István Zimonyi

Hungary, Szeged University






There were three important political actors in the beginning of the 13th century in Eastern Europe. The Kipchak tribes ruled the steppe zone, while the Kievan Rus and Volga Bulgars controlled the forest zone. The Kipchak tribes reached Eatern Europe in the middle of the 11th century and from that time on they played important role not only in the history of Rus and Volga Bulgars, but they had deep impact in Georgia, Byzantium, Danube Bulgaria and Hungarian Kingdom. The Mongols creating a vast empire in the first half of the 13th century waged war twice against Eastern Europe and after successful conquest the Golden Horde was founded.[1]

This paper focuses on the Mongol campaigns against the Kipchaks within the western conquest. The Kipchak tribes of Eastern Europe migrated along the rivers. The reconstruction of their settlements was based on the direction of the Rus attacks which have survived in the Russian annals, the archaeological excavations, the territorial distribution of the Kipchak stone sculptures and the evidence of place names. Accordingly the following groups can be distinguished: Danube, Bug, Dnepr, Azov, Don, Donec, Caucasus and Volga-groups.[2]

The Mongol forces attacked Eastern Europe first through the Caucasus in 1223. The campaign was a part of a larger war against the empire of the Khwarazmshah. Chinggis Khan’s troops assembled on the river Irtish in the summer of 1219 and reached Otrar in the autumn. The Khwarazshah distributed his forces among the big cities as he was afraid of a decisive battle, but Chinggis Khan abandoning the tactics applied in north China conquered the towns of Transoxania one by one. Otrar was captured after five months siege in February 1220. Bukhara was taken in the same month and Samarkand in March. The empire came to an end. Jalāl al-Dīn, the son of the Shah was the only leader, who defeated the Mongols in a battle, but he was forced to retreat to India. Chinggis Khan sent his generals Jebe and Sübötey to pursuit Muhammad, the Khwarazmshah according the basic Mongol strategy. He flew to an island of the Caspian Sea and died there in January 1221.[3] The Mongol generals asked the permission of Chinggis Khan to continue the campaign to reconnoitre the western countries and so they attacked Azerbaijan and Georgia, then they crossed the Caucasus in 1222. The Alans made an alliance with the nomadic Kipchaks.[4] The Mongols sent envoys to the Kipchaks according to Ibn al-Athīr who were successful in alienating the Kipchaks stating that the Mongols and Kipchaks were of the same stock (jins) and they have different religion than the Alans. The Mongols promised treasure and clothing to the Kipchaks, who accepted the offer and left the Alans and dispersed. First the Alans were crushed and then the Cumans.[5] The Mongols spent the winter in the northern Caucasus and took Sugdak on the Crimea.[6] In 1223 they penetrated into the steppe and they killed the son of Konchak, Yuriy and Danil Kobyakovich during the wars, but Köten and other princes escaped.[7]

The western Russian princes paid little attention to the raid of Chinggis Khan, as the Russian annals did not record it at all. The prince of Galych, Mstislav was informed about the events in the Caucasus by his father-in-law, the Kipchak ruler Köten, who offered presents for making an alliance against the Mongols. Mstislav convoked the Russian prince to Kiev. The princes of Kiev and Chernigov took part in the war council and decided to march together with the Kipchaks against the Mongols toward southeast and to attack the Mongols on the steppe.  The main body of the army went along the Dnepr and met the envoys of the Mongols under Zarub who declared that the Mongols did not intend to attack the Rus’ territories west of the Dnepr and said: “We have heard that you are marching against us, having harkened to the Polovtsians/Kipchaks; but we have not attacked your land or your villages, nor have we marched against you; but we have come, sent by God, against our serfs and our grooms, the pagan Polovtsians. Make peace with us. Should (the Polovtsians) escape to you, then drive them off and take their goods for yourselves. We have heard that they have done much evil to you, and for this reason we are fighting them.”[8] The report contains several topoi, but reflects the aim of the Mongols to divide the opponents. The Russians killed the envoys and the reinforcement from Chernigov, Galych and Smolensk arrived. The allied forces reached the easternmost bend of the Dnepr, when other Mongol envoys arrived: “You have harkened to the Polovtsians and have killed our envoys and are marching against us. March on, then. But we have not attacked you. May God (be judge) of all men.”[9] The Russian troops crossed the Dnepr and marched forward on the steppe. The battle took place on the Kalka on 31 May between the Mongols and Russian-Kipchak army. The Kipchak troop under Yarun retreated. The three leading princes fell during the fight and the Mongols defeated the Russian forces and pursued the remnants as far as the Dnepr, then retreated.[10] The crushing defeat was due to the feud among the Russian princes and lack of unity among the commanders, absence of the troops from the powerful northern and eastern principalities such as Novgorod and Vladimir-Suzdal. The casualties amounted to the half of the participating princes.[11] The news of the Mongol attack in 1223 reached Europe through Henry of Livonia’s Chronicle.[12]

