Het'um the Historian's

History of the Tartars

[The Flower of Histories of the East]


[Book Three]

Chapter 32

Abagha, Son of Hulegu, Who Succeeded to the Lordship of His Father

Abagha was a wise and capable man who wielded authority successfully. However, he did not want to become a Christian, as his father had. Instead, he was an idolater and always stirred up wars with his neighbors. [This meant that he was unable to defeat the Sultan of Egypt, whose power, therefore, increased. The Sultan of Egypt also did a clever thing; for he sent his messengers to the Tartars in the realms of Komania and Russia, making peace and friendship with them and ordaining that if Abagha came into Egypt, they would invade his lands and make war on him. oe33] Consequently, Abagha never attempted [g53] to attack the kingdom of Egypt. Thus the Sultan of Egypt was easily able to conquer the country of Syria, and thus did the Christians lose dominion over Antioch and many other fortresses in Syria [as is written in the chronicle book of the Holy Land, oe44].


Chapter 33

How the Sultan of Egypt Defeated the King of Armenia, Capturing One of His Sons and Killing the Other

Following this, the Sultan of Egypt, Bntuxtar [al-Malik Rukn-ad-Din Bibars Bunduqdar, or Baibars], grew so strong that he also destroyed the kingdom of [Cilician] Armenia. It happened that the King of Armenia had gone to the Tartars with a large force, and the Sultan of Egypt had learned about this. So he sent his troops to attack the kingdom of Armenia. Now when the Armenian King's sons learned about the coming of the Saracens, they assembled all who could bear arms, went against the Egyptians, and started to battle successfully. But in the end, the Armenian force was defeated, and one of the King's sons was taken captive while the other was killed in battle. The Saracens raided throughout the kingdom of Armenia, polluting all the plains with the sword and taking immeasurable spoils, which was an enormous loss for the Christians. Thereafter, the might of the enemy increased, while that of the King of Armenia declined greatly. Although the King always tried to destroy the power of the Saracens, and many times endeavored to incite Abagha and the Tartars against them, Abagha repeatedly refused, since he was warring with neighbors. Thus forsaken, the Armenian King sent to the Sultan of Egypt to negotiate with him so that his son [g54] be freed from prison. The Sultan agreed on the condition that his own friend, Sankolasar [Sonqor al-Achqar], whom the Tartars were holding in captivity, be returned to him and that the fortresses of the city of Aleppo be handed over to him. Thus the Sultan returned the King's son and received back his friend, and the King turned over to the Sultan the fortress of Tempezak' [Darbsak] and at the Sultan's request had two other fortresses demolished.

After these events, King Het'um, of blessed memory, who had reigned for fifteen years, entrusted the kingdom to his son, lord Levon, who had been freed from captivity in Egypt. Het'um himself forswore this vainglorious life and became a cleric, styled Makar. After a short while he died peacefully in the year 1270.


Chapter 34

How Abagha Entered Egypt and Destroyed the Country of the Turks

The Armenian King, Levon, ruled wisely and with an alert mind, beloved by his own people and by the Tartars. With all his heart he labored to destroy the Saracens. Now it came to pass that Abagha made peace with his neighbors, with whom he had been inimical for a long time. Then the Sultan of Egypt entered the country of the Turks, killed many Tartars and conquered many villages and districts. A certain Saracen, named P'arwana, who was in the country of the Turks and was head of the Tartars, had revolted from Abagha and was trying to ruin the Tartars or cause them to desert. When Abagha heard about this, he arrived there in fifteen days. When the Sultan of Egypt heard of the coming of the Tartars, [g55] he wanted to flee the land of the Turks, but was unable. For the Tartars had set out quickly and attacked the rearmost wing of the army at a place called Basplang [Lepas Blanc (the pass of Aqchai Bogazi)], at the approaches of Egypt. The Tartars attacked and seized two thousand Saracen cavalry and many goods. They also seized five thousand Kurdish families dwelling in that district. However, when Abagha reached the borders of the country of Egypt, he did not want to advance farther because of the heat, for that district was extremely warm. Furthermore the Tartars and their beasts which had come a very far distance in a hurry, were unable to bear the toil and heat. So Abagha returned to the country of the Turks, and he routed and destroyed all the rebellious places and those which had surrendered to the Sultan. As for the traitor P'arwana and his cohorts, Abagha had him cut to bits, according to Tartar custom. He then ordered that at every meal some of the flesh of the traitor P'arwana be set out. And Abagha and the nobility ate of this. Such was the manner in which King Abagha wreaked vengeance on the traitor P'arwana.


