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Wings of the Golden Horde


Wings of the Golden Horde

According to Hordes are known as the "White", "Blue" and "Gray" (Shaybanid) Hordes in Slavic and Persian historiography. The two main division are also known as Batu's Ulus (district) and Orda's Ulus.


  • Subdivisions and terminology 1
    • White horde 1.1
    • Blue horde 1.2
      • Eastern part 1.2.1
      • Western part (AKA Golden Horde) 1.2.2
    • One of the parts of the left wing of the Golden Horde 1.3
  • History 2
    • Right wing (aka golden horde) 2.1
    • Left wing 2.2
  • See also 3
  • Notes and references 4
  • Additional reading 5

Subdivisions and terminology

According to the Tarikh-i Dost Sultan written by Ötemish Hajji in Khiva in the 1550s, Batu's ulus was officially known as the "White Horde", Orda's the "Blue Horde" and Shiban's the "Grey Horde".

The terms White and Blue Horde have been much misused causing enormous confusion due to modern sources. History books by notable authors left the name of Orda's son and successor, Qun Quran, and others quickly followed it.[1]

White horde

Blue horde

Eastern part

In Russian chronicles, the Blue Horde is described as the eastern part of the Golden Horde, which was being found in the allegiance on west, and which was being governed by the descendants of Orda Khan.[2] After the succession struggle of Batu's line in the 1360s, known as "great troubles", the authority both parts of the Golden Horde passed to the eastern Jochids.

According to the Russian chronicles Blue Horde was located to the east of the Volga and is mentioned twice: the first time in connection with the great troubles, which was completed by the accession of Tokhtamysh ("tsar from blue horde"), and the second - with the invasion of Timur in 1395.

"...In the horde: the powerful khan, Timur Aksak, from the East, from Blue Horde, the land of Samarkhiyskia, and is much confusion and mutiny to voivods in the horde and in Russia by his advent. ...Neither king, son of king nor his tribe existed within its noyans, but such from the simple poor people, the common Tatars from Blue Horde, to the Iron Gate."[3]

Western part (AKA Golden Horde)

According to the less popular and alternative point of view, the Blue Horde, on the contrary, corresponds to the western part of the Jochid Ulus (Golden Horde).[4] This opinion is based on the literal movement to information of Persian composition of the 15th century "Muntakhab atm-tavarikh- namu" by Muin ad-Din Natanzi (in the contemporary literature it still there is "by the anonymous author Of iskandera"). It is said after story about the administration of the Golden Horde khan Toqta (r.1291-1312) in this work:

"After him, the Ulus of Jochi was divided into two parts. Those, which relate to the left wing, i.e., the limits of ulug-taga, Sekiz-yagacha and Karatala to the limits of Tuysena, environments of Jend and Barchkenda, were affirmed after the descendants [Nogai], and they began to be called by the sultans of Ak-Horde; however, the right wing, which includes Ibir-Sibir, Russian, Libka, Ukek, Madzhar, Bulgar, Bashgird and Srai-Berke, was given to descendants [Tokhta], and they named them the sultans of Blue Horde.[5]

However, as showed the contemporary studies, they are in all probability incorrectly understood, since in the Persian tradition blue and white colors indicate the opposite sides of light in comparison with the Turkish and the Mongolian.

One of the parts of the left wing of the Golden Horde

In Kazakhstan this conventional is the third point of view, according to which the division into White and Blue Hordes relates only to the eastern part of the Jochid Ulus. Accordingly, the Blue Horde is understood as appanage of Shiban, another son of Jochi, which located between the right wing of Golden Horde and the horde of Orda Khan (in the territory of modern western Kazakhstan).[6]


Right wing (aka golden horde)

Batu Khan effectively founded the White Horde (or Blue Horde) upon the withdrawal from Europe in 1242 and by 1245, Sarai, the capital of the Horde had been founded on the lower Volga. At the same time, the eastern lands of the Golden Horde were administered by Batu's older brother Orda, and these came to be known as the left wing. Batu asserted his control over the Russian principalities after sacking the cities of Vladimir in 1238 and Kiev in 1240, forcing them to pay annual tribute and accept his nominations as princes.

