KIPCHAKSISBN 5-02-009542-7 © Publishing house “ Science “, 1990
|Appelatives: Kipchaks, Qipchaq, Qifjaq, Xifjaq, Kimchag, Kimcha'ud, Kuchak, Kyfchak, Kimaks, Kibi, Kukiji, Kujshe, Kuche, Kyueshe, Kushi, Kushu, Kuchuk, Kumans, Quman, Comani, Kumandy, Kun-ok, Kun, Kangli, Kengeres, Qangli, Seyanto, Sirs, Tele, Falven, Falones, Val(e)we(n,) Phalagi, Skythicon, Sakaliba, Khartesh, Рlаvсi, Рlаwсу, Рlаuсi, Рlаwci, Раlусz(оk), Polovetsy, Polovtsy, Polowtzi, and other variations|
Subdivisions and ethnic affiliatesXXX, and other variations
|State of Caspian Huns - Contents||State of Caspian Huns - Chapter People of Caspian Huns =>|
Foreword to the Selected Quotations
Page numbers of the original are shown in blue. The translation replaces Russian peculiar terminology with generally accepted English terms used in the literature, thus avoiding repetition of various distortions found in the Middle Age Rus annals and carried over into the present Russian publications, like using “Torks“ for “Türks“, “Pecheneg“ for “Bajanak“, and “Polovetses“ for “Kumans“ and “Kipchaks“. This also helps to eliminate terminological puzzles. Like the term “Polovetses“ used indiscriminately in the Rus annals for “Kumans“ and for “Kipchaks“, the author does not discriminate between the Rus and the Russian periods of the history, calling “Russian“ most of the subjects from the time when Russia did not yet exist, and because in the literature it is conventionally termed “Rus“, this term “Rus“ is used in the present translation where appropriate. The author indiscriminately uses the Türkic word “ordu“, army (Engl. “Horde“) for the whole population of a tribe, a group of clans, or for one clan, and also as a synonym for “they“ vs “us“, as a faceless crowd; this term is rendered by its English synonym “horde“ with a suitable semantical clarification. When helpful, a Russian term is shown in parenthesis. The author's notes are given in a base font, and the Translator's Notes are in (blue italics and parenthesis), or are in blue boxes.
The English rendition of the extensive citation of the work is much simplified, with many details omitted and much reduced references, but with an eye to preserving the facts and evidence of the original work. The author, S.A.Pletneva, is a venerable, outstanding scientist doing an honest work, a feat not too frequently met in the Russian politicized humanities field, she frequently uses language appropriate for the subject, not lowering herself to a version of the common Russian scientific language cleansed from its inherent Türkisms, and having addressed Alans twenty five times in her book, not once did S.A.Pletneva used the title “Iranian-speaking“, mandatorily applied to the Alans, just like in the Soviet epoch the title “President“ was mandatorily applied to “Brezhnev“, and she also did not invoke the also mandatory Scytho-Ossetian faux. Nowadays, the name of S.A.Pletneva is so firmly associated with the archeological studies of the N.Pontic that no author writing about the E. European history can do without citing and deferring to her works.
Without even stipulating her position, in contrast with the revelations usually heralded by the Indo-Iranists, S.A.Pletneva does not get at all into the Indo-Iranian type quasi-scientific fishing, but instead in an inconspicuous footnote quietly etymologizes the Türkic names of the Bajanak Khans, and on the maps she supplies the unheard of, in the Russian academic works, the Türkic ononyms that were cited by Herodotus and lasted, at least some of them, into the present. This ability to be factual is the best and lasting honor that the author can endow herself.
ail = village, extended family
coaching = a verb from coach (n.), which is a common Türkic word for a “coach“: to ride in a coach, to follow herds in a coach, to migrate to new lands in a coach. Riding a coach is complementary, but not synonymous, with driving a coach. Coaching is done in caravans, individual coaching is a simple riding, like “he rode to the city, but they coached to the city“. Coaching is done in covered wagons which semantically are synonymous with mobile homes.
S.A.PletnevaKIPCHAKSISBN 5-02-009542-7 © Publishing house “ Science “, 1990
The book is devoted to the history of one of the most known and powerful Türkic-speaking ethnoses of the Middle Ages epoch, the Kipchaks, called Polovetses by Rus chroniclers. In the Arabian and Persian compositions they were called Kipchaks, and in the Byzantine and Latin compositions they were called Kumans. The author examines written sources and archeological materials about this ethnic formation, raises and quite often solves in a new way many questions of the origin, economic and social relations, ideology and political history of this people.
Their Rus contemporaries in the 11th-13th centuries called them Kipchaks (Polovetses). Byzantines, and after them all Western Europe called this people Kumans (probably the other way around, first their neighbors, and then Byzantines). The eastern hordes (i.e. tribes) of that ethnos coaching east of Itil and Urals steppes, up to Irtysh, were called Kipchaks. Under that name they entered the pages of the Arabian and Persian manuscripts. The Chinese transcribed the word “Kipchak“ by two hieroglyphs: “Tsyn-cha“. The Chinese chroniclers knew the Tsyn-cha in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC, but Byzantines and Rus met them 1,300 years later, in the 11th-12th centuries (there was no Byzantine and Rus in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC). In that long time the Kipchaks went through periods of glory, military successes, economic rises, and the periods of bad declines, when the chroniclers and travelers of all countries and nations ceased mentioning them.
Nevertheless, we can confidently tell that the general tendency of the Kipchak society before the Mongolian invasion in the beginning of the 13th century was a tendency of development: from a small tribe, barely mentioned in the Chinese chronicle, by the beginning of the second millennium they turned into a strong, powerful and numerous ethnic formation, with the political influence and military potential of which had to be reckoned by the aging Byzantium and incipient Rus.
P.V.Golubovsky, second half of the 19th century, “Badjanaks, Türks and Kipchaks before invasion of Tatars“, printed in Kiev in 1883.
I.Marqwart, ca. 1900, German Türkologist “Ober das Volkstum der Komanen“, some Markvart's positions on the early history of Kipchaks and now have not lost their scientific value.
D.A.Rasovsky, the beginning of the 1930es, “Sermnariuni Kondakovianum“, Prague, and brilliant articles devoted to the history of the nomads of the Eastern European steppes, synchronous and interacting with Kipchaks (Badjanaks, Türks, Kara Kalpak union, etc.).
After these works it became clear, that rather new data, the new facts can be received only by developing one more source, which until then was not used at all by the scientists. This source were archeological materials.
Their accumulation began in the end of the 19th century. A mass excavation of nomadic kurgans was undertaken by the general-lieutenant N.E.Bravdenburg in Cherkass area (in the Ros area), and by one of the most active Russiann archeologists B. A.Gorodtsov on the banks of the Severski Donets (the Russian historical adjective “Severski“ refers to the Suvar tribe, which lived in the basin of the “Small Don“, or Donets, river) and Don, started a collection of nomadic (including Kipchak's) antiquities of the Eastern Europe.
A.A.Spitsyn suggested that the burials excavated by Brandenburg should be connected with Badjanaks, Türks and Berendeys, located by the Rus annals in the river Ros area. The remarkable archeological intuition peculiar to Spitsyn, and deep knowledge of the material allowed him to correctly date these burials by the 11th - the beginning of the 13th century.
Gorodtsov divided into the ethnic groups the kurgans excavated by him in the basin of Severski Donets. He was the first who allocated precisely the features of the Kipchak's funeral ceremony: kurgan embankments with stone, tombs with timber roofs, eastern orientation of the diseased.
Fedorov-Davidov's monograph “Nomads of the Eastern Europe under the authority of the Altyn Ordu Khans“ is a complete report of all nomadic antiquities, in which he divides them into four chronological groups: 1st belongs to the 9th-11th centuries and is linked with Badjanaks and Türks; 2nd belongs to the end of the 11th-12th centuries, the first period of the Kipchak's domination in the steppes; 3rd belongs to the pre-Mongolian period of the Kipchak's domination; 4th belongs to the 13th - 14th centuries Kipchak Khanaate period.
Each group has a number of the burial types, and that gives Fedorov-Davidov a basis to stipulate that it is impossible to discern the ethnic definition of each type: their mixture in any chronological period is too commingled. However with the general propriety of that division of the material, each period has a typical prevalence of one type ceremony, or the funeral ceremony has new features traceable in other territories in the earlier, and sometimes also in the synchronous burials. Obviously, a connection of a ceremony with a certain ethnos undoubtedly existed. At present it only develops, and in the future with further accumulation of the material and its processing these connections will come to light more clearly.
In the last two decades (i.e. 1970-1990) the update of source base is conducted rather actively, as the excavations of the steppe archeological monuments, kurgans of different epochs including medieval, is annually done by tens of new construction expeditions. Now is starting a new stage of understanding the found up materials, which, in due course will end up with a monographic summary.
A much greater unity and clearness achieved the archeologists in the ethnic, and in particular the Kipchak's stone sculptures (balbals), today they are a most characteristic accessory in the museum collections of the southern steppe cities of in the Ukraine and Russia. At the time tens of thousand sculptures stood in groups or alone on all elevated, visible from afar points of the steppe. The Russian ploughmen in the 17th-18th centuries ploughed the virgin lands and a widespread construction led to a mass destruction of these works of art. By the 20th century almost none of them remained in the Dnieper-Don interfluvial, the main territory of their distribution. Countess P.S.Uvarova, an archeologist and philanthropist, started a fight for their preservation. She asked the governors of the southern provinces to organize a census of the statues. This great source for study of the statues and their distribution in the steppes is kept now in the GIM. At the same time at the end of the 19th - the first decades of the 20th century, started to be created extensive museum collections of the steppe statuary.
For a long time, during all of the 19th century, the stone statues were attributed to a variety of peoples who lived in the teppes: Scythians, Huns, to Goths, Bulgars, Finns, Slavs, Ugrs, Tatars, Nogays and even to Slavic migrants. The first researcher who resolutely stated that they are left by the Kipchaks, and tried to prove his hypothesis, was I.Veselovsky. After publications of his work in the 1915 the majority of scientists unconditionally recognized them as Kipchak's. The material was not specifically canvassed.
Only in 1974 was published my book “Kipchak's stone sculptures“ where all largest museum collections of statues (1322 originals) were investigated whenever possible. In addition to the publication of statues (catalogue), the work attempted to make it a historical source for future historical studies.
A big attention is paid to Kipchaks in the works of the historians for the history of the pre-Mongolian Rus. Especially big place occupy the sections about them in B.A.Rybakov's books.
Essential role in the research of the Kipchak history and culture played the abundance of monographs and articles addressing the “Tale of Igor's Campain“. There with especial thoroughness are examined the questions of mutual relations between the Kipchaks and Rus: language, cultural, political and so forth.
