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O.Pritsak  (1919-2006)
THE PECENEGS
A Case of Social and Economic Transformation
THE PETER DE RIDDER PRESS, 1976
ISBN 90 316 0122 5 ©1976 Copyright O. Pritsak

The text of this article is reprinted from ARCHIVUM EURASIAE MEDII AEVI I (1975), pp. 211-235
The first version of this article was written in Ukrainian for the Ukrainian Encyclopaedia (see O. Pritsak (Pricak), "Peeenihy", Encyklopedija Ukrajinoznavstva, Slovnykova Sstyna, v (Paris-New York 1970), pp. 2042-2043 (abbreviated redaction), and Ukrajnkyj istoryk, vii, nos 25-27 (New York-Munich 1970), pp. 95-101 [fuller version, but without notes]).

No part of this work may be translated or reproduced in any form, by print, photoprint, microfilm, or any other means, without written permission from the author

Introduction

In his 1976 publication "The Pecenegs" Professor Omeljan Pritsak summarized his observations in favor of Indo-European origin of the Kangars and Badjanaks. The idea of Indo-European origin of the Kangars is a radical confrontation with the common knowledge, and to create it from scratch, Prof. O. Pritsak had to assemble all information that could support the new hypothesis. His very brief work provided brilliantly an essence of the Badjanaks's history, and sent a trial balloon that listed arguments in favor of their Indo-European origin. Below is an extract of all indicators that gave Prof. O. Pritsak an idea of their possible Indo-European origin, with added "from the other side" considerations addressing facts that Prof. O. Pritsak did not include in his targeted scope. The review of the evidence assembled by Prof. O. Pritsak's gives a clear picture that the aggregate of the evidence is overly feeble, and a valid case in favor of the Indo-European roots can not be made. While generally not taken seriously (see P.Golden comment), the (Tocharian) idea of Prof. O. Pritsak, unfortunately, was enthusiastically greeted by other ardent Irano-Indo-Europeists, who by confusing it with the Indo-Iranian concept equated the alleged "Tocharian"-speaking Kangars with the alleged Iranian-speaking Sarmatians, and successfully distorted the O. Pritsak's concept. A good example of misapplication of the O. Pritsak's work is the study of tamgas made by S.A.Yatsenko Tamgas Of Iranolingual Antique And Early Middle Age Peoples. The Kangars left their mark over the territory from Kuwait to China, and noting that Kangars gave the antique world a multitude of their leaders, S.A.Yatsenko arbitrarily and squarely ascribes all tamga symbology to the Arian-Iranian background. Next, some other expert would cite S.A.Yatsenko and his work as an authority on the Iranians and their tamgas, inflaming the myth further. For a pick at other details in the O. Pritsak's book click here.

For P.Golden summary on Badjanaks click here.

Links

http://www.getcited.org/pub/103380485
http://www.encislam.brill.nl/data/EncIslam/S7/SIM-6107.html
CONTENTS
1 The Name "Peceneg" 5
2

The Names "Kangar" and "Kangaras"

6

3

The Native Land of the Pecenegs

8

4

The Settling of the Pecenegs

9

5

The Second and the Third Resettlements of the Pecenegs

10

6

Administrative Organization of the Peceneg Nomadic State (Ninth-Tenth Centuries)

11

7

Provinces Inhabited by the Ruling Stratum of the Kangars

13

8

Provinces Inhabited by Non-ruling Tribes

13

9

Government

14

10

The Double Kingdom

I5

11

The Ruling Clan and the Other Tribes

15

12

The Hereditary System of Offices and of Succession

15

13

Political Center.

16

14

Diplomatic Relations.

17

15

The Military .

18

16

Economy .

19

17

Population

20

18

Ethnos Language. and Script

22,

19

Religion

24

20

The Downfall of the Pecenegs

74

21.

The Pecenegs and Rus - The "Translatio Imperii" . .

26

22

Traces of the Pecenegs in Ukrainian Toponymies

28

Indo-Iranianm arguments

Scholars connect the name Kangar with the Tocharian A word *kank ~ "stone". The Kangars were originally the rulers over the "stony" city of Tashkent and its environment.

