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0053 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 53 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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224. ETHIOPIA   649

It is in the notice of « Mogedaxo » that Polo speaks of four sheikhs who have the rule of the country (cf. Vol. I, 428). Under « Mogedaxo », I hope to establish that the country meant is Mogadiscio, and not Madagascar as generally accepted hitherto. As a matter of fact, Mogadiscio was actually ruled by sheikhs. Ibn Battûtah (II, 183-185) speaks of the « sheikh » who welcomed him there, and Ya'qût says that Arabs had settled there and constituted several tribes every one of which was governed by a sheikh (cf. DEVIL, Le pays des Zendjs, 61-62).


asen, stentimuor V

centemur R

centimur, çentimur, zentimur VB

ensentemus P esentemur F, FB, VL esetemur VA essantemur FA

essecemur LT sentemur F, FA setemur FB, VB

Äsän-tämür is composed of Mong. äsän, « sane », and tämür, « iron ». The name is common; there are about thirty Äsän-tämür in YS (cf. WANG Hui-tsul, 22, 4-6); the Persian spelling is fir,...; Äsän-temür or ),...,,; ~l I Esän-temür (cf. Bl, ii, 365, 579); the Chinese have always Yeh-hsient'ieh-mu-êrh, Äsän-tämür, written in different ways (for the four spellings of the name of this onef cf. WANG Hui-tsu2, 42, 7 a).

The present Äsän-tämür is the son of Hugäci (see « Cogacin »), himself a son of Qubilai; Rasidu-'dDin names him too (Bl, II, 365). He did not immediately succeed, as « prince of Yün-nan », his father who had been poisoned in 1271. It was only on November 1, 1280, that at the request of one of his father's former secretaries, he was granted the title and the seal of Hugäci, but he had to wait until the end of 1285 to be given full powers in Yün-nan. In 1286, Qubilai ordered Äsäntämür to place from 1.000 to 3.000 men at the disposal of the army operating in Tonking. In 1287-1288, Äsän-tämür himself led the war against Burma. In the beginning of 1308, he was promoted prince of . Ying, and so left Yün-nan for Liao-tung. It is from there that he led his troops towards the capital when the princes fought for the succession of Yäsün-tämür in 1328; he was defeated and deprived of his seal, which was, however, given back to him in 1330. Äsäntämür died probably on February 29, 1332. The best notice on him is in T'u Chi, 76, 10 b-11 b. It is Äsän-tämür, and not Nasru-'d-Din (see « Nesoradin »), who led the Burmese war of which Polo gives an account (cf. HUBER, in BEFEO, ix, 651).


ethiopia P; R   ethyopia LT   etiopia V

In Polo's notice on « Abasce » (q. v.), the addition « which is called Ethiopia » does not occur in F or Z and, in all likelihood, must be considered as a gloss of the copyists.

Under « Abasce », I have alluded to the early mediaeval mislocation of Ethiopia in India, or