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0617 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 617 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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196. ÇANGHIBAR   601

but try to connect what he was told with what he already knew. Ts'êng-ch'i was unknown to him; but of course he knew K'un-lun, and its use as a designation of negroes or of negritos. I do not believe that K'un-lun Ts'êng-ch'i is a genuine compound name transmitted from Africa. But Chou Ch'ü-fei, hearing of the Zängi of Africa, coupled their name with the one which was more commonly used in China, and the combination resulted in K'un-lun Ts'êng-ch'i.

This combined form was artificial, and Chao Ju-kua found it only in Chou Ch'ü-fei. The result was that when Chao Ju-kua's informants spoke to him of the land of the Zängi and mentioned it under the name then in use, Zangibär, Chao Ju-kua had no suspicion that Zangibâr

was the same as K'un-lun Ts'êng-ch'i and devoted a chapter of his own to J   Ts'êng-pa

(*Dz'ang-b'wat), a perfect transcription of Zangibâr (HR, 126-127). This first occurrence of the form Zangibär in 1225 strictly falls in with the first use of Zanjibâr by Ya'güt in 1224; it is quite possible that the forms in -bar of that particular name were not yet in use, or were scarcely in use, when Chou Ch'ü-fei wrote half a century earlier.

Zangibär is found a second time in Chinese in the Tao-i chih-lio of 1349, where

Ts'êng-yao-lo has justly been corrected to Ts'êng-pa[j ]-lo, Zängibar, by the various commentators (cf. ROCKHILL, in TP, 1915, 622-623). On the other hand, I think that HIRTH and ROCKHILL

were mistaken when they thought of phonetically connecting 41   Chung-li, the name of the
Somali coast in Chao Ju-kua, with Zänj or Zang (HR, 131, 272).

The land of the Zängi raises a last Polian problem, for which something can be added to

what has been stated by YULE (Y, I, 120) and by BENEDETTO (B, ccxil-CCXIII; cf. also LANGLOIS, in Hist. litt. de la France, xxxv, 255). Pietro d'Abano (c. 1250-c. 1316), who knew Polo in Venice, has a paragraph on a star «as big as a sack » (in YULE'S translation), which is seen in the country of the «Zinghi» (YULE). Instead of YULE'S « Zinghi », BENEDETTO'S Latin quotation gives «in regionibus Çinçorum», with a note to the effect that probably the country meant is Zanzibar, «called Zinz in the map of the world of a contemporary of [Pietro] d'Abano, Marino Sanudo the elder ». That Zanzibar, or rather the Zängi country, is meant is beyond discussion, but the rest of BENEDETTO'S note is not quite correct. Like Pietro d'Abano's Venetian edition of 1476, which gives «Zingorum », the mss. Vat. Lat. 2447, 100c, and Pal. Lat. 1171, 123 c, which MOULE was kind enough to collate for me, give «Zingorum » and « Çingorum «, respectively. As to Marino Sanudo's map, as reproduced in BONGARS'S Gesta Dei per Francos, it gives «Zine et ideo Zinzibar», and I think that «Zine» is more likely to be a misreading of «Zinc» (= *Zing) than of *Zinz. It is after the mention of the «star» of the country of the Zängi that Pietro d'Abano adduces by way of confirmation what he had been told by Polo. The whole discussion is concerned about the possibility of living on the equator (a possibility which is denied in Marino Sanudo's map : regio inhabitata propter calorem). Pietro d'Abano quotes various authorities, according to which the climate is less torrid at the equator than north of it. He goes on with the passage on the «star», which I would translate as follows :

«The stars (signa) support this same [view], since Albumasar says in the book of the Dialogues with Sadan : 'In the country of the Zingi there is seen a big star in the shape of a sack (stella magna ut saccus). I have known a man who saw it, and he told me that it had a faint light like a piece of a cloud and that it was always in the south'. I have also been told of

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