Skip to main content

Full text of "The book of Ser Marco Polo : the Venetian concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East"

See other formats



Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 
in  2011  with  funding  from 
Brigham  Young  University 

"Marcvs  Polvs  Venetvs  Turns  Okbis  et  Indie  Peregrator  Pkimvs." 

( lopied  by  permission  from  a  painting  bearing  the  above  inscription  in  the  Gallery  of  Monsignore 

Badia  in  Rome. 

[Frontispiece,  vol.  ii. 

THE    BOOK    OF 


KINGDOMS       AND       MARVELS       OF 


COLONEL     SIR     HENRY   YULE,     R.E.,    C.B,    K.C.S.I., 











Marco  Polo  in  the  Prison  of  Genoa. 

[To  follow  Title,  vol.  ii. 

CONTENTS    OF    VOL.     II. 


Synopsis  of  Contents iii 

Explanatory  List  of  Illustrations xvi 

The  Book  of  Marco  Polo. 

Appendices 503 

Index 607 


BOOK    SECOND— {Continued). 


PART    II. 

Journey  to  the  West  and  South-  West  of  Cathay. 

Chap.  Page 

XXXV. — Here  begins  the  Description  of  the  Interior  of 

Cathay  ;  and  first  of  the  River  Pulisanghin         3 

Notes. — 1.  Marco's  Route.  2.  The  Bridge  Pul-i-sangin,  or  Lu- 

XXXVI.—  Account  of  the  City  of  Juju 10 

Notes.  —  1.  The  Silks  called  Sendals.  2.  Chochau.  3.  Bifurca- 
tion of  Two  Great  Roads  at  this  point. 

XXXVII.— The  Kingdom  of  Taianfu 12 

Notes. — 1.  Acbaluc.  2.  T'ai-yuan  fu.  3.  Grape-wine  of  that 
place.     4.   P'ing-yangfu. 

XXXVIII. — Concerning  the  Castle  of  Caichu.    The  Golden 

King  and  Prester  John 17 

Notes.  —  1.  The  Story  and  Portrait  of  the  Roi  d'Or.  2.  Effemin- 
acy reviving  hi  every  Chinese  Dynasty. 

XXXIX. — How  Prester  John  treated  the  Golden  King 

his  Prisoner 21 

XL.  —Concerning  the  Great  River  Caramoran  and 

the  City  of  Cachanfu 22 

Notes.  —  1.  The  Kara  Mur en.  2.  Former  growth  of  silk  in  Shan- 
si  and  Shen-si.     3.    The  akche  or  asper. 

XLI. — Concerning  the  City  of  Kenjanfu         ...      24 

Notes. — 1.  Morus  alba.  2.  Geography  of  the  Route  since 
Chapter  XXXVIII.  3.  Kenjanftc  or  Si-ngan  fu;  the 
Christian  monument  there.     4.  Prince  Mangala. 

XLI  I.— Concerning  the  Province  of  Cuncun,  which  is 


Note.  —  The  Mountain  Road  to  Southern  Shen-si, 
VOL.   II.  a  2 



„  Page 


XLI 1 1.  —Concerning  the  Province  of  Acbalec  Manzi        .      33 

Notes.— I.  Geography,  and  doubts  about  Acbalec.  2.  Further 
Journey  into  Sze-ch'wan. 

XLIV—  Concerning  the  Province  of  Sindafu  36 

Notes.— 1.  Ch'eng-tufu.  2.  The  Great  River  or  Kiang.  3.  The 
word  Comereque.  4.  The  Bridge-Tolls.  5.  Correction  of 

XLV—  Concerning  the  Province  of  Tebet  42 

Notes. — 1.  The  Part  of  Tibet  and  events  referred  to.  2.  Noise 
of  burning  bamboos.  3.  Road  retains  its  desolate  character. 
4.  Persistence  of  eccentric  manners  illustrated.  5.  Name 
of  the  Musk  animal. 

XLVI.— Further  Discourse  concerning  Tebet  ...      49 

Notes.— 1.  Explanatory.     2.   "Or  de  Paliolle."     3.   Cinnamon. 

4.  5.   Great  Dogs,  and  Beyamini  oxen. 

XLVI  I.— Concerning  the  Province  of  Caindu     ...      53 

Notes. — 1.  Explanation  from  Ramusio.  2.  Pearls  of  Inland 
Waters.     3.  Lax  manners.     4.  Exchange  of  Salt  for  Gold. 

5.  Salt   currency.      6.  Spiced    Wine.      7.  Plant    like    the 
Clove,  spoken  of  by  Polo.     Tribes  of  this  Tract. 

XLVIII. — Concerning  the  Province  of  Carajan    ...      64 

Notes. — 1 .  Geography  of  the  Route  between  Sindafu  or  Ctieng-tufu, 
and  Carajan  or  Yun-nan.  2.  Christians  and  Mahomedans 
in    Yun-nan.      3.    Wheat.      4.    Cowries.     5.  Brine-spring. 

6.  Parallel. 

XLIX.— Concerning  a  further  part  of  the  Province  of 

Carajan 76 

Notes.  —  I.  City  of  Talifu.  2.  Gold.  3.  Crocodiles.  4.  Yun-nan 
horses  and  riders.  Arms  of  the  Aboriginal  Tribes.  5. 
Strange  superstition  and  parallels. 

L.— Concerning  the  Province  of  Zardandan   .   .   84 

Notes. —  I.  Carajan  and  Zardandan.  2.  The  Gold-  Teeth. 
3.  Male  Indolence.  4.  The  Couvade.  (See  App.  L.  8.)  5. 
Abundance  of  Gold.  Relation  of  Gold  to  Silver.  6.  Worship 
of  the  Ancestor.  7.  Unhealthinessofthecli?nate.  8.  Tallies. 
9.  -12.  Medicine-men  or  Devil-dancers ;  extraordinary  identity 
of  practice  in  various  regions. 

LI.— Wherein  is  related  how  the  King  of  Mien  and 
Bangala  vowed  vengeance  against  the  Great 
Kaan 98 

Notes.  — 1.  Chronology.  2.  Mien  or  Burma.  Why  the  Ring 
may  have  been  called  King  of  Bengal  also.  3.  Numbers 
alleged  to  have  been  carried  on  elephants. 

LII.— Of  the  Battle  that  was  fought  by  the  Great 
K. van's  Host  and  his  Seneschal  against  the 
King  of  Mien IOi 

Notes.  —  i.  Nasntddin.  2.  Cyrus 's  Camels.  3.  Chinese  Account 
of  the  Action.  General  Correspondence  of  the  Chinese  and 
Burmese  Chronologies. 


Chap.  Page 

LI  1 1. —Of  the  Great  Descent  that  leads  towards  the 

Kingdom  of  Mien     .  .        .        .        .    106 

Notes. — I.  Market-days.     2.   Geographical  difficulties. 

LIV. — Concerning  the  City  of  Mien,  and  the  Two 
Towers  that  are  therein,  one  of  Gold,  and 
the  other  of  silver 1 09 

Notes. — 1.  Amien.  2.  Chinese  Account  of  the  Invasion  of  Burma. 
Co?nparison  with  Burmese  Annals.  The  City  intended. 
The  Pagodas.     3.  Wild  Oxen. 

LV. — Concerning  the  Province  of  Bangala   .        .        .114 

Notes.  —  1.  Polo's  view  of  Bengal ;  and  details  of  his  account 
illustrated.     2.   Great  Cattle. 

LVI. — Discourses  of  the  Province  of  Caugigu       .        .116 

Note. — A  Part  of  Laos.  Papesifu.  Chinese  Geographical  Ety- 

LVII. — Concerning  the  Province  of  Anin  .        .        .        .119 

Notes. — 1.  The  Name.  Probable  identification  of  territory. 
2.   Textual. 

LVIII.— Concerning  the  Province  of  Coloman  .        .        .     122 

Notes. — 1.  The  Name.  The  Kolo-?nan.  2.  Natural  defences  of 

LIX.— Concerning  the  Province  of  Cuiju        .        .        .124 

Notes.  —  1.  Kwei-chau.  Phungan-lu.  2.  Grass-cloth.  3.  Tigers. 
4.  Great  Dogs.  5.  Silk.  6.  Geographical  Review  of  the 
Route  since  Chapter  L  V.     7.  Return  to  Jufu. 





Journey  Southward  through  Eastern  Provinces  of  Cathay  and 


LX.— Concerning  the  Cities  of  Cacanfuand  Changlu     132 

Notes.— 1.     PauthieSs     Identifications.         2.      Changlu.        The 
Burning  of  the  Dead  ascribed  to  the  Chinese. 

LXL— Concerning  the  City  of  Chinangli,  and  that  of 

Tadinfu,  and  the  Rebellion  of  Litan       .        .135 

Notes.— i.  T  si-nan  fu.    2.  Silk  of  Shan-tung.     3.  Title  Sangon. 
4.  Agul  and  Mangkutai.     5.  History  of  Litan" s  Revolt. 


Chap.  PAr'c 

LXII.— Concerning  the  Noble  City  of  Sinjumatu    .        .     138 

Note.  —  The  City  intended.      The  Great  Canal. 

LXIII.— Concerning  the  Cities  of  Linju  and  Piju     .        .     140 
Notes. — 1.  Linju.     2.  Piju. 

LXIV.— Concerning  the  City  of  Siju,  and  the  Great 

River  Caramoran M1 

Notes. — 1.  Siju.      2.   The     Hwang-Ho     and     its    changes.     3. 
Entrance  to  Manzi  ;  that  name  for  Southern  China. 

LXV—  How  the  Great  Kaan  conquered  the  Province 

of  Manzi M4 

Notes. — 1.  Meaning   and   application  of  the  title   Faghfur.     2. 
Chinese    self-devotion.        3.  Bay  an     the     Great     Captain. 

4.  His    lines    of   Operation.      5.    The  Juggling  Prophecy. 
6.   The    Fall    of   the    Sung    Dynasty.       7.  Exposure    of 
Infants ',  and  Foundling  Hospitals. 

LXVI.— Concerning  the  City  of  Coiganju  .        .        .        .151 
Note.  — Hwai-nganfu. 

LXVI  I.— Of  the  Cities  of  Paukin  and  Cayu  .        .        .        .152 
Note. — Pao-yng  and  Kao-yu. 

LXVI  1 1.— Of  the  Cities  of  Tiju,  Tinju,  and  Yanju        .        .     153 
Notes. — 1.   Cities  between   the   Canal  and  the   Sea.      2.    Yang- 
chau.     3.  Marco  Polo's  Employment  at  this  City. 

LXIX.— Concerning  the  City  of  Nanghin  .        .        .        .157 

Note.  — Ngan-king. 

LXX.— Concerning  the  very  Noble  City  of  Saianfu, 

and  how  its  Capture  was  effected     .        .        .158 

Notes. — I.    and    2.     Various    Readings.  3.   Digression   on   the 

Military     Engines    of  the    Middle  Ages.        4.  Alangonels 

of  Caur  de    Lion.       5.  Difficulties  connected  with   Polo's 
Account  of  this  Siege. 

LXXI.— Concerning  the  City  of  Sinju  and  the  Great 

River  Kian 170 

Notes. — I.  L-chin  hien.  2.  The  Great  Kiang.  3.  Vast  amount 
of  tonnage  on  Chinese   Waters.     4.  Size  of  River   Vessels. 

5.  Bamboo  Tow-lines.     6.  Picturesque  Island  Monasteries. 

LXXII. — Concerning  the  City  of  Caiju 174 

Notes.  —  I.  Kwa-chau.  2.  The  Grand  Canal  and  Rice- 
Transport.     3.    The  Golden  Lsland. 

LXXIII.— Of  the  City  of  Chinghianfu 176 

Note. — Chin-kiangfu.     Mar  Sarghis,  the  Christian  Governor. 

LXXIV.— Of  the  City  of  Chinginju  and  the  Slaughter  of 

certain  Alans  there 178 

Notes. — I.  Chang-chau.  2.  Employment  of  Alans  in  the 
Mongol  Service.  3.  The  Chang-chau  Massacre.  Mongol 


Chap.  Page 

LXXV—  Of  the  Noble  City  of  Suju 181 

Notes. — i.  Su-chau.  2.  Bridges  of  that  part  of  China.  3. 
Rhubarb  ;  its  mention  here  seems  erroneous.  4.  The  Cities  of 
Heaven  and  Earth.  Ancient  incised  Plan  of  Su-chau.  5. 
Hu-chau,  Wu-kiangy  and  Kya-hing. 

LXXVI. — Description  of  the  Great  City  of  Kinsay,  which 
is  the  Capital  of  the  whole  Country  of 
Manzi 185 

NOTES.  —  I.  King-szi  now  Hang-chau.  2.  The  circuit  ascribed  to 
the  City;  the  Bridges.  3.  Hereditary  Trades.  4.  The  Si-hu 
or  Western  Lake.  5.  Dressiness  of  the  People.  6. 
Charitable  Establishments.  7.  Paved  roads.  8.  Hot  and  Cold 
Baths.  9.  Kanpu,  and  the  Hang-chau  Estuary.  10.  The 
Nine  Provinces  of  Manzi.  11.  The  Kaarfs  Garrisons  in 
Manzi.  12.  Mourning  costume.  13.  14.  Tickets  recordijig 
inmates  of  houses. 

LXXVI  I. —[Further  Particulars   concerning  the    Great 

City  of  Kinsay.] 200 

(From  Ramusio  only.) 

Notes. — 1.  Remarks  on  these  supplementary  details.  2.  Tides 
in  the  Hang-chau  Estuary.  3.  Want  of  a  good  Survey  of 
Hang-chau.  The  Squares.  4.  Marco  ignores  pork.  5.  Great 
Pears:  Peaches.  6.  Textual.  7.  Chinese  use  of  Pepper. 
8.  Chinese  claims  to  a  character  for  Good  Faith.  9.  Pleasure- 
parties  on  the  Lake.  10.  Chinese  Carriages.  II.  The  Sung 
Emperor.  12.  The  Sung  Palace.  Extracts  regarding  this 
Great  City  from  other  mediceval  writers,  Europeatt  and 
Asiatic.     Martinis  Description. 

LXXVI  1 1. — Treating    of    the   Yearly   Revenue   that    the 

Great  Kaan  hath  from  Kinsay    .        .        .        .215 

Notes. — 1.   Textual.     2.   Calculations  as  to  the  values  spoken  of. 

LXXIX. — Of  the  City  of  Tanpiju  and  others        .        .        .218 

Notes.  —  1.  Route  from  Hang-chau  southward.  2.  Bamboos.  3. 
Ldentification  of  places.     Chang-shan  the  key  to  the  route. 

LXXX. — Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Fuju  ....     224 

NOTES. — 1.      "  Fruit  like  Saffron."      2.   3.    Cannibalism  ascribed  to 
Mountain     Tribes     on    this     route.     4    Kien-ning    fu.      5. 
Galingale.     6.  Fleecy  Fowls.      7.  Details  of  the  Journey  in 
Fo-kien  and  various  readings.      8.    Unken.     Introdtiction  of 
Sugar-refining  into  China. 

LXXXL— Concerning  the  Greatness  of  the  City  of  Fuju      231 

Notes. — 1.  The  name  Chonka,  applied  to  Fo-kien  here.  Cay  ton  or 
Zayton.  2.  Objections  that  have  been  made  to  identity  of 
Fuju  and  Fu-chau.     3.    The  Min  River. 

LXXXIL— Of  the  City  and  Great  Haven  of  Zayton      .        .    234 

Notes. — 1.    The    Camphor  Laurel.       2.   The    Port  of  Zayton  or 
T'swan-chau ;    Recent   objections  to  this    identity.       Probable 


origin  of  the  word  Satin.  3.  Chinese  Consumption  of  Pepper. 
4.  Artists  in  Tattooing.  5.  Position  of  the  Porcelain  manu- 
facture spoken  of  Notions  regarding  the  Great  River  of 
China.  6.  Fo-kien  dialects  and  variety  of  spoken  language 
in  China.     7.     From  Ramusio. 


— <j> 

Japan,  the  Archipelago,  Southern  India,  and  the  Coasts  and  Islands 

of  the  Indian  Sea. 

Chap.  Page 

I._Of   the    Merchant    Ships  of  Manzi  that  sail  upon 

the  Indian  Seas 249 

Notes.  —  1.  Pine  Timber.  2.  Rudder  and  Masts.  3.  Watertight 
Compartments.  4.  Chinese  substitute  for  Pitch.  5.  Oars 
used  by  Junks.  6.  Descriptions  of  Chinese  Junks  from  other 
Mediaeval  Writers. 

II. — Description    of  the    Island    of    Chipangu,  and    the 

Great  Kaan's  Despatch  of  a  Host  against  it.        .    253 

Notes. — 1.  Chipangu  or  Japan.  2.  Abundance  of  Gold.  3.  The 
Golden  Palace.     4.  Japanese  Pearls.     Red  Pearls. 

II.— What  further  came  of   the   Great  Kaan's   Expedi- 
tion against  Chipangu 258 

Notes.  —  1.  Kubldfs  attempts  against  Japan.  Japanese  Narrative 
of  the  Expedition  here  spoken  of .  (See  App.  L.  9.)  1.  Species 
of  Torture.     3.  Devices  to  procure  Invulnerability. 

IV.— Concerning  the  Fashion  of  the  Idols  ....    263 

Notes. — 1.  Many -limbed  Idols.  2.  The  Philippines  and  Moluccas. 
3.   The  name  Chin  or  China.     4.    The  Gulf  of  Cheinan. 

V.— Of  the  Great  Country  called  Chamba      .  .        .    266 

Notes. — 1.  Champa,  and  Kubldt's  dealings  with  it.  (See  App. 
L.  10).  2.  Chronology.  3.  Eagle-wood  and  Ebony.  Polo's 
use  of  Persian  words. 

VI.— Concerning  the  Great  Island  of  Java  .        .        .        .272 

Note.— Java;  its  supposed  vast  extent.  Kubldt's  expedition 
against  it  and  failure. 

VII.— Wherein    the    Isles    of    Sondur    and    Condur    are 

SPOKEN   OF  ;    AND   THE    KINGDOM   OF   LOCAC      .  .  .      276 

Notes.— I.  Textual.  2.  Pulo  Condore.  3.  The  Kingdom  of 
locac,  Southern  Siam. 

VI 1 1.— Of  the  Island  called  Pentam,  and  the  City  Malaiur    280 

Notes.— 1.  Bintang.      2.    The  Straits  of  Singapore.     3.  Remarks 
on  the  Malay  Chronology.     Malaiur  probably  Pale m bang. 


Chap.  Page 

IX.— Concerning    the    Island  of  Java    the  Less.    The 

Kingdoms  of  Ferlec  and  Basma 284 

Notes.  —  1.  The  Island  of  Sumatra  :  application  of  the  term  Java. 
2.  Products  of  Sumatra.  The  six  kingdoms.  3.  Ferlec  or 
Parldk.  The  Battas.  4.  Basma,  Pacem,  or  Pasei.  5.  The 
Elephant  and  the  Rhinoceros.  The  Legend  of  Monoceros  and 
the  Virgin.     6.  Black  Falcon. 

X. — The  Kingdoms  of  Samara  and  Dagroian     .        .        .    292 

Notes. — I.  Samara,  Sumatra  Proper.  2.  The  Tramontaine  and 
the  Mestre.  3.  The  Malay  Toddy-Palm.  4.  Dagroian. 
5.  Alleged  custom  of  eating  dead  relatives. 

XI. — Of  the  Kingdoms  of  Lambri  and  Fansur    .        .       ".    299 

Notes. — I.  Lambri.  2.  Hairy  and  Tailed  Men.  3.  Fansur  and 
Camphor  Fansuri.  Sumatran  Camphor.  4.  The  Sago-Palm. 
5.  Remarks  on  Polo's  Sumatran  Kingdoms. 

XII. — Concerning  the  Island  of  Necuveran       .       .        .    306 

Note. — Gauenispola,  and  the  Nicobar  Islands. 

XIII. — Concerning  the  Island  of  Angamanain      .       .        .    309 

Note.  —  The  Andaman  Islands. 

XIV. — Concerning  the  Island  of  Seilan        .        .       .        .312 

Notes. — 1.  Chinese  Chart.  2.  Exaggeration  of  Dimensions.  The 
Name.  3.  Sovereigns  then  ruling  Ceylon.  4.  Brazil  Wood 
and  Cinnamon.      5.    The  Great  Ruby. 

XV. — The  same  continued.      The  History  of  Sagamoni 


Notes. — 1.  Adam's  Peak,  and  the  Foot  thereon.  2.  The  Story  of 
Sakya-Muni  Buddha.  The  History  of  Saints  Barlaam  and 
Josaphat ;  a  Christianised  version  thereof .  3.  High  Estimate 
of  Buddha's  Character.  4.  Ctirious  Parallel  Passages.  5. 
Pilgrimages  to  the  Peak.  6.  The  Pdtra  of  Buddha,  and  the 
Tooth- Relic.  7.  Miraculous  endowments  of  the  Pdtra  ;  it  is 
the  Holy  Grail  of  Buddhism. 

XVI.— Concerning  the  Great  Province  of  Maabar,  which 
is  called  India  the  Greater,  and  is  on  the 
Mainland 331 

Notes.  — 1 .  Ma' bar,  its  definition,  and  notes  on  its  Mcdiaval  History. 
2.    The  Pearl  Fishery. 

XVII.— Continues  to  speak  of  the  Province  of  Maabar       .    338 

Notes. — 1.  Costume.  2.  Hind~i  Royal  Necklace.  3.  Hindu  use  of 
the  Rosary.  4.  The  Saggio.  5.  Companions  in  Death  ;  the 
word  Amok.  6.  Accumulated  Wealth  of  Southern  India  at 
this  time.  J.  Horse  Importation  from  the  Persian  Gulf.  8. 
Religious  Suicides.  9.  Suttees.  10.  Worship  of  the  Ox. 
The  Govis.  11.  Verbal.  12.  The  Thomacides.  13.  Ill- 
success  of  Horse-breeding  in  S.  India.      14.   Curious  Mode  of 


Chap.  Pagf 

Arrest  for  Debt.  15.  The  Rainy  Seasons.  16.  Omens  of  the 
Hindus.  17.  Strange  treatment  of  Horses.  18.  The 
Devaddsis.      19.    Textual. 

XVI 1 1.— Discoursing  of  the  Place  where  lieth  the  Body 
of  St.  Thomas  the  Apostle  ;    and  of  the  Miracles 

THEREOF  ....  353 

Notes. — I.  Mailapur.  2.  The  word  Avarian.  3.  Miraculous 
Earth.  4.  The  Traditions  of  St.  Thomas  in  India.  The 
ancient  Church  at  his  Tomb;  the  ancient  Cross  preserved  on 
St.  Thomas's  Mount.     5.    White  Devils.    6.    The  Yak's  Tail. 

XIX.— Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Mutfili  .        .        .        -359 

Notes. — 1.  MotapallL  The  Widow  Queen  of  Telingana.  2.  The 
Diamond  Alines,  and  the  Legend  of  the  Diamond  Gathering. 

3.  Buckram. 

XX.— Concerning    the    Province   of    Lar   whence   the 

Brahmans  come 363 

Notes. — I.  Abrataman.  The  Country  of  Lar.  Hindu  Character. 
2.  The  Kingdom  of  Soli  or  Chola.  3.  Lucky  and  Unlucky 
Days  and  Hours.     The    Canonical  Hours  of  the  Church. 

4.  Omens.  5.  Jogis.  The  Ox-emblem.  6.  Verbal.  7. 
Recurrence  of  Human  Eccentricities. 

XXI. — Concerning  the  City  of  Cail 370 

Notes. — 1.  Kdyal;  its  true  position.  Kolkhoi  identified.  2.  The 
King  Ashar  or  As-char.    3.   Correa,  Note.    4.  Betel-chezving. 

5.  Duels. 

XXII.— Of  the  Kingdom  of  Coilum 375 

Notes. — 1.  Coilum,  Coilon,  Kaulam,  Columbum,  Quilon.  Ancient 
Christian  Churches.  2.  Brazil  Wood:  notes  on  the  name.  3. 
Columbine  Ginger  and  other  kinds.  4.  Indigo.  5.  Black 
Lions.     6.  Marriage  Customs. 

XXIII.— Of  the  Country  called  Com ari    .....    382 

Notes. — I.   Cape  Comorin.     2.   The  word  Gat-paul. 

XXIV.— Concerning  the  Kingdom  Eli 385 

Notes. — 1.  Mount  D'Ely,  and  the  City  of  Hili-Marawi.  2. 
Textual.  3.  Produce.  4.  Piratical  custom.  5.  Wooden 

XXV.— Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Melibar         .        .        .    389 

Notes.  —  1.  Dislocation  of  Polo's  Indian  Geography.  The  name  of 
Malabar.  2.  Verbal.  3.  Pirates.  4.  Cassia:  Turbit: 
Cubebs.     5.    Cessation  of  direct  Chinese  trade  with  Malabar. 

XXVI. — Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Gozurat         .        .        .    392 

Notes.  —  1.  Topographical  Confusion.  2.  Tamarina.  3.  Tall 
Cotton  Trees.     4.  Embroidered  Leather -work. 

XXVII.— Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Tana       .        .        .        .395 

Notes.  — 1.    Tana,  and  the  Konkan.     2.  Incense  of  Western  India. 


Chap.  Page 

XXVIII. — Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Cambaet    .        ,        .    397 

Not  E . — Cam  bay. 

XXIX. — Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Semenat    .        .        .    398 

Note. — Somnalh,  and  the  so-called  Gates  of  Somnath. 

XXX.— Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Kesmacoran     .        .    401 

Notes. — I.  Kij-Mekrdn.  Limit  of  India.  2.  Recapitulation  of 
Polo's  Indian  Kingdoms. 

XXXI. — Discourse™  of  the  Two  Islands  called  Male 

and  Female,  and  why  they  are  so  called         .    404 

Note — The  Legend  and  its  diffusion. 

XXXII. — Concerning  the  Island  of  Scotra  ....    406 

Notes.  —  1.  Whales  of  the  Indian  Seas.  2.  Socotra  and  its  former 
Christianity.     3.  Pi7'acy  at  Socotra.     4.  Sorcerers. 

XXXIII. — Concerning  the  Island  of  Madeigascar        .        .    411 

Notes. — 1.  Madagascar ;  some  confusion  here  with  Magadoxo.  2. 
Sandalwood.  3.  Whale-killing.  The  Capidoglio  or  Sperm- 
Whale.  4.  The  Currents  towards  the  South.  5.  The  Rukh 
(and  see  Appendix  L.  11).  6.  More  on  the  dimensions 
assigned  thereto.     7.  Hippopotamus  Teeth. 

XXXIV. — Concerning  the  Island  of  Zanghibar.    A  Word 

on  India  in  General 422 

Notes. — 1.  Zangibar ;  Negroes.  2.  Ethiopian  Sheep.  3.  Giraffes. 
4.  Ivory  trade.  5.  Error  about  Elephant-taming.  6.  Num- 
ber of  Islands  assigned  to  the  Indian  Sea.  7.  The  Three 
Indies,  and  various  distributions  thereof.  Polo's  Indian 

XXXV. — Treating  of  the  Great  Province  of  Abash,  which 

is  Middle  India,  and  is  on  the  Mainland  .        .    427 

Notes. — I.  Habash  or  Abyssinia.  Application  of  the  name  India 
to  it.  2.  Fire  Baptism  ascribed  to  the  Abyssinian  Christians. 
3.  Polo's  idea  of  the  position  of  Aden.  4.  Taming  of  the 
African  Elephant  for  War.  5.  Marco' 's  Story  of  the  Abys- 
sinian Invasion  of  the  Mahomedan  Low- Country,  and  Review 
of  Abyssinian  Chronology  in  connection  therewith.  6. 

XXXVI  —  Concerning  the  Province  of  Aden         .        .        .    438 

Notes.  —  1.  The  Trade  to  Alexandria  from  Lndia  via  Aden.  2. 
"  Roncinsa  deux  selles."  3.  The  Sultan  of  Aden.  The  City 
and  its  Great  Tanks.     4,    The  Loss  of  Acre. 

XXXVII.— Concerning  the  City  of  Esher        ....    442 

Notes. — 1.  Shihr.  2,  Frankincense.  3.  Four-horned  Sheep.  4. 
Cattle  fed  on  Fish.     5.  Parallel  passage. 

XXXVIII. — Concerning  the  City  of  Dufar        ....    444 

Notes.  — 1.   Dhofar.     2.  Notes  on  Frankincense. 


Chap.  Page 

XXXIX.— Concerning  the  Gulf  of  Calatu,  and  the  City 


Notes. — i.  Kalhdt.     2.   "  En  fra  terre."     3.  Maskat. 

XL. — Returns  to  the  City  of    Hormos  whereof  we 

spoke  formerly 45 1 

Notes. — 1.  Folds  distances  and  bearings  in  these  latter  chapters. 
2.  Persian  Bad-girs  or  wind-catching  chimneys.  3.  Island 
of  Kish. 



Wars  among  the  Tartar  Princes,  and  some  Account  of  the 
Northern  Countries 

I. — Concerning  Great  Turkey 457 

Notes. — 1.  Kaidu  Khan.    2.  His  frontier  towards  the  Great  Kaan. 

II. — Of  certain  Battles  that  were  fought  by  King 
Caidu  against  the  Armies  of  his  Uncle  the  Great 
Kaan 459 

Notes. — I.    Textual.     2.    "Araines."     3.    Chronology  in  connection 
with  the  events  described. 

III.— tWhat  the  Great  Kaan  said  to  the  Mischief  done 

by  Caidu  his  nephew 463 

IV.— Of  the  Exploits  of  King  Caidu's  valiant  Daughter     .    463 

Note. — Her  name  explained.     Remarks  on  the  story. 

V. — How  Abaga  sent  his  Son  Argon  in  command  against 

King  Caidu 466 

(Extract  and  Substance.) 

Notes.  —  I.    Government  of  the  Khorasan  froritier.       2.    The  His- 
torical Events. 

VI.— How  Argon  after  the  Battle  heard  that  his  Father 


Notes.  — 1.  Death  of '  Abaka.     2.    Textual.     3.  Ahmad  Tigudar. 

his  Nephew  who  was  coming  to  claim  the  throne 
that  belonged  to  him 463 

t  Of  chapters  so  marked  nothing  is  given  hut  the  substance  in  brief. 


Chap.  Page 

VIII.— fHow  Argon  took  Counsel  with    his    Followers 


IX. — tHow  the  Barons  of  Argon  answered  his  Address      469 

X. — tThe  Message  sent  by  Argon  to  Acomat    .        ,        .     469 

XI. — How  Acomat  replied  to  Argon's  Message  .        .       .    46g 

XII. — Of  the  Battle  between  Argon  and  Acomat,  and 

the  Captivity  of  Argon 470 

Notes. — 1.    Verbal.     2.  Historical. 

XIII. — How  Argon  was  delivered  from  Prison    .        .        .471 

XIV. — How  Argon  got  the  Sovereignty  at  last  .        .        .    472 

XV. — tHow  Acomat  was  taken  Prisoner       ....    473 

XVI. — How  Acomat  was  slain  by  Order  of  his  Nephew      .    473 

XVII. — How  Argon  was  recognised  as  Sovereign  .        .       .    473 

Notes. — 1.  The  historical  circumstances  and  persons  named  in  these 
chapters.     2.  Arghiiris  accession  and  death. 

xviii. — how  klacatu  seized  the  sovereignty  after  argon's 

Death .    475 

Note.  —  The  reign  and  character  of  Kaikhdtu. 

XIX. — How    Baidu    seized    the    Sovereignty    after    the 

Death  of  Kiacatu      ........    476 

Notes. — 1.  Baidu'' s  alleged  Christianity.     2.   Ghdzdn  Khan. 

XX.— Concerning    King    Conchi    who    rules    the    Far 

North 479 

Notes.  —  1.  Kaunchi  Khati.  2.  Siberia.  3.  Dog-sledges.  4.  The 
aniffial  here  styled  Erculin.      The  Vair.     5.    Yugria. 

XXL— Concerning  the  Land  of  Darkness     .        .        .        .484 

Notes. — 1.  The  Land  of  Darkness.  2.  The  Legend  of  the  Mares 
and  their  Foals.  3.  Dumb  Trade  with  the  People  of  the 

XXI L— Description   of  Rosia   and  its  People.    Province 

of  Lac 486 

Notes.  —  1.  Old  Accounts  of  Russia.  Russian  Silver  and  Rubles. 
2.  Lac,  or  Wallachia.  3.  Oroech,  Norway  {?)  or  the  Waraeg 
Country  (?) 

>sXIII. — He  begins  to  spfak  of  the  Straits  of  Constan- 
tinople, BUT  DECIDES  TO  LEAVE  THAT  MATTER       .  .     490 

t  Of  chapters  so  marked  nothing  is  given  but  the  substance  in  brief. 


Cha».  Page 

xxiv.— concerning  the  tartars  of  the  ponent  and  their 

Lords 49° 

Notes.  —  I.  The  Comanians ;  the  Alans ;  Majar ;  Zic  ;  the  Goths 
of  the  Crimea ;  Gazaria.  2.  The  Khans  of  Kipchak  or  the 
Golden  Horde  ;  errors  in  Polo's  list.     Extent  of  their  Empire. 

XXV.— Of  the  War  that  arose  between  Alau  and  Barca, 

and  the  Battles  that  they  fought      ....    494 

(Extracts  and  Substance.) 

Notes.— 1.    Verbal.     2.   The  Sea   of  Sarai.       3.    The    War  here 
spoken  of.      IVassdfs  rigmarole. 

XXVI.— tHow    Barca    and    his    Army    advanced    to    meet 

Alau 495 

XXVII.— tHow  Alau  addressed  his  followers  .        .        .        -495 

XXVIII. — tOF  the  Great  Battle  between  Alau  and  Barca     .    496 



Note. — Confusions  in  the  Text.  Historical  circumstances  con- 
nected with  the  Persons  spoken  of  Toctai  and  Noghai 
Khan.     Symbolic  Messages. 

XXX. — |Of   the    Second    Message   that    Toctai   sent  to 

Nogai 498 

XXXI.— tHow  Toctai  marched  against  Nogai  ....    499 

XXXII. — tHow    Toctai    and    Nogai    address   their  People, 


XXXIII.— tThe  Valiant  Feats  and  Victory  of  King  Nogai 
XXXIV.  and  Last.    Conclusion 



A.  Genealogy  of  the  House  of  Chinghiz  to  the  End  of  the  Thirteenth 

Century c0r 

B.  The  Polo  Families  : — 

(I.)  Genealogy  of  the  Family  of  Marco  Polo  the  Traveller     .  506 
(II.)  The  Polos  of  San  Geremia c0y 

C.  Calendar  of  Documents  relating  to  Marco  Polo  and  his  Family  510 

t  Of  chapters  so  marked  nothing  is  given  but  the  substance  in  brief. 


D.  Comparative   Specimens   of  the    Different    Recensions    of    Polo's 


E.  Preface  to  Pipino's  Latin  Version         ...... 

F.  Note  of  MSS.  of  Marco  Polo's  Book,  so  far  as  known  : 

General  Distribution  of  MSS 

List  of  Miniatures  in  two  of  the  finer  MSS 

List  of  MSS.  of  Marco  Polo's  Book,  so  far  as  they  are  known  . 

G.  Diagram  showing  Filiation  of  Chief  MSS.  and  Editions  of  Marco 


H.  Bibliography : — 

(I.)  Principal  Editions  of  Marco  Polo's  Book. 

(II.)  Bibliography  of  Printed  Editions      .... 

(III.)  Titles  of  Sundry  Books  and  Papers  treating  of  Marco 
Polo  and  his  Book.         ...... 

I.  Titles  of  Works  quoted  by  Abbreviated  References  in  this  Book 

K.  Values  of  Certain   Moneys,  Weights,  and  Measures   occurring   in 
this  Book     .......... 

L.  Supplementary  Notes  to  the  Book  of  Marco  Polo 












1.  The  Polos  at  Acre. 

2.  Sorcery  in  Kashmir. 

3.  Paonano  Pao. 

4.  Pamir. 

5.  Number  of  Pamirs. 

6.  Site  of  Pein. 

13.  Sir  John  Mandeville. 

7.  Fire-arms. 

8.  La  Couvade. 

9.  Alacan 

10.  Champa. 

11.  Ruck  Quills. 

12.  A  Spanish  Marco  Polo. 







To  face  Title.  Portrait  bearing  the  inscription  "  Marcus  Polvs  Venetvs 
Totivs  Orbis  et  Indie  Peregrator  Primvs."  In  the 
Gallery  of  Monsignor  Badia  at  Rome  ;  copied  by  Sign. 
Giuseppe  Gnoli,  Rome. 
,,  page  ii.  Medallion,  representing  Marco  Polo  in  the  Prison  of  Genoa, 
dictating  his  story  to  Master  Rustician  of  Pisa,  drawn 
by  Signor  Quinto  Cenni  from  a  rough  design  by  Sir 
Henry  Yule. 
,  ,,28.    The    celebrated   Christian    Inscription    of    Si-ngan   fu. 

Photolithographed  by  Mr  W.  Grigg,  from  a  Rubbing  of  the 
original  monument,  given  to  the  Editor  by  the  Baron  F.  von 
Richthofen . 

This  rubbing  is  more  complete  than  that  used  in  the  first 
edition,  for  which  the  Editor  was  indebted    to  the  kindness 
of  William  Lockhart,  Esq. 
,,       78.  The   Lake   of  Tali    (Carajan  of  Polo)  from   the   Northern 
End.       Woodcut   after    Lieut.   Delaporte,    borrowed   from 
Lieut.  Garnier's  Narrative  in  the  Tour  du  Monde. 
,,        80.   Suspension  Bridge,  neighbourhood  of  Tali.     From  a  photograph 
by  M.  Tannant. 
,  „     no.   The  City  of  Mien,  with  the  Gold  and  Silver  Towers.     From 

a   drawing  by  the   Editor,    based   upon  his  sketches  of  the 
remains  of  the  City  so  called  by  Marco  Polo,  viz.,  Pagan, 
the  mediaeval  capital  of  Burma. 
,,     131.   Itineraries    of   Marco    Polo.       No.     V.    The    Indo-Chinese 
Countries.     With  a  small  sketch  extracted  from  a  Chinese 
Map  in  the  possession  of  Baron  von  Richthofen,  showing  the 
position  of  Kien-ch'ang,  the  Caindu  of  Marco  Polo. 
,,     144.  Sketch  Map  exhibiting  the  Variations  of  the  Two  Great 

Rivers  of  China,  within  the  Period  of  History. 
„     182.  The   City   of    Su-chau.       Reduced    by    the   Editor   from   a 
Rubbing  of  a  Plan  incised  on  Marble,  and  preserved  in  the 
Great  Confucian  Temple  in  the  City. 

The  date  of  the  original  set  of  Maps,  of  which  this  was  one, 
is  uncertain,  owing   to  the  partial  illegibility  of  the  Inscrip- 
tion ;  but  it  is  subsequent  to  a.d.  iooo.     They  were  engraved 
on  the    Marble  a.d.    1247.     Many  of  the  names  have  been 
obliterated,  and  a  few  of  those  given  in  the  copy  are  filled  up 
from  modern  information,  as  the  Editor  learns  from  Mr.  Wylie 
to  whom  he  owes  this  valuable  illustration. 
„     193-   Map  of  Hang-chau  fu  and  its  Lake,  from  Chinese  Sources. 
The  Map  as  published  in  the  former  edition  was  based  on 
a   Chinese  Map  in  the  possession  of  Dr.   W.   Lockhart,  with 



some  particulars  from  Maps  in  a  copy  of  the  Local  Topo- 
graphy, Hang-Chau-fn-chi,  in  the  B.  Museum  Library.  In 
the  second  edition  the  Map  has  been  entirely  redrawn  by  the 
Editor,  with  many  corrections,  and  with  the  aid  of  new 
materials,  supplied  by  the  kindness  of  the  Rev.  G.  Moule 
of  the  Church  Mission  at  Hang-chau.  These  materials 
embrace  a  Paper  read  by  Mr.  Moule  before  the  N.  China 
Branch  of  the  R.  As.  Soc.  at  Shang-hai ;  a  modern  engraved 
Map  of  the  City  on  a  large  scale ;  and  a  large  MS.  Map  of 
the  City  and  Lake,  compiled  by  John  Sking,  Tailor,  a 
Chinese  Christian  and  Catechist; 

The  small  Side-plan  is  the  City  of  Sl-NGAN  FU,  from  a  plan 
published  during  the  Mongol  rule,  in  the  14th  century,  a  trac- 
ing of  which  was  sent  by  Mr.  Wylie.  The  following 
references  could  not  be  introduced  in  lettering  for  want  of 
space  : — 

1.  Yuen-Tu-Kwan  (Tauist  Monastery). 

2.  Chapel  of  Hien-ning  Prince. 

3.  Leih-Ching  Square  {Fang). 

4.  Tauist  Monastery. 

5.  Kie-lin  General  Court. 

6.  Ancestral  Chapel  of  Yang-Wan -Kang. 

7.  Chapel  of  the  Mid-year  Genius. 

8.  Temple  of  the  Martial  Peaceful  King. 

9.  Stone  where  officers  are  selected. 

10.  Mews. 

11.  Jasper-Waves  Square  {Fang). 

12.  Court  of  Enquiry. 

13.  Gate  of  the  Fang-Yuen  Circuit. 

14.  Bright  Gate. 

15.  Northern  Tribunal. 

16.  Refectory. 

17.  Chapel  of  the  Fang- Yuen  Prince. 

18.  Embroidery  manufactory. 

19.  Hwa-li  Temple. 

20.  Old  Superintendency   of  Investiga- 


21.  Superintendent  of  Works. 

22.  Ka-yuen  Monastery. 

23.  Prefectural  Confucian  Temple. 

24.  Benevolent  Institution. 

25.  Temple  of  Tu-Ke-King. 

26.  Balustrade  enclosure. 

27.  Medicine-Bazar  Street. 

28.  Tsin  and  Ching  States  Chapel. 

29.  Square  of  the  Double  Cassia  Tree. 

N.B. — The  shaded  spaces  are  marked  in  the  original  Min-Keu  "Dwellings  of  the 

To  face  page  212.  Plan  of  Southern  Part  of  the  City  of  King-sze  (or  Hang-chau), 
with  the  Palace  of  the  Sung  Emperors.  From  a  Chinese 
Plan  forming  part  of  a  Reprint  of  the  official  Topography  of 
the  City  during  the  period  Hien-Shun  (1265-1274)  of  the  Sung 
Dynasty,  i.e.  the  period  terminated  by  the  Mongol  conquest  of 
the  City  and  Empire.  Mr.  Moule,  who  possesses  the  Chinese 
plan  (with  others  of  the  same  set),  has  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  it  is  a  copy  at  second-hand.  Names  that  are  underlined 
are  such  as  are  preserved  in  the  modern  Map  of  Hang-chau. 
I  am  indebted  for  the  use  of  the  original  plan  to  Mr.  Moule  ; 
for  the  photographic  copy  and  rendering  of  the  names  to 
Mr.  Wylie. 
,,  „  240.  Sketch  Map  of  the  Great  Ports  of  Fo-kien,  to  illustrate  the 
identity  of  Marco  Polo's  Zayton.  Besides  the  Admiralty 
Charts  and  othe^  well-known  sources  the  Editor  has  used  in 
forming  this  a  "  Missionary  Map  of  Amoy  and  the  Neighbour- 
ing Country,"  on  a  large  scale,  sent  him  by  the  Rev.  Carstairs 
Douglas ;  LL.D.,  of  Amoy.  This  contains  some  points  not  to 
be  found  in  the  others. 
VOL.    II.  b 


To  face  page  246.  Itineraries    of   Marco  Polo,    No.    VI.      The    Journey    through 
Kiang-Nan,  Che-kiang,  and  Fo-kien. 
ri.  Map  to  illustrate    Marco   Polo's    Chapters    on  the    Malay 
,,        ,,     312.   J      Countries. 

1^2.  Map  to  illustrate  his  Chapters  on  Southern  India, 
/-i.   Sketch  showing  the  Position  of  Kayal  in  Tinnevelly. 
,,         ,,     374.   J  2.   Map   showing   the    Position    of    the    Kingdom   of    Ely    in 

t      Malabar. 
,,         ,,     440.  Aden,  with  the  attempted  Escalade  under  Alboquerque  in  15 13, 
being  the  Reduced  Facsimile  of  a  large  contemporary  Wood 
Engraving  in  the  Map  Department  of  the  British  Museum. 
(Size  of  the  original  42^  inches  by  19^-  inches.)     Photolitho- 
graphic Reduction  by  Mr.   G.  B.  Praetorius,  through  the 
assistance  of  R.  H.  Major,  Esq. 
„         ,,     474.  Facsimile  of  the  Letters  sent  to  Philip  the  Fair,  King  of  France, 
by  Arghun  Khan,  in  a.d.  1289,  and  by  Oljaitu,  in  a.d. 
1305,  preserved  in  the  Archives  of  France,  and  reproduced  from 
the  Recueil  des  Documents  de  V Epoque  Mongole  by  kind  permis- 
sion of  II.H.  Prince  Roland  Bonaparte. 
»i         »     595*   Some  of  the  objects  found  by  Dr.  M.  A.  Stein,  in  Central  Asia. 
From  a  photograph  kindly  lent  by  the  Traveller. 

Book  Second. — Part  Second. 

Page  4.  The  Bridge  of  Pulisanghin,  the  Lu-ku-kHao  of  the  Chinese,  reduced 
from  a  large  Chinese  Engraving  in  the  Geographical  work  called 
Ki-fu-thung-chi  in  the  Paris  Library.  I  owe  the  indication  of  this, 
and  of  the  Portrait  of  Kublai  Kaan  in  vol.  i.  to  notes  in  M.  Pauthier's 

,,         5.  The  Bridge  of  Pulisanghin.     From  the  Livre  des  Merveilles. 

,,         7.  Bridge  of  Lu-ku-k'iao.     From  a  photograph  by  Count  de  Semalle. 

,,        9.  Bridge  of  Lu-ku-k'iao.    From  a  photograph  by  Count  de  Semalle. 

,,  19.  The  Roi  d'Or.  Professed  Portrait  of  the  Last  of  the  Altun  Khans  or 
Kin  Emperors  of  Cathay,  from  the  (fragmentary)  Arabic  Manuscript  of 
Rashiduddiri s  History  in  the  Library  of  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society. 
This  Manuscript  is  supposed  to  have  been  transcribed  under  the  eye  of 
Rashiduddin,  and  the  drawings  were  probably  derived  from  Chinese 

,,       26.   Plan  of  Ki-chau,  after  Duhalde. 

,,  30.  The  Cross  incised  at  the  head  of  the  Great  Christian  Inscription  of 
Si-ngan  fu  (A.D.  781) ;  actual  size,  from  copy  of  a  pencil  rubbing  made 
on  the  original  by  the  Rev.  J.  Lees.     Received  from  Mr.  A.  Wylie. 

,,       38.   Diagram  to  elucidate  the  cities  of  Ch'eng-tu  fu. 

,,  39.  Plan  of  Ch'eng-tu.  From  Marcel  Monnier's  Tour  d'Asie,  by  kind  per- 
mission of  M.  Plon. 

,,  41.  Bridge  near  Kwan-hsien  (Ch'eng-tu).  From  Marcel  Monnier's  Tour 
cPAsie,  by  kind  permission  of  M.  Plon. 

,,  47.  Mountaineers  on  the  Borders  of  Sze-ch'wan  and  Tibet,  from  one  of 
the  illustrations  to  Lieut.  Garnier's  Narrative  (see  p.  48).  From  Tour 
du  Monde. 

,,  50.  Village  of  Eastern  Tibet  on  Sze-ch'wan  Frontier,  From  Mr.  Coopers 
Travels  of  a  Pioneer  of  Commerce. 


Page     51.  Example  of  Roads  on  the  Tibetan  Frontier  of  China  (being  actually 

a  view  of  the  Gorge  of  the  Lan  t'sang  Kiang).     From  Mr.   Cooper's 
Travels  of  a  Pioneer  of  Commerce. 
,,       55.  The  Valley  of  the  Kin-sha  Kiang,  near  the  lower  end  of  the  Caindu 

of  Marco  Polo.     From  Lieut.  Gamier  in  the  Tour  du  Monde. 
,,       58.  Salt  Pans  in  Yun-nan.     From  the  same. 
,,       61.  Black  Lolo. 

,,       62.  White  Lolo.     From  Deveria's  Frontikre  Sino-annamite. 
,,       65.  Pa-y  Script.     From  the  T'oung-Pao. 
,,       68.  Garden-House  on  the   Lake  of  Yun-nan-fu,  Yachi  of  Polo.     From 

Lieut.  Gamier  in  the  Tour  du  Monde. 
,,       71.  Road  descending  from  the  Table- Land  of  Yun-nan  into  the  Valley  of 

the  Kin-sha  Kiang  (the  Brius  of  Polo).     From  the  same. 
,,       73.    "  A  Saracen  of  Carajan,"  being  the  portrait  of  a  Mahomedan  Mullah 

in  Western  Yun-nan.     From  the  same. 
,,       74.  The  Canal  at  Yun-nan  fu.     From  a  photograph  by  M.  Tannant. 
,,       78.   "  Riding  long  like  Frenchmen,"  exemplified  from  the  Bayeux  Tapestry. 

After  Lacroix,  Vie  Militaire  du  Moyen  Age. 
„       83.  The  Sang-miau  tribe   of  Kwei-chau,  with  the   Cross-bow.      From   a 

coloured  drawing  in  a  Chinese  work  on  the  Aboriginal  Tribes,  belonging 

to  W.  Lockhart,  Esq. 
,,       90.   Portraits  of  a  Kakhyen  man  and  woman.     Drawn  by  Q.  Cenni  from  a 

photograph  (anonymous). 
,,     108.  Temple  called  Gaudapalen  in  the  city  of  Mien  {i.e.  Pagan  in  Burma), 

erected  circa  A.D.   1160.     Engraving  after  a  sketch  by  the  first  Editor, 

from  Fergusson's  History  of  Architecture. 
,,     112.  The  Palace  of  the  King  of  Mien  in  modern  times  (viz.,  the  Palace  at 

Amarapura).     From  the  same,  being  partly  from  a  sketch  by  the  first 

,,     118.     Script  Pa-pe.     From  the  T'oung-Pao. 
.,     121.   Ho-nhi  and  other  Tribes  in  the  Department  of  Lin-ngan  in  S.  Yun-nan, 

supposed  to  be  the  Anin  country  of  Marco  Polo.     From  Gamier  in  the 

Tour  du  Monde. 
,,     125.  The   Koloman  tribe,   on  borders   of  Kwei-chau  and  Yun-nan.      From 

coloured  drawing  in  Mr.  Lockharfs  book  as  above  (under  p.  83). 
,,     129.  Script  thai  of  Xieng-hung.     From  the  T 'oung-Pao. 
,,     130.  Iron  Suspension  Bridge  at  Lowatong.     From    Gamier  in    Tour  du 

,,     131.  Fortified  Villages  on  Western  Frontier  of  Kwei-chau.     From  the 


Book  Second. — Part  Third. 

155.  Yang-chau  :  the  three  Cities  under  the  Sung. 

156.  Yang-chau  :    the   Great   City  under  the  Sung.      From  Chinese  Plans 

kindly  sent  to  the  present  Editor  by  the  late  Father  H.   Havret,  S.J. , 
162.  Medieval  Artillery  Engines.     Figs.  1,  2,  3,  4,  and  5,  are  Chinese. 
The  first  four  are  from  the  Encyclopaedia  San- Thsai-Thou-hoei  (Paris 
Library),  the  last  from  Amyot,  vol.  viii. 

Figs.  6,  7>  8  are  Saracen,  6  and  7  are  taken  from  the  work  of 
Reinaud  and  Pave",  Du  Feu  Gre'geois,  and  by  them  from  the  Arabic  MS. 
of  Hassan  al  Raumah  {Arab  Anc.  Fonds,  No.  1127).  Fig.  8  is  from 
Lord  Munster's  Arabic  Catalogue  of  Military  Works,  and  by  him  from 
a  MS.  of  Rashiduddin's  History. 
VOL.  II.  b  2 


The  remainder  are  European.  Fig.  9  is  from  Pertz,  Scriptores, 
vol.  xviii.,  and  by  him  from  a  figure  of  the  Siege  of  Arbicella,  1227, 
in  a  MS.  of  Genoese  Annals  (No.  773,  Supp.  Lat.  of  Bid.  Imp.).  Fig.  10 
from  Shaw's  Dresses  and  Decorations  of  the  Middle  Ages,  vol.  L,  No.  21, 
after  B.  Mus.  MS.  Reg.  16,  G.  vi.  Fig.  11  from  Pertz  as  above,  under 
A.D.  1 182.  Fig.  12,  from  Valturius  de  Re  Militari,  Verona,  1483. 
Figs.  13  and  14  from  the  Poliorceticon  of  Justus  Lipsius.  Fig.  15  is  after 
the  Bodleian  MS.  of  the  Romance  of  Alexander  (a.d.  1338),  but  is 
taken  from  the  Gentleman's  Magazine,  3rd  ser.  vol.  vii.  p.  467.  Fig.  16 
from  Lacroix's  Art  an  Moyen  Age,  after  a  miniature  of  13th  cent,  in  the 
Paris  Library.  Figs.  17  and  18  from  the  Emperor  Napoleon's  Etudes 
de  rArtillerie,  and  by  him  taken  from  the  MS.  of  Paulus  Santinus  (Lat. 
MS.  7329  in  Paris  Library).  Fig.  19  from  Professor  Moseley's  restora- 
tion of  a  Trebuchet,  after  the  data  in  the  Mediaeval  Note-book  of  Villars 
de  Honcourt,  in  Gentleman 's  Magazine  as  above.  Figs.  20  and  21  from 
the  Emperor's  Book.  Fig.  22  from  a  German  MS.  in  the  Bern  Library, 
the  Chronicle  of  Justinger  and  Schilling. 
Page  169.  Coin  from  a  treasure  hidden  during  the  siege  of  SlANG-YANG  in  1268-73, 
and  lately  discovered  in  that  city. 
,,     172.  Island  Monasteries  on  the  Yang-tzu  kiang  ;  viz.  : — 

1.  Uppermost.     The   "Little  Orphan   Rock,"  after   a  cut  in  Oliphanfs 


2.  Middle.     The   "Golden  Island"  near   Chin-kiang  fu,  after   Fisher's 

China.     (This  has  been  accidentally  reversed  in  the  drawing.) 

3.  Lower.     The  "  Silver  Island,""  below  the  last,  after  Mr.  Lindley's  book 

on  the  T'ai-P'ings. 

,,  177.  The  West  Gate  of  Chin-kiang  fu.  From  an  engraving  in  Fisher  s 
China  after  a  sketch  made  by  Admiral  Stoddart,  R.N.,  in  1842. 

,,  183.  South- West  Gate  and  Water  Gate  of  Su-CHAU ;  facsimile  on  half  scale 
from  the  incised  Map  of  1247.  (See  List  of  Inserted  Plates  preceding, 
under  p.  182.) 

,,  193.  The  old  Luh-ho-ta  or  Pagoda  of  Six  Harmonies  near  Hang-chau,  and 
anciently  marking  the  extreme  S.W.  angle  of  the  city.  Drawn  by 
Q.  Cenni  from  an  anonymous  photograph  received  from  the  Rev.  G. 

,,     195.  Imperial  City  of  Hang-chau  in  the  13th  Century. 

,,  197.  Metropolitan  City  of  Hang-chau  in  the  13th  Century.  From  the  Notes 
of  the  Right  Rev.  G.  E.  Moule. 

,,     209.  Fang  of  Si-ngan  fu.     Communicated  by  A.  Wylie. 

,,  212.  Stone  Chwang  or  Umbrella  Column,  one  of  two  which  still  mark 
the  site  of  the  ancient  Buddhist  Monastery  called  Fan-T'ien-Sze  or 
"Brahma's  Temple"  at  Hang-chau.  Reduced  from  a  pen-and-ink 
sketch  by  Mr.  Moule. 

,,     223.  Mr.  Phillips'  Theory  of  Marco  Polo's  Route  through  Fo-Kien. 

,.  227.  Scene  in  the  Bohea  Mountains,  on  Polo's  route  between  Kiang-Si  and 
Fo-Kien.     From  Fortune's  Three  Years'  Wanderings. 

„     233.  Scene  on  the  Min  River  below  Fu-chau.     From  the  same. 

„  245.  The  Kaan's  Fleet  leaving  the  Port  of  Zayton.  The  scenery  is  taken 
from  an  engraving  in  Fisher's  China,  purporting  to  represent  the  mouth 
of  the  Chinchew  River  (or  River  of  Tswan-chau),  after  a  sketch  by 
Capt.  (now  Adm.)  Stoddart.  But  the  Rev.  Dr.  Douglas,  having  pointed 
out  that  this  cut  really  supported  his  view  of  the  identity  of  Zayton, 
being  a  view  of  the  Chang-chau  River,  reference  was  made  to  Admiral 
Stoddart,  and  Dr.  Douglas  proves  to  be  quite  right.  The  View  was 
really  one  of  the  Chang-chau  River ;  but  the  Editor  has  not  been  able 
to  procure  material  for  one  of  the  Tswan-chau  River,  and  so  he  leaves  it, 











Book  Third 

The  Kaan's  Fleet  passing  through  the  Indian  Archipelago.     From  a 

drawing  by  the  Editor. 
Ancient  Japanese  Emperor,  after  a  Native  Drawing.     From  the  Tour 

du  Monde. 
Ancient  Japanese  Archer,  after  a  native  drawing.     From  the  same. 
The  Japanese  engaged  in  combat  with  the  Chinese,  after  an  ancient 

native  drawing.     From  Chart  on,   Voyageurs  Anciens  et  Modernes. 
Java.     A  view  in  the  interior.     From  a  sketch  of  the  slopes  of  the  Gedeh 

Volcano,  taken  by  the  Editor  in  i860. 
Bas  Relief  of  one  of  the  Vessels  frequenting  the  Ports  of  Java  in  the 

Middle  Ages.     From  one  of  the  sculptures  of  the  Boro  Bodor,  after  a 

,,     289.  The  three  Asiatic  Rhinoceroses.     Adapted  from  a  proof  of  a  woodcut 

given  to  the   Editor  for   the  purpose  by  the  late   eminent   zoologist, 

Edward   Blyth.      It  is   not   known   to   the   Editor   whether   the   cut 

appeared  in  any  other  publication. 
Monoceros  and  the  Maiden.     From  a  mediaeval  drawing  engraved  in 

Cahier  et  Martin,  Melanges  d?  ArchMogie,  II.  PI.  30. 
The    Borus.      From    a  manuscript  belonging    to    the    late    Charles 

Schefer,  now  in  the  BibliotMque  Nationale,  Paris. 
The  Cynocephali.     From  the  Livre  des  Merveilles. 
Adam's  Peak  from  the  Sea. 
Sakya  Muni  as  a  Saint  of  the  Roman  Martyrology.     Facsimile  from  an 

old  German  version  of  the  story  of  Barlaam  and  Josaphat  [circa  1477), 

printed  by  Zainer  at  Augsburg,  in  the  British  Museum. 
Tooth  Reliques  of  Buddha,     i.   At  Kandy,  after  Emerson  Tennent. 

2.  At  Fu-chau,  after  Fortune. 
"Chinese  Pagoda"  (so  called)  at  Negapatam.     From  a  sketch  taken 

by  Sir  Walter  Elliot,  K.C.S.I.,  in  1846. 
Pagoda  at  Tanjore.     From  Fergussori 's  History  of  Architecture. 
Ancient  Cross  with  Pehlvi  Inscription,  preserved  in  the  church  on  St. 

Thomas's  Mount  near  Madras.     From  a  photograph,  the  gift  of  A. 

Burnell,  Esq.,  of  the  Madras  Civil  Service,  assisted  by  a  lithographic 

drawing  in  his  unpublished  pamphlet  on  Pehlvi  Crosses  in  South  India. 

N.B. — The  lithograph  has  now  appeared  in  the  Indian  Antiquary, 

November,  1874. 
356.  The  Little  Mount  of  St.  Thomas,  near  Madras.     After  Daniel. 
358.   Small  Map  of  the  St.  Thomas  localities  at  Madras. 

378.  Ancient  Christian  Church  at  Parur  or  Palur,  on  the  Malabar  Coast ; 
from  an  engraving  in  Pearson's  Life  of  Claudius  Buchanan,  after  a 
sketch  by  the  latter. 

379.  Syrian  Church  at  Karanyachirra,  showing  the  quasi-Jesuit  Facade 
generally  adopted  in  modern  times.  From  the  Life  of  Bishop  Daniel 

379.  Interior  of  Syrian  Church  at  Kotteiyam.     From  the  same. 

384.  Cape  Comorin.    From  an  original  sketch  by  Mr.  Foote  of  the  Geological 

Survey  of  India. 
387.  Mount  D'Ely.     From  a  nautical  sketch  of  last  century. 
393.  Mediaeval  Architecture  in  Guzerat,   being  a  view   of  Gateway  at 

Jinjawara,  given  in  Forbes's  Ras  Mala.     From  Fergussori s  History  of 








>  5 


>  J 






1  J 





Page  399.  The  Gates  of  Somnath  (so  called),  as  preserved  in  the  British  Arsenal 

at  Agra.     From  a  photograph  by  Messrs.   Shepherd  and  Bourne, 

converted  into  an  elevation. 
415.  The  Rukh,  after  a  Persian  drawing.     From  Lane's  Arabian  Nights. 
\\      416.'  Frontispiece  of  A.  Miiller's  Marco  Polo,  showing  the  Bird  Rukh. 
"      425.  The  Ethiopian  Sheep.     From  a  sketch  by  Miss  Catherine  Frere. 
,]     441.  View  of  Aden  in  1840.     From  a  sketch  by  Dr.  R.  Kirk  in  the  Map-room 

of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society. 
,,      447.  The  Harvest  of  Frankincense  in  Arabia.     Facsimile  of  an  engraving  in 

Thevefs  Cosmographie  Universelle  (1575).     Reproduced  from  Casselts 

Bible  Educator,  by  the  courtesy  of  the  publishers. 
,,      448.  Boswellia  Fkereana,  from  a  drawing  by  Mr.  W.  H.  Fitch.     The  use 

of  this  engraving  is  granted  by  the  India  Museum  through  the  kindness 

of  Sir  George  Birdwood. 
„      453.  A  Persian  BAD-GfR,  or  Wind-Catcher.     From  a  drawing  in  the  Atlas  to 

Hommaire  de  Hell's  Persia.     Engraved  by  Adeney. 

Book  Fourth. 

478.  Tomb  of  Oljaitu  Khan,  the  brother  of  Polo's  Casan,  at  Sultaniah. 

From  Fergus son 's  History  of  Architecture. 
482.  The  Siberian  Dog-Sledge.     From  the  Tour  du  Monde. 
489.  Mediaeval  Russian  Church.     From  Fergussoiis  History  of  Architecture. 
493.  Figure  of  a  Tartar  under  the  Feet  of  Henry  Duke  of  Silesia,  Cracow, 

and  Poland,  from  the  tomb  at  Breslau  of  that  Prince,  killed  in  battle 

with  the  Tartar  host,  9th  April,   1241.     After  a  plate  in  Schlesische 

Fiirstenbilder  des  Mittelalters,  Breslau,  1868. 
501.  Asiatic  Warriors  of  Polo's  Age.      From   the    MS.   of  Rashiduddin's 

History,  noticed  under  cut  at  p.  19.     Engraved  by  Adeney. 


555.  Figure  of  Marco  Polo,  from  the  first  printed  edition  of  his  Book, 
published  in  German  at  Nuremberg  1477.  Traced  from  a  copy  in  the 
Berlin  Library.  (This  tracing  was  the  gift  of  Mr.  Samuel  D.  Horton, 
of  Cincinnati,  through  Mr.  Marsh. ) 

595.  Marco  Polo's  rectified  Itinerary  from  Khotan  to  Nia. 


BOOK  SECOND.— continued. 



VOL.   II 



BOOK     1 1. — CONTINUED. 


Part  II.— JOURNEY    TO    THE    WEST    AND 


Here  begins  the  Description  of  the  Interior  of  Cathay  ; 
and  first  of  the  rlver  pulisanghin. 

Now  you  must  know  that  the  Emperor  sent  the  afore- 
said Messer  Marco  Polo,  who  is  the  author  of  this 
whole  story,  on  business  of  his  into  the  Western 
Provinces.  On  that  occasion  he  travelled  from  Cam- 
baluc  a  good  four  months'  journey  towards  the  west/ 
And  so  now  I  will  tell  you  all  that  he  saw  on  his  travels 
as  he  went  and  returned. 

When  you  leave  the  City  of  Cambaluc  and  have 
ridden  ten  miles,  you  come  to  a  very  large  river  which 
is  called  Pulisanghin,  and  flows  into  the  ocean,  so 
that  merchants  with  their  merchandise  ascend  it  from 
the  sea.  Over  this  River  there  is  a  very  fine  stone 
bridge,  so  fine  indeed,  that  it  has  very  few  equals.  The 
fashion  of  it  is  this  :  it  is  300  paces  in  length,  and  it 
must  have  a  good  eight  paces  of  width,  for  ten  mounted 
men  can  ride  across  it  abreast.  It  has  24  arches  and 
vol.  11,  A  2 


Book  II. 

as  many  water-mills,  and  'tis  all  of  very  fine  marble, 
well  built  and  firmly  founded.  Along  the  top  of  the 
bridge  there  is  on  either  side  a  parapet  of  marble  slabs 
and  columns,  made  in  this  way.  At  the  beginning  of 
the  bridge  there  is  a  marble  column,  and  under  it  a 
marble  lion,  so  that  the  column  stands  upon  the  lion's 
loins,  whilst  on  the  top  of  the  column  there  is  a  second 
marble  lion,  both  being  of  great  size  and  beautifully 
executed  sculpture.  At  the  distance  of  a  pace  from 
this  column  there    is   another  precisely  the    same,    also 


^*>  A 


The  Bridge  of  Pulisanghin.     (Reduced  from  a  Chinese  original.) 

"  —  ct  bcstts  ccsi  Hum  a  uu  numt  bunts  pout  ht  pints :  tax  ztichitss  qt  pent  n'u 
en  tout  It  monbr  be  si  bisus  nt  &on  parctl." 

with  its  two  lions,  and  the  space  between  them  is  closed 
with  slabs  of  grey  marble  to  prevent  people  from  falling 
over  into  the  water.  And  thus  the  columns  run  from 
space  to  space  along  either  side  of  the  bridge,  so  that 
altogether  it  is  a  beautiful  object.2 

Note  I*  —  [When  Marco  leaves  the  capital,  he  takes  the  main  road,  the  "  Imperial 
Highway,"  from  Peking  to  Si-ngan  fu,  via  Pao-ting,  Cheng-ting,  Hwai-luh,  Tai-yuan, 
Ping-yang,  and  T'ung-kvvan,  on  the  Yellow  River.     Mr.  G.  F.  Eaton,  writing  from 

Chap.  XXXV. 


Han-chung  {Jour.  China  Br.  R.  As.  Soc.  XXVIII.  No.  i)  says  it  is  a  cart-road,  except 
for  six  days  between  Tal-yuan  and  Hwai-luh,  and  that  it  takes  twenty-nine  days  to 
go  from  Peking  to  Si-ngan,  a  figure  which  agrees  well  with  Polo's  distances  ;  it  is  also 
the  time  which  Dr.  Forke's  journey  lasted;  he  left  Peking  on  the  1st  May,  1892, 
reached  Tai-yuan  on  the  12th,  and  arrived  at  Si-ngan  on  the  30th  (  Von  Peking  nach 
Ch'ang-an).  Mr.  Rockhill  left  Peking  on  the  17th  December,  1888,  reached  T'ai- 
yiian  on  the  26th,  crossed  the  Yellow  River  on  the  5th  January,  and  arrived  at  Si- 
ngan  fu  on  the  8th  January,  1889,  in  twenty-two  days,  a  distance  of  916  miles. 
{Land  of  the  Lamas,  pp.  372-374. )  M.  Grenard  left  Si-ngan  on  the  10th  November 
and  reached  Peking  on  the  16th  December,  1894  =  thirty-six  days;  he  reckons  1389 
kilometres  =  863  miles.  (See  Rev.  C.  Holcombe,  Tour  through  Shan-hsi  and  Shen-hsi 
in  Jour.  North  China  Br.  R.  A.  S.  N.  S.  X.  pp.  54-70.)— H.  C] 

Note  2. — Pul-i-Sangtn,  the  name  which  Marco  gives  the  River,  means  in  Persian 
simply  (as  Marsden  noticed)  "The  Stone  Bridge."  In  a  very  different  region  the 
same  name  often  occurs  in  the  history  of  Timur  applied  to  a  certain  bridge,  in  the 
country  north   of  Badakhshan,    over   the  Wakhsh    branch    of  the  Oxus.     And   the 

The  Bridge  of  Pulisanghin.     (From  the  Livrc  des  Merveilles.') 

Turkish  admiral  Sidi  'Ali,  travelling  that  way  from  India  in  the  16th  century,  applies 
the  name,  as  it  is  applied  here,  to  the  river  ;  for  his  journal  tells  us  that  beyond 
Kuiab  he  crossed  "the  LZiver  Pulisangin." 

We  may  easily  suppose,  therefore,  that  near  Cambaluc  also,  the  Bridge,  first,  and 
then  the  River,  came  to  be  known  to  the  Persian-speaking  foreigners  of  the  court  and 
city  by  this  name.  This  supposition  is  however  a  little  perplexed  by  the  circumstance 
that  Rashiduddin  calls  the  River  the  Sangin,  and  that  Sangkan-'Ro  appears  from  the 
maps  or  citations  of  Martini,  Klaproth,  Neumann,  and  Pauthier  to  have  been  one  of 
the  Chinese  names  of  the  river,  and  indeed,  Sankang  is  still  the  name  of  one  of  the 
confluents  forming  the  Hwan  Ho. 

[By  Sanghin,  Polo  renders  the  Chinese  Sang-han,  by  which  name  the  River  Hun- 
ho  is  already  mentioned,  in  the  6th  century  of  our  era.  Hun-ho  is  also  an  ancient 
name :  and  the  same  river  in  ancient  books  is  often  called  Lu-Kou  River  also.     All 

6  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

these  names  are  in  use  up  to  the  present  time ;  but  on  modern  Chinese  maps,  only 
the  upper  part  of  the  river  is  termed  Sang- Kan  ho,  whilst  south  of  the  inner  Great 
Wall,  and  in  the  plain,  the  name  of  Hun-ho  is  applied  to  it.  Hun  ho  means  "  Muddy 
River,"  and  the  term  is  quite  suitable.  In  the  last  century,  the  Emperor  K'ien-lung 
ordered  the  Hun-ho  to  be  named  Yung-ting  ho,  a  name  found  on  modern  maps,  but 
the  people  always  call  it  Him  ho"     {Bretschneider,  Peking,  p.  54.) — H.  C] 

The  River  is  that  which  appears  in  the  maps  as  the  Hwan  Ho,  Hun-ho,  or 
Yongting  Ho,  flowing  about  7  miles  west  of  Peking  towards  the  south-east  and  joining 
the  Pe-Ho  at  Tientsin  ;  and  the  Bridge  is  that  which  has  been  known  for  ages  as  the 
Lu-kou-K  iao  or  Bridge  of  Lukou,  adjoining  the  town  which  is  called  in  the  Russian 
map  of  Peking  Feuchen,  but  in  the  official  Chinese  Atlas  Kung-Keih-cheng.  (See  Map 
at  ch.  xi.  of  Bk.  II.  in  the  first  Volume.)  ["Before  arriving  at  the  bridge  the  small 
walled  city  of  Kung-ki  cheng  is  passed.  This  was  founded  in  the  first  half  of  the  17th 
centurv.  The  people  generally  call  it  Fei-ch'eng."  {Bretschneider,  Peking,  p.  50.) — 
H.  C]  It  is  described  both  by  Magaillans  and  Lecomte,  with  some  curious  dis- 
crepancies, whilst  each  affords  particulars  corroborative  of  Polo's  account  of  the 
character  of  the  bridge.  The  former  calls  it  the  finest  bridge  in  China.  Lecomte's 
account  says  the  bridge  was  the  finest  he  had  yet  seen.  "It  is  above  170  geometrical 
paces  (850  feet)  in  length.  The  arches  are  small,  but  the  rails  or  side-walls  are  made 
of  a  hard  whitish  stone  resembling  marble.  These  stones  are  more  than  5  feet  long, 
3  feet  high,  and  7  or  8  inches  thick  ;  supported  at  each  end  by  pilasters  adorned  with 
mouldings  and  bearing  the  figures  of  lions.  .  .  .  The  bridge  is  paved  with  great  flat 
stones,  so  well  joined  that  it  is  even  as  a  floor." 

Magaillans  thinks  Polo's  memory  partially  misled  him,  and  that  his  description 
applies  more  correctly  to  another  bridge  on  the  same  road,  but  some  distance  further 
west,  over  the  Lieu-li  Ho.  For  the  bridge  over  the  Hwan  Ho  had  really  but 
thirteen  arches,  whereas  that  on  the  Lieu-li  had,  as  Polo  specifies,  twenty-four.  The 
engraving  which  we  give  of  the  Lu-kou  K'iao  from  a  Chinese  work  confirms  this 
statement,  for  it  shows  but  thirteen  arches.  And  what  Polo  says  of  the  navigation  of 
the  river  is  almost  conclusive  proof  that  Magaillans  is  right,  and  that  our  traveller's 
memory  confounded  the  two  bridges.  For  the  navigation  of  the  Hwan  Ho,  even 
when  its  channel  is  full,  is  said  to  be  impracticable  on  account  of  rapids,  whilst  the 
Lieu-li  Ho,  or  "Glass  River,"  is,  as  its  name  implies,  smooth,  and  navigable,  and  it 
is  largely  navigated  by  boats  from  the  coal-mines  of  Fang-shan.  The  road  crosses  the 
latter  about  two  leagues  from  Cho-chau.     (See  next  chapter.) 

[The  Rev.  W.  S.  Anient  (Af.  Polo  in  Cambaluc,  p.  116- 117)  remarks  regarding 
Yule's  quotation  from  Magaillans  that  "a  glance  at  Chinese  history  would  have 
explained  to  these  gentlemen  that  there  was  no  stone  bridge  over  the  Liu  Li  river  till 
the  days  of  Kia  Tsing,  the  Ming  Emperor,  1522  A.D.,  or  more  than  one  hundred  and 
fifty  years  after  Polo  was  dead.  Hence  he  could  not  have  confounded  bridges,  one 
of  which  he  never  saw.  The  Lu  Kou  Bridge  was  first  constructed  of  stone  by  She 
Tsung,  fourth  Emperor  of  the  Kin,  in  the  period  Ta  Ting  1189  a.d.,  and  was 
finished  by  Chang  Tsung  1194  a.d.  Before  that  time  it  had  been  constructed  of 
wood,  and  had  been  sometimes  a  stationary  and  often  a  floating  bridge.  The  oldest 
account  [end  of  16th  century]  states  that  the  bridge  was  pu  200  in  length,  and 
specifically  states  that  each  pu  was  5  feet,  thus  making  the  bridge  1000  feet  long. 
It  was  called  the  Kuan  Li  Bridge.  The  Emperor,  Kia  Tsing  of  the  Ming,  was  a  great 
bridge  builder.  He  reconstructed  this  bridge,  adding  strong  embankments  to  prevent 
injury  by  floods.  He  also  built  the  fine  bridge  over  the  Liu  Li  Ho,  the  Cho  Chou 
Bridge  over  the  Chil  Ma  Ho.  What  cannot  be  explained  is  Polo's  statement  that  the 
bridge  had  twenty-four  arches,  when  the  oldest  accounts  give  no  more  than  thirteen, 
there  being  eleven  at  the  present  time.  The  columns  which  supported  the  balustrade 
in  Polo's  time  rested  upon  the  loins  of  sculptured  lions.  The  account  of  the  lions 
after  the  bridge  was  repaired  by  Kia  Tsing  says  that  there  are  so  many  that  it  is 
impossible  to  count  them  correctly,  and  gossip  about  the  bridge  says  that  several 
persons  have  lost  their  minds  in  making  the  attempt.     The  little  walled  city  on  the 



8  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

east  end  of  the  bridge,  rightly  called  Kung  Chi,  popularly  called  Fei  Ch'eng,  is  a 
monument  to  Ts'ung  Cheng,  the  last  of  the  Ming,  who  built  it,  hoping  to  check  the 
advance  of  Li  Tzu  ch'eng,  the  great  robber  chief  who  finally  proved  too  strong  for 

him."— II.  C] 

The  Bridge  of  Lu-kou  is  mentioned  more  than  once  in  the  history  of  the  conquest 
of  North  China  by  Chinghiz.  It  was  the  scene  of  a  notable  mutiny  of  the  troops  of 
the  Kin  Dynasty  in  1215,  which  induced  Chinghiz  to  break  a  treaty  just  concluded, 
and  led  to  his  capture  of  Peking. 

This  bridge  was  begun,  according  to  Klaproth,  in  1 189,  and  was  five  years  a-building. 
On  the  17th  August,  1688,  as  Magaillans  tells  us,  a  great  flood  carried  aw;iy  two 
arches  of  the  bridge,  and  the  remainder  soon  fell.  [Father  Intorcetta,  quoted  by 
Bretschncider  {Peking,  p.  53),  gives  the  25th  of  July,  1668,  as  the  date  of  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  bridge,  which  agrees  well  with  the  Chinese  accounts. — H.  C]  The 
bridge  was  renewed,  but  with  only  nine  arches  instead  of  thirteen,  as  appears  from 
the  following  note  of  personal  observation  with  which  Dr.  Lockhart  has  favoured  me  : 

"At  27  li  from  Peking,  by  the  western  road  leaving  the  gate  of  the  Chinese  city 
called  Kwang-'an-maiij  after  passing  the  old  walled  town  of  Feuchen,  you  reach  the 
bridge  of  Lo-Ku-Kiao.  As  it  now  stands  it  is  a  very  long  bridge  of  nine  arches  (real 
arches)  spanning  the  valley  of  the  Ilwan  Ho,  and  surrounded  by  beautiful  scenery. 
The  bridge  is  built  of  green  sandstone,  and  has  a  good  balustrade  with  short  square 
pilasters  crowned  by  small  lions.  It  is  in  very  good  repair,  and  has  a  ceaseless  traffic, 
being  on  the  road  to  the  coal-mines  which  supply  the  city.  There  is  a  pavilion  at 
each  end  of  the  bridge  with  inscriptions,  the  one  recording  that  K'anghi  (1662- 1723) 
built  the  bridge,  and  the  other  that  Kienlung  (1736-1796)  repaired  it."  These  circum- 
stances are  strictly  consistent  with  Magaillans'  account  of  the  destruction  of  the 
mediaeval  bridge.  Williamson  describes  the  present  bridge  as  about  700  feet  long, 
and  12  feet  wide  in  the  middle  part. 

[Dr.  Bretschneider  saw  the  bridge,  and  gives  the  following  description  of  it :  "  The 
bridge  is  350  ordinary  paces  long  and  18  broad.  It  is  built  of  sandstone,  and 
has  on  either  side  a  stone  balustrade  of  square  columns,  about  4  feet  high,  140  on 
each  side,  each  crowned  by  a  sculptured  lion  over  a  foot  high.  Beside  these  there 
are  a  number  of  smaller  lions  placed  irregularly  on  the  necks,  behind  the  legs,  under 
the  feet,  or  on  the  back  of  the  larger  ones.  The  space  between  the  columns  is  closed 
by  stone  slabs.  Four  sculptured  stone  elephants  lean  with  their  foreheads  against 
the  edge  of  the  balustrades.  The  bridge  is  supported  by  eleven  arches.  At  each 
end  of  the  bridge  two  pavilions  with  yellow  roofs  have  been  built,  all  with  large 
marble  tablets  in  them  ;  two  with  inscriptions  made  by  order  of  the  Emperor  K'ang- 
hi (1662-1723);  and  two  with  inscriptions  of  the  time  of  K'ien-lung  (1736-1796). 
On  these  tablets  the  history  of  the  bridge  is  recorded."  Dr.  Bretschneider  adds 
that  Dr.  Lockhart  is  also  right  in  counting  nine  arches,  for  he  counts  only  the  water- 
ways, not  the  arches  resting  upon  the  banks  of  the  river.  Dr.  Forke  (p.  5)  counts  II 
arches  and  280  stone  lions. — H.  C.] 

[P.  de  la  Croix,  II.  11,  etc.  ;  E>skine's  Baber,  p.  xxxiii.  ;  Timour's  Institutes ', 
70;/.  As.  IX.  205;  Cathay,  260;  Magaillans,  14-18,  35;  Lecomte  in  Astley,  III. 
529;/.  As.  ser.  II.  torn.  i.  97-98;  D'OAsson,  I.  144.) 




MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Account  of  the  City  of  Juju. 

When  you  leave  the  Bridge,  and  ride  towards  the  west, 
finding  all  the  way  excellent  hostelries  for  travellers, 
with  fine  vineyards,  fields,  and  gardens,  and  springs  of 
water,  you  come  after  30  miles  to  a  fine  large  city  called 
Juju,  where  there  are  many  abbeys  of  idolaters,  and  the 
people  live  by  trade  and  manufactures.  They  weave 
cloths  of  silk  and  gold,  and  very  fine  taffetas.1  Here 
too  there  are  many  hostelries  for  travellers.2 

After  riding  a  mile  beyond  this  city  you  find  two 
roads,  one  of  which  goes  west  and  the  other  south-east. 
The  westerly  road  is  that  through  Cathay,  and  the 
south-easterly  one  goes  towards  the  province  of 

Taking  the  westerly  one  through  Cathay,  and 
travelling  by  it  for  ten  days,  you  find  a  constant 
succession  of  cities  and  boroughs,  with  numerous  thriv- 
ing villages,  all  abounding  with  trade  and  manufactures, 
besides  the  fine  fields  and  vineyards  and  dwellings 
of  civilized  people ;  but  nothing  occurs  worthy  of 
special  mention  ;  and  so  I  will  only  speak  of  a  kingdom 
called  Taianfu. 

Note  i. —  The  word  is  sendaus  (Pauthier),  pi.  of  senda!,  and  in  G.  T.  sandal.  It 
does  not  seem  perfectly  known  what  this  silk  texture  was,  but  as  banners  were  made 
of  it,  and  linings  for  richer  stuffs,  it  appears  to  have  been  a  light  material,  and  is 
generally  rendered  taffetas.     In  Richard  Cosur  de  Lion  we  find 

"  Many  a  pencel  of  sykelatoun 

And  of  sendel  of grene  and  broun," 

and  also  pavilions  of  sendel  ;  and  in  the  Anglo-French  ballad  of  the  death  of  William 
Earl  of  Salisbury  in  St.  Lewis's  battle  on  the  Nile — 

"  Le  Meister  du  Temple  brace  les  chivaux 
Et  le  Count  Long-Espee  depli  les  sandaux." 

Chap.  XXXVI.  THE  CITY  OF  JUJU  1 1 

The  oriflamme  of  France  was  made  of  cendal.  Chaucer  couples  taffetas  and  sendal. 
His  "  Doctor  of  Physic  " 

"  In  sanguin  and  in  perse  clad  was  alle, 
Lined  with  taffata  and  with  sendalle." 

[La  Curne,  Diet.,  s.  v.  Sendaus  has:  Silk  stuff:  "  Somme  de  la  delivrance  des 
sendaus."  {Nouv.  Compt.  de  V  Arg.  p.  19).— Godefroy,  Diet.,  gives:  "  Sendam, 
adj.,  made  with  the  stuff  called  cendal:  Drap  d'or  sendains  (1392,  Test,  de 
Blanche,  duck.  d'Orl.,  Ste-Croix,  Arch.  Loiret)."  He  says  s.v.  Cendal, 
"  cendatc,  cejtdral,  cendel,  .  .  .  sendail,  .  .  .  etoffe  legere  de  soie  unie  qui  parait 
avoir  ete  analogue  au  taffetas."  "'On  faisait  des  cendaux  forts  ou  faibles,  et  on 
leur  donnait  toute  sorte  de  couleurs.  On  s'en  servait  surtout  pour  vetements  et 
corsets,  pour  doublures  de  draps,  de  fourrures  et  d'autres  etoffes  de  soie  plus 
precieuses,  enfin  pour  tenture  d'appartements.'  {Bourquelot,  Foir.  de  Champ. 
I.  261)." 

"J'ay  de  toilles  de  mainte  guise, 
De  sidonnes  et  de  cendaulx. 
Soyes,  satins  blancs  et  vermaulx." 
— Greban,  Mist,  de  la  Pass.,  26826,  G.  Paris.  — H.  C] 

The  origin  of  the  word  seems  also  somewhat  doubtful.  The  word  1,ev8es  occurs  in 
Constant.  Porphyrog:  de  Ceremoniis  (Bonn,  ed.  I.  468),  and  this  looks  like  a  transfer 
of  the  Arabic  Sdndds  or  Sundus,  which  is  applied  by  Bakui  to  the  silk  fabrics  of 
Yezd.  {Not.  et  Ext.  II.  469.)  Reiske  thinks  this  is  the  origin  of  the  Frank  word, 
and  connects  its  etymology  with  Sind.  Others  think  that  sendal  and  the  other  forms 
are  modifications  of  the  ancient  Sindon,  and  this  is  Mr.  Marsh's  view.  (See  also  Fr.- 
Michel,  Recherches,  etc.  I.  212  ;  Diet,  des  Tissus,  II.  171  seqq.) 

Note  2. — Juju  is  precisely  the  name  given  to  this  city  by  Rashiduddin,  who 
notices  the  vineyards.  Juju  is  Cho-chau,  just  at  the  distance  specified  from  Peking, 
viz.  40  miles,  and  nearly  30  from  Pulisanghin  or  Lu-kou  K'iao.  The  name  of  the 
town  is  printed  Tsochow  by  Mr.  Williamson,  and  Chechow  in  a  late  Report  of  a  journey 
by  Consul  Oxenham.  He  calls  it  "a  large  town  of  the  second  order,  situated  on  the 
banks  of  a  small  river  flowing  towards  the  south-east,  viz.  the  Kiu-ma-Ho,  a  navigable 
stream.  It  had  the  appearance  of  being  a  place  of  considerable  trade,  and  the  streets 
were  crowded  with  people."  {Reports  of  Journeys  in  China  and  Japan,  etc.  Pre- 
sented to  Parliament,  1869,  p.  9.)  The  place  is  called  Juju  also  in  the  Persian 
itinerary  given  by  'Izzat  Ullah  iny.  R.  A.  S.  VII.  308  ;  and  in  one  procured  by  Mr. 
Shaw.     {Proc.  R.  G.  S.  XVI.  p.  253.) 

[The  Rev.  W.  S.  Anient  {Marco  Polo,  1 19-120)  writes,  "  the  historian  of  the  city  of 
Cho-chau  sounds  the  praises  of  the  people  for  their  religious  spirit.  He  says  : — '  It 
was  the  custom  of  the  ancients  to  wrorship  those  who  were  before  them.  Thus  students 
worshipped  their  instructors,  farmers  worshipped  the  first  husbandman,  workers  in 
silk,  the  original  silk-worker.  Thus  when  calamities  come  upon  the  land,  the  virtuous 
among  the  people  make  offerings  to  the  spirits  of  earth  and  heaven,  the  mountains, 
rivers,  streams,  etc.  All  these  things  are  profitable.  These  customs  should  never  be 
forgotten.'  After  such  instruction,  we  are  prepared  to  find  fifty-eight  temples  of 
every  variety  in  this  little  city  of  about  20,000  inhabitants.  There  is  a  temple  to  the 
spirits  of  Wind,  Clouds,  Thunder,  and  Rain,  to  the  god  of  silk-workers,  to  the  Horse- 
god,  to  the  god  of  locusts,  and  the  eight  destructive  insects,  to  the  Five  Dragons,  to 
the  King  who  quiets  the  waves.  Besides  these,  there  are  all  the  orthodox  temples  to 
the  ancient  worthies,  and  some  modern  heroes.  Liu  Pei  and  Chang  Fei,  two  of 
the  three  great  heroes  of  the  Sail  Kuo  Chin,  being  natives  of  Cho  Chou,  are  each 
honoured  with  two  temples,  one  in  the  native  village,  and  one  in  the  city.  It  is  not 
often  that  one  locality  can  give  to  a  great  empire  two  of  its  three  most  popular  heroes  : 
Liu  Pei,  Chang  Fei,  Kuan  Yu." 

"Judging  from  the  condition  of  the  country,"  writes  the    Rev.  W.  S.  Anient 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

(p.  120),  "  one  could  hardly  believe  that  this  general  region  was  the  original  home  of  the 
silk- worm,  and  doubtless  the  people  who  once  lived  here  are  the  only  people  who 
ever  saw  the  silk-worm  in  his  wild  state.  The  historian  of  Cho-Chou  honestly  re- 
marks that  he  knows  of  no  reason  why  the  production  of  silk  should  have  ceased 
there,  except  the  fact  that  the  worms  refused  to  live  there.  .  .  .  The  palmy  days  of 
the  silk  industry  were  in  the  T'ang  dynasty." — H.  C] 

Note  3.  —  "  About  a  //from  the  southern  suburbs  of  this  town,  the  great  road  to 
Shantung  and  the  south-east  diverged,  causing  an  immediate  diminution  in  the 
number  of  carts  and  travellers"  (Oxcnham).  [From  Peking  "to  Cheng-ting  fu, 
Colonel  Bell  {Proc.  R.  G.  S.,  XII.  1890,  p.  58),  the  route  followed  is  the  Great 
Southern  highway ;  here  the  Great  Central  Asian  highway  leaves  it."  The 
Rev.  W.  S.  Anient  says  (I.e.,  121)  about  the  bifurcation  of  the  road,  one  branch 
going  on  south-west  to  Pao-Ting  fu  and  Shan-si,  and  one  branch  to  Shantung 
land  Ilo-nan  :  "The  union  of  the  two  roads  at  this  point,  bringing  the  travel 
and  traffic  of  ten  provinces,  makes  Cho  Chou  one  of  the  most  important  cities  in 
the  Empire.  The  magistrate  of  this  district  is  the  only  one,  so  far  as  we  know, 
in  the  Empire  who  is  relieved  of  the  duty  of  welcoming  and  escorting  transient 
officers.  It  was  the  multiplicity  of  such  duties,  so  harassing,  that  persuaded  Fang 
Kuan-ch'eng  to  write  the  couplet  on  one  of  the  city  gate-ways  :  Jih  pien  cKungyao, 
wu  shitang  ti :  T'ien  hsiafan  nan,  ti  yi  Chou.  *  In  all  the  world,  there  is  no  place 
so  public  as  this  :  for  multiplied  cares  and  trials,  this  is  the  first  Chou.'  The  people 
of  Cho-Chou,  of  old  celebrated  for  their  religious  spirit,  are  now  well  known  for  their 
literary  enterprise." — H.  C]  This  bifurcation  of  the  roads  is  a  notable  point  in 
Polo's  book.  For  after  following  the  western  road  through  Cathay,  i.e.  the  northern 
provinces  of  China,  to  the  borders  of  Tibet  and  the  Indo-Chinese  regions,  our 
traveller  will  return,  whimsically  enough,  not  to  the  capital  to  take  a  fresh  de- 
parture, but  to  this  bifurcation  outside  of  Chochau,  and  thence  carry  us  south  with 
him  to  Manzi,  or  China  south  of  the  Yellow  River. 

Of  a  part  of  the  road  of  which  Polo  speaks  in  the  latter  part  of  the  chapter 
Williamson  says  :  "The  drive  was  a  very  beautiful  one.  Not  only  were  the  many 
villages  almost  hidden  by  foliage,  but  the  road  itself  hereabouts  is  lined  with 
trees.  .  .  .  The  effect  was  to  make  the  journey  like  a  ramble  through  the  avenues 
of  some  English  park."  Beyond  Tingchau  however  the  country  becomes  more 
barren.     (I.  268.) 


The  Kingdom  of  Taianfu. 

After  riding  then  those  ten  days  from  the  city  of  Juju, 
you  find  yourself  in  a  kingdom  called  Taianfu,  and 
the  city  at  which  you  arrive,  which  is  the  capital,  is  also 
called  Taianfu,  a  very  great  and  fine  city.  [But  at  the 
end  of  fivG  days'  journey  out  of  those  ten,  they  say 
there   is   a   city   unusually    large   and    handsome    called 


Acbaluc,  whereat  terminate  in  this  direction  the  hunt- 
ing preserves  of  the  Emperor,  within  which  no  one 
dares  to  sport  except  the  Emperor  and  his  family,  and 
those  who  are  on  the  books  of  the  Grand  Falconer. 
Beyond  this  limit  any  one  is  at  liberty  to  sport,  if  he  be 
a  gentleman.  The  Great  Kaan,  however,  scarcely  ever 
went  hunting  in  this  direction,  and  hence  the  game, 
particularly  the  hares,  had  increased  and  multiplied  to 
such  an  extent  that  all  the  crops  of  the  Province  were 
destroyed.  The  Great  Kaan  being  informed  of  this, 
proceeded  thither  with  all  his  Court,  and  the  game  that 
was  taken  was  past  counting.] * 

Taianfu 2  is  a  place  of  great  trade  and  great  industry, 
for  here  they  manufacture  a  large  quantity  of  the  most 
necessary  equipments  for  the  army  of  the  Emperor. 
There  grow  here  many  excellent  vines,  supplying  great 
plenty  of  wine ;  and  in  all  Cathay  this  is  the  only 
place  where  wine  is  produced.  It  is  carried  hence 
all  over  the  country.3  There  is  also  a  great  deal  of  silk 
here,  for  the  people  have  great  quantities  of  mulberry- 
trees  and  silk- worms. 

From  this  city  of  Taianfu  you  ride  westward  again 
for  seven  days,  through  fine  districts  with  plenty  of 
towns  and  boroughs,  all  enjoying  much  trade  and 
practising  various  kinds  of  industry.  Out  of  these 
districts  go  forth  not  a  few  great  merchants,  who  travel 
to  India  and  other  foreign  regions,  buying  and  selling 
and  getting  gain.  After  those  seven  days'  journey  you 
arrive  at  a  city  called  Pianfu,  a  large  and  important 
place,  with  a  number  of  traders  living  by  commerce 
and  industry.  It  is  a  place  too  where  silk  is  largely 

So  we  will  leave  it  and  tell  you  of  a  great  city  called 
Cachanfu.  But  stay — first  let  us  tell  you  about  the 
noble  castle  called  Caichu. 

j 4  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Note  i.—  Marsden  translates  the  commencement  of  this  passage,  which  is  peculiar 
to  Ramusio,  and  runs  "  E  in  capo  di  cinque  giornate  delle  predette  died"  by  the  words 
11  At  the  end  of  five  days'  journey  beyond  the  ten,"  but  this  is  clearly  wrong.*  The 
place  best  suiting  in  position,  as  halfway  between  Cho-chau  and  T'ai-yuan  fu,  would  be 
Cheng-ting  fu,  and  I  have  little  doubt  that  this  is  the  place  intended.  The  title  of 
Ak-Bdligh'mTvLx\d,\  or  Chaghdn  Balghasun  in  Mongol,  meaning  "  White  City,"  was 
applied  by  the  Tartars  to  Royal  Residences  ;  and  possibly  Cheng-ting  fu  may  have 
had  such  a  claim,  for  I  observe  in  the  Annates  de  la  Prop,  de  la  Foi  (xxxiii.  387)  that 
in  1862  the  Chinese  Government  granted  to  the  R.  C.  Vicar-Apostolic  of  Chihli  the 
ruined  Imperial  Palace  at  Cheng-ting  fu  for  his  cathedral  and  other  mission  establish- 
ments. Moreover,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  Rashiduddin's  account  of  Chinghiz's  campaign 
in  northern  China  in  1214,  speaks  of  the  city  of  "  Chaghan  Balghasun  which  the 
Chinese  call  Jintzinfu."  This  is  almost  exactly  the  way  in  which  the  name  of 
Cheng-ting  fu  is  represented  in  'Izzat  Ullah's  Persian  Itinerary  (figdzinfu,  evidently 
a  clerical  error  for  Jingdzinfu),  so  I  think  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  Cheng-ting  fu 
is  the  place  intended.  The  name  of  Hwai-luh'ien  (see  Note  2),  which  is  the  first 
stage  beyond  Cheng-ting  fu,  is  said  to  mean  the  "Deer-lair,"  pointing  apparently  to 
the  old  character  of  the  tract  as  a  game-preserve.  The  city  of  Cbeng-ting  is  described 
by  Consul  Oxenham  as  being  now  in  a  decayed  and  dilapidated  condition,  consisting 
only  of  two  long  streets  crossing  at  right  angles.  It  is  noted  for  the  manufacture  of 
images  of  Buddha  from  Shan-si  iron.     (Consular  Reports,  p.  10  ;  Erdmann,  331.) 

[The  main  road  turns  due  west  at  Cheng-ting  fu,  and  enters  Shan-si  through  what  is 
known  among  Chinese  travellers  as  the  Ku-kwan,  Customs'  Barrier. — H.  C] 

Between  Cheng-ting  fu  and  T'ai-yuan  fu  the  traveller  first  crosses  a  high  and 
rugged  range  of  mountains,  and  then  ascends  by  narrow  defiles  to  the  plateau  of 
Shan-si.     But  of  these  features  Polo's  excessive  condensation  takes  no  notice. 

The  traveller  who  quits  the  great  plain  of  Chihli  [which  terminates  at  Fu  ch'eng-i,  a 
small  market-town,  two  days  from  Pao-ting. — H.  C]  for  "  the  kingdom  of  Taianfu," 
i.e.  Northern  Shan-si,  enters  a  tract  in  which  predominates  that  very  remarkable 
formation  called  by  the  Chinese  Hwang-tu,  and  to  which  the  German  name  Loss  has 
been  attached.  With  this  formation  are  bound  up  the  distinguishing  characters  of 
Northern  Interior  China,  not  merely  in  scenery  but  in  agricultural  products,  dwellings, 
and  means  of  transport.  This  Loss  is  a  brownish-yellow  loam,  highly  porous,  spread* 
ing  over  low  and  high  ground  alike,  smoothing  over  irregularities  of  surface,  and  often 
more  than  1000  feet  in  thickness.  It  has  no  stratification,  but  tends  to  cleave 
vertically,  and  is  traversed  in  every  direction  by  sudden  crevices,  almost  glacier-like, 
narrow,  with  vertical  walls  of  great  depth,  and  infinite  ramification.  Smooth  as  the 
loss  basin  looks  in  a  bird's-eye  view,  it  is  thus  one  of  the  most  impracticable  countries 
conceivable  for  military  movements,  and  secures  extraordinary  value  to  fortresses  in 
well-chosen  sites,  such  as  that  of  Tung-kwan  mentioned  in  Note  2  to  chap.  xli. 

Agriculture  may  be  said  in  N.  China  to  be  confined  to  the  alluvial  plains  and 
the  loss ;  as  in  S.  China  to  the  alluvial  plains  and  the  terraced  hill-sides.  The  loss 
has  some  peculiar  quality  which  renders  its  productive  power  self-renewing  without 
manure  (unless  it  be  in  the  form  of  a  surface  coat  of  fresh  loss),  and  unfailing  in 
returns  if  there  be  sufficient  rain.  This  singular  formation  is  supposed  by  Baron 
Richthofen,  who  has  studied  it  more  extensively  than  any  one,  to  be  no  subaqueous 
deposit,  but  to  be  the  accumulated  residue  of  countless  generations  of  herbaceous 
plants  combined  with  a  large  amount  of  material  spread  over  the  face  of  the  ground  by 
the  winds  and  surface  waters. 

[I  do  not  agree  with  the  theory  of  Baron  von  Richthofen,  of  the  almost  exclusive 
Kolian  formation  of  loess  ;  water  has  something  to  do  with  it  as  well  as  wind,  and  I 
think  it  is  more  exact  to  say  that  loess  in  China  is  due  to  a  double  action,  Neptunian 
as  well  as  Eolian.     The  climate  was  different  in  former  acres  from  what  it  is  now,  and 

*  And  I  see  Ritter  understood  the  passage  as  I  do  (IV   515) 
f  Baligh  is  indeed  properly  Mongol. 


rain  was  plentiful  and  to  its  great  quantity  was  due  the  fertility  of  this  yellow  soil. 
(Cf.  A.  de  Lapparent,  Lemons  de  Giographie  Physique,  2*  ed.  1898,  p.  566.)— H.  C] 

Though  we  do  not  expect  to  find  Polo  taking  note  of  geological  features,  we  are 
surprised  to  find  no  mention  of  a  characteristic  of  Shan-si  and  the  adjoining  districts, 
which  is  due  to  the  loss;  viz.  the  practice  of  forming  cave  dwellings  in  it ;  these  in 
fact  form  the  habitations  of  a  majority  of  the  people  in  the  loss  country.  Polo  has 
noticed  a  similar  usage  in  Badakhshan  (I.  p.  161),  and  it  will  be  curious  if  a  better 
acquaintance  with  that  region  should  disclose  a  surface  formation  analogous  to  the 
loss.     {Richthqferis  Letters,  VII.  13  et passim.) 

Note  2.— Taianfu  is,  as  Magaillans  pointed  out,  T'ai-yuan  fu,  the  capital  of  the 
Province  of  Shan-si,  and  Shan-si  is  the  "  Kingdom."  The  city  was,  however,  the 
capital  of  the  great  T'ang  Dynasty  for  a  time  in  the  8th  century,  and  is  probably  the 
Tdjah  or  Taiyunah  of  old  Arab  writers.  Mr.  Williamson  speaks  of  it  as  a  very 
pleasant  city  at  the  north  end  of  a  most  fertile  and  beautiful  plain,  between  two  noble 
ranges  of  mountains.  It  was  a  residence,  he  says,  also  of  the  Ming  princes,  and  is 
laid  out  in  Peking  fashion,  even  to  mimicking  the  Coal-Hill  and  Lake  of  the  Imperial 
Gardens.  It  stands  about  3000  feet  above  the  sea  [on  the  left  bank  of  the  Fen-ho. — 
H.  C.].  There  is  still  an  Imperial  factory  of  artillery,  matchlocks,  etc.,  as  well  as  a 
powder  mill ;  and  fine  carpets  like  those  of  Turkey  are  also  manufactured.  The  city 
is  not,  however,  now,  according  to  Baron  Richthofen,  very  populous,  and  conveys  no 
impression  of  wealth  or  commercial  importance.  [In  an  interesting  article  on  this 
city,  the  Rev.  G.  B.  Farthing  writes  {North  China  Herald,  7th  September,  1894)  : 
"  The  configuration  of  the  ground  enclosed  by  T'ai-yuan  fu  city  is  that  of  a  '  three 
times  to  stretch  recumbent  cow.'  The  site  was  chosen  and  described  by  Li  Chun- 
feng,  a  celebrated  professor  of  geomancy  in  the  days  of  the  T'angs,  who  lived  during 
the  reign  of  the  Emperor  T'ai  Tsung  of  that  ilk.  The  city  having  been  then  founded, 
its  history  reaches  back  to  that  date.  Since  that  time  the  cow  has  stretched  twice. 
.  .  .  T'ai-yuan  city  is  square,  and  surrounded  by  a  wall  of  earth,  of  which  the  outer 
face  is  bricked.  The  height  of  the  wall  varies  from  thirty  to  fifty  feet,  and  it  is  so 
broad  that  two  carriages  could  easily  pass  one  another  upon  it.  The  natives  would 
tell  you  that  each  of  the  sides  is  three  miles,  thirteen  paces  in  length,  but  this, 
possibly,  includes  what  it  will  be  when  the  cow  shall  have  stretched  for  the  third  and 
last  time.  Two  miles  is  the  length  of  each  side  ;  eight  miles  to  tramp  if  you  wish  to 
go  round  the  four  of  them." — H.  C]  The  district  used  to  be  much  noted  for  cutlery 
and  hardware,  iron  as  well  as  coal  being  abundantly  produced  in  Shan-si.  Apparently 
the  present  Birmingham  of  this  region  is  a  town  called  Hwai-lu,  or  Hwo-luh;ien, 
about  20  miles  west  of  Cheng-ting  fu,  and  just  on  the  western  verge  of  the  great  plain 
of  Chihli.  [Regarding  Hwai-lu,  the  Rev.  C.  Holcombe  calls  it  "a  miserable  town 
lying  among  the  foot  hills,  and  at  the  mouth  of  the  valley,  up  which  the  road  into 
Shan-si  lies."  He  writes  (p.  59)  that  Ping-ting  chau,  after  the  Customs'  barrier 
(Ku  Kwan)  between  Chih-li  and  Shan-si,  would,  under  any  proper  system  of 
management,  at  no  distant  day  become  the  Pittsburg,  or  Birmingham,  of  China. — 
H.  C]  {Richthofen' 's  Letters,  No.  VII.  20;  Cathay,  xcvii.  cxiii.  cxciv.  ;  Rennie,  II. 
265  ;  Williamson' s  Jow-neys  in  North  China  ;  Oxenham,  u.  s.  11  ;  Klaprolh  inf.  As. 
ser.  II.  torn.  i.  100  ;  Izzat  Ullatts  Pers.  Ltin.  mj,  R.  A.  S.  VII.  307  ;  Forke,  Von 
Peking  nach  Cttang-an,  p.  23.) 

["  From  Khavailu  (Hwo-luh'ien),  an  important  commercial  centre  supplying 
Shansi,  for  130  miles  to  Sze-tien,  the  road  traverses  the  loess  hills,  which  extend 
from  the  Peking-Kalgan  road  in  a  south-west  direction  to  the  Yellow  River,  and  which 
are  passable  throughout  this  length  only  by  the  Great  Central  Asian  trade  route  to 
T'ai-yuan  fu  and  by  the  Tung-Kwan,  Ho-nan,  i.e.  the  Yellow  River  route.  {Colonel 
Bell,  Proc.  R.  G.  S.  XII.  1890,  p.  59.)  Colonel  Bell  reckons  seven  days  (218  miles) 
from  Peking  to  Hwo-lu-h'ien  and  five  days  from  this  place  to  T'ai-yuan  fu." — H.  C] 

Note  3. — Martini  observes  that  the  grapes  in  Shan-si  were  very  abundant  and  the 

L6  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

best  in  China.  The  Chinese  used  them  only  as  raisins,  but  wine  was  made  there  for 
the  use  of  the  early  Jesuit  Missions,  and  their  successors  continue  to  make  it. 
Klaproth,  however,  tells  us  that  the  wine  of  T'ai-yuan  fu  was  celebrated  in  the  days  of 
the  T'ang  Dynasty,  and  used  to  be  sent  in  tribute  to  the  Emperors.  Under  the 
Mongols  the  use  of  this  wine  spread  greatly.  The  founder  of  the  Ming  accepted  the 
offering  of  wine  of  the  vine  from  T'aiyuan  in  1373,  but  prohibited  its  being  presented 
again.  The  finest  grapes  are  produced  in  the  district  of  Yukau-hien,  where  hills 
shield  the  plain  from  north  winds,  and  convert  it  into  a  garden  many  square  miles  in 
extent.  In  the  vintage  season  the  best  grapes  sell  for  less  than  a  farthing  a  pound. 
[Mr.  Theos.  Sampson,  in  an  article  on  "  Grapes  in  China,"  writes  {Notes  and  Queries 
on  China  and  Japan,  April,  1869,  p.  50)  :  "The  earliest  mention  of  the  grape  in 
Chinese  literature  appears  to  be  contained  in  the  chapter  on  the  nations  of  Central 
Asia,  entitled  Ta  Yuan  Chwan,  or  description  of  Fergana,  which  forms  part  of  the 
historical  records  {Sze-Ki)  of  Sze-ma  Tsien,  dating  from  B.C.  100.  Writing  of  the 
political  relations  instituted  shortly  before  this  date  by  the  Emperor  Wu  Ti  with  the 
nations  beyond  the  Western  frontiers  of  China,  the  historian  dwells  at  considerable 
length,  but  unluckily  with  much  obscurity,  on  the  various  missions  despatched  west- 
ward under  the  leadership  of  Chang  K'ien  and  others,  and  mentions  the  grape  vine  in 
the  following  passage  : — '  Throughout  the  country  of  Fergana,  wine  is  made  from 
grapes,  and  the  wealthy  lay  up  stores  of  wine,  many  tens  of  thousands  of  shih  in 
amount,  which  may  be  kept  for  scores  of  years  without  spoiling.  Wine  is  the 
common  beverage,  and  for  horses  the  itiu-su  is  the  ordinary  pasture.  The  envoys 
from  China  brought  back  seeds  with  them,  and  hereupon  the  Emperor  for 
the  first  time  cultivated  the  grape  and  the  mu-su  in  the  most  productive  soils.' 
In  the  Description  of  Western  regions,  forming  part  of  the  History  of  the  Han  Dynasty, 
it  is  stated  that  grapes  are  abundantly  produced  in  the  country  of  K'i-pin  (identified 
with  Cophene,  part  of  modern  Afghanistan)  and  other  adjacent  countries,  and 
referring,  if  I  mistake  not,  to  the  journeys  of  Chang  K'ien,  the  same  work  says,  that  the 
Emperor  Wu-Ti  despatched  upwards  of  ten  envoys  to  the  various  countries  west- 
ward of  Fergana,  to  search  for  novelties,  and  that  they  returned  with  grape  and  mu- 
su  seeds.  These  references  appear  beyond  question  to  determine  the  fact  that  grapes 
were  introduced  from  Western — or,  as  we  term  it,  Central — Asia,  by  Chang  K'ien." 

Dr.  Bretschneider  {Botanicon  Sinicum,  I.  p.  25),  relating  the  mission  of  Chang 
K'ien  (139  B.C.  Emperor  Wu-Ti),  who  died  about  B.C.  103,  writes  : — "  He  is  said  to 
have  introduced  many  useful  plants  from  Western  Asia  into  China.  Ancient  Chinese 
authors  ascribe  to  him  the  introduction  of  the  Vine,  the  Pomegranate,  Safflower,  the 
Common  Bean,  the  Cucumber,  Lucerne,  Coriander,  the  Walnut-tree,  and  other 
plants." — H.  C]  The  river  that  flows  down  from  Shan-si  by  Cheng-ting-fu  is  called 
"  Putu-ho,  or  the  Grape  River."     {J.  As.  u.  s.  ;  Richthofen,  u.  s.) 

[Regarding  the  name  of  this  river,  the  Rev.  C.  Holcombe  {I.e.  p.  56)  writes  : 
"  Williamson  states  in  his  Journeys  in  North  China  that  the  name  of  this  stream  is, 
properly  Poo-too  Ho — '  Grape  River,'  but  is  sometimes  written  Hu-t'ou  River  in- 
correctly. The  above  named  author,  however,  is  himself  in  error,  the  name  given 
above  [Ifu-t'o]  being  invariably  found  in  all  Chinese  authorities,  as  well  as  being  the 
name  by  which  the  stream  is  known  all  along  its  course." 

West  of  the  Fan  River,  along  the  western  border  of  the  Central  Plain  of  Shan-si, 
in  the  extreme  northern  point  of  which  lies  T'ai-yuan  fu,  the  Rev.  C.  Holcombe  says 
(p.  61),  "  is  a  large  area,  close  under  the  hills,  almost  exclusively  given  up  to  the 
cultivation  of  the  grape.  The  grapes  are  unusually  large,  and  of  delicious  flavour." — 
H.  C] 

Note  4. — |-In  no  part  of  China  probably,  says  Richthofen,  do  the  towns  and 
villages  consist  of  houses  so  substantial  and  costly  as  in  this.  Pianfu  is  undoubtedly, 
as  Magaillans  again   notices,  P'ing-yang  fu.*     It   is   the  Bikan  of  Shah  Rukh's 

*  It  seems  to  be  called  Piymgfu  (miswritten  Viy'mgku)  in  Mr.  Shaw's  Itinerary  from  Yarkand 
(Pr.  R.  G.  S.  XVI.  253.)    We  often  find  the  Western  modifications  of  Chinese  names  very  persistent. 


ambassadors.  [Old  P'ing  yang,  5  lis  to  the  south]  is  said  to  have  been  the  residence 
of  the  primitive  and  mythical  Chinese  Emperor  Yao.  A  great  college  for  the  educa- 
tion of  the  Mongols  was  instituted  at  P'ing-)  ang,  by  Yeliu  Chutsai,  the  enlightened 
minister  of  Okkodai  Khan.  [Its  dialect  differs  from  the  T'ai'-yuan  dialect,  and  is  more 
like  Pekingese.]  The  city,  lying  in  a  broad  valley  covered  with  the  yellow  loss,  was 
destroyed  by  the  T'a'i- P'ing  rebels,  but  it  is  reviving.  [It  is  known  for  its  black  pottery.] 
The  vicinity  is  noted  for  large  paper  factories.  ["  From  T'ai-yuan  fu  to  P'ing-yang  fu 
is  a  journey  of  185  miles,  down  the  valley  of  the  Fuen-ho."  (Colonel  Bell,  Proc. 
R.  G.  S.  XII.  1S90,  p.  61.)  By  the  way,  Mr.  Rockhill  remarks  (Land  of  the  Lamas, 
p.  10)  :  "  Richthofen  has  transcribed  the  name  of  this  river  Fuen.  This  spelling  has 
been  adopted  on  most  of  the  recent  maps,  both  German  and  English,  but  Fuen  is 
an  impossible  sound  in  Chinese."  (Read  Fen  ho.) — H.  C]  (Cathay,  ccxi.  j  Fitter, 
IV.  516;  D'Ohsson,  II.  70;   Williamson,  I.  336.) 


Concerning  the  Castle  of  Caichu. 

On  leaving  Pianfu  you  ride  two  days  westward,  and 
come  to  the  noble  castle  of  Caichu,  which  was  built 
in  time  past  by  a  king  of  that  country,  whom  they  used 
to  call  the  Golden  King,  and  who  had  there  a  great 
and  beautiful  palace.  There  is  a  great  hall  of  this 
palace,  in  which  are  pourtrayed  all  the  ancient  kings  of 
the  country,  done  in  gold  and  other  beautiful  colours, 
and  a  very  fine  sight  they  make.  Each  king  in  succes- 
sion as  he  reigned  added  to  those  pictures.1 

[This  Golden  King  was  a  great  and  potent  Prince, 
and  during  his  stay  at  this  place  there  used  to  be  in 
his  service  none  but  beautiful  girls,  of  whom  he  had 
a  great  number  in  his  Court.  When  he  went  to  take 
the  air  about  the  fortress,  these  girls  used  to  draw  him 
about  in  a  little  carriage  which  they  could  easily  move, 
and  they  would  also  be  in  attendance  on  the  King  for 
everything  pertaining  to  his  convenience  or  pleasure.2] 

Now  I  will  tell  you  a  pretty  passage  that  befel 
between  the  Golden  King  and  Prester  John,  as  it  was 
related  by  the  people  of  the  Castle. 

\jk  VOL.    II.  B 

j  &  MARCO  POLO  Book  it. 

It  came  to  pass,  as  they  told  the  tale,  that  this 
Golden  King  was  at  war  with  Prester  John.  And  the 
King  held  a  position  so  strong  that  Prester  John  was 
not  able  to  get  at  him  or  to  do  him  any  scathe  ;  where- 
fore he  was  in  great  wrath.  So  seventeen  gallants 
belono-ino-  to  Prester  John's  Court  came  to  him  in  a 
body,  and  said  that,  an  he  would,  they  were  ready  to 
bring  him  the  Golden  King  alive.  His  answer  was, 
that  he  desired  nothing  better,  and  would  be  much 
bounden  to  them  if  they  would  do  so. 

So  when  they  had  taken  leave  of  their  Lord  and 
Master  Prester  John,  they  set  off  together,  this  goodly 
company  of  gallants,  and  went  to  the  Golden  King, 
and  presented  themselves  before  him,  saying  that  they 
had  come  from  foreign  parts  to  enter  his  service.  And 
he  answered  by  telling  them  that  they  were  right 
welcome,  and  that  he  was  glad  to  have  their  service, 
never  imagining  that  they  had  any  ill  intent.  And  so 
these  mischievous  squires  took  service  with  the  Golden 
King ;  and  served  him  so  well  that  he  grew  to  love 
them  dearly. 

And  when  they  had  abode  with  that  King  nearly 
two  years,  conducting  themselves  like  persons  who 
thought  of  anything  but  treason,  they  one  day  accom- 
panied the  King  on  a  pleasure  party  when  he  had  very 
few  else  along  with  him  :  for  in  those  gallants  the  King 
had  perfect  trust,  and  thus  kept  them  immediately  about 
his  person.  So  after  they  had  crossed  a  certain  river 
that  is  about  a  mile  from  the  castle,  and  saw  that  they 
were  alone  with  the  King,  they  said  one  to  another  that 
now  was  the  time  to  achieve  that  they  had  come  for. 
Then  they  all  incontinently  drew,  and  told  the  King 
that  he  must  go  with  them  and  make  no  resistance,  or 
they  would  slay  him.  The  King  at  this  was  in  alarm 
and  great  astonishment,  and   said  :    "  How   then,  good 


my  sons,  what  thing  is  this  ye  say  ?  and  whither  would 
ye  have  me  go?"  They  answered,  and  said:  "You 
shall  come  with  us,  will  ye:  nill  ye,  to  Prester  John  our 

Note  i. — The  name  of  the  castle  is  very  doubtful.  But  of  that  and  the  geography, 
which  in  this  part  is  tangled,  we  shall  speak  further  on. 

Whilst  the  original  French  texts  were  unknown,  the  king  here  spoken  of  figured 
in  the  old  Latin  versions  as  King  Darius,  and  in  Ramusio  as  Re  Dor.  It  was  a  most 
happy  suggestion  of  Marsden's,  in  absence  of  all  knowledge  of  the  fact  that  the 
original  narrative  was  French,  that  this  Dor  represented  the  Emperor  of  the  Kin  or 

The  "  Roi  d'Or."    (From  a  MS.  in  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society's  Collection.) 

"  €t  zxi  zzstz  chasttaris  ha  vcn  moixt  tuaus  palcis  z\x  quel  a  tint  axznbismz  sale 
Ja  on  il  sunt  portrait  tt  moxtt  bzilzs  xointxxxzs  tout  its  tois  bz  zzlzz 
yxobznzzs  quz  fuxzut  anstctumant,  zt  zz  zst  mout  bzilt  bi&tz  a  boix." 

Golden  Dynasty,  called  by  the  Mongols  Altun  Khan,  of  which  Roi  D'Or  is  a  literal 

Of  the  legend  itself  I  can  find  no  trace.  Rashiduddin  relates  a  story  of  the  grand- 
father of  Aung  Khan  (Polo's  Prester  John),  Merghuz  Boiruk  Khan,  being  treacher- 
ously made  over  to  the  King  of  the  Churche  (the  Kin  sovereign),  and  put  to  death  by 
being  nailed  to  a  wooden  ass.  But  the  same  author  tells  us  that  Aung  Khan  got  his 
title  of  Aung  (Ch.  Wang)  or  king  from  the  Kin  Emperor  of  his  day,  so  that  no 
hereditary  feud  seems  deducible. 

Mr.  Wylie,  who  is  of  opinion,  like  Baron  Richthofen,  that  the  Caichn  which  Polo 
makes  the  scene  of  that  story,  is  Kiai-chau  (or  Hiai-chau  as  it  seems  to  be  pronounced), 
north  of  the  Yellow  River,  has  been  good  enough  to  search  the  histories  of  the  Liao 
and  Kin  Dynasties,*  but  without  finding  any  trace  of  such  a  story,  or  of  the  Kin 
Emperors  having  resided  in  that  neighbourhood. 

*  [There  is  no  trace  of  it  in  Harlez's  French  translation  from  the  Manchu  of  the  History  of  the  Kin 
Empire,  1887.— H.  C] 

VOL.    II.  B    2 

20  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

On  the  other  hand,  he  points  out  that  the  story  has  a  strong  resemblance  to  a  real 
event  which  occurred  in  Central  Asia  in  the  beginning  of  Polo's  century. 

The  Persian  historians  of  the  Mongols  relate  that  when  Chinghiz  defeated  and 
slew  Taiyang  Khan,  the  king  of  the  Naimans,  Kushluk,  the  son  of  Taiyang,  fled  to 
the  Gur-Khan  of  Karakhitai  and  received  both  his  protection  and  the  hand  of  his 
daughter  (see  i.  237) ;  but  afterwards  rose  against  his  benefactor  and  usurped  his 
throne.  "In  the  Liao  history  I  read,"  Mr.  Wylie  says,  "that  Chih-lu-ku,  the  last 
monarch  of  the  Karakhitai  line,  ascended  the  throne  in  1168,  and  in  the  34th  year  of 
his  reign,  when  out  hunting  one  day  in  autumn,  Kushluk,  who  had  8000  troops  in 
ambush,  made  him  prisoner,  seized  his  throne  and  adopted  the  customs  of  the  Liao, 
while  he  conferred  on  Chih-lu-ku  the  honourable  title  of  Tai-shang-hwang  '  the  old 
emperor.'"  * 

It  is  this  Kushluk,  to  whom  Rubruquis  assigns  the  role  of  King  (or  Prester)  John, 
the  subject  of  so  many  wonderful  stories.  And  Mr.  Wylie  points  out  that  not  only 
was  his  father  Taiyang  Khan,  according  to  the  Chinese  histories,  a  much  more 
important  prince  than  Aung  Khan  or  Wang  Khan  the  Kerait,  but  his  name  Tai-  Yang- 
Khan  is  precisely  "  Great  King  John"  as  near  as  John  (or  Yohana)  can  be  expressed 
in  Chinese.  He  thinks  therefore  that  Taiyang  and  his  son  Kushluk,  the  Naimans, 
and  not  Aung  Khan  and  his  descendants,  the  Keraits,  were  the  parties  to  whom  the 
character  of  Prester  John  properly  belonged,  and  that  it  was  probably  this  story  of 
Kushluk's  capture  of  the  Karakhitai  monarch  (Roi  de  Fer)  which  got  converted  into 
the  form  in  which  he  relates  it  of  the  Roi  a"  Or. 

The  suggestion  seems  to  me,  as  regards  the  story,  interesting  and  probable  ; 
though  I  do  not  admit  that  the  character  of  Prester  John  properly  belonged  to  any 
real  person. 

I  may  best  explain  my  view  of  the  matter  by  a  geographical  analogy.  Pre- 
Columbian  maps  of  the  Atlantic  showed  an  Island  of  Brazil,  an  Island  of  Antillia, 
founded — who  knows  on  what  ? — whether  on  the  real  adventure  of  a  vessel  driven  in 
sight  of  the  Azores  or  Bermudas,  or  on  mere  fancy  and  fogbank.  But  when  discovery 
really  came  to  be  undertaken,  men  looked  for  such  lands  and  found  them  accordingly. 
And  there  they  are  in  our  geographies,  Brazil  and  the  Antilles  ! 

The  cut  which  we  give  is  curious  in  connection  with  our  traveller's  notice  of  the 
portrait-gallery  of  the  Golden  Kings.  For  it  is  taken  from  the  fragmentary  MS.  of 
Rashiduddin's  History  in  the  library  of  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society,  a  MS.  believed  to 
be  one  of  those  executed  under  the  great  Vazir's  own  supervision,  and  is  presented 
there  as  the  portrait  of  the  last  sovereign  of  the  Dynasty  in  question,  being  one  of  a 
whole  series  of  similar  figures.  There  can  be  little  doubt,  I  think,  that  these  were 
taken  from  Chinese  originals,  though,  it  may  be,  not  very  exactly. 

Note  2. — The  history  of  the  Tartar  conquerors  of  China,  whether  Khitan, 
Churche,  Mongol,  or  Manchu,  has  always  been  the  same.  For  one  or  two  genera- 
tions the  warlike  character  and  manly  habits  were  maintained  ;  and  then  the  intruders, 
having  adopted  Chinese  manners,  ceremonies,  literature,  and  civilization,  sank  into 
more  than  Chinese  effeminacy  and  degradation.  We  see  the  custom  of  employing 
only  female  attendants  ascribed  in  a  later  chapter  (lxxvii.)  to  the  Sung  Emperors  at 
Kinsay  ;  and  the  same  was  the  custom  of  the  later  Ming  emperors,  in  whose  time  the 
imperial  palace  was  said  to  contain  5000  women.  Indeed,  the  precise  custom  which 
this  passage  describes  was  in  our  own  day  habitually  reported  of  the  T'ai-P'ing 
sovereign  during  his  reign  at  Nanking  :  "  None  but  women  are  allowed  in  the 
interior  of  the  Palace,  and  he  is  drawn  to  the  audience- chai7iber  in  a  gilded  sacred 
dragon-car  by  the  ladies."  (Blakiston,  p.  42;  see  also  Wilson's  Ever- Victorious 
Army,  p.  41.) 

*  See  also  Oppert  (p.  157),  who  cites  this  story  from  Visdelou,  but  does  not  notice  its  analogy  to 



How  Prester  John  treated  the  Golden  King  his  Prisoner. 

And  on  this  the  Golden  King  was  so  sorely  grieved  that 
he  was  like  to  die.  And  he  said  to  them  :  "  Good,  my 
sons,  for  God's  sake  have  pity  and  compassion  upon  me. 
Ye  wot  well  what  honourable  and  kindly  entertainment 
ye  have  had  in  my  house ;  and  now  ye  would  deliver  me 
into  the  hands  of  mine  enemy!  In  sooth,  if  ye  do  what 
ye  say,  ye  will  do  a  very  naughty  and  disloyal  deed,  and 
a  right  villainous."  But  they  answered  only  that  so  it 
must  be,  and  away  they  had  him  to  Prester  John  their 

And  when  Prester  John  beheld  the  King  he  was 
right  glad,  and  greeted  him  with  something  like  a 
malison.*  The  King  answered  not  a  word,  as  if  he 
wist  not  what  it  behoved  him  to  say.  So  Prester  John 
ordered  him  to  be  taken  forth  straightway,  and  to  be  put 
to  look  after  cattle,  but  to  be  well  looked  after  himself 
also.  So  they  took  him  and  set  him  to  keep  cattle. 
This  did  Prester  John  of  the  grudge  he  bore  the  King, 
to  heap  contumely  on  him,  and  to  show  what  a  nothing 
he  was,  compared  to  himself. 

And  when  the  King  had  thus  kept  cattle  for  two 
years.  Prester  John  sent  for  him,  and  treated  him  with 
honour,  and  clothed  him  in  rich  robes,  and  said  to  him  : 
"Now  Sir  King,  art  thou  satisfied  that  thou  wast  in  no 
way  a  man  to  stand  against  me?'  "Truly,  my  good 
Lord,  I  know  well  and  always  did  know  that  I  was  in 
no  way  a  man  to  stand  against  thee."  And  when  he 
had  said  this  Prester  John  replied  :   "  I  ask  no  more  ;  but 

*  "  Lui  dist  que  il  feust  le  mal  vemu." 

2  2  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

henceforth  thou  shalt  be  waited  on  and  honourably 
treated."  So  he  caused  horses  and  harness  of  war  to 
be  o-iven  him,  with  a  goodly  train,  and  sent  him  back 
to  his  own  country.  And  after  that  he  remained  ever 
friendly  to  Prester  John,  and  held  fast   by  him. 

So  now  I  will  say  no  more  of  this  adventure  of  the 
Golden  King,  but  I  will  proceed  with  our  subject. 


Concerning  the  Great  River  Caramoran  and  the  City  of 


When  you  leave  the  castle,  and  travel  about  20  miles 
westward,  you  come  to  a  river  called  Caramoran,  so 
big  that  no  bridge  can  be  thrown  across  it ;  for  it  is  of 
immense  width  and  depth,  and  reaches  to  the  Great 
Ocean  that  encircles  the  Universe, — I  mean  the  whole 
earth.  On  this  river  there  are  many  cities  and  walled 
towns,  and  many  merchants  too  therein,  for  much  traffic 
takes  place  upon  the  river,  there  being  a  great  deal  of 
ginger  and  a  great  deal  of  silk  produced  in  the  country.2 

Game  birds  here  are  in  wronderful  abundance,  inso- 
much that  you  may  buy  at  least  three  pheasants  for  a 
Venice  groat  of  silver.  I  should  say  rather  for  an  asper, 
which  is  worth  a  little  more.3 

[On  the  lands  adjoining  this  river  there  grow  vast 
quantities  of  great  canes,  some  of  which  are  a  foot  or  a 
foot  and  a  half  (in  girth),  and  these  the  natives  employ 
for  many  useful  purposes.] 

After  passing  the  river  and  travelling  two  days  west- 
ward you  come  to  the  noble  city  of  Cachanfu,  which  we 

Chap.  XL.  THE   CITY  OF  CACHANFU  23 

have  already  named.  The  inhabitants  are  all  Idolaters. 
And  I  may  as  well  remind  you  again  that  all  the  people 
of  Cathay  are  Idolaters.  It  is  a  city  of  great  trade  and 
of  work  in  gold-tissues  of  many  sorts,  as  well  as  other 
kinds  of  industry. 

There  is  nothing  else  worth  mentioning,  and  so  we 
will  proceed  and  tell  you  of  a  noble  city  which  is  the 
capital  of  a  kingdom,  and  is  called  Kenjanfu. 

Note  i. — Kara-Muren,  or  Black  River,  is  one  of  the  names  applied  by  the 
Mongols  to  the  Hwang  Ho,  or  Yellow  River,  of  the  Chinese,  and  is  used  by  all  the 
mediaeval  western  writers,  e.g.  Odoric,  John  Marignolli,  Rashiduddin. 

The  River,  where  it  skirts  Shan-si,  is  for  the  most  part  difficult  both  of  access  and 
of  passage,  and  ill  adapted  to  navigation,  owing  to  the  violence  of  the  stream. 
Whatever  there  is  of  navigation  is  confined  to  the  transport  of  coal  down-stream  from 
Western  Shan-si,  in  large  flats.  Mr.  Elias,  who  has  noted  the  River's  level  by 
aneroid  at  two  points  920  miles  apart,  calculated  the  fall  over  that  distance,  which 
includes  the  contour  of  Shan-si,  at  4" feet  per  mile.  The  best  part  for  navigation  is 
above  this,  from  Ning-hiato  Chaghan  Kuren  (in  about  no°  E.  long.),  in  which  Captain 
Prjevalski's  observations  give  a  fall  of  less  than  6  inches  per  mile.  {Richthofen, 
Letter  VII.  25;  Williamson,  I.  69;/.  R.  G.  S.  XLIII.  p.  115;  Petermann,  1873, 
pp.  89-91.) 

