|Tarkhan of the Second Turkic Khaganate|
|Reign||681–716 or 717|
|Native name||𐱃𐰆𐰪𐰸𐰸 (in Old Turkic)|
|Other titles||Apa Tarkan|
|Born||Ashide Yuanzhen |
Yulin, Tang dynasty (modern day Inner Mongolia)
|Died||c. 726 (aged 79–80)|
|Memorials||Bain Tsokto inscriptions|
Tonyukuk (Old Turkic : 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀:𐱃𐰆𐰪𐰸𐰸, romanized: Bilgä Tuňuquq, lit. 'Tunyuquq the Wise', Chinese :暾欲谷; pinyin :Tunyugu, Chinese :阿史德元珍; pinyin :Āshǐdé Yuánzhēn, born c. 646, died c. 726) was the baga-tarkhan (supreme commander) and adviser of four successive Göktürk khagans – Elteriš Qaγan, Qapγan Qaγan, İnäl Qaγan and Bilgä Qaγan. He conducted victorious campaigns against various Turkic and non-Turkic steppe peoples, such as Tôlis, Xueyantuo, Toquz Oguz, Yenisei Kyrgyz, Kurykans, Thirty Tatar, Khitan and Tatabi as well as China. He was described as a kingmaker by historians such as E. P. Thompson and Peter Benjamin Golden.
The name is spelled as t1-o-ɲ-uq1-uq1 (𐱃𐰆𐰪𐰸𐰸) in the Old Turkic script, variously interpreted as Tunuquq, Tonuquq, Tuj-uquq, Toɲ Yuguq, Tujun-oq, Tojuquq, Tuɲoqoq with a number of suggestions for its etymology. According to Sertkaya, Tunuk means "clear, pure, abyss, who reached the depth" or "pure, penetrative", and uq or oq means "idea, wise, well-informed". Thus, Tonuquq is the owner of deep and pure idea. His title "Bilge" means wise or master. According to Klyashtorny, the element yuquq means "hidden, protected thing, value, treasure, jewelry", which is derived from the verb "yoq/yuq" meaning "to hide, to protect" (used in Uyghur legal documents); meanwhile, the other ton means "first"; thus his Chinese name 元珍 Yuánzhēn is a calque of his Turkic name Tonyuquq, both meaning "first treasure" René M. Giraud read the name as tonïuquq, from ton "dress, clothes" with I possessive and yuquq (from the verb yuk- "to stick") and meaning "whose dress is blessed with oil"; Likewise, Jean-Paul Roux explained the name as "with oiled dress" while discussing the culinary culture of the Mongols and suggesting that they had dirty and stained clothes.
He was born around 646, near Tuul River in Ashide tribe. He fled Tang in 679 and joined Elteriš in 681.
I myself, wise Tonyukuk, born in Tabgach [i.e. Tang China] country. (As the whole) Turkish people was under Chinese subjection.
Old Turkic: 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀:𐱃𐰆𐰪𐰸𐰸:𐰋𐰤:𐰇𐰕𐰢:𐱃𐰉𐰍𐰲:𐰃𐰠𐰭𐰀:𐰶𐰠𐰦𐰢:𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰚:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣:𐱃𐰉𐰍𐰲𐰴𐰀:𐰝𐰇𐰼𐰼:𐰼𐱅𐰃, romanized: Bilgä Toñuquq bän özüm Tabγač eliŋä qılıntım Türk bodun Tabγačqa körür ärti.
Chinese sources state that Tonyuquq's name was Yuanzhen, and he learned all Chinese traditions and was aware of the gaps in the borders and the Chinese wall. While he was supervising the surrendered clans in Chanyü military governorship, he was dismissed and jailed by the military governor Changshih.
Although he lost early wars against Xue Rengui, he was formidable force in establishing Turkic Khaganate. In 687, another invasion of Tang by Elteriš and Ashide Yuanzhen began. Empress Dowager Wu commissioned the ethnically Baekje general Heichi Changzhi, assisted by Li Duozuo, to defend against Turkic attack and they were able to defeat Turk forces at Huanghuadui (modern day Shuozhou, Shanxi) causing Turk forces to flee.
In 703, he was sent by qaγan for marriage proposal to China. Wu Zetian accepted the proposal, in exchange Wu Yanxiu was released on khagan's order. However, Emperor Zhongzhong's accession changed political climate. Marriage was cancelled.
In 712, he commanded Tujue army during Battle of Bolchu which proved disastrous for Turgesh army.
He was not in active politics during Inäl's reign. Although he accepted him as legitimate ruler.
In 716 he was appointed to be Master Strategist (Bagha Tarkhan) by his son-in-law Bilgä Qaγan.
Chinese sources state, Bilgä Qaγan wanted to convert to Buddhism, establish cities and temples. However, Tonyukuk discouraged him from this by pointing out that their nomadic lifestyle was what made them a greater military power when compared to Tang dynasty.While Turks' power rested on their mobility, conversion to Buddhism would bring pacifism among population. Therefore sticking to Tengriism was necessary to survive.
In 720 Tang chancellor Wang Jun proposed a plan to attack Bilgä Qaγan along with the Baximi, Xi, and Khitan.Emperor Xuanzong also recruited Qapγan Qaγan's sons Bilgä Tegin and Mo Tegin, Yenisei Kyrgyz Qaγan Qutluğ Bilgä Qaγan and Huoba Guiren to fight against Tujue. Tonyukuk cunningly launched first attack on Baximi in 721 autumn, completely crushing them. Meanwhile Bilgä raided Gansu, taking much of the livestock. Later that year Khitans, next year Xi were also crushed.
