Editor's note: There are plenty of disputable statements in this text of Prof. Zufar MIFTAKHOV, but we publish it as a matter of discussion. One of MIFTAKHOV's sources, "Djagfar tarikhy", which claims to record information about early Bulgar and Khazar history (mid-7th century) is actually a forgery. Although it contains some reliable historical facts, the rest of the information was invented. It is part of propagandistic literature created by a faction of Volga Tatars who wish to assert a Bulgar identity and deny their other roots. The editor of "Djagfar tarikhy", the historian Fargat NURUTDINOV, is a Bulgarist who claims that the work was preserved only partly in a Russian translation while the 19th century's copy of the original Turkic-Bulgar text in Arabic letters (allegedly written in 1680) and its full Russian translation (allegedly made in 1939) were seized by the Soviet NKVD. But this "loss" makes the whole document very suspicious and fits a pattern of claims made for fake histories. Most likely the text of "Djagfar tarikhy" was written by KGB personnel and/or by NURUTDINOV himself. Because "Djagfar tarikhy" contains a mixture of truth and lies, it cannot be trusted. For instance, there is no actual evidence that Khazar khagans named Kalga and Kaban existed nor has any primary record of a peace treaty between Khazars and Bulgars come to light. However, Asparukh and Bat-Boyan were real people. Some reliable medieval sources cited by MIFTAKHOV include Nikephoros, Theophanes, Jordanes, and King Joseph.



From his "Lecture course for history of Tatar people"



1. General remarks.

2. Huns’ movement from Volga to the West and its consequences.

3. Creation of Hunnish state.

4. Altynoba — the first ancient Bulgarian state.

The history in some sense is a sacred book of the peoples...

N. M. Karamzin.


The material, laid out in previous lectures, allows us to define the initial status, from which we start the study the inception stage of ancient Bulgars’ statehood.

First point. From the beginning of the first century of our era (between 15 and 47 AD) in the Middle Volga basin, on the territory of modern Samara province, on the coast of the river Kinel (the initial name Khinel) was a princedom Bulyar (initial name Atil). It was established by chieftan Kama-Tarkhan, who came with Utigurs, closely related to Bulgars, from the regions of Northern China.

Second point. By the middle of the 4-th c. AD direct descendants of Sumerians-soldiers settled in the strategically two most important regions of Caucasus. One group of authentic Bulgars settled in the plains of Northern Dagestan, and another settled in the territory of Caucasian Albania (present Azerbaijan), south of the Derbent pass. The Caucasus Bulgars in those times were called by a general name Burdjans. Later we will call them Dagestany Bulgars.

Third point. The process of disintegration of the Hunnish state stretched for many centuries and resulted in mass resettlement of Hunnish peoples or their splinters in the regions of Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Volga basin, Northern Caucasus, Northern Pontic and Meotida. However, approximately untill the 60-es of the 4-th c. the waves of Hunnish infiltration west of Volga had incidental character.

Brief description of the sources. As since 360 AD the historical fate of Bulgars was directly connected with Hunnish peoples, we have, if briefly, tell the history of Huns from the middle of the 4-th c. AD, before their disappearance as an ethnos. L.N. Gumilev wrote:

“... The end of an ethnos does not mean physical destruction of its members, but only of a system, abandoning of the tradition and a possibility for the remaining individuals to enter the world of the other ethnosystems” (No 196). As an ethnos Huns lived for almost 1,5 thousand years, and then this ethnos fragmented, giving a beginning to new ethnoses or expanding the already existing ethnosystems. A significant part of the Huns was included in the forming Bulgarian ethnosystem.

What information was preserved on this subject in historical sources?

Group of the European sources. Ptolemaus Claudius (born after 83 AD, died after 161 AD), the outstanding Alexandria astronomer, mathematician and geographer left descriptions of the Hunnish peoples, who in the end of the 1-st —beginning of the 2-nd century were the first tp reach Dnieper.

More detailed information on Huns left Ammianus Marcellinus (4-th c.), Paul Orozy (beginning of the 5 c.), Priskos (5 c.), Jordanes (6 c.). They not only wrote about Huns’ actions in the Europe, about their appearance, but also tried to figure out where they came from and where they lived before.

Group of the Bulgarian sources. The information on the initial stage of the Hun’s campaign west of Volga, about Bulgarian participation in the Hun’s campaigns, about the process of inclusion of Hunnish clans and peoples in the Bulgarian ethnosystem is contained in the Gazi Bardj work “Gazi Bardj tarikhy” (“Annals of Gazi Bardj”) (end of the 20-es — middle of the 40-es of the 13-th c.), in the fragments of the Bulgarian annals published in the Bakhshi Iman book “Djafgar tarikhy, Vol. 1, Collection of Bulgarian annals” (Orenburg, 1993).


The mass resettlement of Hunnish peoples to west from Volga was connected with movement of a Hunnish Hunugur people, in which a clan Bulyar held a prevailing position. In the beginning of the 4 c. Hunugurs left Tarbagatai region under a leadership of Bulümar (in the Greek sources his name is given in the form Belemer) from the clan Bulyar. At first Hunugurs wanted to settle down in the Semirechye regions. When it failed, they set out further west, and came to the Middle Volga basin. It happened approximately in 329 AD. At that time Utigs were left without a ruler. The last ruler of princedom Bulyar Djoka-Utig was killed, together with his sons, in a battle with Scandinavians (1; 11). Therefore, Utigs recognized Bulümar as a ruler. He ruled the princedom Bulyar for 30 years. The winter of 359 - 360 was severe, trees split from severe cold, birds were falling in flight. There were no rains in the spring and summer. A hunger began. A loss of cattle resulted in famine. To save his people from death, Bulümar took Hunugur people to the west of Volga. Together with Hunugurs went a part of Utigs, Khots and Huns, who lived in the Caspian lowland. The Byzantian and Latin historians called them by a collective name Huns. The Huns crossed Volga in 360 AD (before, it was believed in 350 AD) (2; 270 and 3; 124). Alans tried to blockage Huns in their move to the west. Alans are the ancestors of modern Ossetians, descendents of Kara Saklans (western Saklans, separated from Sinds-Urts in remote times). Alans, led by a prince Boz-Urus used the usual Sarmatian tactics of combat. Their soldiers-riders were protected by chain mail armour, and armed with swords. Alans attached long lances to horse necks with chains. To the strike of the lance it gave a power of a fast running horse. Alans used to break easily an enemy infantry, armed with light bows (3; 124).

