Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography Concerning the seating of [Qubilai] Kubilai Khan on the throne of the kingdom of the Mongols

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At this time a certain great king among the kings of the SINAYE (CHINESE), or KHATA, who are also called ‘MANZAYE’, rebelled against the MONGOLS. And because he possessed a great army and had, [514]according to what is said, four hundred towns, MUNGA KHAN was obliged to collect a far more numerous force, and to go in person and engage in battle with that Chinese king. And taking with him his brother KUBLAI, who was younger than he, he went to the inner countries of the CHINESE. And he left in his place his brother ‘ARIGH BOKA, who was the youngest of them all. And having gone and engaged that king in battle, by ill-luck an arrow came to him, and there he ended [his life]. And his brother KUBLAI took all the armies of the MONGOLS, and went forth from that inner country of the CHINESE and sat down in their outer country, in the great town which is called KHAN BALIK (PAIKIN or PEKIN), and his brothers agreed that he should be Khan. But his young brother ‘ARIGH BOKA said, ‘It is meet that the kingdom should be mine, because MUNGA KHAN handed it over to me when he went to the war, and during his lifetime he made me to sit in his place’. And a great quarrel broke out between the two brothers, and for a period of seventeen years [they fought] many battles; at length the younger brother was defeated and captured, and his name ceased [to be heard]. And the kingdom remained the peculiar possession of KUBLAI KHAN, the just and wise king, and lover (or, friend) of the Christians; and he honoured the men of books, and the learned men, and the physicians of all nations.

KOTAZ, having killed KIT BOGHA, ruled over DAMASCUS, and over ALEPPO, and over all SYRIA, and he appointed a governor over every town and men versed in the Law (lawyers). And he moved his camp that he might invade EGYPT, and prepare armies, and go forth again to meet in battle the whole force of the TATARS. And whilst he was on the road, and had arrived in the neighbourhood of GAZA, BAIBARZ, that is BUNDUKDAR (BUND KDAR) the Younger, the slave of BUNDUKDAR the Elder, rose up against him and killed him. And he went into EGYPT and made himself governor thereof, and he was called MALIK TAHIR RUKN AD-DIN. And at [that] time the lord of SINJAR, that is ‘ALA AD-DIN, the son of BADR AD-DIN, the lord of MAWSIL, fled to him and he gave him ALEPPO. And the Christians of the sea-coast suffered great tribulation from BUNDUKDAR, and continue to do so to this day, for he was master of [515] all their fortresses, and only ‘AKKO and TRIPOLI and TYRE were left to them.

With the return of the year, which is the year fifteen hundred and seventy-two [of the GREEKS, A.D. 1261], the TATARS came to SYRIA with KUKALAGA (KUKALEK) NAWIN at their head; and he came as far as EMESA and took the country and killed [the people]. And because all the inhabitants of SYRIA had fled to ALEPPO, NAWIN commanded that all of them should depart outside, and that the natives of every [other] country and city should sit on one side and return to their native places. And when they had done thus he killed them all. And he left [alive ] only the citizens of ALEPPO. Then to those who were left they said ‘If ye had been our friends ye would not have fled before us’.

And KUKALAGA NAWIN, having done these things, turned back from SYRIA and crossed the EUPHRATES. And the EGYPTIANS came back again and ruled over the whole of SYRIA. And in the summer of this year, ‘ALA AD-DIN, the son of BADR AD-DIN, the lord of SINJAR, who had fled to the EGYPTIANS, sent a letter to MALIK SALlH, his brother, the lord of MAWSIL, informing him concerning the strength of the EGYPTIANS, and [saying] that ‘it would be better for him to leave MAWSIL immediately and go to BUNDUKDAR, so that when he broke the TATARS he might make him king not only over ‘ATHOR, but over all the East’. And one day when one of the nobles of BADR AD-DIN, whose name was BAR YUNES, was sitting by MALIK SALIH, he stretched out his hand under the carpet and drew forth from beneath it the letter which had come from his brother; and he rose up and went out and departed to his village, the name of which is BETH ‘ASHIKA in NINEVEH. And after a time SALIH searched for that letter and could not find it, and he knew that BAR YUNES had taken it. And he made haste and sent two slaves in search of him. And when they arrived at the house of BAR YUNES he knew that evil was intended, and that if he fell into the hands of SALIH he would perish. Therefore he gave gifts to those slaves, and he had some wine brought to them and said, ‘Eat ye, and drink, and enjoy ye yourselves this evening, and in the mornipg we will go together to MAWSIL ‘. Thereupon they drank and became drunk, and BAR YUNES rose up in the night, and he took his men, and mounted his horse and came to BARTELI (BARTELLI). And he said unto the governor ‘ABD ALLAH, the son of [516] KHOSHU, ‘ Inform thy people, and flee all of you, for SALIH is preparing to kill the Christians, and, he is going to flee to EGYPT’. And every man who was able to do so rose up and fled to ‘ARBIL in the days of Pentecost.