*kank can be connected with many words in many languages, the probability of having a 4-letter word kank in any language is in the order of 1/6000, i.e. any language that has more than 6, 000 of the 4- or more letter words has a very good chance of having the *kank too. In a Finnish language search, Google returned me 9 million entries for "kank". Making it kang, qank, cankun etc would open many more. So, the investigating value of having "*kank" in any language is naught. An impartial scholar should mention alternate etymologies for Kangars, especially in the other plausible languages. In Türkic they are akin to "ancestors" and "cart", which semantically are more suitable than "stone" for people known as nomads for 2 millennia.

Kangars were documented to spread from Kuwait to Tashkent and beyond, therefore limiting them to a "stony" city of Tashkent is not accurate at all. In fact, the oldest record of Kangars comes not from the Middle Asia oases, but from the saman (adobe, vs a "stone" city) city of Sumer.

This a critical link in the chain of reasoning. This faulty link ruins the whole line of reasoning.

The Chinese of the Han Dynasty (209 B.C. - 220 A.D.) ó after they started to explore the outside world (the "Western Lands") at the end of the second century B.C., recorded the presence of several groups which, we might assume, were speakers of Tocharian.

In the sentence "we might assume, were speakers of Tocharian" the only substantial word is "assume".

The concept is built on a chain of assumptions, as follows:

1. Language of the Buddhist missionaries in the Turfan oases was the same as the language of Turfan population.

But...The languages of Indian missionaries whose books have survived from the 5-6 c. AD were conditionally called Tocharian, implying that the local populace, called Togars (Türk. "Mountaneer", from tog=mountain + ar=man), spoke the language of the missionaries. With that logic the Finns would be Latin speakers, since their Bible was in Latin, and Indonesians would be Arabic speakers, since their Koran is in Arabic. The name "Tochar" itself was taken by the late 18th c. discoverers from the Old Türkic documents, but in Türkic, "Mountaneers" is not an ethnic or linguistic term, it applies to the inhabitants of the mountains from Taurus in Anatolia (tau=tag=mountain) to Tian-Shan, like the Suars/Huars lived by the rivers and Iyrk (Gr. Hyrcae) were steppe-dwellers

But...The traits of location, usage, writing, and linguistic borrowings point to "Tocharians" to be isolated languages of immigrant enclaves. All texts are found in Buddhist monasteries. All texts are related to monastery life: religious texts, monastery correspondence, monastery accounts, monastery commercial documents, monastery caravan permits, and medical and magical texts. Texts are written in Brahmi, a totally foreign script for the Tarim basin. The Türkic loanwords also show environment of isolated enclaves embedded between indigenous population.

But...Nowadays India has 308 Indo-European Indo-Iranian languages, most of which are studied incomparably less then the ancient "Tocharian A" and "B". Quite compatible number of Indian languages could have been lost in the last 1500 years. With such rich base of potential owners of the "Tocharian A" and "B", the Indo-Europeist induction of "Tocharian" upon the indigenous population is infinitely conjectural and tenuous.

This a critical link in the chain of reasoning. This faulty link also ruins the whole line of reasoning.

Among them were : the Little Yüeh-chih in the western Chinese province Kan-su, the Great Yüeh-chih who made their career as the builders of the Central Asian and Indian Kushana-Empire, the Wu-sun north of the T'ien-shan Mountains, the K'ang-chu (= our Kangars) in the Tashkent region, the Ta-yüan (< *Taxwar "Tochar") and some other groups in Bactria and Sogdiana.

2. The assumption that the people of Tarim were Indo-European Yüeh-chih, Wu-sun, Kangars, Tochars is unsustainable. There is a state of hesitation on the part of the Indo-European scientists to confirm the Türkic classification of these groups, but there is no firm grounds for any alternates:

The Little Yüeh-chih in the contemporary Kazakh Türkic is Kyshe Juz, i.e. Junior Juz, where "Kyshe" is literary "Little", and "Juz" is what was rendered by the ancient Chinese and read by modern Sinologist as "Yüeh-chih"(i.e. "Ueji, Uedji, Juchi, etc."), meaning a tribal union. The components of the union changed with time, but the term lives on.

