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0247 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 247 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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350. TAIDU   843

There have been several Talagàn, or Tàlgan, or Tàligan (Tàlegan), but particularly two, one to the east being Polo's «Taican », the other to the west situated between Mery and Balkh. CHAVANNES, after some hesitation, came to the conclusion that the Chinese of the 7th cent. knew only the eastern one (Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 278, 362) ; the C1ä I Jg Ta-la-chien (Talakan) of Hsüan-tsang, the

;II ? To-lo-chien (Tälakan) of the administrative organization of c. 660 would then be Polo's « Taican ». On the other hand, BRETSCHNEIDER (Br, II, 99) and MARQUART (Erân§ahr, 80) considered that Hsüan-tsang spoke of the western Tàiagàn, and I think they are right. Ya'qût's indications about Tàiagàn (apart from a third Tàiagàn much more to the west between Qazwin and Abhär) suppose that, for his source, the western Tàiagàn, a very important town, formed part of Tobäristàn; and, for Ya'qût, the eastern Tàlegàn appears only under the form Tàigàn as a place of no significance in the region of Balkh (cf. BARBIER DE MEYNARD, Dict. Géogr., 376-377, 379, 389). It was also the western Tàiigàn or Tàlgàn which was conquered by Chinghiz-khan in 1221,

and the name of which is written « fortress of f   T'a-li-han » in Shêng-wu ch'en-chêng lu
(62 a-b, s. a. 1221) and YS, I, 9 a, s. a. 1222; Chinghiz-khan passed there the summer of 1222. This is at least the conclusion reached by an examination of the Mussulman documents, so that WANG Kuo-wei, as D'OHSSON and YULE before him (Y, I, 154), must be wrong in identifying that Wigan or Tàigàn of 1221-1222 with Polo's « Taican »; cf. Br, u, 98 (who does not decide between the two) ; BARTHOLD, Turkestan2, 439 (who is definitely in favour of the western Tàigàn) ; A. WALEY, Travels of an Alchemist (where the chronology of Chinghiz-khan's campaigns is systematically moved up one year, and his summer-stay at Tàigàn placed in 1221, instead of 1222).

On the Chinese map of c. 1330 and in the corresponding list of YS, 63, 16 b, a town of gie

T'a-li-kan (*Tàligan or *Talgan) is marked between Mery and Balkh; so it must again be the western Tàiigàn (cf. Br, II, 99).

To sum up, while CHAVANNES thought that the Chinese had only known the eastern Tàlagan or Tàlegàn (Polo's « Taican »), it seems on the contrary that all the mentions in Chinese texts refer to the western one.

350. TAIDU

gaidu V   taidu F, L; R

In Chinese *   Ta-tu, « Great Capital »; « Taido » in Odoric (Y', II, 217; icy, 471);

« Daidu » in Rasidu-'d-Din (Bl, n, 457) ; « Daidu » and « Yäkä Daidu-iota » (read 'photo or photon ?) in the Mongol chronicle (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 113, 137); JC to was still pronounced tai during the Yüan dynasty. One would expect « Daidu » in Polo and Odoric; they have transcribed the name as if it had been pronounced with - t'ai, of allied meaning, but which would not be correct here.

In 1261, it had been proposed to rebuild the walls of the ancient Chin capital, the « Cambaluc »