The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Viii Ambassadors Return

Armenian history

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On Wednesday, the 25th of March, the said ambassadors, being now about ten or twelve leagues from the lord's encampment, met some men who said that there was a great tumult in the camp, and that they had better return. They inquired what was the cause of the tumult, and the men replied that Janza Meerza wished to kill Omar Meerza, but that the attendants and troops had seized him, and that the lord had ordered his head to be cut off. The people of Janza Meerza were, therefore, fighting with those of the lord, and men had been killed on both sides. The lord was about to cross over to the other side of the river, and break down the bridge; but the men knew no more, except that there was great confusion in the camp. The ambassadors consulted together, and determined to proceed. On Thursday, the 26th of March, they reached the horde where the lord was, and dismounted, waiting to be sent for There was great confusion in the horde, and every one was driving the flocks together. After waiting some time, a Chatagai came to them, and said that the lord was much engaged, and could not see them, and that they must return to Tabriz, and wait there for his commands. This lord was encamped, with his host, on a plain near the banks of a river, and he had with him about forty thousand cavalry, but the whole of his army was not united, some divisions being detached in other places. As Timur Beg was accustomed to winter in these plains of Karabagh, he ordered a city to be built there, which contained twenty thousand houses and more. This Janza Meerza, whose head Omar Meerza had just cut off, was the son of a sister of Timur Beg, and was the most valiant man of the family, and was the lord of much land, having a large army, which always marched with him. When Timur Beg made his grandson Omar Meerza lord of Persia, he appointed Janza Meerza to accompany him and regulate his household. The reasons why Janza Meerza was put to death, are related in two ways. Some say that it rose from jealousy, because Omar Meerza feared that, on the death of Timur Beg, Janza would rise against him with all his troops, and with all the Chatagais of his grandfather, who loved him very much; others say that, as soon as he heard of the death of Timur Beg, Janza armed himself, and some of his followers, and went to a tent, where the council used to meet. Here he met a Mollah, who was intimate with Omar Meerza. Janza had evil designs on a woman, whom Omar Meerza refused to give him in marriage, and he had given her to this Mollah; so Janza killed the Mollah, and then went to the tent of Omar Meerza, with his sword drawn, and followed by his men. When the guards saw this, they also went to the tent, and a rumour went through the camp that Ediguy, the emperor of Tartary, had attacked it, and that Janza, in the confusion, had gone to the tent of the lord to kill him. The troops ran to the tent, and a great knight rode up to Janza Meerza, and asked him what he was doing. Janza answered that Omar Meerza need have no fear, for that he was only doing this, to kill his enemy the Mollah. The knight found Omar in a state of great fear, with few troops, and he said to him,-'My lord, have no fear, for if it is your wish, I will kill this Janza Meerza': and he attacked him, and cut off his head. When Janza was killed all his followers fled, and Omar Meerza ordered the head of Janza to be taken to his father Miran Meerza, and to his brother Abubeker Meerza, who were in Baldat, with a message that he had sent them the head of his enemy; and that, as his grandfather was now dead, they should come to see him, and unite their forces on the plains of Kian, near Tabriz, where he and his nobles would acknowledge Miran Meerza as their lord, according to right and justice. After the death of Timur Beg {In February 1405}, who expired in the city of Samarkand, the Meerzas and confidential friends of the late lord concealed his death, until they could secure the treasure; but they could not keep it so close, but that some of the knights and followers knew it. There was present in the city of Samarkand, on the death of Timur Beg, one of his grandsons, a son of Miran Meerza, named Khuleel Sultan; who, as soon as he heard of the death of his grandfather, collected as many friends and followers as he could, and went to the three Meerzas who held the palace and treasure of the lord in their possession {Khuleel Sultan was crowned at Samarkand in March 1405. He was the slave of a passion for Shad Mulk, a