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Z. Z. Miftakhov

Lecture Course
Itil Bulgaria in 9th c. Contents Ancient Tatar tribes



Itil Bulgaria in the 12th c.



1. Rule of Khan Shamgun.
2. Kazanchi's Charter of Freedoms.
3. Visit to Itil Bulgaria Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Garnati.
4. Aminians' Movement.
5. Itil Bulgaria in 12th century.

1. Index of cities, fortresses and stations 
2. Index of rivers, lakes, seas, oceans 
3. Index of ethnonyms
4. Index of military terms, titles, state offices
5. Index of geographical names, parts of the world
6. Index of Kazan Mosques


Preliminary remarks

12th century is an important chronological boundary in the history of the Itil Bulgaria. It was a last century before the encounter of the Itil Bulgaria with Mongols and Tatars. Itil Bulgaria was moving toward large changes in its historical destiny. Step by step, she was coming nearer to a major event of its history.

1. Rule of Khan Shamgun (1118 - 1135)

After death of Khan Adam in 1118, to the royal throne was raised his son Shamgun (also called Sain). The beginning of his rule was signified by great turmoil of peasants and craftsmen, i.e. the state Moslem subashi peasants and petty artisans openly demanded reduction of taxes. First, raised the inhabitants of the Baituba province. They kicked out bilemchies, the officials in charge of taxation. Simultaneously, in the Bulgar-Bilyar capital petty artisans raised a real revolt against the City council. Large cities in the Itil Bulgaria were controlled by city councils called "Suvar Jorty". Merchants and masters (ostolar) - owners of craft workshops were called "Suvari" . The name of the city council indicates dominating position of large merchants and master craftsmen.

The mutineers beat up some members of the city council. Khan Shamgun summoned the standing army into the capital. The sardar of the kursybai Subash refused to become riot troops. Khan became furious and ordered to dissolve kursybai, and to arrest sardar. Learning about it, sardar Subash hid in the province Mardan. Mardaners never turn over those who sought a political asylum with them.

Shamgun called kazanchies (Great feudal lords = knights). The kazanchi militia suppressed the revolt. Khan Shamgun felt uncomfortable in the Bulgar-Bilyar during revolt. Therefore in 1119 he transferred capital to Ibragim-Bulgar. And literally the next year fate sent Khan Shamgun a trial.

The son of late Khan Ahad, Selim Kolyn, who occupied post of Martuba governor, intended to overthrow Shamgun, but with the hands of Yury Dolgoruky, the Prince of the (Rus) Rostovo-Suzdal land.

Conspiring with the prince, Selim Kolyn allowed the Rus fleet to pass through his possessions to the Bulgarian capital.

In the 1120 Yury Dolgoruky fleet sailed to the Ibragimu-Bulgar and besieged it. At that time Khan Shamgun had only 50 mercenaries at hand. Nevertheless he tried to prevent the landing of the Rus army. To his aid came the inhabitants of the capital suburbs plundered by Uruses (Ruses). Yury Dolgoruky lost 1250 soldiers (1, 121). Khan Shamgun covered in the citadel "Mumin".

To the Khan aid came neither Bilyarians, nor Mardaners, nor kazanchies. They waited for the moment when Prince Yury would take citadel "Mumin" and kill Shamgun. However. Prince hesitated with the storm. Khan Shamgun took advantage of it. He addressed to the inhabitants of the capital and promised to lower taxes. Hearing it, inhabitants organized a militia and took position on the walls to protect the city. Bilyarians in a hurry sent a detachment.

In that situation Selim Kolyn offered Khan to return to the Bulgar-Bilyar, and give Ibragim-Bulgar to him. Shamgun consented, proclaiming again Bulgar-Bilyar a capital.

After that Selim Kolyn attacked the military camp of Prince Yury Dolgoruky and destroyed 7 out of 8 thousand of his soldiers. With the last one thousand troops Prince scrambled to flee.

The mess have not ended with the. Soon after these events kursybai headed by Kandjalyi raided against Kisan (Ryazan). Bulgarian merchants seized by Kisanians were freed. The inhabitants of Kisan paid a tribute, a pelt of excellent squirrel from a household (1; 123).

Death of Khan Shamgun

In the 1135 a Kara-Oimek khan Manuk (the only son out of Kypchak khan Aiübai 11 sons who survived) invaded Bulgaria and began ravaging cities and villages. Khan went to a campaignagainst him.Kypchaks surrounded Baituba militia that came with Shamgun. Saved them kursybai, which came in time. Kypchaks (Kara-Oimeks) took to flight. One of scurrying Kypchak soldiers shot a poisoned arrow. It only slightly scratched the face of the Khan, "but poison soon killed Shamgun" (1; 125). So was interrupted the life of Khan Shamgun.

2. Kazanchies' Charter of Freedoms

In the 1135 large feudal lords - kazanchies - raised to the royal throne Hisam Anbal (son of Selim Kolyn, a grandson of the late Khan Ahad).

In the same year Selim Kolyn, ulugbek. of Ibragim-Bulgar, father of the new Khan, came to the capital with kursybai and urged kazanchies to conclude with him an agreement in the presence of the Khan. He warned kazanchies thatif they would conceive to refuse negotiations or try to kill him, he will order kursybai to storm the city. Negotiations begun in the building of City council - "Suvar Jorty". Negotiations went for a long time, and with great difficulties. Great feudal lords - kazanchies rustled, shouted louder than in a bazar. A few times they threatened Selim Kolyn with weapons. He was quiet and cool. In the end of ends the agreement was concluded. Its major points were these.

First, kazanchies were exempted from a compulsory military service. Before that they had to serve in a militia.

Secondly, kazanchies were exempted from payment of taxes from their ancestral lands.

Thirdly, to the kazanchies were transferred the lands on the right bank of Itil in the Martuba, Suvar and Bulgarian provinces, and also on the river Alat in Martuba Kukdjak district (1; 125). Kazanchies were allocated these lands at the expense of subashies' land possessions, i.e. state Moslem priveleged peasants.

Thus, kazanchies achieved what they strove for since the 11th century.

The treaty provisions were favorable not only for the kazanchies, but also for Selim Kolyn, and also for his reigning son. The funds allocated for the upkeep of the royal court were increased tenfold at the expense of the state treasury. Selim Kolyn received the post of Bulgar ulugbek for life, and also a right to oversee the work of government officials. Besides that he received a right to supervise the work of city councils in the  cities Bulgar, Nur-Suvar and Saksin. Under his control were transferred management of foreign policy, Kashan, Saksin, Ur and Biysu provinces. Practically only the Mardan-Bellak province retained the former rights. The father of new Khan Hisam Anbal concentrated all key control functions in his hands. However, in 1154 Selim Kolyn died. His son began to rule independently. And everything  changedsharply.

Time of rule of Khan Hisam Anbala (1135 - 1164) emblemed a further stage in the development of feudalism. Increase of feudal oppression was boosted by the behaviour and a way of life of the Khan.

Hisam Anbal transferred the state affairs to a few favorites, and himself engaged in hunting and junkets. With escort of kazanchies he went on rounds in the Baituba, Tamta, Martuba, Suvar and Kashan provinces (1; 126). While the Khan feasted, drank and molested wives and daughters of pagan Bulgars (orthodox Tengriists, i.e. Bulgaria did not became Islamic in 922), kazanchies plundered and killed subashes, i.e. the Moslem state peasants. The morals of Khan and surrounding his kazanchies fell so low, that their favorite occupation became a seduction of shakirds, the students in the house of science "Mohammed-Bakiriya". IThe Dar al-ulüm, i.e. The house of science or university in the Bulgar-Bilyar was created in 1080. There shakirds studied not only the complicated problems of theology, but also geography, ethics, higher mathematics, linguistics, history, philosophy (1; 15). It were the shakirds of the "House of science" that Khan Hisam Anbal started molesting. He frequently drank there surrounded by kazanchies and their mistresses. He forced shakirds into drinking, had half-naked hussy women sit on their knees.

