National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0244 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 244 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000246
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text


840   346. SUMATRA

Ain-i-Akbart. Finally, the Chinese transcriptions are not what FERRAND makes them to be, and this obliges me to enter into a more detailed examination of them than I should otherwise have wished to do in the present notes.

FERRAND's reasoning is based on the Ming forms Hsü-wên [ ]-to-la, Hsü-wên-to-na, Su-mên-

[p4]-to-la, where he says wên and mên fundamentally contain the vowel sound -a-; this is extremely doubtful; wên and mên are not wan or man; at such a late date, the vowel of wên and mên would

sound somewhat like u in Engl. pun, and may represent both short a and short u. But, what

is more important, FERRAND has left out of account all the older transcriptions, namely those of the Mongol period, beginning in 1282, in which the second syllable is always rendered by 2fç

mu (cf. BEFEO, iv, 327) ; the form is almost always Su-mu-to-la, once Su-mu-ta-la (YS, 12, 4 a;

13, 8 b; 14, 4 a; 18, 4 a; 131, 8 b; 134, 8 a; 210, 8 b; Yüan wên lei, 41, 20 b). There can be no doubt that all these represent Sumudra, not Sumatra. As to the later forms, beginning with the Hsü-

wên-ta-la of 1349-1350 (cf. TP, 1915, 151, 152, 156; add the Chinese map of the early 15th cent.

and Ming spilt, 325, 5 b), they seem to represent *Sumundara or possibly *Sumandara (but I doubt the existence of a Skr. sdmundri quoted in Hobson-Jobson2, 977; for a form Samundar of Samudra,

as a name of the lower Brahmaputra, cf. Fe, 354; samundar is the Hindi form of samudra). It may

be that the transcriptions beginning with hsü = sü, slu, not su, have something to do with Conti's « Sciamuthera » (Samudra), Barbosa's « Çamatra » and the Sumutrah of late Arabic authors. The

late Chinese transcriptions, on the other hand, are in agreement with the late Malay legend giving

for the state of Samudra a would-be etymological form « Samandara » ( Y, II, 294). The vowel -u-in the second syllable of the name is so evident that FERRAND himself, speaking of the Arabic vocaliza-

tion of Sumutrah, says most inconsequently (JA, 1922, II, 81) that it agrees with these very Chinese transcriptions Hsü-wên-ta-la and Su-mên-to-la, which he had asserted in 1919 to have an -a- in the second syllable.

It is thus plain that we must start from a form Sumudra as being the usual one in the 13th cent.; but it also occurs with a hardening of -d- into -t- in Polo's « Sumatra », in Ragidu-'d-Din's

« Sûmûtrah » and in the later Arabic transcriptions. Eventually the form « Sumatra » prevailed.

COEDÉs (BEFEO, xxiii, 469) thought of a metathesis samudra > sumadra; I am myself more in favour of the retroaction of a labial on a preceding vowel, samudra > sumudra, and this is perhaps

also to be considered for double forms like Tumihang < Tamihang (Tamyang), Tumasik < Tamasik (Témasik); for other similar cases, cf. BEFEO, II, 3; Rec. des inscr. du Siam, I, 123. Finally, I can but concur with ROUFFAER that Sumudra and Sumatra are derived from Samudra.

This conclusion is corroborated by the identification of the state of « Sumatra » or Samudra. In 1933 (TP, 1933, 275, and passim; 1934-1935, 293-294) I was mistaken when I repeated an old identification with the Achin territory (cf. BEFEO, iv, 327; TP, 1915, 151 sq.); it is « Lambri » (Lamuri) which afterwards became Achin. Already in 1886, YULE (cf. Hobson-Jobson2, 865) considered that the old city of Samudra must be represented by the present village of Samudra on the river Pasei (Pasè) ; we must abide by this conclusion, for which the Dutch scholars have found fresh evidence (cf. ROUFFAER, in Bijdragen, Vol. 74 [1918], 138). As I explain under « Basman », the Dutch scholars speak of the old state of « Samudra-Pasè »; both names may have been used concurrently, even if at one time they were applied to two neighbouring cities, so that the name