Chapter 35

The Poisoning of the Sultan of Egypt

Having worked his will against the country of the Turks, and when the Tartars were loaded with the loot and riches they had taken from the rebel Saracens, Abagha summoned the King of Armenia and offered the realm of the Turks to him, for [Levon] and his father had always been loyal to the Tartars. The wise and judicious King of Armenia thanked him for the gift, but rejected it on the grounds that he was unable to direct two kingdoms [g56]. For the Sultan of Egypt was extremely powerful and was plotting the destruction of the kingdom of Armenia. And the Armenian King advised Abagha to set in order the affairs of the realm of the Turks before departing so that no Saracen would be able to establish lordship there and so that there would remain no threat of rebellion. Abagha accepted the King's advice and forbade Saracens from holding the lordship in the country of the Turks.

When this was done, the King of Armenia beseeched him regarding freeing the Holy Land from the infidels. Abagha so promised, simultaneously advising the Armenian King to send emissaries to the Pope and to the orthodox kings regarding this matter. [Abagha ordered the King of Armenia to send to the Pope and to the other kings and lords of the Christians of the West, that they should come or send their men to help the Holy Land [oe46] and to keep the lands and cities that they should conquer. Then the King of Armenia departed and returned to his land and sent his messengers to the Pope and to the kings of the West. oe47] Abagha arranged what was necessary and returned to the kingdom of K'orasten [Khurasan] where he had left his family.

Bntuxtar, who had done such wicked things to the Tartars, was poisoned to death in Damascus. The Christians of the East were delighted by this, while the Saracens were saddened by the loss of the brave sultan. Bntuxtar was succeeded by his son, Melik-zade [al-Malik as Said Nasir-ad-din Muhammed, sultan 1277-79]. After a short while he was expelled, and Ershi [al-Mansur Saif-ad-Din Kalawun al-Elfy, 1279-90] became Sultan.


Chapter 36

How the Tartar General, Mangodan, Fled Due to Fear

When Abagha was planning to war against the Sultan of Egypt, he sent his brother, Mangodan [Mangu Timur, d.1282], to the country of Syria with 30,000 Tartar troops, to occupy it and give it to the Christians, [and he himself [Abagha] would follow after. If the Sultan came against them, they should bravely fight with him. And if the Sultan dared not come to battle, he commanded that they should occupy the lands and cities and deliver them into the hands of the Christians to keep. oe47] [Abagha also notified] the King of Armenia [g57]. The latter arrived at once with his many troops, and they entered the country of Syria together, looting everywhere as far as the city of Homs, known to many at the time as Semel [la Chalemelle], located in the center of Syria. Before they arrived at the city, there was a plain on which the Sultan had amassed his forces to oppose the Tartars. The Saracens waged a fierce battle with the Tartars and Christians. The King of Armenia headed the right wing. He attacked the left wing of the Sultan of Egypt's army and put it to flight as far as the city of Hams, and even farther [and three leagues beyond, oe47]. Then Almax [Alinaq, a Georgian general], with his Tartar troops, trounced the other side and sent the Saracens fleeing to the city of Dara [Qara]. But Mangu Timur—never having seen battle—encountered some Saracens called Vitin [Bedouins], and was terrified, stopped operations, and abandoned the field of victory [leaving the King of Armenia and the [Georgian] constable who had gone in pursuit of their enemies. oe48].

