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0062 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 62 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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Fa-hsien's notice of Sarikol.

Sung Yün's passage through Sarikol.


punished with death ; for other offences compensation by fine was allowed. Taxes were paid in clothing materials, an observation illustrated by what a native informant, in the Report of the Yarkand Mission, notes of the barter carried on in Sarikol with cotton goods imported from the plains 4. The military force of the territory was reckoned at a thousand men. Its ruling family is stated to have originally come from Kâshgar, and to have transmitted its power from generation to generation.

During the period corresponding to 435-439 A. D., under the later Wei dynasty, Ho-p`an-t`o is said to have first entered into relations with China. ` In the ninth year Cheng-kuan (635) it sent an envoy to do homage at the Imperial court. During the period K`ai-yüan (7i3-74i A. D.) China conquered and pacified this kingdom ; it established there the military post of Ts`ung-ling, which is the extreme point under military occupation on the frontier of An-hsi', i. e. of the Chinese protectorate then comprising Eastern Turkestân. M. Chavannes, in his comments on this notice, points out that another passage of the Tang Annals distinctly identifies the ` military post of Ts`ung-ling' with the ancient kingdom of Chieh j5`an-to ; and it is under this appellation or simply ` Ts`ung-ling' that we find Sarikol repeatedly mentioned in the Chinese records translated by him 5.

The earliest Chinese travellers of whose visit to Sarikol we have any record are the pilgrims Fa-hsien and Sung Yün. But in the case of the former our knowledge is not only exceedingly brief, but dependent on a conjectural identification 8. Fa-hsien and his fellow-pilgrims, when proceeding, about 400 A. D., from Khotan towards India, reached first the kingdom of Tzû ho - â . A notice of the Tang Annals translated by M. Chavannes plainly shows Tzû-ho to be identical with the territory known under the Tang as Chu-chu-po, i. e. the present district of Karghalik 7. From there the pilgrims ` went south for four days, when they found themselves among the Ts`ung-ling mountains, and reached the country of Yu-hwuy, where they halted and kept their

retreat' 8. The name Yü-hui   og, otherwise wholly unknown, presented a puzzle until
M. Chavannes, by a slight emendation, restored it to -mo f~; J, an abbreviated form of

the name Ch`üan yü-mo   st   , under which Tâsh-kurghân is mentioned in the Pd shih.
We shall have occasion to follow elsewhere the ingenious and convincing arguments by which M. Chavannes further traces Fa-hsien's route from Tâsh-kurghân to Chieh-ch`a or Kashgar, where he appears to have gone in order to rejoin some companions before attempting the passage of the Pâmirs. But it may be noted that the four days' march south of Tzû-ho or Karghalik to where the Ts`ung-ling mountains were entered, could well be explained on the assumption that Fa-hsien's party for the journey to Tash-kurghân chose a route which first took them to Kök-yar, south of Karghalik, and from there westwards into Sarikol through the mountains adjoining the course of the Upper Yarkand river 9.

The account which the next Chinese traveller, the pilgrim Sung Yün, has left us of his passage through Sarikol (519 A. D.), is less laconic. But a want of proper sequence in the

' See .Yarkand Mission Report, p. 56 (` the rate is one

sheep for thirty yards of cloth    No coin is current
in Sarfgh Kûl, everything is by barter').

6 See Chavannes, Turcs occid., p. r 25 note ; also the passages quoted, s. v. Ts`ung-ling, p. 373, especially the one bearing on Kao Hsien-chih's expedition to Gilgit, p. i 52 note.

I I am indebted for the first information concerning Fa-hsien's probable route from Khotan to the confines of India to M. Chavannes, who was kind enough to communicate to me,

in a letter dated Sept. 4, 1903, the main points as discussed by him in a note of his forthcoming translation of Sung Yün's itinerary. [See now Voyage de Song Fun, p. 54, note 3.]

7 See Chavannes, Turcs occid., p. 123.

8 Compare Fâ-hien's Travels, transl. Legge, p. 21.

The route here suggested would partly coincide with the one discussed below in connexion with Sung Yün's account of Sarikol ; see note 13, p. 30.