The Great Yüeh-chih in the contemporary Kazakh Türkic is Uly Juz, i.e. Senior Juz, where "Uly" is literary "Great", and "Juz" is a tribal union. How the word "Juz" is phoneticised in various Chinese languages now, and how it would be phoneticised in the reverse transcription to Latin today? What was its original dialectal Türkic pronunciation 2200 years ago? Given all the uncertainties, Ueji-Juz sounds close enough. The components of the Uly Juz union certainly changed with time, but the name remains.

Both Juzes happened to continue their existence in the approximate locations recorded in the Chinese annals. Also close enough for a 2200 years span.

"Indian Kushana" Empire happened to be the empire of "White Huns", which is directly stated in the name Kushan/KuSün: "Ku" is "White" in Türkic, "Sün/Hun" is what in the Indo-European and some Türkic languages we still today call "Huns", and in some Türkic languages is today called "Sün". This is H/S split. The name Aksuvar of the Kushan dynastic founder is also Türkic: "Ak" is "Noble, White", "Suvar/Suar/Sibir" is a familiar Türkic ethnonym of the "River Man" type.

"Wu-sun north of the T'ien-shan Mountains" are the same Wusuns/Uysyns (Usuns, Wusuns) a splinter of whom are now members of the Yüeh-chih/Kyshe Juz/Junior Juz in the same Tian-Shan mountains, and still with strong traditions of nomadism.

"K'ang-chu/Kangars in the Tashkent region" are the same Kanly (Kangly)  a splinter of whom are now a prominent member of the Yüeh-chih/Kyshe Juz/Junior Juz in the same region, and also still with strong traditions of nomadism.

And even the historical name of the province Kan-su has two most frequent words, Khan/Qan/Gan (i.e. "Khan"), and Su/Sub/Suv (i.e. "water, river"), like in Tengri-Khan mountain and Aksu river.

3. Tochar, Tau-ar, Togar, etc is not a linguistic, but geographical ethnonym. like Tian-Shanians living in Tian-Shan may speak very different languages, Ditto for Caucasus, etc. The "Taular" (or Tawlar/Taul/Tualag/Twal/Tuallag) branch of Ossets carry this clearly Türkic designation, but it is also clear that for the Ossetians it is an adopted exoethnonym or adopted Türkic group.

That Tochar is exoethnonym is shown by our knowledge of not only their Kushan/KuSün endoethnonym, but also other endoethnonyms of the Kushan components. Out of 297 emissions of White Huns coins, 143 bear an ethnonym "Alhon", which is again synonymous with White Huns. The coins also bear such Türkic mark as tamga, universally used by Türkic people and occasionally by their close neighbors, and a star and crescent symbol, also endemic to the Türkic tribes.We also know that Kushans were subdivided into five branches, each ruled by a Yabgu, an indigenous Türkic title.

This a critical link in the chain of reasoning. This faulty link also ruins the whole line of reasoning.

It seems that these "Tocharian" peoplesónot unlike the Iranians (cf., Iran versus Turan/An-Iran)ówere comprised of two opposite and complementary groups, of which one were nomads and the Empire-builders (e.g., Yüeh-chih, Wu-sun), while the others were city-oasis dwellers (e.g., Kangars).

4. The Turan/An-Iran concept of O. Pritsak must be able to accommodate the fact that the city Afrasiab/Samarkand dates to Early Antique times, and belong to Turan/An-Iran people. The idea that city-oasis dwellers vs nomads opposition was an ethnic indicator can not be drawn form the Turan/An-Iran ethnic distinctions because the same source tells that it is the Turan that lives in the city in Sogd .

