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0061 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 61 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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227. FACFUR   657

back to a fairly early date, and, as I am going to show, the real value of fayfûr had been forgotten in the time of Sidi `Ali eiebi.

In Polo's text, « facfur » is the designation of the Sung Emperor, and is never referred to Qubilai; this is once more in agreement with the Mussulman, and particularly the Persian habit of the time. Qubilai and his successors were known as qa'an, not as fayfûr, and the title was not used again when the Mongols were overthrown and replaced by the Ming. Statements of the 15th and the 16th cents. establish that fayfûr was then an obsolete term (cf. VAN BERCHEM in TP, 1911, 725). An Arabic inscription of Ch'üan-chou affords a decisive confirmation for Polo's use of « facfur ». Dated 1323, it speaks of events which occurred «in the time of the fayfûr », and this was enough, shortly after Qubilai and Polo, to denote that the text was alluding to the time of the Sung Emperors (cf. TP, 1911, 721).

According to SCHIEFNER, whose theory is ignored by BERNEKER (I, 66) but echoed by LOKOTSCH (No. 175), Pers. bähâdur, « hero », would also represent fayfûr or its alleged prototype *bagapuora, through dissimilation. The range of dispersion of the word is enormous, from old Turkish, Mongol, Manchu (and Chinese) on one side to Slavonian and Hungarian on the other, and also from Persia to modern India. But its origin is doubtful, it may not be Iranian, and the meanings of fayfûr and bähâdur are quite different; the proposed etymology can hardly be retained.

As already stated by YULE, Polo's « Facfur » is in fact a combination of at least three different Sung Emperors. The one he describes as effeminate is Tu-tsung, born in 1240 (not 1222 as in GILES, Biogr. Dict., No. 147), who ascended the throne in 1264. It was under his reign that Qubilai's armies undertook the conquest of the Sung empire by laying siege to Hsiang-yang in 1268, so that Polo's date is for once correct. But Tu-tsung had died in 1274, two years before the fall of his capital Hang-chou. He was succeeded by his son fft A Chao Hsien, born in 1270, who reigned under the regency of the Empress Dowager Hsieh (her true name is At a j Hsieh Tao-ch'ing; she was not Chao Hsien's real grandmother, but only one of the wives of his grandfather). It was this Empress Hsieh, not Tu-tsung's widow, who surrendered to Bayan in 1276 together with the infant Emperor Chao Hsien, who never fled « to the islands of the Ocean sea », as said by Polo. But there were two half-brothers of Chao Hsien, born of concubines of Tu-tsung,

one slightly older than Chao Hsien and the other younger. The elder one, C   Chao Shih
(cf. GILES, Biogr. Dict., No. 182), was proclaimed Emperor at Fu-chou on June 14, 1276, but was

soon obliged to take to sea; after two years' wanderings, he died on May 5, 1278, at al   Kang-chou
(now Nao-chou, near the bay of Kuang-chou-wan in Kuang-tung) ; his followers canonized him as Tuan-tsung. His younger brother fly â Chao Ping (cf. GILES, Biogr. Dict., No. 177) was set up in his place. The Sung fleet, carrying the new boy Emperor, was anchored off j ih Yai-shan (south of Hsin-hui in Kuang-tung). On March 19, 1279, after a desperate sea-battle, ( 4

Lu Hsiu-fu, realizing that all hope was forlorn, bade his wife and children throw themselves over board, and he himself taking the young Emperor on his back plunged into the sea. This was the end of the Sung dynasty (Sung shih, 47, 9-12).

Such is the official and probably accurate version. Yet it was not the one which was current among the people. Polo believed that the Facfur had gone to the islands of the Ocean. YULE has also noted, with some surprise, that Ragidu--'d-Din, writing more than twenty years after the down-