In Russian
Huns - Contents
Literature Index
Ogur and Oguz
Western Huns 4th-10th cc.
Western Huns Income In Gold
Eastern Hun Anabasis
Stearns P.N. Zhou Synopsis
E. de la Vaissiere Eastern Huns
Bagley R. Hun archeology in China
Faux D. Kurgan Culture in Scandinavia
Dybo A. Pra-Altaian World
Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
Caspian Dagestan during epoch of the Great Movement of Peoples
Dagestan Publishing, Makhachkala 1995, ISÂN 5-297-01099-3
Chapters 9-11
Book Contents Chapters 1-2 Chapters 3-5 Chapters 6-8 Chapters 9-11

Posting Foreword

Posting introduction see the contents page.

Poor print quality hurts the accuracy of this posting, but fortunately the contents are not impacted. Page numbers of the original are shown at the beginning of the page in blue. Page breaks in continuous text are indicated by //. Posting notes and explanations, added to the text of the author and not noted specially, are shown in (blue italics) in parentheses and in blue boxes, or highlighted by blue headers.



The question of the religious etiology of the North-East Caucasus Huns was repeatedly raised in literature in relation to various aspects of the Khazar history, as well as the ethnic history of the Northern Caucasus (M.I. Artamonov, 1962. pp. 186-189; Pletneva, S.A. 1986. C . 33-34; Fedorov, Ya.A. 1972. pp. 23-24; Gadlo A.V. 1979. pp. 144-149).

The pantheon of the North Caucasian Huns is the subject of special works, which traced its connection with the mythology of the ancient Central Asian Türks and religious beliefs of the Iranian-speaking population (Klyashtorny S.G. 1981, p. 64, 1984. pp. 18-22; Gmyrya L.B. 1980. pp. 42-44, 1986. pp. 90-108).

Researchers noted that the first and most powerful political union of the Caucasus nomads, the “kingdom of Huns”, formed on multi-ethnic basis, which included, in addition to the Türkic-speaking tribes, also the Iranian-speaking and autochthonous populations. As was shown above, covering various aspects of socio-economic and political history of the Dagestan tribes in the 4th - 7th cc. AD, the ancient writers often called with a common ethnonym “Huns” not only politically dominating tribe, but also other //217// non-Türkic ethnic entities in the Hunnic confederation, including the local population (Lazarev Ya., 1859. pp. 2-10. 17 Gadlo A.V. 1980, p. 41; Gmyrya L.B. 1988, p. 111).

The premise of polyethnicity invalidates most of the following review and conclusions. The author can never discern what ethnicities the listed traits belong to, and even the Hunnic kins that preceded them in the Caucasus may have developed traditions syncretic with the traditions of various autochthonous tribes, and thus historically totally different from the traditions that the Eastern Huns brought to the Caucasus. The religious tolerance innate to all Türkic societies signals that any local traditions the Huns encountered in the 2nd c. AD continued unhindered in all their diversity, and in some aspects they possibly syncretized with Tengriism, but in other aspects they could not have been adopted as conflicting with the Hunnic cannons. The ritual of soaking ground and waters with blood appears to be an example of such conflict, that ritual entered and survived to the present in the Armenian Christianity, but it would egregiously conflict with the Tengrian reverence to the land and water, indicating that this fertility ritual belongs to the local religions of the sedentary agriculturists. The uncritical reliance on the notions of M. Kagankatvatsi ought to lead to misplaced conclusions. Other cited patently non-nomadic traits, like the First Furrow, also appear to be totally out of place.

In this regard, the data of the written sources on religious conceptions of the North-East Caucasus Huns is important for understanding complex formation processes of ideological vision of this region population during early medieval period.

Most complete written testimony on this subject is in the “History of Alvan country” by Movses Kalankatuatsi, which contains valuable and succinct information about pagan beliefs of the “country of Huns” population, about a complex political struggle by members of spiritual and secular elite, which led to the religious reform in the Hunnic society (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. pp. 124-131).

Some fragmentary evidence about the Huns beliefs is in the works of Ammianus Marcellinus, Pseudo-Zacharias, Agathias (Ammianus Marcellinus. II. pp. 242-243; Pseudo-Zacharias, p. 150; Agathias, p. 158).

M.I. Artamonov noted that the Huns religion “finds many matches in cult traditions, residually preserved in the Caucasus” (M.I. Artamonov, 1962, p. 188). The rudiments of pagan rituals in the calendar celebrations, funeral ceremonies, and folklore of the Dagestan peoples recorded by researchers are important additional sources contributing to understanding of the complex forming processes of the Northeast Caucasus population ideological worldviews //218// in the early medieval period.

In the Hunnic society of the 4 - 7 cc. AD the dominant were pagan cults: veneration of elemental forces of nature, Fertility cult, and ancestor cult; they were joined by some other beliefs and cult rituals (belief in fate, fortune telling, sorcery, etc.).

1. Deities of Nature

One of the main Hunnic gods is thought to be the thunder god Kuar (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. C 124). Living beings and objects struck by lightning at the Huns were becoming sacred, they were revered and were offered sacrifices. Sun, moon, fire and water were regarded as deities (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. pp. 124, 126 - 127).

The sources do not inform on the role assigned in the Huns' worldview to the deified forces of nature, however, many similarities in the pagan beliefs of many peoples suggest that the veneration of the natural forces was primarily because of the dependence from the raw forces of nature. Folklore and ethnographic modernity of the Dagestani peoples preserved relic echoes from the pagan worship of elemental forces of nature, including celestial bodies. The Sun and Moon were regarded as protectors of human life (Gadjiyeva S. Sh. and others 1980, p.63; Gadjiyeva, G.A. 1991. pp. 157 - 159; Alimova, B.M. 1992, p. 229). The entire well-being was associated with the influence of the Sun //219// (Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1991, p. 329; Bulatova A.1971, p. 170, M. Khalilov X.M. 1984, p. 77), were common oaths by the Sun and Moon (M. Khalilov X.M. 1984, p. 69; Alimova, B.M. 1992. pp. 72-73) (This historical reconstruction projects backwards non-specific folk traits of 20th c. to specific people of 2nd c. With that kind of reconstruction, all Picts wearing Scythian hats in Caledonia were Anglicans and resented Pope).

S.G. Klyashtorny rightly believes that the worship of Kuar God was taken by Huns in the Caucasus, from the local Iranian-speaking population (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 21). Some of the Dagestani people remained worship of thunder and lightning, as well as items damaged by lightning (Gadjiyeva, G.A. 1991. pp. 159 - 160) (Considering the commanding post S.G Klyashtorny occupied in Soviet and post-Soviet time, his opinion is as holy as that of another commanding Turkologist, F.Engels. But... a better description of Kuar in Tengriism would be an Alp, or a patron, instead of god, and not of destruction, but of military success, his symbol was a sword. The Scythian ceremonies described by Herodotus are nearly identical to those depicted for the Eastern and Western Huns of the following millennium. For the Western Huns, the name of the God of war was recorded as Kuar, and the Chinese rendition was Ching Lu, which kind of excludes the S.G Klyashtorny's insinuation. Moreover, except for the Ossetians, who have about 10% of the distorted Iranisms, no other significant group in the Caucasus has any relation to the Iranian languages, defying Klyashtorny's figment. The parallels described for god Hor in Egyptian mythology, Sumerian Ishkur, Persian Gurchesh, Roman Mars, all point to cultural borrowings, even though the Sumerian Ishkur was recorded as early as 26th c. BC. The Türkic god is reconstructed as Kur, in Chinese transcription Ching Lu; Kur falls into the same phonetical group as Hor, Ishkur, and Gurchesh. Possibly, it is too presumptuous to suggest that Türkic Kur was a model for the following gods of war, but in Sumer the word “kur“means “foreign hostile country“, hinting of invaders. The Türkic proper name Kur/Chur describes a military leader, with slight dialectal variations it was geographically widely spread and temporally, first mentioned for the leaders, and later as a popular appellative. Among Türkic names and titles are Gur-Khan, Gur as part of tribal names, Gurchi and Kuarchi for royal bodyguards for Chingizids and Safavids, Charik for Khan's guard regiment, Jenichars for Ottoman swordsmen, Gorgud and Korkut for prophets. The sources elaborate that “pile of firewood“ is actually a kurgan, or a natural hill, on top of which is set up a platform, where a sword is mounted and ceremonies held. We have records describing this service ritual for Scythians, Eastern and Western Huns, and Caucasian Türks. Ref. Z.Gasanov “Royal Scythians“, p. 233 on. In the Caucasus lays another Kur - the Chor passage without etymological tracing. If in 160 AD the strategic point was a seat of a Masgut/Alanian/Hunnic Prince entitled Kur/Chur/Chor, that passage would be naturally called Chor Pass, suggesting a version for etymology. If the phonetics can be trusted, literally Kuar in Türkic means White Warrior, synonymous with the Noble Warrior, since White means Noble, Upper, Supreme. Under Iranian-speaking population in the Caucasus S.G Klyashtorny means Masguts/Alans, who are Iranian-speaking only in the V.I.Abaev's creative mythology-making).

An integral part of the solar cult at the Dagestan peoples was a veneration of fire, which played a large role in the of spring and summer rituals of the calendar cycle (Gadjiyeva S. Sh.1961, pp. 323-325; Bulatova A. 1971. pp. 176-177). Water also was one of the elements with rudiments of reverence surviving until recent in the rituals associated with spring and summer festivals. In the ancient pagan pantheon of Kumyks the Goddess of water was Zemirah (Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1961, p. 323), whose function included providing moisture for everything alive, and also the Goddess Suvanasy - a helper of the Goddess of the water, a guardian of water sources (Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1961. pp. 324-325) (Suvanasy = Su/Suv ~ Water + Ana ~ Mother + -sy ~ affix, i.e. Mother Water, a Tengrian Patron Angel in charge of the Department of Water (Su) listed in the boxed comment above. The nomads of the arid steppes probably appreciated water more than many other occupations, and had in fact many do's and don'ts connected with water and water sources unknown to other peoples. The “Solar Cult” is mentioned unspecifically, and not without a reason: there likely is no people in the world who did not notice the Sun, and who did not celebrate some calendar event timed by the Sun procession. Türkic tradition was to greet the sunrise, pray at the sunrise, bury their dead oriented to the sunrise, the home entrances faced sunrise, and so on. The Sun was assigned its own Patron Angel, and he or she could be mollified by praying for favors. Ironically, the traditional Tengrian reverence to the Sun never reached the height it reached in Christianity, which made the Sun day a holy day of the week, see for example E. J. Waggoner, 1891, Sunday: The Origin Of Its Observance In The Christian Church.).

The following discourse in a number of instances mentions Kumyks for comparison. The term “kumyk” is Türkic, but its application is purely colonial Russian. In Türkic, “kumyk” means shitass (lit. horse manure) a derogatory supra-ethnic term used for poor people, something like a “bum” ~ disreputable vagrant in English. This word was used by the non-Türks as a derogatory appellation for the Türkic people, as any other good neighbor in this word has degrading terms for their neighbors. Kumyks were mentioned in the chronicles in the 2nd c. AD (James Minahan, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: D-K, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, p.1043). The ethnic term “Kumyk” was created in the 19th c. by the Russian imperial government, in process of consolidation and re-allocation of their colonial possessions. Thus, Türkic people of various unconnected ethnicities were bundled together into “Kumyk” nation. With the introduction of the Stalinist passport system, the term gained a status of official classification, and eventually fossilized, but as late as 1970 some groups identified themselves by their village instead of accepting the term “Kumyk”. The tribal divisions of the “Kumyk” people remain, petrified in their languages, which now officially are called “dialects” of the “Kumyk” language, in their cultural traditions, in their myths, and in their religious terminology, among other traits. The notion “Kumyk” was introduced on ad hoc basis by the czarist administrators and politicians, without participation of any scientists or local representatives.

Initially, in Russian lingo “Kumyks” included Karachai people, Balkars, Tavlya (Tau-as, Mountain Ases), and mountain Türkic people from the Caucasus foothills, in other words all North Caucasus Türkic people except Nogies. Later, in the processes of the Soviet administrative equilibristic, Karachais and Balkars regained their ethic appellations, while others remained “Kumyks”. At the same time, about one third of the Northern Caucasus Türkic people remained with their host nations, and now they officially are Chechens, Ossetians, Ingushes and Kabardins. They all have strong memories of their Turkic past, and remember their native language. So, for example, the ancient Tokhars became Digors of Ossetians and Digors of Balkaria. It was predominantly the Tokhar/Digor/Dger language that V, I. Abaev used in creating Scytho - Iranian theory. The ethnic divide within the host nations is helping to maintain a Russian colonial rule in the North Caucasus, like the puppet regime in the Ichkeria “Chechnya”, manned by the ethnically predominantly Türkic clans. This background, naturally, is totally absent from the Soviet and Russian materials.

The Dagestani “Kumyks” consist of three discrete Türkic groups, with 5 “dialects” that betray 5 separate nations, of them 3 “dialects” are major “dialects”. The groups are called South Kumyks, Western Kumyks, and Northern Kumyks. The boundary between South Kumyks and Northern Kumyks runs along the river Sula, which fourteen hundred years ago was the border between Albania and Caucasus Khazaria. The Central Kumyks are a part of Northern Kumyks that sided with Russia during the last colonial war.

