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Cumania (Desht-i Qipchaq) c. 1200.
|Common languages|| Turkic language |
(Kipchak) Cuman language
| History of the Turkic peoples |
|Turkic Khaganate 552–744|
|Khazar Khaganate 618–1048|
|Great Bulgaria 632–668|
|Kangar union 659–750|
|Turk Shahi 665–850|
|Türgesh Khaganate 699–766|
|Uyghur Khaganate 744–840|
|Karluk Yabgu State 756–940|
|Kara-Khanid Khanate 840–1212|
|Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom 848–1036|
| Pecheneg Khanates |
| Kimek confederation |
| Cumania |
| Oghuz Yabgu State |
|Ghaznavid Empire 963–1186|
|Seljuk Empire 1037–1194|
|Sultanate of Rum|
|Kerait khanate 11th century–13th century|
|Khwarazmian Empire 1077–1231|
|Naiman Khanate –1204|
|Qarlughid Kingdom 1224–1266|
|Delhi Sultanate 1206–1526|
|Golden Horde | 1240s–1502|
|Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo) 1250–1517|
|Bengal Sultanate 1352–1487|
|Ilyas Shahi dynasty|
The name Cumania originated as the Latin exonym for the Cuman-Kipchak confederation, which was a Turkic confederation in the western part of the Eurasian Steppe, between the 10th and 13th centuries. The confederation was dominated by two Turkic nomadic tribes: the Cumans (also known as the Polovtsians or Folban) and the Kipchaks. Cumania was known in Islamic sources as Desht-i Qipchaq, which means "Steppe of the Kipchaks"; or "foreign land sheltering the Kipchaks", in the Turkic languages.Russian sources have referred to Cumania as the "Polovtsian Steppe" (Poloveckaja Step), or the "Polovcian Plain" (Pole Poloveckoe).
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
A confederation is a union of sovereign states, united for purposes of common action often in relation to other states. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issues, such as defense, foreign relations, internal trade or currency, with the general government being required to provide support for all its members. Confederalism represents a main form of inter-governmentalism, this being defined as any form of interaction between states which takes place on the basis of sovereign independence or government.
The Eurasian Steppe, also called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast steppe ecoregion of Eurasia in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome. It stretches from Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova through Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Xinjiang, and Mongolia to Manchuria, with one major exclave, the Pannonian steppe or Puszta, located mostly in Hungary and partially in Serbia and Croatia.
The Golden Horde was also referred to as "Comania" by Armenian chronicler Hethum (Hayton) of Korykos. ... there is no means of travelling in this desert except in wagons." Battuta's contemporary, Hamdallah Mustawfi, eloborated, "This is of the Sixth Clime, its plains bear excellent pasturage ... but there are here few houses or towns or villages. Most of the inhabitants are nomads of the plain ... Most of the lands here are swamps ... The pasturage, however, being excellent, horses and cattle are numerous, and the population for the most part subsists on the produce thereof. The climate is cold, and their water comes from springs and wells.""Cumania" was also the source of names, or alternate names, for several smaller areas – some of them unconnected geographically to the area of the federation – in which Cumans and/or Kipchaks settled, such as the historic region of Kunság in Hungary, and the former Roman Catholic Diocese of Cumania (in Romania and Hungary). Hethum of Korykos described Cumania as "wholly flat and with no trees". Ibn Battuta said of Cumania, "This wilderness is green and grassy with no trees, nor hills, high or low
The Golden Horde, Ulug Ulus was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. It is also known as the Kipchak Khanate or as the Ulus of Jochi.
Kunság is a historical, ethnographic and geographical region in Hungary, corresponding to a former political entity created by and for the Cumans or Kuns. It is currently divided between the counties of Bács-Kiskun and Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok; these correspond roughly to two distinct traditional entities, Little Cumania and Greater Cumania, which are longitudinally separated by the Tisza. Kunság and its subdivisions were first organized by the Kingdom of Hungary to accommodate semi-nomadic Cumans escaping from the Mongol Empire. The Cuman enclaves were sometimes incorporated with Jazygia, which was similarly set up and named for Ossetian nomads.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cumania was a Latin-rite bishopric west of the Siret River from 1228 to 1241. The lands incorporated into the diocese had been dominated by the nomadic Cumans since about 1100. Catholic missions began after Andrew II of Hungary granted Burzenland to the Teutonic Knights in 1211. After Andrew expelled the Knights from the territory in 1225, Dominican friars continued the Cuman mission. Robert, Archbishop of Esztergom baptized Boricius, an influential Cuman chieftain, two years later.
