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0059 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 59 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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24. ANGAMAN   43


agaman Fr, t, VB

agamanam, augamanam FB aghama, ghama TA 3 aghaman, ghaman TA 1

angamam P, VA angaman F, L, LT, VA, Z; R angamanain FA angreman V

angwerram, angwertam G nangama VL ongaman VA

All mss. point to « Angaman » (hence « Angaman » and « Angama » on Behaim's globe). In any case, YULE'S « Angamanain » and his idea of an Arabic dual (Y, II, 310) must be abandoned; the re-editors of Hobson-Jobson 2, 29, add that « The Ar. dual form is said to be from Agamitae, the Malay name of the aborigines n, but this is entirely wrong.

The name of « Andaman » has been well known since the Arab travellers of the 9th cent.,

who write ,l.u∎ Andâmân, and this name can be traced in Arabic geographical literature down to our days (cf. Fe', 689-690). In Chinese, r¢ ßt Et Yen-t'o-man (— Andaman) is the form given

in 1225 by Chao Ju-kua (HR, 147), and we have also   f   An-tê-man (Andaman) in the

beginning of the 15th cent. (cf. BEFEO, Iv, 355; TP, 1933, 404; add that   ^ ;   An-tu-man,
instead of So-tu-man, is now guaranteed by a new ms. of Ma Huan; cf. FÉNG Ch'êng-chün's edition, 34; TP, 1936, 220; GERINI'S *Sudhâman So-tu-man [Researches, 416] does not exist). In the West, we find « Andamania » (or « Andemania ») in N. Conti, « Andamâ » (– « Andeman ») and « Andamani » in Fra Mauro, « Andeman » in Cesare de'Federici « Andemans » in A. Hamilton (cf. Hobson-Jobson2, 29; Zu, 50; HALLBERG, L'Extrême-Orient, 27-28). In view of Polo's remarkably accurate nomenclature, it seems to me almost impossible that he should have used any form but « Andaman », and I consider « Angaman » to be a copyist's error, but one which existed already in the archetype of all our mss.

In Y, III, 149, Sir R. TEMPLE, who is certainly mistaken in approving of YULE'S Arabic dual

« Angamanain », proposes to explain the modern name « Andaman » by the Malay « Handuman » < Skr. Hanuman, taken in the sense of « monkey », and used as a depreciatory name of the « savage aboriginal antagonist of the Aryans ». The same explanation had already been put forward in 1886 by Sir E. MAXWELL (JStrBrRAS, No. 17, 88). In spite of the fact that an -u- in the second syllable would seem to find some support in one of the Chinese transcriptions of the early

15th cent., and in a Siamese map quoted by GERINI, Researches, 384, which gives « Antoman »,

the vocalization is not in agreement with the other and more ancient Arabic and Chinese transcriptions, which, like Polo's, have all an -a- in the second syllable. I do not know how far back one can trace « Pulau Handuman » (« Islands of Hanuman »), given by MAXWELL as the Malay name of the Andaman islands.

The pseudo-« Agamitae » of the re-editors of Hobson-Jobson seems to be Ptolemy's Agannitai,

which has sometimes been referred by modern authors to the Andaman and Nicobar groups. GERINI has even tried to derive both Ptolemy's « Agannitai » and Polo's « Angaman » from Prakr. forms nagga, nariga, of Skr. nagga, « naked » (Researches, 383). Although I have no doubt that « Angaman » is a simple alteration from « *Andaman », one might suppose that « *Andaman » became «Angaman » under the influence of Ptolemy's Agannitai. But I find no trace of Ptolemy's nomenclature in Polo's names, and the coincidence is more probably accidental.