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0150 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 150 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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134   100. CALACIAN

Ho-Ian appears in Chinese at an early date. The Ho-Ian mountains are mentioned for about A.D. 600 in the Sui shu (29, 3 b) and for 630 in the Hsin T'ang shu (cf. Br, r, 239). As a « double » surname, Ho-Ian goes back even farther, to about A.D. 400, under the T'o-pa Wei, and it is generally assumed that the surname was taken from the name of the mountain

(cf. Wei shu, 113, 22 b; Chou shu, 20, biogr. of Ho-Ian Hsiang; r1 :at Chang Shu,   i1

Hsing-shih hsiin-yüan, 35, 8 b-9 a; H   Ch'ên I, fA,   Wei-shu kuan-shih chili
shu-chêng of 1894 [unpublished ?], ff. 72-73 of my ms. copy). A title of « khan of Ho-lan » (?

Ti   Ho-lan han) occurs unexpectedly in an inscription of 502 (cf. CHAVANNES, Mission archéol.
II, 482). In 813-814, the Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih (4, 4 a and 9 a) says that the Ho-Ian mountains, because of their trees and grass, have a motley appearance and look from afar like a piebald horse (% ,U! po-ma); and as the Northerners (pei jên) say ho-lan for « piebald », the mountains have been called Ho-lan-shan, « Ho-Ian mountains ». The name of Ho-ian-Shan continued in regular use in Chinese texts during the Sung and Yüan dynasties (cf. for instance, Hsi-Hsia shushih, 4, 15 a; 7, 10 b; 10, 8 b-9 b; 18, 11 b; for 989, 1002, 1020, 1047; on Ho-lan-shan in general, cf. T'u-shu chi-ch'êng, Shan-ch'uan-tien, end of ch. 79).

The Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih, while mentioning once the Ho-lan mountains 30 li north-

east of the hsien of IIi,~j Ning-shuo, places them 93 li west of the hsien of   Pao-thing in
the passage where the name is explained; both leave us in the region of Ning-hsia. But the same text, with the same location 93 li west of the hsien and the same explanation of the name, is quoted in T'ai-p'ing yü-lan, ch. 44, as an extract from the as Fl [Al fm Ching-yang t'u-ching, an unknown work which may go back to the Sui or is perhaps only contemporary with the Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih. The name of Ching-yang is certainly corrupt, and stands probably for r? !rf,'; Ching-yang, as Ch'ên I corrects it tacitly; but then the Ho-lan mountains would be 93 li west of Ching-yang, far to the south-south-east of Ning-hsia. The passage cannot be merely a misquotation from the Yüan-ho chiin-hsien t'u-chih (unless there is now a lacuna [of a whole line?] in the last work, as is often the case), since the Ching-yang t'u-ching alone adds : «The Hsien-pei and other tribes often divide clans according to mountains and valleys; at present, those who have Ho-lan as a surname are named after that mountain. » Moreover, more than one mountain may have been called Ho-lan, « the Motley », under the Wei. There was also during the T'ang a chou of indirect administration (chi-mi chou) called chou of Ho-lan, which is supposed to have been on the territory of Liang-chou and which may or may not owe its name to the well-known Ho-lan mountains (cf. Ti-ming ta-tz'û-tien i, 946). But the fact remains that both texts give ho-lan as an Altaic word for a « piebald horse ».

The foreign names of places in the Yüan-ho chiin-hsien t'u-chih are generally accurate, and their interpretation is not only old, but based on good information (cf. TP, 1929, 251). Ho-lan, in 500-800, was pronounced approximately *5 â-lân. We know a number of cases, beginning with the very name Hui-hu of the Uighurs, where a Chinese y- of that period simply represents à kind of alif (') at the beginning of Altaic words, so that we are tempted to see, in the explanation offered by the Yüan-ho chiin-hsien t'u-chih, an allusion to Turk. ala, Mong. alaq, «motley ». Moreover, it may very well be that the mountain was not really named from its appearance, but from a tribe or a clan called the tribe or clan « of the Piebald [horses] », which would account also for the