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0205 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 205 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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of the battle was corne, then the great Kaan appeared with all his host on a great FB FB

mound which was on the plain where Naian was in his tents' with his people who FA V

were staying very securely,' scattered unarmed about the plain, like those who did not P

believe' for anything in the world that the great Kaan[or]any people would corne TA

there to do therm harm without their knowing it in very good time. And this was the VA

reason that they stayed in so great security and did not have their camp guarded,

nor had they sent any [35a] spies neither in front nor behind; for they had never V FB

known anything of the coating of the great Kaan, as I have told you, because the ways were

so well guarded and also because they were very far off in wild places; and moreover it was

thirty days journeys to the great Kaan, but he rode them in twenty with all his host because

of the great desire which he had to meet hint. What shall I tell you of it? The great Kaan was

on the mound of which I have told you, in a great wooden castle, full of crossbowinen R R

and archers, •very well arranged on four elephants all covered with boiled leather very v R

hard, and above were cloths of silk and of gold. He had his ensign royal, with the figure of R

the sun and of the moon, raised above him so high that it could be well seen from all

sides from afar. • And his people were all drawn up according to his custom • in twelve VA V VB P

divisions by 30000 and by 30000,4 and surround the whole camp of Naian in a TA V

n7omCnt. And he had the greater part of his men on horseback. And with each man on horse FB

in the first squadrons was a man on foot behind at the crupper of the horse with lance VA

in hand, for thus were all the footmen drawn up with lances in this way.5 In such way as FB

you have heard was the great Kaan with his people drawn up with their squadrons

round the camp of Naian to fight with them, so that all the fields were covered with them . FB

And when, being waked up by his servants •with very great haste, and told that Cublai was P vB

1 estoit atendes   FA: estoit en ses tentes   FB: estoit qui attendoit

2 TA: sagretatnente LT: secrete

3 FB: creingnoit

4 LT: schierata ad uiginti milia VB: vita sciera de xl"' cauallj

5 R describes the combination of horse and foot in more detail thus:—` `Cublai arranged his army in this way: Of thirty squadrons of horse, which each had ten thousand, all archers, he made three parts; and he made those on the left hand and right stretch out far round the army of Naian. In front of every squadron of horse were five hundred men on foot with short lances and swords, trained so that every time that they showed a wish to fly these jumped on to the crupper and fled with them and, when they stopped, dismounted and killed the enemies horses with the lances."

And P:—"He distributed all the cavalry of his army into twelve divisions, so that each division should contain 30000 men. And he stationed the infantry next to the cavalry in this way, that in all the divisions two footmen holding lances should be placed at the sides, this side and that, of one horseman; till the number of footmen were filled up."