Takudar [Teguder] ‘Ahmad

Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 in Articles, Library | Comments Off on Takudar [Teguder] ‘Ahmad


After ‘ABAKA [came] his brother who was called ‘AHMAD. When ‘ABAKA, the King of Kings, had departed from this world, all the sons of the kings, together with the nobles, gathered together, and they agreed that ‘AHMAD, the son of HULABO, whom KUTAI Khatun, the Great Queen, had borne to him, should be the head of the MONGOI.S who were in the west, because the way (or, path) belonged to him, and he was the eldest of his brothers. And he sat on the throne of the kingdom on the first day of the week, on the twenty-first day of the month of HAZIRAN (JUNE), in the year fifteen hundred and ninety-three of the GREEKS (A.D. 1282). And he exhibited great mercifulness of disposition and liberality of hand. And he opened the treasury of his father and brother, and he brought out great treasures of gold and silver and distributed them among [his] brothers, and the Amirs, and the Mongol troops. And he looked upon all peoples with a merciful (or, sympathetic) eye, and especially on the heads of the Christian Faiths, and he wrote for them Patents which freed all the churches, and the religious houses, and the priests (elders), and monks from taxation and imposts in every country and region.

And he sent ambassadors to the lord of EGYPT, to the old man, the Atabag of the lord of BETH RHOMAYE, and to KUTB AD-DIN, the Judge of the city of SEBASTIA, and to SHAMS AD-DIN, the son of TITI, the Wazir of the lord of MARDIN. And he said unto the EGYPTIANS, ‘According to the command of God, and the Law which our father CHINGIZ KHAN laid down for us, the kingdom of the MONGOLS hath come to me by lot. And because God hath summoned me to peace, I wish that every man shall possess (i.e. enjoy) a peaceful and quiet life in his own country, and that battles, and killings, and captivities shall cease from the face of the earth. Therefore, if ye have the same minds in this matter, give the hand to (i.e. assist) peace and submission. And if it be that ye would remain in your state of rebellion, God will require of you the blood of the wretched people which will be poured out.’ And the lord of EGYPT agreed that there should be peace, and that the sword should be removed from the midst [of them], but on the condition that the city of MAWSIL should belong to the son of BADR AD-DIN, and that he himself should give to the MONGOLS what the others were giving, and BAGHDAD and SINJAR accepted the offer.

And when these ambassadors came back and made known what had been said to them, the King of Kings sent the Shaikh ‘ABD AR-RAHMAN to the EGYPTIANS that he might confirm [549] the peace, and behold there it was. And at that period the roads were opened, and merchants were going from BABIL, and ASSYRIA, and PERSIA to SYRIA, and Egyptian merchants were coming to these countries of the TATARS, and no man molested them. Then ‘ABD AR-RAHMAN , being ready to go to SYRIA, received a large amount of money from the royal treasure of the MONGOLS, and precious stones, and marvellous pearls, and gold, and silver, and apparel, and bales of stuffs (i.e. brocades) wherein much gold was woven. And he left ‘ALATAK and came to TABRIZ, and he sat down there for abaut a month of days. And he gathered together handicraftsmen of all kinds, jewellers, and sewers (i.e. weavers), and others, and he made everything to a royal pattern. And from there he came to MAWSIL. And he sent and had brought from BAGHDAD ten thousand gold [pieces] also, and he took [them] and went to MARDIN. And the ambassador of Sultan ‘ALPI, the lord of EGYPT, came to him there, and he said unto him, ‘The Sultan saluteth thee. And he saith, “I have been sitting in DAMASCUS all this very long period of time, and I have been awaiting thy coming, so that I might see thee and fulfil thy request and go to EGYPT, because this land cannot support all the multitude of troops who are with me. Therefore I beseech thee tarry not.”‘

And ‘ABD AR-RAHMAN sent and said unto him, ‘ Behold, I am ready to come, but I beseech thee that when I come to thy country thy servants shall bring me into thy presence with honour, and that they shall not conduct me by night, as they did the other ambassadors who have preceded me in coming to thee’. And the Sultan sent and said unto him, ‘Thou art a great man with us (i.e. in our opinion) and thine honour is quite distinct from that of the [former] ambassadors. Therefore make glad thine heart, and with the satisfaction which thou wishest come.’

