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0189 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 189 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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290. MULECTE   785

have here the name of the people of Mosul; perhaps they owed it to their commercial activities abroad that they were widely known in the West, and that may be the reason why they are given a special mention in the Papal documents.


melete LT milect F

milicie TAI, TA3 mollete VA

mulecte F, L mulehet R

mulete P; G

muleto, nulleto VB

mulette FA, FB muleze V mulhee Z nilicie (?) TA3

Although, with the exception of « Horiat », I find no case in Polo's nomenclature when h is used alone, and not in the combinations ch, gh, or th, the form « Mulehet » of R is so good that I might well have adopted it. It is already in Y, I, 139, and is accepted in RR, 49 (the name has been dropped accidentally from the Index). Prof. BENEDETTO (BI, 445) writes « Muleete » and adds «not identified; the conjectures proposed until now have no sufficient foundation ». « Muleete » is not bad in itself, but I cannot understand the remark that follows. There is not the slightest doubt that Polo's « Mulehet », as before him Rubrouck's « Mulihet » (so we must read in Wy, I, 210, 287, despite QUATREMÈRE and ROCKHILL) and King Hethum's « Mulhed » (Br, I, 171), and even probably after him, Odoric's distorted « Millistorte » (Wy, I, 488), represent the name constantly

given to the Ismailians by Mussulman writers of the time, .1,a. multi   ßid, pl. „...,ÿl. mulâhidah,

« heretic »; Benjamin of Tudela writes « Môlahât » (Mém. Ac. des Inscr., iv [1818], 23); the Georgians write « Mulid » (BROSSET, Hist. de la Géorgie, I, I, 511, 530); Kirakos gives in Armenian « Melahid » (PATKANOV, Ist. Mongolov, II, 8, 113); the equivalence has already been proposed by QuATREMÈRE (Hist. des Mong., 122), PAUTHIER (Pa, 97), YULE (Y, I, 141-142).

This name is the only one under which the Chinese texts know the Ismailians, although it is written in different ways (they do not know « Asciscin », q. v.; see also « Viel de la montagne »); and, like Polo, they make it the name of the country. The main texts are :

(Shêng-wu ch'in-chêng lu, ed. WANG Kouo-wei, 62) : In jên-wu (1222), « the Emperor (= Chinghiz-khan) sent an envoy to instruct the fourth prince (= Tolui) to come back quickly;

as he had to pass through the kingdom of 7[C 0    Mu-is-hsi (Mulâhidah), he devastated it greatly »
(cf. Br, I, 292, where « Mu-la-di » is a misprint for « Mu-la-hi »).

2° (YS, 1, 9 a) : In jên-wu (1222), the Imperial Prince Tolui, « on coming back passed through the kingdom of 4-; IJ A Mu-la-yi (Mulâhidah) and devastated it greatly ».

3° (YS, 2, 1 a) : In the first year [of T'ai-tsung, Ögödäi] (1231), « the chief of the kingdom of

Yin-tu (India) and the chief of the kingdom of *   A, Mu-lo-yi (Mulubidah) came and rendered
homage to the Court ».