Qan, Qa’an and the Seal of Güyüg

Igor de Rachewiltz

Two of the most important ‘mots de civilisation’ of Inner Asia are undoubtedly the title qan and qa’an (qaγan), the origins of which are lost in the prehistory of the Altaic languages.[1] These titles have been the subject of investigation by several distinguished scholars, such as K. Shiratori, B. Ya. Vladimircov, P. Pelliot, L. Hambis, F.W. Cleaves, L. Krader, H.F. Schurmann, L. Ligeti and G. Doerfer, to mention only the authors of some of the most important contributions.[2] Valuable, however, as these contributions are, we still lack a comprehensive historical survey which takes into account all the available sources, including evidence from coins. The present tentative review is an attempt towards comprehensiveness with regard to the use of qan and qa’an by the Mongols in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, fixing as terminus ad quem the collapse of the Mongol Yüan dynasty in A.D. 1368. Unfortunately, space limits make it impossible for me to dwell on the sources as I would wish, and my choice of references and illustrations is, therefore, confined to the essentials.

The turning point in our survey is the year 1229 in which Ögödei, the third son of Činggis-qan, was elected to succeed his father as supreme ruler of the Mongol world-empire. Accordingly, we shall divide the survey in two parts: (A) the use of qan and qa’an before 1229, and (B) the use of qan and qa’an after 1229.

A. BEFORE 1229

  1. Qa’an was not used as a title by the tribes of Mongolia or by Činggis-qan.
  2. Qan was used as:
  1. the title borne by the elected leaders of important tribes of people (ulus), such as the Mongqol, e.g. Qabul-qan, Qutula-qan, Ambaqai-qan; the Kereyit, e.g. To’oril/Ong-qan; and the Naiman, e.g. Buiruq-qan, Incanča-bilge-qan, Tayang-qan, Güčülük-qan;
  2. the title borne by the leaders of tribal confederations, including Činggis’ pan-Mongolian nation, hence Činggis-qan, J̌amuqa-qan;
  3. the title employed by the Mongols and, presumably, other tribes of Mongolia, for the rulers of other countries and the leaders of important tribes or tribal confederations outside Mongolia, e.g. Altan-qan of the Kitat, Burqan-qan of Qašin or Tang’ut, Arslan-qan of the Qarlu’ut, Qan Melik of the Qangli;
  4. a term (~qa;[3] pl.qat) designating the leader of a tribe or confederation, the ruler of a nation, and the powerful nature spirits in the Altaic shamanistic conception of the world. See the SH: tus qan, qa ergü-, qamuq-un qat, qaǰar usun-u eǰet qat, etc.;[4]
  5. a term (~qa) meaning ‘qan-ship’, i.e. ‘rulership, government’, hence ‘pertaining to the government’, as in the expression qa bolqa- of SH §249 (where qa= ‘government property’). This meaning seems to be an extension of 2(d).

After the death of Činggis-qan in 1227, his sons inherited the vast Mongol empire and each of them became qan in his respective dominion (ulus). Since these dominions had been established before Činggis’ death, the imperial princes were no doubt called qan already before 1227.[5] In any event, the title of qan became unsuitable to designate the appointed successor to Činggis’ throne also because this was a title traditionally associated with the leader of a tribe or tribal confederation. Mongol expansion and world rule called for the adoption of another, more exalted title. As the Mongol court was then largely under Uighur Turkish cultural influence, the title they adopted was then ancient Turkish title of qaγan (= Middle Mongolian qa’an), first assumed by Ögödei when he was elected emperor in 1229.[6]

B. AFTER 1229

Qa’an was used as:

