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0234 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 234 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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830   334. SEMENAT


semach G   semenat F, Fr, t, FA, FB, VB   sermach VA

sembelech VL   semenath Z   seruenath R

semenach P   seminat V

All the Mss. agree in reading « Semenat », although we should expect « Somenat »; in fact, the Medici Map reads « Somenath » (HALLBERG, 4.68). On Somnâth in Guzerat, cf. Y, II, 400-401; Fe, 734, ,_,l y , and c,1:.r, Sômnât or Sômanât (the transcription « Sûmanât » is arbitrary). It may be that, in Polo's time, something was still heard of the original second vowel of Somanâtha, hence the three syllables of his spelling. Somnâth is not named by BARBOSA, but is probably

referred to under the obscure designation of « Patenexy » (= Pattan   ?; cf. DAMES, Barbosa, I,
108, 126).

A kingdom of t, ; 7 c jt Su-mu-ta or A rJ g Hsü-mên-na is mentioned in YS, 12, 4 a (under 1282) ; 14, 4 a (under 1286) ; 210, 8 b; Yüan wên lei, 41, 20 b, and is probably the same as

the kingdom of A 5   Hsü-wên-na, which has a notice in the Tao-i chih-lio of 1349-1350. It
has been supposed by BRETSCHNEIDER (Br, i, 191) and by YULE (Vi, I, 82) that this was Somnâth; this solution is accepted, although doubtfully, by FUJITA in his commentary on the Tao-i chih-lio (92 b). ROCKHILL rejects it, because Hsü-wên-na produces pepper, and he proposes Mangalore (TP, 1914, 435; 1915, 463); but the latter has no phonetic connection with the Chinese name. I think that, in fact, Su-mu-ta, Hsü-mên-na, and Hsü-wên-na, all represent [Dvara] Samudra, called Dûrû Samundûr by Rasidu-'d-Din, the capital of the Bilai Rajas immediately north of Malabar (cf. ELLIOT, Hist. of India, 12, 73; Y1, I, 82). In 1282 and in 1286, the name of Hsü-mên-na or Su-mu-ta is linked with that of Malabar. In 1282, the king was J7 ' Q, Ta-ku-êrh (*Dagur?)

and his minister was g I i7   IJ # ,; Na-ii-pa-ha [read p to?]-ia-t'an-ch'ih (*Naribhadra-
tanci?). The name of the kingdom itself is given by Rasidu-'d-Din as « Deogir », and this name also is probably meant by Chinese texts when, in YS, 20, 3 b, we read that in 1300 an embassy arrived

from the state of r i ~   Tiao-chi-êrh, which is exactly Deogir.

But YULE is mistaken ( Y, I, 82) when he attributes to [Dvâra] Samudra, in 1286, not the embassy from Hsü-mên-na, but that from Su-mu-tu-la (which he wrongly reads « Sumuntaia » instead of Sumudra). This last embassy came from the Malay state of Samudra (see « Sumatra »), as is testified by the « name » (in fact the title) of the king, Tuhan-pati (the order in the enumeration is not as given by YULE; it is headed by Malabar and Hsü-mên-na, and Su-mu-tu-la comes last of the ten names; cf. also YULE, Hobson-Jobson2, 865-866).

  1.  SENDAL

On several occasions, Polo mentions the sort of textile called « sendal », or, in the plural, « sendaus ». This is a well-known word, frequently met with in mediaeval texts, which must have been, as a rule, the designation of a silk taffeta; it was very similar to, and sometimes confounded with