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0270 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 270 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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254   144. CIAGATAI

khan himself as an obstinate and high-tempered man. He violently opposed his elder brother Jöci, but agreed to the appointment of his younger brother Ögödäi and his lineage to succeed Chinghiz-khan. He remained to the last true to the laws which his father had laid down, and, when Ögödäi died at the end of 1241, Cayatai seems to have been instrumental in leaving the supreme power in Ögödäi's branch. Moreover, he did not long survive Ögödäi : like him, he had taken to drink, and died in 1242, when he must have been still under sixty. Despite Polo, he was never a Christian.

When in 1266 Qubilai installed the eight «chambers » (   shits) of the Ancestral Temple,
the fifth « chamber » was that of (ayatai and of his principal wife ,f1, A fat Yeh-su-lun (Yäsülün;

YS, 74, I b; she is the   Yesülün of Rasidu-'d-Din, in Bl, II, 154). The YS (69, 5 a) has
preserved the text of the Chinese song which was sung at the Ancestral Temple in honour of Cayatai.

The best genealogical table of Cayatai's branch down to 1300 is that given in Rasidu-'d-Din (Bl, II, 153-177). The YS (107, 5 a-b, 7 b) goes quite astray owing to a confusion which makes it transfer part of Cayatai's branch to the line of Tolui (see « Cibai and Caban »). An unpublished Sino-Uighur inscription of 1326 gives at least a correct genealogy of Cayatai's sixth son Baidar : Baidar's son was Aluyu (not « Naliyu » who is another man, despite Bl, I, 120-121; II, 176), father of Tübäi (Polo's « Cibai »), father of Nom-quli, father of Nom-tag (or Nom-das ?). The current tables given for t ayatai's branch in the first half of the 14th cent. are often erroneous, and could be corrected to a certain extent with the help of Chinese sources. But such a discussion would be out of the scope of the present notes.

Western sources of the early 14th cent. speak of the dominions of Cayatai's branch as « Medium Imperium », sometimes, by a curious mistake, as « Medorum Imperium » (cf. HALLBERG, 343-345) ; we also find, for the allied houses of Ögödäi and Cayatai, the term « Empire of Qaidu and Dua » used as a sort of territorial designation even after the death of both Dua and Qaidu (see «Caidu »). Although BARTHOLD (in EI, s. v. «Caghatâi-khân ») considers Dua to be the « true founder » of the Cayatai Empire, it was not his name which was ultimately retained, but that of Gayatai himself, which has survived to designate both the country and the Turkish dialect spoken by its inhabitants. This extended use of the name of Cayatai was already well established at the end of the 14th cent., as is shown by the accounts of Clavijo and Schiltberger, and by the Libellus de notitia orbis written in 1402 by John III, archbishop of Sultaniyah (cf. KERN, in Arch. Fratr. Praed. viii, 96, 100); it occurs also in the 15th cent. in Josafa Barbaro (RAMUslo, II, 105-106). But the question may be raised whether it did not begin much earlier. When the YS speaks of « the princes of the north-west, Cayatai and others » in 1328-1329 (cf. above), we have no indication that a prince whose name was Cayatai should have then existed. I am greatly tempted to interpret this « tayatai » as meaning the princes « of the branch of [ ayatai », i. e. with the value which the name certainly had half a century later. Ultimately, the use of the name « Cayatai » was restricted to the western half of the Moyol, the name « Moyol» being retained by the eastern half. Both branches had dwindled to insignificance when Mirth Mubammad Haidar completed his Ta'rih-i Ra.§idi (cf. the translation by EUAs and Ross, 148).