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Searches for an Imaginary Kingdom

The trefoil of the Bird's Eye View

Lev Gumilev


sik01 1. Tribes of the Great Steppe from Eighth to Tenth Centuries (176 KB)

5. The Shattered Silence (961-1100)

By The Great Wall of China

In the previous chapter we proposed a conception of the history of the Five Dynasties as a struggle between the cosmopolitan traditions of the Tang empire and the Chinese nationalism which had achieved victory by 960. The remnant of the Turkic Shato, fighting for Tang traditions thanks to which they were able to exist on Chinese territory, held on in the north of Shanxi but, despite Khitan help, this kingdom (the Bei-Han) was destroyed in 979.

The Sinicized steppe dwellers were in a desperate situation, since the occupation of their lands by the Song troops boded no good for them, and they could not retreat north since they had lost the traditions of a nomad way of life. Therefore, they had to organise resistance and seek a suitable form of ideology to achieve success and, as Chinese medieval tradition demanded, to establish a succession from one of the former dynasties. The Tangut, the population of the Ordos and Alashan compounded of the fragments of many border tribes, undertook the initiative in organising resistance. During the suppression of Huang Chao's rebellion, the Tangut came out in support of the Tang dynasty and, together with the Turkic Shato, were victorious. Princes bearing the name Toba were their leaders. They derived their clan from the Wei dynasty which ruled Northern China from 386 to 557. [+58] Whether this genealogy was invented [+59] or real, [+60] it played its part. [+61] The Tibetan speaking tribes of the Minyag, known to the Chinese as Dansyan and to the Mongols {79} and Turks as Tangut, left the Valley of the Tao He and Weishui and settled in the Ordos and Alashan in the middle of the seventh century. Here they multiplied and grew rich, acquired livestock, but did not combine into a single state. The north-eastern tribes living in Chakhar were conquered by the Khitan; the western ones occupying Gansu maintained an alliance with China, and only their central group showed a tendency to independence. In 873 these Tangut took the town of Xiazhou and were recognised as an independent vassal principality for their help to the Tang dynasty against Huang Chao in 884. Subsequently they entered the Later Tang Empire, though purely nominally, ruled by their own princes who for form's sake received Chinese ranks. The Tangut took no part in the war between the Shato and the Chinese and grew in strength and power as a result of this isolation.

The unification of the whole of China by the Song dynasty set the Tangut a very old dilemma: to return to Chinese protection or achieve independence. Toba Zi-peng, favouring the first solution, appeared at Kaifeng with a proposal for submission, but his relative, Toba Zi-qian, headed a rising against the Chinese who had introduced troops into the Tangut lands, i.e. the Ordos, in 982. At first he met with defeats and had to save himself by flying from the Chinese troops. But "the inhabitants of the west who had had great favours from the Toba clan joined him in numbers", [+62] and the Chinese began to suffer defeats. In 985 a powerful army was thrown against the Tangut and caused them much loss, but it was defeated the same year. Then the Tangut concluded an alliance with the Khitan and again defeated the Chinese in 987. The subsequent military actions of the Tangut were so successful that the emperor ordered the fortress of Xiazhou to be destroyed, thus conceding Western Gansu and the Ordos to the Tangut. In 990 the new Tangut state was acknowledged by the Liao Empire and its independent existence dates from then.

We shall not follow the upheavals of the ceaseless war between the Tangut and China since this would violate the scale and degree of approximation we have chosen. Yet it is essential to shade in the part played by the Tangut-Chinese war in the general historical process. The Tangut themselves considered they were the heirs of the half foreign dynasties of Bei-Wei and Tang, as well as of the Shato {80} dynasties of the Later (Hou) Tang and Later (Hou) Jin, and they defended the same political platform - the right of non-Chinese to live on territories once seized by China, to preserve their own historical traditions to be ruled by leaders from their own milieu and not by Chinese officials. However, the truly Tibetan tribes in Gansu and Amdo were their enemies. During a war with the Gansu Tibetans Toba Zi-qian was seriously wounded by an arrow in the face and died a year later in 1004. His son, Toba De-ming, entered into negotiations with the Song Empire and achieved a peace in 1006 in accordance with which he was granted the ranks of military governor and grand prince, as well as gifts of money, textiles and tea merely for the fact that he agreed not to count himself a sovereign ruler. [+63]

The Tangut used the breathing space to secure their western frontier. De-ming's son, Yuan-hao, a talented commander, drove the Uighur from Ganzhou in 1028 and seized Dunhuang in 1035. The fighting was extremely fierce because there was blood enmity between the Uighur and Tangut [+64] and this was felt more keenly by the steppe peoples than was political, economic or religious competition. No prisoners were taken; "blood flowed like a murmuring stream". [+65] But the successful westward penetration of the Tangut was interrupted also by the Tibetans, blood enemies of the Tangut. The Tibetan tribes, defeated in the foothills of the Nanshan, combined in the hills of Amdo and on the shores of Lake Koko Nor into the Tubot kingdom.

A descendant of the ancient Tibetan kings, Gosrai (Guo-si-luo) headed the united tribes and advanced against the Tangut kingdom "in expectation of rewards and honours from the Chinese court". [+66] Perhaps not only for that reason, even though, undoubtedly, an alliance with China suited him, for "our enemies" enemies are our friends". Yuan-hao's attack on Gosrai in 1035 ended in failure for the Tangut. Gosrai repulsed them and after his victory the Gansu Tibetans and Uighur, who had not had an easy time under the power of the Tangut, began to join him. In 1041 the Gansu Uighur who had fled to Turfan during the Tangut offensive attempted to {81} free their homeland from the conquerors. They attacked the oasis of Shazhou and besieged the fortress where there was a Tangut garrison But the Tangut threw their armoured cavalry westward and obliged the Uighur to raise the siege and return to Turfan [+67] where the silent sand dunes and shifting desert sands defended them from the Tangut spears. Thanks to this diversion the ephemeral Tubot kingdom was saved, but Gosrai, even with his reinforcements and allies, was unable to deal with the organised army of Yuan-hao. He was obliged to limit himself to the defence of his mountain forts and to plundering raids on the Tangut kingdom. [+68]

It seems that the strength of the Tangut was determined by two mutually linked circumstances: a positive political programme and a body of people delighted with it. The prince Yuan-hao prompted his peace-loving father, De-ming, to war with China which paid for peace in silk by saying: "To dress in hides and wool, to engage in herding that is what to be a nomad means. He who is born a hero should dominate others; what is the point of silks?" A still clearer programme of cultural self-determination is expressed in comparing 1.ingut and the Khitan who had absorbed Chinese civilisation like a sponge: "the Yan [i.e. Khitan settled around Beijing - LG] imitate the Chinese in clothing, food and drink. The Tangut do not like China and use such customs and usages as they think fit" [+69] (i.e. their own - LG).