  1. the imperial title and personal epithet of Ögödei — the first ruler to use this title — who, as a result, was thereafter usually referred to simply as ‘(the) Qa’an’, i.e. ‘the qa’an par excellence’;[7]
  2. the title borne by all subsequent emperors of the Činggiside line, even when their authority as qa’an of the greater Mongol empire had become largely nominal, as was the case already under Qubilai (r. 1260–94).[8] This title ceased to be used when the Mongols were overthrown and replaced by the Ming in 1368;[9]
  3. The title retrospectively conferred on Činggis-qan and his most illustrious ancestors, both direct and collateral (Qabul, Qutula, Ambaqai and Yisügei). I think this retrospective conferment took place early in the reign of Qubilai, perhaps in 1266 or thereabouts, but this point requires further investigation;[10]
  4. the term for ‘emperor’, with reference to (b), as in the expression qaγan-u ǰrlγ-iyar ‘by imperial edict’;[11]
  5. a term (=qan) designating the ruler of a nation or people (‘king, sovereign’), also used as a title, mainly in Buddhist texts, e.g. Ašugi (=Aśoka) qa’an.[12]

2. Qan was used as:

  1. the title borne by the imperial princes, son of Činggis, and their descendants, such as the khans of the Golden Horde and Il-Khans of Persia. Thus: Tolui-qan, Batu-qan, Hülegü-qan. The implication of this usage is that these rulers, although sovereign (qan) in their respective dominions (ulus), were still subject to the supreme authority of the qa’an/emperor;[13]
  2. a term (=A,2[d]) designating the ruler of a nation, and, specifically, the Mongol sovereign, this being the ruler of the Great Mongol nation and the world, e.g. qan ergü- (SH §269), yeke Mongγol ulus-un qan, dalai-yin qan (see below);
  3. a term (=A,2[e]) meaning ‘government’.[14]

With regard to the expressions yeke Mongγol ulus-un qan and dalai-yin qan quote above (b), some comments are necessary. In the SH §280, Ögödei is called dalai-yin qahan (read qan),[15] rendered into Chinese as hai-nei huang-ti ‘emperor of [all] within the sea[s]’. The same concept is expressed in lines 2–4 of the legend of the famous seal of Güyüg: yeke Mongγol ulus-un dalai-in qanu ǰrlγ ‘Order of the ruler of the Great Mongol nation and of [all within] the seas (= the whole world)’.[16] My interpretation of these lines diverges from that of Pelliot (‘du khan océanique du peuple des grands Mongols, l’ordre’),[17] and of Mostaert and Cleaves (‘Ordre du Dalai-in qan [m.à m.: “Souverain (de ce qui est à l’intérieur) des mers”] de l’empire des Grands Mongols’).[18] In the first place, I understand the words yeke Mongγol ulus as meaning ‘the Great Mongol Nation’ and not, as the above-mentioned authors do, ‘the people of the Great Mongols’ or ‘the empire of the Great Mongols’. I base myself chiefly on the corresponding Turkish expression in the preamble of the letter of Güyüg to Innocent IV on which the seal in question is affixed. In the preamble, As W. Kotwicz noted long ago,[19] the corresponding expression is kü uluγ ulus ‘the whole Great Nation (= the Great [Mongol] Nation)’.[20] The expression yeke Mongγol ulus is to be compared to expressions like qamuγ Mongγol ulus ‘the entire Mongol nation’, olon Monγol ulus ‘the numerous Mongol people’, etc.[21] The expression Mongγol ulus ‘the Mongol nation (or people)’, without the attribute yeke ‘great’, is, of course well attested in the SH and other documents of the thirteenth–fourteenth centures.[22] Moreover, yeke ulus ‘the Great Nation’, that is, the Mongol state or world-empire, is a well-known expression in later Mongolian political writings.[23] While I do not for a moment wish to deny the existence of the expression yeke Mongγol ‘Great Mongols’, amply documented by Mostaert and Cleaves,[24] I do not share their view that in the present instance this expression constitutes ‘une locution adjective déterminant ulus’.[25] The interpretation of Mostaert and Cleaves should also be reviewed in the light of the recent comments by N.C. Munkuev and J.-Ph. Geley.[26]†

