Windows 1251 for Cyrillics
Shamsiddin Sirojiddin ogly Kamoliddin
ANCIENT TÜRKIC TOPONYMS OF THE MIDDLE ASIA
Tashkent, Shark, 2006, ISBN 978-9943-00-003-2
Editor-in-chief Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Mirsodik Ishokov
© Sh. S. Kamoliddin, 2006
© Main edition IPAK ‘‘Shark’‘, 2006
2010 edition: ISBN 10: 3838398289 / 3-8383-9828-9 ISBN 13: 9783838398280
Toponymic science firmly learned that territory of this or that people both in the present, and in the past can be determined with the help of toponymic areals [Ageeva, 1979, p. 74]. Toponyms are an extremely valuable source, a kind of “language of the land”, it gives frequently more for the solution of ethnogenetical problems than tens of fortresses or burials, than the inadequate and confused testimony of ancient and medieval authors, than studies of revered researchers. In the “language of the land” the ancient natives of territory had left stronger historical trace than great commanders who chiseled stone inscriptions. ‘‘Language of the land’‘ does not allow falsification. Geographical names are a type of documentary source inherently similar to archeological materials not dated and not deformed by time [Murzaev, 1982, p. 43-44]. However, archeological monuments are unfortunately mute: disclosing the material culture and even social relations of the past, they are silent about the languages of the founders of these cultures [Nikonov, 1978, p. 88].
Like archeology, toponyms have a number of layers belonging to different periods of time. Determining the language of ancient names is not an easy task. A historian studying historical toponyms should treat with care the results of works of even recognized authorities in the linguistics, and should involve whenever possible all complex of the available historical and geographical data [Ageeva, 1979, p. 73, 76]. Many place names recorded in the sources as Greco-Roman and Chinese names in the base have Eastern Iranian or Türkic origin. The toponyms given in the Chinese sources usually are calques or equivalents of the local Türkic or Iranian-lingual names [Umurzakov, 1978, p. 54-55]. Precise etymologizing of these names demands from researcher even greater scrupulousness and all-round analysis.
Any place name exists not only from the moment of its recording in the sources. Hundreds, and maybe thousands years before the recording it could have been in the oral speech. Besides, far from all ancient toponyms were recorded in the written sources [Karaev, 1985, p. 27]. One of the most ancient toponyms are the names of Iranian origin that survived in the territory of the Middle Asia 1 everywhere, both in the Turan plains, and in the Pamir mountains, but much less of them are in the mountain the areas of the Inner Tian-Shan, in the Jeti-su and the steppe areas of Kazakhstan. However, it is impossible to assert that the Iranian names are the most ancient in the region [Karaev, 1991, p. 130]. There is a number of toponyms that can’t be positively attributed to establish their linguistic association 2. In the southern zone of the northern hemisphere the initial toponyms began forming tens of thousand years ago [Koraev, 1980, 16-6.]. Is not also entirely true that only Iranists-Islamists are studying the historical geography of the Early Islamic period in the Middle Asia [Lurie, 2004, p. 29].
1 Under the term ‘‘Middle Asia’‘ we mean territory of the natural physical geographical Turkestan region limited in the west by the east the bank of Caspian Sea, in the north including Aral-Irtysh watershed, in the east - Tian-Shan, Pamir and Alai mountains, and in the south - Hindukush and Kopet Dagh mountains. (Musketov, 1915, p. 15). In politico-administrative relation this term includes Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, northern part of Afghanistan and a southern part of Kazakhstan.
2 Among these are Bukhara, Samarkand, Amul, Khiva, etc. (Murzaev, 1957, p. 43; Murzaev, 1982, p. 106).Certainly, the toponymy is, first of all, a linguistic science. However it does not belong to the linguists only [Lurie, 2004, p. 29]. Etymologizing toponyms, alongside with the linguistic analysis, requires a study of the history, areal geography, and also specifics of the vision of localities and geographical conditions by the native speaking people. Solely linguistic approach, without taking into account historical and geographical data not always results in reliable ethymology [Musaev, 1984, p. 198]. And in antiquity, and Middle Ages, like today, the toponyms was a research object of not only linguists, but also historians and geographers. The materials of archeologicalal results do not allow to connect directly the Middle Asian civilization that arose in the 1st millenium BC with the cultures of the Bronze Age in same territory. The most ancient Pre-Indo-Iranian cultures in the Middle Asian interfluvial could be created by a traibal society and not necessarily connected with more complex forms of the social structure [Zeimal, 1987, p. 152]. It is known that since the 5th-4th milleniums BC, settled agricultural-cattle breeding communities with rudimentary proto-city cultures developed in the south of the Middle Asia, i. e. long before the coming of the Indoarian tribes [Masson, 1984, p. 59-60]. Who were the founders of these most ancient cultures of the Middle Asia is not established till now. Supposedly, before the Indoarian occupation of the Middle Asia in the middle or the second half of the 2nd millenium BC, its southern areas were peopled by carriers of the Dravidian languages [Winters, 1990, p. 120-144]. It is known that Dravidizms make a significant part of the Sanskrit dictionary [Vorobiev-Desyatovsky, 1956; Kurgan, 1955; Piankov, 1995, p. 27-46].
The newest toponymic and linguistic research allow to posit that in the 2nd millenium BC carriers of the Dravidian languages were in immediate contact with the carriers of proto-Türkic languages [Musaev, 1984, p. 148-153], however their connections were severed by the invasion of the Indoarian newcomers [Iskhakov, 1999, p. 251-255]. In some Türkic languages in the European part of Russia (Bulgarian, Khazarian, Chuvash), Siberia (Yakut) and the Far East survived the traces of the proto-Türkic language widespread in the most ancient times in the southern part of the Middle Asia. These relicts point to the presence in the remote past of the ancestors of the carriers of these languages in the south of the Middle Asia, and to their subsequent migration to the north [Togan, 1981, p. 22]. These linguistic data can be compared with some data of the arheological studies that found cattle breeding tribes in the middle of 2nd millenium BC, the ancestors of carriers of the Karasuk cultures in the Minusinsk depression, who came there from the Middle Asian steppes [Novgorodova, 1970, p. 176].The Türkic languages retained numerous traces of the most ancient linguistic layer, common for Middle Asia and Caucasus going back to the primitive-communal system epoch. These traces retained in those parts of the speech which belongs to the basic linguistic fund of the language (for example, the names for parts of human body) and as a rule are not borrowed from other languages [Tolstova, 1978, p. 8-9]. In the linguistic literature the most ancient forms of the Türkic languages are called to proto-Türkic, their carriers are called pra-Türks, and the history of these languages is closely connected with the family of so-called paleo-Asian and Enisei languages [Dulzon, 1971, p. 26]. Paleo-Asian and Enisei languages, according to toponyms, before the end of the 1st millenium BC covered a significant part of the Middle Asian territory, and most actively participated in the formation of the nucleus of the Altaian-Hunnish people conglomerate [Yailenko, 1988, p. 133].
According to another linguistic theory, the carriers of the so-called ‘‘proto-Tokhar’‘ language, a most ancient of all Indo-European languages, in the 2nd millenium BC crossed the Middle Asian territory on the way from the Near East to the Eastern Turkestan, and contacted there with the carriers of the early proto-Türkic, proto-Ugrian, and Enisei languages. Plausibly, the interaction was long enough, and probably brought bi-linguality between the contacting groups of the population [Gamkrelidze, Ivanov, 1989, p. 25-27; Gamkrelidze, 1987, p. 41]. This linguistic theory recently found convincing confirmation in archeological materials [Sarianidi, 1998, p. 90-92].The names of Türkic origin spread in the territory of the Middle Asia from the extreme antiquity constituted a significant part of the medieval names, and continue to be an overwhelming part of the modern toponyms in this region. During early Middle Ages epoch they were a second in number after the toponyms of the Eastern Iranian origins, and in the Middle Ages they constituted the most powerful toponymsc layer in the Middle Asia. Only in the territory of the modern Kyrgyzstan were located about 300 ancient place names known in the historical sources since antique time and till the 12th century [Umurzakov, 1978, p. 53]. The Türkic lexical contribution is recorded in many languages of Europe and Asia, including toponyms. Therefore the etymological study of toponyms in this huge region, like in the Middle Asia, requires application of the Türkic linguistic sphere [Dobrodomov, 1984, p. 138]. In the Balkans, and in the Eastern Europe, many geographical objects and settlements had parallel Türkic names [Murzaev, 1980, p. 72]. The same also applies to the Middle Asia, where many cities and settlements had two names, Sogdian and Türkic, and some geographical objects had only one, Türkic name.
The beginning of the active formation of the Western Iranian (Persian) toponyms in the Middle Asian territory was the period of the Arab conquest [Khromov, 1980, p. 136]. At that particular time came into use new Persian topoformants, -dekh and -abad with a meaning of ‘‘settlement’‘, together with the New Persian language (Farsi) of the Western Iranian origin [Bartold, 1963 (à), p. 210] they spread in the Middle Asia. During that time in the Middle Asia appeared toponyms with the Western Iranian topoformants -an , -kird (-gird, - djird), - diza (-diz) , -rud and -stan (-istan) [Khromov, 1974, p. 10-15]. The actual Arabic elements in toponyms are insignificant and are mainly found in the south of Uzbekistan and in the Zarafshan valley [Karaev, 1991, p. 130]. The beginning of the Persian penetration into the Middle Asia can be taken as 21/642, when the Sasanid army suffered a defeat from the Arabs at Nihavand, and the Persians had to flee across the Amu Darya [Gibb, 1923, p. 15; Frye, 1975, p. 96].In the last decades, because of intensive development of the archeological, numismatic, historical, linguistical and source, and accumulation of huge amount of materials across the Middle Asia, the historical geography also received a big boost, including in the toponymic science. Today, a time has already came for complex studies using mass of information from the various historical disciplines.
Many (but far from all) works of the Middle Asia philologists in the area of etymological studies suffer weak argumentation [Lurie, 2004, p. 30] because of insufficient source base and scientific literature. On the other hand, many European researchers also can be accused in biased views and unwillingness to consider opposite opinions. A. Z. Validi Togan wrote that according to the obsolete views, Bartold and Tomashek stipulated that during pre-Mongolian period in the Maverannahr were no Türks that transitioned to cultural life. For that reason by all means they tried to read Türkic names in Maverannahr only in Sogdian and Persian [New page from A. Z. Validi’s life, p. 14]. Research of historical toponyms should evaluate all available data, including the works of the Middle Asian philologists who, as local residents, can analyze not only the data of the historical linguistics, but also many other factors, such as landscape and local features, folk legends, and idiosyncratic view of the territorial history by the local population.
Macrotoponymy.Middle Asia, due to its strategically important geographical position on the crossroads of the major trade, economic, and military-political communications, connected the East and the West, and was always in the center of attention of the great powers of the world, and during its whole history it frequently became a victim of aggressive wars of foreign conquerors. Each of them, with their national tradition, history, and geographical terminology, gave this region the names which were recorded in the written sources and were in use, frequently in parallel with the others, during fairly long time intervals [Kamoliddin, 2002, p. 61-68].