Ammianus Marcellinus wrote about Hunnish tactics of combat in the end of the 4-th c.: “They battle from afar by flying arrows, to which with remarkable skill are attached bone arrowheads as sharp tips, but, having crossed the (separating them from an enemy) distance, they fight hand-to-hand with swords, not thinking at all about themselves. When they see a danger of the enemy blades, they throw nooses which entangle enemies, so, capturing them with a noose demobilize the resisting from moving mounted or on foot” (4; 330). If Ammianus Marcellinus compared the approach of the Huns to a snow hurricane in the mountains, historian Jeronimus (5-th c.) compared it with a cloud of bees. The onslaught of Huns was so powerful and furious, that Alans broke and began to retreat to the west in a panic. Other peoples, who lived in the regions of Northern Caucasus, also began to leave with Alans. Thus began the so-called Great Movement Of The Peoples.

In second half of the 60-es - first half of the 70-es of the 4-th c., Huns reached the east coast of the Azov sea (then called Meotida) and came to the lowlands of Don. On the east coast of the Azov sea lived Sarmatian peoples Yazygs and Roxolans. They could not resist the onslaught of the Huns. Utigs and Khots returned to the home of their ancestors Cimmerians.

In 375 or 376 AD Huns came to Don. Here they met with Ostrogoths. Their leader was king Germanarix. The Goth came to Northern Pontic in the second half of the 2-nd c. Depending where they resettle, the German peoples were groupped in “Vest”and “Ost” Goths, i.e. western and eastern Goths. Ostgoths (Ostrogoths) camped between the Dniestr and western bank of Don, and the Visigoths (Vesegoths) lived in Walacia, Moldova and modern Bessarabia.

Due to an incindent (the Hun hunters saw as a deer crossed Kerch straight in a narrow place of 3 - 4 km), Huns crossed Kerch straight, shallow from the Don silt, to the Crimean peninsula and struck Ostgoths from the rear. Defeated Ostgoths left to the west.


During the movement of Huns to the west from Volga, the Bulgars, who lived in the regions of Northern Caucasus and Azerbaijan, joined in. Before that Bulgars served the Alanian ruler prince Boz-Urus. When the leader of the Huns Bulümar raised a banner of a Dulo clan “a red felt ball with a tail of multi-colored stripes on it” (1; 11), Bulgars understood that closely related Huns are coming, and switched sides.

The senior son of Bulümar Alyp-bi (Prince Alyp) with a corpus of Bulgars and Huns defeated Sadumians (Scandinavians) and forced them to escape to Italy. Then he forded Danube and routed a 80-thousand Byzantian army (1; 13). It happened in 378 under Adrianople (Bulgars called it Kan - Dare). Among military trophies also was an imperial crown. Alyp-bi brought this crown to his father. Bulümar put on the crown and proclaimed himself a Kan (King) of the Huns. During a victory feast he died suddenly. Alyp-bi became a Kan. He proclaimed a creation of the Hunnish state. Her territory reached from Lower Volga up to Lower Danube. Part of the Huns joined Bulgars. In the result Bulgars became a numerous people. The main clans of Bulgars of that time (80-es - 90-es of the 4-th c. AD) were Erdim, Bakil (Boyandur), Seber, Agachir, Kharka, Utig, Kimer (1; 14), who gradually were increasing their influence within the Hunnish state. When Kan (King) Alyp-bi died, he was buried on a mountain Kuyantau (Kuk - Kuyan), i.e. upland, on which is located the modern city Kiev. On his tomb was installed a huge stone tamga of the clan Dulo. The tamga was called “Baltavar”, i.e. “Lord Of Princes” and looked as trident. Its + part meant an axe, and U bow (1; 14). The baltavar was a sign of royal authority.

The Hunnish state reached its power under Alyp-bi grandson Attila. Attila was a son of Aibat, known in the European sources as Mundzuk, who died in 434 AD. After the death of Aibat his sons Attila and Bled ruled Huns. Attila ruled Hunnish peoples living west of Don, and his brother Bled ruled east of this river. In 444 or 445 AD Attila killed Bled and began to rule over all Huns.

In the description of historian Priscus, who personally saw Attila, he was short of stature, with a broad chest and a large head; his eyes were small, his beard thin and sprinkled with gray; and he had a flat nose and a swarthy complexion (2; 102). So Attila looked in 448. The residence of the ruler of the Huns was then in Pannonia (modern Hungary), where they moved in 405 - 406 AD. The capital was between rivers Tissa and Temesh. Both rivers are left influents of Danube. The capital was a rather large settlement, which could be compared to a “most expansive city”. It was surrounded by wooden walls made “of shiny boards, whose joints so counterfeited solidity that the union of the boards could scarcely be distinguished by close scrutiny” (2; 101). Inside the territory of the settlement was a courtyard surrounded with a huge fence. Here were Attila’s tent and palace. The palace, constructed on a hill and topped by towers, was decorated with carvings.

In 451 Attila set off against Visigoths from the bank of Tissa to the bank of Rhine. The major reason of the campaign: king of Visigoths poisoned his wife, Attila’s sister. In the second half of June 451 at Catalaunian Plains (modern province Shampaigne in France) for a fatal fight came the two most powerful armies of then Europe. In the Attila’s army, besides Huns, were Bulgars, Ostgoths under leadership of three brothers (Valamir, Thiudimer, Vidimer), and Gepids under the leadership of Ardaric. Visigothic king Theodorid and an outstanding Byzantian commander Aetius led the other army. In the army, besides Visigoths and Romans, were Alans.

