Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography Concerning the seating of the Khan [Ogedei] upon the throne of the kingdom of the Mongols after Chingiz Khan his father

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In the year six hundred and twenty-six of the ARABS (A,D. 1228), when the assembling of the princes and nobles of the MONGOLS was completed, they ate and drank for three days. And afterwards they said unto ‘AUKHATAI [Ogedei], ‘The command of CHINGIZ KHAN [459] hath gone forth thus: Thou shalt reign in his place’. And he like a wise man replied, ‘Although our father commanded thus, we have, nevertheless, a brother who is older than I am. And there are uncles also who are more suitable for this position than I am. Moreover, our brother TULI is himself the son of the Great Camp, and he was constantly occupied in the service of our father. He is more learned than I am in the laws and in the administrative affairs of the kingdom. If it pleaseth you let him sit on the throne.’

Then they all cried out together, ‘It is wholly impossible for the command of our blessed father to be done away; and as he commanded, even so shall it be’. And they uncovered their heads, and they threw their belts over their shoulders. And JAGHATAI took his right hand, and ‘AUTKIN his left, and they went in and set ‘AUKHATAI on the Throne of the Four Cushions, which indicate sovereignty over the Four Quarters of the world, and they called his name ‘KHAN’. And TULI, the younger brother, because ‘AUKHATAI had said that he was fitted for sovereignty before all the others, presented the cup for the Khan to drink from, and he knelt down on his knees, and did homage to him, and he made manifest [his] submission [to him] most absolutely. And the rest of the brethren, all of them who were in there (i.e. in the tent), did likewise. And the nobles who were outside the tent smote the earth nine times with their knees, and they did homage to the Khan. Then [those who were in the tent] went forth, and they bowed themselves down to the ground three times to the sun according to their custom.

Then the Khan being settled on the throne opened the treasures and riches of his father, and he distributed gifts to his brothers and uncles, and to the rest of the nobles, to each man according to his rank and position. And the nobles also selected from among their daughters forty virgins who were like the moon for beauty, and having decked them out in raiment of great price and with chains and ornaments set with precious stones, they presented them to the Khan. And they all rejoiced with an exceedingly great joy. Then the Khan passed an edict that all the laws and ordinances which CHINGIZ KHAN had laid down should be kept, and that every one who transgressed them should die the death.

And because JELAL AD-DIN KHAWARAZM SHAH was at that time leaping all over the countries of KHORASAN like a stag, [the Khan] sent SHARMAGHON (JURMAGHON?) NAWIN with thirty (or, three) thousand [460] men to that quarter of the world; and SUNATAI ‘AGHONESTA also with a numerous army to the quarter of the CAPPADOCIANS and BULGARIANS; and a large number of other soldiers against INDIA; and he went in person, together with the brethren and kinsfolk, to CHINA.

And in the year six hundred and twenty-seven of the ARABS (A.D. 1229) MALIK ‘ASHRAF took B’ELBAK from MALIK ‘AMJAD, its lord, and he went into DAMASCUS and dwelt in the palace of his father after he had sent out with him everything which he had found in the treasuries of B’ELBAK. And in the year, in the beginning of it, KHAWARAZM SHAH JELAL AD-DIN MANJABARNi, the son of KHWARAZM SHAH MAHAMAD, went down against KHALAT and invested it, and he made strenuous war upon it. And there were in it two brothers of MALIK ‘ASHRAF, viz. TAKI AD-DIN ‘ABBAS, and MUJIR AD-DIN YA’KUB. Now this JELAL AD-DIN KHAWARAZM SHAH wished at the beginning, five years earlier, to reign over the land of SEN’AR, and he came to DAKUKAH, and BAWAZIGH (BETH WAZIK KUNI SHABHOR?), and he laid waste, and burned, and destroyed [the people] with the edge of the sword. And from there he went to MARGE of SHAHARZUR, and MUTAFAR AD-DIN, the lord of ‘ARBIL, sent many gifts to him, and he made peace with him. And in this year he came against KHALAT, and set up against it twenty engines of war on the side of it by the lake. And the war became so fierce, and the famine among the people of KHALAT was so severe, that they ate the flesh (or, bodies) of dogs and asses. And a litra of meat, according to the Syrian weight (i.e, six litre SYRIAN = one litra BABYLONIAN) was sold for an Egyptian dinar.