This emotional declamation was not uttered in vain. Here, with utter clarity, it was declared that the aim of life was not one's well-being, and not blessed peace, but struggle against the eternal enemy {82} of the nomads, against the enemy of their ancestors, i.e. the Toba-Wei dynasty, which had once come from the steppes of Trans-Baikal, seized half of China and fell a victim to its subjects. This was a still more extreme programme than that of the Turkic Shato and it was carried out more consistently. Instead of a compromise with Chinese culture Yuan-hao carried out a series of reforms with which he destroyed all the borrowings from China: he replaced the Chinese calendar by his own which was invented at that time; he rejected the Chinese name he had been granted; he created a Tan-gut corps of officials, a Tangut army and Tangut writing which, although hieroglyphic, differed from the Chinese. Finally, he took a chance and at the end of 1038 declared himself "Son of Heaven" and called his kingdom the Western Xia empire, referring to his descent from the house of Toba-Wei. This meant war with China where they could not bear the existence on earth of an empire other than the Middle one. The war continued until 1044 and ended with Yuan-hao abandoning his magnificent title. The laws of economics proved stronger than ideas of war and victory. The people grumbled because there was no tea or silk textiles. Peace and concessions had to be made, but only in formal addresses in diplomatic correspondence. [+70]

Well, what could the half savage Tibetan mountain people, dreaming merely of "gifts" from the "Son of Heaven", i.e. tea, clothing and silk for their wives, oppose to this upsurge of horrors? In physical bravery and endurance they were not inferior to the Tangut, but they lacked that upsurge, that burning creative zeal which allowed the small Tangut principality to conquer the Chinese hordes and create a culture not inferior to the Chinese. Of course, this could not be achieved merely by the forces of steppe dwellers and mountain people. China itself came to the help of the Tangut by driving beyond its limits all dissenters, in the first place the Buddhists and Christians. The Buddhists found a warm welcome in the Tangut yurts. They drew pictures, cast statues, composed verses and treatises for the Tangut kings, and when necessary gave good advice on diplomatic and administrative matters.

As they were impatient of the Chinese who had offended them, the Buddhists did not hinder the Tangut from honouring the "clairvoyant spirits" and dead ancestors. Taoists as well as Buddhists {83} fled from China to Tangut where Confucian treatises were not prohibited. Tolerance gave the Tangut such a power that they halted Chinese aggression, protecting themselves with the defenceless Great Steppe, thanks to which the khanates of the Black Tatars (see below) formed without hindrance in their rear.

Yuan-hao perished in 1048. He was killed by his son whose bride he had taken away. A confused period ensued dominated by the Liang noble clan which was unpopular with the troops. In 1082 the Chinese took the fortress of Lanzhou from the Tangut and put on the throne the old dynasty which successfully concluded the war with China by a peace in 1106; this was considerably helped by the quarrel of the Chinese with the Amdo Tibetans and the fall of Gosrai's kingdom. In a one to one fight the Tangut were the equals of the Chinese in strength.

The West

After the fall of the Western Turkut kaganate Karluk settlements surrounded Lake Issyk-Kul from the south; in the east they reached the River Tarim. At the end of the ninth century Kasan, on the banks of Kasansai, a right tributary of the Syrdarya, and Isfijab, in the valley of the River Arys, [+71] were frontier towns; but at the start of the tenth "the Turkic Karluk cover Mavarannahr from Isfijab to the furthest towns of Ferghana". [+72] This was their southern frontier. In the north they continued to hold the region of the Seven Streams, the upper Irtysh and were dominant in the eastern part of present day Kazakhstan. Of the tribes subject to them the Argu (Argyn, descendants of the Basmil) [+73] and the Tukhsi, a remnant of the Turgish in the south-west of the Seven Streams region are known. These were the most civilised Turkic tribes who had partly become sedentary.

However, the Karluk ruler was not styled khan, but jabgu and this gives a basis for thinking that the Karluk power was not particularly strong.

In reality, at the start of the tenth century new tribes appear on {84} the southern boundary of the Karluk lands: the Cigil and Yagma. The Cigil practised nomadism around Lake Issyk-Kul and northeast of it, and the Yagma around Kashgar. Evidently, the Karluk loss of these territories is connected with clashes with the Uighurs who temporarily seized Aksu and Barskhan and, with the intervention of the Kirghiz, drove the Uighurs away.

In their struggle with the Muslim the Karluk also suffered defeat. In 840 Nukh ibn Asad conquered Isfijab and constructed a wall to defend the agricultural districts from the nomads. In 893 Ismail Samani took possession of Talas. In the west the Samanid government rose against the Karluk Guz, the ancestors of the Turkmen, then called oguzy, which simply means "clans".

At the start of the tenth century these descendants of the Parthians were localised in the lower reaches of the Syrdarya and on the shores of the Aral Sea. In the Turkut period they changed their language, evidently one of the Pehlevi dialects, for Turkish, but continued to feel their link with Eastern Iran and, making an alliance with the Samanids, they made things difficult for the Karluk. They accepted Islam early and compelled the Karluk to do the same in 960. The Karluk lost their dominance in the steppe and it passed to the warlike herders, the Yagma.

Evidently the Turkisation of the Western Territory had begun at the time the west Turkic khans were dominant there. On a Chinese Tang period map made at the end of the seventh century, as well as the old name Sule, a new one, Kasha, i.e. Kashgar, appears. We must suppose that in the alarming period of the fall of the West Turkiit kaganate the shores of the Kashgardarya were settled by Turkic nomads, the Nushibi, who had spread south from the Tianshan. [+74] The newcomeis got on with the population of the oasis, who were not numerous, intermingled and formed a new tribe, the Yagma, who became known in the early tenth century. The presence of two racial components in this tribe is distinctly shown by the contradictions in descriptions of their appearance. The Arab traveller, Abu-Dulef writes that the Yagma were a bearded people of tall stature with blue eyes, [+75] but Utbi, an eleventh-century historian, writes that in 1008 near Balkh the Turks (that is the Yagma) {85} suffered a defeat; they had "broad faces, small eyes, flat noses, few hairs in the beard, they had iron swords and were in black clothes. [+76]

This discrepancy is fully explicable, if we take into account that Abu-Dulef was in the town of Kashgar itself and saw the descendants of the ancient Europeoid population of the oasis, but Utbi saw the ordinary warriors gathered from the inhabitants of the surroundings.

The Yagma accepted Islam even before the Karluk, in 900, and thus linked themselves to the western half of Central Asia. Their ruler was called the Bogra-khan, and the Yagma people were called Bograch. [+77] Contemporaries did not confuse these people either with the Karluk or with the Uighur. The poem Kudatkubilik, composed by Yusuf Balasagun in 1069 was written, in S.E. Maslov's opinion, at first in Arabic script, and then re-written in Uighur writing. [+78] The language of the poem is distinct from Uighur and is called Bograkhan. [+79] So, by the start of the tenth century, not only Turf an and Karashar, but also Kashgar and Yarkend had been Turkified. The Western Territory had become Eastern Turkestan.

The North-West

In the Aral-Caspian basin the distribution of forces and territory had changed no less than in the south.

The disappearance of the iron fist of the West Turkic khans allowed the weak but warlike nomad tribes to disclose their undissipated strength. The Kengeres, called the Pecheneg by the Russians, began a war against the Ugrians dwelling in the Urals and at the start of the ninth century obliged them to retreat westwards under the protection of the Khazar kingdom.

In the ninth century the warlike Pecheneg horde retained its dominance in the Yaik basin, but in the south-east they had to wage a ceaseless war with the Guz and in the west with the Khazars.

In the second half of the ninth century the Khazars and Guz concluded an alliance and pressed the Pechenegs so hard that part of them living in Ustyurt bought themselves peace by submission; {86} another part broke through to the Black Sea steppes and about 890 reached the lower Danube and in 915 were in contact with Rus', Byzantium and Bulgaria. The Asiatic lands of the Pechenegs fell to the Guz (they were the Uz, Torks, Turkmen, the last name became a firm ethnonym only from the eleventh century).

