The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Book Third.

Japan, the Archipelago, Southern India, and the Coasts and Islands of the Indian Sea.

II., p. 256, n. 1.


Regarding the similitude between Nipon and Nafún, Ferrand, Textes, I., p. 115 n., remarks: “Ce rapprochement n’a aucune chance d’être exact [Arabic] Nafun est certainement une erreur de graphic pour [Arabic] Yakut ou [Arabic] Nakus.”

III., p. 261.

Japanese War.

“Hung Ts’a-k’iu, who set out overland viâ Corea and Tsushima in 1281, is much more likely than Fan Wên-hu to be Von-sain-chin (probably a misprint for chiu), for the same reason Vo-cim stands for Yung-ch’ang, and sa for sha, ch’a, ts’a, etc. A-la-han (not A-ts’ï-han) fell sick at the start, and was replaced by A-ta-hai. To copy Abacan for Alahan would be a most natural error, and I see from the notes that M. Schlegel has come to the same conclusion independently.” (E.H. PARKER, Asiatic Quart. Rev., Jan., 1904, p. 147.)

V., pp. 270, 271 n.


Lieut.-General Sagatu, So Tu or So To, sent in 1278 an envoy to the King known as Indravarman VI. or Jaya Sinhavarman. Maspero (Champa, pp. 237, 254) gives the date of 1282 for the war against Champa with Sagatu appointed at the head of the Chinese Army on the 16th July, 1282; the war lasted until 1285. Maspero thinks 1288 the date of Marco’s visit to Champa (L.c., p. 254).

VII., p. 277 n.

Sondur and Condur (Pulo Condore).

Mr. C.O. Blagden has some objection to Sundar Fulat being Pulo Condor: “In connexion with Sundur–Fulat, some difficulties seem to arise. If it represents Pulo Condor, why should navigators on their way to China call at it after visiting Champa, which lies beyond it? And if fulat represents a Persian plural of the Malay Pulau,‘island,’ why does it not precede the proper name as generic names do in Malay and in Indonesian and Southern Indo–Chinese languages generally? Further, if sundur represents a native form cundur, whence the hard c (= k) of our modern form of the word? I am not aware that Malay changes c to k in an initial position.” (J. R. As. Soc., April, 1914, p. 496.)

“L’île de Sendi Foulat est très grande; il y a de l’eau douce, des champs cultivés, du, riz et des cocotiers. Le roi s’appelle Resed. Les habitants portent la fouta soit en manteau, soit en ceinture. . . . L’île de Sendi Foulat est entourée, du côté de la Chine, de montagnes d’un difficile accès, et ou soufflent des vents impétueux. Cette île est une des portes de la Chine. De là à la ville de Khancou, X journées.” EDRISI, I., p. 90. In Malay Pulo Condor is called Pulau Kundur (Pumpkin Island) and in Cambodian, Koh Tralàch. See PELLIOT, Deux Itinéraires, pp. 218–220. Fulat = ful (Malay pule) + Persian plural suffix -at. Cundur fulat means Pumpkin Island. FERRAND, Textes, pp. ix., 2.

VII., p. 277.


According to W. Tomaschek (Die topographischen Capitel des Indischen Seespiegels Mohit, Vienna, 1897, Map XXIII.) it should be read Losak = The Lochac of the G.T. “It is Lankaçoka of the Tanjore inscription of 1030, the Ling ya ssi kia of the Chu-fan-chï of Chau Ju-kua, the Lenkasuka of the Nagarakretagama, the Lang-saka of Sulayman al Mahri, situated on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula.” (G. FERRAND, Malaka, le Malayu et Malayur, J. As., July–Aug, 1918, p. 91.) On the situation of this place which has been erroneously identified with Tenasserim, see Ibid., pp. 134–145 M. Ferrand places it in the region of Ligor.

VII., pp. 278–279.


Lawáki comes from Lovek, a former capital of Cambodia; referring to the aloes-wood called Lawáki in the Ain-i-Akbari written in the 16th century, FERRAND, Textes, I., p. 285 n., remarks: “On vient de voir que Ibn-al-Baytar a emprunté ce nom à Avicenne (980–1037) qui écrivit son Canon de la Médecine dans les premières années du XI’e siècle. Lawák ou Lowak nous est donc attesté sous le forme Lawáki ou Lowaki dès le X’e siècle, puis qu’il est mentionné, au début du XI’e, par Avicenne qui résidait alors à Djurdjan, sur la Caspienne.”

VIII., pp. 280–3.

Of the Island Called Pentam, and the City Malaiur.

The late Col. G.E. Gerini published in the J.R.A.S., July, 1905, pp. 485–511, a paper on the Nagarakretagama, a Javanese poem composed by a native bard named Prapañca, in honour of his sovereign Hayam Wuruk (1350–1389), the greatest ruler of Majapahit. He upsets all the theories accepted hitherto regarding Panten. The southernmost portion of the Malay Peninsula is known as the Malaya or Malayu country (Tanah–Malayu) = Chinese Ma-li-yü-êrh = Malayur = Maluir of Marco Polo, witness the river Malayu (Sungei Malayu) still so called, and the village Bentan, both lying there (ignored by all Col. Gerini’s predecessors) on the northern shore of the Old Singapore Strait. Col. Gerini writes (p. 509): “There exists to this day a village Bentam on the mainland side of Singapore Strait, right opposite the mouth of the Sungei Selitar, on the northern shore of Singapore Island, it is not likely that both travellers [Polo and Odoric] mistook the coast of the Malay Peninsula for an island. The island of Pentam, Paten, or Pantem must therefore be the Be–Tumah (Island) of the Arab Navigators, the Tamasak Island of the Malays; and, in short, the Singapore Island of our day.” He adds: “The island of Pentam cannot be either Batang or Bitang, the latter of which is likewise mentioned by Marco Polo under the same name of Pentam, but 60 + 30 = 90 miles before reaching the former. Batang, girt all round by dangerous reefs, is inaccessible except to small boats. So is Bintang, with the exception of its south-western side, where is now Riau, and where, a little further towards the north, was the settlement at which the chief of the island resided in the fourteenth century. There was no reason for Marco Polo’s junk to take that roundabout way in order to call at such, doubtlessly insignificant place. And the channel (i.e. Rhio Strait) has far more than four paces’ depth of water, whereas there are no more than two fathoms at the western entrance to the Old Singapore Strait.”