South Kumyks (Khaikent) in their mass are Oguz Türks, they came to the Caucasus a millennia before the Northern Kumyks, they are Türkic Albanians, residents of the Caucasian Albania. The South Kumyks are distinguished by their intellectual capacity and moderation in all things, they are cultured people. The Caucasian Albania had the autochthonous Laz population, mountaineers, and in the valleys Türkic nomadic population of Kayi Huns and Masguts, later Alans, and in the late 5th -early 6th c. they were supplanted by the Savir “Huns”. Southern Kumyks were a part of the Kayitag utsmiate (principality), they lived in Kayistan, the land of Kayis, they are a group that can be positively identified with the Hun migration of the 2nd c. The Kayis, Masguts, and Savirs are thought to initially speak dialects of the Ogur linguistic group.

Western Kumyks (Buinak; Buinaksk) are “mothballed” Albanians, they live in the mountains, mountain life made them conservative and cautious. They are not numerous (only tens of thousands), but with a keen sense of pride. They may be descendents of the Masguts/Alans, who were noted for their pride by the Classical authors.

Northern Kumyks (Khasav-Yurt) are descendents of the Bulgarian circle of tribes - Bulgars, Khazars, Savirs, and Barsils. Apparently, to the same circle belong the Karachais and Balkars. The Northern Kumyks go are descendants of the Khazars; like all military men, they tend to enjoy partying and take decisive actions, up to robberies, which they perceive as prey or a trophy. These tribes are also thought to initially speak dialects of the Ogur linguistic group.

The original substrate mix of the autochthonous sedentary and ancient Türkic nomadic populations are overlaid with Middle Age Oguz and Kipchak migrations. The genetic profile of the yet undifferentiated Kumyks has a kaleidoscopic appearance:
73 Kumyk men were studied for their Y-DNA haplogroup, they belong to:

15 to R1b1b22 7 to J2a* 2 to J1e* 1 to T
14 to J1* 6 to J2a2* 2 to J2b*  
10 to R1a1* 2 to R2 1 to R1a1f  
10 to G2a 2 to E1b1b1a 1 to O  

The undifferentiated ethnological profile must be as much motleyed, which devalues the comparisons cited by the author.

In the religious ceremonies of the Dagestani peoples in a transformed form appear concepts on the need to sacrifice to the elements of nature. During rituals associated with the call for rain, blood of animal was shed into a lake, into a water source was lowered a skull a horse, were thrown down river boulders //220// (Bulatova, A. 1980, p. 100, 102, 104, Khalilov X. M , 1984. (p. 76).

Some of the Dagestani people were throwing into water one of the ritual personalities (an imitation of human sacrifice), the water deity Suvanasy was seen as an evil creature, craving for human sacrifice (Khalilov X. M. 1984. C 76, Bulatova, A. 1980, p. 103; Mythology. 1984, p. 162). Perhaps the events of self-immolation by the maidens, noted by S.Sh. Gadjiyeva (Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1961, p. 322), reflected vestiges of ritual human sacrifice to the Sun deity, transformed later into a ritual of jumping over the fire during the “Meeting of Spring” festival ( Gadjiyeva S. Sh. 1961, p. 322; Khalilov, X.M. 1984, p. 69, Bulatova A. 1971, p. 177).

The Hunno-Bulgar/Hunno-Savir folklore perpetuated tradition of jumping over fire to the present. The folklore clearly distinguishes between Bulgars and Savir, crediting Savirs with introduction of a plow, called “saban” after the Savirs, into the economy of the purely nomadic Bulgars. The cultural descendents of the Hunno-Savirs, today's Chuvashes, historically had little inclination to mobile nomadic lifestyle, and display a durable tradition of sedentary-type agriculture. Written references on Savirs extend millenniums deeper than on Bulgars, dating to the time of Sumer, in a company of a number of horse husbandry tribes. The word Sumer may be linked with the ethnonym Savir, via m/b alternation, peculiar not only to the Türkic tribes, but to a number of their neighbors: Sumer => Suber => Suvar => Savir, not necessarily in that order. The first written reference to Savirs, in the form Subartu, dates to the Sumerian cuneiform, but the geography of the oldest written references extends across Central Asia, and ethnologically they are much closer to the farmers of the early Minusinsk and Baraba than to Mesopotamia.
2. Fertility cult
Fertility cult is a Middle Eastern, probably Semitic phenomenon, probably dispersed with the expansion of agriculture. To fall under concept of the fertility cult, religious rituals must be specifically targeted for fecundity, vs. generic and amorphous wellbeing rituals universal for all religious traditions. For Hunnic etiology, the following is a hapax, targeted fecundity rituals have not been recorded for any branch of the historical Huns, neither in Tengriism, nor in its syncretic forms with Buddhism, Manichaeism, Islam, Christianity, and their numerous forms.

Among main elements associated with the Fertility cult, Huns held the Sun, fire, water, vegetation, the Earth held a central place. The Huns considered Earth a progenitor of all living things, to the forces of the Earth prayed magicians in their incantations (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 197, 199). Movses Kalankatuatsi has a definition of the “country of Huns” as “Native land motherland” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 199). Apparently, the Deity of Fertility in the Hun pantheon appears in the form of Mother Earth, who grants anything connected with fertility. Huns sacrificed to the Earth by pouring on the ground blood of sacrificial animals (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 199).

The echoes of the ritual sacrificial offerings of blood to the Earth survived in the funeral folklore of Kumyks (Gadjiyeva S. Sh. et al. 1980, p. 64), a relic of the past sacrifices is preserved in the ritual burial of the people during a First Furrow celebration (imitation of human sacrifice) (Bulatova, A. 1984, p. 87), presenting the plowed land with agricultural produce (Bulatova, A. 1971, p. 169, 1984, p. 87). As an evil spirit of the Earth, hungry for human sacrifices, can be seen the image of a mythical creature “K'an tuluk” (wineskin filled with blood) (Mythology. 1984, p. 174), a belief in which held the southern Kumyks (With the Russian blindness to the indigenous population, a la “Indians” of the New World, it is likely that the “Northern Kumyks ” and “Southern Kumyks” are completely unrelated by their origin, and traditions ascribed to them belong to somebody else). With the deity of Earth can be identified the image of Mother Earth, preserved in the folklore of several Dagestani peoples, where the Earth stands out among the other forces of nature, and is revered as a main Deity (Mythology. 1984. pp. 161-163) (Tentatively, the Kumyk tradition may be traced to the Kimak Kaganate, where agriculture was a mainstay of economy. Kimak Kaganate united local agricultural and foot hunter populations with nomadic refugees from the Mongolian steppes, under a leadership of the dynastic clan of the Saka/Se/Se(yanto)/塞, called Shad in their origination legend. Kumans migrated to the Eastern Europe with the first wave of the Kimak Kaganate migrants, Kimaks migrated with the later waves, but in either case their traditions came from much more northern area then the Hunnic traditions, and they reached Caucasus almost a millennia later. Kumyks and Huns may have had similar dialects, and the same religion, but in no case their traditions can be equated, especially when transmitted via a late Soviet chauvinistic publication “Mythology”, 1984).

One of the attributes of the Fertility cult were sacred trees (oaks) and sacred groves. The Sacred Groves were public sanctuaries. The oldest and tall oak - the “Elder, the mother of high trees” in the Hun beliefs was seen as endowed with powerful forces, it was considered a “savior of gods, life-giving and giver all blessings”, a guardian and defender of the country (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 199, 201). The sacred trees were worshipped, they were sacrificed to, they were particularly guarded. The religious beliefs of the Huns had a ban, under a threat of terrible punishment and even death, to use the fruits, fallen branches, and stumps //222// of the revered trees (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 201). It is interesting to note that among some of the Dagestani peoples the “sacred” trees also were considered inviolable (Alimova, B.M. 1992, p. 230).

The concept is very simple: tree serves as an altar. Every attribute associated with altar, be it Christian, Baal, or Astrate, applies to the sacral tree of the Tengriism. As the altar can be “Savior of the gods, and life-giver granting all the best” only in a caricature description, so can be caricatured the sacral tree. As the Christian altar can be “endowed with powerful forces”, so can be caricatured the sacral tree. As the chips from the Christian altar can't be used for kindling stoves, so can't be used the branches of the sacral tree. As the Christian altar is “untouchable”, so is the sacral tree. And, as one would not confuse an altar with Christianity, so should not be confused the sacral tree with Tengriism. One can pray at the altar, sacrifice at the altar, kneel at the altar, burn candles at the altar, and still the altar is neither a God Tengri, nor the Christ. Neither is the altar a Christian cult, nor the Tengrian cult.

The historiography of the issue related to the tree cult in pagan persuasions is very extensive, and no consensus yet evolved on the origins of the phenomenon. In the views of many peoples, who retained vestiges of pagan beliefs, the tree is the counterpart of a man, sharing his fate; the tree is a seat of a spirit, the tree is a fetish, the tree is a carrier of the fruitful force, casting the harvest, a carrier of erotic potency (Alekseev, N.A. 1980. C . 76-77; Kurotkin A.V. 1982, p. 156, 158, Tokarev, S.A. et al. 1983, p. 157, Pokrovskaya, L.V. 1983. pp. 68-69). The holiday tree, decorated eggs, nuts, pastry, and sweets is a symbol of the nature's fruitful powers in agricultural and wedding ceremonies of some Dagestani peoples (Modern Culture. 1971, p. 219; Bulatova A. 1984. pp. 85-86, 94; Alimova B.M. 1992. pp. 176-177).

Mighty trees and groves of old trees, apparently were perceived by the Huns as fruits of their deified Earth, which absorbed the strength of the Earth and its ability to bring anything connected with fertility. The cult clergy associated abundance in the country with actions of mighty forces of the sacred trees.

The “History of the Alvan country” allows to think that with the beginning of social differentiation within the Hun society, //223// the sacred trees as symbols of power become relics of the evolved upper crust of the feudalizing nobility led by Alp Ilitver. Movses Kalankatuatsi indicates that this prince and nobility worshipped and brought sacrifice to the oldest, most powerful and revered tree (Movses Kalankatuatsi, p. 199, 201). Separate Hunnic families and tribal groups also had their own sacred trees. The priests, listing troubles that may befall to a person who despoiled revered trees, in addition to various tortures, craze, and death, also pointed to destruction of home, and the whole clan that violated prohibition (Movses Kalankatuatsi, I, p. 201). Such phenomena, when separate clans and evolved upper crust of nobility had a patron sacred tree, are found at some Türkic peoples of Siberia (Alekseev, N.A. 1980, p. 69, 76-77) (Mixing perverted Marxism with flummoxed missionary Christianity leads to weird concoctions: “beginning of social differentiation” applied to people who entered history well differentiated socially, “feodalizing nobility” in egalitarian democratic society, “priests” in a priestless society; stringing one nonsense citation to another almost completely obscures few facts recorded by disoriented eyewitness).

The process of ethnogenetical integration also affected population's spiritual culture, like religious percepts that are noted for conservatism and long-term stability. The etiological perceptions of the Dagestani Huns reflected mutual ideological interaction with the local agricultural population, and the worldview of the nomadic pastoralists transitioning to a sedentary lifestyle (of the Türkic and Iranian-speaking circles) (Gmyrya L.B. 1986, p. 94).

Sacred trees in the perceptions of the Northeast Caucasus ancient population were symbols not just of the fertile force, but first of all the attributes of the vegetational fertility. A.V. Gadlo //224// noted that in the “country of Huns” the priests mentioned their particular function - bringing about rain, without mentioning the livestock (Gadlo A.V. 1979, p. 145), and pointed to the connection of their cults with agricultural activities of the population. The presence of a Fertility cult at the Huns was caused by productive activities of the population. The cult of vegetational fertility undoubtedly reflects etiological views of the local people with deep agricultural tradition. The forged etiological syncretism of the population was manifested not only in the pantheon of the Dagestani Huns, but also in the religious rituals (sacrifices), where main sacrificial animals were horses. It is known that horse played a leading role in the nomadic economy, and Huns sacrificed horses to the gods of vegetational fertility.

In connection with the Huns' worship of sacred trees is interesting a message of the Arabian author Ibn Rustah, who wrote in the early 10th c. He tells of a custom of the city Rnhs residents, somewhere 10 farsahs from Haidan (V.F. Minorsky believes that it was Haidak), to worship a huge tree that does not bear fruit. He writes: “On Wednesdays, the inhabitants of the city are gathering /around/ a tree, hang on it different fruits, they bow in front of it, and offer sacrifices” (Ibn Rustah, p. 220). Is the subject of Ibn Rustah some city in the “country of Huns”, where residents in the 10th c. continued worshipping mighty trees? (Yes, thanks to Ibn Rustah we know that in the 10th c., Tengriism was alive and kicking in the N. Caucasus, centuries after a promulgated adoption of Islam and Christianity)

In connection with the Fertility cult, which dominated in the beliefs of the Caspian Huns (sic!), should be addressed the image of the Goddess, mentioned in passing in the “History of Alvan country”. The author transmitted her name as Aphrodite. Possibly, the author denoted the Hunnic Goddess with the name of the ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty Aphrodite because of identity of their functions. The Aphrodite of the ancient Greeks absorbed traits of Goddesses of the Middle Eastern cults - Semitic Goddess of Fertility, Goddess of Love and Heaven Astarte, and the Great Mother of Asia Minor (Dictionary of Antiquity. 1989, p. 66).