Thus, the Kipchak's subjects are traditional for the Russian historical science. Noteworthy is that in the beginning of the 70es, not without the influence of the “flashed“ and spread in the previous decade interest to the Kipchaks and other so-called late nomads, in Romania were published two good books of Peter Diakonu about Badjanaks and Kipchaks in the Danube basin.
So, even a most cursory review of the literature about Kipchaks that mentioned only the most important monographic works testifies that this theme is not forgotten in neither Western, nor Russian, nor the Soviet scientists (in other words, “don't kill me for being a maverick, I am only threading the established paths“, but fortunately this is not true at all).
This book is a first attempt of a popular rendition, and occasional first generalization of the accumulated in the last hundred years observations, materials and conclusions for various moments of the Kipchak history, geography, economy and culture. The book introduced some new materials and facts, it express new ideas and hypotheses for some topics. Probably, they will be interesting but only for a general reader for whom this book is intended, but also to the history experts.
Chapter 1.Eastern European steppes at the border of two millennia (i.e. in the 1000 AD)
Bosnians (Slav. “Pecheneges“)
At the end of the 9th century the Khazarian Kaganate, torn apart by internal problems and religious upheaval, lost its recent absolute power, its glory of invincible power won by rivers of blood. The neighboring peoples begun to agitate, one after another began leaving the tribes and the tribal unions of the Khazar confederation who used to pay a tribute to the Kagan.
In the Eastern European steppes at that time (ca. 880-890) formed a new nomadic union, Badjanaks (in the Latin and Byzantine literature they were called Patsinaks or Pachinaks, in the Arabian literature they were called Badjnak (بآجانآك Bechenek)).
The (Khazar) Kagan concluded a union with Oguses, hoping that the allied forces would crush the unexpected aggressors. However, the result of this agreement turned out completely the opposite. The Oguzes, according to the Byzantine historian emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, “joined battle with the Pechenegs and prevailed over them and expelled them from their country...“. He writes “And the Pachjinaks, fled and wandered round, casting about for a place for their settlement“ (Constantine Porphyrogenitus, p. 155). The Badjanaks' path in the seized lands at the end of the 800's - first decade of the 900's was marked by large fires, destruction of the overwhelming majority of steppe and forest-steppe settlements, castles and even cities (on the Taman peninsula) (reference to the destruction of the Bulgar capital Banja). This relatively short period of the Badjanaks' advancement to the west found, from our point of view, a reflection in the Persian geographical work “Borders of the world“, by an unknown author, probably in beginning of the 10th century. It tells about two branches of Badjanaks: Türkic and Khazarian.
The geographical position of the Türkic Badjanaks is described as follows: “The east of their country borders on Oguzes, south of them are Burtases and Baradases, west of them are Magyars and Rus, north of them is the river Ruta“.
The second section of the Badjanaks, named by the Persian Anonym “Khazarian“, was coaching in the lands to the east of what were the “Khazarian mountains, south of them were Alans, to the west was the Gurz Sea (Caspian), in the north of them were Mirvats (Burtases)“ (Hudud-al-Alam, p. 160). We see, that the information about this branch is even more uncertain than about the Türkic segment. The only clear reference is the Alans, who lived, as it is known, in the Caucasus foothills. The Sea, mentioned in the citation fragment, probably is the Azov Sea (and a part of the Black Sea), and the mountains are the hills running along the Kuma - Manych depression. Who was named by the Anonym Mirvats, remains obscure. Nevertheless the provisional site of the Khazarian Badjanaks' land all the same can be established as a steppe interfluvial of the Lower Don and Kuban rivers. The archeological research of some seaside settlements testify that many of them, particularly such a large city as Bandja (Bulgarian capital Bandja = Gr. Φαναγορ(ε)ία/Phanagoria = Onoguria/Hunoguria, founded ca. 543 BC, named Fanagoriya by the author), were destructed at the end of the 9th - beginning of the 10th century.
The sources tell us about one more group of Badjanaks who lived in the area east of Itil. Passing through the steppes east of Itil in the beginning of the 10th century (i.e. in 922), Ahmed Ibn Fadlan met there Badjanaks coaching near the water, that “looked like a sea“. Seemingly, he meant the salty lake Chelkar located in the center of the east of Itil lands. Talking about them, Ibn Fadlan writes: “they are dark brunettes with completely shaved beards, and are poor comparing to Oguzes...“. Apparently, these were those Badjanaks that did not follow to the West together with the main nucleus of the Badjanak's tribal union, and remained in the former pastures, submitting to Oguzes. About these Badjanaks also wrote in detail Constantine Porphyrogenitus: “At the time when the Pachinakits were expelled from their country, some of them of their own volition and personal decision stayed behind there and united with the so-called Uzes, and even to this day they live among them, and wear such distinguishing marks as separate them off and betray their origin and how clan about that they were split off from their own folk: for their tunics are short, reaching to the knee, and their sleeves are cut off at the shoulder, whereby, you see, they indicate that they were cut off from their own folk and those of their race“. It was most passive and poor part of the Badjanaks. Remaining in their former pastures, they, naturally, have submitted to the Oguzes, joined their union and had no independent value any more, and were not mentioned in the other sources.
By the middle of the 10c. Badjanaks took over enormous steppe territories from Itil to the Danube. About the political geography of the Badjanak's land, about location there of separate Badjanak's hordes, or femas, narrates in detail the same Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The matter is that the Badjanaks at that time played in the history of the eastern and central European peoples and countries, and in the history of the Byzantium, extremely visible role. By that, they constantly attracted attention of the Byzantine politicians, who were counting upon them in their plans of the struggle against the states surrounding them of the Bolgars, Hungarians, Khazars, Ruses. Significantly, Constantine begins his composition, an instruction to his son titled “De Administrando Imperio“, with the chapters describing the relations of all their neighboring peoples with the Badjanaks, with their significant dependence on the Badjanaks who are plundering their peaceful settlements, with them interfering in trade, with them extorting repayments and payoffs. Especially suffered from them the Hungarians and Bulgars, who were “repeatedly defeated and plundered by them and learned from experience that it is better and favorable to always be in peace with Pachinakits“.
After a general characteristic of the “international situation“ complicated by the Badjanaks, Constantine moves to the description of the “Pachinakia“ itself, thanks to which we now have a clear picture of the Badjanak location during the high time of their greatest power. He wrote that the country of Badjanaks is divided into eight fems. The fema Tsur (or Kuartsitsur), Kulpei (Sirukalpeis), Talmat (Borotalmat), Tsopon (Vulatsopon) are located east from the Dnieper and down to Itil. One of the Jewish authors, namely Joseph bei-Gorion, who also wrote his composition in the 10th century, tells that the tribe Tilmats coached along Itil. Apparently, we can quite compare this name to the fema Talmat named by Constantine. Specifying further the location of the eastern group of the Badjanaks, Constantine wrote that their neighbors of were Uzia and Khazaria, the distance from which was five days of travel (about 200 kms), Alania which lands were six days of travel from the pastures of Badjanaks, and Mordia (Mordva), at a distance of 10 days travel.
The other four femas are: Chopon (Giazichopon) is “neighboring“ with Danube Bulgaria, half-day of travel from its borders (15-20 kms); Gila is close to Hungary at a distance of four days travel: Charavon are coaching one day travel from the southern border of Rus, and Irtim (Iavdiertim) is “neighboring“ the Rus tributor districts, the Oultines and Dervlenines and Lenzenines and the rest of the Slavs“. Now we know well where lived one of the Slavic tribes named by Constantine, the Dervlenines-Drevlyans: in the interfluvial of the Dnieper and Bug, on the southern bank of the Pripyat and its tributaries down to the border with the steppe. Apparently, to the south of this border in the steppes coached Irtim horde. Constantine also repeatedly emphasized that Badjanaks are very close to Kherson, “and even closer to the Bospor“, which, probably, means that their pastures were somewhere in the east coast of the Azov Sea and on the Taman peninsula.
And it is natural, as only the grandfather of Joseph ruled a really powerful state with many subordinated peoples. To reconcile with the loss of this power was difficult for Joseph, especially to admit it in the information letter about his state. However to hold back story about Badjanaks who dealt to Khazaria a first crushing blow he could not, as the news about their invasion already reached Spain where lived Hasdaj ibn Shafrut, a Spanish Jew and ranking noble of the Arabian (Cordovian) Caliph. This is evidenced by the “Song about Roland“ that mentioned the “hordes of wild Badjanaks“. Clearly, they were known in Spain, and in France, and in the German princedoms. Nevertheless, Joseph minimized as much as he could the tragical role of this people in the history of his country.
And meanwhile the Badjanaks had actually destroyed the Kaganate. They destroyed its economy; most of the rich agricultural settlements in the forest-steppe zones of the Don area was wiped out from the face of the earth. The population has been partly destroyed, partly joined the nomadic divisions of the Badjanaks. Only a small number of them fled to Danube (to the Danube Bulgaria), to the Middle Itil and to the boondock corners of the upper courses of Oskol and Don rivers, reliably protected by forest massifs from the nomadic attacks. A part of the Bulgaro-Alaian population of the Don area also retreated to the southern areas of the Kaganate, into the domain of the Kagan. The small border town Sarkel on the Don had grown appreciably, which is archeologically clearly traced: the cultural layers of the beginning of the 10th century in the fortress stand out by especially rich and diverse finds. Precisely then appeared in the ity the first Slavic immigrants, the inhabitants of the bordering Kaganate Slavic lands, who fled together with the population of the Kaganate from the Badjanak's invasion. A terrible loss endured the trade of the Kaganate, and its diplomatic communications were defeated. Badjanaks, who captured the steppes between Kuban and Don, cut off the Khazaria from the Byzantine empire. Besides, the Badjanaks destroyed some coastal cities and settlements in the Eastern Crimea. Thus, all the vital arteries that connected Kaganate with its allies, trading partners and tributors, were seveared. The state inevitably was moving to a destruction, by the middle of the 10th century it was practically reduced to the size of the personal domain of the Kagan, located approximately in the territory of the modern Kalmykia.
Khazar Kagan royal domain14
Badjanaks no more saw the Khazars as dangerous enemies in any respect. Apparently, the Kaganate even did not try to expel them from their former lands. And there was no necessity any more, fore the lands all the same would remain empty, there was nobody to occupy them.
So, neither the Oguzes, nor the Kaganate disturbed the Badjanaks. Byzantium was a far and still inaccessible country: it was impossible to reach it, because Badjanaks had to cross for that purpose the Danube Bulgaria, leaving in the rear not only the Bolgars, but also a mighty, gaining strength every year opponent, the Rus. It was the only real force, capable to resist the nomadic hordes.
