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HomeDatelinesThe most ancient history of Bulgars - 1

The most ancient history of Bulgars – 1

Chapter 5. The city Bolgar becomes the capital of Bulgar (855 – 881 AD)

After Aydar’s death, the ghazis raised to the Khakan throne his senior son, the Moslem Gabdulla Djilki. The younger brother of Djilki, Lachyn, who did not forsake with superstitions, and some Kara-Bulgar infidels were unhappy and began to think of an uprising. Learning about it, the Khazarian Bek Iljas began to prompt Manas into interference in the Bulgarian affairs, but in every possible way, he refused because of the dislike for the wars and for the bloodsheds in general. For three years the Bek tried to push both states to a collision, but in vain.

Then in 858 AD the Judean Khazars, headed by him, slaughtered the Khakan in his tent at night during the seasonal rounds, and the Kara-Bulgarian merchants, who happened to go through the Khazarian possessions in the Dima-Tarkhan, were accused of it and immediately executed.

After this Ilyas installed the obedient to him a son of Manas, Ishak with an alias Aksak Timer, as the Khakan, and invaded the Kara-Bulgar with him. Lachyn immediately joined the Khazars and the pagans. The allies managed to circumvent Djilki, who set out toward them, near the encampment Baltavar, and forced him to retreat to Karadjar. The enemies, inspired by success, went to the Bashtu.

Meanwhile, Chinavyz, the assistant of Iljas, reached Balyn and declared that he is the envoy in Galidj of the new Khakan. Khalib also linked with Ilyas, immediately extradited Budim, who was near him, and Ilyas immediately threw him to the crowd of Galidjians unhappy with the Baltavar. After this evil murder, both of them went without delay, with the troop of the Galidjians, to Bashtu and came to the capital of the Kara-Bulgar almost simultaneously with the Khazars.

Djir, the former sardar of the Anchian militia, locked the three gates of Bashtu and prepared to dearly give his life. But here came the envoy of Iljas and proclaimed the desire of the Khakan, in case the Bashtuans express the submission to him, to grant the Bashtu and Urus provinces a status of a separate from the Kara-Bulgar Baylik, the Baylik Russ with the centre in Bashtu.

A big part of the inhabitants of capital was bemused by it and came to Djir-As with a demand to hand over the city to the Khazars immediately. The sardar held on for two weeks, expecting help from the Baltavar, and, not getting it, was forced to enter negotiations with the enemy. Both sides agreed that Djir would receive a title of the Rus Bek and would rule under the direction of the Khazarian viceroy As-Khalib, and that Bashtu would pay to Khazaria a tribute and help with troops.

As-Khalib with the troops drove into Bashtu and took his place. Immediately at one of the gates, called Jewish, was set up a Khazarian customs, and a part of the city was given for the Khazarian quarter. The inhabitants collected a tribute in three days, and Ilyas withdrew the Khazarian army from the city. In Batavyl he for a pretence he raised to the Kara-Bulgarian throne a new Baltavar, the obedient to the Khazars Lachyn, instead of the deposed Djilki.

So, because of the Lachyn’s mutiny, the integrity of the Kara-Bulgar state ceased to exist.

Ilyas, always rather zealously dealing with the Rum state, wanted after this victory to break it as the Kara-Bulgars. The son of the old Tamjan, poisoned by Rumians on demand of Burtas, he absorbed with the mother’s milk the hurt pride of his father, and it made him incredibly ambitious and ready for anything to achieve the highest power.

In the Ruman service, he accepted Christianity, and after leaving to Khazaria he accepted Islam to receive the post of the kadi in the Samandar district. Not having an opportunity to make a carrier in Rum or Kara-Bulgar, he decided to advance in the Khazaria, and he made it. The Moslems loved him as theirs, the Jews saw in him their saviour, and for the pagans, he was a father-benefactor. His struggle with Rum could cost him his head, and therefore he runs it with all the passion and cruelty.

Initially, he assigned the territory of the Rumian churches in Bashtu to the Khazarian quarter and obliged the Jewish customs officers to collect rent from it. Then, in 860 AD, he ordered Djir and As-Khalib to make a sudden and ruthless attack on the city of Rum. The two Beks carried out this order but had big losses.

This despaired many Sadumians, Balyns and Bashtuses, who resolved that the Christian gods are stronger than their pagan gods… Djir, uneasy of the Khazarian power and hoping for the aid of Rum in the struggle against it, was the first to accept the false Christian faith, and after him, it was done by some influential Balynian boyars.