East of the Guz, in the forest-steppe zone from the Irtysh to the Tobol, the Kimek lived Eastern authors, both Muslim and Chinese, call them Kipchak. They were numerous and had their own clan organisation at its head stood a khakan who had eleven subordinate collectors. His summer quarters were in the town of Kamani whose location is unknown, evidently this was a town of felt yurts. When in the mid-eleventh century the Kimek penetrated into the Dnepr region the Russians called them Polovtsy because of the light colour of their hair (polova is chopped straw), but in west European languages the ethnonym Koman or Cuman continued to be used for them. These were a mixed people compounded of the decendants of the Central Asian Hun - Chumugun, Kipchak and Kengerh. [+80] The Kengerh were the remnants of the population of ancient Kangyui, and the Kipchak were the western branch of the Dinhn, a Europeoid people living in the Minusinsk basin even before our era. [+81] Both of them in the course of 200 years subordination to the Turkut had become Turkic-speaking (incidentally, I consider the Kipchak had always been) and fused into a single people which, in the words of Shikhab ad-din Yakhi, a fourteenth-century geographer, differed "from other Turks by their religiosity, bravery, rapid movements, fine figure, regular features and noble nature". [+82]

Subsequently they drove the Guz southwards, the Pechenegs westwards, the Karluk south-east and the Ugnans to the north into the deep taiga, and they became lords of the territory of ancient Kangyui which from this time become the Desht-i-Kipchak, the Kipchak steppe. In the mid-eleventh century they clashed with the Russian princes and inflicted several heavy defeats on them, however, crushed by Vladimir Monomakh in 1115 they ceased to pose a real threat to the Russian land.


A Northern Oasis

In periods of steppe desiccation, even brief ones, the part played by oases naturally grew; here the microclimate allowed the population to maintain its economy and even develop it, because the constant threat from the steppe weakened as the nomad economy became impoverished. It was thanks to such a combination of circumstances in the tenth century that the states of the Uighur Idykut and the Central Asian emirs, the Samanids, grew stronger.

On the northern margin of the steppe two peoples found themselves in equally favourable circumstances: the Kipchak on the southern slopes of the Altai and, particularly important, the inhabitants of the central Onon valley.

The greater part of Eastern Trans-Baikal and the adjacent areas of Eastern Mongolia are occupied by expansive steppes, and the Onon pine forest, [+83] with an area of about a thousand square kilometres, is only an island of forest preserved in the arid climate thanks to a huge freshwater reservoir being located here in the neocene. The deposits of ancient streams and lakes show physical and water features allowing trees to grow which, in their turn, would model the microclimate and vegetational cover. Defended by sand dunes, wild cherry, dogrose, currants, hawthorn, poplars, birch, elm, wild apple, Siberian apricot grow, meadows and reedy marches occur in the depressions and willow thickets on the mountain slopes. Even in the driest years, when the steppes around are burnt out and the earth cracks from the heat, the grasses do not disappear from the Onon forest, since ground waters feed it and scattered hills with heights of 300 to 500 metres defend it against the dry winds. Here, too, the steady cold steppe winds which pass as dust storms in spring and autumn are not terrible. Their action is weakened in the depth of the forests which modify the daily fluctuation in temperature by 2-6╟.

Here, too, animals are abundant, especially birds. Wood grouse and thrushes, hares and wild goats fill the pine forest, while herds of antilope-dzeren [south Kirghiz saiga-trans.] annually migrate from Mongolia. In brief, even in twentieth-century conditions the Onon forest is a resort.

From this description it is understandable that, first, in type of {88} economy and, consequently, of culture, the population of the middle Onon should differ from the steppe dwellers surrounding it; and, second, the drought hitting the steppes in the ninth to tenth centuries had a minimal effect on the inhabitants of the Onon area. Therefore, the people living there kept many old traditions and elaborated an original culture, in some measure similar to the steppe one, but with its own local differences. This people were called Mongols.

The Mongols, an independent ethnos, [+84] lived from the first century a.d. in the present day Trans-Baikal area and North-Eastem Mongolia, north of the Kerulen which separated them from the Tatars. The tribal name Mongol is of very ancient origin, but references to the Mongols in Chinese sources are rare, because Siberia was outside the field of vision of the ancient Chinese geographers. For the first time the Mongols are referred to as the neighbours of the Sushen, ancestors of the Jurchen, in the Hou Han shu. [+85]

According to Mongol legend the Borte-chino (Grey Wolf) and Goa-maral (Fine Fallow Deer), who crossed the Tengis (internal sea) [+86] and settled in Onon valley, were ancestors of the core of the Mongol people. Twelve generations of their descendants left nothing behind them but names; thus, the son of the founder of the clan was called Batu-Chigan (Unshatterable White). It is hard to say whether the names Wolf and Fallow Deer are a trace of ancient zoolatry, [+87] a heritage of totemism or whether these were protective names given so that the death spirits might not carry off the children's souls. Evil spirits, according to the Mongols, are narrowly specialised: some carry off boys, others girls, a third sort animals, and so on. Therefore, the spirit, hearing an animal's name, would not touch the child, but the other one specialising in wolves, seeing a human being, would leave him in peace. In any event, the choice of an animal name was not chance; it was just the same with the ancient Turks, where animal names were used, but no one {89} considered their bearers to be animals. Yet features relating them with wolves or snow leopards were perceived in the character of those bearing animal names; but this is a nuance of primitive thinking [+88] which may take us away from our subject.

Folk memory and sources note an event which took place in the twelfth generation. The Khori-Tumat tribe joined the nomad camp of the Mongols" ancestors and one of the most senior Mongols, Dobun-Mergan, married a Khori-Tumat beauty, Alan-goa. But the tribe did not approve of this marriage and Dobun-Mergan's children were obliged to set up on their own.

After her husband's death, Alan-goa gave birth to three sons by, according to her, a light brown man who came to her through the smoke-hole of the yurt, emitting light from which she became pregnant. [+89] This legend, on the one hand, has something in common with shamanist dogma about a spirit's sexual selection of a woman to whom he gave his power, [+90] and, on the other, is noted in the source to explain why the ancient Mongols were so dissimilar to all the peoples surrounding them. [+91]

According to the testimony of contemporaries, the Mongols, as distinct from the Tatars, were a people of tall stature, bearded, with light coloured hair and blue eyes. Their descendants acquired their present day appearance by mixed marriages with neighbouring tribes who were numerous, of low stature, black haired and with black eyes. However, the ancient Mongols had nothing in common with the blond people inhabiting Europe. European travellers in the thirteenth century found no similarities between the Mongols and themselves.

A Europeoid anthropological race of the first order is traced in east Central Asia and Siberia from the upper palaeolithic and originates genetically from the Cromagnon type, being a particular branch which developed parallel with the races of Europe and the Near East. [+92] Against the background of the markedly Mongoloid {90} peoples of the Amur basin, even weakly marked Europeoid features would appear prominent to medieval observers and deserving of mention. Nevertheless, these features could not arise independently; they must have been brought from areas where Europeoids were the norm, not the exception. The Europeoid Yenisei Kirghiz were the closest of all to the Mongols, but the Mongols did not consider them their relatives, although they knew them well as contemporaries and neighbours. So we have to reject the easiest solution and find another.