For the first time the Ruses have met Badjanaks in the 915, when Badjanaks made a peace accord with Igor (Ugyr Lachini, 912-945, aka Igor I the Old, Ingvar). Apparently, while resettling in the steppes, capturing ever new and new open steppes, Badjanaks tried to also “to master“ the forest-steppe areas belonging to Rus. Having encountered resistance of the Rus regiments, Badjanaks concluded a peace with Rus to ensure a quiet rear, and proceeded coaching to the borders of the weaker opponents: Bulgaria and Hungary.
Igor tried neutralizing Badjanaks not only by a conclusion of a peace treaty, but also with the force of the weapons. In the 920, he attacked them. Who won that campaign and where Rus attack was directed is not known. No other messages about Rus attacks were preserved in the annals. And to organize them then was hardly possible. The Badjanaks, pasturing in the huge spaces of the N.Pontic steppes, were practically uncatchable, coaching the year around, spending all time in the carts and on horses (this stipulation conflicts with the statements of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who specifically noted locations and names of the Bajanak's cities: Aspron, Toungatai, Kraknakatai, Salmakatai, Sakakatai, Giaioukatai; the Bajanak's economy was primarily based on sheep husbandry, the sheep herds do not traverse great distances; any attack of few-hundred strong Rus mercenary “army“ against much stronger and well-organized people did not have a chance, except for a local predatory raid against undefended settlement when its men were elsewhere, the only tactics used by the Rus Princes over the centuries).
The Badjanaks were at the so-called “tabor“ stage of nomadism that is characterized by quite advanced social relations: military democracy. The eight “femas“, which is possible to view as associations such as hordes (i.e. tribal unions), were headed by the Khans, “archonts“ as Constantine Porphyrogenitus called them. The hordes (i.e. a tribal unions) were divided onto 40 divisions, i.e. each horde (i.e. tribal union) had five clans. This structure of the Badjanak's society was traced by the ethnographers to some presently existing peoples, in particular to the Karakalpaks. The clans were headed by “arhonts“ of a lower rank, the lesser Khans. The role of the tribal and clan Khans in the conditions of the military democracy was reduced to a role of a military leader. Constantine Porphyrogenitus wrote down the names of the first Khans who led Badjanaks in capturing the Eastern European steppes: Baitzas (horde Irtim), Kourkoutai (Gila) (Kangar, Ch. 康居 Kangju, Kangüy; tai/sai/zai is Turkic "clan", the name is that of "Dede Kurkut" epos), Kaidoum (Charaboi) (modern Horvats, Croats), Giazis (Chopon), Konel (Tzour), Ipaos (Koulpei), Batas (Tzopon), Kostas (Talmat).
Probably, each horde operated to a large degree independently. During plundering and occupation campaigns and wars some of them grew especially rich and separated to be on their own (plundering whom? occupying what? enriching from whom? this derogatory attitude has only rhetorical value, and is totally out of place).
The Byzantine emperor relays: “Pachinakits also are called Kangar, but not all of them, but the people of three femas: Iavdiirti, Kuartsitsur and Chavuksingila, as more courageous and noble, than the others: for this is the meaning of the nickname Kangar“. The Kangar femas apparently originated from “Kangüy“ (Ch. Kanguy, Kangju 康居) and from the very beginning, from the formation of the Badjanak federation, they were at the head of the union. Apparently, the heads of the three “chosen“ hordes, the Khans Kurkute, Vaitsu and Kuel were the most glorious and powerful in the Badjanak's land. The semantics of the Khans' names seems to me to be very significant. Respectively, they are: “Wolf“, “Storm“ or “Typhoon Wind “ (?), “Strong El“ - “Strong Ruler“ (?)
Nevertheless, they even could not hand down power to their sons. The power was inherited by cousins or cousins' children, “for the honor not to remain constantly in one branch of a clan, but that honor be inherited and received as well by the relatives on the lateral line. Nobody from outside clans interferes and does not become archont“, concludes the emperor Constantine his scholarship on the social order of the Badjanaks.
The described by him somewhat unusual order of inheritance, it seems, suggests matrilineage of the kinship, or at least the remnants of the matriarchal law. It should be noted, that the vestiges of the matriarchy were, apparently, generally characteristic for the nomads; some of its features, as we shall see below, are also well traced in the Kipchak society.
In the 965, during a reign of the Prince Svyatoslav, Badjanaks participated in the Rus campaign against Khazaria. There is no direct data, but not without a reason the Byzantine emperor emphasized an impossibility for the Ruses to engage in international wars without a prior agreement with the Badjanaks.
In that campaign Svyatoslav inevitably had to cross the Badjanak's steppes to reach the Khazarian cities: the Sarkel, which was taken the first and was ravaged by his army, and then the Itil somewhere on the Lower Itil. The peace of Svyatoslav with the steppe-dwellers was short-lived. Three years later (i.e. in the 968) Badjanaks organized a big campaign against the Rus. Svyatoslav at that time waged an aggressive war against Danube Bulgaria, and it is quite probable that the Byzantines, frightened by the close neighborhood of the Rus cohort, incited this campaign against the country weakened by the absence of its prince and the best part of his cohort (Svyatoslav was bought by the Greeks for 15 centinarii, of which fact S.A. Pletneva could not possibly have not known, and possibly Greeks were taking advantage of interregnum between Peter I, 927-969, and Boris II, 969-971. The Rus tradition held that Svyatoslav altruistically wanted to relocate his capital to the Pereslavl in the Danube Bulgaria, which conflicts with the expense account of the Greeks. The 15 centinarii, if it is a count of solidi, gives 1,500 solidi at 20 solidi/lb, weigh 75 lb, or 35 kg of gold, for an army numbering at most 2,000 mercenaries). The Rus chronicler reports that Badjanaks laid a siege to Kyiv. The city and princess with princesses were saved by a commander Pretich, who came to Kyiv after being notified about the calamity that befell the city by an adolescent Kyivan, who made his way through the Badjanak's encirclement and swam across Dnieper to get to the Chernihiv (at that time still called Karajar in Türkic) soldiers, who were encamped on the left bank of Dnieper and did not know about distress of the capital city.
Bulgars and Byzantines hastened to inform Badjanaks that Svyatoslav is moving from Dorostol with “uncounted“ captured and with “a small cohort“. Badjanaks set an ambush at the Dnieper cataracts, waiting for Svyatoslav. Svyatoslav, discovering it, decided to winter in Beloberejie. The wintering was hungry and cold. In the spring the weakened soldiers could not break through the Badjanak's encirclement, and when Svyatoslav came to the cataracts, the Badjanak's chieftain Kurya assaulted them and killed Svyatoslav. Kurya ordered then to cut off Svyatoslav's head and to make a goblet framed in gold from his skull. Making goblets from the skulls of the killed enemies was a custom widely spread in the Türkic world (Iakinf Bichurin, II, p.117). The nomads believed that in this way to them would pass the power and courage of the slain enemy. It is interesting, that Khan Kurya and his wife drank from that ritual goblet to have a son like Svyatoslav. About this mighty and brave knight were composed legends not only in the Rus, but also in the steppes.
After the death of Svyatoslav, the offensive activity of the Badjanaks has increased. In response to it the new Kyiv prince Vladimir (his Türkic name was Budimir, 980-1015. S.A. Pletneva skips the reign of Yaropolk, his elder brother dethroned in a coup, and the Badjanak-Rus relations during his 972-980 reign), a son of Svyatoslav, started an atypical fortification of the state's southern borders: fortification along Desna, and Ustrya, to the Trubeshev, and along Sula, and along Stugna. He settled guards from all ends of the Rus in these fortifications. At that time were built a part of the well-known Snake Bulwarks and those already existing were renewed and upgraded.
Despite of the successful as a whole Vladimir's policy in respect to the Badjanaks, despite the fortification of the borders and gradual expansion of the territory, the Badjanaks hung as a heavy cloud over the Rus. In the 993 they crossed Sula and stopped on the left bank of the Trubej. On the other side opposite them lined his cohort Vladimir. Because both sides hesitated to begin a battle, the Badjanak's Khan (who?) offered to Vladimir a single combat of bogatyrs (“mighty men“. S.A. Pletneva is not braving the fate by using a Türkic word, she could not avoid it, Russian has only this word). In case of the Badjanaks' victory his tribesmen by agreement could be free to plunder Rus for three years, a victory by a Rusian would bring them three quiet years, the Badjanaks for these years promised not to raid the Rus' borderlands. The Rus bogatyr won and saved Rus from ruin. The Badjanaks fled, the Ruses went in pursuit and killed many with swords and sabers. Vladimir in the place of the victory built city and has named it Pereyaslavl.
For three years the Badjanaks really did not raid Rus, until in the 996 again began a wearisome struggle of the Rus with the steppe. The chronicler wrote about these last years of the first millennium: “unending wars“. Judging from the annalistic records, the Badjanaks would come to a town, probably selected beforehand, take it, plunder its vicinities and retreat with the captured to the steppe.
They had no special tools for breaching walls, and therefore as a rule they were starving out (as when they wanted to capture Kyiv in the Olga's and Svyatoslav's time) the besieged. The annals preserved an interesting legend story about the siege of the Belograd by the Badjanaks. When a bad famine began in the city, the Belogradians came up with a ruse: from the last stocks collected from the whole city, they cooked a barrel of gelled punch and a barrel of porridge, and fit them into specially made wells, and then invited 10 of the best Badjanak's nobles into the city and treated with the meal from the wells. The amazed Badjanaks ascertained that the townspeople were not deceiving telling that they have the “food from the earth“, and that siege was not threatening them: stay there for ten years and keep ruining yourselves, said the Belogradians. The Badjanak's Khans, having tasting the gelled punch and porridge, ordered to retreat from the city. However such “happy endings“ happened seldom, usually the small towns were burned, people were taken to slavery, the cultivated lands were trodden. Therefore the Prince Vladimir tried in every possible way to keep peace. In the first years of the 11th century the bishop Bruno, traveling through the Rus to the the land of Badjanaks, on behalf of the Rus prince concluded a peace with Badjanaks. The Rus prince pledged to observe a number of conditions of the steppe-dwellers, and turned over his son as a security hostage for the peace. What those requirements consisted of can be only guessed.
Trying to retain the reputation of invincible and terrible opponents, Badjanaks made a desperate attempt to crush or at least to temporarily weaken the Rus. For this purpose they went on a campaign to Kyiv in the 1036. Yaroslav came from Novgorod with a strong Viking-Slavic cohort. Understanding apparently the consequences of the forthcoming battle, Yaroslav carefully prepared for it. Three regiments from the city fought Badjanaks in the place where at the time of whiting the annals already stood the Sofia cathedral. Yaroslav won the battle, actually destroying the Badjanak's control.
However, the name of Badjanaks did not disappear from the pages of various (multi-lingual) medieval manuscripts. We also not once shall return to them in our book.
