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HomeDatelinesThe most ancient history of Bulgars – 2

The most ancient history of Bulgars – 2

Chapter 10. The departure of the Great Ambassador  (922 – 1035 AD)

In August the ambassador Razi decided to go back. Seid Ahmed Bakir and Gazan insisted on that Razi went by the Bukhara road, however, the sheikh Hasan reminded of the fate of the merchant Musa и convinced the ambassador in the advantages of the Horys-yuly…

On the way back Razi started with a company of the Mardjan Emir, Sheikh Hasan, and his son Tadj from the daughter of Mardjan Tuybiki, and Balus… To the Arbuga they sailed on the ship of the senior son of Karadjury Salman. He was married to the daughter of Gazan Musallé and had from her… the son Saban, the founder of the Bellakian house of Saban. And the representatives of this house were engaged in the shipbuilding, sailing, mainly south of Bolgar, and in the trade in wood, salt, fish. Saban gave many donations for the construction of Bandja and its main mosque “Saban”.

His son Saksin donated money for the construction of city Saksin-Bolgar. His son was Djegel, who founded the good wharf in Bandja, his son was Yashel Kaf Urus. He defeated the Rus fleet twice. The first time it was in 1025. Then under the order of the Galidjian Bek Arslan the Sadimians and the Galidjians broke down the checkpoint Djunhé-Balik (in the Djunn balik), built by the order of Ibragim, the descendant of Buri-Bash…, and, coming to the Bolgar, helped Azgar to capture the capital.

Yashel, who was then in the Tukhchi, did not take the humiliation of the Emir Baluk and decided to revenge. When the Rusians, renumerated by Azgar, set off home, Yashel with his fleet overtook them west of the mouth of Arsu, near the aul Naratlyk, and sank them all. Here lost their lives such well-known Beks of Sadimians as Burat, Urman and his son… In the memory of it the aul Naratlyk was renamed Yashel Naratlyk, and the place of the death of Burat was renamed Burat, and Bek Yashel received an honourable nickname Urus. In 1032 Yashel went from Bandja to the Timer-Kabak in the Djurash.

Then Djurashian Emir was expelled from the city and asked Baluk for the help against the rebels. Under the order of Ashraf, Yashel returned the Timer-Kabak to the Emir Riza and received from the Kan the honourable nickname Kaf. Then his son Urman, so called in the honour of the defeated by him Sadumian Bek, married the daughter of Riza, and they had the son Riza, so called in honour of Emir. After that campaign Yashel also founded the aul Timer-Kabak in the mouth of the river Samar…

And the second time Kaf-Urus defeated Rusians in 1035, when the Bolgar was attacked, with the Galidjian fleet, by the Sadumian Bek Khin-Kubar.

Then Yashel sank a few ships of the enemies and forced the Galidjians to jump out on the bank where they were stomped on…

And the son of Riza was Bel by the nickname Imen. He gave money for the construction of the Sarychin, therefore this city was also called Belu-Imen. And it was by his ship that Abu Hamid al-Garnati arrived from the Saksin to Echke Bulgar… The son of Bel-Imen was Sakal, his son was Urman, his son was Azgar, his son was Asla, his son was Atrak, who was born in 1220… [a partial excerpt from the manuscript of the collection: ”Atrak, son of Asla or Ashla, was deprived of the fleet for ferrying the army of Gazan across Agidel, and, abandoning the trade, he became a kazanchi. The centre of his possessions became the city of Karadjar or Karadjur, which later was called Atrach in honour of Atrak. And his clan received the name Atrach”.]

In Arbuga Mardjan told Razi about the demise of all Murdases from a terrible illness during which the person had cramps in the stomach, became red and then perished with inexpressible sufferings. The Sheikh Hasan then told people: ”Accept Islam and Almighty will find a way to save you!” Everybody immediately accepted the true faith, a mosque in city of Burtas was built, and they survived, but the Murdases, who have remained heathen, all died.

The Emir offered the ambassador to visit and consecrate with a pray this mosque, as the Burtas was on his way, and Razi, excited by what he has heard, agreed… After the prayer in the Burtasian mosque, which the ambassador named “Mardjan”, people from the neighbouring Bellakian fortresses Suba came to him and asked him to consecrate with a pray also the mosque they just built. Razi did not refuse here too, and went to the fortress, the mosque and a fortress of which the people named with his name in the memory of his visit…

After the departure of the Great Embassy Almysh finished the division of the countries into new provinces. In place of the Bolgar, Bershud and Esegel were formed provinces Suvar with the centre in Nur-Suvar, Bolgar with the centre in Bolgar, Martüba reporting to Bolgar, Baytüba with the centre in Bulyar, Tamtа… and Kashan with the centre in the city of Kashan, later subordinated to Bulyar.