[On  5th  January,  1889,  Mr.  Rockhill  coming  to  the  Yellow  River  from  P'ing-yang, 
found  {Land  of  the  Lamas,  p.  17)  that  "the  river  was  between  500  and  600  yards 
wide,  a  sluggish,  muddy  stream,  then  covered  with  floating  ice  about  a  foot  thick. 
....  The  Yellow  River  here  is  shallow,  in  the  main  channel  only  is  it  four  or  five 
feet  deep."  The  Rev.  C  Holcombe,  who  crossed  in  October,  says  (p.  6$)  :  that  "it 
was  nowhere  more  than  6  feet  deep,  and  on  returning,  three  of  the  boatmen  sprang 
into  the  water  in  midstream  and  waded  ashore,  carrying  a  line  from  the  ferry-boat 
to  prevent  us  from  rapidly  drifting  down  with  the  current.  The  water  was  just  up 
to  their  hips."— H.  C] 

Note  2. — It  is  remarkable  that  the  abundance  of  silk  in  Shan-si  and  Shen-si  is  so 
distinctly  mentioned  in  these  chapters,  whereas  now  there  is  next  to  no  silk  at  all 
grown  in  these  districts.  Is  this  the  result  of  a  change  of  climate,  or  only  a  com- 
mercial change  ?  Baron  Richthofen,  to  whom  I  have  referred  the  question,  believes  it 
to  be  due  to  the  former  cause  :  "  No  tract  in  China  would  appear  to  have  suffered  so 
much  by  a  change  of  climate  as  Shen-si  and  Southern  Shan-si."     [See  pp.  1 1-12.] 

Note  3. — The  asper  or  akchi  (both  meaning  "white")  of  tne  Mongols  at  Tana  or 
Azov  I  have  elsewhere  calculated,  from  Pegolotti's  data  {Cathay,  p.  298),  to  have 
contained  about  ay.  2*8^.  worth  of  silver,  which  is  less  than  the  grosso  ;  but  the  name 
may  have  had  a  loose  application  to  small  silver  coins  in  other  countries  of  Asia. 
Possibly  the  money  intended  may  have  been  the  50  tsien  note.  (See  note  I,  ch.  xxiv. 
supra. ) 




Concerning  the  City  of  Kenjanfu. 

And  when  you  leave  the  city  of  Cachanfu  of  which  I 
have  spoken,  and  travel  eight  days  westward,  you  meet 
with  cities  and  boroughs  abounding  in  trade  and  industry, 
and  quantities  of  beautiful  trees,  and  gardens,  and  fine 
plains  planted  with  mulberries,  which  are  the  trees  on 
the  leaves  of  which  the  silkworms  do  feed.1  The  people 
are  all  Idolaters.  There  is  also  plenty  of  game  of  all 
sorts,  both  of  beasts  and  birds. 

And  when  you  have  travelled  those  eight  days' 
journey,  you  come  to  that  great  city  which  I  mentioned, 
called  Kenjanfu.2  A  very  great  and  fine  city  it  is,  and 
the  capital  of  the  kingdom  of  Kenjanfu,  which  in  old 
times  was  a  noble,  rich,  and  powerful  realm,  and  had 
many  great  and  wealthy  and  puissant  kings.3  But  now 
the  king  thereof  is  a  prince  called  Mangalai,  the  son 
of  the  Great  Kaan,  who  hath  given  him  this  realm,  and 
crowned  him  king  thereof.4  It  is  a  city  of  great  trade 
and  industry.  They  have  great  abundance  of  silk,  from 
which  they  weave  cloths  of  silk  and  gold  of  divers  kinds, 
and  they  also  manufacture  all  sorts  of  equipments  for  an 
army.  They  have  every  necessary  of  man's  life  very 
cheap.  The  city  lies  towards  the  west ;  the  people  are 
Idolaters ;  and  outside  the  city  is  the  palace  of  the 
Prince  Mangalai,  crowned  king,  and  son  of  the  Great 
Kaan,  as  I  told  you  before. 

This  is  a  fine  palace  and  a  great,  as  I  will  tell  you. 
It  stands  in  a  great  plain  abounding  in  lakes  and  streams 
and  springs  of  water.  Round  about  it  is  a  massive  and 
lofty    wall,    five   miles    in    compass,    well    built,    and    all 


garnished  with  battlements.  And  within  this  wall  is  the 
king's  palace,  so  great  and  fine  that  no  one  could  imagine 
a  finer.  There  are  in  it  many  great  and  splendid  halls, 
and  many  chambers,  all  painted  and  embellished  with 
work  in  beaten  gold.  This  Mangalai  rules  his  realm 
right  well  with  justice  and  equity,  and  is  much  beloved 
by  his  people.  The  troops  are  quartered  round  about 
the  palace,  and  enjoy  the  sport  (that  the  royal  demesne 

So  now  let  us  quit  this  kingdom,  and  I  will  tell  you 
of  a  very  mountainous  province  called  Cuncun,  which 
you  reach  by  a  road  right  wearisome  to  travel. 

Note  i. — ["  Morus  alba  is  largely  grown  in  North  China  for  feeding  silkworms." 
(Bretsc/meider,  Hist,  of  Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  4.) — H.  C] 

Note  2. — Having  got  to  sure  ground  again  at  Kenjanfu,  which  is,  as  we  shall 
explain  presently,  the  city  of  Si-ngan  fu,  capital  of  Shen-si,  let  us  look  back  at  the 
geography  of  the  route  from  P'ing-yang  fu.     Its  difficulties  are  great. 

The  traveller  carries  us  two  days'  journey  from  P'ing-yang  fu  to  his  castle  of  the 
Golden  King.  This  is  called  in  the  G.  Text  and  most  other  MSS.  Caicui,  Caytui,  or 
the  like,  but  in  Ramusio  alone  Thaigin.  He  then  carries  us  20  miles  further  to  the 
Caramoran  ;  he  crosses  this  river,  travels  two  days  further,  and  reaches  the  great  city 
Cachanfu  ;  eight  days  more  (or  as  in  Ramusio  seven)  bring  him  to  Si-ngan  fu. 

There  seems  scarcely  room  for  doubt  that  Cachanfu  is  the  Ho-chung  fu  [the 
ancient  capital  of  Emperor  Shun — H.  C]  of  those  days,  now  called  P'u-CHAU  fu, 
close  to  the  great  elbow  of  the  Hwang  Ho  {Klaproih).  But  this  city,  instead  of 
being  two  days  west  of  the  great  river,  stands  near  its  eastern  bank. 

[The  Rev.  C.  Holcombe  writes  (pp.  64-65)  :  "  P'u-chau  fu  lies  on  a  level  with  the 
Yellow  River,  and  on  the  edge  of  a  large  extent  of  worthless  marsh  land,  full  of  pools 
of  brackish,  and  in  some  places,  positively  salt  water.  .  .  .  The  great  road  does  not 
pass  into  the  town,  having  succeeded  in  maintaining  its  position  on  the  high  ground 
from  which  the  town  has  backslided.  .  .  .  The  great  road  keeping  to  the  bluff,  runs 
on,  turning  first  south,  and  then  a  trifle  to  the  east  of  south,  until  the  road,  the  bluff, 
and  Shan-si,  all  end  together,  making  a  sudden  plunge  down  a  precipice  and  being 
lost  in  the  dirty  waters  of  the  Yellow  River." — H.  C] 

Not  maintaining  the  infallibility  of  our  traveller's  memory,  we  may  conceive 
confusion  here,  between  the  recollections  of  his  journey  westward  and  those  of  his 
return  ;  but  this  does  not  remove  all  the  difficulties. 

The  most  notable  fortress  of  the  Kin  sovereigns  was  that  of  T'ungkwan,  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  river,  25  miles  below  P'u-chau  fu,  and  closing  the  passage  between 
the  river  and  the  mountains,  just  where  the  boundaries  of  Ho-nan,  Shan-si,  and  Shen-si 
meet.  It  was  constantly  the  turning-point  of  the  Mongol  campaigns  against  that 
Dynasty,  and  held  a  prominent  place  in  the  dying  instructions  of  Chinghiz  for  the  pro- 
secution of  the  conquest  of  Cathay.  This  fortress  must  have  continued  famous  to 
Polo's  time — indeed  it  continues  so  still,  the  strategic  position  being  one  which 
nothing  short  of  a  geological  catastrophe  could  impair, — but  I  see  no  way  of  reconcil- 
ing its  position  with  his  narrative. 

The  name  in  Ramusio's  form  might  be  merely  that  of  the  Dynasty,  viz.  Tai-Kin 



Book  II. 

Plan  of  Ki  chau,  after  Duhalde. 

=  Great   Golden.     But  we  have  seen  that  Thaigin   is  not  the  only  reading.     That 
of  the    MSS.    seems   to  point   rather  to   some  name  like    Kaichau.     A   hypothesis 

which  has  seemed  to  me  to  call 
for  least  correction  in  the  text 
is  that  the  castle  was  at  the  Ki-chau 
of  the  maps,  nearly  due  west  of 
P'ing-yang  fu,  and  just  about  20  miles 
from  the  Hwang  Ho  ;  that  the  river 
was  crossed  in  that  vicinity,  and  that 
the  traveller  then  descended  the 
valley  to  opposite  P'u-chau  fu,  or 
possibly  embarked  and  descended 
the  river  itself  to  that  point.  This 
last  hypothesis  would  mitigate  the 
apparent  disproportion  in  the  times 
assigned  to  the  different  parts  of  the 
journey,  and  would,  I  think,  clear 
the  text  of  error.  But  it  is  only  a 
hypothesis.  There  is  near  Kichau 
one  of  the  easiest  crossing  places  of 
the  River,  insomuch  that  since  the 
Shen-si  troubles  a  large  garrison  has 
been  kept  up  at  Ki-chau  to  watch 
it.*  And  this  is  the  only  direction 
in  which  two  days'  march,  at  Polo's 
rate,  would  bring  him  within  20 
miles  of  the  Yellow  River.  Whether 
there  is  any  historic  castle  at  Ki-chau  I  know  not ;  the  plan  of  that  place  in  Duhalde, 
however,  has  the  aspect  of  a  strong  position.  Baron  v.  Richthofen  is  unable  to 
accept  this  suggestion,  and  has  favoured  me  with  some  valuable  remarks  on  this 
difficult  passage,  which  I  slightly  abridge  : — 

"  The  difficulties  are,  (1)  that  for  either  reading,  Thaigin  or  Caichu,  a  correspond- 
ing place  can  be  found  ;  (2)  in  the  position  of  Cachanfu,  setting  both  at  naught. 

11  Thaigin.  There  are  two  passages  of  the  Yellow  River  near  its  great  bend.  One 
is  at  T'ungkwan,  where  I  crossed  it ;  the  other,  and  more  convenient,  is  at  the 
fortress  of  Taiching-kwan,  locally  pronounced  Taigi  u-\<.w3.n.  This  fortress,  or  rather 
fortified  camp,  is  a  very  well-known  place,  and  to  be  found  on  native  maps  ;  it  is  very 
close  to  the  river,  on  the  left  bank,  about  6  m.  S.W.  of  P'u-chau  fu.  The  road 
runs  hence  to  Tung-chau  fu  and  thence  to  Si-ngan  fu.  T'aiching-kwan  could  not 
possibly  (at  Polo's  rate)  be  reached  in  2  days  from  P'ing-yang  fu. 

"  Caichu.  If  this  reading  be  adopted  Marsden  may  be  right  in  supposing  Kiai- 
chau,  locally  Khaidju,  to  be  meant.  This  city  dominates  the  important  salt  marsh, 
whence  Shan-si  and  Shen-si  are  supplied  with  salt.  It  is  70  or  80  m.  from  P'ing-yang 
fu,  but  could  be  reached  in  2  days.  It  commands  a  large  and  tolerably  populous 
plain,  and  is  quite  fit  to  have  been  an  imperial  residence. 

"  May  not  the  striking  fact  that  there  is  a  place  corresponding  to  either  name 
suggest  that  one  of  them  was  passed  by  Polo  in  going,  the  other  in  returning  ?  and 
that,  this  being  the  only  locality  between  Ch'eng-tu  fu  and  Chu-chau  where  there  was  any 
deviation  between  the  two  journeys,  his  geographical  ideas  may  have  become  some- 
what confused,  as  might  now  happen  to  any  one  in  like  case  and  not  provided  with  a 
map  ?  Thus  the  traveller  himself  might  have  put  into  Ramusio's  text  the  name  of 
Thaigin  instead  of  Caichu.  From  Kiai-chau  he  would  probably  cross  the  River  at 
T'ungkwan,  whilst  in  returning  by  way  of  Taiching-kwan  he  would  pass  through 

I  am  indebted  for  this  information  to  Baron  Richthofen, 


P'uchau-fu  (or  vice  versd).     The  question  as  to  Caichu  may  still  be  settled,  as  it 
must  be  possible  to  ascertain  where  the  Kin  resided."  * 

[Mr.  Rockhill  writes  {Land  of  the  Lamas,  p.  17)  :  "One  hundred  and  twenty  li 
south-south-west  of  the  city  is  Kiai  Chou,  with  the  largest  salt  works  in  China." 
Richthofen  has  estimated  that  about  150,000  tons  of  salt  are  produced  annually  from 
the  marshes  around  it. — H.  C] 

Note  3. — The  eight  days'  journey  through  richly  cultivated  plains  run  up  the  basin 
of  the  Wei  River,  the  most  important  agricultural  region  of  North- West  China,  and  the 
core  of  early  Chinese  History.  The  loss  is  here  more  than  ever  predominant,  its 
yellow  tinge  affecting  the  whole  landscape,  and  even  the  atmosphere.  Here,  accord- 
ing to  Baron  V.  Richthofen,  originated  the  use  of  the  word  hwang  "yellow,"  as  the 
symbol  of  the  Earth,  whence  the  primeval  emperors  were  styled  Hwang-ti,  "Lord  of 
the  Earth,"  but  properly  "  Lord  of  the  Loss." 

[The  Rev.  C.  Holcombe  {I.e.  p.  66)  writes:  "From  T'ung-kwan  to  Si-ngan  fu, 
the  road  runs  in  a  direction  nearly  due  west,  through  a  most  lovely  section  of  country, 
having  a  range  of  high  hills  upon  the  south,  and  the  Wei  River  on  the  north.  The 
road  lies  through  one  long  orchard,  and  the  walled  towns  and  cities  lie  thickly  along, 
for  the  most  part  at  a  little  distance  from  the  highway."  Mr.  Rockhill  says  {Land  of 
the  Lamas,  pp.  19-20) :  "The  road  between  T'ung-kwan  and  Si-ngan  fu,  a  distance 
of  1 10  miles,  is  a  fine  highway — for  China — with  a  ditch  on  either  side,  rows  of  willow- 
trees  here  and  there,  and  substantial  stone  bridges  and  culverts  over  the  little 
streams  which  cross  it.  The  basin  of  the  Wei  ho,  in  which  this  part  of  the  province 
lies,  has  been  for  thousands  of  years  one  of  the  granaries  of  China.  It  was  the  colour 
of  its  loess-covered  soil,  called  '  yellow  earth '  by  the  Chinese,  that  suggested  the  use 
of  yellow  as  the  colour  sacred  to  imperial  majesty.  Wheat  and  sorghum  are  the 
principal  crops,  but  we  saw  also  numerous  paddy  fields  where  flocks  of  flamingoes 
were  wading,  and  fruit-trees  grew  everywhere." — H.  C] 

Kenjanfu,  or,  as  Ramusio  gives  it,  Quenzanfu,  is  Si-ngan  fu,  or  as  it  was  called 
in  the  days  of  its  greatest  fame,  Chang-ngan,  probably  the  most  celebrated  city  in 
Chinese  history,  and  the  capital  of  several  of  the  most  potent  dynasties.  It  was  the 
metropolis  of  Shi  Hwang-ti  of  the  T'sin  Dynasty,  properly  the  first  emperor  and 
whose  conquests  almost  intersected  those  of  his  contemporary  Ptolemy  Euergetes.  It 
was,  perhaps,  the  Thinae  of  Claudius  Ptolemy,  as  it  was  certainly  the  Khumdan  f  of 
the  early  Mahomedans,  and  the  site  of  flourishing  Christian  Churches  in  the  7th 
century,  as  well  as  of  the  remarkable  monument,  the  discovery  of  which  a  thousand 
years  later  disclosed  their  forgotten  existence. %     Kingchao-fu  was  the  name  which 

*  See  the  small  map  attached  to  "  Marco  Polo's  Itinerary  Map,  No.  IV.,"  at  end  of  Vol.  I. 

t  [It  is  supposed  to  come  from  kang  (king)  dang. — H.  C] 

j  In  the  first  edition  I  was  able  to  present  a  reduced  facsimile  of  a  rubbing  in  my  possession  from 
this  famous  inscription,  which  I  owed  to  the  generosity  of  Dr.  Lockhart.  To  the  Baron  von 
Richthofen  I  am  no  less  indebted  for  the  more  complete  rubbing  which  has  afforded  the  plate  now 
published.  A  tolerably  full  account  of  this  inscription  is  given  in  Cathay,  p.  xcii.  seqq.,  and 
p.  clxxxi.  scqq.,  but  the  subject  is  so  interesting  that  it  seems  well  to  introduce  here  the  most  import- 
ant particulars  : — 

The  stone  slab,  about  7J  feet  high  by  3  feet  wide,  and  some  10  inches  in  thickness,1  which  bears 
this  inscription,  was  accidentally  found  in  1625  by  some  workmen  who  were  digging  in  the  Chang-ngan 
suburb  of  the  city  of  Singanfu.  The  cross,  which  is  engraved  at  p.  30,  is  incised  at  the  top  of  the 
slab,  and  beneath  this  are  9  large  characters  in  3  columns,  constituting  the  heading,  which  runs : 
"  Monument  commemorating  the  introduction  and  propagation  of  the  noble  Law  of'Yz.  T'sin  in  the 
Middle  Kingdom  ;  "  Ta  T'sin  being  the  term  applied  in  Chinese  literature  to  the  Roman  Empire, 
of  which  the  ancient  Chinese  had  much  such  a  shadowy  conception  as  the  Romans  had,  conversely, 
of  the  Chinese  as  Sinae  and  Seres.  Then  follows  the  body  of  the  inscription,  of  great  length  and 
beautiful  execution,  consisting  of  1780  characters.^  Its  chief  contents  are  as  follows  : — 1st.  An  abstract 
of  Christian  doctrine,  of  a  vague  and  figurative  kind  ;  2nd.  An  account  of  the  arrival  of  the  missionary 
Oi.opAn  (probably  a  Chinese  form  of  Rybban  — Monk),2  from  Ta  T'sin  in  the  year  equivalent  to 

1  [M.  Grenard,  who  reproduces  (III.  p.  152)  a  good  facsimile  of  the  inscription,  gives  to  the  slab 
the  following  dimensions  :  high  2m.  36,  wide  om.  86,  thick  om.  25. — H.  C] 

2  [Dr.  F.  Hirth  {China  and  the  Roman  Orient,  p.  323)  writes  :  "  0-lo-pen  =  Ruben,  Rupen?"  He 
adds  {Jour.  China  Br.  R.  As.  Soc.  XXI.  1886,  pp.  214-215):  "Initial  r  is  also  quite  commonly 
represented  by  initial  /.  I  am  in  doubt  whether  the  two  characters  o-lo  in  the  Chinese  name  for 
Russia  {O-lo-ssu)  stand  for  foreign  ru  or  ro  alone.     This  word  would  bear  comparison  with  a  Chinese 


MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

the  city  bore  when  the  Mongol  invasions  brought  China  into  communication  with 
the  west,  and  Klaproth  supposes  that  this  was  modified  by  the  Mongols  into  Kenjanfu. 
Under  the  latter  name  it  is  mentioned  by  Rashiduddin  as  the  seat  of  one  of  the  Twelve 
Si7igsox  great  provincial  administrations,  and  we  find  it  still  known  by  this  name  in 
Sharffuddin's  history  of  Timur.  The  same  name  is  traceable  in  the  Kansan  of 
Odoric,  which  he  calls  the  second  best  province  in  the  world,  and  the  best  populated. 

A.r>.  635,  bringing  sacred  books  and  images;  of  the  translation  of  the  said  books;  of  the  Imperial 
approval  of  the  doctrine  and  permission  to  teach  it  publicly.  There  follows  a  decree  of  the  Emperor 
(T'ai-Tsung,  a  very  famous  prince),  issued  in  638,  in  favour  of  the  new  doctrine,  and  ordering  a 
church  to  be  built  in  the  Square  of  Peace  and  Justice  {I-ning  Fang),  at  the  capital.  The  Emperor's 
portrait  was  to  be  placed  in  the  church.  After  this  comes  a  description  of  Ta-T'sin  (here  apparently 
implying  Syria);  and  then  some  account  of  the  fortunes  of  the  Church  in  China._  Kao-Tsung  (650- 
6S3,  the  devout  patron  also  of  the  Buddhist  traveller  and  Dr.  Hiuen  Tsang)  continued  to  favour  it. 
In  the  end  of  the  century,  Buddhism  gets  the  upper  hand,  but  under  Hiuan-Tsung  (713-755)  the 
Church  recovers  its  prestige,  and  Kiho,  a  new  missionary,  arrives.  Under  Te-Tsung  (780-783)  the 
monument  was  erected,  and  this  part  ends  with  the  eulogy  of  Isse,  a  statesman  and  benefactor  of  the 
Church.     3rd.  There  follows  a  recapitulation  of  the  purport  in  octosyllabic  verse. 

The  Chinese  inscription  concludes  with  the  date  of  erection,  viz.  the  second  year  Kienchung  of  the 
Great  T'ang  Dynasty,  the  seventh  day  of  the  month  Tait'su,  the  feast  of  the  great  Yaosan.  This 
corresponds,  according  to  Gaubil,  to  4th  February,  781  ;  and  Yaosan  is  supposed  to  stand  for 
Hosanna  {i.e.  Palm-Sunday  ;  but  this  apparently  does  not  fit ;  see  infra).  There  are  added  the  name 
chief  of  the  law,  Ningchu  (presumed  to  be  the  Chinese  name  of  the  Metropolitan),  the  name  of  the 
writer,  and  the  official  sanction. 

The  Great  Hosanna  was,  though  ingenious,  a  misinterpretation  of  Gaubil's.  Mr.  Wylie  has  sent 
me  a  paper  of  his  own  (in  Chin.  Recorder  and  Miss.  Journal,  July,  1871,  p.  45),  which  makes  things 
perfectly  clear.  The  expression  transcribed  by  Pauthier,  Yao-san-iven,  and  rendered  "  Hosanna," 
appears  in  a  Chinese  work,  without  reference  to  this  inscription,  as  Yao-sdn-tvdk,  and  is  in  reality 
only  a  Chinese  transcript  of  the  Persian  word  for  Sunday,  '  Yak-shambah.'  Mr.  Wylie  verified  this 
from  the  mouth  of  a  Peking  Mahomedan.  The  4th  of  February,  781,  was  Sunday;  why  Great 
Sunday?     Mr.  Wylie  suggests,  possibly  because  the  first  Sunday  of  the  (Chinese)  year. 

The  monument  exhibits,  in  addition  to  the  Chinese  text,  a  series  of  short  inscriptions  in  the  Syriac 
language,  and  Estranghelo  character,  containing  the  date  of  erection,  viz.  1092  of  the  Greeks 
(  =  a.d.  7S1),  the  name  of  the  reigning  Patriarch  of  the  Nestorian  church  Mar  Hanan  Ishua  (dead 
in  778,  but  the  fact  apparently  had  not  reached  China),  that  of  Adam,  Bishop  and  Pope  of 
Tzinisthan  {i.e.  China),  and  those  of  the  clerical  staff  of  the  capital,  which  here  bears  the  name, 
given  it  by  the  early  Arab  Travellers,  of  Kumddn.  There  follow  sixty-seven  names  of  persons  in 
Syriac  characters,  most  of  whom  are  characterised  as  priests  {Kashfshd),  and  sixty-one  names  of 
persons  in  Chinese,  all  priests  save  one. 

[It  appears  that  Adam  {King-tsing),  who  erected  the  monument  under  Te-Tsung  was,  under  the 
same  Emperor,  with  a  Buddhist  the  translator  of  a  Buddhist  sutra,  the  Satparamita,  from  a  Hu  text. 
(See  a  curious  paper  by  Mr.  J.  Takakusu,  in  the  T'oung  Pao,  VII.  pp.  589-591.) 

Mr.  Rockhill  {Rubruck,  p.  157,  note)  makes  the  following  remarks  :  "  It  is  strange,  however,  that 
the  two  famous  Uigur  Nestorians,  Mar  Jabalaha  and  Rabban  Cauma,  when  on  their  journey  from 
Koshangin  Southern  Shan-hsi  to  Western  Asia  in  about  1276,  while  they  mention  '  the  citj'of  Tangut,' 
or  Ning-hsia  on  the  Yellow  River  as  an  important  Nestorian  centre,  do  not  once  refer  to  Hsi-anfu  or 
Chang-an.  Had  Chang-an  been  at  the  time  the  Nestorian  Episcopal  see,  one  would  think  that  these 
pilgrims  would  have  visited  tt,  or  at  least  referred  to  it.     {Chabot,  Alar  Jabalaha,  21.)" — H.  C] 

Kircher  gives  a  good  many  more  Syriac  names  than  appear  on  the  rubbing;  probably  because 
some  of  these  are  on  the  edge  of  the  slab  now  built  in.  We  have  no  room  to  speak  of  the  controversies 
raised  by  this  stone.  The  most  able  defence  of  its  genuine  character,  as  well  as  a  transcript  with 
translation  and  commentary,  a  work  of  great  interest,  was  published  by  the  late  M.  Pauthier.  The 
monument  exists  intact,  and  has  been  visited  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Williamson,  Baron  Richthofen,  and 
other  recent  travellers.  [The  Rev.  Moir  Duncan  wrote  from  Shen-si  regarding  the  present  state  of 
the  stone  {London  and  China  Telegraph,  5th  June,  1893):  "Of  the  covering  rebuilt  so  recently, 
not  a  trace  remains  save  the  pedestals  for  the  pillars  and  atoms  of  the  tiling.  In  answer  to  a  question 
as  to  when  and  how  the  covering  was  destroyed,  the  old  priest  replied,  with  a  twinkle  in  his  eye  as  if 
his  conscience  pinched,  '  There  came  a  rushing  wind  and  blew  it  down.'  He  could  not  say  when,  for 
he  paid  no  attention  to  such  mundane  affairs.  More  than  one  outsider,  however,  said  it  had  been 
deliberately  destroyed,  because  the  priests  are  jealous  of  the  interest  manifested  in  it.  .  .  .  The 
stone  has  evidently  been  recently  tampered  with  ;  several  characters  are  effaced,  and  there  are  other 
si^ns  of  malicious  hands." — H.  C]  Pauthier's  works  on  the  subject  are — De  I 'Authenticity  de 
I' Inscription  Nestorienne,  etc.  ;  B.  Duprat,  1857;  and  V Inscription  Syro-Chinoise  de  Si-nganfou, 
etc.  ;  Firmin  Didot,  1858.  (See  also  Kircher,  China  Illustrata  ;  and  article  by  Mr.  Wylie  in/.  Atn 
Or.  Soc.  V.  278.)  [Father  Havret,  S.J.,  of  Zi-ka-wei,  near  Shang-hai,  has  undertaken  to  write  a 
lar^e  work  on  this  inscription  with  the  title  of  La  Stele  Chretienne  de  Si-nganfou  ;  the  first  part 
giving  the  inscription  in  full  size,  and  the  second  containing  the  history  of  the  monument,  have  been 

transcription  of  the  Sanskrit  word  for  silver,  rupya,  which  in  the  Pen-is 'ao-kang-mu  (ch.  8,  p.  9)  is 
given  as  o-lu-pa.  If  we  can  find  further  analogies,  this  may  help  us  to  read  that  mysterious  word  in 
the  Nestorian  stone  inscription,  being  the  name  of  the  first  Christian  missionary  who  carried  the  cross 
to  China,  O-lo-pin,  as  "  Ruben."  This  was  indeed  a  common  name  among  the  Nestorians,  for  which 
reason  I  would  give  it  the  preference  over  Pauthier's  Syriac  "Alopeno."  But  Father  Havret  {Stele 
Chretienne,  Leide,  1897,  p.  26)  objects  to  Dr.  Hirth  that  the  Chinese  character  lo,  to  which  he  gives 
the  sound  ru,  is  not  to  be  found  as  a  Sanskrit  phonetic  element  in  Chinese  characters,  but  that  this 
phonetic  element  ru  is  represented  by  the  Chinese  characters  pronounced  lu,  and  therefore,  he, 
Father  Havret,  adopts  Colonel  Yule's  opinion  as  the  only  one  being  fully  satisfactory.— H.  C.J 





















■\v  -Yv  '\vr*     >    ^ 

wi\  »->v\t^)<.Sj 

&  \$  ** 

K*M  M  M*^*-5*  K- 

i^r  i* 

\  *'fe>'    >    ttrr  ■isrl  -att  -V^XS^ 

«^'  W  -M-l  ^ 
>_    v<_   iv<  ** 

!  ^  i4  ^~  ^-  ^  A '  4  'V?  ***  W*-**1  °*;  ^ 
!l ^4^^Hfe  «M*"J|* <  **  ^  *r  ^  ' 

<  ^    ^  ■«    ^    «£    r  */■  ^  ^"  '"     ^   ^   ^    ^  ^ 

:  ;^  M  ^  lr ^-  4**$ $  W ^  *,<w#  ^  * 
1^  st*>*i*  *  *  **  £*  ^  1&-C®  £ 

»  #■  ^  £  ^  ^  fc  (V  Ifcj  '  ■  #  **  'K  ®  <H 

^  -tf  K 2  ^  £  &"*  *  $  2  *S  *  *  M 

;.     ^r  a-  0  w  ^  <\*  ^  $  ^  *$?  *  *  ^ 

.  '^  -'^  8  £  .W  ^  ^  ^-  ^  4t  V  AS  «gv^.v« 

4  * :  #  W  ;4  ^  -^  ^  ^  ^  v4  *         Iti 
^  *|  t  ^  «i  sgritf  **J  Jjr ^  ^  iVj  ^ 

,W;  '>o-3.v 

£  J  *'  -^  »  *  **  *  ^  -'  *  s- 1  "^  ^  ■*■*■ 


v  • 

KT-TV?  LC^V  VP"^  CTV.  »^,v 

[To  /ace  p.  a8,  zW.  ii. 

Chap.  XLI.  CITY  OF  SI-NGAN  FU  29 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  origin  of  the  name  Kenjanfu,  Baron  v.  Richthofen 
was,  on  the  spot,  made  aware  of  its  conservation  in  the  exact  form  of  the  Ramusian 
Polo.  The  Roman  Catholic  missionaries  there  emphatically  denied  that  Marco 
could  ever  have  been  at  Si-ngan  fit,  or  that  the  city  had  ever  been  known  by  such  a 
name  as  Kenjan-fu.  On  this  the  Baron  called  in  one  of  the  Chinese  pupils  of  the 
Mission,  and  asked  him  directly  what  had  been  the  name  of  the  city  under  the  Yuen 
Dynasty.  He  replied  at  once  with  remarkable  clearness  :  "  Quen-zan-fu."  Every- 
body present  was  struck  by  the  exact  correspondence  of  the  Chinaman's  pronuncia- 
tion of  the  name  with  that  which  the  German  traveller  had  adopted  from  Ritter. 

[The  vocabulary  Hwei  Hwei  (Mahomedan)  of  the  College  of  Interpreters  at 
Peking  transcribes  King  chao  from  the  Persian  Kin-chang,  a  name  it  gives  to  the 
Shen-si  province.  King  chao  was  called  Ngan-si  fu  in  1277.  {Deveria,  Epigraphie, 
p.  9.)     Ken-jan  comes  from  Kin-chang  =  King-chao  =  Si-ngan  fu. — II.  C] 

Martini  speaks,  apparently  from  personal  knowledge,  of  the  splendour  of  the  city, 
as  regards  both  its  public  edifices  and  its  site,  sloping  gradually  up  from  the  banks 
of  the  River  Wei,  so  as  to  exhibit  its  walls  and  palaces  at  one  view  like  the  interior  of 
an  amphitheatre.  West  of  the  city  was  a  sort  of  Water  Park,  enclosed  by  a  wall  30  li 
in  circumference,  full  of  lakes,  tanks,  and  canals  from  the  Wei,  and  within  this  park 
were  seven  fine  palaces  and  a  variety  of  theatres  and  other  places  of  public  diversion. 
To  the  south-east  of  the  city  was  an  artificial  lake  with  palaces,  gardens,  park,  etc., 
originally  formed  by  the  Emperor  Hiaowu  (B.C.  100),  and  to  the  south  of  the  city  was 
another  considerable  lake  called  Fan.  This  may  be  the  Fanchan  Lake,  beside  which 
Rashid  says  that  Ananda,  the  son  of  Mangalai,  built  his  palace. 

The  adjoining  districts  were  the  seat  of  a  large  Musulman  population,  which  in 
1861-1862  [and  again  in  1895  (See  Wellby,  Tibet,  ch.  xxv.) — H.  C]  rose  in  revolt 
against  the  Chinese  authority,  and  for  a  time  was  successful  in  resisting  it.  The  capital  it- 
self held  out,  though  invested  for  two  years  ;  the  rebels  having  no  artillery.  The  move- 
ment originated  at  Hwachau,  some  60  miles  east  of  Si-ngan  fu,  now  totally  destroyed. 
But  the  chief  seat  of  the  Mahomedans  is  a  place  which  they  call  Sa/ar,  identified  with 
Hochau  in  Kansuh,  about  70  miles  south-west  of  Lanchau-fu,  the  capital  of  that 
province.  [Mr.  Rockhill  {Land  of  the  Lamas,  p.  40)  writes  :  "  Colonel  Yule,  quoting 
a  Russian  work,  has  it  that  the  word  Salar  is  used  to  designate  Ho-chou,  but  this  is 
not  absolutely  accurate.  Prjevalsky  {Mongolia,  II.  149)  makes  the  following  compli- 
cated statement :  '  The  Karatangutans  outnumber  the  Mongols  in  Koko-nor,  but 
their  chief  habitations  are  near  the  sources  of  the  Yellow  River,  where  they  are  called 
Salirs ;  they  profess  the  Mohammedan  religion,  and  have  rebelled  against  China.'  I 
will  only  remark  here  that  the  Salar  have  absolutely  no  connection  with  the  so-called 
Kara-tangutans,  who  are  Tibetans.  In  a  note  by  Archimandrite  Palladius,  in  the 
same  work  (II.  70),  he  attempts  to  show  a  connection  between  the  Salar  and  a  colony 
of  Mohammedans  who  settled  in  Western  Kan-Suh  in  the  last  century,  but  the  Ming 
shih  (History  of  the  Ming  Dynasty)  already  makes  mention  of  the  Salar,  remnants  of 
various  Turkish  tribes  {Hsi-ch?iang)  who  had  settled  in  the  districts  of  Ho-chou, 
Huang-chou,  T'ao-chou,  and  Min-chou,  and  who  were  a  source  of  endless  trouble  to 
the  Empire.  (See  Wei  Yuen,  Sheng-wu-ki,  vii.  35  ;  also  Huang  c hHng  shih  kungfu, 
v.  7.)  The  Russian  traveller,  Potanin,  found  the  Salar  living  in  twenty-four  villages, 
near  Hsiin-hua  t'ing,  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Yellow  River.  (See  Proc.  R.  G.  S. 
ix.  234.)  The  Annals  of  the  Ming  Dynasty  {Ming  Shih,  ch.  330)  say  that  An- ting  wei, 
1500  li  south-west  of  Kan-chou,  was  in  old  times  known  as  Sa-li  Wei-wu-ehr.     These 

published  at  Shang-hai  in  1895  and  1897  ;  the  author  died  last  year  (29th  September,  1901),  and  the 
translation  which  was  to  form  a  third  part  has  not  yet  appeared.  The  Rev.  Dr.  J.  Legge  has  given  a 
translation  and  the  Chinese  text  of  the  monument,  in  1888. — H.  C.  ] 

Stone  monuments  of  character  strictly  analogous  are  frequent  in  the  precincts  of  Buddhist 
sanctuaries,  and  probably  the  idea  of  this  one  was  taken  from  the  Buddhists.  It  is  reasonably 
supposed  by  Pauthier  that  the  monument  may  have  been  buried  in  845,  when  the  Emperor  Wu-Tsung 
issued  an  edict,  still  extant,  against  the  vast  multiplication  of  Buddhist  convents,  and  ordering  their 
destruction.  A  clause  in  the  edict  also  orders  the  foreign  bonzes  of  Ta-T'  sin  and  Mubupa  (Christian 
and  Mobed  or  Magian  r)  to  return  to  secular  life. 



Book  II. 

Sari  Uigurs  are  mentioned  by  Du  Plan  Carpin,  as  Sari  Huiur.  Can  Sala  be  the  same 

"  Mohammedans,"  says  Mr.  Rockhill  {Ibid.  p.  39),  "here  are  divided  into  two  sects, 
known  as  'white-capped  Hui-hui,'  and  'black-capped  Hui-hui.'  One  of  the 
questions  which  separate  them  is  the  hour  at  which  fast  can  be  broken  during  the 
Ramadan.  Another  point  which  divides  them  is  that  the  white-capped  burn  incense, 
as  do  the  ordinary  Chinese  ;  and  the  Salar  condemn  this  as  Paganish.  The  usual 
way  by  which  one  finds  out  to  which  sect  a  Mohammedan  belongs  is  by  asking  him  if 
he  burns  incense.  The  black-capped  Hui-hui  are  more  frequently  called  Salar,  and 
are  much  the  more  devout  and  fanatical.  They  live  in  the  vicinity  of  Ho-chou,  in 
and  around  Hsiin-hua  t'ing,  their  chief  town  being  known  as  Salar  Pakun  or  Paken." 

Ho-chou,  in  Western  Kan-Suh,  about  320  li  (107  miles)  from  Lan-chau,  has  a 

mH*  ) 

//  J>  ' 

Cross  on  the  Monument  at  Si-ngan  fu  (actual  size).     (From  a  rubbing.) 

population  of  about  30,000  nearly  entirely  Mahomedans  with  24  mosques  ;  it  is  a 
"hot-bed  of  rebellion."  Salar-pa-knn  means  "  the  eight  thousand  Salar  families,"  or 
"the  eight  thousands  of  the  Salar."  The  eight  kiun  (Chinese  fsun?  a  village,  a 
commune)  constituting  the  Salar  pa-kun  are  Ka-tzii,  the  oldest  and  largest,  said  to 
have  over  1300  families  living  in  it,  Chang-chia,  Nemen,  Ch'ing-shui,  Munta,  Tsu-chi, 
Antasu  and  Ch'a-chia.  Besides  these  Salar  kiun  there  are  five  outer  (wai)  kiun  : 
Ts'a-pa,  Ngan-ssu-to,  Hei-ch'eng,  Kan-tu  and  Kargan,  inhabited  by  a  few  Salar  and 
a  mixed  population  of  Chinese  and  T'u-ssu ;  each  of  these  wai-wu  kiun  has, 
theoretically,  fifteen  villages  in  it.  Tradition  says  that  the  first  Salar  who  came  to  China 
(from   Rum  or  Turkey)   arrived   in  this  valley   in  the  third   year  of  Hung-wu    of 


the  Ming  (1370).  {Roe/chill,  Land  of  the  Lamas,  Journey ;  Grenard,  II.  p.  457) — 
H.  C]  Martini;  Cathay,  148,  269;  Pitis  de  la  Croix,  III.  218  ;  Russian  paper  on 
the  Dungen,  see  supra,  vol.  i.  p.  291  ;  Williamson's  North  China,  u.  s.  ;  Richthofeii s 
Letters,  and  MS.  Notes. ) 

Note  4. — Mangalai,  Kiiblai's  third  son,  who  governed  the  provinces  of  Shen-si 
and  Sze-ch'wan,  with  the  title  of  Wang  ox  king  {supra  ch.  ix.  note  2),  died  in  1280,  a 
circumstance  which  limits  the  date  of  Polo's  journey  to  the  west.  It  seems  unlikely 
that  Marco  should  have  remained  ten  years  ignorant  of  his  death,  yet  he  seems  to 
speak  of  him  as  still  governing. 

[With  reference  to  the  translation  of  the  oldest  of  the  Chinese-Mongol  inscriptions 
known  hitherto  (1283)  in  the  name  of  Ananda,  King  of  Ngan-si,  Professor  Deveria 
{Notes  d?  Epigraphie  Mongolo-Chinoise,  p.  9)  writes  :  "In  1264,  the  Emperor  Kublai 
created  in  this  region  [Shen  si]  the  department  of  Ngan-si  chau,  occupied  by  ten  hordes 
of  Si-fan  (foreigners  from  the  west).  All  this  country  became  in  1272,  the  apanage  of 
the  Imperial  Prince  Mangala  ;  this  prince,  third  son  of  Kublai',  had  been  invested  with 
the  title  of  King  of  Ngan-si,  a  territory  which  included  King-chao  fu  (modern 
Si-ngan  fu).  His  government  extended  hence  over  Ho-si  (west  of  the  Yellow  River), 
the  T'u-po  (Tibetans),  and  Sze-ch'wan.  The  following  year  (1273)  Mangala  received 
from  Kublai  a  second  investiture,  this  of  the  Kingdom  of  Tsin,  which  added  to  his 
domain  part  of  Kan-Suh  ;  he  established  his  royal  residence  at  K'ia-ch'eng  (modern 
Ku-yuan)  in  the  Liu-p'an  shan,  while  King-chao  remained  the  centre  of  the  command 
he  exercised  over  the  Mongol  garrisons.  In  1277  this  prince  took  part  in  military 
operations  in  the  north  ;  he  died  in  1280  (17th  year  Che  Yuan),  leaving  his  principality 
of  Ngan-si  to  his  eldest  son  Ananda,  and  this  of  Tsin  to  his  second  son  Ngan-tan 
Bu-hoa.  Kublai,  immediately  after  the  death  of  his  son  Mangala,  suppressed  administra- 
tive autonomy  in  Ngan-si."     (  Yuan-shi  lei  pi  en). — H.  C] 


Concerning     the     Province     of     Cuncun,     which     is     right 
wearisome  to  travel  through. 

On  leaving  the  Palace  of  Mangalai,  you  travel  westward 
for  three  days,  finding  a  succession  of  cities  and  boroughs 
and  beautiful  plains,  inhabited  by  people  who  live  by 
trade  and  industry,  and  have  great  plenty  of  silk.  At 
the  end  of  those  three  days,  you  reach  the  great  mountains 
and  valleys  which  belong  to  the  province  of  Cuncun.1 
There  are  towns  and  villages  in  the  land,  and  the  people 
live  by  tilling  the  earth,  and  by  hunting  in  the  great 
woods  ;  for  the  region  abounds  in  forests,  wherein  are 
many  wild  beasts,  such  as  lions,  bears,  lynxes,  bucks  and 

^  2  .  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

roes,  and  sundry  other  kinds,  so  that  many  are  taken  by 
the  people  of  the  country,  who  make  a  great  profit  thereof. 
So  this  way  we  travel  over  mountains  and  valleys,  finding 
a  succession  of  towns  and  villages,  and  many  great 
hostelries  for  the  entertainment  of  travellers,  interspersed 
among  extensive  forests. 

Note  i. — The  region  intended  must  necessarily  be  some  part  of  the  southern 
district  of  the  province  of  Shen-si,  called  Han-chung,  the  axis  of  which  is  the  River 
Han,  closed  in  by  exceedingly  mountainous  and  woody  country  to  north  and  south, 
dividing  it  on  the  former  quarter  from  the  rest  of  Shen-si,  and  on  the  latter  from 
Sze-ch'wan.  Polo's  C  frequently  expresses  an  H,  especially  the  Guttural  H  of 
Chinese  names,  yet  Curiam  is  not  satisfactory  as  the  expression  of  Hanchung. 

The  country  was  so  rugged  that  in  ancient  times  travellers  from  Si-ngan  fu  had  to 
make  a  long  circuit  eastward  by  the  frontier  of  Ho-nan  to  reach  Han-chung  ;  but,  at  an 
early  date,  a  road  was  made  across  the  mountains  for  military  purposes  ;  so  long  ago 
indeed  that  various  eras  and  constructors  are  assigned  to  it.  Padre  Martini's 
authorities  ascribed  it  to  a  general  in  the  service  of  Liu  Pang,  the  founder  of  the  first 
Han  Dynasty  (b.  c.  202),  and  this  date  is  current  in  Shan-si,  as  Baron  v.  Richthofen 
tells  me.  But  in  Sze-ch'wan  the  work  is  asserted  to  have  been  executed  during  the 
3rd  century,  when  China  was  divided  into  several  states,  by  Liu  Pei,  of  the  Han  family, 
who,  about  a.d.  226,  established  himself  as  Emperor  [Minor  Han]  of  Western  China 
at  Ch'eng-tu  fu.*  This  work,  with  its  difficulties  and  boldness,  extending  often  for 
great  distances  on  timber  corbels  inserted  in  the  rock,  is  vividly  described  by 
Martini.  Villages  and  rest-houses  were  established  at  convenient  distances.  It 
received  from  the  Chinese  the  name  of  Chien-tao,  or  the  "  Pillar  Road."  It  com- 
menced on  the  west  bank  of  the  Wei,  opposite  Pao-ki  h'ien,  100  miles  west  of  Si-ngan 
fu,  and  ended  near  the  town  of  Paoching-h'ien,  some  15  or  20  miles  north-west 
from  Han-chung. 

We  are  told  that  Tului,  the  son  of  Chinghiz,  when  directing  his  march  against 
Ho-nan  in  1231  by  this  very  line  from  Paoki,  had  to  ??iake  a  road  with  great  difficulty  ; 
but,  as  we  shall  see  presently,  this  can  only  mean  that  the  ancient  road  had  fallen  into 
decay,  and  had  to  be  repaired.  The  same  route  was  followed  by  Okkodai's  son 
Kutan,  in  marching  to  attack  the  Sung  Empire  in  1235,  and  again  by  Mangku  Kaan 
on  his  last  campaign  in  1258.  These  circumstances  show  that  the  road  from  Paoki 
was  in  that  age  the  usual  route  into  Han-chung  and  Sze-ch'wan  ;  indeed  there  is  no 
other  road  in  that  direction  that  is  more  than  a  mere  jungle-track,  and  we  may  be 
certain  that  this  was  Polo's  route. 

This  remarkable  road  was  traversed  by  Baron  v.  Richthofen  in  1872.  To  my 
questions,  he  replies:  "The  entire  route  is  a  work  of  tremendous  engineering,  and 
all  of  this  was  done  by  Liu  Pei,  who  first  ordered  the  construction.  The  hardest  work 
consisted  in  cutting  out  long  portions  of  the  road  from  solid  rock,  chiefly  where  ledges 
project  on  the  verge  of  a  river,  as  is  frequently  the  case  on  the  He-lung  Kiang.  .  .  . 
It  had  been  done  so  thoroughly  from  the  first,  that  scarcely  any  additions  had  to  be 
made  in  after  days.  Another  kind  of  work  which  generally  strikes  tourists  like  Father 
Martini,  or  Chinese  travellers,  is  the  poling  up  of  the  road  on  the  sides  of  steep 
cliffsf Extensive  cliffs  are  frequently  rounded  in  this  way,  and  imagination 

*  The  last  is  also  stated  by  Klaproth.    Ritter  has  overlooked  the  discrepancy  of  the  dates  (b.c.  and 
a.d.),  and  has  supposed  Liu  Pei  and  Liu  Pang  to  be  the  same.     The  resemblance  of  the  names,  and 
the  fact  that  both  princes  were  founders  of  Han  Dynasties,  give  ample  room  for  confusion. 
i    1   See  cut  from  Mr.  Cooper's  book  at  p.  51  below.     This  so  exactly  illustrates  Baron  R.'s  descrip- 
tion that  I  may  omit  the  latter. 

Chaf.  xliii.       the  province  of  acbalec  manzi  33 

is  much  struck  with  the  perils  of  walking  on  the  side  of  a  precipice,  with  the  foaming 
river  below.  When  the  timbers  rot,  such  passages  of  course  become  obstructed,  and 
thus  the  road  is  said  to  have  been  periodically  in  complete  disuse.  The  repairs,  which 
were  chiefly  made  in  the  time  of  the  Ming,  concerned  especially  passages  of  this  sort." 
Richthofen  also  notices  the  abundance  of  game  ;  but  inhabited  places  appear  to  be 
rarer  than  in  Polo's  time.  (See  Martini  in  Blaen  ;  Chine  Ancienne,  p.  234  ;  Ritter, 
IV.  520;  D'Ohsson,  II.  22,80,328;  Lecomte,  II.  95;  Chin.  Rep.  XIX.  225; 
Richthofen,  Letter  Nil.  p.  42,  and  MS.  Notes.) 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Acbalec  Manzi. 

After  you  have  travelled  those  20  days  through   the 

mountains  of  Cuncun  that  I   have  mentioned,  then  you 

come  to  a  province  called  Acbalec  Manzi,  which  is  all 

level   country,   with   plenty  of  towns  and   villages,    and 

belongs  to  the  Great  Kaan.     The  people  are  Idolaters, 

and  live  by  trade  and  industry.      I  may  tell  you  that  in 

this  province,  there  grows  such  a  great  quantity  of  ginger, 

that  it  is  carried  all  over  the  region  of  Cathay,  and  it  affords 

a  maintenance  to  all  the  people  of  the  province,  who  get 

great  gain  thereby.     They  have  also  wheat  and  rice,  and 

other  kinds  of  corn,   in  great  plenty  and  cheapness ;  in 

fact  the   country  abounds  in  all   useful    products.     The 

capital  city  is   called  Acbalec    Manzi  [which   signifies 

"  the  White  City  of  the  Manzi  Frontier"].1 

This  plain  extends  for  two  days'  journey,  throughout 

which  it  is  as  fine  as  I  have  told  you,  with  towns  and 

villages  as  numerous.     After  those  two  days,  you  again 

come   to   great    mountains    and    valleys,    and   extensive 

forests,   and    you  continue  to   travel   westward    through 

this    kind    of    country    for     20    days,    finding    however 

numerous  towns  and  villages.     The  people  are  Idolaters, 

and  live   by  agriculture,    by  cattle-keeping,  and  by  the 
vol.  11.  c 

34  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

chase,  for  there  is  much  game.  And  among  other  kinds, 
there  are  the  animals  that  produce  the  musk,  in  great 
numbers.2  ^__ 

Note  i.—  Though  the  termini  of  the  route,  described  in  these  two  chapters,  are 
undoubtedly  Si-ngan  fu  and  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  there  are  serious  difficulties  attending  the 
determination  of  the  line  actually  followed. 

The  time  according  to  all  the  MSS.,  so  far  as  I  know,  except  those  of  one  type,  is 
as  follows  : 

In  the  plain  of  Kenjanfu        .....         3  days. 
In  the  mountains  of  Cuncun  .  .  .  .       20     ,, 

In  the  plain  of  Acbalec  .  .  .  .  .         2     ,, 

In  mountains  again    .  .  .  .  .  .       20     ,, 

45  days. 

[From  Si-ngan  fu  to  Ch'eng-tu  (Sze-ch'wan),  the  Chinese  reckon  2300  li  (766 
miles).  (Cf.  Rockhill,  Land  of  the  Lamas,  p.  23.)  Mr  G.  F.  Eaton,  writing  from 
Han-chung  {/our.  China  Br.  R.  A.  S.  xxviii.  p.  29)  reckons  :  "  From  Si-ngan  Fu  S.W. 
to  Ch'eng-tu,  via  K'i-shan,  Fung-sien,  Mien,  Kwang-yuan  and  Chao-hwa,  about  30 
days,  in  chairs."  He  says  (p.  24)  :  "  From  Ch'eng-tu  via  Si-ngan  to  Peking  the  road 
does  not  touch  Han-chung,  but  20  li  west  of  the  city  strikes  north  to  Pao-ch'eng. — 
The  road  from  Han-chung  to  Ch'eng-tu  made  by  Ts'in  Shi  Hwang-ti  to  secure  his 
conquest  of  Sze-ch'wan,  crosses  the  Ta-pa-shan." — H.  C] 

It  seems  to  me  almost  impossible  to  doubt  that  the  Plain  of  Acbalec  represents 
some  part  of  the  river-valley  of  the  Han,  interposed  between  the  two  ranges  of 
mountains  called  by  Richthofen  T*  sing- Ling- Shan  and  Ta-pa-Shan.  But  the  time, 
as  just  stated,  is  extravagant  for  anything  like  a  direct  journey  between  the  two 

The  distance  from  Si-ngan  fu  to  Pao-ki  is  450//,  which  could  be  done  in  3  days, 
but  at  Polo's  rate  would  probably  require  5.  The  distance  by  the  mountain  road  from 
Pao-ki  to  the  Plain  of  Han-chung,  could  never  have  occupied  20  days.  It  is  really 
a  6  or  7  days'  march. 

But  Pauthier's  MS.  C  (and  its  double,  the  Bern  MS.)  has  viii.  marches  instead  of 
xx.,  through  the  mountains  of  Cuncun.  This  reduces  the  time  between  Kenjanfu  and 
the  Plain  to  11  days,  which  is  just  about  a  proper  allowance  for  the  whole  journey, 
though  not  accurately  distributed.  Two  days,  though  ample,  would  not  be  excessive 
for  the  journey  across  the  Plain  of  Han-chung,  especially  if  the  traveller  visited  that 
city.  And  "20  days  from  Han-chung,  to  Ch'eng-tu  fu  would  correspond  with 
Marco  Polo's  rate  of  travel."     {Richthofen.) 

So  far  then,  provided  we  admit  the  reading  of  the  MS.  C,  there  is  no  ground  for 
hesitating  to  adopt  the  usual  route  between  the  two  cities,  via  Han-chung. 

But  the  key  to  the  exact  route  is  evidently  the  position  of  Acbalec  Manzi,  and  on 
this  there  is  no  satisfactory  light. 

For  the  name  of  the  province,  Pauthier's  text  has  Acbalec  Manzi,  for  the  name  of 
the  city  Acmalec  simply.  The  G.  T.  has  in  the  former  case  Acbalec  Mangi,  in  the 
latter  "  Acmelic  Mangi  qe  vant  dire  le  une  de  le  confine  dou  Mangi."  This  is  followed 
literally  by  the  Geographic  Latin,  which  has  "  Achalec  Mangi  et  est  dictum  hi  lingua 
nostra  unus  ex  confinibus  Mangi."  So  also  the  Crusca ;  whilst  Ramusio  has 
"  Achbaluch  Mangi,  die  vuol  dire  Citta  Bianca  de'  confini  di  Mangi."  It  is  clear 
that  Ramusio  alone  has  here  preserved  the  genuine  reading. 

Klaproth  identified  Acbalec  conjecturally  with  the  town  of  Pe-ma-ching,  or  "  White- 
Horse-Town,"  a  place  now  extinct,  but  which  stood  like  Mien  and  Han-chung  on 
the  extensive  and  populous  Plain  that  here  borders  the  Han. 


It  seems  so  likely  that  the  latter  part  of  the  name  Pe-M  aching  ("  White  Maching  ") 
might  have  been  confounded  by  foreigners  with  M&ekin  and  Manzi  (which  in  Persian 
parlance  were  identical),  that  I  should  be  disposed  to  overlook  the  difficulty  that  we 
have  no  evidence  produced  to  show  that  Pemaching  was  a  place  of  any  consequence. 

It  is  possible,  however,  that  the  name  Acbalec  may  have  been  given  by  the  Tartars 
without  any  reference  to  Chinese  etymologies.  We  have  already  twice  met  with  the 
name  or  its  equivalent  {Acbaluc  in  ch.  xxxvii.  of  this  Book,  and  Chaghan  Balghasun 
in  note  3  to  Book  I.  ch.  lx.),  whilst  Strahlenberg  tells  us  that  the  Tartars  call  all  great 
residences  of  princes  by  this  name  (Amst.  ed.  1757,  I.  p.  7)«  It  maY  be  that  Han- 
chung  itself  was  so  named  by  the  Tartars  ;  though  its  only  claim  that  I  can  find  is, 
that  it  was  the  first  residence  of  the  Han  Dynasty.  Han-chung  fu  stands  in  a  beautiful 
plain,  which  forms  a  very  striking  object  to  the  traveller  who  is  leaving  theT'sing-ling 
mountains.  Just  before  entering  the  plains,  the  Helung  Kiang  passes  through  one  of 
its  wildest  gorges,  a  mere  crevice  between  vertical  walls  several  hundred  feet  high. 
The  road  winds  to  the  top  of  one  of  the  cliffs  in  zigzags  cut  in  the  solid  rock.  From 
the  temple  of  Kitau  Kwan,  which  stands  at  the  top  of  the  cliff,  there  is  a  magnificent 
view  of  the  Plain,  and  no  traveller  would  omit  this,  the  most  notable  feature  between 
the  valley  of  the  Wei  and  Ch'eng-tu-fu.  It  is,  moreover,  the  only  piece  of  level  ground, 
of  any  extent,  that  is  passed  through  between  those  two  regions,  whichever  road  or 
track  be  taken.     {Richthofen,  MS.  Notes.) 

[In  the  China  Review  (xiv.  p.  358)  Mr.  E.  H.  Parker,  has  an  article  on  Acbalec 
Jlfanzi,  but  does  not  throw  any  new  light  on  the  subject.— H.  C] 

Note  2. — Polo's  journey  now  continues  through  the  lofty  mountainous  region  in 
the  north  of  Sze-ch'wan. 

The  dividing  range  Ta-pa-shan  is  less  in  height  than  the  T'sing-ling range,  but  with 
gorges  still  more  abrupt  and  deep  ;  and  it  would  be  an  entire  barrier  to  communica- 
tion but  for  the  care  with  which  the  road,  here  also,  has  been  formed.  But  this  road, 
from  Han-chung  to  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  is  still  older  than  that  to  the  north,  having  been 
constructed,  it  is  said,  in  the  3rd  century  B.C.  [See  supra.~\  Before  that  time 
Sze-ch'wan  was  a  closed  country,  the  only  access  from  the  north  being  the  circuitous 
route  down  the  Han  and  up  the  Yang-tz'u.     {Ibid.) 

[Mr.  G.  G.  Brown  writes  {Jour.  China  Br.  R.  As.  Soc.  xxviii.  p.  53 )  :  "  Cross- 
ing the  Ta-pa-shan  from  the  valley  of  the  Upper  Han  in  Shen-si  we  enter  the  province 
of  Sze-ch'wan,  and  are  now  in  a  country  as  distinct  as  possible  from  that  that  has 
been  left.  The  climate  which  in  the  north  was  at  times  almost  Arctic,  is  now  pluvial, 
and  except  on  the  summits  of  the  mountains  no  snow  is  to  be  seen.  The  people  are 
ethnologically  different.  .  .  .  More  even  than  the  change  of  climate  the  geological 
aspect  is  markedly  different.  The  loess,  which  in  Shen-si  has  settled  like  a  pall  over 
the  country,  is  here  absent,  and  red  sandstone  rocks,  filling  the  valleys  between  the 
high-bounding  and  intermediate  ridges  of  palaeozoic  formation,  take  its  place.  Sze- 
ch'wan  is  evidently  a  region  of  rivers  flowing  in  deeply  eroded  valleys,  and  as  these 
find  but  one  exit,  the  deep  gorges  of  Kwei-fu,  their  disposition  takes  the  form  of  the 
innervations  of  a  leaf  springing  from  a  solitary  stalk.  The  country  between  the 
branching  valleys  is  eminently  hilly  ;  the  rivers  flow  with  rapid  currents  in  well-de- 
fined valleys,  and  are  for  the  most  part  navigable  for  boats,  or  in  their  upper  reaches 
for  lumber-rafts.  .  .  .  The  horse-cart,  which  in  the  north  and  north-west  of  China  is 
the  principal  means  of  conveyance,,  has  never  succeeded  in  gaining  an  entrance  into 
Sze-ch'wan  with  its  steep  ascents  and  rapid  unfordable  streams  ;  and  is  here  represented 
for  passenger  traffic  by  the  sedan-chair,  and  for  the  carriage  of  goods,  with  the 
exception  of  a  limited  number  of  wheel-barrows,  by  the  backs  of  men  or  animals, 
unless  where  the  friendly  water-courses  afford  the  cheapest  and  readiest  means  of 
intercourse." — II.  C] 

Martini  notes  the  musk-deer  in  northern  Sze-ch'wan. 

VOL.    II.  C    2 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 


Concerning  the  Province  and  City  of  Sindafu. 

When  you  have  travelled  those  20  days  westward 
through  the  mountains,  as  I  have  told  you,  then  you 
arrive  at  a  plain  belonging  to  a  province  called  Sindafu, 
which  still  is  on  the  confines  of  Manzi,  and  the  capital 
city  of  which  is,  (also)  called  Sindafu.  This  city  was  in 
former  days  a  rich  and  noble  one,  and  the  Kings  who 
reigned  there  were  very  great  and  wealthy.  It  is  a  good 
twenty  miles  in  compass,  but  it  is  divided  in  the  way 
that  I  shall  tell  you. 

You  see  the  King  of  this  Province,  in  the  days  of 
old,  when  he  found  himself  drawing  near  to  death, 
leaving  three  sons  behind  him,  commanded  that  the  city 
should  be  divided  into  three  parts,  and  that  each  of  his 
three  sons  should  have  one,  So  each  of  these  three  parts 
is  separately  walled  about,  though  all  three  are  surrounded 
by  the  common  wall  of  the  city.  Each  of  the  three  sons 
was  King,  having  his  own  part  of  the  city,  and  his  own 
share  of  the  kingdom,  and  each  of  them  in  fact  was  a  great 
and  wealthy  King.  But  the  Great  Kaan  conquered  the 
kingdom  of  these  three  Kings,  and  stripped  them  of  their 

Through  the  midst  of  this  great  city  runs  a  large 
river,  in  which  they  catch  a  great  quantity  of  fish.  It  is 
a  good  half  mile  wide,  and  very  deep  withal,  and  so  long 
that  it  reaches  all  the  way  to  the  Ocean  Sea, — a  very 
long  way,  equal  to  80  or  100  days'  journey.  And  the 
name  of  the  River  is  Kian-suy.  The  multitude  of 
vessels  that  navigate  this  river  is  so  vast,  that  no  one 
who  should  read  or  hear  the  tale  would  believe  it.     The 


quantities  of  merchandize  also  which  merchants  carry  up 
and  down  this  river  are  past  all  belief.  In  fact,  it  is  so 
big,  that  it  seems  to  be  a  Sea  rather  than  a  River ! 2 

Let  us  now  speak  of  a  great  Bridge  which  crosses  this 
River  within  the  city.  This  bridge  is  of  stone  ;  it  is 
seven  paces  in  width  and  half  a  mile  in  length  (the  river 
being  that  much  in  width  as  I  told  you) ;  and  all  along 
its  length  on  either  side  there  are  columns  of  marble  to 
bear  the  roof,  for  the  bridge  is  roofed  over  from  end  to 
end  with  timber,  and  that  all  richly  painted.  And  on 
this  bridge  there  are  houses  in  which  a  great  deal  of  trade 
and  industry  is  carried  on.  But  these  houses  are  all  of 
wood  merely,  and  they  are  put  up  in  the  morning  and 
taken  down  in  the  evening.  Also  there  stands  upon  the 
bridge  the  Great  Kaan's  Comercqtce,  that  is  to  say,  his 
custom-house,  where  his  toll  and  tax  are  levied.3  And 
I  can  tell  you  that  the  dues  taken  on  this  bridge  bring  to 
the  Lord  a  thousand  pieces  of  fine  gold  every  day  and 
more.     The  people  are  all  Idolaters.4 

When  you  leave  this  city  you  travel  for  five  days 
across  a  country  of  plains  and  valleys,  finding  plenty  of 
villages  and  hamlets,  and  the  people  of  which  live  by 
husbandry.  There  are  numbers  of  wild  beasts,  lions, 
and  bears,  and  such  like. 

I  should  have  mentioned  that  the  people  of  Sindu 
itself  live  by  manufactures,  for  they  make  fine  sendals 
and  other  stuffs.5 

After  travelling  those  five  days'  march,  you  reach  a 
province  called  Tebet,  which  has  been  sadly  laid  waste  ; 
we  will  now  say  something  of  it. 

Note  i. — We  are  on  firm  ground  again,  for  Sindafu  is  certainly  Cll'ENG-TU  fu, 
the  capital  of  Sze-ch'wan.  Probably  the  name  used  by  Polo  was  Sindu-fu,  as  we 
find  Sindu  in  the  G.  T.  near  the  end  of  the  chapter.  But  the  same  city  is,  I  observe, 
called  Thindafu  by  one  of  the  Nepalese  embassies,  whose  itineraries  Mr.  Hodgson 
has  given  in  the  /.  A.  S.  B.  XXV.  488. 



Book  II. 

A.  The  Great  City. 

B.  The  Little  City. 

C.  The  Imperial  City. 

The  modern  French  missions  have  a  bishop  in  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  and  the  city  has  been 
visited  of  late  years  by  Mr.  T.  T.  Cooper,  by  Mr.  A.  Wylie,  by  Baron  v.  Richthofen, 

[Captain  Gill,  Mr.  Baber,  Mr.  Hosie,  and  several  other 
travellers].  Mr.  Wylie  has  kindly  favoured  me  with 
the     following     note: — '« My     notice    all     goes     to 

E  corroborate  Marco  Polo.     The  covered  bridge  with 

the  stalls  is  still  there,  the  only  difference  being  the 
I  0  I        A  absence  of  the  toll-house.     I  did  not  see  any  traces  of 

a  tripartite  division  of  the  city,  nor  did  I  make  any 
""■■  enquiries  on  the  subject  during  the  3  or  4  days  I  spent 

there,  as  it  was  not  an  object  with  me  at  the  time  to 
verify  Polo's  account.  The  city  is  indeed  divided, 
but  the  division  dates  more  than  a  thousand  years 
back.  It  is  something  like  this,  I  should  say  [see 
diagram].  * 

"The  Imperial  City  {Hwang  Ching)  was  the 
residence  of  the  monarch  Lew  Pe  [i.e.  Liu  Pei  of  p.  32)  during  the  short  period  of  the 
'Three  Kingdoms'  (3rd  century),  and  some  relics  of  the  ancient  edifice  still  remain. 
I  was  much  interested  in  looking  over  it.  It  is  now  occupied  by  the  Public  Examina- 
tion Hall  and  its  dependencies." 

I  suspect  Marco's  story  of  the  Three  Kings  arose  from  a  misunderstanding  about 
this  historical  period  of  the  San-Rive",  or  Three  Kingdoms  (a.d.  222-264).  And  this 
tripartite  division  of  the  city  may  have  been  merely  that  which  we  see  to  exist  at 

[Mr.  Baber,  leaving  Ch'eng-tu,  26th  July,  1877,  writes  {Travels,  p.  28):  "We 
took  ship  outside  the  East  Gate  on  a  rapid  narrow  stream,  apparently  the  city  moat, 
which  soon  joins  the  main  river,  a  little  below  the  An-shun  Bridge,  an  antiquated 
wooden  structure  some  90  yards  long.  This  is  in  all  probability  the  bridge  mentioned 
by  Marco  Polo.  The  too  flattering  description  he  gives  of  it  leads  one  to  suppose 
that  the  present  handsome  stone  bridges  of  the  province  were  unbuilt  at  the  time  of 
his  journey."     Baber  is  here  mistaken. 

Captain  Gill  writes  {I.e.  II.  p.  9)  :  "As  Mr.  Wylie  in  recent  days  had  said  that 
Polo's  covered  bridge  was  still  in  its  place,  we  went  one  day  on  an  expedition  in 
search  of  it.  Polo,  however,  speaks  of  a  bridge  full  half  a  mile  long,  whilst  the 
longest  now  is  but  90  yards.  On  our  way  we  passed  over  a  fine  nine-arched  stone 
bridge,  called  the  Chin-Yen-Ch'iao.  Near  the  covered  bridge  there  is  a  very  pretty 
view  down  the  river." — H.  C] 

Baron  Richthofen  observes  that  Ch'eng-tu  is  among  the  largest  of  Chinese  cities, 
and  is  of  all  the  finest  and  most  refined.  The  population  is  called  800,000.  The 
walls  form  a  square  of  about  3  miles  to  the  side,  and  there  are  suburbs  besides.  The 
streets  are  broad  and  straight,  laid  out  at  right  angles,  with  a  pavement  of  square  flags 
very  perfectly  laid,  slightly  convex  and  drained  at  each  side.  The  numerous  com- 
memorative arches  are  sculptured  with  skill ;  there  is  much  display  of  artistic  taste  ; 
and  the  people  are  remarkably  civil  to  foreigners.  This  characterizes  the  whole 
province  ;  and  an  air  of  wealth  and  refinement  prevails  even  in  the  rural  districts. 
The  plain  round  Ch'eng-tu  fu  is  about  90  miles  in  length  (S.E.  to  N.W. ),  by  40  miles 
in  width,  with  a  copious  irrigation  and  great  fertility,  so  that  in  wealth  and  population 
it  stands  almost  unrivalled.     {Letter  VII.  pp.  48-66.) 

[Mr.  Baber  {Travels,  p.  26)  gives  the  following  information  regarding  the  popula- 
tion of  Ch'eng-tu:  "The  census  of  1877  returned  the  number  of  families  at  about 
70,000,  and   the   total   population   at   330,000 — 190,000  being  males  and    140,000 

*  My  lamented  friend  Lieutenant  F.  Gamier  had  kindlj'  undertaken  to  send  me  a  plan  of  Ch'eng-tu 
fu  from  the  place  itself,  but,  as  is  well  known,  he  fell  on  a  daring  enterprise  elsewhere.  [We  hope  that 
the  plan  from  a  Chinese  map  we  give  from  M.  Marcel  Monniers  Itineraires  will  replace  the 
promised  one. 

It  will  be  seen  that  Ch'eng-tu  is  divided  into  three  cities:  the  Great  City  containing  both  the 
Imperial  and  Tartar  cities. — H.  G] 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

females ;  but  probably  the  extensive  suburb  was  not  included  in  the  enumera- 
tion. Perhaps  350,000  would  be  a  fair  total  estimate."  It  is  the  seat  of  the 
Viceroy  of  the  Sze-ch'wan  province.  Mr.  Hosie  says  {Three  Years  in  Western 
China,  p.  86):  "It  is  without  exception  the  finest  city  I  have  seen  in  China; 
Peking  and  Canton  will  not  bear  comparison  with  it."  Captain  Gill  writes  {River  of 
Golden  Sand,  II.  p.  4) :  "  The  city  of  Ch'eng-Tu  is  still  a  rich  and  noble  one,  some- 
what irregular  in  shape,  and  surrounded  by  a  strong  wall,  in  a  perfect  state  of  repair. 
In  this  there  are  eight  bastions,  four  being  pierced  by  gates." 

"  It  is  one  of  the  largest  of  Chinese  cities,  having  a  circuit  of  about  12  miles." 
{Baber,  p.  26.)  "It  is  now  three  and  a  half  miles  long  by  about  two  and  a  half 
miles  broad,  the  longest  side  lying  about  east-south-east,  and  west-north-west,  so 
that  its  compass  in  the  present  day  is  about  12  miles."  {Captain  Gill,  II.  p.  4.)— 
H.  C] 

Note  2. — Ramusio  is  more  particular  :  "  Through  the  city  flow  many  great  rivers, 
which  come  down  from  distant  mountains,  and  run  winding  about  through  many 
parts  of  the  city.  These  rivers  vary  in  width  from  half  a  mile  to  200  paces,  and  are 
very  deep.  Across  them  are  built  many  bridges  of  stone,"  etc.  "And  after  passing 
the  city  these  rivers  unite  and  form  one  immense  river  called  Kian,"  etc.  Here  we 
have  the  Great  River  or  Kiang,  Kian  (Quian)  as  in  Ramusio,  or  Kiang-shui, 
"  Waters  of  the  Kiang,"  as  in  the  text.  So  Pauthier  explains.  [Mr.  Baber  remarks 
at  Ch'eng-tu  {Travels,  p.  28)  :  "When  all  allowance  is  made  for  the  diminution  of 
the  river,  one  cannot  help  surmising  that  Marco  Polo  must  have  felt  reluctant  to  call 
it  the  Chiang-Sui  or  'Yangtzii  waterway.'  He  was,  however,  correct  enough,  as 
usual,  for  the  Chinese  consider  it  to  be  the  main  upper  stream  of  the  Yangtzii." — 
H.  C]  Though  our  Geographies  give  the  specific  names  of  Wen  and  Min  to  the  great 
branch  which  flows  by  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  and  treat  the  Tibetan  branch  which  flows  through 
northern  Yunnan  under  the  name  of  Kin  Sha  or  "Golden  Sand,"  as  the  main 
river,  the  Chinese  seem  always  to  have  regarded  the  former  as  the  true  Kiang ;  as 
may  be  seen  in  Ritter  (IV.  650)  and  Martini.  The  latter  describes  the  city  as  quite 
insulated  by  the  ramifications  of  the  river,  from  which  channels  and  canals  pass  all 
about  it,  adorned  with  many  quays  and  bridges  of  stone. 

The  numerous  channels  in  reuniting  form  two  rivers,  one  the  Min,  and  the  other 
the  To-Kiang,  which  also  joins  the  Yangtzii  at  Lu-chau. 

[In  his  Introductory  Essay  to  Captain  Gilts  River  of  Golden  Sand,  Colonel  Yule 
(p»  37)  writes:  "Captain  Gill  has  pointed  out  that,  of  the  many  branches  of  the 
river  which  ramify  through  the  plain  of  Ch'eng-tu,  no  one  now  passes  through  the 
city  at  all  corresponding  in  magnitude  to  that  which  Marco  Polo  describes,  about  1283, 
as  running  through  the  midst  of  Sin-da-fu,  '  a  good  half-mile  wide,  and  very  deep 
withal.'  The  largest  branch  adjoining  the  city  now  runs  on  the  sputh  side,  but  does 
not  exceed  a  hundred  yards  in  width ;  and  though  it  is  crossed  by  a  covered  bridge 
with  huxters'  booths,  more  or  less  in  the  style  described  by  Polo,  it  necessarily  falls 
far  short  of  his  great  bridge  of  half  a  mile  in  length.  Captain  Gill  suggests  that  a 
change  may  have  taken  place  in  the  last  five  (this  should  be  six)  centuries,  owing  to 
the  deepening  of  the  river-bed  at  its  exit  from  the  plain,  and  consequent  draining  of 
the  latter.  But  I  should  think  it  more  probable  that  the  ramification  of  channels 
round  Ch'eng-tu,  which  is  so  conspicuous  even  on  a  small  general  map  of  China,  like 
that  which  accompanies  this  work,  is  in  great  part  due  to  art ;  that  the  mass  of  the 
river  has  been  drawn  off  to  irrigate  the  plain  ;  and  that  thus  the  wide  river,  which  in 
the  13th  century  may  have  passed  through  the  city,  no  unworthy  representative 
of  the  mighty  Kiang,  has  long  since  ceased,  on  that  scale,  to  flow.  And  I  have 
pointed  out  briefly  that  the  fact,  which  Baron  Richthofen  attests,  of  an  actual  bifurca- 
tion of  waters  on  a  large  scale  taking  place  in  the  plain  of  Ch'eng-tu — one  arm 
1  branching  east  to  form  the  To  '  (as  in  the  terse  indication  of  the  Yii-Kung) — viz.  the 
To  Kiang  or  Chung-Kiang  flowing  south-east  to  join  the  great  river  at  Lu-chau,  whilst 
another  flows  south  to  Sti-chau  or  Swi-fu?   does  render  change  in  the  distribution  of 

Chap.  XLIV. 



the  waters  about  the  city  highly  credible."]  [See  Irrigation  of  the  Ch'eng-tu  Plain, 
by  Joshua  Vale,  China  Inland  Mission  in  Jour.  China  Br.  R.  A.  S.  Soc.  XXXIII. 
1 899- 1 900,  pp.  22-36. — H.  C] 

[Above  Kwan  Hsien,  near  Ch'eng-tu,  there  is  a  fine  suspension  bridge,  mentioned 
by  Marcel  Monnier  {Itine'raires,  p.  43),  from  whom  I  borrow  the  cut  reproduced  on 
this  page.  This  bridge  is  also  spoken  of  by  Captain  Gill  {I.e.  I.  p.  335)  :  "Six  ropes, 
one  above  the  other,  are  stretched  very  tightly,  and  connected  by  vertical  battens  of 
wood  laced  in  and  out.  Another  similar  set  of  ropes  is  at  the  other  side  of  the  road- 
way, which  is  laid  across  these,  and  follows  the  curve  of  the  ropes.  There  are  three 
or  four  spans  with  stone  piers." — II.  C] 

Bridge  near  Kwan-hsien  (Ch'eng-tu). 

Note  3. — (G.  T.)  "  Hi  est  le  couiereque  dou  Grant  Sire,  ce  est  cih  qe  recevent  la 
rente  dou  Seignor."  Pauthier  has  co7wert.  Both  are,  I  doubt  not,  misreadings  or 
misunderstandings  of  comereque  or  comerc.  This  word,  founded  on  the  Latin  com- 
mercium,  was  widely  spread  over  the  East  with  the  meaning  of  customs-duty  or 
custom-house.     In  Low  Greek  it  appeared  as  Ko/x/x^pKiou  and  KovpLepKiov,  now  tcofiepia  ; 

in  Arabic  and  Turkish  as  ^>^®  and  v^5^<#.)    {kumruk  and  gyumruk),  still  in  use  ;  in 
Romance  dialects  as  comerc  hio,  comer  ho,  comergio,  etc. 

Note  4. — The  word  in  Pauthier's  text  which  I  have  rendered  pieces  of  gold  \spois, 
probably  equivalent  to  saggi  or  miskdls*  The  G.  T.  has  "  is  well  worth  1000  bezants 
of  gold,"  no  doubt  meaning  daily,  though  not  saying  so.  Ramusio  has  "  100  bezants 
daily."-  The  term  Bezant  may  be  taken  as  synonymous  with  Dinar,  and  the  statement 
in  the  text  would  make  the  daily  receipt  of  custom  upwards  of  500/. ,  that  in  Ramusio 
upwards  of  50/.  only. 

Note  5. — I  have  recast  this  passage,  which  has  got  muddled,  probably  in  the 
original  dictation,  for  it  runs  in  the  G.    text  :  "  Et   de  ceste  cite  se   part  Ten    et 

*  I  find  the  same  expression  applied  to  the  miskal  or  dinar  in  a  MS.  letter  written  hy  Giovanni 
dell'  Affaitado,  Venetian  Agent  at  Lisbon  in  1503,  communicated  to  me  by  Signor  Berchet.  The 
King  of  Melinda  was  to  pay  to  Portugal  a  tribute  of  1500  pesi  doro,  "  che  un  peso  val  un  ducato  e  un 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

chevauche  cinq  jornee  por  plain  et  por  valee,  et  treve-1'en  castiaus  et  casaus  assez.  Les 
homes  vivent  dou  profit  qu'il  traient  de  la  terre.  II  hi  a  bestes  sauvajes  assez,  lions  et 
orses  et  autres  bestes.  //  vivent  cCars :  car  il  hi  se  laborent  des  biaus  sendal  et  autres 
dras.  II  sunt  de  Sindu  meiswe."  I  take  it  that  in  speaking  of  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  Marco 
has  forgotten  to  fill  up  his  usual  formula  as  to  the  occupation  of  the  inhabitants  ;  he 
is  reminded  of  this  when  he  speaks  of  the  occupation  of  the  peasantry  on  the  way  to 
Tibet,  and  reverts  to  the  citizens  in  the  words  which  I  have  quoted  in  Italics.  We 
see  here  Sindu  applied  to  the  city,  suggesting  Sindu-fu  for  the  reading  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  chapter. 

Silk  is  a  large  item  in  the  produce  and  trade  of  Sze-ch'wan  ;  and  through  extensive 
quarters  of  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  in  every  house,  the  spinning,  dying,  weaving,  and  embroider- 
ing of  silk  give  occupation  to  the  people.  And  though  a  good  deal  is  exported,  much 
is  consumed  in  the  province,  for  the  people  are  very  much  given  to  costly  apparel. 
Thus  silk  goods  are  very  conspicuous  in  the  shops  of  the  capital.      {Richthofen.) 

Concerning  the  Province  of  Tebet. 

After  those  five  days'  march  that  I  spoke  of,  you  enter 
a  province  which  has  been  sorely  ravaged ;  and  this  was 
done  in  the  wars  of  Mongu  Kaan.  There  are  indeed 
towns  and  villages  and  hamlets,  but  all  harried  and 

In  this  region  you  find  quantities  of  canes,  full  three 
palms  in  girth  and  fifteen  paces  in  length,  with  some 
three  palms'  interval  between  the  joints.  And  let  me 
tell  you  that  merchants  and  other  travellers  through  that 
country  are  wont  at  nightfall  to  gather  these  canes  and 
make  fires  of  them  ;  for  as  they  burn  they  make  such 
loud  reports  that  the  lions  and  bears  and  other  wild 
beasts  are  greatly  frightened,  and  make  off  as  fast  as 
possible  ;  in  fact  nothing  will  induce  them  to  come  nigh 
a  fire  of  that  sort.  So  you  see  the  travellers  make  those 
fires  to  protect  themselves  and  their  cattle  from  the  wild 
beasts  which  have  so  greatly  multiplied  since  the  devasta- 
tion of  the  country.     And  'tis  this  great  multiplication  of 

Chap.  XLV.        THE  PROVINCE  OF  TEBET  43 

the  wild  beasts  that  prevents  the  country  from  being 
reoccupied.  In  fact  but  for  the  help  of  these  canes, 
which  make  such  a  noise  in  burning  that  the  beasts 
are  terrified  and  kept  at  a  distance,  no  one  would  be 
able  even  to  travel  through  the  land. 

I  will  tell  you  how  it  is  that  the  canes  make  such 
a  noise.  The  people  cut  the  green  canes,  of  which 
there  are  vast  numbers,  and  set  fire  to  a  heap  of  them 
at  once.  After  they  have  been  awhile  burning  they 
burst  asunder,  and  this  makes  such  a  loud  report  that  you 
might  hear  it  ten  miles  off.  In  fact,  any  one  unused  to 
this  noise,  who  should  hear  it  unexpectedly,  might  easily 
to  into  a  swound  or  die  of  fright.  But  those  who  are 
used  to  it  care  nothing  about  it.  Hence  those  who  are 
not  used  to  it  stuff  their  ears  well  with  cotton,  and  wrap 
up  their  heads  and  faces  with  all  the  clothes  they  can 
muster ;  and  so  they  get  along  until  they  have  become 
used  to  the  sound.  'Tis  just  the  same  with  horses. 
Those  which  are  unused  to  these  noises  are  so  alarmed 
by  them  that  they  break  away  from  their  halters  and 
heel-ropes,  and  many  a  man  has  lost  his  beasts  in 
this  way.  So  those  who  would  avoid  losing  their  horses 
take  care  to  tie  all  four  legs  and  peg  the  ropes  down 
strongly,  and  to  wrap  the  heads  and  eyes  and  ears  of 
the  animals  closely,  and  so  they  save  them.  But  horses 
also,  when  they  have  heard  the  noise  several  times,  cease 
to  mind  it.  I  tell  you  the  truth,  however,  when  I  say 
that  the  first  time  you  hear  it  nothing  can  be  more 
alarming.  And  yet,  in  spite  of  all,  the  lions  and  bears 
and  other  wild  beasts  will  sometimes  come  and  do  much 
mischief;  for  their  numbers  are  great  in  those  tracts.2 

You  ride  for  20  days  without  finding  an}T  inhabited 
spot,  so  that  travellers  are  obliged  to  carry  all  their 
provisions  with  them,  and  are  constantly  falling  in  with 
those  wild  beasts  which  are  so  numerous  and  so  dangerous. 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

After  that  you  come  at  length  to  a  tract  where  there  are 
towns  and  villages  in  considerable  numbers.3  The  people 
of  those  towns  have  a  strange  custom  in  regard  to 
marriage  which  I  will  now  relate. 

No  man  of  that  country  would  on  any  consideration 
take  to  wife  a  girl  who  was  a  maid ;  for  they  say  a  wife 
is  nothing  worth  unless  she  has  been  used  to  consort  with 
men.  And  their  custom  is  this,  that  when  travellers 
come  that  way,  the  old  women  of  the  place  get  ready,  and 
take  their  unmarried  daughters  or  other  girls  related  to 
them,  and  go  to  the  strangers  who  are  passing,  and  make 
over  the  young  women  to  whomsoever  will  accept  them  ; 
and  the  travellers  take  them  accordingly  and  do  their 
pleasure  ;  after  which  the  girls  are  restored  to  the  old 
women  who  brought  them,  for  they  are  not  allowed  to 
follow  the  strangers  away  from  their  home.  In  this 
manner  people  travelling  that  way,  when  they  reach  a 
village  or  hamlet  or  other  inhabited  place,  shall  find 
perhaps  20  or  30  girls  at  their  disposal.  And  if  the 
travellers  lodge  with  those  people  they  shall  have  as  many 
young  women  as  they  could  wish  coming  to  court  them  ! 
You  must  know  too  that  the  traveller  is  expected  to  give 
the  girl  who  has  been  with  him  a  ring  or  some  other  trifle, 
something  in  fact  that  she  can  show  as  a  lover's  token 
when  she  comes  to  be  married.  And  it  is  for  this  in 
truth  and  for  this  alone  that  they  follow  that  custom  ;  for 
every  girl  is  expected  to  obtain  at  least  20  such  tokens 
in  the  way  I  have  described  before  she  can  be  married. 
And  those  who  have  most  tokens,  and  so  can  show  they 
have  been  most  run  after,  are  in  the  highest  esteem,  and 
most  sought  in  marriage,  because  they  say  the  charms  of 
such  an  one  are  greatest.4  But  after  marriage  these 
people  hold  their  wives  very  dear,  and  would  consider 
it  a  great  villainy  for  a  man  to  meddle  with  another's 
wife  ;  and  thus  though  the  wives  have  before  marriage 

Chap.  XLV.  PEOPLE  OF  TEBET  45 

acted  as  you  have  heard,  they  are  kept  with  great  care 
from  light  conduct  afterwards. 

Now  I  have  related  to  you  this  marriage  custom  as  a 
good  story  to  tell,  and  to  show  what  a  fine  country  that 
is  for  young  fellows  to  go  to  ! 

The  people  are  Idolaters  and  an  evil  generation, 
holding  it  no  sin  to  rob  and  maltreat :  in  fact,  they  are 
the  greatest  brigands  on  earth.  They  live  by  the  chase, 
as  well  as  on  their  cattle  and  the  fruits  of  the  earth. 

I  should  tell  you  also  that  in  this  country  there  are 
many  of  the  animals  that  produce  musk,  which  are  called 
in  the  Tartar  language  Gudderi.  Those  rascals  have 
great  numbers  of  large  and  fine  dogs,  which  are  of  great 
service  in  catching  the  musk-beasts,  and  so  they  procure 
great  abundance  of  musk.  They  have  none  of  the  Great 
Kaan's  paper  money,  but  use  salt  instead  of  money. 
They  are  very  poorly  clad,  for  their  clothes  are  only  of 
the  skins  of  beasts,  and  of  canvas,  and  of  buckram.5 
They  have  a  language  of  their  own,  and  they  are  called 
Tebet.  And  this  country  of  Tebet  forms  a  very  great 
province,  of  which  I  will  give  you  a  brief  account. 

Note  I. — The  mountains  that  bound  the  splendid  plain  of  Ch'eng-tu  fu  on  the 
west  rise  rapidly  to  a  height  of  12,000  feet  and  upwards.  Just  at  the  skirt  of  this 
mountain  region,  where  the  great  road  to  Lhasa  enters  it,  lies  the  large  and  bustling 
city  of  Yachaufu,  forming  the  key  of  the  hill  country,  and  the  great  entrep6t  of  trade 
between  Sze-ch'wan  on  the  one  side,  and  Tibet  and  Western  Yunnan  on  the  other. 
The  present  political  boundary  between  China  Proper  and  Tibet  is  to  the  west  of 
Bathang  and  the  Kin-sha  Kiang,  but  till  the  beginning  of  last  century  it  lay  much  further 
east,  near  Ta-t 'sten-lu,  or,  as  the  Tibetans  appear  to  call  it,  Tartse'do  or  Tachindo,  which 
a  Chinese  Itinerary  given  by  Ritter  makes  to  be  920  lit  or  1 1  marches  from  Ch'eng-tu 
fu.  In  Marco's  time  we  must  suppose  that  Tibet  was  considered  to  extend  several 
marches  further  east  still,  or  to  the  vicinity  of  Yachau.  *  Mr.  Cooper's  Journal  describes 
the  country  entered  on  the  $th  march  from  Ch'eng-tu  as  very  mountainous,  many  of 
the  neighbouring  peaks  being  capped  with  snow.  And  he  describes  the  people  as 
speaking  a  language  mixed  with  Tibetan  for  some  distance  before  reaching  Ta-t'sien-lu. 
Baron  Richthofen  also  who,  as  we  shall  see,  has  thrown  an  entirely  new  light  upon 
this  part  of  Marco's  itinerary,  was  exactly  five  days  in  travelling  through  a  rich  and 

*  Indeed  Richthofen  says  that  the  boundary  lay  a  few  (German)  miles  west  of  Yachau.  I  see  that 
Martini's  map  puts  it  (in  the  17th  century)  10  German  geographical  miles,  or  about  46  statute  miles, 
west  of  that  city. 

46  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

populous  country,  from  Ch'eng-tu  to  Yachau.  [Captain  Gill  left  Ch'eng-tu  on  the  10th 
July,  1877,  and  reached  Ya-chau  on  the  14th,  a  distance  of  75  miles. — H.  C]  (Ritter, 
IV.  190  seqq.  ;  Cooper,  pp.  164- 1 73  ;  Richthofen  in  Verhandl.  Ges.  f.  Erdk.  zu  Berlin, 
1874,  p.  35.) 

Tibet  was  always  reckoned  as  a  part  of  the  Empire  of  the  Mongol  Kaans  in  the 
period  of  their  greatness,  but  it  is  not  very  clear  how  it  came  under  subjection  to  them. 
No  conquest  of  Tibet  by  their  armies  appears  to  be  related  by  either  the  Mahomedan 
or  the  Chinese  historians.  Yet  it  is  alluded  to  by  Piano  Carpini,  who  ascribes  the 
achievement  to  an  unnamed  son  of  Chinghiz,  and  narrated  by  Sanang  Setzen,  who 
says  that  the  King  of  Tibet  submitted  without  fighting  when  Chinghiz  invaded  his 
country  in  the  year  of  the  Panther  (1206).  During  the  reign  of  Mangku  Kaan,  in- 
deed, Uriangkadai,  an  eminent  Mongol  general  [son  of  Subudai]  who  had  accom- 
panied Prince  Kublai  in  1253  against  Yunnan,  did  in  the  following  year  direct  his 
arms  against  the  Tibetans.  But  this  campaign,  that  no  doubt  to  which  the  text 
alludes  as  "the  wars  of  Mangu  Kaan,"  appears  to  have  occupied  only  a  part  of  one 
season,  and  was  certainly  confined  to  the  parts  of  Tibet  on  the  frontiers  of  Yunnan  and 
Sze-ch'wan.  ["  In  the  Yuen-shi,  Tibet  is  mentioned  under  different  names.  Some- 
times the  Chinese  history  of  the  Mongols  uses  the  ancient  name  T'u-fan.  In  the 
Annals,  s.a.  1251,  we  read  :  'Mangu  Khan  entrusted  Ho-li-dan  with  the  command 
of  the  troops  against  T'u-fan.'  Sub  anno  1254  it  is  stated  that  Kublai  (who  at  that 
time  was  still  the  heir-apparent),  after  subduing  the  tribes  of  Yun-nan,  entered  7^u-fan, 
when  So-ho-to,  the  ruler  of  the  country,  surrendered.  Again,  s.a.  1275:  'The 
prince  Al-lu-chi  (seventh  son  of  Kublai)  led  an  expedition  to  T'u-fan,9  In  chap,  ccii., 
biography  of  Ba-sz'-ba,  the  Lama  priest  who  invented  Kiiblai's  official  alphabet,  it  is 
stated  that  this  Lama  was  a  native  of  Sa-sz'-kia  in  T'u-fan."  (Bret Schneider,  Med  Res. 
II.  p.  23.) — H.  C]  Koeppen  seems  to  consider  it  certain  that  there  was  no  actual 
conquest  of  Tibet,  and  that  Kublai  extended  his  authority  over  it  only  by  diplomacy 
and  the  politic  handling  of  the  spiritual  potentates  who  had  for  several  generations  in 
Tibet  been  the  real  rulers  of  the  country.  It  is  certain  that  Chinese  history  attributes 
the  organisation  of  civil  administration  in  Tibet  to  Kublai.  Mati  Dhwaja,  a  young  and 
able  member  of  the  family  which  held  the  hereditary  primacy  of  the  Satya  [Sakya] 
convent,  and  occupied  the  most  influential  position  in  Tibet,  was  formerly  recognised 
by  the  Emperor  as  the  head  of  the  Lamaite  Church  and  as  the  tributary  Ruler  of  Tibet. 
He  is  the  same  person  that  we  have  already  (vol.  i.  p.  28)  mentioned  as  the  Passepa  or 
Bashpah  Lama,  the  inventor  of  Kiiblai's  official  alphabet.  (Carpini,  658,  709  ; 
D  Avezac,  564  ;  S.  Setzen,  89  ;  D'Ohsson,  II.  317 ;  Koeppen,  II.  96  ;  Amyot,  XIV.  128. ) 

With  the  caution  that  Marco's  Travels  in  Tibet  were  limited  to  the  same 
mountainous  country  on  the  frontier  of  Sze-ch'wan,  we  defer  further  geographical 
comment  till  he  brings  us  to  Yunnan. 

Note  2. — Marco  exaggerates  a  little  about  the  bamboos  ;  but  before  gunpowder 
became  familiar,  no  sharp  explosive  sounds  of  this  kind  were  known  to  ordinary  ex- 
perience, and  exaggeration  was  natural.  I  have  been  close  to  a  bamboo  jungle  on 
fire.  There  was  a  great  deal  of  noise  comparable  to  musketry  ;  but  the  bamboos  were 
not  of  the  large  kind  here  spoken  of.  The  Hon.  Robert  Lindsay,  describing  his 
elephant-catching  in  Silhet,  says  :  "  At  night  each  man  lights  a  fire  at  his  post,  and 
furnishes  himself  with  a  dozen  joints  of  the  large  bamboo,  one  of  which  he  occasionally 
throws  into  the  fire,  and  the  air  it  contains  being  rarefied  by  the  heat,  it  explodes  with 
a  report  as  loud  as  a  musket."     (Lives  of  the  Lindsays,  III.  191.  ) 

[Dr.  Bretschneider  (Hist  of Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  3)  says:  "  In  corroboration  of  Polo's 
statement  regarding  the  explosions  produced  when  burning  bamboos,  I  may  adduce 
Sir  Joseph  Hooker's  Himalayan  Journals  (edition  of  1891,  p.  100),  where  in  speaking  of 
the  fires  in  the  jungles,  he  says  :  '  Their  triumph  is  in  reaching  a  great  bamboo  clump, 
when  the  noise  of  the  flames  drowns  that  of  the  torrents,  and  as  the  great  stem-joints 
burst,  from  the  expansion  of  the  confined  air,  the  report  is  as  that  of  a  salvo  from  a 
park  of  artillery.'  "— H.  C] 

48  MARCO    POLO 

Book  II. 

Richthofen  remarks  that  nowhere  in  China  does  the  bamboo  attain  such  a  size  as 
in  this  region.  Bamboos  of  three  palms  in  girth  (28  to  30  inches)  exist,  but  are  not 
ordinary,  I  should  suppose,  even  in  Sze-ch'wan.  In  1855  I  took  some  pains  to 
procure  in  Pegu  a  specimen  of  the  largest  attainable  bamboo.  It  was  10  inches  in 

Note  3. — M.  Gabriel  Durand,  a  missionary  priest,  thus  describes  his  journey  in 
1 86 1  to  Kiangka,  via  Ta-t'sien-lu,  a  line  of  country  partly  coincident  with  that  which 
Polo  is  traversing  :  "Every  day  we  made  a  journey  of  nine  or  ten  leagues,  and  halted 
for  the  night  in  a  Kung-kuan.  These  are  posts  dotted  at  intervals  of  about  ten 
leagues  along  the  road  to  Hlassa,  and  usually  guarded  by  three  soldiers,  though  the 
more  important  posts  have  twenty.  With  the  exception  of  some  Tibetan  houses,  few 
and  far  between,  these  are  the  only  habitations  to  be  seen  on  this  silent  and  deserted 
road.  .  .  .  Lytang  was  the  first  collection  of  houses  that  we  had  seen  in  ten  days' 
march."     {Ann.  de  la  Profiag.  de  la  Foi,  XXXV.  352  seqq.) 

Note  4. — Such  practices  are  ascribed  to  many  nations.  Martini  quotes  something 
similar  from  a  Chinese  author  about  tribes  in  Yunnan  ;  and  Gamier  says  such  loose 
practices  are  still  ascribed  to  the  Sifan  near  the  southern  elbow  of  the  Kin-sha  Kiang. 
Even  of  the  Mongols  themselves  and  kindred  races,  Pallas  asserts  that  the  young 
women  regard  a  number  of  intrigues  rather  as  a  credit  and  recommendation  than 
otherwise.  Japanese  ideas  seem  to  be  not  very  different.  In  old  times  ./Elian  gives 
much  the  same  account  of  the  Lydian  women.  Herodotus's  Gindanes  of  Lybia  afford  a 
perfect  parallel,  "  whose  women  wear  on  their  legs  anklets  of  leather.  Each  lover 
that  a  woman  has  gives  her  one  ;  and  she  who  can  show  most  is  the  best  esteemed,  as 
she  appears  to  have  been  loved  by  the  greatest  number  of  men."  {Martini,  142  ; 
Gamier,  I.  520  ;  Pall.  Samml.  II.  235  ;  AlI.  Var.  Hist.  III.  1  ;  Pawl.  Herod.  Bk. 
IV.  ch.  clxxvi.) 

["Among  some  uncivilised  peoples,  women  having  many  gallants  are  esteemed 
better  than  virgins,  and  are  more  anxiously  desired  in  marriage.  This  is,  for  instance, 
stated  to  be  the  case  with  the  Indians  of  Quito,  the  Laplanders  in  Regnard's  days,  and 
the  Hill  Tribes  of  North  Aracan.  But  in  each  of  these  cases  we  are  expressly  told 
that  want  of  chastity  is  considered  a  merit  in  the  bride,  because  it  is  held  to  be  the 
best  testimony  to  the  value  of  her  attractions."  {Wester ?narck,  Human  Marriage, 
p.  81.)— H.  C] 

Mr.  Cooper's  Journal,  when  on  the  banks  of  the  Kin-sha  Kiang,  west  of  Bathang, 
affords  a  startling  illustration  of  the  persistence  of  manners  in  this  region  :  "  At  I2h. 
30m.  we  arrived  at  a  road-side  house,  near  which  was  a  grove  of  walnut-trees  ;  here 
we  alighted,  when  to  my  surprise  I  was  surrounded  by  a  group  of  young  girls  and  two 
elderly  women,  who  invited  me  to  partake  of  a  repast  spread  under  the  trees.  .  .  . 
I  thought  I  had  stumbled  on  a  pic-nic  party,  of  which  the  Tibetans  are  so  fond. 
Having  finished,  I  lighted  my  pipe  and  threw  myself  on  the  grass  in  a  state  of  castle- 
building.  I  had  not  lain  thus  many  seconds  when  the  maidens  brought  a  young  girl 
about  1 5  years  old,  tall  and  very  fair,  placed  her  on  the  grass  beside  me,  and  forming 
a  ring  round  us,  commenced  to  sing  and  dance.  The  little  maid  beside  me,  however, 
was  bathed  in  tears.  All  this,  I  must  confess,  a  little  puzzled  me,  when  Philip  (the 
Chinese  servant)  with  a  long  face,  came  to  my  aid,  saying,  '  Well,  Sir,  this  is  a  bad 
business  ....  they  are  marrying  you.''  Good  heavens  !  how  startled  I  was."  For 
the  honourable  conclusion  of  this  Anglo-Tibetan  idyll  I  must  refer  to  Mr.  Cooper's 
Journal.     (See  the  now  published  Travels,  ch.  x.) 

Note  5.— All  this  is  clearly  meant  to  apply  only  to  the  rude  people  towards  the 
Chinese  frontier  ;  nor  would  the  Chinese  (says  Richthofen)  at  this  day  think  the 
description  at  all  exaggerated,  as  applied  to  the  Lolo  who  occupy  the  mountains  to 
the  south  of  Yachaufu.  The  members  of  the  group  at  p.  47,  from  Lieutenant  Garnier's 
book,  are  there  termed  Man-tzu ;  but  the  context  shows  them  to  be  of  the  race  of 
these  Lolos.    (See  below,  pp.  60,  61.)     The  passage  about  the  musk  animal,  both  in 

Chap.  XLVI.  PEOPLE  OF  TEBET  49 

Pauthier  and  in  the  G.  T.,  ascribes  the  word  Gudderi  to  the  language  "of  that  people," 
i.e.  of  the  Tibetans.  The  Geog.  Latin,  however,  has  "  Hngud  Tartaricd,"  and  this 
is  the  fact.  Klaproth  informs  us  that  Guderi  is  the  Mongol  word.  And  it  will  be 
found  {Kuderi)  in  Kovalevski's  Dictionary,  No.  2594.  Musk  is  still  the  most  valuable 
article  that  goes  from  Ta-t'sien-lu  to  China.  Much  is  smuggled,  and  single  travellers 
will  come  all  the  way  from  Canton  or  Si-ngan  fu  to  take  back  a  small  load  of  it. 
(Richthofen. ) 


Further  Discourse  concerning  Tebet. 

This  province,  called  Tebet,  is  of  very  great  extent 
The  people,  as  I  have  told  you,  have  a  language  of  their 
own,  and  they  are  Idolaters,  and  they  border  on  Manzi 
and  sundry  other  regions.  Moreover,  they  are  very 
great  thieves. 

The  country  is,  in  fact,  so  great  that  it  embraces 
eight  kingdoms,  and  a  vast  number  of  cities  and  villages.1 
It  contains  in  several  quarters  rivers  and  lakes,  in  which 
gold-dust  is  found  in  great  abundance.2  Cinnamon  also 
grows  there  in  great  plenty.  Coral  is  in  great  demand 
in  this  country  and  fetches  a  high  price,  for  they  delight 
to  hang  it  round  the  necks  of  their  women  and  of  their 
idols.3  They  have  also  in  this  country  plenty  of  fine 
woollens  and  other  stuffs,  and  many  kinds  of  spices  are 
produced  there  which  are  never  seen  in  our  country. 

Among  this  people,  too,  you  find  the  best  enchanters 
and  astrologers  that  exist  in  all  that  quarter  of  the  world  ; 
they  perform  such  extraordinary  marvels  and  sorceries  by 
diabolic  art,  that  it  astounds  one  to  see  or  even  hear  of 
them.  So  I  will  relate  none  of  them  in  this  book  of 
ours ;  people  would  be  amazed  if  they  heard  them,  but  it 
would  serve  no  good  purpose.4 

These  people  of  Tebet  are  an  ill-conditioned  race. 
They  have  mastiff  dogs  as  bigs  as  donkeys,  which  are 

VOL.    II.  D 



Book  II. 

capital  at  seizing  wild  beasts  [and  in  particular  the  wild 
oxen  which  are  called  Beyamini,  very  great  and  fierce 
animals].  They  have  also  sundry  other  kinds  of  sport- 
ino-  doo-s,  and  excellent  lanner  falcons  [and  sakers],  swift 
in  flio-ht  and  well-trained,  which  are  got  in  the  mountains 
of  the  country.5 

Now  I  have  told  you  in  brief  all  that  is  to  be  said 
about  Tebet,  and  so  we  will  leave  it,  and  tell  you  about 
another  province  that  is  called  Caindu. 

<.  ■ — — 

Village  of  Eastern  Tibet  on  Sze-ch'wan  Frontier.     (From  Cooper.) 

As  regards  Tebet,  however,  vou  should  understand 
that  it  is  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan.  So,  likewise,  all 
the  other  kingdoms,  regions,  and  provinces  which  are 
described  in  this  book  are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan  ; 
nay,  even  those  other  kingdoms,  regions,  and  provinces 
of  which  I  had  occasion  to  speak  at  the  beginning  of  the 
book  as  belonging  to  the  son  of  Argon,  the  Lord  of  the 
Levant,  are  also  subject  to  the  Emperor  ;  for  the  former 
holds  his  dominion  of  the  Kaan,  and  is  his  liegeman  and 

Roads  in  Eastern  Tibet.     (Gorge  of  the  Lan  t'sang  Kiang,  from  Cooper.,) 

VrOL.     II. 

D    2 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

kinsman  of  the  blood  Imperial.  So  you  must  know  that 
from  this  province  forward  all  the  provinces  mentioned  in 
our  book  are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan  ;  and  even  if  this 
be  not  specially  mentioned,  you  must  understand  that  it 
is  so. 

Now  let  us  have  done  with  this  matter,  and  I  will  tell 
you  about  the  Province  of  Caindu. 

Note  i. — Here  Marco  at  least  shows  that  he  knew  Tibet  to  be  much  more 
extensive  than  the  small  part  of  it  that  he  had  seen.  But  beyond  this  his  information 
amounts  to  little. 

Note  2. — "  Or  de paliolle."  "  Oro  di pagliuola"  (pagliuola,  "  a  spangle")  must 
have  been  the  technical  phrase  for  what  we  call  gold-dust,  and  the  French  now  call 
or  en  paillettes ',  a  phrase  used  by  a  French  missionary  in  speaking  of  this  very  region. 
(Ann.  de  la  Foi,  XXXVII.  427.)  Yet  the  only  example  of  this  use  of  the  word  cited 
in  the  Voc.  Ital.  Universale  is  from  this  passage  of  the  Crusca  MS. ;  and  Pipino  seems 
not  to  have  understood  it,  translating  "  aitrtim  quod  ^zVzY^r  Deplaglola  "  ;  whilst  Zurla 
says  erroneously  that  pajola  is  an  old  Italian  word  for  gold.  Pegolotti  uses  argent 0 
in  pagliuola  (p.  219).  A  Barcelona  tariff  of  1271  sets  so  much  on  every  mark  of 
Pallola.  And  the  old  Portuguese  navigators  seem  always  to  have  used  the  same 
expression  for  the  gold-dust  of  Africa,  ouro  de  pajola.  (See  Major  s  Prince  Henry, 
pp.  ill,  112,  116;  Capmany  Memorias,  etc.,  II.  App.  p.  73  ;  also  ltAurum  de  Pajola," 
in  Usodimare  of  Genoa,  see  Grdberg,  Annali,  II.  290,  quoted  by  Peschel,  p.  178.) 

Note  3. — The  cinnamon  must  have  been  the  coarser  cassia  produced  in  the  lower 
parts  of  this  region  (See  note  to  next  chapter.)  We  have  already  (Book  I.  ch.  xxxi.) 
quoted  Tavernier's  testimony  to  the  rage  for  coral  among  the  Tibetans  and  kindred 
peoples.  Mr.  Cooper  notices  the  eager  demand  for  coral  at  Bathang :  (See  also 
Desgodins,  La  Mission  du  Thibet,  310.) 

Note  4. — See  supra,  Bk.  I.  ch.  lxi.  note  II. 

Note  5. — The  big  Tibetan  mastiffs  are  now  well  known.  Mr.  Cooper,  at 
Ta-t'sien  lu,  notes  that  the  people  of  Tibetan  race  "keep  very  large  dogs,  as  large  as 
Newfoundlands."  And  he  mentions  a  pack  of  dogs  of  another  breed,  tan  and  black, 
"  fine  animals  of  the  size  of  setters."  The  missionary  M.  Durand  also,  in  a  letter  from 
the  region  in  question,  says,  speaking  of  a  large  leopard  :  "Our  brave  watch-dogs 
had  several  times  beaten  him  off  gallantly,  and  one  of  them  had  even  in  single  combat 
with  him  received  a  blow  of  the  paw  which  had  laid  his  skull  open."  (Ann.  de  la 
Prop  de  la  Foi,  XXXVII.  314.)  On  the  title-page  of  vol.  i.  we  have  introduced  one 
of  these  big  Tibetan  dogs  as  brought  home  by  the  Polos  to  Venice. 

The  "  wild  oxen  called  BeyaminV  are  probably  some  such  species  as  the  Gaur. 
Beyamini  I  suspect  to  be  no  Oriental  word,  but  to  stand  for  Buemini,  i.e.  Bohemian, 
a  name  which  may  have  been  given  by  the  Venetians  to  either  the  bison  or  urus. 
Polo's  contemporary,  Brunetto  Latini,  seems  to  speak  of  one  of  these  as  still  existing 
in  his  day  in  Germany  :  "Autre  buef  naissent  en  Alemaigne  qui  ont  grans  cors,  et 
sont  bons  por  sommicr  et  por  vin  porter."  (Paris  ed.,  p.  228;  see  also  Lubbock, 
Pre- historic  Times,  296-7.) 

[Mr.  Baber  (Travels,  pp.  39,  40)  writes  :  "A  special  interest  attaches  to  the  wild 
oxen,  since  they  are  unknown  in  any  other  part  of  China  Proper.  From  a  Lolo  chief 
and  his  followers,  most  enthusiastic  hunters,  I  afterwards  learnt  that  the  cattle  are 


met  with  in  herds  of  from  seven  to  twenty  head  in  the  recesses  of  the  Wilderness, 
which  may  be  denned  as  the  region  between  the  T'ung  River  and  Yachou,  but  that 
in  general  they  are  rarely  seen.  ...  I  was  lucky  enough  to  obtain  a  pair  of  horns  and 
part  of  the  hide  of  one  of  these  redoubtable  animals,  which  seem  to  show  that  they 
are  a  kind  of  bison.'  Sir  H.  Yule  remarks  in  a  footnote  {Ibid.  p.  40):  "  It  is  not 
possible  to  say  from  what  is  stated  here  what  the  species  is,  but  probably  it  is  a  gavceus, 
of  which  Jerdan  describes  three  species.  (See  Mammals  of  India,  pp.  301-307.)  Mr. 
Hodgson  describes  the  Gaur  {Gavoeus  gaurus  of  Jerdan)  of  the  forests  below  Nepaul 
as  fierce  and  revengeful." — H.  C] 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Caindu. 

Caindu  is  a  province  lying  towards  the  west,1  and  there 
is  only  one  king  in  it.  The  people  are  Idolaters,  subject 
to  the  Great  Kaan,  and  they  have  plenty  of  towns  and 
villages.  [The  chief  city  is  also  called  Caindu,  and 
stands  at  the  upper  end  of  the  province.]  There  is  a 
lake  here,*  in  which  are  found  pearls  [which  are  white 
but  not  round].  But  the  Great  Kaan  will  not  allow 
them  to  be  fished,  for  if  people  were  to  take  as  many  as 
they  could  find  there,  the  supply  would  be  so  vast  that 
pearls  would  lose  their  value,  and  come  to  be  worth 
nothing.  Only  when  it  is  his  pleasure  they  take  from 
the  lake  so  many  as  he  may  desire  ;  but  any  one  attempt- 
ing to  take  them  on  his  own  account  would  be  incon- 
tinently put  to  death. 

There  is  also  a  mountain  in  this  country  wherein  they 
find  a  kind  of  stone  called  turquoise,  in  great  abundance  ; 
and  it  is  a  very  beautiful  stone.  These  also  the  Emperor 
does  not  allow  to  be  extracted  without  his  special  order.2 

I  must  tell  you  of  a  custom  that  they  have  in  this 
country  regarding  their  women.  No  man  considers 
himself  wronged  if  a  foreigner,  or  any  other  man,  dis- 

*  Ramusio  alone  has  "  a  great  salt  lake.'' 

54  MARCO    POLO  Book  It. 

honour  his  wife,  or  daughter,  or  sister,  or  any  woman  of 
his  family,  but  on  the  contrary  he  deems  such  intercourse 
a  piece  of  good  fortune.  And  they  say  that  it  brings 
the  favour  of  their  gods  and  idols,  and  great  increase  of 
temporal  prosperity.  For  this  reason  they  bestow  their 
wives  on  foreigners  and  other  people  as  I  will  tell  you. 

When  they  fall  in  with  any  stranger  in  want  of  a 
lodging  they  are  all  eager  to  take  him  in.  And  as  soon 
as  he  has  taken  up  his  quarters  the  master  of  the  house 
goes  forth,  telling  him  to  consider  everything  at  his 
disposal,  and  after  saying  so  he  proceeds  to  his  vineyards 
or  his  fields,  and  comes  back  no  more  till  the  stranger  has 
departed.  The  latter  abides  in  the  caitiffs  house,  be  it 
three  days  or  be  it  four,  enjoying  himself  with  the  fellow's 
wife  or  daughter  or  sister,  or  whatsoever  woman  of  the 
family  it  best  likes  him  ;  and  as  long  as  he  abides  there 
he  leaves  his  hat  or  some  other  token  hanging  at  the 
door,  to  let  the  master  of  the  house  know  that  he  is  still 
there.  As  long  as  the  wretched  fellow  sees  that  token, 
he  must  not  go  in.  And  such  is  the  custom  over  all 
that  province.3 

The  money  matters  of  the  people  are  conducted  in 
this  way.  They  have  gold  in  rods  which  they  weigh, 
and  they  reckon  its  value  by  its  weight  in  saggi,  but  they 
have  no  coined  money.  Their  small  change  again  is 
made  in  this  way.  They  have  salt  which  they  boil  and 
set  in  a  mould  [flat  below  and  round  above],4  and  every 
piece  from  the  mould  weighs  about  half  a  pound.  Now, 
So  moulds  of  this  salt  are  worth  one  saggio  of  fine  gold, 
which  is  a  weight  so  called.  So  this  salt  serves  them 
for  small  change.5 

The  musk  animals  are  very  abundant  in  that  country, 
and  thus  of  musk  also  they  have  great  store.  They 
have  likewise  plenty  of  fish  which  they  catch  in  the  lake 
in  which  the  pearls  are  produced.       Wild  animals,  such 


56  MARCO    POLO 

Book  II. 

as  lions,  bears,  wolves,  stags,  bucks  and  roes,  exist  in  great 
numbers  ;  and  there  are  also  vast  quantities  of  fowl  of 
every  kind.  Wine  of  the  vine  they  have  none,  but  they 
make  a  wine  of  wheat  and  rice  and  sundry  good  spices, 
and  very  good  drink  it  is.6  There  grows  also  in  this 
country  a  quantity  of  clove.  The  tree  that  bears  it  is  a 
small  one,  with  leaves  like  laurel  but  longer  and  narrower, 
and  with  a  small  white  flower  like  the  clove.7  They 
have  also  ginger  and  cinnamon  in  great  plenty,  besides 
other  spices  which  never  reach  our  countries,  so  we  need 
say  nothing  about  them. 

Now  we  may  leave  this  province,  as  we  have  told  you 
all  about  it.  But  let  me  tell  you  first  of  this  same 
country  of  Caindu  that  you  ride  through  it  ten  days, 
constantly  meeting  with  towns  and  villages,  with  people 
of  the  same  description  that  I  have  mentioned.  After 
riding  those  ten  days  you  come  to  a  river  called  Brius, 
which  terminates  the  province  of  Caindu.  In  this  river 
is  found  much  gold-dust,  and  there  is  also  much  cinnamon 
on  its  banks.      It  flows  to  the  Ocean  Sea. 

There  is  no  more  to  be  said  about  this  river,  so  I 
will  now  tell  you  about  another  province  called  Carajan, 
as  you  shall  hear  in  what  follows. 

Note  i. — Ramusio's  version  here  enlarges:  "Don't  suppose  from  my  saying 
towards  the  west  that  these  countries  really  lie  in  what  we  call  the  west,  but  only  that 
we  have  been  travelling  from  regions  in  the  east-north-east  towards  the  west,  and 
hence  we  speak  of  the  countries  we  come  to  as  lying  towards  the  west." 

Note  2. — Chinese  authorities  quoted  by  Ritter  mention  mother- d -pearl  as  a  pro- 
duct of  Lithang,  and  speak  of  turquoises  as  found  in  Djaya  to  the  west  of  Bathang. 
{Ritter,  IV.  235-236.)  Neither  of  these  places  is,  however,  within  the  tract  which  we 
believe  to  be  Caindu.  Amyot  states  that  pearls  are  found  in  a  certain  river  of 
Vun-nan.     (See  Trans.  R.  A.  Soc.  II.  91.) 

Note  3. — This  alleged  practice,  like  that  mentioned  in  the  last  chapter  but  one, 
is  ascribed  to  a  variety  of  people  in  different  parts  of  the  world.  Both,  indeed,  have 
a  curious  double  parallel  in  the  story  of  two  remote  districts  of  the  Himalaya  which 
was  told  to  Bernier  by  an  old  Kashmiri.  (See  Amst.  ed.  II.  304-305.)  Polo  has  told 
nearly  the  same  story  already  of  the  people  of  Kamul.  (Bk.  I.  ch.  xli.)  It  is  related 
by  Strabo  of  the  Massagetre ;  by  Eusebius  of  the  Geli  and  the  Bactrians ;  by 
Elphinstone   of  the   Ilazaras ;   by   Mendoza   of  the    Ladrone    Islanders ;    by   other 

Chap.  XLVII.  SALT   AS   CURRENCY  ,  57 

authors  of  the  Nairs  of  Malabar,  and  of  some  of  the  aborigines  of  the  Canary  Islands. 
{Caubul,  I.  209;  Mendoza,  II.  254;  Miiller }s  Strabo ,  p.  439;  Euseb.  Praep.  Evan. 
vi.  10;  Major's  Pr.  Henry,  p.  213.) 

Note  4. — Ramusio  has  here:  "as  big  as  a  twopenny  loaf,"  and  adds,  "on 
the  money  so  made  the  Prince's  mark  is  printed  ;  and  no  one  is  allowed  to  make  it 
except  the  royal  officers.  .  .  .  And  merchants  take  this  currency  and  go  to  those 
tribes  that  dwell  among  the  mountains  of  those  parts  in  the  wildest  and  most  un- 
frequented quarters ;  and  there  they  get  a  saggio  of  gold  for  60,  or  50,  or  40  pieces 
of  this  salt  money,  in  proportion  as  the  natives  are  more  barbarous  and  more  remote 
from  towns  and  civilised  folk.  For  in  such  positions  they  cannot  dispose  at  pleasure 
of  their  gold  and  other  things,  such  as  musk  and  the  like,  for  want  of  purchasers ; 
and  so  they  give  them  cheap.  .  .  .  And  the  merchants  travel  also  about  the 
mountains  and  districts  of  Tebet,  disposing  of  this  salt  money  in  like  manner  to  their 
own  great  gain.  For  those  people,  besides  buying  necessaries  from  the  merchants, 
want  this  salt  to  use  in  their  food  ;  whilst  in  the  towns  only  broken  fragments  are 
used  in  food,  the  whole  cakes  being  kept  to  use  as  money."  This  exchange  of  salt  cakes 
for  gold  forms  a  curious  parallel  to  the  like  exchange  in  the  heart  of  Africa,  narrated 
by  Cosmas  in  the  6th  century,  and  by  Aloisio  Cadamosto  in  the  15th.  (See  Cathay, 
pp.  clxx-clxxi.)  Ritter  also  calls  attention  to  an  analogous  account  in  Alvarez's 
description  of  Ethiopia.  "The  salt,"  Alvarez  says,  "is  current  as  money,  not  only 
in  the  kingdom  of  Prester  John,  but  also  in  those  of  the  Moors  and  the  pagans,  and 
the  people  here  say  that  it  passes  right  on  to  Manicongo  upon  the  Western  Sea. 
This  salt  is  dug  from  the  mountain,  it  is  said,  in  squared  blocks.  ...  At  the  place 
where  they  are  dug,  100  or  120  such  pieces  pass  for  a  drachm  of  gold  .  .  .  equal 
to  I  of  a  ducat  of  gold.  When  they  arrive  at  a  certain  fair  .  .  .  one  day  from  the 
salt  mine,  these  go  5  or  6  pieces  fewer  to  the  drachm.  And  so,  from  fair  to  fair, 
fewer  and  fewer,  so  that  when  they  arrive  at  the  capital  there  will  be  only  6  or  7 
pieces  to  the  drachm."  {Ramusio,  I.  207.)  Lieutenant  Bower,  in  his  account  of  Major 
Sladen's  mission,  says  that  at  Momein  the  salt,  which  was  a  government  monopoly, 
was  "made  up  in  rolls  of  one  and  two  viss"  (a  Rangoon  viss  is  3  lbs.  5  oz.  5^  drs.), 
"and  stamped"  (p.  120). 

[At  Hsia-Kuan,  near  Ta-li,  Captain  Gill  remarked  to  a  friend  (II.  p.  312)  "that 
the  salt,  instead  of  being  in  the  usual  great  flat  cakes  about  two  or  two  and  a  half  feet 
in  diameter,  was  made  in  cylinders  eight  inches  in  diameter  and  nine  inches  high. 
*  Yes,'  he  said,  '  they  make  them  here  in  a  sort  of  loaves,'  unconsciously  using  almost 
the  words  of  old  Polo,  who  said  the  salt  in  Yun-Nan  was  in  pieces  '  as  big  as  a  two- 
penny loaf.'"     (See  also  p.  334.) — H.  C] 

M.  Desgodins,  a  missionary  in  this  part  of  Tibet,  gives  some  curious  details  of 
the  way  in  which  the  civilised  traders  still  prey  upon  the  simple  hill-folks  of  that 
quarter ;  exactly  as  the  Hindu  Banyas  prey  upon  the  simple  forest-tribes  of  India. 
He  states  one  case  in  which  the  account  for  a  pig  had  with  interest  run  up  to  2127 
bushels  of  corn  !     {Ann.  de  la  Prop  de  la  Foi,  XXXVI.  320.) 

Gold  is  said  still  to  be  very  plentiful  in  the  mountains  called  Gulan  Sigong,  to  the 
N.W.  of  Yun-nan,  adjoining  the  great  eastern  branch  of  the  Irawadi,  and  the  Chinese 
traders  go  there  to  barter  for  it.     (See  J.  A.  S.  B.  VI.  272.) 

Note  5. — Salt  is  still  an  object  highly  coveted  by  the  wild  Lolos  already  alluded 
to,  and  to  steal  it  is  a  chief  aim  of  their  constant  raids  on  Chinese  villages.  {Richthofen 
in  Verhandlungen,  etc.,  u.  s.  p.  36.)  On  the  continued  existence  of  the  use  of  salt 
currency  in  regions  of  the  same  frontier,  I  have  been  favoured  with  the  following  note 
by  M.  Francis  Garnier,  the  distinguished  leader  of  the  expedition  of  the  great 
Kamboja  River  in  its  latter  part  :  "  Salt  currency  has  a  very  wide  diffusion  from 
Muang  Yong[in  the  Burman-Shan  country,  about  lat.  210  43']  to  Sheu-pin  [in  Yun-nan, 
about  lat.  230  43'].  In  the  Shan  markets,  especially  within  the  limits  named,  all 
purchases  are  made  with  salt.      At  Sse-mao  and  Pou-erl  [Esmok  and  Puer  of  some  of 



Book  II. 

our  maps],  silver,  weighed  and  cut  in  small  pieces,  is  in  our  day  tending  to  drive  out 
the  custom  ;  but  in  former  days  it  must  have  been  universal  in  the  tract  of  which  I 
am  speaking.  The  salt  itself,  prime  necessity  as  it  is,  has  there  to  be  extracted  by 
condensation  from  saline  springs  of  great  depth,  a  very  difficult  affair.  The  operation 
consumes  enormous  quantities  of  fuel,  and  to  this  is  partly  due  the  denudation  of  the 
country."  Marco's  somewhat  rude  description  of  the  process,  "  II ' preniient  la  sel  e  la 
font  cnire,  et  puis  la  gitent  en  forme"  points  to  the  manufacture  spoken  of  in  this 
note.  The  cut  which  we  give  from  M.  Garnier's  work  illustrates  the  process,  but  the 
cakes  are  vastly  greater  than  Marco's.  Instead  of  a  half-pound  they  weigh  a  picul, 
i.e.  133^  lbs.  In  Sze-ch'wan  the  brine  wells  are  bored  to  a  depth  of  700  to  1000  feet ; 
and  the  brine  is  drawn  up  in  bamboo  tubes  by  a  gin.  In  Yun-nan  the  wells  are 
much  less  deep,  and  a  succession  of  hand  pumps  is  used  to  raise  the  brine. 

[Mr.  Hosie  has  a  chapter  {Three  Years  in  W.  China,  VII.)  to  which  he  has  given 
the  title  of  Through  Caindu  to  Carajan ;   regarding  salt  he  writes  (p.  121):     "  Th  1 

Salt-pans  in  Yun-nan.    (From  Gamier.) 

"!l  jitenttcnt  I*  scl  t  In  font  tuxxt,  ti  puts  la  gitent  en  fount" 

brine  wells  from  which  the  salt  is  derived  lie  at  Pai-yen-ching,  14  miles  to  the 
south-west  of  the  city  [of  Yen-yuan]  .  .  .  [they]  are  only  two  in  number,  and 
comparatively  shallow,  being  only  50  feet  in  depth.  Bamboo  tubes,  ropes  and 
buffaloes  are  here  dispensed  with,  and  small  wooden  tubs,  with  bamboos  fixed  to 
their  sides  as  handles  for  raising,  are  considered  sufficient.  At  one  of  the  wells  a 
staging  was  erected  half-way  down,  and  from  it  the  tubs  of  brine  were  passed  up  to 
the  workmen  above.  Passing  from  the  wells  to  the  evaporating  sheds,  we  found  a 
series  of  mud  furnaces  with  round  holes  at  the  top,  into  which  cone-shaped  pans, 
manufactured  from  iron  obtained  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  varying  in  height  from 
one  to  two  and  a  half  feet,  were  loosely  fitted.  When  a  pan  has  been  sufficiently 
heated,  a  ladleful  of  the  brine  is  poured  into  it,  and,  bubbling  up  to  the  surface,  it 

Chap.  XLVIt.  CASSIA  59 

sinks,  leaving  a  saline  deposit  on  the  inside  of  the  pan.  This  process  is  repeated  until 
a  layer,  some  four  inches  thick,  and  corresponding  to  the  shape  of  the  pan,  is  formed, 
when  the  salt  is  removed  as  a  hollow  cone  ready  for  market.  Care  must  be  taken  to 
keep  the  bottom  of  the  pan  moist ;  otherwise,  the  salt  cone  would  crack,  and  be 
rendered  unfit  for  the  rough  carriage  which  it  experiences  on  the  backs  of  pack 
animals.  A  soft  coal,  which  is  found  just  under  the  surface  of  the  yellow -soiled 
hills  seven  miles  to  the  west  of  Pai-yen-ching,  is  the  fuel  used  in  the  furnaces. 
The  total  daily  output  of  salt  at  these  wells  does  not  exceed  two  tons  a  day,  and  the 
cost  at  the  wells,  including  the  Government  tax,  amounts  to  about  three  half-pence  a 
pound.  The  area  of  supply,  owing  to  the  country  being  sparsely  populated,  is  greater 
than  the  output  would  lead  one  to  expect." — H.  C] 

Note  6. — The  spiced  wine  of  Kien-ch'ang  (see  note  to  next  chapter)  has  even  now 
a  high  repute.     (Richthofen.) 

Note  7. — M.  Pauthier  will  have  it  that  Marco  was  here  the  discoverer  of  Assam 
tea.  Assam  is,  indeed,  far  out  of  our  range,  but  his  notice  of  this  plant,  with  the 
laurel-like  leaf  and  white  flower,  was  brought  strongly  to  my  recollection  in  reading 
Mr.  Cooper's  repeated  notices,  almost  in  this  region,  of  the  large-leaved  tea-tree, 
with  its  white  flowers  ;  and,  again,  of  "the  hills  covered  with  tea-oil  trees,  all  white 
with  flowers."  Still,  one  does  not  clearly  see  why  Polo  should  give  tea-trees  the 
name  of  cloves. 

Failing  explanation  of  this,  I  should  suppose  that  the  cloves  of  which  the  text 
speaks  were  cassia-duds,  an  article  once  more  prominent  in  commerce  (as  indeed  were 
all  similar  aromatics)  than  now,  but  still  tolerably  well  known.  I  was  at  once 
supplied  with  them  at  a  drogheria,  in  the  city  where  I  write  (Palermo),  on  asking  for 
Fiori  di  Canella,  the  name  under  which  they  are  mentioned  repeatedly  by  Pegolotti 
and  Uzzano,  in  the  14th  and  15th  centuries.  Friar  Jordanus,  in  speaking  of  the 
cinnamon  (or  cassia)  of  Malabar,  says,  "it  is  the  bark  of  a  large  tree  which  has  fruit 
and  flowers  like  cloves"  (p.  28).  The  cassia-buds  have  indeed  a  general  resemblance 
to  cloves,  but  they  are  shorter,  lighter  in  colour,  and  not  angular.  The  cinnamon, 
mentioned  in  the  next  lines  as  abundantly  produced  in  the  same  region,  was  no  doubt 
one  of  the  inferior  sorts,  called  cassia-bark. 

Williams  says  :  "  Cassia  grows  in  all  the  southern  provinces  of  China,  especially 
Kwang-si  and  Yun-nan,  also  in  An  nam,  Japan,  and  the  Isles  of  the  Archipelago. 
The  wood,  bark,  buds,  seeds,  twigs,  pods,  leaves,  oil,  are  all  objects  of  com- 
merce. .  .  .  The  buds  (hwei-tz')  are  the  fleshy  ovaries  of  the  seeds ;  they  are 
pressed  at  one  end,  so  that  they  bear  some  resemblance  to  cloves  in  shape."  Up- 
wards of  500  fliculs  (about  30  tons),  valued  at  30  dollars  each,  are  annually  exported 
to  Europe  and  India.     (Chin.  Commercial  Guide,  113- 114.) 

The  only  doubt  as  regards  this  explanation  will  probably  be  whether  the  cassia 
would  be  found  at  such  a  height  as  we  may  suppose  to  be  that  of  the  country  in 
question  above  the  sea-level.  I  know  that  cassia  bark  is  gathered  in  the  Kasia  Hills 
of  Eastern  Bengal  up  to  a  height  of  about  4000  feet  above  the  sea,  and  at  least  the 
valleys  of  "  Caindu  "  are  probably  not  too  elevated  for  this  product.  Indeed,  that  of 
the  Kin-sha  or  Brius,  near  where  I  suppose  Polo  to  cross  it,  is  only  2600  feet. 
Positive  evidence  I  cannot  adduce.  No  cassia  or  cinnamon  was  met  with  by  M. 
Garnier's  party  where  they  intersected  this  region. 

