In Russian => PDF
Contents Huns
Contents Alans
Contents Scythians
Yu. A. Zuev Ethnic History of Usuns
Yu. A. Zuev The Strongest Tribe - Ezgil
Yu. A. Zuev Tamgas of vassal princedoms
Yu. A. Zuev Ancient Türkic social terms
Ogur and Oguz Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline

Yu. A. Zuev
Oriental Studies Institute, Almaty, ”Daik-Press”, 2002, ISBN 9985-441-52-9

  <= Previous Contents Continued =>   
1 K.U.Torlanbaeva kindly participated in the selection of material and writing of separate paragraphs in this section.

In the Türko-Manichean prayer ”Huastuanift” among the former beliefs that existed in the Türkic world, was mentioned an observance of a ritual with the words: jilvi i nechä jilvi jilviledimiz ”Oh, how much we were engaged in sorcerizing!” [Huastuanift, 108, compare Asmussen, 1965, p. 173, 222]. Jilvi (jilbi, jelbi, with other versions) is one of the fundamental concepts in the Türkic shamanism. It is a special supernatural force due to which a shaman receives his professional ability, it is a magic and sacral force of the assemblage of spirits, assistants to the shaman, which is uniting with his person. It is associated with the image of wind (jel, jil), caused by waving of fan during kamlania time, and with the actions of a malicious demon Jel.

It is believed that etymologically the term jelbi is not connected with jel ”wind” [ESTJA, 1989, p. 202-203]. The historical-ethnographic material collected and analysed by L.P.Potapov, on the Altai shamanism does not testify to the opposite [Potapov, 1991, p. 76-82, 128, etc., Outlook (Ru. Mirovozrenie), 1990, p. 99]. This force is mighty, and multi-polar, and multifaceted.

In ancient Iran in the beginning it was a god of wind, then of war and inevitable death. Its name was Vaju. ”The road obstacle can be overcome if it is a chariot army. Only one way is impassable, if it is a ruthless Vaju”, is written in ”Avesta”. To Scythians gerodo-tovskogo time this god was known under name Vajuka-sura ” Mighty Vaju”. In N.V.Gogolja's ”Vy” based at image stories ” enormous creation prostonarodnogo imagination, its{her} hero kills a pannochku-witch, then on him{it} opolchaetsja ” infinite force of monsters ” led by Viem. And the hero falls lifeless [the Abaev, 1965, p. 111-115]. In well-known crying JAroslavny from ” Words about shelf Igoreve ” the spouse of prince Igor who went with the team on Kypchaks in 1185, costing{standing} on city wall Putivlja, addresses to this deity: ”About the Wind - sail! To that, Mister, violently veeshi? To that mecheshi Hinovskija arrows [the easy wing] on moeja lady voj?... To that, Mister, moeja veselie on kovyliju razveja? ” [Dmitriev, 1960, p. 122, 150, 264, 324, 356]. SHaman the deity the Wind was considered as the grandson of the lord of winds Striboga which idol was put by Vladimir Monomahom in Kiev.

Between the ancient Asian nomads the belief in secret sacral force of the shaman was spread everywhere. Enough numerous cases of overlapping royal and shaman functions by their rulers are also known. In a genealogical myth of ancient Türks says, for example that their most distant ancestor was marked by whiff of a wind, could cause winds and rains [Linghu Defen, ch. 50, p. 424, f. 2á, Liu Mau-tsai, p. 6]. About shaman gift of a prediction (Ch. Ñ3175 bu) which the governor had, says in the annals at the description of the Türko-ki-tajskih of relations in 619. After deposition of a Sui dynasty (581-618) the overthrown empress with kingedvortsem Yan CHzhe-yes the supporters ran under Türkic protection, assigning on Türks the rescue and restoration of a dynasty. CHora-Kagan (CHulo, 619-620 gt.) in a circle approached has arranged a guessing, predskazavshee, however, a full failure of this invention. Nevertheless, it{he} has decided to help exiles.

” And then from heavens has watered the bloody rain, proceeding three days, and in the country dogs who searched, but not have begun to wail. Could find. And [CHora] has fallen ill. Princess has given it{him} a medicine of immortality, but at him{it} the tumour has suddenly grown, and it{he} has died ” [Ouyang Xiu , ch. 215à, p. 1499, f. Zb, Liu Mau-tsai, p. 183].

The chronicles record only one case when the possession of the shaman gift of a prediction was connected with the term jelbi (Ñ13342, 4586 imi < įet-mjie < jelmi~jelbi). The subject is an uneven fate of Symo, an Ashinian on the father and apparently a Sogdian on the mother side. In the appearance he was unmistakably a Sogdian, despite of the tegin - prince rank he received, he could not become a shad-commander, i.e. to inherit after his father Turug-Shad, though his title-name Ñ14585, 5523 Symo (< si-ma, compare Ch. Ñ5550, 7903 syma < si-ma ”commander”) reflected his belonging to the military elite. His wordly name was Ñ8605, 4208 Tszebi (< kiep-p'iet < *kebel, compare the Türkic keval ”racehorse”). After the fall of the First Kaganate Symo came to Ordos. He was open, clever, was respected by elite, and mainly, had a shaman's gift to foretell the future. He was named Yelbi. When in 639 the Tang court created in Ordos a puppet Türkic state (in Tang's service), for defense against their northern neighbors (Seyanto Kaganate), and in 641 relocated him to the southern edge of Gobi, the Tang emperor gave Symo a surname Li, and appointed him a ruler under a name Yelbi-nizuk-elteber-Kagan [Lü Süy, ch. 194à, p. 1439, f. 76, Liu Mau-tsai, p. 203-205]. In this and other examples is important to note that the abstract sacral force, granted to the shaman from above, was materialized and personified here in the person of Kagan. Being an Ashinian and ”born-by-the sky”,he became an embodiment and a source of this force.

In the form jelbi and without explanatory context is recorded in the Western Türkic Kaganate. It was mainly written with hieroglyphs Ñ13342, 11871 ipi (< iet-byi < yelbi). The record of 638 said that the state Yantsi (Karashar) was attacked by joint armies of Gaochan (Turfan) and Western Türkic Yelbi-shad [Ouyang Xiu , ch. 198à, p. 1479, f. 4à]. It was Ükuk-shad, raised in the same year to the Western Türkic throne under a name Yelbi-turug-Kagan. knew the The right wing (on - shadapyt) of the Kaganate was also headed by a shaman ruler Yelbi-[ash]para Sir-yabgu-Kagan [Ouyang Xiu , f. 4à, Naito, 1987, p. 100-104, 109-111, Chavannes, 1903, p. 26, 54], in further annalistic record named simply Sir-yabgu (Ch. Sy-ehu)-kagan. In the same area ruled Il-kurishi Yelbi-Kagan (Ch. I-tsüilishi Ipi-kehan, Naito, 1987, p. 142, 202, 212) and Yelbi-ashpara Yabgu-Kagan, who was succeeded by Yelbi-yakuy-Kagan [Naito, 1987, p. 27-29, 146-147, 163-164]. After 648, the shaman-Kagans in the Jeti-su were not mentioned.

The situation with this title in the left wing of the Kaganate looks somewhat different. Right at the end of the 652 died Yelbi-turug-Kagan, who accepted Tang's suzerainty and joined on the side of the Tang's dynasty against the mutinous Kagan Ashpar-Aru (Ch. Helu < γà-luo) from Ashina clan. His son Yelbir-tardu (Ch. Ñ14035, 14824 sebi < γįet-b'iet < yelbir) was named Kagan Yenchu-yabgu ((Ch. Chjenchju-ehu). The last of the Western Türkic yelbirs also joined against Ashpar Aru, but soon his lands became part of the possessions of Ashpar Aru. Among the Altaians and Yakuts, the term yelbir (compare yelbi) designated a ritual of invoking the spirits, assistants to the shaman [Potapov, 1978, p. 23]. Notably, in the same title next to the shaman term yelbi, yelbir is the Manichean religious term turuγ ”pure” (Ch. Ñ3498, 13660 dulu < tuo-liuk, C1652, 393 dolu <tuət-liuk, etc.), and yenchü ”pearl”. It means that the shaman ritual peacefully coexisted with the Manichean theology. Kagan Aru (compare Türkic-Manichean arïγ ”pure”) together with the Manichean tribes Chigils and Chomul for some time lived in the Blue Irtysh valley.

* * *

Mani and Manichaeism

The founder and the prophet of this religious teaching Mani was born on April 14, 216 in Babylonia, in a family of the Persian origin. His father was a ”housekeeper” in Elhasait sect. which customs were notable for asceticism, wearying white clothing, daily ceremonial ablution, cleansing of the food by ablution, etc. In the age of 24 for the first time he acted as a reformer and a preacher of new religion, for which he was expelled from the community, together with a few co-religionists. From then on (240) begun the missionary journeys of Mani. He preached in India, Armenia, again in Pars [Sundermann, 1971], where the preaching was timed with the moment of crowning Shapur I and was a success. The missions of his pupils visited many countries and organized Manichean communities there. One of his numerous pupils was mar Ammo. This highly educated missionary and a preacher worked in Abarshahr (Nishapur), Merv, Khurasan and in the Kushan state. He preached in Bactria and in the city Zamb on Amu Darya.

Another known pupil of Mani was mar Adda, who became famous by his missionary activity in Egypt. But his name was also known far in the East, he was knewn in the Far East, on the Pacific coast, in Uigur Kaganates. The Chinese Manichaean treatise begins with recitation of conversation of the Messanger of Light (Ch. Min shi) about main principles of the Manichean doctrine. In the role Messanger acts Mani himself. His discussion partner beares the name Ada, which ascends to the name of the faith apostle Adda and the same designation for the martyrs of the faith [Chavannes, Pelliot, 1911, p. 501-502, 509, 617]. The treatise is dated by 900, but the tradition of hieroglyphic record of the name of the apostle of the East developed half a millennium earlier.

Türkic Ata and Kang (father, ancestor)

In the 577-580 among important figures of the Bohai dynasty of the Northern Tsi state (550-580) the chronicler noted a native from Samarkand Sogd (Kang) ” a commoner (Ch. syaor) by the name Ñ5042, 8418 Ata (< Ada) [Li Yanshou, ch. 92, p. 1229, f. 38à]. Special and remarkable feature of the Doctrine of Light (Ch. Min-tszyao), as Manichean creed is called in Chinese, was a painting , on metal, wall, as page illustrations in the books. Mani himself for many centuries was revered as an outstanding painter, who begun this tradition, unusual for other religions. During Lyan dynasty (502-557) was known a figure, whose ancestors also came from Samarkand Sogd (Kang), by the name Süan (Ch. ”Decorations on cloth”). His nickname was Chan Min ”Eternal/Unquenchable Light” [Yao Sylyan, ch. 18, Yao Weiüan, 1958, p. 379]. These cases can be counted as one of the first traces of the Manichaeism penetration so far to the east.

In the form Ata, in Chinese transcriptions Ñ5042, 7029 Ado < A-ta, the name Adda is found among the Turfan Manichean Uigurs. In 981-983 the ambassador of the Sun state (960-1275) VanYande the visited Turfan princedom. He wrote in a report about the embassy: ”Arslan-khan (in the text: Shitszy-wan ”Lion - king”) was resting in Beshbalyk (in the text: Beitin ”Northern palace”). His uncle Ado-üyüe from the mother side ruled the state” [Toto, ch. 490, p. 5681, f. 11à]. The name of the Turfan co-ruler is read Ata-ögä/ügä [Hamilton, 1955, p. 149]. It should be noted that the Manichean name Ata (from Adda) is only homonymous with the Türkic word ata ”father”. Ata (along with atach) is mentioned in the Yenisei texts (E, 32, E, 152). There is, however, an opinion that for the first time the term ata ”father” is mentioned in the text ”Kutadku Bilig” (1069), in the Orkhon inscriptions and in other documents in the sense ”father” is used the term qang/qaŋ [Dyorfer, 1986, p. 88-89] (The older term qang/qaŋ describes not only the ethnonym Kang/Kangar/Kangly = Türkic Fathers/Father People/Fathers, but also ethnonym Kang, found in Sumero-Assyrian inscriptions in reference to their Mesopotamian neighbors - Translator's Note). The term Ata (~Adda) also occurrs among Manichean Kara-Türgesh (”black surnames”) setting. For example, the new edition of the ”History of Tang dynasty” [ch. 215b, p. 1509, f. 10à] tells about the Kara-Türgesh embassy from Kagan Ñ5042, 7029, 9738, 1477 Ado Peilo (Ata Buyla) to Changan. The religious center of the Kara-Türgeshes was Talas.

Manichaeism in Jeti-su

During archeologicalal explorations in the territory of ancient Talas, T.N.Senigova found a quantity of material testifying about the existence of the Manichean religion among the population of Talas and its extensive domain in the 4-8th centuries. The appearance and advent of the Manichaeism in Southern Kazakhstan, and in particular in Talas, located on the intersection of the ”East - west” Trade road transit routes, were connected with the active foreign trade and missionary activity of the Sogd, whose strong Manichean community existed alongside with the Zoroastrian community, and took an important place in all spheres of life. The article about it was published in the specialty academic publication on metallurgy, enrichment and fire resistant materials, and because of that remained unnoticed by the students of social studies (Yu.Zuev seems to allude that even in 1960 scientists were mindful of posting direct works on Türkological subjects - and this was happening in the remote Türkic ”republic” of the former USSR - Translator's Note). However, before that publication even indirect indications about the existence in the ancient Talas of the materials illuminating this subject were not known [Senigova, 1960, p. 98-102].

For past 40 years from that time appeared new data about the widespread existence of the Manichaeism in the area from Persia and Sogd to the Far East. Abu Reihan Biruni wrote one thousand years ago in respect to the time after the Arab conquest and accompanying conquest introduction of Islam in the subjugated countries: ”Mani had followers remaining in different lands, whose [faith] ascends to him. In the countries of Islam almost no place exists where they are concentrated, exists only a community in Samarkand. As to the non-Muslim [world], Mani faith and his teaching profess the majority of the east Türks, and the inhabitants of China, Tibet and a part of India” [Biruni, 1957, vol. 1, p. 213]. After the 8th century, in the west the Manichean communities remained in Northern Africa, Spain, France and on the Balkan peninsula.

”Though in the Jeti-su were not found the Türkic Manichean texts, other extant written evidence allows to attribute all that region, or at least the Talas and Chu valleys, to the key areas where Türkic Manichaeism formed and blossomed”, wrote S.G.Klyashtorny [Klyashtorny, 1992, p. 353]. ”The later remains of the fading Manichaeism survived into the present among the Sayan-Altai Türks (Altaians, Khakases, Tuvinians, Tofs, etc.), and also among Khants, Selkups, Kets and Evenks living along Ob and Yenisei. They are clearly expressed in the so-called ”shamanism”, ”burhanism” and domestic beliefs of the native peoples, and in the lexicon of their languages. The Altai Burhanians directly pointed to the ”people in white clothing”, who were coming to Altai and taught people to believe in monotheistic god. Manichean in their essence are the Khakass mountain public prayers to the sky, which were conducted without participation of the shamans, prayers in grottoes, night vigils in caves. The same is established for the popular beliefs and sacral lexicon of Kets along Yenisei and Stony Tunguska river” [Kyzlasov, 1999, p. 11-12].

