Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

Part 7 out of 23

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 2.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

very strong fences of my position, and it demands strong arguments to
level them. The adverse arguments (in brief) are these:

(1.) That Fu-chau was not the capital of Fo-kien ("_chief dou reigne_").

(2.) That the River of Fu-chau does not flow through the middle of the
city ("_por le mi de cest cite_"), nor even under the walls.

(3.) That Fu-chau was not frequented by foreign trade till centuries

The first objection will be more conveniently answered under next chapter.

As regards the second, the fact urged is true. But even now a straggling
street extends to the river, ending in a large suburb on its banks, and a
famous bridge there crosses the river to the south side where now the
foreign settlements are. There _may_ have been suburbs on that side to
justify the _por le mi_, or these words may have been a slip; for the
Traveller begins the next chapter--"When you quit Fuju (to go south) you
_cross the river_."[3]

Touching the question of foreign commerce, I do not see that Mr.
Phillips's negative evidence would be sufficient to establish his point.
But, in fact, the words of the Geog. Text (i.e. the original dictation),
which we have followed, do not (as I now see) necessarily involve any
foreign trade at Fu-chau, the impression of which has been derived mainly
from Ramusio's text. They appear to imply no more than that, through the
vicinity of Zayton, there was a great influx of Indian wares, which were
brought on from the great port by vessels (it may be local junks)
ascending the river Min.[4]

[Illustration: Scene on the Min River, below Fu-chau. (From Fortune.)

"E sachies che por le mi de ceste cite vait un grant fluv qe bien est
large un mil, et en ceste cite se font maintes nes lesquelz najent por cel

[Mr. Phillips gives the following itinerary after Unguen: Kangiu =
Chinchew = Chuan-chiu or Ts'wan-chiu. He writes (_T. Pao_, I. p. 227):
"When you leave the city of Chinchew for Changchau, which lies in a
south-westerly, not a south-easterly direction, you cross the river by a
handsome bridge, and travelling for five days by way of Tung-an, locally
Tang-oa, you arrive at Changchau. Along this route in many parts, more
especially in that part lying between Tang-oa and Changchau, very large
camphor-trees are met with. I have frequently travelled over this road. The
road from Fuchau to Chinchew, which also takes five days to travel over, is
bleak and barren, lying chiefly along the sea-coast, and in winter a most
uncomfortable journey. But few trees are met with; a banyan here and there,
but no camphor-trees along this route; but there is one extremely
interesting feature on it that would strike the most unobservant traveller,
viz.; the Loyang bridge, one of the wonders of China." Had Polo travelled
by this route, he would certainly have mentioned it. Pauthier remarks upon
Polo's silence in this matter: "It is surprising," says he, "that Marco
Polo makes no mention of it."--H.C.]

NOTE 2.--The G.T. reads _Caiton_, presumably for Caiton or Zayton. In
Pauthier's text, in the following chapter, the name of Zayton is written
_Caiton_ and _Cayton_, and the name of that port appears in the same form
in the Letter of its Bishop, Andrew of Perugia, quoted in note 2, ch.
lxxxii. Pauthier, however, in _this_ place reads _Kayteu_ which he
develops into a port at the mouth of the River Min.[5]

NOTE 3.--The Min, the River of Fu-chau, "varies much in width and depth.
Near its mouth, and at some other parts, it is not less than a mile in
width, elsewhere deep and rapid." It is navigable for ships of large size
20 miles from the mouth, and for good-sized junks thence to the great
bridge. The scenery is very fine, and is compared to that of the Hudson.
(_Fortune_, I. 281; _Chin. Repos._ XVI. 483.)

[1] Dr. Medhurst calls the proper name of the city, as distinct from the
_Fu_, _Chinkang_ (_Dict. of the Hok-keen dialect_). Dr. Douglas has
suggested _Chinkang_, and _T'swan-kok_, i.e. "Kingdom of T'swan"
(chau), as possible explanations of _Chonka_.

[2] Mr. Phillips's views were issued first in the _Chinese Recorder_
(published by Missionaries at Fu-Chau) in 1870, and afterwards sent to
the R. Geo. Soc., in whose Journal for 1874 they appeared, with
remarks in reply more detailed than I can introduce here. Dr.
Douglas's notes were received after this sheet was in proof, and it
will be seen that they modify to a certain extent my views about
Zayton, though not about Fu-chau. His notes, which do more justice to
the question than Mr. Phillips's, should find a place with the other
papers in the Geog. Society's Journal.

[3] There is a capital lithograph of Fu-chau in _Fortune's Three Years'
Wanderings_ (1847), in which the city shows as on a river, and
Fortune always speaks of it; e.g. (p. 369): "The river runs
through the suburbs." I do not know what is the worth of the old
engravings in Montanus. A view of Fu-chau in one of these (reproduced
in _Astley_, iv. 33) shows a broad creek from the river
penetrating to the heart of the city.

[4] The words of the G.T. are these: "_Il hi se fait grant mercandies
de perles e d'autres pieres presiose, e ce est por ce que les nes de
Yndie hi vienent maintes con maint merchaant qe usent en les ysles de
L'ndie, et encore voz di que ceste ville est pres au port de Caiton
en la mer Osiani; et illuec vienent maintes nes de Indie con maintes
mercandies, e puis de cest part vienent les nes por le grant flum qe
je voz ai dit desoure jusque a la cite de Fugui, et en ceste mainere
hi vienent chieres cousse de Indie._"

[5] It is odd enough that Martini (though M. Pauthier apparently was not
aware of it) does show a fort called _Haiteu_ at the mouth of the
Min; but I believe this to be merely an accidental coincidence. The
various readings must be looked at together; that of the G.T. which I
have followed is clear in itself and accounts for the others.



Now when you quit Fuju and cross the River, you travel for five days
south-east through a fine country, meeting with a constant succession of
flourishing cities, towns, and villages, rich in every product. You travel
by mountains and valleys and plains, and in some places by great forests
in which are many of the trees which give Camphor.[NOTE 1] There is
plenty of game on the road, both of bird and beast. The people are all
traders and craftsmen, subjects of the Great Kaan, and under the
government of Fuju. When you have accomplished those five days' journey
you arrive at the very great and noble city of ZAYTON, which is also
subject to Fuju.

At this city you must know is the Haven of Zayton, frequented by all the
ships of India, which bring thither spicery and all other kinds of costly
wares. It is the port also that is frequented by all the merchants of
Manzi, for hither is imported the most astonishing quantity of goods and
of precious stones and pearls, and from this they are distributed all over
Manzi.[NOTE 2] And I assure you that for one shipload of pepper that goes
to Alexandria or elsewhere, destined for Christendom, there come a hundred
such, aye and more too, to this haven of Zayton; for it is one of the two
greatest havens in the world for commerce.[NOTE 3]

The Great Kaan derives a very large revenue from the duties paid in this
city and haven; for you must know that on all the merchandize imported,
including precious stones and pearls, he levies a duty of ten per cent.,
or in other words takes tithe of everything. Then again the ship's charge
for freight on small wares is 30 per cent., on pepper 44 per cent., and on
lignaloes, sandalwood, and other bulky goods 40 per cent., so that between
freight and the Kaan's duties the merchant has to pay a good half the
value of his investment [though on the other half he makes such a profit
that he is always glad to come back with a new supply of merchandize]. But
you may well believe from what I have said that the Kaan hath a vast
revenue from this city.

There is a great abundance here of all provision for every necessity of
man's life. [It is a charming country, and the people are very quiet, and
fond of an easy life. Many come hither from Upper India to have their
bodies painted with the needle in the way we have elsewhere described,
there being many adepts at this craft in the city.[NOTE 4]]

Let me tell you also that in this province there is a town called TYUNJU,
where they make vessels of porcelain of all sizes, the finest that can be
imagined. They make it nowhere but in that city, and thence it is exported
all over the world. Here it is abundant and very cheap, insomuch that for
a Venice groat you can buy three dishes so fine that you could not imagine
better.[NOTE 5]

I should tell you that in this city (i.e. of Zayton) they have a
peculiar language. [For you must know that throughout all Manzi they
employ one speech and one kind of writing only, but yet there are local
differences of dialect, as you might say of Genoese, Milanese,
Florentines, and Neapolitans, who though they speak different dialects can
understand one another.[NOTE 6]]

And I assure you that the Great Kaan has as large customs and revenues
from this kingdom of Chonka as from Kinsay, aye and more too.[NOTE 7]

We have now spoken of but three out of the nine kingdoms of Manzi, to wit
Yanju and Kinsay and Fuju. We could tell you about the other six, but it
would be too long a business; so we will say no more about them.

And now you have heard all the truth about Cathay and Manzi and many other
countries, as has been set down in this Book; the customs of the people
and the various objects of commerce, the beasts and birds, the gold and
silver and precious stones, and many other matters have been rehearsed to
you. But our Book as yet does not contain nearly all that we purpose to
put therein. For we have still to tell you all about the people of India
and the notable things of that country, which are well worth the
describing, for they are marvellous indeed. What we shall tell is all
true, and without any lies. And we shall set down all the particulars in
writing just as Messer Marco Polo related them. And he well knew the
facts, for he remained so long in India, and enquired so diligently into
the manners and peculiarities of the nations, that I can assure you there
never was a single man before who learned so much and beheld so much as he

NOTE 1.--The _Laurus_ (or _Cinnamomum_) _Camphora_, a large timber tree,
grows abundantly in Fo-kien. A description of the manner in which camphor
is produced at a very low cost, by sublimation from the chopped twigs,
etc., will be found in the _Lettres Edifiantes_, XXIV. 19 _seqq.;_ and
more briefly in _Hedde_ by _Rondot_, p. 35. Fo-kien alone has been known
to send to Canton in one year 4000 _piculs_ (of 133-1/3 lbs. each), but
the average is 2500 to 3000 (Ib.).

NOTE 2.--When Marco says Zayton is one of the _two_ greatest commercial
ports in the world, I know not if he has another haven in his eye, or is
only using an idiom of the age. For in like manner Friar Odoric calls Java
"the _second best_ of all Islands that exist"; and Kansan (or Shen-si) the
"_second best_ province in the world, and the best populated." But apart
from any such idiom, Ibn Batuta pronounces Zayton to be the greatest haven
in the world.

Martini relates that when one of the Emperors wanted to make war on Japan,
the Province of Fo-kien offered to bridge the interval with their vessels!

ZAYTON, as Martini and Deguignes conjectured, is T'SWAN-CHAU FU, or
CHWAN-CHAU FU (written by French scholars _Thsiouan-tcheou-fou_), often
called in our charts, etc., _Chinchew_, a famous seaport of Fo-kien about
100 miles in a straight line S.W. by S. of Fu-chau, Klaproth supposes that
the name by which it was known to the Arabs and other Westerns was
corrupted from an old Chinese name of the city, given in the Imperial
Geography, viz. TSEU-T'UNG.[1] _Zaitun_ commended itself to Arabian ears,
being the Arabic for an olive-tree (whence Jerusalem is called
_Zaituniyah_); but the corruption (if such it be) must be of very old date,
as the city appears to have received its present name in the 7th or 8th

Abulfeda, whose Geography was terminated in 1321, had heard the real name
of Zayton: "_Shanju_" he calls it, "known in our time as Zaitun"; and
again: "Zaitun, i.e. Shanju, is a haven of China, and, according to the
accounts of merchants who have travelled to those parts, is a city of
mark. It is situated on a marine estuary which ships enter from the China
Sea. The estuary extends fifteen miles, and there is a river at the head
of it. According to some who have seen the place, the tide flows. It is
half a day from the sea, and the channel by which ships come up from the
sea is of fresh water. It is smaller in size than Hamath, and has the
remains of a wall which was destroyed by the Tartars. The people drink
water from the channel, and also from wells."

Friar Odoric (in China, circa 1323-1327, who travelled apparently by
land from Chin-kalan, i.e. Canton) says: "Passing through many cities
and towns, I came to a certain noble city which is called Zayton, where we
Friars Minor have two Houses.... In this city is great plenty of all
things that are needful for human subsistence. For example, you can get
three pounds and eight ounces of sugar for less than half a groat. The
city is twice as great as Bologna, and in it are many monasteries of
devotees, idol-worshippers every man of them. In one of those monasteries
which I visited there were 3000 monks.... The place is one of the best in
the world.... Thence I passed eastward to a certain city called Fuzo....
The city is a mighty fine one, and standeth upon the sea." Andrew of
Perugia, another Franciscan, was Bishop of Zayton from 1322, having
resided there from 1318. In 1326 he writes a letter home, in which he
speaks of the place as "a great city on the shores of the Ocean Sea, which
is called in the Persian tongue _Cayton_ (Cayton); and in this city a rich
Armenian lady did build a large and fine enough church, which was erected
into a cathedral by the Archbishop," and so on. He speaks incidentally of
the Genoese merchants frequenting it. John Marignolli, who was there about
1347, calls it "a wondrous fine sea-port, and a city of incredible size,
where our Minor Friars have three very fine churches; ... and they have a
bath also, and a _fondaco_ which serves as a depot for all the merchants."
Ibn Batuta about the same time says: "The first city that I reached after
crossing the sea was ZAITUN.... It is a great city, superb indeed; and in
it they make damasks of velvet as well as those of satin (_Kimkha_ and
_Atlas_), which are called from the name of the city _Zatuniah_; they are
superior to the stuffs of Khansa and Kharbalik. The harbour of Zaitun is
one of the greatest in the world--I am wrong; it is _the_ greatest! I
have seen there about an hundred first-class junks together; as for small
ones, they were past counting. The harbour is formed by an estuary which
runs inland from the sea until it joins the Great River."

