Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography Concerning the enthronement of Ghoyuk [Guyuk] Khan in the place of the Khan his brother

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Concerning the enthronement of Ghoyuk [Guyuk] Khan in the place of the Khan his brother.

At this time when the Khan was sick, he sent a messenger to fetch his son GHOYUK, so that he might come and have the kingdom handed over to him if the lot fell upon him. And having risen up to come, and having arrived in the neighbourhood, the Khan departed from the world before his son could reach him. Now the Khan’s queen, who was the mother of GHOYUK, and whose name was TURKINA, was exceedingly wise and discreet. And therefore JAGHATAI, and the other sons of kings, commanded that she should govern the kingdom until they could all be gathered together and form an administration. And having sent ambassadors to each other, they all assembled in the early days of the spring. From the east KUTAN (KUBAN?) and ‘AUTKIN, the brother of CHINGIZ KHAN, and ‘ALSHATAI (‘ALJATAI); and from the west KARAMURI, and BAIDAR and TURKAN, the sons of JAGHATAI; and from the north, since BATU could not come in person, he sent four of his brothers; and from the IGHURAYE the Amir MAS’UD BAG; and from KHORASAN the Amir ‘ARGHON; and from BETH RHOMAYE Sultan RUKN AD-DIN; and from CILICIA HAITUM the king; and from the IBERIANS DAWID the Great and DAWID the Less; and from SYRIA the brothers of the lord of ALEPPO; and from BAGHDAD FAKR AD-DIN, the Judge of the Judges; and ambassadors from the FRANKS; and also ambassadors from ‘ALA AD-DIN, the lord of ‘ALAMUTH, that is to say the chief of the ISHMAELITES who carry daggers (or, knives).

And there being three sons of the Khan who were eligible for the kingdom, GHOYUK, and KUTAN, and SIRAMON, who was a young child, TURKINA, the queen their mother, chose GHOYUK, and all the sons of the kings and the nobles agreed with her. And when GHOYUK himself according to [his] custom [481] put forth excuses and said, ‘So-and-so is [more] fitting, and so-and-so is [more] fitting’, they took him by force and seated him on the throne of the kingdom. And they bowed their knees nine times and did homage to him, and they took the cup and made him drink therefrom.

And being firmly seated on the throne he began to rule wel1, for he was an enlightened man and he was very sagacious. He handed over the countries of BETH RHOMAYE and of the IBERIANS, and ‘ATHOR (ASSYRIA), and SYRIA, and CILICIA to one of the chiefs whose name was ‘AILSHIKATAI (or, ILJIKATAI). He sent the great Amir YALWAJ to the country of KATA. He gave PERSIA to MAS’UD BAG. And he delivered over to the Amlr ‘ARGHON KHORASAN, and HAMADAN,and ADHORBIJAN, and SHERWAN, and LOR, and KERMAN as far as INDIA. And he commanded that RUKN AD-DIN should be Sultan of BETH RHOMAYE. And he sent king HAITUM back with honour, and the IBERIANS and the FRANKS likewise. He sent to the Khalifah threatenings as concerning rebels, and he drove away the ambassadors of the ISHMAELITES with mockings and insults. And because KADAK the Christian was employed in his service from the beginning, he became a councillor and governor. And GHOYUK KHAN himself was a true Christian, and in his days the horn of many followers of CHRIST was exalted, and his camp was filled with holy men, and priests, and monks. At this time a certain Arab woman whose name was FATMAH KHATUN was a close friend and beloved by TURKINA KHATUN, the mother of GHOYUK KHAN, and unto her the secrets of the queen was revealed. And by ill luck calumnies were uttered concerning her to GHOYUK KHAN, and the calumniators said, ‘She will work sorcery (or, magic) on thee and thy brothers’. And he sent and demanded her from his mother, and when she would not give her up, he took her by force from her and killed her. And through this, strife broke out between him and his mother, and after a little while his mother died also.

As for the Arab woman FATMA, they left her naked and without food and drink for many days, and then they flogged her until she confessed that she was a sorceress. Then they sewed up the openings in her body, the upper and the lower, and they placed her in cloth and cast her into the water and she was drowned. And they also killed all her kinsfolk who had gathered together about her. For within a very little she became the ruler of all [482] the great kingdom through [her influence with] queen TURKINA.

