Tokhtamysh

Last updated
Tokhtamysh
Khan
Shahanshah
Facial Chronicle - b.10, p.049 - Tokhtamysh at Moscow.jpg
Tokhtamysh and the armies of the Golden Horde rally in front of Moscow, 1382.
Reign 1380-1395
Coronation 1378
Predecessor Urus Khan, Mamai
Successor Edigu
Born White Horde
Died 1406
Tyumen
House Borjigin
Dynasty Golden Horde
Father Tuli Kwadja
Religion Islam

Tokhtamysh (tat. Tuqtamış) [n 1] or Tokhtamısh [1] (died 1406), a prominent khan of the Blue Horde, briefly unified the White Horde and Blue Horde subdivisions of the Golden Horde into a single state. He descended from Genghis Khan's grandson, Tuqa-Timur.

Khan is a title of Turkic origin for a ruler or military leader. It first appears among the Göktürks as a variant of khagan and implied a subordinate ruler. In the Seljuk Empire it was the highest noble title, ranking above malik (king) and emir. 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 India it was a high noble rank restricted to courtiers. After the downfall of the Mughals it was used promiscuously and became a surname.

Golden Horde Mongol Khanate

The Golden Horde 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.

Genghis Khan founder and first emperor of the Mongol Empire

Genghis Khan was the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia. Campaigns initiated in his lifetime include those against the Qara Khitai, Caucasus, and Khwarazmian, Western Xia and Jin dynasties. These campaigns were often accompanied by large-scale massacres of the civilian populations – especially in the Khwarazmian and Western Xia controlled lands. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.

Contents

Early campaigns

The full extent of Tokhtamysh's authority. Golden Horde 1389 el.PNG
The full extent of Tokhtamysh's authority.

Tokhtamysh appears in history in 1376, trying to overthrow his uncle Urus Khan, ruler of the White Horde, and fleeing to the great Timur. Tokhtamysh outlived Urus and both his sons, and forcefully ascended to the throne of the White Horde in 1378, with Timur's backing.

Urus Khan was the eighth Khan of the White Horde and a disputed Khan of the Blue Horde; he was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. Urus himself was the direct ancestor of the khans of the Kazakh Khanate.

Timur Turco-Mongol ruler

Timur, historically known as Amir Timur and Tamerlane, was a Turco-Mongol conqueror. As the founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia, he became the first ruler in the Timurid dynasty. According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur was "the product of an islamized and iranized society", and not steppe nomadic.

Tokhtamysh dreamed of emulating his ancestors and made plans to reunite the Golden Horde. In 1380, he invaded the Blue Horde by fording across the Volga, and defeated Mamai during the Second Battle of the Kalka River. The ruler of the Blue Horde, Mamai, was killed shortly after the Battle of Kulikovo, marking Tokhtamysh's victory and the reunification of the Golden Horde.

Volga River river in Russia, the longest river in Europe

The Volga is the longest river in Europe. It is also Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and drainage basin. The river flows through central Russia and into the Caspian Sea, and is widely regarded as the national river of Russia.

Mamai politician

Mamai, of Kiyat descent, was a powerful military commander of the Golden Horde. Contrary to popular misconception, he was not a khan (king), but a warlord and a kingmaker for several khans, and the de facto regent of the Horde in the 1370s. His defeat in Battle of Kulikovo marked the beginning of the decline of the Horde, as well as his own.

Battle of Kulikovo

The Battle of Kulikovo was fought between the armies of the Golden Horde under the command of Mamai, and various Russian principalities under the united command of Prince Dmitry of Moscow. The battle took place on 8 September 1380, at the Kulikovo Field near the Don River and was won by Dmitry, who became known as Donskoy after the battle.

Having reunited the Blue and White Hordes into the Golden Horde, in 1382, Tokhtamysh led a successful campaign against Russia as a punishment for the Kulikovo defeat - setting back, though not ending, the Russian aspiration to free themselves of Tatar rule. In just six years, Tokhtamysh had reunified the lands of the Golden Horde from Crimea to Lake Balkhash.

Siege of Moscow (1382)

The Siege of Moscow in 1382 was a battle between the Muscovite forces and Tokhtamysh, Khan of the Golden Horde who was supported by Timur.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, excluding Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is the largest metropolitan area in Europe proper and one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

The Tatars are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries. The name Tatar first appears in written form on the Kul Tigin monument as 𐱃𐱃𐰺 (Ta-tar). Historically, the term Tatars was applied to anyone originating from the vast Northern and Central Asian landmass then known as the Tartary, which was dominated by various mostly Turco-Mongol semi-nomadic empires and kingdoms. More recently, however, the term refers more narrowly to people who speak one of the Turkic languages.

