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0156 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 156 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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752   260. ISPAAN

LE COQ, it is true, as PEETERS says (loc. cit., 290-291), that there is in the text itself nothing specifically Manichaean; nevertheless, we must not forget that the Turfan fragment is written in the special Manichaean script, which was never used except by the Manichaeans themselves. Moreover, the fragments of the Turkish life of Sâkyamuni which give the form Bodi-sâv (> Arab. Bodâsâf), although written in Uighur script, also belong to a Manichaean Ms. (cf. LE COQ, SPA W, 1909,12081211; Türk. Manichaica aus Chotscho, i, 7-17). There is still too much yet to be published and critically studied to permit of any dogmatism in this matter; but I do believe that when all the material has been duly sifted, the part played by the Manichaeans in spreading Sâkyamuni's legend will be found to be far from negligible.

YULE, in his second edition (1874), noticed that the Portuguese Diogo DO COUTO, in 1812, was already struck by the great similarity between the life of Sakyamuni and that of S. Josaphat, but thought that the Hindus had here copied Christian traditions (Y, II, 325; cf. KUHN, lot. tit., 7). As MOULE remarks (Vol. I, 410), VB much antedates COUTO. I agree with BENEDETTO and MOULE that the whole passage in VB is probably an interpolation, but it cannot of course be later than 1446, the year in which the Ms. of the Museo Correr was written. Now VB is Venetian, and till the second half of the 16th cent., Venice possessed what was believed to be « a bone and part of the spine » of S. Josaphat (KuHN, loc. cit., 83). That may perhaps account for the attention devoted to the story of Barlaam and Josaphat by the redactor of VB.

KUHN has compiled a very rich bibliography of Barlaam and Josaphat. But I do not find in it, nor do I think that attention has been called to them elsewhere, two Far Eastern items : (1) That the story of Barlaam and Josaphat was included in the Sanctos no Gosagueo, an abridgment of the Acta Sanctorum, which was written in Japanese with Latin letters and published in 1591 by the Jesuit mission at the Katsusa Seminary (cf. E. M. SATOW, The Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, 1591-1610, s. I., 1888, 4, 8-10). (2) That S. Josaphat's Life was translated into Chinese by LONGOBARDI under

the title    i An   Shêng Jo-sa-fa shih-mo, in 1 ch. (cf. COURANT, Catal. des livres chi-
nois, 6758-6759). The edition known to COURANT was engraved at Fu-chou in 1645, but it was not the first one. From a passage in Ricci's Commentaries (TACCHI-VENTURI, Opere storiche del P. Matteo Ricci, I, 423), it appears that LONGOBARDI'S translation must have been done before 1610, and an edition, perhaps the original one, had been engraved in Peking. Some years ago, I saw in the Academia de la Historia in Madrid a Chinese Ms. beginning with the history of Barlaam and Josaphat.


hostaynet LT instanth VL instay L

istain TA'

istaint VB istanit F, FA, FB lirstanie VA spaan R

span V staillo TA3 yspaan Z ystanich P

The correct name of Ispahan, « Yspaan », occurs only in Z, and R comes near to it with « Spaan »; all the other Mss. are strangely corrupt. Nevertheless, the Medici map has « Ispam », and Fra Mauro, who gives the wrong form « Istaruch » (cf. « Istanich » of P) in the list of the eight « kingdoms »