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0237 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 237 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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338. SINGIU   833

Ling-chou is quite near Ning-hsia, and was reached by the very road Polo followed; moreover, it was then known in Central Asia under its native name of Dörmägäi. BI, 447, thinks that « Silingiu » may be « Hsi-Liang-chou », but as Polo speaks of the road to « Silingiu » when he is at « Ergiuul », and as « Ergiuul » is « Hsi-Liang-chou » itself, that suggestion too has to be dropped.

The name of Hsi-ning goes back only to the Sung, but the region of Hsi-ning, which, in the 10th and 11th cents., was on one of the highways of Central Asia, seems to have been formerly known abroad under another name. In 1076, Kàsyari mentions a place l Sàni ü which was towards North China (BROCKELMANN, 249) and marks it on his map after Hotan and Z`ärcän. HERRMANN (Imago Mvndi, 1935, 28) says that this is Sha-chou (Tun-huang; see « Saciou », and TP, 1936, 363); but the -n- is not thus accounted for. It is much more likely that Sànjû represents *15 44.1 Shan-chou (to-day the Nien-po of our maps, Lo-tu of the new nomenclature), on the Hsining river, east of Hsi-ning. Shan-chou was the main centre of the Hsi-ning region under the T'ang, until it was conquered by the Tibetans (PARKER is mistaken when he dates the creation of Shan-chou only from 1099).

It may have been because of some use of the trade-road via Hsi-ning that Polo mentions the place. On the other hand, Sàn)ü survived perhaps only as a name, in later Arabic geography, along with Hanfu. And just as Hanfu, originally Canton, was wrongly taken for Hang-chou (see « Quinsai »), perhaps it is our Sànjü = Shan-chou = region of Hsi-ning, which was mistaken by Abû'l-Fida to be an ancient name of Zaitun (see « Çaitun »).

338. SINGIU (c. 147)

ginguy Pr   singu TA3   sui VL

segui, sigui TA'   singui LT, VA, VB, VLr;   syngin P5

seguin V   G, R   syngui P

singu Z   singuy FAt, FB   synguy FB
singiu F, Fr, t, L

CHARIGNON (Ch, III, 57-60) sees here Wu-ch'ang, but, long before him, YULE had given the true solution. « Singiu » is the present I-chêng, to the south-west of Yang-chou, and its name in

Yüan times was   Chên-chou ( Y, II, 173) ; perhaps « Singiu » stands for « Cingiu ». It is true
that I-chêng is not to the south-east of Yang-chou, as Polo's « yseloc » would seem to imply, but to the south-west; but we have here once more a digression from the main road, the reason of which is Polo's desire to bring in what he has to say about I-chêng. The case is the same as for « Tigiu » (T'ai-chou), from which the road to Yang-chou would be to the south-west, while the text says to the south-east. The truth is that Polo's general direction from Cho-chou (south of Peking) to Hang-chou is south-east. The digressions which have been inserted and arbitrarily arranged into a continuous itinerary bring confusion into the main course which Polo followed and which was in a south-eastern direction; we must, in fact, start again in every case from the point of the main