depraved intriguing woman. In a short time he dissipated all the imperial treasury amongst the basest profligates, and the Amirs were disgusted with his government. Finally he was sent a prisoner to Kashgar, and his beloved Shad Mulk was led in chains through Samarkand. Shah Rokh, the son of Timur, and ruler of Khorassan (Iran/Afganistan) , was then called to the head of affairs at Samarkand, in 1408. He generously liberated Khuleel Sultan, restored his love to his arms, and sent him into Khorassan (Iran/Afganistan) . The lovers were buried in one grave, in 1409, Shad Mulk having stabbed herself over the body of her husband}. He killed one of the three, named Botudo Meerza, a son of that Janza who had been beheaded by Omar Meerza, and the other two fled to the land of Khorassan (Iran/Afganistan) , which was ruled by a son of Timur Beg, named Shah Rokh, who lived in a great city called Herat. When Khuleel Sultan had killed his grandfather's intimate friend, he went to the castle, and got possession of the treasure and the city. He then caused the body of his grandfather to be buried, and sent a message to his father, Miran Meerza, asking him to come to Samarkand and take charge of the treasure, and he declared that he should be lord, as his father had been. All the Chatagais, he added, would join him, if he possessed that great treasure; but others said that Gansada, the wife of Miran Meerza, who had returned to Timur Beg, would prevent this, as she was the mother of Khuleel Sultan, and was with her son at Samarkand. This Khuleel Sultan is a youth, of twenty-two years of age, and he is fair, and stout in his person, like his father. He was very hospitable to the ambassadors when they were in Samarkand. It had been twice before reported that Timur Beg was dead, to see who would rebel; and he had presently fallen upon those who rebelled, and crushed them; so that men would not now believe that he was dead, and afterwards news came to Tabriz, where the ambassadors then were, that he was alive, and marching with his army against the Sultan of Babylon. Miran Meerza, as soon as he knew for certain that Timur Beg was dead, and had seen the head of Janza Meerza, which his son had sent him, left the city of Baldan, with his son Abubeker Meerza. He knew that his son Omar Meerza had collected a large force, and had sent to the cities of Tabriz and Sultanieh, to prepare for his arrival. When the father heard this, he became jealous of his son, and would not join him. But when his other son Abubeker heard it, he said to his father that he would go to his brother, seize upon him, and bring him before Miran Meerza, but his father would not consent to this. Abubeker Meerza and Omar Meerza were own brothers, and their mother went to Omar, and said, 'My son! thy father ought to be lord, and every one wishes it, yet you hinder it.' He answered, 'God forbid ! I am ready to obey his orders.' The mother then returned to her husband, and told him what had happened, and Miran Meerza determined to send his other son, that both brothers might arrange how to secure the sovereignty to their father. As soon as Omar Meerza knew that his brother was approaching, he came out of the tent, took his hand, and led him in; but when he was inside, he ordered him to be secured; and about five hundred followers, who attended him, fled back to his father. He sent his brother in chains to the castle of Sultanieh, and then marched against his father, to take him also, but he fled to the land of Rei, where Culemax Meerza, his brother-in-law, and other Chatagai knights, were assembled. The mother of Omar Meerza and Abubeker Meerza, when she knew that the one had imprisoned the other, went to Omar Meerza, rending her clothes and weeping, and said, 'I bore you, my son ! and now you wish to kill your brother, knowing that he is your own brother, and that he is well beloved by all men.' He answered that he had only imprisoned his brother, because he was mad and insolent, and that he only desired that his father should be lord. After he had taken his brother prisoner, he found that he was beloved by the Chatagais; but he still endeavoured to secure his father, and marched after him, on the road to Samarkand. When he could not capture him, he proposed to his uncle, Shah Rokh, to divide the sovereignty between them. When Miran Meerza heard that this agreement had been made, he stayed in Khorassan (Iran/Afganistan) . At this time Omar Meerza sent a letter to the ambassadors, who were in the city of Tabriz, saying that they should not be impatient, because they were not dismissed, for that they would very shortly be sent away.