National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0429 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 429 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000246
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text


181. COTAN   413

known in Central Asia. As to *Go, the frequent occurrence in the Khotan region of names which were sanskritized as Gomati, *Gomasalagandha, etc., is certainly striking, but I do not see that much more can be said for the present. *Go may be the name of the country, or of the people. It has certainly nothing to do with Ch. 3i wu (*nguo), « five », nor can it, in my opinion, mean « west » or « mountains of the west », as has been suggested by THOMAS (Asia Major, II, 257, 259).

HERRMANN sees Khotan in Ptolemy's X au'para (vi, 15, 4), which he proposes to correct to Xau'-rava (Southern Tibet, vile, 452; Das Land der Seide, 121, 145 [where Xavpzva seems to be a misprint]). Xau'pava is supported, however, by Xavpavzioc Ixt Sac in Ptolemy vi, 15, 3, and by Chauriana in Ammianus Marcellinus. Although the oldest native forms I have deduced begin with g- it may be that the name was already sounded with an initial h-, in Sogdian, in Ptolemy's time. But the identification of the Ptolemean nomenclature is still for the most part so uncertain that I must abstain from dogmatizing in the present case.

While Yü-t'ien and Yü-tun presuppose *'Odan and *'Odon respectively, other ancient transcriptions show a median -t- instead of -d-. One is in the Syriac catena which mentions « the Sakiamunaye, i. e. the Tuptaye and the black 'Otnaye », that is to say the disciples of

àkyamuni, who are the Tibetans (see « Tebet ») and the black Khotanese (cf. BIDEZ and CUMONT, Les mages hellénisés, II, 117). Because of the mention of the Tibetans, I do not think that this part of the catena can be older than the 7th-8th cent. (see « Sagamoni Burcan »). By its -t-, 'Otnaye, an ethnical name derived from 'Otn (= 'Otân), is in the line of the Iranian (Sogdian ?) Hwâtan, but does not show the same strong aspiration at the beginning of the word. It is nevertheless certainly a « Western » form, which is not directly connected with *'Odan or *'Odon.

The Tibetan form is more surprising. There is a purely Tibetan name of Khotan, Li-yul, « the Li country », li being the Tibetan word for « bell-metal », in Skr. karpsa; the name has not been accounted for (cf. STEIN, Ancient Khotan, 155; THOMAS, in Asia Major, II, 255). But Tibetan chronicles also speak occasionally of Khotan as 'U-then and 'U-ten (cf. THOMAS, in Asia Major, Ii, 256-257; Tibetan Texts and Documents, i, 129, 306). This is no doubt a form borrowed from the Chinese Yü-t'ien. The use of 'U-ten or 'U-then instead of *'U-den finds a

parallel in the name of the Goçrnga Hill of Khotan, called in Chinese Lt   [J] Niu-t'eu-shan
(*Ngiau-d'au-fan), « Ox-head Mountain »; this Chinese name appears in the Tibetan texts relating to Khotan as 'Ge'u-to-San or Gau-to-San (cf. JA, 1914, II, 144-145; THOMAS, Tibetan Texts and Documents, I, 6). We have seen that the t'ien of Yü-t'ien (*Jiu-d'ien) is recorded as pronounced in two different tones; our modern reading Yü-t'ien is based on the p'ing-shêng pronunciation; read in the ch'ii-shêng, it would regularly give a modern tien. The passage from the sonant initial to the surd (with or without aspiration according to the tone) dates from c. A. D. 1000 in Northern China, but did not take place simultaneously over the whole of China. It may be that the Tibetans who wrote down the chronicles of Khotan in Tibetan had already heard the ancient sonant initials of the p'ing-shêng as surd aspirates, which would account for 'U-ten or 'U-then and for 'G'eu-to-San or Gau-to-San (S. C. DAS'S explanation of 'U-then as lNa-ldan or Paricavati, « the Quintuple », in JASB, LV, 195, is absurd, and ought to have been alluded to by THOMAS, in Ancient Khotan, 583).