But  in  this  2nd  edition  I  am  able  to  state  on  the  authority  of  Baron  Richthofen 
that  cassia  is  produced  in  the  whole  length  of  the  valley  of  Kien-ch'ang  (which  is,  as 
we  shall  see  in  the  notes  on  next  chapter,  Caindu),  though  in  no  other  part  of 
Sze-ch'wan  nor  in  Northern  Yun-nan. 

[Captain  Gill  (River  of  Golden  Sand,  II.  p.  263)  writes  :  "  There  were  chestnut 
trees  .  .  ;  and  the  Kwei-Hua,  a  tree  '  with  leaves  like  the  laurel,  and  with  a  small 
white  flower,  like   the  clove,'   having  a  delicious,  though  rather  a  luscious   smell. 

60  MARCO    POLO  Book  11. 

This  was  the  Cassia,  and  I  can  find  no  words  more  suitable  to  describe  it  than  those 
of  Polo  which  I  have  just  used." — H.  C] 

Ethnology. — The  Chinese  at  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  according  to  Richthofen,  classify  the 
aborigines  of  the  Sze-ch'wan  frontier  as  Man-tzii,  Lolo,  Si-fan,  and  Tibetan.  Of 
these  the  Si-fan  are  furthest  north,  and  extend  far  into  Tibet.  The  Man-tzu 
(properly  so  called)  are  regarded  as  the  remnant  of  the  ancient  occupants  of  Sze-ch'wan, 
and  now  dwell  in  the  mountains  about  the  parallel  300,  and  along  the  Lhasa  road, 
Ta-t'sien  lu  being  about  the  centre  of  their  tract.  The  Lolo  are  the  wildest  and 
most  independent,  occupying  the  mountains  on  the  left  of  the  Kin-sha  Kiang  where 
it  runs  northwards  (see  above  p.  48,  and  below  p.  69)  and  also  to  some  extent  on  its 
right.  The  Tibetan  tribes  lie  to  the  west  of  the  Man-tzii,  and  to  the  west  of  Kien-ch'ang. 
(See  next  chapter.) 

Towards  the  Lan-ts'ang  Kiang  is  the  quasi-Tibetan  tribe  called  by  the  Chinese 
Mossos,  by  the  Tibetans  Guions,  and  between  the  Lan-ts'ang  and  the  Lu-Kiang  or 
Salwen  are  the  Lissus,  wild  hill-robbers  and  great  musk  hunters,  like  those  described 
by  Polo  at  p.  45.  Gamier,  who  gives  these  latter  particulars,  mentions  that  near  the 
confluence  of  the  Yalung  and  Kin-sha  Kiang  there  are  tribes  called  Pa-i,  as  there  are 
in  the  south  of  Yun-nan,  and,  like  the  latter,  of  distinctly  Shan  or  Laotian  character. 
He  also  speaks  of  Si-fan  tribes  in  the  vicinity  of  Li-kiang  fu,  and  coming  south  of  the 
Kin-sha  Kiang  even  to  the  east  of  Ta-li.  Of  these  are  told  such  loose  tales  as  Polo 
tells  of  Tebet  and  Caindu. 

[In  the  Topography  of  the  Yun-nan  Province  (edition  of  1836)  there  is  a  cata- 
logue of  141  classes  of  aborigines,  each  with  a  separate  name  and  illustration,  without 
any  attempt  to  arrive  at  a  broader  classification.  Mr.  Bourne  has  been  led  to  the 
conviction  that  exclusive  of  the  Tibetans  (including  Si-fan  and  Ku-tsung),  there  are 
but  three  great  non-Chinese  races  in  Southern  China  :  the  Lolo,  the  Shan,  and  the 
Miao-tzu.  {Report,  China,  No.  1,  1888,  p.  87.)  This  classification  is  adopted  by  Dr. 
Deblenne.     (Afission  Lyonnaise.) 

Man-tzii,  Man,  is  a  general  name  for  "barbarian"  (see  my  note  in  Odoric  de 
Pordenone,  p.  248  seqq.)  ;  it  is  applied  as  well  to  the  Lolo  as  to  the  Si-fan. 

Mr.  Parker  remarks  {China  Review,  XX.  p.  345)  that  the  epithet  of  Afan-tzu,  or 
"barbarians,"  dates  from  the  time  when  the  Shans,  Annamese,  Miao-tzu,  etc., 
occupied  nearly  all  South  China,  for  it  is  essentially  to  the  Indo-Chinese  that  the 
term  Man-tzii  belongs. 

Mr.  Hosie  writes  (Three  years  in  W.  China,  122)  :  "At  the  time  when  Marco 
Polo  passed  through  Caindu,  this  country  was  in  the  possession  of  the  Si-fans.  .  .  . 
At  the  present  day,  they  occupy  the  country  to  the  west,  and  are  known  under  the 
generic  name  of  Man-tzu." 

"  It  has  already  been  remarked  that  Si-fan,  convertible  with  Afan-tzii,  is  a  loose 
Chinese  expression  of  no  ethnological  value,  meaning  nothing  more  than  Western 
barbarians  ;  but  in  a  more  restricted  sense  it  is  used  to  designate  a  people  (or  peoples) 
which  inhabits  the  valley  of  the  Yalung  and  the  upper  T'ung,  with  contiguous  valleys 
and  ranges,  from  about  the  twenty-seventh  parallel  to  the  borders  of  Koko-nor.  This 
people  is  sub-divided  into  eighteen  tribes."     (Baber,  p.  81.) 

Si-fan  or  Pa-tsiu  is  the  name  by  which  the  Chinese  call  the  Tibetan  tribes  which 
occupy  part  of  Western  China.     (Deve'ria,  p.  167.) 

Dr.  Bretschneider  writes  {Afed.  Res.  II.  p.  24):  "The  north-eastern  part  of 
Tibet  was  sometimes  designated  by  the  Chinese  name  Si-fan,  and  Hyacinth 
[Bitchurin]  is  of  opinion  that  in  ancient  times  this  name  was  even  applied  to  the 
whole  of  Tibet.  Si-fan  means,  'Western  Barbarians.'  The  biographer  of  Hiuen- 
Tsang  reports  that  when  this  traveller,  in  629,  visited  Liang-chau  (in  the  province  of 
Kan-Suh),  this  city  was  the  entrepot  for  merchants  from  Si-fan  and  the  countries  east 
of  the  Ts'ung-ling  mountains.  In  the  history  of  the  Hia  and  Tangut  Empire  (in  the 
Sung-shi)  we  read,  s.  a.  1003,  that  the  founder  of  this  Empire  invaded  Si-fan  and 
then  proceeded  to  Si-liang  (Liang-chau).  The  Yuen-shi  reports,  s.  a.  1268:  'The 
(Mongol)   Emperor   ordered    Meng-gu-dai  to  invade  Si-fan  with  6000  men.'     The 

Chap.  XLVII. 



name  Si-fan  appears  also  in  ch.  ccii. ,  biography  of  Dan-da."  It  is  stated  in  the 
Ming-shi,  "  that  the  name  Si-fan  is  applied  to  the  territory  situated  beyond  the 
frontiers  of  the  Chinese  provinces  of  Shen-si  (then  including  the  eastern  part  of 
present  Kan-Suh)  and  Sze-ch'wan,  and  inhabited  by  various  tribes  of  Tangut  race, 
anciently  known  in  Chinese  history  under  the  name  of  Si  Kiang.  .  .  .  The 
Kuang  yu  ki  notices  that 
Si-fan  comprises  the  territory 
of  the  south-west  of  Shen-si, 
west  of  Sze-ch'wan  and  north- 
west of  Yun-nan.  .  .  .  The 
tribute  presented  by  the  Si- 
fan  tribes  to  the  Emperor 
used  to  be  carried  to  the  court 
at  Peking  byway  ofYa-chau 
in  Sze-ch'wan."  (Bretsch- 
neider,  203. )  The  Tangutans 
of  Prjevalsky,  north-east  of 
Tibet,  in  the  country  of  Ku- 
ku  nor,  correspond  to  the  Si- 

"The  Ta-tu  River  may 
be  looked  upon  as  the  south- 
ern limit  of  the  region  in- 
habited by  Sifan  tribes,  and 
the  northern  boundary  of  the 
Lolo  country  which  stretches 
southwards  to  the  Yang-tzu 
and  east  from  the  valley  of 
Kien-ch'ang  towardsthe  right 
bank  of  the  Min."  {Hosie^ 
p.  102.) 

To  Mr.  E.  C.  Baber  we 
owe  the  most  valuable  infor- 
mation regarding  the  Lolo 
people  : 

"  '  Lolo  '  is  itself  a  word 
of  insult,  of  unknown  Chinese 
origin,  which  should  not  be 
used  in  their  presence,  al- 
though they  excuse  it  and 
will  even  sometimes  employ 
it  in  the  case  of  ignorant 
strangers.  In  the  report  of 
Governor-General  Lo  Ping- 
chang,  above  quoted,  they 
are  called  '  I,'  the  term  ap- 
plied by  Chinese  to  Euro- 
peans. They  themselves 
have  no  objection  to  being 
styled  'I-chia'  (I  families), 
but  that  word  is  not  their 
native  name.  Near  Ma-pien  they  call  themselves  '  Lo-su ' ;  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Lui-po  T'ing  their  name  is  *  No-su  or  'Ngo-su'  (possibly  a  mere  variant  of 
*  Lo-su');  near  Hui-li-chou  the  term  is  '  Le-su ' — the  syllable  Le  being  pronounced 
as  in  French.  The  subject  tribes  on  the  T'ung  River,  near  Mount  Wa,  also  name 
themselves  'Ngo-su.'     I  have  found  the  latter  people  speak  very  disrespectfully  of 

Black  Lolo. 



Book  II. 

the  Le-su,  which  argues  an  internal  distinction ;  but  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  they 
are  the  same  race,  and  speak  the  same  language,  though  with  minor  differences  of 
dialect."     (Baber,  Travels,  66-67.) 

"  With  very  rare  exceptions  the  male  Lolo,  rich  or  poor,  free  or  subject,  may  be 
instantly  known  by  his  horn.  All  his  hair  is  gathered  into  a  knot  over  his  forehead 
and  there  twisted  up  in  a  cotton  cloth  so  as  to  resemble  the  horn  of  a  unicorn.     The 


White  Lolo. 

horn  with  its  wrapper  is  sometimes  a  good  nine  inches  long.  They  consider  this 
coiffure  sacred,  so  at  least  I  was  told,  and  even  those  who  wear  a  short  pig-tail  for 
convenience  in  entering  Chinese  territory  still  conserve  the  indigenous  horn,  concealed 
for  the  occasion  under  the  folds  of  the  Sze-ch'wan  turban."  {Baber,  p.  61.)  See 
these  horns  on  figures,  Bk.  II.  ch.  lviii. 

"  The  principal  clothing  of  a  Lolo  is  his  mantle,  a  capacious  sleeveless  garment  of 
grey  or  black  felt  gathered  round  his  neck  by  a  string,  and  reaching  nearly  to  his 


heels.  In  the  case  of  the  better  classes  the  mantle  is  of  fine  felt — in  great  request 
among  the  Chinese — and  has  a  fringe  of  cotton-web  round  its  lower  border.  For 
journeys  on  horseback  they  have  a  similar  cloak  differing  only  in  being  slit  half-way 
up  the  back  ;  a  wide  lappet  covering  the  opening  lies  easily  along  the  loins  and  croup 
of  the  horse.  The  colour  of  the  felt  is  originally  grey,  but  becomes  brown-black  or 
black,  in  process  of  time.  It  is  said  that  the  insects  which  haunt  humanity  never  in- 
fest these  gabardines.  The  Lolo  generally  gathers  this  garment  closely  round  his 
shoulders  and  crosses  his  arms  inside.  His  legs,  clothed  in  trowsers  of  Chinese 
cotton,  are  swathed  in  felt  bandages  bound  on  with  strings,  and  he  has  not  yet 
been  super-civilised  into  the  use  of  foot-gear.  In  summer  a  cotton  cloak  is  often 
substituted  for  the  felt  mantle.  The  hat,  serving  equally  for  an  umbrella,  is  woven 
of  bamboo,  in  a  low  conical  shape,  and  is  covered  with  felt.  Crouching  in  his  felt 
mantle  under  this  roof  of  felt  the  hardy  Lolo  is  impervious  to  wind  or  rain."  (Baber, 
Travels ,  61-62.) 

"The  word,  ' Black-bone,'  is  generally  used  by  the  Chinese  as  a  name  for  the 
independent  Lolos,  but  in  the  mouth  of  a  Lolo  it  seems  to  mean  a  '  freeman '  or 
'noble,'  in  which  sense  it  is  not  a  whit  more  absurd  than  the  'blue-blood,'  of 
Europeans.  The  'White-bones,'  an  inferior  class,  but  still  Lolo  by  birth,  are,  so 
far  as  I  could  understand,  the  vassals  and  retainers  of  the  patricians — the  people,  in 
fact.  A  third  class  consists  of  Wa-tzii,  or  slaves,  who  are  all  captive  Chinese.  It 
does  not  appear  whether  the  servile  class  is  sub-divided,  but,  at  any  rate,  the  slaves 
born  in  Lolodom  are  treated  with  more  consideration  than  those  who  have  been 
captured  in  slave-hunts."     {Baber,  Travels,  67.) 

According  to  the  French  missionary,  Paul  Vial  (Les  Lolos,  Shang-hai,  1898)  the 
Lolos  say  that  they  come  from  the  country  situated  between  Tibet  and  Burma.  The 
proper  manner  to  address  a  Lolo  in  Chinese  is  Lao-pen-kia.  The  book  of  Father 
Vial  contains  a  very  valuable  chapter  on  the  writing  of  the  Lolos.  Mr.  F.  S.  A.  Bourne 
writes  {Report,  China,  No.  I.  1888,  p.  88)  : — "  The  old  Chinese  name  for  this  race 
was  '  Ts'uan  Man ' — '  Ts'uan  barbarians,'  a  name  taken  from  one  of  their  chiefs.  The 
Yun-nan  Topography  says: — 'The  name  of  "Ts'uan  Man"  is  a  very  ancient 
one,  and  originally  the  tribes  of  Ts'uan  were  very  numerous.  There  was  that  called 
"  Lu-lu  Man,"  for  instance,  now  improperly  called  "  Lo-Lo."  '  These  people  call 
themselves  '  Nersu,'  and  the  vocabularies  show  that  they  stretch  in  scattered  com- 
munities as  far  as  Ssii-mao  and  along  the  whole  southern  border  of  Yun-nan.  It 
appears  from  the  Topography  that  they  are  found  also  on  the  Burmese  border." 

The  Moso  call  themselves  Nashi  and  are  called  Djhing  by  the  Tibetans  ;  their 
ancient  capital  is  Li-kiang  fu  which  was  taken  by  their  chief  Mong-ts'u  under  the 
Sung  Dynasty  ;  the  Mongols  made  of  their  country  the  kingdom  of  Chaghan-djang. 
Li-kiang  is  the  territory  of  Yue-si  Chao,  called  also  Mo-sie  (Moso),  one  of  the  six 
Chao  of  Nan-Chao.  The  Moso  of  Li-kiang  call  themselves  Ho.  They  have  an  epic 
styled  Djiung-Ling  (Moso  Division)  recounting  the  invasion  of  part  of  Tibet  by  the 
Moso.  The  Moso  were  submitted  during  the  8th  century,  by  the  King  of  Nan-Chao. 
They  have  a  special  hieroglyphic  scrip,  a  specimen  of  which  has  been  given  by 
Deveria.  {Frontiere,  p.  166.)  A  manuscript  was  secured  by  Captain  Gill,  on  the 
frontier  east  of  Li-t'ang,  and  presented  by  him  to  the  British  Museum  {Add.  MSS.  Or. 
2162);  T.  de  Lacouperie  gave  a  facsimile  of  it.  (Plates  I.,  II.  of  Beginnmgs  oj 'Writing.) 
Prince  Henri  d'Orleans  and  M.  Bonin  both  brought  home  a  Moso  manuscript  with  a 
Chinese  explanation. 

Dr.  Anderson  {Exped.  to  Yunnan,  Calcutta,  p.  136)  says  the  Li-sus,  or  Lis sans  are 
11  a  small  hill-people,  with  fair,  round,  flat  faces,  high  cheek  bones,  and  some  little 
obliquity  of  the  eye."  These  Li-su  or  Li-sie,  are  scattered  throughout  the  Yunnanese 
prefectures  of  Yao-ngan,  Li-kiang,  Ta-li  and  Yung-ch'ang;  they  were  already  in 
Yun-Nan  in  the  4th  century  when  the  Chinese  general  Ch'u  Chouang-kiao  entered  the 
country.     {Devtria,  Front.,  p.  1 64.) 

The  Pa-y  or  P'o-y  formed  under  the  Han  Dynasty  the  principality  of  P'o-tsiu  and 
under  the  T'ang  Dynasty  the  tribes  of  Pu-hiung  and  of  Si-ngo,  which  were  among  the 

64  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

thirty-seven  tribes  dependent  on  the  ancient  state  of  Nan-Chao  and  occupied  the 
territory  of  the  sub-prefectures  of  Kiang-Chuen  (Ch'eng-kiang  fu)  and  of  Si-ngo 
(Lin-ngan  fu).  They  submitted  to  China  at  the  beginning  of  the  Yuen  Dynasty  ;  their 
country  bordered  upon  Burma  (Mien-tien)  and  Ch'e-li  or  Kiang-Hung  (Xieng-Hung), 
in  Yun-Nan,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Mekong  River.  According  to  Chinese  tradi- 
tion, the  Pa-y  descended  from  Muong  Tsiu-ch'u,  ninth  son  of  Ti  Muong-tsiu,  son  of 
Piao-tsiu-ti  (Asoka).  Deveria  gives  (p.  105)  a  specimen  of  the  Pa-y  writing  (16th 
century).  (Devtfria,  Front.,  99,  117  ;  Bourne,  Report,  p.  88.)  Chapter  iv.  of  the 
Chinese  work,  Sze-i-kiuan-Kao,  is  devoted  to  the  Pa-y,  including  the  sub-divisions  of 
Muong-Yang,  Muong-Ting,  Nan-tien,  Tsien-ngai,  Lung-chuen,  Wei-yuan,  Wan-tien, 
Chen-k'ang,  Ta-how,  Mang-shi,  Kin-tung,  Ho-tsin,  Cho-lo  tien.  {Deve'ria,  M.  de 
Harlez,  p.  97.)  I  give  a  specimen  of  Pa-yi  writing  from  a  Chinese  work  purchased  by 
Father  Amiot  at  Peking,  now  in  the  Paris  National  Library  (Fonds  chinois,  No.  986). 
(See  on  this  scrip,  F.  W.  K.  Mutter,  Toung-Pao,  III.  p.  1,  and  V.  p.  329;  E.  H. 
Parker,  The  Muong  Language,  China  Review,  I.  1891,  p.  267  ;  P.  Lefevre-Pontalis, 
Etudes  sur  quelques  alphabets  et  vocab.  Thais,  Voting  Pao,  III.  pp.  39-64.) — H.  C.j 

These  ethnological  matters  have  to  be  handled  cautiously,  for  there  is  great 
ambiguity  in  the  nomenclature.  Thus  Man-tzii  is  often  used  generically  for  aborigines, 
and  the  Lolos  of  Richthofen  are  called  Man-tzu  by  Gamier  and  Blakiston ;  whilst 
Lolo  again  has  in  Yun-nan  apparently  a  very  comprehensive  generic  meaning,  and  is 
so  used  by  Gamier.  {Richt.  Letter  VII.  67-68  and  MS.  notes  ;  Gamier,  I.  519  seqq. 
[T.  IV.  KingsmiU,  Han  Wu-ti,  China  Review,  XXV.  103-109.]) 

Concerning  the  Province  of  Carajan. 

When  you  have  passed  that  River  you  enter  on  the  pro- 
vince of  Carajan,  which  is  so  large  that  it  includes 
seven  kingdoms.  It  lies  towards  the  west;  the  people 
are  Idolaters,  and  they  are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan. 
A  son  of  his,  however,  is  there  as  King  of  the  country, 
by  name  Essentimur;  a  very  great  and  rich  and 
puissant  Prince ;  and  he  well  and  justly  rules  his 
dominion,  for  he  is  a  wise  man,  and  a  valiant. 

After  leaving  the  river  that  I  spoke  of,  you  go  five 
days'  journey  towards  the  west,  meeting  with  numerous 
towns  and  villages.  The  country  is  one  in  which 
excellent  horses  are  bred,  and  the  people  live  by  cattle 
and  agriculture.  They  have  a  language  of  their  own 
which  is  passing  hard  to  understand.  At  the  end  of 
those  five  days'  journey  you  come  to  the  capital,  which  is 















^       ^ 










K>  | 


VOL,    II. 


66  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

called  Yachi,  a  very  great  and  noble  city,  in  which  are 
numerous  merchants  and  craftsmen.1 

The  people  are  of  sundry  kinds,  for  there  are  not 
only  Saracens  and  Idolaters,  but  also  a  few  Nestorian 
Christians.2  They  have  wheat  and  rice  in  plenty. 
Howbeit  they  never  eat  wheaten  bread,  because  in  that 
country  it  is  unwholesome.3  Rice  they  eat,  and  make 
of  it  sundry  messes,  besides  a  kind  of  drink  which  is 
very  clear  and  good,  and  makes  a  man  drunk  just  as 
wine  does. 

Their  money  is  such  as  I  will  tell  you.  They  use 
for  the  purpose  certain  white  porcelain  shells  that  are 
found  in  the  sea,  such  as  are  sometimes  put  on  dogs' 
collars ;  and  80  of  these  porcelain  shells  pass  for  a 
single  weight  of  silver,  equivalent  to  two  Venice  groats, 
i.e.  24  piccoli.  Also  eight  such  weights  of  silver  count 
equal  to  one  such  weight  of  gold.4 

They  have  brine- wells  in  this  country  from  which  they 
make  salt,  and  all  the  people  of  those  parts  make  a 
living  by  this  salt.  The  King,  too,  I  can  assure  you, 
gets  a  great  revenue  from  this  salt.5 

There  is  a  lake  in  this  country  of  a  good  hundred 
miles  in  compass,  in  which  are  found  great  quantities  of  the 
best  fish  in  the  world ;  fish  of  great  size,  and  of  all  sorts. 

They  reckon  it  no  matter  for  a  man  to  have  intimacy 
with  another's  wife,  provided  the  woman  be  willing. 

Let  me  tell  you  also  that  the  people  of  that  country 
eat  their  meat  raw,  whether  it  be  of  mutton,  beef,  buffalo, 
poultry,  or  any  other  kind.  Thus  the  poor  people  will 
go  to  the  shambles,  and  take  the  raw  liver  as  it  comes 
from  the  carcase  and  cut  it  small,  and  put  it  in  a  sauce  of 
garlic  and  spices,  and  so  eat  it ;  and  other  meat  in  like 
manner,  raw,  just  as  we  eat  meat  that  is  dressed.6 

Now  I  will  tell  you  about  a  further  part  of  the 
Province  of  Carajan,  of  which  I  have  been  speaking. 


Note  i. — We  have  now  arrived  at  the  great  province  of  Carajan,  the  Karajang 
of  the  Mongols,  which  we  know  to  be  Yun-nan,  and  at  its  capital  Yachi,  which— I 
was  about  to  add — we  know  to  be  Yun-nan-fu.  But  I  find  all  the  commentators 
make  it  something  else.  Rashiduddin,  however,  in  his  detail  of  the  twelve  Sings  or 
provincial  governments  of  China  under  the  Mongols,  thus  speaks  :  "  10th,  Karajang. 
This  used  to  be  an  independent  kingdom,  and  the  Sing  is  established  at  the  great  city 
of  YAchi.  All  the  inhabitants  are  Mahomedans.  The  chiefs  are  Noyan  Takin,  and 
Yakub  Beg,  son  of  'Ali  Beg,  the  Beluch."  And  turning  to  Pauthier's  corrected 
account  of  the  same  distribution  of  the  empire  from  authentic  Chinese  sources  (p.  334), 
we  find  :  "8.  The  administrative  province  of  Yun-nan.  .  .  .  Its  capital,  chief  town 
also  of  the  canton  of  the  same  name,  was  called  Chiuig-khing,  now  Yun-nan-fu." 
Hence  Yachi  was  Yun-nan-fu.  This  is  still  a  large  city,  having  a  rectangular  rampart 
with  6  gates,  and  a  circuit  of  about  6|  miles.  The  suburbs  were  destroyed  by  the 
Mahomedan  rebels.  The  most  important  trade  there  now  is  in  the  metallic  produce 
of  the  Province.  [According  to  Oxenham,  Historical  Atlas,  there  were  ten  provinces 
or  j\^w£-(Liao-yang,  Chung-shu,  Shen-si,  Ho-nan,  Sze-ch'wan,  Yun-nan,  Hu-kwang, 
Kiang-che,  Kiang-si  and  Kan-suh)  and  twelve  military  governorships. — H.  C] 

Yachi  was  perhaps  an  ancient  corruption  of  the  name  Yichau,  which  the  territory 
bore  (according  to  Martini  and  Biot)  under  the  Han  ;  but  more  probably  Yichau  was 
a  Chinese  transformation  of  the  real  name  Yachi.  The  Shans  still  call  the  city  Muang 
Chi,  which  is  perhaps  another  modification  of  the  same  name. 

We  have  thus  got  Ch'eng-tu  fu  as  one  fixed  point,  and  Yun-nan-fu  as  another,  and 
we  have  to  track  the  traveller's  itinerary  between  the  two,  through  what  Ritter  called 
with  reason  a  terra  incognita.  What  little  was  known  till  recently  of  this  region 
came  from  the  Catholic  missionaries.  Of  late  the  veil  has  begun  to  be  lifted  ;  the 
daring  excursion  of  Francis  Gamier  and  his  party  in  1868  intersected  the  tract  towards 
the  south ;  Mr.  T.  T.  Cooper  crossed  it  further  north,  by  Ta-t'sien  lu,  Lithang  and 
Bathang ;  Baron  v.  Richthofen  in  1872  had  penetrated  several  marches  towards  the 
heart  of  the  mystery,  when  an  unfortunate  mishap  compelled  his  return,  but  he  brought 
back  with  him  much  precious  information. 

Five  days  forward  from  Ch'eng-tu  fu  brought  us  on  Tibetan  ground.  Five  days 
backward  from  Yun-nan  fu  should  bring  us  to  the  river  Brius,  with  its  gold-dust  and 
the  frontier  of  Caindu.  Wanting  a  local  scale  for  a  distance  of  five  days,  I  find  that 
our  next  point  in  advance,  Marco's  city  of  Carajan  undisputably  Tali-fn,  is  said  by 
him  to  be  ten  days  from  Yachi.  The  direct  distance  between  the  cities  of  Yun-nan 
and  Ta-li  I  find  by  measurement  on  Keith  Johnston's  map  to  be  133  Italian  miles. 
[The  distance  by  road  is  215  English  miles.  (See  Baber,  p.  191.) — H.  C]  Taking 
half  this  as  radius,  the  compasses  swept  from  Yun-nan-fu  as  centre,  intersect  near  its 
most  southerly  elbow  the  great  upper  branch  of  the  Kiang,  the  Kin-sha  Kiang  of  the 
Chinese,  or  "River  of  the  Golden  Sands,"  the  Murus  Ussu  and  Brichu  of  the 
Mongols  and  Tibetans,  and  manifestly  the  auriferous  Brius  of  our  traveller.*  Hence 
also  the  country  north  of  this  elbow  is  Caindu. 

*  [Baber  writes  (p.  107):  "The  river  is  never  called  locally  by  any  other  name  than  Kin-ho,  or 
'Gold  River.'1  The  term  Kin-sha- Kiang  should  in  strictness  be  confined  to  the  Tibetan  course  of 
the  stream  ;  as  applied  to  other  parts  it  is  a  mere  book  name.  There  is  no  great  objection  to  its 
adoption,  except  that  it  is  unintelligible  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  banks,  and  is  liable  to  mislead 
travellers  in  search  of  indigenous  information,  but  at  any  rate  it  should  not  be  supposed  to  asperse 
Marco  Polo's  accuracy.  Gold  River  is  the  local  name  from  the  junction  of  the  Yalung  to  about  P'ing- 
shan ;  below  P'ing-shan  it  is  known  by  various  designations,  but  the  Ssu-ch'uanese  naturally  call  it 
'the  River,'  or,  by  contrast  with  its  affluents,  the  'Big  River'  (Ta-ho)."  I  imagine  that  Baber 
here  makes  a  slight  mistake,  and  that  they  use  the  name  kiang,  and  not  ho,  for  the  river. — H.  C] 

[Mr.  Rockhill  remarks  {Land  0/  the  Lamas,  p.  196  note)  that  "  Marco  Polo  speaks  of  the  Yang- 
tzu  as  the  Brius,  and  Orazio  della  Penna  calls  it  Biciu,  both  words  representing  the  Tibetan  Dre  ch'u. 
This  last  name  has  been  frequently  translated  '  Cow  yak  River,'  but  this  is  certainly  not  its  meaning, 
as  cow  yak  is  dri-mo,  never  pronounced  dre,  and  unintelligible  without  the  suffix, mo.  Dre  may  mean 
either  mule,  dirty,  or  rice,  but  as  T  have  never  seen  the  word  written,  I  cannot  decide  on  any  of 
these  terms,  all  of  which  have  exactly  the  same  pronunciation.  The  Mongols  call  it  Murus  osu,  and 
in  books  this  is  sometimes  changed  to  Murui  osu,  '  Tortuous  river.'     The  Chinese  call  it  Tung  fien 

1  Marco  Polo  nowhere  calls  the  river  "  Gold  River,"  the  name  he  gives  it  is  Brius. — H.  Y. 

VOL.    II.  E  2 

Chap.  XLVIII.         ROUTE  FROM  CH'ENG-TU  TO  YUN-NAN  69 

I  leave  the  preceding  paragraph  as  it  stood  in  the  first  edition,  because  it  shows 
how  near  the  true  position  of  Caindu  these  unaided  deductions  from  our  author's  data 
had  carried  me.  That  paragraph  was  followed  by  an  erroneous  hypothesis  as  to  the 
intermediate  part  of  that  journey,  but,  thanks  to  the  new  light  shed  by  Baron 
Richthofen,  we  are  enabled  now  to  lay  down  the  whole  itinerary  from  Ch'eng-tu  fu  to 
Yun-nan  fu  with  confidence  in  its  accuracy. 

The  Kin-sha  Kiang  or  Upper  course  of  the  Great  Yang-tzii,  descending  from  Tibet 
to  Yun-nan,  forms  the  great  bight  or  elbow  to  which  allusion  has  just  been  made,  and 
which  has  been  a  feature  known  to  geographers  ever  since  the  publication  of 
D'Anville's  atlas.  The  tract  enclosed  in  this  elbow  is  cut  in  two  by  another  great 
Tibetan  River,  the  Yarlung,  or  Yalung-Kiang,  which  joins  the  Kin-sha  not  far  from 
the  middle  of  the  great  bight  ;  and  this  Yalung,  just  before  the  confluence,  receives 
on  the  left  a  stream  of  inferior  calibre,  the  Ngan-ning  Ho,  which  also  flows  in  a  valley 
parallel  to  the  meridian,  like  all  that  singular  fascis  of  great  rivers  between  Assam 
and  Sze-ch'wan. 

This  River  Ngan-ning  waters  a  valley  called  Kien-ch'ang,  containing  near  its  northern 
end  a  city  known  by  the  same  name,  but  in  our  modern  maps  marked  as  Ning-yuan  fu  ; 
this  last  being  the  name  of  a  department  of  which  it  is  the  capital,  and  which  embraces 
much  more  than  the  valley  of  Kien-ch'ang.  The  town  appears,  however,  as  Kien-ch'ang 
in  the  Atlas  Sinensis  of  Martini,  and  as  Kienchang-ouei  in  D'Anville.  This  remark- 
able valley,  imbedded  as  it  were  in  a  wilderness  of  rugged  highlands  and  wild  races, 
accessible  only  by  two  or  three  long  and  difficult  routes,  rejoices  in  a  warm  climate,  a 
most  productive  soil,  scenery  that  seems  to  excite  enthusiasm  even  in  Chinamen,  and 
a  population  noted  for  amiable  temper.  Towns  and  villages  are  numerous.  The 
people  are  said  to  be  descended  from  Chinese  immigrants,  but  their  features  have 
little  of  the  Chinese  type,  and  they  have  probably  a  large  infusion  of  aboriginal 
blood.  [Kien-ch'ang,  "otherwise  the  Prefecture  of  Ning-yuan,  is  perhaps  the  least 
known  of  the  Eighteen  Provinces,"  writes  Mr.  Baber.  {Travels,  p.  58.)  "  Two  or  three 
sentences  in  the  book  of  Ser  Marco,  to  the  effect  that  after  crossing  high  mountains,  he 
reached  a  fertile  country  containing  many  towns  and  villages,  and  inhabited  by  a  very 
immoral  population,  constitute  to  this  day  the  only  description  we  possess  of  Cain-du, 
as  he  calls  the  district."  Baber  adds  (p.  82)  :  "  Although  the  main  valley  of  Kien- 
ch'ang  is  now  principally  inhabited  by  Chinese,  yet  the  Si  fan  or  Menia  people  are 
frequently  met  with,  and  most  of  the  villages  possess  two  names,  one  Chinese,  and 
the  other  indigenous.  Probably  in  Marco  Polo's  time  a  Menia  population  predomin- 
ated, and  the  valley  was  regarded  as  part  of  Menia.  If  Marco  had  heard  that  name, 
he  would  certainly  have  recorded  it ;  but  it  is  not  one  which  is  likely  to  reach  the  ears 
of  a  stranger.  The  Chinese  people  and  officials  never  employ  it,  but  use  in  its  stead 
an  alternative  name,  Chan-tu  or  Chan-tui,  of  precisely  the  same  application,  which  I 
make  bold  to  offer  as  the  original  of  Marco's  Caindu,  or  preferably  Ciandu." — H.  C] 

This  valley  is  bounded  on  the  east  by  the  mountain  country  of  the  Lolos,  which 
extends  north  nearly  to  Yachau  {supra,  pp.  45,  48,  60),  and  which,  owing  to  the 
fierce  intractable  character  of  the  race,  forms  throughout  its  whole  length  an  impene- 
trable barrier  between  East  and  West.  [The  Rev.  Gray  Owen,  of  Ch'eng-tu,  wrote 
{four.  China,  B.  R.  A.  S.  xxviii.  1893-1894,  p.  59)  :  "The  only  great  trade  route 
infested  by  brigands  is  that  from  Ya-chau  to  Ning-yuan  fu,  where  Lo-lo  brigands 
are  numerous,  especially  in  the  autumn.  Last  year  I  heard  of  a  convoy  of  18 
mules  with  Shen-si  goods  on  the  above-mentioned  road  captured  by  these 
brigands,  muleteers  and  all  taken  inside  the  Lo-lo  country.  It  is  very  seldom 
that  captives  get  out  of  Lo-lo-dom,  because  the  ransom  asked  is  too  high,  and  the 
Chinese  officials  are  not  gallant  enough  to  buy  out  their  unfortunate  countrymen. 
The   Lo-los  hold  thousands  of  Chinese  in  slavery ;    and  more   are  added  yearly  to 

ho,  'River  of  all  Heaven.'  The  name  Kin-sha  kiang,  'River  of  Golden  Sand,'  is  used  for  it  from 
Bat'ang  to  Sui-fu,  or  thereabouts."  The  general  name  for  the  river  is  Ta- Kiang  (Great  River),  or 
simply  Kiang,  in  contradistinction  to  Ho,  for  Hwang- Ho  (Yellow  River)  in  Northern  China.— H.  C.] 

70  MARCO  POLO  Book  II. 

the  number." — H.  C]  Two  routes  run  from  Ch'eng-tu  fu  to  Yun-nan  ;  these  fork 
at  Ya-chau  and  thenceforward  are  entirely  separated  by  this  barrier.  To  the  east  of 
it  is  the  route  which  descends  the  Min  River  to  Siu-chau,  and  then  passes  by 
Chao-tong  and  Tong-chuan  to  Yun-nan  fu  :  to  the  west  of  the  barrier  is  a  route 
leading  through  Kien-ch'ang  to  Ta-li  fu,  but  throwing  off  a  branch  from  Ning-yuan 
southward  in  the  direction  of  Yun-nan  fu. 

This  road  from  Ch'eng-tu  fu  to  Ta-li  by  Ya-chau  and  Ning-yuan  appears  to  be  that 
by  which  the  greater  part  of  the  goods  for  Bhamo  and  Ava  used  to  travel  before  the 
recent  Mahomedan  rebellion  ;  it  is  almost  certainly  the  road  by  which  Kublai,  in  1253, 
during  the  reign  of  his  brother  Mangku  Kaan,  advanced  to  the  conquest  of  Ta-li,  then 
the  head  of  an  independent  kingdom  in  Western  Yun-nan.  As  far  as  Ts'ing-k'i  hien, 
3  marches  beyond  Ya-chau,  this  route  coincides  with  the  great  Tibet  road  by  Ta-t'sien  lu 
and  Bathang  to  L'hasa,  and  then  it  diverges  to  the  left. 

We  may  now  say  without  hesitation  that  by  this  road  Marco  travelled.  His  Tibet 
commences  with  the  mountain  region  near  Ya-chau  ;  his  20  days'  journey  through  a 
devastated  and  dispeopled  tract  is  the  journey  to  Ning-yuan  fu.  Even  now,  from 
Ts'ing-k'i  onwards  for  several  days,  not  a  single  inhabited  place  is  seen.  The  official 
route  from  Ya-chau  to  Ning-yuan  lays  down  13  stages,  but  it  generally  takes  from  15  to 
18  days.  Polo,  whose  journeys  seem  often  to  have  been  shorter  than  the  modern 
average,*  took  20.  On  descending  from  the  highlands  he  comes  once  more  into  a 
populated  region,  and  enters  the  charming  Valley  of  Kien-ch'ang.  This  valley,  with 
its  capital  near  the  upper  extremity,  its  numerous  towns  and  villages,  its  cassia,  its 
spiced  wine,  and  its  termination  southward  on  the  River  of  the  Golden  Sands,  is 
Caindu.  The  traveller's  road  from  Ningyuan  to  Yunnanfu  probably  lay  through 
Hwei-li,  and  the  Kin-sha  Kiang  would  be  crossed  as  already  indicated,  near  its  most 
southerly  bend,  and  almost  due  north  of  Yun-nan  fu.  (See  Richthofen  as  quoted 
at  pp.  45-46.) 

As  regards  the  name  of  Caindu  or  Gheindu  (as  in  G.  T.),  I  think  we  may 
safely  recognise  in  the  last  syllable  the  do  which  is  so  frequent  a  termination  of 
Tibetan  names  (Amdo,  Tsiamdo,  etc. ) ;  whilst  the  Cain,  as  Baron  Richthofen  has 
pointed  out,  probably  survives  in  the  first  part  of  the  name  Jfienchang. 

[Baber  writes  (pp.  80-81)  :  "  Colonel  Yule  sees  in  the  word  Caindu  a  variation  of 
1  Chien-ch'ang,'  and  supposes  the  syllable  'du'  to  be  the  same  as  the  termination 
'du,'  'do,'  or  'tu,'  so  frequent  in  Tibetan  names.  In  such  names,  however,  'do' 
never  means  a  district,  but  always  a  confluence,  or  a  town  near  a  confluence,  as  might 
almost  be  guessed  from  a  map  of  Tibet.  .  .  .  Unsatisfied  with  Colonel  Yule's 
identification,  I  cast  about  for  another,  and  thought  for  a  while  that  a  clue  had  been 
found  in  the  term  '  Chien-t'ou'  (sharp-head),  applied  to  certain  Lolo  tribes.  But  the 
idea  had  to  be  abandoned,  since  Marco  Polo's  anecdote  about  the  '  caitiff,'  and  the 
loose  manners  of  his  family,  could  never  have  referred  to  the  Lolos,  who  are  admitted 
even  by  their  Chinese  enemies  to  possess  a  very  strict  code  indeed  of  domestic 
regulations.  The  Lolos  being  eliminated,  the  Si-fans  remained  ;  and  before  we  had 
been  many  days  in  their  neighbourhood,  stories  were  told  us  of  their  conduct  which  a 
polite  pen  refuses  to  record.  It  is  enough  to  say  that  Marco's  account  falls  rather 
short  of  the  truth,  and  most  obviously  applies  to  the  Si-fan." 

Deveria  {Front,  p.  146  note)  says  that  Kien-ch'ang  is  the  ancient  territory  of 
Kiung-tu  which,  under  the  Han  Dynasty,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Tibetans,  and  was 
made  by  the  Mongols  the  march  of  Kien-ch'ang  {Che-Kotig-fu)  ;  it  is  the  Caindu  of 
Marco  Polo  ;  under  the  Han  Dynasty  it  was  the  Kiun  or  division  of  Yueh-sui  or 
Yueh-hsi.  Deveria  quotes  from  the  Yuen-shi-lei  pien  the  following  passage  relating 
to  the  year  1284  :  "The  twelve  tribes  of  the  Barbarians  to  the  south-west  of  Kien-tou 
and  Kin-Chi  submitted  ;  Kien-tou  was  administered  by  Mien  (Burma);  Kien-tou 
submits  because  the   Kingdom  of  Mien  has   been  vanquished."      Kien-tou   is   the 

*  Baron  Richthofen,  who  has  travelled  hundreds  of  miles  in  his  footsteps,  considers  his  allowance 
of  time  to  be  generally  from  \  to  \  greater  than  that  now  usual 

Road  descending  from  the  Table-Land  of  Yun-nan  into  the  Valley  of  the  Kin-sha  Kiang  (the  Brius  of  Polo). 

(After  Gamier.) 

^2  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Chien-tou  of  Baber,  the  Caindu  of  Marco  Polo.  (Melanges  de  Harlez,  p.  97.) 
According  to  Mr.  E.  II.  Parker  {China  Review,  xix.  p.  69),  Yueh-hsi  or  Yueh-sui 
"is  the  modern  Kien-ch'ang  Valley,  the  Caindu  of  Marco  Polo,  between  the 
Yalung  and  Yang-tzii  Rivers ;  the  only  non-Chinese  races  found  there  now  are  the 
Si-fan  and  Lolos." — H.  C] 

Turning  to  minor  particulars,  the  Lake  of  Caindu  in  which  the  pearls  were  found 
is  doubtless  one  lying  near  Ning-yuan,  whose  beauty  Richthofen  heard  greatly  extolled, 
though  nothing  of  the  pearls.  [Mr.  Hosie  writes  (Three  Years,  112-113):  "If  the 
former  tradition  be  true  (the  old  city  of  Ning-yuan  having  given  place  to  a  large  lake  in 
the  early  years  of  the  Ming  Dynasty),  the  lake  had  no  existence  when  Marco  Polo  passed 
through  Caindu,  and  yet  we  find  him  mentioning  a  lake  in  the  country  in  which  pearls 
were  found.  Curiously  enough,  although  I  had  not  then  read  the  Venetian's  narrative, 
one  of  the  many  things  told  me  regarding  the  lake  was  that  pearls  are  found  in  it, 
and  specimens  were  brought  to  me  for  inspection."  The  lake  lies  to  the  south-east 
of  the  present  city.— H.  C]  A  small  lake  is  marked  by  D'Anville,  close  to  Kien- 
ch'ang,  under  the  name  of  Gechoni-tang.  The  large  quantities  of  gold  derived  from 
the  Kin-sha  Kiang,  and  the  abundance  of  musk  in  that  vicinity,  are  testified  to  by 
Martini.  The  Lake  mentioned  by  Polo  as  existing  in  the  territory  of  Yachi  is  no 
doubt  the  Tien-chi,  the  Great  Lake  on  the  shore  of  which  the  city  of  Yun-nan  stands, 
and  from  which  boats  make  their  way  by  canals  along  the  walls  and  streets.  Its 
circumference,  according  to  Martini,  is  500  li.  The  cut  (p.  68),  from  Gamier,  shows 
this  lake  as  seen  from  a  villa  on  its  banks.  [Deveria  (p.  129)  quotes  this  passage 
from  the  Yuen-shi-lei  pien:  "Yachi,  of  which  the  U-man  or  Black  Barbarians  made 
their  capital,  is  surrounded  by  Lake  Tien-chi  on  three  sides."  Tien-chi  is  one  of  the 
names  of  Lake  Kwen-ming,  on  the  shore  of  which  is  built  Yun-nan  fu. — H.  C] 

Returning  now  to  the  Karajang  of  the  Mongols,  or  Carajan,  as  Polo  writes  it,  we 
shall  find  that  the  latter  distinguishes  this  great  province,  which  formerly,  he  says,  in- 
cluded seven  kingdoms,  into  two  Mongol  Governments,  the  seat  of  one  being  at  Yachi, 
which  we  have  seen  to  be  Yun-nan  fu,  and  that  of  the  other  at  a  city  to  which  he  gives 
the  name  of  the  Province,  and  which  we  shall  find  to  be  the  existing  Ta-li  fu.  Great 
confusion  has  been  created  in  most  of  the  editions  by  a  distinction  in  the  form  of  the 
name  as  applied  to  these  two  governments.  Thus  Ramusio  prints  the  province  under 
Yachi  as  Carajan,  and  that  under  Ta-li  as  Carazan,  whilst  Marsden,  following  out  his 
system  for  the  conversion  of  Ramusio's  orthography,  makes  the  former  Karaian  and 
the  latter  Karazan.  Pauthier  prints  Caraian  all  through,  a  fact  so  far  valuable  as 
showing  that  his  texts  make  no  distinction  between  the  names  of  the  two  governments, 
but  the  form  impedes  the  recognition  of  the  old  Mongol  nomenclature.  I  have  no 
doubt  that  the  name  all  through  should  be  read  Carajan,  and  on  this  I  have  acted. 
In  the  Geog.  Text  we  find  the  name  given  at  the  end  of  ch.  xlvii.  Caragian,  in 
ch.  xlviii.  as  Carajan,  in  ch.  xlix.  as  Caraian,  thus  just  reversing  the  distinction  made 
by  Marsden.     The  Crusca  has  Charagia{n)  all  through. 

The  name  then  was  Karajang,  in  which  the  first  element  was  the  Mongol  or 
Turki  Kara,  "Black."  For  we  find  in  another  passage  of  Rashid  the  following 
information:* — "To  the  south-west  of  Cathay  is  the  country  called  by  the  Chinese 
Dailiu  or  '  Great  Realm,'  and  by  the  Mongols  Karajang,  in  the  language  of  India 
and  Kashmir  Kandar,  and  by  us  Kandahar.  This  country,  which  is  of  vast  extent,  is 
bounded  on  one  side  by  Tibet  and  Tangut,  and  on  others  by  Mongolia,  Cathay,  and 
the  country  of  the  Gold-Teeth.  The  King  of  Karajang  uses  the  title  of  Mahdrd,  i.e. 
Great  King.  The  capital  is  called  Yachi,  and  there  the  Council  of  Administration  is 
established.  Among  the  inhabitants  of  this  country  some  are  black,  and  others  are 
white;  these  latter  are  called  by  the  Mongols  Chaghdn-Jdtig  ('White  Jang')." 
Jang  has  not  been  explained  ;  but  probably  it  may  have  been  a  Tibetan  term  adopted 

*  See  Quatremere  s  Rashiduddin,  pp.  lxxxvi.-xcvi.  My  quotation  is  made  up  from  two  citations 
by  Quatremere,  one  from  his  text  of  Rashiduddin,  and  the  other  from  the  History  of  Benaketi,  which 
Quatremere  shows  to  have  been  drawn  from  Rashiduddin,  whilst  it  contains  some  particulars  not 
existing  in  his  own  text  of  that  author. 

Chap.  XLVIII. 



by  the  Mongols,  and  the  colours  may  have  applied  to  their  clothing.  The  dominant 
race  at  the  Mongol  invasion  seems  to  have  been  Shans  ;*  and  black  jackets  are  the 
characteristic  dress  of  the  Shans  whom  one  sees  in  Burma  in  modern  times.  The 
Kara-jang  and  Chaghan-jang  appear  to  correspond  also  to  the  U-man  and  Pe-man,  or 
Black  Barbarians  and  White  Barbarians,  who  are  mentioned  by  Chinese  authorities  as 
conquered  by  the  Mongols.  It  would  seem  from  one  of  Pauthier's  Chinese  quotations 
(p.  388),  that  the  Chaghan-jang  were  found  in  the  vicinity  of  Li-kiang  fu.  {UOhsson, 
II.  317;/.  P.  Geog.  Soc.  III.  294.)  [Dr.  Bretschneider  {Med.  Res.  I.  p.  184)  says 
that  in  the  description  of  Yun-nan,  in  the  Yuen-ski,  "  Cara-jang  and  Chagan-jang  are 
rendered   by    Wu-man  and  Po-man  (Black  and  White   Barbarians).      But  in   the 

A  Saracen  ofCarajan,  being  a  portrait  of  a  Mahomedan  Mullah  in  Western  Yun-nan. 

(From  Garnier's  Work.) 

"2^s  sunt  fces  pl000r$  ivmtnms,  an  il  hi  a  jens  qc  iirrrcnt  ^Baomct." 

biographies  of  Djao-a-Wo-p'an,  A-r-szelan  {Yuen-shi,  ch.  exxiii.),  and  others,  these 
tribes  are  mentioned  under  the  names  of  Ha-la-djang  and  Cli'a-han-djang,  as  the 
Mongols  used  to  call  them  ;  and  in  the  biography  of  Wu-liang-ho  fat.  [Uriang 
kadai],  the  conqueror  of  Yun-nan,  it  is  stated  that  the  capital  of  the  Black  Barbarians 
was  called  YacKi.  It  is  described  there  as  a  city  surrounded  by  lakes  from  three 
sides."— II.  C] 

Regarding  Rashiduddin's  application  of  the  name  Kandahar  or  Gandhara  to 
Yun-nan,  and  curious  points  connected  therewith,  I  must  refer  to  a  paper  of  mine  in 
they.  R.  A.  Society  (n.s.  IV.  356).  But  I  may  mention  that  in  the  ecclesiastical 
translation  of  the  classical  localities  of  Indian  Buddhism   to  Indo-China,    which  is 

*  The  title  Chao  in  Nan-Chao  {infra,  p.  79)  is  said  by  a  Chinese  author  (Pauthier,  p.  391)  to 
signify  King  in  the  language  of  those  barbarians.  This  is  evidently  the  Chao  which  forms  an 
essential  part  of  the  title  of  all  Siamese  and  Shan  princes. 

[Regarding  the  word  Nan-Chao,  Mr.  Parker  {China  Review,  XX.  p.  339)  writes  "In  the 
barbarian  tongue  '  prince'  is  Chao"  says  the  Chinese  author  ;  and  there  were  six  Chao,  of  which  the 
Nan  or  Southern  was  the  leading  power.  Hence  the  name  Nan-Chao  ...  it  is  hardly  necessary  for 
me  to  say  that  chao  or  kyiao  is  still  the  Shan-Siamese  word  for  'prince.'"  Pallegoix  {Diet.  p.  85) 
has  Chao,  Princeps,  rex. — H.  C] 

74  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

current  in  Burma,   Yun-nan  represents    Gandhara,*   and  is  still  so  styled   in  state 
documents  {Ganddlarit). 

What  has  been  said  of  the  supposed  name  Caraian  disposes,  I  trust,  of  the  fancies 
which  have  connected  the  origin  of  the  Karens  of  Burma  with  it.  More  groundless 
still  is  M.  Pauthier's  deduction  of  the  Talains  of  Pegu  (as  the  Burmese  call  them) 
from  the  people  of  Ta-li,  who  fled  from  Kiiblai's  invasion. 

Note  2. — The  existence  of  Nestorians  in  this  remote  province  is  very  notable 
[see  Bourn,  J.  As.  XV.  1900,  pp.  589-590. — H.  C] ;  and  also  the  early  prevalence 
of  Mahomedanism,  which  Rashiduddin  intimates  in  stronger  terms.  "  All  the 
inhabitants  of  Yachi,"  he  says,  "are  Mahomedans."  This  was  no  doubt  an  exaggera- 
tion, but  the  Mahomedans  seem  always  to  have  continued  to  be  an  important  body  in 
Yun-nan  up  to  our  own  day.  In  1855  began  their  revolt  against  the  imperial  authority, 
which  for  a  time  resulted  in  the  establishment  of  their  independence  in  Western 
Yun-nan  under  a  chief  whom  they  called  Sultan  Suleiman.  A  proclamation  in 
remarkably  good  Arabic,  announcing  the  inauguration  of  his  reign,  appears  to  have 
been  circulated  to  Mahomedans  in  foreign  states,  and  a  copy  of  it  some  years  ago 
found  its  way  through  the  Nepalese  agent  at  L'hasa,  into  the  hands  of  Colonel 
Ramsay,  the  British  Resident  at  Katmandu. t 

Note  3. — Wheat  grows  as  low  as  Ava,  but  there  also  it  is  not  used  by  natives  for 
bread,  only  for  confectionery  and  the  like.  The  same  is  the  case  in  Eastern  China. 
(See  ch.  xxvi.  note  4,  and  Middle  Kingdom,  II.  43.) 

Note  4. — The  word  piccoli  is  supplied,  doubtfully,  in  lieu  of  an  unknown  symbol. 
If  correct,  then  we  should  read  "24  piccoli  each"  for  this  was  about  the  equivalent 
of  a  grosso.  This  is  the  first  time  Polo  mentions  cowries,  which  he  calls  porcellani. 
This  might  have  been  rendered  by  the  corresponding  vernacular  name  "Pig-shells" 
applied  to  certain  shells  of  that  genus  {Cypraea)  in  some  parts  of  England.  It  is 
worthy  of  note  that  as  the  name  porcellana  has  been  transferred  from  these  shells  to 
China-ware,  so  the  word  pig  has  been  in  Scotland  applied  to  crockery  ;  whether  the 
process  has  been  analogous,  I  cannot  say. 

Klaproth  states  that  Yun-nan  is  the  only  country  of  China  in  which  cowries 
had  continued  in  use,  though  in  ancient  times  they  were  more  generally  diffused. 
According  to  him  80  cowries  were  equivalent  to  6  cash,  or  a  half-penny.  About 
1780  in  Eastern  Bengal  80  cowries  were  worth  f-th  of  a  penny,  and  some  40  years  ago, 
when  Prinsep  compiled  his  tables  in  Calcutta  (where  cowries  were  still  in  use  a  few 
years  ago,  if  they  are  not  now),  80  cowries  were  worth  r3T  of  a  penny. 

At  the  time  of  the  Mahomedan  conquest  of  Bengal,  early  in  the  13th  century, 
they  found  the  currency  exclusively  composed  of  cowries,  aided  perhaps  by  bullion  in 
large  transactions,  but  with  no  coined  money.  In  remote  districts  this  continued  to 
modern  times.  When  the  Hon.  Robert  Lindsay  went  as  Resident  and  Collector  to 
Silhet  about  1778,  cowries  constituted  nearly  the  whole  currency  of  the  Province. 
The  yearly  revenue  amounted  to  250,000  rupees,  and  this  was  entirely  paid  in 
cowries  at  the  rate  of  5120  to  the  rupee.  It  required  large  warehouses  to  contain 
them,  and  when  the  year's  collection  was  complete  a  large  fleet  of  boats  to  transport 
them  to  Dacca.  Before  Lindsay's  time  it  had  been  the  custom  to  count  the  whole 
before  embarking  them  !  Down  to  1801  the  Silhet  revenue  was  entirely  collected  in 
cowries,  but  by  181 3,  the  whole  was  realised  in  specie.  {Thomas,  in  J.  R.  A.  S. 
N.S.  II.  147;  Lives  of  the  Lindsays,  III.  169,  170.) 

Klaproth's  statement  has  ceased  to  be  correct.  Lieutenant  Gamier  found  cowries 
nowhere  in  use  north  of  Luang  Prabang ;  and  among  the  Kakhyens  in  Western 
Yun  nan  these  shells  are  used  only  for  ornament.  [However,  Mr.  E.  H.  Parker  says 
{China  Review,  XXVI.  p.  106)  that  the  porcelain  money  still  circulates  in  the  Shan 
States,  and  that  he  saw  it  there  himself. — H.  C] 

*  Gandhdra,  Arabice  Kandahar,  is  properly  the  country  about  Peshawar,  Gandaritis  of  Strabo. 
t  This  is  printed  almost  in  full  in  the  French  Voyage  d' Exploration,  I.  564. 

76  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Note  5.— See  ch.  xlvii.  note  4.  Martini  speaks  of  a  great  brine- well  to  the  N.E. 
of  Yaogan  (W.N.W.  of  the  city  of  Yun-nan),  which  supplied  the  whole  country 

Note  6. — Two  particulars  appearing  in  these  latter  paragraphs  are  alluded  toby 
Rashiduddin  in  giving  a  brief  account  of  the  overland  route  from  India  to  China, 
which  is  unfortunately  very  obscure  :  "Thence  you  arrive  at  the  borders  of  Tibet, 
where  they  eat  raw  meat  and  worship  images,  and  have  no  shame  respecting  their 
wives."     {Elliot,  I.  p.  73.) 


Concerning  a  further  part  of  the  Province  of  Carajan. 

After  leaving  that  citv  of  Yachi  of  which  I  have  been 
speaking,  and  travelling  ten  days  towards  the  west,  you 
come  to  another  capital  city  which  is  still  in  the  province 
of  Carajan,  and  is  itself  called  Carajan.  The  people  are 
Idolaters  and  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan  ;  and  the  King- 
is  Cogachin,  who  is  a  son  of  the  Great  Kaan.1 

In  this  country  gold-dust  is  found  in  great  quantities  ; 
that  is  to  say  in  the  rivers  and  lakes,  whilst  in  the  moun- 
tains gold  is  also  found  in  pieces  of  larger  size.  Gold  is 
indeed  so  abundant  that  they  give  one  saggio  of  gold  for 
only  six  of  the  same  weight  in  silver.  And  for  small 
change  they  use  porcelain  shells  as  I  mentioned  before. 
These  are  not  found  in  the  country,  however,  but  are 
brought  from  India.2 

In  this  province  are  found  snakes  and  great  serpents 
of  such  vast  size  as  to  strike  fear  into  those  who  see 
them,  and  so  hideous  that  the  very  account  of  them  must 
excite  the  wonder  of  those  to  hear  it.  I  will  tell  you 
how  long  and  big  they  are. 

You  may  be  assured  that  some  of  them  are  ten  paces 
in  length  ;  some  are  more  and  some  less.  And  in  bulk 
they  are  equal  to  a  great  cask,  for  the  bigger  ones  are 


about  ten  palms  in  girth.  They  have  two  forelegs  near 
the  head,  but  for  foot  nothing  but  a  claw  like  the  claw  of 
a  hawk  or  that  of  a  lion.  The  head  is  very  big,  and  the 
eyes  are  bigger  than  a  great  loaf  of  bread.  The  mouth 
is  large  enough  to  swallow  a  man  whole,  and  is  garnished 
with  great  [pointed]  teeth.  And  in  short  they  are  so 
fierce-looking  and  so  hideously  ugly,  that  every  man  and 
beast  must  stand  in  fear  and  trembling  of  them.  There 
are  also  smaller  ones,  such  as  of  eight  paces  long,  and  of 
five,  and  of  one  pace  only. 

The  way  in  which  they  are  caught  is  this.  You  must 
know  that  by  day  they  live  underground  because  of  the 
great  heat,  and  in  the  night  they  go  out  to  feed,  and 
devour  every  animal  they  can  catch.  They  go  also  to 
drink  at  the  rivers  and  lakes  and  springs.  And  their 
weight  is  so  great  that  when  they  travel  in  search  of  food 
or  drink,  as  they  do  by  night,  the  tail  makes  a  great 
furrow  in  the  soil  as  if  a  full  ton  of  liquor  had  been 
dragged  along.  Now  the  huntsmen  who  go  after  them 
take  them  by  certain  gyn  which  they  set  in  the  track  over 
which  the  serpent  has  past,  knowing  that  the  beast  will 
come  back  the  same  way.  They  plant  a  stake  deep  in  the 
ground  and  fix  on  the  head  of  this  a  sharp  blade  of  steel 
made  like  a  razor  or  a  lance-point,  and  then  they  cover 
the  whole  with  sand  so  that  the  serpent  cannot  see  it. 
Indeed  the  huntsman  plants  several  such  stakes  and 
blades  on  the  track.  On  coming  to  the  spot  the  beast 
strikes  against  the  iron  blade  with  such  force  that  it 
enters  his  breast  and  rives  him  up  to  the  navel,  so  that 
he  dies  on  the  spot  [and  the  crows  on  seeing  the  brute 
dead  begin  to  caw,  and  then  the  huntsmen  know  that 
the  serpent  is  dead  and  come  in  search  of  him]. 

This  then  is  the  way  these  beasts  are  taken.  Those 
who  take  them  proceed  to  extract  the  gall  from  the 
inside,  and  this  sells  at  a  great  price  ;  for  you  must  know 



Book  II. 

it  furnishes  the  material  for  a  most  precious  medicine. 
Thus  if  a  person  is  bitten  by  a  mad  dog,  and  they  give 
him  but  a  small  pennyweight  of  this  medicine  to  drink, 
he  is  cured  in  a  moment.  Again  if  a  woman  is  hard  in 
labour  they  give  her  just  such  another  dose  and  she  is 
delivered  at  once.  Yet  again  if  one  has  any  disease  like 
the  itch,  or  it  may  be  worse,  and  applies  a  small  quantity 
of  this  gall  he  shall  speedily  be  cured.  So  you  see  why 
it  sells  at  such  a  high  price. 

They  also  sell  the  flesh  of  this  serpent,  for  it  is  ex- 
cellent eating,  and  the  people  are  very  fond  of  it.  And 
when  these  serpents  are  very  hungry,  sometimes  they 
will  seek  out  the  lairs  of  lions  or  bears  or  other  larp*e 
wild  beasts,  and  devour  their  cubs,  without  the  sire  and 
dam  being  able  to  prevent  it.  Indeed  if  they  catch  the 
big  ones  themselves  they  devour  them  too  ;  they  can 
make  no  resistance.3 

In  this  province  also  are  bred  large  and  excellent 
horses  which  are  taken  to  India  for  sale.  And  you 
must  know  that  the  people  dock  two  or  three  joints  of 
the  tail  from  their  horses,  to  prevent  them  from  flipping 

Tfielr  riders,  a  thing  which 
:PAl\l/^^^^JA^767WW  they  consider  very  unseemly. 
Hy^l  ||§|  They  ride  long  like  French- 
men, and  wear  armour  of 
boiled  leather,  and  carry 
spears  and  shields  and  arb- 
lasts,  and  all  their  quarrels 
are  poisoned.4  [And  I  was 
told  as  a  fact  that  many  per- 
sons, especially  those  medi- 

Riding  long  like  frenchmen.  l  J 

tt~.  r.,  .     tatin^    mischief,    constantly 

"  (Bt  encore  sitchtf  4c  teste  fjens  the-  &  .      '  J 

totucheni  Igtu  aim  franchois."      carry  this  poison  about  with 

them,    so    that    if    by    any 
chance  they  should  be  taken,  and    be  threatened   with 

80  MARCO    TOLO  Book  II 

Orient,  I.  No.  4.)— II.  C]  The  city  of  Ta-li  was  taken  by  Kiiblai  in  1253-1254.  The 
circumstance  that  it  was  known  to  the  invaders  (as  appears  from  Polo's  statement)  by 
the  name  of  the  province  is  an  indication  of  the  fact  that  it  was  the  capital  of  Carajan 
before  the  conquest.  ["That  Yacht  and  Carajan  represent  Yiinnan-fu  and  Tali,  is 
proved  by  topographical  and  other  evidence  of  an  overwhelming  nature.  I  venture 
to  add  one  more  proof,  which  seems  to  have  been  overlooked. 

"  If  there  is  a  natural  feature  which  must  strike  any  visitor  to  those  two  cities,  it 
is  that  they  both  lie  on  the  shore  of  notable  lakes,  of  so  krge  an  extent  as  to  be 
locally  called  seas  ;  and  for  the  comparison,  it  should  be  remembered  that  the 
inhabitants  of  the  Yunnan  province  have  easy  access  to  the  ocean  by  the  Red  River, 
or  Sung  Ka.  Now,  although  Marco  does  not  circumstantially  specify  the  fact  of  these 
cities  lying  on  large  bodies  of  water,  yet  in  both  cases,  two  or  three  sentences  further 
on,  will  be  found  mention  of  lakes  ;  in  the  case  of  Yachi,  '  a  lake  of  a  good  hundred 
miles  in  compass ' — by  no  means  an  unreasonable  estimate. 

"  Tali-fu  is  renowned  as  the  strongest  hold  of  Western  Yunnan,  and  it  certainly 
must  have  been  impregnable  to  bow  and  spear.  From  the  western  margin  of  its 
majestic  lake,  which  lies  approximately  north  and  south,  rises  a  sloping  plain  of  about 
three  miles  average  breadth,  closed  in  by  the  huge  wall  of  the  Tien-tsang  Mountains. 
In  the  midst  of  this  plain  stands  the  city,  the  lake  at  its  feet,  the  snowy  summits  at 
its  back.  On  either  flank,  at  about  twelve  and  six  miles  distance  respectively,  are 
situated  Shang-Kuan  and  Hsia-Kuan  (upper  and  lower  passes),  two  strongly  fortified 
towns  guarding  the  confined  strip  between  mountain  and  lake  ;  for  the  plain  narrows 
at.  the  two  extremities,  and  is  intersected  by  a  river  at  both  points."  (Baber,  Travels, 
155. )-H.  C]        * 

The  distance  from  Yachi  to  this  city  of  Karajang  is  ten  days,  and  this  corresponds 
well  with  the  distance  from  Yun-nan  fu  to  Tali-fu.  For  we  find  that,  of  the  three 
Burmese  Embassies  whose  itineraries  are  given  by  Burney,  one  makes  7  marches 
between  those  cities,  specifying  2  of  them  as  double  marches,  therefore  equal  to 
9,  whilst  the  other  two  make  11  marches  ;  Richthofen's  information  gives  12.  Ta-li- 
fu  is  a  small  old  city  overlooking  its  large  lake  (about  24  miles  long  by  6  wide),  and 
an  extensive  plain  devoid  of  trees.  Lofty  mountains  rise  on  the  south  side  of  the  city. 
The  Lake  appears  to  communicate  with  the  Mekong,  and  the  story  goes,  no  doubt 
fabulous,  that  boats  have  come  up  to  Ta-li  from  the  Ocean.  [Captain  Gill  (II. 
pp.  299-300)  writes:  "Ta-li  fu  is  an  ancient  city  ...  it  is  the  Carajan  of  Marco 
Polo.  .  .  .  Marco's  description  of  the  lake  of  Yun-Nan  may  be  perfectly  well 
applied  to  the  Lake  of  Ta-li.  .  .  .  The  fish  were  particularly  commended  to  our 
notice,  though  we  were  told  that  there  were  no  oysters  in  this  lake,  as  there  are  said  to 
be  in  that  of  Yun-Nan ;  if  the  latter  statement  be  true,  it  would  illustrate  Polo's 
account  of  another  lake  somewhere  in  these  regions  in  which  are  found  pearls  (which 
are  white  but  not  round)." — H.  C] 

Ta-li  fu  was  recently  the  capital  of  Sultan  Suleiman  [Tu  Wen-siu].  It  was  reached 
by  Lieutenant  Gamier  in  a  daring  detour  by  the  north  of  Yun-nan,  but  his  party  were 
obliged  to  leave  in  haste  on  the  second  day  after  their  arrival.  The  city  was  captured 
by  the  Imperial  officers  in  1873,  when  a  horrid  massacre  of  the  Mussulmans  took 
place  [19th  January].  The  Sultan  took  poison,  but  his  head  was  cut  off  and  sent  to 
Peking.     Momein  fell  soon  after  [10th  June],  and  the  Panthi  kingdom  is  ended. 

We  see  that  Polo  says  the  King  ruling  for  Kiiblai  at  this  city  was  a  son  of  the 
Kaan,  called  Cogachin,  whilst  he  told  us  in  the  last  chapter  that  the  King  reigning 
at  Yachi  was  also  a  son  of  the  Kaan,  called  Essentimur.  It  is  probably  a  mere 
lapsus  or  error  of  dictation  calling  the  latter  a  son  of  the  Kaan,  for  in  ch.  Ii.  infra, 
this  prince  is  correctly  described  as  the  Kaan's  grandson.  Rashiduddin  tells  us  that 
Kiiblai  had  given  his  son  IIukaji  (or  perhaps  Hogdchi,  i.e.  Cogachin)  the  govern- 
ment of  Karajang,*  and  that  after  the  death  of  this  Prince  the  government  was  con- 

*  [Mr.  E.  H.  Parker  writes  {China  Review,  XXIV.  p.  106) :  "  Polo's  Kogatin  is  Hukoch'ih,  who 
was  made  King  of  Yun-nan  in  1267,  with  military  command  over  Ta-li,  Shen-shen,  Chagan  Chan^, 
Golden-Teeth,  etc."— H.  C] 











Chap.  XLIX.  CROCODILES  8 1 

tinued  to  his  son  Isentimuk.  Klaproth  gives  the  date  of  the  latter's  nomination 
from  the  Chinese  Annals  as  1280.  It  is  not  easy  to  reconcile  Marco's  statements 
perfectly  with  a  knowledge  of  these  facts  ;  but  we  may  suppose  that,  in  speaking  of 
Cogachin  as  ruling  at  Karajang  (or  Tali-fu)  and  Esentimur  at  Yachi,  he  describes 
things  as  they  stood  when  his  visit  occurred,  whilst  in  the  second  reference  to 
"  Sentemur's"  being  King  in  the  province  and  his  father  dead,  he  speaks  from  later 
knowledge.  This  interpretation  would  confirm  what  has  been  already  deduced  from 
other  circumstances,  that  his  visit  to.Yun-nan  was  prior  to  1280.  {Pembertorfs  Report 
on  the  Eastern  Frontier,  108  seqq.  ;  Quat.  Rashid.  pp.  lxxxix-xc.  ;  fount.  Asiat.  ser. 
II.  vol.  i.) 

Note  2. — [Captain  Gill  writes  (II.  p.  302) :  "There  are  said  to  be  very  rich  gold 
and  silver  mines  within  a  few  days'  journey  of  the  city  "  (of  Ta-li).  Dr.  Anderson 
says  {Mandalay  to  Momien,  p.  203):  "Gold  is  brought  to  Momein  from  Yonephin 
and  Sherg-wan  villages,  fifteen  days'  march  to  the  north-east ;  but  no  information 
could  be  obtained  as  to  the  quantity  found.  It  is  also  brought  in  leaf,  which  is  sent 
to  Burma,  where  it  is  in  extensive  demand." — H.  C] 

Note  3. — It  cannot  be  doubted  that  Marco's  serpents  here  are  crocodiles,  in  spite 
of  his  strange  mistakes  about  their  having  only  two  feet  and  one  claw  on  each,  and 
his  imperfect  knowledge  of  their  aquatic  habits.  He  may  have  seen  only  a  mutilated 
specimen.  But  there  is  no  mistaking  the  hideous  ferocity  of  the  countenance,  and 
the  "eyes  bigger  than  a  fourpenny  loaf,"  as  Ramusio  has  it.  Though  the  actual  eye 
of  the  crocodile  does  not  bear  this  comparison,  the  prominent  orbits  do,  especially  in 
the  case  of  the  Ghariydl  of  the  Ganges,  and  form  one  of  the  most  repulsive  features 
of  the  reptile's  physiognomy.  In  fact,  its  presence  on  the  surface  of  an  Indian  river 
is  often  recognisable  only  by  three  dark  knobs  rising  above  the  surface,  viz.  the  snout 
and  the  two  orbits.  And  there  is  some  foundation  for  what  our  author  says  of  the 
animal's  habits,  for  the  crocodile  does  sometimes  frequent  holes  at  a  distance  from 
water,  of  which  a  striking  instance  is  within  my  own  recollection  (in  which  the  deep 
furrowed  track  also  was  a  notable  circumstance). 

The  Cochin  Chinese  are  very  fond  of  crocodile's  flesh,  and  there  is  or  was  a 
regular  export  of  this  dainty  for  their  use  from  Kamboja.  I  have  known  it  eaten  by 
certain  classes  in  India.     {J.  R.  G.  S.  XXX.  193.) 

The  term  serpent  is  applied  by  many  old  writers  to  crocodiles  and  the  like,  e.g. 
by  Odoric,  and  perhaps  allusively  by  Shakspeare  ("  Whereas  my  Serpent  of  Old 
Nile  ? "  ).  Mr.  Fergusson  tells  me  he  was  once  much  struck  with  the  snake-like 
motion  of  a  group  of  crocodiles  hastily  descending  to  the  water  from  a  high  sand-bank, 
without  apparent  use  of  the  limbs,  when  surprised  by  the  approach  of  a  boat.  * 

Matthioli  says  the  gall  of  the  crocodile  surpasses  all  medicines  for  the  removal  of 
pustules  and  the  like  from  the  eyes.  Vincent  of  Beauvais  mentions  the  same,  besides 
many  other  medical  uses  of  the  reptile's  carcass,  including  a  very  unsavoury  cosmetic. 
{Matt.  p.  245;  Spec.  Natur.  Lib.  XVII.  c.  106,  108.) 

["According  to  Chinese  notions,  Han  Yii,  the  St.  Patrick  of  China,  having 
persuaded  the  alligators  in  China  that  he  was  all-powerful,  induced  the  stupid 
saurians  to  migrate  to  Ngo  IIu  or  'Alligators'  Lake'  in  the  Kwang-tung  province." 
{North-China  Herald,  5th  July,  1895,  P-  5-) 

Alligators  have  been  found  in  1878  at  Wu-hu  and  at  Chen-kiang  (Ngan-hwei  and 
Kiang-Su).  (See  A.  A.  Fauvel,  Alligators  in  China,  in  Jour.  N.  China  B.  R.  A.  S. 
XIII.  1879,  1-36.)— H.  C] 

Note  4. — I  think  the  great  horses  must  be  an  error,  though  running  through  all 

*  Though  the  bellowing  of  certain  American  crocodiles  is  often  spoken  of,  I  have  nowhere  seen 
allusion  to  the  roaring  of  the  ghariydl,  nor  does  it  seem  to  he  commonly  known.  I  have  once  only 
heard  it,  whilst  on  the  bank  of  the  Ganges  near  Rampur  Boliah,  waiting  for  a  ferry-boat.  It  was  like 
a  loud  prolonged  snore  ;  and  though  it  seemed  to  come  distinctly  from  a  crocodile  on  the  surface  of 
the  river,  I  made  sure  by  asking  a  boatman  who  stood  by  :  "  It  is  the  ghariyal  speaking,"  he  answered. 

VOL.    II.  F 

82  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

the  texts,  and  that  grant  quantity  de  chevaus  was  probably  intended.  Valuable  ponies 
are  produced  in  those  regions,  but  I  have  never  heard  of  large  horses,  and  Martini's 
testimony  is  to  like  effect  (p.  141).  Nor  can  I  hear  of  any  race  in  those  regions  in 
modern  times  that  uses  what  we  should  call  long  stirrups.  It  is  true  that  the  Tartars 
rode  very  short — "  brevissimas  habevt  strepas,"  as  Carpini  says  (643);  and  the 
Kirghiz  Kazaks  now  do  the  same.  Both  Burmese  and  Shans  ride  what  we  should 
call  short  ;  and  Major  Sladen  observes  of  the  people  on  the  western  border  of 
Yun-nan  :  "  Kachyens  and  Shans  ride  on  ordinary  Chinese  saddles.  The  stirrups  are 
of  the  usual  average  length,  but  the  saddles  are  so  constructed  as  to  rise  at  least  a  foot 
above  the  pony's  back."  He  adds  with  reference  to  another  point  in  the  text:  "I 
noticed  a  few  Shan  ponies  with  docked  tails.  But  the  more  general  practice  is  to  loop 
up  the  tail  in  a  knot,  the  object  being  to  protect  the  rider,  or  rather  his  clothes,  from 
the  dirt  with  which  they  would  otherwise  be  spattered  from  the  flipping  of  the 
animal's  tail."     {MS.  Notes.) 

[After  Yung-ch'ang,  Captain  Gill  writes  (II.  p.  356)  :  "  The  manes  were  hogged 
and  the  tails  cropped  of  a  great  many  of  the  ponies  these  men  were  riding  ;  but  there 
were  none  of  the  docked  tails  mentioned  by  Marco  Polo." — H.  C] 

Armour  of  boiled  leather — "  armes  cuirace's  de  cuir  doui//i,: ;  so  Pauthier's  text; 
the  material  so  often  mentioned  in  mediaeval  costume ;  e.g.  in  the  leggings  of  Sir 
Thopas : — 

"  His  jambeux  were  of  cuirbouly, 
His  swerdessheth  of  ivory, 
His  helme  of  latoun  bright." 

But  the  reading  of  the  G.  Text  which  is  "  cuir  de  bufalj'  is  probably  the  right  one. 
Some  of  the  Miau-tzu  of  Kweichau  are  described  as  wearing  armour  of  buffalo- 
leather  overlaid  with  iron  plates.  {Ritter,  IV.  768-776.)  Arblasts  or  crossbows  are 
still  characteristic  weapons  of  many  of  the  wrilder  tribes  of  this  region ;  e.g.  of 
some  of  the  Singphos,  of  the  Mishmis  of  Upper  Assam,  of  the  Lu-tzu  of  the  valley  of 
the  Lukiang,  of  tribes  of  the  hills  of  Laos,  of  the  Stiens  of  Cambodia,  and  of  several 
of  the  Miau-tzii  tribes  of  the  interior  of  China.  We  give  a  cut  copied  from  a  Chinese 
work  on  the  Miau-tzu  of  Kweichau  in  Dr.  Lockhart's  possession,  which  shows  tlwee 
little  men  of  the  Sang-Miau  tribe  of  Kweichau  combining  to  mend  a  crossbow,  and  a 
chief  with  armes  cu trace's  and  jambeux  also.  [The  cut  (p.  83)  is  well  explained  by 
this  passage  of  Babels  Travels  among  the  Lolos  (p.  71)  :  "  They  make  their  own 
swords,  three  and  a  half  to  five  spans  long,  with  square  heads,  and  have  bows  which 
it  takes  three  men  to  draw,  but  no  muskets." — H.  C] 

Note  5. — I  have  nowhere  met  with  a  precise  parallel  to  this  remarkable  supersti- 
tion, but  the  following  piece  of  Folk-Lore  has  a  considerable  analogy  to  it.  This 
extraordinary  custom  is  ascribed  by  Ibn  Fozlan  to  the  Bulgarians  of  the  Volga  :  "If 
they  find  a  man  endowed  with  special  intelligence  then  they  say  :  '  This  man  should 
serve  our  Lord  God ; '  and  so  they  take  him,  run  a  noose  round  his  neck  and  hang 
him  on  a  tree,  where  they  leave  him  till  the  corpse  falls  to  pieces."  This  is  precisely 
what  Sir  Charles  Wood  did  with  the  Indian  Corps  of  Engineers ; — doubtless  on  the 
same  principle. 

Archbishop  Trench,  in  a  fine  figure,  alludes  to  a  belief  prevalent  among  the 
Polynesian  Islanders,  "  that  the  strength  and  valour  of  the  warriors  whom  they  have 
slain  in  battle  passes  into  themselves,  as  their  rightful  inheritance."  (Fraehn,  Wolga- 
Bulgaren,  p.  50  ;  Studies  in  the  Gospels,  p.  22  ;  see  also  Lttbbock,  457.) 

There  is  some  analogy  also  to  the  story  Polo  tells,  in  the  curious  Sindhi  tradition, 
related  by  Burton,  of  Baha-ul-hakk,  the  famous  saint  of  Multan.  When  he  visited 
his  disciples  at  Tatta  they  plotted  his  death,  in  order  to  secure  the  blessings  of  his 
perpetual  presence.  The  people  of  Multan  are  said  to  have  murdered  two  celebrated 
saints  with  the  same  view,  and  the  Hazaras  to  "make  a  point  of  killing  and  burying 
in  their  own  country  any  stranger  indiscreet  enough  to  commit  a  miracle  or  show  any 


The  Sangmiau  Tribe  of  Kweichau,  with  the  Crossbow.     (From  a  Chinese  Drawing.) 

"(Dntiirmcs  contsfe  fcc  tmvht,  ft  out  lances  rt  seas  tt  onX  balcstrts." 

VOL.    II. 

F    2 

84  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

particular  sign  of  sanctity."  The  like  practice  is  ascribed  to  the  rude  Moslem  oi 
Gilghit ;  and  such  allegations  must  have  been  current  in  Europe,  for  they  are  the 
motive  of  Sout key's  St.  Romuald: 

"  '  But,'  quoth  the  Traveller,  '  wherefore  did  he  leave 
A  flock  that  knew  his  saintly  worth  so  well  ?' 
•  •■«•>••• 

11  'Why,  Sir,'  the  Host  replied, 
1  We  thought  perhaps  that  he  might  one  day  leave  us ; 
And  then,  should  strangers  have 
The  good  man's  grave, 
A  loss  like  that  would  naturally  grieve  us  ; 

For  he'll  be  made  a  saint  of,  to  be  sure. 
Therefore  we  thought  it  prudent  to  secure 
His  relics  while  we  might ; 
And  so  we  meant  to  strangle  him  one  night.'  " 

(See  Sitidh,  pp.  86,  388  ;  Ind.  Antiq.  I.  13  ;  Soutkefs  Ballads,  etc.,  ed.  Routledge, 

P-  330. ) 

[Captain  Gill  (I.  p.  323)  says  that  he  had  made  up  his  mind  to  visit  a  place  called 
Li-fan  Fu,  near  Ch'eng-tu.  "I  was  told,"  he  writes,  "that  this  place  was  inhabited 
by  the  Man-Tzii,  or  Barbarians,  as  the  Chinese  call  them ;  and  Monseigneur  Pinchon 
told  me  that,  amongst  other  pleasing  theories,  they  were  possessed  of  the  belief  that 
if  they  poisoned  a  rich  man,  his  wealth  would  accrue  to  the  poisoner ;  that,  therefore, 
the  hospitable  custom  prevailed  amongst  them  of  administering  poison  to  rich  or 
noble  guests ;  that  this  poison  took  no  effect  for  some  time,  but  that  in  the  course  of 
two  or  three  months  it  produced  a  disease  akin  to  dysentery,  ending  in  certain 
death."— H.  C] 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Zardandan. 

When  you  have  left  Carajan  and  have  travelled  five 
days  westward,  you  find  a  province  called  Zardandan. 
The  people  are  Idolaters  and  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan. 
The  capital  city  is  called  Vochan.1 

The  people  of  this  country  all  have  their  teeth  gilt ; 
or  rather  every  man  covers  his  teeth  with  a  sort  of 
golden  case  made  to  fit  them,  both  the  upper  teeth  and 
the  under.  The  men  do  this,  but  not  the  women.2 
[The  men  also  are  wont  to  gird  their  arms  and  legs 
with  bands  or  fillets  pricked  in  black,  and  it  is  done  thus ; 
they  take  five  needles  joined  together,  and  with  these 


they  prick  the  flesh  till  the  blood  comes,  and  then  they 
rub  in  a  certain  black  colouring  stuff,  and  this  is  perfectly 
indelible.  It  is  considered  a  piece  of  elegance  and 
the  sign  of  gentility  to  have  this  black  band.]  The 
men  are  all  gentlemen  in  their  fashion,  and  do  nothing 
but  go  to  the  wars,  or  go  hunting  and  hawking.  The 
ladies  do  all  the  business,  aided  by  the  slaves  who  have 
been  taken  in  war.3 

And  when  one  of  their  wives  has  been  delivered  of  a 
child,  the  infant  is  washed  and  swathed,  and  then  the 
woman  gets  up  and  goes  about  her  household  affairs, 
whilst  the  husband  takes  to  bed  with  the  child  by  his 
side,  and  so  keeps  his  bed  for  40  days  ;  and  all  the  kith 
and  kin  come  to  visit  him  and  keep  up  a  great  festivity. 
They  do  this  because,  say  they,  the  woman  has  had  a 
hard  bout  of  it,  and  'tis  but  fair  the  man  should  have  his 
share  of  suffering.4 

They  eat  all  kinds  of  meat,  both  raw  and  cooked,  and 
they  eat  rice  with  their  cooked  meat  as  their  fashion  is. 
Their  drink  is  wine  made  of  rice  and  spices,  and  excel- 
lent it  is.  Their  money  is  gold,  and  for  small  change 
they  use  pig-shells.  And  I  can  tell  you  they  give  one 
weight  of  gold  for  only  five  of  silver ;  for  there  is  no 
silver-mine  within  five  months'  journey.  And  this  in- 
duces merchants  to  go  thither  carrying  a  large  supply  of 
silver  to  change  among  that  people.  And  as  they  have 
only  five  weights  of  silver  to  give  for  one  of  fine  gold, 
they  make  immense  profits  by  their  exchange  business  in 
that  country.5 

These  people  have  neither  idols  nor  churches,  but 
worship  the  progenitor  of  their  family,  "for  'tis  he,"  say 
they,  "  from  whom  we  have  all  sprung." 6  They  have  no 
letters  or  writing ;  and  'tis  no  wonder,  for  the  country  is 
wild  and  hard  of  access,  full  of  great  woods  and 
mountains    which    'tis    impossible    to    pass,     the   air    in 

86  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

summer  is  so  impure  and  bad  ;  and  any  foreigners 
attempting  it  would  die  for  certain.7  When  these  people 
have  any  business  transactions  with  one  another,  they 
take  a  piece  of  stick,  round  or  square,  and  split  it,  each 
taking  half.  And  on  either  half  they  cut  two  or  three 
notches.  And  when  the  account  is  settled  the  debtor 
receives  back  the  other  half  of  the  stick  from  the 

And  let  me  tell  you  that  in  all  those  three  provinces 
that  I  have  been  speaking  of,  to  wit  Carajan,  Vochan, 
and  Yachi,  there  is  never  a  leech.  But  when  any  one 
is  ill  they  send  for  their  magicians,  that  is  to  say  the 
Devil-conjurors  and  those  who  are  the  keepers  of  the 
idols.  When  these  are  come  the  sick  man  tells 
what  ails  him,  and  then  the  conjurors  incontinently  begin 
playing  on  their  instruments  and  singing  and  dancing  ; 
and  the  conjurors  dance  to  such  a  pitch  that  at  last  one 
of  them  shall  fall  to  the  ground  lifeless,  like  a  dead  man. 
And  then  the  devil  entereth  into  his  body.  And  when 
his  comrades  see  him  in  this  plight  they  begin  to  put 
questions  to  him  about  the  sick  man's  ailment.  And  he 
will  reply  :  "  Such  or  such  a  spirit  hath  been  meddling 
with  the  man,9  for  that  he  hath  angered  the  spirit  and 
done  it  some  despite."  Then  they  say  :  "  We  pray  thee 
to  pardon  him,  and  to  take  of  his  blood  or  of  his  goods 
what  thou  wilt  in  consideration  of  thus  restoring  him 
to  health."  And  when  they  have  so  prayed,  the  malig- 
nant spirit  that  is  in  the  body  of  the  prostrate  man  will 
(mayhap)  answer  :  ''The  sick  man  hath  also  done  great 
despite  unto  such  another  spirit,  and  that  one  is  so  ill- 
disposed  that  it  will  not  pardon  him  on  any  account  ; " — 
this  at  least  is  the  answer  they  get,  an  the  patient  be  like 
to  die.  But  if  he  is  to  get  better  the  answer  will  be  that 
they  are  to  bring  two  sheep,  or  may  be  three  ;  and  to 
brew    ten    or    twelve   jars    of    drink,    very    costly    and 


abundantly  spiced.10  Moreover  it  shall  be  announced 
that  the  sheep  must  be  all  black-faced,  or  of  some  other 
particular  colour  as  it  may  hap  ;  and  then  all  those  things 
are  to  be  offered  in  sacrifice  to  such  and  such  a  spirit 
whose  name  is  given.11  And  they  are  to  bring  so  many 
conjurors,  and  so  many  ladies,  and  the  business  is  to  be 
done  with  a  great  singing  of  lauds,  and  with  many  lights, 
and  store  of  good  perfumes.  That  is  the  sort  of  answer 
they  get  if  the  patient  is  to  get  well.  And  then  the 
kinsfolk  of  the  sick  man  go  and  procure  all  that  has 
been  commanded,  and  do  as  has  been  bidden,  and 
the  conjuror  who  had  uttered  all  that  gets  on  his  legs 

So  they  fetch  the  sheep  of  the  colour  prescribed,  and 
slaughter  them,  and  sprinkle  the  blood  over  such  places 
as  have  been  enjoined,  in  honour  and  propitiation  of  the 
spirit.  And  the  conjurors  come,  and  the  ladies,  in  the 
number  that  was  ordered,  and  when  all  are  assembled 
and  everything  is  ready,  they  begin  to  dance  and  play 
and  sing  in  honour  of  the  spirit.  And  they  take  flesh- 
broth  and  drink  and  lign-aloes,  and  a  great  number  of 
lights,  and  go  about  hither  and  thither,  scattering  the 
broth  and  the  drink  and  the  meat  also.  And  when  they 
have  done  this  for  a  while,  again  shall  one  of  the  con- 
jurors fall  flat  and  wallow  there  foaming  at  the  mouth, 
and  then  the  others  will  ask  if  he  have  yet  pardoned  the 
sick  man  ?  And  sometimes  he  shall  answer  yea !  and 
sometimes  he  shall  answer  no  !  And  if  the  answer  be  no, 
they  shall  be  told  that  something  or  other  has  to  be  done 
all  over  again,  and  then  he  will  be  pardoned  ;  so  this 
they  do.  And  when  all  that  the  spirit  has  commanded 
has  been  done  with  great  ceremony,  then  it  shall  be 
announced  that  the  man  is  pardoned  and  shall  be 
speedily  cured.  So  when  they  at  length  receive  such 
a  reply,  they  announce  that  it  is  all  made  up  with  the 

88  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

spirit,  and  that  he  is  propitiated,  and  they  fall  to  eating 
and  drinking  with  great  joy  and  mirth,  and  he  who  had 
been  lying  lifeless  on  the  ground  gets  up  and  takes  his 
share.  So  when  they  have  all  eaten  and  drunken,  every 
man  departs  home.  And  presently  the  sick  man  gets 
sound  and  well.12 

Now  that  I  have  told  you  of  the  customs  and 
naughty  ways  of  that  people,  we  will  have  done  talking 
of  them  and  their  province,  and  I  will  tell  you  about 
others,  all  in  regular  order  and  succession. 

Note  i. — [Baber  writes  {Travels,  p.  171)  when  arriving  to  the  Lan-tsang  kiang 
(Mekong  River)  :  "  We  were  now  on  the  border-line  between  Carajan  and  Zardandan  : 
'When  you  have  travelled  five  days  you  find  a  province  called  Zardandan,'  says 
Messer  Marco,  precisely  the  actual  number  of  stages  from  Tali-fu  to  the  present 
boundary  of  Yung-ch'ang.  That  this  river  must  have  been  the  demarcation 
between  the  two  provinces  is  obvious ;  one  glance  into  that  deep  rift,  the  only  exit 
from  which  is  by  painful  worked  artificial  zigzags  which,  under  the  most  favourable 
conditions,  cannot  be  called  safe,  will  satisfy  the  most  sceptical  geographer.  The 
exact  statement  of  distance  is  a  proof  that  Marco  entered  the  territory  of  Yung- 
ch'ang."  Captain  Gill  says  (II.  p.  343-344)  that  the  five  marches  of  Marco  Polo 
"  would  be  very  long  ones.  Our  journey  was  eight  days,  but  it  might  easily  have  been 
done  in  seven,  as  the  first  march  to  Hsia-Kuan  was  not  worthy  of  the  name.  The 
Grosvenor  expedition  made  eleven  marches  with  one  day's  halt  —  twelve  days 
altogether,  and  Mr.  Margary  was  nine  or  ten  days  on  the  journey.  It  is  true  that, 
by  camping  out  every  night,  the  marches  might  be  longer ;  and,  as  Polo  refers  to  the 
crackling  of  the  bamboos  in  the  fires,  it  is  highly  probable  that  he  found  no  'Jine 
hostelries '  on  this  route.  This  is  the  way  the  traders  still  travel  in  Tibet ;  they  march 
until  they  are  tired,  or  until  they  find  a  nice  grassy  spot ;  they  then  off  saddles,  turn 
their  animals  loose,  light  a  fire  under  some  adjacent  tree,  and  halt  for  the  night ;  thus 
the  longest  possible  distance  can  be  performed  every  day,  and  the  five  days  from 
Ta-li  to  Yung-Ch'ang  would  not  be  by  any  means  an  impossibility." — H.  C] 

Note  2. — Ramusio  says  that  both  men  and  women  use  this  gold  case.  There 
can  be  no  better  instance  of  the  accuracy  with  which  Polo  is  generally  found  to  have 
represented  Oriental  names,  when  we  recover  his  real  representation  of  them,  than 
this  name  Zardandan.  In  the  old  Latin  editions  the  name  appeared  as  Ardandan, 
Arcladam,  etc.  ;  in  Ramusio  as  Cardandan,  correctly  enough,  only  the  first  letter 
should  have  been  printed  C\  Marsden,  carrying  out  his  systematic  conversion  of  the 
Ramusian  spelling,  made  this  into  Kardandan,  and  thus  the  name  became  irrecogniz- 
able.  Klaproth,  I  believe,  first  showed  that  the  word  was  simply  the  Persian 
ZAr-dandAn,  "  Gold-Teeth,"  and  produced  quotations  from  Rashiduddin  mention- 
ing the  people  in  question  by  that  identical  name.  Indeed  that  historian  mentions 
them  several  times.  Thus:  "North-west  of  China  is  the  frontier  of  Tibet,  and 
of  the  Zardandan,  who  lie  between  Tibet  and  Karajang.  These  people  cover 
their  teeth  with  a  gold  case,  which  they  take  off  when  they  eat."  They  are  also 
frequently  mentioned  in  the  Chinese  annals  about  this  period  under  the  same  name, 
viz.  Kin-Chi)  "Gold-Teeth,"  and  some  years  after  Polo's  departure  from  the  East 
they  originated  a  revolt  against  the  Mongol  yoke,  in  which  a  great  number  of  the 
imperial  troops  were  massacred.     (De  Mai  I  la,  IX.  478-479.) 

Chap.  L.  " GOLD-TEETH "   TRIBE  89 

[Baber  writes  (p.  159)  :  "  In  Western  Yunnan  the  betel-nut  is  chewed  with  pre- 
pared lime,  colouring  the  teeth  red,  and  causing  a  profuse  expectoration.  We  first 
met  with  the  practice  near  Tali-fn. 

"Is  it  not  possible  that  the  red  colour  imparted  to  the  teeth  by  the  practice  of 
chewing  betel  with  lime  may  go  some  way  to  account  for  the  ancient  name  of  this 
region,  '  Zar  -  dandan,'  '  Chin  -  Ch'ih,'  or  '  Golden-Teeth  '  ?  Betel  -  chewing  is,  of 
course,  common  all  over  China  ;  but  the  use  of  lime  is  almost  unknown  and  the 
teeth  are  not  necessarily  discoloured. 

"  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Tali,  one  comes  suddenly  upon  a  lime-chewing  people, 
and  is  at  once  struck  with  the  strange  red  hue  of  their  teeth  and  gums.  That  some 
of  the  natives  used  formerly  to  cover  their  teeth  with  plates  of  gold  (from  which 
practice,  mentioned  by  Marco  Polo,  and  confirmed  elsewhere,  the  name  is  generally 
derived)  can  scarcely  be  considered  a  myth  ;  but  the  peculiarity  remarked  by  ourselves 
would  have  been  equally  noticeable  by  the  early  Chinese  invaders,  and  seems  not 
altogether  unworthy  of  consideration.  It  is  interesting  to  find  the  name  '  Chin- 
Ch'ih  '  still  in  use. 

"When  Tu  Wen-hsiu  sent  his  'Panthay'  mission  to  England  with  tributary 
boxes  of  rock  from  the  Tali  Mountains,  he  described  himself  in  his  letter  'as  a 
humble  native  of  the  golden-teeth  country.'  " — H.  C] 

Vochan  seems  undoubtedly  to  be,  as  Martini  pointed  out,  the  city  called  by  the 
Chinese  Yung-ch'ang-FU.  Some  of  the  old  printed  editions  read  Unciam,  i.e. 
Uncham  or  Unchan,  and  it  is  probable  that  either  this  or  Vocian,  i.e.  Vonchan,  was 
the  true  reading,  coming  very  close  to  the  proper  name,  which  is  Wunchen.  (See 
/.  A.  S.  B.  VI.  547.)  .[In  an  itinerary  from  Ava  to  Peking,  we  read  on  the  10th 
September,  1833:  "Slept  at  the  city  Wun-tsheng  (Chinese  Yongtchang  fu  and 
Burmese  Wun-zen)."  {Chin.  Rep.  IX.  p.  474): — Mr.  F.  W.  K.  Muller  in  a  study  on 
the  Pa-yi  language  from  a  Chinese  manuscript  entitled  Flwa-i-yi-yil  found  by  Dr.  F. 
Hirth  in  China,  and  belonging  now  to  the  Berlin  Royal  Library,  says  the  proper 
orthography  of  the  word  is  Wan- c hang  in  Pa-yi.  {Toung  Pao,  III.  p.  20.)  This 
helps  to  find  the  origin  of  the  name  Vochan. — H.  C]  This  city  has  been  a  Chinese 
one  for  several  centuries,  and  previous  to  the  late  Mahomedan  revolt  its  population 
was  almost  exclusively  Chinese,  with  only  a  small  mixture  of  Shans.  It  is  now  noted 
for  the  remarkable  beauty  and  fairness  of  the  women.  But  it  is  mentioned  by 
Chinese  authors  as  having  been  in  the  Middle  Ages  the  capital  of  the  Gold-Teeth. 
These  people,  according  to  Martini,  dwelt  chiefly  to  the  north  of  the  city.  They 
used  to  go  to  worship  a  huge  stone,  100  feet  high,  at  Nan-ngan,  and  cover  it  annually 
with  gold-leaf.  Some  additional  particulars  about  the  Kin-Chi,  in  the  time  of  the 
Mongols,  will  be  found  in  Pauthier's  notes  (p.  398). 

[In  1274,  the  Burmese  attacked  Yung  ch'ang,  whose  inhabitants  were  known 
under  the  name  of  Kin-Chi  (Golden-Teeth).  {E.  Rocher,  Princes  du  Yun-nan,  p.  71.) 
From  the  Annals  of  Momein,  translated  by  Mr.  E.  H.  Parker  {China  Review,  XX. 
p.  345),  we  learn  that :  "  In  the  year  1271,  the  General  of  Ta-li  was  sent  on  a  mission 
to  procure  the  submission  of  the  Burmese,  and  managed  to  bring  a  Burmese  envoy 
named  Kiai-poh  back  with  him.  Four  years  later  Fu  A-pih,  Chief  of  the  Golden- 
Teeth,  was  utilised  as  a  guide,  which  so  angered  the  Burmese  that  they  detained 
Fu  A-pih  and  attacked  Golden-Teeth  :  but  he  managed  to  bribe  himself  free.  A-ho, 
Governor  of  the  Golden-Teeth,  was  now  sent  as  a  spy,  which  caused  the  Burmese  to 
advance  to  the  attack  once  more,  but  they  were  driven  back  by  Twan  Sin-cha-jih. 
These  events  led  to  the  Burmese  war,"  which  lasted  till  1301. 

According  to  the  Hwang-tsing  Chi-kung  fu  (quoted  by  Deveria,  Front,  p.  130), 
the  Pei-jen  were  Kin-chi,  of  Pa-y  race,  and  were  surnamed  Min-kia-tzu  ;  the  Min-kia, 
according  to  F.  Gamier,  say  that  they  come  from  Nan-king,  but  this  is  certainly  an 
error  for  the  Pei-jen.  From  another  Chinese  work,  Deveria  (p.  169)  gives  this 
information  :  The  Piao  are  the  Kin-Chi  ;  they  submitted  to  the  Mongols  in  the 
13th  century;  they  are  descended  from  the  people  of  Chu-po  or  Piao  Kwo  (Kingdom 
of  Piao),  ancient  Pegu  ;  P'u-p'iao,  in  a  little  valley  between  the  Mekong   and  the 



Book  II. 

Sal  wen    Rivers,    was   the    place    through    which    the    P'u    and    the    Piao   entered 

The  Chinese  geographical  work  Fang-yu-ki-yao  mentions  the  name  of  Kin-Chi 
Ch'eng,  or  city  of  Kin-Chi,  as  the  ancient  denomination  of  Yung-ch'ang.  A  Chinese 
Pa-y  vocabulary,  belonging  to  Professor  Deveria,  translates  Kin-Chi  by  Wan-Chang 
(Yung-ch'ang).     {Deveria,  Front,  p.  128.) — H.  C.  J 

It  has  not  been  determined  who  are  the  representatives  of  these  Gold-Teeth, 
who  were  evidently  distinct  from  the  Shans,  not  Buddhist,  and  without  literature.  I 
should  think  it  probable  that  they  were  Kakhyens  or  Singphos,  who,  excluding 
Shans,  appear  to  form  the  greatest  body  in  that  quarter,  and  are  closely  akin  to  each 
other,  indeed  essentially  identical  in  race.*  The  Singphos  have  now  extended 
widely  to  the  west  of  the  Upper  Irawadi  and  northward  into  Assam,  but  their 
traditions  bring  them  from  the  borders  of  Yunnan.  The  original  and  still  most 
populous  seat  of  the  Kakhyen  or  Singpho  race  is  pointed  out  by  Colonel  Hannay  in 
the  Gulansigung  Mountains  and  the  valley  of  the  eastern  source  of  the  Irawadi. 
This  agrees  with  Martini's  indication  of  the  seat  of  the  Kin-Chi  as  north  of  Yung- 
ch'ang.  One  of  Plannay's  notices  of  Singpho 
customs  should  also  be  compared  with  the 
interpolation  from  Ramusio  about  tattooing  : 
"  The  men  tattoo  their  limbs  slightly,  and  all 
married  females  are  tattooed  on  both  legs 
from  the  ankle  to  the  knee,  in  broad 
horizontal  circular  bands.  Both  sexes  also 
wear  rings  below  the  knee  of  fine  shreds  of 
rattan  varnished  black"  (p.  18).  These  rings 
appear  on  the  Kakhyen  woman  in  our  cut. 

The  only  other  wild  tribe  spoken  of  by 
Major  Sladen  as  attending  the  markets  on  the 
frontier  is  that  of  the  Lissits,  already  men- 
tioned by  Lieutenant  Gamier  {supra,  ch.  xlvii. 
note  6),  and  who  are  said  to  be  the  most 
savage  and  indomitable  of  the  tribes  in  that 
quarter.  Gamier  also  mentions  the  Mossos, 
who  are  alleged  once  to  have  formed  an  in- 
dependent kingdom  about  Li  -  kiang  fa. 
Possibly,  however,  the  Gold-Teeth  may  have 
become  entirely  absorbed  in  the  Chinese  and 
Shan  population. 

The  characteristic  of  casing  the  teeth  in 
gold  should  identify  the  tribe  did  it  still  exist. 
But  I  can  learn  nothing  of  the  continued 
existence  of  such  a  custom  among  any  tribe  of 
the  Indo-Chinese  continent.  The  insertion  of 
gold  studs  or  spots,  which  Biirck  confounds 
with  it,  is  common  enough  among  Indo- 
Chinese  races,  but  that  is  quite  a  different 
thing.  The  actual  practice  of  the  Zardandan 
is,  however,  followed  by  some  of  the  people 
of  Sumatra,  as  both  Marsden  and  Raffles 
testify  :   "The  great  men  sometimes  set  their  teeth  in  gold,  by  casing  with  a  plate  of 

*  "  Singpho,"  says  Colonel  Hannay,  "  signifies  in  the  Kakhyen  language  '  a  man,'  and  all  of  this 
race  who  have  settled  in  Hookong  or  Assam  are  thus  designated  ;  the  reason  of  their  change  of  name 
I  could  not  ascertain,  hut  so  much  importance  seems  to  be  attached  to  it,  that  the  Singphos,  in 
talking  of  their  eastern  and  southern  neighbours,  call  them  Kakhyens  or  Kakoos,  and  consider  it  an 
insult  to  be  called  so  themselves.''  {Sketch  of the  Sin?phos,  or  the  Kakhyens  of  Burma,  Calcutta, 
1847,  pp.  3-4.)  If,  however,  the  Kakhyens,  or  Kachyens  (as  Major  Sladen  calls  them),  are  represented 
by  the  Go-tchang  of  Pauthier's  Chinese  extracts,  these  seem  to  be  distinguished  from  the  Kin-Chi, 
though  associated  with  them.     (See  pp.  397,  411.  ) 

Kakhyens.     (From  a  Photograph.) 

Chap.  L.  CUSTOM  OF  THE   "COUVADE"  9 1 

that  metal  the  under  row  ....  it  is  sometimes  indented  to  the  shape  of  the  teeth, 
but  more  usually  quite  plain.  They  do  not  remove  it  either  to  eat  or  sleep."  The 
like  custom  is  mentioned  by  old  travellers  at  Macassar,  and  with  the  substitution  of 
silver  for  gold  by  a  modern  traveller  as  existing  in  Timor  ;  but  in  both,  probably,  it 
was  a  practice  of  Malay  tribes,  as  in  Sumatra.  (Marsden's  Sumatra,  3rd  ed.,  p.  52  ; 
Raffles 's Java,  I.  105;  Bickmore  s  Ind.  Archipelago.) 

[In  his  second  volume  of  The  River  of  Golden  Sand,  Captain  Gill  has  two 
chapters  (viii.  and  ix.)  with  the  title  :  In  the  footsteps  of  Marco  Polo  and  of  Augustus 
Margary  devoted  to  The  Land  of  the  Gold-Teeth  and  The  Marches  of  the  Kingdom  of 
Mien.—H.  C] 

Note  3. — This  is  precisely  the  account  which  Lieutenant  Gamier  gives  of  the  people 
of  Laos  :  "The  Laos  people  are  very  indolent,  and  when  they  are  not  rich  enough 
to  possess  slaves  they  make  over  to  their  women  the  greatest  part  of  the  business 
of  the  day ;  and  'tis  these  latter  who  not  only  do  all  the  work  of  the  house, 
but  who  husk  the  rice,  work  in  the  fields,  and  paddle  the  canoes.  Hunting  and 
fishing  are  almost  the  only  occupations  which  pertain  exclusively  to  the  stronger  sex." 
(Notice  sur  le  Voyage  d?  Exploration,  etc.,  p.  34.) 

Note  4. — This  highly  eccentric  practice  has  been  ably  illustrated  and  explained 
by  Mr.  Tylor,  under  the  name  of  the  Couvade,  or  "  Hatching,"  by  which  it  is  known 
in  some  of  the  Beam  districts  of  the  Pyrenees,  where  it  formerly  existed,  as  it  does 
still  or  did  recently,  in  some  Basque  districts  of  Spain.  [In  a  paper  on  La  Couvade 
chez  les  Basques,  published  in  the  Rtpublique  Francaise,  of  19th  January,  1877,  and 
reprinted  in  Etudes  de  Linguistique  et  d  Ethnographie  par  A.  Hovelacque  el  Julien 
Vinson,  Paris,  1878,  Prof.  Vinson  quotes  the  following  curious  passage  from  the 
poem   in  ten  cantos,    Luciniade,   by  Sacombe,   of  Carcassonne  (Paris   and  Nimes, 

i79o) : 

"  En  Amerique,  en  Corse,  et  chez  l'lberien, 
En  France  meme  encor  chez  le  Venarnien, 
Au  pays  Navarrois,  lorsqu'une  femme  accouche, 
L'epouse  sort  du  lit  et  le  mari  se  couche  ; 
Et,  quoiqu'il  soit  tres  sain  et  d'esprit  et  de  corps, 
Contre  un  mal  qu'il  n'a  point  l'art  unit  ses  efforts. 
On  le  met  au  regime,  et  notre  faux  malade, 
Soigne  par  l'accouchee,  en  son  lit  fait  couvade: 
On  ferme  avec  grand  soin  portes,  volets,  rideaux  ; 
Immobile,  on  l'oblige  a  rester  sur  le  dos, 
Pour  etouffer  son  lait,  qui  gene  dans  sa  course, 
Pourrait  en  l'etouffant  remonter  vers  sa  source. 
Un  mari,  dans  sa  couche,  au  medecin  soumis, 
Recoit,  en  cet  etat,  parents,  voisins,  amis, 
Qui  viennent  i'exhorter  a  prendre  patience 
Et  font  des  voeux  au  ciel  pour  sa  convalescence." 

Frofessor  Vinson,  who  is  an  authority  on  the  subject,  comes  to  the  conclusion  that 
it  is  not  possible  to  ascribe  to  the  Basques  the  custom  of  the  couvade. 

Mr.  Tylor  writes  to  me  that  he  "  did  not  quite  begin  the  use  of  this  good  French 
word  in  the  sense  of  the  '  man-child-bed '  as  they  call  it  in  Germany.  It  occurs  in 
Rochefort,  lies  Antilles,  and  though  Dr.  Murray,  of  the  English  Dictionary,  maintains 
that  it  is  spurious,  if  so,  it  is  better  than  any  genuine  word  I  know  of." — H.  C]  "In 
certain  valleys  of  Biscay,"  says  Francisque-Michel,  "in  which  the  popular  usages 
carry  us  back  to  the  infancy  of  society,  the  woman  immediately  after  her  delivery  gets 
up  and  attends  to  the  cares  of  the  household,  whilst  the  husband  takes  to  bed 
with  the  tender  fledgeling  in  his  arms,  and  so  receives  the  compliments  of  his 

The  nearest  people  to  the  Zardandan  of  whom    I    find  this  custom  elsewhere 

92  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

recorded,  is  one  called  Langszi*  a  small  tribe  of  aborigines  in  the  department  of 
Wei-ning,  in  Kweichau,  but  close  to  the  border  of  Yun-nan  :  "  Their  manners  and 
customs  are  very  extraordinary.  For  example,  when  the  wife  has  given  birth  to  a 
child,  the  husband  remains  in  the  house  and  holds  it  in  his  arms  for  a  whole  month, 
not  once  going  out  of  doors.  The  wife  in  the  mean  time  does  all  the  work  in  doors 
and  out,  and  provides  and  serves  up  both  food  and  drink  for  the  husband,  she  only 
giving  suck  to  the  child."  I  am  informed  also  that,  among  the  Miris  on  the  Upper 
Assam  border,  the  husband  on  such  occasions  confines  himself  strictly  to  the  house 
for  forty  days  after  the  event. 

The  custom  of  the  Couvade  has  especially  and  widely  prevailed  in  South  America, 
not  only  among  the  Carib  races  of  Guiana,  of  the  Spanish  Main,  and  (where  still 
surviving)  of  the  West  Indies,  but  among  many  tribes  of  Brazil  and  its  borders  from 
the  Amazons  to  the  Plate,  and  among  the  Abipones  of  Paraguay ;  it  also  exists  or  has 
existed  among  the  aborigines  of  California,  in  West  Africa,  in  Bouro,  one  of  the 
Moluccas,  and  among  a  wandering  tribe  of  the  Telugu-speaking  districts  of  Southern 
India.  According  to  Diodorus  it  prevailed  in  ancient  Corsica,  according  to  Strabo 
among  the  Iberians  of  Northern  Spain  (where  we  have  seen  it  has  lingered  to  recent 
times),  according  to  Apollonius  Rhodius  among  the  Tibareni  of  Pontus.  Modified 
traces  of  a  like  practice,  not  carried  to  the  same  extent  of  oddity,  are  also  found  in  a 
variety  of  countries  besides  those  that  have  been  named,  as  in  Borneo,  in  Kamtchatka, 
and  in  Greenland.  In  nearly  all  cases  some  particular  diet,  or  abstinence  from 
certain  kinds  of  food  and  drink,  and  from  exertion,  is  prescribed  to  the  father  ;  in 
some,  more  positive  and  trying  penances  are  inflicted. 

Butler  had  no  doubt  our  Traveller's  story  in  his  head  when  he  made  the  widow  in 
Htidibras  allude  in  a  ribald  speech  to  the  supposed  fact  that 

"  Chineses  go  to  bed 

And  lie  in,  in  their  ladies'  stead." 

The  custom  is  humorously  introduced,  as  Pauthier  has  noticed,  in  the  Mediaeval 
Fabliau  of  Aucasin  and  Nicolete.  Aucasin  arriving  at  the  castle  of  Torelore  asks  for 
the  king  and  is  told  he  is  in  child-bed.  Where  then  is  his  wife  ?  She  is  gone  to  the 
wars  and  has  taken  all  the  people  with  her.  Aucasin,  greatly  astonished,  enters  the 
palace,  and  wanders  through  it  till  he  comes  to  the  chamber  where  the  king  lay  : — 

"  En  le  canbre  entre  Aucasins 
Li  cortois  et  li  gentis  ; 
II  est  venus  dusqu'au  lit 
Alec  u  li  Rois  se  gist. 
Pardevant  lui  s'arestit 
Si  parla,  Oes  que  dist ; 
Diva  fau,  que  fais-tu  ci  ? 
Dist  le  Rois,  Je  gis  d'un  fil, 
Quant  mes  mois  sera  complis, 
Et  ge  serai  bien  garis, 
Dont  irai  le  messe  oir 
Si  comme  mes  ancessor  fist,"  etc. 

Aucasin  pulls  all  the  clothes  off  him,  and  cudgels  him  soundly,  making  him  promise 
that  never  a  man  shall  lie  in  again  in  his  country. 

This  strange  custom,  if  it  were  unique,  would  look  like  a  coarse  practical  joke, 
but  appearing  as  it  does  among  so  many  different  races  and  in  every  quarter  of  the 
world,  it  must  have  its  root  somewhere  deep  in  the  psychology  of  the  uncivilised  man. 
I  must  refer  to  Mr.  Tylor's  interesting  remarks  on  the  rationale  of  the  custom,  for 

*  [Mr.  E.  H.  Parker  {China  Review,  XIV.  p.  359)  says  that  Colonel  Yule's  Za^s/ are  evidently 
the  Szilang,  one  of  the  six  Chao,  hut  turned  upside  down. — H.  C] 

Chap.  L.  CUSTOM  OF  THE   "COUVADE"  93 

they  do  not  bear  abridgment.  Professor  Max  Muller  humorously  suggests  that  "the 
treatment  which  a  husband  receives  among  ourselves  at  the  time  of  his  wife's  con- 
finement, not  only  from  mothers-in-law,  sisters-in-law,  and  other  female  relations, 
but  from  nurses,  and  from  every  consequential  maid-servant  in  the  house,"  is  but  a 
"survival,"  as  Mr.  Tylor  would  call  it,  of  the  couvade ;  or  at  least  represents  the 
same  feeling  which  among  those  many  uncivilised  nations  thus  drove  the  husband  to 
his  bed,  and  sometimes  (as  among  the  Caribs)  put  him  when  there  to  systematic 

{Tylort  Researches,  288-296;  Michel,  Le  Pays  Basque,  p.  201  ;  Sketches  of  the 
Meau-tsze,  transl.  by  Bridgman  m  J.  of  North  China  Br.  of  R.  As.  Soc,  p.  277  ; 
Hudibras,  Pt.  III.,  canto  I.  707;  Fabliaus  et  Contes  par  Barbazan,  id.  Mion,  I. 
408-409 ;  Indian  Antiq.  III.  151 ;  Mutter's  Chip,  II.  227  seqq.;  many  other  references 
in  Tylor,  and  in  a  capital  monograph  by  Dr.  H.  H.  Ploss  of  Leipzig,  received  during 
revision  of  this  sheet:  ' Das  Manner kindbett.'  What  a  notable  example  of  the 
German  power  of  compounding  is  that  title  !) 

[This  custom  seems  to  be  considered  generally  as  a  survival  of  the  matriarchate  in 
a  society  with  a  patriarchal  regime.  We  may  add  to  the  list  of  authorities  on  this 
subject:  E.  Westermarck,  Hist,  of  Hitman  Marriage,  106,  seqq.;  G.  A.  Wilken,  De 
Couvade  bij de  Volken  v.d.  Indischen  Archipel,  Bijdr.  Ind.  hist.,  5th  ser.,  iv.  p.  250. 
Dr.  Ernest  Martin,  late  physician  of  the  French  Legation  at  Peking,  in  an  article  on 
La  Couvade  en  Chine  {Revue  Scientifque,  24th  March,  1894),  gave  a  drawing  repre- 
senting the  couvade  from  a  sketch  by  a  native  artist. 

In  the  China  Review  (XI.  pp.  401-402),  "  Lao  Kwang-tung"  notes  these  interesting 
facts  :  ' '  The  Chinese  believe  that  certain  actions  performed  by  the  husband  during 
the  pregnancy  of  his  wife  will  affect  the  child.  If  a  dish  of  food  on  the  table  is  raised 
by  putting  another  dish,  or  anything  else  below  it,  it  is  not  considered  proper  for  a 
husband,  who  is  expecting  the  birth  of  a  child,  to  partake  of  it,  for  fear  the  two  dishes 
should  cause  the  child  to  have  two  tongues.  It  is  extraordinary  that  the  caution  thus 
exercised  by  the  Chinese  has  not  prevented  many  of  them  from  being  double-tongued. 
This  result,  it  is  supposed,  however,  will  only  happen  if  the  food  so  raised  is  eaten  in 
the  house  in  which  the  future  mother  happens  to  be.  It  is  thought  that  the  pasting 
up  of  the  red  papers  containing  antithetical  and  felicitous  sentences  on  them,  as  at 
New  Year's  time,  by  a  man  under  similar  circumstances,  and  this  whether  the  future 
mother  sees  the  action  performed  or  not,  will  cause  the  child  to  have  red  marks  on 
the  face  or  any  part  of  the  body.  The  causes  producing  naevi  materni  have  probably 
been  the  origin  of  such  marks,  rather  than  the  idea  entertained  by  the  Chinese  that 
the  father,  having  performed  an  action  by  some  occult  mode,  influences  the  child  yet 
unborn.  A  case  is  said  to  have  occurred  in  which  ill  effects  were  obviated,  or  rather 
obliterated,  by  the  red  papers  being  torn  down,  after  the  birth  of  the  infant,  and  soaked 
in  water,  when  as  the  red  disappeared  from  the  paper,  so  the  child's  face  assumed  a 
natural  hue.  Lord  Avebury  also  speaks  of  la  couvade  as  existing  among  the 
Chinese  of  West  Yun-Nan.  {Origin  of  Civilisation  and  Primitive  Condition  of  Man, 
p.  18)." 

Dr.  J.  A.  II.  Murray,  editor  of  the  New  English  Dictionary,  wrote,  in  The 
Academy,  of  29th  October,  1892,  a  letter  with  the  heading  of  Couvade,  The  Genesis 
of  an  Anthropological  Term,  which  elicited  an  answer  from  Dr.  E.  B.  Tylor  {Academy, 
5th  November):  "Wanting  a  general  term  for  such  customs,"  writes  Dr.  Tylor, 
"and  finding  statements  in  books  that  this  male  lying-in  lasted  on  till  modern  times, 
in  the  south  of  France,  and  was  there  called  couvade,  that  is  brooding  or  hatching 
{couver),  I  adopted  this  word  for  the  set  of  customs,  and  it  has  since  become 
established  in  English."  The  discussion  was  carried  on  in  The  Academy,  12th 
and  19th  November,  10th  and  17th  December;  Mr.  A.  L.  Mayhew  wrote  (12th 
November)  :  "  There  is  no  doubt  whatever  that  Dr.  Tylor  and  Professor  Max  Muller 
(in  a  review  of  Dr.  Tylor's  book)  share  the  glory  of  having  given  a  new  technical 
sense  to  an  old  provincial  French  word,  and  of  seeing  it  accepted  in  Prance,  and 
safely  enshrined  in  the  great  Dictionary  of  Littre." 

94  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Now  as  to  the  origin  of  the  word  ;  we  have  seen  above  that  Rochefort  was  the 
first  to  use  the  expression  faire  la  couvadj.  This  author,  or  at  least  the  author 
(see  Barbier,  Ouvrages  anonymes)  of  the  Histoire  naturelle  .  .  .  des  lies  Antilles, 
which  was  published  for  the  first  time  at  Rotterdam,  in  1658,  4to.,  writes  :  "  C'est 
qu'au  meme  terns  que  la  femme  est  delivree  le  mary  se  met  au  lit,  pour  s'y  plaindre 
et  y  faire  l'acouchee  :  coutume,'qui  bien  que  Sauvage  et  ridicule,  se  trouve  neantmoins 
a  ce  que  Ton  dit,  parmy  les  paysans  d'vne  certaine  Province  de  France.  Et  ils 
appellent  cela  faire  la  couvade.  Mais  ce  qui  est  de  facheus  pour  le  pauvre  Caraibe, 
qui  s'est  mis  au  lit  au  lieu  de  l'acouchee,  c'est  qu'on  lay  fait  faire  diete  dix  on  douze 
jours  de  suite,  ne  luy  donnant  rien  par  jour  qu'vn  petit  morceau  de  Cassave,  et  vn 
peu  d'eau  dans  la  quelle  on  a  aussi  fait  bouillir  vn  peu  de  ce  pain  de  racine.  .  .  . 
Mais  ils  ne  font  ce  grand  jeusne  qu'  a  la  naissance  de  leur  premier  enfant  .  .  .  "  (II. 
pp.  607-608). 

Lafitau  {Maturs  des  Sauvages  Ameriquains,  I.  pp.  49-50)  says  on  the  authority  of 
Rochefort :  "  Je  la  trouve  chez  les  Iberiens  ou  les  premiers  Peuples  d'Espagne  .  .  . 
elle  est  aujourd'hui  dans  quelques  unes  de  nos  Provinces  d'Espagne." 

The  word  couvade,  forgotten  in  the  sense  of  lying-in  bed,  recalled  by  Sacombe, 
has  been  renovated  in  a  happy  manner  by  Dr.  Tylor. 

As  to  the  custom  itself,  there  can  be  no  doubt  of  its  existence,  in  spite  of  some 
denials.  Dr.  Tylor,  in  the  third  edition  of  his  valuable  Early  History  of  Mankind, 
published  in  1878  (Murray),  since  the  last  edition  of  The  Book  of  Ser  Marco  Polo,  has 
added  (pp.  291  seqq.)  many  more  proofs  to  support  what  he  had  already  said  on  the 

There  may  be  some  strong  doubts  as  to  the  couvade  in  the  south  of  France,  and 
the  authors  who  speak  of  it  in  Beam  and  the  Basque  Countries  seem  to  have  copied 
one  another,  but  there  is  not  the  slightest  doubt  of  its  having  been  and  of  its  being 
actually  practised  in  South  America.  There  is  a  very  curious  account  of  it  in  the 
Voyage  dans  le  Nord  du  Bre'sil  made  by  Father  Yves  d'Evreux  in  1613  and  1614 
(see  pp.  88-89  °f  tne  reprint,  Paris,  1864,  and  the  note  of  the  learned  Ferdinand 
Denis,  pp.  411 -41 2).  Compare  with  Durch  Central- Brasilien  .  .  .  im  Jahre  1884 
von  K.v.  den  Steinen.  But  the  following  extract  from  Among  the  Indians  of  Guiana. 
.   .   .     By  Everard  im  Thurn  (1883),  will  settle,  I  think,  the  question  : 

"  Turning  from  the  story  of  the  day  to  the  story  of  the  life,  we  may  begin  at  the 
beginning,  that  is,  at  the  birth  of  the  children.  And  here,  at  once,  we  meet  with, 
perhaps,  the  most  curious  point  in  the  habits  of  the  Indians  ;  the  couvade  or  male 
child-bed.  This  custom,  which  is  common  to  the  uncivilized  people  of  many  parts 
of  the  world,  is  probably  among  the  strangest  ever  invented  by  the  human  brain. 
Even  before  the  child  is  born,  the  father  abstains  for  a  time  from  certain  kinds  of 
animal  food.  The  woman  works  as  usual  up  to  a  few  hours  before  the  birth  of  the 
child.  At  last  she  retires  alone,  or  accompanied  only  by  some  other  women,  to  the 
forest,  where  she  ties  up  her  hammock  ;  and  then  the  child  is  born.  Then  in  a  few 
hours — often  less  than  a  day — the  woman,  who,  like  all  women  living  in  a  very 
unartificial  condition,  suffers  but  little,  gets  up  and  resumes  her  ordinary  work. 
According  to  Schomburgk,  the  mother,  at  any  rate  among  the  Macusis,  remains  in 
her  hammock  for  some  time,  and  the  father  hangs  his  hammock,  and  lies  in  it,  by  her 
side  ;  but  in  all  cases  where  the  matter  came  under  my  notice,  the  mother  left  her 
hammock  almost  at  once.  In  any  case,  no  sooner  is  the  child  born  than  the  father 
takes  to  his  hammock  and,  abstaining  from  every  cort  of  work,  from  meat  and  all 
other  food,  except  weak  gruel  of  cassava  meal,  from  smoking,  from  washing 
himself,  and,  above  all,  from  touching  weapons  of  any  sort,  is  nursed  and  cared  for 
by  all  the  women  of  the  place.  One  other  regulation,  mentioned  by  Schomburgk, 
is  certainly  quaint ;  the  interesting  father  may  not  scratch  himself  with  his  finger-nails, 
but  he  may  use  for  this  purpose  a  splinter,  specially  provided,  from  the  mid-rib  of  a 
cokerite  palm.  This  continues  for  many  days,  and  sometimes  even  weeks.  Couvade 
is  such  a  wide-spread  institution,  that  I  had  often  read  and  wondered  at  it ;  but  it 
was  not  until  I  saw  it  practised  around  me,  and  found  that  I  was  often  suddenly 


deprived  of  the  services  of  my  best  hunters  or  boat-hands,  by  the  necessity  which  they 
felt,  and  which  nothing  could  persuade  them  to  disregard,  of  observing  couvade,  that 
I  realized  its  full  strangeness.  No  satisfactory  explanation  of  its  origin  seems  attain- 
able. It  appears  based  on  a  belief  in  the  existence  of  a  mysterious  connection 
between  the  child  and  its  father — far  closer  than  that  which  exists  between  the  child 
and  its  mother, — and  of  such  a  nature  that  if  the  father  infringes  any  of  the  rules  of 
the  couvade,  for  a  time  after  the  birth  of  the  child,  the  latter  suffers.  For  instance,  if 
he  eats  the  flesh  of  a  water-haas  (Capybara),  a  large  rodent  with  very  protruding 
teeth,  the  teeth  of  the  child  will  grow  as  those  of  the  animal  ;  or  if  he  eats  the  flesh 
of  the  spotted-skinned  labba,  the  child's  skin  will  become  spotted.  Apparently  there 
is  also  some  idea  that  for  the  father  to  eat  strong  food,  to  wash,  to  smoke,  or  to 
handle  weapons,  would  have  the  same  result  as  if  the  new-born  babe  ate  such  food, 
washed,  smoked,  or  played  with  edged  tools"  (pp.  217-219.) 

I  have  to  thank  Dr.  Edward  B.  Tylor  for  the  valuable  notes  he  kindly  sent  me. — 
H.  C] 

Note  5. — "  The  abundance  of  gold  in  Yun-nan  is  proverbial  in  China,  so  that  if  a 
man  lives  very  extravagantly  they  ask  if  his  father  is  governor  of  Yun-nan."  {Martini, 
p.  140.) 

Polo  has  told  us  that  in  Eastern  Yun-nan  the  exchange  was  8  of  silver  for  one  of 
gold  (ch.  xlviii. ) ;  in  the  Western  division  of  the  province  6  of  silver  for  one  of  gold 
(ch.  xlix.) ;  and  now,  still  nearer  the  borders  of  Ava,  only  5  of  silver  for  one  of  gold. 
Such  discrepancies  within  15  days'  journey  would  be  inconceivable,  but  that  in  both 
the  latter  instances  at  least  he  appears  to  speak  of  the  rates  at  which  the  gold  was 
purchased  from  secluded,  ignorant,  and  uncivilised  tribes.  It  is  difficult  to  reconcile 
with  other  facts  the  reason  which  he  assigns  for  the  high  value  put  on  silver  at  Vochan, 
viz.,  that  there  was  no  silver-mine  within  five  months'  journey.  In  later  days,  at 
least,  Martini  speaks  of  many  silver-mines  in  Yun-nan,  and  the  "Great  Silver 
Mine"  {Bau-dwen  gyi  of  the  Burmese)  or  group  of  mines,  which  affords  a  chief 
supply  to  Burma  in  modern  times,  is  not  far  from  the  territory  of  our  Traveller's 
Zardandan.  Garnier's  map  shows  several  argentiferous  sites  in  the  Valley  of  the 

In  another  work  *  I  have  remarked  at  some  length  on  the  relative  values  of  gold 
and  silver  about  this  time.  In  Western  Europe  these  seem  to  have  been  as  12  to  1, 
and  I  have  shown  grounds  for  believing  that  in  India,  and  generally  over  civilised 
Asia,  the  ratio  was  10  to  1.  In  Pauthier's  extracts  from  the  Yuen-shi  or  Annals  of 
the  Mongol  Dynasty,  there  is  an  incidental  but  precise  confirmation  of  this,  of  which 
I  was  not  then  aware.  This  states  (p.  321)  that  on  the  issue  of  the  paper  currency  of 
1287  the  official  instructions  to  the  local  treasuries  were  to  issue  notes  of  the  nominal 
value  of  two  strings,  i.e.  2000  wen  or  cash,  for  every  ounce  of  flowered  silver,  and 
20,000  cash  for  every  ounce  of  gold.  Ten  to  1  must  have  continued  to  be  the 
relation  in  China  down  to  about  the  end  of  the  17th  century  if  we  may  believe 
Lecomte  ;  but  when  Milburne  states  the  same  value  in  the  beginning  of  the  19th 
he  must  have  fallen  into  some  great  error.  In  1781  Sonnerat  tells  us  that  formerly 
gold  had  been  exported  from  China  with  a  profit  of  25  per  cent.,  but  at  that 
time  a  profit  of  18  to  20  per  cent,  was  made  by  importing  it.  At  present  f  the 
relative  values  are  about  the  same  as  in  Europe,  viz.  1  to  15!  or  1  to  16;  but  in 
Canton,  in  1844,  they  were  1  to  17  ;  and  Timkowski  states  that  at  Peking  in  1821  the 
finest  gold  was  valued  at  18  to  1.  And  as  regards  the  precise  territory  of  which  this 
chapter  speaks  I  find  in  Lieutenant  Bower's  Commercial  Report  on  Sladen's  Mission  that 
the  price  of  pure  gold  at  Momein  in  1868  was  13  times  its  weight  in  silver  (p.  122) ; 
whilst  M.  Gamier  mentions  that  the  exchange  at  Ta-li  in  1869  was  12  to  1 
(I.  522). 

