[lx][i] Wang Kuo-wei (p. 74) prefers a variant “also came to join us”. However, nothing in the text justifies the “also”. Temüjin had friends among the Onggirat, including his father-in-law Deyi-sechen who in a passage just above this one had sent him a warning about an impending attack (SW p. 69). I believe that it is assumed here that the Onggirat were already talking about joining Temüjin when Qasar raided them.
[lxi][ii] “Emperor” (shang): literally “The One Above”, “The High One”, etc. The SW is notable for its anachronistic and inaccurate use of titles. Thus, Ong Qan is referred to as Ong Qahan, and once even as Ong Qan Qahan, even though he never held that title. Temüjin is referred to as Emperor from the beginning, even though he certainly was not an emperor during most of the period covered. His mother Hö’elün is referred to as the Queen Mother, a title she never held.
[lxii][iii] SW 78-9; SH 141; deR. IV– pp. 78-9. The Gen, Gegen, or Kan, a tributary of the Ergune.
[lxiii][iv] According to SW, p. 76, the Tülber is a tributary of the Gen. There is a presently a town called Telbür on the upper reaches of a river (unnamed on my map) which flows into the Gen near its confluence with the Ergune.
[lxiv][v] This is a conjectural reconstruction, by analogy with the name Cha’ur in this same fragment which is written identically except without the middle wu. Cha’u’ur and his deed are mentioned in YS 123, p. 3022.
[lxv][vi] The first two sentences could also be “...the charging troop rode off toward our forces. There was among [Jamuqa’s] troops a soldier named Taqaiqa.” (This would have to be the translation if the Chinese verb fu requires a destination.) I have chosen this version because I do not believe that Jamuqa’s troops went off directly to attack Temüjin’s forces, but rather to gather their own forces for the attack. If they had attacked immediately, there would not have been time to warn Temüjin. (A few lines further down we see wagon-yurts on their way to Jamuqa’s camp, indicating that Jamuqa’s force was still assembling.)
It is my interpretation that Taqaiqa was either unwillingly in Jamuqa’s camp, or else deliberately there as a spy, but could not risk going directly to Temüjin and needed to find an intermediary. When Cha’u’ur happened to come to visit a relative in Taqaiqa’s camp (not Taqaiqa himself), Taqaiqa took advantage of the opportunity to get word to Temüjin, knowing that Cha’u’ur was a supporter of Temüjin. “As if to urinate” is Wang Kuo-wei’s interpretation.
This is a difficult passage without exact parallels in the other available texts. While I believe that my translation is plausible and allowable, I cannot be completely confident about it.
[lxvi][vii] The Qulan or Qulan-ba’atur in SH 48 and 50, Yeke-cheren’s father, was the brother of Temüjin’s grandfather Bartan-ba’atur. Qulan was the youngest of Qabul’s sons (PH p. 125) and was much younger than Bartan, so he could easily have been alive and active at this time; we know (PH pp. 36, 78 ) that he fought in Temüjin’s forces in his first battle against Jamuqa. Qulan’s son Yeke-cheren was in Jamuqa’s camp, as were the Qorulas and the Jurkin, and in the YS biography of Cha’u’ur ( #123 p. 3022) “Qulan-Yerki” is named – presumably “Qulan the Jurkin”. It thus seems likely that Yesügei’s son mentioned here was in Jamuqa’s camp. (In Rashid vol. II p. 163 Qulan is described as a Tayyichi’ut, but also as one of the hui-yin irgen or “forest people”. Nekun-taishi, Temüjin’s uncle, is also so described; the meaning is unclear but probably unrelated to the “forest people” of the Mongol far northwest. On this, see also Pelliot, pp. 184, 112, 78-81, using a different version of Rashid).
[lxvii][viii] SW p. 78, citing Rashid, says that Qasar’s wife Altan was a Qorula, presumably the daughter of this Yesügei.
[lxviii][ix] Qara-Mergitei was a Qorula; according to Rashid (vol. II, pp. 162-3) he favored Temüjin even though the Qorulas were in Jamuqa’s coalition. The willingness of Qara-mergitei (who was apparently part of Jamuqa’s force) and Taqaiqa to inform Temüjin of Jamuqa’s is understandable if, as is likely, the Qorulas had been forcibly impressed into Jamuqa’s coalition (just as the Qonggirat under Terge and Emel are impressed by Temüjin at the end of this translated passage).
