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Origin of Türks-Contents · Introduction · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Fifth chapter · ORIGIN OF TATARS
Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Conclusion · Name and Ethnic Index · Literature

Mirfatyh Zakiev
Origin of Türks and Tatars

Part two

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Fourth Chapter - First half
Rise and development of Bulgaro-Tatarian statehood


112. General information.

It was already listed what tribes and tribal unions formed the ancient Itil-Bulgarian people, which later developed into the modern Tatar nation. The forming of the ancient peoples was usually prodded by the rise of the ancient states. So it happened also in our history. The ancient Itil-Bulgarian people formed as a result of consolidation of the Türkic and Türkicized tribes and tribal unions into the ancient Itil-Bulgarian state. This state was created in the 9th century in the vast territory of the Ural-Itil region and Northern Caucasus with the use of the rich experience of others Türkic and not only the Türkic states. It also spread its the hegemony to the Western Siberia. (Evidently, the author are called the re-consolidation of the Bulgar State after the split of the state between Shilki (Djilki, 855-882) and his brother Lachyn (855-879, 882?) who in 855 separated the western part of the Bulgar that eventually lead to the creation of the Rus, and the demise of the Khazarian control during the vizier Talib (949-976) and Khan Talib (976-981) time - Translator's Note).

The scientists time the formation of the first ancient states to the 4th-3rd millenniums BC, when happened the formation of the states in the ancient Egypt, ancient China and in the territory of the Interfluvial (between the rivers Tiger and Euphrates) [BSE, 3rd edition, vol. 7, 177]. The Türks did not miss the emergence of the ancient states. An expert on the history of the state and law Sadri Maksudi Arsal noted that in the history of civilization no ethnos created so many states as the Türks. They formed states in different regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. In the Interfluvial (Mesopotamia) the first state was formed by the Sumers (Sumerians) whose Türkic-speaking was already demonstrated [Arsal, 1943, 1071]. The discussion about it in more detail follows below. And now we shall try to understand the challenges of the formation of the Itil-Bulgarian state, in order to envisage more clearly the ethnic roots of the Bulgaro-Tatars. At the same time it is impossible to disregard the experience in creation of the pre-Bulgarian Türkic states in those regions, where the tribes had ethnic, political, economic and cultural contacts with ancestors of Bulgars and with the Bulgars themselves.

Besides it is necessary to keep in mind that the tribes and tribal unions in the Ural-Itil region even before the emergence of the Itil-Bulgarian state had the experience of being the citizens of other pre-Bulgarian state formations. And the early Bulgars had already the experience of creation Balgar and Balkhar in the Middle Asia and the Kurbat's (called distorted Kubrat by the author - Translator's Note) Great Bulgaria, and they were in close contacts with many peoples who had their states. Hence, the Bulgars and their ancestors could make a use in the Ural-Itil region of extensive territories of Western Siberia and Northern Caucasus of the experience in creation and ruling of their other states.

From the ancient documents it is known that the tribes and tribal unions of the Ural-Itil region had close contacts with the tribes of Middle, Near Eastern Asia, Western Siberia, Northern Caucasus, N. Pontic. In these regions still in the Mesolithic times (in the 10th-4th millenniums BC) people interacted closely, and mingled naturally and also compellingly as a result of military actions.

All this finds a confirmation in the results of the archeological research. So, the archeologist G.F.Korobova in her summarizing article ”Mesolith in the Middle Asia and Kazakhstan” came to a conclusion that the Mesolithic cultures of the Eastern Europe, Western Siberia and Middle Asia are almost identical, and differ only in variations. In her opinion, the tribes of the Caspian, Caucasian Mesolithic cultures had also close cultural contacts with the tribes of the Near East [Korobova G.F., 1989, 152-154; Laipanov K.T., Miziev I.M., 1993, 19].

So, the early Bulgars of the Northern Pontic in the creation of the Great Bulgaria made use of the Bospor state and Byzantium statehood experience where its founder Kurbat (called distorted Kubrat by the author - Translator's Note) received a versatile education. Through the Khazars they also contacted closely with the Southern Caucasian and Near Eastern states.

The other ancestors of the Itil-Bulgarian nation have been closely connected to the tribes, tribal unions and nations of the Western Siberia and Middle Asia, where even long before the formation of the Itil Bulgaria arose Türkic and non-Türkic states. From the viewpoint of the emergence and development of the states these regions were researched absolutely inconsistedtly. For example, the Ural-Itil region is in this respect was studied very poorly. In the traditional historical science is rather foggy noted the presence here, in the 5th-3rd centuries BC, of a part of the Scythian state, which is attributed to the Persian-lingual Ossetians. Further, during the study of the Sarmatian (3rd-1st centuries BC) and Alanian (1st-3rd centuries AD) periods the Ural-Itil region almost does not count. It starts to be mentioned again only from the 4th century AD in connection with the study of the Huns, later Türks, Avars, Alans and Khazars.

The Western Siberia, the Ob and Yenisei interfluvial entered the history in connection with study of emergence, development and fading of the ancient Türkic state Kangaras, which had ethnic, economic and cultural contacts with the Itil-Ural interfluvial. (For Kangar's history click here  - Translator's Note)

The Northern Pontic and Caucasus in the ethnogenetical plan were investigated in connection with the study of the Greek colonization of the N. Pontic and of the Bospor state formed in the 5th century BC as a result of uniting the Greek cities in the Kerch and Taman peninsulas.

The most scrupulously studied region where in the most ancient times formed the states with close contacts with the Ural-Itil region were the Near East and Middle Asia. The Indo-European historians were interested in the detailed study this region, they first of all tried to find there the traces of the Indoiranian, Greko-Macedonian, Semito-lingual Akkado-Assyrian states that also had contacts with the Caucasus and the Ural-Itil region.

The Itil Bulgars, creating and sustaining their state made use of the experience not only from the distant countries with which they established and maintained close trade and economic relations, but also the experience of creating the states of the local Biarmians, Madjgars, Bashkirs, Burtases and, naturally, the early Bulgars/Bolgars.

It is very important to note that in the paragraphs about the Türkic states we are not getting into the problems of their economic, political and cultural development, mostly are addressed the ethnogenetical features of the prevailing nations in these states, and the traces of their ethnogenetical connections with the ancestors of the Bulgars and with early Bulgars.

113. The states in the Near East and the traces of their connections with the ancestors of the Bulgars.

The historical science recognizes that the emergence of the slaveholding states is dated by the 4th-3rd millenniums BC. At that time formed the states in the Ancient Egypt, Ancient China and in the Interfluvial territory (between the rivers Tiger and Euphrates) in the Near East.

Of these state formations in this case we are interested in the Sumer, which was located in the Southern Interfluvial (between rr. Tiger and Euphrates), in the territory of the southern part of modern Iraq. Under a I.M.Diyakonov's supposition, Sumer is one of the very first states, till the end of the 3rd millennium BC it was settled mainly by the Sumerians with eastern Semites, i.e. Akkadians, to a lesser degree. Around 2400 BC was founded the city of Akkad, since then the northern areas of the Sumer were called Akkad. With the rise of Akkadians the Sumer (Sumerian) state from the hands of the Sumerians passed to the Akkadians. These Semito-lingual (Babylono-Assyrian) Akkadians in the beginning of the 3rd millennium were subjugated by the mountaineers Gutians (also Guthians - Translator's Note). After a short-term domination by the Gutians, in the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC there formed the Babylon state, which lost its independence in the 539 BC., in the result in the territory of the modern Iraq solidified the ancient Assyrian state, but soon the power there passed again into the hands Babylonians and Medians.

Thus, in the Southern Interfluvial in 4th-2nd millenniums BC lived multi-lingual tribes, and the social standing of ones at times rose above the others, resulting in the power appearing in the hands of ones after the others: Sumerians, then Akkadians, then Gutians, then Babylonians, and later Assyrians. Correspondingly, with the change in the name of the prevailing peoples, the name of the state was also changing. But as the population of these states did not change, the material and spiritual culture progressed without undergoing drastic changes. Exactly for this reason the culture of these states (Sumer, Akkad, Babylon and Asesyria) in the historical literature is given as the development of a single Babylono-Assyrian culture.

To introduce the system of the states in the Near East it should be also noted that in the Sumer time to the east of that region and in the east of the Persian Gulf arose the Elamite state, which developed in close contact with the Sumer. In the 6th century BC Elam was conquered by Media, and then by the Persians.

In the Near East in an antiquity were also the states Urartu and Media. In the 9th century BC to the north of Asesyria formed the Urartu state (its self-name was Biaynili, the biblical name was ”Ararat kingdom”, the Assyrian name was Urartu). In the beginning of the 6th century BC Media crushed the Urartu state after crushing Asesyria, and it was incorporated into Media. The Media state was formed in the northwestern area of the Iranian plateau in the 9th c. BC. It has an outstanding place in the political, economic and cultural history of the ancient Near East: Zoroastrizm received there a wide circulation. In the Minor Media (Atropatena) in the 4th century AD was organized the ”Avesta”, an assembly of the Zoroastrizm sacred books.

In the traditional historical science has settled an opinion that in the antiquity among the peoples of the Near East, and even till the 11th century, ostensibly were no Türks. But that does not match the reality.

Analyzing the information of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Urartian and other sources, the scientists came to a conclusion that significantly before the 3rd millennium BC in the Interfluvial (of the Tiger and Euphrates) lived the Subars, there was a Subarta/Subartu country. The ethnonym Subar is a clearly Türkic complex word, consisting of sub ‘water, river’, and ar ‘people, men’ which was also used as a proper Türkic ethnonym. The composite ethnonym Subar means ‘River People’ or ‘People with Water totem’.

In the Near East in various dialectal environments this ethnonym was used in different forms: Subar/Sumar/Samar/Sumer/Shumer.

According to the Near East most ancient history researcher Julia Zablotska, the presence of the city of Samarra on the bank of the Tiger is known from the 6th millennium BC. This name, in our opinion, is a consequence of this region settled by the Subars from that time [Zablotska J., 1989, 19-47].

