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0613 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 613 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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196. ÇANGHIBAR   597

Polo speaks of the « five very beautiful bridges of Çaiton », the largest being « quite three miles in length ». As the passage occurs only in Z, it has naturally not been commented on by YULE; but there is no remark made about it in Ricci and Ross, PENZER or BENEDETTO. I am not

in a position to identify all the bridges. But one of them must be the JK Mi   Shun-chi-ch'iao,
which spans the Chin-chiang south of the walls of Ch'üan-chou and on the highway to Chang-chou; it was built in 1211 (cf. Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chih, 328, 6 a; the form Shun-chih[e]ch'iao used by PHILLIPS in TP, 1894, 7, is erroneous, although it has been copied by ECKE in Sinica, vi, 296; the correct form is given in ECKE and DEMIÉVILLE, The Twin Pagodas, 4 and Pl. 6 a). As for the bridge of « quite three miles in length », it is certainly the famous ( [A 4,,

Lo-yang-ch'iao or j.%   tiff Wan-an-ch'iao, built over the Lo-yang River at the northern end of the
bay of Ch'üan-chou, on the highway to Fu-chou, and certainly one of the most striking achievements of early Chinese engineering. The construction of the bridge took six years, from 1053 to 1069, and was due to the initiative of the well-known author and statesman Ts'ai Hsiang (1012-1067; GILES, Biogr. Dict. No. 1974), himself a native of the district of Hsien-yu, to the north-east of Ch'üan-chou. It is difficult to estimate the real length of Polo's « three miles », but Chinese sources give to the bridge a length of 3600 feet, which amounts to five-sevenths of a mile. PHILLIPS (TP, 1894, 7) said that the bridge had been described by the Augustine Fathers who visited Fu-chien in 1575 (not « 1577 »). But this would require the tacit assumption that «Megoa» in MENDOÇA'S book means Ch'üan-chou, while it seems more likely to be the Hsing-hua suggested in a note by the editor of MENDOÇA in the Hakluyt Society publications (II, 75). The first certain description I know of, and a very enthusiastic one it is, occurs in MARTINI'S Novus Atlas Sinensis of 1655. MARTINI had crossed the bridge on two different occasions. He does not fail to note that the pillars of the bridge are bevelled both up and down stream, describing them in almost the same terms as in Polo's then unknown passage. Further details and views of the Lo-yang Bridge are given by ECKE, in Sinica, vi, 271-272, 296, and PL 22, 4; 23, 9 and 11; and in ECKE and DEMIÉVILLE, The Twin Pagodas, p. 4 and Pl. 71 a.


canghibar F, Fr

canzibar, zamzibar P cvngibar, zungibar V çacchibar, zaçecchibar, zachibar


çachibar TAIr, TA3 çanchibar F

çanghibar F, Z

çangibar L

gangchibar Ft

gangibar VB

tanguibar VL

zacchibar, zeccibar TA3

zaghybar, zanghibar, zanghy-

bar Z

zamquibar FA

zanchibar TA3, VA zançiber LT zangibar L, VA zanguibar FAt zanquibar FA, FB zanziber LTr zarachnar G zenzibar R

The readings of Z and of the French mss. leave no doubt that the intended pronunciation is « Zangibar », and not the « Zanjibar » which V and L would seem to suggest. RAMUSIO's « Zenzibar» is a comparatively late form, also used by ORTELIUS, and very near Barbosa's «Zinzibar »