[lxix][x]The SW account of this event is by far the most detailed. In SH 141 only Qoridai is mentioned in a very terse account. In YS (#1 p. 8; #123 p. 3022) Taqaiqa, Cha’u’ur, and Qulan are mentioned in a slightly more detailed account. Rashid (vol. II, p. 162-3) mentions the Qorulas Qoridai and Qara-Mergitei and Qulan-ba’atur, whom he calls a Tayyichi’ut; he also mentions a second Mergitei who I think may have been an error for Yesügei, who is otherwise mentioned only in the SW. Perhaps the others thought the original story was too complicated and messy to repeat; alternatively, two different accounts of the same event may have been merged in the Altan Debter. Descendents of such heroes gained great advantage from their ancestor’s exploits, so there was a motive here for deliberate distortion.
[lxx][xi] Qailar-teni-qorqan: SW 80. Not mentioned in SH. In the Cha’u’ur biography (YS #123 p. 3022) this place is called “Qailar-*adai’irqun.” In Rashid it is “*Yedi-qorqan”. The Qailar is the present Hailar, which runs west into the Ergune, south of the Gen and the Tülber and close to the northeastern end of Lake Kulun. According to Wang Kuo-wei (p. 80), the Teni can be identified with the *Terge river flowing SW into the Qailar; this would seem to place the battle fairly far east on the upper Qailar near or on the west slope of the Khingan mountains. There is a town named Orqohan on the upper reaches of the Hailar.
[lxxi][xii] Ulqui-shireljin. SW pp. 81, 84; SH 153, 173; Pelliot Marco Polo (I p. 326); Rashid , vol. II, p. 165. According to de Rachewiltz (V. p. 64) this is the present Urgen River, S and W of Lake Buir, and its tributary the Seljin; the phrase means “Shireljin of the Ulqui”.
[lxxii][xiii] I cannot identify Bijan. There may be textual problems here; the previous sentence has no subject.
[lxxiii][xiv] Literally this word means “repeatedly”, which does not fit here, but the meanings “extremely” and “intensely” are also listed in the CWTTT. Earlier the word is also used to describe Ong Qan’s denunciation of Jaqa Gambu, where “repeatedly” also does not work. I think the sense is “made emphatic by reiteration”, “thoroughly”, “in every way”.
[lxxiv][xv] A’uchu-ba’atur is described as a Mongol in SH 142 and as a Tayyichi’ut in 144; he is killed with the rest of the Tayyichi’ut leaders in 148. He is called a Qadagin on vol. II, p. 165 of Rashid, and a Selji’üt elsewhere (see PH 158-62). This may be a case of shifting affiliations rather than an error on Rashid’s part.
[lxxv][xvi] Quduqa-beki: SH 142-4, 237-41. An Oyirat from the far northwest and one of the magicians responsible for the counterproductive snowstorm. After defeat he retreated to his homeland; later on he was first of the Oyirat to submit.
[lxxvi][xvii] Chiqürqei, Chekcher, Negen-guiltu: three mountains east of lakes Kulun and Buir and near the Qalqa river. SW 84, deR II-61, IV-80. Chekcher SH 61, 67, 94, and 142, (the Jeje’er heights in SH 166 and 185 is different and farther west); Rashid, vol. II, pp. 164, 183; PH 419, 426-428. Yesügei passed Mount Chekcher on the last fatal trip to find a bride for Temüjin. Chiqürqei is always paired with Chekcher; Negen-guiltu (in the SH, Enegen-guiletu) is seen only here.
