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0427 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 427 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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181. COTAN


texts, since a text translated by Sarat CHANDRA DAS (JASB, LV [1887], 202; cf. also WATTERS, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, Ii, 299) speaks of « the country called Gosthan, or place of virtue, now vulgarly called Khothan (or Khoten) ... ». « Gosthan » is impossible as such in Tibetan writing (unless written « Gos-than », which is unlikely), and I do not know how the translator came to his « place of virtue ». It seems that « place » is not intended by Sarat CHANDRA DAS to render °sthan = Skr. stheina, but rather go, which means « place » in Tibetan. With all due reserve as to the authority of the text (which is recent, and which shows traces of Russian influence) and of its translation, the fact remains that we have here, based on the Tibetan and long before the remarks of LEvi and WATTERS, a form of the name of Khotan beginning with go-and not with ku-.

The current Khotanese form was evidently the one meant by Hsüan-tsang when he says that the name in the local language was Huan-na (*X uan-na). This statement finds a striking confirmation in the late Khotanese texts, where the usual name for Khotan was Khotanese Hvatana-, Hvatäna-, later Hvacnna-, Hvana-, Hvacn, locative sing. Hva:nnya, Hvanya; adjective hratanaa-, hvar.nnaa-, hvanaa-, « Khotanese » (cf. Sten KoNOw, in JRAS, 1914, 342; Saka Studies, 145; BAILEY, in BSOS, IX, 522, 540). Sogdian used Xwônyk, quoted by W. B. HENNING in his Sogdica, p. 10, from a list of peoples. Hsüan-tsang's transcription is a faithful rendering of Hvanna = *Hvanna, *Hvanna; it shows that the original intervocalic dental of the name was already assimilated to the following -n in the first half of the 7th cent. But the original form is preserved in more ancient Khotanese mss. as Hvatana-, Hvatana- (cf. LEUMANN, Das nordarische Sakische Lehrgedicht des Buddhismus, 3rd Part, in Abh. f. d. Kunde d. Morgenl., xx, No. 3 [1936], 528).

According to Hsüan-tsang, the Hu, i. e. the Iranians, said Ho-tan (*Xuât-tan); this tran-

scription, which supposes an original *Hwâtan, already heralds the   Hotan of later Mussul-
man tradition, the modern « Khotan ».

By a « Hindu » form Ch'ü-tan (*K'ivat-tân), Hsüan-tsang of course does not mean a Sanskrit form, but the one which was then in current use in the spoken language of Northern Hindus. Middle-Indian language having no h-, a kh- was the nearest possible equivalent, and this is how we must understand *K'ivat-tân, which supposes *Khutan or *Khôtan. But, shortly after Hsüan-tsang, a different pseudo-Sanskrit form appears in the Fan-yü tsa-ming, to wit Korttana, with the insertion of an unetymological -r- (cf. BAGCHI, Deux lexiques sanskrit-chinois, 77, 295; HENNING, in BSOS, Ix, 570).

A last form given by Hsüan-tsang remains to be examined, the Yü-tun (*Jiu-d`uan) which the traveller says was the name of Khotan among the Hsiung-nu. Apart from the texts which repeat the gloss of the Memoirs on the names of Khotan, this transcription only occurs, so far as I am aware, in the K'ai-yüan shih-chiao lu (Tokyo Tripit. of Meiji, d, iv, 72 b) and

in Hsüan-tsang's biography in the Hsii kao-sêng chuan (ibid.   , II, 107 b) ; but both passages
are also derived from the Memoirs themselves. Hsüan-tsang's information is however of the highest interest. The first point is to know what he meant by « Hsiung-nu ». Of course there were no longer true Hsiung-nu in the 7th cent. At the end of the 3rd cent., Chu Fa-hu used Hsiung-nu where the corresponding Tibetan translation gives Hu-na = Hûz►a (cf. BEFEO,