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0201 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 201 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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122. CARAUNAS   185

QUATREMÉRE thought of a connection of « Qaravnas », as he read the name, with the Qonyrat

tribe of the Qaranut, mentioned by Rasid, the name of which, once introduced into Persia, would have changed its Mongol form Qaranut into « Qaravnas ». Moreover, the name (i. e. both Qaranut and « Qaravnas »?) could, according to QUATREMÉRE, be derived from what may have been the place of origin of the tribe, « the town called Karaoun-khidoun (the black city), now Karahotun, at a short distance from the Great Wall of China ». Confusions were excusable when QUATREMÉRE wrote in 1843, but one cannot read without amazement BLOCHET'S long note of 1911 (BI, II, App. 43-45; cf. also II, 367-368) on « Karakhon khidon » being the «Manchu equivalent» of «Mongolian Kara Khitat », a monument of pretentious nonsense. «Karaounkhidoun» never existed; it is a misreading, due to a misplaced dot in Persian texts, for QaraunJidun, which form occurs in the Secret History (§§ 183, 206; there are practically no h or h in the Persian transcriptions of purely Mongol forms; as a rule, they are misreadings for or J). The true form was adopted by D'OHSSON (I, 67, «Caraoun Tchidoun »), and passed from him to HAMMER, who, independently of QUATREMÉRE, and on the sole phonetic analogy, sought in Qaraun-jidun the cradle of the Qaraunas (Hai, i, 17, 309). HOWORTH (III, 388) reverts to the Qaranut to say that if we take off the -t of the Mongol plural ending, « we have a name singularly like that of the Karaunas ». And as the Qaranut were a Qonyrat tribe, HOWORTH calls attention to the fact that in Persian a Qonyrat is mentioned as an emir of the Qaraunas. The theory is

accepted as a fact by YULE (Y, i, 101) : «They [the Qaraunas] are described as having had their original seats on the mountains north of the Chinese wall near Karaûn Jtdun or Khidun»; moreover YULE considers as possible a connection between the Qaranut and the Qaraunas. Western scholars have not been aware of BEREZIN'S attempt (Ber, I, 241) at deriving «Qaraun» or « Qaraut » (!; BEREZIN always misread the name without the final -a; cf. Ber, Hi, 2372) either from Mong. qarau, qara'u, « mutual defence », which would mean that the Qaraunas would be a confederation of allies, or from qarayuna, name of a tree, from which a mountain mentioned in «Sanang Setsen » derives its name; the Qaraunas may have lived originally near that mountain, but BEREZIN thinks his first solution preferable.

I shall deal first with the Qaranut. Such a form cannot be the plural of a *Qaran (which would be *Qarat) or of a *Qaranu (it would be *Qaranus); Qaranut can only be the plural of a *Qaranun, *Qaranur, or *Qaranut; all this leaves us far enough from Qarauna, pl. Qaraunas. Moreover, the Qaranut are known only through Rasidu-'d-Din, and although this is the form adopted by QUATREMÈRE and ERDMANN ( Vollständ. Uebersicht, 86, 92; Temudschin, 168) as well as by BEREZIN (Ber, i, 148, 153, 154), there are many different readings in the mss.; the four used by BEREZIN have more than once Qaratut, all of them in one case (Ber, I, 153; Pers. text, 204); so we may have to do with a Qaratut, pl. of *Qaratun. Even retaining Qaranut, there can be no phonetic connection with Qaraunas. That a Qonyrat should have been an emir of the force of the Qaraunas does not mean, contrary to HOwORTH's view, that the Qaraunas were a branch of the Qonyrat. Rasidu-'d-Din, in his notices of the tribes, names one emir, two chiliarchs, and one myriarch of the Qaraunas (cf. Ber, I, 63, 143, 151, 174; p. 143, read « Qarauna Cuban », instead of « Qarauna-Cuban », and cf. ni,138; I have admitted that this « Qarauna Cuban », a chiliarch, was a chiliarch of the Qaraunas, but this is not certain), and the emir is a Qonyrat