Then the Mongols attempted to conquer the Volga Bulgars, but they had precise information about the nomadic tactics of the Mongols and they put up ambushes for the Mongols and defeated them. Ibn al-Athīr recorded: “Most of them were killed, none but only a few escaped. It was said they were about 4 000 men. They went to Saqsin returning to their king, Chinngis Khan. The territoty of the Qipchaqs became empty of them and whoever survived of them returned to his country. The road was cut: The Tatars had entered it and nothing arrived from them from fox, ermine, sable, etc. of what is carried from these countries. When they left it (the road), they returned to their country and the roads was uninterrupted and carried the goods as before.”[13] During the first Mongol invasion the Kipchak tribes between the Dnepr and Volga were temporally conquered.

Parallel with the campaign of Jebe and Sübötey Jochi, the eldest son of Chinggis Khan  marched on the Syr-darya and captured the towns of Sugnak, Özkend, Barchin and Ashnas and finally Jand im April 1220. Afterwards Chingis Khan sent Jochi, Ögedey and Chagatay against Khwārazm during his campaign in Transoxania. Ögedey and Chagatay sieged the town and returned to their father, while Jochi marched to the steppe and remained there till the spring of 1223. Chinngis Khan with his sons met him between Chimkent and Jambul and spent the summer with hunting. Then Jochi returned his camp.[14] Rashīd al-Dīn recorded the events in another way after the siege of Khwarazm stating:  „Chagatay and Ögetey then set off to join their father, and they reached Chingiz-Khan before the fortress of Tālaqān. As for Jochi, he set out from Khwārazm for the Erdish, where his heavy baggage was, and reached his ordos.  Previously, Chingiz-Khan had ordered Jochi, he set out upon the conquest of the northern countries, such as those of the Bular, Bashghïrd, Orus, Cherkes, and the Qïpchaq Steppe, and to subjugate them. As /Jochi/ had held back from this operation and returned to his own tents, Chingiz-Khan was extremely annoyed and said: ‘I will put him to death without seeing his face.’ Jochi was taken suddenly ill.”[15] Finally Jochi died and the conflict came to an end. Rashīd al-Dīn mentioned the order of Chingiz-Khan to attack the western countries once again: „It had been previously ordained by a yarlïgh of Chingiz-Khan that Jochi should proceed with an army and seize and take possession of all the northern countries, such as Ibir-Sibir, Bular, the Qïpchaq Steppe, and the lands of the Bashghïrd, Rus, and Cherkes as far as Darband on the Caspian, which the Mongols call Temür-Qahalqa. Jochi neglected this command, and when Ögedey Khan acceded to the Khanate, he charged Batu with the same undertaking, deputing his nephew Möngke Qa’an, the latter’s brother Böchek, and his own son Güyük Khan, along with such great emirs as Sübetey Bahadur, the army commander of the Uriyangqat people who came to this country with Jebe, at the head of an army, to gather all together with the other princes under Batu and set about the conquest of the northern countries.”[16] The chronology of this neglected command is debated, as Juwaynī having described the campaign of Jebe and Sübedey as far as the cross of the pass Darband in the Caucasus than he wrote that Sübedey met Jochi in the Dasht-i Qipchaq in the beginning of 1224 and both joined to Chingis Khan:[17] „Then they came to Darband and none remembered that any army had ever passed through or gone to war by this route, but they had resort to a stratagem and so passed through. The army of Tushi stationed on the Plain of the Qifchaq and that region; they linked up with them and departed from thence to rejoin Chingiz-Khan.”[18]