Marco Polo says (II., p. 280): “Throughout this distance [from Pentam] 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.” Gerini remarks that it is unmistakably the Old Singapore Strait, and that there is no channel so shallow throughout all those parts except among reefs. “The Old Strait or Selat Tebrau, says N.B. Dennys, Descriptive Dict. of British Malaya, separating Singapore from Johore. Before the settlement of the former, this was the only known route to China; it is generally about a mile broad, but in some parts little more than three furlongs. Crawford went through it in a ship of 400 tons, and found the passage tedious but safe.” Most of Sinologists, Beal, Chavannes, Pelliot, Bul. Ecole Ext. Orient., IV., 1904, pp. 321–2, 323–4, 332–3, 341, 347, place the Malaiur of Marco Polo at Palembang in Sumatra.

VIII., pp. 281, n. 283 n.


“On a traduit Tanah Malayu par ‘Pays des Malais,’ mais cette traduction n’est pas rigoureusement exacte. Pour prendre une expression parallèle, Tanah Djawa signifie ‘Pays de Java,’ mais non ‘Pays des Javanais.’

“En réalité, tanah ‘terre, sol, pays, contrée’ s’emploie seulement avec un toponyme qui doit étre rendu par un toponyme équivalent. Le nom des habitants du pays s’exprime, en malais, en ajoutant oran ‘homme, personne, gens, numéral des êtres humains’ au nom du pays: ‘oran Malayu’ Malais, litt. ‘gens de Malayu’; oran Djawa Javanais, litt. ‘gens de Java.’ Tanah Malayu a done très nettement le sens de ‘pays de Malayu’; cf. l’expression kawi correspondante dans le Nagarakrêtugama: tanah ri Malayu ‘pays de Malayu’ où chaque mot français recouvre exactement le substantif, la préposition et le toponyme de l’expression kawi. Le taná Malayo de Barros s’applique donc à un pays déterminé du nom de Malayu qui, d’après l’auteur des Décades, était situé entre Djambi et Palemban. Nous savons, d’autre part, que le pays en question avait sa capitale dans l’intérieur de l’île, mais qu’il s’étendait dans l’Est jusqu’à la mer et que la côte orientale a été désignée par les textes chinois du VII’e siècle sous le nom de Mo-lo-yeou, Mo-lo-yu = Malayu, c’est-à-dire par le nom de l’Etat ou royaume dont elle faisait partie.” (G. FERRAND, J. As., July–Aug., 1918, pp. 72–73.)

VIII., p. 282.


See G. FERRAND, Malaka, le Malayu et Malayur, J.As., 1918. Besides Malayu of Sumatra, there was a city of Malayur which M. Ferrand thinks is Malacca.

VIII., p. 282 n. “This informs us that Malacca first acknowledged itself as tributary to the Empire in 1405, the king being Sili-ju-eul-sula(?).”

In this name Si-li-ju-eul-su-la, one must read [Chinese] pa, instead of [Chinese], and read Si-li-pa-eul-su-la = Siri Paramisura (Çri Paramaçvara). (PELLIOT, Bul. Ecole franc. Ext. Orient, IV., July–Sept., 1904, p. 772.)

IX., p. 285. “They [the rhinoceros] do no mischief, however, with the horn, but with the tongue alone; for this is covered all over with long and strong prickles [and when savage with any one they crush him under their knees and then rasp him with their tongue].”

“Its tongue is like the burr of a chestnut.” (CHAU JU-KWA, P. 233.)

IX., p. 289.


In 1017, an embassy was sent to the Court of China by Haji Sumutrabhumi, “the king of the land of Sumutra” (Sumatra). The envoys had a letter in golden characters and tribute in the shape of pearls, ivory, Sanscrit, books folded between boards, and slaves; by an imperial edict they were permitted to see the emperor and to visit some of the imperial buildings. When they went back an edict was issued addressed to their king, accompanied by various presents, calculated to please them. (GROENEVELT, Notes on the Malay Archipelago, p. 65.) G. Ferrand writes (J. As., Mars–Avril, 1917, p. 335) that according to the texts quoted by him in his article the island of Sumatra was known to the Chinese under the name Sumuta = Sumutra, during the first years of the eleventh century, nearly 300 years before Marco Polo’s voyage; and under the name of Sumutra, by the Arab sailors, previously to the first voyage of the Portuguese in Indonesia.

IX., p. 287.


Prof. Pelliot writes to me that the Ferlec of Marco Polo is to be found several times in the Yuan Shi, year 1282 and following, under the forms Fa-li-lang (Chap. 12, fol. 4 v.), Fa-li-la (Chap. 13, fol. 2 v.), Pie-li-la (Chap. 13, fol. 4 v.), Fa-eul-la (Chap. 18, fol. 8 v.); in the first case, it is quoted near A-lu (Aru) and Kan-pai (Kampei). — Cf. FERRAND, Textes, II., p. 670.

XI., pp. 304–5.

Sago Tree.

Sago Palm = Sagus Rumphianus and S. Laevis (DENNYS). —“From Malay sagu. The farinaceous pith taken out of the stem of several species of a particular genus of palm, especially Metroxylon laeve, Mart., and M. Rumphii, Willd., found in every part of the Indian Archipelago, including the Philippines, wherever there is proper soil.” (Hobson–Jobson.)

XII., p. 306. “In this island [Necuveran] they have no king nor chief, but live like beasts. And I tell you they go all naked, both men and women, and do not use the slightest covering of any kind.”

