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0196 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 196 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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792   296. NEGODAR

the archetype of all our Mss.; but such a solution is too problematic to allow us to change the spelling. On former attempts at explanations and on the Mongol felt and cloth figures, cf. Y, I, 257-259. The information on this last subject might be supplemented to a considerable extent, but that would take up more space than the scope of the present notes permits.


gorobar LT

negodar V, VA, VL nogadar FB, VB

nogadir VB

noghodar TA1, TA3

nogodar F, FA nugodar F; R

I have preferred the « Negodar » of V, VA, VL (supported by the « Hegodar » of S) to the generally accepted « Nogodar », because it is the form which corresponds to what I believe to be the true name. The usual Persian transcriptions , or ;I.3,. give no clue as to the first vowel; never-

theless VULLERS (II, 1344) writes ).as the name of the tribe which has been associated with the name of «Negodar », and, although I do not know what VULLERS'S authority may be for the spelling, it represents a nä-, not a nö- or nü-, in the first syllable.

BLOCHET (Bl, II, 158, 563; Moufazzal, 556) has said that « Nigueuder » (_ 'Nigödär) was Mong. nigädügär (nigädü'är), « first », but I cannot agree with him. Classical Mong. nikän, « one » (pronounced nikän in the Mongol period, and still nikän to-day by the Moghols of Afghanistan), would have no labial vowel in the second syllable, and -dügär (-dü'är) ought not to result in där (moreover with a brief -a- since it is not always noted in Arabic writing). As in the case of Tägüdär, I do not doubt that we have to do here with the suffix -där which appears also in such names as Yäsüdär (see « Iesudar »), Tümändär (WANG Hui-tsul, 25, 5 b; SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 219), Tämüdär (Bl, II, 160; Hal, II, 182; WANG Hui-tsul, 35, 5 a), Qutudar (WANG Hui-tsul, 28, 5-6), Baidar (who went to Hungary), perhaps Bäktär (Chinghiz-khan's half-brother), etc. Unfortunately, I have not yet noticed any mention of the name Nägüdär (for one of Tägüdär, see a Acmat2 ») in Mongolian texts or in Chinese transcriptions. But I think that the first element is probably the same as in Nägübai, often mistranscribed « Nikpâi » or « Nikbài » from the Arabic spelling SLR, which however occurs in Chinese as the name of several individuals, under the transcription #s ' f Nie-ku-pai, i. e. Nägübai (cf. JA, 1927, II, 266; WANG Hui-tsul, 31, 11 b). I am somewhat doubtful about the real value of nägü-. The most natural hypothesis seems to be that it represents, with the usual slurring of final -n, a sonant form of näkün, « servant », a slave-woman », unknown to modern Mongolian, but which is well attested in the Middle Ages and which has survived in the Manchu nehu (cf. TP, 1930, 45).

On the ambiguous Persian transcriptions giving « Tägüdär » for « Nägüdär » and vice-versa, see « Acmat2 » and « Caraunas ». Under « Caraunas », I have discussed the identity of the « king Negodar ».