Now when the Sultan, who thought everything was lost, saw the field of battle empty and completely deserted, he went up onto a mountain, fortified it [with his 4,000 troops, oe48], and captured the place. But when the Armenian King returned from dispersing the enemy, and did not find Mangu Timur, he was astonished and went back after him. Similarly, Alinaq who had also fought the Saracens, waited two days for Mangu Timur—for he knew that the latter had set out—then he hastened to go after him, leaving off his conquering. They rode as far as the banks of the Euphrates, but could not overtake Mangu Timur. After this, the Tartars returned to their place. Now the King of Armenia and his troops suffered greatly on that journey [g58], for from the length of the trip and scarcity of goods, the horses were thoroughly worn out and were unable to advance. Thus, going along separated from one another via untrodden places, they were mercilessly attacked by the Saracens of the area. Most of the army was lost and almost all the vassals. This unfortunate event occurred in the year 1282.

When Abagha-Khan was informed about all of this, he gathered his multitudinous troops and had them prepare [to enter the realm of Egypt, oe48]. But just then some Saracen came to the kingdom of Persia and gave many bribes to some of Abagha's intimate servants and got them to agree to administer poison to Abagha and his brother, which they did. Both of them died after eight days, the truth of the matter being confused by those very villains. This poisoning occurred in the year 1282.


Chapter 37

Teguder, Hulegu's Second Son, Who Succeeded Abagha on the Throne

Following the death of Abagha, the Tartars assembled and set up Abagha's brother, Teguder, as their lord. In his youth, Teguder had been baptized Nicholaus, but later in life, he cleaved to the Saracens whom he loved, and wanted to be styled Muhammad-Khan. He tried by all means to convert the Tartars to the faith of Muhammad, gave gifts and honors to those whom he did not dare to force; as a result, countless Tartars became Saracens. Then [this son of the devil, oe49] ordered that all Christian churches be destroyed [g59], and that Christians not dare to preach the laws or doctrines of Christ any longer. He had Muhammad's laws and doctrines preached publicly. He had the Christians banished, and he had the Christian churches of Tabriz totally destroyed. He sent to the Sultan of Egypt and established a peace treaty with him, and vowed to force all Christians in his lordship to become Saracens, or else have them beheaded. Whereupon the Saracens filled with every joy, while the Christians, were overcome with sadness and dread. And there was nothing they could do but call upon the mercy of God to help them, for they experienced very great persecution.

Furthermore, Muhammad-Khan himself sent to the King of Armenia and the King of Georgia and to other Christians ordering them to come before him at once. However, the Christians resolutely decided to die willingly rather than to submit to the impious order [to convert], for there was no other sentiment. While the faithful were so anguished, behold, God, Who never abandons those who place their hopes in Him, gave solace to all the Christians. For that Muhammad-Khan's brother, and his nephew, Arghun, who were opposed to such wicked deeds, went to Qubilai, Great Khan of the Tartars, and informed him that Muhammad-Khan had forsaken the way of their forbears, become a Saracen, and was taking the rest of the Tartars along with him.

As soon as Qubilai-Khan heard this, he became extremely agitated, and sent an order to Muhammad-Khan to pull back and desist from such wickedness or else he would come against him. But Muhammad-Khan ignored the Khan's command and, filled with anger and rage, killed his own brother. Wanting to slay Arghun as well, he went against him with a huge [g60] force. Arghun, unable to resist, fled to the mountains and holed up in a secure fortress. Muhammad-Khan came and besieged this with his troops until Arghun surrendered to him, on condition that he and his lordship be left unharmed. Muhammad-Khan entrusted Arghun to his Constable [Alinaq] and his grandees and returned to Tabriz, where he had left his sons and women, ordering the Constable and his confidants to kill Arghun and to send the head to him.