Attila won the battle. Both sides lost 180 thousand soldiers each. In Europe now was no force capable to resist Attila.

In 453 Attila married again. His choice was a girl “of remarkable beauty, named Ildico” (2; 116 - 117). The next day after the wedding the “the royal attendants suspected some ill and, after a great uproar, broke the doors. There they found Attila dead from an effusion of blood, without any wound, and the girl with downcast face weeping beneath her veil.” (2; 117). During the wedding Attila got deeply drunk, laid on his back, had a rush of superfluous blood, and choked of his own blood. He died in his stan north of river Keresha, near river Tissa. By Hun’s custom men plucked out hair of their heads and made their faces hideous with deep wounds, that the renowned warrior might be mourned, not by effeminate wailings and tears, but by the blood of men” (4; 117).

For a burial the Attila's body was transported to steppe. There was set a silk tent and the body of the deseased was laid there in state. The best horsemen of the Huns rode around in circles. Huns built a memorial kurgan (tumulus), celebrated a memorial feast and buried the body of the powerful leader in the earth. They bound his coffins, the first one with gold, the second one with silver, and the third one with the strength of iron. Gold and the silver coffins symbolized the rout of two empires - Gothic and Scythian, and iron – a conquest of the other peoples. In the tomb were laid extracted in battles weapons and breast plates, sparkling with various gems. To hide the site of the tomb, he was buried at night, and those appointed to work were killed. Horsemen stomped the steppe, so that it was impossible to find a burial place. So completed his vital way “the great king of the Huns, Lord of the bravest tribes”, as was spoken then about him, who forced the Byzantian emperor Theodosius II (died in 450) to pay annual tribute at a rate of 2 thousand golden livres. Not only Bulgars preserved his memory, but many other peoples also. So, for example, in the “Song of Nibelungs” (German epos) his image is shown under a name Etsel, in the Scandinavian epos it is under a name Atli (4; 304).


After the funeral of Attila, his sons began a struggle for the inheritance of the father almost at once. The main and major part of the inheritance was the subject peoples of Huns. Was made a decision to divide them by lot. This decision caused indignation of king Ardaric, an ally and adviser of Attila for many years. The indignation grew into enmity. In 453 in Pannonia, near the present river Netava (left influent of Sava), ensued a battle between Huns and their allies, on the one hand, and Gepids on another. The battle lasted a long time. The fate was favorable to Gepids. In the fight was killed a senior son of Attila Illak (Ellak), a favorite of the powerful father. Illak’s brothers Tingiz and Bel - Kermek took cover in the military camp and held a defense for two years. However, in 455 they were compelled to negotiate. Gepid king Ardaric agreed to let Tingiz and Bel - Kermek out from the siege, with Bulgars, but the soldiers of other peoples had to surrender to captivity.

Bulgars were famed for the bravery and swiftness of attacks. They were armed with huge bows with long arrows, red copper knifes, nets and ropes. “Bulgars were skilful in throwing at fill gallop a noose or a net on the enemy” (6; 77).

Tingiz and Bel-Kermek with Bulgars went from Pannonia (present Hungary) to the mouth of Dnieper. However, on the way there they fell in an ambush set by Galidjians (the Norsemen - Scandinavians, belonging to German peoples (5; 42)). Tingiz was killed in fight. To inspire Bulgars, Bel - Kermek “ordered to raise as a banner a red staff of Asses (Tarvils - M.Z.) with a half moon on the pole” (1; 14). Bulgars broke through the encirclement and left to Lower Dnieper.

The events described above resulted in rather essential changes: the new large movement of peoples began Gepids took the plains of Pannonia on the banks of Tissa, the territory between Danube, river Olt and Carpathian mountains.

The Hunnish people Sadagariem settled in Little Scythia (nowadays Dobrudja) and Lower Misia (right banks of Danube, between Danube and Balkan mountains, down to the river Iskyr, the right influent of Danube). The fourth son of Attila Ernak with a part of other Hunnish peoples settled here also.

Two other sons of the Attila, Emnetzur and Ultzindur, led Ultzindzur and Ultzingur peoples from the territory of the Crimean peninsula to the right bank of Danube. In other words, they broke to the territory of Byzantium and settled between modern city Vidin and the mouth of the river Olt. In the 6-th c. the above peoples were known as Sacromontisii and Fossatisii (2; 120).

Bel-Kermek with Bulgars settled in the Nothern Crimean steppes between the Crimean isthmus and the mouth of Dnieper (Danapr, the Huns called it Var, and Bulgars - Buri-Chai). After securing the territory, Bel - Kermek proclamed a creation of a princedom (Beylik) Altynoba, i.e. The Golden Headquarters or Golden Camp. It was named in memory of the Attila’s siege of Altyn Bash, i.e. Rome (Altyn Bash - Golden Head or Golden Cupolas). Bel - Kermek proclaimed himself a Baltavar. The word “Baltavar”, which before that meant the tamga of the Dulo clan, now began to mean “a leader” (complete translation - “Lord Of Princes”).

Thus, in the second half of the 50-es of the 5-th c., in the territory between a mouth of Dnieper and Crimean isthmus appeared a first state formation of ancient Bulgars, a princedom Altynoba. Its founder was the third son of Attila Bel-Kermek.

Soon after the declaration of the creation of the princedom Altynoba, from Pannonia (from the part between Danube and Lower Sava) came Hunnish peoples Ultzinzurs, Bittugrs and Bardors. Pretty soon they were one people with Bulgars. The Huns (Guns) adopted from Bulgars a name Bulgar, and Bulgars adapted the Turkic language of Huns.