Secondly, I take the two expressions in the genitive case, i.e. yeke Mongγol ulus-un and dalai-in, as both qualifying qanu (gen.), but independently of each other (‘of the ruler of the Great Mongol Nation and of the whole world’), whereas Mostaert and Cleaves understand ‘du Dalai-in qan (m.à m.: “Souverain [de ce qui est à l’intérieur] des mers”) de l’empire des Grands Mongols’.[27] This use of the double genitive without the conjunction ba is fairly common in Middle and Preclassical Mongolian.[28] Moreover, the expression yeke Mongγol ulus-un qan ‘ruler of the Great Mongol Nation’ is well attested. It is found in the Sino-Mongolian inscription of 1362, where it occurs followed almost immediately by the expression delekei-yin eǰen ‘lord of [all] the earth’, which matches our dalai-in qan.[29] The corresponding text of the preamble in Turkish presents also the same double genitive construction of the Mongol text of the seal and must be interpreted in the same way as the latter, i.e. ‘ruler of the whole Great Nation (= the Great [Mongol] Nation) and of the whole world’ (kü uluγ ulusnuŋ talluïnuŋ ƛan).[30]

Figure 1: See note 16

Figure 1
See note 16

With regard to the term dalai (= Tu. talui), I cannot accept P.D. Buell’s interpretation of it as meaning here the qan’s ‘estate’.[31] The special meaning of dalai, as the ‘imperial patrimony’, which developed later in Central and Western Asia, is definitely excluded in my view because of the overwhelming evidence from Mongol, Persian and Chinese sources to the effect that in the expression dalai-in qan with which we are concerned, dalai can only mean ‘all that is found in the land within the sea(s)’, hence ‘the whole world’.[32] This is confirmed also by the corresponding imperial titles in the Persian sources discussed by V. Minorsky[33] and on contemporary coins, such as pādšāh-i ǰahān ‘sovereign of the world’ and xān-i ‘alam ‘ruler of the world’. The ruler in question, Güyüg, is designated in his coins with these titles, as well as with that of qā’ān discussed earlier.[34]

From the above it appears, then, that a Mongol sovereign like Güyüg and Möngke bore the title of ‘emperor’ (qa’an) becuase he was the formally elected and consecrated successor of Činggis, hence the legitimate inheritor of the highest dignity in the empire which, since Ögödei, pertained to the qa’an. He was, at the same time, designated as ‘ruler of the Great Mongol Nation’ (yeke Mongγol ulus-un qan) and ‘ruler of the world’ (dalai-in qan), i.e. ruler of the Mongols (senu lato) and of the world at large — the whole world belonging by divine right to the Great Mongol Nation.[35] Thus, the term qan found in the legend of Güyüg’s seal is not the imperial title borne by Güyüg, which as we have seen was qa’an, but a term (see above, B 2[b]) occurring in, and an integral part of, the standard designations or appellations of all Mongol emperors. It follows, then, that from the point of view of the legend alone, the ‘seal of Güyüg’ could have been the one belonging to Ögödei or even to Činggis-qan, and doubts concerning the origin of this seal have, indeed, been expressed by Kotwicz, although on different grounds.[36]

The above covers, I think, the main points. I should mention, however, that as with almost all Mongol institutions and practices, there is also a certain inconsistency in the actual usage of the terms qan and qa’an. This is particularly evident in the ’Phags-pa inscriptions, where ‘J̌iŋgis qan’ alternates with ‘J̌iŋgis qa˙an’ (qān in Ligeti’s transcription).[37] In the Sino-Mongolian inscriptions in Uighur-Mongol script studied by Cleaves we observe the same phenomenon.[38] In my opinion, the reason for this inconsistency is that, in the case of Činggis-qan, after he was retrospectively conferred the title qaγan, both forms existed side by side. In written language and the administration, the Mongols relied heavily on people of different countries, background and culture, and had no means of effectively and strictly enforcing uniformity of style and usage, since most of the Mongol officials lacked competence in such matters. This largely accounts for our own misunderstanding of their practices, as exemplified in the case of qan and qa’an. The inconsistent use of these two terms in the SH has been mainly responsible for past incorrect analyses, such as that by L. Krader. It is now well established that the text of the SH underwent editorial changes that were responsible, among other things, for the title of qan (as distinguished from the other meanings of the word) borne by members of the Mongol ruling clan being substituted with that of qa’an (~qahan). However, lack of accuracy and consistency on the part of editors and copyists was responsible also for (1) cases where qan was retained where it should have been changed to qa’an,[39] and (2) changing qan into qa’an in cases where the change was not warranted.[40] Similar inconsistences are also found in the Persian sources (where they may be attributable in some cases to copyists, in others to the sources used by the author), in Uighur documents of the Mongol period,[41] and elsewhere. The misinterpretation of the role of the word qan in the legend of Güyüg’s seal has unfortunately further clouded the issue.

