In Russian
Literature Index
Contents Huns
Contents Tele
Yu. A. Zuev Ethnic History of Usuns
Yu. A. Zuev Early Türks: Essays of history
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

 R.B. Suleymenov Institute of Oriental Studies, Ministry of Education And Sciences, Kazakhstan Republic
Iranistic Center
Historical And Cultural Relations Between Iran And Dasht-i Kipchak in the 13-18th c.c.
Materials of International Round Table, Almaty, 2004, ISBN 9965-699-14-3
Yu. A. Zuev
- Ezgil -

Source and Comments

A synopsis of the topics researched and resolved by Yu. Zuev article would list subjects where Yu. Zuev offers a resolution for previously surmised or disputed questions, along with subjects advanced but not specifically addressed.

 Ezgil/Ezgel (Ch. Asitsze) tribe was described in the Chinese annals as strongest tribe of the Hun confederation. Yu. Zuev traced variations in the transcriptions of the name Ezgil in the Chinese, western (Greek), Tibetian, Islamic, and Rus annals, and followed the destiny of the tribe and its leading personalities through the centuries, political associations, and geographic locations.

A cardinal historiographical point was a visit by unnamed ambassadors of Hermichion king Askel to Constantinople in July of 563. Hyons, and in this case Red Hyons (Hermichions), were a leading constituent in the right (western, Türkic On-shadapyt, Chinese Nu-shibi) wing of the Türkic Kaganate, which in the 552 took over control from the Jujans of the Jujan empire. Ezgils were a leading tribe of the distinct Hyon branch, which had a rich history traced with its legendary common genesis from a Heavenly Dog. And the Hyons-Dogs were a branch of Huns-Kins.

Etymology of the term “Hyon” comes from the Indo-European *khuon, anc. Chinese *k'iwen, Kidanian, Mong. kion, etc. “dog”, “doggy”. A grouping of Türkic tribes united by a totemic cult of Heavenly Dog, with Türkic name Taichan “Dog”, in the Persian sources was called Kermir Hyon (Kermichion), Persian for “Red Hyon”, and subsequently for the Kermichiones of the Theophan “Chronography”. A “strongest” of the Hyon  tribes was Ezgil/Ezgel tribe, whose leader in the 563 sent ambassadors to the far away Constantinople. The tribe, called in Persian-lingual sources Kermir Hyon “Red Dog”,  in the 7th century Hotan-Saka documents was called Khara Huna with the same meaning, the term Hyon corresponded to Huna. The Heavenly Dog cult extended from Asia Minor in the west to Manchuria in the east.

This posting is a tribute to late Prof. Yu. A. Zuev, who passed away on December, 5, 2006. Yu. A. Zuev produced numerous translations of the Chinese annalistic chronicles, intense scientific research of the history, culture, and socio-political life of medieval Türkic and non-Türkic peoples, and made outstanding contributions to Türkology and Iranology. Prof. Yu. A. Zuev specialty was in the ancient Chinese, Middle Chinese, and modern Chinese language, learned under a guru of the Chinese philology S.Ya.Yahontov, making him a unique expert with a first-hand knowledge of the sources. His superb knowledge of the sources allowed Prof. Yu. A. Zuev to delve into related fields of history and ethnography with unequalled depth and competence.

In his article, Yu. A. Zuev brought to light, or confirmed educated guesses of predecessors, the composition of the ancient Hun society, and its socio-ideological thought, that defined its society and determined its subsequent fate. The 2004 article builds on the studies reported in his publications starting in 1957.

Hun tribes carried a common endoethnonym Hun, rendered in Chinese as “giuən” and “kiən”, a collective semantic equivalent of “kins”, from which were derived their Asian, Western and Chinese appellations of Huns, Guns, Xiong - Xionites, Hsiung-nu - Xiong Nu, Chuni, Sünnu and a slew of other variations accumulated in the last two and a half millennia. Already in the historically initial reports, Hun conglomerate of related tribes was stratified into tribes of different flavor, constituting defined separate tribes with their own defined territory and historical fates. Many tribes that first appear under a common Hun later became known exclusively under their own endoethnonyms, the most prominent of them were Türkic (Ch. Tuku, ), Tele, Uigur, and Usun tribal groups. Ordos lands in the modern Gansu province of PRC were a central area of the Eastern Hun confederation.

Most of the Yu. Zuev article refers to the records and events of the Early Middle Age period, between  160 BC and 850 AD. The events are fairly well known from the Chinese, western and Muslim historians. A detailed and comprehensive history of Huns still awaits its author.

 “Chronography” of Theophanous the Confessor (760-818): “the same month (July of 563)” ambassadors of Askil/Askel, the king of Hermihions (Greek Ερμηχιονιονων; Lat. Ermechionorum), a tribe living among barbarians near the ocean, came  to Constantinople
Yu. A. Zuev


1 Bulgars and Magyars 32
2 Ancient Uigurs, Mongols and Tibet. Tribe of the Red Dog 35
3 Notes about Tian-shan Kygyzes and Ephtalites 44
4 Kangh country and western Türks 47
  Literature 61

31 (pagination from the publication “Historical And Cultural Relations Between Iran And Dasht-i Kipchak in the 13-18th c.c.”, Materials of International Round Table, Almaty, 2004)

Describing preparations of the Byzantine embassy to the country of Türks in the 576, the author of the “Continuation of the Agathias history”, Menander Protector (covered 538-582), tells: “The Turks already lived in Byzantium for a long time, sent there by their  people during different times” (Menander, 1861, p. 416). The previous Türkic embassy, led by a Sogdian Maniach, and the reciprocal Byzantine embassy of Zemarch took place in the 568. The book contains their entire account (Menander, 1861, p. 575-586). But that was not a very first Byzantine record about the Türks, as is sometimes stated. Theophanes of Byzantium (6th century), the author of the “History”, writes about their visit to the Byzantine capital in the days prior to the 568: “To the east of Tanaid (Tanais, Syr-Darya; ref. Abaev, 1990, p. 34), live Turks who in antiquity were called Massagets. The Persians in their language call them Kermichiones.  At that time they sent to the king Justin gifts and embassy, and asked him not to admit Avars. Justin accepted gifts and reciprocated by sending to the Turks gifts and releasing their envoys. When later came Avars, asking for peace and permission to settle in Pannonia, Justin did not accept their offer because of the promise given to the Turks and alliance concluded with them” (Theophanes of Byzantium, 1861, p. 492-493). The described political objective of the Kermichion Türks' embassy (isolation of Avars) differs completely from the purpose of the Türkic embassy led by Sogdian Maniach in the 568 (establishment of trade and conclusion of alliance against Persia), portrayed in detail in the  work by Menander.

The text of Theophanes of Byzantium probably has an errata, instead of the Byzantine emperor Justin (Justin II, 565-578) should have been named his predecessor Justinian (527-565). That follows from the Theophanous the Confessor (760-818) writing in “Chronography“: “the same month (July of 563)” ambassadors of Askil/Askel, the king of Hermihions (Greek Ερμηχιονιονων; Lat. Ermechionorum), a tribe living among barbarians near the ocean, came  to Constantinople (Chichurov, 1980, p. 53). The informative load of these messages is high, each point deserves close attention. The following pages are expounding them. The first sections of the article discuss that or similar evidence in various parts of the Eurasia during the early Middle Ages, without which, as we shall see, can't be understood a true content of these messages, and in the end, impossible to reconstruct the ethnic structure of the Türkic tribes in the right wing of the Western Türkic Kaganate. The main sources will be the evidence of the Chinese annalists, various Tibetan records, and the works of the Persian authors.

1. Bulgars and Magyars

The crucial and important element of these messages is the acceptance by the researchers of the evidence that the tribe with the Persian name “Kermichion” was Türkic (Marquart, 1898, p. 196-197; Marquart, 1901, p. 50). In the days of Central Asia early states, for the Early Middle Age peoples, or for other uncounted causes, the name of a dominating tribe (ethnonym) was becoming a designation for all multi-ethnic association (politonym), this phenomenon can be viewed as typical.

The term Kermichion consists of two words: kermi/hermi/ermi + hion, It is identical to the combination harmәra hayun of the Pazend texts, and karmir hyon of the Zoroastrian-Pehlevi texts. The word karmir (and its variations) means “red”. According to interpretation of one of the commentators, Hions received such designation because of their red caps, armor and banners. The composition “Bahman Yasht” (medieval translation from Persian into Pahlevi) about Eran (Iran) enemies reads: “Those people, the offsprings of Wrath, will kill  hundred, thousand and myriad times. Banners and standards of innumerable army of the demons with disheveled hair will return. In the Eranian lands created by me, Ormuzd, wide columns of Türk droves and red Hions with (Turk and Karm) raised banners will come” (Bailey, 1954, p. 13-14).