Chapter 1. (continued)
Eastern European steppes at the border of two millennia (i.e. in the 1000 AD)
Oguzes (Slav. “Uzes, Torks (Türks)“)
In the beginning of the 11th century new nomadic hordes, called in the Rus annals Torks, in the Byzantine chronicles Uzes, and in the eastern compositions Oguzes flooded the Eastern European steppes. Oguzes displaced Badjanaks from their former stans and pastures, and forced them to search for new lands in the west.
The Oguzes, right after the capture the steppes east of Itil, began showing an active interest to their main western neighbor, the Khazarian Kaganate. Documents have preserved that already in the middle of the 10th century they plundered the Kaganate, crossing Itil on ice in the winter. In the bad for the Khazars year of Svyatoslav campaign (965) the Oguzes joined Ruses to rob the weakened state.
On the border of the Khazarian Kagan domain in the trading small town-fortresses Sarkel at the end of the 9th century settled Badjanak mercenaries who formed a nomadic garrison of the fortress. The natives of the Oguz hordes constantly poured in, asking for peace and protection in the Sarkel (Türk. Sary Kel = White Fort). This Badjanak-Oguz garrison also continued to function after the capture of the Sarkel by Svyatoslav and his conversion of it into a Rus steppe advanced post White Fort. Gradually near Sarkel - White Fort grew a new political formation: Badjanak-Oguz horde. Near the city appeared a nomadic Badjanak-Oguz cemetary. The members of the horde were connected not by blood relations, but by administrative authority which initially was a Khazarian governor of the Sarkel, and later a head of the Rus cohorts left by Svyatoslav in the fortress.
This example well illustrates the fact of gradual penetration of Oguzes in N.Pontic steppes. Apparently, their separate groups and pastoral clans could move about freely enough in the Badjanak's possessions.
Anyway, it is clear that to join the Rus cohort, the Oguz Türks had to cross the lands of one of the Badjanak's possessions, probably Talmat lands (since Oguzes rode approximately 400 km north up the Itil river to the Itil Bulgaria, why would they need to cross Badjanak's lands?).
The Bulgars were defeated by the joint efforts of the Rus and Oguz units. Later, they (Ruses and Oguzes) together clobbered down the Khazars, and apparently greatly enriched themselves in that campaign (See Chapter 15 Reign of Timar for the peace terms; the Rus version of the events is quite different from the Bulgarian version).
After that successfully completed joint campaign the Oguz Türks, apparently, continued relations with the Rus. To the Rus cities were coming to serve the people from the Türkic ranges like they were coming earlier to the Sarkel and other Khazarian cities (in a less Hurray-patriotic scenario, more likely the cantonized structure of the Türkic heritage has remained in the budding Rus, similar to that described in the Itil and other Khazarian cities. The Slavs were controlled by the Slavic chieftains, Jews by Jewish leaders, etc, with different degrees of suzerainty over different groups).
As a rule, they served for a good pay: they were hired by the masters who paid more, or were at present in a favorable political position. In an opposite situation, like any mercenaries, they switched over to the strongest side. So, is known a fact that an Oguz Türk was a cook for the young Murom's prince Gleb Vladimirovich, but he switched over to Svyatopolk who captured the Kyiv throne, and on an order of Svyatopolk he slaughtered his former patron. The annals' message about that event is also interesting because the Oguz Türk joined the retinue of the prince in one of the extreme easternmost Rus princedoms. It can be an additional testimony that even in the beginning of the 11th century (the murder took place in the 1015) the Oguz Türks were still coaching in the eastern regions of the Eastern European steppes.
That year (1055) the Oguz Türks (Torks), or rather one of their hordes (armies? tribes?) came too close to the Rus border, to the mouth of the river Sudy, where Ruses already staked a small town Voin (“warrior“ in Slavic). The horde (armies? tribes?) stopped there for the winter which, naturally, could not be pleasing for the inhabitants of the small town, because usually the Oguz Türks (Torks) tried to fill the winter shortage of forage with robbery of the Rus settlements (the previous discourse does not mention any of these Oguz Türks' “usual“ predations, it looks like a citation from the annals that seeks to justify the Rus predation. The Rus annals did not accuse of predation the Oguz mercenaries that joined the Rus Princes, though they were the same people who were accused across “we“ vs. “them“ divide). Prince Vsevolod fell on these Oguz Türks. The Oguz Türks were “defeated“ and driven away into the steppe. And five years after that small raid, in the 1060, all three princes of the triumvirate, with the Polotsk prince Vseslav collected “uncounted“ forces and on horses and in boats attacked the Oguz Türk. Having heard about approaching against the steppe Rus regiments, The Oguz Türk's military leaders did not engage in fight, and retreated far into the steppe. Then the chronicler briefly and expressively narrates about their fate: “they fled dying, some from the winter colds, others from hunger, others from diseases“ (PSRL, II, p. 152) (this is a telling story about heroic feats of the brave joint Rus Prince armies against peaceful and defenseless transients in a protective enclave wintering their herds, wrapped in a patriotic camouflage).
And in fact, after that the Oguz Türks (Torks) were not mentioned any more in the Rus annals as an independent political force. However, like the Badjanaks, the Oguz Türks were not completely destroyed. The overwhelming majority of the Oguz Türks who survived in the steppes, together with the Badjanaks coached to the Rus borders and enlisted in the service to the Rus Princes, for which they were assigned lands for pasturing in the lands adjoining the steppe.
A searches for strong patrons was necessary for both peoples, because from the east to the Eastern European steppes was already coming a new nomadic wave, surpassing in power the two previous. This new force were Kipchaks, who for the first time came to the southeastern border of Rus in the summer of the 1055. The Rus chronicler wrote about the first meeting quite favorably: “Came Blush with Kipchaks, and Vsevolod signed peace with them, and they returned“. Thus opened a new page in the joint history of the nomadic steppe and the Rus.
Kumaks and Kipchaks
24The Arabian and Persian geographers, travelers and historians of the 9th-10th centuries, in the sections of their compositions devoted to the peoples who lived in the Eastern European and Asian steppes remote from the Caliphate, were continuously mentioning the Kimak people and country. A first to name Kimaks and their Kipchak branch in the list of the Türkic tribes was a well-known Arab geographer Ibn Khordadbeh (second half of the 9th century), who used in his work earlier compositions (possibly, even of the 8th century). A little later than Ibn Khordadbeh, al-Istahri and Ibn Haukal, drawing maps, tried to define location of the lands occupied by these peoples. Al-Masudi, who was a most educated historian of his time (10th century), gave more specific information about their location, and his contemporary Abu-Dulaf in his composition describes their economy and religious beliefs. Thus the knowledge about these, peripheral for the Arabo-Muslim world Türkic-speaking peoples, was gradually accumulating.
At the end of the 10th century the writers and scientists in the Caliphate capital were well informed about them, and they were known especially well in the Middle Asian states, where not only the inaccessible for the people books were written about them, but the travel to the Kimak country was also narrated in the markets and chaihanas (chai houses).
The increased amount of information first of all showed up in the well-known Persian geographical treatise “Hudud-al-Alam“ (“Borders of the World“) which dedicated whole chapters to Kimaks and Kipchaks, and a great Middle Asian writer al-Biruni mentioned them in several compositions.
In the 11th century Gardizi wrote about Kimaks in composition “Ornamentation of news“ where is relayed a legend about settlement of this people, and in the 12th century a main source of study of the Kimak-Kipchak country, its occupations, and customs, became a large Arabic geographical composition by al-Idrisi.
A legend about the early history of Kimaks and Kipchaks was preserved in the Gardizi composition. The legend goes back to considerably earlier time than the source, specifically to the end of the 7th-8th century (this is inaccurate, the legend describes the events that happened immediately after the fall of the Seyanto Kaganate, 626-648, when the tribes of the Seyanto Kaganate fled to Irtysh).
In 7th century Kimaks pastured in the lands north of Altai, in the Irtysh area and were a part of the Western Türkic and partly Uigur Kaganates (this is inaccurate, the Western Türkic, 600/603-659, and Uigur, 740-840, Kaganates never co-existed). With the destruction of the Uigur Kaganate crystallized the nucleus of the Kimak tribal union headed by a Shad (Prince) (this is inaccurate, the origin of the Kimak tribal union and the Uigur Kaganate are unrelated; the origin was connected with the Chinese aggression and revolt of Uigurs, who carried the dynastic traditions of the Eastern Huns, against their former vassal tribes of Tele, represented by Seyanto tribe). Here is how it is stated in the legend: “A Chief of Tatars died and left two sons; the senior son seized an empire, the younger began envying his brother; the name of the younger was Shad. He made an attempt on the life of the senior brother, but unsuccessful; afraid for himself, he fled with a slave-mistress from his brother and came to a place where was a big river, a lot of trees, and an abundance of game; there he put up his yurt and settled down.
Every day this man and his slave went on hunting, ate meat and made clothes of sable fur, squirrels and ermines. After that seven men, relatives of Tatars, came to them: the first Imi, the second Imak, the third Tatar, the fourth Bayandur, the fifth Kypchak, the sixth Lanikaz, the seventh Adjlad. These people grazed the herds of their misters; in the places where before the herds grazed, remained no pastures; looking for grass, they came to the side where was Shad. Seeing them, the slave-girl said: “Irtysh“, i.e. “stop“; from that, the river received its name Irtysh. Upon recognizing the slave-girl, they all stopped and set up yurts. The Shad, upon return, brought a lot of game from the hunt, and fed them; they remained there till the winter. When the snow fell, they could not come back; there was a lot of grass, and they spend the whole winter there. When the land cleared and snow melted, they sent a person to the Tatar camp to bring them news about their tribe. When he come there, he saw that the whole land was devastated and deserted by the population: an enemy came, plundered and annihilated all people. The remains of the tribe came down from the mountains to the that man, he told his friends about the Shad; they all went to Irtysh. Upon arriving there, everybody greeted Shad as a leader and began honoring him. The other people, hearing about that, began coming there too; gathered 700 men. For a long time they remained in the Shad service; and then, when they multiplied, they settled the mountains and formed seven tribes named after the seven men“ (Kumekov, 1972, pp. 35-36).
The fragment cited in its entirety is interesting because it tells, in simplified and schematical form, but probably on a whole close to the truth, the story about formation of the Kimak tribal union. Abundantly clear is that the Kimak union formed after a destruction of another political formation (in this case the Western Türkic and later the Uigur Kaganate) (actually, the Seyanto Kaganate, 626-648, which for a short time took over under Tele control the re-unified First Türkic Kaganate led by Ashina tribe, violently replacing the whole power and social structure of the Kaganate, but which fell under an internecine conflict sown by the Chinese Tang empire and Chinese-coordinated Uigur attack) of seven (Tele Oguz, who even were collectively called “Yeti Eren“ = “Seven men“) tribes who earlier were members of the Kaganates. In a similar way, as a rule, went the formation of all steppe nomadic and semi-nomadic empires during the Middle Age epoch (really?).
