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0509 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 509 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   493

in the Chinese text ( t   V n shang mao-t'an, « superior woollen blanket [?] ») would not refer

to cotton either. On the other hand, Hui-Iin, in all his glosses on tieh and po-tieh, maintained that both terms applied to a cotton, not a woollen, stuff. The natural conclusion is that he must have made a mistake in the present case, and that the kaucava was not a «po-tieh cloth », i. e. cotton stuff; we cannot deduce from his gloss that the kof ava or kosava of the Kharoslhi documents bears evidence to the cultivation of cotton in Chinese Turkestan at the beginning of our era.

But there is another difficulty. In TP, 1923, 129, I have already alluded to another passage of Hui-lin, who, commenting on the name Pa-lu-chia, Bharuka ( = Aqsu) of Hsüantsang, says (..f, x, 46 b) : « This country produces fine good po-tieh [and ?] extremely fine woollen blankets (mao-chi), which are appreciated in the neighbouring kingdoms and in China; at the [present] time, people (lit. the people of the time) call them ' Mo-lu tieh'; in fact, they

are woollen cloth. See what is said in the K'uo-ti chih» (jO   j ,-;;   of j   Si

s ®ift   rf to ilfJlS *   o   7   0 R, 4 ft b oa)- When

I briefly referred to this text in 1923, I accepted it at its face value, and supposed that * ip; Mo-lu (*Muât-iuk) was another transcription of Bharuka; at the same time, I noted that Hsüan-tsang and the Hsin T'ang shu spoke of the excellent textiles of Bharuka, and that the Hsin T'ang shu mentioned a « small kingdom » of Mo-lu east of the Arabs (who had conquered Persia). But the question is not so simple, and we must go into it in greater detail.

The K'uo-ti chih, a comprehensive geographical work in 550 chs. and 5 chs. of prefaces and tables, was prepared by order, and published in 642 under supervision of a member of the

Imperial House,   S Li T'ai, prince of fit Wei (cf. Hsin T'ang shu, 80, 3 a-b; 58, 14 a).
It has long been lost. The extant fragments were collected and published in 1797 by SUN Hsing-yen in the Tai-nan-ko ts'ung-shu (cf. CHAVANNES, Mém. historiques, I, ccxvi; JA, 1902, II, 144; BEFEO, iv, 131); there is no mention in them of Pa-lu-chia or Mo-lu (SuN Hsing-yen did not know Hui-sin's work, which was recovered from Corea only in the 19 th cent.), so that we cannot say positively what elements in Hui-sin's gloss are traceable to the K'uo-ti chih. But we have some indirect means of reaching a solution.

In the Hsin T'ang shu (221 A, 9 a), we are told, among other things, that Pa-lu-chia

(Bharuka), a « small kingdom », produced frff   hsi chan ho, « fine felt and serge ». The
whole notice is taken in fact from Hsüan-tsang, who says (Kyôto University ed., I, 17) that Bharuka has « fine feit and fine serge, which are appreciated in the neighbouring kingdoms »

oni   t   111 ÿfr   ; instead of « felt », JULIEN, Mém., I, 10, translates « cotton », and
WAITERS, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, I, 64, « cloth »; this is due to a misreading §i tieh in a late Ming edition, but all the ancient editions and mss. give ift chan, which is confirmed by the Hsin T'ang shu). Evidently we have here the source of part of Hui-sin's gloss, which is precisely a comment on Hsüan-tsang's text. On the other hand, it could not have occurred in the K'uo-ti chih, since the form Pa-lu-chia of the name of Aqsu is Hsüan-tsang's own transcription, and the pilgrim had not returned from India when the K'uo-ti chih was published. The mention of the woollen textiles of Pa-lu-chia having been taken by Hui-lin from Hsüantsang, his indebtedness to the K'uo-ti chih must be limited to the « fine good po-tieh », which were called «Mo-lu tieh ».