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Old March 30th 10, 07:17 PM posted to soc.culture.china,soc.culture.pakistan,soc.culture.afghanistan,soc.culture.usa,rec.games.chess.politics
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Default Marco Polo as Transcribed in the Original Latin by A. C. Moule andPaul Pelliot

Marco Polo
The Description of the World
Volume II
Transcribed in the Original Latin
by A. C. Moule and Paul Pelliot

Foreword by Sam Sloan

This is by far the most complete and most authoritative transcription
of the work of Marco Polo (1254-1324). It bears the date M.CC.XCVIII,
which is 1298. In that year, Marco Polo was a prisoner in Genoa. He
dictated his description of the world to a fellow prisoner,
Rustichello da Pisa.

It was then translated from the language of the common tongue into
Latin by Francis Pipino of Bologna of the Order of Brothers Preachers.
Francis Pipino explains that the need for this translation is that
Latin is more widely understood than the common spoken tongue and the
common tongue is offensive to some. He further states that he has
personally spoken to the father of Marco Polo and has confirmed the
accuracy of what is written here. Francis Pipino also states that when
the Uncle of Marco Polo was at the point of death, he was asked by his
confessor if the statements in this manuscript were true. He replied
that they were true.

This confession at the point of death just prior to his meeting with
God is regarded as proof of the accuracy of the statements in this
book.

This translation into Latin was written during the lifetime of Marco
Polo by a man who personally knew him and must be regarded as most
authoritative.

It is important to study this Latin original text, even among those of
us who do not know Latin. This is because we need to know for sure
exactly the names of the places where Marco Polo visited. Although
many places retain their original names, some times a place has been
named because that is the name given to it by Marco Polo. Also, Sir
Henry Yule, in his famous translation, gives the modern spellings of
the names of these places. This causes us to doubt whether those are
the places that Marco Polo actually visited.

For example, Marco Polo states that in China he met a man he called
“The Great Kaan”. Sir Henry Yule says that the man he met there was
Kublai Khan. Yule says that because he knows from other sources that
Kublai Khan was in power at that time. However, there has always been
some doubt as to whether the man Marco Polo met was actually Kublai
Khan. Thus, we need to look at the original Latin text to see what
words Marco Polo actually used.

Another possibility that Henry Yule suggests is that Marco Polo did
not himself visit all these places but merely heard about them from
other travelers. However, after my independent study, I have concluded
that Marco Polo went to all of the places he describes in this book. I
have personally visited almost every place along the route that Marco
Polo took. I traveled to these places by car, bus and sometimes by
walking. Since I have been to or near all of these places, I can
easily recognize the places that Marco Polo describes. In January
1985, I took a bus all the way across China, crossing the Lop Desert
and Turpan to Kashgar and became the first foreigner to enter Kashgar
after it had been declared open to foreigners by the Chinese
government. In 1978, I drove a car from Munich Germany to Pakistan and
then in 1981 I crossed Shandur Top and reached Hunza from the Pakistan
side. The only place that I have not visited between Japan and Venice,
Italy is a 200-mile gap between Hunza and Kashgar. I could not close
that 200 mile gap because travel across the Karakoram Pass was
prohibited to foreigners at that time. I have also visited most of the
islands reached by Marco Polo on his way home, including Java, Sumatra
and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

I believe that the reason that others feel that Marco Polo did not
really reach all the places he describes is because of mistakes in the
place names. For example, Sir Henry Yule translates “Mogedaxo” as
meaning Madagascar. Madagascar is far to the south of where Marco Polo
went and indeed Madagascar was unknown to Europe at that time.
However, Mogedaxo could also mean Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
Marco Polo very likely did go to Mogadishu, as that was near to his
route home by boat. Further evidence that Mogedaxo is actually
Mogadishu is that Marco Polo states that in Mogedaxo they eat camels.
They do eat camels in Mogadishu, but they do not eat camels in
Madagascar. The problem is that Mogadishu is a city whereas Marco Polo
says that Mogedaxo is an island.

Here I must say that I have tried to solve this problem, but my high
school Latin is simply not up to the task. I can read and recognize
some of the Latin, however. It is to be hoped that some high school
Latin teachers will require their students to translate this book
rather than the long standard works of Julius Caesar and Cicero.
Perhaps in this way some good and some new discoveries can come out of
high school Latin.

Sir Henry Yule performed a great service by giving modern spellings to
these place names, thus making this book more readable and
understandable. Still we must check carefully to see if Marco Polo was
really writing about those places. For example, the original book
provides information about the islands of Mogedaxo and Canghibar. (See
pages 428-431 of Volume I.) Sir Henry Yule translates these names as
Madagascar and Zanzibar. However, those places were unknown to Europe
in the time of Marco Polo, so we need to check the original Latin to
see how Marco Polo spelled their names and what he said about them.

