National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0109 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 109 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000246
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text


68. BERCA   93

to a wrong arabization; although Bärkä became a Mussulman, his name was never changed. Cf. also EI. s. v. «Berke ».

Juwaini (I, 144, 215, 221) calls him ' Bärkä (with s ".; Bärkä in one ms.), and so does Wassâf (Ha 2, 92) when he speaks of J.-1 & Bärkä-oyul, « prince Bärkä ». We find also of Bärkä in Rasidu-'d-Din when Rand gives the genealogy of Jöci's branch, but I am at a loss to explain why Rand calls him ,sK, Bärkäi in the rest of his book (Bl, II, 138, 139, 433, etc.), hence «Barcai» in Oh, II, 251, and in the genealogies at the end of Oh, III; here, Rasid's source cannot be Juwaini. The name of the prince Y;IJ Q, • Pie-êrh-ko (*Bärgä, for Bärkä) occurs in YS, 3, pên-chi of the year 1251. Polo's form is in complete agreement with Plan Carpine's «Berca » (Wy, 66) ; Hethum the historian writes « Barcha », and we find «Bareque» in the Gestes des Chiprois (Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 891). Although Abû-l-Ghâzi also writes Bärkä, his mss. often give ; J. and a Bürkä (cf. DESMAISONS, Hist. des Mogols, II, 181) ; but it is simply a wrong form which ought not to have been adopted by the editors of Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 891 (« Bourkai ») and which does not deserve BLOCHET'S attempt at an etymological interpretation (Bl, II, 114; moreover, bärgä means « flea » and not « partridge » in Turkish) .

The YS, 3, in the pên-chi of 1253, says that    , p Pi-shê-pieh-êrh-ko was (or were)
then sent to make a census in Russia (this census of the Russians and the Alans is also mentioned in YS, 63, 16 a, but without names; it is the census which Kirakos places in 1254 [cf. BROSSET, Deux historiens arméniens, I, 175; PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov, II, 78]). BRETSCHNEIDER (Br,

II, 80) thought that pi-shê was a shortened form of to [   pi-shê-ch'ih (cf. Uigh. bitikci, etc.,
Mong. bicigäci), well attested as meaning « secretary ». As to Pieh-êrh-ko (*Bärgä, Bärkä), he proposed to see in him one of the commissioners of a census of 1259 whom the Russian chronicles call Berkai. T'u Chi (6, 7 b), on the contrary, considered that two men's names were referred to, restored Pi-shê as another transcription of Batu (which is impossible), and identified Pieh-êrh-ko with the prince Bärkä. I am afraid that both explanations may have to be discarded. From YS, 85, 2 b, and Yüan tien chang, 21, 34 a (cf. P. RATCHNEVSKY, Un code des Yuan, 123), we see that

officers called yjiJ ¶   pieh-li-ko were employed to levy taxes. Although the Mongol original

of the title is still unknown, it is probable that we must read it as *bärgä (= *Bärkä). In such a case, pi-shê[-ch'ih) and *bärgä would have been sent to the Russians and the Alans in 1253 and in speaking of a «Berkai» in 1259, the Russian chronicles would have taken the title of an officer for the name of a man. But I cannot as yet give this as a final solution.

Batu died at the end of 1254, or more probably early in 1255 (see «Batu »), and was succeeded by his eldest son Sartaq (more or less a Christian, he was the man to whom Rubrouck carried a letter addressed by St Louis). Very soon afterwards, Sartaq died childless, and, after the short reign of Sartaq's brother Uiayêi, the rule of the Golden Horde passed in 1256 or 1257 (1257 according to BARTHOLD, 12 Vorlesungen, 171) to Jai's third son, Batu's younger brother Bärkä, born c. 1206-1208 (cf. BLOCHET, Moufazzal, 118). Bärkä died in 1265 or 1266 (cf. Ha 1, 254255; Bl, II, 549; BARTHOLD, in MINAEV'S Marko Polo, 5, and in 12 Vorlesungen, 171, is in favour of 1266). Bärkä was the first Chinghiz-khanid to become a Mussulman. He was already a Mussulman when Rubrouck heard of him in 1253-1255 (Wy, 209).

Mufaz?al quotes from a «Life» of Baibars the following description of Bärkä's appearance