|Part of a series on|
|Imperial, royal, noble, gentry and chivalric ranks in West, Central, South Asia and North Africa|
|Emperor: Caliph · King of Kings · Shahanshah · Padishah · Sultan of Sultans · Chakravarti · Chhatrapati · Samrat · Khagan|
|High King: Great King · Maharaja · Beg Khan · Amir al-umara · Khagan Bek · Nawab|
|King: Malik · Sultan · Sultana · Emir · Hakim · Sharif · Shah · Shirvanshah · Raja · Khan · Dey · Nizam · Nawab|
|Grand Duke: Khedive · Nawab · Nizam · Wāli · Yabghu|
|Crown Prince: Shahzada · Mirza · Nawabzada · Yuvraj · Vali Ahd · Prince of the Sa'id · Mir · Tegin|
|Prince or Duke: Emir · Sheikh · Ikhshid · Beylerbey · Pasha · Babu Saheb · Sardar · Rajkumar · Sahibzada · Nawab · Nawabzada · Yuvraj · Sardar · Thakur · Şehzade · Mirza · Morza · Shad|
|Noble Prince: Sahibzada|
|Earl or Count: Mankari · Dewan Bahadur · Sancak bey · Rao Bahadur · Rai Bahadur · Khan Bahadur · Atabeg · Boila|
|Viscount: Zamindar · Khan Sahib · Bey · Kadi · Baig or Begum · Begzada · Uç bey|
|Baron: Lala · Agha · Hazinedar|
|Royal house: Damat|
|Nobleman: Zamindar · Mankari · Mirza · Pasha · Bey · Baig · Begzada · al-Dawla|
|Governmental: Lala · Agha · Hazinedar · Mostowfi ol-Mamalek|
Khan // ) is a historic title of Inner Asia used in some medieval Central Asian societies to refer to a ruler or military leader. It first appears among the Rouran and then the Göktürks as a variant of khagan (sovereign, emperor) and implied a subordinate ruler. In the Seljuk Empire, it was the highest noble title, ranking above malik (king) and emir (prince). In the Mongol Empire it signified the ruler of a horde (ulus), while the ruler of all the Mongols was the khagan or great khan. The title subsequently declined in importance. In Safavid Persia it was the title of a provincial governor, and in Mughal Empire it was a high noble rank restricted to courtiers. After the downfall of the Mughals it was used promiscuously and became a surname. Khan and its female forms occur in many personal names, generally without any nobiliary of political relevance, although it remains a common part of noble names as well.(
The origin of the term is disputed and unknown, possibly a loanword from the Ruanruan language.According to Vovin (2007, 2010) the term comes from qaγan (meaning emperor or supreme ruler) and was later used in several languages, especially in Turkic and Mongolic.
Turkic and Para-Mongolic origin has been suggested by a number of scholars including Ramstedt, Shiratori, Sinor and Doerfer, and was reportedly first used by the Xianbei.
According to Vovin, the word *qa-qan "great-qan" (*qa- for "great" or "supreme") is of non-Altaic origin, but instead linked to Yeniseian *qεʔ "big" or "great". The origin of qan itself is harder according to Vovin. He says that the origin for the word qan is not found in any reconstructed proto-language and was used widely by Turkic, Mongolic, Chinese and Korean people with variations from kan, qan, han and hwan. A relation exists possibly to the Yeniseian words *qij or *qaj meaning "ruler".
It may be impossible to prove the ultimate origin of the title, but Vovin says: "Thus, it seems to be quite likely that the ultimate source of both qaγan and qan can be traced back to Xiong-nu and Yeniseian".
"Khan" is first encountered as a title in the Xianbei confederationfor their chief between 283 and 289. The Rourans may have been the first people who used the titles khagan and khan for their emperors. However, Russian linguist Alexander Vovin (2007) believes that the term qaγan originated among the Xiongnu people, who were Yeniseian-speaking (according to Vovin), and then it diffused across language families. Subsequently, the Göktürks adopted the title and brought it to the rest of Asia. In the middle of the sixth century the Iranians knew of a "Kagan – King of the Turks".
