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0201 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 201 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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305. NUBIE


  1.  NONE

non (?) F   none F(?), FA, FB

According to Polo, this is the title, equivalent to « count », of the man who governed the small Mussulman province of « Vocan », in the name of the Lord of Badabsân. I think I am responsible for the equivalence noyan given in RR, 428, which has been reproduced without comment by LENTZ, ZDMG, 1932, 31. Noyan, for which a none too certain Chinese etymology has been proposed, is a Mongolian title used for high dignitaries, and appears frequently in Ra"sidu-'d-Din; the modern Mongol pronunciation is noin. I still think that « none » may be noyan; but I must remark that Polo's text is not very satisfactory here and may be corrupt, and also that we have no outside information as to the use of any Mongol title in the region of Badabsân, itself not Mongolian. Nevertheless, I have quoted (under « Badascian ») a text showing that, in 1276, Qubilai could send people to work at the mines in Badahgân, and it may be that the Mongols had appointed representatives in that country, although the native sovereign of Badabsân kept his position. I know of no case in which the Mongol title of noyan has been given to anybody who was not a Mongol.

The Kushan « nana » of Y, r, 173, is a misreading, and his Tibetan « nono » is almost out of the question (cf. BARTHOLD in Minaev, 67).


noruechia Li nouerchia L

orbeche TA1 orecha Z

oroech F

« Oroech » of F would seem confirmed by « Orecha n of Z, and that would justify YULE'S hesitation between Norway and Wareg (Y, ii, 489). But I do not doubt that Norway is correct, and that I enoroech » of F stands for « è noroech ». We find an almost identical name in the French letter of John and James Vassal of 1276 which I have quoted under « Bargu », where mention is made of gerfalcons to be bought in « Noroaigue »; the doubts of the editors as to the identification of this « Noroaigue » cannot be sustained. But the drop of initial n- in Polo's text must have occurred in the archetype of all our Mss. except L, where « Noruechia », is remarkably accurate.

  1.  NUBIE

anabat V   nubie F, FA   oesae FB

nubia L, TA1, Z; R

It may be doubted whether Polo had any clear ideas about Nubia, and whether he distinguished it from Ethiopia, of which he only speaks from hearsay under the Arabic name of «Abasce». The Chaldaean breviary attributes to Saint Thomas the conversion of the Chinese and Ethiopians ( Y,