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0612 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 612 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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596   195. ÇAITON

and ROCKHILL (HR, 18), and FERRAND (Fe, 427) are all agreed that it is a transcription of Ch'üan-chou, and FERRAND insists that its identification was made by Abù 'I-Fidà long before European scholars (PHILLIPS'S « Scheikham » [JNCB, xxi, 42], or «Scheikhoun» [TP, 1890, 231], taken from D'HERBELOT, can be nothing but a misreading of Sânju). I see things quite differently. What Abu--'i-Fidà says is that he cannot ascertain the true forms of names given to Chinese towns, rivers, etc., in ancient Western works, and therefore omits them. But for the identification of two of these names he thinks he has good authority to fall back on. So the two names must have been known in early Arabic geographical lore. One is obvious, iànfù. But the Llânfa of the 9th cent. is not Liana, Hang-chou, but Canton (see « Quinsai»). I am afraid that the informant who blundered over Wail did the same with Sânjü. Only one Sân)ù occurs in the ancient Mussulman works which treat of China, and this was Shan-chou in the region of Hsi-ning, in Western China (see «Silingiu» and «Saciou »). It seems probable that Abù-'l-Fidà inquired from the traveller about Sânyi, an ancient name of the true value of which the man knew no more than he did of Waft. But, for a Mussulman traveller of the 14th cent. who had gone to China by sea, the two important places were certainly Hang-chou Mania) and Ch'üan-chou (Zâitùn). ljânfù (perhaps already altered to Ijänqu in Abù-'1-Fidà's source) became uansà, and Sânj ù was given as a former name of Zâitùn. Perhaps, the consonance between Sânja and Ch'üan-chou (Ts'yüan-6eu) helped the mistaken identification, if the Arabic traveller ever heard and noticed the Chinese name; and with this possible explanation I am afraid I concede t oo much already.

Ibn Battùtah (iv, 269) says that at Zâitùn the Mussulmans had a city by themselves. Whatever the facts may be about the Moor's very « Pintoan » account of China, he almost spoke the truth in the present case, inasmuch as most foreigners, including the Mussulmans, lived in the

southern suburb of Ch'üan-chou, in a part called ,   Ch'üan-nan, « South of Ch'üan[-chou] »
(cf. HIRTH, in JRAS, 1896, 75; ECKE and DEMIÉVILLE, The Twin Pagodas, 4). In his Chu fan chin of 1225, Chao Ju-kua speaks of the Arab who established a cemetery for foreigners outside the south-eastern corner of the city; this Arab himself lived at Ch'üan-nan (HR, 119). In another section of his book, Chao Ju-kua mentions two men from Nan-p'i (= Namburi, Brahmans of Malabar), father and son, who had settled at « South-of-the-wall of Ch'üan [-chou] » (, Zi j) ; the term certainly refers to Ch'üan-nan (HR, 88). The name of Ch'üan-nan continued to be used. I have quoted above, unfortunately at second hand, a sentence from a Ming work entitled Ch'iiannan tsa-chih, « Miscellaneous memoirs of Ch'üan-nan ».

In speaking of non-Chinese tribes like the « Çardandan » in south-western Yün-nan and the

people of «Caugigu» (Upper Tonking), Polo describes the practice of tattooing, but it is only in the chapter on « Çaiton » that he mentions it as in use in China proper; people came from « Upper India» to have their bodies adorned by the local artists ! I have no other information on tattooing at Ch'üan-chou. But in the Plan tien chang, 41, 24 a, there is mentioned the curious case, in 1309, of a man, at Hang-chou, who had forcibly tattooed the back and thighs of his wife with dragons and devils in blue, and displayed her naked in the streets; as there was the aggravating circumstance that he had beaten his mother-in-law, he was sentenced to 87 blows with the big bamboo and his wife was sent back to her own kin.