The immoral behaviour of the Khan couldn't not to ignite disapproval from the devout Moslems. First the voice of protest raised seid Yakub ibn Nugman. He was not only a head of the Moslems in the Itil Bulgaria, but also a teacher in the university "Mohammed-Bakiriya". Yakub ibn Nugman orally and in writing expressed a protest against immoral behaviour of the Khan. For that he was have blinded and his tongue was cut out.

3. Visit to Itil Bulgaria Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Garnati

Twice, in 1135 and 1153, Itil Bulgaria was visited by a famous traveller, an active preacher of Islam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Abd Ar-Rahim al-Garnati al-Andalusi (aka Abu Hamid al-Gharnati, see footnote comment) (1100-1169 or 1170).

Abu Hamid Muhammad was born in 1100 in Grenada (Spain, a part of the Arabian Caliphate). He received education in Alexandria and Cairo, and became the expert in Muslim law (2; 9). He preached Islam at first in Caucasus, and then went to lower course of Itil and lived in Saksin for 20 years (would not it be a good place to install a memorial plaque? - Translato'r Note). There for some time Abu Hamid Muhammad lived in the house mullah Omar from a clan of a pious sheikh Abul-Tal Hamid (1; 197). Saksin province in those days was a part of Itil Bulgaria.

In the 1135 on a ship of a merchant Bel nicknamed Imen Abu Hamid al-Garnati came to Ibragim-Bulgar, and from there to the capital. At that time Khan Shamgun was not in the capital. He was in a campaign against a Kara-Oimeks. Appropriate honor to the eminent visitor rendered Shamgun son emir Otyak Ulug Mohammed (1; 124). The great preacher of Islam refused to live in the Khan palace. Therefore seid Yakub ibn Nugman set him up in one of houses of merchant Abu Bekr ibn Ahmed, a descendant of the Baghdad master from a garment factory of the caliph, who came to the Itil Bulgaria still in 903.

Emir Otyak Ulug Mohammed with mullah Abu Hamidom al-Garnati visited Bilyar bathhouse "Altyn-muncha" and had with him a long pleasant conversation.

In the conversation with seid Yakub "mulla coceded that what he saw in the State surpasses all that he heard about her earlier" (1; 124-125).

After getting acquainted with the country, Abu Hamid al-Garnati, accompanied by seid Yakub, went to Byzantium. He went there by the road Horysdan (Horys-Yuly). Seid Yakub accompanied him to the city Kyr-cuba, capital of Kaubiyes (a few Bulgarian clans who remained in the Kyiv Rus where they were called "Kovuys"). The city Kyr-cuba was near the modern city of Putivl (then called Batavyl: Batavyl, i.e. "Village of master", a princely court). Here in a mosque "Baryn" seid Yakub ibn Nugman and mulla Abu Hamid it al-Garnati prayed and said goodbye. Seid Yakub returned tot he Bulgar-Bilyar, and mulla Abu Hamid continued on his way to Byzantium.

In Bulgar-Bilyar remained son of Abu Hamid al-Garnati by the name Idris. He remained to study in the house of sciences "Mohammed-Bakiriya" (1; 125). Soon he was accepted in the "El-Hum" brotherhood. This brotherhood came into being at the medrese of the mosque "El-Hum" in the city Nur-Suvar. It was founded by Kul-Daud, a grandson of seid Yakub ibn Nugman. When Daud was returning from hadj to Mecca, he fell into slavery to Turkmens. Therefore to his name was added a nickname "kul" - "slave". He was ransomed from the Tatyak area for a silver jug.

A member entering the brotherhood had to transfer all property to the society of brothers in faith and lived on the means of "El-Hum". Members of the brotherhood opposed wars, called to abndon luxury, opposed all types of oppression, hypocrisy and deceit of another human (1; 126).

Son of Abu Hamid, al-Garnati Idris, became a head of the Bilyar branch of the "El-Hum" brotherhood. With his supporters he settled in the suburb Hinuba (=Hun+oba = "abbey, or habitat of Huns"; oba is a shared root between Türkic and IE groups - Translato'r Note).

Kazanchies fiercely hated the "El-Hum" brotherhood and its leaders. In the 1153 feudal lords, kazanchies, seized Idris, for a long time and severely tormented him, and then killed. After that the palaces of kazanchies started to flare at night one by one. Enraged kazanchies surrounded the "El-Hum" mosque in the Nur-Suvar. The city council set up guards for the protection of the mosque, and summoned kursybai to the aid. Only after that the kazanchies withdrew.

That all happened shortly before the arrival of Idris Abu Hamid al-Garnati 's father, who returned from the Urals areas to Kyiv. Khan and his cohorts from kazanchies displayed an open hostility. The merchant Abu Bekr, in whose house he stayed on his first visit to Bulgar-Bilyar was not around any more. Afraid of robberies by unrestrained kazanchies, he moved to Ibragim-Bulgar. Yakub ibn Nugman was not alive any more. A new seid Suleiman arranged Abu Hamida in a pity rural hovel. There "was brought the corpse of his son" (1; 127). Those present expected that mulla would start bitterly crying and groaning (In Türkic funeral ritual - Translato'r Note). [But] he only said: "He left this world by the will of Allah in the name of the best" (1; 127).

Abu Hamid al-Garnati died in Syria at the age of 70 in 1169 or 1170. He left to descendants two books: "Clear account of some Maghrib miracles" (Al Mu'rib an bat ajaib al Maghrib, The Marvels of Morrocco) and "Gift to minds and selection of miracles" (1162) (Tuhfat al albab, Amazed Hearts and Awakened Spirits). The second book contains valuable information about Itil Bulgaria.

4. Aminian Movement

The movement of the "El-Hum" brotherhood that included not only many townspeople and dervishes, but also the Moslem state peasants, was directed against robberies, oppression by large feudal lords kazanchies and immoral behaviour of Khan and his surrounding, and for strict observance of main principles and precepts of Islam.

During the rule of Hisam Anbal become sharply aggravated relations between those who strictly observed morals and customs of Moslems, and those who were breaching them (following their traditional culture and tents of Tengriism - Translato'r Note). Seid Kul-Daud had to order that "El-Hum" brotherhood bought stone slabs accumulated in the rock quarries because of the bogged down stone construction, and installeded them on the tombs of devout Moslems with corresponding inscriptions. And seid wanted Allah to be able to distinguish faithful from infidels (1; 130).

In the 1153 the "El-Hum" brotherhood suffered a significant loss, the head of the Bilyar brotherhood group Idris was martyred, kazanchies in secluded places were secretly killing dervishes, the surviving members of the brotherhood fled to to the Saksin and there created uram, a quarter, called Tatyak. So was called a suburb of the Bulgar-Bilyar mostly populated by natives from the Caucasus, where before the dispersal settled the members of the brotherhood.

Because the reasons that initiated the movement of the "El-Hum" brotherhood members have not been eliminated, inevitably  it had to resurrect in one or another form. And that happened in the 1180 - 1190th years of the 12th century.

By then the position of people became not just bad, but absolutely deplorable. It was caused by a number of circumstances. First, when Rus ceased to pay djir (Rostov) tribute, Khan Gabdulla Chelbir imposed surtaxes on farmers and petty artisans. Secondly, in connection with construction of defensive fortifications in the east along the Chishma river the peasants were frequently taken from the agricultural work. Thirdly, the peasants were sidetracked for non-stop wars.