Thus, after the death of Attila (453) the union of peoples, created by him, broke up. A part of the Huns left to the territory of Italy, another went to the Balkan peninsula, a third remained in Pannonia, on the left bank of Danube. However, at the end of 50-es - the beginning of 60-es of the 5-th c. many Hunnish peoples returned to Northern Pontic, Nothern Meotida and Kuban steppes. The authentic Bulgars settled in the Northern Pontic, and closely related Khots settled in the lower course of Don, Utigs - in the lower and middle course of Kuban. Almost a two-millennium period of the existence the Hunnish ethnos was coming to a close. Bulgars begun to hold a prevailing position in the regions of the Northern Caucasus, Meotia and Northern Pontic. The events of the 60-es - 70-es of the 5-th c. accelerated the movement of Bulgars in this direction.

In the 60-es of the 5-th c., when Bel-Kermek was still alive, the Northern Pontic steppes were invaded by Sabans. Avars drove them out from the regions of Semirechye (1; 15). Avars were Hunnish people who remained in Northern China. Forced to leave the regions of Northern China, Avars came to Semirechye and treated Sabans very cruelly. Sabans, arriving in Northern Pontic, began to vent their rage on Hunnish peoples living there. They began wiping out Hunnish clans. Sabans drove out a part of Huns to the regions of Transcaucasia, others were pushed to Northern Dagestan, where they were accepted by Dagestany Bulgars. A third part of Huns was accepted by Bel-Kermek and resettled on the territory of the princedom Altynoba (1; 15).

Murdases, living south from Oka, severely hated Huns. And they united with Sabans to destroy Huns and Bulgars who accepted them. However, Bel - Kermek managed to rescue both Huns and Bulgars. He married a daughter of Masgut ruler. Murdases were afraid of Masguts and did not dare to attack Bulgars. Thus Bel-Kermek saved Bulgars from destruction.

The successor to Bel-Kermek, his senior son Djurash, by a nickname Masgut, expanded the territorial limits of the Altynoba princedom. In the winter of the 498 - 499 he defeated Byzantian troops and retained the left bank of Danube. For a good service a prince of Sabans gave him the territory between Danube (Sula) and Crimean peninsula (Djalda).

After the death of Djurash his son Tatra became Baltavar, i.e. the ruler of Bulgars. He became known by the successful campaigns against Byzantian empire.

During the rule of Tatra son Boyan-Chelbir happened two important events which influenced historical destiny of Bulgars.

First, Avars, forced out from Semirechye By Khazar Türks, came to Northern Caucasus and Nothern Pontic steppes (1; 15). Sabans, frightened of the old enemies, asked Boyan-Chelbir to save them from destruction by Avars. Boyan-Chelbir found an original solution for the situation. He fraternized with Avar Khakan (emperor) Tubdjak. Boyan-Chelbir named his son Tubdjak, i.e. by the name of the Avar ruler. The Avar ruler took the name Boyan.

Secondly, Bulgars were divided into two groups. The son of Boyan-Chelbir Atrak was installed as a ruler of Dagestany Bulgars (Burdjans). They began to be named Ak-Bulgars, i.e. Eastern Bulgars. “…Bulgars called west “Kara”, east - “Ak”, north - “Kuk”, and south - “Sara” or ”Sary” (1; 16). Bulgars, remaining under the leadership of the Baltavar Boyan-Chelbir, began to be called Kara - Bulgars, i.e. Western Bulgars. The Kara - Bulgars became dependent from Avar Khakans. All this has taken place in the period between 559 and 565 AD.

Accordingly, the princedom (Beylik) of the western Bulgars began to be referred to as Kara-Bulgar, and eastern Bulgars - as Ak-Bulgar (1; 16).

In 590 Boyan-Chelbir died. His son Tubdjak became Baltavar of Kara – Bulgars. He fought on the side of Avars with Byzantines and their Slav subordinates, whom Bulgars called Ulchi (Ulichi, Ulchilar). The Bulgarian Baltavar resettled up to 200 thousand Ulchis on the northern borders of the Kara - Bulgar princedom. They were settled in the region of Carpathian mountains (Bulgars called these mountains Uchuly - “Three Sons”) and on Dnieper (Burichai) (1; 16). They began to be called Anchi (Anchylar). The word “anchi” meant “frontier guard” or “boundary men”. So, Anchis are the Slavs, resettled by Bulgars in the Carpathians and on Dnieper.

In 605 Baltavar Tubdjak of Kara-Bulgar died. His senior son Bu-Yurgan became Baltavar of Kara-Bulgars. His name in the Greek sources is given in the form Organ, and S.Shamsi and I.Izmailov give a most fantastic form Uragan in the book “Volga Bulgaria stories for children” (Kazan, 1995).

Bu-Yurgan (Yurgan is a name of one of Sabanian clans) was a giant and “renowned by such unusual strength, that he was nicknamed Ar-Buga” (1; 16), i.e. a giant bull of a legendary force. Bu-Yurgan did not remain on the Baltavar throne of Kara - Bulgar for long. Under an agreement with Avars, Kara - Bulgar Bulgars were obliged to participate in the military campaigns of Avar Khakan. Soon after the raise of Bu-Yurgan to the post of Baltavar, the Avar Khakan organized a campaign against Byzantium. When the joined forces of the Avars and Bulgars surrounded one of the Byzantian cities, Avarian Khakan first sent Anchis to storm, and then Bulgars. At some moment Khakan saw that the city defender forces are broken, and ordered Bulgars to yield their place to Avars. However, Byzantines entered reserves into the battle and defeated Avars. Khakan came to a fury and accused Bulgarian Baltavar Bu-Yurgan in the defeat. Khakan removed Bu-Yurgan from the Baltavar post and ordered to set his younger brother Alburi on the throne. This decision had far-reaching consequences. In the following lecture the discourse will be about it.

