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
0265 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 265 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

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

OCR Text


367. TUC   861

taka and Cosmas' tupha), and LAUFER, Sino-Iranica, 564-565. As a rule, the tuy was made with the tail of a yak, and I think that the same word occurs in Tib. thug-Ma, « tuy-tail », and thugchom, « tuy-bunch », both applying to a flag made of a yak's tail. For the use of the word in the Uighur legend of Uyuz-khan (or Oyuz-khan), cf. TP, 1930, 291. In modern times, horse-tails were substituted for yak-tails in the Ottoman empire, and the number of tails varied according to the rank of officials, from one for the mir-liwâ to 7 or 9 for the sultan when he went to war (cf. « Tûgh » in El); this, to a certain extent, goes back to an ancient tradition, as the qayan, according to Kàsyari (BROCKELMANN, 216), had 9 tuy. But the Mongol custom was somewhat different. The word tuq (= Turk. tuy) occurs several times in the Secret History of 1240 (§ 181, 193, 202, 232, 278), where we find even (§ 73) a verb tugla-, « to raise the tuy ». It is the standard of Chinghiz-khan, and it is described (§ 202) as a « white standard with nine tails » (yäsün koltli caga'an tuq). Muqali, Chinghiz-khan's lieutenant-general in Northern China, had been granted the privilege of a standard with nine tails, on which a « black moon » (a black crescent) was figured (cf. TP, 1930, 32). According to Polo (in RAMuslo), Qubilai's standard wore the figures of the sun and the moon. Before starting for a war, the tuy was raised and « sprinkled » (sacu-; Secret History, § 193). The flag and the drum were ancient regalia; as tik ch'i and rut ku, they are often associated as gifts of investiture from Chinese emperors to nomad princes, and this was the meaning of the high distinction granted by Tamerlane when he promised a tuy and a drum to every general who would conquer a kingdom (cf. Y, I, 263).

It cannot well be doubted that the word tuy, as ABEL-REMUSAT already maintained, is identical with the Chinese 4; to (*d`âu, *d`uk, *d`uok) of the same meaning, which occurs already in Chinese before the Christian era; LAUFER is probably right in saying that it was borrowed from the Chinese by the nomads at an early date.

But although the tuy was raised in time of war and was the standard of the Emperor, and sometimes of the commander-in-chief, no text gives it in the sense of « 100,000 » attributed to it by Polo. I wonder whether some confusion of words did not occur in the traveller's mind. There is in Turkish and in Mongolian an expression tiik tümän; it has been met with half a dozen times in the « Turfan » Uigur texts, and occurs also in the Sino-Uigur Mss. vocabulary belonging to the School of Oriental Languages; in this last work, it is translated by wan-wan, « ten thousand times ten thousand », which would be 100,000,000. Such is also the translation of tük tümän in the Sino-Mongolian vocabulary Hua-i i yü of the end of the 14th cent. But KOVALEVSKIÏ (p. 1926) registers it as the Mongolian equivalent of Skr. laksa, Tib. 'burn, and translates it by « 100,000 ». I suspect that in RADLOV's «köp-tiimän», «tüm tümän», «tüp tümän» (iii, 1602), the forms — at least those taken from the Qutayu bilig — are misread for tük tümän. In any case, the tiik of tük tümän cannot be an « intensive » of the type of qap qara, « quite black », ap aq, « quite white », as we have tük ming, « a tük of thousand », in Qutaayu bilig (wrongly read tök ming in RADLOV, III, 1241). Although tük, by itself, cannot have been a definite number, it may be that Polo, who knew of the tuy of the whole army, but had to give a name for « 100,000 » along with that of tümän for « 10,000 », adopted « tuc » for « 100,000 » owing to the frequent association of tük with tümän in Turkish and Mongolian.