The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Book Second.

Part ii. — Journey to the West and South-West of Cathay.

XXXVII, p. 13. “There grow here [Taianfu] 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.”

Dr. B. Laufer makes the following remarks to me: “Polo is quite right in ascribing vines and wine to T’ai Yüan-fu in Shan Si, and is in this respect upheld by contemporary Chinese sources. The Yin shan cheng yao written in 1330 by Ho Se-hui, contains this account15: ‘There are numerous brands of wine: that coming from Qara–Khodja16 (Ha-la-hwo) is very strong, that coming from Tibet ranks next. Also the wines from P’ing Yang and T’aï Yüan (in Shan Si) take the second rank. According to some statements, grapes, when stored for a long time, will develop into wine through a natural process. This wine is fragrant, sweet, and exceedingly strong: this is the genuine grape-wine.’ Ts’ao mu tse, written in 1378 par Ye Tse-k’i,17 contains the following information: ‘Under the Yüan Dynasty grape-wine was manufactured in Ki-ning and other circuits of Shan Si Province. In the eighth month they went to the T’ai hang Mountain,18 in order to test the genuine and adulterated brands: the genuine kind when water is poured on it, will float; the adulterated sort, when thus treated, will freeze.19 In wine which has long been stored, there is a certain portion which even in extreme cold will never freeze, while all the remainder is frozen: this is the spirit and fluid secretion of wine.20 If this is drunk, the essence will penetrate into a man’s armpits, and he will die. Wine kept for two or three years develops great poison.” For a detailed history of grape-wine in China, see Laufer’s Sino–Iranica.

15 Pen ts’ao kang mu, Ch. 25, p. 14b.

16 Regarding this name and its history, see PELLIOT, Journ. Asiatique, 1912, I., p. 582. Qara Khodja was celebrated for its abundance of grapes. (BRETSCHNEIDER, Mediaeval Res., I., p. 65.) J. DUDGEON (The Beverages of the Chinese, p. 27) misreading it Ha-so-hwo, took it for the designation of a sort of wine. STUART (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 459) mistakes it for a transliteration of “hollands,” or may be “alcohol.” The latter word has never penetrated into China in any form.

17 This work is also the first that contains the word a-la-ki, from Arabic ‘araq. (See T’oung Pao, 1916, p, 483.)

18 A range of mountains separating Shan Si from Chi li and Ho Nan.

19 This is probably a phantasy. We can make nothing of it, as it is not stated how the adulterated wine was made.

20 This possibly is the earliest Chinese allusion to alcohol.

XXXVII., p. 16.


Chavannes (Chancellerie chinoise de l’époque mongole, II., pp. 66–68, 1908) has a long note on vine and grape wine-making in China, from Chinese sources. We know that vine, according to Sze-ma Ts’ien, was imported from Farghânah about 100 B.C. The Chinese, from texts in the T’ai p’ing yu lan and the Yuan Kien lei han, learned the art of wine-making after they had defeated the King of Kao ch’ang (Turfan) in 640 A.D.

XLI., p. 27 seq.


The slab King kiao pei, bearing the inscription, was found, according to Father Havret, 2nd Pt., p. 71, in the sub-prefecture of Chau Chi, a dependency of Si-ngan fu, among ancient ruins. Prof. Pelliot says that the slab was not found at Chau Chi, but in the western suburb of Si-ngan, at the very spot where it was to be seen some years ago, before it was transferred to the Pei lin, in fact at the place where it was erected in the seventh century inside the monastery built by Olopun. (Chrétiens de l’Asie centrale, T’oung pao, 1914, p. 625.)

In 1907, a Danish gentleman, Mr. Frits V. Holm, took a photograph of the tablet as it stood outside the west gate of Si-ngan, south of the road to Kan Su; it was one of five slabs on the same spot; it was removed without the stone pedestal (a tortoise) into the city on the 2nd October 1907, and it is now kept in the museum known as the Pei lin (Forest of Tablets). Holm says it is ten feet high, the weight being two tons; he tried to purchase the original, and failing this he had an exact replica made by Chinese workmen; this replica was deposited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the City of New York, as a loan, on the 16th of June, 1908. Since, this replica was purchased by Mrs. George Leary, of 1053, Fifth Avenue, New York, and presented by this lady, through Frits Holm, to the Vatican. See the November number (1916) of the Boll, della R. Soc. Geog. Italiana. “The Original Nestorian Tablet of A.D. 781, as well as my replica, made in 1907,” Holm writes, “are both carved from the stone quarries of Fu Ping Hien; the material is a black, sub-granular limestone with small oolithes scattered through it” (Frits V. Holm, The Nestorian Monument, Chicago, 1900). In this pamphlet there is a photograph of the tablet as it stands in the Pei lin.