We have seen (Marco Polo, II., p. 308) that Mr. G. Phillips writes (J.R.A.S., July, 1895, p. 529) that the name Tsui-lan given to the Nicobars by the Chinese is, he has but little doubt, “a corruption of Nocueran, the name given by Marco Polo to the group. The characters Tsui-lan are pronounced Ch’ui lan in Amoy, out of which it is easy to make Cueran. The Chinese omitted the initial syllable and called them the Cueran Islands, while Marco Polo called them the Nocueran Islands.” Schlegel, T’oung Pao, IX., p. 182–190, thinks that the Andaman Islands are alone represented by Ts’ui-lan; the Nicobar being the old country of the Lo-ch’a, and in modern time, Mao shan, “Hat Island.” Pelliot, Bul. Ecole Ext. Orient, IV., 1904, pp. 354–5, is inclined to accept Phillip’s opinion. He says that Mao-shan is one island, not a group of islands; it is not proved that the country of the Lo ch’a is the Nicobar Islands; the name of Lo-hing-man, Naked Barbarians, is, contrary to Schlegel’s opinion, given to the Nicobar as well as to the Andaman people; the name of Andaman appears in Chinese for the first time during the thirteenth century in Chao Ju-kwa under the form Yen-t’o-man; Chao Ju-kwa specifies that going from Lambri (Sumatra) to Ceylon, it is an unfavourable wind which makes ships drift towards these islands; on the other hand, texts show that the Ts’ui-lan islands were on the usual route from Sumatra to Ceylon. — Gerini, Researches, p. 396, considers that Ts’ui-lan shan is but the phonetic transcript of Tilan-chong Island, the north-easternmost of the Nicobars. — See Hirth and Rockhill’s Chau Ju-kwa, p. 12n. — Sansk. narikera, “cocoanuts,” is found in Necuveram.

XIII., p. 309.


“When sailing from Lan-wu-li to Si-lan, if the wind is not fair, ships may be driven to a place called Yen-t’o-man [in Cantonese, An-t’o-man]. This is a group of two islands in the middle of the sea, one of them being large, the other small; the latter is quite uninhabited. The large one measures seventy li in circuit. The natives on it are of a colour resembling black lacquer; they eat men alive, so that sailors dare not anchor on this coast.

“This island does not contain so much as an inch of iron, for which reason the natives use (bits of) conch-shell (ch’ö-k’ü) with ground edges instead of knives. On this island is a sacred relic, (the so-called) ‘Corpse on a bed of rolling gold. . . . ’” (CHAU JU-KWA, p. 147.)

XIII., p. 311.

Dog-Headed Barbarians.

Rockhill in a note to Carpini (Rubruck, p. 36) mentions “the Chinese annals of the sixth century (Liang Shu, bk. 54; Nan shih, bk. 79) which tell of a kingdom of dogs (Kou kuo) in some remote corner of north-eastern Asia. The men had human bodies but dogs’ heads, and their speech sounded like barking. The women were like the rest of their sex in other parts of the world.”

Dr. Laufer writes to me: “A clear distinction must be made between dog-headed people and the motive of descent from a dog-ancestor — two entirely different conceptions. The best exposition of the subject of the cynocephali according to the traditions of the Ancients is now presented by J. MARQUART (Benin–Sammlung des Reichsmuseums in Leiden, pp. cc-ccxix). It is essential to recognize that the mediaeval European, Arabic, and Chinese fables about the country of the dog-heads are all derived from one common source, which is traceable to the Greek Romance of Alexander; that is an Oriental–Hellenistic cycle. In a wider sense, the dog-heads belong to the cycle of wondrous peoples, which assumed shape among the Greek mariners under the influence of Indian and West–Asiatic ideas. The tradition of the Nan shi (Ch. 79, p. 4), in which the motive of the dog-heads, the women, however, being of human shape, meets its striking parallel in Adam of Bremen (Gesta Hamburg, ecclesiae pontificum, 4, 19), who thus reports on the Terra Feminarum beyond the Baltic Sea: ‘Cumque pervenerint ad partum, si quid masculini generis est, fiunt cynocephali, si quid femini, speciosissimae mulieres.’ See further KLAPROTH, J. As., XII., 1833, p. 287; DULAURIER, J. As., 1858, p. 472; ROCKHILL, Rubruck, p. 36.”

In an interesting paper on Walrus and Narwhal Ivory, Dr. Laufer (T’oung Pao, July, 1916, p. 357) refers to dog-headed men with women of human shape, from a report from the Mongols received by King Hethum of Armenia.

XIV., p. 313. “The people [of Ceylon] are Idolaters, and go quite naked except that they cover the middle. . . . The King of this Island possesses a ruby which is the finest and biggest in the world; I will tell you what it is like. It is about a palm in length, and as thick as a man’s arm; to look at, it is the most resplendent object upon earth; it is quite free from flaw and as red as fire. Its value is so great that a price for it in money could hardly be named at all.”

Chau Ju-kwa, p. 73, has: “The King holds in his hand a jewel five inches in diameter, which cannot be burnt by fire, and which shines in (the darkness of) night like a torch. The King rubs his face with it daily, and though he were passed ninety he would retain his youthful looks.

“The people of the country are very dark-skinned, they wrap a sarong round their bodies, go bare-headed and bare-footed.”

XIV., p. 314 n.

The Island of Ceylon.

The native kings of this period were Pandita Prakama Bahu II., who reigned from 1267 to 1301 at Dambadenia, about 40 miles north-north-east of Columbo (Marco Polo’s time); Vijaya Bahu IV. (1301–1303); Bhuwaneka Bahu I. (1303–1314); Prakama Bahu III. (1314–1319); Bhuwaneka Bahu II. (1319).

Sagamoni Borcan.

= Sakya Muni Burkhan.

XV., p. 319. Seilan–History of Sagamoni Borcan. “And they maintain . . . that the teeth, and the hair, and the dish that are there were those of the same king’s son, whose name was Sagamoni Borcan, or Sagamoni the Saint.”

See J.F. FLEET, The Tradition about the corporeal Relics of Buddha. (Jour. R. As. Soc., 1906, and April, 1907, pp. 341–363.)

XV., p. 320.

In a paper on Burkhan printed in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, XXXVI., 1917, pp. 390–395, Dr. Berthold Laufer has come to the following conclusion: “Burkhan in Mongol by no means conveys exclusively the limited notion of Buddha, but, first of all, signifies ‘deity, god, gods,’ and secondly ‘representation or image of a god.’ This general significance neither inheres in the term Buddha nor in Chinese Fo; neither do the latter signify ‘image of Buddha’; only Mongol burkhan has this force, because originally it conveyed the meaning of a shamanistic image. From what has been observed on the use of the word burkhan in the shamanistic or preBuddhistic religions of the Tungusians, Mongols and Turks, it is manifest that the word well existed there before the arrival of Buddhism, fixed in its form and meaning, and was but subsequently transferred to the name of Buddha.”

XV., pp. 323 seq.

Barlaam and Josaphat.