Let us glance at ancient history. In A.D. 67 the Hun and Chinese waged a bitter war for what was known as the Western Territory, i.e. the oases of the Tarim Basin. The Chinese and their allies won a temporary victory and destroyed the principality of Cheshi (in the Turf an oasis) which was allied with the Hun. The Hun Shan-yu [king] collected the remnant of the Cheshi people and resettled them on the eastern frontier of his power, [+93] i.e. the Trans-Baikal area.

The Cheshi belonged to the eastern branch of the Indo-Europeans, evidently close to the eastern Iranians. [+94] In their homeland they had shocked no one by their appearance. Coming to a completely different land they had to adapt themselves to it and to some extent mingle with the local population. In the seventh or eighth century this small tribe was subjected to the Turks. [+95] During the domination of the Uighurs they did not disclose their existence in any way, and only at the end of the tenth century was Bodonchar born, the founder of Mongol greatness, the son of Alan-goa and the light brown light bearing spirit, the ninth generation ancestor of Chinggiskhan. The Mongol historian, Perlee, ascribed his birth to 970. [+96] Coming of age, Bodonchar, first, acquired the skill of falconry, second, conquered some small local tribe and, finally, set a beginning to the basic Mongol clans. It is still difficult to consider Bodonchar a historical person, but he did actually live and from this time the mythological period of Mongol history can be considered closed.


Steppe Nomads

While the Mongols succeeded in surviving the fierce desiccation of the early tenth century thanks to the optimum conditions of their physical environment, their steppe neighbours were lucky in another way. As soon as the monsoons returned to their former track and the steppes became green again, the nomads had immense opportunities to develop herding and population growth. From the end of the tenth century the steppe is again settled, but this time from the Far East, more precisely, from the Amur area. The emigration was not evoked by climatic changes, but by that cruel regime, hostile to the tribal system, which the Khitan government established and consistently earned out, making every effort to create in place of its khanate the empire with the Chinese name of Liao.

A name commits one The policy of forcible Sinicization evoked protests both by many Khitan and, chiefly, by the tribes they had conquered. Those able to do so left for the steppe solely in order to struggle against a hateful regime This was a group of former Shivei known by the name of Tatars. They had moved south at the start of the ninth century to the Inshan mountains, as soon as it became possible they spread westwards to the Kerulen, and in 966 concluded an alliance with the Song Empire [+97] directed at the Khitan. The Khitan, of course, were much stronger than the Tatars to whom the Chinese were unable to give any support, even moral, but the rising of all the Amur region tribes in 965-7 tied down the forces of the Khitan army. Later, in 973, the Jurchen of the Maritime region rose and the Khitan had to repulse their attack, but at this time the Bei Han Empire fell, the last bastion of the Shato and the ally of Liao (979). [+98]

In an intense war on two fronts the Khitan were able to achieve victory. The Chinese army was, after several successes, beaten and thrown back to its own territory in 979. The Jurchen were routed in 984-5 and at the same time the Khitan army sent to the west routed a nomad confederation called Zubu in the Liao shi, the leader of the nomads, bearing the title of Dalai-khan, was killed. [+99]

{92} What does this strange, clearly non-ethnic name Zubu mean? Many Chinese historians have sought an answer to this question. Fen Shen-shun considers the word a collective name for many Central Asian peoples, in his opinion the eastern Zubu are the Jalair and Tatars, the western are the Naiman, the northern the Kerait, but he does not know who the north-western were. [+100]

Wang Guowei considers Zubu a Khitan name for the Tatars because the name disappears with the Khitan, and on the same territory live the Kerait, Naiman, Merkit "as if they suddenly have historical significance". [+101] L.L. Viktorova supposes that the Zubu are an independent Turkic people, descendants of the Hun. [+102] But this opinion, perhaps, we do not have to review because a chronological gap of a thousand years has not been taken into account. The first two opinions may be accepted with reservations It is by no means necessary to discount the phenomenon of ethnogenesis Tribes such as the Naiman and Merkit did, in fact, appear late, no earlier than the twelfth century, and it was evidently then that they were formed But it is impossible to limit the concept of the Zubu merely to the Tatars. Many steppe tribes took part in confederations, apart from the Mongols. Wang Guowei notes that the word Tatar was considered humiliating in Song China and was, therefore, not used in the Liao Empire Instead of the ethnonym a descriptive term of Tibetan origin, sog-po - shepherds or nomads, was used. To this word, incomprehensible to the Khitan, corresponded a term they used which, in Wittfogel's opinion, was rendered in Chinese characters as Zubu.

Their Turkic-speaking neighbours (Blue Turks and Uighurs) called them Tatars, Muslim authors figuratively named them China Turks (Turkon-i-Chin), [+103] but the Khitan, recognising the ethnic relationship and the cultural difference, counted them in their books as nomads, while their fellow tribesmen who had remained on the shores of the Amur continued to be called Shivei. But then the Khitan themselves-were a third branch of this same people who had moved south and accepted a fair share of the culture of the Middle Empire which we have called by the name of its enemies - Kitai [the Russian word for China].


The Deception of Words

Yet if in our usual name for such a well-known country as China [i.e. Kitai] lies concealed the name of their worst opponent, what camouflage lies concealed in the ethnonym of the Tatars? In the eighth century this term was used as equivalent to a small people's own name, a people related to the Khitan and Tatab, but distinct from them. In the twelfth century, after the Tatars had for a time seized political dominance in the steppes, all the steppe population from the Chinese Wall to the Siberian taiga came to be called Tatars. But apart from the Tatars in the narrow sense, other tribes lived in the steppe, some of whom are known to us, but many of whom have left nothing but their names in Chinese, more precisely Khitan, sources. Alas, it is impossible to equate these names. Of the famous nomads we must first of all recall the Kerait, already noticed at the start of the eleventh century. There are no Naiman. The Tikin people [+104] dwelt on the site of their future nomadic pastures; these were evidently the descendants of ancient Turks who had concealed themselves in the Altai. [+105] The warlike Merkit and Oirat were still settled in the mountain taiga of the Sayan range, but the Basmil in Dzungaria again began to gather strength and together with them the Dalidi tribe, of whom nothing is known, except that they perished. The Shato who survived the carnage concealed themselves in the Chakhar steppes, and the Dansyan not joining the Tangut kingdom in the area north of the Ordos. The Khitan called them all Zubu, and the Chinese called them Da-dan, i.e. Tatars.

In east Central Asia an ethnic name has a double meaning: (1) the direct naming of an ethnic group (a tribe or people) and (2) a collective term for a group of tribes forming a specific cultural or political complex, even if the tribes included in it are of differing origin. Rashid ad-Din noted this: "Many lines set greatness and worth in the fact that they related themselves to the Tatars and became known under their name, just as the Naiman, Jalair, Ongut, Kerait and other tribes who each had their specific name called themselves Mongols from a desire to transfer the fame of the latter to {94} themselves; the descendants of these lines puffed themselves up thinking they had borne this name from ancient times, which was not so in reality". [+106]

Until the twelfth century leadership among the tribes in Eastern Mongolia belonged to the Tatars, and therefore the Chinese historians regarded the Mongols as part of the Tatars in the general sense. In the thirteenth century the situation changed and the Tatars began to be regarded as part of the Mongols in the same general sense; moreover, the name Tatar disappeared in Asia and passed to the Volga Turks, subjects of the Golden Horde, where in the course of time it became an ethnonym. At the beginning of the thirteenth century the names Tatar and Mongol were synonyms because, firstly, the name Tatar was usual and generally known, but the word Mongol was new; and, secondly, numerous Tatars, in the narrow sense of the word, formed the advanced detachments of the Mongol force, since they were not spared and were set in the most dangerous positions. Their opponents encountered them there and confused the names; for example, Armenian historians called them Mungal-Tatars, and the Novgorod Chronicle under 6742 (1234) writes: "The same year, for our sins, unknown heathen came, no one knows them: who they are, where they have come from, and what their language is, and of what tribe they are; but they call them Tatars... " [+107] This was the Mongol army.

