Sunday, July 14

From the Great Khan Guyug to Pope Innocent IV

By the power of the Eternal Sky, We the Dalai (Oceanic) Khan of all the whole great people Command:

This is an Order, sent to the great Pope that he may know and pay heed. 

We have written it in the language of the lands of the Kiril (Latin, the letter is in fact written in Mongol, Persian as well as Latin.)

After holding counsel with the monarchs under your suzerainty, you have sent us an offer of subordination which we have accepted from the hands of your envoy.

If you should act up to your word, then you, the great Pope, should come in person with all the monarchs, to pay us homage and we should thereupon cause you to hear every command there is of the Yasak (Mongol Law.)

Again, you have said it would be well for us to become Christians. You write to Us in person about this matter, and have addressed to Us a request. This petition of thine We have not understood.

Furthermore, you have written:  "You have attacked all the territories of the Majars (i.e Magyars) and other Christians, at which I am astonished. Tell me, what was their crime?" These, your words, We likewise have not understood. 

Chinggis Khan and Ogodei Khaqan revealed the commands of Heaven. But those whom you name would not trust the commands of Heaven. Just like thy words they too have been reckless; they have acted with arrogance; and they killed Our envoys. The people of those countries, it was the Ancient God who slew and annihilated them.  If not by the command of God, how can anyone slay, or conquer out of his own strength?

And when you say:  "I am a Christian. I pray to God. I arraign and despise others," how do you know whom God forgives, and whom He shows mercy?  How can you know it, that you speak such words?

Thanks to the power of the Eternal Heaven, all lands have been given to us from sunrise to sunset. How could anyone act other than in accordance with the commands of Heaven?  Now your own sincere heart must tell you:  "We will become subject to you, and will place our strength at your disposal." You in person, at the head of the monarchs, all of you, without exception, must come to tender Us service and pay us homage;  only then will We recognize your submission. But if you do not obey the commands of Heaven, and act contrary to Our orders, We shall know that you are our foe.

Thus We inform you. If you fail to act in accordance therewith, what do We know what will happen to you? It is God Who knows.

In the last days of Jumada II of the year 644  (November 1246.)

The Great Khan Guyug's seal on the letter to the Pope; literally: "Eternal Heaven's Power-under, Great Mongol Nation's Oceanic Khan's Decree, Subject Belligerent People-unto reach-if, Revere-may Fear-may".

(As for Innocent IV, his contribution to posterity is the issuance of a papal bull which authorized the use of torture - short of killing or permanently maiming - for eliciting confessions by the Inquisition from heretics.)

Guyug Khan's untimely death may have changed the course of world history, for his desire for pushing at the boundaries of Europe for more conquests was abandoned, and Mongol family politics caused their  attention to shift south, towards China, which was conquered in the time of Kubilai Khan. We shift our attention to the south of Mongolia, too, heading from Ulaanbaatar to Omnogovi (South Gobi.)


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