According to Rashīd al-Dīn Jochi refused to meet Chingis Khan as he neglected his command to attack the western countries, so it cannot be dated before 1223, which seem to be logical, as Jochi could help the campaign led by Sübötey and Jebe.  All in all Chingis Khan sent his eldest son Jochi to the west. The details and results of this attack is not known, only the western border of Jochi ulus were recorded by Juwaini: «When during the reign of Chingiz-Khan the kingdom became of vast extent he assigned to everyone his place of abode, which they call yurt. To his eldest son, Tushi (Tūšī), he gave the territory stretching from the regions of Qayaligh[19] (Qayālīġ) and Khorezm (Hwārizm) to the remotest parts of Saqsin (Saqsīn) and Bulghar (Bulġār) and as far as the hoof of Tartar horse had penetrated.”[20] We have no data on the attack of Jochi between 1224 and 1227. Chinggis-Khan’s attention turned toward the Tanguts and he died during the campaign against the Tanguts in 1227.

The new great khan, Ögödey was elected in 1229, whose first step was to conquer the Qitays in north China. It meant that greater forces were not sent against Eastern Europe between 1227 and 1235. The Russian annals mentioned border incidents in 1229 and 1232 referring to the Volga-region.[21] Both attacks had consequences for the Kipchaks and Volga Bulghars. In 1229 a Mongol raid is recorded in the Russian annals: “In 1229 the inhabitants of Saqsin and the Polovec escaped from the Tatars to the Bulgars from the south and the Bulgar advanced guard also retreated as they were defeated by the Tatars near the Yayik (Ural) river.”[22] In 1232 the Mongols attacked the Volga Bulgars nott reaching their Great Town (Biler).[23] The eastern borders of the Volga Bulghars were conquered. These Mongol attacks had an impact on the Kipchaks along the Volga.

Ögedey having consolidated the East, i.e. North China and Persia convoked a quriltay in 1235 and it was decided to launch an attack against the West, i.e Europe. Rashīd al-Dīn described it in detail: “Having returned in the Year of the Horse (1234) from his conquest of the lands of Khitai, Qa’an had called an assembly in Talan-Daba and held a quriltay. In this Year of the Sheep (1235) he wished to reassemble all the sons, kinsfolk, and emirs and cause them to listen once again to the yasas and ordinances. They all presented themselves in accordance with his command, and he distinguished them everyone with every sort of kindness and favour. For one continuous month, in union with his kinsmen, he joined the morning /draught/ to the evening draught in feasting, and in his wonted manner in accordance to his practice, he bestowed upon that assembly all the valuables that had been gathered together in the treasuries. And when they had done with feasting and merrymaking he turned to the disposal of the affairs of the state and the army. And since some parts of the lands had not yet been conquered, and in certain countries some were practicing rebellion, he set about dealing with these matters, dispatching each one of his kinsmen in a different direction and intending to proceed in his own person to the Qïpchaq Steppe. However, Möngke Qa’an, who, although in the first flower of youth, had the perfect wisdom and counsel of an old man, remarked upon Qa’an’s intention and said: “All of us brothers and sons stand awaiting thy ever-fulfilled command so that we may give our lives in whatever manner he may suggest whilst Qa’an busies himself with spectacles and pleasure and amusement and does not endure the toils and hardships of travel. Otherwise of what use are kinsmen and emirs, and a countless army?” All present approved these perfect words and made them their model and guide; and the august mind of Qa’an resolved that of the princes, Batu, Möngke Qa’an, and Güyük Khan, together with others of the princes and a great army, should set out for the countries of the Qïpchaq, Orus, Bular, Majar, Bashghïrd, Sudaq, and /all/ that region and subjugate them all.”[24] The aim of the campaign was described in the Secret History of the Mongols as follows: “Earlier on, Sübe’etey-ba’atur, campaigning against Meket (=Magas), Men-kermen, Keyibe and other cities, had crossed the rivers Adil and Jayaq rich in water, and had reached as far as Qanglin, Kibcha’ut, Bajigit, Orusut, Asut, Sesüt, Majar, Keshimir, Sergesüt, Buqar (read Bolar) and Keler peoples.[25] The subjugation of the Kipchaks were mentioned among main strategic aim of the campaign.

