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0205 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 205 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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rendering of the name of Khotan, as it sounded in the time of the Former Hari Dynasty or even earlier, appears highly probable. The possibility of the first character f being used as a transliteration of the character Tc, which means ` jade', need cause no doubt on this point, since, as Dr. Bushell has kindly pointed out to me, the selection of syllabic characters, of more or less appropriate meaning, for proper names is commonly practised by the Chinese, apparently as a kind of memoria techni ca. Khotan having always owed its fame with the Chinese mainly to its precious jade, the use of this particular character in the phonetic transcription of the indigenous name would be easily accounted for 19.

The form Yü-tun f   , which Hsüan-tsang mentions as that used by the Hsiung-nu, and
which the Tang Annals ascribe more generally to ` the barbarians (Ti) of the North', manifestly represents a phonetic adaptation of the name closely approaching the official Yü-t`ien. It seems probable that this same Yü-tun is meant also by Wu-k`ung's itinerary when it men-

tions :   Chien-tun as an alternative name of Khotan 20 ; for the Chien of the first
syllable can scarcely be anything else but a slight graphic error for f (yû). The other forms of the name which this later pilgrim records, Yü-fien, Huo-tan (here spelt ig 3-), and Ch`ii-sa-tan-na, are already known to us from Hsüan-tsang and the Tang Annals. Wu-k`ung distinctly tells us that Ch`ü-sa-tan-na is the Sanskrit name ` meaning in the Chinese the kingdom of the breast of the Earth'.

It is easy to recognize a phonetic reproduction of the name of Khotan also in U-then, which the Tibetan legend mentions as the name of the great city in the country of Li yul21. This Tibetan U-then corresponds closely with the forms 0-duan, Wu-duan, &c., quoted in a previous note as early Mongol renderings, as well as with the modern Chinese Ho-t`ien *1:1

and Manchu Ho-thian 22. On the other hand, I am unable to connect the name Li yul, literally meaning country of Li ', by which the Tibetan texts .above referred to, as well as other Tibetan works, invariably designate the Khotan region, with any indigenous term. The identity of Li-yul and Khotan, first correctly indicated by Wassilieff, has been placed beyond all doubt by Mr. Rockhill's publication ; but the connexion suggested by the latter scholar between the Tibetan Li[-yul] and the name of Ilchi given to the present chief town of Khotan appears highly doubtful, considering that there is no evidence for this latter name being of any antiquity. I am unable to trace it in any records earlier than the eighteenth century 2S. Even then its

Other Chinese names.

Tibetan forms of name.

Mémoires rel. a l'Asie, ii. pp. 289 sqq. [The present official style for Khotan is , J ati Ho-tien, while the ancient name Yü-lien is now officially applied to the new district of Keriya, according to information kindly given by Mr. G. Macartney.]

19 I have thought it necessary specially to refer to this point as Richthofen, China, i. pp. 482, 486 note, has expressed the view that Yü-fien was a purely Chinese designation given to Khotan on account of its famous product, the jade. The great geographer appears to have

based this opinion on the name Yü-chih (Yii-tche) J   ,
by which the report on the celebrated mission of Chang Chien, as reproduced by Ssü-ma Chien, designates the region of Khotan ; comp. China, i. p. 450. M. Chavannes, however, to whom I referred the point, has been kind enough to explain to me that the reading Yü-chih is not correct. In the name as given in chap. cxxiii of Ssü-ma Ch'ien's history, the second character is, indeed, nowadays pro-

nounced chih (tche) ; but the Chinese commentator distinctly notes that it should be pronounced as rim or tien. Thus, in reality, the name recorded by Ssü-ma Chien is identical with

the orthodox form T,   Yü-t'ien.

M. Chavannes considers the old Chinese name to be a purely phonetic transcription, and does not believe that could be intended to represent the character

meaning ' jade'.

20 See Lévi and Chavannes, L'Itin/raire d'Ou-kong, p. 26.

21 See Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 233.

22 Comp. above, p. 154, note 18 ; Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 235, note 2.

23 The earliest mention of Ilchi (Ilan) that I can find is in the report of the Chinese general who conquered Khotan with other districts of the,Târim Basin in x759; see Ritter, Asien, v. p. 514.

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