The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Chapter lxiii.

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 manufactures. 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 manufactures. 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 merchandize1.

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.

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 1. — 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-ch’ing, Lin-tsing, lat. 37° 03’, Playfair’s Dict. No. 4276; Biot, p. 107. — H.C.]

In any case, I imagine Lingiu (of which, perhaps, Lingin may be the correct reading) 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 Astley, III. 417). [See D. Gandar, Canal Impérial, 1894. — H.C.]

Last updated Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 10:52