The Sumerians consisted of Subars and Kangars even before the creation of the state. The Akkadians called this people Sumer, but judging by the texts of the cuneiform writings, the people called themselves Kungurs/Kangars/Kingirs [Firidun Agasyoglu, 2000, 156-162; Gallyamov Ñ., 1995, 11-39]. About the etymology of the ethnonym Subar/Sumar was already stated, and the ethnonym Kangar consists of two roots: Kang/Kang (Qang/Qang) ‘father, primogenitor’, ar ‘people, men’. Further we shall see that the Persians in the Avesta also called with the ethnonym Kang the ancient Horasmians/Kwarezmians, but with the Persian plural affix -ha [Kangha], and in addition the different phonetic variations of this ethnonym Kangar/Kungur always designated the Türks, and in particular the Besenyos (Badjinaks).

In the paragraph 28 we have seen that in Sumerian (Kangarian) language the scientists found a mass of Türkizms. From the fact of the abundance of the Türkic words in the language of the Sumerian cuneiform texts, from their two Türkic ethnonyms (Sumer, Kangar), it is possible to conclude that the Sumers - Kangars were Türks, they settled in the southern part of the Interfluvial long before they formed the state, later they created the state, they developed a system of the cuneiform writing, but because they occupied a periphery of the Türkic world, they gradually assimilated among the Akkadians, a part of them left to the Middle Asia, and there started to live together with Horasmians, their Türkic-speaking relatives.

The Shumero-Kangarian cuneiform script was borrowed by the Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, it also played its role creating the situation where the scientists view the development of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian cultures as stages in the development of a large global culture.

In addition to the Subars/Sumers and Kangars/Kungurs, the Türkic-speaking people in the Near East were Turuks, Guties, Komans, and among the Medians Türkic-speaking tribes also occupied a significant place.

The Türkologists surmise that the moutaineers Guties/Kuties who managed to briefly dominate the Akkadians, also were Türkic-speaking [Firidun Agasyoglu, 2000, 156]. It should be noted also that the ethnonym Guti/Kuti is formed from the Türkic root kut ‘happiness, good, soul, vital force, luck, success, honor’.

No Turkologist doubts the Türkic-speaking of the Turuks and Komans.

Medians, even though they are mentioned in the historical sources from the 9th century BC as Persian-lingual, before their occupation of prevailing position in the northwestern areas of the Iranian plateau they, apparently, even earlier lived near the Sumerians, for per the suggestion of many, among them there also were the Türkic tribes. And this Türkic part of the Medes, together with the autochtonous tribes in the Atropatena (Media Minor) played a significant role in the ethnogenesis of the Azerbaijanians [Aliev I. ”Media”, BSE, 3rd edition], and the Azerbaijan was closely connected to the Itil region since the most ancient times.

As was mentioned, one of the most ancient states in the Near East was Elam. According to the specialists, the Elamite language in the typological plan belongs to the agglutinating type. Its further study can lead the scientists to a conclusion about the Türkic-speaking of its carriers, especially that the Elamites closely interacted with the Sumerians-Kangars, and their ethnonym Elam can be explained in Türkic as èlem/ilem ‘my country’, which is formed from a word il ‘country, people’ with an affix -em of belonging in personal singular form. In the territory of the ancient Elamites up to now survived the Türkic-speaking Kashgayans, who do not think of themselves as newcomers. I express this hypothesis for the future research of thw Elamite sources.

Now, recaping stated in the different paragraphs, we shall turn to the presence of the links between the Near Eastern states and the Western Siberia, Ural-Itil region and Caucasus.

The Türkic tribes under the name Subars, Komans left their traces in the Central Asia (Kumandians), in the Western Siberia (the toponym Siberia from the ethnonym Subar/Sabir/Sibir), and in the Ural-Itil region, and in the Caucasus (Subars, Suars, Sabirs, Komans ). Where Subars/Sabars/Samars lived, they left settlements named Samar, or the rivers were given the name Samara. Under this name still in the 4th millennium BC was the city of Samarra on the bank of the Tiger in the Near East, the city of Marakanda in the Middle Asia was renamed to the city of Samarkand, in the Itil basin there is a river and a toponym Samara, in the Ukraine there is a river Samara, etc.

The self-name of the Sumers was the word Kangar/Kungur; the root of this ethnonym kang was adopted by the Persians, and they called the ancient Horasmis (Kwarezmians) kangha, where the -ha is the Persian plural affix. This ethnonym also left its trace in the Kama area as the name of the city of Kungur.

We just now noted that in one of the regions of the ancient Elam live the Türkic-speaking Kashgayans; to think that they came to the east coast of the Persian Gulf only in middle of the 1st millennium AD would underrate the force of the Sumero-Akadsko-Babylono-Asesirian material and spiritual culture. Apparently, these Kashgayans are the remains of the Türks from the times of Elam and Sumer.

The Turkish scientist Ismail Dogan, having studied in detail the runic clan signs (i.e. tamgas - Translator's Note) of the Kashgayans, came to a conclusion about their kinship with the runic clan signs of the proto-Bolgars, Khazars and other European Türks [Dogan I., 2000, 156-161 and report in the Türk Dil Kurumu congress in the 2000].

Thus, the Türks took an active participation in the formation of the first states in the Near East, and their influence upon the Türks of other regions was quite appreciable.

114. Ancient Khoresm and traces of its interaction with the ancestors of the Bulgars.

The historico-archeological research of S.P.Tolstov have shown that starting from the Neolith (8th-3rd millenniums BC), the Ancient Khoresm and, probably, all southeast Aral area had a special place in the history of the development of the peoples in the Middle Asia, and in the ethnogenetical processes in its territory. Per his justified suggestion, Aral area was a link between the world of the northern Euro-Asian steppes, i.e. the regions of interest to us, including Western Siberia, Ural-Itil region, Northern Caucasus, and Northern Pontic on the one hand, and the mountainous countries of the Near East and the southern part of the Middle Asia, and the northern Indian lowlands on another hand [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 341].

Naturally, S.P.Tolstov studies the Ancient Khoresm as ”one of the major hub points of the Indo-European etno- and glottogenesis” [Ibid]. And the other Indo-European scientists (foe example, Markvart) expressed a hypothesis about an existence of a big pre-Ahaemenidian political confederation with the center in the Khoresm, covering Sogd, Syr-Darya, and spreading its hegemony over the northern Caspian steppes, and hence, to the Ural-Itil region, to the Southern Turkmenia and a part of Khurasan [Ibid].

In the 6th century BC the Ahaemenid Iran (i.e. Persia) becomes a nucleus of huge state, which owned an extensive space from the Indus river up to the Aegean sea. In this state also found themselves the Türkic tribes living in the Asia Minor, Near East and Middle Asia, including the Ancient Khoresm.

The majority of the scientists, with the exception of S.P.Tolstov, believe that Khoresm recognized the power of the Persian king voluntarily, but Tolstov believed that Khoresm was subjugated by Cyrus. Scientists date this event differently: one believe that it has taken place before the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, i.e. before 539 BC, the others believe that it happened between 539 and 530 BC, i.e. after the fall of Babylon [Dovatur A.I., etc., 1982, 199]. After a century and a half of the Ahaemenid domination, the Khoresm succeeded in reclaiming its political independence by its own forces at the beginning of the 4th century BC.

As is known, in the 330 BC the Ahaemenid Iran has fallen under the attack of the Alexander the Great army, which created the Helenistic empire of the Selevkids. In it arose the Greko-Baktrian kingdom, where a special position was occupied by the Baktrian-Toharian elite.

The Ancient Khoresm also under these conditions managed to conduct an independent policy in relation to Alexander the Great, and during the whole period from the Macedonian conquest to the fall of the Greko-Baktrian kingdom, was keeping the role of staging grounds for the struggle for independence of the Middle Asian peoples [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 342]. In the S.P.Tolstov's opinion, it also had a great role in the creation of the well-known states in the Middle Asia, the Parthian and Kushanian (but about them follows later).

Who in the ethnic relation were the Horasmis (Kwarezmians), if they have not found a home in the Persian Ahaemenid state? If they were Persian-lingual, they should not have struggled for a political independence from the great Persian state. Apparently, they became Türks not only after the ostensibly ”arrival” of the nomad Türks, but were Türkic-speaking from the very beginning. This was discussed in the first part of the book (see para. 30). We shall recup here the major points.

Under the S.P.Tolstov's proposal, Khoresm in the Avesta is called Kangha, which corresponds with the name Kangüy (also Kangyui, Kangly) of the Chinese sources [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 341].

An interesting coincidence is observed in the names of the Sumerians and Horasmis. The ethnonym Shumer/Sumer historically goes back to the word Subar/Suar (Sumar/Sumer), and in the name Horasm is the same root Suar, but in a different dialectal pronunciation Huar, where the Türkic ar ‘people, men’ base has a definition sub/su/hu ‘water, river’. The Horasmis/Huarasmis were formed as a result of consolidation of the Subars/Suars/Huars with the Türkic Ases, they called their country not just Huaras, but Huarasm ‘my Huaras’, i.e. with an affix of an belonging -m.

The second ethnonyms also coincide in their base for Sumerians (Kangar) and Horasmis (Kangha), there is the same root kang, in Türkic ‘father, primogenitor’. In the word Kangar the second part is the Türkic ethnonym ar ‘people, men’, and in the word kangha -ha is the Persian plural index. The Kangs, i.e. Horasmis , the Persians in the Avesta called Kangha, and the Chinese called kangyui, i.e. 'Kangs'. Thus, the Sumerians and the Horasmis were ethnically related peoples, most likely, of a Türkic origin, in fact in the language of the Sumerian cuneiform tablets is a mass of Turkizms, and from the Horasmis formed the Türkic-speaking Kwarezmians.