[Mr. Geo. Phillips finds a strong argument in favour of Changchau being
Zayton in this passage of Ibn Batuta. He says (_Jour. China Br.R.A.
Soc._ 1888, 28-29): "Changchow in the Middle Ages was the seat of a great
silk manufacture, and the production of its looms, such as gauzes, satins
and velvets, were said to exceed in beauty those of Soochow and Hangchow.
According to the _Fuhkien Gazetteer_, silk goods under the name of Kinki,
and porcelain were, at the end of the Sung Dynasty, ordered to be taken
abroad and to be bartered against foreign wares, treasure having been
prohibited to leave the country. In this Kinki I think we may recognise
the Kimkha of IBN BATUTA. I incline to this fact, as the characters Kinki
are pronounced in the Amoy and Changchow dialects Khimkhi and Kimkhia.
Anxious to learn if the manufacture of these silk goods still existed in
Changchow, I communicated with the Rev. Dr. TALMAGE of Amoy, who, through
the Rev. Mr. Ross of the London Mission, gave me the information that
Kinki was formerly somewhat extensively manufactured at Changchow,
although at present it was only made by one shop in that city. IBN BATUTA
tells us that the King of China had sent to the Sultan, five hundred
pieces of Kamkha, of which one hundred were made in the city of Zaitun.
This form of present appears to have been continued by the Emperors of the
Ming Dynasty, for we learn that the Emperor Yunglo gave to the Envoy of
the Sultan of Quilon, presents of Kinki and Shalo, that is to say,
brocaded silks and gauzes. Since writing the above, I found that Dr. HIRTH
suggests that the characters Kinhua, meaning literally gold flower in the
sense of silk embroidery, possibly represent the mediaeval Khimka. I
incline rather to my own suggestion. In the _Pei-wen-yun-fu_ these
characters Kien-ki are frequently met in combination, meaning a silk
texture, such as brocade or tapestry. Curtains made of this texture are
mentioned in Chinese books, as early as the commencement of the Christian

Rashiduddin, in enumerating the Sings or great provincial governments of
the empire, has the following: "7th FUCHU.--This is a city of Manzi. The
Sing was formerly located at ZAITUN, but afterwards established here,
where it still remains. Zaitun is a great shipping-port, and the
commandant there is Bohauddin Kandari." Pauthier's Chinese extracts show
us that the seat of the _Sing_ was, in 1281, at T'swan-chau, but was then
transferred to Fu-chau. In 1282 it was removed back to T'swan-chau, and in
1283 recalled to Fu-chau. That is to say, what the Persian writer tells us
of Fuju and Zayton, the Chinese Annalists tell us of Fu-chau and
T'swan-chau. Therefore Fuju and Zayton were respectively Fu-chau and

[In the _Yuen-shi_ (ch. 94), _Shi po_, Maritime trade regulations, it "is
stated, among other things, that in 1277, a superintendency of foreign
trade was established in Ts'uaen-chou. Another superintendency was
established for the three ports of K'ing-yuean (the present Ning-po),
Shang-hai, and Gan-p'u. These three ports depended on the province of
Fu-kien, the capital of which was Ts'uean-chou. Farther on, the ports of
Hang-chou and Fu-chou are also mentioned in connection with foreign trade.
Chang-chou (in Fu-kien, near Amoy) is only once spoken of there. We meet
further the names of Wen-chou and Kuang-chou as seaports for foreign trade
in the Mongol time. But Ts'uean-chou in this article on the sea-trade seems
to be considered as the most important of the seaports, and it is
repeatedly referred to. I have, therefore, no doubt that the port of Zayton
of Western mediaeval travellers can only be identified with Ts'uaen-chou,
not with Chang-chou.... There are many other reasons found in Chinese works
in favour of this view. Gan-p'u of the _Yuen-shi_ is the seaport Ganfu of
Marco Polo." (_Bretschneider, Med. Res._ I. pp. 186-187.)

In his paper on _Changchow, the Capital of Fuhkien in Mongol Times_,
printed in the _Jour. China B.R.A. Soc._ 1888, pp. 22-30, Mr. Geo.
Phillips from Chinese works has shown that the Port of Chang-chau did, in
Mongol times, alternate with Chinchew and Fu-chau as the capital of

Further, Zayton was, as we see from this chapter, and from the 2nd and 5th
of Bk. III., in that age the great focus and harbour of communication with
India and the Islands. From Zayton sailed Kublai's ill-fated expedition
against Japan. From Zayton Marco Polo seems to have sailed on his return
to the West, as did John Marignolli some half century later. At Zayton Ibn
Batuta first landed in China, and from it he sailed on his return.

All that we find quoted from Chinese records regarding _T'swan-chau_
corresponds to these Western statements regarding _Zayton_. For centuries
T'swan-chau was the seat of the Customs Department of Fo-kien, nor was
this finally removed till 1473. In all the historical notices of the
arrival of ships and missions from India and the Indian Islands during the
reign of Kublai, T'swan-chau, and T'swan-chau almost alone, is the port of
debarkation; in the notices of Indian regions in the annals of the same
reign it is from T'swan-chau that the distances are estimated; it was from
T'swan-chau that the expeditions against Japan and Java were mainly fitted
out. (See quotations by Pauthier, pp. 559, 570, 604, 653, 603, 643;
_Gaubil_, 205, 217; _Deguignes_, III. 169, 175, 180, 187; _Chinese
Recorder_ (Foochow), 1870, pp. 45 seqq.)

When the Portuguese, in the 16th century, recovered China to European
knowledge, Zayton was no longer the great haven of foreign trade; but yet
the old name was not extinct among the mariners of Western Asia. Giovanni
d'Empoli, in 1515, writing about China from Cochin, says: "Ships carry
spices thither from these parts. Every year there go thither from Sumatra
60,000 cantars of pepper, and 15,000 or 20,000 from Cochin and Malabar,
worth 15 to 20 ducats a cantar; besides ginger (?), mace, nutmegs,
incense, aloes, velvet, European goldwire, coral, woollens, etc. The Grand
Can is the King of China, and he dwells at ZEITON." Giovanni hoped to get
to Zeiton before he died.[2]

The port of T'swan-chau is generally called in our modern charts
_Chinchew_. Now _Chincheo_ is the name given by the old Portuguese
navigators to the coast of Fo-kien, as well as to the port which they
frequented there, and till recently I supposed this to be T'swan-chau. But
Mr. Phillips, in his paper alluded to at p. 232, asserted that by
_Chincheo_ modern Spaniards and Portuguese designated (not T'swan-chau
but) _Chang-chau_, a great city 60 miles W.S.W. of T'swan-chau, on a river
entering Amoy Harbour. On turning, with this hint, to the old maps of the
17th century, I found that their Chincheo is really Chang-chau. But Mr.
Phillips also maintains that Chang-chau, or rather its port, a place
formerly called Gehkong and now Haiteng, is _Zayton_. Mr. Phillips does
not adduce any precise evidence to show that this place was known as a
port in Mongol times, far less that it was known as the most famous haven
in the world; nor was I able to attach great weight to the arguments which
he adduced. But his thesis, or a modification of it, has been taken up and
maintained with more force, as already intimated, by the Rev. Dr. Douglas.

The latter makes a strong point in the magnificent character of Amoy
Harbour, which really is one of the grandest havens in the world, and thus
answers better to the emphatic language of Polo, and of Ibn Batuta, than
the river of T'swan-chau. All the rivers of Fo-kien, as I learn from Dr.
Douglas himself, are rapidly silting up; and it is probable that the river
of Chinchew presented, in the 13th and 14th centuries, a far more
impressive aspect as a commercial basin than it does now. But still it
must have been far below Amoy Harbour in magnitude, depth, and
accessibility. I have before recognised this, but saw no way to reconcile
the proposed deduction with the positive historical facts already stated,
which absolutely (to my mind) identify the Zayton of Polo and Rashiduddin
with the Chinese city and port of T'swan-chau. Dr. Douglas, however,
points out that the whole northern shore of Amoy Harbour, with the Islands
of Amoy and Quemoy, are within the Fu or Department of T'swan-chau; and
the latter name would, in Chinese parlance, apply equally to the city and
to any part of the department. He cites among other analogous cases the
Treaty Port Neuchwang (in Liao-tong). That city really lies 20 miles up
the Liao River, but the name of Neuchwang is habitually applied by
foreigners to Ying-tzu, which is the actual port. Even now much of the
trade of T'swan-chau merchants is carried on through Amoy, either by junks
touching, or by using the shorter sea-passage to 'An-hai, which was once a
port of great trade, and is only 20 miles from T'swan-chau.[3] With such
a haven as Amoy Harbour close by, it is improbable that Kublai's vast
armaments would have made _rendezvous_ in the comparatively inconvenient
port of T'swan-chau. Probably then the two were spoken of as one. In all
this I recognise strong likelihood, and nothing inconsistent with recorded
facts, or with Polo's concise statements. It is even possible that (as Dr.
Douglas thinks) Polo's words intimate a distinction between Zayton the
City and Zayton the Ocean Port; but for me Zayton the city, in Polo's
chapters, remains still T'swan-chau. Dr. Douglas, however, seems disposed
to regard it as _Chang-chau_.

The chief arguments urged for this last identity are: (1.) Ibn Batuta's
representation of his having embarked at Zayton "on the river," i.e. on
the internal navigation system of China, first for Sin-kalan (Canton), and
afterwards for Kinsay. This could not, it is urged, be T'swan-chau, the
river of which has no communication with the internal navigation, whereas
the river at Chang-chau has such communication, constantly made use of in
both directions (interrupted only by brief portages); (2.) Martini's
mention of the finding various Catholic remains, such as crosses and
images of the Virgin, at Chang-chau, in the early part of the 17th
century, indicating that city as the probable site of the Franciscan

[Illustration: SKETCH MAP of the GREAT PORTS OF FOKIEN to illustrate the
Identity of Marco Polo's ZAYTON]

[I remember that the argument brought forward by Mr. Phillips in favour of
Changchow which most forcibly struck Sir H. Yule, was the finding of
various Christian remains at this place, and Mr. Phillips wrote (_Jour.
China Br.R.A.Soc._ 1888, 27-28): "We learn from the history of the
Franciscan missions that two churches were built in Zaitun, one in the
city and the other in a forest not far from the town. MARTINI makes
mention of relics being found in the city of Changchow, and also of a
missal which he tried in vain to purchase from its owner, who gave as a
reason for not parting with it, that it had been in his family for several
generations. According to the history of the Spanish Dominicans in China,
ruins of churches were used in rebuilding the city walls, many of the
stones having crosses cut on them." Another singular discovery relating to
these missions, is one mentioned by Father VITTORIO RICCI, which would
seem to point distinctly to the remains of the Franciscan church built by
ANDRE DE PEROUSE outside the city of Zaitun: "The heathen of Changchow,"
says RICCI, "found buried in a neighbouring hill called Saysou another
cross of a most beautiful form cut out of a single block of stone, which I
had the pleasure of placing in my church in that city. The heathen were
alike ignorant of the time when it was made and how it came to be buried

Whether the application by foreigners of the term Zayton, may, by some
possible change in trade arrangements in the quarter-century after Polo's
departure from China, have undergone a transfer, is a question which it
would be vain to answer positively without further evidence. But as
regards Polo's Zayton, I continue in the belief that this was T'swan-chau
_and its haven_, with the admission that this haven may probably have
embraced that great basin called Amoy Harbour, or part of it.[4]

[Besides the two papers I have already mentioned, the late Mr. Phillips
has published, since the last edition of Marco Polo, in the _T'oung-Pao_,
VI. and VII.: _Two Mediaeval Fuh-kien Trading Ports: Chuean-chow and
Chang-chow_. He has certainly given many proofs of the importance of
Chang-chau at the time of the Mongol Dynasty, and one might well hesitate
(I know it was also the feeling of Sir Henry Yule at the end of his life)
between this city and T'swan-chau, but the weak point of his controversy is
his theory about Fu-chau. However, Mr. George Phillips, who died in 1896,
gathered much valuable material, of which we have made use; it is only fair
to pay this tribute to the memory of this learned consul.--H.C.]

Martini (circa 1650) describes T'swan-chau as delightfully situated on a
promontory between two branches of the estuary which forms the harbour,
and these so deep that the largest ships could come up to the walls on
either side. A great suburb, Loyang, lay beyond the northern water,
connected with the city by the most celebrated bridge in China.
Collinson's Chart in some points below the town gives only 1-1/4 fathom
for the present depth, but Dr. Douglas tells me he has even now
occasionally seen large junks come close to the city.

