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0017 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 17 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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abaccatum Z abachan FB abagatan V abaiam TA'

abatam VA

abatan F, FA, TA', VB, VL abatar LT

abatham P abattan L abbaccatan R

The name is doubtless corrupt. PAUTHIER (Pa, 544) thought that « Abacan » was certainly the general whose name he wrongly read as jrol *IJ ? A-tz'û-han; but it is A-la[ IJ]-han, as SCHLEGEL justly remarked in 1898. In « Abacan », SCHLEGEL saw a clerical error for « Alacan », and this correction has been considered as possible, or probable, in Y, II, 596; III, 103; RR, 410; B', 437. CHARIGNON (Ch, ni, 123) takes this solution for granted, and gives the credit of it to the «ancient Jesuits », but without authority. Palaeographically, the corruption is possible, and we have cases like babisci for balisci in PAGNINI'S Pegolotti (cf. Y', III, 149, 154).

The original form of the name transcribed A-la-han in Chinese can be ascertained. There is a biography of A-la-han in YS, 129, 3 b-4 b; an account of his life is also given in the inscription written by Yü Chi concerning his son El-temür (Tao-yuan hsio-ku lu, ed. Ssü pu ts'ung-k'an, 24, 1-6); both have been critically combined by T'u Chi, 93, 2 b-4 b. A-la-han was

a Jalair, the son of ,1{i rpj   Yeh-liu-kan (*Yälügän); and Rasidu-'d-Din (Bl, II, 576) speaks of
a general 3l9Yl Alaqan, son of ).4 ate- Jiliigä-bahadur; the alternation of y- and j- seems due to the fact that the same sign marks these two sounds at the beginning of words in Uighur-Mongol writing, but the two names are the same (with i [= e] ,v a, and the quiescent final -n usual in Mongolian). So we can be sure that, in the present case, A-la-han is to be understood as Alaqan; GAUBIL's « Argan » (also « Hargan », « Algan »; cf. Hist. de Gentchiscan, 161, 169, 191192; Y, II, 261) is a wrong restitution.