Prof. Ed. Chavannes, who also visited Si-ngan in 1907, saw the Nestorian Monument; in the album of his Mission archéologique dans la Chine Séptentrionale, Paris, 1909, he has given (Plate 445) photographs of the five tablets, the tablet itself, the western gate of the western suburb of Si-ngan, and the entrance of the temple Kin Sheng Sze.

Cf. Notes, pp. 105–113 of Vol. I, of the second edition of Cathay and the Way thither.

II., p. 27.


Cf. Kumudana, given by the Sanskrit–Chinese vocabulary found in Japan (Max MÜLLER, Buddhist Texts from Japan, in Anecdota Oxoniensia, Aryan Series, t. I., part I., p. 9), and the Khumdan and Khumadan of Theophylactus. (See TOMASCHEK, in Wiener Z.M., t. III., p. 105; Marquart, Eransahr, pp. 316–7; Osteuropäische und Ostasiatische Streifzüge, pp. 89–90.) (PELLIOT.)

XLI., p. 29 n. 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. (DEVÉRIA, Epigraphie, p. 9.) Ken jan comes from Kin-chang = King-chao = Si-ngan fu.

Prof. Pelliot writes, Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, IV., July–Sept., 1904, p. 29: “Cette note de M. Cordier n’est pas exacte. Sous les Song, puis sous les Mongols jusqu’en 1277, Si-ngan fou fut appelé King-tchao fou. Le vocabulaire houei-houei ne transcrit pas ‘King-tchao du persan kin-tchang,’ mais, comme les Persans appelaient alors Si-ngan fou Kindjanfou (le Kenjanfu de Marco Polo), cette forme persane est à son tour transcrite phonétiquement en chinois Kin-tchang fou, sans que les caractères choisis jouent là aucun rôle sémantique; Kin-tchang fou n’existe pas dans la géographie chinoise. Quant à l’origine de la forme persane, il est possible, mais non par sûr, que ce soit King-tchao fou. La forme ‘Quen-zan-fou,’ qu’un écolier chinois du Chen Si fournit à M. von Richthofen comme le nom de Si-ngan fou au temps des Yuan, doit avoir été fautivement recueillie. Il me parait impossible qu’un Chinois d’une province quelconque prononce zan le caractère [Chinese] tchao.”

XLI., p. 29 n. A clause in the edict also orders the foreign bonzes of Ta T’sin and Mubupa (Christian and Mobed or Magian) to return to secular life.

Mubupa has no doubt been derived by the etymology mobed, but it is faulty; it should be Muhupa. (PELLIOT, Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, IV., July–Sept., 1904, p. 771.) Pelliot writes to me that there is now no doubt that it is derived from mu-lu hien and that it must be understood as the “[religion of] the Celestial God of the Magi.”

XLIII., p. 32.

“The chien-tao, or ‘pillar road,’ mentioned, should be chan-tao, or ‘scaffolding road.’ The picture facing p. 50 shows how the shoring up or scaffolding is effected. The word chan is still in common use all over the Empire, and in 1267 Kúblái ordered this identical road (‘Sz Ch’wan chan-tao’) to be repaired. There are many such roads in Sz Ch’wan besides the original one from Han-chung-Fu.” (E.H. PARKER, As. Quart. Rev., Jan., 1904, p. 144.)

XLIV., p. 36. SINDAFU (Ch’êng tu fu). — Through the midst of this great city runs a large river. . . . It is a good half-mile wide. . . .

“It is probable that in the thirteenth century, when Marco Polo was on his travels, the ‘great river a good half-mile wide,’ flowing past Chengtu, was the principal stream; but in the present day that channel is insignificant in comparison to the one which passes by Ta Hsien, Yung–Chia Chong, and Hsin–Chin Hsien. Of course, these channels are stopped up or opened as occasion requires. As a general rule, they follow such contour lines as will allow gravitation to conduct the water to levels as high as is possible, and when it is desired to raise it higher than it will naturally flow, chain-pumps and enormous undershot water-wheels of bamboo are freely employed. Water-power is used for driving mills through the medium of wheels, undershot or overshot, or turbines, as the local circumstances may demand.” (R. Logan JACK, Back Blocks, p. 55.)