Now let's go to the facts that prove the presence of close interaction of the Ancient Khoresm with the ancestors of Bulgars, who were living in the Western Siberia, Ural-Itil region, in the Northern Caucasus, in the Northern Pontic, and also, per the premise of the Danube Bulgarian scientists, and in the Pamir and Hindukush area.

Right at the beginning of this paragraph we mentioned the connections of the central Khoresm and Aral area with the extensive regions of Eurasia. Continuing this point, here is a citation of the S.P.Tolstov's opinion that by the ancient roads, blazed still in the Neolith, the Khoresm extended its hegemony to distant Kama area, where the influences of the Khoresm and Helleno-Scythian N. Pontic intersect [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 342]. In these regions lived the ancestors of the Bulgars.

The traces of the Türkic-speaking Horasmis are observed also in the Western Siberia, in the Ural-Itil region, in the Northern Caucasus: here lived the same Subars/Suars/Huars, and also the Ases, who formed Horasmis (Suar/Huar +As +m) as a result of consolidation in the Middle Asia. Archeologically, these regions are unified by the so-called pit-grave culture.

As was noted above, the Huarases had still the ethnonym kang, which the Sumerians applied in the form Kangar/Kungur. The traces of kang, in the form of Kangar/Kungur survived in the Kama area in the toponym Kungur.

In the Bulgar's memory were impressed the bright events connected with the aggressive campaigns of Alexander the Great. As the Ancient Khoresm had close links with the ancient Bulgars, the route of Khoresm by Alexander Macedonian also was well-known to the ancestors of the Bulgars.

Later, in end of the 1st millennium BC, in the Khoresm appear the coins, and also the silver vessels with inscriptions. Strangely enough, the majority of them showed up in the Ural-Itil region, in particular in the Kama area. Any attempts to decode these inscriptions on the basis of the Iranian languages did not give any results, they turned out to be Türkic [Muhammadiev A.G., 1995, 16-83]. Once again it demonstrates incontestably the Türkic-speaking of the Horasmis and of the main population of the Kama area at least in the 2nd and 1st millenniums B.C.

115. Parthian, Aryan, Sogdian, Kangaras, Greko-Baktrian, Kushanian, Eftalitian and Kimakian states and traces of their connection with the ancestors of the Bulgars.

Under the aegis of Khoresm solidified the nucleus of the Parthian empire, headed by one branches of the Horezmian Siyavushids [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 342].

In the 3rd century BC the Selevkids empire's Parthians (Pardys) subjects, in a fierce struggle against Persians and Greeks, created a strong state in the south and southeast of the Caspian Sea. During its blossom time it ruled the extensive area from Mesopotamia to the borders of India. In the 3rd century AD the Parthian state was replaced by the Persian-lingual Sasanids, that lasted until its capture by the Arabs in the 7th century AD [Diyakonov M.M., 1961, 5].

It should be noted at once that if the Parthians were Persian-lingual, they would hardly opposed the Persian-lingual rulers. Besides, the ethnonym Pardys is a Türkic word, it is formed from the Türkic word bar ‘have, riches’ by means of a Türkic affix of possession -dy/-ly. Bardy/Pardy means ‘rich, wealthy, plenty’. We see this Türkic affix of possession also in the ethnonyms Skydy/Skide (Scyth), Kumandy, Sakdy/Sogda. The ethnonym Pardy in Russian is used in the form Parfy/Parfyane, for the interdental sound [ð] (th) in the Old Russian was conveyed by the sound [f].

The ethnonym Pardy in its voiced version Bardy is spread in the Kama area. In the Perm area live now the Bulgaro-Tatars who call themselves Bardy or Bardym (with an affix of belonging).

The inhabitants of the Parthian state were in friendly relations with the Kwarezmians and Sogdians. The scientists attribute equally the coins and silver vessels with inscriptions to both the Kwarezmians, and to the Parthians (Pardys), the majority of these coins and vessels were found, as was noted above, in the Kama area where were rich deposits of silver. The inscriptions on them turned out to be Türkic.

Also here arises a conclusion that the Parthian state expanded its influence not only toward India, but also toward the Ural-Itil region. Hence, we can state about the presence, in the development of the Parthian state, of the ethno-political connections between the Middle Asia and the Ural-Itil region. Thus, the ancestors of the Itil Bulgars also closely interacted with the Pardys of the Middle Asia.

In the Ahaemenid Iran, together with Horasmian and Parthians, the Türkic-speaking Ary/Arians also occasioned to live. The historian of the 5th century BC Herodotus in his ”History” informs that in the Ahaemenid state the Parthians, Horasmis, Sogdians and Arians were in the sixteenth satrapy[ Herodotus, III, 93].

As we see from the Herodotus message, the Ars (Arians) are listed alongside with the other Türkic-speaking Horasmians, Parthians, and Sogdians who were a part of the Ahaemenid state and fought in the army of Xerx (aka Xerxes, Khšayâršâ - Translator's Note). Arians were armed with Mede bows, and all other weapontry they and the Horasmis, Parthians, and Sogdians had lake the Baktrians [ Herodotus 7, 66]. As was stated above, among the Medes and Baktrians were Türkic tribes.

The etnonym ar/er is a Türkic word with the meaning ‘people, men’. As a primary Türkic ethnonym it was very actively used, and besides, the ethnonym ar/arii is a components of the ethnonyms for both Sumers (Subars), and Horasmis (Huarases), Bulgars, Suars, Khazars, Sarirs, Tatars, Avars, Mishars, Salars, Uigurs. Hence, next to Türkic Horasmians, the Arians also should be recognized as Türkic-speaking, but some German scientists from these Ars deduced a mythical ”Aryan Race” (see para 30).

Probably alongside with the Horasmis' and Parthians' states also was an Ars/Arians state. The Ars/Arians were very closely connected with other Ars (Bulgars, Suars, etc.) in the Ural-Itil region. Therefore it should be recognized that their experience in the organization of the state was also known to the Bulgars.

Next to the Ars (Arians) and Horasmians, and Parthians are also noted the Sogdians, who formed the state Sogd in the 3rd century BC, with a capital Afrasiab (Samarkand).

In the historical literature are many cases of equating the ethnonyms Sogd/Sogdy and Sak/Saka [Dovatur A.I., etc., 1982, 197]. Above was stated that Sakas consisted mostly of the Türkic-speaking tribes (see para. 44). The ethnonym Sogdy historically goes back to the word Sak with a Türkic affix of possession -dy/-ly: Sogdy means ‘people with many Sakas’.

The Bulgars, certainly, made a use from the experience of creation the Sogdian state, which is indirectly proved by the similarity in one important toponym (Samar) both in the Itil region (city of Samara), and in the Middle Asia (Samar+kand).

The related to the Horasmians-Kangüys Kangarases (Huar + Ases = Kangar + Ases) in the 7th century BC controlled huge territories along the Enesey and in the Middle Asia. They also carried the ethnonyms similar to the Kangaras, Kangly and Kangüy, which are known in the Türkology as the inventors of the two-wheeled cart, in the 2nd century BC they created their empire. For a long time it was ruled from the Khoresm and Samarkand. The scientists surmise that the Kangarases created a culture which became known as the Tagar archeological culture. Kangarases formed as a result of blending of the Kangars (the ancestors of the Besenyos (Badjinaks)) and the Ases, who were living in the Ural-Itil region and in other regions. In one way or another they were somehow connected with the ancestors of the Bulgars.

Referring in the previous paragraphs to the Greko-Baktrian kingdom, we stated that in that kingdom a special place occupied the Baktrian -Toharian elite. First, the word baktr is a typical Türkic ethnonym with a meaning ‘people with gardens’: bak is 'garden', ar/er ‘people, men’. Secondly, above was an attempt to prove (see para. 46) that the Tochars/Togars/Taurs are Türkic-speaking people to whom some German scientists artificially ascribed the Persian language. The ethnonym Togar, together with a Hebrow plural affix -ma, in the form Togarmah/Dogarmah, is also recorded as Türkic in the Bible.

The tribes included in the Bulgarian mixture could not also avoid contacting the natives of the Kangaras and Bactria states.

In the 1st century BC Bactria, together with Sogd, becomes a center of the budding Kushan empire created by the Tochars and Usuns. Following the tradition of the Horasmis and Parthians, the Kushan empire, which included a significant part of the Middle Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India and Sintszyan (Eastern Turkestan occupied by communist China in 1949 and renamed to Sintszyan, i.e. ”New Territory” - Translator's Note), also had close connections with the Ural-Itil region.

The Indo-European scientists rate the Kushan, and the Tochars, and the Usun as Persian-lingual peoples, ostensibly these civilized settled farmers were Türkicized only in the 4th-6th centuries AD very quickly under an influence of the nomad Türks. Actually, the assimilation impacts not the local settled tribes, but the newcomer nomads. Therefore it is necessary to recognize that the Kushans, Tochars and Usuns were Türkic-speaking from the very beginning. The historians note that the ethnonyms Kusan, Tochar and Usun are different names of the same people [Bartold V.V., 1963, vol. 2, ch. 1, 175-177].

The ethnonym Kushan consists of the ethnonym Sün > Son> Shan with the definition ku 'light', compare Ku-man ‘white man’, where min is also a Türkic ethnonym. The Kushan has a phonetic variation Kusan. In the Ural-Itil region the Middle Asian [u] is pronounced as [o]. Therefore in the Itil region this word is recorded in the toponyms and hydronyms as koshan > kasan. Everywhere where ever lived the Kusans, appeared cities named Kasan and hydronyms Kasanchay > Kasansay (in the 5th-7th centuries AD in the Fergana valley) [Bartold V.V., 1963, vol 1, 212, 216, 219]. In the Itil region the traces of the Kusan > Koshan remain in the hydronym Kazansu and in the name of the city Kazan [Magazine ”Kazan”, 1998, ¹ 5-6, 107-111. On the geographical maps of the middle of the16th century the city is named Kasan.