And on the [fo1lowing] morning when the slaves rose up and they could not find BAR YUNES, they thought that he had started for MAWSIL before them, and they went in to MAWSIL, and made the matter known to SALIH. Then SALlH feared greatly lest BAR YUNES should reach the TATARS and bring a force to seize him; and he rose up and took his son ‘ALA AL-MULK, and his slaves, and fled to SYRIA in the month of ‘IYAR (MAY) of this year. And on the road some of his slaves were divided in their opinions (i.e. had doubts) concerning him, and they left him and returne.d to MAWSIL. And the natives of MAWSIL, together with YASAN, the governor of the MONGOLS, and TURKAN KHATUN, the Khawarazmite woman who did not wish to go with him, shut the gates in the faces of those who came; and [these] continued to make war on the city for a few days. Then the people of SHAHARSIN, that is to say, the Fourth Bazar of the bazars which are in MAWSIL, attached themselves to a certain man whose name was BAR ZEBALAK, and they opened the gates of the city to him. And ‘ALAM SANGAR, and those who were with him, went in. And YASAN fled, together with his companions, and TURKAN fortified herself in the fortress.

And when these men [who had come back] went into MAWSIL, they started a great persecution of the Christians, and they looted their houses and killed every one who did not become a Muslim. And many elders, and deacons, and gentlefolk, and common folk denied their Faith, [all] except a few of the house of SUWAYAD, that is WADHKHOKI, and NAFIS the goldsmith. And as for the country outside NINEVEH, immediately MALIK SALIH fled, the KURDS came down, and they made a great slaughter among the Christians, and they took the nunnery of the Sisters which is in BETH KUDIDA, and they killed therein many of the people who from all over the country were hidden therein. And those accursed men also went up to the Monastery of MAR MATTAI, and thousands of horsemen and men on foot assembled there, and they made war on the monks for a period of four months. And they set scaling ladders in position, and they wanted to ascend the wall, but the monks prevailed [517] and burnt their scaling ladders. Then the KURDS hewed a mass of stone from the mountain which is above the monastery and rolled it [down ] upon it, And that great mass of stone split in two, and one part made a breach in the wall, and it remained fast in the breach like a gem in a ring which cannot be moved. And the other part made a hole in the wall and passed through it, and the KURDS rushed to enter in thereby. And the monks, and the natives of the country who were refugees there, resisted fiercely, and they fought with stones and arrows and did not let them come in; and they built up immediately the breach with stones and lime. And during these fights one of the eyes of ABU NASR the archimandrite was knocked out, and a few men were struck by arrows, but tlley became well again. And the monks being weary of the fighting, they demanded peace of the KURDS, and they undertook to give them all the hangings, and curtains, and equipment of the church, and also to collect gold, and silver, and chains (jewellery). Now because they heard a report of the coming of the TATARS, the KURDS inclined swiftly towards peace; and they took a very large amount of property from the monastery, the total value of which amounted to one thousand gold dinars, and departed.

And at that time certain people from the village of BETH SAHRAYE, and others of the natives of NINEVEH, who had been shut up in the Monastery of HABHSUSHYATHA, removed themselves from that place, and they went and crossed the river ZABHA to go to ‘ARBIL. And KUTLU BAG, the Amir, met them, and giving them as a reason that they were coming from the side of the enemy, he killed them all, men and women alike. And ‘ALAM SANGAR, just as soon as he had gone into MAWSIL, heard that the TATARS had come from the quarter of GAZARTA, and he sallied out and met them in battle and was killed.

And there came a spy of the TATARS who informed them, saying, ‘Behold, MALIK SALIH is coming again to MAWSIL’. And because of this the TATARS halted and did not come against MAWSIL until SALIH had actually come and gone into the city.