The German traveller von Le Coq has found at Turfan fragments of this legend in Turki which he published in 1912 in his Türkische Manichaica, which agree with the legend given by the Persian Ibn Bâbawaih of Qum, who died in 991. (S. d’OLDENBOURG, Bul. Ac. I. des Sc., Pet., 1912, pp. 779–781; W. RADLOFF, Alttürk. Stud., VI., zu Barlaam und Joasaph). M.P. Alfaric (La Vie chrétienne du Bouddha, J. Asiatique, Sept.-Oct., 1917, pp. 269 seq.; Rev. de l’Hist. des Religions, Nov.-Dec., 1918, pp. 233 seq.) has studied this legend from a Manichaean point of view.

XV., p. 327.

See La “Vie des Saints Barlaam et Josaphat” et la légende du Bouddha, in Vol. I., pp. xxxxvii-lvi, of Contes populaires de Lorraine par Emmanuel COSQUIN, Paris, Vieweg, n.d. 1886

XVI., p. 335 n.


Speaking of Chu-lién (Chola Dominion, Coromandel Coast), Chau Ju-kwa, pp. 93–4, says:—

“The kingdom of Chu-lién is the Southern Yin-tu of the west. To the east (its capital) is five li distant from the sea; to the west one comes to Western India (after) 1500 li; to the south one comes to Lo-lan (after) 2500 li; to the north one comes to Tun-t’ien (after) 3000 li.”

Hirth and Rockhill remark, p. 98: “Ma Tuan-lin and the Sung-shï reproduce textually this paragraph (the former writer giving erroneously the distance between the capital and the sea as 5000 li). Yule, Marco Polo, II, p. 335, places the principal port of the Chola kingdom at Kaveripattanam, the ‘Pattanam’ par excellence of the Coromandel Coast, and at one of the mouths of the Kaveri. He says that there seems to be some evidence that the Tanjore ports were, before 1300, visited by Chinese trade. The only Lo-lan known to mediaeval Chinese is mentioned in the T’ang-shu, 221’8, and is identified with the capital of Bamian, in Afghanistan. I think our text is corrupt here and that the character lo should be changed to si, and that we should read Si-lan, our Ceylon. Both Ma and the Sung-shï say that 2500 li south-east of Chu-lién was ‘Si-lan-ch’ï-kuo with which it was at war. Of course the distance mentioned is absurd, but all figures connected with Chu-lién in Chinese accounts are inexplicably exaggerated.”

XVI., pp. 336–337.

Chinese Pagoda at Negapatam.

Sir Walter ELLIOT, K.C.S.I., to whom Yule refers for the information given about this pagoda, has since published in the Indian Antiquary, VII., 1878, pp. 224–227, an interesting article with the title: The Edifice formerly known as the Chinese or Jaina Pagoda at Negapatam, from which we gather the following particulars regarding its destruction:—

“It went by various names, as the Puduveli-gôpuram, the old pagoda, Chinese pagoda, black pagoda, and in the map of the Trigonometrical Survey (Sheet 79) it stands as the Jeyna (Jaina) pagoda. But save in name it has nothing in common with Hindu or Muhammadan architecture, either in form or ornament.”

“In 1859, the Jesuit Fathers presented a petition to the Madras Government representing the tower to be in a dangerous condition, and requesting permission to pull it down and appropriate the materials to their own use. . . . ” In 1867 “the Fathers renewed their application for leave to remove it, on the following grounds: ‘1st, because they considered it to be unsafe in its present condition; 2nd, because it obstructed light and sea-breeze from a chapel which they had built behind it; 3rd, because they would very much like to get the land on which it stood; and 4th, because the bricks of which it was built would be very useful to them for building purposes.’

“The Chief Engineer, who meanwhile had himself examined the edifice, and had directed the District Engineer to prepare a small estimate for its repair, reported that the first only of the above reasons had any weight, and that it would be met if Colonel O’Connell’s estimate, prepared under his own orders, received the sanction of Government. He therefore recommended that this should be given, and the tower allowed to stand. . . .

“The Chief Engineer’s proposal did not meet with approval, and on the 28th August 1867, the following order was made on the Jesuits’ petition: ‘The Governor in Council is pleased to sanction the removal of the old tower at Negapatam by the officers of St. Joseph’s College, at their own expense, and the appropriation of the available material to such school-building purposes as they appear to have in contemplation.

“The Fathers were not slow in availing themselves of this permission. The venerable building was speedily levelled, and the site cleared.”

In making excavations connected with the college a bronze image representing a Buddhist or Jaina priest in the costume and attitude of the figures in wood and metal brought from Burma was found; it was presented to Lord Napier, in 1868; a reproduction of it is given in Sir Walter Elliot’s paper.

In a note added by Dr. Burnell to this paper, we read: “As I several times in 1866 visited the ruin referred to, I may be permitted to say that it had become merely a shapeless mass of bricks. I have no doubt that it was originally a vimâna or shrine of some temple; there are some of precisely the same construction in parts of the Chingleput district.”

XVI., p. 336 n.


We read in the Tao yi chi lio (1349) that “T’u t’a (the eastern stupa) is to be found in the flat land of Pa-tan (Fattan, Negapatam?) and that it is surrounded with stones. There is stupa of earth and brick many feet high; it bears the following Chinese inscription: ‘The work was finished in the eighth moon of the third year hien chw’en (1267).’ It is related that these characters have been engraved by some Chinese in imitation of inscriptions on stone of those countries; up to the present time, they have not been destroyed.” Hien chw’en is the nien hao of Tu Tsung, one of the last emperors of the Southern Sung Dynasty, not of a Mongol Sovereign. I owe this information to Prof. Pelliot, who adds that the comparison between the Chinese Pagoda of Negapatam and the text of the Tao yi chi lio has been made independent of him by Mr. Fujita in the Tokyo-gakuho, November, 1913, pp. 445–46. (Cathay, I., p. 81 n.)

XVII., p. 340. “Here [Maabar] are no horses bred; and thus a great part of the wealth of the country is wasted in purchasing horses; I will tell you how. You must know that the merchants of Kis and Hormes, Dofar and Soer and Aden collect great numbers of destriers and other horses, and these they bring to the territories of this King and of his four brothers, who are kings likewise as I told you . . . ”

Speaking of Yung (or Wöng) man, Chau Ju-kwa tells us (p. 133): “In the mountains horse-raising is carried on a large scale. The other countries which trade here purchase horses, pearls and dates which they get in exchange for cloves, cardamom seeds and camphor.”