Various Mongolic and Turkic peoples from Central Asia gave the title new prominence after period of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368) in the Old World and later brought the title "khan" into Northern Asia, where locals later adopted it. Khagan is rendered[ by whom? ] as Khan of Khans. It was the title of Chinese Emperor Emperor Taizong of Tang ( Heavenly Khagan , reigned 626 to 649) and Genghis Khan's successors selected to rule the Mongol Empire starting from 1229. Genghis Khan himself was referred as qa'an (khagan) only posthumously. For instance Möngke Khan (reigned 1251-1259) and Ogedei Khan (reigned 1229-1241) would be "Khagans" but not Chagatai Khan, who was not proclaimed ruler of the Mongol Empire by the Kurultai.
Originally khans headed only relatively minor tribal entities, generally in or near the vast Mongolian and North Chinese steppe, the scene of an almost endless procession of nomadic people riding out into the history of the neighbouring sedentary regions. Some managed to establish principalities of some importance for a while, as their military might repeatedly proved a serious threat to such empires as China and kingdoms in Central Asia.[ citation needed ][ tone ]
One of the earliest notable examples of such principalities in Europe was Danube Bulgaria (presumably also Old Great Bulgaria), ruled by a khan or a kan at least from the 7th to the 9th century. The title "khan" is not attested directly in inscriptions and texts referring to Bulgar rulers – the only similar title found so far, Kanasubigi , has been found solely in the inscriptions of three consecutive Bulgarian rulers, namely Krum, Omurtag and Malamir (a grandfather, son and grandson). Starting from the compound, non-ruler titles that were attested among Bulgarian noble class such as kavkhan (vicekhan), tarkhan, and boritarkhan, scholars derive the title khan or kan for the early Bulgarian leader – if there was a vicekhan (kavkhan) there was probably a "full" khan, too. Compare also the rendition of the name of early Bulgarian ruler Pagan as Καμπαγάνος (Kampaganos), likely resulting from a misinterpretation of "Kan Pagan", in Patriarch Nicephorus's so-called Breviarium In general, however, the inscriptions as well as other sources designate the supreme ruler of Danube Bulgaria with titles that exist in the language in which they are written – archontes, meaning 'commander or magistrate' in Greek, and knyaze , meaning "duke" or "prince" in Slavic. Among the best known Bulgar khans were: Khan Kubrat, founder of Great Bulgaria; Khan Asparukh, founder of Danubian Bulgaria (today's Bulgaria); Khan Tervel, who defeated the Arab invaders in 718 Siege of Constantinople (718), thus stopped the Arab invasion in Southeast Europe; Khan Krum, "the Fearsome". "Khan" was the official title of the ruler until 864 AD, when Kniaz Boris (known also as Tsar Boris I) adopted the Eastern Orthodox faith.[ citation needed ]
The title Khan rose to unprecedented prominence with the Mongol Temüjin's creation of the Mongol empire, the largest contiguous land empire in history, which he ruled as Genghis Khan. Before 1229 the title was used to designate leaders of important tribes as well as tribal confederations (the Mongol Empire considered the largest one), and rulers of non-Mongol countries.Shortly before the death of the Genghis Khan, his sons became khans in different dominions (ulus) and the title apparently became unsuitable for the supreme ruler of the empire, needing a more exalted one. Being under Uighur cultural influence, Mongols adopted ancient Turkish title of khagan starting with Ögedei Khan in 1229.
Ming Dynasty Chinese Emperors also used the term Xan to denote brave warriors and rulers. The title Khan was used to designate the greatest rulers of the Jurchens, who, later when known as the Manchus, founded the Manchu Qing dynasty.
Once more, there would be numerous khanates in the steppe in and around Central Asia, often more of a people than a territorial state, e.g.:[ citation needed ]
While most Afghan principalities were styled emirate, there was a khanate of ethnic Uzbeks in Badakhshan since 1697.
