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0385 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 385 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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161. CIORCIA   369

but the old occlusive finals had already been dropped in northern Chinese when the transcription Nü-chih was adopted; it was already sounded Nü-chih, as in the Nûci of Rasidu-'d-Din and in the modern pronunciation. GIBERT (Dictionnaire, 375) mentions two secondary transcriptions,

-4 e Nü-chêng and   Nü-chih. The latter form, Nü-chih, is given in   (]-u Hung Hao's
W;i:J Sung-mo chi-wên (I, 1 b; it is the account presented by that distinguished scholar in 1143, when he came back after fourteen years' captivity among the Nü-chên) as a «popular

corruption » of /,r   Nü-chih; thence it passed into the Wên-hsien t'ung-k'ao (327, 3 a); it may
have arisen from the fact that f i chih means « hostage »; I do not think that it has so far been met with in any text. As to Nü-chêng, it seems to be a faulty reading of Nü-chên (and not, as might be thought, a taboo due to the personal name If; fi Chao Chên of the Sung Emperor

Jên-tsung, 1022-1063; - l'j   is a misprint in GILES's Biogr. Dist. No. 144), probably due to gra-
phic similarity and to the attraction of the Chinese botanical term nü-chêng, « virgin [-tree] », Ligustrum lucidum (the wrong reading Nü-chêng, for Nü-chên, occurs in GILES's Biogr. Dict. No. 2445; and in the Sao-yeh-shan-fang edition of the Ta-Chin kuo chih, 39, I a, though it is always written Nü-chên in the rest of that work).

According to GIBERT (Bictionnaire, 140, 375), the Ch'i-tan or Liao had first called the Nüchên j 4_ Lü-chên; GIBERT adds that the change from l to n «is a common phenomenon ». Before him TERRIEN DE LACOUPERIE (JRAS, 1889, 440-441) had dwelt at length on this form Lü-chên, which he said dated as far back as the T'ang dynasty, as was proved by ch. 199 of the Chiu T'ang shu, where « it is distinctly stated » that Lü-chên was the name by which the Ch'i-tan called the Nü-chên. It is true that, if the name Lü-chên occurred in the Chiu T'ang shu, it ought to be in ch. 199; but I have twice read through the two sections of that long chapter without discovering any mention of Lü-chên. As a matter of fact I did not expect to find it there, since I believe that the name Nü-chên, either in that form or in the form of Lü-chên, was not known in China before the tenth century. The only authorities I can find for the form Lü-

chên are the Jç   g: Ta-Chin kuo chih and Ma Tuan-lin's Wên-hsien t'ung-k'ao (327, 3 a).
The Ta-Chin kuo chih in 40 chapters is said to have been presented to the Sung Emperor in 1234; Ma Tuan-lin's work was compiled at the close of the thirteenth century and first published between 1317 and 1322. But we are here confronted with a very intricate problem, that of the authorship and date of the Ta-Chin kuo chih, « Description of the Kingdom of the Great Chin », and of its almost sister-work, the 3 J,J'- j û; Ch'i-tan kuo chih, « Description of the Kingdom of the Ch'i-tan », in 27 chapters.

VASIL'EV (in Trudy VOIRAO, iv [1859], 169, 196) says that the Ch'i-tan kuo chih was

written by   n Yeh Lung-li in 1179 (a miscalculation for 1180), and the Ta-Chin kuo chih in

1234 by 1:.   t 1l Yü-wên Mou-chao, both authors being « well-known » writers of the Sting

dynasty. But we know nothing about Yü-wên Mou-chao beyond the superscription and the memorial to the Throne at the beginning of his book, and this memorial is surely spurious. As to Yeh Lung-li, his memorial of presentation to the Throne is dated 1180 and, in agreement with its contents, the Ch'ien-lung Commissioners (Ssu-k'u ... , 50, 19 b-22 a) state that the Ch'i-tan kuo chih was written in compliance with an Imperial edict of the Emperor Hsiao-tsung (1162-1189); in the same notice, however, they say that Yeh Lung-li received the doctorate in 1247, but neither to