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0135 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 135 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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235. GASPAR   731

were of 1/30 at Ch'üan-chou, but of 1/15 everywhere else. Cf. YS, 17, 7 b-8 a; 94, 10 b-11 a; Yuan-tien chang, ch. 22.

KLAPROTH was right about Polo's « Gampu » and Chinese Kan-p'u, but he also tried to prove that Kan-p'u was meant when the Arab travellers of the 9th cent. mentioned in China the great harbour of , Hânfû; I have no doubt he was wrong in this, and that the Hânfû of the early Arab travellers is Canton. I explained the name in 1904 as Kuang-fu, a popular abbreviation of Kuang-chou-fu which was then the full official name, and I then quoted (BEFEO, iv, 215) three contemporary examples of Kuang-fu in Chinese texts; I could now add several more. The only difficulty in this transcription is that we find in it h- transcribing the initial k- of a Chinese name, and that it might seem to weaken my argument in another case, when one of my objections to Hingsai representing ching-shih (king-§i) is that h- is not a regular equivalent of Chin. k- (see « Quinsai »). But we must not forget that Hânfû is a form going back to T'ang times, when the Western writers knew little about China, and were not so systematic in their renderings as later Raidu-'d-Din or Was§âf.

It is true that Hânfû also occurs in Arabic texts of the Mongol period, and in such conditions that those who, in the wake of KLAPROTH, still hold it to represent the name of Kan-p'u have been obliged to suppose that the name had been unduly transferred by travellers and geographers from the advanced port to the main city and was, in fact, a designation of Hang-chou itself. The use of Arabic texts relating to China is extremely delicate, because they are a hodge-podge of data of very different ages, with names desperately corrupt. FERRAND had contemplated a critical study of them, but the volume of notes to his Relations de voyages has never been published. YULE'S and CORDIER's indications in Cathay2 are antiquated and often contradictory. I would not be positive on the point, but I am under the impression that all the Hânfû of 13th and 14th cents. Arab geographers are simply taken over from the travellers of the 9th cent. For instance, Abu-'i-

Fidâ says that Hânfû, in his time, is called Hansa, and mentions the lake   which can only be
the Hsi-hu (Si-hu) or Western Lake of Hang-chou; hence the conclusion that there are two Hânfû, one being eventually Canton, the other being certainly Hang-chou. I rather think, on the contrary, that there is only one Hânfû, the name of which Abii-l-Fidâ and his contemporaries merely knew from books, and which he or they wrongly identified with llansâ, i. e. Hsing-tsai, = Hang-chou (see « Quinsai »).


gaspar F, L, V, VB, Z   guaspar LT, TAI   jaspar FA, FB

One of the three Magi kings; cf. Y, I, 82-83, and the bibliography added here under « Baltasar ». This is the most embarrassing of the three names. V. SCHEIL is not inclined to trace it back to Gondophares, and the fact is that the two other names are not Iranian, but Semitic. He mentions