Literature and note

1. Bakhshi Iman. Djafgar tarikhy. Collection of Bulgarian annals. Vol. 1. - Orenburg, 1993.

2. Jordanes. The origin and deeds of the Goths. /Translation, comment E.Ch.Skrjinskoi. - M., 1960.

3. Gumilev L.N. Millennium around Caspian. - M., 1993.

4. Ammianus Marcellinus. History. Vol. III. Book. XXXI.

5. SkrynnikovR.G.. Wars of Ancient Rus. // Historical questions. 11-12.-1995.-Pages 24-37.

6. Amedei Tieri. The Huns after Attila. // Homeland Notes. Year seventeenth. Volume XCVIII. - SPb., 1855.

1.What should be accomplished?

The following essential facts have to be acquired:

1.1. Huns originated as a result of a mixture of Imens and Turks. These ethnic components also participated in the ethnogenesis of Bulgars. So, Huns and ancient Bulgars were similar at a genetic level and were closely related.

1.2. The authentic Bulgars, and closely related to them peoples, for several centuries belonged to the Hunnish ethnosystem. Later, Huns joined the ancient Bulgarian ethnosystem. This circumstance influenced significantly the historical destiny of Bulgars and resulted in a significant variety within the ancient Bulgarian ethnosystem. As the “ethnosystem” concept is one of the key categories for understanding the ethnic history of the ancestors of the modern Tatar people, the changes that took place in the ancient Bulgarian ethnosystem should be properly understood.

1.3. The history of Tatar people and the history of all its ancestors are examined by us as a single and integral process of development. In this integral historical process we isolate the basic stages. The essential factor of it is the statehood of the Tatar people and its ancestors. According to this convention the historical development of Sumerian statehood is considered as an initial stage, Hunnish statehood as a second, ancient Bulgarian as a third, statehood of the Volga Bulgars - the fourth, the statehood of the Kipchak Kaganate Tatars as a fifth, the statehood of the Kazan Tatars as the sixth stage.

The present phase of study ought to highlight and trace the second and third stages in the existence and development of the statehood of the Tatar people’s historical ancestors.

5. Excerpts from the sources.

5.1. From “Gazi Bardj tarikhy” (“Annals of Gazi Bardj”). When Boyan, the ruler of Imens, living east from the Great Khingan mountain range, died, his sons Laish and Idjik struggled for power. Idjik was defeated and was compelled to leave with his retinue to the southern periphery of Gobi desert. “Here he became a ruler due to the courage of Imens - excellent archers. Submitted to him the Kytai Turks ate half-cooked meat and never washed in water, for they were descendents of a wolf Chin and, like him, had on the body louses. If louses were annoying too much, Kytais, like wolves, squashed them with teeth... Imens could not stand to see it. Taking from Kytais... girls, who have not yet accustomed to the filth..., Imens, led by Idjik, began to move from one Turkic settlement to another... Idjik ordered, by the time of arrival, to have people gathered and to prepare entertainment and tribute. During his stay he made assignments, held court and gave instructions. The tribute were called djien... To live with Türks Imens had to learn their language...

When the girls grew up, Imens, bringing up them in their own way, took them as wives and called themselves and their children Khons (Huns - M. Z.)...

Mindful of mutinities, Idjik took away to himself all Turkic arms-makers, dressed his people and their horses in iron armor, and forbade Kytais to have battle weapons and wear armor.

Source of information: Bakhshi Iman “Djafgar tarikhy. Vol. 1, Collection of Bulgarian annals” 1680. Orenburg, 1993.

5.2. From “Khon kitaby” (“History of Huns”) Kul Gali.

When in Samar (Sumer - M. Z.)... was a Flood, among Khin Imens flared a struggle for power. Upset by the rivalry, their king... with his retinue left to the west and conquered Turks. The Imenian men -... took Türkic women as wives and consequently their children began to speak in Turkic... So there were Khon people, who, despite the acceptance of the Turkic dialect, kept in purity the Imenian traditions, even such custom as to braid the men’s a hair into plaits.

Source of information: Bakhshi Iman. The same work, page 311.

5.3. From “Khon kitaby” Kul Gali

When the new Khon king Bulümar established in Bulyar the authority of the dynasty, and ordered to call Bulyar Atil, when Bulyarian Bulgars began to also call themselves “Bulyar” in memory of the old service to Khon Kans. By the time of the Bulümar arrival, Bulgars included so many of Khon clans that Bulgars took on to Khon language...

The Alan dynasty recklessly refused to recognize the authority of Atil in hope of Sadumean help, and angry Bulümar with majority of Khons, including Bulgars and Modjars, attacked Shir and Kara-Saklan...

A lot of Khon Bulgars, in trouble years, began to enlist to Persians into a profitable service, and Persians, at their requests, settled them in Bulgarian regions of Kaftau. Very soon there were so many Khon Bulgars that these regions began to be called “Khondjaks” (“Khon districts “).

Source of information: Bakhshi Iman “Djafgar tarikhy. Vol. 1, Collection of Bulgarian annals” 1680. Orenburg, 1993, pages 313-314.

5.4. From “Gazi Bardj tarikhy” (“Annals of Gazi Bardj”).

...Kam-Tarkhan., the former commander of Khin-Batyr, became a king of Utigs and subdued all neighboring Ar tribes and Khots. He named the state “Atil”. His descendents ruled there for three hundred years, and when Bulümar or Bulümbar with Khons came to Bulyar, they gave him their state... Bulümar named Atil Bakil or Bulyar...

Source of information: Bakhshi Iman “Djafgar tarikhy. Vol. 1, Collection of Bulgarian annals” 1680. Orenburg, 1993, page 19.

5.5.4. From”Notes on Mongolia composed by monk Iakinf”.

Annually princes gather on New year in the Khan Horde in the temple of ancestors. In the fifth moon they assemble in Lunchen for a sacrifice to ancestors, Sky, Earth and spirits.

In the morning Khan goes out to bow to the Sun, and in the evenings to bow to the Moon.

Above work, Vol. 1, St.-Petersburg, 1828, page 188.