[lxxvii][xviii] An exact knowledge of the geography of this passage, with its complicated movements and countermovements might illuminate Temüjin’s strategy and tactics. My guess is that Temujin took his stand near the Chin wall between the Guiler and the Qalqa rivers, and that Ong Qan came down from the north, traveling on the east side of Lakes Hulun and Buir. Comparison with the SH and Rashid is not very helpful, especially since SH 141-2 seems to merge at least two different battles in two different years. It is my assumption that the “Barrier” and “Aral barrier” mentioned here, “Utkiya” in the SH, and “Utgu” in Rashid are different names for, or different parts of, a complex fortification: the wall built by the Chin dynasty around 1190-96 A.D. to the west of the Khingan mountains and east of Lakes Kulun and Buir. (This wall should be distinguished both from the “Great Wall”, which was located much farther south and did not exist as such before the Ming, and from the “Wall of Genghis Khan” earlier built further west by the Khitan Liao.) The Chin did not extend their control as far into Mongolia as had the Khitan Liao, and it was in 1196 that the Chin alliance with the Tatar broke down, to the great advantage of Ong Qan and Temüjin.
The map on p. 50 of Vol. 6 of Tan’s historical atlas shows a complex of walls in this area; the physical geography is shown on ZJ, p. 142 and Sivin, p. 22.
See SW p. 84-6, 97, 99; Rashid vol. II, pp. 165-6; PH 409, 426; SH 141-2 “Utkiya”; deR IV-80; Brettschneider p. 47 fn111; Waley Travels p. 63. Pelliot planned a note on the Aral barrier in his section #24, but he did not live to write it. I have not seen any discussion of the names “Utgu” or “Utkiya”.
[lxxviii][xix] Qodu. Younger brother of Toqto’a; sometimes called his son. PH, pp. 285-7.
[lxxix][xx] Emel (possibly Terge-emel) was a Qonggirat leader, who here apparently commands A’uchu and Qodu. The Qonggirat had submitted to Temüjin after his defeat of Jamuqa at Qailar-teni-qorqan steppe, but Emel at least had reneged and rejoined Jamuqa. After Temüjin’s first battle with Ong Qan Emel and the Onggirat will be impressed into Temüjin’s forces (Section I of my translation).
[lxxx][xxi] Aral Barrier: “Aral” means “island” and can denote areas in general which are bounded by water, so perhaps the “Aral” barrier is the part of the wall between the upper Qalqa and upper Guiler. The Guiler cut through the Khingan Mountains from west to east and was an important strategic route into Chin territory.
[lxxxi][xxii] Köyiten steppe: Near Lake Kulun and Mounts Chekcher and Chiqürqei. SH pp. 143, 147; deR IV-80; Rashid, vol. II pp. 165, 171; SW p. 87.
[lxxxii][xxiii] Abji’a Köteger: SH 187, 191; deR VII-61; PH 409; Rashid, vol. II, p. 166; SW 87-8. Near sources of Qalqa River, ESE of lake Buir; winter camp of Qonggirat.
[lxxxiii][xxiv] Berke desert: SH 166; deR V-73; SW 88; Rashid, vol. II, p. 167. According to de Rachewiltz it is near the Jeje’er Heights (identified by Perlee with Bayan Ula) at approximately 47 degrees N and 109 degrees E. This is in the Mongol or Kereyit homeland, far west of most of the action of this passage.
[lxxxiv][xxv] Early in Temüjin’s career (while Altan and the other Jurkin were still following Temüjin), the Suldus Taqai served with Sugegei as an emissary from Temüjin to Ong Qan; he also may have led a contingent of Qongqiyat and Sügen in the first battle against Jamuqa. Here he is affiliated with Ong Qan and in opposition the Temujin, but in SH 186 he is rewarded by Temüjin “for his services” after the defeat of Ong Qan. Seemingly he switched his allegiance from Ong Qan (and the Jurkin) back to Temüjin, perhaps at a critical point in the conflict. PH pp.36, 127, 254-7; SW pp. 90-91, 129. ** called “nökör” = chin-shih = serviteur, PH 230/254
[lxxxv][xxvi] SH166 names “Qardakid, Ebügejin, Noyakin, Söge’etei, To’oril, and Qachi’un-beki” here, but de Rachewiltz (V-73) is uncertain about the first three names. Muqur Qaurun supported Temüjin in his first battle against Jamuqa, leading the Adargin PH 36; thus “Qadarkid” here might refer to the Adargin tribe (PH p. 36). I am not able to identify Qurqaila; a Qurqai is named following Taqai on SW p. 129. Perhaps the la graph is interpolated, and perhaps Taqai-qurqai is the name of one man.
[lxxxvi][xxvii] As if we were to say, “I heard it with my own ears”. A similar expression is seen in SH 173.