Does  not  Shakspeare  indicate  at  least  a  memory  of  10  to   1   as  the  traditional 

*  Cathay,  etc.,  pp.  ccl.  seqq.  and  p.  441.  t  Written  in  1870. 

q6  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

relation  of  gold  to  silver  when  he  makes  the  Prince  of  Morocco,   balancing   over 
Portia's  caskets,  argue  : — 

"  Or  shall  I  think  in  silver  she's  immured, 
Being  ten  times  undervalued  to  tried  gold  ? 
O  sinful  thought ! " 

In  Japan,  at  the  time  trade  was  opened,  we  know  from  Sir  R.  Alcock's  work  the 
extraordinary  fact  that  the  proportionate  value  set  upon  gold  and  silver  currency  by 
authority  was  as  3  to  1. 

{Cathay,  etc.,  p.  ccl.  and  p.  442  ;  Lecomte,  II.  91  ;  Milburne's  Oriental  Commerce, 
II.  510;  Sonnerat,  II.  17;  Hedde,  Etude,  Pratique,  etc.,  p.  14;  Williams, 
Chinese  Commercial  Guide,  p.  129 ;  Timhowshi,  II.  202 ;  Alcock,  I.  281  ;  II. 
411,  etc.) 

Note  6. — Mr.  Lay  cites  from  a  Chinese  authority  a  notice  of  a  tribe  of  "Western 
Miautsze,"  who  "in  the  middle  of  autumn  sacrifice  to  the  Great  Ancestor  or  Founder 
of  their  Race."     {The  Chinese  as  they  are,  p.  321.) 

Note  7. — Dr.  Anderson  confirms  the  depressing  and  unhealthy  character  of  the 
summer  climate  at  Momein,  though  standing  between  5000  and  6000  feet  above  the 
sea  (p.  41). 

Note  8. — "Whereas  before,"  says  Jack  Cade  to  Lord  Say,  "our  forefathers  had 
no  books  but  score  and  tally,  thou  hast  caused  printing  to  be  used."  The  use  of  such 
tallies  for  the  record  of  contracts  among  the  aboriginal  tribes  of  Kweichau  is 
mentioned  by  Chinese  authorities,  and  the  French  missionaries  of  Bonga  speak  of  the 
same  as  in  use  among  the  simple  tribes  in  that  vicinity.  But,  as  Marsden  notes,  the 
use  of  such  rude  records  was  to  be  found  in  his  day  in  higher  places  and  much  nearer 
home.  They  continued  to  be  employed  as  records  of  receipts  in  the  British  Exchequer 
till  1834,  "and  it  is  worthy  of  recollection  that  the  fire  by  which  the  Houses  of 
Parliament  were  destroyed  was  supposed  to  have  originated  in  the  over-heating  of  the 
flues  in  which  the  discarded  tallies  were  being  burnt."  I  remember  often,  when  a 
child,  to  have  seen  the  tallies  of  the  colliers  in  Scotland,  and  possibly  among  that 
class  they  may  survive.  They  appear  to  be  still  used  by  bakers  in  various  parts  of 
England  and  France,  in  the  Canterbury  hop-gardens,  and  locally  in  some  other 
trades.  {Martini,  135;  Bridgman,  259,  262;  Eng.  Cyclop,  sub  v.  Tally;  Notes 
and  Queries,  1st  ser.  X.  485.) 

[According  to  Father  Crabouillet  {Missions  Cath.  1873,  p.  105),  the  Lolos  use 
tallies  for  their  contracts  ;  Dr.  Harmand  mentions  {Tour  du  Monde,  1877,  No.  VII.) 
the  same  fact  among  the  Khas  of  Central  Laos  ;  and  M.  Pierre  Lefevre-Pontalis 
{Populations  du  nord  de  PIndo-Chine,  1892,  p.  22,  from  the  J.  As.)  says  he  saw  these 
tallies  among  the  Khas  of  Luang-Prabang. — H.  C] 

"  In  Illustration  of  this  custom  I  have  to  relate  what  follows.  In  the  year  1863 
the  Tsaubwa  (or  Prince)  of  a  Shan  Province  adjoining  Yun-nan  was  in  rebellion 
against  the  Burmese  Government.  He  wished  to  enter  into  communication  with  the 
British  Government.  He  sent  a  messenger  to  a  British  Officer  with  a  letter  tender- 
ing his  allegiance,  and  accompanying  this  letter  was  a  piece  of  bamboo  about  five 
inches  long.  This  had  been  split  down  the  middle,  so  that  the  two  pieces  fitted 
closely  together,  forming  a  tube  in  the  original  shape  of  the  bamboo.  A  notch  at 
one  end  included  the  edges  of  both  pieces,  showing  that  they  were  a  pair.  The 
messenger  said  that  if  the  reply  were  favourable  one  of  the  pieces  was  to  be  returned 
and  the  other  kept.  I  need  hardly  say  the  messenger  received  no  written  reply,  and 
both  pieces  of  bamboo  were  retained."     {MS.  Note  by  Sir  Arthtir  Phayre.) 

Note  9. — Compare  Mr.  Hodgson's  account  of  the  sub- Himalayan  Bodos  and 
Dhimals :  "All  diseases  are  ascribed  to  supernatural  agency.  The  sick  man  is 
supposed   to   be   possessed  by  one  of  the  deities,   who  racks  him  with  pain  as  a 

Chap.  L.  DEVIL-DANCERS  97 

punishment  for  impiety  or  neglect  of  the  god  in  question.     Hence  not  the  mediciner, 
but  the  exorcist,  is  summoned  to  the  sick  man's  aid."     {J.  A.  S.  B.  XVIII.  728.) 

Note  10. — Mr.  Hodgson  again  :  "  Libations  of  fermented  liquor  always  accompany 
sacrifice — because,  to  confess  the  whole  truth,  sacrifice  and  feast  are  commutable 
words,  and  feasts  need  to  be  crowned  with  copious  potations."     {Ibid.) 

Note  ii. — And  again:  "The  god  in  question  is  asked  what  sacrifice  he  re- 
quires? a  buffalo,  a  hog,  a  fowl,  or  a  duck,  to  spare  the  sufferer ;  .  .  .  anxious  as  I 
am  fully  to  illustrate  the  topic,  I  will  not  try  the  patience  of  my  readers  by  describing 
all  that  vast  variety  of  black  victims  and  white,  of  red  victims  and  blue,  which  each 
particular  deity  is  alleged  to  prefer."     {Ibid,  and  p.  732.) 

Note  12. — The  same  system  of  devil-dancing  is  prevalent  among  the  tribes  on 
the  Lu-kiang,  as  described  by  the  R.  C.  Missionaries.  The  conjurors  are  there 
called  Munws.  {Ann.  de  la  Prop,  de  la  Foi,  XXXVI.  323,  and  XXXVII. 

"Marco's  account  of  the  exorcism  of  evil  spirits  in  cases  of  obstinate  illness 
exactly  resembles  what  is  done  in  similar  cases  by  the  Burmese,  except  that  I  never 
saw  animals  sacrificed  on  such  occasions."     {Sir  A.  Phayre.) 

Mouhot  says  of  the  wild  people  of  Cambodia  called  Stiens :  "  When  any  one  is  ill 
they  say  that  the  Evil  Spirit  torments  him  ;  and  to  deliver  him  they  set  up  about  the 
patient  a  dreadful  din  which  does  not  cease  night  or  day,  until  some  one  among  the 
bystanders  falls  down  as  if  in  a  syncope,  crying  out,  '  I  have  him, — he  is  in  me, — he 
is  strangling  me  ! '  Then  they  question  the  person  who  has  thus  become  possessed. 
They  ask  him  what  remedies  will  save  the  patient ;  what  remedies  does  the  Evil 
Spirit  require  that  he  may  give  up  his  prey  ?  Sometimes  it  is  an  ox  or  a  pig  ;  but  too 
often  it  is  a  human  victim."     (/.  R.  G.  S.  XXXII.  147.) 

See  also  the  account  of  the  Samoyede  Tadibe'i  or  Devil-dancer  in  Klaproth's 
Magasin  Asiatique  (II.  83). 

In  fact  these  strange  rites  of  Shamanism,  devil-dancing,  or  what  not,  are  found 
with  wonderful  identity  of  character  among  the  non-Caucasian  races  over  parts  of  the 
earth  most  remote  from  one  another,  not  only  among  the  vast  variety  of  Indo- 
Chinese  Tribes,  but  among  the  Tamulian  tribes  of  India,  the  Veddahs  of  Ceylon,  the 
races  of  Siberia,  and  the  red  nations  of  North  and  South  America.  Hinduism  has 
assimilated  these  "prior  superstitions  of  the  sons  of  Tur"  as  Mr.  Hodgson  calls  them, 
in  the  form  of  Tantrika  mysteries,  whilst,  in  the  wild  performance  of  the  Dancing 
Dervishes  at  Constantinople,  we  see  perhaps  again  the  infection  of  Turanian  blood 
breaking  out  from  the  very  heart  of  Mussulman  orthodoxy. 

Dr.  Caldwell  has  given  a  striking  account  of  the  practice  of  devil-dancing  among 
the  Shanars  of  Tinnevelly,  which  forms  a  perfect  parallel  in  modern  language  to  our 
Traveller's  description  of  a  scene  of  which  he  also  had  manifestly  been  an  eye-witness  : 
"When  the  preparations  are  completed  and  the  devil-dance  is  about  to  commence, 
the  music  is  at  first  comparatively  slow  ;  the  dancer  seems  impassive  and  sullen,  and 
he  either  stands  still  or  moves  about  in  gloomy  silence.  Gradually,  as  the  music 
becomes  quicker  and  louder,  his  excitement  begins  to  rise.  Sometimes,  to  help  him 
to  work  himself  up  into  a  frenzy,  he  uses  medicated  draughts,  cuts  and  lacerates 
himself  till  the  blood  flows,  lashes  himself  with  a  huge  whip,  presses  a  burning  torch 
to  his  breast,  drinks  the  blood  which  flows  from  his  own  wounds,  or  drains  the 
blood  of  the  sacrifice,  putting  the  throat  of  the  decapitated  goat  to  his  mouth.  Then, 
as  if  he  had  acquired  new  life,  he  begins  to  brandish  his  staff  of  bells,  and  to  dance 
with  a  quick  but  wild  unsteady  step.  Suddenly  the  afflatus  descends  ;  there  is  no 
mistaking  that  glare,  or  those  frantic  leaps.  He  snorts,  he  stares,  he  gyrates.  The 
demon  has  now  taken  bodily  possession  of  him,  and  though  he  retains  the  power  of 
utterance  and  motion,  both  are  under  the  demon's  control,  and  his  separate  con- 
sciousness is  in  abeyance.  The  bystanders  signalise  the  event  by  raising  a  long 
shout,  attended  with  a  peculiar  vibratory  noise,  caused  by  the  motion  of  the  hand  and 
VOL.    II.  G 

98  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

tongue,  or  the  tongue  alone.  The  devil-dancer  is  now  worshipped  as  a  present 
deity,  and  every  bystander  consults  him  respecting  his  diseases,  his  wants,  the 
welfare  of  his  absent  relatives,  the  offerings  to  be  made  for  the  accomplishment  of  his 
wishes,  and  in  short  everything  for  which  superhuman  knowledge  is  supposed  to  be 
available."  {Hodgson,  J.  R.  As.  Soc.  XVIII.  397  ;  The  Tinnevelly  Shanars,  by  the 
Rev.  R.  Caldwell,  B.A.,  Madras,  1849,  pp.  19-20.) 


Wherein  is  related  how  the  King  of  Mien  and  Bangala 
vowed  vengeance  against  the  great  kaan. 

But  I  was  forgetting  to  tell  you  of  a  famous  battle  that 
was  fought  in  the  kingdom  of  Vochan  in  the  Province  of 
Zardandan,  and  that  ought  not  to  be  omitted  from  our 
Book.     So  we  will  relate  all  the  particulars. 

You  see,  in  the  year  of  Christ,  1272,1  the  Great  Kaan 
sent  a  large  force  into  the  kingdoms  of  Carajan  and 
Vochan,  to  protect  them  from  the  ravages  of  ill-disposed 
people  ;  and  this  was  before  he  had  sent  any  of  his  sons 
to  rule  the  country,  as  he  did  afterwards  when  he  made 
Sentemur  king  there,  the  son  of  a  son  of  his  who  was 

Now  there  was  a  certain  king,  called  the  king  of  Mien 
and  of  Bangala,  who  was  a  very  puissant  prince,  with 
much  territory  and  treasure  and  people ;  and  he  was  not 
as  yet  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan,  though  it  was  not  long 
after  that  the  latter  conquered  him  and  took  from  him 
both  the  kingdoms  that  I  have  named.2  And  it  came  to 
pass  that  when  this  king  of  Mien  and  Bangala  heard 
that  the  host  of  the  Great  Kaan  was  at  Vochan,  he  said 
to  himself  that  it  behoved  him  to  go  against  them  with 
so  great  a  force  as  should  insure  his  cutting  off  the  whole 
of  them,  insomuch  that  the  Great  Kaan  would  be  very 
sorry  ever  to  send  an  army  again  thither  [to  his  frontier]. 

Chap.  LI.  THE   KING   OF   MIEN  AND   BANGALA  99 

So  this  king  prepared  a  great  force  and  munitions  of 
war ;  and  he  had,  let  me  tell  you,  2000  great  elephants, 
on  each  of  which  was  set  a  tower  of  timber,  well  framed 
and  strong,  and  carrying  from  twelve  to  sixteen  well- 
armed  fighting  men.3  And  besides  these,  he  had  of 
horsemen  and  of  footmen  good  60,000  men.  In  short, 
he  equipped  a  fine  force,  as  well  befitted  such  a  puissant 
prince.  It  was  indeed  a  host  capable  of  doing  great 

And  what  shall  I  tell  you  ?  When  the  king  had 
completed  these  great  preparations  to  fight  the  Tartars, 
he  tarried  not,  but  straightway  marched  against  them. 
And  after  advancing  without  meeting  with  anything 
worth  mentioning,  they  arrived  within  three  days  of  the 
Great  Kaan's  host,  which  was  then  at  Vochan  in  the 
territory  of  Zardandan,  of  which  I  have  already  spoken. 
So  there  the  king  pitched  his  camp,  and  halted  to  refresh 
his  army. 

Note  i. — This  date  is  no  doubt  corrupt.     (See  note  3,  ch.  lii.) 

Note  2. — Mien  is  the  name  by  which  the  kingdom  of  Burma  or  Ava  was  and  is 
known  to  the  Chinese.  M.  Gamier  informs  me  that  Mien-Kwi  or  Mien-tisong  is  the 
name  always  given  in  Yun-nan  to  that  kingdom,  whilst  the  Shans  at  Kiang  Hung  call 
the  Burmese  Man  (pronounced  like  the  English  word). 

The  title  given  to  the  sovereign  in  question  of  King  of  Bengal,  as  well  as  of 
Mien,  is  very  remarkable.  We  shall  see  reason  hereafter  to  conceive  that  Polo  did 
more  or  less  confound  Bengal  with  Pegu,  which  was  subject  to  the  Burmese 
monarchy  up  to  the  time  of  the  Mongol  invasion.  But  apart  from  any  such  mis- 
apprehension, there  is  not  only  evidence  of  rather  close  relations  between  Burma  and 
Gangetic  India  in  the  ages  immediately  preceding  that  of  our  author,  but  also  some 
ground  for  believing  that  he  may  be  right  in  his  representation,  and  that  the  King  of 
Burma  may  have  at  this  time  arrogated  the  title  of  "  King  of  Bengal,"  which  is 
attributed  to  him  in  the  text. 

Anaurahta,  one  of  the  most  powerful  kings  in  Burmese  history  (1017-1059), 
extended  his  conquests  to  the  frontiers  of  India,  and  is  stated  to  have  set  up  images 
within  that  country.  He  also  married  an  Indian  princess,  the  daughter  of  the  King 
of  Wethali  (i.e.   Vaicali  in  Tirhut). 

There  is  also  in  the  Burmese  Chronicle  a  somewhat  confused  story  regarding  a 
succeeding  king,  Kyan-tsittlia  (a.d.  1064),  who  desired  to  marry  his  daughter  to  the 
son  of  the  King  of  Patteik-Kard,  a  part  of  Bengal.  *     The  marriage  was  objected  to 


*  Sir  A.  Phayre  thinks  this  may  have  been  Vikrampiir,  for  some  time  the  capital  of  Eastern 
Bengal  before  the  Mahomedan  conquest.  Vikrampiir  was  some  miles  east  of  Dacca,  and  the 
dynasty  in  question  was  that  called  Vaidya.  (See  Lassen,  III.  749.)  Patteik-Kard  is  apparently  an 
attempt  to  represent  some  Hindi  name  such  as  Patthargarh,  "  The  Stone-Fort." 

VOL.   II.  G  2 

IOO  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

by  the  Burmese  nobles,  but  the  princess  was  already  with  child  by  the  Bengal  prince  ; 
and  their  son  eventually  succeeded  to  the  Burmese  throne  under  the  name  of 
Alaungtsi-thu.  When  king,  he  travelled  all  over  his  dominions,  and  visited  the 
images  which  Anaurahta  had  set  up  in  India.  He  also  maintained  intercourse  with 
the  King  of  Patteik-Kara  and  married  his  daughter.  Alaungtsi-thu  is  stated  to  have 
lived  to  the  age  of  101  years,  and  to  have  reigned  75.  Even  then  his  death  was 
hastened  by  his  son  Narathu,  who  smothered  him  in  the  temple  called  Shwe-Ku 
("Golden  Cave"),  at  Pagan,  and  also  put  to  death  his  Bengali  step-mother.  The 
father  of  the  latter  sent  eight  brave  men,  disguised  as  Brahmans,  to  avenge  his 
daughter's  death.  Having  got  access  to  the  royal  presence  through  their  sacred 
character,  they  slew  King  Narathu  and  then  themselves.  Hence  King  Narathu  is 
known  in  the  Burmese  history  as  the  Kald-Kya  Afeng,  or  "King  slain  by  the 
Hindus."  He  was  building  the  great  Temple  at  Pagan  called  Dhammayangyi,  at 
the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  about  the  year  1171.  The  great-grandson  of 
this  king  was  Narathihapade  (presumably  Alarasinha-pali),  the  king  reigning  at  the 
time  of  the  Mongol  invasion. 

All  these  circumstances  show  tolerably  close  relations  between  Burma  and 
Bengal,  and  also  that  the  dynasty  then  reigning  in  Burma  was  descended  from  a 
Bengal  stock.  Sir  Arthur  Phayre,  after  noting  these  points,  remarks  :  "  From  all 
these  circumstances,  and  from  the  conquests  attributed  to  Anaurahta,  it  is  very 
probable  that,  after  the  conquest  of  Bengal  by  the  Mahomedans  in  the  13th  century, 
the  kings  of  Burma  would  assume  the  title  of  Kings  of  Bengal.  This  is  nowhere 
expressly  stated  in  the  Burmese  history,  but  the  course  of  events  renders  it  very 
probable.  We  know  that  the  claim  to  Bengal  was  asserted  by  the  kings  of  Burma 
in  long  after  years.  In  the  Journal  of  the  Marquis  of  Hastings,  under  the  date  of 
6th  September,  1818,  is  the  following  passage  :  '  The  king  of  Burma  favoured  us  early 
this  year  with  the  obliging  requisition  that  we  should  cede  to  him  Moorshedabad  and 
the  provinces  to  the  east  of  it,  which  he  deigned  to  say  were  all  natural  dependencies 
of  his  throne.'  And  at  the  time  of  the  disputes  on  the  frontier  of  Arakan,  in  1823- 
1824,  which  led  to  the  war  of  the  two  following  years,  the  Governor  of  Arakan  made 
a  similar  demand.  We  may  therefore  reasonably  conclude  that  at  the  close  of  the 
13th  century  of  the  Christian  era  the  kings  of  Pagan  called  themselves  kings  of 
Burma  and  of  Bengala."  (MS.  Note  by  Sir  Arthur  Phayre  ;  see  also  his  paper  in 
/.  A.  S.  B.  vol.  XXXVII.  part  I.) 

Note  3. — It  is  very  difficult  to  know  what  to  make  of  the  repeated  assertions  of 
old  writers  as  to  the  numbers  of  men  carried  by  war-elephants,  or,  if  we  could  admit 
those  numbers,  to  conceive  how  the  animal  could  have  carried  the  enormous  structure 
necessary  to  give  them  space  to  use  their  weapons.  The  Third  Book  of  Maccabees 
is  the  most  astounding  in  this  way,  alleging  that  a  single  elephant  carried  32  stout 
men,  besides  the  Indian  Mahaut.  Bochart  indeed  supposes  the  number  here  to  be  a 
clerical  error  for  12,  but  this  would  even  be  extravagant.  Friar  Jordanus  is,  no 
doubt,  building  on  the  Maccabees  rather  than  on  his  own  Oriental  experience  when 
he  says  that  the  elephant  "  carrieth  easily  more  than  30  men."  Thilostratus,  in  his 
Life  of  Apollonius,  speaks  of  10  to  15  ;  Ibn  Batuta  of  about  20  ;  and  a  great  elephant 
sent  by  Timur  to  the  Sultan  of  Egypt  is  said  to  have  carried  20  drummers. 
Christopher  Borri  says  that  in  Cochin  China  the  elephant  did  ordinarily  carry  13  or 
14  persons,  6  on  each  side  in  two  tiers  of  3  each,  and  2  behind.  On  the  other  hand, 
among  the  ancients,  Stiabo  and  Aelian  speak  of  three  soldiers  only  in  addition  to  the 
driver,  and  Livy,  describing  the  Battle  of  Magnesia,  of  four.  These  last  are  reason- 
able statements. 

(Bochart,  Hierozoicon,  ed.  3rd,  p.  266;  Jord.,  p.  26;  Philost.  trad,  par  A. 
Chassaing,  liv.  II.  c.  ii.  ;  Ibn  Bat.  II.  223;  N.  and  E.  XIV.  510;  Cochin  China, 
etc.,  London,  1633,  ed.  3  ;  Armandi,  Hist.  Militaire  des  Eltfphants,  259  seqq.  442.) 



Of   the   Battle  that  was  fought   by  the  Great   Kaan's 
Host  and  his  Seneschal,  against  the  King  of  Mien. 

And  when  the  Captain  of  the  Tartar  host  had  certain 
news  that  the  king  aforesaid  was  coming  against  him 
with  so  great  a  force,  he  waxed  uneasy,  seeing  that  he 
had  with  him  but  12,000  horsemen.  Natheless  he  was 
a  most  valiant  and  able  soldier,  of  great  experience  in 
arms  and  an  excellent  Captain ;  and  his  name  was 
Nescradin.  l  His  troops  too  were  very  good,  and  he 
gave  them  very  particular  orders  and  cautions  how  to  act, 
and  took  every  measure  for  his  own  defence  and  that  of 
his  army.  And  why  should  I  make  a  long  story  of  it  ? 
The  whole  force  of  the  Tartars,  consisting  of  12,000 
well-mounted  horsemen,  advanced  to  receive  the  enemy 
in  the  Plain  of  Vochan,  and  there  they  waited  to  give 
them  battle.  And  this  they  did  through  the  good 
judgment  of  the  excellent  Captain  who  led  them  ;  for 
hard  by  that  plain  was  a  great  wood,  thick  with  trees. 
And  so  there  in  the  plain  the  Tartars  awaited  their 
foe.  Let  us  then  leave  discoursing  of  them  a  while  ;  we 
shall  come  back  to  them  presently  ;  but  meantime  let  us 
speak  of  the  enemy. 

After  the  King  of  Mien  had  halted  long  enough  to 
refresh  his  troops,  he  resumed  his  march,  and  came  to 
the  Plain  of  Vochan,  where  the  Tartars  were  already 
in  order  of  battle.  And  when  the  king's  army  had 
arrived  in  the  plain,  and  was  within  a  mile  of  the 
enemy,  he  caused  all  the  castles  that  were  on  the 
elephants  to  be  ordered  for  battle,  and  the  fighting- 
men  to  take  up  their  posts  on  them,  and  he  arrayed  his 
horse  and  his  foot  with  all  skill,  like  a  wise  king  as  he 

102  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

was.  And  when  he  had  completed  all  his  arrangements 
he  began  to  advance  to  engage  the  enemy.  The  Tartars, 
seeing  the  foe  advance,  showed  no  dismay,  but  came 
on  likewise  with  good  order  and  discipline  to  meet 
them.  And  when  they  were  near  and  nought  remained 
but  to  begin  the  fight,  the  horses  of  the  Tartars  took 
such  fright  at  the  sight  of  the  elephants  that  they  could 
not  be  got  to  face  the  foe,  but  always  swerved  and 
turned  back ;  whilst  all  the  time  the  king  and  his 
forces,  and  all  his  elephants,  continued  to  advance  upon 

And  when  the  Tartars  perceived  how  the  case  stood, 
they  were  in  great  wrath,  and  wist  not  what  to  say  or  do  ; 
for  well  enough  they  saw  that  unless  they  could  get  their 
horses  to  advance,  all  would  be  lost.  But  their  Captain 
acted  like  a  wise  leader  who  had  considered  everything 
beforehand.  He  immediately  gave  orders  that  every 
man  should  dismount  and  tie  his  horse  to  the  trees  of  the 
forest  that  stood  hard  by,  and  that  then  they  should  take 
to  their  bows,  a  weapon  that  they  know  how  to  handle 
better  than  any  troops  in  the  world.  They  did  as  he 
bade  them,  and  plied  their  bows  stoutly,  shooting  so 
many  shafts  at  the  advancing  elephants  that  in  a  short 
space  they  had  wounded  or  slain  the  greater  part  of  them 
as  well  as  of  the  men  they  carried.  The  enemy  also  shot 
at  the  Tartars,  but  the  Tartars  had  the  better  weapons, 
and  were  the  better  archers  to  boot. 

And  what  shall  I  tell  you  ?  Understand  that  when 
the  elephants  felt  the  smart  of  those  arrows  that  pelted 
them  like  rain,  they  turned  tail  and  fled,  and  nothing  on 
earth  would  have  induced  them  to  turn  and  face  the 
Tartars.  So  off  they  sped  with  such  a  noise  and 
uproar  that  you  would  have  trowed  the  world  was  coming 
to  an  end!  And  then  too  they  plunged  into  the  wood 
and    rushed    this    way   and    that,   dashing    their   castles 


against  the  trees,  bursting  their  harness  and  smashing 
and  destroying  everything  that  was  on  them. 

So  when  the  Tartars  saw  that  the  elephants  had 
turned  tail  and  could  not  be  brought  to  face  the  fight 
again,  they  got  to  horse  at  once  and  charged  the  enemy. 
And  then  the  battle  began  to  rage  furiously  with  sword 
and  mace.  Right  fiercely  did  the  two  hosts  rush  together, 
and  deadly  were  the  blows  exchanged.  The  king's 
troops  were  far  more  in  number  than  the  Tartars,  but 
they  were  not  of  such  metal,  nor  so  inured  to  war  ; 
otherwise  the  Tartars  who  were  so  few  in  number  could 
never  have  stood  against  them.  Then  might  you  see 
swashing  blows  dealt  and  taken  from  sword  and  mace  ; 
then  might  you  see  knights  and  horses  and  men-at-arms 
go  down  ;  then  might  you  see  arms  and  hands  and  legs 
and  heads  hewn  off;  and  besides  the  dead  that  fell, 
many  a  wounded  man,  that  never  rose  again,  for  the 
sore  press  there  was.  The  din  and  uproar  were  so 
great  from  this  side  and  from  that,  that  God  might  have 
thundered  and  no  man  would  have  heard  it !  Great  was 
the  medley,  and  dire  and  parlous  was  the  fight  that  was 
fought  on  both  sides  ;  but  the  Tartars  had  the  best  of  it.3 

In  an  ill  hour  indeed,  for  the  king  and  his  people,  was 
that  battle  begun,  so  many  of  them  were  slain  therein. 
And  when  they  had  continued  fighting  till  midday  the 
king's  troops  could  stand  against  the  Tartars  no  longer  ; 
but  felt  that  they  were  defeated,  and  turned  and  fled. 
And  when  the  Tartars  saw  them  routed  they  gave 
chase,  and  hacked  and  slew  so  mercilessly  that  it  was  a 
piteous  sight  to  see.  But  after  pursuing  a  while  they 
gave  up,  and  returned  to  the  wood  to  catch  the  elephants 
that  had  run  away,  and  to  manage  this  they  had  to  cut 
down  great  trees  to  bar  their  passage.  Even  then  they 
would  not  have  been  able  to  take  them  without  the  help 
of  the  king's  own  men  who  had  been  taken,  and  who 

I04  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

knew  better  how  to  deal  with  the  beasts  than  the  Tartars 
did.  The  elephant  is  an  animal  that  hath  more  wit  than 
any  other  ;  but  in  this  way  at  last  they  were  caught,  more 
than  200  of  them.  And  it  was  from  this  time  forth  that 
the  Great  Kaan  began  to  keep  numbers  of  elephants. 

So  thus  it  was  that  the  king  aforesaid  was  defeated  by 
the  sagacity  and  superior  skill  of  the  Tartars  as  you  have 

Note  i. — Nescradin  for  Nesradin,  as  we  had  Baser  a  for  Basra. 

This  Nasruddin  was  apparently  an  officer  of  whom  Rashiduddin  speaks,  and 
whom  he  calls  governor  (or  perhaps  commander)  in  Karajang.  lie  describes  him 
as  having  succeeded  in  that  command  to  his  father  the  Sayad  Ajil  of  Bokhara,  one 
of  the  best  of  Kiiklai's  chief  Ministers.  Nasr-uddin  retained  his  position  in  Yun-nan 
till  his  death,  which  Rashid,  writing  abo,:t  1300,  says  occurred  five  or  six  years  before. 
His  son  Bayan,  who  also  bore  the  grandfather's  title  of  Sayad  Ajil,  was  Minister  of 
Finance  under  Kiiblai's  successor ;  and  another  son,  Hala,  is  also  mentioned  as  one  of 
the  governors  of  the  province  of  Fu-chau.  (See  Cathay,  pp.  265,  268,  and  D'Ohsson, 
II.  507-508.) 

Nasr-uddin  {Nasnlating)  is  also  frequently  mentioned  as  employed  on  this  frontier 
by  the  Chinese  authorities  whom  Pauthier  cites. 

[Na-su-la-ding  [Nasr-uddin]  was  the  eldest  of  the  five  sons  of  the  Mohammedan 
Sai-dien-ch'i  shan-sze-ding,  Sayad  Ajil,  a  native  of  Bokhara,  who  died  in  Yun-nan, 
where  he  had  been  governor  when  Kiiblai,  in  the  reign  of  Mangu,  entered  the  country. 
Nasr-uddin  "has  a  separate  biography  in  ch.  exxv  of  the  Yuen-shi.  He  was  governor 
of  the  province  of  Yun-nan,  and  distinguished  himself  in  the  war  against  the  southern 
tribes  of  Kiao-chi  (Cochin-China)  and  Mien  (Burma).  He  died  in  1292,  the  father  of 
twelve  sons,  the  names  of  five  of  which  are  given  in  the  biography,  viz.  Bo-yen-cK' a-rh 
[Bayan],  who  held  a  high  office,  Omar,  Djafar,  Hussein,  and  Saadi."  {Bret Schneider, 
Med.  Res.  I.  270-271).  Mr.  E.  H.  Parker  writes  in  the  China  Review ',  February-March, 
1 90 1 ,  pp.  196-197,  that  the  Mongol  history  states  that  amongst  the  reforms  of  Nasr-uddin' s 
father  in  Yun-nan,  was  the  introduction  of  coffins  for  the  dead,  instead  of  burning 
them.— PI.  C] 

[Note  2. — In  his  battle  near  Sardis,  Cyrus  "collected  together  all  the  camels  that 
had  come  in  the  train  of  his  army  to  carry  the  provisions  and  the  baggage,  and  taking 
off  their  loads,  he  mounted  riders  upon  them  accoutred  as  horsemen.  These  he  com- 
manded to  advance  in  front  of  his  other  troops  against  the  Lydian  horse.  .  .  .  The 
reason  why  Cyrus  opposed  his  camels  to  the  enemy's  horse  was,  because  the  horse  has 
a  natural  dread  of  the  camel,  and  cannot  abide  either  the  sight  or  the  smell  of  that 
animal.  .  .  .  The  two  armies  then  joined  battle,  and  immediately  the  Lydian  war- 
horses,  seeing  and  smelling  the  camels,  turned  round  and  galloped  off."  .  .  .  {Herodotus, 
Bk.  I.  i.  p.  220,  Rawlinson  s  ed.) — H.  C] 

Note  3. — We  are  indebted  to  Pauthier  for  very  interesting  illustrations  of  this 
narrative  from  the  Chinese  Annalists  (p.  410  se.qq.).  These  latter  fix  the  date  to  the 
year  1277,  and  it  is  probable  that  the  1272  or  mcclxxii  of  the  Texts  was  a  clerical 
error  for  mcclxxvii.  The  Annalists  describe  the  people  of  Mien  as  irritated  at  calls 
upon  them  to  submit  to  the  Mongols  (whose  power  they  probably  did  not  appreciate, 
as  their  descendants  did  not  appreciate  the  British  power  in  1824),  and  as  crossing  the 
frontier  of  Yung-ch'ang  to  establish  fortified  posts.  The  force  of  Mien,  they  say, 
amounted  to  50,000  men,  with  800  elephants  and  10,000  horses,  whilst  the  Mongol 


Chief  had  but  seven  hundred  men.  "  When  the  elephants  felt  the  arrows  (of  the 
Mongols)  they  turned  tail  and  fled  with  the  platforms  on  their  backs  into  a  place  that 
was  set  thickly  with  sharp  bamboo-stakes,  and  these  their  riders  laid  hold  of  to  prick 
them  with."  This  threw  the  Burmese  army  into  confusion  ;  they  fled,  and  were 
pursued  with  great  slaughter. 

The  Chinese  author  does  not  mention  Nasr-uddin  in  connection  with  this  battle. 
He  names  as  the  chief  of  the  Mongol  force  Huthukh  (Kutuka  ?),  commandant  of 
Ta-li  fu.  Nasr-uddin  is  mentioned  as  advancing,  a  few  months  later  (about  December, 
1277),  with  nearly  4000  men  to  Kiangtheu  (which  appears  to  have  been  on  the  Irawadi, 
somewhere  near  Bhamo,  and  is  perhaps  the  Kaungtaung  of  the  Burmese),  but  effecting 
little  (p.  415). 

[I  have  published  in  the  Rev.  Ext.  Orient,  II.  72-8S,  from  the  British  Museum 
Add.  MS.  1 69 1 3,  the  translation  by  Mgr.  Visdelou,  of  Chinese  documents  relating  to 
the  Kingdom  of  Mien  and  the  wars  of  Kublai ;  the  battle  won  by  Hu-tu,  commandant 
of  Ta-li,  was  fought  during  the  3rd  month  of  the  14th  year  (1277).  (Cf.  Pauthier, 
supra.) — H.  C] 

These  affairs  of  the  battle  in  the  Yung-ch'ang  territory,  and  the  advance  of  Nasr- 
uddin  to  the  Irawadi  are,  as  Polo  clearly  implies  in  the  beginning  of  ch.  li.,  quite 
distinct  from  the  invasion  and  conquest  of  Mien  some  years  later,  of  which  he  speaks  in 
ch.  liv.     They  are  not  mentioned  in  the  Burmese  Annals  at  all. 

Sir  Arthur  Phayre  is  inclined  to  reject  altogether  the  story  of  the  battle  near 
Yung-ch'ang  in  consequence  of  this  absence  from  the  Btirmese  Chronicle,  and  of  its 
inconsistency  with  the  purely  defensive  character  which  that  record  assigns  to  the 
action  of  the  Burmese  Government  in  regard  to  China  at  this  time.  With  the  strongest 
respect  for  my  friend's  opinion  I  feel  it  impossible  to  assent  to  this.  We  have  not  only 
the  concurrent  testimony  of  Marco  and  of  the  Chinese  Official  Annals  of  the  Mongol 
Dynasty  to  the  facts  of  the  Burmese  provocation  and  of  the  engagement  within  the 
Yung-ch'ang  or  Vochan  territory,  but  we  have  in  the  Chinese  narrative  a  consistent 
chronology  and  tolerably  full  detail  of  the  relations  between  the  two  countries. 

[Baber  writes  (p.  173)  :  "  Biot  has  it  that  Yung-ch'ang  was  first  established  by  the 
Mings,  long  subsequent  to  the  time  of  Marco's  visit,  but  the  name  was  well  known 
much  earlier.  The  mention  by  Marco  of  the  Plain  of  Vochan  (Unciam  would  be  a 
perfect  reading),  as  if  it  were  a  plain  par  excellence,  is  strikingly  consistent  with  the 
position  of  the  city  on  the  verge  of  the  largest  plain  west  of  Yiinnan-fu.  Hereabouts 
was  fought  the  great  battle  between  the  '  valiant  soldier  and  the  excellent  captain 
Nescradin,'  with  his  12,000  well-mounted  Tartars,  against  the  King  of  Burmah  and  a 
large  army,  whose  strength  lay  in  2000  elephants,  on  each  of  which  was  set  a  tower  of 
timber  full  of  well-armed  fighting  men. 

"  There  is  no  reason  to  suppose  this  '  dire  and  parlous  fight'  to  be  mythical,  apart 
from  the  consistency  of  annals  adduced  by  Colonel  Yule ;  the  local  details  of  the 
narrative,  particularly  the  prominent  importance  of  the  wood  as  an  element  of  the 
Tartar  success,  are  convincing.  It  seems  to  have  been  the  first  occasion  on  which  the 
Mongols  engaged  a  large  body  of  elephants,  and  this,  no  doubt,  made  the  victory 

"  Marco  informs  us  that  'from  this  time  forth  the  Great  Khan  began  to  keep 
numbers  of  elephants.'  It  is  obvious  that  cavalry  could  not  manoeuvre  in  a  morass 
such  as  fronts  the  city.     Let  us  refer  to  the  account  of  the  battle. 

11  *  The  Great  Khan's  host  was  at  Yung-ch'ang,  from  which  they  advanced  into  the 
plain,  and  there  waited  to  give  battle.  This  they  did  through  the  good  judgment  of 
the  captain,  for  hard  by  that  plain  was  a  great  wood  thick  with  trees.'  The  general's 
purpose  was  more  probably  to  occupy  the  dry  undulating  slopes  near  the  south  end  of 
the  valley.  An  advance  of  about  five  miles  would  have  brought  him  to  that  position. 
The  statement  that  '  the  King's  army  arrived  in  the  plain,  and  was  within  a  mile  of 
the  enemy,'  would  then  accord  perfectly  with  the  conditions  of  the  ground.  The 
Burmese  would  have  found  themselves  at  about  that  distance  from  their  foes  as  soon 
as  they  were  fairly  in  the  plain. 

106  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

"The  trees  'hard  by  the  plain,'  to  which  the  Tartars  tied  their  horses,  and  in 
which  the  elephants  were  entangled,  were  in  all  probability  in  the  corner  below  the 
'rolling  hills'  marked  in  the  chart.  Very  few  trees  remain,  but  in  any  case  the 
grove  would  long  ago  have  been  cut  down  by  the  Chinese,  as  everywhere  on  inhabited 
plains.  A  short  distance  up  the  hill,  however,  groves  of  exceptionally  fine  trees  are 
passed.  The  army,  as  it  seems  to  us,  must  have  entered  the  plain  from  its  southern- 
most point.  The  route  by  which  we  departed  on  our  way  to  Burmah  would  be  very 
embarrassing,  though  perhaps  not  utterly  impossible,  for  so  great  a  number  of 
elephants."— H.  C] 

Between  1277  and  the  end  of  the  century  the  Chinese  Annals  record  three 
campaigns  or  expeditions  against  Mien  ;  viz.  (1)  that  which  Marco  has  related  in  this 
chapter  ;  (2)  that  which  he  relates  in  ch.  liv.  ;  and  (3)  one  undertaken  in  1300  at  the 
request  of  the  son  of  the  legitimate  Burmese  King,  who  had  been  put  to  death  by  an 
usurper.  The  Burmese  Annals  mention  only  the  two  latest,  but,  concerning  both  the 
date  and  the  main  circumstances  of  these  two,  Chinese  and  Burmese  Annals  are  in 
almost  entire  agreement.  Surely  then  it  can  scarcely  be  doubted  that  the  Chinese 
authority  is  amply  trustworthy  for  the  first  campaign  also,  respecting  which  the 
Burmese  book  is  silent ;  even  were  the  former  not  corroborated  by  the  independent 
authority  of  Marco. 

Indeed  the  mutual  correspondence  of  these  Annals,  especially  as  to  chronology,  is 
very  remarkable,  and  is  an  argument  for  greater  respect  to  the  chronological  value  of 
the  Burmese  Chronicle  and  other  Indo-Chinese  records  of  like  character  than  we 
should  otherwise  be  apt  to  entertain.  Compare  the  story  of  the  expedition  of  1300  as 
told  after  the  Chinese  Annals  by  De  Mailla,  and  after  the  Burmese  Chronicle  by 
Burneyand  Phajre.  (See  De  Mailla,  IX.  476  seqq.  ;  andy".  A.  S.  B.  vol.  vi.  pp.  121- 
122,  and  vol.  xxxvii.  Pt.  I.  pp.  102  and  no.) 


Of  the  Great  Descent  that  leads  towards  the  Kingdom 

of  Mien. 

After  leaving  the  Province  of  which  I  have  been  speaking 
you  come  to  a  great  Descent.  In  fact  you  ride  for  two 
days  and  a  half  continually  down  hill.  On  all  this 
descent  there  is  nothing  worthy  of  mention  except  only 
that  there  is  a  large  place  there  where  occasionally  a 
great  market  is  held  ;  for  all  the  people  of  the  country 
round  come  thither  on  fixed  days,  three  times  a  week, 
and  hold  a  market  there.  They  exchange  gold  for  silver  ; 
for  they  have  gold  in  abundance  ;  and  they  give  one 
weight  of  fine  gold  for  five  weights  of  fine  silver  ;  so 
this  induces  merchants  to  come   from  various    quarters 


bringing  silver  which  they  exchange  for  gold  with  these 
people  ;  and  in  this  way  the  merchants  make  great  gain. 
As  regards  those  people  of  the  country  who  dispose  of 
gold  so  cheaply,  you  must  understand  that  nobody  is 
acquainted  with  their  places  of  abode,  for  they  dwell 
in  inaccessible  positions,  in  sites  so  wild  and  strong 
that  no  one  can  get  at  them  to  meddle  with  them.  Nor 
will  they  allow  anybody  to  accompany  them  so  as  to  gain 
a  knowledge  of  their  abodes.1 

After  you  have  ridden  those  two  days  and  a  half 
down  hill,  you  find  yourself  in  a  province  towards  the 
south  which  is  pretty  near  to  India,  and  this  province  is 
called  Amien.  You  travel  therein  for  fifteen  days  through 
a  very  unfrequented  country,  and  through  great  woods 
abounding  in  elephants  and  unicorns  and  numbers  of 
other  wild  beasts.  There  are  no  dwellings  and  no  people, 
so  we  need  say  no  more  of  this  wild  country,  for  in  sooth 
there  is  nothing  to  tell.  But  I  have  a  story  to  relate 
which  you  shall  now  hear.2 

Note  i. — In  all  the  Shan  towns  visited  by  Major  Sladen  on  this  frontier  he 
found  markets  held  every  fifth  day.  This  custom,  he  says,  is  borrowed  from  China, 
and  is  general  throughout  Western  Yun-nan.  There  seem  to  be  traces  of  this  five- 
day  week  over  Indo-China,  and  it  is  found  in  Java ;  as  it  is  in  Mexico.  The 
Kakhyens  attend  in  great  crowds.  They  do  not  now  bring  gold  for  sale  to  Momein, 
though  it  is  found  to  some  extent  in  their  hills,  more  especially  in  the  direction  of 
Mogaung,  whence  it  is  exported  towards  Assam. 

Major  Sladen  saw  a  small  quantity  of  nuggets  in  the  possession  of  a  Kakhyen  who 
had  brought  them  from  a  hill  two  days  north  of  Bhamo.  {MS.  Notes  by  Major 
Sladen. ) 

Note  2. —  I  confess  that  the  indications  in  this  and  the  beginning  of  the  following 
chapter  are,  to  me,  full  of  difficulty.  According  to  the  general  style  of  Polo's 
itinerary,  the  2\  days  should  be  reckoned  from  Yung-ch'ang;  the  distance  therefore 
to  the  capital  city  of  Mien  would  be  17^  days.  The  real  capital  of  Mien  or  Burma 
at  this  time  was,  however,  Pagan,  in  lat.  210  13',  and  that  city  could  hardly  have  been 
reached  by  a  land  traveller  in  any  such  time.  We  shall  see  that  something  may  be 
said  in  behalf  of  the  supposition  that  the  point  reached  was  Tagatmg  or  Old  Pagdn, 
on  the  upper  Irawadi,  in  lat.  230  28' ;  and  there  was  perhaps  some  confusion  in  the 
traveller's  mind  between  this  and  the  great  city.  The  descent  might  then  be  from 
Yung-ch'ang  to  the  valley  of  the  Shweli,  and  that  valley  then  followed  to  the 
Irawadi.  Taking  as  a  scale  Polo's  5  marches  from  Tali  to  Yung-ch'ang,  I  find  we 
should  by  this  route  make  just  about  17  marches  from  Yung-ch'ang  to  Tagaung. 
We  have  no  detailed  knowledge  of  the  route,  but  there  is  a  road  that  way,  and  by 



Book  II. 

no  other  does  the  plain  country  approach  so  near  to  Yung-ch'ang.     (See  Andersoris 
Report  on  Expedition  to  Western  Yunnan,  p.  160. ) 

Dr.  Anderson's  remarks  on  the  present  question  do  not  in  my  opinion  remove 
the  difficulties.  He  supposes  the  long  descent  to  be  the  descent  into  the  plains  of 
the  Irawadi  near  Bhamo  ;  and  from  that  point  the  land  journey  to  Great  Pagan 
could,  he  conceives,  "easily  be  accomplished  in  15  days."  I  greatly  doubt  the 
latter  assumption.  By  the  scale  I  have  just  referred  to  it  would  take  at  least  20  days. 
And  to  calculate  the  2.\  days  with  which  the  journey  commences  from  an  indefinite 
point  seems  scarcely  admissible.  Polo  is  giving  us  a  continuous  itinerary  ;  it  would 
be  ruptured  if  he  left  an  indefinite  distance  between  his  last  station  and  his  "long 
descent."  And  if  the  same  principle  were  applied  to  the  5  days  between  Carajan 
(or  Tali)  and  Vochan  (Yung-ch'ang),  the  result  would  be  nonsense. 

Temple  of  Gaudapalen  (in  the  city  of  Mien),  erected  circa  a.  n.  1160. 

[Jlfien-tien,  to  which  is  devoted  ch.  vii.  of  the  Chinese  work  Sze-i-kwan-H  ao, 
appears  to  have  included  much  more  than  Burma  proper.  (See  the  passage  supra, 
pp.  70-71,  quoted  by  Deveria  from  the  Yuen-ski  lei  pien  regarding  Kien-tou  and  Kin- 
C/ii.)—H.  C] 

The  hypothesis  that  I  have  suggested  would  suit  better  with  the  traveller's 
representation  of  the  country  traversed  as  wild  and  uninhabited.  In  a  journey  to 
Great  Pagan  the  most  populous  and  fertile  part  of  Burma  would  be  passed  through. 

[Baber  writes  (p.  180)  :  "The  generally  received  theory  that  'the  great  descent 
which  leads  towards  the  Kingdom  of  Mien,'  on  which  'you  ride  for  two  days  and  a 
half  continually  downhill,'  was  the  route  from  Yung-ch'ang  to  T'eng-Yueh,  must  be 
at  once  abandoned.  Marco  was,  no  doubt,  speaking  from  hearsay,  or  rather,  from  a 
recollection  of  hearsay,  as  it  does  not  appear  that  he  possessed  any  notes ;  but  there 
is  good  reason  for  supposing  that  he  had  personally  visited  Yung-ch'ang.  Weary  of 
the  interminable  mountain-paths,  and  encumbered  with  much  baggage  —  for  a 
magnate  of  Marco's  court  influence  could  never,  in  the  Fast,  have  travelled  without 
a  considerable  state — impeded,  in  addition,  by  a  certain  quantity  of  merchandise, 
for  he  was  'discreet  and  prudent  in  every  way,'  he  would  have  listened  longingly 
to  the  report  of  an  easy  ride  of  two  and  a  half  days  downhill,  and  would  never  have 
forgotten  it.     That  such  a  route  exists  I  am  well  satisfied.     Where  is  it?     The  stream 

Chap.  LIV.  THE   CITY  OF  MIEN 


which  drains  the  Yung-ch'ang  plain  communicates  with  the  Salwen  by  a  river  called 
the  'Nan-tien,' not  to  be  confounded  with  the  'Nan-ting,'  about  45  miles  south  of 
that  city,  a  fair  journey  of  two  and  a  half  days.  Knowing,  as  we  now  do,  that  it  must 
descend  some  3500  feet  in  that  distance,  does  it  not  seem  reasonable  to  suppose  that 
the  valley  of  this  rivulet  is  the  route  alluded  to  ?  The  great  battle  on  the  Yung-ch'ang 
plain,  moreover,  was  fought  only  a  few  years  before  Marco's  visit,  and  seeing  that 
the  king  and  his  host  of  elephants  in  all  probability  entered  the  valley  from  the  south, 
travellers  to  Burma  would  naturally  have  quitted  it  by  the  same  route. 

"But  again,  our  mediaeval  Herodotus  reports  that  'the  country  is  wild  and  hard 
of  access,  full  of  great  woods  and  mountains  which  'tis  impossible  to  pass,  the  air  is 
so  impure  and  unwholesome  ;  and  any  foreigners  attempting  it  would  die  for  certain.' 

"  This  is  exactly  and  literally  the  description  given  us  of  the  district  in  which  we 
crossed  the  Salwen. 

"To  insist  on  the  theory  of  the  descent  by  this  route  is  to  make  the  traveller  ride 
downhill,  '  over  mountains  it  is  impossible  to  pass.' 

"  The  fifteen  days'  subsequent  journey  described  by  Marco  need  not  present  much 
difficulty.  The  distance  from  the  junction  of  the  Nan-tien  with  the  Salwen  to  the 
capital  of  Burma  (Pagan)  would  be  something  over  300  miles  ;  fifteen  days  seems  a  fair 
estimate  for  the  distance,  seeing  that  a  great  part  of  the  journey  would  doubtless  be 
by  boat." 

Regarding  this  last  paragraph,  Captain  Gill  says  (II.  345):  "An  objection 
may  be  raised  that  no  such  route  as  this  is  known  to  exist ;  but  it  must  be 
remembered  that  the  Burmese  capital  changes  its  position  every  now  and  then,  and 
it  is  obvious  that  the  trade  routes  would  be  directed  to  the  capital,  and  would  change 
with  it.  Altogether,  with  the  knowledge  at  present  available,  this  certainly  seems  the 
most  satisfactory  interpretation  of  the  old  traveller's  story." — H.  C] 


Concerning  the  City  of  Mien,  and  the  Two  Towers  that  are 
therein,  one  of  gold  and  the  other  of  sllver. 


And  when  you  have  travelled  those  15  days  through 
such  a  difficult  country  as  I  have  described,  in  which 
travellers  have  to  carry  provisions  for  the  road  because 
there  are  no  inhabitants,  then  you  arrive  at  the  capital  city 
of  this  Province  of  Mien,  and  it  also  is  called  Amien, 
and  is  a  very  great  and  noble  city.1  The  people  are 
Idolaters  and  have  a  peculiar  language,  and  are  subject 
to  the  Great  Kaan. 

And  in  this  city  there  is  a  thing  so  rich  and  rare  that 
I  must  tell  you  about  it.  You  see  there  was  in  former 
days  a  rich  and  puissant  king  in  this  city,  and  when  he 

IIO  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

was  about  to  die  he  commanded  that  by  his  tomb  they 
should  erect  two  towers  [one  at  either  end],  one  of  gold 
and  the  other  of  silver,  in  such  fashion  as  1  shall  tell  you. 
The  towers  are  built  of  fine  stone  ;  and  then  one  of  them 
has  been  covered  with  gold  a  good  finger  in  thickness, 
so  that  the  tower  looks  as  if  it  were  all  of  solid  gold  ; 
and  the  other  is  covered  with  silver  in  like  manner  so 
that  it  seems  to  be  all  of  solid  silver.  Each  tower  is  a 
good  ten  paces  in  height  and  of  breadth  in  proportion. 
The  upper  part  of  these  towers  is  round,  and  girt  all 
about  with  bells,  the  top  of  the  gold  tower  with  gilded 
bells  and  the  silver  tower  with  silvered  bells,  insomuch 
that  whenever  the  wind  blows  among  these  bells  they 
tinkle.  [The  tomb  likewise  was  plated  partly  with  gold, 
and  partly  with  silver.]  The  King  caused  these  towers 
to  be  erected  to  commemorate  his  magnificence  and  for 
the  good  of  his  soul ;  and  really  they  do  form  one  of  the 
finest  sights  in  the  world  ;  so  exquisitely  finished  are  they, 
so  splendid  and  costly.  And  when  they  are  lighted  up 
by  the  sun  they  shine  most  brilliantly  and  are  visible 
from  a  vast  distance. 

Now  you  must  know  that  the  Great  Kaan  conquered 
the  country  in  this  fashion. 

You  see  at  the  Court  of  the  Great  Kaan  there  was  a 
great  number  of  gleemen  and  jugglers  ;  and  he  said  to 
them  one  day  that  he  wanted  them  to  go  and  conquer 
the  aforesaid  province  of  Mien,  and  that  he  would  give 
them  a  good  Captain  to  lead  them  and  other  good  aid. 
And  they  replied  that  they  would  be  delighted.  So  the 
Emperor  caused  them  to  be  fitted  out  with  all  that  an 
army  requires,  and  gave  them  a  Captain  and  a  body  of 
men-at-arms  to  help  them  ;  and  so  they  set  out,  and 
inarched  until  they  came  to  the  country  and  province  of 
Mien.  And  they  did  conquer  the  whole  of  it!  And 
when  they  found  in  the  city  the  two  towers  of  gold  and 



z    i- 

LU     q: 







silver  of  which  I  have  been  telling  you,  they  were 
greatly  astonished,  and  sent  word  thereof  to  the  Great 
Kaan,  asking  what  he  would  have  them  do  with  the  two 
towers,  seeing  wThat  a  great  quantity  of  wealth  there  was 
upon  them.  And  the  Great  Kaan,  being  well  aware 
that  the  Kino-  had  caused  these  towers  to  be  made  for 
the  good  of  his  soul,  and  to  preserve  his  memory  after 
his  death,  said  that  he  would  not  have  them  injured,  but 
would  have  them  left  precisely  as  they  were.  And  that 
was  no  wonder  either,  for  you  must  know  that  no  Tartar 
in  the  world  will  ever,  if  he  can  help  it,  lay  hand  on  any- 
thing appertaining  to  the  dead.2 

They  have  in  this  province  numbers  of  elephants  and 
wild  oxen  ; 3  also  beautiful  stags  and  deer  and  roe,  and 
other  kinds  of  large  game  in  plenty. 

Now  having  told  you  about  the  province  of  Mien,  I 
will  tell  you  about  another  province  which  is  called 
Bangala,  as  you  shall  hear  presently. 

Note  I. — The  name  of  the  city  appears  as  A  mien  both  in  Pauthier's  text  here, 
and  in  the  G.  Text  in  the  preceding  chapter.  In  the  Bern  MS.  it  is  Aamien. 
Perhaps  some  form  like  A  mien  was  that  used  by  the  Mongols  and  Persians.  I  fancy 
it  may  be  traced  in  the  Arman  or  [/man  of  Rashiduddin,  probably  corrupt  readings 
(in  Elliot  I.  72). 

Note  2. — M.  Pauthier's  extracts  are  here  again  very  valuable.  We  gather  from 
them  that  the  first  Mongol  communication  with  the  King  of  Mien  or  Burma  took 
place  in  1271,  when  the  Commandant  of  Tali-fu  sent  a  deputation  to  that  sovereign 
to  demand  an  acknowledgment  of  the  supremacy  of  the  Emperor.  This  was 
followed  by  various  negotiations  and  acts  of  offence  on  both  sides,  which  led  to  the 
campaign  of  1277,  already  spoken  of.  For  a  few  years  no  further  events  appear  to 
be  recorded,  but  in  1282,  in  consequence  of  a  report  from  Nasruddin  of  the  ease 
with  which  Mien  could  be  conquered,  an  invasion  was  ordered  under  a  Prince  of 
the  Blood  called  Siangtaur  [called  Siam-ghu-lalh,  by  Visdelou. — H.  C.].  This  was 
probably  Singtur,  great-grandson  of  one  of  the  brothers  of  Chinghiz,  who  a  few 
years  later  took  part  in  the  insurrection  of  Nayan.  (See  D'  Ohsson,  II .  46 1 . )  The  army 
started  from  Yun-nan  fu,  then  called  Chung-khing  (and  the  Yacht  of  Polo)  in  the 
autumn  of  1283.  We  are  told  that  the  army  made  use  of  boats  to  descend  the  River 
Oho  to  the  fortified  city  of  Kiangtheu  (see  supra,  note  3,  ch.  lii.),  which  they  took 
and  sacked ;  and  as  the  King  still  refused  to  submit,  they  then  advanced  to  the 
"primitive  capital,"  Taikung,  which  they  captured.  Here  Pauthier's  details  stop. 
(Pp.  405,  416  ;  see  also  D'Ohsson,  II.  444  [and  Visdelou].) 

It  is  curious  to  compare  these  narratives  with  that  from  the  Burmese  Royal 
Annals  given  by  Colonel  Burney,  and  again  by  Sir  A.  Phayre  in  the  J.  A.  S.  B. 
(IV.    401,    and  XXXVII.    Pt.    I.    p.    101.)      Those  annals   afford   no   mention   of 



Book  II. 

transactions  with  the  Mongols  previous  to  1 28 1.  In  that  year  they  relate  that  a 
mission  of  ten  nobles  and  1000  horse  came  from  the  Emperor  to  demand  gold  and 
silver  vessels  as  symbols  of  homage,  on  the  ground  of  an  old  precedent.  The  envoys 
conducted  themselves  disrespectfully  (the  tradition  was  that  they  refused  to  take  off 

The  Palace  of  the  King  of  Mien  in  modern  times. 

their  boots,  an  old  grievance  at  the  Burmese  court),  and  the  King  put  them  all  to 
death.  The  Emperor  of  course  was  very  wroth,  and  sent  an  army  of  6,000,000  of 
horse  and  20,000,000  of  foot  (!)  to  invade  Burma.  The  Burmese  generals  had  their 
point  d'appui  at  the  city  of  Nga-tshanng-gyan,  apparently  somewhere  near  the  mouth 


of  the  Bhamo  River,  and  after  a  protracted  resistance  on  that  river,  they  were  obliged 
to  retire.  They  took  up  a  new  point  of  defence  on  the  Hill  of  Male,  which  they  had 
fortified.  Here  a  decisive  battle  was  fought,  and  the  Burmese  were  entirely  routed. 
The  King,  on  hearing  of  their  retreat  from  Bhamo,  at  first  took  measures  for  fortifying 
his  capital  Pagan,  and  destroyed  6000  temples  of  various  sizes  to  furnish  material. 
But  after  all  he  lost  heart,  and  embarking  with  his  treasure  and  establishments  on  the 
Irawadi,  fled  down  that  river  to  Bassein  in  the  Delta.  The  Chinese  continued  the 
pursuit  long  past  Pagan  till  they  reached  the  place  now  called  Tarokmau  or 
"Chinese  Point,"  30  miles  below  Prome.  Here  they  were  forced  by  want  of  pro- 
visions to  return.  The  Burmese  Annals  place  the  abandonment  of  Pagan  by  the 
King  in  1284,  a  most  satisfactory  synchronism  with  the  Chinese  record.  It  is  a 
notable  point  in  Burmese  history,  for  it  marked  the  fall  of  an  ancient  Dynasty  which 
was  speedily  followed  by  its  extinction,  and  the  abandonment  of  the  capital.  The 
King  is  known  in  the  Burmese  Annals  as  Tarok-pye"-Meng,  "The  King  who  fled 
from  the  Tarok."  * 

In  Dr.  Mason's  abstract  of  the  Pegu  Chronicle  we  find  the  notable  statement  with 
reference  to  this  period  that  "the  Emperor  of  China,  having  subjugated  Pagan,  his 
troops  with  the  Burmese  entered  Pegu  and  invested  several  cities." 

We  see  that  the  Chinese  Annals,  as  quoted,  mention  only  the  "  capitale  primitive" 
Taikung,  which  I  have  little  doubt  Pauthier  is  right  in  identifying  with  Tagaung, 
traditionally  the  most  ancient  royal  city  of  Burma,  and  the  remains  of  which  stand 
side  by  side  with  those  of  Old  Pagan,  a  later  but  still  very  ancient  capital,  on  the 
east  bank  of  the  Irawadi,  in  about  lat.  230  28'.  The  Chinese  extracts  give  no  idea  of- 
the  temporary  completeness  of  the  conquest,  nor  do  they  mention  Great  Pagan  (lat. 
21°  13'),  a  city  whose  vast  remains  I  have  endeavoured  partially  to  describe,  f  Sir 
Arthur  Phayre,  from  a  careful  perusal  of  the  Burmese  Chronicle,  assures  me  that 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  was  at  the  time  in  question  the  Burmese  Royal 
Residence,  and  the  city  alluded  to  in  the  Burmese  narrative.  M.  Pauthier  is  mistaken 
in  supposing  that  Tarok-Mau,  the  turning-point  of  the  Chinese  Invasion,  lay  north  of 
this  city  :  he  has  not  unnaturally  confounded  it  with  Toxok-Myo  or  "China-Town," 
a  district  not  far  below  Ava.  Moreover  Male,  the  position  of  the  decisive  victory  of 
the  Chinese,  is  itself  much  to  the  south  of  Tagaung  (about  220  55 '). 

Both  Pagan  and  Male  are  mentioned  in  a  remarkable  Chinese  notice  extracted 
in  Amyofs  Me  moires  {XXV.  292):  "Mien-Tien  ....  had  five  chief  towns,  of  which 
the  first  was  Kiangtheu  {supra,  pp.  105,  1 1 1),  the  second  Taikung,  the  third  Malai,  the 
fourth  Ngan-cheng-kwe  (?  perhaps  the  Nga-tshaung  gyan  of  the  Burmese  Annals), 
the  fifth  Pukan  Mien-Wang  (Pagan  of  the  Mien  King?).  The  Yuen  carried  war 
into  this  couniry,  particularly  during  the  reign  of  Shun-Ti,  the  last  Mongol  Emperor 
[1333-1368],  who,  after  subjugating  it,  erected  at  Pukan  Mien-Wang  a  tribunal  styled 
Hwen-wei-she-se',  the  authority  of  which  extended  over  Pang-ya  and  all  its  de- 
pendencies." This  is  evidently  founded  on  actual  documents,  for  Panya  or  Pengya, 
otherwise  styled  Vijayapura,  was  the  capital  of  Burma  during  part  of  the  14th  century, 
between  the  decay  of  Pagan  and  the  building  of  Ava.  But  none  of  the  translated 
extracts  from  the  Burmese  Chronicle  afford  corroboration.  From  Sangermano's 
abstract,  however,  we  learn  that  the  King  of  Panya  from  1323  to  1343  was  the 
son  of  a  daughter  of  the  Emperor  of  China  (p.  42).  I  may  also  refer  to  Pemberton's 
abstract  of  the  Chronicle  of  the  Shan  State  of  Pong  in  the  Upper  Irawadi  valley, 
which  relates  that  about  the  middle  of  the  14th  century  the  Chinese  invaded  Pong  and 
took  Maung  Maorong,  the  capital.  £     The  Shan  King  and  his  son  fled  to  the  King  of 

*  This  is  the  name  now  applied  in  Burma  to  the  Chinese.  Sir  A.  Phayre  supposes  it  to  be  Turk, 
in  which  case  its  use  probably  began  at  this  time. 

t  In  the  Narrative  of  Phayre's  Mission,  ch.  ii. 

J  Dr.  Anderson  has  here  hastily  assumed  a  discrepancy  of  sixty  years  between  the  chronology  of  the 
Shan  document  and  that  of  the  Chinese  Annals.  But  this  is  merely  because  he  arbitrarily  identifies 
the  Chinese  invasion  here  recorded  with  that  of  Kiiblai  in  the  preceding  century.  (See  Anderson's 
Western  Yunnan,  p.  8.)  We  see  in  the  quotation  above  from  Amyot  that  the  Chinese  Annals  also 
contain  an  obscure  indication  of  the  later  invasion. 

YOU    II.  H 

114  MARCO    TOLO  Book  II. 

Burma  for  protection,  but  the  Burmese  surrendered  them  and  they  were  carried  to 
China.     (Report  o?i  E.  Frontier  of  Bengal,  p.  112.) 

I  see  no  sufficient  evidence  as  to  whether  Marco  himself  visited  the  "  city  of  Mien." 
I  think  it  is  quite  clear  that  his  account  of  the  conquest  is  from  the  merest  hearsay, 
not  to  say  gossip.  Of  the  absurd  story  of  the  jugglers  we  find  no  suggestion  in  the 
Chinese  extracts.  We  learn  from  them  that  Nasruddin  had  represented  the  conquest 
of  Mien  as  a  very  easy  task,  and  Kublai  may  have  in  jest  asked  his  gleemen  if  they 
would  undertake  it.  The  haziness  of  Polo's  account  of  the  conquest  contrasts  strongly 
with  his  graphic  description  of  the  rout  of  the  elephants  at  Vochan.  Of  the  latter  he 
heard  the  particulars  on  the  spot  (I  conceive)  shortly  after  the  event ;  whilst  the 
conquest  took  place  some  years  later  than  his  mission  to  that  frontier.  His  descrip- 
tion of  the  gold  and  silver  pagodas  with  their  canopies  of  tinkling  bells  (the  Burmese 
Hti),  certainly  looks  like  a  sketch  from  the  life  ;*  and  it  is  quite  possible  that  some 
negotiations  between  1277  and  1281  may  have  given  him  the  opportunity  of  visiting 
Burma,  though  he  may  not  have  reached  the  capital.  Indeed  he  would  in  that  case 
surely  have  given  a  distincter  account  of  so  important  a  city,  the  aspect  of  which  in 
its  glory  we  have  attempted  to  realize  in  the  plate  of  "  the  city  of  Mien." 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  unfortunate  King  then  reigning  in  Pagan,  had  in 
1274  finished  a  magnificent  Pagoda  called  Mengala-dzedi  (Mangala  Chatty  a)  respecting 
which  ominous  prophecies  had  been  diffused.  In  this  pagoda  were  deposited,  besides 
holy  relics,  golden  images  of  the  Disciples  of  Buddha,  golden  models  of  the  holy 
places,  golden  images  of  the  King's  fifty-one  predecessors  in  Pagan,  and  of  the  King  and 
his  Family.  It  is  easy  to  suspect  a  connection  of  this  with  Marco's  story.  "It  is 
possible  that  the  King's  ashes  may  have  been  intended  to  be  buried  near  those  relics, 
though  such  is  not  now  the  custom  ;  and  Marco  appears  to  have  confounded  the 
custom  of  depositing  relics  of  Buddha  and  ancient  holy  men  in  pagodas  with  the 
supposed  custom  of  the  burial  of  the  dead.  Still,  even  now,  monuments  are  occasion- 
ally erected  over  the  dead  in  Burma,  although  the  practice  is  considered  a  vain  folly. 
I  have  known  a  miniature  pagoda  with  a  hit  complete,  erected  over  the  ashes  of  a 
favourite  disciple  by  a  Phungyi  or  Buddhist  monk."  The  latter  practice  is  common 
in  China.  (Notes  by  Sir  A.  Phayre ;  J.  A.  S.  B.  IV.  u.  s.,  also  V.  164,  VI.  251  ; 
Mason's  Burmah,  2nd  ed.  p.  26  ;  Milne 's  Life  in  China,  pp.  288,  450.) 

Note  3. — The  Gaur — Bos  Gaurus,  or  B.  (Bibos)  Cavifrons  of  Hodgson — exists  in 
certain  forests  of  the  Burmese  territory ;  and,  in  the  south  at  least,  a  wild  ox  nearer 
the  domestic  species,  Bos  Sondaicus.  Mr.  Gouger,  in  his  book  The  Prisoner  in  Burma, 
describes  the  rare  spectacle  which  he  once  enjoyed  in  the  Tenasserim  forests  of  a  herd 
of  wild  cows  at  graze.  He  speaks  of  them  as  small  and  elegant,  without  hump,  and 
of  a  light  reddish  dun  colour  (pp.  326-327). 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Bangala. 

Bangala  is  a  Province  towards  the  south,  which  up  to 
the  year   1290,  when  the  aforesaid  Messer  Marco  Polo 

*  Compare  the  old  Chinese  Pilgrims  Hwui  Seng  and  Seng  Yun,  in  their  admiration  of  a  vast 
pagoda  erected  hy  the  great  King  Kanishka  in  Gandhara  (at  Peshawur  in  fact):  "At  sunrise  the 
gilded  disks  of  the  vane  are  lit  up  with  dazzling  glory,  whilst  the  gentle  breeze  of  morning  causes  the 
precious  bells  to  tinkle  with  a  pleasing  sound."  (Beat,  p.  204.) 


was  still  at  the  Court  of  the  Great  Kaan,  had  not  yet 
been  conquered  ;  but  his  armies  had  gone  thither  to  make 
the  conquest.  You  must  know  that  this  province  has 
a  peculiar  language,  and  that  the  people  are  wretched 
Idolaters.  They  are  tolerably  close  to  India.  There 
are  numbers  of  eunuchs  there,  insomuch  that  all  the 
Barons  who  keep  them  get  them  from  that  Province.1 

The  people  have  oxen  as  tall  as  elephants,  but  not  so 
big.2  They  live  on  flesh  and  milk  and  rice.  They 
grow  cotton,  in  which  they  drive  a  great  trade,  and  also 
spices  such  as  spikenard,  galingale,  ginger,  sugar,  and 
many  other  sorts.  And  the  people  of  India  also  come 
thither  in  search  of  the  eunuchs  that  I  mentioned,  and 
of  slaves,  male  and  female,  of  which  there  are  great 
numbers,  taken  from  other  provinces  with  which  those  of 
the  country  are  at  war  ;  and  these  eunuchs  and  slaves  are 
sold  to  the  Indian  and  other  merchants  who  carry  them 
thence  for  sale  about  the  world. 

There  is  nothing  more  to  mention  about  this  country, 
so  we  will  quit  it,  and  I  will  tell  you  of  another  province 
called  Caugigu. 

Note  I. — I  do  not  think  it  probable  that  Marco  even  touched  at  any  port  of 
Bengal  on  that  mission  to  the  Indian  Seas  of  which  we  hear  in  the  prologue  ;  but  he 
certainly  never  reached  it  from  the  Yun-nan  side,  and  he  had,  as  we  shall  presently 
see  (infra,)  ch.  lix.  note  6),  a  wrong  notion  as  to  its  position.  Indeed,  if  he  had 
visited  it  at  all,  he  would  have  been  aware  that  it  was  essentially  a  part  of  India, 
whilst  in  fact  he  evidently  regarded  it  as  an  Indo-Chinese  region,  like  Zardandan, 
Mien,  and  Caugigu. 

There  is  no  notice,  I  believe,  in  any  history,  Indian  or  Chinese,  of  an  attempt  by 
Kublai  to  conquer  Bengal.  The  only  such  attempt  by  the  Mongols  that  we  hear  of 
is  one  mentioned  by  Firishta,  as  made  by  way  of  Cathay  and  Tibet,  during  the  reign 
of  Alauddin  Masa'iid,  king  of  Delhi,  in  1244,  and  stated  to  have  been  defeated  by 
the  local  officers  in  Bengal.  But  Mr.  Edward  Thomas  tells  me  he  has  most  distinctly 
ascertained  that  this  statement,  which  has  misled  every  historian  "from  Badauni  and 
Firishtah  to  Briggs  and  Elphinstone,  is  founded  purely  on  an  erroneous  reading" 
(and  see  a  note  in  Mr.  Thomas's  Pathan  Kings  of  Dehli,  p.  121). 

The  date  1290  in  the  text  would  fix  the  period  of  Polo's  final  departure  from 
Peking,  if  the  dates  were  not  so  generally  corrupt. 

The  subject  of  the  last  part  of  this  paragraph,  recurred  to  in  the  next,  has  been 
misunderstood  and  corrupted  in  Pauthier's  text,  and  partially  in  Ramusio's.  These 
make  the  escnilUs  or  escoilliez  (vide  Ducange  in  v.  Escodatus,  and  Raynouard,  Lex. 
Rom.  VI.    11)  into  scholars  and  what  not.      But  on  comparison  of  the  passages  in 

VOL.    II,  H    2 

1 1 6  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

those  two  editions  with  the  Geographic  Text  one  cannot  doubt  the  correct  reading. 
As  to  the  fact  that  Bengal  had  an  evil  notoriety  for  this  traffic,  especially  the 
province  of  Silhet,  see  the  Ayeen  Akbery,  II.  9-1 1,  Barbosds  chapter  on  Bengal,  and 
De  Barros  (Ramusio  I.  316  and  391). 

On  the  cheapness  of  slaves  in  Bengal,  see  Ibn  Batuta,  IV.  21 1-2 12.  He  says 
people  from  Persia  used  to  call  Bengal  Duzakh pur-i  ni'amat,  "a  hell  crammed  with 
good  things,"  an  appellation  perhaps  provoked  by  the  official  style  often  applied  to  it 
oijannat-ul-baldd  or  "Paradise  of  countries." 

Professor  H.  Blochmann,  who  is,  in  admirable  essays,  redeeming  the  long  neglect 
of  the  history  and  archaeology  of  Bengal  Proper  by  our  own  countrymen,  says  that 
one  of  the  earliest  passages,  in  which  the  name  Bangdlah  occurs,  is  in  a  poem  of 
Hafiz,  sent  from  Shiraz  to  Sultan  Ghiassuddin,  who  reigned  in  Bengal  from  1367  to 
1373.  Its  occurrence  in  our  text,  however,  shows  that  the  name  was  in  use  among 
the  Mahomedan  foreigners  (from  whom  Polo  derived  his  nomenclature)  nearly  a 
century  earlier.  And  in  fact  it  occurs  (though  corruptly  in  some  MSS.)  in  the 
history  of  Rashiduddin,  our  author's  contemporary.     (See  Elliot,  I.  p.  72.) 

Note  2. — "Big  as  elephants"  is  only  a  facon  de  parler,  but  Marsden  quotes 
modern  exaggerations  as  to  the  height  of  the  Arna  or  wild  buffalo,  more  specific  and 
extravagant.  The  unimpeachable  authority  of  Mr.  Hodgson  tells  us  that  the  Arna 
in  the  Nepal  Tarai  sometimes  does  reach  a  height  of  6  ft.  6  in.  at  the  shoulder, 
with  a  length  of  10  ft.  6  in.  (excluding  tail),  and  horns  of  6  ft.  6  in.  {J.- A.  S.  B., 
XVI.  710.)  Marco,  however,  seems  to  be  speaking  of  domestic  cattle.  Some  of  the 
breeds  of  Upper  India  are  very  tall  and  noble  animals,  far  surpassing  in  height  any 
European  oxen  known  to  me  ;  but  in  modern  times  these  are  rarely  seen  in  Bengal, 
where  the  cattle  are  poor  and  stunted.  The  Ain  Akbari,  however,  speaks  of 
Sharifabad  in  Bengal,  which  appears  to  have  corresponded  to  modern  Bardwan,  as 
producing  very  beautiful  white  oxen,  of  great  size,  and  capable  of  carrying  a  load  of 
15  mans,  which  at  Prinsep's  estimate  of  Akbar's  man  would  be  about  600  lbs. 


Discourses  of  the  Province  of  Caugigu. 

Caugigu  is  a  province  towards  the  east,  which  has  a 
king.1  The  people  are  Idolaters,  and  have  a  language 
of  their  own.  They  have  made  their  submission  to  the 
Great  Kaan,  and  send  him  tribute  every  year.  And 
let  me  tell  you  their  king  is  so  given  to  luxury  that  he 
hath  at  the  least  300  wives ;  for  whenever  he  hears  of 
any  beautiful  woman  in  the  land,  he  takes  and  marries 

They  find  in  this  country  a  good  deal  of  gold,  and 
they  also  have  great  abundance  of  spices.        But  they 


are  such  a  long  way  from  the  sea  that  the  products  are 
of  little  value,  and  thus  their  price  is  low.  They  have 
elephants  in  great  numbers,  and  other  cattle  of  sundry 
kinds,  and  plenty  of  game.  They  live  on  flesh  and 
milk  and  rice,  and  have  wine  made  of  rice  and  good 
spices.  The  whole  of  the  people,  or  nearly  so,  have 
their  skin  marked  with  the  needle  in  patterns  represent- 
ing lions,  dragons,  birds,  and  what  not,  done  in  such  a 
way  that  it  can  never  be  obliterated.  This  work  they 
cause  to  be  wrought  over  face  and  neck  and  chest,  arms 
and  hands,  and  belly,  and,  in  short,  the  whole  body  ;  and 
they  look  on  it  as  a  token  of  elegance,  so  that  those  who 
have  the  largest  amount  of  this  embroidery  are  regarded 
with  the  greatest  admiration. 

Note  i. — No  province  mentioned  by  Marco  has  given  rise  to  wider  and  wildei 
conjectures  than  this,  Cangigti  as  it  has  been  generally  printed. 

M.  Pauthier,  who  sees  in  it  Laos,  or  rather  one  of  the  states  of  Laos  called  in  the 
Chinese  histories  Papesifu,  seems  to  have  formed  the  most  probable  opinion  hitherto 
propounded  by  any  editor  of  Polo.  I  have  no  doubt  that  Laos  or  some  part  of 
that  region  is  meant  to  be  described,  and  that  Pauthier  is  right  regarding  the  general 
direction  of  the  course  here  taken  as  being  through  the  regions  east  of  Burma,  in  a 
north-easterly  direction  up  into  Kwei-chau.  But  we  shall  be  able  to  review  the 
geography  of  this  tract  better,  as  a  whole,  at  a  point  more  advanced.  I  shall  then 
speak  of  the  name  Caugigu,  and  why  I  prefer  this  reading  of  it. 

I  do  not  believe,  for  reasons  which  will  also  appear  further  on,  that  Polo  is  now 
following  a  route  which  he  had  traced  in  person,  unless  it  be  in  the  latter 
part  of  it. 

M.  Pauthier,  from  certain  indications  in  a  Chinese  work,  fixes  on  Chiangmai  or 
Kiang-mai,  the  Zimme  of  the  Burmese  (in  about  latitude  180  48'  and  long.  990  30') 
as  the  capital  of  the  Papesifu  and  of  the  Caugigu  of  our  text.  It  can  scarcely 
however  be  the  latter,  unless  we  throw  over  entirely  all  the  intervals  stated  in 
Polo's  itinerary  ;  and  M.  Gamier  informs  me  that  he  has  evidence  that  the  capital 
of  the  Papesifu  at  this  time  was  Mnang-  Yong,  a  little  to  the  south-east  of  Kiang-Tung, 
where  he  has  seen  its  ruins.*  That  the  people  called  by  the  Chinese  Papesifu  were  of 
the  great  race  of  Laotians,  Shans,  or  Thai,  is  very  certain,  from  the  vocabulary  of 
their  language  published  by  Klaproth. 

Pauthier's  Chinese  authority  gives  a  puerile  interpretation  of  Papesifu  as  signifying 
"the  kingdom  of  the  800  wives,"  and  says  it  was  called  so  because  the  Prince 
maintained  that  establishment.     This  may  be  an  indication  that  there  were  popular 

*  Indeed  documents  in  Klaproth's  Asia  Polyglotta  show  that  the  Papi  state  was  also  called 
Muang-Yong  (pp.  364-365).  I  observe  that  the  river  running  to  the  east  of  Pu-eul  and  Ssemao  (Puer 
and  Esmok)  is  called  /\z/z>«  Kiang,  the  name  of  which  is  perhaps  a  memorial  of  the  Pape. 

[The  old  Laocian  kingdom  of  Xieng-mai  [Kiang-mai],  called  Muong-Yong  by  the  Pa-y,  was  in- 
habited by  the  Pa-pe  Si-fu  or  Bat-ba  Tuc-phu  ;  the  inhabitants  called  themselves  Thai  niai  or 
great  Thai.  (Deveria,  Frontiere,  p.  100.)  Ch.  ix.  of  the  Chinese  work  Sze-i-kivan-kao  is  devoted 
to  Xieng-mai  Pa-pe),  which  includes  the  subdivisions  of  Laos,  Xieng  Hung  [Kiang  Hung]  and 
Muong-Ken.     (Deveria,  Mel.  de  Ilarlez,  p.  97.)— H.  C] 



0  £} 






















Chap.  LVII.  THE   PROVINCE   OF  ANIN  I  I <) 

stories  about  the  numerous  wives  of  the  King  of  Laos,  such  as  Polo  had  heard  ;  but 
the  interpretation  is  doubtless  rubbish,  like  most  of  the  so-called  etymologies  of 
proper  names  applied  by  the  Chinese  to  foreign  regions.  At  best  these  seem  to  be 
merely  a  kind  of  Memoria  Technica,  and  often  probably  bear  no  more  relation  to  the 
name  in  its  real  meaning  than  Swift's  All-egqs-under-the-grate  bears  to  Alexander 
Magnus.  How  such  "etymologies"  arise  is  obvious  from  the  nature  of  the  Chinese 
system  of  writing.  If  we  also  had  to  express  proper  names  by  combining  mono- 
syllabic words  already  existing  in  English,  we  should  in  fact  be  obliged  to  write  the 
name  of  the  Macedonian  hero  much  as  Swift  travestied  it.  As  an  example  we  may 
give  the  Chinese  name  of  Java,  Kwazva,  which  signifies  "gourd-sound,"  and  was 
given  to  that  Island,  we  are  told,  because  the  voice  of  its  inhabitants  is  very  like  that 
of  a  dry  gourd  rolled  upon  the  ground!  It  is  usually  stated  that  Tungking  was 
called  Kiao-chi,  meaning  "  crossed-toes,"  because  the  people  often  exhibit  that  mal- 
formation (which  is  a  fact),  but  we  may  be  certain  that  the  syllables  were  originally 
a  phonetic  representation  of  an  indigenous  name  which  has  no  such  meaning.  As 
another  example,  less  ridiculous  but  not  more  true,  Chin-tan,  representing  the  Indian 
name  of  China,  Chinasthdna,  is  explained  to  mean  "  Eastern  -  Dawn "  {Aurore 
Orientale).     (Amyot,  XIV.  101  ;  Klapr.  Mem.  III.  268.) 

The  states  of  Laos  are  shut  out  from  the  sea  in  the  manner  indicated ;  they 
abound  in  domestic  elephants  to  an  extraordinary  extent ;  and  the  people  do  tattoo 
themselves  in  various  degrees,  most  of  all  (as  M.  Gamier  tells  me)  about  Kiang 
Hung.  The  style  of  tattooing  which  the  text  describes  is  quite  that  of  the  Burmese, 
in  speaking  of  whom  Polo  has  omitted  to  mention  the  custom  :  "  Every  male  Burman 
is  tattooed  in  his  boyhood  from  the  middle  to  his  knees ;  in  fact  he  has  a  pair  of 
breeches  tattooed  on  him.  The  pattern  is  a  fanciful  medley  of  animals  and  arab- 
esques, but  it  is  scarcely  distinguishable,  save  as  a  general  tint,  except  on  a  fair 
skin."      {Mission  to  Ava,  151.) 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Anin. 

Anin  is  a  Province  towards  the  east,  the  people  of  which 
are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan,  and  are  Idolaters.  They 
live  by  cattle  and  tillage,  and  have  a  peculiar  language. 
The  women  wear  on  the  legs  and  arms  bracelets  of  gold 
and  silver  of  great  value,  and  the  men  wear  such  as  are 
even  yet  more  costly.  They  have  plenty  of  horses 
which  they  sell  in  great  numbers  to  the  Indians,  making 
a  great  profit  thereby.  And  they  have  also  vast  herds 
of  buffaloes  and  oxen,  having  excellent  pastures  for  these. 
They  have  likewise  all  the  necessaries  of  life  in  abun- 
danoe } 

120  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Now  you  must  know  that  between  Anin  and  Caugigu, 
which  we  have  left  behind  us,  there  is  a  distance  of  [25] 
days' journey  ;2  and  from  Caugigu  to  Bangala,  the  third 
province  in  our  rear,  is  30  days'  journey.  We  shall  now 
leave  Anin  and  proceed  to  another  province  which  is 
some  8  days'  journey  further,  always  going  eastward. 

Note  i. — Ramusio,  the  printed  text  of  the  Soc.  de  Geographie,  and  most  editions 
have  Amu ;  Pauthier  reads  Amu,  and  considers  the  name  to  represent  Tungking  or 
Annam,  called  also  Nan-yui.  The  latter  word  he  supposes  to  be  converted  into 
Anyue,  Aniu.     And  accordingly  he  carries  the  traveller  to  the  capital  of  Tungking. 

Leaving  the  name  for  the  present,  according  to  the  scheme  of  the  route  as  I  shall 
try  to  explain  it  below,  I  should  seek  for  Amu  or  Aniu  or  Anin  in  the  extreme  south- 
east of  Yun-nan.  A  part  of  this  region  was  for  the  first  time  traversed  by  the  officers 
of  the  French  expedition  up  the  Mekong,  who  in  1867  visited  Sheu-ping,  Lin-ngan 
and  the  upper  valley  of  the  River  of  Tungking  on  their  way  to  Yun-nan-fu.  To  my 
question  whether  the  description  in  the  text,  of  Aniu  or  Anin  and  its  fine  pastures, 
applied  to  the  tract  just  indicated,  Lieut.  Gamier  replied  on  the  whole  favourably 
(see  further  on),  proceeding:  "  The  population  about  Sheu-ping  is  excessively  mixt. 
On  market  days  at  that  town  one  sees  a  gathering  of  wild  people  in  great  number 
and  variety,  and  whose  costumes  are  highly  picturesque,  as  well  as  often  very  rich. 
There  are  the  Pa-is,  who  are  also  found  again  higher  up,  the  Ho-nhi,  the  Khato,  the 
Lopi%  the  Shentseu.     These  tribes  appear  to  be  allied  in  part  to  the  Laotians,  in  part 

to  the  Kakhyens The  wilder  races  about  Sheuping  are  remarkably  handsome, 

and  you  see  there  types  of  women  exhibiting  an  extraordinary  regularity  of  feature, 
and  at  the  same  time  a  complexion  surprisingly  white.     The  Chinese  look  quite  an 

inferior  race  beside  them I  may  add  that  all  these  tribes,  especially  the  Ho- 

nhi  and  the  Pa-'i,  wear  large  amounts  of  silver  ornament ;  great  collars  of  silver  round 
the  neck,  as  well  as  on  the  legs  and  arms." 

Though  the  whiteness  of  the  people  of  Anin  is  not  noticed  by  Polo,  the  distinctive 
manner  in  which  he  speaks  in  the  next  chapter  of  the  dark  complexion  of  the  tribes 
described  therein  seems  to  indicate  the  probable  omission  of  the  opposite  trait 

The  prominent  position  assigned  in  M.  Garnier's  remarks  to  a  race  called  Ho-nhi 
first  suggested  to  me  that  the  reading  of  the  text  might  be  Anin  instead  of  Aniu. 
And  as  a  matter  of  fact  this  seems  to  my  eyes  to  be  clearly  the  reading  of  the  Paris 
Livre  des  Merveilles  (Pauthier's  MS.  B),  while  the  Paris  No.  5631  (Pauthier's  A)  has 
Auin,  and  what  may  be  either  Aniu  or  Anin.  Anyn  is  also  found  in  the  Latin 
Brandenburg  MS.  of  Pipino's  version  collated  by  Andrew  Muller,  to  which,  however, 
we  cannot  ascribe  much  weight.  But  the  two  words  are  so  nearly  identical  in 
mediseval  writing,  and  so  little  likely  to  be  discriminated  by  scribes  who  had  nothing 
to  guide  their  discrimination,  that  one  need  not  hesitate  to  adopt  that  which  is 
supported  by  argument.  In  reference  to  the  suggested  identity  of  Anin  and  Ho-nhi, 
M.  Gamier  writes  again:  "All  that  Polo  has  said  regarding  the  country  of  Aniu, 
though  not  containing  anything  very  characteristic,  may  apply  perfectly  to  the 
different  indigenous  tribes,  at  present  subject  to  the  Chinese,  which  are  dispersed 
over  the  country  from  Talan  to  Sheuping  and  Lin-ngan.  These  tribes  bearing 
the  names  (given  above)  relate  that  they  in  other  days  formed  an  independent  state, 
to  which  they  give  the  name  of  Muang  Shung.  Where  this  Muang  was  situated 
there  is  no  knowing.  These  tribes  have  langage  par  euls,  as  Marco  Polo  says,  and 
silver  ornaments  are  worn  by  them  to  this  day  in  extraordinary  profusion ;  more, 
however,  by  the  women  than  the  men.     They  have  plenty  of  horses,  buffaloes  and 

12  2  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

oxen,  and  of  sheep  as  well.  It  was  the  first  locality  in  which  the  latter  were  seen. 
The  plateau  of  Lin-ngan  affords  pasture-grounds  which  are  exceptionally  good  for 
that  part  of  the  world. 

"  Beyond  Lin-ngan  we  find  the  Ho-nhi,  properly  so  called,  no  longer.  But  ought 
one  to  lay  much  stress  on  mere  names  which  have  undergone  so  many  changes,  and 
of  which  so  many  have  been  borne  in  succession  by  all  those  places  and  peoples?  .  .  . 
I  will  content  myself  with  reminding  you  that  the  town  of  Homi-cheu  near  Lin-ngan 
in  the  days  of  the  Yuen  bore  the  name  of  Ngo-ning." 

Notwithstanding  M.  Garnier's  caution,  I  am  strongly  inclined  to  believe  that 
Anin  represents  either  Ho-nhi  or  Ngo-mng,  if  indeed  these  names  be  not  identical. 
For  on  reference  to  Biot  I  see  that  the  first  syllable  of  the  modern  name  of  the  town 
which  M.  Gamier  writes  How/,  is  expressed  by  the  same  character  as  the  first 
syllable  of  ~NGOmng. 

[The  Wo-nhi  are  also  called  Ngo-ni,  Kan-ni,  Ho-ni,  Lou-mi,  No-pi,  Ko-ni  and 
Wa-heh ;  they  descend  from  the  southern  barbarians  called  Ho-nhi.  At  the  time  of 
the  kingdom  of  Nan-Chao,  the  Ho-nhi,  called  In-yuen,  tribes  were  a  dependence  of  the 
Kiang  (Xieng)  of  Wei-yuen  (Prefecture  of  P'u-erh).  They  are  now  to  be  found  in  the 
Yunnanese  prefectures  of  Lin-ngan,  King-tung,  Chen-yuen,  Yuen-kiang  and  Yun-nan. 
(See  Deviria,  p.  135.) — H.  C.] 

We  give  one  of  M.  Garnier's  woodcuts  representing  some  of  the  races  in  this 
vicinity.  Their  dress,  as  he  notices,  has,  in  some  cases,  a  curious  resemblance 
to  costumes  of  Switzerland,  or  of  Brittany,  popular  at  fancy  balls.*  Coloured  figures 
of  some  of  these  races  will  be  found  in  the  Atlas  to  Garnier's  work  ;  see  especially 
Plate  35. 

Noi'E  2. — All  the  French  MSS.  and  other  texts  except  Ramusio's  read  15.  We 
adopt  Ramusio's  reading,  25,  for  reasons  which  will  appear  below. 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Coloman. 

Coloman  is  a  province  towards  the  east,  the  people  of 
which  are  Idolaters  and  have  a  peculiar  language,  and 
are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan.  They  are  a  [tall  and] 
very  handsome  people,  though  in  complexion  brown 
rather  than  white,  and  are  good  soldiers.1  They  have 
a  good  many  towns,  and  a  vast  number  of  villages,  among 
great  mountains,  and  in  strong  positions.2 

When  any  of  them  die,  the  bodies  are  burnt,  and  then 
they    take    the    bones    and    put    them    in    little    chests. 

*  There  is  a  little  uncertainty  in  the  adjustment  of  names  and  figures  of  some  of  these  tribes, 
between  the  illustrations  and  the  incidental  notices  in  Lieutenant  Garnier's  work.  But  all  the  figures 
in  the  present  cut  certainly  belong  to  the  tract  to  which  we  point  as  Anin  ;  and  the  two  middle  figures 
answer  best  to  what  is  said  of  the  Ho-nhi. 


These  are  carried  high  up  the  mountains,  and  placed  in 
great  caverns,  where  they  are  hung  up  in  such  wise  that 
neither  man  nor  beast  can  come  at  them. 

A  good  deal  of  gold  is  found  in  the  country,  and  for 
petty  traffic  they  use  porcelain  shells  such  as  I  have  told 
you  of  before.  All  these  provinces  that  I  have  been 
speaking  of,  to  wit  Bangala  and  Caugigu  and  Anin, 
employ  for  currency  porcelain  shells  and  gold.  There 
are  merchants  in  this  country  who  are  very  rich  and 
dispose  of  large  quantities  of  goods.  The  people  live 
on  flesh  and  rice  and  milk,  and  brew  their  wine  from  rice 
and  excellent  spices. 

Note  i. — The  only  MSS.  that  afford  the  reading  Colo??ian  or  Choloman  instead  of 
Toloman  or  Tholoman,  are  the  Bern  MS.,  which  has  Coloman  in  the  initial  word  of 
the  chapter,  Paris  MS.  5649  (Pauthier's  C)  which  has  Coloman  in  the  Table  of  Chapters, 
but  not  in  the  text,  the  Bodleian,  and  the  Brandenburg  MS.  quoted  in  the  last  note. 
These  variations  in  themselves  have  little  weight.  But  the  confusion  between  c  and  t 
in  mediseval  MSS.,  when  dealing  with  strange  names,  is  so  constant  that  I  have 
ventured  to  make  the  correction,  in  strong  conviction  that  it  is  the  right  reading.  M. 
Pauthier  indeed,  after  speaking  of  tribes  called  Lo  on  the  south-west  of  China,  adds, 
"on  les  nommait  To-lo-man  ('les  nombreux  Barbares  Lo')."  Were  this  latter 
statement  founded  on  actual  evidence  we  might  retain  that  form  which  is  the  usual 
reading.  But  I  apprehend  from  the  manner  in  which  M.  Pauthier  produces  it,  without 
corroborative  quotation,  that  he  is  rather  hazarding  a  conjecture  than  speaking  with 
authority.  Be  that  as  it  may,  it  is  impossible  that  Polo's  Toloman  or  Coloman  should 
have  been  in  the  south  of  Kwangsi,  where  Pauthier  locates  it. 

On  the  other  hand,  we  find  tribes  of  both  Kolo  and  Kihlau  Barbarians  {i.e.  Man, 
whence  Kolo-man  or  Kihlau-mdn)  very  numerous  on  the  frontier  of  Kweichau.  (See 
Bridgmari 's  transl.  of  Tract  on  Meant  sze,  pp.  265,  269,  270,  272,  273,  274,  275,  278, 
279,  280.)  Among  these  the  Kolo,  described  as  No.  38  in  that  Tract,  appear  to  me 
from  various  particulars  to  be  the  most  probable  representatives  of  the  Coloman  of 
Polo,  notwithstanding  the  sentence  with  which  the  description  opens  :  "  Kolo  originally 
called  Lnlnh  ;  the  modern  designation  Kolo  is  incorrect."*  They  are  at  present  found 
in  the  prefecture  of  Tating  (one  of  the  departments  of  Kweichau  towards  the  Yun-nan 
side).  "  They  are  tall,  of  a  dark  complexion,  with  sunken  eyes,  aquiline  nose,  wear 
long  whiskers,  and  have  the  beard  shaved  off  above  the  mouth.  They  pay  great 
deference  to  demons,  and  on  that  account  are  sometimes  called  '  Dragons  of  Lo.'  .  .  . 
At  the  present  time  these  Kolo  are  divided  into  48  clans,  the  elders  of  which  are  called 
Chieftains  (lit.  '  Head-and-Eyes ')  and  are  of  nine  grades.  .  .  .  The  men  bind  their 
hair  into  a  tuft  with  blue  cloth  and  make  it  fast  on  the  forehead  like  a  horn.  Their 
upper  dresses  are  short,  with  large  sleeves,  and  their  lower  garments  are  fine  blue. 
When  one  of  the  chieftains  dies,  all  that  were  under  him  are  assembled  together  clad 
in  armour  and  on  horseback.  Having  dressed  his  corpse  in  silk  and  woollen  robes, 
they  burn  it  in  the  open  country ;  then,  invoking  the  departed  spirit,  they  inter  the 

*  On  the  other  hand,  M.  Gamier  writes  :  "  I  do  not  know  any  name  at  all  like  Kolo,  except  Lolo, 
the  generic  name  given  by  the  Chinese  to  the  wild  tribes  of  Yun-nan."  Does  not  this  look  as  if  Kolo 
were  really  the  old  name,  Luluh  or  Lolo  the  later  ? 

1 24  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

ashes.  Their  attachment  to  him  as  their  sole  master  is  such  that  nothing  can  drive  or 
tempt  them  from  their  allegiance.  Their  large  bows,  long  spears,  and  sharp  swords, 
are  strong  and  well-wrought.  They  train  excellent  horses,  love  archery  and  hunting  ; 
and  so  expert  are  they  in  tactics  that  their  soldiers  rank  as  the  best  among  all  the  un- 
civilized tribes.  There  is  this  proverb:  'The  Lo  Dragons  of  Shwui-si  rap  the  head 
and  strike  the  tail,'  which  is  intended  to  indicate  their  celerity  in  defence." 
{BHdgman,  pp.  272-273.) 

'fhe  character  Lo,  here  applied  in  the  Chinese  Tract  to  these  people,  is  the  same 
as  that  in  the  name  of  the  Kwangsi  Lo  of  M.  Pauthier. 

I  append  a  cut  (opposite  page)  from  the  drawing  representing  these  Kolo-man  in 
the  original  work  from  which  Bridgman  translated,  and  which  is  in  the  possession  of 
Dr.  Lockhart. 

[I  believe  we  must  read  To-lo-man.  Man,  barbarian,  T'u-lao  or  Shan-tzu 
(mountaineers)  who  live  in  the  Yunnanese  prefectures  of  Lin-ngan,  Cheng-kiang,  etc. 
T'u-la-Man  or  T'u-la  barbarians  of  the  Mongol  Annals.  ( Yuen-shi  lei-pien,  quoted 
by  Deveria,  p.  1 15.) — H.  C] 

Note  2. — Magaillans,  speaking  of  the  semi-independent  tribes  of  Kwei-chau  and 
Kwang-si,  says  :  "  Their  towns  are  usually  so  girt  by  high  mountains  and  scarped  rocks 
that  it  seems  as  if  nature  had  taken  a  pleasure  in  fortifying  them"  (p.  43).  (See  cut 
at  p.  131.) 


Concerning  the  Province  of  Cuiju. 

Cuiju  is  a  province  towards  the  East.1  After  leaving 
Coloman  you  travel  along  a  river  for  12  days,  meeting 
with  a  good  number  of  towns  and  villages,  but  nothing 
worthy  of  particular  mention.  After  you  have  travelled 
those  twelve  days  along  the  river  you  come  to  a  great 
and  noble  city  which  is  called  Fungul. 

The  people  are  Idolaters  and  subject  to  the  Great 
Kaan,  and  live  by  trade  and  handicrafts.  You  must 
know  they  manufacture  stuffs  of  the  bark  of  certain  trees 
which  form  very  fine  summer  clothing.2  They  are  good 
soldiers,  and  have  paper-money.  For  you  must  under- 
stand that  henceforward  we  are  in  the  countries  where 
the  Great  Kaan's  paper-money  is  current. 

The  country  swarms  with  lions  to  that  degree  that 
no  man  can  venture  to  sleep  outside  his  house  at  night.3 

The  Koloman,  after  a  Chinese  drawing. 

"(Eclotmra  .est  tme  pvobcnce  bers  Icbant  ....    El  stint  mult  belles  jens  *t  ne 
sunt  true  bien  bhutces  mes  bvttrcz.    11  sunt  inert  homes  b'ltnncs  .  .  ," 

126  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

Moreover,  when  you  travel  on  that  river,  and  come  to  a 
halt  at  night,  unless  you  keep  a  good  way  from  the  bank 
the  lions  will  spring  on  the  boat  and  snatch  one  of  the 
crew  and  make  off  with  him  and  devour  him.  And  but 
for  a  certain  help  that  the  inhabitants  enjoy,  no  one  could 
venture  to  travel  in  that  province,  because  of  the  multitude 
of  those  lions,  and  because  of  their  strength  and  ferocity. 

But  you  see  they  have  in  this  province  a  large  breed 
of  dogs,  so  fierce  and  bold  that  two  of  them  together  will 
attack  a  lion.4  So  every  man  who  goes  a  journey  takes 
with  him  a  couple  of  those  dogs,  and  when  a  lion  appears 
they  have  at  him  with  the  greatest  boldness,  and  the 
lion  turns  on  them,  but  can't  touch  them  for  they  are  very 
deft  at  eschewing  his  blows.  So  they  follow  him,  per- 
petually giving  tongue,  and  watching  their  chance  to  give 
him  a  bite  in  the  rump  or  in  the  thigh,  or  wherever  they 
may.  The  lion  makes  no  reprisal  except  now  and  then 
to  turn  fiercely  on  them,  and  then  indeed  were  he  to 
catch  the  dogs  it  would  be  all  over  with  them,  but  they 
take  good  care  that  he  shall  not.  So,  to  escape  the 
dogs'  din,  the  lion  makes  off,  and  gets  into  the  wood, 
where  mayhap  he  stands  at  bay  against  a  tree  to  have 
his  rear  protected  from  their  annoyance.  And  when 
the  travellers  see  the  lion  in  this  plight  they  take  to  their 
bows,  for  they  are  capital  archers,  and  shoot  their  arrows 
at  him  till  he  falls  dead.  And  'tis  thus  that  travellers 
in  those  parts  do  deliver  themselves  from  those  lions. 

They  have  a  good  deal  of  silk  and  other  products 
which  are  carried  up  and  down,  by  the  river  of  which  we 
spoke,  into  various  quarters.5 

You  travel  along  the  river  for  twelve  days  more,  find- 
ing a  good  many  towns  all  along,  and  the  people  always 
Idolaters,  and  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan,  with  paper- 
money  current,  and  living  by  trade  and  handicrafts. 
There   are   also   plenty   of  fighting    men.       And   after 


travelling  those  twelve  days  you  arrive  at  the  city  of 
Sindafu  of  which  we  spoke  in  this  book  some  time  ago.6 

From  Sindafu  you  set  out  again  and  travel  some  70 
days  through  the  provinces  and  cities  and  towns  which 
we  have  already  visited,  and  all  which  have  been  already 
particularly  spoken  of  in  our  Book.  At  the  end  of  those 
70  days  you  come  to  Juju  where  we  were  before.7 

From  Juju  you  set  out  again  and  travel  four  days 
towards  the  south,  finding  many  towns  and  villages. 
The  people  are  great  traders  and  craftsmen,  are  all 
Idolaters,  and  use  the  paper-money  of  the  Great  Kaan 
their  Sovereign.  At  the  end  of  those  four  days  you 
come  to  the  city  of  Cacanfu  belonging  to  the  province  of 
Cathay,  and  of  it  I  shall  now  speak. 

Note  i. — In  spite  of  difficulties  which  beset  the  subject  (see  Note  6  below)  the 
view  of  Pauthier,  suggested  doubtingly  by  Marsden,  that  the  Cuiju  of  the  text  is 
Kwei-chau,  seems  the  most  probable  one.  As  the  latter  observes,  the  reappearance 
of  paper  money  shows  that  we  have  got  back  into  a  province  of  China  Proper.  Such, 
Yunnan,  recently  conquered  from  a  Shan  prince,  could  not  be  considered.  But, 
according  to  the  best  view  we  can  form,  the  traveller  could  only  have  passed  through 
the  extreme  west  of  the  province  of  Kwei-chau. 

The  name  of  Fungul,  if  that  be  a  true  reading,  is  suggestive  of  Phungan,  which 
under  the  Mongols  was  the  head  of  a  district  called  Phungan-LU.  It  was  founded 
by  that  dynasty,  and  was  regarded  as  an  important  position  for  the  command  of  the 
three  provinces  Kwei-chau,  Kwang-si,  and  Yun-nan.  {Biot,  p.  168  ;  Martini, -p.  137.) 
But  we  shall  explain  presently  the  serious  difficulties  that  beset  the  interpretation  of 
the  itinerary  as  it  stands. 

Note  2. — Several  Chinese  plants  afford  a  fibre  from  the  bark,  and  some  of  these 
are  manufactured  into  what  we  call  grass-cloths.  The  light  smooth  textures  so  called 
are  termed  by  the  Chinese  Hiapu  or  "summer  cloths."  Kwei-chau  produces  such. 
But  perhaps  that  specially  intended  is  a  species  of  hemp  (Urtica  Nivea?)  of  which 
M.  Perny  of  the  R.  C.  Missions  says,  in  his  notes  on  Kwei-chau  :  "  It  affords  a 
texture  which  may  be  compared  to  batiste.  This  has  the  notable  property  of  keeping 
so  cool  that  many  people  cannot  wear  it  even  in  the  hot  weather.  Generally  it  is 
used  only  for  summer  clothing."  {Diet,  des  Tissus,  VII.  404  ;  Chin.  Pepos. 
XVIII.  217  and  529  ;  Ann.  de  la  Prop,  de  la  Foi,  XXXI.  137.) 

Note  3. — Tigers  of  course  are  meant.  (See  supra,  vol.  i.  p.  399.)  M.  Perny 
speaks  of  tigers  in  the  mountainous  parts  of  Kwei-chau.     {Op.  cit.  139.) 

Note  4. — These  great  dogs  were  noticed  by  Lieutenant  (now  General)  Macleod, 
in  his  journey  to  Kiang  Hung  on  the  great  River  Mekong,  as  accompanying  the 
caravans  of  Chinese  traders  on  their  way  to  the  Siamese  territory.  (See  Macleod* s 
Journal^  p.  66.) 

128  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

Note  5. — The  trade  in  wild  silk  {i.e.  from  the  oak-leaf  silkworm)  is  in  truth  an 
important  branch  of  commerce  in  Kwei-chau.  But  the  chief  seat  of  this  is  at  Tsuni-fu, 
and  I  do  not  think  that  Polo's  route  can  be  sought  so  far  to  the  eastward.  {Ann.  de  la 
Prop.  XXXI.  136;  Richthofen,  Letter  VII.  81.) 

Note  6. — We  have  now  got  back  to  Sindafu,  i.e.  Ch'eng-tu  fu  in  Sze-ch'wan,  and 
are  better  able  to  review  the  geography  of  the  track  we  have  been  following.  I  do 
not  find  it  possible  to  solve  all  its  difficulties. 

The  different  provinces  treated  of  in  the  chapters  from  lv.  to  lix.  are  strung  by 
Marco  upon  an  easterly,  or,  as  we  must  interpret,  north-easterly  line  of  travel,  real  or 
hypothetical.  Their  names  and  intervals  are  as  follows:  (1)  Bangala  ;  whence  30 
marches  to  (2)  Caugigu  ;  25  marches  to  (3)  Anin ;  8  marches  to  (4)  Toloman  or 
Coloman  ;  12  days  in  Cuiju  along  a  river  to  the  city  of  (5)  Fungul,  Sinugul  (or  what 
not) ;  12  days  further,  on  or  along  the  same  river,  to  (6)  Ch'eng-tu  fu.  Total  from 
Bangala  to  Ch'eng-tu  fu  87  days. 

I  have  said  that  the  line  of  travel  is  real  or  hypothetical,  for  no  doubt  a  large  part 
of  it  was  only  founded  on  hearsay.  We  last  left  our  traveller  at  Mien,  or  on  the 
frontier  of  Yun-nan  and  Mien.  Bangala  is  reached  per  saltum  with  no  indication  of 
interval,  and  its  position  is  entirely  misapprehended.  Marco  conceives  of  it,  not  as 
in  India,  but  as  being,  like  Mien,  a  province  on  the  confines  of  India,  as  being  under 
the  same  king  as  Mien,  as  lying  to  the  south  of  that  kingdom,  and  as  being  at  the  (south) 
western  extremity  of  a  great  traverse  line  which  runs  (north)  east  into  Kwei-chau  and 
Sze-ch'wan.  All  these  conditions  point  consistently  to  one  locality ;  that,  however,  is 
not  Bengal  but  Pegu.  On  the  other  hand,  the  circumstances  of  manners  and  products, 
so  far  as  they  go,  do  belong  to  Bengal.  I  conceive  that  Polo's  information  regarding 
these  was  derived  from  persons  who  had  really  visited  Bengal  by  sea,  but  that  he  had 
confounded  what  he  so  heard  of  the  Delta  of  the  Ganges  with  what  he  heard  on  the 
Yun-nan  frontier  of  the  Delta  of  the  Irawadi.  It  is  just  the  same  kind  of  error  that 
is  made  about  those  great  Eastern  Rivers  by  Fra  Mauro  in  his  Map.  And  possibly 
the  name  of  Pegu  (in  Burmese  Bagoh)  may  have  contributed  to  his  error,  as  well  as 
the  probable  fact  that  the  Kings  of  Burma  did  at  this  time  claim  to  be  Kings  of 
Bengal,  whilst  they  actually  were  Kings  of  Pegu. 

Caugigu. — We  have  seen  reason  to  agree  with  M.  Pauthier  that  the  description 
of  this  region  points  to  Laos,  though  we  cannot  with  him  assign  it  to  Kiang-mai. 
Even  if  it  be  identical  with  the  Papesifu  of  the  Chinese,  we  have  seen  that  the  centre 
of  that  state  may  be  placed  at  Muang  Yong  not  far  from  the  Mekong ;  whilst  I 
believe  that  the  limits  of  Caugigu  must  be  drawn  much  nearer  the  Chinese  and 
Tungking  territory,  so  as  to  embrace  Kiang  Hung,  and  probably  the  Papien  River. 
(See  note  at  p.  117.) 

As  regards  the  name,  it  is  possible  that  it  may  represent  some  specific  name  of  the 
Upper  Laos  territory.  But  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  we  are  dealing  with  a  case 
of  erroneous  geographical  perspective  like  that  of  Bangala ;  and  that  whilst  the 
circumstances  belong  to  Upper  Laos,  the  name,  read  as  I  read  it,  Caugigu  (or  Cavgigu), 
is  no  other  than  the  Kafchikue  of  Rashiduddin,  the  name  applied  by  him  to  Tungking, 
and  representing  the  Kiaochi-kwe  of  the  Chinese.  D'Anville's  Atlas  brings  Kiaochi 
up  to  the  Mekong  in  immediate  contact  with  Che-li  or  Kiang  Hung.  I  had  come  to 
the  conclusion  that  Caugigu  was  probably  the  correct  reading  before  I  was  aware  that 
it  is  an  actual  reading  of  the  Geog.  Text  more  than  once,  of  Pauthier's  A  more  than 
once,  of  Pauthier's  C  at  least  once  and  possibly  twice,  and  of  the  Bern  MS.  ;  all 
which  I  have  ascertained  from  personal  examination  of  those  manuscripts.* 

Anin  or  Aniu. — I  have  already  pointed  out  that  I  seek  this  in  the  territory  about 
Lin-ngan  and  Homi.  In  relation  to  this  M.  Gamier  writes:  "In  starting  from 
Muang  Yong,  or  even  if  you  prefer  it,  from  Xieng  Hung  (Kiang  Hung  of  our 
maps),  ...  it  would  be  physically  impossible   in   25   days  to  get  beyond  the  arc 

*  A  passing  suggestion  of  the  identity  of  Kafchi  Kue  and  Caugigu  is  made  by  D'Ohsson,  and  I 
formerly  objected.     (See  Cathay,  p.  272.) 

Chap.  LIX.  REVIEW   OF   POLO'S   TRACK  129 

which  I  have  laid  down  on  your  map  (viz.  extending  a  few  miles  north-east  of  Homi). 
There  are  scarcely  any  roads  in  those  mountains,  and  easy  lines  of  communication 
begin  only  after  you  have  got  to  the  Lin-ngan  territory.  In  Marco  Polo's  days  things 
were  certainly  not  better,  but  the  reverse.  All  that  has  been  done  of  consequence  in 
the  way  of  roads,  posts,  and  organisation  in  the  part  of  Yun-nan  between  Lin-ngan 
and  Xieng  Hung,  dates  in  some  degree  from  the  Yuen,  but  in  a  far  greater  degree 
from  K'ang-hi."  Hence,  even  with  the  Ramusian  reading  of  the  itinerary,  we  cannot 
place  Anin  much  beyond  the  position  indicated  already. 








no  . 



<a    . 

Ko  . 

^0     . 












*thcr  . 

P&-0 . 




Ko-  . 










v  • 

nj<r-  . 










o-o  . 

.    -%°     • 

tr      . 


KAo     . 

tl2   . 

Script  //^af  of  Xieng-hung. 

Koloman. — We  have  seen  that  the  position  of  this  region  is  probably  near  the 
western  frontier  of  Kwei-chau.  Adhering  to  Homi  as  the  representative  of  Anin,  and 
to  the  8  days'  journey  of  the  text,  the  most  probable  position  of  Koloman  would 
be  about  Lo-ping,  which  lies  about  100  English  miles  in  a  straight  line  north-east 
Homi.  The  first  character  of  the  name  here  is  again  the  same  as  the  Lo  of  the 
Kolo  tribes. 

Beyond  this  point  the  difficulties  of  devising  an  interpretation,  consistent  at  once 
with  facts  and  with  the  text  as  it  stands,  become  insuperable. 

The  narrative  demands  that  from  Koloman  we  should  reach  Fungul,  a  great  and 
noble  city,  by  travelling  12  days  along  a  river,  and  that  Fungul  should  be  within 
twelve  days'  journey  of  Ch'eng-tu  fu,  along  the  same  river,  or  at  least  along  rivers 
connected  with  it. 

In  advancing  from  the  south-west  guided  by  the  data  afforded  by  the  texts,  we  have 
not  been  able  to  carry  the  position  of  Fungul  (Sinugtil,  or  what  not  of  G.  T.  and 
other  MSS.)  further  north  than  Phungan.  But  it  is  impossible  that  Ch'eng-tu  fu 
should  have  been  reached  in  12  days  from  this  point.  Nor  is  it  possible  that  a  new 
post  in  a  secluded  position,  like  Phungan,  could  have  merited  to  be  described  as 
14  a  great  and  noble  city." 

Baron  v.  Richthofen  has  favoured  me  with  a  note  in  which  he  shows  that  in 
reality  the  only  place  answering  the  more  essential  conditions  of  Fungul  is  Siu-chau  fu 
at  the  union  of  the  two  great  branches  of  the  Yang-tzii,  viz.  the  Kin-sha  Kiang,  and 
VOL.    II,  I 



Book  II. 

the  Min-Kiang  from  Ch'eng-tu  fu.  (i)  The  distance  from  Siu-chau  to  Ch'eng-tu  by 
land  travelling  is  just  about  12  days,  and  the  road  is  along  a  river.  (2)  In  approach- 
ing "  Fungul"  from  the  south  Polo  met  with  a  good  many  towns  and  villages.  This 
would  be  the  case  along  either  of  the  navigable  rivers  that  join  the  Yang-tzii  below 
Siu-chau  (or  along  that  which  joins  above  Siu-chau,  mentioned  further  on).  (3)  The 
large  trade  in  silk  up  and  down  the  river  is  a  characteristic  that  could  only  apply  to 
the  Yang-tzii. 

These  reasons  are  very  strong  ;  though  some  little  doubt  must  subsist  until  we 
can  explain  the  name  (Fungul,  or  Sinugul)  as  applicable  to  Siu-chau.*  And  assuming 
Siu-chau  to  be  the  city  we  must  needs  carry  the  position  of  Coloman  considerably 
further  north  than  Lo-ping,  and  must  presume  the  interval  between  Anin  and  Coloman 
to  be  greatly  understated,  through  clerical  or  other  error.  With  these  assumptions 
we  should  place  Polo's  Coloman  in  the  vicinity  of  Wei-ning,  one  of  the  localities  of 
Kolo  tribes. 

From  a  position  near  Wei-ning  it  would  be  quite  possible  to  reach  Siu-chau  in  12 
days,  making  use  of  the  facilities  afforded  by  one  or  other  of  the  partially  navigable 
rivers  to  which  allusion  has  just  been  made. 

"That  one,"  says  M.  Gamier  in  a  letter,  "which  enters  the  Kiang  a  little  above 
Siu-chau-fu,  the 
River  of  Lowa- 
tong,  which  was 
descended  by 
our  party,  has  a 
branch  to  the 
eastward  which 
is  navigable  up 
to  about  the  lati- 
tude of  Chao- 
tong.  Is  not 
this  probably 
Marco  Polo's 
route?  It  is 
to  this  day  a 
line  much  fre- 
quented, and 
one  on  which 
great  works  have 
been  executed ; 
among  others 
two  iron  sus- 
pension bridges, 
works  truly  gi- 
gantic for  the 
country  in  which 
we  find  them." 

An     extract 
from  a  Chinese 

Itinerary  of  this  route,  which  M.  Gamier  has  since  communicated  to  me,  shows  that 
at  a  point  4  days  from  Wei-ning  the  traveller  may  embark  and  continue  his  voyage 
to  any  point  on  the  great  Kiang. 

We  are  obliged,  indeed,  to  give  up  the  attempt  to  keep  to  a  line  of  communicat- 
ing rivers  throughout  the  whole  24  days.  Nor  do  I  see  how  it  is  possible  to  adhere 
to  that  condition  literally  without  taking  more  material  liberties  with  the  text. 

Iron  Suspension  Bridge  at  Lowatong.     (From  Gamier.) 

*  Cuiju   might  be  read   Ciuju — representing   Siuchau,  but   the   difficulty   about   Fungul  would 







'il<t  ,-x 

O  G""0  °"""" 


NING-YUAN  *"IJ     »> 
§7  KIENC^ANC  ] 









0Sindafu  I 

'  %Cfyeru/-tu  fie 






MdrvdelS  S=, 

o.w;.- .  .o -,?^ 




I     "'V  o 









Tafio/l TTUVLV 




I   N 



Kiangliurig    K  i 
U     G     I 







a   d4^,  c   li 

or    ~*Pj 










m^-   Iff  <$ 

^.    of 


T  u  n  £  k  i  i 

Miutru/  L  uang  Prabaruj 






Indo   Chinese  Hegions 

(Bookll,  Chap? 44-59) 

Polo'sRoxbte*      ■»--- 

Polo's  names  t/ius    YacKi 


>,\    Lophaburl0  > 
















[Tojace  p.  131,  vol.  ii. 

Chap.  LIX.  REVIEW   OF   POLO'S   TRACK  131 

My  theory  of  Folo's  actual  journey  would  be  that  he  returned  from  Yun-nan  fu  to 
Ch'eng-tu  fu  through  some  part  of  the  province  of  Kwei-chau,  perhaps  only  its  western 
extremity,  but  that  he  spoke  of  Caugigu,  and  probably  of  Anin,  as  he  did  of  Bangala, 
from  report  only.  And,  in  recapitulation,  I  would  identify  provisionally  the 
localities  spoken  of  in  this  difficult  itinerary  as  follows  :  Caugigu  with  Kiang  Hung  ; 
Anin  with  Homi ;  Coloman  with  the  country  about  Wei-ning  in  Western  Kwei-chau  ; 
Fnngnl  or  Sinugul  with  Siu-chau. 

[This  itinerary  is  difficult,  as  Sir  Henry  Yule  says.  It  takes  Marco  Polo  24  days 
to  go  from  Coloman  or  Toloman  to  Ch'eng-tu.  The  land  route  is  22  days  from 
Yun-nan  fu  to  Swi-fu,  via  Tung-ch'wan  and  Chao-t'ung.  (/.  China  B.  R.  A.  S. 
XXVIII.  74-75.)  From  the  Toloman  province,  which  I  place  about  Lin-ngan  and 
Cheng-kiang,  south  of  Yun-nan  fu,  Polo  must  have  passed  a  second  time  through  this 
city,  which  is  indeed  at  the  end  of  all  the  routes  of  this  part  of  South-Western  China. 
He  might  go  back  to  Sze-ch'wan  by  the  western  route,  via  Tung-ch'wan  and  Chao- 
t'ung  to  Swi-fu,  or,  by  the  eastern,  easier  and  shorter  route  by  Siuen-wei  chau, 
crossing  a  corner  of  the  Kwei-chau  province  (Wei-ning),  and  passing  by  Yun-ninghien 
to  the  Kiang  ;  this  is  the  route  followed  by  Mr.  A.  Hosie  in  1883  and  by  Mr.  F.  S. 
A.  Bourne  in  1885,  and  with  great  likelihood  by  Marco  Polo  ;  he  may  have  taken 
the  Yun-ning  River  to  the  district  city  of  Na-ch'i  hien,  which  lies  on  the  right  bank 
both  of  this  river  and  of  the  Kiang  ;  the  Kiang  up  to  Swi-fu  and  thence  to  Ch'eng-tu. 
I  do  not  attempt  to  explain  the  difficulty  about  Fungul. 

I  fully  agree  with  Sir  H.  Yule  when  he  says  that  Polo  spoke  of  Caugigu  and  of 
Bangala,  probably  of  Anin,  from  report  only.  However,  I  believe  that  Caugigu  is 
the  Kiao-Chi  kw£  of  the  Chinese,  that  Anin  must  be  read  Aniz*,  that  Aniu  is  but  a 
transcription  of  Nan-yue,  that  both  Nan-yue  and  Kiao-Chi  represent  Northern 
Annam,  i.e.  the  portion  of  Annam  which  we  call  Tung-king.  Regarding  the  tattooed 
inhabitants  of  Caugigu,  let  it  be  remembered  that  tattooing  existed  in  Annam  till  it 
was  prohibited  by  the  Chinese  during  the  occupation  of  Tung-king  at  the  beginning 
of  the  15th  century.— H.  C] 

Note  7- — Here  the  traveller  gets  back  to  the  road-bifurcation  near  Juju,  i.e. 
Chochau  {ante  p.  11),  and  thence  commences  to  travel  southward. 

i , ^ 

Fortified  Villages  on  Western  frontier  of  Kweichau.    (From  Gamier.) 

'(thastivius  mtt-il  xjrant  xrmmtttc  m  gvanbismcs  montitgnes  tt  fortrcs." 
VOL.    II.  I    2 

BOOK     I  I — Continued. 

OF     CATHAY     AND     MANZI. 


Concerning  the  Cities  of  Cacanfu  and  of  Changlu. 

Cacanfu  is  a  noble  city.  The  people  are  Idolaters  and 
burn  their  dead ;  they  have  paper-money,  and  live  by 
trade  and  handicrafts.  For  they  have  plenty  of  silk  from 
which  they  weave  stuffs  of  silk  and  gold,  and  sendals  in 
large  quantities.  [There  are  also  certain  Christians  at 
this  place,  who  have  a  church.]  And  the  city  is  at  the 
head  of  an  important  territory  containing  numerous 
towns  and  villages.  [A  great  river  passes  through  it, 
on  which  much  merchandise  is  carried  to  the  city  of 
Cambaluc,  for  by  many  channels  and  canals  it  is  con- 
nected therewith.1] 

We  will  now  set  forth  again,  and  travel  three  days 
towards  the  south,  and  then  we  come  to  a  town  called 
Changlu.  This  is  another  great  city  belonging  to  the 
Great  Kaan,  and  to  the  province  of  Cathay.  The  people 
have   paper-money,  and   are    Idolaters   and   burn    their 


Chap.  LX.      THE  CITIES  OF  CACANFU   AND  CHANGLU  1 33 

dead.  And  you  must  know  they  make  salt  in  great 
quantities  at  this  place  ;   I  will  tell  you  how  'tis  done.2 

A  kind  of  earth  is  found  there  which  is  exceedingly 
salt.  This  they  dig  up  and  pile  in  great  heaps.  Upon 
these  heaps  they  pour  water  in  quantities  till  it  runs  out 
at  the  bottom  ;  and  then  they  take  up  this  water  and  boil 
it  well  in  great  iron  cauldrons,  and  as  it  cools  it  deposits 
a  fine  white  salt  in  very  small  grains.  *  This  salt  they 
then  carry  about  for  sale  to  many  neighbouring  districts, 
and  get  great  profit  thereby. 

There  is  nothing  else  worth  mentioning,  so  let  us  go 
forward  five  days'  journey,  and  we  shall  come  to  a  city 
called  Chinangli. 

Note  i. — In  the  greater  part  of  the  journey  which  occupies  the  remainder  of  Book 
II.,  Pauthier  is  a  chief  authority,  owing  to  his  industrious  Chinese  reading  and  citation. 
Most  of  his  identifications  seem  well  founded,  though  sometimes  we  shall  be  con- 
strained to  dissent  from  them  widely.  A  considerable  number  have  been  anticipated 
by  former  editors,  but  even  in  such  cases  he  is  often  able  to  bring  forward  new  grounds. 

Cacanfu  is  Ho-kien  fu  in  Pe  Chih-li,  52  miles  in  a  direct  line  south  by  east  of 
Chochau.  It  was  the  head  of  one  of  the  Lu  or  circuits  into  which  the  Mongols  divided 
China.     {Pauthier.) 

Note  2. — Marsden  and  Murray  have  identified  Changlu  with  T'sang-CHAU  in 
Pe  Chih-li,  about  30  miles  east  by  south  of  Ho-kien  fu.  This  seems  substantially  right, 
but  Pauthier  shows  that  there  was  an  old  town  actually  called  Ch'anglu,  separated 
from  T'sang-chau  only  by  the  great  canal.  [Ch'ang-lu  was  the  name  of  T'sang-chau 
under  the  T'ang  and  the  Kin.     (See  Playfair,  Diet.,  p.  34.) — H.  C] 

The  manner  of  obtaining  salt,  described  in  the  text,  is  substantially  the  same  as  one 
described  by  Duhalde,  and  by  one  of  the  missionaries,  as  being  employed  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Yang-tzii  kiang.  There  is  a  town  of  the  third  order  some  miles  south-east 
of  T'sang-chau,  called  Yen-shan  or  "salt-hill,"  and,  according  to  Pauthier,  T'sang-chau 
is  the  mart  for  salt  produced  there.  {Duhalde  in  Astley,  IV.  310  ;  Lettres  Edif.  XI. 
267  seqq.  ;  Biot.  p.  283.) 

Polo  here  introduces  a  remark  about  the  practice  of  burning  the  dead,  which,  with 
the  notice  of  the  idolatry  of  the  people,  and  their  use  of  paper-money,  constitutes  a 
formula  which  he  repeats  all  through  the  Chinese  provinces  with  wearisome  iteration. 
It  is,  in  fact,  his  definition  of  the  Chinese  people,  for  whom  he  seems  to  lack  a 
comprehensive  name. 

A  great  change  seems  to  have  come  over  Chinese  custom,  since  the  Middle  Ages, 
in  regard  to  the  disposal  of  the  dead.  Cremation  is  now  entirely  disused,  except  in 
two  cases  ;  one,  that  of  the  obsequies  of  a  Buddhist  priest,  and  the  other  that  in  which 
the  coffin  instead  of  being  buried  has  been  exposed  in  the  fields,  and  in  the  lapse  of 
time  has  become  decayed.  But  it  is  impossible  to  reject  the  evidence  that  it  was  a 
common  practice  in  Polo's  age.  He  repeats  the  assertion  that  it  was  the  custom  at 
every  stage  of  his  journey  through  Eastern  China ;  though  perhaps  his  taking 
absolutely  no  notice  of  the  practice  of  burial  is  an  instance  of  that  imperfect  knowledge 
of  strictly  Chinese  peculiarities  which  has  been  elsewhere  ascribed  to  him.     It  is  the 

134  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

case,  however,  that  the  author  of  the  Book  of  the  Estate  of  the  Great  Kaan  {circa  1330) 
also  speaks  of  cremation  as  the  usual  Chinese  practice,  and  that  Ibn  Batuta  says 
positively  :  "The  Chinese  are  infidels  and  idolaters,  and  they  burn  their  dead  after 
the  manner  of  the  Hindus."  This  is  all  the  more  curious,  because  the  Arab  Relations 
of  the  9  th  century  say  distinctly  that  the  Chinese  bury  their  dead,  though  they  often 
kept  the  body  long  (as  they  do  still)  before  burial  ;  and  there  is  no  mistaking  the 
description  which  Conti  (15th  century)  gives  of  the  Chinese  mode  of  sepulture. 
Mendoza,  in  the  16th  century,  alludes  to  no  disposal  of  the  dead  except  by  burial,  but 
Semedo  in  the  early  part  of  the  17th  says  that  bodies  were  occasionally  burnt,  especially 
in  Sze-ch'wan. 

I  am  greatly  indebted  to  the  kindness  of  an  eminent  Chinese  scholar,  Mr.  W.  F. 
Mayers,  of  Her  Majesty's  Legation  at  Peking,  who,  in  a  letter,  dated  Peking,  18th 
September,  1874,  sends  me  the  following  memorandum  on  the  subject : — 

"  Colonel  Yule's  Marco  Polo,  II.  97  [First  Edition],  Burning  of  the  Dead. 

"  On  this  subject  compare  the  article  entitled  Huo  Tsang,  or  '  Cremation  Burials,' 
in  Bk.  XV  of  Xkvtjih  Che  Ltih,  or  '  Daily  Jottings,'  a  great  collection  of  miscellaneous 
notes  on  classical,  historical,  and  antiquarian  subjects,  by  Ku  Yen-wu,  a  celebrated 
author  of  the  17th  century.     The  article  is  as  follows  : — 

"  '  The  practice  of  burning  the  dead  flourished  (or  flourishes)  most  extensively  in 
Kiang-nan,  and  was  in  vogue  already  in  the  period  of  the  Sung  Dynasty.  According 
to  the  history  of  the  Sung  Dynasty,  in  the  27th  year  of  the  reign  Shao-hing  (a.d.  1157)* 
the  practice  was  animadverted  upon  by  a  public  official.'  Here  follows  a  long  extract, 
in  which  the  burning  of  the  dead  is  reprehended,  and  it  is  stated  that  cemeteries  were 
set  apart  by  Government  on  behalf  of  the  poorer  classes. 