5.5.5. From “Notes on Mongolia composed by monk Iakinf”. Vol. 2. SPb, 1828.

In 15 AD Van-man with a special embassy offered Shanüy to change the name Hunnu to Gunnu (page 34).

Clarifications: 1. Van-man - Chinese emperor. 2. In Chinese, “Hun” is “a malicious slave”, and “Gun” is “a respectful slave”.

8. Informational - cognitive block

This block contains additional information, allowing the most inquisitive students to prepare the best way for the classes.

8.1. First state formations in the Volga-Ural region.

8.1.1. According to the preserved Bulgarian legends, in deep antiquity in the Volga - Ural region existed a primary, and thus primitive, form of statehood under a name Turan. Probably, it was a primitive form of association of the people, some of which believed, that their ancestor came from the spirit of the moon in the form of a wolf, and others believed, that their ancestor was born from the spirit of a huge bull with a name Türk. In other words, it was an association of Sinds and Türks. It received its name from the name of Alp-Biki Turan, who patronized wild animals, miners, was a quinn of underground and underwater treasuries, islands and mountain lakes.

The capital of the state Turan was Ergi, it was near the site of modern city Ufa. Certainly, the “capital” was not a city or fortress. It was a religious center, i.e. the location of the altar dedicated to Tengre.

When, with an approach of glacification in Southern Ural and adjoining steppes, it became cold, most of the people left. Turanian association seized its existence.

8.1.2. The thawing of the glacier caused a flood in the Volga - Ural region. Let’s call it Uralian flood. Later, after the flood, in this region appeared an association of seven Sindian - Urtsian clans. This association was called Idel (ide - seven, el — tribe, people). It was founded by Djam-Idjik.

The most powerful ruler was Burtas (683 — 633 BC). During his rule there were the following most important events.

First, in 653 BC his troops conquered Near East during the so-called “Burtass war”.

Secondly, before Burtas, Idel women could choose their husbands. Burtas forbade this ancient tradition.

Thirdly, he consolidated the central authority, completely subordinating the leaders of the clans, , i.e. biys. To demonstrate his power of authority above the biys, he forced them to cut their hair. The long hair was a sign of noble origin and “closeness” to God Tengre.

8.1.3. In the period between 15 and 47 AD in the Volga-Ural region emerged a princedom Atil. It was founded by Utigs, descendents of Cimmerians. The first ruler of a new dynasty and new princedom state was Kam-Tarkhan.

The political-military center of the princedom was in the territory of modern Samara area, on the place of station Kinel.

8.1.4. Greek and Latin historians writings about Huns

1. Claudius Ptolemy (born after 83 AD, died after 161): the outstanding Alexandria astronomer, mathematician, geographer and historian. In his work “Geography” he wrote: “between the Basternae and the Rhoxolani are the Chuni”.

Latyshev V.V. Reports of the ancient Greek and Latin writers about Scythia and Caucasus, Vol. 1. Greek writers. - St.-Petersburg, 1904. Pages 231-232.

Clarifications: Rhoxolani – Sarmatian people, lived between Dnieper and mouth of Danube. Basternae (more correctly: Bastarns) - presumably, Northern Iranian people.

The majority of the modern historians locate Huns of Claudius Ptolemy on Dnieper. From the open spaces of the Volga Basin, Caspian lowland, Southern Ural, Western Siberia and Kazakhstan, Huns in several waves invaded regions of Northern Caucasus, Meotida and Northern Pontic. Probably, Claudius Ptolemy recorded the first wave of the Hun’s movement. In 160 AD the Greek historian Dionysius Periegetes recorded the stay of the Huns in the Caspian lowland steppes.

2. Ammianus Marcellinus (IV c.): witnesses that Huns lived “on this side of Meotian bogs next to the Ice ocean”.

Jordanes. The origin and acts of the Gets. — M.; 1960. Page 268.

Clarifications: Meotian bog is a modern Azov Sea.

3. Paul Orozy (V c.): writer, poet, born in Spain. He wrote that Huns “were for long time locked up in inaccessible mountains “.

Jordanes. The origin and acts of the Gets. — M.; 1960. Page 268.

Clarifications: the talk is, probably, about Tarbagatai (Tash-tau).

4. Appearance of the Huns.

The Huns were short in stature, quick in bodily movement, alert horsemen, broad shouldered, ready in the use of bow and arrow, and have firm-set necks which are ever erect in pride. They made their foes flee in horror because their swarthy aspect was fearful, beardless, the cheeks of the males cut by deep scars, as after the birth of the boys their chins were burnt by the heated iron.

Jordanes. The origin and acts of the Gets. — M.; 1960. Page 91.

5. Greek and Latin historians about movement of the Huns.

To the western side of Volga in 360 (possibly, in 350) crossed peoples whose fate was to open a new page in the history of many peoples of then Europe, and to begin an epoch in the world history of “Great Movement of the Peoples”. It was them who “made a movement of peoples in Europe unknown before by its force and extent of the area” (Jordanes. Same work, page 269).

What impression made their acts on Europeans?

Ammianus Marcellinus: the Huns appeared in the regions of Northern Caucasus like a “snow storm in the mountains”.

Jeronimus (d. in 420): “ From the extreme Meotian limits burst out swarms... of the Huns, who, flying on fast horses here and there, filled all places with murder and horror”.

Jordanes. Same work, page 188.

The victorious movement of the Huns reminded movement of a comet. In a short period they went from Volga to Balkan peninsula, Hungarian plains, and then to Orlean on Loire, to Aquila and Milan in Northern Italy (Jordanes. Same work, page 269).

6. Greek and latin historians about Alans.

The Alans were descendents of Masguts (per Herodotus, Massagets). So believed Ammianus Marcellinus. Bulgars considered Alans as one of the Masgut clans. Originally, Alans lived in the area “Tash Alan” (“Stone glade”, present plateau Ustürt). In the 2-nd c. BC they lived on the northern shore of Aral Sea. As evidenced by Josephus Flavius, author of the book “Judean war”, in the beginning of our era Alans spread into regions of Northern Caucasus. This information is also confirmed by the message of Lucian (2-nd c. AD).