Unique descriptions of the historical and cultural importance of Talas, also called Apry-Talas and Altun-Argu-Talas, found space in the Manichean ”Sacred book of two fundamentals” (Iki yiltyz nom), noted before [Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 131, 1992, p. 354]. About Manichaeism and Talas tell some lines of the Large ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions of Northern Mongolia, reading and understanding which still presents difficulty for a researcher.

Mani doctrine

According to the Mani doctrine, from the beginning in the world was one truth (Light), which three great apostles, Buddha in the east, Zaratushtra in Iran, Jesus Christ in the west, heralded locally. The localness of these faiths (Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity) constitute their deficiency and shortcoming. The light of the truth, carried by Mani, is complete, not shaded off, absolute, perfect and spatially universal. The Manichean doctrine has all rational and acceptable from the positions of the new doctrine in these religions, and consideration is given to the most significant local cults.

Manichaeism can be viewed as a system of theosophical syncretism. Its distinctive and attractive feature is a democratic character and myth poetry of the presentation, which aid in carrying this religion to the east, including the lands occupied by Türkic peoples [Toporov, 1992, p. 103-105]. The missionary activity of Manichaeans met everywhere an active resistance from the representatives of local religions. In Iran, where traditional Zoroastrianism was strongly supplanted by the Mani doctrine, the resistance was particularly intensive. As a lesson to all followers of the new faith, Mani was cruelly executed: he was skinned alive, and the severed head was stack on a pole for public view. The result of persecutions was an exodus of Manichaeans from the Sasanid Iran and relocation of their activity to the areas north and east.

The main principle of the Manichean religious doctrine was a reigning dualism, the eternal existence of exactly opposing one another two bases or roots (Türkic yiltyz) of Light (Truth) and Darkness (Lie), Goodness and Evil. Initially the Light and Darkness were separate, but evil Darkness, envying Light in everything, started a war. Five soldier elements - (Türkic oγlan) of the Light (a god of light wind Tyntura Tengri, a god of live wind Yel Tengri, god of live light Yaruq Tengri, a god of water Suv Tengri, a god of fire Ot Tengri) under a leadership of a Light-bearing Primogenitor joined a fight with antipode elements described in treatise ”Kefalaya” ”A king of Smoke who came from a dark depth, he is a leader of all evil and all spite. From him came a beginning and a plan of war, and also all fights, struggles, dangers, battles... He started fighting with Light, started a war with everything elevated. As to the king of the Darkness, he has five forms: a head of a lion..., a body of a dragon” [Kefalaya, 30].

In the first battle the force of Light suffered a temporary defeat. Covered with wounds, they were captured by forces of the Darkness, mixed with them, and received black marks on their light substance, which deprived them from chances and rights to return to the ideal Light. But in such condition they were still fighting, with variable success. From the time of the Mixture called Chaos, and from it begins the creation of the material space-world and the world of people. The matter is generated by the Darkness, and is sometimes identified with it. A terrestrial man is a product of Mixture, he consists of three element parts: body (flesh), Light soul, and soul of Darkness, a dark beginning. From these three substances only the flesh is mortal, and the light and the dark elements live eternally, the fate of human soul depends on which of two beginnings (light or dark) would prevail.

Having reached a determined level of righteousness, a man himself can become a catalyst of Light, its liberator from the captivity of the Matter (~ Darkness). The tools of Darkness still have a head of a militant lion and a trunk of a dragon [Litvinsky, Smagina, 1992, p. 508-532, Smagina, 1998, p. 362-475]. In the Manichaeism the Lion acts as fauno-morphism, or expression of one of the dark forces, a ruinous Fire-inferno.

In the Türko-Manichean texts in opposition to the creating and purifying light-bearing Fire (ot), a divine Fire (ot Tengri), which in the listing of soldiers-gods-Tengri of Light is occupying a fifth place, a dark Fire acts as an Inferno (ört), which is also occupying a fifth place in the listing of king of Darkness embodiments (compare Kefalaya, 31, line 6: ”... the fifth is its inferno.”). In the Jeti-su and most part of the Central Asian fauna a lion was not known. A northern-eastern limit of the spread of Persian lion was Sogd [Livshits, 1987, p. 55]. Therefore the earliest appellation in Türkic languages for the lion was Middle Persian shir. Its Türkic name arsylan/arslan [Sevortian, 1974, p. 177-179] was secondary, despite of fairly early (6th century) its appearance in written sources. Initially they coexisted, like at present. The existence of Middle Persian and Türkic designations for a lion in ancient Türkic onomastics and ethnonymy carried strongly expressed religious connotations, and was connected with adoption of Manichaeism.

Manichaeism in Sogd

Emerged in Babylon, and grown in Persia during the time of Shapur I, Manichean religion also gained strong position in Sogd, which is evidenced by numerous materials, including temple painting in Pendjikent [Diakonov, 1954]. As noted T.N.Senigova, from the first steps of their state history the Türks, who controlled important sections of the Euroasian Trade Road that at the end of 19th century received in science an exotic name ”Great Silk Road”, were strongly connected with trading and missionary activity of the Persians and Manichaean Sogdians. In the Türkic Kaganate, where Sogdians also played an important role in the government [Liu Mau-tsai, p. 154], always sounded not only a speech of a Sogdian merchant, in Türkic, but also a Manichean preaching addressed to a Òürk.

In 568 the (lesser - Translator's Note)Kagan of the the western ulus of the Türkic Kaganate Dizavul (erroneously instead of Silzibul, Silzibun < *Sir-jibun < *Sir-yabgn ~ Sir-yabgu) [compare Golden, 1980, p. 190] sent to Byzantium a trade mission to sell silk received from China as a payment for military support or military restraint in relation to China. It consisted of Sogdians and was headed by a ”Sogdaite chieftain” called Maniakh (Maniach - Translator's Note). Probably, this name goes back to Middle Persian or Parthian name of Mani in the Turfan texts, Mani-a Xayos (”God mar Mani”) [Puech, 1949, p. 114, compare Pritsak, 1982, p. 370]. Byzantian historian Menandr wrote ”Maniakh was very loyal to Dizavul and was personally close to him”. Finishing successfully the trade operation and concluding from the name of Kagan a political agreement of ”Alliance and Peace” with the Byzantian emperor Justin, Maniakh returned to Jeti-su with a reciprocal Byzantian embassy led by Zemarch. At that time Dizavul was preparing for a campaign against Persians hostile with Byzantians: ”Affirming the friendship with Romans (Byzantium), Kagan as a token of special kindness to the visitor allowed Zemarch to join his voyage to the west... to a place called Talas”. In 8 years to the Jeti-su arrived a new embassy led by Valentine the Swordbearer. A report of his stay at Türks was also preserved in the ”Continuation of Agathian history” by Menandr.

By that time Sir-yabgu (Silzibul, Dizavul) was replaced by ”his son” Turksanth (Tourxanth) who became the (lesser - Translator's Note) Türkic Kagan. All researchers that ever addressed the quoted text could not find a satisfactory parallel to that word in other documents and give it linguistic interpretation. The name was recorded incorrectly, or unrecognizably deformed as a result of the inexact copying reproduced repeatedly. A chance to reconstruct the name ”Turksanth” appeared very recently. It is connected with the find of a series of Sogdian-Türgesh coins in the western Jeti-su, and their reading. The minting of these coins is dated by the time of the Türgesh Kaganate (699-766) existence. The Sogdian legend on a large group of the Türgesh coins reads tgws'n'k gwbw, i.e. Tuhsan hubu ”Tuhsian king” [Smirnova, 1981, p. 405-410].

The existence of this form is confirmed by the Chinese record of the Türgesh Kagan name Ñ245, 9367, 1594 Tuhosyan (< t'uo-xua - sian < tuxsan) [Chavannes, 1903, p. 46, 47], and also by a frequent Persian term for the ethnic substratum of the Türgesh state Tuhsian (Tuhsiān) ”Tuhsians” [Minorsky, 1937, p. 99, 300-304]. Its reconstruction in a form Tuhvarsen (S.G.Klyashtorny) is unconvincing from all points of view, and needs proofs. The final th in the word Tourxanth is a plural affix -th\-t in the Sogdian language (compare Kwcnth ”Kuchians”). This is a real pronunciation and semantics of name Tourxanth\Tourxant recorded in the ambassadorial report of 576.

”The embassy has reached that territory where were military signs of Tourxanth, one of Türkic Princes, who the visitors to this country come across before others”. ”And the highest Türkic autocrat is called Arsila” [Menandr, 1861, p. 370-375, 380, 416-422]. Here the word Arsila transmitted a Türkic Arsylan/Arslan ”Lion” [Chavannes, 1903, p. 240, Moravcsik, 1958, 1, p. 39]. These documents contain the chronologically first written record of land (and city?) Talas and of the Manichean in its content title name Arslan, the carrier of which personified a center of spiritual and secular authority.

Manichaean plants, Lion and Chigils

Talas (modern Taraz) was founded in the 1st-2nd centuries [Senigova, 1972, p. 55]. In the legend recorded in the 11th century by Mahmud Kashgari, it already existed in days of the Zu-l-Karnein, the ”Bihorn” (Alexander the Great, 4th century BC). When the armies of Zu-l-Karnein reached Talas in (the Manichean, see below) country Argu, a cloud pored streams of water, and formed insurmountable mud. The road became impassable, and angry Zu-l-Karnein exclaimed in Persian ”In chi gil ast?!” ”What is this mud?! We cannot get out of it!” And he ordered to erect there a building Chigil. From then on, those Türks who came there began to be called Chigils. And other nomad Türks who adopted the Chigil type of (long) clothes also began to be called Chigils, from Djeyhun (Amu Darya) to the Chin (China), ”And it is a mistake” [Mahmud Kashgari, 1, p. 374]. Besides a direct declaration of the fact that Manichaeism spread among Türks from the banks of Amu Darya to the Great Chinese Wall, and citation of inappropriate folk etymology of the term Chigil from the Persian chi ”that” + gil ”mud”, ”clay”, ”ashes” (compare the Christian legend about creation of Adam ”from the terrestrial clay or ashes”), Mahmud Kashgari tells about construction of the Chigil next to Talas, about a cloud, rain and mud, the presence and sense of which while are not clear yet. According to the medieval writers, Chigil was at a distance of a ”human voice from Taraz” [Volin, 1960, p. 81-82].

In one of the rooms of the castle 2 km southwest from the ancient Taraz, were found parts of alabaster sculpture of a lion and remains of wall ornaments depicting hanging grapes. Manicheans gave plants a special veneration because they contained a large amount of light particles. Selected persons (Türkic dyntar) had obligation to ”seal the lips” (prohibition of animal food), they were vegetarians, their ”pure” food was vegetative fare.

And the cucumbers, water-melons, melons were considered to contain more of the light element than the other vegetables and fruits. Was forbidden breaking branches and stomping ground, not inflicting harm to the plants. Therefore the vegetative motive is usual for Manichaean book illustrating paintings and wall manuscripts (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1. Plant Decor. Illustration in a Manichaean book
Turfan (SUAR CPR)

Art was obligatory and distinctive attribute of Manichaeism. It played not only aesthetic, but also an illustrative educational and a great propaganda role. Like the Turfan gallery paintings filled with Manichean contents. A.M.Belenitsky assessed from that position the Pendjikent temple wall painting [Belenitsky, 1954, p. 66-68]. The Manichean character of the material inspires to also see in a similar way a part of the Talas paintings with plant motive, intrinsic to Manichaeism. The image of a cross on ceramic tiles of walls in Talas, with stylized plant symbols in its branches, is a Manichean cross of Light. First of all it is in the plants. These are elements of Light, crucified and tied in the material world (compare, for example, Fig. 2). Sometimes it is a cross of suffering Jesus. Light, ”crucified” in plants, was associated with crucified on a wooden cross Jesus. This belongs to the Christian layer of Manichaeism. A falling grape cluster reflects one of the states of Manichean dragon, described in ”Kefalaya”: ”there is one more feature at the king of dark, when to walk, he extends his extremities and walks, and when he desires, he retracts his extremities, absorbs them inside, connects them together, and falls down like a grape cluster” [Kefalaya, 32].

Fig. 2. Manichean cross. Slab grave marker Tsyuanchjou of Futsyan province (China). p. 208

And, at last, the sculptural image of a lion. In the compositions of now known Zoroastrian contents the image of a lion or its symbols are not recorded. Therefore to consider a presence of lion figure as an attribute of Zoroastrism [Senigova, Burnasheva, 1980, p. 69] is unsound. Should not be forgotten the defensive-aggressive symbol of many of ancient Eastern kings in the image of a lion.

But it is also impossible to imagine a ”protector of the clan” in an image of a lion among the Central Asian populace, in the most parts there the lion never existed. In contrast, in Manichaeism the primary image of a mighty and ruthless king of animals takes an impressing place. It appears that that building, without any traces of economic activities, served as a chapel, a building and a ”house” of the inhabitants in long clothes, the Chigils, whose symbol was a lion (Arslan, Bars).

In the legend, the origin of the Chigils is connected with the ”mud” formed after a rain cloud has pored streams of water on the ground. Behind externally ordinary story stand that part of the Manichean doctrine according to which the elements of Light or Light-bearing souls are washed on the rise upwards, free from the dirt (in relation to people it is flesh, sometimes forces of the Darkness) in a water cloud. These sediments, together with the rain drops, drop down and form mud, clay, i.e. the Matter. After a few transformations the Matter, out of envy to the Light-bearing Primogenitor, generates his antipode, a terrestrial and carnal man of the Mixture world.

In addition to the mentioned above designations Arslan, the existence of a lion motive in Talas is also supported with other material. Were found coins of Türgesh time with an image of a lion, on their reverse is a sign in a form of a female triangle with a half moon above it [Smirnova, 1981, p. 57-58]. Are notable prints on dastarkhan (table cloth) with the dominating image of a lion, and a lion on a bottom part of a poring vase [Senigova, Burnasheva, 1980, p. 72-74].

Among the objects of such character is notable an imprint of a female bust image. Her neck is not covered by clothes, on it is a necklace fastened in the bottom part by a tiny hand-made clip in a form of a lunar sickle, inverted with the ends downwards. The whole image is framed underneath with a large lunar sickle.

The incomparable charm of shapely ”Taraz mavens”, whose eyebrows are ”like a bow”, was astonishing the ardent imagination of the medieval poets. A bow, like a bent finger, or a rib at many peoples of antiquity, symbolized the rising moon (crescent). And not at all because of shortage of other material the Christian god created Eve from the Adam's rib. In the Manichean doctrine the Moon held an important place. The maiden of the Talas medallion is an anthropomorphic image of the Moon. Mani himself was believed to be its god. The bilingual Türko-Tocharian (i.e. Türko-Kuchean - Translator's Note)hymn begins with the words ”Oh the Mighty god of the Moon, alike with the wreath of the god Hormuzda, alike with the crown of god Zurvana, my father Mani-Buddha! ” [Gabain, Winter, 1958, p. 10-11] (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3. God of the Moon Mani surrounded by saints. Wall painting. Turfan.

