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0102 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 102 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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86   62. BASMAN

on the right bank of the Sungari, south-east of Bedune and south-west of Harbin (« Chu-chia » looks like a modern transcription of the ancient name *Cuka, to judge from the other transcriptions of the « ancient » form ; cf. YANAI, 619) . T'u Chi (22, 7 a) says that west of Hu-Ian (Hu-lan is the Chinese city a little to the north of Harbin) there is a Bars-boto, which means «Tiger City» and is the Yüan-chou of the Yüan dynasty ; YANAI, 620, while quoting T'u Chi, has added a passage from YS, 100, 7 a, where it is said that the myriarchy of the military colony of Chao-çthou was, in 1295, founded near the administrative centre of Chao-chou with various elements, including 220 families of biirgü5i (?) of Nayan. But here again our information is too fragmentary. I do not know where T'u Chi found his Bars-boto west of Hu-lan, and why he identifies it with the Chao-chou of the Yüan and with A-pa-la-hu ; it may be due simply to the phonetic analogy between Bars-boto and A-pa-la-hu, coupled perhaps with second-hand information about Polo's «Barscol ». On the other hand, the name of the district (hsien) established at Chao-chou under the Chin, c Ft Shih-hsing (not mentioned under the Yüan), has been quoted as being the first element of Nayan's fourth province, « Sichintingiu » (q. v.) ; cf. YANAI, 619. Although I am not positive as to this last phonetic equivalence, the fact remains that Nayan's northern and eastern domains having been already designated «Ciarcia» and « Cauli », the region south-west of Harbin seems bound to be either « Barscol » or «Sichin tingiu ». We must, however, remember that a Bars-hoto does not imply a «Barscol» and that the Chao-chou of the Mongols, created moreover after Polo had left China, is not necessarily to be identified with the Chao-chou of the Chin.


basarom, besarom, bosaram VA basmam FA, P   basmon FA

basma F, TA', TA3, VB, Z ; R basman F, FA, FB, L, LT, P, bassina VL

basmai V   TAI   basym G

RR, 413, and BI, 438, have adopted «Basman », which occurs once in F ; F has three times «Basma », which is also the form of R and Z, and consequently seems to have more authority. YULE opted for «Basma» ( Y, II, 284, 288) ; nevertheless, as the final -ma or -man is not explained, both readings remain possible, and the reason for my adopting «Basman» will appear below. The «Hormar» of the Catalan Map is probably altered from «Basman ». Basma may have originated from *Basmâ = Basman.

From the position between « Ferlec » and «Sumatra », it has been considered as certain that «Basma» represented s-- Pâsè, Pasè, Pasei (? < *Pâsi), in the northern part of the island of Sumatra, as had already been proposed by VALENTIJN (the form « Passier », quoted by CORDIER in Y, II, 288, is without authority); Pasaman, on the south-western coast of Sumatra, suggested to CORDIER (Y, II, 289) by SCHLEGEL, seemed to be excluded by its position. «Pacem », the Portuguese form of Pasè, had led YULE to suppose that the Arabs pronounced it « Basmm or t he