Zand-i Vohuman Yasht (aka Bahman Yasht and Zand-i Wahman Yasht), http://www.avesta.org/mp/vohuman.html

Translated by E. W. West, Sacred Books of the East, volume 5, Oxford University Press, 1897.

Glossary http://www.avesta.org/zglos.html

Probably not accidentally the work by Theophanes of Byzantium mentioned Massagets of the earliest ancient authors. They are the Yuezhis of the Chinese sources (Krukov, 1998, p. 235), one of main ideological symbols of whom was the “White Stream”, the Milky Way - Kuyan/Kiyan (Zuev, 2002, p. 45-47). A red and yellow headdress with gold was found in the Yuezhi archeological complex Pazyryk-3 in the Altai Mountains (Rudenko, 1953, p. 113-114, tabl. 46, 2). A silk caftan of ruby color and similar coloration wide trousers were found in Hunnish (Yuezhi ?) kurgan Noin-Ula-6 in the Northern Mongolia (Rudenko, 1962, p. 39-40). The Kuyans of the Türko-Oguz time (7th century) on the eastern slopes of the Great Khingan were described that they “like to trim their clothes with red leather” (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 199, p. 1499, f. 13b). Analyzing such and similar facts, A.K.Akishev concludes: “The red  color is the color of the Sun and Gold, the color of clothing and attributes of the social elite” (Akishev, 1984, p. 127-143).

The “History of the Sui  dynasty” (581-618) mentions tribe Ñ3046, 11758 Eme (<*iet-miet <*hermir/*ermir) 2 (Wei Zheng, Ch. 84, p. 840, f. 18b; alternate: Tsen Chjunmian (Cen Zhongmian), 1958, p. 672) among the tribes with common designation Ñ11661, 8068 鐵勒/铁勒 Tele (<tiet-lәk) in the east and west from the Ñ5312, 10082 De i (<tәk-ngji < *tangiz; compare Qan tängiz Caspian sea) 1 sea. No other news about that part of the Hermirs/Ermirs was found in Chinese sources. Hermirs/Ermirs were nomads and moved in covered carts with high wheels, which follows from the standard encrypting of Tele and its variations (Ñ5330, 8068 铁勒 Tele < d’әk lәk; Ñ10693, 8068 敕勒 Chile < tiek-lәk; C937, 54 Dili 氐勒 < diek-lәk, reflecting the Türkic word tegrek “rim”, “circle”, “wheel” “cart” (Hamilton, 1962, p. 25, 51; alternate: Tsen Chjunmian (Cen Zhongmian) 1958, p. 662-663). On that background projects the account of the Danube Bulgarian princely Nominalia about the Bulgarian ruler from the clan Ermi: “Gastoun (custodian, another Türko-IE word  - Translator's Note), being a viceroy, [ruled for] two years. His clan is Ermi” (Benzing, 1989, p. 15). Also, report  of the ambassador Ahmed ibn Fadlan, who visited Itil (Volga) banks in the 921-922 (Kovalevsky, 1956, p. 139, 141; Togan, 1939 p. 223; Zakhoder, 1962, p. 132; Artamonov, 1962, p. 131) mentioned the Bulgarian tribe Askel. 3 Persian “Geography” of 982 named Ishkils as one of three Bulgarian tribes, who were constantly conflicting among themselves (Minorsky, 1937, p. 162). Gardizi,  the author of the composition “Zain al-ahbar” (mid 11 century), wrote: “Between possessions of Bulgars and possessions of Eskels, who also belong to Bulgars, is a Magyar area. These Magyars are also a Türkic tribe” (Bartold, 1973, p. 37, 58; Martinez , 1982, p. 159: Eskel/Ezgel). Constantine Porphyrogenitus wrote that endoethnonym of the “Magyar Türks” was Savartoiaskaloi, i.e. Savart and Eskel (Vashari, 1998, p. 37). It is held that Eskels merged with Hungarians (Magyars). The ethnographic group Sekei (written form Sekel) are recognized as their descendants.

1 Hereinafter the letter C designates the Large Chinese-Russian dictionary in Russian graphical system edited by prof. I.M.Oshanin. vol. 1-4. Ì., 1983-1984. Following the letter From the letter C are numbers of entries in the Dictionary; they are followed with Russian (transliterated into English) transcription of matching hieroglyphs. In brackets is shown their early Middle Age pronunciation following the Karlgren Â. book Grammata Serica Recensa. Stockholm, 1957.

2 The final -t during dynasties Sui and Tang epoch sounded as Greek δ, and in transcriptions of foreign words reflected medial or final r/l (Pulleyblank, 1962, p. 70).

3 P.B.Golden also notes other manuscript variations (Golden, 1980, p. 87). He cites the Uralo-Altai etymology of this word suggested by Rasanen: Es-kil, Es-gil “Old city” (Ibid, p. 241; Rasanen, 1955, p. 5).


They were a main component of the Hungarian population in Transylvania. Sekei preserved their distinction, including the social aspect. Until the 15th century, they used  runic type alphabet. Also in Transylvania was found a cultural treasure of global significance, the golden treasure of Nad-Sent-Miklosh (Gorelik, 2002, p. 52-53).

The Kipchak name Iskal (var. Sakal) in Lavrentiev annals, one of the very first Rus records about Cumans - Kypchaks, can be attributed to the personalized variations of the ethnonym: “In the summer of the 6569 (1061) Polovetses came with war for the first time to the Rus land. Vsevolod went against them in the month of February on the 2nd day. And they fought with Vsevolod, defeated him, and retreated after the battle... Their prince was Iskal” (Lavrentiev  annals, 1926, col. 163).

2. Ancient Uigurs, Mongols and Tibet. The tribe of the Red Dog

Records about the tribe Askil/Ishkil are also found in the eastern extremity of the Central Asia, in the Inner Mongolia. The Teheran manuscript of the Rashid ad-Din work “Djami at-tavarih” (“Collection of annals”) has a  list of ten Uigur tribes headed by a tribe Ishkil (Rashid ad-Din, 1965, p. 335), considered by J. R.Hamilton to be identical with the name of the Kagan's tribe Yaglakar of the Second Uigur Kaganate on Orkhon - Selenga (Hamilton, 1962, p. 40, 45). The list of other nine tribes refers to time preceding the work of the Persian author (about 1300), and is different from the sufficiently well-known nine tribes of the Second Uigur Kaganate (Ibid, p. 41-44). After the demise of the Kaganate (840), the whole population, fleeing from the tragical cataclysms that fell on it (djut [ice crust], epizootic [mass food poisoning] pandemics and epidemics, mass death of cattle and mass death of people, famine), internal rivalries and attacks by aggressive neighbors, abandoned their former territories in the Northern Mongolia. 

A significant part of them settled in the territories extending from the Great Chinese Wall to Kucha and Urumchi. Another part left to the east (Maliavkin, 1972, p. 30), to the lands of the Shiwei-Tatars beyond the Great Khingan range. The written sources cover the eastern and north-eastern directions of Uigur migration extremely poorly, because the northern Khingan area remained inaccessible and almost unknown to the Tang court. Chinese dynastic annals only record that in the 843 two refugee tribes of tegin “prince by blood” (i.e. from the Yaglakar tribe) Ñ5031, 13902, 8034 Kezhile (< êà-tsiet-lәk < *qachlig, qaci-lig/; compare anc. Türk, qach “to escape, flee”) fled to the northeast to the “big Shiwei” (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch.  195, p. 1455, f. 13b-14à).

Probably, the text in this part of the Old Edition of the “History of Tang Dynasty” edition “Bona” in 1958, which has the author of these lines, is somewhat different from the edition used by Chen Binzheng for the combined publication of Old and New Edition of the 1813 (Jiu Xin Tang shu hechao, Ch. 259, f. 19à-21à), which is cited in the N.V.Kuner's translation: “It is also said that during our dynasty Tang (618-906) the Shiwei tribes have nine generations, [they] are called Linsi-Shiwei (i.e. Shiwei west from the ridge), Shanbei-Shiwei (i.e. north from the mountains), Huantou-Shiwei (Yellow Headed); these are the big generations of Shiwei” (Kuner 1961, p. 62; compare Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 1996, p. 1497, f. 9b). The previous “History of the Sui dynasty (581-618)” said that Shiwei nine tribes live around mountain C245, 13377 Tuhe 徒河 (< t'uo-gutht < *toquz?) (Wei Zheng, Ch. 84, p. 841, 21à) ("Tuhe" or "Tuge" 徒河 is an alternate form of the Syanbi branch Mujung). Quite possible that the name of the mountain and confederation were designated by the same Türkic word toquz “nine”. These are the Tokuz Tatars in the epitaph of the Uigur Eletmish-Kagan (MSHU, line 34), called by Chinese during the Yuan epoch Esun Dada, i.e, Mongolian Yäsüm Tatar. Probably, the popular story from the “Hu Tsiao Guidebook”, after the text of “U-dai shi ji” (Ch. 73, p. 450, f. 96), calls the population of this area a Dog kingdom (Gou go) in the country of Shiwei-Tatars, neighboring the Yellow-headed Shiwei (Huantou Shiwei).