Chinchew, though now occasionally visited by missionaries and others, is
not a Treaty port, and we have not a great deal of information about its
modern state. It is the head-quarters of the _T'i-tuh_, or general
commanding the troops in Fo-kien. The walls have a circuit of 7 or 8
miles, but embracing much vacant ground. The chief exports now are tea and
sugar, which are largely grown in the vicinity, tobacco, china-ware,
nankeens, etc. There are still to be seen (as I learn from Mr. Phillips)
the ruins of a fine mosque, said to have been founded by the Arab traders
who resorted thither. The English Presbyterian Church Mission has had a
chapel in the city for about ten years.

Zayton, we have seen from Ibn Batuta's report, was famed for rich satins
called _Zaituniah_. I have suggested in another work (_Cathay_, p. 486)
that this may be the origin of our word _Satin_, through the _Zettani_ of
mediaeval Italian (or _Aceytuni_ of mediaeval Spanish). And I am more
strongly disposed to support this, seeing that Francisque-Michel, in
considering the origin of _Satin_, hesitates between _Satalin_ from
Satalia in Asia Minor and _Soudanin_ from the Soudan or Sultan; neither
half so probable as _Zaituni_. I may add that in a French list of charges
of 1352 we find the intermediate form _Zatony_. _Satin_ in the modern form
occurs in Chaucer:--

"In Surrie whilom dwelt a compagnie
Of chapmen rich, and therto sad and trewe,
That wide where senten their spicerie,
Clothes of gold, and _satins_ riche of hewe."
--_Man of Lawe's Tale_, st. 6.

[Hatzfeld (_Dict._) derives _satin_ from the Italian _setino_; and
_setino_ from SETA, pig's hair, and gives the following example: "Deux
aunes et un quartier de satin vremeil," in _Caffiaux, Abattis de maisons a
Gommegnies_, p. 17, 14th century. The Portuguese have _setim_. But I
willingly accept Sir Henry Yule's suggestion that the origin of the word
is Zayton; cf. _zeitun_ [Arabic] olive.

"The King [of Bijanagar] ... was clothed in a robe of _zaitun_ satin."
(_Elliot_, IV. p. 113, who adds in a note _zaitun_: Olive-coloured?) And
again (Ibid. p. 120): "Before the throne there was placed a cushion of
_zaituni_ satin, round which three rows of the most exquisite pearls were

(_Recherches_, etc., II. 229 seqq.; _Martini, circa_ p. 110; _Klaproth,
Mem._ II. 209-210; _Cathay_, cxciii. 268, 223, 355, 486; _Empoli_ in
_Append._ vol. iii. 87 to _Archivio Storico Italiano; Douet d'Arcq._ p.
342; _Galv., Discoveries of the World_, Hak. Soc. p. 129; Marsden, 1st ed.
p. 372; _Appendix to Trade Report of Amoy_, for 1868 and 1900. [_Heyd,
Com. Levant_, II. 701-702.])

NOTE 3.--We have referred in a former note (ch. lxxvii. note 7) to an
apparent change in regard to the Chinese consumption of pepper, which is
now said to be trifling. We shall see in the first chapter of Bk. III.
that Polo estimates the tonnage of Chinese junks by the number of baskets
of pepper they carried, and we have seen in last note the large estimate
by Giov. d'Empoli of the quantity that went to China in 1515. Galvano
also, speaking of the adventure of Fernao Perez d'Andrade to China in
1517, says that he took in at Pacem a cargo of pepper, "as being the chief
article of trade that is valued in China." And it is evident from what
Marsden says in his _History of Sumatra_, that in the last century some
tangible quantity was still sent to China. The export from the Company's
plantations in Sumatra averaged 1200 tons, of which the greater part came
to Europe, _the rest_ went to China.

[Couto says also: "Os portos principaes do Reyno da Sunda sao Banta, Ache,
Xacatara, por outro nome Caravao, aos quaes vam todos os annos mui perto
de vinte sommas, que sao embarcacoes do Chincheo, huma das Provincias
maritimas da China, a carregar de pimenta, porque da este Reyno todos es
annos oito mil bares della, que sao trinta mil quintaes." (_Decada_ IV.
Liv. III. Cap. I. 167.)]

NOTE 4.--These tattooing artists were probably employed mainly by mariners
frequenting the port. We do not know if the Malays practised tattooing
before their conversion to Islam. But most Indo-Chinese races tattoo, and
the Japanese still "have the greater part of the body and limbs scrolled
over with bright-blue dragons, and lions, and tigers, and figures of men
and women tattooed into their skins with the most artistic and elaborate
ornamentation." (_Alcock_, I. 191.) Probably the Arab sailors also
indulged in the same kind of decoration. It is common among the Arab women
now, and Della Valle speaks of it as in his time so much in vogue among
both sexes through Egypt, Arabia, and Babylonia, that _he_ had not been
able to escape. (I. 395.)

NOTE 5.--The divergence in Ramusio's version is here very notable: "The
River which enters the Port of Zayton is great and wide, running with
great velocity, and is a branch of that which flows by the city of Kinsay.
And at the place where it quits the main channel is the city of Tingui, of
which all that is to be said is that there they make porcelain basins and
dishes. The manner of making porcelain was thus related to him. They
excavate a certain kind of earth, as it were from a mine, and this they
heap into great piles, and then leave it undisturbed and exposed to wind,
rain, and sun for 30 or 40 years. In this space of time the earth becomes
sufficiently refined for the manufacture of porcelain; they then colour it
at their discretion, and bake it in a furnace. Those who excavate the clay
do so always therefore for their sons and grandsons. The articles are so
cheap in that city that you get 8 bowls for a Venice groat."

Ibn Batuta speaks of porcelain as manufactured at Zayton; indeed he says
positively (and wrongly): "Porcelain is made nowhere in China except in
the cities of Zaitun and Sinkalan" (Canton). A good deal of China ware in
modern times _is_ made in Fo-kien and Canton provinces, and it is still an
article of export from T'swan-chau and Amoy; but it is only of a very
ordinary kind. Pakwiha, between Amoy and Chang-chau, is mentioned in the
_Chinese Commercial Guide_ (p. 114) as now the place where the coarse blue
ware, so largely exported to India, etc., is largely manufactured; and
Phillips mentions Tung-'an (about half-way between T'swan-chau and
Chang-chau) as a great seat of this manufacture.

Looking, however, to the Ramusian interpolations, which do not indicate a
locality necessarily near Zayton, or even in Fo-kien, it is possible that
Murray is right in supposing the place intended _in these_ to be really
_King-te chen_ in Kiang-si, the great seat of the manufacture of genuine
porcelain, or rather its chief mart JAU-CHAU FU on the P'o-yang Lake.

The geographical indication of this city of porcelain, as at the place
where a branch of the River of Kinsay flows off towards Zayton, points to
a notion prevalent in the Middle Ages as to the interdivergence of rivers
in general, and especially of Chinese rivers. This notion will be found
well embodied in the Catalan Map, and something like it in the maps of the
Chinese themselves;[5] it is a ruling idea with Ibn Batuta, who, as we
have seen (in note 2), speaks of the River of Zayton as connected in the
interior with "the Great River," and who travels by this waterway
accordingly from Zayton to Kinsay, taking no notice of the mountains of
Fo-kien. So also (supra, p. 175) Rashiduddin had been led to suppose
that the Great Canal extended to Zayton. With apparently the same idea of
one Great River of China with many ramifications, Abulfeda places most of
the great cities of China upon "The River." The "Great River of China,"
with its branches to Kinsay, is alluded to in a like spirit by Wassaf
(supra, p. 213). Polo has already indicated the same idea (p. 219).

Assuming this as the notion involved in the passage from Ramusio, the
position of _Jau-chau_ might be fairly described as that of Tingui is
therein, standing as it does on the P'o-yang Lake, from which there is
such a ramification of internal navigation, e.g. to Kinsay or Hang-chau fu
directly by Kwansin, the Chang-shan portage already referred to (supra,
p. 222), and the Ts'ien T'ang (and this is the Kinsay River line to which
I imagine Polo here to refer), or circuitously by the Yang-tzu and Great
Canal; to Canton by the portage of the Meiling Pass; and to the cities of
Fo-kien either by the Kwansin River or by Kian-chan fu, further south,
with a portage in each case across the Fo-kien mountains. None of our maps
give any idea of the extent of internal navigation in China. (See
_Klaproth, Mem_. vol. iii.)

The story of the life-long period during which the porcelain clay was
exposed to temper long held its ground, and probably was only dispelled by
the publication of the details of the King-te chen manufacture by Pere
d'Entrecolles in the _Lettres Edifiantes_.

NOTE 6.--The meagre statement in the French texts shows merely that Polo
had heard of the Fo-kien dialect. The addition from Ramusio shows further
that he was aware of the unity of the written character throughout China,
but gives no indication of knowledge of its peculiar principles, nor of
the extent of difference in the spoken dialects. Even different districts
of Fo-kien, according to Martini, use dialects so different that they
understand each other with difficulty (108).

[Mendoza already said: "It is an admirable thing to consider how that in
that kingdome they doo speake manie languages, the one differing from the
other: yet generallie in writing they doo understand one the other, and in
speaking not." (_Parke's Transl._ p. 93.)]

Professor Kidd, speaking of his instructors in the Mandarin and Fo-kien
dialects respectively, says: "The teachers in both cases read the same
books, composed in the same style, and attached precisely the same ideas
to the written symbols, but could not understand each other in
conversation." Moreover, besides these sounds attaching to the Chinese
characters when read in the dialect of Fo-kien, thus discrepant from the
sounds used in reading the same characters in the Mandarin dialect, yet
_another_ class of sounds is used to express the same ideas in the Fo-kien
dialect when it is used colloquially and without reference to written
symbols! (_Kidd's China_, etc., pp. 21-23.)

The term _Fokien dialect_ in the preceding passage is ambiguous, as will
be seen from the following remarks, which have been derived from the
Preface and Appendices to the Rev. Dr. Douglas's Dictionary of the Spoken
Language of Amoy,[6] and which throw a distinct light on the subject of
this note:--

"The vernacular or spoken language of Amoy is not a mere colloquial
dialect or _patois_, it is a _distinct language_--one of the many and
widely differing spoken languages which divide among them the soil of
China. For these spoken languages are not _dialects_ of one language, but
cognate languages, bearing to each other a relation similar to that
between Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, or between English, Dutch, German, and
Danish. The so-called '_written language_' is indeed uniform throughout
the whole country, but that is rather a _notation_ than a language. And
this written language, as read aloud from books, is not _spoken_ in any
place whatever, under any form of pronunciation. The most learned men
never employ it as a means of ordinary oral communication even among
themselves. It is, in fact, a _dead language_, related to the various
spoken languages of China, somewhat as Latin is to the languages of
Southern Europe.

"Again: Dialects, properly speaking, of the Amoy vernacular language are
found (e.g.) in the neighbouring districts of Changchew, Chinchew, and
Tungan, and the language with its subordinate dialects is believed to be
spoken by 8 or 10 millions of people. Of the other languages of China the
most nearly related to the Amoy is the vernacular of Chau-chau-fu, often
called 'the Swatow dialect,' from the only treaty-port in that region. The
ancestors of the people speaking it emigrated many years ago from
Fuh-kien, and are still distinguished there by the appellation _Hok-lo_,
i.e. people from Hok-kien (or Fuh-kien). This language differs from the
Amoy, much as Dutch differs from German, or Portuguese from Spanish.

"In the Island of Hai-nan (Hai-lam), again (setting aside the central
aborigines), a language is spoken which differs from Amoy more than that
of Swatow, but is more nearly related to these two than to any other of
the languages of China.

"In Fuh-chau fu we have another language which is largely spoken in the
centre and north of Fuh-kien. This has many points of resemblance to the
Amoy, but is quite unintelligible to the Amoy people, with the exception
of an occasional word or phrase.

"Hing-hwa fu (Heng-hoa), between Fuh-chau and Chinchew, has also a
language of its own, though containing only two _Hien_ districts. It is
alleged to be unintelligible both at Amoy and at Fuhchau.

"To the other languages of China that of Amoy is less closely related; yet
all evidently spring from one common stock. But that common stock is _not_
the modern Mandarin dialect, but the ancient form of the Chinese language
as spoken some 3000 years ago. The so-called _Mandarin_, far from being
the original form, is usually more changed than any. It is in the ancient
form of the language (naturally) that the relation of Chinese to other
languages can best be traced; and as the Amoy vernacular, which very
generally retains the final consonants in their original shape, has been
one of the chief sources from which the ancient form of Chinese has been
recovered, the study of that vernacular is of considerable importance."

