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Zhu Fan Zhi

A page from Zhu fan zhi, with description of Jiaozhi

Zhu Fan Zhi (simplified Chinese: 诸蕃志; traditional Chinese: 諸蕃志; pinyin: Zhū Fān Zhì; Wade–Giles: Chu-fan-chi), variously translated as A Description of Barbarian Nations, Records of Foreign People,[1] or other similar titles,[2][3][4] is a 13th-century Song Dynasty work by Zhao Rugua. The work is a collection of descriptions of countries and various products from outside China, and it is considered an important source of information on the people, customs and in particular the traded commodities of many countries in South East Asia and around the Indian Ocean during the Song Dynasty.[5]

An annotated partial English translation was published in 1911 by Friedrich Hirth and William W. Rockhill.[6][7]

Background

The author Zhao Rugua (1170-1231) was a member of the Song Dynasty imperial clan. He was posted to Fujian as a supervisor of the maritime trade in Quanzhou.[4][8] While working in Fujian, he had the opportunity to meet merchants from various countries from whom he gathered information on various countries around the world. He also took note of the various products traded, studied the maps of the period, and together with the information he had learnt he wrote the book which he finished around 1225 CE. Zhao wrote: "Assigned to this post recently, I spend all day reading various maps... I listed names of these countries and their customs... I removed hearsay and kept facts. I thus name this book Zhu Fan Zhi."[9]

Many entries of the Zhu Fan Zhi take information from other older works, such as Zhu Yu's Pingzhou Ketan (萍洲可談) from 1116,[10] Duan Chengshi's 9th century Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang, and other works.[11] In particular it borrowed heavily from the 1178 work Lingwai Daida by another geographer, Zhou Qufei (Chinese: 周去非; pinyin: Zhōu Qùfēi; Wade–Giles: Chou Ch'ü-fei). However, a significant part of the book came from information Zhao gathered from foreign and Chinese traders.[9] As he himself had not travelled overseas, the information he collected is necessarily secondhand, unlike other works such as Daoyi Zhilüe written by Wang Dayuan of the Yuan Dynasty who had travelled overseas to observe other countries at firsthand. Nevertheless, the book contains valuable information on various countries and traded products of the 13th century to modern scholars.[12]

The original book was lost, extracts however were found in other compilations and annals, and its content was also incorporated into the 15th century Yongle Encyclopedia.[13] It was then extracted from the Yongle Encyclopedia by Li Diaoyuan (李調元) and recompiled for inclusion in his collection known as Han Hai (函海) in 1781.[14]

Content

The book is divided into two volumes. The first volume gives a description of various countries and the customs of the local people, the second volume provides information on trade goods available from those countries. Some of the information given in the book are fanciful tales, for example the description of the giant bird of Madagascar as being so big that it can swallow a camel whole,[15] and he may have incorporated inaccurate information from other Chinese written sources (for example, tales of the giant bird of Madagascar may have come from Lingwai Daida), but much of his own sources appear to be generally accurate.[16]

Volume 1

In volume 1, 58 countries and regions are given.[9]

The countries recorded include places and kingdoms in South East Asia, such as Jiaozhi (交趾, northern Vietnam), Champa (占城), Zhenla (眞臘, Cambodia), Langkasuka (凌牙斯加), Sanfoqi (三佛齊, Srivijaya),[17] Java (闍婆), Bagan (蒲甘, Burma), and Mayi (麻逸, the Philippines).[18] Japan, Korea and Taiwan in East Asia, and countries in the Indian subcontinent such as Huchala (胡茶辣, Gujarat), Nanpi (南毗, Malabar) and Zhunian (注輦, Chola) are also mentioned.[19] It also gives more information than previously available in Chinese sources on the Islamic world and their products. The country of Dashi (大食, the Arabs) is described as an extensive realm covering many territories (24 given in the book) with its capital in Egypt, and included Baida (白達, Baghdad); Wengman (甕蠻 Oman); Majia (麻嘉, Mecca); Jilani (吉慈尼, Ghazni) and others.[20]

The book further listed countries and places in Africa, these include Wusili (勿斯里, Egypt) and its city of Egentuo (遏根陀, Alexandria), Bipaluo (弼琶囉, Berbera), Zhongli (中理, Somalia), Cengba (層拔, Zanzibar), Binouye (Tunisia and the Tripoli region in Libya), and Tuopandi (Damietta in Egypt).[9] In this book, he described places such as the famed Lighthouse of Alexandria:[16][21]

The country of O-kön-t'o (Alexandria) belongs to Wu-ssï-li (Egypt). According to tradition, in olden times a stranger, Tsu-ko-ni (Alexander the Great) by name, built on the shore of the sea a great tower under which the earth was dug out and two rooms were made, well connected and very well secreted. In one vault was grain, in the other were arms. The tower was two hundred chang high. Four horses abreast could ascend to two-thirds of its height. In the centre of the building was a great well connecting with the big river ... On the summit there was a wondrous great mirror; if war-ships of other countries made a sudden attack, the mirror detected them beforehand, and the troops were ready in time for duty.

