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0305 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 305 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   289

the idea of blood in the hands of the new-born hero seems to me to be hardly separable from the parallel cases of Mahâsena's son and of Chinghiz-khan.

THE NAME TÄMÜJIN. — Chinghiz-khan's real name, that is to say, the one he received at

the time of his birth, was Tämüjin ( 7K   T'ieh-mu-chên in most sources; ,   T'ê-mu-
chên in the Mêng-Ta pei-lu, 2 a, and the Hei-Ta shih-lio, 1 a). The early Mongol tradition was that he was given this name because his father had then just defeated a Tatar chief called TämüTin; this is in agreement with the Mongol habit of giving to new-born children a name connected either with a fresh event or with the first object or person which attracted the mother's attention

after the child was born. The name of the Tatar chief is simply   7K . T'ieh-mu-chên in YS, 1,
2 a; but it is more fully given as Tämüjin-ügä in the Secret History (§ 59), Tämüjin-ökä in the Shêng-wu ch'in-chêng lu (WANG Kuo-wei ed., 1 b); Mongolian writing does not distinguish between ügä and ökä, and the alternation merely shows that the transcribers of one of our sources, and perhaps of both, had no tradition as to the proper pronunciation to guide him. The same uncer-

tainty prevails with Rasidu-'d-Din's as \   Tämüjin-ügä (or-ökä; Ber, II, 64, 86, 87). 6kä could
be connected with the word which occurs in the adjectival form Ögädäi or Ökädäi; ügä reminds one of an ancient title — and perhaps two — in the inscriptions and historical texts of the ancient Turks and Tatars. I am not prepared to choose between these two forms.

Opinions have been at variance on the name « Tämüjin ». Rubrouck gives « Demugin » (var. «Temiugu »; read «Temugin »; Wy, 307), and explains it as « sonitus ferri »; he adds the explanation : « Ipsi vocant Chingis sonituin ferri, quia faber fuit ». This statement roused ScHMIDT's indignation, who reviled Rubrouck for having dared to say that Chinghiz-khan had been a blacksmith (Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 376). According to SCHMIDT, « Tämüjin » has no known meaning in Mongolian, and was mistaken by RUBROUCK'S interpreters for Mong. tmürci or tämüre-in, « blacksmith ». In the first edition of his Histoire des Mongols, D'OHSSON had said that «Tämüjin» meant « warrior », which was rightly denied by SCHMIDT. The second edition gives a different explanation (Oh, I, 36), because D'OHSSON had in the meantime become acquainted with BINuRIN's Istoriya pervykh cetyrëkh khanov iz doma Cingisova, where « Tämüjin », on the authority of the Ch'ien-lung Commissioners, is explained as meaning « best iron ». D'OHSSON explained that the various texts which spoke of Chinghiz-khan as of a former blacksmith had confused « tämüjin », « best iron », and « tämüréi », « blacksmith ». This conclusion of D'OHSSON has been slavishly repeated by BROSSET (Hist. de la Géorgie, 488), ROCKHILL (Rubruck, 249) and VAN DEN WYNGAERT (Wy, 307) . It is, however, valueless. The interpretation « best iron » of the Ch'ien-lung Commissioners ( Yüan shih yii-chieh, 1, 2 a) is a desperate attempt to explain « Tämüjin » from the fanciful meaning of an imaginary word.

Raïdu-'d-Din, whose information is here, as in many other cases, directly derived from Mongol sources, gives the name in the correct Mongol form ,,,, - Tämüjin (Ber, I, 177 ; II, 54, etc.). Such is also the form found in subsequent writers who depended on Râsid. But the case is different with the earlier Mussulman sources. An-Näsâwi says that Chinghiz-khan was « of the tribe of the me; Tämürji » (or Tämürci ; HouDAS, Hist. du Sultan DJelal ed-Din, 8). In the Tabagât-i Nâsiri,.~ Tämürci becomes Chinghiz-khan's father (RAVERTY, 935). The editor of