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0205 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 205 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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122. CARAUNAS   189

ings of the Qaraunas; nevertheless I doubt if the tümän of the Qaraunas existed as such when

Polo had trouble with those highwaymen on his outward journey to China; if it did not, there is no real allusion to the tümän in the text, unless Polo has here mixed up with his former experience information which he acquired on the return journey. The tümän, or myriarchy, must have been formed of ten hazdra or chiliarchies, and we have seen that Ragid, in his notices of the tribes, mentions at least two, perhaps three emirs of the hazära of the Qaraunas.

As far as I can see from the texts at present available, the first mention of the Qaraunas is

when Baraq (see « Barac »), who ruled over the house of Cayatai, says in 1270 that, at a critical moment, a Qarauna called Sali was the only one who gave him his horse (Hal, I, 270; cf. also Oh, III, 349) ; that Qarauna would thus seem to belong to the dominions of the house of Cayatai, not to those of the ilkhans in Persia. But we must not forget that, in 1270, Baraq had occupied most of the Horâsân, with the exception of Herat, the governor of which refused to open the gates of the city to Baraq's officers. The Mongols had already been settled in Horâsân in 1241, and had advanced to the Sind. In 1252, Mongka sent from Qara-qorum the Tatar Sali turyaq to conquer North-Western India and Kashmir, and Sail's army set out in 1253; Mongka had told him he would remain in those parts to the end of his life (cf. YS, 3, 2 a-b; T'u Chi, 6,

6 b; Br, I, 138, with wrong restitutions; Ha', I, 8, 87; Oh, II, 280; QUATREMÉRE, Hist. des Mon-

gols, 131). Later, Sail's grandson *Bäktut was emir of the Qaraunas (Ber, I, 63). It is very tempting to identify the Qarauna Sali of 1270 with the Tatar Sali. It might be objected that the Tatar Sali, also called Sali noyan, ought to have been dead in 1270, since, according to D'OHSSON (II, 280), the intercession of Chinghiz-khan's Tatar wives saved his life when Chinghizkhan almost exterminated the Tatar. But this is an error of D'OHSSON (repeated by HOWORTH, III, 184) : the man whose life was spared in Chinghiz-khan's time was not Sali, but his father *Qara Mängätü Uha (whom Mongka had sent to Badahgân and the borders of India; cf. Ber, I, 61-64). Nevertheless, Sali must be the same as Sali noyan, and if so he had already invaded North-Western India in 1246 (cf. the chronicle of Herat in JA, 1861, I, 442-445, but with some impossible data, such as the death of Cayatai in 1247 instead of 1242; HOWORTH, III, 99-100). We must only suppose that in the meantime he had returned to Mongolia, but that sent back to Eastern Iran and Afghanistan in 1253, he was still alive in 1270. It was at the request of *Bäktut's father, Üldü ( modern Mong. ildü, « sword »), that the ilkhan again formed a hazära, or chiliarchy, with what remained of the Tatar in Eastern Persia; and they stayed with üldii (Ber, I, 63). These Tatar may have been near cousins to the Qaraunas.

At any rate, in the following years, the Qaraunas were in the district of Bad) is of Ijorâsân,

the main town of which was Herat; in 1278, it was at Herat that the emirs of the Qaraunas made their submission to Abaya (Ha', I, 309); but they were already there in 1272, if I am right in believing that it was on the outward journey that Polo almost fell a victim to one of their forays. Either in 1278, or after a campaign of 1279, Abaya must have taken with him, in his guard, an important portion of the Qaraunas, who lived during the winter in Bagdad and spent the summer on the Siyâh-koh (« Black Mountain », on the verge of the Great Desert north-east of Ispahan). When, in 1282-1283, Ar) un spent the winter in Bagdad, he formed with these Qaraunas a tümän, and appointed Ta} acar (see « Tagaciar ») to command it (Oh, III, 581; Hal, I, 344) ; Tai acar still