When SAIF AD-DIN, the lord of GAZARTA, heard that SALIH, his brother, had fled to SYRIA, he himself made ready to flee. And NAWRIN, the governor [518] of MAWSIL, heard [this], and he came to seize him. And the people who were natives of GAZARTA gathered together against him, and they wished to kill him, and he escaped and fled only with the greatest difficulty. And SAIF AD-DIN collected the Christians, and shut them up in prison and demanded from them two thousand geld dinars. Now it was the day of the Ascension, and the Christians remained shut up and despaired of their lives. And SAIF AD,.DIN distributed much gold among the troops, and about seventy thousand KURDS gathered together about him, and they took him and carried him to SYRIA. And as GAzARTA remained without a lord, two scouts sprang up, the name of the one was ‘IZAZ BAS, and that of the other was MAHAMAD, the captain of the guard, and they made themselves their rulers. And they brought out the Christians from the places wherein they were confined after they had taken from them seven hundred dinars, and they only killed the two of them who were going and coming to the TATARS.

And at this time ‘IZZ AD-DIN ‘AIBAG, the lord of ‘EMADIAH, a slave of BADR-AD-DIN, collected about three thousand horsemen, and came to reign over GAZARTA. And NURIN of ‘AMIR met them in battle with three hundred horsemen by the side of the river DEBSHA, which floweth down from the mountains of KARDU, and he broke him and put him to flight. And ‘ABD ALLAH, who reigned over MAIPERKAT, once came to take it, but he was unable to do so. And at the end of the summer of this year Sultan ‘IZZ AD-DIN of ICONIUM prepared to go to do homage to the King of Kings because he was urged to do so by the ambassadors. And having struck his tents outside ICONIUM in order to set out, a spy came and said unto him, ”ALYAJAK NAWIN hath arrived at ‘AKSARA, and with him is RUKN AD-DIN thy brother, and PARWANA, and they are prepared so that when they meet thee in battle they may take thee prisoner, and carry thee in chains to the King of Kings’. And ‘IZZ AD-DIN trembled and abandoned his tents which were struck, and he took his sons and his household and fled to CONSTANTINOPLE, to MICHAEL, the king of the GREEKS. ‘ALYAJAK NAWIN took RUKN AD-DIN Sultan [519] into ICONIUM, and seated him upon the throne of the kingdom, and PARWANA became his administrator.

And in this year the lord of EGYPT made ready a certain young man who was black, whom he had discovered to be of the family of the Khalifah, and he sent him with a small army to come and take BAGHDAD and to sit on the throne of his fathers. And he sent also to MALIK SALIH, the lord of MAWSIL, to come to MAWSIL and to sit upon his throne. For the report had gone forth, saying, ‘The TATARS have come to an end, and have been wiped off the earth by the sceptre of heaven; and the birds have blinded them’–a story which not even babies would believe. And as for the black Khalifah, when he came into the neighbourhood of BAGHDAD, ‘ALI BAHADUR went out with his army and broke him and killed him.

And as soon as ever MALIK SALIH had gone into MAWSIL towards the dawn of the third day of the week, on the seventh day of the month of the FIRST KANON (DECEMBER), the MONGOLS arrived quickly, with SAMDAGHU, a Christian MONGOL, a splendid young man, at their head. And they surrounded the city at daybreak of the third day [of the week], when the Moon was in [the sign of] the Lion, And they built a wall outside it, and they began to make war upon it strenuously. And the war against it dragged on until the summer, and there was a very severe famine in the city. And men were exhausted by the war, and they were wearied with the fightings (or, struggles). And, moreover, SAMDAGHU began to send to them words of a consolatory character, and he promised benefactions to MALIK SALIH. And MALIK SALIH went out to SAMDAGHU with drums, and sistra (?), and harpers playing their instruments of music, and acrobats who performed before him, and as soon as ever he arrived SAMDAGHU had him surrounded by Mongol troops; and they went into the city and looted it, and killed the population thereof. And SAMDAGHU gave wine to the son of SALIH, that is to say ‘ALA AL-MULK, and they made him drunk. And they tied the string of a bow over his vents (?) so tightly that the whole of his inside was thrust upwards, and they cut him into two parts at the band of his loins, and they hung them over the two sides of the entrance of the gate of the city. And they also cut off the head of MUHI, the son of ZEBALAK. And they took MALIK SALIH to the Camp and there he was killed. And BAR YUNES of ‘AMlR reigned over MAWSIL.

