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0136 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 136 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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120   92. CAÇAN

For Polo's «Caçan», KOVALEVSKII (p. 765) gives a Mongol form « Qasan » without saying from what text it is borowed (it was probably taken from contemporary coins) ; the Syriac form is

Qâzän (see CHABOT and BUDGE). Hethum writes « Casan » (var. « Chasan », « Chassan »; Hist. des Croix., Arm., it, 191, etc.); Les Gestes des Ciprois, generally « Cazan » (ibid. 844, 847-848; once « Caçan ») ; as does Florio Bustron, in Doc. inéd., Mél. hist., y, 129. Papal letters of 1291 give (( Cassianus )) (CHABOT, 243, 247). I do not know how to account for the use of y- for q- in the usual Persian form of the name; perhaps it is due to a more or less spirant pronunciation, among the Mongols of Persia, of Mong. (and Turk.) q-; it is well known that this spirant pronunciation is now almost general in Mongol dialects, and it may be that a spirant pronunciation has something to do also with the alteration of the name which has come down to us as Gäihatu (see « Quiacatu »).

Ghazan, Ark un's eldest son, was born on December 4, 1271 (so in BROWNE, Hist. of Pers. Lit., III, 40; the dates generally given are November 4, 1271, from Hal, II, 4, or November 30, 1271, from Oh, iv, 153; but it must have been a Friday, which is not the case with either date. We should probably read «29 rabi' II» instead of « 29 rabi' I» of Ha and «25 rabi' II» of Oh).

Having converted himself to Islam on June 19, 1295, Ghazan killed Baidu (October 5,1295) . and ascended the throne on November 3, 1295 (Oh, iv, 152-153). He died on May 17, 1304 (cf. BROWNE, III, 40, 43; also BLOCHET, Moufazzal, 600-601).

The YS, 107, 7 b, mentions Prince û   Ha-tsan (Qazan), son of Aryun and great-grandson
of Hülägü; it is of course our Ghazan. But the YS is wrong when it calls him « prince of Chingyüan », and when it says (108, 5 a; cf. BI, Introd., 225) that Ghazan was created « prince of Chingyüan » in 1290. There was no reason to give a Chinese princely title to Ghazan, particularly when his father Aryun was still alive. In the pen-chi (YS, 16, I a), it is stated that, in the 1st moon of

1290, a silver gilt seal was granted to « û J Ha-tai, prince of Ching-yüan », and this «   Ha-
tai, prince of Ching-yüan » is listed in YS, 107, 6 a, as a great-grandson of Köcü, the third son of Ögödäi; his name is Qadai, and he is mentioned in the Mu'izz al-ansâb (cf. Bl, II, 6, n. h). There is no doubt that Ghazan never received a Chinese title, in 1290 or later, and that there is a confusion in YS, 107, 7 b, and 108, 5 a, between him and Qadai. Ghazan had nevertheless inherited rights over certain people and industries in China. In 1304, a special office was created for the charge of the hunters, falconers and artisans who belonged to the house of the great prince Ghazan in the region of Peking (Ta-tu) and other places; this seems to have been only a return to a state of things which had existed from 1261 to 1275 (see «Abaga »). In 1311, the autonomy of that office was suppressed, as there was no longer anyone in charge, « Ha-êrh-pan-ta (Harbanda) governing a corner far away » (YS, 85, 12 a and b; Harbanda Öi)äitü was Ghazan's brother and successor). But the rights of Hülägü's house had not been forfeited. We happen to know that, out of 25,056 families, domination over which had been given in 1257 to Hülägü in the district (lu) of Chang-tê (Honan), there were still 2,929 in 1319 which belonged to his descendants (YS, 95, 4 b); and the (? re-established) office of these hunters, falconers and artisans still existed in the time of the ilkhan Abu Said (1317-1335); cf. YS, 101, 8 a.

In 1298, Ghazan sent a mission, with rich presents, to the Great Khan Tämür Öiäitü; the mission was also entrusted with collecting the long outstanding dues owed to Ghazan's