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0019 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 19 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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2. ABAGA   3

some official troubles, which were passed over in the family notice used later by the compilers of YS. Preceding the texts on the naval campaign of the summer of 1283, the YS, 12, 7 a, has a text according to which, on February 19, 1281, « A-t'a-hai was sent to garrison Kuca ». It is by no means certain that we are not here concerned with another A-t'a-hai, although there is no mention of two A-t'a-hai in WANG Hui-tsul; but it is also possible that our A-t'a-hai suffered then a temporary disgrace, although the measure sending him to Chinese Turkestan was not carried out. After the punitive expeditions against Japan were abandoned, A-t'a-hai helped in preparing a fleet to go to the rescue of the troops engaged in Champa and Tonking, fought against Nayan, and on his death, was granted high posthumous honours. Apart from the above indications, approximate translations of Chinese texts may be found in Pa, 540-543, and Ch, III, 127-132. Many details could be added from the Gazetteers, for instance from the Yang-chou fu chih.

To conclude, Alaqan died before he could take any real part in the campaigns against Japan. It might naturally be supposed that « Abacan » is corrupted not from Alaqan, but from Atacai » _= *Ataqai, who at least sent his ships to sea, and perhaps went to sea himself, but the correction would be more difficult palaeographically, and Alaqan is the better known of the

two. On the whole, I incline to the belief that « Abacan » stands for « Alagan » (Alaqan and Fan Wên-hu are named side by side in 1280, YS, 11, 1 b, just as we have «Abacan» and «Vonsamcin» in Polo), although Polo must have mixed him up to some extent with A-t'a-hai; but I do not feel sure enough to introduce « Alagan » into the text. Whatever the truth may be, no tragic fate ended Alaqan's o- Ataqai's life, no more than Fan Wên-hu's (see « Vonsamcin »). As usual, Polo, accurate as to the main events and the names, is wrong when he comes to the specific part played by each individual.


   abaga F, Fr, t, FA,   abagan FA   abbaga, albaga Lr

   L, LT, TA3, V, Z   abagha TA', TA3   aghaba TA3

The name is Mong. Abaqa, which means « uncle »; Rasidu-'d-Din (for instance in QUATRE-MÈRE, Hist. des Mongols, 56) writes lu,l Abäga and 191,1 Abaqa, with the notation of -y- as -q- so common in the transcriptions of Mongolian names at that time; in the same way, Was§âf (Ha2, 98, etc.) writes lA,ï Abaqa. In Syriac, we find «Abga» (BUDGE, The monks of Kûblâi Khân,

83, 144). The Chinese transcriptions are NI   A-pu-ko (*Abuga -   -- Abaqa), i>uJ   A-pu-

ha (*Abuya), I i A   A-pa-ha and PpJ ,T nu A-pa-ha (Abaya); see WANG Hui-tsu2, 42, 3 a.
The forms in -pu- are due to the unaccented nature of the second syllable, the vowel of which was slurred; there are many similar instances. The form with -u- is met with also in the West : cf. « Abouha » for Abaqa in Gestes des Chiprois (Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 843).

Abaya was Hülägü's eldest son, and succeeded his father, who died on February 8, 1265