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When they also learned that this place was different from Parthia, the Chinese naturally used its name for the country of these jugglers.
No Chinese had been to the Roman empire, so they had no reason to distinguish a prominent place in it from the country itself.
It was a convenient coincidence that one of the largest cities of the West also bore this man’s name; but, pace Dubs, it seems most unlikely that Roman soldiers would ever have described themselves as ‘Alexandrians’.” Sitwell (1984), p. In Section 16 of the text it says that that, from Zesan, “can take half a year to cross the water, but with fast winds it takes a month” (to reach Lüfen, which is only a short distance by land and “across the sea” by a very long bridge from Haixi or Egypt).
So, it is reasonable to deduce that Zesan was approximately half way between Angu to Egypt, and the northern part of Azania fits this description remarkably well.
These are, quite naturally, territories in the ‘Roman Orient.’ Sometimes, the name is used more specifically: the Weilue gives directions across a ‘Great Sea’ (the Mediterranean) to “that country” (i.e.
Da Qin) from Wuzhisan in Haixi, which is undoubtedly Alexandria in Egypt – see notes 11.5, 11.7 and Appendix C.
The latter identification led Pelliot to propose that it transcribed the name of Alexandria in Egypt, of which more will be said below.” Pulleyblank (1999), p. in the Hànshū which I believe is of doubtful authority in this case] could be said to resemble ‘Hyrcania’, it is a far cry to the original ‘Vehrkāna [i.e., Old Persian Wrkāna]” (1979: 118).
In fact the sequence –rkan is common to both the Greek and the Old Persian and fits well with EMC lεj/li x This is the standard and most natural pronunciation found, for example, in the Takigawa edition and the recent Zhónghuá shūjū edition.
It has also been observed, first by Shiratori and later by others, that the accounts of Ta-ch’in bear a deep resemblance to the Taoist Utopia and are therefore not to be completely understood literally, i.e.
That is, the section on Ānxí ends with mention of three other more distant countries, after which a new section begins on one of these, namely Tiáozhī.
Yăncài, already mentioned in the text as a country northwest of Kāngjū (at that time in the region of Tashkend), has long been identified with the Aorsoi of western sources, a nomadic people out of whom the well-known Alans later emerged (Pulleyblank [1962: 99, 220; 192]).
Gerrha admirably fits the statements in the Weilue that Angu is, “on the frontier of Anxi (Parthia)” and is in close communication with Zesan [= Azania].”“There was more about Gerrha [in the Greek and Roman writers] than about any other place in Arabia, but even so it was not more than could be committed to a small piece of paper.
Oddly enough, in Arrian’s description of Alexander’s preparation for a campaign against Arabia, including the coastal explorations of 323 B. But Eratosthenes, writing about a hundred years after Alexander, tells of the merchants of Gerrha carrying their spices and incense overland to Mesopotamia. the Gerrhaei have become the richest of all tribes, and possess a great quantity of wrought articles in gold and silver, such as couches, tripods, basins, drinking vessels; to which we must add the costly magnificence of their houses; for the doors, walls, and roof are variegated with inlaid ivory, gold, silver, and precious stones.” The historian Polybius about the same time tells of a campaign of the Seleucid king, Antiochus III, who took a fleet along the Arabian coast in 205 B.
This is clearly shown in the fact that the Later Han Chinese gave the Roman Empire (or, rather, the Roman Orient) the name of Great Ch’in (Ta Ch’in). 68) that Dayuan [dat-iuan] may have likewise represented the Tochari.