[lxxxvii][xxviii] Literally “My body/self is finished/complete.”
[lxxxviii][xxix] My interpretation of this passage differs from that of the YS (p.9), which I think makes sense of the text by unjustifiably introducing new material. I take Ong, realizing that his son intends to defy him, to be making a baleful prophecy about their pastures being burned. In the YS His speech ends “If you able to do this yourself without causing me grief, go ahead”. The narrator then reports that “Jamuqa then set fire to the Emperor’s pastures and departed,” which, besides introducing Jamuqa without any warrant in the text, seems like a very forced reading of the Chinese. (The YS in almost every case uses the same graphs as the SW to represent Mongol names, so I do not believe that it is based either on an independent reading of the Mongol Altan Debter or on a different Chinese translation of that book-- though it could be based on a different SW text.)
My reading is consistent with SH 167, where Ong Qan marks his displacement by Senggum with a baleful prophecy: “Heaven will not love us”. In Rashid ad-din (p. 168, also relying on the Altan Debter), Ong Qan’s despair at Senggum’s defiance is very clear, and he does not in any way condone Senggum’s proposal (as he grudgingly does in the YS). However, the burning of Temujin’s pastures is also mentioned by Rashid. This weakens my argument, but it is not impossible that the SW translators and Rashid made the same misinterpretation of a gnomic Mongol text. It seems very unlikely that Jamuqa and Senggum would have burned Temujin’s pastures immediately before trying to lure him into the marriage trap.
[lxxxix][xxx] Kichalai is called Kiratai in SH 168.
[xc][xxxi] Yeke Chaqaran is thought to be an error for, or an alternative form of Yeke-Cheren, son of Qulan and a distant cousin of Temüjin: SH 169. Rashid (vol. II, p.169, fn. 1) transliterates “ikeh-jaraan”, which would be closest to something like “Yeke-Chara’an” and could point to either of the Mongol forms. However, the phrase I have translated “attendant” here indicates that Yeke-Chaqaran was in Ong’s service and not attached to an affiliated tribe. It is, however, possible that Yeke-cheren had attached himself to Ong Qan personally after the destruction of the Jurkin as an effective group.** check nökör = chin-shih = serviteur in PH 230/254
[xci][xxxii] In SH 169 it is Yeke-cheren’s wife Alaq-it who silences him, and there is only one son, Narin-ke’en. I suspect a textual problem. The SH speech reads literally “What we said just now -- our tongues should be taken out – whose mouth can we stop?” Even the SH Mongol version is very laconic, and neither Onon nor de Rachewiltz is able to translate quite literally. In Rashid (vol. II, p. 169) the wife is not named . His version reads “They should cut your tongues out! What is this you just said? You’re letting the whole secret out!”
[xcii][xxxiii] The story of Badai and Kishilik is one of the very few from Temüjin’s early career to appear in Juvaini: pp. 35-6.
[xciii][xxxiv] The Chinese phrase t’ai-tzu literally means “heir apparent” or “crown prince” and is correctly thus used in SW pp. 170, 173 to refer to the Chin crown prince. In the Chin and Yuan, however, a ruler could have several “crown princes”, and Chinggis Qan’s four sons by Börte are thus designated (individually and collectively) in many places in the text. This presumably reflects differences in customary succession practices, and in fact everyone named as a “crown princes” in the SW did have the right to succeed someone, though none of them had been designated as sole heir at that point.
Pelliot (PH pp. 149-151, 294, 339) believes that this phrase in the SW is a Chinese interpretive mistranslation of the Mongol word taishi (later taiji) which is derived from a Chinese title given to favored Mongol leaders. This title might have been derived from the Chinese word for “crown prince” just mentioned, but might just as well have been derived from the Chinese word t’ai-shih -- usually translated “Grand Tutor”. In any case, Chinese titles were honorifically awarded to non-Chinese without much attention to their actual Chinese meaning, and the title taishi evolved independently in Mongol to designate the most eminent tribal leaders who were not qans.