And very soon after that [event] GHOYUK KHAN, having risen up to go to the western countries, and arrived at a certain place which was only a journey of seven days distant from the city of BISH BALIGH, the end overtook him. Then certain of the nobles of BETH RHOMAYE also wished that the intermediate son of GHAYATH AL-DIN, that is to say RUKN AD-DIN, should reign. And when the Wazir SHAMS AD-DIN, a native of ‘ESFAHAN, perceived [this], he seized them all and killed them. And he magnified himself in his own eyes, and he took the mother of the Sultan ‘IZZ AD-DIN to wife, and he begot by her a son. And this high-handed (or, arrogant) act was evil in the eyes of every man. And having made ready much gold, and royal apparel, and horses, together with the internlediate son RUKN AD-DIN, he sent him, as a hostage to the TATARS, as we have said, for the sake of consolidating the peace. When the young man came to GHOYUK KHAN, one of the nobles who was with RUKN AD-DIN, that is to say BAHA AD-DIN TARJAN, calumniated the Wazir to the Khan, saying, ‘He killed the nobles, and he took the wife of the Sultan who was dead, and he commanded and set up a new Sultan without your command’.

Then the Khan commanded that ‘IZZ AD-DIN should come down from the throne, and that RUKN AD-DIN, who hath seen our face, should reign, and that BAHA AD-DIN TARJAN should be his Wazir, and that SHAMS AD-DIN should finish (i.e lose his office). And when they turned their gaze to come, the Wazir heard and trembled. And he sent to RASHID AD-DIN, the Subashi of MELITENE, who was then the Amir ‘ARID, with much gold and precious stones, [asking him] to go to the Khan and bring to him the confirmation of the command. And when this man arrived at ‘ARZENGAN he heard that RUKN AD-DIN SULTAN and BAHA AD-DIN TARJAN were near to arrive (i.e. they would soon appear). And being afraid, he took up the treasure which he had with him to the fortress of KAMAH, and he together with a few men fled to ALEPPO. And after a little time BAHA AD-DIN arrived, and with him there were two thousand MONGOLS. And RUKN AD-DIN was proclaimed Sultan in ‘ARZENGAN, and in SEBASTIA, and in CAESAREA, and in MELITENE, and in the Citadels of ZAID and ‘AMID. And new rulers and governors were appointed in every place, and they abolished those of ‘IZZ AD-DIN. And TARJAN sent an ambassador [483] to ALEPPO, and he seized RASHID AD-DIN, who had fled thither, and brought him and shut him up in the fortress which is called ‘HABIG’. No man of those who were shut up in that fortress escaped death except this man, who was subsequently pardoned and was saved. For on the wall of this fortress, upon a very high rock, is a door, and outside this is a small tablet (or, step) on which–unless he sitteth down–a man can only with the greatest difficulty find standing room. And when the judgement of death went forth against one of the honourable nobles, and they did not wish to lay hands upon him and kill him, they would take him out and make him stand upon that step, and shut the door in his face. And when he had stood there for a day or two, he would be overcome by sleep and would fall down and die. All these goings and comings to the TATARS took place within three years.

And in the year fifteen hundred and sixty of the GREEKS (A.D. 1249), when BAHA AD-DIN arrived and the TATARS with him, SHAMS AD-DIN, the native of ‘ESFAHAN, feared and trembled, and he wished to take Sultan ‘IZZ AD-DIN and to go in and rebel in one of the fortresses on the sea. And there was in KANYA (KONYA?) a certain noble, an old slave of Sultan ‘ALA AD-DIN, whose name was JALAL AD-DIN KARATAI, and he was an ascetic who abstained from the eating of flesh, and from the drinking of wine, and from women, and he was a good and merciful man. When this man perceived that the Wazir was ready to take ‘IZZ AD-DIN and flee, he sent and seized him in his house, and he cast iron fetters on him, and made haste to inform BAHA AD-DIN. And he sent TATARS, and they came and tortured SHAMS AD-DIN, the native of ‘ESFAHAN, until he revealed and showed them endless treasures, and then they killed him. Now this man was an educated and intelligent man, and when he perceived that they were going to put him to death, he sent forth lamentations for himself in the Persian language, tearful phrases which were full of sorrow, and were expressed in eloquent and polished words, and were exceedingly sweet. And when this man was killed, JALAL AD-DIN became the director (or, administrator) of Sultan ‘IZZ AD-DIN. And the countries were divided between the two brothers. And ICONIUM, and ‘AKSARA, and ANCYRA, [484] and ‘ANTALYA (SATALYA?), that is to say, the western cities, belonged to ‘IZZ AD-DIN, and the eastern cities to RUKN AD-DIN.