All that resulted in a fall of agricultural production and famine. The situation in the country was tense. In those conditions in the "El-Hum" brotherhood, headed by sheikh Mamil, the leadership was taken by an aggressive group called "Amin" (1; 127). Aminians wanted to build "a kigdom of Kindness and Justice". It was their objective. A first step in that direction they saw  in overthrowing the hated by people Khan Chelbir, and raising to the royal throne their adherent Chalmaty (Tr. chalma=Moslem turban, chalmaty≈turbaned - Translato'r Note). As the second step they foresaw a decrease of excessive taxes and reduction in the fortification construction conscription duties. A key requirement in the Aminian program was dissolution of allodial landed properties and transfer of kazanchies "into the category of ak-chirmyshess and kursybaies (pl. fr. kursybai=standing professional paid army), and kurmyshes and a Kara-chirmyshes - in the ak-chirmyshes and subashes categories under condition of accepting Islam" (1; 137). It meant, that large feudal lords should pay taxes and perform a compulsory military service, supplying arms from their means.

The Aminians had a banner where alp Simbir-Karga was represented as a rook (bird, a Tengrian/legendary Alp - Translato'r Note) (1; 137). The ideological center of Aminians was the house of science "Mohammed-Bakiriya". The most consistent adherents of the idea "kigdom of Kindness and Justice" were two shakirds of that university, Mohammed Gali and emir Mir Gazi.

In the winter of 1181-1182 Khan Gabdulla Chelbir decided to strike the Aminians. He announced a mobilization of Baituba militia. When militiamen have gathered near the capital, sheikh Mamil, a head of the "El-Hum" brotherhood, addressed them with an appeal to mutiny. He gave one of the militiamen a golden flag with an image of a rook (1; 137). The war banners were made of iron or gold.

A rise of a golden flag with an image of a rook served as a signal to mutiny. The rebels rushed to zindan (prison) "Shaitan Bugaz" ("Shaitan Throat") and freed 300 prisoners (1; 137). The city poor (white trash) began plundering and burning houses of bilemches (tax collectors) and noble townspeople. Khan Gabdulla Chelbir fled Bulgar-Bilyar and was started to Ibragim-Bulgar. When he was passing the house of seid Mirhudji, he saw seid on the street and asked him: "Are not you leaving the city together with me? " Seid answered: "Kings may flee and return, but the ulema should always stay with the people" (1; 138).

The rebels seized the city and in the building of City council ("Suvar Jorty") proclaimed Khan Chalmaty. Mirhudja remained a seid, and Mamil (the head of the brotherhood "El-Hum") became a vizier. Was organized a 10-thousand militia.

Thus, in the Itil Bulgaria set in a diarchy: in the Ibragim-Bulgar ruled Gabdulla Chelbir, and in the Bulgar-Bilyar reigned Chalmat. Such condition could not last long.

Gabdulla Chelbir recalled from Tubdjak province (southern part of Western Siberia and Southern Ural) Oimeks-Kypchaks under a leadership of Turgen (1; 138). They besieged Bulgar-Bilyar and started a storm. During the storm Tarkhan Turgen was killed, and Oimeks stopped. A son of the killed, Tarkhan Mergen, took over the command. To the aid of Oimeks-Kypchaks Gabdulla Chelbir summoned kursybai. The standing army came to the Bilyar, but did not join fighting until Khan promised to double their salaries. However kursybai did not have a chance to restart the storm of the Bulgar-Bilyar. Happened something unforeseen. The Vladimir (Rus city) Prince Vsevolod the Large Nest (1176 - 1212) suddenly attacked Bulgars. Therefore kursybai had to march to Deber-su (present r. Sviyaga). The Kisan (Ryazan) 15-thousand calvary came there. Prince Vsevolod the Large Nest with 45-thousand soldiers sailed on boats to the mouth of river Djau Shir (present r. Yaushirma).

He besieged Bulgar-Bilyar for two weeks. However he could not overcome the resistance of militiamen. Moreover, happened what he did not expect in no way. Once at a dawn the head of the "El-Hum" brotherhood mulla Mamil ascended the high minaret Baradj (Alp Baradj, a Tengrian/legendary Alp name - Translato'r Note) of the Suleiman mosque. He just was going to call Moslems for a morning prayer as he accidentally saw that the soldiers of Prince Vsevolod are sound asleep. And instead of appeal to a morning prayer he called for an attack on the enemy camp (1; 139). The rebel Khan Chalmati led his militiamen through the Red and Bull gates of Bulgar-Bilyar and attacked the army of Prince Vsevolod. During the ensuing battle Chalmati was killed. His militiamen retreated behind the walls of the city. Mulla Mamil began negotiations with Prince Vsevolod. However soon arrived kursybai and a militia of the kazanchies. After the battles, from the Kisan-Ryazan calvary of 15 thousand remained alive 5 thousand. Prince Vsevolod had 5 thousand soldiers remained out of the 45 thousand (the calvary had been Türkic, from Black Klobuks, Berendeys and other Türkic clans that remained allied with Rus principalities; the infantry must have been mostly Slavic. This is a typical example of Türkic-Türkic internecine war  - Translato'r Note).

So, from 60 thousand soldiers to Rus returned only 10 thousand (1; 141).

Soon the rebels, who lost their Khan, have surrendered. The sardar of the kursybai Guza swore on a Koran that he will save lives of the surrendered. Mulla Mamil with his the nearest assistants were banished to Kargatun (in Western Siberia), and seid Mirhudja in chains was sent to the Ibragim-Bulgar. He soon died ascending minaret in heavy shackles.

However, the Aminian movement did not stop at that. In the 1193 they devised a new plot. The position of people worsened even more. In these conditions the ideas of kindness and justice found new adherents. This time the movement was headed by mulla Gali. After studying in medrese he became a preacher. Soon Mohammed Gali became widely known among people. He began imam-khatib in the Ibragim-Bulgar Hasan mosquea. He managed to attract multitudes. As a priority the Aminians wanted to raise to the royal throne soft and sensitive the Mir-Gazi, who shared the ideas of the Aminians, instead of severe Khan Gabdulla Chelbir. A signal to the uprising should become the calls for the morning prayer: in the Ibragim-Bulgar by the seid Mohammed Gali, and in the Bulgar-Bilyar by the call of his assistant mullah Kylych (1; 145). However, mulla Kylych turned out to be a traitor. He informed on the plot and provided a list of participants. Khan Gabdulla Chelbir summoned to the capital Mergen's Oimeks-Kypchaks and Guza kursybai. At first among the populace was launched a rumour about the army gathering for a campaign. The main participants of plot in numbering 500 people headed by Mir-Gazi were seized. They were tortured severely and for a great length, and then sold into slavery.

Thus, in the 12th century increased oppression both by the state and kazanchies (large feudal lords), and immoral behaviour of some Khans resulted in growth of discontent of the subashes (state Moslem peasants), Kara-chirmyshes (pagan peasants), craftsmen, and representatives of Muslim clergy. This discontent had shown in various forms: flight from one province to another, open demonstrations, plots, support for kinder and gentler candidates to thd royal throne, and at last, a movement to establish "a kigdom of Kindness and Justice" which received name "Aminian or rooks movement".

Despite of the defeat, this movement was of great importance. It has shown that among peasants, handicraftsmen, city poor and Muslim clergy a desire for the social justice was strong.

5. Itil Bulgaria military-political history in the 12th century

The military-political history of the Itil Bulgaria before 1135 had already been addressed. What important events took place in the ramaining 65 years of the 12th century?

A Kypchak arrow sent in the 1135 to the other world Khan Shamgun. To the royal throne was raised Hisam Anbal (1135-1164). During his rule the kursybai (standing army) was dissolved, kazanchies (large feudal lords) received a full freedom of action. They began to seize the lands of subashes, (privileged state Moslem peasants) and settle on them Serbians (ancestors of Chuvashes) and Ars (ancestors of Udmurts). Kazanchies were seizing them during raids on the lands of treasury (1; 129).