And when the affair [520] of MAWSIL was ended, SAMDAGHU went against GAZARTA, and he built a wall before it, and he began to make war on it, and he fought there the whole winter, until the summer. Then HENAN ISHO, the Nestorian bishop of GAZARTA, who was present outside [the city], admitted to the King of Kings that he had knowledge of the art of alchemy, and that he could prepare for him as much gold as he wanted, received from the King of Kings a Pukdana (i.e. Royal order) of the word of life (i,e. pledge for the lives) for the people of GAZARTA, and he came and entered the town. And the son of ‘EZAZ BAS rose up to kill him, but the chiefs would not allow [it]. And he promised them that he would go and bring to them a warrant of greater power from the King of Kings. And he went and received a Yarlikh (i.e. Royal Decree) ordering that JEMAL AD-DIN GULBAG, a slave of SAIF AD-DIN, the lord of GAZARTA, should be king; and that ‘EZAZ BAS, and MAHAMADI the captain of the host with him, should be Pakodhe (i.e. Commanders), and that MAR SAINT HENAN-ISHO should be counsellor and administrator, and like a father. And he went into GAZARTA, and he pleased the hearts of those who were therein, and they opened the gates. And SAMDAGHU went in, and he commanded, and in one hour the dug and threw down the walls of the city, and they left and went and sat down in the valley of SHEMAMA, in the country of ‘ARBIL.

And when the year fifteen hundred and seventy-four of the GREEKS (A.D. 1263) began, SAIF AD-DIN, the lord of GAZARTA, sent from EGYPT one of his slaves to JEMAL AD-DIN GULBAG, the slave, who reigned in GAZARTA, [ordering him] to send him the gold which he had hidden in a certain place. And when JEMAL AD-DIN brought out the gold and gave it to that slave, he took it and went to ‘IZZ AD-DIN ‘AIBAG at ‘EMADIAH to tell him the word of his lord. And he took him and brought him to SAMDAGHU. And.he sent and called JEMAL AD-DIN GULBAG, and he admonished him, saying, ‘We made thee king, and behold, spies come to thee from EGYPT, and thou hidest the matter from us’. And when he denied [the accusation], he produced the man who had come from EGYPT, and he proved GULBAG guilty and killed him. And after a little he went to GAZARTA, and he killed the Pakodhe, and MAR SAINT HENAN ISHO reigned.

And in the year fifteen hundred and seventy-five of the GREEKS (A.D. 1264) a certain scout of BADR AD-DIN, the lord of MAWSIL, whose name was ZAKI, a native of ‘ARBIL, laid a charge of treason against BAR YUNES, who was reigning over MAWSIL, to the King of Kings, saying, ‘He hath stolen gold from the treasure of BADR AD-DIN and hidden it, [521] and he wishes to take it and flee to EGYPT. I know his secret, and he hath given me poison to drink, and he wished to kill me, [and would have done so if this Christian physician whose name is MUWAFAK, a native of Nisibis, had not cured me. Othenvise I should already be dead. ‘And the King of Kings was angry and he commanded them to beat BAR YUNES. And when they laid him out a written paper fell from his bosom, and they opened it and read it, and behold, there were written on it sentences from the Kur’an, viz.: ‘Their tongue shall be fettered in their mouths; and there shall be fetters on thejr legs (or, feet) ; and halters about their necks, and we shall rejoice and be glad’. And when the King of Kings asked what these words meant, the enemies of BAR YUNES replied, ‘They [refer] to the sorceries which are worked by him for you ‘. And the King of Kings commanded and BAR YUNES was killed, and ZAKI the ARBELITE reigned in his place. And he was called by the additional name of ”AKIL KARSA’ (i.e. Calumniator), because he ate the flesh (or, belly) of BAR YUNES, and killed him.

And jn the year fifteen hundred and seventy-six of the GREEKS (A.D. 1265), in the days which introduced the Fast [of NINEVEH], HULABU, King of Kings, departed from this world. The wisdom of this man, and his greatness of soul, and his wonderful actions are incomparable. And in the days of summer TOKUZ KHATUN, the believing queen, departed, and great sorrow came to all the Christians throughout the world because of the departure of these two great lights, who made the Christian religion triumphant.