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0300 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 300 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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284   158. CINGHIS

not even seem that there was then a conventional date to commemorate the birth of the founder of the dynasty.

There is, however, an early Chinese work, written in the lifetime of Chinghiz-khan, which gives for his birth a year different from the one adopted in the YS; it is the Mêng-Ta pei-lu, which is generally attributed to the Chinese general t 1 Mêng Hung, but the author of which must be by ~fE Chao Hung (cf. TP, 1929, 166). Chao Hung, a Sung official, visited the Mongol vice-regent Muqali at Peking in 1221 while Chinghiz-khan was fighting in the west against the Mussulmans. He says (WANG Kuo-wei ed., 2 b) : « The present Emperor Ch'êng-chi-ssû (CGingis) was born in chiahsü (1154). In their customs ( = of the Mongols), there is absolutely no sexagenary cycle (kêngchia); now I have written this (=chia-hsü) after investigating what they say, and in order to get an

easier understanding of their age. In their customs, they count a year every time the grass grows green ». The Mêng-Ta pei-lu has long been known in VASIL'EV'S translation (in Trudy VOIRAO, iv, 216-235), and seemed to give strong support to Rasid's date of 1155, instead of the 1162 of the YS; for that reason, BARTHOLD was always in favour of 1155 and Vi.&DIMIRcov (Cingis-khan, 18) says that Chinghiz-khan was born « c. 1155 ».

Modern Chinese scholars have gone further. HUNG Chün (iB, 69-71), knowing the date, 1154, of the Mêng-Ta pei-lu and the date, 1155, of Rasidu-'d-Din, called attention to a text of tik Yang Wei-chêng (1296-1370) which is preserved in the Cho-kêng lu (3, i a-9 b). In or about

1343, while the Sung shih was being compiled in compliance with an Imperial edict, Yang Weichêng submitted to the Emperor a memorial establishing the fact that the Mongol Emperors did not perpetuate the Liao and the Chin dynasties, but were, by the mandate of Heaven and the consent of the people, the rightful heirs to the Sung dynasty. In the course of his argument, we find the following passage : « Moreover, I observe that the ancestor of the Sung was born in ting-hai and

founded the Empire (,   chien-kuo) in kêng-shên, and that our T'ai-tsu (= Chinghiz-khan) was
born and founded the Empire in the same years; that the Sung crossed the [Yang-tzû-]chiang in chia-hsü and pacified Chiang-nan in i-hai and ping-tzû, and that the years in which our Imperial army crossed the [Yang-tzû-]chiang and pacified Chiang-nan are the same. The correspondence of the Heavenly numbers is not accidental; their [common] dependency on the Celestial spirit is not fortuitous ». Now, it is true that Chao K'uang-yin (T'ai-tsu of the Sung) was born in a ting-hai year (927) and founded his dynasty in a kêng-shên year (960) ; that his armies crossed the Yang-tzû in chia-hsü (974) and subdued the « Chiang-nan » dynasty ( = Li Yü of the Southern T'ang) in i-hai

(975); also that Qubilai's armies crossed the Yang-tzû in chia-hsü (1274), and subdued the Sung in i-hai (1275) and ping-tzii (1276). But the references to Chinghiz-khan are not so clear, since his birth in ting-hai would suppose him to be born in 1167, and the foundation of his Empire in kêngshên would suppose that the Mongol Empire was founded in 1200, both dates being in apparent contradiction with those given elsewhere in Chinese as well as in Mussulman sources.

On the last two items, HUNG Chün's remarks are to the following effect. For the foundation of the Empire in kêng-shên (1200), instead of the commonly accepted A. D. 1206, a sentence occurring in Chinghiz-khan's summons to the Taoist monk Ch'iu Ch'u-chi in 1219 may be adduced. The text says (Cho-kêng lu, 10, 3b) : « In the course of seven years I completed the great task; within the six directions (i. e. the four cardinal points, plus the zenith and the nadir) all had been