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0150 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 150 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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254. IACI

the biography of Uriyangqadai in YS, 121, where the name appears several times. But nothing is said of Ya-ch'ih c. The geographical dictionary Ti-ming ta-tz' û tien published by the Commercial Press, p. 467, registers only Ya-ch'ih a, from the biography of Uriyangqadai, and is content with saying that it is to the east of the hsien of Lo-tz'û; this notice is simply taken from Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chih, 369, 4 b. As to Ya-ch'ih c, the same dictionary, p. 1257, knows it only as the name of a river in the Kui-chou province, where certain warlike events took place towards the end of the Ming dynasty. Ya-ch'ih c, in this last case, seems to be a purely Chinese name, meaning « Duck Lake ». But I think that the Ya-ch'ih c of YS, 8, 3 b (1274, 1st moon), and of YS, 10, 5 b (1278, 12th moon), is only another way of writing the Yaci of Ya-ch'ih a and Ya-ch'ih b, and that the same holds good for the Ya-ch'ih c of Yung-lo to-tien, 19417, 15 a and b. In any case, I can prove that Ya-ch'ih c was used in the Yüan period as a transcription of Yaci. An unpublished inscription of 1340, in « spoken » Chinese, reproduces an edict then issued in favour of « the Chiung-chu-ssti of the

Yü-an-shan of the city of Yaci of Yün-nan » (   j11,4jg   l J sp if -); here Yaci
is written as Ya-ch'ih c. The Yü-an-shan is not here the mountain of that name which is entered in Ti-ming to-tz' û tien, 235, and which is in the region of Ta-li, but another one, situated on the north-west side of the Tien-ch'ih or Lake of Yün-nan-fu, north-north-east of the Pi-chi-shan (cf. Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chip, 369, 2 b; Hsü Yün-nan t'ung-chih kao, 3, 10-11; 15, 9 b); the Chiung-chussû is a well-known Buddhist temple of the Yü-an-shan (cf. Ta-Ch'ing i-t'ung chih, 369, 6 b; Hsü Yün-nan t'ung-chih kao, 66, 11-12). It might thus be supposed that Yaci was close to the Yüan-shan, and on the bank of the Lake of Yün-nan-fu, but to the west of Yün-nan-fu itself; and only Yün-nan-fu would be on the site of the former Chih-tung or Shan-shan, second capital of the Nanchao and later Ta-li kingdom. I do not think, nevertheless, that such a supposition is satisfactory.

The inscription of 1340, like all official documents of the time in « spoken » Chinese, is certainly a translation from the Mongolian; and from its wording, we can be sure that the name of Yaci, although already banished from official nomenclature, was still in use in 1340 in Mongolian and in the popular nomenclature of the Chinese even at the Imperial Court. The popular form ch'êng-tzic, instead of ch'êng alone, also testifies to a Mongol original; the temple Chiung-chussû was certainly said in the original Mongol edict to belong to Yaci-balayasun, « the city of Yaci ». But that does not mean that it was in the city, which moreover is impossible in view of its actual position; Yaci-balayasun must have then been in use in Mongolian as the ordinary form for the whole administrative district the centre of which was at Yaci-balayasun, and that would imply that Yaci was the most important place in that region.

This importance is also confirmed of course by the fact that both Polo and Raid say that Yaci is the capital of Qara-Jang. In the same way, we read that, after participating in the Tonking campaign of 1257, Uriyangqadai came back to Yaci, and, in 1258, when he and his son A-shu (see «Agiul») had engaged in an unfortunate campaign against the Sung, they wrought vengeance on Yaci for the capture of some of their horses by the T'u-la-man (see « Toloman »; I cannot understand why they should have butchered the population of Yaci; the text may be corrupt for «returned to Yaci »). But what then about Chih-tung (alias Shan-shan) ? It was certainly the Eastern capital of Nan-chao and, from the itineraries I have studied in BEFEO, iv, 368, 374, 376, 377 (add the quotation from Man shu in Hsü Yün-nan t'ung-chih kao, 15, 10 a), it is to be placed at Yün-nan-fu, in agreement with an