There, the men have human body, but a head of a dog. They have long hair, and speak like the dog's bark {Chinese Ñ3814 hao). Their boys are born dogs, and the girls are born human (Taskin, 1984, p. 327-329) 4. In the annalistic tradition, direct ancestors of Uigurs were the tribes of “High Wheelers” Ñ6278, 4387 Gaoche 高车 (< kau-t'sia < *koca; instead of Gaozui/Gaogui), also Chile 敕勒 (tegräk; see above about Bulgars - Eskels), the descendants of the red foreigners of the Northwest the Chi-di 赤狄 (Ouian Su, Ch. 217à, p. 1520, f. 1à; Wei Shou, Ch. 103, p. 1339, f. 26à). Their other name was “tribe of the Dog - Tsuan (pinyin Quan 犬)”, stated in the “Sho wen” (Tszian Botszan, 1958, p. 8).

The analysis of the historical and semi-historical records about foreigners of the Dog tribe (Tsuan Jun [Quan Jung 犬戎] and Chi-di) was made by Meng Wentung (1958). The legend tells that one of the rulers of the Chjou (Zhou) state had a strong rival. The ruler promised to give his beauty daughter in marriage to anyone who would kill the rival. The ruler had a brave dog that was only one who could kill the enemy. To convert to a human form and marry the princess, the dog asked to be covered with a bell for exactly seven days and nights.

4 From the words of the Mongolian king, Kirakos Gandzaketschi writes: ”... There is a country beyond Hatai, where women look like people and are gifted with speech, and men are like dogs, dumb, huge and hairy. These dogs do not allow anybody to enter their country... Born from the alliance of dogs and women, the males look like dogs, and females look like women” (Akuliants, p. 199). The author of the old Rus “Legends about Indian kingdom” puts words in the mouth of the “king and priest John” (historical On-khan of Kereits): “... And my land is different, the people are half dog and half human” (Gudzy, 1973, p. 169). Plano Karpini wrote about the country beyond Ocean (lake Dalai-Nor), whose inhabitants “were human in shape, their head was human, and the face dog-like” (Travels, 1957, p. 48, 72). A version of the legend about dog-headed men and normal women was recorded between Dürbüts in Mongolia (Potanin, 1883, p. 322-323). A motive about the Dog kingdom known in the Altai folklore, where all men have dog's heads, and the wives of the dog-headed men have human form, they are beautiful. The population of the country started to die from the the greedy cannibal Cyclope, but the hero of the legend blinds him, and by that saves the inhabitants of the Dog's kingdom (Nikiforov, 1915, p. 245-246; Abramzon, 1971, p. 361-362; Jirmunsky, 1974, p. 595; Moldobaev, 1989, p. 39-45). The first mentioning of the Dog kingdom (Gou-go) beyond Great Khingan is contained in the “History of the Northern dynasties” (Li Yan-show, Ch. 97, p. 1293, f. 15à).


 A whole seven days and nights! The bride could not take such a painfully long term. After six days she secretly cracked open the cover and saw that the body of the groom already became human, but the head was still of a dog. The ban was broken, and the groom forever remained dog-headed. This is the price of the female curiosity and impatience! They lived happily. Their male descendents had human bodies and doggie heads, and the daughters were as beautiful as their mother. They worshipped a red animal (Yuan ke, 1987, p. 31-33, 206-207, 256, 261, 337, 356; Yanshina, 1984, p. 128).

The Narration about southern barbarian-men begins with a similar myth; the early history of the Tibetan Qiangs (orig.: Tsians) in the “History of the late Han dynasty” (Fang Ye, Ch. 86, p. 127, f. la-b; Ch.  87, p. 12 f. 1à-b - 1287, f. 2à-b, 3a) is tightly linked with Tsuan-jungs (Quan Jung 犬戎). The states of Dog, Quan Jung go (from Quan Jung 犬戎, orig.: Tsuanjung-go), Quan Feng go (orig.: Tsuanfen-go) existed in the west and northwest from the Middle Kingdom. The spread of the Dog  cult extended from the Asia Minor in the west to the Manchuria in the east: I.-E. *khuon, ancient Chinese *k'iwen, Kidanian, Mongolian kion, etc., all “dog”, “doggy”.

“Tubo (Tibet) is by origin the western Qiang (orig.: Tsians)”, writes the author of the New Edition the “History of Tang Dynasty” (Ouian Su, Ch. 216à, p. 1509, f. 1à). “Tubo are the tribes of the Dog”, stated in the 727 Bilge-Kagan in a conversation with the Tang's envoy (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 194ñ, p. 1448, f. 15). The Mongolian prince Kontokor and his brothers did not want to be compared with töbödüt noqot, the “Tibetan dogs” (Secret History, § 260), in some Türkic languages the word töböd (Tibet) means “dog” (RSl, 3, column 1272; Scherbak, 1961 p. 127-128). Probably, the historical reality behind the dog-headed myth was a real fact of intermixing between the gynocratic (i.e. “female-ruled”) Yuechjes (Yuezhies)-“Tochars” with the Qiangs (orig.: Tsians) in the Huanzhun area (the eastern part of the modern province Qinhai) in the second century BC.

The annals tell “The Yuechjes (Yuezhies) in the Huangzhung area are a separated part of the former Great Yuechjes (Yuezhies). In the old times they lived in the Zhan'e and Jiuquan lands. The Yuezhi sovereign - wan was killed by the Sünnu leader Maodun. The remaining tribes were separated and dispersed; some in the west crossed Tsunlin (Congling?) (Pamir), and those who have remained because of their weakness,  in the south moved to the hilly terrain and began to rely on the Qiang (orig.: Tsian) tribes, they remained there, and then began to intermarry... Their clothing, drinks, food and speech became completely identical with the Qiang (orig.: Tsian). In this tribe the names were given after the father, and the clan names after the mother” (Fang Ye, Ch. 87, p. 1305, f. 29à-b).

This phrasing means that the marital customs were opposite of the Hunnic/Turkic customs. In Turkic polygamy, children were called by the name of the mother, and the descent  - by the clan of the father. The gynocratic Tokhars took in Qiangs as their marital partner may not have become polyandrians, since that would conflict too much with their polygamy traditions, but ruled a traditionally polyandrous Qiangs, and Fan Ye's comment pertains to the polyandrous naming tradition of Tibetan Qiangs.

These messages explain why the male descendents were reputed to be dog-faced, and the females maidens were of unprecedented beauty. Direct written evidence about Yuezhi and Tsuan-jung (Quan Jung 犬戎) migrations from Tibet to beyond do not exist; exist only indirect evidence. A diverging description of the term Kion/Hion is given in the royal genealogy included in the Tibetan religious text of the 14th century, focused on the events in the gynocratic Yuezhi-“Tochar” state, and then in the Mongolia and Khingan. The Yuezhi quinn is called there a whore-Quinn. The descendants of the first king, said the genealogy, were two brothers, Dog-Hion (Khyon) and Kytan (Khyi-than). The second brother was furious and wild, he was expelled from the Togar (Thogar) country, which lays behind his own country, in the lands of the whore-Quinn. And the first has taken a young maiden in marriage, she gave him four sons. Three of them gave rise to the 18 tribes. They had human body, and the face resembled a dog (Kvaerne, 1980, p. 88, 98-104). The eighteen tribes of this text match the 18 Türkic tribes (Drugu) in the Northern desert, who under other Tibetan documents lived beyond the northern limits of Tibet (Stein, 1961, p. 4, 10). The Meshhed manuscript of the Arabian geographer Ibn al-Fakih, which contains an ambassadorial report about the travel of Tamim ibn Bahr in the 821 to Orkhon to Uigurs, also noted this tradition. Uigur king, informs the traveler, commands over 17 leaders, and all the tribes were 18 (Minorsky, 1948, p. 281).

In other words, the descend of the Yui/Sui/Hui tribe (Uigurs) are linked with Yuezhi-Tokhar tribe, which leaves the As tribe lurking somewhere in the shade.