Batu's ulus stretched from the Ural River to the mouths of the Danube and the Carpathian. It exacted tribute from most of the Russian principalities and carried raids as far west as Poland and as far south as Iran and Bulgaria.

Starting with the conversion of Berke to Islam, the White Horde (or Blue Horde) made a traditional alliance with the Mamluks of Egypt against their common rival, the Il-Khans.

From the 1280s until 1299, the White Horde (or Blue Horde) was effectively under the control of two khans, the legitimate khans and Nogai Khan, a warlord and kingmaker, who made an alliance with the Byzantine Empire and invaded countries bordering the Blue Horde, particularly in the Balkans. Nogai's pre-eminence was ended by the assertion of the legitimate Khan Toqta, and the Blue Horde reached the apex of its power and prosperity during the reigns of Uzbeg Khan (Öz Beg) and his son Jani Beg in the middle of the 14th century, when it intervened in the affairs of the disintegrating Ilkhanate.

The White Horde (or Blue Horde) remained strong from its foundation (around 1240) until the 1350s. Problems in the west of the horde led to the eventual losses of Wallachia, Dobruja, Moldavia and the western Ukraine and the vassal principalities west of Kiev, losing those lands to Lithuania after being defeated by its army in the Battle of Blue Waters in 1362, and Poland. The death of Jani Beg led to the Blue Horde entering into a prolonged civil war, with concurrent khans fighting each other and holding no real power. At the same time Mamai turned kingmaker in the Blue Horde. In this time, Muscovy seceded from Mongol overlordship (at least until the early 15th century). It was not until the coming of Tokhtamysh that the concurrent khans were removed. He briefly united the Blue Horde with the White Horde in 1380.

Left wing

Orda's Ulus or more appropriately, the Left wing of the Jochid Ulus was one of the uluses within the Mongol Empire formed around 1225, after the death of Jochi when his son, Orda-Ichen (Орд эзэн, Lord Orda), inherited his father's appanage by the Jaxartes. It was the eastern constituent part of the Golden Horde (Jochid Ulus).[7][8]

Because Orda and his descendants ruled the left division of the Golden Horde, they were called Princes of the left wing (also left hand).[9] Initially it covered the western part of the territory ruled by the Jochids and included western Central Asia and south-western Siberia. The capital of the White Horde was originally at Lake Balkhash, but later moved to Sygnaq, Kazakhstan on the Syr-Darya River.[10]

When Batu Khan sent a large Jochid delegation to Hulagu's campaign in the Middle East, it included a strong contingent under Kuli, a son of Orda. However, suspicious deaths of the latter and other Jochid princes (c.1259) angered the rulers of the Golden Horde. During the Toluid Civil War over succession between Kublai and Ariq Böke from 1260 to 1264, the White Horde elites supported the latter. They also began to support the Ögedeid prince Kaidu because he was supported by the khans such as Berke and Möngke-Temür.

Since 1280, Orda's successor, Konchi or Köchü, had allied with the Yuan Dynasty and the Ilkhanate, in return, they rewarded him. According to Rashid-al-Din Hamadani's account or H. H. Howorth's analysis, Kunchi possessed the territory of Ghazna and Bamiyan under the suzerainty of either the Chagatai Khanate or the Ilkhanate.[11] Kunchi warned the Ilkhan Abagha of the upcoming invasion of Baraq (Chagatai Khan) in 1268. However, when the Borjigin princes, who operated on the Kublai Khan's behalf in Central Asia and later rebelled, fought against each other, they appealed to Kunchi whose response is not clear.

Marco Polo describes the Horde as extremely cold area, saying:

"This king (Köchü) has neither city nor castle; he and his people live always either in the wide plains or among great mountains and valleys. They subsist on the milk and flesh of their cattle, and have no grain. The king has a vast number of people, but he carries on no war with anybody, and his people live in great tranquility. They have enormous numbers of cattle, camels, horses, oxen, sheep, and so forth."[12]

In 1299, the Left wing Khan, Bayan, was deposed by his cousin, Kobelek, who took assistance from Kaidu and Duwa.[13] By 1304, Bayan had reoccupied most of his ancestors' lands. His horde began to herd around Syr-Darya, replacing the Shaybanids. Bayan's troops included the Russian and Magyar soldiers.