Then Sultan ALA AD-DIN KAI KUBAD collected a great gathering of twenty thousand men, and he came to MELITENE, and he sent ten thousand to the city of ‘ARZENJAN, and he kept ten thousand with him. And he sent a message to his uncle ‘ASHRAF, and told him that he must go in person and meet KHAWARAZM SHAH by KHALAT, and that if the Lord willed, he should water his horses with the waters of the GIHON of PERSIA; And he also sent an ambassador to KHAWARAZM sHAH, and he said unto him, ‘Thou art Sultan, and the son of a Sultan, and it is not right for thee to do anything illegally. Moreover, God stirred up the armies of the TATARS from the East against thy father because of his infidelity. And this house of BETH ‘AYUB [461) is a great and blessed house, and with two thousand horsemen ride all the brothers, and the sons of the brothers, and the sons of the uncles, and their sons. Do not think that I am their enemy. Believe, not that I am their enemy, but their friend, and that I am one who fighteth on their behalf. For there is affinity between us. And also my own uncle was their kinsman. And it is meet for thee to make friendship with them, so that both we and they may become the enemies of thine enemies.’ But KHAWARAZM SHAH was stubborn and he replied, ‘It is impossible to leave KHALAT’, and to this he added war.

Then certain men of BETH WAN acted treacherously and surrendered the city, and the men of KHAWARAZM became masters of it. And the brothers of ‘ASHRAF fled, but HUSAM AD-DIN KAIMARI, the son-in-law of ‘ASHRAF through the sister of the mother, and ‘IZZ AD-DIN ‘AIBAG, the governor of KHALAT, saved themselves in the fortress of KHALAT. And after some days they received a pledge for their lives, and they surrendered the fortress. Now when KHAWARAZM SHAH took KHALAT, he did not imprison the brothers of ‘ASHRAF, but they entered his service, and they rode with him, and they took part every day in the sports in the stadium in his presence. When ‘ASHRAF heard [this] he was perturbed, and he rose up hastily and came to ‘ABLASTIN, and his troops gathered together about him.

And Sultan ‘ALA AD-DIN also sallied forth with his troops, and they all assembled in AKSHAHAR. And when KHAWARAZM SHAH heard [this] he went with his troops to meet them. And they were [in number] forty thousand. And they found about four thousand horsemen from BETH RHOMAYE, who were separated from their companions, and they killed them all. And they approached and the soldiers met each other in battle on the day of Friday, and the victory was to MALIK ‘ASHRAF. And they remained the whole night before the Sabbath destroying and being destroyed. And when day broke on the Sabbath, the battle was [again] set in array, and a great breaking fell on the KHAWARAZMIANS, and a very large number of [their] people were killed; and no man was able to ascertain their number; and certain satraps and famous men of war were taken prisoners. And very many of them fled to TRAPIZON (TREBIZOND) and to the country of the IBERIANS, and about fifteen [462] hundred horsemen fell from a high rock during the night and died. These things took place in the month of ‘AB (AUGUST), in the year fifteen hundred and forty-one of the GREEKS (A.D. 1230). And because the lord of ‘ARZAN AR-RUM, who was the son of the uncle of Sultan ‘ALA AD-DIN, and was his son-in-law, acted deceitfully towards the Sultan and made friends with KHAWARAZM SHAH and went to the war before them, he also was taken prisoner. And the Sultan went with ‘ASHRAF against ‘ARZAN AR-RUM, and they made strenuous war upon it. And after those who were inside had sworn to the Sultan that they would not kill their lord, who had been made a prisoner, they handed over the city to him. And there was in it the sister of the lord of ‘ARZAN AR-RUM, whom for a very long time the Sultan had longed to take to wife, but her brother would not permit it. And when the Sultan had taken her, he rejoiced over her more than over the victory which had come to him. But after a short time, when she asked the Sultan to release her brother from the prisoners, he was angry with her and destroyed her, and he also sent and drowned her brother in the sea.

And after the breaking of the KHAWARAZMIANS, ‘ASHRAF went to KHALAT that he might build up the breaches [in the walls] and make it fit for habitation; and the Sultan sent with him a thousand horsemen and abundant gifts. And the Sultan himself also returned to his own country. Then JALAL AD-DIN KHAWARAZM SHAH took his household and went and dwelt in KHOI, a city of ‘ADHORBIJAN. And he sent TAKI AD-DIN, the brother of ‘ASHRAF, bound in chains [as] a gift to the Khalifah in BAGHDAD, and the Khalifah released him and sent him with honour to ‘ASHRAF. And ‘ASHRAF sent an ambassador to KHAWARAZM SHAH, and said unto him, ‘Thou didst come and lay waste our countries, and didst kill and loot; we having in no wise committed an offence against thee. And if thou didst wish to take vengeance on us because of HAJB ‘ALI who devastated a part of thy country, behold he was killed in the war and was rewarded according to his works. We ask thee to relinquish the country which thou hast taken tyrannically, and to make peace with us.’ But KHAWARAZM SHAH treated him with contempt and would not make peace. And ‘ASHRAF left and went to BETH NAHRIN. And KAMIL was in EGYPT. And MUJIR AD-DIN YA’KUB, the brother of ‘ASHRAF, was a prisoner with KHAWARAZM SHAH.