The most ancient of all names of the Middle Asian region is "Turan", with the root of ethnonym Tur, a general tribal name of the ancient nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples of the Middle Asia [Avesta, 356-6. ] . In beginning of the 1st millennium BC the Turs were a large military and political association antagonistic to the agricultural oases of Iran [Shirinov, 2001, p. 11]. This ethnonym, for the first time recorded in the "Avesta" [Avesta, p. 30, 119, 120], subsequently became a root in the toponym Turan, mentioned in the ancient Iranian mythology [Firdousi, vol. 1, p. 90; vol. . 3, p. 60; vol. 4, p. 239] and Middle Persian religious [Antologie, p. 430] and historical literature [Book of deeds, p. 75, 83; Markwart, 1931, p. 10-12] and documents [Gyselen, 2002, p. 174], and also in medieval Persian [Baevsky, 1980, p. 88], Arabo-Muslim [Yakut, vol. I, p. 892] and local Middle Asian historical and geographical literature [Ulozhenie (?), p. 7; Mahmud ibn Vali, p. 16, 20, 32, 53, 86]. In the historical literature the ethnonym Tur is recorded only in the composition of Moisei the Horenian (Kagankatvatsi ? - Translator’s Note) (7th century) [Herzfeld, 1947, vol. 2, p. 707].
The epoch of the Sasanid king Shapur I (ruled in 242-272) the name Turistan (Turistan) came into use among the Persians, it gained distributed alongside with the name Turan and had identical meaning the “country of Turs”. The ruler of that country is Sacan-shah, i. e. “Saka King” [Gyselen, 2002, p. 174; Lukonin, 1969, p. 55, 147]. On the Sasanid seals of the 3rd-4th centuries alongside with the names Turan and Turistan also appears the name Turgistan (Turgistan) as their equivalent [Gyselen, 2002, p. 193]. Later, during the Ephtalite (5th century) and Türkic (6th-8th centuries) epochs, it transformed into the present form "Turkistan" (or Turkestan), which means “country of Türks” [Ptitsin, 1947, p. 294-296]. The toponym Turan (trgn) is recorded on the Khoresm coins of the early Kushan and Early Middle Ages time [Muhammadi, 2000, p. 74-94]. The name Turkestan, i. e. the “country of Türks”, in the perception of the ancient Iranians geographically covered the territory of the basins of the rivers Amu Darya, Syr-Darya and Tarim [Milheev, 1961, p. 85].The equivalence of the ethnonyms Tur and Turk (Türk), like that of the toponyms Turan and Turkestan, first of all took place in the Iranian-lingual historical-geographical tradition of the pre-Islam [Book of Deeds, p. 83; West, 1987, p. 119] and Islamic time [Baevsky, 1980, p. 88; Firdousi, vol. 4, p. 208, 279], and then in the Arabo-Muslim [Yakut, vol. 1, p. 892] and Middle Asian [Kashgary, vol. 1, p. 163, 379; Mahmud ibn Vali, p. 32] literature. The ancient Iranians called Turs first of all the Middle Asian Türks, and also the Türkic-lingual Sakas and Huns [Korogly, 1983, p. 89-92]. From the 6th-7th centuries the Turan geography assumes quite real borders, which coincide with the borders of the Türkic Kaganate, and include the lands located south from the Amu Darya. In the "Shahname" the city Samangan is called “possession of the Türkic Kagan” [Korogly, 1983, p. 104,108, 148].
In the 11th century the Türkic authors identified the legendary king Afrasiab of Turan with the legendary Türkic Hakan Alp Er Tonga [Kashgary, vol. 1, p. 77; Yusuf Hos Hojib, p. 102-103]. The name Alp Er is mentioned in the ancient Türkic runiform inscriptions from the Altai mountain [Kyzlasov, 2003, p. 42]. The fate of the Chionite king Ardjasp, described in the Parthian epos “Ayatkar Zareran”, coincides with the Türkic legend about the Türkic ancestor Ashina [Korogly, 1983, p. 167]. The ethnonym Turk or Türk is a two-element (Tur-k) composition, where the second element "-k" is an affix of collective plural, and as a whole this word is the Türkic form semantically equal to the Iranian Tur-an [Fry, 1972, p. 66 - 67; Logashova, 1978, p. 76].
The Greko-Macedonian conquerors (4th century BC) viewed the Middle Asian region as a part of Ahaemenid state [Ancient authors, p. 30, 81; Shifman, 1988, p. 120-125], while the ancient Chinese (1st-2nd centuries AD) viewed the Middle Asia as a continuation of the "Western Territory”, which they viewed as Chinese’ Eastern Turkestan client [Bichurin, 1950, vol. 2, p. 169-319].9
The Arabian conquerors (7th-8th centuries) introduced the term "Maverannahr" into practice, which translated from the Arabic means “that behind the river” [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 61, 69]. In the Middle Ages this place-name received a wide circulation, it also had a less known equivalents "Vararud" [Baevsky, 1980, p. 85] and "Varadjayhun" [Hasanov, 1965, p. 62] in Farsi, with the same meaning, and territorially was initially (in the 9th century, during Tahirids) viewed as a continuation of the Iranian Khurasan [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 67-68; Ibn al-Fakih, p. 97-101], and then (in the 9th-10th centuries, during Samanids) was viewed as a separate administrative unit which included Khurasan [Ibn al-Asir, vol. 7, p. 182; vol. . 9, p. 65], and later (in the 11th-12th centuries, during Karakhanids) it was viewed as a part of the Turkestan within the Arabian Caliphate [Kashgary, vol. 3, p. 164; MITT, vol. 1, p. 229, 439, 451, 502]. In the 19th century in the European scientific historical tradition was introduced a new term "Transoxania" or "Transoksiana", as a Latin translation of the Arabic term "Maverannahr" [ES, vol. 18, p. 285].Ptolemy recorded that on “that” side of the Oxus in the lower course of Yaksart,on its left bank lived people Ariak, whose name has Türkic etimology from the Türkic word Ariyak (Nariyak) “that across the river”. From this name were calqued the Latin toponym "Transoksiana" and the Arabian "Maverannahr" [Popov, 1973, p. 142; Satybalov, Popov, 1956, p. 109-112].
The Middle Asian region during its whole history was repeatedly subjected to the capture by the foreign conquerors, each of which annoited it a name. As to the local Middle Asian historical geographical tradition, of all these names the most widespread among the local population were "Turkistan" and "Maverannahr".The toponym "Turkestan", a later replacement of the toponyms "Turan" and "Turistan", in the written tradition for the first time was recorded in the sources of the 6th-7th centuries AD. The Turkastan country is mentioned a few times by the Armenian historians Sebeos and Ananiy Shirakatsi [Ter-Mkrtichyan, 1979, p. 60-61, 63]. As a name of the Middle Asian region, the "Turkestan" is mentioned in the Sogdian document composed in the 639 AD in Turfan [Yoshida, Moriyasu, 1988, p. 5; Lurie, 2004, p. 81; Ishokov, 1993, p. 1, 5]. There is unpublished source telling that the name "Turkestan" is recorded in one of the Baktrian inscriptions from Tocharistan 6. The name "Turkestan" is repeatedly mentioned on the Sasanid seales of the 6th-7th centuries in the form Turgistan [Gyselen, 2002, p. 193], and in the monument of the Middle Persian literature "Bundahishn", composed in India from the 8th century Pehlevi texts brought from the Iran [West, 1987, p. 37, 41, 120].
6 This information was kindly given to us by E. V. Rtveladze, for which we are giving him our gratitude.10
The toponyms Turan and Turkestan are frequently found in the medieval Georgian sources [Mikhalev, 1961, p. 58], and also in “Histories of Albans” by Moisei of Choarene (Kagankatvatsi ? - Translator’s Note) (7th century) [Gukasyan, 1971, p. 248]. In all these records under the name "Turkestan", is undoubtedly meant the Türkic Kaganate, that in the 6th-7th centuries controlled the extensive territory, including all the territory of the Middle Asia and Bactria-Tocharistan in the south, and a part of India [Boboyorov, 2004, 41-42]. The name "Turkestan", i. e. the “country of Türks”, was initially brought into the use during the Sasanids, who perceived it as all lands located across Amu Darya and subjected to the Türks [Bartold, 1963 (à), p. 181].In this connection it should be noted that the name "Turan", like its later equivalent "Turkestan", in contrast with the term "Maverannahr", reflects not solely the geographical, but the ethnogeographical state [Mannonov, 1998, 6-8], and in addition it also had a certain political and legalistic meaning. The name "Turan" for the first time began to be applied by the ancient Iranians in the pre-Ahemenid time to designate specific and extant Middle Asian state of the tribes and peoples [Kashgary, vol. 3, p. 163, 379]. Since that time all states in the territory of the Middle Asia [Shirinov, 1988, p. 11; Filanovich, 2001, p. 19], the Iranians called "Turan", then during the Sasanid epoch called "Turistan", and since the Türkic epoch called "Turkistan". Hence, it can be well justified to state that in the base of these toponyms rests not a simple geographical concept produced by the legendary envisions of the ancient Iranians, but the concrete states existing in the territory of the Middle Asia, the last of which during the epoch prior to the Arab conquest was the Western Türkic Kaganate.