Pelliot’s conclusion here can be questioned. In the SW (SW 73, 98, 101, 114, 140; PH 170, 422), the meaningless Chinese phonetic phrase t’ai-shih (different from the Chinese phrase meaning translated “Grand Tutor) is regularly used to represent the Mongol word taishi; the Chinese phrase t’ai-tzu translated “crown prince” used only to refer to Temüjin, his four sons by Börte, and the Chin crown prince. (“Yeke-noyan the fourth crown prince” on p. 162 is an epithet for Tolui, Chinggis Qan’s fourth son: “The Great Lord”.) The Chinese transcription of the word taishi is never used to refer to anyone of these crown princes.
The phrase t’ai-tzu “crown prince” is only used of Temüjin in direct speech; the chronicler himself always calls him “The Emperor.” The first appearance of this phrase (PH p. 170) may indeed simply mean “taishi”, but I think that the next two appearances (PH 294) probably mean “crown prince”. Ong’s adoption of Temüjin implied the possibility that Temüjin might be Ong’s successor – and it was Ong’s son Senggum’s awareness of this threat that led to Ong’s break with Temüjin.
My translation “prince” is the same as Pelliot’s, and very loosely covers all the meanings of taishi/ taiji and t’ai-tzu. The Chinese translator clearly made a distinction between the two terms. Pelliot is probably, but not certainly, right in concluding that the two different phrases in the Chinese translation did not represent two different words in the Mongol original, but were just two different Chinese interpretations of the Mongol word taishi. However, this interlingual Sino-Mongol text is not properly Chinese either – in the native Chinese tradition it was utterly unimaginable to have four crown princes.
[xciv][xxxv] Shireljin: tributary of the Ulqui: fn. 12 above.
[xcv][xxxvi] Mau heights: near the Qalqa, probably near Lake Buir. SH 170, 173; deR, VI-45; Rashid, vol. II, p.170; Onon, p. 77; SW, p. 96.
[xcvi][xxxvii] Mounts Hula’ut and Buraqut: south side of Mau heights. SH various forms 163, 170, 173, 177; deR V-71; Rashid, vol. II, p. 170, p. 176; SW p. 97.
[xcvii][xxxviii] Yeder and Taichu: In SH 170 the herdsmen are Yadir and Chigidei.
[xcviii][xxxix] Qaraljit steppe. South of Mau heights and Qalqa River. SW 98; SH 175, 191, 192; deR VI-45,; Onon p. 82; Poppe p. 41; Rashid, vol. II, pp. 172, 181.
[xcix][xl] Jirgen. These front-line troops of Ong Qan were probably the survivors of the rebellious Jurkin tribe (Temüjin’s near relatives): see PH pp. 56, 398. The Jurkin contended with Temüjin for leadership of the descendants of Qabul Qan. Their leaders were Seche-beki and Taichu of the line of Okin-barqaq and Quduqtu-beki, but any descendent of Qabul who accepted Jurkin leadership could be called a Jurkin – e.g., Buri-bökö, Qulan in note 8 above, and (according to me) Altan, Quchar, and Yeke-cheren in this episode.
The Jirgin only appear on the scene (SH 170) after the Jurkin have been destroyed as a tribe (SH 140). The Jurkin leaders Seche-beki and Taichu were killed in SH 136, and Buri-boko was killed in SH 140, but Altan, Quchar, and Yeke-cheren were still alive and in Ong Qan’s camp. Altan and Quchar had promised to help Ong Qan in Part F of my translation and it would seem odd if their part in the battle were not mentioned at all. They had only recently affiliated with Ong Qan after having been enemies and, according to Mongol custom, would normally have been placed on the front line, as the Jirgin were. None of the three appear in the narrative after this battle: their deaths are not narrated, but the deaths of Altan and Quchar at the hands of Temüjin are referred to in SH 246 and 255. (The only Jirgin leader named as such is the otherwise-unknown Qadaq, who appears in SH 170 and 185.)
On SW p. 98 Ong Qan’s front line troops are in fact called the Jurkin. These names are vary inconsistently transliterated: Onon and
de Rachewiltz transcribe the name Jurkin also as Yurki[n] (SH 49); de Rachewiltz (VI-p.46) transcribes Jirgen as Jirgin or Chirkin; Pelliot offers still other transliterations. Pelliot (p. 56) notes that some Kereyit leaders and their troops were in fact Mongols. See also deR. VII-61.