Based on the collective meaning of the term Tatar the medieval Chinese historians divided the eastern nomad peoples into three sections: the White, Black and Wild Tatars. [+108]

The nomads living south of the Gobi Desert, along the Great Wall, were called White Tatars. The majority of these were the Turkic Ongut (descendants of the Shato). From their masters, the Khitan, and their neighbours, the Chinese, these nomads acquired elements of civilisation in place of their lost independence. They dressed in silk, ate from porcelain and silver dishes, had hereditary leaders who had learnt Chinese writing and Confucian philosophy.

The Black Tatars, including the Kerait, lived in the steppe far from cultural centres. Nomadic herding ensured them an adequate, but not luxurious living, while subjection to the "khans of nature' {95} gave them independence, but not security. War in the steppe did not cease and obliged the Black Tatars to live in close groups, protecting themselves for the night by a ring of wagons (kuren) with guards around it. However, the Black disdained and pitied the White because the latter had sold their freedom to foreigners for silk rags and had purchased the fruits of civilisation by an, in their view, humiliating slavery.

The Wild Tatars of Southern Siberia engaged in hunting and fishing; they knew the authority of no khan, but were directed by elders to whom they voluntarily subjected themselves. Hunger and want constantly lay in wait for them, but they sympathised with the Black Tatars who had to look after their herds, obey the khans and take account of numerous relatives. To give one's daughter in marriage to a Black Tatar was considered a terrible punishment for the girl, who sometimes preferred suicide to the necessity to milk ewes and full felt. The Mongols lived on the border between the Black and the Wild Tatars, as a transitional link between them both.

Among the "wild" tribes, i.e. the hunters and fishers, were included the ancient Uriangqai living in Eastern Siberia and the Ugi people on the Amur, [+109] as well as numerous and scattered tribes, forest peoples, living north of the Sayan range. The latter, evidently, were not included in the concept Zubu, but all the others were undoubtedly considered Zubu-nomads and as such bore the responsibility for the policy effected by their leaders. We shall now see what this meant for them.

A War for Freedom

As soon as the Khitan recovered from their internal shocks they set about the nomads seriously. The nomad leader Hunyan was seized and executed in 1000. His successor brought the tribes into submission to the Liao Empire and, in 1003, the Khitan erected the fortress of Hotun on the shores of the Orkhon to keep watch on the nomads. In 1005 the Tokuz-Tatars sent tribute to the Khitan, and in

1007 a Khitan punitive expedition turned the steppe nomads (Zubu) who had evidently not paid tribute to flight. Towards the end of

1008 this detachment attacked the Uighur settlements in present-day Gansu, but the ferocity of the Khitan evoked a universal rising {96} by all the nomad tribes in the rear of the expedition. Early in 1013 the Tatars and Dansyan rose, but, not achieving any real successes, they left for the depths of the steppe, again becoming independent.

However, the threat of Khitan aggression was so great that the nomads tried to make their way westwards and, at the end of 1013 to early 1014, they fell on Yarkend. Here the Karluk, who had become Muslim, met them and after a four-year war drove them back into the steppe. [+110] The nomads were only saved from Khitan vengeance and punishment by the next rising of the Amur tribes, which lasted two years (1014-15), and the conflict between the Khitan and the Koreans, who achieved a complete and brilliant victory.

Under the stimulus of this brutal war, when the Liao Empire Buddhists, the Song Empire Confucians and the Central Asian Muslims became enemies of the nomads, the latter found an intellectual rallying point and means of overcoming tribal differences in the preaching of the monks who, not long before, had been driven from China and had found no refuge.

The Kerait accepted baptism from Nestorian preachers in 1009. These were the largest and most cultured of the Mongol-speaking peoples in east Central Asia; they lived on the shores of the Orkhon, Tola and Ongin, in the same place where once the Hun, Turks and Uighurs had established their powers. The number of adult Kerait at the start of the eleventh century has been estimated to be 200,000 who, according to legend, accepted Christianity. [+111] So, taking account of the children and the aged, they were twice as many.

According to legend, the conversion of the Kerait took place because their khan was lost in the desert and St Sergius appeared to him and showed him the way home. The khan was christened with all his people and took the name Marguz (Mark). The Metropolitan of Merv was immediately informed of this event and encountered the question: how were nomads to observe days of abstinence when they had no vegetable food in general. The Metropolitan asked the Nestorian Patriarch in Baghdad, John VI (d. 1011) about this important canonical case and sent the Kerait the explanation that {97} during fasts they should abstain only from meat, but milk products might be used as food.

At approximately the same time the Turkic Ongut accepted Christianity; they were the descendants of the warlike Turkic Shato, [+112] the last fragment of the Hun. The Ongut lived along the Great Wall, in the Inshan Mountains, and served the Manchurian emperors of the Kin (Jin) dynasty as frontier guards. Like many other nomad tribes, the Ongut willingly borrowed the material benefits of Chinese civilization, but categorically refused Chinese spiritual culture and ideology. Therefore, the Nestorians found them true and fervent proselytes. The Guz and, in part, the Cigil were christened at the same period. [+113] Christianity displaced the remnants of Manichaeism among the surviving part of the Uighur based in Turf an, Marashar and Kucha. Even among the Khitan themselves and the tribes of Western Manchuria subordinate to them "a certain Christian element" appeared and this afforded a basis for the rise in medieval Europe of the legend of the pontiff John. [+114] It is of great interest that even in the Angara valley on the banks of the winding Unga with its salty waters, A.P. Okladnikov's expedition found Nestorian burials of Central Asian Europeoid anthropological type. [+115] In the eleventh to twelfth centuries this was a region of freedom-loving Merkit. Only the Mongols occupying the area between the rivers Onon and Kerulen remained outside the east Christian unity.

It is known the Russian Orthodox missionary activity in Siberia, despite considerable government support, had very little success. The results achieved by the Nestorians, acting on their own account and at their own risk, are all the more surprising. Evidently, they overcame the very great difficulty of communication between peoples speaking different languages, i.e. they found words in the language of the local population adequately transmitting complex {98} Christian concepts. [+116] Thanks to this they became accepted by the south Siberian herders, became their intimates and their teaching was taken over organically, without any measures involving force, for which the Nestorian missionaries had no means.