The divine wreath of Hormuzda is a nimbus shaped as a lunar disk around the Mani head. The crown of the eternal time god Zurvan (Azrua) is the mitra of Mani. That is how, surrounded by saints, is depicted Mani on the wall painting in Turfan [Le Coq, 1912, tab. 1]. The Sun and the Moon are the only light divine essences, the Luminaries available for observation from the material world. The Moon is an abode of demiurge deities (Primogenitor, Jesus-shine, Light Maiden). On it happans a final cleansing of the live Soul, which then in qualitatively revived pure condition through the Sun rises to the Light (Paradise) [Smagina, 1998, p. 450]. The maiden of the Talas medallion (Fig. 4, compare the similar image from Turfan's Light Maiden sitting on a lotus throne Fig. 5) is Maiden of Light, her pearl necklace is the Moon itself, a first of the Manichean treasures.

Fig. 4. Light Maiden. An engraving on a medallion.
Talas (modern Taraz, Southern Kazakhstan).
Fig. 5. Light Maiden. Painting on fabric. Turfan.

The Maiden of Light appear, in an embodiment of an enticing woman, to the male possessors of terrestrial demons, who rise to her in the clouds and on seeing her release their semen. At this time angels catch them and take away Light, tied by archons, and then raise it to the Moon [Chavannes, Pelliot, 1911, p. 565, Puech, 1949, p. 80, Smagina, 1998, p. 394]. The moon decreases when Light cleansed in it rises to the Sun, and grows when new Light reaches it from the Pillar of glory (i.e. the abode of pure Air and Perfect Man, where rise the righteous souls after the death of the mortal men). The full moon falls on the 14th day of the lunar month. In the Turfan fresco Mani is depicted as its deity.

The god of the Moon had the intrinsic attribute of the gods, a ”wise knowledge (Türkic bilge bilig)”. He was a lord, reviving dead (Türkic ülügüg tiriglügli beg ay Tengri) [Le Coq, 1912, p. 27-28]. He demanded repentance: ”Every day of the god of the Moon (Türkic Ay Tengri), to rid of our sins and our faults before the god, the scripture (Türkic nom), and before pure clerics (Türkic aryγ dyntarlar), we should repent” [Huastuanift, 183-185].

Manichaeism in Sogd (continued)

A first documented form of religion in Sogd, including Bukhara, was an idolatry. Its concept, ritual, even the name and affiliation with any faith are unknown. The idols were anthropomorphic, had a human shape. Persian Zoroastrians-fire worshippers treated them with extremely hostility and were full with desire to burn idolaters' sanctuaries (buthana) as soon as possible [Belenitsky, 1954, p. 57-62]. Similar feelings toward the Zoroastrian temples of fire harbored the Manichaean Türk Sava (Middle Persian syava ”black”) or Shava, Shaba (Sogdian s'w ”black”) during a campaign in Iran in 588: ”Sava-shakh went to Iran with intention... to raze to the ground their temples of fire” [Firdousi, vol. 4].

A chance to determine their confessional affiliation still exists. The idolatry was an important part of the Manichean religion. The anthropomorphic idols were believed to be embodiment and symbols of divine stars, the Sun and the Moon, the last stations on the way to Paradise Light. In the ”Repentance prayer” they are called öngü qapyγ ”Front Gate” in a sense of ”Anteroom” [Huastuanift, 46-47]. On the Moon the righteous souls were finally freed from the terrestrial soil. Abu Reihan Biruni wrote ”To the same belief [idolatry] is also inclined Mani, when he says ”People of [other] religions blame us for worshipping Sun and Moon and erecting their images as idols, for they do not know their original substance, that they are our roads and gates into the world of our life” [Biruni, 1963, p. 479].

At that time the Bukharians worshipped idols (Middle Persian but parast budand). A special decree of the king ordered woodcarvers (Middle Persian drudgar) to cut, and artists (Middle Persian nakkash) to paint wooden figures (Middle Persian but ”paragon”, ”idol”), for sale on a lunar bazar. What they represented was not recorded. However, recalling the Taraz ”shapely mavens” in Firdousi ”Shahname”, and the impression on a rim of a vessel found in Talas of a lunar medallion showing the bust image of a woman, forms a certain impression about it. These nice figurines were in great demand. Similar fairs were also held in other cities, for example, in Tavavis. They lasted for seven days during waning phase of the moon. Immediately after a full moon (on the 15th day) when the moon began a sad waning procession, the traders as a token of grief were putting up for sale the fabrics, eaten up by worms. To encourage the trade, the Bukhara king Makh (Moon) was himself present at the fair. His throne was installed where subsequently was constructed a Zoroastrian temple of fire with the same lunar name. After the Arab conquest (8th century) the Zoroastrian temple was turned into a mosque Mesdjit-i-Mah [Smirnova, 1970, p. 144-145].

Pearls in Manichaeism

In the imprint from Taraz discussed above, the anthropomorphic image of the Moon, each detail is important and filled with deep meaning. Among them is a necklace on an open neck of the goddess. In the Persian poetry a cleanliness and perfection were often compared with constellation of precious pearl necklace of Pleades sending a rain. The retrieval of pearls was always linked with a dangerous work of the collector diver, as, for example, at Saadi ”If a diver would think of a mouth of a shark, he will never offer with his hand the precious pearls” [Gaffarov, 1976, vol. 2, p. 587, 581]. In the Manichean doctrine the pearls were viewed as embodiment of a perfect cleanliness of Light, to achieve which aspires a soul of a righteous man. In the countries of ancient East the pearls always connected with the moon. The lines of a Chinese Manichean treatise read ”Compassion is a name of the king of five lands of primary substance... It is lake the precious pearls called Light Moon (Min üe), a first of all treasures” [Chavannes, Pelliot, 1911, p. 603 - text, 565 - trad., compare the Türko-Tocharian (i.e. Türko-Kuchean - Translator's Note) hymn to the god Mani: ädrämlig ärtnilär yincülär ”noble jewelry - pearls” in Gabain, Winter, 1958, p. 14].

Probably, the name Mani goes back to Sanskrit mani = pearl (Uiguro-Buddhist nom ärdini), which light opens eyes for the blind, i.e. for the ignorant of the holy doctrine. In another place Mani is depicted in Türkic as Kün Ay Tängri ”God of Sun and Moon”.

In view of the importance of the subject we shall cite the story about it, coming from the lips of the Enlightener, from a Coptic treatise. Tear-drop pearls of ”great value” come from the raindrops falling into the sea. Their clothes is shell, reminding the color of the sea tide foam (”and the shell comes from foam”). The pearls ripen only in the certain places of the sea, and in due time known to divers. ”Divers know it, and they catch them, they swim, dive in those places, and bring pearls up from the depth of the sea... The divers give them to merchants, and merchants give them to kings and noble people. Similarly to that, is the sacred church, which collects from the Soul alive (i.e. five light elements, sons of Primogenitor, bonded after Mixting by dark media in the material world): it is gathered, it rises, it arises from the sea and interns in human flesh, and the human flesh is similar to the foam and shell. And the raised up treasury is similar to a raindrop, whereas the Apostle (i.e. the founder of true faith, an emanation of the Reason of light) is like a diver, merchants are the heavenly Luminaries (Sun and Moon), the kings and nobles are zones of Greatness (i.e. innumerable light worlds populated by deities). For to all souls that ascend in human flesh, and then are freed and rise to the great eones of Light (i.e. to Paradise).... You, my beloved, should aspire to become kind pearls in every possible way, and be given to the sky through the light Diver. He will bring you to the head of the merchants” [Kefalaya, 203-204]. The word yenchu (Ch. Ñ13770, 9189 or Ñ6876, 9186 chjenchju = Türkic yenchü, ref. Ancient Türkic Dictionary, p. 256) was part of the Kagan Yenchu-yabgu title [see Se Tszunchjen, 1992, p. 360-369].

Title Yenchu-Ton-Erkin (Ch. Chjenchju-tunsytszin) had the envoy of Western Türkic Kaganate Ton-Yabgu-Kagan [Chavannes, 1903, p. 25, 53]. The Kagan's tamga of the Se-yanto state in Northern Mongolia was a circle of the full moon [Wan Pu, ch. 72, p. 1306]. Its supreme ruler was called Yenchu-bilge-Kagan (627-645) [Tsen Chjunmian, 1958, p. 998-1002].yincülär

The quoted lines from the treatise help to decode the contents of a mnemonic subject, a necklace on an open neck of the maiden of the Moon from Talas, and to restore an essential factor in the picture of the Jeti-su Manichaeism. This fragment also serves as a key for understanding the famous Nishapuri-Narshahi text, the composition of which (dehkan-Princes, merchants, nobles, people resisting tyrant) served a fertile field for schemes of social [Tolstov, 1933, p. 248 on., Gafurov, 1972, p. 223-225] and political [Gumilev, 1967, p. 103-106] type almost on a continental scale. Their speculativeness was obvious before, but a positive solution was not found, because nobody recollected the Manichean manner of allegorical discourse. The drilled and prepared for necklace pearls are referred there as jewels (Persian x-x-x, Türkic gühär ”pearls”) and is called by a word djamuk [Frye, 1951, p. 142-145].

The coexistence of Manichean and Zoroastrian communities in Sogdiana was not peaceful. It can be seen from a story about alarming events in the Sogdian Bukhara and Türkic Talas in the work of the Arab writer from Nishapur, Abd ar-Rahman Muhammad Nishapuri (11th century) ”Hazinat al- ulum” (”Treasure of knowledge”). The work is known to be lost, but the interesting for us fragment was preserved in an abbreviated Persian translation Narshahi, and makes an introductory section of his composition ”Tarih-i Bukhara” (”History of Bukhara”). There are Russian [Lykoshin, 1897] and English [Frye, 1954] translations. The text was studied by many experts, including O.I.Smirnova [Smirnova, 1970, p. 34-35], whose translation and opinion had been appreciated.

Nishapuri begins his book with a story about influx to Bukhara of immigrants from Turkestan, which at that time was thought of as Talas, and later Ispidjab. When the number of people grew to considerable quantities, Bukharians chose from their community a man whose name in Narshahi different manuscripts is written differently: Abruy, Abrize, etc. With time he turned out to become a tyrant. The dehkans and merchants, not able to stand up to the dictator, fled to Turkestan and Taraz. The head of these exiles (compare ”kings and noble people” are eones of Greatness, the merchant is a heavenly Luminary) is called Djamuk - Pearls. They built there the city Taraz, and named it Pearl-city (Djamukat). Evidently, that was a Bukhara colony Djamukat in the vicinity of Talas, which in Kül-Tegin monument is called Bukarak-ulush [Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 126-131], and in Chinese records An-go-chen ”city-state An - Bukhara” [Naito, 1987, p. 25-27]. Kazakhstan archeologists found the site of Djamukat, it is matched with the ruins of a city near the village Mikhailovka (a Russian name, apparently the native name was supplanted and disappeared - Translator's Note) on the right bank of the river Talas 15 km from Taraz. Its gathered archeological material was mainly Sogdian [Baipakov, 1989]. Buharians turned for the help to the ruler of Talas by the name Kara-chor, and to restore the former status of the Manichean community in Bukhara he sent his son called ”Lion of the country” (Middle Persian Shir-i Kishvar, Türkic Arslanil or Ilarslan). Observing the obligatory for the upper hierarchy of the Manichean communities ”seal of hand” ”do not kill” (with own hands), Shir-i Kishvar came up with especially vile kind of trial by fire for the Zoroastrian-fire worshipping tyrant, consisting in squeezing through a narrow pass ”between two blazing woodpiles, if he would survive, that would mean that the god was merciful” [Boyes, 1987, p. 16]. In the Bukhara Paikent the Manichaeans filled a bag with red ”fiery” bees and put the tyrant in it.

This time the Zoroastrian god turned away from his admirer, and a part of Manichean clerics could return to Bukhara. These events happened in the first quarter of the 8th century. Probably, the ”Lion of the country” was known to Chinese under a name Arslan-tarkan (Ch. Asilan-dagan). The ”Primary turtle” said that that was the ”younger brother” of the Bukhara king. In the 726 (fifth Moon) Arslan-tarkan was sent to the Tang's capital to present to emperor a horse and a leopard [Wang Tsinjou, ch. 971, p. 11408, f. 7à, Chavannes, 1904, p. 47].

Chor and Ashtak

The combination qara-chor is Türko-Persian. The word chor is of Persian origin. It was a part of a title of many members of ancient Türkic and ancient Uigur elites. The concept qara and its king the Dragon is Manichean. The Middle Persian (Pehlevi) designation for the Dragon, Ajdalak, came to the Türkic Manichaeism in the form Ashtak (Ch. Ashide < a-si-tək < *ashtaq). In the Pehlevi Zoroastrianism Ajdalak, along with negative features inherent to it, also got some positive qualities. A Zoroastrianom treatise ”Da-destan-i menog-i hkrad ” (27, 34) it is reads ”And from Ajdakhak Bevarasp and damned Frasiyag the Turanian the benefit was that if Bevarasp and Frasiyag did not get the power, the damned Malicious spirit would give the power to the (dev) of anger” [Chunakova, 1997, p. 101]. A similar sentence is in ”Shajast-na-shay-ast”, ”And also it is known that Feridun wanted to kill Ajdakhak, but Ormazd said: ”Do not kill him now, so that the land would not be filled with harmful creatures” [Chunakova, 1997, p. 324]. In this light become clearer the following lines about Kara-chor of the runiform text, dated by the year of the Monkey. Considering the message of Wang Tsinjou that Arslan-tarkan (aka Shir-i Kishvar, the ”Lion of the country” by Narshahi?) in 726 was already in Bukhara, and went with embassy to Changan, the time of his father Kara-chor death can be dated presumably by a previous time, i.e. 720th year, conterminous with the year of the Monkey of the animal cycle [see also Klyashtorny, 2001, p. 91], mentioned in the following inscription.

The Kara-chor is a main hero in the baffling Second Talas monument from Ayrtam-oy hamlet. An inhabitant of Mixture zone, a terrestrial man represents a structure mixed from the parts of Light and Darkness. His dark beginning (qara) is bonded by light substance and together with Light they fight against the forces of the Darkness. Apparently, this is the idea of the text ”My heroic name is Kara-chor. The honorable name ”Kara no sin! (qara yazmaz)”, says the second line of the inscription. The introductory line mentions otuz oγlan, ”thirty oglans - young men”, care of whom is Kara-chor's main concern [Djumagulov, 1963, p. 18-23, compare Naito, 1987, p. 139-140]. The ”otuz oglan” consortium is mentioned in the eighth (line 3) and the tenth (line 3) monuments, where it also depicted as a subject of concern of the inscriptions' heroes. And in the tenth inscription, carved like the previous on rounded surfaces of a boulder, above the words otuz oglan was carved a Manichean cross [Djumagulov, 1963, p. 25, 29, fig. 14]. Without accompanying context, Kara-chor (Xaracwr) is found in the list of Manichaean titles in a colophon of the ”Mahrnamag” composition, written in Middle Persian language under an order of Uigur Manichaean khan [Müller, 1913]. In a lost Chinese composition, a fragment of which ”on titles and rankings of Tutszüe-Türks in the beginning” was preserved in the work of Du Yu (8th century), this rank is described ”Türks call black color ”kara”. Therefore they also have rank Kara-chor. A rank very high, you get it only in advanced years” [Zuev, 1998, p. 154, 156]. The subject is a clerical position, probably similar to the Syrian mar ”Instructor”, who was in charge of education and training for young pupils (students?) in the Manichean ”school”, called in Òürkic ”otuz oglan”. Related to the students are the words from the ”Manichaeans Remorse prayer”: ”we young people in long clothes (uzuntonluγ urylar), we erred and sinned much!” [Huastuanift, 112]. ”Long clothes” (uzun ton) are white cassocks with long skirts (yürüng ton) [Bang, Gabain, 1931, B1] of the Manichean clerics, though in other cases uzuntonluγ can mean a woman in long skirts.

