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0347 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 347 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   331

origin, *Lügü or *Liingii, J. jj ~j Lu-chü in the Liao shih, #t $fij Lung-chü and   J Lung-chü

in the Chin shih, Jt Jjij in YS, I, s. a. 1216 (Nan-chien ed.; this is a form taken from the Ch'ienHan shu, where it does not refer to the Kerulen; cf. DE GROOT, Die Hunnen, 154), iziL, J Lung-

chü in YS, 29, i b, JJ    Lu-chü, fal   Lü-chü,   ►pj Lu-chü, i ]âJ Lu-chü and perhaps
Lu-kou in other works of the Mongol and early Ming periods (cf. WANG Kuo-wei, ibid., and TP,

1935, 166). The ß(J1.   Chü-Iun is not the Kerulen, as was stated by DE GROOT (loc. cit. 182),
but the Külün Lake (misread « Bel-lun » [ = Pei-Iun] by PoPov, loc. cit. 400). There is no ground for supposing an abnormal transcription of the name Kerulen as Ch'i-lien, which would only have been used in reference to the Imperial tombs. Moreover, a particular mountain gorge is not likely to have been called by the name of a great river, flowing for the greater part of its course across the steppes.

But the main point is that « Ch'i-lien » need not be a transcription at all, and, as HAENISCH suggested (Asia Major, ix, 549-550; cf. TP, 1935, 167), may mean « the Valley where the Car is lifted ». As a matter of fact, I am unable to trace any example of if y, ch'i, « to raise », being used in a transcription (except perhaps in the somewhat doubtful title of a Mongolian musical air

in the Cho-kêng lu, 28, 8 a). As to   lien, it occurs in transcriptions, but in its true meaning
it signifies a kind of chair on wheels (a sort of bath chair, as Giles says) ; it is mainly used as a designation of the Imperial chariot, though it can also be applied to the Imperial hearse. The Chinese translation of « Sanang Setsen » (4, 6 b) says that, after the death of Chinghiz-khan, « his

coffin was raised on a lien» M(   it). The Mongolian term, here translated lien in Chinese,
is qasaq tärgän, or simply qasaq, both in the Altan tobci (GoMBOEv's ed., 40' [where qas tärgän is a faulty reading], 402, 423, 421', 4711, 481) and in « Sanang Setsen » (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 106', 1067, 1088, 1328). Tärgän is the ordinary Mongolian word for « car »; qasaq or qasaq tärgän, now obsolete, is explained in the dictionaries as « a light two-wheeled waggon ». In Mongolian, where there is no z, Qasaq is, in principle, the name of the Qazaq (> Russ. Kazak, Kozak, « Cossack »), i. e. of the Kirghiz. I have no doubt that RAMSTEDT was right when he proposed (Kalm. Wörterbuch, 1712) to explain qasaq tärgän as a term originally meaning « Qazaq chariot ». In Osmanli, qazaq has become the name of a sort of « sledge» for the transport of heavy weights (RADLOV, II, 366). The Sino-Mongolian Vocabulary of c. 1600 published by POZDNÉEV (Lekcii po istorri mongol'skoï literatury, III, 37) gives only one word for

« car »,   i ha-sa, i. e. qasaq. In a further chapter of « Sanang Setsen », the Chinese
translation (5, I a, corresponding to SCHMIDT, 133) merely renders qasaq as 41 ch'ê, « car [in general] ». But I doubt whether the qasaq tärgän was originally a « light » car, as is said in the dictionaries. The Secret History (§ 64), in an alliterative passage of epic character, speaks of girls seated in qasaq tärgän, who were to become the wives of Emperors; and the Chinese translation, done in the 14th cent., renders qasaq tärgän as J $ to-ch'ê, « big car ». The Mongols had their ordinary cars or tärgän. Since the text on the death of Chinghiz-khan speaks of a qasaq tärgän, it must have been a great chariot, a state car, which the Chinese translators of the 18th cent. were right in translating as lien, « the Emperor's chariot ». I may add that, if RAMSTEDT and I are right in explaining qasaq as Turk. Qazaq, the appearance of the word in the Secret History, which was completed in 1240, antedates the earliest mention of this name in