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0272 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 272 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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868   374. UNCIAN


nociam VA nocian FB notiam VA notian VL ozian, uazian, vonoran VB

uachiam TA3 uaciam LT

uociam LT, VA uocian F, FA, VA, Z uotian, votian FA

vacian TA1

vnciam LT, P

vociam LT, P, VA; R

vocian FB, L

votion, vtian VB

The name here referred to is ijr A Yung-ch'ang. To the readings of the Mss. of Polo, we may add « Aociam » of the Catalan Map (Y1, I, 302; CORDIER, L'Extrême-Orient dans l' Atlas Catalan, 22), and « Uocâ » (= « Uocan ») of Fra Mauro (cf. HALLBERG, 557). Without being positive about it, I think that the true reading is probably « Vncian » = « Uncian », or even « Oncian », which has the occasional support of LT and P.

Yung-ch'ang, as the name of a « commanderie » (chün), goes back to the Han. The town had been rebuilt under the Nan-chao (in 743 ?) and was one of their six main administrative centres; the itineraries of the end of the 8th cent. duly place it between the Mekong and the Salween, as it is now (cf. BEFEO, iv, 370-371). But the place must have been in ruins when the Mongols reached it. It was rebuilt in 1278 by Ä RI 1 Tuan A-ch'ing (Hsii-Yün-nan t'ung-chih kao, 25, 7 b). The Yüan first made of Yung-ch'ang a chou in 1274, and raised it to a fu in 1278; it was dependent on Ta-li (YS, 61, 11 b).

Polo says that « Uncian » was the main city of the province of Zar-dandân (see « Çardandan »). This may not be technically quite correct, since the real territory of the Chin-ch'ih, or « Gold Teeth » (Zar-dandân), must have been much more to the south-west. But it is true that the « Directing Commissariat of Chin-ch'ih » and the « Directing Commissariat of Ta-li » had been merged, on September 23, 1286, into one « Directing Commissariat of Ta-li, Chin-ch'ih, and other places », the seat of which was established at Yung-ch'ang (cf. my discussion of this under « Çardandan »). In 1343, a « Comforting Commissariat (hsüan-wei-ssii) of Yung-ch'ang and other places » was established (YS, 41, 1 b; 92, 6 a-b), and this is taken by WANG Hui-tsu2, 26, 2 b, to refer to our Yung-ch'ang, but I am not certain that the place intended is not Yung-ch'ang near Liang-chou in Kan-su. After the fall of the Mongol dynasty, the Ming had for a time at Yung-ch'ang a Chin-ch'ih[ f ]wei, « Garrison of Chin-ch'ih ». According to the Ti-ming to tzù-tien, 547 and 1134, the

original seat of the Commissariat was on the territory of A   Ching-tung, that is to say, far to
the south-east of Yung-ch'ang and east of the Mekong. I do not know the origin of this information, which cannot be reconciled with the text of YS, 61, 12 b, quoted under « Çardandan ».

In the Chinese and Pai-i Vocabulary of the Ming dynasty, the Pai-i name of the Chin-ch'ih is Wan-Chang; on the other hand the Burmese form of Yung-ch'ang is said to be « Wun-zen ». YULE-CORDIER (Y, II, 89) and F. W. K. MOLLER (TP, 1892, 17, 20) seem to have considered that these forms « Wan-Chang » and « Wun-zen » were more correct spellings than the Ch. Yung-ch'ang.