Ulugbeks and Tarkhans ceased to follow the center. During that period the governors of Saksin, Biysu, Mardan-Bellak, Ural and Tubdjak provinces were Tarkhans. Governors of other provinces had a title Ulugbek.

The Prince of the Suzdal land Andrey Bogolubsky (Bulgars called him Khan Tiuryai) decided to take advantage of the situation developed in the Itil Bulgaria. He refused to pay the dzhir tribute. The Novgorodians speeded up their attacks on the territory of Biysu province (Pechora province). Therefore in 1150es Bulgars campaigned in the north. They trounced a few fortresses, built by the Novgorodians on the river Tun (present r. Northern Dvina). On the river Nukrat-Su (present r. Vyatka) they established a new city. In honor of the father of Khan Hisam Anbal itwas named Kolyn (renamed in 1930es to Kirov, before that Khlynov). The city of Kolyn became a center of the Biysu province (Pechora province).

Prince Andrey Bogolubsky invaded Kara-Mukhsha (the Western Mordovia) and occupied. Kisan (present Ryazan). The regent of Itil Bulgaria Khan, Ryshtauly, who ruled Kisan, abandoned the city in time. Soon a detachment of Bulgars from the Mardan-Bellak province under leadership of a Bek (Prince) Baichura arrived to his aid. The combined forces of the regent Ryshtauly and Bek Baichura crushed the Andrey Bogolubsky army. Prince managed to escape "half naked and in one boot" (1; 128). Bek Baichura freed not only Kisan (Ryazan), but also beaten off Kan (present Murom).

Thus, by the end of 1150es Bulgars managed to repulse the attempts of the Novgorodians to entrench in the territory of the Bulgarian province Biysu (Pechora).

Besides, Bulgars prevented a capture of the cities Kisan (Ryazan) and Kan (Murom) by the Andrey Bogolubsky.

In sphere of internal policy Hisam Anbal "did everything to lose his throne" (1;  130). Popular hatred of him grew every year. People began to rise against revelry of kazanchies (large feudal lords) and bilemchies (tax collectors). This struggle took the following forms.

First, the ak-chirmyshes of Kukdjak, united with subashes of Arsu, and also with the Ars, jointly began resisting the scouring of the kazanchies and bilemchies.

Secondly, the former kursybai soldiers, after becoming subashes, started killing tax collectors. Tax collectors started freewheeling excesses in the Kermek district, where the mass of bahadirs (serving feudal) lived, but bahadirs expelled them, and killed the obstinate kind.

Thirdly, Tarkhan Baichura of Mardan-Bellak province most consistently hollered against Khan Hisam Anbal. Knowing that, the Khan asked for the Baichura daughter's hand. Baichura could not skip the wedding of his daughter. When he came to the Bulgar-Bilyar, at the entrance to the city, kazanchies under orders of the Khan slashed him to pieces (1; 130). His daughter managed to escape to Bandja, where she was proclaimed Ulugbika (governor) of Mardak-Bellak.

Fourthly, seid Kul-Daud openly remonstrated with condemnation of the Khan's immoral behaviour. His influence on the Moslems was great. Therefore when the popular turmoil started, kazanchies surrounded his yard in the Tatyak suburb of Bulgar-Bilyar. In protest, Kul-Daud declared a hunger-strike. In the 1163 he died from hunger. When it became known, people came out on the streets. Kazanchies with extraordinary cruelty dispersed the inhabitants of the capital.

Otyak, the son of the late Khan Shamgun, decided to take advantage of the turmoil among the population of the Itil Bulgaria. He was married to a daughter of Bashkort, a head of the North Caucasian Kypchaks. For some time he lived in Kyiv. Then he went to Balyn (Suzdal) to Andrey Bogolubsky, who promised him help to take the royal throne in the Itil Bulgaria.

In the 1164 Otyak and Andrey Bogolubsky invaded Bulgaria. Their army sailed on boats to the city of Uchel (future city of Kazan). Otyak's brother Arbat at that time was an Ulugbek of the Uchel. He (Arbat) without a fight turned over the city to Otyak and Andrey. The allies burnt fortifications of Yugary Kerman and Kalgan (forts). They were most fortified parts of the city. A third part, i.e. Akbikul, was only surrounded with palings. Arbat, his family, and the daughter of Khan Hisam Anbal Baigul (Baigül) were taken in captivity.

Then the allies sailed to the Ibragim-Bulgar and besieged it. Learning about that, the Bulgar-Bilyar City council called up a militia and arrested Khan Hisam Anbal. After receiving news about overthrow of Anbal, Otyak urgently moved to the Bulgar-Bilyar. In the meantime, Andrey Bogolubsky burnt and plundered unfortified suburbs of Ibragim-Bulgar, Aka-Basar (Aga Bazar), Khoresm and Ibragim, and began preparing for a storm of citadel Baryndjar (head[quarters] of clan Baryn, splinters of that clan remained to live in the Rus and became known under Slavicised name Berendeys; Tr. djar=head: Belendjer=army+head, Karadjar=Western+head, Semender=Semen+head, Baryndjar=Baryn+head, etc  - Translato'r Note). When Otyak returned from the Bulgar-Bilyar and turned the deposed Khan Hisam Anbal, his daughter Baigul, Arbat and his son Azan over to the Rus Prince, Andrey Bogolubsky returned home, without undertaking a storm.

Andrey Bogolubsky married to Baigul. Her father Hisam Anbal became a boyar, and Arbat became a commander of Moskha (future city of Moscow) (see a later myth here =>  - Translato'r Note).

Baigul was married against her will. Subsequently, she joined a boyar conspiracy against Prince Andrey Bogolubsky. The conspirators were headed by her father Hisam Anbal (called "Anbal Yassin" in the Rus Primary Chronicle. In various modern interpretations Hisam Anbal became an Ossetian and a Jew  - Translato'r Note). He persuaded boyars to install on the Rus throne his grandson George, i.e. a son of Andrey and Baigul. At night, Baigul let conspirators into the bedroom of her husband, after first hiding Andrey's sword. Bogolubsky was killed by Hisam Anbal with an axe (1;  133). In the 1178, the brother of Andrey Bogolubsky, Vsevolod, severely punished conspirators.  Hisam Anbal was put alive in a box and drowned in a river. Baigul "was tied to a crossbeam of a gate and was shot dead from the bows" (1; 134). Escaped only George (Yury, Lachyn Hisami. He fled to the Itil Bulgaria) (later Yury Yury, reigned in Novgorod  - Translato'r Note).

Rule of Khan Otyak (1164-1178)

Otyak, becoming a Khan, first of all lowered taxes. And he calmed people. Securing support of the people, new Khan made a following decisive step. Otyak forced kazanchies (large feudal lords), that used to surround the former Khan Hisam Anbal, to relocate to the isolated areas of the Mardan district Mukhshi. The immigrants were headed by the treasurer, ulan Saran. In a new place they built two cities, Mukhsha and Saran (present Saransk).

Khan Otyak ordered to restore fortifications of the Uchel city. It served as a formal excuse for the ambitious Mstislav, a son of Andrey Bogolubsky to organize a raid against Bulgaria. A kazanchi militia under command of Chalmati defeated the Mstislav army. The Rus Prince was wounded in the neck by a spear. He managed to evade his pursuers. However, the wound did not heal. Eventually, Prince Mstislav died from it (1;  133).