Then Shaikh ‘ABD AR-RAHMAN became confident, and he sent and brought the army of the TATARS, who guarded the roads of ‘AMID, and they rode with him. And MALIK MUTAFAR, the lord of MARDIN also sent with him an ambassador from him, one SHAMS AD-DIN who is called the ‘son of TITI’, a great and a famous man. And he also sent other troops to go into the service of the Shaikh as far as the EUPHRATES, and to come back. And the Shaikh left MARDIN in the tenth month of the ARABS, which is SHAWAL, in the year six hundred and eighty-two [of the ARABS, i.e. A.D. 1283]. And when he arrived at the city of HARRAN a certain Amir, one of the slaves of the lord of EGYPT, came to meet him. And that Amir [550] was to wait for the Shaikh, and to alight from his horse [when he came], and to come on foot to salute him, and to kiss his hand according to custom. But that Amir did not alight from his horse, and he shouted out the salutation in front of him. And he sent and said unto the Shaikh, ‘There is now no need for these TATARS to come any further; order them to go back’, and the Shaikh permitted the army of the TATARS to depart.

And when they had gone the Amir took the Shaikh and those who were with him, and he went off the road which goeth to BIRAH, and he said, ‘We have made ready a camping ground for you in another place’; and having left they arrived on the banks of the EUPHRATES. And the Amir said, ‘We have pitched tents for you on the other side’; and the Shaikh replied, ‘Where ye encamp, we will encamp’. Then the men of MARDIN, who had come into the service of the Shaikh, wished to go back from the EUPHRATES, according to the command of their lord. But the Amir of the lord of EGYPT would not dismiss them, and he said unto them, ‘Our Sultan hath commanded that ye are to come as far as ALEPPO’. And thus, although they did not wish [it], they also crossed the EUPHRATFS, and they all encamped there.

And at the time of evening the Amir brought abundant supplies of food for the Shaikh and for all those who were with him. And when they had eaten their meal and were resting, and had lain down for an hour or more, the Amir and those who were with him mounted their horses, and he sent and said unto the Shaikh, ‘Arise, mount thy horse and let us go’. And the Shaikh objected, and he said, ‘I will not ride except in the day-time when the sun is shining’. And the Amir replied, ‘ I was commanded to carry thee only by night, whether thou wast willing or unwilling’. And the Shaikh was angry and he said, ‘Even if thou goest so far as to kill me, I will not travel by night’. And the Amir said, ‘I shall certainly not kill thee, but I shall carry thee in fetters’. And when the Shaikh saw that they wished to render his honour contemptible, he consented and rose up and mounted his horse. And they began to travel, and did so the whole night, and very early in the morning they went down away from the road, and away from inhabited country. And having arrived at ALEPPO in the night, they made him camp in one of the colleges.

And a command came from ‘ALPI, the lord of EGYPT, that they were to give two hundred zuze to each one of the men of MARDIN who had come in the service of the Shaikh, and send them back to their own country. And they were to bring the Shaikh and his company, and the Mongol Amir who was with him, and SHAMS AD-DIN, the ambassador of the lord of MARDIN, with very great care [551] to DAMASCUS, [travelling] during the night. Then the Sultan, having given these commands, left and went to EGYPT, and he had no expectation of meeting the Shaikh. And when the Shaikh had been brought to DAMASCUS, they took him into the fortress. And they shut up him, and the Mongol Amir who was with him, in one house, and the ambassador of the lord of MARDIN in another, and each couple of their servants in a house. And they appointed the young man who was the son of the Mongol Amir, and another young man who was the son of MAJD AL-MULK to the service of the king of the Amirs, and they rode with him and carried his armour. And they laid down the law that no man should ask his neighbour questions concerning Shaikh ‘ABD AR-RAHMAN, either as to where he was or how he was. And news of him hath been concealed until this day–the period of a complete year.

Now after the departure of Shaikh ‘ABD AR-RAHMAN to SYRIA it was said to the King of Kings, ‘AHMAD, concerning his brother KUNGHARTAI, ‘He holdeth converse with ‘ARGHON, the son of ‘ABAKA, and he is preparing so that one night he may capture thee when thou art asleep in thy tent that he may kill thee’. Therefore ‘AHMAD trembled and was terrified, and he hastily bound his brother KUNGHARTAI in fetters, and killed him. And ‘ARGHON heard of the murder of his uncle, and he was exceedingly sorrowful about it, and his heart was changed in respect of ‘AHMAD. And when ‘AHMAD knew that the heart of ‘ARGHON was not perfect towards him, he sent against him a captain of the host whose name was ‘ALINAKH ( ‘ALYANAKH?) together with a numerous army. And when ‘ALINAKH NAWIN advanced and arrived in KHORASAN, ‘ARGHON began to flee before him. And ‘ALINAKH believed in creature comforts, and he was negligent in respect of a complete devotion to war. And he began to eat, and to drink, and to get drunk. And one night ‘ARGHON attacked the camp of ‘ALINAKH and made a great slaughter, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that ‘ALINAKH and a few followers were able to save themselves from the sword.