After the Arab conquest the toponym "Turkestan" has not lost its political and legalistic meaning at all. Only, in a previous geographical position, its political borders were moved far to the north and to the east, beyond the limits of the Arab Caliphate, where it bordered with Karluk and Uigur Kaganates. It is these states that were now called by the name "Turkestan", which is mentioned in almost all compositions of Arabo-Muslim historians and geographers of the 8th-10th centuries and by the Türkic-lingual authors [Malov, 1951, p. 435; DTS, p. 599]. It should be also considered that in the Arabian sources in the first centuries of Islam under the name "Türks" were were listed not only the Türkic-lingual peoples, but also all other non-Muslim peoples of Asia that lived outside the Arab Caliphate. In other words, the political borders of the 8th-10th centuries did not coincide with the ethnic borders, and the Türkic peoples at that time, like in the previous and subsequent time, lived not only in the northern, but also the in the southern part of the Middle Asia, including Tocharistan.In a general sense into term ‘‘Turkestan’‘ the Arabs included not only the territories occupied by the peoples speaking the Türkic languages, but also the lands of Mongols, Tunguses, Tibetians and Chinese [Murzaev, 1962, p. 122]. And the central and southern areas of the Middle Asia, which used to be a part of the Western Türkic Kaganate, now they were included in the Iranian Khurasan and received the name ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ (Ma vara'an-nahr), which in the Arabic means ‘‘that behind the river’‘. Under the name ‘‘that behind the river’‘ (Ma vara'an-nahr) the Arabs meant the country of settled Türks in the Middle Asia [Zaidan, 1907, p. 216]. In the 9th century al-Fergani included in the term ‘‘Khurasan’‘ all the territory of the Middle Asia, including Jety-su and Talas valley [Kalinina, 1988, p. 131].The term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ for the first time is found in the hadises about the prophet Muhammad [An-Nasafi, p. 131, 488, 505], it probably was spread among the Arabs still in the pre-Islamic time [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 61, 69], when it was understood as the lands located northeast from the Sasanid Iran. The Arabs who were making their first campaigns against these lands distinguished two concepts, ‘‘Ma duna-n-nahr’‘, which means ‘‘that in front of the river’‘ and ‘‘Ma vara'an-nahr’‘which means ‘‘that behind the river’‘ where under the ‘‘river’‘ in this case was meant Amu Darya. The first of them, i. e. the ‘‘Ma duna-n-nahr’‘, included the Tocharistan territory located to the east of Khurasan, north of the Hindukush mountains, and south of the Amu Darya. The second term ‘‘Ma vara’an-nahr’‘ included the territory of the Northern Tocharistan and Sogd [al-Beladsori, p. 408]. In the compositions of the Arab geographers of the 9-10th centuries, in the descriptions of the Middle Asia areas, the term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ is mentioned only in works of al-Istahri and Ibn Haukal, whose knowledge goes back to a single source, to the Abu Zaid al-Balkhi geographical composition, which has not reached us. In the term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ they included only the Sogd and a part of the Northern Tocharistan, and then noted that ‘‘for convenience we have also included in it the Khoresm and Huttalan, though they are located south from the rivers Djaihun (Amu Darya) and Vahshab (Vakhsh)’‘ [al-Istakhri, p. 295]. The other Arabic geographers of the 9-10th centuries. describing the Middle Asian areas do not use the term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ at all, and also call this territory a continuation of the Khurasan or the so-called ‘‘populated quarter’‘ (‘‘rub' maasun’‘) called al-Mashrik (East), where they included not only Khurasan and Maverannahr, but also the lands of India, China, and a number of islands of the Indian and Pacific oceans all the way to Japan [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 61-83, 161].
12Al-Mukaddasi is an exception, he uses the term al-Haital and designates with it the lands north of the Amu Darya, he describes Khoresm, Huttalan and other areas of Amu Darya basin separately from al-Haital, and separately from the Khurasan [al-Moqaddasi, p. 261]. Under the name al-Haital the medieval authors denoted a legendary ancestor of the Ephtalites, whose family tree they, like also of the Türks [ad-Dinavari, p. 4-5; al-Tabari, I, p. 211-212], they traced to the prophet Nuh (bibl. Noah) [Yakut, vol. 4, p. 999]. As relayed al-Horezmi, the descendants of the Ephtalites (al-hai-tal) in the 10th century were the Türks of the tribe Halach and Kandjina in the Tocharistan [al-Khowarezmi, p. 119].
Only some sources of that time directly or indirectly allude that before the emergence of the name ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ this Middle Asian region had the name Turan or Turkestan. So, the anonymous author of the geographical composition ‘‘Hudud al-'alam’‘ (Borders of the world), written in Farsi in the 10th century, describing the Khurasan area, calls it ‘‘gates to Turkestan’‘, denoting by the term Turkestan the lands located to the north of the Amu Darya, i. e. Maverannahr [MITT, vol. 1, p. 211-212]. This description should be attributed to the pre-Islamic time, because the same composition gives a description of the Maverannahr separately [Hudud al-Alam, p. 112-122].However, in some sources separate areas of the Middle Asia continued to be included in the Turkestan. So, in the sources is noted that all countries of the Türks border on the Khurasan and Sidjistan 8. The main cities of the Khoresm, Kat and Gurgandj, are called ‘‘gates to Turkestan’‘ [Hudud al-Alam, p. 121, 122]. During the Middle Ages the river Ilak and adjacent mountains are called a part of the Turkestan area (vilaiat) [al-Istahri, p. 34; Mustaufi, p. 100]. In the early Persian dictionaries Vakhsh and Farhar are called ‘‘cities in Turkestan’‘ [Baevsky, 1988, p. 85, 88]. The settlement Vardan, located in the Bukhara province, was called ‘‘fortress on the border with Turkestan’‘ [Narshahiy, p. 18, 23]. The city Sutkand, located in the Guzz lands in the lower course of Syr-Darya is listed as Turkestan zone [Biruni, 1976, p. 576]. In some cases Sogd is equated with the Turkestan 9. The later sources noted that Chingizkhan appointed a son of Chigatai a ruler of Turkestan, which southern border crossed Amu Darya [Shomiy, p. 27]. Yakut al-Hamavi directly indicates that ‘‘Turan’‘ is a name of the country Maverannahr [Yakut, vol. 1, ð. 892].
8 The description of the Turkestan follows right after the descriptions of the cities Djurdjan, Tus, Nishapur, Merv, Talikan, Djuzdjan, Balkh and Merverrud, i. e. in placeof the Maverannahr [al-Jakubi, p. 295].
9 One medieval scientist had simultaneously two nisbas, as-Sugdi and at-Turkistani.13
All these facts demonstrate that in the descriptions of the medieval Arabic and Persian geographers, who wrote about geographical regions irrespective of the political borders, the Maverannahr, and a part of Khurasan [Baevsky, 1988, p. 88] were considered to be a part of the ancient Turan-Turkestan. Together with the Islamic tradition, this name also spread among the inhabitants of the Middle Asia, even though for them this part of the land was on this side of the river, instead of on that part [Bartold, 1964, p. 477].In the beginning of the 11th century, i. e. with the creation of the Karakhanid state, the meaning of the toponym ‘‘Turkestan’‘ was almost restored again in its former borders, and its southern boundaries came back to the Amu Darya. As to the name ‘‘Maverannahr’‘, which at that time included Sogd and Khoresm [Biruni, 1957, p. 60], it began to mean a part of the Turkestan [Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 164], i. e. the Karakhanid state, and then the Horezmshah, the Chagataids state, the Temurids state, and the Shaibanids state. In the 17 century geography the term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ again designates only the territory of Sogd and Northern Tocharistan [Mahmud ibn Vali, p. 76]. The same understanding of name ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ is noted also in the other medieval sources, in which it is considered an administrative unit, belonging to Khurasan during the 9-10th centuries, to Turkestan during the 11-12th centuries, and at some time also to the Khoresm [An-Nasavi, p. 81]. Hence, in our opinion, we have no reasons, as some researchers suggest, to conclude that the meaning of the term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ gradually became equivalent to the term ‘‘Turkestan’‘ meaning the ‘‘Middle Asia’‘ [Asilova, Agzamova, 1988, p. 36], and moreover to attach to this geographical place-name any political and legalistic meaning [Saidov, 1994, p. 27].
The essence of the toponyms ‘‘Turan’‘ and ‘‘Turkestan’‘ were the existing states, while the essence of the name ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ was a geographical area with territory not defined by definite borders, and during different times being only an administrative part of various states - Tahirids, Samanids, Karakhanids, Horezmshahs and others, that possessed more extensive territories. In the sources of the post-Mongol time the name ‘‘Maverannahr”, like during the Karakhanid epoch, it was almost always used next to and in close connection with the name ‘‘Turkestan’‘, to which as geographical region it belonged to [MITT, vol. 1, p. 351, 412, 439, 451, 502, 534].14
Looking from the legal point of view, all these so-called ‘‘states’‘, actually independent, in the legal and political relation were parts of the Arabian (Islamic) Caliphate, though even if formally, until the Mongol conquest they recognized the supremacy of the Baghdad Caliphs. Though these ‘‘states’‘ had almost all the institutes of the government, none of them however had all the necessary attributes of the state, namely their external borders were not defined, only the external borders of the Caliphate were defined, and the inner borders had territorial administrative functions; they did not have external political relations; they had no right to mint golden coinage as a main attribute of the government, and on silver and copper coins they had to mention the Caliph name; they also had to read ‘‘hutba’‘ with the Caliph name during the Friday prayers, and at last their rulers had to be affirmed with a special letter from the Baghdad Caliphs, their authority was considered lawful only with this letter.From the Caliphs’ point of view, the Samanids were ‘‘Khurasan Emirs”, the Karakhanids were ‘‘Turkestan Hakan”, and the Horezmshahs were ‘‘Sultanov” of Khoresm and all eastern part of the Arab Caliphate. The Gaznevids and Seldjukids were also called the ‘‘Khurasan Emirs”, at times ruling also some of the Maverannahr cities.
The term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ was mainly used only in the Arabo-Muslim historical geographical tradition, and during fairly short historical time interval covering only the Islam epoch. The toponym ‘‘Turkestan’‘, a later equivalent of the toponym ‘‘Turan’‘, in parallel with other names, in one or the other form was in the use during all the history of the Middle Asian region, from the most ancient times down to our time, and not only in the local Middle Asian, Persian and Arabo-Muslim historical geographical traditions, but also in Armenian, Georgian, and later also in the Russian tradition. As a result of aggressive wars of foreign conquerors (Ahaemenids, Greco-Macedonians, Sasanids and Arabs) the political borders of the Turan-Turkestan frequently changed, and at times receded far to the north and east beyond the Amudarya, and sometimes even beyond the Syr-Darya. However, with the change of the political conditions during history, the Turan-Turkestan was restored each time in the borders of its historical and cultural area, which included all the territory of the Middle Asia [Musketov, 1915, p. 13]. This understanding of the name ‘‘Turkestan’‘ as the country located to the east of the Caspian Sea and including Maverannahr and the eastern part of Khurasan permeated not only the medieval Arab-lingual [Yakut, vol. I, p. 892, 838-842] and Persian-lingual [Baevsky, 1980, p. 88] zones, but also the Armenian [Ter-Mkrtichyan, 1985, p. 66] and the Georgian historical geographical literature [Mikhalev, 1961, pp. 57-58]. The toponym ‘‘Turkestan’‘ as a name of the country occupying all Middle Asian territory, was a standard term in the European scientific and political literature of the 19 - beginnings of the 20th century [ES, vol. Â4, p. 174-204], and among the inhabitants of the Middle Asia.15
In the archeological science the term ‘‘Turan’‘ is used for the description of the culture in its territory in the most ancient periods of the Middle Asia history [Ionesev, 1992, p. 27]. In the geographical literature are used the terms ‘‘Turan’‘ and ‘‘Turkestan’‘ for the whole territory of the Middle Asia, which represents a specific geographical region, surrounded by the mountains in all directions, [Musketov, 1915, p. 15, 23; Kogay, 1969, p. 7-9].