The tribe Imak (Yemak, Kimak) became the head of the union, and later of the Kimak Kaganate. In another transcription this tribal name sounds as “Kai“, which translated from Mongolian means “snake“ (Ch. Si < Hi < Γiei = giei = Qiy = Kiy = Mong. “snake“; Kimak = Kumo + Si ~ Kumosi ~ Kumohi; Kumo < Kuo-mak < Kimak, reconstruction by P.Pelliot; ref. Ahinjanov, 1989, p. 107-110; P.Pelliot in S.B.Taskin, 1969, p. 180).
It can't be excluded that during consolidation of this steppe federation of seven tribes appeared the expression: “A snake has seven heads“, cited by Mahmud Kashgari in his fundamental work “Genealogy of Türks“ (mind you, this fundamental work of Mahmud Kashgari, cited by anyone who is who in Türkology, has never been published in the former Russia, former Soviet Union, in the former China, present CPR, or anywhere else in the world by anybody who does not immure substantial portion of the Türkic people like do the Russia and China, except for a typewritten 1917 publication in Istanbul, Turkey, in Turkish. How do they get to cite it? Some kind of Türkological Samizdat? The Divan Lugat et-Turk was published in 1996: Mahmood Kashgari, Divan Lugat et-Turk, trans. M. Siyaqi, Tehran, Pajuheshgah-e Olum-e Ensani ve Motaleat-e Farhangi, 1073/1996).
The dominating Kimak tribe was settled mostly on the banks of Irtysh. The Kipchaks, described by Hudud al-Alam, occupied a separate territory located to the west, approximately in the southeast part of the Southern Ural. It is interesting that the Chinese chroniclers also wrote about the montane nature of the Kipchak land, in the chronicle Yuan-shi these mountains are named Üyli-Boli, and the Kipchaks are called “Tsyn-cha“ (etymology?). North of Kipchaks and Kimaks lay endless forest. Some sources stipulate that there (in the endless forest) lived the legendary tribes Yadjudj and Madjudj (or Gog and Magog).
Ibn Haukal's work of the 10th century enclosed a map showing that Kipchak-Kimak tribes pastured together with Oguzes in the steppes north of the Aral Sea, and al-Masudi at approximately the same time wrote that all of them were coaching along Emba and Yaik: “The distance between their estuaries is 10 days of travel; along them are winter stans and summer pastures of Kimaks and Oguzes“.
Other Arabic and Persian authors also knew about this close neighboring location. So, al-Marvazi wrote that “when between them (Kimaks and Oguzes) is peace, in the winter Kimaks were coaching down to Oguzes“, and Biruni, on the contrary, noted that Oguzes quite often pasture in the country of Kimaks. Some hordes of Kimak tribes quite often coached along the coast of the Caspian Sea: the “Shakh-name“ even calls that sea as Kimak's Sea.
The main western neighbors of Kimak-Kipchaks in the 10th c. were Bashkirs (pra-Bashkirs in the original), with whom at that time the westernmost Kipchak hordes (clans?) established very close contacts.
In the 10th c. the Kimak union was a strong state known in the sources under a general name “Kimak Kaganate“. All tribes named in the Gardizi work belonged to it. The economic development of the Kimak association's tribes and hordes (clans?), who stretched their settlements and pastures over thousands kilometers of the steppe from Irtysh to the Caspian Sea, from taiga to the Kazakhstan semi-deserts, was uneven. First of all it is because of the different climatic and environmental conditions: the eastern areas differed from the western as much as the northern forest-steppe from the southern foothills of the Tian-Shan mountains. The Persian Anonym specially emphasized that Kipchaks living in the extreme western areas of the Kaganate lead a more primitive way of life than the Kimaks who live near Irtysh, where the center of the Kimak union was and the summer court of the Kimak Kagan, the city Imakiya.
Sedentary life has led the population to the necessity to build more fundamental dwellings: in the cities and in the settlements alongside with felt yurts began to be widely used clay-walled semi-dugouts. Typically, both had the hearth in the center, like in the yurts: the ancient custom of reverence for the hearth, as a rule, lasted for a long time even for completely settled “nomads“.
Despite the transition to a settled way of life by a part of the Kimak Kaganate population, many its ethnoses in the 10th c. continued the habitual form of existence, the pastoral cattle breeding with some elements of sedentary life. Especially nomadic and pastoral cattle breeding were Kipchak hordes. This is testified by both the written sources, and by the archeological findings, namely by a full absence of any traces of a settled or semi-settled settlements in the lands occupied at the end of the 1st millennium by the Kipchaks.
The most typical and bright feature of the Kipchak culture are the statues, erected at kurgan sanctuaries with square fencing of rough stone and gravel.
The statues constitute simple rough stelae, frequently with figures without details. Faces are indicated by deeply carved lines, frequently in a shape of the “hearts“. The women statues differed from the men's by round “breasts“. From the end of the 9th century, construction of small fenced sanctuaries devoted to ancestors, with a statue (or statues) inside became a distinctive feature of the Kipchaks (Charikov, 1979) (they were carried over to their new N.Pontic homeland). Before, in the 6th- 9th centuries, similar sanctuaries with statues of the diseased soldiers and numerous “balbals“ (a line of stone stelae symbolizing enemies killed by the diseased ancestor) stretching from the fence were installed by the (Ashina) Türks and Uigurs. Later, with the destruction of Kaganates, they forgot this custom, and the Kipchaks were the only Türkic-speaking peoples who kept it. As we shall see below, they continued it until their loss of the political independence, i.e. just like in the Türkic and Uigur Kaganates.
The sanctuaries were naturally only built for the rich and noble nomads (sorry, this is patented nonsense. Burial was a paramount event in life of any family, rich or poor, it is well documented). Ibn Fadlan in the 922 passed through the steppes east of the Itil, and he wrote that among Oguzes were owners who had herds of 10 thousand heads of sheep (not including the other cattle) (and these sheep were not racing sheep able to outrun a cavalry army and justify the Rus annalistic inability to catch up with pastoral clans). Among the Kimak-Kipchak aristocracy were likewise rich men. Their ails (large families) owned huge steppe dominions with their own ranges (routes and settlements). Possibly, private hereditary landownership already existed in the Kaganate. About that tells the author of “Hudud-al-Adam“: “... The Khakan of Kimaks has 11 sub-rulers, and their allotments are handed down to the children of these rulers“. These so-called rulers probably were largest representatives of the clan and tribal aristocracy that gradually was becoming feudal in those centuries.
Apparently, the “sub-ruler“ Khans were vassals of the Kagan, and they in turn had vassals receiving allotments from them, from among rich clannish aristocracy. Gardizi tells about property inequality among the Kimaks, and al-Idrisi emphasized that “only the noble wear red and yellow silk clothes“. Also interesting is his message about the presence in the Kimak army of the foot soldiers who, undoubtedly, were drafted from the poor folk who did not have their own horses.
Besides the statues, a handful of excavated burials contain information about Kimaks and Kipchaks' etiology and various reverence rites for the dead and funeral cult. The objects buried with the diseased give some idea about daily objects surrounding the nomads during their life, though undoubtedly these objects, because of their deposition (in the tombs), are somewhat single-sided, usually they are presented by objects necessary for a nomad during a trip (to the next world): horse harness, weapons, less frequently personal decorations, and vessels with ritual food.
Next to the deceased was laid his true tovarich (Türk., comrade), a horse, without which in the boundless steppes, where wide movement is necessary for life, a man practically was almost helpless. The belief in need to supply the diseased with the things necessary on the road and at least for initial life in the other world, received an especially detailed illumination from Ibn Fadlan, the most inquisitive and truthful Arab traveler in the beginning of the 10th century. He described not the Kimak- Kipchak, but the Oguz funeral ceremony. However, from the excavations of the nomadic kurgans we know that the funeral ceremony of the Türkic-speaking peoples generally was extraordinarily monotonous, and it means that the general provisions, which the nomads held for the construction of the funeral complexes, were actually identical.
So, Ibn Fadlan tells: “And if a person from their number would die, for him is dug a big hole in a shape of a house, he would be dressed in his his jacket, his belt, his bow... and they would put in his hand a wooden cup with nabiz, would put before him a wooden vessel with nabiz, would bring everything that he has, and would lay it with him in that house... Then would place him in it and cover the house above him with decking, and pile above it something like a dome of clay“. So was constructed the sepulchral niche and the kurgan above it (a clay dome) (opposite to S.Pletneva, no reference to the wealth of the deceased).
Then Ibn Fadlan wrote about actions accompanying a main ceremony: “Then they would take horses, and depending on their number would kill a hundred heads of them, or two hundred heads, or one head, and would eat their meat, except for the head, legs, hide, and tail. And, truly, they stretch all that on wooden frames and say: “These are his horses on whom he would go to paradise“. And if he ever killed men and was brave, they would carve images from wood numbering those whom he killed, would place them on his tomb and would say: “These are his youngsters who would serve him in paradise“.“ The nomads were always accompanied on the way into another world with slaughtered horses, and sometimes with others animals, and also by the killed by him enemies represented by simple stelae or rough human images of stone or wood (balbals). Among Oguzes, the images of the diseased were not installed neither over the tombs, nor in special sanctuaries . That custom existed only among the population of the Kimak Kaganate, and mainly among Kipchaks (and Scythians).
Ibn Fadlan vividly and in detail explains the meaning of the accompanying the burials with horses: “Sometimes they would neglect to slaughter the horses for a day or two. Then one of their old men, from among elders, induces them and says: “I saw such and such, which is the diseased, in a dream, and he said to me: „You see, my comrades have already overtaken me, and from following after them ulcers formed on my legs. I have not caught up with them, and I am remaining alone“. In such cases they take his horses and slaughter them and stretch them over his tomb. And then a day or two would pass, and this old man would come to them and say: “Tell my family and my comrades that really I already caught up with those who left before me, and that I have found a calm from the weariness“.“ (Ibn Fadlan, p. 128)
Clearly, the horses were necessary for fast passage, for coaching from one world to another. The more of them were, the better: the richer and more mobile was the diseased in his new world.
Kimaks and Kipchaks
About other beliefs of Kimaks, and moreover for the Kipchaks, survived only very sketchy testimony. So, Gardizi wrote that Kimaks worship river Irtysh and say that “the river is a god of a man“, and the later sources preserved information about fire worship, and even about a custom on a part of Kimaks to cremate their diseased, about worship of the sun and stars. “Kumans (Kipchaks) use astrology, use the indications of the stars, and worship them“, wrote Abulfeda. Abu - Dulaf wrote about divination of Kimaks, particularly about the stones with which they induce rain. A belief in mysterious force of stones was spread very wide among Türkic-speaking peoples.