These 18 tribes are the nine main Uigur tribes, and the Tokuz-Oguz “nine tribes” (alt: Czegledy, 1972, p. 276-280]. The Khion (Xiong 匈 / 西戎) tribes (Chinese Ñ8497, 1025 siven - < giei-uən < *khion) and Tochar (Chinese Ñ7404, 2137 (Tu-huo-luo 吐火罗) duho < d'uk-guat < *tukhar) were really a part of the “proto-Mongol” Kidan state (Ouian Su, Ch. 219, p. 1537, f. 1b; Toto, Ch. 37, p. 167, f. 2à). A Türkic calque of the term Khion was It/Yt “dog”. In the Rus annals the term Itlar (“Dogs”) was personalized: it became a name of a leader of this tribe among the Cumans - Kypchaks of the N.Pontic steppes. The names of the Kipchak leaders Itlar and Kytan (compare Kidan) are mentioned next to each other, they are like a pair, and this reminds the Far Eastern condition relayed in the quoted Tibetan text. For example, the “Story of bygone years” tell under the year 1095 “Kypchaks Itlar and Kytan came to Volodimer for peace, came Itlar to the city Pereyaslavl, and Kytan stopped near the buwark with the troops...” (Lavrentiev annals, column 227; compare: Petrov, 198, p. 153).

In the early Mongols' genealogical tradition the concept Kiyan (Mong. pl. form of Kiyat) and Kion/Khion (Mong. pl. form of Kiot/Khiot) are interchangeable, though also distinct. In the “Secret History of the Mongols” (Sect. 63) Temuchin's (future Chingiz-khan) father name is Esugei-Kiyan. The description of the same episode in the annals “Altan tobchi” called him “Esukei from the  Kiot clan” (Gomboev (Galsan), 1858 (“Altan tobchi”), p. 124). The concept Kiyan did not only represent the divine (terrestrial and heavenly) River, but also the Dog, with the traces of a totem worshipped and frightening. “You should protect, my in-law, son of mine from the dogs! Terribly is afraid of the dogs my kid”, says Kiyanian Esugei to the father of the bride, sending off the groom Temuchin to the house of the bride parents. In the story about appearance from the unmarried pra-mother of Mongols of three sons of a heavenly origin, the Milky Way is represented by an image of a blondish man entering the night yurt through the hearth vent-hole and turning into a dog.

Explaining to the doubters the circumstances of their origin, she says: “every night, usually, through the hearth venthole, at a time when luminance inside ended, a blondish man was coming to me and stroking my innards… and by the morning he was leaving, as a yellow dog (Secret History, § 21)  These are the tales about Tibetan royal genealogy.

A parallel form with the Kermir Hyon “red dog” was Khara Huna with the same meaning; in the 7th century Hotan-Saka documents the term Hyon corresponded to Huna (Bailey, 1954, p. 21). With the establishment of Türkic domination in the once Iranian areas (for example, in the Hotan) the term hara became vocalized as  qara with the meaning “black” (Marquart, 1914, p. 70-71; Pelliot, 1920, p. 140). By the logic described above, the “red dog” became a “black dog”, becoming a phantom without content. And that actually happened. In the following document, the “black dog” uselessly exists next to the “red dog”.

Such information is contained in Tibetan translation of one of five Ganchjou-Uigur historical-geographical official reports about “kings of the north”. The document is archived with a number 1283 in the P.Peliot's Tibetan collection. The manner of narrating the material is folkloric. The kingdom of  Yama-kagan (Za-ma-kha-gan) is Kimeks on the middle course banks of r. Argun in Khingan. “Two men” of Kimeks are the Kimeks represented by two ancestor brothers, (by Gardizi, Imi and Imek). The young maiden and dogs she bows to, is a repeat of the quoted storyline about dog-men and their wives. The herd of camels is a Kimek tribe Lakta/Laktan (compare Chinese Ñ2280, 12032 骆驼, lotto - lakta “camel“; Ñ2280, 8 lotan < lak-tan - laktan, etc.) to the east from the Dalai-Nor on the left bank of the r. Argun. The “descended from the Sky dogs” could not be explained yet. I shall only cite the ancient Chinese myth about Tian gou 天狗, the “Heavenly Dog”, a falling meteorite with a fiery tail: “Tian gou has a form like a big dashing star. It roars. When it descends and falls to the ground, it resembles a dog. In a place where it falls, a light of a flame is seen from afar, a circle is formed resembling a large field, and then for thousands li (from that place) armies will be defeated, and military leaders will be killed ” (Sima Qian, Ch. 27. p. 433, f. 32á; Sima Qian, 1986. p. 142).

Is frequently associated with the cult of Dog, foreign to the Middle Kingdom, the known myth about an origin of the primogenitor Pangu, a first person on Earth (Yanshina, 1984. p. 128). In ancient Turkic folklore a sacred dog - barrak was considered to come from an egg of a mythical mother eagle (MKM, 1. p. 359). In the Altay folklore she comes from a gryphon, a king of the birds (Nikiforov, 1915. p. 245-246). In the Mongolian Geseriada cycle a mythical Dog is the Eternal blue Sky himself (Viktorova, 1980. p. 134).

”... When the state of Iam-kagan, a king of the Northern heartland, began to prosper, he led his soldiers to that country”, goes the story. “Because the soldiers did not know passes, two people got lost. Wandering, they came across a camel path. Following it, they came to a place rich with water. Near a large herd of camels they met a young maiden. They talked to her in Türkic (drugu) and with gestures, she agreed to guide them. They were delighted and set out on the road. A large pack of dogs chased the animals. At once, the dogs recognized this maiden, and she bowed to them in greeting, after that they loaded on ten camels all supplies and water necessary to cross deserted mountains. They hunted with dogs. Then these two returned to the Türks. And those were not simple dogs. The first dogs descended from the Sky, a Red Dog and a Black Dog. One of them has taken she-wolf to marry and for visiting, but they did not have children. Then he stole a girl from one of Türkic villages. When he began visiting this girl, the male children began to be born as dogs, and female children were girls. The stock of the Red Dog is called Kyzyl kushu (Ge-zir-gu-çu, “Red people”), and the stock of the Black dog is called Kara kushu (Ga-ra-gu-çu, “Black people”). These dogs and their wives speak in Türkic and with gestures” (Bacot, 1956. p. 147).

In the Chinese dynastic histories this exotic ethno-symbolism is barely reflected, and it is difficult to give an exact ethnic address to the last message. Nevertheless, it is notable that the father of Guli Peylo, a founder of the Second Uigur Kaganate of the Yaglakar (藥羅葛 / 夜落紇 / 夜落隔) “royal” tribe, had a name Kushu (Ch. C10308, 15311 Hushu < γuo-śiu < qushu), he was a Hanhai commander - syma 司马 (Ouian Su, Ch. 217à. p. 1521, f. 2b.). Hanhai commandery was founded during the Kai-Yuan period (“Equal Field“? 713-742) by a tsisi (west from the desert) general-governor Gai Ziayun, a military figure and an author of a lost nowadays work “Xiyui ji” (“Notes about Western territory”) to fight against Türgeshes. The commandery was located in city where was the seat of the Beitin (Beshbalyk) viceroy; under his command were 12 thousand garrison soldiers, 4,200 horses (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 40. p. 453, f. 38á; Malyavkin, 1981. p. 42, 182). After the end of the Türgesh campaign of eastern Türks in the 708-709 the Türkic prince Kül-tegin, aged 27 (?),  joined the battle with Kushu-Tutuk: “He killed the Kara-Türgesh people. Going again... he fought with Kushu-Tutuk, he demolished his soldiers, his houses and property without remainder he took (for himself) ” (KTb, 40-41). J.R.Hamilton is right associating the term Ishkil with the “royal” tribe Yaglakar of the Uigur Kaganate. The above material shows, that the term kushu “dog” also belongs to it.

3. Notes about Tian-shan Kygyzes and Ephtalites

Traces of the Red Dog cult are also found in the ethnographically accessible time. A variation of the examined myth is a main motive in the genealogical legends of the Tian-shan Kyrgyzes. In their “genesis legend” (expression by Ch.Ch.Valihanov) the ancestor and father of all Kyrgyzes was a Red Dog Kyzyl Taigan. “A daughter of the khan was in the habit to take long walks in a company of 40 maidens-servants. Once, on return home after her usual walk, to her great surprise and fear, the Princess saw only remains of her native aul, everything was ravaged by an enemy. In the place of aul they found only one alive creature, a red dog. The duties of the Red Dog at service of 40 pra-mothers of the Wild Rock Horde (Russian moniker for the group - Translator's Note) are quite murky, but what happened and for whatever reasons it happened, the princess and her 40 maids all become mothers, in a company with only one male allurement, a red dog. The posterity of the 40 maidens, kyrk-kyz, began to be called by the number of the matrons as Kyrg people. This is, as I have already stated, the actual unvarying legend” (Valihanov, 1985, p. 48; Abramzon, 1971, p. 361).

