The most ancient history of Bulgars – 1

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Chapter 6. Reign of Bat-Ugyr  (882 – 895 AD)

In 882 AD the son of Erek, Salahbi, set out from the Galidj to Bashtu, and Alabuga with troops of Sabans and Badjinaks set out from Bolgar, aspiring for a revenge for the attack by the Kara-Bulgarian Modjars led by Lachyn. Kan Gabdulla died before the start of the campaign, and to the Bulgarian throne was raised his son Bat-Ugyr Mumin, who did not rescind the orders of his father. The mullah Michael at that time completed his dastan ”Shan kyzy dastany” and dedicated it to his new Kan…

Alabuga barely came near the Khorysdan as from Karadjar came Almysh with the Baryns and the Anchian militia of Djun. The senior son of Almysh, Arbat, who was in the service of the Baltavar Lachyn, advanced towards Alabuga with his Bashkorts, but was completely defeated and hid in Batavyl. The Khazars who were in Batavyl, prepared for the defence of the fortress, but the astute Arbat preferred to open one of two gates of Khorysdan and come out to his father with remorse. After this, the Djun’s Anchis broke through this gate into the city and took it with terrible slaughter. 

Almysh personally rode to the Baltavar yurt and threw the uncle, shook with fear, out of it, as a puppy. Fortunately, he had enough nobility and magnanimity to not execute the brother of his father and to let him out to Khazaria. Lachyn, crying from a humiliation, left for Itil with his two wives and there he soon died of the shame, and Almysh kept his son Ugyr from a Bashkortian wife…

During Lachyn time, the Urus Beilyk was in his domain, therefore Almysh advanced to Bashtu with the intention to force As-Khalib to submit to him.

Near the city, he joined with Salahbi who came a little earlier and in the beginning reached an agreement that he will reign in the city as a tributor of the Baltavar. But then Djun suggested that Salahbi should be in Bashtu as a co-ruler of the Lachyn son Ugyr, and after reflecting on it, the biys agreed with the Anchian leader.

Salahbi, showed to the Bashtu boyars the Bek Ugyr Lachyni, announced his desire to reign in Urus Beylik as a vizier to the Bek and warned, that if they resist, Bulat will be killed and the there would be a severe Bulgarian storm. The boyars agreed to make an agreement with Salahbi, being afraid of revenge for the pogrom of the Moslems. However, As-Khalib refused to submit to the decision of the boyars, and then they brought him to Salahbi by force.

When Salahbi came nearer to him, he suddenly and with a cry: ”You the damned slave, you betrayed your master, and you should die!” bared his sword and wanted to kill Salahbi. But Djun was on guard and killed As-Khalib with a spear which he snatched from a nearby Anchian, and Alabuga killed Bulat who rushed to the aid of his father. The last son of As-Khalib, Hot, learning about the death of the father and brother, secretly fled from Bashtu to the Khakan…

Salahbi entered Bashtu together with Djun and Ugyr and as the first tribute to Almysh handed the property of Jewish merchants to the Baltavar. Djun, who became the first boyar and the head of all the Anchians, and they called him in Bulgarian “Bata”, properly punished the murderers of his father and the Moslems. Pleased with the outcome of the endeavor, Almysh returned to Khorysdan, and Alabuga went back to the Bolgar.

Here the biy asked Michael, what is better to spend his part of spoils on, and on the advice of the mullah built of a wooden caravan-sarai with a mosque in the town Bulyar. And to this place, located on the border junction of the three Bulgar provinces, Bolgarian, Bershudian and Esegelian, once used to gather for the conference their biys, hence it received the name Bulyar or Bilyar.

But Almysh’s joy was short. In the 885 AD the Khakan secretly persuaded Arbat to overthrow his father, promising for it his throne and the end of the war. The Kaubuyian and Modjarian biys who carried the main weight of this war and were unhappy with the new tax, the djizya, of the Baltavar on the pagans, backed up Arbat and on his signal kicked out Djafar from Khorysdan to Karadjar.