"  In  a.d.  1 26 1,  Hwang  Chen,  governor  of  the  district  of  Wu,  in  a  memorial 
praying  that  the  erection  of  cremation  furnaces  might  thenceforth  be  prohibited,  dwelt 
upon  the  impropriety  of  burning  the  remains  of  the  deceased,  for  whose  obsequies  a 
multitude  of  observances  were  prescribed  by  the  religious  rites.  He  further  exposed 
the  fallacy  of  the  excuse  alleged  for  the  practice,  to  wit,  that  burning  the  dead  was  a 
fulfilment  of  the  precepts  of  Buddha,  and  accused  the  priests  of  a  certain  monastery  of 
converting  into  a  source  of  illicit  gain  the  practice  of  cremation." 

[As  an  illustration  of  the  cremation  of  a  Buddhist  priest,  I  note  the  following 
passage  from  an  article  published  in  the  North-  China  Herald,  20th  May,  1887,  p.  556, 
on  Kwei  Hua  Ch'eng,  Mongolia :  "  Several  Lamas  are  on  visiting  terms  with  me  and 
they  are  very  friendly.  There  are  seven  large  and  eight  small  Lamaseries,  in  care  of 
from  ten  to  two  hundred  Lamas.  The  principal  Lamas  at  death  are  cremated.  A 
short  time  ago,  a  friendly  Lama  took  me  to  see  a  cremation.  The  furnace  was  roughly 
made  of  mud  bricks,  with  four  fire-holes  at  the  base,  with  an  opening  in  which  to  place 
the  body.  The  whole  was  about  6  feet  high,  and  about  5  feet  in  circumference. 
Greased  fuel  was  arranged  within  and  covered  with  glazed  foreign  calico,  on  which  were 
written  some  Tibetan  characters.  A  tent  was  erected  and  mats  arranged  for  the 
Lamas.  About  1 1. 30  a.  m.  a  scarlet  covered  bier  appeared  in  sight  carried  by  thirty-two 
beggars.  A  box  2  feet  square  and  2\  feet  high  was  taken  out  and  placed  near  the 
furnace.  The  Lamas  arrived  and  attired  themselves  in  gorgeous  robes  and  sat  cross- 
legged.  During  the  preparations  to  chant,  some  butter  was  being  melted  in  a  corner 
of  the  tent.  A  screen  of  calico  was  drawn  round  the  furnace  in  which  the  cremator 
placed  the  body,  and  filled  up  the  opening.  Then  a  dozen  Lamas  began  chanting  the 
burial  litany  in  Tibetan  in  deep  bass  voices.  Then  the  head  priest  blessed  the  torches 
and  when  the  fires  were  lit  he  blessed  a  fan  to  fan  the  flames,  and  lastly  some  melted 
butter,  which  was  poured  in  at  the  top  to  make  the  whole  blaze.  This  was  frequently 
repeated.  When  fairly  ablaze,  a  few  pieces  of  Tibetan  grass  were  thrown  in  at  the 
top.  After  three  days  the  whole  cooled,  and  a  priest  with  one  gold  and  one  silver 
chopstick  collects  the  bones,  which  are  placed  in  a  bag  for  burial.  If  the  bones  are 
white  it  is  a  sign  that  his  sin  is  purged,  if  black  that  perfection  has  not  been  attained." 
—II.  C] 

And  it  is  very  worthy  of  note  that  the  Chinese  envoy  to  Chinla  (Kamboja)  in  1295, 

Chap.  LXI.  THE  CITY  OF  CHINANGLI  1 35 

an  individual  who  may  have  personally  known  Marco  Polo,  in  speaking  of  the  custom 
prevalent  there  of  exposing  the  dead,  adds  :  "  There  are  some,  however,  who  burn  their 
dead.     These  are  all  descendants  of  Chinese  immigrants," 

[Professor  J.  J.  M.  de  Groot  remarks  that  "  being  of  religious  origin,  cremation  is 
mostly  denoted  in  China  by  clerical  terms,  expressive  of  the  metamorphosis  the  funeral 
pyre  is  intended  to  effect,  viz.  '  transformation  of  man ' ;  '  transformation  of  the  body ' ; 
1  metamorphosis  by  fire.'  Without  the  clerical  sphere  it  bears  no  such  high-sounding 
names,  being  simply  called  'incineration  of  corpses.'  A  term  of  illogical  composition, 
and  nevertheless  very  common  in  the  books,  is  '  fire  burial.' "  It  appears  that  during  the 
Sung  Dynasty  cremation  was  especially  common  in  the  provinces  of  Shan-si,  Cheh-kiang, 
and  Kiang-su.  During  the  Mongol  Dynasty,  the  instances  of  cremation  which  are 
mentioned  in  Chinese  books  are,  relatively  speaking,  numerous.  Professor  de  Groot 
says  also  that  ' '  there  exists  evidence  that  during  the  Mongol  domination  cremation 
also  throve  in  Fuhkien."  {Religious  System  of  China,  vol.  iii.  pp.  1391,  1409,  1410.) 
—II.  C] 

{Doolittle,  190;  Deguignes,  I.  69;  Cathay,  pp.  247,  479;  Reinaud,  I.  56  ;  India 
in  the  XVth  Century,  p.  23 ;  Semedo,  p.  95 ;  Rim*  AM.  Asiat.  I.  128.) 


Concerning  the  City  of  Chinangli,  and  that  of  Tadinfu,  and 

the  Rebellion  of  Litan. 

Chinangli  is  a  city  of  Cathay  as  you  go  south,  and  it 
belongs  to  the  Great  Kaan ;  the  people  are  Idolaters, 
and  have  paper-money.  There  runs  through  the  city 
a  great  and  wide  river,  on  which  a  large  traffic  in  silk 
goods  and  spices  and  other  costly  merchandize 
passes  up  and  down. 

When  you  travel  south  from  Chinangli  for  five  days, 
you  meet  everywhere  with  fine  towns  and  villages,  the 
people  of  which  are  all  Idolaters,  and  burn  their  dead,  and 
are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan,  and  have  paper-money, 
and  live  by  trade  and  handicrafts,  and  have  all  the 
necessaries  of  life  in  great  abundance.  But  there  is 
nothing  particular  to  mention  on  the  way  till  you  come, 
at  the  end  of  those  five  days,  to  Tadinfu.1 

This,  you  must  know,  is  a  very  great  city,  and  in  old 
times  was  the  seat  of  a  great  kingdom  ;  but  the  Great 
Kaan  conquered  it  by  force  of  arms.      Nevertheless  it  is 


Book  II. 

still  the  noblest  city  in  all  those  provinces.  There  are 
very  great  merchants  here,  who  trade  on  a  great  scale, 
and  the  abundance  of  silk  is  something  marvellous. 
They  have,  moreover,  most  charming  gardens  abounding 
with  fruit  of  large  size.  The  city  of  Tadinfu  hath  also 
under  its  rule  eleven  imperial  cities  of  great  importance, 
all  of  which  enjoy  a  large  and  profitable  trade,  owing  to 
that  immense  produce  of  silk.2 

Now,  you  must  know,  that  in  the  year  of  Christ,  1273, 
the  Great  Kaan  had  sent  a  certain  Baron  called  Liytan 
Sangon,3  with  some  80,000  horse,  to  this  province  and 
city,  to  garrison  them.  And  after  the  said  captain  had 
tarried  there  a  while,  he  formed  a  disloyal  and  traitorous 
plot,  and  stirred  up  the  great  men  of  the  province  to 
rebel  against  the  Great  Kaan.  And  so  they  did  ;  for 
they  broke  into  revolt  against  their  sovereign  lord,  and 
refused  all  obedience  to  him,  and  made  this  Liytan, 
whom  their  sovereign  had  sent  thither  for  their  protection, 
to  be  the  chief  of  their  revolt. 

When  the  Great  Kaan  heard  thereof  he  straightway 
despatched  two  of  his  Barons,  one  of  whom  was  called 
Aguil  and  the  other  Mongotay  ;4  giving  them  100,000 
horse  and  a  great  force  of  infantry.  But  the  affair  was  a 
serious  one,  for  the  Barons  were  met  by  the  rebel  Liytan 
with  all  those  whom  he  had  collected  from  the  province, 
mustering  more  than  100,000  horse  and  a  large  force  of 
foot.  Nevertheless  in  the  battle  Liytan  and  his  party 
were  utterly  routed,  and  the  two  Barons  whom  the 
Emperor  had  sent  won  the  victory.  When  the  news 
came  to  the  Great  Kaan  he  was  right  well  pleased,  and 
ordered  that  all  the  chiefs  who  had  rebelled,  or  excited 
others  to  rebel,  should  be  put  to  a  cruel  death,  but  that 
those  of  lower  rank  should  receive  a  pardon.  And  so  it 
was  done.  The  two  Barons  had  all  the  leaders  of  the 
enterprise  put  to  a  cruel  death,   and  all  those  of  lower 

Chap.  LXI.  THE  CITY  OF  T'SI-NAN  FU  1 37 

rank  were  pardoned.     And  thenceforward  they  conducted 
themselves  with  loyalty  towards  their  lord.5 

Now  having  told  you  all  about  this  affair,  let  us  have 
done  with  it,  and  I  will  tell  you  of  another  place  that  you 
come  to  in  going  south,  which  is  called  Sinju-matu. 

Note  i. — There  seems  to  be  no  solution  to  the  difficulties  attaching  to  the  account 
of  these  two  cities  (Chinangli  and  Tadinfu)  except  that  the  two  have  been  confounded, 
either  by  a  lapse  of  memory  on  the  traveller's  part  or  by  a  misunderstanding  on  that 
of  Rusticiano. 

The  position  and  name  of  Chinangli  point,  as  Pauthier  has  shown,  to  T'si-nan  fu, 
the  chief  city  of  Shan-tung.  The  second  city  is  called  in  the  G.  Text  and  Pauthier's 
MSS.  Candinfu,  Condinfu,  and  Cundinfu,  names  which  it  has  not  been  found  possible 
to  elucidate.  But  adopting  the  reading  Tadinfu  of  some  of  the  old  printed  editions 
(supported  by  the  Tudinfu  of  Ramusio  and  the  Tandifu  of  the  Riccardian  MS.), 
Pauthier  shows  that  the  city  now  called  Yen-chau  bore  under  the  Kin  the  name  of 
Tai-ting  fu,  which  may  fairly  thus  be  recognised.  [Under  the  Sung  Dynasty  Yen- 
chau  was  named  T'ai-ning  and  Lung-k'ing.     {Playfair's  Diet.  p.  388.) — H.  C] 

It  was  not,  however,  Yen-chau,  but  T* si-nan  fu,  which  was  "  the  noblest  city  in 
all  those  provinces,"  and  had  been  "in  old  times  the  seat  of  a  kingdom,"  as  well 
as  recently  the  scene  of  the  episode  of  Litan's  rebellion.  T'si-nan  fu  lies  in  a  direct 
line  86  miles  south  of  T'sang-chau  {Changht),  near  the  banks  of  the  Ta-t'singho, 
a  large  river  which  communicates  with  the  great  canal  near  T'si-ning  chau,  and  which 
was,  no  doubt,  of  greater  importance  in  Polo's  time  than  in  the  last  six  centuries. 
For  up  nearly  to  the  origin  of  the  Mongol  power  it  appears  to  have  been  one  of  the 
main  discharges  of  the  Hwang- Ho.  The  recent  changes  in  that  river  have  again 
brought  its  main  stream  into  the  same  channel,  and  the  "  New  Yellow  River"  passes 
three  or  four  miles  to  the  north  of  the  city.  T'si-nan  fu  has  frequently  of  late  been 
visited  by  European  travellers,  who  report  it  as  still  a  place  of  importance,  with 
much  life  and  bustle,  numerous  book-shops,  several  fine  temples,  two  mosques,  and 
all  the  furniture  of  a  provincial  capital.  It  has  also  a  Roman  Catholic  Cathedral  of 
Gothic  architecture.     {Williamson,  I.  102.) 

[Tsi-nan  "  is  a  populous  and  rich  city  ;  and  by  means  of  the  river  (Ta  Tsing  ho, 
Great  Clear  River)  carries  on  an  extensive  commerce.  The  soil  is  fertile,  and  pro- 
duces grain  and  fruits  in  abundance.  Silk  of  an  excellent  quality  is  manufactured,  and 
commands  a  high  price.  The  lakes  and  rivers  are  well  stored  with  fish."  {Chin. 
Rep.  XL  p.  562.)— II.  C] 

Note  2. — The  Chinese  Annals,  more  than  2000  years  B.C.,  speak  of  silk  as  an 
article  of  tribute  from  Shan-tung  ;  and  evidently  it  was  one  of  the  provinces  most 
noted  in  the  Middle  Ages  for  that  article.  Compare  the  quotation  in  note  on  next 
chapter  from  Friar  Odoric.  Yet  the  older  modern  accounts  speak  only  of  the  wild 
silk  of  Shan-tung.  Mr.  Williamson,  however,  points  out  that  there  is  an  extensive 
produce  from  the  genuine  mulberry  silkworm,  and  anticipates  a  very  important  trade 
in  Shan-tung  silk.  Silk  fabrics  are  also  largely  produced,  and  some  of  extraordinary 
quality.     {Williamson,  I.  112,  131.) 

The  expressions  of  Padre  Martini,  in  speaking  of  the  wild  silk  of  Shan-tung, 
strongly  remind  one  of  the  talk  of  the  ancients  about  the  origin  of  silk,  and  suggest 
the  possibility  that  this  may  not  have  been  mere  groundless  fancy  :  "Non  in 
globum  aut  ovum  ductum,  sed  in  longissimum  filum  paulatim  ex  ore  emissum,  albi 
coloris,  qua?  arbustis  dumisque,  adhaerentia,  atque  a  vento  hue  illucque  agitata 
colliguntur,"  etc.     Compare  this  with  Tliny's   "  Seres  lanitia  silvarum  nobiles,  per- 

I38  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

fusam  aqua  depectentes  frondium  caniciem,"  or  Claudian's  "  Stamine,  quod  molli 
tondent  de  stipite  Seres,  Frondea  lanigerse  carpentes  vellera  silvae  ;  Et  longum  tenues 
tractus  producit  in  aurum." 

Note  3. — The  title  Sangon  is,  as  Pauthier  points  out,  the  Chinese  Tsiang-kiun,  a 
"general  of  division,"  [or  better  "  Military  Governor." — H.  C]  John  Bell  calls  an 
officer,  bearing  the  same  title,  "Merin  Sanguin."  I  suspect  T ^  siang-kiun  is  the  fang- 
fang  of  Baber. 

Note  4. — Agul  was  the  name  of  a  distant  cousin  of  Kublai,  who  was  the  father 
of  Nayan  (supra,  ch.  ii.  and  Genealogy  of  the  House  of  Chinghiz  in  Appendix  A). 
Mangkutai,  under  Kublai,  held  the  command  of  the  third  Hazara  (Thousand)  of  the 
right  wing,  in  which  he  had  succeeded  his  father  Jedi  Noyan.  He  was  greatly  dis- 
tinguished in  the  invasion  of  South  China  under  Bayan.  (Erdmanti  s  Temudschin, 
pp.  220,  455  ;  Gaubil,  p.  160.) 

Note  5. — Litan,  a  Chinese  of  high  military  position  and  reputation  under  the 
Mongols,  in  the  early  part  of  Kiiblai's  reign,  commanded  the  troops  in  Shan-tung  and 
the  conquered  parts  of  Kiang-nan.  In  the  beginning  of  1262  he  carried  out  a  design 
that  he  had  entertained  since  Kublai's  accession,  declared  for  the  Sung  Emperor,  to 
whom  he  gave  up  several  important  places,  put  detached  Mongol  garrisons  to  the 
sword,  and  fortified  T'si-nan  and  T'sing-chau.  Kublai  despatched  Prince  Apiche 
and  the  General  Ssetienche  against  him.  Litan,  after  some  partial  success,  was 
beaten  and  driven  into  T'si-nan,  which  the  Mongols  immediately  invested.  After  a 
blockade  of  four  months,  the  garrison  was  reduced  to  extremities.  Litan,  in  despair, 
put  his  women  to  death  and  threw  himself  into  a  lake  adjoining  the  city  ;  but  he  was 
taken  out  alive  and  executed.  T'sing-chau  then  surrendered.  (Gatcbil,  139-140; 
Be  Mailla,  IX.  icfiseqq.;  D'O/isson,  II.  381.) 

Pauthier  gives  greater  detail  from  the  Chinese  Annals,  which  confirm  the  amnesty 
granted  to  all  but  the  chiefs  of  the  rebellion. 

The  date  in  the  text  is  wrong  or  corrupt,  as  is  generally  the  case. 


Concerning  the  noble  City  of  Sinjumatu. 

On  leaving  Tadinfu  you  travel  three  days  towards  the 
south,  always  finding  numbers  of  noble  and  populous 
towns  and  villages  flourishing  with  trade  and  manu- 
factures. There  is  also  abundance  of  game  in  the 
country,  and  everything  in  profusion. 

When  you  have  travelled  those  three  days  you  come 
to  the  noble  city  of  Sinjumatu,  a  rich  and  fine  place, 
with  great  trade  and  manufactures.  The  people  are 
Idolaters  and  subjects  of  the  Great  Kaan,  and  have  paper- 


money,  and  they  have  a  river  which    I   can  assure  you 
brings  them  great  gain,  and  I  will  tell  you  about  it. 

You  see  the  river  in  question  flows  from  the  South 
to  this  city  of  Sinjumatu.  And  the  people  of  the  city 
have  divided  this  larger  river  in  two,  making  one  half 
of  it  flow  east  and  the  other  half  flow  west ;  that  is  to 
say,  the  one  branch  flows  towards  Manzi  and  the  other 
towards  Cathay.  And  it  is  a  fact  that  the  number  of 
vessels  at  this  city  is  what  no  one  would  believe  without 
seeing  them.  The  quantity  of  merchandize  also  which 
these  vessels  transport  to  Manzi  and  Cathay  is  some- 
thing marvellous ;  and  then  they  return  loaded  with 
other  merchandize,  so  that  the  amount  of  goods  borne 
to  and  fro  on  those  two  rivers  is  quite  astonishing.1 

Note  i. — Friar  Odoric,  proceeding  by  water  northward  to  Cambaluc  about 
1324-1325,  says  :  "As  I  travelled  by  that  river  towards  the  east,  and  passed  many 
towns  and  cities,  I  came  to  a  certain  city  which  is  called  Sunzumatu,  which  hath  a 
greater  plenty  of  silk  than  perhaps  any  place  on  earth,  for  when  silk  is  at  the  dearest 
you  can  still  have  40  lbs.  for  less  than  eight  groats.  There  is  in  the  place  likewise 
great  store  of  merchandise,"  etc.  When  commenting  on  Odoric,  I  was  inclined  to 
identify  this  city  with  Lin-t'sing  chau,  but  its  position  with  respect  to  the  two  last 
cities  in  Polo's  itinerary  renders  this  inadmissible  ;  and  Murray  and  Pauthier  seem  to 
be  right  in  identifying  it  with  T'si-ning  CHAU.  The  affix  Matu  {Ma-feu,  a  jetty, 
a  place  of  river  trade)  might  easily  attach  itself  to  the  name  of  such  a  great  depot 
of  commerce  on  the  canal  as  Marco  here  describes,  though  no  Chinese  authority  has 
been  produced  for  its  being  so  styled.  The  only  objection  to  the  identification  with 
T'si-ning  chau  is  the  difficulty  of  making  3  days'  journey  of  the  short  distance 
between  Yen-chau  and  that  city. 

Polo*  according  to  the  route  supposed,  comes  first  upon  the  artificial  part  of  the 
Great  Canal  here.  The  rivers  Wen  and  Sse  (from  near  Yen-chau)  flowing  from  the 
side  of  Shan-tung,  and  striking  the  canal  line  at  right  angles  near  T'si-ning  chau,  have 
been  thence  diverted  north-west  and  south-east,  so  as  to  form  the  canal ;  the  point 
of  their  original  confluence  at  Nan-wang  forming,  apparently,  the  summit  level  of  the 
canal.  There  is  a  little  confusion  in  Polo's  account,  owing  to  his  describing  the  river 
as  coming  from  the  south,  which,  according  to  his  orientation,  would  be  the  side 
towards  Qonan.  In  this  respect  his  words  would  apply  more  accurately  to  the 
Wei  River  at  Lin-t'sing  (see  Biot  vn.J.  As.  ser.  III.  torn.  xiv.  194,  andy.  N.  C.  B.  R. 
A.  S.}  1866,  p.  11  ;  also  the  map  with  ch.  Ixiv.)  [Father  Gandar  {Canal  Impdrial, 
p.  22,  note)  says  that  the  remark  of  Marco  Polo  :  "The  river  flows  from  the  south 
to  this  city  of  Sinjumatu,"  cannot  be  applied  to  the  Wen-ho  nor  to  the  Sse-ho,  which 
are  rivers  of  little  importance  and  running  from  the  east,  whilst  the  Wei-ho,  coming 
from  the  south-east,  waters  Lin-ts'ing,  and  answers  well  to  our  traveller's  text. — 
II.  C]  Duhalde  calls  T'si-ning  chau  "one  of  the  most  considerable  cities  of  the 
empire  "  ;  and  Nieuhoff  speaks  of  its  large  trade  and  population.  [Sir  John  F.  Davis 
writes  that  Tsi-ning  chau  is  a  town  of  considerable  dimensions.   .  .  .    "The  ma-tow, 

I40  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

or  platforms,  before  the  principal  boats  had  ornamental  gateways  over  them.  .  .  . 
The  canal  seems  to  render  this  an  opulent  and  flourishing  place,  to  judge  by  the 
gilded  and  carved  shops,  temples,  and  public  offices,  along  the  eastern  banks." 
{Sketches  of  China,  I.  pp.  255-257.) — H.  C.] 

Concerning  the  Cities  of  Linju  and  Piju. 

On  leaving  the  city  of  Sinju-matu  you  travel  for  eight 
days  towards  the  south,  always  coming  to  great  and  rich 
towns  and  villages  flourishing  with  trade  and  manu- 
factures. The  people  are  all  subjects  of  the  Great  Kaan, 
use  paper-money,  and  burn  their  dead.  At  the  end  of 
those  eight  days  you  come  to  the  city  of  Linju,  in  the 
province  of  the  same  name  of  which  it  is  the  capital. 
It  is  a  rich  and  noble  city,  and  the  men  are  good 
soldiers,  natheless  they  carry  on  great  trade  and  manu- 
factures. There  is  great  abundance  of  game  in  both 
beasts  and  birds,  and  all  the  necessaries  of  life  are  in 
profusion.  The  place  stands  on  the  river  of  which  I  told 
you  above.  And  they  have  here  great  numbers  of 
vessels,  even  greater  than  those  of  which  I  spoke 
before,  and  these  transport  a  great  amount  of  costly 

So,  quitting  this  province  and  city  of  Linju,  you 
travel  three  days  more  towards  the  south,  constantly 
finding  numbers  of  rich  towns  and  , villages.  These  still 
belong  to  Cathay ;  and  the  people  are  all  Idolaters, 
burning  their  dead,  and  using  paper-money,  that  I  mean 
of  their  Lord  the  Great  Kaan,  whose  subjects  they  are. 
This  is  the  finest  country  for  game,  whether  in  beasts  or 
birds,  that  is  anywhere  to  be  found,  and  all  the 
necessaries  of  life  are  in  profusion. 

Chap.  LXIV.  LINJU,   PIJU,   AND   SIJU  141 

At  the  end  of  those  three  days  you  find  the  city  of 
PiJU,  a  great,  rich,  and  noble  city,  with  large  trade  and 
manufactures,  and  a  great  production  of  silk.  This 
city  stands  at  the  entrance  to  the  great  province  of 
Manzi,  and  there  reside  at  it  a  great  number  of  merchants 
who  despatch  carts  from  this  place  loaded  with  great 
quantities  of  goods  to  the  different  towns  of  Manzi. 
The  city  brings  in  a  great  revenue  to  the  Great  Kaan.2 

Note  i. — Murray  suggests  that  Lingiu  is  a  place  which  appears  in  D'Anville's 
Map  of  Shan-tung  as  Lintching-y,  and  in  Arrowsmith's  Map  of  China  (also  in  those 
of  Berghaus  and  Keith  Johnston)  as  Lingchinghien.  The  position  assigned  to  it, 
however,  on  the  west  bank  of  the  canal,  nearly  under  the  35th  degree  of  latitude, 
would  agree  fairly  with  Polo's  data.  [Lin-ck'ing,  Lm-tsmg,  lat.  370  03',  Play/air's 
Diet.  No.  4276;  Biot,  p.  107.—  H.  C] 

In  any  case,  I  imagine  Lingiu  (of  which,  perhaps,  Lingin  maybe  the  correct  read- 
ing) to  be  the  Lenzin  of  Odoric,  which  he  reached  in  travelling  by  water  from  the 
south,  before  arriving  at  Sinjumatu.     {Cathay ',  p.  125.) 

Note  2. — There  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  is  Pei-chau  on  the  east  bank  of  the 
canal.  The  abundance  of  game  about  here  is  noticed  by  Nieuhoff  (in  Astleyi  III. 
417).     [See  D.  Gandar,  Canal  Imperial,  1894. — H.  C] 


Concerning  the  City  of  Siju,  and  the  Great  River  Caramoran. 

When  you  leave  Piju  you  travel  towards  the  south 
for  two  days,  through  beautiful  districts  abounding  in 
everything,  and  in  which  you  find  quantities  of  all  kinds 
of  game.  At  the  end  of  those  two  days  you  reach  the 
city  of  Siju,  a  great,  rich,  and  noble  city,  flourishing 
with  trade  and  manufactures.  The  people  are  Idolaters, 
burn  their  dead,  use  paper-money,  and  are  subjects  of 
the  Great  Kaan.  They  possess  extensive  and  fertile  plains 
producing  abundance  of  wheat  and  other  grain.1  But 
there  is  nothing  else  to  mention,  so  let  us  proceed  and 
tell  you  of  the  countries  further  on. 

142  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

On  leaving  Siju  you  ride  south  for  three  days,  con- 
stantly falling  in  with  fine  towns  and  villages  and  hamlets 
and  farms,  with  their  cultivated  lands.  There  is  plenty 
of  wheat  and  other  corn,  and  of  game  also  ;  and  the 
people  are  all  Idolaters  and  subjects  of  the  Great  Kaan. 

At  the  end  of  those  three  days  you  reach  the  great 
river  Caramoran,  which  flows  hither  from  Prester  John's 
country.  It  is  a  great  river,  and  more  than  a  mile  in 
width,  and  so  deep  that  great  ships  can  navigate  it.  It 
abounds  in  fish,  and  very  big  ones  too.  You  must  know 
that  in  this  river  there  are  some  15,000  vessels,  all 
belonging  to  the  Great  Kaan,  and  kept  to  transport  his 
troops  to  the  Indian  Isles  whenever  there  may  be 
occasion  ;  for  the  sea  is  only  one  day  distant  from  the 
place  we  are  speaking  of.  And  each  of  these  vessels, 
taking  one  with  another,  will  require  20  mariners,  and  will 
carry  15  horses  with  the  men  belonging  to  them,  and 
their  provisions,  arms,  and  equipments.2 

Hither  and  thither,  on  either  bank  of  the  river,  stands 
a  town ;  the  one  facing  the  other.  The  one  is  called 
Coiganju  and  the  other  Caiju  ;  the  former  is  a  large 
place,  and  the  latter  a  little  one.  And  when  you  pass 
this  river  you  enter  the  great  province  of  Manzi.  So 
now  I  must  tell  you  how  this  province  of  Manzi  was 
conquered  by  the  Great  Kaan.3 

Note  I. — Siju  can  scarcely  be  other  than  Su-t'sien  {Sootsin  of  Keith  Johnston's 
map)  as  Murray  and  Pauthier  have  said.  The  latter  states  that  one  of  the  old  names 
of  the  place  was  Sl-chau,  which  corresponds  to  that  given  by  Marco.  Biot  does  not 
give  this  name. 

The  town  stands  on  the  flat  alluvial  of  the  Hwang-Ho,  and  is  approached  by 
high  embanked  roads.     {Astley,  III.  524-525.) 

[Sir  J.  F.  Davis  writes  :  "  From  Sootsien  Hien  to  the  point  of  junction  with  the 
Yellow  River,  a  length  of  about  fifty  miles,  that  great  stream  and  the  canal  run 
nearly  parallel  with  each  other,  at  an  average  distance  of  four  or  five  miles,  and 
sometimes  much  nearer."     {Sketches  of  China,  I.  p.  265.)— II.  C] 

Note  2. — We  have  again  arrived  on  the  banks  of  the  Hwang-Ho,  which  was 
crossed  higher  up  on  our  traveller's  route  to  Karajang. 

No  accounts,  since  China  became  known  to  modern  Europe,  attribute  to  the 
JIwang-Ho  the  great  utility  for  navigation  which  Polo  here  and  elsewhere  ascribes  to 

Chap.  LXIV.       CHANGES   IN  THE   RIVER  CARAMORAN  1 43 

it.  Indeed,  we  are  told  that  its  current  is  so  rapid  that  its  navigation  is  scarcely 
practicable,  and  the  only  traffic  of  the  kind  that  we  hear  of  is  a  transport  of  coal  in 
Shan-si  for  a  certain  distance  down  stream.  This  rapidity  also,  bringing  down  vast 
quantities  of  soil,  has  so  raised  the  bed  that  in  recent  times  the  tide  has  not  entered 
the  river,  as  it  probably  did  in  our  traveller's  time,  when,  as  it  would  appear  from  his 
account,  seagoing  craft  used  to  ascend  to  the  ferry  north  of  Hwai-ngan  fu,  or  there- 
abouts. Another  indication  of  change  is  his  statement  that  the  passage  just 
mentioned  was  only  one  day's  journey  from  the  sea,  whereas  it  is  now  about  50  miles 
in  a  direct  line.  But  the  river  has  of  late  years  undergone  changes  much  more 

In  the  remotest  times  of  which  the  Chinese  have  any  record,  the  Hwang-Ho 
discharged  its  waters  into  the  Gulf  of  Chih-li,  by  two  branches,  the  most  northerly  of 
which  appears  to  have  followed  the  present  course  of  the  Pei-ho  below  Tien-tsing. 
In  the  time  of  the  Shang  Dynasty  (ending  B.C.  1078)  a  branch  more  southerly  than 
either  of  the  above  flowed  towards  T'si-ning,  and  combined  with  the  Vsi  River, 
which  flowed  by  T' si-nan  fu,  the  same  in  fact  that  was  till  recently  called  the  Ta-t'sing. 
In  the  time  of  Confucius  we  first  hear  of  a  branch  being  thrown  off  south-east 
towards  the  Hwai,  flowing  north  of  Hwai-ngan,  in  fact  towards  the  embouchure 
which  our  maps  still  display  as  that  of  the  Hwang-Ho.  But,  about  the  3rd  and  4th 
centuries  of  our  era,  the  river  discharged  exclusively  by  the  T'si ;  and  up  to  the 
Mongol  age,  or  nearly  so,  the  mass  of  the  waters  of  this  great  river  continued  to  flow 
into  the  Gulf  of  Chih-li.  They  then  changed  their  course  bodily  towards  the  Hwai, 
and  followed  that  general  direction  to  the  sea  ;  this  they  had  adopted  before  the  time 
of  our  traveller,  and  they  retained  it  till  a  very  recent  period.  The  mass  of  Shan-tung 
thus  forms  a  mountainous  island  rising  out  of  the  vast  alluvium  of  the  Hwang-Ho, 
whose  discharge  into  the  sea  has  alternated  between  the  north  and  the  south  of  that 
mountainous  tract.      (See  Map  opposite.) 

During  the  reign  of  the  last  Mongol  emperor,  a  project  was  adopted  for  restoring 
the  Hwang-Ho  to  its  former  channel,  discharging  into  the  Gulf  of  Chih-li ;  and  dis- 
contents connected  with  this  scheme  promoted  the  movement  for  the  expulsion  of 
the  dynasty  (1368). 

A  river  whose  regimen  was  liable  to  such  vast  changes  was  necessarily  a  constant 
source  of  danger,  insomuch  that  the  Emperor  Kia-K'ing  in  his  will  speaks  of  it  as 
having  been  "from  the  remotest  ages  China's  sorrow."  Some  idea  of  the  enormous 
works  maintained  for  the  control  of  the  river  may  be  obtained  from  the  following 
description  of  their  character  on  the  north  bank,  some  distance  to  the  west  of 
Kai-fung  fu  : 

"In  a  village,  apparently  bounded  by  an  earthen  wall  as  large  as  that  of  the 
Tartar  city  of  Peking,  was  reached  the  first  of  the  outworks  erected  to  resist  the 
Hwang-Ho,  and  on  arriving  at  the  top  that  river  and  the  gigantic  earthworks  rendered 
necessary  by  its  outbreaks  burst  on  the  view.  On  a  level  with  the  spot  on  which  I 
was  standing  stretched  a  series  of  embankments,  each  one  about  70  feet  high,  and  of 
breadth  sufficient  for  four  railway  trucks  to  run  abreast  on  them.  The  mode  of  their 
arrangement  was  on  this  wise  :  one  long  bank  ran  parallel  to  the  direction  of  the 
stream  ;  half  a  mile  distant  from  it  ran  a  similar  one  ;  these  two  embankments  were 
then  connected  by  another  series  exactly  similar  in  size,  height,  and  breadth,  and 
running  at  right  angles  to  them  right  down  to  the  edge  of  the  water." 

In  1 85 1,  the  Hwang-Ho  burst  its  northern  embankment  nearly  30  miles  east  of 
Kai-fung  fu  ;  the  floods  of  the  two  following  years  enlarged  the  breach  ;  and  in  1853 
the  river,  after  six  centuries,  resumed  the  ancient  direction  of  its  discharge  into  the 
Gulf  of  Chih-li.  Soon  after  leaving  its  late  channel,  it  at  present  spreads,  without 
defined  banks,  over  the  very  low  lands  of  South-Western  Shan-tung,  till  it  reaches  the 
Great  Canal,  and  then  enters  the  Ta-t'sing  channel,  passing  north  of  T'si-nan  to  the 
sea.  The  old  channel  crossed  by  Polo  in  the  presentjourney  is  quite  deserted.  The 
greater  part  of  the  bed  is  there  cultivated  ;  it  is  dotted  with  numerous  villages  ;  and 
the  vast  trading  town  of  Tsing-kiang  pu  was  in  1868  extending  so  rapidly  from  the 

144  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

southern  bank  that  a  traveller  in  that  year  says  he  expected  that  in  two  yeais  it 
would  reach  the  northern  bank. 

The  same  change  has  destroyed  the  Grand  Canal  as  a  navigable  channel  for  many 
miles  south  of  Lin-t'sing  chau.  (/.  K.  G.  S.  XXVIII.  294-295  ;  Escayrac  de  Lauture, 
M£m.  sur  la  Chine;  Cathay ',  p.  125  ;  Reports  of  Journeys  in  China,  etc.  [by  Consuls 
Alabaster,  Oxenham,  etc.,  Pari.  Blue  Book],  1869,  pp.  4-5,  14;  Mr.  Elias  in 
/.   R.    G.  S.   XL.  p.  I  seqq.) 

[Since  the  exploration  of  the  Hwang- Ho  in  1868  by  Mr.  Ney  Elias  and  by  Mr.  H. 
G.  Hollingworth,  an  inspection  of  this  river  was  made  in  1889  and  a  report  published 
in  1891  by  the  Dutch  Engineers  J.  G.  W.  Fijnje  van  Salverda,  Captain  P.  G.  van 
Schermbeek  and  A.  Visser,  for  the  improvement  of  the  Yellow  River. — H.  C] 

Note  3. — Coiganju  will  be  noticed  below.  Caiju  does  not  seem  to  be  traceable, 
having  probably  been  carried  away  by  the  changes  in  the  river.  But  it  would  seem 
to  have  been  at  the  mouth  of  the  canal  on  the  north  side  of  the  Hwang-Ho,  and  the 
name  is  the  same  as  that  given  below  (ch.  lxxii.)  to  the  town  {Kwachau)  occupying  the 
corresponding  position  on  the  Kiang. 

"  Khatai,"  says  Rashiduddin,  "  is  bounded  on  one  side  by  the  country  of  Machin, 
which  the  Chinese  call  Manzi.  ...  In  the  Indian  language  Southern  China  is 
called  Maha-chin,  i.e.  '  Great  China,'  and  hence  we  derive  the  word  Machin.  The 
Mongols  call  the  same  country  Nangiass.  It  is  separated  from  Khatai  by  the  river 
called  Karamoran,  which  comes  from  the  mountains  of  Tibet  and  Kashmir,  and 
which  is  never  fordable.  The  capital  of  this  kingdom  is  the  city  of  Khingsai,  which 
is  forty  days'  journey  from  Khanbalik."     (Qtiat.  Rashid.,  xci.-xciii.) 

Manzi  (or  Mangi)  is  a  name  used  for  Southern  China,  or  more  properly  for  the 
territory  which  constituted  the  dominion  of  the  Sung  Dynasty  at  the  time  when  the 
Mongols  conquered  Cathay  or  Northern  China  from  the  Kin,  not  only  by  Marco,  but 
by  Odoric  and  John  Marignolli,  as  well  as  by  the  Persian  writers,  who,  however, 
more  commonly  call  it  Mdchdn.  I  imagine  that  some  confusion  between  the  two 
words  led  to  the  appropriation  of  the  latter  name,  also  to  Southern  China.  The  term 
Man-tztt  or  Man-tze  signifies  "  Barbarians"  ("  Sons  of  Barbarians"),  and  was  applied, 
it  is  said,  by  the  Northern  Chinese  to  their  neighbours  on  the  south,  whose  civilisation 
was  of  later  date.*  The  name  is  now  specifically  applied  to  a  wild  race  on  the  banks 
of  the  Upper  Kiang.  But  it  retains  its  mediaeval  application  in  Manchuria,  where 
Mantszi  is  the  name  given  to  the  Chinese  immigrants,  and  in  that  use  is  said  to  date 
from  the  time  of  Kiiblai.  {Palladius'mJ.  R.  G.  S.  vol.  xlii.  p.  154.)  And  Mr.  Moule 
has  found  the  word,  apparently  used  in  Marco's  exact  sense,  in  a  Chinese  extract  of 
the  period,  contained  in  the  topography  of  the  famous  Lake  of  Hang-chau  {infra,  ch. 

Though  both  Polo  and  Rashiduddin  call  the  Karamoran  the  boundary  between 
Cathay  and  Manzi,  it  was  not  so  for  any  great  distance.  Ho-nan  belonged  essentially 
to  Cathay. 


How  the  Great  Kaan  conquered  the  Province  of  Manzi. 

You  must  know  that  there  was  a  King  and  Sovereign 
lord   of   the    great    territory    of   Manzi  who  was  styled 

*  Magaillans  says  the  Southerns,  in  return,  called  the  Northerns  Pe-tai,  "  Fools  of  the  North"  I 




116°      Tientsiif?vfe        118°  MARCO  POL03ooklI.CK64 

ft  VI 


r*  It  i         y 


<Z;  / 








/otijtf&ng  chau     ^& 




,,#!  in 





indiirtqnun     i  /  ^     .  '*> 

e^=\  /  J  W 

%,^    \r   /\oft£ 


ci?      v>-- 





if  <^ 

Sketch  Map,exhibiting  the 

of  theT  wo  Great  Rivers 

Within  the  Period  of  History. 











Chang  cha?iK>S?> 

tf*v^J"2V^         ^H52effia1i4/1 

^/Z-^t^  hichau/  "*^«£fcr--  \Jfc   ^/L 






\.To  face  p.  144,  w/.  ii. 

Chap.  LXV.  THE   CONQUEST   OF   MANZI  1 45 

Facfur,  so  great  and  puissant  a  prince,  that  for  vastness 
of  wealth  and  number  of  subjects  and  extent  of  dominion, 
there  was  hardly  a  greater  in  all  the  earth  except  the 
Great  Kaan  himself.1  But  the  people  of  his  land  were 
anything  rather  than  warriors  ;  all  their  delight  wras  in 
women,  and  nought  but  women  ;  and  so  it  was  above  all 
with  the  King  himself,  for  he  took  thought  of  nothing 
else  but  women,  unless  it  were  of  charity  to  the  poor. 

In  all  his  dominion  there  were  no  horses  ;  nor  were 
the  people  ever  inured  to  battle  or  arms,  or  military 
service  of  any  kind.  Yet  the  province  of  Manzi  is  very 
strong  by  nature,  and  all  the  cities  are  encompassed  by 
sheets  of  water  of  great  depth,  and  more  than  an  arblast- 
shot  in  width  ;  so  that  the  country  never  would  have 
been  lost,  had  the  people  but  been  soldiers.  But  that  is 
just  what  they  were  not ;  so  lost  it  was.2 

Now  it  came  to  pass,  in  the  year  of  Christ's  incarna- 
tion, 1268,  that  the  Great  Kaan,  the  same  that  now 
reigneth,  despatched  thither  a  Baron  of  his  whose  name 
was  Bayan  Chincsan,  which  is  as  -  much  as  to  say 
"  Bayan  Hundred  Eyes."  And  you  must  know  that  the 
King  of  Manzi  had  found  in  his  horoscope  that  he  never 
should  lose  his  Kingdom  except  through  a  man  that  had 
an  hundred  eyes ;  so  he  held  himself  assured  in  his 
position,  for  he  could  not  believe  that  any  man  in 
existence  could  have  an  hundred  eyes.  There,  however, 
he  deluded  himself,  in  his  ignorance  of  the  name  of 

This  Bayan  had  an  immense  force  of  horse  and  foot 
entrusted  to  him  by  the  Great  Kaan,  and  with  these  he 
entered  Manzi,  and  he  had  also  a  great  number  of  boats 
to  carry  both  horse  and  food  when  need  should  be. 
And  when  he,  with  all  his  host,  entered  the  territory  of 
Manzi  and  arrived  at  this  city  of  Coiganju — whither  we 
now  are  got,  and  of  which  we  shall  speak  presently — ■ 

VOL.    II.  K 

I46  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

he  summoned  the  people  thereof  to  surrender  to  the 
Great  Kaan ;  but  this  they  flatly  refused.  On  this 
Bayan  went  on  to  another  city,  with  the  same  result, 
and  then  still  went  forward  ;  acting  thus  because  he  was 
aware  that  the  Great  Kaan  was  despatching  another 
great  host  to  follow  him  up.4 

What  shall  I  say  then?  He  advanced  to  five  cities 
in  succession,  but  got  possession  of  none  of  them  ;  for  he 
did  not  wish  to  engage  in  besieging  them  and  they 
would  not  give  themselves  up.  But  when  he  came  to 
the  sixth  city  he  took  that  by  storm,  and  so  with  a 
second,  and  a  third,  and  a  fourth,  until  he  had  taken 
twelve  cities  in  succession.  And  when  he  had  taken  all 
these  he  advanced  straight  against  the  capital  city  of  the 
kingdom,  which  was  called  Kinsay,  and  which  was  the 
residence  of  the  King  and  Queen. 

And  when  the  King  beheld  Bayan  coming  with  all 
his  host,  he  was  in  great  dismay,  as  one  unused  to  see 
such  sights.  So  he  and  a  great  company  of  his  people 
got  on  board  a  thousand  ships  and  fled  to  the  islands  of 
the  Ocean  Sea,  whilst  the  Queen  who  remained  behind 
in  the  city  took  all  measures  in  her  power  for  its  defence, 
like  a  valiant  lady. 

Now  it  came  to  pass  that  the  Queen  asked  what  was 
the  name  of  the  captain  of  the  host,  and  they  told  her 
that  it  was  Bayan  Hundred-Eyes.  So  when  she  wist 
that  he  was  styled  Hundred-Eyes,  she  called  to  mind 
how  their  astrologers  had  foretold  that  a  man  of  an 
hundred  eyes  should  strip  them  of  the  kingdom.5 
Wherefore  she  gave  herself  up  to  Bayan,  and  surrendered 
to  him  the  whole  kino-dom  and  all  the  other  cities  and 
fortresses,  so  that  no  resistance  was  made.  And  in 
sooth  this  was  a  goodly  conquest,  for  there  was  no  realm 
on  earth  half  so  wealthy.6  The  amount  that  the  King 
used    to    expend   was    perfectly  marvellous ;  and  as    an 

Chap.  LXV.  THE  CONQUEST  OF   MANZI  147 

example     I     will    tell     you    somewhat    of     his     liberal 

In  those  provinces  they  are  wont  to  expose  their  new- 
born babes ;  I  speak  of  the  poor,  who  have  not  the 
means  of  bringing  them  up.  But  the  King  used  to  have 
all  those  foundlings  taken  charge  of,  and  had  note  made 
of  the  signs  and  planets  under  which  each  was  born,  and 
then  put  them  out  to  nurse  about  the  country.  And 
when  any  rich  man  was  childless  he  would  go  to  the 
King  and  obtain  from  him  as-many  of  these  children  as 
he  desired.  Or,  when  the  children  grew  up,  the  King 
would  make  up  marriages  among  them,  and  provide  for 
the  couples  from  his  own  purse.  In  this  manner  he  used 
to  provide  for  some  20,000  boys  and  girls  every  year.7 

I  will  tell  you  another  thing  this  King  used  to  do. 
If  he  was  taking  a  ride  through  the  city  and  chanced  to 
see  a  house  that  was  very  small  and  poor  standing 
among  other  houses  that  were  fine  and  large,  he  would 
ask  why  it  was  so,  and  they  would  tell  him  it  belonged 
to  a  poor  man  who  had  not  the  means  to  enlarge  it. 
Then  the  King  would  himself  supply  the  means.  And 
thus  it  came  to  pass  that  in  all  the  capital  of  the  kingdom 
of  Manzi,  Kinsay  by  name,  you  should  not  see  any  but 
fine  houses. 

This  King  used  to  be  waited  on  by  more  than  a 
thousand  young  gentlemen  and  ladies,  all  clothed  in  the 
richest  fashion.  And  he  ruled  his  realm  with  such 
justice  that  no  malefactors  were  to  be  found  therein. 
The  city  in  fact  was  so  secure  that  no  man  closed  his 
doors  at  night,  not  even  in  houses  and  shops  that  were 
full  of  all  sorts  of  rich  merchandize.  No  one  could  do 
justice  in  the  telling  to  the  great  riches  of  that  country, 
and  to  the  good  disposition  of  the  people.  Now  that  I 
have  told  you  about  the  kingdom,  I  will  go  back  to  the 

vol.  11.  k  2 

148  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

You  must  know  that  she  was  conducted  to  the  Great 
Kaan,  who  gave  her  an  honourable  reception,  and  caused 
her  to  be  served  with  all  state,  like  a  great  lady  as  she 
was.  But  as  for  the  King  her  husband,  he  never  more 
did  quit  the  isles  of  the  sea  to  which  he  had  fled,  but 
died  there.  So  leave  we  him  and  his  wife  and  all  their 
concerns,  and  let  us  return  to  our  story,  and  go  on 
regularly  with  our  account  of  the  great  province  of 
Manzi  and  of  the  manners  and  customs  of  its  people. 
And,  to  begin  at  the  beginning,  we  must  go  back  to  the 
city  of  Coiganju,  from  which  we  digressed  to  tell  you 
about  the  conquest  of  Manzi. 

Note  i. — Faghfur  or  Baghbur  was  a  title  applied  by  old  Persian  and  Arabic 
writers  to  the  Emperor  of  China,  much  in  the  way  that  we  used  to  speak  of  the  Great 
Moguls  and  our  fathers  of  the  Sophy.  It  is,  as  Neumann  points  out,  an  old  Persian 
translation  of  the  Chinese  title  Tien-tzii,  "Son  of  Heaven";  Bagh-Pur  =  "The 
Son  of  the  Divinity,"  as  Sapor  or  Shah-Pur  =  "  The  Son  of  the  King."  Faghfur 
seems  to  have  been  used  as  a  proper  name  in  Turkestan.     (See  Baber,  423.) 

There  is  a  word,  Takficr,  applied  similarly  by  the  Mahomedans  to  the  Greek 
emperors  of  both  Byzantium  and  Trebizond  (and  also  to  the  Kings  of  Cilician 
Armenia),  which  was  perhaps  adopted  as  a  jingling  match  to  the  former  term  ; 
Faghfur,  the  great  infidel  king  in  the  East  ;  Takfur,  the  great  infidel  king  in  the 
West.     Defremery  says  this  is  Armenian,  Tagavor,  "a  king."     (/.  /?.,  II.  393,  427.) 

["The  last  of  the  Sung  Emperors  (1276)  'Facfur'  {i.e.  the  Arabic  for  Tien  Tzii) 
was  freed  by  Kiiblai  from  the  (ancient  Kotan)  indignity  of  surrendering  with  a  rope 
round  his  neck,  leading  a  sheep,  and  he  received  the  title  of  Duke  :  In  1288  he  went 
to  Tibet  to  study  Buddhism,  and  in  1296  he  and  his  mother,  Ts'iuen  T'a'i  How, 
became  a  bonze  and  a  nun,  and  were  allowed  to  hold  360  King  (say  5000  acres)  of 
land  free  of  taxes  under  the  then  existing  laws."  {E.  H.  Parker,  China  Review, 
February,  March  1901,  p.  195.) — IT.  C] 

Note  2. — Nevertheless  the  history  of  the  conquest  shows  instances  of  extra- 
ordinary courage  and  self-devotion  on  the  part  of  Chinese  officers,  especially  in  the 
defence  of  fortresses — virtues  often  shown  in  like  degree,  under  like  circumstances, 
by  the  same  class,  in  the  modern  history  of  China. 

Note  3. — Bayan  (signifying  "great"  or  "noble")  is  a  name  of  very  old  renown 
among  the  Nomad  nations,  for  we  find  it  as  that  of  the  Khagan  of  the  Avars  in  the 
6th  century.  The  present  Bayan,  Kiiblai' s  most  famous  lieutenant,  was  of  princely 
birth,  in  the  Mongol  tribe  called  Barin.  In  his  youth  he  served  in  the  West  of  Asia 
under  Hulaku.  According  to  Rashiduddin,  about  1265  he  was  sent  to  Cathay  with 
certain  ambassadors  of  the  Kaan's  who  were  returning  thither.  He  was  received 
with  great  distinction  by  Kiiblai,  who  was  greatly  taken  with  his  prepossessing 
appearance  and  ability,  and  a  command  was  assigned  him.  In  1273,  after  the 
capture  of  Siang-Yang  {infra,  ch.  ixx.)  the  Kaan  named  him  to  the  chief  command  in 
the  prosecution  of  the  war  against  the  Sung  Dynasty.  Whilst  Bayan  was  in  the  full 
tide  of  success,  Kiiblai,  alarmed  by  the  ravages  of  Kaidu  on  the  Mongolian  frontier, 
recalled  him  to  take  the  command  there,  but,  on  the  general's  remonstrance,  he  gave 
way,  and  made  him  a  minister  of  state  (Chingsiang).     The  essential  part  of  his  task 

Chap.  LXV.  THE   CONQUEST   OF   MANZI  T49 

was  completed  by  the  surrender  of  the  capital  King-szi  (Lin-ngan,  now  Hang-chau)  to 
his  arms  in  the  beginning  of  1276.  He  was  then  recalled  to  court,  and  immediately 
despatched  to  Mongolia,  where  he  continued  in  command  for  seventeen  years,  his  great 
business  being  to  keep  down  the  restless  Kaidu.  ["  The  biography  of  this  valiant 
captain  is  found  in  the  Yuen-shi  (ch.  cxxvii.).  It  is  quite  in  accordance  with  the  bio- 
graphical notices  Rashid  gives  of  the  same  personage.  He  calls  him  Bay  an." 
{Bret Schneider,  Med.  Res.  I.  p.  271,  note).] 

[''The  inventory,  records,  etc.,  of  Kinsai,  mentioned  by  Marco  Polo,  as  also  the 
letter  from  the  old  empress,  are  undoubted  facts  :  complete  stock  was  taken,  and 
5,692,656  souls  were  added  to  the  population  (in  the  two  Cheh  alone).  The 
Emperor  surrendered  in  person  to  Bayan  a  few  days  after  his  official  surrender,  which 
took  place  on  the  18th  day  of  the  1st  moon  in  1276.  Bayan  took  the  Emperor  to  see 
Kublai."     (E.  H.  Parker,  China  Review,  XXIV.  p.  105. )— H.  C] 

In  1293,  enemies  tried  to  poison  the  emperor's  ear  against  Bayan,  and  they 
seemed  to  have  succeeded  ;  for  Kublai  despatched  his  heir,  the  Prince  Teimur,  to 
supersede  him  in  the  frontier  command.  Bayan  beat  Kaidu  once  more,  and  then 
made  over  his  command  with  characteristic  dignity.  On  his  arrival  at  court,  Kublai 
received  him  with  the  greatest  honour,  and  named  him  chief  minister  of  state  and 
commandant  of  his  guards  and  the  troops  about  Cambaluc.  The  emperor  died  in  the 
beginning  of  the  next  year  (1294),  and  Bayan's  high  position  enabled  him  to  take 
decisive  measures  for  preserving  order,  and  maintaining  Kublai's  disposition  of  the 
succession.  Bayan  was  raised  to  still  higher  dignities,  but  died  at  the  age  of  59, 
within  less  than  a  year  of  the  master  whom  he  had  served  so  well  for  30  years  (about 
January,  1295).  After  his  death,  according  to  the  peculiar  Chinese  fashion,  he 
received  yet  further  accessions  of  dignity. 

The  language  of  Chinese  historians  in  speaking  of  this  great  man  is  thus  rendered 
by  De  Mailla  ;  it  is  a  noble  eulogy  of  a  Tartar  warrior  : — 

"  He  was  endowed  with  a  lofty  genius,  and  possessed  in  the  highest  measure  the 
art  of  handling  great  bodies  of  troops.  When  he  marched  against  the  Sung,  he 
directed  the  movements  of  200,000  men  with  as  much  ease  and  coolness  as  if  there 
had  been  but  one  man  under  his  orders.  All  his  officers  looked  up  to  him  as  a 
prodigy ;  and  having  absolute  trust  in  his  capacity,  they  obeyed  him  with  entire 
submission.  Nobody  knew  better  how  to  deal  with  soldiers,  or  to  moderate  their 
ardour  when  it  carried  them  too  far.  He  was  never  seen  sad  except  when  forced  to 
shed  blood,  for  he  was  sparing  even  of  the  blood  of  his  enemy.  .  .  .  His  modesty 
was  not  inferior  to  his  ability.  .  .  .  Pie  would  attribute  all  the  honour  to  the  conduct 
of  his  officers,  and  he  was  ever  ready  to  extol  their  smallest  feats.  He  merited  the 
praises  of  Chinese  as  well  as  Mongols,  and  both  nations  long  regretted  the  loss  of  this 
great  man."  De  Mailla  gives  a  different  account  from  Rashiduddin  and  Gaubil,  of 
the  manner  in  which  Bayan  first  entered  the  Kaan's  service.  {Gaubil,  145,  159,  169, 
179,  183,  221,  223-224;  Erdmann,  222-223;  Be  Mailla,  IX.  335,  458,  461-463.) 

Note  4. — As  regards  Bayan  personally,  and  the  main  body  under  his  command, 
this  seems  to  be  incorrect.  His  advance  took  place  from  Siang-yang  along  the  lines 
of  the  Han  River  and  of  the  Great  Kiang.  Another  force  indeed  marched  direct 
upon  Yang-chau,  and  therefore  probably  by  Hwai-ngan  chau  {infra,  p.  152)  ;  and  it 
is  noted  that  Bayan's  orders  to  the  generals  of  this  force  were  to  spare  bloodshed. 
{Gaubil,  159;  D'Ohsson,  II.  398.) 

Note  5. — So  in  our  own  age  ran  the  Hindu  prophecy  that  Bhartpur  should  never 
fall  till  there  came  a  great  alligator  against  it ;  and  when  it  fell  to  the  English  assault, 
the  Brahmans  found  that  the  name  of  the  leader  was  Combermere  =  Kiwihir-Mir. 
the  Crocodile  Lord  ! 

"  Be  those  juggling  fiends  no  more  believed 

That  palter  with  us  in  a  double  sense  ; 
That  keep  the  word  of  promise  to  our  ear 
And  break  it  to  our  hope  ! " 


MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

It  would  seem  from  the  expression,  both  in  Pauthier's  text  and  in  the  G.  T.,  as  if 
Polo  intended  to  say  that  Chincsan  (Cinqsan)  meant  "One  Hundred  Eyes"  ;  and  if 
so  we  could  have  no  stronger  proof  of  his  ignorance  of  Chinese.  It  is  Pe-yen,  the 
Chinese  form  of  Bayan,  that  means,  or  rather  may  be  punningly  rendered,  "One 
Hundred  Eyes."  Chincsan,  i.e.  Ching-siang,  was  the  title  of  the  superior  ministers  of 
state  at  Khanbaligh,  as  we  have  already  seen.  The  title  occurs  pretty  frequently  in 
the  Persian  histories  of  the  Mongols,  and  frequently  as  a  Mongol  title  in  Sanang 
Setzen.  We  find  it  also  disguised  as  Chyansam  in  a  letter  from  certain  Christian 
nobles  at  Khanbaligh,  which  Wadding  quotes  from  the  Papal  archives.     (See  Cathay ', 

PP-  3I4-3I5-) 

But  it  is  right  to  observe  that  in  the  Ramusian  version  the  mistranslation  which 

we  have  noticed  is  not  so  undubitable  :  "  Volendo  sapere  come  avea  nome  il  Capitano 

nemico,  le  fu  detto,  Chinsambaian,  cioe  Cenfocchi" 

A  kind  of  corroboration  of  Marco's  story,  but  giving  a  different  form  to  the  pun, 
has  been  found  by  Mr.  W.  F.  Mayers,  of  the  Diplomatic  Department  in  China,  in  a 
Chinese  compilation  dating  from  the  latter  part  of  the  14th  century.  Under  the  head- 
ing, "  A  Kiang-nan  Prophecy,"  this  book  states  that  prior  to  the  fall  of  the  Sung  a 
prediction  ran  through  Kiang-nan  :  "If  Kiang-nan  fall,  a  hundred  wild  geese  {Pi-yen) 
will  make  their  appearance."  This,  it  is  added,  was  not  understood  till  the 
generalissimo  Peyen  Chingsiang  made  his  appearance  on  the  scene.  "  Punning . 
prophecies  of  this  kind  are  so  common  in  Chinese  history,  that  the  above  is  only 
worth  noticing  in  connection  with  Marco  Polo's  story. "  {N.  and  Q. ,  China  and  Japan, 
vol.  ii.  p.  162.) 

But  I  should  suppose  that  the  Persian  historian  Wassaf  had  also  heard  a  bungled  ver- 
sion of  the  same  story,  which  he  tells  in  a  pointless  manner  of  the  fortress  of  Sindfur 
(evidently  a  clerical  error  for  Saianfu,  see  below,  ch.  lxx.) :  "  Payan  ordered  this 
fortress  to  be  assaulted.  The  garrison  had  heard  how  the  capital  of  China  had  fallen, 
and  the  army  of  Payan  was  drawing  near.  The  commandant  was  an  experienced 
veteran  who  had  tasted  all  the  sweets  and  bitters  of  fortune,  and  had  borne  the  day's 
heat  and  the  night's  cold  ;  he  had,  as  the  saw  goes,  milked  the  world's  cow  dry.  So 
he  sent  word  to  Payan  :  '  In  my  youth '  (here  we  abridge  Wassaf  s  rigmarole)  '  I  heard 
my  father  tell  that  this  fortress  should  be  taken  by  a  man  called  Payan,  and  that  all 
fencing  and  trenching,  fighting  and  smiting,  would  be  of  no  avail.  You  need  not, 
therefore,  bring  an  army  hither  ;  we  give  in  ;  we  surrender  the  fortress  and  all  that  is 
therein.'  So  they  opened  the  gates  and  came  down."  {Wassaf,  Hammer's  ed., 
p.  41). 

Note  6. — There  continues  in  this  narrative,  with  a  general  truth  as  to  the  course 
of  events,  a  greater  amount  of  error  as  to  particulars  than  we  should  have  expected. 
The  Sung  Emperor  Tu  Tsong,  a  debauched  and  effeminate  prince,  to  whom  Polo 
seems  to  refer,  had  died  in  1274,  leaving  young  children  only.  Chaohien,  the 
second  son,  a  boy  of  four  years  of  age,  was  put  on  the  throne,  with  his  grandmother 
Siechi,  as  regent.  The  approach  of  Bayan  caused  the  greatest  alarm  ;  the  Sung  Court 
made  humble  propositions,  but  they  were  not  listened  to.  The  brothers  of  the  young 
emperor  were  sent  off  by  sea  into  the  southern  provinces  ;  the  empress  regent  was  also 
pressed  to  make  her  escape  with  the  young  emperor,  but,  after  consenting,  she 
changed  her  mind  and  would  not  move.  The  Mongols  arrived  before  King-sze,  and 
the  empress  sent  the  great  seal  of  the  empire  to  Bayan.  He  entered  the  city  with- 
out resistance  in  the  third  month  (say  April),  1276,  riding  at  the  head  of  his  whole 
staff  with  the  standard  of  the  general-in-chief  before  him.  It  is  remarked  that  he 
went  to  look  at  the  tide  in  the  River  Tsien  Tang,  which  is  noted  for  its  bore.  He 
declined  to  meet  the  regent  and  her  grandson,  pleading  that  he  was  ignorant  of  the 
etiquettes  proper  to  such  an  interview.  Before  his  entrance  Bayan  had  nominated  a 
joint-commission  of  Mongol  and  Chinese  officers  to  the  government  of  the  city,  and 
appointed  a  committee  to  take  charge  of  all  the  public  documents,  maps,  drawings, 
records  of  courts,  and  seals  of  all  public  offices,  and  to  plant  sentinels  at  necessary 


points.  The  emperor,  his  mother,  and  the  rest  of  the  Sung  princes  and  princesses, 
were  despatched  to  the  Mongol  capital.  A  desperate  attempt  was  made,  at  Kwa-chau 
{infra,  ch.  lxxii.)  to  recapture  the  young  emperor,  but  it  failed.  On  their  arrival  at 
Ta-tu,  Kublai's  chief  queen,  Jamui  Khatun,  treated  them  with  delicate  consideration. 
This  amiable  lady,  on  being  shown  the  spoils  that  came  from  Lin-ngan,  only  wept,  and 
said  to  her  husband,  "  So  also  shall  it  be  with  the  Mongol  empire  one  day  !"  The 
eldest  of  the  two  boys  who  had  escaped  was  proclaimed  emperor  by  his  adherents  at 
Fu-chau,  in  Fo-kien,  but  they  were  speedily  driven  from  that  province  (where  the  local 
histories,  as  Mr.  G.  Phillips  informs  me,  preserve  traces  of  their  adventures  in  the 
Islands  of  Amoy  Harbour),  and  the  young  emperor  died  on  a  desert  island  off  the 
Canton  coast  in  1278.  His  younger  brother  took  his  place,  but  a  battle,  in  the 
beginning  of  1279  finally  extinguished  these  efforts  of  the  expiring  dynasty,  and  the 
minister  jumped  with  his  young  lord  into  the  sea.  It  is  curious  that  Rashiduddin 
with  all  his  opportunities  of  knowledge,  writing  at  least  twenty  years  later,  was  not 
aware  of  this,  for  he  speaks  of  the  Prince  of  Manzi  as  still  a  fugitive  in  the  forests 
between  Zayton  and  Canton.  {Ganbil ;  D'Ohsson;  De  Mailla ;  Cathay,  p.  272.) 
[See  Parker,  supra,  p.  148  and  149. — H.  C] 

There  is  a  curious  account  in  the  Lettres  Edifiantes  (xxiv.  45  seqq.)  by  P.  Parrenin 
of  a  kind  of  Pariah  caste  at  Shao-hing  (see  ch.  lxxix.  note  1),  who  were  popularly 
believed  to  be  the  descendants  of  the  great  lords  of  the  Sung  Court,  condemned  to 
that  degraded  condition  for  obstinately  resisting  the  Mongols.  Another  notice,  how- 
ever, makes  the  degraded  body  rebels  against  the  Sung.     {Milne,  p.  218.) 

Note  7. — There  is  much  about  the  exposure  of  children,  and  about  Chinese 
foundling  hospitals,  in  the  Lettres  Edifiantes,  especially  in  Recueil  xv.  83,  segq.  It 
is  there  stated  that  frequently  a  person  not  in  circumstances  to  pay  for  a  wife  for  his 
son,  would  visit  the  foundling  hospital  to  seek  one.  The  childless  rich  also  would 
sometimes  get  children  there  to  pass  off  as  their  own  ;  adopted  children  being  excluded 
from  certain  valuable  privileges. 

Mr.  Milne  {Life  in  China),  and  again  Mr.  Medhurst  [Foreigner  in  Far  Cathay), 
have  discredited  the  great  prevalence  of  infant  exposure  in  China ;  but  since  the  last 
work  was  published,  I  have  seen  the  translation  of  a  recent  strong  remonstrance 
against  the  practice  by  a  Chinese  writer,  which  certainly  implied  that  it  was  very 
prevalent  in  the  writer's  own  province.  Unfortunately,  I  have  lost  the  reference. 
[See  Father  G.  Pa/at  re,  L Pnfanticide  et  V  Oeuvre  de  la  Ste.  Enfance  en  Chine, 
1878.— IT.  C] 


Concerning  the  City  of  Coiganju. 

Coiganju  is,  as  I  have  told  you  already,  a  very  large 
city  standing  at  the  entrance  to  Manzi.  The  people  are 
Idolaters  and  burn  their  dead,  and  are  subject  to  the 
Great  Kaan.  They  have  a  vast  amount  of  shipping,  as 
I  mentioned  before  in  speaking  of  the  River  Caramoran. 
And  an  immense  quantity  of  merchandize  comes  hither, 

152  MARCO  POLO  Book  II. 

for  the  city  is  the  seat  of  government  for  this  part  of  the 
country.  Owing  to  its  being  on  the  river,  many  cities 
send  their  produce  thither  to  be  again  thence  distributed 
in  every  direction.  A  great  amount  of  salt  also  is  made 
here,  furnishing  some  forty  other  cities  with  that  article, 
and  bringing  in  a  large  revenue  to  the  Great  Kaan.1 

Note  i. — Coiganju  is  Hwai-ngan  chau,  now  -Fti,  on  the  canal,  some  miles 
south  of  the  channel  of  the  Hwang-Ho ;  but  apparently  in  Polo's  time  the  great 
river  passed  close  to  it.  Indeed,  the  city  takes  its  name  from  the  River  Hwai,  into 
which  the  Hwang-Ho  sent  a  branch  when  first  seeking  a  discharge  south  of  Shantung. 
The  city  extends  for  about  3  miles  along  the  canal  and  much  below  its  level. 
[According  to  Sir  J.  F.  Davis,  the  situation  of  Hwai-ngan  "is  in  every  respect 
remarkable.  A  part  of  the  town  was  so  much  below  the  level  of  the  canal,  that  only 
the  tops  of  the  walls  (at  least  25  feet  high)  could  be  seen  from  our  boats.  .  .  . 
It  proved  to  be,  next  to  Tien-tsin,  by  far  the  largest  and  most  populous  place  we  had 
yet  seen,  the  capital  itself  excepted."     (Sketches  of  China,  I.  pp.  277-278.)— -H.  C] 

The  headquarters  of  the  salt  manufacture  of  Hwai-ngan  is  a  place  called  Yen-ching 
("  Salt-Town"),  some  distance  to  the  S.  of  the  former  city  [Pautkier). 


Of  the  Cities  of  Paukin  and  Cayu. 

When  you  leave  Coiganju  you  ride  south-east  for  a  day 
along  a  causeway  laid  with  fine  stone,  which  you  find 
at  this  entrance  to  Manzi.  On  either  hand  there  is  a 
great  expanse  of  water,  so  that  you  cannot  enter  the 
province  except  along  this  causeway.  At  the  end  of  the 
day's  journey  you  reach  the  fine  city  of  Paukin.  The 
people  are  Idolaters,  burn  their  dead,  are  subject  to  the 
Great  Kaan,  and  use  paper-money.  They  live  by  trade 
and  manufactures  and  have  great  abundance  of  silk, 
whereof  they  weave  a  great  variety  of  fine  stuffs  of  silk 
and  gold.  Of  all  the  necessaries  of  life  there  is  great 

When  you  leave  Paukin  you  ride  another  day  to  the 
south-east,   and  then  you    arrive  at.  the  city    of  Cayu. 


The  people  are  Idolaters  (and  so  forth).  They  live  by- 
trade  and  manufactures  and  have  great  store  of  all 
necessaries,  including  fish  in  great  abundance.  There 
is  also  much  game,  both  beast  and  bird,  insomuch  that 
for  a  Venice  groat  you  can  have  three  good  pheasants.1 

Note  i. — Paukin  is  PAO-YING-Hien  [a  populous  place,  considerably  below  the 
level  of  the  canal  {Davis,  Sketches,  I.  pp.  279-280)]  ;  Cayu  is  KAO-YU-chau,  both 
cities  on  the  east  side  of  the  canal.  At  Kao-yu,  the  country  east  of  the  canal  lies 
some  20  feet  below  the  canal  level  ;  so  low  indeed  that  the  walls  of  the  city  are  not 
visible  from  the  further  bank  of  the  canal.  To  the  west  is  the  Kao-yu  Lake,  one  of 
the  expanses  of  water  spoken  of  by  Marco,  and  which  threatens  great  danger  to  the 
low  country  on  the  east.  (See  Alabaster 's  Journey  in  Consular  Reports  above  quoted, 
p.  5  [and  Gandar,  Canal  Imperial,  p.  17. — Ii.  C.]) 

There  is  a  fine  drawing  of  Pao-ying,  by  Alexander,  in  the  Staunton  collection, 
British  Museum. 

Of  the  Cities  of  Tiju,  Tinju,  and  Yanju. 

When  you  leave  Cayu,  you  ride  another  day  to  the 
south-east  through  a  constant  succession  of  villages  and 
fields  and  fine  farms  until  you  come  to  Tiju,  which  is  a 
city  of  no  great  size  but  abounding  in  everything.  The 
people  are  Idolaters  (and  so  forth).  There  is  a  great 
amount  of  trade,  and  they  have  many  vessels.  And  you 
must  know  that  on  your  left  hand,  that  is  towards  the 
east,  and  three  days'  journey  distant,  is  the  Ocean  Sea. 
At  every  place  between  the  sea  and  the  city  salt  is  made 
in  great  quantities.  And  there  is  a  rich  and  noble  city 
called  Tinju,  at  which  there  is  produced  salt  enough  to 
supply  the  whole  province,  and  I  can  tell  you  it  brings 
the  Great  Kaan  an  incredible  revenue.  The  people  are 
Idolaters  and  subject  to  the  Kaan.  Let  us  quit  this, 
however,  and  go  back  to  Tiju.1 

Again,  leaving  Tiju,  you  ride  another  day   towards 


MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

the  south-east,  and  at  the  end  of  your  journey  you  arrive 
at  the  very  great  and  noble  city  of  Yanju,  which  has 
seven-and-twenty  other  wealthy  cities  under  its  administra- 
tion ;  so  that  this  Yanju  is,  you  see,  a  city  of  great  im- 
portance.2 It  is  the  seat  of  one  of  the  Great  Kaan's 
Twelve  Barons,  for  it  has  been  chosen  to  be  one  of  the 
Twelve  Sings.  The  people  are  Idolaters  and  use  paper- 
money,  and  are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan.  And  Messer 
Marco  Polo  himself,  of  whom  this  book  speaks,  did 
govern  this  city  for  three  full  years,  by  the  order  of  the 
Great  Kaan.3  The  people  live  by  trade  and  manu- 
factures, for  a  great  amount  of  harness  for  knights  and 
men-at-arms  is  made  there.  And  in  this  city  and  its 
neighbourhood  a  large  number  of  troops  are  stationed  by 
the  Kaan's  orders. 

There  is  no  more  to  say  about  it.  So  now  I  will  tell 
you  about  two  great  provinces  of  Manzi  which  lie 
towards  the  west.     And  first  of  that  called  Nanghin. 

Note  i. — Though  the  text  would  lead  us  to  look  for  Tiju  on  the  direct  line 
between  Kao-yu  and  Yang-chau,  and  like  them  on  the  canal  bank  (indeed  one  MS., 
C.  of  Pauthier,  specifies  its  standing  on  the  same  river  as  the  cities  already  passed, 
i.e.  on  the  canal),  we  seem  constrained  to  admit  the  general  opinion  that  this  is 
Tai-chau,  a  town  lying  some  25  miles  at  least  to  the  eastward  of  the  canal,  but 
apparently  connected  with  it  by  a  navigable  channel. 

Tinju  or  Chinju  (for  both  the  G.  T.  and  Ramusio  read  Cingui)  cannot  be  identified 
with  certainty.  But  I  should  think  it  likely,  from  Polo's  "geographical  style,"  that 
when  he  spoke  of  the  sea  as  three  days  distant  he  had  this  city  in  view,  and  that  it  is 
probably  Tung-chau,  near  the  northern  shore  of  the  estuary  of  the  Yang-tzii,  which 
might  be  fairly  described  as  three  days  from  Tai-chau.  Mr.  Kingsmill  identifies  it 
with  I-chin  hien,  the  great  port  on  the  Kiang  for  the  export  of  the  Yang-chau  salt. 
This  is  possible  ;  but  I-chin  lies  west  of  the  canal,  and  though  the  form  Chinju  would 
really  represent  I-chin  as  then  named,  such  a  position  seems  scarcely  compatible  with 
the  way,  vague  as  it  is,  in  which  Tinju  or  Chinju  is  introduced.  Moreover,  we  shall 
see  that  I-chin  is  spoken  of  hereafter.       {Kingsmill  in  N.  and  Q.   Ch.  and  Japan, 

I.  530 

Note  2. — Happily,  there  is  no  doubt  that  this  is  Yang-chau,  one  of  the  oldest 
and  most  famous  great  cities  of  China.  [Abulfeda  (Guyard,  II.  ii.  122)  says  that 
Yang-chau  is  the  capital  of  the  Faghfiir  of  China,  and  that  he  is  called  Tamghadj- 
khan. — H.  C]  Some  five-and-thirty  years  after  Polo's  departure  from  China,  Friar 
Odoric  found  at  this  city  a  House  of  his  own  Order  (Franciscans),  and  three  Nestorian 
churches.  The  city  also  appears  in  the  Catalan  Map  as  Iangio.  Yang-chau  suffered 
greatly   in  the  T'ai-P'ing  rebellion,  but  its   position   is  an   "obligatory  point"  for 

Chap.  LXVIII. 



commerce,  and  it  appears  to  be  rapidly  recovering  its  prosperity.  It  is  the  head- 
quarters of  the  salt  manufacture,  and  it  is  also  now  noted  for  a  great  manufacture 
of  sweetmeats.     (See  Alabasters  Report,  as  above,  p.  6.) 

[Through  the  kindness  of  the  late  Father  H.  Havre t,  S.J. ,  of  Zi-ka-wei,  I  am  enabled 



to  give  two  plans  from  the  Chronicles  of  Yang-chau,  Yang-chaufu  chi  (ed.  1733) '  one 
bears  the  title:  "The  Three  Cities  under  the  Sung,"  and  the  other:  "The  Great 
City  under  the  Sung."  The  three  cities  are  Pao  yew  ckeng,  built  in  1256,  Sin  Pao- 
cheng  or  Kia  cheng,  built  after  1256,  and  Tacheng,  the  "  Great  City,"  built  in  1 175  ; 



Book  II. 

in  1357,  Ta  eheng  was  rebuilt,  and  in  1557  it  was  augmented,  taking  the  place  of  the 
three  cities  ;  from  553  B.C.  until  the  12th  century,  Yang-chau  had  no  less  than  five 
enclosures  ;  the  governor's  yamen  stood  where  a  cross  is  marked  in  the  Great  City. 

Since  Yang-chau  has  been  laid  in  ruins  by  the  Tai-P'ing  insurgents,  these  plans 
offer  now  a  new  interest. — H.  C] 

Note  3. — What  I  have  rendered  "Twelve  Sings"  is  in  the  G.  T.  "douze  sajes" 
and  in  Pauthier's  text  "sieges."     It  seems  to  me  a  reasonable  conclusion  that  the 

Chap.  LXIX.  THE  CITY  OF  NANGHIN  1 57 

original  word  was  Sings  (see  I.  432,  supra)  ;  anyhow  that  was  the  proper  term  for 
the  thing  meant. 

In  his  note  on  this  chapter,  Pauthier  produces  evidence  that  Yang-chau  was  the 
seat  of  a  Lu  or  circuit*  from  1277,  and  also  of  a  Sing  or  Government-General,  but 
only  for  the  first  year  after  the  conquest,  viz.  1276- 1277,  and  he  seems  (for  his 
argument  is  obscure)  to  make  from  this  the  unreasonable  deduction  that  at  this  period 
Kiiblai  placed  Marco  Polo — who  could  not  be  more  than  twenty-three  years  of  age, 
and  had  been  but  two  years  in  Cathay — in  charge  either  of  the  general  government, 
or  of  an  important  district  government  in  the  most  important  province  of  the  empire. 

In  a  later  note  M.  Pauthier  speaks  of  1284  as  the  date  at  which  the  Sing  of  the 
province  of  Kiang-che  was  transferred  from  Yang-chau  to  Hang-chau  ;  this  is  probably 
to  be  taken  as  a  correction  of  the  former  citations,  and  it  better  justifies  Polo's  state- 
ment.    {Pauthier,  pp.  467,  492.) 

I  do  not  think  that  we  are  to  regard  Marco  as  having  held  at  any  time  the  im- 
portant post  of  Governor-General  of  Kiang-che.  The  expressions  in  the  G.  T.  are  : 
"  Meser  Marc  Pol  meisme,  celni  de  cui  trate  ceste  livre,  seingneurie  ceste  cite"  por  trois 
anz."  Pauthier's  MS.  A.  appears  to  read  :  "  Et  ot  seigneurie,  Marc  Pol,  en  ceste  cite", 
trois  ans."  These  expressions  probably  point  to  the  government  of  the  Ltt  or  circuit 
of  Yang-chau,  just  as  we  find  in  ch.  lxxiii.  another  Christian,  Mar  Sarghis,  mentioned 
as  Governor  of  Chin-kiang  fu  for  the  same  term  of  years,  that  city  being  also  the  head 
of  a  Lu.  It  is  remarkable  that  in  Pauthier's  MS.  C. ,  which  often  contains  readings 
of  peculiar  value,  the  passage  runs  (and  also  in  the  Bern  MS.):  "  Ei  si  vous  dy  que 
/edit  Messire  Marc  Pol,  cellui  meisme  de  quinostre  livre  parle,  sejourna,  en  ceste  citt  de 
Janguy.  iii.  ans  accompliz,  par  le  commandement  du  Grant  Kaan"  in  which  the  nature 
of  his  employment  is  not  indicated  at  all  (though  sijourna  may  be  an  error  for 
seigneura).  The  impression  of  his  having  been  Governor-General  is  mainly  due  to  the 
Ramusian  version,  which  says  distinctly  indeed  that  "  M.  Marco  Polo  di  commissions 
del  Gran  Can  if  ebbe  il  govemo  tre  anni  continui  in  luogo  di  un  dei  detti  Baroni,"  but 
it  is  very  probable  that  this  is  a  gloss  of  the  translator.  I  should  conjecture  his  rule  at 
Yang-chau  to  have  been  between  1282,  when  we  know  he  was  at  the  capital  (vol.  i. 
p.  422),  and  1287- 1288,  when  he  must  have  gone  on  his  first  expedition  to  the  Indian 


Concerning  the  City  of  Nanghin. 

Nanghin  is  a  very  noble  Province  towards  the  west. 
The  people  are  Idolaters  (and  so  forth)  and  live  by  trade 
and  manufactures.  They  have  silk  in  great  abundance, 
and  they  weave  many  fine  tissues  of  silk  and  gold. 
They  have  all  sorts  of  corn  and  victuals  very  cheap,  for 
the  province  is  a  most  productive  one.     Game  also  is 

*  The  Lu  or  Circuit  was  an  administrative  division  under  the  Mongols,  intermediate  between  the 
Sing  and  the  J?u,  or  department.  There  were  185  lu  in  all  China  under  Kublai.  (Pavth.  333).  [Mr. 
E.  L.  Oxenham,  Hist.  Atlas  Chin.  E/np.,  reckons  10  provinces  or  sheng,  yyfit  cities,  316  c/iau,  188 
/;/,  12  military  governorships. — H.  C] 

158  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

abundant,  and  lions  too  are  found  there.  The  merchants 
are  great  and  opulent,  and  the  Emperor  draws  a  large 
revenue  from  them,  in  the  shape  of  duties  on  the  goods 
which  they  buy  and  sell.1 

And  now  I  will  tell  you  of  the  very  noble  city  of 
Saianfu,  which  well  deserves  a  place  in  our  book,  for 
there  is  a  matter  of  great  moment  to  tell  about  it. 

Note  i. — The  name  and  direction  from  Yang-chau  are  probably  sufficient  to  indicate 
(as  Pauthier  has  said)  that  this  is  Ngan-king  on  the  Kiang,  capital  of  the  modern 
province  of  Ngan-hwei.  The  more  celebrated  city  of  Nan-king  did  not  bear  that 
name  in  our  traveller's  time. 

Ngan-king,  when  recovered  from  the  T'ai-P'ing  in  1861,  was  the  scene  of  a  frightful 
massacre  by  the  Imperialists.  They  are  said  to  have  left  neither  man,  woman,  nor 
child  alive  in  the  unfortunate  city.     (Blakiston,  p.  55.) 


Concerning  the  very  noble  City  of  Saianfu,  and  how  its  Capture 

was  effected. 

Saianfu  is  a  very  great  and  noble  city,  and  it  rules  over 
twelve  other  large  and  rich  cities,  and  is  itself  a  seat  of 
great  trade  and  manufacture.  The  people  are  Idolaters 
(and  so  forth).  They  have  much  silk,  from  which  they 
weave  fine  silken  stuffs  ;  they  have  also  a  quantity  of 
game,  and  in  short  the  city  abounds  in  all  that  it  behoves 
a  noble  city  to  possess. 

Now  you  must  know  that  this  city  held  out  against 
the  Great  Kaan  for  three  years  after  the  rest  of  Manzi 
had  surrendered.  The  Great  Kaan's  troops  made  in- 
cessant attempts  to  take  it,  but  they  could  not  succeed 
because  of  the  great  and  deep  waters  that  were  round 
about  it,  so  that  they  could  approach  from  one  side  only, 
which  was  the  north.  And  I  tell  you  they  never  would 
have  taken  it,  but  for  a  circumstance  that  I  am  going  to 


You  must  know  that  when  the  Great  Kaan's  host 
had  lain  three  years  before  the  city  without  being  able 
to  take  it,  they  were  greatly  chafed  thereat.  Then  Messer 
Nicolo  Polo  and  Messer  Maffeo  and  Messer  Marco  said  : 
"We  could  find  you  a  way  of  forcing  the  city  to  sur- 
render speedily  ; "  whereupon  those  of  the  army  replied, 
that  they  would  be  right  glad  to  know  how  that  should 
be.  All  this  talk  took  place  in  the  presence  of  the  Great 
Kaan.  For  messengers  had  been  despatched  from  the 
camp  to  tell  him  that  there  was  no  taking  the  city  by 
blockade,  for  it  continually  received  supplies  of  victual 
from  those  sides  which  they  were  unable  to  invest ;  and 
the  Great  Kaan  had  sent  back  word  that  take  it  they 
must,  and  find  a  way  how.  Then  spoke  up  the  two 
brothers  and  Messer  Marco  the  son,  and  said:  "Great 
Prince,  we  have  with  us  among  our  followers  men  who 
are  able  to  construct  mangonels  which  shall  cast  such 
great  stones  that  the  garrison  will  never  be  able  to  stand 
them,  but  will  surrender  incontinently,  as  soon  as  the 
mangonels  or  trebuchets  shall  have  shot  into  the  town."1 

The  Kaan  bade  them  with  all  his  heart  have  such 
mangonels  made  as  speedily  as  possible.  Now  Messer 
Nicolo  and  his  brother  and  his  son  immediately  caused 
timber  to  be  brought,  as  much  as  they  desired,  and  fit 
for  the  work  in  hand.  And  they  had  two  men  among 
their  followers,  a  German  and  a  Nestorian  Christian, 
who  were  masters  of  that  business,  and  these  they 
directed  to  construct  two  or  three  mangonels  capable  of 
casting  stones  of  300  lbs.  weight.  Accordingly  they 
made  three  fine  mangonels,  each  of  which  cast  stones  of 
300  lbs.  weight  and  more.2  And  when  they  were 
complete  and  ready  for  use,  the  Emperor  and  the  others 
were  greatly  pleased  to  see  them,  and  caused  several 
stones  to  be  shot  in  their  presence ;  whereat  they 
marvelled  greatly  and  greatly  praised   the   work.     And 

l6o  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

the  Kaan  ordered  that  the  engines  should  be  carried 
to  his  army  which  was  at  the  leaguer  of  Saianfu.3 

And  when  the  engines  were  got  to  the  camp  they 
were  forthwith  set  up,  to  the  great  admiration  of  the 
Tartars.  And  what  shall  I  tell  you?  When  the 
engines  were  set  up  and  put  in  gear,  a  stone  was  shot 
from  each  of  them  into  the  town.  These  took  effect 
among  the  buildings,  crashing  and  smashing  through 
everything  with  huge  din  and  commotion.  And  when 
the  townspeople  witnessed  this  new  and  strange  visitation 
they  were  so  astonished  and  dismayed  that  they  wist 
not  what  to  do  or  say.  They  took  counsel  together,  but 
no  counsel  could  be  suggested  how  to  escape  from  these 
engines,  for  the  thing  seemed  to  them  to  be  done  by 
sorcery.  They  declared  that  they  were  all  dead  men  if 
they  yielded  not,  so  they  determined  to  surrender  on 
such  conditions  as  they  could  get.4  Wherefore  they 
straightway  sent  word  to  the  commander  of  the  army 
that  they  were  ready  to  surrender  on  the  same  terms  as 
the  other  cities  of  the  province  had  done,  and  to  become 
the  subjects  of  the  Great  Kaan  ;  and  to  this  the  captain 
of  the  host  consented. 

So  the  men  of  the  city  surrendered,  and  were  received 
to  terms ;  and  this  all  came  about  through  the  exertions 
of  Messer  Nicolo,  and  Messer  Maffeo,  and  Messer 
Marco  ;  and  it  was  no  small  matter.  For  this  city  and 
province  is  one  of  the  best  that  the  Great  Kaan  possesses, 
and  brings  him  in  o-reat  revenues.5 

Note  i. — Pauthier's  MS.  C.  here  says :  "When  the  Great  Kaan,  and  the  Barons 
about  him,  and  the  messengers  from  the  camp  .  .  .  heard  this,  they  all  marvelled 
greatly ;  for  I  tell  you  that  in  all  those  parts  they  know  nothing  of  mangonels  or 
trebuchets ;  and  they  were  so  far  from  being  accustomed  to  employ  them  in  their  wars 
that  they  had  never  even  seen  them,  nor  knew  what  they  were."  The  MS.  in  question 
has  in  this  narrative  several  statements  peculiar  to  itself,*  as  indeed  it  has  in  various 
other  passages  of  the  book  ;  and  these  often  look  very  like  the  result  of  revision  by 

And  to  the  Bern  MS.  which  seems  to  be  a  copy  of  it,  as  is  also  I  think  (in  substance)  the  Bodleian. 

Chap.  LXX.  CAPTURE    OF  SAIANFU  l6l 

Polo  himself.     Yet  I  have  not  introduced  the  words  just  quoted  into  our  text,  because 
they  are,  as  we  shall  see  presently,  notoriously  contrary  to  fact. 

Note  2. — The  same  MS.  has  here  a  passage  which  I  am  unable  to  understand. 
After  the  words  "300  lbs.  and  more,"  it  goes  on  :  "  Et  la  veoit  Ten  voler  moult 
loing,  desquelles  pierres  Hen  y  avoit  plus  de  lx  routes  qui  tant  ?nontoit  tune  co77ime 
I 'autre."  The  Bern  has  the  same.  [Perhaps  we  might  read  lx  en  routes,  viz.  on 
their  way. — H.  C] 

Note  3. — I  propose  here  to  enter  into  some  detailed  explanation  regarding  the 
military  engines  that  were  in  use  in  the  Middle  Ages.  *  None  of  these  depended  for  their 
motive  force  on  torsion  like  the  chief  engines  used  in  classic  times.  However  numerous 
the  names  applied  to  them,  with  reference  to  minor  variations  in  construction  or 
differences  in  power,  they  may  all  be  reduced  to  two  classes,  viz.  great  slings  and.  great 
crossbows.  And  this  is  equally  true  of  all  the  three  great  branches  of  mediaeval 
civilisation — European,  Saracenic,  and  Chinese.  To  the  first  class  belonged  the 
Trebuchet  and  Mangonel ;  to  the  second,  the  Wine h-Ar blast  (Arbalete  a  Tour), 
Spring-old,  etc. 

Whatever  the  ancient  Balista  may  have  been,  the  word  in  mediaeval  Latin  seems 
always  to  mean  some  kind  of  crossbow.  The  heavier  crossbows  were  wound  up  by 
various  aids,  such  as  winches,  ratchets,  etc.  They  discharged  stone  shot,  leaden  bullets, 
and  short;  square-shafted  arrows  called  quarrels,  and  these  with  such  force  we  are 
told  as  to  pierce  a  six-inch  post  (?).  But  they  were  worked  so  slowly  in  the  field  that 
they  were  no  match  for  the  long-bow,  which  shot  five  or  six  times  to  their  once.  The 
great  machines  of  this  kind  were  made  of  wood,  of  steel,  and  very  frequently  of  horn  ;f 
and  the  bow  was  sometimes  more  than  30  feet  in  length.  Dufour  calculates  that  such 
a  machine  could  shoot  an  arrow  of  half  a  kilogram  in  weight  to  a  distance  of  about 
860  yards. 

The  Trebuchet  consisted  of  a  long  tapering  shaft  or  beam,  pivoted  at  a  short 
distance  from  the  butt  end  on  a  pair  of  strong  pyramidal  trestles.  At  the  other  end  of 
the  shaft  a  sling  was  applied,  one  cord  of  which  was  firmly  attached  by  a  ring,  whilst 
the  other  hung  in  a  loop  over  an  iron  hook  which  formed  the  extremity  of  the  shaft. 
The  power  employed  to  discharge  the  sling  was  either  the  strength  of  a  number  oi 
men,  applied  to  ropes  which  were  attached  to  the  short  end  of  the  shaft  or  lever,  or 
the  weight  of  a  heavy  counterpoise  hung  from  the  same,  and  suddenly  released, 

Supposing  the  latter  force  to  be  employed,  the  long  end  of  the  shaft  was  drawn 
down  by  a  windlass  ;  the  sling  was  laid  forward  in  a  wooden  trough  provided  for  it, 
and  charged  with  the  shot.  The  counterpoise  was,  of  course,  now  aloft,  and  was  so 
maintained  by  a  detent  provided  with  a  trigger.  On  pulling  this,  the  counterpoise 
falls  and  the  shaft  flies  upwards  drawing  the  sling.  When  a  certain  point  is  reached 
the  loop  end  of  the  sling  releases   itself  from  the  hook,   and  the  sling  flies  abroad 

*  In  this  note  I  am  particularly  indebted  to  the  researches  of  the  Emperor  Napoleon  III.  on  this 
subject.     {Etudes  sur  le passe  et  t'avenir  de  t 'Artillerie ;  1851.) 

t  Thus  Joinville  mentions  the  journey  of  Jehan  li  Ermin,  the  king's  artillerist,  from  Acre  to 
Damascus,  pour  acheter  comes  et  gtus  pour  /aire  arbalcstres — to  buy  horns  and  glue  to  make 
crossbows  withal  (p.  134). 

In  the  final  defence  of  Acre(i29i)  we  hear  of  balistae  bipedales  (with  a  forked  rest?)  and  other 
vertiginates  (traversing  on  a  pivot  V)  that  shot  3  quarrels  at  once,  and  with  such  force  as  to  stitch  the 
Saracens  to  their  bucklers — cum  clypeis  consutos  interfecerunt. 

The  crossbow,  though  apparently  indigenous  among  various  tribes  of  Indo-China,  seems  to  have 
been  a  new  introduction  in  European  warfare  in  the  12th  century.  William  of  Brittany  in  a  poem 
called  the  Phiiippis,  speaking  of  the  early  days  of  Philip  Augustus,  says  :— 

"  Francigenis  nostris  illis  ignota  diebus 
Res  erat  omnino  quid  balistarius  arcus, 
Quid  balista  foret,  nee  habebat  in  agmine  toto 
Rex  quenquam  sciret  armis  qui  talibus  uti." 

— Duchesne,  Hist.  Franc.  Script.,  V.  115. 

Anna  Comnena  calls  it  TY'$a'ypa  (which  looks  like  Persian  charkh),  "a  barbaric  bow,  totally  un- 
known to  the  Greeks"  ;  and  she  gives  a  very  lengthy  description  of  it,  ending  :  "  Such  then  are  the 
facts  about  the  Tzagra,  and  a  truly  diabolical  affair  it  is."    (Atex.  X. — Paris  ed.  p.  291.) 

VOL.    II,  L. 


whilst  the  shot  is  projected  in  its  parabolic  flight.*  To  secure  the  most  favourable 
result  the  shot  should  have  acquired  its  maximum  velocity,  and  should  escape  at  an 
angle  of  about  450.  The  attainment  of  this  required  certain  proportions  between  the 
different  dimensions  of  the  machine  and  the  weight  of  the  shot,  for  which,  doubtless, 
traditional  rules  of  thumb  existed  among  the  mediaeval  engineers. 

The  ordinary  shot  consisted  of  stones  carefully  rounded.  But  for  these  were 
substituted  on  occasion  rough  stones  with  fuses  attached,!  pieces  of  red-hot  iron,  pots 
of  fused  metal,  or  casks  full  of  Greek  fire  or  of  foul  matter  to  corrupt  the  air  of  the 
besieged  place.  Thus  carrion  was  shot  into  Negropont  from  such  engines  by 
Mahomed  II.  The  Cardinal  Octavian,  besieging  Modena  in  1249,  slings  a  dead  ass 
into  the  town.  Froissart  several  times  mentions  such  measures,  as  at  the  siege  of 
Thin  PEveque  on  the  Scheldt  in  1340,  when  "the  besiegers  by  their  engines  flung 
dead  horses  and  other  carrion  into  the  castle  to  poison  the  garrison  by  their  smell." 
In  at  least  one  instance  the  same  author  tells  how  a  living  man,  an  unlucky  messenger 
from  the  Castle  of  Auberoche,  was  caught  by  the  besiegers,  thrust  into  the  sling  with 
the  letters  that  he  bore  hung  round  his  neck,  and  shot  into  Auberoche,  where  he  fell 
dead  among  his  horrified  comrades.  And  Lipsius  quotes  from  a  Spanish  Chronicle 
the  story  of  a  virtuous  youth,  Pelagius,  who,  by  order  of  the  Tyrant  Abderramin,  was 
shot  across  the  Guadalquivir,  but  lighted  unharmed  upon  the  rocks  beyond.  Ramon 
de  Muntaner  relates  how  King  James  of  Aragon,  besieging  Majorca  in  1228,  vowed 
vengeance  against  the  Saracen  King  because  he  shot  Christian  prisoners  into  the 
besiegers'  camp  with  his  trebuchets  (pp.  223-224).  We  have  mentioned  one  kind  of 
corruption  propagated  by  these  engines  ;  the  historian  Wassaf  tells  of  another.  When 
the  garrison  of  Dehli  refused  to  open  the  gates  to  Alauddin  Khilji  after  the  murder 
of  his  uncle,  Firuz  (1296),  he  loaded  his  mangonels  with  bags  of  gold  and  shot  them 
into  the  fort,  a  measure  which  put  an  end  to  the  opposition. 

Ibn  Batuta,  forty  years  later,  describes  Mahomed  Tughlak  as  entering  Dehli 
accompanied  by  elephants  carrying  small  balistae  {rctdddl),  from  which  gold  and 
silver  pieces  were  shot  among  the  crowd.  And  the  same  king,  when  he  had  given 
the  crazy  and  cruel  order  that  the  population  of  Dehli  should  evacuate  the  city  and 
depart  to  Deogir,  900  miles  distant,  having  found  two  men  skulking  behind,  one 
of  whom  was  paralytic  and  the  other  blind,  caused  the  former  to  be  shot  from  a 
mangonel.     (/.  B.  III.  395,  315.) 

Some  old  drawings  represent  the  shaft  as  discharging  the  shot  from  a  kind  of 
spoon  at  its  extremity,  without  the  aid  of  a  sling  {e.g.  fig.  13)  ;  but  it  may  be  doubted 
if  this  was  actually  used,  for  the  sling  was  essential  to  the  efficiency  of  the  engine. 
The  experiments  and  calculations  of  Dufour  show  that  without  the  sling,  other 
things  remaining  the  same,  the  range  of  the  shot  would  be  reduced  by  more  than  a 

In  some  of  these  engines  the  counterpoise,  consisting  of  a  timber  case  filled  with 
stones,  sand,  or  the  like,  was  permanently  fixed  to  the  butt-end  of  the  shaft.  This 
seems  to  have  been  the  Trebuchet  proper.  In  others  the  counterpoise  hung  free  on  a 
pivot  from  the  yard  ;  whilst  a  third  kind  (as  in  fig.  17)  combined  both  arrangements. 
The  first  kind  shot  most  steadily  and  truly  ;  the  second  with  more  force. 

Those  machines,  in  which  the  force  of  men  pulling  cords  took  the  place  of  the 
counterpoise,  could  not  discharge  such  weighty  shot,  but  they  could  be  worked  more 
rapidly,  and  no  doubt  could  be  made  of  lighter  scantling.  Mr.  Hewitt  points  out  a 
curious  resemblance  between  this  kind  of  Trebuchet  and  the  apparatus  used  on  the 
Thames  to  raise  the  cargo  from  the  hold  of  a  collier. 

The  Emperor  Napoleon  deduces  from  certain  passages  in  mediaeval  writers  that  the 
Mangonel  was  similar  to  the  Trebuchet,  but  of  lighter  structure  and  power.     But 

*  The  construction  is  best  seen  in  Figs.  17  and  19.  Figs.  1,  2,  3,  4,  5  in  the  cut  are  from  Chinese 
sources  ;  Figs.  6,  7,  8  from  Arabic  works  ;  the  rest  from  European  sources. 

t  Christine  de  Pisan  says  that  when  keeping  up  a  discharge  by  night  lighted  brands  should  be 
attached  to  the  stones  in  order  to  observe  and  correct  the  practice.  (Livre  desfaits,  etc. ,  du  sage 
Roy  Charles,  Pt.  II.  ch.  xxiv.) 

VOL.    II.  L    2 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

often  certainly  the  term  Mangonel  seems  to  be  used  generically  for  all  machines  of 
this  class.  Marino  Sanudo  uses  no  word  but  Machina,  which  he  appears  to 
employ  as  the  Latin  equivalent  of  Mangonel,  whilst  the  machine  which  he 
describes  is  a  Trebuchet  with  moveable  counterpoise.  The  history  of  the  word 
appears  to  be  the  following.  The  Greek  word  fxdyyavov,  "apiece  of  witchcraft." 
came  to  signify  a  juggler's  trick,  an  unexpected  contrivance  (in  modern  slang  "a 
jim "),  and  so  specially  a  military  engine.  It  seems  to  have  reached  this  specific 
meaning  by  the  time  of  Hero  the  Younger,  who  is  believed  to  have  written  in  the 
first  half  of  the  7th  century.  From  the  form  fiayyaviKov  the  Orientals  got  Manganik 
and  Manjanik  *  whilst  the  Franks  adopted  Mangona  and  Mangonella.  Hence  the 
verbs  manganare  and  amanganare,  to  batter  and  crush  with  such  engines,  and 
eventually  our  verb  "  to  mangle."  Again,  when  the  use  of  gunpowder  rendered 
these  warlike  engines  obsolete,  perhaps  their  ponderous  counterweights  were  utilised 
in  the  peaceful  arts  of  the  laundry,  and  hence  gave  us  our  substantive  "the  Mangle" 
(It.  Mangand)  ! 

The  Emperor  Napoleon,  when  Prince  President,  caused  some  interesting  ex- 
periments in  the  matter  of  mediseval  artillery  to  be  carried  out  at  Vincennes,  and  a 
full-sized  trebuchet  was  constructed  there.  With  a  shaft  of  33  feet  9  inches  in  length, 
having  a  permanent  counterweight  of  3300  lbs.  and  a  pivoted  counterweight  of 
6600  lbs.  more,  the  utmost  effect  attained  was  the  discharge  of  an  iron  24-kilo.  shot 
to  a  range  of  191  yards,  whilst  a  12^-inch  shell,  filled  with  earth,  ranged  to  131  yards. 
The  machine  suffered  greatly  at  each  discharge,  and  it  was  impracticable  to  increase 
the  counterpoise  to  8000  kilos.,  or  17,600  lbs.  as  the  Prince  desired.  It  was  evident 
that  the  machine  was  not  of  sufficiently  massive  structure.  But  the  officers  in  charge 
satisfied  themselves  that,  with  practice  in  such  constructions  and  the  use  of  very 
massive  timber,  even  the  exceptional  feats  recorded  of  mediaeval  engineers  might  be 

Such  a  case  is  that  cited  by  Quatremere,  from  an  Oriental  author,  of  the  dis- 
charge of  stones  weighing  400  mans,  certainly  not  less  than  800  lbs. ,  and  possibly 
much  more  ;  or  that  of  the  Men  of  Bern,  who  are  reported,  when  besieging  Nidau  in 
1388,  to  have  employed  trebuchets  which  shot  daily  into  the  town  upwards  of  200 
blocks  weighing  12  cwt.  apiece. f  Stella  relates  that  the  Genoese  armament  sent 
against  Cyprus,  in  1373,  among  other  great  machines  had  one  called  Troja  {Truial), 
which  cast  stones  of  12  to  18  hundredweights ;  and  when  the  Venetians  were 
besieging  the  revolted  city  of  Zara  in  1346,  their  Engineer,  Master  Francesco  delle 
Barche,  shot  into  the  city  stones  of  3000  lbs.  weight.  %  In  this  case  the  unlucky 
engineer  was  "hoist  with  his  own  petard,"  for  while  he  stood  adjusting  one  of  his 
engines,  it  went  off,  and  shot  him  into  the  town. 

With  reference  to  such  cases  the  Emperor  calculates  that  a  stone  of  3000  lbs. 
weight  might  be  shot  77  yards  with  a  counterpoise  of  36,000  lbs.  weight,  and  a  shaft 
65  feet  long.  The  counterpoise,  composed  of  stone  shot  of  55  lbs.  each,  might  be 
contained  in  a  cubical  case  of  about  5^  feet  to  the  side.  The  machine  would  be 
preposterous,  but  there  is  nothing  impossible  about  it.  Indeed  in  the  Album  of 
Villard  de  Honnecourt,  an  architect  of  the  13th  century,  which  was  published  at 
Paris  in    1858,    in  the   notes    accompanying   a   plan   of  a   trebuchet   (from   which 

*  Professor  Sprenger  informs  me  that  the  first  mention  of  the  Manjanik  in  Mahomedan  history  is 
at  the  siege  of  Tayif  by  Mahomed  himself,  a.d.  630  (and  see  Sprenger s  Mohammed  [German],  III. 
330).  The  Annales  Marbacenses  in  Pertz,  xvii.  172,  say  under  1212,  speaking  of  wars  of  the  Emperor 
Otho  in  Germany:  "  Ibi  tunc  cepit  haberi  usus  instrumenti  bellici  quod  vulgo  iribok  appellari 

There  is  a  ludicrous  Oriental  derivation  of  Manjanik,  from  the  Persian  :  "Alan  chi  nek  "  !  "  How 
good  am  I  ! "    lbn   Khallikan  remarks  that  the  word  must  be  foreign,  because  the  letters  j  and  k 

O   and  O  )  never  occur  together  in  genuine  Arabic  words  {Notes  by  Mr.  E.  Thomas,  F.R.S.).     It 

may  be  noticed  that  the  letters  in  question  occur  together  in  another  Arabic  word  of  foreign  origin 
used  by  Polo,  viz.  Jdthattk. 

t  Dufour  mentions  that  stone  shot  of  the  mediaeval  engines  exist  at  Zurich,  of  20  and  22  inches 
diameter.     The  largest  of  these  would,  however,  scarcely  exceed  500  lbs.  in  weight. 

%  Georg.  Stellae  Ann.  in  Muratort,  XVII.  1105  ;  and  Daru,  Bk.  viii.  §  12, 


Professor  Willis  restored  the  machine  as  it  is  shown  in  our  fig.  19),  the  artist  remarks  : 
"It  is  a  great  job  to  heave  down  the  beam,  for  the  counterpoise  is  very  heavy.  For 
it  consists  of  a  chest  full  of  earth  which  is  2  great  toises  in  length,  8  feet  in  breadth, 
and  12  feet  in  depth"  !  (p.  203). 

Such  calculations  enable  us  to  understand  the  enormous  quantities  of  material  said 
to  have  been  used  in  some  of  the  larger  mediaeval  machines.  Thus  Abulfeda  speaks 
of  one  used  at  the  final  capture  of  Acre,  which  was  entrusted  to  the  troops  of  Hamath, 
and  which  formed  a  load  for  100  carts,  of  which  one  was  in  charge  of  the  historian 
himself.  The  romance  of  Richard  Cceur  de  Lion  tells  how  in  the  King's  Fleet  an 
entire  ship  was  taken  up  by  one  such  machine  with  its  gear  : — 

"  Another  schyp  was  laden  yet 
With  an  engyne  hyghte  Robinet, 
(It  was  Richardys  o  mangonel) 
And  all  the  takyl  that  thereto  fel." 

Twenty-four  machines,  captured  from  the  Saracens  by  St.  Lewis  in  his  first  partial 
success  on  the  Nile,  afforded  material  for  stockading  his  whole  camp.  A  great 
machine  which  cumbered  the  Tower  of  St.  Paul  at  Orleans,  and  was  dismantled 
previous  to  the  celebrated  defence  against  the  English,  furnished  26  cart-loads  of 
timber.  {Abulf.  Ann.  Muslem,  V.  95-97  ;  Weber,  II.  56 ;  Michel's  Joinville,  App. 
p.  278  ;  Jollois,  H.  die  Siege  d  Orleans,  1833,  P-  I2-) 

The  number  of  such  engines  employed  was  sometimes  very  great.  We  have  seen 
that  Si.  Lewis  captured  24  at  once,  and  these  had  been  employed  in  the  field. 
Villehardouin  says  that  the  fleet  which  went  from  Venice  to  the  attack  of 
Constantinople  carried  more  than  300  perriers  and  mangonels,  besides  quantities  of 
other  engines  required  for  a  siege  (ch.  xxxviii).  At  the  siege  of  Acre  in  1291,  just 
referred  to,  the  Saracens,  according  to  Makrizi,  set  92  engines  in  battery  against  the 
city,  whilst  Abulfaraj  says  300,  and  a  Frank  account,  of  great  and  small,  666.  The 
larger  ones  are  said  to  have  shot  stones  of  "  a  kantar  and  even  more."  {Makrizi, 
III.  125;  Reinand,  Chroniqnes  Arabes,  etc.,  p.  570;  De  Excidio  Urbis  Acconis,  in 
Martene  and  Durand,  V.  769.) 

How  heavy  a  mangonade  was  sometimes  kept  up  may  be  understood  from  the 
account  of  the  operations  on  the  Nile,  already  alluded  to.  The  King  was  trying  to 
run  a  dam  across  a  branch  of  the  river,  and  had  protected  the  head  of  his  work  by 
' '  cat-castles  "  or  towers  of  timber,  occupied  by  archers,  and  these  again  supported  by 
trebuchets,  etc.,  in  battery.  "  And,"  says  Jean  Pierre  Sarrasin,  the  King's  Chamber- 
lain, "when  the  Saracens  saw  what  was  going  on,  they  planted  a  great  number  of 
engines  against  ours,  and  to  destroy  our  towers  and  our  causeway  they  shot  such 
vast  quantities  of  stones,  great  and  small,  that  all  men  stood  amazed.  They  slung 
stones,  and  discharged  arrows,  and  shot  quarrels  from  winch-arblasts,  and  pelted  us 
with  Turkish  darts  and  Greek  fire,  and  kept  up  such  a  harassment  of  every  kind 
against  our  engines  and  our  men  working  at  the  causeway,  that  it  was  horrid  either 
to  see  or  to  hear.  Stones,  darts,  arrows,  quarrels,  and  Greek  fire  came  down  on 
them  like  rain." 

The  Emperor  Napoleon  observes  that  the  direct  or  grazing  fire  of  the  great 
arblasts  may  be  compared  to  that  of  guns  in  more  modern  war,  whilst  the  mangonels 
represent  mortar-fire.  And  this  vertical  fire  was  by  no  means  contemptible,  at  least 
against  buildings  of  ordinary  construction.  At  the  sieges  of  Thin  l'Eveque  in  1340, 
and  Auberoche  in  1344,  already  cited,  Froissart  says  the  French  cast  stones  in,  night 
and  day,  so  as  in  a  few  days  to  demolish  all  the  roofs  of  the  towers,  and  none  within 
durst  venture  out  of  the  vaulted  basement. 

The  Emperor's  experiments  showed  that  these  machines  were  capable  of  sur- 
prisingly accurate  direction.  And  the  mediaeval  histories  present  some  remarkable 
feats  of  this  kind.  Thus,  in  the  attack  of  Mortagne  by  the  men  of  Hainault  and 
Valenciennes  (1340),  the  latter  had  an  engine  which  was  a  great  annoyance  to 
the  garrison  ;  there  was  a  clever  engineer  in  the  garrison  who  set  up  another  machine 

1 66  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

against  it,  and  adjusted  it  so  well  that  the  first  shot  fell  within  12  paces  of  the 
enemy's  engine,  the  second  fell  near  the  box,  and  the  third  struck  the  shaft  and  split 
it  in  two. 

Already  in  the  first  half  of  the  13th  century,  a  French  poet  (quoted  by  Weber) 
looks  forward  with  disgust  to  the  supercession  of  the  feats  of  chivalry  by  more 
mechanical  methods  of  war  : — 

"  Chevaliers  sont  esperdus, 
Cil  ont  auques  leur  tens  perdus  ; 
Arbalestier  et  mineor 
Et  perrier  et  engigneor 
Seront  dorenavant  plus  chier." 

When  Ghazan  Khan  was  about  to  besiege  the  castle  of  Damascus  in  1300,  so  much 
importance  was  attached  to  this  art  that  whilst  his  Engineer,  a  man  of  reputation 
therein,  was  engaged  in  preparing  the  machines,  the  Governor  of  the  castle  offered  a 
reward  of  1000  dinars  for  that  personage's  head.  And  one  of  the  garrison  was  "daring 
enough  to  enter  the  Mongol  camp,  stab  the  Engineer,  and  carry  back  his  head  into 
the  castle  ! 

Marino  Sanudo,  about  the  same  time,  speaks  of  the  range  of  these  engines  with 
a  prophetic  sense  of  the  importance  of  artillery  in  war  : — 

"On  this  subject  (length  of  range)  the  engineers  and  experts  of  the  army  should 
employ  their  very  sharpest  wits.  For  if  the  shot  of  one  army,  whether  engine-stones 
or  pointed  projectiles,  have  a  longer  range  than  the  shot  of  the  enemy,  rest  assured 
that  the  side  whose  artillery  hath  the  longest  range  will  have  a  vast  advantage  in 
action.  Plainly,  if  the  Christian  shot  can  take  effect  on  the  Pagan  forces,  whilst  the 
Pagan  shot  cannot  reach  the  Christian  forces,  it  may  be  safely  asserted  that  the 
Christians  will  continually  gain  ground  from  the  enemy,  or,  in  other  words,  they 
will  win  the  battle." 

The  importance  of  these  machines  in  war,  and  the  efforts  made  to  render  them 
more  effective,  went  on  augmenting  till  the  introduction  of  the  still  more  "  villanous 
saltpetre,"  even  then,  however,  coming  to  no  sudden  halt.  Several  of  the  instances 
that  we  have  cited  of  machines  of  extraordinary  power  belong  to  a  time  when  the  use 
of  cannon  had  made  some  progress.  The  old  engines  were  employed  by  Timur  ;  in 
the  wars  of  the  Hussites  as  late  as  1422  ;  and,  as  we  have  seen,  up  to  the  middle  of 
that  century  by  Mahomed  II.  They  are  also  distinctly  represented  on  the  towers  of 
Aden,  in  the  contemporary  print  of  the  escalade  in  15 14,  reproduced  in  this  volume. 
(Bk.  III.  ch.  xxxvi.) 

{Etudes  sur  le  Passe"  et  PAvenir  de  PArtillerie,  par  L.  N.  Bonaparte,  etc.,  torn. 
II.  ;  Marinus  Samttius,  Bk.  II.  Pt.  4,  ch.  xxi.  and  xxii.  ;  Kington' 's  Fred.  I/.,  II. 
488;  Froissart,  I.  69,  81,  182;  Elliot,  III.  41,  etc.  ;  Hewitt's  Ancient  Armour,  I. 
350;  Pertz,  Scriptores,  XVIII.  420,  751  ;  Q.  P.  135-7;  Weber,  III.  103;  Hammer, 
llch.  II.  95.) 

Note  4. — Very  like  this  is  what  the  Romance  of  Cceur  de  Lion  tells  of  the  effects 
of  Sir  Fulke  Doy ley's  mangonels  on  the  Saracens  of  Ebcdy : — 

11  Sir  Fouke  brought  good  engynes 

Swylke  knew  but  fewe  Sarazynes — 

*  ■*  * 

A  prys  tour  stood  ovyr  the  Gate ; 

He  bent  his  engynes  and  threw  thercate 

A  great  stone  that  harde  droff, 

That  the  Tour  al  to  roff 

*  *  # 

And  slough  the  folk  that  therinne  stood ; 

The  other  fledde  and  wer  nygh  wood, 

And  sayde  it  was  the  devylys  dent,"  etc.  —  Weber  ^  II.  172, 

Chap.  LXX.  SIEGE   OF  SAIANFU  1 67 

Note  5.  — This  chapter  is  one  of  the  most  perplexing  in  the  whole  book,  owing 
to  the  chronological  difficulties  involved. 

Saianfu  is  Siang-yang  fu,  which  stands  on  the  south  bank  of  the  River  Han. 
and  with  the  sister  city  of  Fan-ch'eng,  on  the  opposite  bank,  commands  the  junction 
of  two  important  approaches  to  the  southern  provinces,  viz.  that  from  Shen-si  down 
the  Han,  and  that  from  Shan-si  and  Peking  down  the  Pe-ho.  Fan-ch'eng  seems  now 
to  be  the  more  important  place  of  the  two. 

The  name  given  to  the  city  by  Polo  is  precisely  that  which  Siang-yang  bears  in 
Rashiduddin,  and  there  is  no  room  for  doubt  as  to  its  identity. 

The  Chinese  historians  relate  that  Kiiblai  was  strongly  advised  to  make  the 
capture  of  Siang-yang  and  Fan-ch'eng  a  preliminary  to  his  intended  attack  upon  the 
Sung.  The  siege  was  undertaken  in  the  latter  part  of  1268,  and  the  twin  cities  held 
out  till  the  spring  [March]  of  1273.  Nor  did  Kiiblai  apparently  prosecute  any  other 
operations  against  the  Sung  during  that  long  interval. 

Now  Polo  represents  that  the  long  siege  of  Saianfu,  instead  of  being  a  prologue 
to  the  subjugation  of  Manzi,  was  the  protracted  epilogue  of  that  enterprise  ;  and  he 
also  represents  the  fall  of  the  place  as  caused  by  advice  and  assistance  rendered  by 
his  father,  his  uncle,  and  himself,  a  circumstance  consistent  only  with  the  siege's 
having  really  been  such  an  epilogue  to  the  war.  For,  according  to  the  narrative  as  it 
stands  in  all  the  texts,  the  Polos  could  not  have  reached  the  Court  of  Kiiblai  before 
the  end  of  1274,  i.e.  a  year  and  a  half  after  the  fall  of  Siang-yang,  as  represented  in  the 
Chinese  histories. 

The  difficulty  is  not  removed,  nor,  it  appears  to  me,  abated  in  any  degree,  by 
omitting  the  name  of  Marco  as  one  of  the  agents  in  this  affair,  an  omission  which 
occurs  both  in  Pauthier's  MS.  B  and  in  Ramusio.  Pauthier  suggests  that  the  father 
and  uncle  may  have  given  the  advice  and  assistance  in  question  when  on  their  first 
visit  to  the  Kaan,  and  when  the  siege  of  Siang-yang  was  first  contemplated.  But  this 
would  be  quite  inconsistent  with  the  assertion  that  the  place  had  held  out  three  years 
longer  than  the  rest  of  Manzi,  as  well  as  with  the  idea  that  their  aid  had  abridged  the 
duration  of  the  siege,  and,  in  fact,  with  the  spirit  of  the  whole  story.  It  is  certainly 
very  difficult  in  this  case  to  justify  Marco's  veracity,  but  I  am  very  unwilling  to 
believe  that  there  was  no  justification  in  the  facts. 

It  is  a  very  curious  circumstance  that  the  historian  Wassaf  also  appears  to  represent 
Saianfu  (see  note  5,  ch.  lxv.)  as  holding  out  after  all  the  rest  of  Manzi  had  been 
conquered.  Yet  the  Chinese  annals  are  systematic,  minute,  and  consequent,  and  it 
seems  impossible  to  attribute  to  them  such  a  misplacement  of  an  event  which  they 
represent  as  the  key  to  the  conquest  of  Southern  China. 

In  comparing  Marco's  story  with  that  of  the  Chinese,  we  find  the  same  coincidence 
in  prominent  features,  accompanying  a  discrepancy  in  details,  that  we  have  had 
occasion  to  notice  in  other  cases  where  his  narrative  intersects  history.  The  Chinese 
account  runs  as  follows  : — 

In  1 27 1,  after  Siang-yang  and  Fan-ch'eng  had  held  out  already  nearly  three  years, 
an  Uighiir  General  serving  at  the  siege,  whose  name  was  Alihaiya,  urged  the  Emperor 
to  send  to  the  West  for  engineers  expert  at  the  construction  and  working  of  machines 
casting  stones  of  150  lbs.  weight.  With  such  aid  he  assured  Kiiblai  the  place  would 
speedily  be  taken.  Kiiblai  sent  to  his  nephew  Abaka  in  Persia  for  such  engineers, 
and  two  were  accordingly  sent  post  to  China,  Alawating  of  Mufali  and  his  pupil 
Ysemain  of  Huli  or  Hiulie  (probably  Alcfuddin  of  Miafarakain  and  hmaeloi  Heri  or 
Herat).  Kiiblai  on  their  arrival  gave  them  military  rank.  They  exhibited  their  skill 
before  the  Emperor  at  Tatu,  and  in  the  latter  part  of  1272  they  reached  the  camp 
before  Siang-yang,  and  set  up  their  engines.  The  noise  made  by  the  machines,  and 
the  crash  of  the  shot  as  it  broke  through  everything  in  its  fall,  caused  great  alarm  in 
the  garrison.  Fan-ch'eng  was  first  taken  by  assault,  and  some  weeks  later  Siang-yang 

The  shot  used  on  this  occasion  weighed  125  Chinese  pounds  (if  catties^  then  equal 
to  about  166  lbs.  avoird.),  and  penetrated  7  or  8  feet  into  the  earth. 

1 68  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Rashiduddin  also  mentions  the  siege  of  Siangyang,  as  we  learn  from  D'Ohsson. 
He  states  that  as  there  were  in  China  none  of  the  Manjaniks  or  Mangonels  called 
Kumghd,  the  Kaan  caused  a  certain  engineer  to  be  sent  from  Damascus  or  Balbek, 
and  the  three  sons  of  this  person,  Abubakr,  Ibrahim,  and  Mahomed,  with  their  work- 
men, constructed  seven  great  Manjaniks -which  were  employed  against  Sayanfu,  a 
frontier  fortress  and  bulwark  of  Manzi. 

We  thus  see  that  three  different  notices  of  the  siege  of  Siang-yang,  Chinese,  Persian, 
and  Venetian,  all  concur  as  to  the  employment  of  foreign  engineers  from  the  West, 
but  all  differ  as  to  the  individuals. 

We  have  seen  that  one  of  the  MSS.  makes  Polo  assert  that  till  this  event  the 
Mongols  and  Chinese  were  totally  ignorant  of  mangonels  and  trebuchets.  This,  how- 
ever, is  quite  untrue  ;  and  it  is  not  very  easy  to  reconcile  even  the  statement,  implied 
in  all  versions  of  the  story,  that  mangonels  of  considerable  power  were  unknown  in 
the  far  East,  with  other  circumstances  related  in  Mongol  history. 

The  Persian  History  called  TabaMt-i-N&siri speaks  of  Aikah  Nowin  the  Manjaniki 
Khds  or  Engineer-in-Chief  to  Chinghiz  Khan,  and  his  corps  of  ten  thousand  Man- 
janikis  or  Mangonellers.  The  Chinese  histories  used  by  Gaubil  also  speak  of  these 
artillery  battalions  of  Chinghiz.  At  the  siege  of  Kai-fung  fu  near  the  Hwang-Ho,  the 
latest  capital  of  the  Kin  Emperors,  in  1232,  the  Mongol  General,  Subutai,  threw  from 
his  engines  great  quarters  of  millstones  which  smashed  the  battlements  and  watch- 
towers  on  the  ramparts,  and  even  the  great  timbers  of  houses  in  the  city.  In  1236 
we  find  the  Chinese  garrison  of  Chinchau  {I-chin-hien  on  the  Great  Kiang  near  the 
Great  Canal)  repelling  the  Mongol  attack,  partly  by  means  of  their  stone  shot. 
When  Hulaku  was  about  to  march  against  Persia  (1253),  his  brother,  the  Great  Kaan 
Mangku,  sent  to  Cathay  to  fetch  thence  1000  families  of  mangonellers,  naphtha- 
shooters,  and  arblasteers.  Some  of  tbe  crossbows  used  by  these  latter  had  a  range,  we 
are  told,  of  2500  paces  !  European  history  bears  some  similar  evidence.  One  of  the 
Tartar  characteristics  reported  by  a  fugitive  Russian  Archbishop,  in  Matt.  Paris 
(p.  570  under  1244),  is  :   "  Machinas  habent  multiplices,  recte  et  fortiter  jacienles" 

It  is  evident,  therefore,  that  the  Mongols  and  Chinese  had  engines  of  war,  but  that 
they  were  deficient  in  some  advantage  possessed  by  those  of  the  Western  nations. 
Rashiduddin's  expression  as  to  their  having  no  Kumghd  mangonels,  seems  to  be 
unexplained.  Is  it  perhaps  an  error  for  Kardbughd,  the  name  given  by  the  Turks 
and  Arabs  to  a  kind  of  great  mangonel  ?  This  was  known  also  in  Europe  as 
Carabaga,  Calabra,  etc.  It  is  mentioned  under  the  former  name  by  Marino  Sanudo, 
and  under  the  latter,  with  other  quaintly-named  engines,  by  William  of  Tudela,  as 
used  by  Simon  de  Montfort  the  Elder  against  the  Albigenses  : — 

"  E  dressa  sos  Calabres,  et  foi  Mai  Vezina 
E  sas  autras  pereiras,  e  Dona,  e  Reina  ; 
Pessia  les  autz  murs  e  la  sala  peirina. "  * 

("  He  set  up  his  Calabers,  and  likewise  his  Ill-Neighbours, 
With  many  a  more  machine,  this  the  Lady,  that  the  Queen, 
And  breached  the  lofty  walls,  and  smashed  the  stately  Halls.") 

Now,  in  looking  at  the  Chinese  representations  of  their  ancient  mangonels,  which 
are  evidently  genuine,  and  of  which  I  have  given  some  specimens  (figs.  1,  2,  3), 
I  see  none  worked  by  the  counterpoise ;  all  (and  there  are  six  or  seven  different  repre- 
sentations in  the  work  from  which  these  are  taken)  are  shown  as  worked  by  man-ropes. 
Hence,  probably,  the  improvement  brought  from  the  West  was  essentially  the  use  of 
the  counterpoised  lever.  And,  after  I  had  come  to  this  conclusion,  I  found  it  to  be 
the  view  of  Captain  Fave.     (See  Du  Feu   Gre'geois,  by  MM.   Reinaud  and  Fave, 

P.  193.) 

In  Ramusio  the  two  Polos  propose  to  Kublai  to  make  "  mangani  al  modo  di 

*  Shaw,  Dresses  and  Decorations  of  the  Middle  Ages,  vol.  i.  No.  31. 

Chap.  LXX. 



Ponente"  ;  and  it  is  worthy  of  note  that  in  the  campaigns  of  Alaudin  Khilji  and  his 
generals  in  the  Deccan,  circa  1 300,  frequent  mention  is  made  of  the  Western 
Manjaniks  and  their  great  power.    (See  E 'Mot,  III.  75,  78,  etc.) 

Of  the  kind  worked  by  man-ropes  must  have  been  that  huge  mangonel  which 
Mahomed  Ibn  Kasim,  the  conqueror  of  Sind,  set  in  battery  against  the  great  Dagoba 
of  Daibul,  and  which  required  500  men  to  work  it.  Like  Simon  de  Montfort's  it  had 
a  tender  name  ;  it  was  called  "The  Bride."     {Elliot,  I.  120.) 

Before  quitting  this  subject,  I  will  quote  a  curious  passage  from  the  History  of  the 
Sung  Dynasty,  contributed  to  the  work  of  Reinaud  and  Fave  by  M.  Stanislas  Julien  : 
"In  the  9th  year  of  the  period  Hien-shun  (a.d.  1273)  the  frontier  cities  had  fallen 
into  the  hands  of  the  enemy  (Tartars).  The  Pao  (or  engines  for  shooting)  of  the 
IIwei-Hwei  (Mahomedans)  were  imitated,  but  in  imitating  them  very  ingenious 
improvements  were  introduced,  and  pao  of  a  different  and  very  superior  kind  were 
constructed.  Moreover,  an  extraordinary  method  was  invented  of  neutralising  the 
effects  of  the  enemy's  pao.  Ropes  were  made  of  rice-straw  4  inches  thick,  and  34 
feet  in  length.  Twenty  such  ropes  were  joined,  applied  to  the  tops  of  buildings, 
and  covered  with  clay.  In  this  manner  the  fire-arrows,  fire-pao,  and  even  the  pao 
casting  stones  of  100  lbs.  weight,  could  cause  no  damage  to  the  towers  or  houses." 
{lb.  196  ;  also  for  previous  parts  of  this  note,  Visdelou,  188  ;  Ganbil,  34,  155  seqq. 
and  70;  De  Mailla,  329  ;  Pauthier  in  loco  and  Introduction  ;  D 'Ohsson,  II.  35,  and 
391  ;  Notes  by  Mr.  Edward  Thomas,  F.R.S.  ;  Q.  Rashid.,  pp.  132,  136.)  [See  I. 
P-  342.] 

[Captain  Gill  writes  {River  of  Golden  Sand,  I.  p.  148):  "The  word  'P'ao' 
which  now  means  'cannon,'  was,  it  was  asserted,  found  in  old  Chinese  books  of  a 
date  anterior  to  that  in  which  gunpowder  was  first  known  to  Europeans ;  hence  the 
deduction  was  drawn  that  the  Chinese  were  acquainted  with  gunpowder  before  it  was 
used  in  the  West.  But  close  examination  shows  that  in  all  old  books  the  radical  of 
the  character  '  P'ao '  means  '  stone,'  but  that  in  modern  books  the  radical  of  the 
character  '  P'ao '  means  '  fire  ' ;  that  the  character  with  the  radical  '  fire  '  only  appears 
in  books  well  known  to  have  been  written  since  the  introduction  of  gunpowder  into 
the  West  ;  and  that  the  old  character  '  P'ao'  in  reality  means  '  Balista.'  "—PI.  C] 

["  Wheeled  boats  are  mentioned  in  1272  at  the  siege  of  Siang-yang.  Kiiblai  did 
not  decide  to  'go  for'  Manzi,  i.e.  the  southern  of  the  two  Chinese  Empires,  until 
1273.       Bayan    did    not    start   until    1274,    appearing  •  ■ 

before  Hankow  in  January  1275.  Wuhu  and  Taiping 
surrendered  in  April ;  then  Chinkiang,  Kien  K'ang 
(Nanking),  and  Ning  kwoh  ;  the  final  crushing  blow 
being  dealt  at  Hwai-chan.  In  March  1276,  the  Manzi 
Emperor  accepted  vassaldom.  Kiang-nan  was  regularly 
administered  in  1278."  {E.  H.  Parker,  China  Review, 
xxiv.  p.  105.) — H.  C] 

Siang-yang  has  been  twice  visited  by  Mr.  A.  Wylie. 
Just  before  his  first  visit  (I  believe  in  1866)  a  discovery 
had  been  made  in  the  city  of  a  quantity  of  treasure 
buried  at  the  time  of  the  siege.  One  of  the  local 
officers  gave  Mr.  Wylie  one  of  the  copper  coins,  not 
indeed  in  itself  of  any  great  rarity,  but  worth  engraving 
here  on  account  of  its  connection  with  the  siege  com- 
memorated in  the  text ;  and  a  little  on  the  principle  of  Smith  the  Weaver's  evidence 
—  "  The  bricks  are  alive  at  this  day  to  testify  of  it ;  therefore  denv  it  not." 

Coin  from  a  treasure  hidden  at 
Siang-yang  during  the  siege 
in  1268-73,  lately  discovered. 

I  JO  MARCO    POLO  Book  II 


Concerning  the  City  of  Sinju  and  the  Great  River  Kian. 

You  must  know  that  when  you  leave  the  city  of  Yanju. 
after  going  1 5  miles  south-east,  you  come  to  a  city  called 
Sinju,  of  no  great  size,  but  possessing  a  very  great 
amount  of  shipping  and  trade.  The  people  are  Idolaters 
and  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan,  and  use  paper-money.1 

And  you  must  know  that  this  city  stands  on  the 
greatest  river  in  the  world,  the  name  of  which  is  Kian.  It 
is  in  some  places  ten  miles  wide,  in  others  eight,  in  others 
six,  and  it  is  more  than  100  days' journey  in  length  from 
one  end  to  the  other.  This  it  is  that  brings  so  much  trade 
to  the  city  we  are  speaking  of;  for  on  the  waters  of  that 
river  merchandize  is  perpetually  coming  and  going,  from 
and  to  the  various  parts  of  the  world,  enriching  the  city, 
and  bringing  a  great  revenue  to  the  Great  Kaan. 

