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0201 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 201 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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and in that year he begins to reign, at the age of twenty-seven years.' And you may know vs

that he had the rule by his valour and by his prowess and by his great knowledge

as was just and right; for his kindred and his brothers and many other barons, •who FB VB R

were unwilling, •wished to take it to themselves and kept it from him. But he by great LT

prowess snatched it from their hands and had it against the will-of the brothers. And L VB

you may know that the succession to the rule which he has came to him directly by R LT

right. There are forty-two years since he begins to reign until this current moment

of the present day in the course of the year of the Lord •Christ, 1298. He can well have about LT FB L

fourscore [34b1 and five years of age, so that he might well have been about forty-three years FB

of age when he was enthroned.' And before he was lord he used almost always to go

to war several times in the year, • and wished to be found in every enterprise, because, besides FB R

the fact that he was an expert man of arms and valiant and brave with weapons in hand, R

he had come to be reckoned a good captain, the wisest and boldest in counsel and strategy R

that the Tartars ever had. But after he was lord he does not ever go to any war in person, • L L VB

but sends his sons and captains on the expeditions • as he pleases, except once only, and that R VA V

was in the 1286 year of the Lord•Christ, and I will tell you why. It was true that L FB

there was a great Tartar lord, one that had Naian for name, who was uncle of the said FB FB

lord Cublai Kaan; who is a young gentleman of thirty3 years, ruler and lord of v

many lands and of many people & of several provinces so that he can well make up VA

4000004 horses, that is horsemen. His ancestors have formerly been under the great v

Kaan, and this man himself was also under his nephew the great Kaan who was named FB FA

Cublai; and was rightly bound to be so. But so as I have told you, this was a young

gentleman of thirty years . So that when he saw himself so great a lord that he can FA

well put 400000 horsemen in the field, he grew proud because of his youth and because FA

he had great power. He says that he would not be under the dominion of the great Kaan VA

any longer, because he feared that the great Kaan would take away from him his rule, but v

says that he will rebel against Cublai & take away all the lands and the rule from him VB TA

if ever he can with all his might. Then this Naian that he might be able to do this sends v VB


1 Qubilai was actually enthroned on 5 May 126o, in the forty-fifth year of his age, his predecessor having died on i 1 August 1259. See PN.

2 The variants in the dates and ages seem to be simple slips. FB: 4o since he began to reign, but treated as 42 in the subsequent calculation. FA,LT,V,VA: 1288. Of more interest is the reading of FD(B.p.lx): jusques a ore mac et viii de crist though this by no means proves that the FG version may have been made in or before 1308. cf. p.62 above.

3 TA: xx

4 TA': Mcccc='

5 LT: & accepit sibi totani terrain