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0283 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 283 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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384. YARCAN   879

explains that yär means « earth » and kyäng, « broad » (Hsi yü t'u-chih, 18, 1 a; Hsi-yü t'ung-wên chih, 3, 18-19). It is true that yär means « earth » in Turki; as to kyäng, the word intended is the « king », « wide », « broad », of SHAW, Vocabulary, 177, the real pronunciation of which, as I heard it in Chinese Turkestan, is käng and keng (cf. RADLOV, II, 1067). The etymology is of course absurd, and the form itself is artificial, being based on a nasalized pronunciation of Yärkän, the Kalmuk form of Yârkänd. « Yärkäng » never occurs in Turkish texts, except perhaps in some local documents purposely written for the use of Chinese officials. The Tibetan 'Jigs-med nam-mkha, writing in 1818, gives Yer-khen (misread « Yed-khen » in HIRTH, Gesch. des Buddhismus, I, 18; II, 28; cf. also Sarat CHANDRA DAS's Dictionary, 1143; the would-be Sanskrit name « Arghan » quoted in WATTERS, On Yuan Chwang, II, 294, from a paper by Sarat CHANDRA DAS is valueless).

The present note has so far dealt with Yârkänd only from the time when the name « Yârkänd » appears in the 11th cent. But the place existed at a much earlier date.

All scholars, both Chinese and European, agree that the kingdom of r j V. So-chü of Han times must be identified with Yârkänd. On the basis of this equivalence, the old name was officially revived for Yârkänd when the « province » of Chinese Turkestan was created in 1882 : Yârkänd became the « independent chou » of So-chü, was later promoted to a « prefecture » (fu), and became the « district » (hsien) of So-chü when all « prefectures » were suppressed by the Republican Government. HERRMANN adds that So-chü also is Ptolemy's EoZ'ra (vi, 15, 4), which he believes to be corrupt for Eoiya; Eoiya and even E&ya occur among the readings of the Mss. (Southern Tibet, VIII, 44.8; HERRMANN, Das Land der Seide and Tibet, 111, 144). The geographical identification is possible, but so far unproved. As to the names, the phonetic similitude, though real, is not so clear as HERRMANN'S words would seem to imply. Towards A. D. 600, So-chü sounded *Suâ-kjwo. The first character, so (*sud), always stand for sc (or svd) in early transcriptions. The second one, chü (*kiwo), is also pronounced ch'ê (*t's`ia), and it is with the latter pronunciation that it is used in post-Han times in Buddhist transcriptions, for instance to render the last syllable of mleccha or the second one of Licchavi. But in the case of the old name of Yârkänd, the traditional pronunciation is ,So-chü, and the use of the second character in transcriptions of Han times with the chü (*kiwo) pronunciation is confirmed by the double form of the native name of the ancient kingdom of

Turfan, which is   Ku-shih (*Kuo-si) in Ssû-ma Ch'ien, but $   Chü-shih (*Kjwo-si) in the
Chien-Han shu. Although I have no doubt that there is an etymological connection between the two pronunciations chü (*kiwo) and ch'e (*t'.§`ia), I think that in Han times the final vowel of chü must have been a labial vowel. In other words, the theoretical original of So-chü probably was *Sâku (or *Sâkä?), which is fairly far removed from *Eo yct. I must add that the readings EoZya and Eâ ya seem to be of small authority, the only important variant of Eot'ra being E6-ca. Saga is, however, the form given by Ammianus Marcellinus (cf. COEDÉS, Textes d'auteurs grecs et latins, 94).

For a period which must be the 5th cent. (c. A. D. 437 ?), the Pei shih (97, 3 b) mentions a king-

dom of   a7 Ch'ü-so (*G`iwo-suâ), which had its centre at the «ancient city of So-chü». Here again
Chinese scholars and HERRMANN agree that Ch'ti-so must be Yârkänd (cf. Hsi-yii t'u-chih, 18, 6 a; Southern Tibet, VIII, 19, 44A); but this is because they leave out of consideration all sources except the Pei shih. As is well known, this section of the Pei shih is based to a great extent on the original

17 A.