The Hun Goddess of Love is mentioned by Movses Kalankatuatsi once, as somewhat indirectly. The Great Prince of the Huns Alp Ilitver offered to settle dispute between the Christian preacher Bishop Israil and Hun ministers of the pagan cults by demonstration by the ministers of the verity of the ancient beliefs. The ministers had, with magical spells and incantations, to cause a death or punishment to Israi, who commanded to destroy the pagan sanctities. The author describes the actions of the cult ministers so: “Then the magicians, sorcerers and enchanters /of the Goddess/ Aphrodite began their violent witchcraft, began to appeal to the Earth with false calls, uttering absurd and meaningless exclamations...”. (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 129).

In this laconic account about Hunnic Aphrodite attention is drawn to two things: 1) the cult of the Goddess Aphrodite was attended by magicians, sorcerers and enchanters, that is, the circle of the Goddess of Love clergy was //226// clearly defined, and 2) magicians, sorcerers and enchanters appealed for sending down punishment not to the Goddess (Aphrodite), but to the Earth (Apparently, to the Angel-Protector Yer-Su, who was in charge of the earthly affairs. With Aphrodite Yer-Su can be connected by the part Su = Water, and Yer is Earth mentioned by M. Kagankatvatsi. On more elaborate mythological parallels, Aphrodite is older then Zeus, and Yer-Su is closer to Tengri, making Aphrodite and Yer-Su acceptable counterparts in status, providing that M. Kagankatvatsi sufficiently knew different Heavenly hierarchies, which is inconsistent with his other appellations. Also apparently, M. Kagankatvatsi knew enough Türkic to catch Yer as Earth and Su as Water.

On a more interesting level, Herodotus equated the Greek Aphrodite Urania with the Scythian Argimpasa, whose name reads in Türkic as Head Oracle/Main Oracle, agglutinated from Arği = prophesy and mas/pas/bash = head, i.e. the Scythian Aphrodite was an oracle, or fortuneteller, or a prophet, an earthling without executive power, while Yer-Su was an Angel-Protector with executive powers).

The available concise information may help to identify main functions of the Huns' Goddess of Love. The source makes it possible to assume that the Goddess of Love and Mother Earth in the pantheon of the Caspian Huns are identical or interchangeable notions. Attending to the cult of Hunnic Aphrodite ministers, i.e. mediators between the Goddess and people seeking help, were appealing to the Earth, as the author points out. Thus, the Huns' Goddess of Love, was embodied in the image of the sacred Earth. As mentioned above, the Earth was central to the Huns' cult of the Fertility, the “country of Huns” was defined as “Earth-born native land”. Based on the concept of equating the Huns' “Goddess of Love” with the “Mother Earth”, the ancestor of all living things was precisely the Goddess “Aphrodite”, i.e. her main function was a gift of life. Because of this, the Hunnic Goddess of Love can be defined as a Goddess of Fertility.

Yer-Sub in description of R Bezertinov Tengriizm – Religion Of Türks And Mongols Naberejnye Chelny, 2000, p. 80 (synopsis):

The ancient Türks called the visible world occupied by people Yer-Sub (Land-Water) or the place of Middle Earth, emphasizing its focal, central location. The word Yer-Sub for ancient Türks had two meanings. One is a Great Deity. Another is the visible world, an image of the native Land. The Great Deity Yer-Sub existed in the middle section of the Universe, Her residence was on Khangan Plato (more exactly, on a Lanshan mountain at the upper course of Orkhon river, in modern Mongolia); this place the ancient Türks called Otüken homeland. Yer-Sub Deity patronized Homeland (Land and Water) where lived Türks and Mongols. Except for the Man, the nature and all alive on the Earth and in the Water subordinated to her. Türks esteemed Yer-Sub Deity as a highest deity after Tengri. Yer-Sub with Tengri In the Orkhon inscriptions Yer-Sub is mentioned under a name of Yduk (Sacred Earth and Water).
Yer-Sub was a kind Goddess, she patronized and defended Türks. Sometimes on an order from Tengri Yer-Sub punished people for their sins. To appease Yer-Sub, every spring were made sacrifices in preparation for cattle breeding, and before the beginning of the fieldwork. Sacrifices were also conducted in autumn, after completion of agricultural work. In Türkic Kaganates sacrifices to Yer-Sub were nation-wide, conducted at the upper course of the rivers and rivulets, on the banks of a lakes. A reddish hue horse was sacrificed with appeals for fertility of the cattle, crop, health and wellbeing. Widespread were sacrifices of white rams, their hide was not burnt, but hung out (with head and legs intact) on a tree, under which a prayer was conducted. After the sacrifice ritual went on feasts, mass celebrations, gift exchange.
In each territory was its own Yer-Sub. The Yer-Sub was the not just a settled space, but a copy of the world as a whole. For each clan their land is a center of the world, center of the Earth, a focus of the order and harmony.

The image of the Goddess of Fertility is twofold. She is not only a giver of life Goddess, she also possesses a punitive beginning. What punishment could send the holy Earth - the Goddess of Fertility? The source identified the following: intimidation, serious illness, death (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 129). The same penalties fell upon those who dared to pick up fallen branches and leaves from the “sacred oak”, which was the “guardian and protector” of the “country of Huns”, but in //227// that case the violators of the ban could also undergo destruction of the house and of the clan (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. pp. 128-129).

Apparently, the worst punishment was not even the death of the individual who violated traditional prohibitions, but a destruction of the house and family, which the Fertility Goddess - the “sacred” Earth could inflict.

S.G. Klyashtorny was first to point out the undoubted connection between the Fertility Goddess of the Caspian Huns and the Goddess Umai of the Ancient Türks (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 22). In the ancient Türkic pantheon the Goddess Umai was a Goddess of Fertility and births (Klyashtorny. S.G. 1984, p. 19), although she has other functions, seemingly unrelated to her core area of creation, the protection of soldiers, hunters and shepherds.

A.M. Sagalaev, from the analysis of mythological storylines of the Türkic-speaking population in the Ural-Altai region, gives a detailed description of the Mother Goddess Umai image. The primary meaning of the name Umai is “bosom”, “womb”, “umbilical” (Sagalaev A.M. 1991, p. 61). The name of the Goddess depicts her main function, to give birth to every living thing, give life. In the ancient Türkic pantheon, the Goddess Umai was held very high. She was a wife of the God of Heaven Tengri (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 19). And if Tengri in the Türkic mythology rules the fate of the people, Umai is in charge of the births of the people (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 19), and also gives life to beasts and birds (Sagalaev A.M. 1991, p. 61).

In the Türkic pantheon the image of the Goddess //228// Umai is dual. She not only approves the birth of the living, gives birth to all living, but in her power also was to deprive of descendants (she was kidnapping and devouring infants) (Sagalaev A.M. 1991, p. 61). Such opposing transformations are natural for the Mother Goddess in charge of offsprings, thinks S.Y. Neklyudov (See: Sagalaev A.M. 1991, p. 61). The mythology of the Urals and southern Siberia Türkic speaking. peoples is full of examples of the Goddess Umai opposite actions: She helps the giving birth, she protects baby from evil spirits, and she could strangle a child in the womb, she could forgo the child, and evil spirits were devouring an infant (Sagalaev A. M . 1991, p. 67; Potapov, L.P. 1991, p. 288, 291).

In the Türkic epic in Ural-Altai region Umai is represented by an image of usually a young woman with golden or red hair, let loose or braided into two plaits (Sagalaev A.M. 1991. pp. 55-58). Some peoples saw her as an old woman with white loose hair. The symbols of the Goddess Umai among the Türkic-speaking peoples were tawdry yarn (gold, silver, white and green), cowrie shells, small bows and arrows, small cribs (Sagalaev A.M. 1991. pp. 55-56). The Goddess dwelled, in the beliefs of the Türkic-speaking peoples, on a mountain, in a cave, in a a narrow crevice, i.e., within the objects associated with the Earth.

In the religious conceptions of the modern Türkic-speaking Dagestani peoples the name Umai, that symbolizes the image of the Fertility Goddess, has not been preserved, although the veneration of the “sacred” land exists, as was mentioned above. However, with the image of the Goddess Umai can be compared some female mythical creatures that survived as vestiges of the so-called folk beliefs of the population. Before turning to the characterization of these mythical images, should be noted that they have about the same function, and to a some extent identical to the functions of the ancient Türkic Umai, but the names (appellations) of mythical images sometimes vary even within the same ethnic group, although they may be similar at ethnically different groups.

This is a most significant observation. The Caucasus was a gathering place of many Türkic peoples of most different origin and times, from the first massive migration wave across Caucasus from the N.Pontic in the 4th mill. BC (circum-Mediterranean wave) to the cross-Caucasus migrations of the Cimmerians and Scythians in the 1st mill. BC, Masgut and Alan migrations in the 1st c. BC, to the Hunnic migrations in the 2nd c. AD, Bulgar circle migrations, Kangar and Kipchak migrations, and uncountable other migrations, each with their own compliment of satellite tribes and ethnoses. The fact that a name like Kuar survived from the Herodotus times to the late historical times is a real historical and ethnological miracle.

Closest to the ancient Türkic Umai by her main function is a female deity “Kyune” (with a glottal stop), the mythical stories of which were recorded in Darg's village Mekegi (Alikhanova A.A. 1978. pp. 156 - 161). Submissions Mekegin “Kyune” - is the protectress of babies, but at the same time, the deity can steal the baby from the womb of the mother, or deprive a person of childbearing potential (Alikhanova A.A. 1978. pp. 157-158), which ultimately reduces the destruction of nature. In Kumyks with. Bashlykent preserved representation of the mythical image of the “Kan-tuluk” which translates as “wineskin filled with blood” (Mythology. 1984, p. 174). This is also a female spirit, but a good start it has already met its primary function - a thirst for human sacrifice.

To the female deities, in a role similar to Türkic Umai, can also be attributed “Albasly K'atyn”, a figure preserved in the Kumyk beliefs of the village Bashlykent. But it is again a malevolent creature that strangles her victims, especially ruthless Albasly is to pregnant women, which she can kill by eating their lungs and liver (Gadjiyeva S. Sh. 1961, p. 325). She also can deprive a person of child-bearing ability. (Mythology. 1984, p. 167). The Laks of the village Vachi have a mythical image of “Mantuli” that also had an ability to destroy a clan (Mythology. 1984, p. 172). In another Lak village Ahar in the views of people existed a female image “Suhalutu” who in a rage could strangle a child in a cradle (Mythology. 1984, p. 172). The Laks of the village Vihli have a male spirit “Avdal” who, like the mythical creature “Kyune” at Mekegians, could take away a child from the womb of a mother (Mythology. 1984, p. 163).

Lezgins of the village Kasumkent have a female spirit “Alpab” (Red Alp, in Türkic?), evil and ruthless in her quest to destroy the human race (Vagabova F.I., Alikhanova A.A. 1978, p. 159).

Thus, we see that all above mythical images relate to pregnant women, infants, child-bearing abilities of the people and ultimately to preservation of the human race. But only the Darg's “Kyune” has a dual character (good and evil beginnings), all the rest are creatures with strong, harmful to humans ability.

As was noted above, the divine being in whose power rests the existence of the human kind are female deities. People visualized these creatures as females, usually of extraordinary beauty, with long, reaching toe hair or braids (“Kyune”. “Albasly”, “Mantuli”, “Alpab”). The hair is usually red (“Kyune”, “Alpab”), reddish (“Mantuli”) or wheat color (“Albasly”). The childbearing properties of these mythical figures is expressed clearly - they have large breasts, cast over the shoulder (“Kyune”, “Albasly K'atyn”), sometimes it is a spirit in the form of a wineskin in a shape of a breast (“K'an-tuluk”). As is seen, by the external characteristics (young beautiful woman with long red (red) or gold (wheat) hair) the female mythical deities, preserved by some Dagestani peoples, have their analogue in the image of the Goddess Umai, preserved in the Türkic epos of the Ural-Altai region.

The abode of the Female Goddesses - counterparts of the Goddess Umai at the Dagestani peoples as a rule was nature - a dense forest (“Albasly”, “Alpab”), a cave (“Albasly K'atyn”), sometimes it is a tomb of a mean woman (“K'an-tuluk”) or a space somewhere outside a home (“Mantuli”, “Suhalutu”). Only at the Mekegians was documented a notion that “Kyune” lives in the house, in the ceiling.

It should be noted that all the denoted above //232// female mythical creatures with influence on the existence of a clan, although analogous to the ancient Türkic Goddess of Fertility and Babies Umai, but their status is much lower in comparison with Umai's position in the pantheon of ancient Türks. They are usually not a deities, but only spirits, and in addition are single-function (inflicting punishment to humans). L.P. Potapov noted the similar reduced status of Umai in the pantheon of the Altai-Sayan shamans (Potapov, L.P. 1991, p. 291). Apparently, this is due to the time effect in transformation of the “sacred” image.

Time effect is not an explanation, the anti-religious propaganda, of either competing religions, or atheistic state apparatus is a real unstated factor. They successfully kill ethnoses, ethnic histories, ethnic traditions, traditional religion, and generally obliterate the ethnic differences. The Caucasus people were exceptionally lucky in that respect, they survived the Moslem propaganda, the Christian propaganda, Moslem again, Christian again, and then the state atheistic propaganda. Adding to that the cultural shocks of switching their scripts with every religious onslaught, i.e. considerable loss of native literacy and native literary inheritance, culminated with cycling through 3 alphabets during period of Stalinist colonization, and physical wipe-out of any literate population, no wonder that only the most basic and uneducated notions have survived to the present.