Their khan, Chimtai, sent his brothers to take the Golden Horde throne during the Blue Horde's period of anarchy, (1359–1380). But they were all murdered before reaching any success. Members from White Horde (sometimes it is confused with the Blue Horde), Khizr, and his son or relative, Arab Shaykh, briefly took the throne of the Golden Horde, using their army.[14]

In 1375, Urus Khan, the eighth khan of the Left wing, became a contested khan of both the Blue Horde and the White Horde.[15] He extruded the members from the House of Khizr.[16] Urus died in 1377, and when his nephew Tokhtamysh wrested control of the White Horde from Urus's son Timur-Malik in 1378,[17] he regained control of the Blue Horde as well. Thus, Toqtamish consolidated the two hordes, becoming the Khan of the Golden Horde.

After the defeat of Toqtamish in 1395-96, Kuruichik was appointed head of the White Horde by Tamerlane.[18] Since then families of Jochi's sons, Tuqa-Timur, Shiban and Orda, began to merge with each other, establishing Uzbeg and Kazakh hordes. Among them, Kuruichik's descendant, Borog, briefly asserted the throne of the Golden Horde in 1421.

After Baraq's murder, the Horde divided into two parts with 2 khans - Mohammed and Mustafa. Mustafa reconquered the Horde, though, in Siberia appeared another threat of Abu'l-Khayr Khan. In 1446 the latter gained the victory over Mustafa, ending the existence of Orda's Ulus (the left wing of the Golden Horde).

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Stanley Lane-Poole The Mohammadan Dynasties: Chronological and Genealogical Tables, p.231
  2. ^ В. Л. Егоров. Историческая география Золотой Орды. М.,1985.; А. П. Григорьев. Золотоордынские ханы 60-70-х гг. XIV века: Хронология правлений //«Историография и источниковедение стран Азии и Африки», вып VII. Л., 1983.; Белая Орда // БСЭ. Т.3. Данную точку зрения разделяют М.Г.Сафаргалиев, Г.А.Фёдоров-Давыдов, Т.И.Султанов.
  3. ^ Никоновская летопись. Цит. по: Ускенбай К. "Улусы первых Джучидов. Проблема терминов Ак-Орда и Кок-Орда" // Тюркологический сборник. 2005: Тюркские народы России и Великой степи.
  4. ^ Вывод сформулирован в 1840 году австрийским ориенталистом Й. Хаммер-Пургшталем, написавшим (по заказу Российской Академии) первую в мире обобщающую работу по истории Золотой Орды. К этому выводу присоединились авторы первой советской монографии Греков Б. Д., Якубовский А. Ю. Золотая Орда и её падение. М.-Л., 1950.
  5. ^ Тизенгаузен М. А. Сборник материалов, относящихся к истории Золотой Орды. М., 1941
  6. ^ К. Ускенбай. Улусы первых Джучидов. Проблема терминов Ак-Орда и Кок-Орда // Тюркологический сборник. 2005: Тюркские народы России и Великой степи.; Зардыхан К. Взгляды Л. Н. Гумилева на вопросы образования государственности у кочевых народов // Доклад на конференции в г. Казани. 29.10.2003 г
  7. ^ Edward L. Keenan, Encyclopedia Americana article
  8. ^ B.D. Grekov and A.Y. Yakubovski The Golden Horde and its Downfall
  9. ^ Leo de Hartog Russia and the Mongol yoke, p.98
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Stanley Lane-Poole The Mohammedan Dynasties, p.227
  12. ^ "Travels of Marco Polo". Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  13. ^ Sir Henry Hoyle Howorth History of the Mongols: from the 9th to the 19th century, Volume 2, p.220
  14. ^ It is unclear that Arab was his son. Some claimed that they were relatives.
  15. ^ Peter Quennell History Today, Volume 9, p.154
  16. ^ Slovenská akadémia vied. Kabinet orientalistiky, Ústav orientalistiky Asian and African studies, Volume 24, p.139
  17. ^ "The struggle against the Khan Toqtamish". Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  18. ^ H. H. Howorth History of the Mongols, v.II, p.287

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