Another problem related to qan and qa’an which deserves full re-examination is the influence Chinese, Turkish and Nestorian political and religious elements in early Mongol statecraft, but the problem is too complex to be discussed here.[42]

Figure 2: See note 30

Figure 2
See note 30

Figure 3: See note 34

Figure 3
See note 34

This paper was first published in Saqaster, K. and Weiers, M. eds. Documenta Barbarorum: Festschrift für Walther Heissig zum 70. Geburtstag. Veröffentlichungen der Societas Uralo-Altaica 18 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1983), pp.272–81.

This is a revised version of ‘The Use of Qan and Qa’an Amongst the Mongols, 12th–14th centuries’, read at the XXIV Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference, Jerusalem, 17–22 August 1981. I wish to express my sincere thanks to my friend Prof. Dr Michael Weiers of Bonn for supplying the excellent photograph of Güyüg’s coin reproduced in this paper, and to Ing. Leonardo Piras of Rome for the careful tracing of Güyüg’s seal, also reproduced here.

Igor de Rachewiltz


† Professor de Rachewiltz made the following written addition in his offprint at this point: Cf. F.W. Cleaves in HJAS 46 (1986), 191, n.4.

1 The linguistic relationship between these two terms is still a moot point and I shall not discuss it in the present paper. For an overview of the problem, see now G. Doerfer, Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen, III (Wiesbaden, 1967), no.1161 (pp.176–79). Paul Pelliot was going to deal with this question in his note on Marco Polo’s ‘Kaan’, but he unfortunately never did. See his Notes on Marco Polo, I (Paris, 1959), p.302. The reading qa’an which I use throughout the paper is the Middle Mongolian form of Old Turkish (˃ Precl. Mong.) qaγan. It corresponds to Persian qā’ān/xāqān.

2 K. Shiratori, ‘A Study on the Titles Kaghan and Katun,’ Memoirs of the Research Department of Toyo Bunko I (1926), 19–26; B. Ya. Vladimirtsov, Le régime social des Mongols. Le féodalisme nomade, trans. M. Carsow (Paris, 1948), pp.100–10; P. Pelliot, op. cit., pp.302–303, and T’oung Pao 27 (1930), 25; P. Pelliot et L. Hambis, Histoire des Campagnes de Gengis Khan. Cheng-wou ts’in-tcheng lou, I (Leiden, 1951), pp.211–12; L. Hambis in Mélanges publiés par l’Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises, II (Paris, 1960), pp.148–51; F.W. Cleaves in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (hereafter HJAS) 12 (1949), 98–99, n.26; 418–19, 533; L. Krader, ‘Qan-Qaγan and the Beginnings of Mongol Kingship,’ Central Asiatic Journal (hereafter CAJ) 1 (1955), 17–35; H.F. Schurmann in HJAS 19 (1956), 314–16, n.11; L. Ligeti in Acta Orientalia Hung 14 (1962), 40; G. Doerfer, op. cit. pp.141–79 (particularly important). Cf. also J.A. Boyle in HJAS 19 (1956), 152; K. Lech (ed. and trans.), Das mongolische Weltreich. Al-‘Umarīs Darstellung der mongolischen Reichen in seinem Werk Masālik al-abṣār fī mamālik al-amṣār (Wiesbaden, 1968), p.171, n.1; and I. de Rachewiltz in Papers on Far Eastern History 7 (1973), p.35, n.35. Further references to the vast literature on the subject are found in the above-mentioned works.

3 The variant qa that we find in the Secret History of the Mongols (hereafter SH) deserves special study. For the text edition of the SH, see I. de Rachewiltz, Index to the Secret History of the Mongols (Bloomington, 1972), Part One.

