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
0248 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 248 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

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

OCR Text


844   350. TAIDU

of Polo (see « Cambaluc »), but nothing was done, and it is this ancient capital of the Chin which was renamed Chung-tu in 1264.

But, owing to the devastation of 1215, Qubilai still lacked a palace in Peking, and the Imperial Secretariat and other administrations lacked proper housing. On February 21, 1265, a special Bureau of Palace Buildings (g, r`] J kung-wei-chü) was instituted (YS, 6, 1 a), but it was only on May 2, 1267, that « the building of new palace walls was undertaken» ( YS, 6, 5 a). It is to that decision that reference is made in YS, 58, 2 a, when it is said : « In the 4th year [chih-yüan], the building of the present city walls was begun to the north-east of Chung-tu, and [, when it was finished,] the capital was moved. » In the text which gives the date of May 2, 1267, and in some others which I shall

refer to, it seems that, by « palace walls » (g   kung-ch'eng), we must understand not only the enclo-
sure of the palace itself, but the walls of the official city around it ; otherwise, we could not account for the text of YS, 58, 2 a, nor for some others following. On February 28, 1270, the building of the palace walls (kung-ch'êng) was stopped on account of a famine ( YS, 7, 1 a). It was resumed the following year : on March 15, 1271, more than 28,000 people were levied in Chung-tu, Chên-ting, Shun-t'ien, Ho-chien, and P'ing-luan to build the palace walls ( YS, 7, 3 b). And then, as in 1271 the Mongol dynasty had adopted the new name of Ta-Yuan, it was decided to give a new name also to the capital ; on March 4, 1272, the name of Chung-tu, adopted in 1264, was changed to Ta-tu ( YS, 7, 7a ; 58, 2 a). This latter name must have immediately been applied to the new Imperial city, as we read that, on March 12, 1272, « the offices of the Imperial Secretariat were established in Ta-tu » ( YS, 7, 7 a; the text quoted from the Hsi-chinchih by RATCHNEVSKY, Un Code des Yuan, 23, is misleading by its lack of precision). Nevertheless, the city walls properly so called (jj A tu-ch'êng) are mentioned for the first time on June 21, 1272, when it was ordered to build the city walls entirely at the cost of the Treasury (YS, 7, 7 a). On June 25, 1272, the erection of the two pairs of side gates (tso-yu-yehmên) of Tung-hua-mên and of Hsi-hua-mên was undertaken ( YS, 7, 7 a). Eighteen months later, the palace itself was at last ready, and on New Year's Day 1274 (February 9), Qubilai was able to proceed to the main hail to receive the congratulations of the Court. But what had been started had to be continued and maintained : for instance, in 1284, 10,000 men of the Imperial Guard were allotted to work at the walls of Ta-tu, and, the following month, regular soldiers were detailed to help in the task (YS, 13, 3 a).

I have given all these details to show that the foundation of Ta-tu was a much more complicated and protracted affair than is generally assumed. YULE ( Y, I, 375) was greatly mistaken in believing that the building of the city was already completed in the summer of 1267. On the other hand, it is a simple slip of BRETSCHNEIDER (Rech. archéol., 26) to have said that the name of Ta-tu was given in 1271, when the very text he translates has 1272 (9th year chih-yüan). But, from him, that slip passed on to Y, I, 375, and, from YULE, to all subsequent commentators, including Ch, II, 56, RR, 429, and BI, 447.

It is well known that the present city of Peiping (Peking), built up in the beginning of the 15th century, does not really coincide either with « Cambaluc », the capital of the Chin, or with Qubilai's

Ta-tu.   Recent researches tend to qualify some of the conclusions which had been reached on the
subject by BRETSCHNEIDER and others. I cannot however undertake to 'discuss the subject in these notes. Cf. G. BOUILLARD, in Bull. of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities of