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0369 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 369 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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158. CINGHIS   353

who pronounced it bodomal. This name given to one of the «white chambers » is significant, since it implies that « the chamber » was « painted » in a way which distinguished it from the others.

In an obscure sentence, the Altan tobEi (428-x, 147-148), speaking of the funerary car of Chinghiz khan which sank into the mud at the Muna marsh, on the southern bank of the great bend, seems to say that false rumours were spread amongst the people about Chinghiz being buried there, but that in fact only « the shirt he had worn (ämüsüksän êamea), his tent (örgü'ä gar), and one of his felt boots (öriyäsün oimusun = örii'äsün oimasun) were there buried (ong ola-) ». The verb ongyola-, lit. « to devote to the ong) on (or spirits) », is used in the sense of «to bury ». Here again, as in Plan Carpine, we find the story of the buried tent. But it is clear that the burial of these relics close to the Ordos region has no more foundation than the burial there of Chinghiz himself. The existence of such a tradition, prior to the migration of the Ordos to the south, is inconceivable.

The information given in the press in May-June 1939 about the removal of Chinghiz-khan's remains from the Ordos region to West China refers of course to the spurious silver coffin of Ma-Alan-hod.

THE OTHER IMPERIAL TOMBS OF THE MONGOL DYNASTY. — We may take it as practically certain that Chinghiz-khan, Tolui, Tolui's wife Soryaqtani bägi and his sons Mongka and Ariqbögä were buried within the « great forbidden precinct » of the Burgan-gaidun. But, while the YS states that all the Mongols Emperors, beginning with Chinghiz himself, were taken to the Ch'i-lien Valley, Rand is positive that Ögödäi and Güyük had their tombs elsewhere, and, in most passages, also excludes Qubilai (and possibly his lineage?) from the Chinghiz-khanids whose tombs lay by the side of that of their great ancestor. BLOCHET (BI, u, 577) says most definitely that Qubilai and his successors were buried in China. Although he adduces no reason beyond the very text of Rasidu-'d-Din, the question may be raised whether the Ch'i-lien Valley was not merely the resting place of Qubilai and his successors, and whether it has not been erroneously taken by the YS (and before it probably by the lost Shih lu, since the statement already occurs in 1366 in the Cho-kêng l u) to be identical with that of the earlier Great Khans. As I have said above, the conditions which prevailed after Güyük's death make it unlikely that his body should have been taken anywhere but to his appanage of the Emil. If the YS is mistaken about Güyük, could it not also have been mistaken about Chinghiz-khan and Ögödäi (the mention of Mongka's burial site is omitted in the YS) ? In such a case, Rasid's statement which excludes Qubilai from the « great forbidden precinct » would be of great weight. I do not think that we are in a position to reach a final solution as yet, but certain texts which may help further research may now be examined.

I. — Both ERDMANN (Vollständ. Uebersicht, 128, and Temudschin, 444) and BEREZIN (Ber, I, 92; Pers. 192; III, 99; Pers. 150) have translated Rasid's statements without noticing that they were contradictory. The consensus of most passages tends to show that, in Rasid's opinion, Qubilai was not buried by the side of Chinghiz. But Rasid could not really speak of Qubilai's successors, since he wrote before the death of any of them. The only information he might have had would refer to those of Qubilai's children (not «successors») who had died before their