Nobody can object that between city dwellers and pastoral nomads is a sea of difference, and between Uedji, Usuns and Kangars were both, even when from the fragmentary information it can't be proved. We happened to have more information on cataclysmic impacts, so we know Uedji/Kushans more as Empire-builders, and Kangars just as a pastoral semi-nomadic people. Neither one had a patent on a city or a steppe life, but each one filled an economic niche when it promised a better benefit. Toba Türks (Tobgaches), Kushans, Huarases, Seljuks are good examples of Türkic adoptability to economic niches, same as the Indo-Iranians when they finally arrived to colonize the Middle East. We should also consider that in 150 BC it had been only about 500 years that full blown nomadism took off. Only 500 years before that, the vastly more efficient productivity attracted a part of the population to switch to the pastoral migration, but the remaining population continued their sedentary/semi-sedentary life, the fact amply documented for all nomadic people. There is no vs. Turan/An-Iran in this respect, both Iran and An-Iran were city-oasis dwellers.

This is another critical link in the chain of reasoning. Remove this opposition, and it ruins the whole line of reasoning.

The "Kangars" of Tashkent were city-dwellers and traders, and one may assume that before the (later) "Pecenegs" of Tashkent entered into an alliance with the Turks and received their "political" name, they were known by their native name, Kangar.
Maybe. And maybe not. For the Türkic Kaganate the appellation Kangars was an exoethnonym, like was the exoethnonym "Persians" applied to Azeri, Kurds, Armenians and Turkmen living in Persia. The common ethnonym "Türk" did not appear in Central Asia until the Türkic Kaganate in 552. The people of Tashkent could have called themselves derivatives of Yuni, Chach, Shi, Shash, Tashkura, etc. Because the ancient and medieval cities were assembled of ethnic islands, they could also call themselves something like "Chach Indians, Chach Yehuds, Chach Huns, Chach Kangars" etc. In the the Samanid period of forced Persianization, the city was called Binkath. Per al-Biruni and Mahmud Kashgari, the name Tashkent first appeared from the Türkic sources of the 9-12 cc. In Türkic Tashkura is "Stone Wall", Tashkent is "Stone Fort". The earthen fort in Türkic is "Kala/Kal/Koy" etc., found, like "kent", in a multitude of Türkic appellations. Another name the Chach had was Kanka, not a "stone" but :"stone citadel" and Min-Uruk, min/bin=thousand and ürük=apricot, again all in Türkic.  The PIE base *kent-, like in Tashkent, is "to prick", which makes the "stone" meaning a borrowing into the "Tocharian"-Indian-Iranian-etc.  languages.

The Kangar origin of Bajanak tribes is recorded in widely known written sources. None of the recorded Bajanak traits were city/trade derived, they were known as pastoral nomads, which was not less specialized art at that time then, say, was a watchmaking. A 7th.c. city trader had as much chance to graze a 1,000 horse herd, or built a yurt, or built a fortified war carriage, as has today's professor of nomadic history. A handful of petty Central Asian oases cities could not produce 1,000,000 strong pastoral people united in a powerful confederation able to rival Oguzes, Khazars, Bulgars, Magyars. The Bajanaks preserved their cattle-breeding as long as they remained Bajanaks, with the demise of their pastoralism their identity disappeared also

This is another ephemeral critical link in the chain of reasoning. Remove the "city-dwellers and traders", and the whole line of reasoning is ruined .

Kangaras consists, in our view, of two elements : the first goes back, ultimately, to the aforementioned Tocharian A word *kank- "stone", and the second has its origin in the Eastern Iranian tribal name 'Aorsoi (= *avrs- > ars- > as.13

The Hungarian forms of the name (known since ca. 1130) go back to *basanag, A Magyar nvelv torttneti-etimoldgiai szdtdra, i (Budapest, 1967), p. 288.

Constantine Porphyrogenitus stresses the existence of deserted cities under their rule : "On this side of the Dniester River, towards the part that faces Bulgaria, at the crossings of this same river, are deserted cities: the first city is called by the Pecheneg Aspron [Greek], because its stones look very white; the second city is Toungatai; the third city is Kraknakatai; the fourth city is Salmakatai; the fifth city is Sakakatai; the sixth city is Giaioukatai. Among these buildings of the ancient cities are found some distinctive traces of churches, and crosses hewn out of porous stone, whence some preserve a tradition that once on a time Romans had settlements there." 74

13 Pulleyblank, Asia Major 9 ii (1963), p. 220.
This name probably marks the presence of the new As stratum, in this originally Tocharian Confederation for the organization of the international transcontinental trade (see also note 74 below).
Concerning their Caucasian settlements (see note 15 below).