Of all above names for the Middle Asian region ‘‘Turan’‘ or ‘‘Turkestan’‘ appears to be the correct term, from the historical and cultural, and from the political and legal points of view. The term ‘‘Maverannahr’‘ was introduced into the local historical geographical tradition from the outside by the foreign conquerors and has no base historical and cultural, and political and legal meaning.The Middle Asian region had one more historical name, namely: Uzbekistan, and also its Latin equivalents Uzbek and Uzbekiya, recorded on the historical political and ethnic maps and globes made in the 16-18th centuries in the Western European countries. One of such maps is Nova Maris Kaspii et Regionis Usbeck (‘‘Map of Caspian Sea and Uzbek country”) was made by the Dutch map maker Abraham Maas serving in the court of Peter I, and published in the 1735 in Nuremberg. On it all the territory of the Middle Asia in the Turkestan geographical borders is painted pink and designated with the name USBEK [Maas, 1735]. Now our collection has more than 200 copies of such maps and globes, with all the territory of the Middle Asia designated by such names as Usbek (Usbec, Usbeck, Vsbek), Usbekia (Usbechia, Uzbekiae), and its separate parts designated by such names as Usbek Bucharia, Usbek Bochara; Usbek Chowaresmia, Usbek Mawaralnahra, Usbek Turkistan, Usbek Turan, Usbek Tartaria, Usbek Zagatay, etc. All these names are given not as ethnonyms, but as toponyms, i. e. the names of the political unit, state or country [Kamoliddin, Mukminova, 2003, p. 16-26].
16The modern historical atlases of the Islamic world [Bregel, 2003, p. 30, 31, 51, 53, 55; Kennedy, 2002, p. 42ab], describing the territories of the Shaibanids and Uzbek Khanates states of the Middle Asia, do not use the toponyms Usbek and Usbekia, which is an omission of their authors, who have not found it necessary to involve the historical cartography of the region.
Among all maps of the Middle Asia of the 16-18 centuries, in our opinion, a special interest deserves a map of the 1730 by the Greek traveller and map maker Vasilio Vatache [Battatzis, 1732]. The original manuscript of this outstanding bilingual map with Greek and Latin inscriptions is kept in the Royal Geographical society (The Royal Geographical Society, mrAsia Div. 464), and its publication is in the cartography department of the British library in London (The British Library, Maps, King's Topographical Collection, 114, 53).A Greek merchant from Terapei Vasilio Vatache (Basilios Batatzis) was a son of a head of a Christian church in the Constantinopole. He spent many years travelling in the countries of Europe and Asia. In the 1727-1730 he travelled in the countries located around the Caspian Sea, and left a description of his travel in the Greek language [Legrand, 1886, p. 185-295; Bagrov, 1912; Berg, 1960, p. 167-250; Destunis, 1881, p. 354-365; Maksheev, 1882, p. 267-269].
On the Vatache map the whole basin of the Amu Darya from the Aral Sea to the Pamir mountains is designated as the country ΘZMΠΕΓΙΣTAN (Uzbekiae), i. e. Uzbekistan. Inside this country are such areas as EZMETIOΛOU that matches the Khoresm site, ΜΠΟUXAPIA (Bucharia), i. e. Bukhariia, and MΠΕΔΕΞΑΝ (Badachsan), i. e. Badakhshan, and also large cities XIBA (Chiva), i. e. Khiva, ΣAMAPKANT (Samarcabda), i. e. Samarkand, MPAΛΧ (Balch), i. e. Balkh, and smaller cities KAPΣI (Carsi), i. e. Karshi, XOTCANΔ (Chogiand), i. e. Khojend, XΘNΔΘZ (Conduz), i. e. Kunduz, etc. At the confluence of the Amu Darya into the Aral lived APAΛOI people, i. e. Aralians. The name ΘZMΠΕΓΙΣTAN (Uzbekistan) is marked on the map with considerably larger letters than all other names of the areas, and it shows that this area occupied a special position among all other areas marked on the map, and probably was a political center of all other territories of the Middle Asia. Its territory approximately matches the territories of Khiva and Bukhara Khanates.17 The toponyms Usbeck and Usbekia are recorded on the Greek map the then contemporary Latin equivalents for the local name of the country of Uzbeks, Ozbegistan (ΘZMΠΕΓΙΣTAN), which was in the use in the 16-18th centuries, and the designated territory of the centralised Shaibanids and Ashtarkhanids states that subsequently split into independent Uzbek Khanates with the centers in Bukhara, Khiva, Kokand and Balkh. The name Uzbek is a successor and a synonym of the more ancient toponym Turkestan with the meaning of Middle Asia, which is corroborated by the known historian and geographer from Balkh Mahmud ibn Vali (17th century), who wrote: ‘‘The Turkestani people during each epoch had a special name and a nickname. So, from the times of Tur ibn Yafas (Tur ibn Yapheth - Translator’s Note) to the coming of Mogul-Khan the inhabitants of this country were called Türks. After Mogul-Khan came to power to all tribes living in this country was applied the name Mogul. After raising of the state banner of the Uzbek-khan and to this day, the inhabitants of this country are called Uzbeks. However, in the remote countries, as before, all the inhabitants of the Turan are called Türks” [Mahmud ibn Vali, p. 32].
Of the other Middle Asia peoples on the medieval European maps are noted Turkmens (Turkmenoi), Kazakhs (Kazakoi), Kirghizes (Khrkizoi), Karakalpaks (Karakalpakoi), who lived inside the Usbeck (Usbekia, Ozbegistan) territory, and beyond its limits were Bashkirs (Baskiroi), Tatars (Tartaroi), Kalmyks (Kalmoukoi) and Mugals (Mugali). On separate maps outside the Uzbek territory were noted only the areas Tartaria (to the north), Kalmuchia (to the north), Mugalia (to the southeast) and Kosaki Horda (to the northeast). Inside the Usbeck, Usbekia and Ozbegistan territory on the separate maps were depicted the areas Turkmania (in the southwest) and Karakalpakia (in the northwest). However, on the majority of maps these ethnonyms are not used as ethnotoponyms, i. e. as the name of the area, and are part of the Usbeck, Usbekia and Ozbegistan territory, which indicates only the residence location of these ethnic groups. Not one of the known historical maps or globes of the 16-18 centuries recorded the ethnonym Tadjik, let alone the toponyms formed from this name.The origin of the ethnonym Tadjik ascends to the name of the Arab tribe Tai transformed to Tazi (Hudud al-Alam, p. 112), and was used by local population of the Middle Asia to designate the oncoming Arab-Persian conquerors (Bartold, 1963; Frye, 1975, p. 96). In the Pehlevi sources in the form Tājik is rendered the ethnonym Arab [PRS, p. 245], in the Armenian it is rendered in the form Tatchik [Gandzaketsi, p. 90; Ter-Mkrtichyan, 1985, p. 58; Ter-Mkrtichyan, 1991, p. 117], in the Sogdian it is rendered in the form T'zyk (Tazik) [Gharib, 1995, p. 385], and in the ancient Türkic it is rendered in the form Tazik [DTS, p. ???]. In the Persian sources this word is mentioned in the form Tāzī or Tāzik [Baihaki, p. ???] . In the 17 century the word Tāzī was still used with the meaning ‘‘Arab’‘ [Hofiz Tanish, vol. 1, p. 153]. In the Türkic sources the word Tājik means Moslems in general [Yusuf Chass-Hadschib, p. 283], and in dictionaries the word Tāzī is one of the terms for a dog. (Triyarsky, 1979, p. 309).
18In the medieval Armenian sources of the 7 – 12th centuries the name Tatchkastan was used for the country of Tatchiks, i. e. Arabs - Moslems [Gandzaketsi, p. 90; Ter-Mkrtichyan, 1991, p. 117]. The national identity of the modern Tadjiks began to be formed only in the 20th century under direct control of the Russian scientists and politicians [Atkin, 1993, p. 151]. Their Persian past never was monolithic. The Iranian culture was being created not only by the Persians and Tadjiks, but by various social, ethnic and linguistic groups of the ancient and medieval Persia [Hanaway, 1993, p. 147 - 150].
In the 16-18th centuries the peoples of the Middle Asia stood at different levels of political development. Since the 16th century the Dashti-Kipchak Uzbeks were political masters of the Middle Asia, and having adopted the culture of the local Türkic sedentary agricultural and urban population of the Middle Asia, they were considered as legal descendents and continuators of the Temurid state traditions and of the earlier Türkic dynasties. In the 16-18th centuries they solidified their territory, had a written literary language and culture. Therefore on the political maps and globes of that time their country was designated as Usbeck, Usbekia and Ozbegistan. Hence, the toponyms Usbeck, Usbekia and Ozbegistan already in the 16-18th centuries had a unifyng ethnocultural and ethnopolitical meaning, and included not only the territories populated by the ethnic Uzbeks, who held the political power in the region, but also by the sedentary agricultural and city Türks, Tadjiks and the so-called Sarts, who composed the cultural kernel of this association, and also the Middle Asian and Dashti-Kipchak nomadic tribes who joined them.25
Hydronyms.The names of natural physical geographical objects, like mountains, lakes, rivers, etc. , in comparison with the names of the settlements, are characterized by enduring stability [Nikonov, 1978, p. 88; Ageeva, 1979, p. 74-76; Karaev, 1987, p. 104-130]. If the regional historical geographical microtoponyms as a result of changes in the political and ethnic situation after some centuries can undergo certain transformation, the natural geographical macrotoponyms, in contrast, do not change with the political and ethnical borders, and stay in their initial form during very long time intervals [Ageeva, 1979, p. 75]. And the larger is a geographical object, the older is its ancient name [Murzaev, p. 40]. Therefore the place names very frequently outlive the languages and their carriers that formed them. For example, a majority of Kuban modern hydronyms have Türkic origin, though now in the most parts of the Kuban territory the Türkic-speaking population is almost completely absent [Gulieva, 1976, p. 50]. In the same way originally Sogdian toponyms continued to exist in some areas of the Bukhara Sogd up to the 16th century [Lurie, 2004, p. 244]. It does not however indicate that the Sogdian language continued to exist at that time among the local population.
26The names of the majority of geographical objects in the Middle Asia, recorded by written sources, have Türkic origin. These names record the habition of the Türkic peoples in this territory from the extreme antiquity, reflecting the variety and richness of the Türkic lexicon [Logashova, 1984, p. 151].
Any place name does not start its existence only from the moment when it was recorded in the sources. Hundreds, and maybe and thousands, years before they could live in the oral speech. Besides, only a small fraction of all ancient toponyms happened to be recorded by the written sources [Karaev, 1985, p. 27]. With the continuous residence of the Türkic-speaking population for centuries and millenniums in the same territory, the phonetic form of the toponyms could change together with the changes in the live speech. Eventually, the ancient names lost their initial forms and changed, adapting to the developments of the languages [Ahmedov, 1971, p. 69]. Many of later and even modern Türkic toponyms can have a very ancient origin. Hence, the statement that the names of the water sources formed on the basis of the Iranian languages are the most ancient in Middle Asia, and their Türkic calques appeared much later, is inaccurate [Jabbarov, 2005, p. 76-78]. The Türkic hydroformants okuz and suv have the same ancient origin as the Iranian rud and ab, and in the present it is not established which of them were the initial ones. Besides, existed a practice of simultaneous coexistence of two and more names for the same geographical object. Like in other regions, in the Middle Asia toponymy the bases of the Türkic origin survived most of all in the names of the large water objects, like big rivers and lakes [Murzaev, p. 40; Gulieva, 1976, p. 50].The largest river in the Middle Asia, Amu Darya, mentioned in the ‘‘Avesta’‘, was called Vahvi Daitya [Hodjaeva, 2003, p. 67-79], the ancient Greeks called it Oxus and identified it with the name of the river Vakhsh [Steblin-Kamensky, 1978, p. 72]. The Türks simply called it Okuz, i. e. ‘‘river’‘ because the ancient Türks called any big river okuz [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 91, 411, 469; vol. 3, p. 166, 260], and this word also has a second meaning ‘‘bull’‘ [Khasanov, 1962, p. 95].
