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0045 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 45 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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216. EGRIGAIA   641

that Schiltberger « mentions Misir among the cities of Arabia », since he names no other of these cities, and it seems difficult to connect with this passage the use of « Misira » on Fra Mauro's map as the designation of the coast of Arabia opposite Hormuz (cf. Zu, 43, 48; HALLBERG, 356).


argigaian V egragaia Ft egregaia Fr, Pr egregaya P egregia VL

egrigaia F, FA, FB, L, VA,

Z; R

egrigay TA' r

egrigaya TAI

egygaia LT

elgrigajan VB erigaia FAt, Lm grigaia TA3 r grighaia TM

The Mss. have « Egrigaia » (also given by Fra Mauro), which I think slightly corrupt for « Egricaya », unless the -q- became more or less sonant in the middle of the name.

There is no doubt about its identity with Ning-hsia. In the Secret History (§ 265), the name is written Äri-gaya, with the Chinese equivalence Ning-hsia. Rasidu-'d-Din (Ber, III, 95; pers. 144) says that l;),l Erqaya is the Mongol form of the name, but that the Tangut (= Hsi-Hsia) form is 55,1 Irgai (= Irgai?). Irgai is named five times by « Sanang Setsen » (cf. SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 498), from Chinghiz-khan's time down to the first half of the 17th cent. When an Uighur document speaks of envoys from Irkänd and Irgäi (?; RADLOV, Uigur. Sprachdenkmäler, 28-31; also G. VERNADSKY in JAOS, 56 [1936], 458, 459), it is hardly possible, in view of the change of « class », that we should have to understand « Yarkänd and Irgai ». The name has survived; it is still the native name of Ning-hsia (cf. RUDNEV, Materialy, 97). In Y, I, 281-282, there is a mixture, with many misreadings, of « Irgai » and of « Ergiuul » with Uraqai, quite a different place in Tangut. The name which is corrupt in the Mss. and for which BLOCHET (Bl, II, 498) has adopted the wrong form s,j), is either Irqai or Uraqai.

Polo used the Mongol form, later abandoned by the Mongols themselves, and it seems certain that the Mongols had altered the Hsi-Hsia name to make it end in qaya, « rock ». From the forms in the Secret History and in Rasidu-'d-Din, it might seem that we ought to adopt the form « Erigaya » of FAt, in spite of «Egrigaya» of all the main Mss. But I think that the form in the Secret History was not correctly read by the transcribers at the end of the 14th cent. The « camp » (ying) of

.ifl,   &   Ye-ii-ha-ya is mentioned in YS, 22, 5 a, under the date A. D. 1307, and the name

of Ning-hsia is written .{Y, `   â %f Ye-chi-li-ha-ya in YS, 120, 7 a. The combination of the
two transcriptions suggests *Agri-gaya, which is exactly Polo's « Egrigaia » (? < « *Egricaya »). But perhaps this form was not the original one adapted in Mongolian from Hsi-Hsia or it may be dialectal; for it is very tempting to presume a regular Mongol form Ärgi-gaya, « the Steep Rock ». It must be *Agri-gaya which has been altered to «Artâkiyâ» in liôndämir, and to «Yarâgiyâ» in the Nuzhat-al-Qulab (cf. LE STRANGE'S translation, 250).

In the T'ang dynasty, the main centre of the region was at 2 ')4( Ling-chou, on the eastern