The basic strategy of the Mongols during the western campaign was the attack against the nomads on the steppe in summer and against the peoples of the forest region in winter. The Hungarian friar, Julianus illuminated the matter with the following words: “Those Russians, Hungarians and Bulgars, who escaped from them, told me personally that the Tatars look forward to the coming winter, when the rivers and marshes freeze and so they can plunder easily the whole Russia with their numerous strength as they did in case of the Rutens.”[26]

The great western campaign directed first against the Volga Bulgars. Mongol forces joined near their country in the autumn of 1236 and conquered Volga Bulgaria during the winter. The parallel and subsequent events of the raid against the Volga Bulgars were recorded in the letter of Julianus. The attack against Saksin on the lower Volga led by Möngke and Büjek with the left wing of the Mongol army was described by Juwaynī.[27] Pelliot dated the campaign to the winter of 1236/1237.[28] After consolidating the Mongol power in the Volga-Kama region and Volga-Don steppe the Mongols attacked the Mordvins and Burtas (Vedin/Veda and Merovia by Julianus).

Rashīd al-Dīn gave a detailed description of the events inserting the campaign against the Hungarian king at the beginning of the report:  „They all set out together in the spring of the bichin yïl, that is, the Year of the Monkey, falling in Jumādā II of the year 633 /12th February — 12th March, 1236/. Having travelled throughout the summer, in the autumn, in the region of Bulghar, they joined the family /of Jochi/, Batu, Orda, Shiban, and Tangqut, who had also been deputed to that region … (Raid against the Hungarians)….Thereafter[29], in the winter, the princes and emirs gathered together on the River Yaman[30] and sent the emir Sübedey with an army into the country of the Ās and the region of the Bulghar. They /themselves/ went as far as the town of Kūy.k.[31] The emirs /of the town/, Bayan and Chïqu, came and paid homage to the princes. They were received with honor, but upon their return /Bayan and Chïqu/ again rose in revolt, and Sübedey Bahadur was sent /against them/ for the second time in order to take them prisoner.[32]

Thereafter the princes held a council, and each with his army set out in an encircling movement and attacked and conquered the countries which lay across their path. Möngke Qa’an moved in such a circle upon along the bank of the river and captured both Bachman, who was one of the chief emirs of those parts, of the Ülirlik people in the Qipchaq federation, and Qachir-Ukula of the Ās people. This happened in the following manner. This Bachman together with a number of other robbers, had escaped from the sword and a further group of fugitives had joined him. He would strike upon every side and carry something off, and day by day the mischief he caused grew greater. He had no fixed place of abode, and the Mongol army could not lay hands on him. In the daytime he used to lie hidden in the forests on the banks of the Etil. Möngke Qa’an ordered two hundred boats to be constructed and one hundred fully armed Mongols to be set in each, while he and his brother formed a hunting ring and proceeded along the banks of the river. In one of the forest on the Etil they found some dung and other traces of an encampment that had been hurriedly abandoned.  In the middle of this they found an old woman, from whom they learnt that Bachman had crossed on to an island and that he had acquired during that period by his wickedness and mischief was on that island. Because no boats were at hand, it was impossible to cross the Etil, but suddenly a strong wind arose, the water began to billow, and (it) receded from the passage leading from the island to the other side; and because of Möngke Qa’an’s good fortune the bottom became visible. He ordered the troops to ride in. Bachman was seized and his army destroyed within an hour, some being flung into the river and some killed outright. The Mongols bore off their wives and children as prisoners, and they likewise carried off much valuable booty. Then they returned. The water began to move, and when the troops had crossed, it was back again without one soldier’s having suffered harm. When Bachman was brought before Möngke Qa’an, he bagged to be put to death by the latter’s own hand. Instead Möngke ordered his younger brother Böchek to cut him in half. Qachir-Ukula, the Ās emir, was likewise put to death. That summer Möngke remained in that region.