But Almysh also did not find a respite there, for Arbat went after him, and a scared Anchian head began to beg the Baltavar to leave the city to prevent the enemy attack. Seeing, that it will not be possible to sit things out in Karadjar this time, Djafar with his Baryns went to the loyal Salahbi in Bashtu and was jubilantly met by him. In the city quarter given him, Almysh built his court, which eclipsed all others in luxury. The Bashtu Bulgars and the Anchians still considered him the Baltavar, and had come to him to adjudicate their lawsuits, and the Balynian and Sadimians sued at the Salahbi’s court…

In same to year the son of Chinavyz, Bek Arslan, who has stolen up to the Khazarian throne under a mask of the friend of the Khakan, but actually only a friend of himself, persuaded the featherbrained Iskhak to start a war with Badjanaks with the idea of leaving Bulgars without their main ally. Under an order of Аксak-Temer, Arbat with his Modjars and Kaubuys attacked the Badjanaks’ pastures, but the Hins, with the help of the Nur-Suvarian Bek Mardan, the son of Djilki, overturned the attackers and devastated the Burtas.

This victory strengthened Mardan, who took in honor of it a second name of the bogatyr the Ar-Buga, and all his subordinated lands, the Archa, Northern Burtas, Nur-Suvar and Esegel declared the Esegel Kanate. Biys felt very uncertain and vacillated between the two rulers. And Arslan, presenting this to the Khakan as a success of his politics, received from him a sanction to hire Oguzes or Türkmen for a decisive strike on the weakened Badjanaks. He himself crossed the Bulgarian sea and in the area Men-Kyshlak hired to the Khazarian service the corps of the Kuk-Oguzian Bek Salar.

The Men-Kyshlak was once a blossoming and populous place and therefore it was called ”A Thousand Settlements”, but then a change of the channel of the river Binedje and the drought caused by it gradually brought its well-being to nothing, and by that time the local Türkmens began to starve. However, the Khorasanian emirs, to whom they subordinated, continued to collect the same taxes from the thinned people as if they did not wish to see the disaster…

It came to that in one aul there was only one Türkmen. When the raiding officials asked him who is in the aul, he answered: “Men”. The angry collectors asked him: ”And who will pay the taxes for everybody?” And the Türkmen again answered him: “Men”. The bilemchies searched his yurt and, not finding anything, finally got angry and exclaimed: ”And who will answer to us for non-payment of taxes?” And the Türkmen again said: “Men”.

Then the collectors seized him and rode to Khorasan, but on the way, he fled away and agitated the people who were still staying in the territory. The Khorasanians nicknamed “Mens” these Kuk-Oguzes, for the leader of the rebels was saying this word constantly. And he was called Salar. The founder of his clan was Alyp, who once served to Gazan. He went to the possessions of his brother, and together with him began to battle the Khwaresmian Türkmens, who lived better and therefore submitted to the Samanid emirs.

Soon they were joined by the Kypchak tribe Kara-Koenly, who also started to call themselves “Mins”. A few times they left Men-Kyshlak under a pressure from the southern Oguzes-Sarytekens and came back again, until, at last, Arslan came to them.

By then the brother of Salar was killed, and all Mens submitted to him. The wives of his brother became his wives, and his brother children became his children, for it was the Türkmenian custom that did not allow them to leave the people of the tribe to the mercy of fate. And Kuk-Oguzes were the most beautiful tribe of the Türks, and many of them, like the Sinds, was tall, had golden hair colour and blue eyes.

Mens themselves explained that being easy for movement, during the old times, they were the first of the Türks to follow the Sinds and in the territory of Samar and of the present Rum they settled beside the Sinds and intermixed with them. Then, when the Samara Khan Alamir-Sultan, called Iskander by the Persians before the flood retreated to the East from these places, the Mens left together with him…

Under an order of Arslan the Mens attacked Badjinaks and, cutting them off from the Khwarezm sea, joined with the eastern Bashkorts. The Modjars enthusiastically agreed to war with Badjanaks, because they for long and greedily glanced at their lands. In 891 AD they, together with the Modjars of Arbat, undertook the first campaign on Badjinaks , but were beaten off.

The success of Badjinaks is again explained by the help of the Mardjan. Mardjan, proclaiming himself a Kan, unexpectedly became one of the Badjinaks’ tributors. When the prince complained about it to the Badjanak Bek Illak, he explained with a kind smile: ”Before you were not an independent ruler, and I did not take a tribute from you. Now you became the Kan, and I began to take from you the same as from the others, and precisely not any more.

What are you dissatisfied with, then?” Helping Illak, Mardjan hoped that he would get rid of the tribute, but the Badjanaks did not even think to thank the Kan. Therefore in 894 AD, when Mens again attacked Badjinaks, the disappointed Mardjan did not help them. Illak was completely defeated. Half of his people in horror subordinated to the conquerors, and he with the other half of Badjinaks preferred to move to the west.