So far, the iconographic embodiment of the Goddess Umai is not clear (No wonder, it does not exist. The iconography is a Christian idea, and iconoclasm was an influence of the Tengriist tradition, that's why Christianity fought it so furiously). S.G. Klyashtorny suggests that the Goddess Umai is depicted ona stone found in Kudyrge burials in the Altai, in the depiction of a woman with tri-horn hat and rich attire (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 19) (Horned hats were recorded for Yetha-Hephtalites married women by Sung Yun and Xuanzang/Huen Tsiang, reportedly women wore horns on their hats to indicate the number of polyandrous husbands). However, L.P. Potapov in his book gives compelling in our view arguments against identification of the image on the Kudyrge rock with the image of Goddess Umai (Potapov, L.P. 1991, p. 293-298).

In this regard, a particular interest presents the semantics of the depiction on a bronze pendant from a catacomb burial in the Upper Chir Yurt burials dated by early medieval time, known in the publications as pendant in a form of image of woman with baby (Putintseva N.D. 1961, p. 252. Fig. 11 (8). M.M. Mammayev interpreted the as an amulet //233// with image of the Christian Mother of God (Mammayev M. M. 1976. pp. 97-102). But there are reasons to believe that the semantic meaning in the design of the pendant is somewhat different.

The center of the pendant composition isa figure in the form of eight-pointed cross, placed in a concentric frame (Fig. 6). M.M. Mammayev sees this part of the pendant as a monogrammatic //234// cross-chrism.

Fig. 6. Pendant
Upper Chir Yurt subterranean burial No 1. Bronze

It is known that cross-chrism was a monogram of the letter “X” and “P” (Bank A. 1966, p. 13. Fig. 18-19); inset in a circle of the cross-chrism took a form of a “wheel with six spokes” (Rybakov B.A. 1981, p. 300) - six-pointed cross. The figure of eight-point cross in the base of the pendant can be regarded as a solar symbol - an image of the Sun in motion (Gmyrya L.B. 1986. pp. 101-102). With an inscribed A circle with inset of four-, six-, or eight-pointed cross is an ancient Sun symbol, known at many peoples (Rybakov, B.A. 1981. pp. 297-298; Darkevitch V.P. 1960, p. 59). The decorated with a spruce ornament frame, within which is placed a solar symbol in our opinion is a stylistic depiction of a branch of the sacred tree, the so-called “Tree of Life”, which symbolizes fertility and abundance. The filigreed or stamped belts in the form of “braid”, “rope”, “hem”, “spruce” are one of the features in the design of armaments, horse harnesses and decorations in nomadic antiquities of the Eastern. Europe and Central Asia in the 5th-8th cc. AD. The subject of the “tree of life” was one of the main subjects in the Dagestan art in the Middle Ages. It was recorded in the ornamentation of ceramic vessel and toreutics (Mammayev M. 1967, p. 149, 152). The spherical projections at the center of the composition, and the branches of the “sacred tree” can be regarded as symbols of its fruit.

At the top of the pendant is placed a bust picture of a woman with child, depicted conditionally-schematical, with barely indicate facial features. The image of the woman abruptly rises above the main composition of the pendant, at the same time the image of the lying on the mother hands child does not extend beyond the frame, making its upper part culminating branches of the “tree of life”. The long braids of the women gently slope towards the frame, clasping and thereby uniting into a whole the composition of the pendant's graphic plot, salient in its laconism and voluminosity of expressive means.

It seems that the pendant from the catacomb burial of the Upper Chir Yurt burials with image of a women depicted the pagan Fertility Goddess, Mother Earth of the “country of Huns” - the Goddess Umai, the giver of all every abundance and fertility (tree of life with fruits), born under the life-giving warmth of the Sun (central composition of the solar symbol enveloped by branches of the sacred tree). In this story, the child perhaps represents an idea of eternity and rebirth of life (Gmyrya L.B. 1986, p. 102).

Cult of the Great Female Deity is known at many nations of antiquity (Grach A.D. 1980, p. 68). The Great Goddess is also present in the ancient Türkic pantheon under a name of the Goddess Umai (Grach A.D. 1980, p. 69; Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 19). In the ancient art the Great Goddess was depicted as a woman with figure decorated with //236// agricultural symbols (tree branches, multi-rayed crosses).

There are also images of the Great Goddess depicted as a mother, breast-feeding a child (See: Gmyrya L.B. 1986. Note.133-134). B.A. Rybakov said that the “cult of the Great Goddess gradually acquires features of the cult of the Earth, earth fertility, and in that form lives for thousands of years ... as a folk agricultural complex of beliefs and magical rituals” (Rybakov, B.A. 1981, p. 366).

3. God Tengri Khan

Like the previous sections, the ineptitude of research in the following paragraphs is profound, mixing up and confusing the means, like the altar-tree, with the subject of discourse. Replacing the Türkic designation for the Creator, Tengri, with the Judeo-Christian Yahweh or Sabaoth, with the Islamic Allah would highlight the ridiculous nature of these saucy opinions. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Yahweh is associated with a Storm God, his thunder and fire were as intimidating to the Christians as the thunder of Tengri was for the Tengriists, but who outside of the Soviet scientology ever confused the thunder with Creator? Eating symbolic chunks of God and eating sacrificial horses as a symbolic tribute to God is a shared trait of Christianity and Tengriism, but who outside of the Soviet scientology ever confused sacrificial Christian consecrated bread and the Tengrian cooked horses with the Creator? Christianity has a host of Patrons of the travelers, Saint Christopher, and St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Brigid of Ireland, and Coptic Saint Menas, and so on, a total 23 Patron Saints of safe travel are recognized by just the Catholic Church, and the Christian Church is of the sedentary, non-mobile populations, vs. the ever mobile nomadic populations. Nobody outside of the Soviet scientology ever calls all these Patrons of the travelers Gods, or lists them in the Christian pantheon of Gods; the Yol-tengri (Yol is road in Türkic) of Tengriism is no different. The competence of this scholarship, with its accent on the Early Middle Age erudition, is quite compatible with the competence of the Middle Age religious scholars of all kinds and flavors.

The arrogant sour attitude to the use of the trees as sacred symbols, which explicitly denigrates people and their religion, appear to be ignorant of the cardinal reason for that phenomenon, the ability to communicate with the Almighty at any place and at any time. The practical justification of that need was formalized in the approximately contemporaneous Tonyukuk inscription, which argued against attempts of another Kagan to introduce a world religion (Buddhism) and its appurtenances: “building of temples will destroy the ancient Türkic custom “not to be bounded by anything”, otherwise the Tang dynasty would destroy us”. The unbridled freedom of religious communion with the Almighty, so needed for the pastoral people, is derogated by the primitive notions of the indoctrinated scholars.

The God Tengri-Khan in the Caspian Huns' vision was the Supreme God (Tengri in Türkic is the same as God in English, Allah in Arabic, etc. In English the phrase reads: “The God God-Khan in the Caspian Huns' vision was the Supreme God”). In the “History of the Alvan country”, He is bestowed with laudatory epithets: “mighty Hero”, “unbridled giant”, “brave and gigantic Spandiat” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 197, 201). “The Cult of Tengri-Khan - says S.G. Klyashtorny, was a central cult in the realm of Alp Ilishver” (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984. C 21) (Elteber => Ilitver => Ilishver. Not bad...). Several researchers identified Tengri-Khan of the Dagestani Huns with the Heaven God Tengri of the Türks (M.I. Artamonov, 1962, p. 187; Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 21; Gadlo A.V. 1979. C 146) (These giants of thought identified Tengri with Tengri, what a feat!). The Supreme God of the Pra-Bulgars (i.e. Bulgars in the lingo of Slavic chauvinists and Soviet double-talk) also bore the name Tangra (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 18) (Tengri => Tangra. Not bad...).

Analysis of the “History of Alvan country” indicates that the Heavenly God Tengri of the ancient Türkic people in the conditions of the mounting social //237// differentiation of the Hun society was transformed into a God-Ancestor, God-Hero, endowed with strength, courage, veneration of Him was bringing to the “country of Huns” success and abundance..

The noted above accreditation of the most revered trees with protectant function, guarding, and ability to produce benefits to the evolved upper crust of the Hunnic society is reflected in the religious conceptions of the Huns, where a correlation between the image of the Supreme Deity Tengri Khan, and the revered trees (sacrifices to the “sacred” tree were offered in veneration of the God Tengri-Khan, heads and skins of sacrificed horses were hung on the branches of the tree). Perhaps the Huns believed that it was the main Deity who bestowed power and prosperity to the Prince of the Huns and his servants.

S.G. Klyashtorny believes that not only tall trees, but the Sun, moon, thunder were symbols of the Tengri Khan cult (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 21).

Concluding description of the pantheon of the North Caucasian Huns, is necessary to dwell on one more aspect. Movses Kalankatuatsi indicates that the Huns honored some gods of roads (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 193). S.G. Klyashtorny notes similarity of the gods of ways of the Huns with the ancient Türkic deity “Yol-Tengri”, ensuring contact of the Heavenly God Tengri (Deity of the Upper World) with the Deities of the Middle World (Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 22). Probably, the especially noted in the pantheon of the North Caucasus //238// Huns the Gods of Travel were Patrons of the nomads as Deities with a function of protecting from any mishaps during seasonal migrational coachings.

4. Amulets and fetishes
We can only guess what definition of Paganism was used by the author, but it is unlikely that it deviated much from the standard definition cited below. In applying it, the author acts as a prejudiced advocate of a particular religious traditions, unbecoming to a scholar. It is an axiom that in the eyes of any adherent of any religion, his own religion is the “true one revealed by God”, and all others are not. This is evidenced by the fact that all religions have conventional derogatory terms for the other religions:
Paganism, in broad sense includes all religions other than the “true one revealed by God”, and, in a narrow sense, all except Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

In a simpler form, the same definition is this:
Paganism is a religion that does not acknowledge your (brand of) god

In either case, the author taciturnly a priory supports one version of religion over the others.

A part of the Caspian Huns belonged to the Kayi tribe, termed in the chronicles as Kayi Mountain(eer) ~ Hai Dag(dur). The Kayis were people of the snake (dragon), and very well could ornament themselves with the image of the snake (dragon) loaded with innumerable unspecified symbology much like today's people boast school rings, crosses, shaped word pendants, etc. The scholars who undertakes explaining semantics of the artifacts of the long past people should at least demonstrate their ability to read the semantics of today's tattoos, jewelry, and car ornaments that can be verified, shouldn't they? A good example of misguided reading is that of M.Gimbutas, who applied studies of non-Kurgan people to Kurgan people, assuming identical context of symbology (i.e. circle. star, etc.) and came up with fanciful concept, turning symbology into genetical, anthropological, racial, and linguistic attribute that conflicts with every scientific discipline.
Figure 7. Cult objects and mold
1, 2. 5-7 - Palasa-Syrt settlement 4th-6th cc.
3-4 - Palasa-Syrt burial 4th-5th cc.
1, 2 - two-sided form for casting mirrors
3, 4 - mirrors
5, 6 - dices
3 - amulet
1, 2 - stone
3, 4 - bronze
5-7 - bone

Some Huns' objects were fetishes and were used in the pagan rituals (Fig. 7). To that class can be attributed mentioned in the source pagan amulets - “golden and silver images of dragon”, and also the dice (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 198, 205).

Although the geography of the dragon-snake cult is quite wide, at almost all peoples the image of a dragon-serpent is associated with the abundance of water (Reshetov A.M. 1981, p. 87 - 90), and in the mythology of the Altaians the dragon served as a master of clouds (Sychev L. P . 1972, p. 146). At the peoples of Dagestan the snake is not only a spirit of precipitation (Bulatova, A. 1971, p. 184; 1980, p. 101), but also a good spirit of home, guarding the welfare of the family (M. Khalilov, Kh.M 1984, p. 71; Khalidov M.R. 1984, p. 105).

Pagan amulets with an image of a dragon apparently were not only fetishes, but the distinguishing signs of the cult clergy, whose main activity was performing rituals associated with the success in the productive activities of the “country of Huns” population. The insights obtained from the analysis of some ancient Türkic terms suggest that the ritual garb of the clergy differed //240// from the clothing of the general population (N.I. Djidalaev p. 1984. pp. 153-156, 159) and the amulets, apparently, were a necessary complement to the garb.

The dice, which during the fight against the Huns' pagan beliefs were burned down, perhaps originally were attributes of magical rituals connected with worship of the Sun god. Indirect evidence of that is the prohibition of games of dice during droughts, that existed among some Dagestani peoples (Bulatova, A. 1971, p. 177). (Dice is found in the oldest Kurgan burials, especially of children, together with their other toys. Any archeologist digging in the Türkic areas should know it as a primary course of education. The knucklebone, or astragal gaming dice is endemic to the Türkic culture across Eurasia, and it is a known trait of the Germanic culture)

5. Priests and cult ministers

In the Hun society stood out an estate of clergy, whose functions were performing pagan rituals. Among the clergy was a cult hierarchy, a higher position occupied priests and main magicians (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 205). Apparently, existed a kind of the clergy specialization, as the author of “History of Alvan country” mentions priest-enchanters, magicians, sorcerers, servants of sanctuaries and sacred groves (Movses Kalankatuatsi. KS. 185, 205) (If the ancient author of history believes in organized religion where is none, in miracles, in priests-charmers, magicians, conjurers and the like, should the scholarly author also believe in that, and propagate the Early Middle Age prejudices without expressing any doubts on the credibility of the source? The missionary's desultoriness is rambling about phantom temples, sanctuaries, phantom might and reaches of the priestly class, the phantom property of that phantom class apparently to justify the violence done to the people where religion is a fiber of the family, taught in the family, and exercised solely in the family, and that fiction is spiced with no less desultory phantom class categories of the primitive Marxism).