Then in the taqïqu yïl,that is, the Year of the Hen, falling in the months of the year 634 (1236-7/, the sons of Jochi Khan, Batu, Orda, and Berke, the sons of Qa’an, Qadan and Güyük Khan, as also Möngke Qa’an, the grandson of Chaghatai Khan, Büri, and the son of Chingiz-Khan, Kölgen, went to war against the Boqshi and Burtas and conquered them in a short space of time.”[33]

Julianus, Juwainī and Rashīd al-Dīn proves that the left wing of the Mongol army under Mengü and Böchek marched against Bachman who must have been the chief of the Kipchak tribes along the lower Volga in the winter of 1236-37 and the Mongols conquered the steppe region between the Volga and the Don. After defeating the Volga Bulghars the other Mongol princes, their western and south-western neighbours i.e the Mordvas and the Burtas were subdued. The Mongols reached the borders of the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal.

The Hungarian friar, Julianus was in Suzdal in 1237 and he copied a Mongol letter written to the king of Hungary, which was confiscated by the grand duke of Suzdal. Among others it is stated: „Further, I have learned that you keep the Cumans, my slaves, under your protection. Whence I charge you that henceforward you do not keep them with you, and that you do not make me your enemy on their account.”[34] The Mongols regarded the reception of the Cumans/Kipchaks as a hostile act. The Cumans on the lower Danube under prince Borc embraced Christianity and became the subject of the Hungarian king with his people in 1227 and a Cuman episcopacy was founded and the Hungarian king took the title Rex Cumaniae from 1229.[35] It can be regarded a crucial motive for the later Mongol invasion against the Hungarian Kingdom.

The Kievan Rus’ was not a centralized political unit, several principalities flourished. The most powerful principality was that of Vladimir-Suzdal in the north-east controlling Novgorod. The south-western part of Russia was unstable, as the royal families of Smolensk, Chernigov and Volynia–Galich fougt for supremacy over Kiev symbolizing the control over Russia.

The Mongols conquered Russia in two different phases. The attack against north-eastern Russia was a complicated task, which was perfectly planned. In winter 1237-38 the Mongols conquered the principilty sieging its main cities: Rjazan’ on 16-21 December 1237, Vladimir on 3-7 February 1938 and defeating the grand duke in the battle on the river Sit’ on 4 March. The Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal, the most powerful state of Russia was totally defeated and the Mongols left the territory of the principality in spring and arrived in the steppe of the Kipchaks.

The next two years the Mongols first had to secure their further invasions by seizing the steppe region and then they had to pacify the peoples of the northern Caucasus. Rashīd al-Dīn recorded the events of 1238: “in the autumn, Möngke Qa’an and Qadan proceeded against the Cherkes and, in winter their king, Tuqar (Tūqār[36]) by name, was killed. Shiban, Böchek and Büri proceeded against the region of Qirim and conquered Tatqara of the Qipchaq people. Berke proceeded against the Qipchaq and captured Arjumaq, Quranmas, and Qiran (Arjumāk, Qūrānb/mās, Qap/tarān), the leader of the Mekrüti (B/Makrūti).”[37] The Mongols first attacked the Cherkes in the Kuban region east of the Black Sea. Moving westward they crossed Perekop, the gate of the Crimea defeated the Kipchaks of the Crimea and captured Sugdak (Sudak) on the coast on 26 December.[38] Besides, the Mongols attacked the Kipchaks living in the steppe from the lower Dnepr to the Dnestr. The Mongol raid against the Kipchaks provoked the western migration of the fourth Cuman ruler, Küten with his people (40 000) to the territory of the Hungarian kingdom, as the Hungarian king Béla IV reset the Kipchaks after having been baptized to strengthen his position against his internal opponents and as useful auxiliary troops against the threatening Mongols.[39]