— Zhao Rugua, translation by Hirth and Rockhill[22]

The furthest western state described is Mulanpi (木蘭皮, Al-Murabitun) which included southern Spain.[23] The Mediterranean island of Sicily (斯加里野, Sijialiye) is also mentioned.[8]

Volume 2

In volume 2, 47 products were listed, 22 of which came from Central Asia and Africa.[9] Zhao gave information on the various traded products of the early 13th century, for example, on the origin of Frankincense (Ruxiang) being traded into China from Arabia (Dashi):

"Ruxiang or xunluxiang comes from the three Dashi countries of Murbat (Maloba), Shihr (Shihe), and Dhofar (Nufa), from the depths of the remotest mountains.[24] The tree which yields this drug may generally be compared to the pine tree. Its trunk is notched with a hatchet, upon which the resin flows out, and, when hardened, turns into incense, which is gathered and made into lumps. It is transported on elephants to the Dashi (on the coast), who then load it upon their ships to exchange it for other commodities in Sanfoqi. This is the reason why it is commonly collected at and known as a product of Sanfoqi."[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ Peter Francis (30 June 2002). Asia's Maritime Bead Trade: 300 B.C. to the Present. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0824823320.
  2. ^ Shirley Fish (18 May 2011). The Manila-Acapulco Galleons : The Treasure Ships of the Pacific. AuthorHouse. p. 103. ASIN B0052ME2R8.
  3. ^ Laura Hostetler (2008). Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China. Brill. p. 233. ISBN 978-9004165076.
  4. ^ a b Yongxiang Lu, ed. (2014). A History of Chinese Science and Technology, Volume 2. Springer. p. 289. ISBN 9783662441664.
  5. ^ Derek Heng Thiam Soon (June 2001). "The Trade in Lakawood Products between South China and the Malay World from the Twelfth to Fifteenth Centuries AD". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 32 (2): 133–149. doi:10.1017/s0022463401000066. JSTOR 20072321.
  6. ^ "Old Chinese Book Tells of the World 800 Years Ago; Chau-Ju-Kua's Chronicles of the Twelfth Century, Now First Translated, Give a "Description of Barbarous Peoples Picked Up by This Noted Inspector of Foreign Trade and Descendant of Emperors". New York Times. December 29, 1912.
  7. ^ Friedrich Hirth, William Woodville Rockhill. Chau Ju-kua: His Work On The Chinese And Arab Trade In The Twelfth And Thirteenth Centuries, Entitled Chu-fan-chï.
  8. ^ a b Don J. Wyatt (2011). The Blacks of Premodern China. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780812203585.
  9. ^ a b c d e Anshan Li (6 April 2012). A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911. Diasporic Africa Press. pp. 30–33. ISBN 978-0966020106.
  10. ^ Tasha Vorderstrasse (14 May 2014). Paul Cobb, ed. The Lineaments of Islam: Studies in Honor of Fred McGraw Donner. Brill. p. 460. ISBN 9789004231948.
  11. ^ Paul Wheatley (1961). The Golden Khersonese: Studies in the Historical Geography of the Malay Peninsula before A.D. 1500. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press. p. 110. OCLC 504030596.
  12. ^ Don J. Wyatt (2011). The Blacks of Premodern China. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780812203585.
  13. ^ Shicun Wu (2013). Solving Disputes for Regional Cooperation and Development in South China Sea: A Chinese Perspective. Chandos Publishing. ASIN B00HCIC8KS.
  14. ^ Friedrich Hirth, William Woodville Rockhill. Chau Ju-kua: His Work On The Chinese And Arab Trade In The Twelfth And Thirteenth Centuries, Entitled Chu-fan-chï. p. 88.
  15. ^ Valerie Hansen, Kenneth R. Curtis. Voyages in World History, Volume 1 - to 1600. Wadsworth Publishing. p. 339.
  16. ^ a b Tasha Vorderstrasse (14 May 2014). Paul Cobb, ed. The Lineaments of Islam: Studies in Honor of Fred McGraw Donner. Brill. pp. 461–474. ISBN 9789004231948.
  17. ^ Cœdès, George (1968). The Indianized states of Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 178–179. ISBN 9780824803681.
  18. ^ Damon L. Woods (9 December 2005). The Philippines: A Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 16. ISBN 978-1851096756.
  19. ^ Charlotte Harris Rees (11 June 2008). Secret Maps of the Ancient World. AuthorHouse. p. 118. ISBN 978-1434392787.
  20. ^ Hyunhee Park (2012). Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds: Cross-Cultural Exchange in Pre-Modern Asia. Cambridge University Press. pp. 51–52. ISBN 978-1107018686.
  21. ^ Hyunhee Park (2012). Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds: Cross-Cultural Exchange in Pre-Modern Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-1107018686.
  22. ^ Friedrich Hirth, William Woodville Rockhill. Chau Ju-kua: His Work On The Chinese And Arab Trade In The Twelfth And Thirteenth Centuries, Entitled Chu-fan-chï. pp. 146–147.
  23. ^ Qiong Zhang. Making the New World Their Own: Chinese Encounters with Jesuit Science in the Age of Discovery. Brill. pp. 134–135. ISBN 9789004284388.
  24. ^ Ralph Kauz (2010). Ralph Kauz, ed. Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: From the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea. Volume 10 of East Asian Economic and Socio-cultural Studies - East Asian Maritime History. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 130. ISBN 3-447-06103-0. Retrieved December 26, 2011. The frankincense was first collected in the Hadhramaut ports of Mirbat, Shihr, and Zufar whence Arab merchant vessels shipped it to Srivijaya, before it was then reexported to China. The term "xunluxiang" is derived from the Arab word "kundur". . . According to Li Xun, frankincense originally came from Persia.92 Laufer refers to the Xiangpu 香譜 by Hong Chu . . . Zhao Rugua notes: Ruxiang or xunluxiang comes from the three Dashi countries of Murbat (Maloba), Shihr (Shihe), and Dhofar (Nufa), from the depths of the remotest mountains...
  25. ^ Ralph Kauz (2010). Ralph Kauz, ed. Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: From the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea. Volume 10 of East Asian Economic and Socio-cultural Studies - East Asian Maritime History. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 131. ISBN 3-447-06103-0. Retrieved December 26, 2011.

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