And the Kashan was founded by Djakyn, who married the daughter of Abdallah and had from her the son called in honour of the tebir Abdallah. Djakyn was entirely devoted to the son of Michael and even out of the respect for him accepted Islam from his hands and the name of his father, Michael. It helped the Djakyn clan to enter the number of few of the elite. So, his son Abdallah was the governor of the Bulyar, Suvar and Bolgar. And the former province was Biysu was divided into three, Biysu with the centre in Gusman-Katau, Ura with the centre in aul Kargadan, and Baygul, reporting to Ura…

By the advice of Abdallah ibn Bashtu, Djafar made a reform of the tax system. As the igenchey-sabans muddied themselves by their participation in the ”War of Biys”, he forbade this name and ordered to call this category of the igencheys subashes, in memory of their support of the Kan. The Moslem Igencheys since then were called subashes, who were paying to the state only a minimal and strictly defined tax of money, cattle, furs or produce. This tax in case of a need could be replaced with other equivalent duties, like the construction of the roads, bridges, state buildings and others. The subashes were not taken to war, and only in a case of an attack of an enemy on the Bulgar they formed a militia.

The Igencheys who remained heathen were enlisted, if they wished, in either the Chirmyshes or Ak-Chirmyshes, or in Kara-Chirmyshes. The Chirmyshes paid the tax in the same size as subashes and besides were in the military service. During the war, they received a part of the spoils. For the military call, they had to come with full arms bought with their means. Any soldier could be executed on the spot in case of the detection of his lack of arms. He was also executed for the disrespect for the weapons.

The Kara-Chirmyshes paid a double subashes’ tax, the tax for the mosque and, besides, bore other duties in the amount of two subashes’ taxes. In addition to these categories of the state peasants, of which the subashes and chirmyshes were considered as junior knights, the bakhadirs, and could have the weapons, during Gazan time appeared a new category of the peasants, the kurmyshes. As the kurmyshes began to be named the kara-chirmyshes who were obligated to pay the tax to the madian and the upper knights, to the ulans or kazanchis. Later on some ulans for the special feats began to receive the lands of Kara-Chirmyshes in hereditary possession. The kurmysh could leave the kazanchi, but in that case, he would lose the land…

Owners in cities made a knightly class of suvari, for this category was suggested by the Nur-Suvar merchants and artisans. The small owners, suvarchis, were equaled with bakhadirs, the median ones with the Beks, valis, centurions (head of a hundred – Translator’s Note) and inals, and the nobles were equaled with ulans… In case of an attack by the enemies they also had to form the militias of kaveses and, besides, to maintain bulek (detachments) of the hired soldiers and to serve as yaubashes (officers)…

In addition to it the Kan found that the country is rather unfortified and in addition is surrounded by enemies. Replacing a part of the taxes from igenchis by a duty to build and maintain fortifications, Djafar undertook the construction of the bulwarks and fortresses. The Kan charged Askal, married to the daughter of Almysh, with direct control of this endeavour and Djafar sent Bek Djulut to assist him.

These representatives went together with Kan, seid Bakir and tebir Abdallah along with the country and planned the sites for the fortresses. From the encampment Shepshé at the Dyau-Shir on the small river which people also called Narat-Elga they went to the encampment Marduan on the Akhtay, from it to the encampment Urnash on the river Utig [a partial excerpt from the manuscript of the collection: ”And after the death of Kühri, the daughter of the Kan Mohammed-Alma, the city of Urnash began to be called by her name”], from there to the locality Takta between the Akhtay and Kichi-Chirmyshаn, near which Byrak attacked the Türkmen.

The seid blessed the construction of fortresses in those places and were built the cities of Shepshé, which began to be also called As-Kala, Mardan, Urnash and the Takta. And the artisans were the future founders of the notable houses: Chuti from Takta, Abrak-Khum and Ubar. All of them, the taktachy Chuti, and chulmekchi Abrak-Khum, and bakyrchi Ubar moved later to Bandja, and their descendants made the noble houses taktachys, chulmekchis, timerchis, altynchis and bakyrchis in the Bandja, and in the Bolgar, and in the Bulyar, and the Nur-Suvar.