NOTE 7.--This is inconsistent with his former statements as to the supreme
wealth of Kinsay. But with Marco the subject in hand is always _pro

Ramusio says that the Traveller will now "begin to speak of the
territories, cities, and provinces of the Greater, Lesser, and Middle
India, in which regions he was when in the service of the Great Kaan,
being sent thither on divers matters of business. And then again when he
returned to the same quarter with the queen of King Argon, and with his
father and uncle, on his way back to his native land. So he will relate
the strange things that he saw in those Indies, not omitting others which
he heard related by persons of reputation and worthy of credit, and things
that were pointed out to him on the maps of manners of the Indies

[Illustration: The Kaan's Fleet leaving the Port of Zayton]

[Illustration: Marco Polo's Itineraries No. VI. (Book II, Chapters 67-82)
Journey through Manzi _Polo's names thus_ Kinsay]

[1] Dr. C. Douglas objects to this derivation of _Zayton_, that the place
was never called _Tseut'ung_ absolutely, but _T'seu-t'ung-ching_, "city
of prickly T'ung-trees"; and this not as a name, but as a polite
literary epithet, somewhat like "City of Palaces" applied to Calcutta.

[2] Giovanni did not get to Zayton; but two years later he got to Canton
with Fernao Perez, was sent ashore as Factor, and a few days after
died of fever. (De Barros, III. II. viii.) The way in which Botero, a
compiler in the latter part of the 16th century, speaks of Zayton as
between Canton and Liampo (Ningpo), and exporting immense quantities
of porcelain, salt and sugar, looks as if he had before him modern
information as to the place. He likewise observes, "All the moderns
note the port of Zaiton between Canton and Liampo." Yet I know no
other modern allusion except Giovanni d'Empoli's; and that was printed
only a few years ago. (_Botero, Relazione Universale_, pp. 97,

[3] Martini says of Ganhai ('An-Hai or Ngan-Hai), "Ingens hic mercium ac
Sinensium navium copia est ... ex his ('Anhai and Amoy) in totam
Indiam merces avehuntur."

[4] Dr. Douglas assures me that the cut at p. 245 is an _excellent_
view of the entrance to the S. channel of the _Chang-chau River_,
though I derived it from a professed view of the mouth of the
_Chinchew River_. I find he is quite right; see _List of

[5] In a modern Chinese geographical work abstracted by Mr. Laidlay, we
are told that the great river of _Tsim-lo_, or Siam, "penetrates
to a branch of the Hwang-Ho." (_J.A.S.B._ XVII. Pt. I. 157.)

[6] CHINESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY _of the Vernacular or Spoken language of
Amoy, with the principal variations of the Chang-chew and Chin-chew
Dialects_; _by the_ Rev. Carstairs Douglas, M.A., LL.D.,
Glasg., Missionary of the Presb. Church in England. (Truebner, 1873.)
I must note that I have not access to the book itself, but condense
these remarks from extracts and abstracts made by a friend at my



[Illustration: The Kaan's Fleet passing through the Indian Archipelago

"Fist aparoiller xiv nes, lesquels avoit chascune iv arbres, et maintes
foies aloient a xii voiles ... et najeient bien iii mois tant k'il
vendrent a bre Asie qui es ver midi"]




Having finished our discourse concerning those countries wherewith our
Book hath been occupied thus far, we are now about to enter on the subject
of INDIA, and to tell you of all the wonders thereof.

And first let us speak of the ships in which merchants go to and fro
amongst the Isles of India.

These ships, you must know, are of fir timber.[NOTE 1] They have but one
deck, though each of them contains some 50 or 60 cabins, wherein the
merchants abide greatly at their ease, every man having one to himself.
The ship hath but one rudder, but it hath four masts; and sometimes they
have two additional masts, which they ship and unship at pleasure.[NOTE 2]

[Moreover the larger of their vessels have some thirteen compartments or
severances in the interior, made with planking strongly framed, in case
mayhap the ship should spring a leak, either by running on a rock or by
the blow of a hungry whale (as shall betide ofttimes, for when the ship in
her course by night sends a ripple back alongside of the whale, the
creature seeing the foam fancies there is something to eat afloat, and
makes a rush forward, whereby it often shall stave in some part of the
ship). In such case the water that enters the leak flows to the bilge,
which is always kept clear; and the mariners having ascertained where the
damage is, empty the cargo from that compartment into those adjoining, for
the planking is so well fitted that the water cannot pass from one
compartment to another. They then stop the leak and replace the
lading.[NOTE 3]]

The fastenings are all of good iron nails and the sides are double, one
plank laid over the other, and caulked outside and in. The planks are not
pitched, for those people do not have any pitch, but they daub the sides
with another matter, deemed by them far better than pitch; it is this. You
see they take some lime and some chopped hemp, and these they knead
together with a certain wood-oil; and when the three are thoroughly
amalgamated, they hold like any glue. And with this mixture they do paint
their ships.[NOTE 4]

Each of their great ships requires at least 200 mariners [some of them
300]. They are indeed of great size, for one ship shall carry 5000 or 6000
baskets of pepper [and they used formerly to be larger than they are now].
And aboard these ships, you must know, when there is no wind they use
sweeps, and these sweeps are so big that to pull them requires four
mariners to each.[NOTE 5] Every great ship has certain large barks or
tenders attached to it; these are large enough to carry 1000 baskets of
pepper, and carry 50 or 60 mariners apiece [some of them 80 or 100], and
they are likewise moved by oars; they assist the great ship by towing her,
at such times as her sweeps are in use [or even when she is under sail, if
the wind be somewhat on the beam; not if the wind be astern, for then the
sails of the big ship would take the wind out of those of the tenders, and
she would run them down]. Each ship has two [or three] of these barks, but
one is bigger than the others. There are also some ten [small] boats for
the service of each great ship, to lay out the anchors, catch fish, bring
supplies aboard, and the like. When the ship is under sail she carries
these boats slung to her sides. And the large tenders have their boats in
like manner.

When the ship has been a year in work and they wish to repair her, they
nail on a third plank over the first two, and caulk and pay it well; and
when another repair is wanted they nail on yet another plank, and so on
year by year as it is required. Howbeit, they do this only for a certain
number of years, and till there are six thicknesses of planking. When a
ship has come to have six planks on her sides, one over the other, they
take her no more on the high seas, but make use of her for coasting as
long as she will last, and then they break her up.[NOTE 6]

Now that I have told you about the ships which sail upon the Ocean Sea and
among the Isles of India, let us proceed to speak of the various wonders
of India; but first and foremost I must tell you about a number of Islands
that there are in that part of the Ocean Sea where we now are, I mean the
Islands lying to the eastward. So let us begin with an Island which is
called Chipangu.

NOTE 1.--Pine [Pinus sinensis] is [still] the staple timber for
ship-building both at Canton and in Fo-kien. There is a very large export
of it from Fu-chau, and even the chief fuel at that city is from a kind of
fir. Several varieties of pine-wood are also brought down the rivers for
sale at Canton. (N. and Q., _China and Japan_, I. 170; Fortune, I. 286;

NOTE 2.--Note the _one rudder_ again. (Supra, Bk. I. ch. xix. note 3.) One
of the shifting masts was probably a bowsprit, which, according to
Lecomte, the Chinese occasionally use, very slight, and planted on the
larboard bow.

NOTE 3.--The system of water-tight compartments, for the description of
which we have to thank Ramusio's text, in our own time introduced into
European construction, is still maintained by the Chinese, not only in
sea-going junks, but in the larger river craft. (See _Mid. Kingd._ II. 25;
_Blakiston_, 88; _Deguignes_, I. 204-206.)

NOTE 4.--This still remains quite correct, hemp, old nets, and the fibre of
a certain creeper being used for oakum. The _wood-oil_ is derived from a
tree called _Tong-shu_, I do not know if identical with the wood-oil trees
of Arakan and Pegu (_Dipterocarpus laevis_).

["What goes under the name of 'wood-oil' to-day in China is the poisonous
oil obtained from the nuts of _Elaeococca verrucosa_. It is much used for
painting and caulking ships." (_Bretschneider, Hist. of Bot. Disc._ I. p.

NOTE 5.--The junks that visit Singapore still use these sweeps. (_J. Ind.
Arch._ II. 607.) Ibn Batuta puts a much larger number of men to each. It
will be seen from his account below that great ropes were attached to the
oars to pull by, the bulk of timber being too large to grasp; as in the
old French galleys wooden _manettes_ or grips, were attached to the oar
for the same purpose.

NOTE 6.--The Chinese sea-going vessels of those days were apparently larger
than was at all common in European navigation. Marco here speaks of 200 (or
in Ramusio up to 300) mariners, a large crew indeed for a merchant vessel,
but not so great as is implied in Odoric's statement, that the ship in
which he went from India to China had 700 souls on board. The numbers
carried by Chinese junks are occasionally still enormous. "In February,
1822, Captain Pearl, of the English ship _Indiana_, coming through Caspar
Straits, fell in with the cargo and crew of a wrecked junk, and saved 198
persons out of 1600, with whom she had left Amoy, whom he landed at
Pontianak. This humane act cost him 11,000_l._" (Quoted by _Williams_ from
_Chin. Rep._ VI. 149.)

The following are some other mediaeval accounts of the China shipping, all
unanimous as to the main facts.

_Friar Jordanus_:--"The vessels which they navigate to Cathay be very big,
and have upon the ship's hull more than one hundred cabins, and with a
fair wind they carry ten sails, and they are very bulky, being made of
three thicknesses of plank, so that the first thickness is as in our great
ships, the second crosswise, the third again longwise. In sooth, 'tis a
very strong affair!" (55.)

_Nicolo Conti_:--"They build some ships much larger than ours, capable of
containing 2000 butts (_vegetes_), with five masts and five sails. The
lower part is constructed with triple planking, in order to withstand the
force of the tempests to which they are exposed. And the ships are divided
into compartments, so formed that if one part be shattered the rest
remains in good order, and enables the vessel to complete its voyage."

_Ibn Batuta_:--"Chinese ships only are used in navigating the sea of
China.... There are three classes of these: (1) the Large, which are
called _Jonuk_ (sing. _Junk_); (2) the Middling, which are called _Zao_;
and (3) the Small, called _Kakam_. Each of the greater ships has from
twelve sails down to three. These are made of bamboo laths woven into a
kind of mat; they are never lowered, and they are braced this way and that
as the wind may blow. When these vessels anchor the sails are allowed to
fly loose. Each ship has a crew of 1000 men, viz. 600 mariners and 400
soldiers, among whom are archers, target-men, and cross-bow men to shoot
naphtha. Each large vessel is attended by three others, which are called
respectively 'The Half,' 'The Third,' and 'The Quarter.' These vessels are
built only at Zayton, in China, and at Sinkalan or Sin-ul-Sin (i.e.
Canton). This is the way they are built. They construct two walls of
timber, which they connect by very thick slabs of wood, clenching all fast
this way and that with huge spikes, each of which is three cubits in
length. When the two walls have been united by these slabs they apply the
bottom planking, and then launch the hull before completing the
construction. The timbers projecting from the sides towards the water
serve the crew for going down to wash and for other needs. And to these
projecting timbers are attached the oars, which are like masts in size,
and need from 10 to 15 men[1] to ply each of them. There are about 20 of
these great oars, and the rowers at each oar stand in two ranks facing one
another. The oars are provided with two strong cords or cables; each rank
pulls at one of these and then lets go, whilst the other rank pulls on the
opposite cable. These rowers have a pleasant chaunt at their work usually,
singing La' la! La' la![2] The three tenders which we have mentioned above
also use oars, and tow the great ships when required.

"On each ship four decks are constructed; and there are cabins and public
rooms for the merchants. Some of these cabins are provided with closets
and other conveniences, and they have keys so that their tenants can lock
them, and carry with them their wives or concubines. The crew in some of
the cabins have their children, and they sow kitchen herbs, ginger, etc.,
in wooden buckets. The captain is a very great Don; and when he lands, the
archers and negro-slaves march before him with javelins, swords, drums,
horns, and trumpets." (IV. pp. 91 seqq. and 247 seqq. combined.)
Comparing this very interesting description with Polo's, we see that they
agree in all essentials except size and the number of decks. It is not
unlikely that the revival of the trade with India, which Kublai
stimulated, may have in its development under his successors led to the
revival also of the larger ships of former times to which Marco alludes.

[1] Or even 30 (p. 248).

[2] Corresponding to the "Hevelow and rumbelow" of the Christian oarsmen.
(See _Coeur de Lion_ in _Weber_, II. 99.)



