The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Chapter xxxvi.

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 Manzi.3

Taking the westerly one through Cathay, and travelling by it for ten days, you find a constant succession of cities and boroughs, with numerous thriving 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 1. — The word sendaus (Pauthier), pl. of sendal, 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 Coeur 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–Espée depli les sandaux.”

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

“In sanguin and in persë clad was allë,

Linëd with taffata and with sendallë.”

[La Curne, Dict., s.v. Sendaus has: Silk stuff: “Somme de la delivrance des sendaus” (Nouv. Compt. de l’Arg. p. 19). — Godefroy, Dict., gives: “Sendain, adj., made with the stuff called cendal: Drap d’or sendains (1392, Test. de Blanche. duch d’Orl., Ste–Croix, Arch. Loiret).” He says s.v. CENDAL, “cendau, cendral, cendel, . . . sendail, . . . étoffe légère de soie unie qui parait avoir été analogue au taffetas.” “‘On faisait des cendaux forts ou faibles, et on leur donnait toute sorte de couleurs. On s’en servait surtout pour vêtements et corsets, pour doublures de draps, de fourrures et d’autres étoffes de soie plus précieuses, 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 [Greek: Sendès] occurs in Constant. Porphyrog. de Ceremoniis (Bonn, ed. I. 468), and this looks like a transfer of the Arabic Sandas 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; Dict. des Tissus, II. 171 seqq.)

NOTE 2. — JÚJÚ 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. Presented to Parliament, 1869, p. 9.) The place is called Jújú also in the Persian itinerary given by ‘Izzat Ullah in J.R.A.S. VII. 308; and in one procured by Mr. Shaw. (Proc.R.G.S. XVI. p. 253.)

[The Rev. W.S. Ament (Marco Polo, 119–120) 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 worship 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 San Kuo Chih, 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. Ament (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 remarks 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 li 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” (Oxenham). [From Peking “to Cheng-ting fu, says 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. Ament says (l.c., 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 and Ho-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 gateways: Jih pien ch’ung yao, wu shuang ti: T’ien hsia fan 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 departure, 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.)

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Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 16:24