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japahit, among which were a gun, called Nyahi setómi and several others of smaller calibre. The gun setómi is now in the possession of the Susuhunan 10).
In another javanese poem, the Serat Kanda it is told that, in the battle with an army of Siyěm (Siam), Kamboja and Sokadana, two large guns were captured, to which the names of Guntur gěni and Jagur were given.
The booty was offered to Brawijaya, king of Madjapahit 11).
As Brawijaya became king of Madjapahit in A.D. 1299, and died in A.D. 1307 12), the battle must have taken place during his reign, let us say in 1304.
It would prove at all events that the Siamese and Cambodians made use of cannon in their war with Madjapahit, as early as the 14th century.
It must be mentioned, however, that according to a Javanese poem containing the History of Baron SAKENDER, the princess Tarurógó, daughter of Retno Sekar Mandhopo, who had been made a prisoner at the fall of the state of Padjadjaran, was later sold for three pieces of artillery to a Dutchman called Baron SUKмmul. These pieces bore the names of Guntúr gěni (agni), the fiery thunder, Ki Pamuk, the furious combatant and Nyahi Setomi 13).
But this is not in concordance with the fact that, at that time, no Dutch were established at Jacatra.
The first mention of a dutch embassy to Mataram (Java) took
10) Raffles, History of Java, Vol. I, p. 106; Hageman, Geschiedenis van Java, Vol. I, p. 21.
11) Dr. J. Brandes, Pararaton, or the Book of the Kings of Tumapel and Madjapahit, p. 190 (Transactions of the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, Vol. XLIX, Batavia 1896. 12) Ibid., p. 188 and 189. According to another tradition. Brawijaya died in A.D. 1345. Ibid., p. 191.
13) Cohen Stuart, Geschiedenis van Baron Sakéndhèr, Vol. II, p. 98.
place in 1573, when they offered to the Sultan of Mataram four
pieces of artillery 14).
According to Raffles (1. c. p. 259), the large gun, called Kiai Guntur Agni, was cast in 1566 in Mataram itself 15).
A piece of this name is to be seen in the Kraton of Surakarta, on the Sitinggil. But this is no direct proof, because the Javanese are accustomed to give such fanciful names to cannons for which they have a superstitious feeling 16).
The old Javanese and Malay name for a gun (rifle) is Bědil, a word for which a foreign etymology has been vainly sought. Bědil buluh, bamboo-rifle, is the name of a child's popgun. The modern name of a gun is senâpang, from the Dutch snaphaan.
According to the Annals of the Ming-dynasty, the natives of Tongking, against whom the emperor Ching-tsu had sent an expedition in A.D. 1407, employed tubes filled with inflammable material for purposes of warfare 1). But according to Pauthier's translation, it were the Chinese who made use of these fire-arms, which they
called or "guns with supernatural springs" 18).
As neither Mayers nor Pauthier give the chinese text of this important passage, I copy it here in the note. It is found in the 92d Chapter of the Books of the Ming dynasty, fol. 7 recto, of the fourth chapter of Military Memoirs (兵志四), Article火器 or
Fire-arms, and of which I give a new translation, so that the reader may judge for himself.
14) Ibid., p. 163; Raffles, History of Java, Chronological Table of Events, Vol. II, p. 260.
15) Cohen Stuart, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 164.
16) Cohen Stuart, op. cit., p. 165.
17) Mayers in Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1871, Article V, p. 94.
18) Arrivant aux Mings, on voit que Tching-tsou, pour conquérir le Kiao-tchi (la Cochinchine), se procura des p'áo ou "canons" qui furent nommés des "p'do ou canons retentissants à mouvements surnaturels" (Marc Pol, II, p. 474, footnote).
"What were anciently called P'ao were all machines for hurling "stones. In the beginning of the Mongol-dynasty (A.D. 1260), p'ao "(catapults) of the Western regions were procured. In the siege of "the city of Ts'ai-chow of the Kin (Tatars), fire was for the first "time employed (in these p'ao) 19), but the art of making them was "not handed down, and they were afterwards seldom used.