And  I  assure  you  this  river  flows  so  far  and  traverses 
so  many  countries  and  cities  that  in  good  sooth  there  pass 
and  repass  on  its  waters  a  great  number  of  vessels,  and 
more  wealth  and  merchandize  than  on  all  the  rivers  and 
all  the  seas  of  Christendom  put  together!  It  seems 
indeed  more  like  a  Sea  than  a  River.2  Messer  Marco 
Polo  said  that  he  once  beheld  at  that  city  15,000  vessels 
at  one  time.  And  you  may  judge,  if  this  city,  of  no 
great  size,  has  such  a  number,  how  many  must  there  be 
altogether,  considering  that  on  the  banks  of  this  river 
there  are  more  than  sixteen  provinces  and  more  than 
200  great  cities,  besides  towns  and  villages,  all  possessing 
vessels  ? 

Messer  Marco  Polo  aforesaid  tells  us  that  he  heard 
from  the  officer  employed  to  collect  the  Great  Kaan's 
duties  on  this  river  that  there  passed  up-stream  200,000 

Chap.  LXXI.  THE   GREAT   RIVER   KIAN  171 

vessels  in  the  year,  without  counting  those  that  passed 
down!  [Indeed  as  it  has  a  course  of  such  great  length, 
and  receives  so  many  other  navigable  rivers,  it  is  no 
wonder  that  the  merchandize  which  is  borne  on  it  is  of 
vast  amount  and  value.  And  the  article  in  largest  quan- 
tity of  all  is  salt,  which  is  carried  by  this  river  and  its 
branches  to  all  the  cities  on  their  banks,  and  thence  to 
the  other  cities  in  the  interior.3] 

The  vessels  which  ply  on  this  river  are  decked. 
They  have  but  one  mast,  but  they  are  of  great  burthen, 
for  I  can  assure  you  they  carry  (reckoning  by  our  weight) 
from  4000  up  to  12,000  cantars  each.4 

Now  we  will  quit  this  matter  and  I  will  tell  you  of 
another  city  called  Caiju.  But  first  I  must  mention  a 
point  I  had  forgotten.  You  must  know  that  the  vessels 
on  this  river,  in  going  up-stream  have  to  be  tracked,  for 
the  current  is  so  strong  that  they  could  not  make  head 
in  any  other  manner.  Now  the  tow-line,  which  is  some 
300  paces  in  length,  is  made  of  nothing  but  cane.  'Tis 
in  this  way  :  they  have  those  great  canes  of  which  I 
told  you  before  that  they  are  some  fifteen  paces  in  length  ; 
these  they  take  and  split  from  end  to  end  [into  many 
slender  strips],  and  then  they  twist  these  strips  together 
so  as  to  make  a  rope  of  any  length  they  please.  And 
the  ropes  so  made  are  stronger  than  if  they  were  made 
of  hemp.5 

[There  are  at  many  places  on  this  river  hills  and 
rocky  eminences  on  which  the  idol-monasteries  and 
other  edifices  are  built ;  and  you  find  on  its  shores  a 
constant  succession  of  villages  and  inhabited  places.6 

Note  i. — The  traveller's  diversion  from  his  direct  course — sceloc  or  south-east,  as 
he  regards  it — towards  Fo-kien,  in  order  to  notice  Ngan-king  (as  we  have  supposed) 
and  Siang-yang,  has  sadly  thrown  out  both  the  old  translators  and  transcribers,  and 
the  modern  commentators.  Though  the  G.  Text  has  here  "quant  V en  se part  de  la 
citi  de  Angui,"  I  cannot  doubt  that  Iangui  (Yanju)  is  the  reading  intended,  and 
that  Polo  here  comes  back  to  the  main  line  of  his  journey. 

"Sono  sopraqiueio  fittmrin  molti  laoghi,  collxnz  z  motttiaW  sasso**,  »opra 
4ttali  sono  .ebtficati  monastm  b'Eboli,  z  xltxz  ztznzz.  ... 

Chap.  LXXI.  THE   KIANG  1 73 

I  conceive  Sinju  to  be  the  city  which  was  then  called  Chen-chau,  but  now 
I-ching  hien,*  and  which  stands  on  the  Kiang  as  near  as  may  be  15  miles  from 
Yang-chau."  It  is  indeed  south-west  instead  of  south-east,  but  those  who  have 
noted  the  style  of  Polo's  orientation  will  not  attach  much  importance  to  this. 
I-ching  hien  is  still  the  great  port  of  the  Yang-chau  salt  manufacture,  for  export  by 
the  Kiang  and  its  branches  to  the  interior  provinces.  It  communicates  with  the 
Grand  Canal  by  two  branch  canals.  Admiral  Coilinson,  in  1842,  remarked  the 
great  numbers  of  vessels  lying  in  the  creek  off  I-ching.  (See  note  1  to  ch.  Ixviii. 
above;  and/.  R.   G.  S.  XVII.   139.) 

["We  anchored  at  a  place  near  the  town  of  Y-cking-hien,  distinguished  by  a 
pagoda.  The  most  remarkable  objects  that  struck  us  here  were  some  enormously 
large  salt-junks  of  a  very  singular  shape,  approaching  to  a  crescent,  with  sterns  at 
least  thirty  feet  above  the  water,  and  bows  that  were  two-thirds  of  that  height. 
They  had  '  bright  sides,'  that  is,  were  varnished  over  the  natural  wood  without 
painting,  a  very  common  style  in  China."     {Davis,  Sketches,  II.  p.  13.) — H.  C] 

Note  2. — The  river  is,  of  course,  the  Great  Kiang  or  Yang-tzu  Kiang  (already 
spoken  of  in  ch.  xliv.  as  the  Kiansui),  which  Polo  was  justified  in  calling 
the  greatest  river  in  the  world,  whilst  the  New  World  was  yet  hidden.  The 
breadth  seems  to  be  a  good  deal  exaggerated,  the  length  not  at  all.  His  expressions 
about  it  were  perhaps  accompanied  by  a  mental  reference  to  the  term  Dalai,  "  The 
Sea,"  which  the  Mongols  appear  to  have  given  the  river.  (See  Fr.  Odoric,  p.  121.) 
The  Chinese  have  a  popular  saying,  "  Ha'i  vu  ping,  Kiang  vu  ti,"  "  Boundless  is  the 
Ocean,  bottomless  the  Kiang  !  " 

Note  3. — "  The  assertion  that  there  is  a  greater  amount  of  tonnage  belonging  to 
the  Chinese  than  to  all  other  nations  combined,  does  not  appear  overcharged  to  those 
who  have  seen  the  swarms  of  boats  on  their  rivers,  though  it  might  not  be  found 
strictly  true."  {Mid.  Kingd.  II.  398.)  Barrow's  picture  of  the  life,  traffic,  and 
population  on  the  Kiang,  excepting  as  to  specific  numbers,  quite  bears  out  Marco's 
account.  This  part  of  China  suffered  so  long  from  the  wars  of  the  T'ai-P'ing  rebellion 
that  to  travellers  it  has  presented  thirty  years  ago  an  aspect  sadly  belying  its  old  fame. 
Such  havoc  is  not  readily  repaired  in  a  few  years,  nor  in  a  few  centuries,  but  prosperity 
is  reviving,  and  European  navigation  is  making  an  important  figure  on  the  Kiang. 

[From  the  Returns  of  Trade  for  the  Year  1900  of  the  Imperial  Maritime  Customs 
of  China,  we  take  the  following  figures  regarding  the  navigation  on  the  Kiang. 
Steamers  entered  inwards  and  cleared  outwards,  under  General  Regulations  at 
Chung-King:  1  ;  331  tons;  sailing  vessels,  2681  ;  84,862  tons,  of  which  Chinese, 
816;  27,684  tons.  At  Ichang:  314;  231,000  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  118;  66,944 
tons;  sailing  vessels,  all  Chinese,  5139;  163,320  tons.  At  Shasi:  606;  453,818 
tons,  of  which  Chinese,  606  ;  453,818  tons;  no  sailing  vessels.  At  Yochow :  650; 
299,962  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  458;  148,112  tons;  no  sailing  vessels;  under 
Inland  Steam  Navigation  Rules,  280  Chinese  vessels,  20,958  tons.  At  Hankow: 
under  General  Regulation,  Steamers,  2314;  2,101,555  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  758; 
462,424  tons  ;  sailing  vessels,  1 137  ;  166,118  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  1129;  163,724 
tons  ;  under  Inland  Steam  Navigation  Rules,  1682  Chinese  vessels,  31,173  tons.  At 
Kiu-Kiang:  under  General  Regulation,  Steamers,  2916;  3,393,514  tons,  of  which 
Chinese,  478  ;  697,468  tons  ;  sailing  vessels,  163  ;  29,996  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  160; 
27,797  tons;  under  Inland  Steam  Navigation  Rules,  798  Chinese  vessels;  21,670  tons. 
At  Wu-hu:  under  General  Regulation,  Steamers, 3395  ;  3,713, 172  tons,  of  which  Chinese, 
540;  678,362  tons;  sailing  vessels,  356;  48,299  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  355;  47,848  tons; 
under  Inland  Steam  Navigation  Rules,  286  Chinese  vessels  ;  4272  tons.  At  Nanking: 
under  General  Regulation,  Steamers,  1672;  1,138,726  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  970; 
713,232  tons  ;  sailing  vessels,  290  ;  36,873  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  281  ;  34,985  tons  ; 
under  Inland  Steam  Navigation  Rules,  30  Chinese  vessels  ;  810  tons.     At  Chinkiang: 

*  See  Gauiit,  p.  93,  note  4  ;  Biot,  p.  275  [and  Play/air's  Diet.,  p.  393]. 

174  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

under  General  Regulation,  Steamers,  4710;  4,413,452  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  924  ; 
794,724  tons  ;  sailing  vessels,  1793  5  294>664  tons,  of  which  Chinese,  1771  ;  290,286 
tons ;  under  Inland  Steam  Navigation  Rules,  2920 ;  39,346  tons,  of  which  Chinese, 
1684;  22,776  tons. — H.  C] 

Note  4. — |-i 2,000  cantars  would  be  more  than  500  tons,  and  this  is  justified 
by  the  burthen  of  Chinese  vessels  on  the  river ;  we  see  it  is  more  than  doubled 
by  that  of  some  British  or  American  steamers  thereon.  In  the  passage  referred 
to  under  Note  1,  Admiral  Collinson  speaks  of  the  salt-junks  at  I-ching  as  "  very  remark- 
able, being  built  nearly  in  the  form  of  a  crescent,  the  stern  rising  in  some  of  them 
nearly  30  feet  and  the  prow  20,  whilst  the  mast  is  90  feet  high."  These  dimensions 
imply  large  capacity  Oliphant  speaks  of  the  old  rice-junks  for  the  canal  traffic  as 
transporting  200  and  300  tons  (I.  197). 

Note  5. — The  tow-line  in  river-boats  is  usually  made  (as  here  described)  of  strips 
of  bamboo  twisted.  Hawsers  are  also  made  of  bamboo.  Ramusio,  in  this  passage, 
says  the  boats  are  tracked  by  horses,  ten  or  twelve  to  each  vessel.  I  do  not  find  this 
mentioned  anywhere  else,  nor  has  any  traveller  in  China  that  I  have  consulted  heard 
of  such  a  thing. 

Note  6. — Such  eminences  as  are  here  alluded  to  are  the  Little  Orphan  Rock, 
Silver  Island,  and  the  Golden  Island,  which  is  mentioned  in  the  following  chapter. 
We  give  on  the  preceding  page  illustrations  of  those  three  picturesque  islands ;  the 
Orphan  Rock  at  the  top,  Golden  Island  in  the  middle,  Silver  Island  below. 


Concerning  the  City  of  Caiju. 

Caiju  is  a  small  city  towards  the  south-east.  The  people 
are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan  and  have  paper-money. 
It  stands  upon  the  river  before  mentioned.1  At  this  place 
are  collected  great  quantities  of  corn  and  rice  to  be  trans- 
ported to  the  great  city  of  Cambaluc  for  the  use  of  the 
Kaan's  Court ;  for  the  grain  for  the  Court  all  comes  from 
this  part  of  the  country.  You  must  understand  that  the 
Emperor  hath  caused  a  water-communication  to  be  made 
from  this  city  to  Cambaluc,  in  the  shape  of  a  wide  and 
deep  channel  dug  between  stream  and  stream,  between 
lake  and  lake,  forming  as  it  were  a  great  river  on  which 
large  vessels  can  ply.  And  thus  there  is  a  communica- 
tion all  the  way  from  this  city  of  Caiju  to  Cambaluc  ;  so 
that  great  vessels  with  their  loads  can  go  the  whole  way. 

Chap.  LXXII.  THE   CITY   OF   CAIJU  175 

A  land  road  also  exists,  for  the  earth  dug  from  those 
channels  has  been  thrown  up  so  as  to  form  an  embanked 
road  on  either  side.2 

Just  opposite  to  the  city  of  Caiju,  in  the  middle  of  the 
River,  there  stands  a  rocky  island  on  which  there  is  an 
idol-monastery  containing  some  200  idolatrous  friars,  and 
a  vast  number  of  idols.  And  this  Abbey  holds  supremacy 
over  a  number  of  other  idol-monasteries,  just  like  an 
archbishop's  see  among  Christians.3 

Now  we  will  leave  this  and  cross  the  river,  and  I 
will  tell  you  of  a  city  called  Chinghianfu. 

Note  i. — No  place  in  Polo's  travels  is  better  identified  by  his  local  indications 
than  this.  It  is  on  the  Kiang ;  it  is  at  the  extremity  of  the  Great  Canal  from 
Cambaluc  ;  it  is  opposite  the  Golden  Island  and  Chin-kiang  fu.  Hence  it  is  Kwa- 
CHAU,  as  Murray  pointed  out.  Marsden  here  misunderstands  his  text,  and  puts  the 
place  on  the  south  side  of  the  Kiang. 

Here  Van  Braam  notices  that  there  passed  in  the  course  of  the  day  more  than 
fifty  great  rice-boats,  most  of  which  could  easily  carry  more  than  300,000  lbs.  of  rice. 
And  Mr.  Alabaster,  in  1868,  speaks  of  the  canal  from  Yang-chau  to  Kwa-chau  as  "  full 
of  junks." 

[Sir  J.  F.  Davis  writes  {Sketches  of  CAma,  II.  p.  6)  :  "  Two  .  .  .  days  .  .  .  were 
occupied  in  exploring  the  half-deserted  town  of  Kwa-chow,  whose  name  signifies  '  the 
island  of  gourds,'  being  completely  insulated  by  the  river  and  canal.  We  took  a  long 
walk  along  the  top  of  the  walls,  which  were  as  usual  of  great  thickness,  and  afforded 
a  broad  level  platform  behind  the  parapet  :  the  parapet  itself,  about  six  feet  high,  did 
not  in  thickness  exceed  the  length  of  a  brick  and  a  half,  and  the  embrasures  were 
evidently  not  constructed  for  cannon,  being  much  too  high.  A  very  considerable 
portion  of  the  area  within  the  walls  consisted  of  burial-grounds  planted  with 
cypress  ;  and  this  alone  was  a  sufficient  proof  of  the  decayed  condition  of  the  place, 
as  in  modern  or  fully  inhabited  cities  no  person  can  be  buried  within  the  walls. 
Almost  every  spot  bore  traces  of  ruin,  and  there  appeared  to  be  but  one  good  street 
in  the  whole  town  ;  this,  however,  was  full  of  shops,  and  as  busy  as  Chinese  streets 
always  are." — H.  C.] 

Note  2. — Rashiduddin  gives  the  following  account  of  the  Grand  Canal  spoken  of 
in  this  passage.  "The  river  of  Khanbaligh  had,"  he  says,  "in  the  course  of  time, 
become  so  shallow  as  not  to  admit  the  entrance  of  shipping,  so  that  they  had  to 
discharge  their  cargoes  and  send  them  up  to  Khanbaligh  on  pack-cattle.  And  the 
Chinese  engineers  and  men  of  science  having  reported  that  the  vessels  from  the 
provinces  of  Cathay,  from  Machin,  and  from  the  cities  of  Khingsai  and  Zaitun,  could 
no  longer  reach  the  court,  the  Kaan  gave  them  orders  to  dig  a  great  canal  into  which 
the  waters  of  the  said  river,  and  of  several  others,  should  be  introduced.  This  canal 
extends  for  a  distance  of  40  days'  navigation  from  Khanbaligh  to  Khingsai  and 
Zaitun,  the  ports  frequented  by  the  ships  that  come  from  India,  and  from  the 
city  of  Machin  (Canton).  The  canal  is  provided  with  many  sluices  .  .  .  and  when 
vessels  arrive  at  these  sluices  they  are  hoisted  up  by  means  of  machinery,  whatever 
be  their  size,  and  let  down  on  the  other  side  into  the  water.  The  canal  has  a  width 
of  more  than  30  ells.     Kiiblai  caused  the  sides  of  the  embankments  to  be  revetted 

176  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

with  stone,  in  order  to  prevent  the  earth  giving  way.  Along  the  side  of  the  canal 
runs  the  high  road  to  Machin,  extending  for  a  space  of  40  days'  journey,  and  this 
has  been  paved  throughout,  so  that  travellers  and  their  animals  may  get  along  during 
the  rainy  season  without  sinking  in  the  mud.  .  .  .  Shops,  taverns,  and  villages  line 
the  road  on  both  sides,  so  that  dwelling  succeeds  dwelling  without  intermission 
throughout  the  whole  space  of  40  days'  journey."     {Cathay,  259-260.) 

The  canal  appears  to  have  been  [begun  in  1289  and  to  have  been  completed  in 
1292. — H.  C]  though  large  portions  were  in  use  earlier.  Its  chief  object  was  to 
provide  the  capital  with  food.  Pauthier  gives  the  statistics  of  the  transport  of  rice 
by  this  cnnal  from  1283  to  the  end  of  Kiiblai's  reign,  and  for  some  subsequent  years 
up  to  1329.  In  the  latter  year  the  quantity  reached  3,522,163  shi  or  1,247,633 
quarters.  As  the  supplies  of  rice  for  the  capital  and  for  the  troops  in  the  Northern 
Provinces  always  continued  to  be  drawn  from  Kiang-nan,  the  distress  and  derange- 
ment caused  by  the  recent  rebel  occupation  of  that  province  must  have  been  enormous. 
{Pauthier,  p.  481-482  ;  De  Mailla,  p.  439.)  Polo's  account  of  the  formation  of  the 
canal  is  exceedingly  accurate.     Compare  that  given  by  Mr.  Williamson  (I.  62). 

Note  3.  —  "On  the  Kiang,  not  far  from  the  mouth,  is  that  remarkably  beautiful 
little  island  called  the  'Golden  Isle,'  surmounted  by  numerous  temples  inhabited  by 
the  votaries  of  Buddha  or  Fo,  and  very  correctly  described  so  many  centuries  since 
by  Marco  Polo."  (Davis's  Chinese,  I.  149.)  The  monastery,  according  to  Pauthier, 
was  founded  in  the  3rd  or  4th  century,  but  the  name  Kin-Shan,  or  "Golden  Isle," 
dates  only  from  a  visit  of  the  Emperor  K'ang-hi  in  1684. 

The  monastery  contained  one  of  the  most  famous  Buddhist  libraries  in  China. 
This  was  in  the  hands  of  our  troops  during  the  first  China  war,  and,  as  it  was  intended 
to  remove  the  books,  there  was  no  haste  made  in  examining  their  contents.  Mean- 
while peace  came,  and  the  library  was  restored.  It  is  a  pity  now  that  the  jus  belli 
had  not  been  exercised  promptly,  for  the  whole  establishment  was  destroyed  by  the 
T'ai-P'ings  in  i860,  and,  with  the  exception  of  the  Pagoda  at  the  top  of  the  hill,  which 
was  left  in  a  dilapidated  state,  not  one  stone  of  the  buildings  remained  upon  another. 
The  rock  had  also  then  ceased  to  be  an  island  ;  and  the  site  of  what  not  many  years 
before  had  been  a  channel  with  four  fathoms  of  water  separating  it  from  the  southern 
shore,  was  covered  by  flourishing  cabbage-gardens.  (Giitzlaff  m.  /.  R.  A.  S.  XII. 
87  ;  Mid.  Kingd.  I.  84,  86 ;  Oliphanfs  Narrative,  II.  301  ;  N.  and,  Q.  Ch.  and  Jap. 
No.  5,  p.  58.) 


Of  the  City  of  Chinghianfu. 

Chinghianfu  is  a  city  of  Manzi.  The  people  are 
Idolaters  and  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan,  and  have 
paper-money,  and  live  by  handicrafts  and  trade.  They 
have  plenty  of  silk,  from  which  they  make  sundry  kinds 
of  stuffs  of  silk  and  gold.  There  are  great  and  wealthy 
merchants  in  the  place  ;  plenty  of  game  is  to  be  had,  and 
of  all  kinds  of  victual. 

Chap.  LXXIII. 



There  are  in  this  city  two  churches  of  Nestorian 
Christians  which  were  established  in  the  year  of^our 
Lord  1278;  and  I  will  tell  you  how  that  happened. 
You  see,  in  the  year  just  named,  the  Great  Kaan  sent  a 
Baron  of  his  whose  name  was  Mar  Sarghis,  a  Nestorian 

West  Gate  of  Chin-luang  fu  in  1842. 

Christian,  to  be  governor  of  this  city  for  three  years. 
And  during  the  three  years  that  he  abode  there  he 
caused  these  two  Christian  churches  to  be  built,  and  since 
then  there  they  are.  But  before  his  time  there  was  no 
church,  neither  were  there  any  Christians.1 

Note  i. — Chin-kiang  fu  retains  its  name  unchanged.  It  is  one  which  became 
well  known  in  the  war  of  1842.  On  its  capture  on  the  21st  July  in  that  year,  the 
heroic  Manchu  commandant  seated  himself, among  his  records  and  then  set  fire  to 
the  building,  making  it  his  funeral  pyre.  The  city  was  totally  destroyed  in  the 
T'ai-P'ing  wars,  but  is  rapidly  recovering  its  position  as  a  place  of  native  commerce. 

[Chen-kiang,  "  a  name  which  may  be  translated  '  River  Guard,'  stands  at  the 
point  where  the  Grand  Canal  is  brought  to  a  junction  with  the  waters  of  the  Yang-tzu 
when  the  channel  of  the  river  proper  begins  to  expand  into  an  extensive  tidal  estuary." 
{Treaty  Ports  of  China,  p.  421.)  It  was  declared  open  to  foreign  trade  by  the  Treaty 
of  Tien-Tsin  1858.— if.  C] 

Mar  Sarghis  (or  Dominus  Sergius)  appears  to  have  been  a  common  name  among 
Armenian  and  other  Oriental  Christians.     As  Pauthier  mentions,  this  very  name  is 

VOL.     II.  M 

Ij8  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

one  of  the  names  of  Nestorian  priests  inscribed  in  Syriac  on  the  celebrated  monument 
of  Si-ngan  fu. 

[In  the  description  of  Chin-kiang  quoted  by  the  Archimandrite  Palladius  (see 
vol.  i.  p.  187,  note  3),  a  Christian  monastery  or  temple  is  mentioned  :  "The  temple 
Ta-hing-kuo-szc  stands  in  Chin-kiang  fu,  in  the  quarter  called  Kia-fao  Keang.  It  was 
built  in  the  18th  year  of  Chi-ytien  (a.d.  1281)  by  the  Snb-darugachi,  Sie-U-ki-sze 
(Sergius).  Liang  Siang,  the  teacher  in  the  Confucian  school,  wrote  a  commemorative 
inscription  for  him."  From  this  document  we  see  that  "  Sie-?ni-sze-hien  (Samarcand) 
is  distant  from  China  100,000  li  (probably  a  mistake  for  10,000)  to  the  north-west. 
It  is  a  country  where  the  religion  of  the  Ye-li-tto-wen  dominates.  .  .  .  The  founder 
of  the  religion  was  called  Ma-rh  Ye-li-ya.  He  lived  and  worked  miracles  a  thousand 
five  hundred  years  ago.  Ma  Sie-li-ki-sze  (Mar  Sergius)  is  a  follower  of  him." 
{Chinese  Recorder,  VI.  p.  108). — H.  C] 

From  this  second  mention  of  three  years  as  a  term  of  government,  we  may  probably 
gather  that  this  was  the  usual  period  for  the  tenure  of  such  office.  {Mid.  Kingd.,  I. 
86  ;  Cathay,  p.  xciii.) 


Of  the  City  of  Chinginju  and  the  Slaughter  of  certain 

Alans  there. 

Leaving  the  city  of  Chinghianfu  and  travelling  three 
days  south-east  through  a  constant  succession  of  busy 
and  thriving  towns  and  villages,  you  arrive  at  the  great 
and  noble  city  of  Chinginju.  The  people  are  Idolaters, 
use  paper-money,  and  are  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan. 
They  live  by  trade  and  handicrafts,  and  they  have 
plenty  of  silk.  They  have  also  abundance  of  game,  and 
of  all  manner  of  victuals,  for  it  is  a  most  productive 

Now  I  must  tell  you  of  an  evil  deed  that  was  done, 
once  upon  a  time,  by  the  people  of  this  city,  and  how 
dearly  they  paid  for  it. 

You  see,  at  the  time  of  the  conquest  of  the  great 
province  of  Manzi,  when  Bayan  was  in  command,  he 
sent  a  company  of  his  troops,  consisting  of  a  people 
called  Alans,  who  are  Christians,  to  take  this  city.2 
They  took  it  accordingly,  and  when  they  had  made  their 


way  in,  they  lighted  upon  some  good  wine.  Of  this  they 
drank  until  they  were  all  drunk,  and  then  they  lay  down 
and  slept  like  so  many  swine.  So  when  night  fell,  the 
townspeople,  seeing  that  they  were  all  dead-drunk,  fell 
upon  them  and  slew  them  all ;  not  a  man  escaped. 

And  when  Bayan  heard  that  the  townspeople  had  thus 
treacherously  slain  his  men,  he  sent  another  Admiral  of 
his  with  a  great  force,  and  stormed  the  city,  and  put  the 
whole  of  the  inhabitants  to  the  sword  ;  not  a  man  of 
them  escaped  death.  And  thus  the  whole  population  of 
that  city  was  exterminated.3 

Now  we  will  go  on,  and  I  will  tell  you  of  another  city 
called  Suju. 

Note  i. — Both  the  position  and  the  story  which  follows  identify  this  city  with 
Chang-chau.  The  name  is  written  in  Pauthier's  MSS.  Chinginguy,  in  the  G.  T. 
Cingiggui  and  Cinghingiii,  in  Ramusio  Tinguigui. 

The  capture  of  Chang-chau  by  Gordon's  force,  nth  May  1864,  was  the  final 
achievement  of  that  "  Ever  Victorious  Army." 

Regarding  the  territory  here  spoken  of,  once  so  rich  and  densely  peopled,  Mr. 
Medhurst  says,  in  reference  to  the  effects  of  the  T'ai-P'ing  insurrection  :  "  I  can  con- 
ceive of  no  more  melancholy  sight  than  the  acres  of  ground  that  one  passes  through 
strewn  with  remains  of  once  thriving  cities,  and  the  miles  upon  miles  of  rich  land,  once 
carefully  parcelled  out  into  fields  and  gardens,  but  now  only  growing  coarse  grass  and 
brambles — the  home  of  the  pheasant,  the  deer,  and  the  wild  pig."  {Foreigner  in  Far 
Cathay,  p.  94.) 

Note  2. — The  relics  of  the  Alans  were  settled  on  the  northern  skirts  of  the 
Caucasus,  where  they  made  a  stout  resistance  to  the  Mongols,  but  eventually  became 
subjects  of  the  Khans  of  Sarai.  The  name  by  which  they  were  usually  known  in 
Asia  in  the  Middle  Ages  was  Aas,  and  this  name  is  assigned  to  them  by  Carpini, 
Rubruquis,  and  Tosafat  Barbaro,  as  well  as  by  Ibn  Batuta.  Mr.  Howorth  has  lately 
denied  the  identity  of  Alans  and  Aas  ;  but  he  treats  the  question  as  all  one  with  the 
identity  of  Alans  and  Ossethi,  which  is  another  matter,  as  may  be  seen  in  Vivien  de 
St.  Martin's  elaborate  paper  on  the  Alans  (JV.  Ann.  des  Voyages,  1848,  torn.  3,  p.  129 
seqq.).  The  Alans  are  mentioned  by  the  Byzantine  historian,  Pachymeres,  among 
nations  whom  the  Mongols  had  assimilated  to  themselves  and  adopted  into  their 
military  service.  Gaubil,  without  being  aware  of  the  identity  of  the  Asu  (as  the  name 
Aas  appears  to  be  expressed  in  the  Chinese  Annals),  beyond  the  fact  that  they  dwelt 
somewhere  near  the  Caspian,  observes  that  this  people,  after  they  were  conquered, 
furnished  many  excellent  officers  to  the  Mongols  ;  and  he  mentions  also  that  when 
the  Mongol  army  was  first  equipt  for  the  conquest  of  Southern  China,  many  officers 
took  service  therein  from  among  the  Uighurs,  Persians,  and  Arabs,  Kincha  (people  of 
Kipchak),  the  Asu  and  other  foreign  nations.  We  find  also,  at  a  later  period  of  the 
Mongol  history  (1336),  letters  reaching  Pope  Benedict  XII.  from  several  Christian 
Alans  holding  high  office  at  the  court  of  Cambaluc — one  of  them  being  a  Chingsang 
or  Minister  of  the  First  Rank,  and  another  a  Fanchang  or  Minister  of  the  Second 
Order — in  which  they  conveyed  their  urgent  request  for  the  nomination  of  an  Arch- 

VOL    II.  M    2 

1 80  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

bishop  in  succession  to  the  deceased  John  of  Monte  Corvino.  John  Marignolli  speaks 
of  those  Alans  as  "the  greatest  and  noblest  nation  in  the  world,  the  fairest  and 
bravest  of  men,"  and  asserts  that  in  his  day  there  were  30,000  of  them  in  the  Great 
Kaan's  service,  and  all,  at  least  nominally,  Christians.*  Rashiduddin  also  speaks  of 
the  Alans  as  Christians ;  though  Ibn  Batuta  certainly  mentions  the  Aas  as  Mahomedans. 
We  find  Alans  about  the  same  time  (in  1306)  fighting  well  in  the  service  of  the 
Byzantine  Emperors  (Muntaner,  p.  449).  All  these  circumstances  render  Marco's 
story  of  a  corps  of  Christian  Alans  in  the  army  of  Bayan  perfectly  consistent  with 
probability.  {Carpiui,  p.  707;  Rub.,  243;  Ramusio,  II.  92;  I.  B.  II.  428; 
Gaubil,  40,  147  ;   Cathay,  314  seqq.) 

[Mr.  Rockhill  writes  {Rnbrnck,  p.  88,  note)  :  <:  The  Alans  or  Aas  appear  to  be 
identical  with  the  An-ts'ai  or  A-lan-na  of  the  Hon  Han  shu  (bk.  88,  9),  of  whom  we 
read  that  '  they  led  a  pastoral  life  N.W.  of  Sogdiana  (K'ang-chu)  in  a  plain  bounded 
by  great  lakes  (or  swamps),  and  in  their  wanderings  went  as  far  as  the  shores  of  the 
Northern  Ocean.'  (Ma  Twan-lin,  bk.  338.)  Pei-shih  (bk.  97,  12)  refers  to  them 
under  the  name  of  Su-te  and  Wen-na-sha  (see  also  Bretschneider,  Med.  Geog.,  258, 
et  seq.).  Strabo  refers  to  them  under  the  name  of  Aorsi,  living  to  the  north  but  con- 
tiguous to  the  Albani,  whom  some  authors  confound  with  them,  but  whom  later 
Armenian  historians  carefully  distinguish  from  them  {Be  Morgan,  Mission,  i.  232). 
Ptolemy  speaks  of  this  people  as  the  '  Scythian  Alans'  ('AXa^ot  ~ZKi>dai)  ;  but  the  first 
definite  mention  of  them  in  classical  authors  is,  according  to  Bunbury  (ii.  486),  found 
in  Dionysius  Periergetes  (305),  who  speaks  of  the  aXKyjepres  'AXa^oi.  (See  also  De 
Morgan,  i.  202,  and  Begnignes,  ii.  279  et  seq.) 

"Ammianus  Marcellinus  (xxxi.  348)  says,  the  Alans  were  a  congeries  of  tribes 
living  E.  of  the  Tanais  (Don),  and  stretching  far  into  Asia.  'Distributed  over  two 
continents,  all  these  nations,  whose  various  names  I  refrain  from  mentioning,  though 
separated  by  immense  tracts  oS  country  in  which  they  pass  their  vagabond  existence, 
have  with  time  been  confounded  under  the  generic  appellation  of  Alans.'  Ibn  Alathir, 
at  a  later  date,  also  refers  to  the  Alans  as  '  formed  of  numerous  nations.'  (Bn/anrier, 
xiv.  455). 

"  Conquered  by  the  Huns  in  the  latter  part  of  the  fourth  century,  some  of  the  Alans 
moved  westward,  others  settled  on  the  northern  slopes  of  the  Caucasus  ;  though  long 
prior  to  that,  in  A.D.  51,  they  had,  as  allies  of  the  Georgians,  ravaged  Armenia. 
(See  Yu/e,  Cathay,  316  ;  Begnignes,  I.,  pt.  ii.  277  et  seq.  ;  and  Be  Morgan,  I.  217, 
et  seq. ) 

"  Mirkhond,  in  the  Tarikhi  Wassaf,  and  other  Mohammedan  writers  speak  of  the 
Alans  and  As.  However  this  may  be,  it  is  thought  that  the  Oss  or  Ossetes  of  the 
Caucasus  are  their  modern  representatives  {Klaproth,  Tab/,  hist.,  180;  Be  Morgan, 
i.  202,  231.)"  Aas  is  the  transcription  of  A-soo  (  Yiten-shi,  quoted  by  Deveria, 
Notes  d'epig,  p.  75.     (See  Bretschneider,  Med.  Res.,  II.,  p,  84.) — H.  C] 

Note  3. — The  Chinese  histories  do  not  mention  the  story  of  the  Alans  and  their 
fate  ;  but  they  tell  how  Chang-chau  was  first  taken  by  the  Mongols  about  April  1275, 
and  two  months  later  recovered  by  the  Chinese  ;  how  Bayan,  some  months  afterwards, 
attacked  it  in  person,  meeting  with  a  desperate  resistance  ;  finally,  how  the  place  was 
stormed,  and  how  Bayan  ordered  the  whole  of  the  inhabitants  to  be  put  to  the  sword. 
Gaubil  remarks  that  some  grievous  provocation  must  have  been  given,  as  Bayan  was 
far  from  cruel.  Pauthier  gives  original  extracts  on  the  subject,  which  are  interesting. 
They  picture  the  humane  and  chivalrous  Bayan  on  this  occasion  as  demoniacal  in 
cruelty,  sweeping  together  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  suburbs,  forcing  them  to  construct 
his  works  of  attack,  and  then  butchering  the  whole  of  them,  boiling  down  their 
carcasses,  and  using  the  fat  to  grease  his  mangonels  !  Perhaps  there  is  some  misunder- 
standing  as  to  the  use  of  this   barbarous   lubricant.     For  Carpini  relates  that  the 

*  I  must  observe  here  that  the  learned  Professor  Bruun  has  raised  doubts  whether  these  Alans  of 
Marignolli's  could  be  Alans  of  the  Caucasus,  and  if  they  were  not  rather  Ohldus,  i.e.  Mongol 
princes  and  nobles.  There  are  difficulties  certainly  about  Marignolli's  Alans  ;  but  obvious  difficulties 
also  in  this  explanation. 

Chap.   LXXV.  THE   CITY   OF   SUJU  1 8l 

Tartars,   when  they  cast  Greek  fire  into   a  town,  shot  with  it  human  fat,  for  this 
caused  the  fire  to  rage  inextinguishably. 

Cruelties,  like  Bayan's  on  this  occasion,  if  exceptional  with  him,  were  common 
enough  among  the  Mongols  generally.  Chinghiz,  at  an  early  period  in  his  career,  after 
a  victory,  ordered  seventy  great  caldrons  to  be  heated,  and  his  prisoners  to  be  boiled 
therein.  And  the  "evil  deed"  of  the  citizens  of  Chang-chau  fell  far  short  of  Mongol 
atrocities.  Thus  Hulaku,  suspecting  the  Turkoman  chief  Nasiruddin,  who  had  just 
quitted  his  camp  with  300  men,  sent  a  body  of  horse  after  him  to  cut  him  off.  The 
Mongol  officers  told  the  Turkoman  they  had  been  ordered  to  give  him  and  his  men 
a  parting  feast ;  they  made  them  all  drunk  and  then  cut  their  throats.  (Gaubil,  166, 
167,  170;  Carping  696;  Erdmann,  262;   Quat.  Rashid.  357.) 


Of  the  Noble  City  of  Suju. 

Suju  is  a  very  great  and  noble  city.  The  people  are 
Idolaters,  subjects  of  the  Great  Kaan,  and  have  paper- 
money.  They  possess  silk  in  great  quantities,  from 
which  they  make  gold  brocade  and  other  stuffs,  and  they 
live  by  their  manufactures  and  trade.1 

The  city  is  passing  great,  and  has  a  circuit  of  some 
60  miles ;  it  hath  merchants  of  great  wealth  and  an 
incalculable  number  of  people.  Indeed,  if  the  men  of 
this  city  and  of  the  rest  of  Manzi  had  but  the  spirit  of 
soldiers  they  would  conquer  the  world  ;  but  they  are  no 
soldiers  at  all,  only  accomplished  traders  and  most  skilful 
craftsmen.  There  are  also  in  this  city  many  philosophers 
and  leeches,  diligent  students  of  nature. 

And  you  must  know  that  in  this  city  there  are  6,000 
bridges,  all  of  stone,  and  so  lofty  that  a  galley,  or  even 
two  galleys  at  once,  could  pass  underneath  one  of 

In  the  mountains  belonging  to  this  city,  rhubarb  and 
ginger  grow  in  great  abundance ;  insomuch  that  you 
may  get  some  40  pounds  of  excellent  fresh  ginger  for  a 
Venice    groat.3     And   the    city   has  sixteen  other  great 

1 82  MARCO    POLO  Book  II, 

trading  cities  under  its  rule.  The  name  of  the  city,  Suju, 
signifies  in  our  tongue,  "  Earth,"  and  that  of  another 
near  it,  of  which  we  shall  speak  presently,  called  Kinsay, 
signifies  "  Heaven  ;  "  and  these  names  are  given  because 
of  the  great  splendour  of  the  two  cities.4 

Now  let  us  quit  Suju,  and  go  on  to  another  which  is 
called  Vuju,  one  day's  journey  distant  ;  it  is  a  great  and 
fine  city,  rife  with  trade  and  manufactures.  But  as  there 
is  nothing  more  to  say  of  it  we  shall  go  on  and  I  will  tell 
you  of  another  great  and  noble  city  called  Vughin.  The 
people  are  Idolaters,  &c,  and  possess  much  silk  and 
other  merchandize,  and  they  are  expert  traders  and  crafts- 
men. Let  us  now  quit  Vughin  and  tell  you  of  another 
city  called  Changan,  a  great  and  rich  place.  The  people 
are  Idolaters,  &c,  and  they  live  by  trade  and  manu- 
factures. They  make  great  quantities  of  sendal  of 
different  kinds,  and  they  have  much  game  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. There  is  however  nothing  more  to  say  about 
the  place,  so  we  shall  now  proceed.5 

Note  i. — Suju  is  of  course  the  celebrated  city  of  Su-chau  in  Kiang-nan— 
before  the  rebellion  brought  ruin  on  it,  the  Paris  of  China.  "Everything  remark- 
able was  alleged  to  come  from  it ;  fine  pictures,  fine  carved-work,  fine  silks,  and  fine 
ladies!"  {Fortune,  I.  186. )  When  the  Emperor  K'ang-hi  visited  Su-chau,  the 
citizens  laid  the  streets  with  carpets  and  silk  stuffs,  but  the  Emperor  dismounted  and 
made  his  train  do  the  like.     {Davis,  I.  186.) 

[Su-chau  is  situated  80  miles  west  of  Shang-hai,  12  miles  east  of  the  Great  Lake, 
and  40  miles  south  of  the  Kiang,  in  the  plain  between  this  river  and  Hang-chau  Bay. 
It  was  the  capital  of  the  old  kingdom  of  Wu  which  was  independent  from  the  12th  to 
the  4th  centuries  (B.C. )  inclusive  ;  it  was  founded  by  Wu  Tzii-sii,  prime  minister  of 
King  Hoh  Lii  (514-496  B.C.),  who  removed  the  capital  of  Wu  from  Mei-li  (near  the 
modern  Ch'ang-chau)  to  the  new  site  now  occupied  by  the  city  of  Su-chau.  "  Suchau 
is  built  in  the  form  of  a  rectangle,  and  is  about  three  and  a  half  miles  from  North  to 
South,  by  two  and  a  half  in  breadth,  the  wall  being  twelve  or  thirteen  miles  in  length. 
There  are  six  gates."  {Rev.  H.  C.  Du  Bose,  Chin.  Rec,  xix.  p.  205.)  It  has 
greatly  recovered  since  the  T'ai-P'ing  rebellion,  and  its  recapture  by  General  (then 
Major)  Gordon  on  the  27th  November  1863  ;  Su-chau  has  been  declared  open  to 
foreign  trade  on  the  26th  September  1896,  under  the  provisions  of  the  Japanese 
Treaty  of  1895. 

"The  great  trade  of  Soochow  is  silk.  In  the  silk  stores  are  found  about  100 
varieties  of  satin,  and  200  kinds  of  silks  and  gauzes.  .  .  .  The  weavers  are  divided 
into  two  guilds,  the  Nankin  and  Suchau,  and  have  together  about  7000  looms. 
Thousands  of  men  and  women  are  engaged  in  reeling  the  thread."  {Rev.  H.  C.  Du 
Bose,  Chin.  Rec.,  xix.  pp.  275-276.) — II.  C] 




Lit  Fraixenfelder  Palermo 

Reduced  to  io  the  Scale  from  a  Rubbing  of  a  PLAN  incised  on  MARBLE 

[To  face  p.  182,  vol.  ii. 

Chap.  LXXV. 



Note  2. — I  believe  we  must  not  bring  Marco  to  book  for  the  literal  accuracy 
of  his  statements  as  to  the  bridges  ;  but  all  travellers  have  noticed  the  number  and 
elegance  of  the  bridges  of  cut  stone  in  this  part  of  China  ;  see,  for  instance,  Van 
Rraam,  II.  107,  1 19-120,  124,  126;  and  Degnignes,  I.  47,  who  gives  a  particular 
account  of  the  arches.     These  are  said  to  be  often  50  or  60  feet  in  span. 

["  Within  the  city  there  are,  generally  speaking,  six  canals  from  North  to  South, 
and  six  canals  from  East  to  West,  intersecting  one  another  at  from  a  quarter  to  half  a 
mile.  There  are  a  hundred  and  fifty  or  two  hundred  bridges  at  intervals  of  two  or 
three  hundred  yards  ;  some  of  these  with  arches,  others  with  stone  slabs  thrown 
across,  many  of  which  are  twenty  feet  in  length.  The  canals  are  from  ten  to  fifteen 
feet  wide  and  faced  with  stone."  {Rev.  H.  C.  Du  Rose,  Chin.  Ree.,  xix.,  1! 
p.  207).— H.  C] 

South-West  Gate  and  Water-Gate  of  Su-chau ;  facsimile  on  half  the  scale  from  a  mediaeval  Map, 

incised  on  Marble,  a.d.  1247. 

Note  3. — This  statement  about  the  abundance  of  rhubarb  in  the  hills  near 
Su-chau  is  believed  by  the  most  competent  authorities  to  be  quite  erroneous.  Rhubarb 
is  exported  from  Shang-hai,  but  it  is  brought  thither  from  Hankau  on  the  Upper 
Kiang,  and  Hankau  receives  it  from  the  further  west.  Indeed  Mr.  Hanbury,  in  a  note 
on  the  subject,  adds  his  disbelief  also  that  ginger  is  produced  in  Kiang-nan.  And  I  see 
in  the  Shang-hai  trade-returns  of  1865,  that  there  is  no  ginger  among  the  exports. 
[Green  ginger  is  mentioned  in  the  Shang-hai  Trade  Reports  for  1900  among  the 
exports  (p.  309)  to  the  amount  of  18,756  piculs  ;  none  is  mentioned  at  Su-chau. — H.  C.]. 
Some  one,  I  forget  where,  has  suggested  a  confusion  with  Suh-chau  in  Kan-suh,  the 
great  rhubarb  mart,  which  seems  possible. 

["  Polo  is  correct  in  giving  Tangut  as  the  native  country  of  Rhubarb  {Rheum 
falmatum),  but  no  species  of  Rheum  has  hitherto  been  gathered  by  our  botanists 
as  far  south  as  Kiang-Su,  indeed,  not  even  in  Shan-tung."  {Bret Schneider,  Hist,  of 
Rot.  Disc,  I.  p.  5.)— H,  C] 

Note  4. — The  meanings  ascribed  by  Polo  to  the  names  of  Su-chau  and  King-sze 
JIang-chau)  show  plainly  enough  that  he  was  ignorant  of  Chinese.     Odoric  does  not. 

1 84 

MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

mention  Su-chau,  but  he  gives  the  same  explanation  of  Kinsay  as  signifying  the 
"City  of  Heaven,"  and  Wassaf  also  in  his  notice  of  the  same  city  has  an  obscure 
passage  about  Paradise  and  Heaven,  which  is  not  improbably  a  corrupted  reference 
to  the  same  interpretation.*  I  suspect  therefore  that  it  was  a  "  Vulgar  Error"  of  the 
foreign  residents  in  China,  probably  arising  out  of  a  misunderstanding  of  the  Chinese 
adage  quoted  by  Duhalde  and  Davis  : — 

11  Shang yeu  fien  fang,  Hia  yen  Su  Hang  !" 

"  There's  Paradise  above  'tis  true, 
But  here  below  we've  Hang  and  Su  !" 

These  two  neighbouring  cities,  in  the  middle  of  the  beautiful  tea  and  silk  districts, 
and  with  all  the  advantages  of  inland  navigation  and  foreign  trade,  combined  every 
source  of  wealih  and  prosperity,  and  were  often  thus  coupled  together  by  the 
Chinese.  Both  are,  I  believe,  now  recovering  from  the  effects  of  devastation  by 
T'ai-P'ing  occupation  and  Imperialist  recapture  ;  but  neither  probably  is  one-fifth  of 
what  it  was. 

The  plan  of  Su-chau  which  we  give  is  of  high  interest.  It  is  reduced  (y^  the  scale) 
from  a  rubbing  of  a  plan  of  the  city  incised  on  marble  measuring  6"  j"  by  4'  4",  and 
which  has  been  preserved  in  the  Confucian  Temple  in  Su-chau  since  A.D.  1247. 
Marco  Polo's  eyes  have  probably  rested  on  this  fine  work,  comparable  to  the  famous 
Pianta  Capitolina.  The  engraving  on  page  183  represents  one  of  the  gates  traced 
from  the  rubbing  and  reduced  to  half  the  scale.  It  is  therefore  an  authentic  repre- 
sentation of  Chinese  fortification  in  or  before  the  13th  century. f 

["In  the  southern  part  of  Su-chau  is  the  park,  surrounded  by  a  high  wall,  which 
contains  the  group  of  buildings  called  the  Confucian  Temple.  This  is  the  Dragon's 
head  ; — the  Dragon  Street,  running  directly  North,  is  his  body,  and  the  Great 
Pagoda  is  his  tail.  In  front  is  a  grove  of  cedars.  To  one  side  is  the  hall  where 
thousands  of  scholars  go  to  worship  at  the  Spring  and  Autumn  Festivals — this  for  the 
gentry  alone,  not  for  the  unlettered  populace.  There  is  a  building  used  for  the 
slaughter  of  animals,  another  containing  a  map  of  the  city  engraved  in  stone  ;  a  third 
with  tablets  and  astronomical  diagrams,  and  a  fourth  containing  the  Provincial 
Library.  On  each  side  of  the  large  courts  are  rooms  where  are  placed  the  tablets  of 
the  500  sages.  The  main  temple  is  50  by  70  feet,  and  contains  the  tablet  of 
Confucius  and  a  number  of  gilded  boards  with  mottoes.  It  is  a  very  imposing 
structure.  On  the  stone  dais  in  front,  a  mat-shed  is  erected  for  the  great  sacrifices 
at  which  the  official  magnates  exercise  their  sacerdotal  functions.  As  a  tourist  beheld 
the  sacred  grounds  and  the  aged  trees,  she  said  :  '  This  is  the  most  venerable- 
looking  place  I  have  seen  in  China.'  On  the  gateway  in  front,  the  sage  is  called 
'The  Prince  of  Doctrine  in  times  Past  and  Present.'"  (Rev.  H.  C.  Dn  Bose,  Chin. 
Rec,  xix.  p.  272). — H.  C] 

Note  5. — The  Geographic  Text  only,  at  least  of  the  principal  Texts,  has  dis- 
tinctly the  three  cities,  Vugui,  Vughin,  Ciangan.  Pauthier  identifies  the  first  and 
third  with  Hu-chau  fu  and  Sung-kiang  fu.  In  favour  of  Vuju's  being  Hu-chau  is  the 
fact  mentioned  by  Wilson  that  the  latter  city  is  locally  called  Wuchu. %  If  this  be 
the  place,  the  Traveller  does  not  seem  to  be  following  a  direct  and  consecutive 
route  from  Su-chau  to  Hang-chau.  Nor  is  Hu-chau  within  a  day's  journey  of  Su-chau. 
Mr.  Kingsmill  observes  that  the  only  town  at  that  distance  is  Wukiang-hien,  once  of 
some  little  importance  but  now  much  reduced.     Wukiang,  however,   is  suggestive 

*  See  Quatremere's  Rashid.,  p.  lxxxvii.,  and  Hammer's  Wassaf,  p.  42. 

t  I  owe  these  valuable  illustrations,  as  so  much  else,  to  the  unwearied  kindness  of  Mr.  A.  Wylie. 
There  were  originally  four  maps  :  (1)  The  City,  (2)  The  Empire,  (3)  The  Heavens,  (4)  no  longer 
known.  They  were  drawn  originally  by  one  Hwan  Kin-shan,  and  presented  by  him  to  a  high  official 
in  Sze-ch'wan.  Wang  Che-yuen,  subsequently  holding  office  in  the  same  province,  got  possession  of 
the  maps,  and  had  them  incised  at  Su-chau  in  a.d.  1247.  The  inscription  bearing  these  particulars  is 
partially  gone,  and  the  date  of  the  original  drawings  remains  uncertain.  (See  List  0/ 

\  The  Ei>er  Victorious  Army,  p.  395. 

Chap.  LXXVI.  THE   GREAT  CITY  OF   KINSAY  1 85 

of  Vughin  ;  and,  in  that  supposition,  Hu-cbau  must  be  considered  the  object  of  a 
digression  from  which  the  Traveller  returns  and  takes  up  his  route  to  Hang-chau  via 
Wukiang.  Kiaking  would  then  best  answer  to  Ciangan,  or  Caingany  as  it  is 
written  in  the  following  chapter  of  the  G.T. 


Description  of  the  Great  City  of  Kinsay,  which  is  the  Capital 
of  the  whole  country  of  manzi. 

When  you  have  left  the  city  of  Changan  and  have  tra- 
velled for  three  days  through  a  splendid  country,  passing 
a  number  of  towns  and  villages,  you  arrive  at  the  most 
noble  city  of  Kinsay,  a  name  which  is  as  much  as  to  say 
in  our  tongue  "  The  City  of  Heaven,"  as  I  told  you 

And  since  we  have  got  thither  I  will  enter  into  parti- 
culars about  its  magnificence  ;  and  these  are  well  worth 
the  telling,  for  the  city  is  beyond  dispute  the  finest  and 
the  noblest  in  the  world.  In  this  we  shall  speak  according 
to  the  written  statement  which  the  Queen  of  this  Realm 
sent  to  Bayan  the  conqueror  of  the  country  for  trans- 
mission to  the  Great  Kaan,  in  order  that  he  might  be 
aware  of  the  surpassing  grandeur  of  the  city  and  might 
be  moved  to  save  it  from  destruction  or  injury.  I  will 
tell  you  all  the  truth  as  it  was  set  down  in  that  document. 
For  truth  it  was,  as  the  said  Messer  Marco  Polo  at  a 
later  date  was  able  to  witness  with  his  own  eyes.  And 
now  we  shall  rehearse  those  particulars. 

First  and  foremost,  then,  the  document  stated  the  city 
of  Kinsay  to  be  so  great  that  it  hath  an  hundred  miles  of 
compass.  And  there  are  in  it  twelve  thousand  bridges 
of  stone,  for  the  most  part  so  lofty  that  a  great  fleet 
could  pass  beneath  them.  And  let  no  man  marvel  that 
there  are  so  many  bridges,  for  you  see  the  whole  city 

1 86  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

stands  as  it  were  in  the  water  and  surrounded  by  water, 
so  that  a  great  many  bridges  are  required  to  give  free 
passage  about  it.  [And  though  the  bridges  be  so  high 
the  approaches  are  so  well  contrived  that  carts  and  horses 
do  cross  them.2] 

The  document  aforesaid  also  went  on  to  state  that 
there  were  in  this  city  twelve  guilds  of  the  different 
crafts,  and  that  each  guild  had  12,000  houses  in  the  occu- 
pation of  its  workmen.  Each  of  these  houses  contains  at 
least  12  men,  whilst  some  contain  20  and  some  40, — not 
that  these  are  all  masters,  but  inclusive  of  the  journey- 
men who  work  under  the  masters.  And  yet  all  these 
craftsmen  had  full  occupation,  for  many  other  cities  of 
the  kingdom  are  supplied  from  this  city  with  what  they 

The  document  aforesaid  also  stated  that  the  number 
and  wealth  of  the  merchants,  and  the  amount  of  goods 
that  passed  through  their  hands,  was  so  enormous  that 
no  man  could  form  a  just  estimate  thereof.  And  I  should 
have  told  you  with  regard  to  those  masters  of  the  different 
crafts  who  are  at  the  head  of  such  houses  as  I  have 
mentioned,  that  neither  they  nor  their  wives  ever  touch 
a  piece  of  work  with  their  own  hands,  but  live  as  nicely 
and  delicately  as  if  they  were  kings  and  queens.  The 
wives  indeed  are  most  dainty  and  angelical  creatures ! 
Moreover  it  was  an  ordinance  laid  down  by  the  King 
that  every  man  should  follow  his  father's  business  and 
no  other,  no  matter  if  he  possessed  100,000  bezants.3 

Inside  the  city  there  is  a  Lake  which  has  a  compass 
of  some  30  miles  :  and  all  round  it  are  erected  beautiful 
palaces  and  mansions,  of  the  richest  and  most  exquisite 
structure  that  you  can  imagine,  belonging  to  the  nobles 
of  the  city.  There  are  also  on  its  shores  many  abbeys 
and  churches  of  the  Idolaters.  In  the  middle  of  the 
Lake  are  two   Islands,  on  each  of  which  stands  a  rich, 

Chap.  LXXVI.  THE   GREAT   CITY  OF   KINSAY  1 87 

beautiful  and  spacious  edifice,  furnished  in  such  style  as 
to  seem  fit  for  the  palace  of  an  Emperor.  And  when 
any  one  of  the  citizens  desired  to  hold  a  marriage  feast, 
or  to  oive  any  other  entertainment,  it  used  to  be  done  at 
one  of  these  palaces.  And  everything  would  be  found 
there  ready  to  order,  such  as  silver  plate,  trenchers,  and 
dishes  [napkins  and  table-cloths],  and  whatever  else  was 
needful.  The  King  made  this  provision  for  the  gratifica- 
tion of  his  people,  and  the  place  was  open  to  every  one 
who  desired  to  give  an  entertainment.  [Sometimes 
there  would  be  at  these  palaces  an  hundred  different 
parties ;  some  holding  a  banquet,  others  celebrating 
a  wedding  ;  and  yet  all  would  find  good  accommodation 
in  the  different  apartments  and  pavilions,  and  that  in 
so  well  ordered  a  manner  that  one  party  was  never  in 
the  way  of  another.4] 

The  houses  of  the  city  are  provided  with  lofty  towers 
of  stone  in  which  articles  of  value  are  stored  for  fear  of 
fire  ;  for  most  of  the  houses  themselves  are  of  timber, 
and  fires  are  very  frequent  in  the  city. 

The  people  are  Idolaters  ;  and  since  they  were  con- 
quered by  the  Great  Kaan  they  use  paper-money.  [Both 
men  and  women  are  fair  and  comely,  and  for  the  most 
part  clothe  themselves  in  silk,  so  vast  is  the  supply  of 
that  material,  both  from  the  whole  district  of  Kinsay,  and 
from  the  imports  by  traders  from  other  provinces.5]  And 
you  must  know  they  eat  every  kind  of  flesh,  even  that 
of  dogs  and  other  unclean  beasts,  which  nothing  would 
induce  a  Christian  to  eat. 

Since  the  Great  Kaan  occupied  the  city  he  has 
ordained  that  each  of  the  12,000  bridges  should  be  pro- 
vided with  a  guard  often  men,  in  case  of  any  disturbance, 
or  of  any  being  so  rash  as  to  plot  treason  or  insurrection 
against  him.  [Each  guard  is  provided  with  a  hollow 
instrument  of  wood  and  with  a  metal  basin,  and  with  a 

1 88  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

time-keeper  to  enable  them  to  know  the  hour  of  the  day 
or  night.  And  so  when  one  hour  of  the  night  is  past 
the  sentry  strikes  one  on  the  wooden  instrument  and  on 
the  basin,  so  that  the  whole  quarter  of  the  city  is  made 
aware  that  one  hour  of  the  night  is  gone.  At  the  second 
hour  he  gives  two  strokes,  and  so  on,  keeping  always 
wide  awake  and  on  the  look  out.  In  the  morning  again, 
from  the  sunrise,  they  begin  to  count  anew,  and  strike 
one  hour  as  they  did  in  the  night,  and  so  on  hour  after 

Part  of  the  watch  patrols  the  quarter,  to  see  if  any 
light  or  fire  is  burning  after  the  lawful  hours  ;  if  they 
find  any  they  mark  the  door,  and  in  the  morning  the 
owner  is  summoned  before  the  magistrates,  and  unless  he 
can  plead  a  good  excuse  he  is  punished.  Also  if  they 
find  any  one  going  about  the  streets  at  unlawful  hours 
they  arrest  him, -and  in  the  morning  they  bring  him  before 
the  magistrates.  Likewise  if  in  the  daytime  they  find 
any  poor  cripple  unable  to  work  for  his  livelihood,  they 
take  him  to  one  of  the  hospitals,  of  which  there  are 
many,  founded  by  the  ancient  kings,  and  endowed  with 
great  revenues.6  Or  if  he  be  capable  of  work  they  oblige 
him  to  take  up  some  trade.  If  they  see  that  any  house 
has  caught  fire  they  immediately  beat  upon  that  wooden 
instrument  to  give  the  alarm,  and  this  brings  together 
the  watchmen  from  the  other  bridges  to  help  to  extin- 
guish it,  and  to  save  the  goods  of  the  merchants  or  others, 
either  by  removing  them  to  the  towers  above  mentioned, 
or  by  putting  them  in  boats  and  transporting  them  to  the 
islands  in  the  lake.  For  no  citizen  dares  leave  his  house 
at  night,  or  to  come  near  the  fire  ;  only  those  who  own 
the  property,  and  those  watchmen  who  flock  to  help,  of 
whom  there  shall  come  one  or  two  thousand  at  the 

Moreover,  within  the  city  there  is  an   eminence   on 

Chap.  LXXVI.  THE   GREAT   CITY   OF   KINSAY  1 89 

which  stands  a  Tower,  and  at  the  top  of  the  tower  is 
hung  a  slab  of  wood.  Whenever  fire  or  any  other  alarm 
breaks  out  in  the  city  a  man  who  stands  there  with  a 
mallet  in  his  hand  beats  upon  the  slab,  making  a  noise  that 
is  heard  to  a  great  distance.  So  when  the  blows  upon  this 
slab  are  heard,  everybody  is  aware  that  fire  has  broken 
out,  or  that  there  is  some  other  cause  of  alarm. 

The  Kaan  watches  this  city  with  especial  diligence 
because  it  forms  the  head  of  all  Manzi ;  and  because  he 
has  an  immense  revenue  from  the  duties  levied  on  the 
transactions  of  trade  therein,  the  amount  of  which  is  such 
that  no  one  would  credit  it  on  mere  hearsay. 

All  the  streets  of  the  city  are  paved  with  stone  or 
brick,  as  indeed  are  all  the  highways  throughout  Manzi, 
so  that  you  ride  and  travel  in  every  direction  without 
inconvenience.  Were  it  not  for  this  pavement  you  could 
not  do  so,  for  the  country  is  very  low  and  flat,  and  after 
rain  'tis  deep  in  mire  and  water.  [But  as  the  Great 
Kaan's  couriers  could  not  gallop  their  horses  over  the 
pavement,  the  side  of  the  road  is  left  unpaved  for  their 
convenience.  The  pavement  of  the  main  street  of  the 
city  also  is  laid  out  in  two  parallel  ways  of  ten  paces  in 
width  on  either  side,  leaving  a  space  in  the  middle  laid 
with  fine  gravel,  under  which  are  vaulted  drains  which 
convey  the  rain  water  into  the  canals  ;  and  thus  the  road 
is  kept  ever  dry.]7 

You  must  know  also  that  the  city  of  Kinsay  has  some 
3000  baths,  the  water  of  which  is  supplied  by  springs. 
They  are  hot  baths,  and  the  people  take  great  delight  in 
them,  frequenting  them  several  times  a  month,  for  they 
are  very  cleanly  in  their  persons.  They  are  the  finest 
and  largest  baths  in  the  world;  large  enough  for  100 
persons  to  bathe  together.8 

And  the  Ocean  Sea  comes  within  25  miles  of  the 
city  at  a  place  called  Ganfu,  where  there  is  a  town  and 

I90  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

an  excellent  haven,  with  a  vast  amount  of  shipping  which 
is  enraged  in  the  traffic  to  and  from  India  and  other 
foreign  parts,  exporting  and  importing  many  kinds  of 
wares,  by  which  the  city  benefits.  And  a  great  river 
flows  from  the  city  of  Kinsay  to  that  sea-haven,  by 
which  vessels  can  come  up  to  the  city  itself.  This  river 
extends  also  to  other  places  further  inland.9 

Know  also  that  the  Great  Kaan  hath  distributed  the 
territory  of  Manzi  into  nine  parts,  which  he  hath  con- 
stituted into  nine  kingdoms.  To  each  of  these  kingdoms 
a  king  is  appointed  who  is  subordinate  to  the  Great 
Kaan,  and  every  year  renders  the  accounts  of  his  king- 
dom to  the  fiscal  office  at  the  capital.10  This  city  of 
Kinsay  is  the  seat  of  one  of  these  kings,  who  rules  over 
140  great  and  wealthy  cities.  For  in  the  whole  of  this 
vast  country  of  Manzi  there  are  more  than  1 200  great 
and  wealthy  cities,  without  counting  the  towns  and 
villages,  which  are  in  great  numbers.  And  you  may 
receive  it  for  certain  that  in  each  of  those  1200  cities  the 
Great  Kaan  has  a  garrison,  and  that  the  smallest  of  such 
garrisons  musters  1000  men  ;  whilst  there  are  some  of 
10,000,  20,000  and  30,000;  so  that  the  total  number  of 
troops  is  something  scarcely  calculable.  The  troops 
forming  these  garrisons  are  not  all  Tartars.  Many  are 
from  the  province  of  Cathay,  and  good  soldiers  too. 
But  you  must  not  suppose  they  are  by  any  means  all  of 
them  cavalry ;  a  very  large  proportion  of  them  are  foot- 
soldiers,  according  to  the  special  requirements  of  each 
city.  And  all  of  them  belong  to  the  army  of  the  Great 

I  repeat  that  everything  appertaining  to  this  city  is 
on  so  vast  a  scale,  and  the  Great  Kaan's  yearly  revenues 
therefrom  are  so  immense,  that  it  is  not  easy  even  to  put 
it  in  writing,  and  it  seems  past  belief  to  one  who  merely 
hears  it  told.      But   I   will  write  it  down  for  you. 

Chap.  LXXVL  THE   GREAT   CITY   OF   KINSAY  191 

•  First,  however,  I  must  mention  another  thing.  The 
people  of  this  country  have  a  custom,  that  as  soon  as  a 
child  is  born  they  write  down  the  day  and  hour  and  the 
planet  and  sign  under  which  its  birth  has  taken  place ;  so 
that  every  one  among  them  knows  the  day  of  his  birth. 
And  when  any  one  intends  a  journey  he  goes  to  the 
astrologers,  and  gives  the  particulars  of  his  nativity  in 
order  to  learn  whether  he  shall  have  good  luck  or  no. 
Sometimes  they  will  say  no,  and  in  that  case  the  journey 
is  put  off  till  such  day  as  the  astrologer  may  recommend. 
These  astrologers  are  very  skilful  at  their  business,  and 
often  their  words  come  to  pass,  so  the  people  have  great 
faith  in  them. 

They  burn  the  bodies  of  the  dead.  And  when  any 
one  dies  the  friends  and  relations  make  a  great  mourning 
for  the  deceased,  and  clothe  themselves  in  hempen  gar- 
ments,12 and  follow  the  corpse  playing  on  a  variety  of 
instruments  and  singing  hymns  to  their  idols.  And 
when  they  come  to  the  burning  place,  they  take  represen- 
tations of  things  cut  out  of  parchment,  such  as  capari- 
soned horses,  male  and  female  slaves,  camels,  armour 
suits  of  cloth  of  gold  (and  money),  in  great  quantities, 
and  these  things  they  put  on  the  fire  along  with  the 
corpse,  so  that  they  are  all  burnt  with  it.  And  they  tell 
you  that  the  dead  man  shall  have  all  these  slaves  and 
animals  of  which  the  effigies  are  burnt,  alive  in  flesh  and 
blood,  and  the  money  in  gold,  at  his  disposal  in  the  next 
world  ;  and  that  the  instruments  which  they  have  caused 
to  be  played  at  his  funeral,  and  the  idol  hymns  that  have 
been  chaunted,  shall  also  be  produced  again  to  welcome 
him  in  the  next  world  ;  and  that  the  idols  themselves 
will  come  to  do  him  honour.13 

Furthermore  there  exists  in  this  city  the  palace  of  the 
king  who  fled,  him  who  was  Emperor  of  Manzi,  and  that 
is  the  greatest  palace  in  the  world,  as  I  shall  tell  you  more 

192  MARCO  POLO  Book  II. 

particularly.  For  you  must  know  its  demesne  hath  a 
compass  of  ten  miles,  all  enclosed  with  lofty  battlemented 
walls ;  and  inside  the  walls  are  the  finest  and  most 
delectable  gardens  upon  earth,  and  filled  too  with  the 
finest  fruits.  There  are  numerous  fountains  in  it  also, 
and  lakes  full  offish.  In  the  middle  is  the  palace  itself, 
a  great  and  splendid  building.  It  contains  20  great  and 
handsome  halls,  one  of  which  is  more  spacious  than  the 
rest,  and  affords  room  for  a  vast  multitude  to  dine.  It  is 
all  painted  in  gold,  with  many  histories  and  representa- 
tions of  beasts  and  birds,  of  knights  and  dames,  and 
many  marvellous  things.  It  forms  a  really  magnificent 
spectacle,  for  over  all  the  walls  and  all  the  ceiling  you 
see  nothing  but  paintings  in  gold.  And  besides  these 
halls  the  palace  contains  1000  large  and  handsome 
chambers,  all  painted  in  gold  and  divers  colours. 

Moreover,  I  must  tell  you  that  in  this  city  there  are 
160  tomans  of  fires,  or  in  other  words  160  tomans  of 
houses.  Now  I  should  tell  you  that  the  toman  is  10,000, 
so  that  you  can  reckon  the  total  as  altogether  1,600,000 
houses,  among  which  are  a  great  number  of  rich  palaces. 
There  is  one  church  only,  belonging  to  the  Nestorian 

There  is  another  thing  I  must  tell  you.  It  is  the 
custom  for  every  burgess  of  this  city,  and  in  fact  for  every 
description  of  person  in  it,  to  write  over  his  door  his  own 
name,  the  name  of  his  wife,  and  those  of  his  children, 
his  slaves,  and  all  the  inmates  of  his  house,  and  also  the 
number  of  animals  that  he  keeps.  And  if  any  one  dies 
in  the  house  then  the  name  of  that  person  is  erased,  and 
if  any  child  is  born  its  name  is  added.  So  in  this  way 
the  sovereign  is  able  to  know  exactly  the  population  of 
the  city.  And  this  is  the  practice  also  throughout  all 
Manzi  and  Cathay.14 

And  I  must  tell  you  that  every  hosteler  who  keeps 

Chap.  LXXVI. 



an  hostel  for  travellers  is  bound  to  register  their  names 
and  surnames,  as  well  as  the  day  and  month  of  their 
arrival  and  departure.  And  thus  the  sovereign  hath  the 
means  of  knowing,  whenever  it  pleases  him,  who  come 
and  go  throughout  his  dominions.  And  certes  this  is  a 
wise  order  and  a  provident. 

Note  i. — Kinsay  represents  closely  enough  the  Chinese  term  King-sze,  "capital," 
which  was  then  applied  to  the  great  city,  the  proper  name  of  which  was  at  that  time 
Lin-ngan  and  is  now  Hang-CHAU,  as  being  since  11 27  the  capital  of  the  Sung  Dynasty. 
The  same  term  King-sze  is  now  on  Chinese  maps  generally  used  to  designate  Peking. 
It  would  seem,  however,  that  the  term  adhered  long  as  a  quasi-proper  name  to 
Hang-chau  ;  for  in  the  Chinese  Atlas,  dating  from  1595,  which  the  traveller  Carletti 
presented  to  the  Magliabecchian  Library,  that  city  appears  to  be  still  marked  with 
this  name,  transcribed  by  Carletti  as  Camse ;  very  near  the  form  Campsay  used  by 
Marignolli  in  the  14th  century. 

Note  2. — --The  Ramusian  version  says :  "  Messer  Marco  Polo  was  frequently  at 
this  city,  and  took 
great  pains  to  learn 
everything  about  it, 
writing  down  the 
whole  in  his  notes." 
The  information  be- 
ing originally  de- 
rived from  a  Chinese 
document,  there 
might  be  some 
ground  for  suppos- 
ing that  100  miles 
of  circuit  stood  for 
100  li.  Yet  the 
circuit  of  the  mod- 
ern city  is  stated  in 
the  official  book 
called  Hang-  chan 
Fit-  Chi,  or  topo- 
graphical history  of 
Hang-chau,  at  only 
35  li.  And  the 
earliest  record  of 
the  wall,  as  built 
under  the  Sui  by 
Yang-su  (before 
a.d.  606),  makes  its 
extent  little  more 
(36  li  and  90 
paces.)*      But    the 


The  ancient  Lun-ho-ta  Pagoda  at  Hang-chau. 
wall  was  reconstructed  by  Ts'ien  Kiao,  feudal  prince  of  the  region,  during  the  reign 



*  In  the  first  edition  my  best  authority  on  this  matter  was  a  lecture  on  the  city  by  the  late  R 
D.  D.  Green,  an  American  Missionary  at  Ningpo,  which  is  printed  in  the  November  and  Deceml 
numbers  for  1869  of  the  (Fuchau)  Chinese  Recorder  and  Missionary  Journal.    In  the  present  (second) 
edition  I  have  on  this,  and  other  points  embraced  in  this  and  the  following  chapter,  benefited  largely 

VOL.    II. 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

of  Chao  Tsung,  one  of  the  last  emperors  of  the  T'ang  Dynasty  (892),  so  as  to  em- 
brace the  Luh-ho-ta  Pagoda,  on  a  high  bluff  over  the  Tsien-tang  River,*  15  li 
distant  from  the  present  south  gate,  and  had  then  a  circuit  of  70  li.  Moreover,  in  1 1 59, 
after  the  city  became  the  capital  of  the  Sung  emperors,  some  further  extension  was 
given  to  it,  so  that,  even  exclusive  of  the  suburbs,  the  circuit  of  the  city  may  have 
been  not  far  short  of  100  li.  When  the  city  was  in  its  glory  under  the  Sung,  the 
Luh-ho-ta  Pagoda  may  be  taken  as  marking  the  extreme  S.W.  Another  known 
point  marks  approximately  the  chief  north  gate  of  that  period,  at  a  mile  and  a  half  or 
two  miles  beyond  the  present  north  wall.  The  S.  E.  angle  was  apparently  near  the 
river  bank.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  the  waist  of  the  city  seems  to  have  been  a  good 
deal  narrower  than  it  now  is.  Old  descriptions  compare  its  form  to  that  of  a  slender- 
waisted  drum  (dice-box  or  hour-glass  shape). 

Under  the  Mongols  the  walls  were  allowed  to  decay ;  and  in  the  disturbed  years 
that  closed  that  dynasty  (1341-1368)  they  were  rebuilt  by  an  insurgent  chief  on  a  greatly 
reduced  compass,  probably  that  which  they  still  retain.  Whatever  may  have  been 
the  facts,  and  whatever  the  origin  of  the  estimate,  I  imagine  that  the  ascription  of  100 
miles  of  circuit  to  Kinsay  had  become  popular  among  Westerns.  Odoric  makes  the 
same  statement.  Wassaf  calls  it  24  parasangs,  which  will  not  be  far  short  of  the  same 
amount.  Ibn  Batuta  calls  the  length  of  the  city  three  days'  journey.  Rashiduddin  says 
the  enceinte  had  a  diameter  of  1 1  parasangs,  and  that  there  were  three  post  stages 
between  the  two  extremities  of  the  city,  which  is  probably  what  Ibn  Batuta  had 
heard.  The  Masdlak-al-Absdr  calls  it  one  day's  journey  in  length,  and  half  a  day's 
journey  in  breadth.  The  enthusiastic  Jesuit  Martini  tries  hard  to  justify  Polo  in  this  as 
in  other  points  of  his  description.  We  shall  quote  the  whole  of  his  remarks  at  the  end 
of  the  chapters  on  Kinsay. 

[Dr.  F.  Hirth,  in  a  paper  published  in  the  T'oung  Pao,  V.  pp.  386-390  (£7<?for 
den  Shiffsverkehr  von  Kinsay  zu  Marco  Polo's  Zeii),  has  some  interesting  notes  on  the 
maritime  trade  of  Hang-chau,  collected  from  a  work  in  twenty  books,  kept  at  the 
Berlin  Royal  Library,  in  which  is  to  be  found  a  description  of  Hang-chau  under  the 
title  of  Meng-liang-ltt,  published  in  1274  by  Wu  Tzu-mu,  himself  a  native  of  this  city  : 
there  are  various  classes  of  sea-going  vessels  ;  large  boats  measuring  5000  liao  and 
carrying  from  five  to  six  hundred  passengers  ;  smaller  boats  measuring  from  2  to  1000 
liao  and  carrying  from  two  to  three  hundred  passengers ;  there  are  small  fast  boats 
called  tsttan-feng,  "wind  breaker,"  with  six  or  eight  oarsmen,  which  can  carry  easily 
100  passengers,  and  are  generally  used  for  fishing  ;  sampans  are  not  taken  into  account. 
To  start  for  foreign  countries  one  must  embark  at  Ts'wan-chau,  and  then  go  to  the  sea 
of  Ts'i-chau  (Paracels),  through  the  Tai-hsu  pass ;  coming  back  he  must  look  to 
Kwen-lun  (Pulo  Condor). — H.  C] 

The  12,000  bridges  have  been  much  carped  at,  and  modern  accounts  of  Hang-chau 
(desperately  meagre  as  they  are)  do  not  speak  of  its  bridges  as  notable.  "  There  is, 
indeed,"  says  Mr.  Kingsmill,  speaking  of  changes  in  the  hydrography  about  Hang-chau, 
"no  trace  in  the  city  of  the  magnificent  canals  and  bridges  described  by  Marco 
Polo."  The  number  was  no  doubt  in  this  case  also  a  mere  popular  saw,  and  Friar 
Odoric  repeats  it.  The  sober  and  veracious  John  Marignolli,  alluding  apparently  to 
their  statements,  and  perhaps  toothers  which  have  not  reached  us,  says:  "When 
authors  tell  of  its  ten  thousand  noble  bridges  of  stone,  adorned  with  sculptures  and 
statues  of  armed  princes,  it  passes  the  belief  of  one  who  has  not  been  there,  and  yet 
peradventure  these  authors  tell  us  no  lie."     Wassaf  speaks  of  360  bridges  only,  but 

by  the  remarks  of  the  Right  Rev.  G.  E.  Moule  of  the  Ch.  Mission.  Soc,  now  residing  at  Hang-chau. 
These  are  partly  contained  in  a  paper  {Notes  on  Colonel  Yule's  Edition  of  Marco  Polo's  '  Quinsay*) 
read  before  the  North  China  Branch  of  the  R.  A.  Soc.  at  Shang-hai  in  December  1873  [published  in 
New  Series,  No.  IX.  of  the  Journa I IV.  C.  B.  R.  A.  Soc],  of  which  a  proof*has  been  most  kindly  sent 
to  me  by  Mr.  Moule,  and  partly  in  a  special  communication,  both  forwarded  through  Mr.  A.  Wylie. 
[See  also  Notes  on  HangcJww  Past  and  Present,  a  paper  read  in  1889  by  Bishop  G.  E.  Moule  at  a 
Meeting  of  the  Hangchau  Missionary  Association,  at  whose  request  it  was  compiled,  and  subsequently 
printed  for  private  circulation.  —  H.  C.] 

*  The  building  of  the  present  Luh-ho-ta  ("Six  Harmonies  Tower"),  after  repeated  destructions 
by  fire,  is  recorded  on  a  fine  tablet  of  the  Sung  period,  still  standing  {Moule). 

Chap.  LXXVI. 



they  make  up  in  size  what  they  lack  in  number,  for  they  cross  canals  as  big  as  the 
Tigris  !  Marsden  aptly  quotes  in  reference  to  this  point  excessively  loose  and  dis- 
crepant statements  from  modern  authors  as  to  the  number  of  bridges  in  Venice.     The 

Plan  of  the  Imperial  City  of  Hangchow  in  the  13th  Century.    (From  the  Notes  of  the  Right 
Rev.  G.  E.  Moule.) 

1-17,  Gates;  18,  Ta-nuy;  19,    Woo-Foo;  20,  T'a'i  Miao ;  21,  Fung-hwang  shan ;    22,  ShI/i 
fuh  she  ;  23,  Fan  t'ien  she  ;  24,  Koo-shin^  Kwo  she. 

great  height  of  the  arches  of  the  canal  bridges  in  this  part  of  China  is  especially  noticed 

by  travellers.     Barrow,  quoted  by  Marsden,  says:  "  Some  have  the  piers  of  such  an 

VOL.    II.  N    2 

I96  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

extraordinary  height  that  the  largest  vessels  of  200  tons  sail  under  them  without 
striking  their  masts." 

Mr.  Moule  has  added  up  the  lists  of  bridges  in  the  whole  department  (or  Fit)  and 
found  them  to  amount  to  848,  and  many  of  these  even  are  now  unknown,  their 
approximate  sites  being  given  from  ancient  topographies.  The  number  represented  in 
a  large  modern  map  of  the  city,  which  I  owe  to  Mr.  Moule's  kindness,  is  in. 

Note  3. — Though  Rubruquis  (p.  292)  says  much  the  same  thing,  there  is  little 
trace  of  such  an  ordinance  in  modern  China.  Fere  Parrenin  observes  :  "  As  to  the 
hereditary  perpetuation  of  trades,  it  has  never  existed  in  China.  On  the  contrary, 
very  few  Chinese  will  learn  the  trade  of  their  fathers ;  and  it  is  only  necessity  that 
ever  constrains  them  to  do  so."  {Lett.  Edif.  XXIV.  40.)  Mr.  Moule  remarks, 
however,  that  P.  Parrenin  is  a  little  too  absolute.  Certain  trades  do  run  in  families, 
even  of  the  free  classes  of  Chinese,  not  to  mention  the  disfranchised  boatmen,  barbers, 
chair-coolies,  etc.  But,  except  in  the  latter  cases,  there  is  no  compulsion,  though  the 
Sacred  Edict  goes  to  encourage  the  perpetuation  of  the  family  calling. 

Note  4. — This  sheet  of  water  is  the  celebrated  Sl-HU,  or  "  Western  Lake,"  the 
fame  of  which  had  reached  Abulfeda,  and  which  has  raised  the  enthusiasm  even  of 
modern  travellers,  such  as  Barrow  and  Van  Braam.  The  latter  speaks  of  three 
islands  (and  this  the  Chinese  maps  confirm),  on  each  of  which  were  several  villas, 
and  of  causeways  across  the  lake,  paved  and  bordered  with  trees,  and  provided  with 
numerous  bridges  for  the  passage  of  boats.  Barrow  gives  a  bright  description  of  the 
lake,  with  its  thousands  of  gay,  gilt,  and  painted  pleasure  boats,  its  margins  studded 
with  light  and  fanciful  buildings,  its  gardens  of  choice  flowering  shrubs,  its  monu- 
ments, and  beautiful  variety  of  scenery.  None  surpasses  that  of  Martini,  whom  it  is 
always  pleasant  to  quote,  but  here  he  is  too  lengthy.  The  most  recent  description 
that  I  have  met  with  is  that  of  Mr.  C.  Gardner,  and  it  is  as  enthusiastic  as  any.  It 
concludes:  "Even  to  us  foreigners  .  .  .  the  spot  is  one  of  peculiar  attraction,  but 
to  the  Chinese  it  is  as  a  paradise."  The  Emperor  K'ien  Lung  had  erected  a  palace  on 
one  of  the  islands  in  the  lake  ;  it  was  ruined  by  the  T'ai-P'ings.  Many  of  the  con- 
structions about  the  lake  date  from  the  flourishing  days  of  the  T'ang  Dynasty,  the 
7th  and  8th  centuries. 

Polo's  ascription  of  a  circumference  of  30  miles  to  the  lake,  corroborates  the 
supposition  that  in  the  compass  of  the  city  a  confusion  had  been  made  between  miles 
and  /z,  for  Semedo  gives  the  circuit  of  the  lake  really  as  30  li.  Probably  the  docu- 
ment to  which  Marco  refers  at  the  beginning  of  the  chapter  was  seen  by  him  in  a 
Persian  translation,  in  which  li  had  been  rendered  by  mil.  A  Persian  work  of  the 
same  age,  quoted  by  Quatremere  (the  Nuzhdt  al-Kulitb),  gives  the  circuit  of  the  lake 
as  six  parasangs,  or  some  24  miles,  a  statement  which  probably  had  a  like  origin. 

Polo  says  the  lake  was  within  the  city.  This  might  be  merely  a  loose  way  of 
speaking,  but  it  may  on  the  other  hand  be  a  further  indication  of  the  former  existence 
of  an  extensive  outer  wall.  The  Persian  author  just  quoted  also  speaks  of  the  lake 
as  within  the  city.  {Barrow's  Autobiog.,  p.  104;  V.  Braam,  II.  154;  Gardner  in 
Proc.  of  the  R.  Geog.  Soc,  vol.  xiii.  p.  178;  Q.  Rashid,  p.  lxxxviii.)  Mr.  Moule 
states  that  popular  oral  tradition  does  enclose  the  lake  within  the  walls,  but  he  can 
find  no  trace  of  this  in  the  Topographies. 

Elsewhere  Mr.  Moule  says:  "Of  the  luxury  of  the  (Sung)  period,  and  its 
devotion  to  pleasure,  evidence  occurs  everywhere.  Hang-chow  went  at  the  time  by 
the  nickname  of  the  melting-pot  for  money.  The  use,  at  houses  of  entertainment, 
of  linen  and  silver  plate  appears  somewhat  out  of  keeping  in  a  Chinese  picture.  I 
cannot  vouch  for  the  linen,  but  here  is  the  plate.  .  .  .  '  The  most  famous  Tea- 
houses of  the  day  were  the  Pa-seen  ("8  genii"),  the  "  Pure  Delight,"  the  "Pearl," 
the  "House  of  the  Pwan  Family,"  and  the  "Two  and  Two"  and  "Three  and 
Three"  houses  (perhaps  rather  "Double  honours"  and  "Treble  honours").  In 
these  places  they  always  set  out  bouquets  of  fresh  flowers,  according  to  the  season. 
,  ,  .   At  the  counter  were  sold  "  Precious  thunder  Tea,"  Tea  of  fritters  and  onions, 

Chap.  LXXVI. 



or  else  Pickle  broth  ;  and  in  hot  weather  wine  of  snow  bubbles  and  apricot  blossom, 
or  other  kinds  of  refrigerating  liquor.  Saucers,  ladles,  and  bowls  were  all  of  pure 
silver!'     (Si-Hu-Chi.)" 

Note  5. — This  is  still  the  case  :  "  The  people  of  Hang-chow  dress  gaily,  and  are 


— WBCZ  LgpCJji 

Plan  of  the  Metropolitan  City  of  Hangchow  in  the  13th  Century.  (From  the  Notes  of  the 
Right  Rev.  G.  E.  Moule.) 

1-17,  Gates;  18,  Ta-nuy,  Central  Palace;  19,  Woo-Foo,  The  Five  Courts;  20,  T'a'i  Miao, 
The  Imperial  Temple;  21,  Fung-hwang  shan,  Phcenix  Hill;  22,  SJilh  fuh  she,  Monastery  of  the 
Stone  Buddha;  23,  Fan  t'ien  she,  Monastery  of  Brahma;  24,  Koo-sJiing  Kwo-she,  Monastery  of 
the  Sacred  Fruit;  25-30,  Gates;  31,  T'icn  tsung  yen  tsang  T'ien  tsung  Salt  Depot;  2,  Tien 
tsung  tsew  koo,  T'ien  tsung  Wine  Store  ;  33,  Chang  she,  The  Chang  Monastery ;  34,  Foo  che, 
Prefecture  ;  Foo  hio,  Prefectural  Confucian  Temple. 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

remarkable  among  the  Chinese  for  their  dandyism.  All,  except  the  lowest  labourers 
and  coolies,  strutted  about  in  dresses  composed  of  silk,  satin,  and  crape.  .  .  . 
1  Indeed '  (said  the  Chinese  servants)  '  one  can  never  tell  a  rich  man  in  Hang-chow, 
for  it  is  just  possible  that  all  he  possesses  in  the  world  is  on  his  back.'"  {Fortune, 
II.  20.)  "The  silk  manufactures  of  Hang-chau  are  said  to  give  employment  to 
60,000  persons  within  the  city  walls,  and  Hu-chau,  Kia-hing,  and  the  surrounding 
villages,  are  reputed  to  employ  100,000  more."  {Ningpo  Trade  Report,  January  1869, 
comm.  by  Mr.  N.  B.  Dennys. )  The  store-towers,  as  a  precaution  in  case  of  fire,  are 
still  common  both  in  China  and  Japan. 

Note  6. — Mr.  Gardner  found  in  this  very  city,  in  1868,  a  large  collection  of 
cottages  covering  several  acres,  which  were  "  erected,  after  the  taking  of  the  city 
from  the  rebels,  by  a  Chinese  charitable  society  for  the  refuge  of  the  blind,  sick,  and 
infirm."  This  asylum  sheltered  200  blind  men  with  their  families,  amounting 
to  800  souls  ;  basket-making  and  such  work  was  provided  for  them  ;  there  were 
also  1200  other  inmates,  aged  and  infirm  ;  and  doctors  were  maintained  to  look  after 
them.  "None  are  allowed  to  be  absolutely  idle,  but  all  help  towards  their  own 
sustenance."  {Proc.  R.  G.  Soc.  XIII.  176-177.)  Mr.  Moule,  whilst  abating  some- 
what from  the  colouring  of  this  description,  admits  the  establishment  to  be  a  con- 
siderable charitable  effort.  It  existed  before  the  rebellion,  as  I  see  in  the  book  of 
Mr.  Milne,  who  gives  interesting  details  on  such  Chinese  charities.  {Life  in  China, 
pp.  tfseqq.) 

Note  7. — The  paved  roads  of  Manzi  are  by  no  means  extinct  yet.  Thus,  Mr. 
Fortune,  starting  from  Chang-shan  (see  below,  ch.  lxxix.)  in  the  direction  of  the 
Black-Tea  mountains,  says  :  "  The  road  on  which  we  were  travelling  was  well  paved 
with  granite,  about  12  feet  in  width,  and  perfectly  free  from  weeds."  (II.  148). 
Gamier,  Sladen,  and  Richthofen  speak  of  well-paved  roads  in  Yun-Nan  and  Sze- 

The  Topography  quoted  by  Mr.  Moule  says  that  in  the  year  1272  the  Governor 
renewed  the  pavement  of  the  Imperial  road  (or  Main  Street),  "after  which  nine  cars 
might  move  abreast  over  a  way  perfectly  smooth,  and  straight  as  an  arrow."  In 
the  Mongol  time  the  people  were  allowed  to  encroach  on  this  grand  street. 

Note  8. — There  is  a  curious  discrepancy  in  the  account  of  these  baths.  Pauthier's 
text  does  not  say  whether  they  are  hot  baths  or  cold.  The  latter  sentence,  beginning, 
"  They  are  hot  baths"  (estuves),  is  from  the  G.  Text.  And  Ramusio's  account  is 
quite  different:  "There  are  numerous  baths  of  cold  water,  provided  with  plenty  of 
attendants,  male  and  female,  to  assist  the  visitors  of  the  two  sexes  in  the  bath.  For 
the  people  are  used  from  their  childhood  to  bathe  in  cold  water  at  all  seasons,  and 
they  reckon  it  a  very  wholesome  custom.  But  in  the  bath-houses  they  have  also 
certain  chambers  furnished  with  hot  water,  for  foreigners  who  are  unaccustomed  to 
cold  bathing,  and  cannot  bear  it.  The  people  are  used  to  bathe  daily,  and  do  not 
eat  without  having  done  so."  This  is  in  contradiction  with  the  notorious  Chinese 
horror  of  cold  water  for  any  purpose. 

A  note  from  Mr.  C.  Gardner  says :  "  There  are  numerous  public  baths  at 
Hang-chau,  as  at  every  Chinese  city  I  have  ever  been  in.  In  my  experience  natives 
alw3ys  take  hot  baths.  But  only  the  poorer  classes  go  to  the  public  baths  ;  the 
tradespeople  and  middle  classes  are  generally  supplied  by  the  bath-houses  with  hot 
water  at  a  moderate  charge." 

Note  9. — The  estuary  of  the  Ts'ien  T'ang,  or  river  of  Hang-chau,  has  undergone 
great  changes  since  Polo's  day.  The  sea  now  comes  up  much  nearer  the  city ;  and 
the  upper  part  of  the  Bay  of  Hang-chau  is  believed  to  cover  what  was  once  the  site  of 
the  port  and  town  of  Kanp'u,  the  Ganpu  of  the  text.  A  modern  representative  of 
the  name  still  subsists,  a  walled  town,  and  one  of  the  depots  for  the  salt  which  is  so 
extensively  manufactured  on  this  coast ;  but  the  present  port  of  Hang-chau,  and  till 

Chap.  LXXVl.  THE   GREAT   CITY   OF   KINSAY  1 99 

recently  the  sole  seat  of  Chinese  trade  with  Japan,  is  at  Chapu,  some  20  miles  further 

It  is  supposed  by  Klaproth  that  Kanp'u  was  the  port  frequented  by  the  early 
Arao  voyagers,  and  of  which  they  speak  under  the  name  of  Khanfu,  confounding  in 
their  details  Hang-chau  itself  with  the  port.  Neumann  dissents  from  this,  main- 
taining that  the  Khanfu  of  the  Arabs  was  certainly  Canton.  Abulfeda,  however, 
states  expressly  that  Khanfu  was  known  in  his  day  as  Khansa  {i.e.  Kinsay),  and  he 
speaks  of  its  lake  of  fresh  water  called  Sikhu  (Si-hu).  [Abulfeda  has  in  fact  two 
Khanqu  (Khanfu) :  Khansa  with  the  lake  which  is  Kinsay,  and  one  Khanfu  which  is 
probably  Canton.  (See  Guyarcfs  transl.,  II.,  ii. ,  122-124.) — H.  C]  There  seems 
to  be  an  indication  in  Chinese  records  that  a  southern  branch  of  the  Great  Kiang 
once  entered  the  sea  at  Kanp'u  ;  the  closing  of  it  is  assigned  to  the  7th  century,  or  a 
little  later. 

[Dr.  F.  Hirth  writes  {four.  Roy.  As.  Soc.,  1896,  pp.  68-69:  "For  centuries 
Canton  must  have  been  the  only  channel  through  which  foreign  trade  was  permitted  ; 
for  it  is  not  before  the  year  999  that  we  read  of  the  appointment  of  Inspectors  of 
Trade  at  Hang-chou  and  Ming-chou.  The. latter  name  is  identified  with  Ning-po." 
Dr.  Hirth  adds  in  a  note:  "This  is  in  my  opinion  the  principal  reason  why  the 
port  of  Khanfu,  mentioned  by  the  earliest  Muhammadan  travellers,  or  authors 
(Soleiman,  Abu  Zeid,  and  Macoudi),  cannot  be  identified  with  Hang-chou.  The 
report  of  Soleiman,  who  first  speaks  of  Khanfu,  was  written  in  851,  and  in  those 
days  Canton  was  apparently  the  only  port  open  to  foreign  trade.  Marco  Polo's 
Ganfu  is  a  different  port  altogether,  viz.  Kan-fu,  or  Kan-pu,  near  Hang-chou,  and 
should  not  be  confounded  with  Khanfu*" — H.  C] 

The  changes  of  the  Great  Kiang  do  not  seem  to  have  attracted  so  much  attention 
among  the  Chinese  as  those  of  the  dangerous  Hwang-Ho,  nor  does  their  history 
seem  to  have  been  so  carefully  recorded.  But  a  paper  of  great  interest  on  the  subject 
was  published  by  Mr.  Edkins,  in  the  Journal  of  the  North  China  Branch  of  the 
R.  A.  S.  for  September  i860  [pp.  77-84],  which  I  know  only  by  an  abstract  given  by  the 
late  Comte  d'Escayrac  de  Lauture.  From  this  it  would  seem  that  about  the  time  of 
our  era  the  Yang-tzu  Kiang  had  three  great  mouths.  The  most  southerly  of  these 
was  the  Che-Kiang,  which  is  said  to  have  given  its  name  to  the  Province  still  so 
called,  of  which  Hang-chau  is  the  capital.  This  branch  quitted  the  present  channel 
at  Chi-chau,  passed  by  Ning-Kwe  and  Kwang-te,  communicating  with  the  southern 
end  of  a  great  group  of  lakes  which  occupied  the  position  of  the  T'ai-Hu,  and  so  by 
Shih-men  and  T'ang-si  into  the  sea  not  far  from  Shao-hing.  The  second  branch  quitted 
the  main  channel  at  Wu-hu,  passed  by  I-hing  (or  I-shin)  communicating  with  the 
northern  end  of  the  T'ai-Hu  (passed  apparently  by  Su-chau),  and  then  bifurcated, 
one  arm  entering  the  sea  at  Wu-sung,  and  the  other  at  Kanp'u.  The  third,  or 
northerly  branch  is  that  which  forms  the  present  channel  of  the  Great  Kiang.  These 
branches  are  represented  hypothetically  on  the  sketch-map  attached  to  ch.  lxiv. 

[Kings mill,  u.  s.  p.  53;  Chin.  Repos.  III.  118;  Middle  Kingdom,  I.  95-106; 
Biirck.  p.  483;  Cathay,  p.  cxciii.  ;  J.  N.  Ch.  Br.  R.  A.  S.,  December  1865,  p.  3 
seqq.  ;  Escayrac  de  Lauture,  Mini,  sur  la  Chine,  H.  du  Sol,  p.  114.) 

Note  10. — Pauthier's  text  has  :  "  Chase un  Roy  fait  chascun  an  le  compte  de  son 
royaume  aux  comptes  du  grant  siege,"  where  I  suspect  the  last  word  is  again  a 
mistake  for  sing  or  scieng.  (See  supra,  Bk.  II.  ch.  xxv.,  note  1.)  It  is  interesting 
to  find  Polo  applying  the  term  king  to  the  viceroys  who  ruled  the  great  provinces ; 
Ibn  Batuta  uses  a  corresponding  expression,  sultan.  It  is  not  easy  to  make  out  the 
nine  kingdoms  or  great  provinces  into  which  Polo  considered  Manzi  to  be  divided. 
Perhaps  his  nine  is  after  all  merely  a  traditional  number,  for  the  "Nine  Provinces" 
was  an  ancient  synonym  for  China  proper,  just  as  Nau-Khanda,  with  like  meaning, 
was  an  ancient  name  of  India.  (See  Cathay,  p.  exxxix.  note ;  and  Reinaud,  Inde, 
p.  116.)     But  I  observe  that  on  the  portage  road  between  Chang-shan  and  Yuh  shai) 

200  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

(infra,  p.  222)  there  are  stone  pillars  inscribed  "  Highway  (from  Che-kiang)  to  Eight 
Provinces,"  thus  indicating  Nine.     (Milne,  p.  319.) 

Note  ii. — We  have  in  Ramusio :  "The  men  levied  in  the  province  of  Manzi 
are  not  placed  in  garrison  in  their  own  cities,  but  sent  to  others  at  least  20  days' 
journey  from  their  homes ;  and  there  they  serve  for  four  or  five  years,  after  which 
they  are  relieved.     This  applies  both  to  the  Cathayans  and  to  those  of  Manzi. 

"The  great  bulk  of  the  revenue  of  the  cities,  which  enters  the  exchequer  of  the 
Great  Kaan,  is  expended  in  maintaining  these  garrisons.  And  if  perchance  any  city 
rebel  (as  you  often  find  that  under  a  kind  of  madness  or  intoxication  they  rise  and 
murder  their  governors),  as  soon  as  it  is  known,  the  adjoining  cities  despatch  such 
large  forces  from  their  garrisons  that  the  rebellion  is  entirely  crushed.  For  it  would 
be  too  long  an  affair  if  troops  from  Cathay  had  to  be  waited  for,  involving  perhaps  a 
delay  of  two  months." 

Note  12. — "The  sons  of  the  dead,  wearing  hempen  clothes  as  badges  of  mourn- 
ing, kneel  down,"  etc.     (Doolittle,  p.  138.) 

Note  13. — These  practices  have  been  noticed,  supra,  Bk.  I.  ch.  xl. 

Note  14. — This  custom  has  come  down  to  modern  times.  In  Pauthier's  Chine 
Mode7-ne,  we  find  extracts  from  the  statutes  of  the  reigning  dynasty  and  the  comments 
thereon,  of  which  a  passage  runs  thus  :  "To  determine  the  exact  population  of  each 
province  the  governor  and  the  lieutenant-governor  cause  certain  persons  who  are 
nominated  as  Pao-kia,  or  Tithing- Men,  in  all  the  places  under  their  jurisdiction,  to 
add  up  the  figures  inscribed  on  the  wooden  tickets  attached  to  the  doors  of  houses, 
and  exhibiting  the  number  of  the  inmates"  (p.  167). 

Friar  Odoric  calls  the  number  of  fires  89  tomans  ;  but  says  10  or  12  households 
would  unite  to  have  one  fire  only  I 


[Further  Particulars  concerning  the  Great  City  of  Kinsay.1] 

[The  position  of  the  city  is  such  that  it  has  on  one  side 
a  lake  of  fresh  and  exquisitely  clear  water  (already 
spoken  of),  and  on  the  other  a  very  large  river.  The 
waters  of  the  latter  fill  a  number  of  canals  of  all  sizes 
which  run  through  the  different  quarters  of  the  city, 
carry  away  all  impurities,  and  then  enter  the  Lake ; 
whence  they  issue  again  and  flow  to  the  Ocean,  thus 
producing  a  most  excellent  atmosphere.  By  means  of 
these  channels,  as  well  as  by  the  streets,  you  can  go  all 
about  the  city.  Both  streets  and  canals  are  so  wide  and 
spacious  that  carts  on  the  one  and  boats  on  the  other  can 

Chap.  LXXVII.  THE   GREAT   CITY   OF   KINSAY  201 

readily  pass  to  and  fro,  conveying  necessary  supplies  to 
the  inhabitants.2 

At  the  opposite  side  the  city  is  shut  in  by  a  channel, 
perhaps  40  miles  in  length,  very  wide,  and  full  of  water 
derived  from  the  river  aforesaid,  which  was  made  by  the 
ancient  kings  of  the  country  in  order  to  relieve  the  river 
when  flooding  its  banks.  This  serves  also  as  a  defence 
to  the  city,  and  the  earth  dug  from  it  has  been  thrown 
inwards,  forming  a  kind  of  mound  enclosing  the 

In  this  part  are  the  ten  principal  markets,  though 
besides  these  there  are  a  vast  number  of  others  in  the 
different  parts  of  the  town.  The  former  are  all  squares 
of  half  a  mile  to  the  side,  and  along  their  front  passes  the 
main  street,  which  is  40  paces  in  width,  and  runs  straight 
from  end  to  end  of  the  city,  crossing  many  bridges  of 
easy  and  commodious  approach.  At  every  four  miles  of 
its  length  comes  one  of  those  great  squares  of  2  miles  (as 
we  have  mentioned)  in  compass.  So  also  parallel  to  this 
great  street,  but  at  the  back  of  the  market  places,  there 
runs  a  very  large  canal,  on  the  bank  of  which  towards 
the  squares  are  built  great  houses  of  stone,  in  which  the 
merchants  from  India  and  other  foreign  parts  store  their 
wares,  to  be  handy  for  the  markets.  In  each  of  the 
squares  is  held  a  market  three  days  in  the  week, 
frequented  by  40,000  or  50,000  persons,  who  bring 
thither  for  sale  every  possible  necessary  of  life,  so  that 
there  is  always  an  ample  supply  of  every  kind  of  meat 
and  game,  as  of  roebuck,  red-deer,  fallow-deer,  hares, 
rabbits,  partridges,  pheasants,  francolins,  quails,  fowls, 
capons,  and  of  ducks  and  geese  an  infinite  quantity  ;  for 
so  many  are  bred  on  the  Lake  that  for  a  Venice  groat  of 
silver  you  can  have  a  couple  of  geese  and  two  couple  of 
ducks.  Then  there  are  the  shambles  where  the  larger 
animals  are  slaughtered,  such  as  calves,  beeves,  kids,  and 

202  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

lambs,  the  flesh  of  which  is  eaten  by  the  rich  and  the 
great  dignitaries.4 

Those  markets  make  a  daily  display  of  every  kind  of 
vegetables  and  fruits  ;  and  among  the  latter  there  are  in 
particular  certain  pears  of  enormous  size,  weighing  as 
much  as  ten  pounds  apiece,  and  the  pulp  of  which  is 
white  and  fragrant  like  a  confection ;  besides  peaches  in 
their  season  both  yellow  and  wrhite,  of  every  delicate 

Neither  grapes  nor  wine  are  produced  there,  but  very 
good  raisins  are  brought  from  abroad,  and  wine  likewise. 
The  natives,  however,  do  not  much  care  about  wine,  being 
used  to  that  kind  of  their  own  made  from  rice  and  spices. 
From  the  Ocean  Sea  also  come  daily  supplies  of  fish  in 
great  quantity,  brought  25  miles  up  the  river,  and  there 
is  also  great  store  of  fish  from  the  lake,  which  is  the 
constant  resort  of  fishermen,  who  have  no  other  business. 
Their  fish  is  of  sundry  kinds,  changing  with  the  season  ; 
and,  owing  to  the  impurities  of  the  city  which  pass  into 
the  lake,  it  is  remarkably  fat  and  savoury.  Any  one 
who  should  see  the  supply  of  fish  in  the  market  would 
suppose  it  impossible  that  such  a  quantity  could  ever  be 
sold  ;  and  yet  in  a  few  hours  the  whole  shall  be  cleared 
away ;  so  great  is  the  number  of  inhabitants  who  are 
accustomed  to  delicate  living.  Indeed  they  eat  fish  and 
flesh  at  the  same  meal. 

All  the  ten  market  places  are  encompassed  by  lofty 
houses,  and  below  these  are  shops  where  all  sorts  of 
crafts  are  carried  on,  and  all  sorts  of  wares  are  on  sale, 
including  spices  and  jewels  and  pearls.  Some  of  these 
shops  are  entirely  devoted  to  the  sale  of  wine  made  from 
rice  and  spices,  which  is  constantly  made  fresh  and  fresh, 
and  is  sold  very  cheap. 

Certain  of  the  streets  are  occupied  by  the  women  of 
the  town,  who  are  in  such  a  number  that  I  dare  not  say 

Chap.  LXXVII.  THE   GREAT   CITY   OF   KINSAY  203 

what  it  is.  They  are  found  not  only  in  the  vicinity  of 
the  market  places,  where  usually  a  quarter  is  assigned  to 
them,  but  all  over  the  city.  They  exhibit  themselves 
splendidly  attired  and  abundantly  perfumed,  in  finely 
garnished  houses,  with  trains  of  waiting-women.  These 
women  are  extremely  accomplished  in  all  the  arts  of 
allurement,  and  readily  adapt  their  conversation  to  all 
sorts  of  persons,  insomuch  that  strangers  who  have  once 
tasted  their  attractions  seem  to  get  bewitched,  and  are  so 
taken  with  their  blandishments  and  their  fascinating 
ways  that  they  never  can  get  these  out  of  their  heads. 
Hence  it  comes  to  pass  that  when  they  return  home  they 
say  they  have  been  to  Kinsay  or  the  City  of  Heaven, 
and  their  only  desire  is  to  get  back  thither  as  soon  as 

Other  streets  are  occupied  by  the  Physicians,  and  by 
the  Astrologers,  who  are  also  teachers  of  reading  and 
writing ;  and  an  infinity  of  other  professions  have  their 
places  round  about  those  squares.  In  each  of  the  squares 
there  are  two  great  palaces  facing  one  another,  in  which 
are  established  the  officers  appointed  by  the  King  to 
decide  differences  arising  between  merchants,  or  other 
inhabitants  of  the  quarter.  It  is  the  daily  duty  of  these 
officers  to  see  that  the  guards  are  at  their  posts  on  the 
neighbouring  bridges,  and  to  punish  them  at  their 
discretion  if  they  are  absent. 

All  along  the  main  street  that  we  have  spoken  of,  as 
running  from  end  to  end  of  the  city,  both  sides  are  lined 
with  houses  and  great  palaces  and  the  gardens  pertaining 
to  them,  whilst  in  the  intervals  are  the  houses  of  trades- 
men engaged  in  their  different  crafts.  The  crowd  of 
people  that  you  meet  here  at  all  hours,  passing  this  way 
and  that  on  their  different  errands,  is  so  vast  that  no  one 
would  believe  it  possible  that  victuals  enough  could  be 
provided  for  their  consumption,  unless  they  should  see 

204  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

how,  on  every  market-day,  all  those  squares  are  thronged 
and  crammed  with  purchasers,  and  with  the  traders  who 
have  brought  in  stores  of  provisions  by  land  or  water ; 
and  everything  they  bring  in  is  disposed  of. 

To  give  you  an  example  of  the  vast  consumption  in 
this  city  let  us  take  the  article  of  pepper ;  and  that  will 
enable  you  in  some  measure  to  estimate  what  must  be 
the  quantity  of  victual,  such  as  meat,  wine,  groceries, 
which  have  to  be  provided  for  the  general  consumption. 
Now  Messer  Marco  heard  it  stated  by  one  of  the  Great 
Kaan's  officers  of  customs  that  the  quantity  of  pepper 
introduced  daily  for  consumption  into  the  city  of  Kinsay 
amounted  to  43  loads,  each  load  being  equal  to  223  lbs.7 

The  houses  of  the  citizens  are  well  built  and  elabor- 
ately finished ;  and  the  delight  they  take  in  decoration, 
in  painting  and  in  architecture,  leads  them  to  spend  in 
this  way  sums  of  money  that  would  astonish  you. 

The  natives  of  the  city  are  men  of  peaceful  character, 
both  from  education  and  from  the  example  of  their  kings, 
whose  disposition  was  the  same.  They  know  nothing  of 
handling  arms,  and  keep  none  in  their  houses.  You 
hear  of  no  feuds  or  noisy  quarrels  or  dissensions  of  any 
kind  among  them.  Both  in  their  commercial  dealings 
and  in  their  manufactures  they  are  thoroughly  honest  and 
truthful,  and  there  is  such  a  degree  of  good  will  and 
neighbourly  attachment  among  both  men  and  women 
that  you  would  take  the  people  who  live  in  the  same 
street  to  be  all  one  family.8 

And  this  familiar  intimacy  is  free  from  all  jealousy  or 
suspicion  of  the  conduct  of  their  women.  These  they 
treat  with  the  greatest  respect,  and  a  man  who 
should  presume  to  make  loose  proposals  to  a  married 
woman  would  be  regarded  as  an  infamous  rascal.  They 
also  treat  the  foreigners  who  visit  them  for  the  sake  of 
trade  with  great  cordiality,  and  entertain  them  in  the 


most  winning  manner,  affording  them  every  help  and 
advice  on  their  business.  But  on  the  other  hand  they 
hate  to  see  soldiers,  and  not  least  those  of  the  Great 
Kaan's  garrisons,  regarding  them  as  the  cause  of  their 
having  lost  their  native  kings  and  lords. 

On  the  Lake  of  which  we  have  spoken  there  are  num- 
bers of  boats  and  barges  of  all  sizes  for  parties  of  pleasure. 
These  will  hold  10,  15,  20,  or  more  persons,  and  are  from 
15  to  20  paces  in  length,  with  flat  bottoms  and  ample 
breadth  of  beam,  so  that  they  always  keep  their  trim. 
Any  one  who  desires  to  go  a-pleasuring  with  the  women, 
or  with  a  party  of  his  own  sex,  hires  one  of  these  barges, 
which  are  always  to  be  found  completely  furnished  with 
tables  and  chairs  and  all  the  other  apparatus  for  a  feast. 
The  roof  forms  a  level  deck,  on  which  the  crew  stand, 
and  pole  the  boat  along  whithersoever  may  be  desired, 
for  the  Lake  is  not  more  than  2  paces  in  depth.  The 
inside  of  this  roof  and  the  rest  of  the  interior  is  covered 
with  ornamental  painting  in  gay  colours,  with  windows 
all  round  that  can  be  shut  or  opened,  so  that  the  party  at 
table  can  enjoy  all  the  beauty  and  variety  of  the  pros- 
pects on  both  sides  as  they  pass  along.  And  truly  a 
trip  on  this  Lake  is  a  much  more  charming  recreation  than 
can  be  enjoyed  on  land.  For  on  the  one  side  lies  the 
city  in  its  entire  length,  so  that  the  spectators  in  the 
barges,  from  the  distance  at  which  they  stand,  take  in 
the  whole  prospect  in  its  full  beauty  and  grandeur,  with 
its  numberless  palaces,  temples,  monasteries,  and  gardens, 
full  of  lofty  trees,  sloping  to  the  shore.  And  the  Lake  is 
never  without  a  number  of  other  such  boats,  laden  with 
pleasure  parties  ;  for  it  is  the  great  delight  of  the  citizens 
here,  after  they  have  disposed  of  the  day's  business,  to 
pass  the  afternoon  in  enjoyment  with  the  ladies  of  their 
families,  or  perhaps  with  others  less  reputable,  either  in 
these  barges  or  in  driving  about  the  city  in  carriages.9 

206  MARCO  POLO  Book  II. 

Of  these  latter  we  must  also  say  something,  for  they 
afford  one  mode  of  recreation  to  the  citizens  in  going 
about  the  town,  as  the  boats  afford  another  in  going 
about  the  Lake.  In  the  main  street  of  the  city  you  meet 
an  infinite  succession  of  these  carriages  passing  to  and 
fro.  They  are  long  covered  vehicles,  fitted  with  curtains 
and  cushions,  and  affording  room  for  six  persons  ;  and 
they  are  in  constant  request  for  ladies  and  gentlemen 
going  on  parties  of  pleasure.  In  these  they  drive  to 
certain  gardens,  where  they  are  entertained  by  the 
owners  in  pavilions  erected  on  purpose,  and  there  they 
divert  themselves  the  livelong  day,  with  their  ladies, 
returning  home  in  the  evening  in  those  same  carriages.10 

(Further  Particulars  of  the  Palace  of  the  King  Facfur.) 

The  whole  enclosure  of  the  Palace  was  divided  into 
three  parts.  The  middle  one  was  entered  by  a  very 
lofty  gate,  on  each  side  of  which  there  stood  on  the 
ground-level  vast  pavilions,  the  roofs  of  which  were 
sustained  by  columns  painted  and  wrought  in  gold  and 
the  finest  azure.  Opposite  the  gate  stood  the  chief 
Pavilion,  larger  than  the  rest,  and  painted  in  like  style, 
with  gilded  columns,  and  a  ceiling  wrought  in  splendid 
gilded  sculpture,  whilst  the  walls  were  artfully  painted 
with  the  stories  of  departed  kings. 

On  certain  days,  sacred  to  his  gods,  the  King 
Facfur*  used  to  hold  a  great  court  and  give  a  feast 
to  his  chief  lords,  dignitaries,  and  rich  manufacturers  of 
the  city  of  Kinsay.  On  such  occasions  those  pavilions 
used  to  give  ample  accommodation  for  10,000  persons 
sitting  at  table.  This  court  lasted  for  ten  or  twelve  days, 
and  exhibited  an  astonishing  and  incredible  spectacle  in 
the  magnificence  of  the  guests,  all  clothed  in  silk  and 

*  Fan/ur^  in  Ramusio. 


gold,  with  a  profusion  of  precious  stones ;  for  they  tried 
to  outdo  each  other  in  the  splendour  and  richness  of  their 
appointments.  Behind  this  great  Pavilion  that  faced  the 
great  gate,  there  was  a  wall  with  a  passage  in  it  shutting 
off  the  inner  part  of  the  Palace.  On  entering  this  you 
found  another  great  edifice  in  the  form  of  a  cloister 
surrounded  by  a  portico  with  columns,  from  which 
opened  a  variety  of  apartments  for  the  King  and  the 
Queen,  adorned  like  the  outer  walls  with  such  elaborate 
work  as  we  have  mentioned.  From  the  cloister  again 
you  passed  into  a  covered  corridor,  six  paces  in  width,  of 
great  length,  and  extending  to  the  margin  of  the  lake. 
On  either  side  of  this  corridor  were  ten  courts,  in  the  form 
of  oblong  cloisters  surrounded  by  colonnades  ;  and  in  each 
cloister  or  court  were  fifty  chambers  with  gardens  to  each. 
In  these  chambers  were  quartered  one  thousand  young 
ladies  in  the  service  of  the  King.  The  King  would 
sometimes  go  with  the  Queen  and  some  of  these  maidens 
to  take  his  diversion  on  the  Lake,  or  to  visit  the  Idol- 
temples,  in  boats  all  canopied  with  silk. 

The  other  two  parts  of  the  enclosure  were  distributed 
in  groves,  and  lakes,  and  charming  gardens  planted  with 
fruit-trees,  and  preserves  for  all  sorts  of  animals,  such  as 
roe,  red-deer,  fallow-deer,  hares,  and  rabbits.  Here  the 
King  used  to  take  his  pleasure  in  company  with  those 
damsels  of  his  ;  some  in  carriages,  some  on  horseback, 
whilst  no  man  was  permitted  to  enter.  Sometimes  the 
King  would  set  the  girls  a-coursing  after  the  game  with 
dogs,  and  when  they  were  tired  they  would  hie  to  the 
groves  that  overhung  the  lakes,  and  leaving  their  clothes 
there  they  would  come  forth  naked  and  enter  the  water 
and  swim  about  hither  and  thither,  whilst  it  was  the 
King's  delight  to  watch  them  ;  and  then  all  would  return 
home.  Sometimes  the  King  would  have  his  dinner 
carried  to  those  groves,  which  were  dense  with  lofty  trees, 

208  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

and  there  would  be  waited  on  by  those  young  ladies. 
And  thus  he  passed  his  life  in  this  constant  dalliance 
with  women,  without  so  much  as  knowing  what  arms 
meant !  And  the  result  of  all  this  cowardice  and 
effeminacy  was  that  he  lost  his  dominion  to  the  Great 
Kaan  in  that  base  and  shameful  way  that  you  have 

All  this  account  was  given  me  by  a  very  rich  merchant 
of  Kinsay  when  I  was  in  that  city.  He  was  a  very  old  man, 
and  had  been  in  familiar  intimacy  with  the  King  Facfur, 
and  knew  the  whole  history  of  his  life  ;  and  having  seen 
the  Palace  in  its  glory  was  pleased  to  be  my  guide  over 
it.  As  it  is  occupied  by  the  King  appointed  by  the 
Great  Kaan,  the  first  pavilions  are  still  maintained  as 
they  used  to  be,  but  the  apartments  of  the  ladies  are  all 
gone  to  ruin  and  can  only  just  be  traced.  So  also  the 
wall  that  enclosed  the  groves  and  gardens  is  fallen  down, 
and  neither  trees  nor  animals  are  there  any  longer.12] 

Note  i. — I  have,  after  some  consideration,  followed  the  example  of  Mr.  H. 
Murray,  in  his  edition  of  Marco  Polo,  in  collecting  together  in  a  separate  chapter  a 
number  of  additional  particulars  concerning  the  Great  City,  which  are  only  found  in 
Ramusio.  Such  of  these  as  could  be  interpolated  in  the  text  of  the  older  form  of  the 
narrative  have  been  introduced  between  brackets  in  the  last  chapter.  Here  I  bring 
together  those  particulars  which  could  not  be  so  interpolated  without  taking  liberties 
with  one  or  both  texts. 

The  picture  in  Ramusio,  taken  as  a  whole,  is  so  much  more  brilliant,  interesting, 
and  complete  than  in  the  older  texts,  that  I  thought  of  substituting  it  entirely  for  the 
other.  But  so  much  doubt  and  difficulty  hangs  over  some  passages  of  the  Ramusian 
version  that  I  could  not  satisfy  myself  of  the  propriety  of  this,  though  I  feel  that  the 
dismemberment  inflicted  on  that  version  is  also  objectionable. 

Note  2. — The  tides  in  the  Hang-chau  estuary  are  now  so  furious,  entering  in  the 
form  of  a  bore,  and  running  sometimes,  by  Admiral  Collinson's  measurement, 
ill  knots,  that  it  has  been  necessary  to  close  by  weirs  the  communication  which 
formerly  existed  between  the  .River  Tsien-tang  on  the  one  side  and  the  Lake  Si-hu  and 
internal  waters  of  the  district  on  the  other.  Thus  all  cargoes  are  passed  through  the 
small  city  canal  in  barges,  and  are  subject  to  transhipment  at  the  river-bank,  and  at 
the  great  canal  terminus  outside  the  north  gate,  respectively.  Mr.  Kingsmill,  to 
whose  notices  I  am  indebted  for  part  of  this  information,  is,  however,  mistaken  in 
supposing  that  in  Polo's  time  the  tide  stopped  some  20  miles  below  the  city.  We 
have  seen  (note  6,  ch.  lxv.  supra)  that  the  tide  in  the  river  before  Kinsay  was  the 
object  which  first  attracted  the  attention  of  Bayan,  after  his  triumphant  entrance  into 
the  city.     The  tides  reach  Fuyang,  20  miles  higher.     (IV.  and  Q.t  China  an a7  Japan , 

Chap.  LXXVII. 



vol.  I.  p.  53;  Mid.   Kingd.  I.   95,   106;  J.  N.  Ch.  Br.  R.  A.  S.,  December,  1865, 
p.  6  ;  Milne,  p.  295 ;  Note  by  Mr.  Moule). 

[Miss  E.  Scidmore  writes  {China,  p.  294) :  "There  are  only  three  wonders  of  the 
world  in  China — The  Demons  at  Tungchow,  the  Thunder  at  Lungchow,  and  the 
Great  Tide  at  Hangchow,  the  last,  the  greatest  of  all,  and  a  living  wonder  to  this  dfiy 
of  '  the  open  door,'  while  its  rivals  are  lost  in  myth  and  oblivion.  .  .  The  Great 
Bore  charges  up  the  narrowing  river  at  a  speed  of  ten  and  thirteen  miles  an  hour, 
with  a  roar  that  can  be  heard  for  an  hour  before  it  arrives." — H.  C] 

Note  3. — For  satisfactory  elucidation  as  to  what  is  or  may  have  been  authentic 
in  these  statements,  we  shall  have  to  wait  for  a  correct  survey  of  Flang-chau  and  its 
neighbourhood.  We  have  already  seen  strong  reason  to  suppose  that  miles  have  been 
substituted  for  It  in  the  circuits  assigned  both  to  the  city  and  to  the  lake,  and  we  are 
yet  more  strongly  impressed  with  the  conviction  that  the  same  substitution  has  been 
made  here  in  regard  to  the  canal  on  the  east  of  the  city,  as  well  as  the  streets  and 
market-places  spoken  of  in  the  next  paragraph. 

Chinese  plans  of  Hang-chau  do  show  a  large  canal  encircling  the  city  on  the  east 
and  north,  i.e.,  on  the  sides  away  from  the  lake.  In  some  of  them  this  is  represented 
like  a  ditch  to  the  rampart,  but  in  others  it  is  more  detached.  And  the  position 
of  the  main  street,  with  its  parallel  canal,  does  answer  fairly  to  the  account  in  the 
next  paragraph,  setting  aside  the  extravagant  dimensions. 

The  existence  of  the  squares  or  market-places  is  alluded  to  by  Wassaf  in  a 
passage  that  we  shall  quote  below  ;  and  the  Masdlak-al- Absdr  speaks  of  the  main 
street  running  from  end  to  end  of  the  city. 

On  this  Mr.  Moule  says :  "I  have  found  no  certain  account  of  market-squares, 
though  the  Fang*  of  which  a  few  still  exist,  and  a  very  large  number  are  laid  down 
in  the  Sung  Map,  mainly  grouped  along  the  chief  street,  may  perhaps  represent 
them.  .  .  .  The  names  of  some  of  these  {Fang)  and  of  the  Sze  or  markets  still 

Mr.  Wylie  sent  Sir  Henry  Yule  a  tracing  of  the  figures  mentioned  in  the  foot 
note ;  it  is  worth  while  to  append  them,  at  least  in  diagram. 


No.  2. 

No.  3. 



+         + 
+■         + 






No.  1.  Plan  of  a  Fang  or  Square. 

No.  2.  ,,         ,,         in  the  South  of  the  Imperial  City  of  Si-ngan  fu. 

No.  3  Arrangement  of  Two- Fang  Square,  with  four  streets  and  8  gates. 

a.  The  Market  place. 

b.  The  Official  Establishment. 

c.  Office  for  regulating  Weights. 

Compare  Polo's  statement  that  in  each   of  the   squares  at  Kinsay,    where   the 

*  See  the  mention  of  the  I-ning  Fang  at  Si-ngan  fu,su/>ra,  p.  28.  Mr.  Wylie  writes  that  in  a  work 
on  the  latter  city,  published  during  the  Yuen  time,  of  which  he  has  met  with  a  reprint,  there  are 
figures  to  illustrate  the  division  of  the  city  into  Fang,  a  word  "  which  appears  to  indicate  a  certain 
space  of  ground,  not  an  open  square  .  .  .  but  a  block  of  buildings  crossed  by  streets,  and  at  the  end 
of  each  street  an  open  gateway."  In  one  of  the  figures  a  first  reference  indicates  "the  market  place," 
a  second  "  the  official  establishment,"  a  third  "the  office  for  regulating  weights."  These  indications 
seem  to  explain  Polo's  squares.     (See  Note  3,  above.) 

VOL.    II. 


2IO  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

markets  were  held,  there  were  two  great  Palaces  facing  one  another,  in  which  were 
established  the  officers  who  decided  differences  between  merchants,  etc. 
The  double  lines  represent  streets,  and  the  X  are  gates. 

Note  4. — There  is  no  mention  of  pork,  the  characteristic  animal  food  of  China, 
and  the  only  one  specified  by  Friar  Odoric  in  his  account  of  the  same  city.  Prob- 
ably Mark  may  have  got  a  little  Saracenized  among  the  Mahomedans  at  the  Kaan's 
Court,  and  doubted  if  'twere  good  manners  to  mention  it.  It  is  perhaps  a  relic  of 
the  same  feeling,  gendered  by  Saracen  rule,  that  in  Sicily  pigs  are  called  i  neri, 

"The  larger  game,  red-deer  and  fallow-deer,  is  now  never  seen  for  sale.  Hog- 
deer,  wild-swine,  pheasants,  water-fowl,  and  every  description  of  '  vermin '  and  small 
birds,  are  exposed  for  sale,  not  now  in  markets,  but  at  the  retail  wine  shops. 
Wild-cats,  racoons,  otters,  badgers,  kites,  owls,  etc.,  etc.,  festoon  the  shop  fronts 
along  with  game."     {Motile.) 

Note  5. — Van  Braam,  in  passing  through  Shan-tung  Province,  speaks  of  very 
large  pears.  "The  colour  is  a  beautiful  golden  yellow.  Before  it  is  pared  the  pear 
is  somewhat  hard,  but  in  eating  it  the  juice  flows,  the  pulp  melts,  and  the  taste  is 
pleasant  enough."  Williams  says  these  Shan-tung  pears  are  largely  exported,  but  he 
is  not  so  complimentary  to  them  as  Polo:  "The  pears  are  large  and  juicy,  some- 
times weighing  8  or  10  pounds,  but  remarkably  tasteless  and  coarse."  (  V.  Braam, 
II-  33-34;  Mid.  Kingd.,  I.  78  and  II.  44).  In  the  beginning  of  1867  I  saw  pears 
in  Covent  Garden  Market  which  I  should  guess  to  have  weighed  7  or  8  lbs.  each. 
They  were  priced  at  18  guineas  a  dozen  ! 

["  Large  pears  are  nowadays  produced  in  Shan-tung  and  Manchuria,  but  they 
are  rather  tasteless  and  coarse.  I  am  inclined  to  suppose  that  Polo's  large  pears 
were  Chinese  quinces,  Cydonia  chinensis,  Thouin,  this  fruit  being  of  enormous  size, 
sometimes  one  foot  long,  and  very  fragrant.  The  Chinese  use  it  for  sweet-meats." 
(B/etsc/ineider,  Hist,  of  Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  2.) — H.  C] 

As  regards  the  "yellow  and  white"  peaches,  Marsden  supposes  the  former  to  be 
apricots.  Two  kinds  of  peach,  correctly  so  described,  are  indeed  common  in  Sicily, 
where  I  write  ; — and  both  are,  in  their  raw  state,  equally  good  food  for  i  neril  But 
I  see  Mr.  Moule  also  identifies  the  yellow  peach  with  "  the  hwang-mei  or  clingstone 
apricot,"  as  he  knows  no  yellow  peach  in  China. 

Note  6. — "  E  non  veggono  mat  for  a  che  di  nuovo  possano  ritomarvi  ;"  a  curious 
Italian  idiom.     (See  Vocab.  It.  Univ.,  sub.  v.  i( vedere".) 

Note  7. — It  would  seem  that  the  habits  of  the  Chinese  in  reference  to  the  use  of 
pepper  and  such  spices  have  changed.  Besides  this  passage,  implying  that  their 
consumption  of  pepper  was  large,  Marco  tells  us  below  (ch.  lxxxii. )  that  for  one  ship- 
load of  pepper  carried  to  Alexandria  for  the  consumption  of  Christendom,  a  hundred 
went  to  Zayton  in  Manzi.  At  the  present  day,  according  to  Williams,  the  Chinese 
use  little  spice ;  pepper  chiefly  as  a  febrifuge  in  the  shape  of  pepper-tea,  and  that 
even  less  than  they  did  some  years  ago.  (See  p.  239,  infra,  and  Mid.  Kingd. >  II.  46, 
408.)  On  this,  however,  Mr.  Moule  observes:  "Pepper  is  not  so  completely 
relegated  to  the  doctors.  A  month  or  two  ago,  passing  a  portable  cookshop  in  the 
city,  I  heard  a  girl  -  purchaser  cry  to  the  cook,  '  Be  sure  you  put  in  pepper  and 
leeks  T" 

Note  8. — Marsden,  after  referring  to  the  ingenious  frauds  commonly  related  of 
Chinese  traders,  observes  :  "In  the  long  continued  intercourse  that  has  subsisted 
between  the  agents  of  the  European  companies  and  the  more  eminent  of  the  Chinese 
merchants  ....  complaints  on  the  ground  of  commercial  unfairness  have  been 
extremely  rare,  and  on  the  contrary,  their  transactions  have  been  marked  with  the 
most  perfect  good  faith  and  mutual  confidence."  Mr.  Consul  Medhurst  bears 
similar  strong  testimony  to  the  upright  dealings  of  Chinese  merchants.  His  remark 
that,  as  a  rule,  he  has  found  that  the  Chinese  deteriorate  by  intimacy  with  foreigners 

Chap.  LXXVII.  THE   GREAT   CITY   OF   KINSAY  2 1  I 

is  worthy  of  notice  ;*  it  is  a  remark  capable  of  application  wherever  the  East  and 
West  come  into  habitual  contact.  Favourable  opinions  among  the  nations  on  their 
frontiers  of  Chinese  dealing,  as  expressed  to  Wood  and  Burnes  in  Turkestan,  and 
to  Macleod  and  Richardson  in  Laos,  have  been  quoted  by  me  elsewhere  in  reference 
to  the  old  classical  reputation  of  the  Seres  for  integrity.  Indeed,  Marco's  whole 
account  of  the  people  here  might  pass  for  an  expanded  paraphrase  of  the  Latin 
commonplaces  regarding  the  Seres.  Mr.  Milne,  a  missionary  for  many  years  in 
China,  stands  up  manfully  against  the  wholesale  disparagement  of  Chinese  character 
(p.  401). 