The word mar ”instructor” is found in the first line of a brief inscription on a part of a hume nimbus (reading of A.N.Bernshtam) ev qara mary ”house of Kara-mar” [Djumagulov, 1963, p. 39, fig. 21]. In the Kyrgyz inscription from Sudjin-Davan in Northern Mongolia a memoriant (here: hero in a memorial) tells that he ”gave the instructor (mar) hundred men and a shelter (maryma jüz er toruγ bertim)”, and in last line calls his son by a name Lion [Klyashtorny, 1959, p. 163, compare 1991, p. 59). ”House” is a dwelling place of light or dark substances, it is their family, for example ürüng Arslan dudaγ ”white/pure house/Arslan family” is a name of a noble house in Kocho.

According to one of Turfan documents, Manichean churches should have 360 housekeepers - mahystak (< Sogdian mhystk ”presbyter”, a third rank in church hierarchy) (”presbyter” = ”elder” - Translator's Note) supervising the local communities [Boyce, 1960. M-36]. A Manichean in its contents Sogdian-Türgesh legend about Black Prince Shu (Sogdian sh'w ”black”), dressed in a shell of Avestan and Pehlevi myth about Siyavarshan-Siyavush, says that in his fortress were annually given 360 salutes (fireworks - Translator's Note) in honor of noble people.

A memoriant the eighth monument (a name is illegible) carries a title-rank ögä. the Türkic word ögä ”wise” is used in the (ancient Türkic and Chinese) texts, predominantlyof Manichaean contents and has a religious tradition. In the written by Mani ”Book of Giants” is a giant struggling with a dragon, named Ogiy. In Aramean inscriptions in Hatra and Palmira this name is written Oga [Videngren, 2001, p. 119, 223]. The meaning of these two words a different, but their full consonance can't be called a coincidence.

Learning about an approach of Zu-l-Karnein's army, who in this context is the leader of the forces of Light, the Black Prince at night evacuated his steppe camp with forty pupils to the east of the River (Syr-Darya), and left to the east of the Sun, to the last station on the righteous souls road into the Country of Light (Paradise).

On the way to golden (in the beams of the rising sun) Altunkhan (Türk. ”Golden Khan”, Mong. Altakhan, ch. Andakhan, Tszinwei, northern part of the Great Khingan) mountains, the Black Prince cavalry stopped at (Manichean) Uigurs, following the advice of wise Ogya, and set up a camp (compare above ”house” and ”ogya”), but soon returned again to the Jeti-su [Mahmud Kashgari, 3 , p. 419-422, 1, p. 117-on].

The confessional affiliation of those memorized in the ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions are presently investigated poorly. Firmly established is only that the word mar ”guide (in faith)” clearly points to Manichean or Christian affiliation. The noted reference of ”house” can also be attributed to the category of the Manichean symbols.

The constant correlation Talas - Manichaeism - Lion is recorded in the Türko-Manichean ”Sacred book of two fundamentals” (Iki jïltïz nom), fragments of which were found by À. von Le Coq in the Karakhodjo settlement (Turfan oasis) in the 1907, and later published with German translation and comments [Le Coq, 1912]. The text of its colophon was analyzed by Radloff (1912), Chavannes and Pellio (1913), Henning (1977), Gabain (1949, 1950), and others. As noted S.G.Klyashtorny, the purpose of the ”Book”, as stated in the text, was a promotion of Manichaeism among the ”On-Ok people” country (ten Türgesh arrows-tribes). Klyashtorny dates its writing by the 8th century [Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 131, 1992, p. 354]. Von Gabain dated its time by about 780 [Gabain, 1949, p. 54], V.Rybatzki by the 10th-11th centuries [Rybatzki, 2000, p. 266]. The ”Book” was dedicated to the ruler (Beg) from Chigil-Arslan tribes by the name Il-Tirgüg, Ap-Burguchan, Alp-Tarhan [Henning, 1977, p. 552]. To the colophon manuscript, written with brush, was added a postscript, written with feather, that one of those who used the ”Book” (for a sermon?) was Arslan Mengü. It was completed in the city of famous Cherik warriors Argu-Talas (Argu Talas, Altun Argu Talas, Argu Talas ulush).

From Qidan to Kitai and Hotyn

In the quoted news about Argu-Talas from colophon of the ”Sacred book of two fundamentals”, dated by 8th century, the copyist identified himself only by a position aγduq xari bitgeci ”ailing and old scribe” and continues: mar ishojazd maxistak üze: kim jme uluγ amranmaqyn aγir küsüshun bitidim ”On the order of mahistak Mir Ishiyavd, with great love and deep desire I have written [this]” [Rybatzki, 2000, p. 264]. Further is stated that one of those who participated in this text ”came from χtai district”.

A.Le Coq's expressed only his bewilderment concerning this toponym, because usually the term χtai in written sources reflected the name of the Kidan state Liao (907-1125) in Northern China: Qytan, Qytai, Xytai and the like. This last circumstance served for a number of researchers as a clear basis to date the text not earlier the 10th century. Probably, this is a misunderstanding, the term χtai could equally reflect the name of one of the 8th century courts of the Türgesh Kagan on the right bank of the river Chu. The work of Tszya Dan, used in the geographical section of the New edition of ”History of Tang dynasty” [ch. 436, p. 305, f. 16à, Chavannes, 1903, p. 10, Zuev, 1960a, p. 94] reads: ”... [they] come to the city Suyab. North from the city flows the river Suyab (river Chu), and 40 li (about 16-18 km) north from the river is a mountain Tszedan (< giat-tan < *ketän). There the Kagan of ten surnames annually installs the heads of tribes (tszünchjan)”. The Türgesh Kagan had no right to install (Ch. li) heads of the tribes, the leaders of the tribes were hereditary, and traditionally came from the noble clans of the tribes headed by them. Obviously, the subject are the leaders (Ch. tsüchjan), appointed to the posts in the Horde, as it was noted, for example, in relation to Ashtak-Edizes (Shirs, Arslans), who were serving at the court of the eastern Türkic Kapagan-Kagan, the district of these Edizes was called Ñ1453, 2794 Tszityan (< kiei-d'ien < *ketän) [Ouyang Xiu , ch. 43á, p. 298, f. 2à].

The upper elite of the Se-yanto Kaganate (629-647) also professed Manichaeism, evidenced by the presence in it of the Ashide (Ashtak) tribe, and the Yanto tribal tamga as a circle of a full moon [Tsen Chjunmyan, 1958, p. 653], and by the presence in the Kagan titles of terms bilge ”wise” and jenchü ”pearls”. Soon after Se-yanto Kaganate fall, in 650 or 653, the Tang's emperor ordered to establish in its remains a district Tsitan (< kiei-tan <*ketän) [Lu Sim, ch. 1996, p. 1495, f. 4á, Ouyang Xiu , ch. 43á, p. 298, f. 2à, Se Tszunchjen, 1992, p. 412]. With the known sound transposition n~y (for example, qytan~qytai, qtai/χtai ”Kidans”, qon~qoi ”sheep”, qanyγ-qaiyγ, Nama~Yama) to the number of such names should be attributed the name of the Khazarian fortress on Dnestr katai/hatai [Baskakov, 1960, p. 149, Golden, 1980, p. 249-250], numerous Kitai-cities in Ukraine and even Kitai-town in Moscow [Romanova, 1964, Dobrodomov, 1980, p. 224-225] (Moldavian and Ukrainian pronunciation of the word χtai/χtan is ”Hotyn”, which was cheerfully explained in the Russian scientific and popular literature as a Celtic for fort/city. Kitai-cities in Ukraine and Moscow are popularly explained from Chinese/Russian Kitai traders in Moscow. Zuev ascribes descend of the word to Khazars, which is as good a guess as would be Bajanaks, Kipchaks, or Karakalpaks - Translator's Note). The Xtai of the ”colophon argu” (definition of L. Clark) is a fortress Ketan of the Türgesh Kagan on the right bank of the river Chu (Suyab), it was located in the Argu country, which extended from Balasagun to Ispidjab, and was a part of the nucleus lands of the Kaganate in the Jeti-su.


The word argu (arγu) used in ”Book” is connected with Tocharian B arkwi [from here came the Türkic arqui, arqun, arxon, Zuev, 1992, p. 36] ”white”, ”silver”, ”pure”. Chinese perceived it as ”white”, shown in the case of copying this concept given in the N.Ya.Bichurin work: ”Heavenly mountains range begins in Kashgar district from Argu-tag (Argu mountains), Chinese call them White mountains Bai-shan” [Bichurin, 3, p. 41]. This Tocharian loanword is homonymic with Türkic arγu/arqu ”gorge”, therefore the name ”Argu country” was perceived by researchers as a ”country with valleys between mountains” or ”country crisscrossed with gorges”. That interpretation is inapplicable to the Manichean Argu-Talas or Manichean pure land and sky in the expression ”Arkun land and sky (arqun jir Tengri), why will [they] disappear then? ” [Huastuanift, 136-137]. White (pure, light) is a primary color of Manichaeism and its elements: White father, white prince, white tribe, white attire, white cloud, white lotus and so on [Van Govei, 1959, p. 1176, 1187].
The Manichean ”Book of parables” says ”It is said that White father chose in three worlds his opponents (in faith?), and forced them to repentance and pray...”. S.G.Klyashtorny wrote ”The mentioned there ”white father” cannot be anybody else then one of ”pure” clerics (aryγ dyntar), ”perfect” (tükällig) and ”selected” (adynchy), i.e. the supreme hierarchs of the Manichean church, dressed according to the cannons in white attire and white miter” [Klyashtorny, 1981, p. 130]. The Argu country was the country of religion of Light located in the land ”from Balasagun (modern Buran, in Chu valley) to Ispidjab (modern Sairam town, near Chimkent)” or ”from Balasagun to Taraz”, the people of which in the days of Mahmud Kashgari (11th century) were bilingual and spoke in Sogdian and Òürkic [Mahmud Kashgari, 1, p. 66].


Counter-Ashina movement of Türgeshes ended in 699 with a capture of Suyab and establishment there of a Great court/horde of the new Kagan. The lesser court was in Kungut (Ch. Gunyue, hieroglyphic transcription ”bow - moon”, ”young moon”). Soon it was moved west, probably, to the Yigyan-kent in the Talas province. The first Türgesh Kagan was called Yuzlik (Ch. Uchjile, first two hieroglyphs of the transcription mean ”black essence”), ”a leader of the Manichean consortium yüz er ”hundred men”. In 706 he was inherited by his son Sakal (Ch. Soge < sak-kat < saqal). ” The Tang's ”Common rules” say ”beard they call soge (sakal). Therefore they have (title) sakal-tutun” [Zuev, 1998, p. 154,156-157].

From a formal point of view such Türkic reconstruction of the name and its meaning is faultless, though ”having a beard” could hardly serve as a most descriptive epithet for a statesman of such high political standing. In the Manichean context the word sakal reflects the Syrian name skl' - Sakl, a creator of Adam and Eve. With their girlfriend Nevrod they created people. The flesh of the first people is a creation of dark forces. In Adam was interned light seized by the leaders of demons, which they gave to Sakla/Sakal. The light of a human soul, its beauty and reason are only similar to the divine ones. Some of their features are taken from the demons, sons of the Smoke world.

The term saqal/sakl' (Ch. soge) was also popular in the Sogdian orbit. This was a name of the ”tribe” (?, Ch. bu) from which came a Sogdian from Bukhara with a Chinese name An Tsuntszin, who served at a court of the shad of the Late Tang Chigil dynasty (923-936) in Northern China [Se Tszüychjen, ch. 98, p. 640, f. 5à, Pulleyblank, 1952, p. 344].

The second part of the quoted phrase is ”Therefore they have (title) sakal-tutun”. In this case the transcription Ñ245, 12411 tu-tun (< t'ou-d'un) reflects not a common Sogdian tudun ”overseeer and tax collector”, but Türkic tütün ”smoke”. Smoke is a first and highest of the Darkness elements, an antipode of Air. The spirit of Smoke domain inspires worldly rulers. The ”king of the world of Darkness is a dragon, his body is gold”.

The Manichean gold is a body of a dragon, not a gold - Sun. Therefore the sources never call the Sakal's court/horde the ”Golden Court”/”Golden Horde” (Ch. Tszin-ya). Instead, are used really nonexistent Tszin-he ”Golden River” and Tszin-fan ”Golden country”. The Kagan was also called correspondingly, Tszin-he tszün van ”Ruler of Tszin-he land” and Tszin-fan tszün van ”Ruler of Tszin-fan land” [alternate in Se Tszunchjen, 1992, p. 646]. The beauteous definition Altun ”golden” in relation to Argu-Talas (Altun Argu Talas) can be only accepted as an indication of a place it occupied in the Manichean World of Mixting and people. Such was the ”blessed” Golden Argu-Talas, where in ”fortuitous year” was completed the work on (translation, copying?) of the ”Sacred book of two fundamentals” or its colophon. That is Talas with four Manichean cloisters, Chigil-balyk, Kashu, Ordu-kent and Yigyan-kent.

With these names are represented the main conceptual group of a dark part of the Manichean pantheon: Darkness, Dragon, Smoke, Gold. These forces continue to operate in the World of Mixting of light and darkness, in the world of people, although they are held back by the forces of Light. Becoming owners of a Kagan sacred (Ch. Ñ14142 huan ”yellow-golden”, ”golden” as imperial color, ”most august”) throne, Yuzlik and Sakal founded a foundation for a new dynasty, reflected in the legend tuxsan (i.e. phonetically Tukhsan - Translator's Note) of the Türgesh coins. Nevertheless, after the death of Sakal in 716, the throne was occupied by Sülük (Sulu), a representative of a ”black surname”, without a blood relation with the incipient dynasty. This enthronization had sown the seeds of a conflict, and the crop had been collected still in days of Sülük Kaganship. Despite of his turbulent and successful military-political activity, it was declared that Kagan had a ”paralyzed” arm (to hold a sword), and in one night in 738 he was killed by a supporter of ”huan” dynasty Baga-tarkan.

The death of Sülük sharply raised a succession question. The reason of a bloody conflict between Tuchses and Azes was a struggle for the possession of the supreme throne in Suyab. Some facts allow to conclude that the conflict had a religious attire. The founder of the state and his heir apparent were yuzliks (yüzlig) ”possessing a hundred” (centurions in a non-military sense - Translator's Note). A mythological precursor of this historical image was Siyavarshana/Siyavush with his one hundred lads. That can serve, though infirmly, as an only argument in favor of the assumption that the one hundred of Yuzlik was youthful (*yüz oγlan). In the Manichean context, the term oglan to some degree was similar with an image of each of five oglan soldiers sent by the Primogenitor to struggle against the forces of the Darkness. ”Üz oglan” is not a military one hundred-strong platoon, but a religious one hundred-strong consortium ”school” of young novice pupils like a Buddhist example. The governors of that hundred were the supreme rulers of the state with a residence in Suyab.

