Titulature of the Kara-Khitay rulers in Muslim sources of the 12th–15th centuries

русская версия

Affiliation: Институт востоковедения РАН
senior researcher
Sections HISTORY OF THE EAST. General history
Pages 477 - 492

The power of the Qara-Khitay for a relatively short period of time, by historical standards, from the second quarter of the 12th to the beginning of the 13th centuries. had a huge impact on the political development of eastern Desht-i Qipchak, as well as on the settled Muslim regions of Transoxiana and Khorasan. The rulers of the Qara-Khitay actively intervened in the struggle for the “Seljuk inheritance” after the death of Sultan Sanjar in 1157 with the Khorezmshahs of the Anushteginid dynasty and the sultans of Gur, to subordinate to their power the regional rulers of Transoxiana, as well as individual nomadic Turkic tribes in these lands — for example, the Qarluks. In this regard, the history of the Qara-Khitay state was reflected in numerous Muslim historical and geographical writings of the pre-Mongol era and later period. Modern researchers, both in their works on the history of Central Asia and in the few works dealing directly with the Qara-Khitay state, call the Qara-Khitay ruler uniformly — “Gur Khan”. However, there is no such unanimity regarding the title of the Qara-Khitay ruler in the composition of Muslim historical and geographical works, especially pre-Mongol time. Moreover, up to a certain point, the title “Gur Khan” does not occur in them at all, and Muslim authors use other markers to denote the Qara-Khitay ruler. In this regard, it was interesting to trace the evolution of this title as part of Muslim sources not only of the 12th — early 13th centuries, but also as part of later monuments. All this will make it possible to understand more clearly not only how the authors of different times titled the Qara-Khitay ruler, but also what they understood by this or that title, how well they imagined its origin, etc. This will also allow us to highlight a certain tradition of describing the history of the Qara-Khitay statehood as part of Muslim historical writings and identify the key monuments in this case, as well as highlight certain controversial subjects related to the titulature of the Qara-Khitay rulers.

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Благодарности: The research was carried out at the expense of the grant of the Russian Science Foundation No. 23-28-00736 “Desht-i Qipchak and adjacent settled agricultural territories of the 10th–13th centuries: the expirience of studying the interaction of cultures
For citations: Тимохин Д.М. Титулатура кара-китайских правителей в мусульманских источниках XII–XV веков. Ориенталистика. 2023; т. 6, 3-4: 477-492