After the successful campaign against the Caucasus in the winter of 1239-1240 the Mongols made a banquet and Möngke and Güyük with their armies were ordered to return to the great Khan to Mongolia. The remaining Mongol army under Batu continued the campaign against Kiev, which was sieged on 6th December 1240. Then the Mongol army conquered Galych and Volhynia. The Mongol central army crossed the Verecke Pass in the Carpathian Mountains, the gate of the Hungarian Kingdom from the East on 12 March and they annihilated the border protection. A Mongol patrol reached in the vicinity of Pest on the Danube. The Kipchaks under Küten had to face serious challenge as the opponents of the Hungarian king accused the Kipchaks with cooperation with the Mongols and the mob massacred Küten and his revenue in Pest. The Kipchaks having heard of the murder left the country along the Danube to northern Bulgaria.[40]

The Hungarian king, Béla IV. Led his army to the river Sajó and he was totally beaten by the Mongols near village Muhi on 11 April 1241. The Mongols crossed the Danube in the winter 1241-1242 and perhaps the death of Ögödey in December 1241 was among the main reason that the Mongol army retreated from the Hungarian Kinngdom following the lower Danube.

Rashīd al-Dīn noted that during their march they met Kipchaks: “The news of Qa’an death had not reached them. Then in the Year of the Leopard, a number of Qipchaq had come to fight with Köten (Kūtan[41]) and Shingqur, the son of Jochi. They gave battle and the Qipchaq were defeated. In the autumn they returned again and passed into the region of Temür-Qahalqa (Tīmūr Qahalqa[42]) and the mountains of those parts. They gave an army to Ila’udur (Aylāwdūr[43]) and dispatched him against them. He proceeded thither and defeated the Qipchaq, who had fled to that region. They subjugated the Urungqut (Ūrunkqūt[44]) and Badach (Bādāğ[45]) and brought (back) their envoys. The whole of that year was passed in that region. In the beginning of the taulai yil, that is, the Year of the Hare, corresponding to the months of the year 640/1242-1243, having completed the task of conquering that country, they returned their ulus in the mogha yil, that is, the Year of the Snake, corresponding to the months of the year 641/1243-1244, and alighted in their own ordos. And God best knows the truth.”[46]

The Mongol central army led by Batu left the Carpathian Basin in spring of 1242 along the Danube, while the Mongol princes conquering Transylvania marched along the river Olt toward Bulgaria. Thence most of the Mongol princes returned to their homeland. Batu and his family settled on the rivers of the South Russian steppe. Plano Carpini described the Cuman territory (terra Comanorum) in his journey across the steppe of Eastern Europe in 1245. He mentioned four rivers, Dnepr, Don, Volga and Ural, whose both banks were used as migrating way for the Mongol elite.[47] Batu moved along the Volga and it became the centre of the Golden Horde, which determined the fate of Eastern Europe in the next two centuries.


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[1] The western campaigns of the Mongols in general: Spuler 1943, ; Vernadsky 1953; Grekov-Jakubovskij 1950; Tihvinskij 1970; Göckenjan 1991; Sinor 2001; sourcebooks on the campaigns: Göckenjan, Sweeney 1985; Tatárjárás emlékezete; Revised and supplemented version: Tatárjárás.

[2] Fedorov-Davidov reconstructed six (1966, 147-150) and Pletneva eight groups (1974, 19-23), twelve by Pritsak 1982, 340-341

[3] Ratschnecsky 1993, 118-134.

[4] The term used in Muslim and eastern sources, whereas Cumans in western and Polovtsians in Russian sources.

[5] The basic source is Ibn al-Athīr description on the Mongol campaign. On operations in the Caucasus cf. Schütz 1973.

[6] Ibn al-Atīr X, 416–417; Richards 2010, 222–223; A tatárjárás… 58–59).

[7] NPL 62, 265.