15  As international traders during the fifth-sixth centuries A.D. they also maintained their settlements in Transcaucasia on the Kura River, an area of primary importance to the transcontinental trade routes. The data concerning their activity in Transcaucasia were collected by Kljastornyj, Drevnetjurkskie runiceskie pamjatniki, pp. 175-176.

74 De Administrando Imperio, ed. Moravcsik, p. 168 = Engl. transl. by Jenkins, p. 169.

All the cities' names - with the exception of the first one, which is given in Greek translation - appear in their original language. They consist of two component parts, the second being -katai, *katai (after -n : gatai), which certainly must have been the appellativum with the meaning, 'city' (the word exists in the Eastern Iranian group, e.g. Sogdian *kanth- (knoh-, knt-) 'city', Saka kantha 'id.', Yaghnobi kanta 'id.', Qssetian kaent 'building', Pushtu kandai 'block' (seeV. I. Abaev, Istoriko-etimohgte'eskij slovar' osetinskogo yazyka, i (MoscowóLeningrad 1958), p. 579, s.v., kaent; cf. K.H. Menges, "Etymological Notes on Some Pacanag Names", Byzantion 17 (1944-1945), pp. 271-272)), while the first component has, at least in two cases, an ethnic designation : Salma-  Salma- ~ Sarma- 'Sarmati' and Saka- Saka- 'Saka, Scythian'. This is clear evidence that the former inhabitants of these deserted cities were Eastern Iranians and, thus, attempts to etymologize the names of the "Peceneg cities" from Turkic are meaningless (cf. the bibliography in note 60 above).

60 There is a tremendous literature dealing with the Peceneg lists. I will, therefore, give here only some basic titles : J. Nemeth, "Zur Kenntnis der Petsehenegen", Korosi Csoma-Archivum 1 (1921-1925), pp. 219-225; J. Nemeth, "Die Petschenegisehen Stammesnamen", Ungarische Jahrbiicher 10 (1930), pp. 27-34; K. H. Menges, "Etymological Notes on some Pacanag Names", Byzantian 17 (1944-1945), pp. 256-280; A. M. Scerbak, "Znaki na keramike"' (see note 3 above), pp. 383-384.

3 O. Pritsak, "Die Stammesnamen und Titulaturen der altaischen Völker", Ural-Altaische Jahrbucher 24 i-ii (1952), pp. 52, 79; A. M. Scerbak, "Znaki na keramike i kirpicax iz Sarkela - Beloj Vezi (K voprosu o jazyke i pismennosti pecnegov)", Materialy i issledovanija po arxeologii SSSR, No. 75 (Moscow-Leningrad, 1959), p. 369.

1. The Iranists' appropriation of the most ancient Türkic ethnonym As (phonetic variations: Yas, Ash, Ish, Az, Uz, Ud, etc.) without definitions was a popular sport for Indo-Europeistic scientists in the early 20th c. The annexation of the ethnonym As with Türkic definitions, like Suas "Water Ases", Taulas "Mountain Ases", Burtas "Wood Ases" was a more cumbersome affair, requiring imaginative manipulation of the lexicons, creative rationalizations, and frequently circular logic like in this example: Ases are IE's because Aorses are IE's because Kengeres are IE's because Ases are IE's. Viola!

BTW, Aorsoi are Türkic Awars who so much vitriolled Bysantium that their Türkishness became well documented. Eastern Iranian tribal name "Awars" is just another figment of imagination. And, BTW, Aw-Ars=Av-Ars=Av-Ars=(Türk. "White-Ars"="White-People"). Tracing down the Eastern Iranian label would inevitably lead to Abaev and Ossetian puddle. The Ossets managed to join Kangars, create powerful Kangaras, and then evaporate without leaving either a miniscule linguistic trace of their rich 20% Iranian vocabulary, or any genetical trace, in the Kanly/Kangly descendents of the Middle Age Kangars. The Ossets managed to do that to every As-bemired people, Su-ases (Kazan Tatars, Chuvashes), Tau-ases, Is-tyaks, Os-tyaks, Balkars called by Ossetians Ases, Khak-as, Dagestany Avars, and so on, evaporating all traces of their multitude influence without a trace of a trace.

