QUILON to QUIRPELE
QUILON, n.p. A form which we have adopted from the Portuguese for the name of a town now belonging
to Travancore; once a very famous and much frequented port of Malabar, and known to the Arabs as
Kaulam. The proper name is Tamil, Kollam, of doubtful sense in this use. Bishop Caldwell thinks it may
be best explained as Palace or royal residence, from Kolu, the royal Presence, or Hall of Audience.
[Mr. Logan says: Kollam is only an abbreviated form of Koyilagam or Kovilagam, Kings house (Malabar,
i. 231, note).] For ages Kaulam was known as one of the greatest ports of Indian trade with Western
Asia, especially trade in pepper and brazil-wood. It was possibly the Malé of Cosmas in the 6th century
(see MALABAR), but the first mention of it by the present name is about three centuries later, in the
Relation translated by Reinaud. The Kollam era in general use in Malabar dates from A.D. 824; but it
does not follow that the city had no earlier existence. In a Syriac extract (which is, however, modern) in
Lands Anecdota Syriaca (Latin, i. 125; Syriac, p. 27) it is stated that three Syrian missionaries came to
Kaulam in A.D. 823, and got leave from King Shakirbirti to build a church and city at Kaulam. It would
seem that there is some connection between the date assigned to this event, and the Kollam era; but
what it is we cannot say. Shakirbirti is evidently a form of Chakravartti Raja (see under CHUCKER-
BUTTY). Quilon, as we now call it, is now the 3rd town of Travancore, pop. (in 1891) 23,380; there is
little trade. It had a European garrison up to 1830, but now only one Sepoy regiment.
narratives of the Middle Ages the name occurs in the form Columbum, and by this name it was constituted
a See of the Roman Church in 1328, suffragan of the Arch-bishop of Sultaniya in Persia; but it is doubtful
if it ever had more than one bishop, viz. Jordanus of Severac, author of the Mirabilia often quoted in
this volume. Indeed we have no knowledge that he ever took up his bishopric, as his book was written,
and his nomination occurred, both-during a visit to Europe. The Latin Church however which he had
founded, or obtained the use of, existed 20 years later, as we know from John de Marignolli, so it is
probable that he had reached his See. The form Columbum is accounted for by an inscription (see
Ind. Antiq. ii. 360) which shows that the city was called Kolamba, [other forms being Kelambapattana,
or Kalambapattana (Bombay Gazetteer, vol. i. pt. i. 183)]. The form Palumbum also occurs in most
of the MSS. of Friar Odories Journey; this is the more difficult to account for, unless it was a mere play
(or a trick of memory) on the kindred meanings of columba and palumbes. A passage in a letter from
the Nestorian Patriarch Yeshu-yab (c. 65060) quoted in Assemani (iii. pl. i. 131), appears at that date
to mention Colon. But this is an arbitrary and erroneous rendering in Assemanis Latin. The Syriac
has Kalah, and probably therefore refers to the port of the Malay regions noticed under CALAY and
851.De ce lieu (Mascate) les navires mettent la voile pour lInde, et se dirigent vers Koulam-Malay;
la distance entre Mascate et Koulam-Malay est dun mois de marche, avec un vent modéré.Relation,
&c., tr. by Reinaud, i. 15.
1166.Seven days from thence is Chulam, on the confines of the country
of the sun-worshippers, who are descendants of Kush
and are all black. This nation is very trustworthy
in matters of trade
. Pepper grows in this country
. Cinnamon, ginger, and many other kinds of spices
also grow in this country.Benjamin of Tudela, in Early Travels in Palestine, 114115.
de Ma-pa-rh. Parmi tous les royaumes étrangers daude-là des mers, il ny eut que Ma-pa-rh
et Kiu-lan (Mabar and Quilon) sur lesquels on ait pu parvenir à établir une certaine sujétion; mais surtout
. (Année 1282). Cette année
Kiu-lan a envoyé un ambassadeur à la cour (mongole) pour présenter
en tribut des marchandises precieuses et un singe noir.Chinese Annals, quoted by Pauthier, Marc
Pol, ii. 603, 643.
1298.When you quit Maabar and go 500 miles towards the S.W. you come to the
Kingdom of Coilum. The people are idolators, but there are also some Christians and some Jews,
&c.Marco Polo, Bk. iii. ch. 22.
c. 1300.Beyond Guzerat are Kankan and Tána; beyond them the
country of Malibár, which from the boundary of Karoha to Kúlam, is 300 parasangs in length
. The people
are all Samánis, and worship idols
.Rashíduddín, in Elliot, i. 68.
c. 1310.Mabar extends in length
from Kúlam to Níláwar (Nellore) nearly 300 parasangs along the sea - coast
.Wassáf, in Elliot, iii. 32.
as I went by the sea
towards a certain city called Polumbum (where groweth the pepper in
.Friar Odoric, in Cathay, p. 71.
c. 1322.Poi venni a Colonbio, ch è la migliore terra
dIndia per mercatanti. Quivi è il gengiovo in grande copia e del bueno del mondo. Quivi vanno tutti ignudi
salvo che portano un panno innanzi alla vergogna,
e legalosi di dietro.Palatine MS. of Odoric, in Cathay,
App., p. xlvii.
c. 1328.In India, whilst I was at Columbum, were found two cats having wings like