By the end of 7th c. the priestly caste was a very influential force in the Hun society, . Alp Ilitver encountered stubborn resistance of the priesthood during Christianization of the Huns (682). Drastic violence against the opponents of Christianity (Actually, not of Christianity, to which the Huns were open, but of forced Christianization. In today's Christianity the violence and murders instigated by Bishop Israel are condemned as barbaric and not Christian) (imprisonment and trial of upper ministers of the priestly caste, execution of some of them), undertaken by Alp Ilitver shows not //241// only the great influence of the priesthood over the masses of the Hunnic population, which the Hun prince (actually, an Ashina viceroy of the Türkic Kaganate, a breed alien to the Savirs) set out to weaken, but the ruthlessness of the killings was to undermine the economic power of the priestly caste.

Reproaching the Hun Prince for the blasphemy against the pagan gods and holy places (sanctuaries burned, destruction of sacred trees and groves), the priesthood expressed their outrage at the devastation and plunder of the pagan temples, which apparently were places of wealth concentration of the temple demesnes (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 200). A.P. Novoseltsev said that the major cause of Christianization of the S.Caucasian countries was excessively grown material wealth of the pagan temples (Novoseltsev A.P. 1980, p. 246) (Aparently, Novoseltsev refers to the aboriginal temples, since the Huns had none). The imperial power (sic!) sought to limit the power and authority of the priestly caste, the finale of this policy was the adoption of Christianity in the Caucasus (Novoseltsev A.P. 1980. C 136). Written sources do not contain direct evidence about the nature of the Hunnic priesthood's property, but still in the “History of Alvan country” the priestly caste appears powerful and influential force of the Hunnic society, fighting to the last for their privileges. The religious reform, attempted by the Hun Prince, was aimed not only at reinforcing authority and economic power of the supreme ruler. Religious reform was essentially an act of redistribution of economic and political power within the tribal elite feudalizing nobility.

The presence among the cult officials of the witches, sorcerers, and magicians testifies to the existence among the population of the Northeast Caucasus in the Early Medieval Period of the beliefs connected, like among many pagan nations, with the needs of daily life (medical, domestic, wedding magic) (Was it any different in the heart of Rome, Constantinople, or Jerusalem in 682?). Ammianus Marcellinus described some of the Hun actions connected with a belief in fate. “By tying into a bundle straight willow twigs, they parse them at some definite time with some sort of mysterious spells, and get very specific portents about what is predicted” (Ammianus Marcellinus. II, p. 243).

From political point of view the described religious events make little sense. A choice between political alignment with the Arab expansion, Byzantine, and incipient Khazaria is no brainer, the feeble Christian Byzantine and the Caucasian dependencies that Byzantine just lost to the Arabs is an obvious losing ticket; aligning with the Arab expansion is the same economical disaster that just fell on Armenia and Albania; the only viable alternative is to stay with their kins in Khazaria; but switching religion to Christianity is an opposite move, a signal of secession to Khazaria, wrought with predictable personal and political repercussions. No sane ruler would at the same time alienate his political enemies and allies and his own people. The only politically reasonable explanation may be that the Elteber Alp Ilitver tried to convert his autochthonous sedentary subjects, multi-ethnic and multi-religious, with an objective of unifying his possessions; that scenario would provide consistency with references to temples and sanctuaries and priests, but still leave all other details of the story totally unreal.


1. Christianity

The population of the Northeast Caucasus constantly experienced a strong political, economic and ideological influence of the developed agricultural countries in the S.Caucasia (Armenia, Albania), and through them the influence of Byzantine. The Dagestan Huns were drawn in the fighting between Persia and Byzantine for the Caucasus. The “Country of Huns”, occupying a strategic position, and with substantial material and human resources, was a significant political force, which the world powers could not ignore in their fight. The S.Caucasian states sought to subject population of the Northeast Caucasus to their influence since the time the Huns settled in the Caspian steppes. And one of the most important means for achieving their goal was to impose Christianity among the Dagestani Huns.

Christianization of the Hun circle tribes has its own history. In the 330's a successfully initiated campaign of the Christian preacher Grigoris among the Hunno-Masgut tribes ended with his tragic death.

The history of Christianization of the Hunnic tribes in the 330's was first described by Favstos Buzand (5th c.), then with various details it was recounted by Movses Kalankatuatsi. Bishop Grigoris was ordained to a high clerical rank at 15 years old. He began his missionary activities in Iberia and Aluank (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 37). After that he went to the “country of Mazkuts”, taking along his students. Bishop Grigoris first succeeded in persuading the Mazkut (Maskut) King Sanesan and his subject Hun troops to adoption of Christianity, but when the Huns realized that with the adoption of Christianity they would be deprived of the opportunities for plundering raids in the Caucasus, the Sanesan's troops rebelled. The Armenian historian relays the arguments of the opponents of Christianization thus, “How can we live, if not mount our horses in accordance with our eternal custom?” (Favstos Buzand, p. 14). And then the author states: “The king changed his mind and heed the words of his army” (Favstos Buzand, p. 14). The king was forced to heed the will of his troops, that apparently constituted most of the people in the “country of Mazkuts”. Bishop Grigoris received a martyr's death: “Then they caught a wild horse, tied the young Grigoris to its tail, and released it in the field along the shore of the great Northern Sea, outside of their camp, in the Vatnean (?) field” (Favstos Buzand, p. 14). It is believed that the field was on the Caspian Sea shore, somewhere south of Derbent. The disciples brought the slain Bishop to the city Amaras and buried him in the church (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 38).

Although the first attempt at Christianization of the Hun circle's tribes was not successful, the pursuit of the objective did not wane. Movses Kalanlatuatsi reports that St. Mashtots, who created alphabets for “Armenians, Aluans, and Ivers”, was preaching Christianity “in the gavar (district) Uti, in Aluank, in Lpink, in Caspi, to the gates of Chor” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 60). Probably, the Mazkut tribes living south of Chor, were repeatedly Christianized. But the disunity of the Hun tribes, the nomadic nature of the Hun economy made these attempts failures. The level of socio-economic development of the Hun circle's tribes did not favor to form conditions for the adoption of a monotheistic religion (I.e. while people were rich in horses, they did not need to switch to subjugated subsistence hoeing, until they became likewise impoverished and powerless. Funny, the dumb enserfed peasantry, deprived of liberty and personal rights, bound to a plot of land, that constituted 90%+ of the sedentary populations is being sold as a height of intellectual development worthy of tri-partite tri-monotheistic Christianity).

In the first third of the 6th c. AD (ca. 515) to the Caspian Huns arrived Armenian Bishop Kardost with five priests, “baptized many and taught (some) of the Huns” (Pseudo-Zacharias, p. 166). His embassy missionary work lasted for 14 years, and “produced there (520) a Scripture in the Hunnic language”. Pseudo-Zacharias writes, “came out a Scripture in their language about how it is arranged by the Lord” (Pseudo-Zacharias, p. 165). Kardost was replaced by another Armenian Bishop Makar, who is credited with construction of a brick church (Pseudo-Zacharias, p. 167). Apparently, the missionary activities of the Bishops Kardost and Makar affected only some part of the Hun tribes.

The “Chronicle” of Pseudo-Zacharias reported that a Byzantine detachment that was repulsing Persians from the fortress Dary, //246// located in Mesopotamia on the border of Byzantine and Persia, during its siege, was headed by the “Suniks man, a former Hun commander, who was baptized after finding refuge with Romans...” (Pseudo-Zacharias, p. 162). The message is dated by 530's. A change of religion caused serious consequences, prompting Suniks to leave his home and go into the Byzantine service.

By the 6th c. belongs a reference of Movses Kalankatuatsi “Hun's Bishop Iunana”, who also, like its predecessors Grigoris and Mashtots, was preaching to Mazkuts (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 45).

Some separate units of the Hun army, who participated in military campaigns in the S.Caucasus countries, also adopted Christianity (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 45).

In the 6th., divided into separate tribes Hun society did not yet have ripe conditions for Christianity. Albanian Bishop Israil in the late 7th c. found “Hunnia” still pagan. Although one comment of Movses Kalankatuatsi indicates that some part of the population of the “country of Huns” adhered to Christianity, but in a distorted form. The author writes that Bishop Israil “was disappointed and saddened to see much evil and split faith, because there were people who called themselves God-followers, but renounced the power (of God) and were alien to it” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 124). But probably by the end of the 7th c. from Christianization of the first third of the 6th c. in Hunnia was left no trace. Alp Ilitver in a letter to the Catholicos of Armenia Sahak and Prince Grigor //247// writes that Huns of the Christ “knew only a little from the rumours, from the time of our attacks on your country and Aluank...” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 133).

In 682, to the Alp Ilitver's “land of Huns” arrived a mission of Bishop Israil, with a goal of implementing into reality one of the main clauses of the treaty between Albania and the “land of Huns” - adoption by the Huns of the Christian faith.

In the “country of Huns” Christianity first of all adopted the Huns' Great Prince the Alp-Ilitver and nobility of the Hun society (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 198 - 199). For a long time priesthood resisted the new religion, but was forced to resign and to also accept the new creed. As was noted above, the priesthood was a powerful force in the Hun society. To subdue the resistance of the Christianization opponents, Alp Ilitver isolated “high priests and main sorcerers” from the society. However, only after a long imprisonment of the top ministers of pagan cults in “heavy shackles”, massacre of some of them (burning at the stake), and after the trial of most persistent of then, the priests “accused themselves, acknowledging their sins, and turned to the true faith” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 205) (Before the arrival of Christianity, Huns did not know such marvelous invention of Christian civilization as burning at the stake. Never before, but but very many times after). Communion of the ministers of the pagan cults to the Christian doctrine was completed with an act of burning main attributes of the pagan cult of ancestors. K. Patkanov translated the name of this object as “Royal tombs” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 206).

 Sh.V. Smbatian translated it differently - “thunderous cemetery of chop called Darkunand” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 131). The translator notes (162 and 163) explain that Darkunand is the name of the sacred grove of Huns, where were conducted sacrifices of horses. But by the time of the senior priests trial the sacred groves of oak and the most revered among the Huns old oak tree were already destroyed, the temples of pagan gods destroyed and ruined, pagan amulets destroyed. And the “Royal Tombs” must be burned, as notes Moses Kalankatuatsi, “by the hands of the faithful priests” (Kurgan can't be burnt, apparently the idea is to burn the wooden memorial at the top of the kurgan, the equivalent to the modern gravestones and Christian crosses, where people were coming to for commemorations). The day of burning temples and baptism of the priesthood among the Huns became a socially important date, “holiday of holidays and cathedral of cathedrals”. Perhaps, after adoption of the Christianity by the priesthood, this religious doctrine was also adopted by the townspeople of Varachan (Belenjer).

In our opinion, attention should be given to the methods of execution clergy at the Huns. Movses Kalankatuatsi writes that Israil ordered “some of them burnt at the stake” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. 130). The same way also threatened to crush the recalcitrant cult ministers the Huns' Great Prince - “sorcerers and enchanters who would not want to accept the new faith, I will burn with fire...”. (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 132). Other Huns, probably commoners, Alp Ilitver threatened to “put to the sword” if they do not accept the new faith. Still Herodotus (484 - 425 BC) among the customs of the Black Sea Scythians noted burning of the augurs, if //249// their prophecies turned out to be false (Herodotus, p. 270) (The capital treatment was described for other Türkic states, minus very Christian burning of live people. For innately immortal Tengrians the idea of burning alive must have been most terrifying, because proper send-off funeral was a necessary condition for arriving back to Tengri, and improper funeral was breaking off the cycle of immortality, the most terrible consequence for an eternal soul. The Türkic punishment of rulers and augurs was to send them back to Tengri for repairs, not to infringe on their Tengri-given immortality. Cremation and inhumation were both practiced among Huns and pre-Islam Türkic peoples).

We believe that the existence of such a custom at the Caspian Huns at the end of the of the 7th c. indicates, as noted above some other facts, about mixed nature of the population culture in the “country of Huns”, encompassing the components of culture and the Iranian tribes (Is that an allusion that killing and torture-killing of dissidents is a linguistic, and not a religious trait? Or to the Persian persecution of unsanctioned religions? This appears to be a logical disconnect. The only tribe that is classed “Iranian” in the Russian official doctrine is the tribe of Masguts/Alans, and nowhere in this work or any other work were ever shown any ethnological or linguistic differences between the Huns and Masguts. Quite the opposite, Masguts were a component of the Eastern European Hunnic and Türkic peoples, they followed the same Tengrian religion, buried according to the Kurgan tradition, and can't be blamed for introducing burning of live people at the stake into Türkic practice).

On Christianization of the general population in the “country of Huns” exists no data. There is no accurate records if a church was built in Varachan (Belenjer). Movses Kalankatuatsi in one place of his narrative says that made of sacred oak and decorated cross was installed “east of the Royal Palace” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. 130). Probably, the church was built later, since in praising the work of Alp Ilitver the author notes that in many places he erected churches...” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p.128).