XLIV., p. 36.


“The story of the ‘three Kings’ of Sindafu is probably in this wise: For nearly a century the Wu family (Wu Kiai, Wu Lin, and Wu Hi) had ruled as semi-independent Sung or ‘Manzi’ Viceroys of Sz Ch’wan, but in 1206 the last-named, who had fought bravely for the Sung (Manzi) Dynasty against the northern Dynasty of the Nüchên Tartars (successors to Cathay), surrendered to this same Kin or Golden Dynasty of Nüchêns or Early Manchus, and was made King of Shuh (Sz Ch’wan). In 1236, Ogdai’s son, K’wei-t’eng, effected the partial conquest of Shuh, entering the capital, Ch’êng-tu Fu (Sindafu), towards the close of the same year. But in 1259 Mangu in person had to go over part of the same ground again. He proceeded up the rapids, and in the seventh moon attacked Ch’ung K’ing, but about a fortnight later he died at a place called Tiao-yü Shan, apparently near the Tiao-yü Ch’êng of my map (p. 175 of Up the Yangtsze, 1881), where I was myself in the year 1881. Colonel Yule’s suggestion that Marco’s allusion is to the tripartite Empire of China 1000 years previously is surely wide of the mark. The ‘three brothers’ were probably Kiai, Lin, and T’ing, and Wu Hi was the son of Wu T’ing. An account of Wu Kiai is given in Mayers’ Chinese Reader’s Manual.” (E.H. PARKER, As. Quart. Rev., Jan., 1904, pp. 144–5.)

Cf. MAYERS, No. 865, p. 259, and GILES, Biog. Dict., No. 2324, p. 880.

XLIV., p. 38.


Tch’eng Tu was the capital of the Kingdom of Shu. The first Shu Dynasty was the Minor Han Dynasty which lasted from A.D. 221 to A.D. 263; this Shu Dynasty was one of the Three Kingdoms (San Kwo chi); the two others being Wei (A.D. 220–264) reigning at Lo Yang, and Wu (A.D. 222–277) reigning at Kien Kang (Nan King). The second was the Ts’ien Shu Dynasty, founded in 907 by Wang Kien, governor of Sze Chw’an since 891; it lasted till 925, when it submitted to the Hau T’ang; in 933 the Hau T’ang were compelled to grant the title of King of Shu (Hau Shu) to Mong Chi-siang, governor of Sze Chw’an, who was succeeded by Mong Ch’ang, dethroned in 965; the capital was also Ch’eng Tu under these two dynasties.


XLV., p. 44. 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. . . .

Speaking of the Sifan village of Po Lo and the account given by Marco Polo of the customs of these people, M.R. Logan JACK (Back Blocks, 1904, pp. 145–6) writes: “I freely admit that the good looks and modest bearing of the girls were the chief merits of the performance in my eyes. Had the danseuses been scrubbed and well dressed, they would have been a presentable body of débutantes in any European ballroom. One of our party, frivolously disposed, asked a girl (through an interpreter) if she would marry him and go to his country. The reply, ‘I do not know you, sir,’ was all that propriety could have demanded in the best society, and worthy of a pupil ‘finished’ at Miss Pinkerton’s celebrated establishment. . . . Judging from our experience, no idea of hospitalities of the kind [Marco’s experience] was in the people’s minds.”

XLV., p. 45. Speaking of the people of Tibet, Polo says: “They are very poorly clad, for their clothes are only of the skins of beasts, and of canvas, and of buckram.”

Add to the note, I., p. 48, n. 5:—

“Au XIV’e siècle, le bougran [buckram] était une espèce de tissu de lin: le meilleur se fabriquait en Arménie et dans le royaume de Mélibar, s’il faut s’en rapporter à Marco Polo, qui nous apprend que les habitants du Thibet, qu’il signale comme pauvrement vêtus, l’étaient de canevas et de bougran, et que cette dernière étoffe se fabriquait aussi dans la province d’Abasce. Il en venait également de l’île de Chypre. Sorti des manufactures d’Espagne ou importé dans le royaume, à partir de 1442, date d’une ordonnance royale publiée par le P. Saez, le bougran le plus fin payait soixante-dix maravédis de droits, sans distinction de couleur” (FRANCISQUE-MICHEL, Recherches sur le commerce, la fabrication et l’usage des étoffes de soie, d’or et d’argent. . . . II., 1854, pp. 33–4). Passage mentioned by Dr. Laufer.

