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0333 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 333 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   317

Arbuqa is phonetically the same as *Arbutan (a mountain to the north-west of the hsien of P'ing-lo, outside the great bend of the Yellow River; cf. also PoPov, Mên-gu yu-mu czi, 49, 313), and o'orqat the same as Cogor-moritu (« Having a pie-bald horse », also a place of the Ordos;

cf. PoPov, 51). But there is no phonetic resemblance between the names; moreover, Chinghiz travelled from Mongolia to the Etsin-, oi, not by crossing the great bend of the Huang-ho. The fall from his horse at Arbuqa referred to in the Secret History led to the same counsels as the dream at *Utqun-Taian-quduq in Rasidu-'d-Din; but there is no other connection between the names or the facts. Co'orgat (— Go'oryat) is the plural of Mong. &'oryan and means « The Locks » (i. e. Key-locks); it may have been applied figuratively to some strong position, and may actually refer to the same place as the *Quncui Mountain of the YS. For the Casutu (or Hsüehshan, Snowy Mountain) Kao Pao-ch'üan says that there is a Hsüeh-shan to the south of Kan-chou (cf. Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ungchih, 205, I b); but this is a vague designation, and the maps of the Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chih (197, I a; 201, I a) show to the west of the Ch'ing-shui-ho two other « Hsüeh-shan » which are not otherwise referred to in the text. In the Secret History, Chinghiz-khan's stay at the Casutu is mentioned after the great battle with the Hsi-Hsia army and before the passage of Uraqai and the attack on Dörmägäi (Ling-chou). If I am right in supposing that the attack on Ling-chou ought to have been referred to before the mention of the summer resort at Casutu, it may well be that Casutu, in the present case, is but a Mongolian designation of the Liu-p'an-shan.

In « Sanang Setsen » (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 101-107), Chinghiz-khan besieged

Türmägäi (-   -- Dörmägäi, Ling-chou). During the siege, he and the Hsi-Hsia sovereign transformed

themselves into various animals, a folklore theme of the Magali type.   Chinghiz finally killed
the Hsi-Hsia sovereign and took hold of his wife Kürbäl in-) oa, but was mortally wounded by her at night, and died at Dörmägäi. The date given, August 25, 1227, like so many in « Sanang Setsen », seems to be borrowed from Chinese sources connected with the Yüan shih.

Half a century before « Sanang Setsen », the same folkloristic elements are found in the Altan

tobci, but with further historical data of some interest. There we read (GoMBOEV transi., in Trudy VOIRAO, vi, 144) : « Having reduced the Tangut people to submission, killed Sudury u-khan (the Hsi-Hsia sovereign), sacked the city of Türmägäi, and taken the queen Gürbäliin-yoa, the Emperor spent the summer of this campaign in the place [called] Luban-ban (' Luuban-ban' in the Mongolian text, p. 375). Later, he fell ill at Türmägäi... [and] died in the year bing-pig, at the age of sixty-seven, on the fifteenth of the month. » There are here evident contradictions : a « bing-pig » year, i. e. j : ping-hai, is impossible in the sexagenary cycle; but we may suppose this to be a

clerical error for « ding-pig », i. e. ting-hai (1227).   On the other hand, there can be no doubt
that the Hsi-Hsia sovereign was not killed before Chinghiz-khan « escaped the heat » in the Liup'an-shan. Yet, it is noteworthy that the tradition of the summer station at the Liu-p'an-shan has been preserved in a text which is relatively free from late Chinese influence, and where the name of the mountain has been mongolized (san becoming han, from phonetic analogy coupled with the Mongol habit of calling the mountains han, « khan », « sovereign »).

We are now in a position to examine the different opinions which have been expressed on the « hsing-kung (ordo) of Ha-lao-t'u in the Sa-li Valley ». A few modern scholars have merely retained the text of the YS and taken it at its face value, declaring Chinghiz-khan to have died on