In the 1178 Kypchaks attacked Itil Bulgaria from a southwest. Khan Otyak set out towards them. Near the river Deber-su (present r. Sviyaga) (the army) paused to rest. At a dawn his (Otyak) military camp was attacked. Khan Otyak "jumped out from the tent and raced on a horse to the Deber. But in the river he suddenly slipped from his stud and drowned" (1; 134). The field where the military camp of Khan Otyak stopped afterward began to be called Otyak's field (variation: Utyak's field).

The son of Otyak, Gabdulla Chelbir, learning about the death of his father, furiously attacked the Kypchaks. Three thousand Kypchaks were killed. Their heads were piled in a heap on the field where the camp of Khan Otyaka stood before the battle.

Rule of Khan Gabdulla Chelbir (1178-1225)

Gabdulla Chelbir was a quick-tempered person, fierce Khan, who ruled the Itil Bulgaria for almost half a century. Gabdulla Chelbir reigned during transition of mankind from one century to another, i.e. at the junction of the centuries. During his reign Bulgars encountered Mongols and ancient Tatars.

In this lecture we review the events during the rule of Khan Gabdulla Chelbir from 1178 to the 1220. The last five years of his reign will be addressed after discussion of the history of the ancient Tatars.

Becoming a Khan, Chelbir did not stopp the war with Kypchaks headed by Khan Chishma. Chelbir thought that in the death of his father was guilty that khan. Therefore, Khan Chelbir sent 4 thousand kazanchies to the Don steppes with the task of destroying Khan Chishma. For two years kazanchies pursued Kypchaks in the steppes. Kypchaks very easily and quickly moved in the steppes, and kazanchies were heavyly armed and protection of medieval knights. Quite exhausted, they asked Khan "to relieve them from external wars for a buy-out" (1; 135). In other words, kazanchies bought off their participation in the war with Kypchaks. The funds received from them Khan spent to restore kursybai (a standing army). The Kursybayans quickly ravaged the Kypchak stations on the Don, killed khan Chishma, and delivered his head to the Khan Chelbir. Thus, by the 1181 Chelbir sucseeded in weakening Kypchaks in the Northern Caucasus.

However, in the same year Prince Vsevolod the Large Nest attacked Bulgaria. In other words, Bulgars had to have wars almost annually. In the 1193 was achieved an agreement about conditions of the peace between Vsevolod the Large Nest and Khan Gabdulla Chelbir. Prince opened roads to the Baltic for the Bulgarian merchants, "renewed a payment of djir tribute, and pledged to not build fortifications on the Bulgarian border" (1;  143). The Khan returned one thousand of captured Ruses to the ambassador of Prince Vsevolod, and promised not to demand the djir tribute from the Rus in the years when they render a military help to Bulgaria. Besides, Chelbir allowed Ruses to fish in the territorial waters of Bulgaria, with a condition of rendering one fifth of salted to the treasury" (1;  143).

In the 1193 Khan Chelbir cleared up the mess with the names of the Bulgarian capitals, returning them their initial names. Historically the first capital of the Itil Bulgaria, called since 1028 in the royal decrees as "city Ibragim", was returned its former name Bulgar, and the city from 1028 to 1193 called Bulgar, again became Bilyar. In other words, Chelbir cancelled the orger of Khan Ashraf, who was ruling in the 11th century.

In addition, in the same 1193 Khan Chelbir ordered to rename the Tamta province to Bashkort, in honor of his beloved grandfather by the maternal line, who was a khan of the North Caucasian Kypchaks.

In that Ural province lived one of the mighty branches of the Saban clan" (1 "; 136). The leaders of the clan were Ardim, Dim, Guzi, Min (Mun) and Tabyn. They were closely related with Besenyos (Badjinaks) and Djuluts. Besenyo (Badjinak) are a mixture of a part of Djalmats (Tamtazaies) with the tribes Harka and Kangly (Kangars) (1; 136). Djuluts is one of Sabanian tribes which main clans were Baryndjars and Arbugaes (1; 136).

In 1180 - 1190es Khan Chelbir undertook a number of safety measures on trhe trading way to Scandinavia.

It started with 12 thousand Novgorodians raiding the northern provinces of the Itil Bulgaria, i.e. Bulgarian Tunai (North). They besieged Kolyn (Khlynov, renamed in 1930es to Kirov), but could not take it. Then Novgorodians went to Karganda (at headwaters of Kama). The governor of the city called Alai-Bat offered Novgorodians a ransom. As ransom he offered them fish. Hungry Novgorodians accepted the ransom, hoping to take city on a full stomach (1; 145). First the leaders ate fish. And immediately 120 people died: the fish was poisoned. When they began choosing new leaders, they started fighting among themselves. Just at that moment Kashanian Tarkhan Mer-Chura appeared with an army. Alai-Bat went on sortie from the Karganda city. Out of 12 thousand, no more than a hundred Novgorodians could flee. Three thousand were captured.

In Novgorod, learning about decimation of their best forces, boyars sent ambassadors to Khan Chelbir. As a result of negotiations was reached an agreement. Its major points were the following.

First, Novgorod opened a road to Baltic for the Bulgarian merchants for duty-free travel.
Secondly, Bulgarian merchants could trade in the Novgorod duty-free.
Thirdly, Novgorodians transferred to Bulgars 130 vessels "with bear and other furs, walrus tusks, amber, Frankic utensils and other goods" (1; 146 - 147).
Fourthly, Khan Chelbir exchanged one thousand of captured Novgorodians for two thousands Balts who were in captivity at Novgorodians (1; 146).

These Balts were called Shumbuts (1; 147). They were settled along the Chally river (present r. Chelninka) and Djau Shir (present r. M.Cheremshan), and also near caravan-sarai Sarman. Caravan-sarai Sarman was built on a road to Tubdjak (1; 147). Khan Gabdulla Chelbir  not only freed Shumbuts from captivity, but also exempted them from all taxes. For that, the Shumbuts loyally served the interests of Bulgaria, and simply idolized Khan Chelbir. "They were tall and handsome and were famous for their extraordinary endurance. From clothes they wore constantly only trousers, and were especially good shooters and with axe" (1; 147). Shumbuts quickly restored order on the roads they were charged to protect. So, for example, Ak-Oimeks (eastern Kypchaks) tried to take the caravan-sarai Sarman and to break into the central areas of Bulgaria. However, Shumbutsy tought them a lesson not to invade the limits of the State.

Shumbut coast guard sailed on ships to protect the crossings on Nukrat-su (present r. Vyatka) and Chulman (present r. Kama) from the attacks of the Novgorodians (1;  147).

Shumbuts were enlisting to protect trading caravans going to Artan (Baltics) and back. During the trip they were meeting their relatives. However, they always returned back. First, Shumbutsy were grateful to the Khan Chelbir for freeing them from captivity and for him creating conditions for good life. Secondly, the male soldiers married Bulgarian women and created in the new territories their families.

Merchant war.

Merchant war began with small skirmishes, mutual attacks.

In 1208 Novgorodians attacked people of merchant Sadyk, on one of the islands in the Arctic ocean. They supplied vessels of the Scandinavian merchants trading with Bulgars. All of them were killed. Sadyk was a Novgorodian by origin, he converted to Islam. His father Vasily participated in an attack on the Alamir-Sultan. Unintentionally, he fell behind and was taken a prisoner. And to save his life, he pointed to Bulgars the site of the robbers' camp. Later, he was let to go home. Bulgars allowed him to trade duty-free in the Bulgarian provinces Biysu and Ur (1; 147). In exchange he was asked to report incoming robberies. His son Sadyk gave  Khan Chelbir detailed informationu about the size of tribute and with what Novgorodians can pay. When the Novgorod ambassadors arrived to the Khan, they were struck with Chelbir's awareness about Novgorod capabilities, and paid a required tribute. For that, Khan made Sadyk a Prince, and gave him lands near Kolyn (Khlynov, renamed in 1930es to Kirov).

