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0180 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 180 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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of the population was Buddhist; many Buddhist works were then translated from Tibetan or Chinese into Uighur, and sometimes from Uighur into Tibetan and Chinese. In 1419-1421, Sah-Rûh's envoys still found Buddhists at Qarà-hôio. The whole population must have turned Mohammedan in the course of the 15th cent. To the sources generally quoted for that period, two must now be added, the accounts of Ch'ên Ch'êng's mission of 1414, recently reproduced by the National Library of Peiping (Hsi-yü hsing-ch'êng chi and Hsi-yü fan-kuo chih).

The city of Kao-ch'ang was known in Turkish as Qoco, later Qarâ-hojo, but it also had a purely Iranian name, Cinän -kan9 (and Cinânc-kä9), « Chinese town » (cf. F. W. K. MÜLLER, Mahrnâmag, in APATV, 1913, 10, 30 [with an erroneous suggestion that it may be Qomul; see « Camul »1; Mi, 271; HENNING, in BSOS, ix, 566). Nothing could show better that the Chinese origin of the «Wall of Kao-ch'ang » was then still remembered. North of inànc-kä9, the Hudûd

al-'Alain mentions the   n Tafgàn mountain; Tafgàn is not a corruption of ~~1, Turfan, as
supposed by MINORSKY (Mi, 195, 271); it is the name which occurs in Chinese sources as Mount YF T'an-han (*T'âm-yân), for instance in Wei shu, 101, 8 a, and Hsin T'ang shu, 217 B, 3 a; cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 95, 363.

Polo's chapter on the Uighur kingdom ( see « Iuguristan ») and on its capital Qarà-hojo is only known from Z, so that, apart from certain brief remarks in RR's introduction and our Vol. I, 49, it has never been commented upon. Although Polo is speaking from hearsay, the account is remarkably correct. The legend that the first Uighur king was born from the swelling of a tree is well known (cf. Oh, I, 431-432) and has been studied by MARQUART, Cuwaini's Bericht über die Bekehrung der Uiguren (in SPA W, 1912, 486-502) ; on the analogous legend concerning the Qipcaq, cf. my remarks in TP, 1930, 279-282; see also «Esca », and Ross's comments in Vol. I, 49. The intermarriages between Christians and non-Christians are more than likely, although they were not then peculiar to the Uighurs. As to the quality of the grape-wine produced in the Uighur country, it was praised at the time by Rasidu-'d-Din (Bl, II, 502; Y, III, 133) and by the Chinese (TP, 1908, 362); for instance, Ha-la-huo-chou (Qarà-bolo) offered grape-wine to the Court in 1330 ( YS, 34, 3 b; cf. also LAUFER, Sino-Iranica, 236-237).

In 1275 according to GAUBIL, though more probably in 1285, Qaidu and Dua besieged the Uighur idiqut in his capital Qarà-hojo (see « Cibai » and « Caidu »). But I find no support for BLOCHET'S statement (Moufazzal, 608, 683) that the boundary between the territories under Qubilai's direct authority and those in the obedience of Qaidu lay in the middle of Qarà-hojo (which moreover is not « three days » distant from Turfan). Although Blochet does not mention his authority, it seems as though he had misunderstood Rasidu-'d-Din's text describing Qaràhojo as a city of the Uighurs which lay between the dominions of the Great Khan and those of Qaidu and tried to remain neutral (Bl, II, 502; Oh, II, 640).

Fra Mauro gives « Iuguristan », but not « Carachoço » on his map. On the Catalan Map, there is a place called « Carachoiant », which BUCHON (Not. et Extr., XIV, u, 135) wrongly identified with Qara-qorum (see « Caracorom»; cf. also HALLBERG, 112-113). It may well be Qaràhojo (or Qarà-liii ah). This identification would not in the least imply that the author of the Catalan Map knew a text of Polo which had the chapter on the country of the Uighurs; all the rest of the map shows the contrary, and in as far as Polo's work is concerned, is based on the