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English: Letter from Arghun, Khan of the Mongol Ilkhanate, to Pope Nicholas IV, 1290.

Ink on paper. Original size: 84 cm x 97 cm. Archivio Segreto Vaticano. The letter is in the Mongolian language, in handwritten Mongolian script, the seals are in Chinese. French translation in Mostaert/Cleaves, "Trois documents mongols des Archives secrètes vaticanes", in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 15, 1952. Transliteration: "...busad alivaa irgen ooriin nom bichgeer zalbirahun aran hudalchihan zalbiran bui. Misiha-giin nom tengert taigch unen bui. Edugee Il Khan Misiha-giin nomd ortugai hemeej ilgeejee chi. Sain etseg mani Misiha-giin nom unen tul, sain emegiig ba shilamtai hu bulgee hemeen ta hiristan irgend ad buu hurtugei hemeen hedentee ba duulgan elchin ilgeegeed oguuleech hu ilgeen avai ze. Shilamd ortugai hemeehui chin zov. Ba Chinggis Khaany urguud ooriin Mongoljin toroor aj shilamd orvoos ba esvees beer gagts Monh Tenger med hemeej. Ed shilamd orogsod tani metes magad unen setgelten ariun aran Monh Tengeriin, Misiha-giin nom zarlig bus ul bolgon bui za. Busad irgen Monh Tengeriig umartaj, bus bolgoj, hudal hulgai uildehun uleg olon bui. Edugee namaig shilamd es orjee hemeen muulj ba setgej ah chi. Gagts Monh Tengert zalbirvaas, zugeer setgej avaas, shilamd orson met uleg bui. Bichig mani bars jil zuny terguun saryn tavan shineded Urumi-d buhui dor bichvei."

Translation: "[previous words in manuscript are damaged]... you have sent [a message] saying: 'The other peoples of the universe, whoever they are, [being] people who pray according to their own religion and scriptures (Buddhists, Muslims etc.), are praying falsely. The religion of Misiqa (Messiah, the Christ) adores Heaven and is true. May the Ilkhan now adopt the religion of Misiqa.' Saying that our good father - because the religion of Misiqa is the right one - as well as our good grandmother had also received silam ("baptism"-Syrian loanword), you have also again and again made communications, sent ambassadors and bearers of urgent oral messages who said 'May nothing bad be committed against the Christians!' Your saying 'May [the Ilkhan] receive silam' is legitimate. We say: 'We the descendants of Genghis Khan, keeping our own proper Mongol identity, whether some receive silam or some don't, that is only for Eternal Tengri (Heaven) to know (decide).' People who have received silam and who, like you, have a truly honest heart and are pure, do not act against the religion and orders of the Eternal Tengri and of Misiqa. Regarding the other peoples, those who, forgetting the Eternal Tengri and disobeying it, are lying and stealing, are there not many of them? Now, you say that we have not received silam, you are offended and harbor thoughts of discontent. [But] if one prays to Eternal Tengri and carries righteous thoughts, it is as much as if he had received silam. We have written our letter in the year of the tiger, the fifth of the new moon of the first summer month (May 14th, 1290), when we were in Urumi."
Date 1290(1290)
Source Original document preserved in the Vatican Archive, [1]

Scanned by User:Yaan from Dschingis Khan und seine Erben (exhibition catalogue), München 2005, p. 280 (the catalog incorrectly describes the document as a letter from Ghazan to Boniface VIII)
Author Unknown scribe on order of Arghun.


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