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0192 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 192 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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176   119. CARAGIAN

But I have grouped in BEFEO, Iv, 159-169, a few indications which point to a remarkable

similarity of habits and of traditions between the Nan-chao and the Burmese.   Further research
tends to establish that some at least of these coincidences are no less striking between the Nanchao and the Mosso. I had shown in 1904 that the curious custom of forming a man's name by taking as first element the last element of his father's name was common to Nan-chao and ancient Burma. But this was also the habit among the Mosso of Li-chiang and those of Wei-hsi (cf. CHAVANNES, in TP, 1912, 568). The northernmost of the six chao forming the Nan-chao was moreover avowedly peopled by Mosso. The Nan-chao may have been Thai, and this seems to be proved at least for their last royal family (cf. CHAVANNES, in TP, 1905, 15), but they must have mixed with members of the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan family like the Lolo and the Mosso, and the nearer they may be to the Tibeto-Burman branch, the easier it will be to understand that Nan-chao, Mosso, and Lolo should have been known under the common designation of Sang.

The name of jC 3ffl Ta-li was that of the Nan-chao kingdom at the time of the Mongol conquest and has been retained in Chinese administrative nomenclature down to our days; but its origin is

still obscure.   It has, in its ordinary form, a good Chinese appearance, but this form is not the

oldest. Ta-li was founded at the end of the 8th cent. under the name of   ILA Yang-hsieh-

mieh, clearly the transcription of a Nan-chao name (cf. BEFEO, iv, 370, 374, 1103), but a walled city (ch'êng) of A- 3 Ta-li had previously been founded, at the beginning of the same century, 40 li north of the present Ta-li (cf. Man shu, 23 a, 24 a; BEFEO, iv, 1103; SUZUKI, lot. tit. 273, 274). About A. D. 860, the Nan-chao sovereign adopted for his kingdom the official name of « Kingdom of A n Ta-li » (Hsin T'ang shu, 222 B, 1 b). Although that designation does not seem to have been retained by his immediate successors, there can be no doubt that it inspired the name of « Kingdom of Ta-li », with the modern spelling, which was adopted by the king of the

Tuan family in 938. Despite the fact that the first city A   Ta-li of the early 8th cent. was not
on the site of the modern i j Ta-Ii, the ancient Yang-hsieh-mieh, I hold it probable that the

name of that first city is identical with the two later dynastic designations Ta-li, and that the three Chinese forms are all transcriptions of one and the same original (in which case, to would not be

the Chinese epithet « great », regularly prefixed before dynastic designations).   It is more difficult

to decide about the native meaning of Ta-li (*D'âi-lji or *T'âi-Iji for the name of the city of the 8th cent. and for the dynastic name of 938; *D'âi-Iiei for the dynastic name of c. 860). F. W. K.

MÜLLER (TP, III, 19) suggested « the Tai (or Thai) of Li », Li being a place-name which should

also be recognized in the Chinese name of the Lake of Ta-li,   i fI Êrh-hai, «Lake Êrh » (*Nzi) ».

And it is true that, in the Pai-i Vocabulary of the Ming dynasty, the Lake of Ta-li is called in Pai-i

« Li-kai », where kai transcribes a form borrowed from Ch. hai. But the latter fact raises precisely

the suspicion that the whole form « Li-kai » may not be due to a partly independent native tradition, but merely renders the Chinese name Êrh-hai. There are many similar cases. The

same Vocabulary gives It   Mêng-kuo, in Pa-i writing Ming-kwè, as the Pai-i name of Ta-li, and

in the Pa-pai Vocabulary, Mêng-kuo renders kuo alone. Meng is the Thai Wing, racing (muang), « city », « place », and Ming-kwè is merely a Thai-Chinese hybrid, « The City of the Kingdom », this being a reminiscence of the part played so long by Ta-li as the capital of the Nan-chao and later of