Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
|Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Conclusion · Name and Ethnic Index · Literature|
Page numbers, where shown, indicate pages in the book publication. The offered machine translated unedited copy of the printed edition contains typos and misspellings, for which I apologize and intend to correct them with time.
If you need a little help with linguistic glossary, click here.
Éé - like a in "had"
Yy - like i in "flint"
14. Primary sources and historical works.
In researching the problems of an origin of ethnoses a special value has the discovery of their most ancient ethnical roots. But at present no methodic is developed neither in the historical linguistics, nor in the historical anthropology for this purpose. This chapter will try to show at least some ways of the detection of the ethnical roots of the Türks.
First of all there is a problem of finding and assessing the primary sources. Every ethnos during its rise and development leaves a trace. Somewhere and somehow remain things made by it are kept, are passed from one generation to another the methods of producing material goods, opinions which find expression in folklore, in the burials are left remains of the members of the ethnos, are found burial traditions and, at last, remains its greatest invention, a language. These traces of the tribes are objective primary sources for study of their history in the pre-literate period. These sources are known to be studied by the historical and ethnical linguistics, archeology, ethnology, mythology, historical folklorists, historical osteology, craniology and anthropology as a whole, on the background of zoopaleontology, paleogeology and paleogeography.
After invention of writing people who learned this greatest
achievement of humanity started recording diverse information about themselves,
their people, their neighbors in writing. Eventually came a custom of writing
chronicles where information about major events happening with them or their
About the ancient history of Türks some of the above records can be taken from Chinese, Indian, Greek, Assyrian, Jewish, Roman, Byzantian, Armenian, Arabian, Persian, Türkic and Russian written sources. But their study should be taken with a caveat that they cannot be completely and unconditionally objective, for the records are written, as a rule, from a subjective point of view of the chronographer. This especially relates to the evidence about the neighbors. But despite that, the ancient written sources are historical sources alongside with the linguistical, archeological, ethnological, anthropological, zoological, geological, and geographical sources. In the ethnogenesis they are also termed "primary sources".
In study of the ancient history of any people, in detecting its ethnic roots, in addition to the above sources, a big value also have historical works, which cannot be classed as primary sources.
The first historical works about the history of their and not only their peoples were created by the historians who found and studied the primary sources. It is known that a historian, as much as he tried to create an objective picture of the history, brings on the foreground the most full reconstruction of the history first of his people, and the history of other peoples serves, as a rule, as a general background for a better display of his own history. Therefore in the initially examined historical works which base on the analysis of primary sources, a display of subjectivity should not be surprising to anybody.
Many historical studies are written based on the study of not only the primary sources, i.e. of the historical sources, but also based on the study of the historical works. In these studies not only the discoveries, but also the mistakes of the predecessors are frequently repeated.
As a result of repeating the mistakes of the predecessors, in the traditional
historiography began to be taken as axioms, and were propagated in the
subsequent works such mentioned above
groundless generalizations as doctrines of the "Great Movement of Peoples",
that "that Movement was begun by the Huns", that "before the
Great Movement of Peoples in the Eastern Europe were no Türks", that "Türks were nomads
that "Türks were Mongoloids only", that "nomadic Türks taught the
Türkic language to
non-Mongoloids and then disappeared from the face of the
Every scientist engaged in history of Türks (like any other peoples), should analyze by all means, alongside with the study of the primary sources, the conclusions given in the historical works. For, in first, the primary sources from the point of their reflection of any episodes of the Türkic history until now are studied totally insufficiently, secondly many ancient Türkic ethnonyms found in the primary sources are classed by the modern historians to other ethnoses and the contents of the primary sources are not always adequately commented on, and thirdly not always is accounted for the bias of particular messages in the written primary sources.
In other words, the basic sources of study of the ethnic roots of Türks are the primary sources, and the historical works play a supporting role, therefore the attitude to them should always be careful.
15. Sources of the ethnogenesis and their mutual relation.
A science named ethnogenesis studies the ethnic roots for any people by
examining the initial stage of the ethnic history. As any historical science,
the ethnogenesis should be based on a complex study of every possible
primary source. Conclusions of the study of one primary source should match the conclusions received from the analysis of other
a synthesis of the conclusions for all primary sources can give adequate data
about ethnogenesis. To such a complex approach should also be applied the
Unfortunately, there are ethnogenetical studies based only on a small part of available primary sources. This, first of all, applies to the ethnogenesis of Türks. Therefore we list here the main sources of the ethnogenesis and to remind the reader of necessity of their concordance.
The first and reliable ethnogenetical primary sources are linguistic materials. Language is a basic means of organization of a social life. Therefore it can give some evidence about the most ancient period for a tribe or people. Though, eventually any language in changes with development. But the comparative-historical method in linguistics can establish the most ancient forms of phonetical, morphological, syntax and lexical systems. In the ethnogenesis of the Türkic peoples the evidence of comparative-historical linguistics of the Türkic languages presently are performed absolutely insufficiently. The objective is that in the Türkological ethnogenetical research the scientists ampler used the linguistical materials.
One more reliable source of the ethnogenesis is the evidence of anthropological research, especially craniological, that studies skull features of ancient and modern peoples (Gr. kranion "skull"). The craniological observations were used in ethnogenetical research relatively late. And in Türkology the results of the research quite often contradict the traditional views at the ethnogenesis of the Türks. Therefore in Türkic ethnic history thecraniology is not in favor too much .
Take the data from the ethnogenesis of Bulgaro-Tatar people. The established opinion was that
the ancestors of the Bulgaro-Tatars came to the Central Volga region in the 7th
century AD. But T.A.Trofimova's craniological research carried
out by her back in 30es resulted in her conclusion that "the Modern Tatar population developed
from the ancient strata of the local population, which has
absorbed some later anthropological tiers"
[Trofimova T.A., 1948, 61]. Other researchers also agree with this conclusion,
but there is felt a pant to also justify traditional views of the scientists
non-aborigionality of the Bulgaro-Tatars in the Ural-Itil region [Akimova M.S.,
1954]. More general craniological research that study materials
of other regions of the Eastern Europe also show that Türks have here deep
anthropological roots, that they were not disposed to constant movements as
the traditional historical science describes them [Gerasimova M.M., Rud N.M.,
Yablonsky L.T., 1987, 5, 83, 143, 227-232, 237-242].
Archeological discoveries also are a reliable source of the ethnogenesis, but without linguistical confirmation they cannot disclose the ethnic composition of the population of that period. First the age of an archeological material determined, then from other sources, for example, linguistic, is determined its ethnic affiliation, and at last the archeological culture is attributed to a certain ethnos. A very important requirement is the objectivity of the linguistical research. For example, defining the ethnic affiliation of the 8th-3rd centuries BC Ananian archeological culture of the Ural-Itil region, archeologists trusted conclusions of the Indo-Iranian and Finno-Ugrian researchers that at that time there lived ostensibly Iranian-lingual Scythians and in the forested zone lived Finno-Ugrians. Coming form that this archeological culture is attributed to Finno-Ugrians only [Halikov A.H., 1969], and the archeological materials of the steppe zone are attributed to Indo-Iranians. If the Türkic linguists were engaged in the ethnogenetical problems earlier, they would have proved years ago, based on the linguistical data, the Türkic-speaking of the most of the Scythians, and a Türkic layer could have been determined in the Ananian archeological materials.
Coming from the traditional tenets of the historical science that the first Türks came to the Ural-Itil region ostensibly only in the 7th century AD, the Pianobor archeological culture of Kama belonging to 2nd century BC - 3rd century AD, is also attributed only to Finno-Ugrians.
Is quite surprising that the so-called Imenkov archeological agricultural culture of the 4th-8th centuries AD in the Middle Itil region is not attributed to the local Türks, because of the dogma that Türks there are considered to be nomadic cattlemen. This culture till present awaits its ethnic owner. Such an uncertainty exists also for ethnic affiliation of some other archeological cultures.
Finally this problem can be solved only with consideration of the Türkic linguistical sources.
Ethnological (ethnographical) sources, closely connected to the archeological,
mythological, linguistical, craniological data, are also used to detect the ethnic roots of
the peoples. But, unfortunately, in Türkic ethnogenetical
research the ethnological sources are used altogether insufficiently, or are not
considered at all, because in many cases they contradict the conclusions
of the traditional historical science. For example, the ethnological research of
the Scythians proves their kinship with Türks, and therefore the scientists who
believe in Scythians as Iranian-lingual generally forget about
the existence of the ethnological sources.
Mythological materials should be mentioned for the Türkological ethnogenetical research, for they started to be used only recently. An example of the use of mythological sources in ethnogenetical research is the work of S.Sh.Chagdurov. In a comparative study of the Mongolian, Iranian, Indian, Tibetan, and Türkic mythologies and folklore he proves that these peoples have an ancient culture and are not "young, immature" peoples [Chagdurov S.Sh., 1980]. In Turkey, Fikret Türkmen from the study of Türkic myths and legends proves a presence of high ancient culture of the Türks [Tükmen F., 1996, VII-VIII].
