese surname Chu; but both Chu-ii-chên and Chu-mêng are mere transcriptions of foreign names. The correct equivalence of Chu-li-chên with *Jurcen was given long ago by BRETSCHNEIDER (in JNCB, X [1876], 108; cf. also TERRIEN DE LACOUPERIE in JRAS, 1889, 437; Br, I, 224).

In the st   Têng-t'an pi-chiu, published in 1598, DEVtRIA found the name t 4,

Chu-êrh-ch'ih, rendered in Chinese (   Hai-hsi, « West of the Sea » (cf. Revue de l'Extrême-