But the righteous judgement of God, Who preserves the innocent and those who strive for true faith, saw to it that one righteous liberator exist among the impious murderers. This was a brave man, [Buqa], motivated by compassion, who had been nourished by Abagha, Arghun's father. During the night, he raised his sword and struck down the Constable and his co-conspirators. Then he set up Arghun—who was saved from death—as lord and governor of all. Whereupon some through affection and some through fear recognized him as their lord. When this was accomplished, [Arghun] hastened after Muhammad-Khan, seized him, and had him cut to pieces. And so perished this enemy of the faith and the faithful, after a lengthy, unjust misrule of the country [in the second year of his reign, oe50] [1284].


Chapter 38

How Abagha's Son, Arghun, Became Lord of the Tartars after Teguder's Death

In 1284 A.D., Arghun sent ambassadors to the Great Khan of the Tartars to relate all that had transpired. The Great Khan was much pleased at this and sent some senior members of his house [g61] to establish the lordship of Arghun. Thereafter he was honored by everyone and called Khan. The handsome Arghun loved the Christians and looked after his lordship bravely and wisely. And he restored the churches ruined by Muhammad-Khan. Therefore the kings of Armenia and Georgia, together with other Christians, went and beseeched him that the Holy Land be taken through his plan and aid. He consulted about this and then replied that he would do whatever was possible according to their wishes, after making peace with his neighbors. Although he wanted to fulfill his promise, he died in the fourth year of his reign [1284-91]. He was succeeded by his brother, a useless man named Rheghayid [Geikhatu], as we shall explain.


Chapter 39

Arghun's Successor, Geikhatu

After Arghun-Khan's death in 1288 [1289, oe50], his brother Geikhatu succeeded him [1291-95], a man who had no laws or faith and was also powerless in arms. Giving himself up entirely to debauchery and sin, he led the life of a dumb beast, a slave to the belly. He reigned for six loathsome years and was held contemptible in the eyes of others until, at last, he was strangled [drowned, oe51] by his nobles.

After his death, his relative Payton [Baidu] seized the lordship. This Baidu was a believer in Christ, and a just man. And he granted the Christians many favors. However, he was not to live long [g62].


Chapter 40

How Baidu, Lord of the Tartars, Died

After the death of Geikhatku, Baidu reigned. He built many Christian churches, and stopped the preaching of the faith of Muhammad among the Tartars. But because many had already converted, they were displeased by that command. Thus they sent secret messengers to Ghazan, Arghun's son, promising him the lordship if he would deny Christ, which he did. Now Baidu assembled his hosts and went to arrest Ghazan. But when he reached the place of battle, he was deserted by all the believers in Muhammad. He fled and died in flight.


Chapter 41

How Arghun's Son, Ghazan, Seized the Lordship, and Concerning His Deeds

After the death of Baidu, Ghazan became lord of the Tartars [1295-1304], and true to his promise, he was hostile toward Christians. However, after establishing his authority, he began honoring and being affectionate to Christians, and he did away with those people who had lured him to the Saracens' faith [he put to death all those who had advised him to harm the Christians, oe51]. Then he ordered his Tartars to raise arms, and he called up the King of Armenia, the King of Georgia and other Christians, for he planned to war against the Sultan of Egypt.