4 See SH §21, 57, 74, 112, 149, 244, 272. In §244, qan is defined as the person whose function is ‘to hold the nation’ (ulus bari-). With regard to ‘the lords and rulers of land and rivers’ (qaǰar usun-u eǰet qat), cf. the later use of qan (Khalhka xan) as an honorific term for mountains: Xentei-xan, Delger-xan, Burin-xan, etc.

5 J̌oči and Ča’adai (Čaγatai), Činggis’ two eldest sons, are regularly called ‘J̌očī-xān’ and Čaγatāy-xān by Rašīd al-Din. See Doerfer, op. cit., p.151. Cf. John of Pian di Carpine’s ‘Tossuccan’ (=J̌očī-qan), and his statement that ‘Tossuc (= J̌oči) … etiam Chan appellabant’. See A. Van den Wyngaert, Sinica Franciscana, I (Quaracchi-Firenze, 1929), pp.65, 58; P. Pelliot, Notes sur l’histoire de la Horde d’Or (Paris, 1949), p.18. Cf also Grigor of Akner’s statement ‘Čaγatāy, who was surnamed Khan’ in his History of the Nation of the Archers, trans. R.P. Blake and R.N. Frye, HJAS 12 (1949), p.303.

6 According to J̌uvainī, when Ögödei was enthroned all the princes ‘named him Qa’an’. See ‘Ala-ad-Din ‘Ata-Malik Juvaini, The History of the World-Conqueror, trans. J.A. Boyle (Manchester, 1958), p.187. Cf. the same statement in Rašīd al-Dīn’s parallel account. See Rashīd al-Dīn Tabīb, The Successors of Genghis Khan, trans. J.A. Boyle (New York and London, 1971), p.31.

7 P. Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, I, p.302; Boyle in HJAS 19 (1956), p.152.

8 J̌uvainī, and Rašīd al-Din following him, always refer to Güyüg (r. 1246–48) as Güyük-xān, i.e. Güyüg-qan, not Güyük-qā-ān, no doubt because the legitimacy of his rule was questioned when, with Möngke (r. 1251–59), the imperial dignity passed from the line of Ögödei to that of Tolui. Cf. H.F. Schumann, in HJAS 19 (1956), p.315, n.11. However, Pelliot, loc. cit., was mistaken when he stated that Qubilai was the first Mongol ruler to take the title of qa’an as a mere epithet. Like Ögödei, Güyüg too bore the title of qa’an during his short reign, as attested by the legend on his coins (Gūyūg qā-ān). See M. Weiers, ‘Münzaufschriften auf Münzen mongolischer Il-khane aus dem Iran, Part One,’ The Canada-Mongolia Review 4.1 (April 1978), 43. Weiers’ authority is E. Drouin’s article ‘Notice sur les monnaies mongoles faisant partie du receuil des documents de l’époque mongole publié par le prince Roland Bonaparté,’ in Journal Asiatique, IX Sér., 7 (Mai–Juin 1896), [486–544], p.506. The coin in question is ‘un dirhem frappé en Géorgie par Davith V, en l’année 646’, i.e. in A.D. 1248. Coins issued during Güyüg’s short reign are extremely rare, and I failed to find the one described by Drouin in the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothéque nationale in October 1981. (I wish to express here my thanks to Mme A. Négre, Chargée des monnaies orientales, for her kind assistance in my research at the B.N.). However, Güyüg’s title of qa’an is confirmed by other documents in Latin in which Güyüg is actually designated as chaam (= qa’an). See Simon de Saint-Quentin, Histoire de Tartares, ed. J. Richard (Paris, 1965), pp.90, 92, 94; P. Pelliot, Les Mongols et la Papauté (rep. in one vol., by the Persian authors and on his coins (see Weiers, loc. cit.), he is also designated as qaγan in the Mongolian inscription on the monument in his honour erected in 1257 (i.e. two years before his death), and in the legend of the seal that he bestowed on the Nestorian Patriarchate. See N. Poppe in CAJ 6 (1951), 17–18; J.R. Hamilton in Journal Asiatique 260 (1972), p.160.

