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0597 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 597 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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194. CURMOS   581

Tsêng-t'an was called Amir-amirân, « Emir of emirs », which is a Persian title, and his family had ruled for ten generations during 500 years (which is certainly excessive, since it gives an average of 50 years of reign for each prince). Tsêng-t'an (*Zängidàn, *Zängtan?) suggests no known name; -an may or may not be a Persian plural. The products of the country are partly Asiatic, partly African, but some may have come there by trade. The Wên-ch'ang tsa-lu alone, the author of which had access to the Court archives, gives the names of the countries conterminous to Tsêng-t'an : to the east, Tsêng-t'an reached the sea; to the west, it bordered upon the king-

dom of jjj   x Hu-lu-mu; to the south, upon the kingdom of n 'j Jff Hsia-wu-t'an; to the
north, upon the kingdom of .Jq =it, 0 Li-chi-man. None of these names seems to be traceable anywhere else (I have not tried the Sung hui yao, the contents of which are hard to check). Hu-lu-mu (where mu is *muat) would be a good transcription of Hormuz, but the geographical data would hardly fit.

In the Chinese map of the Ching-shih ta-tien, dated c. 1330 and based on a Mussulman map, the name of Hormuz does not occur now, but originally it must have been included, since

it is found in the corresponding list of YS, 63, 16 b, where it is written ?u?   4   Hu-li-mu-
tzû, Hurmuz (cf. Br, n, 130; T'u Chi, 160, 23 b [but T'u Chi has mixed up with Hormuz the Qurumsi of the Secret History, which is the old Mongol form of an unidentified name which may or may not be Hormuz]). In YS, 123, 8 a, we read that Qubilai detailed an Alan (Asut),

Al5q Hu-êrh-tu-ta, to accompany the noyan 4; Kg Pu-lo on an embassy to « the place

(It ti) of Pr;   RJ   Ha-êrh-ma-mou ». BRETSCHNEIDER (Br, II, 89) supposed that mou could be
a mistake for ssû, and that the hypothetical Ha-êrh-ma-ssû might represent Hormuz, and later on (II, 132) spoke as if Ha-êrh-ma-ssû actually was the reading given in the YS; in Pu-lo, he proposed to see the famous Bolod, the informant of Rasidu-'d-Din on Mongol history and customs; the whole of this second passage has been reproduced by CORDIER in Y, I, 115. In his unfortunate biography of Marco Polo, T'u Chi (117, 5 b; cf. also 102, 14 a) maintained that Pu-lo was no other than Polo, and that Ha-êrh-ma-mou was « Bombay the Black », Qara-Bombay (!). T'u Chi's solutions may be rejected without further ado. But the passage is puzzling. The only noyan Po-lo or Pu-lo in Qubilai's time is Bolod, in Persian Pulâd, who actually was sent by Qubilai to Persia where he arrived in 1285 and remained until his death. On the other hand, Hu-êrh-tu-ta seems to represent *Hurtuqta, and an Urtuqta actually arrived at the Persian Court on February 24, 1286, bringing the Imperial edict of investiture delivered to Aryun by Qubilai (cf. Oh, iv, 13 [where the name is read « Ordoucaya »], and BI, I, 230 [where it is read « Urtukhata »; cf. also p. 133]). In spite of several difficulties which I cannot examine here, things really look as if Hu-êrh-tu-ta had been sent on a mission to Persia. But that does not imply that Ha-êrh-ma-mou may be Hormuz; apart from -r- in the second syllable, not one character is phonetically acceptable for such an equation. As a matter of fact, I do not know what name of man or of place is intended; ma-mou sometimes renders Mahmûd, which gives no sense here; and we must not forget that the passage comes in a biography, probably based on a document of private origin. No solution can be reached for the present, but Hormuz is most improbable. As a matter of fact, if we except the Hu-li-mu-tzû based on a Mussulman map, Hormuz occurs in Chinese texts of the Mongol dynasty only once, in a document which remained unknown to