The residence of their ”younger brother”, the ruler of the Kara-Türgeshes (Azes), was Talas. In the Talas runiform texts such a ”school” consortium is called otuz oγlan ”thirty young men”.

These consortiums were antagonistic. Immediately after the death of the first all-Türgesh dynast (706) and enthronization of Sakal, also an yuzlik, his younger brother Chje'nu from Talas, unable to take the throne in Suyab, asked for military support from the Eastern Türkic Kapagan-Kagan. In 708 began a cruel Eastern Türkic campaign against Türgeshes, that ended with the death of Chje'nu himself. In 716 a Kara-Türgesh military leader Sülük from Talas usurped the throne in Suyab. He was killed in 13 years. His son Tuchsan could not hold to Suyab even for a year, he was exiled because he was a Kara-Türgesh.

The lands of Sayano-Altai were a part of the Türgesh Kaganate (see section ”Kyrgyzes” below). There, Manichaeism had developed apart and became a state religion. The ”age category” of novices had changed, the consortium began to be called yüz er ”hundred men” and otuz er ”thirty men”. To dispel possible doubts that yüz er ”hundred men” is really a designation of a religious consortium, and not of a military subdivision, is enough to recall the actually Manichean embassies to Changan from the Manichean Second Uigur Kaganate. Someof them consisted of ”hundred Horde men”, led by the clerics [Wang Tsinjou, ch. 972, p. 11415, f. 1á].

In the Yenisei epitaphs the consortium yüz er is also called yüz qadash (E, 49), yüz er qadash (E, 10, E, 42), yüz ynal qadash (E, 65). Tsen Chjunmian translates the word kadash with the Chinese term banlüy ”companion”, ”comrade”, ”sojourner” [Tsen Chjunmian, p. 152, 223-224]. The ”Ancient Türkic Dictionary” has its meaning as ”kin”, ”relative”. In the Yenisei epitaphs is also noted a form yüz kömül”hundred komules”, where the word kömül/kümül was a designation for the Yenisei Kyrgyz state and its elites. A similar picture was also in the Sayano-Altai lands.

Departing (i.e. dying) from the consortium yüz qadas ”hundred kins”, the memoriant of the highest rank Ynal-ogya says in the inscription: yaγyda otuz er ölürdim ”of the enemies I killed thirty men” [Kormushin, 1997, p. 169-174]. About destruction of the otuz er tells a noble memoriant of a large epitaph from the left bank of Yenisei, in eastern corner of Koybal steppe: qadyr yaγyda otuz erig ölürtüm ”in the grave war I killed thirty men” [Kormushin, 1997, p. 30-33]. From the name of Tarkhan-sangun, who perished together with the otuz er consortium he led, a third monument on the left bank of the middle course of Uibat says: otuz er bashlayu tutuγqa bard [ym] adyryldym ”leading thirty men I joined fighting - and separated (i.e. died)” [Kormushin, 1997, p. 99-117].

This analogy is legitimate. The lack of the written material does not allow to learn about the ideological motivations of the intro-Manichaean conflict between the both consortiums. But their affiliation with different social-hierarchical levels is obvious. It played not a last role in the struggle for the supreme office. But it was not an only pattern. The memoriant of the last from quoted inscription, judging by his wealth and the scale of his actions, belonged to the state elite.

The mutual hatred (between the brothers Sakal and Chjenu, sons of Yuzlik, the first Türgesh Kagan - Translator's Note) flared into a civil war. An initial victory was gained by supporters of Sülük, who raised his son Tuchsan (Ch. Tukhosyan), a ”Tukhs sovereign” of the Sogdo-Türgesh coins, to the Kaganship in Suyab. In the 576, when Byzantinian Valentine came to the Tuchsan (Turksanf/Turksanth - Translator's Note) court, and in the 738, when Türgesh Tuchsan was enthroned, and even in the 11th century when was writing Mahmud Kashgari, the Ttuchs/Tuhsi tribe professed Manichaeism, which can be deduced from their designation Tuchsi-Chigils, i.e. ”Tuchsi-Manicheans” [Mahmud Kashgari, 1, p. 399]. His ”younger brother”, also from the ”black surname”, ”guarded the city of Talas”.

The Chinese designations hei-sin tutsishi and hei-sin kekhan (”Türgeshes of a black surname” and ”Kagan of a black surname”) are translations of the ancient Türkic Qara Türgesh and Qara Qan [Naito, 1987, p. 93-96, 315-316]. The combination qara qan is in the epitaph in the first monument from Uibat (E, 30).

Detour about house and housekeepers

In a number of Chinese Manichean texts the term mahistak is written with hieroglyphs Ñ8557, 8497 (or equal 8501), 14720,14506 mo-si-si-de (< mək-γiei-siet-tək < maχistak). The transcription of this term is also found in line 8 of the Chinese texts in strongly the Uigur wind scoured and eroded inscription from Karabalgasun (N. Mongolia). Among the hieroglyphs 57-62 in that lines, the hieroglyphs 58-59 are not readable, they are followed by Ñ8501,14720,14506 (?-si-si-de < ?-γiei-siet-tək < ?xistak), which the inscription's researchers perceived as a part of a narration, not a transcription. This part of the inscription (lines 8-10) is devoted to propelling Manichaeism in the 763 among the population of the Second Uigur Kaganate. The lost hieroglyph 59 was a hieroglyph Ñ8557 mo (< mək). The reconstructed transcription is confidently read mək-γiei-siet-tək < maχistak [Pelliot, 1929, p. 249]. The group of hieroglyphs 57-62 is now more justified to be read nay[li mo]-si-si-de ”...and then was installed mahistak”. Despite of the state status of the teaching of Light in the Kaganate, the head of Manichean communities did not have the highest rank in the hierarchy of Manichean churches (Ulug Mojak, Archbishop), but a third rank, a housekeeper mahistak or a presbyter (elder - Translator's Note). That situation also continued for all coming years. A document dated by 795 AD calls the head of the Kaganate community a ”divine instructor (mar) and new Mani mahistak Aigyn ” [Puech, 1949, p. 139-140, Klyashtorny, 1992, p. 355, Kamalov, 2001, p. 157]. A Türkic fragment, which also belongs to the history of the Kaganate, in the publication and translation of À. von Le Coq [Le Coq, 1912, p. 147] about a visit to Kocho of Uigur Bukuk (in the text pwkwk, Le Coq's interpretation buγuγ), a khan of the Manichean mojak cleric (in the text majak): tängriken Buγuγ qan qochoγaru kelipen qoin jylqa üch maxistak olurmaq ücün majarka kindedi ”Coming to Kocho in the year of the Sheep, the Heavenly Uigur Bugug-khan negotiated (verhandelte) with majak about appointing (Einsetzung) of three mahistaks” . The text instigated a discussion [for discussion see Kamalov, 2001, p. 156-157].

In the opinion of V.Rybatsky, shared by the author, the word olurmaq in this case means not ”appointment for a post”, but points to a sacrament in memory of heads of the Manichean churches who suffered martyrdom death. This, most important in eastern Manichaeism sacrament was called Yimki, a Pray. It goes back to the events of the 291 (time of the rule of Bahram II) and new persecutions of Manichaeans in Persia, when were crucified three Manichean presbyters (compare üch maxistak) together with Sisin, a pupil of Mani and his successor on the church throne [Rybatzki, 2000, p. 259-260, Asmussen, 1965, p. 178, 224-225]. The ritual showing permanency of the church included a ceremony of prayer vigil olursuq (instead of olurmaq in the text). The fourteenth section of the ”Huastuanift” repentant prayer is devoted to the seven annual vigils, beginning with the words: bir yiylqa yiti(i) y(i)mki(i) olursuq törü bar erti ”[we] had a law (to make) vigil (olursuq) Yimki seven times a year”. The ritual included observance of a sitting (prayful) fasting in a ceremonial hall chaidan during the month of abstention chakhshpat.

An equivalent of the term machistak in the hymns was a neologism mansardar (Middle Persian ,'ns 'r'r ”head of a house”) [Sundermann, 1971, p. 22, Tongerloo, 1982, p. 284], in Chinese fa-tan chju, literaly ”head of the Law /Teaching hall” [Waldschmidt, Lentz, 1933, p. 521-522], ”those that have a residence in the halls of the Law” [Geng, 1991, p. 222], ”monks that are masters of the hall of the Holy Writ” [Tongerloo, 1982, p. 284], ”lord of a house of the Law”. A Türgesh designation of this dignity was preserved in the Chinese record. Du Yu wrote in the 8th century ”Exist Kagans ranked below yabgu. Also exist [leaders] of a large surname (i.e. Manichaean community - Yu. Z.) called ev-Kagan. The Türks call a house ”ev”, that means Kagan of a house” [Du Yu, ch. 197, Van Tsin-jo, ch. 962, p. 11319, f. 10á]. The subjects are Kara-Türgeshes and Kara-Khans of Talas. The echoes of the Manichean traditions are heard in the composition of a devout Moslem, Abu-l-Gazi.

He recalls the times when there was no the real ruler. Türks call that time ”Kara-Khan in the head of the house” [Kononov, 1958, line 420]. Apparently, the appearance of so original Türkic adaptation of the religious terminology is explained by the fact that being Parthian, Tocharian, Middle Persian or Sogdian in origin, it was not always organically perceived in a new language environment. Therefore were appearing such combinations as Kagan of Light (see below), mar shad [Zieme, 1975, p. 59].

In ancient Türkic language the term qara had also a meaning ”mass”, ”crowd”. S.E.Malov translated expression Qara Türgesh bodun in the sentence Qara Türgesh bodun qop ichikdi (KTb, 38) ”(But) the mass of Türgesh people all carted off deep into the country (i.e. had submitted)” [Malov, 1951, p. 34, 41], and the authors of the ”Ancient Türkic dictionary” translated as ”the whole Türgesh people had entirely submitted” [Ancient Türkic Dictionary, p. 423] instead of ”Kara-Türgesh people mostly (i.e. not entirely!) submitted”. This translation is closer to the text, it gives an impression about ideological ideas of Türgeshes, and about the course of historical events that resulted of that the Türgesh Kaganate was defeated and fell into dependency from the Eastern Türks, but was not ”destroyed for some years”.

Kül-Tegin died on 47th year of life on 27 February 731. The text of Kül-Tegin monument lists among the arriving with condolences on that occasion representatives of different peoples, from the Türgesh Kagan arrived Makrach, a keeper of a seal (tamγachy), and a keeper of a seal Oguz Bilge (KTb, 53). About an existence in the ancient Türkic states of that time of a bureaucratic post of a keeper of the state seal do not record neither written, nor material sources, although as a whole their bureaucratic nomenclature is known. Nevertheless, the category tamgachi existed, it was recorded in writing. In the Manichean faith, a seal (Türkic tamγa) is equating the dark or mixed substance with a different image, tamγa confers similarity between them (dark or mixed substance - Translator's Note) and the carrier of that image, and establishes relations of ties and submission between them.

A seal of divine image attracts a mixed substance to heavens, a righteous soul is sealed with tamγa as a Wisdom of light in the life [Smagina, 1998, p. 439]. The Türgesh envoys, Makrach (<Sogdian mγ'r'c < Sanskrit maharaja ”great king”) [compare Stael-Holstein, 1910, p. 128] and Oguz Bilge”, moaning” at the Kül-Tegin funeral, were keepers of seal not in a bureaucratic, but in a totally opposite fashion.

The Chinese transcribed the name Tuhsan (Tu-ho-syan) with hieroglyphs depicting not too accurate, but still descriptive and therefore informative meaning of ”saint emanating fire (or emitting fire)”. The concept of the fire belongs to Zoroastrian layer of the Mani faith. According to his teaching, fire is twofold, it is two Fires, a cleansing and creating divine Fire (Türkic ot tengri) and its antipode, a destroying devilish Fire-Inferno of the Darkness world (Türkic ort). ”Kefalaya” teaches ”By then, when Primogenitor confronted the enemy, he summoned five live Attires, and restrained the Darkness with the Attire of live Fire; [dressed] in that Attire he extinguished the enemy Fire; and overthrew its piffle talk and pride” [Kefalaya, 127].

A similar connotation was noted in the Tonyukuk stele inscription in an episode of Kara-Türgeshes' coming to the district Boluchu (modern Bulun-tohoi east from Ulüngur in Dzungaria) [Giraud, 1960, p. 179] for battle with eastern Türks: örtchä qyzyp kelti ”they came ablaze as a fire”. S.E.Malov translated the description of this battle (lines 39-40): ”They came on the second day. They came ablaze as a fire. We battled. Compared with us their two wings were half as much more numerous. By favor of the Sky (Tengri, God? - Author) we were not afraid, saying that there were many of them. We chased away (enemies), their Kagan we caught, their yabgu we slaughtered” [Malov, 1951, p. 63, 69].

Detour about Tonyukuk

Tonyukuk came from the Khatun tribe of the dynastic coalition, he held a highest in the horde post of aiguchi. Tonyukuk's tamga on the Choiren stele completely coincides with the tamga of the Ashtak (Ashide) tribe in the "Tang's review”, and that clearly testifies in favor of the hypothetical suggestion that he was an Ashtak [Klyashtorny, 1980, p. 94-95]. The Eastern Türkic Manichaean term Ashtak means a "dragon" with a head of a lion (Middle Persian shir) as an emanation and a head of the Lower world. On behalf of the Türk-shir people (Türk-shir bodun) it appears in the inscription on Bain-Tsokto stele, next to a stele with vegetative (Manichaean) motive ( Fig. 6). The term Shir is transmitted with runiform letters , which can be read sir (contrary to the Manichaean context) [for example, Klyashtorny, 1986 (i.e. ethnic interpretation ”Sir”= ”tribe name” can be taken only by ignoring the Manichaean symbology ”shir”=”lion” - Translator's Note)].

Fig. 6. A vegetative pattern on a grave slab next to stele of Tonyukuk (Mongolia)
(Tonyukuk sarcophagus - Translator's Note)

Below is a computer reconstruction of vegetative ornamental fragment on the stone slab

The same runiform letters are found in the line of 21 of the Kül ich chor inscription in the Ihe Hushotu district 200 km southwest from Ulan Bator in Mongolia. It tells about an end of the three-year Türko-Karluk war (709-711) that resulted in a submission to the Türks of Yigyan-irkin, a son of Shir-irkin [Clason, Tryjarski, 1971, p. 19, 22, 29], among others. Probably, Shir-irkin was known under a purely Türkic name Arslan-irkin. The source informed that two years after described events, salan-sytszin (Arslan-irkin) asked for (or received) a Tang citizenship [Dun Gao, ch. 40, f. 15a-16b; Wang Tsinjou, ch. 170, p. 2053, f. 16a-b]. A Chinese transcription for the term shir was Ñ8748 shi (< siet < shir). A first Chinese story about Karluks (644) called them Shi-Gelolu (Shir-Karluk) [Wang Tsinjou, ch. 656, p. 7858, f. 17á]. The ”lion's” Manichaean symbol they kept until the time of their submission to Mongols in the beginning of the 13th century. The ”Collection of annals” informed that Chingiz-khan removed from the submitted to him Karluk leader his former name Arslan-khan, ”Let your name be Sartaktai, which is Tadjik (Persian)”, said the soveregn [Rashid ad-din, 1965, p. 351]. There also is other evidence about Manichaeism of Karluks. Importantly, the Karluk material reliably supports the reading shir (”lion”) in the Tonyukuk inscription.