These examples also show a presence in the Kushanian time of the ethno-state links between the Middle Asia and the Ural-Itil region, i.e. in beginning of the 1st millennium AD. But a serious research should be conducted: where from, and where to came the Kusans, and when? Could it be that the Kusans (Koshans) lived in the Itil region even before the rise of the Bulgars and the creation of the Bulgarian state?

The Usuns also formed from the Huns (Süns), but by admixture with the Ases: Asesün < Ussün < Usun. The Ases and Süns also lived in the Ural-Itil region, their traces remained in the name of the fortress Asly or Ashil, and in the name of the river Sün.

In the 4th century in the Kushan empire the power passed to the Ephtalites, who were ethnically the close relatives of the Kushans: the meaning the ethnonym Kushans (Ku-sans) is White Huns/Süns/Sans, and the Ephtalites in another way were called White Huns. The Ephalite state in the 6th century, under a pressure of the neighboring rulers gradually broke up. Their traces in the Ural-Itil region survived as the ethnonym Koshan, which was a former self-name of the Ephalites.

The following Türkic state related to the future Bulgars (and in particular, to the ancestors of the Western Siberian Bulgaro-Tatars) was the Kimak state. The main territory of that state was in the Western Siberia around the middle course of the river Irtysh, but its possessions reached to the lower flow of the Seyhun (Yincü (”Pearl”), Jaxartes, Yaxartes, Syr-Darya, Syrdarya - Translator's Note) river. In the Kimak state some Türkic tribes carried ethnonyms Kypchak, Tatar, etc. The etnonym Kypchak as the general name for the northern Türkic tribes was also used in the Ural-Itil region, later even Bulgars themselves used this general ethnonym. A penetration into the Ural-Itil region of the ethnonym Tatar begins in connection with the Mongolo-Tatar campaigns.

To recap this paragraph it should be stated that if all the named above peoples (Horasmis, Parthians, Sogds, Tochars, Usuns, Kushans, Ars/Arians) were Persian-lingual, if they were ostensibly Türkicized only after the ”arrival” the first Türks, they would not have preserved their former ethnonyms, they would have adopted the ethnonyms of the assimilating people. In reality all these listed peoples were Türkic-speaking from the very beginning, and had the closest contacts with the ancestors of the Bulgars, who lived in the Western Siberia, Ural-Itil region, and in the Northern Caucasus.

The population of all the above Türkic states had close contacts with the ancestors of the Bulgars in a broad sense of this word.

116. Scythian and Bospor states and their contacts with the ancestors of the Bulgars.

It is accepted that the Scythian state started developing in the 7th century BC in the Northern Pontic, its final consolidation is dated by the 5th century BC, it was located in the steppes between the estuaries of Danube and Don, including the Crimea steppe. Some scientists believe that the Scythians came to the Northern Pontic in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC from the Itil region where, per data of K.T.Laypanov and I.M.Miziev, formed the Türks. Other researchers believe that the Scythians came from the Middle Asia or Siberia, where in an antiquity also lived mostly Türkic-speaking tribes.

According to Herodotus, the author of the main source about the Scythians, the Scythian region was not limited to Northern Pontic, naturally, and also included the Middle Asia where lived the Sakas. The ethnonym of Sak/Saka was used as the Persian name for the Scythians. ”...the Persians called them Sacae, since that is the name which they give to all Scythians.” [ Herodotus 7, 64]. In the territory recognized by the historians, in the Northern Pontic area, the sources note a presence of various Scythians: Royal Scythians, nomadic Scythians, farming Scythians, plowmen Scythians, Helleno-Scythians, etc. In the various sources the presence of the Scythians is noted in the Itil region, and in the Siberia, and in the Asia Minor, they have comquered both the Media and Syria, and even the Palestine, etc.

In summary, in the huge territory of Eurasia the existence of only one people with a single language is totally impossible. Therefore the scientists came to a common opinion that the word Scyth is not an ethnonym, but a geographical name with a meaning ‘eastern non-Hellenes’, like the word Tatars was used by the Russians in the sense ‘eastern non-Russians’. Between Scythians were many nations. Therefore the drive of the Osetinologists to artificially create a uniform Scythian language with the Ossetic appearance is a thankless and vain task. There was no uniform Scythian language. Among the Scythians were multi-lingual nations. As we have labored to depict above (paragraphs 44-48), among the peoples called by the general name Scyth, the majority were Türkic-speaking nations.

Scythia also had regions where lived the ancestors of the Bulgars. These are the Northern Pontic, Northern Caucasus, and the Ural-Itil region. In these regions lived the ancestors of the Bulgars, commingled with other Türkic-speaking nations.

In the Northern Pontic as a result of unification of the cities in the Kerch and Taman peninsulas, in the middle of the 1st millennium AD was formed the Bospor state. As is known, in the 7th century BC there began the Greek colonization. The Greeks did not built the cities there in the empty places, they expanded the former natives' settlements. The Capital of the Bospor state was the city Panticapaeum (present Kerch). The largest city was Phanagoria. In this state in the 5th-4th centuries BC were also included the lands occupied by the Scythian tribes. In the 4th-3rd centuries BC the Bospor state was a major exporter of bread to the cities of Greece and Asia Minor. The export included cattle, fish, leather and slaves. In exchange from the Mediterranean were brought wine, olive oil, fabrics, metal products, ceramics, etc. A significant part of the imports was sold by the Bospor merchants to the steppe tribes of the N. Pontic, to the Scythians, Sarmatians, and others. The Bospor state had developed agriculture, cattle breeding, mining. The art in the Bospor state was an original mixture of the antique art culture brought by the Greeks with the culture of the local population.

In the 2nd century BC the Bospor state experienced a sharp social and economic crisis, aggravated by the increased pressure from the Crimean Scythian state and from the Sarmatians in the Kuban region. In the1st-2nd century AD this state prospered again, but in the 3rd century AD it became an object of an attack by the barbarous local tribes. Last strike for Bospor was the invasion of the Huns, who at the end of the 4th century destroyed the Bospor state [Shelov D.B., Lebedev V.A. BSE, 3 edition vol. 3, 290-291].

Our research have shown that in the N. Pontic long before the Greek colonization lived mostly the Türkic-speaking tribes, including the remote ancestors of the Bulgars. They named Black Sea punty/pünte ‘rich with food’, from the root bün/bun ‘soup, pottage’ with a Türkic possessive affix -tè/-t'/-dè/-d'/-lè/-ly.

The Greeks colonizers, in the place of the city Puntykapy ‘Ponty gate’ of the Türkic aborigines developed their city of Panticapaeum. If the puntikapy/pontikapey meant ‘Gate of Pontus - Black Sea’, in the same sense was used its synonym (or even antonym) Keresh/Kerch in the sense ‘inlet, pass’ to Pontus. From there came the other name for Panticapaeum, Keresh/Kerch.

After their colonizing in the 7th century BC, the Greeks reconstructed the city of the Hunogor aborigines, built by the Hunogor ancestors of Bulgars; this ethnonym is formed from two Türkic ethnonyms Hun (Süns) Ogar/Ugor. The last ethnonym also originally belonged to the Türks, much later it was adopted by the Hungarians (the ethnonym Vengr-Hungar comes from the words Hun and Ugor), and after that the ethnonym Ugor began to be applied as a general name fot the Finno-Ugrians. Thus, the city Phanagoria originally was called after its founders Hunugor/Honogur, and then the sound [h] was transformed by the Greeks to the sound [f]. In the result appeared the name Phanagoria. The Unogur/Onogurs were direct ancestors of the Bulgars, and Phanagoria became the capital of the Great Bulgaria.

117. Sarmatian, Alanian, Western-Hunnish, Avarian and Khazarian states and their contacts with the ancestors of the Bulgars.

The Scythia began to be called Sarmatia when in the 1st century AD the Scythians were displaced from the leadership by the Sarmatians. In the Sarmatian state the former polytechnic Scythian population also began to be called Sarmatian. The Sarmatians appear on the historical arena in the 3rd century BC, and until the 4th century AD they were prevailing tribes in the territory of the former Scythia, in the steppes from the r. Tobol in the east to the r. Danube in the west. In the Herodotus time the Sarmatians were called Sauromats; even then they consisted of a variety of tribes, among which an outstanding role played the Türkic-speaking Roxolans (aka Rhoxolans - Translator's Note) and Alans, Siraks, Aors, Yazygs, and Meots. The eastern Sarmatians had close contacts with the states of the Middle Asia, especially with Khoresm. From the 1st century AD the Sarmatians went for the military campaigns in the Southern Caucasus, then they appeared by the river Danube and settled near the border of the Roman empire. Separate groups of them, in particular, the Alans, together with the Huns reached the Spain and penetrated into Northern Africa.

In the 4th century AD the Sarmatians as the prevailing tribes in the old Scythian lands have been defeated by the Huns, who took the prevailing position, displacing the Sarmatians from the power.

The Sarmatians without any reason a priori are rated as Persian-lingual, and particularly Ossetian-lingual [Smirnov K.F., BSE, 3rd edition, vol. 22, 599], but they certainly were polylingual, and among them the Türks occupied a leading position ( see the 4-th chapter of the first part of this book).

In order to deny the Türkic-speaking of the majority of the Sarmatians, the Osetinologists even the indisputable Türks, like the Alans-Ases, Aorses (Avars), Yazygs haul to the Ossets.

Let's take, for example, the so-called Aorses. Why ”so-called”? Because such people with such an ethnonym does not and did not exist at all. The Aors is a Greek pronunciation of the Türkic Aor/Avar where os is the Greek nominal indicator. Therefore the assumption about the presence of the Aors tribes does not sustain a criticism. Aors is a Greek phonetic variation of the ethnonym Avar/Awar.

Among the Sarmatians also lived the Türkic-speaking ancestors of the Bulgars, these were the (Aorses) Avars, Yazygs, Alans -Ases, Ases/Yases, Suars, and maybe, the early Bulgars themselves.

