The Travels of Marco Polo/Book 4/Chapter 5

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How Abaga Sent His Son Argon in Command Against King Caidu[edit]

Abaga the Lord of the Levant had many districts and provinces bordering on King Caidu's territories. These lay in the direction of the Arbre Sol, which the Book of Alexander calls the Arbre Sec, about which I have told you before. And Abaga, to watch against forays by Caidu's people sent his son Argon with a great force of horsemen, to keep the marches between the Arbre Sec and the River Jon. So there tarried Argon with all his host.[1]

Now it came to pass that King Caidu assembled a great army and made captain thereof a brother of his called Barac, a brave and prudent man, and sent his host under his brother to fight with Argon.[2]

(Barac and his army cross the Jon or Oxus and are totally routed by Argon, to whose history the traveller now turns.)





  1. 1.0 1.1 The Government of this frontier, from Kazwin or Rei to the banks of the Oxus, was usually, under the Mongol sovereigns of Persia, confided to the heir of the throne. Thus, under Hulaku it was held by Abaka, under Abaka by Arghun, and under Arghun by Ghazan. (See Hammer, passim.)

    We have already spoken amply of the Arbre Sol (vol. i. p. 128 seqq.).

  2. 2.0 2.1 Barac or Borrak, who has been already spoken of in ch. iii. of the Prologue (vol. i. p. 10), was no brother of Kaidu's. He was the head of the house of Chaghatai, and in alliance with Kaidu. The invasion of Khorasan by Borrak took place in the early part of 1269. Arghun was only about 15, and his father Abaka came to take the command in person. The battle seems to have been fought somewhere near the upper waters of the Murghab, in the territory of the Badghis (north of Herat). Borrak was not long after driven from power, and took refuge with Kaidu. He died, it is said from poison, in 1270.