Note  9. — Semedo  and  Martini,  in  the  17th  century,  give  a  very  similar  account 
of  the  Lake  Si-hu,  the  parties  of  pleasure  frequenting  it,  and  their  gay  barges. 
{Semedo,  pp.  20-21  ;  Mart.  p.  9.)  But  here  is  a  Chinese  picture  of  the  very  thing 
described  by  Marco,  under  the  Sung  Dynasty:  "When  Yaou  Shunming  was 
Prefect  of  Hangchow,  there  was  an  old  woman,  who  said  she  was  formerly  a 
singing-girl,  and  in  the  service  of  Tung-p'o  Seen-sheng.f  She  related  that  her 
master,  whenever  he  found  a  leisure  day  in  spring,  would  invite  friends  to  take 
their  pleasure  on  the  lake.  They  used  to  take  an  early  meal  on  some  agreeable 
spot,  and,  the  repast  over,  a  chief  was  chosen  for  the  company  of  each  barge,  who 
called  a  number  of  dancing-girls  to  follow  them  to  any  place  they  chose.  As  the 
day  waned  a  gong  sounded  to  assemble  all  once  more  at  '  Lake  Prospect  Chambers,' 
or  at  the  '  Bamboo  Pavilion,'  or  some  place  of  the  kind,  where  they  amused  them- 
selves to  the  top  of  their  bent,  and  then,  at  the  first  or  second  drum,  before  the 
evening  market  dispersed,  returned  home  by  candle-light.  In  the  city,  gentlemen 
and  ladies  assembled  in  crowds,  lining  the  way  to  see  the  return  of  the  thousand 
Knights.  It  must  have  been  a  brave  spectacle  of  that  time."  [Moule,  from  the  Si- 
hu-Chi,  or  "Topography  of  the  West  Lake.")  It  is  evident,  from  what  Mr.  Moule 
says,  that  this  book  abounds  in  interesting  illustration  of  these  two  chapters  of  Polo. 
Barges  with  paddle-wheels  are  alluded  to. 

Note  10. — Public  carriages  are  still  used  in  the  great  cities  of  the  north,  such  as 
Peking.  Possibly  this  is  a  revival.  At  one  time  carriages  appear  to  have  been  much 
more  general  in  China  than  they  were  afterwards,  or  are  now.  Semedo  says  they 
were  abandoned  in  China  just  about  the  time  that  they  were  adopted  in  Europe,  viz. 
in  the  16th  century.  And  this  disuse  seems  to  have  been  either  cause  or  effect  of  the 
neglect  of  the  roads,  of  which  so  high  an  account  is  given  in  old  times.  {Semedo ; 
N.  and  Q.  Ch.  and  Jap.  I.  94.) 

Deguignes  describes  the  public  carriages  of  Peking,  as  "shaped  like  a  palankin, 
but  of  a  longer  form,  with  a  rounded  top,  lined  outside  and  in  with  coarse  blue 
cloth,  and  provided  with  black  cushions"  (I.  372).  This  corresponds  with  our 
author's  description,  and  with  a  drawing  by  Alexander  among  his  published  sketches. 
The  present  Peking  cab  is  evidently  the  same  vehicle,  but  smaller. 

Note  ii. — The  character  of  the  King  of  Manzi  here  given  corresponds  to  that 
which  the  Chinese  histories  assign  to  the  Emperor  Tu-Tsong,  in  whose  time  Kiiblai 
commenced  his  enterprise  against  Southern  China,  but  who  died  two  years  before  the  fall 
of  the  capital.  He  is  described  as  given  up  to  wine  and  women,  and  indifferent  to  ail 
public  business,  which  he  committed  to  unworthy  ministers.  The  following  words, 
quoted  by  Mr.  Moule  from  the  Hang-Chau  Fu-Chi,  are  like  an  echo  of  Marco's: 
"In  those  days  the  dynasty  was  holding  on  to  a  mere  corner  of  the  realm,  hardly 
able  to  defend  even  that ;  and  nevertheless  all,  high  and  low,  devoted  themselves  to 
dress  and  ornament,  to  music  and  dancing  on  the  lake  and  amongst  the  hills,  with  no 
idea  of  sympathy  for  the  country."  A  garden  called  Tseu-king  ("of  many  prospects  ") 
near  the  Tsing-po  Gate,  and  a  monastery  west  of  the  lake,  near  the  Lingin,  are 
mentioned  as  pleasure  haunts  of  the  Sung  Kings. 

*  Foreigner  in  Far  Cathay,  pp.  158,  176. 

t  A  famous  poet  and  scholar  of  the  nth  century. 

VOL.    II.  O    2 



Book  II. 

Note  12. — The  statement  that  the  palace  of  Kingsze  was  occupied  by  the  Great 
KaarTs  lieutenant  seems  to  be  inconsistent  with  the  notice  in  De  Mailla  that  Kiiblai 
made  it  over  to  the  Buddhist  priests.  Perhaps  Kt'ibldt's  name  is  a  mistake ;  for  one 
of  Mr.  Moule's  books  {Jin-ho-hien-chi)  says  that  under  the  last  Mongol  Emperor  five 
convents  were  built  on  the  area  of  the  palace. 

Mr.  H.  Murray  argues,  from  this  closing  passage  especially,  that  Marco  never 
could  have  been  the  author  of  the  Ramusian  interpolations ;  but  with  this  I  cannot 
agree.  Did  this  passage  stand  alone  we  might  doubt  if  it  were  Marco's ;  but  the 
interpolations  must  be  considered  as  a  whole.  Many  of  them  bear  to  my  mind 
clear  evidence  of  being  his  own,  and  I  do  not  see  that  the  present  one  may  not  be  his. 
The  picture  conveyed  of  the  ruined  walls  and  half-obliterated  buildings  does,  it  is 
true,  give  the  impression  of  a  long  interval  between  their  abandonment  and  the 
traveller's  visit,  whilst  the  whole  interval  between  the  capture  of  the  city  and  Polo's 
departure  from  China  was  not  more  than  fifteen  or  sixteen  years.  But  this  is  too 
vague  a  basis  for  theorising. 

Mr.  Moule  has  ascertained  by  maps  of  the  Sung  period,  and  by  a  variety  of 
notices  in  the  Topographies,  that  the  palace  lay  to  the  south  and  south-east  of 
the  present  city,  and  included  a  large  part  of  the  fine  hills  called  Fiing-hwang  Shan 
or  Phcenix  Mount,*  and  other  names,  whilst  its  southern  gate  opened  near  the  Ts'ien- 
T'ang  River.  Its  north  gate  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  Fung  Shan  Gate  of 
the  present  city,  and  the  chief  street  thus  formed  the  avenue  to  the  palace. 

By  the  kindness  of  Messrs.  Moule  and  Wylie,  I  am  able  to  give  a  copy  of  the 
Sung  Map  of  the  Palace  (for  origin  of  which  see  list  of 
illustrations).  I  should  note  that  the  orientation  is  different 
from  that  of  the  map  of  the  city  already  given.  This  map 
elucidates  Polo's  account  of  the  palace  in  a  highly  interest- 
ing manner. 

[Father  H.  Havret  has  given  in  p.  21  of  Varices 
Sinologiqiics,  No.  19,  a  complete  study  of  the  inscription 
of  a  chwang,  nearly  similar  to  the  one  given  here,  which  is 
erected  near  Ch'eng-tu. — II .  C] 

Before  quitting  KlNSAY,  the  description  of  which  forms 
the  most  striking  feature  in  Polo's  account  of  China,  it  is 
worth  while  to  quote  other  notices  from  authors  of  nearly 
the  same  age.  However  exaggerated  some  of  these  may 
be,  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  it  was  the  greatest  city 
then  existing  in  the  world. 

Friar  Odoric  (in  China  about  1324-1327)  : — "  Departing 
thence  I  came  unto  the  city  of  Cansay,  a  name  which 
signifieth  the  'City  of  Heaven.'  And  'tis  the  greatest  city 
in  the  whole  world,  so  great  indeed  that  I  should  scarcely 
venture  to  tell  of  it,  but  that  I  have  met  at  Venice  people 
in  plenty  who  have  been  there.  It  is  a  good  hundred 
miles  in  compass,  and  there  is  not  in  it  a  span  of  ground 
which  is  not  well  peopled.  And  many  a  tenement  is  there 
which  shall  have  10  or  12  households  comprised  in  it.     And 

there  be  also  iireat  suburbs  which  contain  a  greater  population 
btone    Chwang.   or   Umbrella    .  ,         .       .       ,_  „,  .        .        .        .  , 

Column,  on  site  of  "  Brah-  than  even  the  city  itself.  .    .    .    This  city  is  situated  upon 

ma's  Temple,"  Hang-chau.    lagoons   of  standing  water,    with   canals   like   the  city  of 

Venice.     And  it  hath  more  than  12,000  bridges,  on  each 

of  which  are  stationed  guards,  guarding  the  city  on  behalf  of  the  Great  Kaan.     And 

*  Mr.  Wylie,  after  ascending  this  hill  with  Mr.  Moule,  writes  :  "  It  is  about  two  miles  from  the 
south  gate  to  the  top,  by  a  rather  steep  road.  On  the  top  is  a  remarkably  level  plot  of  ground,  with 
a  cluster  of  roclcs  in  one  place.  On  the  face  of  these  rocks  are  a  great  many  inscriptions,  but  so 
obliterated  by  age  and  weather  that  only  a  few  characters  can  be  decyphered.  A  stone  road  leads  up 
from  the  city  gate,  and  another  one,  very  steep,  down  to  the  lake.  This  is  the  only  vestige  remain- 
ing of  the  old  palace  grounds.     There  is  iu  doubt  about  this  being  really  a  relic  of  the  palace. 




at  the  side  of  this  city  there  flows  a  river  near  which  it  is  built,  like  Ferrara  by  the 
Fo,  for  it  is  longer  than  it  is  broad,"  and  so  on,  relating  how  his  host  took  him  to  see 
a  great  monastery  of  the  idolaters,  where  there  was  a  garden  full  of  grottoes,  and 
therein  many  animals  of  divers  kinds,  which  they  believed  to  be  inhabited  by  the 
souls  of  gentlemen.  "But  if  any  one  should  desire  to  tell  all  the  vastness  and  great 
marvels  of  this  city,  a  good  quire  of  stationery  would  not  hold  the  matter,  I  trow. 
For  'tis  the  greatest  and  noblest  city,  and  the  finest  for  merchandize  that  the  whole 
world  containeth."     {Cathay ',  113  seqq.) 

The  Arrhbishop  of  Soltania  (circa  1330)  : — "  And  so  vast  is  the  number  of  people 
that  the  soldiers  alone  who  are  posted  to  keep  ward  in  the  city  of  Cambalec  are 
40,000  men  by  sure  tale.  And  in  the  city  of  Cassay  there  be  yet  more,  for  its  people 
is  greater  in  number,  seeing  that  it  is  a  city  of  very  great  trade.  And  to  this  city  all 
the  traders  of  the  country  come  to  trade ;  and  greatly  it  aboundeth  in  all  manner  of 
merchandize."     {lb.  244-245.) 

John  Marignolli  (in  China  1342-1347) : — "Now  Manzi  is  a  country  which  has 
countless  cities  and  nations  included  in  it,  past  all  belief  to  one  who  has  not  seen  them. 
.  .  .  And  among  the  rest  is  that  most  famous  city  of  Camps  AY,  the  finest,  the 
biggest,  the  richest,  the  most  populous,  and  altogether  the  most  marvellous  city,  the 
city  of  the  greatest  wealth  and  luxury,  of  the  most  splendid  buildings  (especially  idol- 
temples,  in  some  of  which  there  are  1000  and  2000  monks  dwelling  together),  that 
exists  now  upon  the  face  of  the  earth,  or  mayhap  that  ever  did  exist."  {lb.  p.  354.) 
He  also  speaks,  like  Odoric,  of  the  "cloister  at  Campsay,  in  that  most  famous 
monastery  where  they  keep  so  many  monstrous  animals,  which  they  believe  to  be  the 
souls  of  the  departed  "  (384).  Perhaps  this  monastery  may  yet  be  identified.  Odoric 
calls  it  Thebe.     [See  A.  Vissiere,  Bui.  Soc.  Giog.  Com.,  1901,  pp.  112-113. — H.  C] 

Turning  now  to- Asiatic  writers,  we  begin  with  Wassdf '(a.d.  1300)  : — 

11  Khanzai  is  the  greatest  city  of  the  cities  of  Chin, 

*  Stretching  like  Paradise  through  the  breadth  of  Heaven? 

Its  shape  is  oblong,  and  the  measurement  of  its  perimeter  is  about  24  parasangs.  Its 
streets  are  paved  with  burnt  brick  and  with  stone.  The  public  edifices  and  the  houses 
are  built  of  wood,  and  adorned  with  a  profusion  of  paintings  of  exquisite  elegance. 
Between  one  end  of  the  city  and  the  other  there  are  three  Yams  (post-stations) 
established.  The  length  of  the  chief  streets  is  three  parasangs,  and  the  city  contains 
64  quadrangles  corresponding  to  one  another  in  structure,  and  with  parallel  ranges 
of  columns.  The  salt  excise  brings  in  daily  700  balish  in  paper-money.  The 
number  of  craftsmen  is  so  great  that  32,000  are  employed  at  the  dyer's  art  alone ; 
from  that  fact  you  may  estimate  the  rest.  There  are  in  the  city  70  tomans  of 
soldiers  and  70  tomans  of  rayats,  whose  number  is  registered  in  the  books  of  the 
Dewan.  There  are  700  churches  {KaHsid)  resembling  fortresses,  and  every  one 
of  them  overflowing  with  presbyters  without  faith,  and  monks  without  religion, 
besides  other  officials,  wardens,  servants  of  the  idols,  and  this,  that,  and  the  other, 
to  tell  the  names  of  which  would  surpass  number  and  space.  All  these  are  exempt 
from  taxes  of  every  kind.  Four  tomans  of  the  garrison  constitute  the  night  patrol. 
.  .  .  Amid  the  city  there  are  360  bridges  erected  over  canals  ample  as  the  Tigris, 
which  are  ramifications  of  the  great  river  of  Chin  ;  and  different  kinds  of  vessels  and 
ferry-boats,  adapted  to  every  class,  ply  upon  the  waters  in  such  numbers  as  to  pass  ail 
powers  of  enumeration.  .  .  .  The  concourse  of  all  kinds  of  foreigners  from  the  four 
quarters  of  the  world,  such  as  the  calls  of  trade  and  travel  bring  together  in  a 
kingdom  like  this,  may  easily  be  conceived."  {Revised  on  Hammer's  Translation, 
pp.  42-43. ) 

.  .  .  You  will  see  on  the  map,  just  inside  the  walls  of  the  Imperial  city,  the  Temple  of  Brahrna. 
There  are  still  two  stone  columns  standing  with  curious  Buddhist  inscriptions.  .  .  .  Although  the 
temple  is  entirely  gone,  these  columns  retain  the  name  and  mark  the  place.  They  date  from  the 
6th  century,  and  there  are  few  structures  earlier  in  China."  One  is  engraved  ahove,  after  a  sketch 
by  Mr.  Moule. 

214  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

The  Persian  work  Nmhdt-al-Kulub : — "  Khinzai  is  the  capital  of  the  country  of 
Machfn.  If  one  may  believe  what  some  travellers  say,  there  exists  no  greater  city  on 
the  face  of  the  earth  ;  but  anyhow,  all  agree  that  it  is  the  greatest  in  all  the  countries 
in  the  East.  Inside  the  place  is  a  lake  which  has  a  circuit  of  six  parasangs,  and  all 
round  which  houses  are  built.  .  .  .  The  population  is  so  numerous  that  the 
watchmen  are  some  10,000  in  number."     {Quat.  Rash.  p.  lxxxviii. ) 

The  Arabic  work  Masdlak-al-Absdr : — "  Two  routes  lead  from  Khanbalik  to 
Khinsa,  one  by  land,  the  other  by  water  ;  and  either  way  takes  40  days.  The  city 
of  Khinsa  extends  a  whole  day's  journey  in  length  and  half  a  day's  journey  in  breadth. 
In  the  middle  of  it  is  a  street  which  runs  right  from  one  end  to  the  other.  The 
streets  and  squares  are  all  paved  ;  the  houses  are  five-storied  (?),  and  are  built 
with  planks  nailed  together,"  etc.  {Ibid.) 

Ibn  Batnta-. — "We  arrived  at  the  city  of  Khansa.  .  .  .  This  city  is  the 
greatest  I  have  ever  seen  on  the  surface  of  the  earth.  It  is  three  days'  journey 
in  length,  so  that  a  traveller  passing  through  the  city  has  to  make  his  marches 
and  his  halts  !  ....  It  is  subdivided  into  six  towns,  each  of  which  has  a 
separate  enclosure,  while  one  great  wall  surrounds  the  whole,"  etc.  {Cathay , 
p.   496  seqq.) 

Let  us  conclude  with  a  writer  of  a  later  age,  the  worthy  Jesuit  Martin  Martini, 
the  author  of  the  admirable  Atlas  Sinensis,  one  whose  honourable  zeal  to  maintain 
Polo's  veracity,  of  which  he  was  one  of  the  first  intelligent  advocates,  is  apt,  it  must 
be  confessed,  a  little  to  colour  his  own  spectacles: — "That  the  cosmographers  of 
Europe  may  no  longer  make  such  ridiculous  errors  as  to  the  Quinsai  of  Marco 
Polo,  I  will  here  give  you  the  very  place.  [He  then  explains  the  name.]  .  .  . 
And  to  come  to  the  point ;  this  is  the  very  city  that  hath  those  bridges  so  lofty  and 
so  numberless,  both  within  the  walls  and  in  the  suburbs  ;  nor  will  they  fall  much 
short  of  the  10,000  which  the  Venetian  alleges,  if  you  count  also  the  triumphal 
arches  among  the  bridges,  as  he  might  easily  do  because  of  their  analogous  structure, 
just  as  he  calls  tigers  lions ;  ...  or  if  you  will,  he  may  have  meant  to  include 
not  merely  the  bridges  in  the  city  and  suburbs,  but  in  the  whole  of  the  dependent 
territory.  In  that  case  indeed  the  number  which  Europeans  find  it  so  hard  to 
believe  might  well  be  set  still  higher,  so  vast  is  everywhere  the  number  of  bridges 
and  of  triumphal  arches.  Another  point  in  confirmation  is  that  lake  which  he 
mentions  of  40  Italian  miles  in  circuit.  This  exists  under  the  name  of  Si-hu ; 
it  is  not,  indeed,  as  the  book  says,  inside  the  walls,  but  lies  in  contact  with 
them  for  a  long  distance  on  the  west  and  south-west,  and  a  number  of  canals  drawn 
from  it  do  enter  the  city.  Moreover,  the  shores  of  the  lake  on  every  side  are  so 
thickly  studded  with  temples,  monasteries,  palaces,  museums,  and  private  houses, 
that  you  would  suppose  yourself  to  be  passing  through  the  midst  of  a  great  city 
rather  than  a  country  scene.  Quays  of  cut  stone  are  built  along  the  banks,  affording 
a  spacious  promenade ;  and  causeways  cross  the  lake  itself,  furnished  with  lofty 
bridges,  to  allow  of  the  passage  of  boats  ;  and  thus  you  can  readily  walk  all 
about  the  lake  on  this  side  and  on  that.  'Tis  no  wonder  that  Polo  considered 
it  to  be  part  of  the  city.  This,  too,  is  the  very  city  that  hath  within  the  walls, 
near  the  south  side,  a  hill  called  Ching-hoang*  on  which  stands  that  tower  with 
the  watchmen,  on  which  there  is  a  clepsydra  to  measure  the  hours,  and  where  each 
hour  is  announced  by  the  exhibition  of  a  placard,  with  gilt  letters  of  a  foot  and  a  half 
in  height.  This  is  the  very  city  the  streets  of  which  are  paved  with  squared  stones  : 
the  city  which  lies  in  a  swampy  situation,  and  is  intersected  by  a  number  of  navigable 
canals  ;  this,  in  short,  is  the  city  from  which  the  emperor  escaped  to  seaward  by  the 
great  river  Ts'ien-T'ang,  the  breadth  of  which  exceeds  a  German  mile,  flowing  on  the 
south  of  the  city,  exactly  corresponding  to  the  river  described  by  the  Venetian  at 
Quinsai,  and  flowing  eastward  to  the  sea,  which  it  enters  precisely  at  the  distance 
which  he  mentions.     I  will  add  that  the  compass  of  the   city  will   be  100  Italian 

*  See  the  plan  of  the  city  with  last  chapter. 

Chap.  LXXVIIL        THE   REVENUE   FROM   KINSAY  215 

miles  and  more,  if  you  include  its  vast  suburbs,  which  run  out  on  every  side  an 
enormous  distance ;  insomuch  that  you  may  walk  for  50  Chinese  li  in  a  straight 
line  from  north  to  south,  the  whole  way  through  crowded  blocks  of  houses,  and 
without  encountering  a  spot  that  is  not  full  of  dwellings  and  full  of  people  ;  whilst  from 
east  to  west  you  can  do  very  nearly  the  same  thing."     {Atlas  Sinetisis,  p.  99.) 

And  so  we  quit  what  Mr.  Moule  appropriately  calls  "  Marco's  famous  rhapsody 
of  the  Manzi  capital";  perhaps  the  most  striking  section  of  the  whole  book,  as 
manifestly  the  subject  was  that  which  had  made  the  strongest  impression  on  the 


Treating  of  the  great  Yearly  Revenue  that  the  Great  Kaan 


Now  I  will  tell  you  about  the  great  revenue  which  the 
Great  Kaan  draweth  every  year  from  the  said  city  of 
Kinsay  and  its  territory,  forming  a  ninth  part  of  the 
whole  country  of  Manzi. 

First  there  is  the  salt,  which  brings  in  a  creat 
revenue.  For  it  produces  every  year,  in  round  numbers, 
fourscore  tomans  of  gold  ;  and  the  toman  is  worth  70,000 
saggi  of  gold,  so  that  the  total  value  of  the  fourscore 
tomans  will  be  five  millions  and  six  hundred  thousand 
saggi  of  gold,  each  saggio  being  worth  more  than  a  gold 
florin  or  ducat ;  in  sooth,  a  vast  sum  of  money !  [This 
province,  you  see,  adjoins  the  ocean,  on  the  shores  of 
which  are  many  lagoons  or  salt  marshes,  in  which  the 
sea-water  dries  up  during  the  summer  time  ;  and  thence 
they  extract  such  a  quantity  of  salt  as  suffices  for  the 
supply  of  five  of  the  kingdoms  of  Manzi  besides  this 

Having  told  you  of  the  revenue  from  salt,  I  will  now 
tell  you  of  that  which  accrues  to  the  Great  Kaan  from 
the  duties  on  merchandize  and  other  matters. 

You  must  know  that  in  this  city  and  its  dependencies 
they  make  great  quantities  of  sugar,  as  indeed  they  do 

2l6  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

in  the  other  eight  divisions  of  this  country ;  so  that  I 
believe  the  whole  of  the  rest  of  the  world  together  does 
not  produce  such  a  quantity,  at  least,  if  that  be  true 
which  many  people  have  told  me ;  and  the  sugar  alone 
again  produces  an  enormous  revenue. — However,  I  will 
not  repeat  the  duties  on  every  article  separately,  but 
tell  you  how  they  go  in  the  lump.  Well,  all  spicery  pays 
three  and  a  third  per  cent,  on  the  value ;  and  all 
merchandize  likewise  pays  three  and  a  third  per  cent. 
[But  sea-borne  goods  from  India  and  other  distant 
countries  pay  ten  per  cent.]  The  rice-wine  also  makes 
a  great  return,  and  coals,  of  which  there  is  a  great 
quantity  ;  and  so  do  the  twelve  guilds  of  craftsmen  that 
I  told  you  of,  with  their  12,000  stations  apiece,  for  every 
article  they  make  pays  duty.  And  the  silk  which  is 
produced  in  such  abundance  makes  an  immense  return. 
But  why  should  I  make  a  long  story  of  it  ?  The  silk, 
you  must  know,  pays  ten  per  cent,  and  many  other 
articles  also  pay  ten  per  cent. 

And  you  must  know  that  Messer  Marco  Polo,  who 
relates  all  this,  was  several  times  sent  by  the  Great  Kaan 
to  inspect  the  amount  of  his  customs  and  revenue  from 
this  ninth  part  of  Manzi,1  and  he  found  it  to  be,  exclusive 
of  the  salt  revenue  which  we  have  mentioned  already, 
210  tomans  of  gold,  equivalent  to  14,700,000  saggi  of 
gold ;  one  of  the  most  enormous  revenues  that  ever  was 
heard  of.  And  if  the  sovereign  has  such  a  revenue  from 
one-ninth  part  of  the  country,  you  may  judge  what  he 
must  have  from  the  whole  of  it!  However,  to  speak 
the  truth,  this  part  is  the  greatest  and  most  productive ; 
and  because  of  the  great  revenue  that  the  Great  Kaan 
derives  from  it,  it  is  his  favourite  province,  and  he  takes 
all  the  more  care  to  watch  it  well,  and  to  keep  the 
people  contented.2 

Now  we  will  quit  this  city  and  speak  of  others. 


Note  i. — Pauthier's  text  seems  to  be  the  only  one  which  says  that  Marco  was 
sent  by  the  Great  Kaan.  The  G.  Text  says  merely:  "Si  qe  jeo  March  Pol  qe 
plnsorfoies  hoi  f aire  le  conte  de  la  rende  de  tous  cestes  couses" — "had  several  times 
heard  the  calculations  made." 

Note  2. —  Toman  is  10,000.  And  the  first  question  that  occurs  in  considering 
the  statements  of  this  chapter  is  as  to  the  unit  of  these  tomans,  as  intended  by  Polo. 
I  believe  it  to  have  been  the  tael  (or  Chinese  ounce)  of  gold. 

We  do  not  know  that  the  Chinese  ever  made  monetary  calculations  in  gold.  But 
the  usual  unit  of  the  revenue  accounts  appears  from  Pauthier's  extracts  to  have  been 
the  ting,  i.e.  a  money  of  account  equal  to  ten  taels  of  silver,  and  we  know  {supra,  ch.  1. 
note  4)  that  this  was  in  those  days  the  exact  equivalent  of  one  tael  of  gold. 

The  equation  in  our  text  is  10,000  x  —  70,000  saggi  of  gold,  giving  x,  or  the  unit 
sought,  =  7  saggi.  But  in  both  Ramusio  on  the  one  hand,  and  in  the  Geog. 
Latin  and  Crusca  Italian  texts  on  the  other  hand,  the  equivalent  of  the  toman  is 
80,000  saggi ;  though  it  is  true  that  neither  with  one  valuation  nor  the  other  are  the 
calculations  consistent  in  any  of  the  texts,  except  Ramusio's.*  This  consistency  does 
not  give  any  greater  weight  to  Ramusio's  reading,  because  we  know  that  version  to 
have  been  edited,  and  corrected  when  the  editor  thought  it  necessary  :  but  I  adopt 
his  valuation,  because  we  shall  find  other  grounds  for  preferring  it.  The  unit  of  the 
toman  then  is  =  8  saggi. 

The  Venice  saggio  was  one-sixth  of  a  Venice  ounce.  The  Venice  mark  of  8  ounces 
I  find  stated  to  contain  3681  grains  troy  ;  t  hence  the  saggio— 76  grains.  But  I 
imagine  the  term  to  be  used  by  Polo  here  and  in  other  Oriental  computations,  to 
express  the  Arabic  miskdl,  the  real  weight  of  which,  according  to  Mr.  Maskelyne,  is 
74  grains  troy.  The  miskdl  of  gold  was,  as  Polo  says,  something  more  than  a  ducat 
or  sequin,  indeed,  weight  for  weight,  it  was  to  a  ducat  nearly  as  1  "4  :   1. 

Eight  saggi  or  miskdls  would  be  592  grains  troy.  The  tael  is  580,  and  the 
approximation  is  as  near  as  we  can  reasonably  expect  from  a  calculation  in  such 

Taking  the  silver  tael  at  6s.  yd.,  the  gold  tael,  or  rather  the  ting,  would  be  =  3/. 
5^.  lod.  ;  the  toman  =  32,916/.  13s.  $d.  ;  and  the  whole  salt  revenue  (8otomans)  = 
2,633,333/.  5  tne  revenue  from  other  sources  (210  tomans)  =6,912,500/.;  total 
revenue  from  Kinsay  and  its  province  (290  tomans)  =  9,545,833/.  A  sufficiently 
startling  statement,  and  quite  enough  to  account  for  the  sobriquet  of  Marco 

Pauthier,  in  reference  to  this  chapter,  brings  forward  a  number  of  extracts  regard- 
ing Mongol  finance  from  the  official  history  of  that  dynasty.  The  extracts  are 
extremely  interesting  in  themselves,  but  I  cannot  find  in  them  that  confirmation  of 
Marco's  accuracy  which  M.  Pauthier  sees. 

First  as  to  the  salt  revenue  of  Kiang-Che,  or  the  province  of  Kinsay.  The  facts 
given  by  Pauthier  amount  to  these  :  that  in  1277,  the  year  in  which  the  Mongol  salt 
department  was  organised,  the  manufacture  of  salt  amounted  to  92,148  yin,  or 
22,115,520  kilos.;  in  1286  it  had  reached  450,000  yin,  or  108,000,000  kilos.;  in 
1289  it  fell  off  by  100,000  yin. 

The  price  was,  in  1277,  18  Hang  OX  taels,  in  chao  or  paper-money  of  the  years 
1260-64  (see  vol.  i.  p.  426) ;  in  1282  it  was  raised  to  22  taels;  in  1284  a  permanent 
and  reduced  price  was  fixed,  the  amount  of  which  is  not  stated. 

M.  Pauthier  assumes  as  a  mean  400,000  yin,  at  18  taels,  which  will  give  7,200,000 
taels  ;  or,  at  6r.  yd.  to  the  tael,  2,370,000/.  But  this  amount  being  in  chao  or  paper- 
currency,  which  at  its  highest  valuation  was  worth  only  50  per  cent,  of  the  nominal 

*  Pauthier's  MSS.  A  and  B  are  hopelessly  corrupt  here.  His  MS.  C  agrees  with  the  Geog.  Text 
in  making  the  toman  =  7o,ooo  saggi,  but  210  tomans=  15,700,000,  instead  of  14,700,000.  The  Crusca 
and  Latin  have  8o,coo  saggi  in  the  first  place,  but  15,700,000  in  the  second.  Ramusio  alone  has 
80,000  in  the  first  place,  and  16,800,000  in  the  second. 

f  Eng.  Cyclop.,  "  Weights  and  Measures." 

2  1 8  MARCO  POLO  Book  II. 

vilue  of  the  notes,  we  must  halve  the  sum,  giving  the  salt  revenue  on  Pauthicr's 
assumptions^  1,185,000/. 

Pauthier  has  also  endeavoured  to  present  a  table  of  the  whole  revenue  of 
Kiang-Che  under  the  Mongols,  amounting  to  12,955,710  paper  taels,  or  2,132,294/., 
including  the  salt  revenue.  This  would  leave  only  947,294/.  for  the  other  sources  of 
revenue,  but  the  fact  is  that  several  of  these  are  left  blank,  and  among  others  one  so 
important  as  the  sea-customs.  However,  even  making  the  extravagant  supposition 
that  the  sea-customs  and  other  omitted  items  were  equal  in  amount  to  the  whole  of 
the  other  sources  of  revenue,  salt  included,  the  total  would  be  only  4,264,585/. 

Marco's  amount,  as  he  gives  it,  is,  I  think,  unquestionably  a  huge  exaggeration, 
though  I  do  not  suppose  an  intentional  one.  In  spite  of  his  professed  rendering  of 
the  amounts  in  gold,  I  have  little  doubt  that  his  tomans  really  represent  paper- 
currency,  and  that  to  get  a  valuation  in  gold,  his  total  has  to  be  divided  at  the  very 
least  by  two.  We  may  then  compare  his  total  of  290  tomans  of  paper  ting  with 
Pauthier's  130  tomans  of  paper  ting,  excluding  sea-customs  and  some  other  items. 
No  nearer  comparison  is  practicable  ;  and  besides  the  sources  of  doubt  already  in- 
dicated, it  remains  uncertain  what  in  either  calculation  are  the  limits  of  the  province 
intended.  For  the  bounds  of  Kiang-Che  seem  to  have  varied  greatly,  sometimes 
including  and  sometimes  excluding  Fo-kien. 

I  may  observe  that  Rashiduddin  reports,  on  the  authority  of  the  Mongol  minister 
Pulad  Chingsang,  that  the  whole  of  Manzi  brought  in  a  revenue  of  "  900  tomans." 
This  Quatremere  renders  "  nine  million  pieces  of  gold,"  presumably  meaning  dinars. 
It  is  unfortunate  that  there  should  be  uncertainty  here  again  as  to  the  unit.  If  it 
were  the  dinar  the  whole  revenue  of  Manzi  would  be  about  5,850,000/.,  whereas  if 
the  unit  were,  as  in  the  case  of  Polo's  toman,  the  ting,  the  revenue  would  be  nearly 
30,000,000  sterling  ! 

It  does  appear  that  in  China  a  toman  of  some  denomination  of  money  near  the 
dinar  was  known  in  account.  For  Friar  Odoric  states  the  revenue  of  Yang-chau  in 
tomans  of  Palish,  the  latter  unit  being,  as  he  explains,  a  sum  in  paper-currency 
equivalent  to  a  florin  and  a  half  (or  something  more  than  a  dinar)  ;  perhaps,  however, 
only  the  Hang  or  tael  (see  vol.  i.  pp.  426-7). 

It  is  this  calculation  of  the  Kinsay  revenue  which  Marco  is  supposed  to  be  ex- 
pounding to  his  fellow-prisoner  on  the  title-page  of  this  volume.  [See  P.  Hoang> 
Commerce  Public  du  Sel,  Shanghai,  1898,  Liang-tche-yen,  pp.  6-7. — H.  C.] 


Of  the  City  of  Tanpiju  and  Others. 

When  you  leave  Kinsay  and  travel  a  day's  journey  to 
the  south-east,  through  a  plenteous  region,  passing  a 
succession  of  dwellings  and  charming  gardens,  you  reach 
the  city  of  Tanpiju,  a  great,  rich,  and  fine  city,  under 
Kinsay.  The  people  are  subject  to  the  Kaan,  and  have 
paper-money,  and  are  Idolaters,  and  burn  their  dead  in 
the   way    described    before.      They    live    by    trade    and 

Chap.  LXXIX.        CITIES  TO  THE  SOUTH  OF  KINSAY  2  19 

manufactures  and  handicrafts,  and  have  all  necessaries 
in  great  plenty  and  cheapness.1 

But  there  is  no  more  to  be  said  about  it,  so  we 
proceed,  and  I  will  tell  you  of  another  city  called  Vuju 
at  three  days'  distance  from  Tanpiju.  The  people  are 
Idolaters,  &c,  and  the  city  is  under  Kinsay.  They  live 
by  trade  and  manufactures. 

Travelling  through  a  succession  of  towns  and  villages 
that  look  like  one  continuous  city,  two  days  further  on  to 
the  south-east,  you  find  the  great  and  fine  city  of  Ghiuju 
which  is  under  Kinsay.  The  people  are  Idolaters,  &c. 
They  have  plenty  of  silk,  and  live  by  trade  and  handi- 
crafts, and  have  all  things  necessary  in  abundance.  At 
this  city  you  find  the  largest  and  longest  canes  that  are 
in  all  Manzi ;  they  are  full  four  palms  in  girth  and  15 
paces  in  length.2 

When  you  have  left  Ghiuju  you  travel  four  days  S.E. 
through  a  beautiful  country,  in  which  towns  and  villages 
are  very  numerous.  There  is  abundance  of  game  both 
in  beasts  and  birds ;  and  there  are  very  large  and  fierce 
lions.  After  those  four  days  you  come  to  the  great  and 
fine  city  of  Chansiian.  It  is  situated  upon  a  hill  which 
divides  the  River,  so  that  the  one  portion  flows  up 
country  and  the  other  down.*  It  is  still  under  the 
government  of  Kinsay. 

I  should  tell  you  that  in  all  the  country  of  Manzi 
they  have  no  sheep,  though  they  have  beeves  and  kine, 
goats  and  kids  and  swine  in  abundance.  The  people 
are  Idolaters  here,  &c. 

When  you  leave  Changshan  you  travel  three  days 
through  a  very  fine  country  with  many  towns  and 
villages,  traders  and  craftsmen,  and  abounding  in  game 
of  all  kinds,  and  arrive  at  the  city  of  Cuju.     The  people 

*  "  Est  sus  un  front  que  parte  le  Flum,  que  le  une  moitie  ala  en  sus  e  l autre  moitii  en  jus" 
(G.  T.). 

2  20  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

are  Idolaters,  &c,  and  live  by  trade  and  manufactures. 
It  is  a  fine,  noble,  and  rich  city,  and  is  the  last  of  the 
government  of  Kinsay  in  this  direction.3  The  other 
kingdom  which  we  now  enter,  called  Fuju,  is  also  one  of 
the  nine  great  divisions  of  Manzi  as  Kinsay  is. 

Note  i. — The  traveller's  route  proceeds  from  Kinsay  or  Hang-chau  southward  to 
the  mountains  of  Fo-kien,  ascending  the  valley  of  the  Ts'ien  T'ang,  commonly  called 
by  Europeans  the  Green  River.  The  general  line,  directed  as  we  shall  see  upon 
Kien-ning  fu  in  Fo-kien,  is  clear  enough,  but  some  of  the  details  are  very  obscure, 
owing  partly  to  vague  indications  and  partly  to  the  excessive  uncertainty  in  the 
reading  of  some  of  the  proper  names. 

No  name  resembling  Tanpiju  (G.  T.,  Tanpigui ;  Pauthier,  Tacpiguy,  Carpigicy, 
Capiguy  ;  Ram.,  Tapinzti)  belongs,  so  far  as  has  yet  been  shown,  to  any  considerable 
town  in  the  position  indicated.*  Both  Pauthier  and  Mr.  Kingsmill  identify  the  place 
with  Shao-hing  fu,  a  large  and  busy  town,  compared  by  Fortune,  as  regards  population, 
to  Shang-hai.  Shao-hing  is  across  the  broad  river,  and  somewhat  further  down  than 
Hang-chau  :  it  is  out  of  the  traveller's  general  direction  ;  and  it  seems  unnatural  that 
he  should  commence  his  journey  by  passing  this  wide  river,  and  yet  not  mention  it. 

For  these  reasons  I  formerly  rejected  Shao-hing,  and  looked  rather  to  Fu-yang  as 
the  representative  of  Tanpiju.  But  my  opinion  is  shaken  when  I  find  both  Mr.  Elias 
and  Baron  Richthofen  decidedly  opposed  to  Fu-yang,  and  the  latter  altogether  in 
favour  of  Shao-hing.  "  The  journey  through  a  plenteous  region,  passing  a  succession 
of  dwellings  and  charming  gardens;  the  epithets  'great,  rich,  and  fine  city';  the 
1  trade,  manufactures,  and  handicrafts,'  and  the  '  necessaries  in  great  plenty  and 
cheapness,'  appear  to  apply  rather  to  the  populous  plain  and  the  large  city  of  ancient 
fame,  than  to  the  small  Fu-yang  hien  .  .  .  shut  in  by  a  spur  from  the  hills,  which 
would  hardly  have  allowed  it  in  former  days  to  have  been  a  great  city."  {Note  by 
Baron  R.)  The  after  route,  as  elucidated  by  the  same  authority,  points  with  even 
more  force  to  Shao-hing. 

[Mr.  G.  Phillips  has  made  a  special  study  of  the  route  from  Kinsay  to  Zaytun 
in  the  Tdung  Pao,  I.  p.  218  seq.  {The  Identity  of  Marco  Polo's  7aitun  with 
Changchau).  He  says  (p.  222)  :  "  Leaving  Hangchau  by  boat  for  Fuhkien,  the  first 
place  of  importance  is  Fuyang,  at  100  H  from  Hangchau.  This  name  does  not  in 
any  way  resemble  Polo's  Ta  Pin  Zu,  but  I  think  it  can  be  no  other."  Mr.  Phillips 
writes  (pp.  221-222)  that  by  the  route  he  describes,  he  "  intends  to  follow  the  high- 
way which  has  been  used  by  travellers  for  centuries,  and  the  greater  part  of  which 
is  by  water."  He  adds  :  "  I  may  mention  that  the  boats  used  on  this  route  can  be 
luxuriously  fitted  up,  and  the  traveller  can  go  in  them  all  the  way  from  Hangchau  to 
Chinghu,  the  head  of  the  navigation  of  the  Ts'ien-t'ang  River.  At  this  Chinghu,  they 
disembark  and  hire  coolies  and  chairs  to  take  them  and  their  luggage  across  the  Sien- 
hia  pass  to  Puching  in  Fuhkien.  This  route  is  described  by  Fortune  in  an  opposite 
direction,  in  his  Wanderings  in  China,  vol.  ii.  p.  139.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that 
Polo  followed  this  route,  as  the  one  given  by  Yule,  by  way  of  Shao-hing  and  Kin-hua 
by  land,  would  be  unnecessarily  tedious  for  the  ladies  Polo  was  escorting,  and  there 
was  no  necessity  to  take  it  ;  more  especially  as  there  was  a  direct  water  route  to  the 
point  for  which  they  were  making.  I  further  incline  to  this  route,  as  I  can  find  no 
city  at  all  fitting  in  with  Yenchau,  Ramusio's  Gengiu,  along  the  route  given  by  Yule." 

*  One  of  the  Hien,  forming  the  special  districts  of  Hang-chau  itself,  now  called  Tsicn-tang,  was 
formerly  called  Tangwei-tang.  But  it  embraces  the  eastern  part  of  the  district,  and  can,  I  think, 
have  nothing  to  do  with  Tanpiju.     (See  Biot,  p.  257,  and  Chin.  Repos.  for  February,  1842,  p.  109.) 

Chap.  LXXIX.         ASCENT  OF  THE  TS'IEN-T'ANG  VALLEY  22  1 

In  my  paper  on  the  Catalan  Map  (Paris,  1895)  I  gave  the  following  itinerary: 
Kinsay  (Hang-chau),  Tanpiju  (Shao-hing  fu),  Vuju  (Kin-hwa  fu),  Ghiuju  (K'iu-chau 
fu),  Chan-shan  (Sui-chang  hien),  Cuju  (Ch'u-chau),  Ke-lin-fu  (Kien-ning  fu),  Unken 
(Hu-k\van),  Fuju  (Fu-chau),  Zayton  (Kayten,  Hai-t'au),  Zayton  (Ts'iuen-chau), 
Tyunju  (Tek-hwa). 

Regarding  the  burning  of  the  dead,  Mr.  Phillips  {Voting  Pao,  VI.  p.  454)  quotes 
the  following  passage  from  a  notice  by  M.  Jaubert.  "  The  town  of  Zaitun  is  situated 
half  a  day's  journey  inland  from  the  sea.  At  the  place  where  the  ships  anchor,  the 
water  is  fresh.  The  people  drink  this  water  and  also  that  of  the  wells.  Zaitun  is 
30  days'  journey  from  Khanbaligh.  The  inhabitants  of  this  town  burn  their  dead 
either  with  Sandal,  or  Brazil  wood,  according  to  their  means ;  they  then  throw  the 
ashes  into  the  river."  Mr.  Phillips  adds  :  "The  custom  of  burning  the  dead  is  a  long 
established  one  in  Fuh-Kien,  and  does  not  find  much  favour  among  the  upper  classes. 
It  exists  even  to  this  day  in  the  central  parts  of  the  province.  The  time  for  cremation 
is  generally  at  the  time  of  the  Tsing-Ming.  At  the  commencement  of  the  present 
dynasty  the  custom  of  burning  the  dead  appears  to  have  been  pretty  general  in  the 
Fuchow  Prefecture  ;  it  was  looked  upon  with  disfavour  by  many,  and  the  gentry  peti- 
tioned the  Authorities  that  proclamations  forbidding  it  should  be  issued.  It  was  thought 
unfilial  for  children  to  cremate  their  parents  ;  and  the  practice  of  gathering  up  the  bones 
of  a  partially  cremated  person  and  thrusting  them  into  a  jar,  euphoniously  called  a 
Golden  Jar,  but  which  was  really  an  earthen  one,  was  much  commented  on,  as,  if  the 
jar  was  too  small  to  contain  all  the  bones,  they  were  broken  up  and  put  in,  and  many 
pieces  got  thrown  aside.  In  the  Changchow  neighbourhood,  with  which  we  have  here 
most  to  do,  it  was  a  universal  custom  in  1126  to  burn  the  dead,  and  was  in  existence 
for  many  centuries  after."     (See  note,  supra,  II.  p.  134.) 

Captain  Gill,  speaking  of  the  country  near  the  Great  Wall,  writes  (I.  p.  61)  :  ["  The 
Chinese]  consider  mutton  very  poor  food,  and  the  butchers'  shops  are  always  kept  by 
Mongols.  In  these,  however,  both  beef  and  mutton  can  be  bought  for  ^d.  or  40I. 
a  lb.,  while  pork,  which  is  considered  by  the  Chinese  as  the  greatest  delicacy,  sells 
for  double  the  price." — H.  C] 

Note  2. — Che  kiang  produces  bamboos  more  abundantly  than  any  province  of 
Eastern  China.  Dr.  Medhurst  mentions  meeting,  on  the  waters  near  Hang-chau,  with 
numerous  rafts  of  bamboos,  one  of  which  was  one- third  of  a  mile  in  length.  {Glance  at 
Int.  of  China,  p.  53.) 

Note  3. — Assuming  Tanpiju  to  be  Shao-hing,  the  remaining  places  as  far  as  the 
Fo-kien  Frontier  run  thus  : — 

3  days  to  Vuju  (P.   Vngui,  G.  T.  Vugni,  Vta'gui,  Ram.  Uguiu). 

2  ,,     to  Ghiuju  (P.  Gniguy,  G.  T.  Ghingui,  Ghengni,  Chengui,  Ram.  Gengui). 

4  ,,    to  Chanshan  (P.  Ciancian,  G.  T.  Cianscian,  Ram.  Zengian). 

3  ,,    to  Cuju  or  Chuju  (P.  Cingny,  G.  T.  Cttgui,  Ram.  Gieza). 

First  as  regards  Chanshan,  which,  with  the  notable  circumstances  about  the  waters 
there,  constitutes  the  key  to  the  route,  I  extract  the  following  remarks  from  a  note 
which  Mr.  Fortune  has  kindly  sent  me  :  "  When  we  get  to  Chanshan  the  proof  as  to 
the  route  is  very  strong.  This  is  undoubtedly  my  Chang-shan.  The  town  is  near  the 
head  of  the  Green  River  (the  Ts'ien  T'ang)  which  flows  in  a  N.E.  direction  and  falls 
into  the  Bay  of  Hang-chau.  At  Chang-shan  the  stream  is  no  longer  navigable  even  for 
small  boats.  Travellers  going  west  or  south-west  walk  or  are  carried  in  sedan-chairs 
across  country  in  a  westerly  direction  for  about  30  miles  to  a  town  named  Yuh-shan. 
Here  there  is  a  river  which  flows  westward  ('  the  other  half  goes  down'),  taking  the 
traveller  rapidly  in  that  direction,  and  passing  en  route  the  towns  of  Kwansinfu, 
Hokow  or  Hokeu,  and  onward  to  the  Poyang  Lake."  From  the  careful  study  of  Mr. 
Fortune's  published  narrative  I  had  already  arrived  at  the  conclusion  that  this  was 
the  correct  explanation  of  the  remarkable  expressions  about  the  division  of  the  waters, 
which  are  closely  analogous  to  those  used  by  the  traveller  in  ch.  lxii.  of  this  book 

222  MARCO   POLO  Book   II. 

when  speaking  of  the  watershed  of  the  Great  Canal  at  Sinjumatu.  Paraphrased  the 
words  might  run  :  "At  Chang-shan  you  reach  high  ground,  which  interrupts  the  con- 
tinuity of  the  River  ;  from  one  side  of  this  ridge  it  flows  up  country  towards  the  north, 
from  the  other  it  flows  down  towards  the  south."  The  expression  "  The  River"  will 
be  elucidated  in  note  4  to  ch.  lxxxii.  below. 

This  route  by  the  Ts'ien  T'ang  and  the  Chang-shan  portage,  which  turns  the  danger 
involved  in  the  navigation  of  the  Vang-tzii  and  the  Poyang  Lake,  was  formerly  a 
thoroughfare  to  the  south  much  followed  ;  though  now  almost  abandoned  through  one 
of  the  indirect  results  (as  Baron  Richthofen  points  out)  of  steam  navigation. 

The  portage  from  Chang-shan  to  Yuh-shan  was  passed  by  the  English  and  Dutch 
embassies  in  the  end  of  last  century,  on  their  journeys  from  Hang-chau  to  Canton,  and 
by  Mr.  Fortune  on  his  way  from  Ningpo  to  the  Bohea  country  of  Fo-kien.  It  is 
probable  that  Polo  on  some  occasion  made  the  ascent  of  the  Ts'ien  T'ang  by  water, 
and  that  this  leads  him  to  notice  the  interruption  of  the  navigation. 

[Mr.  Phillips  writes  (T.  Pao,  I.  p.  222)  :  "From  Fuyang  the  next  point  reached 
is  Tunglu,  also  another  100  li  distant.  Polo  calls  this  city  Ugim,  a  name  bearing  no 
resemblance  to  Tunglu,  but  this  name  and  Ta  Pin  Zu  are  so  corrupted  in  all  editions 
that  they  defy  conjecture.  One  hundred  li  further  up  the  river  from  Tunglu,  we 
come  to  Yenchau,  in  which  I  think  we  have  Polo's  Gengiu  of  Ramusio's  text.  Yule's 
text  calls  this  city  Ghiuju,  possibly  an  error  in  transcription  for  Ghinju ;  Yenchau  in 
ancient  Chinese  would,  according  to  Williams,  be  pronounced  Ngam,  Ngin,  and 
Ngienchau,  all  of  which  are  sufficiently  near  Polo's  Gengiu.  The  next  city  reached  is 
Lan  Ki  Hien  or  Lan  Chi  Hsien,  famous  for  its  hams,  dates,  and  all  the  good  things  of 
this  life,  according  to  the  Chinese.  In  this  city  I  recognise  Polo's  Zen  Gi  An  of 
Ramusio.  Does  its  description  justify  me  in  my  identification?  'The  city  of 
"Zen  gi  an,"  '  says  Ramusio,  '  is  built  upon  a  hill  that  stands  isolated  in  the  river,  which 
latter,  by  dividing  itself  into  two  branches,  appears  to  embrace  it.  These  streams  take 
opposite  directions  :  one  of  them  pursuing  its  course  to  the  south-east  and  the  other  to 
the  north-west.'  Fortune,  in  his  Wanderings  in  China  (vol.  ii.  p.  139),  calls  Lan-Khi, 
Nan-Che-hien,  and  says  :  '  It  is  built  on  the  banks  of  the  river,  and  has  a  picturesque 
hill  behind  it.'  Milne,  who  also  visited  it,  mentions  it  in  his  Life  in  China  (p.  258),  and 
says  :  '  At  the  southern  end  of  the  suburbs  of  Lan-Ki  the  river  divides  into  two 
branches,  the  one  to  the  left  on  south-east  leading  direct  to  Kinhua.'  Milne's  de- 
scription of  the  place  is  almost  identical  with  Polo's,  when  speaking  of  the  division 
of  the  river.  There  are  in  Fuchau  several  Lan-Khi  shopkeepers,  who  deal  in  hams, 
dates,  etc.,  and  these  men  tell  me  the  city  from  the  river  has  the  appearance  of  being 
built  on  a  hill,  but  the  houses  on  the  hill  are  chiefly  temples.  I  would  divide  the 
name  as  follows,  Zen  gi  an  ;  the  last  syllable  an  most  probably  represents  the  modern 
Hien,  meaning  District  city,  which  in  ancient  Chinese  was  pronounced  Han,  softened 
by  the  Italians  into  an.     Lan-Khi  was  a  Hien  in  Polo's  day." — H.  C] 

Kin-hwa  fu,  as  Pauthier  has  observed,  bore  at  this  time  the  name  of  Wu-chau,  which 
Polo  would  certainly  write  Vngin.  And  between  Shao-hing  and  Kin-hwa  there  exists, 
as  Baron  Richthofen  has  pointed  out,  a  line  of  depression  which  affords  an  easy  con- 
nection between  Shao-hing  and  Lan-ki  hien  or  Kin-hwa  fu.  This  line  is  much  used  by 
travellers,  and  forms  just  3  short  stages.  Hence  Kin-hwa,  a  fine  city  destroyed  by 
the  T'ai-P'ings,  is  satisfactorily  identified  with  Vugiu. 

The  journey  from  Vugui  to  Ghiuju  is  said  to  be  through  a  succession  of  towns  and 
villages,  looking  like  a  continuous  city.  Fortune,  whose  journey  occurred  before  the 
T'ai-P'ing  devastations,  speaks  of  the  approach  to  Kiu-chau  as  a  vast  and  beautiful 
garden.  And  Mr.  Milne's  map  of  this  route  shows  an  incomparable  density  of  towns 
in  the  Ts'ien  T'ang  valley  from  Yen-chau  up  to  Kiu-chau.  Ghiuju  then  will  be  Kiu- 
chau.  But  between  Kiu-chau  and  Chang-shan  it  is  impossible  to  make  four  days : 
barely  possibl0  to  make  two.  My  map  (Itineraries,  No.  VI.),  based  on  D'Anville  and 
Fortune,  makes  the  direct  distance  24  miles  ;  Milne's  map  barely  18  ;  whilst  from  his 
book  we  deduce  the  distance  travelled  by  water  to  be  about  30.  On  the  whole,  it 
seems  probable  that  there  is  a  mistake  in  the  figure  here. 




Marco  Polo's  route  from  Kinsai  to  ZAITUN,  illustrating  Mr.  G.  Phillips'  theory. 

224  MARCO   POLO.  Book  II. 

From  the  head  of  the  great  Che-kiang  valley  I  find  two  roads  across  the  mountains 
into  Fo-kien  described. 

One  leads  from  Kiang-shan  (not  Chang-shan)  by  a  town  called  Ching-hu,  and  then, 
nearly  due  south,  across  the  mountains  to  Pu-ch'eng  in  Upper  Fo-kien.  This  is  specified 
by  Martini  (p.  113) :  it  seems  to  have  been  followed  by  the  Dutch  Envoy,  Van  Hoorn, 
in  1665  (see  Astley,  III.  463),  and  it  was  travelled  by  Fortune  on  his  return  from  the 
Bohea  country  to  Ningpo.     (II.  247,  271.) 

The  other  route  follows  the  portage  spoken  of  above  from  Chang-shan  to  Yuh-shan, 
and  descends  the  river  on  that  side  to  Hokeu,  whence  it  strikes  south-east  across  the 
mountains  to  Tsung-ngan-hien  in  Fo-kien.  This  route  was  followed  by  Fortune  on 
his  way  to  the  Bohea  country. 

Both  from  Pu-ch'eng  on  the  former  route,  and  from  near  Tsung-ngan  on  the  latter, 
the  waters  are  navigable  down  to  Kien-ning  fu  and  so  to  Fu-chau. 

Mr.  Fortune  judges  the  first  to  have  been  Polo's  route.  There  does  not,  however, 
seem  to  be  on  this  route  any  place  that  can  be  identified  with  his  Cuju  or  Chuju. 
Ching-hu  seems  to  be  insignificant,  and  the  name  has  no  resemblance.  On  the  other 
route  followed  by  Mr.  Fortune  himself  from  that  side  we  have  Kwansin  fu,  Hokeu, 
Yen-shan,  and  (last  town  passed  on  that  side)  Chuchu.  The  latter,  as  to  both  name 
and  position,  is  quite  satisfactory^  but  it  is  described  as  a  small  poor  town.  Hokeu 
would  be  represented  in  Polo's  spelling  as  Caghiu  or  Cughiu.  It  is  now  a  place  of 
great  population  and  importance  as  the  entrepot  of  the  Black  Tea  Trade,  but,  like 
many  important  commercial  cities  in  the  interior,  not  being  even  a  hien,  it  has  no 
place  either  in  Duhalde  or  in  Biot,  and  I  cannot  learn  its  age. 

It  is  no  objection  to  this  line  that  Polo  speaks  of  Cuju  or  Chuju  as  the  last  city  of 
the  government  of  Kinsay,  whilst  the  towns  just  named  are  in  Kiang-si.  For  Kiang- 
Ch<?,  the  province  of  Kinsay,  then  included  the  eastern  part  of  Kiang-si.  (See 
Cathay,  p.  270.) 

[Mr.  Phillips  writes  (T.  Pao,  I.  223-224):  "Eighty-five  /*"  beyond  Lan-ki  hien 
is  Lung-yin,  a  place  not  mentioned  by  Polo,  and  another  ninety-five  li  still  further  on 
is  Chuchau  or  Keuchau,  which  is,  I  think,  the  Gie-za  of  Ramusio,  and  the  Cuju  of 
Yule's  version.  Polo  describes  it  as  the  last  city  of  the  government  of  Kinsai 
(Che-kiang)  in  this  direction.  It  is  the  last  Prefectural  city,  but  ninety  li  beyond 
Chii-chau,  on  the  road  to  Pu-cheng,  is  Kiang-shan,  a  district  city  which  is  the  last  one 
in  this  direction.  Twenty  li  from  Kiang-shan  is  Ching-hu,  the  head  of  the  navigation 
of  the  T'sien-T'ang  river.  Here  one  hires  chairs  and  coolies  for  the  journey  over  the 
Sien-hia  Pass  to  Pu-cheng,  a  distance  of  215  li.  From  Pu-cheng,  Fu-chau  can  be 
reached  by  water  in  4  or  5  days.     The  distance  is  780  /z." — H.  C] 


Concerning  the  Kingdom  of  Fuju. 

On  leaving  Cuju,  which  is  the  last  city  of  the  kingdom 
of  Kinsay,  you  enter  the  kingdom  of  Fuju,  and  travel 
six  days  in  a  south-easterly  direction  through  a  country 
of  mountains  and  vallevs,  in  which  are  a  number  of 
towns    and    villages   with   great    plenty   of   victuals  and 

Chap.  LXXX.  THE  KINGDOM  OF  FUJU  225 

abundance  of  game.  Lions,  great  and  strong,  are  also 
very  numerous.  The  country  produces  ginger  and 
galingale  in  immense  quantities,  insomuch  that  for  a 
Venice  groat  you  may  buy  fourscore  pounds  of  good 
fine-flavoured  ginger.  They  have  also  a  kind  of  fruit 
resembling  saffron,  and  which  serves  the  purpose  of 
saffron  just  as  well.1 

And  you  must  know  the  people  eat  all  manner  of 
unclean  things,  even  the  flesh  of  a  man,  provided  he  has 
not  died  a  natural  death.  So  they  look  out  for  the 
bodies  of  those  that  have  been  put  to  death  and  eat 
their  flesh,  which  they  consider  excellent.2 

Those  who  go  to  war  in  those  parts  do  as  I  am  going 
to  tell  you.  They  shave  the  hair  off  the  forehead  and 
cause  it  to  be  painted  in  blue  like  the  blade  of  a  glaive. 
They  all  go  afoot  except  the  chief;  they  carry  spears 
and  swords,  and  are  the  most  savage  people  in  the 
world,  for  they  go  about  constantly  killing  people,  whose 
blood  they  drink,  and  then  devour  the  bodies.3 

Now  I  will  quit  this  and  speak  of  other  matters. 
You  must  know  then  that  after  going  three  days  out  of 
the  six  that  I  told  you  of  you  come  to  the  city  of 
Kelinfu,  a  very  great  and  noble  city,  belonging  to  the 
Great  Kaan.  This  city  hath  three  stone  bridges  which 
are  among  the  finest  and  best  in  the  world.  They  are  a 
mile  long  and  some  nine  paces  in  width,  and  they  are 
all  decorated  with  rich  marble  columns.  Indeed  they  are 
such  fine  and  marvellous  works  that  to  build  any  one  of 
them  must  have  cost  a  treasure.4 

The  people  live  by  trade  and  manufactures,  and  have 

great  store  of  silk  [which  they  weave  into  various  stuffs], 

and   of  ginger  and  galingale.5     [They  also  make  much 

cotton  cloth  of  dyed  thread,  which  is  sent  all  over  Manzi.] 

Their  women  are  particularly  beautiful.     And  there  is  a 

strange  thing  there  which  I  needs  must  tell  you.     You 
vol.  11  p 

2  26  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

must  know  they  have  a  kind  of  fowls  which  have  no 
feathers,  but  hair  only,  like  a  cat's  fur.6  They  are  black 
all  over  ;  they  lay  eggs  just  like  our  fowls,  and  are  very 
good  to  eat. 

In  the  other  three  days  of  the  six  that  I  have  men- 
tioned above,7  you  continue  to  meet  with  many  towns 
and  villages,  with  traders,  and  goods  for  sale,  and 
craftsmen.  The  people  have  much  silk,  and  are 
Idolaters,  and  subject  to  the  Great  Kaan.  There  is 
plenty  of  game  of  all  kinds,  and  there  are  great  and 
fierce  lions  which  attack  travellers.  In  the  last  of  those 
three  days'  journey,  when  you  have  gone  15  miles 
you  find  a  city  called  Unken,  where  there  is  an  immense 
quantity  of  sugar  made.  From  this  city  the  Great 
Kaan  gets  all  the  sugar  for  the  use  of  his  Court,  a 
quantity  worth  a  great  amount  of  money.  [And  before 
this  city  came  under  the  Great  Kaan  these  people  knew 
not  how  to  make  fine  sugar ;  they  only  used  to  boil  and 
skim  the  juice,  which  when  cold  left  a  black  paste.  But 
after  they  came  under  the  Great  Kaan  some  men  of 
Babylonia  who  happened  to  be  at  the  Court  proceeded 
to  this  city  and  taught  the  people  to  refine  the  sugar 
with  the  ashes  of  certain  trees.8] 

There  is  no  more  to  say  of  the  place,  so  now  we  shall 
speak  of  the  splendour  of  Fuju.  When  you  have  gone 
15  miles  from  the  city  of  Unken,  you  come  to  this  noble 
city  which  is  the  capital  of  the  kingdom.  So  wTe  will 
now  tell  you  what  we  know  of  it. 

Note  i. — The  vague  description  does  not  suggest  the  root  turmeric  with  which 
Marsden  and  Pauthier  identify  this  "fruit  like  saffron."  It  is  probably  one  of  the 
species  of  Gardenia,  the  fruits  of  which  are  used  by  the  Chinese  for  their  colouring 
properties.  Their  splendid  yellow  colour  "is  due  to  a  body  named  crocine  which 
appears  to  be  identical  with  the  polychroite  of  saffron."  {Hanburyi's  Notes  on  Chinese 
Mat.  Medica,  pp.  21-22.)  For  this  identification,  I  am  indebted  to  Dr.  Fltickiger  of 
Bern.  ["Colonel  Yule  concludes  that  the  fruit  of  a  Gardenia,  which  yields  a  yellow 
colour,  is  meant.  But  Polo's  vague  description  might  just  as  well  agree  with  the 
Bastard  Saffron,  Carthamus  tinctorius,  a  plant  introduced  into  China  from  Western 

Scene  in  the  Bohea  Mountains,  on  Polo's  route  between  Kiang-si  and  Fo-kien.     (From  Fortune.) 

Qoonc  zn\u  I'm  tn  roi.utme  ht  Juqiu,  ft  id  comancr.     m  ala  zxz  joxnte  pox 
inontangtus  .c  por  bale's.     .     .     ." 

VOL,    IT, 

P    2 

2  28  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Asia  in  the  2nd  century  B.C.,    and  since  then  much  cultivated  in  that  country." 
{Bret Schneider,  Hist,  of  Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  4.) — H.  C] 

Note  2. — See  vol.  i.  p.  312. 

Note  3. — These  particulars  as  to  a  race  of  painted  or  tattooed  caterans  accused 
of  cannibalism  apparently  apply  to  some  aboriginal  tribe  which  still  maintained  its 
ground  in  the  mountains  between  Fo-kien  and  Che-kiang  or  Kiang-si.  Davis,  alluding 
to  the  Upper  part  of  the  Province  of  Canton,  says:  "The  Chinese  History  speaks 
of  the  aborigines  of  this  wild  region  under  the  name  of  Mdn  (Barbarians),  who  within 
a  comparatively  recent  period  were  subdued  and  incorporated  into  the  Middle 
Nation.  Many  persons  have  remarked  a  decidedly  Malay  cast  in  the  features 
of  the  natives  of  this  province  ;  and  it  is  highly  probable  that  the  Canton  and  Fo-kien 
people  were  originally  the  same  race  as  the  tribes  which  still  remain  unreclaimed  on 
the  east  side  of  Formosa."*  {Supply.  Vol.  p.  260.)  Indeed  Martini  tells  us  that 
even  in  the  17th  century  this  very  range  of  mountains,  farther  to  the  south,  in  the 
Ting-chau  department  of  Fo-kien,  contained  a  race  of  uncivilised  people,  who  were 
enabled  by  the  inaccessible  character  of  the  country  to  maintain  their  independence  of 
the  Chinese  Government  (p.  114;  see  also  Semecfo,  p.  19). 

["Colonel  Yule's  'pariah  caste'  of  Shao-ling,  who,  he  says,  rebelled  against 
either  the  Sung  or  the  Ytian,  are  evidently  the  tomin  of  Ningpo  and  zikas  of 
Wenchow.  Colonel  Yule's  '  some  aboriginal  tribe  between  Fo-kien  and  Che-kiang ' 
are  probably  the  zikas  of  Wenchow  and  the  siapo  of  Fu-kien  described  by  recent 
travellers.  The  zikas  are  locally  called  dogs'  heads,  which  illustrates  Colonel  Yule's 
allophylian  theories."  {Parker,  China  Review,  XIV.  p.  359.)  Cf.  A  Visit  to  the 
"  Dog- Headed  Barbarians"  or  Hill  People,  7iear  Fti-chow,  by  Rev.  F.  Ohlinger, 
Chinese  Recorder,  July,  1886,  pp.  265-268. — H.  C] 

Note  4. — Padre  Martini  long  ago  pointed  out  that  this  Quelinfu  is  Kien-ning  fu, 
on  the  upper  part  of  the  Min  River,  an  important  city  of  Fo-kien.  In  the  Fo-kien 
dialect  he  notices  that  /  is  often  substituted  for  n,  a  well-known  instance  of  which  is 
Liatnpoo,  the  name  applied  by  F.  M.  Pinto  and  the  old  Portuguese  to  Ningpo. 

[Mr.  Phillips  writes  {T.  Pao,  I.  p.  224)  :  "From  Pucheng  to  Kien-Ning-Foo  the 
distance  is  290  //,  all  down  stream.  I  consider  this  to  have  been  the  route  followed 
by  Polo.  His  calling  Kien-Ning-Foo,  Que-lin-fu,  is  quite  correct,  as  far  as  the 
Ling  is  concerned,  the  people  of  the  city  and  of  the  whole  southern  province  pro- 
nounce Ning,  Ling.  The  Ramusian  version  gives  very  full  particulars  regarding  the 
manufactures  of  Kien-Ning-Foo,  which  are  not  found  in  the  other  texts  ;  for  example, 
silk  is  said  in  this  version  to  be  woven  into  various  stuffs,  and  further :  '  They  also 
make  much  cotton  cloth  of  dyed  thread  which  is  sent  all  over  Manzi.'  All  this  is 
quite  true.  Much  silk  was  formerly  and  is  still  woven  in  Kien-Ning,  and  the 
manufacture  of  cotton  cloth  with  dyed  threads  is  very  common.  Such  stuff  is 
called  Hung  Lu  Kin  'red  and  green  cloth.'  Cotton  cloth,  made  with  dyed  thread, 
is  also  very  common  in  our  day  in  many  other  cities  in  Fuh-Kien." — H.  C] 

In  Ramusio  the  bridges  are  only  "each  more  than  100  paces  long  and  8  paces 
wide."  In  Pauthier's  text  each  is  a  mile  long,  and  20  feet  wide.  I  translate  from 
the  G.  T. 

Martini  describes  one  beautiful  bridge  at  Kien-ning  fu  :  the  piers  of  cut  stone,  the 
superstructure  of  timber,  roofed  in  and  lined  with  houses  on  each  side  (pp.  112-113). 
If  this  was  over  the  Min  it  would  seem  not  to  survive.  A  recent  journal  says  :  "  The 
river  is  crossed  by  a  bridge  of  boats,  the  remains  of  a  stone  bridge  being  visible  just 
above  water."     {Chinese  Recorder  (F^oochow),  August,  1870,  p.  65.) 

*  "  It  is  not  improbable  that  there  is  some  admixture  of  aboriginal  blood  in  the  actual  population 
(of  Fuh-Kien),  but  if  so,  it  cannot  be  much.  The  surnames  in  this  province  are  the  same  as  those  in 
Central  and  North  China.  .  .  .  The  language  also  is  pure  Chinese  ;  actually  much  nearer  the 
ancient  form  of  Chinese  than  the  modern  Mandarin  dialect.  There  are  indeed  many  words  in  the 
vernacular  for  which  no  corresponding  character  has  been  found  in  the  literary  style  :  but  careful  in- 
vestigation is  gradually  diminishing  the  number."    (Note  by  Rev.  Dr.  C.  Douglas.) 

Chap.  LXXX.  THE  KINGDOM  OF  FUJU  2  29 

Note  5. — Galanga  or  Galangal  is  an  aromatic  root  belonging  to  a  class  of  drugs 
once  much  more  used  than  now.  It  exists  of  two  kinds  :  1.  Great  ox  Java  Galangal, 
the  root  of  the  Alpinia  Galanga.  This  is  rarely  imported  and  hardly  used  in  Europe 
in  modern  times,  but  is  still  found  in  the  Indian  bazaars.  2.  Lesser  or  China 
Galangal  is  imported  into  London  from  Canton,  and  is  still  sold  by  druggists  in 
England.  Its  botanical  origin  is  unknown.  It  is  produced  in  Shan-si,  Fo-kien,  and 
Kwang-tung,  and  is  called  by  the  Chinese  Liang  Kiang  or  "  Mild  Ginger." 

["According  to  the  Chinese  authors  the  province  of  Sze-ch'wan  and  Han-chung 
(Southern  Shen-si)  were  in  ancient  times  famed  for  their  Ginger.  Ginger  is  still 
exported  in  large  quantities  from  Han  k'ou.  It  is  known  also  to  be  grown  largely 
in  the  southern  provinces. — Galingale  is  the  Lesser  or  Chinese  Galanga  of  commerce, 
Alpinia  officinarum  Hance."  {Bretschneider,  Hist,  of  Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  2.  See, 
Heyd,  Com.  Levant,  II.  616-618.)— H.  C] 

Galangal  was  much  used  as  a  spice  in  the  Middle  Ages.  In  a  syrup  for  a  capon, 
temp.  Rich.  II.,  we  find  ground-ginger,  cloves,  cinnamon  and  galingale.  "Galingale" 
appears  also  as  a  growth  in  old  English  gardens,  but  this  is  believed  to  have  been 
Cyperus  Longus,  the  tubers  of  which  were  substituted  for  the  real  article  under  the 
name  of  English  Galingale. 

The  name  appears  to  be  a  modification  of  the  Arabic  Kulijan,  Pers.  Kholinjdti, 
and  these  from  the  Sanskrit  Kulanjana.  {Mr.  Hanbury ;  China  Comm.- Guide, 
120;  Eng.  Cycl.  ;  Garcia,  f.  63;   Wright,  p.  352.) 

Note  6. — The  cat  in  question  is  no  doubt  the  fleecy  Persian.  These  fowls, — but 
white, — are  mentioned  by  Odoric  at  Fu-chau  ;  and  Mr.  G.  Phillips  in  a  MS.  note  says 
that  they  are  still  abundant  in  Fo-kien,  where  he  has  often  seen  them  ;  all  that  he  saw 
or  heard  of  were  white.  The  Chinese  call  them  "velvet-hair  fowls."  I  believe  they 
are  well  known  to  poultry-fanciers  in  Europe.  [Gallus  Lanatus,  Temm.  See  note, 
p.  286,  of  my  edition  of  Odoric. — H.  C] 

Note  7. — The  times  assigned  in  this  chapter  as  we  have  given  them,  after  the 
G.  Text,  appear  very  short ;  but  I  have  followed  that  text  because  it  is  perfectly 
consistent  and  clear.  Starting  from  the  last  city  of  Kinsay  government,  the  traveller 
goes  six  days  south-east ;  three  out  of  those  six  days  bring  him  to  Kelinfu  ;  he  goes  on 
the  other  three  days  and  at  the  15th  mile  of  the  3rd  day  reaches  Unken ;  15  miles 
further  bring  him  to  Fuju.  This  is  interesting  as  showing  that  Polo  reckoned  his 
day  at  30  miles. 

In  Pauthier's  text  again  we  find  :  "  Sachiez  que  quand  on  est  ale"  six  journees, 
apres  ces  trois  que  je  vous  ay  dit,"  not  having  mentioned  trois  at  all  "on  treuve  la 
cite"  de  Quelifu.''''  And  on  leaving  Quelinfu  :  "  Sachiez  que  es  autres  trois  journees 
oultre  et  plus  xv.  milles  treuve  fen  une  cite"  qui  a  nom  Vuguen."  This  seems  to  mean 
from  Cugui  to  Kelinfu  six  days,  and  thence  to  Vuguen  (or  Unken)  three  and  a  half  days 
more.  But  evidently  there  has  been  bungling  in  the  transcript,  for  the  es  autre 
trois  journe'es  belongs  to  the  same  conception  of  the  distance  as  that  in  the  G.  T. 
Pauthier's  text  does  not  say  how  far  it  is  from  Unken  to  Fuju.  Ramusio  makes  six 
days  to  Kelinfu,  three  days  more  to  Unguem,  and  then  15  miles  more  to  Fuju  (which 
he  has  erroneously  as  Cdgiu  here,  though  previously  given  right,  Fugiu). 

The  latter  scheme  looks  probable  certainly,  but  the  times  in  the  G.  T.  are  quite 
admissible,  if  we  suppose  that  water  conveyance  was  adopted  where  possible. 

For  assuming  that  Cugiu  was  Fortune's  Chuchu  at  the  western  base  of  the  Bohea 
mountains  (see  note  3,  ch.  lxxix.),  and  that  the  traveller  reached  Tsun-ngan-hien, 
in  two  marches,  I  see  that  from  Tsin-tsun,  near  Tsun-ngan-hien,  Fortune  says  he 
could  have  reached  Fu-chau  in  four  days  by  boat.  Again  Martini,  speaking  of  the  skill 
with  which  the  Fo-kien  boatmen  navigate  the  rocky  rapids  of  the  upper  waters,  says 
that  even  from  Pu-ch'eng  the  descent  to  the  capital  could  be  made  in  three  days.  So 
the  thing  is  quite  possible,  and  the  G.  Text  may  be  quite  correct.  (See  Fortune,  II. 
171-183  and  210;  Mart,  no.)     A  party  which  recently  made  the  journey  seem  to 

23O  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

have  been  six  days  from  Hokeu  to  the  Wu-e-shan  and  then  five  and  a  half  days  by 
water  (but  in  stormy  weather)  to  Fu-chau.     {Chinese  Recorder,  as  above.) 

Note  8. — Pauthier  supposes  Unken,  or  Vugiien  as  he  reads  it,  to  be  Hukwan, 
one  of  the  Mens  under  the  immediate  administration  of  Fu-chau  city.  This  cannot  be, 
according  to  the  lucid  reading  of  the  G.  T.,  making  Unken  15  miles  from  the  chief 
city.  The  only  place  which  the  maps  show  about  that  position  is  Min-ts'ing  hien. 
And  the  Dutch  mission  of  1664- 1665  names  this  as  " Binkin,  by  some  called  Min- 
sing."     {Astley,  III.  461.) 

[Mr.  Phillips  writes  (T.  Pao,  I.  224-225):  "Going  downstream  from  Kien-Ning, 
we  arrive  first  at  Yen -Ping  on  the  Min  Main  River.  Eighty-seven  li  further  down  is 
the  mouth  of  the  Yiu-Ki  River,  up  which  stream,  at  a  distance  of  eighty  It,  is  Yiu-Ki 
city,  where  travellers  disembark  for  the  land  journey  to  Yung-chun  and  Chinchew. 
This  route  is  the  highway  from  the  town  of  Yiu-Ki  to  the  seaport  of  Chinchew.  This 
I  consider  to  have  been  Polo's  route,  and  Ramusio's  Unguen  I  believe  to  be  Yung- 
chun,  locally  known  as  Eng-chun  or  Ung-chun,  a  name  greatly  resembling  Polo's 
Unguen.  I  look  upon  this  mere  resemblance  of  name  as  of  small  moment  in 
comparison  with  the  weighty  and  important  statement,  that  '  this  place  is  remarkable 
for  a  great  manufacture  of  sugar.'  Going  south  from  the  Min  River  towards  Chin- 
chew, this  is  the  first  district  in  which  sugar-cane  is  seen  growing  in  any  quantity. 
Between  Kien-Ning- Foo  and  Fuchau  I  do  not  know  of  any  place  remarkable  for  the 
great  manufacture  of  sugar.  Pauthier  makes  How-Kuan  do  service  for  Unken  or 
Unguen,  but  this  is  inadmissible,  as  there  is  no  such  place  as  How-Kuan ;  it  is 
simply  one  of  the  divisions  of  the  city  of  Fuchau,  which  is  divided  into  two  districts, 
viz.  the  Min-Hien  and  the  How-Kuan-Hien.  A  small  quantity  of  sugar-cane  is,  I 
admit,  grown  in  the  How-Kuan  division  of  Fuchau-foo,  but  it  is  not  extensively  made 
into  sugar.  The  cane  grown  there  is  usually  cut  into  short  pieces  for  chewing  and 
hawked  about  the  streets  for  sale.  The  nearest  point  to  Foochow  where  sugar  is 
made  in  any  great  quantity  is  Yung-Foo,  a  place  quite  out  of  Polo's  route-  The 
great  sugar  manufacturing  districts  of  Fuh-Kien  are  Hing-hwa,  Yung-chun,  Chinchew, 
and  Chang-chau." — H.  C] 

The  Babylonia  of  the  passage  from  Ramusio  is  Cairo, — Babylon  of  Egypt,  the 
sugar  of  which  was  very  famous  in  the  Middle  Ages.  Zucchero  di  Bambellonia  is 
repeatedly  named  in  Pegolotti's  Handbook  (210,  311,  362,  etc.). 

The  passage  as  it  stands  represents  the  Chinese  as  not  knowing  even  how  to  get 
sugar  in  the  granular  form  :  but  perhaps  the  fact  was  that  they  did  not  know  how  to 
refine  it.  Local  Chinese  histories  acknowledge  that  the  people  of  Fo-kien  did  not 
know  how  to  make  fine  sugar,  till,  in  the  time  of  the  Mongols,  certain  men  from  the 
West  taught  the  art.*  It  is  a  curious  illustration  of  the  passage  that  in  India  coarse 
sugar  is  commonly  called  Chini,  "the  produce  of  China,"  and  sugar  candy  or 
fine  sugar  Misri,  the  produce  of  Cairo  {Babylonia)  or  Egypt.  Nevertheless,  fine  Misri 
has  long  been  exported  from  Fo-kien  to  India,  and  down  to  1862  went  direct  from 
Amoy.  It  is  now,  Mr.  Phillips  states,  sent  to  India  by  steamers  via  Hong-Kong. 
I  see  it  stated,  in  a  late  Report  by  Mr.  Consul  Medhurst,  that  the  sugar  at  this  day 
commonly  sold  and  consumed  throughout  China  is  excessively  coarse  and  repulsive 
in  appearance.  (See  Academy,  February,  1874,  p.  229.)  [We  note  from  the 
Returns  of  Trade  for  1900,  of  the  Chinese  Customs,  p.  467,  that  during  that  year 
1900,  the  following  quantities  of  sugar  were  exported  from  Amoy:  Brown,  89,116 
piculs,  value  204,969  Hk.  taels ;  white,  3,708  picnls,  20,024  Hk.  taels  ;  candy, 
53,504 piculs,  304,970  Hk.  taels. — H.  C] 

[Dr.  Bretschneider  {Hist,  of  Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  2)  remarks  that  "the  sugar  cane 
although  not  indigenous  in  China,  was  known  to  the  Chinese  in  the  2nd  century  B.C. 
It  is  largely  cultivated  in  the  Southern  provinces." — H.  C] 

*  Note  by  Mr.  C.  Phillips.  I  omit  a  corroborative  quotation  about  sugar  from  the  Turkish 
Geography,  copied  from  Klaproth  in  the  former  edition  ;  because  the  author,  Hajji  Khalfa,  used 
European  sources  ;  and  I  have  no  doubt  the  passage  was  derived  indirectly  from  Marco  Polo. 

Chap.  LXXXI.  THE   CITY   OF   FUJU  03 1 

The  fierce  lions  are,  as  usual,  tigers.  These  are  numerous  in  this  province,  and 
tradition  points  to  the  diversion  of  many  roads,  owing  to  their  being  infested  by 
tigers.       Tiger  cubs  are  often  offered  for  sale  in  Amoy.* 


Concerning  the  Greatness  of  the  City  of  Fuju. 

Now  this  city  of  Fuju  is  the  key  of  the  kingdom  which 
is  called  Chonka,  and  which  is  one  of  the  nine  great 
divisions  of  Manzi.1  The  city  is  a  seat  of  great  trade 
and  great  manufactures.  The  people  are  Idolaters  and 
subject  to  the  Great  Kaan.  And  a  large  garrison  is  main- 
tained there  by  that  prince  to  keep  the  kingdom  in  peace 
and  subjection.  For  the  city  is  one  which  is  apt  to  revolt 
on  very  slight  provocation. 

There  flows  through  the  middle  of  this  city  a  great 
river,  which  is  about  a  mile  in  width,  and  many  ships  are 
built  at  the  city  which  are  launched  upon  this  river.  Enor- 
mous quantities  of  sugar  are  made  there,  and  there  is  a 
great  traffic  in  pearls  and  precious  stones.  For  many 
ships  of  India  come  to  these  parts  bringing  many 
merchants  who  traffic  about  the  Isles  of  the  Indies.  For 
this  city  is,  as  I  must  tell  you,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Ocean 
Port  of  Zayton,2  which  is  greatly  frequented  by  the  ships 
of  India  with  their  cargoes  of  various  merchandize  ;  and 
from  Zayton  ships  come  this  way  right  up  to  the  city  of 
Fuju  by  the  river  I  have  told  you  of;  and  'tis  in  this  way 
that  the  precious  wares  of  India  come  hither.3 

The  city  is  really  a  very  fine  one  and  kept  in  good 
order,  and  all  necessaries  of  life  are  there  to  be  had  in 
great  abundance  and  cheapness. 

*Note  by  Mr.  G.  Phillips. 

232  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Note  i. — The  name  here  applied  to  Fo-kien  by  Polo  is  variously  written  as 
Choncha,  Chonka,  Concha,  Chouka.  It  has  not  been  satisfactorily  explained. 
Klaproth  and  Neumann  refer  it  to  Kiang-Che",  of  which  Fo-kien  at  one  time  of 
the  Mongol  rule  formed  a  part.  This  is  the  more  improbable  as  Polo  expressly 
distinguishes  this  province  or  kingdom  from  that  which  was  under  Kinsay,  viz. 
Kiang-Che.  Pauthier  supposes  the  word  to  represent  Kien-Kwe",  "the  Kingdom 
of  Kien,"  because  in  the  8th  century  this  territory  had  formed  a  principality  of 
which  the  seat  was  at  Kien-chau,  now  Kien-ning  fu.  This  is  not  satisfactory  either, 
for  no  evidence  is  adduced  that  the  name  continued  in  use. 

One  might  suppose  that  Choncha  represented  T' 'swan-chau,  the  Chinese  name  of 
the  city  of  Zayton,  or  rather  of  the  department  attached  to  it,  written  by  the  French 
Thshian-tche'ou,  but  by  Medhurst  Chzvanchezv,  were  it  not  that  Polo's  practice  of 
writing  the  term  tchiu  or  chau  by  giu  is  so  nearly  invariable,  and  that  the  soft 
ch  is  almost  always  expressed  in  the  old  texts  by  the  Italian  ci  (though  the 
Venetian   does   use   the  soft   ch).* 

It  is  again  impossible  not  to  be  struck  with  the  resemblance  of  Ckonka  to 
"Chung-kwe"  "the  Middle  Kingdom,"  though  lean  suggest  no  ground  for  the 
application  of  such  a  title  specially  to  Fo-kien,  except  a  possible  misapprehension. 
Chonkwe"  occurs  in  the  Persian  Hisioria  Cathaica  published  by  Miiller,  but  is  there 
specially  applied  to  North  China.      (See  Quat.  Fashid.,  p.  lxxxvi.) 

The  city  of  course  is  Fu-chau.  It  was  visited  also  by  Friar  Odoric,  who 
calls  it  Fuzo,  and  it  appears  in  duplicate  on  the  Catalan  Map  as  Fugio  and 
as  Fozo. 

I  used  the  preceding  words,  "the  city  of  course  is  Fu-chau,"  in  the  first  edition. 
Since  then  Mr.  G.  Phillips,  of  the  consular  staff  in  Fo-kien,  has  tried  to  prove  that 
Polo's  Fuju  is  not  Fu-chau  {Foochow  is  his  spelling),  but  T'swan-chau.  This  view  is 
bound  up  with  another  regarding  the  identity  of  Zayton,  which  will  involve  lengthy 
notice  under  next  chapter ;  and  both  views  have  met  with  an  able  advocate  in  the 
Rev.  Dr.  C.  Douglas,  of  Amoy.f  I  do  not  in  the  least  accept  these  views  about 

In  considering  the  objections  made  to  Fu-chau,  it  must  never  be  forgotten  that, 
according  to  the  spelling  usual  with  Polo  or  his  scribe,  Fuju  is  not  merely  "a  name 
with  a  great  resemblance  in  sound  to  Foochow  "  (as  Mr.  Phillips  has  it) ;  it  is  Mr. 
Phillips's  word  Foochow,  just  as  absolutely  as  my  word  Fu-chau  is  his  word  Foochow. 
(See  remarks  almost  at  the  end  of  the  Introductory  Essay.)  And  what  has  to  be 
proved  against  me  in  this  matter  is,  that  when  Polo  speaks  of  Fu-chau  he  does  not 
mean  Fu-chau.  It  must  also  be  observed  that  the  distances  as  given  by  Polo  (three 
days  from  Quelinfu  to  Fuju,  five  days  from  Fuju  to  Zayton)  do  correspond  well  with 
my  interpretations,  and  do  not  correspond  with  the  other.  These  are  very  strong 
fences  of  my  position,  and  it  demands  strong  arguments  to  level  them.  The  adverse 
arguments  (in  brief)  are  these  : 

(1.)  That  Fu-chau  was  not  the  capital  of  Fo-kien  ("  chief '  dou  reigne"). 

(2.)  That  the  River  of  Fu-chau  does  not  flow  through  the  middle  of  the  city  ("J>or 
le  mi  de  cest  cite""),  nor  even  under  the  walls. 

(3.)  That  Fu-chau  was  not  frequented  by  foreign  trade  till  centuries  afterwards. 

The  first  objection  will    be    more    conveniently    answered    under    next    chapter 

(P-  239). 

As  regards  the  second,  the  fact  urged  is  true.     But  even  now  a  straggling  street 

*  Dr.  Medhurst  calls  the  proper  name  of  the  city,  as  distinct  from  the  Fu,  Chinkang  {Did.  of  the 
Hok-keen  dialed).  Dr.  Douglas  has  suggested  Chinkang,  and  T'swan-kok,  i.e.  "  Kingdom  of 
T'swan  "  (chau),  as  possible  explanations  of  Chonka. 

t  Mr.  Phillips's  views  were  issued  first  in  the  Chinese  Recorder  (published  by  Missionaries  at 
Fu-chau)  in  1870,  and  afterwards  sent  to  the  R.  Geo.  Soc,  in  whose  Journal  for  1874  they  appeared, 
with  remarks  in  reply  more  detailed  than  I  can  introduce  here.  Dr.  Douglas's  notes  were  received 
after  this  sheet  was  in  proof,  and  it  will  be  seen  that  they  modify  to  a  certain  extent  my  views  about 
Zayton,  though  not  about  Fu-chau.  His  notes,  which  do  more  justice  to  the  question  than  Mr. 
Phillips's,  should  find  a  place  with  the  other  papers  in  the  Geog.  Society's  Journal. 

Chap.  LXXXI. 



extends  to  the  river,  ending  in  a  large  suburb  on  its  banks,  and  a  famous  bridge  there 
crosses  the  river  to  the  south  side  where  now  the  foreign  settlements  are.  There  may 
have  been  suburbs  on  that  side  to  justify  the  J>or  le  mi,  or  these  words  may  have  been 
a  slip  ;  for  the  Traveller  begins  the  next  chapter—"  When  you  quit  Fuju  (to  go  south) 
you  cross  the  river. "  *  , 

Touching  the  question  of  foreign  commerce,  I  do  not  see  that  Mr.  Phillips  s 
negative  evidence  would  be  sufficient  to  establish  his  point.  But,  in  fact,  the  words 
of  the  Geog.  Text  {i.e.  the  original  dictation),  which  we  have  followed,  do  not  (as  I 
now  see)  necessarily  involve  any  foreign  trade  at  Fu-chau,  the  impression  of  which  has 
been  derived  mainly  from  Ramusio's  text.  They  appear  to  imply  no  more  than  that, 
through  the  vicinity  of  Zayton,  there  was  a  great  influx  of  Indian  wares,  which  were 
brought  on  from  the  great  port  by  vessels  (it  may  be  local  junks)  ascending  the  river 

Scene  on  the  Min  River,  below  Fu-chau.     (From  Fortune.) 

"  <£  snchu s  ehe  pov  le  mi  be  eeste  eitc  bittt  rut  grant  Arm  <\t  bun  est  latere  nn 
mil,  et  eit  ecste  cite  $c  font  maintes  nes  \csqnc\z  najent  nor  eel  flttm." 

[Mr.  Phillips  gives  the  following  itinerary  after  Unguen  :  Kangiu  =  Chinchew  = 
Chuan-chiu  or  Ts'wan-chiu.  He  writes  (T.  Pao,  I.  p.  227)  :  "  When  you  leave  the 
city  of  Chinchew  for  Changchau,  which  lies  in  a  south-westerly,  not  a  south-easterly 
direction,  you  cross  the  river  by  a  handsome  bridge,  and  travelling  for  five  days  by 
way  of  Tung-an,  locally  Tang-oa,  you  arrive  at  Changchau.  Along  this  route  in 
many  parts,  more  especially  in  that  part  lying  between  Tang-oa  and  Changchau,  very 
large  camphor-trees  are  met  with.  I  have  frequently  travelled  over  this  road.  The 
road  from  Fuchau  to  Chinchew,  which  also  takes  five  days  to  travel  over,  is  bleak  and 
barren,  lying  chiefly  along  the  sea-coast,  and  in  winter  a  most  uncomfortable  journey. 

*  There  is  a  capital  lithograph  of  Fu-chau  in  Fortune's  Three  Years'  Wanderings  (1847),  in 
which  the  city  shows  as  on  the  river,  and  Fortune  always  so  speaks  of  it  ;  e.g.  (p.  369) :  "  The  river 
runs  through  the  suburbs."  I  do  not  know  what  is  the  worth  of  the  old  engravings  in  Montanus.^  A 
view  of  Fu-chau  in  one  of  these  (reproduced  in  Astley,  iv.  33)  shows  a  broad  creek  from  the  river 
penetrating  to  the  heart  of  the  city. 

t  The  words  of  the  G.  T.  are  these  :  il  II  hi  se  fait  grant  mercandies  de  perles  e  dautrcs  pieres 
presiose,  e  ce  est  porce  que  les  nes  de  Yndie  hi  vienent  maintes  con  maint  mercJiaant  qe  uscnt  en  les 
ysles  de  Endie  ;  et  encore  voz  di  que  ceste  ville  est pres  au  port  de  Caiton  en  la  mer  Osiane  ;  et  illuec 
vienent  viaintes  nes  de  Indie  con  maintes  mercandies,  e puis  de  cest part  vienent  les  nes  por  le  grant 
fluni  qcjc  voz  ai  dit  desoure  jusquc  a  la  cite  de  Fugui,  et  en  ceste  mainere  hi  vienent  chieres  cousse 
dc  Indie." 

2.34  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

But  few  trees  are  met  with  ;  a  banyan  here  and  there,  but  no  camphor-trees  along 
this  route  ;  but  there  is  one  extremely  interesting  feature  on  it  that  would  strike  the 
most  unobservant  traveller,  viz.  :  the  Loyang  bridge,  one  of  the  wonders  of  China." 
Had  Polo  travelled  by  this  route,  he  would  certainly  have  mentioned  it.  Pauthier 
remarks  upon  Polo's  silence  in  this  matter  :  "  It  is  surprising,"  says  he,  "  that  Marco 
Polo  makes  no  mention  of  it." — H.  C] 

Note  2.  —  The  G.  T.  reads  Caiton,  presumably  for  Caiton  or  Zayton.  In 
Pauthier's  text,  in  the  following  chapter,  the  name  of"  Zayton  is  written  Caiton  and 
Cayton,  and  the  name  of  that  port  appears  in  the  same  form  in  the  Letter  of  its 
Bishop,  Andrew  of  Perugia,  quoted  in  note  2,  ch.  lxxxii.  Pauthier,  however,  in  this 
place  reads  Kay  feu,  which  he  developes  into  a  port  at  the  mouth  of  the  River  Min.* 

Note  3. — The  Min,  the  River  of  Fu-chau,  "varies  much  in  width  and  depth. 
Near  its  mouth,  and  at  some  other  parts,  it  is  not  less  than  a  mile  in  width,  elsewhere 
deep  and  rapid."  It  is  navigable  for  ships  of  large  size  20  miles  from  the  mouth,  and 
for  good-sized  junks  thence  to  the  great  bridge.  The  scenery  is  very  fine,  and  is  com- 
pared to  that  of  the  Hudson.     {Fortune,  I.  281  ;  Chin.  Repos.  XVI.  483.) 


Of  the  City  and  Great  Haven  of  Zayton. 

Now  when  you  quit  Fuju  and  cross  the  River,  you  travel 
for  five  days  south-east  through  a  fine  country,  meeting 
with  a  constant  succession  of  flourishing  cities,  towns, 
and  villages,  rich  in  every  product.  You  travel  by 
mountains  and  valleys  and  plains,  and  in  some  places 
by  great  forests  in  which  are  many  of  the  trees  which 
give  Camphor.1  There  is  plenty  of  game  on  the  road, 
both  of  bird  and  beast.  The  people  are  all  traders  and 
craftsmen,  subjects  of  the  Great  Kaan,  and  under  the 
government  of  Fuju.  When  you  have  accomplished 
those  five  days'  journey  you  arrive  at  the  very  great  and 
noble  city  of  Zayton,  which  is  also  subject  to  Fuju. 

At  this  city  you  must  know  is  the  Haven  of  Zayton, 
frequented  by  all  the  ships  of  India,  which  bring  thither 
spicery  and  all  other  kinds  of  costly  wares.  It  is  the 
port  also   that   is   frequented    by    all    the    merchants    of 

*  It  is  odd  enough  that  Martini  (though  M.  Pauthier  apparently  was  not  aware  of  it)  does  show  a 
fort  called  Ilaitcu  at  the  mouth  of  the  Min  ;  but  I  believe  this  to  be  merely  an  accidental  coincidence. 
The  various  readings  must  be  looked  at  together  ;  that  of  the  G.  T.  which  I  have  followed  is  clear  in 
itself  and  accounts  for  the  others. 

Chap.  LXXXlt.     THE  CITY  AND  HAVEN  OF  ZAYTON  235 

Manzi,  for  hither  is  imported  the  most  astonishing 
quantity  of  goods  and  of  precious  stones  and  pearls, 
and  from  this  they  are  distributed  all  over  Manzi.2  And 
I  assure  you  that  for  one  shipload  of  pepper  that  goes  to 
Alexandria  or  elsewhere,  destined  for  Christendom,  there 
come  a  hundred  such,  aye  and  more  too,  to  this  haven 
of  Zayton  ;  for  it  is  one  of  the  two  greatest  havens  in 
the  world  for  commerce.3 

The  Great  Kaan  derives  a  very  large  revenue  from 
the  duties  paid  in  this  city  and  haven  ;  for  you  must 
know  that  on  all  the  merchandize  imported,  including 
precious  stones  and  pearls,  he  levies  a  duty  of  ten  per 
cent.,  or  in  other  words  takes  tithe  of  everything.  Then 
again  the  ship's  charge  for  freight  on  small  wares  is  30 
per  cent.,  on  pepper  44  per  cent.,  and  on  lignaloes, 
sandalwood,  and  other  bulky  goods  40  per  cent.,  so 
that  between  freight  and  the  Kaan's  duties  the  merchant 
has  to  pay  a  good  half  the  value  of  his  investment 
[though  on  the  other  half  he  makes  such  a  profit  that 
he  is  always  glad  to  come  back  with  a  new  supply  of 
merchandize].  But  you  may  well  believe  from  what  I 
have  said  that  the  Kaan  hath  a  vast  revenue  from  this 

There  is  a  great  abundance  here  of  all  provision  for 
every  necessity  of  man's  life.  [It  is  a  charming  country, 
and  the  people  are  very  quiet,  and  fond  of  an  easy  life. 
Many  come  hither  from  Upper  India  to  have  their  bodies 
painted  with  the  needle  in  the  way  we  have  elsewhere 
described,  there  being  many  adepts  at  this  craft  in  the 

Let  me  tell  you  also  that  in  this  province  there  is  a 
town  called  Tyunju,  where  they  make  vessels  of 
porcelain  of  all  sizes,  the  finest  that  can  be  imagined. 
They  make  it  nowhere  but  in  that  city,  and  thence  it  is 
exported  all  over  the  world.      Here  it  is  abundant  and 

236  MARCO    POLO      •  Book  II. 

very  cheap,  insomuch  that  for  a  Venice  groat  you  can 
buy  three  dishes  so  fine  that  you  could  not  imagine 

I  should  tell  you  that  in  this  city  [i.e.  of  Zayton) 
they  have  a  peculiar  language.  [For  you  must  know 
that  throughout  all  Manzi  they  employ  one  speech  and 
one  kind  of  writing  only,  but  yet  there  are  local 
differences  of  dialect,  as  you  might  say  of  Genoese, 
Milanese,  Florentines,  and  Neapolitans,  who  though 
they  speak  different  dialects  can  understand  one 

And  I  assure  you  that  the  Great  Kaan  has  as  large 
customs  and  revenues  from  this  kingdom  of  Chonka  as 
from  Kinsay,  aye  and  more  too.7 

We  have  now  spoken  of  but  three  out  of  the  nine 
kingdoms  of  Manzi,  to  wit  Yanju  and  Kinsay  and  Fuju. 
We  could  tell  you  about  the  other  six,  but  it  would 
be  too  long  a  business  ;  so  we  will  say  no  more  about 

And  now  you  have  heard  all  the  truth  about  Cathay 
and  Manzi  and  many  other  countries,  as  has  been  set 
down  in  this  Book  ;  the  customs  of  the  people  and  the 
various  objects  of  commerce,  the  beasts  and  birds,  the 
gold  and  silver  and  precious  stones,  and  many  other 
matters  have  been  rehearsed  to  you.  But  our  Book  as 
yet  does  not  contain  nearly  all  that  we  purpose  to  put 
therein.  For  we  have  still  to  tell  you  all  about  the  people 
of  India  and  the  notable  things  of  that  country,  which 
are  well  worth  the  describing,  for  they  are  marvellous 
indeed.  What  we  shall  tell  is  all  true,  and  without  any 
lies.  And  we  shall  set  dowm  all  the  particulars  in 
writing  just  as  Messer  Marco  Polo  related  them.  And 
he  well  knew  the  facts,  for  he  remained  so  long  in  India, 
and  enquired  so  diligently  into  the  manners  and  peculi- 
arities of  the  nations,  that  I   can  assure  you  there  never 


was  a  single  man  before  who  learned  so  much  and  beheld 
so  much  as  he  did. 

Note  i. — The  Laurus  (or  Cinnamomum)  Camphora,  a  large  timber  tree,  grows 
abundantly  in  Fo-kien.  A  description  of  the  manner  in  which  camphor  is  produced 
at  a  very  low  cost,  by  sublimation  from  the  chopped  twigs,  etc.,  will  be  found  in  the 
Lettres  Edifiantes,  XXIV.  19  seqq.  ;  and  more  briefly  in  Hedde  by  Rondot,  p.  35. 
Fo-kien  alone  has  been  known  to  send  to  Canton  in  one  year  4000  piculs  (of  133 \  lbs. 
each),  but  the  average  is  2500  to  3000  (id.). 


Note  2. — When  Marco  says  Zayton  is  one  of  the  two  greatest  commercial  ports 
in  the  world,  I  know  not  if  he  has  another  haven  in  his  eye,  or  is  only  using  an 
idiom  of  the  age.  For  in  like  manner  Friar  Odoric  calls  Java  "the  second  best  of 
all  Islands  that  exist";  and  Kansan  (or  Shen-si)  the  "second  best  province  in  the 
world,  and  the  best  populated."  But  apart  from  any  such  idiom,  Ibn  Batuta 
pronounces  Zayton  to  be  the  greatest  haven  in  the  world. 

Martini  relates  that  when  one  of  the  Emperors  wanted  to  make  war  on  Japan, 
the  Province  of  Fo-kien  offered  to  bridge  the  interval  with  their  vessels  ! 

Zayton,  as  Martini  and  Deguignes  conjectured,  is  T'swan-chau  fu,  or 
Chwan-chau  fu  (written  by  French  scholars  Thsiouan-iche'ou-foit),  often  called  in 
our  charts,  etc.,  Chine  hew,  a  famous  seaport  of  Fo-kien  about  100  miles  in  a 
straight  line  S.W.  by  S.  of  Fu-chau.  Klaproth  supposes  that  the  name  by  which 
it  was  known  to  the  Arabs  and  other  Westerns  was  corrupted  from  an  old  Chinese 
name  of  the  city,  given  in  the  Imperial  Geography,  viz.  Tseu-t'ung.*  Zaitim 
commended  itself  to  Arabian  ears,  being  the  Arabic  for  an  olive-tree  (whence 
Jerusalem  is  called  Zaituniyah)  ;  but  the  corruption  (if  such  it  be)  must  be  of  very 
old  date,  as  the  city  appears  to  have  received  its  present  name  in  the  7th  or  8th 

Abulfeda,  whose  Geography  was  terminated  in  1321,  had  heard  the  real  name 
of  Zayton:  " Shanju"  he  calls  it,  "known  in  our  time  as  Zaitun";  and  again: 
"Zaitun,  i.e.  Shanju,  is  a  haven  of  China,  and,  according  to  the  accounts  of 
merchants  who  have  travelled  to  those  parts,  is  a  city  of  mark.  It  is  situated  on 
a  marine  estuary  which  ships  enter  from  the  China  Sea.  The  estuary  extends 
fifteen  miles,  and  there  is  a  river  at  the  head  of  it.  According  to  some  who  have 
seen  the  place,  the  tide  flows.  It  is  half  a  day  from  the  sea,  and  the  channel 
by  which  ships  come  up  from  the  sea  is  of  fresh  water.  It  is  smaller  in  size  than 
Hamath,  and  has  the  remains  of  a  wall  which  was  destroyed  by  the  Tartars.  The 
people  drink  water  from  the  channel,  and  also  from  wells." 

Friar  Odoric  (in  China,  circa  1323- 1327,  who  travelled  apparently  by  land  from 
Chin-kalan,  i.e.  Canton)  says:  "Passing  through  many  cities  and  towns,  I  came 
to  a  certain  noble  city  which  is  called  Zayton,  where  we  Friars  Minor  have  two 

Houses In  this  city  is  great  plenty  of  all  things  that  are  needful  for  human 

subsistence.  For  example,  you  can  get  three  pounds  and  eight  ounces  of  sugar 
for  less  than  half  a  groat.  The  city  is  twice  as  great  as  Bologna,  and  in  it  are 
many  monasteries  of  devotees,   idol-worshippers   every  man   of  them.     In   one   of 

those  monasteries  which  I  visited  there  were  3000  monks The  place  is  one 

of  the  best  in  the  world.  .  .  .  Thence  I  passed  eastward  to  a  certain  city  called 
Fuzo.  .  .  .  The  city  is  a  mighty  fine  one,  and  standeth  upon  the  sea."  Andrew  of 
Perugia,  another  Franciscan,  was  Bishop  of  Zayton  from  1322,  having  resided  there 
from  1318.  In  1326  he  writes  a  letter  home,  in  which  he  speaks  of  the  place  as  "a 
great  city  on  the  shores  of  the  Ocean  Sea,  which  is  called  in  the  Persian  tongue 

*  Dr.  C.  Douglas  objects  to  this  derivation  of  Zayton,  that  the  place  was  never  called  Tseut'ung 
absolutely,  but  T' seu-t' ung-ching,  "city  of  prickly  T'ung-trees"  ;  and  this  not  as  a  name,  but  as  a 
polite  literary  epithet,  somewhat  like  "City  of  Palaces  "  applied  to  Calcutta, 


MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

Cayton  (Cayton)  ;  and  in  this  city  a  rich  Armenian  lady  did  build  a  large  and 
fine  enough  church,  which  was  erected  into  a  cathedral  by  the  Archbishop,"  and  so 
on.  He  speaks  incidentally  of  the  Genoese  merchants  frequenting  it.  John 
Marignolli,  who  was  there  about  1347,  calls  it  "a  wondrous  fine  sea-port,  and 
a  city  of  incredible  size,  where  our  Minor  Friars  have  three  very  fine  churches ; 
.  .  .  and  they  have  a  bath  also,  and  a  fondaco  which  serves  as  a  depot  for  all  the 
merchants."  Ibn  Batuta  about  the  same  time  says :  "  The  first  city  that  I  reached 
after  crossing  the  sea  was  Zaitun.  ...  It  is  a  great  city,  superb  indeed ;  and 
in  it  they  make  damasks  of  velvet  as  well  as  those  of  satin  (Kimkhd  and  Atlas), 
which  are  called  from  the  name  of  the  city  Zaituniah  ;  they  are  superior  to  the  stuffs 
of  Khansa  and  Khanbalik.  The  harbour  of  Zaitun  is  one  of  the  greatest  in  the  world 
— I  am  wrong  ;  it  is  the  greatest  !  I  have  seen  there  about  an  hundred  first-class  junks 
together  ;  as  for  small  ones,  they  were  past  counting.  The  harbour  is  formed  by  an 
estuary  which  runs  inland  from  the  sea  until  it  joins  the  Great  River." 

[Mr.  Geo.  Phillips  finds  a  strong  argument  in  favour  of  Changchau  being  Zayton 
in  this  passage  of  Ibn  Batuta.  He  says  [Jour,  China  Br.  R,  A.  Soc.  1888,  28-29)  : 
"  Changchow  in  the  Middle  Ages  was  the  seat  of  a  great  silk  manufacture,  and  the 
production  of  its  looms,  such  as  gauzes,  satins  and  velvets,  were  said  to  exceed  in 
beauty  those  of  Soochow  and  Hangchow.  According  to  the  Fuhkien  Gazetteer,  silk 
goods  under  the  name  of  Kinki,  and  porcelain  were,  at  the  end  of  the  Sung 
Dynasty,  ordered  to  be  taken  abroad  and  to  be  bartered  against  foreign  wares, 
treasure  having  been  prohibited  to  leave  the  country.  In  this  Kinki  I  think  we  may 
recognise  the  Kimkha  of  Ibn  Batuta.  I  incline  to  this  fact,  as  the  characters 
Kinki  are  pronounced  in  the  Amoy  and  Changchow  dialects  Khimkhi  and 
Kimkhia.  Anxious  to  learn  if  the  manufacture  of  these  silk  goods  still  existed  in 
Changchow,  I  communicated  with  the  Rev.  Dr.  Talmage  of  Amoy,  who,  through 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Ross  of  the  London  Mission,  gave  me  the  information  that  Kinki  was 
formerly  somewhat  extensively  manufactured  at  Changchow,  although  at  present  it 
was  only  made  by  one  shop  in  that  city.  Ibn  Batuta  tells  us  that  the  King  of 
China  had  sent  to  the  Sultan,  five  hundred  pieces  of  Kamkha,  of  which  one 
hundred  were  made  in  the  city  of  Zaitun.  This  form  of  present  appears  to  have  been 
continued  by  the  Emperors  of  the  Ming  Dynasty,  for  we  learn  that  the  Emperor 
Yunglo  gave  to  the  Envoy  of  the  Sultan  of  Quilon,  presents  of  Kinki  and  Shalo, 
that  is  to  say,  brocaded  silks  and  gauzes.  Since  writing  the  above,  I  found  that 
Dr.  Hirth  suggests  that  the  characters  Kinhua,  meaning  literally  gold  flower  in  the 
sense  of  silk  embroidery,  possibly  represent  the  mediaeval  Khimka.  I  incline  rather 
to  my  own  suggestion.  In  the  Pei-wen-yun-fu  these  characters  Kien-ki  are  fre- 
quently met  in  combination,  meaning  a  silk  texture,  such  as  brocade  or  tapestry. 
Curtains  made  of  this  texture  are  mentioned  in  Chinese  books,  as  early  as  the  com- 
mencement of  the  Christian  era." — H.  C] 

Rashiduddin,  in  enumerating  the  Sings  or  great  provincial  governments  of  the 
empire,  has  the  following  :  "  7th  Fuchu. — This  is  a  city  of  Manzi.  The  Sing  was 
formerly  located  at  Zaitun,  but  afterwards  established  here,  where  it  still  remains. 
Zaitun  is  a  great  shipping-port,  and  the  commandant  there  is  Bohauddin  Kandari." 
Pauthier's  Chinese  extracts  show  us  that  the  seat  of  the  Sing  was,  in  1281,  at 
T'swan-chau,  but  was  then  transferred  to  Fu-chau.  In  1282  it  was  removed  back  to 
T'swan-chau,  and  in  1283  recalled  to  Fu-chau.  That  is  to  say,  what  the  Persian 
writer  tells  us  of  Fujii  and  Zayton,  the  Chinese  Annalists  tell  us  of  Fu-chau  and 
T'swan-chau.     Therefore  Fuju  and  Zayton  were  respectively  Fu-chau  and  T'swan-chau. 

[In  the  Yuen-shi  (ch.  94),  Shi  po,  Maritime  trade  regulations,  it  "is  stated, 
among  other  things,  that  in  1277,  a  superintendency  of  foreign  trade  was  established 
in  Ts'uan-chou.  Another  superintendency  was  established  for  the  three  ports  of 
K'ing-yuan  (the  present  Ning-po),  Shang-hai,  and  Gan-p'u.  These  three  ports 
depended  on  the  province  of  Fu-kien,  the  capital  of  which  was  Ts'iian-chou. 
Farther  on,  the  ports  of  Hang-chou  and  Fu-chou  are  also  mentioned  in  connection 
with  foreign  trade.     Chang-chou  (in  Fu-kien,  near  Amoy)  is  only  once  spoken  of 


there.  We  meet  further  the  names  of  YYen-chou  and  Kuang-chou  as  seaports  for 
foreign  trade  in  the  Mongol  time.  But  Ts'tian-chou  in  this  article  on  the  sea-trade 
seems  to  be  considered  as  the  most  important  of  the  seaports,  and  it  is  repeatedly 
referred  to.  I  have,  therefore,  no  doubt  that  the  port  of  Zayton  of  Western 
mediaeval  travellers  can  only  be  identified  with  Ts'uan-chou,  not  with  Chang-chou. 
.  .  .  There  are  many  other  reasons  found  in  Chinese  works  in  favour  of  this  view. 
Gan-p'u  of  the  Yuen-ski  is  the  seaport  Ganfu  of  Marco  Polo."  {Bret Schneider,  Med. 
Res.  I.  pp.  186-187.) 

In  his  paper  on  Changchow,  the  Capital  of  Fuhkien  in  Mongol  Times,  printed  in 
the  Jour.  China  B.  R.  A.  Soc.  1888,  pp.  22-30,  Mr.  Geo.  Phillips  from  Chinese 
works  has  shown  that  the  Port  of  Chang-chau  did,  in  Mongol  times,  alternate  with 
Chinchew  and  Fu-chau  as  the  capital  of  Fuh-kien. — H.  C] 

Further,  Zayton  was,  as  we  see  from  this  chapter,  and  from  the  2nd  and  5th  of 
Bk.  III.,  in  that  age  the  great  focus  and  harbour  of  communication  with  India  and 
the  Islands.  From  Zayton  sailed  Kublai's  ill-fated  expedition  against  Japan.  From 
Zayton  Marco  Polo  seems  to  have  sailed  on  his  return  to  the  West,  as  did  John 
Marignolli  some  half  century  later.  At  Zayton  Ibn  Batuta  first  landed  in  China,  and 
from  it  he  sailed  on  his  return. 

All  that  we  find  quoted  from  Chinese  records  regarding  T'swan-chatt  corresponds 
to  these  Western  statements  regarding  Zayton.  For  centuries  T'swan-chau  was  the 
seat  of  the  Customs  Department  of  Fo-kien,  nor  was  this  finally  removed  till  1473. 
In  all  the  historical  notices  of  the  arrival  of  ships  and  missions  from  India  and  the 
Indian  Islands  during  the  reign  of  Kublai,  T'swan-chau,  and  T'swan-chau  almost 
alone,  is  the  port  of  debarkation  ;  in  the  notices  of  Indian  regions  in  the  annals  of  the 
same  reign  it  is  from  T'swan-chau  that  the  distances  are  estimated  ;  it  was  from 
T'swan-chau  that  the  expeditions  against  Japan  and  Java  were  mainly  fitted  out. 
(See  quotations  by  Pauthier,  pp.  559,  570,  604,  653,  603,  643;  Gaubil,  205,  217; 
Deguigncs,  III.  169,  175,  180,  187 ;  Chinese  Recorder  (Foochow),  1870,  pp.  45 

When  the  Portuguese,  in  the  16th  century,  recovered  China  to  European 
knowledge,  Zayton  was  no  longer  the  great  haven  of  foreign  trade ;  but  yet  the  old 
name  was  not  extinct  among  the  mariners  of  Western  Asia.  Giovanni  d'Empoli,  in 
1 515,  writing  about  China  from  Cochin,  says  :  "  Ships  carry  spices  thither  from  these 
parts.  Every  year  there  go  thither  from  Sumatra  60,000  cantars  of  pepper,  and 
15,000  or  20,000  from  Cochin  and  Malabar,  worth  15  to  20  ducats  a  cantar ;  besides 
ginger  (?),  mace,  nutmegs,  incense,  aloes,  velvet,  European  goldwire,  coral,  woollens, 
etc.  The  Grand  Can  is  the  King  of  China,  and  he  dwells  at  Zeiton."  Giovanni 
hoped  to  get  to  Zeiton  before  he  died.* 

The  port  of  T'swan-chau  is  generally  called  in  our  modern  charts  Chinchew. 
Now  Chincheo  is  the  name  given  by  the  old  Portuguese  navigators  to  the  coast  of 
Fo-kien,  as  well  as  to  the  port  which  they  frequented  there,  and  till  recently  I 
supposed  this  to  be  T'swan-chau.  But  Mr.  Phillips,  in  his  paper  alluded  to  at  p.  232, 
asserted  that  by  Chincheo  modern  Spaniards  and  Portuguese  designated  (not 
T'swan-chau  but)  Chang-chau,  a  great  city  60  miles  W.S.W.  of  T'swan-chau,  on  a 
river  entering  Amoy  Harbour.  On  turning,  with  this  hint,  to  the  old  maps  of  the 
17th  century,  I  found  that  their  Chincheo  is  really  Chang- chau.  But  Mr.  Phillips  also 
maintains  that  Chang-chau,  or  rather  its  port,  a  place  formerly  called  Gehkong  and 
now  Haiteng,  is  Zayton.  Mr.  Phillips  does  not  adduce  any  precise  evidence  to 
show  that  this  place  was  known  as  a  port  in  Mongol  times,   far  less  that  it   was 

*  Giovanni  did  not  get  to  Zayton  ;  but  two  years  later  he  got  to  Canton  with  Fernao  Perez,  was 
sent  ashore  as  Factor,  and  a  few  days  after  died  of  fever.  (De  Barros,  1 1  f .  II.  viii.)  The  way  in 
which  Hotero,  a  compiler  in  the  latter  part  of  the  16th  century,  speaks  of  Zayton  as  between  Canton 
and  Liampo  (Xingpo),  and  exporting  immense  quantities  of  porcelain,  salt  and  sugar,  looks  as  if  he 
had  before  him  modern  information  as  to  the  place.  He  likewise  observes,  "All  the  moderns  note 
the  port  of  Zaiton  between  Canton  and  Liampo."  Yet  I  know  no  other  modern  allusion  except 
Giovanni  d'Empoli's  ;  and  that  was  printed  only  a  few  years  ago.  (Botero,  Relazione  Universale. 
pp.  97,  228.) 

240  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

known  as  the  most  famous  haven  in  the  world  ;  nor  was  I  able  to  attach  great 
weight  to  the  arguments  which  he  adduced.  But  his  thesis,  or  a  modification  of  it, 
has  been  taken  up  and  maintained  with  more  force,  as  already  intimated,  by  the 
Rev.  Dr.  Douglas. 

The  latter  makes  a  strong  point  in  the  magnificent  character  of  Amoy  Harbour, 
which  really  is  one  of  the  grandest  havens  in  the  world,  and  thus  answers  better  to 
the  emphatic  language  of  Polo,  and  of  Ibn  Batuta,  than  the  river  of  T'swan-chau. 
All  the  rivers  of  Fo-kien,  as  I  learn  from  Dr.  Douglas  himself,  are  rapidly  silting  up  ; 
and  it  is  probable  that  the  river  of  Chinchew  presented,  in  the  13th  and  14th 
centuries,  a  far  more  impressive  aspect  as  a  commercial  basin  than  it  does  now. 
But  still  it  must  have  been  far  below  Amoy  Harbour  in  magnitude,  depth,  and 
accessibility.  I  have  before  recognised  this,  but  saw  no  way  to  reconcile  the  pro- 
posed deduction  with  the  positive  historical  facts  already  stated,  which  absolutely  (to 
my  mind)  identify  the  Zayton  of  Polo  and  Rashiduddin  with  the  Chinese  city  and 
port  of  T'swan-chau.  Dr.  Douglas,  however,  points  out  that  the  whole  northern 
shore  of  Amoy  Harbour,  with  the  Islands  of  Amoy  and  Quemoy,  are  within  the  Fu 
or  Department  of  T'swan-chau  ;  and  the  latter  name  would,  in  Chinese  parlance,  apply 
equally  to  the  city  and  to  any  part  of  the  department.  He  cites  among  other 
analogous  cases  the  Treaty  Port  Neuchwang  (in  Liao-tong).  That  city  really  lies 
20  miles  up  the  Liao  River,  but  the  name  of  Neuchwang  is  habitually  applied  by 
foreigners  to  Ying-tzu,  which  is  the  actual  port.  Even  now  much  of  the  trade  of 
T'swan-chau  merchants  is  carried  on  through  Amoy,  either  by  junks  touching,  or  by 
using  the  shorter  sea-passage  to  'An-hai,  which  was  once  a  port  of  great  trade,  and  is 
only  20  miles  from  T'swan-chau.*  With  such  a  haven  as  Amoy  Harbour  close 
by,  it  is  improbable  that  Kiiblai's  vast  armaments  would  have  made  rendezvous  in  the 
comparatively  inconvenient  port  of  T'swan-chau.  Probably  then  the  two  were 
spoken  of  as  one.  In  all  this  I  recognise  strong  likelihood,  and  nothing  incon- 
sistent with  recorded  facts,  or  with  Polo's  concise  statements.  It  is  even  possible 
that  (as  Dr.  Douglas  thinks)  Polo's  words  intimate  a  distinction  between  Zayton  the 
City  and  Zayton  the  Ocean  Port ;  but  for  me  Zayton  the  city,  in  Polo's  chapters, 
remains  still  T'swan-chau.  Dr.  Douglas,  however,  seems  disposed  to  regard  it  as 
Chang- chau. 

The  chief  arguments  urged  for  this  last  identity  are:  (1.)  Ibn  Batuta's 
representation  of  his  having  embarked  at  Zayton  "on  the  river,"  i.e.  on  the  internal 
navigation  system  of  China,  first  for  Sin-kalan  (Canton),  and  afterwards  for  Kinsay. 
This  could  not,  it  is  urged,  be  T'swan-chau,  the  river  of  which  has  no  communication 
with  the  internal  navigation,  whereas  the  river  at  Chang-chau  has  such  communication, 
constantly  made  use  of  in  both  directions  (interrupted  only  by  brief  portages);  (2.) 
Martini's  mention  of  the  finding  various  Catholic  remains,  such  as  crosses  and  images 
of  the  Virgin,  at  Chang-chau,  in  the  early  part  of  the  17th  century,  indicating  that  city 
as  the  probable  site  of  the  Franciscan  establishments. 

[I  remember  that  the  argument  brought  forward  by  Mr.  Phillips  in  favour  of 
Changchow  which  most  forcibly  struck  Sir  H.  Yule,  was  the  finding  of  various 
Christian  remains  at  this  place,  and  Mr.  Phillips  wrote  {four.  China  Br.  R.  A.  Soc. 
1888,  27-28):  "We  learn  from  the  history  of  the  Franciscan  missions  that  two 
churches  were  built  in  Zaitun,  one  in  the  city  and  the  other  in  a  forest  not  far  from 
the  town.  Martini  makes  mention  of  relics  being  found  in  the  city  of  Changchow, 
and  also  of  a  missal  which  he  tried  in  vain  to  purchase  from  its  owner,  who  gave  as  a 
reason  for  not  parting  with  it,  that  it  had  been  in  his  family  for  several  generations. 
According  to  the  history  of  the  Spanish  Dominicans  in  China,  ruins  of  churches  were 
used  in  rebuilding  the  city  walls,  many  of  the  stones  having  crosses  cut  on  them. 
Another  singular  discovery  relating  to  these  missions,  is  one  mentioned  by  Father 
Vittorio   Ricci,    which   would   seem    to   point   distinctly   to   the   remains   of  the 

*  Martini  says  of  Ganhai  ('An-Hai  or  Ngan-Hai),  "Ingens   hie  mercium  ac  Sinensium  naviurn 
copia  est     ....     ex  his  ('Anhai  and  Amoy)  in  totam  Indian!  merces  avehuntur." 




TSICCABT  CSAU  Chinoku,Marb 

Tung-jiajL  o 

Churvmo  B. 




Chang  chaij  g™0^  _  ^ 

0  \  Jjvttte>  (Jicemoy 


»T  PSB 

of  the 


to  illustrate  the  Identity  of 
Marco  Polos   ZAYTON. 




[  To  face  p.  240,  vol.  \\. 


Franciscan  church  built  by  Andre  de  Perouse  outside  the  city  of  Zaitun  :  "The 
heathen  of  Changchow,"  says  Ricci,  "found  buried  in  a  neighbouring  hill  called 
Saysou  another  cross  of  a  most  beautiful  form  cut  out  of  a  single  block  of  stone,  which 
I  had  the  pleasure  of  placing  in  my  church  in  that  city.  The  heathen  were  alike 
ignorant  of  the  time  when  it  was  made  and  how  it  came  to  be  buried  there." — H.  C] 

Whether  the  application  by  foreigners  of  the  term  Zayton,  may,  by  some  possible 
change  in  trade  arrangements  in  the  quarter-century  after  Polo's  departure  from 
China,  have  undergone  a  transfer,  is  a  question  which  it  would  be  vain  to  answer 
positively  without  further  evidence.  But  as  regards  Polo's  Zayton,  I  continue  in  the 
belief  that  this  was  T'swan-chau  and  its  haven,  with  the  admission  that  this  haven 
may  probably  have  embraced  that  great  basin  called  Amoy  Harbour,  or  part  of  it.* 

[Besides  the  two  papers  I  have  already  mentioned,  the  late  Mr.  Phillips  has 
published,  since  the  last  edition  of  Marco  Polo,  in  the  Tonng-Pao,  VI.  and  VII.:  Two 
Mediceval  Fuh-kien  Trading  Ports :  Chiian-chow  and  Chang-chow.  He  has  certainly 
given  many  proofs  of  the  importance  of  Chang-chau  at  the  time  of  the  Mongol 
Dynasty,  and  one  might  well  hesitate  (I  know  it  was  also  the  feeling  of  Sir  Henry 
Yule  at  the  end  of  his  life)  between  this  city  and  T'swan-chau,  but  the  weak  point  of 
his  controversy  is  his  theory  about  Fu-chau.  However,  Mr.  George  Phillips,  who  died 
in  T896,  gathered  much  valuable  material,  of  which  we  have  made  use  ;  it  is  only  fair 
to  pay  this  tribute  to  the  memory  of  this  learned  consul. — H.  C] 

Martini  [circa  1650)  describes  T'swan-chau  as  delightfully  situated  on  a  promontory 
between  two  branches  of  the  estuary  which  forms  the  harbour,  and  these  so  deep 
that  the  largest  ships  could  come  up  to  the  walls  on  either  side.  A  great  suburb, 
Loyang,  lay  beyond  the  northern  water,  connected  with  the  city  by  the  most 
celebrated  bridge  in  China.  Collinson's  Chart  in  some  points  below  the  town 
gives  only  1^  fathom  for  the  present  depth,  but  Dr.  Douglas  tells  me  he  has 
even  now  occasionally  seen  large  junks  come  close  to  the  city. 

Chinchew,  though  now  occasionally  visited  by  missionaries  and  others,  is  not 
a  Treaty  port,  and  we  have  not  a  great  deal  of  information  about  its  modern 
state.  It  is  the  head-quarters  of  the  T'i-tuh,  or  general  commanding  the  troops 
in  Fo-kien.  The  walls  have  a  circuit  of  7  or  8  miles,  but  embracing  much  vacant 
ground.  The  chief  exports  now  are  tea  and  sugar,  which  are  largely  grown  in  the 
vicinity,  tobacco,  china-ware,  nankeens,  etc.  There  are  still  to  be  seen  (as  I  learn 
from  Mr.  Phillips)  the  ruins  of  a  fine  mosque,  said  to  have  been  founded  by  the  Arab 
traders  who  resorted  thither.  The  English  Presbyterian  Church  Mission  has  had  a 
chapel  in  the  city  for  about  ten  years. 

Zayton,  we  have  seen  from  Ibn  Batuta's  report,  was  famed  for  rich  satins  called 
Zaituniah.  I  have  suggested  in  another  work  {Cathay,  p.  486)  that  this  may  be 
the  origin  of  our  word  Satin,  through  the  Zettani  of  mediaeval  Italian  (or  Aceytuni 
of  mediaeval  Spanish).  And  I  am  more  strongly  disposed  to  support  this,  seeing  that 
Francisque-Michel,  in  considering  the  origin  of  Satin,  hesitates  between  Satalin 
from  Satalia  in  Asia  Minor  and  Soudanin  from  the  Soudan  or  Sultan ;  neither 
half  so  probable  as  Zaiiuni.  I  may  add  that  in  a  French  list  of  charges  of  1352 
we  find  the  intermediate  form  Zatony.  Satin  in  the  modern  form  occurs  in 
Chaucer  :— 

"  In  Surrie  whilom  dwelt  a  compagnie 

Of  chapmen  rich,  and  therto  sad  and  trewe, 
That  wide  where  senten  their  spicerie, 
Clothes  of  gold,  and  satins  riche  of  hewe." 

— Man  of  Lawe's  Tale,  st.  6. 

[Hatzfeld  {Diet.)  derives  satin  from  the  Italian  setino ;  and  setino  from  seta, 
pig's  hair,  and  gives  the  following  example  :    "Deux  aunes  et  un  quartier  de  satin 

*  Dr.  Douglas  assures  me  that  the  cut  at  r).  245  is  an  excellent  view  of  the  entrance  to  the 
S.  channel  of  the  Chang-chau  River,  though  I  derived  it  from  a  professed  view  of  the  mouth  of  the 
Chinchew  River.     I  find  he  is  quite  right;  i>z.zListofIllust)-ations. 

VOL.    II.  0 

242  MARCO    POLO  Book  II. 

vremeil,"   in    Cajfaux,    Abattis   de   maisons  a    Gommegnies,    p.    17,    14th   century. 

The  Portuguese  have  setim.     But  I  willingly  accept  Sir  Henry  Yule's  suggestion  that 

••  • 
the  origin  of  the  word  is  Zayton  ;  cf.  zeitini   &  JW  olive. 

"  The  King  [of  Bijanagar]  ....  was  clothed  in  a  robe  of  zaitun  satin."  (Elliot, 
IV.  p.  113,  who  adds  in  &  r\otz  zaitun :  Olive-coloured?)  And  again  (Ibid.  p.  120)  : 
"  Before  the  throne  there  was  placed  a  cushion  of  zaituni  satin,  round  which  three 
rows  of  the  most  exquisite  pearls  were  sewn." — H.  C] 

(Recherches,  etc.,  II.  229  seqq.  ;  Martini,  circa  p.  no;  Klaproth,  Me"m.  II. 
209-210;  Cathay,  cxciii.  268,  223,  355,  486;  Empoli'm.  Append,  vol.  iii.  87  to 
Archivio  Storico  Italiano  ;  Douet  cfArcq.  p.  342;  Galv.,  Discoveries  of  the  World, 
Hak.  Soc.  p.  129;  Marsden,  1st  ed.  p.  372;  Appendix  to  Trade  Report  of  Amoy, 
for  1868  and  1900.     \_Heyd,  Com.  Levant,  II.  701-702.] 

Note  3. — We  have  referred  in  a  former  note  (ch.  lxxvii.  note  7)  to  an  apparent 
change  in  regard  to  the  Chinese  consumption  of  pepper,  which  is  now  said  to  be 
trifling.  We  shall  see  in  the  first  chapter  of  Bk.  III.  that  Polo  estimates  the 
tonnage  of  Chinese  junks  by  the  number  of  baskets  of  pepper  they  carried,  and 
we  have  seen  in  last  note  the  large  estimate  by  Giov.  d'Empoli  of  the  quantity  that 
went  to  China  in  15 15.  Galvano  also,  speaking  of  the  adventure  of  Fernao  Perez 
d'Andrade  to  China  in  15 17,  says  that  he  took  in  at  Pacem  a  cargo  of  pepper,  "as 
being  the  chief  article  of  trade  that  is  valued  in  China."  And  it  is  evident  from 
wrhat  Marsden  says  in  his  History  of  Stimatra,  that  in  the  last  century  some  tangible 
quantity  was  still  sent  to  China.  The  export  from  the  Company's  plantations  in 
Sumatra  averaged  1200  tons,  of  which  the  greater  part  came  to  Europe,  the  rest 
went  to  China. 

