The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo

Chapter vi.

How Argon After the Battle Heard that His Father was Dead, and Went to Assume the Sovereignty as was His Right.

After Argon had gained this battle over Caidu’s brother Barac and his host, no long time passed before he had news that his father Abaga was dead, whereat he was sorely grieved.1 He made ready his army and set out for his father’s Court to assume the sovereignty as was his right; but he had a march of 40 days to reach it.

Now it befel that an uncle of Argon’s whose name was ACOMAT SOLDAN (for he had become a Saracen), when he heard of the death of his brother Abaga, whilst his nephew Argon was so far away, thought there was a good chance for him to seize the government. So he raised a great force and went straight to the Court of his late brother Abaga, and seized the sovereignty and proclaimed himself King; and also got possession of the treasure, which was of vast amount. All this, like a crafty knave, he divided among the Barons and the troops to secure their hearts and favour to his cause. These Barons and soldiers accordingly, when they saw what large spoil they had got from him, were all ready to say he was the best of kings, and were full of love for him, and declared they would have no lord but him. But he did one evil thing that was greatly reprobated by all; for he took all the wives of his brother Abaga, and kept them for himself.2

Soon after he had seized the government, word came to him how Argon his nephew was advancing with all his host. Then he tarried not, but straightway summoned his Barons and all his people, and in a week had fitted out a great army of horse to go to meet Argon. And he went forth light of heart, as being confident of victory, showing no dismay, and saying on all occasions that he desired nought so much as to take Argon, and put him to a cruel death.3

NOTE 1. —Ábáká died at Hamadan 1st April 1282, twelve years after the defeat of Borrak.

NOTE 2. — This last sentence is in Pauthier’s text, but not in the G.T. The thing was a regular Tartar custom (vol. i. pp. 253, 256), and would scarcely be “reprobated by all.”

NOTE 3. — Acomat Soldan is AHMAD, a younger son of Hulaku, whose Mongol name was Tigúdar, and who had been baptized in his youth by the name of Nicolas, but went over to Islam, and thereby gained favour in Persia. On the death of his brother Ábáká he had a strong party and seized the throne. Arghún continued in sullen defiance, gathering means to assist his claim.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/polo/marco/travels/book4.6.html

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