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0537 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 537 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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With the historical interest of the last portion of this record, which plainly indicates close intercourse with China during a period when Chinese political supremacy over the Tarim Basin was wholly in abeyance, we are not concerned here. What is important for us to note is that the miraculous statue which Sung Yün describes as the object of such extensive worship was undoubtedly the same which Hsüan-tsang saw at P`i-mo, and that accordingly Sung Yün's Han-mo must be identified with the latter place. With this conclusion the total distance from Tso-mo, 1275 + 22 li, i. e. approximately thirteen marches, is in remarkably close agreement, seeing that the same number of marches would still be reckoned at the present day from Charchan to Domoko or Gulakhma. In striking contrast with this correct reckoning is the immediately following location of the capital of Yü-t`ien at a distance of 870 li west of Han-mo —an instance of those palpably erroneous measurements which unfortunately are by no means rare in the extant versions of Sung Yün's narrative.

The clear recognition of the fact that ' Marco Polo's route must have been nearly coincident with that of Hsüan-tsang' led Sir Henry Yule to propose the identification of the former's Pein with the Chinese pilgrim's Pi-moll. This identification was not based primarily on the similarity of the names—though this is close enough, especially if we consider that, as Sir H. Yule pointed out in a note, ' Pein may easily have been miscopied for Pem, which is indeed the reading of some MSS.', and that ' Ramusio has Peym '—but on the exact correspondence of the topographical facts. For Marco Polo, travelling eastwards, mentions his

Province of Pein ' immediately after Khotan, and his description, already referred to, of the desert route between it and Charchan proves that it must have lain to the west of Niya. Hence Sir Henry Yule, with such geographical information before him as Johnson's journey had furnished, was justified in assuming that Pein or P`i-mo ' cannot have been very far from Kiria'.

The archaeological evidence which I secured, and which greatly strengthens Sir Henry

Yule's identification of Pein with P`i-mo, will be detailed hereafter 12.   Here it will suffice to
point out that Marco Polo describes Pein as ' a province five days in length, lying between east and north-east. There are a good number of towns and villages, but the most noble is PEIN, the capital of the kingdom '. Its position is not indicated, but the length of five marches given to the province is in close agreement with the distance separating the westernmost outpost of the Chira oasis from Niya. Of the people who were ' worshippers of Mahommet, and subjects of the great Kaan', he tells us that they ' have plenty of all products, including cotton. They live by manufactures and trade'. The custom he relates of their marital relations has already been quoted in illustration of the laxity of the marriage tie prevailing from old times in the whole Khotan region 13.

Identity of Pi-mo and Ban-mo.

Sir H. Yule identifies Pein with P'i-mo.

Marco Polo's description of Pein.


My previous information had clearly indicated that the ruined sites I was in search of must Start for be situated in the vicinity of the Mazar of Lachin-ata. The people of Malakalagan whom I closely Uzun-Tate: questioned did not deny their knowledge of this popular desert shrine, but none of them would

ture representations of them among the deposits in the Endere temple cella ; see above, pp. 429 sq.

" See Yule, Marco Polo, i. pp. 191 sq.

12 I was glad that a brief abstract of it based upon the remarks in my Preliminary Report, pp. 58 sq., with illustra-


tions of some of the antiques from Uzun-Tati, could be embodied by Prof. H. Cordier, Sir Henry Yule's learned editor, in a supplementary note to the new edition of Marco Polo, ii. p. 595.

" See p. 14o.