As was already stated, among the Sarmatians in the leading position were the Alans -Ases, who lived compactly, especially in the Northern Caspian, N. Caucasia, and in the Azov region. In the central part of the Northern Caucasus in the 4th century AD they succeeded in the creation of the Alanian state. Having a strong army, the Alans campaigned in the Crimea, Southern Caucasus, Asia Minor and Media.

But in the 4th century the prevailing position passed from the hands of the Alans into the hands of the Huns. Their further destiny is connected with the Huns, and then with the Khazars. In the 9th-10th centuries Alans once again succeeded in the creation of the state, which played a very large role in the mutual relations between the Khazarian Kaganate and Byzantium. In the 1238-39 the main portion of the Alania was seized by the Mongolo-Tatars, and the rest hid in the central Caucasus mountains and survived as Karachais and Balkarians, who till now call themselves Alans-Ases.

The Alans-Ases a priori are recognized as Ossetian-lingual which ”is proved” by the false arguments. In reality, by all available ethnogenetical factors, the Alans -Ases were Türkic-speaking ( see 5-th chapter of the first part of this book for detail).

The Alans occupied a territory a significant part of which fell under the Bulgarian control. Therefore they closely interacted with the ancestors of the Bulgars, and the most portion of the Sarmatians and the early Alans became the direct ancestors of the Bulgars. Since the 6th-7th centuries, Alans directly interacted with the Bulgars.

The future Bulgarian regions from the 4th century AD occasioned to fall under the power of the Western Hunnish state. In the Europe from the 4th century the Huns occupied a prevailing position among the multiplicity of the Türkic tribes. At the end of the century, having placed the Caucasus under their control, they made incursions to Syria and Cappadocia, took the control of the Pannonia into their hands, and raided the Eastern Roman empire.

The Hun's tribal union reached its greatest territorial expansion and power with Atilla at the helm (ruled in the 434-453). In the 451 Huns intruded in the Northern Italy and Gallia, but in the Catalaun fields their might was been broken by the Romans, Vestgoths and Franks. After the death of Atilla (453 AD) the Hun's union broke up. But they entered the history as the initiators of organizing the emancipation movement of peoples against the Roman empire. Among the Huns, alongside with the other Türkic-speaking tribes, also lived the Bulgars/Bolgars.

After the death of Atilla the initiative to unify the Türkic-speaking tribes passed to the Türks, Alans and Avars.

The Avars, recorded in the Greek sources as Aorses (Aor/Auar and plus the Greek nominal indicator -os), and in the Chinese sources as Yantsai, by the 2nd century AD settled in the huge territory from the Aral Sea to the Caucasus, and were a part of the Sarmatians and Alans, but in the 4th century gained an exceptional growth, and created the Avarian state which covered the territory of the Western Caspian, Northern Pontic, part of Danube lands and Balkans.

In 20es of the 7th century the power in the Northern Pontic passes to the Bolgars/Bulgars, who created the Kurbat's (called distorted Kubrat by the author - Translator's Note) Bulgar state known in the history as Great Bulgaria. But as a result of unfriendly policy by the Byzantine, and assaults by the Arabs and Khazars fell into decay in 70es of the 7th century. In spite of it, the Kurbat's Great Bulgaria played a major role in the creation of the Itil Bulgar state.

In the middle of the 7th century in the Lower Itil region and in the Caucasus, as a result of the disintegration of the Western Türkic state, emerged the Khazarian Kaganate. In 70es the Khazars subordinated a part of the Azov region Bulgars. By the beginning of the 8th century they controlled Azov region, most of the Crimea, steppe and forest-steppe territories of the Eastern Europe up to the Dnieper river, and also Azerbaijan. The eastern authors recorded that the Azerbaijan was the state of the Khazars [Firidun Agasyoglu, 2000, 25]. In the 1st half of the 8th century, after the invasion of the Arabs through the Daryal a part of the Khazars accepted Islam, and another part in the Northern Dagestan accepted Judaism. Within the 8th century, as a result of strong ties with the Byzantium, among a part of the Khazars spread Christianity [Pletneva S.A., BSE, 3rd edition., vol. 28, 163].

In the 8th century the Biars/Bilyars of the Ural-Itil region, who later created their state Biarm, tried to resist Khazaria. But the main force opposing the aggrandizement of the Khazars became the Old Rus state, which in the 10 c. crushed the Khazarian Kaganate, and naturally a big role played the fact that in the 9th-10th centuries against the Khazars, and especially against their Judaism, also started rising the Itil Bulgars.

The experience of all the above Türkic states was utilized in the creation of the Itil-Bulgarian state.

Pre-Bulgarian State Biarmia

118. General information.

About the Biarmia/B'yarmia from the end of the 9th century has accumulated a large bibliography. In the Scandinavian sagas this country or an area in the north of the Eastern Europe is called Biyarmaland/Biyarmland (Bjarmaland). From the Scandinavian sagas the Biarmland becomes known as a rich and economically advanced country by the 8th century. Considering that such growth and political rise of the state with that technology of producing the material goods needed a long time, and maybe, even the centuries, the time of incipience of the state Biarmia can be attributed to approximately the middle of the 7th century. Per some data, this state could have existed even earlier.

The question about the ethnic composition of the Biarmia is not solved finally till now, even though a huge literature is devoted to this problem. The majority of the scientists class the Biarmians as Finno-Ugrians, in particular as Komi-Zyryans, Komi-Permians or Hanty-Mansians. Is visible the aspiration of reputable scientists to see in the Biarmians the Indo-Europeans, and in particular the Arians-Germans.

When during research pops out any data about the affinity of the Biarmians with the Türks or Bulgars, about placing the Biarmians' lands in the territory of the Itil Bulgaria, the scientists immediately under various pretexts abandon the matter, considering these arguments to be only speculative [Melnikova E.A., 1986, 179]. This should not be surprising, because this is a general tendency rooted in the Europocentrism. This also happened with the studies of the Orhono-Yenisei inscription: they were investigated for any alternate language, but finally the matter came to a conclusion that they are written in the Türkic language. (To give a full credit to the blessed Russian Academy of Sciences, if Vilhelm Thomsen did not interfere, it would have taken another couple of centuries, if ever, to sort it out, and that with the millions of people there speaking Türkic languages as their first language. Then, it may take a while longer for the facts to seep down to the Great Russian Encyclopedia - Translator's Note)

We are convinced that here also with the ethnic attribution of the Biarmians is happening the same, they turned out to be Türkic-speaking. It is proved by the arguments on favor of the opinion about their Türkic-speaking, they are supported by more real reasons, than the other hypotheses.

First, the name Biarm itself is formed by combination of the Türkic elements in accordance with the Türkic model. In a composite word Biarm the first part is bi/pi/bay/bek ‘rich, owners, sacred’, which is the Türkic primary ethnonym, and the second part ar/er/ir also is the Türkic ethnonym designating ‘people, men’; Biar means ‘rich people, owners, good, sacred people’. The word Biar in the Türkic language has phonetic variations Biger (Bek-er)/Baylar/Bilyar. Now remains to explain from where comes the ending -m in the word Biarm. This is the Türkic indicator of belonging personal singular case. The Türks, who have an especially respective attitude toward the people, objects and phenomena, say not simply Èti 'father', avyl 'village', il 'motherland', but with obligatory affix of belonging of the personal singular case: Ètiem ‘My daddy’, avylym ‘my village’, ilem ‘my motherland’. So here in our case the Biars called their country not simply Biar, but Biarm ‘My Biar’. (Compare words Huarasm/Khoresm means 'My Suaras/Huaras’; Kyrym is ‘My possessions’; Bardym is ‘My (people) Bardy’, etc.).

Secondly, the tribes named Biar/Biger/Bilyar/Baylar lived in the Ural-Itil region from time immemorial. Apparently, still in the 7th-6th centuries BC they had the ethnonym Iirk, which is a synonym of the ethnonym Biger/Bilyar/Biar/Baylar: and Biar means ‘rich, owners, good, sacred people’, and the word Iirk was used in the same sense: iyi is ‘good, sacred, rich, owner’, erk comes from the word erkek ‘men, people’. The clue is that the historian of the 5th century BC Herodotus tells that Argippeians and Iirks live beside somewhere to the east of the main Scythians. The scientists are placing these tribes in the Ural-Itil region.

The Biars/Baylars/Bigers/Bilyars participated in the formation of the Bulgaro-Tatars and Bashkirian peoples. The Udmurts their Tatar neighbors call Bigers (bek-er) until nowdays, Bashkirs consider Bilyars/Biars to be the Bashkirian tribes. Knowing about their close contacts with the ancient states of the Middle Asia (see below), it is possible to suggest that Bilyars could have their state long before the existence of the Itil Bulgaria state.

Such a pre-Bulgarian or ante-Bulgarian state was formed by the Biarams/Bilyars. It was called Biarm, and its capital, apparently, was the city Bilyar. This state had also close ties with the Scandinavian countries. That is why its bright traces were preserved in the Scandinavian sources.

Thirdly, wherever it was tried to place the Biarm, even completely tearing it off from the Perm lands where from the time immemorial also lived the Türkic-speaking Bulgars, and the Biars, would be unreasonable, for it is impossible to explain the toponym Perm without consideration given to the phonetic structure of the word Biarm.

Fourthly, the Perm lands and the Kama area and the Middle Itil region as a the whole, is the optimum region for the early states there. Long before our era this region was closely linked with the Ancient Khoresm. On this occasion S.P.Tolstov wrote that ”by the ancient, blazed still in the Neolith paths, the Khoresm extends its hegemony to the remote Kama area..., where the influences of the Khoresm and the Helleno-Scythian N. Pontic intersect” [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 342]. Later the Parthian state (3rd century BC - 3rd century AD) and the Kushanian kingdom (1st century BC - 4th century AD) had close contacts with the Kama area and the Middle Itil region. A great number of the Khorezmian coins, Khorezmian and Parthian silver vessels with inscriptions found in the Kama area once again prove that the inhabitants of the Kama area knew well the traditions of forming the strong states. The fascinating fact is that the inscriptions on the coins, on the Khorezmian and Parthian vessels found in the Kama area turned out to be in Türkic language [ Muhammadiev A.G., 1995, 36-80].

