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0170 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 170 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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766   274. LOCHAC


alcay G

chacho VB

Iocach, locach VL jocach, jocath S leochar, leocharde VA

locac F, TAI lochac F, Z, L, R lochach P, V locheac LT

loear TA3 loth ac Z soncat FA tac, thac FB

Rustichello's spelling seems to have been «Lochac » or « Locac », but I am almost tempted to suppose that Polo said « *Logac ». All sorts of explanations and identifications have been proposed. Some, like PAUTHIER'S « Borneo » and MARSDEN'S « Cambodia », may be left out without further discussion. The others are:

  1. y g Lo-yüeh (*Li-jiwrt). This name occurs at the end of the 8th cent., in Chia Tan's itineraries, as a designation of the southern extremity of the Malay Peninsula; we meet it a century later in a Japanese account; it occurs once in the Hsin T'ang shu, and finally twice c. 1000 A. D. in the Sung shih (cf. BEFEO, iv, 231-234). Its identification with « Lochac » was suggested by PHILLIPS in 1886 (cf. Y, II, 278); it has been partly retained by BLAGDEN (in Pe, lvii), who supposed that « Lochach » may be « Lo -}- kok », « Lo » being the first syllable of Lo-yüeh, and « kok » or « kwok » the Chinese 181 kuo (*kwak), « kingdom ». Geographically, I have already refuted this hypothesis in BEFEO, iv, 237. Linguistically, to of the T'ang period can only represent la or ra; and we have no examples outside of China of names ending with the Chinese kuo, except, in the Mongol period, of « Çipingu » and « Caugigu », that is, with the modern pronunciation of kuo, and in the case of countries which, being within the pale of Chinese civilization, could be designated under a Chinese name. COEDES (BEFEO, xxIII, 470) proposes to see in Lo-yüeh the Malay « Laut » (< Lawat), « the Sea » (cf. « Orang Laut », for the Johore region), a designation analogous to that of Samudra, « Ocean » > Sumatra; phonetically, this is unimpeachable. In any case, « Lochac » cannot be Lo-yüeh.

  2. Ligor. PHILLIPS proposed this etymology (Y, II, 279), and GERINI, though preferring another solution, had thought of it too (Researches into Ptolemy's Geography, 497). YULE, while rejecting any etymological connection, was of opinion that « Lochac » must be at Ligor or in the neighbourhood, and I was formerly inclined to accept that view (BEFEO, Iv, 237). It is needless to repeat here the phonetic objections to Nagara > Ligor and Lakhon being « Lochac ». YULE'S purely geographical identification resulted from his idea that « Lochac » was Siam, and he chose Ligor as being the southernmost place under Siamese rule in Polo's time; but it will be seen below that «Lochac»'s identification with Siam does not entail any similar deduction, at least in my opinion.