Some Anchian heads abstained from this temptation for some time, hoping for the return of the good old times of the Bulgarian rule. But in the struggle against Khazars, they were ready to support anybody. The flame of war with Rum, kindled by Ilyas, suddenly burnt the Bek himself with a revolt in Bashtu in 863 AD. It started with a clash of the Anchians with the Khazarian customs officers, who were ruthlessly stripping everybody and everything for themselves and for the Khakan.

The Anchians, indignant of the unfair seizures, crushed the customs and then broke into the city and instigated the ravaging of the Khazarian quarter. The Christians also eagerly participated in this act. But then As-Khalib, mindful that the revolt can reinforce Djir, an obstacle on his way to the desired Bashtu throne, called the Christians to also ravage the Moslems.

A few dozen Christians and about two hundred Galidjians and Balyns of As-Khalib entourage went to the mosque… “Djok“, which was set up by Shams himself. Michael, who remained in the city because of fear to fall into the hands of Khazars or Lachyn’s pagans, and also because of the appeals by Djir-As, alone blocked their way. Balynians and Galidjians uncovered their swords to finish off the mullah, but then there appeared Djir with several true Christians and Anchians and prevented the crime.

Nevertheless, Michael, shocked by the view of the people in a rage from the blood, together with several devotees went to the cave of his father. Transforming it into a khanaka, he remained here, wearing himself by fasts, and in 865 AD, having received inspiration from above, began to write there his dastan ”Shan kyzy”.

The Moslem Bulgars who shared his burdens reminded him of the ancient legends of the land of three bakhadirs, and the mullah used them as a substrate for his poem. He wrote in the Arabian letters on the blessed Jeti-Su Türkic dialect which ours call the ”Turanian language” and which became, due to him, the language of all our poets and officials. As is customary for our Chichens, he adopted a second name ”Shamsi Bashtu” in memory of his father and the native city…

In a heat of these events, one of Anchians escaped from Bashtu to Karadjar and told Djilki a false message about the ravaging of the mosque by the hateful for the Anchians Balyns and Galidjes. Gabdulla, who was in complete depression, with this news felt sudden indignation and influx of strength.

Summoning the ghazis and his Anchians to the arms, he recklessly sped with them to Batavyl and occupied it. Lachyn, not expecting an attack, in a panic fled to Khazaria and stopped for a breath only in the Ilyas headquarters. Gabdulla, inspired by the success, rushed to the Bashtu. At the approach of the Baltavar As-Khalib fled from the city to Galidj, where was sitting his son Turma, and Djir immediately went out of the city with the expressions of loyalty to the Kan and with explanations of the circumstances of the events.

Pleased with a meeting with Djir, Djilki departed to Batavyl, appointing Michael Bashtu as the envoy at the Urus Bek…

Ilyas could not respond Baltavar at the time, but the next year he set out to the Batavyl Khorysdan with the 75-thousand army consisted mostly of the Kumans and Badjinaks. Receiving news about it, Djir let As-Khalib, who returned from Galidj with an army, into the Bashtu, for he did not believe in the final victory of the Baltavar.

Turma, who came with his father, went with the most part of the Galidjians and Balyns to Batavyl to join with Ilyas. He came first to the headquarters and was completely defeated by the Bulgars and Anchians of Gabdulla. Turma himself, surrounded, recklessly threw himself to break through, relying on the durability of his armour, but was thrown over with a spear strike by the Anchian leader Nankai, and was trumped to death under the hoofs of the horses.

The Khazars, meanwhile, broke through to the Khorysdan and defeated Gabdulla, hastily blocking the road. Fortunately, the Khazars and Badjanaks quarrelled with each other over the spoils and did not pursue the Bulgars who were retreating to Karadjar …

In Karadjar Djilki met with a merchant Tuimaz from Bolgar, and he told him that the dynasty of Barys ended, and that was necessary to prevent the intention of a part of the townspeople, who decided to invite Chinavyz for the Beylikdom. 

Gabdulla, filled with the noblest intentions, immediately enjoined his senior son Almysh to head the Kara-Bulgarian Beylik, and with 10 thousand fighters quickly went to Bulyar. The Bolgars, however, did not let him into the city, but the Badjanaks, angered with Khazars, allodially gave him the Esegel Beilyk, which they controlled.

From his Esegel quarters Sulcha the Baltavar negotiated with Bolgars, and in 865 AD again came to Bolgar. After Praying in the Marduan mosque, Djilki promised to create in Bulyar an Islamic state with the capital in Bolgar, and this time the gate of city swung open for him.