XLV., pp. 46 n., 49 seq.

Referring to Dr. E. Bretschneider, Prof. E.H. Parker gives the following notes in the Asiatic Quart. Review, Jan., 1904, p. 131: “In 1251 Ho-êrh-t’ai was appointed to the command of the Mongol and Chinese forces advancing on Tibet (T’u-fan). [In my copy of the Yüan Shi there is no entry under the year 1254 such as that mentioned by Bretschneider; it may, however, have been taken by Palladius from some other chapter.] In 1268 Mang-ku-tai was ordered to invade the Si-fan (outer Tibet) and Kien-tu [Marco’s Caindu] with 6000 men. Bretschneider, however, omits Kien-tu, and also omits to state that in 1264 eighteen Si-fan clans were placed under the superintendence of the an-fu-sz (governor) of An-si Chou, and that in 1265 a reward was given to the troops of the decachiliarch Hwang-li-t’a-rh for their services against the T’u fan, with another reward to the troops under Prince Ye-suh-pu-hwa for their successes against the Si-fan. Also that in 1267 the Si-fan chieftains were encouraged to submit to Mongol power, in consequence of which A-nu-pan-ti-ko was made Governor–General of Ho-wu and other regions near it. Bretschneider’s next item after the doubtful one of 1274 is in 1275, as given by Cordier, but he omits to state that in 1272 Mang-ku-tai’s eighteen clans and other T’u-fan troops were ordered in hot haste to attack Sin-an Chou, belonging to the Kien-tu prefecture; and that a post-station called Ning-ho Yih was established on the T’u-fan and Si–Ch’wan [= Sz Ch’wan] frontier. In 1275 a number of Princes, including Chi-pi T’ie-mu-r, and Mang-u-la, Prince of An-si, were sent to join the Prince of Si-p’ing [Kúblái’s son] Ao-lu-ch’ih in his expedition against the Tu-fau. In 1276 all Si-fan bonzes (lamas) were forbidden to carry arms, and the Tu-fan city of Hata was turned into Ning-yüan Fu [as it now exists]; garrisons and civil authorities were placed in Kien-tu and Lo-lo-sz [the Lolo country]. In 1277 a Customs station was established at Tiao-mên and Li–Chou [Ts’ing-k’i Hien in Ya-chou Fu] for the purposes of Tu-fan trade. In 1280 more Mongol troops were sent to the Li Chou region, and a special officer was appointed for T’u-fan [Tibetan] affairs at the capital. In 1283 a high official was ordered to print the official documents connected with the süan-wei-sz [governorship] of T’u-fan. In 1288 six provinces, including those of Sz Chw’an and An-si, were ordered to contribute financial assistance to the süan-wei-shï [governor] of U-sz-tsang [the indigenous name of Tibet proper]. Every year or two after this, right up to 1352, there are entries in the Mongol Annals amply proving that the conquest of Tibet under the Mongols was not only complete, but fully narrated; however, there is no particular object in carrying the subject here beyond the date of Marco’s departure from China. There are many mentions of Kien-tu (which name dates from the Sung Dynasty) in the Yüan-shï; it is the Kien-ch’ang Valley of today, with capital at Ning-yüan, as clearly marked on Bretschneider’s Map. Baber’s suggestion of the Chan-tui tribe of Tibetans is quite obsolete, although Baber was one of the first to explore the region in person. A petty tribe like the Chan-tui could never have given name to Caindu; besides, both initials and finals are impossible, and the Chan-tui have never lived there. I have myself met Si-fan chiefs at Peking; they may be described roughly as Tibetans not under the Tibetan Government. The T’u-fan, T’u-po, or Tubot, were the Tibetans under Tibetan rule, and they are now usually styled ‘Si-tsang’ by the Chinese. Yaci [Ya-ch’ih, Ya-ch’ï] is frequently mentioned in the Yüan-shï, and the whole of Devéria’s quotation given by Cordier on p. 72 appears there [chap. 121, p. 5], besides a great deal more to the point, without any necessity for consulting the Lei pien. Cowries, under the name of pa-tsz, are mentioned in both Mongol and Ming history as being in use for money in Siam and Yung-ch’ang [Vociam]. The porcelain coins which, as M. Cordier quotes from me on p. 74, I myself saw current in the Shan States or Siam about ten years ago, were of white China, with a blue figure, and about the size of a Keating’s cough lozenge, but thicker. As neither form of the character pa appears in any dictionary, it is probably a foreign word only locally understood. Regarding the origin of the name Yung-ch’ang, the discussions upon p. 105 are no longer necessary; in the eleventh moon of 1272 [say about January 1, 1273] Kúblái ‘presented the name Yung-ch’ang to the new city built by Prince Chi-pi T’ie-mu-r.’”