Kipchaks, who in the 10th century were coaching in the western fringes of the Kaganate, were hardly inclined to accept and learn the alien religious systems. They needed resolute actions and ideology that would substantiate these actions. Fortunetelling of shamans by the stars, shaman divination(S.A.Pletneva uses Türkic derivative word “kamlanie“ from Türkic Kam = diviner) over sacred rocks and burned mutton scapula, the ancestor sanctuaries surrounded by hundreds of killed enemies, predicted the Kipchaks' struggles, called for far raids.
Only the “western“ authors preserved the news about the beginning of the expansion, namely al-Marvazi, who was serving at the end of the 11th - the beginning of 12th century as a court doctor of the Seljuk Sultans, and the Armenian historian Matvey Edessian who wrote in the middle of the 11th century. They both apparently recorded the same event mentioning semantically identical names. Al-Marvazi tells that Kais (snakes) and Kuns pressed the tribe Shars(Türkic sary = pale, yellow), and those, in turn, occupied the lands of the Turkmen, Oguzes and Badjanaks. Matvey Edessian tells that the people of snakes pressed the “red-haired“ (i.e.yellow) and the last moved on the Oguzes, who together with Badjanaks attacked Byzantine.
In these testimonies for us is especially important the data about two ethnoses: Kais are, as we know, Kimaks, and Sharys, in the opinion of all scientists studying the nomadic associations of the Middle Age epoch, are Kipchaks, because the Slavic copy word for Kipchaks is “Polovetses“ (Slav. “polovye“) with a meaning light yellow (Slav. “polova“ = straw, chaff, husk).
The Hungarian scientists found very successful definition for the brief period of the Hungarian history, when Hungarians, leaving under the strikes of Badjanaks to Pannonia, occupied Danube lands, displacing and partially including in their confederations the Slavs, who lived there, Volohs(Vlakhs/Vlachs) and probably the Avars. That restless time in the Hungarian historiography is called a “gain period“ or a “period ofative land“.
It should be said that the Hungarians, capturing a territory of the agricultural state (Great Moravia), passed this period very quickly. In other countries, the establishing, or better, stabilization of the nomadic economy and societal relations went much more slowly (sometimes for a century). However, a close examination and history of various nomadic ethnoses shows that each of them passed through a period of “finding a native land“. It began with intrusion of other's territory, and a forced confiscation for a permanent ownership of the pastures belonging to the local population (USA, Russia, Iran, China, etc. fall under this “definition“ of various nomadic ethnoses. Mirror, mirror on the wall, where are you?).
In the first decade of the 11th century a huge mass of the Kipchak nomadic hordes rose from the familiar areas into a long and a total invasion campaign. Its purpose was not at all a complete peaceful resettlement of a part of the Kipchak population to the new lands, the purpose was a capture of new pastures somewhere in the far western areas (or whatever reason your imagination can suggest, including turning to the tea leaves).
As was already defined above, this phenomenon is economically characterized by an all-the-year-round (so-called tabor) coaching, and in a societal relation, by a military democracy. The invasion was headed by the most persistent and talented military leaders. It would seem to be strange that the “Yellow Kipchaks“ (Sary Kipchaks) of the feudal state, headed by a malik (khan) (why would Pletneva use a Semitic term to describe a Türkic Khan?), again fell to a lower stage of economic and social development. Nevertheless, a similar transition is also typical for the nomads in similar circumstances, i.e. facing a necessity to invade (The facts described by Pletneva about this migration and following stabilization indicate the opposite, a coherent enterprise that involved historically stable tribes united by traditional social hierarchy).
The capture of the N.Pontic steppes began with the most fertile, richest pastures necessary for the pasture of horses and large horned livestock, the area of the Donets, Lower Don and Azov steppes. The same lands were usurped by Badjanaks in the beginning of their movement, in the 8th century they were the first lands occupied by the Bulgar nomadic hordes (“hordes“ as a negative euphemism for people was a centuries-old favorite Russian scientific expression applied to the aboriginal population displaced by the Russian colonization; the “Bulgar nomadic hordes“ are known from long before the the 5th c. not the 8th c.), who were displaced by the Khazars in the Eastern Azov steppes. By the 11th century the remnants of the ancient Bulgar semi-settled population, despite heavily taken Badjanak's invasion, remained along the river banks in the basin of the Don and Azov steppes. In addition, in the upper course of the Severski Donets, in the deadlocked places inaccessible for nomadic cavalry still lived Alans, the former masters of the Khazar Kaganate's forest-steppe fringes (The upper course of Severski Donets was the domain of Suvars; any presence of the Alans is purely speculative). Although, the archeological studies of the Alans' and Bulgars' settlements give us incontestable proofs of destruction of these settlements no later than the beginning the 10th of century, i.e. under the blows of the Badjanak's hordes. However, history does not know examples of total destruction of the population during even most severe wars and most terrifying invasions.
A significant number of people, mainly women, children, and also craftsmen and craftswomen, are taken into slavery, and quite often they are left in the old burned-out places, and they gradually, though not completely, restore the destroyed settlements. Significantly, the anthropological examination of the 10th-13th cc. nomadic skulls indicates that the population of that time almost did not differ in appearance from the inhabitants of the steppes in the 8th - beginnings the 10th centuries. Also very significant is that in N.Pontic steppes, and especially frequently in the basin of the Seversk Donets, are found the burials of the 12th-13th centuries that preserve funeral features that allow to connect them with the former population of the steppes, the population of the Khazar Kaganate. First, it is the meridional orientation of deceased (heads toward north or south), not typical for Badjanaks or for Kipchaks, but frequent among the ancient Bulgars and Alans (this equation of the Alans and Bulgars is glaringly suspicious: Bulgars are Ogur tribes that left ancient traces in the Mongolia, and specifically in the basin of the Tola river and in the Western Türkic Kaganate during the Early Middle Ages; the Alans are traced to the Aral-Caspian Masguts/Massagets; these two groups of people were widely separated linguistically, by great distances, and by different influences during most of their history; a single common funeral tradition is highly unlikely. S.Pletneva may clandestinely refer to the ethnonymical studies that equated Bulgars with Alans: Mengrels call Karachayans Alans, Balkars call themselves Alans, Ossetians call Balkarians Ases or Oses, the Itil Bulgars in another form are called Ases; the school that maintains the equivalency of the Bulgars and Alans is at a great political disadvantage, the official and enforced position of the Russian official science follows Muller and Abaev and equates Iranians, Ossetes, and Alans); second, it is the presence in the tombs of a padding of chalk or pieces of coal, and some other attributes. For example, on the banks of Donets and the Lower Don, during Kipchak's time, the nomads especially widely used the objects produced and spread during the previous Khazarian epoch: mirrors, kopoushkas (ear swabs), pottery, etc.
Thus, the first component which certainly joined the Kipchak's ethnic community (actually, political community, since Kipchaks took over the political, and not ethnic, leadership; the ethnic amalgamation took much longer, if it was completed at all; Kipchaks belonged to the Oguz branch, Bulgars and Suvars belonged to the Ogur branch, and the only direct evidence about the language of Alans is the statement of Biruni the Chorasmian: “The language of Alans is a compound of the Chorasmian and the Türkic Besenyo“, i.e. a compound of a branch of Sogdian + branch of Kipchak) and to some extent influenced the change of physical shape of Kipchaks, was numerically insignificant, but culturally stable population that earlier lived in the Khazar Kaganate.
Much larger role in the amalgamation of the Kipchak community played the remains of Badjanak's and Oguz hordes (i.e. people, tribes). It is evidenced first of all by an extraordinary variety of funeral customs. The funeral ceremony among all these ethnoses was on a whole uniform: a main task of relatives was equipping the deceased with all necessities in the other world (first of all horse and weaponry). The differences were in the details of the ceremony:orientation of the deceased with a head to the west or east, burial with the deceased of a complete horse or its effigy (a head, legs severed at the first, second or third joint, skin with a tail, filled with dry grass), burial of a (horse) effigy without a deceased, location of the horse in respect to the deceased. Some distinctions are also observed in the form of the grave cavity, and lastly, in the fill of the kurgan.
Badjanak and Kangar burial customs
It seems to me that at present we can state with confidence that Badjanaks buried under small earthen kurgan mounds, or constructed “collateral“ tombs in the mounds of the previous epochs kurgans (for the Scythians, kurgan was a pasture, it was built from the best topsoil sometimes brought from very remote locations [Khazanov 1975, Scythians]. Adding new burials to the existing “build-up pastures“ was a practical method of supplying the deceased with food for his horses not only for Badjanaks, but a common practice inherent to the Kurgan Culture), usually only men, with the heads to the west, in supine position, to the left of the deceased was laid a horse effigy with legs severed at the first or the second joint. Probably, in the ancient kurgan mounds they also buried the effigy of the horse (without a man), thus creating memorial cenotaph (or, more likely, archeologists could not detect the ashes of the cremated body).
The Oguzes, in contrast with Badjanaks, covered the tomb with a ceiling to lay on it an effigy of a horse, or laid an effigy on a ledge located to the left of the deceased.
Kimak/Kuman and Kipchak burials
Originally, the Kipchak ceremony probably strongly differed from the above two traditions. Their kurgan mounds were filled or tiled with stones(Arjan/Pazyryk type), the deceased were laid with the heads toward the east, near them (more often to the left) also with the heads toward the east was laid a whole carcass of a horse or its effigy, but with the legs severed at a knee. It should be especially noted that Kipchaks buried with honors both men and women, for both of them were built memorial sanctuaries with statues.
This typical Kipchak ceremony started to dissolve in a sea of alien customs still in the Aral and Itil area steppes: the stone kurgan mounds began to be substituted with simple earthen kurgan mounds (sometimes with inclusion of several stones), instead of a whole horse more and more often were buried effigies, sometimes on the ledges, like did the Oguzes; the orientation also changed, first for the horses, heads heads toward the west, and then also of the deceased. On the whole, like the anthropological data, the funeral ritual testifies about a continuing admixture of the most different ethnoses and tribes. Naturally, this process especially increased after the arrival of already strongly mixed with other tribes Kipchak hordes (i.e. people? army? tribes?) to the N.Pontic steppes. Only a single ethnographic attribute remained permanent, specifically the erection of the sanctuaries for the male and female ancestors. Brought from the depths of the Kimak Kaganate, this custom further developed and literally blossomed in N.Pontic steppes.