Fifthly, the Biars/Bilyars and Bulgars spoke the same language: Bilyars had a q-dialect, and Bulgars had a k-dialect. At the end of the 9th and the beginning of the10th centuries the Bulgars seized power from the Biars/Bilyars, the capital did not move, the ruling center sat in the same place in the Bilyar city. And the Arabian embassy of the 922 AD the Bulgars received in the Bilyar city on the river Sülcha (instead of the Haldja as was originally transliterated from the records of Ibn-Fadlan). The Bulgars only after their reception of the Arabian embassy started a construction of the new capital Bulgar.

Bulgars seized power in Biarmia, but succeeded in securing only in its southwestern part, while the north-eastern areas were seized by the Novgorod realm, but there the name of the Biarm country survived as Perm. For the Scandinavians, who did not feel any difference between the Biarams and Bulgars, the country Bulgar seemed as Biarmland, and consequently they continued to call the Itil Bulgaria Biarmland.

With a view to the all above, M.Zakiev in the middle of the 80ies in the 20th century investigated some materials for the Biarmia, and came to a conclusion that the Biarmia was a pre-Bulgarian state. With this he is also supported by the opinion of the reputable Turkologist of the 19th century. N.I.Zolotnitsky, who saw very close connections between the Biarmia and the Bulgars [Zolotnitsky N.I., 1884, 47-48]. In M.Zakiev's opinion, as a result of the transfer of power from the hands of Biars (Bilyars) into the hands of the Bulgars, the Biarmian state began to be called Bulgaria. For the Scandinavian sagas the Biarmland remained Biarmland also after it began to be called a Bulgarian state.

The problems of Biarmland were addressed by the Komi-Permian and Hanty-Mansi historians. There were organized special societies for study the history of the Biars, and they are proud that their own people are related to the famous ancient state Biarmia.

The young Bulgaro-Tatar historians following M.Zakiev started enthusiastically studying this subject. But in the 1996 the newly minted Tataro-Tatarists, to show that modern Tatars are the descendants of the Mongolo-Tatar conquerors, decided to exempt the Tatar history from the M.Zakiev's works on Biarmia; strangely enough, for them the Biarmia was an unprecedented phenomenon of the history. (Did they, considering themselves to be the real historians, read nothing and did not hear about Biarmia?!). These newly appeared supporters of the Tataro-Tatar concept started defaming the young historians who found new material and reasons in favor of the Türkic-speaking Biars, claiming that they are M.Zakiev's, who is not a historian by education, supporters. This has done a new harm to the task of studying the ethnic roots of the Bulgaro-Tatars. The Tataro-Tatarists here again strayed away from the general direction in the development of the Tatar history, they were distracted by their aspiration to derive the modern Tatars from the Mongolo-Tatar roots.

119. Localization of Biarmia.

The location of Biarmia country still remains disputable. The modern Russian historical science recognizes that ”Biarmia, a country in the extreme northeast of the European part of Russia, famous for its furs, silver and mammoth bone, it is known from the Scandinavian and Russian legends of the 9-13 centuries. Some historians consider that Biarmia or Biarmland is the Scandinavian name for the coast of the White Sea, the Dvina lands; the others identify Biarmia with the Great Perm” [BSE, edition 3, vol. 3, 292]. It should be added that many historians already in the beginning of the 19th century ascribed to the Biarmia all the extensive region, beginning from the Northern Dvina and the White Sea and finishing with the river Pechora, into which were the Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Vyatka and Perm provinces [Encyclopaedic lexicon, 1836, 66; Karamzin N.M., 1842, 22]. Here N.M.Karamzin also asserts that ”the name of our Perm is one with the name of the ancient Biarmia” [ Karamzin N.M., 1842, 22].

There also were other hypotheses. So, the author of first geographical map Fra-Mauro in 1459 placed the country Permia to the north of the Mordva, next to the people Meschiera (Mishars - M.Z.) [Ürchenkov Â., 1995, 77]. Olaus Magnus in 1539 has drawn Biarmia on the Kola peninsula near the lake Imandra (albus lacus) near the northwestern coast of the White Sea [Savelieva E.A., 1983, 24]. And on the map of Sweden and Norway published in Amsterdam in the 1631, Biarmia is also shown in the same place. Familiar only with this viewpoint, the supporter of the Tataro-Tatar concept M.Ahmetzyanov reprinted the map of Olaus Magnus in the magazine ”Idel” (¹ 3, 1996) and voiced against the M.Zakiev's opinion about the ”Biarmia - Bulgar”, defending the concept that the Tatars ostensibly came to that region only as Mongolo-Tatar conquerors.

There is a group of scientists who located Biarmia in the Northern Ladoga and Karelia. Some people suggested a viewpoint according to which Biarmia was located in the lower flow of the Northern Dvina or in the Kama area [Melnikova E.A., 1986, 197]. A further research lead the scientists to the Biarmia occupying extensive territories, from the Ladoga and Suzdal, and to the Urals.

The most wide circulation gained the identification of the Biarmia with the Perm, and the Biarmians with the Komi-Zyryans and Komi-Permians. An impulse to such assumption provides F.Stralenberg in his work ”Das Nord und Oestliche Theil von Evropa und Asia”, published in the 1730. ”From his words the prase for ancient Perm-Biarmia passed into the Russian science, where one of the first proponents of it was not any other but Lomonosov. Famous Finnish scientists, who laid the foundation for the scientific research in this area of questions, Sjögren, Castren, Evropaeus did not hesitate to join to the hypothesis that had opened so flattering glory about the past of the Perm tribe” [Tiander Ê., 1901, 16]. For the Finnish scientists it was very important, because Komi-Zyryans are also Finno-Ugric people.

The supporters of identification of the Biarmia with the Perm started believing that Komi-Zyryanian language, whose carriers lived in the Perm region, even was a source of an origin of the word perm. In their opinion, Perm goes back to the Komi-Zyryanian parima, which consists of the elements bi-ur-mu where bi is 'fire', ur is 'fiber', mu is 'ground', as a whole biurmuparima means ‘country of flaming (red) squirrel’. This line is cited by S.K.Kuznetsov, but he himself disagrees with it [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 58] because this etymology is based on a recognition that the word Perm ostensibly historically goes back to the ethnonym Komi-Permian. But scientists have incontestably proved that on the contrary, the word Permian goes back to the toponym Perm.

Having studied the available materials closely, N.M.Karamzin connects Biarmia to the Perm in a broad sense of this word. A first in a history he gives a more plausible map of Biarmia [Karamzin N.M., 1842, 108-109]. To acquaint the reader with it, we reproduce here this map again.

The hypothesis Biarm-Perm, thus, became an axiom for the historians. But in the beginning of the 20th century scientists started to work against this hypothesis, severely questioning it.

120. Concept Biarm-Perm.

As is known, the teaching about the extraordinary rich country Biarmland arose and was developed before the recognition of the concept Biarm-Perm (i.e. the concept that Perm or the Kama area was the major part of the Biarm country, that therefore the toponym Perm historically goes back to the word Biarm) from the analysis of the western, and mostly Scandinavian, sources. The absence of alternate, especially of the local and eastern sources, has caused that some scientists started criticizing and proving the inconsistency of the Biarm-Perm concept.

Per the K.Tiander's words, the dogma ”Biarm-Perm” was shaken as the systematic processing of the materials related to the Biarmia and Perm advanced. Against this concept voiced well-known historians S.M.Soloviev and D.I.Ilovaysky, experts on the Perm history A.Dmitriev, I.N.Smirnov and others. ”The hypothesis about once famous Perm-Biarmia became a legend not deserving the former trust any more. The arguments given against the identification of the Perm with the Biarmia center around the absence of any finds that would be able to serve as a material evidence of the lost culture, of the fabulousness depicted in the Scandinavian sagas, and the absence of the proof for the etymological connection between the names Perm and Biarmia” [Tiander Ê., 1901, 17]. K.Tiander's soul does not lend itself to the connection of such rich and famous country as Biarmia with some non-Indo-European, eastern peoples. Therefore in etymological relation he deduces the word Biarm from the German languages: barm (barm/berm) that means ‘coast, boat board’. The Finns ostensibly borrowed it from the German languages and then started to use it in relation to the people, the Ruses took it from the Finns, and distorted it to Perm [Ibid, 23-24].

More resolutely declined the Perm-Biarmia hypothesis S.K.Kuznetsov,. who analysed many foreign and domestic works about Biarmia and Perm, and come to a conclusion that Perm and Biarmia are completely different geographical values [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 59]. In his opinion, the words Perm and Biarm have a different origin: the word Perm was formed from the ancient northern words: bi is 'city' + armr is ‘hand, bay, gulf’ [Ibid, 58].

S.K.Kuznetsov is continuing that not a single feature of the Biarmia cited in the sagas is not confirmed by the data in the extensive region from the White Sea and Northern Dvina to the Perm and Pechora. Therefore S.K.Kuznetsov suggests to search for Biarmia in another place, but not in this extensive region [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 92]. Further, he recommends the Scandinavian and Finnish scientists to completely reconsider the question about the Biarmia, because ”at their disposal will undoubtedly be the materials inaccessible to me. May be the joined efforts will then bring us to a unanimous conclusion that Biarmia on the banks of the Northern Dvina and within the limits of the Great Perm is a mirage, a scientific error with which it is time to part once and for all” [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 95].

In spite of the fact that S.K.Kuznetsov in 1905 tried to prove the falsity of the Perm-Biarmia hypothesis, some scientists continued to believe its validity even after that. So, A.Sobolevsky in 1929 in a small article comes to a conclusion that ”Biarmia of the Scandinavians is not any other, than the Perm on N. Dvina and its inflows” [Sobolevsky À., 1929, 26]. Like the other scientists, A.Sobolevsky studied Biarmia only with the Scandinavian sources, and he studied her, naturally, not to find out the history of the eastern peoples, but solo the Indo-Europeans. Therefore he tries to see in the Biarmians only the Indo-Europeans, in his terminology, the Aryans [Sobolevsky À., 1929, 25].

