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0177 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 177 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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Maniach was put at the head of the mission. So they presented themselves before the Persian king, and solicited permission to carry on their silk trade without obstruction. The King of the Persians, however, was not at all pleased at the notion that the Turks should have free access from that side into the Persian territories, and so he put them off till the morrow, and when the morrow came again deferred reply. After he had thus staved off the matter for a length of time on one pretext or other, the solicitations of the Sogdian people became very importunate, and at last Khosroes called a council where the matter was brought up for consideration. And then that saine Ephthalite Katulphus, who, in revenge for the king's ravishing his wife, had betrayed his nation to the Turks, and who had on that account abandoned his country and taken up with the Medes, exhorted the Persian king on no account to let the silk have free passage, but to have a price put upon it, buy it up, and have it burnt in the presence of the ambassadors. It would thus be seen that though he would do no injustice, he would have nothing to do with the silk of the Turks. So the silk was put in the fire and the ambassadors turned homeward, anything but pleased with the result of their journey, and related to Dizabulus what had taken place. He was, however, exceedingly desirous to obtain the good will of the Persians for his government, so he immediately despatched a second embassy. When this second Turkish embassy arrived at the Persian court, the king, with the Persian ministers and Katulphus, came to the conclusion that it would be highly inexpedient for the Persians to enter into friendly relations with the Turks, for the whole race of the Scythians was one not to be trusted. So he ordered some of the ambassadors to be taken off by a deadly poison, in order to prevent any more such missions from coming. Most of the Turkish envoys accordingly, in fact all but three or four, were put an end to by a deadly poison which was mixt with their food, whilst the king caused it to be whispered about among the Persians that the Turkish ambassadors had died of the suffocating dry heat of the Persian climate ; for their own country was subject to frequent falls of snow, and they could not exist except in a cold climate. Dizabulus, however, a sharp and astute person, was not ignorant of the real state of the case. And so this was the origin of ill-will between the Turks and

histories, was Mokan. There was also a great chief called by these authorities Titeupuli, who is mentioned as joining Mokan Khan in an expedition to China a few years before this time. It is difficult not to identify this name with that of Dizabulus, but the latter is so distinctly represented as the supreme chief that Deguignes hesitates whether to identify him with Mokan or Titeupuli (ii, 380-385).

Another of the fragments of Meriander contains an account of the embassy of Valentine who was sent some twelve years later by the Emperor Tiberius II. In this occur the names of Tarclu and b'ochanos, two Turkish chiefs who appear in the Chinese Annals as 'Tatcu Khan and Apo Khan (see Deguignes i, 226, 227 ; ii, 395, 463).