In the 1208 Novgorodians attacked Kolyn. A man in Novgorod warned Sadyk about the forthcoming campaign. Therefore he called fleet under command of Shirdan to the aid in time, and hid in the city. Novgorodians lost 2 thousand men, and 24 boyars were took prisoner. When ambassadors arrived from Novgorod, Khan Chelbir declared that he will release for a ransom 3 boyars in a year, if Novgorodians would observe the peace, and if they will continue raiding, he would execute the same number of captive Novgorodians a year (1; 151). Ambassadors tried to present robbers as collectors of tribute, who got on the territory of Bulgaria by mistake. However, neither rich gifts, nor deceit helped: the Khan was firm. Later he allowed Novgorodians to build at the confluence of the rivers Djuk (present r. Yug) and Tun (present Northern Dvina) the city Djuketun (present Ustyug). This city was constructed in the Rus part of Shud. Shud is a northwestern part of the Northern territory, i.e. of the Tun. This territory was populated by Veps and Meri (Merya).

In 1209 Kisanians (Ryazanians) began violently collecting duty from the Bulgarian merchants on the Horysdan road. The Khan sent a detachment under command of Yakub Alaur. Ryazanians tied the culprit boyar, an initiator of the robbery on the trade road, and dumped him from the wall to the Bulgars. He was immediately shot. Taking a ransom from the city, Bulgars left.the

In 1212 died Vsevolod the Large Nest, who arrainged normal relations with Itil Bulgaria. Constantine became Vladimir and Suzdal Prince. Against him raised a mutiny his brother Yury. Khan Chelbir supported the kind and quiet Constantine and sent an army in support. The Yury Vsevolodovich's army rendered a bitter resistance. However, they were defeated and left 10 thousand killed on the battlefield. In 1218 Prince Constantine died. There is a version, that he was poisoned (1; 152). The throne was seized by Yury Vsevolodovich, and first of all he murdered in Djuketun (Ustyug) the Bulgarian merchants returning from the Baltic. Only one of the merchants by the name Bairam managed to escape and reach the capital. Khan Chelbir went on a campaign to punish murderers and robbers. The campaign began in the winter of 1219. Stood strong frosts. The city of Djuketun was taken and burnt.

In the spring of 1219 Prince Yury Vsevolodovich attacked Djun-Kala. When the Ruses managed to break palings of the fort in two places, the commander Djun of the Mishar district in the Martuba province set the fortress on fire. Prince Yury ordered to erect Nijni Novgorod on the ashes of the wooden fortress.

Then the campaign was continued by his brother Yaroslav. With a 15  thousand-strong army he sailed on boats to Uchel. On the crossing near Burat (present. A Zelenodolsk), he was joined by 20 thousand Ars. They surrounded Kumans in servce of Bulgarian Khan near the mouth of Deber-su (present r. Sviyaga), and burnt Bish-Balta (present Admiralty quarter in Kazan). The troops of Prince Yaroslav and Ars came to Uchel and set fire to the suburb Akbikul. The fire was very strong. The palings of the Kalgan suburb burning. Soldiers and city dwellers went behind the Sain moat and covered in Yugary Kermen (fortress, a citadel of the city). At that time the city approached kursybai under command of sardar Gazan (a son previous sardar of the Oguzes, who drowned in the river Moskha) (Oguzes=Torks of the Rus annals  - Translato'r Note). The troops of the Rus Prince were crushed: 6 thousand were killed and approximately as many captured. Bulgars lost 172 soldiers (1; 156). So ended the war which received the name "Merchant war". It came to the end in the 1219. In 1220, in memory of that victory Khan Gabdulla Chelbir ordered to rename the city Kolyn to Nukrat, Tuhhchi to Djuketun, and Uchel to Gazan. In the course of time began Djuketun (confluence of the rivers Djuk and Tun)became pronounced Djuketau (Djuk Mountain), and Gazan (name) as Kazan (caldron).

This war could have continued. The reason is that Prince Yury did not sent ambassadors to conclude a peace treaty. Therefore in the winter of 1220 Khan Chelbir sent sardar Gazan with kursybai on Balyn. Sardar took with him masters with sheredjirs. Sheredjirs are siege weapons shooting vessels with flammable mixture. At that time a most well-known specialist was Nasyr (1; 143). Bulgars quickly enkindled the wooden fortress Djun-Kala (in Rus' hands for a year as future Nijni Novgorod) and moved deep into Balyn, i.e. the North-Eastern Rus. When Sardar Gazan was three days of travel from the Balyn's capital the city Bulymer (Vladimir), come a racing messenger from Khan Chelbir. Khan ordered sardar to return immediately to the Bulgaria. The reason of the recall was that the Khan received a message about Chingizkhan invasion of Khoresm.

Next we shall review who were Mongols and ancient Tatars who Bulgars faced in 1224 for the first time. Before that remained only 4 years.

Conclusions for the first two sections

Acquaintance with the ethnogenesis process of ancient Bulgars, their ethnic history of the ancient and Early Middle Age period allows to compare the key moments of the first and second sections (see 1st section for items 1 and 2).

3. The ethnosystem of the Itil Bulgaria absorbed the following ethnic communities: Utigs, Kara-Bulgars (Bulgars proper), Burdjans (Barsils, Suvars, Barandjars), Sabans, Askels, Kara-Oimeks (western Oimeks, i.e. western Kypchaks), Ak-Oimeks (eastern Oimeks, i.e. eastern Kypchaks), Burtases, Kuk-Oguz Turkmen. In other words, Itil Bulgars asa new ethnic entity consolidated as a mixture of various ethnic communities with different levels of development and origin. However the course, contents and character of the ethnic process were determined by Bulgars proper.

The major milestones in the history of the Itil Bulgaria ethnogenesis were (see 1st section):

Arrival of the Huns in the Northern Dagestan area and formation of Burdjans, i.e. the Dagestani Bulgars;
Mixture in the lower course of Dnepr of a part of Burdjans with Turkic-speaking Sabans and formation of Kara Bulgars, i.e. the western Bulgars;
Mixture of Burdjans in the Middle Itil region with Utigs (Utigurs, Uti/Udi/Ud+gur=tribe  - Translato'r Note);
Mixture in the Middle Itil region of Burdjans and Utigs with Kara Bulgars and Sabans, this mixture formed the ethnic base of the Itil Bulgaria ethnos;
Mixture of Itil Bulgarians with Kypchaks and Kuk-Oguz Turkmens.

Thus, the Itil Bulgarian ethnic community was composed of polyglot groups.

By the end of the 12th century the long, extremely complex, intertwined  ethnogenesis of the Itil Bulgaria mostly come to an end. This ethnogenesis process went on in the Volgo-Ural, Middle East, Eastern Azov and Northern Black Sea historical and cultural regions. By that time the Itil Bulgaria had common ethnic properties:

Common language for all ethnic components in the Bulgarian ethnosystem;
Cultural unity of the members of the Bulgarian ethnos;
Perception of unity reflected in the ethnonym "Bulgars";
Fairly stable territory

This Itil Bulgaria ethnogenetic scheme is generalized and rudimentary.

4. A dashed line of statehood continuity for the Itil Bulgaria and her descendants is:

a) A vague Sumerian connection dates to the boundary of the 4th and 3rd milleniums B.C.
b) Utigs,  a Hunnish tribe closely related to ancient Bulgars, established  a first princedom state in the Itil region in the first half of the 1st century AD. Untill 760 this state existed as a Bulyar princedom. From 330-340es  till 747 a prevailing position in this princedom occupied Huns and their descendants ( Nominalia of the Bulgarian Khans stated 515 years before Asparukh split ca. 680 - Translato'r Note). From 747 to 760 a prevailing position occupied Burdjans, i.e. the Dagestani Bulgars. From 760 domination passed to the Kara Bulgars, i.e. the western Bulgars (Bulgars proper).
From 760 to 885 the state in the Middle Itil region existed under a name of a Bulgarian princedom.
In 885 Bulgaria was proclaimed an Islamic kingdom. In 922 the kingdom was officially recognized as an Islamic state. From 922 to 925 the Bulgarian kingdom was called Bulgar Emirate.
From 925 to 1236 the Bulgarian kingdom was again called Bulgarian kingdom.