9 See Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, II (Paris, 1963), p.657. In Iran the name and title of the qa’an ruling in China disappears from coinage after Qubilai’s death and the conversion of the Il-Khans to Islam (1295); and in the Persian tributary documents of the early Ming even the Chinese emperor is addressed as xān. See B. Spuler in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Ed., III (Leiden–London, 1971), p.1121b; Schurmann, op. cit., p.315, n.11.

10 The date for the beginning of this practice is uncertain, but it must be placed between 1260 and 1271, as the title qā’ān is not used for Činggis by J̌uvainī, but it occurs already in Grigor of Akner’s History of the Nations of the Archers. See F.W. Cleaves in HJAS 12 (1949), pp.418–19. Thereafter, the title appears in Sino-Mongolian inscriptions in Uighur-Mongol script, in the ’Phags-pa inscriptions — albeit irregularly (see below) — in the SH (see also below), and in the later Mongol sources, such as the seventeenth century chronicles and inscriptions. Rašid al-Din, like J̌uvainī, uses xān throughout for Činggis, but both xān and qā’ān for his ancestors. A comparison of all the MSS of his work is, however, necessary to throw light on the peculiarity of his usage of qā’ān. See, provisionally, Doerfer, op. cit., pp.150–53. Since posthumous titles were conferred on Činggis’ father Yisügei (or Yesügei) in 1266, it is possible that the extension of the title qa’an to Čingis originated about that time. See Pelliot et Hambis, op. cit., p.2.

11 See F.W. Cleaves in HJAS 17 (1954), pp.43 [4–166a7], 85.

12 See, for example, the references in N. Poppe, The Mongolian Monuments in ḥP‘ags-pa Script, 2nd ed., trans. and ed. by J.R. Kreuger (Wiesbaden, 1957), p.128b.

13 See Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, I, pp.89, 336; idem, Notes sur l’historie de la Horde d’Or, pp.19, 160; B. Spuler, Die Mongolen in Iran, 2nd ed. (Berlin, 1995), pp.265–76; idem, Die Golden Horde. Die Mongolen in Russland 1223–1502 (Leipzig, 1943), pp.257–62; The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol.5: The Saljuq and Mongol Periods, ed. by J.A. Boyle (Cambridge, 1968), p.345, n.4; A. Mostaert et F.W. Cleaves in HJAS 15 (1952): 454. Cf A.G. Galstyan, Armyanskie istočniki o mongolakh (Moscow, 1962), p.26 et passim. See also above, n.5.

14 Schurmann, op. cit., p.316, n.11; Poppe, op. cit., p.129a.

15 See Yüan-ch’ao pi-shih (Ssu-pu ts’ung-k’an ed.) S.2, 52a. For the reading qan in place of qahan, see my discussion further on. On qahan ~
qa’an, see F.W. Cleaves in HJAS 12 (1949),
107n.64; A. Mostaert, ibid. 13 (1950), p.347, n.58.

16 The legend in Uighur-Mongol script is reproduced as Figure 1, from Pelliot, Les Mongols et la Papauté, Pl. II (opposite p.22), but with some modifications. These are: 1) the filling in of the damaged areas of the border of the seal, and 2) the addition of the small circle at the end of line 6. This will give a better idea of how the original seal impression looked like. For the question of the final circle, corresponding of course to a dot or punctuation mark, see I. de Rachewiltz, ‘Some Remarks on the Stele of Yisüngge,’ in W. Heissig a.o. (eds), Tractata Altaica: Denis Sinor, sexagenario optime de rebus altaicis merito dedicato (Wiesbaden, 1976), pp.503–504, n.39.

17 Les Mongols et la Papauté, p.22. Cf. L. Ligeti’s rendering ‘A nagy mongol birodalom tengerkánjanák parancsa’ (lit. ‘Order of the ocean-khan of the great Mongol empire’), in A mongolok titkos története (Budapest, 1962), p.242, n.41; and K. Sagaster’s rendering ‘des ozeangleichen Khans des groen mongolischen Voles Siegel,’ in CAJ 17 (1973), p. 240.