In spring Ghazan-Khan went [to Baghdad, oe52] where he assembled his troops and prepared to go against the city of Homs in the center of Syria, where the Sultan of Egypt, Melik'nasr, and his troops awaited him [g63]. [Ghazan-Khan learned that the Sultan was coming to fight him, and therefore he did not delay by taking castles and towns, but went straight to the place where the Sultan was, encamping a day's journey distant in a meadow with plenty of grass. oe52] where he ordered his men to rest with their horses, so that they might recuperate from the fast pace of the march. With Ghazan was a Saracen servant of the Sultan named Galpak' [Qipchaq] [who had been ruler of Damascus and had fled from the Sultan out of fear. oe52] Ghazan-Khan had received Qipchaq affectionately and trusted him greatly. Qipchaq was, however, a traitor, for he [secretly] advised the Sultan to quickly commence battle since Ghazan's horses were very fatigued. The Sultan followed this advice and came in a hurry. Ghazan's spies had informed him of this, and telling [the few] troops [at hand] to battle courageously, they went before the enemy. Ghazan went against the Saracens more bravely than a lion. [When Ghazan-Khan realized that he could not fight, and that his men could not reach him in time, he stayed where he was. oe52] He ordered his men to dismount from their horses and to form themselves into a wall and to shoot arrows at the enemy coming furiously against them. In this fashion the Tartars, united, shot arrows and downed many enemy horses, while those Saracens who were coming behind [the advance-guard] stumbled [on the horses]. Thus from that multitude of Saracens only a few escaped alive. Many Saracens were left mortally wounded by the arrows, and died.

When the Sultan heard about this, he hastily drew back; meanwhile Ghazan, informed of this development, ordered his men to mount and to courageously attack the enemy. He himself went into battle first [with the small band of men he had with him, until all his commanders could join the battle, oe53] and commenced killing the enemy. The Tartars battled from sunrise until noon. Thereupon the Sultan, unable to resist the bold bravery of Ghazan, turned to flight, and all the Saracens with him. Ghazan pursued, killing the enemy until the darkness of night [g64]. So severe was the blow dealt to the Saracens that the country filled up with corpses. After the battle that night Ghazan rested in joy and delight [in a place called Caner [Rahit] because of the victory due to God's aid. This occurred in A.D. 1301 on Wednesday, before the feast of the Birth of the Lord.


Chapter 42

The Victory and the Division of the Booty

After this Ghazan ordered the King of Armenia and a general of the Tartars, named Mugha [Moulai], to go with 11,000 [40,000, oe53] cavalry in pursuit of the Sultan of Egypt as far as the desert twelve days distant [from the site of the battle. [Ghazan] commanded that they should await his arrival in the country of Cassore [Gaza]. The King of Armenia and Moulai, with 40,000 Tartars, departed and went after the Sultan; and they killed as many Saracens as they could. oe53] After three days, the King of Armenia was called back [by Ghazan for he wanted to lay seige to the city of Hames [Homs], oe53] and Moulai undertook to pursue the enemy. Now the Sultan, travelling night and day mounted [on fast horses, oe53] guided by some Bedouins, miserably entered Babylon [Fustat in Egypt] [without any troops, oe53], while the other [defeated] Saracens fled wherever they could. A great multitude of them fled on the route to Tripoli where they were mercilessly cut down by Christians living in the mountains of Lebanon.

When the Armenian King returned to Ghazan, he learned that the city [of Homs, oe54] had surrendered to Ghazan with all the treasure [and they marvelled greatly that the Sultan and his men had brought along so much treasure with them, for a fight. oe54] The incalculable wealth they found was divided generously by Ghazan amongst his men, thereby greatly enriching them. I, brother Het'um, saw all of this with my own eyes, since I was there. [I, Brother Het'um, was present at all the great encounters that the Tartars had with the Saracens, from the time of Hulegu on, but I never heard tell of any lord of the Tartars who did so great a deed in two days as Ghazan did. For on the first day of the batle, Ghazan, with a small company of men, proved himself against the Sultan and a great number of his men, oe54] It was miraculous that Ghazan, a man short in stature and of ugly mien, on one day destroyed the enemy [g65] and on the next day generously divided up all the wealth, keeping for himself only a dagger and [a leather purse containing, oe54] Egyptian writings.

