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0228 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 228 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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824   327. SAIN

texts. Ragidu-'d-Din, like Polo, writes ~1~. ~.sC Säkamûni-Burbän in the (unpublished) section of his work which is devoted to the history of China.

While the name of äkyamuni is of rare occurrence in Western mediaeval texts, it was well known to late classical writers. To the texts usually quoted, I may add a Syriac catena which, in a passage that cannot be earlier than the 7th-8th cent., mentions « the Sakiamunaye, i. e. the Tuptaye and the black 'Otnaye' », that is to say the disciples of äkyamuni, who are the Tibetans (see « Tebet ») and the black Khotanese (see « Cotan »); cf. BIDEZ and CUMONT, Les mages hellénisés, ii, 117.

  1.  SAIN

frai TAI fray TA3

sain F, L, Z   sayn Z

Sain (written Mong. sayin) means « excellent » (not « good » in the sense of « good-natured »). The name of Sayin-ban (Sain-khan) is known as an epithet applied to Batu (cf. Y, II, 492), so that Polo, in naming « Sain » as Batu's predecessor (see « Batu ») is obviously wrong. This may perhaps be accounted for in the following way. Although Batu was the real founder of the Golden Horde, this branch of the Chinghizkhanids begins theoretically with his father Jöci, and in Polo's mind, Sain may have unduly taken Jai's place. On the other hand, the use of sain (sayin) as an epithet is not restricted to Batu. In an unpublished letter in Mongolian sent in 1290 by Aryun to Pope

Nicholas IV, Aryun speaks of his father and his mother as sayin   sayin ämägä, « excellent
father », « excellent mother ». The same sayin is certainly the original word of the Mongol text when, in the rough Latin translation of an earlier letter from Aryun to Pope Honorius IV (1285), the former speaks of « nostrum bonum patrem Alaum » and of « bonus Abaga filius ejus » (cf. CHABOT, Hist. de Mar Jabalaha III, 190). In his letter of 1305 to Philip the Fair, Öljäitü uses the same word sayin when he speaks of his great-grandfather, of his grandfather and of his father (sayin älinJäk, sayin äbügä, sayin ä&gä). On the use of sain in Armenian texts, cf. BROSSET, Hist. de la Géorgie, I, 545; PATKANOV, Istor. Mongolov Magakii, 18, 80, 92.


samagar F, L

This is the emir « Semaghar » of Hal, I, 396 (see also the index, H, 529); Polo's form is better, and the name must be transcribed Samayar; D'OHSSON (Oh, III, 447) has correctly « Samagar ». This name is known elsewhere : for instance, a Sa-mu-ha-êrh, *Samuyar (= Samayar), is mentioned