XLVI., p. 49. They have also in this country [Tibet] plenty of fine woollens and other stuffs, and many kinds of spices are produced there which are never seen in our country.

Dr. Laufer draws my attention to the fact that this translation does not give exactly the sense of the French text, which runs thus:

“Et encore voz di qe en ceste provence a gianbelot [camelot] assez et autres dras d’or et de soie, et hi naist maintes especes qe unques ne furent veue en nostre païs.” (Ed. Soc. de Géog., Chap, cxvi., p. 128.)

In the Latin text (Ibid., p. 398), we have:

“In ista provincia sunt giambelloti satis et alii panni de sirico et auro; et ibi nascuntur multae species quae nunquam fuerunt visae in nostris contractis.”

Francisque–Michel (Recherches, II., p. 44) says: “Les Tartares fabriquaient aussi à Aias de très-beaux camelots de poil de chameau, que l’on expédiait pour divers pays, et Marco Polo nous apprend que cette denrée était fort abondante dans le Thibet. Au XV’e siècle, il en venait de l’île de Chypre.”

XLVII., pp. 50, 52,


Dr. Laufer writes to me: “Yule correctly identifies the ‘wild oxen’ of Tibet with the gayal (Bos gavaeus), but I do not believe that his explanation of the word beyamini (from an artificially constructed buemini = Bohemian) can be upheld. Polo states expressly that these wild oxen are called beyamini (scil. by the natives), and evidently alludes to a native Tibetan term. The gayal is styled in Tibetan ba-men (or ba-man), derived from ba (‘cow’), a diminutive form of which is beu. Marco Polo appears to have heard some dialectic form of this word like beu-men or beu-min.”

XLVIII., p. 70.


Kiung tu or Kiang tu is Caindu in Sze–Ch’wan; Kien tu is in Yun Nan. Cf. PELLIOT, Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, July–Sept, 1904, p. 771. Caindu or Ning Yuan was, under the Mongols, a dependency of Yun Nan, not of Sze Ch’wan. (PELLIOT.)

XLVIII., p. 72. The name Karájáng. “The first element was the Mongol or Turki Kárá. . . . Among the inhabitants of this country some are black, and others are white; these latter are called by the Mongols Chaghán-Jáng (‘White Jang’). Jang has not been explained; but probably it may have been a Tibetan term adopted by the Mongols, and the colours may have applied to their clothing.”

Dr. Berthold Laufer, of Chicago, has a note on the subject in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Soc., Oct., 1915, pp. 781–4: “M. Pelliot (Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient., IV., 1904, p. 159) proposed to regard the unexplained name Jang as the Mongol transcription of Ts’uan, the ancient Chinese designation of the Lo-lo, taken from the family name of one of the chiefs of the latter; he gave his opinion, however, merely as an hypothesis which should await confirmation. I now believe that Yule was correct in his conception, and that, in accordance with his suggestion, Jang indeed represents the phonetically exact transcription of a Tibetan proper name. This is the Tibetan a Jan or a Jans (the prefixed letter a and the optional affix -s being silent, hence pronounced Jang or Djang), of which the following precise definition is given in the Dictionnaire tibétain-latin français par les Missionnaires Catholiques du Tibet (p. 351): ‘Tribus et regionis nomen in N.W. provinciae Sinarum Yun-nan, cuius urbs principalis est Sa-t’am seu Ly-kiang fou. Tribus vocatur Mosso a Sinensibus et Nashi ab ipsismet incolis.’ In fact, as here stated, Ja’n or Jang is the Tibetan designation of the Moso and the territory inhabited by them, the capital of which is Li-kiang-fu. This name is found also in Tibetan literature. . . . ”

XLVIII., p. 74, n. 2. One thousand Uighúr families (nou) had been transferred to Karajáng in 1285. (Yuan Shi, ch. 13, 8v°, quoted by PELLIOT.)

L., pp. 85–6. Zardandan. “The country is wild and hard of access, full of great woods and mountains which ’tis impossible to pass, the air in summer is so impure and bad; and any foreigners attempting it would die for certain.”