The difficulties encountered by the Liao Empire in 1014 [+117] and the consolidation of the nomads which undoubtedly took place after the acceptance of Christianity, as with all other peoples (Russians, Franks, Anglo-Saxons) [+118] compelled the Khitan government to modify its appetites and grant the leader of the nomads (Zubu) Uba [+119] the title of king. After this step a peace reigned which, after twelve years, was again violated by the Khitan. After making peace with Korea in 1020 and establishing a frontier with it along the Yalu, the Khitan renewed their interest in the West. This time they turned their attention to the growing strength of Tangut, but decided to give no cause for a quarrel until they had surrounded it with their own possessions. [+120] With this aim they tried to communicate with Mahmud Ghaznavi, but becoming convinced of the senselessness of this venture they moved their forces against the Uighurs and seized the town of Ganzhou in 1026. The Tangut came to the rescue and repulsed the Khitan force, then themselves took Ganzhou and added it to their possessions. [+121] But while the Khitan force was moving from Manchuria to Gansu over the steppe it seems to have plundered the local population, and so the united nomads attacked {99} the retreating Khitan and caused them considerable loss. [+122] Encouraged by their success, they tried to irrupt into the old-established Khitan lands, but were there turned to flight by the regular troops (1027). After this, peace was restored and for a long time, because the Khitan forces were engaged in putting down the risings in Bokhai (1029-30). [+123]

The nomads were not at all inclined to war and in the following conflict between the Khitan and the Tangut in 1049 themselves brought horses as remounts for the Khitan cavalry. At this time the nomads already had a "great king", [+124] i.e. the unification of the steppe had been completed.

It is very curious that Muslim authors giving information about the transfer to Islam of ten thousand tents of Turks who engaged in nomadism in present-day Kazakhstan observe that "only Tatars and Khatai [Khitan] remain infidels", [+125] thus confirming the equation of Zubu and Tatars. Evidently, the concept Tatar included the Kerait and Basmil who, unlike the Karluk, did not become Muslim. This means that the ethnonym Tatar had taken on a collective meaning.

The subsequent insurrection of the nomads in the terminology of the Liao shi or, more precisely, their war against the Liao Empire flared up in 1069. [+126] The Khitan managed to seize the leader of the nomads and take him to their north-west administration for punishment.

However, the war did not stop until 1086 when the Khitan prince, Ye-lu Ren-Xian, commanding the western army, was authorised "to deal with the Zubu leader on friendly terms"; the latter then concluded a peace with the Liao Empire. [+127]

The final stage of the war started in 1092 when the Khitan Prince Ye-lu Alusaugu attacked the northern Zubu (Kerait) for an unknown reason. Mogusy, the leader of all the nomad tribes, who had taken power in 1089, answered blow for blow. He called the Basmil from Dzungaria, raised the Amur tribes of the Ugi, and one {100} of his helpers drove off the Khitan livestock and herds grazing on the western frontier (1094). Despite these energetic activities, though, he was unable to prevent an incursion of the Khitan army into the steppe where the Khitan took many women and children prisoner, and the Tangut, striking at the rear of the nomads, were victorious and eliminated the Basmil from the war, completing this operation in 1099. [+128]

A regular well-trained army is always stronger than levies, even those made up of natural archers and horsemen. In warfare, as in all matters, professionalism is mightier than dilettantism. So it is no wonder that in 1097 the leaders of the various nomad tribes within striking distance of Ye-lu Alusaugu's forces sought peace and the return of the territory seized by the Khitan. Early in 1100, Mogusy, deserted by his people, was seized, taken to the Middle capital of the Liao Empire and there, in the market-place, cut to pieces before a crowd of people celebrating the victory.

A Chinese source describes this bloody period thus: "This period is famed for its tranquillity. Both in the north and in the south battles were forgotten; all were concerned only to preserve their authority internally and to eliminate strife that occurs from division; they tried to display their prowess by attracting foreigners by kindness and in imitation of the virtues of their ancestors whom they placed among the sages. One may say that at that time [the Khitan] achieved a certain perfection. [+129]

No, there is no conscious deception here. That was how the chronicler perceived the period; as for the nomads imprisoned and miserable, dying from wounds in the steppes, their families deprived of herds and homes, and their leader tormented in front of all, well, each one of us has sufficient strength to bear the sufferings of a neighbour. The historians, educated in Chinese classical historiography, truly regarded the war against the Kerait as a hunt for wild animals. But we see in them people and therefore can state that in the Sinicized Liao Empire the force of law gave way to the law of force. The Khitan finally achieved victory, but they bought it at too high a price. The decline of the dynasty which had carried out a policy of Sinicizing the land and suppressing local traditions became obvious. The confederation of the nomad tribes fell apart, but a {101} small scale war continued until 1119, i.e. after the Liao Empire was reeling from the blows of the Jurchen who had risen in 1114.

The upheavals of this war are not relevant to our subject and have been described vividly and in detail by A. P. Okladnikov, [+130] so we shall restrict ourselves to a brief but emotional quotation from a source on the history of the Liao dynasty which contains a retrospective analysis of the events. "How strong were the Khitan when they held the whole province of Yan and when all foreigners submitted to them! How weak they were under the senseless and underage ruler, Tian-zuo (1101-25), when the Nu-zhi [Jurchen - L.G.] freely penetrated their possessions and the structure of their monarchy fell apart at their shout alone! We shall not forget, however, that war is an unlucky weapon and that the forethought of heaven has evidently decided that all shall pass from one state to another; when they reach perfect well-being, the period of decline begins; this is the common rule for all. Thus, as loudly as the Khitan were elevated, so suddenly did they fall. How piteous!" [+131]

In reality, the Liao Empire, shaken by internal disturbances, the dynasty which had broken with its people's traditions, showed little resistance to the Jurchen and fell in 1125, leaving the already uncoordinated nomads to face a powerful new enemy.

The Prototype of John's Kingdom

Not for nothing have we followed the history of the nomad confederation of the Zubu or Tatars. For this was the seed from which grew the legend of the king-pontiff John. Everything fits yet all is dissimilar. Instead of a mighty empire, menacing to all enemies of the Christian faith, a crowd of nomads heroically defending their freedom and way of life; instead of untold wealth, yurts and sheepskins worn with the fleece inwards; instead of an abundance of nature's gifts, the border of the desert; and, the main thing, no good could come to any of the Europeans from such co-religionists. That is the answer to the question: why in both Catholic and Orthodox Europe before the mid-twelfth century did no interest arise in the Far East? It was not difficult to obtain adequate information. Caravans regularly passed from China to Baghdad and then to {102} Constantinople Muslim merchants reached Siberia, Nestorian ones held the trade between Central Asia and China in their hands An exchange of information was possible, but the quick and practical Europeans showed no interest in it They were up to their necks in their own squabbles

In the west the Normans seized part of France, then England and Southern Italy In the Holy Roman Empire the emperor now went to Canossa to pay homage to the Pope, now drove the Pope from the Eternal City and replaced him with his own protege whom the feudal lords, the real holders of power, did not want to recognise Byzantium went from victory to victory It coped with Bulgaria with the help of Rus', with Rus' with the co-operation of the Pechenegs It united to itself Serbia, Armenia and Georgia, crowning its military successes with the conversion of Rus' and this set a limit to the spread of the Latins to the east and introduced a creative, flourishing country to its own culture Ideological penetration was much cheaper and much more effective than military conquests.

In the eleventh century Orthodoxy penetrated into Central Asia there was an Orthodox metropolitan in Merv and, not far away, in Samarkand there was a Nestorian metropolitan Evidently a certain number of Orthodox appeared in Khwarizm, too, because there on the 4th of June roses were brought to the church to commemorate that day when Mary brought roses to the mother of John the Baptist [+132] A cold war was, evidently, carried on between the Orthodox and the Nestorians In 1142 the Jacobites joined the Nestorians, and the only factor linking these two creeds was their hatred of Byzantine Orthodoxy.