As to the archeological and anthropological data, they already allow to state now that the Kipchak and Kimak hordes (i.e. people? army? tribes?) that came to the Dnieper-Don steppe very quickly, literally after one, maximum two generations, became different people with changed physical and partially cultural appearance. They as though became identical with all other ethnic groups that lived in the steppes prior to them.
So, in the N.Pontic steppes appeared a new ethnic massif, quite friable in the beginning. Its formation followed the same laws as all other nomadic ethnoses and peoples of Antiquity and Middle Ages, as several centuries before in the Eastern European open space formed ancient Bulgars, Khazars, and Hungarians. One of substantial rules of that process was that an ethnos that gave the name to new ethnic formation not so necessarily happens to be most numerous: simply due to fortuitously developed historical conditions and a vigorous military leader it rises to a leading place in a forming association (the Rus, Rome, France, England happened to be non-nomadic entities that followed this fictitious “nomadic“ rule). In this specific case, in the beginning of the 11th century that place was taken by Shary - “Yellow“ Kipchaks. They became that powerful nucleus around which united all isolated and scattered on steppe hordes of Badjanaks, Oguzes, and partially the remains of the Bulgarian and Alanian population.
How can be explained the different names of the same ethnic group? Not improbable is a hypothesis of some researchers who believe that in the N.Pontic(in the original “southern-Russian steppes“) in the 11th-12th centuries were forming not one, but two closely related ethnoses: Kuns-Kumans, headed by one or several Kipchak hordes (tribes?), and Polovetses, united around the hordes (tribes?) of the Shary Kipchaks. Kumans occupied the lands west of Dnieper, they much more often than Polovetses encountered Byzantines and other western states, and consequently in their chronicles usually appeared Kumans (quite probably, even in cases when they actually encountered Kipchak Polovetses).
The Kipchak's pastures were located east of the Kuman pastures. Their territory is very precisely defined by the distribution of the stone sculptures, apparently typical only for the Shary-Kipchaks. The earliest Kipchak (in the original “Polovetses“) statues, analogous to the Kipchak statues of the 10th-11th centuries, are located in the basin of the middle and lower course of the Severski Donets and in the Northern Azov steppes. They are stele-like flat sculptures with faces and some figure details (breast, hands, a vessel in the hands, and so forth), drawn on a flat surface or depicted by a low relief. The statues, like in eastern Kipchak hordes (i.e. villages), were installed equally for men and women. The construction of ancestor sanctuaries (in the N.Pontic)is already an evidence that the nomads transitioned from an invasion stage to a second stage of pasturing, which is known to be distinguished first of all by some stabilization and order in pasturing along certain routes, with permanent points for winter stay and summer encampment. In turn, the stabilization means the end of a difficult and restless period of the “findings a native land“.
We do not know details of the Donets-Azov area Shary-Kipchaks' life in the first decades of their arrival to the new pastures, which they probably occupied in 1020's. As a rule, the written sources of the adjacent countries tell nothing about that dark period of settling and formation of the nomadic society: the contemporaries were not excited about the inner events of the steppe federations. Naturally, the first observations appear when a developed association starts searching for a vent for the accumulated energy. Usually this venting consists of an attack on a nearest neighbor. For the Kipchaks, such a neighbor became the Rus.
In the 1060, Kipchaks made a first attempt to plunder the rich Rus lands. Svyatoslav Yaroslavich of Chernihiv with his retinue managed to defeat a four times greater army of Kipchaks. Many Kipchak's soldiers were killed and drowned in the river Snovi, their leaders were captured, apparently with almost no resistance. “...Their Princes were taken with (bare) hands“, wrote a chronicler (PSRL, II, p. 161). The route was complete.
However, already at the end of the January - beginning of February 1061 “came Polovetses for the first time with war to the Rus land... That was a first evil for the Rus land from the nasty godless enemies; their prince was Sokal...“ (PSRL, II, p. 152).
The circumstance that with Kipchaks fought in those years the Chernihiv and Pereyaslavl Princes Svyatoslav and Vsevolod, apparently points to the attack of the Kipchaks, bordering the Rus in the southeast, i.e. they were coaching somewhere in the Donetsk steppes.
The following attack from the same southeast side is noted in the annals under a year 1068. This time at a small river Lte (in the Pereyaslavl princedom) Kipchaks were met by the joined forces of “triumvirate“, the regiments of Izyaslav, Svyatoslav n Vsevolod Yaroslaviches (each of them ruled over an independent petty principality). However, they also were defeated by Kipchaks. After that event, it became clear that a new terrible danger has hung over the Rus land.
From the records about first encounters with Kipchaks we see that Ruses called the newcomer nomads, who came in the beginning of the 11th century, Kipchaks, irrespective of the location of their hordes (centers? villages? pasturing routs?), on the Bug (Buh) or on the Donets. Much later, already in the 12th century, chroniclers even specifically wrote that Kipchaks were also called Komans, but they did not indicate which, the western, the eastern, or all of them, they called by this double name. Generally, it follows from the annals that all Kipchaks were Kumans and vice-versa. It is quite possible that in the 12th century it was that way, at least from the Rus chronicler point of view. However actually, especially in the beginning of their history, the division in Eastern European steppes probably was quite real and notable, though certainly, Kumans, Kipchaks and the groups of Badjanaks, Oguzes, Bulgars and other ethnoses that joined their hordes (tribal union?), constantly intermixed with each other, went on the common campaigns, concluded common peace treaties, and, naturally, were indistinguishable for a stranger, in the eyes still of a contemporary little used to them.
Whatever is the case, we can confidently state, that by the 1060's has ended the period of “obtaining the native land“ for the Shary-Kipchaks, who occupied the lands along Donets, the lower Don, and Azov steppes, and probably a little later, by the beginning of 1070's has ended this period for the Komans (Kumans, Kuns), who were coaching in the steppes previously occupied by the Badjanak four western hordes (tribal unions?).
Both divisions relatively organized their internal relations and economy, and begun their foreign policy with attacks on the Rus borderlands. Significantly, that immediately was settled another aspect of the mutual relations with the Rus , a conclusion of military alliances. It was a fault of the Rus Princes, much inclined to political intrigues and adventures, that Kipchaks repeatedly attacked and successfully plundered defenseless, conflicting with each other Rus princedoms.
Tribal unions. "Great Princes“
By the end of the 11th century has ended the process of consolidation of the isolated Kipchak's hordes (tribal unions?) coaching on Donets and in the Azov steppes,. The lands were strictly divided between several hordes (tribal unions?). Each of them owned large tracts of land, stretched in a meridional direction, from Donets to Sea of Azov. Apparently, the winter quarters of these hordes (tribal unions?) were on the seacoast. Because the Kipchaks did not store hay for the winter, they had to structure their pastoral routs to stop for the winter in suitable places, where cattle could easily get the dry grass from under snow. By the sea and in the valleys of numerous rivers and rivulets were plenty of natural “storehouses of hay“ (well dried under the sun and wind tall and nutritious grass stalks) for forage. In the spring, after fishing season, after calving and fawning of cows and sheep, started a slow movement upstream the rivers to the Donetsk lowlands, also full of a high-quality grass, where for the summer months Kipchaks stopped in certain summer encampments, and then by the same route, pasturing the cattle on the regrown by the autumn grass, they went downstream to the winter camps.
Not only each horde (tribe?), but also for its smaller divisions the Khan allocated parcels of land that had to include winter shelter, summer pastures, and a coaching route between them.
What were these subdivisions? First of all they were the so-called kurens (Türkic küran 1. crowd, tribe, detachment; 2. bakery), an association of several, mainly patriarchal, related families, substantially identical the extended-family communes of agricultural peoples, the Rus annals call such kurensclans. entered into A horde (tribe?) consisted of many kurens, and they could belong (and certainly in fact belonged) to several ethnoses: from Bolgars up to Kipchaks and Kumaks, though all of them together the Ruses called Kipchaks (in the original “Polovetses“).
We know that the Rus chroniclers, more familiar with Kipchaks then other European chroniclers, already in the end of the 11th century clearly detected their “Princes“. To the names of some of them they were adding a steppe equivalent of the Rus title kniaz, the “kan“ for a Khan: Tugorkan, Sharukan. The Khans obviously were the heads of the hordes (tribe?), however it should be remembered that each Khan simultaneously was also a head of the kuren, because that was required by the structure of the Kipchak society and its economy: the Khan was coaching within the framework of the socioeconomic division accepted in the steppes. It should be noted that the names of many heads of kurens ended with the word “opa“, “oba“, “epa“ from the root of the ancient Turkic word designating “dwelling“, “stan“ (Urusoba, Altunopa and others) (a cluster of Slavic and Russian words are derivatives from this ancient Türkic word: “byt, obitat, obitel, obyvatel“ etc.; the same root as in English via Latin habitat and its cognates). In addition to them, the annals mention a mass of Kipchak's soldiers (ordinary participants of raids), and the records from the beginning of the 12th century note two more social categories obviously standing at the lowest rungs in the nomadic society: “valetry“ and “bound“. The first are probably ordinary, poor, but free members of the kurens; the bound were war captives (domestic slaves), the services of which were used by the nomads of the Euroasian steppes till the 19th century inclusive.
The organization of the raids against the Rus and farther campaigns to the Byzantium and Bulgaria demanded permanent military alliances of the Khans of separate hordes (tribes? tribal unions?). Thus, the need to increase the military potential has led to formation of the unions of the hordes (unions of tribal unions?), the first large steppe associations. Actually, they had no official bodies. Nevertheless the Khan, chosen to head such association at a congress of nobility, apparently possessed a great power. Mainly, this power consist in absolutism in his right to conduct foreign policy of the union, a conclusion of the peace treaties, but the main task was certainly organization of robbing campaigns (not to mention the main task of defense from the Rus raids and robberies). The more rigidly a Khan conducted his line, the more talented he was as the political leader and commander, the stronger was his authority over the kurens and ails of the hordes (armies?). According to the Rus annals, we can with sufficient dole of of probability to state that, first, Ruses called such heads “Great Princes“, and the Kipchaks called such heads Kaans, i.e. Khans of Khans, and secondly, the activity of the Kipchak “Great Princes“ became especially hard-felt for the Rus after the 1090's (The S.Pletneva's Kaan is a Turkic Kagan with a silent “g“: Kaĝan, typical for Oguz Turkish and Oguz Kazakh languages; the same pronunciation was noted among the Ogur Bulgars, indicating a late borrowing from the Oguz dialects, which should be expected because the Bulgars came to the Eastern Europe with the first wave of the Huns, in the 1st c. AD, before the emergence of the term “Kagan“ among the eastern Turkic dialects around the 2nd c. AD. The Slavic people must have acquired the word Kagan from the Ogur Avars or Ogur Khazars, because the Greek record gives a hard “g“: Rus Kagan, not a Rus Kaĝan. The title “Rus Kagan“ may have been first taken by a head of the Suvar clan Baryn, Alabuga (“Motley Ox“), who in the 882 submitted to the troops of the Viking Ingvar, aka Igor I the Old, and may surrendered his title to the conqueror, a la Türkic custom).