[c][xli] In SH 150 the Dongqayit and the Tümen-Tübegen, Kereyit sub-tribes or Kereyit vassal tribes, follow Jaqa-gambu when the latter affiliates with Temüjin after having separated from his brother, Ong Qan. (PH 224, SW 61; the version of this story seen in Rashid is significantly different: pp. 123-4). In Temüjin’s first battle with Jamuqa he had already been supported by the Tübegen Kereyit, led by the Mongol Bültechü-ba’atur: PH pp. 36, 54-5. Togan has called attention to the confusion in the sources about Jaqa-gambu’s highly significant role in Temüjin’s career. See also Rashid, pp. 153, 159; SH 186, 208.
[ci][xlii] Ornu’u-*kelgelge. SH 191, 192, 175; deR VI-50; SW 98; Onon 82. The Ornu’u probably the area inside a bend in the Qalqa; Kelgelge probably is the Keltegei-qada “jagged cliffs” near the Ornu’u.
[cii][xliii] The present Qalqa, which runs into lake Buir from the southeast. SW 98; SH 175-6, 191-2, 208. Hambis, L. “Survivance de Toponyms”.
[ciii][xliv] In SH 176 the Onggirat leaders are Terge and Emel (or possibly one man, Terge-emel).
[civ][xlv] The Onggirat customarily married their daughters to the Mongols. I believe that Temüjin is threatening to sever relations with the Onggirat by killing the Mongols’ Onggirat wives. In SH 177 Ong Qan (during his flight) is said is said to have given his daughter in marriage to the Merkit Toqto’a as “a face”: i.e., to gain the protection of an in-law relationship. The phrase I have translated “hostage” literally means “endowment, talent”, which I think here also has the sense of “pledge”. See deR VI, pp. 52-3.
[cv][xlvi] Tüngge: a marsh or lake near the Qalqa and lake Buir. The Mongol SH 177 calls it the Tüngge qoroqan “stream”. SH 177, SW 100, deR VI-50, Rashid, vol. II, p. 173, PH 381.
[cvi][xlvii] Torqa-qorqa. SW 100, PH #23, Rashid vol. II, p. 173. According to SW, a different name for Tüngge.
[cvii][xlviii] It is often claimed that the SH is not history at all, but an epic or heroic poem. Waley, Ratchnevsky, and Pelliot, in fact, seem to be trying to outdo one another in denigrating the SH as a historical source. Waley states (pp. 7-8 ) without any argument that “Contrary to some scholars I regard the historical value of the Secret History as almost nil...” (Waley attributes most of the SH to about 1250 A.D., which means that it took the Mongols only about five decades to completely obscure historical reality). According to Pelliot, the Secret History “ne peut pas etre consideree comme un ouvrage historique” (PH p. xiii). The captured bride was a common figures in the actual life of the Mongols, but the story of Börte’s abduction and rescue is described by Pelliot as a “recit romanesque” (PH p.413.) Ratchnevsky says that the author of the SH “was obviously not concerned to offer a coherent picture of the course of history; his interest focused on the deeds of his heroes”, going on to say that the SH “closely resembles and epic poem in which imaginary dialogue, romantic embellishments, and folkloric motifs serve to dramatize the events described” (pp. xiv-xv).
In two places heroic elements absent from the SW and SH appear in Rashid’s version of the story (PH p. 381 and Ratchnevsky 29). Astonishingly, Pelliot uses this as evidence against the Mongol version, where heroic elements do not appear! (Both the Persian and the Buddhist late Mongol versions of Temüjin’s story are much more filled with heroic poetry, ruminations about divine providence, and magical events than are either the SW or the SH.)
The SH is a composite work. Some of the elements included were originally “folkloric” or “heroic”, but the overwhelming tendency of the work is to minimize these elements.
[cviii][xlix] I have not seen much discussion of two interesting questions about the SW. First, to what degree is the SW only a partial translation of the Altan Debter? Hambis (PH pp. xiv-xv) has noted that Rashid and the YS both relate stories about Temüjin’s ancestors which are not found in the SW or the SH. Are there more deletions than this? Second, why were there two distinctly different Mongol chronicles? Were they competing accounts, or were they produced entirely independently at two different places and times?