26The initial names of the rivers “water” in the mythological vision was connected with various images of tribal animals, and first of all with the totems [Logashova, 1978, p. 77]. Supposedly, the ancient Greeks encountered the name Okuz and transformed it into Oks (Oxus) or Akes [Murzaev, 1974, p. 195; Murzaev, 1984, p. 405, 576; Khasanov, 1962, p. 35; Khasanov, 1965, p. 80; Khasanov, 1969, p. 157; Karaev, 1991, p. 38]. The population of the Middle Asia untill the 17th century. called Amu Darya Asaf-Okuz or simply Okuz [Khasanov, 1962, p. 35].
On the Catalan map composed in the 1375 from the information of the
eyewitnesses, is shown a city Ogus, located near the mouth of the
river Amo (i. e. Amu Darya) [Fedchina, 1967, p. 19]. On the 1562 map
of Antonio Djenkinson the lower course of the Amu Darya running into
the Caspian Sea was called Ugus (Ougus) [Jenkinson, 1570]. On some
maps of the 16-17th centuries Amu Darya was called Ugus that means
‘‘bull’‘ [Fedchina, 1967, p. 33]. During the Middle Ages, the name Okuz also had the Binakat valley and the city Iki-Okuz located
between the deserts Ila and Yafindj [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 91]. The
river near the city Osh in the Fergana valley was called
Tavushgan-Okuz [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 469]. In the Tokuz-Oguz country,
the city Irguzkat, with name’s etymology coming from the Türkic Ikki
Oguz which means ‘‘between two rivers’‘ [Lurie, 2003, p is mentioned.
195]. On the bank of the Aral Sea is mentioned a mountain Chagyroguz
(Djagiragur) [al-Istakhri, p. 304; Ibn Haukal, p. 481]. In the East
Turkestan are mentioned the rivers Ikki-Okuz, Tumushgan-Oguz, Kara-
Kash-Okuz [al-Biruni, 1963, p. 184; Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 166], in
Mongolia are mentioned Orkun-Uguz, Togla-Uguz and Yar-Uguz [Malov,
1959, p. 101, 104, 105]. This word was also preserved in the the name
of the Uzboi (Okuz-Boy) dry channel, which flows into the Caspian Sea
[Murzaev, 1957, p. 255; Murzaev, 1984, p. 273], and also in the
diminutive form Ozek (Okuz-ak), which is used for the small rivers,
in the hydronyms Kok-Ozek, Kyzyl-Ozek, Sary-Ozek
(Blue Rivulet, Red
Rivulet Yellow Rivulet - Translator’s Note), etc. [Baskakov, 1969, p.
65-66; Donidze, 1969, p. 167; Karaev, 1985, p. 24]. The name of the
city Uzkand (Uzgand, Ozd-jand) in the Fergana valley [Hudud al-Alam,
p. 116; Biruni, 1973, p. 472; Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 164], also is
probably formed with the topoformant okuz/uz/oz with the meaning
The Arabic name of the river Djayhun, also used likewise for designation of the big rivers, in this case is a calque of the Türkic word with the same meaning [Karaev, 1987, p. 105]. In the Arabic sources is information that the river Balkh, i. e. Djaihun, was also called Oksus [al-Thaalibi, p. 121]. However, the most ancient name of the Amu Darya is generally believed to be Amu, which is also mentioned in the medieval sources in the form Amul and Amui as the name of the city [al-Beladsori, p. 410] and of a river [Abdullaev, 1991, p. 85; Baevsky, 1980, p. 85; Book, p. 36; Nadjib, l. 4à, 116, 156; Shomy, p. 88, 99, 113, 129, 148, 172, 232]. The origin of this name is traced to the Enisei-Ket languages, widespread in the territory of the Middle Asia in the 2nd millennium BC. The name Amu comes from the Ket word am "mother" and ul "river", and means " mother-water". [Yailenko, 1990, p. 37-40]. The Avestian name of the river Vahvi Daitya, like the later Iranian forms of this name Vaxshu and Vehrot, are the calques of the initial Yenisei word. [Dulzon, 1971, p. 198-208). The name Amul in the Middle Ages had two more cities, one of them was in the Tabaristan, and the second was in the Khazar country [Masoudi, vol. 2, p. 7-8, 20]. In the Byzantine sources is mentioned a toponym Amil-ser [Moravcsik, 1958, p. 66]. Thus, the largest river of the Central Asia had multiple names, most ancient of which is Amu. The plurality of the names for the same river along its different sections is a notable feature of the Middle Asia hydronymy [Murzaev, 1962, p. 124].
The second large river of the Middle Asia, Syr-Darya, is mentioned in
Avesta under the name Ranha [Hodjaeva, 2003, p. 79-85], and in the
ancient Greek sources was called Yaksart (Yaxart); the same name had
the people Yak-Sart on the northern bank of the middle course of this
river [Tabulae Georaphicae]. In the Middle Ages this river is
mentioned under the name Ashard [West, 1987, p. 80] or Hashart
(Hasart) [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 138; Hudud al-Alam, p. 116; Biruni, 1973,
p. 472; Biruni, 1976, p. 576], and in the Chinese sources it is
mentioned in the form Yo-sha (Yok-shat) [Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 75].
It is impossible to assert with confidence that this hydronym
originates from an ethnonym. The opposite sequence is also possible,
when a toponym forms an ethnic name [Murzaev, 1982, p. 38]. The
etymology of name Yaksart with its medieval variants Hashart (Hasart)
is argued to come from the ancient Iranian Yaksharta (Yaxsa-arta),
which means “real pearls” [Murzaev, 1957, p. 253], yaxsa-harta is a
“river of brilliants” [Tremblay, 2004, p. 119-121], or óàõsà-rta
“running (river)” [Livshits, 2003, p. 10]. The ancient Türks called
this river Yenchu-okuz [Amanjolov, 2002, p. 153; Malov, 1951, p. 34,
41; DTS, p. 269], which also means “Pearl River”. In the Chinese
sources it is mentioned under the name Chjen-chju-he, which also
means the “Pearl River” and is a calque of the Turkic name [MIKK,
vol. 2, p. 68; Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 72-77; Karaev, 1991, p. 39]. In
antiquity the river Naryn was also called with this name, and it is
also mentioned in the sources under the names Ma-mi, Chji-he, Hatlam,
and others. These names were also used to designate the upper and
middle course of the Syr-Darya.
As to the lower watercourse in the Aral area, in antiquity it had the name Sir, which subsequently was transferred to the whole river [Murzaev, 1957, p. 253]. For the first time the name Sir is mentioned in the 4th century BC ancient Roman sources in the form Silis [Gorbunova, 1976, p. 27; Klyashtorny, 1964, p. 75-76]. The Chinese sources mentioned this name in the form Shi-er-he, i. e. the river Sir. The name Sir is a derivative from the Saka word sir, which means ‘‘plentiful’‘, ‘‘inundating river’‘ [Murzaev, 1957, p. 253; Milheev, 1961, p. 80; Klyastorny, 1961, p. 26], or from Türkic ‘‘bend of the river”. The word sir can be formed from the verb sir ‘‘wash out‘‘, ‘‘to make a trace’‘, connected with the root ir or irim. (Murzaev, 1984, p. 235). The name Sir could also be connected with the Türkic ethnonym Sir, recorded in the Tonyukuk monument [Malov, 1951, p. 65, 70; Musaev, 1984, p. 192] and in the pre-Islamic Khoresmian coins [Muhammadi, 2000, p. 94]. The tribes Sir and Tardush were a part of the Tele confederation, which formed after disintegration of the Hunnish empire, and in the 6th century they were one of the most powerful tribes in the East Turkestan [Hodjaev, 2004, p. 7. 19, 20; Hujaev, 2001, 23-6.]. The language of the Sir tribe belonged to the ‘‘northern‘‘ ancient Türkic language, in which in the Sir dialect are written more than 200 monuments of the ancient Türkic runiform writing’ [Klyashtorny, 2004, p. 45-46]. The origin of the name Sir/Sil is also linked with the ancient Türkic word sel/selem, which was preserved in the Chuvash language with a meaning ‘‘pearl(s)” [CHRS, p. 357; Shoniyozov, 1990, 22-23].
Some Chinese sources call Syr-Darya Ye-ye (Yeh-yeh) or She-she (Sheh-sheh) [Beal, 1990, p. 45], which can be a hieroglyphic transcription of the Türkic word uaruar, meaning ‘‘current’‘, ‘‘river’‘ [Malyavkin, 1989, p. 265, note 598]. Syr-Darya also was called ‘‘river Kang” [Ptitsin, 1947, p. 303] or Kangar [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 138], which is homonymous with the ethnonym Kang or Kangly [Yeremeyev, 1970, p. 134].The Arabs also called Syr-Darya Saihun, and the Persians called it Rud-i Saihan [Baevsky, 1980, p. 87; Nadjib Bakran, p. 12à] or Gülzarriün [Ptitsin, 1947, p. 303]. In the beginning of the 20th century. Karadarya had the name Guli-shan [Valihanov, 1961, vol. 1, p. 312]. There is an opinion that the names of the rivers Djaihun and Saihun were duplicates of the names of the two Syrian northern rivers, Djaihan and Saihan. [Karaev, 1991, p. 81]. According to the early Arabian geographers, Syr-Darya was also called Long (River) and al-Khazar, i. e. the river of Khazars [al-Masoudi, vol. 2, p. 7, 8, 14, 15, 19, 20; Kalinin, 1988, p. 50, 117].
The Arab variations of the names of Amu Darya and Syr-Darya, Djaihun and Saihun, like the Chinese Ie-he (Yo-sha) and Chje-she, could reflect the Nenets (Russian derisive ‘‘Samoed’‘) or Ob-Ugrian prototypes yohan (Khant) river, and sioha (Nenets) ‘‘flowing river” [Yailenko, 1988, p. 133].During the Middle Ages Syr-Darya was also called ‘‘Shash’ river”, ‘‘Uzgand river”, ‘‘Khojend river“, etc. Naming the rivers by the cities located on them is one more distinctive feature of the Middle Asia hydronymy [Murzaev, 1962, p. 124].
The word daria (darya), widely represented in the modern hydronymy of the Middle Asia, has not Iranian, but the Altai languages’ etymology with the meaning ‘‘the big channel of the river’‘ [Ismoilov, 1987, p. 53]. The word darya (dare/dere) as a topoformant with the meaning ‘‘river’‘, ‘‘valley’‘ are also found in the Crimean [Superanskaya, 1969, p. 191] and Gagauz toponyms, which indirectly confirm the Türkic origin of it word. The ethnic history of Gagauzes passed far from the Iranian peoples, and in their language the Iranian loanwords are almost absent. (Dron, Kuroglo, 1989, p. 57, 64).