But taking out the ephemeral Ossets from the chain of reasoning would mortally ruin whole line of reasoning. No Indo-Iranian etymology of the Türkic phenomena can survive without the Ossetian platform.

2. That Kangaras/Kengeres is a blend of two groups, each one with its distinctive ethnonym, is more than likely,  supported by a number of identical Türkic combinations, and was expressed many times by many respected scientists.

3. Hungarian Basanag, Greek Patsinak, Latin Besenyo all reflect the underlying Türkic "in-laws" term

4. Note to Note 74: This is a second bit of evidence used as a pillar for the Eastern Iranian claim of the Bajanak descent. The whole earth-shattering hypothesis is resting on two supposedly Eastern Iranian words, Tocharian A *kank ~ "stone", and *katai (after -n : gatai) > *kanth- (knoh-, knt-), kantha  ~ 'city'. The word "katai" belongs to pre-Bajanak population of the cities, is unrelated to Bajanaks, and to etymologize pre-Bajanak word from Turkic is meaningless.

4.1 The N. Carpathian area of the Eastern Europe is saturated with settlements carrying "hotan/hotyn" in their names. The Greek "-katai" is close enough to "hotan/hotyn" to suspect that they are slightly differing renditions of one and the same word. In our times, this word was made famous by infamous secret slaying of all Polish officers on the order of I.Stalin in 1944. Generally, Ptolemy located in that area what he called Celtic-related tribes, and nowadays Hotan is a prominent Scottish branch. But this word, semantically connected with the meaning "city", is spread from Eastern Turkestan to Eastern Europe, can be claimed by everybody who was ever living in that span, with the best proof relying mostly on the act of faith. Noteworthy that the Balto-Slavic languages that preserved rich vocabulary of Indian origin, like "chtyre" for "four" and "Bog" for "God", do not have "hotan/hotyn" in their vocabulary either for "city" nor for anything else, somewhat strange because they populated N. Carpathians and lived in the vicinities of the "hotan" cities for centuries.

4.2 The convoluted line of footnotes may prove something related to pre-Bajanak population, but because it is unrelated to the origin of the Bajanaks themselves, this second pillar of the hypothesis is floating in clear air, not connected to either Bajanak's origin subject, not to the pillar's claimed Eastern Iranian roots. For the purposes of Bajanaks, it is just a quasi-scientific blabbering.

4.3 Accepting for a moment the thesis that pre-Bajanak population used a non-Türkic word for the "city", the Türkic-speaking 1,000,000-strong crowd of Bajanaks, whose instantaneous and complete switch to foreign Türkic language was so eloquently advocated by Prof. O.Pritsak, were able to communicate with the local owners of these 'Sarmati' and 'Saka, Scythian' cities, and learn from them the authentic names of the cities well enough for not only their own use of the local names, but also to pass that knowledge along to the learned Greeks. Try to roll 1,000000-strong crowd to, say, New Zeland, interview Maori, kill Maori, and adopt from the Maori their place-names for your casual usage. Forget about those Oaklands, Hamiltons, Wellingtons and Christchurches. Use the exterminated Maori. Is not it a lovely supercalifragelistic scientific scenario not at all expiolodocious?

Many Runic inscriptions have been found in all the territories, from Asia Minor to the Balkans, inhabited at different times by the Pecenegs, but attempts to decipher them from the Turkic (most recently by A. M. Scherbak in 1959) have not yielded satisfactory results, mainly because of the brevity of the texts.

Although many inscriptions had been read since 1959,  their ethnical attribution is still more on a speculative side. The distinctions made by S.A. Pletneva between Bajanak, Oguz and Kipchak kurgan burials are definitely a marked step toward the ethnical attribution of the East European Türkic inscriptions.

The designation *Kangar As suggests that by the eight century, the Kangars were already linked with the very active East Iranian Alan-As confederation.