The research of the middle of the 20th century gave many convincing facts which allowed to come to undeniable conclusions, first, about the presence in the Kama area of suitable conditions for creation of such a rich, well-known state as Biarmia, secondly, about the formation there of a quaint linkage center connecting the Türkic worlds of the Eastern Europe and Middle Asia, which in turn had close ties with the West, South and North.

It should be noted that the way between the Middle Asia and Kama area was blazed still in the Neolith (in the 5th-3rd millenniums BC). It facilitated the contacts between the Kama area and the Ancient Khoresm in the Aral area, which was a link between the world of the northern Euro-Asian steppes, the mountainous countries of the Near East and southern part of the Middle Asia, and the northern Indian lowland, it was a knot where intersected the eastern Mediterranean, Indian and N.European elements [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 341]. Thus, the Kama area still before our era was closely connected to the remote countries which formed the states were very early.

The hegemony of the Ancient Khoresm was recognized not only by the peoples of the Kama area, but also by the Avars (Aorses) and Alans-Ases of the Northern Caspian and N. Caucasia [Ibid, 342]. Together with the Kwarezmians had close contacts with the Kama area the Parthians (Pardy/Bardy), Kushans/Kosans/Kazans (White Huns), Usuns, Tochars, Süns/Huns, Balkars, Balkashes/Balkases, etc. All these peoples which created their famous states, were Türkic-speaking; hence, in the Kama area then also lived the Türkic-speaking tribes and peoples.

In the S.P.Tolstov's suggestion, the Middle Asian peoples maintained close contacts with the peoples of the Kama area because of the furs. A closer study of these contacts shows that the principal reason were the Kama area silver products, which the Kamians traded with the Scandinavians, and with the Middle Asian peoples [Bader O.N., Smirnov A.P., 1954, 5-25]. These were the reasons for the Biarmia gaining its reputation as the country rich in silver, gold and metal products.

Scientists noted that the Khorezmian silver coins, and the Khorezmian, Parthian and Kushan silver bowls with inscriptions were mostly found in the Kama area, in the fields of the village Bardym, whose inhabitants call themselves with the ethnonym bardy ‘prosperous’, which coincides with the name of the Middle Asian people Pardy/Bardy.

The inscriptions on the Kama area, Khorezmian and Parthian silver coins and bowls for a long time were studied through the aid of the Iranian languages, but to no avail; they turned out to be Türkic [Muhammadiev A.G., 1995, 36-80].

It should be repeated that the Türkic way of calling the country with the singular personal affix of belonging -m also passed from the Middle Asia (Horasm/Huarasm/su-ar-as-m) to the Kama area (Biarm/Bardym).

Thus, among the historians of different orientations was ongoing a distinctive fight to recognize the Biarmians as Finno-Ugrians, Aryans or the Türks. But, as we just saw, in favor of the Türkic-speaking Biarmians exist a preponderance of the reasons. All the above-stated proves the adequacy of the Biarm-Perm concept, which confirms the reality of the hypothethis that the Biarm was a pre-Bulgarian state.

121. Coincidence of some historical facts in the Biarmia and Bulgars.

Still in the middle of the 19th century the historical literature about Biarmia and Perm had conjectures about a concordance of some Biarmian events with the historical facts of the Itil Bulgaria. So, S.K.Kuznetsov cites the capital work of Strinngolm [Viking Campaign, state system, habits and customs of Scandinavians, 1858]: ”About the Biarmian state it is known that it fell at about 1236 during the intrusion of Chingis-khan … and then was subjugated by the Tsar Ivan Vasiljevich at the end of the 15th century” [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 86]. From this phrase any historian of the Itil Bulgaria will draw a conclusion that all these facts coincide with the date of the fall of the Bulgarian state and the first capture by Ivan of the 3rd Kazan Khanate, the successor of the Itil Bulgaria.

Besides, still in the 1878 N.I.Zolotnitsky expressed an opinion that the words Bulgar, Bilyar, Biger, Bular and Biar(mia) ascend back to the same root. He considered as the initial version the word Biger (Bieker) ‘high, great land’, from here he deduces the version Biar to which, in the N.I.Zolotnitsky's opinion, the Finns and Komi added their own Zyryano-Permian or Finnish maa 'land'. If one of the phonetic version of this word, namely the Biar, correlate with the name of the whole country, that, obviously, would explain the name of the mysterious Biarmia, which possessed fabulous riches and extensive trade, the Biarmia about which the Scandinavian and Byzantian annals give most confusing news not confirmed by any historical evidence and not applicable to the present Perm [Zolotnitsky N.I., 1884, 47-49]. This passing remark of N.I.Zolotnitsky remained not heard at all.

In the 1881 A.P.Ivanov also was close to a conclusion about necessity of likening the Biarmia with the Itil Bulgaria. From the factual data, A.P.Ivanov comes to a conclusion that the separate Perm culture did not exist: ”When the historical autonomy and trading prevalence of the Bulgaro-Bilyarian land stopped, also stopped the import from there of the metal products into the Chudian north” [Ivanov A.P., 1881, 34-35]. (”Chud” is a traditional initially Rusian, and then Russian moniker for the Finnish Veps, still widely used even in the scientific literature, from the Slavic ”chud” - ”strange, mysterious, unknown” - Translator's Note)

The extensive article of S.K.Kuznetsov pointed to many features of the Biarmia comparable to the features of the Itil Bulgaria [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 95]. But he himself not only does not think of the possibility of equating Biarmia with the Itil Bulgaria, but even tries to prove the opposite.

In the 1984 in connection with the study of the former ethnonyms of the Itil Tatars, and namely the ethnonyms Suas and Biger, I have also stated the considerations about a relation of the Biarmia to the Itil Bulgaria [Zakiev M.Z., 1984; Zakiev M.Z., 1986, 54-60].

122. Identification of Biarmia with the Itil Bulgaria according to the material culture.

In the sources such an identification is carried out in several aspects.

For the begining, the Biarmia was a rich and cultural country, which had trading and military contacts with the Scandinavian and other peoples. As it was stated above, within the limits of the N. Dvina and Perm such country did not exist. The time of the Biarmia formation in the Scandinavian sagas is defined as the 7th century. The Itil Bulgaria as a state developed later. But these two countries in the Scandinavian sagas are described as a single country under the name Biarmland which was advanced, civilized, rich, had trading and military contacts with the all known then countries of the Eurasia.

Biarmia was famous for its furs, silver, metal products and mammoth bone. In the Itil Bulgaria these also served as subjects of trade. Bulgars were skilful in treating furs. The squirrel pelts also served as a monetary tokens, from there also comes the Bigero-Bulgaro-Tatarian word tien with a meaning 'squirrel' and 'penny'.

The sagas tell that Novgorodians, and probably, the Scandinavians also, were receiving silver from the Biarmia, hence, the Biars were already manufacturing silver products which also were traded to the Middle Asia Kwarezmians, Pardys (Parthians) and Kushans (see para. 31). We know that later in the Itil Bulgaria also was a special group of Bulgars who in the Rus annals were called silver Bulgars, in the Arabian sources were called Nuhrat Bulgars. Nuhrat in Arabic means 'silver'. The word nuhrat started to be used as an ethnonym first for a part of the Bulgars, and nowdays is used by a part the Tatars living in the basin of the r. Chepts.

Probably it was not by accident that the silver coins and silver bowls with inscriptions, considered to be ancient Khwarezmian, were found mostly in the Kama area, and apparently, they were manufactured there in proximity to the silver sources. In fact, in the Kama area still long before our era dominated the Kwarezmians (Horasmis).

Both for the Biarmia, and for the Itil Bulgaria were typical the manufacture of metal products. As was already noted, after ransacking of the Itil Bulgaria in 1236 the metal products ceased to flow from the Biarmia to the Scandinavia.

The trade in the products from the mammoth bone also was a typical occupation for the Itil Bulgaria also. It is also noted in the Middle Asian sources [Abur-Rajhan Mohammed ibn Ahmed Al-Biruni, 1963, 163]. The territory of the former Biarmia, and then of the Bulgaria was very rich in mammoth bone, but in the top layers they already had for a long time been collected and used, and as the construction of the KamAZ (Soviet national track plant in the 1970es - Translator's Note) have shown, they survived only at the big depths.

Some scientists were puzzled that Biarmians were able to conduct orderly siege operations of the fortified cities, they had cavalry [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 45]. If under the Biarmland the Scandinavian sagas mean the Bulgaria, or the Bulgaria is considered to be a successor state of Biarmia, such astonishment would be completely removed.

123. Identification of Biarmia with the Itil Bulgaria according to spiritual culture.

In the Scandinavian sagas about Biarmia and its population, is described an idol of the Biarmian deity posted inside a sacred fence. It was made from a tree, on its a neck was a precious necklace, and in the lap it held a bowl with coins. Near it was a kurgan formed from dirt mixed with coins thrown by the prayers. In the sagas the Scandinavian robbers took from the idol and kurgan many precious coins [Sobolevsky À., 1929, 25]. As it was noted, A.Sobolevsky links the Biarmian idol with the stone image of Eurasian Scythian steppes, classofying Scythians as Aryans by the then scientific tradition. In his opinion, the Biarmians could be recognized as Aryans, especially that the name of the Biarmian deity Yomala ostensibly has the Aryan root yama, which in ancient Indian language means ‘underworld deity’. Moreover that the Chudian (i.e. Vepsian - Translator's Note) gods ”live in chasms”, as is said in the initial Rus annals of the 1071. It is easy to see that this guess is built on an accidental coincidence of the theonymic roots of the Biarmians and and ancient Indians. ( For a discourse on theonymic roots, click here)

In reality, the Biarmian idol reminds the Scytho-Türkic (Bigero-Kypchak) stone image with a bowl and a necklace, and with a kurgan near it formed from the dirt mixed with coins thrown by the worshippers. Besides, the word yomala (the name of the Biarmian deity) in the Bigero-Bulgaro-Tatarian language means ‘flattering, praying, insincerely praise’, which matches one of purposes for the blessing the people in respect to the deity.

