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0436 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 436 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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420   181. COTAN

was Yii-ch'ih is stated to have had as personal name (tzü)   * Wu-mi (*•Uk-miét), and the

same reading occurs in the Ts'ê fu yiian-kuei (cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 126; TP, 1904, 4). In texts of the T'ang period, the wu of Wu-mi is often corrupt for 1M ch'ü (*k'ivat); and the Chiu T'ang shu (198, 8 a) actually gives Ch'ü-mi, which is no doubt correct. But neither *.Uk-miét nor *K'ivat-miét suggests any foreign form reconcilable with what we know of the royal lists.

The names of most of the successors of Yii-ch'ih Ch'ü-mi are given in Chinese sources as

beginning with {3   , followed by a last character which is different for every king. CHA-

VANNES had read the first two characters as Fu-tu (Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 325; TP, 1904, 99, 109). Sten KoNOw was told by sinologists that the proper reading was « Fu-ch'a », and saw there « another rendering of Vijaya, or, rather, of Visa » (JRAS, 1914, 347). To this Ltvi added that the second character was the regular transcription of -ja-, and that, in his opinion, f fu was certainly corrupt for pf fei; fei-she would render Vija = Vijaya, and would even be a more accurate rendering than the earlier Yü-ch'ih (JRAS, 1914, 1020-1021). THOMAS, in his recent Tibetan Texts and Documents, I, 162, retains, however, « Fu-tu », because he believes it to represent Boydo (JRAS, 1931, 832; 1937, 309-313).

The case is somewhat embarrassing. One point is not open to doubt : the first two

characters are a transcription; moreover, it is not an « adopted » transcription as in the case of Yü-ch'ih, since there is no other example in Chinese of the combination of the two characters which CHAVANNES read Fu-tu. THOMAS'S theory cannot be accepted. Boydo, « holy », is a comparatively late form in Mongolian. The Mongol spelling is boyda, plur. boxdas. In the Secret History, we still find bobda (§§ 200, 254), bohda (read bohda, § 254),and only once bohdo (§ 121), which must be the result of a popular pronunciation at the end of the 14th cent., since the Ulan-Bator ms., in the corresponding passage, reads boda (corrupt for bohda). The evolution bohda > bohdo, boydo, is of the same type as Odan > Odon. Tib. bog-to, pog-ta, Yatuk bohdo are borrowed from the Mongolian (cf. LAUFER, in TP, 1916, 495; Sino-Iranica, 576). The word does not exist in Turkish at an early date. It is not given in Kàsyari. The forms poyda, puyda of some modern Turkish dialects (RAmov, II, 1267, 1362), the pseudo-Uighur forms poktas of RADLOV, n, 1264, and boydaz of RAMSTEDT, Kalm. Wörterbuch, 49, are misreadings of boydas, which is actually given in the Sino-Uighur Vocabulary of the Ming period and is merely borrowed from the Mong. plural boydas. We cannot so far trace the word beyond the Mongol period; it is just as arbitrary to connect it, as THOMAS does, with the Juan-juan name

I1 Fu-t'u (*B'iuk-d'uo) as it would be to identify with it the T'o-pa Wei name fRp Fu-t'o

(*B'iuk-d1; on which cf. Lo Chên-yü, Wei shu tsung-chih chuan chu, piao, 22 b). SCHOTT'S Indian etymology bhakta is certainly wrong (Abh. Bay. Ak. d. W. 1877, 5); BLOCHET'S derivation from Pers. bohta (JRAS, 1915, 308) would be more satisfactory from the phonetic point of view, but it lacks all other support. I would rather suppose with RAMSTEDT (loc. cit. 49) that boyda boydo is a purely Altaic word, connected with Tung. and Ora. buga, Goldi boa (cf. P. SCHMIDT [ MITS], The Language of the Oroches, Riga, 1928, 27).

But, apart from the history of the word boyda, there is a point of Chinese phonetics which I consider fatal to THOMAS'S argument. Nobody knows why CHAVANNES transcribed the term as