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0301 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 301 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   285

unified ». This sentence, puzzling as it is, has been translated without comment by BRETSCHNEIDER (Br, r, 38) and by CHAVANNES (TP, 1908, 300). HUNG Chün thought that the « unification » was reached when the Mongol chieftain, heretofore called Tämüjin, took the title of « Chinghiz-khan » in 1206. If we count seven years back from 1206 in the Chinese fashion, viz. with both final terms included, the result is 1200, i. e. a kêng-shên year. HUNG Chün thus supposes that the Empire was « founded » in that year, which is that of the victory of Tämü; in and Ong-khan over the Taici'ut,

though the « unification » only took place when Tämüjin proclaimed himself « Chinghiz-khan » in 1206. The inference is possible, but not binding. Astrologers and certain chroniclers used to

make Chinghiz-khan's reign begin at Ong-khan's defeat and death in 1203, so that he could be said

to be born, to have begun his reign and to have died in « pig » years (cf. Raid in Ber, II, 147; III, 110-111). According to the Buddhist chronicle Fo-tsu li-tai t'ung-tsai, which was completed in

1344 (ch. 32; Nanjiô, No. 1637; Meiji Tripit. of Tokyo,   , xi, 36 a-b), Tämüjin took the title of

« Chinghiz-khan » in 1206, but it was only in 1211 that he created (chien) for his Empire (kuo) the official designation of « Ta Mêng-ku », « Great Mongol » (cf. Plan Carpine's « Yeka mongal », Yäkä-

Mon) ol, of same meaning, in Icy, 52). The words used are the same as in Yang Wei-chêng's chienkuo, but they represent a different tradition since 1211 is a hsin-wei, not a kêng-shên year. It may be that Yang Wei-chêng gave a special and undue significance to the events of 1200, in order to make them fit into a forced parallel.

For Chinghiz-khan's birth in ting-hai, a year which in principle corresponds to 1167, HUNG Chün devised the following explanation. Diviners and astrologers use in their calculations only the

duodenary « branches », not the denary « stems »; in other words, we ought to take into account for

Chinghiz-khan only the duodenary hai, meaning that Chinghiz was born in a « pig » year like Sung T'ai-tsu. But it was only Sung T'ai-tsu's birth-year which actually was a ting-hai year; the corn-

parison was valid, although Chinghiz-khan was born in a i-hai year, i. e. 1155. Consequently, Yang Wei-chêng, while apparently speaking of 1167, confirmed in fact the Mussulman information which gave 1155 as the birth-year of Chinghiz-khan.

This argument, profferred as a hypothesis by HUNG Chün, appeared so decisive to T'u CM and K'o Shao-min that both, abandoning the traditional Chinese date, which was equivalent to 1162,

came to state that Chinghiz-khan was born in 1155 (T'u Chi, 2, i a; Ch, i, 172; K'o Shao-min, Hsin

Yüan shih k'ao-chêng, 2, i b; 3, 11 a; WANG Kuo-wei, Kuan-t'ang chi-lin, 14, 21 b, however, stuck to the date 1162). I am afraid that they have given to HUNG Chilli's argument too ready an

acceptance. I agree with them that Yang Wei-chêng, submitting a memorial to the Emperor, could

not run counter to what was the official tradition of the time, and could not have said that Chinghizkhan was born in a Ling-hai year if it had then been admitted that the true date was a jên-wu year. On the other hand, Yang Wei-chêng, in his eagerness to find parallel dates, deviated, at least slightly,

from the absolute historical truth in another case. When he says that Sung T'ai-tsu pacified Chiangnan in i-hai (975) and ping-tzû (976), that was because the submission of the Sung to Qubilai took place in ping-tzû (1276) ; but Li Yü of the Southern T'ang had already tendered his allegiance to the Sung at the end of 975, and 976 can only be adduced inasmuch as, at the beginning of that year, Li Yü presented himself in audience at the Court of Sung T'ai-tsu and was granted a title. This is, however, merely a biassed interpretation of the facts, not an actual misstatement. The case of the