In a number of Türkic languages the word taigan means “hound” (RSl., III, 1, p. 768; Scherbak, 1961, p. 127; DTS, p. 527). Its middle Chinese rendering was Ñ8512, 3867 taihan (t'ai-gan < taigan). A record in the year 661 calls the former area of Hionits-Hephtalites Taihan (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 40, p. 43, f. 40à; Ouian Su, Ch. 43b, p. 301, f. 9; Tsen Chjunmian (Cen Zhongmian) 1958à, p. 144-145). Notably, P.Poucha regarded the Hephtalite designation hion identical with the Mongolian hion/kion “dog”, like the name of one of the genealogical ancestors of Kiyan-Mongols, Kabul, coincides with the name of the city Kabul (Poucha, 1956, p. 71). Whether the city of Kabul has even indirect relation to the name of one of the Mongolian ancestors, Kabul-khan, is difficult to tell. The link Hephtalite - Tibetan dog (barack) - Kabul is found in a number of written records. The “History of Northern dynasties” states that the state Gandhara (Chinese Ganto; Northwestern India) was previously captured by Hephtalites, and their king was from a ruling clan of the neighboring state Chila (Li Yanshou, Ch. 97, p. 1298, p. 25à). The rendering C10693, 8068 特勒 chile (< t'iək - lək) is traditionally accepted as a distorted spelling instead of Ñ10693, 8042 特勤 chitsin (pyn. chiqin) (< t'iək giən < *tegin), which in this case is confidently proved  by its variation Ñ8094, 14700 chitsin (pyn. chiqin) (< t'iək giən < *tegin) in another message about Gandhar:

”... After it was conquered by Hephtalites chitsin/tegin was installed a king” (Fan Sianun, 1958, p. 288, 318, 324; Malyavkin, 1989, p. 283). These messages thus tell about the Türkic title tegin, i.e. a son of a king (“prince”) which had the Gandhara king, and which was stated as an appellation for the nameless state next to it (i.e. Tegin state - Translator's Note).

A Buddhist monk-traveler Huei Chao also wrote in the 726 about that, he added that the father of the Gandhara  Türkic king came from Kapisa. When the rule of the Türks in Kapisa had fallen, he took hold of Gandhara (Fuchs, 1938, p. 444-445; Xie Jiunzheng, 1992, p. 332). It is thought that mythological description of these events is contained in the Biruni work “India” (Bernshtam, 1952, p. 187-195; source review and opinions: Tsen Chjunmian (Cen Zhongmian), 1958 a, p. 89-90). In Biruni, Gandhara is replaced by simply Indians, Kapisa is replaced with Kabul, and Hephtalites are replaced, like in the Huei Chao report, with more modern and known at that time Türks. “Indians, - writes Biruni, - had in Kabul kings from the Türks, said to be descending from Tibet. First of them came Barhatakin (Bars - tegin, *Barak-tegin = “Dog prince”, reconstruction by S.G.Klyashtorny). He entered a cave in Kabul which was impossible to access except sidewise or crawling...” (Biruni, 1963, p. 359; 1963 a, p. 27). In Chinese the term barack is written by the combination Ñ14994, 1479 ma-lo (Hamilton, 1955, p. 148). The title-name Barack-tegin (Chinese ma-lo “son of wan-king”) in the 10th century also had the Uigur leader of one of the tribes near Alashan mountains (Toto, 1958.1 l . 490, p. 5682, f. 13b). Periodically,  these lands were considered to be a part of Tibet. Barack is the name of a dog breed with long and shaggy hair, speedy, dexterous and strong, a best dog for hunting (MKM, I, p. 359) 5.

5 Word barrak (Chinese C. 10535, 2266 bo-liue < buat-liak < barag) was a name of a tribe in the Tabgach confederation (Yao Veyiuan, 1958, Ñ62-63, Bazin, 1950, p. 272). The tribe It-barrak (in a Persian version of the “Oguz - name” kyl-barack) easily defeated Mongols on the first stage of their movement to the west (Rashid ad-Din, 1952, p. 86; Rashid ad-Din, 1987, p. 34-35, 104). “It-barrak is a dog with long hair, on which shamans rose to the sky ” (Scherbak, 1959, p. 58).


That reminds the maxim of the ancient Türkic Bilge-kagan: “Tibet is the tribes of the Dog” (alt: Klyashtorny, 1980, p. 158-161; Klyashtorny 1998, p. 247-252). But at the same time these are also the Middle Asian Hephtalites, not too far remote descendants of Yuezhi tribes in the North-Eastern Tibet.

The literature about the origin and history of the Hephtalites, who in the 4th - beginning of 6th centuries played a large role in the destiny of the Central Asian, Afghanistan, Indian and East Turkestani peoples, is extensive and reflects different opinions. Undounting supporter of Hephtalite Iranism B.G.Gafurov is inclined to link them with Kermirhions (Gafurov, 1972, p. 207). The supporters of the Iranian-speaking of the early Hephtalites also cite weighty reasons in favor of their position. Probably, both views are right. In each specific case with needed accuracy should be defined which part of the Hephtalites, during what time, what place, and in what language a written source describes them. S. P.Tolstov writes: “Probably, in the 4-5th centuries the deltas of Amudarya and Syrdarya were a center of a Hionits-Hephtalites “barbarian state”, developed on ancient Sako-Massagetan substratum, with a strong admixture of the eastern Hunno-Türkic elements” (Tolstov, 1962, p. 244).

Great Yuechjes (Yuezhies) in Kang (Zuev, 2002, p. 91, 137) should be recolled, with initial words from the short section about Hephtalites in the text of the “History of Northern dynasties“: “Hephtalites are one tribe with Great Yuechjes (Yuezhies): it is also said that they are a separate tribe of  Gaoche/Kocha ” (Li Yanynou, Ch. 97, p. 1297, f. 23à). And the last, as is stated above, belong to the descendants of red foreigners in the northwest - Chi-Di, Tsuan Juns.

4. Kangh country and western Türks

Theophan the Confessor, the author of “Chronography” (760-818),  places king Askel of Hermihions east from Tanaid (Tanais, Syr-Darya), i.e. in the territory of the future right wing in the Western Türkic Kaganate. The wing included three tribes occupying five locations. No names or geographical locations of these districts are cited in compositions and documents of that time. The first description (about 634) about division of the Kaganate lands into districts states that tribes of the right wing were located west from the r. Suyab (modern r. Chu). Thus, the description refers to interfluvial of Syr-Darya and Chu (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 1946, p. 1445, f. 3a; Chavannes, 1903, p. 28, 56); it was a territory of the ancient Kangar (Kangh). state The annalistic message about the route of Han armies in the 36 BC to the r. Talas valley says: “Three divisions of the viceroy-duhu set out from Vensu (modern district Ushi, Uch-Turfan, SUAR). Going by the Northern road, after 610 li they came to Chigu, crossed Usun (country) and, crossing the border with Kangar (country), came (to the place) west from Tianchi [lake Issyk Kul] “(Ban Gu, ch. 70, p. 858, f. 9à). Hence, the eastern border of Kangar in the 1st century BC went by the bank of Issyk Kul and included the valley of r. Chu. The “Kangar” tradition survived into the Middle Ages.

After 651, a third account about division of the Western Türkic Kaganate into districts lists the tribes of the right wing and hereditary ranks-posts of their leaders, as follows (Translator's-modified listing to show a complete picture, modifications are shown in blue - Translator's Note)  :

  Chinese phonetics Chinese hieroglyphs Türkic name Tribe Center
(modern location)
1 Asitsze Tsüe-syjin   Ezgil Kül-erkin Ezgil Kolan
2 Geshu Tsüe-syjin   Kashu Kül-erkin Kashu ?
3 Basaygan Tun-shabo [lo]-syjin   Barskhan Tun-ashpa [ra]-erkin Barskhan Seli
4 Asitsze Nishu-syjin   Ezgil Nizuk-erkin Ezgil Merke 44°N 72°E
5 Geshu Chuban-syjin   Kashu Chopan-erkin Kashu ?

The account explained that the leader of first tribe Tsüe-syjin (Kül-erkin; the etymology see Kononov, 1958, p. 99-100) “was most prosperous and strong, the number of his soldiers reached several tens of thousands” (Ouian Su, Ch. 215b, p. 1506, f. 56; Chavannes, 1903, p. 60).