[And because Ghazan is of our own time, we must speak of him at greater length than the others; for the Sultan who was defeated by Ghazan is still living. Moreover, all who delay the passage to the Holy Land may derive good lessons from [this account]. oe54]

After five [some, oe54] days of relaxation, Ghazan went directly to Damascus unbeknownst to the horrified Damascenes. They resolved to send gifts and the keys of the city to Ghazan, requesting mercy. Ghazan humanely accepted and commanded that essentials for the needs of the army be brought. And he promised not to destroy the city but to keep it for the needs of his chamber. Ghazan himself pitched his tent by the banks of the Damascus River, preventing anyone from damaging the city. The Damascenes sent many gifts and a full supply of provisions. Ghazan remained [near Damascus] for fourteen [many, oe55] days, there being besides 10,000 [40,000, oe55] men in Ghakk'ar [Gaza, with Moulai, oe55] awaiting the arrival of Ghazan.


Chapter 43

How the Traitor Qipchaq Returned the Country to the Sultan

Just then news reached Ghazan that his relation Baidu had invaded Persia and had caused Ghazan great damage. Now to prevent him from doing further damage, Ghazan thought to return to his own [people]. He therefore ordered Got'luz [Qutlugh-Shah], to remain in Syria to protect the country [and he commanded Moulai and the other Tartars with him in Gaza to obey Qutlugh-Shah whom he was leaving in his place, oe55]; then he appointed overseers for cities, entrusting the city of Damascus to Qipchaq. [Ghazan did not realize that Qipchaq was a traitor. oe55] He summoned the King of Armenia and acquainted him with what he had ordered Qutlugh-Shah, that all the districts which to that time the Christians had seized, were to be given back to them and he would help with their fortification [g66]. [Ghazan said: "We have delivered the land of Syria to you, for the Christians to hold. If they [? Crusaders] come, we have left an order with Qutlugh-Shah that he shall deliver the Holy Land to the Christians, and that he should give advice and help to make the lands [prosper] again." oe55]

Having arranged these matters, Ghazan entered Mesopotamia. When he was near the Euphrates River he sent an order to Qutlugh-Shah for him to leave Moulai with 20,000 Tartars, and to hasten to him with the rest. Qutlugh-Shah did so and Moulai stayed behind to hold Syria. But on the instigation of Qipchaq, Moulai passed to the Jerusalem area to the place called Kawr [Ghur or Ghur-al-Ourdun (valley of the Jordan)] to find fodder for his horses and other essentials. When summer arrived, Qipchaq sent messengers to the Sultan of Egypt, telling him to come to Damascus, and saying that he would give him Damascus and other places [that the Tartars held, oe55] in the country of Syria. The Sultan accepted this promise and in turn promised Qipchaq that if he remained true to his word, he would give him in perpetuity the lordship of Damascus, a part of his treasure, and his sister in marriage.

After a short while Qipchaq caused all the territories to rebel, for he knew that other Tartars would be unable to come and help, since their horses could not go on expeditions in that heat. When Moulai saw this, he was unable to offer resistance because of his lack of troops, so he turned to Mesopotamia where [he found Ghazan and, oe56] informed him about what had happened. Now when winter came, he assembled a force and sent Qutlugh-Shah back with 30,000 Tartar cavalry, ordering that the King of Armenia and other Christians be summoned as soon as he reached Antioch. When Ghazan arrived with a large army the realm of Syria would be entered. Qutlugh-Shah implemented all the orders. The King of Armenia and his troops came to the island of Anterad [Ruad], as did Christians of the kingdom of Cyprus. Also present was [Amalric] the lord of Tyre, brother of the King of Cyprus [King Henry II, d.1310], with troops [of the Orders of Templars and Hospitallers, oe56]. When all of them were ready, news arrived that Ghazan was ill, so gravely ill that there was no hope of curing him. Therefore Qutlugh-Shah returned to Ghazan, [the King returned to his country, oe56] and the Christians, [who had come to the island of Ruad, oe56] returned [to Cyprus, oe56] [g67]. Thus the matter of taking the Holy Land was abandoned. This occurrred in 1301.


