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0064 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 64 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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660   227. FACFUR

but this is of course an error, since the Ying-kuo kung, i. e. Chao Hsien, is mentioned in 1288 in YS, 15, 5 a. In that year, he was granted 100 ting (« ingots ») in paper money, and a few days

later was sent to Tibet to study Buddhism. But there is no mention of the Ying-kuo kung, or of

his mother, in the pen-chi of YS under the year 1296. We possess, however, authoritative information on Chao Hsien's death. In the Li-tai fo-tsu t'ong-tsai, written in 1333-1344, we are

told (ft, xi, 41 b, 64 a) that, in the fourth month of the third chih-chih year (May 6-June 3, 1323),

the Emperor ordered the Ying-kuo kung   Ho-tsun in Ho-hsi (= Kan-su) to commit suicide.

Ho-tsun, almost certainly to be read ilf1   Ha-tsun, clearly is the religious name taken by Chao

Hsien, and probably represents Tib. mKa'-bcun; it is written   Ha-chên in a Ming work, the

Nung-t'ien yü-hua (Pao-yen-t'ang pi-chi ed., 2, 14), drawing from an undetermined earlier source.

The death of Chao Hsien in 1323 is not to be doubted; but it is more difficult to ascertain why he was ordered to commit suicide. WANG Kuo-wei has connected it with a story largely circulated in the second part of the Yuan dynasty : Chao Hsien was believed to be the true father of Shun-ti, the last Emperor of the Mongols. This story, the main source for which is the F Eli 91. ►,

Kêng-shên wai-shih, or « Unofficial history of Shun-ti » (designated as « Kêng-shên » because he was born in a kêng-shên year), has been much discussed by Ch'ing scholars (cf. Ch'ien Tsun-wang

tu-shu min-ch'iu chi chiao-chêng, II A, 17-18). I think it is hardly credible. As I wrote, in oppo-

sition to the view of WANG Kuo-wei, in TP, 1929, 136-137, the Ying-kuo kung Chao Hsien, born in 1270, made prisoner in 1276, lived in Peking until 1282, was then transferred to Shang-tu ( YS,

12, 5 b) and stayed there until 1288; he had then become a grown man and was sent to study

Buddhism with the Tibetans and be a monk in Kan-su, from where it does not seem that he ever came back. Shun-ti was born in 1320, and it does not seem that Chao Hsien can have anything

to do with this birth. Many other reasons can be imagined for the order to commit suicide, particularly possible attempts, on the part of pure Chinese, to revive the memory of the fallen Sung dynasty and to prepare the way to a restoration.

I do not know whether there is any connection between the story concerning Chao Hsien's alleged fathership of Shun-ti, and a later tale which occurs in the Altan Tobc'i (beginning of the

17th cent.; GOMBOEV ed., 155). According to the Altan tob5i, when Hung-wu took the Mongol

capital, Shun-ti's consort, a Qonyrat, who was in the third month of pregnancy, hid in a cask, but was soon discovered and taken to wife by Hung-wu. Yielding to her prayers, Heaven made her

pregnancy last long enough to let Hung-wu believe that he was the father of the child. And this child was no other than Yung-lo. If we combine the two tales, Yung-lo would have been the son of the last Mongol Emperor, and the grandson of the last Emperor of the Sung dynasty !

The names of Chao Hsien raise a last problem; we have seen that Qubilai had given him the title of Ying-kuo kung, and that he had taken the religious name of Ha-tsun, *mKa'-bcun; after

his death, he was canonised as Kung-tsung. Now, in Rasidu-'d-Din's unpublished History of China, there is a list of the Emperors of the Southern Sung dynasty, which has been given by BLOCHET in Bl, II, 256; Tu Tsung's successor and last Emperor of the dynasty is there called y? Suju. BLOCHET thought (cf. also Bl, II, 451) that Chao Ping was meant, but there is no likelihood that Rasid, omitting Chao Hsien and Chao Shih, should have heard of Chao Ping. Tu Tsung's son and successor, and last real Emperor of the dynasty, is Chao Hsien; I have no doubt that he is