But the nobles of RUKN AD-DIN did not cease from quarrelling, and they wished that RUKN AD-DIN only should be named Sultan, and that ‘IZZ AD-DIN should be repudiated. On this KARATAI made a plan, and he sent to them, saying, ‘Your wish shall be [accomplished] and RUKN AD-DIN is the great Sultan according to the command of the Khan who is with you. But rise ye up and take him and come to ‘AKSARA. And let ‘IZZ AD-DIN also come, and what his brother giveth him, in affection let him accept.’ And those nobles being persuaded, took RUKN AD-DIN and came to ‘AKSARA. And ‘IZZ AD-DIN also went forth from ICONIUM to go to ‘AKSARA. And the troops of the MA’DAYE hid themselves (i.e. made an ambush}, and they came from the other side and smote and broke the bodyguard of RUKN AD-DIN, and they also seized BAHA AD-DIN, his ‘Atabag. And ‘IZZ AD-DIN took his brother RUKN AD-DIN, and did him no harm, but carried him into ICONIUM. And the three brothers sat together on the throne of his kingdom, and money was stamped with the three names.

And after these things, that is in the year fifteen hundred and sixty-one of the GREEKS (A.D. 1250), RIDAFRANS (i.e. the king of FRANCE), one of the kings of the inner (i.e. remote) countries of the FRANKS, went forth with a mighty collection of people, horsemen, and footmen, and soldiers, and mighty men of war, and they sailed on the sea in great ships and in vessels which were filled with an endless amount of gold and silver, and weapons of war, and provisions. And the earth quaked at the sound of them, and it was reported that they were prepared to go forth to EGYPT. Now MALIK AS-SALH, the son of KAMIL, the lord of EGYPT, who, because his younger brother ‘ADIL died, had succeeded him [as lord} over EMESA, a city in PALESTINE, was fighting in order to take it from MALIK ‘ASHRAF, its lord, who was descended from ‘ASAD AD-DIN SHIRKUH, the uncle of SALAH AD-DIN the Great, and subsequently TELL BASHIR was his. Then SALIH, hearing the report of the FRANKS, left [485] EMESA, and with swift marches came to EGYPT. And he went and encamped at a place which is called MANSURAH, where there are dense plantations of trees. And he threw down the word (i.e. commanded) in the Arabic language, and there gathered together to him large crowds of ARABS from ALEXANDRIA, and from KUS and from ‘ASWAN. And when the people of the city of DAMIETTA saw that the gaze of the FRANKS was directed to them, terror fell upon them. And without the tribulation or war they emptied the city of everything which was in it, and they took their families and all their possessions and went to EGYPT.

And the nobles of DAMIETTA went to the Sultan, and MALIK SALIH asked them ‘if the FRANKS had harassed them with war’. And they replied, ‘No, but we are afraid lest that which happened once in ‘AKKO may happen to us; the FRANKS killed them (i.e. the men of ‘AKKO), and no man pleased them’. And SALIH was exceedingly angry with them, and he hung up sixty-four famous nobles on thirty-two crosses (or, stakes), two to every cross, just as they were, with their apparel on their bodies and their shoes (or, sandals) on their feet. And when he had crucified these men, he himself died a few days later through a virulent ulcer which had broken out in his thigh; and it was cut out from him just as it was and fell down. And the Egyptian nobles sent and brought MALIK MU’ATAM, the son of SALIH, who was then in the citadel of KIPA, and they made him king in the place of his father. And his administrator was FAKR AD-DIN ‘UTHMAN, the son of the SHAIKH ASH-SHYUKH, the great Wazir.

Then the FRANKS drew nigh to the wall of DAMIETTA, and they did not hear the voice of the guard[s], neither did they see any man in the towers, and they marvelled. And they also sent men who went inside the harbour, and they never met a single person. And then they knew of a certainty that [the people] had fled, and they drew nigh and went into the city with great content and gladness. And that day was the sixth day of the week, and they did not find any man micturating by the wall; and the ships were supplying them with food of all kinds from the sea.

But their contemptuous mind did not permit them to have patience until they learned the lie of the country, and the fords of the rivers, and the roads, but they made haste and crossed a canal from the NILE, and they marched a long way from water towards EGYPT by a road where there was no water. And certain [486] troops of the ARABS passed on after them, and became a fence (or, barrier) between them and the water, and others were in front of them. And they remained between the two [bodies of ARABS], being tortured with hunger and thirst, and their horses with them. And the ARABS plucked up courage and smote them with an exceedingly great smiting, and killed the greater number of them. And they made the nobles prisoners, and the king whom they carried to MU’ATAM, and he shut him up near him in the place where he was encamped. Then the young slaves who were of the same age as himself counselled MU’ATAM and said unto him, ‘If thou dost kill this Frankish king, during the whole time of thy life thou wilt never be free from war with the FRANKS; for their kings are many and they are strong in their power. But make this king swear an oath that for one hundred and twenty years from now neither he nor his brothers, or their sons or their grandsons will draw swords against the ARABS. And set him free, and let him depart to his fellow religionists, giving thanks for thy goodness. Thus thou wilt have rest and live in peace. And it will be un necessary for thee to scatter among the troops the treasures which thy fathers have laid up.’

