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0114 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 114 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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To-mi. Then, to the south-west, one reaches the kingdom of Su-p'i. Then, to the south-west, one reaches the kingdom of j Kan (*Kam; unidentified; perhaps sKam). Then, to the south, slightly east, one reaches the kingdom of T'u-fan (Tibetans). Then, to the south-west, one reaches the kingdom of ' Lesser Yang-t'ung '. Then, to the south-west, one crosses the p H [read <<f1 ?]

ç~   rim Ta [? Chid-ts'ang-ch'ü Barrier (*Tat[? Ts`ia]-ts`âng-k`ivo), which is the southern frontier

of the T'u-fan. Then, to the east, slightly south, one crosses the   J   jig Mo-shang-
chia-san-pi Barrier (*Muât-ziang-ka-sâm-b`ji), to the south-east enters gorges (ku), crosses thirteen

flying ladders ' (   438 fei-t'i) and nineteen ' plank-roads ' (   ; chan-tao, i. e. roads made of
boards fixed more or less high on the wall of a vertical cliff), either south-east or south-west, snatching the creepers and grasping the lianas; after marching in the wilderness for more than forty days, one reaches the kingdom of Ni-po-lo (Nepal) of northern India. »

This itinerary locates ' Lesser Yang-t'ung ' south of the Tibetans proper; but I think that the indication may have been displaced, and that there is a possible indication of it in the itinerary when it speaks first of the T'u-fan, then of ' Lesser Yang-t'ung ', and then again of the southern frontier of the T'u-fan. ' Lesser Yang-t'ung ' may have to be put back to an earlier stage, before the T'u-fan at least, and perhaps before the kingdom of Kan, if not even before those of To-mi and Su-p'i.

On the location of Yang-t'ung, be it ' Great Yang-t'ung ' or ' Lesser Yang-t'ung ' to the west of it, we have first the indication of the Shih-chia fang-chih itself, which says that Great Yang-t'ung ' was the same as Suvarnagotra or the ' Eastern Kingdom of Women ' ; and certainly the latter was not south of the Tibetans of Lhasa. But there is another text of the T'ang period which affords a precious indication. In 822, A it a Liu Yüan-ting, sent on an embassy to Tibet, visited the sources of the Huang-ho, and expressly states that the mountains in which the river took its rise were ( chih) in the kingdom of ' Great Yang-t'ung ' (cf. Hsin T'ang shu, 216 B, 6 b; CHAVANNES, in BEFEO, III, 230-231). So, either the itinerary of the Shih-chia fangchih is decidedly wrong, and ` Lesser Yang-t'ung ' was between the Kingdoms of To-mi and Su-p'i, towards the sources of the Huang-ho (but, even then, if it lay more to the west than 'Great Yang-t'ung ', it would hardly be on the route from Hsi-ning to Nepal), or the indication of the T'ung tien on the location of ' Lesser Yang-t'ung ' west of ' Great Yang-t'ung ' is valueless, and ' Lesser Yang-t'ung' may be located as in the itinerary, south of the Tibetans of Lhasa. If the frontier of the Tibetans lay, nevertheless, still more to the south, it could be explained by the fact that Lesser Yang-t'ung ' was in a state of vassaldom. But, as to ' Great Yang-t'ung ', there can be no doubt. It lay towards the springs of the Huang-ho, and so was at least conterminous with Su-p'i. If ' Lesser Yang-t'ung ' is to remain in the south, it is only ' Great Yang-t'ung ' which can be intended in Hui-ch'ao's Relation.

Before leaving Chinese sources, I must say a few words of the kingdom of 6 A Hsi-ii (*Siétiiap), the name of which came to the knowledge of the Chinese in the second quarter of the 7th cent.; both the original name and the location remain undetermined; but the transcription has a Tibetan flavour; in the T'ung tien (190, 5 b), the notice on Hsi-li follows that of 'Great Yang-t'ung', and the kingdom is stated to lie south-west of the Tibetans (T'u-fan). In TP,1912, 357-358, I have suggested a possible restoration of Hsi-li into *gSer-rabs, «Gold Race », which would be the same as Suvar-