The Arabs, naturally, took the side of the Nestorians whose Catholicos had, since 987, declared himself a calif In 1062-72 the calif laid it down that priors of monasteries of the Jacobites (monophysites) and the Melkites (Orthodox) were subordinate to the Nestorian Catholicos When at war with the Greeks, the Arabs regarded the Nestorians as their allies and demanded that they say prayers for their victory [+133] For a long time the Europeans failed to count the Asiatic Christians as a serious force Of the Nestorians they only knew they were abettors of the Arabs in their war against {103} the Christians, but were of little account and did not deserve attention.

Yet the Nestorians spread and, by the beginning of the twelfth century, formed a cultural bloc, though one that was politically varied. The victory of the Jurchen and the formation of the Kin (Jin) Empire were a heavy blow for the nomads, but the main forces of their enemies drew China off and in the early twelfth century the Jurchen were fairly passive as regards the steppe. Only in 1135 did they declare war on the nomads who on this occasion were headed by the Mongols. In 1139 they inflicted a defeat on the Jurchen at Mount Hailin which made them halt their advance in China and divert part of their forces to the northern frontier. Yet this did not save the Song Empire which in 1141 recognised itself as a vassal of the Kin Empire. After the victory over the Chinese, the Jurchen renewed the war with the Mongols which lasted till 1147 and ended in victory for the Mongols defending the Great Steppe where the Nestorian church flourished and grew strong.

An Attempt at Ethnological Generalisation

Now we shall glance at the events taking place in Europe during the same period. This will just be a bird's eye view because it is important for our subject to catch the general direction in which events developed, i.e. to take the degree of approximation at which details compensate one another. Moreover, only one phenomenon interests us: the ethnic and cultural divergence of the European ethnic group expressed in the schism of the church and in the appearance of a new super-ethnic unity with a Romano-German content.

We left Eastern Europe at the moment when Jewish Khazaria triumphed and took the lead. Rus' was oppressed by the situation, sought allies and in 961 Bishop Adalbert, emissary of Otto I, arrived in Kiev. [+134] He was received by princess Ol'ga, but his preaching had no success. Rus' remained in the stream of Byzantine policy, the more so since the interests of Kiev and Constantinople coincided.

By the single campaign of 965 Svyatoslav dealt with the existence of the Jewish government of Khazaria, the faithful ally of the Muslim East. But the Russian prince was unable to maintain himself {104} on the conquered lands: the lower reaches of the Volga were seized by the Khwarizm people, [+135] the steppes of the watershed by the Guz, and the Khazars, saved by the Russians from an unpopular government, retained the valleys of the Don and Terek. [+136] Deprived of a unifying principle, the steppe ceased to threaten the independence of the Russian states, and this allowed Svyatoslav to carry out Byzantium's second task - to rout Bulgaria. But, carried away by his successes, he entered into a conflict with John Tzimisces, was defeated and perished in 972 at the hands of the Pechenegs as he returned to Kiev. There was no damage to the Russian land in this defeat, because the rejection of an adventurist policy in the Balkans allowed Vladimir the Bright Sun to strengthen substantially the borders of Rus' and ensure its economic and cultural growth.

Byzantium achieved its most brilliant victory in 988-9 without shedding a drop of blood. Vladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev, accepted baptism, and the culture linked with it, from the hands of the Greek monks. But Byzantium lost influence in Western Europe.

In 962 the German king Otto I was crowned Emperor in Rome. This was not so much a fact as a symbol by which Romano-German Europe again, after Charlemagne, declared its independence and equality with Byzantium. The coronation of Otto I is neither a beginning nor an end, but a transitional point in the particularisation of the western cultural world. This break had been prepared through the whole of the tenth century. Shaven fathers in their white soutanes had contended with bearded monks in black cassocks for the souls of Slav and Hungarian pagans.

A noteworthy date was the schism in the church in 1054 which was accompanied by mutual anathemas. There were absolutely no theological reasons for these, but the schism had been evoked by a combination of social, economic, political and ideological causes. The church reacted, like a sensitive barometer, to the ethnic and superethnic divergence of West and East; but the population, both there and here, including emperors and kings, townsmen and knights, still more the peasants, with the lack of active thought inherent in philistines, were unable to understand for a long time that a single Christianity had ceased to exist. And this natural inertia coloured the nature of the events which the First Crusade involved. {105} The crusaders, without thinking of the schism in the Church, went to the aid of the Greek Christians, and they were awaiting the help of their western co-religionists. It required about a hundred years for the fact of the schism, not only in the Church, but in politics and, more than that, ethnically, to become a dominant psychological factor in social consciousness. But we shall deal with that in our own time.


[+58] [Bichurin] Iakinf, Istoriya Tibeta i Khukhunora, II, 28.

[+59] E. Chavannes, "Dix inscriptions chinoises de l'Asie Centrals", Memoires presentes par divers savants a l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres de I'Institut de France, 1904, XI, 2, 205.

[+60] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 369.

[+61] Qi-yuan (Chinese, trans from Tibetan by B.I. Kuznetsov).

[+62] [Bichurin] Iakinf, Istoriya Tibeta, 2.

[+63] Ibid., 18.

[+64] E.I. Kychanov, Ocherk istorii tangutskogo gosudarstva, 78.

[+65] E.I. Kychanov, Zvuchat lish' pis'mena, 52.

[+66] [Bichurin] Iakinf, Istoriya Tibeta, 142.

[+67] E.I. Kychanov, Ocherk istorii, 148.

[+68] The Tibetan name Gosrai sounded like Gosylo in Chinese ([Bichunn] Iakinf, istoriya Tibeta), or Juesiluo in its modern pronunciation (E.I. Kychanov, Ocherk istorii) It seems to us inappropriate to transmit the non-Chinese names, l e phonemes, in modern versions of the characters, since this would merely complicate the onomastic problems which are complex enough as it is E I Kychanov thinks that Gosylo (Juesiluo) is not a name, but a title meaning "Son of the Buddha" (Ocherk istorii, 137) Ts. Damdinsuren (Istoricheskie korni Geseriady) identifies him with the legendary Geser, but apart from a lack of coincidence in name, origin and biography, this conception is refuted by the statement in a Ladakh chronicle that the descendants of Geser ruled in Ladakh in 950 (A.H. Francke, A History of Western Tibet, 47) The Tibetans themselves dated Geser as fourth or fifth century (C. Bell, The Religion of Tibet, 14) and this is most probable (see L.N. Gumilev, "Dinlinskaya problema", Izvestiya Vsesoyuznogo Geograficheskogo obshchestva SSSR, 1959, No 1, 24).

[+69] E.I. Kychanov, Ocherk istorii, 78.

[+70] V.P. Vasil'ev, Istoriya i drevnosti, 93.

[+71] V.V. Bartol'd, Turkestan v epokhu mongol'skogo nashestviya, 176 (reference to Yakubi).

[+72] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 366 (reference to Ishtakhn).

[+73] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, ibid., 256.

[+74] N.Ya. Bichunn, Sobranie svedenii, n, 300.

[+75] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 18, N.Ya. Bichunn, Sobranie svedenii, II, 300.

[+76] Quoted from G. F. Debets, Paleoantropologiya SSSR, 284-5.

[+77] J. Marquart, Osteuropaische und ostasiattsche Streifzuge, 77.

[+78] S.E. Malov, Pamyatniki drevne-tyurkskoi pis'mennosti, 224.

[+79] Ibid , 302.

[+80] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 57, L.N. Gumilev. Drevnie Tyurki, 381.

