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0291 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 291 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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155. CIN   275

between the kingdom of Cathay and the kingdom of hide » and in which « fine diamonds » are found (Hist. des Croisades, Arm., u, 123, 263).

But our best informant is once more Rasidu= d-Din. According to him, the country south

of Hitai (= of North China) is called by the Hindus « Mahgin », hence « Mâcin », in Persian, but « Manzi » by the Chinese and « Nangias » by the Mongols (see « Mangi »). To judge from Bänâkäti's account, Raid seems also to have said that «Cin» was the Hindu name for Hïtai (cf. QUATREMtRE, Hist. des Mongols, LXXXVI-LXXXVII, XCI-XCIII). For « Mgin » _ « Manzi », cf. also Bl, II, 370-371. At other times, Raid uses « Cin and Ma6in » as a mere synonym of « Nangias », i. e. South China (cf. Ber, i, 146).

But Raid also speaks of the « capital of Aldan » as of a city which is neither Hingsai (see

« Quinsai »), nor Zaitûn (see « Çaiton »), and YULE has already surmised that the place referred to must be Canton (cf. Y1, III, 115;, cf. also LE STRANGE, Nuhzat al-Qulùb, transi., 250, and the somewhat conflicting account on p. 254). According to YULE (Y', II, 180), both Al-Birû ni and Raidu-'d-Din « distinctly apply the name Mahacin to a city, no doubt Canton ». I do not think that this information should be traced as far back as to Al-Birûni; it occurs in a chapter in which Raid freely culled from Al-Birùni, but an additional section of which cannot be earlier than the Mongol period. It is in this latter part that we find the following very interesting passage (ELLIOT, History of India, i', 45-46; i2, 71-72) : « Beyond [Champa; see ' Ciamba'J is Hainam (see ' Cheynam '), subject also to the Qààn. Beyond that is Mahacin, then the harbour of Zaitûn, on the shore of the China Sea ... ». Instead of «Mâhâcin », an Arabic ms. gives

Yl   JI, also meaning « Cin the Great ». YULE was certainly right when he said that Raid's

«Mähgin » in this passage was Canton.

Canton is first mentionned in Arabic texts of the 9th cent. ash- Hànfû, which renders

} Rr Kuang-fu, a popular short form of Kuang-chou [44j]-fu. I stated this in 1904 in BEFEO, Iv, 215. To the examples of « Kuang-fu » I had then adduced, I can now add -j, III, 93 b, quoted above; T'ang liu tien, 20, 8 ro; and, at a much later date, SAINSON, Hist. particulière du Nan-Tchao, 45. But the identification was forgotten in the Mongol period, and Canton came to be known under new names. I concur with ELLIOT (History of India, 12, 71) who identified with

Canton Idrisi's `, 11 -A ,,....t..   « China of China » (JAUBERT, I, 194), although Idrisi
also repeats elsewhere (ibid., i, 84) the old information on jiànfû without suspecting that both names refer to the same place. Ai-Baitâr, speaking of the Persian « *Sin Mâsin » (properly « Cin û Mâcin ») says that it is somehow equivalent to an Arabic form « in as-Sin », « China of China » (Fe, 269). Although this is not etymologically correct and although Al-Baitàr wrongly refers « Cin and Mann » to « Turkestan », his text shows that a correspondence was felt between the two forms. We must then take into consideration that Malian (= Mahâcin, Mâcin) is used by Ra"sid as a name of Canton, and that « Siniyatu-'§-Sin » is practically the same form as « in as-Sin ». The identification is already all the more probable when Idrisi speaks of « Siniyatu-'sSin » as being a city of unequalled greatness, which was situated at the extremity of the empire,

and which was visited by a great number of traders from various parts of India.

This is made certain by a passage in which Ibn Battiitah, two centuries after Idrisi, speaks of « Sin as-Sin » as being the same place as .,k(,» Sin-kälân (DEFRÉMERY, IV, 92). Ibn Battûtah