And then were renovated the fortresses Torkoch (Terkech) in the Sulcha, in the Nur-Suvar, which was also called Baryntu in memory of the lodging there of the baryns of Alabuga, were built the fortresses in the Kermek, which was called in honour of the Askal son Kermek, in the Tersek on the Sulcha-su, in the Deber on the Züya- Idel. And Deber was the last fortress built during the Almysh time.

Then, during the Gazan time, were built the fortresses Matak between Kichi-Chirmyshаn and Sulcha, Nukrat between Akhta and Kichi-Chirmyshаn, Bandja, Bulyar, Kamysh on the Kinel, Simbir, Gazan-Deber on the Züya, Kashan and Tukhcha on the Agidel, Tau-Kerman near the mouth of the Züya-Idel, Tash-Bolgar, Cubash-Simbir, Tash-Simbir and Karadjar on the Mountainside, Djilan on Chishma. By the Gazan time there already were a total of thirty cities, that’s why from that time survived the saying: ”Gazan patsha zamanynda utyz kala”…

In the 924 AD died the Emir Mardjan or Mardan, in memory of which the province Bellak began to be called also Mardan. Balus married his daughter Suzbi, and after the death of Mardan the Bellakians installed the Bek as the governor of the province. This right to elect their governors the Mardanians received from the Kan for supporting him during the time of the ”War of Biys”. In addition to it the governors of the Bellak received the title of Emirs, which had only the relatives of the Kan and a few of the noble Beks…

Though Mardan did not always agree with Almysh, the Kan took his death heavily.”Allmighty already took for his judgment of all my brothers, that means soon comes and my turn”, he told tebir Abdallah. Preparing to travel to the other world, Djafar speeded up the completion of the reforms he started. He granted autonomy to the inhabitants of the Bolgar, and then to the Nur-Suvar. In the Nur-Suvar later was built the mosque “El-Khum” at the medressé of which emerged a brotherhood “El-Khum”. The members of this brotherhood were refusing the luxury and otherworldly temptations, and tirelessly spread the light of the true faith in all the provinces of the State…

Balus, jealous of Suvars and Bolgars, also started construction of cities and fortifications. So, in 925 AD he erected a new capital of the Mardan, Bandja, which began to be called both the Bandja-Burtas, and Nusha-Bandja. That Bandjans gave with pleasure to their cathedral mosque the name “Saban”, for it reminded them of their old privileges and their origin from the Sabanian clans.

He also built a few taverns on the Idel, one of which was called, in honour of his wife, “Suz-Uryny”. Balus always consulted with his wife before making any decision. And Suzbi had such respect by the people, that after the death of the father she ruled in Bellak for some time. However in the Mardan all major decisions were taken by the medjlises of the districts: on the right-bank by the Burtasian and Arbugian, and on the left-bank by the Badjanakian and Kinelian.

Unlike the medjlises of the Bolgar, Suvar and Bulyar, the descendants of the biys who were called aksakals played a big role in them. In the right-bank districts prevailed the descendants of the Sabanian, Saklanian and Modjarian biys, and in the left-bank prevailed the descendants of the Kyr-Badjanakian biys. A lot of the Mardanian Badjinaks , at the times of the invasions of the Türkmen, Kypchak Türks and Manguls fled to the right-bank districts of the Bellak and to the Tamta-Bashkort. Under their influence the part the Modjarian Bulgars began to say “ts” instead of “ch”, and Bashkortian Bulgars “h” instead of “s”. So, for example…

The greatest incomes Mardan received from the trading duties, for all the ways from Inner Bulgaria to the west and south-west through the cities, taverns and menzels of the Bellak and because these roads were very well maintained. It was even happening that the merchants from the Bolgar preferred to reach the Kan not through Martüba, but by a longer, but a better way, through Bellak. The Mardanians were very much proud of that even the great ambassador passed through their territory.

Razi passed through the Arbuga, Burtas, Razi-Suba, the lands of the Mukhshian Bashkorts or the Modjars , subordinated to the Burtas, and left from the Bellak through the last Bulgarian station on the Khorysdan – yuly road, the Boryn, on the river Boryn-Inesh , a tributary of the Shir. Then the Boryn began to be also called Yauchy. Why the river was called so, the historians tell differently.

One says that it received this name due to the location of the station on the борын (a cape) in the bend of the river. Others say that the river in this place reached the nose of the first Bulgarian merchant who forwarded it, and he therefore called it Boryn-Inesh. And prior to that the great ambassador after the Razi-Suba rested at the stations Kuper or Kubar on the river Kubar, at the Burtas-Simbir near the river Karga, Yozek, Yshna on the river Yshna, Leybat or Aibat.

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