On the way Illak fiercely destroyed all Khazarian areas, blaming them for the origination of his misfortune. Arbat at the time was not in the Kara-Bulgar, for he, under an order of Arslan, was on the side of Rum in the war against the Burdjan Kandom. That the Bek sent the Baltavar to the aid of the Rum when he was needed on Djaik, confirms Abdallah information about his secret union with the Rumian Khan…

The Modjar pastures, remaining without men, were completely ravaged by the Badjanaks who did not know a pity to their chronic enemies. After that, the Kara-Bulgars was flushed with horror. Kaubuys fled with their families to Khazaria and were placed on the river Kuba, and 5 thousand Baryns came to Bashtu and asked Almysh to escort them to Bulgar. Almysh was annoyed with the leisure life in Bashtu, and he decided to not miss this last, perhaps, opportunity to become a ruler, even in the far northern Bulgar.

Giving a warm farewell to Salahbi and Djun and promising them support in case of his success, the Baltavar set off with Baryns. Covering by the river Seber-su, Djafar passed the Karadjar and… reached the limis of the Murdas tribe. The Murdases owned both banks of the river which Kara-Bulgars called ” Aka”, Murdases called “Sain”, and the Bolgars called ” Sain-Idel”. Moving along the bank of this river to the city Kan-Murdas, Baltavar wanted to go from there to Bolgar at once, but first mused, and after reflection chose to send a messenger first.

The Murdases, desiring a prompt departure of the terrible for them Bulgars, quickly delivered the messenger to Bolgar on a ship. Bat-Ugyr was delighted by the arrival of his senior brother and, deciding to use him against Mardjan, placed him to settle on the Dyau-Shir. The Baryns barely settled there as came the Mins of Salar, let through by Mardjan to Bolgar. Almysh, without hesitation, set off towards the Türkmens. On seeing it, Salar, who broke up to the front, figured it best to retreat.

The Mins took it for a retreat of the Bek and turned to run. Only beyond the Esegelian city Sulcha Salar managed to stop the retreat of his troops and move again to the Bolgar, but Almysh already managed to occupy Sulcha before that, and from its wall offered to the arriving Mins an armistice. Salar decided not to test the fate again and said to the biys: ”You saw that it was not the Bulgars, but the Tangra that turned us back, thus pointing the limits of our claims. So we shall obey him”.

All agreed with him, and Khan invited Almysh to negotiations. At the tabyn in the field yurt both rulers agreed upon a marriage of Almysh on the daughter of Salar and about a wedding of the yet unborn children…

Besides, Djafar promised Salar to convince Bat-Ugyr to begin paying the tribute to the Khan in the amount of the former Badjanak tribute, and the Khan promised for it his support. With this agreement they parted…

When the Mardjan people approached Sulcha and demanded that Almysh hand over the city, Djafar refused and answered: ”You should have held better the fortress. I took it not from you, but from the Türkmen, and consequently should not hand it over to you! And tell the Kan: “If he wants to take Sulcha away from me by force, let him first think well of the consequences!” Mardjan thought of it, and decided to concede Sulcha, for he was afraid to face two brothers at once…

But Almysh failed to persuade Bat-Ugyr, he flatly refused to pay Oguzes a tribute. Then the Baltavar during the djien of 895 AD invited to Bulyar (where the biys of the Bolgar, Bershud and Esegel have for long gathered) the biys Alabuga, Bel-Ümart, the son of Kush Askal, and directly asked them: ”Great biys! Both of us, I and Bat-Ugyr, are the sons of Kan Djilki.

But Kan Bat-Ugyr refuses to conclude a treaty with Türkmens and is going to cast the country into a disastrous war, and I concluded a beneficial peace. So say: whom do you want to submit to?” Biys deliberated not for long and unanimously decided to raise Almysh to the throne.

Directly from Bulyar they went to Bolgar with the intention to finish the deal without blood. But the quick-tempered Bat-Ugyr locked up in the Bolgar citadel, which he himself built and which had the name “Mumin”. During this critical instant, Michael Bashtu again showed a rare skill to keep people from quarrels and bloodsheds. He came to the Kan and told him: ”Oh, the Great Kan! I nursed you in childhood, therefore I shall allow myself to ask a question. Answer me, what is better, to live a mere mortal among the friends or to reign surrounded by the enemies?” And Mumin, who just was ready to meet the enemies with a sword, suddenly began to cry and ordered to open the gate of the city…

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