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0151 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 151 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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254. IACI   747

unbroken and credible record in Chinese tradition. Let us now see what Uriyangqadai's biography says. Qubilai, then only a prince, had conquered the city of Ta-li in 1253 and gone back to the north, leaving the command to Uriyangqadai who was to bring to an end the war with the Ta-li kingdom by conquering its eastern half, that is to say the region of the second capital, the modern Yün-nan-fu. We are then told that, in 1254, Uriyangqadai detached certain troops who attacked the « second capital » (f fu-tu) Shan-shan, and then attacked and sacked the « Water-city »

(4:   Shui-ch'êng) of the Qara-Jang, « who are the Black Barbarians » (Wu-Man). Prior to that,
Uriyangqadai's troops had had to overcome the resistance offered by one of the Ta-ii generals at what is to-day the hsien of Lo-tz'û, and after that they laid siege to Ya-ch'ih, « the capital of the Black Barbarians »; Ya-ch'ih, being protected on three sides by the Tien-ch'ih (Lake of Yün-nan-fu), naturally enjoyed a strong defensive position. This is followed by a fairly detailed account of the siege and the fall of Ya-ch'ih.

I cannot help thinking that there is something wrong in this text. Uriyangqadai's biography in YS, 121, contains many exaggerated and inaccurate statements, some of which have been pointed out in the new notice written by T'u Chi, 29, 14 b-17 b. It is clear that the compilers have combined, not always very happily, more or less scanty official statements with the narrative of a private document, probably the « temple-tablet » (10 4 miao-pei) of Uriyangqadai which is sometimes quoted in the notes of the Yican-shih lei-pien, and, from it, in the notes of Ch'ien-lung's editors at the end of YS, 121. The official document spoke of the conquest by Uriyanqadai's troops of Shan-shan, the « second capital », that is to say the second capital of the Ta-li kingdom. The miao-pei spoke of the siege of Ya6i, capital of the Qara-Jang taken in its broad sense, that is to say of the Ta-li kingdom also (see « Caragian) ». Both places must be the same, but the compilers of YS have badly combined two texts, one using the official Chinese nomenclature, the other the popular Mongolo-Chinese names. The order itself in the biography betrays a double origin. Uriyangqadai's troops start from Ta-li, and the events at Lo-tz'û ought to be mentioned before the capture of Shan-shan, and also the siege of Yaci should precede this capture, if Ya6i was different from Shan-shan and to the west of it. The careless redaction of YS has often been denounced; it is well known that it goes to the extent of giving two separate biographies of Sübôtäi without suspecting that they relate to one and the same man; that is more surprising than to see, as here, the two names of one town taken as referring to two different places. I conclude that Yaci is just another name of Chih-tung and Shan-shan, that is to say of Yün-nan-fu.

One point remains obscure : what is the origin of the name Ygi ? It. is not given by any text before the Mongol period, yet it must then have been in popular use instead of Chih-tung and Shanshan. No satisfactory answer is possible for the present. Chih-tung which appears to be purely Chinese was an early designation, already in use in the 8th cent., but Shan-shan is said to belong to the language of the Nan-chao, and this is probably right (the spelling is well fixed; we find nevertheless

,45 L Shan-shan in YS, 61, 1 a, and ,5   Shan-shan in YS, 167, 2 b). It has been suggested (Bl,
H, 494) that Yaci was possibly altered from tOt 1+1 Yao-chou, since it is said in YS, 61, 1 a, that Yünnan-fu is the ancient Yao-chou. But this must be an error of the YS compilers; the ancient Yaochou was much to the west of Yün-nan-fu (cf. also TP, 1905, 17) ; and I do not exclude the possibility that the hasty compilers of YS may have themselves wrongly introduced Yao-chou under the