Erected near the Royal Palace cross, described by the author of “History of Alvan country”, was extraordinarily beautiful. It was made from trees felled in the sacred grove. Bishop Israil “...ordered to bring them into the city Varachan (Belenjer), mobilised skilled carpenters of the city, and ordered them to make a beautiful, roundish cross; decorated it with various pictures and glued to it pictures of animals copied with careful accuracy, and painted it from top to bottom with paint. Also on the right side he attached with strong nails beautiful light crosses. At the bottom was a hole carved on all four sides like a lily. In it //250// stood a silver cross with a relict from the cross of the Lord” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 203 - 204).

Sh B. Smbatian objects to the description of the shape of the cross erected at the Huns in Varachan (Belenjer) as “roundish”, in the belief that roundish were the logs of which the cross was made of. However, it is known that in the S.Caucasus at that time gained wide distribution the Maltese cross shape with rounded ends of branches; apparently, such a cross was erected in a Varachan at the Huns (Equilateral cross was a Tengrian symbol of God called “adji” long before Christianity, and it was introduced into Christian symbology synchronously with the arrival of the Huns to the Caucasus in the 2nd c. AD. The sign of Tengri was embroidered on battle banners, worn on the chest, hung on a chain, tattooed on forehead, weaved into ornaments. See Murad Adji, “Kipchaks”, Saint George Publishing, ISBN 5-88149-044-4).

Neither Christian theology, nor Western religious studies, analyzing the “pagan” borrowings by early Christianity, do not discern the “pagan” religions themselves, and accordingly do not trace particular chain of adoptions to their first known origins. It is generally recognized that aside from the inheritance of the Jerusalem Church, all Christian modifications were adopted in course of syncretization with the ingrained traditions at the time of the formal or informal adoption. The cross, in particular, was one of such adoptions, and its derivation from the monotheistic Celtic and Germanic tradition, which are varieties of Tengriism, labeled Arianism by the Christian Church, in a short run is a viable proposition. In a long run, the cross as a religious symbol predates Christianity by many millennia, and who borrowed from whom is an irresolvable mute subject. The contemporaneity of the cross adoption as a symbol of Christianity with the flood by the monotheistic “barbarians” of the incipient Christianized territory, and the role of the individual “barbarians” in shaping the early Christianity tends to give credence to that view. The cross was a Tengrian symbol long before the time of the Bishop Israil, all he had to do was associate the traditional symbol with his brand of religion, a process repeated over and over again over the past millenniums, and documented in some instances.

Christianity was a profitable ideological cover, containing idea of one God, who gives unlimited power to the supreme ruler of a society. The adoption of Christianity in the “country of Huns” was to strengthen the Union of Hunnic tribes formed by the 7th c., to elevate the powers to be and to increase the might of the Hun Prince, and also to consolidate processes of social differentiation in the Hun society affecting the feudalizing nobility and the masses. It was a logical culmination of the socio-economic development of the new society (The author does not spell out what was new in 682 vs., say, 582; the fact is, economically nothing was new; the Huns controlled their territory, their sedentary subjects, had their herds and army intact, had all the wealth they needed; the changes came in political re-alignment, political restructuring, and in coming threat of the Arabs, a new devil that replaced the old familiar devil The “new” Hunnic union was already 400 years old, not exactly a newborn baby).

Christianity found a fertile soil among the Caspian Huns, but it did not spread. The Arab expansion in the Caucasus, the defeat of Armenia and Albania, the long Arab-Khazar war interrupted for a long time the progressive processes of socio-economic development, thereby slowing down the growth of the state in the “country of Huns”, and the religious policy of the Arabs, enforcing //251// Islam, undercut the process of settling the Christianization of the North-East Caucasus population (Dagestan History. 1967. pp. 150 - 159) (History of Dagestan ca 1967 was concocted in Moscow, it tells about its contents, objectives and credibility).

A.R. Shikhsaidov noted that from the late 7th c. and until the 10th c. Dagestan did not have conditions for “accelerating the speed of Christianity's penetration”. Moreover, the “political influence of the Arabs in the Derbent region was the beginning of penetration of Islam and slow displacement of Christianity” (Shikhsaidov A.R. 1957, p. 65).

Movses Kalankatuatsi very concisely reports on the further fate of Christianity in the “land of Huns”. He writes that the Great Prince Alp Ilitver lived to an honorable old age, he was erecting churches in his country, and Bishop Israil at the same time headed the Christian cathedras in his gavar (district) in Caucasian Albania and in the “country of Huns”. But his fate was tragic, a new Catholicos of Albania Bakur exiled Bishop Israil (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II, p. 148). Christianity in the “country of Huns” apparently lasted to the first campaigns of the Arabs in the Caspian in the early 8th c. (I.e. 20-30 years) Only in the 980's in Samandar, which became a new capital of the “country of Huns”, the Christians lived together along with Muslims and Jews (Ibn Hawqal, p. 114; al-Mukkadasi, p. 5). Ibn Hawqal also reported that in Samandar were Christian churches. But what Christians were they, the descendants of the inhabitants of the “country of Huns”, baptized in 682, or those who accepted Christianity later by other means, the sources do not report.

Concluding this section, it should be noted that for the “country of Huns” of the late 7th c. the change in ideology was a natural phenomenon. The level of socio-economic development of the Hun society, the nature of ideological concepts dominating there, indicate a beginning of the formation in the North-East Caucasus of an early class state (Gmyrya L.B. 1988, p. 31). The fledgling state was in need of an ideology that would lead to the further development of the classes, strengthen and enhance the authority of the supreme ruler. The religious reform of 682 was not only aimed at enhancing the authority and economic power of the supreme ruler (in his hands the Hun ruler has concentrated all power, which covered virtually all areas of the inner and outer life of the Hunnic society). Religious reform was essentially an act of redistribution of economic and political power within the tribal elite of the feudalizing nobility.

2. Islam and Judaism

Islam began to take root in Dagestan during the following Arab-Khazar wars, characterized by particularly persistent and systematic advance of the Arabs in the Caspian region (708-733). The Arab historians writings of the 9th-10th cc. retained numerous records about Arab policy principles among the population of //253// the conquered countries - it is destruction of those who showed hostility to the Arab army (al-Kufi. pp. 9, 41, 53), relocation to other areas if the residents who asked for peace initially resisted their troops (al-Kufi, p. 18, 41), payment of annual tribute (al-aman) if population asked for mercy without resistance and provided lounging for the Arab forces (al-Kufi, p. 9), in some cases, in addition to the money tribute were captives (young men and maidens), cattle, and produce (al-Kufi, p. 55 - 56).

In respect to political options in deciding alliance issue, the above reviews the Arab alternative: eradication, relocation, tribute, prisoners (young men and maidens), cattle, and provisions. And that perspective was facing the people who were innately free, unencumbered, and used to rule others.

No evidence is recorded that the population of the Dagestan conquered territories in the 8th c. was subjected to forced Islamization. It is known that Arabs practiced religious tolerance to Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians (Novoseltsev. A.P. 1990, p. 148) (Religious tolerance on the Soviet scale: If you are not killed, I am tolerant; tolerance to Zoroastrism is Novoseltsev's dscovery), but to the Gentiles was a single attitude - they were to accept Islam. But judging from the data of the sources, in the first decade of the 8th c. Christians were only the inhabitants of the “country of Huns”, in mountain areas were worshiped pagan gods. But having captured a number of of Dagestan (738) mountainous areas, the Arabs demanded from the population tribute; sources do not mention acceptance of Islam.

It was a standard diplomatic maneuver of the Türkic leadership to recognize somebody's else supremacy in lieu of fighting it. History knows a plethora of examples. The reason is that to be relevant, the dominant power has to be able to do something to their dependents, and in the case of slow-moving sedentary powers that was the least of all threats. For a sedentary army to catch up with the nomads is next to impossible, and the effort to do it is bankrupting. The Türks taught that lesson to the generations of adventurers, from the Persian King Darius to the Han dynasty and beyond. The cost of imposition was great, but it was nothing compared with the cost of collection. The situation only changed with the advance of the Industrial Epoch. Before that, the only strategy was divide and conquer.

From the sources are known single cases of the Caspian Dagestan people embracing Islam in the period from 708 to 737. Thus, al-Kufi and other Arab authors report that a Khazar warrior defending Derbent besieged in 713/714 by the Arab commander Maslama expressed a willingness to convert to Islam on standard Arab conditions - paying him to support his family. //254// Having adopted Islam, the soldier came up with a way to capture an impregnable fortress (al-Kufi, p. 14).

In 722/723 the Arab commander Jarrah captured Balanjar. The ruler of Balanjar with 50 soldiers fled to Samandar, his wife, children, servants, and property were purchased by Jarrah. The Arabs decided to pardon the ruler of Balanjar and return him his power, property, family, and servants (al-Kufi, p. 19). But what were the the terms it was done the author does not state. Was it only with a duty to secretly inform the Arabs on the movements of the Khazar troops (al-Kufi, p. 20)? At least, the author did not report on the acceptance of Islam by the ruler of Balanjar.

In the same year (722/723) the residents of the “Vabandar territory”, besieged by the troops of Jarrah, recognized the authority of the Arab Caliph and concluded a peace “under the terms of a payment of a defined amount each year” (Ibn al-Athir, p. 25). Al-Kufi talks about a large monetary tribute (al-Kufi, p. 20). Were the residents of Vabandar forced to convert to Islam is unknown.

The Khazar King, according to the sources, converted to Islam in 737 (al-Kufi, p. 52). It happened after the Arab leader sacked the “country of Khazars”, having defeated the 40,000strong army of the King. The King sued for peace, one of the peace conditions was his acceptance of Islam. Al-Kufi reported, “The Khazar King converted to Islam, and with him from among his relatives and fellow tribesmen a lot of people converted to Islam”. The power remained in the hands of the Khazar King, but 40 thousand Khazars were resettled in the S.Caucasus.

Reportedly, given enough time for mobilization, Khazar Kagan could master 300,000 army, which likely numerically consisted largely of foot soldier auxiliaries. But 100,000strong cavalry would be a reasonable assumption, leading to an estimate of pastoral population about 500,000. Thus, 40,000 relocated people, most likely a couple of whole tribes, would amount to about 10% loss of nomadic population, provided that relocated were nomads. Such infusion of nomadic population into the countries of S.Caucasus must be readily detectable archeologically and ethnologically.

 A.P. Novoseltsev doubted whether the Khazar King in fact converted to Islam, or only promised to do so (Novoseltsev A.P. L.P. 1990, p. 148).

The Khazar Princess married to the Arab ruler of Arran (752/753) adopted Islam. (Al-Kufi. pp. 62 - 63).

The sources preserved information about religion of the Semender residents in the 10th c. Almost all Arab geographers state that the in the city lived many Muslims (al-Balkhi, p. 62; al-Istahri, p. 47) and there were mosques (Ibn Hawqal, p. 114; al-Muqaddasi, p. 5). Who were these Muslims, local residents or immigrants, the sources did not answer. A.R. Shikhsaidov believes that in Samandar at this time could live Arab settlers (Shikhsaidov A.R. 1969, p. 94). In the mid-10th c. (943 ) the king of Haidak, according to al-Masoudi, was a Muslim (al-Masoudi. I, p. 202).

In the early 12th c., according to the Arab traveler al-Garnati, the inhabitants of Derbent and many areas adjacent to Derbent, including residents of Haidak, were Muslims, (al-Garnati. I, p. 26 - 27; II. C . 49). Infidels, i.e. non-Muslims, were only the people of Zidihgaran (al-Garnati. II, p. 50) and the Caspian population north of Derbent (al-Garnati. I, p. 24). According to Al-Garnati, by the beginning of the 12th c. 70 Dagestani peoples converted to Islam (al-Garnati. II, p. 49).

A.R. Shikhsaidov concluded that information of the local historical sources, and the data of al-Garnati about acceptance of Islam in most areas //256// of Dagestan by the 12th c. “reflected that short-term phase which ended with complete independence of the overwhelming majority of Dagestan's possessions, and return to pre-monotheistic (Pre-monotheistic is a nice way to phrase a praise to Islam in the Soviet publication, where Islam was routinely demonized in favor of slightly less demonized Russian Orthodox Church) beliefs in those areas where Islam was perhaps adopted” (Shikhsaidov A.R. 1969, p. 102). But that was not the time of end of the intensive Islamization in Dagestan, but still only its beginning (Shikhsaidov A.R. 1969, p. 103).

We have a better barometer to gage the spread of Islam among Türkic people. By the 9th c. Eastern Europe had numerous lines of hereditary mullahs, and a number of cities had mature communities of Türkic Muslims. By the time the Muslim Caliphate recognized Bulgaria as a Muslim state in 922, the Muslims in Bulgaria were a long-standing ruling majority. The literate class created numerous literary compositions, written in Arabic script and in Türkic language, some of which are known from literary references, and some survived to the Modern Age. Kul Gali is the best-known example. The Türkic Islamic-period literature started in the 8th c. Kyiv, before Kyiv became a Kyiv.

The divisions, brought over by proselytizing religions, turned out to be stronger than the force of unity held by the common culture, language, and traditions. A part of the Türkic people turned to Christianity, a part turned to to Islam, and the remainder remained with unadulterated Tengriism. Religious confrontations convulsed communities, leading to the splits like the Kabar revolt and the Djilka migration. Except for isolated islands, the ethnic homogeneity has crushed.

