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0181 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 181 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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118. CARACOROM   165

French mss., which all lack that chapter. But the Catalan Map has on that part of Centrai Asia many pieces of information of later date than Polo's travels; the name of « Carachoiant» may be one of them.


carachoran, carchoran R caracoran Ft, Z

caracoron F, Fr, FA, FB, L,


carathoron FAt

carocaton, tartaron LT

caroccoran, chorochoram VA carocoram P

cathocora, cathogora, catochora VL

chara (?), characholan, chara- choron V

characom TA' characoron VB characharom TA3 charocharon TA', TA3

The «Caracoron» of F, Z, etc., is probably a misreading of *Caracorô = Caracorom, Qaraqorum. The first Western writer to name the place is Plan Carpine, who stayed in 1246 at Sira-ordu, half a day from « Caracaron» (Wy, 30; but « Contracuram» in the Wolfenbüttel ms., Wy, III, 805; «Cracurim» in Vincent de Beauvais's abridgment, Spécul. histor., xxxii, 3; perhaps all < « *Caracorom »). In 1254, Rubrouck spent many days in Qara-qorum. Although the manuscripts of his relation most often give « Caracarum », readings like « Carachorum » and « Caracorum » also occur (Wy, 230, 236) ; I consider them to be the only correct ones. The Catalan Map has « Carachora» (BucxoN, in Not. et Extr., XIV, II, 141; HALLBERG, 112). The name is repeated twice by Fra Mauro, in different inks, as « Charocharà» (= « Charocharam ») and as « Characoracur » (such are the actual readings on the map, sometimes misread in the sources of HALLBERG, 113). Kirakos writes «yarayorum» (with the ancient velar l passed to y; cf. BROSSET, Deux historiens arméniens, I, 115; PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov, II, 12); the Georgian chronicle gives « Qaraqurum », according to BROSSET (Hist. de la Géorgie, I, 485). Persian writers, beginning with Juwaini and Rasidu-'d-Din, give forms ranging from ri, Qara-görûm to 0),;1,; Qarà-görûm. The form Qara-qorum occurs in the Secret History (§ 273) and, abridged as Qorum, in a Mongol inscription of 1346 (translated in fact from the Chinese; cf. JA, 1925, I, 374). The Yüan shih (YS, 2, 2 b) mentions the place for the first time as p 4 Ho-lin (not «Ha-la-ho-lin», as is said in Br, I, 122) in 1235, when Ögödäi ordered it to be walled; later, Ho-lin recurs repeatedly in the official history as well as in other works. The complete form ►~~; IJ fi i # Ha-la-ho-lin, Qara-qorum, occurs only once ( YS, 58, 18 a), as the name of a river from which the city of Ho-lin, Qorum, derived its name. In 1312, the administrative name was

altered to the lu of p   Ho-ning, which, while retaining something of the original sounds,
meant in Chinese « Harmonious peace ». The older transcription Ho-lin (then pronounced Ho-iiln) was due to the fact that, the Chinese never having had an r-, Middle Chinese also lacked all -um or -om endings.

The history of the name Qara-qorum is not clear; yet the form is certain beyond all doubt.