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0424 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 424 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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408   181. COTAN

181. COTAN

catan Lr

chatan V

chota VLr

chotam TA', TA3, VA

chotan V, VB

cocan FA

coram LT

cota VL

coram P, VA; R

cotan F, FA, FB, L, VB cotran Z gottan L4 sitan FB

The name meant is of course J:> Uotan, our «Khotan ». The Catalan Map gives «Cotan »; Fra Mauro, « Gothan » for the «province» and « Gotha » (= « Gothan ») for the city (HALLBERG, 166; RUGE's « Cothan » is a misreading). The earliest mediaeval mention in Western texts occurs in the Latin translation made at Damietta in 1221 of an Arabic document relating to the Mongol campaigns against the Mussulmans; the name is there written « Chatem» and « Chaten », both corrupt for *Chaten (cf. ZARNCKE, Der Priester Johannes, II, 34, 49). In 1603-1604, Bento DE GOES, the first European to visit Khotan after Polo, writes «Cotàn» with the same spelling as the Venetian traveller (cf. TACCHI-VENTURI, Opere storiche del P. Matteo Ricci, I, 531, 539, 540).

The name of Khotan became known to the Chinese c. 125 B.C., as a result of the mission of

Chang Ch'ien. It is written .   Yü-t'ien (and   Yü-t'ien) in Shih chi, 123, 2a (cf. also

TAKIGAWA Kametarô, Shiki kaichu kôshô, 123, 7a),   r Yü-t'ien in Ch'ien-Han shu, 96A, la.
This second form is the one which remained in common use, although -f f Yü-t'ien may be found occasionally (cf. Tokyo Tripit. of Meiji, 15f, x, 71b; BEFEO, v, 263, 293; TP, 1920, 322,

419), and even fl   Yii-t'ien (ibid. 39b, 41a). BRETSCHNEIDER is strangely mistaken when he
says (Br, II, 47) that « the first sound of the name is generally rendered by a character meaning jade ' » and sees there an allusion to Khotan's most famous product. STEIN (Ancient Khotan, 155), influenced by RICHTHOFEN, says something of the same sort. So it may be useful to state

definitely that Yü-t'ien is never written the character   yü, «jade ».

The difference between the various t'ien of Yü-t'ien is of a purely graphic order, for characters which can be written in several ways. All the phonetic glosses leave no doubt that c. A. D. 600 Yü-t'ien was pronounced *Jju-d'ien (in KARLGREN's system); the only hesitation is that some read *d'ien in the first (p'ing) tone, and others in the fourth (ch'ii); cf. the various references given above for the name itself, and add ,, viii, 88 a; ix, lb, 51 a, 151 a; x, 65 a;

T'ang shu shih-yin, 24, 2 a. The   Np Fan Fan yü (Taisho Tripit. 54, 1036; cf. JA, 1915,

I, 110) says that =f j Yü-t'ien ought to be written f    3f5 jj Yu-ti-yeh-na, Udyana, which

means   hou-t'ang, «back-rooms », «ladies' apartments » (the real meaning of udyiina is

«pleasure-garden », or «park »). Although the correction is absurd and clearly rests upon a confusion between Yü-t'ien (= Khotan) and the usual wrong sanskritization of Uddiyana as Udyana, the note shows that Yü-t'ien was actually read with -d-, *Jiu-d'ien.

But we have to interpret this *JJ4u-d'ien. The second element is clear, and there is no reason to think that it did not represent a foreign -dan or -d'an (yodized) in Han times as it did