And MU’ATAM inclined to their advice, and he had the king of FRANCE brought to him by night, and he made him to take the oath according to what he wished. And he gave him many gifts and dismissed him.

It is said that during the days in which the king of FRANCE was a prisoner, the report reached him that the queen his wife in DAMIETTA had borne him a son. And MU’ATAM heard [of it], and he sent to her gifts, namely ten thousand red dinars and a golden cradle, together with royal raiment. Now as soon as the old slaves of MU’ATAM’S father perceived that he had dismissed the king of FRANCE, they were filled with rage, and they sent ships out to sea to seize him. And when they could not overtake him, they drew their swords and attacked MU’ATAM. He fled from before them and went up into a wooden tower which he had [available]. And they set fire to the tower. And when he saw himself in the middle of the fire he cast himself into the sea and was drowned, and his body was never found.

Then the king of FRANCE brought out all his family from DAMIETTA, and came to ‘AKKO, and he dwelt there for some time. And he built CAESAREA of PHILIP, and other cities, and he left and went to his own country.

And when MU’ATAM, the lord of EGYPT, was killed, [487] a certain man whose name was ‘IZZ AD-DIN, a TURKOMAN, one of his father’s slaves, ruled over EGYPT, and he took to wife his lord’s wife, a Turkish woman who was called SHAJARATH AD-DURAR. And when he had been [king] for some time, one day when he had gone to the bath to swim, she sent some of her small slaves and drowned him, because she perceived that he wished to destroy her. And after the TURKOMAN there rose up in EGYPT his Turkish slave whose name was ‘KUTUZ’, and he was called ‘MALIK MUTAFAR’. And he killed SHAJARATH AD-DURAR, and cast her body to the dogs, pretending that he was avenging his lord, but he killed her because in truth he was afraid lest she should kill him. Otherwise he would never have killed her, for she was renowned for her beauty as a woman, and for her vigorous actions, which were those of a man. And at this time when MALIK AN-NASIR, the lord of ALEPPO, saw that the slaves were reigning in EGYPT, and that they were killing each other as a pastime, he collected his troops and rose up and went to DAMASCUS, and he reigned over it quietly and in peace without any war.

Bar Hebraeus’


Concerning the Taking of Babel (Baghdad).

HULABU, King of Kings, went down to BAGHDAD; and BAJU also arrived from BETH RHOMAYE. And the armies of the men of BAGHDAD sallied forth to meet the TATARS in battle. And those who stood at their head (i.e. were their captains) were: the Great Amir, a KURD, who was called ‘BAR KURAR’, and DAWITHDAR the Little, a slave of the Khalifah. And the two [504] sides (or, hosts) remained facing each other, without engaging in battle, for twenty-three days. Then straightway on the fourth day [of the week], on the eighth day of the first month of the ARABS, in the year six hundred and fifty-six (A.D. 1258), which is the year fifteen hundred and sixty-nine of the GREEKS, BAJU NAWIN and his troops drew nigh to a place which is called ‘the Grave of AHMAD’, on the western side of BAGHDAD, and the BAGHDAD troops approached and the armies met each other in battle, and the company of BAJU NAWIN was broken, and the BAGHDAD troops were triumphantly victorious. And the Amir SULAIMAN SHAH and his army were on the walls of BAGHDAD.

And when the evening had come, BAR KURAR, an old man, said unto DAWITHDAR, a young man, ‘This time God hath given us the victory. It is right that we should go into our houses and rest, and then we will sally forth again and attack forthwith.’ The young man, however, was puffed up, and did not want to go in, and both of them passed the night outside. And because those BAGHDAD troops were encamped on low-lying ground, the TATARS went and made a breach in the banks of the great canal of water [fed], from the TIGRIS, and floods of water poured down on them at midnight. And they began to flee from the waters, and their bows, and their arrows, and the sheaths of their swords were soaked with water. And when the day broke the TATARS of the battalions of HULABU returned, and the battle continued until the ninth hour of the fifth day [of the week] ; and the BAGHDAD troops were defeated and stricken helpless, and BAR KURAR was killed, and DAWITHDAR fled and went into the city.