Since it is possible that Marco Polo was sometimes writing about
places he never visited, he could be referring to Mogadishu, the
capital of Somalia, which is not an island. He could easily have
visited Mogadishu, because he was on the route he took by boat to get
back to Europe, but it is unlikely that he ever visited Zanzibar or
Madagascar as they are too far to the south.

The pages in the Latin original text are naturally numbered according
to the Roman numeral system. The first mention of the word “Cambaluc”
which was the capital of “The Great Kaan” comes on page xxiv of the
Latin text. Marco Polo mentions it again on page xxxvi of the Latin
text. He calls the country “Cathay” on the same page. (This page is
the same as page 106 of the commonly available Penguin Classic of this
book by Ronald Latham.)

The Desert of Lop is still called by that same name today. See page
xix of the Latin text.

Badakhshan in English is the same as balascian in the Latin text.
Pashai is the same as paxai and Kashmir is the same as chesmir. All of
these names are on pages xvii of the Latin text. Samarkan is spelled
almost the same way, samarcan, and Kashgar is spelled carschar. See
page xviii.

In the Latin text, proper names are not capitalized. However, the
first word in a paragraph is capitalized. This causes confusion.

I must confess again that my high school Latin in not up to the task.
The bottom of page xvii is said to contain the statement that he does
not wish to discuss India here because India will be discussed when he
returns by boat by way of India and lands in Melibar, which is still
the name today for the south-western tip of India. Officially the name
of that place is Kerala, but everybody there calls it Malibar and the
people who live there are called Malibari. I know this because in Abu
Dhabi I lived for a time with a bunch of these Malibaris.

Here I have been trying to find the word for India, or “Indie” as the
translator spells it, which according to the translation is supposed
to be on pages xvi and xvii, but I cannot find it. Perhaps I should
mention that Indians do not call their own country India when speaking
to each other. They have an entirely different word for their own
country.

A well-known illustration of the problem here is that when Christopher
Columbus, who had carefully studied Marco Polo's book, discovered
America, he called the people he found there “Indians” and he asked
them to take him to “The Great Khan”. Of course, the Indians had no
idea what he was talking about. Subsequent explorers soon realized
that they were no where near to China, but the mistake of calling
Native Americans “Indians” persists to this day.

There are 143 known versions of the original Marco Polo book. The
reason for this large number is that there were of course no printing
presses at that time, so the book was hand copied from one person to
the next. There were likely to be errors in copying and some times the
copyist might add a few words of his own to make the story better.

This manuscript had been copied in 1795 and the copy was in Rome. The
original was found by Sir Percival David (1892–1964) in the Catedral
de Toledo in Spain, where it had lain forgotten for 130 years. It had
been in the library of Cardinal Francisco Xavier de Zeleda (1717-1810)
who, though born in Rome, was from a Spanish Family. His extensive
library was bequeathed to the Casa de Gesu in Rome and was brought to
Toledo Spain by Cardinal Francisco Antonio III Lorenzana (1728-1804)
and was conveyed by him to the library of the Cathedral of Toledo
where he was the Archbishop.

Upon discovering this book in the library in Spain, Sir Percival David
had the pages photographed. Some of these photographs are here. Sadly,
Volume IV of this book, that was supposed to contain many of these
photographs, has never been published.

There were originally supposed to be four volumes to this work. The
table of contents lists four volumes as though they had already been
published.

CONTENTS OF THE COMPLETE WORK

Volume I Introduction
(about 580 pages) Translation
Comparative Table of Chapters
Lists of Manuscripts
Documents

Volume II The Zelada Latin Text
(135 pages)

Volume III Special Articles by Various authors
(about 580 pages) Notes on the Proper Names and Oriental Words
Bibliography
Index

Volume IV About 80 maps and plates.

However, Volumes III and IV have never been published. With the deaths
of Arthur Christopher Moule (1873-1957) and Paul Pelliot (1878-1945)
decades ago, it seems unlikely that they ever will be published, yet
is seems that manuscripts must exist someplace.

It must be remembered that the title of this book is “The Description
of the World”. It is not a travelogue or the story of his adventures.
In most cases, he does not tell us what he did in these places or how
he got there. He is telling the reader how you can get there and what
you will find there and, in some cases, what products are in demand
there which you as a merchant will be able to sell there. There are
only a few times where Marco Polo digresses into a discussion of what
he did, such as his explanation of how he happened to return to
Europe.

