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0626 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 626 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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610   202. ÇULCARNEIN

Chinese map of c. 1330 and in the corresponding chapter of YS, 63, 16 b, not under the name

of it *IJ   Hsieh-la-shih as BRETSCHNEIDER supposed (see under «Cieistan»), but under that of

*IJ   Shê-la-tzii in which he saw the Salistân (cf. Br, II, 127-128). Shih-la-ssû is mentioned

c. 1400 (cf. Br, II, 145). For the intercourse between   *1J ,tJ Shih-la-ssû (Sirâz) and China in

the 15th and the first quarter of the 16th cents., cf. Ming. shih, 332, 8 b, Br, II, 292-294, and add YI, I, 286 (T'u Chi's paragraph on Sirâz, 160, 24 a, contains several wrong forms).


chulitame VA   zul carmain FA   zulcarnen TAI, R

churzanen V   zul carman FB   zurleai TA3

çulcar ne in F, L   zulcarnei LT   zulearlle VB

culturi VL, S

Ar. ~,;,~II ~; Du-'I-Qarnain, « Master of the Two Horns », an epithet of Alexander the Great (see « Alexandre' ») popularized through its use in the Koran. It is, however, sometimes applied to

other people as well.   On the term, cf. Y, I, 160-161; NÖLDEKE, Beiträge zur Geschichte des
Alexanderromans (in Denkschr. d. k. Ak. d. W., Ph.-Hist. KI., vol. 38 [1890], No. 5, 32-33). Mediaeval authors knew of Alexander's two horns, and gave symbolical explanations of them. For Roger Bacon, they figured the two kingdoms acquired by Alexander, Greece and Asia; another writer said they meant « power and knowledge » (cf. Ch.-V. LANGLOIS, La connaissance de la nature, Paris, 1927, 82).


çurficar F   surficar FA   zuefichar V

oificar VB   vlficar LT   zuficar P, Pb, TA'

sufficar FB   yufichar TA3   zursichar VA

In spite of « Çurficar » in F, Polo must have used « Çulficar », as he uses « Çuicarnein », and LT's « vificar » supports the correction. The name is of course Arabic )1.i .a Dû-'i-fagâr, vulg. Zuifigàr, « Master of the Vertebrae », the name of a sword taken by Mahomet from an Arab unbeliever; the sword passed from him to 'Ali. The name is fairly common, but Polo's « compains », since he was called « Zulfigar », cannot have been a Turk from the eastern part of Chinese Turkistan; it is probable that he was a western Turk (from Russian Turkistan or even farther west), who had entered Qubilai's service and who came back to the Court after his three

years' stay in the region of the T'ien-shan.   It seems to be a safe conclusion that Polo never