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0029 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 29 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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dauid melic Z   dauit melic F, FA, FB, L   david G

dauid melich R   dauit melich VB   mandemilich VA

dauid melie TA'   dauit melie TA3   nandamelich VL

dauid mellic LT   dauit mioliorotis V

David melik, « King David », the name of all Georgian kings according to Polo. The French texts have, in the explanation of the title, the order « David King », which is a word-for-word translation ; Polo used it probably ; nevertheless, the Western order is adopted in Z, when it says (oddly enough) « quod in lingua galica dicitur rex dauid », and RAMUSIO followed the order of Z, saying « the in lingua nostra si dice Re Dauid ». On melik, see « Melic ». Polo is wrong when he attributes the name of David to all the kings, though the Georgian kings claimed descent from King David. Moreover, Polo, on his way to China, may have heard of David V, who died in 1272, and, on his way back, of David VI, who had ascended the throne in 1292. He may then have jumped to the hasty conclusion that all Georgian kings were called David (cf. also Y, I, 52-53; I do not believe in YULE'S explanation of Polo's « David melic » by the title « dadian » of the princes of Mingreiia; on « dadian », cf. BROSSET, Hist. de la Géorgie, it, 385-386).

Polo says that the ancient kings of Georgia were born with the figure of an eagle on the right shoulder, and YULE (Y, I, 53), has quoted a passage of the 17th cent. missionary Cristoforo di CASTELLI according to which the king of Georgia was said to have on his shoulder a small mark of a cross. CASTELLI adds « Factus est principatus super humerum ejus », and this quotation from the Bible (Isaiah, ix, 6) may well give the true origin of the tradition. But in BROSSET'S monumental Histoire de la Géorgie (poorly indexed, I admit), I find no allusion to such a popular belief. Nor have I succeeded in eliciting any further information from those of my colleagues who are specialists of Georgian history and litterature.


deuisement dou monde Fr deuisement du monde FAr deuisement et les diuersitees du monde Or

diuisiment dou monde Ft liber descriptionis prov. LTr

(instizione del mondo Vr

liure du grant kaan de

cathay, rommans du grant kaan FBr)

BENEDETTO, following BALDELLI-BONI'S example, adopted for his edition of F the title Il Milione (with Le Divisament dou Monde as a sub-title prefixed to the text), under the assumption that the epithet may well have referred to the book before it passed to the man (B, 245-246); but his later Italian translation is entitled Le Meraviglie del Mondo (or, more fully, Il libro... detto Milione dove si raccontano Le Meraviglie del Mondo). Perhaps this change was due to BENEDETTO'S growing conviction that Milione or Milio was not a nickname, but Marco's real name,