From the Chinese annals we do have a clear picture of the Kangar - Alan relations dating way back from before the eight century. But the  Alan-As East Iranian attribution is a figment based on I.Abaev-Ossetian bridgehead, and is not any sounder than its foundation.

Despite the scarcity of source evidence, it is possible to distinguish at least two languages used by the Peceneg ruling strata. At the beginning of their career they seem to have spoken a type of Tocharian. By the end of the first millennium A.D., they were certainly Eastern Iranians linguistically, as is apparent from the data in a work by al-Biruni (ca. 1025)92 and a passage in the recently (1958) published Old Rusan translation of "The History of the Judaic War" by Joseph Flavius. It contains the following Old Ruslan gloss (here translated to English by Translator): "And the Yass language is known to originate from Bajanak line, who are living near Tan and Meotian Sea" (here translated to English by Prof. O.Pritsak) "It is well known that the Jas(ic) [> Ossetian] language (or: "people") is descended from the Peceneg, who lived near [the city of] Tana[is] and the Azov Sea."

92 "Geodesy" ed. P. G. Bulgakov (Cairo, 1962), p. 47, Russian transl. by P. 0. Bulgakov (Tashkent, 1966), pp. 95-96 : [The Pecenegs who lived between Khwarism and Jurjan] "are a kind of al-Alan and al-As; their language now consists of Khwarizmian and of Peceneg [elements]."

Neither al-Biruni, nor Slavic rendition of the Flavius Judaic War refer to "Peceneg ruling strata", not mentioning "at least two languages" used by them. Is it a misinformation or disinformation? The following translation tends to show the latter: the source tells that Yass language comes from Bajanak clan/tribe, as a splinter line, whereas O.Pritsak converts it to genetical descendancy; Yass is not equated with Ossetian, which was not known to early Slavs, while Yasses were everyday counterparts, relatives, and co-rulers naturally not needing annalistic explanations. O.Pritsak's interpretive translation is a lead on directly to his thesis.

Al Biruni, a Chorasmian himself, knew well the Persian-laden Chorasmian vernacular, and could appreciate the Chorasmian influence on the Bajanak native language devoid of the Persian borrowings. The Alan-As language, from Al Biruni words, is either a Persian flexitive language enriched by Türkic lexicon, or a Türkic agglutinative language enriched by Persian lexicon. That Al Biruni did not consider his language Persian follows from the fact that he voiced hid strong objections to the contamination of his language by Persizms. To pretend "they were certainly Eastern Iranians linguistically, as is apparent" is also a figment of misinformation.

The Pecenegs' allies the "Upper As", or the Xalis, were of Iranian origin, and so were the "River As" (of the Volga region), the Furdas/Burtas.95 The Ichgil (later the Szekler of Hungary), on the other hand, were linguistically Turks.

95 Concerning the etymologies of Xwalis (< *Xwali As) and Burtas (< *Furd As) see N. Golb - O. Pritsak, An Original Document of the Khazarian Jews (University of Chicago Press) [in press]. Constantine calls the Burtas by the name Mordia (De Administrando Imperio, ed. Moravcsik, chap. 37, p. 168,1. 46).

 

Having seen the circular logic repeatedly used in this work, this self-reference is left for an independent perusal

Islamic missionaries managed in a short time to convert a large portion of the Pecenegs to Islam; until that time they had practiced the religion of "the Magi" (Zoroastrians).104

104 See note 84 above; cf also Markwart, Osteuropaische und ostasiatische Streifziige (Leipzig, 1903), pp. 72-73, and Zaxoder, Kaspijskij svod, ii, pp. 75-76.

84 ed. Baron V. von Rosen (Rozen) in A. Kunik - V. Rozen, Izvestija al-Bekri i drugix avtorov o Rusi i slovjanax (S.-Pb.), p. 43 (Arab, text) = p. 60 (Russ. transl.) But in the Hudud al-Alam (988) there are the following two relevant statements:

(1) : "The Khazar slaves brought to the Islamic lands are mostly from here [the country of the Khazarian Pecenegs]", ed. Barthold, f. 38 a = Engl. transl. by Minorsky, p. 160.

