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0225 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 225 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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123. CASCAR   209

to be the non-Mussulmans, among whom there were many Christians. It is in fact quite possible that the Nestorians of Käsyar were to a great extent Uighurs, who may have still used the Uighur writing instead of the Arabic script of the Mohammedans. In any case, « Among the Turks in this land ... » is a correction, not a translation.

Syriac documents testify to the importance of the Nestorian community at Käs"yar. A list of the Nestorian metropolitan sees dating from the middle of the 13th cent. gives as the nineteenth see « Käsgar » and as the twenty-fifth « Käsemgar and Nuäketh »; another list of c. 1349 gives as the nineteenth see « Tark » (read « Turk ») instead of « Käsgar » and as the twenty-fifth see « Kasimghar » and « Navaketh » (cf. Y', III, 22-24; Br, II, 47; Stein, Ancient Khotan, 71-72; Mo, 21). There can be no doubt that a wrong duplication has taken place, and probably Käsyar occurs only as the twenty-fifth see, or rather as one of the two seats of that see (such double seats of bishoprics or archbishoprics often occur in the Nestorian church). « Nuäketh » or « Navaketh » is of course a place the Iranian name of which means « New City ». The Hudûd al-'Alam mentions a city Naväkat in the neighbourhood of Tûnkat, in the valley of the Chu River. MINORSKY (Mi, 289) correctly identified Tûnkat with the tiR it Tun-chien (Tûnkänt) of Chinese texts, but could not

locate Naväkat. It is however evident that it is the   Hsin-ch'êng of Chinese texts, 60 li east
of Tûnkat, the name of which means « New City » (cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 10). But this « New City » is in Russian Turkestan, and the joint see of Käsyar might be expected to be entirely in Chinese Turkestan. In the Iludûd al-4lam, a city « Navijkath » is mentioned « on the bank of the river », after other places in the region of the Lop-Nor. MINORSKY (Mi, 234235) has felt some hesitation as to its location, but rightly recognized that it was a Sogdian form, Noc-kä9, « New City », and thought of the old Sogdian colony south of the Lop-Nor to which I have devoted a short paper in JA, 1916, I, 111-123. But it escaped him that in my paper

(p. 119, 121-122), there were two mentions in the Lop region of a city j   Hsin-ch'êng, « New
City », also called a A VI Nu-chih-ch'êng, « Nu-chih City ». Nu-chip must be a rendering of n65, and the whole Sogdian name must have been No6-kä9. One of the Chinese texts is of c. 750, the other of the end of the 8th cent., while the ijudûd al-4lam was completed in 982983. The « New City » had been founded by Sogdian immigrants south of the Lop-Nor in the first half of the 7th cent. Although we cannot follow its history after the 10th cent., it is quite possible that, owing to its Sogdian origin, it remained a partly Christian centre for several centuries longer, and was with Käsyar the joint seat of the Nestorian metropolitan see in the Tarim basin. « Nuäketh » or « Navaketh » would represent the Persian form of the Sogdian NU-kä9. The only difficulty is that, with the exception of the Syriac list (if the identification be correct), we have no other mention of the city in the Mongol period, at least under that name.

As to « Kagimghar » or « Kasemgar », something must have gone wrong with the text. The form Käsyar, which I have quoted above from early Mohammedan authors, is also the only one used in the Mongol period by Juwaini, Rasidu-'d-Din, Was§äf, the author of Nuzhat-al-Qulûb, etc. What is more, the Syriac writers were aware of it. Not only have we « Käsgar », correctly written, though wrongly inserted in the Syriac list of the middle of the 13th cent., but the name occurs for instance in the history of Mar Yahbalaha III (cf. BUDGE, The Monks of I(ublâi Khân, 139 : « Kashkâr »). It seems impossible that the Nestorian patriarchate should not have had a