XVII., p. 341.

Suttees in India.

“Suttee is a Brahmanical rite, and there is a Sanskrit ritual in existence (see Classified Index to the Tanjore MSS., p. 135a.). It was introduced into Southern India with the Brahman civilization, and was prevalent there chiefly in the Brahmanical Kingdom of Vijayanagar, and among the Mahrattas. In Malabar, the most primitive part of S. India, the rite is forbidden (Anacharanirnaya, v. 26). The cases mentioned by Teixeira, and in the Lettres édifiantes, occurred at Tanjore and Madura. A (Mahratta) Brahman at Tanjore told one of the present writers that he had to perform commemorative funeral rites for his grandfather and grandmother on the same day, and this indicated that his grandmother had been a sati.” YULE, Hobson–Jobson. Cf. Cathay, II., pp. 139–140.


XVII., p. 345. Speaking of this province, Marco Polo says: “They have certain abbeys in which are gods and goddesses to whom many young girls are consecrated; their fathers and mothers presenting them to that idol for which they entertain the greatest devotion. And when the [monks] of a convent desire to make a feast to their god, they send for all those consecrated damsels and make them sing and dance before the idol with great festivity. They also bring meats to feed their idol withal; that is to say, the damsels prepare dishes of meat and other good things and put the food before the idol, and leave it there a good while, and then the damsels all go to their dancing and singing and festivity for about as long as a great Baron might require to eat his dinner. By that time they say the spirit of the idols has consumed the substance of the food, so they remove the viands to be eaten by themselves with great jollity. This is performed by these damsels several times every year until they are married.”

Chau Ju-kwa has the following passage in Cambodia (p. 53): “(The people) are devout Buddhists. There are serving (in the temples) some three hundred foreign women; they dance and offer food to the Buddha. They are called a-nan or slave dancing-girls.”

Hirth and Rockhill, who quote Marco Polo’s passage, remark, p. 55 n.: “A-nan, as here written, is the usual transcription of the Sanskrit word ananda, ‘joy, happiness.’ The almeh or dancing-girls are usually called in India deva-dasi (‘slave of a god’) or ramjani.”

In Guzerat, Chau Ju-kwa, p. 92, mentions: “Four thousand Buddhist temple buildings, in which live over twenty thousand dancing-girls who sing twice daily while offering food to the Buddha (i.e., the idols) and while offering flowers.”

XVIII., p. 356.

Traditions of St. Thomas.

“The traditional site of the Apostle’s Tomb, now adjacent to the sea-shore, has recently come to be enclosed in the crypt of the new Cathedral of San Thomé.” (A.E. MEDLYCOTT, India and the Apostle Thomas. An inquiry. With a critical analysis of the Acta Thomae. London, David Nutt, 1905, 8vo.)

In the beginning of the sixteenth century Barbosa found the church of St. Thomas half in ruins and grown round with jungle. A Mahomedan fakir kept it and maintained a lamp. Yet in 1504, which is several years earlier than Barbosa’s voyage, the Syrian Bishop Jaballaha, who had been sent by the Patriarch to take charge of the Indian Christians, reported that the House of St. Thomas had begun to be inhabited by some Christians, who were engaged in restoring it.

Mr. W.R. Philipps has a valuable paper on The Connection of St. Thomas the Apostle with India in the Indian Antiquary, XXXII., 1903, pp. 1–15, 145–160; he has come to the following conclusions: “(1) There is good early evidence that St. Thomas was the apostle of the Parthian empire; and also evidence that he was the apostle of ‘India’ in some limited sense, — probably of an ‘India’ which included the Indus Valley, but nothing to the east or south of it. (2) According to the Acts, the scene of the martyrdom of St. Thomas was in the territory of a king named, according to the Syriac version, Mazdai, to which he had proceeded after a visit to the city of a king named, according to the same version, Gudnaphar or Gundaphar. (3) There is no evidence at all that the place where St. Thomas was martyred was in Southern India; and all the indications point to another direction. (4) We have no indication whatever, earlier than that given by Marco Polo, who died 1324, that there ever was even a tradition that St. Thomas was buried in Southern India.”

In a recent and learned work (Die Thomas Legende, 1912, 8vo.) Father J. Dahlmann has tried to prove that the story of the travels of St. Thomas in India has an historical basis. If there is some possibility of admitting a voyage of the Apostle to N.W. India (and the flourishing state of Buddhism in this part of India is not in favour of Christian Evangelization), it is impossible to accept the theory of the martyrdom of St. Thomas in Southern India.

The late Mr. J.F. FLEET, in his paper on St. Thomas and Gondophernes (Journ. Roy. As. Soc., April, 1905, pp. 223–236), remarks that “Mr. Philipps has given us an exposition of the western traditional statements up to the sixth century.” He gives some of the most ancient statements; one in its earliest traceable form runs thus: “According to the Syriac work entitled The Doctrine of the Apostles, which was written in perhaps the second century A.D., St. Thomas evangelized ‘India.’ St. Ephraem the Syrian (born about A.D. 300, died about 378), who spent most of his life at Edessa, in Mesopotamia, states that the Apostle was martyred in ‘India’ and that his relics were taken thence to Edessa. That St. Thomas evangelized the Parthians, is stated by Origen (born A.D. 185 or 186, died about 251–254). Eusebius (bishop of Caesarea Palaestinae from A.D. 315 to about 340) says the same. And the same statement is made by the Clementine Recognitions, the original of which may have been written about A.D. 210. A fuller tradition is found in the Acts of St. Thomas, which exist in Syriac, Greek, Latin, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Arabic, and in a fragmentary form in Coptic. And this work connects with St. Thomas two eastern kings, whose names appear in the Syriac version as Gudnaphar, Gundaphar, and Mazdai; and in the Greek version as Goundaphoros, Goundiaphoros, Gountaphoros, and Misdaios, Misdeos; in the Latin version as Gundaforus, Gundoforus, and Misdeus, Mesdeus, Migdeus; and in the remaining versions in various forms, of the same kind, which need not be particularized here.” Mr. Fleet refers to several papers, and among them to one by Prof. Sylvain Lévi, Saint Thomas, Gondopharès et Mazdeo (Journ., As., Janv.-Fév., 1897, pp. 27–42), who takes the name Mazdai as a transformation of a Hindu name, made on Iranian soil and under Mazdean influences, and arrived at through the forms Bazodeo, Bazdeo, or Bazodeo, Bazdeo, which occur in Greek legends on coins, and to identify the person with the king Vasudeva of Mathura, a successor of Kanishka. Mr. Fleet comes to the conclusion that: “No name, save that of Guduphara — Gondophernès, in any way resembling it, is met with in any period of Indian history, save in that of the Takht-i-Bahi inscription of A.D. 46; nor, it may be added, any royal name, save that of Vasudeva of Mathura, in any way resembling that of Mazdai. So also, as far as we know or have any reason to suppose, no name like that of Guduphara — Gondophernes is to be found anywhere outside India, save in the tradition about St. Thomas.”