Then when ‘AHMAD heard of the ill luck which had come upon ‘ALINAKH, he sent into all the countries and collected troops, MONGOLS, KURDS, LORAYE (LURS), and PERSIANS, and IBERIANS, and he set out against ‘ARGHON in KHORASAN. And when ‘ARGHON saw that he was unable to cope with the army of ‘AHMAD, he went up into one of the fortresses which were there, together with three hundred of his chosen men, and he began to be disturbed in his mind because to be shut up [552] in a fortress was not advantageous for him, ‘for’, he said, ‘every one who is shut up is [already] captured’. And he was afraid to go to ‘AHMAD.

And whilst he was in this position, a certain Amir, whose name was BOKA, a man of the treasury, who was greatly beloved by ‘ABAKA, the father of ‘ARGHON, said unto ‘AHMAD, ‘If thou wilt promise to do no harm to ‘ARGHON I myself will go and bring him to thee’. And ‘AHMAD promised and swore the oaths which the MONGOLS are wont to swear, saying, that if ‘ARGHON would come to him of his own free will he would do no injury whatsoever to him.

Then that Amir BOKA went up quickly to ‘ARGHON, and he made him come down and brought him to ‘AHMAD. And ‘AHMAD rejoiced greatly in him, and he made a feast [which lasted] three days. Then after the three days evil thoughts began to move in the mind of ‘AHMAD, and he set guards over ‘ARGHON, [viz.] ‘ALINAKH and his companions. And he said unto them, ‘1 am going to my mother KUTAI Khatun in ‘ADHORBIJAN, do ye keep strict watch on ‘ARGHON that he shall not escape, and bring ye him to me wheresoever I may be’. And in the night in which he wished to move he revealed his secret to some of the nobles, and he said unto them, ‘If I do not kill ‘ARGHON and the other princes, the kingdom will not be made sure for me’. These things he said, and at daybreak on the following morning he moved away. And he commanded that little by little ‘ARGHON should be brought to him.

Now when BOKA understood this, he delayed in the setting out with ‘AHMAD, and he remained [there] until the night. And he went about to all the princes and informed them of the secret (or, object) of ‘AHMAD, and that he was prepared to destroy all [of them]. And wrathful indignation seized the princes, and they rose up and came by night to the place where ‘ARGHON was kept under guard. And they brought him out, and clothed him in armour, and gave him weapons, and seated him on a horse. And they all went together to the place where ‘ALINAKH was sleeping, and they killed him in his tent, and they also killed the other nobles who were his companions. And the heralds cried out in the camp of the MONGOLS, ‘The princes have killed ‘ALINAKH and the nobles his companions. Therefore let every man remain where he is, and let him not move or depart to [another] place’. And when the day came the MONGOLS sent and brought certain men who are called ‘KARAWUNAS’, and who did not wish [553] for ‘AHMAD. And they pursued him and overtook him at [the abode of] his mother, and they seized him and bound him with fetters, and they kept him under strict guard, and they looted the camp of his mother and his wives.

Then ‘ARGHON and the rest of the princes arrived and they all agreed together that ‘ARGHON should stand at the head of the MONGOI.S, and that he should hold the kingdom in the place of ‘ABAKA his father, and that ‘AHMAD should be sent away because he was incapable of ruling.

And whilst the armies of the TATARS were engaged in war with each other, ‘ALPI, the lord of EGYPT, sent HAIDAR, the captain of the host, and with him three thousand mounted men, to the countr:r of SHABAKTAN. And they were to seize BAR SHEKAN (ISHKAN), the captam of the host, an Armenian athlete, and to bring him alive in a cage to EGYPT, because he made the ARABS who were going to SYRIA to suffer foul treatment. And having crossed the EUPHRATES they came and encamped against TINA, a fortress of the ARMENIANS. On the first day in which they began to fight, HAIDAR was wounded by an arrow and died, and his troops became stupefied with terror, and they abandoned the fortress and fled to SYRIA. And justice was avenged on HAIDAR, who robbed the Christians and spoiled and laid waste the countries of MELITENE and ZAID. These things took place in the days of summer in the year fifteen hundred and ninety- five of the GREEKS (A.D. 1284).