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0113 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 113 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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t'ung, and    So-po-tz'ù (or, according to another reading 4   P'o-po-tz'û).

« Lesser Po-iii » is acknowledgedly Baltistan. For the third name, FUCHS (Huei-ch'ao's Pilgerreise, 443) adopts P'o-po-tz'û (*B`uâ-puâ-dz`i) and equates it with 'Bras-spuds, i. e. Nepal, and says that 'Lesser Yang-t'ung' probably was the region of « the modern Gyangtse (Shigatse) » in southern Tibet; no authority is given. Although Nepal was then well known in China as Ni-po-lo (Nepâia), we may perhaps suppose that Hui-ch'ao heard its Tibetan name in Kashmir; but P'o-po-tz'û is

uncertain, and So-p'o-tz'û (*Sâ-puâ-dz`i) is the reading of the only ancient Ms.; the phonetic equivalence of *B`uâ-puâ-dz`i is far from satisfactory; one would expect Hui-ch'ao to mention countries

more or less in the vicinity of Kashmir, and not one which, like Nepal, was reached from eastern

India; finally, in the Tibetan chronicles of the T'ang period, as in Chinese texts of the Mongol period, the Tibetan name of Nepal is Bal-po (from THOMAS, Tibetan Texts and Documents, 83,

n. 6, one might have the impression that Nepal occurs as « Po-pêng » in an ancient Chinese text

translated from the Tibetan; but   po pêng is no proper name, and means « scattered [as]

by waves », and is used as such three times in earlier passages p. 82). So So-p'o-tz'û or P'o-po-tz'û

cannot be adduced to support an identification of 'Lesser Yang-t'ung' with the region of Shigatse.

There is a text, however, which is in favour of FUCHS' identification, and FUCHS may have known it, although he makes no allusion to it; it is the itinerary from China to Nepal preserved in

ch. 1 of the Shih-chia fang-chih (, r, 89 a), much more ancient than those of Chia Tan, since the

Shih-chia fang-chip was written in 650. The text seems to be more or less corrupt, is mispunctuated in the Tokyo Tripitaka of Meiji, and is often hard to understand, still more to comment

upon. The itinerary starts from ip1 J4] Ho-chou (south-west of Lan-chou) : « From Ho-chou to the

north-west one crosses the Great River (Ta-ho, i. e. the Huang-ho), ascends the § [or %] X it Man-t'ien-ling (« Heaven-reaching Pass »; unrecorded; it is certainly the pass across the Lesser Chi-

shih-shan or i; ; lJJ T'ang-shu-shan, T'ang-shu (*D`âng-d'z`juét] being a Ch'iang word meaning « demon »; cf. Yüan-ho chiin-hsien t'u-chih, 39, 8-9, and Chung-kuo ti-ming to tz'û-tien, 1232), and, after less than 400 li, reaches Shan-chou (the Nien-po of our maps, on the river of Hsining). Then again to the west, after less than 100 li, one reaches the garrison (ri chef') of ,ß Shan-ch'êng, which is the seat of the ancient [Shan-]chou (this « garrison » is the same as the hsien

of Shan-ch'êng [the present Hsi-ning], which was established only in 677; the Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih, however, gives 120 li as the distance between Shan-chou and Shan-ch'êng-hsien [39, 11 a].

Then, to the south-west, after less than 100 li, one reaches the ' strong post ' (FA shu) of *

Ch'êng-fêng, which, under the Sui, was the site of the exchange market [between Chinese and Barbarians] (probably the « Donkyr » of our maps). Then, to the west, after less than 200 li, one

reaches the   j Ch'ing-hai (read g 4 Ch'ing-hai, « Blue Sea », the Kökö-nôr) ; in the sea, there

is a small island (i. e. the famous island of the legendary dragon horses, of Persian breed) ; the sea is more than 700 li in circuit. South-west of the sea, one arrives at the royal encampment (ya-

chang) of the T'u-yii-hun (it lay 15 li west of the Kökö-nôr). Then, to the south-west, one reaches

the frontier [of the T'u-yü-hun]   q   'w'   ;   :it (this passage is certainly
corrupt; I guess that it means that, after having passed the southwestern frontier of the T'u-yühun, the itinerary crossed the territory of the Po-lan Ch'iang [probably at its north-western boundary], then arrived at a ' city ' Chi-yü-ch'êng, and went on south-west)... reaches the kingdom of