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0068 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 68 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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52   34. ASCIAR


aciar FA arziar FB

aschar V

asciar F, TA1, Z

astiar VB, R sciar TA3

This must represent an original *Agar, which remains unidentified. In Polo, -sci- is simply -§-; this practically excludes â. car < Skr. iascariya of Y, II, 374, and also Bernier's « achar», which CORDIER quotes (Y, II, 374) from a ms. note found amongst YULE'S papers, but which, from the translation given, must be *agar < Skr. acala, «motionless », «immovable ».


asendi soldan V

asidin soldan F, FA, FB

asidin soldano R   sedin soboan VB

I can only agree with the general opinion that this must be Ghiyâthu-'d-Din (yiya0u-'d-Din) Balaban of Delhi (1265-1286). I write on purpose «Balaban» instead of the usual «Balban », as I think Balaban in the correct form of that Turkish name; cf. «Balaban» in BRÂTIANU, Actes des notaires, 341. «Balaban» means «falcon»; cf. KUUN, Codex Cumanicus, 129; RADLOV, IV, 1494; BANG, Türk. Briefe, II, 247; we must also, I think, read Balaban, and not «Balbân» or «Beibân», when this same name occurs in the history of the Mamluk sultans of Egypt. But it is surprising that Polo, generally so accurate in his transcriptions, should not have found a more nearly exact spelling for Ghiyàthu-'d-Din, and his «Asidin» looks more like 'Izzu-'d-Din. The form « soldan» for sultan is common in the Middle Ages, and accounts for the title «soudan» then given in French to the sultans of Egypt; cf. YULE, Hobson-Jobson2, s. v. «Sultan ».


asasin, asesinz Fr asasini VA

ascilcinç, asciscinç Ft asciscin, asescin, asisim F

assasini VA, P assassini L, LT, VL assessini TAlr

harcassis FB hasisins FA sassinum Z

I am only concerned here with the word itself; for particulars concerning the Assassins, see «Mulecte» and «Old Man of the Mountain ».

Although F never has an a in the second syllable, the « assasini » of VA may be almost as correct a form as « asciscin »; the question is mainly one of etymology.