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0084 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 84 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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68   51. BA1DU

Sung dynasty. Bayan then went to the rescue of Nomoyan (see « Nomogan »). He maintained his high position through the whole of Qubilai's reign. Qubilai died on February 18, 1294, and the death of Bayan occurred on January 6, 1295, at the age of 58 ; he was thus born in 1236. Rasidu-'d-Din is not far from the truth when he says that Bayan survived his master only eight months (Bl, II, 527).

Bayan means «rich» (not « great » or « noble » as in Y, II, 148). In F, Polo seems to say that

«cingsan» means « Hundred eyes », but in R this meaning can be understood as attributed to «Bayan ». Although Polo was no Chinese scholar, he could not fail to know the value of ch'ênghsiang, which had passed into Persian and Mongolian circles with its correct meaning of « minister »; the text of R leads us to believe that the mistake is due to the redactor of F, who misunderstood Polo's original text, and although the case is not unique, it is not without interest for the general history of Polo's work. Unfortunately the whole chapter is omitted in Z. It is of course

the name Bayan, in Chinese Pai-yen, which has been popularly understood as   Pai-yen,
« Hundred Eyes ». It has long been known that another prophecy which interpreted the name as -.)(I Pai-yen, « Hundred Wild Geese », had been preserved in Chinese works of the 14th cent. ( Y, II, 150) ; cf. for instance, Yüan-ch'ao ming-ch'ên shih-lio, 2, 4 b, and Yü-t'ang chia-hua, 4, 4 a. CHARIGNON (Ch, III, 33) holds that the very prophecy of the « Hundred Eyes » occurs in Chinese texts, and quotes ch. 159 of the Hsin Yiian shih; but this recent work here tacitly copies Polo himself. The two puns have got mixed up in RR, 412.

BLOCHET (Bl, II, 447) is wrong in saying that YS, 127, was silent about Bayan's father, since we have seen that Raid calls that father twice Kökcü while the YS has *Hä'ügütai. It is YS which must be right, because the name of Bayan's father is given as l f Högütä in Wassâf (Ha2, 40).

Although I have quoted Bayan's biography in YS, more commonly accessible, I have checked

its indications in one of its sources, Bayan's funerary tablet, the text of which, due to Yüan Ming-shan, has been preserved in ch. 24 of the Yüan wên lei. Some other extracts from contemporary documents are found in ch. 2 of the Yüan-ch'ao ming-ch'ên shih-lio. Another tablet to commemorate Bayan's merits had been erected at Hang-chou in 1276; it was destroyed by fire, but its inscription re-engraved in 1294; the re-engraved text has been preserved and appears

at the end of the P'ing Sung lu (ed. Shou-shan-ko ts'ung-shu2, 3, 4-6).

T'u Chi, 90, la, says that Bayan was a Christian, and names «Marco Polo» as his authority. But Polo says nothing of the sort; is there here a confusion either with Nayan, or with Bayan's Christian Alan troops ?


baida Lr baidu F, L

barach, bardu, boldu V   baydu Z

Baidu   is a common Mongol name, but only in the West (cf. Ha', II, 399); it does not

occur in the Secret History, nor have I met it in Chinese sources. Its meaning is not clear;