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0133 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 133 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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yo. CACCIA MODUN   117

tun of YS, 100, 2 a. CHARIGNON (Ch, II, 100) opposed this interpretation on two grounds, first because Ha-ch'a-mu-tun is in a list headed by Qara-mürän, which means «north of the Yellow River at the great bend of the Ordos », and secondly because the name in YS may as well be the name of a man as that of a place. I take the second argument first. The list of YS is altered in many cases; for instance, it begins with T'a[fa]-1a-mu-lien, and I agree with CHARIGNON that the name really intended is Ha [ â ]-ia-mu-lien, Qara-mürän. Every entry in the list consists of the name of a place followed by the name or names of the men in charge; after every such entry, an interval is left, but the rule is not observed for the two places which precede Ha-ch'a-mu-tun. In the case of Ha-ch'a-mu-tun, the name is given alone, between two intervals. It could, of course, be taken as the name of an individual, to be added to the name of the man in charge of the place named just before. I have taken it for the name of a place, the mention of the man in charge being omitted, because, while I know of no analogous name of an individual in Mongol history, it can be explained as a place-name. The second element of the Chinese form is certainly mu-dun, which is the Mongol modun (now modon), «tree », with the same pronunciation in u as in mürän instead of mörän; needless to say, that modun is also the second element of Polo's « Caccia modun D. If the two places are identical, we could suppose, because of the reading « Cacciar modun », that a final -r has not been transcribed in Chinese. But that is not satisfactory, as both transcriptions would not fit with a *yajar-modun, « Earth-wood », which, moreover, is not very good in itself, and would require *Qatar-modun, «Cheek-tree », which seems impossible. My opinion is that Ha-ch'amu-tun represents yagta-mudun (= yagta-modun), « the Lone Tree », the -r in the reading « Cacciar modun» of Polo's mss. being the same erroneous final -r as in «Succiur», «Bettalar», etc.; in any case, the double cc seems to indicate that the first element really contains -q5- (for the value of -cc-and for the wrong addition of a final r, see « Succiu »). Such a name as yagta-modun is so natural that it occurs elsewhere. PAUTHIER has adduced , as possibly being Polo's « Lone tree » (see «Dry [Lone] tree »), a very old tree which he says existed in «ancient Bactria » in the 18th century, and

was then mentioned in the Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chid as   #1. Tu-shu, «Lone tree » (Pa, 96). The
said tree did not stand in ancient Bactria, but at the north-western border of the Left Qazaq Horde, that is to say north-west of the Talas River and of the Syr-Dania (Ta-Ching i-t'ung chip, 420, I, 1 b). But the main point for us here is that PAUTHIER, who was quoting KLAPROTH, Mag. asiat., I, 102, omitted the following sentence correctly translated by the latter : «The Qazaq call it ' Oru(?)-yin yagta-modo'; Oru (?) is the name of a river; ' 7 agta-modo' means ' lone tree ' ». I am not certain of the identification of the river at the source of which the tree stood. Of course the Qazaq spoke Turkish as they do now, while the whole name is Mongolian; but the preface to Ch'ien-lung's poem on the Lone-tree (Hsi -yd t'u-chih, 44, 4b) informs us that the name originated with the Toryôt, who are Mongols. Ch'ien-lung's poem is of 1757, and consequently prior to the migration of the Toryöt back to China.

So I take it as being very likely that the two names Ha-ch'a-mu-Iun and « Caccia modun » are identical, even if we had to do with two different places.

But I do not think that the places are different. The commentators have strangely erred about Qubilai's yearly hunting expeditions and have taken him far into Manchuria (MARSDEN; and PAUTHIER, Pa, 304), or north of the eastern end of the Great Wall (Yui.E, Y, I, 408; and