The Greek and Latin historians related Alans to Scythian peoples. There was a complete similarity between Alans and Scythians in clothing and language, the distinction was only in the length of a hair and expression of eyes. Alans wore the hair longer, look was more furious. The Alans frightened enemies with “latent, constrained ferocity of their sight” (Jordanes. Same work, page 276).

As evidenced by Ammianus Marcellinus, Alans originally lived “separated from each other by extensive spaces and they wandered in lowland steppes”. In the 3-rd – 4-th cc. AD Alans “united under one name and all are summarily called Alans, as their customs and way of life are the same “ (Jordanes. Same work, page 275).

7. Greek and Latin historians about crossing by Huns of Cimmerian Bosphorus.

Huns did not succeded to break to “Scythian Lands” on the “march”, i.e. to the steppes of North Pontic. Help came by luck. Some Hunnish hunters noticed how a deer crossed Kerch strait waters from Kerch peninsula to Taman peninsula. Following the deer, the hunters crossed to the opposite shore. Returning, they told about the possibility of crossing to that shore. This episode was widely known among the historians and writers of the 4-th – 6-th cc. So, for example, Zosim (second half of the 5-th c.) wrote:

“ I found also such a notice, that Cimmerian Bosphorus (present Kerch strait - M. Z.), shallowed by the silt from Tanais (present river Don - M. Z.), allowed them (Huns - M. Z.) to cross on foot from Asia to Europe “ (Jordanes. Same work, page 271).

Another writer, Sozomen, wrote: “ the way pointed by the deer was slightly covered with water” (Same, page 272).

This fact is also noted in the works of other writers of the 5-th-6-th cc., Eupany, Procopius, Agathius and Jordanes.

8. Information about Goths.

In the Northern Pontic the Goth appeared in the second half the 2-nd c. AD. Depending on the location of settlement they were subdivided into “Vest”and “Ost” Goths. Their possessions were divided by the river Dniestr. The Goths settled to the east from Dniestr up to Don, were called Ostgoths. The Goths living in Walacia, Moldova and modern Bessarabia, were called Visigoths.

9. Information about Attila (variation of his name: – Atilla).

The most complete information about Attila was left by the Byzantian diplomat and historian Priskos, and also by Jordanes. The Byzantian emperor Theodosius II the Younger (408 - 450 AD) sent Priskos with an embassy to the stan of the Hun king Attila. It happened in 448 AD.

9.1. Appearance of Attila in description of Priskos.

In appearance Attila was short of stature, with a broad chest and a large head; his eyes were small, his beard thin and sprinkled with gray; and he had a flat nose and a swarthy complexion.

Jordanes. Same work, page 102.

9.2. Description of Attila residence.

Attila residence was in Pannonia (Hungary). Huns entered territory of Pannonia in 405 - 406 AD. Attila capital was between the rivers Tissa and Temesh, the left influents of Danube. It could be equated to the “most extensive city”. The territory of the residence was surrounded with a wooden wall made “of shiny boards, whose joints so counterfeited solidity that the union of the boards could scarcely be distinguished by close scrutiny” (Jordanes. Same work, page 101).

On the territory of the settlement was a court, surrounded by a vast fencing. The tent and palace of Attila were in this court yard.

The palace was located on a hill and was topped by towers, it was decorated with carvings.

9.3. Fragment of speech of Attila.

In the second half of June 451 on Catalaunian Plains (modern province Shampaigne in France) took place the most famous battle of early Middle Ages. In fatal fight joined the two most powerful armies of that time. Attila commanded one army. In it, besides Huns, were, Ostgoths, Gepids and a multitude of other peoples led by their leaders. The king of Visigoths Theodorid and outstanding Byzantian commander Aetius (Etius) led the other army. In the army, besides Visigoths and Romans, were Alans.

The battle began about nine o’clock in the morning. The Visigoths seized a prevailing mound and hills. Attempts of the Huns to eject them from there ended in failure. Then Attila addressed his native Hunugur soldiers. Finishing his speech, he said: “No spear shall harm those who are sure to live; and those who are sure to die Fate overtakes even in peace. And finally, why should Fortune have made the Huns victorious over so many nations, unless it were to prepare them for the joy of this conflict. Who was it revealed to our sires the path through the Maeotian swamp, for so many ages a closed secret? Who, moreover, made armed men yield to you, when you were as yet unarmed? Even a mass of federated nations could not endure the sight of the Huns. I am not deceived in the issue; here is the field so many victories have promised us. I shall hurl the first spear at the foe. If any can stand at rest while Attila fights, he is a dead man.”

Jordanes. The origin and acts of the Gets. — M.; 1960. Pages 106 - 107.

Clarifications: Attila reminded his tribesmen of the Hunugurs migration in 360 - 375 under the leadership of Bulümar (Belemer), to the coast of the Meotian Sea, their ancestral Cimmerian territory. To attention come Attila words that the path across the Azov sea (Meotida) for many centuries remained “closed and secret“. In other words, Huns wanted very much, but could not, return to the ancestral home.

9.4. Huns funeral song of the at Attila funeral.

The best horsemen of the entire tribe of the Huns performed the following funeral song: “The chief of the Huns, King Attila, born of his sire Mundiuch, lord of bravest tribes, sole possessor of the Scythian and German realms—powers unknown before—captured cities and terrified both empires of the Roman world and, appeased by their prayers, took annual tribute to save the rest from plunder. And when he had accomplished all this by the favor of fortune, he fell, not by wound of the foe, nor by treachery of friends, but in the midst of his nation at peace, happy in his joy and without sense of pain. Who can rate this as death, when none believes it calls for vengeance?”.

Jordanes. The origin and deeds of the Goths. - M.; 1960. Page 117.