Recently a chance arose to locate three of the five tribal groups, after on the back of one of many stone statues in the emperor Tai-jun (626-649) funeral complex in Changan (Chen Guocan, 1980) was found an epitaph. Comparing information from other sources, analysis and reconstruction of the inscription brought up that the military center (Tutuk district) of the leader Asitsze Tsüe-syjin was located in the Tszüilan district (modern Kolan), center of the leader Asitsze Nishu-syjin was located in the Thousand Springs (Chinese Qianquan; modern Merke) district, and center of the leader Basaygan Tun-shabo [lo]-syjin was located in the Seli district (Naito, 1987, p. 34-36, and the literature on this subject; Xie Jiunzheng, 1992, p. 318).

A review of the  the 6th century Greek sources about Türks in Macartney article (Macartney, 1943-1946) reproduced a message of Theophanous the Confessor. In his footnote to the Chinese translation of that article, Tsen Chunmian noted that the name of Türkic leader Askel matches the name of Asitsze tribe in the right wing of the Western Türkic Kaganate (Tsen Chunmian, 1958, p. 945), to the same conclusion also came other scientists (Harmatta, 1962, p. 140-142; Klyashtorny, 2001, p. 50-51; compare Ögel, 1945; Tasağil, 1991 p. 57: “sytsze” is “Izgil, Sekel“; compare Hamilton, 1962, p. 26, 54: Ñ145 Â5 sytsze/saitsze (syjie/saijie) < sigir/sigar, Hotan-Saka Sika'ard, Saikard). In the opinion of M.Naito, Asitsze were a Tele (Oguzes) tribe. Asitsze (Eskil)  were a member of the Western Türkic Kaganate, they facilitated expansion of its possessions in the west, and the embassy of 563 was in a way exploration and preparation for the subsequent embassy, sent five years later in 568. (Naito, 1987, p. 365-373). Chinese records retained forms of the of the term Askel/Askil: Ñ5072, 14576, 1959 Asiji (a-siək-kiet < Eskel/Ezgel); C5072, 14720, 1972 Asitsze (a-siək-kiet < Eskil/Ezgil). The Kül-tegin monument text (KTb. 43-44) transcribed this name with runiform letters Ezg(e)l ~ Ezg(i)l. Newly found Tang texts contained names of individual Ezgel Tutuk-rulers in Tszüilan (Julan, Külen, Kolan) and Qianquan (Qianquan, Thousand Springs, Merke).

The Tszüilan (Julan) Tutuk was Tsüe-syjin Asiji Najin da shoulin kehan selifa, i.e. “Kül-erkin Ezgil Najin, Great Chieftain  - Kagan-Elteber”. The Tutuk governance in Qianquan was headed by Nishu-syjin Asiji Dusibo Nezuk-Erkin Dusibo (<d'uo~siet-pua < ?).

Probably, some relation to the case in point has one of “Massaget” military leaders named Askan, mentioned in Procopius of Caesarea (6th century) work. In one of the wars with Persians (527-532) he commanded a division of six hundred riders in the army of Byzantine commander Velizarius . The date of the message is 530 AD. O.Maenchen-Helfen compared the Greek spelling of this name with the Türkic *as-gan; “khan of Ases/Azes” (the gan of the As/Az) though, in his opinion, a leader of a modest division hardly could carry a title “Khan” (Maenchen-Helfen, 1973, p. 143 Giraud, 1960, p. 193-196). H.W.Haussig perceives this name the same: As-gan = “As Prince”, or “Prince of Ases ” (“As-gan”, “As-Fürsi” oder “Farstder”). He connects the message of Procopius about “Massaget” military leader Askan with the message of  Theophan the Confessor about Askel, the king of Türks-Hermihions earlier called Massagets. The term Askel (compare the name of the Khazarian capital Sarkel, “White City”) means “City of As”. He, however, did not think of any other Ases, except for Ases - Alans (Haussig, 1953, p. 424). Meanwhile, no written testimony about Ases - Alans residing in any area east from Syr-Darya had been found yet.

In the beginning of the 8th century the Karatürgeshes of Talas were Azes. The impression is that they are identical with the Esgels or are a component of theirs. From among Karatürgeshes-Azes was Sülük-Kagan (Chinese Sulu, 716-738), who gained an Arabic nickname Abu Muzahim. In the 737, Abu Muzahim went on a military campaign in Huttal. The historian wrote about his troops: Hakan approached, leading approximately four hundred riders dressed in red clothes” (at-Tabari, 1987, p. 251).

Some early Türkic stone carvings of humans in the Merke ancient sanctuary have a remarkable trait, noted by A.M.Dosymbaeva. In the archeological complex Sholsai-3,  located on the top of the homonymous ridge, in the center of the stone kurgan are two sculptures, female and a male facing it. The female sculpture is carved from black granite, and the male is carved from fine-grained red granite. Of red granite were carved sculptures in kurgan complexes Korasasaiy-1, Sandyk-2, Sulusai-1, Sulusai-2 and Tugansai-2 (Dosymbaeva, 2002, p. 46, 59 on).

The name of another tribe Ñ5064, 5096 Geshu (< Ka-siu < qasu) - Kashu is a Western Türkic variation of the term discussed above term Kushu  “dog”. This reading is supported by the name of a small town Kashu in the Talas valley. There was located one of four Türkic religious Manichean monasteries in Jeti-su (Le Coq, 1972, p. 416). Mahmud Kashgari mentioned the city of Ytlyk (from yt “dog”) near Taraz city, and also “Türkic tribe“  Ytlyk. Likely, this name is identical with Ytlak “pack of dogs” (DTS, p. 221; MKM, II, p. 343, Brockelmann, 1928, p. 244). Kirgiz epos retained the name of people Itaal: katyny - adam, erkegi - it “their woman [are] people, men [are] dogs” (Manas, 1990, p. 14, 254).

The third was named a leader of Ñ10104, 347, 3837 Basaygan (< b'uat-sai-kan < barsqan) - Barskhan tribe. In this connection M.Naito noted a strange name Kara Bars “Black Leopard“of the hero of the first Talas monument  (Naito, 1987, p. 39, Amanjolov, 2003, p. 87). The “snow tiger” (snow leopard) is never black. Some explanation of this paradox is in the Chinese name for the location of the Barshan tribe, Ñ14035, 4873 Se-li. The first hieroglyph in the combination means “animal like a black dog”. The second hieroglyph means conducting a sacrificial ritual to a soul of a deceased ancestor. Consequently, the word bars (leopard), especially in our case black bars (leopard), is definitely not a tiger, and most likely it is a black dog somehow resembling bars (leopard).

Among ancient Türkic time petroglyphs in the shining stone gorge Jaltyrak-tash (in Talas Ala Tau) was discovered a group of images of fantastic dragon-like creatures, combining attributes of dog, feline-type predator, bird, snake and the like. For illustration here are descriptions of only several typical figures from their analysis and publication in an article by an expedition participant Z.Samashev (1996, p. 259-267).

1. Dog-like creature with a head down. Short neck. Slim body, long tail. Jumping  pose (Fig. 1).

2. Creature resembling an image of feline predator with spotty body and long hair. Depicted like contracted, ready for a jump (Fig. 2).

3. Dog-like creature with open mouth and bared teeth. The neck is overly massive. The whole body, including tail, head, and paws, is dashed with slant and crossed lines. The body is overly slim, the waist is overly narrow, but muscles of hind legs are depicted exaggerated. On the back is shown a resemblance of a wing (Fig. 3).

4. Fantastic creature with gracefully modeled slim body, contoured to remind a dog (Fig. 4).

5. Fantastic creature, as a whole resembling a dog. A belly is slim: the front and hind legs end with claws of a predatory bird (Fig. 5).

As killing and devouring creatures, dog and wolf matched tiger/bars (leopard) (Akishev, 1984, p. 49). The distinct image of a dog with a head of a leopard can demonstrate it. The feline claws on the paws of the figures also point to that. Is notable a hint of the wings on the backs of three images, and a circle with the double dashed rim under the figure of a winged dog. With some imagination this circle (a square?) can be taken as a scheme of a site, of cultivated land, or generally of defined area.

 The Persian art of Sasanid and later time frequently has an image of a winged dog soaring above plants. Winged dogs with threateningly stretched clawed paws are guarding young plants and seeds from any evil. It is Sae-nomeret, a Senmur of the Iranian “Avesta”, a winged dog flying in the sky, an interlocutor between a sky deity and the earth. “The dwelling of Senmurv is on a tree of all seeds, curing of evil!” Ahura Mazda drops the seeds of this heavenly tree “during a rain for food for the right person... My grain let be eaten by a man” (Trever 1937, p. 44, 11, 19). In the art of Tripolie farmers the performance of the same functions was clearly set aside for a winged dog. Armenians, Kurds, Slavs, Moldavians have echoes of Senmurv myth. Iranian Senmurv and Slavic Simarg protected Goodness and Life (Fishermen, 1981, p. 207-208). It is inherent to settled and nomadic spheres.

