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0095 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 95 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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gomba. On To-mi, or Tang-mi, or Nan-mo, cf. Sui shu, 83, 8 b; Pei shih, 96, 9 b; BUSHELL, in JRAS, 1880, 528, 539, 541; CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 169.

There can be no doubt that the T'u-yü-hun Mu-Ii-yen, when he had gone to the Po-lan with his tribes and was obliged to escape further west to Khotan, passed through the territory of the Tang-mi or To-mi. West and south-west of the To-mi, beginning perhaps in the basin of the upper Yang-tzü, but on the whole rather to the south-west of Mu-li-yen's route to the west (Mu-Ii-yen probably marched up the upper Yang-tzû, then the Nap6itai Ulan miirän, and reached Chinese Turkestan via the « Gas köl »), there was in the middle of the 8th cent. a kingdom of g ( Su-p'i, which, as we shall see further on, is said to have been an earlier Kingdom of Women; and it produced gold. So it would be natural to suppose that the gold wine-vessels of the Kingdom of Women offered in 450 to the Chinese Emperor by Mu-Ii-yen came from the Kingdom of Women situated south-west of the To-mi; but, as we shall see, they might also have come from another more northern Kingdom of Women. On Mu-li-yen's further dealings in Khotan, we are informed only by Chinese sources. Yet, in the Tibetan version (the only extant) of the Inquiry of Vimalaprabhâ, a Tibetan king Vijayakirti is said to have been killed by « wild men », and Pa-ian-ba Sum-pa people are said to have been repelled (cf. F. W. THOMAS, Tibetan texts and documents, t, 147, 161, 228, 232, 238, 242, 244). THOMAS has referred the whole series of events confusedly alluded to in the Inquiry to the 7th and 8th cents., and he may be right. Sum-pa, as we shall see, is the Tibetan form corresponding to the Su-p'i of the Chinese; the ba of Pa-lan-ba is a suffix of appurtenance, and, in one passage (p. 242), the Pa-laic[-ba] seem to be connected through popular etymology with Tib. ba-lan, « bullock ». THOMAS (p. 156-158) sees in the Sum-pa of the Inquiry either Hsiunb nu or Qarluq, and in the Pa-ian[-ba] (p. 242) the Po-la or Po-lan of CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Toukiue, 139, 140. Both hypotheses must be abandoned. The Sum-pa certainly were of Tibetan, not Altaic stock; and it is quite out of the question that agiPo-la (*Puâ-14) or a it Po-lan (*Puâ-iâm), was a country inhabited by any sort of Sum-pa. I have no doubt that, lying northwest of Tashkend, it is the ancient Fârab or Pârâb on the Yaxartes (on which cf. Mi, 501). But it may just be that the Inquiry retained a dim memory of the king of Khotan killed by Mu-li-yen, and that the Pa-ian[-ba, Sum-pa] are Po-lan (*B`Ek-lân) people who had accompanied the T'u-yü-hun to Khotan. To start only from the Tibetan transcription, one might also think of another tribe of

eastern Ch'iang, the q   Po-lang (*B`Ek-lâng), or « White Wolves », but these had a lesser impor-
tance, and are not mentioned in connection with the migration of Mu-li-yen. That the Inquiry does not speak here of the T'u-yü-hun under their usual Tibetan name 'A-ia (cf. TP, 1921, 323-330) may be ascribed to the fact that it was originally written in a language in which the name was unknown, and the T'u-yii-hun merely designated as « wild men ». The name of the 'A-za occurs however twice in the Inquiry, associated with that of the Sum-pa (cf. THOMAS, 192, 193), and THOMAS has supposed that these mentions were « probably casual », since the 'A-ia « have no place in the narrative »; but perhaps they do have a place in it, as the « wild men ».

Apart from the text on the gold wine-vessels of 450 A. D., a Kingdom of Women is mentioned in the Wei shu (101, 7 a) and, with more details, in the Pei shih (96, 9 a), at the end of the notices devoted to the T'u-yu-hun. In the Wei shu, we are told that « north of the T'u-yü-hun, there is

the Kingdom of   6   I-fu-wu-ti (*•Iét-pjuat-mivat-d`iek; so also in Pei shih (96, 8 b-9 a;