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0047 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 47 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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219. ERCOLIN   643

understanding of « d'Ely »; the confusion with [Râinan]tali accepted in Pe, 251, is most unlikely. R has already « Dely » in Polo, perhaps under the influence of the « Deli » he gives in Conti's text; cf. HALLBERG, 196-197.

The Mussulman texts write   Hill (= Héli); there is no basis for the transcription

frequently adopted. We find in the early 15th cent.   L Hsieh-li, Hêli, in the Chinese map of
Mussulman origin reproduced by PHILLIPS in JNCB, xix, 223; it is correctly placed south of

Mangalore. RocKHILL (TP, 1915, 453) has also seen Eli, Hêli, in the ]   Hsia-li, *Hall, of
the Tao-i chih-lio of 1349-1350; he may be right, but then the position given in the text, between Quilon and Calicut, is wrong; this mention would be interesting as showing an initial h- independently from Mussulman cartography. Cf. also TP, 1933, 289, but taking into account that, geographically Quilon may be said to border on Cochin, not on Eli; Fei Hsin repeats here the error of Tao-i chih-lio; for other mentions of Hsia-li in Fei Hsin's work, cf. TP, 1915, 448, 462.

Hill is mentioned in Fe, 281, 526, 540; but p. 281, a text from Ibn Al-BaY1.âr (t 1248) refers to « Sindâpûr, in the territory of Hili D. FERRAND makes no comment, but this localization is impossible, as « Sindâpûr » is the old name of Goa (cf. Hobson-Jobson2, 837-838). Incidentally I may remark that there is no ground for transcribing »,U or » x .., as « Sindâpûr ». The real form is Sindâpûr (and Sindâbûr), or even Sandabûr (and Sandabûr). The Catalan Map has « Chin-tabor », the Medici « Cintabor ». YULE has already supposed an initial element « Chandâ° ».

This is confirmed by the Chinese map of the 15th cent. where we find a im#j   Ch'an-ta-
wa-êrh, *Candawar, not identified by PHILLIPS (JNCB, )(Ix, 63), but certainly identical with the so-called « Sindâpûr ».


archoline, arcoline L   arculini VL   ercolin, erculin F

archolini VB   choccholini TA', TAs   ercolini, erculini Z

arcolini L, VA; R   cucullini G   herculini LT, P

Three times, in his notices on the Kingdom of «Conci», on the Land of Darkness, and on Russia (cf. Vol. I, 472, 473, 474), Polo gives an identical list of furs, twice in the order « sables, ermines, squirrels, ercolins and [black] foxes », and once in the order « sables, ermines, ercolins, squirrels, and foxes ». In the original French text, the word here rendered « squirrel » is vair; although more or less obsolete in French and English, it might have been retained, as it has been by YULE, Ricci-Ross, and, under the Italian form vaio, by BENEDETTO. As to the « ercolins », their name has not been traced elsewhere hitherto.

« Vair » (< Lat. varius, « variegated », > Fr. and Engl. vair, It. vaio, pi. vai) was used in mediaeval French as the designation of a particular colour of eyes, of the coat of various animals, but, above ail, of certain kinds of squirrels and their furs. There are three main names of squirrels n mediaeval texts : « vair », « gris », and « écureuil » (ordinary squirrel, Sciurus Vulgaris). The