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0111 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 111 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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71. BEYAMINI   95

l~   From Mussulman and Greek sources we learn that, at the time of the war between Bärkä and

Hüiägü, the Mussulman Bärkä asked for the help of Baibars, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt; the

it   messengers from Bärkä and those from Baibars all passed through Constantinople coming and

i3   going both ways. The Egyptian sources relate how envoys from Baibars to Bärkä were detained

by Michael Palaeologus, and how Bärkä's troops ravaged the suburbs of Constantinople in retaliation. Although Byzantine writers seem to give for these events dates later than 1262, the most probable year in which the elder Polos went on to Bukhara, it is very tempting to suppose a connection between the two. In other words, the extraordinary movement which made the elder Polos turn their backs to the place to which they wanted to return would be due, as Polo says, to the war between Bärkä and Hüiägü, but inasmuch as the entanglements of that war had stopped all friendly intercourse between Bärkä's dominions and the Byzantine Empire.


bachalar TA 3, LT   betala R   bettala Z

bartalar VA   betalat V   bettalar F, L

bathalar TA'   betelar FA, FB   bitarssa VB

The form «Bettalar» of F and cognate mss. has been preferred to the «Bettaia» of Z (and R) by RR, 293, and B', 439. But, in spite of B, 178, the -a final, which occurs in VB also, is confirmed by Ibn Battûtah's «Battàla », already quoted by YULE ( Y, I, 337), and the only other possible form would be *« Bettalâ» = *Bettalam. The modern name is Patlam, on the coast of Ceylon; cf. YULE, Hobson-Jobson 2, 746, s.v. «Putlam ». I hold the -r to be of secondary origin, due to copyists; we have other examples of it (in «Succiu », « Caccia modun », etc.).

«Bettaia» is perhaps the I"   f,6 Ti-san-chiang, or « Third Creek», of the Tao-i chih-lio of
1349-1350, but it may also be that the « Ocean of A DA Ta-lang » of the same work (the sentence has been misunderstood by ROCKHILL) is corrupt for « Ocean of [Pal-ta-lang », i.e. of Patlam (cf. ROCKHILL in TP, 1915, 385-387; FUJITA, 89 b).

  1. BEYAMINI beyamini R

The word occurs only in RAMUSIO, as the name of the « wild ox » of Tibet. YULE'S *buemini, «Bohemian» ( Y, II, 52), is as much out of the question as RR's Arabic baha`im, «cattle» (RR, 183). YULE took this « wild ox » to be some sort of gayal (Bos gavaeus), perhaps the Baur (Bos