He died around 726.
He was father to Eletmiš Bilgä Qatun and a father-in-law to Bilgä Qaγan, thus a grandfather to Yollïg and Teŋrï Qaγans.
His biography, achievements and advice for state administration were carved in the so-called Orkhon-Turkic script on two stele erected around 716 (before his death) at a site known as Bayn Tsokto, in Ulaanbataar's Nalaikh district.He was mentioned and remembered in some Uyghur Manichaean texts later in Qocho. Yuan era Uyghur official Xie Wenzhi (楔文質), as well as Korean Gyeongju Seol clan claimed descent from Tonyukuk.
Bilgä Qaghan was the fourth Qaghan of the Second Turkic Khaganate. His accomplishments were described in the Orkhon inscriptions. probably Sumerian <bilga> : ancestor word relationship with Turkish <bilgä>. Sumerian and Turkish are Agglutinative language and, Sumerian has Asiatic roots.
The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan and his sons, succeeded the Rouran Khaganate as the main power in the region and established the Turkic Khaganate, one of several nomadic dynasties which would shape the future geolocation, culture, and dominant beliefs of Turkic peoples.
İltäriš Qaǧan was the founder of the Second Turkic Khaganate.
The Ashina, also known as Asen, Asena, or Açina, were a tribe and the ruling dynasty of the ancient Turkic peoples. It rose to prominence in the mid-6th century when the leader, Bumin Qaghan, revolted against the Rouran Khaganate. The two main branches of the family, one descended from Bumin and the other from his brother Istämi, ruled over the eastern and western parts of the Göktürk confederation, respectively.
The Uyghur Khaganate (or Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country, was a Turkic empire that existed for about a century between the mid 8th and 9th centuries. They were a tribal confederation under the Orkhon Uyghur nobility, referred to by the Chinese as the Jiu Xing, a calque of the name Toquz Oghuz or Toquz Tughluq.
The Western Turkic Khaganate or Onoq Khaganate was a Turkic khaganate in Eurasia, formed as a result of the wars in the beginning of the 7th century after the split of the Turkic Khaganate into a western and an eastern Khaganate.
Toquz Oghuz was a political alliance of nine Turkic-speaking Tiele tribes in Inner Asia, during the early Middle Ages. Toquz Oghuz was consolidated and subordinated within the First Turkic Kaganate (552–743) and remained as a nine-tribe alliance after the Khaganate fragmented.
Qapaghan Qaghan or Qapghan Qaghan and Bug-chor was the second Khaghan of the Second Turkic Khaganate during Wu Zetian's reign and was the younger brother of the first kaghan, Ilterish Qaghan.
The Orkhon inscriptions, also known as the Orhon inscriptions, Orhun inscriptions, Khöshöö Tsaidam monuments, or Kul Tigin steles, are two memorial installations erected by the Göktürks written in Old Turkic alphabet in the early 8th century in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. They were erected in honor of two Turkic princes, Kul Tigin and his brother Bilge Khagan.
The Basmyls were a 7th- to 8th-century nomadic tribe who mostly inhabited the Dzungaria region in the northwest of modern-day China.
Ashina Nishufu (阿史那泥熟匐) was a member of the Ashina family that revolted following the fall of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate. He revolted against Tang dynasty to restore the Turkic Khaganate.
The Second Turkic Khaganate, was a khaganate in Central and Eastern Asia founded by Ashina clan of the Göktürks. It was preceded by the Eastern Turkic Khaganate (552-630) and then a period of Tang Chinese rule (630-682). The Second Khaganate was centered on Ötüken in the upper reaches of the Orkhon River. It was succeeded by its subject Toquz Oghuz confederation, which became the Uyghur Khaganate.
Qutluğ Säbig Qatun also known as Po Beg was the khatun (queen) and then hansha of the Second Turkic Khaganate in the early eighth century. Her father was Tonyukuk, an apa tarkan, a title equivalent to prime minister. She married Bilge Khagan before 717, while he was still a tegin (prince).
The Tonyukuk inscriptions, also called the Bain Tsokto inscriptions are Turkic inscriptions of the 8th century in Mongolia. They are the oldest written attestations of the Turkic language family, predating the Orkhon inscriptions by several years.
The Battle of Bolchu was a critical battle in the Turkic Khaganate history in 711.
Ashide is one of the dominant clans of Turkic Khaganate; this clan is also the conjugal clan of the Göktürk khagans' Ashina clan.
Sir-Kıvchak were a Turkic people whose existence is controversial and who were proposed to be precursors to the Kipchaks.
Alp Bilge Qağan or Eletmiş Qağan — was a Basmyl chief who rebelled and brought Second Turkic Khaganate to an end.
Ashina Duoxifu — was a younger brother of Elteriš Qaγan and Qapγan Qaγan in Turkic Empire.
Ongin inscription was discovered in 1891 in Mongolia near the Ongi River, 160km south to the Orkhon inscriptions and 402km south-west to Bain Tsokto inscriptions. It was erected in honor of El Etmish Yabgu. Line 12 makes it clear that the author of the inscription erected a memorial to his father. According to Gerard Clauson, it must have been erected between 716 and 735, during the reign of Bilge Qaghan. According to Ercilasun it was erected in 719 or 720.