The Political History of the Golden Horde in 1419–1427
Authors: Parunin A.V.
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Research objectives: To comprehensively explore the political history of the Golden Horde during the specified period; to identify the causes of the internecine wars of this period and simultaneously identify the main political groups, as well as their role and influence on the course of events.
Research materials: Russian annals (Nikonovskaya, Simeonovskaya, Gustynskaya, and the West Russian chronicles); Persian historiography (al-Hawafi, Hafiz Abru, Samarkandi, Ötemish Haji); Arabic historiography (al-Ayni); Tatar historiography (Kirimy, Kadir Ali-bek, Khurremi); the Nogai heroic epos “Idegei”; accounting books (massariae) of Caffa; the memoirs of the Bavarian soldier Johann Schiltberger; the diplomatic correspondence of Vytautas; Polish historical works (Jan Długosz), etc. The author also used the works by A.L. Ponomarev, R.Yu. Reva, D.N. Maslyuzhenko, R.A. Bespalov, A.P. Grigoriev, V.M. Zhirmunsky et al.
Results and novelty of the research: The author has reached the conclusion that during the civil strife in the Golden Horde in the 1420s, the main struggle took place between the descendants of Töqa-Temur, Ulugh-Muhammad, supported by the great Lithuanian prince Vytautas, and the grandson of Urus Khan, Baraq, supported by Timurid Ulugh Bek. Based on the publication of new sources (in particular, the “Qara tavarikh” of Ötemish Haji), the article proposes a solution for the problem of the so-called “Muhammads” – the problem, which was first formulated by M.G. Safargaliev and recently again discussed by R.Yu. Reva, Ya.V. Pilipchuk, Zh.M. Sabitov. A comprehensive analysis of written sources (classified on chronological and factual grounds) suggests that “Muhammad”, often mentioned in medieval literature, was in fact Ulugh Muhammad, and not just another eponymous prince from the Shibanid dynasty. The author also examined in detail the process of nominating new candidates for the throne after the death of Dervish Khan, Kadir Berdy and Idegei. The Crimean beks were most active here, having approved their protege Ulugh Muhammad. What happened clearly demonstrates the fact that for some time, the Nogais lost their political dominance in the Golden Horde despite the accounts of the late Tatar chroniclers who clearly fell under the influence of the Nogai heroic epic. It is also interesting that the outline of the events of this period is directly related to the scholarly research, as well as to the source-research tools used by it. In general, the political history of the Golden Horde in the period under consideration reflects the continuation of the political decay of the state, the increasing role of local clans, as well as the increased attention paid to it by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.