The Avesta motive undoubtedly rings in the images of Jaltyrak-tash gorge. The images were left by Kermichiones, the tribes of the Red Dog, the Türkic successors of the ancient Yuezhis (Ases/Ates and Tochars), who in the 2nd century BC stopped in Kangh during emigration from the Nanshan foothills (Gansu province, Chinese People's Republic) to the west.  The cult of the Heavenly Dog can't be clearly described yet, but one more record can be cited, because in a number of the above facts the description was of the Yuezhi “clan of the Moon”, and likewise about Hephtalites of Northern India, whose king in Persian was called Hion, and in Türkic Taichan “Dog”. In ancient India, a symbol of the Heavenly Dog was a rising Moon (Crescent). Indians viewed bicorn horns of the young moon as two fangs of the Heavenly Dog, belonging to its master the Sun God. At night this Heavenly Dog guards the dwelling of his divine owner, and protects the sleep of the men (Miller, 1876, p. 119).

To record names of foreign people, Chinese used hieroglyphs transmitting their phonetics. In a number of cases such hieroglyphs with meaningful semantics carried information about important ethnographical traits of these people. The hieroglyphic transcription became information, at times perfectly unique. The combination Ñ5845, 11435 Yue-zhi means “Moon clan”. In early Middle Age astrology of the East and West the image of the Moon was associated with a deity of fertility and progression Dragon/Smake (Zuev, 2002, p. 86-87). In same Jaltyrak-tash complex were images where from a dog remained only mouth with bared teeth and wings; their back part is symbolized with a curled into a ring tail  of a dragon/snake. It is notable that under a head and neck of one of creatures is marked partially dashed rectangular as a symbol of a protected enclosed area (Fig. 6, 7).

Z.Samashev sees in one of the images on Kargala diadem in the A.N.Bershtam publication an analogy to dog-like creatures. A horseman in a bayonet headdress is depicted on a feline predator with a head of a dog (Fig. 8). After L.I.Albaum's publication, he also reproduces a figure from Afrasiab of a winged creature with a tail curled into two rings of the dragon/snake tail (Fig. 9). Some discrepancy between records of written sources and petroglyphic material from the Jaltyrak-tash gorge can be explained by that in the last one is reflected only the most visible side of the cult of a the Sacred Dog from the Sky. The existence of so original pantheon represented in that gorge suggests that there was a sanctuary of the believers of this cult, and that they were Barskhans, whose territory was called with not presently identified name Seli (giet-lyi <?).

Reconstructed list of tribal leaders of the right wing (on shadapyt: Chinese Ñ7979, 8748, 4208 弩失畢 Nu-shibi < 'nou siet - piet  < ong shadapyt) is this:

1. Ezgil Kül-erkin;
2. Kashu Kül-erkin;
3. Barskhan Tun-ashpa [ra]-erkin;
4. Ezgil Nizuk-erkin;
5. Kashu Chopan-erkin.

These were Türkic tribes, united by a totemic cult of Heavenly Dog, the Kermichiones of the Theophan “Chronography”. The “strongest” of them was Ezgil/Ezgel tribe, whose leader in the 563 sent ambassadors to the far away Constantinople.

It is unknown whether another little-known tribe with a name Kaki “Dog”, belonged to them. The word kaki “dog” survived in the dialects of the Tatar and Bashkir languages (Scherbak, 1961, p. 127). The source wrote it with hieroglyphs Ñ5064, 14412 Gesi (< êà-kiei). A record under year 739 mentioned them in context with Asiji/Ezgils, Basaygan/Barskhans and other tribes (Wang Qinjou, Ch. 977, p. 11481, f. 20à; Chavannes, 1903, p. 285 footnote; 1904, p. 60). But in the geographical section in the New Edition of the “History of Tang Dynasty”, the Tutuk office of the Gesi/Keki district is placed next to the Tutuk office of the Gushu/Kushu district, subordinated to Beitin/Beshbalyk (Ouian Su, Ch. 43b, p. 300, f. 6b). The word kushu “dog” and Uigur  Kushu-Tutuk were addressed above (A municipality in Turkey Kayseri Province is called Gesi).

The period of the Terish-kagan rule (634-638) were disquieted years. A discontent caused by subdivision into districts, conducted in favor of the left (eastern)-wing tribes brought severe internecine strife. A prominent role in these events played Ezgil leader Kül-erkin. He initiated and participated in summoning the most important officials of the state to a kurultai, purported  to reduce Terish to a lesser kagan position, and to raise Ükuk-shad, who opposed Terish, as a  Supreme Kagan. For some reasons kurultai did not happen, and Ükuk-shad became a Kagan of the “western surnames”, with a throne name Ielbi-Turuk (Turug)-Kagan.

The redistricting of 634 reflected the location of the right wing tribes in the territory of the former Kangar (Ch. Kangju). Probably, such placement of their “core” lands remained constant until 651, when was composed the analyzed above list of tribes and their leaders. Citing this list, we used explanations of Hu Sansin (1230-1287) for the text of “Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government” (Zizhi tuntszyan)  ”, who placed them immediately after a first reference to Nu-shibi (Sima Guan, Ch. 195, p. 6142).

The finished redistricting did not reflect a real ratio of the forces between the two conflicting sides: the “strongest” tribes were allocated only a tiny part of the Western Kaganate huge territory. Between the “western surnames” of the Ashinian Ükuk-shad were not only “Kangars”, but also a number of other tribes. Military activities against the “eastern surnames” developed into a bloody war that took so many lives that it was even recorded in the annals of the neighboring state. A strike to the east was strong and successful. The war ended in 638 with a conclusion of Ili treaty. According to the treaty terms, conflicting sides were becoming independent states, their border now passed by the r. Ili, Ükuk-shad received a throne name Ilbi-Turuk-Kagan (Lu Sui, Ch.  1946, p. 1445-1446, f. 3a - b-4a; Ouian-Su, Ch. 215b, p. 150, f. 4à-b; Chavannes, 1903, p. 28, 56) (detail description of civil war and peace treaty see also in L.Gumilev, M., 1967, “Ancient Türks“  - Translator's Note).

To 638 or a bit later can be attributed the foundation of the (Chinese) eastern forepost Ñ7968, 5845 Gunüe (< kiwon ngiwat < kungut) - Küngüt, identified with Kuldja and Almalyk (Naito, 1987, p. 69, 72, 265, 271; Malyavkin 1989, p. 310). Mahmud Kashgari cites two variations of the name: Küngüt and Kengüt (MKM 1, 159; 3, 149). Both words are a Sogdian plural form of the term Küngü/Kengü (Kangju, Kangar). A southwest forepost of that country was a city of Gunüi (< kiwong-ngiwo < êüngü) - Küngüt, referred as a forepost in  the texts of the ancient Türkic monuments (KTb, 21; BKb, 18). It was located 40-50 li (about 18-20 kms) north from Nuchket, located in the area of a modern railway station on the bank of the Chirchik river, a tributary of Syr-Darya (Zuev, 2002, p. 148-149, 162-164, 174-176). Both Küngüt foreposts symbolized the eastern and western boundaries of the Kantszüi (Kangju, Kangar) country, which continued to exist in Ancient and Middle Türkic time. Simultaneously, they were channels of economic and other connections with neighboring states. For example, individual business documents about economic connections of Küngüt with the East-Turkestan state Kucha have survived. The western Küngüt was a first on the trading caravans way from the West, it also was a gateway on the road to the merchant cities Ispidjab, Talas and Suyab.

Some later sources testify about inflow of “Kangjüans” into the Ili valley. The Arabian writer al-Idrisi called the Türkic tribes, in the 10th century still populating Ili valley, Hanga-Kishes, i.e. “Hanga/Kanga (Kangar) people”, and he called the area of their location Hangaket “city of Hanga/Kanga” (Agadjanov, 1969, p. 72-73). Kanga is the ancient (self-)name of the country Kangar (Chinese Kangju < *khang-giah, *kang-giwî).

The term Gunüe (Küngüt) was a name for: 1) territory; 2) tribe; 3) city; 4) state. Here are examples:

1. (651) “Ordered the left senior military guard general Lian Zianfan and right senior  horse guard general Tsibi Heli to command marching army in area (or: on the road to...) Gunüe” (Ouian Su, Ch. 2156, p. 1507, f. 6à; Chavannes, 1903, p. 60-61).

2. (673) “In the days of Western Türkic Xin-si-wang-Kagan all tribes (bu) (bu  部 = branch) dispersed, and Gunüe (Küngüt) and Asiji (Ezgil) rebelled” (Sima Guan, Ch. 202, p. 6371).

