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0230 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 230 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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214   124. CASSES

derived. The same may be said of course of ho-shê (*yuâ-dTia), *'vay"hd, not mentioned by Hui-ytian, and certainly as ancient as ho-shang. This leads us to think that ho-shê (*'vaJhd) and ho-shang (*'vajhan) may not have been borrowed from the Central Asian language which had hu-shê (*'uphd). We are thus tempted to admit that Tsan-ning may not be wrong when he says that hu-shê (*'uDhd) is Khotanese and that ho-shang (*'vajhd) is Kashgarian. Tsan-ning wrote in 988, at a time when the intercourse with Central Asia was no longer as active as it had been in pre-T'ang and T'ang times; but he was a competent Buddhist scholar, and had access to a number of earlier works which have now disappeared. There are in Khotanese many examples of apheretical borrowings of the type upa- > va-, and of -d-> -j-, so that *'vajhd, *'vajha might in principle be Khotanese forms. But we are told that the Khotanese form was in fact *'ujjhd. Provisionally, I accept it as such, and take *vajhd, *vajhd, as being probably the only example of a Kashgarian form which has been determined hitherto. We must note that, while neither I-ching nor Hui-yiian prefix an alif or a laryngeal opening to the Prâkrit forms used in India, they give it both for the Khotanese and for the Kashgarian. This is, moreover, an almost general feature for Central Asian languages, and the Chinese transcriptions also show it for the Sogdian and for the Turkish.

124. CASSES casses F

The Calif of Bagdad took counsel cum seç regisles et cum seç casses (F); BENEDETTO (B, 20) has corrected it to cun sez regulés et cun sez sajes. FA has simply à ses prestres de sa loy. The correction to « regules » (= « regulés ») had already been proposed by YULE ( Y, i, 70), and is certain. But there is no support for « sajes », and I agree with YULE in seeing in « casses » an Oriental word. YULE, while inclining to kasis, admitted the possibility of gddi; I think kola' alone can be accepted. It is true that the Arabic gddi, Mussulman « judge », is met with in transcriptions such as « cazee »; but the mediaeval forms are in favour of a transcription « cadi », which is also represented by ha-ti of the Chinese. I think Polo would have pronounced it « cadi », and it may even be that the « chadi » of a passage in VB represents a genuine Polian term. Moreover the double s of « casses » is not in favour of an original with a -d- heard like a -z- (see « Chadi »).

But there is another reason for adopting kasis. This word, borrowed from the Syriac, is qiss or qasis (or gists) in Arabic, kasis in Persian (YULE wrongly says in Arabic). Although applied mainly to Christian priests (cf. Pers. «chasis» translating presbyter in KUUN, Codex Cumanicus, 77), it is used, even in Persian, as a designation of the clergy of other creeds, and YULE has shown (Y, t, 70; Hobson-Jobson2, 169-170) that Western travellers have very often applied it to Mussulman divines (as in Clavijo, in a letter of Giovanni da Empoli, and constantly in Portu•