Entering the city, Gabdulla declared his possessions to be a Bulgarian Islamic state, with himself as its Kan. The Anchian head Nankai, the Esegelian biy from the Sabanian clan Djulut-Tarnak, the Esegelian biy from the Sabanian clan Baryn-Alabuga, and the Burdjanian biy from the clan Ümart-Bel raised him to the Kan throne. From that time all Bulgarian Kans before raising to the throne prayed in this mosque…

While the enemies of Bulgaria have not regrouped, Djilki began to expand the limits of his state. First of all he went to the mouth of Tamtaz and with it gained the submission of Bershud which was ruled by the Modjarian, or “Chirmyshian“ in the Burdjanian language, biy Kush from the clan Askal.

Kush, wishing to show the Kan that in his person he got a loyal biy, with all his militia, urma, went on a campaign to the west and the north. In the west he reached a river named Kush-Urma which he declared to be the border of Bulgaria. And in the north the biy Kush subordinated to the Bulgar the Arian, Seberian and Urian tribes, who were living between the rivers Nukrat-su and Chulman, and the Kar Dingez.

The northern Arian possessions began to be called province Biysu, and the Seberian began to be called provinces of Ura and Baygul…

And Bel with 400 Bulgarian kaveses went by the right bank of the Kara-Idel to Tukrantau in the mouth of Sain-Idel and, verifying the belonging of these lands to Kush, turned south… On the bank of the river Murdas, called so in the memory of ancient passage across it of the Murdases after their flight from Bulyar, he set up the encampment.

Suddenly from the forest came a military group, and its leader told him: ”I am the Arian biy Kudej, the owner of these places, and who are you and what for did you come here to me?” Bel introduced himself and suggested to the guest to try his cuisine. He ate together with his people, drunk archa and asked: ”You, probably, came for the tribute? But I already pay it to Burtases”.

-”No”, said Bel.

-“I simply define the boundaries of Bulgar, and if you are not our tributor I will leave”.

Then the impressed Ar exclaimed:

-”We had different tribes as our neighbours, but all of them only demanded from us a tribute. And the Bulgarian biy not only did not plunder me but treated and amused with archa. Therefore henceforth I shall submit to the Bulgar Kan, and our tribe, in the memory of the royal treatment, will be called “archa“…

The Kan left all biys in their places and declared them to be Tarkhans. Each Tarkhan was given a quote for the tribute in furs, honey, wax, bread and cattle. The djien places, where the Kan met biys and their clans, judged, made assignments and took the tribute, were: Bolgar, Nur-Suvar, Sulcha, Bulyar, Alamir-Sultan, Kashan and Djuketau . But from these, only the Bolgar and Nur-Suvar were real cities… For djiens were coming many merchants, for the trade-in them was not taxable.

For the Bershudian Modjars and the Bashkorts of the Sak and Sok the Kan suggested to pay tribute half smaller than the others, but for that, all people had to go to war and were to supply 4 thousand horsemen for one year service in a standing army of the kingdom.

The Bershudian and Sak-Sokian Bashkorts, who never ploughed the land and were living off the war, hunting and fishing, agreed willingly to carry the militia hair brade, and this is why in Bulgar all militiamen and soldiers began to be called Chirmyshes. And the river…, beyond which began the possessions of Sak-Sokian Bashkorts, that is the ”Border of Chirmyshes”, received the name Cheremsh-An or Cheremshan.

And these Bashkorts also called themselves “Honturchy“, therefore the river Sak began to be called, eventually, “Honturcha“…

The Kan offered the same to the five Sabanian clans: the Baryn, Tuk-Suba, Aksuba, Djulut and Bakhta, but at the same time set their tribute as half of the Modjarian’s and gave to Tuk-Suba and Bakhta as allodial a part of the Bershud between Djuketau and Kichi-Cheremshan. The Sabans had to agree to enter this category called by their common name “Saban“, but did not hide that for them it was a burden., With the exception of the Tuk-Subas, they really were engaged more in the agriculture, than in the cattle breeding, and taking people for service and to militia impoverished them…

The Tuk-Subas came to the Inner Bulgaria or Marduan, as the lands between Agidel and Sok began to be called sometimes, from the banks of the river Tuk, to which they gave their name at the time. The reason of relocation was the invasion of Bashkorts who, however, did not touch the Sabans and only laid a tribute over the Esegel. Djilki also agreed to pay this tribute from his lands…

And almost all Kara-Bulgars of Gabdulla spoke the Sabanian dialect because they were the descendants of the Tat-Ugek’s Bulgars called Baryns. And these Bulgars-Baryns also made the majority of the Kara-Bulgarian Moslems. In the Kara-Bulgar proper after the departure of Djilki remained a few Kara-Bulgarian Moslems, and the majority remaining were Kara-Bulgar pagans, called Kaubuys or Kaubiys.