Tonyukuk consecutively served in the aiguchi position with three Kagans. The term aiguchi (< *ai -”to speak, ”command” + -γuchy, a participle of absolute general time) in the text of the Tonyukuk stele means ”adviser”, this is supported by a later Chinese record that Bilge-kagan (Motszilyan) consulted (Chinese mou) with Tonyukuk in questions of state [Su Tiantszüe, ch. 70, p. 1014]. In other runiform inscriptions the term aiguchi was not found, it is known only from the texts of the Manichaean circle. In the ”History of the Yuan dynasty” it is found in the form shatszin ayhuchi [Sun Lyan, ch. 36, p. 432, f. 6a], i.e. shazin ayγuchy ”preacher of teaching” [somewhat different in Geng Shimin, 1978, p. 537]. During archeological work in Sintszian (Chinese ”Xinjiang” - Translator's Note) prof. Huan Venbi found a large (125 lines) fragment of a government decree of the Uigur state Kocho, about economic activities of the Manichaean monastery. It was published in facsimile in the "Records on Turfan archeology" [Tulufan kaogu tszi, 1954, tab. 89-94]. It was brought into scientific research by German interpretation of P.Zieme [Zieme, 1975, p. 331-338]. In 1978 its Chinese translation with comments and dictionary was made by Geng Shimin [Geng Shimin, p. 529-548]. In 1991 he published its English translation with comments and a secondary publication of the original [Geng, 1991, p. 209-230].

The term aiguchi was used there 13 times in a combination ish aiγuchy, literally translated into Chinese as "office manager" (Chinese Guanshidi), and in English in generalized form ”man in charge”. In the "Ancient Türkic Dictionary" (p. 214) this combination (from another document) is translated with a word "adviser". The word ish in this combination means "work", "enterprise". This last circumstance reminds the words from the 52nd line of the aiguchi Tonyukuk stele ”... I, without sleeping at night, without resting in the afternoon, spilling my red blood, and sweating with black sweat, was doing (my ) work (or business, ish)... " [Malov, 1951, p. 64, 69].

In the third and fourth lines the fragment says that the revenue of the Manichaean monastery was at the disposal of ish aiguchi with a title-name (rank?) Mojak Ilimga-Tutuk. The term Tutuk means a "ruler of province" [Ecsedy, 1965, p. 84-86]. The word mojak (Uigur mojak, Sogdian mwchk, Middle Persian hammozag, modern Chinese moshe) [Chavannes, Pelliot, 1911, p. 569, 1913, p. 100; Tongerloo, 1982, p. 277-280, and others] means ”head of church”, ”head of the Law/Teaching”, ”Teacher”, archbishop. According to the doctrine, in the whole Manichaean church were 12 mojak-archbishops. Kocho became a residence of the eastern mojak. A part of the eastern episcopate was the Argu country, i.e. Jeti-su [Henning, 1977, p. 551-552]. In that decree the mojak archbishop is called tängri mozak ”his Magnificancy archbishop” (Russian ”Svetlost” = ”Lightness” - Translator's Note), though there are also other, historically more substantial epithets, analysis of which shall be leave for another time. The important fact is that from the document, the duty circle of mojak included functions of ish aiguchi, or officers on this post (there are two of them) were in the number of the mojak's nearest assistants.

Ish aiguchi (and two hruhans) were responsible for all property of the monastery, its kitchen and ovens. They supervised the diet of the monks, especially of the upper layer, and feeding of the cattle. A similar motive (and it is unique for runiform inscriptions) is audible in the Tonyukuk text, ”We lived, eating wild prey (keik) and hares. The people's throat was full” (line 8), it says. ”I thought: if (the future khan) generally (literally, behind, in the distance) knows (that he has) both lean bulls, and fat bulls, he cannot (not able, does not know) to name (separately which is) a fat bull (and which is) a lean bull”, it says in another place [Malov, 1951, p. 61, 65, line 5-6].

A subject of particular care of ish aiguchi were the monastic lands and collection of high rent for its usage. From the point of Tonyukuk position the ”Türk-shir people” (Türk shir bodun) are the people of the Türkic state, which was confirmed in 716, when the horde's Ahtaks fell to bloody reprisals, and in the country begun a so serious tumult that Bilge-kagan had to immediately recall Tonyukuk from exile, and became a servitor of his will. A particular aspect of Türk-shir people was that from the inscription, they were the owners of the state lands (Türk shir bodun yeri "land/country of Türk-Shir people"). It was also inherent for the Katun consortium within the dynastic coalition Kagan-Katun (Ashina-Ashide) during the prevalence of the ”brotherly family”. That showed the almost universal ability of the postulates of the Manichaean doctrine to fuse with the conditions of the local social milieu.

In the funeral complex Tsagan-obo (Central aimak in Mongolia), where Tonyukuk stele is located, there is no burial in the ground: ”ashes of a Manichaean cannot be committed to the earth, so not to profane it”. He was buried in a stone box next to the stele [Voitov, 1996, p. 49]. In that same place stands an obelisk with a vegetative pattern ( Fig. 6).

... In the Tonyukuk inscription was reviewed the episode of arrival in the 708 of the Türgesh armies to the Boluchu district, with present in ”Kefalaya” motive of struggle between two antipode Fires. The text of Kül-Tegin monument contains a parallel and with great details description "The army of Türgesh Kagan came to Bolchu like a fire and wine (otcha borcha kelti). We have fought, Kül-Tegin seized with [his] own hand Türgesh Kagan's orderly, Tutuk of Azes. Their Kagan we killed , his tribal union (il-el, the state - Author) we subdued. (But) the mass of Türgesh people all carted off deep (into the country, i.e. they submitted) (Should be: Kara-Türgesh people mostly submitted). That people we settled in Tabar (?) ... " [Malov, 1951, p. 32, 41, compare Yudin, 2001, p. 280].

Bilge-kagan, on whose behalf the anti-Tonyukuk in its orientation and contents story in that part of the text is narrated, instead of precisely reproduced Manichaean formula örtchä qyzyp kelti, to characterize the says a frank absurdity, intended to negate the words of Tonyukuk and his role in outcome of that campaign. That is the only meaning and purpose of these words of Bilge-kagan, and therefore the attempts to find something else [Scherbak, 1975; Adamovic, 1996], despite the ingenuity of their authors, remain unsuccessful. But Bilge-kagan is specific, the subject is not the Türgeshes in general, buth the Kara-Türgeshes, thus specifically pointing to their Manichaeism.

The words about a murder of the Kara-Türgesh kagan is also a lie. In the Bolchu battle the ruling at the time Sakal-kagan did not die. He also was not executed. Was executed only his name Sakal, but remained another name, Show-chjun, under which he met his death in 715 [Tsen Chjunmian, 1958, p. 900-901; Chavannes, 1903, p. 80, 265, 308]. The Türgesh Kaganat did not cease to exist.

The ”re-settlement” of the Kara-Türgeshes presents more difficulty. The verb qondur (the imperative form from qon ”to select a place of residence” ”to settle”) is found in the same inscription (KTb, 21): ”East from Kadyrkan taiga (Great Hingan mountains) we re-settled people so...” - ilgerü qadyrqan yyshyγasha bodunuγancha qonturtymyz. The subject is not the Türkic people, but the Oguzes in the modern Inner Mongolia, and also about Kidans and Kais, who fell under the rule of the Eastern Türks, which is called ”settlement” or ”bringing to order”. For centuries, they were known as inhabitants of quite definite territories [Bichurin, 1, p. 362-370], neither did they leave these territories after submission. The institute of their rulers coming from their own tribe was also inviolable. They were in Türkic dependence, which consisted of annual tribute and military participation on the side of the Türks. Coaching away and departure beyond the limits of military reach by the suzerain were always a passive form of fighting to free from dependence. A similar situation is noted at Mongols: ”Without Horcha permission the forest people should not have a right of free movement. The uncontrolled migrations should not even be considered! " [Kozin, 1940, p. 101]. In this case the "settlement" meant confirming the former territories, and a prohibition to cross their borders. Kara-Türgeshes already broke this mandatory rule the next year [see Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 138-140, however compare Amanjolov, 1999, p. 120-121].

In these records, starting from 568 and until 738, all references to Talas are invariably connected with Manichaeism. The significance of Talas was invariably large among Türks and then Türgeshes for at least 180 years. Therefore their "settling" at "Tabar" raises researcher's doubts. S.E.Malov, translating the text, marked the name T(à)b(à)r with a questionmark, and W.W.Radloff totally omitted this word from the translation of inscription [Malov, 1951 , p. 41, Radloff, 1897, p. 142]. Judging by reproduction of the runiform text, it exactly coincides with corresponding tri-gramma in the photo, and with the imprint of the text in W.Radloff's "Atlas" [Radloff, 1892]. There was a conscious distortion of the real designation of the location talas with almost indistinguishable spelling tabar.

* * *

The sources contain traces of the Talas origin of the Manichaean teaching. The oldest reports show that the term Chigil in the beginning was a designation for the Manichaean "school". It can be assumed that it ascends to the to Middle Persian chihil "forty" (compare Türkic, otuz oglan ”thirty lads”), Mahmud Kashgari reproduced its etymology using Persian language, subsequently the term Chigil became a general name for Türkic tribes that accepted Manichaeism ”from Djeihun to Chin”. Mahmud Kashgari wrote ”And it is a mistake”. In these words, along with their informative importance, is also hidden a warning that we will now never learn the original name of the Türkic tribe or the tribes behind the word Chigil. The first reference about Chigils comes from the ”History of the Sui dynasty” (581-680) [Wei Chjen, 1958, p. 840, f. 18a, Ñ11536, 13342 Chji-i < tšįək-iət < chigil, Hamilton, 1962, p. 26]. It was exactly and numerously reproduced in the monuments of the alphabetic scripts. In all subsequent Chinese records about Chigils the transcription and sound of the term Chigil was changed. It was a consequence of the Confucian principle of ”correction of the names”, according to which the name should correspond to the essence of the object, or to the qualities of the carrier of the name. Transcribing the foreign name, all-knowing officials in the imperial departments for that purpose picked out those hieroglyphs which meaning filled transcription with contents.

Sometimes a desire to observe the ”correction of the names” principle was detrimental to the accuracy of the phonetic record, as it happened with the term Chigil. Its name began to be written with hieroglyphs Ñ10865, 5846 chu-üe (< chįo-ngíwat < cüngül, compare Khotan-Saka cunuda) meaning a ”dwelling (of the Goddess) of the Moon”. In the 7th century Chuüe, as a rule, were mentioned in a pair with the tribe Ñ10865, 1620 Chu-mi (< chįo-mįet, compare Türkic-Manichean cungul, chamili [Zieme, 1975, p. 62-63]. At that time and later, the hieroglyph mi (<mįet) transmitted the name of the Sun god Mihr (Mihr). The semantic meaning of this transcription is the ”dwelling (of the God) of the Sun”, and the sound of the chįo-mįet transmits cümil (compare Khotan-Saka cunuda, cumuda), corresponding to the known Chumul of the Muslim writers. The rhyming of these names, together with the paired use should point to the ”twin” nature of the Moon and the Sun.

In the middle of the 7th century Chigils (Chuüe), Chumuls (Chumi) and Karluks (Gelolu) were united by the Western Türkic yabgu named Aru (Ch. Helu) in his anti-Tang uprising. The word Ñ13865, 2616 he-lu (< γa-lou) without difficulties reflects the Türkic aru/ary "pure", "light" [Sevortian, 1974, p. 184-186]. It is identical with the Türkic-Manichean arïg (compare arïg dïntar "pure priest”). The court/horde of Helu was in the Talas valley (Ch. Dolosy chuan)" 1500 li straight north from Si-Chjou " [Gaochan, Turfan, Du Yu, ch. 199, f. 8b]. In another work this distance is determined as 15 days of horse ride [Lü Süy, 1958, ch. 195, p. 1449, f. 2à]. Ed. Chavannes located this Talas, distant from the Jeti-su Manichaean Talas, in a valley of the Upper Black Irtysh [Chavannes, 1903, p. 32-33, 306]. The detailed analysis of direct and indirect evidence on this subject was made by M. Naito, who attracted Chinese and ancient Türkic material, but overlooked records of other sources.

The "Divan” of Mahmud Kashgari mentioned two times the district ”---” Kemi-Talas ”on the border of the Muslim world”, ”on the border of the (Turfan) Uigurs” [Mahmud Kashgari, 1, p. 347, 3, p. 243]. The name of the same district is undoubtedly present in the spelling of not understood by translators in the work of Rashid ad-Din ”Djami ' at-tavarih” (”Collection of annals”) ”---” (should be: ”---”) Kemi-Taras location associated with Blue Irtysh in Altai [Rashid-ad-Din, 1965, vol. 1, book 1, p. 292]: ”The places where they (Naimans) stayed are these: Great (Eke) Altai, Karakorum... Mountains: Eluy Siras (should be: Kemi-Taras) and the Kok-Irtysh (Blue Irtysh)... ” [Rashid ad-Din, 1965, vol. 1, book 1, p. 136-137]. Possibly, the same place was meant by the Venetian Marko Polo, calling it Chigi/Chingin-Talas: ”the area Chigin-Talas (Chingin-Talas) lays on the edge of a Desert, between north and northeast, belongs to the khan, and extends for 15 days of travel” [Marko Polo, Travels, 1993, p. 74].

A specific direction to this area we find in the diary of the Tomsk university professor V.Sapojnikov's geographical expedition that surveyed the headwaters of Irtysh in 1908: ”Above Sailükem the valley of Blue Irtysh strongly widens, crossing the moraine that earlier served as a natural dam for lake, you see a wide, partly marshy valley with a snaking quiet river. The ridges framing the valley become higher, and the forest strongly thinned. At 5 o'clock we passed a side valley Chegan-kol in the western ridge, its mouth is marked by white sediments, probably of glacial loess. We traversed five or six versts more, and stopped for the night against a high broad gully of the western side, called Chegan-Daras ” [Sapojnikov, 1911, p. 184].

The name Chigin and Chegan is a Mongolian word chagan ”white”. It reflects the main concept of Manichaeism. In the 13th century ”---” cha'at (plural form from Mongolian cha'an ”white”) was the name of the Djalair clan, the Inner Mongolia Khan (i.e. Kagan, in Mongolian pronunciation Kaan - Translator's Note), the lineal descendants of the Manichean Yaglakars of the Northern Mongolia. The term Chagan was a designation for the Ongut ”White Tatars” or Shato-Chigils [Zuev, 1972, p. 183]. The ancient Türkic term kemi ”boat, vessel”,”ship” in the word Kemi-Talas cannot be viewed from the positions of river navigation in the headwaters of the Blue Irtysh. In the Manichean faith the Sun and the Moon were called ”ships of Light”. The Sun is a Ship of the day and a Ship of live, fruitful Fire. The Moon is a Ship of night, or a Ship of live divine Waters. They are not only Illuminators, but also the moving homes of the deities.