9.5. Testament of eyewitnesses about the battle at Catalaunian Plains (June 451).

“Hand to hand they clashed in battle, and the fight grew fierce, confused, monstrous, unrelenting – a fight whose like no ancient time has ever recorded. There such deeds were done that a brave man who missed this marvelous spectacle could not hope to see anything so wonderful all his life long. For, if we may believe our elders, a brook flowing between low banks through the plain was greatly increased by blood from the wounds of the slain. It was not flooded by showers, as brooks usually rise, but was swollen by a strange stream and turned into a torrent by the increase of blood. Those whose wounds drove them to slake their parching thirst drank water mingled with gore. In their wretched plight they were forced to drink what they thought was the blood they had poured from their own wounds”.

Jordanes. Same work. Page 107.

9.6. Information about Avars.

The Avars (in the Chinese sources they are known as Juan-Juan) were routed by the Turks in the period between 551 and 555 AD. The Avars, living in 20 thousand wagons, ran to the west and in 558 reached Northern Caucasus. They attacked Uturgurs (Utigs), Barsils, and Sabirs, and defeated them. The Avar Khaganate, created by them, existed until the middle of the 7-th century.

Source of information. Djafarov Yu.R. Huns and Azerbaijan. Baku, 1985.

9.7. Brief conclusions

From the beginning of the 60-es of the 4-th c. to the middle of the 50-es of the 5-th c. Huns dominated the endless steppes from Lower Volga to Lower Danube. Avars came to replace them. Avars had different capabilities and opportunities for domination. From the 20-es of the 7-th c. the domination in Meotian and Pontic steppes passes to Bulgars. The following were the major milestones in this development.

9.7.1. In 360 Huns and peoples, closely related to them, under a leadership of Bulümar (Belemer), crossed Volga from the east to the west. The “Great Movement Of The Peoples” began.

9.7.2. Descendants of Cimmerians came to the west together with the Huns, namely: Khots (Kuturgurs) from Tobol (Western Siberia) and part of Utigs (Utugurs, Uturgurs) from the regions of Volga Basin (centreed on the banks of the river Kinel). The Greek and Latin historians viewed Utugurs and Kuturgurs as Hun-Bulgarian peoples.

9.7.3. Together with the Huns left to the west a part of authentic Bulgars from Albania (present Azerbaijan), and also from Djurash (present Northern Dagestan).

9.7.4. In the 70-es of the 4-th c. in the endless steppe from Lower Volga to Lower Danube emerged Hun’s state. Her founder was Alyp-bi, i.e. Prince of Alps, the senior son of Bulümar. Hunnish state achieved the height of her power in the middle of the 5-th century during the rule of Attila.

9.7.5. After the death of Attila (453) Huns sufferred a defeat from Gepids and were compelled to leave Pannonia (Hungary). The Hungur people, dominating among Huns, settled in the Northern Pontic, Uturgurs - in Northern Meotida, the Kuturgurs - in Eastern Meotida, and Bulgars from Albania and Djurash themselves inhabited the land between the mouth of Buri-Chai (Dnieper) and the mountain part of Djalda (Crimea).

To study the history of the Huns is reasonable to start with two basic statements:

First, the statement of the early Middle Age historian Procopius that Cimmerians were the ancestors of the Huns.

Secondly, the statement of Theophanes that Kuturgurs (i.e. Khots) are of the same tribe as Bulgars.

9.7.6. In 455 a Bulgarian princedom Altynoba formed in the Lower Dnieper and the steppe part of the Crimean peninsula. Its founder was the third son of Attila Bel - Kermek.. He took a title “Baltavar”- “Lord of Princes”.

9.7.7. The Sabans arrived in 468 to the regions of Northern Caucusus and Northern Pontic. They were a very ancient people. Originally, Sabans were one of the clans of Iranian speaking Sinds. Later they were Türkicized as a result of mestization with Türkic Oguses and Kangly. The Sabans lived between lakes Balkhash and Issyk-kul. They were expelled by Avars from there. The Avars were one of last “splinters” of the Hunnish clans who remained some time in Northern China. Sabans begun to vent their rage for the actions of the Avars - Huns the on Huns living in the Northern Caucusus and North Pontic regions. Huns found a political-military refuge with Bulgars. Some of them joined with Bulgars of Altynoba princedom, others joined to Bulgars of Transcaucasian Albania and Djurash (Northern Dagestan).

9.7.8. During the rule of the Bel – Kermek’s son Masgut, the territory of the princedom Altynoba extended to the mouth of Danube.

9.7.9. During the rule of the Bel – Kermek’s great-grandson Boyan-Chelbir, Khazars arrived to the regions of Northern Caucusus, driven by Avars from the territory between lakes Balkhash and Issyk-kul. Sabans, panicky afraid of Avars, joined Bulgars of the Princedom Altynoba.

9.7.10. Soon, closely following behind Avars, came Khazars. The joint forces of Altynoba Bulgars, Sabans and Avars did not let Khazars to the western bank of Dnieper. Retreating Khazars carried a part of Altynoba Bulgars, led by the son of Boyan-Chelbir Atrak.

9.7.11. Khazars permitted Atrak’s Bulgars to create a princedom under a name Burdjan in Djurash (Northern Dagestan). In due course the Dagestany Bulgars began to be called by a common name Burdjans. The Bulgars of the Altynoba Princedom began to be called Kara Bulgars, i.e. Western Bulgars, and Bulgars of the Burdjan Princedom - Ak Bulgars.

9.7.12. The ruler of Altynoba princedom Boyan-Chelbir died in 605. He left an expansive princedom to his son Bu-Yurgan (in the Byzantian sources - Organ): the border in the north passed on the line of modern cities of Kharkov and Kiev, in the south - by northern slope of the Tausus mountains (Crimean peninsula), in the east - by the western bank of Don, in the west - by the mouth of Danube.

This was the situation on the eve of the emergence of the Great Bulgaria state. 13 - 14 years remained till her formation.

Translated by Norm KISAMOV.

E-mail: irek@moris.ru