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0020 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 20 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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4   2. ABAGA

(cf. QUATREMÈRE, Hist. des Mongols, 417); he himself died on April 1, 1282 (Hai, I, 313); on the circumstances of his death, cf. QUATREMÈRE, Hist. des Sultans Mamlouks, II, 48.

Abaya remained in fairly close touch with Qubilai, and the Chinese texts mention him on several occasions. As these texts are not indicated in Br, II, 17, it is not without interest to collect them here :

  1. (YS, 107, 7 b) : The prince (or « king », wang) A-pa-ha (Abaqa) was the son of Hsü-liehwu (Hülägü).

  2. (YS, 203, 4 b) : « A-lao-wa-ting ('Alâ'u-'d-Din) was a man from 7 ç Mu-fa-ii in the Western Countries (Hsi-yü). In the eighth year chih-yuän (1271), Shih-tsu (= Qubilai) sent envoys to fetch makers of catapults (p'ao-chiang) from the Prince of the blood A-pu-ko (Abaya). The prince obeyed the edict by sending 'Alâ'u-'d-Din and I-ssû-ma-yin (Isma'ii). The two men with their families went post-haste to the capital (= Peking) where they were provided with an official residence. They first made a large catapult and set it up in front of the Fives Gates...»

(Ismail was from jat   Hsü-lieh). The whole text has been translated by MOULE (JNCB, 1927,
12-13), but without identification of Prince A-pu-ko. This is important inasmuch as it has a bearing on the famous siege of Hsiang-yang (see « Saianfu ») and the alleged part played there by the Polos : the Mussulman catapults were used for the siege of Hsiang-yang at the end of 1272 or in the beginning of 1273 (cf. MOULE, ibid., 10; )3', 433, gives November 1272, which seems too early). It is a pity that, besides the original forms Mu-fa-li and Hsü-lieh, MOULE should have added the arbitrary forms substituted by Ch'ien-lung's commissioners in the 18th cent., as well as possible geographical values of these last such as Mosul and Shiraz. The result is that Mosul and Shiraz have been adopted in Pe, 229; but they are impossible if we start from the original Mu-fa-li and Hsü-lieh. MOULE has also given Rasidu-'d-Din's account of the siege of Hsiang-yang, where we read : « Before that time, there was no big Frankish mangonel in

Cathay   manJaniq-i Färängä; this is the emendation proposed in Bl, II, 513, for

4Q   manjaniq-i qumgäh of Oh, II, 391, which had puzzled YULE, Y, u, 168; the emenda-

tion is the more probable if we remember that Frankish mangonels are mentioned in Arabic by Nowairi [cf. QUATREMÈRE, Hist. des Mongols, 136], and that farangi came to mean a 'gun' in cay. Turkish, in Telugu and in Chinese of about 1550-1600 A. D.; cf. PAVET DE COURTEILLE, Dict. turc-oriental, 388; YULE, Hobson-Jobson2, 352; Ming shih, 325, 9 a; BEFEO, ix, 671; Br, II, 316; that does not mean, in spite of Bl, II, 513, that these mangonels were of Italian origin). From this kingdom, Talib the mangonel-maker, who was from Baalbek and Damascus, went there, and his sons Abu-bäkr and Ibrahim and Muhammad and his assistants made seven great catapults ... » It is evident that both texts relate to the same event, and MOULE has already pointed out that the names of Abu-bäkr and Ibràhira are given in YS, 203, 4 b-5 b, as the names of Ismaii's two sons. As to Rasid's Muhammad, I have more hesitation in identifying him, as MOULE suggests, with 'Alâ'u-'d-Din's grandson Muhammad-sah. Hsü-lieh, Ismail's native place, has been said to be Shiraz (which is certainly wrong), or the name to mean « belonging to Hülägü » (Br, I, 274), or to be Herat (Y, II, 167), or « Hillè » (Bl, II, 514). It is true that the same characters Hsü-lieh are used for Hülägü (see « Ulau »), and that Herat (Hari) was known to the Chinese at the beginning of the Ming under a name Ha-lieh which is not very far removed