Kan relieved Kara-Bulgars of all taxes but obligated to furnish him a personal army (yaranlar). They were guarding the Bolgar or made rounds together with him in the country…

Abdallah ibn Bashtu in his “Khazarian History” writes that the mothers of Khakans Aydar and Urus were first sisters from the Urus clan Uslan. This relationship did not allow the Baltavar to be directly at war with the Khazarian Khakan, for the Bulgarian traditions forbade wars against the relatives under a threat of a curse by Abi. Abi is the name of Alyp-bi, the mother of Idjik, who liked to take the shape of a huge fish Boygal. In her honour the Bulgars call all grandmothers “Abi“.

Seid Yakub from the words of Abdallah ibn Michael Bashtu tells that the mother of Aydar, the Urusian Arya-Uslan, lived for hundred fifty years and even nursed her great-grandson Almysh. Some people say now, that the mountains opposite to Kazan and Bolgar are called Uslanian in honour of her and, but the others say that it is in memory of the wife of Khan Khisam Uslan-Bi. Only Allah knows where the truth is…

Arya-Uslan sometime told her grandson Djilki that her clan comes from the primogenitor of Saklans bogatyr Targiz, whom Bulgars call Tarvil, Sabans call Tardjis, and Bashkorts call Adilkush. He was so strong and famous that in honor of him all Saklan was called Targiz…

In a state of a peculiar fury, Tarvil turned into the Wind-Yil and decimated all in his way with a storm might. From him came a number of the Saklanian bogatyrs or Mardans. One of Targiz descendants, Khalmysh or Almysh, and in the Sabanian Kamysh, married on the Kujantau mountain the daughter of the Water Alp, Tun-Buri. From this marriage was born the bogatyr with snake legs Baradj, who bravely defended his people from the enemies.

In memory of this wedding the Saklans, both men and women, every summer before the djien went into the river and laved with water, completely nude and not covering at all from each other… This story was so liked by Gabdulla that he named his sons Mardan and Almysh. And with the name Baradj, even before that, the simple people began frequently call Elbegen…

Baradj as the seid Yakub was telling, lived for a long time in the Kuman desert and was the favourite of the Hins. But when the power of the Hins was shaken, he flew away to the mountain near Bulyar. It began to be called Saban or Hinu-Ba, because Baradj flew from the Hin… There the hungry Snake swallowed a whole bull, therefore one more head, the bull’s, appeared at him in addition to the snake’s head. When in Bulyar in the citadel Marduan was built a cathedral mosque decorated with two minarets, the people nicknamed it “Baradj“in honour of the two-headed Elbegen…

In 870 AD happened a big war between Kyr- Badjanaks and Kypchaks. Taking advantage of the significant part of Badjinaks were gone to this war, Burtases attacked their pastures along the river Chirkyos. But when the Burtas men left to Idel, Kudey with his Arches attacked their settlements and took almost all their women to his province. 

Burtases returned from the raid very angered, for the Badjanakian women armed quickly and beat them off from their encampments. Finding the houses empty, Burtases went after the abductors, but on the river Muhshé their way was blocked by a detachment of Bel’s two hundred Nur-Suvars.

Our Bulgars had time to make a katau (log barrier) and their biy warned the enemies that they infringe on the territory of the Bulgarian tributors, but nevertheless they flew as a crowd against the fortifications and were easily beaten off. Being obstinate people, the Burtases made some more unsuccessful attacks until, at last, Bel offered them a duel of the biys instead of the battle, with the weapon of their choice.

Bel himself went to fight and instantly struck with an arrow the speeding to him Burtasian biy Sar with a spear. His son Khud-Dad regretfully pulled back the army, promising to revenge. But after a reciprocal attack by the Badjanaks who come back from the Kypchak war, the new Burtasian biy sent to Bel envoys with the message that he does not feel animosity to him and wants to live in peace with him…

In response, Bel ransomed from Badjinaks all Kypchak captive females and gave them to Khud-Dad as a gift. Many Burtases took the slaves as wives, and their children began to talk in their Türkic dialect. The same happened with the Modjars of the Chirmysh district, whom Bel also sold captive female Kypchaks…

The defeat of Burtases unintentionally played a fatal role in the fate of Iljas Bek, the son of Burash. Dissatisfied with the behaviour of Khud-Dad, he went to punish him, but Khud-Dad set an ambush and killed him with a strike of a spear. The Khakan Ishak was inexpressibly glad with it, for the Bek held in the hands all the power and scorned him. The Burtases of the clans who submitted to Khud-Dad were relieved of any duties and received an honourable right to provide one thousand soldiers to the retinue of the Khakan…

