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0172 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 172 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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768   274. LOCHAC

apart from all other considerations, the name of Lairvkà never occurs as such in the nomenclature of the late Middle Ages (but for « Lung-ya-mên », see « Pentan »). S. Ltvi's remarks in JA, 1923, II, 36-45, must be read in connection with ROUFFAER's memoir; cf. also JA, 1918, I, 140-141.

(5) a   Lo-hu (*11-yuk), Southern Siam. This is YULE'S phonetic equivalence, and I think

it is the only one which deserves to be retained; but we must leave out of account YULE'S subsidiary ideas about to representing the same name as Laos, or about the final -c of « Lochac » being a trace of the southern pronunciation of Ch. kuo, « kingdom ». I have dealt at length with the kingdom of Lo-hu in BEFEO, iv, 233 sq. The name appears in the 11th cent. as that of the Mon-Khmêr kingdom of the Lower Menam, with its capital at Lopburi, which was finally destroyed by the Thai Siamese of the northern kingdom of Hsien in 1349; hence the new double name of Hsien-Lo-hu, which was soon shortened to Hsien-lo and has remained the Chinese name of Siam down to our day. The ancient Cambodian inscriptions give to the Lo-hu people the name of Lvo, which must be identical with Lavo, the ancient Siamese name of Lopburi, called Louvo by the early missionaries. The difficulty is only with Polo's final -c (= -k). The Cambodian city of « Lawék » (Lovék), which has been mentioned in connection with « Lochac », is of late origin and must be left out of account, unless its name was suggested by the name of the former Mon-Khmêr capital of Southern Siam. But I have already given indications for a possible form in -k of the name of Lavo or of Lo-hu : the King Mahâ-Mongkut raised objections against the popular form Nokburi of Lopburi; the pre-Sung or early Sung pronunciation of Ai hu, particularly in the south, was yuk; above all, the Àin-i Akbari, in 1595, speak of an aloes lawâki, the name of which YULE supposed to have been derived from the name of the Kingdom of Lvo (Lavo) or Lo-hu (not from Lovék in Cambodia as in Y, III, 105). We can now go one step further. The name of the aloes lawâki goes back at least to the end of the 10th cent. (cf. Fe, 52, 285, 547), and this leads us to suppose that the Chinese coined their « Lo-hu » earlier than the known texts quote it, and at a date when it really sounded *Lawàk. The « aloes » lawâki is probably eagle-wood, and the Chinese also knew the Lo-hu sort of eagle-wood (cf. TP, 1933, 385-386). It may even be that, in Polo's time, there was a form of the name nearer to his spelling than Lo-hu (which was then certainly pronounced in « Mandarin » as it is to-day). The

Buddhist chronicle Fo-tsu li-tai t'ung-tsai of 1333-1344, Tripit. of Meiji, Tokyo ed.,   , ch. 32,

41b, says that, in 1278, the Sung pretender escaped to the kingdom of   Lo-hao by way of

Champa, and, again by way of Champa, returned in 1279; Lo-hao does not occur elsewhere. But the Buddhist chronicler must have used a contemporary document of southern origin, and in the South, Lo-hao must have then sounded something like *Lok-hok, which is not far from « Lochac ».

I am tempted to explain in the same way the name of the state of Nt.   Lu-mo or Lu-ho (ancient
*Luo-yâk; more correct than « Lu-mo ») which, according to Annamese history, asked in 1149 for the right to trade at the mouth of the Red River, together with Siam and Java (cf. BEFEO, Iv, 254); the names used here for Java and Siam are later than the forms used in 1149; but that does not prevent *Luo-yâk from being another spelling of Lo-hu, « Lochac ». The only difficulty is that *Li-yuk (ancient pronunciation of Lo-hu), Lawàk (which is supposed by lawâki) and even Lvo (= Lavo, perhaps > *Lavok) do not show a -k- (-c-, -ch-) in the middle of the name; that is my reason for supposing that, in Polo's original dictation, the word may have been « Logac », with