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0154 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 154 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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750   259. IOSAFAT

which, between Champa and «Mutifiii », constitute Polo's Lesser India. Greater India commencing only at Ma`abar, it seems that « Mutifiii » is already in Lesser India, and we may tentatively enumerate Champa, Cambodia, Siam, Pegu, Assam, Bengal and Telingana (« Mutifiii »); we still lack one name; but I doubt that Polo had a clear idea about any list of eight kingdoms. «Upper India» is mentioned once in Z (Vol. I, 352; II, lv). To Montecorvino Upper India was Maabar, but for Odoric, with whom Polo seems to agree, it at least included Mançi (cf. Wy, 341 [india supriore the si dicie Maabar], 418, 457 [ad provinciam Mançi ego veni. Quam provinciam vocamus Indiam superiorem]).


iosafa VB

This form of the name was adopted in 1048-1049 in the first Latin version of the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat (cf. PEETERS, in Anal. Bolland., XLIX [1931], 279, 281), and spread with it to the West. It is clearly due to the contaminating influence of the Biblical king Josaphat, but the Greek original had 'Iwxaacp. The Georgian form is Iodasaf (MARR, in ZVOIRAO, III, 259); the Arabic,

I,Y Badàsàf, sometimes   Yôdàsâf. The Greek 'IS2AEAc does not seem to be a simplifi-
cation of a misreading *'IS2AAEA(I) of *'IS2AAEA(1), as KUHN maintained (in Abh. d. Ph.-Ph. Kl. d. k. Bayer. Ak. d. W., xx [1894], 17). At any rate, KUHN was mistaken when, relying on the Georgian Iodasaf, he held the Arabic Badàsâf to be a misreading, which only by accident came nearer to what all scholars agree to be the original Indian name, Bodhisattva, used as an epithet of Sàkyamuni. It is the opposite which is true, but to establish it, I must enter into some details of the history of the pious novel of Barlaam and Josaphat.

Although Polo's text as known to YULE did not mention Barlaam or Josaphat, YULE inserted into his commentary on the chapter which Polo devotes to Sàkyamuni a long note, to which CORDIER made further additions, and which is a good summary of the novel, with some account of its fortunes ( Y, II, 322-328; III, 111-112). YULE was of course much interested in the fact that the two Buddhist ascetics had finally gained admittance into the hierarchy of the saints of the Roman Catholic Church in the Martyrologium Romanum. But the history of the book is somewhat different from what YUI,E and CORDIER thought it to be.

For half a century, it has been accepted by almost all scholars that an Indian biography of Sàkyamuni translated into Pahivi had in the first half of the 7th cent. fallen into the hands of some Syrian monk who had evolved from it the pious novel of Barlaam and Josaphat. All the versions, Arabic, Georgian, Greek, etc., would be derived, directly or indirectly, from that original in Syriac. Since 1909, the theory also gained ground, as a result of the discoveries made in Chinese Turkestan, that at an early date the Manichaeans might have played an important part in spreading from India to the north and the north-west the legendary account of the life of Sàkyamuni.

Father PEETERS had the great merit, in 1931, to show (loc. cit., 276-312) that the traditional history of the book, as it had been fixed by ZOTENBERG and KUHN, was an arbitrary theory which ran counter to a number of plain and certain facts. In particular, no trace has ever been found of