Zoopaleontology, paleoclimatology, paleogeography, paleogeology, and evidence of other related disciplines should be used by scientists studying the ancient ethnic roots. For example, the presence of Türkic words in the languages of some American Indians initially was considered accidental. But the results of careful and diverse study lead scientists to a conclusion that the American Indians are migrants from the Eastern Siberia. How did they cross to the American continent? Scientists turned for the answer to the evidence of the paleogeology, where it was clearly shown that in antiquity the Bering passage did not exist.
It should be remembered that ethnogenetical sources should be studied with
use of materials not of some one people, but of several peoples. As a result of
comparison the outcomes of such studies, it is possible to determine the
attribution of the materials to a certain ethnos.
16. A role of ethnonyms in the detection of the ethnic roots.
Ethnonymy, alongside with anthroponymy and toponymy is a very important part of the linguistical sources, it gives the most reliable material for the definition of the ethnic composition for the studied tribes and their territories. Meanwhile, Türkology does not have enough works on ethnonymy. So far we can list only the works of Daulen Aytmuratov "Türkic ethnonyms" (Nukus, 1986) and M.Zakiev "Türki-Tatar etnogenesy" - "Ethnogenesis of Türco-Tatars" [Ì., 1998, the chapter abour the Türkic ethnonymy on page 213-321]. Some questions of theTürkic ethnonymy are mentioned also in the books of V.A.Nikonov "Ethnonymy" (Ì., 1970) and A.I.Popov "Names of the peoples of the USSR" (L., 1973).
Ethnonyms appeared still in the tribal society. Each clan had a name taken by it or given by the neighbors. Hence, from the very beginning the ethnonym in its origin could be either a self-name, i.e. an internal ethnonym which in common linguistics is called by the term endoethnonym (Gr. endon "inside"), or a foreign name, i.e. an external ethnonym (exoethnonym) which is called by the international term ektoetnonym (Gr. ektos "outside of, outside").
Initial endo-or exoethnonymy preserved very poorly. For example, experts suggest that the German endoethnonym Deutsch historically ascends to ancient Germanic teutisk with the meaning "our People". The most ancient Türkic ethnonym men means "I". The ethnonym Tatar, on the contrary, means "foreign People". The word Tatar historically ascends to a word combination of ar "people" (later it was used for "man" and "soldier", compare Ukrain. chelovek "men"), and tat which changed from the root yat "alien" per a known historical rotation y-d-t. Türks also had the ethnonym kiji (in Chinese rendition küchi) which ascends to the word keshe or kishi "man" and "alien".
Thus, the German ethnonym Deutsch, the Türkic ethnonym men from the very beginning could be endoethnonyms, and the ethnonyms kishi (keshe) and Tatar are foreign names which gradually changed to the category of endoethnonyms.
As tribes develop, they are united in tribal unions, and then are created ancient
states and formed ancient nations, as a result of which are created secondary ethnonyms
from the primary ethnonyms. For example, from
the initial Türkic ethnonyms Ar, Men, Sün (Shan), Sak by defining them by
the word ku "white, light", appear secondary ethnonyms Kuar (Kavar), Kuman, Kushan
(Kusan), Kusak (Kuchak > Kyfchak). With mixing of different tribes were created
new ethnonyms out of the combination of two primary ethnonyms. For example,
the ethnonym As, defining the ethnonym Sün or Sun, formed a
composite ethnonym Assun > Ussun > Usun. Naturally, the tribes
carrying the primary ethnonyms are considered more ancient than the tribes
carrying secondary ethnonyms. So, Süns (Suns-Huns) were more ancient tribes than
Usuns, for the last appeared only as a result of the mixture of
Süns and Ases.
The ethnonyms, like nouns, are partial and general, i.e. proper and nominal. Each ethnos has its own ethnonym. But during integration of ethnic communities alongside with the own ethnonyms also appear common nominal ethnonyms naming simultaneously of a group of ethnoses. These are usually the ethnonyms of those ethnoses who manage to subordinate other ethnoses. For example, the ethnonym Türk becomes a common ethnonym after the Türks proper subordinated other ethnoses. The subordinated ethnoses, keeping their own proper ethnonyms, accepted as a common ethnonym the word Türk.
The common ethnonym also appears by the external attributes of the ethnoses. So, in contrast to the southern, dark, haired representatives of the Türkic ethnoses, the numerous northern Sakas, otherwise called Mens, received a common ethnonym Kyusak > Kyfsak > Kypchak "White Sakas", and Kyumen > Kuman "White Mens".
Researching the ethnic roots, differentiating between the proper and common ethnonyms of the ethnoses is very important, for very frequently the same ethnos in the historical sources is called at times by a proper and at times by a common ethnonym. For example, in the Volga region we would try in vain to distinguish where are the Bulgars and where are the Kypchaks, because in actuality all northern light Türks were called Kypchaks, not only the Bulgars. In the Middle Volga region, in Northern Caucasus the Bulgars could be called by both Bulgars and Kypchaks.
The consolidation of the Bulgarian state in the 9th century results in its all Türkic
and non-Türkic tribes, keeping their own ethnonyms, adopt a common ethnonym Bulgar.
Apparently, Bulgars presented themselves to the visiting Arabs with the former
common ethnonym Kypchak and told them the meaning of this ethnonym as "White Saks" or simply "Light", therefore in the
Arabian sources Bulgars are called Sakaliba "white, light People". But at
the same time the Arabs also knew the narrower ethnonym Bulgar.
During antique time the words Sak or Saka, and the derivative words Sakady (Sakaly "merged Saks") from that root served as common ethnonym for the ancestors of the Türks, then in the pronunciation of the Greeks it has changed as follows: sakady > skydy > skithe. The interdental sound th in Russian was pronounced as f, and so appeared the word Scyf.
The times of the First and Second Türkic Kaganates played it role: the ethnonym Türk spread as the most common ethnonym.
As a result of the Chingizids' conquest of huge territories and formation of four Tatar empires, the ethnonym Tatar in the Western Europe designated all Chingizid subjects: Chinese, Koreans, Afghans, Türks, Arabs. The Russians all their eastern neighbors called Tatars. Thus, the ethnonym Tatar (in Westrn Europe: also Tartar "people from hell") in the13th-18th cc. acted as the most common ethnonym not only for the Türks, but also for non-Türks. However, in the beginning it was applied as an exoethnonym, then at places it also fused as an internal ethnonym. For example, now the ethnonym Tatars use the Crimean Tatars, and Bulgaro-Tatars, and Dobrudjian Tatars.
Are observable synonymous ethnonyms, which should be reckoned in study of the Türks' ethnic roots. For example, the most ancient Türkic ethnonyms Kypchak, Sarir, Kuman, Kukeshe, Sakaliba, Polovets, Saracin, Flaven, Falon are synonyms. The synonymic rows pose the ethnonyms Akacir, Akathir, Agacher, Mishar, and also Iyirk, "good, rich People", Biar "rich People", Biler "rich People".
Study of the ethnic history requires sufficient data about the ethnonyms of the studied people.
17. Ethnonyms and the ethnic composition of the population.
Definition of the ethnic roots of any ethnic community by the the
ethnogenesis as a science first of all uncovers its ethnic composition. To achievement
that, first of all is necessary to have the ethnonymycs (compendium of ethnonyms) for the given ethnic
community. Unfortunately, untill now the Türkic ethnonyms were not collected,
and hence, there is no their analysis yet, was not done a comparative research of the ethnonyms
of the Altai, Uralo-Altai and Nostratic communities of peoples.
Not all clans, tribes and peoples had a fate to grow and expand to a
state-creation level. Those tribes which reached that crest have somehow imposed their ethnonyms to others, and
consequently such ethnonyms were recorded in written sources and preserved in
history. The ethnonyms of the tribes that have not reached that level usually ceased to be
used, some of them were lost, some survived in toponyms and hydronyms. An attentive study
finds them also in anthroponyms (names and surnames of people).
For example, the surname Sünkishev contains the Türkic complex ethnonym,
consisting of two ethnonyms: Sün (Hun), Kish < Kishi (a person). We know, that
there were Türkic ethnonyms a Sün and Kishi. From the
anthroponym Sünkishi we
can guess that there were tribes formed from consolidation of Süns and
Kishi, creating the ethnonym Sünkishi
as a result.
Studying the ethnic composition of the population brings attention to the fact of participation of the same ethnos in forming several nations. For example, a part of the ancestors of the modern Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Azerbaijanians, Tatars are called with a common ethnonym Kypchak. The ethnonym As was spread among Bulgars, Nogays, Kirghizes, Balkars, Karachays, the ethnonym Kusan "White Süns " in various versions is in the peoples of the Central Asia and Ural-Itil region. Such facts tell that some tribes, spreading in various territories, took part in the formation of new ethnic communities. This, naturally, was assisted by the closeness of the languages of the Türkic tribes, the various Türkic tribes understood well each other, considered themselves related.
If we collect together the ethnonyms of the tribes that historically were included in any one Türkic population, we shall see that almost half of them are present in the ethnogenesis of other Türkic peoples. Take for example the ethnonyms that historically designated certain parts of the Bulgaro-Tatars: Kypchak [Rus. Polovets, Arab. Sakaliba, Armenian. Khartesh, Italian. Kuman, Hun. Kun (Syn) or Paloch (from Slavic), Czech-Pol. Plavts, German. Faven or Falon, etc.], Saryman, Skyly (Skithe > Scyth), Sün (Bashkir. Hön, Rus. Gun), Alan, As, the Khazar, Lokhyr, Bersuly (Bersudy > Bersut), Chalmat (Chalmady), Sabakul, Temtuz, Biger (Biar, Bilyar), Baylar, Iyirk, Kuruk, Türk, Bulgar, Suar, Misher (Mijgar), Kashan (Kushan), Kazan, Kazan Keshese, Kazanly, Suas, Bortas, Apas, Kaepych, Karagas, Nogay, Mangot, Ürmi, Gyaynya, Bashkort, Ishtyak, Kungur, Nagaybak, Bardy (Pardy > Parthy), etc. The tribes carrying these ethnonyms were consolidated into an ethnicity within the framework of the Itil Bulgaria, Golden Horde, Kazan, Astrakhan, Siberian, Kasim Khanates and Russian state, and also entered, in addition to the Bulgaro-Tatars, into such Türkic peoples as Bashkirs, Nogays, Karachay-Balkars, Kumyks, Uzbeks, Karakalpaks, Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Kyrgyzes, and even Khakases and Altaians.
In the study of the Türkic ethnic roots should also be considered that some part of the Türkic tribes took part in the formation of non-Türkic-speaking peoples, for example, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Chinese, Iranians, etc. Besermyans which are a part of Udmurts, did not forget to present that they once were Bulgars.
After these general remarks about the value of the ethnonyms in the study of the ethnogenesis of the Türks, we shall turn to the specific problems of the Türkic ethnonymycs.
18. Primary Türkic ethnonyms and their signs.
Before the emergence of the ethnonym Türk and its transformation into a common ethnonym, the Türkic-speaking tribes lived and developed during many thousand years, and had other numerous ethnonyms. The scientist may not be able to find the first Türkic ethnonyms, but scientists already reached the most ancient ethnonyms recorded in various sources. We view as primary these first ethnonyms recorded in the sources.
The ethnonyms congruous with a single-syllable root of the word are the primary ethnonyms, they are applied as the ethnonym in the same single-syllable state, and also with definitions. The definitions can be both the adjectives, and ethnonyms.
For example, the most ancient Türkic ethnonym As (phonetic variations:
Yas, Ash, Ish, Az, Uz, Ud, etc.) is used without definitions and with
definitions: Suas "Water Ases", Taulas "Mountain Ases",
Burtas "Wood Ases".
The ethnonym er > ar "people, men, soldier" was frequently used in Central Asia. According to the Herodotus, the Arians, together with Türkic-speaking Parthians (Pardy), Khorasmians (Suarases) and Sogdians (Sak-dy) formed the sixteenth district of the Ahaemenid country [III, 93]. Arians were very close to Medes [VII, 66], therefore and Medes (the Türks in essence - M.Z.) were called Arians by everybody [VII, 62]. From these Arians some German scientists have deduced a special Aryan race.
Now, the ethnonym ar is not [any more] applied without definitions. With definitions, it is a most active ethnonym: Suar "Water People", Kyuar (kavar) "Light People", Tatar "Alien People", Khazar "Cliff People", Bulgar "River People", Skir "Saka People", Sarir "Yellow People", Agacheri (Agathsyr) "Forest People", Mishar "Forest People", Biger, Biar, Bilyar "Rich People", Salyr "Rural People", Uigur "Quicky People", Gandar [Herodotus, VII, 66] or Gandyar/Khandyar "Khan People", etc.
The known to us Türkic primary ethnonyms are recorded in sources very early. Like, the ethnonym Ud (variation of the ethnonym As) is recorded in the Assyrian sources of the 3rd millennium BC. After two thousand years it is found as the name of people of the N.Caspian steppes.
In the Chinese and Indian sources of the 2nd and 1st millenniums BC are recorded the Türkic primary ethnonyms Sé and Unu. Later they are found among Cimmerians and Scythians as Sai, Dai, Hun and are observed in the territory of the Western Europe up to Italy [Elnitsky L.A., 1977, 4]. Se from the Chinese sources is identified with the words Sak or Saka.
The initial Türkic ethnonym Hun or Sün in different phonetical environments
took forms San, Syan, Zan, Jan, Shan, Chan, Chyn, etc. For example,
Jujan < Susan "Water Süns", Kusan < Kushan < Kasan < Kazan "Light,
White Süns", Syanbi " Sün Bai". It is possible to suggest that
the toponim Chally (Chenly) acsends back to an ethnonym, and it is formed
from the ethnonym Sün > Chen with a help of an affix of possession -ly, which as a result of
regressive assimilation of the the subsequent [l] transformed the sound [n] in
the root Chen to [l]: Sünle > Chenle> Challe> Chally.
As an primary ethnonym was used the word kang "grandfather, progenitor". In the Avesta Huarases (Suarases, Kwarezmians) were called Kangha, where -ha is the Persian plural affix, and the endoethnonym of Sumerians was Kangar (Kàíã+Að "Progenitor People"), the horse mail for Persians was served by Angareons [Herodotus, VIII, 98] , i.e. also Kangars, later the Besenyos also were called Kangar/Kungur.
Some Türkic tribes sometimes called others keshe "not ours, aliens". In the Chinese sources this ethnonym is recorded as küshe. It also was applied with definitions: Ku Kiji "Light people, Light Aliens", Tukiji (in Chinese Tutsishi) "Forest and Mountain People", Majma Kiji "people feeding on small fish", Altai Kiji "Altai People", Chuy Kiji "Chuy valley People", Kazan Keshese " Kazan People", Sünkishi " Hun People", Tuba Kiji "Tuba people", Kumandy Kiji, Shor Kiji, Turgeshi < Türk-Kishi, etc.
The primary ethnonym er also was used in the form erkek "man, man's", from which further were also formed the composite ethnonyms: Kuerik (ethnonym of Chulym Türks) "Light Men, People", Kuruk (ethnonym of a part of Bulgars, neighbors of Udmurts), Udmurts once called all Bulgars Kuruk (kyu-erkek> kuerk) " light men", Thrac (Russ. Frak) is formed from Tu-erk > trak "Mountain Men", Iyirk "Good, Rich Men" (iyi erkek> iirk), Herodotus has this name for a part of the Scythians; Sirak (part of Alans) is formed from Sé-érk or Sak-erk > sirak "Se or a Sak Tribesmen"; Türk is formed by a gradual reduction of the ethnonym Tu-erkek "Mountain Men, People": Tuerkek > Tuerk> Türk.
Türkologists investigated in detail the semantics of the ethnonym As, which
also participates in the formation of composite, secondary ethnic names.
The ethnonym As also was frequently used in the form Yas (Yés >
Yésh), which in many Türkic languages means "young man". In the Nogay
and Karaim languages yas> yesh means "son". As the As is
another parallel ethnonym for the Alans, scientists suspected a presence of a
root oglan "son" in the word Alan also [Habichev M.A., 1977, 75].
Presently the obviously Türkic
ethnonym Alan is wrongly attributed to
The ethnonym As, being the most ancient, was used and in later times in different Türkic languages. The Itil Bulgars in another form are called Ases; Nogays were formed of various Ases, the Bulgaro-Tataro-Bashkirs as late as in the 19th century were called by the ethnonym Ishtyak (As+tyk or Os+lyk) which is incorrectly also attributed to some Finno-Ugrians; the Maris up to now call the Itil Tatars not Tatars, but by the ethnonym Suas "Water Ases", and Chuvashes they call Suasla Mari (i.e. "Mari of Water Ases", akin to "French Guianian" or "American Indian" - Translator's Note).
Balkars call themselves Alans, and Ossetianss call them Ases or Oses. In addition, on the basis of the ethnonym As were formed composite ethnonyms Karagas (Kerek As), Kyrgyz (Kyryk As "Forty Ases"), Kaegalas (Kaegaly As, i.e. Khakasses, in another way Kaemajes), Kangaras, Khakas, Bortas, Apas, Os, Uz, Osh, Tülüs, Sary As (Saracen), Oguz, Gagauz, Ishguza, etc.
As initial Türkic ethnonym served the word men (ban, ben, pen, min): Türkmen, Kuman, Kumandy, Kubandy, Karaman, Saralymin, Saryman, etc. The The ethnonym Kuman was used as an alternate western name for Kypchaks, therefore in the West the semantics of the ethnonym men is associated with the word man "man". In Türkic men coincides with the singular nominative case of the pronoun of the first person, which semantically could go back to "man". Tatars and Bashkirs widely still used the ethnonym min in the 19th century.
The word ok "clan, tribe" also was used as ethnonym, for example, the ethnonym Onok Chinese translated as "Ten Tribes" [Kafesoglu I., 1992, 156]. The ethnonym Kumyk (Komyk) also contains the root ok "tribe", apparently, this is a reduced word from a composite ethnonym Ku-man-ok > Kuma-ok > Kumyk.
The primary Türkic ethnonyms Sak (Saka or Saga) and Sün (Sün > Hun > Gun) in combination with definitions for some reasons was seldom used, they are found only in few ethnonyms: Kaysak, Kazak (Kyusak > Kasak> Kazak, Eng. spelling Cossack), Kypchak (Kyusak > Kyfsak> Kypchak), Tissaget, Massaget, Oghondor, Unnugundur, Sonogor, Shenly.
In a role of primary ethnonyms were used various phonetic variations of the word
bay (bek, may, bik, bey, bi, pi, mi) with semantics "rich, owner, lord" .
Examples: Kaspi (Kazbey, Kazbek) "kaz, i.e. mountain bey, i.e. lord" or "kaz,
i.e. highland people", Argippei (Argypi) "pei, i.e. lord" on
opposite side", Baylar,
Nagaybek, Beyler (Bilyar), Baraba (Bars Bai) "all rich", Koybaly (koy-bey-le)
"rich with koys, i.e. sheep", Maysaget, where -t/-dy/-ly
is an affix of possession; Masaget/Mai-sak-t "Rich Sakas", etc.
As primary ethnonyms the Türks also used the totem names, i.e. animals, plants, natural phenomena which were the object of their reverence. So appeared the ethnonyms Saryk "sheep", Téké "ram", Bars "leopard", Kay (Koy) "kind of sheep", Gelon (Yylan /pronounced Y-i-lan/) "snake", Bure "wolf", Ku "swan", etc. Sometimes anthroponyms were also used as primary ethnonyms: Uzbek, Nogay.
19. Secondary Türkic ethnonyms and semantics of their determinants.
The secondary Türkic ethnonyms are newly formed from the primaries with a help of definitions, and also sometimes and by affixes. The affixial secondary ethnonyms will be considered later. Here are addressed the secondary ethnonyms such as "definition + determined". As definition of the primary ethnonym can serve adjectives, nouns and ethnonyms.
1. Adjective and sometimes numerical definition.
In the role of definition frequently served the words kyu > ku "light, yellow-white" and sary "yellow". Words with such semantics are quite typical for the northern Türks, who in the conditions of the northern climate began to be noted by lighter face and blond hair. Therefore the primary ethnonyms of the northern Türks began to be distinguished by definitions kyu and sary.
Analyzing the ethnonym Kypchak, which historically goes
back to the combination Kyu+Sak, in Bashkir even today it sounds Kyusak "White Sak".
The definition Kyu gradually changed to Kyf, Kaf, Kay, Ka, Kau. In Arabic
kyusak > kyuchak sounds as kyfchak, in Russian as Kypchak, and many
Türks pronounce it as Kypchak, and even Kipchak. We meet the
version kyf > kaf also in the
name of the mountains: Kafkas "light, white rocky mountains", for
the Türks up to now regard these mountains as kaf tavy "light mountains". The Greek
sources preserved another name of the Kafkas > Kafkaz (Eng. Caucasus),
it is Kraukas "snow mountains " (To estimate
the chances of
accidental semantical and phonetical coincidence of the Türkic Kaukas
with the fifth century BC Greek "Kaukas", if it is not a loanword from the
Türkic Scythian, refer to
page, it would be in the order of 72,0002 = 5,184,000,000, i.e. one in billions - Translator's Note).
The word Kyu>Ku is also used as definition of other primary ethnonyms: Kyu Kiji "Light People", Kumans "Light Men", Kavar (from Kyuar > Kyvar > Kavar) "White People", Kazak from Kyu-Sak > Ka-Sak > Kazak (Eng. Cossack), Kuruk from Kyu-erk > Kuruk, Kuerik from Kyu-erk > Kuerik.
For other Türkic tribes, the semantics of the word kyu was expressed by the word sary "yellow". Sarir is from sary ir "Yellow People", also is found its inversion Irsary, the name of one of the Turkmen tribes. The ethnonyms Sary Uigur and Sary Yogur speak for themselves. Sarman is "Yellow Men", Sary-As changes from Sary-As > Saras > Saracen. Some scientists also the ethnonym Sarmat deduce the from a composite ethnonym Saryman+ty > Sarmaty. Sarylymin comes from Sary+ly+min. There is a possibility to suggest that the ethnonym Saryk (from the totem "sheep") comes from the word sary "yellow", for its ancient pronunciation was Saryg.
All ethnonyms with an initial component Sary can act as synonyms of the ethnonyms Kypchak, Kuman.
The ancient tribes clearly understood the meaning of the ethnonyms with components kyu and sary, and introducing themselves to the foreigners they always told them the meaning of this ethnonym, therefore these foreigners always called kyu and sary people with light face and blond hair in their own way: Russians - Polovets, Arabs - Sakaliba, Armenians - Khartesh, Germans - Flaven, etc.
In the composite ethnonym Tatar the definition is expressed by the word tat/yat "alien": Tatars "Alien People".
The word ak "white, pure, noble" also serves as definition in composite ethnonyms: Oguz from Akuz (Ak As) "White As/Uz"; Ogur from Akar > Okor > Ogur "Noble People"; Oghondor from ak-hun-lar "White Huns", Aknogay "Noble Nogay", Apakhtark from Apak-Türk > Apahtark "White Türks". Here the determinant component ak should not be confused with the ethnonym ok "tribe".
In composite ethnonyms Uigur, Yogur the definitions uigy and yog express, seemingly, the meanings "quick" and "fat".
The adjective Kara "black, dark" can also act as a definition in composite ethnonyms of the type "definition + determined": Karaman and Karamanly "Black/ Dark Men" (Balkan Türks), Kara Kyrgyz, Kara Nogays, etc.
The adjective kök or kük (gük) "blue" is also
secondary Türkic ethnonyms: Gagauz from Gük+Oguz > Gagauz, Kük +Türk, Khakas
Mishars call non-Mishar Tatars with ethnonym Lokhyr or Lugyr. From history we know that among Khazars also were Lugar tribes. This ethnonym is formed, seemingly, by the definition olug "senior, great": Olug-ar > Lugar> Lugor.
We reviewed above the composite ethnonyms with the ethnonym serving as a base component, and its definition expressed by adjectives. Sometimes are encountered composite ethnonyms formed on a model "definition - determined", where the determined is not an ethnonym: Aksu "Aksuans", Ak Koünly, Kara Koünly, Kyzylbysh, Karachay, Karakalpak, Karapapakh, etc.
Numerals are also encountered in the secondary Türkic ethnonyms as definitions: Toguz Tatars "Nine Tatars", Otuz Tatars "Thirty Tatars", Unnugundur (Unny Hunnar) "Ten Huns", Unuguz "Ten Oguz", Kyryk As > Kyrgyz "Forty Ases", etc.
2. Nouns serve as determinants, ethnonyms are determinants.
The determinant is expressed by a word Agach/Akath/Akats "tree, forest". The ancient Greeks recorded ethnonyms Akathyr and Agadir formed by definition Agats, Agath, the dialectal pronunciations of the word agach "tree". Later in Ancient Türkic sources we meet this ethnonym in the form Agach Eri "Tree People" with a genitive (case expressing ownership - Translator's Note) affix. Seemingly, here the word Agach (Akats, Akath) acts as a name of a totem.
However, in the (Russian - Translator's Note) historical science from the Greek Agathyros was formed a completely different ethnonym Agafiros and it was not deemed to be a version of Akathyr or Agach Eri. In reality, Agafiros is only a Russian distortion of the Greek Agathyros, where os is the Greek indicator of the name, and the remaining Agathyr with interdental [th] is only a phonetic variation of the ethnonym Akacir or Akach Eri.
can also act the Türkic words with meaning "forest". In the ethnonym
Yysh Kiji, Yysh is "forrest, thicket" in the Altai Türkic. In the ethnonym
Mishar (variations: Mojar, Madjar, Meshgar, Mijgar, can be also Nijgar) as
the definitive serves the word mishe, which in Persian and Türkic (and
may be in all Nostratic) languages means forrest: Mishar is "Forest People". In
the secondary ethnonym Bortas or Burtas the definitive bort historically goes back
to common Türkic murt "rotten tree" where bees gathered honey, and
to the people engaged in honey gathering, i.e. a beehive beekeeping. Hence,
the bort also meant a tree, the ethnonym Burtas had a meaning of "Rotten
Tree Ases". For them such a tree was either a totem, or they were
engaged in the production of wild bee honey.
As definitives of the secondary Türkic ethnonyms are the words expressing "mountain or wooded mountains" tau (with variations: tu, tuu, dag, tag). For example, the basic common ethnonym Türk historically goes back to Tu-erk > Tüerk > Türk. In the ethnonyms Tagar (Tochar), Dagar, Dagarma (-ìà is Hebrew plural affix), Taulas (Tauly As) the definitions of the primary ethnonyms Ar and As serve the words tau, dag "mountain", tauly "mountainous". In the ethnonym Khazar the definition hkaz comes from kas "rocky mountain" (compare Kafkas > Kavkaz (Eng. Caucasus) "white rocky mountains").
The words su "water", bolg (bolak, balk) "spring, river" also act as definitives for the primary ethnonyms As and Ar: Suas "Water Ases", Suar "Water People", Sabir, Suar (in the ethnonym Khuaras) are only the phonetic variations of the ethnonym Suar. The ethnonym Bolgar "Bulgar", in the opinion of many scientists, contains the definition bolak (balk, bolg) "spring, rivulet": Bolgar "River People". In Ancient Türkic language balk also meant "city", therefore the ethnonym Bolgar (Balkar) is also translated as "City People".
In the ethnonyms Kymmer (Eng. Cymmer) (Kimér) and Kimèk as a definition serves kime "boat"; Kymmer (kime-ar) is "boat people", Kimek (kime-ok) "boat tribe".
The ethnonym Mayma Kiji means people also connected with water, with river. Mayma Kiji is "people feeding on small fish" or "people with fish totem".
In the ethnonym Avar the defining is considered the word àw "hunt", sometimes also the words éw "house": Avar "hunter people" or "people with houses".
The ethnonym Utar (Alabuga Tatars among Kalmyks) goes back to Ut-Ar where
the definition is the word ut "grass or fire". Utar "people with
grass totem" or "fire people".
In ethnonyms Iirk (Iyè-érk), Biar, Biger (Bèk-ér), Bilyar (Bilé-ér) the words Iyè "owner", Bi, Bèk "Rich, Owner, Lord" are used as definitions.
Apas it is formed by definition Apa "relative" or Oba (Uba) "village": Apas (Apa-As) "Related Ases" or "Rural Ases".
As a definition, in the secondary Türkic ethnonyms also are used words designating a residence. For example, Altai Kiji, Shor Kiji (shor means "salt"), Kazan Keshese, Chuy Keshe, Salar (Sala-ar) "Rural People", etc.
3. Definition and determinates are ethnonyms.
These composite ethnonyms designate a tribe, an ethnicity, a people, formed as a result of consolidation of several tribes, ethnicities. For example, the ethnonym Azer means that this people arose as a result of consolidation of Ases and Erov.
Here are some examples: Azerbaidjan/As-er-bi-Sün; Kangaras/Kang-ar-As; Suaras/Huaras/Suar-As (Horasmiy/Kwarezmian); Sakar/Sak-ar; Sünkish/Sün-keshe; Syanbi/Syun-bi; Biar/Bi-ar; Turkmen / Türk-men; Kaysak/Kaj-Sak, etc.
It should be stated that the formulation of the meaning for many definitions of the secondary Türkic ethnonyms needs additional studies.
20. Ethnonymogenic affixes.
The secondary Türkic ethnonyms quite often are formed by affixes.
The most active ethnonymogenic Türkic affixes are -ly/-dy and -lyk/-dyk. These related affixes are very rich in phonetic variations: -lyk/-lek/-lok/-lök/-dyk/-dek/-tyk/-tek/-nyk/-nek, etc.; -ly/-ny/-dy/-zy/-ty/-t; -le/-ne/-de/-te/-t; -lo/-no/-do/-to/-t; -lu/-nu/-du/-tu/-t, etc.
To understand their meaning here are common words with these affixes: atly (keshe) "man with a horse",
taldy kurgan "kurgan with willows", tymydyk kül "quiet lake" or "lake with
calmness". If the affix -ly/-dy joins an ethnonym, it indicates concept "with" (
- Translator's Note): Kumandy "peoples with Kumans", if it
joins a toponym, it designates an initial place: Samarkandly "Samarkandian",
Kazanly "Kazanian", etc.
Usually when the definitive is used with affixes -lyk and -ly, the determined word usually is not dropped. A completely different course is in ethnonyms. There, the determined word always expresses the value "People", therefore there is no need to apply it: the determined word in the sense "people" always drops, definitions with affixes -lyk/-dyk, -ly/-dy are used as ethnonyms which in due course become real secondary ethnonyms. For example, there is no necessity to say completely Kumandy Kiji "People with Kumans", the word Kumandy without Kiji already designates people with Kumans. Also is not said Tarlyk Kiji, the word Tarlyk already expresses the concept "Tarian People" and, applied in a role of the determinant, becomes a complete ethnonym.
In the 7th century BC, ancient Greeks called the peoples living in N.Pontic by a common ethnonym Σκυθάί (Skythai) which is pronounced as Skythai. But later, the letter theta in Russian started to be rendered by the letter f, therefore this ethnonym (in Russian) changed to Scyf. In the west this ethnonym is written with Latin letters as Skythai, but later it takes a pronunciation Scyth. For a Türkologist, the Türkic affix -dy (pronounced as voiced interdental th - Translator's Note) attracts an attention. If it really was the Türkic affix -dy, somewhere should exist its mirror version -ly . Ibn-Fadlan in the 10th century among the Volga Sakaliba (Bulgars) notes a presence of people skl, i.e. s'k'l' (known in literature as Esegs, Esegels in the Kama-Itil area, as Sekels, Segels Szekels, Szekely in the Pannonia/Hungary area <of Kypchak genera with alternate ethnonyms Azna, Atnya, Aznak, Ishtyak, i.e. acsending to ethnonym As> - Translator's Note). This ethnonym really has the affix -ly, making it clear that s'k'l' is a variation of the ethnonym s'kyithy, the front-articulated Skithe > Skyf reflexing of which was then spread in Russian.
According to Herodotus, the Persian name of the Scythians was Sak or Saka. The Persians did not invent it, they borrowed it from the part of the Scythians who called themselves Sakas.
In the ethnonym S'k'l' (sk'th') the root S'k' apparently
ascends to the word Saka: Sakathy (sakaly) > S'k'th' (S'k'l') >
Sk'th' (Sk'l'). This supposition is also supported by the fact that the endoethnonym of
the Scythians was Skolot where is easily discernable the root Sko < S'k' < Saka ,
the affix -lo (-ly) and the Türkic plural indicator t < ta
(-la/-ta in Karachay-Balkarian language is the plural affix). Skolot,
then, is Saka-ly-ta, i.e. S'k'l'ta(r), i.e. "Scythians".
Skyithy (Skithe, Scyf) is a primeval Türkic ethnonym, but the ancient Greeks designated with this ethnonym not only the Scythians, but also their neighbors, even not Türkic. But they never called Scythians as Persians, for they knew well the Persians and did not confuse them with anybody. Therefore the statement of modern historians that Scythians ostensibly were Iranian-lingual, does not match the reality.
In Crimea, according to the Herodotus, lived people with the ethnonym Sindy [IV, 28]; if Skithe were basically Türks, the Sindy were a part of them. Their ethnonym consist of a root Sin < Sün and an affix -dy: Sindy "of Süns (Hüns) " or "with Süns". As to the descending of this ethnonym from Ind and its attribution to ther Indoeuropeans, it should be said that this point of view does not sustain criticism.
The ancient ethnonyms Parthy (in Central Asia) and Barthy (in Kama region) are also formed with a help of the affix -dy (pronounced as voiced interdental th - Translator's Note) which joins the root Bar (Par) "being, ampleness, riches". As a result of rendering the theta [θ] by f, the word Πάρθοι in Russian metamorphosed to Parfy (Parfyane).
The affix -dy/-ty (with interdental d/t - Translator's Note) is sometimes reduced to -t. For example, the name of city Élmèt (Russified Almetievsk) in Tatarstan comes from élmè-te > élmèt "area or river with elm trees" (Elm - Scythian loanword into O.E., P.Gmc., O.H.G., L. , Celtic languages. In IE Slavic that now separates Türks from W. Europe, elm is called "vyaz" - Translator's Note). By analogy, it is possible to deduce that in the ethnonym Sarmat the auslaut sound [t] goes back to the affix -ty/-t, the root consisting of Saryman "Yellow People". A possibility can not be excluded that -t could be a variation of the plural affix -ta (-tar).
The ethnonym Sogdy also contains the affix -dy, and the root ascends to the ethnonym Sak: Sakty > Sogty > Sogdy. Below it is shown that Sogdy were Türks, but for a very long time subjected to the Persian states; in the end they dissolved among other Türkic tribes of Central Asia.
The affix -dy/-ty/-ny/-ly is found in the following Türkic ethnonyms: Ak Koünly, Bashkort (Bashka-er-te?), Berende (Russified Berendey), Bersuly (Bersut), Bogady, Bouty, Burut, Gadjaly, Irekte, Kangly, Karadagly, Kara Koünly, Karamanly, Kumandy, Oirot, Sart (Saryty), Shalkanduu, Shogoldy, Shylty, Soyon, Soyot, Telengut, Temtede, Üeshte, Unny Gundur (Unny > Unly), Ürmaty (Ürmily), etc.
The ethnonyms formed with help of -lyk/-nyk/-dyk/-zyk/-tyk are: Tarlyk (inhabitants
of the Tara river basin), Karluk, Komullik, Yarkenlik, Kashkilyk (Kashgarlyk), Shahshylyk
(among Altaians) Astyk (Ishtyak,
Ostyak),, Loptuk, Turfanlyk, Kezik
(Ketsik - Chulym Türks: Kulyk > Kadyk> Kezik).
The story of the ethnonym Ishtyak (Ostyak) is interesting. In the Perm area is a city Os, with the name historically ascending to the ethnonym As. Among Ases were their descendents Ostyaks (Ishtyaks), i.e. those that were not Ases any more, but who also were not forgetting that they descend from the Ases, and called themselves Astyk (Aslyk). The visiting Western Siberia Russians, initially not understanding the ethnonyms, related this ethnonym to the Finno-Ugrian speaking Khanty-Mansi. At that time was devised a theory that the ethnonym Ostyak is formed from the Khanty-Mansi As (As is the name of the river Ob) and yah "people": Ostyak, or more correctly, Osyakh, that, in their opinion, meant "Ob People" [Popov A.I., 1973, 148]. In reality the Ostyk (Ostyak) both semantically and ethymologically are purely Türkic ethnonyms.
In the formation of the secondary ethnonyms is also used the affix -chy: Kangmadji (Khakas - Kangalas), Taranchy (Turanchy), Uraksolan (Urakchy Alans) "Alan-harvester".
In the secondary ethnonyms are also prominent the following affixes:
-len: Dolgan (among Yakuts), Göklen (among the Turkmen);
-ma: Kurama (part of Uzbeks), Térékémé (part of Azerbaijanis).
Frequently plural affixes -lar/-tar/-dar/-ta/-t also play an ethnonymogenic role: Abalar, Baylar (Bilér?), Chaudur (Chaudar among Türkmen), Karagaslar, Sagadar (Sahadar > Sahalar), Salar (Sak-lar), Tofalar, Tubalar, Ufalar "Ufaians", etc.
After this general review of the secondary Türkic ethnonyms, the ethymologies, semantics and functions of some basic Türkic ethnonyms should be elucidated.
21. Etymology, semantics and functions of the ethnonym Türk.
Some Türkologists indicate that the phonetic variations of the ethnonym
Türk are recorded in 3rd-2nd millennium BC in Troad (Gr.
Τροια = Troia)
( Eng Troy Troja and Troia, also called Ilios,
Tr. Ile "Country" - Translator's Note), located in the east of the
Asia Minor, and in the 2nd millennium BC in Thrace (Gr. Θρακια = Thracia,
Rus. Frakia) in the east of the Balkan peninsula, and in the 1st
at the Etruscans in the northwest of the Apennine peninsula, as Turukha in the Indian
sources [Kafesoglu I., 1992, 106], as Turuk in the Assyrian sources
(before 7th c. BC - Translator's Note)[Firidun
Agasyoglu, 2000, 41-42].
Armenian sources record that in the middle of the 4th century BC, during aggressive campaigns of Alexander the Great, in the Kura river basin lived tribes with a name Bunturk. M.A.Seidov etymologizes it as Buyn Türk" Türkic generation" [Seidov M.A., 1975]. But in the Türkic word placement, an ethnonym with this meaning should sound as Türk Buyn. Seemingly, here we have a variation of the ethnonym Bentürk which consist of two initial Türkic ethnonyms Ben (Min) and Türk.
In the same Armenian sources Bulgars are described as neighbors of the Türks, and as another name (apparently, endoethnonym) of the Scythians is noted the ethnonym Apahtark [Patkanov Ê., 1883, 29, 31]. Apahtark means "White Türks".
In the Chinese sources the ethnonym Türk (Tu-kü, Türküt) is already found in a general sense.
But before the 6th-7th cc. none of phonetic variations of the ethnonym Türk becomes a common ethnonym. Only in the 6th-7th centuries AD, during the blossom days of the First and Second Türkic Kaganates, the ethnonym Türk attains a common character, i.e. many Türkic-speaking tribes and peoples, keeping their own ethnonym, also accept a common ethnonym Türk. Later, the Arabs during their conquest campaigns apply it very actively, and by the 10th-11th centuries it already becomes an official general ethnonym for all Türkic-speaking peoples. In the11th century Mahmut Kashgarly in his encyclopedia "Divan lugat-it-türk" officially calls all Türkic-speaking tribes Türks, even those who never applied the ethnonym Türk either as internal nor as external ethnonym.
Now the representatives of all Türkic-speaking peoples from the school textbooks know that their people belong to Türks. Even the Yakuts and Chuvashes, whose languages for different reasons separated from the Türkic, consider themselves to be Türks.
Before the spread of the word Türk as a common ethnonym, the Türkic-speaking
tribes and peoples lived for millenniums under various ethnonyms: in the 3rd millennium
BC were recorded ethnonyms As, Pardy, Sè (Saka),
Suar (Süar), Ud (variation of As), Unu (Sün). In the 1st millennium
BC Türkic were widely known the ethnonyms Akathyr, Argippey, Gelon (Yylan),
Iirk, Ishkuza, Kimmer (Cymmer), Sak (Saka), Savromat, Skithe, Skolot,
from the 3rd century BC till the 3rd century AD were known ethnonyms:
Alan, Bulgar, Sabir, Sarmats, etc.
About the etymology of the word Türk exists a few points of view. N.J.Marr deduces it from the word tarkan "female deity", A.N.Bernshtam deduces it from the word türkün "unity, union of tribes". S.P.Tolstov the origin of the ethnonym Türk associates with the words tarkhan (title), turun "grandson" and türè "official". He reasons as follows. The word tarkhan in the beginning meant the aristocracy of a tribe, and it later received the semantics of "free from taxation". In S.P.Tolstov's opinion, in the M.Kashgarly's work was recorded a frontal-palatial variation tèrkhèn. Apparently, he connects it with the word türè "lord", tèrkhèn also means "lord". Besides, S.P.Tolstov takes into account that the Kazakh word tür-kün designates relatives of the wife, this word with the same semantics also is in the Mongolian language. In the Altai language törö means people, in the Teleut means relatives. A conclusion: the word Türk historically ascends to the roots turun, törè (türè), törkün [Tolstov S.P., 1938, 78].
Per A.N.Kononov, the etymology of the word Türk ascends to the composite word tür-kün: törè is "custom, law", kun "woman". The last has a totemic explanation. For this reason tür-kün > Türk expresses value "force, power" [Kononov A.N., 1949, 44, 46-47].
D.Aytmuratov etimologizes the ethnonym Türk as: 1) as carriers of braided hair on the head, and 2) as "whip, knout", i.e. tüppe, which should, in his opinion, mean "execution". Taking into account the distinction that Türks braided their hair, D.Aytmuratov also explains other ethnonyms, like Karakalpak, Circassian, Bashkort, Kyrgyz, Uigur, Pecheneg, Sak, Nogay, Massaget, Scyth, identically to the Türk "with braided hair" or "with black hair" [Aytmuratov D., 1986, 125-159].
We at some time tried to give the word Türk the following two etymologies:
Tür-èk "sitting in a place of honor" and törek,
formed from a root törè "wrap,
enfold" [Zakiev M.Z., 1977, 61-63].
But during a systematic study of the etymology of many Türkic ethnonyms,
later we came to a
conclusion that the word Türk consist of a definition and a
determinate. The definition part consist of a word erk which ascends to
the root erkek "man, person, people", and the
determinate consist of
the root tu "mountain" or "Woody mountain", maybe it ascends to the verb
born, multiply". That in the Türkic ethnonyms the word tu is used as
definition is proved by the presence of the ethnonym Tu Kishi, pronunced
Chinese Tutsishi. There is also the ethnonym Tu-Küe
[Bichurin N.Ya., 1953, v. 3, 130]. Tu-erk > Türk as a whole means "Mountain People", or "People of
Woody Mountains", or "Multiplied People",
and hence, "Strong Men", "Powerful Djigits".
In runic inscriptions the meaning of the Türk is defined as "strong, powerful". The expression türk Bilge Kagan is translated as "strong, powerful Bilge Kagan". In Uigur sources the word Türk occurs with the definition erk as erk türk and semantically expresses the "strong, powerful Türks" [Sertkaya O.F., 1995, 2, 3]. This combination once again proves that the root erk ascends to a word erkek and designates "men, djigits". In the combination erk türk the word erk is repeated twice: both the definition, and in the root of the word Türk contain this word.
The meaning "strong, powerful" in the word türk is also recorded in the "Divan lugat-it-tjurk" by M.Kashgarly: türk üzüm go "raisin was ripe, ripened", türk koyash go "sun was strong" [Sertkaya O.F., 1995, 3].
Thus, the word Türk, being applied as "Mountain Djigits", "Mountain-Man", "Strong Djigits", "Powerful Men", gradually began to be applied as an ethnonym.
22. Etymology, semantics and functions of the ethnonym Tatar.
Another common ethnonym for Türks, and not only for them, was the ethnonym Tatar.
Because the ethnonym Tatar was spread in conjunction with the Mongolian
conquests, many scientists try to explain its etymology with a help of the
Mongolian language. But until now the Mongolian etymology does not have this word.
Some note that the ethnonym Tatar is of the Chinese provenance, for it is found
fpr the first time in the Chinese sources as ta-ta (da-da or
ta-dtse). In Chinese, da-da is used with a meaning "dirty", "wild". But
more objective research showed that Chinese initially adopted from their neighbors their ethnonym
Tatar (ta-ta), and then injected in its semantics the meanings "dirty", "wild". In their opinion,
only Chinese were marked by cleanliness, the others were "dirty, feral". D.E.Eremeev believes that the word
tat meant "Persian", that the Persians later started to use the
ethnonym Tatar meaning "stranger" [Eremeev D.E., 1970, 134].
It is difficult
to find logic there.
The majority of the etymological explanations of the ethnonym Tatar is based on the Türkic scheme. In the opinion of the known Khivan Khan and historian Abul-Gazi (1605-1664 - Translator's Note), the word Tatar initially was applied as an anthroponym, and later as an ethnonym [Abul-Gazi, 1906, 10]. In the Yakut language the word Tatar had a meaning "idol". From that, N.M.Karamzin and others believe that this Yakut word later began to be applied as an ethnonym [Sboev V.A., 1856, 12; Suharev A.A., 1904, 22]. Plano Karpini, who in the13th century traveled from Italy to Mongolia, left in his records that a part of Mongols living on the bank of river Tatar began of to call themselves Tatars [Djovanna, 1957, 37].
As to the origin of the word Tatar, a few opinions were also stated on that subject. So, I.N.Berezin believes that the word Tatar comes from the word tartyr "that which pulls" [Rashid-ad-din, 1888. In I.N.Berezin's "Introduction"]. N.A.Baskakov the initial word of the ethnonym Tatar considers the Old Turkic Tatar "courier, messenger" and the Mongolian-Kalmyk tatr "stutterer", Chuvashian tudar "stammerer" [Baskakov N.A., 1973à, 148-149]. L.Z.Budagov still in the 19th century wrote the opposite, that the meaning "courier, fast walker" in the word tatar comes from the ethnonym: "at the courts of Türkey and particularly in Persia, Tatars were famous for the knowledge of different countries and consequently served in the position of couriers, fast walkers" [Budagov L.Z., 1869, 329]. A.A.Suharev deduces the word Tatar from a combination tau+tar where tar in his opinion ascends to the verb toryr "to live" [Suharev A.A., 1904, 22].
In my opinion, the word Tatar as an ethnonym was formed on the Türkic ethnonymogenic model: Tat-ar, Khaz-ar, Bulg-ar, Su-ar, Au-ar, Sab-ir, Sary-ir, Kang-ar, Akath-ir, etc. The ethnonym Tatar consist of determinate ar "men, people " and determinant tat "alien": yat > dat > tat. Tatars are "Alien People".
Now we shall consider in what meanings was applied the word Tatar.
From the Chinese sources it became known that Tatars were northern neighbors of Chinese, during the period of Han empire (206 BC - 220 AD) they disturbed the northern borders of China. The ethnonym Tatars was designating the Türkic, and Mongolian, and Manchurian tribes. Following an old tradition, even in the 13th century the Chinese historian Myn-gun called the Türks "White Tatars" and Mongols "Black Tatars", Manchus "Water Tatars" [Katanov N.F., 1894, 188]. The Eastern historians tell that among those Türks who were subordinated to Mongols, Tatars were a majority [Rashid-ad-din, 1888, 9; Abul-Gazi, 1906, 31]. Mahmut Kashgarly the arrangement of Türks from Greece up to China describes in the following sequence: Bechen, Kyfchak, Oguz, Yemek, Bashgyrt, Basmyl, Kaj, Yabaku, Tatars, Kyrgyz [Kashgarly Ì., 1992, v 1, 28].
The Türkic-speaking Tatars apparently also lived in Europe long before the Mongolian conquests, and the Nikon Annals tells that in the year 990 a missionary Greek came to Bulgaria, and left a record about spread among the people of such malicious names as Besermen and Tatar [Shpilevsky S.M., 1877, 110].
During the Mongolian conquests, the ethnonym Tatars receives unprecedented distribution. The pun of the French king Louis 9, who named Tatars "the comers from the Tartar (hell)" became a reason that in Europe the ethnonym Tatar starts to be pronounced as a Tartar, naturally, with corresponding attitude to its carriers, as to the comers from the hell [Matuzova V.I., 1979, 286]. So, in Europe in the beginning of the 16th century all peoples under authority of Chingizids were called Tatars (Tatars)[Kazakov N.A., 1979, 253]. In Russia initially all eastern peoples, except for Russians, were called Tatars (and the name of Tatar Strait is from that period), later the ethnonym Tatar designated only the Türkic Moslems. V.N.Tatishchev on that occasion declares that by the generality of its meaning, the ethnonym Tatar replaces the common ethnonym Scyth.
For the Türks neighboring the Chinese, the ethnonym Tatar apparently was
used as endoethnonym. Later it would never be used as the endoethnonym of
any people. At the end of 19th century it starts to designate only the
Crimean Taurs and Bulgaro-Tatars, and in the beginning of 20th century it becomes
their endoethnonym (see section 62 for details on Tatars).
23. Etymology, semantics and functions of the ethnonym Madjgar > Magyar .
Research of this question has a special value for Türkology, for an erroneous opinion has ensconced that the Magyar s, recorded in the historical sources of the Middle Ages, were ostensibly from the very beginning Finno-Ugro-speaking, that the Arabian travelers wrote ostensibly incorrectly that Magyar s spoke a Türkic language. This notion always led the scientists to inadequate ethno-genetic research of both the Hungarians, and the Türks.
About all these questions in the traditional Türkology and Finno-Ugrology many start from the point of view, according to which the ethnonym Magyar designated from the very beginning the Finno-Ugro-speaking ancestors of Hungarians, later a part of Magyars ostensibly Türkicized and began to be called by the ethnonym Mishar. Originally this opinion was expressed in 1849 by S.Defremeri. He was the first who subjected to the analysis the records of the Arabo-Persian travelers about Al-Madjgaria and Madjgars, whom he at once attributed to the Finno-Ugro-speaking Hungarians, for he even had no idea about the existence of the Türkic-speaking Majgars. S.Defremeri's point of view is unconditionally accepted by both Türkologists and Finno-Ugrologists. Even B.N.Zahoder, who specifically studied this question and made a compendium of data about Madjars and Al-Madjgaria, on this subject repeats the information of S.Defremeri, and further on this point of view becomes an axiom about Magyars [Zahoder B.N., 1967, 47-58; Tolstov S.P., 1929, 158; Kuftin B.A., 1929, 139; Kuzeev R.G., 1974, 127, etc.]. A Polish scientist T.Levitsky, further developing this concept, comes to a conclusion that not only the Madjgars, but also Bashgirds, Ungars, Türks, Savarts and others carrying ethnonyms derivative of them, were originally Finno-Ugro-speaking Magyars [Levitsky Ò., 1978, 56].
Recognizing that the Türkic-speaking Madjgars (Mishars) arose from Türkization
former Finno-Ugro-speaking Magyars, both in the Türkology and
Finno-Ugrology is building up an opinion about the existence, until the 9th century AD,
of the Big
Hungary in those regions where lived Türkic-speaking Madjgars and Bashkirs,
also including there the territories of other Türkic-speaking peoples,
including almost all Ural-Itil region, Northern Caucasus, the basins of Oka-Sura,
Believing in the true existence of the Great and Big Hungary in the above regions, the Tatar archeologists A.Kh.Halikov and E.A.Halikova found the "Hungarian" burial places in the territory of Tatarstan [Halikova E.A., Halikov A.H., 1981], thus "proving" the presence of the Big Hungary also in the Middle Itil region. Actually, the presence of similar burial places in Hungary and in the Middle Itil region should not surprise anybody, for till the Middle Ages here and there, lived Huns and Kumans, and Ürmat tribes, and Alans.
In the presence of the Big Hungary supporters' opinion, after the major part of the Hungarian-Magyars left from that Hungary, the remaining population Tatarised under the influence of the newcoming Tatars and the Türkic-speaking Madjgars appeared as a result. If this point of view agreed with the reality, there would be no contradictions as follows.
First, if in the Middle Itil region and in Northern Caucasus (i.e. in so-called Great Hungary) the Madjgars were Hungarians, at least some historical source would have noted their Hungarian-linguality. But these do not exist. All the sources unanimously note their Türkic-linguality. The supporters of the Magyaro-Hungarian theory try to escape from this contradiction by charging the Arabo-Persian travelers with ignorance of the Türkic and Finno-Ugric languages which ostensibly created the confusion. But it is known the information of the Arabo-Persian travelers is marked by reliability and absolute accuracy, therefore there should not be any talk about a mess. Our task is to not correct the historical sources, but to try to study and understand them correctly.
Secondly, if the Madjgars were Hungarians, this ethnonym should not sound as Madjgar but as Madiyar. Madjgar is the ancient name of the Türkic-speaking Mishars.
Thirdly, if the Madjgars were originally Hungarians and Türkicized only later, the language of the Türkic-speaking Mishars would preserved the Hungarian words, but these do not exist. Hence, the Madjgars from the very beginning were Türkic-speaking, they were not formed by Türkicizing of the Hungarians.
Fourthly, if in the Ural-Itil region and in the Northern Caucasus was a Big Hungary, if there lived Hungarian-speaking Madjgars, in that territory would exist the Hungarian toponymy. But these also do not exist.
Hence, the described in the Arabo-Persian sources Madjgars were from the very
beginning Türkic-speaking as the Arabo-Persian travelers confidently
wrote about it.
This conclusion is also supported by the analysis of the ethnonyms Madjgar and the Hungar. The Finno-Ugric scientists came to a conclusion that "both names (Magyar, Hungar) themselves are the words of the Türkic origin; these terms the Hungarians received from those Türkic-speaking tribes that gave them their Türkic anthropological shade. The Hungar comes from the variation Ungar, its more ancient form is hungar < hunugor.
The term Magyar can be etymologized as a name of a Türkic tribe (compare majar, the name of the Uzbek tribe; mador, the name of a clan in the Kamasins, Kachins, Sayan Tatars tribe ) [Gordeev F.I., 1971, 316-317].
"The names: Modor, Madyr, Mader, Matar, Magyar, Madjar, Mazhar are the variations of the same Türkic ethnonym widely spread during the time of the Türkic Kaganates", remarks G.P.Samaev in his special research [Samaev G.P., 1987, 170-171].
The etymology of the ethnonym Madjgar > Mishar leads us to a conclusion that Mishary are the descendants of the Akadirs (Agathyrs) and Akatsyrs, all these ethnonyms have the same translation "Forest People" or "people with a tree totem".
How could form the Hungarians - Magyars?
In the basin of the Danube river the Hungarians live for a long time intermixed with Madjgars (Mishars). The last with time adopt the language of the Hungarians, but succeeded in transferring to them their ethnonym, and they, in turn, change it in their own way: Madjgar > Magyar. Alongside with this ethnonym in relation to the Hungarians the other peoples also started applying the name Hunugr, for in their composition were many Huns and Ugrs (Ugor is also originally a Türkic ethnonym). From here for the Magyars was arisen an exoethnonym Hungar. When these Finno-Ugro-speaking people settled in Pannonia, they lived together with the Türkic-speaking Ases-Alans, Komans, Huns and Madjgars, who then assimilated among the Magyars. Apparently, therefore a part of the Hungarians for a long time considered themselves to be Türks [Shestakov P.D., 1877, 16].
Thus, ethnonyms Magyar and Hungar historically go back to the most
ancient Türkic names. Described by the Arabo-Persian scientist-travelers
Madjgars were Türkic-speaking, and they had no relation to the
was no Great Hungary in the Ural-Itil and Northern Caucasus region, there
lived the Türks-Majdgars, the ancestors of the modern Mishars, the descendants
of the ancient Akatsyrs.
24. Relationship of history of an ethnonym and history of an ethnos.
Many ethnoses in the process of the development quite often change their ethnonym.
A people is formed not by an increase in the number of any one tribe, but by consolidation of various, usually closely related, tribes living in the territory of the same state. And each tribe for a long time retains its own ethnonym, reflecting its endoethnonym, and accepts the ethnonym of a leading, consolidating tribe which, becoming a nominal ethnonym, already expresses the self-consciousness of the people of a state. During consolidation of various tribes into one people the ethnonym of the predominant tribe frequently becomes a common ethnonym of the people as a whole, and can gradually turn to be its endoethnonym. So emerges a new ethnonym of people, though alterations of its ethnic composition were minor.
As a result, one ethnonyms descended from the pages of history, reminding only about the past, and others were appearing. So, in the Eastern Europe, if to start with the Huns, the picture in this respect looks as follows: from the 3-4th centuries AD the place of the common ethnonym Alan-As takes a common ethnonym Hun, it is replaced with the ethnonym Avar, instead of the Avar is spread the ethnonym Türk, then one after another line up the ethnonyms Khazar, Besenyo, Kypchak, Bulgar, Tatar. The replacement of the ethnonym of the same ethnoses some scientists explain as a disappearance of one ethnoses and arrival in their place of the others.
In our opinion, such explanation does not match the reality. Actually
the situation developed as follows. Among the Türkic-speaking peoples since
times lived tribes under various names. Among them there were Huns, and Avars,
and Türks, and Khazars, and Besenyos, and Kypchaks, etc. During
different times in different territories the prevailing position passed from one
tribe to another, i.e. were winning and taking the power in their hands
sometimes one, and then another
tribe, accordingly also changed the common ethnonym of the population of the state formations:
Huns were victorious, the
state formation received the name Hunnish, and the people as a whole
were called with a common ethnonym Huns; when Avars took the power in their
hands, the state, and the people received the name Avarian, etc.
It happened also like this. The newcoming conquerors themselves assimilated among the aborigines, and their ethnonym was attached to the new state, country and people.
Let's bring some examples.
In the 7th century AD, after the split of the Great Bulgaria, the son Asparuh of khan Kurbat with subordinates to him Bulgaro-Türkic followers fortified near the lower flow of Danube, where the majority of the population were Slavic-speaking tribes, and created a new state. From the conquerors the local population received their common ethnonym Bulgars. The Türkic-speaking victors themselves assimilated among the numerous local Slavs, and adopted the Slavic language. Thus appeared the Slavic-speaking Bulgarian people. In this case the history of the ethnos and the history of the ethnonym are completely different, but at the certain stage in the development of the Bulgarian people they began to merge.
The Deutsch-speaking Franks seized the lands of the Gallo-Romans, and in the 11th century created there the Frankish state. But during a life of several generations all these Franks adopted the Gallo-Romance language. So appeared the French ethnos which received the Deutsch ethnonym Frank > Frenchmen. The French historians always clearly distinguish the history of an ethnos and the history of an ethnonym.
As a result of the Chingizids' conquests everywhere (in the Central and Middle Asia, Near East, Eastern Europe) were created states usually called Tatars', and their population in the West were called Tatars (Tartars). But this exoethnonym stuck only in a part of the population of the Kipchak Khanaate, namely - for the former Volga Bulgars, former Crimean Taurs, the Siberian Türks and some others, which, in turn, assimilated an insignificant part of the winners, the Mongolo-Tatars. Thus, the modern Tatar population of the Ural-Itil region, Crimea and some other regions is local, native, but the ethnonym Tatars was introduced from the outside.
Apparently, the history of the ethnonym and ethnos in the studies of the ethnic roots play
very large role, but they in no event can be equated.
* * *
Summarizing, it is possible to emphasize that the main methods
for the detection of
the ethnic roots are reduced to the definition of the language type for the ethnoses, their
ethnological features on the basis of the analysis of the linguistical, archeological,
mythological and other primary sources. Here we tried to attract the attention
reader only to some of them. In the subsequent chapters will also be presented
|Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Conclusion · Literature · Name and Ethnic Index|
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
|© Çàêèåâ Ì.Ç., 2002|