Chipangu is an Island towards the east in the high seas, 1500 miles
distant from the Continent; and a very great Island it is.[NOTE 1]

The people are white, civilized, and well-favoured. They are Idolaters,
and are dependent on nobody. And I can tell you the quantity of gold they
have is endless; for they find it in their own Islands, [and the King does
not allow it to be exported. Moreover] few merchants visit the country
because it is so far from the main land, and thus it comes to pass that
their gold is abundant beyond all measure.[NOTE 2]

I will tell you a wonderful thing about the Palace of the Lord of that
Island. You must know that he hath a great Palace which is entirely roofed
with fine gold, just as our churches are roofed with lead, insomuch that
it would scarcely be possible to estimate its value. Moreover, all the
pavement of the Palace, and the floors of its chambers, are entirely of
gold, in plates like slabs of stone, a good two fingers thick; and the
windows also are of gold, so that altogether the richness of this Palace
is past all bounds and all belief.[NOTE 3]

[Illustration: Ancient Japanese Emperor. (After a Native Drawing; from

They have also pearls in abundance, which are of a rose colour, but fine,
big, and round, and quite as valuable as the white ones. [In this Island
some of the dead are buried, and others are burnt. When a body is burnt,
they put one of these pearls in the mouth, for such is their custom.] They
have also quantities of other precious stones.[NOTE 4]

Cublay, the Grand Kaan who now reigneth, having heard much of the immense
wealth that was in this Island, formed a plan to get possession of it. For
this purpose he sent two of his Barons with a great navy, and a great
force of horse and foot. These Barons were able and valiant men, one of
them called ABACAN and the other VONSAINCHIN, and they weighed with all
their company from the ports of Zayton and Kinsay, and put out to sea.
They sailed until they reached the Island aforesaid, and there they
landed, and occupied the open country and the villages, but did not
succeed in getting possession of any city or castle. And so a disaster
befel them, as I shall now relate.

You must know that there was much ill-will between those two Barons, so
that one would do nothing to help the other. And it came to pass that
there arose a north wind which blew with great fury, and caused great
damage along the coasts of that Island, for its harbours were few. It blew
so hard that the Great Kaan's fleet could not stand against it. And when
the chiefs saw that, they came to the conclusion that if the ships
remained where they were the whole navy would perish. So they all got on
board and made sail to leave the country. But when they had gone about
four miles they came to a small Island, on which they were driven ashore
in spite of all they could do; and a large part of the fleet was wrecked,
and a great multitude of the force perished, so that there escaped only
some 30,000 men, who took refuge on this Island.

These held themselves for dead men, for they were without food, and knew
not what to do, and they were in great despair when they saw that such of
the ships as had escaped the storm were making full sail for their own
country without the slightest sign of turning back to help them. And this
was because of the bitter hatred between the two Barons in command of the
force; for the Baron who escaped never showed the slightest desire to
return to his colleague who was left upon the Island in the way you have
heard; though he might easily have done so after the storm ceased; and it
endured not long. He did nothing of the kind, however, but made straight
for home. And you must know that the Island to which the soldiers had
escaped was uninhabited; there was not a creature upon it but themselves.

Now we will tell you what befel those who escaped on the fleet, and also
those who were left upon the Island.

NOTE 1.--+CHIPANGU represents the Chinese _Jih-pen-kwe_, the kingdom of
Japan, the name Jih-pen being the Chinese pronunciation, of which the term
_Nippon_, _Niphon_ or _Nihon_, used in Japan, is a dialectic variation,
both meaning "the origin of the sun," or sun-rising, the place the sun
comes from. The name _Chipangu_ is used also by Rashiduddin. Our _Japan_
was probably taken from the Malay _Japun_ or _Japang_.

["The name _Nihon_ ('Japan') seems to have been first officially employed
by the Japanese Government in A.D. 670. Before that time, the usual native
designation of the country was _Yamato_, properly the name of one of the
central provinces. Yamato and _O-mi-kuni_, that is, 'the Great August
Country,' are the names still preferred in poetry and _belles-lettres_.
Japan has other ancient names, some of which are of learned length and
thundering sound, for instance, _Toyo-ashi-wara-no-chi-aki-no-naga-i-ho-
aki-no-mizu-ho-no-kuni_, that is 'the Luxuriant-Reed-Plains-the-Land-of-
(_B.H. Chamberlain_, _Things Japanese_, 3rd ed. p. 222.)--H.C.]

It is remarkable that the name _Nipon_ occurs, in the form of _Al-Nafun_,
in the _Ikhwan-al-Safa_, supposed to date from the 10th century. (See
_J.A.S.B._ XVII. Pt. I. 502.)

[I shall merely mention the strange theory of Mr. George Collingridge that
_Zipangu_ is Java and not Japan in his paper on _The Early Cartography of
Japan_. (_Geog. Jour._ May, 1894, pp. 403-409.) Mr. F.G. Kramp (_Japan or
Java?_), in the _Tijdschrift v. het K. Nederl. Aardrijkskundig
Genootschap_, 1894, and Mr. H. Yule Oldham (_Geog. Jour._, September,
1894, pp. 276-279), have fully replied to this paper.--H.C.]

NOTE 2.--The causes briefly mentioned in the text maintained the abundance
and low price of gold in Japan till the recent opening of the trade. (See
Bk. II. ch. 1. note 5.) Edrisi had heard that gold in the isles of Sila
(or Japan) was so abundant that dog-collars were made of it.

NOTE 3.--This was doubtless an old "yarn," repeated from generation to
generation. We find in a Chinese work quoted by Amyot: "The palace of the
king (of Japan) is remarkable for its singular construction. It is a vast
edifice, of extraordinary height; it has nine stories, and presents on all
sides an exterior shining with the purest gold." (_Mem. conc. les
Chinois_, XIV. 55.) See also a like story in Kaempfer. (_H. du Japon_, I.

[Illustration: Ancient Japanese Archer. (From a Native Drawing.)]

NOTE 4.--Kaempfer speaks of pearls being found in considerable numbers,
chiefly about Satsuma, and in the Gulf of Omura, in Kiusiu. From what
Alcock says they do not seem now to be abundant. (Ib. I. 95; _Alcock_,
I. 200.) No precious stones are mentioned by Kaempfer.

Rose-tinted pearls are frequent among the Scotch pearls, and, according to
Mr. King, those of this tint are of late the most highly esteemed in
Paris. Such pearls were perhaps also most highly esteemed in old India;
for red pearls (_Lohitamukti_) form one of the seven precious objects
which it was incumbent to use in the adornment of Buddhistic reliquaries,
and to distribute at the building of a Dagoba. (_Nat. Hist. of Prec.
Stones, etc._, 263; _Koeppen_, I. 541.)



You see those who were left upon the Island, some 30,000 souls, as I have
said, did hold themselves for dead men, for they saw no possible means of
escape. And when the King of the Great Island got news how the one part of
the expedition had saved themselves upon that Isle, and the other part was
scattered and fled, he was right glad thereat, and he gathered together
all the ships of his territory and proceeded with them, the sea now being
calm, to the little Isle, and landed his troops all round it. And when the
Tartars saw them thus arrive, and the whole force landed, without any
guard having been left on board the ships (the act of men very little
acquainted with such work), they had the sagacity to feign flight. [Now
the Island was very high in the middle, and whilst the enemy were
hastening after them by one road they fetched a compass by another and] in
this way managed to reach the enemy's ships and to get aboard of them.
This they did easily enough, for they encountered no opposition.

Once they were on board they got under weigh immediately for the great
Island, and landed there, carrying with them the standards and banners of
the King of the Island; and in this wise they advanced to the capital. The
garrison of the city, suspecting nothing wrong, when they saw their own
banners advancing supposed that it was their own host returning, and so
gave them admittance. The Tartars as soon as they had got in seized all
the bulwarks and drove out all who were in the place except the pretty
women, and these they kept for themselves. In this way the Great Kaan's
people got possession of the city.

When the King of the great Island and his army perceived that both fleet
and city were lost, they were greatly cast down; howbeit, they got away to
the great Island on board some of the ships which had not been carried
off. And the King then gathered all his host to the siege of the city, and
invested it so straitly that no one could go in or come out. Those who
were within held the place for seven months, and strove by all means to
send word to the Great Kaan; but it was all in vain, they never could get
the intelligence carried to him. So when they saw they could hold out no
longer they gave themselves up, on condition that their lives should be
spared, but still that they should never quit the Island. And this befel
in the year of our Lord 1279.[NOTE 1] The Great Kaan ordered the Baron
who had fled so disgracefully to lose his head. And afterwards he caused
the other also, who had been left on the Island, to be put to death, for
he had never behaved as a good soldier ought to do.[NOTE 2]

But I must tell you a wonderful thing that I had forgotten, which happened
on this expedition.

You see, at the beginning of the affair, when the Kaan's people had landed
on the great Island and occupied the open country as I told you, they
stormed a tower belonging to some of the islanders who refused to
surrender, and they cut off the heads of all the garrison except eight; on
these eight they found it impossible to inflict any wound! Now this was by
virtue of certain stones which they had in their arms inserted between the
skin and the flesh, with such skill as not to show at all externally. And
the charm and virtue of these stones was such that those who wore them
could never perish by steel. So when the Barons learned this they ordered
the men to be beaten to death with clubs. And after their death the stones
were extracted from the bodies of all, and were greatly prized.[NOTE 3]

Now the story of the discomfiture of the Great Kaan's folk came to pass as
I have told you. But let us have done with that matter, and return to our

NOTE 1.--Kublai had long hankered after the conquest of Japan, or had at
least, after his fashion, desired to obtain an acknowledgment of supremacy
from the Japanese sovereign. He had taken steps in this view as early as
1266, but entirely without success. The fullest accessible particulars
respecting his efforts are contained in the Japanese Annals translated by
Titsing; and these are in complete accordance with the Chinese histories
as given by Gaubil, De Mailla, and in Pauthier's extracts, so far as these
three latter enter into particulars. But it seems clear from the
comparison that the Japanese chronicler had the Chinese Annals in his

In 1268, 1269, 1270, and 1271, Kublai's efforts were repeated to little
purpose, and, provoked at this, in 1274, he sent a fleet of 300 vessels
with 15,000 men against Japan. This was defeated near the Island of
Tsushima with heavy loss.

Nevertheless Kublai seems in the following years to have renewed his
attempts at negotiation. The Japanese patience was exhausted, and, in
1280, they put one of his ambassadors to death.

"As soon as the Moko (Mongols) heard of this, they assembled a
considerable army to conquer Japan. When informed of their preparations,
the Dairi sent ambassadors to Ize and other temples to invoke the gods.
Fosiono Toki Mune, who resided at Kama Kura, ordered troops to assemble at
Tsukuzi (_Tsikouzen_ of Alcock's Map), and sent ... numerous detachments
to Miyako to guard the Dairi and the Togou (Heir Apparent) against all
danger.... In the first moon (of 1281) the Mongols named Asikan (Ngo
Tsa-han[1]), Fan-bunko (Fan Wen-hu), Kinto (Hintu), and Kosakio (Hung
Cha-khieu), Generals of their army, which consisted of 100,000 men, and was
embarked on numerous ships of war. Asikan fell ill on the passage, and this
made the second General (Fan Wen-hu) undecided as to his course.

"_7th Month_. The entire fleet arrived at the Island of Firando
(P'hing-hu), and passed thence to Goriosan (Ulungshan). The troops of
Tsukuzi were under arms. _1st of 3rd Month_. A frightful storm arose; the
Mongol ships foundered or were sorely shattered. The General (Fan Wen-hu)
fled with the other Generals on the vessels that had least suffered; nobody
has ever heard what became of them. The army of 100,000 men, which had
landed below Goriosan, wandered about for three days without provisions;
and the soldiers began to plan the building of vessels in which they might
escape to China.

"_7th day_. The Japanese army invested and attacked them with great
vigour. The Mongols were totally defeated. 30,000 of them were made
prisoners and conducted to Fakata (the _Fokouoka_ of Alcock's Map, but
_Fakatta_ in Kaempfer's), and there put to death. Grace was extended to
only (three men), who were sent to China with the intelligence of the fate
of the army. The destruction of so numerous a fleet was considered the
most evident proof of the protection of the gods." (_Titsingh_, pp.
264-265.) At p. 259 of the same work Klaproth gives another account from
the Japanese Encyclopaedia; the difference is not material.

The Chinese Annals, in De Mailla, state that the Japanese spared 10,000 or
12,000 of the Southern Chinese, whom they retained as slaves. Gaubil says
that 30,000 Mongols were put to death, whilst 70,000 Coreans and Chinese
were made slaves.

Kublai was loth to put up with this huge discomfiture, and in 1283 he made
preparations for another expedition; but the project excited strong
discontent; so strong that some Buddhist monks whom he sent before to
collect information, were thrown overboard by the Chinese sailors; and he
gave it up. (_De Mailla_, IX. 409; 418, 428; _Gaubil_, 195; _Deguignes_,
III. 177.)

[Illustration: Japanese in fight with Chinese. (After Siebold, from an
ancient Japanese drawing.)

