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0194 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 194 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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790   294. NAMGHIN

have preferred   ) An-ch'ing, the modern capital of the province of An-hui. It occurred again

to MOULE (JNCB, 1927, 28) that Nan-ching might be K'ai-fêng, and this view was adopted by CHARIGNON (Ch, in, 49-50). Nevertheless, we still find An-ch'ing in PENZER, Ricci-Ross, and BENEDETTO. I have no doubt that Namghin is Nan-ching = K'ai-fêng. Polo does not give a complete list of Chinese cities (he does not even allude to Canton), but is content with naming those he has visited (cf. his very words, Vol. i, 309) ; there was no point in mentioning a place as

obscure and out of the way as An-ch'ing. Moreover the weak initial of   an (ngan in French
spelling) seems to give g- in two or three cases in Polo's text (see « Ciangan », and cf. JNCB, 1927, 28), but never n-. Polo had spoken before of the places he knew when going from Khan-baliq (Peiping) to Yün-nan; he is now describing his journey from Khan-balïq to Zaitun and has reached the Yang-tzû; he will have no chance to speak of North China again. But there are still two names, vivid in his memory, of places north of the great river, Nan-ching (K'ai-fêng), famous as a former capital of the Northern Sung and afterwards of the Chin, and « Saianfu » (< Hsiang-yang) because of its long siege. So, leaving the normal trend of his journey, he speaks of these two « great provinces » « towards the west », that is to say to the west of the route he followed from Khan-balïq to Yang-chou (or to the west of Yang-chou). PAUTHIER'S negative arguments have no value; Polo's description of K'ai-fêng is conventional because he only speaks of it from hearsay.

For dates well after the fall of the Chin dynasty Nan-ching is very often used in the biographies of the YS. It was even the official name of K'ai-fêng from 1272 to 1288 ( YS, 59, 3 b), that is during almost the whole stay of the Polos in China, and Namgin was still the name known to Rasidu-'d-Din in 1304 (Bl, II, 219, 487; and in his Ms. History of China; also in Ber, III, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 33, 114, but always misread vte; and transcribed « Temkin » by BEREZIN). Polo must have pronounced *Namghin. I think that this name, written *Naghin, has given the « Nanghin» of most of our Mss.; the forms « Naynguy », « Nayngin », rather suppose *Nainghin < *Namghin.

I do not think that any serious objection can be raised because of the fact that Nan-ching (= K'ai-fêng) would seem to belong to Cathay proper (North China), and is duly placed in Cathay (Khitai) by Rasidu-'d-Din, whereas Polo makes it a city of « Mang' » (= Manzi; cf. Vol. i, 316, n. 3). For Polo (but not for Rasid), the « Caramoran » (= Huang-ho) marks the limit between Cathay and Manzi (cf. Vol. i, 309), and K'ai-fêng is on the southern side of the river.

BLOCHET (Moufazzal, 518) sees K'ai-fêng in Abu Dulaf's account of his journey in the

10th cent., by correcting la . Sndabl to ~;yl > *Binlang   ttt Pien-liang = K'ai-fêng
(on Abu Dulaf's text, cf. Fe, 89-90, 219; Mi, 225, 232). The text of Abu Dulaf is almost hopeless, but BLOCHET'S explanation is not acceptable, since Pien-liang became an official name of K'ai-fêng only in 1288 (YS, 59, 3 b).

Nan-ching was not used as a designation of K'ai-fêng after the first half of the 14th cent. As to its appearance as the name of the « Southern Capital » of the Ming dynasty (our Nanking), it does not go farther back than the early 15th cent. In foreign literature, it is first met with, as far as I can remember, in a copy of a letter written in 1534 relating the misfortunes of the embassy of Thomé Pires in 1520 and 1522; the name is written, in the Portuguese fashion, « Nanquim » and « Naquim » (for « Naquim »); cf. D. FERGUSON, Letters from Portuguese captives in Canton, Bombay, 1902, 8°, 103, 108. It is probable that our Nanking was already mentioned by Odoric as « Chilenfo »