One of the most ancient Middle Asia hydronyms is Tum(à), which in the form Dumos is recorded on the Ptolemy map as one of two main tributaries of Yaksart [Tabulae Georaphicae]. The origin of this name is linked with Enisei languages and has etymology as Black (river), which proves that the Türkic name of the of this river is a calque Kara(darya) [Yailenko, 1990, p. 40]. Among the Mongolian clans beetwin the Shta Uzbeks, in the sources is recorded a clan Shuma [Ahunov, 1987, p. 90].The second main tributary of the Yaksart on the Ptolemy map has a name Baskatis [Tabulae Georaphicae], and corresponds with the river Naryn. The etymology of this river name comes from the Sogdian hydronym Biskat [Lurie, 2003, p. 188], or from the Türkic word baskak (‘‘pressing’‘, ‘‘covering’‘) [Ahmedov, 1987, p. 60]. In the beginning of the 20th century one of the tributaries of the river Naryn was called Baskaun [Valihanov, 1961, vol. 1, p. 313]. In our opinion, both these names, i. e. Baskatis and Baskaun, descend from the hydronym Barshan (Barsgan), which also gave it name to two cities, located on the banks of the lake Issyk-kul. In the 10th century the name Barshan had one of the rivers in vicinity of Uzgend [Hudud al-Alam, p. 116]. Per Ptolemy, in the upper course of this river, on its right bank, lived people Caratae [Tabulae Georaphicae], i. e. Karatai which in translation from the Türkic means ‘‘black stallion” [Ahmedov, 1987, p. 60].
29The name of the Karabogaz-gol gulf in the Caspian Sea, identified with the lake Chaechasta, mentioned in ‘‘Avesta’‘ [Gafurov, 1968, p. 80-82], also probably has an ancient origin. In the 9th century the Persians called Syr-Darya river (nahr) al-Hazar, i.e. Khazarian river [Kalinin, 1988, p. 117], and the Caspian sea (bahr) al- Hazar, i.e. [al-Masoudi, vol. 4, p. 38; Beruni, 1973, p. 438; al-Idrisi, vol. 8, p. 699; Nadjib, 26b.]. To this day the Persians call the Caspian sea Darya-i Hazar, i.e. Khazarian Sea. On the coast of the Caspian Sea is mentioned the Guz’ port Mangyshlak, and on the southern coast is mentioned the lake Hyz-tengizi (Maiden Sea), i.e. the lake Sary-Kamysh [Biruni, 1966, p. 96; Beruni, 1973, p. 470; Kashgary, vol. 1, p. 432; vol. 3, p. 172]. In the 10th century Mangyshlak is mentioned also under a Persian name Siyah-kuh. [al-Istakhri, p. 8, 190, 218, 219; Biruni, 1966, p. 96; Beruni, 1973, p. 470; Kashgary, vol. 1, p. 432; vol. 3, p. 172], Ibn al-Asir calls it a city. [Ibn al-Asir, vol. 10, p. 111]. In the Pehlevi texts is mentioned the sea Dugdu (dwktwk), which i realistic s also called as "Zoroaster Sea" [Anthologie, p. 395]. It can be correlated with the toponym Gün-dogdu, which means “rising sun” [Savin, 1969, p. 171].
The Aral sea is called in "Avesta" Vorukasha (vour.kasa) Sea or Chaechasta lake [Hodjaeva, 2003, p. 93-98]. The last name came from the Ob-Ugrian word sad ("water") [Yailenko, 1988, p. 133]. In the Chinese sources the Aral sea is called Zhen-hi (“salty lake”) 20. In the Middle Ages in the Halluh country the sources mentioned lake Biy Tuzun-Ardj, also called Tuz-kul [Hudud al-'Alam, p. 98] (“salty lake”).
20 Materials of History PhD A.Hodjaeva, to whom we bring our gratitude.
One of the Chinese names of the lake Issyk- kul sounded as Suy-ye-shuy or Syan hay, also “salty lake” in translation, or Tuz-kul [Bichurin, 1950, vol. 3, p. 50-51; MIKK, vol. 2, p. 64]. It is realistic to assume that the Aral Sea was also called Tuz-kul, from which then was calqued its Chinese name Zhen-hay. On a Middle Asia map from the beginning of the 18th century Aral Sea is called Salt Water Lake, i.e. Lake with salty water [Moll Geograph]. In the Rus annals the Aral is called Dark Blue Sea [Murzaev, 1957, p. 243]. In the (Arabic - Translator’s Note) medieval sources the Aral Sea is mentioned as lake (buhaira) Kurdar (Kurdan) [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 136], Khoresmian lake of (buhai-rat Huvarizm) [al-Istakhri, p. 393; al-Masoudi, p. 303; al-Idrisi, vol. 4, p. 482, vol.8, p. 698; Mustawfi, p. 214, 217, 241], or the sea of Shash (bahr ash-Shash) [Minorsky, 1937, p. 148], which water was really salty, because at its bottom was an underground channel connecting it with the al-Hazar Sea [al-Idrisi, vol. 8, p. 699]. The modern name Aral is already mentioned in the sources of the 9th century [al-Masoudi, vol. 1, p. 211, 212], and belongs to the circle of toponyms of the ancient Türkic period [Musaev, 1984, p. 192], because the word Aral with the meaning "island" was in use among the Türks still in the pre-Islamic time [DTS, p. 50]. The Türks named this lake Aral because as an enormous pool stands like an island among the waterless dry deserts of the Turan lowland [Murzaev, 1957, p. 243].
Of the other large water objects the medieval sources mention in the Middle Asia is the lake Issi(ê)-kul [Tugusheva, 1991, p. 218] or Isi(g)-kul [Hudud al-Alam, p. 98; Biruni, 1973, p. 473; Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 149; Nadjib, p. 86, 9à], which was also called al-Buhaira al-Harra (Hot lake) [Biruni, 1973, p. 473] (in the Chinese sources: Je-hai, Warm or Hot Sea) [Bichurin, 1950, vol. 2, p. 314; MIKK, vol. 2, p. 60, 64, 67; 68; Umurzakov, 1978, p. 55]. On the al-Idrisi map in the Karluks country north of the Fergana is shown the lake Samdjan, which was also called Buhairat at-Turk, i. e. ‘‘Türkic lake’‘ [Gaube, 1986, p. 85-91], and is identified with the Issyk-kul lake [Kumekov, 1971, p. 195].In the Tian-Shan mountains the sources also mention a Tuz-kul lake [Hudud al-Alam, p. 98], a river Tamga, and an homonymous gulf on the lake Isig-kul [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 400], a river Tonk flowing into the Issi-kul lake [Hudud al-Alam, p. 98] (now this name have a pass, a glacier, a river, and a settlement. In the ancient Türkic tong means ‘‘frozen’‘ [Nikonov, 1978, p. 103]), a pasture Ak-Sai, lakes Yulduz-kul and Son-kul [Karaev, 1972, p. 112]. The Chinese sources mention the river Suey-pu, its name reconstructed as supuq/suvuq [MIKK, vol. 2, p. 68]. The river near the city Osh in the Fergana valley was called Tavushgan-Okuz [Kashgari,. 1, p. 469]. In the Uzgend surburb were two rivers, called Yabagu in the (Arabic - Translator’s Note) text T.bag.r) and Barshan [Hudud al-Alam, p. 116]. In the Fergana valley the sources also mention the lake Sidin-kul [Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 380], rivers Djadgal (Chatkal) [al-Istakhri, p. 334, 346; Ibn Haukal, p. 339, 392, 395; al-Moqaddasi, p. 48, 262; Biruni, 1973, p. 471] and Yabaku [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 65; Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 43], and a ravine Kara-yalga [Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 40]. In the name of the city Sikul in the Chigil country [Hudud al-Alam, p. 99] also is a word kul ‘‘lake’‘.
Some Jeti-su hydronyms mentioned in the Chinese sources can be considered calques of the local names of Türkic origin. The absence of the Iranian equivalents for these names shows that the prototype for the Chinese calques were the Türkic names. They include such toponyms as Bin-üy (thousand springs) and Tsyan-tsüan (thousand watersources), which can be compared with the name Ming-bulak. The name of the city Chi-gu-chen, which is usually located on the southeast bank of the lake Issyk-kul, means ‘‘city of a red valley’‘, matching the Türkic name Kyzylsu. In this area the rivers Chon-Kyzylsu and Kichi-Kyzylsu flow into the lake [Umurzakov, 1978, p. 54-55; Umurzakov, 1962, p. 109-110].
The river which is irrigating the Shash province in the 10th century was called Nahr at-Turk [Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 64, 138; al-Masoudi, p. 65, 67; al-Istakhri, p. 344, 345; Ibn Haukal, p. 388, 404; al-Masoudi, p. 65] or Nahr al-Atrak [at-Tabari, ser. Ill, p. 1988, 2001, 2004], i. e. the river of Türks, and also as Nahr-i Turkistan [Karaev, 1987, p. 122]. In the Persian-lingual sources it was called Ob-i Poryak or Ob-i Turk [Yazdi, p. 221à]. The modern name Chirchik of this river also has Türkic origin, with etymology sir + chik, i. e. Small Sir, because it is a tributary of Syr-Darya [Koraev, 1980, p. 32], or it comes from the Türkic word chadir/chayir ‘‘pasture’‘ [Murzaev, 1980, p. 85; Boboyorov, 2005, 125-6. ] . This name is mentioned in the Sogdian document (À-14) in the form Chagirchik (ch'grchyk) [SDGM, 1962, p. 79, 87, 198] or Chadirchik (ch'drchyk) [Grenet, 1989, p. 80-81], in the epos ‘‘Manas’‘ it is given in the form Chayirchik [Koraev, 1980, 32-6. ], and by Babur in the form Chir [Babur-name, p. 86, 136, 17à, 19àá, 226]. In our opinion, the name of this river can also be connected with an ethnonym Chagirak or Chagirat [Bartold, 1963, p. 208].Through the Ilak valley runs the river Birki, sprang in the homonymous mountains and contributory to the river in the Shash [Karaev, 1973, p. 57]. This name, like the similar Mirki and Didaki, also can have Türkic origin.
The medieval sources mention in the Khoresm the toponym Su-Kara (Kara-su), in translation ‘‘Black Water’‘ [Ibn al-Asir, vol. 12, p. 86]. The river Barsan, running near the city Hulbuk, was also called Ahshu, i. e. Aksu (‘‘White Water’‘) [Ibn Khordadbeh, p. 296; al-Istakhri, p. 339; Ibn Haukal, p. 518; al-Moqaddasi, p. 291], it retained this name up to present, Aksu is a left inflow of the Kulyabdarya.. One of the cities in the Kubadian province had the name Sakara or Sukara [al-Moqaddasi, p. 290]. The name of the city Sairam (or Saryam) in the Syr-Darya basin [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 111; vol. 3, p. 191] means ‘‘shallow bank’‘, ‘‘shoaliness’‘ [Murzaev, 1980, p. 81].
