Golden Horde - Encyclopedia




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GOLDEN HORDE, the name of a body of Tatars who in the middle of the 13th century overran a great portion of eastern Europe and founded in Russia the Tatar empire of khanate known as the Empire of the Golden Horde or Western Kipchaks. They invaded Europe about 1237 under the leadership of Bail Khan, a younger son of Juji, eldest son of Jenghiz Khan, passed over Russia with slaughter and destruction, and penetrated into Silesia, Poland and Hungary, finally defeating Henry II., duke of Silesia, at Liegnitz in the battle known as the Wahlstatt on the 9th of April 1241. So costly was this victory, however, that Bata, finding he could not reduce Neustadt, retraced his steps and established himself in his magnificent tent (whence the name "golden") on the Volga. The new settlement was known as Sir Orda (" Golden Camp," whence "Golden Horde"). Very rapidly the powers of Batu extended over the Russian princes, and so long as the khanate remained in the direct descent from Batu nothing occurred to check the growth of the empire. The names of Bata's successors are Sartak (1256), Bereke (Baraka) (1256-1266), Mangu-Timur (1266-1280), Tuda Mang]. (1280-1287), (?) Tula Bugha (1287-1290), Toktu (1290-1312), Uzbeg (1312-1340), Tin-Beg (1340), Jani-Beg (1340-1357). The death of Jani-Beg, however, threw the empire into confusion. Birth-Beg (Berdi-Beg) only reigned for two years, after which two rulers, calling themselves sons of Jani-Beg occupied the throne during one year. From that time (1359) till 1378 no single ruler held the whole empire under control, various members of the other branches of the old house of JO assuming the title. At last in 1378 Toktamish, of the Eastern Kipchaks, succeeded in ousting all rivals, and establishing himself as ruler of eastern and western Kipchak. For a short time the glory of the Golden Horde was renewed, until it was finally crushed by Timur in 1395.

See further Mongols and Russia; Sir Henry Howorth's History of the Mongols; S. Lane-Poole's Mohammadan Dynasties (1894), pp. 222-231; for the relations of the various descendants of Jenghiz, see Stockvis, Manuel d'histoire, vol. i. chap. ix. table 7.

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