Chapter 44

The Great Injury Born by the Tartars in the Plain of Damascus from the Inundation of the Waters

In the year 1303, Ghazan assembled an extremely large army by the Euphrates River, planning to enter the country of Syria, to permanently do away with the Saracens [Sultan of Egypt, oe56], and to return the Holy Land to the Christians. But the Saracens, learning about Ghazan's coming [and realizing that they could not withstand his might, oe56], burned everything in the lands [through which they would pass, oe 56], gathering up the crops and animals, so that those who arrived would find neither provision nor food. Learning what the Saracens had done, Ghazan thought to spend that winter by the Euphrates, and to set out at the coming of spring when the grass would start growing. For the Tartars were more concerned about their horses than about themselves, for they themselves eat little.

Then Ghazan summoned the King of Armenia who came and encamped by the river. The multitude of soldiers was so great that it extended along the length of the river, two [three, oe57] days' journey, from Fort Kak'aw [Rakka] to Fort Labir [Bira], which had surrendered to Ghazan before the attack. While they remained there waiting [for the [right] season and weather to deliver the Holy Land from the Saracen's control, oe57], it was related to Ghazan that the aforementioned Baidu once again had invaded Ghazan's land and done much damage [and had driven out the men [Ghazan] had left there to hold the land, oe57]. Therefore Ghazan returned to his place, [planning to enter the realm of Syria the next year. Ghazan was sorely displeased that the matter of the Holy Land had been delayed so long, oe57]

He ordered Qutlugh-Shah to enter the realm of Syria with 40,000 Tartars and take the city of Damascus, putting to the sword as many as he could. He also ordered the King of Armenia to go with his men along with Qutlugh-Shah's 40,000 into the realm of Syria laying waste to everything [g68]. [They had expected to find the Sultan in that country, as in the past, but he was not there. They heard that he was at Gaza and would not leave there. oe57] And so, they came to the city of Homs, besieged it, took it, and killed all the Saracens [and put all the men and women to the sword without any mercy. They found there great riches and plenty of livestock and provisions, oe57].

Then they came to Damascus and besieged it. Now the citizens sent messengers requesting three days grace [after which they would surrender, oe57], and this request was granted. The Tartars who went on ahead captured some of the Saracens and sent them to Qutlugh-Shah who received them humanely. He learned from them that some two days distant there were 12,000 Saracens who were expecting the Sultan's arrival any day. Qutlugh-Shah went there to capture them unawares. But when he reached the place, he heard that the Sultan and his men had arrived. [When Qutlugh-Shah and the King of Armenia realized that the Sultan had arrived, they planned what to do. Because it was almost evening, they planned to rest and the next day to prudently go against the Sultan. oe58]. However, [Qutlugh-Shah, who despised the Sultan, oe58] did not want to delay, but instead to face the enemy right away. But those [Saracens] who were near the lake released the waters, creating a stream of water that the Tartars had great difficulty crossing. After Qutlugh-Shah, the King of Armenia [and most of their troops, oe58] had crossed, [they valiantly set upon their enemy, killing all they encountered and pursuing them until night. oe58]. The Sultan did not attack them but remained by the mountain and lake. [That night Qutlugh-Shah camped with his men by a mountain, except for 10,000 troops who were unable to cross the water by daylight. The next day Qutlugh-Shah deployed his men to fight, but the Sultan, oe58] did not budge the second day either, for he was in a safe place for defending himself and his troops. [The Tartars took great pains to get the Saracens out of that place, but they could not effect this. oe58] The battle lasted from morning until noon, but because there was a shortage of drinking water [the Tartars] were tormented with exhaustion and thirst. [So they went back to find water, oe58] one after another, until they came to the plain of Damascus [where they found pasture and water enough, oe58]. Qutlugh-Shah ordered a rest for his men and horses [so that they would be refreshed to return and fight against the Sultan, oe58].