On the Middle Asia map of the Greek traveler Vasilio Vatache (1730) the river Zarafshan is designated as the river karaσoυι (Κarasui), in its lower course on the left bank was a city kapakoλ (Κaracol) [Kamoliddin, 2005, p. 40-41]. This shows that at that time the river Zarafshan was better known by its Türkic name Karasu, and in its lower course stood a city Kara-kul. In the root of the toponym Kara-kul, that still exist till now, lays the ancient hydronym Karakul, which means ‘‘black lake’‘.
In the 10th century in the Bukhara province is mentioned the lake Samdjan (Sam-khvash, Avaza, Bargin-i Farakh) [al-Istakhri, p. 306; Hudud al-Alam, p. 72], also called with the Türkic names Karakul and Dingiz [Narshahiy, p. 25; Lurie, 2004, p. 192.]. According to the Ibn Haukal map, the river Sogd (Zarafshan, Karasu) ran into the Kharakhaz lake [Ibn Haukal, p. 462, map; Fedchina, 1967, p. 11] in which name can be seen a deformed form of the hydronym Karakul. The same name is mentioned on the Ptolemy map in the form Characharta [Tabulae Georaphicae]. This shows that in the Bukhara province in the beginning of our era alongside with the Iranian-lingual population also lived Türkic-speaking populace, and already then this lake had the Türkic name.It can be concluded that the Türkic name of the Sogd river (Karasu), documented in the Late Middle Age map, was as ancient as the name Karakul, and was used by the Sogdian Türkic-speaking population even in the first centuries AD. Even now the name Zarafshan carries only its lower watercourse, whereas its upper and middle course is called Karadarya. The root of the hydronyms Karakul, Karasu and Karadarya is the Türkic word kara- ‘‘black’‘. One of channels of the river Zarafshan below Samarkand was called Ak-darya.
The names designating various colors (white, black, red, etc. ) belong to the earliest layers of the historical toponyms. One of the most ancient hydronyms in the Middle Asia is Tum(à), which in the form Dumos is recorded on the Ptolemy map as one of two main inflows of the Yaksart [Tabulae Georaphicae]. The origin of this name is linked with the Enisei languages with etymology as Black (river), which corroborates its Türkic calque in the name of this river Kara(darya) [Yailenko, 1990, p. 40]. In the Kashkadarya valley (Southern Sogd) one of the most ancient names is the hydronym Dumo, recorded in the form du-mo in the Chinese sources of the 4 – 6th centuries [Bichurin, vol. 2, p. 274; Küner, 1961, p. 178, note 16], and also in the Sharaf ad-din Ali Yazdi ‘‘Zafar-name’‘in the form Tum suvi as one of aryks in the vicinities of Karshi [Yazdi, p. 163; Yazdi, p. 54]. The origin of the hydronym Tum(à) is also linked with the Enisei languages with etymology Black (river) [Yailenko, 1990, p. 40]. Among the Mongolian clans including in the Kitai Uzbeks is a clan with the name Tuma [Ahunov, 1987, p. 90].In the Ptolemy composition and on his map is mentioned the left inflow of Amu Darya (Oxus flu.), called Dargoman (Dargamanis flu.), originated in the Hindukush (Paropanifus) mountains [Tabulae Georaphicae]. In the medieval sources is mentioned the river ad-Dirgam, running near Hulma in the Tocharistan [at-Tabari, ser. II, p. 1590; Ibn Khordadhbeh, p. 33; Ibn Hordadbeh, p. 66], identified with the river Aksarai (Kunduz-darya) [Lazard, Grenet, de Lamberterie, 1984, p. 202; Piankov, 1983, p. 66]. In antiquity it may have been also called Dargoman [Gumbah, 1975, p. 72]. During the Early Middle Age epoch among the Fergana Türks was popular the name Dargman [at-Tabari, ser. Ill, p. 1562, 1595] or Tardjuman [Ibn al-Fakih, 1968, p. 19]. Supposedly, this name is a dialectal form of the ethnonym turkman [Togan, 1981, p. 416, p. 124; Yeremeyev, 1970, p. 137].
33From antiquity, the Eastern Pamir was populated by the Türkic tribes, and the majority of the names for the local lakes has a Türkic origin, Kara-kul, Rang-kul, Zor-kul, Shor-kul, Yashil-kul, Gas-kul, etc. [Edelman, 1975, p. 47]. Many of these names were also used during the Middle Ages. Türkic toponyms make a significant part (approximately 300) of the modern toponyms of Tadjikistan [Dictionary of geographical terms and other words forming toponyms of the Tadjik SSR. M. : Science, 1975. (below, “Dictionary”), p. 11, 25, 56, 88].
The name of the river Atrek, running in the vicinity of Gurgan and flowing into the Caspian Sea, could be formed from the word turk and mean ‘‘river of wolves’‘. Hence, this name can have very ancient origin and be a Türkic calque of the name of the river Gurgan (Persian ‘‘river of wolves’‘), flowing in same area [Logashova, 1978, p. 77]. Among the Türks during the Middle Ages was popular the name Atrak. So, the commander of Guz king in Khoresm was Atrak, a son of al-Katan [Ibn Fadlan ‘‘Travel’‘, p. 64].Outside if the Middle Asia, many hydronyms are also connected with the Türks, especially in the northern part of Eurasia. So, the river Yaik (officially renamed in the 18th century by Russ. Tsarina to Ural - Translator’s Note), flowing along the northwestern border of the Middle Asia, on the Ptolemy map is called Daiks (Baix fluvius) [Tabulae Georaphicae], a Latin transliteration of the Türkic word djaik (Yaik), meaning ‘‘flooding (river)’‘ [Bartold, 1963 (à), p. 180]. In the Ibn Fadlan notes this river is called Djayikh [Ibn Fadlan ‘‘Travel’‘, p. 66]. The name of the river Kuban, recorded by Herodotus in the form Hipanis, comes from the Türkic word kuban, which means ‘‘raging’‘, ‘‘rushing’‘ [Gulieva, 1969, p. 135-140]. The name of the Azov Sea is formed from the Türkic word azaw [Radlov, 1893, vol. 1, p. 563], and in the Byzantine sources this sea was called Karipaluk, which in Türkic means ‘‘city of fishes’‘ or ‘‘fish-city’‘ [Trubachev, 1985, p. 10-12]. During the Middle Ages the river Volga had the name Itil or Atil (Etil, Edil) [Hudud al-Alam, p. 80, 100; DTS, p. 187; Ibn Fadlan ‘‘Travel’‘, p. 71, 75, 78, 85], Kama was also called Chulman [Budagov, 1869, p. 499], Samara was called Sukmar [Budagov, 1869, p. 689], Danube was called Tuna [Budagov, 1869, p. 754], and the Dniester was called Turla [Budagov, 1869, p. 807]. The mouth of the river Don was called Kirla [Budagov, 1869, p. 123]. The river Euphrates in the Mesopotamia had also a Türkic name Tadgun [DTS, p. 526]. The sea gulf south from India had the name Turan [Biruni, 1963, p. 196-205].
The Türks called the Black sea Karadeniz, Aegean sea Ak deniz [Radlov, 1893, vol. 1, p. 92], and Arctic ocean Ak talai [Radlov, 1893, ò. 1, p. 93]. The sea of the Arctic Ocean till now is called Kars Sea, and in Türkic is called Kar dengizi, meaning ‘‘Snow Sea’‘ [Zakiyev, 2002, p. 425-432]. The Chinese sources mentioned a calque of this name (Ak-shiryak), which also means ‘‘Snow Sea” [MIKK, vol. 2, p. 67, 68]. Many of the Siberian rivers have Türkic name, Irtish (Ertish) [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 122, 170; Hudud al-Alam, p. 100; Hudud al-Alam, p. 50] and Selenga [Budagov, 1869, p. 634]. The river Ob was also called Umar [Budagov, 1869, p. 158; Radlov, 1893, vol. 1, p. 1790], Enisei was called Kem su [Radlov, 1903, p. 93], and Sviyaga was called Zuya [Budagov, 1869, p. 609]. The 11th century sources mention in the East Turkestan the lakes Siding-kul, Yulduz-kul, Ai-kul, Korung-kul [Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 149, 380, 381], Tuz-kul [Hudud al-Alam, p. 43], and also rivers Ulug-kejgan, Kichik-kejgan, Az-girak, Ismitarim, Ikki-okuz, Tumushgan-Oguz, Kiz-suvi [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 150, 162, 376, 469; vol. 3, p. 120, 149, 190, 260], Kash and Kara-Kash-okuz [al-Biruni, 1963, p. 184; Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 166], which have kept their names till now. The Chinese sources mention the river Lo [Küner, 1961, p. 38], which name is reconstructed as Tugla [Bei shu, 2002, p. 568].39
The ancient Türkic toponyms connected with the names of the mountains are richest. It is known that mountains were considered sacred by the Türks: in their vision, in the mountains lived the God [Bartold, 1963 (à), p. 38]. The ancient Türks revered mountains along with the sky, sun and other natural objects, and therefore all the territory of the Central Asia is covered with thousands of sacred mountains [Murzaev, 1984, p. 589; Nafasov, 1988, p. 39, 119]. Mahmud Kashgari wrote that the infidel Türks everything large they saw (the sky, big mountain, huge tree), called Tangri and worshipped [Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 387]. The Türks held the Tian-Shan mountains sacred and called them Tangri-tag because, in their beliefs, in these mountains were spirit and heavenly poweer [Khasanov, 1978, p. 137]. The ancient Türkic runiform monuments is mentioned the sacred mountain Otukan, which was an ancestral home of the ancient Türks [Potapov, 1957, p. 107]. ‘‘Han-shu’‘ (1st century BC) relays that the capital of Fergana was a city Gui-shan-chen, the name’s meaning is ‘‘City at revered mountain’‘ [Borovkova, 1989, p. 56]. In the ceramics ornaments of the Kushan time from the settlement Payon-kurgan located at the foothills of the Baisuntau, predominate motives connected with the symbolism of the mountains and heavenly arch, widespread among the nomadic tribes living in the extensive territories enclosed by the mountains [Abdullaev, 2000, p. 116-117].39 The oronims with topoformant -tag (-dag) or -tau are distributed in the Middle Asia the greatest. The toponyms belonging this group were recorded first in the ancient Greek sources. Herodotus cites a legend according to which the three sons of Targitai lived in the Altuntag mountains and roamed the pastures in the Mastag area [Abdurahmanov, 1962, p. 49]. The first of these toponyms is formed from the Türkic words altun and tag and means ‘‘Golden Mountain’‘, and the second is formed from the words mus and tag ‘‘ and means Ice Mountain’‘ [Karaev, 1987, p. 105]. The toponyms Altuntag and Muztag endured until present, including the territory of the Middle Asia [Abdurahmanov, 1962, p. 49]. In the Pehlevan composition ‘‘Shahristanha-i Iran’‘ (City of Iran) is mentioned the mountain Ek-tag (Golden mountain) where was a Türkic Kagan headquarters [Pigulev, 1956, p. 115]. The mountain Ektag is also mentioned in the Byzantine sources [Moravcsik, 1958, p. 122]. In the Kyzyl Kum desert are remnant mountains Djumurtau, which name is formed from the ancient Türkic word dju ~ mur and topoformant –tau, and together it means ‘‘round mountains’‘ [Karaev, 1987, p. 116]. In the northern Khoresm is a mountain Kubatau, which name is formed from the ancient Türkic word cuba and means ‘‘flat mountain’‘ [Karaev, 1987, p. 118]. To the same category also belongs the oronim Ala(y)-tau [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 110].
