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0260 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 260 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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244   141. CHISCI

between Sanbà (Champa) and the Gate of China, and this is likely to be Hai-nan (cf. Fe, 501, 684; Instr. naut. III, 165-166); at that period, the initial h- (Iz-) of Chinese names was sometimes dropped

in transcriptions, as in the Portuguese aytâo instead of *haytâo,   hai-tao, « sea-commis-
sioner » (cf. DALGADO, Glossârio Luso-Asiâtico, I, 189.

It seems difficult to separate the names given by Ragid, in the Catalan Map, and last by Sidi 'Ali, although their use of these names may be somewhat different. It is possible that a port on the island of Hai-nan is meant by Sidi 'Ali, if that port was then a regular port of call for the Mussulmans. If the « city » of the Catalan Map has not been placed on the mainland by mistake, it ought to be Lei-chou, and we must then suppose that the seat of the Commissariat, although on the mainland and consequently « North of the Sea », had come to be popularly named « South of the Sea », because the « South of the Sea » districts of the Commissariat were the most active in foreign trade. Either of the two values would do for Ragid's sea itinerary from India to China. But the Persian historian must be mistaken when, elsewhere, he makes Hâinam a city of AnnamTonking and not of China, unless in this last case our reading of Hâinam be itself an error.


achisi, quinsi LT

altriso, quisai S

chis, chysci Z

chisci Z, V, L

chisi F, FA, TA', LT, P, V,

VA, VL, S; R

chisin, quixi VA

chisti R

chisy FA

chysi FB

cisy, cysi, quiz FB

ochoisi VB risi VL

qisci F, L, Z quis FA, L quysi G

The island of Kß. The mss. authorize only « Chisci », but I think « *Chisce » has a fair chance of being the original spelling, of the same type as « Abasce », « Chescemir ». In any case, I prefer « Chisci » to the « Kisi » of RR, 425, and the « Chisi » of B', 441.

The Persian form is   Kig, in Arabic   Qis and more often Qais; cf. BARBIER DE
MEYNARD, Dia. hist. 468, 499; it seems that the Arabic pronunciation Qais is now the usual one. « Guase » and « Kena » of Yi, I, 144, « Ghes » and « Kenn » of Y, I, 64, and of Y', I, 145, « Geise » or « Kena » of Br, II, 130, « Ghez » or « Kern » of RR, 425, do not exist as names of the island (cf. DAMES, Barbosa, I, 80-81). Polo speaks of Kig from hearsay, and not very accurately (cf. Y, I, 65; II, 452-453); for mediaeval mentions of Kig, cf. also Fe, 68, 389; LS, 257; and the notice « Kais » of EI, by STRECK.

The island of 2   Chi-shih, Kig, was described by Chao Ju-kua in 1225 (HR, 117, 133-

134). The Chinese map of c. 1330 and the corresponding list of YS, 63, 16 b, name i   Ch'ieh-

shih, Keg (= Kg); cf. Br, II, 129-130.

Guillaume Adam, in 1316-1318, mentions « Chyx » (= Kg), wrongly identified with Kigm in the Introduction (Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, cxcll, 553).