“An even more formidable danger was the resolution of our ‘permanent’ (as distinguished from ‘local’) soldiers and mafus, of which we were now apprised, to desert us in a body, as they declined to face the malaria of the Lu–Kiang Ba, or Salwen Valley. We had, of course, read in Gill’s book of this difficulty, but as we approached the Salwen we had concluded that the scare had been forgotten. We found, to our chagrin, that the dreaded ‘Fever Valley’ had lost none of its terrors. The valley had a bad name in Marco Polo’s day, in the thirteenth century, and its reputation has clung to it ever since, with all the tenacity of Chinese traditions. The Chinaman of the district crosses the valley daily without fear, but the Chinaman from a distance knows that he will either die or his wife will prove unfaithful. If he is compelled to go, the usual course is to write to his wife and tell her that she is free to look out for another husband. Having made up his mind that he will die, I have no doubt that he often dies through sheer funk.” (R. Logan JACK, Back Blocks of China, 1904, p. 205.)

L., pp. 84, 89.


We read in Huber’s paper already mentioned (Bul. Ecole Ext. Orient, Oct.-Dec., 1909, p. 665): “The second month of the twelfth year (1275), Ho T’ien-tsio, governor of the Kien Ning District, sent the following information: ‘A-kouo of the Zerdandan tribe, knows three roads to enter Burma, one by T’ien pu ma, another by the P’iao tien, and the third by the very country of A-kouo; the three roads meet at the ‘City of the Head of the River’ [Kaung si] in Burma.” A-kouo, named elsewhere A-ho, lived at Kan-ngai. According to Huber, the Zardandan road is the actual caravan road to Bhamo on the left of the Nam Ti and Ta Ping; the second route would be by the Tien ma pass and Nam hkam, the P’iao tien route is the road on the right bank of the Nam Ti and the Ta Ping leading to Bhamo viâ San Ta and Man Waing.

The Po Yi and Ho Ni tribes are mentioned in the Yuan Shi, s.a. 1278. (PELLIOT.)

L., p. 90.

Mr. H.A. OTTEWILL tells me in a private note that the Kachins or Singphos did not begin to reach Burma in their emigration from Tibet until last century or possibly this century. They are not to be found east of the Salwen River.

L., p. 91.


There is a paper on the subject in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (1911, pp. 546–63) by Hugo Kunicke, Das sogennante, “Mannerkindbett,“ with a bibliography not mentioning Yule’s Marco Polo, Vinson, etc. We may also mention: De la “Covada” en Espana. Por el Prof. Dr. Telesforo de Aranzadi, Barcelona (Anthropos, T.V., fasc. 4, Juli–August, 1910, pp. 775–8).

L., p. 92 n.

I quoted Prof. E.H. Parker (China Review, XIV., p. 359), who wrote that the “Langszi are evidently the Szi lang, one of the six Chao, but turned upside down.” Prof. Pelliot (Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, IV., July–Sept., 1904, p. 771) remarks: “Mr. Parker is entirely wrong. The Chao of Shi-lang, which was annexed by Nan Chao during the eighth century, was in the western part of Yun Nan, not in Kwei chau; we have but little information on the subject.” He adds: “The custom of Couvade is confirmed for the Lao of Southern China by the following text of the Yi wu chi of Fang Ts’ien-li, dating at least from the time of the T’ang dynasty: ‘When a Lao woman of Southern China has a child, she goes out at once. The husband goes to bed exhausted, like a woman giving suck. If he does not take care, he becomes ill. The woman has no harm.’”

L., pp. 91–95.

Under the title of The Couvade or “Hatching,“ John Cain writes from Dumagudem, 31st March, 1874, to the Indian Antiquary, May, 1874, p. 151:

“In the districts in South India in which Telugu is spoken, there is a wandering tribe of people called the Erukalavandlu. They generally pitch their huts, for the time being, just outside a town or village. Their chief occupations are fortune-telling, rearing pigs, and making mats. Those in this part of the Telugu country observe the custom mentioned in Max Müller’s Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. II., pp. 277–284. Directly the woman feels the birth-pangs, she informs her husband, who immediately takes some of her clothes, puts them on, places on his forehead the mark which the women usually place on theirs, retires into a dark room where is only a very dim lamp, and lies down on the bed, covering himself up with a long cloth. When the child is born, it is washed and placed on the cot beside the father. Assafoetida, jaggery, and other articles are then given, not to the mother, but to the father. During the days of ceremonial uncleanness the man is treated as the other Hindus treat their women on such occasions. He is not allowed to leave his bed, but has everything needful brought to him.”

