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0119 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 119 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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question is still obscure, because Sogdian texts mentioning *Bârmân are still unpublished (cf. BAILEY, 568), because there is in KâsYari a name Barhan, the value of which is not perfectly clear, because the jr„:.,. B.ncûl of Gardézi and the Iludûd-al-`Alam (cf. Mi, 294) may be altered from

*Bârhwän, because the -m- of Tib. Par-mkhan, though in principle a mute letter (parmkhan exists in Tibetan with the meaning of « printer », and this may have determined the spelling in the proper name), is disturbing in the present case, and finally because U6 (so called in the lludûd-

1      al-`Alam, 295, and in KâsYari, 251), our «Uch-Turfan», was known as Uc-Färmân in the late Middle
Ages (cf. Br, II, 45, 227, 230; in fact, as far as I know, this form occurs only in Säräfu-'d-Din's 7dfcir nämäh [Bibl. Indica ed., I, 255, 488; I have not had access to N45.m-i Sâmi's 7eifär-nâmäh]; « Outchferman » on DELISLE'S maps of 1706 and 1723 may be taken from PETIS DE LA CROIX'S translation [when this translation was still in Ms.], and STRAHLENBERG'S « Utschferment » [1730] may be copied from DELISLE; the « Turfan » of « Uch-Turfan » is a fairly late addition, occurring also as « Turpan » and « Turman »; I wish I were sure that « Uc-Färmân » is not an erroneous form instead of U6-Turman). But, in spite of all these minor points, the identity of Par-mkhan and Pohuan cannot be doubted.

Such a close agreement between the nomenclature of the Tibetan prophecies and the Chinese texts almost implies also a great analogy in the traditions of the two series of texts concerning the

Gold Race ' and the Su-p'i or Sum-pa. Former research considered that either Hsüan-tsang or the author of the Hsin T'ang shu had unduly mixed up a ' Kingdom of Women ' to the east or south-east of Tibet with the Suvarnagotra, or Gold Race, of the north-west of Tibet. But the confusion, if any such existed, ought to be ascribed to a still earlier date, since the Sui shu, the information of which is anterior to, and independant of that of Hsüan-tsang, already says that, in the

Kingdom of Women ', the woman king had the surname of Su-p'i, i. e. belonged to the Su-p'i clan, and that her husband was called Chin-chü, « Gold-gathering ». Chü means « to collect »

   and « a gathering »; it may even be used here as an equivalent of   « village ». In
spite of the vagueness of the term, RocKHILL (The Land of the Lamas, 339) was certainly right when he connected it with Suvarnagotra, the country of the « Gold Race », so called, according to Hsüan-tsang, on account of the superior gold it produced. So it was no confusion on the part of Hsüan-tsang when the pilgrim said that the Suvarnagotra was the same as the ' Eastern Kingdom of Women ', and gave on the latter country details which are taken almost verbatim from the Sui shu itself, or from the same account as that used in the Sui shu. The new name ' Eastern Kingdom of Women ', while the Sui shu merely has ' Kingdom of Women ', must not deceive us. The modern editors of the T'ai-p'ing huan-yü chi have thought (cf. above, p. 711) that it lay in eastern or southeastern Tibet, and was so named in contradistinction with the one south of the Onion Range which would be the ' Western Kingdom of Women '. But this is a certain error. Hsüan-tsang expressly says that the name ' Eastern Kingdom of Women ' was meant to distinguish the Suvarnagotra from another ' Kingdom of Women ' in the Western Sea, i. e. the legendary one conterminous with the Byzantine Empire which will be discussed in a later section of the present inquiry. The same name ' Eastern Kingdom of Women ', with the same explanation of its origin as in Hsüantsang's text, occurs not only in the Hsin T'ang shu, which draws so largely from the account of the pilgrim for countries to the west and south-west of China, but also in the Chiu T'ang shu, generally