"Or ensint avint ceste estoire de la desconfiture de les gens dou Grant

The Abacan of Polo is probably the Asikan of the Japanese, whom Gaubil
calls _Argan_. Vonsainchin is _perhaps Fan_ Wen-hu with the Chinese title
of _Tsiang-Kiun_ or General (elsewhere represented in Polo by _Sangon_),

We see that, as usual, whilst Marco's account in some of the main features
concurs with that of the histories, he gives a good many additional
particulars, some of which, such as the ill-will between the Generals, are
no doubt genuine. But of the story of the capture of the Japanese capital
by the shipwrecked army we know not what to make: we can't accept it

[The _Korea Review_ publishes a _History of Korea_ based upon Korean and
Chinese sources, from which we gather some interesting facts regarding the
relations of China, Korea, and Japan at the time of Kublai: "In 1265, the
seed was sown that led to the attempted invasion of Japan by the Mongols.
A Koryu citizen, Cho I., found his way to Peking, and there, having gained
the ear of the emperor, told him that the Mongol powers ought to secure
the vassalage of Japan. The emperor listened favourably and determined to
make advances in that direction. He therefore appointed Heuk Chuk and Eun
Hong as envoys to Japan, and ordered them to go by way of Koryu and take
with them to Japan a Koryu envoy as well. Arriving in Koryu they delivered
this message to the king, and two officials, Son Kun-bi and Kim Ch'an,
were appointed to accompany them to Japan. They proceeded by the way of
Koje Harbor in Kyung-sang Province, but were driven back by a fierce
storm, and the king sent the Mongol envoys back to Peking. The Emperor was
ill satisfied with the outcome of the adventure, and sent Heuk Chuk with a
letter to the king, ordering him to forward the Mongol envoy to Japan. The
message which he was to deliver to the ruler of Japan said, 'The Mongol
power is kindly disposed towards you and desires to open friendly
intercourse with you. She does not desire your submission, but if you
accept her patronage, the great Mongol empire will cover the earth.' The
king forwarded the message with the envoys to Japan, and informed the
emperor of the fact.... The Mongol and Koryu envoys, upon reaching the
Japanese capital, were treated with marked disrespect.... They remained
five months, ... and at last they were dismissed without receiving any
answer either to the emperor or to the king." (II. pp. 37, 38.)

Such was the beginning of the difficulties with Japan; this is the end of
them: "The following year, 1283, changed the emperor's purpose. He had
time to hear the whole story of the sufferings of his army in the last
invasion; the impossibility of squeezing anything more out of Koryu, and
the delicate condition of home affairs, united in causing him to give up
the project of conquering Japan, and he countermanded the order for the
building of boats and the storing of grain." (II. p. 82.)

Japan was then, for more than a century (A.D. 1205-1333), governed really
in the name of the descendants of Yoritomo, who proved unworthy of their
great ancestor "by the so-called 'Regents' of the Hojo family, while their
liege lords, the Shoguns, though keeping a nominal court at Kamakura, were
for all that period little better than empty names. So completely were the
Hojos masters of the whole country, that they actually had their deputy
governors at Kyoto and in Kyushu in the south-west, and thought nothing of
banishing Mikados to distant islands. Their rule was made memorable by the
repulse of the Mongol fleet sent by Kublai Khan with the purpose of adding
Japan to his gigantic dominions. This was at the end of the 13th century,
since which time Japan has never been attacked from without." (_B. H.
Chamberlain_, _Things Japanese_, 3rd ed., 1898, pp. 208-209.)

The sovereigns (_Mikado_, _Tenno_) of Japan during this period were:
_Kameyama_-Tenno (1260; abdicated 1274; repulse of the Mongols);
_Go-Uda_-Tenno (1275; abdicated 1287); _Fushimi_-Tenno (1288; abdicated
1298); and _Go-Fushimi_ Tenno. The _shikken_ (prime ministers) were Hojo
_Tokiyori_ (1246); Hojo _Tokimune_ (1261); Hojo _Sadatoki_ (1284). In 1266
Prince _Kore-yasu_ and in 1289 _Hisa-akira_, were appointed _shogun_.

NOTE 2.--_Ram._ says he was sent to a certain island called Zorza
(_Chorcha?_), where men who have failed in duty are put to death in this
manner: They wrap the arms of the victim in the hide of a newly flayed
buffalo, and sew it tight. As this dries it compresses him so terribly
that he cannot move, and so, finding no help, his life ends in misery. The
same kind of torture is reported of different countries in the East:
e.g. see _Makrizi_, Pt. III. p. 108, and Pottinger, as quoted by Marsden
_in loco_. It also appears among the tortures of a Buddhist hell as
represented in a temple at Canton. (_Oliphant's Narrative_, I. 168.)

NOTE 3.--Like devices to procure invulnerability are common in the
Indo-Chinese countries. The Burmese sometimes insert pellets of gold under
the skin with this view. At a meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in
1868, gold and silver coins were shown, which had been extracted from under
the skin of a Burmese convict who had been executed at the Andaman Islands.
Friar Odoric speaks of the practice in one of the Indian Islands
(apparently Borneo); and the stones possessing such virtue were, according
to him, found in the bamboo, presumably the siliceous concretions called
_Tabashir_. Conti also describes the practice in Java of inserting such
amulets under the skin. The Malays of Sumatra, too, have great faith in the
efficacy of certain "stones, which they pretend are extracted from
reptiles, birds, animals, etc., in preventing them from being wounded."
(See _Mission to Ava_, p. 208; _Cathay_, 94; _Conti_, p. 32; _Proc. As.
Soc. Beng._ 1868, p. 116; _Andarson's Mission to Sumatra_, p. 323.)

[1] These names in parentheses are the Chinese forms; the others, the
Japanese modes of reading them.



Now you must know that the Idols of Cathay, and of Manzi, and of this
Island, are all of the same class. And in this Island as well as
elsewhere, there be some of the Idols that have the head of an ox, some
that have the head of a pig, some of a dog, some of a sheep, and some of
divers other kinds. And some of them have four heads, whilst some have
three, one growing out of either shoulder. There are also some that have
four hands, some ten, some a thousand! And they do put more faith in those
Idols that have a thousand hands than in any of the others.[NOTE 1] And
when any Christian asks them why they make their Idols in so many
different guises, and not all alike, they reply that just so their
forefathers were wont to have them made, and just so they will leave them
to their children, and these to the after generations. And so they will be
handed down for ever. And you must understand that the deeds ascribed to
these Idols are such a parcel of devilries as it is best not to tell. So
let us have done with the Idols, and speak of other things.

But I must tell you one thing still concerning that Island (and 'tis the
same with the other Indian Islands), that if the natives take prisoner an
enemy who cannot pay a ransom, he who hath the prisoner summons all his
friends and relations, and they put the prisoner to death, and then they
cook him and eat him, and they say there is no meat in the world so
good!--But now we _will_ have done with that Island and speak of
something else.

You must know the Sea in which lie the Islands of those parts is called
the SEA OF CHIN, which is as much as to say "The Sea over against Manzi."
For, in the language of those Isles, when they say _Chin_, 'tis Manzi
they mean. And I tell you with regard to that Eastern Sea of Chin,
according to what is said by the experienced pilots and mariners of those
parts, there be 7459 Islands in the waters frequented by the said
mariners; and that is how they know the fact, for their whole life is
spent in navigating that sea. And there is not one of those Islands but
produces valuable and odorous woods like the lignaloe, aye and better too;
and they produce also a great variety of spices. For example in those
Islands grows pepper as white as snow, as well as the black in great
quantities. In fact the riches of those Islands is something wonderful,
whether in gold or precious stones, or in all manner of spicery; but they
lie so far off from the main land that it is hard to get to them. And when
the ships of Zayton and Kinsay do voyage thither they make vast profits by
their venture.[NOTE 2]

It takes them a whole year for the voyage, going in winter and returning
in summer. For in that Sea there are but two winds that blow, the one that
carries them outward and the other that brings them homeward; and the one
of these winds blows all the winter, and the other all the summer. And you
must know these regions are so far from India that it takes a long time
also for the voyage thence.

Though that Sea is called the Sea of Chin, as I have told you, yet it is
part of the Ocean Sea all the same. But just as in these parts people talk
of the Sea of England and the Sea of Rochelle, so in those countries they
speak of the Sea of Chin and the Sea of India, and so on, though they all
are but parts of the Ocean.[NOTE 3]

Now let us have done with that region which is very inaccessible and out
of the way. Moreover, Messer Marco Polo never was there. And let me tell
you the Great Kaan has nothing to do with them, nor do they render him any
tribute or service.

So let us go back to Zayton and take up the order of our book from that
point.[NOTE 4]

NOTE 1.--"Several of the (Chinese) gods have horns on the forehead, or
wear animals' heads; some have three eyes.... Some are represented in the
Indian manner with a multiplicity of arms. We saw at Yang-cheu fu a
goddess with thirty arms." (_Deguignes_, I. 364-366.)

The reference to any particular form of idolatry here is vague. But in
Tibetan Buddhism, with which Marco was familiar, all these extravagances
are prominent, though repugnant to the more orthodox Buddhism of the

When the Dalai Lama came to visit the Altun Khan, to secure the
reconversion of the Mongols in 1577, he appeared as a manifest embodiment
of the Bodhisatva Avalokitecvara, with _four hands_, of which two were
always folded across the breast! The same Bodhisatva is sometimes
represented with eleven heads. Manjushri manifests himself in a golden
body with 1000 hands and 1000 _Patras_ or vessels, in each of which were
1000 figures of Sakya visible, etc. (_Koeppen_, II. 137; _Vassilyev_,

NOTE 2.--Polo seems in this passage to be speaking of the more easterly
Islands of the Archipelago, such as the Philippines, the Moluccas, etc.,
but with vague ideas of their position.

NOTE 3.--In this passage alone Polo makes use of the now familiar name of
CHINA. "_Chin_" as he says, "in the language of those Isles means
_Manzi_." In fact, though the form _Chin_ is more correctly Persian, we do
get the exact form _China_ from "the language of those Isles," i.e. from
the _Malay_. _China_ is also used in Japanese.

What he says about the Ocean and the various names of its parts is nearly
a version of a passage in the geographical Poem of Dionysius, ending:--

Outos Okeanos peridedrome gaian hapasan
Toios eon kai toia met' andrasin ounomath' elkon] (42-3).

So also Abulfeda: "This is the sea which flows from the Ocean Sea....
This sea takes the names of the countries it washes. Its eastern extremity
is called the Sea of Chin ... the part west of this is called the Sea of
India ... then comes the Sea of Fars, the Sea of Berbera, and lastly the
Sea of Kolzum" (Red Sea).

NOTE 4.--The Ramusian here inserts a short chapter, shown by the awkward
way in which it comes in to be a very manifest interpolation, though
possibly still an interpolation by the Traveller's hand:--

"Leaving the port of Zayton you sail westward and something south-westward
for 1500 miles, passing a gulf called CHEINAN, having a length of two
months' sail towards the north. Along the whole of its south-east side it
borders on the province of Manzi, and on the other side with Anin and
Coloman, and many other provinces formerly spoken of. Within this Gulf
there are innumerable Islands, almost all well-peopled; and in these is
found a great quantity of gold-dust, which is collected from the sea where
the rivers discharge. There is copper also, and other things; and the
people drive a trade with each other in the things that are peculiar to
their respective Islands. They have also a traffic with the people of the
mainland, selling them gold and copper and other things; and purchasing in
turn what they stand in need of. In the greater part of these Islands
plenty of corn grows. This gulf is so great, and inhabited by so many
people, that it seems like a world in itself."

This passage is translated by Marsden with much forcing, so as to describe
the China Sea, embracing the Philippine Islands, etc.; but, as a matter
of fact, it seems clearly to indicate the writer's conception as of a
great gulf running up into the continent between Southern China and
Tong-king for a length equal to two months' journey.

The name of the gulf, Cheinan, i.e. _Heinan_, may either be that of the
Island so called, or, as I rather incline to suppose, _'An-nan_, i.e.
Tong-king. But even by Camoens, writing at Macao in 1559-1560, the Gulf of
Hainan is styled an unknown sea (though this perhaps is only appropriate to
the prophetic speaker):--

"Ves, corre a costa, que Champa se chama,
Cuja mata he do pao cheiroso ornada:
Ves, Cauchichina esta de escura fama,
_E de Ainao ve a incognita enseada_" (X. 129).

And in Sir Robert Dudley's _Arcano del Mare_ (Firenze, 1647), we find a
great bottle-necked gulf, of some 5-1/2 deg. in length, running up to the
north from Tong-king, very much as I have represented the Gulf of Cheinan
in the attempt to realise Polo's Own Geography. (See map in Introductory



You must know that on leaving the port of Zayton you sail west-south-west
for 1500 miles, and then you come to a country called CHAMBA,[NOTE 1] a
very rich region, having a king of its own. The people are Idolaters and
pay a yearly tribute to the Great Kaan, which consists of elephants and
nothing but elephants. And I will tell you how they came to pay this

It happened in the year of Christ 1278 that the Great Kaan sent a Baron of
his called, Sagatu with a great force of horse and foot against this King
of Chamba, and this Baron opened the war on a great scale against the King
and his country.

Now the King [whose name was Accambale] was a very aged man, nor had he
such a force as the Baron had. And when he saw what havoc the Baron was
making with his kingdom he was grieved to the heart. So he bade messengers
get ready and despatched them to the Great Kaan. And they said to the
Kaan: "Our Lord the King of Chamba salutes you as his liege-lord, and
would have you to know that he is stricken in years and long hath held his
realm in peace. And now he sends you word by us that he is willing to be
your liegeman, and will send you every year a tribute of as many elephants
as you please. And he prays you in all gentleness and humility that you
would send word to your Baron to desist from harrying his kingdom and to
quit his territories. These shall henceforth be at your absolute disposal,
and the King shall hold them of you."