Now the Damascenes that night aimed the waters of the river into that plain, throwing all [the Tartars] into panicked confusion, and causing the loss of many horses, pack animals and weapons. At dawn they escaped the danger of the waters, but not without having lost many soldiers. Because their bows and arrows were rendered useless by the inundation of water [g69], [the Tartars] could have been defeated easily with almost no survivors, had the enemy attacked them at that point.

The Tartars turned back because of the loss of their horses [and in eight days reached the Euphrates River. oe59] But since the water-level had risen, they were obliged to cross on horseback as best they could. Many Tartars, Armenians and Georgians [many Georgians and Tartars, oe59] were drowned. [And so the Tartars returned to their confusion, not because of the power of their enemy, but because of bad planning; for Qutlugh-Shah might have avoided all that hardship if he had followed good counsel. oe59] [I, brother Het'um, the narrator of this episode, was present there. If I have spoken overly long about this matter, please pardon me. I have done so to highlight similar dangers, since matters which are planned out properly should end successfully. oe59]

After the King of Armenia [had crossed the Euphrates, not without great effort and loss of men, oe59] he went to see Ghazan in the city of Nineveh [about returning to Armenia, oe59]. Ghazan received him with honor, requiting him for the harm suffered with 1,000 Tartars, and designating a quantity of money for them from the King of the Turks. The King of Armenia returned to his land with them, encouraged by Ghazan to keep his country well until they would be able to cross to the Holy Land.


Chapter 45

How the Sultan made a Truce with the King of Armenia

[The King of Armenia returned to his country, but afterwards he had little rest. For that same year, almost monthly, the Sultan sent a great number of warriors who ruined practically all the lands of Armenia and wasted all the plains; as a result, the realm of Armenia was in worse condition than ever before. oe60] But omnipotent, all-merciful God took pity on the Christians. In the month of July [g70] 7,000 Saracens, [the best of the Sultan of Egypt's house, oe60] entered the country of Armenia, wasting everything up to the city of Tarsus, site of the nativity of the Apostle Paul. After committing many wicked deeds, they turned back. But the King of Armenia and his troops arose before them and, with help from On High, battled with them [near the city of Ayas, oe60] either capturing or putting to the sword all but three hundred men, who escaped. This transpired on Sunday, July 18th. After this beating, the Saracens thereafter did not dare return to Armenia. And the Sultan of Egypt made and held to a peace treaty and armistice with the King of Armenia.


Chapter 46

Regarding the Division of My Book from the Beginning

I, brother Het'um, was a participant in the aforementioned [events] and had long since decided to become a cleric. But because of difficult circumstances in the Armenian kingdom, I was unable to abandon my lords and friends in such perilous straits and depart to fulfill my personal desires. However, through Providence from On High the desire and hope of my heart was realized. I went to Cyprus and entered the Praemonstratensian Order in the year 1305. Thank God that the kingdom of Armenia is in good condition; and through the strengthening of God may it regain its former status by the efforts of Lewon, who sparkles with every virtue.

[I, who wrote this book, know all that is in the third part in three ways. oe60] Events which transpired from the time of Chingiz-Khan [first Emperor of the Tartars, oe60] to Monge-Khan [the fourth Emperor], were taken from the histories of the Tartars. [Events] from Monge-Khan to the death of Hulegu, [I] heard from my honorable uncle [King Het'um of Armenia, oe61] who was present at all of them. [With great diligence [he] retold [it] to his sons and nephews, and had us put [it] in writing for a remembrance. oe61] From the beginning of the reign of Abagha-Khan [g71] [son of Hulegu, oe61] to the third part of the book where the history of the Tartars ends, I speak as one who was present in person; and what I have seen I have recorded accurately.

We have spoken about the deeds and history of the Tartars. Now let us describe their power. oe61]

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