3. (699) “Gradually advancing, (Uzhile) occupied Suyabia, transferred his horde-court there, and settled there. He named the valley of the river Suyab (i.e. r.Chu ) a Great Horde-Court, and the city Küngüt on the Ili river a Small Horde-Court” (Ouian Su, Ch. 215b, p. 1508, f. 86).

4. (671) “Two states”, Shule (Shulig, Kashgar) and Gunüe (Küngüt) together induced Tubo (Tibet) army to invade Hotan” (Wang Qinjou, Ch. 995, p. 11687, f. 15b)

Importantly, in a number of cases the tribes previously located in Talas are later found far in the east, their center was relocated to Kangar/Küngüt in the Ili basin. In the events of 673 the mutinous tribes were Gunüe (Küngüt) and Asiji (Ezgil).

 During a difficult time in 739, Türgesh Kaganate experienced an acute crisis, and the Tang's divisions of Gai Ziaün dominated Suyab and Talas, the tribes Gunüe (Küngüt), Basaygan (Barskhan), Asiji, (Ezgil), etc. found salvation in sending gifts to emperor Suan-jun and asking for protection (Wang Qinjou, Ch. 977, p. 11481, f. 20b). A part of Türgesh tribe Geshu (Kashu) switched to the Tang service, and migrated to Ansi (Kucha). Geshu Han (Kashu-Khan) was a member of that tribe, he became a general-governor of the Luniu province, and become famous for his military actions against Tibet. His namesakes are also well-known (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 104, p. 879, f. 6b; p. 880, f. 9à; Ouian Su, Ch. 13 b, p. 1113, f. 1à; p. 1115, f. 4à; Zheng Tsiao, Ch.2, f. 12 b; Malyavkin, 1992, p. 159, 160, 196, 197).

In the 647, when both wings of the Western Türkic Kaganate, following the Ili treaty, became two independent states, the right wing On-shadapyt (Chinese Nu-shibi) tribes were called Ezgil (Chinese Asiji) state (Chinese go). This follows from the record about the “distant barbarians” states of Bosa (Persia), Kang (Sogd), Tuholo (Toharistan) and Asiji (Ezgil), who “came with tribute” in the 21st year of the Zheng-guan period (Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 3, p. 38, f. 11à; Wan Yinlin, Ch. 153, f. 16à). Later, in the East Turkestan was found a city (Chinese chen) Asiji (Ezgil; incorrectly called in the text Asiyan). It was mentioned in the road guide from Ansi (Kucha) to Talas, included in the geographical section in the New Edition of the “History of Tang Dynasty”. It begins:

“Usually [they] depart from Ansi through checkpoint Totsüe and cross the White horse Boma river (Sui Song, Ch. 2, f. 11b: “This is a road to settlement Hodjo-tulas”), and after 180 li [they] enter Jupilo desert (Sui Song, Ch. 2, f. 14b: “it is a sandy desert Kyzyl”), pass a bitter well Kujin, and after 120 li arrive at the city Jupilo (Sui Song, Ch. 2, f. 14b; Fu Heng, Ch.  16, f. 1à: it is Sairam), and after another 60 li come to the Asiji [Ezgil] city” (Sui Song, Ch. 2, f. 14b, Fu Heng, Ch. 16, 2b: “this is present Bai”) (Ouian Su, Ch. 43, p. 305, f. 16à, Chavannes, 1903, p. 8).

Aru-Kagan (Chinese Helu) of Ashina became a unifier of all tribes and lands of the Western Kaganate. By the 651 he succeeded in restoring the former status of the two wings of the state. He was joined by a number of Türkic tribes which fell outside of the “ten arrows ” (Chigils, Chümüls, Karluks, etc.), and also by a majority of the Middle Asian states. He set up a horde-court in the Ezgil district Qianquan - Merke (Ouian Su, Ch. 215b p. 1506; f. 56, Chavannes, 1903, p. 60; compare Lu Sui (Xu Liu), Ch. 194b p. 1446, f. 46; Sima Guan, Ch. 199, p. 6273: Shuanhe “Interfluvial” of Borotol and Horgos), and also in Qianquan (“Thousand Springs”) Merke.

It is usually assumed that the Western Türkic Kaganate ceased to exist in the 657, right after the defeat of the anti-Tang movement headed by Aru-Kagan. But the military resistance continued. The horde-court in Shuanhe remained in the hands of Jenchu-Yabgu, a son of Ilbi-Turuk-Kagan. In the spring of 659 it was captured by the army of Kunlin viceroy (Ouian Su, ch. 3 p. 32, f. 4à-b). Detachments of Ezgel Kül-Erkin Tuman (Chinese Duman < tuo-muan) were creating a serious danger. These events are covered by a number of publications (Naito, 1987, p. 262-270; Malyavkin, 1984, p. 141-143). Tuman's army consisted of Türkic tribes and “Hu” Sogdians. On his side were East Turkestan states Shule (Chinese Shulig), Chütszüipo and Kepanto. Even for the final battle near the gully of r. Shavab in the February of 660 (Chinese Shəe < siap-iap < *savab; Kur-kara-usu) the Tang military leader Su Dinfan “selected10 thousand excellent soldiers and 3 thousand horsemen” (Ouian Su, Ch. 111, p. 997 f. 5à; Sima Guan, Ch. 200, p. 6319).

In the next decades even a part of Western Türkic kagans who totally switched to the Tang military service started disobeying and looking for support from Tibet, which was interested in controlling the routes of the Silk road. Tibetan protégés were, for example, the “kagans” Pulo and Babu. In 694 Ashina Tuitszy was installed as kagan. “Ashina Tuitszy, together with Tibetians (Chinese Tubo), were pillaging in Uvei area” says the New Edition of the “History of Tang Dynasty”.

Commander-in-Chief Wan Syaotsze fought and defeated them at Liman and Dalingu.  Han Syzhun, a head of Suyab (Chinese Suie-zheng) fortification garrison also defeated Nizuk-Erkin, and also defeated Chykan of Türgeshes, and (a leader of a tribe) Ulug-ok, after which he took a Tibetan city Nezuk-bar (Ouian Su, Ch. 2156, p. 1508, f. 8à). The last message correlates with the record preserved in the “Comprehensive Mirror” and dated by the year 700: “Bolu the Ezgil came against. To punish him were sent Tyan Yanmin with the rank?? jo-jinu jianjun and Fan Sye with the rank tian-zhun shi-shi. Their army came to Suyab at night. Bolu extracted his forces through breaks in the city wall, and escaped” (Sima Guan, Ch. 207. p. 6550).

The listing of the facts in the political history can be continued, but it will extend beyond the historical-ideological-genetical study of this author. The laconic messages of Theophanes of Byzantium, Theophan the Confessor and Procopius of Cesaeria contain informative potential disclosure and analysis of which allow illumination of earlier almost unknown. and essentially a new page in the ideological genesis of the ancient and Early Middle Age peoples of Eurasia. The analysis makes it possible to logically connect disunited and appearing as fantastic written records into a logically justified rational sequence. The appearance and wide distribution of the cult of Heavenly Dog-protector, the creator of everything growing (in poly-progeny), the mediator between the world of people and Sky,  was caused by the societal spiritual needs. The messages are specifically focused on the area located to the east of Syr-Darya, the area that subsequently became a territory of the right wing in the Western Türkic Kaganate, created in 581 or 603 (Wang, 1982, p. 124-152; Tsen Chjunmian (Cen Zhongmian), 1958, p. 106-109). In this connection it is important to note that they speak about Türkic tribes with the Persian designation Kermichion during a period before the creation of the Western Türkic Kaganate, and the ethnic backbone of the Kaganate consisted of Türkic tribes of local origin, not one of the 6-7th centuries western Türkic ethnonyms appear beyond its eastern limits.

 In the 699 the tribes, which beforehand constituted On-shadapyt right wing, became an ethnopolitical basis of the Türgesh Kaganate. Chinese annals and classical encyclopedias only preserved the middle Chinese transcriptions of the unclear Türkic terms for five tribes of the On-shadapyt right wing, and of the hereditary ranks of their leaders, without indicating their location and ethnographic characteristics. Filling that gap was enabled by the recent discovery of the new Chinese texts by Chen Guocan, their reconstruction and introduction into research by Tsen Chjunmian (Cen Zhongmian), Naito Midori and Xie Jiuzheng, translation of the Uiguro-Tibetan ethno-geographical reports about “kings of the North” by Z.Bako, the Tibetan religious fragment Kvaerne, A.Dosymbaeva and Z. Samashev publication of the results of their archeological studies, and comparing the recent progress with the testimony of Byzantine and Persian authors,.

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Terish-kagan rule (634-638)
In Russian
Literature Index
Contents Huns
Contents Tele
Yu. A. Zuev Ethnic History of Usuns
Yu. A. Zuev Early Türks: Essays of history
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 Datelinee
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
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