The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Chapter xviii.

How Kiacatu Seized the Sovereignty After Argon’s Death.

And immediately on Argon’s death, an uncle of his who was own brother1 to Abaga his father, seized the throne, as he found it easy to do owing to Casan’s being so far away as the Arbre Sec. When Casan heard of his father’s death he was in great tribulation, and still more when he heard of KIACATU’S seizing the throne. He could not then venture to leave the frontier for fear of his enemies, but he vowed that when time and place should suit he would go and take as great vengeance as his father had taken on Acomat. And what shall I tell you? Kiacatu continued to rule, and all obeyed him except such as were along with Casan. Kiacatu took the wife of Argon for his own, and was always dallying with women, for he was a great lechour. He held the throne for two years, and at the end of those two years he died; for you must know he was poisoned.1

NOTE 1. — KÁIKHATÚ, of whom we heard in the Prologue (vol. i. p. 35), was the brother, not the uncle, of Arghún. On the death of the latter there were three claimants, viz., his son Gházán, his brother Káikhatu, and his cousin Baidu, the son of Tarakai, one of Hulaku’s sons. The party of Káikhatu was strongest, and he was raised to the throne at Akhlath, 23rd July 1291. He took as wives out of the Royal Tents of Arghún the Ladies Bulughán (the 2nd, not her named in the Prologue) and Uruk. All the writers speak of Káikhatu’s character in the same way. Hayton calls him “a man without law or faith, of no valour or experience in arms, but altogether given up to lechery and vice, living like a brute beast, glutting all his disordered appetites; for his dissolute life hated by his own people, and lightly regarded by foreigners.” (Ram. II. ch. xxiv.) The continuator of Abulfaraj, and Abulfeda in his Annals, speak in like terms. (Assem. III. Pt. 2nd, 119–120; Reiske, Ann. Abulf. III. 101.)

Baidu rose against him; most of his chiefs abandoned him, and he was put to death in March–April, 1295. He reigned therefore nearly four years, not two as the text says.

1 Frer carnaus (I. p. 187).

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Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 16:24