Bar Hebraeus’ Chronography Hulabu [Hulegu], King of Kings and brother of Munga [Mongke] Khan the Great

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Hulabu [Hulegu], King of Kings and brother of Munga [Mongke] Khan the Great

WHEN the Khalifah MUST’ASIM was kIlled, the King of Kings appointed a certain man whose name was ‘ALI BAHADUR to rule over BAGHDAD. And in this time of the war the Christians of TAGRITH sent to the Catholicus and asked fora ruler to protect them, and a man who would take care of them was sent to them. And when the TATARS had gone, now they had killed [507] the nobles of the ARABS and had plundered their rich possessions, all the Christians who were in the Green (?) Church, which was dedicated in the name of MAR ‘AHUDEMEH, and which the ARABS had seized, had asylum, and they remained unharmed from the beginning of the [Lenten] Fast to the Sunday of Hosannas (Palm Sunday), which was the seventeenth day of the month of ‘ADAR (MARCH} of the year fifteen hundred and sixty-nine of the GREEKS (A.D. 1258). Then a certain wicked man, an ARAB, whose name was BAR DURI, calumniated the Christians to their governor, saying, ‘These Christians have hidden away much treasure of the ARABS, the owners thereof having been killed, and they have given nothing to thee’. And when the governor questioned the Christians concerning this matter, they were unable to deny it, but they admitted it and brought everything before him, and he sent and made the matter known to the King of Kings. And the sentence of death went forth against the wretched TEGRITIANS, according to the Law of the MONGOLS. And a certain great chief was sent, together with an army of TATARS, and they began to take the Christians, twenty at a time, and they led them up to the citadel, pretending that they were going to demolish it, and [there] they killed them. And this they continlied to do until they had made an end of all of them. None escaped except some old man or some old woman, and [their] sons and [their] daughters were carried off into captivity. And the ARABS took the great church again. And two aged men from the village of KARMAH [near TAKRIT] only, and the very few men who lived there, remained to pray in the rest of the churches. As for BAR DURI, the calumniator, a certain Christian whose name was BIHRAM, and who had been governor of TAGRITH, killed him.

And when BADR AD-DIN, the lord of MAWSIL, heard that BAGHDAD had been taken, he sent his son MALIK-SALIH and one thousand horsemen, ostensibly to help the King of Kings, but he did not receive him gladly. And the King of Kings said unto him, ‘Ye wanted to see to whom the victory would be so that ye might cleave to him. If the Khalifah had conquered ye would have come to him and not to me’. And when SALIH returned to BADR AD-DIN his father and informed him, BADR AD-DINt rembled. And he rose up and took a very large and incalculable amoun (of money, and went in person to the King of Kings, and he propitiated him and returned in peace. But after his abject terror [had passed], he used such boldness and freedom of speech [508] towards the King of Kings that he went up on the throne by his side, and took him by the ear, and with his own hands fastened therein an ear-ring [made] of pearls of great price.

And at the time when BAGHDAD was taken, the lord of MAIPERKAT, that is ‘ASHRAF, the son of MALIK GHAZI, the son of ‘ADIL the Great, was meditating (or, was resolved on) rebellion in his heart. Now he had crucified a Syrian elder from the country of BEDLIS, who had come to him from the Great Khan with a Yarlik (i.e. a royal Mongol permit) and had driven away the governors of the MONGOLS from his Court. And he rose up and went to DAMASCUS to MALIK NASIR and asked him for help, so that he might engage the TATARS in battle, and might prevent them from making a descent on SYRIA, and, if possible, to kick them far away from BAGHDAD. But MALIK NASIR dismissed him with empty promises, and he returned to his city MAIPERKAT. And immediately he arrived, the armies of the TATARS encompassed him round about, and the bulls of BAISHAN, ‘ASHMUT, the son of the King of Kings, being their captain. And they built a wall round the city, and they set up strong towers in which to fight, and they began to make fierce war upon it from the outside, and those who were inside made war against them even more fiercely. And thus it (i.e. the city) remained unconquered for a space of two years. Then, after BAGHDAD was taken, the troops invested MAIPERKAT. And ambassadors from the King of Kings began to come frequently to MALIK NASIR, demandiing that he should go to his service (i,e. acknowledge his overlordship). And because his nobles did not approve of his going, he made an arrangement, and sent his son MALIK ‘AZIZ with treasures, and offerings, and large gifts in the autumn of the year fifteen hundred and seventy of the GREEKS (A.D. 1259), and he remained there the whole winter. And in the spring he came back to ALEPPO, aftcr the Festival of the Resurrection, and said to his father, ‘The King of Kings commanded me and said, “We have not asked for thee, but for thy father. Therefore if it is to be peace, let him come [to me], and if not, we will come to him.”‘ And MALIK NASIR continued to be unable to move through two obstacles: it came to him that he could not sit still because of [his] fear of the TATARS, and he could not move lest his nobles and slaves should rise up against him and kill him. And he became terror-stricken and stupefied.

