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0229 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 229 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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329. SANGON   825

in YS, 15, 4 a (for the alternation of -a- and -u- in the middle unaccentuated syllable, see « Abaga »). Samayar had been sent to Syria in 1271, and he is the « Cemakar » of a letter sent by Abaya on September 4, 1271, to Prince Edward of England (the future Edward I), then at Acre (cf. the text in Th. STAPPLETON, Cronica maiorum et vicecomitum Londoniarum, London, 1846, 143; also Arch. Or. Latin, I, 623; wrongly « Camaker » in RÖHRICHT, Regesta Regni Hierosol., 359, where « Than Albaga » stands of course for « Chan Abaga »).

To the usual references, add HOWORTH, III, 237, quoting the Georgian chronicle (BROSSET, Hist. de la Géorgie, I, I, 580-581), but I do not see how the « Sikudar » of that chronicle could

represent « Samayar ». The name is written 1   Samäyu in MufaNal's very faulty text; BLOCHET
(Moufazzal, 203) is absolutely wrong in looking for etymologies of « Samayu » and « Samayan » which are mere wrong readings (confusion of and `, with )); and it is not true that Mong. sama'ur or samna'ur, « curry-comb » (derived from sam, « comb »), is a late form of *samayar. I do not know the etymology of the name Samayar; a connection with sama'u, « disorder », is possible, but remains to be proved.


This title appears only once, in « Liitan Sangon » (see « Liitan »), and is certainly sängün. All commentators, from Pa, 442, and Y, II, 138, to RR, 425, and B1, 444, excepting Ch, III, 12,

have explained sängün as being Ch. ;f1f   chiang-chün, « general ». And it is true that, when
we find sä,ün (sängün) for the first time in the 8th cent. in a Turkish runic inscription of the Orkhon, it must have been borrowed simply from chiang-chün. But the case is no longer the same in the Mongol period, during which chiang-chiin was rarely used (CoRDIER's addition to Y, II, 138, about « military governor » refers to the revival of the title of chiang-chün during the Manchu dynasty as a title for Tartar military governors; it is irrelevant here). On the contrary, both as a proper name and as a title, sänggün or sänggüm is then of rather frequent occurrence in transcriptions, and Ra"sidu-'d-Din, as I have already remarked in TP, 1930, 46, explains it as meaning « men of good origin », « sons of the aristocracy » (hudâvand zädäh, in Ber, I, 98). This can only be 4q 1 hsiang-kung, which in ancient China was an epithet used for ministers (« Duke minister »), but in the Middle Ages was applied to young men of high families; it is well known that the term has now much deteriorated in Northern Chinese. In the 13th cent., hsiang-kung, without being an official term, is frequently met with in Chinese texts as a polite designation for high officials who were neither ministers (ch'êng-hsiang), nor assistant-ministers (yu-ch'êng, tso-ch'êng). For i nstance, in a diary of 1276, we find a mention of Bayan ch'êng-hsiang, of `Ali[-bag] yu-ch'êng, but of Po-lo[-huan] hsiang-kung (TP, 1915, 396, 403), Po-lo[-huan] being one of the generals under Bayan's command during his campaign against the Sung (cf. Ch, III, 33-34). In the same work, the author notes that he stayed a certain day in the house of Yen hsiang-kung (TP, 1912, 432; see also « Tundinfu ») ; the Yen family enjoyed in Tung-p'ing-fu a situation similar to that of Li T'an in Shan-tung. The well-known Cingai is mentioned as Chên-hai hsiang-kung in YS, 95,14 a. In The Ts'ai Yüan P'ei Anniv. Volume, Peiping, 1934, 926, I have quoted two cases where a man