National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0249 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 249 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000271
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text







HERE HE TELLS OF TWELVE BARONS WHO ARE OVER ALL DOINGS OF THE GREAT KAAN. Now you may know truly that the great lord has chosen twelve very great and powerful •wise men and barons (as is said above) over R VB R whatever questions may arise about the armies, that is to change them from the place where they

are and to change the officers, or to send them where they see it is necessary, and what number of

people the need requires, and more and less, according to the importance of the war. Besides

this they have to make the distinction of the valiant and manly fighters from those who are

mean and abject, promoting them to greater rank, and on the other hand degrading those who

are of little use and cowardly. And if anyone is a captain of a thousand and has behaved meanly

in any action, the aforesaid barons, considering him unworthy of that command, degrade him

and put him down to the command of a hundred. But if he shall have borne himself nobly and

manfully, counting him fit and worthy of higher rank, they make him captain of ten thousand;

doing everything however with the knowledge of the great lord. For when they wish to degrade

and put anyone down they say to the lord, Such a one is unworthy of such an honour, and then

he answers, Let him be degraded and made of lower rank; and so it is done. But if they wish

to promote anyone, thus distinguishing his merits, they say, Such a captain of a thousand is

fit and able to be captain of ten thousand; and the lord confirms it and gives him the tablet of

appointment proper to such an office, as is said above; and then he has very great presents given

to hint to inspire the others to make themselves valiant.

The government then of the said twelve barons is called Thai, which is as much as to say

Greater Court, because they have not any lord over them except the great Kaan. And besides

the aforesaid there are appointed twelve other barons•who are always with him, to whom it TA

is committed that they be over all the necessary things which are needed in thirty-

four' great provinces; and I shall tell you their way and their appointment. I tell FB

you quite truly first of all that these twelve barons live together • continually in a palace FB FB VA

inside the aforesaid town of Cambaluc, which is very large and beautiful and rich, L FB

and there are many rooms and halls and houses for then and the officers & servants, and P P

these barons have for each province which is under his rule a judge and very many writers VA L L

or notaries•under him, who all stay in this palace each in his house by himself. And LT L FB

this judge and these writers do there all the things which are needed for the province

to which they are deputed, and they do it by the wish and by the command of the

twelve barons of whom I have told you. Moreover when a complaint is made these FB

twelve barons must report it to the lord, and then he does what seems to him best about it; but

you may know quite truly that these twelve barons have so great authority as I

shall tell you. For they choose the lords and rulers and officers of all those thirty-four P P FB

' LT (margin): 24 V: vintiquatro milia L: totum imperium Others "thirty-four".