[8] Fennell 1983, 65

[9] Dietze 1971, 94-96; Fennell 1983, 66.

[10] The Russian annals recorded the events under title the “Tale of the battle on the Kalka” in different versions, which preserved reliable historical data. Cf. Fennell 1980, 18-31.

[11] Fennell 1983, 63-68

[12] Göckenjan, Sweeney 1985, 29-32.

[13] Ibn al-Athīr XII, 388-389; Zimonyi 1992/3, 350; Zimonyi 1985, 197-204; Volžskie Bulgarija 1988).

[14] J. A. Boyle, Djuči: EI II, , 571; Ratschnevsky 1993, 136-137.

[15] Boyle 1971, 118, Thackston 1999, 359.

[16] Boyle 1971, 107-108; Thackston 1999, 352

[17] Buell 1993, 19-20.

[18] Qazwini 1912, 116; Boyle 1958 I, 149.

[19] A lay to the west of Kopal (Boyle 1958 I, 42, note 9).

[20] Qazwini 1912, 31; Boyle I, 42

[21] Zimonyi 1992, 351-352.

[22] PSRL I, 453; Zimonyi 1992/93, 351.

[23] PSRL I, 459; Zimonyi 1992/93, 352.

[24] Ali-Zade 1980, 116-119; Boyle 1971, 54-55; Verhovskij 1960, 35-36; Thackston 1999, 324

[25] Rachewiltz 1985, 26-27.

[26] Vernadsky 1953, 50; Dörrie 1956; Göckenjan, Sweeney 1985, 104-105; Györffy 1986, 76-77.

[27] Boyle 1958 II, 553-554 cf. Chinese description by Pelliot 1920, 166.

[28] Pelliot 1920, 167.

[29] After describing the campaign against Hungary earlier events were mentioned Minorsky 1952, 228.

[30] Yayiq i.e. Ural river cf. Minorsky 1952, 239

[31]  KWYK, KWXK, KRNK. The identification of the town is debated. Tizengauzen referrred to the Great City without special explanation. Smirnov  after Berezin (1951, 268) reconstructed as Kermenčuk. Fahrutdinov rejected it as the town was located north of the Kama river whereas Bilyarsk was the greatest centre of the Volga Bulghars south of the Kama, and Kermenčuk can be dated to the Mongol age (13-15th century) there is no trace of earlier settelement there. According to Fahrutdinov the term can be read as Turkic kirmen ‘town, fortress’ (1984, 101-102).

[32] The date of the revolt is uncertain cf. Smirnov 1951, 53-54; Fahrutdinov 1984, 100-102.

[33] Ali-Zade 1980, 128-133; Boyle 1971, 57-59; Verhovskij 1960, 37-38; Thackston 1999, 326-327.

[34] Sinor 1999,11.

[35] Balogh 2001, 149-160; Kovács 2005, 55-66.

[36] Var: Būqār, Būqān.

[37] Ali-Zade 1980, 136-137; Boyle 1971, 60; Verhovskij 1960, 39; Thackston 1999, 327; cf. Golden 1995-1997, 116).

[38] Spuler 1943, 19.

[39] Polgár 1999, 91-102; Balogh 2001, 53-61.

[40] Göckenjan, Sweeney 1985, 141-142,157-159; Pálóci-Horváth 1989, 48-51.

[41] Var: Kūs. Köten, the second son of Ögödey. The identification with the Cuman chief Köten is hard to defend as he was killed in 1241 in Pest (Boyle 1971, 71 note 350).

[42] The Iron Gate is the name of several passes. According to the geographical context the Iron Gate of the lower Danube in the vicinity of Orsova is mentioned here.

[43] Var: Aylāwdur

[44] Var: Ūrūnkqūt, Ūrūxkqūt. Golden 1995-1997,116.

[45] Var: Xārāğ, Xādāğ . Golden 1995-1997, 109.

[46] Ali-Zade 1980, 164-167; Boyle 1971, 69-71; Verhovskij 1960, 45-46; Thackston 1999, 331-332.

[47] Giessauf 1995, 210.