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0169 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 169 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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111. CAMUL   153

420); as a matter of fact, she had died in the first month.of 1252 (February 12-March 11), certainly in Upper Mongolia ( YS, 3, s. a. 1252). A text occurring in the pên-chi of 1335 ( YS, 38, 5 a) has been accepted as proving that « Seroctan » had been buried in Kan-chou (PALLADIT [PALLADIUS], in Vosto5nyi sbornik, i [1877], 21; DEVÉRIA, in JA, 1896, u, 419-420; E. GEIL, followed by CHARIGNON in Ch, I, 159); this is certainly an error. The princess was buried in Mongolia, near Chinghiz-khan and near her husband, Tului, according to the Persian historians (cf. Oh, II, 267; Bl, II, 561). But after her descendants had become emperors in China, her images and tablets were honoured in several places, particularly at the capital and at Chên-ting (see « Achbaluch »). In 1335 an image of the Christian ancestress of the dynasty was installed in a Christian church of Kan-chou, and a report was made to the Emperor to fix the appropriate ceremonial. Unfortunately two characters seem to be corrupt in the relevant text, which I would translate as follows (with my correction between square brackets) : « The first year chih-yüan, ... in the third month ... , on (the day) ping-shên (April 7, 1335), the officials of the Chung-shu-shêng said that the Temple of

the Cross of Kan-chou in (the province of) Kan and Su had respectfully put up (*   an fêng)
[the Imperial image] of the mother of Shih-tsu (Qubilai), the Bägi Empress Dowager, and they asked (the Emperor) to fix the rites for the sacrifices (there) ; it was granted. » I have translated the text as if it read tip v. yü jung or something similar, instead of lit pi yü-nei. Without alluding to the textual difficulty, PALLADIUS, who was the first to call attention to this passage of the pên-chi, said in his original Russian paper printed in 1872 (though only published in 1877) that « Seroctan » had been buried at Kan-chou. But in the English version published under his supervision in 1875 (that is two years before the appearance of the original Russian text), he already spoke only of an image of « Seroctan » in the church of Kan-chou (cf. JA, 1896, u, 420). MOULE (Mo, 225) is non-committal on the point. The whole of the surrounding historical circumstances and the funerary habits of the Mongols preclude the burial in Kan-su, and within a city. On the other hand, a number of texts, Chinese and even Persian, refer to the images of Mongol deceased emperors and empresses, including those of « Seroctan ». Some of the latter ones have been indicated by MOULE (Mo, 224-225); there are others, but this is not the place to enumerate them. Let us only remember that the Temple of the Cross celebrating a cult before the image of « Seroctan » in 1335 must be one of the three Christian churches of Kan-chou mentioned by Polo.

111. CAMUL

camul F, Fr, t, FA, FB, L, LT, camuy FBt   chamul TAI, TAs, VA, VB, VL;

P, VB, Z; G   canuil, chanuil V   R

famul G

The name of this place is now generally pronounced « Qomul » (not « Qumul » as in HERRMANN, Atlas of China, Index, 97); the usual Chinese form since the late Middle Ages is Pfis iiiee Ha-mi; both are probably evolved from an earlier Qamil, but Qomul < Qamul is the Uighur Turkish