18 HJAS 15 (1952), pp.494–495. Cf. Chin-fu Hung, ibid. 41 (1981), p.609.

19 Rocznik Orientalistyczny 2 (1919–24), p.278.

20 Cf. Kotwicz’s rendering (loc. cit.) ‘entier (universel) grand empire’. Pelliot’s rendering is ‘grand peuple tout entier’. See Les Mongols et la Papauté, p.22. See also below, n.30. The words kür uluγ ulus are of course not the exact counterpart of the Mongolian, as this would be uluγ Mongol ulus. This expression is actually found on a coin struck in Tiflis in A.H. 644 (A.D. 1244–45). See Sir G. Clauson, An Etmymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth
Century Turkish
(Oxford, 1972), p.153a, s.v. ‘uluş’. However, they constitute an inter-pretation, or close approximation, of the
Mongolian expression. Cf. M.A. Seïfeddini, Monetnoe delo i denežnoe obraščenie v Azerbaïdžane XII–XV vv., I (Baku, 1978), pp.159–64.

21 See, for example, line 2 of the so-called ‘Stone of Chingis’, and SH §272. Cf. I. de Rachewiltz, op. cit., p.487, where my rendering ‘the empire of all the Mongols’ should now read ‘the entire Mongol Nation’.

22 See SH §202, and A. Mostaert, Le matériel mongol du Houa i i iu de Houng-ou (1389), I. éd. par I. de Rachewiltz avec l’assistance de A. Schönbaum (Bruxelles, 1977), p.9 (3v, 5).

23 Such as the Čaγan teüke or White History. See K. Sagaster, Die Weiẞ̌e Geschichte. Eine mongolische Quelle zur Lehre von den Beiden Ordnungen Religion and Staat in Tibet und der Mongolei (Wiesbaden, 1976), pp.162, 389–90.

24 Mostaert et Cleaves, op. cit., pp.486–91.

25 Ibid., p.488.

26 See N.C. Munkuev in Tataro-Mongoly v Azii i Evrope, 2nd ed. (Moscow, 1977), pp.379–82. Cf. also his Mėn-da bėï-lu (‘Polnoe opisanie mongolo-tatar’) (Moscow, 1975), pp.123–24, n.93. Geley’s perceptive remarks have appeared in Études mongoles 10 (1979), pp.61–62, 65ff. Basically, I agree with the conclusions of both authors.

27 Cf. Pelliot’s rendering ‘du khan océanique du peuple des grands Mongols’ (my emphasis).

28 See, for example, SH §151: Uyiqud-un Tangqud-un balaqat; ibid.§§152, 177: Ui’ud-un Tang’ud-un qaǰar-iyar; ibid. §228: qadanadus ǰa’ud-un harbad-un noyad-ača; and lines 22–23 of Arγun’s letter to Pope Nicholas IV (1290): möngke tngri-yin Misiq-a-yin nom. ǰrlγ. See A. Mostaert et F.W. Cleaves, op. cit., pp.450–51.

29 See F.W. Cleaves in HJAS 12 (1949), pp.6[2] and 83[3]. Cf. also ibid. 14 (1951), pp.66b, and 15 (1952), 78a. Cf. also the expression talayiyin ėǰen ulusun qa˙an in the ‘Phags-pa text of the Chü-yung kuan inscriptions, rendered by Pelliot as ‘master of the ocean, Emperor of the Nation’ (Notes on Marco Polo, I, p.301; cf. Les Mongols et la Papauté, p.121, n.3). Cf. Poppe, The Mongolian Monuments, pp.63(9), 64(9), 66.

30 For the text and transcription of the preamble, see Fig. 2 and Pelliot, op. cit., pp.15, 22. Pelliot’s rendering (ibid., pp.16, 22) ‘[nous] le khan océanique du grand peuple tout entier’ is not correct. Equally faulty, therefore, are those citations or translations of the preamble by authors (like G. Soranzo, A. Van den Wyngaert, F. Risch, E. Voegelin, N.P. Šastina, B. Spuler, J.A. Boyle, J.J. Saunders, etc.) who followed Pelliot’s interpretation. A notable exception is Doerfer (op. cit, no.1672, p.634), who rendered it as follows: ‘Chan des machtvollen groẞ̌en (Mongolen-) Staates und des Weltkreises’. Cf. also his remark (loc. cit.) that ‘das ist in etwa eine Übersetzung des mo. Siegels’.