Thus, during different periods of its existence the Bulgar state in the Itil region changed its borders and its political status.

1. Main points

1.1. Desire for establishment of kindness and justice in social relations most clearly was displayed in sermons and deeds of the members of the religious brotherhood "El-Hum", especially by its left wing known as "Aminians", or "rooks".

1.2. By the end of the 12th century ethnogenesis of the Itil Bulgaria mostly come to an end. She incorporated the following ethnic components: Utigs, Barsils, Bashkorts, Suvars, Baryndjars, Askels, Sabans, Kara Bulgar (Bulgars proper). A prevailing ethnic component in this ethnosystem were Kara Bulgars. Kara Bulgars occupied prevailing position inthe military-political sphere, Sabans occupied a binding position in this ethnosystem. A Kara Bulgars and Bashkorts intermarried with Sabanians. The Sabanian dialect of the Turkic language became domeneering.

8. Additional information.

Symbols and coats of arms of the clans, cities and provinces of Bulgar

Main point is that all Bulgar tamgs or bilge, i.e. the coat of arms and emblems, were historically connected with the heroes of the myths about their ancient ancestors or themselves. This is contains in the Kul Gali book (1242) "Hon kitaby" ("Book about Huns").

8.1. Tamga of the clan Dulo.the

The most ancient Imenian (Hunnish) clan Dulo was famous because the rulers of the Bulgarian and closely related to it tribes were mostly from that clan. Asthe majority of Bulgarian Khans were from the Dulo clan, first of all should be described its tamga.

The trident emblem Ψ was a tamga of the clan Dulo. It is thought that originally this emblem was an image of Alp-bika (Deity, or saint at the throne of Tengri) of love Turan. According to a legend, in deep antiquity in the Volgo-Ural region was a legendary state Turan. This state waqs ruled by Alp-bika (female spirit) Turan. Subsequently, the Khans from the clan Dulo considered themselves to be descendants of Turan. And they probably therefore adopted the Turan tamga as the emblem of the clan.

During various periods this symbol was explained differently. Originally the Turan emblem was explained as a fighting axe - bow. The Turan emblem was called "baltavar". The word "baltavar" began to be also used as a title of the ruler of Bulgars - "Lord of Princes".

Later, the Turan emblem began to be explained somewhat differently, as an arrow and wings and a bow. In other words, in the "baltavar" emblem was seen an image of a bow and an arrow, and also a falcon.

For many centuries the staffs of the Bulgarian banners were crowned with "baltavar" emblem. Finally, it started tobe depicted as a trident (The trident tamga and its variations have deep roots that start with Siyavush, Kushans, Huns, and end with early Rus and Bulgarian emblems, and today's Ukraine and Moldova emblems. See Yatsenko " Tamgas",  Akishev " Tamgas", and Schena " Coins" - Translato'r Note).

 8.2. Emblem of the first Idel state of the Bulgar ancestors

The legendary Bulgar ancestors Sinds and the most ancient ancestors of the most ancient Turkic-speaking tribes of Oguzes and Kangly (Kangars) created in the Volgo-Ural historico-geographical region a union of seven tribes - Idel. According to the ancient legends, before the 15th millenium BC in the Volgo-Ural was a legendary state Turan. From the 15 millenium BC till the 7th century BC that state was called Idel ("Union of seven tribes").

The versions of the Idel emblem were:.

The name of the emblem is "Buri Bash", i.e. "Wolf's Head". Versions of the name of the emblem:

1. "Baryn Djar" ("Baryn's Head", Baryn is one of names, alongside with Buri and Mag, of the wolf). The Alp Sin or Buri (Wolf) was considered a patron of the Sinds - ancestors of Bulgars. On the Sinds' banner was an image of a head of a wolf.
2. In the 7th century BC this emblem received one more name, "Burtas Tamga", i.e. "Emblem of Burtases". Burtas was a name of a famous Khan of the Bulgars who came back from Mesopotamia to the Itil region, i.e. to the home his ancestors.
3. In the 4th century BC "Buri Bash" emblem received another name, "Iskander Tamga" ("Tamga of Alexander the Great"). The descendants of the Bulgarian sardar Audan and Alexander the Great (Iskander Zulkarnain) daughter began to call the emblem "Iskander Tamga".

8.3. Emblems of the ancient Bulgars (a detailed listing is here =>)

In later times the state emblem of the Bulgars was the emblem of their capital.

1. Bandja (Phanagoria) - capital of the Great Bulgaria in the 7th century. Later this city was called Iske Bandja. In 966 the city of Bandja was ruined by the troops of the Kyiv Prince Svyatoslav. The surviving part of the population moved to the Jana (New) Bandja in Jiguli (Itil region) (~50 km N. of Samara, in Russian archeological lingo assigned a term "Murom town" - Translato'r Note).
Bandja emblem semantics - "Prospering city".

2. Bashtu (663-859). Variations of the Bulgarian name: Askal, Kuk-Kuyan, Shambat, Kyi. Capital of the Kara Bulgar, i.e. the Western Bulgaria. From the end of 850th it became a capital of the Kyiv Rus under a name Kyiv.
Bashtu emblem semantics - snake coiled into a ring.

3. Ulug Bulgar (another name - Ibragim). The city was founded between 737 and 747. It was founded by Burdjans, i.e. by Northern Dagestani Bulgars. Among them a prevailing position occupied Barsils, i.e. people of bars (leopard). Therefore initially the emblem of the city became a Winged Bars (preserved in modern Tatarstan emblem - Translato'r Note).

4. Bulyar (Bilyar). It became capital during some periods of the 12th and 13th centuries. Originally Bulyar emblem had semantic meaning of a center of abundance and pasturing.
Then "Iskander Tamga"became Bulyar emblem

5. Nur-Suvar (Sham-Suvar). It was a capital for some time in the 13th century. Kul Gali remarked that the city in the beginning was called Nur and was built by Burdjans, i.e. Dagestani Bulgars. The emblem of the city was called "Suvar Tamga", "Hum" ("Jug". In the opinion of Kul Gali, this emblem was brought by the (Subar) Bulgars from Mesopotamia, i.e. from the Suvar (Location of Suvar in Mesopotamia see Agasyoglu map here =>  - Translato'r Note).

8.4. Emblems of 9-13th centuries Bulgarian provinces.

In the 9-13th centuries in the Itil Bulgaria were 12 provinces (in Bulgarian: ils or vilaets). Their emblems in many cases coincided with the emblems of the provincial capitals.

1. Il Baigul - Ob province of the Itil Bulgaria. The center was the city of Pelym. The il's emblem was an image of pra-mother the Bulgar clan, i.e. Alp-Bika Baigul. According to a legend, she took a form of a huge fish and swam from the ocean into the river which now is called Ob. Therefore Bulgars called the river Ob Baigul.

2. Il Baituba. Since13th century this province was called Chally-Cheremshan. Its center was a city of Bulyar (Bilyar). The emblem of. Bulyar (Bilyar) was also the emblem of the il.