[509] And at [that] time also the King of Kingssent for Sultan ‘IZZ AD-DIN, and RUKN AD-DIN, the lords of BETH RHOMAYE, to come and acknowledge his overlordship, and both of them went and were well received. And the King of Kings commanded that RUKN AD-DIN should hold [the country] from CAESAREA to the frontier of GREAT ARMENIA, and that ‘IZZ AD-DIN should reign over [the country ] from ‘AKSARA to the sea-coast, the frontier of the kingdom of the GREEKS (1). And the two brothers went down amicably with the King of Kings as far as BETH NAHRIN,and they went up from there to BETH RHOMAYE. And RUKN AD-DIN dwelt in SEBASTIAand ‘IZZ AD-DIN went and dwelt in ICONIUM. And at this time Sultan ‘IZZ AD-DIN went up to the Monastery of BAR SAWMA, and promised benefactions to MAR DIONYSIUS.

And in this year BADR AD-DIN, the lord of MAWSIL, died on the twentieth day of the month of TAMMUZ (JULY), and his eldest son, MALIK SALIH ‘ESMA’IL, reigned in his stead; his intermediate son whose name was, ALA AD-DIN reigned in SINJAR, and his youngest son whose name was SAIF AD-DIN reigned in GAZARTA of KARDU.

And in the year six hundred and fifty-eight of the ARABS (A.D. 1259), which is the year fifteen hundred and seventy-one of the GREEKS (A.D. 1260), in the autumn season, the King of Kings came down with troops, four hundred thousand horsemen, to the countries of BETH NAHRIN. He encamped first of all against HARRAN, and the citizens surrendered it peacefully and remained unharmed, and the citizens of EDESSA did the same. The citizens of SEROGH, who did not send [ambassadors], demanded a pledge of security for their lives, and were all killed. And the King of Kings commanded, and bridges were tied together over the EUPHRATES at MELITENE, and at KAL ‘AH RHOMAITA, and at BIRAH, and at CIRCESIUM (OSRHOENE), and the troops crossed over into SYRIA, together with the King of Kings himself, with whom was TOKUZ KHATUN, the believing queen and lover of CHRIST. And a great slaughter took place in the city of MABBUGH (MANBIJ), and troops, fighting men, were posted against the fortress of BIRAH, and against the fortress of KAL’AH NAJM, and against that of KAL’AH JA’BAR, and CALONICUS, and BALASH, and [510] all the people who were in them were killed. And at first troops few in number came to the neighbourhood of ALEPPO and MALIK MU’ATAM, an old man, the son of SALAH AD-DIN the Great, sallied out and engaged them; and he was broken and fled and went into ALEPPO. And the TATARS passed on and went and laid waste the city of MU’ARAH. And they went against HAMATH and [the citizens] surrendered it in peace, and thus also did [the citizens] of EMESA.

