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0299 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 299 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   283

khan was then «forty-two years old » (forty-one for us); the year of his birth would thus be 1162. The date « 1162 », given in the Chinese official dynastic histories, was adopted by « Sanang Setsen », who completed his chronicle in 1662 (SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 63, 376). In Tibetan works like the Deb-ter mgon-po (« Blue book »), the year of the birth of Chinghiz is given as « water-tiger », i. e. fen-yin (A. D. 1182), but Sum-pa Hutuhtu (cf. VASIL'EV, in ZVOIRAO, iv, 375) insisted that this was an error for the « water-horse » year (A. D. 1162). « 1182 » is of course impossible, and the errors seems to be due to a misreading of stag, « tiger », for rta, « horse ». 'JIGS-MED NAMMKHA gives « water-horse », i. e. 1162 (miscalculated as « 1161 » in HUTH, Gesch. des Buddhismus, II, 14, a work in which all the dates are systematically too early by one year). GAUBIL (Hist. de Gentchiscan, 2) correctly gave the date « 1162 » of the Chinese official historiography, and D'OHSSON (Oh, I, 35, 38), impressed by the agreement of the Chinese texts with « Sanang Setsen », decided in their favour as against the data he found in Mussulman sources. WOLFF (Gesch. der Mongolen, 34) and HOWORTH (I, 50) both shared D'OHSSON's opinion.

D'OHSSON was, however, soon opposed by HAMMER (Ha', 56) and ERDMANN (Temudschin, 572-574). HAMMER, quoting Mirhônd, said that Chinghiz-khan was born on the 20th .Sic-'l-ga'dah, A. H. 549, -= January 26, 1155 (the equivalence « January 27, 1154 » in RAVERTY, Tabakät-i-siri, 938, is pretentiously and egregiously wrong), a « pig » year, and that both Juwaini and Rasidu-'dDin gave the same year and day. There is in fact nothing of the kind in Juwaini, who is silent not only as to the month and day of the birth of Chinghiz-khan, but even as to the year. As to Rasid, he does not say that Chinghiz-khan was born on a day corresponding to January 26, 1155; nor could he be expected to do so, for the following reasons : first, since he says that « the month, day and hour of the birth of Chinghiz-khan are not known ... » (cf. the long passage translated in ERDMANN, Temudschin, 572-573; and the analogous one, though widely divergent in details, of Oh, I, 38; neither is an accurate rendering of the original text, which is given in Ber, ti, Pers. text, 139; transl. 85-86). Secondly, the year A. H. 549 corresponds to March 18, 1151-March 6, 1155, while the intended « pig » year corresponds to February 4, 1155-January 23, 1156 (in the Chinese calendar; the « Uighur » calendar followed by Raid might differ by one or two days). In other words, A. H. 549 is not really a « pig » year. But tic-'l-ga'dah is the eleventh month of the Arabic year, and the first day of the « pig » year, February 4, 1155, corresponds to the 29th (Sû-'l-ga`dah of A. H. 549. That is why Raid says more than once that the « pig » year in which Chinghiz-khan was born began in Sû-'l-ga`dah of A. H. 549 (cf. Ber, II, 85, 86, 88, 89; III, 102). I have no doubt that it is the indication of this beginning of the year in Sic-'l-ga'dah, coupled with a wrong indication of the « 20th » instead of the « 29th », which is responsible for the day and month in Mirhônd (Rawdatu's-5`afä, Lucknow ed., V, 10), or rather, as my friend M. M. QAZwiNY kindly tells me, in Mirhônd's source, the Ta'rih-i Guzidä of Hamdullâh Mustawfi (Gibb Memorial ed. 572). The same may be said of the sources which speak of the eighth of Sic-'l-ga`dah of A. H. 549 (KLAPROTH, Asia Polyglotta, 256, where the « 13th » of January must be corrected to « 14th »; WOLFF, Geschichte der Mongolen, 33, where « 27. Januar » for the twentieth of the Arabic month is a slip for « 26. Januar »). The « 26 » of î ic-'l-ga'dah in DESMAISONS, Hist. des Mogols, II, 73, is a misprint for « 20 ». The birth of Chinghiz-khan « in the winter of the pig year », according to Bänâkäti (ERDMANN, Temudschin, 575) is likewise without authority. Nobody knew the month or day in the Mongol period, and it does