Judaism buttressed in Khazaria, according to the Arab geographer al-Masoudi, during the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashnd (786-809) (al-Masoudi. II, p. 193). Mostly, the Judeans were members of the royal family and the King himself. There is a wide debate about exactly when and under what circumstances it happened. A.P. Novoseltsev believes the Khazar King converted to Judaism in about the last quarter of the 8th c. (Novoseltsev A.P. 1990. pp. 150 - 151). In his view, the bulk of the population professed Islam and Christianity, or worshiped pagan gods, and only the King and his entourage were Judeans (Novoseltsev A.P. A, p. 1990, p. 53).

A different view holds Gumilev. He believes that in 718, a leader of Persian Jewish migrants that lived in Khazaria in the area between the rivers Terek, Sulak, and who bore the Türkic name Bulan (Bulan < Bülün = army soldier, apparently Ogur word), “restored the Jewish rites for his people” (Gumilev L.N. 1992, p. 121). Gumilev stresses that Jewish rites were restored only for the Jewish settlers: “conversion of Khazars” to Judaism did not happen, and //257// could not happen, because “in the Middle Ages ... to the service of the cult were admitted only members of the clan, even if the clan grew up into ethnicity” (Gumilev, L.N. 1992, p. 122). According to Gumilev, in 802/803 an influential Jew Obadiah took power (in Khazaria - L.G.) in his hands, turned the Khan from the Ashina dynasty into a puppet, and made the rabbinic Judaism a state religion of Khazaria” (Gumilev L.N. 1992, p. 135).

The Arab geographers of the 10th c. state that the King of Semender was a Judean, and they emphasize that he was a relative of the Khazar King (perhaps only because of that circumstance he professed Judaism) (al-Balkhi, p. 62; al-Istahri, p. 47; Ibn Hawqal, : p. 144). Only Ibn Hawqal reports that in the Samandar, along with Christian churches and Muslim mosques, were synagogues (Ibn Hiukal, p. 114).

In science, the position about religious tolerance of th Khazar Kings is firmly established. However, Gumilev believes that the tolerance was compelled, “because it covered expenses from the transit trade. But as soon as someone touched the interests of overseas Jewish communities, the Khazar King answered with repressions” (Gumilev L.N. 1992, p. 145).

Khazaria was only a particular case of Türkic religious tolerance, it is one side of being open to new ideas, inherent and honed in constant dealing with numerous various peoples. That tradition continued into the Mongol Epoch, and is well documented. Only the advent of Islam and Christianity changed that attitude, and even then it was fanned up by political adventurists who tried to use religious divisions to advance their ambitions, changing little the innate tolerant attitudes of the population.


1. Burial ritual

The Huns held burial of the deceased a social event, people were gathering for it, apparently, next of kin. The Huns had a dual attitude toward the death. On the one hand, they had a fear of harmful effect of the death on the well-being of living, on the other hand they believed in the afterlife of the deceased. All ritual acts of the Huns associated with burial of the deceased reflected this duality. To prevent harmful effect of death on the living, the gathered relatives with cries and loud weeping, roll of drums and clanking created noise, apparently believing that that would scare off the evil forces of death. The burial ritual also included inflicting cuts to the corpse with knives and swords (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 193). In the literature was even expressed an opinion that the laceration ritual upon the deceased reflected vestiges of more archaic actions: a member of the community who has grown old and weak was once killed to prevent its subverting effect on //259// the well-being of the group (Veletskaya N.N. 1978 . pp. 47, 59; Gadjiyeva S. Sh. 1985, p. 292).

Such practice, according to al-Masoudi, had the inhabitants of as-Sarir. He wrote: “When one of them dies, they put him on a stretcher and carry him to an open space (maidan” pleschad? “), where he is left for three days on the stretcher. Then residents of the city mount their horses and put on armor and chain mail. They go to the edge (of that) place (and from there) prance with their spears onto the dead body (lying) on the stretcher. They circle around the stretcher, directing spears onto the body, but not piercing it” (al-Masoudi. II, p. 219 - 220).The author claims that this custom existed among the inhabitants of that city for 300 years (from about 600 AD). Such remark by al-Masoudi indicates that the described funeral rite was common to local tribes.

The burial ritual of the Huns was probably accompanied by ritual music, perceived by the eyewitness as noise and ringing. According to researchers, the music was seen by the Gentiles as a mediator between two worlds, a means of communication with the ancestors and gods (Veletskaya. N.N. 1978. pp. 151).

Associated with the burial of the deceased rituals also included self-tormenting of the funeral rite participants: infliction of cuts on the face and body (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. pp. 124, 128). Agathias describes an episode, where in a moment of mortal danger, the Hun warriors “... cut with knives their cheeks to express //260// their grief by their custom” (p. 158 Agathias.).

Infliction of cuts, resulting in shedding blood, was apparently a vestige of more archaic acts, with human sacrifices to the gods. Self-tormenting rituals in the funeral rites of the ancient Türks are noted in the Chinese chronicles. According to the Chinese author of the 6th - first half of the 7th c., a noble Türk was buried as follows: “The body of the deceased is laid in a tent. The sons, grandsons and relatives of both sexes slaughter horses and sheep and laying them in front of the tent, offer sacrifice; seven times ride around the tent on the horses, then before entering the tent cut their faces with knife and cry weeping, blood and tears pour down together. In such fashion, do it seven times and conclude. Then on an appointed day take the horse which the deceased rode, and things that he used, and cremate them along with the deceased; the ashes are collected and buried at a certain season in the grave ... On the day of the funeral, like on the day of the death, they offer sacrifice, gallop on horses and cut their faces...”. (Bichurin N.Ya. 1950, p. 230).

 A.P. Novoseltsev believes that the ritual of cutting face and body as an expression of grief, described by Movses Kalankatuatsi, to some extent is similar to the burial custom of the Scythians, which in his opinion, “proves the continuity between the ancient Iranian nomads and Khazars of the 7th c”. (Novoseltsev. A.P. 1990, p. 145) (Novoseltsev demonstrates that for the convinced Iranianist nothing is impossible: even looking at the obvious ethnological connection between the Khazars, or Huns, and the Scythians, he would sooner make Khazars and Huns the Iranians than make the Scythians Türks. Born to crawl can not fly. A Chinese princess was given for the Uighur Kagan. When Kagan died, she was supposed to be buried with him as a concubine. But she got off with cutting her face and crying hysterically . So who here the Scythians, the Uighur Kagan or Chinese princess , dear Mr. Novoseltsev? Such examples are plethora.).

It seems that //261// it is not quite true, although some common base in the customs of the Scythians and the inhabitants of the “country of Huns” can be seen, it may be connected with the overall continuity of the Great Steppe population in Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. Herodotus writes: “Those to whom the deceased is brought... every man chops off a piece of his ear, crops his hair close, and makes a cut all round his arm, lacerates his forehead and his nose, and thrusts an arrow through his left hand” (Herodotus, p. 271, 4.71). As can be seen, at Scythians the face was not lacerated. Ammianus Marcellinus, apparently aware of this Hun custom, associates it with specific actions that prevent growth of male facial hair. He wrote that the Huns lacerate cheeks of their kids so that hair would not grow (Ammianus Marcellinus. II, p. 1021).

A.P. Novoseltsev takes Movses Kalankatuatsi description of their funeral rites with some mistrust, believing that the author “sometimes distorts them to depict “Hons” as savages...”. (Novoseltsev A.P. 1990, p. 145). Meanwhile, traces of the ritual accompanied by laceration of the face as an expression of mourning for a deceased family member was recorded by ethnographers among some Dagestani peoples (Prjetslavsky p. 1860, p. 297; Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1961, p. 281, 1985, p. 294 , 298; Agashirinova p. 1978, p. 249; Gadjiyeva S. Sh. et al. 1980, p. 49, 51, Gadjiyeva, G.A. 1980. pp. 39 - 40, 1991, p. 143; Alimova B.M. 1992, p. 169, 17). In a poetic form of this ritual is recorded in a mythological story of the Mekegins about “Kyune”. Telling a traveler a sad news, “Kyune” instructs him //262// him:

“Fingers like red grapes,
To tremble she ordered, say,
Hair like red silk
To tear off ordered, say.
Cheeks, like barley-grape,
To lacerate ordered, say... “

Alikhanova A.A., 1978, p. 157.

2. Funeral rituals

In a of the Huns had a ritual with peculiar competition of men, held near the cemetery: battle with swords and fighting in the nude. As illustration of this ritual may serve the image on the bottom of a silver ladle of the 8th - 9th cc. (Fig. 8) (Darkevitch V.P. 1974. Fig. I.; 1976. Table. 54 (5). V.P.Darkevitch believes that the ladle is a product of the Khazaria metalworkers, and the image at the bottom is the scene of the collective Kam ritual of the ancient Türks, as described by Moses Kalankatuatsi (Darkevitch V.P. 1974. Note 4). The ritual may have reflected a phallic cult, known among many nations. Phallus, as a symbol of productive forces of nature, symbol of continuation of life, among many nations was transformed into an antipode symbol of death, and in daily sense it became a symbol of resistance to various diseases (Ksenofontova R.A. 1981, p. 74.) Echoes of phallic worship were recorded among some Dagestani peoples in rituals associated with festivals of meeting the spring, and of the first //263// furrow (Bulatova, A. 1980, p. 96, 1984, p. 91; Khalilov Kh.M. 1984. C 69).

Fig. 8. Ladle. “Kot town” (lower course of r. Ob)
8-9 cc. (Per V.P. Darkevitch). Silver

The Huns' funeral ritual also included dances and ritual songs (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. pp. 124). The main function of the dance performances in the Gentile ideas is to establish a mutual relationship between //264// ancestors and descendants, facilitating the entry of the deceased's soul to the host of ancestors (Veletskaya N. 1978. C 151).

The ritual chant, perceived by the witness of the Hun funeral ritual as “raging outcry” also was done to facilitate the the entry of the deceased to the host of ancestors. The lamenting songs in the funeral rites of some Dagestani peoples were praising qualities of the deceased, listed all ancestors, and contained the idea of the deceased's initiation to the world of ancestors (Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1961. 281, 1985, p. 299; Gadjiyeva S. Sh. et al 1980, p. 50, 63; Djidalaev N.I. 1984. pp. 156 - 159; Gadjiyeva, G.A. 1991, p. 142).

The Hun funeral ritual included a number of orgiastic acts with erotic tinge, showing connection between the cult of Ancestors with Fertility cult. These include the noted by the source ritual games, and sexual freedom (Movses Kalankatuatsi. II. pp. 124).

The subject of sexual freedom, glossed over by the author totally out of context, belongs to the section on status of women in the Hunnic society. Sexual freedom is inseparable from the subject of the status of women, in turn glossed over in the Section 8.4, Chapter 8, see above

S.A. Tokarev, determining the place of erotic rituals in the agricultural activities of the heathen nations, noted that in the agricultural communities they served the purpose of material well-being (Tokarev, S.A. 1983, p. 104). Apparently, the Huns, attributing the ancestor with mighty powers, associating him with forces of nature, with erotic actions solicited from the ancestor leaving to the “other world” fertility in the broadest sense - life fertility.

Vestiges of pagan funeral dance can be traced in the funeral ceremony “shag'alay” of Kumyks, described by S. Sh. Gadjiyeva (Gadjiyeva S. Sh. et al. 1980, p. 51; Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1985, p. 303).

In the beliefs of many pagan nations are known ceremonial role of the agricultural nudity, belief in the magical power of the naked body, which can serve as a factor in fertility (Tokarev, S.A. 1983, p. 104.) Fairly clear this phenomenon is manifested in the burial rituals of the Dagestan peoples, can be traced belief in the fecund strength of their ancestors. Among Kumyks was recorded uncovering by women of their upper body during the mourning for the deceased ritual (Prjetslavsky p. 1860, p. 297). Among Lezgins healing tools for childless women were considered water left after washing deceased who had many children, crossing road in front of the funeral procession, or under a stretcher where was carried a deceased who had many children, and walking around old cemetery (Gadjiyeva, G.A. 1980. pp. 33 - 36).

An attribute of the Huns' funeral rituals also were equestrian events. Horse racing, as part of the ritual remembrance of the deceased were noted at ancient Türks (Bichurin N.Ya. 1950, p. 124; Klyashtorny S.G. 1984, p. 22), as well as a vestige of pagan beliefs among some Türko-Mongolian peoples (Lipetz R.S. 1982, p. 232), and among Dagestani peoples (Dibirov M.A. 1986, p. 210).

3. Cult of ancestors

The Huns' Fertility cult was closely associated with the Ancestor cult. The Ancestor cult displayed the Huns' idea of the soul and afterlife, the cult was most visible in the burial ritual and the wake over the deceased. “Hitory of the Alvan country” suggest that the tombs of the noble ancestors (tribal chiefs, commanders, priests) were becoming places of worship. Movses Kalankatuatsi among the pagan shrines destroyed during Christianization of the Huns also listed “Royal tombs” (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I, p. 206). In the fire of the burned “Royal Tombs” were incinerated “vile hides of the sacrificed effigies” (Movses Kalankatuatsi, p. 206). It is possible that the objects are the mummies of particularly revered ancestors.