Marco Polo returned to Venice from his trip to China in 1295. Upon his
return, Venice was at war with Genoa and Marco Polo was taken
prisoner. He spent his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of
his travels to fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa. Marco Polo was
finally released from captivity in August 1299, so the date of 1298 in
this manuscript is the year that Marco Polo was in prison dictating
this manuscript. This indicates that this manuscript is the original
work of Marco Polo. This is important because there are 143 different
Marco Polo manuscripts and if this is the authentic original that is
significant.

The manuscript in Cathedral de Toledo is in Latin. Arthur Christopher
Moule (1873-1957) painstakingly transcribed it into type written text.
He was so careful to be faithful to the original that he even
transcribed meaningless punctuation marks. The Latin text was
published as Volume 2 in 1935, even though it was published first.
Volume One followed three years later and was published in 1938.

After first publishing the Latin original, A. C. Moule went to work
translating the Latin into English. Here he gives credit to his
predecessors, Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1485-1557) and Sir Henry Yule
(1820-1899). Yule's work was published by his daughter in 1903. A. C.
Moule was gratified when his translations often came out the same as
theirs.

A. C. Moule took 17 different versions of the Marco Polo manuscripts.
He then combined them into one document by putting into italics those
words that are not found in the other versions. Then, on the outside
margins and sometimes in the footnotes, he uses a code to show where
and in which version the words in italics can be found. He was careful
to note the differences. Every word that is different from the words
of Ramusio or Yule is put in italics. In addition, there is a chart
showing where the page numbers to this work are different from the
page numbers of the other translations. Thus, a reader looking at a
page of this book can quickly find the equivalent page in the Yule
work.

The last two volumes were to include photographs. These volumes were
to be prepared by Paul Pelliot (1878-1945), an adventurer, explorer
and Sinologist. However, Paul Pelliot died in 1945 without ever
completing his work, so the first two volumes were the only volumes
ever published. It seems likely that a partial manuscript by Pelliot
survives today because in the two volumes that were published there
are references to the page numbers that were supposed to appear in the
subsequent volumes.

This work was supposed to have been done by Paul Pelliot. One wonders
why he never completed it as he died in France after just having
returned from a trip to America where he had given a lecture at
Columbia University.

Here I must say something about the extreme rarity of this book. It
was published in its current form in the relatively recent date of
1935. As such, it should be readily available from many sources. Yet,
it was almost impossible to find. None were available for sale online.
According to worldcat.org, only one library in the world has it. That
is the Swedish National Library in Stockholm.

Then suddenly a copy of Volume I appeared by a rare book dealer in
Johannesburg, South Africa for sale for the high price of $750. I
quickly placed a long distance telephone call to South Africa, only to
find out that his book had already been sold immediately after it had
been listed.

Many libraries have reported that they at least had a 1976 reprint of
Volume I. However, when I went to those libraries, none of them had
it. Instead, they had some other book about Marco Polo.

I can only surmise that the 1938 volume must have been published in a
short press run or else the book is in such high demand that nobody is
willing to part with theirs, for any price. No library reports holding
Volume II of the work, apparently failing to realize the importance of
the Latin original.

I found one in the New York Public Library which has both Volume I and
Volume II, but it is not listed in the general index and is not
available on site. I finally got to see it, but they would not copy it
for me as they only copy books before 1923, as current copyright law
does not extend before that date. I failed to convince them that this
book is in public domain, by pointing out that Marco Polo died in
1324.

A. C. Moule in his introduction describes and acknowledges many people
as though they lived only yesterday who have worked on this Marco Polo
book over the centuries. He mentions one man who worked on it for 52
years and then died without the results of his research having ever
been published and without his children ever learning what their
father had been working on all those years. At least a photograph of
that man was supposed to appear in Volume 4 by Paul Pelliot, but Paul
Pelliot died without Volume 4 ever being published.

I almost feel that I am cheating all those long dead people by being
able to publish this book through modern technology after working on
it for only a few weeks, whereas others worked on it for years without
success. I prefer to think that I am honoring them by finally bringing
their work over the centuries to the light of general publication.
Sam Sloan
New York NY
USA
March 30, 2010

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...SBN=4871873080
http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873080

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...SBN=4871873099
http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873099
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Old March 30th 10, 08:36 PM posted to soc.culture.china,soc.culture.pakistan,soc.culture.afghanistan,soc.culture.usa,rec.games.chess.politics
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Default Marco Polo as Transcribed in the Original Latin by A. C. Moule and Paul Pelliot

On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 11:17:07 -0700 (PDT), samsloan
wrote:


Don't you not find it odd that no where in his travelogues does Marco
Polo ever mention the Great Wall. How would he not have seen it or
worse, heard of it from others. It is a bit like going to Egypt and
not noticing the great Pyramids or the Taj in India.