(2) : "There [three Caucasian provinces : Adharbadhagan, Arminiya, and Arran] (too) Greek, Armenian, Peceneg, Khazar, and Saqlabi slaves are brought", ed. Barthold, p. 32 b = Engl. transl. by Minorsky, p. 142.

The archeological investigation of the kurgan burials indicated the Tengrian beliefs of the 9th-10th N.Pontic Bajanaks. Ibn Fadlan in 922 also did not notice any Islamic signs. In the Hungarian and Danube Bulgarian domains Bajanaks eventually adopted local brands of Christianity, and in the Itil Bulgaria Bajanaks eventually adopted Islam, but by that time they no longer represented a solid ethnical group. The Bajanak splinter clans which joined the dominant Oguz and Kipchak confederations, and eventually were absorbed into the Rus principalities also eventually adopted the local brand of Christianity and abandoned their Tengrian burial traditions, a process traced archeologically.

Without hard archeological findings, and solid written testimony, it would be inconceivable to accept that Bajanaks en mass abandoned their traditional Tengrianism (when? where?), adopted Zoroastrism for a time, and then reverted back to full-blown Tengrianism. Those Bajanaks and Alans that stayed behind in the Chorasmian territory abandoned Tengrianism and switched to Islam with the rest of Chorasm.

Kangar As (or Bajanaks) soon became Turkicized, and have been erroneously confused by present-day scholars with the original, non-Turkic Pecenegs.

It seems that the Pecenegs who before their transformation constituted a kind of league of Central Asian and Turkestan city-states with a system best characterized as the "First Phase of the Mercantile Economy", lost their city roots after they resettled in their new East European habitat.

In the eight century Bajanaks lived in Tashkent and other Sogd petty cities, spoke East Iranian Sogd language, used Sogdian cursive script, run accounting books in  Sogdian using Sogdian cursive script, buried in non-kurgan Zoroastrian-type burial in ossuaries, etc.

By the tenth century Bajanaks completely transformed: they were a 1,000,000-strong nomadic power controlling Yaik-Emba interfluvial, spoke Türkic language, used Türkic script, did not need the accounting books of the trading professions, buried in kurgans in the general Türkic tradition with some peculiar distinguishing habits, invented and mass produced armored carts, composite bows, arms, knew nomadic war tactics described by Herodotus, practiced horse husbandry economy, etc.

One would think that the biggest miracle is a complete abandonment of the native language and switch to a foreign language. Others would think that even bigger miracle is a complete abandonment of the Sogdian literacy and switch to a foreign literacy. Third would think that even bigger miracle is a complete abandonment of the religious beliefs and burial traditions and switch to foreign religion and burial traditions. The fourth would be amazed by industrial craftsmanship talents displayed by these former trade speculators. Looking deeper, we may run out of numbers faster than out of Bajanak's miracles, barely short of walking on water and raising dead.

And a few Türkic revelations:

Turkologist A. Scherbak discovered on the territory of this province (and in its vicinity) a large number of topographical names containing the element Chur

[Bajanak] its ruler bore the imperial title Kagan (attested by the Arab writer Ibn Sa'Id, d. 1286; the corresponding data are preserved in the work by Abu'l-Fitfa' of 1321) (Reinaud-de Slane, (Paris, 1840, p. 205)

Pecenegs ruling clan was Thonuzoba-Boar land

Mahmud al-Kashghari (eleventh century) and the Arab geographers of the tenth century connect the Peceneg language with the (Altaic) Bulgarian

Chur/Kur/Qur is a Türkic title frequently duplicated as personal name, and geographically documented from China to Adriatic. It can also be found among surrounding people under visible influence.

Kagan/Khagan/Qagan/Qaghan etc is a Türkic highest title also frequently duplicated as a personal name.

Thonuzoba is a Türkic combination word, where "oba" is more "motherland" then just the land, it is closely akin to IE word "habitation" and its other IE equivalents

Bajanak-Bulgar alikeness makes it a member of a Bulgar-Suvar-Esegel (Ichgil, later Szekler of Hungary, Gr. Scythian)-Khazar- Dagestani Huns-Bajanak-Alan-As family. What a company!

1/12/2006
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