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0367 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 367 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   351

yards ». But «Naimankürä» is a misreading of 34f3L.; Tämân-kähär (< Tämä'än-kähtir), «the Camel Steppe », mentioned in the Secret History (§ 190), the Shêng-wu ch'in-chêng lu (42 b), the YS (118, 2 b) and by Rasidu-'d-Din (Ber, II, 147; HI, 110). It has nothing to do with the ordo of Chinghiz-khan.

In later Mongol history, we hear more than once of nobles or princes who sought refuge, mostly in vain, at «the ordo of the Lord » (äjän-u ordo) or at « the white tent (or chamber) » (cayàn gär; cf. SCHMIDT, 151, 187, 195). The word used for « to seek refuge », « to hide », is qoryula-, qoru'ula-, and, in the passive form qoryuda'uluqsan gär, «the house where one has been made to hide ». I wonder whether the root of this word may not be the same as of qoriq, «taboo precinct », and whether, in theory at least, a «droit d'asile » did not belong to Chinghiz-khan's tomb as well as to his ordos.

In the first half of the 15th cent., Toyon-tai"si was for a short time a powerful leader in Mongolia; both the Altan tobci and « Sanang Setsen » give a curious account of his death. According to the Altan tobci (GoMBOEV, 755-", 170), Toyon-taisi, on his accession to power, decided to go and bow to the « eight white chambers » and to ascend the imperial throne. But, being drunk, he abused « the guard of the Lord » (äjän-ü k?Uik; see « Quesitan »; kä!ik was misunderstood by GoMBOEV), saying [of Chinghiz-khan] in a loud voice : « You may be the Holy Majesty (sutu boqda, in the masculine); I am the descendant (iirä) of Her Majesty the Qatun (sutai qatun). » Throwing himself against the «pavilion» (comcaq), he struck it. But as he wanted to turn his horse back, blood flew from his mouth and nose, and he fell, gripping the mane of his horse. At the same time, it was noticed that fresh blood dripped from an arrow in the quiver of the Lord. In «Sanang Setsen» (SCHMIDT, 151), Toyon-taisi rides three times round the «pavilion» (camaga) of the ordo of the Lord and strikes it with his sword, saying : «You may be the white chamber of the body of His Majesty (sutu); I am Toyon, the descendant of Her Majesty (sutai).» The officials remonstrated with Toyon, who retorted with arrogance. Finally, however, he rendered homage to the Lord. When he turned away, the central arrow in the golden quiver trembled, and blood spurted from Tot'on's mouth and nose, and he fell. On taking off his clothes, there was a wound as from an arrow between his shoulderbiades, and there was blood on the arrow in the quiver. The word camaga, which I have translated « pavilion », is not known in this form, but is clearly the same as camgaq (> Manchu camhan) and camya, which denotes a « storeyed pavilion »; SCHMIDT'S «enclosure « (Umzäunung) is not satisfactory; the Chinese translation (5, 11 a) gives the same word : t'ing, «pavilion », which it uses a few lines before to render ordo (it adds from another source a third parallel account, where Toyon strikes with his sword the wall surrounding the wood at the tomb). The word comcaq of the Altan tobci is rendered « obelisk » by GoMBOEV; in an earlier chapter, SCHMIDT (p. 422) translates it « cupola »; it seems to apply to something high and pointed (cf. RAMSTEDT, Kalm. Wörterbuch, 4301). The interest of the text lies in the fact that there must have been at the ordo of Chinghiz-khan a building, where his paraphernalia were kept (his quiver with arrows, his standard, his drum, and perhaps his portrait).

Except in the case of one sovereign who we know was put on the throne «in front of the first Empress» (äsi qatun-u ämünä; SCHMIDT, 181) by a woman, his mother, most of the Mongol sovereigns of the 15th cent. and of the first half of the 16th were enthroned « in front of the Lord »