When the Great Kaan had heard the King's ambassage he was moved with pity,
and sent word to that Baron of his to quit that kingdom with his army, and
to carry his arms to the conquest of some other country; and as soon as
this command reached them they obeyed it. Thus it was then that this King
became vassal of the Great Kaan, and paid him every year a tribute of 20
of the greatest and finest elephants that were to be found in the country.

But now we will leave that matter, and tell you other particulars about
the King of Chamba.

You must know that in that kingdom no woman is allowed to marry until the
King shall have seen her; if the woman pleases him then he takes her to
wife; if she does not, he gives her a dowry to get her a husband withal.
In the year of Christ 1285, Messer Marco Polo was in that country, and at
that time the King had, between sons and daughters, 326 children, of whom
at least 150 were men fit to carry arms.[NOTE 2]

There are very great numbers of elephants in this kingdom, and they have
lignaloes in great abundance. They have also extensive forests of the wood
called _Bonus_, which is jet-black, and of which chessmen and pen-cases are
made. But there is nought more to tell, so let us proceed.[NOTE 3]

NOTE 1.--+The name CHAMPA is of Indian origin, like the adjoining Kamboja
and many other names in Indo-China, and was probably taken from that of an
ancient Hindu city and state on the Ganges, near modern Bhagalpur. Hiuen
Tsang, in the 7th century, makes mention of the Indo-Chinese state as
Mahachampa (_Pel. Boudd_, III. 83.)

The title of Champa down to the 15th century seems to have been applied by
Western Asiatics to a kingdom which embraced the whole coast between
Tong-king and Kamboja, including all that is now called Cochin China
outside of Tong-king. It was termed by the Chinese _Chen-Ching_. In 1471
the King of Tong-king, Le Thanh-tong, conquered the country, and the
genuine people of Champa were reduced to a small number occupying the
mountains of the province of Binh Thuan at the extreme south-east of the
Coch. Chinese territory. To this part of the coast the name Champa is often
applied in maps. (See _J.A._ ser. II. tom. xi. p. 31, and _J. des Savans_,
1822, p. 71.) The people of Champa in this restricted sense are said to
exhibit Malay affinities, and they profess Mahomedanism. ["The Mussulmans
of Binh-Thuan call themselves _Bani_ or _Orang Bani_, 'men mussulmans,'
probably from the Arabic _beni_ 'the sons,' to distinguish them from the
Chams _Djat_ 'of race,' which they name also _Kaphir_ or _Akaphir_, from
the Arabic word _kafer_ 'pagans.' These names are used in _Binh-Thuan_ to
make a distinction, but Banis and Kaphirs alike are all Chams.... In
Cambodia all Chams are Mussulmans." (_E. Aymonier, Les Tchames_, p. 26.)
The religion of the pagan Chams of Binh-Thuan is degenerate Brahmanism with
three chief gods, Po-Nagar, Po-Rome, and Po-Klong-Garai. (Ibid., p.
35.)--H.C.] The books of their former religion they say (according to Dr.
Bastian) that they received from Ceylon, but they were converted to
Islamism by no less a person than 'Ali himself. The Tong-king people
received their Buddhism from China, and this tradition puts Champa as the
extreme flood-mark of that great tide of Buddhist proselytism, which went
forth from Ceylon to the Indo-Chinese regions in an early century of our
era, and which is generally connected with the name of Buddaghosha.

The prominent position of Champa on the route to China made its ports
places of call for many ages, and in the earliest record of the Arab
navigation to China we find the country noticed under the identical name
(allowing for the deficiencies of the Arabic Alphabet) of _Sanf_ or
_Chanf_. Indeed it is highly probable that the [Greek: Zaba] or [Greek:
Zabai] of Ptolemy's itinerary of the sea-route to the _Sinae_ represents
this same name.

["It is true," Sir Henry Yule wrote since (1882), "that Champa, as known in
later days, lay to the east of the Mekong delta, whilst Zabai of the Greeks
lay to the west of that and of the [Greek: mega akrotaerion]--the Great
Cape, or C. Cambodia of our maps. Crawford (_Desc. Ind. Arch._ p. 80) seems
to say that the Malays include under the name _Champa_ the whole of what we
call Kamboja. This may possibly be a slip. But it is certain, as we shall
see presently, that the Arab _Sanf_--which is unquestionably Champa--also
lay west of the Cape, i.e. within the Gulf of Siam. The fact is that the
Indo-Chinese kingdoms have gone through unceasing and enormous
vicissitudes, and in early days Champa must have been extensive and
powerful, for in the travels of Hiuen Tsang (about A.D. 629) it is called
_maha_-Champa. And my late friend Lieutenant Garnier, who gave great
attention to these questions, has deduced from such data as exist in
Chinese Annals and elsewhere, that the ancient kingdom which the Chinese
describe under the name of _Fu-nan_, as extending over the whole peninsula
east of the Gulf of Siam, was a kingdom of the _Tsiam_ or Champa race. The
locality of the ancient port of Zabai or Champa is probably to be sought on
the west coast of Kamboja, near the Campot, or the Kang-kao of our maps. On
this coast also was the _Komar_ and _Kamarah_ of Ibn Batuta and other Arab
writers, the great source of aloes-wood, the country then of the _Khmer_ or
Kambojan People." (_Notes on the Oldest Records of the Sea-Route to China
from Western Asia, Proc.R.G.S._ 1882, pp. 656-657.)

M. Barth says that this identification would agree well with the testimony
of his inscription XVIII. B., which comes from Angkor and for which _Campa_
is a part of the _Dakshinapatha_, of the southern country. But the capital
of this rival State of Kamboja would thus be very near the Treang province
where inscriptions have been found with the names of _Bhavavarman_ and of
Icanavarman. It is true that in 627, the King of Kamboja, according to the
Chinese Annals (_Nouv. Mel. As._ I. p. 84), had subjugated the kingdom of
Fu-nan identified by Yule and Garnier with _Campa_. Abel Remusat (_Nouv.
Mel. As._ I. pp. 75 and 77) identifies it with Tong-king and Stan. Julien
(_J. As._ 4 deg. Ser. X. p. 97) with Siam. (_Inscrip. Sanscrites du
Cambodge_, 1885, pp. 69-70, note.)

Sir Henry Yule writes (l.c. p. 657): "We have said that the Arab _Sanf_, as
well as the Greek _Zabai_, lay west of Cape Cambodia. This is proved by the
statement that the Arabs on their voyage to China made a ten days' run from
_Sanf_ to Pulo Condor." But Abulfeda (transl. by _Guyard_, II. ii. p. 127)
distinctly says that the Komar Peninsula (Khmer) is situated _west_ of the
Sanf Peninsula; between Sanf and Komar there is not a day's journey by sea.

We have, however, another difficulty to overcome.

I agree with Sir Henry Yule and Marsden that in ch. vii. infra, p. 276, the
text must be read, "When you leave _Chamba_," instead of "When you leave
_Java_." Coming from Zayton and sailing 1500 miles, Polo arrives at Chamba;
from Chamba, sailing 700 miles he arrives at the islands of Sondur and
Condur, identified by Yule with Sundar Fulat (Pulo Condore); from Sundar
Fulat, after 500 miles more, he finds the country called Locac; then he
goes to Pentam (Bintang, 500 miles), Malaiur, and Java the Less (Sumatra).
Ibn Khordadhbeh's itinerary agrees pretty well with Marco Polo's, as
Professor De Goeje remarks to me: "Starting from Mait (Bintang), and
leaving on the left Tiyuma (Timoan), in five days' journey, one goes to
Kimer (Kmer, Cambodia), and after three days more, following the coast,
arrives to Sanf; then to Lukyn, the first point of call in China, 100
parasangs by land or by sea; from Lukyn it takes four days by sea and
twenty by land to go to Kanfu." [Canton, see note, supra p. 199.] (See _De
Goeje's Ibn Khordadhbeh_, p. 48 et seq.) But we come now to the difficulty.
Professor De Goeje writes to me: "It is strange that in the _Relation des
Voyages_ of Reinaud, p. 20 of the text, reproduced by Ibn al Fakih, p. 12
seq., Sundar Fulat (Pulo Condore) is placed between Sanf and the China Sea
(_Sandjy_); it takes ten days to go from Sanf to Sundar Fulat, and then a
month (seven days of which between mountains called the Gates of China.) In
the _Livre des Merveilles de l'Inde_ (pp. 85, 86) we read: 'When arrived
between Sanf and the China coast, in the neighbourhood of Sundar Fulat, an
island situated at the entrance of the Sea of Sandjy, which is the Sea of
China....' It would appear from these two passages that Sanf is to be
looked for in the Malay Peninsula. This Sanf is different from the Sanf of
Ibn Khordadhbeh and of Abulfeda." (_Guyard's transl._ II. ii. 127.)

It does not strike me from these passages that Sanf must be looked for in
the Malay Peninsula. Indeed Professor G. Schlegel, in a paper published in
the _T'oung Pao_, vol. x., seems to prove that Shay-po (Djava), represented
by Chinese characters, which are the transcription of the Sanskrit name of
the China Rose (_Hibiscus rosa sinensis_), Djava or Djapa, is not the
great island of Java, but, according to Chinese texts, a state of the
Malay Peninsula; but he does not seem to me to prove that Shay-po is
Champa, as he believes he has done.

However, Professor De Goeje adds in his letter, and I quite agree with the
celebrated Arabic scholar of Leyden, that he does not very much like the
theory of two Sanf, and that he is inclined to believe that the sea
captain of the _Marvels of India_ placed Sundar Fulat a little too much to
the north, and that the narrative of the _Relation des Voyages_ is

To conclude: the history of the relations between Annam (Tong-king) and
her southern neighbour, the kingdom of Champa, the itineraries of Marco
Polo and Ibn Khordadhbeh as well as the position given to Sanf by
Abulfeda, justify me, I think, in placing Champa in that part of the
central and southern indo-Chinese coast which the French to-day call Annam
(Cochinchine and Basse-Cochinchine), the Binh-Thuan province showing more
particularly what remains of the ancient kingdom.

Since I wrote the above, I have received No. 1 of vol. ii. of the _Bul.
de l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient_, which contains a note on _Canf et
Campa_, by M.A. Barth. The reasons given in a note addressed to him by
Professor De Goeje and the work of Ibn Khordadhbeh have led M.A. Barth to
my own conclusion, viz. that the coast of Champa was situated where
inscriptions have been found on the Annamite coast.--H.C.]

The Sagatu of Marco appears in the Chinese history as _Sotu_, the military
governor of the Canton districts, which he had been active in reducing.

In 1278 Sotu sent an envoy to Chen-ching to claim the king's submission,
which was rendered, and for some years he sent his tribute to Kublai. But
when the Kaan proceeded to interfere in the internal affairs of the
kingdom by sending a Resident and Chinese officials, the king's son (1282)
resolutely opposed these proceedings, and threw the Chinese officials into
prison. The Kaan, in great wrath at this insult, (coming also so soon
after his discomfiture in Japan), ordered Sotu and others to Chen-ching to
take vengeance. The prince in the following year made a pretence of
submission, and the army (if indeed it had been sent) seems to have been
withdrawn. The prince, however, renewed his attack on the Chinese
establishments, and put 100 of their officials to death. Sotu then
despatched a new force, but it was quite unsuccessful, and had to retire.
In 1284 the king sent an embassy, including his grandson, to beg for
pardon and reconciliation. Kublai, however, refused to receive them, and
ordered his son Tughan to advance through Tong-king, an enterprise which
led to a still more disastrous war with that country, in which the Mongols
had much the worst of it. We are not told more.

Here we have the difficulties usual with Polo's historical anecdotes.
Certain names and circumstances are distinctly recognisable in the Chinese
Annals; others are difficult to reconcile with these. The embassy of 1284
seems the most likely to be the one spoken of by Polo, though the Chinese
history does not give it the favourable result which he ascribes to it.
The date in the text we see to be wrong, and as usual it varies in
different MSS. I suspect the original date was MCCLXXXIII.

One of the Chinese notices gives one of the king's names as _Sinhopala_,
and no doubt this is Ramusio's _Accambale_ (Acambale); an indication at
once of the authentic character of that interpolation, and of the identity
of Champa and Chen-ching.

[We learn from an inscription that in 1265 the King of Champa was
Jaya-Sinhavarman II., who was named Indravarman in 1277, and whom the
Chinese called _Che li Tseya Sinho phala Maha thiwa_ (Cri Jaya Sinha varmma
maha deva). He was the king at the time of Polo's voyage. (_A. Bergaigne,
Ancien royaume de Campa_, pp. 39-40; _E. Aymonier, les Tchames et leurs
religious_, p. 14.)--H.C.]