[Couto  says  also:  "Os  portos  principaes  do  Reyno  da  Sunda  sao  Banta,  Ache, 
Xacatara,  por  outro  nome  Caravao,  aos  quaes  vam  todos  os  annos  mui  perto  de  vinte 
sommas,  que  sao  embarcacoes  do  Chincheo,  huma  das  Provincias  maritimas  da  China, 
a  carregar  de  pimenta,  porque  da  este  Reyno  todos  cs  annos  oito  mil  bares  della,  que 
sao  trinta  mil  quintaes."     (Decada  IV.  Liv.  III.  Cap.  I.  167.)] 

Note  4. — These  tattooing  artists  were  probably  employed  mainly  by  mariners 
frequenting  the  port.  We  do  not  know  if  the  Malays  practised  tattooing  before 
their  conversion  to  Islam.  But  most  Indo-Chinese  races  tattoo,  and  the  Japanese 
still  "  have  the  greater  part  of  the  body  and  limbs  scrolled  over  with  bright-blue 
dragons,  and  lions,  and  tigers,  and  figures  of  men  and  women  tattooed  into  their 
skins  with  the  most  artistic  and  elaborate  ornamentation."  (Alcock,  I.  191.)  Probably 
the  Arab  sailors  also  indulged  in  the  same  kind  of  decoration.  It  is  common  among 
the  Arab  women  now,  and  Delia  Valle  speaks  of  it  as  in  his  time  so  much  in 
vogue  among  both  sexes  through  Egypt,  Arabia,  and  Babylonia,  that  he  had  not 
been  able  to  escape.     (I.  395.) 

Note  5. — The  divergence  in  Ramusio's  version  is  here  very  notable  :  "  The  River 
which  enters  the  Port  of  Zayton  is  great  and  wide,  running  with  great  velocity,  and  is 
a  branch  of  that  which  flows  by  the  city  of  Kinsay.  And  at  the  place  where  it  quits 
the  main  channel  is  the  city  of  Tingui,  of  which  all  that  is  to  be  said  is  that  there  they 
make  porcelain  basins  and  dishes.  The  manner  of  making  porcelain  was  thus  related 
to  him.  They  excavate  a  certain  kind  of  earth,  as  it  were  from  a  mine,  and  this 
they  heap  into  great  piles,  and  then  leave  it  undisturbed  and  exposed  to  wind,  rain, 
and  sun  for  30  or  40  years.  In  this  space  of  time  the  earth  becomes  sufficiently 
refined  for  the  manufacture  of  porcelain  ;  they  then  colour  it  at  their  discretion,  and 
bake  it  in  a  furnace.  Those  who  excavate  the  clay  do  so  always  therefore  for  their 
sons  and  grandsons.  The  articles  are  so  cheap  in  that  city  that  you  get  8  bowls  for  a 
Venice  groat." 

Ibn  Batuta  speaks  of  porcelain  as  manufactured  at  Zayton ;  indeed  he  says 
positively  (and  wrongly) :   "  Porcelain  is  made  nowhere  in  China  except  in  the  cities 


of  Zaitun  and  Sinkalan"  (Canton).  A  good  deal  of  China  ware  in  modern  times  is 
made  in  Fo-kien  and  Canton  provinces,  and  it  is  still  an  article  of  export  from 
T'swan-chau  and  Amoy ;  but  it  is  only  of  a  very  ordinary  kind.  Pakwiha,  between 
Amoy  and  Chang-chau,  is  mentioned  in  the  Chinese  Commercial  Guide  (p.  1 14)  as 
now  the  place  where  the  coarse  blue  ware,  so  largely  exported  to  India,  etc.,  is 
largely  manufactured ;  and  Phillips  mentions  Tung-'an  (about  half-way  between 
T'swan-chau  and  Chang-chau)  as  a  great  seat  of  this  manufacture. 

Looking,  however,  to  the  Ramusian  interpolations,  which  do  not  indicate  a  locality 
necessarily  near  Zayton,  or  even  in  Fo-kien,  it  is  possible  that  Murray  is  right  in 
supposing  the  place  intended  in  these  to  be  really  King-ie  chin  in  Kiang-si,  the  great 
seat  of  the  manufacture  of  genuine  porcelain,  or  rather  its  chief  mart  Jau-CHAU  fu  on 
the  P'o-yang  Lake. 

The  geographical  indication  of  this  city  of  porcelain,  as  at  the  place  where  a 
branch  of  the  River  of  Kinsay  flows  off  towards  Zayton,  points  to  a  notion  prevalent 
in  the  Middle  Ages  as  to  the  interdivergence  of  rivers  in  general,  and  especially  of 
Chinese  rivers.  This  notion  will  be  found  well  embodied  in  the  Catalan  Map,  and 
something  like  it  in  the  maps  of  the  Chinese  themselves  ;*  it  is  a  ruling  idea  with  Ibn 
Batuta,  who,  as  we  have  seen  (in  note  2),  speaks  of  the  River  of  Zayton  as  connected 
in  the  interior  with  "the  Great  River,"  and  who  travels  by  this  waterway  accordingly 
from  Zayton  to  Kinsay,  taking  no  notice  of  the  mountains  of  Fo-kien.  So  also  {supra, 
p.  175)  Rashiduddin  had  been  led  to  suppose  that  the  Great  Canal  extended  to 
Zayton.  With  apparently  the  same  idea  of  one  Great  River  of  China  with  many 
ramifications,  Abulfeda  places  most  of  the  great  cities  of  China  upon  "The  River." 
The  "  Great  River  of  China,"  with  its  branches  to  Kinsay,  is  alluded  to  in  a  like  spirit 
by  Wassaf  {supra,  p.  213).     Polo  has  already  indicated  the  same  idea  (p.  219). 

Assuming  this  as  the  notion  involved  in  the  passage  from  Ramusio,  the  position 
of  Jau-chau  might  be  fairly  described  as  that  of  Tingui  is  therein,  standing  as  it  does 
on  the  P'o-yang  Lake,  from  which  there  is  such  a  ramification  of  internal  navigation, 
e.g.  to  Kinsay  or  Hang-chau  fu  directly  by  Kwansin,  the  Chang-shan  portage  already 
referred  to  {supra,  p.  222),  and  the  Ts'ien  T'ang  (and  this  is  the  Kinsay  River  line  to 
which  I  imagine  Polo  here  to  refer),  or  circuitously  by  the  Yang-tzu  and  Great  Canal ; 
to  Canton  by  the  portage  of  the  Meiling  Pass ;  and  to  the  cities  of  Fo-kien  either  by 
the  Kwansin  River  or  by  Kian-chan  fu,  further  south,  with  a  portage  in  each  case 
across  the  Fo-kien  mountains.  None  of  our  maps  give  any  idea  of  the  extent  of 
internal  navigation  in  China.     (See  Klaproth,  Mim.  vol.  iii.) 

The  story  of  the  life-long  period  during  which  the  porcelain  clay  was  exposed  to 
temper  long  held  its  ground,  and  probably  was  only  dispelled  by  the  publication  of 
the  details  of  the  King-te  chen  manufacture  by  Pere  d'Entrecolles  in  the  Lettres 

Note  6. — The  meagre  statement  in  the  French  texts  shows  merely  that  Polo  had 
heard  of  the  Fo-kien  dialect.  The  addition  from  Ramusio  shows  further  that  he  was 
aware  of  the  unity  of  the  written  character  throughout  China,  but  gives  no  indication 
of  knowledge  of  its  peculiar  principles,  nor  of  the  extent  of  difference  in  the  spoken 
dialects.  Even  different  districts  of  Fo-kien,  according  to  Martini,  use  dialects  so 
different  that  they  understand  each  other  with  difficulty  (108). 

[Mendoza  already  said  :  "  It  is  an  admirable  thing  to  consider  how  that  in  that 
kingdome  they  doo  speake  manie  languages,  the  one  differing  from  the  other :  yet 
generallie  in  writing  they  doo  understand  one  the  other,  and  in  speaking  not." 
{Parke's  Transl.  p.  93.)] 

Professor  Kidd,  speaking  of  his  instructors  in  the  Mandarin  and  Fo-kien  dialects 
respectively,  says:  "The  teachers  in  both  cases  read  the  same  books,  composed  in 
the  same  style,  and  attached  precisely  the  same  ideas  to  the  written  symbols,  but 

*  In  a  modern  Chinese  geographical  work  abstracted  by  Mr.  Laidlay,  we  are  told  that  the  great 
river  of  Tsim-lo,  or  Siam,  "  penetrates  to  a  branch  of  the  Hwang-Ho."  (/.  A.  S.  B.  XVII.  Pt.  I. 

VOL.    II.  Q    2 

244  MARCO   POLO  Book  II. 

could  not  understand  each  other  in  conversation."  Moreover,  besides  these  sounds 
attaching  to  the  Chinese  characters  when  readin  the  dialect  of  Fo-kien,  thus  discrepant 
from  the  sounds  used  in  reading  the  same  characters  in  the  Mandarin  dialect,  yet 
another  class  of  sounds  is  used  to  express  the  same  ideas  in  the  Fo-kien  dialect  when 
it  is  used  colloquially  and  without  reference  to  written  symbols  !  {KidoC s  China,  etc., 
pp.  21-23.) 

The  term  Fokien  dialect  in  the  preceding  passage  is  ambiguous,  as  will  be  seen 
from  the  following  remarks,  which  have  been  derived  from  the  Preface  and  Appendices 
to  the  Rev.  Dr.  Douglas's  Dictionary  of  the  Spoken  Language  of  Amoy,*  and  which 
throw  a  distinct  light  on  the  subject  of  this  note  : — 

"The  vernacular  or  spoken  language  of  Amoy  is  not  a  mere  colloquial  dialect  or 
patois,  it  is  a  distinct  language — one  of  the  many  and  widely  differing  spoken 
languages  which  divide  among  them  the  soil  of  China.  For  these  spoken  languages 
are  not  dialects  of  one  language,  but  cognate  languages,  bearing  to  each  other  a 
relation  similar  to  that  between  Hebrew,  Arabic,  and  Syriac,  or  between  English, 
Dutch,  German,  and  Danish.  The  so-called  'written  language''  is  indeed  uniform 
throughout  the  whole  country,  but  that  is  rather  a  notation  than  a  language.  And 
this  'written  language,  as  read  aloud  from  books,  is  not  spoken  in  any  place  whatever, 
under  any  form  of  pronunciation.  The  most  learned  men  never  employ  it  as  a 
means  of  ordinary  oral  communication  even  among  themselves.  It  is,  in  fact,  a 
dead  language,  related  to  the  various  spoken  languages  of  China,  somewhat  as  Latin 
is  to  the  languages  of  Southern  Europe. 

"  Again  :  Dialects,  properly  speaking,  of  the  Amoy  vernacular  language  are 
found  {e.g.)  in  the  neighbouring  districts  of  Changchew,  Chinchew,  and  Tungan, 
aiid  the  language  with  its  subordinate  dialects  is  believed  to  be  spoken  by  8  or  10 
millions  of  people.  Of  the  other  languages  of  China  the  most  nearly  related  to  the 
Amoy  is  the  vernacular  of  Chau-chau-fu,  often  called  *  the  Swatow  dialect,'  from 
the  only  treaty-port  in  that  region.  The  ancestors  of  the  people  speaking  it 
emigrated  many  years  ago  from  Fuh-kien,  and  are  still  distinguished  there  by 
the  appellation  Hok-ld,  i.e.  people  from  Hok-kien  (or  Fuh-kien).  This  language 
differs  from  the  Amoy,  much  as  Dutch  differs  from  German,  or  Portuguese  from 

"In  the  Island  of  Hai-nan  (Hai-lam),  again  (setting  aside  the  central  aborigines), 
a  language  is  spoken  which  differs  from  Amoy  more  than  that  of  Swatow,  but  is  more 
nearly  related  to  these  two  than  to  any  other  of  the  languages  of  China. 

' '  In  Fuh-chau  fu  we  have  another  language  which  is  largely  spoken  in  the  centre 
and  north  of  Fuh-kien.  This  has  many  points  of  resemblance  to  the  Amoy,  but  is 
quite  unintelligible  to  the  Amoy  people,  with  the  exception  of  an  occasional  word  or 

"  Hing-hwa  fu  (Heng-hoa),  between  Fuh-chau  and  Chinchew,  has  also  a  language 
of  its  own,  though  containing  only  two  Hien  districts.  It  is  alleged  to  be  unintel- 
ligible both  at  Amoy  and  at  Fuhchau. 

"To  the  other  languages  of  China  that  of  Amoy  is  less  closely  related  ;  yet  all 
evidently  spring  from  one  common  stock.  But  that  common  stock  is  not  the  modern 
Mandarin  dialect,  but  the  ancient  form  of  the  Chinese  language  as  spoken  some 
3000  years  ago.  The  so-called  Mandarin,  far  from  being  the  original  form,  is 
usually  more  changed  than  any.  It  is  in  the  ancient  form  of  the  language  (naturally) 
that  the  relation  of  Chinese  to  other  languages  can  best  be  traced  ;  and  as  the  Amoy 
vernacular,  which  very  generally  retains  the  final  consonants  in  their  original  shape, 
has  been  one  of  the  chief  sources  from  which  the  ancient  form  of  Chinese  has  been 
recovered,  the  study  of  that  vernacular  is  of  considerable  importance." 

*  Chinese-English  Dictionary  of  the  Vernacular  or  Spoken  language  of  Amoy,  with  the 
principal  variations  of  the  Chang-chew  and  Chin-chew  Dialects;  by  the  Rev.  Carstairs  Douglas, 
M.A. ,  LL.D.,  Glasg.,  Missionary  of  the  Presb.  Church  in  England.  (Tri'ibner,  1873.)  I  must  note 
that  I  have  not  access  to  the  book  itself,  but  condense  these  remarks  from  extracts  and  abstracts  made 
by  a  friend  at  my  request. 

Chap.  LXXXII. 



Note  7. — This  is  inconsistent  with  his  former  statements  as  to  the  supreme  wealth 
of  Kinsay.     But  with  Marco  the  subject  in  hand  is  always//'*?  magnifico. 

Ramusio  says  that  the  Traveller  will  now  "begin  to  speak  of  the  territories, 
cities,  and  provinces  of  the  Greater,  Lesser,  and  Middle  India,  in  which  regions  he 
was  when  in  the  service  of  the  Great  Kaan,  being  sent  thither  on  divers  matters  of 
business  :  and  then  again  when  he  returned  to  the  same  quarter  with  the  queen  of 
King  Argon,  and  with  his  father  and  uncle,  on  his  way  back  to  his  native  land.  So 
he  will  relate  the  strange  things  that  he  saw  in  those  Indies,  not  omitting  others 
which  he  heard  related  by  persons  of  reputation  and  worthy  of  credit,  and  things  that 
were  pointed  out  to  him  on  the  maps  of  mariners  of  the  Indies  aforesaid." 

The  Kaan's  Fleet  leaving  the  Port  of  Zavton. 

[  To  face  p.  246,  vol.  ii. 




TO  c> 

o   -«? 

—     •  *-» 

.5  6 

u    ~* 

J?   « 


*^    si 

ft  * 

o  — > 

tf>   •<-> 


ft  ■" 











Of  the  Merchant  Ships  of  Manzi  that  sail  upon  the 

Indian   Seas. 

Having  finished  our  discourse  concerning  those  countries 
wherewith  our  Book  hath  been  occupied  thus  far,  we  are 
now  about  to  enter  on  the  subject  of  India,  and  to  tell 
you  of  all  the  wonders  thereof. 

And  first  let  us  speak  of  the  ships  in  which  merchants 
go  to  and  fro  amongst  the  Isles  of  India. 

These  ships,  you  must  know,  are  of  fir  timber.1  They 
have  but  one  deck,  though  each  of  them  contains  some 
50  or  60  cabins,  wherein  the  merchants  abide  greatly  at 
their  ease,  every  man  having  one  to  himself.  The  ship 
hath  but  one  rudder,  but  it  hath  four  masts  ;  and  some- 
times they  have  two  additional  masts,  which  they  ship 
and  unship  at  pleasure.2 

[Moreover  the  larger  of  their  vessels  have  some 
thirteen  compartments  or  severances  in  the  interior,  made 
with  planking  strongly  framed,  in  case  mayhap  the  ship 
should  spring  a  leak,  either  by  running  on  a  rock  or  by 
the  blow  of  a  hungry  whale  (as  shall  betide  ofttimes,  for 
when  the  ship  in  her  course  by  night  sends  a  ripple  back 
alongside  of  the  whale,  the  creature  seeing  the  foam 
fancies  there  is  something  to  eat  afloat,  and  makes  a  rush 


250  MARCO   POLO  Book  III. 

forward,  whereby  it  often  shall  stave  in  some  part  of  the 
ship).  In  such  case  the  water  that  enters  the  leak  flows 
to  the  bilge,  which  is  always  kept  clear  ;  and  the  mariners 
having  ascertained  where  the  damage  is,  empty  the  cargo 
from  that  compartment  into  those  adjoining,  for  the 
planking  is  so  well  fitted  that  the  water  cannot  pass  from 
one  compartment  to  another.  They  then  stop  the  leak 
and  replace  the  lading.3] 

The  fastenings  are  all  of  good  iron  nails  and  the  sides 
are  double,  one  plank  laid  over  the  other,  and  caulked 
outside  and  in.  The  planks  are  not  pitched,  for  those 
people  do  not  have  any  pitch,  but  they  daub  the  sides 
with  another  matter,  deemed  by  them  far  better  than 
pitch  ;  it  is  this.  You  see  they  take  some  lime  and  some 
chopped  hemp,  and  these  they  knead  together  with  a 
certain  wood-oil ;  and  when  the  three  are  thoroughly 
amalgamated,  they  hold  like  any  glue.  And  with  this 
mixture  they  do  paint  their  ships.4 

Each  of  their  great  ships  requires  at  least  200  mariners 
[some  of  them  300].  They  are  indeed  of  great  size,  for 
one  ship  shall  carry  5000  or  6000  baskets  of  pepper  [and 
they  used  formerly  to  be  larger  than  they  are  now].  And 
aboard  these  ships,  you  must  know,  when  there  is  no 
wind  they  use  sweeps,  and  these  sweeps  are  so  big  that 
to  pull  them  requires  four  mariners  to  each.5  Every 
great  ship  has  certain  large  barks  or  tenders  attached  to 
it ;  these  are  large  enough  to  carry  1000  baskets  of 
pepper,  and  carry  50  or  60  mariners  apiece  [some  of  them 
80  or  100],  and  they  are  likewise  moved  by  oars  ;  they 
assist  the  great  ship  by  towing  her,  at  such  times  as  her 
sweeps  are  in  use  [or  even  when  she  is  under  sail,  if  the 
wind  be  somewhat  on  the  beam  ;  not  if  the  wind  be  astern, 
for  then  the  sails  of  the  big  ship  would  take  the  wind  out 
of  those  of  the  tenders,  and  she  would  run  them  down]. 
Each  ship  has  two  [or  three]  of  these  barks,  but  one  is 


bigger  than  the  others.  There  are  also  some  ten  [small] 
boats  for  the  service  of  each  great  ship,  to  lay  out  the 
anchors,  catch  fish,  bring  supplies  aboard,  and  the  like. 
When  the  ship  is  under  sail  she  carries  these  boats  slung 
to  her  sides.  And  the  large  tenders  have  their  boats  in 
like  manner. 

When  the  ship  has  been  a  year  in  work  and  they  wish 
to  repair  her,  they  nail  on  a  third  plank  over  the  first  two, 
and  caulk  and  pay  it  well ;  and  when  another  repair  is 
wanted  they  nail  on  yet  another  plank,  and  so  on  year  by 
year  as  it  is  required.  Howbeit,  they  do  this  only  for  a 
certain  number  of  years,  and  till  there  are  six  thicknesses 
of  planking.  When  a  ship  has  come  to  have  six  planks 
on  her  sides,  one  over  the  other,  they  take  her  no  more 
on  the  high  seas,  but  make  use  of  her  for  coasting  as  long 
as  she  will  last,  and  then  they  break  her  up.6 

Now  that  I  have  told  you  about  the  ships  which  sail 
upon  the  Ocean  Sea  and  among  the  Isles  of  India,  let  us 
proceed  to  speak  of  the  various  wonders  of  India ;  but 
first  and  foremost  I  must  tell  you  about  a  number  of 
Islands  that  there  are  in  that  part  of  the  Ocean  Sea 
where  we  now  are,  I  mean  the  Islands  lying  to  the  east- 
ward. So  let  us  begin  with  an  Island  which  is  called 

Note  i. — Pine  [Pinus  sinensis']  is  [still]  the  staple  timber  for  ship-building  both 
at  Canton  and  in  Fo-kien.  There  is  a  very  large  export  of  it  from  Fu-chau,  and  even 
the  chief  fuel  at  that  city  is  from  a  kind  of  fir.  Several  varieties  of  pine-wood  are  also 
brought  down  the  rivers  for  sale  at  Canton.  (N.  and  Q.,  China  and  Japan,  I.  170 ; 
Fortune,  I.  286 ;  Doolittle. ) 

Note  2. — Note  the  one  rudder  again.  {Supra,  Bk.  I.  ch.  xix.  note  3.)  One  of  the 
shifting  masts  was  probably  a  bowsprit,  which,  according  to  Lecomte,  the  Chinese 
occasionally  use,  very  slight,  and  planted  on  the  larboard  bow. 

Note  3. — The  system  of  water-tight  compartments,  for  the  description  of  which 
we  have  to  thank  Ramusio's  text,  in  our  own  time  introduced  into  European  con- 
struction, is  still  maintained  by  the  Chinese,  not  only  in  sea-going  junks,  but  in  the 
larger  river  craft.     (See  Mid.  Kingd.  II.  25  ;  Blakiston,  88  ;  Deguignes,  I.  204-206.) 

Note  4. — This  still  remains  quite  correct,  hemp,  old  nets,  and  the  fibre  of  a 
certain  creeper  being  used  for  oakum.     The  wood-oil  is  derived  from  a  tree  called 

252  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

Tong-shu,  I  do  not  know  if  identical  with  the  wood-oil  trees  of  Arakan  and  Pegu 
{Dipterocarpus  laevis). 

["What  goes  under  the  name  of  'wood-oil '  to-day  in  China  is  the  poisonous  oil 
obtained  from  the  nuts  of  Ehcococca  verrucosa.  It  is  much  used  for  painting  and 
caulking  ships."     (Bretschneider,  Hist,  of  Bot.  Disc.  I.  p.  4.) — H.  C] 

Note  5. — The  junks  that  visit  Singapore  still  use  these  sweeps.  (/.  Ind.  Arch.  II. 
607.)  Ibn  Batuta  puts  a  much  larger  number  of  men  to  each.  It  will  be  seen  from 
his  account  below  that  great  ropes  were  attached  to  the  oars  to  pull  by,  the  bulk  of 
timber  being  too  large  to  grasp  ;  as  in  the  old  French  galleys  wooden  manettes,  or 
grips,  were  attached  to  the  oar  for  the  same  purpose. 

Note  6. — The  Chinese  sea-going  vessels  of  those  days  were  apparently  larger  than 
was  at  all  common  in  European  navigation.  Marco  here  speaks  of  200  (or  in 
Ramusio  up  to  300)  mariners,  a  large  crew  indeed  for  a  merchant  vessel,  but  not  so 
great  as  is  implied  in  Odoric's  statement,  that  the  ship  in  which  he  went  from  India  to 
China  had  700  souls  on  board.  The  numbers  carried  by  Chinese  junks  are 
occasionally  still  enormous.  "  In  February,  1822,  Captain  Pearl,  of  the  English 
ship  Indiana,  coming  through  Gaspar  Straits,  fell  in  with  the  cargo  and  crew  of  a 
wrecked  junk,  and  saved  198  persons  out  of  1600,  with  whom  she  had  left  Amoy, 
whom  he  landed  at  Pontianak.  This  humane  act  cost  him  n,ooo/.'''  (Quoted  by 
Williams  horn  Chin.  Rep.  VI.  149.) 

The  following  are  some  other  mediaeval  accounts  of  the  China  shipping,  all 
unanimous  as  to  the  main  facts. 

Friar Jordanns : — "The  vessels  which  they  navigate  to  Cathay  be  very  big,  and 
have  upon  the  ship's  hull  more  than  one  hundred  cabins,  and  with  a  fair  wind  they 
carry  ten  sails,  and  they  are  very  bulky,  being  made  of  three  thicknesses  of  plank,  so 
that  the  first  thickness  is  as  in  our  great  ships,  the  second  crosswise,  the  third  again 
longwise.     In  sooth,  'tis  a  very  strong  affair  !"  (55.) 

Nicolo  Conti : — "They  build  some  ships  much  larger  than  ours,  capable  of  con- 
taining 2000  butts  [vegetes),  with  five  masts  and  five  sails.  The  lower  part  is  con- 
structed with  triple  planking,  in  order  to  withstand  the  force  of  the  tempests  to  which 
they  are  exposed.  And  the  ships  are  divided  into  compartments,  so  formed  that  if 
one  part  be  shattered  the  rest  remains  in  good  order,  and  enables  the  vessel  to  com- 
plete its  voyage." 

Ibn  Batuta: — "  Chinese  ships  only  are  used  in  navigating  the  sea  of  China.  .  .  . 
There  are  three  classes  of  these  :  (1)  the  Large,  which  are  called  Jonuk  (sing.  Junk) ; 
(2)  the  Middling,  which  are  called  Zao  ;  and  (3)  the  Small,  called  Kakam.  Each  of 
the  greater  ships  has  from  twelve  sails  down  to  three.  These  are  made  of  bamboo 
laths  woven  into  a  kind  of  mat ;  they  are  never  lowered,  and  they  are  braced  this 
way  and  that  as  the  wind  may  blow.  When  these  vessels  anchor  the  sails  are  allowed 
to  fly  loose.  Each  ship  has  a  crew  of  1000  men,  viz.  600  mariners  and  400  soldiers, 
among  whom  are  archers,  target-men,  and  cross-bow  men  to  shoot  naphtha.  Each 
large  vessel  is  attended  by  three  others,  which  are  called  respectively  '  The  Half,' 
'  The  Third,'  and  '  The  Quarter.'  These  vessels  are  built  only  at  Zayton,  in  China, 
and  at  Smkalan  or  Sin-ul-Sm  {i.e.  Canton).  This  is  the  way  they  are  built.  They 
construct  two  walls  of  timber,  which  they  connect  by  very  thick  slabs  of  wood, 
clenching  all  fast  this  way  and  that  with  huge  spikes,  each  of  which  is  three  cubits  in 
length.  When  the  two  walls  have  been  united  by  these  slabs  they  apply  the  bottom 
planking,  and  then  launch' the  hull  before  completing  the  construction.  The  timbers 
projecting  from  the  sides  towards  the  water  serve  the  crew  for  going  down  to  wash  and 
for  other  needs.  And  to  these  projecting  timbers  are  attached  the  oars,  which  are 
like  masts  in  size,  and  need  from  10  to  15  men  *  to  ply  each  of  them.  There  are 
about  20  of  these  great  oars,  and  the  rowers  at  each  oar  stand  in  two  ranks  facing 
one  another.     The  oars  are  provided  with  two  strong  cords  or  cables  ;  each  rank  pulls 

*  Or  even  30  (p.  248). 


at  one  of  these  and  then  lets  go,  whilst  the  other  rank  pulls  on  the  opposite  cable. 
These  rowers  have  a  pleasant  chaunt  at  their  work  usually,  singing  Z#'  la  I  L<£  la  I  * 
The  three  tenders  which  we  have  mentioned  above  also  use  oars,  and  tow  the  great 
ships  when  required. 

"  On  each  ship  four  decks  are  constructed  ;  and  there  are  cabins  and  public  rooms 
for  the  merchants.  Some  of  these  cabins  are  provided  with  closets  and  other  con- 
veniences, and  they  have  keys  so  that  their  tenants  can  lock  them,  and  carry  with 
them  their  wives  or  concubines.  The  crew  in  some  of  the  cabins  have  their  children, 
and  they  sow  kitchen  herbs,  ginger,  etc.,  in  wooden  buckets.  The  captain  is  a  very 
great  Don ;  and  when  he  lands,  the  archers  and  negro-slaves  march  before  him  with 
javelins,  swords,  drums,  horns,  and  trumpets."  (IV.  pp.  91  seqq.  and  247  seqq.  com- 
bined.) Comparing  this  very  interesting  description  with  Polo's,  we  see  that  they 
agree  in  all  essentials  except  size  and  the  number  of  decks.  It  is  not  unlikely  that  the 
revival  of  the  trade  with  India,  which  Kiiblai  stimulated,  may  have  in  its  development 
under  his  successors  led  to  the  revival  also  of  the  larger  ships  of  former  times  to  which 
Marco  alludes. 


Description  of  the  Island  of  Chipangu,  and  the  Great  Kaan's 
Despatch  of  a  Host  against  it. 

Chipangu  is  an  Island  towards  the  east  in  the  high 
seas,  1500  miles  distant  from  the  Continent;  and  a  very 
great  Island  it  is.1 

The  people  are  white,  civilized,  and  well-favoured. 
They  are  Idolaters,  and  are  dependent  on  nobody.  And 
I  can  tell  you  the  quantity  of  gold  they  have  is  endless  ; 
for  they  find  it  in  their  own  Islands,  [and  the  King  does 
not  allow  it  to  be  exported.  Moreover]  few  merchants 
visit  the  countrv  because  it  is  so  far  from  the  main  land, 
and  thus  it  comes  to  pass  that  their  gold  is  abundant 
beyond  all  measure.2 

I  will  tell  you  a  wonderful  thing  about  the  Palace  of 
the  Lord  of  that  Island.  You  must  know  that  he  hath  a 
great  Palace  which  is  entirely  roofed  with  fine  gold,  just 
as  our  churches  are  roofed  with  lead,  insomuch  that  it 

*  Corresponding  to  the  "  Hevelowand  rumbelow  "  of  the  Christian  oarsmen.    (See  Cceurde  Lion  in 
IVeber,  II.  99.) 



Book  III. 

would  scarcely  be  possible  to  estimate  its  value.  More- 
over, all  the  pavement  of  the  Palace,  and  the  floors  of  its 
chambers,  are  entirely  of  gold,  in  plates  like  slabs  of  stone, 
a  good  two  fingers  thick  ;  and  the  windows  also  are  of 

Ancient  Japanese  Emperor.     (After  a  Native  Drawing;  from  Humbert.) 

gold,  so  that  altogether  the  richness  of  this  Palace  is  past 
all  bounds  and  all  belief.3 

They  have  also  pearls  in  abundance,  which  are  of  a 
rose  colour,  but  fine,  big,  and  round,  and  quite  as 
valuable  as  the  white  ones.  [In  this  Island  some  of  the 
dead  are  buried,  and  others  are  burnt.      When  a  body  is 


burnt,  they  put  one  of  these  pearls  in  the  mouth,  for  such 
is  their  custom.]  They  have  also  quantities  of  other 
precious  stones.4 

Cublay,  the  Grand  Kaan  who  now  reigneth,  having 
heard  much  of  the  immense  wealth  that  was  in  this  Island, 
formed  a  plan  to  get  possession  of  it.  For  this  purpose 
he  sent  two  of  his  Barons  with  a  great  navy,  and  a  great 
force  of  horse  and  foot.  These  Barons  were  able  and 
valiant  men,  one  of  them  called  Abacan  and  the  other 
Vonsainchin,  and  they  weighed  with  all  their  company 
from  the  ports  of  Zayton  and  Kinsay,  and  put  out  to  sea. 
They  sailed  until  they  reached  the  Island  aforesaid,  and 
there  they  landed,  and  occupied  the  open  country  and  the 
villages,  but  did  not  succeed  in  getting  possession  of  any 
city  or  castle.  And  so  a  disaster  befel  them,  as  I  shall 
now  relate. 

You  must  know  that  there  was  much  ill-will  between 
those  two  Barons,  so  that  one  would  do  nothing  to  help 
the  other.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  there  arose  a  north 
wind  which  blew  with  great  fury,  and  caused  great  damage 
along  the  coasts  of  that  Island,  for  its  harbours  were  few. 
It  blew  so  hard  that  the  Great  Kaan's  fleet  could  not 
stand  against  it.  And  when  the  chiefs  saw  that,  they 
came  to  the  conclusion  that  if  the  ships  remained  where 
they  were  the  whole  navy  would  perish.  So  they  all  got 
on  board  and  made  sail  to  leave  the  country.  But  when 
they  had  gone  about  four  miles  they  came  to  a  small  Island, 
on  which  they  were  driven  ashore  in  spite  of  all  they  could 
do  ;  and  a  large  part  of  the  fleet  was  wrecked,  and  a  great 
multitude  of  the  force  perished,  so  that  there  escaped  only 
some  30,000  men,  who  took  refuge  on  this  Island. 

These  held  themselves  for  dead  men,  for  they  were 
without  food,  and  knew  not  what  to  do,  and  they  were  in 
great  despair  when  they  saw  that  such  of  the  ships  as 
had  escaped  the  storm  were  making  full  sail  for  their  own 

256  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

country  without  the  slightest  sign  of  turning  back  to  help 
them.  And  this  was  because  of  the  bitter  hatred  between 
the  two  Barons  in  command  of  the  force  ;  for  the  Baron 
who  escaped  never  showed  the  slightest  desire  to  return 
to  his  colleague  who  was  left  upon  the  Island  in  the  way 
you  have  heard  ;  though  he  might  easily  have  done  so 
after  the  storm  ceased  ;  and  it  endured  not  long.  He  did 
nothing  of  the  kind,  however,  but  made  straight  for  home. 
And  you  must  know  that  the  Island  to  which  the  soldiers 
had  escaped  was  uninhabited ;  there  was  not  a  creature 
upon  it  but  themselves. 

Now  we  will  tell  you  what  befel  those  who  escaped  on 
the  fleet,  and  also  those  who  were  left  upon  the  Island. 

Note  i. — {-Chipangu  represents  the  Chinese  Jih-pe/i-hwe',  the  kingdom  of  Japan, 
the  name  Jih-pen  being  the  Chinese  pronunciation,  of  which  the  term  Nippon,  Nip  ho  n 
or  Nihon,  used  in  Japan,  is  a  dialectic  variation,  both  meaning  "the  origin  of  the 
sun,"  or  sun-rising,  the  place  the  sun  comes  from.  The  name  Chipangu  is  used  also 
by  Rashiduddin.      Our  Japan  was  probably  taken  from  the  Malay  Japi'in  or  Japdng. 

["The  name  Nihon  ('Japan')  seems  to  have  been  first  officially  employed  by  the 
Japanese  Government  in  a.d.  670.  Before  that  time,  the  usual  native  designation  of 
the  country  was  Yamato,  properly  the  name  of  one  of  the  central  provinces.  Yamato 
and  O-mi-kuni,  that  is,  '  the  Great  August  Country,'  are  the  names  still  preferred 
in  poetry  and  belles-lettres.  Japan  has  other  ancient  names,  some  of  which  are  of 
learned  length  and  thundering  sound,  for  instance,  Toyo-ashi-wara-no-chi-aki-no-naga- 
i-ho-aki-no-mizu-ho-no-ktmi,  that  is  'the  Luxuriant-Reed-Plains-the-Land-of-Fresh- 
Rice  -  Ears-of-a-Thousand-Autumns-of  -  Long  -  Five  -  Hundred  -  Autumns.'  "  {B.  H. 
Chamberlain,  Things  Japanese,  3rd  ed.  p.  222.) — II.  C] 

It  is  remarkable  that  the  name  Nipon  occurs,  in  the  form  of  Al-Ndfun,  in  the 
Ikhwdn-al-Safd,  supposed  to  date  from  the  10th  century.  (See  J.  A.  S.  B.  XVII. 
Pt.  I.  502.) 

[I  shall  merely  mention  the  strange  theory  of  Mr.  George  Collingridge  that 
Zipangu  is  Java  and  not  Japan  in  his  paper  on  The  Early  Cartography  of  Japan. 
{Geog.  Jour.  May,  1894,  pp.  403-409.)  Mr.  F.  G.  Kramp  {Japan  or  Java?),  in  the 
Tijdschrift  v.  het  K.  Nedcrl.  Aardrijkskundig  Gcnootschap,  1894,  and  Mr.  H.  Yule 
Oldham  {Geog.  Jour.,  September,  1894,  pp.  276-279),  have  fully  replied  to  this 
paper. — H.  C] 

Note  2. — The  causes  briefly  mentioned  in  the  text  maintained  the  abundance 
and  low  price  of  gold  in  Japan  till  the  recent  opening  of  the  trade.  (See  Bk.  II.  ch.  1. 
note  5.)  Edrisi  had  heard  that  gold  in  the  isles  of  Sila  (or  Japan)  was  so  abund?nt 
that  dog-collars  were  made  of  it. 

Note  3. — This  was  doubtless  an  old  "yarn,"  repeated  from  generation  to 
generation.  We  find  in  a  Chinese  work  quoted  by  Amyot :  "The  palace  of  the 
king  (of  Japan)  is  remarkable  for  its  singular  construction.  It  is  a  vast  edifice,  of 
extraordinary  height ;    it  has  nine  stories,  and  presents  on  all  sides  an  exterior  shining 

Chap.  II. 



with  the  purest  gold."     {Mem.  cone,  les  Chinois,  XIV.  55.)     See  also  a  like  story  in 
Kaempfer.     {H.  dujapon,  I.  139.) 

Note   4. — Kaempfer   speaks   of   pearls   being   found    in    considerable   numbers, 
chiefly  about  Satsuma,  and  in  the  Gulf  of  Omura,  in  Kiusiu.     From  what  Alcock 

Ancient  Japanese  Archer.    (From  a  Native  Drawing.) 

says  they  do  not  seem  now  to  be  abundant,     (lb.  I.  95  ;  Alcock,  I.  200.)    No  precious 
stones  are  mentioned  by  Kaempfer. 

Rose-tinted  pearls  are  frequent  among  the  Scotch  pearls,  and,  according  to 
Mr.  King,  those  of  this  tint  are  of  late  the  most  highly  esteemed  in  Paris.  Such 
pearls  were  perhaps  also  most  highly  esteemed  in  old  India ;  for  red  pearls 
(Lohitamuhti)  form  one  of  the  seven  precious  objects  which  it  was  incumbent  to  use 
in  the  adornment  of  Buddhistic  reliquaries,  and  to  distribute  at  the  building  of  a 
Dagoba.     (Nat.  Hist,  of  Free.  Stones,  etc.,  263  ;  h'oeppen,  I.  541.) 

VOL.    II.  R 

258  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 


What  further  came  of  the  Great  Kaan's  Expedition  against 


You  see  those  who  were  left  upon  the  Island,  some  30.000 
souls,  as  I  have  said,  did  hold  themselves  for  dead  men, 
for  they  saw  no  possible  means  of  escape.  And  when  the 
King  of  the  Great  Island  got  news  how  the  one  part  of  the 
expedition  had  saved  themselves  upon  that  Isle,  and  the 
other  part  was  scattered  and  fled,  he  was  right  glad 
thereat,  and  he  gathered  together  all  the  ships  of  his 
territory  and  proceeded  with  them,  the  sea  now  being 
calm,  to  the  little  Isle,  and  landed  his  troops  all  round  it. 
And  when  the  Tartars  saw  them  thus  arrive,  and  the  whole 
force  landed,  without  any  guard  having  been  left  on  board 
the  ships  (the  act  of  men  very  little  acquainted  with  such 
work),  they  had  the  sagacity  to  feign  flight.  [Now  the 
Island  was  very  high  in  the  middle,  and  whilst  the  enemy 
were  hastening  after  them  by  one  road  they  fetched  a 
compass  by  another  and]  in  this  way  managed  to  reach 
the  enemy's  ships  and  to  get  aboard  of  them.  This  they 
did  easily  enough,  for  they  encountered  no  opposition. 

Once  they  were  on  board  they  got  under  weigh 
immediately  for  the  great  Island,  and  landed  there, 
carrying  with  them  the  standards  and  banners  of  the 
King  of  the  Island  ;  and  in  this  wise  they  advanced  to 
the  capital.  The  garrison  of  the  city,  suspecting  nothing 
wrong,  when  they  saw  their  own  banners  advancing 
supposed  that  it  was  their  own  host  returning,  and  so 
gave  them  admittance.  The  Tartars  as  soon  as  they 
had  got  in  seized  all  the  bulwarks  and  drove  out  all  who 
were  in  the  place  except  the  pretty  women,  and  these 



they  kept  for  themselves.  In  this  way  the  Great  Kaan's 
people  got  possession  of  the  city. 

When  the  King  of  the  great  Island  and  his  army 
perceived  that  both  fleet  and  city  were  lost,  they  were 
greatly  cast  down  ;  howbeit,  they  got  away  to  the  great 
Island  on  board  some  of  the  ships  which  had  not  been 
carried  off.  And  the  King  then  gathered  all  his  host  to 
the  siege  of  the  city,  and  invested  it  so  straitly  that  no 
one  could  go  in  or  come  out.  Those  who  were  within 
held  the  place  for  seven  months,  and  strove  by  all  means 
to  send  word  to  the  Great  Kaan  ;  but  it  was  all  in  vain, 
they  never  could  get  the  intelligence  carried  to  him.  So 
when  they  saw  they  could  hold  out  no  longer  they 
gave  themselves  up,  on  condition  that  their  lives  should 
be  spared,  but  still  that  they  should  never  quit  the  Island. 
And  this  befel  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1279.1  The 
Great  Kaan  ordered  the  Baron  who  had  fled  so  disgrace- 
fully to  lose  his  head.  And  afterwards  he  caused  the 
other  also,  who  had  been  left  on  the  Island,  to  be  put  to 
death,  for  he  had  never  behaved  as  a  o-ood  soldier  ouorht 
to  do.2 

But  I  must  tell  you  a  wonderful  thing  that  I  had 
forgotten,  which  happened  on  this  expedition. 

You  see,  at  the  beginning  of  the  affair,  when  the 
Kaan's  people  had  landed  on  the  great  Island  and 
occupied  the  open  country  as  I  told  you,  they  stormed  a 
tower  belonging  to  some  of  the  islanders  who  refused  to 
surrender,  and  they  cut  off  the  heads  of  all  the  garrison 
except  eight ;  on  these  eight  they  found  it  impossible  to 
inflict  any  wound !  Now  this  was  by  virtue  of  certain 
stones  which  they  had  in  their  arms  inserted  between 
the  skin  and  the  flesh,  with  such  skill  as  not  to  show  at 
all  externally.  And  the  charm  and  virtue  of  these  stones 
was  such  that  those  who  wore  them  could  never  perish 
by  steel.  So  when  the  Barons  learned  this  they  ordered 
vol.  11.  k  2 

260  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

the  men  to  be  beaten  to  death  with  clubs.  And  after 
their  death  the  stones  were  extracted  from  the  bodies  of 
all,  and  were  greatly  prized.3 

Now  the  story  of  the  discomfiture  of  the  Great  Kaan's 
folk  came  to  pass  as  I  have  told  you.  But  let  us  have 
done  with  that  matter,  and  return  to  our  subject. 

Note  i. — Kublai  had  long  hankered  after  the  conquest  of  Japan,  or  had  at  least, 
after  his  fashion,  desired  to  obtain  an  acknowledgment  of  supremacy  from  the 
Japanese  sovereign.  He  had  taken  steps  in  this  view  as  early  as  1266,  but  entirely 
without  success.  The  fullest  accessible  particulars  respecting  his  efforts  are  con- 
tained in  the  Japanese  Annals  translated  by  Titsing  ;  and  these  are  in  complete 
accordance  with  the  Chinese  histories  as  given  by  Gaubil,  De  Mailla,  and  in 
Pauthier's  extracts,  so  far  as  these  three  latter  enter  into  particulars.  But  it  seems 
clear  from  the  comparison  that  the  Japanese  chronicler  had  the  Chinese  Annals  in 
his  hands. 

In  1268,  1269,  1270,  and  127 1,  Kublai's  efforts  were  repeated  to  little  purpose, 
and,  provoked  at  this,  in  1274,  he  sent  a  fleet  of  300  vessels  with  15,000  men  against 
Japan.     This  was  defeated  near  the  Island  of  Tsushima  with  heavy  loss. 

Nevertheless  Kublai  seems  in  the  following  years  to  have  renewed  his  attempts  at 
negotiation.  The  Japanese  patience  was  exhausted,  and,  in  1280,  they  put  one  of 
his  ambassadors  to  death. 

"As  soon  as  the  Moko  (Mongols)  heard  of  this,  they  assembled  a  considerable 
army  to  conquer  Japan.  When  informed  of  their  preparations,  the  Dairi  sent 
ambassadors  to  Ize  and  other  temples  to  invoke  the  gods.  Fosiono  Toki  Mune, 
who  resided  at  Kama  Kura,  ordered  troops  to  assemble  at  Tsukuzi  {Tsikouzen  of 
Alcock's  Map),  and  sent  .  .  .  numerous  detachments  to  Miyako  to  guard  the 
Dairi  and  the  Togou  (Heir  Apparent)  against  all  danger.  ...  In  the  first  moon 
(of  1281)  the  Mongols  named  Asikan  (Ngo  Tsa-han*),  Fan-bunko  (Fan  Wen-hu), 
Kinto  (Hintu),  and  Kosakio  (Hung  Cha-khieu),  Generals  of  their  army,  which  con- 
sisted of  100,000  men,  and  was  embarked  on  numerous  ships  of  war.  Asikan  fell 
ill  on  the  passage,  and  this  made  the  second  General  (Fan  Wen-hu)  undecided  as  to 
his  course. 

"Jth  Month.  The  entire  fleet  arrived  at  the  Island  of  Firando  (P'hing-hu),  and 
passed  thence  to  Goriosan  (Ulungshan).  The  troops  of  Tsukuzi  were  under  arms. 
1st  of  yd  Month.  A  frightful  storm  arose  ;  the  Mongol  ships  foundered  or  were 
sorely  shattered.  The  General  (Fan  Wen-hu)  fled  with  the  other  Generals  on  the 
vessels  that  had  least  suffered  ;  nobody  has  ever  heard  what  became  of  them. 
The  army  of  100,000  men,  which  had  landed  below  Goriosan,  wandered  about  for 
three  days  without  provisions  ;  and  the  soldiers  began  to  plan  the  building  of  vessels 
in  which  they  might  escape  to  China. 

"  Jth  day.  The  Japanese  army  invested  and  attacked  them  with  great  vigour. 
The  Mongols  were  totally  defeated.  30,000  of  them  were  made  prisoners  and 
conducted  to  Fakata  (the  Fokouoka  of  Alcock's  Map,  but  Fakatta  in  Kaempfer's), 
and  there  put  to  death.  Grace  was  extended  to  only  (three  men),  who  were  sent  to 
China  with  the  intelligence  of  the  fate  of  the  army.  The  destruction  of  so  numerous 
a  fleet  was  considered  the  most  evident  proof  of  the  protection  of  the  gods." 
(Titsingh,  pp.  264-265.)  At  p.  259  of  the  same  work  Klaproth  gives  another  account 
from  the  Japanese  Encyclopaedia  ;  the  difference  is  not  material. 

*  These  names  in  parentheses  are  the  Chinese  forms  ;    the  others,  the  Japanese  modes  of  reading 

Chap.  III. 



The  Chinese  Annals,  in  De  Mailla,  state  that  the  Japanese  spared  10,000  or 
12,000  of  the  Southern  Chinese,  whom  they  retained  as  slaves.  Gaubil  says  that 
30,000  Mongols  were  put  to  death,  whilst  70,000  Coreans  and  Chinese  were  made 

Kiiblai  was  loth  to  put  up  with  this  huge  discomfiture,  and  in  1283  he  made 
preparations  for  another  expedition  ;  but  the  project  excited  strong  discontent  ;  so 
strong  that  some  Buddhist  monks  whom  he  sent  before  to  collect  information,  were 

Japanese  in  fight  with  Chinese.    (After  Siebold,  from  an  ancient  Japanese  drawing.) 

"  ©r  enstnt  abmt  aste  cstowz  he  hi  btston&tnxt  bt  Us  Qtnz  boxx  (grant  ^paan." 

thrown  overboard  by  the  Chinese  sailors  ;  and  he  gave  it  up.  (De  Mailla,  IX.  409  ; 
418,  428  ;   Gaubil,  195  ;  Deguignes,  III.  177.) 

The  Abacan  of  Polo  is  probably  the  Asikan  of  the  Japanese,  whom  Gaubil  calls 
Argan.  Vonsainchin  is  perhaps  Fan  Wen-hu  with  the  Chinese  title  of  Tsiang-Kiun 
or  General  (elsewhere  represented  in  Polo  by  Sangon), — Fan  Tsiang-kiun. 

We  see  that,  as  usual,  whilst  Marco's  account  in  some  of  the  main  features 
concurs  with  that  of  the  histories,  he  gives  a  good  many  additional  particulars,  some 

262  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

of  which,  such  as  the  ill-will  between  the  Generals,  are  no  doubt  genuine.  But  of 
the  story  of  the  capture  of  the  Japanese  capital  by  the  shipwrecked  army  we  know  not 
what  to  make  :  we  can't  accept  it  certainly. 

[The  Korea  Review  publishes  a  History  of  Korea  based  upon  Korean  and  Chinese 
sources,  from  which  we  gather  some  interesting  facts  regarding  the  relations  of 
China,  Korea,  and  Japan  at  the  time  of  Kublai :  "In  1265,  the  seed  was  sown  that 
led  to  the  attempted  invasion  of  Japan  by  the  Mongols.  A  Koryu  citizen,  Cho  I. , 
found  his  way  to  Peking,  and  there,  having  gained  the  ear  of  the  emperor,  told  him 
that  the  Mongol  powers  ought  to  secure  the  vassalage  of  Japan.  The  emperor 
listened  favourably  and  determined  to  make  advances  in  that  direction.  He  therefore 
appointed  Heuk  Chuk  and  Eun  Hong  as  envoys  to  Japan,  and  ordered  them  to  go  by 
way  of  Koryu  and  take  with  them  to  Japan  a  Koryii  envoy  as  well.  Arriving  in 
Koryu  they  delivered  this  message  to  the  king,  and  two  officials,  Son  Kun-bi  and 
Kim  Ch'an,  were  appointed  to  accompany  them  to  Japan.  They  proceeded  by  the 
way  of  Koje  Harbor  in  Kyiing-sang  Province,  but  were  driven  back  by  a  fierce  storm, 
and  the  king  sent  the  Mongol  envoys  back  to  Peking.  The  Emperor  was  ill  satisfied 
with  the  outcome  of  the  adventure,  and  sent  Heuk  Chuk  with  a  letter  to  the  king, 
ordering  him  to  forward  the  Mongol  envoy  to  Japan.  The  message  which  he  was  to 
deliver  to  the  ruler  of  Japan  said,  '  The  Mongol  power  is  kindly  disposed  towards 
you  and  desires  to  open  friendly  intercourse  with  you.  She  does  not  desire  your 
submission,  but  if  you  accept  her  patronage,  the  great  Mongol  empire  will  cover  the 
earth.'  The  king  forwarded  the  message  with  the  envoys  to  Japan,  and  informed  the 
emperor  of  the  fact.  .  .  .  The  Mongol  and  Koryii  envoys,  upon  reaching  the 
Japanese  capital,  were  treated  with  marked  disrespect.  .  .  .  They  remained  five 
months,  .  .  .  and  at  last  they  were  dismissed  without  receiving  any  answer  either 
to  the  emperor  or  to  the  king."     (II.  pp.  37,  38.) 

Such  was  the  beginning  of  the  difficulties  with  Japan ;  this  is  the  end  of 
them:  "The  following  year,  1283,  changed  the  emperor's  purpose.  He  had  time 
to  hear  the  whole  story  of  the  sufferings  of  his  army  in  the  last  invasion ;  the  im- 
possibility of  squeezing  anything  more  out  of  Koryu,  and  the  delicate  condition  of 
home  affairs,  united  in  causing  him  to  give  up  the  project  of  conquering  Japan,  and  he 
countermanded  the  order  for  the  building  of  boats  and  the  storing  of  grain."  (II. 
p.  82.) 

Japan  was  then,  for  more  than  a  century  (a.d.  1205- 1333),  governed  really  in  the 
name  of  the  descendants  of  Yoritomo,  who  proved  unworthy  of  their  great  ancestor 
"  by  the  so-called  '  Regents '  of  the  Hojo  family,  while  their  liege  lords,  the  Shoguns, 
though  keeping  a  nominal  court  at  Kamakura,  were  for  all  that  period  little  better 
than  empty  names.  So  completely  were  the  Hojos  masters  of  the  whole  country,  that 
they  actually  had  their  deputy  governors  at  Kyoto  and  in  Kyushu  in  the  south-west, 
and  thought  nothing  of  banishing  Mikados  to  distant  islands.  Their  rule  was  made 
memorable  by  the  repulse  of  the  Mongol  fleet  sent  by  Kublai  Khan  with  the  purpose 
of  adding  Japan  to  his  gigantic  dominions.  This  was  at  the  end  of  the  13th  century, 
since  which  time  Japan  has  never  been  attacked  from  without."  (B.  H.  Chamberlain, 
Things  Japanese,  3rd  ed.,  1898,  pp.  208-209.) 

The  sovereigns  {Mikado,  Tenno)  of  Japan  during  this  period  were  :  Kameyama- 
Tenno  (1260;  abdicated  1274 ;  repulse  of  the  Mongols);  Go-l/da-Tenno  (1275; 
abdicated  1287);  Fushimi-T enno  (1288;  abdicated  1298);  and  Go-Fushimi  Tenno. 
The  shikken  (prime  ministers)  were  Hojo  Tokiyori  (1246) ;  Hojo  Tokimune  (1261) ; 
Hojo  Sadatoki  (1284).  In  1266  Prince  Kore-yasu,  and  in  1289  Hisa-akira,  were 
appointed  shogun. — H.  C.] 

Note  2. — Ram.  says  he  was  sent  to  a  certain  island  called  Zorza  (Chorcha?), 
where  men  who  have  failed  in  duty  are  put  to  death  in  this  manner  :  They  wrap  the 
arms  of  the  victim  in  the  hide  of  a  newly  flayed  buffalo,  and  sew  it  tight.  As  this 
dries  it  compresses  him  so  terribly  that  he  cannot  move,  and  so,  finding  no  help,  his 
life  ends  in  misery.     The  same  kind  of  torture  is  reported  of  different  countries  in 

Chap.  IV.  THE  SEA  OF  CHIN  263 

the  East :  e.g.  see  Makrizi,  Pt.  III.  p.  108,  and  Pottinger,  as  quoted  by  Marsden 
in  loco.  It  also  appears  among  the  tortures  of  a  Buddhist  hell  as  represented  in 
a  temple  at  Canton.     [Oliphanfs  Narrative,  I.  168.) 

Note  3. — Like  devices  to  procure  invulnerability  are  common  in  the  Indo- 
Chinese  countries.  The  Burmese  sometimes  insert  pellets  of  gold  under  the  skin 
with  this  view.  At  a  meeting  of  the  Asiatic  Society  of  Bengal  in  1868,  gold  and 
silver  coins  were  shown,  which  had  been  extracted  from  under  the  skin  of  a  Burmese 
convict  who  had  been  executed  at  the  Andaman  Islands.  Friar  Odoric  speaks  of  the 
practice  in  one  of  the  Indian  Islands  (apparently  Borneo) ;  and  the  stones  possessing 
such  virtue  were,  according  to  him,  found  in  the  bamboo,  presumably  the  siliceous 
concretions  called  Tabashir.  Conti  also  describes  the  practice  in  Java  of  inserting 
such  amulets  under  the  skin.  The  Malays  of  Sumatra,  too,  have  great  faith  in  the 
efficacy  of  certain  "stones,  which  they  pretend  are  extracted  from  reptiles,  birds, 
animals,  etc.,  in  preventing  them  from  being  wounded."  (See  Mission  to  Ava, 
p.  208;  Cathay,  94;  Conti,  p.  32;  Proc.  As.  Soc.  Beng.  1868,  p.  116;  Aitdcrtorfi 
Mission  to  Sumatra,  p.  323. ) 


Concerning  the  Fashion  of  the  Idols. 

Now  you  must  know  that  the  Idols  of  Cathay,  and  of 
Manzi,  and  of  this  Island,  are  all  of  the  same  class.  And 
in  this  Island  as  well  as  elsewhere,  there  be  some  of  the 
Idols  that  have  the  head  of  an  ox,  some  that  have  the 
head  of  a  pig,  some  of  a  dog,  some  of  a  sheep,  and  some 
of  divers  other  kinds.  And  some  of  them  have  four 
heads,  whilst  some  have  three,  one  growing  out  of 
either  shoulder.  There  are  also  some  that  have  four 
hands,  some  ten,  some  a  thousand  !  And  they  do  put 
more  faith  in  those  Idols  that  have  a  thousand  hands 
than  in  any  of  the  others.1  And  when  any  Christian 
asks  them  why  they  make  their  Idols  in  so  many  different 
guises,  and  not  all  alike,  they  reply  that  just  so  their 
forefathers  were  wont  to  have  them  made,  and  just  so 
they  will  leave  them  to  their  children,  and  these  to 
the  after  generations.  And  so  they  will  be  handed  down 
for    ever.      And    you   must    understand    that    the    deeds 

264  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

ascribed  to  these  Idols  are  such  a  parcel  of  devilries  as 
it  is  best  not  to  tell.  So  let  us  have  done  with  the 
Idols,  and  speak  of  other  things. 

But  I  must  tell  you  one  thing  still  concerning  that 
Island  (and  'tis  the  same  with  the  other  Indian  Islands), 
that  if  the  natives  take  prisoner  an  enemy  who  cannot 
pay  a  ransom,  he  who  hath  the  prisoner  summons  all 
his  friends  and  relations,  and  they  put  the  prisoner  to 
death,  and  then  they  cook  him  and  eat  him,  and  they 
say  there  is  no  meat  in  the  world  so  good ! — But  now  we 
W//have  done  with  that  Island  and  speak  of  something 

You  must  know  the  Sea  in  which  lie  the  Islands  of 
those  parts  is  called  the  Sea  of  Chin,  which  is  as  much 
as  to  say  "The  Sea  over  against  Manzi."  For,  in  the 
language  of  those  Isles,  when  they  say  Chin,  'tis  Manzi 
they  mean.  And  I  tell  you  with  regard  to  that  Eastern 
Sea  of  Chin,  according  to  what  is  said  by  the  experienced 
pilots  and  mariners  of  those  parts,  there  be  7459  Islands 
in  the  waters  frequented  by  the  said  mariners  ;  and  that 
is  how  they  know  the  fact,  for  their  whole  life  is  spent  in 
navigating  that  sea.  And  there  is  not  one  of  those 
Islands  but  produces  valuable  and  odorous  woods  like 
the  lignaloe,  aye  and  better  too  ;  and  they  produce  also 
a  great  variety  of  spices.  For  example  in  those  Islands 
grows  pepper  as  white  as  snow,  as  well  as  the  black  in 
great  quantities  In  fact  the  riches  of  those  Islands  is 
something  wonderful,  whether  in  gold  or  precious  stones, 
or  in  all  manner  of  spicery  ;  but  they  lie  so  far  off  from 
the  main  land  that  it  is  hard  to  get  to  them.  And  when 
the  ships  of  Zayton  and  Kinsay  do  voyage  thither  they 
make  vast  profits  by  their  venture.2 

It  takes  them  a  whole  year  for  the  voyage,  going  in 
winter  and  returning  in  summer.  For  in  that  Sea  there 
are  but  two  winds  that  blow,  the  one  that  carries   them 

Chap.  IV.  THE  SEA  OF  CHIN  265 

outward  and  the  other  that  brings  them  homeward  ; 
and  the  one  of  these  winds  blows  all  the  winter,  and  the 
other  all  the  summer.  And  you  must  know  these  regions 
are  so  far  from  India  that  it  takes  a  long  time  also  for 
the  voyage  thence. 

Though  that  Sea  is  called  the  Sea  of  Chin,  as  I  have 
told  you,  yet  it  is  part  of  the  Ocean  Sea  all  the  same. 
But  just  as  in  these  parts  people  talk  of  the  Sea  of 
England  and  the  Sea  of  Rochelle,  so  in  those  countries 
they  speak  of  the  Sea  of  Chin  and  the  Sea  of  India,  and 
so  on,  though  they  all  are  but  parts  of  the  Ocean.3 

Now  let  us  have  done  with  that  region  which  is  very 
inaccessible  and  out  of  the  way.  Moreover,  Messer 
Marco  Polo  never  was  there.  And  let  me  tell  you  the 
Great  Kaan  has  nothing  to  do  with  them,  nor  do  they 
render  him  any  tribute  or  service. 

So  let  us  go  back  to  Zayton  and  take  up  the  order  of 
our  book  from  that  point.4 

Note  i. — "  Several  of  the  (Chinese)  gods  have  horns  on  the  forehead,  or  wear 
animals'  heads ;  some  have  three  eyes.  .  .  .  Some  are  represented  in  the  Indian 
manner  with  a  multiplicity  of  arms.  We  saw  at  Yang-cheu  fu  a  goddess  with  thirty 
arms."     {Deguignes,  I.  364-366.) 

The  reference  to  any  particular  form  of  idolatry  here  is  vague.  But  in  Tibetan 
Buddhism,  with  which  Marco  was  familiar,  all  these  extravagances  are  prominent, 
though  repugnant  to  the  more  orthodox  Buddhism  of  the  South. 

When  the  Dalai  Lama  came  to  visit  the  Altun  Khan,  to  secure  the  reconversion  of 
the  Mongols  in  1577,  he  appeared  as  a  manifest  embodiment  of  the  Bodhisatva 
Avalokitecvara,  with/our  hands,  of  which  two  were  always  folded  across  the  breast  ! 
The  same  Bodhisatva  is  sometimes  represented  with  eleven  heads.  Manjushri 
manifests  himself  in  a  golden  body  with  1000  hands  and  1000  Pdtras  or  vessels,  in 
each  of  which  were  1000  figures  of  Sakya  visible,  etc.  {Koeppen,  II.  137  ;  Vassilyev, 

Note  2. — Polo  seems  in  this  passage  to  be  speaking  of  the  more  easterly  Islands 
of  the  Archipelago,  such  as  the  Philippines,  the  Moluccas,  etc.,  but  with  vague  ideas 
of  their  position. 

Note  3. — In  this  passage  alone  Polo  makes  use  of  the  now  familiar  name  of 
China.  "Chin,"  as  he  says,  "in  the  language  of  those  Isles  means  Manzi."  In 
fact,  though  the  form  Chin  is  more  correctly  Persian,  we  do  get  the  exact  form  China 
from  "the  language  of  those  Isles,"  i.e.  from  the  Malay.  China  is  also  used  in 

What  he  says  about  the  Ocean  and  the  various  names  of  its  parts  is  nearly  a 
version  of  a  passage  in  the  geographical  Poem  of  Dionysius,  ending  : — 
Ovtus  'ClKeavbs  wepidedpo/xe  yaiav  airo.crav 
Twos  iuv  /ecu  rota  ixer   avdpaaiv  ovv6^xa6,  '4\kwv  (42- J). 

266  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

So  also  Abulfeda  :  "  This  is  the  sea  which  flows  from  the  Ocean  Sea.  .  .  .  This  sea 
takes  the  names  of  the  countries  it  washes.  Its  eastern  extremity  is  called  the  Sea  of 
Chin  .  .  .  the  part  west  of  this  is  called  the  Sea  of  India  .  .  .  then  comes  the  Sea 
of  Fars,  the  Sea  of  Berbera,  and  lastly  the  Sea  of  Kolzum"  (Red  Sea). 

Note  4.- -The  Ramusian  here  inserts  a  short  chapter,  shown  by  the  awkward  way 
in  which  it  comes  in  to  be  a  very  manifest  interpolation,  though  possibly  still  an  inter- 
polation by  the  Traveller's  hand  : — 

"Leaving  the  port  of  Zayton  you  sail  westward  and  something  south-westward  for 
1500  miles,  passing  a  gulf  called  Cheinan,  having  a  length  of  two  months'  sail 
towards  the  north.  Along  the  whole  of  its  south-east  side  it  borders  on  the  province 
of  Manzi,  and  on  the  other  side  with  Anin  and  Coloman,  and  many  other  provinces 
formerly  spoken  of.  Within  this  Gulf  there  are  innumerable  Islands,  almost  all  well- 
peopled  ;  and  in  these  is  found  a  great  quantity  of  gold-dust,  which  is  collected  from 
the  sea  where  the  rivers  discharge.  There  is  copper  also,  and  other  things  ;  and  the 
people  drive  a  trade  with  each  other  in  the  things  that  are  peculiar  to  their  respective 
Islands.  They  have  also  a  traffic  with  the  people  of  the  mainland,  selling  them  gold, 
and  copper  and  other  things  ;  and  purchasing  in  turn  what  they  stand  in  need  of. 
In  the  greater  part  of  these  Islands  plenty  of  corn  grows.  This  gulf  is  so  great,  and 
inhabited  by  so  many  people,  that  it  seems  like  a  world  in  itself. " 

This  passage  is  translated  by  Marsden  with  much  forcing,  so  as  to  describe  the 
China  Sea,  embracing  the  Philippine  Islands,  etc.  ;  but,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  it  seems 
cleaily  to  indicate  the  writer's  conception  as  of  a  great  gulf  running  up  into  the 
continent  between  Southern  China  and  Tong-king  for  a  length  equal  to  two  months' 

The  name  of  the  gulf,  Cheinan,  i.e.  Heinan,  may  either  be  that  of  the  Island  so 
called,  or,  as  I  rather  incline  to  suppose,  'An-nan,  i.e.  Tong-king.  But  even  by 
Camoens,  writing  at  Macao  in  1559- 1560,  the  Gulf  of  Hainan  is  styled  an  unknown  sea 
(though  this  perhaps  is  only  appropriate  to  the  prophetic  speaker)  : — 

"  Ves,  corre  a  costa,  que  Champa  se  chama, 
Cuja  mata  he  do  pao  cheiroso  ornada  : 
Ves,  Cauchichina  esta  de  escura  fama, 
E  de  Ainao  ve  a  incognita  enseada  "  (X.  129). 

And  in  Sir  Robert  Dudley's  Arcano  del  Mare  (Firenze,  1647),  we  find  a  great  bottle- 
necked  gulf,  of  some  5^°  in  length,  running  up  to  the  north  from  Tong-king,  very  much 
as  I  have  represented  the  Gulf  of  Cheinan  in  the  attempt  to  realise  Polo's  Own 
Geography.     (See  map  in  Introductory  Essay.) 


Of  the  Great  Country  called  Chamba. 

You  must  know  that  on  leaving  the  port  of  Zayton  you 
sail  west-south-west  for  1500  miles,  and  then  you  come 
to  a  country  called  Chamba,1  a  very  rich  region,  having 
a  king  of  its  own.     The  people  are  Idolaters  and  pay  a 


yearly  tribute  to  the  Great  Kaan,  which  consists  of 
elephants  and  nothing  but  elephants.  And  I  will  tell 
you  how  they  came  to  pay  this  tribute. 

It  happened  in  the  year  of  Christ  1278  that  the  Great 
Kaan  sent  a  Baron  of  his  called,  Sagatu  with  a  great 
force  of  horse  and  foot  against  this  King  of  Chamba,  and 
this  Baron  opened  the  war  on  a  great  scale  against  the 
King  and  his  country. 

Now  the  King  [whose  name  was  Accambale]  was  a 
very  aged  man,  nor  had  he  such  a  force  as  the  Baron 
had.  And  when  he  saw  what  havoc  the  Baron  was 
making  with  his  kingdom  he  was  grieved  to  the  heart. 
So  he  bade  messengers  get  ready  and  despatched  them 
to  the  Great  Kaan.  And  they  said  to  the  Kaan  :  "  Our 
Lord  the  King  of  Chamba  salutes  you  as  his  liege-lord, 
and  would  have  you  to  know  that  he  is  stricken  in  years 
and  long  hath  held  his  realm  in  peace.  And  now  he 
sends  you  word  by  us  that  he  is  willing  to  be  your  liege- 
man, and  will  send  you  every  year  a  tribute  of  as  many 
elephants  as  you  please.  And  he  prays  you  in  all  gentle- 
ness and  humility  that  you  would  send  word  to  your 
Baron  to  desist  from  harrying  his  kingdom  and  to  quit 
his  territories.  These  shall  henceforth  be  at  your 
absolute  disposal,  and  the  King  shall  hold  them  of  you." 

When  the  Great  Kaan  '  had  heard  the  King's 
ambassage  he  was  moved  with  pity,  and  sent  word  to 
that  Baron  of  his  to  quit  that  kingdom  with  his  army, 
and  to  carry  his  arms  to  the  conquest  of  some  other 
country  ;  and  as  soon  as  this  command  reached  them 
they  obeyed  it.  Thus  it  was  then  that  this  King 
became  vassal  of  the  Great  Kaan,  and  paid  him  every 
year  a  tribute  of  20  of  the  greatest  and  finest  elephants 
that  were  to  be  found  in  the  country. 

But  now  we  will  leave  that  matter,  and  tell  you  other 
particulars  about  the  King  of  Chamba. 

268  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

You  must  know  that  in  that  kingdom  no  woman  is 
allowed  to  marry  until  the  King  shall  have  seen  her ;  if 
the  woman  pleases  him  then  he  takes  her  to  wife  ;  if  she 
does  not,  he  gives  her  a  dowry  to  get  her  a  husband 
withal.  In  the  year  of  Christ  1285,  Messer  Marco  Polo 
was  in  that  country,  and  at  that  time  the  King  had, 
between  sons  and  daughters,  326  children,  of  whom  at 
least  150  were  men  fit  to  carry  arms.2 

There  are  very  great  numbers  of  elephants  in  this 
kingdom,  and  they  have  lignaloes  in  great  abundance. 
They  have  also  extensive  forests  of  the  wood  called 
Bonus,  which  is  jet-black,  and  of  which  chessmen  and 
pen-cases  are  made.  But  there  is  nought  more  to  tell, 
so  let  us  proceed.3 

Note  i. --The  name  Champa  is  of  Indian  origin,  like  the  adjoining  Kamboja 

and  many  other  names  in  Indo-China,  and  was  probably  taken  from  that  of  an  ancient 
Hindu  city  and  state  on  the  Ganges,  near  modern  Bhagalpur.  Hiuen  Tsang,  in  the 
7th  centurv,  makes  mention  of  the  Indo-Chinese  state  as  Mahachampa.  (Pel.  Boudd, 
III.  S3.)   " 

The  title  of  Champa  down  to  the  15th  century  seems  to  have  been  applied  by 
Western  Asiatics  to  a  kingdom  which  embraced  the  whole  coast  between  Tong-king 
and  Kamboja,  including  all  that  is  now  called  Cochin  China  outside  of  Tong-king. 
It  was  termed  by  the  Chinese  Chen-  Clung.  In  147 1  the  King  of  Tong-king, 
Le  Thanh -tong,  conquered  the  country,  and  the  genuine  people  of  Champa  were 
reduced  to  a  small  number  occupying  the  mountains  of  the  province  of  Binh 
Thuan  at  the  extreme  south-east  of  the  Coch.  Chinese  territory.  To  this  part  of 
the  coast  the  name  Champa  is  often  applied  in  maps.  (See  /.  A.  ser.  II.  torn.  xi. 
p.  31,  andy.  des  Savans,  1822,  p.  71.)  The  people  of  Champa  in  this  restricted 
sense  are  said  to  exhibit  Malay  affinities,  and  they  profess  Mahou.edanism. 
["The  Mussulmans  of  Binh-Thuan  call  themselves  Bani  or  Orang  Bani,  'men 
mussulmans,'  probably  from  the  Arabic  beni  '  the  sons,'  to  distinguish  them  from 
the  Chams  Djat  'of  race,'  which  they  name  also  Kaphir  or  Akaphir,  from  the 
Arabic  word  kafer  'pagans.'  These  names  are  used  in  Binh-Thuan  to  make  a  dis- 
tinction, but  Banis  and  Kaphirs  alike  are  all  Chams.  ...  In  Cambodia  all  Chams 
are  Mussulmans."  (E.  Aymonier,  Les  Tchames,  p.  26.)  The  religion  of  the  pagan 
Chams  of  Binh-Thuan  is  degenerate  Brahmanism  with  three  chief  gods,  Po-Nagar, 
Po-Rome,  and  Po-Klong-Garai.  (Ibid.,  p.  35.) — H.  C]  The  books  of  their 
former  religion  they  say  (according  to  Dr.  Bastian)  that  they  received  from  Ceylon, 
but  they  were  converted  to  Islamism  by  no  less  a  person  than  'Ali  himself.  The 
Tong-king  people  received  their  Buddhism  from  China,  and  this  tradition  puts 
Champa  as  the  extreme  flood-mark  of  that  great  tide  of  Buddhist  proselytism,  which 
went  forth  from  Ceylon  to  the  Indo-Chinese  regions  in  an  early  century  of  our  era, 
and  which  is  generally  connected  with  the  name  of  Buddaghosha. 

The  prominent  position  of  Champa  on  the  route  to  China  made  its  ports  places 
of  call  for  many  ages,  and  in  the  earliest  record  of  the  Arab  navigation  to  China  we 
find  the  country  noticed  under  the  identical  name  (allowing  for  the  deficiencies  of  the 

Chap.  V.  THE   COUNTRY   CALLED   CHAMBA  269 

Arabic  Alphabet)  of  Sanf  or  Chanf.     Indeed  it  is  highly  probable  that  the  Zdpa  or 
ZdfSai  of  Ptolemy's  itinerary  of  the  sea-route  to  the  Sinae  represents  this  same  name. 

["  It  is  true,"  Sir  Henry  Yule  wrote  since  (1882),  "  that  Champa,  as  known  in  later 
days,  lay  to  the  east  of  the  Mekong  delta,  whilst  Zabai  of  the  Greeks  lay  to  the  west 
of  that  and  of  the  fieya  aKpoT7]pt.oi> — the  Great  Cape,  or  C.  Cambodia  of  our  maps. 
Crawfurd  {Desc.  Ind.  Arch.  p.  80)  seems  to  say  that  the  Malays  include  under 
the  name  Champa  the  whole  of  what  we  call  Kamboja.  This  may  possibly  be  a  slip. 
But  it  is  certain,  as  we  shall  see  presently,  that  the  Arab  Sanf—  -which  is  unquestion- 
ably Champa — also  lay  west  of  the  Cape,  i.e.  within  the  Gulf  of  Siam.  The  fact  is 
that  the  Indo-Chinese  kingdoms  have  gone  through  unceasing  and  enormous  vicissi- 
tudes, and  in  early  days  Champa  must  have  been  extensive  and  powerful,  for  in  the 
travels  of  Hiuen  Tsang  (about  a.d.  629)  it  is  called  Afahd-Champa..  And  my  late 
friend  Lieutenant  Gamier,  who  gave  great  attention  to  these  questions,  has  deduced 
from  such  data  as  exist  in  Chinese  Annals  and  elsewhere,  that  the  ancient  kingdom 
which  the  Chinese  describe  under  the  name  of  Fu-nan,  as  extending  over  the 
whole  peninsula  east  of  the  Gulf  of  Siam,  was  a  kingdom  of  the  Tsiam  or  Champa 
race.  The  locality  of  the  ancient  port  of  Zabai  or  Champa  is  probably  to  be  sought 
on  the  west  coast  of  Kamboja,  near  the  Campot,  or  the  Kang-kao  of  our  maps.  On 
this  coast  also  was  the  Komar  and  Kamdrah  of  Ibn  Batuta  and  other  Arab  writers, 
the  great  source  of  aloes- wood,  the  country  then  of  the  Khmer  or  Kambojan  People." 
{Notes  011  the  Oldest  Records  of  the  Sea- Route  to  China  from  Western  Asia,  Proc. 
R.  G.  S.  1882,  pp.  656-657.) 

M.  Barth  says  that  this  identification  would  agree  well  with  the  testimony  of  his 
inscription  XVIII.  B.,  which  comes  from  Angkor  and  for  which  Campd  is  a  part  of 
the  Dakshindpatha,  of  the  southern  country.  But  the  capital  of  this  rival  State  of 
Kamboja  would  thus  be  very  near  the  Treang  province  where  inscriptions  have  been 
found  with  the  names  of  Bhavavarman  and  of  Icanavarman.  It  is  true  that  in  627, 
the  King  of  Kamboja,  according  to  the  Chinese  Annals  {Nouv.  Mil.  As.  I.  p.  84),  had 
subjugated  the  kingdom  of  Fu-nan  identified  by  Yule  and  Gamier  with  Campd. 
Abel  Remusat  {Nouv.  Mil.  As.  I.  pp.  J^  and  77)  identifies  it  with  Tong-king  and 
Stan.  Julien  (/.  As.  4e  Ser.  X.  p.  97)  with  Siam.  {Inscrip.  Sanscrites  du  Cambodge, 
1885,  pp.  69-70,  note.) 

Sir  Henry  Yule  writes  {I.e.  p.  657)  :  "  We  have  said  that  the  Arab  Sanf  as  well 
as  the  Greek  Zabai,  lay  west  of  Cape  Cambodia.  This  is  proved  by  the  statement 
that  the  Arabs  on  their  voyage  to  China  made  a  ten  days'  run  from  Sanf  to  Pulo 
Condor."  But  Abulfeda  (transl.  by  Guyard,  II.  ii.  p.  127)  distinctly  says  that  the 
Komar  Peninsula  (Khmer)  is  situated  west  of  the  Sanf  Peninsula  ;  between  §anf  and 
Komar  there  is  not  a  day's  journey  by  sea. 

We  have,  however,  another  difficulty  to  overcome. 

I  agree  with  Sir  Henry  Yule  and  Marsden  that  in  ch.  vii.  infra,  p.  276,  the  text 
must  be  read,  "When  you  leave  Chamba,"  instead  of  "When  you  leave  Java." 
Coming  from  Zayton  and  sailing  1500  miles,  Polo  arrives  at  Chamba  ;  from  Chamba, 
sailing  700  miles  he  arrives  at  the  islands  of  Sondur  and  Condur,  identified  by  Yule 
with  Sundar  Fiilat  (Pulo  Condore) ;  from  Sundar  Fiilat,  after  500  miles  more,  he  finds 
the  country  called  Locac  ;  then  he  goes  to  Penta#m  (Bintang,  500  miles),  Malaiur,  and 
Java  the  Less  (Sumatra).  Ibn  Khordadhbeh's  itinerary  agrees  pretty  well  with  Marco 
Polo's,  as  Professor  De  Goeje  remarks  to  me :  "Starting  from  Mait  (Bintang),  and  leaving 
on  the  left  Tiyuma  (Timoan),  in  five  days' journey,  one  goes  to  Kimer  (Kmer,  Cambodia), 
and  after  three  days  more,  following  the  coast,  arrives  to  Sanf ;  then  to  Lukyn,  the 
first  point  of  call  in  China,  100  parasangs  by  land  or  by  sea  ;  from  Lukyn  it  takes 
four  days  by  sea  and  twenty  by  land  to  go  to  Kanfu."  [Canton,  see  note,  supra  p.  199.] 
(See  De  Goeje  s  Ibn  Khordddhbeh,  p.  48  et  seq.)  But  we  come  now  to  the  difficulty. 
Professor  De  Goeje  writes  to  me  :  "  It  is  strange  that  in  the  Relation  des  Voyages  of 
Reinaud,  p.  20  of  the  text,  reproduced  by  Ibn  al  Fakih,  p.  12  seq.,  Sundar  Fiikit 
(Pulo  Condore)  is  placed  between  Sanf  and  the  China  Sea  {Sandjy)  ;  it  takes  ten  days 
to  go  from  Sanf  to  Sundar  Fiilat,  and  then  a  month  (seven  days  of  which  between 

2  JO  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

mountains  called  the  Gates  of  China.)  In  the  Livre  des  Mervtilles  de  P hide  (pp.  85- 
86)  we  read  :  '  When  arrived  between  Sanf  and  the  China  coast,  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Sundar  Fiilat,  an  island  situated  at  the  entrance  of  the  Sea  of  Sandjy,  which  is 
the  Sea  of  China.  .  .  .'  It  would  appear  from  these  two  passages  that  Sanf  is  to 
be  looked  for  in  the  Malay  Peninsula.  This  Sanf  is  different  from  the  Sanf  of  Ibn 
Khordadhbeh  and  of  Abulfeda."  (Guyard's  trans L  II.  ii.  127.) 

It  does  not  strike  me  from  these  passages  that  Sanf  must  be  looked  for  in  the 
Malay  Peninsula.  Indeed  Professor  G.  Schlegel,  in  a  paper  published  in  the  Voting Pao, 
vol.  x.,  seems  to  prove  that  Shay-po  (Djava),  represented  by  Chinese  characters,  which 
are  the  transcription  of  the  Sanskrit  name  of  the  China  Rose  {Hibiscus  rosa  sinensis), 
Djava  or  Djapa,  is  not  the  great  island  of  Java,  but,  according  to  Chinese  texts,  a  state 
of  the  Malay  Peninsula  ;  but  he  does  not  seem  to  me  to  prove  that  Shay-po  is  Champa, 
as  he  believes  he  has  done. 

However,  Professor  De  Goeje  adds  in  his  letter,  and  I  quite  agree  with  the 
celebrated  Arabic  scholar  of  Leyden,  that  he  does  not  very  much  like  the  theory  of 
two  Sanf,  and  that  he  is  inclined  to  believe  that  the  sea  captain  of  the  Marvels  of 
India  placed  Sundar  Fiilat  a  little  too  much  to  the  north,  and  that  the  narrative  of  the 
Relation  des  Voyages  is  inexact. 

To  conclude  :  the  history  of  the  relations  between  Annam  (Tong-king)  and  her 
southern  neighbour,  the  kingdom  of  Champa,  the  itineraries  of  Marco  Polo  and  Ibn 
Khordadhbeh  as  well  as  the  position  given  to  Sanf  by  Abulfeda,  justify  me,  I  think, 
in  placing  Champa  in  that  part  of  the  central  and  southern  indo-Chinese  coast  which 
the  French  to-day  call  Annam  (Cochinchine  and  Basse-Cochinchine),  the  Binh-Thuan 
province  showing  more  particularly  what  remains  of  the  ancient  kingdom. 

Since  I  wrote  the  above,  I  have  received  No.  1  of  vol.  ii.  of  the  Bui.  de 
CEcole  Francaise  d'  Extreme- Orient,  which  contains  a  note  on  Can/  et  Campa,  by 
M.  A.  Barth.  The  reasons  given  in  a  note  addressed  to  him  by  Professor  De  Goeje 
and  the  work  of  Ibn  Khordadhbeh  have  led  M.  A.  Barth  to  my  own  conclusion,  viz. 
that  the  coast  of  Champa  was  situated  where  inscriptions  have  been  found  on  the 
Annamite  coast. — H.  C] 

The  Sagatu  of  Marco  appears  in  the  Chinese  history  as  Sotit,  the  military  governor 
of  the  Canton  districts,  which  he  had  been  active  in  reducing. 

In  1278  Sotu  sent  an  envoy  to  Chen-ching  to  claim  the  king's  submission,  which 
was  rendered,  and  for  some  years  he  sent  his  tribute  to  Kublai.  But  when  the  Kaan 
proceeded  to  interfere  in  the  internal  affairs  of  the  kingdom  by  sending  a  Resident  and 
Chinese  officials,  the  king's  son  (1282)  resolutely  opposed  these  proceedings,  and 
threw  the  Chinese  officials  into  prison.  The  Kaan,  in  great  wrath  at  this  insult, 
(coming  also  so  soon  after  his  discomfiture  in  Japan),  ordered  Sotu  and  others  to 
Chen-ching  to  take  vengeance.  The  prince  in  the  following  year  made  a  pretence 
of  submission,  and  the  army  (if  indeed  it  had  been  sent)  seems  to  have  been  with- 
drawn. The  prince,  however,  renewed  his  attack  on  the  Chinese  establishments, 
and  put  100  of  their  officials  to  death.  Sotu  then  despatched  a  new  force,  but 
it  was  quite  unsuccessful,  and  had  to  retire.  In  1284  the  king  sent  an  embassy, 
including  his  grandson,  to  beg  for  pardon  and  reconciliation.  Kublai,  however, 
refused  to  receive  them,  and  ordered  his  son  Tughan  to  advance  through  Tong-king, 
an  enterprise  which  led  to  a  still  more  disastrous  war  with  that  country,  in  which 
the  Mongols  had  much  the  worst  of  it.     We  are  not  told  more. 

Here  we  have  the  difficulties  usual  with  Polo's  historical  anecdotes.  Certain 
names  and  circumstances  are  distinctly  recognisable  in  the  Chinese  Annals ;  others 
are  difficult  to  reconcile  with  these.  The  embassy  of  1284  seems  the  most  likely  to 
be  the  one  spoken  of  by  Polo,  though  the  Chinese  history  does  not  give  it  the 
favourable  result  which  he  ascribes  to  it.  The  date  in  the  text  we  see  to  be  wrong, 
and  as  usual  it  varies  in  different  MSS.  I  suspect  the  original  date  was  mcclxxxiii. 
One  of  the  Chinese  notices  gives  one  of  the  king's  names  as  Sinhopala,  and  no 
doubt  this  is  Ramusio's  Accambale  (A9ambale)  ;  an  indication  at  once  of  the  authentic 
character  of  that  interpolation,  and  of  the  identity  of  Champa  and  Chen-ching. 


[We  learn  from  an  inscription  that  in  1265  the  King  of  Champa  was  Jaya- 
Sinhavarman  II.,  who  was  named  Indravarman  in  1277,  and  whom  the  Chinese  called 
Che  It  Tseya  Sinho  phala  Malta  thiwa  (Cri  Jaya  Sinha  varmma  maha  deva).  He 
was  the  king  at  the  time  of  Polo's  voyage.  (A.  Bergaigne,  Ancien  royaume  de 
Campd,  pp.  39-40  ;  E.  Aymonier,  les  Tchames  et  leurs  religions,  p.  14.) — II.  C] 

There  are  notices  of  the  events  in  De  Mailla  (IX.  420-422)  and  Gaubil  (194),  but 
Pauthier's  extracts  which  we  have  made  use  of  are  much  fuller. 

Elephants  have  generally  formed  a  chief  part  of  the  presents  or  tribute  sent 
periodically  by  the  various  Indo-Chinese  states  to  the  Court  of  China. 

[In  a  Chinese  work  published  in  the  14th  century,  by  an  Annamite,  under  the 
title  of  Ngan-nan  chi  Ho,  and  translated  into  French  by  M.  Sainson  (1896),  we  read 
(P-  397) :  "Elephants  are  found  only  in  Lin-y  ;  this  is  the  country  which  became 
Champa.  It  is  the  habit  to  have  burdens  carried  by  elephants  ;  this  country  is  to-day 
the  Pu-cheng  province."  M.  Sainson  adds  in  a  note  that  Pu-cheng,  in  Annamite 
B6  chahh  quan,  is  to-day  Quang-binh,  and  that,  in  this  country,  was  placed  the  first 
capital  (Dong-hoi)  of  the  future  kingdom  of  Champa  thrown  later  down  to  the 
south.—  H.  C] 

[The  Chams,  according  to  their  tradition,  had  three  capitals  :  the  most  ancient, 
Shri-Bauosuy,  probably  the  actual  Quang-Binh  province ;  Bal-Hangov,  near  Hue  ; 
and  Bal-Angoue',  in  the  Binh-Dinh  province.  In  the  4th  century,  the  kingdom  of 
Lin-y  or  Lam-dp  is  mentioned  in  the  Chinese  Annals. — H.C.] 

Note  2. — The  date  of  Marco's  visit  to  Champa  varies  in  the  MSS.  :  Pauthier  has 
1280,  as  has  also  Ramusio ;  the  G.  T.  has  1285;  the  Geographic  Latin  1288.  I 
incline  to  adopt  the  last.  For  we  know  that  about  1290,  Mark  returned  to  Court  from 
a  mission  to  the  Indian  Seas,  which  might  have  included  this  visit  to  Champa. 

The  large  family  of  the  king  was  one  of  the  stock  marvels.  Odoric  says :  "Zampa 
is  a  very  fine  country,  having  great  store  of  victuals  and  all  good  things.  The  king 
of  the  country,  it  was  said  when  I  was  there  {circa  1323],  had,  what  with  sons  and 
with  daughters,  a  good  two  hundred  children ;  for  he  hath  many  wives  and  other 
women  whom  he  keepeth.  This  king  hath  also  14,000  tame  elephants.  .  .  .  And 
other  folk  keep  elephants  there  just  as  commonly  as  we  keep  oxen  here"  (pp.  95-96). 
The  latter  point  illustrates  what  Polo  says  of  elephants,  and  is  scarcely  an  exaggeration 
in  regard  to  all  the  southern  Indo-Chinese  States.     (See  note  to  Odoric  u.  s. ) 

Note  3. — Champa  Proper  and  the  adjoining  territories  have  been  from  time 
immemorial  the  chief  seat  of  the  production  of  lign-aloes  or  eagle-wood.  Both  names 
are  misleading,  for  the  thing  has  nought  to  do  either  with  aloes  or  eagles;  though 
good  Bishop  Pallegoix  derives  the  latter  name  from  the  wood  being  speckled  like  an 
eagle's  plumage.  It  is  in  fact  through  Aquila,  Agila,  from  Aguru,  one  of  the  Sanskrit 
names  of  the  article,  whilst  that  is  possibly  from  the  Malay  Kayn  (wood) -gahru, 
though  the  course  of  the  etymology  is  more  likely  to  be  the  other  way ;  and  AX677  is 
perhaps  a  corruption  of  the  term  which  the  Arabs  apply  to  it,  viz.  Al-  Ud,  "The 

[It  is  probable  that  the  first  Portuguese  who  had  to  do  with  eagle-wood  called  it 
by  its  Arabic  name,  aghdluhy,  or  malayalam,  agila  ;  whence  pdo  de'  aguila  "aguila 
wood."  It  was  translated  into  Latin  as  lignum  aquilae,  and  after  into  modern 
languages,  as  bois  d'aigle,  eagle-wood,  adler/iolz,  etc.  (A.  Cabaton,  les  Chams,  p.  50.) 
Mr.  Groeneveldt  (Notes,  pp.  141-142)  writes:  "Lignum  aloes  is  the  wood  of  the 
Aquilaria  agallocha,  and  is  chiefly  known  as  sinking  incense.  The  Pen-ts'au  Kang-mu 
describes  it  as  follows  :  '  Sinking  incense,  also  called  honey  incense.  It  comes  from 
the  heart  and  the  knots  of  a  tree  and  sinks  in  water,  from  which  peculiarity 
the  name  sinking  incense  is  derived.  ...  In  the  Description  of  Annam  we  find  it 
called  honey  incense,  because  it  smells  like  honey.'  The  same  work,  as  well  as  the 
Nan-fang  7's'au-mu  Chuang,  further  informs  us  that  this  incense  was  obtained 
in  all  countries  south  of  China,  by  felling  the  old  trees  and  leaving  them  to  decay, 

272  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

when,  after  some  time,  only  the  heart,  the  knots,  and  some  other  hard  parts 
remained.  The  product  was  known  under  different  names,  according  to  its  quality 
or  shape,  and  in  addition  to  the  names  given  above,  we  find  fowl  bones,  horse-hoofs, 
and  green  cinnamon  ;  these  latter  names,  however,  are  seldom  used." — H.  C] 

The  fine  eagle-wood  of  Champa  is  the  result  of  disease  in  a  leguminous  tree, 
Aloexylon  Agallochum;  whilst  an  inferior  kind,  though  of  the  same  aromatic  properties, 
is  derived  from  a  tree  of  an  entirely  different  order,  Aquilaria  Agallocha,  and  is 
found  as  far  north  as  Silhet. 

The  Bonus  of  the  G.  T.  here  is  another  example  of  Marco's  use,  probably  un- 
conscious, of  an  Oriental  word.  It  is  Persian  Abniis,  Ebony,  which  has  passed  almost 
unaltered  into  the  Spanish  Abenuz.  We  find  Ibenus  also  in  a  French  inventory 
(Douet  d'Airq,  p.  1 34),  but  the  Bonus  seems  to  indicate  that  the  word  as  used  by 
the  Traveller  was  strange  to  Rusticiano.  The  word  which  he  uses  for  pen-cases  too, 
Calamanz,  is  more  suggestive  of  the  Persian  Kalamddn  than  of  the  Italian  Calama/o. 

11  Ebony  is  very  common  in  this  country  (Champa),  but  the  wood  which  is  the 
most  precious,  and  which  is  sufficiently  abundant,  is  called  '  Eagle- wood,'  of  which 
the  first  quality  sells  for  its  weight  in  gold  ;  the  native  name  is  Kinam"  {Bishop 
Louis  in  J.  A.  S.  B.  VI.  742 ;  Dr.  Birdwood,  in  the  Bible  Educator,  I.  243  ; 
Crawfurd's  Diet.) 


Concerning  the  Great  Island  of  Java. 

When  you  sail  from  Chamba,  1500  miles  in  a  course 
between  south  and  south-east,  you  come  to  a  great  Island 
called  Java.  And  the  experienced  mariners  of  those 
Islands  who  know  the  matter  well,  say  that  it  is  the 
greatest  Island  in  the  world,  and  has  a  compass  of  more 
than  3000  miles.  It  is  subject  to  a  great  King  and 
tributary  to  no  one  else  in  the  world.  The  people  are 
Idolaters.  The  Island  is  of  surpassing  wealth,  producing 
black  pepper,  nutmegs,  spikenard,  galingale,  cubebs, 
cloves,  and  all  other  kinds  of  spices. 

This  Island  is  also  frequented  by  a  vast  amount  of 
shipping,  and  by  merchants  who  buy  and  sell  costly 
goods  from  which  they  reap  great  profit.  Indeed  the 
treasure  of  this  Island  is  so  great  as  to  be  past  telling. 
And  I  can  assure  you  the  Great  Kaan  never  could  get 
possession  of  this  Island,  on  account  of  its  great  distance, 

VOL.     II. 



Book  III. 

and  the  great  expense  of  an  expedition  thither.  The 
merchants  of  Zayton  and  Manzi  draw  annually  great 
returns  from  this  country.1 

Note  i.  —  Here  Marco  speaks  of  that  Pearl  of  Islands,  Java.  The  chapter  is  a 
digression  from  the  course  of  his  voyage  towards  India,  but  possibly  he  may  have 
touched  at  the  island  on  his  previous  expedition,  alluded  to  in  note  2,  ch.  v.  Not 
more,  for  the  account  is  vague,  and  where  particulars  are  given  not  accurate.  Java 
does  not  produce  nutmegs  or  cloves,  though  doubtless  it  was  a  great  mart  for  these 
and  all  the  products  of  the  Archipelago.  And  if  by  treasure  he  means  gold,  as 
indeed  Ramusio  reads,  no  gold  is  found  in  Java.  Barbosa,  however,  has  the  same 
story  of  the  great  amount  of  gold  drawn  from  Java  ;  and  De  Barros  says  that  Sunda, 
i.e.  Western  Java,  which  the  Portuguese  regarded  as  a  distinct  island,  produced 
inferior  gold  of  7  carats,  but  that  pepper  was  the  staple,  of  which  the  annual  supply 
was  more  than  30,000  cwt.  {Rain.  I.  318-319;  De  Barros  >  Dec.  IV.  liv.  i. 
cap.  12.) 

The  circuit  ascribed  to  Java  in  Pauthier's  Text  is  5000  miles.  Even  the  3000 
which  we  take  from  the  Geog.  Text  is  about  double  the  truth  ;  but  it  is  exactly  the 

Ship  of  the  Middle  Ages  in  the  Java  Seas.     (From  Bas-relief  at  Boro  Bodor.) 

"  (En  u%\t  Isle  bwtunt  grant  qtrantitl  be  ncs,  t  hz  mtt&nt*  qt  hi  ncatcnt  fce 
maintes  metcattfcies  ct  hi  font  grant  jjaagnc." 

same  that  Odoric  and  Conti  assign.  No  doubt  it  was  a  tradition  among  the  Arab 
seamen.  They  never  visited  the  south  coast,  and  probably  had  extravagant  ideas  of 
its  extension  in  that  direction,  as  the  Portuguese  had  for  long.  Even  at  the  end  of 
the  1 6th  century  Linschoten  says  :  "Its  breadth  is  as  yet  unknown  ;  some  conceiving 
it  to  be  a  part  of  the  Terra  Australis  extending  from  opposite  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope. 
However  it  is  commonly  held  to  be  an  island''''  (ch.  xx. ).  And  in  the  old  map 
republished  in  the  Lisbon  De  Barros  of  1777,  the  south  side  of  Java  is  marked 
"Parte  incognita  de  Java,"  and  is  without  a  single  name,  whilst  a  narrow  strait 
runs  right  across  the  island  (the  supposed  division  of  Sunda  from  Java  Proper). 

Chap.  VI.  THE  GREAT  ISLAND  OF  JAVA  275 

The  history  of  Java  previous  to  the  rise  of  the  Empire  of  Majapahit,  in  the  age 
immediately  following  our  Traveller's  voyage,  is  very  obscure.  But  there  is  some 
evidence  of  the  existence  of  a  powerful  dynasty  in  the  island  about  this  time ;  and  in 
an  inscription  of  ascertained  date  (a.d.  1294)  the  King  Uttungadeva  claims  to  have 
subjected  Jive  kings,  and  to  be  sovereign  of  the  whole  Island  of  Java  {Jawa-dvipa ; 
see  Lassen,  IV.  482).  It  is  true  that,  as  our  Traveller  says,  Kublai  had  not  yet 
attempted  the  subjugation  of  Java,  but  he  did  make  the  attempt  almost  immediately 
after  the  departure  of  the  Venetians.  It  was  the  result  of  one  of  his  unlucky 
embassies  to  claim  the  homage  of  distant  states,  and  turned  out  as  badly  as  the 
attempts  against  Champa  and  Japan.  His  ambassador,  a  Chinese  called  Meng-K'i, 
was  sent  back  with  his  face  branded  like  a  thief's.  A  great  armament  was  assembled 
in  the  ports  of  Fo-kien  to  avenge  this  insult ;  it  started  about  January,  1293,  but  did 
not  effect  a  landing  till  autumn.  After  some  temporary  success  the  force  was 
constrained  to  re-embark  with  a  loss  of  3000  men.  The  death  of  Kublai  prevented 
any  renewal  of  the  attempt ;  and  it  is  mentioned  that  his  successor  gave  orders  for  the 
re-opening  of  the  Indian  trade  which  the  Java  war  had  interrupted.  (See  Gazibil, 
pp.  217  seqq.y  224.)  To  this  failure  Odoric,  wTho  visited  Java  about  1323,  alludes  : 
"Now  the  Great  Kaan  of  Cathay  many  a  time  engaged  in  war  wTith  this  king;  but 
the  king  always  vanquished  and  got  the  better  of  him."  Odoric  speaks  in  high  terms 
of  the  richness  and  population  of  Java,  calling  it  "the  second  best  of  all  Islands  that 
exist,"  and  describing  a  gorgeous  palace  in  terms  similar  to  those  in  which  Polo 
speaks  of  the  Palace  of  Chipangu.     {Ca/hay,  p.  87  seqq. ) 

[We  read  in  the  Ytien-slu  (Bk.  210),  translated  by  Mr.  Groeneveldt,  that  "Java  is 
situated  beyond  the  sea  and  further  away  than  Champa  ;  when  one  embarks  at 
Ts'wan-chau  and  goes  southward,  he  first  comes  to  Champa  and  afterwards  to  this 
country."  It  appears  that  when  his  envoy  Meng-K'i  had  been  branded  on  the  face, 
Kublai,  in  1292,  appointed  Shih-pi,  a  native  of  Po-yeh,  district  Li-chau,  Pao-ting  fu, 
Chih-li  province,  commander  of  the  expedition  to  Java,  whilst  Ike-Mese,  a  Uighiir, 
and  Kau-Hsing,  a  man  from  Ts'ai-chau  (Ho-nan),  were  appointed  to  assist  him.  Mr. 
Groeneveldt  has  translated  the  accounts  of  these  three  officers.  In  the  Ming-shi 
(Bk.  324)  we  read  :  "Java  is  situated  at  the  south-west  of  Champa.  In  the  time  of 
the  Emperor  Kublai  of  the  Yuen  Dynasty,  Meng-K'i  was  sent  there  as  an  envoy  and 
had  his  face  cut,  on  which  Kublai  sent  a  large  army  which  subdued  the  country  and 
then  came  back."  (L.c.  p.  34.)  The  prince  guilty  of  this  insult  was  the  King  of 
Tumapel  "in  the  eastern  part  of  the  island  Java,  whose  country  was  called  Java  par 
excellence  by  the  Chinese,  because  it  was  in  this  part  of  the  island  they  chiefly 
traded."     {L.c.  p.  32.)— IT.  C] 

The  curious  figure  of  a  vessel  which  we  give  here  is  taken  from  the  vast  series  of 
mediceval  sculptures  which  adorns  the  great  Buddhist  pyramid  in  the  centre  of  Java, 
known  as  Boro  Bodor,  one  of  the  most  remarkable  architectural  monuments  in  the 
world,  but  the  history  of  which  is  all  in  darkness.  The  ship,  with  its  outrigger  and 
apparently  canvas  sails,  is  not  Chinese,  but  it  undoubtedly  pictures  vessels  which 
frequented  the  ports  of  Java  in  the  early  part  of  the  14th  century,*  possibly  one  of 
those  from  Ceylon  or  Southern  India. 

*  1344  is  the  date  to   which  a  Javanese  traditional  verse  ascribes  the  edifice.     {Crazt>fitnfs  Desc. 

VOL.    II.  S    2 

276  MARCO   POLO  Book  III. 


Wherein  the  Isles  of  Sondur  and  Condur  are  spoken  of; 
and  the  Kingdom  of  Locac. 

When  you  leave  Chamba 1  and  sail  for  700  miles  on  a 
course  between  south  and  south-west,  you  arrive  at  two 
Islands,  a  greater  and  a  less.  The  one  is  called  Sondur 
and  the  other  Condur.2  As  there  is  nothinor  about  them 
worth  mentioning,  let  us  go  on  five  hundred  miles  beyond 
Sondur,  and  then  we  find  another  country  which  is  called 
Locac.  It  is  a  good  country  and  a  rich  ;  [it  is  on  the 
mainland]  ;  and  it  has  a  king  of  its  own.  The  people 
are  Idolaters  and  have  a  peculiar  language,  and  pay 
tribute  to  nobody,  for  their  country  is  so  situated  that  no 
one  can  enter  it  to  do  them  ill.  Indeed  if  it  were 
possible  to  get  at  it,  the  Great  Kaan  would  soon  bring 
them  under  subjection  to  him. 

In  this  country  the  brazil  which  we  make  use  of 
grows  in  great  plenty  ;  and  they  also  have  gold  in  in- 
credible quantity.  They  have  elephants  likewise,  and 
much  game.  In  this  kingdom  too  are  gathered  all 
the  porcelain  shells  which  are  used  for  small  change  in 
all  those  regions,  as  I  have  told  you  before. 

There  is  nothing  else  to  mention  except  that  this  is  a 
very  wild  region,  visited  by  few  people  ;  nor  does  the 
king  desire  that  any  strangers  should  frequent  the 
country,  and  so  find  out  about  his  treasure  and  other 
resources.3  We  will  now  proceed,  and  tell  you  of 
something  else. 

Note  i. — All  the  MSS.  and  texts  I  believe  without  exception  read  "when  yon 
leave  Java,"  etc.  But,  as  Marsden  has  indicated,  the  point  of  departure  is  really 
Champa,  the  introduction  of  Java  being  a  digression  ;  and  the  retention  of  the  latter 
name  here  would  throw  us  irretrievably  into  the  Southern  Ocean.  Certain  old 
geographers,  we  may  observe,  did  follow  that  indication,  and  the  results  were  curious 
enough,    as   we  shall  notice  in   next   note  but   one.      Marsden's   observations  are 


so  just   that   I   have   followed   Pauthier   in   substituting   Champa  for  Java   in    the 

Note  2. — There  is  no  reason  to  doubt  that  these  islands  are  the  group  now 
known  as  that  of  Pulo  Condore,  in  old  times  an  important  landmark,  and 
occasional  point  of  call,  on  the  route  to  China.  The  group  is  termed  Sundar  Fuldt 
(Fi'ddt  representing  the  Malay  Pulo  or  Island,  in  the  plural)  in  the  Arab  Relations  of 
the  9th  century,  the  last  point  of  departure  on  the  voyage  to  China,  from  which  it 
was  a  month  distant.  This  old  record  gives  us  the  name  Sondor ;  in  modern  times 
we  have  it  as  Kondor ;  Polo  combines  both  names.  ["These  may  also  be  the 
'Satyrs'  Islands'  of  Ptolemy,  or  they  maybe  his  Sindai ;  for  he  has  a  Sinda  city 
on  the  coast  close  to  this  position,  though  his  Sindai  islands  are  dropt  far  away.  But 
it  would  not  be  difficult  to  show  that  Ptolemy's  islands  have  been  located  almost  at 
random,  or  as  from  a  pepper  castor."  (Yule,  Oldest  Records,  .p.  657.)]  The  group 
consists  of  a  larger  island  about  12  miles  long,  two  of  2  or  3  miles,  and  some  half- 
dozen  others  of  insignificant  dimensions.  The  large  one  is  now  specially  called  Pulo 
Condore.  It  has  a  fair  harbour,  fresh  water,  and  wood  in  abundance.  Dampier 
visited  the  group  and  recommended  its  occupation.  The  E.  I.  Company  did 
establish  a  post  there  in  1702,  but  it  came  to  a  speedy  end  in  the  massacre  of  the 
Europeans  by  their  Macassar  garrison.  About  the  year  1720  some  attempt  to  found 
a  settlement  there  was  also  made  by  the  French,  who  gave  the  island  the  name  of 
Isle  d' Orleans.  The  celebrated  Pere  Gaubil  spent  eight  months  on  the  island  and 
wrote  an  interesting  letter  about  it  (February,  1722  ;  see  also  Lettres  Edifiantes, 
Rec.  xvi.).  When  the  group  was  visited  by  Mr.  John  Crawfurd  on  his  mission  to 
Cochin  China  the  inhabitants  numbered  about  800,  of  Cochin  Chinese  descent.  The 
group  is  now  held  by  the  French  under  Saigon.  The  chief  island  is  known  to  the 
Chinese  as  the  mountain  of  Kunlun.  There  is  another  cluster  of  rocks  in  the  same 
sea,  called  the  Seven  Cheu,  and  respecting  these  two  groups  Chinese  sailors  have  a 
kind  of  Incidit-in-Scyllan  saw  : — 

Meaning  : — 

"  Skang  fa  Tsi-cheu,  hia-pa  Kun-lun, 
Chen  mi  fuo  shih,  jin  chuen  mo  tsun.'y  * 

"  With  Kunlun  to  starboard,  and  larboard  the  Cheu, 
Keep  conning  your  compass,  whatever  you  do, 
Or  to  Davy  Jones'  Locker  go  vessel  and  crew." 

(Rilter,  IV.  1017  ;  Reinattd,  I.   18;  A.  Hamilton,  II.  402;    Mem.  cone,  les  Chinois, 
XIV.  53.) 

Note  3. — Pauthier  reads  the  name  of  the  kingdom  Soucat,  but  I  adhere  to  the 
readings  of  the  G.  T.,  Lochac  and  Locac,  which  are  supported  by  Ramusio. 
Pauthier's  C  and  the  Bern  MS.  have  le  ckac  and  le  that,  which  indicate  the  same 

Distance  and  other  particulars  point,  as  Hugh  Murray  discerns,  to  the  east  coast 
of  the  Malay  Peninsula,  or  (as  I  conceive)  to  the  territory  now  called  Siam,  including 
the  said  coast,  as  subject  or  tributary  from  time  immemorial. 

The  kingdom  of  Siam  is  known  to  the  Chinese  by  the  name  of  Sien-Lo.  The 
Supplement  to  Ma  Twan-lin's  Encyclopaedia  describes  Sien-Lo  as  on  the  sea-board  to 
the  extreme  south  of  Chen-ching.  "It  originally  consisted  of  two  kingdoms,  Sien 
and  Lo-hoh.  The  Sien  people  are  the  remains  of  a  tribe  which  in  the  year 
(a.d.  1 341)  began  to  come  down  upon  the  Lo-hoh,  and  united  with  the  latter  into 
one  nation.  .  .  .  The  land  of  the  Lo-hoh  consists  of  extended  plains,  but  not  much 
agriculture  is  done."f 

*  [From  the  Hsing-ch'a  Sheng-tan,  by  Fei  Hsin.] 

t  The  extract  of  which   this  is  the  substance  I  owe   to  the  kindness  of  Professor  J.    Summers, 
formerly  of  King's  College. 


MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

In  this  Lo  or  Lo-hoh,  which  apparently  formed  the  lower  part  of  what  is  now 
Siam,  previous  to  the  middle  of  the  14th  century,  I  believe  that  we  have  our 
Traveller's  Locac.  The  latter  half  of  the  name  may  be  either  the  second  syllable  of 
Lo-Hoh,  for  Polo's  c  often  represents  h  ;  or  it  may  be  the  Chinese  Kwo  or  Kwi^ 
"kingdom,"  in  the  Canton  and  Fo-kien  pronunciation  [i.e.  the  pronunciation  of 
Polo's  mariners)  kok ;  Lo-kok,  "the  kingdom  of  Lo."  6?V/j-Lo-Kok  is  the  exact 
form  of  the  Chinese  name  of  Siam  which  is  used  by  Bastian. 

What  was  this  kingdom  of  Lo  which  occupied  the  northern  shores  of  the  Gulf  of 
Siam?  Chinese  scholars  generally  say  that  Sien-Lo  means  Siam  and  Laos ;  but  this 
I  cannot  accept,  if  Laos  is  to  bear  its  ordinary  geographical  sense,  i.e.  of  a  country 
bordering  Siam  on  the  north-east  and  north.  Still  there  seems  a  probability  that 
the  usual  interpretation  may  be  correct,  when  properly  explained. 

[Regarding  the  identification  of  Locac  with  Siam,  Mr.  G.  Phillips  writes  {Jour. 
China  B.R.A.S.,  XXL,  18S6,  p.  34,  note):  "I  can  only  fully  endorse  what  Col. 
Yule  says  upon  this  subject,  and  add  a  few  extracts  of  my  own  taken  from  the  article 
on  Siam  given  in  the  Wu-pe"-chi.  It  would  appear  that  previously  to  1341  a  country 
called  Lohoh  (in  Amoy  pronunciation  Lohok)  existed,  as  Yule  says,  in  what  is  now  called 
Lower  Siam,  and  at  that  date  became  incorporated  with  Sien.  In  the  4th  year  of 
Hung-wu,  1372,  it  sent  tribute  to  China,  under  the  name  of  Sien  Lohok.  The 
country  was  first  called  Sien  Lo  in  the  first  year  of  Yung  Lo,  1403.  In  the  T'ang 
Dynasty  it  appears  to  have  been  known  as  Lo-yueh,  pronounced  Lo-gueh  at  that 
period.  This  Lo-yueh  would  seem  to  have  been  situated  on  the  Eastern  side  of 
Malay  Peninsula,  and  to  have  extended  to  the  entrance  to  the  Straits  of  Singapore,  in 
what  is  now  known  as  Johore." — H.  C.  j 

In  1864,  Dr.  Bastian  communicated  to  the  Asiatic  Society  of  Bengal  the  translation 
of  a  long  and  interesting  inscription,  brought  [in  1834]  from  Sukkothai  to  Bangkok 
by  the  late  King  of  Siam  [Mongkut,  then  crown  prince],  and  dated  in  a  year  12 14, 
which  in  the  era  of  Salivahana  (as  it  is  almost  certainly,  see  Gamier,  cited  below)  will 
be  A.D.  1 292- 1 293,  almost  exactly  coincident  with  Polo's  voyage.  The  author  of  this 
inscription  was  a  Prince  of  Thai  (or  Siamese)  race,  styled  Phra  Rama  Kamheng 
("The  Valiant")  [son  of  Sri  Indratiya],  who  reigned  in  Sukkothai,  whilst  his 
dominions  extended  from  Vieng-chan  on  the  Mekong  River  (lat.  18°),  to  Pechabur, 
and  Sri-Thammarat  {i.e.  Ligor,  in  lat.  8°  187),  on  the  coast  of  the  Gulf  of  Siam. 
[This  inscription  gives  three  dates — 1205,  1209,  and  1214  s'aka  =  A.D.  1283,  1287  and 
1292.  One  passage  says  :  "  Formerly  the  Thais  had  no  writing  ;  it  is  in  1205  s'aka, 
year  of  the  goat  =  A.D.  1283,  that  King  Rama  Kamheng  sent  for  a  teacher  who 
invented  the  Thai  writing.  It  is  to  him  that  we  are  indebted  for  it  to-day."  (Cf. 
Foumereau,  Siam  ancien,  p.  225  ;  Schmitt,  Exc.  et  Recon.,  1885  ;  Aymonier, 
Cambodge,  II.  p.  72.) — H.  C]  The  conquests  of  this  prince  are  stated  to  have 
extended  eastward  to  the  "  Roval  Lake,"  apparently  the  Great  Lake  of  Kamboja ; 
and  we  may  conclude  with  certainty  that  he  was  the  leader  of  the  Siamese,  who  had 
invaded  Kamboja  shortly  before  it  was  visited  (in  1296)  by  that  envoy  of  Kublai's 
successor,  whose  valuable  account  of  the  country  has  been  translated  by  Remusat.* 
Now  this  prince  Rama  Kamheng  of  Sukkothai  was  probably  (as  Lieutenant  Gamier 
supposes)  of  the  Thai-nyai,  Great  Thai,  or  Laotian  branch  of  the  race.  Hence  the 
application  of  the  name  Lo-kok  to  his  kingdom  can  be  accounted  for. 

It  was  another  branch  of  the  Thai,  known  as  Thai-noi,  or  Little  Thai,  which  in 
1 35 1,  under  another  Phra  Rama,  founded  Ayuthia  and  the  Siamese  monarchy,  which 
still  exists. 

The  explanation  now  given  seems  more  satisfactory  than  the  suggestions  formerly 
made  of  the  connection  of  the  name  Locac,  either  with  Lophaburi  (or  Lava,  Louvo), 
a  very  ancient  capital  near  Ayuthia,  or  with  Lawt'k,  i.e.   Kamboja.     Kamboja  had  at 

*  I  am  happy  to  express  my  obligation  to  the  remarks  of  my  lamented  friend  Lieutenant  Gamier, 
for  light  on  this  subject,  which  has  led  to  an  entire  reform  in  the  present  note.  (See  his  excellent 
Historical  Essay,  forming  ch.  v.  of  the  great  "  Voyage  d  Exploration  en  Indo-Chine"  pp.   136-137). 

Chap.  VII.  THE  KINGDOM  OF  LOCAC  279 

an  earlier  date   possessed  the  lower   valley  of  the  Menam,  but,  we  see,  did  so  no 
longer.  * 

The  name  Latvek  or  Lovek  is  applied  by  writers  of  the  16th  and  17th  centuries  to 
the  capital  of  what  is  still  Kamboja,  the  ruins  of  which  exist  near  Udong.  Laxveik 
is  mentioned  along  with  the  other  Siamese  or  Laotian  countries  of  Yuthia,  Tennas- 
serim,  Sukkothai,  Pichalok,  Lagong,  Lanchang  (or  Luang  Prabang),  Zimme  (or 
Kiang-mai),  and  Kiang-Tung,  in  the  vast  list  of  states  claimed  by  the  Burmese 
Chronicle  as  tributary  to  Pagan  before  its  fall.  We  find  in  the  Ain-i-Akbari  a  kind 
of  aloes-wood  called  Lawdki,  no  doubt  because  it  came  from  this  region. 

The  G.  T.  indeed  makes  the  course  from  Sondur  to  Locac '  sceloc  or  S.E.  ;  but 
Pauthier's  text  seems  purposely  to  correct  this,  calling  it,  "  v.  c.  milles  oultre  Sandur." 
This  would  bring  us  to  the  Peninsula  somewhere  about  what  is  now  the  Siamese 
province  of  Ligor,  +  and  this  is  the  only  position  accurately  consistent  with  the  next 
indication  of  the  route,  viz.  a  run  of  500  miles  south  to  the  Straits  of  Singapore. 
Let  us  keep  in  mind  also  Ramusio's  specific  statement  that  Locac  was  on  terra 

As  regards  the  products  named  :  (1)  gold  is  mined  in  the  northern  part  of  the 
Peninsula  and  is  a  staple  export  of  Kalantan,  Tringano,  and  Pahang,  further  down. 
Barbosa  says  gold  was  so  abundant  in  Malacca  that  it  was  reckoned  by  Bahars  of  4 
cwt.  Though  Mr.  Logan  has  estimated  the  present  produce  of  the  whole 
Peninsula  at  only  20,000  ounces,  Hamilton,  at  the  beginning  of  last  century, 
says  Pahang  alone  in  some  years  exported  above  8  cwt.  (2)  Brazil  -  wood, 
now  generally  known  by  the  Malay  term  Sappan,  is  abundant  on  the  coast. 
Ritter  speaks  of  three  small  towns  on  it  as  entirely  surrounded  by  trees  of  this 
kind.  And  higher  up,  in  the  latitude  of  Tavoy,  the  forests  of  sappan-wood 
find  a  prominent  place  in  some  maps  of  Siam.  In  mediaeval  intercourse  between  the 
courts  of  Siam  and  China  we  find  Brazil-wood  to  form  the  bulk  of  the  Siamese 
present.  ["Ma  Huan  fully  bears  out  Polo's  statement  in  this  matter,  for  he  says: 
This  Brazil  (of  which  Marco  speaks)  is  as  plentiful  as  firewood.  On  Cheng-ho's  chart 
Brazil  and  other  fragrant  woods  are  marked  as  products  of  Siam.  Polo's  statement  of 
the  use  of  porcelain  shells  as  small  change  is  also  corroborated  by  Ma  Huan."  (G. 
Phillips,  Jour.  China  B.R.A.S.,  XXL,  1886,  p.  37.)— H.  C]  (3)  Elephants  are 
abundant.  (4)  Cowries,  according  to  Marsden  and  Crawfurd,  are  found  in  those 
seas  largely  only  on  the  Sulu  Islands ;  but  Bishop  Pallegoix  says  distinctly  that 
they  are  found  in  abundance  on  the  sand-banks  of  the  Gulf  of  Siam.  And  I 
see  Dr.  Fryer,  in  1673,  says  that  cowries  were  brought  to  Surat  "from  Siam  and 
the  Philippine  Islands." 

For  some  centuries  after  this  time  Siam  was  generally  known  to  traders  by  the 
Persian  name  of  Shahr-i-nao,  or  New  City.  This  seems  to  be  the  name  generally  applied 
to  it  in  the  Shijarat  Malayu  (or  Malay  Chronicle),  and  it  is  used  also  by  Abdurrazzak. 
It  appears  among  the  early  navigators  of  the  16th  century,  as  Da  Gama,  Varthema, 
Giovanni  d'Empoli  and  Mendez  Pinto,  in  the  shape  of  Soman,  Xarnau.  Whether 
this  name  was  applied  to  the  new  city  of  Ayuthia,  or  was  a  translation  of  that  of  the 
older  Lophdbnri  (which  appears  to  be  the  Sansk.  or  Pali  Nava  pura  =  New -City)  I 
do  not  know. 

[Reinaud  {Int.  Abulfeda,  p.  cdxvi.)  writes  that,  according  to  the  Christian  monk 
of  Nadjran,  who  crossed  the  Malayan  Seas,  about  the  year  980,  at  this  time,  the  King 
of  Lukyn  had  just  invaded  the  kingdom  of  Sanf  and  taken  possession  of  it.    According 

*  The  Kakula  of  Ibn  Batuta  was  probably  on  the  coast  of  Locac.  The  Kamdrah  Komar  of 
the  same  traveller  and  other  Arab  writers,  I  have  elsewhere  suggested  to  be  Khmer,  or  Kamboja 
Proper.  (See  /.  Ji.  IV.  240;  Cathay,  469,  519.)  Kakula  and  Kamarah  were  both  in  Mul-Java" ; 
and  the  king  of  this  undetermined  country,  whom  Wassaf  states  to  have  submitted  to  Kublai  in  1291, 
was  called  Sri  Rama.  It  is  possible  that  this  was  Phra  Rama  of  Sukkothai.  (See  Cathay,  519; 
Elliot,  III.  27.) 

t  Mr.  G.  Phillips  supposes  the  name  Locac  to  be  Ligor,  or  rather  Lakhon,  as  the  Siamese  call  it. 
But  it  seems  to  me  pretty  clear  from  what  has  been  said  that  Lo-kok,  though  including  Ligor,  is  a 
different  name  from  Lakhon.     The  latter  is  a  corruption  of  the  Sanskrit,  Nagara,  "  city." 

280  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

to  Ibn  Khordadhbeh  (De  Goeje,  p.  49)  Lukyn  is  the  first  port  of  China,  100  parasangs 
distant  from  Sanf  by  land  or  sea ;  Chinese  stone,  Chinese  silk,  porcelain  of  excellent 
quality,  and  rice  are  to  be  found  at  Lukyn. — H.  C] 

(Bastian,  I.  357,  III.  433,  and  in  J.  A.  S.  B.  XXXIV.  Pt.  I.  p.  27  seqq.\ 
Ramus.  I.  318;  Amyot,  XIV.  266,  269;  Pallegoix,  I.  196;  Bowring,  I.  41,  72; 
PhayremJ.  A.  S.  B.  XXXVII.  Pt.  I.  p.  102  ;  Am  Akb.  80;  Mouhot,  I.  70;  Roe 
and  Fryer,  reprint,  1873,  p.  271.) 

Some  geographers  of  the  1 6th  century,  following  the  old  editions  which  carried  the 
travellers  south-east  or  south-west  of  Java  to  the  land  of  Boeach  (for  Locac),  introduced 
in  their  maps  a  continent  in  that  situation.  (See  e.g.  the  map  of  the  world  by  P. 
Plancius  in  Linschoten.)  And  this  has  sometimes  been  adduced  to  prove  an  early 
knowledge  of  Australia.  Mr.  Major  has  treated  this  question  ably  in  his  interesting 
essay  on  the  early  notices  of  Australia. 


Of  the  Island  called  Pentam,  and  the  City  Malaiur 

When  you  leave  Locac  and  sail  for  500  miles  towards 
the  south,  you  come  to  an  island  called  Pentam,  a  very 
wild  place.  All  the  wood  that  grows  thereon  consists  of 
odoriferous  trees.1  There  is  no  more  to  say  about  it ;  so 
let  us  sail  about  sixty  miles  further  between  those  two 
Islands.  Throughout  this  distance  there  is  but  four 
paces'  depth  of  water,  so  that  great  ships  in  passing  this 
channel  have  to  lift  their  rudders,  for  they  draw  nearly 
as  much  water  as  that.2 

And  when  you  have  gone  these  60  miles,  and  again 
about  30  more,  you  come  to  an  Island  which  forms  a 
Kingdom,  and  is  called  Malaiur.  The  people  have  a 
King  of  their  own,  and  a  peculiar  language.  The  city  is 
a  fine  and  noble  one,  and  there  is  oreat  trade  carried  on 
there.  All  kinds  of  spicery  are  to  be  found  there,  and 
all  other  necessaries  of  life.3 

Note  I. — Pentam,  or  as  in  Ram.  Pentan,  is  no  doubt  the  Bintang  of  our  maps, 
more  properly  BentAn,  a  considerable  Island  at  the  eastern  extremity  of  the  Straits  of 
Malacca.  It  appears  in  the  list,  published  by  Dulaurier  from  a  Javanese  Inscription, 
of  the  kingdoms  conquered  in  the  15th  century  by  the  sovereigns  reigning  at  Majapahit 
in  Java.    ( /.  A.  ser.  IV.  torn.  xiii.  532. )   Bintang  was  for  a  long  time  after  the  Portuguese 

Chap.  VIII.  THE  ISLAND  OF  PENTAM  28 1 

conquest  of  Malacca  the  chief  residence  of  the  Malay  Sultans  who  had  been  expelled 
by  that  conquest,  and  it  still  nominally  belongs  to  the  Sultan  of  Johore,  the  descendant 
of  those  princes,  though  in  fact  ruled  by  the  Dutch,  whose  port  of  Rhio  stands  on  a 
small  island  close  to  its  western  shore.  It  is  the  Bintao  of  the  Portuguese  whereof 
Camoens  speaks  as  the  persistent  enemy  of  Malacca  (X.   57). 

[Cf.  Professor  SchlegeT s  Geog.  Notes,  VI.  Ma-it;  regarding  the  odoriferous  trees, 
Professor  Schlegel  remarks  (p.  20)  that  they  were  probably  santal  trees. — H.  C] 

Note  2. --There  is  a  good  deal  of  confusion  in  the  text  of  this  chapter.  Here 
we  have  a  passage  spoken  of  between  "  those  two  Islands,"  when  only  one  island  seems 
to  have  been  mentioned.  But  I  imagine  the  other  "island"  in  the  traveller's  mind  to 
be  the  continuation  of  the  same  Locac,  i.e.  the  Malay  Peninsula  (included  by  him  under 
that  name),  which  he  has  coasted  for  500  miles.  This  is  confirmed  by  Ramusio,  and 
the  old  Latin  editions  (as  Mliller's)  :  "  between  the  kingdom  of  Locac  and  the  Island 
of  Pentan."  The  passage  in  question  is  the  Strait  of  Singapore,  or  as  the  old 
navigators  called  it,  the  Straits  of  Gobernador,  having  the  mainland  of  the  Peninsula 
and  the  Island  of  Singapore,  on  the  one  side,  and  the  Islands  of  Bintang  and  Batang 
on  the  other.  The  length  of  the  strait  is  roughly  60  geographical  miles,  or  a  little 
more  ;  and  I  see  in  a  route  given  in  the  Lettres  Edifiantes  (II.  p.  118)  that  the  length 
of  navigation  is  so  stated  :  "  Le  detroit  de  Gobernador  a  vingt  lieues  de  long,  et  est 
for  difficile  quand  on  n'y  a  jamais  passe." 

The  Venetian  passo  was  5  feet.  Marco  here  alludes  to  the  well-known  practice 
with  the  Chinese  junks  of  raising  the  rudder,  for  which  they  have  a  special  arrange- 
ment, which  is  indicated  in  the  cut  at  p.  248. 

Note  3. — There  is  a  difficulty  here  about  the  indications,  carrying  us,  as  they  do, 
first  60  miles  through  the  Strait,  and  then  30  miles  further  to  the  Island  Kingdom  and 
city  of  Malaiur.  There  is  also  a  singular  variation  in  the  readings  as  to  this  city  and 
island.  The  G.  T.  has  "  Une  isle  qe  est  roiame,  et  s'apelle  Malanir  e  l'isle  Pentam.  * 
The  Crusca  has  the  same,  only  reading  Malavir.  Pauthier  :  ' '  Une  isle  qui  est 
royaunie,  et  a  nom  Maliur."  The  Geog.  Latin  :  "  Ibi  invenihir  una  insula  in  qua  est 
unus  rex  quern  vocant  Lamovich.  Civitas  et  insula  vocantur  Pontavich."  Ram.  : 
"  Chiamasi  la  citta  Malaiur,  e  cosi  l'isola  Malaiur." 

All  this  is  very  perplexed,  and  it  is  difficult  to  trace  what  may  have  been  the  true 
readings.  The  30  miles  beyond  the  straits,  whether  we  give  the  direction  south-east 
as  in  G.  T.  or  no,  will  not  carry  us  to  the  vicinity  of  any  place  known  to  have  been 
the  site  of  an  important  city.  As  the  point  of  departure  in  the  next  chapter  is  from 
Pentam  and  not  from  Malaiur,  the  introduction  of  the  latter  is  perhaps  a  digression 
from  the  route,  on  information  derived  either  from  hearsay  or  from  a  former  voyage. 
But  there  is  not  information  enough  to  decide  what  place  is  meant  by  Malaiur.  Pro- 
babilities seem  to  me  to  be  divided  between  Palembang,  and  its  colony  Singhapura. 
Palembang,  according  to  the  Commentaries  of  Alboquerque,  was  called  by  the 
Javanese  Malayo.  The  List  of  Sumatran  Kingdoms  in  De  Barros  makes  Tana- 
Malayu  the  next  to  Palembang.     On  the  whole,  I  incline  to  this  interpretation. 

[In  Valentyn  (V.  1,  Beschryvinge  van  Malakka,  p.  317)  we  find  it  stated  that  the 
Malay  people  just  dwelt  on  the  River  Malay u  in  the  Kingdom  of  Palembang,  and 
were  called  from  the  River  Orang  Malayu. — MS.  Note. — H.  Y.] 

[Professor  Schlegel  in  his  Geog.  Notes,  IV.,  tries  to  prove  by  Chinese  authorities 
that  Maliur  and  Tana- Malayu  are  two  quite  distinct  countries,  and  he  says  that 
Maliur  may  have  been  situated  on  the  coast  opposite  Singapore,  perhaps  a  little 
more  to  the  S.W.  where  now  lies  Malacca,  and  that  Tana-Malay u  may  be  placed 
in  Asahan,  upon  the  east  coast  of  Sumatra. — H.  C] 

Singhapura  was  founded  by  an  emigration  from  Palembang,  itself  a  Javanese 
colony.  It  became  the  site  of  a  flourishing  kingdom,  and  was  then,  according  to  the 
tradition  recorded  by  De  Barros,  the  most  important  centre  of  population  in  those 
regions,   "  whither  used  to  gather  all  the  navigators  of  the  Eastern  Seas,  from  both 

282  MARCO    POLO  Book  III. 

East  and  West ;  to  this  great  city  of  Singapura  all  flocked  as  to  a  general  market." 
(Dec.  II.  6,  1.)  This  suits  the  description  in  our  text  well ;  but  as  Singhapura  was 
in  sight  of  any  ship  passing  through  the  straits,  mistake  could  hardly  occur  as  to  its 
position,  even  if  it  had  not  been  visited. 

I  omit  Malacca  entirely  from  consideration,  because  the  evidence  appears  to  me 
conclusive  against  the  existence  of  Malacca  at  this  time. 

The  Malay  Chronology,  as  published  by  Valentyn,  ascribes  the  foundation  of 
that  city  to  a  king  called  Iskandar  Shah,  placing  it  in  a.d.  1252,  fixes  the  reign  of 
Mahomed  Shah,  the  third  King  of  Malacca  and  first  Mussulman  King,  as  extending 
from  1276  to  1333  (not  stating  when  his  conversion  took  place),  and  gives  8  kings  in 
all  between  the  foundation  of  the  city  and  its  capture  by  the  Portuguese  in  151 1, 
a  space,  according  to  those  data,  of  259  years.  As  Sri  Iskandar  Shah,  the  founder, 
had  reigned  3  years  in  Singhapura  before  founding  Malacca,  and  Mahomed  Shah,  the 
loser,  reigned  2  years  in  Johore  after  the  loss  of  his  capital,  we  have  264  years  to 
divide  among  8  kings,  giving  33  years  to  each  reign.  This