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0376 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 376 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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360   158. CINGHIS

which is mentioned, for instance, in the accounts of the campaign of Yung-lo, ... and in one of GERBILLON's diaries ». The note to the same effect in PALLADIUS'S Elucidations of 1876 (p. 358), though reproduced in Y, I, 248, is different enough to be quoted here : « Our well-know Mongolist, N. GOLOVKIN, has told us that according to a story actually current among the Mongols, the tombs of the former Mongol khans are situated near Tas-ola hill, equally (i. e. like the mountain in Chin Yu-tzû's account) in the vicinity of the Kerulen. He states also that even now the Mongols are accustomed to assemble on that hill on the 7th day of the 7th moon (according to an ancient custom), in order to adore Chinghiz-kan's tomb ».

PALLADIUS'S statements have at least importance in that they show that, in the sixties of the last century, the « Ordos » theory of the tomb was not yet current or commonly accepted in outer Mongolia, since neither GOLOVKIN nor PALLADIUS seems to have even heard of it. Moreover, from the similarity between the two statements in PALLADIUS, we can safely deduce that GoLOvKIN was his sole informant. It seems to me very probable that PALLADIUS was right in connecting GoLOVKIN's information with that given in the Pei-chêng lu. Yet there are difficulties and inaccuracies. I cannot identify the « Tas-ola » (? « Grey-eagle Mountain »), or find even any other mention of the name; while the location between Dolbn-nôr (= Polo's « Ciandu ») and the Kerulen is most vague. No Mongol text speaks of Chinghi,.-khan's death as having taken place on the 7th of the 7th moon, but either on the 12th (cf. SCHMIDT, Gesch. der CstMongolen, 105; an information which the Mongols seem to owe to Chinese official history), or on the 15th according to the Altan tobei (cf. p. 309, 317); the date of the 7th day of the 7th moon may be due, however, to the attraction of the Chinese popular calendar, which celebrates on the eve of that day the meeting of the Weaving Damsel (x Lyra) with the Cow-herd (3y Aquila). In spite of PALLADIUS, I can find nothing on the subject in the various diaries of GERBILLON published by DU HALDE. It may be that PALLADIUS'S reference is based here on a faint and erroneous remembrance of a passage in TIMKOvsKI, who quotes (Voyage Péking, I, 170) a sentence of Gerbillon's diary dated June 11, 1696 (Du HALDE, IV, 327; not « June 16 » as in TIMK0vsKI), where, however, nothing is said of the Mongol Imperial or princely tombs.

On the other hand, the gathering of the Mongols in the seventh month fits in very well with their meeting « in the summer » at the Darban-ùla in TIMKOVSKI'S text. Unless we suppose that there were two successive annual gatherings at neighbouring places, we are here confronted with the same difficulty as when translating Chin Yu-tzti's text : the Darban-ûia seems to be too much to the west. Moreover, the names Darkan-ûla and Tas-ûia are not reconcilable.

While admitting that in both the Pei-chêng lu and in PALLADIUS's second-hand information derived from GOLOVKIN we have to do with one and the same tradition, the fact that GoLOVKIN spoke of the Mongol Emperors need not be accepted as the expression of the truth. Quite evidently, the details of the tradition — for instance that of Chinghiz-khan's anvil at the Darbanûia — are later developments. If there were princely tombs of the Mongols at the place referred to by Chin Yu-tzti, it is only too natural that in later Mongol legend they should have become the tombs of the Emperors themselves, the true location of which was no longer known.

VII. — ►' mA si CHANG P'êng-ho (1649-1.725; cf. GILES, Biogr. Dict. No. 95) was one of the