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0268 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 268 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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252   144. CIAGATAI

Cayadai (in YS, 119, 8 a). In the Secret History, Cayatai is often respectfully addressed as « Ca'adai aqa », « Elder brother Cayatai »; the YS too, 124, 6 b, speaks of the grandsons of « Cayatai aqa ».

In Osmanli Turkish, partly perhaps because of the double value j and e- of E of Persian sources, « Cayatai » has become « Jayatai », both as the name of Chinghiz-khan's son and as that of the language later spoken in the dominions of his branch. « Jayatai » is the only form given in RADLOV'S great Turkish dictionary (iv, 15). It is « Cayatai », however, which is given with both meanings in Persian dictionaries (VULLERS, I, 580). I can vouch for the fact that « Cayatai » was the pronunciation used among the Turks of Chinese Turkestan. Although the word has practically died out there either as a personal name or as that of a tribe or of a language (cf. SHAW, Vocabulary, 94), I have heard at Kucâ eayatai &dam, «cayatai man », used with the meaning of « a violent man », « a man with a bad temper » : a clear echo of the time when the Turks of Chinese Turkestan fought many a battle against their cousins of Russian Turkestan who had come to be known more particularly as Cayatai. The name, more-

over, did not become obsolete so soon in Mongolia : a modern   â   Ch'a-ha-t'ai, Cayatai
(or Cagatai), has a biographical notice in ch. 270 of the Kuo-ch'ao chi-hsien lei-chêng ch'u-pien.

We are told by Rasidu-'d-Din that the name « Cayatai » was tabooed after Cayatai's death in 1242 : a Sünit who was called Cayatai and known as Cayatai Kücük, « Smaller Cayatai », had then to abandon his true name to be henceforth called by a mere tribal epithet, Sünitäi (Oh, II, 108; Ber, I, 47). It may be so, and the fact is that we hardly know of any « tayatai » other than Chinghiz-khan's son. A second Cayatai named alongside of the prince Cayatai in YS, 2, 3 a (s. a. 1236), is probably due to a clerical corruption (cf. T'u Chi, 4, 11 b). The « prince Cayatai » mentioned in YS under 1228-1229 may be, as will be shown further on, an example of the survival and extension of the name of the true Cayatai, and not the personal name of a real homonym. Only one case remains to be considered : the capitaneus, Batu's consanguineus, to whom Rubrouck carried a letter in 1253 and whose name, to judge from the various readings of the mss., he seems to have written *Scacatay. The most natural restoration of such a name would be Cayatai, and this would show the name Cayatai in actual use thirteen years after prince Cayatai's death. But no safe conclusion can be based on such an isolated and doubtful instance (cf. TP, 1930, 203, 207).

Cayatai was the second of the four sons whom Börtä bore to Chinghiz-khan; he was younger than Jöci, but older than Ögödäi and Tolui. Qubilai, son of Tolui, was Cayatai's nephew, so that Polo is mistaken when he speaks of Cayatai as being Qubilai's own brother (Vol. I, 449). He is no less wrong when he represents Qaidu (see « Caidu »), a grandson of Ögödäi, as grandson of Cayatai (Vol. I, 447). We may of course suppose that Rustichello sometimes misunderstood Polo. For instance, Cayatai, whose name already occurred in the narrative, may have unduly taken Ögödäi's place in reference to Qaidu. On the other hand, Cayatai actually was the Great Khan's own brother (i. e. Ögödäi's), and the assertion becomes wrong only when it is added that this Great Khan was Qubilai. Polo himself may have known better, though this is by no means certain, for a confusion of the two persons runs throughout his whole text. It would in a way