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0285 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 285 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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155. CIN   269

Another difficulty, however, remains to be solved. The Cina are mentioned in the Laws of Manu and in the Mahâbhârata, and these have long been supposed to be older than the days of Ch'in Shih-huang-ti. I do not think that such an objection can have many supporters now. More important is the mention, in the Arthasâstra or Kautiliya attributed to Kautilya, of « silk and Chinese ribbons (?) made in the Cina country » (Kauseyam cinapallâsca cinabhumijâii; ought we not to read citrapal(âsca, « variegated silks », « brocades »?). Kautilya lived c. 300 B. c., and this would carry the name in India to a date earlier than Ch'in Shih-huang-ti. LAUFER stuck to the end to this early date for the Arthasâstra (TP, 1912, 719; Sino-Iranica, 569), and so does HERRMANN (loc. cit. 38). In such a case, the name would have spread to Central Asia on account of the importance of the western state of Ch'in, and prior to Ch'in Shih-huang-ti's accession to the throne of China. There is nothing impossible in such an assumption, but I do not think it very likely. Moreover, it is useless, since, like S. Levi and FINOT, I am convinced that either the Arthasâstra is of a much later date than was thought by JACOBI, or that it has been very much interpolated.

Another problem is to decide whether Cina always meant China, or whether it was originally the designation of Himalayan tribes and has been extended to China only when the naine of the « men of Ch'in » reached India. The latter view was held by RICHTHOFEN, who believed that the Cina of the Indian epos were the « Sina » Dards; YULE expressed himself likewise in Encycl. Britannica", vi, 188, and also LAUFER in TP, 1912, 723. From the last sentence of LEvi's paper in BEFEO, v, 305, it can be inferred that he too, while translating the Ch'in and the Chên-tan (on which cf. infra) of Chinese Buddhist texts as meaning « China », because they represented the « Cina » of Sanskrit originals, doubted in 1905 the correctness of the equivalence and probably thought then of Himalayan tribes; but he never published the paper in which he intended to discuss this point. On the whole, I am not certain that such a hypothesis should be necessary. When Sanskrit texts use « Cina » in a loose manner for people to the north and of the north-west of India, we must not forget that China, at the end of the 2nd cent. B. c., had sent expeditions across Chinese Turkestan, and in the following century and again in the 1st and 2nd cents. A. D. became the dominant power there. Although there was a direct road from early days from China to the Ganges via Yün-nan and Burma, it was mainly by the passes of the North-West that India was brought into contact with the Chinese, either as the result of trade or diplomacy. Provisionally, I feel inclined rather to suppose that the « Cina » of Sanskrit texts represents the Chinese in principle and from the beginning.

The same holds good for Iran; unfortunately Pahlavi texts are often of doubtful reading and of uncertain date. The « Sen » of the Bundahi. n (xv, 29) is equated in the text with

« Linistân » (cf. WEST, Pahlavi Texts, I, 59; better « Cinistàn »), but it may be, in this late text, under the influence of Ar. « Sin » < Gin. If it actually represents the Avestic form « Sâini » or « Sainu » of the Ya. t, xi'', 143, 144, it is doubful whether it should be identified with « China », either as to the location or even as to the name. « Cinistân » (read « Cinistân ») occurs a second

time, as a country lying beyond « Tûrkistân », in Bundahi. n, xxix, 13 An adjectival form « Sênik » in the Sâyast-nê-. âyast, vi, 7 (WEsT, ibid., Sâyast-né-Myast, Hamburg, 1930, 97-98) probably does not refer to

(WEST, ibid., I, 120).
I, 296; J. C. TAVADIA,