The Talas city (Dolosy-chen) was probably erected in the valley of the Orkhon (Ukun, Kun) river in the Second Türkic Kaganate not without influence of the Jeti-su Manichaeism. The source mentions it in passing, describing the events directly preceding the fall of the Türkic state. In the 743 a joined troop of Uigurs, Karluks and Basmyls "attacked the city of Talas and crossed the river Orkhon (Kun-shui), Ozmysh was decapitated" [Ouyan Sü, 1958, ch. 133, p. 1110, f. 5à]. This mentioning of the eastern Türkic city Talas is singular and apparently does not allow to view it as the Manichaean centre in that area, like the Jeti-su Talas. But Manichaeism existed there. The name Chigil-Türks for the Eastern Türks is correspondingly appropriate, in view of the Mahmud Kashgari words that all Türkic tribes that accepted Manichaeism were called Chigils [Wang Tsinjou, 1960, ch. 971, p. 11405, f. 1à], among other states (Sinlo-Silla, Shivei-Tatars, Tufan-Tibet, Üytian-Hotan) in the autumn of 712 Chigil-Türks sent a tribute (to the Chinese court - Translator's Note). This state tribute is not Kagan-level, but Manichaean-level. Otherwise there would be no need to add the definition Chigil.


From the first years of the ancient Türkic statehood, the Sogdian presence in the Kaganates was significant [Mori, 1967, p. 64-93]. Especially significant it became during the rule of El-Kagan (Seli, 620-630), who ”acted for the benefit of the Sogdians-Hu”, removing Türks from governing the country, replacing Türks with Sogdians in the important state positions [Lü Süy, ch. 194à, p. 1437, f. 4á, Ouyang Xiu , ch. 215à, p. 1500, f. 6à].

The missionary activity of the Sogdians had also increased. Is known, for example, the Sogdian colony Tat-Ashtak (Ch. Ta-Ashide) [Wan Pu, 1958, ch. 72, p. 1307]. The sources recorded a fact that a mother of a known Sogdian insurgent of Bukhara origin by the name Rohshan ”Light” (An Lushan) was ”from Ashide surname”, she was preaching Manicheaism (”shamanism”) among the Tutszüe-Türks and was considered to be a Türk herself [Lu Sui (Xu Liu), ch. 200à, p. 1500, f. la, Pulleyblank, 1955, p. 7-8].

In 622 appear the first news about surname Ashide among a part of Türkic nobles [Tsen Chjunmian, 1958, p. 984, 993, Liu Mau-tsai, p. 136, 139]. The word Ashtak (ashtaq < Middle Persian ajdahak) means ”dragon”, confirmed by tamga representing multi-headed snake/dragon. In the first records (622) its representative carries a title yargan. In the Manichean world of Mixting the king of Darkness - dragon is bound by forces of Light, and jointly with them participates in creation of a man. In a sense he splits and obtains negative - positive traits, and his basic idea can be expressed with already quoted words of the second Talas monument ”my heroic name is Kara-chor. [My] honorable name - Darkness - would not sin! (Qara-yazmaz)”.

The only preserved, in the composition ”Yuan-he sin tszuan” [ch. 5, f. 6á] and ”Tun chji” [ch. 29, f. 15á], brief fragment of Ashtak genealogical myth says: ”Ashide are a special name of the descendants of Shan-Kagan, who lived at the beginning of Tutszüe” [compare Hirth, 1899, p. 11, Pulleyblank, 1952, p. 332]. This expression is not of a secular character, the Türkic Kagans could be only from the Ashina tribe. The Chinese Manichaean treatise from Dunhuan [Chavannes, Pelliot, 1911, p. 591-617] used hieroglyph Ñ1981 shan "goodness” to denote light substance. The main of them is Shan Mu "Mother of Goodness”. She is also the Mother of living, a first expression of creative energy, in other versions an emanation of Father of Light. To repulse the aggressive forces of the Darkness interfering in the world of Light, the Father creates a brave warrior, Light-bearing Primogenitor, who immediately departs to fight against enemies.

In the written by Mani work "Shapurakan", and in the Turfan Manichaean texts, the Light-bearing Primogenitor is given a name of benevolent Zoroastrian warrior-god Ormuzd. In the middle of 9th century and later, this name carried the Uigur Manichaean kagans [Hamilton, 1955, p. 153, Malyavkin, 1983, p. 26, 85, etc.]. He can be seen in the transcription Ñ7696, 10474 Umo (< uo-muət), the name of an Ashtak noble at the court of El-Kagan [Liu Mau-tsai, p. 139]. In this is contained the meaning of the name Shan-Kagan, as a Primogenitor - Ormuzd.

The contents of a fragment about Ashtaks and "beginning of Türks-Tutszüe" do not end with that. The following genealogical myth is presently known poorly in the Sino-Türkological scientific literature. "The ancestors of Tutszüe were called Imo-Sheli and Spirit of Sea/Lake. The spirit lived west from the Ashide cave. With Imo something supernatural was happening. Every day during sunset the daughter of Spirit of Sea took Imo, who took the shape of a white deer, into the sea, and in the morning she lead him out from it. After several decades, the tribe once gathered for a large hunt. At midnight, (the daughter of) Spirit of Sea told Imo: ”Tomorrow, during the hunt, in the cave of your ancestors will be born a white deer Golden horns. If you shoot this deer with an arrow, we shall live with you eternally, but if you should miss, our relations would cease”. With the dawn was set up a fencing. From the cave of the birth (of ancestors) really appeared a white deer Golden horns. Imo ordered his people to fortify the barrier, and the [deer] wanted to overcome it to save itself . And then it was killed. Enraged, Imo with his own hands beheaded the leader of the Ashi (tribe) and swore: ”After I killed him, a sacrifice should be made to the Sky, take for it the sons and grandsons from the Ashi tribe, decapitate them, and bring them as a sacrifice!” And until now, the Türks-Tutszüe, sacrificing in front of the flag a man, usually use for that the Ashi tribe. After beheading (the head of the tribe) Ashi, Imo returned in the evening to the sea. But the daughter (of Sea) has avenged him: ”You beheaded a man with your own hands. You stink with blood! I break off our relations!” [Duan Chenshi, 1936, ch. 4, p. 30-31, 1981, p. 44, Li Fan, 1959, ch. 480, p. 3956, Tsen Chjunmian, 1958, p. 641-642] (Duan Chenshi, 803 - 863, Li Fan, 976-984 - Translator's Note). There are a records of correct (in respect to parsing the undivided spelling of names, which determines the very understanding of the text) reading of the Chinese text of this myth, and were made a number of diverging conclusions [Sinor, 1982, p. 230-231, Se Tszunchjen, 1992, p. 41, 54-55, Jui Chjuanmin, 1994, p. 51-58].

This ancient Türkic myth was revived by bloody events of 716, when was made a failed attempt to replace the solar-lunar dynastic co-rule Kagan-Katun (Ashina and Ashide tribes respectively) with a solar Kagan unilateralism (Ashina tribe). The term Ashina (< Khotan-Saka asseina ”dark blue”, compare Sogdian niδan, Persian nilan ”blue”, Türkic kök ”blue”) is found in (Chinese) combinations Ashina-tszüy (< Ashina-kök) and Ashina-Tutszüe (compare Kök Türk). A clan of this tribe, that subsequently became autonomous and was directly delegating Kagans into the dynasty, was Sharduly (< Middle Persian zarr ”gold” + duly ”bird”, Chinese sheli-tuli < sia-lyi tuo-lyi, compare the image of ”firebird”) [compare Akishev, 1984, p. 133-134]. This meeting the Sun ”Gold bird” was the Red Raven, i.e. the Raven with plumage shining red and gold in the rays of the rising Sun. The ”Red Raven” was a symbol of a rising sun. Its image as the eagle with spread wings was placed on the tiara of the ancient Türkic Prince Kül-Tegin [Sher, 1966, p. 19, Fig. 12]. Thus, the image of the Sky-Tengri deity, which the Kagan Türks worshipped, can be described as the Morning blue Sky in the rays of the rising Sun.

Another symbol of Sun among ancient Türks was a sacred Deer, about which in 629 wrote Süan-tszan after visiting the summer court of the Western Türkic Ton-Yabgu-Kagan in the Thousand Springs (Merke) district. "There were a multitude of deers, many decorated with bells on the belts. They are used to a man, are not afraid of people, and are not really fleeing. The Türkic Kagan loves them and has forbidden his subjects to kill them, anyone who would kill them would be executed without mercy" [Zuev, 1960, p. 91].

In the gold horn-beamss of a noble deer was located the Sun, descending at sunset into the sea and coming from it at sunrise. This is the white (sacred) deer Golden horns of the myth. Its name was Imo-Sheli (<yäk-mua sia-lyi < *yaγma shar), in the second part (shar < Middle Persian zarr "gold, golden") directly connected with the Chinese designation Tszin-tszüe ”Golden horns”. The first part is comparable with the ancient Türkic yaγma ”onslaught”. To protect the genuine embodiment of the sacred personage, which the White deer Golden horns was (and by doing that to conceal from the malicious forces its exact address for inflicting any harm on it), it was tabooed and represented by a schematical image of unicorn in the top frieze of the large inscriptions.

Judging by context, the myth was told by a representative of the Kagan's Ashina, who became fatally hostile with the Katun Ashide-Ashtaks. Naming the lord of the cave of ancestors (i.e. female bosom of the Mother-Earth) Ashide-Ashtak dragon, he intentionally distorted the name of the Ashide tribe, which was reflected in its Chinese transmission, so that the listner-reader would not receive an impression that the Ashtaks and the benevolent lord of the cave where were born sun - deers, were two embodiments of a single phenomenon.

In the19th century G.N.Potanin recorded among the Taiga Tatars a fairy tale about a dragon Karakula (also Katyn-djula ”Spirit of the river”) and a childless Karatty-Kan, a possessor of taiga (high mountain) and yellow sea (sary dalai). Once he went to taiga and heard a thunder made by the dragon Karakula. Karakula demanded obedience and tribute. Agreeing with this demand, Karatty returned home and found that in his absence his wife gave birth to a son, under a will of Karakula who lived in Sut-kol (Milk Lake), a receptacle of children's souls [Potanin, 1893, p. 371-372].

Ashtak, the Spirit of the Sea, his daughter, and the Katun tribe Ashtak constitute an intrinsic complex. In the Òürkic world of those years the term Ashtak was exclusively Manichaean. And if the chronological depth of a myth really reaches the times of the ”ancestors”, it is difficult to overestimate the date of the Manichaeism penetration into the Òürkic steppe.

A visual euphemism for the Dragon is a Snake (sometimes three-headed) at the bottom of the ancient Türkic monuments. The Türks-Shirs were a Katun fraction in the dynastic co-rule of the "Kagan-Katun" Kaganate. Their representative during those years was the co-ruler-aiguchi Tonyukuk. Tonyukuk was a commander-in-chief (Apa Tarkan = Supreme Tarkhan - Translator's Note), a significant part of his inscription is devoted to his fulfilling this function. But the main dimension is that he was a co-ruler, no state level business could be undertaken without his opinion. He is so knowledgeable about conditions within the state that he "knows which bull is fat, and which bull is thin". His opinion should be brought to Kagan and be accepted by Kagan for carrying through. He is aiguchi. This word is from the Manichaean lexicon. In the Uiguro-Manichaean text of the 10th century that was called the nearest person of the archbishop "divine teacher” (Tengri mojak) ish aiguchi, a preacher responsible for economic affairs, a highest member of "home”-Manistan administration [Zieme, 1975, Geng Shimin, 1983]. In the beginning of 13th century the aiguchi rank was noted among noble officials-Manichaeans of the Kocho state [Song Lian, ch. 36, p. 432, f. 6à, ch. 133, p. 1533, f. 6à].

In the top part of the Tonyukuk's lifetime inscription in the Bain-Tsokto district in the space above the lines 2-4 is depicted a symbol of a female bosom, a triangle with a tip down [Radloff, 1899, tab. 59]. The Manichaean king of forces of Darkness, the lion-headed Dragon, despite constraining forces of Light, continues to dominate the material world in the World of Mixting and carnal men. The Tonyukuk Türk-Shirs in his inscription are a symbol of the ruler of the lands and people of the whole state. The lands of the Kaganate are the "lands of the Türk-Shir people" (Tonyukuk, 3, 11, 60). In this light becomes clear who were the ”Chigils-Türks" that send gifts (”tribute”) to Changan in the autumn of the 712.

The obvious Iranism in the designations for lion and dragon points to the Central Asian center of the Manichaeism, its path to the east went through the Jeti-su Talas. It also could become a reason for the creation of its twin called Talas on the banks of Orkhon.

Glossary - Translator's Note

English, or for that matter Indo-European languages, do not have a vocabulary to describe the primeval social organization of the Türkic state, where a matrilineal tradition overgrew the scale of a clan, of a tribe, of a tribal union, and persisted into a state, and into a super-state. The closest term is ”co-rule”, reflecting a twin arrangement of the power structure between a maternal tribe (Katun tribe) and paternal tribe (Kagan tribe). Co-rule does not equate with equality between co-rulers, each side has its own common law by-laws, as well as the joint rule has its own common law by-laws. A rule by only one member of the twin coalition does not have an English term applicable not to an individual, like autocrat, monarch, autarchy and few other synonyms, but to a collective body consisting of all members of a tribe or a clan, lead by a recognized leader of that body, supposedly a most able member. The ruling tribe or clan is called ”dominating tribe or clan”, but the system of unilateral rule by ”dominating tribe or clan” does not have a term. The closest that can be used, in opposition to ”co-rule”, is ”unilateralism”, an oddball composite word that combines semantics of collectivity and monopoly.

After the death of Kapagan-Kagan (Mochjo, 691-716), in the state with exceptional force flared up a struggle for Kagan's (clan) unilateralism without participation in dynastic affairs of the Shir co-rulers. The Shirs were expelled from the Kagan court (”exterminated”) and suffered severe persecutions, ”a multitude of leaders (tsüchjan) serving with him came to submit. They were resettled in Hetsüi (north-eastern corner of Ordos) area” [Wang Tsinjou, 1960, ch. 366, p. 4357, f. 14á]. In Manichaeism terrestrial chieftains (seigniors, a step below a king) are under power of the World Spirit of Fire. This spirit has an image of a Lion. Their tribe was called Ediz or Arslan-Ediz [sede, ade = Ediz, Hamilton, 1955, p. 2] as follows from the name of their leader Arslan-Ediz Sytai [Asilan-sede Sytai, Lu Sui (Xu Liu), 1958, ch. 103, p. 872, f. 2, Ouyang Xiu , ch. 133, p. 1108, f. 1, Liu Mau-tsai, 1958, p. 275]. Contrary to the pessimistic prediction of Mahmud Kashgari, finding of the secular name of the Manichean Türks-Shirs of Tonyukuk turned out to be possible, they were Edizes or Arslan-Edizes. With this name, and in the former Türko-Manichean status of Tonyukuk Shirs, they participated in the creation of Uigur Kaganate in 745, and brought Manichaeism with them.

