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0455 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 455 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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Hsiang-chin and Hsü Kuang-ch'i knew chi-pei only as a term found in earlier works. Chi pei

however, may have remained alive in southern dialects fairly late, since it is still used in explanatory glosses of the Tung-hsi yang k'ao, which was completed in 1617-1618 (1, 11 b; 5, 6 a; cf. also 3, 10 a). At any rate, neither ku-pei nor chi-pei seems to have survived in the modern dialects of Fu-chien and Kuang-tung (nor in Annamite, in spite of WAITERS, loc. cit. 440).

Thus chi-pei was the only form used in southern China from the 11th till the 14th cent.,

and perhaps later. Yet I believe that the balance of the argument is in favour of a primitive

form ku-pei.   If we could trust the T'u-shu chi-ch'êng (ibid., hui-k'ao, 1 b), chi-pei would
already have been mentioned in the j 'JJj 81 !RI j Nan-chou i-wu chih (« Cotton [mu-mien] is produced by the chi-pei ... ») ; the Nan-chou i-wu chih, a work on the remarkable products of the southern countries, was written in the 3rd cent. (cf. BEFEO, III, 267; iv, 277-278; TP, 1923, 123; Etudes asiatiques ... de l'EFEO, II, 255; I regret not to have at my disposal the recent

edition of the extant fragments which was published by [1j , { CH'   Yün-jung, on which
cf. The Yenching Journal of Social Science, II [1939] 127). But, in most cases, the T'u-shu chich'êng has altered to chi-pei the reading ku-pei of the original texts; moreover the quotation, the origin of which I have been unable to trace, cannot, from its contents, go back to the 3rd cent. Part of the quotation, but without the sentence on chi-pei, is found in the Nung shu of Wang Chêng, dated 1313 (20, 16 a; on this work, cf. infra, p. 502); there it is said to be drawn from the I-wu chili (without « Nan-chou ») ; on the next page, another part of the quotation is given with the full title Nan-chou i-wu chih, and there chi pei is mentioned; but this does not solve the chronological difficulties, and I believe that the text does not go farther back than the Sung at the earliest, which would account for the form chi-pei. In fact, the earliest mention of ku-pei or chi pei which I can find occurs in the Sung shu (97, 2 b); there it is said that, in the 7th yuan-chia year (430), «the kingdom of puj fif` & Ho-lo-tan (*xâ-iâ-tan), which has its seat on the island (chou) of Shê-p'o, sent an envoy who offered such objects as

diamond rings, red parrots, po-tieh and ku-pei from the kingdom of   T'ien-chu (an abnor-

mal way of writing A- ` - T'ien-chu, India), and ku-pei from the kingdom of   alt Yeh-po ».

Shê-p'o transcribes Java, which may here designate Sumatra as well as Java proper; the kingdom of Ho-lo-tan, which seems to be erroneously duplicated as kingdom of 'ä7 y jig Ho-lo-t'o (*x5.- 1A-d1) in the same chapter (2 a-b), remains unidentified; Yeh-po, or Yeh-po-[]lo (*Iäp-puâ-Iâ) is an ancient name of Gandhâra (cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 225, 322; BEFEO, iv,

272; JA, 1914, II, 406-408). Being for the moment concerned only with the term ku-pei or chipei, I leave for another paragraph the question of the juxtaposition of po-tieh and ku-pei; the text is identical in the quotation made by the T'ai p'ing yü-lan, 787, 14 b. This example of ku-pei (or chi pei) antedates by two and a half centuries the date given by Wells WILLIAMS (The Middle Kingdom, II, 36-37) for the introduction of the term, viz. « A. D. 670 ». In the Nan Ch'i shu (58, 5 a), two pairs of ku-pei are listed among the presents offered in 484 by Fu-nan (= Cambodia; cf. BEFEO, III, 260, where, however, « an elephant in white santal » is a slip for « an image in white santal »). Shuang, « pairs », is abnormal in the case of textiles, but I find it also used in connection with tieh, « cotton stuff », in, VIII, 117 a; it may be due to the fact that two strips of cloth were used as clothing, hence they are mentioned in Indian texts as yuga,