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0116 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 116 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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it is the form with a final -ï which is regularly used in Arabic texts written in Egypt. But Bundugdâr, without the final -t, often occurs in Persian texts for the name of Baibars (cf. for instance Wassâf in Ha 2, 165, or Rasidu-'d-Din in QUATREMÈRE, Hist. des Mongols, 346, 387, and Bl, II, 551), and this is the form represented by Polo's « Bondocdaire ». Abu'l Faraj (Hist. dynast., PococKE's ed., text 538, transi. 351) speaks of Baibar's former master as «the great Bundugdâr», and of Baibars himself as « the little Bundugdâr»; later, he invariably calls Baibars simply « Bundugdâr ». The Armenians call Baibars « Phendubtar »; the Georgians, « Phundugadar» [? corr. (( Phunduqdar »} (cf. PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov Magakii, 41; BROSSET, Hist. de la Géorgie, I, 586). Hethum uses «Bendocdar» (Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 240, 353), which is also the form used in the Gestes des Chiprois (ibid. 754-756) and in the Anna.'es de Terre

Sainte (Arch. de l'Orient latin, II, II, 449, 451-453, 455, 457).   Pegolotti mentions
% Benducchodara » (EVANS'S ed., 133, where a reference is also given to an Italian chronicle which speaks of «Bethogar» or «Betgodar »). So the name used by Polo for Baibars is really the only one under which Baibars was known outside of Egypt.

YULE says bundugdär means « arblasteer »; HAMMER (Ha', I, 203) has translated the word by «bow-holder» (« der Bogenhalter »); «arblasteer» appears again in GROUSSET, Hist. des Croisades, III, 607. But D'OHSSON (Oh, III, 348) has a note according to which bundugdär was the title of an official whose charge consisted in handing the ball to the sultan when the latter played polo; PATKANOV, Istoriya Mongolov Magakii, 102-103, after quoting D'OHSSON, adds that HAMMER'S « Bogenhalter » is «of course » wrong. The EI, under «Bundukdâr», refers the reader to the notice on Baibars, but there the epithet of Bundugdâri is not even mentioned.

Bundugdär is a hybrid word, composed of Arabic ;.,.;,, bunduq, and Pers. ,», dar, «bearer ». Bunduq itself is an arabized form corresponding to Pers. ; ,:g funduq, in Turk. funduq and f ïndïq (« fenduc» in KUUN, Codex Cumanicus, 125), the original meaning being « filbert », hence the pellets thrown by a cross-bow (> Span. bodoque), then the « cross-bow » itself, and finally, in modern use, « musket » (> Hindustani bandûq, « musket »; cf. YULE, Hobson-Jobson2, s.v. « bandook », where the editors of 1903 have added that the bundugdär was a «master of artillery »). But there is no corresponding Persian title such as *funduq-dar, and analogy shows that bundugdär is certainly a Court title of the Egyptian Mamluk dynasty, like basmagdär, däwätdär, cogandär, etc., all applying to people whose office was to hand something to the sultan. The bundugdär, consequently, could not be simply an « arblasteer », and there is no mention of him in QUATREMÈRE's long notes on balistae, cross-bows, etc., Hist. des Mongols, 285 sq.

But this does not imply that what the bundugdär handed to the sultan was the polo ball. In QUATREMÈRE'S quotations on Polo (Hist. des Sultans Mamlouks, I, I, 121432), the bail is never called funduq or bunduq. The Gestes des Chiprois, which give the name of Baibars as «Bendocdar» (Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 754-756), say that he was the bearer of the « arc de mot» of the sultan, and that the «arc de mot » was called in Arabic «cans bondoc» (this would seem to imply that « Bendocdar » is a wrong reading for «Bondocdar», but « Bendocdar » is also the spelling of the name in Hethum and in the Annales de Terre Sainte, as has been said above).

As a matter of fact, ~a;,,Jl    gaiis al-bunduq means « crossbow » in Arabic, and one would like
to have had some authority for the note in the Glossary of Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 1000,