Then BAJU and his troops came and encamped on the western side of BAGHDAD, and HULABU encamped on the east side, on the second day [of the week], on the thirteenth day of the first month, and he made war on the city with great fierceness–opposite the crown of the palace of the Khalifah. And the Khalifah MUSTA’SIM, the wretched man, in despair called his Wazir ‘ALKAMI, and NAJM AD-DIN ‘ABD AL-JANI, the son of DARNUS, and MAR MAKIKA, the Catholicus, and he commanded them to take gold in abundance, and royal possessions, and Arabian horses, and to fetch the ambassadors of the TATARS out of prison, and to array them in [fine] apparel, and to give them lavish gifts, and to go forth with them to the King of Kings. And they were to demand a pledge of safety for the lives of the Khalifah, [505] and his sons and his daughters, and to make an apology saying that the things which had happened had taken place through evil counsellors. Then, if he would be gracious, and would grant them their lives, they would become his slaves, and subjects who would pay tribute.

And when these men had gone forth to the King of Kings and fulfilled their embassy, HULABU detained them and would not let them return to the Khalifah. And he continued the war with still greater ferocity, and the TATARS made a great breach in the ‘Ajami tower; and they entered the city on Friday, the twenty-fifth day of the first month, but the citizens prevailed over them, and drove them outside again. And the TATARS renewed their attack in full strength, and on the following day, that is to say the Sabbath, they became masters of all the walls. And the people of BAGHDAD fled and hid themselves in the houses and in the underground chambers (sardabs). And on the Sabbath day the two sons of the Khalifah went out to the King of Kings, and an hour later the Khalifah himself went forth [to him]. And the King of Kings commanded, and they cast iron fetters on him, and stood over him in a tent for seven days–until the King of Kings had gone in person to the palace of the Khalifah and had inspected the treasures, and the rich things, old and new, which were hidden away and laid up in stores; and he uncovered them all and had them brought out. And the MONGOLS drew their swords, and slew all the people of BAGIIDAD–tens of thousands of men–the IBERIANS especially effected a great slaughter. And the Catholicus collected all the Christians into the church of the Third Bazar, and there he protected them, and none of the Christians was injured. And the wealthy ARABS brought out vast amounts of their riches to the Catholicus, that peradventure if they were able to save themselves they might retain their property, but all of them were killed.

And aftefwards when the wrath of the King of Kings had subsided somewhat, he had the wretched Khalifah brought before him, and he passed judgement on him and condemned him to death. And he commanded and they put him on a piece of sackcloth and then sewed it up round about him, and with kicks of their feet they killed him. [They did this] because certain of the ARABS had frightened the King of Kings saying, ‘If the blood of this man be shed on the earth, no rain will ever again fall thereon, and also coals of fire will burst forth from it’. And in this wise the kingdom of the ABBASIDES came to an end. And also the other kingdoms of the ARABS [506] began to totter. And the kingdom of the MONGOLS stood and triumphed in the countries which are outside (i.e. foreign) as well as those which are within (i.e. native).

And the TATARS on their return from BAGHDAD came and encamped against the fortress of ‘ARBIL. And when SAHIB BAR SALAYA wished to surrender to him, the large number of KURDS who dwelt therein threatened him with violence, and he fled from them to the TATARS. Then came BADR AD-DIN LULU and bought the fortress and everything which was in it from the TATARS for seventy thousand dinars. And the TATARS marched off, and BADR AD-DIN received the fortress of ‘ARBIL and placed guards therein. And after a short time a certain Kurdish Amir whose name was SHARAF AD-DIN JALALI brought a Pukdana (i.e. a Decree = Patent), and took the fortress from BADR AD-DIN, and drove out his guards who were therein. And when that same JALALI, together with his TATAR troops, were going against the rebellious KURDS who were in JULMARG, BADR AD-DIN sent certain KURDS and they killed him whilst he was sleeping in his tent. And a certain Christian whose name was MOKHATAS, the brother of SAFI SULAIMAN, the great physician, became master of ‘ARBIL. And after his death TAJ AD-DIN ‘ISA, his son, rose up in his place, and he was a good, believing man. And in his time there was a very severe famine and a pestilence in all the land of SEN’AR, and ‘ATHOR (ASSYRIA), and BETH NAHRIN, and SYRIA and BETH RHOMAYE; for in DAMASCUS a young dove for a sick man was sold for twelve nasraye

(1) i.e. zuze nasraye. These were coins struck by Saladin = Gr. drachmae (?).