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, 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 1. — Coiganju is HWAI-NGAN CHAU, now -Fu 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 (Pauthier).
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:12