And MALIK NASIR took his wives, and his sons, and his slaves, and went forth from DAMASCUS, and he fled to the desert of KARAK and SHAWBAK. And the TATARS went against DAMASCUS, and the lords thereof surrendered it in peace, and no evil thing happened tothem. But the King of Kings in person encamped against ALEPPO. And he commanded and walls were built outside the whole of the great circuit of the wall of ALEPPO. And the TATARS began to make fierce war on the city, and in a few days they were masters over the walls from the side of the ‘IRAK GATE. And they entered ALEPPO on the first day of the week which introduceth the Fast of NINEVEH, in the month of the LATTER KANON (JANUARY) of the year [above] mentioned. And there took place in ALEPPO a slaughter like unto that of BAGHDAD, only more [terrible ]. And because they had destroyed the upper portions of the walls of our church in which were the citizens of B’ELBAK, I, the feeble one, who was the Metropolitan thereof, through fear for these men, sallIed forth to go to offer fealty to the King of Kings, and I was shut up in KAL’AH NAJM. Our believers who were among the population of ALEPPO remained without a head, and the greater number of them assembled in the church of the GREEKS. And the TATARS attacked them and killed them and made captives of their families. And finally TOROS, the Armenian elder, the son of the brother of MAR CONSTANTINE, and the monk KURAK, went in and liberated all those whom they found alive, and they collected them in our church. And having taken the city the TATARS rose up and made war on the fortress (or, CitadeD, and that they took also in peace.

And from there the King of Kings went against HARIM, and he asked [the citizens] to surrender, and [said that] he would swear to them that he would not harm them. And the fools replied, ‘Though thou art king thy Religion (or, Confession) is not known. By what are we to make thee swear? But if FAKHR AD-DIN, the governor of the fortress of ALEPPO, will swear to us that he will not harm us, [511] we will come down.’ And the King of Kings commanded FAKHR AD-DIN, who went and swore to them. And they opened the gates of the fortress and came down. And the King of Kings commanded, and they were all killed, men and women, and sons, and daughters, also sucking children; and none escaped except an Armenian blacksmith. And they also killed that FAKHR AD-DIN who had sworn to them, because WALI AD-DIN, the son of SAFI AD-DIN, a nobleman of ALEPPO, made an accusation against him, saying, ‘It was he who killed my father and my brothers, and who said to them, “Surrender the city so that ye may not die by the sword”.’

And when all these things had been brought to an end, the King of Kings left in PALESTINE a certain chief whose name was KIT BOGHA with ten thousand–that is to say a tuman, which is ten thousand-horsemen, and he went back by the road he had come. And when he came to TELL BASHlR the report reached him that the TATARS had taken MAIPERKAT. And they took also MALIK ‘ASHRAF, its lord, and brought him to him (i.e. the King of Kings), and there he killed him. And he made ruler over MAIPERKAT a man who was the chief of the stables of the father of ‘ASHRAF, and his name was, ABD ALLAH. And there was a famine in the district, whereof the like had never been heard, and it was so severe that of its whole population there only remained [alive] about one hundred souls, and only with the greatest difficulty were they able to capture it. ‘ARDU, one of the natives of MAlPERKAT who had been saved from it like a burnt stick from a fiery furnace, related to me the following: ‘One day I longed greatly to eat wheat boited with the flesh of the ox, together with my household. And for five hundred Christian zuze I could only with the greatest difficulty boil a pot[[ul] which was sufficient for us.’

And when the King of Kings had crossed the EUPHRATES, he sent a message to the lord of MARDIN to come down to him, and the lord did not wish [to do so]. And he also sent [a message] to MALIK MUTAFAR, his son. because he and the son of BADR AD-DIN, the lord of MAWSIL, were in his service concerning ALEPPO. And he said to him, ‘Go and admonish thy father that he go down, and do not allow him to rebel and perish’. And when the young man came to his father, not only would he not hearken to him, but he bound him in fetters and shut him up in prison. And the King of Kings sent troops and they encamped against MARDIN, and they began to make war [512] on it. And if God–glory be to His Name!–had not cast pestilence therein, even after years they would never have been able to capture it. And the greater number of the people who were therein having perished, according to the nod of God, and the Sultan himself being dead, MALIK MUTAFAR, his son, came down and surrendered the fortress. And the King of Kings magnified him exceedingly, and paid him the highest honours, and he felt affection for him and made him a governor.

