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0061 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 61 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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27. ARAINES   45

half of the 7th cent., is not ambiguous and makes it probable that the other and more usual transcription Ta-shih is to be restored as *T'âi-zi and represents also the form Tàzi, not Tà ik.

The word has been supposed to occur in 732 in the Turkish inscription of Kül-tägin (cf. BARTHOLD, in RADLOV, Die alttürk. Inschr. der Mongolei, Zweite Folge, 12); the passage is however illegible. But two epigraphic mentions have been found in other Turkish monuments of the 8th cent., in the form Täjik. It seems that in both cases Täjik is not taken in the sense of « Arab », but already in that of « Persian » which, owing to the conversion of Persia to Islam, it soon took and has since retained in Central Asia (cf. SAMOÏLOVI, in Doklady Ak. Nauk, B, 1927, 155-156; KoTwICZ and SAMOÏLOVg, in Rocznik Orjentalistyczny, rv, 101-102). Kàsyari, writing in 1076, gives Täzik as meaning « Persian » (BROCKELMANN, 250). Both forms « Täzik » and « Tazi » occur in the Quta'yu bilig of 1069 and SAMOÏLOVg may be right in supposing that they still retained at that time two different meanings, « Täzik » meaning « Persian » and « Tazi » meaning «Arab ». As a matter of fact, « Tazi », with the specific meaning of « Arab », still occurs in Turkish literature as late as the beginning of the 14th cent. (RADLov, III, 930). As tazî or taxi, it survives now in Turkish only as the name of the « greyhound », literally « the Arabian [dog] ». This Turkish use of Tazi, rather than Täzik or Täjik, in the sense of « Arab » seems to confirm the view that the Chinese transcriptions are really based only on «Tazi ».

Until the destruction of the Abbasid caliphate in 1258, Bagdad remained for the Chinese the centre of the Mussulman world. Mecca appears for the first time as a separate country in the Hsi shih chi of 1259 in which it is called X j T'ien-fang, « Heavenly house » (cf. Br, I, 141). Also under the Yüan, the Tao-i chih-lio of 1349-1350 describes it under the name of j` .t T'ien-t'ang, « Paradise », with a note saying that the ancient name was Ij it[r Yün-ch'ung. That « ancient name », which does not appear to be a transcription from a foreign language, has not so far been discovered in any earlier Chinese text; but the information was taken over about eighty years later by the Hsing-ch'a shêng-lan. On the other hand, the Hsing-ch'a shêng-lan, like all

the other works of the Ming dynasty, does not call Mecca T'ien-t'ang, but X   T'ien-fang, which
may mean « Heavenly country » or « Heavenly square » (cf. ROCKHILL, in TP, 1915, 618-620). BRETSCHNEIDER was probably right when he thought (Br, II, 303) that the two forms of T'ienfang and the one of T'ien-t'ang all refer to the Great Mosque of Mecca, to the square Ka°bah, also called Bäitullah, « House of God ». But one would like to know more about the history of these different Chinese names (cf. also TP, 1933, 445).

27. ARAINES araines F

BENEDETTO and MOULE are of course right when they reject YULE'S harem; on the other hand, I agree with MOULE when he thinks that BENEDETTO'S emendation to le serores is palaeographically very improbable (cf. Vol. I, 452). I have since thought of another solution, perhaps