When the message about the death of the almighty Ilyas reached Bashtu, As-Khalib, a secret servant of the Khakan, immediately killed Djir-As together with his senior son, falsely portraying them as the supporters of the Bek and the secret Moslems. After this, the mosque “El-Beyda“ on the Djok hill and Michael’s khanaka were ravaged, and the mullah was taken to a dungeon and waited there for the inevitable trouncing from the hands of the un-girdled As-Khalib. This murderer, who took the name Myshdauly (out of a desire to please the Balynians), had three sons…

Having received from the Khakan, in exchange for the expression of submission to him, the title of the Urus Bek and the promise to have all areas won from the neighbours transfer under his control, As-Khalib conceived to grab for his children the Bulgar and Kara-Bulgar…

In the same 870 AD he sent his son Bulat, who was sitting in Galidj, to raid the Bulgar, and he managed to capture the Djir. However, the deputy of Bulat, a Sadumian biy Erek, after the departure of the Galidjian viceroy at once sent the envoys to Djilki and suggested to give him Djir in exchange for his service to the Kan and a tribute in the peaceful years. Gabdulla was delighted to see the envoys and eagerly accepted the offer of the biy.

The Kan decided that Erek and the Chirmyshes of Alabuga should concurrently close on the Bashtu and take the city, but the Djirian biy bogged down on the way to Bashtu through the Galidj at one of the Balynian baliks and though he eventually took and burned it, the time was wasted and he returned to Djir. Alabuga proceeded to Karadjar through the balik Suvar, founded in the place of the skirmish between Bal and Burtases.

On the way the Mukhshian Modjars, seeing their kins, joined in. In the Karadjar the biy met with Almysh and the son Djun or Djunné of Djir-As, who fled from Bashtu. Learning from Djun about the Muslim pogrom, Alabuga got inflamed with hatred to the enemies of the faith, and wanted right away advance to the city. But the Baltavar suggested that the biy first take back the Batavyl from the Khazars, and he found this suggestion to be reasonable…

When the Bulgars appeared at the Khorysdan, here again, the Modjars, seeing their kins, switched to the side of Alabuga. Seeing it, Lachyn hurriedly hid away, and the headquarters fell to us. Ease of a victory is explained that Lachyn was quarrelling with the Khakan and did not get any help from him. He was married to the Ishak’s sister, but for a long time had no children from her. At last, in 870 AD his patience ended, and he married a Modjarian and made her his favourite wife. The Khazarian complained about it to her brother, and the Khakan became angry with Lachyn…

After the capture of the Batavyl, Alabuga came to Bashtu without delay, and besieged the city, but did not dare to storm it without Erek… When As-Khalib offered to the biy a ransom and Michael in exchange for the departure of the Bulgars, he, realizing that the Sadumian never came, was compelled to agree with these conditions. Gabdulla, nevertheless, felt that this campaign was successful, for he has beaten off from the Khazars the Kara-Bulgar for his son, and disgraced the brother of the opponent. The Kan gave very a cordial welcome to the mullah Michael and again appointed him as his tebir.

Angry with the defeat, the lame from the birth Iskhak ordered the soldiers to plunder along the way from Kara-Bulgar to Bulgar. And the Khazars’ war banners at from iron, therefore we contemptuously nicknamed the robber Khakan ”Aksak-Timer”, and later so-called all especially hated rulers…

In 880 AD Iskhak sent his matchmakers to Almysh, wishing to marry the Baltavar’s daughter from the Modjarian. The Baltavar, whom the mullah Michael himself brought to the way of the true faith, and named him Djafar, answered with dignity: ”It is not proper for a Moslem to marry a Jew”. Then the Khakan offered to Lachyn, the uncle of Djafar, his help for the return to the Baltavar throne, in exchange for the delivery for him of the Almysh daughter.

Exceedingly ambitious Lachyn could not overcome the temptation of the power and with the help of the Khazars seized the Khorysdan and was raised to the throne by the Kaubuy and Modjar biys. Almysh again fled with his Baryns to the Karadjar and called for the help to the father, and his daughter was given to the Khakan. 

Gabdulla summoned Erek for a new joint campaign against Bashtu, which became the Khazarian citadel in the Kara-Bulgar. Erek said that he should first take Galidj for this purpose, and in 881 AD took this Balynian province. There he captured Bulat, the son of As-Khalib… Now there were no obstacles for the campaign.

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