"When Ching-tsu pacified Kiao-chi (A.D. 1407), they (the Chi"nese) procured (obtained) the art of the guns and cannons with "miraculous machinery, and they established a special regiment for "practising with them 20). For their fabrication native and wrought "red copper was alternatively employed. Those for which iron was "employed, the malleable iron from Kien 21) was the best, and the iron "from Si 22) only came next. They were of different size. For the "big ones carriages were employed; for the next in size and the "smaller ones, rests, pickets and ramrods 23) were used.
"The big ones were of use for the defense (of a place); the small "ones were useful in battle. They were employed according to the "requisites, and the most important engines of an arıny in march" 24).
19) The siege of this town, situated in the province of Honan, took place in A.D. 1233. 20) This makes it doubtful if the Chinese learnt the art from the Annamites, and it would rather seem that the Chinese employed cannon in the siege of the capital. Mayers, Z. c. p. 94, says: "it must be admitted that the authority on which the statement rests appears inadequate".
21) Probably from the province of Fuh-kien. Cp. I kièn lien, waterlily seeds
coming from Fuh-kien (Douglas).
22) Either western iron, or iron from Kiang-si.
23) The fork-like rests used for resting the old muskets upon, are now called in (See my Dutch-Chinese Dict. i. v. Musketvork); the character
stands for, old sound t'ok. The ramrod of a musket is called to the present
day in Chinese (See my Dictionary and Douglas' Amoy Diet, p. 71 : chhèng thok).
Mayers' translation (p. 94) "frames, posts or staves" is not correct, and leads to a misunderstanding of this important passage.
(24) 古所謂檻皆以機發石。元初得西域。 攻金蔡州城始用火。然造法不傳。後亦罕用。
If the Annamites had invented fire-arms, they would not have borrowed from the Chinese the words súng, fire-arms; súng hiệp 銃挾, a gun; súng Soàn 銃短, a pistol = Chinese 短銃, a short gun, a pistol; súng-tau Đi Đi, a pistol, = Chinese 手銃,
a hand-gun, pistol; súng-văn 3 H (read HF), a pistol = Chinese
, numeral for guns and, a gun; and phát súng, a gun-shot
= Chinese, Canton fát ch'ung, to fire a gun.
The Cambodians borrowed the Chinese p'ao (Khmèr phav, Cambodian phau) from the Chinese, with the meaning of petards.
In Cambodian the cock of a gun is called kay, which is curtailed Chinese (Canton)fo kai (faw kaai) fire-cock. In English it is also called cock, which is also used verbally in "to cock a gun".
The German (Hahn) and Dutch (haan) also mean cock. The French call it "le chien" (the dog); the Spaniards call it pié de gato de escopeta, "cat-foot of a musket", a very cumbrous circumlocution; the trigger of a gun in called gatillo, "a kitten". Have the English, Germans and Dutch borrowed the word from the Chinese, or has the reverse taken place? The coincidence is, at all events, remarquable.
The above quoted texts thus justify us to admit that the Chinese, as well as the Javanese, knew and employed fire-arms, cannon and guns, as early as the 13th and 15th century, long before Europeans came to these countries.
That, for a long time afterwards, the Chinese did not make use of fire-arms is due to the conservative spirit of the people, who
至明成祖平交阯、得神機鎗礮法。特罝神機 營肄習。制用生熟赤銅相間。 其用鐵者、建 鐵柔爲最。西鐵次之。大小不等。大者發用 車。次及小者用架、用椿、用托。大利於守、 小利於戰。隨宜而用。 為行軍要器。
stuck to their old arms, exactly as has been the case in Europe.
In the first half of the 13th century, a French poet looks with disgust to the supersession of the feats of chivalry by mere mechanical methods of war in the following lines:
"Chevaliers sont esperdus,
Cil ont auques leur tens perdu;
Arbalestier et mineor
Et perrier et engigneor
Seront dorenavant plus chier" 25).
Have not even, in our modern armies, cuirassiers and dragoons, donned with steel cuirasses, which are not proof against the modern bullets, persisted as a survival of the time when fire-arms were unknown or little used?
Besides, the secret of the construction and the use of these firearms was jealously guarded by the chinese government; and it was only after Kia Tsing's reign (1522-1566) that fire-arms were introduced into the army 26).
25) Yule's Marco Polo, II, p. 127. First Edition.
26) Mayers, 1. c. p. 96, where stands, erroneously, 1422.