[+81] L.N. Gumilev, "Dinlinskaya problema.

[+82] Quoted from G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, 58

[+83] V.A. Frish, "Zhemchuzhina Yuzhnogo Zabaikal'ya (Bory v Ononskikh stepyakh)", Priroda, 1966, No 6, 74-80.

[+84] G E Grumm-Grzhimailo, "Kogda proizoshlo i chem bylo vyzvano raspadenie mongolov na vostochnykh i zapadnykh", Izvestiya Russkogo Geograficheskogo obshchestva, XVI, fasc. 2, 167-70, L.N. Gumilev, "O termine "etnos" ", Doklady otdelenii i komissii Geograficheskogo ohshchestva SSSR, fasc. 3, 9-10.

[+85] G E Grumm-Grzhimailo,'Kogda proizoshlo", 169

[+86] S.A. Kozin, Sokrovennoe skazanie, ╖ XI, according to Academic Rinchen, Tengis is a mountain river in Kosogol aimak, very difficult to cross (personal letter to the author)

[+87] L.N. Gumilev, Drevnie Tyurki, 22.

[+88] L.Ya. Shternberg, Pervobytnaya religiya v svete etnografii.

[+89] S.A. Kozin, Sokrovennoe skazanie, ╖ 21.

[+90] L.Ya. Shternberg, Pervobytnaya religiya.

[+91] Sceptical Tibetans asserted that the clan of Borte-chino ended with Dobun-Mergen and so has no connection with Chinggiskhan .But they recognise the golden-coloured youth and consider the sunlight the ancestor of Chinggis (Istoriya Tibeta, 119-22, trans from Tibetan by B.I. Kuznetsov)

[+92] See, G.F. Debets, Paleoantropologiya SSSR, 83, L.N. Gumilev, "Dinlinskaya problema",25.

[+93] N.Ya. Bichunn, Sobranie svedenii, I, 83, L.N. Gumilev, Khunnu, 156.

[+94] G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Opisanie puteshestviya v Zapadnyi Kitai, 211-12.

[+95] W. Schott, Aelteste Nachrichten von Mongolen und Tataren, 19, 22.

[+96] Kh. Perlee, "Sobstvenno mongol'skie plemena v period Kidanskoi imperil (907-1125)", Trudy XXV Mezhdunarodnogo kongressa vostokovedov, V, 314.

[+97] N.Ya. Bichurin, Sobranie svedenii, I, 376-7.

[+98] H. Cordier, Histoire generate de la Chine, II, 73-4.

[+99] K.A Wittfogel and Feng Chia-Sheng, History, 581, 583.

[+100] Ibid 102.

[+101] Ibid 50.

[+102] L.L. Viktorova. Rannii etap etnogeneza mongolov (author's abstract of thesis).

[+103] Ibn al-Asir quoted in V.V. Grigor'ev Vostochnyi ili Kitaiskii Turkestan 282-3.

[+104] I.N. Berezin mistakenly read this as "Bikin" and this led to several incorrect hypotheses. See, Rashid ad-Din, Sbornik letopisei, I, 1, 139-40, n 2.

[+105] L.N. Gumilev, "Altaiskaya vetv' tyurok-tukyu", Sovetskaya arkheologiya 1959, No 1.

[+106] Rashid ad-Din, Istoriya mongolov, 4, Rashid ad-Din, Sbornik letopisei, I, 1, 75.

[+107] Novgorodskaya letopis' po sinodal'nomu kharateinomu spisku, 215.

[+108] V.P. Vasil'ev, Istoriya i drevnosti, 216.

[+109] See, G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya, n, 169.

[+110] V.V. Grigoi'ev (Vostochnyi ili Kitaiskii Turkestan, 283) mistakenly ascribes this incursion to the Karluk, but they had accepted Islam in 960 and settled in Kashgar Ibn al-Asir calls the invaders "Turks of China" (see ibid , n 64).

[+111] R. Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes, 191.

[+112] P. Pelhot, "Chretiens", 630, G.E. Grumm-Grzhimailo, Zapadnaya Mongoliya,380-2.

[+113] One of the Tianshan Turkic tribes. V.V. Bartol'd, O khristianstve v Turkestane,18-20.

[+114] Ibid , 25, cp. R Khennig, Nevedomye zemli, n, 441 (see editor's note 446).

[+115] A P Okladnikov, "Novye dannye po istorii Pribaikal'ya v tyurkskoe vremya", Tyurkologicheskie issledovaniya, I I. Gokhman, "Sredneaziatskaya koloniya v Pribaikal'e", Problemy antropologii i istoncheskoi etnografii Azii.

[+116] N.S. Leskov, a great expert on Russian Orthodoxy, rightly notes in his famous story. "On the Edge of the World" that the failure of the Orthodox missions in Syria was connected with the Russian missionaries" inability to find abstract vernacular concepts without which understanding of Christian doctrine was impossible The Nestorian preachers were able to overcome this difficulty.

[+117] An insurrection by all the Amur tribes against whom an entire army was sent.

[+118] Accepting Christianity involved not so much the political unification of the country as its ethnic unification, because inter-tribal dissension had been supported by the clan cults With a common creed, a basis for coordinated actions appeared, even when the ethnic group was politically fragmented when it counter-posed itself to those of another faith See, L.N. Gumilev, "Po povodu predmeta istoricheskoi geografii Landshaft i etnos, III", Vestnik LGU, 1965, No 18, 115.

[+119] The name Uba does not occur among either Turks, Uighurs or Mongols Possibly this is the Christian name Uvar with the replacement of v by b which is characteristic of Turkic-Mongol phonetics An Egyptian Christian called Uar was executed in 307 during Maximilian's persecutions His relics were transferred to Palestine in 312, he is celebrated on 19 October In time this saint is common to Nestorians and Orthodox since he was canonised before the Council of Ephesus See, Sergii, Archimandrite, "Polnyi mesyatseslov Vostoka", 333

[+120] J.A. Mailla, Histoire generate de la Chine, VIII, 188-9.

[+121] [Bichurin] Iakinf, Istoriya Tibeta, II, 21.

[+122] K.A. Wittfogel and Feng Chia-ShSng, History, 588.

[+123] A.P. Okladmkov, DalekoeproshloePnmor'ya, 209.

[+124] K.A. Wittfogel and Feng Chia-Sheng, History, 591.

[+125] Ibn Al-Asir and Abulfeda - see, V.V. Bartol'd, O Khristianstve v Turkestane,22-3.

[+126] The Liao emperor then forbad the sale of iron to the Zubu and the Uighurs (V. Grigor'ev, Vostochnyi ili Kitaiskii Turkestan, 276).

[+127] K.A Wittfogel and Feng Chia-Sheng, History, 593.

[+128] E.I. Kychanov, Ocherki istorii, 219.

[+129] V.P. Vasil'ev, Istoriya i drevnosti, 174.

[+130] A.P. Okladnikov, Dalekoe proshloe Primor'ya, 221-5.

[+131] V.P. Vasil'ev, Istoriya i drevnosti, 175.

[+132] V.V. Bartol'd, O Khristianstve v Turkestane, 11, 19, 23.

[+133] F. Altheim, Geschichte der Hunnen in 108.

[+134] B.D. Grekov, Kievskaya Rus', 458-9.

[+135] M.I. Artamonov, Istoriya khazar, 443.

[+136] L.N. Gumilev, Otkrytie Khazarii, 175-7.


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