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0060 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 60 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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656   227. FACFUR

etymology of the name Bakûr, and although, as will soon be seen, Fayfûr has been used as a man's name at a late date, I am afraid that, in the present state of our knowledge, the equation of all the II&xopoç, Pacorus, etc., to Baypûr is hardly defendable. The case may be different, however, with one of the names adduced by JusTI. Procopius (1, 5 [DINDORF ed., p. 26]), in a passage copied from Faustus of Byzantium (second half of the 4th cent.), calls Sapor II «IIaxoûpcoç ». Both LAUFER (Beginnings of porcelain, 126) and FERRAND (JA, 1924, I, 243) have declared that this Ilaxoûpcoç was the earliest example known of baypûr. On account of the earlier Parthian Pahlavi and, above all, Sogdian examples, this is of course erroneous. But, if we remember that Faustus of Byzantium, although of Greek origin, wrote a History of Armenia, and that Armenian bakur has found a counterpart in the bagar of the Syriac catena, it will appear quite plausible that Ilaxoûpcoç, used as a designation of the Sassanian king Sapor II (4th cent. A. D.), should really be an example of the use of the title of « Son of Heaven » for one of the four (or five) Sons of Heaven of the Chinese texts, and one who is not the Chinese Emperor.

As is well known, tribal names and foreign titles have often been employed as men's names in Central Asia. YULE has already said ( Y, II, 148) that Fayfûr seemed to be used as a man's name in the Memoirs of Babur, and I have no doubt that he was right (cf. A. S. BEVERIDGE'S translation, 551, 687, 750) ; the form Mayfûr given by the I.laydarabâd Ms. must be an erroneous reading of the same type as maybûr in Sulaymân (cf. supra, p. 653).

But the history of the term fayfur is not limited to its use as a title or a man's name. The derivative forms Pers. farfuri > Turk. farfuru, farfuri have acquired the meaning of « porcelain », and as such have passed into modern Greek cpâppoupc and into all Slavic languages, beginning with Russian farfor (cf. the various Slavic forms in BERNEKER, Slay. Etymol. Wörterbuch, I, 279; LOKOTSCH, NO. 569; LAUFER, Beginnings of porcelain, 126). BERNEKER says that in « Osmanli » fayfur means not only the Chinese Emperor, but « a region in China, famous for its porcelain »; in fact, « Osmanli » must be a slip for « Persian », and the definition is borrowed from VULLERS, who quotes his native source. But it is sheer nonsense. There never was any region really called Fayfûr in China (although a strangely worded passage of I-Ching in CHAVANNES, Les religieux éminents, 56 [but not in the corresponding text of TAKAKUSU, A Record of the Buddhist Religion, 136], would seem to refer the corresponding name devaputra to the Chinese capital). The error of VULLERS' source recurs, however, in Sidi 'Ali Celebi (1554 A. D. ; cf. Fe, 501) : « The best kind of porcelain, called pâytahti ani, is found at Sahr-i-naw and at Fayfûr. The most costly goods are called pâytahti and fayfûri ». Sahr-i-naw was a designation of Ayuthia in Siam (cf. HobsonJobson2, 795), and Fayfûr is used here as a place-name. But pâytahti 5 ni means « porcelain (c'ini) of the capital ». As to pâytahti and fayfûri, mentioned by Sidi `Ali Celebi as designations of costly goods (not particularly of porcelain), they would seem to mean, in his text, « [goods] of the capital » and « [goods] of Fayfûr », respectively, Fayfûr being a place-name. But I have little doubt that this is the result of some misunderstanding. In TP, 1931, 458, I have already expressed the view that, if fayficri > farfuri came to mean porcelain, it was because it was the « [porcelain] of the fayfur », i. e. of the Chinese Emperor. When properly understood, the two terms used by Sidi `Ali Celebi are equivalent : they were pâytahti, because they came from the capital, and they were fayfûri, because the capital was the residence of the Emperor. But fayfari certainly goes