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0206 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 206 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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190   122. CARAUNAS

held the same command in 1295 (Hal, II, 26). But part of the Qaraunas had remained in Horâsân, and perhaps the tüm,än itself or some of its chiliarchies were transferred there after 1283, since Raid names the emir of a hazära of Qaraunas who had settled in the region of Bad;. is, and even a (c secretary )) Hindu, who was emir of the tümän of the Qaraunas in the region of Badyis in Horâsân (Ber, I, 151, 174). In the meantime, some of the Qaraunas had gone to different parts of the dominions of the ilkhans : in 1290-1291, the Qaraunas revolted in Merv.

Above all, they often raided the country as freebooters, indulging in all sorts of excesses. In 1284, when Abmad was defeated by Aryun, the Qaraunas sacked his camp, entering the tents of the women and tearing off their jewels and their clothes; Abmad's mother and two other princesses were stripped to the skin. Polo's account of the misdeeds of the Qaraunas are fully borne out by the Persian historians.

As to the inroads made according to Polo by the Qaraunas into India, this can only be

discussed in connection with the identity of their « king » « Negodar ». YULE ( Y, I, 101) has already called attention to a passage in Ibn Battûtah (transi. DEFRÉMERY and SANGUINETTI, III, 201) : «The Sultan Tuyluq was one of those Turks who are known under the name of 4,i Qarâuna, and who live in the mountains between the Sind and the land of the Turks ». Tuyluq (not « Taylaq », as is often said), sultan of Delhi, a former slave, ruled from 1320 to 1324, of course long after Polo's travels; he was probably a Turk, not a Mongol. But it is a remarkable fact that Ibn Battûtah, travelling in India a few years later, should have heard the name of the Qaraunas, and as a designation of people located between North-Western India and Turkistan. This goes a long way to show, as we shall see, that right or wrong, Polo's association of the Qaraunas with « Negodar » cannot merely be an error of the Venetian traveller.

Unfortunately, the case of « Negodar » is so intricate that the difficulties attending a discussion

of the Qaraunas are almost inconsequential in comparison. Several quasi-homonymous individuals, beginning with the Sultan Abmad, are involved, and for all of them, confusion prevails in Persian texts, because the absence of diacritical marks on consonants or the change of a dot makes it

impossible to tell at once which one is a   Tägüdär and which one a )■ ; Nägüdär. For the
Sultan Abmad, a sort of agreement appears to have been reached to call him not Nägüdär as the Persian historians do, but Tägüdär on the faith of contemporary Armenian and French transcriptions (see « Acmat2 ») ; but this does not help us much in the present discussion, since our Persian sources speak often of a « Prince Nägüdär » which may be either Tägüdär, i. e. Sultan Abmad, or another prince Tägüdär or Nägüdär; finally the name of another man, who was not a prince, comes in also with the same ambiguity of spelling.

According to Polo, « Negodar » went with 10,000 men to the Court of Gayatai, « own brother

to the Great Khan », and his uncle. But he left his uncle who was then in « Greater Armenia », and, through Badahsân, invaded North-Western India. It has often been said that by « Negodar », Polo meant a prince « Nigudar », son of « (the younger) Juji », son of Ca, atai, who was the leader of the Cayatai troops put at the disposal of Hülägü by Mongka (cf. Ha', I, 86, 284; Oh, III, 516; HOWORTH, III, 96; Y, I, 103) ; according to RAMSTEDT (Mogholica, 1), the Moghols of Afghanistan

are the descendants of « the lost army of Chinghiz-khan's grandson Nukodar, about the fate of which the Chinghizkhanid epigons even now often inquire in Mongolia »; BLOCHET, in his edition