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0282 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 282 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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878   384. YARCAN

It is most probably Yârkänd which is referred to in the Secret History (§ 263), as lying between

Kâgyar and Kuêâ, with the corrupt form )G g   Wu-li-yang, *Uriyang. T'u Chi thought that

there was here a wrong reading due to the Chinese text only, and corrected   yang to X ch'iang;

he introduced this corrected form, Wu-ii-ch'iang = Yârkänd, into his Mêng-wu-êrh shih-chi (III, 19 b, 27 b). But the Ms. in Ulan-bâtor which preserves part of the original Secret History in Mongolian writing gives Üriyäng, so that the misreading -i- instead of -k-, easy in Mongolian script, must have occurred in Mongolian before the transliteration with Chinese characters was made at the end of the 14th cent. The Ms. in Ulan-bâtor is very faulty, and no stress can be laid upon its palatalized reading. On the other hand, u- or ü- instead of ya- or yä- cannot be accounted for, so that the whole name, as well as its identification, remain open to some doubt.

Yârkänd is not mentioned on the Chinese map of c. 1330, nor in the corresponding section of YS, 63; but the name occurs in other chapters of YS. On March 8, 1274, « thirteen water postal

relays (* ! shui-i) were established at the two cities Khotan and if   t Ya-êrh-k'an (Yarkän [d]),

and two land postal relays ((3r   lu-i) [were established] to the north of Sha-chou (see Saciou') »

( YS, 8, 3 b). On June 1 of the same year, « an Imperial edict was issued to calm and comfort (anwei) the cities of Khotan, Ya-êrh-k'an (Yârkän[d]) and Kâsyar » (YS, 8, 4 a; in Br. II, 48-49, this is wrongly connected with a grant made on the same day to the families of soldiers fallen at the siege of Hsiang-yang). These measures may have been taken in connection with the revolt of the Prince Hoqu, which must have taken place in the region of Khotan at about that time (see « Badascian»).

Another form is   Ya-êrh-ch'ien (YS, 120, 7 a; Br, I, 234). According to BRETSCHNEIDER
(Br, II, 47), Yârkänd is « repeatedly noticed » in YS, and generally the transcription is Yeh-li-ch'ien.

But I find the latter form only once, in the , ,i     j Yeh-li-ch'ien of YS, 180, 2 (Br, I, 162), where
the identification with Yârkänd is only probable.

Although Yàrkänd had real importance in Ming times and even, for a period the length of which is not fully established (see « Cascar »), was the capital of the western part of Chinese Turkestan, there is no notice on the place in the Ming shih. A bare mention of the name, transcribed f f j

Ya-li-kan, occurs, however, in the Ming itinerary incorporated in the Pien-cheng k'ao of 1547 (Peiping National Library ed., 8, 7 b; cf. China Review, y, 235, where BRETSCHNEIDER translates the same text from later sources).

From the middle of the 17th cent. to the middle of the 18th, the forms used in Chinese transcrip-

tion were =   7 Yeh-êrh-ch'i-mu (*Yärkim) and     PS   Yeh-êrh-ch'in (*Yärkin) ;
cf. Hsi-yü t'u-chih, 18, 1 a; Br, II, 310. Ch'i Shao-nan (1707-1768) adopted an abnormal ,! Yeh-lo-ch'i-mu in his Shui-tao t'i-kang (cf. Hsi-yü shui-tao chi, I, 16 b). All are Mongol

forms, in which the palatalized second syllable has reacted on the first, in agreement with the rules of Mongol euphony ; on the other hand, alternations of final -n and -m are of frequent occurrence in Mongolian. « Yärkin », which must have originated at the time of the Kalmuk domination in Chinese Turkestan, accounts for RENAT'S « Erken » and UNK0vsKIÏ's « Erkan » (in this last form, Russian e- is of course pronounced ye-).

At the time of the Chinese re-conquest of Chinese Turkestan in the middle of the 18th cent.,

a new form was adopted,   ~ X Yeh-êrh-ch'iang, transcribed in Mandchu, Mongol, and Kalmuk
writings as Yärkyäng or Yerkyeng, in Tibetan as Yer-khyain, in Turki as - 1, Yärkäng; a gloss