Mr. John Cain adds (l.c., April, 1879, p. 106): “The women are called ‘hens’ by their husbands, and the male and female children ‘cock children’ and ‘hen children’ respectively.”

LI., p. 99 n. “M. Garnier informs me that Mien Kwé or Mien Tisong is the name always given in Yun Nan to that kingdom.”

Mien Tisong is surely faulty, and must likely be corrected in Mien Chung, proved especially at the Ming Period. (PELLIOT, Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, IV., July–Sept, 1904, p. 772.)

LI., LII., pp. 98 seq.


The late Edouard HUBER of Hanoi, writing from Burmese sources, throws new light on this subject: “In the middle of the thirteenth century, the Burmese kingdom included Upper and Lower Burma, Arakan and Tenasserim; besides the Court of Pagan was paramount over several feudatory Shan states, until the valleys of the Yunnanese affluents of the Irawadi to the N.E., and until Zimmé at the least to the E. Narasihapati, the last king of Pagan who reigned over the whole of this territory, had already to fight the Talaings of the Delta and the governor of Arakan who wished to be independent, when, in 1271, he refused to receive Kúblái’s ambassadors who had come to call upon him to recognize himself as a vassal of China. The first armed conflict took place during the spring of 1277 in the Nam Ti valley; it is the battle of Nga-çaung-khyam of the Burmese Chronicles, related by Marco Polo, who, by mistake, ascribes to Nasr ed-Din the merit of this first Chinese victory. During the winter of 1277–78, a second Chinese expedition with Nasr ed-Din at its head ended with the capture of Kaung sin, the Burmese stronghold commanding the defile of Bhamo. The Pagan Yazawin is the only Burmese Chronicle giving exactly the spot of this second encounter. During these two expeditions, the invaders had not succeeded in breaking through the thick veil of numerous small thai principalities which still stand today between Yun Nan and Burma proper. It was only in 1283 that the final crush took place, when a third expedition, whose chief was Siang-wu-ta-eul (Singtaur), retook the fort of Kaung sin and penetrated more into the south in the Irawadi Valley, but without reaching Pagan. King Narasihapati evacuated Pagan before the impending advancing Chinese forces and fled to the Delta. In 1285 parleys for the establishment of a Chinese Protectorship were begun; but in the following year, King Narasihapati was poisoned at Prome by his own son Sïhasura. In 1287, a fourth Chinese expedition, with Prince Ye-sin Timur at its head, reached at last Pagan, having suffered considerable losses. . . . A fifth and last Chinese expedition took place during the autumn of 1300 when the Chinese army went down the Irawadi Valley and besieged Myin–Saing during the winter of 1300–1301. The Mongol officers of the staff having been bribed the siege was raised.” (Bul. Ecole Extrême-Orient, Oct.-Dec., 1909, pp. 679–680; cf. also p. 651 n.)

Huber, p. 666 n., places the battle-field of Vochan in the Nam Ti Valley; the Burmese never reached the plain of Yung Ch’ang.

LII., p. 106 n.


We shall resume from Chinese sources the history of the relations between Burma and China:

1271. Embassy of Kúblái to Mien asking for allegiance.

1273. New embassy of Kúblái.

1275. Information supplied by A-kuo, chief of Zardandan.

1277. First Chinese Expedition against Mien — Battle of Nga-çaung-khyam won by Hu Tu.

1277. Second Chinese Expedition led by Naçr ed-Din.

1283. Third Chinese Expedition led by Prince Singtaur.

1287. Fourth Chinese Expedition led by Yisun Timur; capture of Pagan.

1300–1301. Fifth Chinese Expedition; siege of Myin-saing.

Cf. E. HUBER, Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, Oct.-Dec., 1909, pp. 633–680. — VISDELOU, Rev. Ext. Orient, II., pp. 72–88.

LIII.-LIV., pp. 106–108. “After leaving the Province of which I have been speaking [Yung ch’ang] you come to a great Descent. In fact you ride for two days and a half continually down hill. . . . 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 India, and this province is called AMIEN. You travel therein for fifteen days. . . . And when you have travelled those 15 days . . . you arrive at the capital city of this Province of Mien, and it also is called AMIEN. . . . ”

I owe the following valuable note to Mr. Herbert Allan OTTEWILL, H.M.‘s Vice–Consul at T’eng Yueh (11th October, 1908):

“The indications of the route are a great descent down which you ride continually for two days and a half towards the south along the main route to the capital city of Amien.

