Hudud al-'Alam, The Regions of the World
V. Minorsky
 


§ 47   The Khazarian Pechenegs   443
 

§ 47. The Khazarian Pechenegs.

In § 20 the older territory of the Pechenegs is described, up in the north, grosso modo between the Urals and the Volga. Our § 47 refers to the new seats of the Pechenegs when, following the events of A.D. 889-93, they came to occupy the Magyars' lands near the Azov sea. This chapter belongs to the Balkhī > Iṣṭ. tradition (cf. notes to §20 where Iṣṭ., 10, is quoted) and corresponds to the historical facts. On the contrary, geographically we are in the region where our author artificially strings together information derived from different sources.

Iṣṭ. says only that the Pechenegs settled between the Khazar and Rūm. [1] Our author places some "Khazar mountains" east of the Khazarian Pechenegs. [2] The latter are imaginary unless they refer to the watershed between the Volga and the Don, but at all events we are given to understand (cf. § 50) that in the east they separated the Khazarian Pechenegs from the Khazars. In the south the Khazarian Pechenegs bordered on the Alān (cf. § 48) and in Mas'ūdī's account of the W.l.nd.rī federation (which comprised the Pechenegs) it is said that these Turkish tribes lived on peaceful terms with the Khazar king and the Master of the Alān (ṣāḥib al-Lān), v.i., notes to § 53. The detail on the Gurz sea lying to the west of the Khazarian Pechenegs is due to some wrong idea about the configuration of the north-eastern corner of the Black Sea. To the north (and partly to the west, cf. p. 440) the Mirvāt  are named as the neighbours of the Khazarian Pechenegs, but here we are certainly on a purely imaginary ground for between the Azov sea and the Danube our author tries to drive in, as a wedge, the Mirvāt  whose name he found in his special source [or passage] unknown to I.Kh., I. Rusta, or Iṣṭ. The latter author, v.s. p. 314, 1.1, is right when he suggests that the Pechenegs extended westwards down to the Rūm, i.e., practically speaking, to the Danubian region, for such was the case in the beginning of the tenth century when the Magyars had already left Atelkuzu behind. With this agrees Mas'ūdi's embroiled account of the W.l.nd.rī hordes operating against the Byzantine empire. But the above-mentioned particular source, common to the Ḥ.-'Ā. and Gardīzī, refers to the situation circa A.D. 900 (cf. § 42, 18.) when for a short period the Magyars screened the Pechenegs from Bulgaria (associated with the "Rūm" in point of religion). The situation in the steppes in this period is extremely dark and, following Mas'ūdī's account, we may imagine that some "swarming" of the tribes was taking place. In any case the victorious Pechenegs, after the Magyars had surrendered to them their Lebedia home, most probably remained in touch with the Magyars, for after a short while they again attacked them and drove them out of their new habitat stretching between the Dniepr and the Sereth. Consequently, at the
 

1. Cf. also Const. Porphyr. quoted in the notes to §20.

2. Cf. § 5, 18. where miyān-i nāḥiyat-i Bachanāk-i Khazarī biburradh, to suit § 47, ought to read: miyān-i Bachanāk-i Khazarī[va Khazar] bigudharadh (?).


444   Commentary   §§ 47-8

Atelkuzu period of Magyar migrations, which the special source [circa A.D. 900] had in view, our author ought to have mentioned the Magyars as the western neighbours of the Khazarian Pechenegs. He, however, not knowing what to do with the names V.n.nd.r and Mirvāt  arranged the bearers of them from north to south, so that the Mirvāt  came to occupy the region somewhere about the Crimea (instead of Transylvania!). So, briefly speaking, the items on the north-western frontier of the Khazarian Pechenegs must be due exclusively to our author's speculations.

For the further destinies of the Pechenegs 'Aufī's text published by Barthold, Turkestan, i, 99, and Marquart, Komanen, 40, is of great interest. 'Aufī (thirteenth century) writes that the arrival of the Q.ri (Qūn ? v.s., notes to §§ 14, i. and 21) in the Sārī land made the inhabitants of the latter move into the land of the Türkmäns [ = Ghuz] with the result that the Ghuz [ = Türkmän] went to the land of the Pechenegs near the coast of the Armenian (= Caspian?) sea. [1] Marquart, Komanen, 54, places these events in the beginning of the eleventh century but finally, p. 202, leaves the whole question in suspense. Barthold (in his review of Marquart's book) admits that 'Aufī has in view the migration of the tribes in the eleventh century when the Qpchaq (see notes to § 21) drove the Ghūz out of their steppes. For a short time the supremacy in the southern Russian steppes passed to the Ghūz. Russian chronicles under A.D. 968 register the first incursion of the Pechenegs into Russian lands. In their turn the Pechenegs must have been considerably weakened by A.D. 1036 when Yaroslav of Kiev defeated them.
 

1. The term  (sic) is very strange and suits the Caspian better than the Black sea which we would expect at this place!
 

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