Among the Türkic peoples the Tian-Shan mountains were called Tangri-tag, it means ‘‘Heavenly Mountains’‘ [Murzaev, 1962, p. 135; Milheev, 1961, p. 85, 89]. The Chinese name Tian-Shan also means ‘‘Heavenly mountains’‘ and is a calque of the Türkic name Tangri-tag. Sima Qian wrote that the Huns called mountains Bai-shan (i. e. Tian-Shan) ‘‘Heavenly’‘, which shows that the ancient Huns already used the Türkic name Tangri-tag [Khasanov, 1978, p. 137]. The name Bai-shan, like the Süe-shan (Snow mountains), may be deemed to be calques of the local name Karlyk-tag (Snow mountains) [Malyavkin, 1981, p. 39, 165-167, notes 230-233].The Greco-Byzantine historian Jordan (551) writes that the river Tanais (Syr-Darya) originates in ‘‘mountains of Huns’‘ (montibus Chrinnorum) [Petrov, 2004, p. 85]. The Tian-Shan mountains, where Syr-Darya originates, was called ‘‘mountains of Turkestan’‘, and the headwaters of Syr-Darya down to the Ahsikat was called the ‘‘Turk country’‘ [Hafiz-i Abru, p. 142].
41In the ‘‘Avesta’‘are mentioned the mountains Hara Berezaitim, which are identified with the Tian-Shan [Klyashtorny, Sultanov, p. 25; Kuklin, 1985, p. 177-178] or Pamiro-Alay [Bushkov, 1998, p. 61; Hodjaeva, 2003, p. 48-66]. However it seems that this identification is unpersuasive, because almost all toponyms in these mountains are Türkic, because ancient Iranian toponyms there are almost absent. More convincing is the identification of the Avestan mountains with more southern mountains of the Pamiro-Hindukush [Pugachenkova, Rtveladze, 1990, p. 19], which bristle with ancient Iranian names, whereas the ancient Türkic toponyms are almost absent. Besides, in the Pehlevian source ‘‘Bundahishn’‘ these mountains are called Alburz (Alborz) [Hodjaeva, 2003, p. 47], which points to the location in the Elburs mountains in the north of Iran. The absence of the Iranian calque of name Tangri-tag allows to deduce that the Tian-Shan mountains were initially known by their Türkic name, from which subsequently was calqued the Chinese name Tian-Shan.
The Chinese sources call the Tian-Shan mountains, like the Pamir mountains, Tsun-Lin, which means ‘‘Onions mountains’‘. In these mountains almost everywhere grows the mountain onions, with about a hundred of species. Therefore the Tian-Shan and Pamir mountains from antiquity abound in Türkic names of various onion species. The Chinese could calque these oronims and render them in the generalized Tsun-lin, i. e. the Onions Mountains [Umurzakov, 1978, p. 54]. Sima Qian, narrating the events of the 7th century BC, mentions a possession Ge-gun (Tszyan-gun), which is reconstructed in the form Kyrgun meaning the ‘‘steppe Huns’‘ [Petrov, 1964, p. 83].In the Arabic sources the Alai ridge is mentioned under a name Ala (Ala Tau) [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 110], and also Buttam [Ibn al-Fakih, p. 321, 322; al-Istakhri, p. 312, 327-328], which is one of the Tibet ancient names [Nikonov, 1978, p. 89]. In the same place are mentioned mountains Ala-yigach [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 110], Aruk-turuk [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 96, 361] and Kara-yalga [Kashgari, vol. 3, p. 40] in the Fergana valley. The Elburs mountains in the Khurasan during the Middle Ages were called Siyah Kuh (Black) and at-Turk mountains [Kalinin, 1988, p. 116]. The Pamir mountains derived their name from the Türkic word meaning ‘‘summer pasture’‘ [Iskandarov, 1983, p. 11]. In the Arabic sources the mountain chain extending from the Pamir to the Caucasus was called al-Kabk [Ibn Khordadhbeh, p. 123, 173] or al-Kabh [Masoudi, vol. 2, p. 177],with etymology from the Türkic word kapyk (gate), because these mountains separate the Middle Asia from the Asia Minor [Miziev, 1986, p. 32]. The name of the Ala (Ala-tau) mountains [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 110], formed from the word ala ’‘motley’‘, ‘‘multi-coloured’‘, ‘‘spotty’‘ [Dictionary, p. 11], belongs to the most ancient Türkic toponyms of the pre-Altai period [Musaev, 1984, p. 192]. In the ‘‘Hudud al-'alam’‘is mentioned Mans (Manas (?) mountain, with the Balasagun mountains [Hudud al-Alam, p. 44], in the ‘‘Avesta’‘is mentioned Manusha, identified with Manas peak in the upper course of Pskem in Ter Alatau ridge [Bushkov, 1998, p. 64; Hodjaeva, 2003, p. 34].
The Ilak Mountain, homonymous with the river originated there, was called Birki. The river flowed through the whole Ilak and joined the river ash-Shash [Karaev, 1973, p. 57]. The Kabulistan mountains, where prior to the Arab conquest ruled Türkic Kabul-shakhs, was called Kayabish [Biruni, 1963, p. 129]. There also was a mountain called Bugra, from which according to the legend deswcended the premordial ancestor Kabul Türkic rulers Barakh-Tegin [Biruni, 1963, p. 350; al-Biruni, 1963, p. 27].In the medieval oronymy of the Middle Asia are recorded names of mountain chains formed with the ancient Türkic topoformant -art, meaning ‘‘mountain pass’‘, ‘‘mountain’‘ or ‘‘highland‘, for example Igradj-art, Jafgu-art, Badal-art, Bukach-art, Zanbi-art, Kavak-art, Kumish-art, Madjank(?)-art, Tanzag-art, Torug-art, etc. [Hudud al-Alam, p. 95; Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 364, 373, 389; vol. 3, p. 39, 445]. The names with the component -art endured to this day in the modern oronymy of the Central Tian-Shan, in the names of the passes and rivers with sources emanating from the vicinity of these passes: Ak-art, Agach-art, Apyk-art, Balyg-art, Katyn-art, Kok-art, Koruk-art, Kyzyl-art, Kugart, Muzart, Toruk-art, etc. [Khasanov. 1962, p. 34; Karaev, 1987, p. 106; Karaev, 1972, p. 111-113]. Some names with -art in the Pamir mountains: Vodart, Fovart, the Zulum-art [Pokoti-lo, 1887, p. 273; Sidorov, 1975, p. 21]. Some toponyms with the component -art mainly were preserved in the territory of Kyrgyzstan, Tuva, Mountain Altai and Western Kashgaria [Umurzakov, 1978, p. 56]. The same topoformant in the dialectal form -alt with meaning ‘‘foothills’‘ was preserved in Gagauz microtoponyms [Dron, Kuroglo, 1989, p. 63]. This topoformant can also be found in the hydronym Yaksart, one of ancient names of Syr-Darya [Nikonov, 1978, p. 101]. The names of many mountains are connected with mineral deposits. So, in the medieval sources are mentioned such oronims, as Komurtag (Coal Mountain) [DTS, p. 314], Demur-tag (Iron Mountain) [al-Idrisi, p. 55], Altun-tag (Gold Mountain) [DTS, p. 386; Karaev, 1985, p. 24], Altun-kan [DTS, p. 40; Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 117; vol. 3, p. 422], Bakyrlyg-tag (Copper mountain) [DTS, p. 82], Goshun-dag (Lead mountain) [Molla-zade, 1979, p. 169], Kumushkan [Shomiy, p. 72], etc.
43The Chinese sources mention Boda mountains in the country Su-e (Suyab), their name are reconstructed as Badal (Bedel) [MIKK, vol. 2, p. 66, 68]. The name Badal-art had with one of passes in the Tian-Shan mountains [Hudud al-Alam, p. 95; Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 373]. The name of the Keten mountain (Tszedan < Qiat-tan), located to the north of the Su-e (Suyab) river [MIKK, vol. 2, p. 68], can be compared with the ethnonym Kidan. Some oronims of the Jeti-su, mentioned by the Chinese sources, can be calques of the local names of the Türkic origin. For example, Lin-shan (Ice Mountains) are Muzart or Muztag, and the Chi-shan (Red Mountains) are Kyzyl-tag [MIKK, vol. 2, p. 68; Umurzakov, 1978, p. 55; Karimova, 2006, p. 223].
The sources are also mentioning the Tamgach mountains near as-Sin (China - Translator’s Note) [Ibn al-Asir, vol. 12, p. 166], Kalas steppe and Sablyg mountains in the Chach area [Ibn Haukal, p. 383], Karachuk mountains in the Syr-Darya basin [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 450]. The mountain chain to the south of the Caspian Sea (Elburs) was called Siyah Kuh (Black mountains) and at-Turk [Kalinin, 1988, p. 123]. Mountains at the southeast bank of the Caspian Sea had the name Balkhan or Balkhan-kuh [Baihaki, p. 135, 465, 494, 496, 543, 549, 562, 577, 617, 704, 738].During the Middle Ages in the Syr-Darya basin is mentioned the city Sairam or Sariam, formed from the Türkic word sairam, which means ‘‘shoaliness’‘ [Kashgari, vol. 1, p. 111; vol. 3, p. 191]. With this toponym is identified the mentioned in the ‘‘Avesta’‘name of the Sairivant mountain, located in the mountains of the Turkestani ridge [Bushkov, 1998, p. 65].
In the Tonyukuk inscription are mentioned the Kara- kum sand [Malov, 1951, p. 65], which can be located in the Aral area. On the bank of the Khorezm (Aral) lake the sources of the 10th century mention Chagyroguz (Djagiragur) [al-Istakhri, p. 304; Ibn Haukal, p. 481] or Djafragun mountain [al-Idrisi, p. 220], which name comes from the Türkic ethnonym Chagirak or Chagirat [Bartold, 1963, p. 208].
Some medieval oronims are formed with the Persian topoformant –kuh, like the Bishbarmak-kuh mountain [Mustawfi, p. 217] in the Jety-su and Djadgal-kuh mountain [Mustawfi, p. 217] in Fergana.
All errors are mine.
Bisebaev A.I. Ancient Türkic toponymy
Budagov Budag Türkic Toponyms of Eurasia
Drozdov Yu. N. Türkic-lingual Period Of European History