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0256 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 256 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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240   137. CHEMIS

Polo's words. Polo heard of course the name of « Ciandu » at Qubilai's court, but « Chemeinfu » remained in use in Persian-speaking circles, and it is only this last name which occurs in Ragidu'd-Din.


charanis VA chemenis V cheminis VL chemins F, L, P

chemisi TA", TA3 chems Port. chemurs R

chenus LT guemis FB quemis FA

Although we generally refer to mare's milk as qumïz (kumiz, kumis), it is the form gïmiz which was given in 1076 by Kâsyari (BROCKELMANN, 154), and which is represented by Polo's « chemis ». In 1248, Simon of Saint-Quentin wrote « kamous » (Vincent de Beauvais, Spec. hist.. xxx, 78). In Rubrouck's text, the reading comos is certainly correct, rather than the generally accepted « cosmos ». The word is Turkish (cf. also RADLOV, s. v. gïmiz, gimis, qumis, and TP, 1930, 287; I think the form with -u- belongs originally to Eastern dialects). It has passed into

Persian and Arabic under the forms ', and   gïmïz; cf. BI, II, 654 (but   qumûzaân in
BI, II, 283-284, seems to me a wrong correction; the form gobûzaân of the mss. gives a good sense, «player of qobuz »), BLOCHET, Moufazzal, 610, and QUATREMÈRE, Hist. des Sultans Mamlouks, I, II, 147 (important for the use of that drink among the Mamluks of Egypt). It is gïmïz which is misread ; gimïr in VULLERS, II, 743. Cf. also Y, I, 259, and on qara-gimïz (« caracomos » of Rubrouck), JA, 1920, 169-171. In Mongolian, the word for mare's milk is äsük in the Secret History (§§ 28, 31), and üsük in « Sanang Setsen » (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 60); but there is also a Mongol word kimur corresponding to Turk. gïmïz (cf. RAMSTEDT, Kalm. Wörterb. 231). Russian chronicles mention kumïz(a), komuz(a). s. a. 1185 (cf. P. MELIORANSKII, I, in Izv. Otd. R. yaz. i slov. I. Ak. N. 1905 g, x, No. 4, 122, who derives the word from Turk. qïm-, «to shake »). Cf. also LOKOTSCH, Etym. Wörterbuch, No. 1242.


chermain, chiermain R chermam Z

chrerina, trerianam VA cinancre, cremen, querman FA craman (cor.), creimain, etiman,

raman, tremain V

crema TA'

cremain F, L, V

cremam LT

creman F, Fr, FA, FB, L, LT,

P, TA', TA3, VB

cremina TA3

crerina VL crermain F, Ft crerman F cretina G quermam FAt, FB

Ya'qût writes ,h-r Kärmàn, adding that it is also pronounced Kirman, which seems to him less correct (BARBIER DE MEYNARD, Dict. hist. 482). The modern form is Kerman or Kirman, a province in Persia. On the city which is referred to by Polo in Kerman, and which is the