Which of the 11th century Kipchak's khans were noted especially often and with exceeding feeling of antipathy by the Rus annals? These are Bonyak and Tugorkan. Not without a reason both of them bacame firmly ingrained in the Rus folklore as the sworn enemies of Ruses. Bonyak appears in western Ukrainian tales and songs under a name of Bunyaka the Mangy, chopped off whose beheaded head rolls on the ground and destroys anything alive on its way (Kuzmichevsky, 1887), and Tugorkan is mentioned many times in Rus tales, being called there Tugarin or Tugarrin the Snake (Rybakov, 1963, p. 85).
The earliest news about these khans we find not in the Rus annals, but in the composition of the Byzantine Princess. Anna Comnena, who wrote about the life and deeds of her father, emperor Alexius I Comnenus (Anna Comnena, p. 233-240). She calls them Maniak and Togortak. Academician V.G.Vasilievsky thought that the identification of these Khans with Bonyak and Tugorkan does not raise any doubts (Vasilievsky, 1908) (Anna Comnena records interchangeability of “b/m“ found in some Türkic languages; apparently his name was pronounced both ways; the interchangeability is completely transparent to the native speakers, like “tomato/toh-mah-toh“ - “tomato/tu-mey-tow“ in English).
Right at the beginning of the 1090's, the Byzantine empire has reeled under the blows of the Badjanak's hordes (army) which earlier retreated to the Balkans under a pressure of Kipchaks. At first allowed (involuntarily) by the Byzantine only in the lands on the northern borders, the Badjanaks, who apparently could not fit into the land allocated to them, moved to the main territory of the empire, ravaging and plundering the open settlements and poorly fortified small towns. Alexius Comnenus turned for help to the whole “Christian world“, because the Byzantine armies even under his personal command but could cope with the Badjanaks. Not the Christian sovereigns helped Alexius, but only the Kipchaks, who came to Byzantine headed by Khan Bonyak and Khan Tugor (Türkic, Sl. Tugorkan). The Emperor received the Kipchak military leaders with imperial generosity. He showered them with gifts, trying to assure them in any way in his gratitude, and to establish allied relations. Significantly, both sides, i.e. Byzantines and Kipchaks, did not trust each other. At a first look at the Kipchak's camp, Alexius was taken “with despair and fear“, because he easily imagined that Kipchaks would join Badjanaks and would destroy a tiny army of the emperor. And the Kipchaks were well informed about the perfidy of the Byzantine rulers, and consequently for some time were afraid to enter in close contact with them. Khan Bonyak, for example, in the beginning totally refused all Alexius's invitations to visit him in the camp of the Byzantine army, mindful of the treachery and captivity. Notwithstanding that Alexius at the conclusion of the military alliance “demanded from Kuman leaders oaths and hostages“, for several days he did not even dare to join at the battlefield the Badjanaks and Kipchaks (Kumans), being afraid that during a fight the soldiers of both peoples speaking the same language would agree among themselves and together will assail the Byzantines. Only after a categorical request of the Kipchaks, who declared that in case of further delays they will begin independent actions, the king appointed a day for a battle. It ended with a full route of the Badjanaks, and at night after the battle, the (the fearless, very Christian, and highly civilized) Byzantines savagely slaughtered 30 thousand captives (mostly women and children). Frightened with the wild cruelty of that night, Kipchaks took their share of the booty, abandoned their allies, and quickly retreated to the Danube. There, on the banks of the Danube, they were defeated by the Hungarian army of the king Laslo (Ladislaus) and left to the Dnieper area steppes which were already becoming indigenously theirs.
However, the Prince obviously miscalculated his forces, he allowed himself to go into a rage with straight talk of the ambassadors, and incarcerated them “in a cellar“, i.e. in an underground dungeon. Having learned about that, Kipchaks darted to the Ros area, besieged the main city of that border area, Torchesk, and started to plunder its vicinities. Only after that Sviatopolk began gathering an army, gathered only 800 people, and then the Sviatopodk's cohort, seeing the obvious difference of forces, advised him to ask for the help of his cousins. The chronicler tells about it: “Smart men told him: „... why are you arguing among yourselves? And the nasty people are ruining the Rus land““ (PSRL, II, p. 209). The reason is that the Prince Vladimir Vsevolodnch Monomah, who was then reigning in Chernigiv, dissuaded Princes and soldiers from a fight with Kipchaks: obviously, even with the joined forces of three Princes (Sviatopolk, Rostislav and Vladimir) were too weak for an open fight with Kipchaks. However, Sviatopolk with Kyivans insisted on a “battle“.
The regiments moved south along the Dnieper area road, reached a mouth of Stugna, passed the Trepol and finally went crossed the border bulwark and there stopped between the bulwarks, waiting for Kipchaks. Kipchaks came, first sent a light cavalry archers, then took positions (“staked their flag“) opposite to the Rus regiments, and with all force fallen on Sviatopolk. When Sviatonolk regiments (puny 800 infantrymen are proudly called “regiments“, though they are less then a battalion) were defeated, Kipchaks fell on two other Princes, and also literally crushed them. The Ruses fled, at a crossing of Stugna (in the spring time) Rostislav drowned in the flooded rivulet. So ended the first stage of this long and pernicious for the Rus war. After the route of Rus armies, Kipchaks again returned to the Ros area to Torchesk and “made a great weep in our land and deserted our villages and our cities, and were fleeing from our enemies“, - the chronicler wrote down sadly. Sviatopolk was defeated again, Torchesk was taken, burnt, and the inhabitants (supposedly Oguzes, when the Ruses kicked out the Oguzes and occupied their city?) taken to captivity, to the forts. Sviatopolk faced a necessity to conclude a peace treaty with Kipchaks by all means. And finally, in 1094 not without difficulties he achieved a peace and “took a wife, Kipchak's Prince Tugorkan's daughter,“ (PSRL, II, p. 216) (Sviatopolk not so much married the daughter as he married Tugorkan: Tugorkan became his father-in-law, he became a son-in-law of Tugorkan, and be obedient son. In essence, the Great Prince of Ruses became a lesser prince of the Kagan Tugorkan. S. Pletneva does not stop to elucidate this minor event).
So for the first time on the pages of the annals was mentioned Tugorkan, a nearest compatriot of Bonyak. Quite possible that both khans united under their authority a few the western hordes (tribal unions?). Not without a reason Anna Comnena constantly calls them Kumans and, which is especially interesting, states that their language is the same as Badjanak language. Undoubtedly, the Türkic languages, like the Slavic languages, are similar one with another, but still all of them are different among different peoples and ethnoses. In this case it should be taken into account that the Badjanak and Kipchak languages even belong to the different language groups. The fact that Anna Comnena emphasizes the unity, instead of a similarity of the languages, is very important: Kumans could be speaking a Badjanak language, because many of the Badjanak-Oguz population joined the western hordes (tribal unions?) (It was Gyula Nemeth who independently established that the Badjanak language was a Kipchak language. No need for fancy theories of who is using whose language. Anna Comnena had a first-hand knowledge of the subject because the translation is of a prime importance in international relations, and the trust and mistrust of translator candidates is attended not with a less scrutiny then the negotiation itself).
The campaign did not bring Kipchaks any good. More than half of the soldiers who set out to Byzantium have perished, and any booty was taken away from them in one of the battles with a pursuing imperial army. In the biography, the Princess Anna wrote about that with a great pleasure. However, despite of failure and losses, Kipchaks have not lost their fighting capacity. Their military leaders, khans Bonyak and Tugorkan also remained alive. A clear picture about the force of the military contingents headed by these Khans gives us an annalistic story about the events of 1095-1096.
While Bonyak and Tugorkan were fighting, plundering and intriguing in the Byzantine, on their house befell a trouble: in the spring of 1095 two Kipchak “possessors“ Itlar and Kitan came to Pereyaslavl to Vladimir Vsevolodich to conclude a peace treaty, and were killed by an order of the Prince, even before a start of the negotiations (what a nice way to describe a treacherous murder of the ambassadors, endemic to the primary Rus history: “the trouble just befell“. Mind you, the sworn on peace treaty between Rus and Kipchaks was barely two years old in 1095). At first, Vladimir was inclined to peace, and gave Kitan, who with military escort camped outside Pereyaslavl bulwark, his son Svyatoslav as a hostage. Itlar without a fear came to the city. Two of Vladimir's troopers, Slavyata and Ratibor, persuaded the Prince to murder both ambassadors (even the chronicler is ashamed of the events, and uses a scapegoat, two privates, to shield the bastard Prince). First, Vladimir sent some of his his cohorts with a small group of Oguz Türks (in the original “Torks“) to Kitan. They stole the little Svyatoslav, killed Kitan, and his whole escort. In the morning they also killed Itlar, who stayed overnight in the city. After that Vladimir and Svyatopolk (a minor allodial Prince and the Great Prince who swore an oath of peace) “went on the fort and took fort and captured cattle, and horses, and camels, and folk, and brought to their land“ (PSRL, II, p. 219). It was a first campaign of the Ruses in the steppe, and besides it ended successfully (this makes clear why S.Pletneva was first demonizing Kipchaks: to make the Rus treachery, banditry, and murder less odious. A double success, one from Dark Ages, one from Soviet time). Apparently, the mobile forts of Itlar and Kitan with their owners came close to the Rus borders. Without their leaders and soldiers, the population in the forts could not mobilize: neither to beat off an attack, nor to flee from the enemies into the steppe. In the description of this event is interesting the fact that Itlar and Kitan are never named by the chronicler with a mentioning of their titles. Even is abcent the prefix “opa“, typical in our assumption for the heads of the kurens. Apparently, they both were “koshers“, heads of large rich families belonging to noble clans (kurens) (“koshers“ is an English calque of Slavic “koshevoi/кошевой“, which in turn is a calque of Türkic derivative from “koch“ ~ English "coach", like in a "coach car", a “kosher/coacher“ is a head of a coach train, a coach foreman). About that (supposition) testify the claims of Itlar and Kitan on independent foreign policy, in particular on a conclusion of a separate peace treaty with the Rus, and also a stay as a guest at a court of the Prince Oleg Sviatoslavich (in the Karajar/Cherihiv) of the Itlar son. Vladimir and Sviatopolk demanded have him turned over to them. “... Also you have Itlar's (son), either kill him, or turn him over, that is enemy of ours and the Rus land“, they said (PSRL, II, p. 219). Oleg refused fulfil the request of his cousins. “... And was between them hatred“, - concluded the chronicler.