By the 11th and 12th centuries, the nomadic confederacy of the Cumans and (Eastern) Kipchaks (who were a distinct tribe with whom the Cumans created a confederacy) were the dominant force over the vast territories stretching from the present-day Kazakhstan, southern Russia, Ukraine, to southern Moldavia and eastern Wallachia. Considering the nomadic way of life of these peoples, these frontiers can be regarded only as approximate; hence there were various definitions over what Cumania meant over the course of time. Depending on their region and their time, different sources each used their own vision to denote different sections of the vast Cuman territory: in Byzantine, Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Persian and Muslim sources, Cumania meant the Pontic steppe, that is the steppelands to the north of the Black Sea and on its eastern side as far as the Caspian Sea, where the lowlands between the Dnipro River, the Volga, the Ural and the Irtysh rivers were favorable to the nomadic lifestyle of the Cumans. Later, for a short time period, in Western sources Cumania also referred to the area in eastern Wallachia and southern Ukraine (centered on the lowlands of Budjak and the Bărăgan Plain), referring to the area where the first contact between the Cumans and the Western Christians took place, and where, later, the Cumans of the region would accept Roman Catholicism.
Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest in the world, with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometres (1,052,100 sq mi). It is a transcontinental country largely located in Asia; the most western parts are in Europe. Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region's GDP, primarily through its oil and gas industry. It also has vast mineral resources.
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.
Moldavia is a historical region and former principality in Central and Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester River. An initially independent and later autonomous state, it existed from the 14th century to 1859, when it united with Wallachia as the basis of the modern Romanian state; at various times, Moldavia included the regions of Bessarabia, all of Bukovina and Hertza. The region of Pokuttya was also part of it for a period of time.
Using the traditional Turkic assignment of colours to the cardinal points, White Cumania used to be located to the west and may have denoted eastern Wallachia, while Black Cumania was located to its north and may have denoted Moldavia.
As in the case of many other large nomadic Eurasian confederacies, the ethnonym "Cuman" (referring to the inhabitants of Cumania) denoted different ethnic realities. While the main component was probably the Turkic-speaking tribes, the confederacy included other ethnic components as well. Cumania was primarily a political name, referring to the leading, integrating tribe or clan of the confederacy or state. The Cumans, when they first appear in written sources, are members of a confederacy irrespective of their tribal origin. Former tribal names disappeared when the tribe in question became part of a political unit. For instance, when we hear of an incursion of Cumans, it means that certain tribes of the Cuman confederacy took part in a military enterprise. In his "History of the Mongols", the Persian historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, referred to Cumania around 1236–1237, during the Mongol invasion of Möngke, the future Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Among others, he mentions the Kipchaks, the Turkophone Asi (probably the same as the later Jassic tribe) and the "Karaulaghi" (Black, i.e. "from the north", Vlachs).
Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb, also known as Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍlullāh Hamadānī, was a statesman, historian and physician in Ilkhanate-ruled Iran. He was born into a Persian Jewish family from Hamadan.
Möngke was the fourth khagan of the Mongol Empire, ruling from July 1, 1251, to August 11, 1259. He was the first Khagan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign. Under Möngke, the Mongols conquered Iraq and Syria as well as the kingdom of Dali.
Az were a non-Turkic but Turkophone people from present-day Russia whose origins are still vague. Their existence is confirmed by the Tannu-Ola mountains inscriptions of Mugur-Sargol and Bayan-Kol and certain verses of the Göktürks, while describing the battles between the Göktürks and the Kyrgyz. According to the Bayan-Kol inscriptions, the Az were divided to many clans living in the region of Mugur west of the Tannu-Ola mountains. There are also writings from the 8th century in Uyghur sources about the uprising of the Az against the Göktürks.