If the Scandinavians took from the idol and kurgan many jewelry and coins, these coins sooner or later would be found in the Scandinavian countries. And they really were found. So A.V.Fomin tells ”in the most detailed publications of the coin treasuries of the 9th-11th centuries Sweden, the Bulgarian mintings are recorded on a regular basis. Now was prepared a work by G.Risling about the Bulgarian monetary mint” [Fomin A.V., 1988, 148].

S.K.Kuznetsov cites a Scandinavian legend that either in the Biarmia, or behind it is located ”an ”imaginary country Jotunheim, a country of giants, a fatherland of natural horrors and malicious magic” [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 1]. A legend of the same content is cited by the Arab travelers describing the Itil Bulgaria. So, Abu Hamid al-Garnati, after his 1135-1136 trip to Bulgars, writes that in the land of Bulgars and Bashkirds he saw (apparently, heard) a man from the descendants of the giants: ”The malik of the Bulgars made for him a chain armour which he carried with him to the war in a carriage. And his iron helmet was like a big kettle… The Türks respected and esteemed him and when the saw him coming towards them, they disperse, saying: ”This is our God angry with us” [Travel …, 1971, 43, 60-61].

The saga-tellers with the historical motives, apparently, well envisaged the Biarmia and knew that there lived the Türkic-speaking nation, for in the sagas, the Novgorod leader Burislav (?) together with the Biarmians battles against the Scandinavians, but after the battle all of them return to the Türkic country (to Turkey), i.e. to the Biarmia. The composers of the sagas also knew that Biarmia (Bulgaria) later has replaced by the Tataria [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 25, 45]. For in the saga that tells about the fantastic Biarmia, the composers of the later saga frequently mentions the Gardarika and Tataria, and the Tatar Khan Menelay [Ibid, 25].

124. Are traces of Biarmia connections with Scandinavia in the history of Bulgaria?

From the Scandinavian sagas, we know that such connections were. Were they in a history of the Biarmia-Bulgaria? We shall try to answer this question.

As the sagas tell, the Scandinavians and Biarmians maintained mostly friendly trade relations. One of the episodes of the friendly ties was that once to the Norway king Hakon ”came many Biarmians who escaped from the East driven by the Tatar's raids; he converted them to Christianity and gave them the so-called Malanger Gulf to settle” [Kuznetsov S.K., 1906, 47]. This tradition of resettlement of the Biars-Bulgars to the West in emergency, maybe, lead to the resettlement of the Kipchak Khanate Tatars to the Lithuania, when were formed the so-called Lithuanian, Polish and Byelorussian Tatars.

Thus, even those sagas which found their way into the Russian historiography have enough facts about Biarmia from which it can be confidently regarded as a Türkic-speaking country and the progenitor of the Itil Bulgaria.

If the Biarmia is a direct progenitor of the Itil Bulgaria, then in the history of the Itil Bulgaria should be traces of her connection with the northern peoples. The written sources of the Bulgars proper, and then also of the Tatars were ruthlessly destroyed, therefore it is necessary to turn to the Arabo-Persian historical literature about the Bulgars and the northern peoples; it is known that information about the northern peoples came to the East through the Bulgars. B.N.Zahoder on this occasion writes: ”The first and most essential source of information about the North, undoubtedly, for eastern geography were the Bulgars, who had permanent and deep connections with the northern peoples” [Zahoder B.N., 1967, 59]. The Bulgars call the northern peoples with a general name Isu (Visu), which reminds the name of Icelanders, the ‘inhabitants of the ice country’. In addition, they knew peoples Yura (Ügrs) ‘Coastal People’. The last presumably referred to the population of the White Sea coast. Ibn-Fadlan in 922 wrote that, according to the Malik of Bulgars, ”behind his country for a distance of three months of way are the people calle Visu” [Ibid, 61]. ”The Bulgars carry to the country Visu and Üra goods on the sledges drawn by the dogs over snowdrifts, and the people go with the skis. In the Visu country the night is so short that inhabitants do not see a darkness, then in another season the night becomes so long that there is no light” [Zahoder B.N., 65, 67].

Thus, both Biars and Bulgars knew well the northern countries and were in close contacts with their peoples, especially with the people Isu, which were taken as Scandinavian, and then also as the Icelandic peoples. It shows once again that the Biarmia country really existed, and she had a direct relation with the Itil Bulgaria. But what was this relation? Before answering this question, we shall return to the Biarm-Perm hypothesis.

125. Is Perm related to Biarm?

Above we saw that some scientists, from the archeological and other data, came to a conclusion about a full falsity of equating the Biarm country with Perm. They try to prove this precept by ostensibly finding no traces of the Biarm culture in the Perm region. Meanwhile this region is the autochthonic land of the Biarmian silver and other metals that became a subject of mercantile trade of the Kama area with the Scandinavia, Middle Asia, and other countries, due to which the ancient peoples of the Middle Asia maintained close contacts with the Kama area. Therefore to deny completely any connections of the Perm and Biarmia would also be wrong.

To the aforesaid we shall add that, first, the origin of the word Perm from the word Biarm, the name of the Biarmia state, is not in doubt. Second, the Perm territory coincides in part with Biarmia, or more specifically, the Perm's region is the north-eastern periphery of the Biarmian state. Just because it was a periphery, in the region of Perm did not remain any traces of the Biarmia's large cities. But chances can't be excluded, that in the future some traces of Biarmia will be found.

That the name Biarmia has reached us only in the Perm region demands a special attention, in other regions it was forgotten. The reason for that is that in other regions of Biarmia, after the Bulgars coming to power, the name Biarm gradually yielded to the word Bulgar. And the Perm region was remaining outside of the Bulgars' control, when they, having built the city of Bulgar at the mouth of the Kama river, initially ruled the southwest part of the Biarmia, capturing its capital Bilyar, and simply did not not have time to extend their control to the northwestern periphery of the Biarmia. For, from the second half of the 11th century, the Ügor lands, including also the present Perm region, was officially regarded as one of ”volost” (i.e. Slavicized ”ulus” - Translator's Note) of the Great Novgorod. Soon the Moscow feudal lords also begun colonization of the basin of r. Vychegda.

But the local Türkic tribes called Bardy (Pardy ~ Parthy), i.e. ‘possessing, rich’, remembered that their country was called Biarm, and used this name in their interactions. The Slavonics (the author is using the term ”Russians”, projecting the term into the time when the ”Russian” have not existed yet. The Eastern European Slavic domain in the 11th century consisted of the Novgorodian Slavs and Kievan Ruses, both quite multiethnic - Translator's Note), starting interacting closely with the local peoples, accepted from them this name, and therefore it became the general name for that territory (Perm).

About that eloquently tell also the facts, that, first, at the end of the 14th century the Ustüg monk Stefan called himself ”Permian”, and second, the city also began to be called Perm, and thirdly, the local Komi nation, which had never used the self-name Perm, was labeled by this word as an additional ethnonym in the form Komi-Permians [History of Siberia, 1968, vol. 1, 367-368].

Thus, the Perm are called the Biarmia as a part to a whole.

126. Was Biarmia independent or the Bulgaria was called Biarmland?

Above we stated that by many data the Biarmia can be identified with the Itil Bulgaria, moreover the Scandinavian sagas also, describing the historic facts of the Bulgaria, attribute them to the Biarmia. What's the matter here? Maybe, Biarmia did not exist at all? Maybe, existed only the Bulgarian state which in another way was also called a Biarmia? These questions have to be answered negatively. In fact the Scandinavian sagas knew about Biarmia in the 8th century, later in the 9th century they spoke about her with more confidence and with a comprehension of the subject. Then, with the primitive system of production, hardly a new state could have quickly become a rich and famous in the distant countries. To become more developed, the new states had to go through a period of maturation which could last for decades or even for centuries. Hence, the Biarmia as a state should have existed in the 7th century, i.e. when their Khazar neighbors also had their statehood.

The Biars (Bilyars) build their capital Bilyar, which became a largest and richest city in Europe.

In the 9th century in territory of Biarmia near the Kama mouth the other tribes, called Bulgars, erect city the of Bulgar and start rising above the Biars, gradually absorbing all the power institutions of the Biarmia, her capital Bilyar, and the state herself starts to be called Bulgar. The process of change of the prevailing tribe and renaming the state went, apparently, rather peacefully, therefore for the inhabitants of the distant countries, including the Scandinavians, the Bulgaria remained as Biarmia. That is why the Scandinavian sagas do not know about the Bulgaria and until the 14th century continue talking about Biarmia, as we saw above, but in fact meaning the Itil Bulgaria.

But the Itil Bulgaria did not subordinate the Biarmia completely. The north-eastern part of her remained Biarmia. That part, even after the ”Russian” (see note above - Translator's Note) colonization retained the former name Biarm, which later has taken the form Perm.

Thus, the Biarmia was an independent state, a progenitor of the Itil Bulgaria. She, like the Itil Bulgaria, has to be considered as the state of the ancestors of the Itil Tatars. About that, in addition to the other data, eloquently tells the name of the state, Biarym~Biarm and the ethnonym of her founders Biar (bi-ar is ‘rich people, owners’), Bilèr (bi-lèr is ‘rich, owners’), Biger (bèk-èr is ‘rich people, owners’). The Udmurts and today designate their Itil Tatar neighbors with this ethnonym in the form Biger .

Madjgar, Bashkurt, Burtas and Bulgar States


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Origin of Türks-Contents · Introduction · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Fifth chapter · ORIGIN OF TATARS
Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Conclusion · Name and Ethnic Index · Literature
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