Now KIT BOGHA searched diligently and found the place where MALIK NASIR was hidden in the desert, and he sent a force against him, and it captured him, and took him and brought him to him, and with very great care KIT BOGHA sent him to the King of Kings. And when he (MALIK NASIR) went to him he received him gladly, and honoured him, and promised to send him back again to his kingdom.

And in those days RABBAN SIMEON the Elder and physician, the son of RABBAN ISHO’ the Elder, deceased, who was a native of KAL’AH RHOMAITA, was taken into the service of the King of Kings, HULABU. And he flourished and prospered greatly, and he was beloved by all the sons of the kings and by the queens. And he possessed dwellings like those of kings, and gardens, and plantations, and towers in the meadows, and his income yearly was five thousand dinars, from BABIL (BAGHDAD). and ‘ATHOR (ASSYRIA), and CAPPADOCIA, and from MARAGHA. The remnant of our people obtained through him help, and great lifting up of the head, and honour . And the Church acquired stability and protection in every place.

Then when KOTAZ the TURK, who reigned in EGYPT, heard that the King of Kings had gone away, and that MALIK NASIR had been taken and sent to him, and that KIT BOGHA alone with ten thousand men remained in PALESTINE, he collected the armies of EGYPT and sallied forth and met the TATARS in battle in the plain of BAISHAN, before MOUNT TABOR. And the TATARS were broken and KIT BOGHA himself was killed in the battle, and his sons were carried away prisoners on the twenty-seventh day of the ninth month of the ARABS, in the year six hundred and fifty-eight of their reckoning {A.D. 1259).

And when this report reached the King of Kings he was angry, and he determined that he would tear up the kingdom of the ARABS by the roots. And he commanded and MALIK NASIR and his brother MALIK TAHIR, and every one who was with them, were killed on the fourth day [of the week], [5131 on the twentieth day of the tenth month of the ARABS, in the year fifteen hundredand seventy-one of the GREEKS (A.D. 1260), at the ninth hour in one of the ravines of NAWSHAHAR, when the moon was in the tetragonon of HERMES. And none of them escaped except MUHAI [AD-DIN], the geometrician and astronomer. For this man told me: ‘One day when MALIK NASIR was sitting in his tent, he called me to him and asked me about his nativity. Then there came a certain great Mongol chief at the time of noon, and there were about fifty MONGOLS with him, and MALIK NASIR went out to meet him. And the MONGOL said unto him, “A drinking festival is being held this day by the King of Kings, and he telleth thee that thou must take thy brother, and thy sons, and the nobles who are with thee, and that thou must come there”. And MALIK NASIR rose up and took with him the members of his household, and his nobles, about twenty souls, and they mounted their horses and departed. And after a little while twenty horsemen came to us in the tents, and they said, “The horsemen and the lawyers must come, and there must remain behind none but the servants who pitch the tents, and the cooks, and the shepherds “. And when we had mounted our horses, they carried us through deep defiles, and took us down to the place where the nobles of the MONGOLS had encamped, and the others who were standing before them. And when we had drawn near, and they began to have speech with us, suddenly the MONGOLS sprang up behind us, and each of them seized one .of us. And I made a sign to the nobles that I was an astronomer, and that I had knowledge of the motions of the heavens. And they called me and seated me behind them. As for the rest, they carried them away a little distance and slew them, and they also killed MALIK NASIR, and his brother, and the nobles. They did not kill his sons, and behold they are with them to this very day as prisoners. Then the MONGOLS went and brought along also the few men who had remained in the tents, and them also did they kill.’

(1) Bedjan notes the variant: From CAESAREA to GREAT ARMENIA to ‘IZZ AD-DIN the King of Kings gave, and from ‘AKSARA to the sea-coast to RUKN AD-DIN.