The vast territory of this Cuman-Kipchak realm, consisting of loosely connected tribal units who were the military dominating force, was never politically united by a strong central power. Cumania was neither a state nor an empire, but different groups under independent rulers, or khans, who acted on their own initiative, meddling in the political life of the surrounding states: the Russian principalities, Bulgaria, Byzantium and the Wallachian states in the Balkans, Armenia and Georgia (see Kipchaks in Georgia) in the Caucasus, and Khwarezm, having reached as far as to create a powerful caste of warriors, the Mamluks, serving the Muslim Arab and Turkish Caliphs and Sultans.
The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed between 1185 and 1396. A successor to the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. It was succeeded by the Principality and later Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1878.
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Lower Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians. Wallachia is traditionally divided into two sections, Muntenia and Oltenia. Wallachia as a whole is sometimes referred to as Muntenia through identification with the larger of the two traditional sections.
The Cumans-Kipchaks in Georgia are of an ancient nomadic Turkic people who inhabited large territories from Central Asia to Eastern Europe. They played an important role in the history of many nations in the region, Georgia among them. At the height of this Caucasian power from the 12th to the 13th centuries, Georgian monarchs recruited thousands of Kipchak/Cuman mercenaries and successfully exploited their service against the neighboring Muslim states.
In the Balkans, we find the Cumans in contact with all of the statal entities of that time, fighting with the Kingdom of Hungary, allied with the Bulgarians and Vlachs against the Byzantine Empire, and involved into the politics of the fresh Vlach statal entities. For example, Thocomerius, by name apparently a Cuman warlord (also known as Tihomir, he might have been a Bulgarian noble), was possibly the first one to unite the Vlach states from the west and the east of the Olt River, and his son Basarab I is considered the first ruler of the united and independent Wallachia. This interpretation corresponds with the general view of the situation of the Romanian lands in the 11th century, with the natives living in collections of village communities, united in various small confederacies, with more or less powerful chiefs trying to create little kingdoms, some paying tribute to the various militarily dominant nomadic tribes (see Romania in the Middle Ages).
This pontic Cumania, (and the rest of the Cumanias to the east), ended its existence in the middle of the 13th century, with the Great Mongol Invasion of Europe. In 1223, Genghis Khan defeated the Cumans and their Rus' allies at the Battle of Kalka (in modern Ukraine), and the final blow came in 1241, when the Cuman confederacy ceased to exist as a political entity, with the remaining Cuman tribes being dispersed, either becoming subjects of the Mongol conquerors as part of what was to be known as the Golden Horde, or fleeing to the west, to the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Hungary.
On the Great Hungarian Plain, Cuman settlers gave their name to two regions known as Kunság, the Hungarian word for Cumania: Greater Cumania (Nagykunság) and Little Cumania (Kiskunság), located on the Great Hungarian Plain. Here, the Cumans maintained their language and some ethnic customs well into the modern era.
Cumania name was also preserved as part of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical structure with a "Diocese of Cumania" existing until 1523 in what is now Romania, long after the Cumans ceased to be a distinct group in the area. At Milcovul, years earlier, in 1227, the Cuman warlord Bortz accepted Catholic Christianity from missionary Dominican friars. Pope Gregory IX heard about the mass conversion of the Cumans, and on 1 July 1227 empowered Robert, Archbishop of Esztergom, to represent him to Cumania and in neighbouring Land of the Brodnici. Teodoric, the bishop of this new diocese, became the guardian of the Dominican Order in the Kingdom of Hungary.
Hence, Cumania diocese became part of the superior archbishopric of Esztergom, determining King Béla IV of Hungary to add "Rex Cumaniae" (King of Cumania)to his titles in 1228, and later to grant asylum to the Cumans in face of the Mongol invasion. The Diocese of Cumania, or of Milcovul, had subordinated in Transylvania the abbacy of Sibiu, the dioceses of Burzenland, Brasso and Orbai, and over the Carpathians, in the lands of the "infidel" Orthodox Vlachs (in partibus infidelium), all the Christian Catholics, irrespective of their ethnicity, despite the fact that many believers fell under the influence of the Romanian Orthodox "pseudo" bishops (episcopo Cumanorum, qui loci diocesanus existit, sed a quibusdam pseudoepiscopis Graecorum ritum tenentibus).
So, at that moment, Hungarian and Papal documents use the name Cumania to refer to the land between the eastern border of the lands of Seneslau and the land of the Brodnici (Buzău, southern Vrancea and southern Galaţi): that is Cumania meant, more or less, Muntenia. At that time, the use of the name Cumania should not to be understood as asserting the existence of a Cuman state, nor even a land inhabited by Cuman tribes (as the bulk of them had either fled, or were destroyed by the Mongols, and the rest had been absorbed) but rather to the Diocese of Cumania. From the military point of view, the land comprising the Diocese of Cumania was held either by the Teutonic Order (as early as 1222), or by the Vlachs (Brodnics or the Vlachs of Seneslau). The term Cumania had come to mean any Catholic subordinated to the Milcovul Diocese, so much so that in some cases, the terms Cuman and Wallach (more precisely, Roman Catholic Wallach, as the Orthodox Christians were considered schismatic, and the Pope did not officially recognise them) were interchangeable,
In a charter from 1247, parts of this earlier Cumania were granted to the Knights Hospitaller, as were the Banate of Severin and the Romanian cnezats of Ioan and Lupu (a fluvio Olth et Alpibus Ultrasylvanis totam Cumaniam …excepta terra Szeneslai Woiavode Olacorum).These, from a juridical point of view, had an inferior status than the states of Seneslau (east of the Olt river) and Litovoi (west of the Olt River), cnezats which continued to belong to the Romanians (quam Olacis relinquimus prout iidem hactenus tenuerant), "like they held them so far".
Vlachs, also Wallachians, is a historical term from the Middle Ages that designates an exonym, mostly for the Romanians who lived north and south of the Danube.
The Cumans, also known as Polovtsians, were a Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman–Kipchak confederation. After the Mongol invasion (1237), many sought asylum in the Kingdom of Hungary, as many Cumans had settled in Hungary, the Second Bulgarian Empire, and Anatolia before the invasion.
Cuman (Kuman) was a Kipchak Turkic language spoken by the Cumans and Kipchaks; the language was similar to today's various languages of the Kipchak-Cuman branch. Cuman is documented in medieval works, including the Codex Cumanicus, and it was a literary language in Central and Eastern Europe that left a rich literary inheritance. The language became the main language of the Golden Horde.
Litovoi, also Litvoy, was a Vlach/Romanian voivode in the 13th century whose territory comprised northern Oltenia in today's Romania.
Seneslau, also Seneslav or Stănislau, was a Vlach voivode mentioned in the Diploma of the Joannites issued by king Béla IV of Hungary (1235–1270) on 2 July 1247. The diploma granted territories to the Knights Hospitaller in the Banate of Severin and Cumania. According to the diploma, the king gave the territories east of the Olt River to the knights, with the exception of the territory of voivode Seneslau.
The Kimek–Kipchak confederation was a medieval Turkic state formed by the Kimek and Kipchak people in the area between the Ob and Irtysh rivers. From the end of the 9th century to 1050, it existed as a khaganate, and as a khanate until the Mongol conquest in the early 13th century.
The Berendei or Berindei were a medieval Turkic tribe, most likely of Kipchak-Oghuz origin. They were part of the tribal confederation of the "peak caps" or the "black hats".
The Brodnici were a tribe of uncertain origin.
Nagykunság is a historical and geographical region in Hungary situated in the current Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county between Szolnok and Debrecen. Like other historical European regions called Cumania, it is named for the Cumans, a nomadic tribe of pagan Kipchaks that settled the area. Its territory is 1,196 km².
Köten was a Cuman–Kipchak chieftain (khan) and military commander active in the mid-13th century. He forged the important alliance with the Kievan Rus against the Mongols but was ultimately defeated by them at the Kalka River. After the Mongol victory in 1238, Köten led 40,000 "huts" to Hungary, where he became an ally of the Hungarian king and accepted Catholicism, but was nonetheless assassinated by the Hungarian nobility.
The foundation of Wallachia, that is the establishment of the first independent Romanian principality, was achieved at the beginning of the 14th century, through the unification of smaller political units that had existed between the Carpathian Mountains, and the Rivers Danube, Siret and Milcov.
Farcaş, also Farkas, Farkaş or Farcas, was a cneaz mentioned in the Diploma of the Joannites issued by king Béla IV of Hungary (1235–1270) on 2 July 1247; the diploma granted territories to the Knights Hospitaller in the Banate of Severin and Cumania. Farcaş held a kenazate which was given to the knights by the king. His kenazate lay in the northeast of modern Oltenia.
John, also Joan or Ioan, was a cneaz mentioned in the Diploma of the Joannites issued by King Béla IV of Hungary (1235-1270) on 2 July 1247; the diploma granted territories to the Knights Hospitaller in the Banate of Severin and Cumania. John held a kenazate which was given to the knights by the king. His kenazate lay in southern Oltenia.
This article summarizes the History of the western steppe, which is the western third of the Eurasian steppe, that is, the grasslands of Ukraine and southern Russia. It is intended as a summary and an index to the more-detailed linked articles. It is a companion to History of the central steppe and History of the eastern steppe. All dates are approximate since there are few exact starting and ending dates. This summary article does not list the uncertainties, which are many. For these, see the linked articles.
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|History of Ukraine|
In the middle of spring the princes crossed the mountains in order to enter the country of the Bulares and of the Bashguirds. Orda, who was marching to the right, passed through the country of the Haute, where Bazarambam met him with an army, but was beaten. Boudgek crossed the mountains to enter the Kara-Ulak, and defeated the Ulak people.
Gregorius Episcopus … venerabili fratri … Strigoniensi Archiepiscopo apostolicae sedis legato salutem … Nuper siquidem per litteras tuas nobis transmissas accepimus, quod Jesus Christus … super gentem Cumanorum clementer respiciens, eis salvationis ostium aperuit his diebus. Aliqui enim nobiles gentis illius per te ad baptismi gratiam pervenerunt, et quidam princeps Bortz nomine de terra illorum cum omnibus sibi subditis per ministerium tuum fidem desiderat suscipere christianam; propter quod unicum filium suum una cum fratribus praedicatoribus, messis dominicae operariis in terra praedicta, ad te specialiter destinavit, attentius obsecrans, ut personaliter accedens ad ipsum et suos viam vitae ostenderes ipsis … Unde quamvis pro executione voti tui, quod emiseras pro terrae sanctae succursu, in peregrinationis esses itinere constitutus, confidei exinde pervenire posse, si piis eorum desideriis condescendas, intermisso dictae peregrinationis itinere, dilectum filium … Archidiaconum de Zala ad nos destinare curasti … supplicans ut tibi hoc faciendi, non obstante voto praedicto, licentiam praeberemus, et … in Cumania et Brodnic terra illae vicina, de cuius gentis conversione speratur, legationis officium tibi committere dignaremur … Datum Anagniae II. Kal. Aug. Pontificatus nostri anno I.
In Cumanorum episcopatu, sicut accepimus, quidam populi, qui Walati vocantur, existunt, qui etsi censeantur nomine christiano, sub una tamen fide varios ritos habentes et mores, illa committunt, que huic sunt nomini inimica… Nam Romanam ecclesiam contempnentes, non a venerabili fratre nostro… episcopo Cumanorum,qui loci diocesanus existit, sed a quibusdam pseudoepiscopis, Grecorum ritum tenentibus, universa recipiunt ecclesiastica sacramenta, et nonnulli de regno Ungarie, tam Ungari, quam Theutonici et alii orthodoxi, morandi causa cum ipsis transeunt ad eosdem, et sic cum eis, quia populus unus facti cum eisdem Walathis eo contempto, premissa recipiunt sacramenta, in grave orthodoxorum scandalum et derogationem non modicam fidei christiane. Ne igitur ex diversitate rituum pericula proveniant animarum, nos volentes huiusmodi periculum obviare, ne prefati Walathi materiam habeant pro defectu sacramentorum ad scismathicos episcopos accedendi, eidem episcopo nostris damus litteris in mandatis, ut catholicum eis episcopum illi natione conformem provida deliberatione constituat sibi iuxta generalis statuta concilii vicarium in predictis, qui ei per omnia sit obediens et subiectus.
Bela dei gratia Hungariae … Rex … Contulimus … a fluvio Olth et Alpibus Ultrasylvanis totam Cumaniam …excepta terra Szeneslai Woiavode Olacorum, quam eisdem relinquimus, prout iidem hactenus tenuerunt … a primo introitu … fratrum usque ad viginti quinque annos omnes reditus Cumaniac terrae integraliter domus percipiat iam praefecta, praeterquam de terre Szeneslay antedicta …; Anno ab incurnatione domini MXXXLVII. IIII. Nonas Junii. Regni autem nostri anno duodecimo.