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0107 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 107 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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have been written before the middle of the T'ang dynasty, and its information here, as in several other places, was based on the same sources as the Chiu T'ang shu itself.

The same text, somewhat abbreviated, occurs in T'ang hui-yao, 99, 8 b-11 b, and, with more substantial changes, in Hsin T'ang shu, 221 A, 3 a-4 a. Both give an important passage, the omission of which seems to be accidental in the Chiu T'ang shu : « In the seventh yung-hui year, in the first moon (February, 656; yung-hui was changed to hsien-ch'ing on 7 Feb., so that this statement must be taken from an original contemporary record. The T'ang shu corrects to e early in

hsien-Ch'ing'), this kingdom sent a female envoy (nü-shih), the kao-pa   A Li-wên (or

Li Wên?), together with   j San-lu, son of the ruler, and others, to render homage to the

Court. »

The text of the Hsin T'ang shu is important merely in the first part : « The e Eastern Women '

(Tung-Nü) [Kingdom] is also called Suvarriagotra ( ; {1 3kIJ   va P (pi) ; Su-fa-la-na-ch'ü-chü
[read ta]-lo); it is a particular branch of the Ch'iang. As there is also in the Western Sea a woman who is king in her own right, this one is called ` Eastern ' to distinguish it. To the east, it borders on the Tibetans (T'u-fan), the Tang-hsiang and Mao-chou; to the west, it is conterminous with Sanpo-ho ; to the north, it reaches Khotan; to the south-east, it is conterminous with Ya-chou, the Lonü Man and the Po-lang Barbarians... [The female ruler] lives in the K'ang-yen Valley. Precipitous cliffs surround it on all sides; there is the Weak River, which flows to the south. People

sew hides to make boats... The queen is called pin-chiu; the [women] officials are called A   fg
kao-pa-li, which means ` minister ' (tsai-hsiang). The outside offices are all held by men; all orders (hao-ling) are transmitted from the palace by the female officials (nü-kuan); the male officials (nan-kuan) receive them and carry them out » (through mispunctuation, ROCKHILL, The Land of the Lamas, 340, has evolved out of this sentence a pseudo-title ` women's deputies ', ling-nü-kuan, as a designation of the male officials). Leaving out for the moment the name and the boundaries of the kingdom, the only other difference of some importance between the two T'ang histories is that in the name of the women ministers, kao-pa in the Chiu T'ang shu, kao-pa-li in the Hsin T'ang shu. RocKHILL has retained kao-pa-li, and so did LAUFER (TP, 1914, 28) when he discussed the native terms of the ` Kingdom of Women '. But I have no doubt that the kao-pa of the Chiu T'ang shu, supported by the T'ang hui-yao, is the correct form. The kao-pa-li of the Hsin T'ang shu is due to the contamination of the name of the « woman official, the kao-pa Li Wên », who came to the Chinese Court in 656. The native forms of the title pin-chiu (*pjén-dz`jp) of the woman king, and kao-pa (*kâu-pa) of her ministers cannot yet be ascertained. LAUFER said that they did not recall any known Tibetans terms, but admitted that Tibetan dialects were extremely divergent. On the other hand, the personal names of the various queens and kings and of their relatives, particularly those mentioned in reference to 793, are somewhat misleading, since the first character is almost always a Chinese surname, whereas most of the following ones, which may be considered as the true native names, are clearly phonetic transcriptions. In the present state of our knowledge, it is difficult to say whether these Barbarians had really adopted Chinese surnames, or whether these are not merely an adaptation, due to the Chinese, of the first part of the native name. There are, however, in the parts of these names which are certainly transcriptions, many elements for which counterparts might easily be adduced from the Chinese transcriptions of true Tibetan names