XVIII., p. 357.


On this city of the martyrdom of St. Thomas, see Indian Antiquary, XXXII., pp. 148 seq. in Mr. Philipps’ paper, and XXXIII., Jan., 1904, pp. 31–2, a note signed W.R.P.

XIX., p. 361. “In this kingdom [Mutfili] also are made the best and most delicate buckrams, and those of highest price; in sooth they look like tissue of spider’s web!”

In Nan p’i (in Malabar) Chau Ju-kwa has (p. 88): “The native products include pearls, foreign cotton-stuff of all colours (i.e. coloured chintzes) and tou-lo mién (cotton-cloth).” Hirth and Rockhill remark that this cotton-cloth is probably “the buckram which looks like tissue of spider’s web” of which Polo speaks, and which Yule says was the famous muslin of Masulipatam. Speaking of Cotton, Chau Ju-kwa (pp. 217–8) writes: “The ki pe tree resembles a small mulberry-tree, with a hibiscus-like flower furnishing a floss half an inch and more in length, very much like goose-down, and containing some dozens of seeds. In the south the people remove the seed from the floss by means of iron chopsticks, upon which the floss is taken in the hand and spun without troubling about twisting together the thread. Of the cloth woven therefrom there are several qualities; the most durable and the strongest is called t’ou-lo-mién; the second quality is called fan-pu or ‘foreign cloth’; the third ‘tree cotton’ or mu-mién; the fourth ki-pu. These textures are sometimes dyed in various colours and brightened with strange patterns. The pieces measure up to five or six feet in breadth.”

XXI., p. 373.

The City of Cail.

Prof. E.H. PARKER writes in the Journal of the North–China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Soc., XXXVII., 1906, p. 196: “Yule’s identification of Kayal with the Kolkhoi of Ptolemy is supported by the Sung History, which calls it both Ko-ku-lo and Ku-lo; it was known at the beginning of the tenth century and was visited by several Chinese priests. In 1411 the Ming Dynasty actually called it Ka-i-lêh and mention a chief or king there named Ko-pu-che-ma.”

XXII., p. 376. “OF THE KINGDOM OF COILUM. — So also their wine they make from [palm-] sugar; capital drink it is, and very speedily it makes a man drunk.”

Chau Ju-kwa in Nan p’i (Malabar) mentions the wine (p. 89): “For wine they use a mixture of honey with cocoanuts and the juice of a flower, which they let ferment.” Hirth and Rockhill remark, p. 91, that the Kambojians had a drink which the Chinese called mi-t’ang tsiu, to prepare which they used half honey and half water, adding a ferment.

XXII., p. 380 n. “This word [Sappan] properly means Japan, and seems to have been given to the wood as a supposed product of that region.”

“The word sappan is not connected with Japan. The earliest records of this word are found in Chinese sources. Su-fang su-pwan, to be restored to ’supang or ’spang, ’sbang; Caesalpinia sappan, furnishing the sappan wood, is first described as a product of Kiu-chen (Tong King) in the Nan fang ts’ao mi chuang, written by Ki Han at the end of the third or beginning of the fourth century. J. de Loureiro (Flora cochinchinensis, p. 321) observes in regard to this tree, ‘Habitat in altis montibus Cochinchinae: indeque a mercatoribus sinensibus abunde exportatur.’ The tree accordingly is indigenous to Indo–China, where the Chinese first made its acquaintance. The Chinese transcription is surely based on a native term then current in Indo–China, and agrees very well with Khmer sban (or sbang): see AYMONIER et CABATON, Dict. cam-français, 510, who give further Cam hapan, Batak sopan, Makassar sappan, and Malay sepan. The word belongs to those which the Mon–Khmer and Malayan languages have anciently in common.” (Note of Dr. B. LAUFER.)

XXIV., p. 386, also pp. 391, 440.


Prof. E.H. PARKER writes in the Journal of the North–China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Soc., XXXVII., 1906, p. 196: “Regarding the Fandaráina country of the Arabs mentioned by Yule in the Notes to pages 386, 391, and 440 of Vol. II., it may be interesting to cite the following important extract from Chapter 94, page 29, of the Yuän Shï:—‘In 1295 sea-traders were forbidden to take fine values to trade with the three foreign states of Ma-pa-r; Pei nan, and Fan-ta-la-i-na, but 2,500,000 nominal taels in paper money were set apart for the purpose.’”

XXV., p. 391.

In the Yuen Shi, ch. 94, fol. 11 r’o, the “three barbarian kingdoms of Ma-pa-eul (Ma’abar), Pei-nan (corr. Kiu-nam, Coilam) and Fan-ta-la-yi-na” are mentioned. No doubt the last kingdom refers to the Fandaraina of Ibn Batuta, and Prof. Pelliot, who gives me this information, believes it is also, in the middle of the fourteenth century, Pan-ta-li of the Tao yi chi lio.


XXV., p. 393. “In this province of Gozurat there grows much pepper, and ginger, and indigo. They have also a great deal of cotton. Their cotton trees are of very great size, growing full six paces high, and attaining to an age of 20 years.”

Chau Ju-kwa has, p. 92: “The native products comprise great quantities of indigo, red kino, myrobolans and foreign cotton stuffs of every colour. Every year these goods are transported to the Ta shï countries for sale.”

XXXI., p. 404.

Two Islands Called Male and Female.

Speaking of the fabulous countries of women, Chau Ju-kwa, p. 151, writes: “The women of this country [to the south-east (beyond Sha-hua kung?) Malaysia] conceive by exposing themselves naked to the full force of the south wind, and so give birth to female children.”

