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0030 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 30 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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14   11. AGIUL

two different places called Aden occur on some old maps, as for instance on that of Martin Behaim. The name of 'Aden is not traced back with certainty beyond the Middle Ages; but R. DUSSAUD, in Rev. de l'Hist. des Relig., cviiI [1933], 43, 47-4.8, has shown that it was possibly mentioned, in the 5th cent. B.C., by Ezekiel, xxvii, 23.


aguil F anguil VB

angul R

eguil FA, FB

giel V

Although admitting that the name can be read « Agiul » in the best ms. (F), BENEDETTO (B', 438) has kept « Aguil » in his edition, and so has Ricci (RR, 211), but it is obviously « Agiul » that is correct (RR, 410). It is said in Y, ii, 138, that « Agul » was the name of a prince, father of Nayan (see « Naian »), and this has been interpreted in RR, 410, and B', 437, as meaning that the prince « Agul » was the man who fought against Li T'an. B', 437, adds that, according to CHARIGNON, our « Agiul » is «Arcu », the son of Uriyangqadai. YULE was right in saying that the names are the same, that is to say not « Agul », but if -I Ajul (cf. BI, ii, 94), but the individuals are different. On the other hand, CHARIGNON was equally right when he said that we have here to deal with Uriyangqadai's son, but he only gives the Chinese form Ist7 jf G A-shu (= Ajul); «Arcu» itself does not exist (it is not even one of the valueless forms introduced by Ch'ien-lung's commissioners).

If I say that the names are the same, it is partly on the authority of Polo's « Agiul ». Rasidu'd-Din, who mentions our A-shu, calls him simply YI Aju (BI, ii, 449), and the Chinese form A-shu (once JL lr Wu-shu in YS, 127, i b) does not permit us in itself to decide between *Aju and Ajul; on the other hand, Ajul, father of Nayan, is called in Chinese (J jft . A-shu-lu (YS,

107, 3 b). But Wassâf (Ha2, 40; Oh, iI, 397), who also speaks of our A-shu, calls him   Ajun,
easily miswritten for Ajul, and so supports indirectly Polo's « Agiul ». There are several A-shu and several A-shu-lu named in YS (cf. WANG Hui-tsu', 17, 10 a-b), and it is possible that the real name of all of them is Ajul. Unfortunately, I do not know the origin of the name, nor its meaning. The question is made still more obscure by the form given to the name of Uriyangqadai's

son in Rasid's account of Mongol and Turkish tribes; there that son is called   Ulugan (in the
doubtful passage missing in Ber, i, 146, and thus restored in the introductory remarks to the Persian text, p. xiv) and y j1 Ulu (p. 197). The first labial vowel falls in with one of the Chinese transcriptions. It looks as if the name actually was *Aju, also pronounced *Ulu; Wassâf's « Ajun » would show the instable paragogical -n of Mongol endings, and Polo's «Agiul » would only provide one more example of a copyist's final flourish mistaken for an -1 or -r. In such a case, « Agiul » would have nothing to do with the other well-attested name Ajul.

Whatever may be the true name, the A-shu mentioned in Li T'an's biography (and in YS,