Khan was also the title of the rulers of various break-away states and principalities later in Persia, e.g. 1747–1808 Khanate of Ardabil (in northwestern Iran east of Sarab and west of the southwest corner of the Caspian Sea), 1747–1813 Khanate of Khoy (northwestern Iran, north of Lake Urmia, between Tabriz and Lake Van), 1747–1829 Khanate of Maku (in extreme northwestern Iran, northwest of Khoy, and 60 miles south of Yerevan, Armenia), 1747–1790s Khanate of Sarab (northwestern Iran east of Tabriz), 1747 – c.1800 Khanate of Tabriz (capital of Iranian Azerbaijan).[ citation needed ]
There were various small khanates in and near Transcaucasia and Ciscaucasia established by the Safavids, or their successive Afsharid and Qajar dynasties outside their territories of Persia proper. For example, in present Armenia and nearby territories to the left and right, there was the khanate of Erivan (sole incumbent 1807–1827 Hosein Quli Khan Qajar). Diverse khanates existed in Dagestan (now part of Russia), Azerbaijan, including Baku (present capital), Ganja, Jawad, Quba (Kuba), Salyan, Shakki (Sheki, ruler style Bashchi since 1743) and Shirvan=Shamakha (1748–1786 temporarily split into Khoja Shamakha and Yeni Shamakha), Talysh (1747–1814); Nakhichevan and (Nagorno) Karabakh.
As hinted above, the title Khan was also common in some of the polities of the various – generally Islamic – peoples in the territories of the Mongol Golden Horde and its successor states, which, like the Mongols in general, were commonly called Ta(r)tars [ citation needed ]by Europeans and Russians, and were all eventually subdued by Muscovia which became the Russian Empire. The most important of these states were:
Further east, in Xinjiang (East Turkestan) flank:[ citation needed ]
The higher, rather imperial title Khaqan ("Khan of Khans") applies to probably the most famous rulers known as Khan: the Mongol imperial dynasty of Genghis Khan (his name was Temüjin, Genghis Khan a never fully understood unique title), and his successors, especially grandson Kublai Khan: the former founded the Mongol Empire and the latter founded the Yuan Dynasty in China. The ruling descendants of the main branch of Genghis Khan's dynasty are referred to as the Great Khans.[ citation needed ]
The title Khan of Khans was among numerous titles used by the Sultans of the Ottoman empire as well as the rulers of the Golden Horde and its descendant states. The title Khan was also used in the Seljuk Turk dynasties of the near-east to designate a head of multiple tribes, clans or nations, who was below an Atabeg in rank. Jurchen and Manchu rulers also used the title Khan (Han in Manchu); for example, Nurhaci was called Genggiyen Han. Rulers of the Göktürks, Avars and Khazars used the higher title Kaghan, as rulers of distinct nations.[ citation needed ]
In imperial Persia, Khan (female form Khanum in Persia) was the title of a nobleman, higher than Beg (or bey) and usually used after the given name. At the Qajar court, precedence for those not belonging to the dynasty was mainly structured in eight classes, each being granted an honorary rank title, the fourth of which was Khan, or in this context synonymously Amir, granted to commanders of armed forces, provincial tribal leaders; in descending order. In neighboring Ottoman Turkey and subsequently the Republic of Turkey, the term Khanum was and is still written as Hanım in Turkish/Ottoman Turkish language. The Ottoman title of Hanımefendi (lit translated; lady of the master), is also a derivative of this.
The titles Khan and Khan Bahadur (from the Altaic root baghatur ), related to the Turkic batyr or batur and Mongolian baatar ("brave, hero"); were also bestowed in feudal India by the Mughals, who although Muslims were of Turkic origin upon Muslims and awarded this title to Hindus generals in army particularly in Gaud or Bengal region during Muslim rulers, and later by the British Raj, as an honor akin to the ranks of nobility, often for loyalty to the crown. Khan Sahib was another title of honour.
In the major Indian Muslim state of Hyderabad, Khan was the lowest of the aristocratic titles bestowed by the ruling Nizam upon Muslim retainers, ranking under Khan Bahadur, Nawab (homonymous with a high Muslim ruler's title), Jang, Daula, Mulk, Umara, Jah. The equivalent for the courts Hindu retainers was Rai. In Swat, a Pakistani Frontier State, it was the title of the secular elite, who together with the Mullahs (Muslim clerics), proceeded to elect a new Amir-i-Shariyat in 1914. It seems unclear whether the series of titles known from the Bengal sultanate are merely honorific or perhaps relate to a military hierarchy.[ citation needed ]
Like many titles, the meaning of the term has also extended southwards into South Asian countries,and Central Asian nations, where it has become a common surname.
Khan and its female forms occur in many personal names, generally without any nobiliary of political relevance, although it remains a common part of noble names as well. Notably in South Asia it has become a part of many South Asian Muslim names,especially when Pashtun (also known as Afghan) descent is claimed. It is also used by many Muslim Rajputs of India and Pakistan who were awarded this surname by Turkic Mughals for their bravery.
The Kara-Khanid Khanate, also known as the Karakhanids, Qarakhanids, Ilek Khanids or the Afrasiabids, was a Turkic khanate that ruled Central Asia in the 9th through the early 13th century. The dynastic names of Karakhanids and Ilek Khanids refer to royal titles with Kara Kağan being the most important Turkic title up till the end of the dynasty.
The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire eventually stretched from Eastern Europe and parts of Central Europe to the Sea of Japan, extending northward into parts of the Arctic; eastward and southward into the Indian subcontinent, Mainland Southeast Asia and the Iranian Plateau; and westward as far as the Levant, Carpathian Mountains and to the borders of Northern Europe.
The Timurid dynasty, self-designated as Gurkani, was a Sunni Muslim dynasty or clan of Turco-Mongol origin descended from the warlord Timur. The word "Gurkani" derives from "Gurkan", a Persianized form of the Mongolian word "Kuragan" meaning "son-in-law". This was an honorific title used by the dynasty as the Timurids were in-laws of the line of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, as Timur had married Saray Mulk Khanum, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. Members of the Timurid dynasty signaled the Timurid Renaissance, and they were strongly influenced by Persian culture and established two significant empires in history, the Timurid Empire (1370–1507) based in Persia and Central Asia, and the Mughal Empire (1526–1857) based in the Indian subcontinent.
Khagan or Qaghan is a title of imperial rank in the Turkic, Mongolic and some other languages, equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate (empire). The female equivalent is Khatun.
Tarkhan is an ancient Central Asian title used by various Turkic peoples, Iranian peoples, and by the Hungarians and Mongols. Its use was common among the successors of the Mongol Empire.
Tolui (c.1191–1232) was the fourth son of Genghis Khan by his chief khatun Börte. His ulus, or territorial inheritance, at his father's death in 1227 was the homelands in Mongolia, and he also served as civil administrator until 1229, the time it took to confirm Ögedei as second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368). Before that he had served with distinction in the campaigns against the Jin dynasty, the Western Xia and the Khwarezmid Empire, where he was instrumental in the capture and massacre at Merv and Nishapur. He is a direct ancestor of most of the Ilkhanids.
A Borjigin is a member of the Mongol sub-clan, which started with Bodonchar Munkhag of the Kiyat clan. Yesugei's descendants were thus said to be Kiyat-Borjigin. The senior Borjigids provided ruling princes for Mongolia and Inner Mongolia until the 20th century. The clan formed the ruling class among the Mongols and some other peoples of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Today, the Borjigid are found in most of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, and additionally genetic research has shown that descent from Genghis Khan is common throughout Central Asia and other regions.
Khatun is a female title of nobility and counterpart to "khan" or "Khagan" prominently used in the Turkic Khaganates and in the subsequent Mongol Empire.
Baghatur is a historical Turco-Mongol honorific title, in origin a term for "hero" or "valiant warrior". The Papal envoy Plano Carpini compared the title with the equivalent of European Knighthood.
The Karluks were a prominent nomadic Turkic tribal confederacy residing in the regions of Kara-Irtysh and the Tarbagatai Mountains west of the Altay Mountains in Central Asia. They were also known as the Géluólù. Karluks gave their name to the distinct Karluk group of the Turkic languages, which also includes the Uyghur, Uzbek and Ili Turki languages.
Turco-Mongol or the Turko-Mongol tradition was an ethnocultural synthesis that arose in Asia during the 14th century, among the ruling elites of the Golden Horde and the Chagatai Khanate.
The Mangghud, Manghud were a Mongol tribe of the Urud-Manghud federation. They established the Nogai Horde in the 14th century and the Manghit Dynasty to rule the Emirate of Bukhara in 1785. They took the Islamic title of Emir instead of the title of Khan since they were not descendants of Genghis Khan and rather based their legitimacy to rule on Islam. The clan name was used for Mongol vanguards as well. Their descendants live in several regions of the former Mongol Empire.
A khaganate or khanate was a political entity ruled by a khan, khagan, khatun, or khanum. This political entity was typically found on the Eurasian Steppe and could be equivalent in status to tribal chiefdom, principality, kingdom or empire.
Turkic migration refers to the spread of Turkic tribes and Turkic languages across Eurasia and between the 6th and 11th centuries. In the 6th century, the Göktürks overthrew the Rouran Khaganate in what is now Mongolia and expanded in all directions, spreading Turkic culture throughout the Eurasian steppes. Although Göktürk empires came to an end in the 8th century, they were succeeded by numerous Turkic empires such as the Uyghur Khaganate, Kara-Khanid Khanate, Khazars, and the Cumans. Some Turks eventually settled down into a sedentary society such as the Qocho and Ganzhou Uyghurs. The Seljuq dynasty settled in Anatolia starting in the 11th century, resulting in permanent Turkic settlement and presence there. Modern nations with large Turkic populations include Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and Turkic populations also exist within other nations, such as Chuvashia, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, the Crimean Tatars, the Uyghurs in China, and the Sakha Republic Siberia.
The Mughals are a number of culturally related clans of India and Pakistan. They claim they are descended from the various Central Asian Mongol and Turkic tribes that settled in the region. The term Mughal literally means Mongolian.
Khanum, Khanom, or Khanoum is a female royal and aristocratic title that was originally derived through a Central Asian title, and later used in the Middle East and South Asia. It is the feminine equivalent of the title Khan for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Mongol tribes living north and northwest of modern-day China. "Khan" is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289. The Rourans were the first people who used the titles Khagan and Khan for their emperors, replacing the Chanyu of the Xiongnu, whom René Grousset and others assume to be Turkic.
The House of Ögedei, sometimes called the Ögedeids, were an influential family of Mongol Borjigin from the 12th to 14th centuries. They were descended from Ögedei Khan, a son of Genghis Khan who had become his father's successor, second Khagan of the Mongol Empire. Ögedei continued the expansion of the Mongol Empire.
A jarlig is an edict or written commandant of Mongol and Chinggisid rulers' "formal diplomas". It was one of three types of non-fundamental law pronouncements that had the effect of a regulation or ordinance, the other two being debter and billing. The jarliq provide important information about the running of the Mongol Empire.
The Mongols were highly tolerant of most religions during the early Mongol Empire, and typically sponsored several at the same time. At the time of Genghis Khan in the 13th century, virtually every religion had found converts, from Buddhism to Eastern Christianity and Manichaeanism to Islam. To avoid strife, Genghis Khan set up an institution that ensured complete religious freedom, though he himself was a Shamanist. Under his administration, all religious leaders were exempt from taxation, and from public service. Mongol emperors were known for organizing competitions of religious debates among clerics, and these would draw large audiences.
Ruanruan is an unclassified extinct language of Mongolia and northern China, spoken in the Rouran Khaganate from the 4th to the 6th centuries AD, considered a likely early precursor to Mongolic.