“In the Western Sea there is also a country of women where only three females go to every five males; the country is governed by a queen, and all the civil offices are in the hands of women, whereas the men perform military duties. Noble women have several males to wait upon them; but the men may not have female attendants. When a woman gives birth to a child, the latter takes its name from the mother. The climate is usually cold. The chase with bow and arrows is their chief occupation. They carry on barter with Ta-t’sin and T’ien-chu, in which they make several hundred per cent. profit.”

Cf. F. Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, pp. 200–202.

XXXII., pp. 406–7. Speaking of Scotra, Marco (II., p. 406) says: “The ambergris comes from the stomach of the whale, and as it is a great object of trade, the people contrive to take the whales with barbed iron darts, which, once they are fixed in the body, cannot come out again. A long cord is attached to this end, to that a small buoy which floats on the surface, so that when the whale dies they know where to find it. They then draw the body ashore and extract the ambergris from the stomach and the oil from the head.”

Chau Ju-kwa, at Chung-li (Somali Coast), has (p. 131): “Every year there are driven on the coast a great many dead fish measuring two hundred feet in length and twenty feet through the body. The people do not eat the flesh of these fish, but they cut out their brains, marrow, and eyes, from which they get oil, often as much as three hundred odd töng (from a single fish). They mix this oil with lime to caulk their boats, and use it also in lamps. The poor people use the ribs of these fish to make rafters, the backbones for door leaves, and they cut off vertebrae to make mortars with.”


XXXII., p. 407. “And you must know that in this island there are the best enchanters in the world. It is true that their Archbishop forbids the practice to the best of his ability; but ’tis all to no purpose, for they insist that their forefathers followed it, and so must they also. I will give you a sample of their enchantments. Thus, if a ship be sailing past with a fair wind and a strong, they will raise a contrary wind and compel her to turn back. In fact they make the wind blow as they list, and produce great tempests and disasters; and other such sorceries they perform, which it will be better to say nothing about in our Book.”

Speaking of Chung-li (Somali Coast), Chau Ju-kwa writes, p. 130: “There are many sorcerers among them who are able to change themselves into birds, beasts, or aquatic animals, and by these means keep the ignorant people in a state of terror. If some of them in trading with some foreign ship have a quarrel, the sorcerers pronounce a charm over the ship, so that it can neither go forward nor backward, and they only release the ship when it has settled the dispute. The government has formally forbidden this practice.”

Hirth and Rockhill add, p. 132: “Friar Joanno dos Santos (A.D. 1597) says: ‘In the Ile of Zanzibar dwelt one Chande, a great sorcerer, which caused his Pangayo, which the Factor had taken against his will, to stand still as it were in defiance of the Winde, till the Factor had satisfied him, and then to fly forth the River after her fellowes at his words. He made that a Portugall which had angered him, could never open his mouth to speake, but a Cocke crowed in his belly, till he had reconciled himselfe: with other like sorceries.’” See PURCHAS, His Pilgrimes, IX., 254.

“Not twenty years ago, Theo. Bent found that the Somalis were afraid of the witchcraft of the natives of Socotra. Theo. BENT, Southern Arabia, p. 361.”

XXXIII., p. 412. Speaking of the bird Ruc at Madeigascar, Marco Polo says: “It is so strong that it will seize an elephant in its talons and carry him high into the air, and drop him so that he is smashed to pieces; having so killed him the bird gryphon swoops down on him and eats him at leisure.”

Chau Ju-kwa writing of K’un lun ts’öng’ ki, on the coast of Africa, writes, p. 149: “This country is in the sea to the south-west. It is adjacent to a large island. There are usually (there, i.e., on the great island) great p’öng birds which so mask the sun in their flight that the shade on the sundial is shifted. If the great p’öng finds a wild camel it swallows it, and if one should chance to find p’öng’s feather, he can make a water-butt of it, after cutting off the hollow quill.”

XXXIII., p. 421.

The Rukh.

The Chinese traveller Chau Ju-kwa in his work Chu-fan-chï on the Chinese and Arab trade in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, speaking of the country of Pi p’a lo (Berbera), says: “The country brings forth also the (so-called) ‘camel crane’, which measures from the ground to its crown from six to seven feet. It has wings and can fly, but not to any great height.” The translators and commentators Hirth and Rockhill have (p. 129) the following notes: “Quotation from Ling-wai-tai-ta, 3, 6a. The ostrich was first made known to the Chinese in the beginning of the second century of our era, when some were brought to the court of China from Parthia. The Chinese then called them An-si-tsio ‘Parthian bird.’ See Hou Han Shu, 88, and Hirth, China and Roman Orient, 39. In the Weï shu, 102, 12b, no name is given them, they are simply ‘big birds which resemble a camel, which feed on herbs and flesh and are able to eat fire. In the T’ang shu, 221, 7a, it is said that this bird is commonly called ‘camel-bird.’ It is seven feet high, black of colour, its feet like those of the camel, it can travel three hundred li a day, and is able to eat iron. The ostrich is called by the Persians ushturmurgh and by the Arabs teir al-djamal, both meaning ‘camel birds.’”

Dr. Bretschneider in his Notes on Chinese Mediaeval Travellers to the West (1875), p. 87, n. 132, has a long note with a figure from the Pen ts’ao kang mu on the “camel-bird” (p. 88).

Cf. F. Hirth, Die Länder des Islam, Supp. Vol. V. of T’oung Pao, 1894, p. 54. Tsuboi Kumazo, Actes XII’e Cong, Int. Orient., Rome, 1899, II., p. 120.

XXXIII., p. 421.


Speaking of Pi p’a lo (Berbera Coast) Chau Ju-kwa (p. 128) says: “There is also (in this country) a wild animal called tsu-la; it resembles a camel in shape, an ox in size, and is of a yellow colour. Its fore legs are five feet long, its hind legs only three feet. Its head is high up and turned upwards. Its skin is an inch thick.” Giraffe is the iranised form of the arabic zuräfa. Mention is made of giraffes by Chinese authors at Aden and Mekka. Cf. FERRAND, J. Asiatique, July–August, 1918, pp. 155–158.

XXXIV., p. 422.