* * *

In the opinion of P. Pelliot and E.Pulleyblank, from the first days of the Uigur Kaganate existence, the Edizes were Kaganate members [Pelliot, without location and year, p. 17, Pulleyblank, 1956]. There are no direct reports about that, and it can be only assumed that they were included in the Kagan's tribe Yaglakar as its female (Katun) half.

The fate of Edizes is peculiar. The Ediz tribe (Ch. Ade, Sede) descend from Oguzes or Tele [~Tegreg: Hamilton, 1962]. After becoming members of the First and Second Türkic Kaganates, while remaining Oguzes, they acquired new politonym-religious names: Türk- Ediz, Ashtak (~Shir), Arslan-Ediz. The last line of Tonyukuk inscription declares: "Türkic Bilge-Kagan elevates the people of Türks-Shirs and Oguz people". Following the tradition ascending to the Uechji (Pin. Yuezhi) gynocratic period, when the lands and people were viewed as the main state-wide heirloom of maternal-rights family, the Edizes comprised a Khatun-Queen part in the dynastic coalition of the Türkic state. With the fall of the state framework, the lands and populations do not disappear, but become a main element in the creation of new formations. With the former Oguz ethnic, religious and social characteristics, but with the Türkic state memory, the Edizes became partners in the Second Uigur Kaganate. The Edizes-Oguzes (a part of the ”nine-family Tele" confederation , i.e. Tokuz-Oguzes) joined the state of Uigurs-Oguzes, also a part of the Tokuz-Oguzes. In this sense the title of Türkic-Uigur state is a tautology. In the Second Uigur Kaganate Edizes-Oguzes occupied high posts (da chen) and "began to be called Uigurs", but even after five centuries, already in the Kocho state, they remembered their ancestor Tonyukuk, an Arslan-Ediz and a Manichaean.

The ”Primary turtle” record of 745 tells about the murder of the last Türkic Kagan Ürüng-Beg (with Chinese translation of the name Baimei "White Eyebrowed") by the Uigur Sylyg-boila (Syli-peilo, the first Kagan, Guli Peilo of the annals) and his "younger brother" (Ediz) Arslan-Erkin (Asilan setszin) [Wang Tsinjou, ch. 975, p. 11457, f. 20à].

A Turfan princedom noble house of the Uigur Manichaeans, originally from the Orhon-Selenga, was called Urüng Arslan dudaγ (Ch. Üylun Asylan duda) [Ke Shaomin, ch. 29, f. 7b]. In accordance with Biruni and Mukaddasi, the Sogdian name for lion was sharaγ [Henning, 1958, p. 114]. Its Türkic version was *sharaq.

Based on the above, the reading of the 8th line of the Uigur Eletmish-Kagan epitaph inscription can be rectified: ”I ordered to erect there a white palace Sharak ("Lion") and a court. I ordered to erect walls there" - (a)q sh(a)r(a)q ordu örgin (a)nda it(i)td(i)m c(y)t (a)nda toqytdym [discussion see Klyashtorny, 1983, p. 339-340]. The expressions ürüng Arslan dudaγ "white house/Arslan family" and aq Sharaq ordu "white palace Sharak" are semantically and structurally identical.

Short of rather doubtful reading of the letters lsr = elser~elser (< el sher? ~ el ser?) in the Tesi inscription of Byogü-Kagan [line 20, Klyashtorny, 1985, p. 153, 155], the Uigur Kagan inscriptions do not know the terms shir arslan ”lion”, ”dragon”. Possibly, their absence is compensated by this suggested reconstruction aq sharaq ordu in the Terkh and Tesi (line 19) inscriptions. But the Manichaean Arslan-Uigurs of the Turfan state are doubtlessly descendants of the Shir Türks (Arslans - Edizes) of the Manichaean Tonyukuk. In the Uigur Gan-Chjou princedom these are [Edizes]-”dragons” lun tszya [Ouyan Sü, 1958, ch. 74, p. 456, f. 10b]. The Chinese hieroglyph Ñ12272 lun (long) = ”dragon” was transmitted by a Khotan word Dum. ”We Uigurs and Dum are two types... We, who are the Uigurs of two parts, we became black enemies”, - says a Khotan report about the events in Ganjou [Bailey, 1949, p. 33]. Exactly in agreement with the Chinese lun ”dragon” is named the ninth (out of ten) Uigur tribe Lung on the river Kamlynchu after the migration of a part of Uigurs to the eastern slopes of the Great Khingan: ”Kamlanchu is the name of a small town near the rivers Ikki (ökys) " [Rashid ad-Din, 1965, p. 335, compare Mahmud Kashgari 3, p. 260].

The Uiguro-Manichaean dragon is also known as Indian dragon Rahu (Sanskrit Rahu). In the myth, once the heaven-dwelling gods decided to try a drink of immortality amrita. The dragon Rahu assumed a shape of a god and also joined them. The Sun and Moon noticed deceit when a sip of amrita by the dragon already reached his throat. They immediately reported that to the to their superior Vishnu, who in anger beheaded the troublemaker Rahu with his sharp and pernicious for the enemy chakra disk.

The body of Dragon crushed down, and the ground shuddered at his fall. And his head, which have gulped the drink of immortality, rose to the sky and became a planet. Hating the Sun and Moon for the uncovered deceit, it ever tries to swallow them, and that's why are occurring the solar and lunar eclipses [Erman, Temkin, 1978, p. 33, 209, Neklüdov, 1992, p. 99-100].

The Türkic astrological text from Turfan call this planetary eclipse Rahu [Rachmati, 1936, fragm. 16]. In the middle of the 9th century the Uiguro-Manichaean version of this name, in the Chinese record, was Raku (Ñ2287, 3007 lo-gu < lak-kuo < raqu). The negative altitude to the dragon Raku is explainable by the fact that in the Manichaean teaching the Sun and Moon are especially significant. In the Chinese sources the term Raku is found only once, in a combination with the ethnonym Ediz. After the fall of the Uigur Kaganate a significant part of its tribes moved to the areas north of the river Huang He. Among them is named a group which included a tribe of the Uigur princess (gunchju) Bilge-katun, a tribe of foreign affairs minister (van-syan) of all Raku-Edizes, and a tribe Tsao Moni (Manichaeans - Translator's Note) [Lü Süy, ch. 195, p. 1455, f. 13b]. The expression "all Raku-Edizes" (chju logu-ade) indicates the presence in this tribe of the of Arslan-Ediz dynastic fraction (Shir/Sher-Edizes), because the terms for lion and dragon are identical and interchangeable. The hieroglyph Tsao was a Chinese designation for Kabudan or Ishtihan, and their trading - missionary colony in the Kaganate. The transcription Ñ1810, 14183 Moni reflected a name Mani and Manichaeism.

The ”royal” clan in the Uigur Kaganate was Yaglakar, but only in one of the lapidary Uigur inscriptions, Sevri (line 4), it was named completely, Yaglakar-Kagan. The second mentioning belongs to the middle of the 9th century, when the Uigur Kaganate has already fallen as a result of cataclysmic natural events and impact of Kyrgyzes. The first line of the Kyrgyz' Sudja inscription begins words similar to the Türkic-Manichaean formula Türk shir bodun yeri (”land of Türk-Shir people”): uiγur yerinte yaγlaqar qan ata keltim ”After expelling Yaglakar-khan from the Uigur land, I came”.

At the "royal" level the term Ediz emerges only in the 795 in connection with the end of the Yaglakar dynasty and enthronization of Kutlug. Kutlug was from the Ediz tribe, which "from generation to generation" (or ”traditionally", Ch. shi) earned merits under the surname Yaglakar, and "did not dare to say the name of the clan [Ouyan Sü, 1958, ch. 2176, p. 1525, f. 10b]. This was the eighth Kagan in the history of the state. One of his predecessors was Talas (Ch. Dolosy). This annalistic description seriously changes the concept about the role of the Edizes in the Kaganate during the period starting from 745, when Arslan-Erkin, together with Yaglakar Sylyg-boila, created the Kaganate, and till the 795, when the Yaglakar's place was taken by the dynasty of Edizes with their Türkic state memory. By the time of Kaganate creation, Uigurs already had their petroglyphic tradition, the Uigur script, examplified by the Ulankom inscription with Bogaz-Tegin memoriant, who died soon after the battle with Türgeshes at the Bolchu river [Scherbak, 1961, p. 23-25].

However the known now ancient Uigur Kagan's inscriptions are written in ancient Türkic runiform script. In the first line of the large inscription on the monument in honor Kül-Tegin, prince Yollug-tegin informs about the Türkic ancestors Bumyn-Kagan and Eshtemi-Kagan, real and actually historical founders of the First Türkic Kaganate [Malov, 1951, p. 23, 36]. In the 16th line of the Uigur Terkhin inscription of Eletmish-Kagan made during his lifetime (747-759), three Kagans are named as ancestors of the Uigurs: Yollug-Kagan, (Eshtemi-Kagan?) and Bumyn-Kagan [Klyashtorny, 1983, p. 342, 345].

The name of the author of the inscription Bükya Tutam is meaningful. In ancient Türkic language the word bükä means "long large snake" (~”dragon”) [Mahmud Kashgari, 3, p. 247], and tutam means "fistful". Possibly, the word büka designated a tamga on the monument to the Eletmish son, Bügü-Kagan, is a shape of three-headed snake [Klyashtorny, 1985, p. 143], manifestly identical to the tamga of the tribe Ediz (Ade) in the text of ”Summary review of the Tang dynasty” [Tang Huiyao, Wan Pu, ch. 72, p. 1306].

The top part of the Eletmish stele, erected during his lifetime, depicted a vertically positioned lunar crescent, and on its back side is a Manichaean symbol, a circle of a full moon. A memorial version in the Mogoin Shine Usu in Selenga visinity (”Snake”, Selenga stone, Fig. 7) depict in the top part of the monument facade a whole composition. The central figure is a rhombus with sharp corners up and down, it is a universal sexual symbol of the female beginning. On the left side and a notch up is presented, like in the Terkhin inscription, a vertically positioned sickle of a young moon. Right of the rhombus, and a notch lower, is a frequently found in monuments image of a baby cradle, with two ropes attached to its sides to hang it between two birches (Fig. 8). Above the cradle hangs a tube for feeding baby with birch sap [Ramstedt, 1913. Taf. 2,] hangs down. Such cradle is described in the ”Maadai-Kara” epos:

To a rustling shadow of the birches
Madai-Kara has brought his son
And a rattan cradle
Suspended in between four trunks.

Took in hand a sharp tomrok knife,
Made notch he on a branch,
For the birch's sweet juice
To dribble through tube into his son mouth.

Fig. 7. Uigur Eletmish-Kagan monument from Mogoin Shine Usu (Mongolia) Fig. 8. Top detail on the Uigur Eletmish-Kagan monument from Mogoin Shine Usu

On the back, like in the Terhin inscription, is a circle of a full moon, a symbol of Manichaeism. Without a cradle this image is known as a tamga of Uteken (i.e. Otüken) Uigurs , i.e. the Uigur Kagan clan of the Chinese source [Wan Pu, ch. 72, p. 1306]. The dotting of these tidbits helps to recreate a picture. From the first years of the Uigur Kaganate existence, at the head of the state stood the Yaglakar dynasty, an endogamic coalition of two mutually intermarrying clans, Yaglakar and Arslan-Ediz, the Kagan and Khatun, with evident predominance of the Edizes. Under a banner of Yaglakars the Kagan's functions were carried out by the Khatun fraction of Arslan-Edizes. This situation found its reflection in the Arslan-Uigur version of the "Oguz-name", where, as is due to the deities in Manichaeism, a man does not participate in the creation of the future Uigur suzerain Oguz: ”Shall he be! - it was said. This is his image (in the Parisian manuscript follows the image of a bull, Radloff, 1893, p. 63). Then [they] rejoiced. In on day eyes of Ay-Kagan lit up, and she gave birth to son Oguz", who proclaimed himself an Uigur Kagan [Scherbak, 1959, p. 22, 33].

It was believed that the teaching of Mani infiltrated into the Kaganate and received a status of a state religion only after the trip of Byogü-Kagan to the Tang's capital in the 762 [Litvinsky, Smagina, 1992, p. 524, Fan Tszyashen, 1955, p. 34-36, Bang, Gabain, 1929]. Absolutely it is not so. The immediate source of the Uigur Manichaeism were the Arslan-Edizes, i.e. the Shir Türks of the Second Eastern Türkic Kaganate. In the "History of the House of Selenga Uigurs in Gaochan-Kocho" Ouyan Süan wrote that the ancestor of the Selenga Uigurs was called Tonyukuk, he was a Türk. He married his daughter to Bilge-Kagan (Chinese Motszilyan), and she became Sebek-katun. When of the former Bilge-Kagan country was captured by Uigurs, the Tonyukuk descendants joined their state, and became important peers in it. They were called Sher, in the Han language it is  Ñ11739, 12072 Tsivan, a colony of emperor relatives on the side of empress, the empress court [Su Tiantszüe, ch. 70, p. 1014-1016]. In the opinion of L.Clark, the Turfan texts testify not to the acceptance by Bügü-Kagan of a new to him religion, but only about his affirmation in Manichaeism [Clark, 1997, p. 102].

In addition to the name Talas (aka Panguan-tegin, Chunchjen-Kagan, 789-790), the Central Asian roots of the Uigur Manichaeism are attested by one more fact. Probably, at the end of the 8th century one more twin of Jeti-su Talas and Bukhara Paikent also existed in the Uigur Kaganate along the road from Ordos to the court of the Uigur Kagan. The Chinese travel guide [Ouyan Sü, 43b, p. 804, f. 156] transmits the name of Uigur Paikent by hieroglyphs Ñ2740, 5728 mei tszian. In geographical transcriptions the hieroglyph tszian (< kan) usually transmitted the Central Asian term kent ”city”. The first hieroglyph mei (< myi) "eyebrow" is informative and should remind of the "market of the Moon" in Bukhara. Alongside with a rib, a bow or bent finger, the "eyebrow" was also a symbol of the rising moon, month (compare Chinese mei-yue ”eyebrow-moon”, ”young moon”). Therefore the name Mei-tszian not only transmitted the word Paikent, but also meant "Moon city", "a city which inhabitants revere the Moon”.

Indicating Paikent with hieroglyphs Meitszyan was thus intended to acquaint the reader at once with the Manichaeism of Paikent. The transcription of the name Talas with hieroglyphs Do-lo-sy (Ta-la-sie) does not contain a similar information. Moreover, the name Dolosy is coupled there not with the word chen ”city”, but with shan "mountain", but the recurrence of the Central Asian pair Bukhara - Talas on the southern border of the Uigur Kaganate is impossible to take as a chance event.


  <= Previous Contents Continued =>   
In Russian => PDF
Contents Huns
Contents Alans
Contents Scythians
Yu. A. Zuev Ethnic History of Usuns
Yu. A. Zuev The Strongest Tribe - Ezgil
Yu. A. Zuev Tamgas of vassal princedoms
Yu. A. Zuev Ancient Türkic social terms
Ogur and Oguz Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
© Yu.Zuev 2002
7/29/08 ©TürkicWorld