There are notices of the events in De Mailla (IX. 420-422) and Gaubil
(194), but Pauthier's extracts which we have made use of are much fuller.

Elephants have generally formed a chief part of the presents or tribute
sent periodically by the various Indo-Chinese states to the Court of

[In a Chinese work published in the 14th century, by an Annamite, under
the title of _Ngan-nan chi lio_, and translated into French by M. Sainson
(1896), we read (p. 397): "Elephants are found only in Lin-y; this is the
country which became Champa. It is the habit to have burdens carried by
elephants; this country is to-day the Pu-cheng province." M. Sainson adds
in a note that Pu-cheng, in Annamite Bo chanh quan, is to-day Quang-binh,
and that, in this country, was placed the first capital (Dong-hoi) of the
future kingdom of Champa thrown later down to the south.--H.C.]

[The Chams, according to their tradition, had three capitals: the most
ancient, _Shri-Banoeuy_, probably the actual Quang-Binh province;
_Bal-Hangov_, near Hue; and _Bal-Angoue_, in the Binh-Dinh province. In the
4th century, the kingdom of _Lin-y_ or _Lam-ap_ is mentioned in the Chinese

NOTE 2.--The date of Marco's visit to Champa varies in the MSS.: Pauthier
has 1280, as has also Ramusio; the G.T. has 1285; the Geographic Latin
1288. I incline to adopt the last. For we know that about 1290, Mark
returned to Court from a mission to the Indian Seas, which might have
included this visit to Champa.

The large family of the king was one of the stock marvels. Odoric says:
"ZAMPA is a very fine country, having great store of victuals and all good
things. The king of the country, it was said when I was there [circa 1323],
had, what with sons and with daughters, a good two hundred children; for he
hath many wives and other women whom he keepeth. This king hath also 14,000
tame elephants.... And other folk keep elephants there just as commonly as
we keep oxen here" (pp. 95-96). The latter point illustrates what Polo says
of elephants, and is scarcely an exaggeration in regard to all the southern
Indo-Chinese States. (See note to Odoric u.s.)

NOTE 3.--Champa Proper and the adjoining territories have been from time
immemorial the chief seat of the production of lign-aloes or eagle-wood.
Both names are misleading, for the thing has nought to do either with
aloes or eagles; though good Bishop Pallegoix derives the latter name from
the wood being speckled like an eagle's plumage. It is in fact through
_Aquila_, _Agila_, from _Aguru_, one of the Sanskrit names of the article,
whilst that is possibly from the Malay _Kayu_ (wood)-_gahru_, though the
course of the etymology is more likely to be the other way; and [Greek:
Aloae] is perhaps a corruption of the term which the Arabs apply to it,
viz. _Al-'Ud_, "The Wood."

[It is probable that the first Portuguese who had to do with eagle-wood
called it by its Arabic name, _aghaluhy_, or malayalam, _agila_; whence
_pao de' aguila_ "aguila wood." It was translated into Latin as _lignum
aquilae_, and after into modern languages, as _bois d'aigle_,
_eagle-wood_, _adlerholz_, etc. (_A. Cabaton, les Chams_, p. 50.) Mr.
Groeneveldt (_Notes_, pp. 141-142) writes: "_Lignum aloes_ is the wood of
the _Aquilaria agallocha_, and is chiefly known as _sinking incense_. The
_Pen-ts'au Kang-mu_ describes it as follows: '_Sinking incense_, also
called _honey incense_. It comes from the heart and the knots of a tree and
sinks in water, from which peculiarity the name _sinking incense_ is
derived.... In the Description of Annam we find it called _honey incense_,
because it smells like honey.' The same work, as well as the _Nan-fang
Ts'au-mu Chuang_, further informs us that this incense was obtained in all
countries south of China, by felling the old trees and leaving them to
decay, when, after some time, only the heart, the knots, and some other
hard parts remained. The product was known under different names, according
to its quality or shape, and in addition to the names given above, we find
_fowl bones_, _horse-hoofs_, and _green cinnamon_; these latter names,
however, are seldom used."--H.C.]

The fine eagle-wood of Champa is the result of disease in a leguminous
tree, _Aloexylon Agallochum_; whilst an inferior kind, though of the same
aromatic properties, is derived from a tree of an entirely different
order, _Aquilaria Agallocha_, and is found as far north as Silhet.

The _Bonus_ of the G.T. here is another example of Marco's use, probably
unconscious, of an Oriental word. It is Persian _Abnus_, Ebony, which has
passed almost unaltered into the Spanish _Abenuz_. We find _Ibenus_ also
in a French inventory (_Douet d'Arcq_, p. 134), but the _Bonus_ seems to
indicate that the word as used by the Traveller was strange to Rusticiano.
The word which he uses for pen-cases too, _Calamanz_, is more suggestive
of the Persian _Kalamdan_ than of the Italian _Calamajo_.

"Ebony is very common in this country (Champa), but the wood which is the
most precious, and which is sufficiently abundant, is called 'Eagle-wood,'
of which the first quality sells for its weight in gold; the native name
_Kinam_," (_Bishop Louis_ in J.A.S.B. VI. 742; _Dr. Birdwood_, in the
_Bible Educator_, I. 243; _Crawford's Dict._)



When you sail from Chamba, 1500 miles in a course between south and
south-east, you come to a great Island called Java. And the experienced
mariners of those Islands who know the matter well, say that it is the
greatest Island in the world, and has a compass of more than 3000 miles. It
is subject to a great King and tributary to no one else in the world. The
people are Idolaters. The Island is of surpassing wealth, producing black
pepper, nutmegs, spikenard, galingale, cubebs, cloves, and all other kinds
of spices.

[Illustration: View in the Interior of Java.

"Une grandissune Ysle qe est avelle Java. Ceste Ysle est de mont grant

This Island is also frequented by a vast amount of shipping, and by
merchants who buy and sell costly goods from which they reap great profit.
Indeed the treasure of this Island is so great as to be past telling. And
I can assure you the Great Kaan never could get possession of this Island,
on account of its great distance, and the great expense of an expedition
thither. The merchants of Zayton and Manzi draw annually great returns
from this country.[NOTE 1]

NOTE 1.--Here Marco speaks of that Pearl of Islands, Java. The chapter is
a digression from the course of his voyage towards India, but possibly he
may have touched at the island on his previous expedition, alluded to in
note 2, ch. v. Not more, for the account is vague, and where particulars
are given not accurate. Java does not _produce_ nutmegs or cloves, though
doubtless it was a great mart for these and all the products of the
Archipelago. And if by _treasure_ he means gold, as indeed Ramusio reads,
no gold is found in Java. Barbosa, however, has the same story of the
great amount of gold drawn from Java; and De Barros says that Sunda,
i.e. Western Java, which the Portuguese regarded as a distinct island,
produced inferior gold of 7 carats, but that pepper was the staple, of
which the annual supply was more than 30,000 cwt. (_Ram._ I. 318-319; _De
Barros_, Dec. IV. liv. i. cap. 12.)

[Illustration: Ship of the Middle Ages in the Java Seas. (From Bas-relief
at Boro Bodor.)

"En ceste Ysle vienent grant quantite de nes, e de mercanz qe hi acatent
de maintes mercandies et hi font grant gaagne"]

The circuit ascribed to Java in Pauthier's Text is 5000 miles. Even the
3000 which we take from the Geog. Text is about double the truth; but it
is exactly the same that Odoric and Conti assign. No doubt it was a
tradition among the Arab seamen. They never visited the south coast, and
probably had extravagant ideas of its extension in that direction, as the
Portuguese had for long. Even at the end of the 16th century Linschoten
says: "Its breadth is as yet unknown; some conceiving it to be a part of
the Terra Australis extending from opposite the Cape of Good Hope.
_However it is commonly held to be an island_" (ch. xx.). And in the old
map republished in the Lisbon De Bairos of 1777, the south side of Java is
marked "Parte incognita de Java," and is without a single name, whilst a
narrow strait runs right across the island (the supposed division of Sunda
from Java Proper).

The history of Java previous to the rise of the Empire of Majapahit, in
the age immediately following our Traveller's voyage, is very obscure. But
there is some evidence of the existence of a powerful dynasty in the
island about this time; and in an inscription of ascertained date (A.D.
1294) the King Uttungadeva claims to have subjected _five kings_ and to be
sovereign of the whole Island of Java (_Jawa-dvipa_; see Lassen, IV. 482).
It is true that, as our Traveller says, Kublai had not yet attempted the
subjugation of Java, but he did make the attempt almost immediately after
the departure of the Venetians. It was the result of one of his unlucky
embassies to claim the homage of distant states, and turned out as badly
as the attempts against Champa and Japan. His ambassador, a Chinese called
Meng-K'i, was sent back with his face branded like a thief's. A great
armament was assembled in the ports of Fo-kien to avenge this insult; it
started about January, 1293, but did not effect a landing till autumn.
After some temporary success the force was constrained to re-embark with a
loss of 3000 men. The death of Kublai prevented any renewal of the
attempt; and it is mentioned that his successor gave orders for the
re-opening of the Indian trade which the Java war had interrupted. (See
_Gaubil_, pp. 217 seqq., 224.) To this failure Odoric, who visited Java
about 1323, alludes: "Now the Great Kaan of Cathay many a time engaged in
war with this king; but the king always vanquished and got the better of
him." Odoric speaks in high terms of the richness and population of Java,
calling it "the second best of all Islands that exist," and describing a
gorgeous palace in terms similar to those in which Polo speaks of the
Palace of Chipangu. (_Cathay_, p. 87 seqq.)

[We read in the _Yuen-shi_ (Bk. 210), translated by Mr. Groeneveldt, that
"Java is situated beyond the sea and further away than Champa; when one
embarks at Ts'wan-chau and goes southward, he first comes to Champa and
afterwards to this country." It appears that when his envoy Meng-K'i had
been branded on the face, Kublai, in 1292, appointed Shih-pi, a native of
Po-yeh, district Li-chau, Pao-ting fu, Chih-li province, commander of the
expedition to Java, whilst Ike-Mese, a Uighur, and Kau-Hsing, a man from
Ts'ai-chau (Ho-nan), were appointed to assist him. Mr. Groeneveldt has
translated the accounts of these three officers. In the _Ming-shi_ (Bk.
324) we read: "Java is situated at the south-west of Champa. In the time
of the Emperor Kublai of the Yuen Dynasty, Meng-K'i was sent there as an
envoy and had his face cut, on which Kublai sent a large army which
subdued the country and then came back." (l.c. p. 34.) The prince guilty
of this insult was the King of Tumapel "in the eastern part of the island
Java, whose country was called Java par excellence by the Chinese, because
it was in this part of the island they chiefly traded."
(l.c. p. 32.)--H.C.]

The curious figure of a vessel which we give here is taken from the vast
series of mediaeval sculptures which adorns the great Buddhist pyramid in
the centre of Java, known as Boro Bodor, one of the most remarkable
architectural monuments in the world, but the history of which is all in
darkness. The ship, with its outrigger and apparently canvas sails, is not
Chinese, but it undoubtedly pictures vessels which frequented the ports of
Java in the early part of the 14th century,[1] possibly one of those from
Ceylon or Southern India.

[1] 1344 is the date to which a Javanese traditional verse ascribes the
edifice. (_Crawford's Desc. Dictionary_.)



When you leave Chamba[NOTE 1] and sail for 700 miles on a course between
south and south-west, you arrive at two Islands, a greater and a less. The
one is called SONDUR and the other CONDUR.[NOTE 2] As there is nothing
about them worth mentioning, let us go on five hundred miles beyond
Sondur, and then we find another country which is called LOCAC. It is a
good country and a rich; [it is on the mainland]; and it has a king of its
own. The people are Idolaters and have a peculiar language, and pay
tribute to nobody, for their country is so situated that no one can enter
it to do them ill. Indeed if it were possible to get at it, the Great Kaan
would soon bring them under subjection to him.

In this country the brazil which we make use of grows in great plenty; and
they also have gold in incredible quantity. They have elephants likewise,
and much game. In this kingdom too are gathered all the porcelain shells
which are used for small change in all those regions, as I have told you

There is nothing else to mention except that this is a very wild region,
visited by few people; nor does the king desire that any strangers should
frequent the country, and so find out about his treasure and other
resources.[NOTE 3] We will now proceed, and tell you of something else.

NOTE 1.--All the MSS. and texts I believe without exception read "_when
you leave_ Java," etc. But, as Marsden has indicated, the point of
departure is really _Champa_, the introduction of Java being a digression;
and the retention of the latter name here would throw us irretrievably
into the Southern Ocean. Certain old geographers, we may observe, did
follow that indication, and the results were curious enough, as we shall
notice in next note but one. Marsden's observations are so just that I
have followed Pauthier in substituting Champa for Java in the text.

NOTE 2.--There is no reason to doubt that these islands are the group now
known as that of PULO CONDORE, in old times an important landmark, and
occasional point of call, on the route to China. The group is termed
_Sundar Fulat_ (_Fulat_ representing the Malay _Pulo_ or Island, in the

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest