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Kangars and Besenyo-Badjanaks

Kangju, Kangar, Kangly, Besenyos, Beshenye, Badjanak, Beçen, Beçenek (pl), Bejen, Bejenek (pl), Bissenus, Badzinags, Budin, Budini, Budun, Pasiani, Patzinaks, Peçenek, Pecheneg, Pechenachi, Pachenase, Pezengs, and other variations

W Huns 5c AD Kushan 6c AD Kushan 6c AD Avaria 6c AD Kyrgyz Kaganate
ca 600 AD
 Kangar-Besenyo
ca 700 AD
Uigur Kaganate
ca 740 AD
Kimak Kaganate
ca 750 AD
   
   
 

S.A.Pletneva
KIPCHAKS
ISBN 5-02-009542-7 Publishing house " Science ", 1990
Besenyo-related Middle Age Eastern Europe
Citations from the book

* * *

The capture of N.Pontic steppes by Kipchaks began from the most fertile, richest pastures for the pasture of horses and large horned livestock, the Donetsk, Don and Azov area steppes. The same lands were taken over in the beginning of the Badjanak migration, in the 8th century they were the first occupied by the nomadic hordes of Bulgars, displaced from the Eastern Azov by Khazars. By the 11th century some remains of the ancient Bulgarian semi-settled population, in spite of badly taken Badjanak's invasion, remained on the banks of the Don basin rivers  and Azov Sea (Judging from the devastation brought by the Badjanaks, Bulgar population was significant. By the numerously insignificant Khazars, they  of coursewere not forced out, on the contrary, they were included in the Khazar state and constituted a majority, despite the loss of people who had gone to the Danube, to Italy, to Pannonia to the Middle Itil).

Anthropological study of the nomadic skulls of the 10th-13th cc. showed that externally the population of that time almost did not differ from the inhabitants of the teppes of the 8th - beginnings of the 10th century. lso is very important that in N.Pontic steppes and especially frequently in the basin  of the Seber Donets are the burials of the 12th-13th centuries retaining features of the funeral ceremony allowing to connect them with the former inhabitants of the steppes, the subjects of the Khazarian Kaganate. That is, first, an atypical for the Badjanaks and for the Kipchaks meridian orientation of diseased (head to the north or south), frequent for ancient Bulgars and the Alans; Second, the presence in the tombs of a bedding of chalk or charcoal, and some other attributes. For example, there, on the banks of Donets and Lower Don, during Kipchak's time the nomads especially widely used things produced and spread during the previous Khazarian epoch: mirrors, ear-swabs, pottery, etc.

A big role in the composition of the Kipchak's community played the remains of the Badjanak and Oguz hordes. First of all testifies to it an unusual variety of funeral customs. As a whole the ceremony of all these ethnoses was uniform: the primary goal facing the relatives was supplying the diseased in the next world with all necessary (first of all a horse and weapons). The differences are in details of the ceremony: orientation of the diseased head to the west or east, burial with him of a full hulk of a horse or its effigy (the head, severed at the first, second or third joint legs, stuffed with dry grass hide with a tail), burial of an effigy without the diseased, placement of the horse in relation to the diseased. Some differences are also observed in the form of a sepulchral niche and, at last, in the built of the kurgan. Now I think it can be stated that Badjanaks buried under small earthen kurgans or used old kurgans for add-on burials, usually for men only, head oriented to the west, supine position with stretched legs, an effigy of a horse with severed at the first or second joint legs  was laid on the left from the diseased. Probably, into the ancient kurgans they also buried horse effigy (without a man), thus creating a memorial cenotaph. Oguzes, in contrast with the Badjanaks, were covering the tomb with a deck to place an effigy of a horse, or laid an effigy  on a step to the left of the diseased .

The archeological and anthropological data show that the Kipchak and Kimak hordes in the Dnieper-Don steppe very quickly, literally in one, at the most in two generations, became different people with changed physical and partially cultural characteristics. They as though blended with all other living in the steppes ethnic groups.

Thus in the N.Pontic steppes appeared a new ethnic mass, in the beginning very fluxed. It formed by the same laws like all other nomadic ethnoses and peoples of antiquity and Middle Ages, as in the Eastern European space  several centuries before formed the ancient Bulgars, Khazars, and Hungarians. One of important patterns of that process is that the ethnos that would give a name to new ethnic formation not necessarily happens to be the most numerous: simply because of favorite historical conditions and energetic military leaders it was coming to the forefront to the leading place in forming association. In this case, in the beginning of the 11th century this place was taken by Sharys, the "yellow" Kipchaks. They became that powerful nucleus around which the isolated and scattered in the steppe hordes of Badjanaks, Oguzes, and partially the remains of the Bulgarian and Alanian populations were united.

Synchronously with the Kipchak's community also was developing the western Kumanian branch of the Kipchaks. They went through the same processes as the Kipchaks. Possibly that they were more complicated than for the Kipchaks, because of the large number of the coaching in the steppes of the the Dnieper-Dniester interfluvial Badjanaks and Oguzes, who  gradually joined in the newly forming there association. The absence of the stone statues does not allow us to determine archeologically the fact of stabilization, i.e of the transition of nomads to a second stage of the nomadic economy. About its completion we can only judge from the Kipchak attack on the Rus' right bank of Dnieper in the 1071. Probably, the attack of 1071 was done by a Kumanian horde which captured land in around Buh, where earlier was coaching the Badjanak's horde Iavdiertim. The next attack, probably, by the same horde was in the 1092. Besides, in the same year these Kipchaks (Kumans?) concluded alliance or were hired and participated in a campaign of prince Vasilek Rostislavich "against Lyakhs(Poles)".

By the 1060es the "period of obtaining motherland"" for the Sharys - Kipchaks  who occupied the lands along the Donets, Lower Don and Azov Sea, and, probably, a little later, by the beginning of the 1070es, it ended for the Kumans (Kuns), who were coaching in steppes occupied earlier by the four western hordes of Badjanaks.

Right at the beginning of 1090es the Byzantian empire was shaken by the attacks of the Badjanak's hordes, who retreated earlier to the Balkans under a pressure of Kipchaks. Byzantium (involuntarily) admitted them only to the northern fringes of the empire, Badjanaks were not content with the lands allocated for them, and moved on the main territory of the empire, ruining and plundering the open settlements and poorly fortified small towns. Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118) turned for help to "all the Christian world", because the Byzantian armies even under his personal command could not fight with Badjanaks. Not the Christian  sovereigns, but only Kipchaks, who came to Byzantium's help under leadership of Khan Bonyak and Khan Tugor (Türkic, Sl. Tugorkan), helped Alexius. Emperor received the Kipchak's military leaders with imperial luxury. He showered them with gifts, trying to assure them in every way of his gratitude and reinforce the alliance relations. Both sides, i.e. Byzantines and Kipchaks, did not trust each other. Alexius at the first sight at the Kipchak's camp was overtaken with "despair and fear" because he could easily guess, that if Kipchaks join Badjanaks, they would destroy the small imperial army. And Kipchaks were well aware about the legendary treachery of the Byzantian rulers, and consequently for some time were afraid to have close contacts with them. Khan Bonyak, for example, totally refused in the beginning all Alexius's invitations to visit him in the camp of the Byzantian army, mindful of treachery and captivity. At the conclusion of the military alliance Alexius  "demanded from the Kuman leaders oaths and hostages", but for several days he did not even dare to bring to the battlefield Badjanaks and Kipchaks (Kumans), afraid that during a battle the warriors of both peoples, speaking the same language, would agree among themselves and move together against the Byzantines. Only after Kipchaks categorically declared that in case of further delays they would start independent actions, the Byzantine king set the day of the battle. It has ended with a full defeat of Badjanaks, and during the night after the battle (the fearless, Christian, and highly civilized) Byzantines savagely slaughtered 30 thousand of the captured (mostly women and children). Startled by the wild cruelty of that night, Kipchaks took their share, left their allies, and speedily returned to the Danube. There on the banks of the Danube they were defeated by the Hungarian army of king Laslo (Ladislaus) and left to the Dnieper area steppes which were already becoming indigenously theirs .

This sad 1090es episode of the Besenyo history was retold innumerable times from the Byzantian angle, a few times from the other angles, and brought again by S.A. Pletneva from the  Kipchak angle. Unfortunately, there is no source that tells about  Besenyos themselves. From the story of Anna Comnenus we can guesstimate that Badjanaks were settled in an immense tabor of 20 thousand carts, arranged in a ring for the defense, and accompanied by the herds of, say, 100,000 sheep and 200,000 horses, plus maybe some camels and cows. Most of the 60 thousand population, including women, were called for the defense in the face of the imminent mortal danger. A retreat was not an option, the cavalry of the Kipchaks and even the weakling Byzantyines were far superior to the flocks of sheep and cows. The only option Badjanaks had was to stand fast defending their indefensible tabor. We do not know the name of the unfortunate tribe, and therefore we can't trace its anabasis. Once the defense line of the mobile fortification was broken, the remaining population was left to the mercy of the attackers, 30,000 mostly women and children representing from 40 to 60 percent of the total tribe. The normal horde of the tribe would then be estimated from 7,000 to 10,000 mounted archers and warriors of the legendary Badjanak fortified wagons. In a total mobilization that number would triple, to 20,000 or 30,000 defenders. This gives us the feeling for the Byzantian force, in order of magnitude of 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers, and the forces of the Bonyakkhan and Tugorkhan of 5,000 to 10,000 mounted archers each, since the Byzantines could not assault alone the fortified camp, but the joined forces of the Bonyakkhan and Tugorkhan could. To stage all their herds in the vicinity of the  fortified camp, Badjanaks had to spread them over considerable territory, making the whole occupied tribal area 20 to 30 km deep. In the prologue to the assault, some clans may have evacuated away from the danger, and in the epilogue some considerable numbers have also escaped from the the massacre zone. A close study of the events preceding the massacre may disclose the fate of the ruling clan, the future fate of the tribe, and the lasting impact on the 1,000,000-strong Badjanak people.

We can imagine that the remnants of the fortified camp remained for a long time, serving the surrounding population as a scavenger source for carts, wheels, harnesses, jewelry, smith tools, looms, pottery craft, and any other utensil of the self-supporting nomadic culture, and slowly drifting off to a forgotten past.

Anna Comnenus wrote about 30 thousand Badjanaks (with children, women, old men), taken into captivity by the emperor Alexius Comnenus after his victory. expecting that the majority of the Badjanak's fighters perished in battle, Badjanaks had no more than 35 thousand. Probably, we can confidently state that 30-40 thousands was an average size of any nomadic horde.

This is a good demographic start, dropped right away by the author. From other sources we know that ail was a family group of 8-10 families coaching together along their annual route. A family had 5-6 people. To support one family, they needed 30-60 heads of livestock.

One ail thus would have something like 40 to 60 people, 30-40 carts, 10-15 yurts, 300 to 600 heads of livestock, and need from 15 km2 to 30 km2, or 5x3 km to 5x6 km pasture for each season, and allowing for 5 seasonal posts, a total of 75 to 150  km2.

A 30,000-strong horde would consist of 600 150 ails with 25,000 10,000 carts, 8,000  2,000 yurts, equipped with 300,000  150,000 heads of livestock, and need 300x300 30% km space for pastures, not including non-productive territories, i.e a hypothetical meridional strip of 100km wide and 1,000 km long.

With a lifespan of 50 years, this horde would produce around 600 burials a year, with a half probably concentrated in the winter stans a quarter in the summer posts, and the rest along the route.

These numbers should also reflect the burden of maintenance this wheeled legion, the wheel makers that had to produce 30,000 wheels a year, lumber suppliers, smiths, arms production etc.

 

Anna Comnenus constantly calls Khan Bonyak and Khan Tugor Kumans, and, especially significant, she points out that their language is the same as the Badjanak's. Undoubtedly the Türkic languages, like the Slavic languages, are similar one to another, but all of them are different for different peoples and ethnoses. In this case it should be emphasized that Badjanak's and Kipchak's languages even belong to the different language groups. The fact that Anna Comnenus emphasizes the unity, instead of the similarity of the languages, is very significant: Kumans may have spoken the Badjanak's language because a mass of the Badjanak-Oguz population joined the western hordes.

Badjanak language, like other Türkic languages, was a subject of speculations and attempts to be attributed to Indo-European language family, not particularly because its lexicon contains common words with some of the Indo-European languages, since its lexicon is almost unknown, but because of the ripple effect that could bring its root language, Kangar, and its Chorasm and Sogdy versions into the Indo-European family, piggy-backing all the cultural attributes, like art, horsemanship, and burial traditions into the insatiable "Indo-European" melting pot. The advocates of the Indo-European attribution, unless they feign that direct testimony does not exist, have to do a lot of extensive quasi-scientific tap-dancing to persuade that a language of one family belongs to a completely another family.

To see the type of argumentation used for Besenyos by Prof. O.Pritsak click here.

The phrase of the Vladimir Monomach gives exact coordinates for the location of the Kuman Bonyak's horde ca. 1100 AD (approximately where previously was coaching the Badjanak clan Irtim) along the Western Buh river.  Thus, from the Dnieper to the Buh and even Dniestr spread the lands of the hordes who were recognizing at least the military authority of Khan Bonyak.

Inhabitants of small Kipchak town Sharukan in the 1111 AD stepped out to the Rus army and welcomed it with fish and wine. Vladimir ordered to approach the small town singing prayers, their meeting  was also organized by Christians. This fact testifies to the presence among the Don Kipchaks in steppes of the population ready to switch over to the Rus side out of religious, and possibly also political reasons. Most likely, they were the Ases - Yases - Alans, who remained in the steppes after coming of Badjanaks, and then Kipchaks, who were the subjects of thr Khazarian Kagan. Like their Alan relatives living in the foothills of Caucasus, they, probably,  accepted Christianity in mass. There is no doubt that Christians and Alan farmers with a big desire would go under the power of the Rus Princes.

The Badjanak-Türkic hordes which stayed in the steppes after the arrival of Kipchaks played a very active role in the life of both the steppe nomads, and of the population of the southern Rus princedoms.

 

In the 1142 during the conflict of Vsevolod Olgovich with his brothers that prince used Badjanaks as an additional force.

Since the 1140es all nomads living in Ros federated in an union, i.e. made a first step toward formation of a new ethnic nationality, actually they during their whole life in the Ros area clearly remembered what ethnic group each clan belonged originally. Moreover, the number of the ethnic names in the Kara Kalpak union gradually grew;  and  grew the nomadic vassal population living on the fringes of the Pereyaslavl and Chernihiv princedoms. Besides Türks and the Berendeys,  frequently mentioned in the Ipatiev annals as independent, separate associations even after creation of the union, the chronicler also named Badjanaks (in the 1151 and 1162), Kouys (in the 1151, 1162, 1170, 1185), Turpeys (1150), Kaeps (1160), Basts (1170es).

The Badjanaks settled in the lands in upper course of Rossava (left tributary of Ros). The Oguz Türks possessions were in the central areas of the Ros course. Already at the end of the 11th century there was a city of Torchesk on the site of the ancient Scythian fortress.

Kouys was a fourth in size (and importance) ethnic group (the author misrepresents the term "ethnic" outside of its definition "distinct way of life by a group of people" to describe individual political groups of the same ethnicity) in the Kara Kalpak federation. The location of their forts and pastures in the 1150-1170es of the 12th century is established only indirectly. The reason is that they constantly act together with the Oguz Türks, Berendeys and Badjanaks in the Kara Kalpak union. Because the union formed and consolidated in the territory of the Ros river, it is logical to assume that Kouys shared the same space with other members of the union. However, under 1185 the chronicler repeatedly mentions a special group colling it "Chernihiv Kouys". Hence, besides the Ros area, in that decade the Kouys also had forts and pastures in the Chernihiv princedom: on its borders and, probably even partially in the vicinities of the Chernihiv, in the wide Desna wetlands.

If  it was not coming from the preeminent expert on Middle Age Türks, this misrepresentation would qualify as a typical Russian Academic antic: show twos for an ace and plead ignorance. The Kouys/Kovuys were a prominent Suvarian clan, traceable up to the present, and the Suvars are certified as living in the Desna area by Ptolemy in the 2nd c. AD. Kouys were the indigenous owners of the Chernihiv princedom, and not just of its boderlands in a shade of the Rus domain.

Essentially, in the Ros area, where a multitude of the nomadic kurgans were excavated, we could find only two funeral rituals: a Badjanak's and an Oguz Türkic, little different one from another. Both peoples buried their dead heads toward west, laying them on the back and accompanying with simultaneous burial of a horse effigy, from which was usually preserved a harnessed skull, legs bones frequently cut off at the metacarpal joint, imprints of the tail vertebrae. This ritual testifies about a complete preservation in the Ros basin of the horseriding traditions. The insignificant differences which, obviously, existed in the sacred ritual and in the daily life of the Black Klobuk members were submerged in the commonality of the ritual. In any case, the archeologists can't catch them.

However, in her work published in the 2000, but based on her excavations predating the publication of this book, S.A.Pletneva provides clear criteria that allow easy discrimination between the Badjanak's and Oguz burials:

1. Badjanaks buried the horse or its effigy next to the diseased in a wide grave suitable to contain a human and a horse corpses, in a shallower grave. The Oguzes buried the horse or its effigy above the diseased, over a plank cover, in a narrow grave suitable to contain a single human, in a deeper grave, with the horse covered by a thin layer of soil.

2. The Oguzes, unlike Badjanaks, retained strong Chorasmian affinity in their ceramics, with even more formulated decor.

3. About Bulgars, S.A.Pletneva writes above: an atypical for the Badjanaks and for the Kipchaks meridianal orientation of diseased (head to the north or south), frequent for ancient Bulgars and the Alans; Second, the presence in the tombs of a bedding of chalk or charcoal, and some other attributes. For example, there, on the banks of Donets and Lower Don, during Kipchak's time the nomads especially widely used things produced and spread during the previous Khazar epoch: mirrors, ear-swabs, pottery, etc.

In the Badjanak's and Oguz burials in the Ros basin quite often are found pot made by Slavs. Apparently,in addition to the material culture, Christianity was also "exspored" to the Ros area, however among the solid uniform union strongly held by the traditions, it was filtered in by thin streams. This is evident by a stable Tengrian (pagan) funeral ceremony adhered to by the Ros area shepherds down to the Mongolo-Tatar invasion.

Between the Kara Kalpaks is clearly traced a social hierarchy coinciding with military in their militarized society. At the top were large aristocrats directly under a prince of the main city of a princedom where were such vassals. For example, in the 1185, preparing for a campaign against Konchak, Igor Novgorod-Seversky asked for the help of his suzerain, the Karadjar (Chernihiv) prince, and the prince gave him "Chernihiv Kouys". Igor's authority did not allow him to order them into his army. After a multi-ethnic Kara Kalpak union consolidated, a tense situation was probably in the Ros area. The Khans of the three main hordes, the Oguz Türks, Badjanaks and (the Bulgarian/Suvarian) Berendeys had inevitably struggled for the leadership in the union. We already saw that each group wanted to act independently. Such instability was very handy for the Kyiv prince, because united under a power of a strong Khan, the Kara Kalpaks at once would become a real danger for Rus. Therefore some disunity the Princes not only entertained, but also supported.

Archeological finds confirm that: among the excavated Badjanak tombs are female burials apparently belonging to the Kipchaks. Besides, there are also found male burials with a whole carcass of a horse (about 15 %), which is typical for the Kipchaks, and consequently, they belonged to the Kipchaks who joined the multi-ethnic Kara Kalpak union.

 

Possibly, it were the Sharukan's troops who defeated at the Sarkel (White Fort) the joint forces of Badjanaks and Oguz Türks in the 1117.

In a dynastic fight in the1142 Vsevolod Olegovich acted as a sovereign Kyiv prince in using the forces of the vassal Badjanaks, not asking for the Kipchak's soldiers.

Anna Comnenus wrote about a capture of 30 thousand Badjanaks. Even admitting that in the fight fell all Badjanak's soldiers, i.e. about 6-7 thousand men (the ratio of the soldiers to the whole population is 1 : 5), the size of a horde did not exceed 40 thousand people.

Badjanak Dateline in Rus affairs
895 Arrival to the Dnieper basin of Badjanaks, route of Hungarians in Atelkuza

915 The first arrival of Badjanaks on the borders of Rus and their peace with Igor (Ugyr Lachini)

944 Igor's (Ugyr Lachini) campaign to Byzantium with Badjanak allies

969 Attack of Badjanaks on Kyiv and siege of the city

993 Duel of Rus' and Badjanak's bogatyrs, victory of Rus bogatyr, and building in the wrestling place of the city Pepeyaslavl

996 Siege of Belogorod by Badjanaks (which? where?)

1036 Yaroslav's victory over Badjanaks, crush of Badjanak hordes

1086-1092 Byzantian-Badjanak war

1092 Campaign of Bonyak and Tugorkan to Byzantium to participate in the Byzantine war with Badjanaks

1117 Defeat by Kipchaks of the Badjanaks and Oguz Türks at Sarkel on the Don. Resettlement of the Sarkelians in the Rus (see location in S.A.Pletneva's 2000 publication)

1121 Expulsion by Vladimir Monomah from the Rus lands of Berendeys, Oguz Türks and Badjanaks

 
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S.A. Pletneva Kipchaks
O.Pritsak "Pechenegs"
O.Pritsak - Pecheneg Identity
P.Golden - Rebuttal of O.Pritsak Pechenegs
Croat/Charaboi & Bosniak/Besenyo Genetics
Ogur and Oguz
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