And in this year the Brothers, the miserable Freres, [463] and the Hospitallers sent and demanded from the lord of HAMATH the thousands of dinars for which he was liable as tribute. And when he laughed at them and would not give [them], they collected five hundred Brothers [who were] horsemen, and two thousand seven hundred footmen, and they came to take the country of HAMATH; and TAKI AD-DIN met them in battle and broke them.

And in the year fifteen hundred and forty-two of the GREEKS (A.D. 1231), the TATARS pursued the KHAWARAZMIANS, and KHAWARAZM SHAH fled towards SYRIA. And they overtook him in the country of ‘AMID, and destroyed the force which was with him; he escaped by himself from the TATARS, and went up into one of the mountains of the SUFNAYE. And there, although they did not recognize him, the KURDS killed him. Some say that it was the custodian of his apparel who was killed, and that he himself escaped and dressed himself in the apparel of him who had been killed. Now the apparel was [made] of wool. And he wandered round about through the countries secretly (i.e. disguised).

Then a legion of the TATARS invaded the country of the fortress of ZAID, and it came on as far as the EUPHRATES, which is in MELITENE, and it crossed the plain of HANAZIT. And because the whole population through their terror had fled to the places and towns which were disaffected and the fortresses, there was not much destruction. And those TATARS went back and ruled over ‘ADHORBIJAN, and SHAHARZUR, and they subjugated the IBERIANS also. And MUTAFAR AD-DIN heard and was afraid, and he sent and begged for help from the Khalifah. And JAMAL AD-DIN KASHTEMUR was sent to him with a numerous army. And the remnant of the KHAWARAZMIANS which remained–about ten thousand–went back and took refuge with Sultan ‘ALA AD-DIN, the lord of BETH RHOMAYE, and they gave them places for them to live in (or, their maintenance), and they continued to be subject unto him until he died.

At this time the Khan, the son of CHINGIZ KHAN, having received the kingdom of the MONGOLS, took a numerous army and went to the countries of the OUTER SINAYE (CHINESE), that is to say KATAYE, who are called ‘KATA’. And first of all they encamped against a city the name of which is KHUJBANUTAKSIN (KHUJABNUYAKSIN?), which is [situated] on the great river which is called KARA MURAN, wherein there were twenty (or, ten) thousand warriors. [464] And having made war on it for forty days, those who were inside it were vanquished. And certain of the nobles of the city went out and received a pledge for their lives from the Khan. And all those fighting men embarked in boats and fled by river. And the Khan became master of the city, and he did no harm to any man therein.

And from there he began a march of penetration into those countries. Then the king of the KHATHAYE, who was called ”ALTON KHAN’, that is to say , ‘Gold King’, collected his army of one hundred thousand valiant men of war and sent them to meet the TATARS. And when they came they surrounded the TATARS like a ring, for they were very mighty warriors. Then when the Khan saw their strength he employed another plan of action, and he commanded the sorcerers and men who knew enchantments who were with him to bring forth the rain-stone. And when they had brought it out and had performed their mysteries for three whole days and three whole nights, mighty torrents of rain began to come down on the KHATAYE, and heavy falls of snow and frosts and bitterly cold blasts in the days ot TAMMUZ (JULY). Then the TATARS, like the wolves which worry the flocks, worried the KHATAYE, and they broke them with an evil breaking. Then ‘ALTON KHAN fled to his royal city, and he collected his wives, and his children, and his brethren, and all his kinsfolk into his palace. And he commanded all his servants and they heaped up many piles of blocks of wood and set them on fire, and he and all his people were burned to death. And the Mongol troops came and looted the city, the name of which was ‘NAMKINAG’, and many other cities, and they killed many people in them, and they took fine young men and lovely maidens as prisoners without number.

And thus the Khan returned from there with great joy, and he came to the mountains of KARA KURAM, and he built a city and he called it ‘URDU-BALIK’, that is ‘the City of the Camp’, and which is known at this day as the city of KARA KURAM. And he brought craftsmen and dwellers from the country of the KHATAYE and the Countries of the ARABS, and he settled them therein. And whilst the Khan was engaged in rejoicing over the victory which had come to him, his young brother TULI, whom he loved dearly, died, [465] and he grieved for him greatly. And he commanded that his queen, whose name was SARKUTANI BAGI, the daughter of the brother of king JOHN, should administer his dominion. Now this queen had four grown-up sons: 1, MUNGA, who ultimately became Khan; 2, KUBLAI; 3. HULAKU; and 4, ARIGH BOKA. Ana this queen trained her sons so well that all the princes marvelled at her power of administration. And she was a Christian, sincere and true like [queen] HELENA. And it was in respect of her that a certain poet said. ‘If I were to see among the race of women another woman like this, I should say that the race of women was far superior to that of men’.

