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0290 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 290 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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274   155. CIN

Käsyari a very comprehensive term, the value of which had to be specified by some epithet : either «Upper in », which was China proper (sometimes used for « Hitai », sometimes also for « Taßyad » or « Mäsin »), or « Lower Sin », which was that part of Chinese Turkestan which was under the rule of the Qarakhanids (cf. BARTHOLD, 12 Vorlesungen, 97-98; BROCKELMANN, 250251). HERRMANN was mistaken when he tried to identify Käsyari's « Lower Sin » with Burma (cf. TP, 1936, 362). I think, moreover, that the terms « upper » and «lower » are to be understood in reference to people who took their bearings to the east, as is the case in Käsyari's map, so that «upper » and «lower » would normally mean « east » and « west » respectively. Al-Baitär speaks of the rhubarb found in northern China, « that is to say in Turkestan, which the Persians call ° *Sin Mä§in'» (LECLERC, in Not. et Extr., XXV, I, No. 1018; Fe, 269; in both the spelling has been iranized as « tin Mädin », which makes meaningless what follows).

The 'names « ein » and «Taßyae» spread still farther over the map of Asia. In 1246, the Nestorian Simeon Rabban-ata handed over to André de Longjumeau for transmission to the Pope a libellus which he had brought de pectore Orientis, scilicet de terra Sin, and there is no doubt that « Sin » here means Northern Mongolia (cf. Pe, 32, 41, 53). A few years later, the author of the Tabagât-i Ndsiri speaks of « the haughty Moyol infidels of ein », i. e. of Mongolia (RAVERTY, 1288). Chinghiz-khan was first heard of in Egypt as malik as-$'in, « king of China» (cf. BLOCHET, Hist. d'Égypte de Makrizi, 563, in the extracts from the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria). For Stephen Orbelian, Qara-qorum, the Mongol capital, lay « in the country of ein and Mdein» (BROSSET, Hist. de la Siounie, I, 224; cf. also Hist. de la Géorgie, I, 485; PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov, I, 68-70). An-Näsäwi, the biographer of Jaiälu-'d-Din Mängüberti, gives the name « Tamyäd », other form of « Taßyae », to the capital of the Juden, i. e. Peking (cf. Y', I, 33;

HOUDAS, Hist. du sultan Djelad ed-Din, 8, 9, 58); but, in the Tabagât-i   Chinghiz-khan
rose up « in the kingdoms of ein and Tamyäc », and the « country of Tamyäd » means the « region of Qara-gorum» (RAVERTY, 935, 1291). In the 17th cent., the khans of Crimea proclaimed themselves « Great Emperors of the Tat and Tawyäd [or ' Tawya '] ». The Tat are the non-Turkish tribes; but this use of « Tawyäd » has puzzled scholars (cf. MINORSKY, in EI, s. v. « Tat »). I consider it merely as the last outcome of the undue extension to the Turks and Mongols which the name Taßyae, « China » and « Chinese » (although etymologically the designation of a forgotten Altaic nation), had developed in the Middle Ages.

A similar undue extension of the name ein, but at an earlier date, accounts for the would-be « Chinese » origin of the princes Orbelian and Canbakurian-Orbelian ( < Cenbakur, = fay fûr of Lin) of Armenian history, who must have been of Turkish descent (cf. BROSSET, Hist. de la Siounie, ü, 181).

The Polian use of « Cin » is of course different. For Polo, « Cin » is the name used in the South by foreigners for « Mangi », i. e. South China, and the « sea of Cin » is the sea off the coast of « Mangi ». This is corroborated by Mussulman sources already at an early date. Huwärizmi (first half of the 9th cent.) mentions the bahr as-Sin «sea of Sin », as the most remote part of the Indian Ocean, and the same information is given in later works like the Persian Hudad al-',Dam (« din ») or the geography of Abû-l-Fidä (cf. Fe, 591; Mi, 52, 179; REINAUD, Géographie d'Aboulféda, II, I, 25). Hethum mentions the «wealthy province Sim [read Sin], which is