[cix][l] I have not made any study of early Chinese colloquial bai-hua, but to me the language of the SW, while clearly not good literary Chinese, does not seem like fluent colloquial Chinese either. I found certain passages so difficult that at times I came to doubt my own command of the Chinese language, but in general I found the parallel YS versions quite intelligible when they were available. However, the most difficult SW passages are often eliminated or very briefly summarized in the YS (e.g. Taqaiqa’s story in section B above, or the dialogue in Yeke-Chaqaran’s family in section H), and in at least one case I think the YS misconstrues the SW with a highly interpretive translation: see note 29 above. (If I am correct, the YS should only very carefully be used to correct or supplement the SW).
[cx][li] Ratchnevsky (pp. xiv-xv, p. 153) claims that the SH author was an enemy of Temüjin and tried to put him in a bad light. There are multiple grounds for rejecting this conclusion. I find it very hard to imagine how any Mongol could have nurtured an enmity to Temüjin between 1206, when he gained almost total control, and his death in1228. In 1206 some of his surviving enemies fled to Qara-qitai with Küchülük, whereas others fled to the west. All others were expected to give active and unwavering support to the new Chinggis Qan, one of whose chief goals was the pursuit and destruction of these enemies. While it can be assumed that the Chinese and Persians in the Mongol service had sharply mixed feelings about their masters, I do not think that Mongols had either the motive or the capacity for this kind of protracted secret opposition.
Some of Ratchnevsky’s arguments here are grounded on his erroneous belief that the Mongol records are, or should be, oral epic poems. Chinggis Qan was an innovator whose armies were organized on the non-heroic, rational chain-of-command principle. The Mongols also had an aversion to puffery and the SH chronicler felt no need to show Temujin/ Chinggis Qan as perfect or superhuman. The simplicity of the Mongol titles and court protocols were noted by many observers, and to the Mongols the grandiose titles of the doomed Khwarizmian and Jurchen Chin rulers could only be perceived as pathetic evasions of reality. Chinggis Qan’s great success was its own justification, and did not need to be buttressed either with grandiose titles or stories of superhuman prowess.
[cxi][lii] Hambis, 1975, p. 7.
[cxii][liii] Background of the Tatar revolt: PH 194-199. A later revolt by the Juyin troops guarding the Chin northwestern frontier is reported by Buell. For whatever reason, the Chin seemed to be taking a more aggressive stance on their frontier during this period, consistently alienating the allies guarding their border.
[cxiii][liv] For example, Sorqan Shira and his family, Suldus subjects of the Tayyichi’ut, early on took an enormous risk in helping Temüjin escape from his captors; even so, from fear of bloody retribution they were quite late to join Temüjin’s forces. SH 82-87, 146, 219; PH p.157.
[cxiv][lv] PH pp.139-41.
[cxv][lvi] See note 41 above.
[cxvi][lvii] The Mangqut and the Uru’ut had fought for Jamuqa during his first battle with Temüjin, but had shifted their allegiance to Temüjin immediately after the battle (SH 130). However, they are not mentioned in the intervening period which includes the battle against Jamuqa the Gur Qan. When they serve as Temüjin’s vanguard in SH 170, they are perhaps finally redeeming the pledge made long before.
[cxvii][lviii] In SH 183 (SW p. 127), Qasar leaves his family with Ong Qan and joins Temüjin between Temüjin’s first and second battles with Ong Qan. He then sends a deceiving message offering support to Ong Qan, thereby setting up Temüjin’s surprise attack. It has been noted that Ong Qan’s willingness to believe Qasar’s offer suggests that, like most of Temüjin’s other relatives, Qasar had been in Ong Qan’s forces during the first attack on Temüjin. (See Ratchnevsky p. 99, PH p. 172.)
[cxviii][lix] Fletcher (VII, p. 238-9; IX, 16-24) sees bloody intra-familial strife at every succession (“tanistry”) as a steppe institution, rather than as a breakdown of order. I think that the two Mongol models of order seen in the SH (cooperation vs. hierarchy) can be understood in terms of Leach’s analysis (pp.197-212) of the gumsa-gumlao contrast in highland Burma: one pole being the strong, murderous unifying qans, and the other being a fragmented system with many weak, ever-feuding leaders. Examples can be proliferated, not only from steppe leaders such as Mo-tun of the Hsiung-nü and the founders of the Jurchen Chin and other steppe dynasties, but even from the early years of the San-kuo Wei and the T’ang dynasties.
