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0064 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 64 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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48   32. ARGON2

Aryun, son of Abaqa (see «Abaga»), succeeded his uncle the usurper Ahmad (see «Acmat2») on August 11, 1284 (Ha', I, 359), and died on March 10, 1291 (Ha', I, 393, where the name of the Mussulman month is wrong).

As Polo says, it was Aryun who asked Qubilai for the bride whom the Polos escorted from China on their way back, but who arrived long after Aryun's death (see « Cocacin »).

Aryun was favourably disposed towards the Christians (BLOCHET, Moufazzal, 30, mentions a Nestorian hymn for Ar)un, written in Syriac, which was discovered by NAU) and sent to the West several embassies, which visited the Pope in Rome, Philip the Fair in France and Edward I in Gascony and in England. The original letter in Mongolian sent by Ark un to Philip the Fair in 1289, now kept in the Archives Nationales in Paris, is a document of the greatest interest. First published by Abel REMUSAT, it has been reprinted in the original text and with a French translation in Pa, 775-777; but the translation could be improved considerably, and a detailed commentary is highly desirable.

32. ARGON2

angaroni VL argom VA

argon F, FA, FB, L, P, P5, VB, Z; R

The term is certainly Turk. Aryun. B', 96, 451, does not make it a proper name, but takes it only as a common noun, which he renders by «bastardo », the « Guasmul » which Polo uses by way of comparison. In my opinion, that does not correspond to the facts, even if, in Italian, «bastardo » does not imply the same meaning, when speaking of men, as « bâtard » in French, « bastard » in English, and although, under BENEDETTO'S influence, « Guasmul » has also been replaced by « bastard » in the English version of RR, 95. The « Argon » and « Guasmui » were not said by Polo to be « bastards », but merely « half-breeds ».

First of all, the « Guasmul », with whom Polo compares the « Argon », are not half-breeds in general, but a particular type the name of which ought to be retained in the translation. To the texts already quoted in Y, I, 290, some more may be added, in particular the notice of the (( Gasmulins )) in Directorium ad passagium faciendum, probably of 1317, in Hist. des Crois., Arm., H, 490-491; and the quotations in O. TAFRALI, Thessalonique au xrvc siècle, Paris, 1913, 43-44. I suspect that the letter sent by the Pope to « Girardo Galinuri de Constantinopoli » in CHABOT, Hist. de Mar Jabalaha III, 210, for whom LANGLOIS's edition gives « Girardo Gasinuri» while older editions read « Girardo Casmuri », is really a « Gasmuri », a Guasmul, just as the « Giorgius Gasmurus» of Constantinople who was at Caffa in 1289 (cf. BRÂTIANU, Actes des notaires génois, 217; Rech. sur le commerce de Gênes, 186). In Matteo Polo's will, we find the name of «Albertus Vasmulo » (cf. Vol. I, 532). The Guasmuls (more often Gasmuls) were children one of whose parents was Latin and the other Greek. Their name in Greek is Baaµoaot or