We read in the Tao i chi lio: “This country [Ts’eng yao lo] is to the south-west of the Ta Shih (Arabs). There are no trees on the coast; most of the land is saline. The arable ground is poor, so there is but little grain of any kind, and they mostly raise yams to take its place.

“If any ship going there to trade carries rice as cargo, it makes very large profits.

“The climate is irregular. In their usages they have the rectitude of olden times.

“Men and women twist up their hair; they wear a short seamless shirt. The occupation of the people is netting birds and beasts for food.

“They boil sea-water to make salt and ferment the juice of the sugar-cane to make spirits. They have a ruler.

“The native products comprise red sandal-wood, dark red sugar-cane, elephants’ tusks, ambergris, native gold, ya tsui tan-fan, lit., ‘duck-bill sulphate of copper.’

“The goods used in trading are ivory boxes, trade silver, coloured satins, and the like.” (ROCKHILL, T’oung Pao, XVI., 1915, pp. 622–3.) Cf. CHAU JU-KWA, p. 126.

XXXIV., p. 423. “There is a great deal of trade, and many merchants and vessels go thither. But the staple trade of the Island is elephants’ teeth, which are very abundant; and they have also much ambergris, as whales are plentiful.”

Chau Ju-kwa has, p. 126: “The products of the country [Ts’öng-pa] consist of elephants’ tusks, native gold, ambergris and yellow sandal-wood.”

XXXVI., p. 438.


In the Ying yai shêng lan we read that “the kingdom (of A-tan) is on the sea-coast. It is rich and prosperous, the people follow the doctrine of the Moslims and their speech is Arabic. Their tempers are overbearing and violent. They have seven to eight thousand well-trained soldiers, horse and foot, whom the neighbouring countries fear.” (W.W. ROCKHILL, T’oung Pao XVI., 1915, p. 607.) There is a description of the giraffe under the name of K’i lin; it “has forelegs over nine feet long, its hind ones are about six feet. Beside its ears grow fleshy horns. It has a cow’s tail and a deer’s body. It eats millet, beans, and flour cakes” (p. 609). In the Si Yang Chao kung tien lu (1520 A.D.), we have a similar description: “Its front legs are nine feet long, its hind legs six feet. Its hoofs have three clefts, it has a flat mouth. Two short fleshy horns rise from the back of the top of its head. It has a cow’s tail and a deer’s body. This animal is called K’i lin; it eats grain of any kind.” (Ibid.) Cf. FERRAND, J. Asiatique, July–Aug., 1918, pp. 155–158.

XXXVI., p. 439.

At the time of Chau Ju-kwa, Aden was perhaps the most important port of Arabia for the African and Arabian trade with India and the countries beyond. It seems highly probable that the Ma-li-pa of the Chinese must be understood as including Aden, of which they make no mention whatsoever, but which was one of “the great commercial centres of the Arabs.” HIRTH and ROCKHILL, p. 25 n.

XXXVI., pp. 442 seq.

The City of Esher.

Shehr, a port on the Hadramaut coast, is mentioned by Chau Ju-kwa under the name of Shï ho among the dependencies of the country of the Ta-shï (Arabs.). (HIRTH and ROCKHILL, p. 116.)

XXXVIII., pp. 444–445.


We read in the Ying yai shêng lan: “This country [Tsu fa erh] is between the sea and the mountains. To the east and south is nothing but the sea. To the north and west are ranges of mountains. One reaches it from the kingdom of Ku-li (Calicut) journeying north-westward for ten days and nights. It has no walled towns or villages. The people all follow the religion of the Moslims. Their physical appearance is good, their culture is great, the language sincere.

“The native products are frankincense, which is the sap of a tree. There is also dragon’s blood, aloes, myrrh, an-hsi-hsiang (benzoin), liquid storax, muh-pieh-tzu (Momordica cochinchinensis), and the like, all of which they exchange for Chinese hempen cloth, silks, and china-ware.” (ROCKHILL, T’oung Pao, XVI., 1915, pp. 611–612.)

The Sing ch’a shêng lan mentions: “The products are the tsu-la-fa (giraffe), gold coins, leopards, ostriches, frankincense, ambergris.” (Ibid., p. 614.)

Dufar is mentioned by Chau Ju-kwa under the name of Nu-fa among the dependencies of the country of the Ta-shï (Arabs). (HIRTH and ROCKHILL, pp. 116, 121.)

XXXVIII., pp. 445–449.


Chau Ju-kwa (HIRTH and ROCKHILL, pp. 195–196) tells us: Ju hiang (‘milk incense’), or hün-lu-hiang, comes from the three Ta-shï countries of Ma-lo-pa, Shï-ho, and Nu-fa, from the depths of the remotest mountain valleys. The tree which yields this drug may, on the whole, be compared to the sung (pine). Its trunk is notched with a hatchet, upon which the resin flows out, and when hardened, turns into incense, which is gathered and made into lumps. It is transported on elephants to the Ta-shi (on the coast); the Ta-shi load it upon their ships for barter against other goods in San-fo-ts’i: and it is for this reason that the incense is commonly collected at San-fo-ts’i [the three ports of the Hadhranaut coast].

“When the foreign merchants come to that place to trade, the Customs authorities, according to the relative strength of its fragrance, distinguish thirteen classes of incense. Of these, the very best is called kién-hiang or ‘picked incense’: it is round and of the size of the end of a finger; it is commonly called ti-ju or ‘dripping milk.’ The second quality is called p’ing ju, or ‘potted milk,’ and its colour is inferior to that of the ‘picked incense.’ The next quality is called p’ing hiang, or ‘potted incense.’ so called, they say, owing to its being prized so much at the time of gathering, that it is placed in pots (p’ing). In this p’ing hiang (variety of frankincense) there are three grades, superior, medium and inferior. The next quality is called tai-hiang, or ‘bag incense’; thus called, they say, because at the time of gathering, it is merely put into bags; it is also divided into three qualities, like the p’ing hiang.

“The next kind is the ju-t’a; it consists of incense mixed with gravel.

“The next kind is the heï-t’a, because its colour is black. The next kind is the shui-shï-heï-t’a, because it consists of incense which has been ‘water damaged’ the aroma turned, and the colour spoiled while on board ship.

“Mixed incense of various qualities and consisting of broken pieces is called chö-siau (‘cut-up’); when passed through a sieve and made into dust, it is called ch’an-mo (‘powder’). The above are the various varieties of frankincense.”

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