“It is admitted that the road from Yung Ch’ang to T’eng Yueh is not the one indicated. Before the Hui jen Bridge was built over the Salween in 1829, there can be no doubt that the road ran to Ta tu k’ou — great ferry place — which is about six miles below the present bridge. The distance to both places is about the same, and can easily be accomplished in two days.

“The late Mr. Litton, who was Consul here for some years, once stated that the road to La-mêng on the Salween was almost certainly the one referred to by Marco Polo as the great descent to the kingdom of Mien. His stages were from Yung Ch’ang: (1) Yin wang (? Niu wang); (2) P’ing ti; (3) Chen an so; (4) Lung Ling. The Salween was crossed on the third day at La-mêng Ferry. Yung Ch’ang is at an altitude of about 5,600 feet; the Salween at the Hui jen Bridge is about 2,400, and probably drops 200–300 feet between the bridge and La-mêng, Personally I have only been along the first stage to Niu Wang, 5,000 feet; and although aneroids proved that the highest point on the road was about 6,600, I can easily imagine a person not provided with such instruments stating that the descent was fairly gradual. From Niu Wang there must be a steady drop to the Salween, probably along the side of the stream which drains the Niu Wang Plain.

“La-mêng and Chen an so are in the territory of the Shan Sawbwa of Mang Shih [Möng Hkwan].”

“It is also a well-known fact that the Shan States of Hsen-wi (in Burma) and Meng mao (in China) fell under Chinese authority at an early date. Mr. E.H. Parker, quoted by Sir G. Scott in the Upper Burma Gazetteer, states: ‘During the reign of the Mongol Emperor Kúblái a General was sent to punish Annam and passed through this territory or parts of it called Meng tu and Meng pang,’ and secured its submission. In the year 1289 the Civil and Military Governorship of Muh Pang was established. Muh Pang is the Chinese name of Hsen-wi.

“Therefore the road from Yung Ch’ang to La-mêng fulfils the conditions of a great descent, riding two and a half days continually down hill finding oneself in a (Shan) Province to the south, besides being on a well-known road to Burma, which was probably in the thirteenth century the only road to that country.

“Fifteen days from La-mêng to Tagaung or Old Pagan is not an impossible feat. Lung Ling is reached in 1–1/2 days, Keng Yang in four, and it is possible to do the remaining distance about a couple of hundred miles in eleven days, making fifteen in all.

“I confess I do not see how any one could march to Pagan in Latitude 21° 13’ in fifteen days.”

LIV., p. 113.


According to the late E. HUBER, Ngan chen kue is not Nga-çaung-khyam, but Nga Singu, in the Mandalay district. The battle took place, not in the Yung Ch’ang plain, but in the territory of the Shan Chief of Nan-tien. The official description of China under the Ming (Ta Ming yi lung che, k. 87, 38 v°) tells us that Nan-tien before its annexation by Kúblái Khan, bore the name of Nan Sung or Nang Sung, and today the pass which cuts this territory in the direction of T’eng Yueh is called Nang–Sung-kwan. It is hardly possible to doubt that this is the place called Nga-çaung-khyam by the Burmese Chronicles. (Bul. Ecole franç. Ext. Orient, Oct.-Dec., 1909, p. 652.)

LVI., p. 117 n.

A Map in the Yun Nan Topography Section 9, “Tu-ssu” or Sawbwas, marks the Kingdom of “Eight hundred wives” between the mouths of the Irrawaddy and the Salween Rivers. (Note kindly sent by Mr. H.A. OTTEWILL.)

LIX., p. 128.


M. Georges Maspero, L’Empire Khmèr, p. 77 n., thinks that Canxigu = Luang Prabang; I read Caugigu and I believe it is a transcription of Kiao–Chi Kwé, see p. 131.

LIX., pp. 128, 131.

“I have identified, II., p. 131, Caugigu with Kiao–Chi kwé (Kiao Chi), i.e. Tung King.” Hirth and Rockhill (Chau Ju-kua, p. 46 n.) write: “‘Kiáu chi’ is certainly the original of Marco Polo’s Caugigu and of Rashideddin’s Kafchi kué.”

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