3. Il Biysu. Pechora or Pechora province. In the 13th century began to be called Nukrat. Originally the center was called Kolyn, and then Nukrat (in Russian Vyatka).
In the beginning Biysu insignia was the old emblem of Bulyara(Bilyar).
In the 1183 Khan Gabdulla Chelbir assigned a new emblem. In the 1183 the Rus army wanted to storm Bulyar. From the fortress wall with a good shot from a bow the governor of Biysu, who then was in Bulyar, struck Prince Izyaslav Glebovich with an arrow. The governor was called Mer-Chura. Ruses had to abandon the siege. Mer-Chura accepted Islam in the mosque "Besermen" of the Bulyar city. In memory of the Mer-Chura good shot Khan Gabdulla Chelbir granted Biysu a new tamga. This insignia reminded the emblem of the Dulo clan, and was called "Baluan Tamga", i.e. "Bohatir's Tamga".
In 1489 Nukrat was annexed to the Moscow princedom (and that was in the tumultuous decade when the Late Rus/Incipient Russia was technically still a vassal of the Kipchak  Khanaate/Ulis Juchi and in Novgorod and Moscow minted coins with vassalage symbology on the obverse - Translato'r Note).

4. Bulgarian il. The emblem of the Bulgarian il (sovereign princedom of Bulgar) was the emblem of the city Bulgar

5. Mardan-Bellak il. The center was the city Bandja (Jana (New) Bandja). There lived descendants of the natives from Old Bandja, i.e. Phanagoria. Apparently, therefore the emblem of the New Bandja served the emblem of Phanagoria

6. Martuba Il. In the 13th century it was have renamed to Kazan il. The il's emblem was the emblem of the province main city Kazan. According to the Bulgarian sources, the city of Kazan was founded in the 1103 on the bank of the river Arsu (Finno-Ugorian river) (present r. Kazanka), also called Uchel. In 1219 it renamed to Gazan (Kazan is a later form of pronunciation). The emblem of the city Gazan (Kazan) was the "Aga Baradj" emblem. Baradj is a winged dragon. The appearance of a dragon accepted, according to the Bulgarian mythology, the twins brothers, Alps Karga (Raven, for symbolic significance of the Raven see Zuev Ethnic History of Usuns - Translato'r Note) and Samar ( see description here - Translato'r Note), and also Alp-bika Bajgul. Accordingly, Aga Baradj (Great Baradj) had three heads: 1) bird's (Karga used a form of a bird), 2) snake (Bajgul used a form of a snake), 3) bull (Samar used a form of a bull). Aga Baradj tamga among Bulgars had a shape that one or other elements of that emblem were present in the tamgas of a number of the Bulgarian and Sabanian clans, namely Bagil, Batbai, Alban, Erdim, Djulut, Elaur, Saban. It is possible to assume, that representatives of these clans, probably, established the city Uchel (future Kazan).
Notably, so also looked the tamga of the Tatar clan Shirshe (18; 402).

7. Saksin il. Its center was the city of Saksin-Bulgar. Its emblem also became the emblem of the il. The emblem is described as as an image of Alp Karga (Rook or Raven) as "four-pettal flower". In the opinion of Kul Gali, such image of Alp Mardukan-Karga was widespread among Utigs

8. Suvar il. The il's emblem was the emblem of its main city Nur-Suvar

9. Kashan il. Its center was the city of Kashan. It existed a short time in the 13th century. The main part of the Kashan population was, per Kul Gali, the natives of the Horezm balik (suburb) of the Bulgar city. In 1236 a part of the Kashan population moved to Kazan. There they founded a mosque named "Tuba djami" (Provincial jami=mosque in Oguz - Translato'r Note) (in Kashan was such-named mosque).
Il's tamga id described as follows: depiction of Alp-Bika of the plants Ashna. In antiquity the Sind ancestors of Bulgars represented Ashna-bika in the shape of a beattiful  female deer Kashan with a blossoming Tuba tree of life the on the head.

10. Tamta Il. Khan Gabdulla Chelbir in 1193 ordered to rename it to Bashkort. Till 1193 its center was settlement Tamta-Zai on the bank of the r. Zai. From1193 its center became the city of Ufa. The city of Ufa was founded in 1185. It arose near the place where was an altar ("ufa") of the  inhabitants of Ergi, a capital of the legendary state Turan.

The description of the emblem is that it was an emblem of Alp Chakchak, a two-headed bird, frerquently an eagle or a berkut (golden eagle).
11.Tubdjak Il. This province occupied territory of the Northern Kazakhstan and Southern Siberia. The description of the emblem is an image of Alp Samar who was a patron of not only the crops, but also of the pasturing. Therefore, the emblem "Ytlar" ("Horseman" in Bulgarian) also was the emblem of the Tubdjak il, where population was engaged in cattle breeding.

12. Ur Il. Originally, the il's territory included Ural and Northern Siberia. The center was a settlement Jabalak (Owl) on the Irtysh. In time, the il have subdivided into two parts, Ur and Baigul.
The emblem of the Ur il was an image of Alp of wisdom and winter Taigas. In winter Taigas was taking a shape of a white camel, and in the summer he was a snowy owl.

Additional information

1. About Arbat

Arbat Os-Ladj was one of the sons of the Bulgarian Khan Shamgun-Sain(ruled 1118-1135). Initially Arbat was in service to Khan Hisam Anbal (ruled 1135-1164) as a governor of Martuba. Arbat moved the capital of Martuba province from Deber (this fortress was located near present village Deushevo in the Apast district of Tatarstan) to the city Uchel (future Kazan).

In 1164 Arbat without a fight handed Uchel over to the Prince Andrey Bogolubsky. A new Bulgarian Khan Otyak (1164 - 1178) turned over Arbat, and former Khan  Hisam Anbal with his daughter Baigul to Andrey Bogolubsky as captives. With time Arbat became a commander (voivode)of Moscow. Subsequently the area where was the palace of the commander Arbat began to be called Arbat (Numerous references to Arbat suburb predate by centuries the reference to the Moscow disastrous fire in the 15th c. - Translato'r Note).

Bahshi Iman. Djagfar Tarihy. Vol. 1. Orenburg, 1993.

2. Ancient names on the map of modern Tatarstan

Anatysh (Juniper) - village in Rybno-Sloboda (Fish suburb).
Arya - river in a Zelenodolsk (Green Valley) area.
Atryach - village Atryachi in Pestr (Motley) district.
Imen Kiske (Imenkovo) - village in area Laishev district.
Ura - village in Ar district (village Lower Ura).

In the 1236-1237 in the Itil Bulgaria historical ethnogenesis process  and in their statehood came a turning point, addressed in the following section.


1. Bahshi Iman. Djagfar Tarihy. Vol. 1. Codex of Bulgarian Annals. 1680. - Orenburg, 1993.
2. Famous people [talk] about Kazan land. - Kazan, 1990.
3. Ethnic history and modern national processes // History of the USSR. No 2.1988. pp. 112-113.


Abu Hamid aI-Gharnati (473-565/1080(81 )-1169(70)) Abu Himid Muhammad al-Mazini Gharnati, Andalusian geographer and traveller. Born in Granada, he left the Iberian peninsula in about 1106 never to return. His travels led him to North Africa, Egypt, the Middle East and Eurasia. Attributed to him with certainty are Tuhfat al albab (Amazed Hearts and Awakened Spirits) and Al Mu'rib an bat ajaib al Maghrib (The Marvels of Morrocco), writings which are compendiums of natural history. cosmography, astronomy and ethnography. He was especially interested in collecting and documenting ajaib, marvels or wonders of the world. The accounts of his voyages are punctuated with many fantastic stories which lend a novelistic charm to his work. His work became one of the principal sources for the famous fourteenth-century geographer al-Qazwini.


Itil Bulgaria in 9th c. Contents Ancient Tatar tribes
In Russian
Djagfar Tarihi
Contents Huns
Contents Bulgars
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
  Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline