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0319 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 319 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   303

Cinggis-qa'an in the present text of the Secret History (cf. PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov inoki Magakii, 4, 63).

For the «white standard with nine pennants », which was raised by Chinghiz-khan in 1206, and which was not, as is often said, made of yak or horse tails, see « Tuc ».

CHINGHIZ-KHAN AND ONG-KHAN'S DAUGHTER. — According to Polo, war broke out between Chinghiz-khan and Ong-khan in 1200, because the latter scorned the former's request for the hand of his daughter. YULE ( Y, I, 239), while agreeing that such a marriage never took place, adduces Oriental and Western authorities which state that Ong-khan's daughter was taken over by Chinghiz. One of these authorities may be rejected at once : PÉTIS DE LA CROIX is here untrustworthy, since in many instances, and most probably in the present one, his statements are tacitly based not on Oriental sources, but on Polo himself. Two writers remain, Vincent de Beauvais and Bar-Hebraeus (Abû-'i Faraj). In Vincent de Beauvais's account (Speculum historiale, xxx, ch. 69 and 70), the surviving daughter of King David, i. e. Prester John (= Ong-khan), became the wife of Chinghiz-khan and, according to a tradition (ut dicitur), bore him sons; it was because of her that the Nestorian monk Rabban-ata found favour with Chinghiz. Vincent de Beauvais's source is surely the lost Historia Tartarorum which had been written, probably in 1248, by Simon de Saint-Quentin, one of the members of the mission of Ascelin; Rabban-ata, whom we know from various authorities, died almost certainly in 1247 (cf. Pe, 43, 80, 134). A similar story, which was not known to YULE, was told by André de Longjumeau : according to him, Chinghiz-khan had married the daughter of Prester John (= Ong-khan), and she bore him a son, the then reigning Emperor (i. e. Güyük; cf. Pe, 56-57). In the text of Bar-Hebraeus, Chinghiz-khan sees in a dream a monk in black garb, and his Christian wife, Ong-khan's daughter, calls in the bishop Mar Denha, who tells Chinghiz that he must have seen a Christian saint; thenceforward, Chinghiz showed his benevolence to the Christians (PococKE, Historia Dynastiarum, 285-286). Polo's statement, to which I have referred above, that, after Ong-khan's defeat and death, Chinghiz took his daughter to wife, is only found in VB and in RAMUSIO, who seems here to be summarizing VB (cf. Vol. 1, 166, 498). In fact, Chinghiz did not marry the daughter, but a niece of Ong-khan, Ibaka-bäki (Secret History, §§ 186, 208; this form is more correct than the « Abika » of Y, I, 243; cf. also Ber, I, 100; II, 80, 108), daughter of Jagambu (< rGya-sgam-po), whom moreover he handed over afterwards to Iiireldäi (-- Kätäi-noyan), and Güyük was a grandson, not a son, of Chinghiz-khan. Two other daughters of Jagambu were given to two sons of Chinghiz, Jöci and Tului, but none to Ogödäi, Güyük's father. The tales then current in the East may, however, account to some extent for Polo's story.

There is still another origin which must be considered. The marriages of Chinghiz-khan and his sons with women of Ong-khan's family all took place after the latter's death. But when he was still, outwardly at least, on good terms with Chinghiz, a union had been projected between his daughter Caur-bäki and Chinghiz-khan's eldest son Jöci, and between Chinghiz-khan's daughter Qojin-bäki (or Qo'ajin-bäki) and Ong-khan's grandson Tusaqa (cf. Secret History, § 165; Shêngwu ch'in-chêng lu, 27 b; Ber, I, 101; II, 78; the names as I give them here are more correct than those of Y, I, 239). But owing to Ong-khan's ill-will, the project fell through, and, as Rand says,