The Secret History’s insistence on hierarchal unity is not much different from the Chinese view. For example, Mo Tzu sec. 11, “Shang T’ung Shang”: “Before there were any laws and government, every man’s view of justice was different. One man had one view, two men had two views, ten men had ten views – the more men, the more views of justice. Moreover, each man believed that his own view was correct and disapproved of those of others, so that people spent their time condemning one another.” (My translation: Mei p. 110-111).
Using African and Polynesian evidence, Sagan goes on to generalize on the murder of kin as a necessary stage in the process of state-formation; on this, see also Gellner’s introduction to Khazanov.
Brettschneider, E., Medieval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources, London, 1888.
Buell, Paul D, “The Role of the Sino-Mongolian Frontier Zone in the Rise of Chinggis-Qan”, pp. 63-76, Studies on Mongolia, ed. Schwarz, Bellingham, 1979.
Chung-wen Ta Tz’u-tien, Taipei, 1973.
de R: de Rachewiltz, Igor, The Secret History of the Mongols, Papers in Far Eastern History, Canberra, 1971-1985. (IV: vol. 10, Sept. 74, pp. 55-82; V: vol. 13, Mar. 1976, pp. 41-75; VI: vol. 16, Dept. 1977, pp. 27-65; VII: vol. 18, Sept 1978, pp. 45-80.)
Fletcher, Joseph F., Studies in Chinese and Islamic Inner Asia, Variorum, 1995.
Hambis, L., Gengis-khan, Paris, 1973.
Hambis, L., “Survivance de Toponyms”, Melanges de sinologie offert a M. P. Demieville, Paris, 1974.
Hambis, L., “Un episode mal connu de l’histoire de Gengis-khan”, Journal des Savants, January-March 1975, pp. 5-46.
Juvaini, Ata-malik (tr. Boyle), Genghis Khan, U. of Washington, 1997.
Khazanov, A. P., Nomads and the Outside World, Wisconsin, 1994.
Leach, Edmund, Political Systems of Highland Burma, Beacon, 1954.
Lindner, Rudi Paul, “What was a Nomadic Tribe?”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1982.
Mo Tzu: The works of Motze, Confucius Publishing Company, Taipei, 1976: English translation by Y.P. Mei, and modern Chinese translation by Shih Ch’ao.
Onon, Urgunge (tr.), The Secret History of the Mongols, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1990.
Pelliot, Paul, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, 1959, 1963, 1973 (3 vols.)
PH: Pelliot, Paul, and Hambis, L., Histoire des Campagnes de Gengis Khan, Leiden, 1951.
Poppe, Nicholas, “On Some Geographical Names in the Jami al-Tawarix”, HJAS, #19, 1951, pp 33-51.
Rashid ad-din, Shi Ji, tr. Xu Da-jun and Zhou Jien-qi, Beijing, 1983. (Translated from the Russian.)
Ratchnevsky, Paul, Genghis Khan, Blackwell, 1991.
Sagan, Eli, At the Dawn of Tyranny, Vintage, 1993.
Sivin, Nathan (ed.), The Contemporary Atlas of China, Boston, 1988.
SW: Wang Kuo-wei, Meng-ku Shih-liao Ssu-chung, Peking, 1934.
Tan Qi-xiang, The Historical Atlas of China, vol. VI, Beijing, 1982.
Togan, Isenbike, Flexibility and Limitation in Steppe Formations, Brill, 1998.
Togan, A. Z. V, “The Composition of the History of the Mongols by Rashid-al-din”, Central Asian Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1962.
Waley, Arthur, Travels of an Alchemist, London, 1931.
Waley, Arthur, The Secret History of the Mongols and other pieces, London, 1966.
Wang Kuo-wei: see SW.
YS: Yuan Shih, Sung Lien ed., Beijing, 1976.
Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Ditu, Xinhua Shudian Ditu Chubanshe, Beijing, 1974.
ZJ: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Fensheng Ditu Ji, Xinhua Shudian Ditu Chubanshe, Beijing, 1974.