Any ethnological description of the Kurgan burial ritual includes a funeral feast, imperceptibly touched in the previous section, and disposition of the leftovers after the feast. The leftovers include ceramic dishes and hides of the cooked animals. The hides were hanged on the poles thrust into the ground around the tumulus, with hides, heads, legs, and tails stretched to depict running animals. These hides are what Movses Kalankatuatsi described, and not the excavated “mummies of particularly revered ancestors”. Most of the Türkic Kurgan burial rituals had a variation of this displays. In Gothic rendition, the name for the funeral feast was “strava”, it is a rendition of the Türkic word ystrau, still today meaning “funeral feast” in Türkic, the noun comes from the verb ystyr, “cleanse”, an euphemism for “depart, die, fly away”, a permanent formula on the Türkic Tengrian gravestones (Example is given in Karaim pronunciation). The archeologist L.Gmyrya undoubtedly is well familiar with the Kurgan tradition, has excavated horse skulls from around the mounds, and noted in her reports the remains of the funeral feasts.

The Arab poets and historians of the 9th - 13th cc. tell that the famous Arabic commander Salman (Salman ibn Rabiah al-Bahili), killed in the battle for the city of Belenjer, was not buried, as all fallen warriors. The coffin with his body was placed in a temple, and during drought, city residents would take the coffin out, remove its lid, and pray the gods for the rain. People of Belenjer attributed to the fallen famous enemy magical power, helping the living in earthly affairs. Apparently, the people of Varachan (Belenjer) also prayed to the gods for prosperity and wealth of their country with the help of the mummies of their revered ancestors (Movses Kalankatuatsi. I. C 200) (That supposition is a nonsense, and one can write a dissertation on why. It can't e ascribed to the Huns or Savirs, it conflicts with the body of material on Tenriism and its rituals; but it is consistent with the Christian cult of relicts).

Echoes of the Ancestor cult worship are recorded in the ethnographic modernity of many peoples. Revered ancestors, Many Dagestani peoples attributed function of rainmaking to the revered ancestors (Bulatova, A. 1980. pp. 97, 101 - 103; Gadjiyeva, G.A. 1980, p. 43, 1991, p. 78, 80, Alimova, B.M. 1992. C . 78), help at the time of disasters, healing people and animals from the diseases, childbearing ability of women (Gadjiyeva S. Sh, p. 1961, p. 332).

The funeral ritualism of the Dagestani Huns, recorded in the “History of Alvan country”, the architecture of the commemorative structures, and much of the funeral cults coincide in detail with the ritualism described in Chinese sources about funerary rituals of the Central Asian Türks. In our view, this testifies that the funeral rites of the migrant Türkic-speaking population practically did not absorb the ideological influence of the local farming population. The Türkic tribes of the North-Eastern Caucasus almost completely preserved the ancient traditions of the funeral rituals established in their vast Central Asian homeland, and apparently by the end of the 7th c. AD the typical for the Hunno-Bulgars burial rituals became dominant among the population of the Dagestan “country of Huns”.


From the descriptions in this work is clearly visible that the name Hun was a politonym for the entire duration of its existence in the Caucasus. We encounter Huns-Savirs, Huns-Bulgars, Huns-Masguts (or Huns-Alans, since Alans was a later name of the same Masguts), and Huns-Haidaks (Mountain Kayis), on top of the Huns proper, plus an Ashina Türk who also goes in the records under a politonym Hun. Each of these tribal names has its own history, a distinct dialect and lexicon, a distinct complex of ethnological traits, and a distinct genetic profile. It is only natural that unprepared archeologists and historians at first can't discern the archeological remains, but with the hindsight of accumulated knowledge, the traits can be catalogued, attributed, and separated, like did S.A.Pletneva for the N.Pontic Türkic pastoralists of the Middle Ages. Conceptually, we know that Savirs are very local in the S.Caucasia and N. Mesopotamia, and they participated in the conquest of Bactria at about 130 BC; Bulgars came from Khorosan, from around Balkh, and their dialect was noticeably different from the Savir dialect; Masguts occupied Aral steppes, which starting from about 1000 BC were re-populated by the Kurgan Timber Grave western pastoralists from the N.Pontic and the Kurgan Timber Grave eastern pastoralists from the direction of Altai; the Kayis or Djilans (Gelons) were local tribes spaced around Caspian Sea from Don to Hyrcania (Yiyrcania), with branches reaching Mongolia; the Huns proper were a conglomerate of tribes spread from Laoshan to Takla-Makan, their dialect was of Ogur-type, but probably very distinct from the Savir and Bulgar dialects; and the Ashina tribe was a Saka tribe that did not retreat westward from the Jeti-su, but instead joined the Eastern Huns. Each of these tribes retained their integrity, their archeological footprint, and their distinct genetic code, potentially enabling modern science to fill in some gaps left in the dark by the contemporaneous historians.


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Hudud . - Hudud al Alem. Manuscript Tumanskii with the introduction and index Bartol'd. L., 1930.
Julius Honorius. - Julius Honorius. Description of the world / Transl. V.V.Latyshev //VDI. 1949. ¹ 4.

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Abduldaev I. X. 1976. Derivational model oikonyms Dagestan //Onomastics Caucasus. Makhachkala.
Agashirinova S. 1978. Material culture Lezgins 19th - early 20th centuries. M.
Akopian, AA 1987. Albania - Aluank in the Greco-Latin and ancient Armenian sources. Yerevan.
Alekseev, NA 1980. Early forms of religion of Turkic peoples of Siberia. Novosibirsk.
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Atayev JM, Magomedov, M.G. 1974. Andreyaulskoe settlement //Antiquities of Dagestan. Makhachkala.
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Bartold VV, 1963, Place of littoral areas in the history of the Muslim world. Cit. M. II. Part I,
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M. Bernshtam 1951. Essay on the history of the Huns. L.
Bichurin J. 1950. Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times. Moscow, Leningrad
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Bromley YV, Kozlov, VI 1987. Ethnicity and ethnic processes as a subject of research //Ethnic Processes in the modern world. M.
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Beletskaya, NN, 1978. Slavic Pagan Symbols of the archaic rituals. M.
Vernadsky, G. 1992. Ancient Russia. / Transl. and comments A. X. Bekuzarova //Alana and the Caucasus. Vladikavkaz
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Gadjiyeva M. 1990. To localize Varachan //XVI “Krupnovskie read” the archeology of the North Caucasus (abstracts of reports). Stavr.
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Gadlo AV 1980. Religious reform in the “country of the Huns” in the 7th c. as an expression of social conflict, the formative period of the class of the society //genesis, milestones, and common ways of feudalism, especially among the peoples of the North Caucasus. Proc. Abstracts. Makhachkala.
Genko AN 1941. Arabic and Caucasian: Proceedings of the second session of the Association of Arabists. Moscow, Leningrad
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Gmyrya L.B. 1986. The pagan cults in the Huns of the North-East Caucasus //Rites and worship of the ancient and medieval population of Dagestan. Makhachkala.
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Gmyrya L.B. 1993. Caspian Dagestan in the era of the Great Migration. Burials. Makhachkala.
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Gumilev L.N. 1966. The opening of the Khazars (Historical geografnchesky study). M.
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Darkevitch VP 1974. Bucket of Khazar and Turkic heroic epic //Xia. M in. 140.
Darkevitch VP 1976. Art metal East. 8 - 13 cc. M.
Jafarov Yu.R. 1981. Huns and Azerbaijan. Abstract. Dis. . cand. Hist. Science. Baku.
Jafarov Yu.R. 1985. Huns and Azerbaijan. Baku.
Djidalaev NI S. 1984. Notes on two ancient Bulgar magical terms //mythology of the peoples of Dagestan. Makhachkala.
Djndalaev NI S. 1990. Türkizms in the Dagestan languages. Experience the historical and etymological analysis. M.
Dibirov M. A, 1986, Nature and genesis of the funeral games of the Caucasian peoples //Proc. Doc. All-Union session on the field ethnographer, and anthropology. Issled. 1984 - 1985. Yoshkar-Ola.
Dyakonov, M., 1961. Essay on the history of ancient Iran. M.
Eremian, S.T. 1939. Moses Kalankatuatsi of the Albanian embassy Prince Varazi-Trdat to Khazar Haqqani Alp Ilitveru //Proceedings of Institute of Oriental Studies. M., LT VII.
Zasetskaya I.P. 1994. Culture of the nomads in the southern Russian steppes Hun era (late 4th - 5th cc.). SPb.
Zahodsr B.N. 1962. Caspian collection of information on Eastern Europe. Gorgan and the Volga region in the 9th - 10th centuries. M.
Znlfeldt-Simumyagi. AR 1988. On the question of language, Khazar (1937) //Soviet Turkic Studies. ¹ 6.
Byzantine history. 1967. M. I.
History of Dagestan. 1967. M. I.
History of the North Caucasus since ancient times to the late 18th c. 1988. M.
Ichilov, MM 1961. Family and household in Tabasarantsev in the late 19th - early. 20th c. //Uch. app. IIYAL Doug Branch of the USSR. Makhachkala. Vol. IX.
Klyashtorny S.G. 1981. North Caucasian Huns Pantheon and its relationship with the mythology of the ancient Turks of Central Asia //Cultural links the peoples of Central Asia and the Caucasus with the outside world and ancient i.srednevekove. M.
Klyashtorny S.G. 1983. Hun power in the East (3. BC - 4th c. AD.) //The history of the ancient world. The decline of ancient societies. M
Klyashtorny S.G. 1984. Prabolgarsky Tangra of ancient Turkic pantheon //Collected in memory of Professor. Stanchev Vaklikov. Sofia.
Kotovnch VG and 1974. On the location of the early medieval town Varachan, Belenjer and Targu //Antiquities of Dagestan. Makhachkala.
Kotovich VG 1974 b. Archaeological evidence to a question about the location of Semender //Antiquities of Dagestan. Makhachkala.
Krachkovsky I.Yu. 1957. Arabic geographical literature. Huts. cit. M., LT 4.
Ksenofontova RA 1981. Folklore and cultural patterns of Japanese pottery production of the early 20th c. //Material culture and mythology. L.
Kudryavtsev AA 1976. The city is not dependent ages. Makhachkala.
Kudryavtsev AA 1979, “Long wall” in the Eastern Caucasus //B. I. ¹ 11
Kuznetsov, V.A. 1984. Essays on the history of Alan. Ordj.
Kurbanov, KE 1974. Marriage and wedding ceremonies in Tsakhurs in 19 - nach. 20th c. //Questions of History and Ethnography, Dagestan. Makhachkala.
Lares R, I. 1958. Tarki until the 18th c. / (Uch. app. IIYAL Dagfiliala Academy of Sciences. Makhachkala. Vol. IV.
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Lipetz RS 1982. Reflection of a funeral ceremony in the Turkic-Mongolian epics //. Rites and ritual folklore. M.
Magomedov, M.G. 1983. Education of the Khazar Kaganate. M.
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Mammayev M. 1967. On the origin of one of the Dagestan ornamental motif //Uch. app. IIYAL. Makhachkala. Vol. 17.
Mammayev M. 1976. About Christian symbols and subjects of medieval arts and crafts Dagestan //Dagestan art history. Mack.
Mikailov K. S. 1976. Rubas and Samur. //Onomastics Caucasus. Makhachkala.
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Mythology. 1984. - Mythology of the peoples of Dagestan;. Max
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Pigulevskaya NV 1940. Mesopotamia at the turn of the 5 - 6 cc. BC The Syrian news of Yeshu Stylite as a historical source //Proc. IV. Vol. 31. Moscow, Leningrad
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Pokrovsky, LV 1983. Agricultural rites //calendar customs in the countries of Europe overseas. Historical roots and development practices. M.
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Reshetov AM 1981. Dragon in the cultural tradition of Chinese //Material culture and mythology. L.
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Fishermen B, A. 1981. Paganism of the ancient Slavs. M.
Sagalayev AM 1991. Ural-Altaic mythology. Symbol and archetype. Novosnb.
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Sychev, LP 1972. The traditional embodiment of the principle in China's Inya ritual garb //The role of traditions in the history of Chinese culture. M.
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Modern culture. 1971. - Modern culture and way of life of the peoples of Dagestan. M.
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ABBREVIATIONS (not properly edited)

BAH - Bulletin of the history. M.
WI - Questions of history. M.
Vlad. - Vladikavkaz.
ZhMNP - Journal of the Ministry of Education. SPb.
IIYAL - Institute of History, Language and Literature
MAD - Materials on the Archaeology of Dagestan.
Makhachkala. - Makhachkala
Novosnb. - Novosibirsk
Ordj. - Ordjonikidze
PVL - Chronicle Tale of bygone years
Stavr - Stavropol
SMOMPK - Collection of materials for the description of places and tribes of the Caucasus. Tiflis
Works of VOI RW - Proceedings of the Eastern Branch of the Imperial Russian Archaeological Society. SPb.
Works of IV - Proceedings of the Institute of Oriental Studies. Moscow, Leningrad
Book Contents Chapters 1-2 Chapters 3-5 Chapters 6-8 Chapters 9-11
In Russian
Huns - Contents
Literature Index
Ogur and Oguz
Western Huns 4th-10th cc.
Western Huns Income In Gold
Eastern Hun Anabasis
Stearns P.N. Zhou Synopsis
E. de la Vaissiere Eastern Huns
Bagley R. Hun archeology in China
Faux D. Kurgan Culture in Scandinavia
Dybo A. Pra-Altaian World
Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
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