And at this time TUSHI, the eldest son of CHINGIZ KHAN, died. And he left seven grown-up sons who were: TAMSHAL, HARDU, BATU, SIBARAN, TANGUTH, BARAKAH, and BARKAJAR. And from among these the Khan selected BATU, and to him he handed over the northern countries of the SLAVS, and the GERMANS, and the RUSSIANS, and the BULGARIANS. And his seat was on the great river which is called ‘ITIL (i.e. the VOLGA). And BATU, whilst going on the northern road from the country of the IBERIANS to the countries of the BULGARIANS and SCYTHIANS, destroyed their populations by the edge of the sword, and blotted out their kingdoms. And because the command of the Khan had gone forth in this wise: ‘[The troops] shall cut off the right ear of every BULGARIAN and RUSSIAN who is killed, when they counted the ears, two hundred and seventy thousand ears were found with the TATARS.

And the Khan continued to wax strong, And he prepared to attack CONSTANTINOPLE from the quarter of the BULGARIANS. And the kings of the FRANKS heard [of this], and they gathered together and they met BATU in battle, and they broke him and made him flee. And no man of the TATARS afterwards went to the country of the FRANKS. but they dwelt in the plain of CAPPADOCIA. Now the son of this BATU was called ‘SARTAK’. This man loved the Christian religion and was baptized. And he learned to read and to write, and was appointed a deacon. He died on the road as he was going to the service of MANGU KHAN, as will be shown.

And in the year [466] fifteen hundred and forty-three [of the GREEKS, A.D. 1232], the TATARS sallied forth again and laid waste certain towns and returned to PERSIA. And when the Sultan ‘ALA AD-DIN saw that he was no match for their strength, he decided what tribute he was to pay, and made friends with them. And being free from anxiety in respect of the TATARS, ‘ALA AD-DIN SULTAN went and took KHALAT from ‘ASHRAF, and he also took many fortresses from DARMANIA, together with the city of SURMARI. And KAMIL, the lord of EGYPT, took ‘AMID from its lord and gave him village[s] to provide for his subsistence.

And in the year six hundred and thirty of the ARABS (A.D. 1232) the physician MUHADAB, a native of DAMASCUS, who was called ‘DAKHWAR’, died. This man in the beginning of his career dwelt in the bazar, and he healed the sick for money. Then he was in the service of one of the sons of ‘ADIL, and he did much harm to his fellow physicians, and stopped them from practising. For he was a deceitful (or, treacherous) man with his tongue, and a reviler [of men], and in his habits he was prodigal and dissolute. And at the end of his days he was attacked by an evil disease in his tongue–the member wherewith he injured his fellow physicians, and the power of speech was taken from him and he became dumb. And that disease increased in virulence, and overcame him, and at length it killed him by death. And because he had no heir, he made a will in which he directed that his house should become a training college for those who were learning and teaching the art of healing; and he also placed all his books therein. And in his evil-mindedness he decreed that no men other than MUSLIMS, neither JEWS nor Christians; should enter that college to read (or, study) therein. And this regulation is observed at the present day in DAMASCUS. And Jewish and Christian students of medicine read and study outside the precincts of that training college.

And in this year, that is to say in the ninth month of the year six hundred and thirty of the ARABS (A.D. 1232), died MUTAFAR AD-DIN KUKBURI, the son of ZAYN AD-DIN ‘ALI KUSHAK (KUJEK), the lord of ‘ARBIL, and he was taken to the city of MAKKAH and there he was buried. And the Khalifah sent troops to ‘ARBIL with TAHIR AD-DIN ‘ABU ‘ALI ‘ARID ‘ALGASH, and the captain of the host BAHA AD-DIN BUNGUSH. And when the men of ‘ARBIL refused to yield, SHARAF AD-DIN SHERABI was sent and he made war on it, [467] and he burnt the GATE OF ‘AMKAWA (‘AMKABAD), and the BABHLAYE entered ‘ARBIL and they looted it, and after a short time they became masters of its Citadel also. And there were in it the governor SHAMS AD-DIN BATKIN, and ‘ARID ALGASH, and a nobleman (sharif) whose name was ‘ABU AL-MA’ALI MAHAMAD, the son of NASIR SALAYA, and MUSHRIF, the son of SADAKAH.