Campaign against Moscow

Dmitry Donskoy had raised a large army to defeat and suppress the MongolTatar hordes, and, after defeating Mamai during the Battle of Kulikovo, could not raise another army against Tokhtamysh Khan. Realizing the enmity the unruly Dimitry had unleashed, Tokhtamysh marched against Moscow.

Dmitry Donskoy Prince of Moscow

Saint Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy, or Dmitry of the Don, sometimes referred to simply as Dmitry, son of Ivan II the Fair of Moscow (1326–1359), reigned as the Prince of Moscow from 1359 and Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1363 to his death. He was the first prince of Moscow to openly challenge Mongol authority in Russia. His nickname, Donskoy, alludes to his great victory against the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380), which took place on the Don River. He is venerated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church with his feast day on 19 May(O.S.), or June 1.

After three days of siege, Tokhtamysh was faced with a stalemate, until Donskoy's brothers-in-law opened the gates and allowed the massacre of the city's inhabitants. [2] The destruction of Moscow led to Dimitry's surrender to the authority of Tokhtamysh at the end of 1382. Tokhtamysh also took Donskoy's son hostage.

Wars against Tamerlane

Timur and his troops gather to launch a war against the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh. Timur.jpeg
Timur and his troops gather to launch a war against the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh.

Believing he could defeat the Ilkhanate Chobanids and capture the disputed territories of the Caucasus since the days of Berke Khan, in 1385 Tokhtamysh, with an army of 50,000 (or five tumens), invaded Persia and took Tabriz. Returning north they took 200,000 slaves from the Caucasus, including tens of thousands of Armenians from the districts of Parskahayk, Syunik, and Artsakh. [3] This proved to be a fatal error for Tokhtamysh, who moved north from the Caucasus, thus allowing his Ilkhanate rivals to side with Timur, who annexed Persia to his own expanding kingdom. Furious, Tokhtamysh turned back and made war on his former ally.

Eventually, Tokhtamysh conceded defeat and withdrew to the steppe. However, in 1387 he suddenly invaded Transoxiana, the heart of Timur's realm. Unfortunately for Tokhtamysh, heavy snow forced him back to the steppe.

In 1395, the scenario reached its climax as Timur attacked the Golden Horde and defeated Tokhtamysh at the Terek. Timur sacked cities of the Golden Horde such as Azov (Tana), Astrakhan [4] and Tokhtamysh's capital, Sarai Berke. Timur captured artisans and craftsmen of the Golden Horde, and placed a puppet ruler, Koirichak, on the throne of the White Horde and appointed Temür Qutlugh khan of the Horde.

Tokhtamysh escaped to the Ukrainian steppes and asked for help from the Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania. In the great Battle of the Vorskla River (1399) the combined forces of Tokhtamysh and Vytautas were defeated by two of Timur's generals, khan Temur Qutlugh and emir (murza, visir) Edigu. The defeated Tokhtamysh was killed near present-day Tyumen by Edigu's men in 1406.

He was the last khan who minted coins with Mongolian script.

Family

He had 8 sons;

Genealogy

See also

Notes

  1. The spelling of Tokhtamysh varies, but the most common spelling is Tokhtamysh. Tokhtamısh, Toqtamysh, Toqtamış, Toqtamıs, Toktamys, Tuqtamış, and variants also appear.

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References

  1. Kołodziejczyk 2011, p. 5.
  2. https://books.google.com/books?id=kPwX2dW-V6sC&pg=PA57&dq=Tokhtamysh&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QZdwU7u1Au-IyAOE7ICwAw&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Tokhtamysh&f=false
  3. The Turco-Mongol Invasions IV, Medieval Armenian History, Turkish History, Turkey
  4. https://books.google.com/books?id=9JHwVtL7qDcC&pg=PA224&dq=Tokhtamysh&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QZdwU7u1Au-IyAOE7ICwAw&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Tokhtamysh&f=false

Bibliography

Tokhtamysh
House of Qiyat (1206–1635)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Arab Shah Muzaffar
Khan of the Golden Horde
1381–1397
Succeeded by
Temür Qutlugh
Preceded by
Timur-Malik
Khan of the Blue Horde
1378–1395
Succeeded by
Koirichak