31 Buell’s translation of the words yeke Mongγol ulus-un dalai-in qan is ‘qan of the dalay of the Great Mongol Patrimony’. See his Tribe, Qan and Ulus in Early Mongol China: Some Prolegomena to Yüan History (PhD diss., University of Washington, 1977; Univ Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, 1981), p.250, n.129. This is untenable also on the ground that in such a rendering both dalai and ulus are taken as meaning the qan’s ‘patrimony’ or ‘estate’; see ibid., p.36, where yeke dalai is rendered as ‘great estate’. Therefore, according to Buell’s translation, the actual meaning of the above-mentioned sentence would be ‘qan of the estate of the Great Mongol Patrimony’.

32 See Mostaert et Cleaves, op. cit., pp.491–92; Pelliot, op. cit., pp.23–24, and Notes on Marco Polo, I, pp.301–302; V. Minorsky’s remarks in W. Barthold, Turkestan Down to the Mongol Invasion, 4th ed. (London, 1977), p.516, n.225; Poppe, The Mongolian Monuments, pp.66 (3rd para.), p.110, n.113; H.F. Schurmann in HJAS 19 (1956), p.330; and Doerfer, op. cit., I (Wiesbaden, 1963), no.196.

33 In Iranica. Twenty Articles, University of Teheran, Vol.775 (1964), p.65.

34 See above, n.8. As I explained there, a reproduction of the coin bearing the legend ‘Gūyūg qā’ān’ is not available to me at present; however, thanks to Prof. Weiers of Bonn I have obtained a photograph, reproduced in Fig. 3, of Güyüg’s coin from Sayyid J̌amāl Turābì Ṭabāṭabā’ī’s Catalogue of Mongol coins from Iran (see Weiers, op. cit., p.42, n.2). The full text of the legend is: 1 Guyūk 2 pādišāh[-i] 3 ǰahān xān[-i] 4 ‘ālam. See ibid., p.43. For pād(i)šāh =qan, see Schurmann, op. cit., p.315, n.11, and Ligeti in Acta Orientalia Hung 14 (1962), p.40, n.57. As is known, neither John of Pian di Carpine nor William of Rubruck distinguishes between qan and qān, and in their reports they use chan (~ kan, can, cham) throughout, whereas Marco Polo seems to make a distinction between the two. See Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, I, p.302. In the case of Pian di Carpine and Rubruck, their ‘chan’ obviously corresponds to both qan and qān (= qa’an); however, this problem deserves further study. For additional references to coins minted under Ögödei and Güyüg containing the title qa’an, see ibid., pp.155–56, 158, 165–66; E.A. Pakhomov, Monety Gruzī (Tbilisi, 1970), p.119.

35 On the Mongol ‘doctrine’ of world domination, see I. de Rachewiltz in Papers on Far Eastern History 7 (March 1973), pp.21–36.

36 See Kotwicz, op. cit., p.278, n.1.

37 See L. Ligeti, Monuments en écriture ‘phags-pa. Pièces de chancellerie en transcription chinoise. Indices verborum linguae Mongolicae monumentis traditorum, III (Budapest, 1973), pp.55–56.

38 Cf. the inscription of 1362 in HJAS 12 (1949), 71a: ‘Činggis qaγan’, and that of 1346, ibid., 15 (1952), p.73a: ‘Činggis-qan’.

39 For example, Qabul-qan in §§139, 140; Činggis-qan in §255.

40 For example, Ong-qahan in §150, Altan-qa’an in §§250, 251. See Pelliot et Hambis, op. cit., pp.15, 212.

41 See, for example, L. Ligeti in Acta Orientalia Hung 27 (1973), 15, n.44. Cf. also the Uighur text of the Sino-Uighur inscription in honour of the Ïduq Qut of Qočo of 1334. See Geng Shimin and J. Hamilton in Turcica 13 (1981), 51a.

42 For some interesting insights, see H. Franke, From Tribal Chieftain to Universal Emperor and God: The Legitimation of the Yüan Dynasty (München, 1978), pp.18–19, 26ff.