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0202 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 202 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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but the two chiliarchs and the myriarch are a Tatar, an Uryangqit, and an « Ildürgin ». Moreover the Qonyrat were renowned for their beauty among the Mongols, and we shall see farther on that the Qaraunas are described in terms which imply just the opposite of beauty.

«Sanang Setsen » names a mountain Qaryuna-qan (not Qarayuna-qan as BEREZIN says; Qaryuna-qan of SCHMIDT'S translation is confirmed by the Chinese version, although SCHMIDT gives in the Mongol text « Qaryuna nutuq », the « Camp of Qaryuna », Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 108-109). But the single mention of that mountain in the epic lament on Chinghiz-khan's death can give no indication as to an original seat of the Qaraunas. It may be that Qaryuna is but another form of garayuna, the name of a tree, just as there is a secondary form garyana (> Russ. khargana) for the tree garayana; but if a mountain may easily be named after the trees that cover it, that same name of the tree is not likely to become the tribal name of the people who live on the mountain. The hypothesis rests on nothing.

The same may be said of Qaraun-jidun, or more exactly Qara'un-jidun (written Qarayunjidun, with an intervocalic -y- in value of hiatus). Although classical Mongolian knows only gara'u, garau, « mutual defence », gara'un (and, with the usual slurring of the final -n, gara'u) has been a regular Mongol word, derived from gara, « black », and gara'u also meant « black » (perhaps « blackish ») ; in the Secret History of 1240, gara'u is used once alone poetically in the sense of « black cart » (§ 55), but mostly with the adjectival suffix -tai in the full expression gara'utai tärgän, « black cart » (§§ 6, 100, 244). Similarly, in Qara'un-jidun, gara'un must be an epithet of jidun. The meaning of jidun (or jidun?) has not been ascertained, but both Mongol and Persian texts know another name of similar formation, Qara'un-gabcal, which Rand translates by « Black Forest » (cf. Secret History, §§ 150, 177; Ber, II, 110, 135; Oh, I, 73; ERDMANN, Temudschin, 289, 594), although the real meaning, confirmed by the Chinese version of the Secret History, is « Black Pass ». Even in the case of a common root between the adjective gara'un and the name of the Qara'una, Qara'unas, there is not the slightest reason to try to connect them otherwise and to deduce in that way, either from Qara'un-jidun or from Qara'un-gabcal or from any similar name that may turn up in texts or in actual use, what was in the early 13th cent. the original seat of the Qaraunas. The texts say nothing and we know nothing about it.

Qara'una (> Qarauna), pi. Qara'unas (.= Qaraunas), is certainly a true Mongolian name, and QUATREMERE was wrong in supposing that it may have undergone some alteration in Persia. Even the Armenian transcription « Karawunas » is regular, as the intervocalic -y- or -g- (when it is not a true -y- or -g-, which then is retained as such) can develop, mainly before a labial vowel, into a -w-, instead of leaving simply a hiatus; the case is the same as in Hülägü - - Hülä'ü, which gives finally Hüläü, but also Hüläwü (see «Ulan »). It is probably derived from gara, « black », and this would be in agreement with the depreciatory sense which attached to the name even in the days of Polo. The words derived from gara, both in Turkish and in Mongolian, often take on a pejorative tinge : garava. (c gara-bass, lit. « black-head ») meant a « slave-girl » in both Coman and ancient Osmanli; Mong. garalig (> haralik) is « slave », gara& is « commoner ». In a passage surely original, but which has been preserved in its full form only by RAMUSio, Polo says that the name « Qaraunas» means « half-breed » (meschiati, confirmed by « gasmulli over bastardi » in VB, B, 248), and that