Marco Polo
The Description of the World
Volume II
Transcribed in the Original Latin
by A. C. Moule and Paul Pelliot

Foreword by Sam Sloan

This is by far the most complete and most authoritative transcription
of the work of Marco Polo (1254-1324). It bears the date M.CC.XCVIII,
which is 1298. In that year, Marco Polo was a prisoner in Genoa. He
dictated his description of the world to a fellow prisoner,
Rustichello da Pisa.

It was then translated from the language of the common tongue into
Latin by Francis Pipino of Bologna of the Order of Brothers Preachers.
Francis Pipino explains that the need for this translation is that
Latin is more widely understood than the common spoken tongue and the
common tongue is offensive to some. He further states that he has
personally spoken to the father of Marco Polo and has confirmed the
accuracy of what is written here. Francis Pipino also states that when
the Uncle of Marco Polo was at the point of death, he was asked by his
confessor if the statements in this manuscript were true. He replied
that they were true.

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Default Marco Polo as Transcribed in the Original Latin by A. C. Mouleand Paul Pelliot

On Mar 30, 3:36*pm, "Nusrat, Rowayton, Connecticut"
wrote:
On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 11:17:07 -0700 (PDT), samsloan

wrote:

Don't you not find it odd that no where in his travelogues does Marco
Polo ever mention the Great Wall. How would he not have seen it or
worse, heard of it from others. It is a bit like going to Egypt and
not noticing the great Pyramids or the Taj in India.


No I do not find it odd. Have you ever been to the Great Wall? I have
been there many times.

The Great Wall is a great exaggeration. It is only a few miles long
and is mainly maintained today as a tourist attraction. It is mainly
just north of Beijing, to protect the capital from Northern invaders.
If you take a bus from Beijing to the Great Wall, you will see smaller
walls along the way, often only one or two feet high, easily stepped
across and would have been hardly noticed by Marco Polo if he
encountered them.

Marco Polo entered China by way of the Pamirs that connect what is now
Afghanistan to what is now China. Upon entering what is now China, he
first went to Yarkand, then to Kashgar and then he crossed the Desert
of Lop to enter China Proper. These places are all in what is now the
Xinjiang Province of China.

I doubt that there was ever a wall from this direction, because there
would be no need for one, as no army could have crossed it, or would
have wanted to.

Marco Polo does describe the Uyghurs, who live in the Xinjiang
Province of China. Here is what he says about them:

"I give you my word that if a stranger comes to a house here to seek
hospitality he receives a very warm welcome. The host bids his wife do
everything that the guest wishes. Then he leaves the house and goes
about his own business and stays away for two or three days. Meanwhile
the guest stays with his wife in the house and does whatever he will
with her, lying with her in one bed just as if she were his own wife;
and they live a gay life together." (The Travels of Marco Polo)

Sad to relate, when I visited the Xinjiang Province of China in 1985,
they no longer followed this custom. I found the most beautiful women
in the world there, but nobody invited me to his home or invited me to
sleep with his wife.

However, I thank you for mentioning this, because I will put in my
book this refutation to the claim that Marco Polo would have seen and
mentioned the Great Wall of China had he visited there.

Sam Sloan


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Default Marco Polo as Transcribed in the Original Latin by A. C. Mouleand Paul Pelliot

On Mar 30, 12:36*pm, "Nusrat, Rowayton, Connecticut"
wrote:
On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 11:17:07 -0700 (PDT), samsloan

wrote:

Don't you not find it odd that no where in his travelogues does Marco
Polo ever mention the Great Wall. How would he not have seen it or
worse, heard of it from others. It is a bit like going to Egypt and
not noticing the great Pyramids or the Taj in India.


The construction of the "Great Wall" started before 220BC, and by the
Yuan Dynasty time, more than 1400 years had gone by. Most likely it
was in ruin and nobody really pay any attention to it by then. The
Ming Dynasty did the re-construction or re-built the Great Wall.




Marco Polo
The Description of the World
Volume II
Transcribed in the Original Latin
by A. C. Moule and Paul Pelliot


Foreword by Sam Sloan


This is by far the most complete and most authoritative transcription
of the work of Marco Polo (1254-1324). It bears the date *M.CC.XCVIII,
which is 1298. In that year, Marco Polo was a prisoner in Genoa. He
dictated his description of the world to a fellow prisoner,
Rustichello da Pisa.


It was then translated from the language of the common tongue into
Latin by Francis Pipino of Bologna of the Order of Brothers Preachers.
Francis Pipino explains that the need for this translation is that
Latin is more widely understood than the common spoken tongue and the
common tongue is offensive to some. He further states that he has
personally spoken to the father of Marco Polo and has confirmed the
accuracy of what is written here. Francis Pipino also states that when
the Uncle of Marco Polo was at the point of death, he was asked by his
confessor if the statements in this manuscript were true. He replied
that they were true.


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