The stated origin for Da Qin (the Chinese name for Rome or the Roman Empire) baffles me:
e.g. in the Silk Road Seattle notes:
Section 11 – The Kingdom of Da Qin 大秦 (the Roman Empire)
1. Da Qin 大秦 [Ta Ch’in] = Rome or Roman territory, depending on the context. The use of such a name (literally, ‘Great Qin’ = Great China) for a foreign state probably reflects the common process of mythologizing distant and unfamiliar cultures. Pulleyblank (1999), p. 77 notes that it “...is clearly not a transcription of a foreign word” and that the “...earliest datable occurrence seems to be with reference to Gān Ying’s mission of 97 C.E.”
What? Why would China call Rome “the Great China”?
Is this a widely accepted etymology?